STADIUM PROJECT RAISES QUESTIONS
Seeing the roof being taken off Community Stadium doesn't do much for governmental entities' efforts to build public trust and credibility. The roof removal has people asking, "Why?''
Why remove a perfectly good roof during a stadium expansion project that raises its own questions? And as one letter writer to The Observer pondered, why wasn't there any public discussion about the plan to remove the roof?
Eastern Oregon University made it clear in its announcement about the stadium/soccer field project that the money was coming from student activity fee money and not from the general fund. In addition to removing the roof, the plan calls for adding 1,000 seats, as well as coaching and press boxes along the top of the stands.
That Eastern had money to spend from the fund is good, but expanding the stadium and removing the roof doesn't make sense. The football team's performance in recent years doesn't justify adding 1,000 seats, and the coaching and press boxes seem unnecessary.
The part of the project that does make sense is the new soccer field. The so-called "minor sports'' at Eastern everything but football, basketball and baseball deserve some attention. That's where Eastern has and can continue to find some success.
SPEND DOLLARS LOCALLY
Every year when the holiday shopping season begins, The Observer reminds people of the importance of shopping locally. Dollars spent in the community recirculate in the community.
In these days of a staggering economy and layoffs, the reminder to shop locally as much as possible makes sense in spring, too.
Our area has been lucky in that we have not been hit by the large number of layoffs that other parts of the state are seeing. Our area is fairly well diversified between lumber products, manufacturing, agriculture and government jobs. But with an 8 percent unemployment rate in Union County and an almost 16 percent rate in Wallowa County, local businesses still are taking a hit. Those who still have jobs should do what they can to help spread their spending dollars around.
What's happening to the economy is largely beyond Oregon's control. But we can try to minimize the effects by making an effort to keep our spending local as much as possible. Dollars spent here recirculate here.
When time's are tough, we all need to pitch in whatever way we can. That can mean contributing to food drives or other worthy causes, as well as making a commitment to do our shopping in our own neck of the woods.