April 28, 2002 11:00 pm

Now more than ever it's important to be strong in our families, homes, farms, communities and nations. The Grange in America has played a vital role for 135 years in doing just that. The Grange and its members in Northeast Oregon are celebrating National Grange Week to promote the values of community service and community building today and into the future.

THE GRANGE, which stands on the strong principle that knowledge is a foundation for happiness, has for more than a century made lives better for farmers, rural Americans and their families. To do so, the Grange plays a vital role in community life and on a personal level.

On the community level, the Grange promotes economic and political cooperation. The Grange shows the benefit of vigorous grassroots advocacy and working together for the greater good.

ON THE PERSONAL level, the Grange promotes individual growth, making a difference in the lives of children, helping neighbors in need of assistance. The Grange also promotes building character in the social, moral and cultural areas. Such standards drive the excellence of its individuals.

In this day of crime, drugs, hedonism, bureaucratic bloat and the entitlement ethic, it's good to see an organization that is building community at its most fundamental levels. The Observer salutes the Grange and the values of character and community building and old-fashioned American gumption for which it stands.


It's time for a little spring cleaning. Or in Cove's case, a lot of spring cleaning. Last weekend's Cove Cleanup Day is proof that a little idea can go a long way.

The cleanup day was suggested as part of the Cove Strategic Plan to improve and beautify the town, and committee members displayed the value of enthusiasm in supporting the idea. They could have said, "No, that will never work," or, "Why bother?"

INSTEAD, THEY GOT on the enthusiasm bandwagon providing volunteer dump trucks, drivers, backhoes and operators, people walking the streets and roads collecting trash, and so on. In total, Cove Cleanup Day saw some 14 dump trucks of trash and metal hauled away. Some 254 tires were hauled to a local tire shop for recycling, and lots of metal to a local recycling center. The cleanup drive also netted 75 batteries, four truck loads of appliances, a hot tub, even a boat and trailer.

Here's a tip of the cap to those individuals, businesses, the City of Cove and Union County governments that were instrumental in making the cleanup day a big success. Those contributing to the project should be commended for their efforts. Other local communities may want to celebrate Earth Day and sound ecosystem management by following suit and making their communities healthier and better places to live.