May 08, 2001 11:00 pm

By the looks of things, American motorists are in for a rather unpleasant summer at the gas pumps.

U.S. gasoline prices have soared in recent weeks, topping the $2-a-gallon mark in Chicago and California. Some people have reported paying as much as $2.64 per gallon in the Golden State.

Some analysts believe the price could jump to $3 per gallon sometime after Memorial Day.

The skyrocketing prices do not seem to be wholly related to the issue of supply. The oil refineries appear to be increasing their gasoline production, but that hasnt made much difference in pump prices so far.

What to do? Motorists can take steps now to conserve. Its possible for some families to drive one car and park the spare. Other people could get out their bicycles or walking shoes, and make a serious effort to reduce their automobile travel.

And what about summer? With gas prices soaring to record highs, why not plan a vacation trip that involves 200 miles instead of 2,000? Maybe the automobile trip to grandmothers house in Chicago could wait until 2002.

The oil companies will get the message if enough people make a concerted effort to reduce their gasoline consumption. Aggressive efforts to conserve could help push the prices down to a much more reasonable level.


La Grande High Schools a capella choir long has been seen as a fine musical organization in the state.

The choir, under the capable leadership of long-time choral instructor Michael Frasier, finally got the recognition it deserves by winning the OSAA Class 3A state championships in Corvallis Friday.

Hundreds of La Grande High School students have passed through Frasiers classes since he joined the faculty in the 1970s. Many have learned the basics of vocal performance while others have greatly enhanced their singing skills because of his coaching.

Frasier enjoys introducing his students to exciting, yet difficult pieces. His choirs have performed well at 4A competitions in past years. But LHSs move to class 3A in September put the school in the running with smaller schools in sports, music and other activities. The first-place finish must seem sweet to Frasier and the hundreds of LHS choir members who have worked so hard to sound well over the years.