September 03, 2003 11:00 pm

A new school year has begun and with it comes a variety of extracurricular athletics and activities. But entirely new this year at La Grande High School will be the way participants and parents do fund-raising for their particular programs.

Tiger Boosters was formed last year to provide a clearinghouse for all of the school's 32 athletic and activity programs. The concept is one the community should take notice of and contribute to, especially in this day of declining school dollars and increasing costs to keep programs going.

Tiger Boosters is raising money for all programs. Donors can contribute to all programs or designate their contribution to a specific program. The booster club has established a variety of levels of support, from Kitten (a $25 contribution) to Cub ($50), Tiger ($100), Bronze ($250), Silver ($500), and Gold ($1,000). Various incentives are provided for each level of donation.

Tiger Boosters isn't intended to be a sports booster only. All sanctioned activities fall under the boosters' umbrella, from mock trial and choir to dance team, art club and National Honor Society.

Until Tiger Boosters was formed, individual activities had to fend for themselves to raise needed money to ensure the programs' success. Businesses were being approached almost on a daily basis by representatives of one program or another. Some programs succeeded in fund-raisers; some faltered. Tiger Boosters mitigates the need for individual fund-raisers.

But the success of the concept will depend on the public's generosity. Tiger Boosters and the programs it supports needs citizens' support. La Grande residents should do what they can to help ensure the success of the Tiger Boosters concept and to help guarantee La Grande's kids have an opportunity to take part in a variety of programs. Please give.

Public's loss

One of the best public affairs programs in Oregon is no more, due to the Legislature's decision earlier this year to cut off funding to Oregon Public Broadcasting. The state's contribution to public television has been declining for several years, but this year the Legislature took the bold step to completely cut the apron strings, and one of the victims is the current-issues program "Seven Days.''

Although the viewing audience for "Seven Days'' wasn't large, neither was the cost to produce the show. But it was too much for a state that doesn't see public television, or the arts in general, as an asset.

"Seven Days'' provided Oregonians with one of few options available on television to stay up to date on current statewide issues. If ever there was a time Oregonians needed to be informed, this is that time. It's a shame "Seven Days'' will no longer be able to do just that.