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Editorial: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs Up

Kudos to PUD staff, board

The crew at the Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District devoted an entire day in November to volunteerism around town. The PUD has started an excellent new tradition that we hope catches on across the community.

A hairy time for officers

Officers from The Dalles Police Department raised $425 for cancer research as part of the No-Shave November campaign, easily outdoing their fundraising goal of $250. This month they are back to their clean-shaven appearance, as per department policy.

Setting the pace

Good job to all of the boys and girls’ basketball teams, skiers and wrestlers as they embark on a new journey this winter with hopes of hoisting a title trophy. You are setting a good example for other youth and following the Blue Zones’ model of staying physically fit and engaged in your communities.

Stepping up to serve

Daniel Bonham, owner of Maupin’s Stoves & Spa in The Dalles, is to be commended for stepping forward to take the House District 59 seat vacated in late October by John Huffman. We wish Bonham luck in the halls of Salem as he represents 63,000 constituents in western Wasco, Wheeler, Jefferson and northern Deschutes counties.

Achievement of a lifetime

Although he is long gone from this area, we applaud Noah Barnes, 11, for his more than 4,200-mile stroll across America to raise money for diabetes research and a cure. He passed through the Gorge a couple of weeks ago on his way to Blaine, Wash., where his journey, which began in Key West, Fla., ends on Dec. 9. Barnes is an inspiration to us all about what can be done with sheer determination and a lot of endurance.

Raising the curtains

The Granada Theater reopened with fanfare during a three-day celebration in November that included a well-attended concert for veterans and a night of Vaudeville. The historic building is looking good thanks to the efforts of new owners Charles Gomez and Debra Liddle, and many more cultural experiences are coming soon.

Hard work pays off

New varsity softball coach Kim Kiser has earned the top spot due to her dedication and willingness to get out of her comfort zone. She is a great role model.

Support for our troops

The Holiday for Heroes Committee invited area residents to contribute snacks and hygiene items, or money to cover shipping costs, for troop packages and the community responded with generosity. Point Man International Ministries collected money for the group and received almost $5,000, enough to cover the costs of 85 boxes that were sent to Oregon National Guard soldiers and Marines. Kudos to all who participated.

State champions

Applause to the Dufur High School football team for winning its third straight state championship, ninth in school history, last week in Cottage Grove.

Getting the word out

Jim Winterbottom, district manager of Waste Connection, Inc., which operates The Dalles Disposal, deserves thanks for working diligently to keep government leaders and area residents informed about what is happening to address the recycling crisis.

He is also right to encourage people to continue sorting materials in the curbside bins, so that they don’t get out of the habit of recycling before the impasse with China is resolved.

Insightful narrative

Vietnam veteran Roger Howe provided readers with a view of what combat looks like and how it affects warriors who are sent into harm’s way.

Howe’s narrative was insightful and educational — and a good reminder of the need to support troops and our veterans in return for the sacrifices they have made.

Sprucing things up

The Dalles Codes Enforcement Officer Nikki Lesich recently spoke with the Chronicle. about cleaning up public eyesores and the difficulty of the job. She takes a lot of heat from property owners who don’t want to adhere to city rules and clean up their homesites. That Lesich is on the job and willing to pursue resolution to neighbor complaints means that the city is not only a more aesthetically pleasing place to live, but a safer one as well.

Long-term achievement

Phyllis Ronfeld has been playing the organ for Zion Lutheran Church for 70 years, since she was 14.

Over the decades, she has provided accompaniment for weddings, services and choirs. It is not often that someone can claim such a history of achievement and Ronfeld is to be congratulated.

Looking good

The Dalles Public Works crew has performed its annual act of magic in the downtown blocks and Second Street now reflects the joy of the season. On dark mornings while many residents were still sleeping, public employees were decorating street lamps and hanging lights that many of us take for granted every year. Your efforts greatly enhance the festivities.

Thumbs Down

Stolen tribute

The thieves who stole the plaque from the antelope statue in front of the Wasco County Courthouse need to be punished. How ironic that the plaque, a tribute to the county’s resistance to the Rajneesh cult, included a quote about evil, which is an apt description for anyone who would commit such a crime.

Bad behavior

Joshua Farris was ejected from a meeting of The Dalles City Council after yelling at officials and accusing them of violating his constitutional right of free speech.

Farris was angry that Mayor Steve Lawrence had not allowed people to comment on a staff report recommending that steps be taken to deal with problems caused by the homeless in the downtown area.

However, his behavior was out of control and out of line. Farris lost the points he might have made by calling names and making wild accusations.

He needs to remember the Golden Rule if he is truly interested in being heard and taken seriously. Treat others as you would be treated.

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