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Editorial: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs Up

Raising the bar

Congrats to South Wasco County track and field stars Madisen Davis and Ana Popchock for raising the bar on the track and field scene with new school records. Davis is getting high marks in the javelin, while Popchock has shattered records in the triple jump and 300-meter hurdles.

A lifetime of service

Sister Patricia Pfenning, who quietly served not just the parish of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church but the entire community of Dufur, is to be commended for 20 years of dedication. She is moving to a retirement community in Lake Oswego, which is the grounds of the former convent where she took her final vows in 1968.

Award-winning ending

Congratulations to The Dalles senior basketball player Dakota Murr for earning an all-state honorable mention award for the second consecutive season. The guard not only ends his career as a first-team all-league recipient and all-state winner, but has scored 1,362 career points.

Expanding horizons

Two groups of The Dalles High School students ventured out into the world over spring break; one to bring clean drinking water to the poor in Guatemala; and other to help bring their history books to life in Greece and Italy.

Unique opportunity

Insitu, a Bingen-based manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles, deserves kudos for inviting students from The Dalles High School to apply for summer internships. The program offers teens the opportunity to acquire new job skills and, in turn, could provide the company with a skilled workforce.

Bright future

Congratulations to Dufur High School senior Ian Cleveland for signing a Letter of Intent to play football at George Fox University this fall. He joins teammate Curtis Crawford on the gridiron for head coach Chris Casey and the Bruins.

Dedication pays off

The Confluence Project spans 438 miles and has been 12 years in the making, but is entering its sixth and final phase. Organizers are seeking a $3.5 million grant to fund facilities, a renovated parking lot and widening the entrance at Celilo Park. The dedication of people involved with the nonprofit based in Vancouver is truly inspiring.

Support for students

A tip of the hat to NW Honda for their $1,000 grant, and Griffith Honda’s matching donation, to The Dalles Middle School’s music department. It’s great to see students get that extra support.

Stopping crime

The Dalles Police Department caught two car prowlers in the midst of a crime spree in early April. Apprehending car prowlers in the act is a rarity and was made possible by a tip to police by an alert citizen.

Shining the light

HAVEN (Help Against Violence Encounters Now) did a great job in April of marking Sexual Assault Awareness Month by reminding community members of the societal problem and the need to support victims. The nonprofit held its 21st annual “Vision of Hope” fundraiser for survivors of abuse. About 70 percent of clients, most women, have disclosed sexual assault, but Tara Koch, executive director, said that number would likely be much higher if everyone felt free to report abuse.

Good behavior

All of the political campaigns — local, state and federal — have stayed positive, which is greatly appreciated in a time of a deep ideological divide. We are sure readers join us in being thankful for a reprieve from negative rhetoric. Good job candidates!

Earning a top rank

A tip of the cap goes out to The Dalles track and field athletes Justin Conklin, Paulina Finn and Emma Mullins for being ranked in the top 5 in their respective events. Conklin is fifth-ranked in the 110 hurdles, Finn is tied at No. 2 in the high jump and Mullins is the 5A classification’s fifth-best 800-meter athlete.

Big payoff for hard work

The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce deserves a big pat on the back for once again planning a Northwest Cherry Festival that drew crowds to The Dalles and provided both residents and visitors with plenty of family-friendly activities. Each year the chamber adds new elements to the festival that is a celebration of the cherry industry, which pours millions each year into the local economy. The hard work of chamber staffers and volunteers paid off big time with the 39th annual event that gave a boost to the economy.

Energetic effort

Summit Bohannon scores high in enthusiasm as the leader of weekly wellness walks, where citizens also pick up garbage to help beautify the community as part of the Blue Zones Project. The walks are held each Sunday at 2 p.m. at various locations.

Thumbs Down

Be nice, please!

Again, people have been derailing discussions on our Chronicle Facebook posts with negative comments and personal attacks. Not cool.

The Chronicle runs “Thumbs” to recognize exemplary acts that benefit community and to encourage change when necessary.


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