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Our view | Tip of the hat, kick in the pants

Published on August 23, 2018 12:01AM

Last changed on August 23, 2018 9:50PM

In this Aug. 3, 2016 photo, a herd of bison grazes in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park. An Oregon man has been sentenced to 130 days in jail after pleading guilty to misconduct in two national parks, including harassing a bison that had stopped traffic in Yellowstone National Park.

AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File

In this Aug. 3, 2016 photo, a herd of bison grazes in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park. An Oregon man has been sentenced to 130 days in jail after pleading guilty to misconduct in two national parks, including harassing a bison that had stopped traffic in Yellowstone National Park.

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A tip of the hat to the generous bidders who pitched in to make Henry the lamb the most expensive animal at auction during the Umatilla County Fair.

The lamb was raised by Maddy Thomas of Echo, who was diagnosed one year ago with a brain tumor. Money from the sale is going toward high deductibles for her treatment and some college savings.

We’re hardly surprised by the generosity we see when a member of one of our tight-knit communities is hurting. And this, like so many other charitable efforts, is done without any expectation of praise.

But we also feel it’s worth pointing out.

The sale has raised about $27,000 as of this publication, according to livestock auction superintendent Marie Linnell, and the last day to donate to the cause is Friday. If you’d like to add on to that total, email Linnell at mlinnell5@gmail.com or stop by the fair offices at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center.

A kick in the pants to careless and dangerous drivers who heed no mind in construction zones or around farm equipment.

A flagger in one such zone was struck and killed earlier this month on Highway 11 near Athena, and a combine driver was seriously injured when hit from behind on Interstate 84 last week.

With potato and onion harvest on the horizon, more slow-moving trucks and equipment will be on the road.

Distractions are a real safety concern, and the nonstop buzz of the smartphone has made keeping our mind (and eyes) on the road even more difficult.

It may seem like the wide open road is a good place to get caught up on social media or that email to your mom, but two seconds of distraction can have deadly results.

For all of our sakes, keep your eyes on the road and be aware of your surroundings.

A tip of the hat to the new Echo School addition, which was truly built with the community in mind.

The gathering space and workout room can be sealed off from the rest of the school, allowing the opportunity for community use without district employees present.

Schools have long been the hubs of small towns, and new buildings backed by local dollars should always keep the community at large in mind. As long as the funds are being spent to make a better educational experience for students, we’re all for finding ways to keep the taxpayers plugged in to their investment.

A kick in the pants to negative ambassadors from our fair cities.

A recent high-profile case of bison harassment at Yellowstone National Park has put Pendleton in newspapers, television broadcasts and social media posts for all the wrong reasons. We’ll leave the name out here — we try not to kick while somebody’s already down — but you can read about his exploits and punishment on the front page today.

It’s a shame, really, that many in Pendleton have put so much effort into branding the city as a fun place worth either a weekend visit or a full-on relocation. We’re seeing that work take off — Pendleton has been written about extensively and even made the Smithsonian Magazines Top 20 Small Towns list. There’s so much good press out there, but one wayward son puts a taint on that image, even though the city has nothing to do with it.

The lessons are plentiful, first and foremost to leave wild animals alone. But in this world, your dumb exploits will travel far and wide before you can even sober up. Think of your own reputation, your family’s and even your town’s when you’re out in the world.



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