A tip of the hat to our soon-to-be robot overlord “Vahana,” which arrived in Pendleton this week.

The “uber in the sky” — a flying, unmanned taxi — will be tested at Eastern Oregon Regional Airport and housed at a newly-built hangar there.

“It was no easy feat for our bird to leave the nest,” wrote Zach Lovering on the Vahana blog, which you can read it here.

But it made the journey from Vahana headquarters via the back of a big truck, not a straight shot through the rainy Oregon sky. That’s because the cutting-edge technology needs to be tested, and its team needs to put the machinery through its paces to make sure it is safe, secure and reliable.

Pretty cool that those experiments will take place in Pendleton, and lucky spotters at the UAV test range will be among the first to see Jetson’s-era technology in real life. We wish it luck and success, and to be among the first to go flying through the sky to pick up our groceries.

A tip of the hat to Hermiston football faithful, who were honorable hosts to visitors from La Salle High School earlier this month.

Visiting team dad Dennis Kelly of Tigard couldn’t believe how well he was treated both by the opposition, from his hotel clerk to the stadium volunteers. But then came game time, when tension can be high. Here’s an excerpt from Kelly’s letter to mayor Dave Drotzmann and principal Tom Spoo:

“I headed to the top row of the visitors section. I was by myself for some time, then suddenly it seemed like 30-plus middle-schoolers (maybe freshman) were all around me. I figured that was their section and avoidance of older kids. Coming from where I live, my first thought was ‘Great, this might not be fun’ surrounded by so many early teens.

I stayed up there for the first half, and in all that time I never heard one cuss word, I was spoken to a few times and addressed as ‘sir.’ While the kids were definite teens they were polite and respectful. Big difference from the big city — I can tell you.

I later had dinner with my son and he told me how nice the school’s staff and volunteers were and how wonderful they treated the La Salle coaches and players. The dinner prepared and served was an incredible touch.

So, this is just my thank you and appreciation for being the town and people you are. In this crazy world we live, you demonstrate the right way to do things.”

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