Working the wheat harvest

Dean Brickey's article about Wayne Miller's 37 straight years of working wheat harvest serves as a reminder that the annual ritual has been a right of passage for a good many people around Eastern Oregon.

Miller, who also teaches at Helix, started working in harvest when he was 16. And he has been there ever since. A good many other young people used wheat harvest as a source of summer employment during high school and college.

Jon Sperl, grain division manager at the Pendleton Grain Growers, says he's always amazed at how many people in the area say they worked for PGG at one point or another during their formative years.

Sperl also pointed out that Miller isn't the only school teacher working for PGG this year. At the moment he has nine in his employ.

"It seems to be a natural for them," says Sperl. They get a little time off at the start of summer, do harvest and then get a little break before school starts again. And, we sure enjoy having them because they do a wonderful job."

In addition to working the elevators, PGG and the farmers they serve offer up employment in other aspects of harvest as well. The same is true for the Morrow County Grain Growers and other cooperatives across our area.


Another cybersquatter hit the dust this week. Cybersquatting is registering an Internet address with the intent of selling it to its rightful owner later for a bundle of cash. Most recently in the news, a New York man registered "The Simpsons Movie." He allegedly was using the address to divert Simpsons fans to a site that included sexually-explicit material and eventually to his "Keith and the Girl" podcast.

People anticipating Friday's release of the movie surfed the Internet and stumbled onto the parody site. Rather than official movie trailers and plot synopsis, they found graphic images of the cartoon family.

Keith Malley offered to sell 20th Century Fox his rights to the domain name for $50,000.

Incensed, 20th Century Fox, which owns rights to the television show and movie, used a special arbitration system of the World Intellectual Property Organization to regain control of the domain name. Madonna and Tom Cruise are two celebrities who've use the arbitration system and won.

The arbitrator ruled that Malley had acted in bad faith, using the name for exploitation. The New York podcaster was ordered to cede control of the name to Fox.

One can only imagine that Malley, upon hearing the news, exclaimed loudly, "Doh!"

Local teams alive, kicking

The Little League and Babe Ruth seasons are almost over. With so many successful teams in the area this season it has been difficult to keep track of them all, but the area's talented sluggers and hurlers are making sure nobody takes Eastern Oregon hardball and softball lightly.

Several area teams have shed light on a furtive youth baseball and softball scene in Eastern Oregon this season, and two are continuing to do so at the state and regional level this weekend.

The 11-12-year-olds from Pendleton will play in the state championship game today at 1 p.m. after sweeping the competition throughout the week.

At the regional level, the 16-18-year-old Tri-County Babe Ruth squad continues pool play in the Northwest Regional Tournament in Ephrata, Wash., against Moses Lake. They are 1-1 in pool play, which wraps up Sunday. They hope to make a splash in the bracketed rounds, which start Monday with the top two teams from each pool advancing.

Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the East Oregonian editorial board, comprised of Editor and Publisher George Murdock, Managing Editor Steve Brown, General Manager Wendy DalPez, Deputy Managing Editor Dave Sager and East Oregonian Publishing Company Treasurer Kathryn Brown. Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not necessarily that of the East Oregonian.

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