East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, February 18, 2017, WEEKEND EDITION, Page Page 4A, Image 4

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    Page 4A
OPINION
East Oregonian
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Founded October 16, 1875
KATHRYN B. BROWN
Publisher
DANIEL WATTENBURGER
Managing Editor
TIM TRAINOR
Opinion Page Editor
MARISSA WILLIAMS
Regional Advertising Director
MARCY ROSENBERG
Circulation Manager
JANNA HEIMGARTNER
Business Office Manager
MIKE JENSEN
Production Manager
EO MEDIA GROUP
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OUR VIEW
OSAA should
imagine there’s
no borders
Each time the Oregon School
whom will rely on academic
Activities Association looks to
scholarships and not athletic ones
reclassify the state’s schools,
once high school is over. It’s hard to
Eastern Oregon has the most at
justify so much time on the road.
stake.
There are two good options, in
Our schools are spread out under our view.
The first is a classification
big skies, split apart by wheat fields
waiver, allowing Hermiston to stay
and mountain ranges. Where the
with Pendleton, The Dalles and
Portland metro area has dozens of
Hood River in a
schools of all
league moving
different sizes,
forward. Sure,
you must scour
Each season,
the Dawgs will
tens of thousands
each Hermiston
increasingly
of square miles in
be the big
the rural parts of
team
would
spend
dogs in such
the state to find
the equivalent of a conference,
enough like-sized
and competitive
schools to create
a bus trip from
balance will be
a balanced
conference.
Portland to Detroit, lost for the sake
of classroom
And the largest
Michigan — for
hours and cost
two of those
savings. But in
northeastern
league games
our view, that’s
Oregon
alone.
more than a
groupings, the 5A
reasonable trade
Columbia River
off.
Conference and
The second is a partnership with
4A Greater Oregon League, consist
the Washington Interscholastic
of just four teams each.
Hermiston in particular is caught Activities Association, allowing
in a difficult spot, with growth
Hermiston to slide into a sixth spot
outpacing all other nearby districts
with Tri-Cities and Walla Walla
and pushing them into the largest
schools in the Mid-Columbia
classification in the state.
Conference. This idea, proposed
Because of this, the OSAA is
by Hermiston, could rightfully be
considering putting Hermiston
considered a long shot. Washington
into a newly-formed Mt. Hood
schools would get little out of
Conference with Portland-area
bringing Hermiston on board,
schools or an Inter County
and the Tri-Cities schools would
Conference with a mix of Portland
be adding miles to their own
and Bend-area schools.
schedules.
On paper, the leagues make
Logistically, though, it makes
sense. Unless that paper is a map.
great sense for Hermiston and is
Size-wise, Hermiston fits
worth vigorously pursuing. The
nicely with schools like Gresham,
teams often play in non-conference
Centennial, Bend and Barlow and
games anyway, and the case could
is athletically competitive with all
be made that adding Hermiston
of them. The OSAA has posted its
strengthens the league.
league suggestions on its website
There would be some hiccups.
and the chart shows leagues with
Washington schools play soccer
both balance and depth.
in the spring instead of the fall,
But if you start adding up the
for instance. And closing out the
miles (and hours) it would take
regular football season against
to compete in such a league, the
anyone other than Pendleton would
competitive balance starts to matter just feel wrong.
a lot less.
But Hermiston’s growing pains
Each season, each Hermiston
aren’t going away. Until the school
team would spend the equivalent of district splits the high school in
a bus trip from Portland to Detroit,
two — which is still more than a
Michigan for league games alone,
few years away — it will never fit
according to calculations from
well in any Eastern Oregon athletic
Hermiston athletic director Larry
conference.
Usher.
Thinking outside the box — and
Remember that we’re talking
state lines — is the best way to
about student-athletes, most of
balance academics and athletics.
Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the East Oregonian editorial board of publisher
Kathryn Brown, managing editor Daniel Wattenburger, and opinion page editor Tim Trainor.
Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not
necessarily that of the East Oregonian.
OTHER VIEWS
What a failed Trump
Administration looks like
I still have trouble seeing how the
seems to be shrinking to his daughter,
Trump administration survives a full
her husband and Stephen Bannon.
term. Judging by his Thursday press
Bannon has a coherent worldview,
conference, President Donald Trump’s
which is a huge advantage when all
mental state is like a train that long ago
is chaos. It’s interesting how many of
left freewheeling and iconoclastic, has
Bannon’s rivals have woken up with
raced through indulgent, chaotic and
knives in their backs. Michael Flynn
unnerving, and is now careening past
is gone. Reince Priebus has been
unhinged, unmoored and unglued.
unmanned by a thousand White House
David
Trump’s White House staff is at war
Brooks leaks. Rex Tillerson had the potential
with itself. His poll ratings are falling
to be an effective secretary of state,
Comment
at unprecedented speed. His policy
but Bannon neutered him last week by
agenda is stalled. FBI investigations
denying him the ability to even select
are just beginning. This does not feel like a
his own deputy.
sustainable operation.
In an administration in which “promoted
On the other hand, I have trouble seeing
beyond his capacity” takes on new meaning,
exactly how this administration ends. Many of
Bannon looms. With each passing day,
the institutions that would normally ease out or Trump talks more like Bannon without the
remove a failing president no
background reading.
longer exist.
Third, we are about to
There are no longer moral
enter a decentralized world.
arbiters in Congress like
For the past 70 years most
Howard Baker and Sam
nations have instinctively
Ervin to lead a resignation or
looked to the U.S. for
impeachment process. There
leadership, either to follow
is no longer a single media
or oppose. But in capitals
establishment that shapes how
around the world, intelligence
the country sees the president.
agencies are drafting memos
This is no longer a country in
with advice on how to play
which everybody experiences
Donald Trump.
the same reality.
The first conclusion is
Everything about Trump
obvious. This administration
that appalls 65 percent of
is more like a medieval
America strengthens him with
monarchy than a modern
the other 35 percent, and he
nation-state. It’s more “The
can ride that group for a while. Even after these Madness of King George” than “The Missiles
horrible four weeks, Republicans on Capitol
of October.” The key currency is not power, it’s
Hill are not close to abandoning their man.
flattery.
The likelihood is this: We’re going to
The corollary is that Trump is ripe to be
have an administration that has morally and
played. Give the boy a lollipop and he won’t
politically collapsed, without actually going
notice if you steal his lunch. The Japanese gave
away.
Trump a new jobs announcement he could
What does that look like?
take to the Midwest, and in return they got
First, it means an administration that is
presidential attention and coddling that other
passive, full of sound and fury but signifying
governments would have died for.
nothing. To get anything done, a president
If you want to roll the Trump
depends on the vast machinery of the U.S.
administration, you’ve got to get in line. The
government. But Trump doesn’t mesh with
Israelis got a possible one-state solution. The
that machinery. He is personality-based while
Chinese got Trump to flip-flop on the “One
it is rule-based. Furthermore, he’s declared
China” policy. The Europeans got him to do a
war on it. And when you declare war on the
180 on undoing the Iran nuclear deal.
establishment, it declares war on you.
Vladimir Putin was born for a moment such
The Civil Service has a thousand ways to
as this. He is always pushing the envelope.
ignore or sit on any presidential order. The
After gifting Team Trump with a little
court system has given itself carte blanche
campaign help, the Russian state media has
to overturn any Trump initiative, even on
suddenly turned on Trump and Russian planes
the flimsiest legal grounds. The intelligence
are buzzing U.S. ships. The bear is going to
community has only just begun to undermine
grab what it can.
this president.
We’re about to enter a moment in which
Trump can push all the pretty buttons on
U.S. economic and military might is strong
the command deck of the Starship Enterprise,
but U.S. political might is weak. Imagine the
but don’t expect anything to actually happen,
Roman Empire governed by Monaco.
because they are not attached.
That’s scary. The only saving thought is
Second, this will probably become a
this: The human imagination is vast, but it
more insular administration. Usually when
is not nearly vast enough to encompass the
administrations stumble, they fire a few people infinitely multitudinous ways Donald Trump
and bring in the grown-ups — the James Baker can find to get himself disgraced.
or the David Gergen types. But Trump is
■
anti-grown-up, so it’s hard to imagine Chief of
David Brooks became a New York Times
Staff Haley Barbour. Instead, the circle of trust Op-Ed columnist in 2003.
Everything
about Trump
that appalls
65 percent
of American
strengthens him
with the other
35 percent.
YOUR VIEWS
Pendleton fire station,
and EOTEC update
LETTERS POLICY
The East Oregonian welcomes original letters of 400 words or less on public
issues and public policies for publication in the newspaper and on our website.
The newspaper reserves the right to withhold letters that address concerns
about individual services and products or letters that infringe on the rights of
private citizens. Submitted letters must be signed by the author and include
the city of residence and a daytime phone number. The phone number will not
be published. Unsigned letters will not be published. Send letters to managing
editor Daniel Wattenburger, 211 S.E. Byers Ave. Pendleton, OR 97801 or email
editor@eastoregonian.com.
Public safety, though important, did not
make it into the top four goals of the mayor
and new city council. Could it be because of
the dramatic increase in the estimated cost of
a new fire station at near double the original
estimate? Perhaps it was due to the inclusion
of a museum and the need for a satellite police
station, since the proposed location is at the
opposite end of town from the proposed site?
Never fear, though, the city has decided to
realign the fire station bond issue into the
maintenance of buildings, roads, water and
sewer category, moving it from the number 5
category right up to number 1.
I guess those 245 respondents to the survey
were just wrong.
Perhaps a more realistic alternative such as
a central location, elimination of the museum
and satellite police station would have rated a
more favorable public response. Sometimes
the public just can’t get it right. I guess we’ll
find out in May if a bad plan is better than no
plan at all.
As for EOTEC, George Anderson is
correct, the fairgrounds needed to relocate.
No argument there. Maybe, since he appears
to be the expert on the project, it’s time to
step up and take control, and since EOTEC is
asking the county and Hermiston city manager
to pay their fair share as per their agreement,
perhaps he should be counseling them on their
responsibilities.
Rumors abound that after ignoring
numerous warnings of the pitfalls in signing
such a generous agreement, the EOTEC board
may now have to sue the county and city
for postponing payment of the $45,190 each
for their share of expenses, and charge a late
payment fee for questioning the management
of the project.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Larry Givens,
worried about the extremely dangerous
environment of working in the courthouse,
might consider moving his office to a more
secure location such as the county jail. Killing
two birds with one stone, this move could add
security and deflect interest away from the
precarious situation with EOTEC.
Other security measures that should be
considered are installation of retinal scanners
on all office doors, enclosing all customer
service counters in bulletproof glass, adding
armed guards at all entrances, or permanently
banning public access altogether.
Rick Rohde, Pendleton