East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, January 16, 2018, Page Page 8A, Image 8

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    Tuesday, January 16, 2018
MLK: Volunteers cleaned the Pendleton Center for the Arts as a day of service
Page 8A
East Oregonian
Continued from 1A
said. Hurt and thinking they were
glaring at him because of his race,
he said, he went home and recounted
the incident to his wife — who
revealed to him that his zipper had
been open.
“The point of the story is, “know
what you’re talking about,” he said.
Rome discussed the challenges
King and other people in the civil
rights movement faced.
“You had people putting their life
on the line daily,” he said. “‘I have
a dream’ is so powerful. Those who
have a dream can change history.”
John Carbage, president of the
Hermiston Cultural Awareness
Club, invited anyone in the audience
to say a few words.
Rev. Robert Eadie recalled
hearing a speech by King when
he was a young man, and how it
continues to impact him today.
“He said, ‘I might not get there
with you,’” Eadie said. He pointed
out the importance of teaching
young people about the movement.
“We are not here permanently,”
Eadie said. “But we must always
put that into our young children’s
minds and hearts — we all have to
overcome something.”
Many marchers said the
comments President Donald Trump
made last week, derogatory to
several other countries, did not affect
how they felt about the event.
“I think the significance of
the event is probably the same,”
said Cynthia Baker, who has been
coming to the march for 10 years.
“We just keep praying for the
country and hope it gets better.”
Carol Johnson, one of the event’s
organizers, said they try to keep the
event from being political.
“Hermiston has a broad array
of political views,” she said. “We
really try to keep it as inclusive as
possible. We want to have an event
where everyone can come together
[around] Martin Luther King’s
Rome agreed.
“The president speaks for
himself,” he said. “He doesn’t speak
for anybody else. It doesn’t mean
any less [of] the human spirit.”
Primmer quoted King’s speech
accepting the Nobel Prize, where
he likened himself as a curator of a
precious heirloom.
“It’s now our time to be that
curator and pass that treasure on to
our children,” Primmer said.
Putting words
into action
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is
the only federal holiday designated
as a Day of Service. The Pendleton
Center for the Arts used the oppor-
tunity to keep their historic facility
well maintained.
About 45 volunteers descended
on the art center Monday to clear out
the gallery, wash the baseboards and
all the other menial tasks it takes to
keep the nonprofit running.
Taking a break from wheeling a
dolly near the entrance, Executive
Director Roberta Lavadour said the
art center has held volunteer main-
tenance days since the Arts Council
of Pendleton finished converting
the old Umatilla County Library in
Given that MLK Day was
already a day of service, the art
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
Georgina Johnson, Margaret Mayer, Dan Haug, Ellen Wardell and
Erin McCusker sing the traditional folk song “This Little Light of
Mine” on Monday during a Martin Luther King Day Celebration at
Great Pacific in Pendleton.
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
Don Rome of Portland, a founding member of the Hermiston Cul-
tural Awareness Club, formerly known as the Black International
Awareness Club, speaks about growing up in Hermiston on Mon-
day for Martin Luther King Day.
center decided to combine the two
days last year.
“We thought it would be a great
opportunity to kill two birds with
one stone,” Lavadour said.
Late Monday morning, volun-
teers could be found in every
room, scrubbing, vacuuming and
wiping every surface they could
find. A small group of volunteers
were focusing on the Alice Fossatti
Ceramics Studio with explicit
instruction to get out the clay from
the walls, sinks and tables.
Two of the volunteers had a
special connection to the room —
Fossatti’s daughters Jeanne Chris-
tensen and Donna Collins.
A longtime kindergarten teacher
and artist, Fossatti used to take her
students into the hills near Poverty
Flat to find clay for figurines and
pinch pots.
Although Fossatti was alive to
see her namesake ceramics studio
open — she died in 2016 at the
age of 102 — Christensen said her
mother never got the chance to go
down to the studio and observe a
class in progress.
If she were alive today, Chris-
tensen said, Fossatti would be
“giddy” to see how much the studio
is put into use.
wandered from namesake of the
Alice Fossatti Ceramics Studio to
the namesake of Martin Luther King
Jr. Day.
“It think MLK would approve,”
Collins said about the clean-up day.
All the volunteers had different
Staff photo by Kathy Aney
Kaleb Hansen uses a long-handled duster Monday at the Pendle-
ton Center for the Arts as part of the National Day of Service.
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
Hermiston city councilor Doug Primmer reads a speech on the
steps of the Hermiston City Hall during a Martin Luther King Day
march Monday in Hermiston.
reasons for being there. For Kathy
Keener, it was literally helping clean
up the mess she made.
A frequent attendee of the weekly
Hip and Handmade drop-in classes
at the art center, Keener said she
enjoyed going to events at the art
center because she could make a
mess in a dedicated paint room
instead of at her home.
The desire to give back helped
motivate Keener to clean the paint
stains and the dried gum off the
MLK in music
Almost 50 years after Martin
Luther King Jr.’s violent death,
Americans hold him close.
Maybe this year closer than ever.
Freedom songs rang out from
the Great Pacific Wine & Coffee
Co. as more than a hundred people
gathered at the popular Pendleton
eatery to celebrate King’s birthday.
One could almost imagine MLK
stepping onstage to offer inspiration
in his calm, resonant voice.
A variety of performers sang
about the things closest to King’s
heart. One who closed their eyes to
block out the sight of all those smart
phones and 2018 styles could lean
into the melody and cruise back to
the 60s.
“We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome someday
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
We shall overcome someday”
Event organizer Sarah Woodbury
said King’s message continues to
resound during this time of political
polarization, social media bickering
and disrespect for anyone who
doesn’t share the same point of view.
“He was interested in changing
the world non-violently — without
shouting, without creating disunity,”
Woodbury said. “He wanted to
move forward and he wanted to do
that without hate.”
The minister’s non-violent stance
made him a target, though. He was
arrested and assaulted. Someone
planted an explosive device on his
front porch that blew out his front
“He held his course,” Woodbury
said. “That’s something that is really
hard to do. He said, ‘You need to
love those people who hate you.
We’re going to kneel, we’re going to
march, but we’re not going to throw
George Winter, who participated
in the Civil Rights Movement in
Mississippi in the mid-60s, spoke a
few words to the crowd. MLK, he
said, had both heart and eloquence.
“He spoke truth that was hard to
speak,” Winter said. “He wanted us
to share the work and start loving
each other.”
For two hours, the tunes rolled,
ricocheting off the GP’s brick walls
and reminding everyone anew of a
decade past that still offers so much.
Somewhere MLK was smiling
broadly and snapping his fingers to
the rhythm.
MISSILE: A state employee had inadvertently ‘pushed the wrong button’
Continued from 1A
island of Oahu. Hull, who
co-owns the Delish Bistro
in Hermiston, has family on
Oahu and had just arrived
at a gymnasium where
his grandson had an early
morning basketball game in
Waialua on the island’s north
“Everyone who was there
got the alert at the same time
— all 60 or 70 of us,” Hull
Amazingly, he said,
“everyone was really rather
calm.” Luckily, a Homeland
Security employee who is a
friend of Hull’s son-in-law
was there to watch the game.
“She was immediately
on the phone to someone at
Wheeler Air Force Base,”
Hull said. “She knew right
away it was a false alarm and
got the word out.”
Hull nonetheless had
several minutes to ponder his
fate before learning the alert
was an error. He gathered his
family around him close to a
concrete wall for whatever
protection that might offer.
Later, he watched news
about the scare. People had
abandoned cars on a major
highway north of Honolulu
and fled to a nearby tunnel.
Others had scurried for
basements and even removed
manhole covers and lowered
their children into the sewer
“I had no idea how much
Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat via AP
In this Saturday photo provided by Civil Beat, cars drive
past a highway sign that says “MISSILE ALERT ERROR
THERE IS NO THREAT” on the H-1 Freeway in Honolulu.
The state emergency officials announced human error
as cause for a statewide announcement of an incom-
ing missile strike alert that was sent to mobile phones.
panic it caused,” he said.
Thirty-eight minutes after
the original alert, another
message said the missile
warning was a false alarm.
Gov. David Ige sent out a
statement after the incident.
“I know first-hand how
today’s false alarm affected
all of us here in Hawaii, and
I am sorry for the pain and
confusion it caused. I, too,
am extremely upset about
this and am doing everything
I can do to immediately
improve our emergency
management systems, proce-
dures and staffing.”
Ige told CNN that a state
employee had inadvertently
“pushed the wrong button.”
The Hawaii Emergency
(HI-EMA) website posted a
timeline of the false alarm.
8:05 a.m. – A routine
internal test during a shift
involving the Emergency
Alert System and the Wire-
less Emergency Alert, but no
warning sirens.
8:07 a.m. – The warning
test was triggered.
8:10 a.m. – State Adjutant
Maj. Gen. Joe Logan vali-
dated with the U.S. Pacific
Command that there was no
missile launch. Honolulu
Police Department were
notified of the false alarm.
8:13 a.m. – The Civil
Danger Warning Message
was canceled to prevent
the initial alert from being
rebroadcast to phones that
may not have received it yet,
such as those out of range
and coming back into cell
coverage or people getting
off planes.
8:20 a.m. – Public notifi-
cation of cancellation appears
on Facebook and Twitter.
8:24 a.m. – Governor Ige
retweets cancellation notice.
8:30 a.m. – Governor
posts cancellation notifica-
tion to his Facebook page.
8:45 a.m. – After getting
authorization from FEMA
Integral Public Alert and
Warning System, HI- EMA
issued a false alert message.
These 38 minutes of
panic in paradise led some
to wonder why it took so
long before the second cell
phone message went out.
The governor suspended
all future drills until a full
analysis of the incident is
Having been tempo-
rarily whipsawed from his
Hawaiian vacation bliss,
Puzey said the event brought
current tensions between the
U.S. and North Korea closer
to home.
“My greatest concern,” he
said, “is with the potential for
mistakes of a much greater
magnitude and the inflam-
matory rhetoric between
two woefully intemperate
national leaders.”
Contact Kathy Aney at
or 941-966-0810.
Missile-alert error reveals
uncertainty about how to react
The blunder that caused
more than a million people
in Hawaii to fear that they
were about to be struck by
a nuclear missile fed skepti-
cism about the government’s
ability to keep them informed
in a real emergency.
The erroneous warning
was sent during a shift
change at the Hawaii Emer-
gency Management Agency
when someone doing a
routine test hit the live alert
button, state officials said.
That employee has been
reassigned to a job without
access to the warning system
amid an internal investigation,
agency spokesman Richard
Rapoza said Monday. No
other personnel changes have
been made, he said.
Officials tried to assure
residents there would be
no repeat false alarms. The
agency changed protocols to
require that two people send
an alert and made it easier
to cancel a false alarm — a
process that took nearly 40
The error sparked a
doomsday panic across the
islands known as a laid-back
paradise. Parents clutched
their children, huddled in
bathtubs and said prayers.
Students bolted across the
University of Hawaii campus
to take cover in buildings.
Drivers abandoned cars on
a highway and took shelter
in a tunnel. Others resigned
themselves to a fate they
could not control and simply
waited for the attack.
The 911 system for the
island of Oahu was over-
whelmed with more than
5,000 calls. There were no
major emergencies during
the false alarm, Mayor Kirk
Caldwell said.
President Donald Trump
said Sunday the federal govern-
ment will “get involved,” but
didn’t release details.
An investigation into what
went wrong was underway at
the Federal Communications
Commission, which sets rules
for wireless emergency alerts
sent by local, state or federal
officials to warn of the threat
of hurricanes, wildfires, flash
flooding and to announce
searches for missing children.
The state of Hawaii
“did not have reasonable
safeguards or process
controls in place to prevent
the transmission of a false
alert,” FCC Chairman Ajit
Pai said in a statement,
calling the mistake “abso-
lutely unacceptable.”