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About Polk County itemizer observer. (Dallas, Or) 1992-current | View This Issue
Volume 140, Issue 13
April 1, 2015
IN YOUR TOWN
Most longtime residents of Dallas have a story
about the Blue Garden in downtown Dallas —
memories of its hopping heyday.
Those days may come back — at least that is the
hope of prospective new owner Bob Collins.
Collins is in the process of buying the deteriorated
125-year-old building, located at 827 Main St. The
sale is currently in escrow, but with rumors running
around town about its possible purchase, he decided
to come forward about his plans for the landmark.
A 35-year Dallas resident and owner of Collins &
Lindsly Construction, he has his own Blue Garden story.
FALLS CITY NEWS
EMILY MENTZER/ Itemizer-Observer
Patricia Gallagher reads “Back of the Bus” to a group of children at the Monmouth Public Library on March 25.
Falls City has submitted a grant application to the
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to purchase
and improve the property at the city’s namesake falls.
Currently, the Falls City Alliance owns the prop-
erty on the north side of the falls, purchased with
money borrowed from the city’s revolving loan
fund, about $133,000.
The grant, through the department’s Local Gov-
ernment Grant Program, would allow for the city to
buy the property. Funding also would be available
to improve access to that side of the falls, build a
viewing platform, pavilion and restrooms.
Children’s book award named after Monmouth resident
By Emily Mentzer
ONMOUTH — Isaac Hoff-
man, 2, loved the first book
read by Carrie Kasperick at
the Monmouth Public Library. It was
“Three Hens and a Peacock.”
Every time he saw a glimpse of blue
on the page, he yelled out, “Peacock!”
The book was one of five nominated
for the Patricia Gallagher Picture Book
Award, a children’s choice award.
After learning the fate of the relation-
ship between the hens and peacock,
Monmouth resident Gallagher, herself,
took a turn reading a book, “Back of the
Bus” — the first time she has read in
public in about five years.
Gallagher immediately captured the
attention of everyone in the room,
pulling them into the story.
“This is an interesting story because
there is a character in this book that
was a real live person, Rosa Parks,” she
explained. “The rest of the characters
• The Patricia Gallagher Picture
Book Award is open to all grade-
school children. The five nominated
books may be voted on once children
have either read each of them or they
have been read to the child. Voting
deadline is May 1, and may be com-
pleted in a classroom, school library
or public library. The books are: “Back
of the Bus,” by Aaron Reynolds, illus-
trated by Floyd Cooper; “In the Wild,”
by David Elliott, illustrated by Holly
Meade; “Joha Makes a Wish,” by Eric
Kimmel, illustrated by Omar Rayyan;
“Tarra and Bella,” by Carol Buckley, il-
lustrated with photos; and “Three
Hens and a Peacock,” by Lester L.
Laminack, illustrated by Henry Cole.
For more information about the
award or books: oregonread.org.
are fictional. Aaron Reynolds (the au-
thor) made them up. Her story is ab-
solutely true; but the little boy’s story is
The words used in the book sound
differently from those people in Mon-
mouth use, Gallagher, 84, said.
“He tells the story in a very special
English that is partly black dialect, the
language of his people in Montgomery,
Ala.,” she said.
And then she began reading the tale
of a young boy sitting in the very back
of the bus, playing with his marble, on
his way home with his mother at the
end of the day. Also sitting on that bus
is Rosa Parks, who is arrested for not
moving for a white person to sit.
The feeling in the library room
changed. Children and adults alike
were enchanted — almost like they
were on that bus with the boy, the mar-
ble and Parks.
It was as if Gallagher knew the book
by heart, bringing the story to life of
how Parks helped changed the nation.
It is no wonder, then, that the picture
book award was named after Gallagher.
See LITERATURE, Page 15A
WOU narrows president search
Four finalists visiting Monmouth campus starting this week
By Emily Mentzer
MONMOUTH — Western
Oregon University is poised
to officially be independent
from the Oregon University
System, which will dissolve
on July 1.
With the board of trustees
named, all that’s left is find-
ing a replacement for Presi-
dent Mark Weiss, who will
retire effective June 30.
After reading 45 applica-
tions for the post, four final-
ists were chosen to make
campus visits, starting
Wednesday (today) and con-
tinuing through Tuesday.
The four candidates
scheduled to be interviewed
for WOU’s presidency are
Fernando Delgado, Christo-
pher Ames, Margaret Mad-
den and Rex Fuller.
Delgado, 48, currently
working as provost and vice
chancellor for academic af-
fairs at the University of Wis-
consin-River Falls, said he
was attracted to Western
Oregon for a couple of rea-
“The mission of the uni-
versity, and the faculty and
staff commitment to it,” he
said. “The profile of the stu-
dents and the geography it-
self played a role in that as
Making the move back to
the western states is some-
thing the San Francisco Bay
Area native would look for-
ward to, Delgado said.
He said the president
needs to be embedded in the
community both on and off
“The president is often
‘the face’ for the university
and has a primary role of
making sure that campus is
vibrant and healthy, con-
nected to the external com-
munity,” Delgado said.
Ames, 58, works as the
vice president of academic
affairs at Shepherd Universi-
ty in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
He also was attracted to
WOU’s mission of providing
accessible, affordable, high-
“That’s an important niche
in the higher education mar-
ket today, and Western has
done a really good job of it,”
Ames said. “They have made
the education gap a high pri-
ority, and had success with
(closing that gap).”
See WOU, Page 18A
With the exceptionally warm winter this year, it’s
felt like spring for weeks.
The opening of two farmers markets in Inde-
pendence on Saturday makes it official.
Martha Walton, manager of the 22nd annual Orig-
inal Independence Farmers Market, said the warm
weather has been making things grow too fast.
“We’ll see what Mother Nature presents us with
in April,” she said. “In years past, she’s not been very
nice to us in April.”
Regardless of weather, the Original Independ-
ence Farmers Market will be open from 9 a.m. to 2
p.m. on Saturday.
After one of the most successful seasons in pro-
gram history, the Western Oregon men’s basketball
team is in search of a new coach.
Brady Bergeson accepted the head coaching po-
sition for Regis University’s men’s basketball team
Bergeson went 69-45 during his four-year
tenure. The 2014-15 season was his most success-
ful: WOU finished 23-7, the first time Western Ore-
gon won 20 games in a single season since the
1996-97 campaign. The Wolves also won the Great
Northwest Athletic Conference regular season title.
POLK COUNTY NEWS
The deadline has come and gone for the May 19
ballot, and little interest was shown in running for
No race is contested in the bid for seats on
boards of water districts, fire districts and school
districts in Polk County.
In fact, two seats on the Central School District
Board of Directors had no candidates file for the
position. A number of positions on various water
districts also have no candidates interested.
The one issue on the ballot that should attract vot-
ers is the Polk County public safety tax levy.
Need some laughs?
Art Klug headlines
an evening of com-
at Pressed Coffee &
Wine Bar in Dallas.
7:30 p.m. $15-$20.
Salem’s Heidi Schulz,
author of “Hook’s
Revenge,” will give a
talk and do a book
signing at the Dallas
4 p.m. Free.
Legendary jazz or-
ganist Dr. Lonnie
Smith and the Dr.
Lonnie Smith Trio
perform at WOU’s
7:30 p.m. $11-$28.
Bring your appetite
to the Monmouth
Senior Center for
the monthly all-you-
8:30-10:30 a.m. $6.
It may be Easter, but
the Polk Flea Market
will be open for its
monthly sales ses-
sion at the fair-
grounds in Rickreall.
9 a.m.-3 p.m. $1.
Sports trivia: Base-
ball season has ar-
rived. Did you know
that the American
League began using
the designed hitter
on this date in 1973?
The baseball and
softball teams at
Dallas and Central
high schools are all
4:30 p.m. Free.