Our view: Tips and kicks



A tip of the hat to all students nationwide (and especially locally) who walked out of class in protest and remembrance Wednesday.

They took a risk and achieved their goal — to once again get the nation talking about school safety, and to have their voices remain part of a conversation that the nation has not been able to have without their pressure.

The haters were out in full force, using their time to be mean to children on the internet. Those kinds of people thrive in the swamp of social media, which amplifies their nastiness and vitriol.

Everyone should know by now there are people who disagree with them on every issue, but it’s despotic to tell those on the other side — no matter their age or experience — that they should just shut up. That their opinion doesn’t matter. That they shouldn’t speak.

Students must remember that there is a world far from the social media trolls. That’s a place where actions matter, votes matter, and discussion and debate is necessary to building a better world. Protest is in the great democratic tradition, bullying and belittling is part of a more disgusting tradition.

We are in a moment of cruelty and name calling. And it’s not one-sided either. Though our documentation of the protests inspired plenty of nasty responses online, we also received complaints of our coverage of a gun show in Pendleton the weekend prior. That crowd thought we gave undue promotion to gun sales in our community — because they disagreed with it, they didn’t want to hear about it.

We’re in that bad of a moment, when you can curate your world and attack everything that doesn’t fit your vision. But facts are facts and knowledge is helpful, even when it’s about something on which you disagree.

We salute those who want to know more, want to know what others think, and want to use the best information to arrive at the best possible solution.

A tip of the hat to the city of Hermiston and Umatilla County for negotiating an agreement on the future of the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center.

The project wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without support from both entities, and both contributed a lot of dollars and energy.

But now that the construction is done and the dust has mostly settled, it doesn’t make sense to have any unnecessary cooks in the kitchen.

The county, and specifically commissioner George Murdock, approached the city about handing over ownership and control along with some continued financial commitments and a few incentives.

It was a reasonable package, and it appears both entities got what they wanted. The city inherits a brand new facility and full autonomy to develop it however it sees fit, the county is cutting its own risk in the venture while keeping the venue for its annual fair.

A tip of the hat to Marissa Williams, who departs our company after more than 14 stellar years. The former rodeo royalty joined our company down in John Day, and quickly worked her way up the corporate ladder. She became publisher of our papers in Grant and Wallowa counties, and was the regional advertising director at the East Oregonian at the time of her departure. She also served on the board of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.

She’s going to a new great opportunity on the Silvies Valley Ranch outside her beloved John Day, and we wish her well from our offices here in Hermiston and Pendleton.




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