Featured Stories

Ribbons and recalls


   By Tony Ahern
   Publisher
   A couple of ribbon cuttings Friday celebrated the finishing of two major commercial remodels in Madras. Keith Brown Building Materials on First and B streets, and Ralph's Furniture on Fifth both capped their improvement projects with cuttings -- with Keith's sawing a commemorative two-by-four along with slicing the ribbon.
   Both projects are great improvements and enhancements to the Madras commercial community.
   Keith Brown Building Materials, based out of Salem, have been sprucing up the former Madras Builder Center since they purchased it earlier in the year. It looks like a brand new store and lumber yard.
   The Hagedorn family, owners of Ralph's, used some Urban Renewal District assistance and their own lofty skills as builders to put a fabulous new look to Ralph's. The place looks great.
   These projects are just two of several undertaken during the past several years in Madras, and others currently under way, that signal a commitment to commercial activity and retail in Madras. Our retail growth has not kept pace with our residential expansion in the area, but those that are here are nearly universally investing in improving what we do have.
   This town is really taking shape. Unlike the early years of this century, at least we aren't losing retail; we're now gaining.
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   It didn't take long for the organization behind the recalling of county commissioners Walt Ponsford and Bill Bellamy to realize they made a mistake by adding County Clerk Kathy Marston to the recall effort.
   Whether they thought Marston should be recalled or not, it was a political mistake to target her. The short-lived recall Marston movement was knee-jerk and reactionary, an anger response to the court siding with her decision not to count signatures aimed at recalling Bellamy from a nonqualified recall form. Marston simply stood by the letter of the law, and when in doubt following the letter of the law is probably a good way to go.
   By putting Marston's name on the recall fire, the organization came across as unyielding to any opinion other than their own. Initiating a recall because of policy decisions you disagree with -- instead to gross misconduct of elected official -- puts you on the political fringe to begin with. Throwing the county clerk in the recall ring pushed the recall organization further out.
   They did, however, recognize their political mistake and dropped Marston from their crosshairs. It wasn't going to be easy for them to get the necessary votes to recall Bellamy and Ponsford. Their reaction to recall Marston won't make it easier.
   
   They do not want to sell to minors
   What other business faces
   Often those sales to minors are committed by new