Ranchers honor victims of 9/11
By John Bowler
An estimated 100 Crooked River Ranch residents gathered Sunday in Lions Memorial Park to honor those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City, in the attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
Americans have vowed to remember them as they do the victims of the original "day of infamy," the Pearl Harbor attack, Dec. 7, 1941.
The simple ceremony of 30 minutes was highlighted by: acknowledging receipt of a U.S. flag flown over the U.S. Capitol from Rep. Greg Walden and a new flagpole from Ranchers Raymond and Carolyn Barone, which was presented to the Ranch and the Lions by the Barone's company, Rockwell American Services, which provides training to U.S. armed forces destined for active duty overseas, as well as to emergency response organizations.
The ceremony planned and implemented by Lions Diane Knox and Ben Johnson included introduction of uniformed U.S. Army veteran Ricky Cisneros, the son of Rancher Sheila Cisneros, who recently returned from Iraq; the release of homing pigeons owned by Ranchers Steve and Linda Jonell; the deposit of memorial roses in a commemorative vase by individual Lions; a closing prayer by Pastor Ed Nelson; and music by Don Banich, who led attendees in singing "God Bless America."
Refreshments were served by the Lions after the ceremony.
Board elects officers
The recently elected board, with four new members -- Ben Johnson, Gail Day, Kit Henderson and Michelle Desapio -- was sworn in Monday at the rescheduled September workshop, and got right down to business.
First off, they thanked the retiring president, Ted Cook, for his services with a plaque of appreciation and a standing ovation.
That was followed by a reading of the results of the recent poll asking Ranchers to express approval, opposition or no interest in the proposal that has been circulating for over a year to designate the existing Whychus/Deschutes wilderness study area as a permanent wilderness.
The results of 661 ballots returned were: 432 opposed, 173 in favor and 53 with no position.
Following a short debate, the board unanimously approved a resolution in opposition to the permanent wilderness designation and to make a public announcement to that effect.
Genessa Goodwin, spokeswoman for the Oregon National Desert Association, the main proponent of a permanent wilderness designation, said ONDA would continue to work for it and encourage public input on the issue.
The new board then elected its officers for the 2011/2012 term by secret ballot, departing for the first time from a tradition of voice voting for officers.
Elected were: Ben Johnson, president; Jim Martin, re-elected vice president; new director Gail Day, secretary; and director Herb Parker, treasurer.