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Time for more rumblings and grumblings ...

Cases of vandalizm, new concerns about the Forest Service leaving Prineville and a promotion for a new publication included in our Thursday's issues ...
The character of a community
   A sign of a community's character can often be found on the walls, fences and other flat surfaces. As we've traveled through other cities we have seen the senseless "branding" of such surfaces by frustrated artists, gangs marking their "turf," and other vandals.
   Prineville has been fortune to have a population of young people who have, except with a few isolated incidents - which may have even been perpetrated by outsiders, not lowered themselves to this pointless pastime. For this they are to be congratulated.
   Occasionally some other types of vandalism surface in Prineville. So far this month the Prineville Police Department has had more than two-dozen calls reporting varying types of vandalism ranging from a series of paint ball attacks on buildings to tires being slashed. While many of the acts may be minor from the standpoint of property damage, it is important that we stop them quickly before they spread.
   We encourage you to report suspicious activity or any vandalism to the police department (447-4168).
   Parents, know where your children are and know what they are doing. Talk to them about the costs of vandalism. Let's get this stopped before it spreads and we become just another community filled with graffiti, broken signs and other senseless destruction. Prineville has much more character than that.
   We are still here
   Well, it has begun ... the transference of Forest Service headquarters personnel from Prineville may not be completed yet, but it appears that the mind-set of that movement has been achieved.
   Editorially, we have railed against having people in local leadership positions living in Deschutes County before. Having someone, whether that person is a teacher, county official or federal employee, work here and make decisions for local residents while living elsewhere is not, in our view, beneficial. The rational behind that thought is simple: if you spend your working hours here but live there, it is natural that your interest outside of work is there.
   Take the case of a teacher attempting to present a well-rounded education in civic duty. Do you think that instructor will be able to enlighten and enthuse local students about local issues if the teacher is familiar with only his own issues?
   Or how about the case of the county planner making long-range planning recommendations for an area he has no stake in? Or the federal employee who knows of only one newspaper and when a press release is disseminated contacts only that editorial staff.
   That last incidence is the foundation for this tirade. Earlier this week an article in the Bend newspaper explained about plans for salvaging trees from the Hash Rock Fire. That fire, for newcomers to the area, burned thousands of acres in the Ochoco National Forest - the National Forest that is located in Crook County, not Deschutes County. The Forest Service, in this case, apparently thought the people of Bend needed to know about what was to happen to the trees but the people nearest the burn site don't.
   Is this the future? When a Forest Service activity or report affecting Crook County is made public, and assuredly not all are, will that information be handed to the Bend paper? Or possibly the Eugene Register-Guard?
   When the Forest Service decided to move out of town, did we in Crook County cease to exist?
   Have you seen the American Profile yet?
   Today is the third week we've included the new American Profile magazine in your Central Oregonian.
   This publication is not only new to our paper, but it is new to papers like ours all across the United States. American Profile was originally launched in March 2000 to provide small hometown newspapers with a "good news" publication. The launch has been so successful that it was rated, along with "O - The Oprah Magazine" as the top magazine launch of the year.
   American Profile is, at last count, in more than 500 newspapers with a total circulation of about 4 million. There are five regional editions with our western edition having started the first week of April.
   We hope you enjoy these extra pages of good news in the Central Oregonian. If you like what you see, please drop us a letter or an e-mail and let us know. Also if you'd like more information about American Profile, go to our website www.centraloregonian.com and click on "Amer. Profile Mag." under the Community heading.