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   Why are we watering the roads?
   My knowledge of farming and ranching is limited to what I can see driving down the road. In my oversimplified 55-mph view the growing equation appears to be: plow the fields, plant the seeds, water the crops, cut the crops and then bail, bundle or in some other way process what has been harvested. Then, when that's done feed the cows and horses.
   I have the highest regard for these hard working people, but I don't quite understand one part of the equation -- the watering. Why do so many sprinkler systems water the roads? I thought they could be adjusted to keep the water on the fields and off the road? Also, why is so much water running down the gutters next to the roads? It seems like such a waste when you consider all the farmers in the Klamath Basin who have no water.
   Fire season again
   Last night's thunder and lightning storm was glorious -- if you like thunder as much as some folks. But there is a down side, the lightning and what that can mean to the dry forests and grassland that surround us.
   The deaths of four firefighters and devastating injuries to four others working a forest fire in Washington made the national news, and were discussed in depth on statewide newscasts. At least one Portland television news station made the story a local one by remembering the tragedy when 14 Prineville Hotshots died while fighting the Storm King Mountain fire in 1994. Nine of those firefighters were from Prineville.
   Forest fires are always devastating and the danger that firefighters face can't be imagined by anyone who has never been on the fire line. But so many times that danger can be mitigated. If the forest fire hadn't started is about the best mitigation.
   The fire in Washington is reported to possibly have started because of an unattended campfire. While we can't do much about lightning-caused fires, we can all be very careful when in the woods whether hiking, camping or merely driving by.
   Where are you going to put the new people?
   The progress our county court has been making is remarkable. We've seen expensive out of town employees replaced with talented people who actually live in Crook County and are paid at a rate more in keeping with other local levels. We applaud your choice of Bill Zelenka as the county planning director. He probably knows more about Crook County land issues than anyone and should be able to hit the ground running.
   Unfortunately some of these changes will actually mean we have more bodies working for the county. Now the new question is, where are you going to put them in already crowded offices? It seems like you solve one problem, only to end up with another, but progress is being made, and that's what is important.
   Why are you just sitting there?
   Assuming you've just arrived home from work, and you're starting to relax and read the paper. Whoa! Don't forget, the Crooked River Roundup race meet is tonight. You still have time, and hopefully the weather will cooperate better tonight. The horse races run through Saturday.
   County Fair
   Next week it is time for our annual Crook County Fair. Gary Timmerman and his staff have a full schedule of entertainment to go along with the thousands of exhibits. One of the highlights of this year's entertainment is the Monster Truck show on Saturday night. Also on Saturday night is the annual 4H/FFA livestock auction. These young adults have spent the last year raising their animals and this is the time all their hard work pays off, so we encourage you to be there and bid high.
   We hope you take time from your busy summer schedule to spend time at the fair. It's a great time to catch up with all your friends, eat some tasty food and have a great time. Take a minute and stop by the Central Oregonian and Central Oregon Press booth in the commercial tent. We'll have free newspapers and other gifts, plus a chance to win a shopping spree at Price Slasher. If you don't already subscribe to the Central Oregonian, sign up during the fair and we'll give you a certificate good for a Subway sandwich. We'll see you at the fair.
   What happened to the Council?
   The Prineville City Council played survivor on Tuesday night and Mayor Uffelman won. It appears that the six other council members voted themselves out of the meeting, leaving the Mayor all alone to declare the lack of a quorum.
   Take the C O with you on vacation.
   Heading out on a cruise to Alaska or to visit relatives in Iowa this summer? Take along a copy of the Central Oregonian and have a photo of yourself taken reading the paper in some faraway, or even nearby, place and send it to us with a note about the trip.
   We'll select our favorite photos and run them in the paper for everyone to see.
   Mail them to 558 N. Main Street, Prineville, OR 97754 or if you're shooting digital, by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
   We look forward to seeing you.
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