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Don't be fooled, the end is not even close ...

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;Only you can prevent...
   Don't be fooled by a few cooler days and some refreshing rainfall, there's still a high fire danger in the woods. We shouldn't forget that there is still one month of summer left and that once the cool passes we'll likely get more hot weather and drier conditions.
   To confirm this theory, I consulted one of the oldest weather information sources in the country, the Old Farmer's Almanac.
   The Almanac says, "The summer season will also be fairly typical, with near-normal heat, and rainfall near or a bit below normal. Thunderstorms will be frequent enough to avert a drought in most of the region, although drought conditions are likely in the south and east."
   For August 20-26 it lists the weather in our area to include thunderstorms and cooler temperatures, and for the week of 27-31 it is supposed to be hot. (This appears to correspond fairly closely, given a day or two, with the weather forecast on our Central Oregonian web site.) September is predicted to have below average precipitation with most days showing sunny and hot with occasional thunderstorms.
   We also notice that the arrow in the "Keep Oregon Green" box on the front page of the today's Central Oregonian has moved over to the extreme fire danger area. This is a condition we should all pay attention to.
   With the various hunting seasons coming up and the traditional rush to get out of town for the Labor Day weekend there will be lots of people heading for our forests. We remind you, if you go out in the woods today please be careful with cigarettes, campfires and other devices that can catch the dry grasses on fire. We've been lucky this year; let's all try to work to keep the rest of the season fire free.
   Prineville makes regional magazine
   Be sure to check this week's American Profile Magazine inserted into your Central Oregonian today, because the spotlight is on Prineville. No, the train on the front cover is not ours, but the story on page 8 is about our railroad. (Let's hope it continues to be true.) The story was written by our very own managing editor, Bill Sheehy.
   The west edition of American Profile Magazine is new and is currently in about 50 papers on the west coast with a total circulation of about 300,000. Nationally, American Profile is in about 630 papers with more than 3 million circulation.
   Now just over one year old, American Profile is one of the fastest growing magazines in the country. In January it shared the distinction with O, The Oprah Magazine, as being the top magazine launches of the year according to Dr. Samir Husni, a.k.a. Mr. Magazine in his annual rating of new magazines.
   The end must be near ...
   If bad news comes in three's, like some people say, Prineville may have reached the end of its bad news about the diminishing job market. With Crown Pacific announcing their closure this week, it becomes the third forest product related entity pulling out of Crook County.
   First the Forest Service announced they were going to consolidate the Deschutes and Ochoco Forest management and reestablish the office in Deschutes County. Then, there was Ochoco Lumber's announcement that their plant was being mothballed and the workers were being laid off -- now, Crown makes three. Surely it's time we start getting some good news and the wheels appear to be turning that direction.
   The Chamber of Commerce "Our Town" committee is about to move forward with the results of their recent survey of attitudes about Prineville with a plan to market and revitalize Crook County. Commissioner Jerry Crafton and a group of concerned citizens are forming a new commission to look into ways to bring new business into the county. The Chamber of Commerce's Economic Development Committee is working the same direction. Perhaps some of these groups are overlapping their efforts, but at least we have people working toward the similar goals. I'm sure as each of these groups progress, we will start to see a merging of directions to create a stronger united force.
   When a tree falls in Prineville ...
   When a tree fell to the hand of vandals in Ochoco Creek Park, everyone heard about it. We reported one week ago that the Eisenhower Green Ash, which was planted by the local VFW post last Memorial Day, fell victim to senseless vandalism. Since that news story appeared, several individuals and groups have offered to replace the tree, which was a direct offspring of a green ash that grows at the Texas birthplace of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
   Frank Price, Sean Casey and Bob Mueller of Prineville Auto and Truck Center didn't hesitate. When they read about the tree, they immediately ordered a replacement. Even more exciting than having local citizens step up to replace the tree was the fact that there were so many people and organizations offering to do the same thing.
   I'd be willing to bet there were dozens more who thought about doing it, but hadn't yet picked up the phone. Just think, that one fallen tree may have become a forest. It's another example of the great community spirit in Prineville.
   And it's almost time for school ...
   Some will applaud, while others will bemoan the fact that school starts in only 12 days. To assist in the back-to-school planning, like where and when to catch the school bus, you'll find the 2001-2002 School Bus Schedule inserted into today's paper.