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Oregon to be Boring and Dull this summer

The governor is due to sign a bill declaring Aug. 9 as Boring and Dull Day in Oregon


The state Senate has agreed to designate Aug. 9 as one very, very, very Boring and Dull Day across all of Oregon. The only thing still needed in order to make that happen is the signature of Gov. John Kitzhaber.

The Senate gave a unanimous thumbs-up on Wednesday, April 3, to a bill creating the observance day. The proposal had cleared the House Ways and Means Committee as well as the full House and the Senate Rules Committee before advancing to the full Senate.

The proposal — which brought smiles, chuckles and a unanimous vote from the Senate — was the outgrowth of the pairing of Boring, Ore., with Dull, Scotland.

Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River, brought HB-2352 to the Senate and opened the presentation to the senators, while Sen. Alan Olsen, R-Canby, closed their appearance.

Rep. Bill Kennemer, R-Oregon City, was the bill’s author and the spark that got a unanimous House vote. He was invited to sit with Thomsen while the Senate considered the bill.

The smiles and chuckles came early in Thomsen’s speech, when he told the approximately two-dozen elected leaders that this was the best assembly to hear this question.

“I told them this was the most fitting group in the Capitol to hear the Boring and Dull bill,” Thomsen said during a visit to Sandy last Friday. “I said that because the Senate is pretty boring and dull.”

A week prior the Senate Rules Committee heard testimony from Thomsen along with Olsen, Kennemer and Boring resident Steve Bates, who is chairman of the Boring Community Planning Organization.

Still resonating in Thomsen’s mind is the testimony of Emma Burtles of Dull, Scotland, who talked on the phone from her home in Dull. She spoke endlessly to the committee, Bates said, about the excitement that what she called the “twinning” of the two communities has brought to central Scotland — to Perthshire, in the foothills of the Highlands.

“I am never put off talking,” Burtles told the Post after the hearing. “It’s my best hobby. (While talking to the senators) I just painted a picture of our village and its long history and how it is now.

“I told them how delighted we are to have a visit (from a group of Boring residents on tour) in October, and how they are welcome to visit us in our homes. So we had a very interesting and quite amusing wee chat all round.”

Bates thanked the committee chairwoman — Sen. Diane Rosenbaum, D-Portland — for the opportunity to speak with Burtles on the Senate phone.

“We all had to concentrate,” Bates said, “as the accent and brogue combined with the speaker phone caused a challenge for understanding.

“(Burtles) and I have shared emails over the past year, but this is the first time I have heard her voice and the first time she has heard mine.”

Thomsen acknowledged that the pairing would be good for Boring because the community is selling merchandise and clothing identified with the Boring and Dull logo. A Boring travel agent is arranging a group tour to Scotland, and ticket sales will benefit the Boring Oregon Foundation, which is raising funds to build a community/senior center. Bates says he’s trying to get a Boring brewer to make a recipe for a Boring Scottish ale.

“I think this is pretty cool,” Thomsen said, “for an unincorporated area like Boring to be recognized in the state Senate.”

This scenario — which began in this order: gaining approval in the Dull Women’s Book Club, then the Boring CPO, the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, the Oregon House of Representatives, and the Oregon Senate — will find its end on the Governor’s desk.

“We’re asking Gov. Kitzhaber to have a ceremonial signing of (HB-2352),” Thomsen said. “And we want some people from Boring to be there.”

Come Aug. 9, the Boring community will have an ice cream social in the Boring Station Trailhead Park, with a band that afternoon, followed that evening with a movie in the park.

Burtles said the 80-some residents of Dull also are trying to plan a similar street party during August. (There aren’t that many streets in Dull).




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