The Odessa Record -

Harrington news

Library visit, economic development, various events


--Photo courtesy of Ed Haugan.

Harrington elementary students visit their downtown public library accompanied by their teachers.

Public Library

Tues., Thurs. and books

Harrington Public Library opened its doors early Tuesday afternoon on November 15 to allow the pre-K, Kindergarten, first-graders and second-graders to browse the library, make inquiries and select a book to check out. Applications for library cards had been filled out and signed by parents, but the check-out process involved a flurry of activity with 29 youngsters needing to sign their names individually and get the date to return their book stamped in it. Five adults assisted in the process: Audra Christianson, Rachel Roberts, Susan Larmer, Taunya Sanford and Katie Steward. At the end of the session the children dutifully lined up at the door, ready to march back to the school.

Thursday afternoon at 12:45 p.m., students in grades three through six came to the library with their instructors Tiffany Clouse and LaMarr Larmer. This group was interested in examining everything in the library and was more interested in checking out DVDs than books. Many of these students were very familiar with the library and knew where to find books they were interested in. Following the field trip to the library, this group proceeded to the Opera House and joined the rest of the student body for a presentation by Scott Kirby at 1:30 p.m. Opera house representatives commented on how well behaved and attentive the students were. Some students asked appropriate questions, and some made good comments. This performance was a mini-event of the performance at the Opera House on Saturday afternoon.

The library board announced the recent purchase of books, including the following titles: You Are My Sunshine and Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West; No Second Chance by Harlem Coben; A Quiet Strength by Jeanette Oke; These High Green Hills by Jan Karon; Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls and Bone Tree by Greg Iles.

New for junior readers are The Last Olympian and The Lightening Thief in the Percy Jackson series and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. New books arrive at the library all the time. Residents are encouraged to come and enjoy. In the first part of December, the library will be decked out with wonderful Christmas books and Christmas movies to enjoy during the holiday season.

Public Development


The Harrington Public Development Authority met November 15 at 7 p.m. at city hall with Josh Steward, Allen Barth, Paul Charlton, Heather Slack, Marge Womach and Bunny Haugan present. It was reported that the high-speed internet project has been completed with $79 remaining from the grant. A letter will be sent to the county commissioners. Margie Hall of the Lincoln County Economic Development Council brought information describing Harrington as the "new millennial suburbs." Since high-speed internet service is now readily available and since millennials are highly connected, telecommuting is becoming a wonderful option which will allow people to live here in a small town atmosphere and work on the west side of the state.

A tour of the empty buildings is a suggested project to prepare for. Owners of these properties must be committed to leasing or selling them and must prepare the building for safe entry. Each property, ideally, would have a flyer that attendees could take with them after the tour which would include the history of the building and its dimensions.

Harrington Happenings

The Harrington Happenings group meeting was held at 7 p.m. in the Art Room of the Opera House with the following attending: Heather Slack, Celeste Miller, Austin and Jenna Fries, Paula Pike, David Michaelsen, Dillon Haas, Karen Robertson, Billie Herron, Bunny Haugen, Margie Hall, LaMarr Larmer, Josh Steward, Betty Warner, Rollie Behrens and Cherie MacClellan. The meeting was chaired by Heather Slack and began with introductions and each participant stating the organization he or she represented.

Miller stated that the Harrington Historical Preservation Commission continues to work on the potential move of the Harrington pillars at the north end of town. Steward mentioned the Public Development Authority's fiber-optic project to make high-speed internet available in the downtown district. Larmer mentioned the Alumni Association's scholarship fund. Warner emphasized that students are getting hands-on experience helping with fall decorations downtown and plants for the May sale. Behrens, representing the golf course said the average age of their members is 70 and that the restaurant is open only from April 1 to October 1. Pike noted that the drapes for the school's multipurpose room stage are soon to be in process. Michaelsen said he sees positive changes in town and added that he is now the back-up cook for Senior Meals. The Fries family requested that when customers don't see what they want, they should please ask for the item so it can be ordered. Robertson continues to work on keeping the Harrington website and Facebook pages up to date for residents and visitors. Herron reflected on the different types of uses the Opera House offers to Harrington as multi-media space for meetings, classrooms, weddings, recitals, plays and a myriad of entertainment options and historic tours. Mayor Haas stated that he is working on the city's infrastructure and examining ways to bring people in who can telecommute to Microsoft.

New Harrington resident Cherie MacClellan provided a list of 29 questions she thought newcomers would like answered in a fact sheet that could be an item in a proposed "welcome basket or packet" to newcomers. Robertson requested and received a copy of the list to incorporate into a future "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) page to be added to the Harrington website: Some of these items were: What choices are available for local utilities, TV, cell phone, internet and land line? Which cell phone providers have good reception here? Does Harrington have a recycling program? Where is the nearest grocery store, hardware store and laundromat? What type of home renovations, restorations or repairs require building permits? Where can I find out about events coming up? Which denominations of churches are in Harrington?

Warner shared that the FFA would appreciate community support for the Christmas Extravaganza November 26 and December 9 for purchase of poinsettias, Christmas trees and wreaths. These will be found behind the Harrington school by the green house.

A Time of Giving Thanks. Harrington's 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner November 24, will provide turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, rolls and pumpkin or apple pie. Doors at the school open for set-up at 8:30 a.m. From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., music will be provided by churches and individuals. Seating for the dinner will begin at 12:30, and dinner will be served at 1 p.m. Bingo with prizes will be held from 2-4 p.m. The event is free with an RSVP to Jenny Larmer at 253-350-3292 or Susie at 509-253-4065. Funding has been provided through a wide range of community donations.

Scott Kirby performance

--Photo courtesy of Karen Robertson.

Scott Kirby performs on the grand piano as part of his multi-media show in the Harrington Opera House last week.

At 4 p.m. Saturday, November 19, the Scott Kirby piano and multi-media performance began with more than 75 in attendance at the Harrington Opera House. Kirby had been to Harrington during the summer and had taken photographs of various familiar buildings and scenery in and around Harrington to include in this showing, which demonstrated his concept of "Main Street Souvenirs" in this multi-media extravaganza. His performance included "Main Street," an introduction to exploring the heartland of small town America, "Gatherings," "The Spirit of Song," "Ragtime: America's Music," "There's No Place Like Home" and "Invitation to the Dance." Following intermission, his titles were "Reverie," "The Literary Frontier," "Echoes From the Schoolyard," "Dragons, Schooners and Cathedrals," "The Garden of Lost Dreams" and "Panoramic."

His music included a varied collection of primarily original works by Kirby but also American Classical, Ragtime and Blues. He played Sousa's "El Capitan," Scott Joplin's "The Easy Winners," "Maple Leaf Rag" and "Solace" and David Thomas Robert's "Roberto Clemente" and "Kreole." The artistic expression in his paintings and the photography used in the presentation were phenomenal. He then added word pictures in a narrative that included a modest touch of humor. "His watercolor paintings draw from traditional American imagery, with their visionary depiction of the Great Plains of North America." This was a great event, well received by the audience who requested an encore. Those present thoroughly enjoyed this concluding blues instrumental.


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