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Harrington news

Meetings; Rebecca Hardy performs


--Photo courtesy of Karen Robertson.

Pianist Rebecca Hardy presents a program called "Exploring Freedom" at the Harrington Opera House.

Meeting of HOHS

The Harrington Opera House Society met May 1 at 7 p.m. with Ed and Bunny Haugan, Billie and Gordon Herron, Mark Stedman, Cade Clarke, Carol, Linda Wagner, Marge Womach, Karen Robertson and Cherie MacClellan attending. Issues regarding the building committee were addressed, including the need to label water lines and diagram the system, the need to repair the ceiling fan in the auditorium and the need for a hand rail for the emergency exit on the old stairs. Carol said the power supply for the chandeliers had been ordered. It was proposed that a list of minor repairs be made in preparation for the 25th anniversary event in October. The communication issue regarding the Swenson school piano was resolved when school superintendent Justin Bradford announced that the school had decided to present the piano to a local resident as a gift.

There is one new adult piano student, and the piano recital will be held Sunday, May 21, at 4 p.m. Art students will also present their work. Rental agreement forms were reviewed and accepted and are now posted on the Internet. The Society is responsible for the Lions Club dinner Wednesday evening, and details were arranged.

Dr. Kevin Hekmatpanah, who performed in the recent classical Russian music event, was said to be pleased with how it turned out and is willing to return again in the fall. Heidi Muller's event with Bob Webb on April 29 was successful, and the two are likely to return at a future date. The opera house was rented by Rebecca and Stephen Hardy for a May 6 performance.

Upcoming events include the May 20 quilt show and rummage sale, Bridges Home on August 25, the Needhams at the Fall Festival, a UFO event in the fall and the 25th anniversary event with Dr. Graves on October 15.

New business included recognition of the name change of Davenport Theatrical to the Wheatland Theatre Company, a review of the Society's mission statement regarding usage of the words culture and/or art, and the June 10 Clouse event to be held in Harrington.

Special council meeting

The Harrington City Council held a special meeting May 2 at 7:30 p.m. with agenda items of 1) Water main installation and plan discussion; 2) Bid estimate and contractor options; 3) Transportation Improvement Board construction schedule and consultant agreement and 4) Hiring of temporary summer help. Attending were Richard Becker, Michael Cronrath, Peter Davenport, Levi Schenk, Loretta Haugan, Brent Wilday, Nancy and Glenn Egnew and Justin Slack (via Internet). Notification for this meeting was posted more than 24 hours prior to the meeting. Council members were concerned over the delay in the start of the water line installation. The mayor's response did not satisfy them. Basic water line installation is a primary concern. It must be completed and not delay the contractor for the Second Street project. The council determined that the city would need assistance, given the time constraints, to complete digging of the trench, laying of the pipe bedding, compaction, sanitizing and water sampling. Bids were secured, and the council voted to hire Dean Schoenfelder to dig a 500-foot long trench for the water line on Second Street. The city had budgeted $19,500 for the project using only city employees and equipment.

The "notice to proceed" for Wm. Winkler has still not been completed. Belsby Engineering will get a contract prepared and then get a signature from the city. The city does have the option of pushing back the May 15 start date. The council authorized the mayor to work with the contractor and the Transportation Improvement Board to move the start date from May 15 to May 22, 2017, with all council members but one in favor.

The council was informed that Billy Bragg started working for the city in a temporary summer position on April 25. He was hired as temporary summer help through September 29.

Council members noted that with Memorial Day fast approaching, the cemetery needed proper care by maintenance workers in spite of other city projects.

Historic preservation

The Harrington Historical Preservation Commission met May 2 at city hall with Rodney Aho, Tim Tipton, Justin and Carla Bradford, Donna Cross, Karen Allen, Celeste Miller, Amy Foley, Anita Harman, Ron Hall, Heather Slack and Marge Womach attending. Old business included the group's desire to change the by-laws and meeting schedule which had been monthly. The changes will need to go before the city council.

Discussion continued on the stone pillars marking entrances to the city, with various locations suggested. Potential difficulties involved city vs. private property, Dept. of Transportation concerns regarding highway placement, highest visibility and maintaining historical significance. One suggestion was to split up the four pillars, placing one at each entrance to town, which would mean that the two in their original placement at the south end would result in no pillar.

"Historical district," as used in Harrington to refer to the primary downtown business district from the hotel and original city hall at the south end to the Studebaker Garage on the north end, is simply a determination by the city council and not a state-recognized district. In order to be a legally recognized "historical district," Miller said, the issue must be voted on by the property owners.

Foley and Allen handed out packets of information to those who were first-time attendees. Conversations were held as to what each person present felt he or she could contribute to the organization, such as making speeches, helping with advertising, promotional efforts, time, enthusiasm, etc.

Rebecca Hardy

Rebecca Hardy at the piano presented a program called "Exploring Freedom" May 6 beginning at 4 p.m. before an audience of nearly 40 guests at the Harrington Opera House. Introducing the program was her husband Stephen Hardy, calling it a celebration of art and artistic abilities. He spoke briefly of "exploring freedom" in 2016-2017 without regard for political affiliations, for focusing on what constitutes freedom and for recognizing that there is a war going on for the future of America. "We hold these truths to be self-evident: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And speaking of happiness, let me introduce my wife, Rebecca Hardy."

As she came out to center stage, she began a tutorial woven between the musical selections she played. The program for the event included a page of activities and suggestions for active listening. "Fantasia in D minor, TWV 33:2" (G.P. Telemann) was the first selection on the program – music which she said consisted of "lots of freedom." Other elements that Hardy expected the audience to listen for were independence, choice, liberty, fate and autonomy. "Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5" (J. Brahms) contained five movements and was composed in 1853. Hardy asked the audience to listen for imagery, in particular to "listen for fate knocking on the door."

Following the intermission, Hardy spoke of the hardships and punishments that Russian artists received for composing and performing Russian music that was not sanctioned by the government. "Prelude and Fugue No. 4 in E minor, Op. 87" (D. Shostakovich) followed her introductory comment, "Be thankful we don't have to pray to Joseph Stalin." "Pieces froides" (cold pieces) by E. Satie (1866-1925) was written in winter while Satie was living in a closet without heat. The movements in English were Tunes to Make You Run Away, In a Very Unusual Manner, Simply, Invitingly, Crooked Dances, Give it a Good Look, Go On and Again.

"You are guaranteed to like this next number," she said. "Gottschalk was from the South but was an abolitionist. This number, 'The Union: Concert Paraphrase on National Airs' (L.M. Gottschalk) contains a bombastic collection of Union Songs." The entire audience responded and was involved in the standing ovation which elicited an encore. Although the audience's desire for more could not be satisfied, her final number sounded like a Scott Joplin composition which aroused the audience to even more applause.


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