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Harrington News

Chamber news, pool filters to be replaced, artist Les LePere, barn concert


Last updated 1/16/2019 at 4:15pm


Chamber of Commerce

Harrington's Chamber of Commerce met at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 2, at the Post & Office with the following in attendance: Tim Tipton, Cade Clarke, Paula Harrington, Cindy Haase, Kathy Hoob, Dave Michaelson, Heather Slack, Geoff Talkington, Mark Stedman, Bunny Haugan and Cherie MacClellan.

Discussion was held regarding the vacant lot project, sometimes called Opera House Square due to its location across Willis Street from the Opera House. The Innovia Grant amount of $30,000 has been approved for this project. The Innovia grant committee was impressed with their tour of the Lincoln Hotel, Opera House and the vacant lot with its signs. The grant committee will work with our schedule which may go into 2020. The project group meets next week to prepare a report to be sent to Innovia outlining the current two-to-three phase project. Discussion was held regarding potential private investors and whether donations would be tax deductible. Tipton will report back at the next meeting.

Pages to be included in the next Chamber mailer are due Feb. 15 by 5 p.m., and they will be assembled at The Post & Office on Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. There will be three mailers this year. The Huckleberry Press will serve to fill in detail as to what's happening in Harrington as well. The Chamber is looking for a reliable person to write articles and take corresponding photographs for the Huckleberry Press's "Harrington Happenings" page. If anyone is interested in helping, please contact Cindy Haase at Ott Insurance.

Hoob reported that the gift basket deliveries for the holidays went wonderfully and that the students enjoyed giving the baskets. The deliveries were done very efficiently. An idea for next year regarding Christmas decorations was to ask the community for decorations which, with the owner's permission, would be placed in the windows of unoccupied buildings. They are looking potentially for space from the city for storage. Haase suggested having winter scenes painted on the storefront windows.

Discussion was held regarding the Harrington sign at the triangle park north of town and its need of having a backing installed to make the sign more visible. Tipton is looking for volunteers to take on the project.

The Harrington Community Forum will meet at the Nazarene Church at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8. The public is welcome. "It is a good way to find out what is happening in Harrington this year."

Panther newsletter

The status of the Harrington pool was addressed by school superintendent Wayne Massie: "Pool: Demolition work has started on the pool to remove the three filters that were installed in the 1930s, when the pool was constructed. The filtering sand has to be removed and then the steel filters must be cut into pieces to be removed from the filtering and pump area below the pool near the bus garage side of the building. It is a testament to the job done in the '30s that these filters fail now some 80 years later. The Department of Health must approve the engineering plan which was submitted early in December. This process takes about one and a half months. Once the filters are removed the new ones can be installed and then the pool could be opened sometime this spring."

From the Counselors Corner by Ginny Lathem: "Along with readin', writ'n', and 'rithmetic, learning to give back to one's community is a vital life skill and one we address here at school. Community service helps our high school students understand the vital lesson that, often, we get more than we give when we take time to help those around us. Toward this end, we require our 9-12th graders to spend time outside of school in community service endeavors. Freshman need five hours, sophomores need 10 hours, juniors need 15 hours and seniors need 20 hours for a graduation requirement of 50 total hours. We have a system that students use to keep track of their hours and where the supervisor of the community service may reflect on the student's efforts. Students then turn those into their advisor and I track the hours to be certain students are on-track. However, we need the community's help in letting our kids know what and where and how they may give back. If you would email me and let me know of any opportunities (dates, times, and locations) where students can earn community service hours, I will let students know. It can be anything from the food bank to assisting an elder with snow removal or yard care. I can't guarantee you will get a helper, but I will let kids be aware." Email

Les LePere to school

January 4, local artist extraordinaire Leslie LePere entertained the Harrington school students in two separate presentations, 8:50 to 9:45 a.m. with the K-6th grade students and 10 to 11 a.m. with the 7th-12th grade students in the multipurpose room. He discussed his life as an artist with the students and members of the community. He presented a slide show with examples of some of his original works as one of the Pencil Brothers, who were devoted to jewelry and small sculpture. His "brother" in this venture was the late Ken Cory. Some of their collaborative works are on book covers and in collections and museums around the world.

LePere was a 1964 graduate of Harrington High School, and a graduate of WSU with his bachelor's degree in art and a master's in fine arts. Following his education, he taught five years in a private art school in Seattle before returning to the family farm. LePere chose to work primarily in pencil and ink because it was easy to start and stop on a project and start again while he kept up with his farming operations. The pencil and ink designs also are the basis for his collaboration with Sandy Parr for hand inlaid champlevé enamel pieces and fine jewelry. Now retired from farming, he has more time for creating and marketing his artistic endeavors. His website is

LePere gave a retrospective show, "Magic of the Objects," at Jundt Art Museum on the Gonzaga campus in Spokane in 2013 and a presentation in January of 2018 at the E. Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. The Harrington students and community were fortunate to receive a showing of this caliber locally. At the conclusion, he provided all the students with post cards to create their own works of art to mail to friends or family members.

His book, "Magic of the Objects," published in 2013 is a sampling of the artwork by Leslie LePere, with commentary by three peers. One of these, Laurie Makinson Greig described LePere in this paragraph: "Leslie W. LePere is more himself than anyone else. A self-proclaimed wheat farmer by day and an artist by night, he finds the gigantic in the minuscule, the absurd in the serious and the unique in the general. From his first snowman to his latest Sandy Parr ball marker, Les creates magic and purpose in every line he draws. Les's enthusiasm for collaboration is infectious and evidenced in posters, jewelry, ball markers and paintings. His imagination twinkles in tiny gemstones that demand precision, exactness, color and play. His art is mischievous, vital and alive. There is a generosity of spirit in every object he observes, combines and creates."

Alicia Mielke concert

A Saturday, January 26 at 7 p.m. followed by a Sunday afternoon, Jan 27, at 2 p.m. barn concert will be played by Alicia Mielke, flute, and Jonie Qiuning Huang, piano. This Fairplay Concert Hall is at the family farm at 35099 Rolinco Rd. E., Sprague, nine miles south of Harrington. Jonie Qiuning Huang will be visiting at the farm and has traveled from Shanghai where she teaches at the Shanghai Conservatory. The program will include Copland's "Duo" for flute and piano, which is a standard in flute repertoire and has a distinctly American sound, with melodies invoking open prairies and country barn dances. Schubert's "Arpeggione Sonata" is performed most often by cellists to show off technical skills combined with lyric melodies. The "Franck Sonata in A Major" was originally written for violin, but many flutists have "borrowed" this work as it is a dramatic example of Romantic era musicianship. The Mielke family is thrilled to have Jonie returning for this visit at their farm. Attendance is by donation. Send questions to


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