Opera House Society and Chamber meet, discuss recent events
Last updated 6/15/2019 at 1:45am
Prior to the opening of the Harrington Opera House Society meeting, Linda Wagner offered the group the opportunity to view “The Willows” on the internet to have for a reference later in the meeting. Refreshments were brought by the Stedmans, and a brief time of socializing occurred. President Ellen Evans opened the June 3 meeting with many of the active members present: Ed and Bunny Haugan, Mark and Sheryl Stedman, Karen Robertson, Carol, Linda Wagner, Marge Womach, and Becky Moeller.
The status of reimbursement for the lobby furnace is pending; the Society is waiting on rebate paperwork. The furnace for the rummage room is waiting for grant paperwork. Carol worked on the elevator and addressed the rust issue on the top of the elevator. Following the roof repair, and between rains, Mark and Carol inspected the elevator, and no additional moisture was detected. Plans are to treat the rust/mold and paint the area. The latch on the lobby door, which needs its missing parts, continues to be a concern. It was suggested to wait for the Herrons to return from Montana and have Gordon take the latch to Spokane.
The projector/computer has been ordered and paid for and will be delivered Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Opera House when training of Society personnel will take place. Carol and Karen are committed to this training session, and everyone is welcome if interested. There will be a separate training session on the bookkeeping program for treasurers and other interested persons.
The lock on the double doors to the old staircase is not working properly. A gate of some sort was suggested for the top of those stairs to prevent an accident. The group voted to allow $500 for a gate and its installation. If research indicates a higher cost, the issue must be voted upon again. The gate must prevent careless people from inadvertently using the stairs as an exit, and it must have an emergency release, since it is a necessary fire escape. It was recommended that Telecky Fence be contacted.
Carol reopened the opportunity given the Society by Billie Herron when she offered the gas station and property across the street from the vacant lot project (formerly referred to as Opera House Square) by asking if there was any interest in the potential project. Several concerns arose: What is the dollar amount? Can the proposal be in written form? Wasn’t the project given to the Chamber or the community at large? The Society has been the recipient of some larger items, such as machinery and buggies, which require a large space for display that this property would accommodate nicely. Since insufficient information was available, Carol stated that she would take the group’s response back to the Herrons.
No music teacher or pianist has yet shown any interest in giving piano lessons in the Art Room. A Society member was asked whether former students could use the pianos in the opera house for practice by appointment. A vote was taken and the request was approved for former students only.
A recap of the Quilt Show and the performance by Cowboy Buck and Elizabeth revealed that more than 50 quilts were displayed. The process of setting up and taking down the quilts went well. The crowd seemed pleased with the array, and lots of interesting conversations took place. Buck and Elizabeth Stierle thrilled the audience with their Bob Dylan and Patsy Cline Tribute. They communicated with the crowd before, during and after their performance, which the audience seemed to appreciate. The couple stayed at the local RV Park and went for breakfast the next morning at the Golf and Country Club.
The next performance at the Opera House will be a June 22 concert by Dr. Kevin Hekmatpanah on the cello, accompanied by Dr. Archie Chen. The Willows, a group out of Spokane, will perform a Peter, Paul and Mary Tribute on Sept. 14. The Fiddlers are planning a return engagement on Oct. 5. Another potential offer to perform was deemed too expensive for the Society to consider. Karen Robertson is working toward a mixed appearance of folk music. Herron and Stedman continue to work toward a presentation on human trafficking in our state.
The Society’s next meeting will be held Monday, July 1. It will be considered the formal annual meeting at which the annual budget will be presented.
Chamber of Commerce
The Harrington Area Chamber of Commerce met Wednesday, June 5, at noon with the following in attendance: Tim Tipton, Paula Harrington Cindy Haase, Heather Slack, Jill Barth, Karen Robertson, Bunny Haugan, Janice Jantz, Debbie Chapman (of Parent to Parent organization), Karen Cady (Pres. of Ritzville’s Chamber of Commerce), Rollie Behrens, Dillon Haas, and Cherie MacClellan.
It was announced that the Country Back Roads map of tourist attractions is being distributed to towns and to 33 visitor centers. Plans for annual updates was mentioned.
The group discussed the benefits derived from advertising for Cruizin’ Harrington and concluded that it was money well spent. There were approximately 105 cars on 3rd street for the Studebaker Garage Car Show. Comments regarding the Quilt Show with more than 60 quilts were all favorable. It was learned that the Quilt Show needs its own quilt racks, and Jean Axelson and her husband have agreed to build them.
Chamber is forming a committee to find sponsors for Cruizin’ Harrington. The sponsors’ logos would be included with the Cruizin’ Harrington advertising. Harrington Golf and Country Club was pleased with their profits this year. The event drew 29 vendors. Some observed that spending was down. This inspired a discussion of making each vendor more visible and easier to access. One suggestion was that the Northwest Inflatables bounce houses and water balls might be better positioned in the City Hall parking lot rather than with the other vendors.
Chamber selected the “Yard of the Month” for June. Drivers should notice the sign on North 3rd. A brief discussion was held to consider creating a second category of “Most Improved” yard which would receive a letter acknowledging the improvement rather than a yard sign.
It was reported that the News Board at the City Hall parking lot is in need of replacement. Discussion included having one or more News Boards and their possible locations. Having more than one board would allow for more pamphlets to be included where they would not get wet. It was suggested to bring the issue to the city council.
The banner sign on Highway 28 needs to be changed to remind drivers of the Fall Festival. Tipton offered to exchange the banners.