The Odessa Record -

Fall festivals, school funding, flood map controversy, Chamber wants farmers


September 26, 2019

100 years ago

The Odessa Record

September 28, 1919

News updates: Attorney Nevins will manage the Salvation Army drive for Odessa, to raise $4,000 in a two-day campaign.

Although Odessa businessmen have contracted twice for an airplane to give an exhibition here, without getting one, an airship sailed in on us today without notice and without cost. When the plane first circled over town, at a height of about 300 feet, it created as much excitement as a fire. The pilot, Lt. Symons, had as passenger Christ Rieker of Ritzville, who is remodeling a building here for a garage.

J. P. Theodoroff purchased the building which house his studio from L. C. Weik and will remodel it as a permanent home for his business.

A dust storm broke up the free concert and talk scheduled for this week, soon after the band started to play.

Tom Weber has sold his old place north of town and has purchased the William Wahl farm on Sullivan lake. Mr. Wahl bought a section which he will farm.

C. E. Weber has begun work on a five-room modern bungalow just across the street from his residence on Liberty hill.

C. D. Gaines, county agricultural agent, has decided there is more money in the operating end and has leased the Malcom Peck ranch.

The St. Matthews church will hold its mission festival, with Rev. Albert Reiman assisted by the Rev. J. G. V. Smith of the Pilgrim church, and Rev. George Hein of Seattle.

Miss Hattie Schorzman has accepted a position at the Michaelsen & Koth store.

Miss Lizzie Funk arrived from Sprague the first of the week to visit her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gottlieb Funk.

Chris Becker has opened a chili and tamale room just off the dining room of the Odessa Hotel.

John Schorzman has sold his home on Pleasant hill to Andrew Jeske and has rented the L. L. Zicha home for the winter.

Dan Angerman has completed arrangements to move to Canada and is selling his farm outfit.

75 years ago

The Odessa Record

September 28, 1944

Festival was huge success: The two-day festival held here during the weekend was pronounced one of the best ever, by the throngs of happy people who took part in the excitement.

Friday afternoon started with a bang, four football teams competing in a round robin, before a large crowd. Odessa won the event, with Davenport, Ritzville and Harrington competing.

That night a happy crowd thronged the streets, rode the carnival rides, took part in an old-time dance at the city hall and witnessed the free performance of the “Aristcrat of the Air,” an aerial act book by the town.

The Saturday morning parade was one of the longest and most varied that the community has ever offered. Two bands participated, the air base band from Ephrata and the Odessa high school band. Organizations and school classes had floats, children had patriotic, comic, pet and pre-school divisions. Led by Mayor Jantz as marshall of the day, followed by a color guard and the military band, the parade was over five blocks long.

Immediately following the parade the military band gave a free concert, under sponsorship of the war fund committee, and a soldier, in civilian life the radio entertainer, Clem Waters, gave a program of imitations, to the delight of the audience.

Pony Races

The public had been promised a varied program for the afternoon sports program, and it was there. The committee had outlined a fast program of pie eating, pony races, saddle races, bicycle races, pillow fight, egg toss, nail driving and other sports, climaxed with the appearance of the radio entertainers led by Clyde and Slim

The free aerial act was presented during the late afternoon and during the early part of the evening a War fund and Red Cross rally was held. Gottlieb Hemmerling was given the free war bond and a receipt for a $25 war fund donation, together with the pioneer fur coat, which he donated back to the committee.

This in turn was auctioned off for the Red Cross, Glenn E. Jolliffe buying it at $40 after spirited bidding. John Erickson then brought out another coat which he donated to the War Fund, David Weber buying this for $50.

Carnival attractions and the festival ball completed the evening, with the final appearance of the free aerial act.

The committees were showered with congratulations as to the scope of the entertainment, visitors declaring it one of the best festivals they had ever seen, in every department.

50 years ago

The Odessa Record

September 25, 1969

State cuts school funds: School District 105 will not be receiving well over $21,000 which had been anticipated for the current term (1969-70), according to information presented at a meeting of school officials, the county assessor and county commissioners September 15 at Davenport.

A State Department of Revenue and Department of Public Instruction ruling applies financial pressure by juggling property value assessment figures. A state-figure ratio, which affects the amount of money the county receives from the state for running the schools, has been dropped from last year’s level of 21.2, to 12.1, it is reported.

The resultant loss comes to over $21,000 here, $23,885 at Davenport, $8,045 at Creston, $13,449 at Harrington, $14,662 at Reardan, $21,721 at Wilbur and $9,600 at Almira.

The action, taken primarily by the State Department of Revenue, is interpreted as a move to force the Lincoln County Assessor to re-evaluate county property upwards.

This action will put the school district in a financial bind in that the budget was adopted last fall, teachers have been contracted and the school year is underway.

Juggling of the state ratio will make it difficult for all districts to be able to determine just how much revenue to expect from the state when budgets are completed for the 1970-71 term.

Jerry Schafer, a director attending the meeting last week, reported at the Chamber meet this week that the money was actually being collected in the county and sent to the state. The state, however, under the new formula, is withholding a large percentage of local tax dollars.

Taxpayers of the district will be interested to know that the local school directors will hold a budget hearing here tonight for 1970-71 at which time some of the complications which face the board might be answered.

Fall festival success heard at Chamber; Golf scores given: Members of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, at the weekly meeting Monday noon at the Drive In, learned that the Fall Festival succeeded financially. Expenditures exceeded income by less than $100 this year––a loss considerably less than in some previous years.

A list of do’s and don’t’s has been compiled for reference by succeeding committees who will be working on the Community Day events in future years.

Will observe first anniversary: George Brown, operator of Brown’s Thrift in Odessa for the past year, is observing his 1st anniversary with a special sale this weekend.

George and Nettie Brown arrived in Odessa with their son just over a year ago to stock the new grocery which had been under construction since June. The Grand Opening was announced on September 26, 1968, at which time the local operators and personnel from URM, Spokane, introduced their new shopping center to Odessa area residents.

George states that he’s had a successful opening year for which he is grateful. (See the ad this week for specials for the occasion.)

The Browns, along with Alva Richardson who has been checking for the past year, C. E. (Toad) Shrauger, at the meat counter, and box boys Kim Cooper and George H. Turnbaugh, will be on hand to serve customers this weekend.

25 years ago

The Odessa Record

September 29, 1994

FEMA’s stand on flood plain is unchanged: After nearly a year of analyzing Crab Creek’s flow through Odessa, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has not changed its position on Odessa’s flood plain.

Mayor Denny McDaniel and members of the Odessa Town Council say they are back to square one in their dealings with FEMA, the state Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in attempts to solve the town’s flood plain problem.

McDaniel received word recently from FEMA engineer Lawrence Basich that the agency would concur with an Army engineers’ review made in August of gage data measuring Crab Creek’s flow at Irby. FEMA uses as reference to determine Odessa’s eligibility for the National Flood insurance program an Army engineers’ map drafted in 1968. This map indicates Crab Creek floods could inundate much of Odessa.

FEMA administers the National Flood Insurance Program. Unless the council passes an ordinance recognizing that Odessa sits largely on a flood plain, the town is ineligible for the program. This means property owners in areas defined by the map as being in the flood plain may be unable to obtain flood insurance, may not be eligible for grants or loans for any project in the so-called flood plain and are disqualified for federal disaster assistance in the form of loans or repair or reconstruction of buildings.

No federal mortgage insurance is available within the area identified as a flood hazard zone.

Basich was in Odessa last November and again early this year to survey the channel, the dikes and the bridges of Crab Creek within the town limits. Crab Creek is dry most of the year. The last flood in Odessa occurred in 1968.

Following his observations here, Basich returned to his Bothell, Wash. headquarters, where he used computer models and data provided by Army engineers to reach the conclusion that the original Army study is still valid.

The mayor and council members contend that FEMA’s studies and analyses are unrealistic and based on data irrelevant to Odessa’s weather and climate. FEMA, for example, theorizes flash floods caused by torrential rains could strike Odessa in July.

With his notification to McDaniel that FEMA would concur with the Army engineers’ review, Basich sent along computer profile sheets and backup documents, all of which council members say they’ve seen before. They say they fail to understand how to gauge data on Crab Creek gathered at Irby has any meaning for Odessa.

At their meeting Monday, council members discussed the implications of FEMA’s continuing restrictions on the town. Basich said he would be happy to meet with council members to present the results of the latest analysis. But as the agency has not changed its position, they see little point in such a meeting.

The map still used by FEMA as the authority on Odessa’s flood plain still shows two bridges, those at First Street and Alder Street, as they existed before being replaced.

Farmers’ involvement in Chamber is urged: The Odessa Chamber of Commerce isn’t just an organization for downtown business people--it’s for everyone who has an interest in the community.

This point was brought up during a discussion at the Chamber’s meeting Tuesday on membership and recruiting. There may be a perception among farmers they are not welcome to participate in Chamber activities because they aren’t operating a business or service in town.

To the contrary, Chamber members agreed, farming is Odessa’s most important industry, and the people operating farms have to be business people to stay in business.

The Chamber is considering formation of a recruiting and membership committee to encourage participation by more people in the community. Besides farmers, there are employees of downtown firms who might be interested in becoming active in Chamber affairs.

“Many people don’t understand what the organization does,” said Todd King. “It’s up to the Chamber to inform people about our purpose and how we can be of benefit to them.”

Chamber president Dale Hunt suggested members bring guests to meetings. Prospective members include the operators of several recently established businesses in Odessa. Most have never attended a Chamber meeting.

In other matters, a treasurer’s report presented revised and final figures on the 1994 receipts of the Biergarten during Deutschesfest. A comparison with the previous three years shows all sales categories except sausage at record levels.

Total receipts at the Biergarten were $55,311 compared with $51,413 in 1993. Of this amount, the sausage booth generated sales of $9,288, up from last year’s $9,090 but down from the 1991 record of $10,017. The bar total, which includes beer sales, was $32,150 this year. Last year the figure was $29,465, in 1992, $27,915, and in 1991, $30,455.

The door charge, raised from $1 to $2 last year, brought in $13,873 this year, compared with $12,858 last year. At the $1 rate in 1992, door receipts totaled $8,709.

Members voted to purchased two additional speakers for the new outdoor sound system, which went into service for the first time during this year’s Fest. The system provides music throughout the Fest on First Avenue. Narration of the Deutschesfest Parade is also carried.

The new speakers put in use this year were mounted on top of Record Square. It is proposed that the new ones be placed on the Odessa Drug building to improve the sound in that section of First Avenue.

December 7 was announced as the date for the Chamber-sponsored Christmas Fest this year. Serving on the Fest committee will be Laura Estes, Mary Lucas, Mildred Deife and Rick Haase.


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