La Grande Main Street Downtown Mission: To create an inviting, sustainable downtown rooted in La Grande’s history and culture, providing a vital center for commercial and community activities.
The Executive Director is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the daily activities and operations of the La Grande Main Street Downtown (LGMSD) organization. The Executive Director will work with the LGMSD Board of Directors, Program Partners, and Volunteer Committees to create a welcoming and economically diverse downtown rooted in La Grande’s history and culture, while using The Main Street Four-Point Approach.®
The Four-Point Approach is a comprehensive means to rebuild a healthy downtown by addressing the economic challenges facing downtown, beautifying and restoring the historic heart of the community, and promoting the downtown with fun events and quality marketing.
The position reports directly to the Board of Directors with limited supervision.
He or she is responsible for the development, conduct, execution and documentation of the downtown program. The manager is the principal on-site staff person responsible for coordinating all program activities locally as well as representing the community regionally and nationally as appropriate.
The executive director supervises any necessary temporary or permanent employees, as well as professional consultants. He or she participates in personnel and program evaluations. The executive director maintains local program records and reports, establishes technical resource files and libraries and prepares regular reports for Oregon Main Street. The executive director monitors the annual program budget and maintains financial records.
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The duties listed below are examples of the various type of work that may be performed by an individual serving as the Executive Director:
AREAS OF MAJOR TIME COMMITMENT
WORK ENVIRONMENT AND PHYSICAL DEMANDS
The work environment and working conditions described are representative of those that are typical of the job and must be agreeable to an employee for him or her to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
A significant portion of the job requires an “on the street” presence downtown, with the executive director calling on businesses, property owners and other stakeholders.
Some of this job is performed at downtown events including supervision of event setup, operation, and clean up.
Occasional travel includes local, regional and national meetings.
This position may regularly require evening and weekend work.
The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds, and infrequently lift and/or move up to 60 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
Manual dexterity and coordination are required to perform the work. This is used while operating equipment such as computer keyboards and telephones.
SALARY AND BENEFITS
The Executive Director’s position is a 40hr/wk. position with a salary range of $42,500-47,500, annually, depending on experience and qualifications. 8 paid holidays and 12 paid personal days annually will be offered in lieu of sick days/vacation days. $300 per month stipend for medical coverage
The position will be open until filled. Please submit your application to either:
La Grande Main Street Downtown
102 Depot Street
La Grande, OR 97850
Historic La Grande, a vibrant rural community in Northeast Oregon, is seeking an EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR to coordinate downtown revitalization activities using the Main Street 4-Point Approach™. The city of La Grande is located in one of the Nation’s most scenic and inviting recreational areas where friendly neighbors, a warm small town atmosphere and historic venues await new residents. La Grande is located along Interstate 84, approximately 250 miles east of Portland and 175 miles west of Boise, Idaho. Applicant should have excellent verbal and written communication skills, public relations and managerial abilities, with a strong administrative background. Previous nonprofit experience desired, with a background in the areas of event planning, small business development, or volunteer recruitment and management. Position requires a dynamic, outgoing team player with proven ability to multitask and work independently. The applicant should have demonstrated experience working with and for a Board of Directors and committees. Experience writing grants is desired and the position requires the ability to work with both the private and public sectors.
This is a 40hr/wk. position with a salary range of $42,500- $47,500, annually, depending on experience and qualifications. If interested please submit a resume, cover letter and three references. The cover letter should include a concise summary of your work experience and how it is suited to Main Street and the revitalization of downtown La Grande. The position will be open until filled.
Please submit your information: firstname.lastname@example.org
or snail mail to
La Grande Main Street Downtown
102 Depot Street
La Grande, OR 97850
As summer winds down, La Grande is chockablock with things to do this weekend and beyond. Start out your Saturday with a visit to the Farmer’s Market at Max Square, open from 9 AM to noon. The harvest season is in full swing, so there is so much on offer, you might need a small cart to get it all home!
For those folks who are in a toe-tapping frame of mind, the second annual Eastern Oregon Country Music Festival has expanded to two nights—August 26th and 27th. The music begins at 6:00 PM each day at the Union County Fair Grounds. For information, ticket prices, and musical lineup, please visit the festival website at eocountrymusicfest.com. This year’s festival also features a Semi-Truck show, which is free with the purchase of a concert ticket.
Prior to the music, the Blue Mountain Ranch Rodeo is taking place both days at Maverick’s Riding Club, right next to the fairgrounds. For participant and attendee information, please call 541-379-0675.
For even more music, on Saturday, August 26th, starting at 7:30 PM, Side A at 1219 Washington, is hosting Wes Youssi & the Country Champs. This Oregon-based band plays original country compositions and guarantee an evening of upbeat entertainment. Check out their sound and style at their website (wesyoussimusic.com) and then head over to Side A!
Starting on September 1st, “Sip, Shop, Repeat, Local,” sponsored by the Union County Chamber of Commerce, will be returning to Downtown La Grande. For this event, shops stay open late on the first Thursday of every month. Participants start by purchasing a commemorative tumbler for $10 at the Chamber office (207 Depot) from 4 to 7 PM. The tumbler acts as a coupon for at least 25 businesses, with the walk taking place from 5 to 8 PM. For more information, please call the Union County Chamber of Commerce at 541-963-8588.
Have a great weekend!
A Drive-In Adventure
A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was about time that I experienced one of La Grande’s unique spots. The La Grande Drive-In is one of the three remaining drive-ins in Oregon, and I have been meaning to do this for years. Either the timing was off, the movies weren’t up my alley, or, later, my car radio did not work. Finally, all of the stars converged—I had Saturday night open, I really wanted to see this movie, and my new-to-me car had a functioning radio.
Upon arriving at dusk, it was heartening to have to wait in a line to get in. The folks of La Grande are still enjoying this rare treasure. I found my chosen place, marked by the ghost poles of the old speakers, and tuned in to the designated FM station. The sound quality was excellent and the “visit the snack bar” inducements were right out of my childhood. In fact, I grew up during the last heyday of the drive-in, where they came equipped with restaurants, laundromats, and any number of conveniences. The La Grande Drive-In has a far-ranging snack bar, from nachos to the more common movie fare, and it is probably the most sanitary place I have seen in a long time (including the restrooms).
The first film on offer (and the reason for my adventure) was “Hank: Paws of Fury.” I am a huge fan of anthropomorphism (talking animals being invested with human characteristics) and this quest of a dog trying to become a samurai in a land of cats is a perfect embodiment of the form. There is enough swashbuckling adventure to enchant younger audiences, but for the grownup crowd, the film is an homage to anime, Star Wars, the Marvel Comic Universe, and especially “Blazing Saddles.” Just perfect!
I did not stay for the second feature, because I kind of expire at 11:00 PM, but the La Grande Drive-In provided the quintessential trip down memory lane and a really funny movie in the bargain. It is also a great place for a family outing, since the kiddos have the great outdoors to watch the movie from, and the whole gang can have a great time.
The Granada Theatre has had a long and storied tenure in La Grande, spanning almost the entire history of cinema. Opened as the Star Theatre in 1917 by Messrs. Meyers and Leiter, the ownership of the theatre and the building housing it changed hands numerous times. In the fall of 1929, the Star Theatre was razed to make way for the construction of a “modern, specifically built theatre.” Records at that time noted the owner to be a 23-year-old man by the name of Francis Greulich. Mr. Greulich had founded La Grande Theatres and in 1928, he acquired what was to be the Granada Theatre. That work was finished in November of 1929, just in time for the showing of what would be the second talking picture to entertain the cinephiles of La Grande. According to accounts from the time, it was done in a Spanish theme with “crimson and gold found in the rich carpeting with comfortable, carefully arranged seats and gorgeous drapes.”
Over the years, the Granada has undergone many upgrades and renovations, but has remained in the hands of the Greulich family. In 1952, the theatre added 800 staggered seats and a 20 x 30- foot veneer plastic screen. In 1953, the family purchased the La Grande Drive-In, which is still now showing a double feature each night in the summer after the sun goes down, one of only three still operational drive-ins in Oregon. Always on the cutting edge, in 1974 the Greulichs completely renovated the theatre, turning it into a 2-screen multiplex. In 1994, another renovation upgraded the Granada to a 3-creen multiplex. New luxury rocker seats were installed in 2010, and the following year saw the deployment of all-digital Christie projectors, new Dolby 750 Surround Sound and Dolby 3D with all of the film projection equipment replaced. Finally, in 2013, the La Grande Drive-In updated to Christie Digital Projection and new audio.
Throughout the years under the Greulich family, starting with Francis and carrying on down through four generations with the operation of La Grande Theatres, has entertained the movie-going public of La Grande for over a century and carry on with that mission in the future.
On Tuesday, I highlighted Reynolds Park, La Grande’s pocket park. Today, I am presenting the story of Max Square, the gathering place for Downtown and beyond for events as varied as the Farmer’s Market, political events, musical events, and the Christmas Eve Tree Lighting.
On the corner of Adams Avenue and Fourth Street, Max Square arose out of the ashes of a fire in November of 1987 that destroyed the WC Grandy Building at 1001 Adams Avenue. Seven businesses had been destroyed and the entire two-block radius had to be evacuated. The owner chose not to rebuild and, before long, the Friends of La Grande Main Street began a multi-year fundraising drive to purchase the property and convert it into a park.
It took six years of selling homemade strawberry shortcake at all community events and offering engraved bricks to adorn the park, but finally the $90,000 to purchase the land was raised. The intrepid group then approached Norm Paullus, the La Grande City engineer, and he designed the park. Extensive landscape was planted and Boise Cascade donated and installed the first community Christmas tree. Now each year, a new tree is donated by different concerns that is lighted and decorated each year at an event put on by La Grande Main Street.
Throughout the years, Max Square has evolved and changed. It was named in honor of Maxine Cook, a generous benefactor to La Grande. In 2002, Cast Iron Mary was recreated by local sculptor Ralph Moore and placed at the park entrance. Originally placed by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in 1904, the statue and drinking fountain meant to discourage saloon visits, was destroyed in a hit and run accident in 1922 by a local bootlegger—irony lives.
Max Square is available to rent for private events and also plays host to many community gatherings. I went to the Farmer’s Market on both Tuesday afternoon and Sunday morning and delighted in the variety of goods and produce on offer. Max Square has been a lovely fixture in La Grande for many years and contributes so much to a feeling of community in our Downtown.
My biweekly jaunt into Downtown La Grande took in our two parks—Max Square and Reynolds Park. I assumed I would cruise by each park, enjoy what they both had to offer, and report on my experience. When I did this with a visit to Farmer’s Market in Max Square and a sack lunch at Reynolds Park, I grew curious as to each park’s origin story. Doing a little Internet research and reaching out to long-time La Grande residents, I stumbled onto two incredibly interesting stories.
Today, I am presenting the Reynolds Park story and on Thursday, Max Square’s interesting backstory will be highlighted, along with my experiences there.
At 0.1 acre, located on the south side of the City’s parking lot adjacent to the Reynolds Building on Washington Avenue, Reynolds Park is Downtown’s “pocket park” What started as an Eagle Scout project in 1986 has evolved into a native plant garden for pollinators with benches installed, all maintained by dedicated volunteers.
After the initial installation, over the years the park had lost some of its luster. Several years ago, Katie Boula stepped in as a volunteer and transformed the wee park into the gem it is today. She was helped in her efforts by the La Grande Parks and Recreation Department, La Grande Main Street, the Blue Mountains Conservancy, and the Native Plant Society. The park now includes at least a dozen native species, the two small benches, and one full-size bench, and an interpretive sign. These native plants, which are pollinators that attract birds and insects, enable the garden to be mostly self-sustaining.
What a delightful little space this is! Enough shade is available so I could comfortably sit on one of the benches and enjoy my lunch. Reynolds Park might not be the smallest park in the state (that honor goes to Mill Ends Park in Portland—in fact that park is the smallest in the world), but it is a charming and delightful place to enjoy a meal, stop and chat with friends, or spend some time reading a good book.
A highly respected legacy professional group, Connected Professional Accountants was founded over 70 years ago by James G. Everson and Charles A. Snyder as Everson and Snyder, CPAs. Over the years, as the firm grew, there were numerous name changes due to retirements and new partners. In 2018, they decided to change their name one last time to Connected Professional Accountants.
As a full-service public accounting firm, Connected Professional Accountants mission is to always strive to provide their clients with service above and beyond their expectations.
Connected Professional Accountants provides services to a broad range of industries and individuals, including tax services, financial statements, and consulting in a wide range of areas, such as business consulting, estate planning, retirement planning, payroll and bookkeeping services, and conservatorships. Client confidentiality is of paramount concern, and they take many precautions when it comes to safely and securely managing their clients’ information.
Through the years, Connected Professional Accountants has upheld their commitment to outstanding professional service and community support and their goals for the future center around carrying on this legacy.
With their professionalism and integrity, Connected Professional Accountants will continue to burnish their reputation and legacy for many years to come.
As co-owners of ReMax Real Estate Team in La Grande, Shawna and Randy McKinnis both bring almost 30 years of experience each in real estate. That, combined with Randy having grown up in the area and Shawna a 1993 transplant, gives them a depth of knowledge about the local housing market and all that our area offers that is unrivaled.
Their mission is to enhance their clients’ lives by becoming their real estate solution source by providing client education, investment strategies, superior service, and exceptional results to each individual client.
The highly professional ReMax agents and staff are dedicated to making the real estate experience memorable and enjoyable. Their agents live, work, and serve in the local communities and have the experience to get the job done in today’s market, pairing each client with the right agent for their unique needs. In addition to exceptional marketing strategies to help a client sell their home quickly, the ReMax Real Estate Team offers the latest technology to make the process of finding a home easier than ever. Each client will gain access to cutting edge map search technology, our state of the art app, current market status reports, and more.
The ultimate goal of the ReMax Real Estate Team is to create lasting personal relationships, as well as to be lifelong advocates for each client. With their experience, tools, and know-how, the ReMax Real Estate team will continue to have as their top priority making the process of buying and selling a home as simple and stress free as possible in the years to come.
This last week has been action packed—first Crazy Days, then the return of Studio-Tru to La Grande and, as an added bonus, Goss Motors was celebrating their 100th anniversary.
The Crazy Days Street Festival, held on Friday and Saturday, July 15th and 16th, was a lovely way for members of our community and region to meet and greet and indulge in a bit of shopping. Friday was the day for Adams Avenue merchants to hold sidewalk sales and there were lots of great things on offer. Seguing into Saturday, the Timber Cruisers Car Club lined Adams Avenue with two rows of classic cars—and since I grew up in Michigan, I always appreciate a great car show. Every era of motor car development was represented, all lovingly taken care of or restored (some quite fancifully). The fun continued throughout the day with great food and drink and lots of children having a great time while their adults browsed through the many beautiful crafts on offer from artists from around the region.
It turns out Cheri has recently been into competitive natural bodybuilding and I used to do this in the early 1990s…so there was a lot of catching up to do. The shop is elegant and the haircut turned out perfectly. As the recipient of several bad haircuts in the last five years, it was a delight to be able to give her very basic descriptions and end up with what I had envisioned! Cheri’s daughter, Cassidy Hisgen, will be joining Studio-Tru in September, so there will be a double whammy of talent on offer. Check out the Studio-Tru website at https://www.studiotrusalon.com.
Next week, in the spirit of the summer season, I will be visiting a couple of the parks we have in lovely La Grande, with a special emphasis on Downtown’s very own pocket park.