Author Archives: mjaeger

Hanford Tour at Rotary

This last Tuesday, Rotarians had an opportunity to take a  virtual tour of the Hanford Site in Washington State. Dana Cowley, Communication Specialist, summarized the history and mission of the nuclear plant since WWII. It started as a nuclear munitions supplier and now has a sole mission of clean-up. Dana described the various efforts in scrubbing water and waste so that radioactive chemicals could be safely stored. At one site, pictured above, containment of cobalt glows blue in a pool of water. Although one can take the catwalk and look directly into the ominous glow, Rotarians found the virtual tour just dandy.  Hanford has an interesting and detailed virtual tour on their website at the link.

Picnic for Special Olympians

La Grande Rotary and Grande Ronde Retirement Residence hosted Special Olympians to a summer-ending picnic. This year’s event was held at the Rotary Pavilion at Pioneer Park.  Grande Ronde Retirement Residence supplied the dogs, burgers and grill while Rotarians brought the cooks, sides, and prizes. The prizes delighted the Special Olympians who were lucky enough at Bingo to take home something fun.  Pictured above is Heidi Bigler-Cole calling the numbers and Zee Koza doing the accounting.

EO Alive Brings Eric Valentine to Rotary

La Grande Rotary listened to Eric Valentine’s tale of peril, his rescue, and recovery this last Tuesday. It is a remarkable set of events where the right people were in the right place to help Eric get the help he needed after falling in Hell’s Canyon. He calls the Boy Scouts who found him and provided first aid and comfort as well as getting the authorities involved as his “angels.” If any lesson can be learned from this cautionary tale it is that one should never hike alone!


At the last Rotary meeting in Island City, Jordan Null presented a report from attending RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) held at the Columbia Gorge conference center near Corbett.  Null reported that students and young professionals from around Oregon were invited to a week-long conference focused on developing personal growth leadership skills. The speakers at the conference helped participants bolster their organizational and speaking skills. Jordan demonstrated a fine command of those skills as she kept Rotarians engaged for 30 minutes!

La Grande Rotary at Halloween Downtown!

Downtown La Grande was swarming with animals, hobbits, wizards, and cartoon characters on Monday. It was Halloween, after all, and children were costumed and in pursuit of candy. Although La Grande Rotary and Mountain Valleys Reading Council had candy at their booth, they also had different treats to hand out: Children’s books and a READ TOGETHER! Bookmark. The bookmark had printed QR codes that link to videos that model how adults can read with children from infants through preschool age. Featured above is Connie Slater showing a parent how to access the two-minute videos that encourage reading in the home.  As an example of the videos, see:


Click on the URL below to watch a 2 minute video showing a parent reading to their preschool child. These helpful videos demonstrate simple methods for reading with children. Read Together! videos were produced by a collaborative project of the La Grande Rotary, the Mountain Valleys Reading Council, Brent Clapp Media, and OTEC.

GO-STEM at La Grande Rotary

This last Tuesday, David Melville, Executive Director of GO-STEM at EOU, gave a presentation about efforts to encourage and support STEM education in the seven east most counties of Oregon. The GO-STEM Hub offers professional development, resources and materials to teachers, and a network of services to schools. One of the most recent initiatives offered is the Mobile Maker Lab.  A van and trailer are being outfitted with industrial tools and materials to teach students maker and manufacturing processes. The Mobile Lab comes with a skilled mentor prepared to travel the schools of eastern Oregon to help our students learn how various tools are used and how related careers might follow.  For more information about all of GO-STEM’s programs, see