Social and Political Commentary

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The New Mount Hood

... the wreckage of the old Mount Hood is transformed by big dig material and a good engineer.

by Len Dalton

Since the 'old Mount Hood' was made into the new Mount Hood, we have heard generous amounts of accusations and untidy speculations concerning the actual creation of the 'new Mount Hood.'

For 40 years I have enjoyed walking there, either with my dog or alone. In so doing it was interesting to witness the period when trailer truckload after load climbed up past Connelly's trash transfer place to the area adjacent to the tower parking lot. Prior to the arrival of these truckloads that area now referred to as "the playing fields" was a site of natural disaster; a wasteland of sharp, almost impassible thrusts of crude, sharp granite and extremely difficult to navigate through. In that state the area was a total loss for any purpose and hazardous as well. Over the years large numbers of auto tires had been dumped there. Remains of sterno cans were everywhere. The extreme south end of that disaster was the 12th tee! It was so fouled up that golfers had to tee off without ever a view of the 12th fairway! The average ball never saw the light of day again!

As the big dig material was dumped there, a bulldozer spread it around with the guidance of a wonderful engineer named Charley. That guidance transformed the area with proper drainage and nice views of the sea and great access for golfers. The 12th tee was redesigned and extended so that golfers could actually see the green. The former natural disaster was now useable for sports and with 2 putting practice greens. Cosmetically, the area had become magnificent; the golf course the envy of all.

At some point, politics raised its ugly head. Accusations flew! Lies were told. The big dig material was of the purest ground granite manufactured over thousands of years by glaciers and yet some characters claimed it was polluted and corrupt. Engineer Charley's work was beyond critique so that his design and improvements would make the golf course last for generations with superb drainage.

Having witnessed all this, the only damage I ever saw, and I was the one to discover it, was on the 12th fairway where some recalcitrant character drove donuts in the new turf over a  perceived unpaid debt. The expense to repair that was supposed to be $75,000 and that was largely for new sod to be installed. I know of NO other damage to the golf course that cost the city of Melrose money. If there was any damage I would like to know of it and even have a talk to the claimant. A lot of things were said that should not have been said. I am free to speak to anyone who might argue with what I have stated here.

October 2, 2009

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