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Governor gives Boring notoriety statewide

Throughout Oregon, Aug. 9 is declared for all time Boring and Dull Day


by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - Watched by lawakers and a dozen residents of Boring, Gov. John Kitzhaber puts his ceremonial pen to parchment Tuesday, signing six copies of a bill declaring Aug. 9 each year Boring and Dull Day throughout Oregon.The pairing of two unincorporated communities separated by 8,000 miles became even more official Tuesday, May 28, when Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber signed HB-2352.

One woman’s idea

That official act was the final chapter in a saga that began when a Scotswoman from Dull, Scotland, traveled through Boring and thought of the connection.

Upon returning home, she proposed to a member of the Dull Women’s Book Club the idea of twinning the two communities. The club later took the idea to its community council.

And the rest is history — heard around the world on every continent last year after the major radio news networks picked up the story.

Watching Kitzhaber sign HB-2352 Tuesday afternoon in the governor’s office were a dozen Boring residents and the three principal sponsors of the bill, Rep. Bill Kennemer, R-Oregon City, Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River, and Sen. Alan Olsen, R-Canby.

Thomsen acknowledged the governor’s signing as a historic occasion.

“I think the governor realizes what a big deal this is to the Boring area,” he said. “Even though some people might think this is silly, we have to understand the governor doesn’t sign every bill. So, his signing recognizes this as a big deal.”

After Kitzhaber signed the first parchment, he said, “I’ll let the boring senators figure out who gets the pen,” which drew laughter from the group circling the governor’s desk.

The bill gained such recognition in the Legislature that the state’s lobbyists gave HB-2352 the turkey bill of the year, which they call the “Golden Gobbler Award.”

“And they brought a (frozen) turkey to present to us,” Kennemer said.

Boring’s Scottish roots

Though distant in miles, Oregon and Scotland are not that separate in spirit, heritage, geography and climate.

Case in point: Burns, Ore. — in far off Eastern Oregon — got its name 1883 for the Scottish poet Robert Burns. Many years later, the Burns High School mascot was named the Hilander, reminding all of the hilly north country of Scotland.

More recently, Harney County — where Burns is the county seat — became associated with Clackamas County as its sister county.

Even more recently, the community of Boring paired with another unincorporated community in central Scotland, in the foothills of the Highlands.

Last August, the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners declared Aug. 9 each year as Boring and Dull Day.

A couple of months ago, both the Oregon House of Representatives and Senate voted unanimously for HB-2352, declaring Aug. 9 each year as Boring and Dull Day throughout Oregon.

Kitzhaber made the Scottish connection official April 11, and ceremonially this week when he publicly signed HB-2352, recognizing the two communities as “a pair for the ages.”

A time to celebrate

Boring already has plans to celebrate the day with a community social in the Boring Station Trailhead Park, adding entertainment, games, food and a drawing for a free trip to Scotland with the Boring To Scotland Group Tour, coming in October.

The drawing is a fundraiser for the Boring Oregon Foundation that is planning a community center to serve local residents in need of public services.

For information on the foundation or the drawing, call Steve Bates at 503-663-6271.

For information on the Scotland trip, contact Lisa Foster at LT Travel, 503-668-7019.