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Boring looks to D.C. for (at least) a handshake


Boring seeks Congress after the state of Oregon declares Aug. 9 Boring and Dull Day

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - This road sign, not far from Dull, Scotland, reminds travelers just how far apart the two communities are, and yet their residents are still connected with a spirit shared by small communities.Residents of Boring are bonded to people who live in Dull, Scotland, in many ways, and Oregon’s congressional delegation is now hearing about the connection.

The link is not just by email, U.S. Postal Service mail, telephone or fax, wearing clothing with the embroidered Boring and Dull logo, printed news stories with photos and shared radio broadcast time. The communities and their residents also are joined in spirit.

Recently congressional leaders were asked to acknowledge the pairing.

Both rural communities share a spirit known mainly by small communities with relaxed lifestyles, although Dull’s might be a bit more relaxed than Boring’s, since fewer than 90 people live there and it does not have three state or national highways running through the area, as Boring does.

Several months ago, while Boring Community Planning Organization Chairman Steve Bates was testifying to the House Ways and Means Committee about the pairing of Boring and Dull, he mentioned the spirit that continues to develop.

“The pairing of Boring and Dull,” Bates said, “is helping us reach for a spirit of community.”

That spirit was confirmed May 28 when a dozen Boring residents and several state legislators surrounded Gov. John Kitzhaber as he signed the bill that named Aug. 9 each year as Boring and Dull Day throughout Oregon.

Now, Bates is going to Capitol Hill to ask for some kind of recognition — not another national holiday, but at least a mention in the congressional record of the connection, which is not just humorous. Bates and the Boring CPO as well as the people of Dull began the relationship with higher thoughts.

They were looking to improve their respective economies with any type of growth, and they wanted to learn more about the differences and similarities of their respective cultures.

A year after the pairing began, the benefits to both communities are already being felt, and they are expected to grow.

Those benefits include increased commerce, continued growth of business, a rise in tourism for the entire area, economic growth and the building of an unmatched community atmosphere.

Bates has asked U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Portland, to carry the recognition to the U.S. House, but also he has asked each member of the Oregon delegation to support whatever comes to each group of lawmakers.

“I’m looking for (members of the Oregon delegation) to have some sort of commemoration (of the pairing) on the House floor or Senate floor,” Bates said, “and send us some sort of a certificate.”

Meanwhile, another CPO member was in a meeting with U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, Bates said. At that time Walden was informed he would be receiving a request for recognition of Boring and Dull Day.

“Greg Walden told (the CPO member) that he would definitely consider (the request) and would talk with the Oregon delegation about it,” Bates said.

In addition to Walden and Blumenauer, members of the Oregon delegation receiving this request include Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Portland; Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Portland; Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Beaverton; Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Canby; and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield.