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MailTribune.com
  • 'Grange' proposal unrelated to plants, gardens

  • What the h—- is "The Grange" and why am I receiving glossy advertisements about "The Grange." I thought it was a place to buy animal feed.
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  • What the h—- is "The Grange" and why am I receiving glossy advertisements about "The Grange." I thought it was a place to buy animal feed.
    — Carolyn L., Grange plant aficionado, Medford
    Well, Carolyn, depending on who you listen to, The Grange you've been hearing about is either:
    "A uniquely Oregon entertainment and gaming getaway with enormous potential benefits for the entire state: thousands of new jobs with health care and millions in new revenue each year for schools."
    Or:
    "A chance (for foreign companies) to make huge profit off of Oregonians and take the money out of the state."
    Here's the scoop: The Grange would be, primarily, a casino. The reason you're hearing about it all of a sudden is because it will be on the ballot in November as its supporters try to win support from Oregon voters to open the first non-American Indian casino in the state.
    The $300 million casino project is proposed by two Canadian companies that say they want to turn a closed dog track in Wood Village, east of Portland, into a complex with a casino, hotel, movie theater and pool. Casinos are not allowed on nonIndian land, thus the need for the vote.
    This is the second go-around for the developers, who tried to get Oregonians to buy into the idea in 2010. That effort went down in flames, with fewer than a third of voters supporting the proposal.
    So this time around, its advocates are launching a much more visible campaign.
    Just in case you have any doubts, Carolyn, The Grange has no connection with the Grange where you buy your plants and fertilizer. Nor is it connected to the fraternal organization, the National Grange, which says it plans to take legal action against the developers behind the proposed casino.
    National Grange officials said last week they own the trademark on the word "grange" and demanded that the casino developers stop using the name or agree to pay for it.
    The casino proponents say the word grange is a historical reference to a large community gathering place.
    The casino issue will appear on the ballot as Measures 82 and 83.
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.
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