A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Covid may stop Albany Veterans Day parade

Written June 22nd, 2020 by Hasso Hering

A 2019 Veterans Day poster is left in the window of the Vets Day Memorial Assn., a former caboose downtown.

With big events around the world falling victim to COVID-19, it comes as no surprise that Albany’s Veterans Day parade this year may be called off as well.

There was talk about this at Monday’s virtual meeting of the Albany City Council. Manager Peter Troedsson put it this way: There’s a high percentage chance that the parade won’t happen, or words to that effect.

The council was talking about how to rebalance that portion of the city’s 2019-21 budget that depends on income from the 9 percent tax on the price of hotel rooms, the Transient Lodging Tax or TLT for short.

Revenue from the tax supports tourism promotion by the Albany Visitors Association and the Albany Downtown Association, as well as a number of smaller appropriations such as $3,000 for police overtime associated with the parade. All would be reduced and some would be eliminated starting July 1 under an economic development budget proposed by the city staff.

The city’s TLT committee had recommended that this section of the biennial budget be slashed from $1,059,200 (for the second year) to $230,680. The allocation for the Downtown Association would drop from $46,300 to $13,890. The Visitors Association would go from $384,500 to $115,350.

The council debated this for about an hour but reached no conclusion. But there was sentiment for tapping what’s left of the city’s Pepsi settlement fund for $100,000 or so. (The fund still has about $1.8-$2 million left, according to the staff.) The issue likely will come up again at the council’s virtual meeting Wednesday night.

Councilor Rich Kellum asked that the council be informed by email about any decision on the Vets Day parade. He was told that Patty was drafting a letter. Presumably that was a reference to Patty Louisiana, head of the volunteer association that has organized the annual Nov. 11 parade for the last several years.

Among the possible rationales: Without school bands, there’s not much of a parade. Musicians can’t practice marching unless schools reopen in the fall in more or less the accustomed way, and now there’s doubt about that. No school, no bands, no parade. (hh)



9 responses to “Covid may stop Albany Veterans Day parade”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Albany waves the white flag on a relatively small outdoor event scheduled for November.

    Meanwhile, major league baseball, soccer, and football announce they will play their seasons. Baseball and soccer start next month. The NFL in September.

    No spitting allowed, of course.

    And experts tell us that mass demonstrations during a pandemic are not a threat to public health.

    We live in interesting times.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      “…a relatively small event…”

      Based on what metric? Apparently you never bothered to attend one while you lived here…

    • HowlingCicada says:

      “””Meanwhile, major league baseball, soccer, and football announce they will play their seasons. Baseball and soccer start next month. The NFL in September.”””

      Sure, with a few dozen players and TV crew. Even that much is far from certain. Do you have evidence of plans for anything close to normal crowds this year?

      Here’s a typical example from May 8 (most search results I saw were at least that old):

      “””A primary issue pertaining to fans in stadiums is the varying degrees of lockdown measures in different states and cities. Live-audience sporting events in California, for example, will not be permitted until Stage 4 of the state’s reopening plan. California was moving into Stage 2 of that plan as of May 4, but many coronavirus-related variables make the time frame for the process impossible to predict.”””

  2. James Engel says:

    Being a vet (Army ’66-’68 & Nam) I’m a bit disgusted with how CARA has dealt with our American Legion Post 10. Yes, the City powers make a big show of “waving the flag” at each years event. BUT…they won’t give a damn dime of support! CARA will forgive $40K for every house at that river front development but not a damn dime for a forgivable loan to Post 10! Shameful for a City that likes to boast it has the biggest Vets parade (maybe not this year) west of the Mississippi. You CARA supporters spit on me in ’68 at the Portland Airport when I came home in uniform & you’ve spit on me every year after. SUPPORT POST 10 with a forgivable loan! Vets are tax payers also.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      “You CARA supporters spit on me in ’68 at the Portland Airport when I came home in uniform & you’ve spit on me every year after. ”

      As a lifetime member of VFW & DAV (Army ’67-71), I thank you for your service. But to say that “you’ve spit on me every year after” is ludicrous. I’m sorry for your pain, but at some point, you do have to let go and move on with your life, else it will cause serious problems…

      • James Engel says:

        Ray, it’s not pain I’m feel’in. It’s annoyance how CARA throws money around but won’t help a Vets place. Which by the way once lifted of that debt just might be able to hire some workers.

  3. chezz says:

    Engel, no one spittin’ on ya now.

  4. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Hasso, you identify one of the “possible rationales” is “No school, no bands, no parades.”

    But several organizers of the recent protest are associated with GAPS (one a tutor, the other a chairperson for a student advisory project). And they were able to use their school affiliation to mobilize a lot of local high school kids to attend the protest.

    So why can’t other adults affiliated with GAPS (directors, advisors, etc.) mobilize band students to support the parade?

  5. Ray Kopczynski says:

    “And they were able to use their school affiliation to mobilize a lot of local high school kids to attend the protest.”

    Egads. You and others do like to conflate items to foment conspiracies… Their “school affiliation” had nothing whatsoever to do with their organization of the event.


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