City ponders park name change

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

February 10, 2007

Hood River officials are considering whether to honor the people of Tsuruta by renaming a park after the sister city in Japan.

On Monday, the city council will discuss changing the name of Waucoma Park on the corner of Oak and 13th streets. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the municipal courtroom at the junction of Second and State streets.

Bob Francis said staffers have researched the deed to the park and can find no compelling reason for the name it was given. He said there is a second Waucoma Park at Montello Avenue and Ninth Street so duplication would be eliminated with a name change.

“This year will be the 30th anniversary of the sister city program and we thought this might be a fitting tribute,” said Francis.

He said the city has already commissioned Gjino’s Alpha Omega Masonry on Tucker Road to create a stone panel that commemorates the relationship between Hood River and Tsuruta.

If the park is dedicated to the sister city the monument, which will be 8 feet wide and 3 feet high, could be set up during an April ceremony at the site. During that month, Mayor Kenji Nakano and other dignitaries will travel from Tsuruta to visit with local officials and community members.

Francis said plans are now in the works to plant 30 ornamental flowering trees in various locations that have been donated by Tsuruta, so the timing just seemed right to rename the park as a return gesture of good will.

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