Ellensburg wins back its beauty

  • Too tall for comfort

    Mike Johnston/Daily Record
  -Hideous," "grotesque" and "like massive spikes in a sci-fi movie," were some of the kinder phrases residents of Ellensburg, Wash., employed to describe an addition to their community.

The addition consisted of 12 power poles, 110 feet high, erected by Central Washington University through the center of town. The looming power poles spurred the formation of a new local group, Citizens for a Beautiful Community. The group gathered the signatures of more than 3,500 of Ellensburg's 12,000 residents in a petition opposing the poles, but the university board members voted to keep them. Then on April 19, the citizens' group filed a lawsuit and the university's board of directors voted again, this time deciding to spend an extra $1.2 million to tear down the poles and search for an alternative power route. "They finally understood that we were not going away," says Dale Otto of Citizens for a Beautiful Community.

*Bill Taylor

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