Ball-field move a plus

Record Editorial.

The North Bend City Council recently made a positive

move toward making sure local residents get first shot at the Torguson

Park athletic fields. I applaud their efforts, but specifically would like

to mention that councilman Mark Solitto has been instrumental in

this effort from the start. It is obvious that he and the other council

members recognize the importance of athletic facilities in the Upper


So with a new rate structure and prioritized usage clearly

outlined, the city now needs to take the next step and improve

the facilities so they are the safest they can be. Hard infields,

poorly protected walking areas, a lack of lighting and poor drainage are

all of concern to parents, players and spectators alike.

Torguson Park, which has become a Mecca for local athletics,

is showing signs of age. The infields need to be scraped, the

gravel removed and infield mix applied. They are likely some of the

hardest fields on the Eastside, and anyone who has slid into third base

or home will have the raspberry (or in my case, the broken hand)

to prove it. The drainage has improved over the years with

consistent dragging, but with nothing but sand and gravel left, there is

nothing to drag. Third base on Field 1 is still a puddle most days during

the early season.

The outfields at Torguson need to be sanded and flattened

to prevent ankle injuries. The backstops need to be increased in size

to prevent foul balls from nailing spectators in the walking areas,

and fenced foul lines would go a long way in preventing spectator

injuries from overthrows.

While we are on the subject of improvements, lighting

would help to curb vandalism. Hopefully field lighting can be installed

to maximize the use of the facilities. Let’s face it, the likelihood

that more fields are going to be built in North Bend in the near future

is remote, and as the population grows we will need to maximize

the use of the facilities we already have.

So with the new fee schedule and prioritization, please

consider some upgrades to the facilities. The crew the city has working

at Torguson has done an outstanding job with what they have. Go

the distance and upgrade the facilities. Hmmm, sounds like a

phrase from a very good movie.

Jim McKiernan