Property tax statements in Wasco County were mailed out on Tuesday. Wasco County Assessor Jill Amery says the County is seeing some increases in Real Market Value with a bounce back in the local real estate market, and that could lead to some questions from taxpayers. Property owners are taxed on Maximum Assessed Value when it drops below the Real Market Value, and that can only be increased by three percent under Measures 5 and 50. But Amery says when the market bounces back and the RMV starts to come back, some property owners might see larger jumps in their property tax assessment. If the RMV has the potential to increase 20 percent before reaching the MAV, a property owner is taxed on the lower of the two, which would be the RMV, and Amery is concerned some property owners will see more than a three percent increase if they are caught in that. Amery says they have added additional information in the Assessment and Tax Department section of the Wasco County website to help answer taxpayer questions. She adds customers with questions can come into the Assessor’s office in the Wasco County Courthouse for assistance.
With the numbers in, they show bad weather in Western Oregon did have an impact on attendance at last weekend’s Hood River Valley Harvest Festival. Hood River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Glover says they estimate about 7,500 people attended the festival, down from 10,000 to 11,000 in a good year. He adds while the weather in Hood River was not nearly as bad as it was in Portland, the storm in the metro area discouraged those who would have traveled here. Glover did say local participation seemed to hold up, adding he doesn’t think this year’s attendance drop will have an impact on attracting visitors to the festival in the future.
A group of area agencies and students have started the It’s On Us Hood River campaign. Hood River County School District Director of Special Education and Student Services and Columbia Gorge CASA board member Anne Carloss says It’s On Us is a national campaign to stand up against sexual and dating violence. She says one of their goals is to start a conversation about what is consent, and create bystander awareness to encourage people to stand up for each other. The campaign is in the soft launch stage, using signs create by a committee with one liners posted around Hood River Valley High School with one-line messages on things people can do to prevent sexual assault. A public education effort will take place in April.
Hood River Valley 4, Hermiston: The Eagles clinched the Columbia River Conference title with the win. HRV also ran its three-year unbeaten streak to 49 games.
The Dalles 7, Pendleton 0: The Riverhawks nailed down a berth in the Class 5-A play-in round.
Hood River Valley 1, Hermiston 0: Mona Diaz broke a scoreless tie with a goal from 18 yards out in the 76th minute to give HRV the conference championship.
The Dalles 4, Pendleton 1
Seton Catholic 4, Columbia 0
LaCenter 5, Stevenson 1
Naches Valley 11, Goldendale 0
Hood River Valley def. The Dalles 25-20, 19-25, 25-22, 25-14
LaCenter def. Columbia 25-20, 25-10, 25-12
King’s Way Christian def. Stevenson 25-10, 25-8, 25-14
Dufur def. Mitchell-Spray 25-18, 25-14, 25-10
Condon-Wheeler def. Horizon Christian 25-12, 16-25, 25-17, 25-10
Arlington def. South Wasco 3 sets to 1
Lyle-Wishram def. Yakama Tribal 25-15, 25-21, 25-19
Sunnyside Christian def. Klickitat-Glenwood 25-15, 25-21, 25-19
Goldendale def. LaSalle 25-22, 25-13, 25-22
Girls Water Polo
Hood River Valley 12, Gresham 4
After three hours of testimony and deliberation, the Hood River County Commission reached consensus on a time, place, and manner ordinance for placement of marijuana businesses. Most in attendance sought changes in the document that was before the panel, and the Commission made changes in a number of areas. That included allowing multiple operations within one business on one lot, indoor growing in industrial zones, allowing processing on exclusive farm use lands, and making setbacks 50 feet from the property line and 80 feet from homes. They left in a prohibition on new marijuana businesses in rural residential zone, with current medical marijuana businesses grandfathered in. Commissioners will receive the final document for approval on November 21. They extended a moratorium on marijuana businesses in rural residential zones during the meeting.
The Hood River City Planning Commission took two-and-a-half hours worth of testimony on the proposal to change the zoning of the Morrison Park property at the corner of Wasco and 20th Street from Open Space/Public Facilities to Urban High Density Residential to allow the City to partner with Mid-Columbia Housing Authority on an affordable housing project. Commissioners heard varied testimony, with some favoring the move as a way to help deal with Hood River’s housing needs, while others said the park is well used by nearby residents. City Planner Cindy Walbridge says the Planning Commission wants staff to research some questions they had before making any decisions. The Planning Commission will continue to discuss the rezone proposal on November 7.
Elizabeth Wallis is the new Program Manager for The Dalles Civic Auditorium. Wallis is replacing Trish Neal who has served in that position since last October when Neal and Sherry Munro, the board Secretary, took over managing The Civic. Wallis has a strong background in event management as well as running her own business. She has lived in The Dalles for several years and has a family connection to Rufus. Wallis assisted in the planning of the Civic’s BeerFest this past June. She will be coordinating the upcoming Bridal Fair in Feburary 2017. Neal is leaving The Dalles after four years and moving back to Alaska, while Munro will continue to volunteer at The Civic through at least the first of the year.
Boys Water Polo
Hood River Valley 14, Reynolds 11
Girls Water Polo
Reynolds 12, Hood River Valley 11, double overtime
A 48-year-old employee at The Dalles Middle School was arrested on two counts of sexual harassment after a student told staff at the school that he had touched her inappropriately and made inappropriate comments. According to The Dalles Police Detective Sergeant Douglas Kramer and North Wasco County School District 21 Superintendent Candy Armstrong, Jose Luis Martinez-Robledo was arrested at his home last week and lodged at NORCOR, and may face other charges. Robledo was placed on paid administrative leave by the school district immediately upon receiving the allegation. Robledo is lodged at NORCOR, and is scheduled to appear in Wasco County Circuit Court on Thursday afternoon. The investigation is on-going, and anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact The Dalles Police Department Detective Division at 541-296-2613.
The Hood River County Transportation District is seeking feedback on existing bus routes. ideas for new routes, and other ways public transit can benefit the community as it prepares a master plan to expand the area’s public bus service in the near term and looking forward 20 years. The district has an on-line survey on its website, catransit.org, through October 30, available in both English and Spanish. Project staff also will be out in the community this month to share information and hear ideas. On Sunday, staff will be available at an information booth at the Hood River Walmart from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In late fall, the planning team will hold an open house to present draft concepts. The Hood River County Transportation District Board of Directors expects to adopt the final plan in April 2017.