Work on the new Thompson Park swimming pool is to begin next week after the Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District board approved a contract with Tripplett Wellman of Woodburn to serve as a construction manager and general contractor. District interim executive director Karl Cozad says work should begin this Tuesday. Cozad says when all the numbers came in, the district was short $150,000 in the project budget to fully finish it, so it will seek a gap loan to finish it and pay it back through the savings the district will realize by having their offices at the pool complex rather than renting. Cozad adds they should be able to acquire that funding through a government support agency rather than having to go out on the commercial market. The anticipated opening date for the pool is June 13, 2015.
Mosier Fire Chief Jim Appleton was on the job Thursday, but he has not made a determination on whether he will stay on after the Mosier Fire District board rescinded his controversial dismissal at a meeting Wednesday night. Appleton said Thursday he wants the board to sort through some questions before he makes any kind of announcement. He did not elaborate on the questions he wants to see answered. Appleton did emphasize he remains committed to the job, and is not putting any kind of timeline on making a decision, other than saying no one wants to see the situation drag on.
A dozen high school students and four adults from Miyoshi City, Japan arrives in The Dalles Saturday as part of a longstanding sister cities relationship. Delegates will stay with local host families, visit students at The Dalles High School, Wahtonka Community School and St. Mary’s Academy, and tour the region. The sister city relationship between The Dalles and Miyoshi City began nearly 30 years ago through the efforts locally of Bob and Kris McFadden. It is formalized through agreements between Miyoshi City and the City of The Dalles, which assigns a council member as liaison to the sister cities association. In addition to the students, delegation members include Yu Sakamoto, representing Miyoshi City government; Motoyuki Matsunohana, Miyoshi City association president; Yaemi Kawahara, association secretary general; and Miho Takai, a former member of Japan’s parliament.
A ruling by a Josephine County judge last week that the city of Cave Junction has the power to ban medical marijuana dispensaries is adding another level of consideration as local governments try to determine their best course of action. The ruling by Circuit Judge Pat Wolke is expected to be appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals, where a decision would apply statewide. The City of The Dalles currently has a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, and adding in the upcoming vote on legalizing recreational marijuana, Mayor Steve Lawrence and other City officials are waiting to see what happens. Lawrence questions whether they can deviate from state law under their City charter. Lawrence notes the League of Oregon Cities is trying to develop legal guidance for local government to use.
The project engineer for the Chenoweth Industrial Park gave an update to the Port of The Dalles Commission on Wednesday. Ken Valentine of the engineering firm HHPR of Portland says testing on the project’s sanitary sewer lines has already begun. The 18-inch water line will require a special testing strategy for disposal of the substantial amount of treated water involved. Conduit that will carry other utility lines including electric, phone and fiber, is also nearing completion. Curbs are in place, and road paving is due to begin the first week of November, weather permitting. When completed, the 60-acre industrial park will feature 26 riverside, shovel-ready building lots of 1 to 4 acres at the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge with paved roads and utilities, including high-speed Internet, stubbed to each site.
Klickitat County Commissioners have adopted for a second time a moratorium on marijuana production, processing, and retail sales in unincorporated areas of the County. A moratorium adopted a year ago had lapsed, but Commissioners say marijuana facilities are being proposed for locations within the County that may be incompatible with surrounding uses. They also contend since the Washington Liquor Control Board licenses marijuana facilities without written notice to individual owners of properties that surround proposed site, landowners who are most affected may not be aware of the new use until the marijuana facility is operating. Commissioners are also concerned about a proposal to raise the total square footage of marijuana production operations from a statewide total maximum of 2 million square feet to 8.5 million square feet, which could result in expansion of current facilities and a new round of applications. Commissioners plan a public hearing on the issue at 6:30 p.m. on November 12 in the Klickitat PUD meeting room in Goldendale.
The Dalles Unit of the Oregon Department of Forestry has declared an end to fire season on all of the lands State Forestry protects in Wasco and Hood River counties. Burn permits are still required year round for all burn barrels and debris piles. A written burn plan is required for all slash piles. If you live within a rural fire district, they must be contacted about their requirements. Forestry officials ask everyone who plans to burn to do so safely, and in compliance with your burn permit or burn plan. Brief warming and drying trends in the fall can cause a smoldering fire to reignite, or increase the intensity of your burn.
The Dalles def. Hood River Valley 25-23, 25-18, 25-20: The Riverhawks take third place in the Columbia River Conference and advance to the Oregon Class 5-A play-in round next week.
Seton Catholic def. Columbia 25-19, 25-9, 25-22
Stevenson def. Castle Rock 25-23, 25-23, 25-22
Sunnyside Christian def. Lyle-Wishram 25-11, 25-16, 25-11
Columbia 2, Seton Catholic 1: The Bruins move into third place in the Trico League with the win, and hosts Castle Rock on Thursday to try to maintain that position. The top three teams in the Trico advance to the district playoffs.
LaCenter 7, Stevenson 1
LaSalle 9, Goldendale 1
Boys Water Polo
Hood River Valley 11, David Douglas 8
Girls Water Polo
David Douglas 14, Hood River Valley 10
Columbia Gorge Habitat for Humanity will hold a Women Build Day for women who want to learn construction skills and help build homes. Participants in the November 1 event will learn how to hang drywall and work together to complete the 25th Habitat home in The Dalles. The event will take place on November 1 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1301 East 12th in The Dalles. Space is limited to 15 participants. Those who would like to take part are asked to call Columbia Gorge Habitat for Humanity at 541-296-8817.