Hood River City Councilors have scheduled a June 6 meeting to discuss potential licensing issues for short-term rentals. Councilors talk about the subject during their regular meeting on Monday, but wanted to dedicate more time it. Mayor Paul Blackburn points out this discussion is distinct from the question of STR’s in residential zones that has been the Council’s main focus in recent weeks. This deals with licensing fees and basic regulations for STR operation, including occupancy limitations and parking deals. City Manager Steve Wheeler says a public hearing will be scheduled once proposals are in place.
The Dalles City Council approved a budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year on Monday night. No one testified during a public hearing prior to the approval vote. Mayor Steve Lawrence says the big item in his mind is the inclusion of four million dollars for replacement of the Dog River pipeline, and he’s hopeful the City will get the remaining four million dollars needed to pay for it through grant sources. Lawrence adds the pipeline provides 50 percent of the City’s water, and leaks one-million gallons of water per day during peak flows.
Hood River City Councilor Laurent Picard has stepped down from the panel. Picard made the announcement at the end of Monday night’s Council meeting. He had served on the City Council for ten-and-a-half years, and indicated he had not planned to run for re-election in November. City Manager Steve Wheeler says no plan is in place at this point to find someone to fill out the remainder of Picard’s term, but that will be discussed at the next Council meeting. The Council has not been able to come up with the required four votes to pass changes to the municipal zoning ordinance in regard to short-term rentals in residential zones, leading to the panel approving on Monday night a six-month moratorium on accepting any transient room tax applications to establish new STR’s in the residential zones. Picard had recused himself from deliberations on those changes, noting he had made his own home available as a short-term rental in the past. Fellow councilor Becky Brun has recused herself for similar reasons.
Helping Hands Against Violence and Catholic Charities will hold an informational event on Thursday on the topic of immigration relief rights for those surviving abuse. Karen Shultz of Helping Hands says there are many undocumented people who believe they have no option in dealing with domestic abuse, and the organizations want to dispel those myths. Thursday’s program will take place at 6 p.m. at Mid-Valley Elementary School in Odell. The presentation will be in both English and Spanish, and with bilingual advocates on hand to answer questions.
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill to rename The Dalles veterans’ clinic after Sergeant First Class Loren R. Kaufman, a native of The Dalles and one of Oregon’s 14 Medal of Honor recipients. Kaufman served in the Army during World War II and the Korean War, and his actions during a battle at Yongsan in Korea are credited with helping his company regain its position when the enemy had taken commanding ground. Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden noted on the House Floor Kaufman received the Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman for his actions. Kaufman was killed in action in February 1951 and laid to rest in Willamette National Cemetery. The bill now heads to the Senate, where Oregon’s Senators have introduced companion legislation.
The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office will increase traffic patrols for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend. The Sheriff’s Office receives grant funds to increase patrols for both DUII and seatbelt enforcement through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Oregon Department of Transportation, with a goal to reduce traffic crashes and increase safety through high visibility enforcement. The Sheriff’s Office urges everyone to drive with care, wear a safety belt and to please not drive when using substances that impair, including prescription medication, alcohol, marijuana or any other impairing substance. Please report suspected impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1.
The Dalles City Council, acting in its capacity as the Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Agency, approved an installment plan for Discover Development to make a $100,000 payment to the Urban Renewal Agency for the Sunshine Mill property that was due on May 15 over the next nine months. In documents included in the Urban Renewal Agency meeting packet for Monday night, the company had indicated an unanticipated supply chain failure had put the business behind in the filling of orders for about five weeks, but the company has found a different supplier and is working to fill those orders. The monthly payments will be range from $10,000-to-$15,000, and City Manager Julie Krueger indicated to the board that the company had made the first payment. A $350,000 installment payment remains due next May. Board members agreed to the move, noting it was a good solution to a cash flow problem.
The Hood River Valley Eagles won the Oregon Class 5-A boys high school track and field championship, holding off Marist by four points at Hayward Field in Eugene. Parker Kennedy won the pole vault and finished second in the 300 meter hurdles, while Sebastian Barajas won the shot put and finished second in the discus to lead the Eagles to their first-ever state championship. Parker Irusta earned three placing finishes, and Justin Crosswhite and Tyrone Stintzi had two apiece. Marist had a chance to snatch the title from the Eagles with a win in the final event of the meet, the four by 400 meter relay, but finished fourth. It is the Eagles first ever boys’ track and field state title.
Track and Field
Oregon Class 1A Championships at Hayward Field
Ellis Rager of South Wasco and Keith Blake of Dufur finished one-two in the boys’ shot put to highlight the Mid-Columbia effort in day one of the meet in Eugene. Rager won the event with a toss of 47 feet, three inches. There were four third place finishes from area athletes: Jony Nelson of Horizon Christian in the 3,000 meters, Sherman’s Maverick Winslow in the boys’ pole vault and Isaiah Coles in the boys’ long jump, and Paulina Finn of Horizon Christian in the girls’ high jump. Most event finals are today.
Southwest Washington Class 1A District Championships at Tumwater
The Columbia girls tied for fourth and the boys tied for sixth, while Stevenson finished 11th in both. Two individual event winners from the area, as Alondra Casarez-Garcia of Columbia won the girls’ 100 meter hurdles, and Luke Nichols of Stevenson won the boys’ pole vault.
Oregon Class 5A Girls Tennis Tournament at the Portland Tennis Center
Johanna Wilson and Kiana Pielli of The Dalles won their first round match, topping Ellie Cross and Nithya Vaikuntam of Marist 6-2, 6-3. The Riverhawk duo will face a pair from Crescent Valley in the quarterfinals today.
Oregon State Playoffs Navy Bracket
Hood River Valley 9, Sherwood 8: Abby Bortles scored four goals as the Eagles advance to play Lincoln on Monday at 8 p.m. at Wilsonville in the bracket semi-finals.
Hood River Valley High School has named new varsity basketball coaches. Former Eagle Christopher Dirks will become the boys’ head coach after serving as freshman coach last year, while current track and field head coach Donnie Herneisen takes over the lead of the girls’ basketball program.
Now that voters have approved the Hood River County School District’s 57 million dollar bond measure, the next step for district officials is to begin to plan for the various projects the money will be used for. Superintendent Dan Goldman says the first task is to prepare for the sale of the bonds. He expects next year to be busy with identifying project specifications and going out to bid, with most construction to start in the summer of 2017. Goldman did say critical needs like replacement of the boiler at Hood River Middle School will be expedited. For bigger projects like the new May Street Elementary School and the STEM facility at Wy’east Middle School, there will be a community engagement effort while working on design of the buildings.