The Port of Hood River Commission is planning to hold a public meeting, probably in December, on a parking plan for the Waterfront. A draft plan has been put together, and the City is planning to institute metered parking on their portion of the Waterfront. Port Executive Director Michael McElwee says the next step will be to hold a meeting is to go out to the public for input, and discuss details including maximum price and hours of parking. McElwee noted an objective would be to make the Port and City plans for parking mesh together in a seamless manner.
We are reaching the holiday shopping season, and local officials are reminding people about the importance of shopping at home. The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Lisa Farquharson says she hopes people will think local before shopping online or heading to large metropolitan areas. Farquharson adds she is seeing more businesses with extended hours for the holidays, and new stores offering more variety of selection. She also says some of the smaller businesses in the area will be at holiday bazaars taking place around the region.
With the holiday shopping season coming, The Dalles Police Department will be actively enforcing the downtown parking ordinance. Under the ordinance, no one can park their vehicle on city streets while at their place of employment, business, or residence when that location is within the central business zone boundary between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Copies of the complete ordinance are available at The Dalles City Hall and The Dalles Police Department.
The White Salmon Valley School District board has passed a resolution to seek a three-year maintenance and operations levy in February that is slightly over their current amount. Superintendent Jerry Lewis says they will ask for $2,780,000 in the first year, which is $150,000 over the current level, and would go up $50,000 each of the following two years. Lewis says the current levy had an expected property tax rate of $2.61 per $1,000 of assessed value, but as assessed value goes up the rate goes down, so it ended up at $2.42. This levy projects the rate at $2.52 per thousand. M and O levy funds cover items in the district budget the state of Washington does not fully fund.
The effort to establish a Gorge Youth Center in The Dalles has moved into a capital campaign. Joe Martin of ACTS says they are seeking to first build a commons facility with a café, kitchen, classrooms, auditorium, facilities for various youth organizations, and a family fitness facility, followed by a fieldhouse and a gymnasium. Martin says the commons facility will cost about $8.5 million, with the other buildings moving the expected price to about $15 million. He adds getting local donations is critical to get to a point where the project will begin to qualify for grants. The group last year received a donation of land behind the Motel 6 in the west end of The Dalles. Those who would like to assist in the Youth Center effort can go to gorgeyouthcenter.org.
Community Thanksgiving meals are being planned in both Hood River and The Dalles. In Hood River, it will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on Thursday at Riverside Church, with all food donated and work done by community volunteers. One of the organizers of the meal, Debby Chenoweth, says they had about 200 people for last year’s event, and they are hoping to serve up to 400 this year. She adds all are welcome to attend. Those who need to have a meal delivered in Hood River can call 541-399-2384 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. In The Dalles, the Salvation Army is sponsoring the community Thanksgiving meal from noon to 3 p.m. on Thursday at St. Mary’s Academy. To get a meal delivered call 541-705-4656.
Carl Zerfing has won the opportunity to fill an unexpired two-year term on the Cascade Locks City Council, according to write-in election results released by the Hood River County elections office. No candidate filed for the seat on the November ballot. Zerfing received 110 votes. while Joshua Harestad was next with 42 votes. 42 people received at least one of 229 votes cast. Results are not official until the election is certified on November 28.
The Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles has received a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs grant to help recruit and retain high-quality nursing staff at skilled nursing facility. The grant, which will be eligible for renewal over the next three years, will assist in funding three new initiatives at the Veterans Home. A loan forgiveness program will reimburse registered nurses a portion of their school loans, up to $18,500, which is the cost of the RN program at Columbia Gorge Community College in The Dalles. Another element will be signing bonuses of $5,000 to all newly hired RNs and a $1,000 bonus to all newly hired certified nursing assistants And a third initiative will establish a permanent in-house training program for CNAs, which will give the Home much greater flexibility in maintaining an abundant supply of high-quality staff. The award of just over $114,000 will be matched by Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs.
A leak in Mid-Columbia Medical Center’s oxygen tank on the corner of Oregon and 19th Streets in The Dalles shut down all car and foot traffic in that neighborhood for a brief period of time this morning. An MCMC spokesperson says the hospital shut off the oxygen from the main line, and repairs began at 8 a.m. Traffic was allowed to continue in the area a few minutes later. The hospital is running on what it terms “an abundant supply” of back-up oxygen until the repairs are made, and does not foresee any additional impact to patient care or access to the hospital.
The administrator and medical director of Hood River Valley High School’s School-Based Health Center has been honored by the Oregon Health Authority. Lynne Frost has received the Health Authority’s 2016 SBHC Rising Star Award. The honor recognizes her leadership efforts as the Administrator and Medical Director for the SBHC, located onsite at the high school and operated by One Community Health. Oregon Health Authority Adolescent and School Health Program Manager Jessica E.A. Duke says Frost has worked tirelessly to build strong partnerships to create a sustainable, comprehensive model for the center and building trust with community providers to accept it in their community after eight years from their first planning grant.