The Next Door has been awarded a one-year, $50,000 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation to support its work as the Parenting Education Hub for parents of children from birth to six-years-old in Wasco and Hood River counties. This funding will enable The Next Door to continue providing parenting education class series. In addition to their 12-week Incredible Years series, The Next Door will be offering a new six-week series, Attentive Parenting. The grant is part of the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative, and a result of a multi-year initiative of The Oregon Community Foundation in partnership with the Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation, The Collins Foundation and Oregon State University.
Blasting will occur during the next two weeks on property located at the end of River Trail Way in the Port of The Dalles Industrial area. The blasting will help to remove rock outcroppings that the contractor is not able to excavate with heavy equipment for site preparation prior to construction there. A blasting plan has been submitted and approved by the City of The Dalles. Pre-blast surveys will be performed on all structures within 200 feet of the blast zone as well as required signage and traffic control measures will be set-up along River Road and River Trail Way during the procedure. Those with questions can call The Dalles Planning Department at 541-296-5481, ext. 1129 or ext. 1131 or Crestline Construction at 541-506-4000.
The boil water order in Mosier has been lifted. Water sample tests showed that the water from a back-up well now being used is safe to drink. The city lifted the boil water advisory for all residents except for two homes on Rock Creek Road.
Train traffic has resumed through the site of Friday’s derailment of 14 rail cars in Mosier, but a railroad representative said there will be no unit oil trains going through until clean-up finished. A unit train is a train in which all cars carry the same commodity and are shipped from the same origin to the same destination, without being split up or stored en route. Union Pacific spokesman Justin Jacobs said multiple agencies inspected the incident scene and track, and made a combined decision Sunday night that it was safe to run trains again, with the railroad instituting a slow order to reduce the speed limit through Mosier from 30 to 10 miles per hour until clean-up is finished. Jacobs says so far the trains coming through have been mixed manifest, adding “they do not to intend to run any unit crude oil trains in the near term, and will inform the community when they are back to normal operations.” The restart has made many unhappy. The Mosier City Council had passed a resolution at an emergency meeting on Sunday asking Union Pacific Railroad to wait until clean-up of the site is finished before rail traffic continued. Columbia Riverkeeper Executive Director Brett VandenHeuvel issued a statement through YouTube expressing his displeasure, calling running trains through an area where the derailed cars still have oil in them “unbelievable.” Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, Governor Kate Brown and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici released a statement today calling for a temporary halt to oil train traffic in the Gorge.
The incident command center at Mosier reported good progress on the clean-up of Friday’s train derailment. Thirteen cars remain at the incident site, two have been fully pumped, and the remaining eleven are in the process of having oil transferred to tanker trucks and transported to The Dalles. The oil will be staged in The Dalles until resuming its trip to Tacoma. A short-term fix involving trucking wastewater to the Hood River treatment plant has allowed sewer service to resume, but a boil water order remains in effect until tests on the City’s second well are complete. Bottled water is available to anyone who needs it at the Union Pacific Claims Center across from the Mosier Market. Interstate 84 Exit 69 at Mosier has been reopened.
There will be intermittent single lane bridge closures on the Hood River/White Salmon Interstate Bridge through Wednesday as crews work to repair damage to the guardrail of the northbound lane. Each closure is expected to be up to 15 minutes in duration. Bridge users should expect delays at all hours. About 260 feet of guardrail was damaged by an unknown large vehicle on Thursday afternoon.
As North Wasco County School District 21 wraps up its 2015-16 academic year, preparation is underway to convert the entire district to a trimester schedule in 2016-17. Superintendent Candy Armstrong says the shift to the trimester system at The Dalles High School brought positive results, with overall grade point averages and attendance improving. She adds the trimester system also provides more checkpoints for teachers and parents to measure student progress. The Dalles Middle School and all elementary schools will be on trimesters in 2016-17.
The Hood River County Chamber of Commerce has received a study showing the financial impact of visitors on the City of Hood River’s economy. Chamber Executive Director Mike Glover says they have always had breakdowns for the County from Travel Oregon but not specific to the City, so the Chamber asked Dean Runyon and Associates, who authored the Travel Oregon study, to put together those numbers. Glover says the report confirms much of what those in Hood River felt…that tourism in the community has grown substantially over the last five years. The report shows each overnight visitor spends an average of $91 per day while in the City of Hood River, and that there were 226,000 overnight person trips in 2015. Travel-generated employment in Hood River represents about six percent of all employment in the City.
Oregon Class 5A Baseball Championship
Summit 12, Hood River Valley 2: Summit used a six-run third inning to blow the game open and grab the championship away from Hood River Valley. Troy Viola had two run scoring doubles, while Dylan Albertazzi and Alex Bailey also drove in two runs each to lead the Storm to their first ever state baseball title. Adam Cameron had two hits and drove in a run for the Eagles. HRV finished the season at 23-7, and were making a third straight trip to the state championship game. It was the first time in Oregon School Activities Association history that a school has made three consecutive state baseball championship appearances twice, having done it previously from 1986 to 1988.
The North Central Public Health District this evening announced the advisory for Mosier residents to not flush toilets, shower, or do dishes has been lifted. Work to build a bypass line for wastewater has taken place. Mosier City Engineer John Grim said the temporary fix they have made to the sewer system will involve hauling the City’s wastewater to the Hood River treatment plant by truck. A main line from Mosier’s wastewater treatment plant was impacted by Friday’s train derailment, and the plant was shut down as a precaution,
Mosier officials continue to recommend people in the community to boil their water while water from a backup well is tested. Mosier City Councilor Emily Reed says the boil advisory will probably continue into Monday. Reed said the City’s main water source was used to fight the fire that resulted from the derailment.
Evacuated Mosier residents are being allowed to return home. Mosier Manor is now on a Level 2 (be set to go) notice, while all other Mosier residents are on a Level 1 (Be ready) notice.
North Wasco County School District 21 announced there will be no school for students of Mosier Community School this week. Eighth grade promotion will be rescheduled, and the Oaks Park trip for Mosier Middle School students has been cancelled. An end of year celebration will be held at a date to be announced. At that time parents and students will be able to pick up report cards and items left at the school last week. At this time no one is allowed in Mosier Community School buildings.
Union Pacific spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza said at the news conference there is still more investigation to be done, but they do have a preliminary finding on the cause of the derailment. That finding shows it is very likely a failure with the fastener that connects a railroad tie with the rail probably contributed to the accident. Espinoza said thirteen rail cars were still at the derailment location waiting to be hauled off, adding ten of the cars need to have the oil taken out of the tanker into a temporary storage tank to be trucked out of the area.
Evacuated residents needing assistance should contact the Union Pacific Claim Center located across from the Mosier Market or call the claim center at 877-877-2567, option 6. Wasco County Emergency Management’s information hotline is operational, call 541-506-2792 to hear updates. Citizen questions can be emailed to MosierMP70@gmail.com.