Hood River County School District Superintendent Dan Goldman has outlined for legislators cuts his district are facing if the K-12 funding level that was approved and signed by Governor Kate Brown last week. In a letter to legislators, Goldman says an initial set of budget reductions identified to make up the $900,000 the district must cut from its budget include eliminating about seven-and-a-half teaching positions, five-and-a-half classified jobs, a half to full administrative position, and over $100,000 in various program funds. Goldman adds the vast majority of the district’s budget is people. Another option is to cut school days. The district board has directed administrators to negotiate with their unions in regard to cutting days. It would take a reduction of about seven school days to reduce the budget by $900,000. In the letter Goldman again told legislators the statewide K-12 budget has to get up to $7,500,000 to allow the Hood River district to avoid cuts.
The project looking to form a food co-op in The Dalles has a new name. Community Harvest Cooperative Grocery was tabbed by the co-op’s founding team after considering several other possibilities. Founding team co-chair Kathy Ursprung said board members felt the new name does a good job of reflecting the focus of the co-op to emphasize locally sourced products within a community-led, member-owned grocery store. Co-op founders are inviting the public to submit ideas for a logo to represnet the organization. For information call 541-370-5191.
There is federal funding available for Sherman County crop producers to reduce soil erosion and build healthier soils on their land. The Natural Resources Conservation Service announced it has $100,000 available to help Sherman County farmers switch to no-till drilling and direct seeding, which can minimize disturbance on the soil and benefit its productivity. Funding may be used to implement other erosion control practices like installing terraces. Applicants must meet standard program eligibility criteria and must be producers on Sherman County cropland that has been in production and has not been directed seeded for the past three years. Applications must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Moro Service Center by May 15. For information call 541-565-3551.
Track and Field
Marlie Bloomster won three events as the Hood River Valley girls held off Hermiston 73-63 in a Columbia River Conference dual meet. Bloomster won the high jump, 300 meter hurdles, and the 400 meters. Hermiston topped HRV in the boys’ dual meet 70 1/2 to 65 1/2. Sebastian Barajas and Parker Kennedy each took first in two events.
Goldendale’s boys and girls swept Cle Elum, Granger, and Highland in an SCAC West meet. Rachel Disch and Ocean Bryan won a pair of events apiece for the Timberwolf girls, while Brian Golding swept both boys’ hurdles races.
Dufur sweeps Culver 13-3 and 19-2.
Goldendale split with River View, losing game one 15-11 but winning the nightcap 4-1.
Hood River Valley 5, The Dalles 3
Cle Elum/Roslyn 3, Goldendale 1
Cle Elum/Roslyn 3, Goldendale 2
Columbia 10, Castle Rock 0
Hood River Valley 22, Century 3
Hood River Valley 7, Cleveland 6
Columbia Gorge Community College released its proposed 2015-16 budget on Monday, which attempts to close a roughly 20 percent deficit through both cuts and new revenue, along with continued limited use of operating reserves. In his budget message, CGCC President Frank Toda says the proposal will continue every academic program, degree, and certificate, but reduced course offerings will raise average class sizes from the mid-teens this year to the low twenties in 2015-16. The budget does include a two dollar per credit tuition increase and three dollar per credit increase to general fees, the first raise in those since 2012. Toda says the largest reductions in the budget are in the areas of administration, student services, and facilities. Public comment on the tuition and fee increases is on the agenda for Tuesday’s CGCC Board of Education meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the board room at the school’s campus in The Dalles. The proposed budget will be the subject of budget committee hearings on April 28, May 5, and May 7, all at The Dalles campus beginning at 6 p.m.
The Dalles City Council approved a resolution to establish guidelines for when residential street improvements take place. The guidelines will apply only to one and two family homes constructed on individual lots. Nearly all the discussion among Councilors centered on a clause for when a sidewalk must be installed. Councilors eliminated a clause calling for property owners to sign a delayed development agreement if no curb line has been established. There were some worries about creating island situations, but Councilor Russ Brown noted in the end it was best to keep it simple, adding he expected the question of how to pay for sidewalk installation to come back to the Council at some point. The resolution does say commercial development, subdivision, and multi-family development shall meet the public improvement requirements found in the city’s land use and development ordinance.
The Dalles Mayor Steve Lawrence is proposing repaving Thompson Street between 10th and 19th Streets, but he may not have support from City Councilors to move forward. Lawrence wants to use funds not used for the current Scenic Drive renovation to do the repaving on a base that would be strengthened by cement. The process would cost over $86,000, and Public Works Director Dave Anderson said he would want to go ahead with a long-planned $250,000 extension of the stormwater line that funds are available for through the wastewater reserve fund. Lawrence thinks the repaving of Thompson falls under a Council directive to focus street spending on maintenance. But some Councilors weren’t as certain a Thompson project would fall under their street maintenance definition at least for the upcoming fiscal year, with Taner Elliott suggesting taking another look next year. The subject will come before Council again next month, but Lawrence was not optimistic it would move forward.
Hood River has been named as one of a dozen locations in the Northwest to be added to an expanded list of U.S. Forest Service “listening sessions” on revisions to the Northwest Forest Plan. The date and time of the Hood River session has not yet been announced. It will deal with management plan revision plans for the Mt. Hood and Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The sessions will include the Forest Service discussing its current thinking on plan revision and how science will inform the process and receiving ideas and thoughts on how to engage the public for plan revisions on each forest. Only three sessions had been planned for the region initially, but many in the Northwest Congressional delegation called on the Forest Service to schedule more in forest communities.
Hood River Valley 9, LaSalle 6: HRV mounted a huge comeback in a game that had been suspended in the 3rd inning two weeks ago with LaSalle ahead 6-0. The Eagles won for the fourth time in five games to run their record to 6-7.
The Dalles 11, Mountain View 8: The Riverhawks banged out 16 hits on the way to the win in Central Oregon. The Dalles scored six runs in the fourth inning to take a 10-1 lead, then had to hang on through a Cougar comeback that saw the home team score five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Dalles 9, Mountain View 8, 9 innings: Colin Noonan’s double in the top of the ninth brought home the game winning run. The Dalles had scored a run in the top of the seventh to force extra innings in a contest the Riverhawks trailed in most of the way.
Goldendale defeated Horizon Christian by 24 shots in a nine-hole match at Goldendale Golf Club. The Timberwolves’ Andrew Bigcheck carded the low score of the match, coming in with a 43.
Port of The Dalles and Columbia Gorge Regional Airport officials will be in Kent later this week for a trade show bringing together representatives of companies in the Northwest involved in developing unmanned aerial vehicles. Port Marketing Director Kathy Ursprung says they are seeking tenants for both the Port’s new Columbia Gorge Industrial Center and the new industrial park near the airport in Dallesport. She says with Insitu in the area, the Gorge region is well positioned to realize the benefits of further growth in the UAV industry. Ursprung says the eastern part of the Gorge can offer a good workforce supply along with land that isn’t available further to the west.