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Local News

Graduation Ceremonies Set For This Weekend

This weekend will see numerous graduation ceremonies at various high schools around the Mid-Columbia.  It starts Friday evening with Hood River Valley High School holding its ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. at Henderson Stadium.  The Dalles Wahtonka High School will present diplomas to seniors at 11 a.m. Saturday at Amaton Field, while Columbia High School holds its ceremonies at the same time in Miller Gymnasium.  Wishram and Sherman high schools will also hold 11 a.m. graduations on Saturday.  Later in the day, ceremonies begin at Stevenson and South Wasco high schools at 1 p.m., with Horizon Christian and Glenwood set to begin at 2 p.m., and Dufur High School beginning at 7 p.m.  Lyle High School held graduation ceremonies last Sunday, and Trout Lake is scheduled to hold its event next Friday.

Bi-State Legislative Group Discusses Bridge Options

A group of legislators from Washington and Oregon met in Vancouver Wednesday to talk about whether to seek new options for a bridge or bridges to connect the two states over the Columbia River between Clark County and Portland.   Oregon State Representative John Huffman of The Dalles joined with Washington House members Ann Rivers and Liz Pike in organizing the Bi-State Bridge Coalition meeting in the wake of the Columbia River Crossing project being scrapped due to differences that included light rail and low river clearance.  Huffman says before anything else relationships between the two states have to be rebuilt, with the legislators pointing out this is not an effort to revive the CRC.  Huffman added any new bridge proposal would have to come from a bipartisan bi-state effort.  Washington 14th District legislators Curtis King and Norm Johnson were among the eight Washington and four Oregon legislators who attended the meeting.

Skamania County Forest Trust Land Transfer Approved

The Washington Board of Natural Resources has approved the transfer of 42.5 acres of state forest trust land in Skamania County to conservation status, a move the state Department of Natural Resources says will give the county more than $300,000 in revenue.  The transfer allows DNR to replace a parcel of working timberland north of Stevenson that is tied up by federal endangered species restrictions, and a legislative appropriation two years ago allows the County and DNR to receive proceeds as if a timber harvest took place.  DNR will use some of its proceeds of over $100,000 to buy replacement land.

Gorge-Us Gals Ride For HAVEN Sunday

HAVEN, the organization dedicated to helping the victims and survivors of domestic violence in the Mid-Columbia, will hold its Gorge-Us Gals Ride this Sunday.  The women’s only recreational bicycle ride will start from Lewis and Clark Festival Park in The Dalles, and offers 13, 20, 40, and 60 mile options.  Anna Williams of HAVEN says it’s a great chance for friends and family to have an enjoyable day in the Gorge.  To sign up in advance, go on-line to gorge-usgalsride.com.  On-site registration begins at 7 a.m. Sunday, with staggered start times for the various distances.  Proceeds help support HAVEN programs.

WS Water Rights Purchase Nearly Finished

The City of White Salmon’s application to purchase water rights from the White Salmon Irrigation District has gone through a 90-day waiting period with no comments being filed, and the City now has 90 days to file a management plan with the Washington Department of Ecology.  Mayor David Poucher says the irrigation district is selling two cubic feet of water rights to the City, and that will serve as mitigation for the water the City draws from Buck Creek.  Poucher says with this arrangement the City will be able to stop leasing water right from Klickitat PUD, hopefully within a year.  He believes White Salmon will now have a secure water right for 100 years.  Poucher also noted the City is working with the Ecology Department on tests of aquifer storage recovery that would take excess water from Buck Creek in the winter and put it into an existing well to use during low flow periods in the summer.

Election Filing For Positions In The Dalles Begins

Information packets are now available for those interested in running for Mayor of The Dalles or one of three City Council seats in the November election.  The three Council positions available are position one in the west district, position three in the east district, and an at-large seat.  Candidates must be a registered voter and have resided within The Dalles city limits for at least 12 months before the election, and if representing a specific district must have lived within that district for at least 90 days prior to the election.  Candidates can obtain nominating petitions from the City Clerk’s office on 313 Court Street in The Dalles.  The filing deadline is August 26.

Wine History Effort To Come Through The Gorge

Linfield College’s efforts to preserve the history of Oregon winemaking will bring an archivist to Hood River in June and The Dalles in July to record oral histories and collect historic items from area winemakers.  Archivist Racheal Woody says the Oregon Wine History Archive started with the Willamette Valley, and has moved on to Southern Oregon and now the Columbia Gorge with help from a grant from the Oregon Wine Board.  Woody says they are talking to a number of different people to gather information.  The Oregon Wine History Archive was started in 2011, and now is home to collections from some of the most significant wineries in the state.

Project Dayshoot At Columbia Center For The Arts

Photographers who participated in Project Dayshoot-plus-30 will make a presentation Thursday evening at Hood River’s Columbia Center for the Arts.  The project involved over 150 photographers taking pictures across the state on a single day:  July 15 of last year.  Organizer Brian Burk says the inspiration came from seeing a book from a previous Project Dayshoot that took place thirty years ago.  The work will be on display at Columbia Center for the Arts through this month.  A presentation to kickoff the exhibit will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday.

State Playoff Roundup: HRV Baseball To Title Game; HRV Softball Falls To Pendleton

Oregon Class 5A Baseball Semi-Final

Hood River Valley 8, Crescent Valley 1:  The Eagles scored five runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back as they reached the state championship game.  Kellen Duffy’s two-run homer helped propel the Eagles to the big opening frame, and Duffy and Ryan Ward stroked back to back run-scoring doubles in the fourth inning to expand the lead to 8-0.  Ward went the distance to pick up his second win of the state playoffs to go along with a save.  The Eagles will meet Sandy in the 5A championship game on Saturday at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer (time TBA).

Oregon Class 5A Softball Semi-Final

Pendleton 3, Hood River Valley 2:  Darian Lindsay’s two-out solo home run in the sixth inning broke a 2-2 tie and lifted the Buckaroos to the win at the Ballpark at Belmont.  HRV had just scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning when Jessie Karr led off with a double and scored on a wild pitch, then with two outs Made Vallejo reached on an error, and after Erika Enriquez singled her to second Vallejo scored on a throwing error.  The Buckaroos took the lead on single runs in the second and fourth innings in large part due to errors, as HRV committed six defensive miscues in the game.  Pendleton will meet Putnam in the state championship game at Corvallis on Saturday, while HRV finishes the season 22-7.

Huffman Part Of Legislative Workgroup Offering Digital Use Guidelines

Several proposed legislative concepts aimed at balancing the needs of law enforcement to use citizens digital data for emergencies while protecting due process and privacy were the subject of a recent committee hearing in the Oregon Legislature.  59th District State Representative John Huffman has been a part of a bipartisan workgroup including an American Civil Liberties Union representative working on proposals for the 2015 Legislature.  The workgroup was formed to develop a bill passed last year to restrict the ability of government agencies to use drones, and Huffman says they have moved on to other technologies.  Potential bills discussed involved guidelines for use of automatic license plate readers and cell phone location data, smartphone and digital activity privacy, and creating a government surveillance oversight committee.

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