The Dalles City Council wants an assessment of the Dog River pipeline. The aging wooden pipe through the Mount Hood National Forest is an important component of the City’s drinking water supply. Councilors discussed it during their goal setting session this week, and Mayor Steve Lawrence says it has been high on the priority list for a number of years. Lawrence says the Council is planning to take a trip into the watershed to get a complete briefing on the condition of the pipe.
The Oregon State Police will partner with local law enforcement agencies this month in an effort to encourage safety belt use. A statewide observation survey last June found 98 percent of the state’s motorists routinely used safety belts, but Oregon Department of Transportation crash data reveals a belt use rate of only 62 percent among those killed in motor vehicle accidents last year. Among those killed or injured were 938 children under the age of eight, and a third of them were riding unrestrained or in the wrong type of safety restraint for their size. Increased enforcement efforts begin on Monday and run through February 22.
The Mentor For Success program is looking for adults to help mentor at-risk teens in Hood River and Wasco counties. Program Coordinator Bonnie New says mentors provide a constant and stable presence to provide encouragement and guidance to the teen by spending time with them, talking to them, and listening. New says they especially need more men to serve as mentors. For more information go on-line to mentor4success.org.
Hood River Valley 62, The Dalles 49: The Eagles broke open a close game late in the third quarter to grab the Columbia River Conference win. Skyler Hunter scored 20 points on six three-point field goals while Scottie Ziegner scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half to lead HRV. Colin Noonan topped the Riverhawks with 14 points. HRV moved into a tie for first place in the CRC with Hermiston, who lost to Pendleton 55-51.
King’s Way Christian 61, Columbia 50: Kienan Walter led King’s Way with 21 points. Ryan Lockman scored 21 for the Bruins.
Kalama 60, Stevenson 49
The Dalles 68, Hood River Valley 49: The Riverhawks shot 52 percent from the field and made 10 three-pointers. Illiana Telles had six of the three-pointers while scoring 22 points, and Brooke McCall added 21. Kelsey Wells scored 14 and Marlie Bloomster 13 for the Eagles.
Lyle-Wishram 37, Trout Lake 24: MaeLynn Luke had 10 points, seven rebounds, and five steals in leading the Cougars to the Greater Columbia League win.
The Dalles City Council set a three-year moratorium on new roads to concentrate on looking for assets and developing priorities for fixing the streets the City already has as part of its goal setting session. Mayor Steve Lawrence says the three-year time period is simply a goal, adding they do want to see what the Oregon Legislature does in regards to gas tax funds for local communities. Completing an assessment of the health of the Dog River water pipeline was also determined to be a high priority, along with continuing progress on a safety program to reduce the City’s workers compensation insurance rates.
The Four Rivers Early Learning Hub is closing in on receiving approval from the state. The hub is a five-county regionalization to coordinate early learning services for children up to six years of age in Wasco, Hood River, Sherman, Gilliam, and Wheeler counties. Joella Dethman of the Hood River County Prevention Department is involved in getting the hub’s plan up and running, and she expects state approval in April. Dethman says the state’s Early Learning Council has provided resources to help get the hub approved. She notes there will be a representative from each County on the hub’s board, along with health, education, and early learning representatives.
Mid-Columbia Health Foundation is beginning the “Level The Playing Field” project in conjunction with North Wasco County School District 21. The two organizations have put a plan in place to upgrade the weight room at The Dalles High School to serve students, athletes, and district employees with weight training and wellness programs. Foundation executive director Celeste Hill-Thomas says the objective is to improve community wellness, specifically in the youth population. Funding for the $600,000 project will come from a combination of donations and grant monies. A kickoff spaghetti feed will take place February 18 at The Dalles High School gym. Tickets are $10 per person or $40 for a family of six, and can be purchased on-line at donate.mcmc.net.
A recent meeting to discuss establishing a food co-op in The Dalles drew a crowd of 60. The group discussed all aspects of the idea to establish a full service grocery with farm-fresh local food, preferably in downtown The Dalles. Cost was a key part of the discussion, with the potential start-up price anywhere from $500,000 to over $2,000,000. Kathy Ursprung of the Port of The Dalles says funding usually comes from people buying shares in the co-op, and other financing can be involved. Ursprung noted co-op experts say on average it takes three years to establish a facility. The next task is to put together a founding team. The next meeting to discuss a food co-op in The Dalles will be February 12 at 5:30 p.m. at a location to be announced.
The Klickitat PUD Board of Commissioners will host a set of meetings Tuesday to discuss a project that would create a closed loop system using three reservoirs and turbine generators to produce electricity at times when it is needed. The John Day Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project would be located at the John Day Dam, with a lower reservoir on the former Goldendale Aluminum smelter site. Brian Skeahan is coordinating the project for Klickitat PUD, and he says the concept is being studied with an eye toward the process of continued integration of renewable resources into the Western energy grid in the next decade. He says renewables involve variable generation that makes it difficult to match load, and pumped storage is probably the only feasible commercially available method to deal with that at this time. Who would pay for and own the project that could cost two billion dollars is an open question, with Skeahan noting it would not be solely Klickitat PUD. Tuesday’s meetings include a site visit in the morning, followed by sessions in the Klickitat PUD offices in Goldendale at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Skeahan says the focus will be on a finalizing studies that need to be conducted this year to submit as part of a permit application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Hood River County Commissioners talked about their goals for the upcoming year over the weekend. Continuing to work on development of affordable workforce housing, maintaining public safety functions, the future of the County Courthouse, the management of the County’s timberlands, and potential financial challenges in the near future were all discussed. County Commission Chair Ron Rivers says they are in good fiscal shape now, but rising costs remain a threat. Rivers noted the County believes it will receive a grant from the Oregon Judicial System to study potential Courthouse needs.