Klickitat County Commissioners will hold their budget hearing next Tuesday in Goldendale. For the most part it is a flat budget, with no significant changes anticipated for 2016. Commissioner Jim Sizemore says the County has seen a bit of a downturn in landfill revenue with a soft Canadian dollar leading to the Roosevelt facility receiving less refuse from Canada on the spot market. Sizemore does point out the landfill’s contractual revenues remain steady. He also said department heads have cooperated by keeping their 2016 budgets at similar levels to this year.
The Hood River City Council’s recent goal setting session included discussion of planning staff level. City Manager Steve Wheeler says they will be adding a third planning position, noting they can afford it and need it. Wheeler points out the planners have to do site plan reviews of every planning action that comes through the City, and they have some longer-term projects to deal with also. Wheeler says they are also purchasing outside technical expertise to help finish their projects.
Oregon Class 1-A Football Semi-Final at Hillsboro Stadium
Dufur 42, Perrydale 38: Bailey Keever’s 64-yard touchdown pass to Hagen Pence with 19 seconds left lifted the Rangers to the win, and earned them a spot in the championship game this weekend. Keever led the Rangers on both sides of the ball, throwing for 202 yards and five touchdowns, running for 79 yards and a score, and making 21 tackles on defense. Curtis Crawford caught three of Keever’s touchdown passes. Dufur advances to the 1-A final this Saturday, and will meet Crane at 11 a.m. at Hermiston’s Kennison Field.
Recreational liability was the topic of discussion at a forum held by Oregon State Representative Mark Johnson in Hood River on Thursday. An Oregon Supreme Court decision last year in a lawsuit involving a skier paralyzed in a terrain park at Mt. Bachelor found liability waivers violate the public interest and are invalid. That has the recreational industry concerned with potential for more lawsuits and an increasing cost of doing business. Johnson said he will be seeking an update to the state’s skier code of conduct during the upcoming February legislative session, something that hasn’t been done since 1977. Beyond that, he says the long-term challenge is to define negligence and accepted risk in statute. Johnson adds other states have taken steps to acknowledge the value of recreational tourism, including establishing a cabinet-level position to advise the Governor about the business.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved a bill that seeks to finally bring the long delayed Mt. Hood/Cooper Spur land exchange to a conclusion. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced in September the Mt. Hood Cooper Spur Land Exchange Clarification Act. The bill would allow development of 107 acres of the mountain at Government Camp while protecting 770 acres at Cooper Spur. Mt. Hood Meadows and a number of local and environmental groups reached an agreement on the exchange and Congress approved a bill directing the Forest Service to complete the exchange in 2009, but it has never been finalized. Some of the groups involved took legal action this summer against the Forest Service, and the Forest Service and Mt. Hood Meadows agreed to go into mediation.
The Port of The Dalles has launched its Made In Wasco County website in time for the holiday season. MadeinWascoCounty.com is an expansion of the Made In Wasco County Facebook page the Port started last November. Port Marketing and Communications Manager Kathy Ursprung says the website is targeted to feature “makers” of products. The page currently includes about 60 Wasco County makers, and the Port is seeking more businesses to include on both the website and Facebook page.
There will be intermittent closures of both lanes of the Port of Hood River Interstate Bridge on Friday as the investigation into October’s suspected collision of a vessel into a lift span pier continues. Port of Hood River bridge engineers will conduct several lifts of the Hood River White-Salmon Interstate Bridge lift span throughout the day to check alignment issues. Work will start at nine Friday morning and continue through four Saturday afternoon. Bridge users should expect up to 20 minute delays throughout the day.
Four nurses from Mid-Columbia Medical Center have been honored by the March of Dimes in Oregon and Southwest Washington in the organization’s Nurse of the Year Awards. Anna Dillon was honored in the Critical Care category, Jayme Alsup in Emergency, Rachel Crowder in Small Hospital, and Lisa Erickson Sosa for Nurse Specialty. They were among 17 award winners honored for their constant care, compassion and dedication to improve the quality of others’ lives through service. The awards were given at a recent event in Portland.
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest is looking to fill positions on two federal Resource Advisory Committees. The panels, one for the northern portion of the forest and a second for the southern, review and recommend projects for implementation under Title II of the Secure Rural Schools Act. The fifteen-member committees are composed of a wide representation of national forest interests, such as timber, recreation, wilderness, or wildlife. Members serve four-year terms, and replacement members are also needed, should a Committee member leave for any reason. Projects must be on national forest lands or directly benefit national forest resources. Those interested in serving can call 360-891-5014 for application information. Deadline is December 11.
The vision for a youth center in The Dalles will be presented at a pair of events later this week. A luncheon is planned for Friday from noon to 1 p.m. and a dinner Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in The Dalles Civic Auditorium. Joe Martin of ACTS, who has been championing the project, says the intent of the events is to familiarize the community with what the facility would be like. Reservations are required to attend one of the sessions, call 541-298-4277 to make a reservation.