The Wasco County cherry crop is looking solid as an early harvest season looms. Wasco County Oregon State University Extension Agent Lynn Long says in The Dalles area the fruit set looks good for most varieties. Long said he will be examining cherries in the Mosier area on Friday. He says harvest will begin around the first of June, about ten days ahead of normal. The big variable is rain, with forecasts bringing the possibility of precipitation over the next few days.
The White Salmon City Council received a cost range for a proposed new municipal swimming pool, and will put out a request for proposals to submit designs. The cost range given was between $2,500,000 and $6,000,000, and Mayor David Poucher says the City is looking toward the lower cost option. Poucher says the RFP’s should provide a more specific price tag. Poucher thinks they should have some proposals in hand by the end of June. He notes they have $500,000 to put towards construction of a new pool, and fundraising efforts have not begun in earnest.
The annual Children’s Fair will take place on Saturday at City Park in The Dalles. A number of area organizations that work with children will take part in the event. Nancey Patton of Columbia Gorge Community College Child Care Partners says all of the activities at the event will be free. There will be face painting, carnival style games, and arts and crafts. The Children’s Fair will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at The Dalles City Park.
Jesuit 9, Hood River Valley 7: A six-run second inning propelled the third-ranked in Class 6A Crusaders to the non-league win over the number two team in 5A as both squads get ready for their state tournaments next week. Montana Kurahara drove in three runs while Connor Coerper pitched four solid innings in relief as the Eagles came back late in the game. HRV had seven doubles in the contest.
Southwest Washington Class 1A District Softball Tournament
Hoquiam 14, Stevenson 2
Elma 5, Stevenson 3
Anglers will get another three days of Columbia River Chinook salmon fishing starting Friday, under rules adopted during a joint state hearing of fish and wildlife officials from Oregon and Washington. The season opens Friday and continues through Sunday. The open area is from Tongue Point approximately 19 miles upstream from the river mouth, to Beacon Rock, located approximately four miles below Bonneville Dam. Only bank angling is allowed from Beacon Rock upstream to Bonneville Dam. This is the second time in the past two weeks that fishery managers have reopened the spring Chinook season on the Columbia, with the catch during last weekend’s reopening lower than expected. The size of this year’s Chinook run will be updated again when fishery managers meet again on Tuesday.
Wasco County Commissioner Steve Kramer is planning to work with the Association of Oregon Counties on a subcommittee dealing with recycling issues. He says they need to figure out how to make recycling in rural areas cost-effective. Kramer notes the western portion of the state has the population base and money to make it work, but recycling from the eastern half of Oregon has to be transported to the west. Kramer says there have been preliminary discussions with the Association of Oregon Recyclers to find solutions, and the Department of Environmental Quality has been invited to take part as well.
All traffic on Washington State Route 142 west of Goldendale will alternate through a single lane over the Spring Creek Bridge beginning on Monday. The Washington State Department of Transportation will close the westbound lane following a routine inspection that found deteriorating concrete and exposed rebar underneath a portion of the bridge deck. Shifting traffic to a single side of the structure allows vehicles to safely continue using the bridge without weight restrictions until repair work can be completed later this summer. Temporary stop signs will be installed at both ends of the bridge along with directions for drivers to allow for on-coming traffic to clear before proceeding across. The speed limit will also be reduced from 50 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour. The SR 142 Spring Creek Bridge was built in 1950 and carries about 700 vehicles each day.
Ballot Measure 14-55, amending the Hood River County charter to prohibit the commercial production of bottled water and transport of water for that purpose, passed by a wide margin in Tuesday night’s vote count, but the battle surrounding it will probably continue. About 69 percent of Hood River County voters approved the measure. The measure was filed by opponents of a proposal by Nestle to build a water bottling plant in Cascade Locks, where City Administrator Gordon Zimmerman noted 58 percent of residents voted against the measure. He told Bicoastal Media Wednesday morning that “the county charter does not apply within the city limits” and with the spring within the city’s urban growth boundary they will consider to pursue the issue based upon its citizens’ desire for economic development. Aurora del Val of the Local Water Alliance, which backed the measure, said on Mid-Columbia Today her group has anticipated legal challenges to the measure’s validity, and will continue to ask for the support of the people. In a prepared statement, a Nestle spokesman said the company was disappointed by the outcome, but did not offer any comment on the company’s future plans. Hood River County Administrator David Meriwether confirmed the County Commission has asked the Oregon Department of Justice if the state had standing to intervene and if they intend to do so, and said the DOJ indicated they believe they did because water rights are controlled by the state, but gave no indication whether they would or not.
Incumbent Wasco County Commissioner Steve Kramer has won re-election to his position. Kramer held off a spirited challenge from Rodger Nichols. Kramer received about 54 percent of the vote, tallying 3,241, while Nichols polled 2,723. For Kramer, it will be his second four-year term on the Wasco County Commission. Kramer pushed for re-election wanting to continue work on projects he has been involved in over the past four years. Nichols had campaigned on a platform of improving relations between the County and other governmental agencies, while questioning some expenditures made by the County in recent years.
The Hood River County School District’s request for a 57 million dollar bond measure was approved by a wide margin. 71 percent of County voters gave their approval to the measure, with 5,695 saying yes to 2,272 saying no. District Superintendent Dan Goldman called those numbers humbling. The measure was designed to extend a current tax rate of one-dollar-85-cents per thousand dollars of assessed value. It replaces a previous bond issue that has been retired. Passage of the bond measure paves the way for construction of a new May Street Elementary School, which was one of the major projects in the proposal. It includes numerous infrastructure maintenance projects at all district schools, a new STEM learning space at Wy’east Middle School, increasing classroom space at most schools, and repair of athletic fields and tracks.