The Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District Board of Directors is responding to comments former Executive Director Scott Green made shortly after the board terminated his employment last week, saying there is no merit to any potential legal claim Green might file. Green commented in an article in the August 29 edition of The Dalles Chronicle that he felt wronged by the district and was considering a lawsuit for wrongful termination, but he had told the board he would resign if given a severance package allowing him to relocate. In a written statement sent to media members Wednesday, the board said Green’s proposal would have cost the District over $130,000, which was not within the District’s ability to pay and was deemed unacceptable by the board. The board says Green will be paid by the terms of his employment agreement unpaid vacation and severance of about $25,900 along with one month of medical benefits for his family. The board also claims Green’s employment under his contract was terminable at anytime without cause, and the decision to fire Green was not related to an on-going employment investigation in the District. The statement acknowledged the board generally refrains from public discussion of personnel matters, but felt Green’s comments merited a “brief response.” Green was dismissed from his position in a 3-2 vote by the District board.
White Salmon City Councilors have unanimously approved annexing the Los Altos development in to the City. The area northwest of White Salmon has been developed over the last 15 years, and includes 57 homes and three vacant lots. It’s the third annexation by White Salmon in recent months, but the first involving homes instead of vacant land. Mayor David Poucher says they are getting additional annexation inquiries. There had been some concerns from residents in the development about whether they could keep their chickens, but Poucher noted the City took steps a year ago to allow hens. Roosters are not allowed.
About two-thousand cyclists will descend on The Dalles this weekend for the beginning of Cycle Oregon. They will begin to arrive to camp in Sorosis Park on Friday, and will leave on Sunday to begin the seven-day ride. Cycle Oregon’s Tara Corbin says the riders come from all over to take part. The ride will head north on Sunday into the Glenwood area, return to The Dalles on Monday for a lunch stop at Riverfront Park before heading south towards Tygh Valley and Madras, and will finish at Riverfront Park the morning of September 13. Cycle Oregon is providing a bus service Friday and Saturday for riders to go downtown and to The Fort Dalles Museum.
New Parent Services will celebrate its 25th anniversary Thursday night. The organization provides education and support for parents in Hood River County. Nancy Johanson Paul of New Parent Services says it started as a volunteer program, and now is modeled after the Healthy Start model used throughout the country. Paul says they have served about 400 families in Hood River County during the program’s existence. A celebration event is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. at Hood River Valley Christian Church on 975 Indian Creek Road.
September is National Preparedness Month. It’s a time when people are encouraged to take stock of how prepared they are for an emergency, and take steps so they are ready to go an extended amount of time without power or have to be evacuated. Lauren Kraemer of Oregon State University Extension in Hood River and Wasco counties says people should prepare a kit with three days of supplies that can be ready to go with five minutes notice. Items in a three-day kit should include food, water, medications, and important documents.
The 26th annual Aluminum Man Triathlon and Duathlon is Saturday in The Dalles. The event starts and finishes at Riverfront Park. There are three different races: the Olympic Triathlon with a one-kilometer swim in the Columbia River, 50K bicycle ride, and 10K run, the Olympic Duathlon with just the bike ride and the run, and the Sprint Triathlon that cuts the distance of all three events in half. New this year will be team competitions in both the Olympic Triathlon and Duathlon. Competition starts at 9 a.m. Saturday.
With classes getting underway in North Wasco County School District 21, enrollment appears to be slightly up from a year ago. Superintendent Candy Armstrong says the numbers are fairly steady, up by about 25 students from last year. Armstrong says they still have to wait a couple of weeks to get a better handle on the numbers, but adds they have gotten better at estimating what to expect. But she also notes there is always a last minute flurry of students coming in and going out, so the wait for the most accurate enrollment numbers remain.
The annual Huckleberry Festival is this coming weekend in Bingen’s Daubenspeck Park. It’s the 52nd annual run for the festival, which will feature entertainment for all ages starting Friday evening and continuing through Sunday afternoon. The parade through downtown Bingen is Saturday at 11 a.m., and this year’s grand marshals are the members of the White Salmon Lions Club. Of course there will be plenty of huckleberry pie available. A complete schedule of events is on-line at huckleberry-fest.com.
Hood River Valley 4, Putnam 1: Andres Baeza scored a pair of goals and Alex Gutierrez had a goal and an assist as the Eagles won their season opener. Oscar Munoz added the other HRV tally.
Putnam 3, Hood River Valley 1
The Dalles 3, Mac-Hi 2
Ridgeview def. The Dalles 25-17, 25-20, 25-21
With classes starting this week in the Hood River County School District, a large freshman class at Hood River Valley High School is creating a bump in enrollment. Superintendent Dan Goldman says a big eighth grade class went through both middle schools last year, and they expected a jump of about 65 students at HRVHS, but the early returns puts the increase at about 90. He does point out historically they won’t have an accurate enrollment figure until the latter portion of September, when registered students who have not shown up in the first ten days are removed from the rolls. Goldman says the district tends to be very conservative on enrollment projections, and they are about to embark on a year-long process of facilities planning, with potential growth to be one of the factors taken into consideration.