Firefighters have fully contained a 300 acre grass fire that burned east of the intersection of Highways 197 and 14 in Klickitat County on Thursday evening. Darren Lacock of the Dallesport-Murdock Fire Department says the fire burned a travel trailer and a shed. The fire started around 6 p.m. Thursday when a flatbed truck towing a trailer lost its right side wheels, and the sparks from the metal axel cause the blaze to start. The fire burned down to the road leading into Columbia Hills State Park. Lacock says some hot spots in the middle of the fire where terrain makes it difficult to extinguish will burn until there is a significant rainfall, but there is a full containment line around the fire. Ten Klickitat County fire departments along with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue, and Washington State Parks were involved in the firefighting effort.
The Dalles def. Pendleton 25-17, 16-25, 25-17, 25-13: The Riverhawks win their fifth straight Columbia River Conference match to remain atop the league.
Hood River Valley def. Hermiston 25-23, 25-20, 25-20: HRV moves to 4-1 in the CRC, solidify their hold on second place.
Castle Rock def. Columbia 20-25, 16-25, 25-23, 25-14, 15-13
Zillah def. Goldendale 25-17, 20-25, 25-20, 26-24
Sunnyside Christian def. Klickitat 25-16, 25-9, 25-7
Lyle-Wishram def. Yakama Tribal 25-20, 25-18, 25-16
LaGrande 7, The Dalles 0
LaGrande 5, The Dalles 0
Kalama 6, Stevenson 0
A report from ECONorthwest presented to Hood River County Commissioners shows only two to four percent of the housing stock in unincorporated areas of the County are second homes or vacation rentals. The number came as a bit of a surprise to County officials who met to receive the report, and it’s quite a bit lower than the rate in the City of Hood River. Commissioners have assigned the task of deciding what, if anything, to do in regards to regulating short-term housing to the County Planning Commission. Community Development Director John Roberts has presented a series of options, most notably three possibilities, one being a fixed cap on the number of rentals, another prohibiting them in certain zones, and a third would simply evaluate applications as they come in. Roberts added he felt maintaining the status quo and a complete prohibition on short-term housing were both unrealistic options. Roberts thinks he will have a draft report ready at the end of this year or early in 2016.
Over 200 visitors from around the Northwest will be in The Dalles next week for the Oregon State Main Street conference. Main Street programs, like the current one operating in The Dalles, are devoted to comprehensive downtown revitalization. The Dalles Main Street Executive Director Matthew Klebes says this year’s conference theme is “Build an Awesome Revitalization Team,” and he notes local businesses and community members can attend the various sessions being offered. The conference will run from October 7-9 at various locations throughout downtown The Dalles. It’s free to attend but pre-registration is required. For more information go to thedallesmainstreet.org.
Hood River Valley 10, Pendleton 0: Mario Sandoval registered a hat trick while Diego Ortiz and Joel Garcia scored two goals apiece as the Eagles won their Columbia River Conference opener. Domingo Barragan, Andres Baeza, and Jorge Campos scored the other HRV goals, while Marco Cuevas and Travis Running combined in net for the shutout.
Horizon Christian 3, Southwest Christian 0: The Hawks won their fourth straight in Special District 6 play. Kameron Brown scored in the first half, and Salvador Ramirez and Quinn Roetcisoender added tallies in the second half.
The Hood River City Council is going to find out if living in a home in the City could cause any conflict of interest issues as it goes through the process of creating short-term rental regulations. Mayor Paul Blackburn says some Councilors have wondered if that might be a problem as the issue is discussed in the weeks ahead, and City Attorney Dan Kearns will file an inquiry with the state to get a ruling. All seven Councilors own a home. Blackburn says they expect to hear from the state in about a month. In other business, the Council has instructed municipal staff to learn from Hood River Garbage Service what the impact on rates and franchise fees would be if curbside composting and yard debris removal were added to services. Councilors had considered putting the topic in next year’s goal setting session, but Blackburn says they felt comfortable moving ahead. Downtown restaurants have been involved in a pilot program for curbside composting.
Two women are spearheading a project to create a village of tiny homes for the homeless. Andretta Schellinger and Jessica Richelderfer Wheeler envision Spruce Village as a complex of about 30 tiny homes using a shared restroom and shower, with on-site security and shared chores. The village would be alcohol and drug free, and Wheeler says there will be a screening process. Residents would help build the homes themselves, pay monthly rent, and there would be a priority given to homeless veterans. The concept is modeled after similar villages in Olympia, Portland, and Eugene. Currently the pair is trying to connect with as many organizations and agencies as possible, and search for a potential site. Those who would like to take part in the effort can visit on-line sprucevillageproject.org, or go to the Spruce Village Inc. Facebook page.
The Dalles def. Hermiston 25-20, 25-15, 25-15: The Riverhawks remain atop the Columbia River Conference with a 4-0 record.
Hood River Valley def. Pendleton 26-24, 20-25, 25-22, 25-20: The Eagles run their league mark to 3-1.
Columbia def. Stevenson 3 games to 1
Dufur def. Horizon Christian 25-19, 25-17, 25-19 AND 25-6, 25-18, 25-20 (two matches)
South Wasco def. Sherman 25-19, 25-23, 25-18
Naches Valley def. Goldendale 25-14, 24-26, 25-16, 25-16
Klickitat def. Yakama Tribal 25-19, 25-17, 22-25, 22-25, 15-11
Hood River Valley 4, Pendleton 0: Savanna Brentlinger, Kassidy Davidson, Mona Diaz, and Halle Campos all scored to lead the Eagles to a win in the opening Columbia River Conference match of the season.
The Dalles 0, Hermiston 0
Columbia 5, Castle Rock 1
LaSalle 10, Goldendale 0
Hermiston 3, The Dalles 1
Wednesday is the deadline for Rapoza Development to meet a number of different conditions set by the Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Agency to move forward with the Granada Block Project to build a 147-room hotel in downtown The Dalles, including demolition of the Recreation Building and the closing of purchase of the properties involved. Tuesday night, the Urban Renewal Advisory Committee deadlocked on a request from Michael Leash of Rapoza to extend the agreement to May 2016. Leash said the extension would allow time for Oregon State Representative John Huffman to seek a million dollars in financing through an anticipated state bond package to be developed in the February legislative session to provide the money to close the sale, and to work through a complex process to apply to be a Hilton Garden Inn. Huffman said he made the suggestion in the expectation that there will be a small bonding package put together in February, believing he can gain support because of what the project would represent for economic development in The Dalles. The Dalles Mayor Steve Lawrence says his understanding is the City Council, acting in its capacity of the Urban Renewal Agency Board, would not have to take any formal action for the agreement to expire after the deadline if the conditions are not met. Lawrence says the Urban Renewal Agency Board will probably go into an executive session after the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on October 12 to receive information, and then come out in open session and if a member wants to make a motion to be voted on they can, and if nothing happens the panel would move forward with discussing putting out a new Request For Proposal. Leash said he still believed his project is the best and highest use of the land to deliver jobs, traffic in downtown, and tax revenues, adding Rapoza would probably submit another RFP if the Agency Board will not grant an extension.
The Hood River City Council is going to find out if living in a home in the City could cause any conflict of interest issues as it goes through the process of creating short-term rental regulations. Mayor Paul Blackburn says some Councilors have wondered if that might be a problem as the issue is discussed in the weeks ahead, and City Attorney Dan Kearns will file an inquiry with the state to get a ruling. All seven members own homes in the city. Blackburn says they expect to hear from the state in about a month.
In other business, the Council has instructed municipal staff to learn from Hood River Garbage Service what the impact on rates and franchise fees would be if curbside composting and yard debris removal were added to services. Councilors had considered putting the topic in next year’s goal setting session, but Mayor Paul Blackburn says they felt comfortable moving ahead toward a yes or no vote. Downtown restaurants have been involved in a pilot program for curbside composting.