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.
Pat Ashmore has been appointed the new police chief in The Dalles. City Manager Julie Krueger made the announcement Wednesday morning. Ashmore is currently the Deputy Superintendent of the Oregon State Police in Salem, but he lives in and is a native of The Dalles. Ashmore is retiring from the OSP after 30 years of service. His first official day in the office in The Dalles will be August 1. Ashmore will be taking over for Jay Waterbury, who is retiring after 42 years with The Dalles Police Department, including twenty as its Chief.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality staff addressed a largely skeptical audience at a meeting in The Dalles about its odor reduction agreement signed with AmeriTies-West. AmeriTies manufactures railroad ties at its plant at the east end of The Dalles using a creosote mixture, and a number of nearby residents believe the emissions may be causing health problems. DEQ officials described steps Amerities is to take under what was described as an enforceable agreement, including reducing the surface area of stored ties, staggering times ties are on the plant’s drip pad, evaluating the plant scrubber to determine effective odor reduction, and trying alternative preservative formulas that reduce naphthalene emissions. The agency also outlined its upcoming study of air quality in The Dalles starting the first week of June, which will include monitoring once every three days for 90 days and a two week period with daily sampling. Many in the audience regularly expressed doubt about the efforts…and peppered speakers with questions. Rachel Najjar of The Dalles Clean Air Coaltion told the audience she believes the issue is not just odor nuisance, but a public health emergency, noting her own children’s health problems.
Iliana Telles of The Dalles finished in a tie for second at the Oregon Class 5-A High School Girls Golf Tournament at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks. Telles shot a one-over-par 73 in the final round to finish at six-over-par over the two day tourney, tied for second with Pendleton’s Haley Greb. Crater’s Kiana Oshiro won the tourney after backing a five-under 67 on the first day with a 75 to win by eight shots over Greb and Telles.
The Dalles finished in a tie for sixth with Sandy at the Oregon Class 5-A High School Boys Golf Tournament at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis. Chase Snodgrass led the Riverhawks, shooting a six-over 78 on the final day to finish in a tie for eleventh at nine-over for the two rounds. Summit used a big first day to cruise to the team title.
Hood River Valley 17, LaSalle 3
Steve Kramer 3,241 54%
Rodger Nichols 2,723 46%
Measure 14-55 (Bottled Water Ban in County Charter)
Yes 4,920 69%
No 2,209 31%
Measure 14-58 (HR County School Dist. $57M Bond Measure)
Yes 5,102 72%
No 1,982 28%
Justice of the Peace
John Harvey 127
Brad Lorang 59
Donna Mohr 34
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public meeting Tuesday evening to share information on an odor reduction agreement signed with AmeriTies-West to reduce odors in the eastern end of The Dalles. AmeriTies manufactures railroad ties at its plant using a creosote mixture. What the DEQ describes as an enforceable agreement contains steps the company will take to reduce odors, including best work practices, odor-control measures and enforceable milestones. The agreement requires the company to evaluate odor-reduction actions and report back to DEQ on how successful the action was in reducing odors. Tuesday evening’s meeting takes place at 6 p.m. in the Columbia Gorge Community College Lecture Hall in Building 2.
Hood River County Commissioners and Planning Commissioners held a joint meeting to discuss two major issues they will be discussing in coming weeks: short-term rental regulations and a time, place, and manner ordinance for marijuana businesses. County Administrator David Meriwether says there is a common thread in both of those issues: determining in what zones the uses would be allowed. In both cases, the planning commission will start the process of developing ordinances. Public processes will begin at that panel, with recommendations to go to the County Commission.
The Senate has passed a resolution co-sponsored by Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to celebrate the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Historic Columbia River Highway. Wyden says the road which was America’s first scenic highway offers both remarkable views of the Columbia Gorge and a uniquely historic example of innovative engineering. Merkley calls the restoration of the historic highway a testament to the vision and determination of many Oregonians. The 75-mile long scenic highway is a National Historic Landmark designed by Samuel C. Lancaster, running between Troutdale and The Dalles. It is the first scenic highway in the United States and the first modern highway in the Pacific Northwest. It is also a popular tourist destination, bringing in thousands of visitors annually to hike and bike its trails.