It appears Q-Life will be able to move forward with offering a contract to former The Dalles City Manager Nolan Young to provide administrative services to the intergovernmental agency that provides middle-mile broadband. City Councilors gave direction to interim City Manager Julie Krueger to inform the Q-Life board that the City at this time cannot provide the services as they have in the past. That would pave the way for Q-Life to offer a short term contract to Young. Q-Life attorney Keith Mobley and board president Erick Larson both said Young would provide critical leadership as the agency looks to secure state funding for a broadband connection in Maupin from Bonneville Power Administration fiber optic lines, and can help create a new model for administration of the agency. The City will continue to provide financial work and clerical support to Q-Life.
The SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) program is looking for volunteers to help children from pre-kindergarten to third grade learn to love reading. Volunteers spend one hour a week in Oregon schools working one-on-one with students. SMART Executive Director Chris Otis says they are in particular need of site coordinators for Parkdale Head Start and Chenowith and Dry Hollow elementary schools. Otis adds they can always use more readers at all schools. Those who would like to volunteer for the SMART program can sign up on-line at getSMARToregon.org.
A fire that burned three-point-six acres in the bottom of Indian Creek Canyon where it meets the Hood River has been contained. Hood River Fire Chief Devon Wells credited a helicopter brought in to make water drops on the fire with being a big reason why the blaze that started Sunday evening was knocked down. Wells said there would be firefighters remaining on the scene overnight, and on Tuesday firefighters would be back at the fire location doing more mop up work. He said Hood River residents should expect smoky conditions, particularly in the morning, drifting down from the river canyon over the next day or two. No structures or power lines were damaged by the fire, which Wells described as “cleaning out the hillside.” There is no word yet on a cause of the fire, and Wells indicated more work on that investigation will take place on Tuesday.
Klickitat County Commissioners will be mulling over whether to allow recreational all-terrain vehicles to be legally used on County roads with speed limits under 35 miles per hour after a pair of hearings last week. Opinions voiced at the two hearings are mixed, with those at a session in Goldendale leaning in favor but people at a White Salmon meeting raising concerns with safety, dust, and trespassing. Commissioner David Sauter says written comment will be taken until October 7. Sauter noted the range of options for the Commission includes allowing the ATV use on all eligible roads, doing it just on certain roads, not allowing it at all, and setting up a pilot area to test it.
Hood River City Councilors are weighing whether to seek to provide curbside compost and yard debris removal. Mayor Paul Blackburn says some downtown restaurants have been involved in a pilot project to separate out food waste for composting. The City used to provide yard debris removal on a seasonal basis before that practice was stopped due to budget constraints. Blackburn does point out with added services would come added cost. The Council meets this evening at 6 p.m. in Hood River City Hall.
Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden was on the escort committee during Pope Francis’ visit to Congress on Thursday. The Hood River Republican called it an honor to have an up-close view of the Pope’s visit to the nation’s capital. Walden thought the Pope’s remarks “were challenging and uplifting. Clearly he’s a man of the people who speaks his mind. I think he calls on all of us to be better citizens and better human beings, and really look after those who are less fortunate. It was just an historic day in Washington, and I think for all of America.” Pope Francis went to the Speaker’s Balcony of the Capitol after his speech to Congress to greet the gathered crowd and gave a blessing.
The Hood River County School District is going to receive more than $400,000 in grant funding for the 2015-16 school year from the Oregon Department of Education. The “Collaboration Grant” will allow further development of the Hood River Academy, an internal professional development program to increase training opportunities throughout the district. The grant also provides support for improving the District’s professional evaluation system, increasing leadership opportunities for master teachers, and investigating different compensation models that are more aligned to teacher and student performance. The exact amount of grant funding is still being determined, but a second year of full funding for the program is now guaranteed.
The Dalles def. Hood River Valley 25-17, 25-18, 30-28: The Dalles remains unbeaten after three Columbia River Conference matches while Hood River Valley falls to 2-1.
Stevenson def. Castle Rock 25-21, 19-25, 25-14, 15-25, 15-12
Seton Catholic def. Columbia 25-14, 25-12, 20-25, 25-11
Hood River Valley 0, LaSalle 0
Benson 3, The Dalles 1
Horizon Christian 2, North Clackamas Christian 0
Sandy 1, Hood River Valley 0
Seton Catholic 4, Columbia 0
Highland 10, Goldendale 0
Port of Hood River Commissioners received an assessment report indicating overweight trucks going over the Interstate Bridge are causing accelerated deterioration of the structure. Commissioners indicated the need to be more diligent and rigorous in enforcing weight restrictions on the bridge. Port Executive Director Michael McElwee says the effort will in large part involve education about the importance of observing the weight limits to prevent much lower limits from needing to be established. Additional signage on the weight and speed limits will be part of the plan. McElwee pointed out the Port does not have the ability to enforce, but they will work closely with the Oregon Department of Transportation weighmaster in Cascade Locks to deal with overweight trucks. In other business, Port Commissioners approved the purchase of two-and-a-half acres adjacent to the recently acquired Lower Hanel Mill property.
The Oregon Office of Developmental Disability Services will hold two community forums in The Dalles Thursday and Friday to discuss the vision for the future of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Department Director Lilia Teninty says a Thursday evening session will be geared to families who receive services, while on Friday the forum will be angled for those who provide programs and services. The Thursday session will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the Friday event will be from 9 a.m. to noon, both in The Dalles Civic Auditorium. There will be a short presentation followed by a group discussion.