The Wasco County Commission heard opinions on Measure 97 Wednesday, but they won’t be offering any position as a group. Commissioners had received a request to pass a resolution opposing the measure that would place a gross sales tax on companies generating 25 million dollars in annual sales in the state. But Commission Chair Rod Runyon noted they were advised by County Counsel and the Oregon Association of Counties that state law prohibits them from passing any kind of resolution on a ballot measure. The meeting did provide a forum for people to express opinions on Measure 97, with many in opposition to it, but there was some who spoke in favor of the proposal.
The White Salmon City Council has sent a decision on basic design for a building for the proposed new swimming pool back to the committee that has been working on it. Design consultants have provided three options: utilitarian, modern, and traditional. Mayor David Poucher says the Council gave the direction to lean utilitarian for cost reasons, and the pool committee felt they needed to get more information. Poucher noted the Council does not feel pressed to make a decision, adding it is doubtful they would try to put a bond measure for the pool on the February 2017 ballot.
The Performing Arts Initiative is expecting to get a feasibility study back on the group’s concept of a 600-seat performing arts center with classrooms and studios in the Gorge sometime in November. The group’s Mark Steighner says ECONorthwest is working on the study. Steighner says while that is taking place, the group is preparing to fundraise for the 200-thousand dollars needed for the first phase of the project. The group is taking donations through the Gorge Community Foundation. Information is available at the Performing Arts Initiative website, gorgeperformingarts.org.
New campaign finance filings show Nike co-founder Phil Knight gave at least $330,000 to Republicans running for positions in the Oregon legislature, with the largest share going to a Hood River candidate. The Register-Guard reports that the wealthiest man in Oregon, Phil Knight, gave thousands in personal campaign contributions to seven Republican candidates in battleground districts last month, including an $80,000 donation to 52nd District incumbent Mark Johnson. Knight’s other contributions went to another incumbent and five newcomers seeking open House seats, with the others receiving between $25,000 and $50,000. It’s unusual for Knight to provide sizeable donations only to Republicans. The last time he personally donated to Oregon legislative races was in 2012, when he gave $55,000 to 10 Democrats and $75,000 to 12 Republicans. In 2014, he gave $250,000 to Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber. Knight didn’t respond Tuesday to a request for comment about his recent contributions.
The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District has terminated the Regulated Closure for private lands in Central Oregon as of Wednesday morning, but fire season is still in effect. Much of ODF’s The Dalles unit remains at Industrial Fire Precaution Level 1, which means operators can work all day, with a one hour fire watch required following operations. All fire tools and water supplies are still required. While restrictions on campfires and warming fires has been lifted, burn barrels and burning of debris may still be prohibited. Check with your local fire agency for specifics. District Forester Mike Shaw says with the weather forecast and current fuel conditions the risk of ignition has diminished, but the public is reminded to exercise caution when recreating and working in the woods.
Hood River’s Full Sail Brewery won seven best of the U.S. medals at this year’s annual World Beer Awards. Session Premium Lager – which has 22 gold medals to its name already – won U.S. Best Helles/Münchner. Full Sail Blood Orange Wheat took home gold for U.S. Fruit & Vegetable Flavored Beer, Hop Pursuit IPA won silver for U.S. Pale Beer-IPA, Full Sail Classic IPA won silver for U.S Pale Beer/Golden, Session Black won U.S. Best Dark Lager, Session Cream won the U.S. Best Cream Ales category, and Session IPA took bronze for U.S. Pale Ale. The international competition that uses a blind tasting system to choose the very best beers across the globe.
The Next Door is campaigning to find 30 men to serve as mentors to area youth in the next 30 days. The organization runs the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Gorge and Mentors 4 Success programs. Justine Ziegler of The Next Door says they are always searching for men to take part, and usually have a waiting list of youngsters. Those who might be interested in being a mentor can call Ziegler at 541-399-4437, or e-mail email@example.com.
Hood River Valley 2, Hermiston 1: The Eagles ran their unbeaten streak to 46 games with the win.
The Dalles 3, Pendleton 0
Hood River Valley 3, Hermiston 1: Mona Diaz scored in the first half while Audrey Marble and Claire Davies tallied goals in the second half to lead HRV.
The Dalles 4, Pendleton 0
King’s Way Christian 9, Columbia 1
Stevenson 1, Castle Rock 1
Hood River Valley def. The Dalles 25-20, 25-20, 25-19
South Wasco def. Sherman 21-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-14, 15-13
Dufur def. Horizon Christian 25-16, 25-14, 25-16
Lyle-Wishram def. Klickitat-Glenwood 23-25, 25-14, 18-25, 25-22, 16-14
Castle Rock def. Columbia 3 sets to 0
Seton Catholic def. Stevenson 3 sets to 2
The Hood River City Planning Commission is moving closer toward making townhouses a permitted use in R-2 and R-3 residential zones. They are currently a conditional use in those zones. City Planning Director Cindy Walbridge says allowing townhouses in those residential zones in the urban medium and high density zones is fairly common around the state with clear and objective criteria. A site plan review would still be required. Some who testified before the planning commission asked for further design restrictions for townhouses in those zones. The planning commission will get the final document from staff on November 7.
The North Wasco County School District 21 board has approved Superintendent Candy Armstrong’s goals for 2016-17, and long range facilities planning plays a large role in them. Completing a 50-year plan for district buildings by June is one of the three goals, along with effective communication. Armstrong says they are moving forward with getting the long-range plan put together. Another goal involves the first year of implementation of a new math curriculum for all grades in the district, and Armstrong says they are making sure teachers have the support they need to be effective in delivering the curriculum.