There is still an opportunity for those who would like to donate and decorate Christmas trees for auction in the Mid-Columbia Health Foundation’s annual Festival of Trees to do so. The auction takes place Friday, December 4 at The Dalles Civic Auditorium, with decoration day on Wednesday, December 2. The Foundation’s Anne Copper says they will continue to take entries through Friday (November 13). Tickets for the auction on December 4 are ten dollars, and available by calling the Foundation at 541-296-7275. Proceeds benefit the Foundation’s Breast Health for Strong Families program and the Celilo Cancer Center.
Hood River County Commissioners sent back to the Planning Commission some tweaks to proposed code updates for farm and forest zones after a lengthy hearing on Tuesday. Commission Chair Ron Rivers said the complexity of dealing with the land use ordinance led to the lengthy hearing rather than controversy over any one particular subject. He pointed out it’s been a long time since the County had updated provisions for the resource zones. The Commission plans to hold another hearing on December 21 once the suggested changes are put on paper.
The Port of The Dalles has some money, and they are looking for someone to take it. Port Executive Director Andrea Klaas says the funds come from a marketing grant through the Oregon Investment Board. It’s designed to help businesses in the Port of The Dalles District and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area defray the cost of attending trade shows. If a business has an interest in tapping into this fund, call the Port of The Dalles at 541-298-4148 to receive an application. The funds expire at the end of the year.
Wonderworks Children’s Museum is gearing up for its annual Harvest Auction this Saturday at its facility in The Dalles. This year was a landmark, as it was the first full year that Wonderworks has owned its own facility. Wonderworks closed on the purchase of the building at 206 Madison from the Port of The Dalles in December 2014, ending nearly 40 years without its own home. Board member Lisa Sears says their next project is to improve the parking lot for the museum, thanks in part to an Urban Renewal grant. Tickets for Saturday’s event are $20 and available at Klindt’s Booksellers or at the Museum. It begins at 6 p.m. Saturday. Wonderworks is also still taking donated items for the auction, call them at 541-980-5922.
Oregon Class 5-A Boys’ Soccer Semi-Final
Hood River Valley 4, Hillsboro 3: Andres Baeza scored all four Eagle goals, including three in a span of just over 15 minutes midway through the second half as HRV stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to win. Hillsboro controlled most of the first half, and Miguel Tena-Palomares scored to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes, while HRV goalkeeper Marcos Cuevas kept the Eagles in game with a pair of spectacular saves soon afterward. Tana-Palomares scored again early in the second half to give Hill-Hi a 2-0 advantage before Baeza scored his first goal about nine minutes in. Edwin Rivas restored the Spartans’ two-goal lead in the 54th minute by knocking in the rebound coming off two straight saves by HRV goalkeeper Cuevas off a penalty kick by Daniel Tapia Silva, but Baeza brought the Eagles back within a goal just 90 seconds later. Baeza tied in the 62nd minute off a cross by Joel Garcia to bring Hood River even, and then just a little over three minutes later got the game winner, heading in a long free kick by Angel Sonato. HRV kept alive a 35-game unbeaten streak dating back to their championship game loss to Summit two years ago. The Eagles will look to win their second straight 5-A championship when they meet top-ranked Wilsonville on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Hillsboro Stadium.
Veterans Day events are planned in the region Wednesday. In The Dalles, there will be a Veterans Day breakfast at The Dalles Civic Auditorium to benefit the group Home Fires Burning. It will be from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and will be free to veterans, with civilian adults $5 and children 12 and under $3. The annual Veterans Day Parade in The Dalles will begin at 11 a.m. from the former National Guard Armory site on Webber Street and head downtown, with Wounded Warriors serving as Grand Marshals. A community potluck hosted by the VFW Post 2471 Auxiliary will be held after the parade at the Oregon Veterans’ Home. In Hood River, a free breakfast will be served to all veterans from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Elks Lodge on Cascade Avenue, put on by the Elks, American Legion Post 22, and Safeway. A community celebration will be held at Anderson’s Tribute Center on 1401 Belmont at 11 a.m., with Pack 378 Boy and Cub Scouting groups presenting a veterans’ tribute. And the White Salmon American Legion Evan Childs Post 87 will host their annual Veterans’ Recognition Dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the Mt. Adams Elks Lodge.
The Hood River City Council will hold a special meeting next week to attempt to reach consensus on the direction to give municipal staff and planning commission on how they would like to regulate short-term vacation rentals. Councilors met for over three hours on the subject Monday evening, getting hung up on how many days someone can rent their house as a short-term rental, how long current vacation rentals that are not primary residences should be grandfathered in for if at all, and whether a license cap would be more effective than a limit on days. That discussion came after nearly 90 minutes of testimony, the majority by people opposing elimination of short-term rentals, pointing out contributions to Hood River’s tourism economy and questioning whether such a move would help the City toward its goal of creating more affordable housing for the community’s workforce. The Council will continue the discussion at a meeting next Monday at 6 p.m. in Hood River City Hall.
The Dalles City Council has decided to return one-point-three-five million dollars in Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan grant funds for the Washington Street Crossing project. Mayor Steve Lawrence says with the City seeking new requests for proposals for the adjacent Granada Block project along with recent findings that would leave the project over a million dollars short of what would be needed to go forward, there are questions over whether the project is necessary. City officials had inquired about shifting the grant funds to a project on 6th Street, but state transportation officials said that was not possible.
The Port of The Dalles has updated its work plan, with a focus on marketing and business recruitment with the opening of the Columbia Gorge Industrial Center. But Port Executive Director Andrea Klaas says there is also an emphasis on looking for more land throughout the district, not just within The Dalles. Klaas noted there are private lands available in The Dalles for development, but the Port still needs land to move forward in its mission of bring jobs and capital investment to the area.
Fire heavily damaged a home on 800 East 13th in The Dalles early this morning. Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue Chief Bob Palmer says they initially received a call about a basement fire, but crews arrived to find the fire had progressed much further. Six people occupied apartment space spread through the main floor and downstairs basement of the structure. Palmer says two people were not home, while the other four got out safely. The Red Cross is assisting those people with clothing and finding a place to stay. The cause of the fire has not been determined. Dallesport fire crews and The Dalles Police Department assisted MCFR personnel in responding to the fire.