Kalama def. Columbia 25-9, 25-10, 25-13
The Hood River County Commission will hold a public hearing on October 13 to discuss an ordinance to tax medical and recreational marijuana. Legalizing recreational marijuana is the subject of Measure 91 on the Oregon ballot in November. That measure includes language pre-empting cities and counties from establishing this kind of tax, and County Administrator David Meriwether notes a number of counties and municipalities in the area are considering this kind of ordinance before the vote takes place. The City of Ashland has already passed an ordinance to place a five percent tax on medical marijuana and ten percent on recreational pot. Hood River County currently has a moratorium in place against the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries. The hearing will take place October 13 at 6 p.m. in the County Administration Building.
Mid-Columbia Medical Center and North Wasco County School District 21 are planning to collaborate on establishing a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facility for students at The Dalles High School. It would be available to district staff and potentially other community groups. Superintendent Candy Armstrong says if approved by the Mid-Columbia Medical Center Foundation and the hospital board, MCMC would be paying for the facility and looking to acquire grant funds to help pay in part for it. Armstrong calls it a “win-win” for the district and the community.
The Hood River City Planning Commission is recommending City Councilors approve a zone change from general commercial to light industrial on a portion of the current Expo Center property to pave the way for Key Development and Turtle Island Foods to build a storage facility there. At one point during the Planning Commission’s hearing, City Planner Cindy Walbridge and City Manager Steve Wheeler huddled with municipal attorney Dan Kearns on whether the proposal could be approved with a partition of the Port of Hood River parcel for commercial taking place but the plat was not finalized, and Kearns felt it could. The majority of planning commissioners decided to go ahead with the change because a turnout would leave the entire property commercial, and allowing the Turtle Island project to go ahead brings more industrial property into the City inventory and allows an existing business to expand. Commissioner Nate Duvall voted against, wanting the whole parcel to be examined. The City Council will address the proposal next Monday.
Monday morning’s fire at the in-lieu fishing site off Highway 14 near milepost 56 in Skamania County destroyed most of the lower section of the encampment. The site is used by the Yakama Nation. A home, boats, and campers were lost in the fire, which occurred at around 6 a.m. Monday. There were no reports of injuries, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation. Skamania County fire marshal Marlon Morat announced that due to what he termed “extreme weather conditions,” an emergency burn ban against all outdoor fires on lands regulated by Skamania County, including campfires, is now in effect.
Klickitat PUD has lifted the emergency water rationing for customers in the Lyle water system. The PUD says a failing pump at Lyle’s upper reservoir has been replaced and water levels brought back to normal.
While the Hood River City Planning Commission holds a hearing tonight to consider a zone change for a portion of the current Expo Center property from conditional commercial to light industrial to accommodate a Turtle Island Foods warehouse adjacent to their new manufacturing facility, there has been a pause in the process to develop office and commercial space elsewhere on the property. Port Commissioner Rich McBride says after some downtown business owners expressed concern about the market being flooded with more retail space if it is developed on the Waterfront, but he thinks they are on the verge of resolving some of those issues by refining what is defined as commercial. McBride says the Port doesn’t want to see a large amount of retail in the Waterfront area, but with nearly 500 employees there now and a possible 1,200 at build out, there will be a demand for some services.
Cycle Oregon wrapped up over the weekend with the over 2,000 participants riding into Riverfront Park in The Dalles. Local officials looked at the event as a way to help publicize The Dalles as a destination for cyclists. The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Lisa Farquharson feels they accomplished that. Farquharson says for The Dalles to reach its potential as a cycling destination the area needs to make sure bike racks are available, bike paths are clear and visible, and an RV park needs to be developed.
A burn ban is now in effect in Skamania County in the wake of a fire Monday morning at an in-lieu fishing site off Highway 14 near milepost 56. Skamania County Undersheriff Dave Cox said the fire occurred around 6 a.m. There were no reports of injuries, but several structures caught fire, and one home was reported to have been destroyed. Shortly afterwards, County fire marshal Marlon Morat announced that due to what he termed “extreme weather conditions,” an emergency burn ban against all outdoor fires on lands regulated by Skamania County, including campfires, was being put into effect immediately.
The 36 Pit Fire on the Mount Hood National Forest about ten miles southeast of Estacada has now charred 2,300 acres. A wildfire management team based out of Washington will take over command of the fire this evening. Structural firefighters from Clackamas and Marion counties were arriving to protect buildings. So far the fire has been threatening mobile homes. The fire, which was human caused, has closed Highway 224 at milepost 35.