The Port of Hood River will stop selling Interstate Bridge toll ticket books at the first of the year in preparation for transition to a new tolling system. The Port will stop selling bridge tickets on January 1, but will continue to accept tickets for toll payment at the toll booth until the new system is operational, expected to occur in summer of 2016. Unused tickets can be tendered at the Port office for a refund or credit toward a BreezeBy electronic tolling account. Port officials say pre-sold tickets for bridge tolls are being phased out across the country as electronic tolling is becoming standard, and new system upgrades will not support ticket sales. About 18 percent of bridge tolls are currently paid via the pre-paid tickets.
Access to the Powerdale Corridor parking lot off Highway 35 will be closed next week as several hundred feet of pipe is removed from the site. Hood River County Public Works says the area will close to the public at around 5 p.m. Sunday and will remain that until 5 p.m. next Friday. For more information, call Public Works at 541-386-2616.
Kalama 3, Columbia 1
Seton Catholic 4, Stevenson 2
Kalama def. Stevenson 25-8, 25-17, 25-8
Hood River Valley at The Dalles, 7 p.m.
Columbia at Stevenson, 7 p.m.
Mitchell-Spray at Dufur, 7 p.m.
Elgin at Sherman, 6 p.m.
South Wasco at Ione
Mary M. Knight at Lyle, 6 p.m.
Goldendale at LaSalle
Special District 6 Boys Soccer Championship
Horizon Christian vs. C.S. Lewis at Salem Academy, 8 p.m.
Bickleton at Lyle-Wishram, 3:30 p.m.
Oregon Class 5-A Volleyball Tournament
Bend at Hood River Valley, 2 p.m.
Silverton at The Dalles, 2:30 p.m.
Oregon Class 1-A Volleyball Tournament
Dufur at Powder Valley, 2 p.m.
South Wasco at Country Christian, 6 p.m.
SCAC West Volleyball 3-Way Tiebreaker
Goldendale vs. Zillah and LaSalle at Granger (two advance to district tournament)
Hood River Valley and The Dalles at Oregon Class 5-A Championships in Eugene
Oregon Class 5-A Girls Soccer Play-In
The Dalles at Hillsboro, 1 p.m.
Boys and Girls Water Polo
Hillsboro at Hood River Valley (Boys at 8 a.m., girls at 9 a.m.)
Port of Hood River Executive Director Michael McElwee says the Coast Guard is continuing to investigate the apparent striking of the lift span pier on the Hood River-White Salmon Bridge sometime in early October. McElwee says investigators have told the Port it is highly likely a vessel struck the bridge piers sometime prior to October 11. He adds they now have a video of the strike area showing the vessel appeared to impact almost head-on on the upstream side, and then slid down the inside of the lift span pier, and then impacted the downstream side of the pier as the vessel tried to pull out of it. Investigators believe the impact likely happened at night, and if anyone felt a shake on the bridge or saw something unusual on the water sometime before October 11 is asked to call the Port of Hood River. Bridge inspectors did an evaluation of the lift span this week, and should deliver some conclusions in two to three weeks. McElwee said the lift span locks solidly so it is safe for crossing, but it also is out of alignment, so the span will not be opened in the foreseeable future.
Worksource Oregon and the Oregon Employer Council Columbia Gorge will host an event next weekend in The Dalles to help provide information and support to veterans in the area. Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist Jennifer Borne says the The Mid-Columbia Veterans Stand Down on November 7 will attempt to reach out to veterans who are at-risk, in economic distress, or homeless. There will be the ability for veterans to receive medical and dental services, housing assistance, employment services, and learn about social security and Veterans Administration benefits. Coffee and lunch will be available. The event will take place Saturday, November 7 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in The Dalles Civic Auditorium.
Oregon State Representative Mark Johnson says he wants to make sure local voices are heard as an Oregon Solutions program group tackles safety and congestion issues in the Colulmbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The Hood River Republican was named by Governor Kate Brown to be a co-convener of the group along with Multnomah County Commissioner Diane McKeel. Johnson says the popularity of the Gorge area for tourists has brought with it issues that need to be solved to ensure the natural resources retain their beauty and accessibility. But he also notes first responders in the region have seen their workloads increase significantly without a corresponding jump in resources, and the issue needs to be on the table. Johnson says the group made up of state, federal, and local government officials and stakeholders hopes to have some recommendations that can be put in place for next tourism season.
Oregon Class 1-A Volleyball Tournament
Dufur def. Echo 24-26, 25-22, 25-12, 25-16: The Rangers advance to play at Powder Valley in round two on Saturday.
South Wasco def. Columbia Christian 30-28, 25-20, 26-24: The Redsides move on to visit top-ranked Country Christian on Saturday.
A local group has been cleared to seek signatures to get a measure to prohibit the transportation or conveyance of water from any source in Hood River County to support a commercial bottled water operation. The group Local Water Alliance says it will begin to look to gather 2,000 signatures after the County had originally decided not to certify the measure over concerns it dealt with more than one issue, which is not allowed under state law for initiatives. The group had filed an appeal in circuit court, but County Elections Supervisor Kim Kean said county counsel decided to stipulate with them and accept their petition, clearing the way for the signature gathering. The measure is aimed at preventing a proposed Nestle water bottling plant from being located in Cascade Locks.
The Dalles City Council has approved development of a policy on how to address funding requests from various organizations. Mayor Steve Lawrence feels decisions on a number of the requests for general fund or transient room tax monies are made on emotion rather than based on policy. He says some things would become a line item in the municipal budget, while others would be considered on a case-by-case basis. He said the policy will include submission and review requirements, and meet a purpose within set definitions. Lawrence says interim City Manager Julie Krueger will put together a process for implementation, and then the City will use it for a year to see how it works.
The Hood River City Council is considering tightening restrictions on open burning within the city limits. Councilor Laurent Picard prompted the discussion, outlining a number of different reasons why burning is inappropriate in the City, including health, safety, and fire hazard concerns. Councilors didn’t go as far as wanting to consider a full ban, but instructed City Manager Steve Wheeler that they did want to tighten some regulations. Wheeler said that will include smaller burn piles and spark arrestors. Wheeler expects municipal staff will come back with some proposals in a couple of months.