The Dalles Police Department says as it does every year, there will be extra officers assigned for tonight’s Neon Cruise in downtown The Dalles, with no tolerance for any reckless or dangerous behavior in the wake of an accident last year that resulted in injuries to some onlookers. Officers will be focusing their enforcement efforts on children not in car seats or riding in the back of trucks, drinking in public, open containers in vehicles, speed violations, burnouts, and DUII. Roads will be closed at 2nd and Taylor and 3rd and Pentland from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with only vehicles registered and displaying assigned placards for the event allowed on to the closed streets. Vehicles will not be allowed to enter the closed roads after 6:30 p.m. even if they are registered for the event. Earlier this week, 54-year-old Ronald Madorin was sentenced to 45 days in jail, ordered to pay $71,000 in restitution, and had his driver’s license suspended after pleading guilty to charges related to an accident just after the Cruise near East Second and Washington after he hit a parked vehicle trying to do a burnout, sending the parked vehicle into crowd and causing a number of injuries.
Cruise The Gorge Weekend will take over The Dalles beginning Friday night. The annual Neon Cruise takes place Friday evening, bringing classic cars from throughout the Northwest into downtown The Dalles. A closed cruise will take place on 2nd and 3rd Streets between Lincoln and Monroe from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Those who would like to register for the cruise can do so at Burgerville Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Newsradio 1300 and 103.9 FM and K-C 93.5 will play music to cruise with from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday features the Show in the Shade at Sorosis Park, with registration from 9 a.m. to noon, judging from noon to 2 p.m., and the Parade of Champions begins at 3 p.m. Sunday includes the Dallesport Drags at the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport beginning at 8 a.m., and the Vintage Dufur Days Car Show in Dufur City Park runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hood River Mayor Paul Blackburn says he was mildly surprised that Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation announced this week it was discontinuing efforts towards an affordable housing project in Hood River’s Morrison Park, otherwise known as Lot 700, but understands their decision to step away. The not-for-profit affordable housing developer said because the agency had not been successful in securing the necessary funding to advance in the face of legal opposition.to the project, it would not pursue it further. The Hood River City Council’s latest affirmation of a zone change for the property is currently before the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals, and Blackburn says the Council will discuss how to proceed in that area during an executive session in their meeting on Monday. Blackburn says there currently is no viable second option available to partner on a housing project on the property. He noted while they do have other possible locations to consider, none are free and clear for such a use.
It’s Vintage Dufur Days this weekend. The annual event in Dufur gives people a chance to break away from the hectic day-to-day experience and reconnect to a slower, easier pace. Saturday starts early with a country breakfast served at Dufur City Park. Then local farmers and ranchers will use antique farm equipment to demonstrate harvesting, threshing and more, with locally grown wheat. There will also be steam engines, horse drawn farm equipment and a tractor pull competition. A tractor parade, artisan craft booths, quilt show and yard sales are also planned. Dufur City Park will host a classic car show on Sunday. The Vintage Dufur Days schedule is available online at dufurhistoricalsociety.org.
Firefighters from The Dalles Unit of the Oregon Department of Forestry Central Oregon District were actively engaged Wednesday night in suppressing a slow moving fire west of Dufur in the area of South Valley Road and Taylor’s Grade. ODF reports the Upper 15 Mile Road Fire was approximately six-and-a-half acres in size heading into the night, and about 50 percent of the perimeter had been lined. Current resources on the fire include a dozer, four ODF engines, one engine from the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and one engine from the Mt. Hood National Forest. Resources were to remain on the fire overnight, with more to arrive today. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
A $19 million bond measure for improvements to Klickitat Valley Health’s facilities in Goldendale continue to trail after an updated ballot count was released Wednesday afternoon. 1,368 had voted against the hospital district’s bond measure, while 1,306 were in favor. A supermajority was required for passage. Ballots in the Washington primary only had to be postmarked by Tuesday, so counting will continue over the next few days. In the two primaries for office on the ballot…Ricky Knowles had received 54 percent of the vote for position 1 on the Skyline Hospital district board with 896 votes to 552 for Kathleen Swarztrauber and 193 for Bill Hollander, while the lead for Dallesport Water District commission position number 2 flipped as David McNeal now leads Bill Clark by one vote 61-to-60, while Craig Stephens polled 23. Meanwhile, Klickitat County is holding a special filing period through Friday for open offices in the November election where no candidates filed to run during the initial opportunity to do so. A list of the various positions needing candidates is available at klickitatcounty.org.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has formally acknowledged PacifiCorp has completed all of the requirements in the physical decommissioning and removal of the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River. The dam was breached in October 2011 and fully removed in September 2012. The steps involved in decommissioning the project included constructing new bridge piers for the Northwestern Lake Road bridge to provide public access across the White Salmon River, relocation of a City of White Salmon waterline and removing the dam and remaining facilities. The historic powerhouse remains intact. The 13.7-megawatt Condit Project was completed in 1913 and produced hydroelectricity for the paper industry and nearby communities. Removal of the dam restored approximately 33 miles of historic spawning and rearing area for steelhead and 14 miles for salmon in the White Salmon River basin.
The Central Oregon District of the Oregon Department of Forestry is increasing restrictions to reduce the chance of human-caused wildfires on private, state, and municipally owned lands it protects, including those in Hood River and Wasco counties. ODF officials cite current fuel conditions, the potential of rapid fire spread, future weather forecasts with the possibility of lightning, and increased initial and extended attack activity both locally and statewide. The restrictions include a prohibition on smoking except in vehicles on improved roads, a ban on open fires, and prohibitions between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on chainsaw use, the cutting, grinding, and welding of metal, and mowing dried grass with power driven equipment except for the commercial culture or harvest of agricultural crops. The use of motor vehicles is prohibited, except on improved roads and except for vehicle use by a landowner and employees of the landowner upon their own land while conducting activities associated with their livelihood, and the use of fireworks and blasting is prohibited. Industrial operations in Hood River and Wasco counties also move to Industrial Fire Precaution Level 3.
The Neon Cruise is just around the corner. It will take place Friday evening in downtown The Dalles, with a closed cruise limited to those who register from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Patrick Erickson of the Mid-Columbia Car Club says this will be the third year of the closed cruise, noting it’s a trip down memory lane for those who take part. The cruise loop is on 2nd and 3rd Streets between Lincoln and Monroe. Early registration for the Neon Cruise is being done Wednesday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Burgerville in downtown The Dalles, and also Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.