Kelly Running has been recommended to be the new Alternative Education/Online Principal for the Hood River County School District. Running will be formally presented by Superintendent Dan Goldman to the Hood River County School Board for approval this Wednesday. Running has worked in the school district for nine years in special education as a behavior and autism specialist, and before that taught special education in the Portland area. The position will be funded by forthcoming resources from last fall’s passage of Measure 98. Those funds must be used by districts on program expansion in three areas: Drop Out Prevention, College Readiness, and Career Technical Education.
Klickitat PUD has planned a power outage taking place late Saturday night and early Sunday morning to perform transmission line maintenance at its Spearfish substation. The outage from 11 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday will affect all customers in the towns of Dallesport and Murdock, Oak Creek Rd, the Dallesport Industrial Park, the Stacker Butte microwave and communication sites and portions of Highway 14 including Columbia Hills State Park. Klickitat PUD does say the time of the outage is based on the best information they have available ahead of time, and customers should be aware that the power could come back on at any time without prior notice. Those with questions can call Klickitat PUD at 1-800-548-8357 and ask for the Operations Department.
Hood River Valley High School drama teacher Rachel Harry will receive the Excellence in Theatre Education Award at the Tony Awards in New York City on Sunday evening. The award is presented by the Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University, recognizing a K-12 theatre educator in the U.S. who has demonstrated monumental impact on the lives of students and who embodies the highest standards of the profession. Harry has been teaching at HRV for 30 years. She was an honorable mention for the Award in 2016. As part of the award, Harry will receive $10,000 for her theatre program.
The Wasco County Commission has adopted the County budget for 2017-18 fiscal year. The budget does not change substantially from the current fiscal year. Commissioner Scott Hege notes sustainability was a concern that was looked at during preparation of the budget, and he described the prognosis for future years as “fair.” Commissioners made a slight budget adjustment to the document that came out of committee, adding $2,500 to the County’s share of funding for the Fort Dalles Museum to make it $22,500, matching the City of The Dalles’ contribution.
Top Democrats in the Oregon House and Senate say they’ve reached agreement on a corporate tax plan that would raise nearly $900 million in the next two years to patch the state’s budget hole and increase education funding, but whether it can garner business support or Republican support needed to pass a tax package remains in doubt. The complex proposal, crafted by House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate Revenue Chairman Mark Hass, would temporarily hike corporate income taxes and, beginning in 2019, overhaul how the state taxes businesses. But Republican 52nd District Representative Mark Johnson says the complexity may make it difficult to garner support, and the allowance for modification of the gross receipts tax rate, once it is established, by a simple majority vote could make the business community nervous. Johnson adds the package also lacks cost containment measures Republicans say have to be adopted to get the GOP vote in each chamber to pass a revenue measure.
City of The Dalles and Wasco County officials will sign a proclamation on Friday declaring the upcoming week to be “Parents Who Host Lose The Most…Don’t Be A Party To Teenage Drinking Week.” The YouthThink organization developed the resolution to add support and awareness to the problem of underage drinking. The proclamation will coincide with other efforts including yard signs for businesses and residents, Facebook posts, radio commercials and PSAs, plus a variety of other methods. The program will also provide opportunities for law enforcement to partner with other community leaders to communicate clear community standards related to underage drinking.
The Bingen City Council has decided to go ahead and appropriate 19-thousand dollars to replace light bulbs in street and decorative lamps with LED bulbs. Bingen received a state grant for the project, but estimates came in $19,000 over budget. Mayor Betty Barnes says the Council decided it was worth the cost to go ahead with the replacement, because of anticipated savings in electricity costs in the long run. In other business, the Council set priorities for improvements to Daubenspeck Park, but will wait on moving forward until they see what impact state budget decisions have on the City’s financial situation.
The Columbia Gorge Pride Alliance will host the first ever Pride Parade in Hood River on Saturday. The alliance was recently formed to provided resources, education, and networking opportunities for a growing LGBTQ-plus community in the Gorge. The Hood River Pride Parade will begin Saturday morning at nine at 6th and Oak, finishing up at 2nd and State.
The Port of Hood River will be filing an application with the City for subdividing lots on the property knows as “Lot 1” at the eastern edge of the waterfront. Port Executive Director Michael McElwee says they expect to do the filing sometime next week, and notes it will start a six month process. At the same time, McElwee says the Port and the City will discuss an intergovernmental agreement to determine how much street development will have to occur when a project is done, and developing a more specific idea on the economics of development at that location and to see if there is a case for seeking a partnership with the Urban Renewal Agency for development of infrastructure.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will be placing an air toxics monitor in The Dalles this summer. DEQ spokesman Greg Svelund says this monitor tries to gauge air toxins from all kinds of sources, and The Dalles was chosen because the agency does not have baseline data for the city. Svelund adds the DEQ has not yet decided where to place the monitor, which will be in place for about a year, but he indicates it will be as centrally located as possible to get the best readings from as many different sources as they can. He says the monitor should arrive sometime in July. Svelund also says this monitor is unrelated to the study of naphthalene related to the Amerites plant, which is about to enter into a third 30-to-60 day monitoring period this summer.