Hood River County Lions Clubs will be collecting food donations for the FISH Food Bank at a number of different locations on Saturday. Becky Bugge of FISH Food Bank says they have a list of items they will give to people coming through the grocery stores where collections take place this weekend. Food collections will be taken Saturday at Rosauers and Wal-Mart in Hood River, Mid-Valley Market in Odell, and McIssac’s Store in Parkdale. The Lions will also be collecting used eyeglasses and hearing aids for its sight and vision efforts.
The Next Door, which runs over two dozen programs that serve families and children in seven different Gorge counties, is entering the final days of its spring fundraising campaign. It’s called “Mighty Roots and Beautfiul Blossoms,” and Justine Ziegler of The Next Door says the campaign is both to raise money for the programs and increase awareness of what they do. To donate, go to nextdoorinc.org and click on the “donate now” button in the upper right hand corner of the home page. The Next Door’s goal in this campaign is to raise $10,000.
The Dalles Unit of the Oregon Department of Forestry will enter into fire season on Wednesday. That includes all ODF lands in Hood River and Wasco counties. All industrial operations on forest land will be required to have fire tools, water supply, and fire extinguishers on site and immediately available, and a one hour fire watch is required each day at the end of shift for any machinery on an active operation. There will also be a burn ban in effect beginning July 1 in conjunction with all local fire districts. Debris burning is still allowed in a burn barrel with a current permit only, with no debris pile burning.
Three people from Klickitat were injured in a Monday afternoon motor vehicle accident on Highway 142 eight miles north of Lyle. According to the Washington State Patrol, a 40-year-old woman was driving a car eastbound on Highway 142 just before 3:30 Monday afternoon when she fell asleep, drifted over the center line, and collided with an SUV driven by a 45-year-old woman. The SUV came to rest in the westbound ditch, while the car came to rest blocking both lanes and caught fire, sparking a brush fire on the eastbound bank. The two drivers were taken to area hospitals, while a 14-year-old female passenger in the car was taken by LifeFlight to Portland’s Emanuel Hospital.
The Hood River County Prevention Department is using a four year national grant under the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking, or STOP, Act to reduce alcohol use among those age 12 to 20. The Prevention Department’s Ilea Bouse says they have started by seeking those 18 to 20 to take a three-minute survey on their attitude about alcohol. The department also plans to use a public service announcement campaign called “Talk…They Can Hear You” to emphasize the importance of parents talking to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking.
The Pacific Northwest congressional delegation has sent a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney opposing a proposal in the President’s budget to sell off the Bonneville Power Administration’s assets. In the letter, the Representatives point out the BPA is self-funding, and is of no cost to the taxpayer with the entire BPA transmission system fully paid for by the users of the system, and has provided more than $32.5 billion in payments to the U.S Treasury. They also say all Northwest utilities and the customers they serve depend on BPA’s grid to access affordable and reliable power. Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden and Washington Third District Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler both were part of the group that signed on to the letter.
The Hood River County Chamber of Commerce is going to have a survey done to find out exactly where visitors to the community are coming from. Chamber Executive Director Mike Glover says they are commissioning a group already doing some surveying for the Columbia River Gorge Commission. He says they are taking a two-pronged approach, mailing out surveys to people who have already visited here or have expressed interest in coming here, and they will do “intercept surveys” in Hood River this summer and during Hops Fest and Harvest Fest. The survey results will become part of the data used by the Chamber and the Hood River Visitors Council in making decisions on how to market Hood River.
Oregon State Senator Chuck Thomsen says he is supportive of the latest statewide K-12 education budget number for the upcoming biennium of eight-point-two billion dollars, and he thinks they will get to the eight-point-four billion number that school officials have said is needed to maintain the status quo. The Hood River Republican said he had never voted for a school budget before at the committee level because he never felt it received enough funding. Thomsen serves on the education sub-committee that voted on the K-12 budget. It is now subject to hearings today through Wednesday at the Ways and Means Committee.
An estimated 250 people gathered in Mosier to call for an end to oil trains coming through the Gorge on the anniversary of last year’s oil train derailment and fire in that community. Speakers at the event at Mosier Community School called for Washington Governor Jay Inslee to reject the proposed Tesoro-Savage oil terminal in Vancouver, which opponents say would lead to five oil trains per day coming through the Gorge. Columbia Riverkeeper conservation director Dan Serres called the Mosier derailment the strongest real-life argument against that terminal. Washington’s Energy Facility Siting Evaluation Council will make a recommendation on the Tesoro Savage proposal, but Inslee will make the final decision about whether to deny the terminal. Following the rally, attendees marched to the Columbia River to the site of the oil train derailment.
The North Wasco County School District Education Foundation has sent out mailers to residents of The Dalles seeking donations for the various causes and organizations it supports. D-21 Superintendent Candy Armstrong says the foundation supports academic, artistic, athletic, and cultural enrichment of students. Armstrong adds the foundation just recently provided scholarships to some of this year’s graduates at The Dalles High School. Along with the North Wasco County Scholarship Foundation, the district education foundation helps support the district’s alumni association, The Dalles High School Booster Club, The Dalles Sister Cities Association, Friends of D-21 Music and the Arts, and The Dalles School Archive Museum. More information is available at the D-21 website.