The Dalles Community Outreach Team made its semi-annual trip to Washington, D.C. to pitch issues of local interest to various government agencies. Eight local governmental groups help support the trip. Port of The Dalles Executive Director Andrea Klaas says a key topic was the need for a permanent plan to compensate counties who have large amounts of federal forest lands for the tax monies they don’t receive because of that designation. Klaas says local governments desperately need the help. The Secure Rural Schools Act that provided some funds to counties for schools and roads, but it has not been renewed for the upcoming fiscal year and had been substantially reduced in recent years, which means counties would revert to receiving a percentage of timber sales off federal land, a negligible amount in most cases due to harvest restrictions.
The window will soon be closed for businesses interested in applying for The Dalles-Wasco County Enterprise Zone. Enterprise Zones provide property tax abatements to promote economic development in economically depressed areas. Eligible businesses are those engaged in manufacturing or are a hotel/resort, call center, or e-commerce. Agreements range from a standard of three years, an extended term of four to five years, to a negotiated long-term of up to 15 years. Agreements for the long-term abatements must be signed by June 30 of this year to be eligible, while paperwork for the standard and extended abatements must be submitted by June 30, 2018.
Hood River Valley 4, Prairie 1
Hood River Valley 11, Heritage 1
The Dalles 7, Prairie 5
Heritage 16, The Dalles 7
Dufur sweeps Grant Union 12-7 and 11-1
Sherman sweeps Heppner 15-0 and 23-4
Westview 10, Hood River Valley 3
The Dalles 22, Canby 0
Track and Field
Hood River Valley’s boys were second to host Sandy and the HRV girls second to Barlow at the Sandy Invitational. The HRV boys received wins from the four by 400 meter relay team of Owen Ramsey, Hunter Klein, Michael Jones, and Gabriel Campos-Davis, while Lottie Bromham won the 1500 meters and Katie Kennedy the high jump for the Eagle girls.
Isaiah Coles of Sherman and Ezekiel Stelzer of Dufur each won two events at the Dick Horyna Invitational in Stanfield. Asa Farrell of Dufur and Luke Holste of Horizon Christian also were event winners in the boys’ portion of the meet. Paulina Finn, Savanna Hawk, and Kaitlin Wenz had first place finishes for the Horizon girls.
Hood River Valley 6, Ridgeview 3
Ridgeview 5, The Dalles 3
Hood River Valley 5, Ridgeview 3
Ridgeview 6, The Dalles 2
Canby 11, Hood River Valley 6
All basins in Oregon are experiencing near normal to well above normal snowpack conditions, with a statewide average of 126 percent as of April 1 according to the latest water supply outlook report released Thursday by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Oregon. The Hood, Sandy, and Lower Deschutes basins are at 123 percent of normal. Three months of cold winter storms built sizeable snowpacks across the state, which remain near normal to above normal despite recent melt losses. The last time the state had a well above normal snowpack on April 1 was in 2012, when the snowpack was 120 percent of normal. Last year, Oregon’s snowpack was 101 percent of normal on April 1. Current conditions are favorable for abundant spring and summer surface water supply.
A number of Gorge-area activist groups plan to hold what they term a “constituent town hall” on Saturday in Hood River. The groups who organized the event say Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden did not respond to calls for him to hold a Gorge town hall. Walden earlier this week scheduled town halls for this coming Wednesday in The Dalles and Hood River. Groups involved in Saturday’s event include Building Community Connections, Columbia Gorge Climate Action Network, Columbia Gorge Women’s Action Network, Gorge Ecumenical Ministries, Indivisible Columbia Gorge, Protect Oregon’s Progress, and South Wasco Indivisible. Organizers say only Second District residents will be allowed to speak. It will run from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in the Hood River Middle School Auditorium. The Walden town halls will be Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hood River Middle School Auditorium.
Oregon State Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli is pushing a bill he says would allow smaller counties that had no population growth to be able to develop their own comprehensive land use plan that is not subject to the 19 statewide goals that are a key feature of the state’s land use laws. Ferrioli says eight counties, including Sherman, Gilliam, and Wheeler counties, would be eligible to take advantage of Senate Bill 432. Ferrioli says he based the bill on one adopted in Washington in the 1990’s. Time may be running out for the bill, as the deadline for bills to be heard is coming next Friday.
The Port of Hood River will close the Spit access road to all vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic beginning at 12:00 a.m. Monday until road regrading work concludes, most likely on Thursday. The access road closure will begin at the intersection with Nichols Parkway, north of the west landing of the pedestrian bridge. Access to the Waterfront Trail will be unaffected, but all access to the Spit will be closed.
Hood River Valley 18, Central Catholic 4: Kathryn Koenig scored five goals and Emma Norris added four in the Eagles’ win. Both teams are now 1-1 in the Portland League of the Oregon Girls Lacrosse Association.
Track and Field
South Wasco’s girls were second and the boys fifth at a meet in Dayton. Anna Popchock won the girls’ long jump, the Redsides finished first in the four-by-400 meter girls’ relay, and Dawson Herlocker won the boys’ discus.
Washington State 14th District Representative Gina McCabe sponsored a resolution this week in honor and recognition of individuals with autism and their families to commemorate National Autism Awareness Month. House Resolution 4635 says through research, training, public services, support groups, advocacy, and increased awareness, there will be more understanding and support for the growing number of individuals with autism and their families. McCabe, a Goldendale Republican, is responsible for the Travis Alert Act bill making its way through the legislative process this session. The legislation would allow people to submit information pertaining to an individual’s disability to the Enhanced 911 program so dispatchers could deliver critical information to first responders during emergencies. The bill passed the House and the Senate Law and Justice Committee, and now awaits a floor vote in the Senate.
North Wasco County School District 21’s Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee wrapped up its work this week, sending a recommendation the D-21 board to begin with a new high school in its effort to replace and renovate aging structures. D-21 Superintendent Candy Armstrong noted while this group is finishing its work, Armstrong expects many of the members will go on to committees involved in planning groups for specific facilities as they move forward. The district board, the majority of which have been sitting in on the planning panel’s meetings, will discuss the recommendation at its meeting next Thursday (April 13) at 6 p.m. at The Dalles Middle School library.