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Local News

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Both HR County Tax Measures Defeated

Both of the tax measures Hood River County sought to deal with its budget woes went down to defeat in Tuesday night’s vote count.  Measure 14-65, a five-year local option property tax levy of 89 cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value for public health and safety, came closest to passage.  51.4% of voters said no to 14-65, 3,470, while 48.6% of voters said yes, 3,280.  The margin was much larger on 14-66, the five percent prepared food and beverage tax.  59.5% rejected the measure, with the count 4,035 against and 2,751 in favor.  County officials have said they need more revenue to maintain service levels they already feel are below where they should be.

Hood River County Election Results

Hood River County School District board chair Chrissy Reitz retained her seat on that panel.  Reitz received 780 votes to easily out-poll two challengers for position one.  Stephen Shwiff received 163 votes and Loran Ayles 159.  The lone contested Port of Hood River election was for position four, as Kristi Chapman had 2,528 votes to 1,773 for Michael Fox.  The top three vote getters receive seats on the Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District Board.  Mike McCarthy led the way with 2,218 votes, followed by Suzanne Cross with 2,186.  Glenna Mahurin won the third seat with 2,036, just ahead of Jeff Hunter with 2,000.  Art Carroll was next at 1,902 while Peter Cornelison received 1,526.  Robin Feuerbacher was the choice for position four on the Columbia Gorge Community College board with 1,760 to 1,432 for Tim Arbogast.  In the Port of Cascade Locks, John Stipan won position one 202 to 77 over Aushwol Westley, Brad Lorang took position two with 186 to 110 for Hallie Ballou, and Dean Bump gets position three with 178 to 123 for David Lipps.  The top two vote getters won spots on the Wy’east Rural Fire District board, as Chad Muenzer polled 428 and Larry Packer 371, followed by Jeremy Cervantes with 292, Dave Wood with 259, and Murray “Lyle” Henage 123.

Wasco County Election Results

In Wasco County, there were four seats on the North Wasco County School District 21 board during Tuesday night’s election.  Rebecca Thistlethwatie retained the zone one position with 124 votes to 110 for Erica Flores and 92 for Mary Morehouse.  In zone three David Jones received 140 votes to 86 for Maggie Rocha.  In a three-way contest for zone five Bethani Studebaker came out on top with 255 votes to 158 for Josh Farris and 40 for Sherry Perry.  And Jose Aparicio won by a substantial amount in zone six with 305 votes to 72 for Cassie Ware and 62 for Trudy Lupkes.  For Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue District board position one it was Diana Bailey receiving 1,581 votes to 672 for Mike Cronin.  Stephanie Richie won the nod for Columbia Gorge Educational Service District board zone 1 with 623 votes to 304 for Marcella Elias.  Tammara Ferguson was elected to the South Wasco County School District board in zone four with 297 votes to 229 for Sharon DeHart.  Terry Stark was elected to position two on the Tygh Valley Rural Fire Protection District board with 53 votes to 25 for Brandon Ferguson.  And voters in the White River Health District approved a five-year local option levy for operations by a narrow two votes with 332 saying yes and 330 saying no.

Cherry Fruit Fly Emerging

Wasco County Oregon State University Extension says according to its models, the first emergence of the Western cherry fruit fly will occur on Saturday.  The model is based on work conducted in Dr. Helmut Riedel’s lab.  According to Ashley Thompson at OSU Extension, cherry fruit flies lay eggs about 6 to 7 days after emergence early in the season, but that interval drops to 5 to 6 days during 80+ degree temperatures.  The first fruit fly covers need to be on in early locations within 6 to 7 days of emergence due to the warm temperatures predicted over the next few days.  Thompson says successful fruit fly control in the past has involved applying cover spray within seven days of emergence, keeping intervals between sprays at seven days, and re-applying as soon as possible after a significant rain.  Both cover sprays and baits need to be applied on a 7-day interval.

May 21 Prep Sports Roundup

Washington Class 1A Boys Golf Tournament

Goldendale’s Luke Gerchak shot an 87 in round one on Tuesday at the Olympia Country and Golf Club.  That left him in a tie for 28th place heading into today’s final round.  The leader is Elias Malakoff of Seattle Academy with a 69.

Today’s Schedule

Oregon Class 5A Baseball Playoffs

First Round

Hood River Valley at West Albany, 5 p.m.

Oregon Class 5A Softball Playoffs

First Round

St.  Helens at Hood River Valley, 4:30 p.m.

Wasco County Election Results as of 8:30 p.m.

Link to official site:

North Wasco County School District 21 Zone 1

Rebecca Thistlethwaite 112

Erica Flores                         99

Mary Morehouse            77

North Wasco County School District 21 Zone 3

David Jones                        125

Maggie Rocha                    80

North Wasco County School District 21 Zone 5

Bethani Studebaker        209

Josh Farris                           124

Sherry Perry                       30

North Wasco County School District 21 Zone 6

Jose Aparicio                      240

Cassie Ware                       63

Trudy Lupkes                     54

Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue Pos. 1

Diana Bailey                        1,351

Mike Cronin                       592

South Wasco County School District Zone 4

Tammarra Ferguson       253

Sharon Dehart                   201

Tygh Valley Rural Fire Protection District Pos. 2

Terry Stark                          47

Brandon Ferguson           21

White River Health District Five-Year Local Option

Yes                                         282

No                                          302

Hood River County Election Results (as of 8:15 p.m.)

Link to official site:

Hood River County 14-65 Five-Year Local Option

Yes                         2,307     48.7

No                          2,433     51.3

Hood River County 14-66 Prepared Food and Beverage

Yes                         1,973     41.5

No                          2,783     58.5

Hood River County School District Board Position 1

Chrissy Reitz       567

Stephen Shwiff 126

Loran Ayles         110

Port of Hood River Pos. 4

Kristi Sheppard 1,746

Michael Fox        1,305

Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District Board (vote for 3)

Mike McCarthy 1,646

Suzanne Cross   1,550

Glenna Mahurin 1,479

Jeff Hunter         1,459

Art Carroll            1,376

Peter Cornelison 1,072

Columbia Gorge Community College Board Pos. 4

Robin Feuerbacher  1,241

Tim Arbogast            1,050

Port of Cascade Locks Pos. 1

John Stipan                         127

Aushwol Westley             37

Port of Cascade Locks Pos. 2

Brad Lorang                        114

Hallie Ballou                        59

Port of Cascade Locks Pos. 3

Dean Bump                        111

David Lipps                         69

Wy’east Rural Fire District (vote for 2)

Chad Muenzer      241

Larry Packer            199

Jeremy Cervantes   171

Dave Wood             150

Murray “Lyle” Henage  71

HR County Commission Approves STR Ordinance

Hood River County Commissioners concluded a nearly two-year effort to approve modifications to the ordinance regulating short-term rentals.  By a 4-1 vote, the Commission approved the second reading of an ordinance that includes modifying residency requirements to meet state law, eliminating the cap on the number of STR’s allowed in the County and instead establishing proof of residency requirements, limiting operation to 180 days unless in a commercial zone, and other limitations.  County Administrator Jeff Hecksel says they will now give the ordinance a chance to work.  The Commission approved the ordinance modification on a 4-1 vote, with Bob Benton dissenting.

HR School District Staff Answering Boundary Transportation Questions

Hood River County School District Superintendent Dan Goldman says district staff has answered questions it received from the school board on some transportation issues surrounding recommendations to change elementary and middle school boundaries.  Goldman indicated that a presentation to be made to the board at its Wednesday night meeting includes solutions to activity bus issues, which can be done at a minimal cost.  Another big question surrounded bus travel times in the County Club/York Hill Road area off of Barrett.  Current bus times are 35 minutes to Hood River Middle School, and Goldman says modeling shows times to Wy’east were similar.  Goldman did say he will not recommend waiting until 2020-21 to put middle school boundary changes into effect, which the committee that put together the plan had suggested.  Wednesday night’s meeting will be at 6:30 in Hood River Valley High School.

White Salmon Working On New Land Use Plan

The City of White Salmon is working on a new comprehensive land use plan.  Mayor David Poucher says they have contracted with a firm to help develop it.  Poucher says they decided to do a new plan rather than make revisions to the current one, and bringing it more in line with what is happening today.  He adds White Salmon is changing, but there is a lot of demand to keep the small town nature of the community.  Poucher expects the new plan to be done in about a year.

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