The Dalles Sister Cities will host an auction and raffle benefit on Saturday at Sunshine Mill. “Jubilee for Japan” is a fundraiser for the 2019 student delegation headed to The Dalles’ sister city, Miyoshi City. “Jubilee for Japan” will be Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Sunshine Mill.
Hood River County Environmental Health says it’s trying to keep up with applications and inspections, but it’s difficult. The department’s Ian Stromquist says between new construction and regular inspections, they have a full workload. Stromquist reminds people who are involved in construction and the food industry to plan ahead to allow plenty of time for the department to get to them, adding they want to serve. He adds the best time to first contact his department is in the design stages of construction.
The Hood River City Council had decided to use procedures adopted in 2011 to fill Council vacancies to select a new Mayor when Paul Blackburn steps down from that post in September. The City Charter refers to steps to fill a Council vacancy, but not the mayoral position. Under the 2011 procedures, a notice of vacancy will be published inviting applications from interested qualified candidates. The City Council will conduct interviews with the applicants, and then vote to pick one to fill the remainder of Blackburn’s term, through the end of 2020. Councilors plan to start the application process in advance of Blackburn’s formal resignation, but before September. Blackburn announced recently he would resign in September because his family will be moving out of the area. In other business, the Hood River Council voted to approve the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The Wasco County Commission will hold its budget hearing on Wednesday. Commission Chair Steve Kramer says they are able to continue services at their current level. Kramer feels the most significant element of the budget is advancing their contribution to the Public Employees Retirement System in an effort to get out ahead of expected increases. He says $3.8 million is the amount budgeted for the County’s PERS contribution for 2019-20 in an effort to get ahead of the system’s unfunded liability. Kramer says the move should save them about $275,000 in the fiscal year 2020-21 budget. Wednesday’s meeting with hearings on the County budget along with the Extension and Library service district budgets begins at 1 p.m. in the Wasco County Courthouse.
The Dalles City Council approved a municipal budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, but not before a great deal of discussion on the level of funding for two programs. Councilors heard testimony advocating the level of funding for the Main Street program be increased from the $35,000 in the budget to $60,000, and YouthThink from $15,000 to $35,000. Councilor Darcy Long-Curtiss felt the City should make the increases because of the value the programs provide to the community, noting in the case of YouthThink that it should use proceeds from marijuana taxes to help with its drug use prevention education among young people. Fellow Councilor Rod Runyon noted while he supported both programs, they had the ability to be flexible and make changes down the road. Other councilors were reticent to reduce the City’s contingency funds. Councilors voted 4-1 to approve the budget, with Long-Curtiss voting no.
Makenzie Chambers selection as co-player of the year highlighted a contingent of four Hood River Valley Eagles being selected to the Oregon Class 5A all-state softball squad. Chambers, who hit .569 with nine home runs and 68 runs batted in, shared player of the year honors with Kiara McCrea of Hillsboro, and was selected as first team catcher. Also receiving first team honors were outfielder Haylee Baker and designated hitter Aunika Yasui, while pitcher Lauren Decker was named to the second team. The Dalles’ Kilee Hoylman was named to the third team infield.
Four Hood River wrestlers won titles at the state Beach Wrestling Championships over the weekend in Hood River. Chad Muenzer won at high school middleweight, Clayton Morris-Reade at high school light heavyweight, Cody Durham in high school heavyweight, and Nigel Bond in open heavyweight. Dusty Dodge of The Dalles was first in high school heavy middleweight.
When the Hood River County Commission meets next Monday for its 2019-20 budget hearing, they will hold their regular worksession beforehand, and one of the subjects will be direction for another try at a tax measure if they want to do so. Commission Chair Mike Oates says the direction needs to be determined on a number of different levels, including whether they want to go out and what for, when to do it, and getting someone to help them do it. If the County wants to put a tax measure on the November ballot, they must file in August, leaving only two months to go through all the steps that are necessary to make it happen. A start time for next Monday’s worksession in the County Administration Building has not yet been determined, but County Administrator Jeff Hecksel said it will be no earlier than 4 p.m.
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley will hold town halls in Wasco and Hood River counties on Saturday. The first town hall will be at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center at noon on Saturday. The second will be at the Wy’east Middle School Performing Arts Center in Odell, and begins at 3:30 p.m.
Those picked for the second year of the GorgeWorks summer internship program are beginning their nine-week jobs. Port of The Dalles Executive Director Andrea Klaas says ten applicants were hired by area businesses this summer. A cross-section of businesses are taking part in the program. This is the final year the Port of The Dalles will be running the GorgeWorks program. Klaas says it will move to The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce, with a grant from the Eastern Oregon Workforce Investment Board allowing the hiring of a program coordinator.
Work to place new HVAC equipment on the roof of the Commodore II Apartments in The Dalles will force the closure of one lane of road in the downtown area on Tuesday. The north traffic lane of West 3rd Street between Court and Washington will be closed, while the parking spots on both sides of the street will be used. The south lane of West 3rd through that area will remain open during the work. A crane is scheduled to arrive at 9 a.m. Tuesday, and work should be done and the north lane re-opened by 3 p.m.