Weekend events Friday through Sunday June 24-26

FRIDAY

The Dalles Swim Team will be hosting The 65th annual Ted Walker Invitational Swim Meet at the beautiful, new Northern Wasco County Aquatic Center. Starts today and runs through Sunday. Event is free for spectators.

The Springs at Mill Creek second annual art fair today from 10 am to 3 pm. Local artists, light refreshments and live music.

Gorge Gravity Games – Showdown at the Loops continues Friday and Saturday as some of the best skateboarders and street luge riders in the world tackle the sharp curves and steep inclines of the Maryhill Loops.

Mom Prom – tonight at 7:30 – 11:00 at The Dalles Civic Audiorium. Mom Prom: A benefit for Grayson, who was born with a severe form of spina bifida. At nearly two-years old, he has undergone four neurosurgeries and countless hours of physical therapy. A 21 and over event. Tickets $25 per person

SATURDAY

The 14th Annual Mt. Adams Country Bicycle Tour features well marked routes, rest stops, safe sag support, and wonderful weather. Choose from the 11.5 mile Family Fun Ride (Trout Lake Valley) for $10, or the 51 Mile Loop through Trout Lake, BZ Corner, Gleenwood, and back, the 54 Mile Forest Loop (up and down the flanks of Mt. Adams) and the combined 105 Mile Infinity Ride for $75. Registration and rides start 7 am at Trout Lake School.

City of Rufus 2-Day City-Wide Multiple Site Sales Event, 9 am to 3 pm both Saturday and Sunday. It’s a multiple location garage sales event throughout the city including the City Hall Complex indoor and outdoors. Thousands of Items for Sale including: Cars, Trucks, Boats. Antiques & Collectibles, Motel Surplus, Electronics and City-Owned Surplus by sealed bid. Maps of all registered locations will be available at all businesses in Rufus starting Friday, June 24th.

Seventh annual Splash for Pink Maupin community event is a fundraiser for breast cancer research. Whitewater raft trips on the Deschutes leave at 10 am and 1 pm. Cost $79 including barbecue lunch. Lunch available for non-rafters for $10. Also live music all day, a kids’ fun area, raffle, silent auction, volleyball tournament, FREE beer , wine and liquor tasting…and much more.

Sixth annual skateboard competition starts 11 am at The Dalles skatepark. Sponsored by Northern Wasco Parks and Recreation District. There are $5,000 in prizes.

Wasco Amateur Radio Services “WARS” will be demonstrating Amateur Radio at Riverfront Park from 11:00AM Saturday, June 25th through 11:00AM Sunday, June 26th. This event spans the full 24 hours, so feel free to drop in any time. WARS volunteers maintain a robust communications system in Wasco County, providing critical backup communications capabilities in the event of a disaster.

Redneck golf benefit for Youth Empowerment Shelter – Light-hearted golf, games and grub. Starts at noon at Martin Meadows 6580 Martin Road off Sevenmile High Road.

Missoula Children’s Theatre staff along with The Dalles Theatre Company present The Princess and the Pea, an original adaptation of the classic fairy tale! Enjoy this full scale musical with 50-60 local children as cast members. Performances 2 pm and 7 pm at The Dalles High School auditorium.

Take an easy two-mile hike to learn about the Missoula floods that helped shape the land during the last ice age. Meet at Rowena Crest on the old Columbia River Highway 2 p.m. Free event offered by Oregon State Parks, Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Programs.

SUNDAY

Swim meet continues.

Rufus citywide yard sale continues.

Praise in the Park 7 to 9 pm at Sorosis Park. Enjoy a picnic dinner and enjoy guest speaker Lynn Kent. Bring your own chairs and blanket. Free event sponsored by the Evangelical Pastors Group.

Read it here: Federal Railroad Administration releases report on Mosier derailment

Thursday the FRA issued its report on the Mosier derailment. The report concluded that “Unless or until additional details come to light, FRA has made the preliminary determination that Union Pacific’s failure to maintain its track and track equipment resulted in the derailment.”

Response from monitoring organizations was immediate. Columbia Riverkeeper issued a statement noting the FRA report identifies the cause of the derailment as a number of lag bolt fractures in that section of track but does not identify the underlying cause of the bolt failures and does not identify a means of detecting the lag bolt defect.

The Friends of the Columbia Gorge called again for a halt to oil train shipments in the gorge. Executive Director Kevin Gorman put it this way.

This is a stinging indictment from a government agency that doesn’t typically call out the railroad companies. Union Pacific’s assurances of safety have just been derailed.”

Union Pacific also announced that it is postponing a public hearing on its proposed rail expansion around Mosier from July 5 to Sept. 6. The proposed four miles of new double track would allow more oil trains to move at higher speeds through the Columbia River Gorge and the town of Mosier.

Read the report below:


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Oil train roundup of news bits

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Union Pacific plans to resume transporting oil by train through the Oregon side of the scenic Columbia River Gorge at some point this week. It will mark the first time trains carrying barrels of crude oil will move through the area since June 3, when a train derailed near Mosier. TheThe company’s latest plans, announced Wednesday, stand at odds with several government and private-sector leaders in Oregon and Washington state, who say oil-by-train is too dangerous. That includes Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, who called on the United States Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to halt crude oil traffic on this rail segment until the causes of the accident have been fully analyzed and necessary steps to prevent a similar derailment have been taken.

Union Pacific also announced that it is postponing a public hearing on its proposed rail expansion around the town of Mosier from July 5 to Sept. 6. The proposed four miles of new double track would allow more oil trains to move at higher speeds through the Columbia River Gorge and the town of Mosier.

Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler has placed an item in the Homeland Security funding bill that would advises the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to categorize hazmat operations, training, and equipment related to crude-by-rail incident response as “high priority” within its Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. Currently, the AFG program does not consider equipment and training specifically for train derailment incidents as being high priority grant applications. These grants are intended to provide resources for local fire departments. With this bill, these resources will be more readily available to our first responders.

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The state agency in charge of protecting millions of state land from wildfires is opposing a proposal to build an oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver, citing risks of wildfires from increased train traffic and other issues. The Department of Natural Resources urged the state energy panel to reject the project application. DNR says that based on the evidence, the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council cannot meet its obligations to assure that there are enough safeguards to protect the public. DNR made the comments in a brief filed ahead of hearings on the project, which begin Monday. The panel will hear testimony from numerous witnesses before making a recommendation to the governor. Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos., operating as Vancouver Energy, want to build a rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal along the Columbia River that can handle an average 360,000 barrels of crude per day.

Oregon Dept. of Veterans Affairs survey for women vets on health care

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The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs invites all women with prior military service to take a brief, confidential survey sharing their experiences accessing health care and mental health services in the state.

The survey, commissioned by the Legislature in 2015 and conducted by The Rede Group, is designed to gauge the extent to which women veterans use health and mental health services, the barriers women veterans face in accessing these services and how the state can better serve women veterans regarding health care.

The ODVA will use the results to make recommendations for improving services and programs available to women veterans in Oregon, which are due to the Legislature in November.

Elizabeth Estabrooks, ODVA’s Women Veterans Coordinator, said the department is seeking the input of women veterans who are currently using the VA Health Care System, those who are eligible for VA health care but have opted not to use it and those who once used VA health care but have since left the system. She said ODVA wants to hear from those who have had positive or negative experiences.

“If a woman is really happy with the care she has received, we want to know about that, too,” Estabrooks said. “We want to be able to look at that clinic and say, ‘OK, what are they doing differently here that could be implemented at some of these other facilities?'”

Estabrooks said she hopes the survey is taken by as many of the state’s 28,000 women veterans as possible, so the ODVA has a clear picture of what needs are the greatest and where they are concentrated.

“It’s really important that we understand how to help women veterans where they live,” she said.

Those who complete the survey before July 22 can enter a drawing to win a $100 Visa gift card. However, the survey will remain active even after this deadline passes.

To take the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/HM3PHGG.

Meet the pumi – latest dog breed to be recognized by American Kennel Club

06 22 16 Pumi_cutout2NEW YORK (AP) — A high-energy Hungarian herding dog is the latest new breed headed to the Westminster Kennel Club and many other U.S. dog shows. The American Kennel Club announced today that as of July 1, it is recognizing the pumi (POOM’-ee).

It’s the 190th breed to join the roster of the nation’s oldest purebred dog registry. That means the pumi can vie for best of breed at Westminster for the first time next February.

The pumi has a coat of corkscrew curls, ears that flop at the tips and a whimsical expression. But fanciers say it also has a strong work ethic. The medium-sized dogs go back centuries in Hungary, where they herded cattle, sheep, and swine.

AKC recognition requires having at least 300 dogs of the breed nationwide, among other criteria.

Operation Dry Water focuses on boating while impaired

06 22 16 operation dry waterThe Marine Board and law enforcement from 32 counties and the Oregon State Police will be participating in Operation Dry Water, during the weekend of June 24-26, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence of intoxicants (BUII).

Already this year, serious impairment-related boating accidents and fatalities have occurred on Oregon waterways. Many are still under investigation. This year and last, there were instances where marijuana contributed to accidents and fatalities. “Because there is clear evidence from Washington State that recreational marijuana increases fatal car crashes, we can only assume that some people will take their impairment to the water,” says Randy Henry, Boating Safety Manager for the Marine Board. “To help marine officers prepare, we are training them to recognize drug impairment along with alcohol impairment and arrest those operators –including those with paddles,” Henry adds.

Boating under the influence of intoxicants means prescription drugs, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, or any other substance that impairs a person’s ability to make sound judgments and have the ability to safely operate a boat. The effects of drugs and alcohol are also amplified on the water with the combination of sun, glare, wind, waves and other motion.

Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face serious penalties. In Oregon, the consequences of being convicted of BUII include the possibility of jail time, $6,250 in fines and loss of boating privileges. Marine officers can arrest boaters on the observed impairment, which can occur under the .08% blood alcohol concentration and can legally obtain blood, breath or urine if a boater fails field sobriety testing. The Marine Board urges boaters to boat safe, and boat sober –by refraining from using any type of intoxicant.

“Overall, recreational boating is very safe if boaters wear their life jackets, boat sober, and keep a sharp lookout by watching where they are going and what’s going on around them. Accidents and fatalities would be extremely rare. So far this year, the pattern for bad accidents includes impairment, distracted operation and no life jacket,” Henry warns. Henry goes on to say, “The public is our ally in safe boating. If you see an impaired operator or someone who is operating in a way that threatens others’ safety, call 911 and report it. The vast majority of marine officer contacts are educational in nature, but if someone is impaired by alcohol, marijuana or any other drug, they will be arrested and will face the consequences. That’s how we can all save lives.”

For more information about Operation Dry Water, visitwww.operationdrywater.org or the Marine Board’s Boating Safety Program at www.boatoregon.com.

Update: fire near The Dalles was larger than original report

06 22 16 Chenoweth_Fire_2_June_20_2016

The following is  news release from the Oregon Department of Forestry:

A wildfire ignited Monday afternoon burning approximately 100 acres, five miles west of The Dalles in the Central Oregon District.

It was originally reported by crews that the fire was roughly 45 acres; however, remapping has shown the wildfire is larger. This is not due to fire growth, but better measurement.

The Chenoweth Fire began around 5:20 p.m. on state-protected land and burned through the night before crews could extinguish all visible flames.

Alongside the crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry, a private contractor, Steelhead Enterprises, pitched in fighting this fire.

Firefighters will continue to strengthen the trails creating a containment buffer. The fire is contained. Fire crews will work on hot spots the rest of the day.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.