Energize Klickitat offers free workshops and community discount for energy efficient heating

Klickitat County residents have a new opportunity to learn about and purchase discounted ductless heat pumps as part of a community-based energy efficiency campaign called Energize Klickitat. Ductless heat pumps use 25-50% less energy than traditional electric heating systems, heat spaces more evenly, and also provide air conditioning in the summer.

The Energize Klickitat project will help area homeowners and businesses cut energy waste and lower their bills, while supporting businesses to build the local economy. The project is a partnership between Northwest SEED, a regional non-profit, and the Greater Goldendale Area Chamber of Commerce, with funding from the USDA.

“With the crazy winter we’ve just had, a lot of people are looking at how they can reduce heating bills,” said Jill Eikenhorst, the project coordinator with Northwest SEED, “this campaign provides an affordable option with education and a community discount.”

Participants will get a simplified process and lower prices by bundling their installations with other customers. A team of local volunteers will choose an installation contractor through a competitive bidding process. The selected contractor will offer discounted, transparent pricing to program participants who attend an educational workshop. In addition to the Energize Klickitat discount, participants may also be eligible for Klickitat PUD rebates of $800-$1,000, or an even more generous income-qualified program.

Ductless heat pumps are highly efficient zonal heating and cooling systems that have at least one head unit indoors, usually placed high on the wall, a compressor located outside, and a refrigerant line connecting them. These systems are often easily installed within a day because there is no ductwork needed.

Businesses and homeowners interested in installing a ductless heat pump can attend one of three workshops March through May. Workshop attendees will learn about the technology, costs and incentives, maintenance and more. Workshops are set for the following dates and locations:

  • March 28, 6:30-7:30pm, Maryhill Museum of Art
  • April 29, 2-3pm, Goldendale Home Garden & Sportsman Show, Klickitat County Fairgrounds
  • May 24, 6-7pm, Mt. Adam’s Elk’s Lodge

Register online at bit.ly/EnergizeKlickitat or call (509) 596-1181. Workshops are free and open to the public, and residents and businesses in Klickitat County are eligible for the group discount.

Northwest SEED educates, equips, and empowers communities to develop their own energy solutions that provide real community benefits. As a non-profit organization, Northwest SEED works directly with communities to identify practical solutions that support a sustainable local economy founded on locally owned energy.

Read the actual decision: federal judge dismisses Union Pacific lawsuit

A federal district judge has ruled against Union Pacific Railroad and in favor of three Columbia River treaty tribes, in a decision handed down late Wednesday afternoon. This stems from the decision by Wasco County Commissioners to deny Union Pacific’s request to build four miles of new track at Mosier allowing trains to pass each other in opposite directions without slowing or stopping.

Wasco County Commisioners ruled that such a construction would have a negative impact on tribal fisheries, which are protected by their treaty rights with the US Government.

Union Pacific appealed that decision to the Columbia River Gorge Commission, which scheduled  the appeal at its June 13 meeting at the Readiness Center in The Dalles.

But in January, the railroad asked the federal district court in Portland to declare that they were exempt from Wasco County’s land use regulations. Tribal lawyers for te Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Indian Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation filed a motion to dismiss Union Pacific’s suit, noting that the law requires that every relevant party must be named in a suit in order for the suit to proceed, that the railroad had not named the tribes, and that the tribes could not be named because they are sovereign nations and can’t be sued unless the specifically allow it. That was the Catch-22 that caught Judge Ann Aiken’s attention and she dismissed the railroad’s lawsuit Wednesday.

You can read her decision below


Seattle meets Sherman County across the great divide

Sandy Macnab file photo from Nov 2014

There was an interesting meeting of the minds over the weekend. A group of people from Seattle where 74 percent of the people voted for Hillary Clinton, chartered a bus to visit Sherman County Saturday where 74 percent of the people voted for Donald Trump. It could have been nasty and contentious. Instead it was respectful and thoughtful. The two groups met at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Moro and shared sandwiches and communicatiions. Sandy Macnab, retired extension agent, acted as facilitator. At the end, minds were probably not changed, but eyes might have been opened and understanding was definitely increased.

Here is a LINK to an excellent piece on the meeting, written by Knute Berger for the Crosscut website.

Celilo Cancer Center at MCMC earns national quality designation

The Dalles, OR (March 1, 2017) –The Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has granted Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation to the cancer program at the Celilo Cancer Center at MCMC. To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet or exceed the CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process, and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care. Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation is only awarded to a facility that exceeds standard requirements at the time of its triennial survey.

Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, Celilo Cancer Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists. This multidisciplinary partnership results in improved patient care.

“Retaining this prestigious accreditation is a reflection of the high quality work our providers and staff, and our complete dedication to providing patient-centered care to the communities we serve,” said Dianne Storby, MCMC Interim CEO.

The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for Celilo Cancer Center to improve its quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care including prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease, and end-of-life care. When patients receive care at Celilo Cancer Center, they also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling, and patient centered services including psycho-social support, a patient navigation process, and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.
Like all CoC-accredited facilities, Celilo Cancer Center maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society. This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world. Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed through the NCDB and used to explore trends in cancer care. CoC-accredited cancer centers, in turn, have access to information derived from this type of data analysis, which is used to create national, regional, and state benchmark reports. These reports help CoC facilities with their quality improvement efforts.
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.6 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2016. There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. CoC-accredited facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients. When cancer patients choose to seek care locally at a CoC-accredited cancer center, they are gaining access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care close to home. The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program through the CoC Hospital Locator at https://www.facs.org/search/cancer-programs.

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care. Its membership includes Fellows of the American College of Surgeons. For more information, visit: www.facs.org/cancer

About MCMC
A not-for-profit regional medical center, MCMC is a regional medical center is dedicated to enhancing the community’s health and wellness. The staff of nearly 1,000 employees and more than 50 physicians, as well as over 100 volunteers, work as a team to provide care that is respectful of the physical,

Giant “spiders” planned for Ekone Park

The “spider,” as designed by Goldendale High School students and approved by the city council.

Senior Nadia Smith and teacher Mike Merfield.

Goldendale City residents will see giant spiders on Ekone Park this summer. Not real spiders, thank goodness. That’s the name members of a Goldendale High School class chose for one of he two designs they submitted to the Goldendale City Council for bike racks at Ekone Park at Monday night’s council meeting.

Goldendale instructor Mike Merfield said that he had his Introduction to Engineering class provide a number of designs, with two suggested forms, and planned to have the metal fabrication class in the agricultural department do the construction. He presented the designs in conjunction with senior Nadia Smith, who is the Washington State President of the Technology Students Association.

The design allows bicycles on each side of each “leg” thus providing places for eight bicycles.

Huskies win it all, reign as Oregon 1A basketball champions…again

The Sherman Huskies won the state 1A basketball championship for the second year in a row last weekend, with a 59 to 35 win over Perrydale on Friday and a 78 to 57 victory over the Powder Valley Badgers in the championship game Saturday. The Huskies finished the season with 28 and 4 record overall and went undefeated16 and 0 in league play.

Audio: complete Sen. Merkley town hall in The Dalles March 4

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley held a series of town hall meetings in the eastern Columbia Gorge Saturday from Hood River to Arlington. At the Wasco County town hall in The Dalles, Merkley was greeted by a large supportive crowd that frequently broke into applause as he spoke. The Senator answered a number of questions from the audience on topics such as immigration, balance of trade, Senate confrimation of appointments and global warming. One popular answer had to do with the cost of college.

“You have to make college more affordable,” he said. “That means more Pell grants; that means being able to borrow at the same low rates the banks get when they borrow from the federal government.”
He added that it should be possible for those holding loans at high rates of interest to refinance at 2 percent.
Probably his biggest applause cane when he called for a really thorough and aggressive investigation into possible campaign collusion
“Americans conspiring with a foreign government to undermine the integrity of the U.S. election; that’s treasonous conduct and we have to get to the bottom of it.”

To hear the complete town hall, click on the grey podcast bar below.