Rep McCabe recaps legislative sessions in meetings around district

Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale, will be visiting cities throughout the 14th Legislative District Aug. 22-23 to provide a recap of the 2017 legislative session — the longest legislative session in state history. Details are as follows:

Aug. 22

5-6:30 p.m.
Yakima Valley Museum
2105 Tieton Dr.
Yakima, WA 98902

Aug. 23

9-10 a.m.
East County Fire and Rescue Station 93
121 NE 312th Ave.
Washougal, WA 98671

12-1 p.m.
Skamania County PUD (Meeting Room)
1492 Wind River Hwy.
Carson, WA 98610

3-4 p.m.
White Salmon Valley Community Library
77 NE Wauna Ave.
White Salmon, WA 98672

6-7 p.m.
Quality Inn and Suites
808 E Simcoe Dr.
Goldendale, WA 98620

During the tour, McCabe will share information about some of the successes during the session, as well as what work still needs to be accomplished. Afterward, those in attendance will have an opportunity to ask questions.

For more information, contact McCabe’s office at (360) 786-7856 or send an email to gina.mccabe@leg.wa.gov.

Goldendale City Council approves sale to Auscrete

In a meeting that lasted less than fifteen minutes, the Goldendale City Council approved selling two lots in the city’s industrial park to Auscrete Corporation.  In unanimous vote without discussion or public comment the council approved the resolution declaring the property surplus and approved the real estate sales agreement for one hundred thousand dollars.

The approval sets in motion plans by Auscrete to construct two buildings starting as early as late next month, leading to the hiring of fifty two employees to manufacture concrete building panels for construction of affordable housing.  Six additional buildings are  planned with the purchase of two more lots from the city for one hundred twenty five thousand dollars.

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The Dalles-Wasco County Library Solar Eclipse Glasses Recall

The Dalles-Wasco County Library has been handing out sunglasses to view the solar eclipse.  It has been brought to our attention that some of these glasses may not be ISO certified for this purpose.  If you received sun glasses from the Library that do not have the ISO mark on the frames, you are encouraged to return to the Library and exchange them for ISO certified glasses.  Do not use glasses that do not have the ISO mark to view the eclipse.

For More Information Call The Dalles-Wasco County Library at (541) 296-2815

Goldendale city council announces special meeting Wednesday, August 9

Though Goldendale City Council members covered a number of subjects quickly at their meeting Monday night, the big news was something that didn’t happen.

Originally Mayor Mike Canon said the city had planned to sign a deal with Auscrete company to sell land in the city’s industrial park where the company plans to construct a plant fabricating concrete building panels. But, he said, lawyers for both the city and the company had not ironed out all the details. Citing a willingness to get the deal right rather than right now, Canon called for a special council meeting for Wednesday night at 7 pm at city hall to deal with that sole issue. He said documents involved in the deal would be posted on the city’s website sometime Tuesday.

In actions that did take place Monday night, two money measures were approved. In the first, Klickitat County plans to add an asphalt overlay to Bickleton Highway from the Goldendale City Limits to Fenton Lane later this year. Federal Surface Transportation Program funds are bankrolling the county project, and as City Administrator Larry Bellamy reminded councilors, any time federal funds are used on county road projects, a certain amount is passed through to the cities. In this case, it would amount to $100,000. Councilors voted to spend up to $80,000 to continue to overlay project on the portion of the Bickleton Highway that was inside the city limits – from the overpass to Broadway.

Councilors also approved a $15,000 expenditure to replace 900 feet of mainline connecting Emerson Springs to the Rockwell Springs line following the state Department of Health’s approval of the rennovation at Emerson Springs.

Also approved were a pair of housekeeping ordinances that smoothy executed a repeal-and-replace strategy that’s eluded Congress on the national level. Chapter 17.46 having to do with site plan revisions and Chapter 17.28 dealing with recreational vehicle park revisions updated language to bring them in line with changes in state regulations and to make them more consistent with other aspects of the ordinances.

In addition, councilors approve the city’s 6-year street upgrade plan. That brought comment from Wayne Kent who lives on West Byers Avenue and noted increasing traffic speeds. He said that would only increase when the street is scheduled for repaving in 2019 and wondered about speed bumps to slow traffic. City administrator Larry Belamy then brought up a consideration most of us hadn’t thought of.

The biggest issue is snowplowing,” he said, “because you can’t see the speed bumps when you’re trying to plow the snow.” He noted cities that use speed bumps tended not to get a lot of snow.

Councilor Guy Thireault suggested a drainage ditch crossing the street at a 45 degree angle, which would not catch a snow blade, saying they were an effective traffic-slowing mechanism in Alaska, where he had lived for six years. That suggestion drew a few thoughtful looks from other council members, but no action was taken.

City Administratior Larry Bellamy announced a pair of committee meetings for next Monday, August 14. The ordinance committee will meet at 4 pm and the contract review committee will meet at 7 pm, both at city hall. One possible item on the agenda for the ordinance committee would be looking at a restriction of the days when fireworks would be allowed in the city. State ordinances allow them from June 28 to July 5, though cities can be more restrictive. Councilor Andy Halm said a number of people had suggested to him that they be allowed only on July 3 and 4.

MCEDD wins national award for Gorge Night Sky Project

Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD) is pleased to be the recipient of a 2017 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations for the Gorge Night Sky project. The Innovation Awards program honors creative approaches to advancing regional community and economic development and improved quality of life.

The Gorge Night Sky Project was a collaborative effort between MCEDD, Friends of the Goldendale Observatory, and the Goldendale Chamber of Commerce. Additional partners included North Wasco County School District, Klickitat PUD, Northern Wasco County PUD, private businesses and many more. MCEDD extends their sincere appreciation to Jonathan Lewis, Hire Electric, for his countless volunteer hours. On learning about the award, Jonathan stated that: “Working on a project that spanned state lines and brought together kids and astronomers; Google and lighting experts; utilities, biologists, wineries, state parks, city councils and highway departments was tremendously rewarding.” Additional in-kind support came from City of Mosier, Dark Skies Northwest Chapter,  Gorge Owned!, Two Mountain Marketing, Gorge Technology Alliance, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, International Dark-Sky Association, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center,  and Klindt’s Booksellers.

The Gorge Night Sky project highlighted an opportunity, with the emergence of LED technology, to both preserve our rural dark sky and increase energy efficiency by delivering a multi-faceted educational program to end users, lighting vendors/retailers, installers, and K-12 students in the region. “The amount of light in the night sky will continue to increase without changes in practice. Supporting projects such as the Gorge Night Sky helps improve community understanding of issues and defines a variety of solutions that are feasible and that will decrease our impact in the future,” said Jacque Schei, MCEDD Project Manager. The project promoted preservation of the Columbia River Gorge’s rural dark sky by supporting education about International Dark-Sky standards and recommendations for energy efficient LED lighting.  Accomplishments included development of an educational unit for local schools and organization of a two-day educational symposium to allow interested parties to discuss issues and possible solutions on local and regional scales.

You can learn more about the project on the Special Project sections of the MCEDD website (www.mcedd.org). MCEDD is a public-private economic development organization serving Klickitat, Skamania, Hood River, Sherman and Wasco counties. MCEDD provides business assistance, industry development and regional economic development planning for the bi-state region.

Frightening map shows fires in Oregon over past 10 years in path of this year’s eclipse

Oregon Department of Forestry Central Oregon District:A new look at the #OReclipse using years of data –> this map shows the 10 year wildfire history across #Oregon. Notice the #PathofTotality? Look closely:
Black flames = Lightning fires
Yellow flames = Human caused fires
Pink Triangles = Planned #OReclipse events
Brown areas = Large fires

Click on headline to see map.

Boating safety tips for the eclipse

Are you planning to be on the water for the eclipse? The Oregon State Marine Board, marine law enforcement and boating facility providers offer boating safety tips so everyone can have an unforgettable time on the water.

* Arrive early. Expect gridlock on highways and access points before, during and after the event. Once out on the water, plan to stay a while. If a boating facility is at capacity, have a backup plan for where to go. Single cars that park in boat trailer parking may be ticketed or towed. Parking on road shoulders or in the grass is discouraged due to potential fire hazards and could impede emergency responders.
* Have plenty of food, water, and anchor line. It’s also highly recommended to have a port-a-potty and to take advantage of floating restrooms. Leave no trace; dispose of garbage properly.
* Prep your boat ahead of time. Avoid prepping the boat at the ramp to keep the ramp clear for efficient launching and retrieving for others. Paddlers are urged to use the bank to launch and retrieve.
* Anchor or beach the boat during the different phases and totality. With congested waterways comes the increased risk of collisions. It’s best to find a good spot and stay put. If you need to be underway, go slow and be aware of what’s directly in front and to the sides of you. Expect people in float toys and wading in the water near the shoreline.
* Have special viewing glasses for the eclipse and avoid looking in the sky for long periods of time. Alternate between the viewing glasses and regular sun glasses to protect your eyes from not only the sun, but the glare off the water.
* Observe all regulations, including slow-no wake rules at boat ramps, marinas or moorages, floating home moorages and people working at water level. As an added courtesy, operate at slow-no wake speeds within 100 feet of other boaters.

All boating and night time navigation rules apply. Running lights are required during the eclipse and anchor lights are required for power-driven boats and sailboats at anchor. Nonmotorized boats can use a flashlight or lighted lantern. It’s important to be seen during the two minutes of darkness.

Law enforcement will be on the water, paying close attention to boats operating unsafely during the eclipse. The fine for unsafe boating is $465, so be patient, courteous, and stay on the water a while to fully enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event.

To find a boating facility in the path of totality and other eclipse resources, visithttp://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/Pages/Eclipse.aspx. Facility closures are displayed with an orange boat icon on the map layer.