Map: Where medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed in TheDalles

03 23 15 City of The Dalles proposed marijuana dispensary locations

The Dalles City Council meets tonight at 5:30 in City Hall. Among the items on the agenda are a presentation from The Dallles Area Chamber of Commerce for the proposed marketing plan and budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year and a new ordinance establishing regulations for the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. The city is currently under a one-year moratorium which expires May 1. The new regulations would treat the dispensaries in the same manner as medical and dental offices, clinics and laboratories. The dispensaries would be allowed as an outright permitted use, and be restricted to three commercial zones; the Central Business Commercial District, the General Commercial District, and the Commercial Light Industrial District. The new regulations further require the medical marijuana dispensaries to comply with the same area restrictions which are imposed upon adult businesses in the City’s Land Use and Development Ordinance, which are intended to prevent such businesses from being located adjacent to residential zoning districts, public or private schools attended primarily by minors, public libraries, and public parks or recreational facilities, will protect the safety aod welfare of the community. No mention is made of recreational marijuana facilities, which are still undergoing statewide development. The use of marijuana for recreational purposes becomes legal in Oregon in less than 90 days on July 1.


 Senate committee hears McCabe’s ‘One Business, One Vet’ bill

McCabe and Commanding General Roger Flygare

McCabe and Commanding General Roger Flygare

Rep. Gina McCabe’s legislation to increase veteran employment in Washington state continues to move through the Legislature.

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee held a public hearing on House Bill 2040 today.

“My goal is to keep this bill moving through the legislative process until the governor signs it into law,” said McCabe, R-Goldendale. “It was very apparent when I was meeting with veterans in my office at the beginning of the session, all many really want to do when they return home is work. I want to help them achieve that, and improve upon the high unemployment rate for veterans.”

McCabe’s bill would direct the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), Employment Security, and Department of Commerce to consult with local chambers of commerce, associate development organizations and businesses to initiate a campaign resulting in an increase in veteran employment in Washington.

Commanding General Roger Flygare, of the Association of Washington Generals, attended the public hearing to express his support for the bill.

The Washington Retail Association (WRA) also is in favor of the legislation.

“We represent a number of businesses who already know that veterans are highly-skilled, motivated and hard-working. Encouraging businesses to fill positions with veterans benefits not only the business, but it benefits the entire state,” said WRA President and CEO Jan Teague.

“This legislation is about paying it forward. We are not mandating or requiring anything out of business, just giving our veterans an opportunity to work,” said McCabe.

The campaign may include partnerships with chambers of commerce that result in business owners sharing information on the number of veterans employed with the chambers who then provide this information to DVA.

Participants in the campaign are encouraged to work with the Washington State Military Transition Council and with county veterans’ advisory boards.

Existing resources are used to fund the campaign.

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee has until April 1 to pass the bill out of committee and send it to the full Senate for a vote.

The 105-day legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on April 26.

Exploding target mixture blamed for death of man near Highway 26

The following is a press release from the US Forest Service

Suspected Exploding Target Mixture Causes Death of Man Along Highway 26

The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office has completed the physical examination of remains of the man who died on March 19, 2015, before 6:30 a.m., on Highway 26 near Rhododendron.  Authorities have determined that the blast that killed the deceased was caused by the explosion of a suspected exploding target mixture not regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms.  Parts of a firearm were found at the scene.  The blast appears to have been an isolated incident and there are no indications of links to terrorism.  The blast occurred about 25 feet from the edge of the road just inside the woods and left a hole about 11 feet wide.

According to Oregon State Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Gunson, a preliminary examination of the person’s remains indicated he died of ‘Blast Injuries with Body Fragmentation’. While the investigation is still ongoing the death is not believed to be a homicide at this point.

Positive identification of the individual is still under investigation and will likely require additional scientific testing for verification and may take several weeks to complete.

Interview: David Savinar on Maryhill’s 75th Anniversary

David Savinar, President of the Board of Trustees of Maryhill Museum, poses with picture of founder Sam Hill

David Savinar, President of the Board of Trustees of Maryhill Museum, poses with picture of founder Sam Hill

We caught up with Board of Trustee President David Savinar at the All-Chamber of Commerce invitational event Thursday, March 19. He shared some of his excitement at the museum’s celebration of its Diamond Jubilee. To hear our interview, click on the grey podcast bar below:


Zoo releases hundreds of endangered butterflies to the wild

n adult Taylor’s checkerspot perches on a paintbrush plant at the Oregon Zoo. Since 2004, the zoo has collaborated with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and other agencies, raising thousands of butterflies in an effort to save this endangered Northwest species. Photo by Melinda Holland, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

n adult Taylor’s checkerspot perches on a paintbrush plant at the Oregon Zoo. Since 2004, the zoo has collaborated with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and other agencies, raising thousands of butterflies in an effort to save this endangered Northwest species. Photo by Melinda Holland, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

PORTLAND, Ore. — For hundreds of endangered butterflies raised at the Oregon Zoo during the past year, naptime is over.

In February, zoo conservationists roused more than 500 Taylor’s checkerspot larvae from their winter dormancy, transferring these very hungry caterpillars into rearing cups at the zoo’s Imperiled Butterfly Conservation Lab, where they munched on narrowleaf plantain following a 7-month snooze.

Last week, zoo staffers joined biologists from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to release the growing caterpillars on prairies in central Washington, where some of the region’s best checkerspot habitat remains.

“Releasing caterpillars reared at the zoo is part of our ongoing effort to reestablish this imperiled species at sites where it was once abundant,” explained Mary Linders, a species recovery biologist with WDFW. “Without large, connected populations, the butterflies struggle to survive.”

The zoo-reared caterpillars will complete their development in the wild, first turning into chrysalides and then emerging as adult butterflies, helping to stabilize declining populations of this species.

Though once abundant across the inland prairies of the Pacific Northwest, the Taylor’s checkerspot has now lost 99 percent of its grassland habitat to agriculture and urban development. The species is listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and, according to Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, is in imminent danger of extinction.

The Oregon Zoo has raised nearly 19,000 checkerspots for release since joining the recovery effort in 2004. After more than a decade of working to increase the endangered butterfly’s numbers, Linders says the effects are becoming noticeable.

“We’ve started seeing Taylor’s checkerspots at locations where they haven’t been documented in years,” Linders said. “It gives us hope for a species that is very close to disappearing completely.”

Committed to butterfly conservation, the Oregon Zoo is a charter member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Butterfly Conservation Initiative, a collaborative effort among nearly 50 zoos and aquariums. The zoo works in partnership with and receives funding from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Joint Base Lewis-McChord and its Army Compatible Use Buffer program to rear checkerspots and release them into the wild. Additional project partners include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Xerces Society and the Sustainability in Prisons Project administered through The Evergreen State College and Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women.

To learn more about the Oregon Zoo’s effort to save Taylor’s checkerspots and other imperiled Northwest species, visit

The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is also working to save endangered California condors, Oregon silverspot butterflies, western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on Asian elephants, polar bears, orangutans and giant pandas.

Support from the Oregon Zoo Foundation enhances and expands the zoo’s efforts in conservation, education and animal welfare. Members, donors and corporate and foundation partners help the zoo make a difference across the region and around the world.

The zoo opens at 9 a.m. daily and is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Visitors who travel to the zoo via MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Call TriMet Customer Service, 503-238-RIDE (7433), or visit for fare and route information.


General zoo admission is $11.50 (ages 12-64), $10 for seniors (65 and up), $8.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger. Additional information is available or by calling 503-226-1561.


Update: U.S. Marshals grab two people in The Dalles after crashing into their car

More information now from the U.S. Marshal’s office about the two people arrested in dramatic fashion Wednesday night in The Dalles.

32-year-old Dustin Ghormley was the focus of the Marshal’s efforts. He was wanted by Canby Police for a stabbing as well as unlawful use of a weapon, delivery of meth and identity theft.

Dustin Ghormley

Dustin Ghormley

Paige Fitzpatrick

Paige Fitzpatrick

U.S. Marshal’s Office spokesman Eric Wahlstrom said they had information that Ghormley was in The Dalles. He was spotted as a passenger in a 2014 Nissan Maxima entering the drive-through at the Dairy Queen on Mt. Hood Street. “We planned on blocking them in the parking lot,” Wahlstrom said. But the driver of the vehicle, later identified as 25-year-old Paige Fitzpatrick, gunned it out of the parking lot. Marshals pursued and crashed into her vehicle, taking both into custody at gunpoint.

Wahlstorm said Fitzpatrick had not been previously wanted, but was charged with reckless driving by The Dalles City Police. He said methamphetamine was found in the car, but no weapons. Both were lodged at NORCOR in The Dalles.


Wyden video: Congress must extend rural counties’ safety net

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., fought to restore a crucial lifeline for roads, schools and first-responders in Oregon’s cash-strapped rural communities, in an amendment he attached to the federal budget bill today.

Wyden’s amendment is a first step to renewing the expired Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program, which provided more than $107 million to 32 Oregon counties last year. It also supports the extension of the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The amendment passed in the Senate Budget Committee on a bipartisan, 18 to 4 vote. The committee is expected to finish its markup of the budget tonight.

“These programs are economic investments in rural America, providing consistent, reliable resources that counties can use to prosper,” Wyden said. “Secure Rural Schools, Payments in Lieu of Taxes, and programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund are three parts of the rural economic trifecta, each supporting rural counties’ ability to provide critical services and boost their economies.”

Wyden and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, introduced a bill to extend the county payments program last month. Wyden authored the original Secure Rural Schools program in 2000 with then-Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho. Since then it has brought more than $2.8 billion to rural Oregon counties.

Wyden is a senior member of the Senate Budget Committee and the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee.