Stories for December 2001

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Wednesday, December 19

Cooper Spur Race Team starts season

The Cooper Spur Race Team is up and running again this year.

Big? This big

How big is big? A 185,000 foot square building has the same footprint size as these combined downtown businesses CM & WO Shepperd, Dave's Sports, At Home on Oak Street, Andrew’s Pizza and Bakery, Skylight Theater and Pub, Cascade Travel, Air Time Hood River, Bank of America, Columbia Art Gallery, Central Cascade Alliance, the basement of the Hood River Police Department, Franz Hardware, Sail World, Hood River Nutrition, Blossoms Eatery, Informal Flowers, Hood River Hotel, Pietro’s Pizza, Windwing, River City Saloon, American Legion, Scott Insurance, Apland Jewelers, Waucoma Bookstore, Midtown Mall, The Wearhouse, Anna’s Boutique, The Gift House Windermere Glenn Taylor Real Estate Office (2nd and Oak), Hood River Restaurant, Gorge Fly Shop, Discover Bicycles, The Trillium Cafe, A Salon Day Spa Boutique, Frolik, Hood River Stationers, Antiques and Oddities, Down Town Chiropractic, The Next Door Inc., Van Metre's Furniture, Hood River Masonic Lodge, the law office of Jaques, Sharp, Sherrerd and FitzSimons, the law office of Soshkowski and Bischof, Hood River City Administration, Twigs, Benefit Consultants, Acorn Trading Company, Columbia Scooters, Annz Panz, Kerrits, International Museum of Carousel Arts, Wine and Internet Bar, Carousel Candy Company, the law office of Annala, Thompson, Carey and Baker, Christian Supply, The Crazy Pepper Cantina, CAST Performing Art Center, The Frame Gallery and half of Columbia Gorge Trading and Pawn.

`Distorted' report

Your Dec. 8 story on the Planning Commission meeting did not report the actual resolution passed by the commission. This resulted in a distorted idea of both what happened at the meeting and what it means. I attended the meeting and during deliberations the planning commissioners agreed that the decision regarding whether an emergency existed was not a land use decision, their area of discretion. Three commissioners did state that they believed there is evidence that would allow the Board of Commissioners to declare an emergency.

HRV wrestling the best show in town

When the high-school winter sports season began in mid-November, I knew I was in for a challenge.

Rate Hikes

City must meet a capital need

City must meet a capital need

Obituaries 12/19

JOAN K. DeBOARD

Wrestlers get the Gophers off their back

HRV wrestling coach Mark Brown has had Dec. 13 circled on his calendar for months.

Mel Taylor earns top Realtor honor

The Mid-Columbia Association of Realtors has named Mel Taylor of Don Nunamaker Realty in Hood River "Realtor of the Year."

Charles drops 36 to lead HRV boys

PORTLAND — All season long, the HRV boys basketball team has been waiting for a team to try and run with them.

Rubberneck in HR Friday

Rubberneck plays Friday at the River City Saloon, beginning at 9 p.m. Cover charge will apply.

College board names Hood River directors

By DAN SPATZ

Pocketbook act

Some say that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I believe that the dollar is mightier than either.

Scenic Area

Don't budget out public input

Don't budget out public input

HRV girls buck Broncos for first MHC win

The HRV girls basketball team has been in search of continuity ever since its season-opening win over The Dalles on Nov. 27.

Wire ways: Learning the art of line

Hood River Middle School students learned that a simple line can be so much more than just a line.

Don't trash town

I took a look at the "petition" signed by 1,600 Wal-Mart shoppers the other day. Quite an eye opener. Considering thousands of people per day shop there, I wonder about you other folks, you Wal-Mart shoppers who didn't or wouldn't sign the petition. I want to know more about you.

Wal-Mart submits 'big box' plans as county poises for action

"Ban the Box" cries echoed over downtown streets on Dec. 17 as about 20 citizens rallied outside the Hood River County Courthouse to protest a "massive" Wal-Mart development.

City Council moves toward utility rate hike

With municipal utility funding tapped out, City Council started reaching for the rate faucet on Monday.

A Long-fall

Salem needs storm of budget input

Salem needs storm of budget input

Parkdale man admits to `Silver Bullet' assault

Daniel J. Cochran, 34, of Parkdale was sentenced last week for hitting a Carson, Wash., man in the forehead with a "silver bullet."

Want a tattoo?

I am concerned over the issue of Wal-Mart quadrupling its physical, economical and emotional control over Hood River.

Big enough

I went to the Hood River County Courthouse meeting on Monday night. Inside was standing room only, with 60-70 people milling about outside the court room, unable to hear a word since no one bothered to turn on the PA system.

Sensible senior living

Highlands offers people at or near retirement an opportunity to have a home without the constant upkeep.

Highlands offers people at or near retirement an opportunity to have a home without the constant upkeep.

School's out and activities are scheduled

Friday, Dec. 21 is the final day of school for Hood River County School District until Jan. 7. Students will be released at the regular times. Now that the kids have free time, here are a few suggestions for vacation activities:

Big cuts loom over schools

Budget cuts equal to 40 teaching positions are on the block for Hood River County Schools.

Garbage rate hike sparks citizen complaint

Numerous complaints from customers over the recent hike in trash collection rates has led Hood River Garbage Service to issue a written apology.

Diary of a World Cup snowboarder

By ANTON POGUE

Wednesday, December 12

First, Children: Legislature must meet kids' needs

Fairly bleak pre-winter news comes from the state's leading child advocacy group, at the same time the state Legislature faces the trying task of finding $710 million to balance the state budget.

Snowboarders set sights on new Summit

Summit Snowboard Team goes for fourth consecutive state title.

Summit Snowboard Team goes for fourth consecutive state title.

Parents, students react to IMC move

Change is a fact of life. How people adjust to change is a matter of perspective. One major change that will begin affecting the lives of many local residents next fall is the Oregon School Activities Association’s Dec. 3 vote to move Hood River Valley High School into the Intermountain Conference. Some residents are furious about the ruling and have begun considering alternatives for their children, such as asking them to choose one sport, lobbying for independent schedules, moving to Portland, or simply dropping high school sports altogether. Others, such as HRV head wrestling coach Mark Brown, believe that such a move could benefit certain programs as well as individuals. “We’re taking the positive approach,” said Brown, whose children, Lindsay and Adam, each participate in HRV athletics. “Our family is going to be involved in sports no matter where we play. Playing sports helps build better people and we’ll do whatever it takes to stay involved. “We are faced with challenges every day and this is just another one,” he said. Fellow HRV parent David Meyer agrees that next year’s adjustment will be a challenge for his family, and the change may not necessarily be for the best. “I think the move will create a major hardship,” said Meyer, whose daughter Emily competes in track and cross-country at HRV. “With all the travel and class time lost, I would say that, as a parent, an independent schedule may be a better option.” Meyer and others believe an independent (non-OSAA affiliated) schedule could provide a suitable alternative to potential travel nightmares to central Oregon. “I’m looking at the possibility of not being able to watch my kids except for home games,” said Daryn Fogle, who has two sons (Jarrod and Jeremy) at HRV and another one (Jordan) in seventh grade. Each is actively involved in athletics, and Fogle would like to be a part of that. “It’s bad enough trying to go to two games in the Mt. Hood Conference in the same night. Now it will be impossible,” he said. “Plus, I don’t really like the idea of my kids missing classes or going across the mountains.” Kathy Nishimoto, whose freshman son Bryan plays football, basketball and baseball at HRV, is also concerned about the safety and class-time issues, but in the end, she believes the greatest hardship falls upon the students. “The financial constraints may not allow some top-quality coaches to participate in these sports, and that would only hurt the programs at the school,” she said. “Some teams have had the same kids playing together for years and now there will be some who won’t be able to play. That would really be sad.” Similarly, many HRV students are disappointed with the ruling, and don’t believe it benefits either the athletes or their families. “Changing to the Intermountain conference not only means more traveling for the teams, but the parents will have to arrange overnight lodging just to watch their kids’ games,” junior Elie Meierbachtol said. Junior Jon Gehrig agreed. “I believe this decision was not made in the best interest of HRV students or the school. It will greatly reduce sports participation because of greater travel time and the amount of school missed,” he said. Junior Christy Paul, who will now be unable to defend her district cross-country title, views the decision as unfair to herself and other student athletes. “This decision was made without consideration of HRV students,” she said. “We will be forced to choose between academics and athletics, not a healthy balance of the two. As a result, both areas will suffer.” HRV will begin competing in cross-country, soccer, football and volleyball in the fall against Hermiston, Pendleton, Crook County, Redmond and three Bend schools.

No business like snow business

When snow is good, business is good. And there has been very good news as of late for winter business in Hood River.

Facing HIV/AIDS

Counselor builds support network

Counselor builds support network

Divert TRT money

You asked rhetorically "Is a Visitor's Center located in a hard-to-reach, anonymous building the most suitable place for the county's information gateway?" (Editorial, Dec. 5.)

Open your eyes

In response to the letters in the paper dated Dec. 5:

Obituaries 12/12

ELIZABETH CARLSON

Hot and cold

I am writing concerning a clarification in the article in the Mind, Body, Spirit section of the newspaper, printed Dec. 1 entitled "La Stone."

`110 in the Shade' HRV musical winds up this weekend

"It's reaching people."

Dog responsibility

In response to your article, "Dog Owners Call for Action", Dec. 5 edition, I would hope that the county will always hold pet owners responsible for their animals. The great majority of pets are good, law abiding citizens, but there are those few that are prone to roam and/or attack. If a person owns a dangerous animal, it must be that owners responsibility to recognize the danger their animal poses and to contain that animal. I don't want to be out walking my dog in our rural neighborhood on a leash, as I sometimes do, knowing there is a possibility that a dog might come out and attack her, or us. If owners are not held responsible for their animals, what is to keep an attack from happening? I'll never forget the pit bull that got into my pasture and took a chunk out of my horse's shoulder. Owners must be held responsible for their dangerous animals or the quality of life in our community will be greatly diminished. If I or any of my animals are attacked, I don't want the incident to be handled by a citizens advisory group, I don't want that attack to be the first of three chances for that animal, I want all possibility of another attack to be eliminated through proper legal channels. That does not necessarily mean the animal must be put down, but there really ought to be some kind of official follow-up by the county to ensure that the animal will be safely contained for the rest of it's life.

Winter Watch

Storm could strike anytime

Storm could strike anytime

Box out big box

I found Ladd Henderson's attack on the Hood River News' Wal-Mart reporting way off-base (Nov. 28). Bordering on offensive. I think the News has been more than balanced in its coverage, considering the amount of advertising revenue at stake for the newspaper you would think they would be falling all over themselves to promote this project. To their credit they have put the good of the economy ahead of their financial gain on this matter. Good for them!

Try building down

Thank you, Council Member Linda Rouches, for taking time to walk the neighborhood of the proposed condominium above Cascade Commons before making your decision on whether the proposal would be a positive addition there. And for your wise and compassionate words during the public hearing. Staff reports often cannot address some of the more significant impacts of building proposals such as the curtailment of a neighbor's sweeping view by blank walls.

Horizon sizing up the competition

Height isn’t everything in basketball, but when your team has it, you can often do anything.

Hood River Christmas Project

Shopper tackles teen challenge

Shopper tackles teen challenge

Mercy on America

Well, I think the time has come for everyone to ask, "Where's the evidence?" We have been bombing a country for over two months now and forcing its inhabitants to starve and freeze. Yet I still have not seen "The Evidence." Remember a couple of months ago when the U.S. government said that there was substantial evidence linking Osama bin Laden to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11? Where is the evidence? We have been hearing and reading the name bin Laden so consistently over the past couple of months that most people do not hesitate to attribute the attacks to him, but that isn't proof, that's news blanketing. I want to see the evidence that the government claims to have.

Steaming hot potato

I attended the Hood River County Planning Commission's open meeting last night (Dec. 5) and I felt sorry for the guys. The County Board of Commissioners had handed the Wal-Mart hot potato to them. The question they were to advise on was: Is the pending issue of Wal-Mart building a mega-mart a planning "emergency" and worthy of special treatment.

Holiday Happenings

Now is the season for wassail, cider, stamps

Now is the season for wassail, cider, stamps

Tribe suggests "win-win" casino site

A third site has been proposed for a Gorge gambling casino, a location that could be the "win-win" solution sought by local officials and tribal leaders.

Swimmer joins national Shortt list

Don’t let her smile and easy-going personality fool you.

HRV boys drop close one to Aloha

The HRV boys basketball team was just minutes from its third victory of the season Friday at Aloha, but despite holding a seven point lead with three minutes left, they let the game slip away and lost 66-65.

Unemployment watch

Hood River plant faces uncertain future

Hood River plant faces uncertain future

Dog bite someone?

In Wednesday, Dec. 5, paper the article titled "Dog owners call for action" made me very concerned. As a former Dukes Valley resident who was born and raised there and whose parents still live there, we've never had any problems with the existing dog laws. I feel that the minority in question shouldn't try to change our laws and restriction before a vote of the majority. Dukes Valley is a nice quiet area where everyone knows everybody and we like it that way. We like our little "community" and do not appreciate "outsiders" trying to change things like laws and restrictions that have worked in the past. All dog owners should be responsible for their dogs and they should not be able to "run free" without supervision from their responsible owners. The people who have a problem abiding by the existing laws are the ones who want to change them to suit their own purpose.

Hood River rings with Christmas music

Looking for Christmas music to infuse the season?

HR Fruit Loop seeks growers for new map

Producers of the annual Fruit Loop map are looking for Hood River Valley growers of fruit and other ag products for the 2002 Fruit Loop brochure and map.

Friends challenge legality of tribal road

The road to success may not be easy -- but it could be even more rocky if it was constructed illegally.

Smith seeks second term, sets goal to create jobs

After almost one year in legislative office, Rep. Patti Smith, R-Corbett, likes her new job well enough to run for a second term.

Citizen group mobilizes against 'big box' plans

The Citizens for Responsible Growth (CRG) are on the move to stop any "massive" development from siting in Hood River.

Electric car program starts again at HRVHS

The electric car program at Hood River Valley High School is getting started again. Math teacher Jeff Blackman, who spearheaded the program last year, has already signed up more than 20 students.

HRV wrestlers take second at Hermiston

Owyen, Level dominate weight classes

Owyen, Level dominate weight classes

Wednesday, December 5

Expensive recycling

I received notice from Hood River Garbage Service that my "rates were going up slightly." After looking over the pamphlet I realized that my one can service was going up 25 percent, from $9.75 to $12 per month and each additional can was going up 650 percent, from $1.35 to $10. I guess the rate increase is needed to cover their new billing costs, which must have doubled, after changing from bimonthly to monthly billing. Many of us were already recycling to keep our trash fees down and help the cause. We have been hauling our recyclables to the Lions trailers and bringing them to the transfer station.

Small town ways

I grew up in suburban Chicago, in a town chosen by my parents for its excellent schools and its proximity to my father's place of work. We enjoyed the big city nearby and benefited greatly from the offerings of the school system. However, both my parents were from rural Illinois, and it was with great pleasure that I would take frequent trips to visit my grandparents. Besides the delicious meals and loving hugs, I remember being thrilled that I could go into the local five and dime and be greeted by folks who were not only friendly, but knew who I was visiting because I looked like my mom: "Now are you Lillian Mae's daughter or Norma Jean's?"

A 4th DUII nets jail for The Dalles man

A repeat DUII offender was given prison time in Hood River Circuit Court last week. Jose Ruben Rodriguez Maciel, 27, of The Dalles, was sentenced on Nov. 28 to 14 months behind bars for his fourth DUII conviction and for giving false information to police.

Police led on bizarre chase

When police attempted a routine traffic stop just east of Hood River on Nov. 30, they were led on a bizarre chase that ended in Cascade Locks.

HRV swim team flooded with veteran talent

High school sports teams inevitably change from one year to another. Graduation and attrition are merely part of the game.

Scenes from the Nutcracker at HRMS

Local ballet students from Columbia Gorge Dance Academy perform their annual holiday show, "Scenes from the Nutcracker," on Saturday in the auditorium at Hood River Middle School.

Hood River Port launches revised waterfront plan

Hood River Port Commissioners were urged not to succumb to "paralysis by analysis" at the Nov. 27 unveiling of a revised waterfront schematic.

Sense of scale

As I read all the letters to the editor in recent weeks and hear the debate getting uglier and more personal, I am reminded that the issue really is one of proportion. Does Hood River really need a store as well as a parking lot of those monstrous proportions? Wal-Mart as it is fills the community's needs just fine right now. We all end up shopping there as well as at local businesses to get the products that we need.

`Defining Moment'

Having traveled throughout the western states, I have come to see the small town charm of many a place spoiled by disproportionally large stores with megalithic parking lots.

Winning state is lone goal for HRV girls ski team

By CANDICE HOAG

May St. readers send some `comfort' to NYC

The kids chose their favorite book titles, and gave them away.

Efficient service

A4: letter kelter

A4: letter kelter

Students, parents and teachers flipping over Gorge Gymnastics

More than 250 kids and adults attend regular classes in HR

More than 250 kids and adults attend regular classes in HR

Height-y argument

Ben Stenn mentions in his letter ('Incorrect' Point, published Dec. 1) that it would be possible to build a multiple-storied commercial building on a 50,000 square foot area. As Mr. Stenn points out, this is significant because a building that is much larger than 50,000 square feet could be fit into a 'footprint' of that size.

Float plane goes for icy dip

Port of Hood River workers were forced to wing it on Nov. 28 when an unoccupied float plane began to sink -- and they could not locate the owner.

Hood River doctor goes to Afghanistan

Hood River physician Mike Pendleton leads a three-member team of volunteers from Northwest Medical Teams into war-torn Afghanistan this week.

Muro sentenced in Guadarrama fatality

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OSAA sends HRV packing

All the "what if's" surrounding a potential conference move for Hood River Valley High School have suddenly turned to "oh no's."

Hood River to NYC, Part 2

Worker sees kindness bloom in bleakness at Ground Zero

Worker sees kindness bloom in bleakness at Ground Zero

Dog owners issue call

The Hood River County Commission meeting was emotionally charged on Dec. 3 when a group of pet owners offered to help re-write the existing dog laws.

Obituaries 12/5

STEPHEN W. MONAHAN

LaStone -- Hot and cold stones combine in mind and body therapy

By the time massage therapist Sheila Shearer brings out the ice cold rock and rubs it along your spine, you've already been lying on a bed of rocks, had hot rocks stuck between your toes, in your hands and on your forehead.

`Ridiculous' petition

The other day my husband and I made yet another frequent trip to Wal-Mart, however, as we entered the store, we were asked to sign a petition by a Wal-Mart employee indicating that I would like to have "super" store replace the old store. I indicated I had not made a decision as to whether I would like a new store. This employee went on to say if I did not sign the petition, then Hood River would lose Wal-Mart in Hood River for good. Who told you this ridiculous fact? I really do not believe if I and other Hood River residents do not sign their petition that Wal-Mart would disappear from Hood River. By the way, my husband did sign the petition and after her remark to me, he regreted signing this petition and wished to take his signature back. Wal-Mart, please do not try to bully residents into making a decision while shopping. I would rather drive to another store than put up with this ridiculous act.

Top local talent turns out for pool tourney

Guy Whigham of Trout Lake won first place and $165 at the first-ever Mae Barsky Billiards Challenge Saturday at Horsefeathers Brewery in Hood River.

HRV wrestling applies stronghold on district

Coach Mark Brown returns 12 MHC finalists to gear up for district title run

Coach Mark Brown returns 12 MHC finalists to gear up for district title run

50 fire years: West Side honors veteran Nickelsen

The West Side Fire Department will honor Bob Nickelsen for 50 years of service at the department's annual awards dinner Dec. 8. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Rockford Fire Station.

Teens speak out about Wal-Mart

As young Hood River residents, we are writing to express our concern about the Wal-Mart superstore. We believe that allowing the 185,000 square foot monster Wal-Mart to be built on Country Club would be helping to destroy the small town atmosphere that makes Hood River such a great place to live. A four-acre Wal-Mart with twelve acres of parking does not belong in our rural community.