MEMBERS Keith Harding, left, of Mount Hood, and George Earley of Parkdale greet each other at the Hood River Valley Residents Committee annual meeting at Columbia Center for the Arts.
As of Friday, August 12, 2016
Hood River Valley Residents Committee hosted its 39th annual meeting at the Columbia Center for the Arts Aug. 7, with more than 85 supporters and friends in attendance.
The Residents Committee welcomed Mike McCarthy as the new president and thanked Polly Wood for serving as past president. Wood passed on the “official” pitch fork of responsibility, complete with wine corks on the ends.
HRVRC also bid a farewell to Secretary Margo Earley, a position she has held for 15 years. Early has promised to stay involved. She was honored with a gift of a wilderness photograph of one of her favorite places on Mount Hood.
Speakers were Buck Parker, former president and executive director of EarthJustice, and Ralph Bloemers, co-director of the Crag Law Center. Parker ranked what he considers are the top characteristics of successful environmental organizations: persistence, “incrementalism” and flexibility, partnerships and collaboration, and a great sense of community and inclusiveness.
Bloemers gave an overview of the origins of the Cooper Spur land trade all the way to the current situation. HRVRC was one of Bloemer’s first clients, and he has provided some instrumental legal support.
The event came to a close with a Q & A session with John Roberts, Hood River Community development director, and Steve Wheeler, city manager of the City of Hood River. They answered questions related to housing, climate change and equity, and the priorities each of their agencies are focusing on.
The City of Hood River is making strides in greater sustainability and inclusiveness, such as creating a phone tree where people can request to speak to a Spanish speaker, as well as the creation of the Mayor’s Latino Advisory Council.
A varied potluck concluded the event, with selections ranging from fresh green salads to berry cobbler topped with whipped cream or ice cream.
Next year’s annual meeting, will be at the Crag Rat Hut, where HRVRC will celebrate 40 years.