Yesteryears: Irrigation water shortage a concern in 1968

March 15, 2008 — Under Oak Street: Tony Hull of Schuepbach Construction works on a retaining wall to support new sidewalks at the corner of Oak and Fourth streets. Crews are installing new utility lines and replacing sidewalks as part of the city’s Urban Renewal Project. Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.

Hood River News archives
March 15, 2008 — Under Oak Street: Tony Hull of Schuepbach Construction works on a retaining wall to support new sidewalks at the corner of Oak and Fourth streets. Crews are installing new utility lines and replacing sidewalks as part of the city’s Urban Renewal Project. Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.

1918 — 100 years ago

Despite unfavorable conditions created by the war, prices received for apples this year by the Association have reached the highest mark since 1911, according to the report of General Manager Stone at the members’ meeting Saturday. The average price for the three standard grades this year is $1.40 a box, compared with $1.13 last year. The low mark was in 1915, when the average was 76 cents a box.

VERBATIM: Lions Take Poll On Some Of State Problems

Majority Favors Gorge Road Work

A sample of current public opinion on highway needs for the Mid-Columbia area is a poll taken recently among members of the Hood River Lions Club, who agreed unanimously that the states of Oregon and Washington should take over the interstate bridges across the Columbia River and make them toll free.

Eighteen of the 24 Lions participating in the poll chose the Columbia River highway as having the greatest need for rapid improvement. Four favored prime consideration to the Mt. Hood Loop highway and two named country roads as the most imperative.

Thirteen decided that the share of Oregon counties from the state motor fuels tax was sufficient, eight believed the counties should get more.

Twenty-one members thought that the state highway districts should be made smaller so that this part of the state could have better representation. Two voted to retain the present five districts.

Twenty-two decided that the state should spend money more rapidly to improve present highways, wile two figured that the state was doing all right at present. Those who believed Oregon should make more highway improvements immediately voted as follows on how funds should be made available: 11 for higher gasoline tax, six on a bond issue, three favored both methods of financing.

All but three voted against a toll road between Hood River and The Dalles. Nineteen wanted nothing to do with it.

Results of the poll, which was handed out at various meetings during the past several months, will be used by local authorities who will attend the state legislative interim committee meeting on highway problems in The Dalles on March 22.

— Hood River News, March 12, 1948

1928 — 90 years ago

During the past few weeks, carpenters and painters have wrought a big change in the furniture department of the E.A. Franz store on Oak St. Formerly, part of the store building was given over to used furniture. This has been regulated to the basement and the dividing wall has been torn out and replaced with arches, giving the entire building on the ground floor over to display of up-to-date furniture and house furnishings. Formerly, the stairway to the extensive balcony and the floor above occupied a central place in the store, but this has been moved to the northeast corner and releases quite a large area of floor space.

1938 — 80 years ago

To date, with only three weeks still available for filing for the May primary, there is no great urge apparent among candidates for county posts. In the county court lineup, the major opportunities are a chance to be county judge, assessor and commissioner. With Judge Steele giving definite assurance that he will not be a candidate to succeed himself if the post is given to him by Governor Martin to fill the unexpired term of the late Judge Hasbrouck, leaders are now endeavoring to persuade several to file as candidates on both major tickets. To date, none has filed, but it is considered likely that the first entry will come from the west side, and it will be a republican.

1948 — 70 years ago

Possible action within the near future on the junior high school building may be expected, following a regular school board session of Hood River city school district on Wednesday. The board authorized the go ahead signal on alterations, instructing architects to complete specifications for remodeling, after which call for bids will be issued. For some time, the board has considered drastic changes in the junior high buildings in which locker rooms, dressing rooms and lavatories adjacent to the gymnasium would be moved and the gymnasium completely remodeled.

1958 — 60 years ago

Filling every table in the spacious Wy’east gymnasium, a huge crowd of Hood River Valley residents warmly applauded the 1958 Orchardist of the Year, Armas Jakku, as he moved in quiet surprise to receive his gleaming award cup from William Runckel at the head of the banquet hall Tuesday evening … Mr. Jakku may have expressed the feeling of all winners when he remarked that, when his name was announced, “I felt like someone had hit me over the head with a sledgehammer.”

1968 — 50 years ago

It was sprinkling outside, but the men meeting here Tuesday were still talking about water shortage in the Hood River Valley. Drawing charts and predictions at the front of the room was W.T. Frost, water forecaster for SCS. Making up his audience were several men with a special interest in irrigation water. “Rain hasn’t been our problem,” said Frost, pointing to figures showing that February precipitation, all of it rain, was 134 percent of normal. “It’s our snowpack that worries me. I’m constantly startled by what I saw when I flew over your watershed.”

1978 — 40 years ago

City council members touched on two of the current hot spots in local affairs at their meeting Tuesday night — the Potlatch controversy and the unprecedented “threat” by the State’s Land Conservation and Development Commission (LDDC) to make the Urban Growth Boundary decision if the city and county can’t reach an agreement. Mayor Charles Beardsley called for a special council session at the conclusion of the meeting to sound the members out on their willingness, or unwillingness, to negotiate the disputed boundary path. The council held firm on the line to the south, at Eliot Drive, but indicated the western boundary was “negotiable.”

1988 — 30 years ago

Anand Sheela, the former secretary to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, arrived in Hood River Monday afternoon to answer for almost $270,000 she still owes the State of Oregon in fines stemming from a variety of federal crimes, including arson, attempted murder and causing the salmonella epidemic in The Dalles that sickened more than 750 people. She’s being held in the local jail because Circuit Court Judge John Jelderks wanted Sheela’s deposition conducted in Hood River. Sheela left Oregon in July 1986 to begin serving a federal prison term.

1998 — 20 years ago

The Port of Hood River is not interested in buying the Hanel lumber mills. Bill Baker, president of the port commission, emphasized that position last week to squelch what he said were persistent rumors to the contrary. “At no point has anyone from the port commission indicated the port would buy Hanel,” Baker said. “We have not entered into that discussion.” While not interested in buying the mills, Baker said the port commission would do all it can to facilitate a private sector buyer that would keep the plants open rather than dismantle them.

2008 — 10 years ago

A proposed casino and recreational resort may have been grabbing all the headlines lately, but another process involving long-term visioning for the Gorge has been continuing quietly in the background. That event, held last October, has evolved into a series of community roundtable sessions that have been going on since February. “It’s a very important conversation to have. We’re facing a lot of potential changes in the Gorge.

“The more we articulate a vision for the future, the better the future could be,” said Jessica Metta, a planner with the Columbia River Gorge Commission. While integral to the process, the Gorge commission was just one of those involved with the ongoing outreach effort. The coalition involved Columbia Gorge Community College, county economic development departments in Washington and Oregon, and the U.S. Forest Service and municipalities.

— Compiled by Trisha Walker, News staff writer

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