Yesteryears: Columbia River algae a big problem in 1938

September 25, 1918: One Liberty Bond — or more, if possible — in every home in Hood River means “the Honor of 100 Percent Patriotism.”

Hood River News archives
September 25, 1918: One Liberty Bond — or more, if possible — in every home in Hood River means “the Honor of 100 Percent Patriotism.”

1918 — 100 years ago

It is probable that the Pacific Light & Power Company will build a power plant at Ruthton. They have bought a dam site on (the) Hood River on land originally owned by the Hood River Fruit Growers Company, a Chicago concern. A survey for a pipeline has been made from this site to Ruthton and right of ways have been secured. It is likely that the power plant will be built about where the Ruthton station now stands, as one located at this point would give a water fall of from 250 to 300 feet over Ruthton Hill.

1928 — 90 years ago

Strangers coming into Hood River last Saturday evening might have been forgiven if he had thought he had arrived in a boom town. Already by 7 o’clock, parking space was at a premium many blocks west of the business section and the sidewalks accommodated milling crowds of apple workers and residents. Business was uniformly good, and several of the stores report a record business for the year. In fact, residents got a real taste of what Hood River will be like when the Mount Hood Tramway is built and operating.

City’s storm drains get stencil warnings

Those weren’t graffiti artists you saw in Hood River this week. It was Hood River Soil and Water Conservation District volunteers painting the town — or parts of the town, anyway — fluorescent green.

The district, in response to ongoing problems with illegal dumping of hazardous waste, coordinated the stenciling of the city’s storm drains in bright painting with the warning:

“Dump No Waste — Leads to River.”

District Manager Anne Saxby noted that a number of groups helped in the effort.

The city and Hood River County’s public works departments donated paint for the project; Hood River Memorial Hospital came up with gloves; and Underwood Conservation District supplied the stencils.

Bulk of the labor was donated by the AmeriCorps crew from the Northwest Service Academy in Trout Lake, Wash. Students from May Street Elementary, Hood River Middle School, Hood River Valley High School and Next Door also helped.

“This project has been a priority for both the district and the Hood River Watershed Group,” said Saxby. “A reduction in dumping will keep the Hood and Columbia rivers healthier for our endangered steelhead and other aquatic species.”

— Hood River News, September 26, 1998

1938 — 80 years ago

Little Algae, the chlorophyll-containing water plant of a lowly type, which has associated itself with more or less stagnant water, is making its presence noticeable along the Columbia River banks in this county, not only on account of its vivid green color, but on account of its characteristic odor, a mixture of rotten eggs and stale fish. Mayor Kolstad first heard about it when residents, whose noses had been insulted by the new and strange odor, associated it with the sewer outfall and wanted to know when this municipality will go ahead with plans to install a modern sewage disposal plant. Investigation revealed the odor could not be associated with raw sewage, which is being discharged in the Columbia at Hood River, just as it is being discharged from The Dalles and other cities located on the convenient banks of the Columbia River.

1948 — 70 years ago

Odell’s volunteer fire department saw more action last Saturday when it responded to a call at the Hanel Lumber company mill near Parkdale to combat a huge log deck fire. Since the fire was out of Odell’s district, this was the first time the mutual aid agreement, recently enacted between the various firefighting districts in the Mid-Columbia, was brought into use in this county. In quenching the flames, the Odell department, which was also aided by fire equipment from the mill, succeeded in saving about $20,000 worth of lumber in the log deck.

1958 — 60 years ago

A trio of ambitious Hood River County ladies added another dimension to this area’s sound educational program this fall when they opened their private kindergarten classes this month. Asking for the awesome task of teaching basic learning skills to the county’s smallfry are Mrs. Bob Lynch, Mrs. Ralph Jones and Mrs. Beach Batton, with assistance from Mrs. Harold Dorzab. None of it is very complicated — this is still kindergarten, and the idea is to teach fundamentals, not to make Michelangelo’s out of babies.

1968 — 50 years ago

Two spaces on the city hall parking lot will be set aside for limited-time pubic parking, council members decided Monday. Approving a committee report, the council designated that two spaces should be marked for 10-minute off-street parking to the public, and the remainder of the spaces on the lot should remain for official parking. In addition, the council ordered spaces on State Street, which are now reserved for city cars, to be metered for 12-minute parking. All spaces on the lot next to city hall at Second and State had previously been designated private parking.

1978 — 40 years ago

“This is not to build a city, it’s to retain the land in the character the people want it,” explained Vern Momberg issuing a progress report on an incorporation drive for the Mt. Hood community. The target area contains about 10 square miles of the upper valley fringing along Highway 35, and Momberg is one of the leaders of the project. If the petitioners are successful, they will add the third incorporated city to the county. Hood River and Cascade Locks are currently the only incorporated cities. Both Odell and Parkdale have some city services, such as sewer treatment, but neither has chosen to go through the incorporation process.

1988 — 30 years ago

Wells Island — for herons and geese, or for recreational development? Or can they exist side by side? Port of Hood River Commissioners held a special workshop Monday with representatives of Ducks Unlimited, an organization with some discretionary dollars to invest in projects that keep waterfowl fit and flying. The island has lain fallow since its controversial purchase by the port a few years back. Plans to site a small conference center on the east end, fencing off the west end for wildlife, didn’t wash with conservationist groups or the Land Conservation and Development Commission. After two tries, the port retreated from the plan. A committee representing the port, Ducks Unlimited and other pertinent parties will be formed to investigate the matter further.

1998 — 20 years ago

Anjou pears, which make up more than three-fourths of the Northwest’s winter crop, is 7.5 percent down from a year ago, even though Hood River Valley is picking out at 10 to 15 percent above estimates. That’s the word from Hood River orchardist Mike Oates, who reports that some early Anjou picking has produced record numbers.

2008 — 10 years ago

Firefighters made substantial headway this week on the Gnarl Ridge fire. With the help of high humidity levels, cool temperatures and intermittent rain, crews were able to complete fire line construction around most of the perimeter of the 3,280-acre fire. Focus will now be shifted to mopping up and cooling hot spots in preparation for this weekend’s anticipated weather shift back to hotter and dryer conditions.

Compiled by Trisha Walker, News staff writer

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