That the beauties of Hood River County are gradually becoming better known to the outside and less fortunate sections is evidenced by the remarkable increase in passenger traffic on the railroad to and from this city. Local railroad officials state that, during the month of August, passengers traffic through the Hood River depot was greater than at any period since the line was built, and there is already every prospect that this record will again be eclipsed by the passenger receipts for the month of September.
A.C. Lofts and Son are this week excavating at the rear of the Keir Drug Store to prepare the ground for the erection of a concrete building 20 by 22 feet, an addition to the drug store. Contractor Kreig will in a few days be ready to pour concrete in to the forms and within a few weeks, the building will be ready. Mr. Keir states that this new addition will give him space for an Edison radio demonstrating room, office and restroom and a retiring room for the waitresses employed at the lunch counter, operated in connection with the drug store.
A straw vote taken by a Newsman Tuesday morning of this week among representative businessmen and ranchers disclosed an almost unanimous response in favor of neutrality for the United States, strong enough to keep this nation’s youth out of the latest European war. In the rare instances in which the person questioned favored early participation, the reason given was that many influences favoriting participation would, through propaganda, contrive to finally involve this nation. Therefore, they argued, the United States might just as well get in the fight early and bring it to a quick conclusion.
Hood River Saddle Club members will gather for a picnic supper at the rodeo grounds tonight (Friday) evening to make plans for a combined play day and professional horse show in September. There will be a refreshment stand and exhibits of farm machinery, trucks and cars. Larry Knighton is chairman and Oscar Billingsley is co-chairman. Jesse Puddy is in charge of tickets. Mrs. Don Donahue is in charge of the refreshment stand with Mrs. Ray Brownlee assisting.
The Old-Timers Picnic, held annually on Labor Day at Cascade Locks, brought out a larger crowd this year than ever before. Even the townspeople came out to enter the contests and help consume a ton of free watermelon. This year’s festivities followed the pattern of all previous picnics. Many played horseshoes with some new blood moving to town in the past year to make competition tough. Two hundred youngsters entered in sack races, three-legged races and many other races for prizes contributed by local merchants. Even a greased pig was released for the kids to chase.
School registration in Hood River lagged slightly on opening day this year, despite a slight increase at the high school level. Wy’east was down, registering 646 compared with 658 last year, but Hood River High School climbed from 357 to 383. Cascade Locks dropped from 71 to 60 students in high school. Total for the district was 3,335 students on opening day, where it was 3,357 last year.
Nearly 90 apple growers from Aomori prefecture piled from buses here last Friday to see how their counterparts in Hood River grow fruit. The group from Honshu’s northernmost prefecture had already been introduced to Northwest fruit growing, having spent a day each in Yakima and Wenatchee before stopping for half a day in Hood River on their way to Portland. Here they were met by Ray Yasui, president of Diamond Fruit Growers, Inc., and a delegation that also included Experiment Station Superintendent Walt Mellenthin and Parkdale grower Ray Sato.
The message was that timber is more than something for the birds when Hood River representatives joined in a trek to Washington, D.C., last week. Really, their message to Congress was that it was not a question of the spotted owl versus timber. It was a matter of an industry coexisting with resource preservation. Hood River County was represented by a group that included Bob Hanel, Rita Kaley, County Commission Chairman Jerry Routson and Frank Backus. Besides Routson, all others are directly involved in the timber industry.
Seeing itself as the “logical owner,” the Port of Hood River is exploring a possible purchase of the Nichols Boat Works property on the Hood River waterfront. The port commission directed Executive Director Greg Baker to secure two appraisals of the property, and to contact Nichols’ broker regarding possible terms for negotiations. The port commission has no definitive plans of its own for the property at this point, but the site’s strategic location, in between the waterfront industrial area and the marina, makes it an attractive potential acquisition, according to Commissioner Bill Lyons.
Health department officials suspect the H1N1 virus has emerged in Hood River County and are asking citizens to help stop the illness from spreading. Trish Elliott, nursing supervisor for the health department, said three cases of H1N1, also known as swine flu, were reported by medical professionals this week.