Newspaper Archive of
Hells Canyon Journal
Halfway, Oregon
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March 8, 2000     Hells Canyon Journal
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March 8, 2000
 

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Page 10 Hells Canyon Journal March 8, 2000 Halfway City Cont/nued from page I people living outside the city limits, as well as city residents. Council member Veryl Waldron was asked to draft a proposal including a structure for decision-making by such a group, and how a committee would function. It will be pre- sented and discussed at the next city council meeting. There was a wide-ranging discussion concerning how valley residents might have input into policies or decisions made by the council. The group is proposing a polling process or perhaps a commu- nity council-type of organiza- tion, which could provide in- formation to the council when issues with valley-wide im- pact are proposed. Resident Ralph Smead suggested the council consider adding a non- voting, at-large community representative, similar to the student representative, to the council. No action was taken. Other Business In other business, the Coun- dl: Corrected a press release from hotbiz.com, an on-line company offering tools for business wanting to join the world-wide web, that has partnered with half.com. Hotbiz.com will provide train- ing for Jerry Weir on creating and updating web pages. When trained, Weir, who was hired by half.corn to be the city's webmaster, intends to train those who have infor- mation on the city web site, so they can update and change their pages as needed. Approved, with one ab- Council Meeting stention, the use of Patty Huffs time to write grant re- quests for the Pine Valley Museum Committee, Half- way-Oxbow Ambulance Ser- vice, and the Pine Valley Grange. Some Council mem- bers expressed the concern that the city have a solid sys- tem in place to track funds that pass through the city to other organizations, and won- dered about the potential li- ability the city may be taking on. The Council ultimately reconfirmed its policy to not turn down any grant writing if it would help the commu- nity. Discussed the possibility of,a transit tax on motels and bed and breakfasts operating inside the city limits. Affected residents attending the meet- ing voiced support for a flat tax over a percentage. *Heard a citizen request to have city sidewalks swept before the Crab Feed. State street sweepers may not be available until the last part of the montl~ The eighth grade students will be help- ing as part of a Pine Eagle United Youth Fund project. Heard a citizen concern about the condition of the new city sidewalks. The Council has inventoried the sidewalks and asked the company to fix all the cracks and problems. The company has agreed only to pay for the removal of a wheelchair ramp by the post office where numerous citi- zens have fallen. City of Halfway Year 2000 Project Goals 1. Complete RV dump station. 2. Complete right-of-way running north and south from Bell to Record. 3. Complete right-of-way fromWest Dawson to West Church. 4. Repair and replace ditch and culvert on West Bell at school, place second or larger culvert at the end of West Dawson. Upgrade snow removal equipment. Construct a roof across the sidewalk in front of city hall. Construct a roof over the generator. Construct a drop box or mail slot at city hall for night payments. 9. Pave Gover Lane to city limits. 10. Complete Heritage Square -- almost fully funded; built without taxpayer money. 11. Complete remaining part of the recycling facility with grant awarded by DEQ. 12. Open up Pine Street in the future, connecting both portions of north Pine Street to relieve traffic. 13. Purchase new laser printer, scanner and new calculator for city hall. o 6. 7. 8. Fisheries Scientists: Breach Dams on Lower Snake River Demonstrating they are not divided, Oregon's fisher- ies scientists unanimously adopted a resolution support- ing the breaching of the four federal dams on the Lower Snake Rivei~ to restore salmon and steelhead runs to mean- ingful levels. The dams in question are Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monu- mental and Ice Harbor. The Hells Canyon Complex would not be affected by the proposal. "The scientists have spo- ken clearly that breaching must be the central compo- nent of a successful recovery strategy for Snake River salmon and steelhead," said retired ODFW Chief of Fish- eries Jim Martin. "The scien- tific choices are clear - now it's up to the people and their elected officials to choose the future for these fish." The 500-member Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society adopted the resolution February 17 at its annual conference in Eugene. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber later announced his support for dam breach- ing at the conference. Idaho's fisheries scientists adopted a similar resolution in 1999. The Society's position is based largely on the conclu- sions of two in-depth scien- tific reviews. Both concluded that establishing more natu- ral river conditions in the Snake 'and Columbia rivers offers the best hope of prevent- ing extinction of Snake River salmon. In a regional review of wild Let Pine Eagle Clinic Order What You Need, So You Don't Have To Waste Time & Money Driving. Health care professionals on hand to address your questions and concerns Competitive prices Common antibiotics and pain medications in stock 24-hour turn-around on your prescription SHOPLOCALLY! salmon and steelhead runs by Society member Chuck Huntington, the Snake River stood out from the rest of the Northwest because it has no healthy runs. Yet the Snake River contains the biggest area of the best salmon habi-. tat remaining in the North- west, including wilderness reaches in the Clearwater, Salmon, and Grande Ronde basins. Fish from these riv- ers must pass eight dams to reach the ocean; fish from healthierruns in the John Day River pass only three dams. Kirk Schroeder, a past- president of the Society, has witnessed the precipitous decline of Snake River salmon during his research career. "In 1973, I counted sockeye salmon spawning in Redfish Lake, Idaho, 900 miles from the ocean," he said. "Then in 1998, I watched the remnants of this run confined to plastic tanks in a desperate attempt to rescue them from extinc- tion. Ultimately, the public may decide to allow these sockeye and other Snake River salmon runs to go ex- tinct; but if they do, it should be a conscious choice, not one that happens passively." The scientists view dam breaching as a necessary step toward salmon and steelhead restoration. The Society also said substantive improve- ments in harvest manage- ment, hatchery practices and habitat conditions will boost the success of fish recovery. "Restoration actions of har- vest, habitat, and hatcheries alone will not be sufficient to restore Snake River salmon," said Dr. Thomas Backman, senior scientist for the Co- lumbia River Intertribal Fish Commission. "Breaching the dams is the biggest single step to bring these populations back from certain extinction." "The Snake River salmon and steelhead may become functionally extinct in the next few decades... We hope the political administrations and public will consider Our position when they decide the future of these fish, "said Dave Hohler, Society President. The Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society is a professional society of 500 fishery and aquatic scientists from state, federal, tribal, university, and private orga- nizations. The full text of the resolution can be found on the Society's web page at: http://osu.orst.edu/groups/ orafs/news/news.html.