Newspaper Archive of
Hells Canyon Journal
Halfway, Oregon
March 20, 2002     Hells Canyon Journal
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March 20, 2002

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Proposed New Power Transmission Line Along Pine Creek Creates A Stir by Patti Walker of the Hells Canyon Journal A controversial high volt- age transmission line route along scenic Pine Creek on Highway 86 was among two possible route alternatives unveiled by'Idaho Power at a public meeting in Halfway last week. According to Idaho Power, a bottleneck limiting power transmission, and the need to strengthen system reliabil- ity, is driving a proposal to add the new line. "We have capacity limita- tions during periods of high local generation and delivery, when we are trying to import a lot of power from the north- west at the same time," said Darel Tracy, Idaho Power project manager. "We have to stop importing because there's not enough wire in the air." No specific figures on ca- pacity, load, average growth zmd future need were provided, however IPC officials did un- veil the proposed routes. Alternative One calls for the new 11 mile, double-cir- cuit 236-kV transmission line to be built on the existing transmission line route. Cur- rently, the line runs between the two dams on the Oregon side, paralleling the road around Oxbow reservoir. Al- ternative Two has the line making a large loop. It would leave Brownlee Dam, climb- ing out of the Snake River Canyon between Black Can- yon and Four Mile Creek, crossing the low hills, and intersecting with Highway 86 about one mile east of the Loop road (Forest Road 39 at North Pine Creek), before roughly following Pine Creek to Oxbow Dam. Both routes cross private land, and public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Idaho Power would be required to get right-of-w~ aga~ements with both affected landown- ers and the BLM. Transmission lines would run right across Rush Long's property if Alternative Two were implemented. "I don't see any reason for it all," said Long, "when another route exists already. They say it's more economical to build along Pine Creek than to re- place line along Oxbow, but Alternative Two.opens a whole new set of environmental and scenic issues." That sentiment was also echoed by Dawn Wood who, Photo by Patti Walker INTERESTED CITIZENS attended a meeting in the Halfway Lions Hall last Wednesday evening to get information and give input about a proposed new power transmission line which will run between Brownlee and Oxbow. along with husband Dan, live on property along the Alter- native TWo route. "They already have lines along the reservoir," said Dawn. "The view is already ruined, why ruin both can- yons." Dixie Taylor, a 40 year Oxbow resident, was not sur- prised to get a notice about the new transmission line. "Power needs are increas- ing, and the old line needs replacing," said Taylor, "But I sure didn't expect they'd propose Alternative Two." Continued on page 5 Board Approves Teacher Contracts by kinda Bergeron approved the Consolidated abreakday, andwinterbreak tion, and that the Pine Eagle comprehension skills simul- of the Hells Canyon Journal At its regular meeting on Monday, March 11, the Pine Eagle School Board voted unanimously to approve two- year contracts for certified staff(plus one-year contracts for two probationary-status staff members). Except for a five-percent salary increase, the contracts do not reflect any changes. Brian Larson and June McKenzie were respectively voted in to the positions of assistant JV baseball coach and assistant track coach. The board unanimously District Improvement Plan (as revised on February 20) that will be submitted to the Oregon Department of Edu- cation by March 29, as re- quired. (This is a public docu- ment.) The school calendar for 2002-2003, which allows for 145 contact days and teacher in-se _ ice days at the end of each quarter, was reviewed and approved by unanimous vote. The first day of school will be Monday, August 26 and the last day on June 5. The Wednesday before the Thanksgiving holiday will be extends from Monday, Dec. 23 through Thursday, Janu- ary 2. Three separate pohcy read- ings were reviewed for a sec- ond time, discussed and ap- proved unanimously: (1) board member conflicts of in- terest; (2) complaint proce- dures for hazing, harassment, intimidation, bullying or menacing; and (3) electronic communication system rules (to be included in the Student Handbook). Student representative Amanda Hale reported that the Pep Band placed first in the regional district competi- basketball players had an accumulated GPA (grade- point average) of 3.98, which ranked them first statewide. This month's Celebrate Learning presentation in- cluded four members of Linda McLean's 21-student com- bined 6th and 7th grade class, whospoke about their indi- vidual "World Fair" geogra- phy projects. Also, Robin Kearns made a PowerPoint presentation about the "Read Naturallf' program currently in place in the district, whereby students needing lit- eracy assistance can improve their reading, writing and taneously in half-hour prac- tice slots using teacher mod- eling, repeated reading and progress self-monitoring. Kearns reported the program has become an excellent way for most of these students to "meet with success." Superintendent/Principal Tom Crane reported that Eastern Oregon Head Start had approached the district regarding use of 'acilities - one room - for its Halfway Center, and that the organi- zation needed to check with Pine Valley Presbyterian Church regarding its current CmatinmDd ImP 16 !