Newspaper Archive of
Hells Canyon Journal
Halfway, Oregon
May 19, 2004     Hells Canyon Journal
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May 19, 2004

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New Postmasters Announced for Richland, Halfway by Pat Garrigus of the Halls Canyon Journal Postal Relief employee Krista Dennis has been cho- sen as the new Richland Post Master and was sworn in on Saturday, May 15. "You bet I'm happy and excited," Krista said. "I just hope I can serve postal cus- tomers as well as my prede- cessor, Charlene Immoos." Krista is married to Ralph Dennis, an Eagle Valley rancher. They have twin boys, Austin and Cody, age nine and in the third grade at Richland Elementary School. She is a room mother and in the past served on the budget committee for Pine Eagle School District. Photo by Steve Backotrom LUPE FARLEY begins work as postmaster at the Halfway Post Office on June 12. Krista was raised in Pendleton where she at- tended elementary school, then moved to La Grande where She attended high school and Eastern Oregon University. She met Ralph through his sister, Keli Den- nis, also then a student at EOU. "I love to garden," Krista says, "and quilt. I belong to the Eagle Valley Quilters. I'm also active in the Baker County Cattlewomen's Asso- ciation." Lupd Farley will begin work as the new Halfway postmaster on Saturday, June 12. "I'll miss my customers at the Oxbow Post Office," Lupd said, "but I'm excited to get back to my old customers in Halfway. I've missed them. And the high gas prices makes living and working in Half- way look real good. Here at Oxbow I could leave work at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time and get home at 4:30 Pacific Time, but that's a change I can get used to in a hurry." Lupe is an 18-yearveteran in the Postal Service, begin- ning at the Halfway Post Of- fice in April of 1985 where she worked for eleven years before transferring to Oxbow where she has served for 8 years as Post Master. Her husband, Bill Farley, is a self-employed rancher and they have three grown sons, Bill, Steven and Joseph. Photo by Steve Backmtrom NEW RICHLAND POSTMASTER Krista Dennis, who has worked at the Richland Post Office for the past eight years. "Joseph has two sons, Taylor and Brock," Lupe says. And Bill is going to give us our first girl. He and his wife live in McKinney, Texas, but I'm sure we'll figure out a way to do some spoiling long dis- tance." Lupe enjoys horse back riding on weekends and work- ing with Bill on the ranch. "I love fencing," she said. "Bill starts on one end and I start on the other and work till we meet in the middle." Clinic Board Election Begins Five candidates are run- ning for four available posi- tions on the board of direc- tors of the Pine Eagle Health Planning Committee, which serves as the governing body for both the Pine Eagle Clinic and the Halfway-Ox- bow Ambulance Service. Carolyn Coble, Betty Warmath, Terry Schmoe, Steve Brocato and Diane Anderson have all agreed to serve on the board if elected. Voters in the local election can also write in the name of other candidates if they choose to do so. Ballots for the election are included in the this week's Hells Canyon Journal and may be returned to one of three locations: the Pine Eagle Clinic, the Richland Hitching Post or the Idaho Power warehouse at Oxbow. The ballot boxes will remain at those locations until the election concludes at 4:00 p.m. on June 17. Election results will be announced at the June 21 board meeting. Profiles of the five candi- dates will be included in an upcoming issue of the Hells Canyon Journal. Richland Council Declares Vacancy, Removes Stop Signs The Richland City Council declared a vacancy at its meeting Thursday, May 13, following the resignation of council member Jim Wilson. Wilson appeared at the meet- ing, but did not elaborate on his reason for resigning from the council. The council also voted to remove the two stop signs which had recently been in- stalled on Third Street at the corner of Walnut. The stop sign which was installed on the Walnut Street side of the intersection will remain in place. "Half the people don't even slow down for them, much less stop," commented Jim Wilson from the audience. "I'm hearing over and over how ridiculous those three stop signs are in a little town the size of Richland," said council member John Daniels. "It disturbs me that we've made a rule and we can't enforce it." "We've tried it, and it's been a pain in the butt," council member Marvin Schaber said of the city's recent attempt to control the flow of traffic on Third Street with stop signs. In other business, the coun- cil: unanimously voted to amend the city maintenance man's job description with the wording: "Hours shall be as designated by the Richland City Council with a minimum of 20 hours per week;" unanimously voted to grant Sid Ziegler a permit to operate a silversmithing busi- ness in his home; unanimously adopted the Baker County nuisance ordinance; learned that the envi- ronmental review for the city's water improvement project is in process and should be completed in an- other week or two; voted 3-0 with one ab- stention to renew the social gaming license for the Short- horn. a Due to the rain on Mon- day, May 10, the first event in this summer's Three-Se- ries Rodeo Playdays has been rescheduled for tonight, Wednesday, May 19. Playday activities get underway in the rodeo arena at the Pine Val- ley Fairgrounds at 7:00 p.m. For more information about the Three-Series Rodeo Playdays, please contact Deania Corrigan, 742-4584 or Linda McLean, 742-6464. Fair Association Update by Sue Forrester of the Halls Canyon Journal Members experienced a delay when they arrived for the 7 p.m. meeting as the Directors' session ran over- time. The reason for the de- lay was the Directors' meet- ing with Attorney Martin Leuenberger who stayed to explain processes and answer questions from the full mem- bership. Leuenberger told the membership that he would discuss with the lender's at- torney the matter of using the Pavilion during Fair time this year. Just prior to publi- cation (Monday, May 17, 2004), he reported that there would be no problem with holding Fair activities. On a somber note, Presi- dent Ralph Smead reminded the membership that the community had recently lost an outstanding member in Gary Grace. He told the As- sociation members of the May 15 memorial service and potluck to be held. Grace handled the announcer's electronics system for the Association for the past few years as well as lent his con- siderable vocal talents at Fair and other times. "He will be sorely missed," said Smead. After reading the previ- ous meeting and board meet- ing minutes, Phyllis Thomas presented a comprehensive, written treasurer's report. The Yard Sale/Auction net- ted $860.60 for 99 yard sale items; $7,609.50 for 217 auc- tion items, and $455.35 in cash donations for a total of $8,925.45. The concessions run by Junior Rodeo and Panhandle Rodeo Queen Courts netted $154.50 each after expenses. Thomas reported that the insurance is paid through July 25 and the rodeo con- testant check inadvertently missed last year has been paid. She presented the cur- rent bills, including adver- tising the Yard Sale/Auction in the various Thrifty Nick- els, and the membership voted to pay the bills. Mem- bers discussed what to do with the few items remain- ing, plus items recently do- nated, and it was suggested that the Fairgrounds be added to the June 19 Com- munity Yard Sale event cir- cuit and the items sold at that time. Page Frederickson at- tended the meeting to let members know that three of the water meter housings on the fairgrounds were in high traffic areas and are badly deteriorated. She said the city is in process of determining what needs to be done, whether to move or reinforce, and add barriers to prevent traffic passing over the meters. Tami Carpenter reported that she has submitted the Transient Room Tax grant request of $780, less 25 per- cent for matching funds to offset the cost of radio adver- tising for the Fair and Rodeo. Marcella Taylor and Eunice Squires have honored the association with their ac- ceptance as Grand Marshals. Galen "Squeak" West will drive the ladies in his vintage automobile. After lively discussion, it was decided to keep the do- nated market steer and goat which weren't sold at the auction, until Fair time and sell them at the livestock auction. Phyllis Thomas agreed to take on the responsibility for the Rodeo program book since she is doing the billing for the ads anyway. Smead announced that he has added the June 12 Victo- rian Tea, sponsored by Lillies of the Valley, to the list of events held at the fairgrounds this year. Nellie Forrester said she wanted everyone to know that the design work for the Fair Buttons has been done by Eleanor Smead for the past several years. She had passed a sample button around for members to see earlier in the meeting. School Board New Staffers by Linda Bergeron of the Halls Canyon Journal At its regular meeting on May 10, the Pine Eagle School Board approved, by a 4 to 1 vote (Minarich dis- senting), hiring Bob Digges as the new district groundskeeper. Superin- tendent Tom Crane re- ported there had been 16 applicants for that position. (Board director Julie Stromer voted with a poten- tial conflict of interest.) The board also unani- mously approved Abbey Godwin for a half-time art position (middle school level), and Morgan Smith Gover as high school secre- tary. A recommendation for the deputy clerk position will be made at a later time. Before the vote, board chair Deborah Mader re- minded those in attendance that the process of selecting applicants for consideration and making recommenda- tions was accomplished by a committee comprised of a school board member, the person who currently holds the job and one other com- mittee member. "It is a committee deci- sion that brings these rec- ommendations to the board," she said. The board unanimously approved a resolution for the district to sell the property identified as tax lot #200, the Richland School bus barn, to Frank Randall, Eagle Valley. Crane announced the res- ignation of classified staff member Angie Butler, cleri- cal substitute and part-time library assistant for several years, effective May 10. Extra-duty and extended contracts were unanimously approved for the following individuals and positions: Jennifer Godwin, annual advisor; Barbie Morgan, athletic director; Roger Gulick, girls head basket- ball coach; Joe Denig, FFA advisor; Blake Dennis, head coach for football and wres- tling; Mike Wright, assis- tant football coach; Rob Crawford, forensics; Jenny Gulick, cheerleader advisor; Barbie Morgan, student management advisor; Kathy Peer, TAG coordina- tor; Arlene Koski, head vol- leyball coach; Linda McLean, summer school teacher; Kellie Dennis, con- cession stand advisor; Bryan Larson, acting super- visor. Four other standard contracts were not voted on at this meeting. No recommendation was made for a HES coordinator since Crane's administra- tive position covers that re- sponsibility. Also, the motion to ac- cept the recommendation of Lynn Akers as boys' basket- ball coach did not pass ina 3 to 1 vote (Hal Weaver dis- senting) with one absten- tion (Mader), lacking a quo- rum of the seven-member board. Crane responded to board director Marilyn Peterson's question regarding when these positious are evaluated: "Throughout the year." Crane identified his top seven goals, from a submit- ted list of 20: to save the instructive learning environ- ment (that is, maintain ad- herence to the four-day week as a priority); to improve math scores, and consider that as a major goal for the next three years; to imple- ment a new drug/alcohol/to- bacco awareness program, with Wayne Endersby focus- ing on seventh- through ninth-grade students; updat- ing the district website, to make it more useful for par- ents and staff; to maintain a positive relationship with the community, students and board; to train new employ- ees, and to develop a better Continued on page 6 2004-05 School Budget Anticipates Reductions On May 3, a quorum of the Pine Eagle School Board members unanimously approved the $3.59 million Budget for fiscal year 2004-2005, as presented by the Budget Com- mittee and its chair, Pare Brisk. According to the accompany- ing message, "The budget is the financial plan for accom- plishing the Mission Goals of the School District, and, as with any planning document, this one will be subject to change." Detailed comparisons between this proposed Budget and that of the previous year are: decrease of $70,638 in instruction costs; decrease of $61,183 in support services (maintenance); decrease of $10,927 in community and food services; decrease of $10,000 in staff development expenditures; no change in the Contingency Fund ($161,000); no change in the Un-Appropriated Ending Fund Balance ($100,000). Anticipated enrollment is for 205 students district-wide, with an estimated eight at RES (K-5), 71 at HES (K-6), and 126 at PEHS (7-12). This represents a decline of 21 students. Total revenues show a projected decrease of $141,751, due to enrollment change and a reduction in transfer dollars from the hot lunch program, Superintendent Tom Crane concluded the message, stat- ing, "Our budget reflects the district's commitment to using our dollars to accomplish specific goals and maintain quality programs." The public may view the Budget at the District Office during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p,m., Monday through Thursday. LWB Halfway Council and County Commissioners Set Joint Town Hall Meeting The Baker County Board of Commissioners, joined by the Halfway City Council, will participate in a Town Hall meeting in Halfway on May 19, 2004. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m., and will take place at the Halfway City Hall.