Newspaper Archive of
Hells Canyon Journal
Halfway, Oregon
December 1, 2010     Hells Canyon Journal
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December 1, 2010

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SMALLTOWN PAPERS 5026 CALIFORNIA AVE SW SEATTLE WA 98136 0000 7 -,( 75 Per Copy Baker County Courthouse Closed Due to Flood Damage The Baker County Commission Session scheduled for December 1, 2010 has been cancelled due to flood damage in the Baker County Courthouse. The meeting has been rescheduled for December 8, 2010. The location of the meeting will be determined at a later date. The Courthouse was closed on Monday, November 29, following the long Thanks- giving weekend, when water damage was discovered in the historic structure. Ac- cording to a Monday article in the Baker City Herald, theculprit was a valve located between the second and third floors of the Courthouse, which ruptured between Fri- day evenin~ and Saturday morning, Whether the valve was damaged by sub- freezing temperatures or failed for other reasons wasn't known on Monday. The Courthouse may reopen early this week with limited services, but anyone needing to transact business there in the next few days should call ahead to deter- mine its status before driving to Baker City. In the meantime, Baker Justice Court is temporarily relocating to Baker City Hall, and a mobile courtroom is being set up for Baker Circuit Court proceedings. Spartans Gear Up for Winter Sports If the snow that fell over the long Thanksgiving weekend didn't alert you to the fact, the season for winter sports is offi- cially here. Both basketball and wrestling teams open their 2010-2011 campaigns this weekend, when the basketball teams host Burnt River on Thursday in the Pine Eagle gym. Basketball games start at 4:00 p.m. Thursday. On Friday, the Spartan hoopsters will travel to Echo, Oregon, where they will compete in a two-day tournament. The Pine Eagle wrestlers travel to Enterprise on Friday and John Day on Saturday for their opening action of the new season. Please turn to page 8 for a preview of this year's Pine Eagle High Schoolwrestling team. Sl~artan gear will be avail- able at home games this year - see related article on page 2 for more information about what the Pine Eagle Boosters will be of- fering at home sports events this season. HCJ file photo HERE COME THE SP~,RTANS! Pine Eagle's wrestling team, led by two-time state runner-up Kyle Dennis (shown above), open their winter season this Friday in Enterprise. The Spartan basketball teams host Burnt River on Thurs- day to kick off their 2010-2011 season. Memorial by Sherrie Kvamme of the Hells Canyon Journal The annual Eagle Valley Grange Memorial Tree Light- ing will be held Sunday, De- cember 5 at 4:00 p.m. The tradition of the Memory Tree is that of honor. White bulbs on the tree are lighted in memory of loved ones who have died more than a year ago, and the blue lights are in memory of loved ones who have died within the last year. If you have not yet pur- chased a bulb for the tree and would like to do so, you are welcome to call Sherry Can- non at 541-893-6509 or Don Raupp at 541-893-6039. The event will begin in- side the Eagle Valley Grange Hall, with welcomes, poems, songs, musical selections, sto- ries and sharing. Before mov- ing outside to light the tree, the names of those who have died within the last year will be read and a moment of si- lence in honor of the departed will be observed. Bags of caramel corn will be handed out by the Eagle Valley Grange Women as ev- eryone gathers around the Memory Tree outside for the lighting of the tree. The Eagle Valley Grange is always filled to capacity for this event, so coming early is suggested if you have a special place you like to sit. This is the 13th year of the Memory Tree Lighting and it is not only a time of honoring loved ones who have passed on, but also an evening of celebration and tradition. It's a very special event in Eagle Valley that many simply do not ever miss. Will B, Lit Sunday HCJ file photo THE LIGHTING CEREMONY for the EagleValley Grange's Memorial Tree will take place this Sunday, December 5 at 4:00 p.m. at the Eagle Valley Grange Hall on Main Street in Richland. The weather forecast calls for below-freezing temperatures, so plan to dress warmly for this always- well-attended event. Idaho Power Offers Assistance Programs and Energy Saving Tips by Hayley Sanders of the Hells Canyon Journal Long nights and cold weather make it challenging to save money on your power bill in the winter. Unlike the summer months, when many people end up turning the A/ C offand bearing the warmth, turning off the heat isn't al- ways an option. With so many homes that are poorly insu- lated or rely mainly on elec- tric heat, electrical bills can soar in fall and winter. For- tunately, Idaho Power has several assistance programs for low-income households and general energy saving advice to help keep the power bills affordable, One of the energy assis- tance programs offered is called Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP). LIHEAP is a fed- erally funded program that helps low income households, with preference for those where a large amount of the income goes to home energy. The program offers a one- time benefit per year to as- sist with heating costs in the winter. In general, eligible households must not exceed 60 percent of the State me- dian income, but other fac- tors, such as household size, are taken into consideration. HELLS CANYON JOURNAL ~O Box 646 Halfway, OR 97834 1-742-7900i Energy Assistance is also a federally funded program running from November through March providing a one-time benefit per year to assist with heating costs. Eligibility is determined by household size and annual income. For example, a household of one that made $21,093 per year or less would be eligible, as would a household of four that brought in $40,563 or less. The program is run through the local Community Action Partnership (CAP) Agency, so to apply for the program, contact Community Connec- tion of Northeast Oregon at 541-523-6591. Weatherization Assis- tance is also available for qualified Idaho Power cus- tomers. Through CAP, Idaho Power will provide financial assistance to help cover the cost for weatherization of electrically heated homes. Improvements geared at re- ducing energy costs and in- creasing efficiency, such as insulation, weather stripping and sealing air leaks, are available at no cost to quali- fied applicants who own or rent their homes. Baker County residents should con- tact Community Connection of Northeast Oregon for this program as well. Through donations from generous Idaho Power cus- tomers, Project Share is avail- able to help pay electric, natu- ral gas, propane, oil. or fire- wood bills for those who are unable to pay due to illness, disability, age or unemploy- ment. Last year, customers and shareholders donated $341,610 to help 6,300 people keep warm. If you need help paying energy bills, you can contact either The Salvation Army at 541-523-5853 or Community Connection of Northeast Oregon at 541- 523-6591. If you are inter- ested in donating any amount to this program, you can set it up with Idaho Power and add an amount to your power bill. Owners or renters of manufactured homes may be eligible for a free Energy House Call through Energy Solutions, LLC. At no cost to you, a certified contractor will test the duct system for air leaks and seal any found;in- stall energy efficient light bulbs, replace the air filter, and check the hot water tem- perature. To be eligible for an Energy House Call, you must live in a manufactured home, have an electric fur- nace or heat pump, not have combustion devices (heaters, kerosene appliances, natural gas, propane, etc.) and have not had an Energy House Call before. It is best to get some neighbors together to make it worthwhile and call En- ergy Solutions at 208-404- 1487 to set up an appoint- menU. If you don't qualify for any of these programs, or even if you do. there are still lots of ways to keep your heating and electric bills down this winter. Idaho Power offers the following tips to save en- ergy this winter: Regularly clean or re- place the air filter in your furnace and maintain your furnace or heat pump regu- larly to ensure things run as efficiently as possible. Unless there are health reasons, turn the thermostat down. During the day, it should be set at around 68 degrees when you are home. and turned down to 55 de- grees when you are sleeping or not at home. For each de- gree you turn it down. you can expect to save around three to five percent on heat- ing costs. Open curtains during the day to let the sun and heat in. then close them in the evening to keep heat trapped. Weatherstrip and caulk doors, windows and penetra- tions into the attic or crawl space that allow warm air to escape. Increase insulation in attics, walls and crawl spaces if possible. If you have single-paned windows, think about installing window film or storm windows. Protect your water pipes and keep the floor warmer by making sure crawl space vents are closed. Your water heater is one of the biggest energy drains in your house. Lower the temperature on your wa- ter heater to 120 degrees. and use a water heater blan- ket, specially for older ap- pliances. For more information on any of these programs and more year-round energy say- ing tips. visit the Idaho Power website at www.idaho and stay warm this winter. Power Company Offers Tips on How To Be Energy Aware and Save Do you know how much energy you use each month, or even each day or each hour? Idaho Power's Idaho customers are billed under a tiered rate design that charges a progressively higher rate for kilowatt- hours (kWh) in each tier. Our tiered rate design helps you identify opportunities to take charge of your personal energy use and monthly bill, while also encouraging wise energy use. It's important to under- stand how tiered rates work in order to take action now and avoid higher bills than usual during cold tempera- tures. You pay the lowest rate when you use 0-800 kWh, a bit higher rate for 801-2,000 kWh and the highest rate for over 2001 kWh. By manag- ing your use and staying in a lower tier. you pay less. A chart at www.idahopower. com/myenergy shows how to calculate energy use, and the graphic shows how to read your bill. You can go to www. and sign up to be an Account Manager to access account informa- tion 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are de- tails on usage, billings, pay- ments and more. If you have your new smart meter, you can view hourly use infor- mation, making it easier to identify ways to save on your monthly bill. To sign up for Account Cold temperatures can mean higher energy use, so it's important to know how to manage your use and your bill. Manager, you will need your Idaho Power account num- ber and last payment amount. Once you have this information, go to the com- pany website, located at and click "Register Now" in the Account Manager box. It's designed to be quick, easy and convenient. You can also visit energyefficiency for energy- and money- saving programs, tips and tools that are right for you and your home. You will find ideas specific to light- ing, insulation and weather- ization, as well as online bro- chures with winter and sum- met energy saving tips, a home energy-saving checklist and additional ways to man- age your electricity bill. In addition to using your smart meter to stay informed about personal energy use, here are five no-cost ways to cut energy use right now and save on your bill: 1. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees when you are at home (health permitting) and even lower at night and when you are away. 2. Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees typically halfway between the "medium" and "low" setting (only if your dishwasher is early 1990s or newer). 3. Wash fullloads oflaun- dry 4. Turn offlights when not in use 5. Open your curtains and blinds during the day to let the sun heat your home. If you've done all you can do to be energy efficient and you're still having trouble with costs, there are re- sources that may help. Learn more at www.idahopower. com/energyassistance, j ,] d