Blue Mountain Eagle | http://www.bluemountaineagle.com Blue Mountain Eagle Wed, 4 Mar 2015 00:27:50 -0500 en http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/staticimage/images/rss-logo.jpg Blue Mountain Eagle | http://www.bluemountaineagle.com Shed hunt responsibly to protect big game http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Outdoors/20150303/shed-hunt-responsibly-to-protect-big-game http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Outdoors/20150303/shed-hunt-responsibly-to-protect-big-game#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:59:20 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309968 SALEM – As shed hunters hit the woods in search of prized elk and deer antlers, wildlife officials urge them to take care not to bother big game that may be vulnerable coming out of winter.

Buck deer usually shed their antlers from late December through March, and bull elk from late February through early April. They grow new antlers spring through summer.

Rob Tanner, co-founder of Oregon Shed Hunters, the sport of shed hunting is gaining popularity.

“We are noticing more people getting out, but the clientele has changed a bit,” he says. “It’s no longer just hardcore hunters; nowadays it’s more of a family event with mom, dad, kids and even pets out shed hunting.”

But wildlife biologists have concerns about the sport’s impact on big game if it’s not practiced responsibly.

The peak of shed hunting season in late winter/early spring coincides with tougher weather and less forage availability for big game, making it a vulnerable time for wildlife.

Biologists say shed hunters using motor vehicles can put wildlife on the move just when these animals need conserve their energy reserves. Pets and people on foot or horseback can also disturb big game.

“Shed hunters and their dogs can pressure, stress and exclude deer from the very ground that was set aside to help them survive the winter,” said Chase Brown, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife assistant district wildlife biologist in The Dalles.

This year’s mild winter has made conditions easier for big game, but also makes it easier for people to get into remote places where they may disturb the animals. Mark Kirsch, Umatilla District wildlife biologist, says that also can result in resource damage from vehicles using unimproved roads or going cross country, gates left open, trespassing, and movement of animals to private agricultural land where they cause damage.

Following are some tips to protect the animals while still enjoying the hunt for horns.

• Don’t disturb big game animals: Don’t approach animals or follow the same ones on a daily basis.

• Respect road and area closures, in place to protect winter range and wintering big game. Some ODFW wildlife areas are entirely closed to public access during late winter; other areas have road and travel restrictions. More information on specific closures below or see the 2015 Oregon Big Game Regulations.

• Don’t take vehicles off-roading. The ground is water-logged at this time of year and off-roading in the wrong place can damage critical wildlife and fish habitat. Travel by foot or horseback instead.

• Don’t be in the same spot every day. Deer and elk might need to be in that spot for food or cover, and your presence will keep them from it.

• Keep dogs under your control, and don’t let them chase wildlife. State law prohibits dogs – and people – from harassing wildlife.

• Don’t trespass on private property. You always need permission to be on private land. Under Oregon law, antlers that are shed on private land below to the landowner.

At this time of year, Oregon State Police patrol winter range closures and travel management areas by air and by vehicle.

Road closures and other regulations

Several ODFW-managed wildlife areas and travel management areas are closed during the winter to protect big game on winter range, while others have travel restrictions.

Here’s a look at some of the restrictions. For more information, see Page 80-85 of the 2015 Oregon Big Game Regulations.

Wildlife Area closures;

• Phillip W Schneider Wildlife Area (Dayville): Closed to public access Feb. 1 - April 14, some roads closed seasonally from Dec. 1-April 14.

• Elkhorn Wildlife Area (Baker and Union Counties): Closed to public access Dec. 1 - April 10.

• Bridge Creek Wildlife Area (near Ukiah): Closed to public access Dec. 1 - April 14.

• Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area (Clatsop County): Refuge and area closures.

• Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area (La Grande): Lands west of Foothill Road closed to entry Feb. 1 - March 31.

• Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Area (Maury and Ochoco Units): Closed to motorized vehicle access Nov. 15 or Dec. 1-April 15.

• White River Wildlife Area (Wamic): Road closures and restrictions.

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Spend spring break on the slopes http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Outdoors/20150303/spend-spring-break-on-the-slopes http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Outdoors/20150303/spend-spring-break-on-the-slopes#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:58:29 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309969 NORTH POWDER – Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort is again offering a Spring Break Camp, Monday-Friday, March 23-27.

The program is open to local and regional students, ages 7-18, who wish to learn or improve their skiing and riding skills. They will be placed according to their skill level, and will ski and ride with the same group and instructor for the week.

The cost is $80 per child, which includes five days of lift tickets, rentals and lessons. The daily schedule starts at 9 a.m. with check-in and rental pick-up. Lessons will be from 10:30-11:30 a.m., followed by free use of their ticket and rentals for the rest of the day until 4 p.m.

The registration deadline is Friday, March 20. Space is limited to 100 participants.

For more information, email chelsea@anthonylakes.com, call 541-856-3277, ext. 12, or by snail mail, contact Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort, Attn: Chelsea, 47500 Anthony Lake Hwy., North Powder, OR 97867.

Visit the resort at www.anthonylakes.com or on Facebook.

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Bowling scores http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20150303/bowling-scores http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20150303/bowling-scores#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:56:51 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309970 Nugget Lanes

Feb. 25

Nooners Senior League:

Men High Game: Doug Kruse 164

Men High Series: Duane Daniels 403

Women High Game: Chris Rowe 159

Women High Series: Chris Rowe 454

Feb. 26

Thursday Mixed 2K15:

Men High Game: Grant Benton 233

Men High Series: Grant Benton 555

Women High Game: Cheryl Leighton 159

Women High Series: Cheryl Leighton 456

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Round 1 heartbreaker ends GU girls’ season http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20150303/round-1-heartbreaker-ends-gu-girls-season http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20150303/round-1-heartbreaker-ends-gu-girls-season#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:56:26 -0500 Angel Carpenter http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309971 MONROE – The Grant Union girls fought hard in Monroe, but succumbed to the Dragons 33-37 in a heartbreaker battle for Round 1 of the state basketball playoffs.

“We had a really good scouting report, and we implemented it well,” said Grant Union head coach Mark Mosley.

He added that although his team played well together defensively, the free-throw line was a factor in the result of the game.

Monroe took 25 trips to the free-throw line, hitting 15, compared to Grant Union’s 6-7.

Still, the coach said he is proud of how the girls played.

“They fought hard to the very end – they didn’t give up,” he said.

Monroe entered the competition seeded No. 1 from the Mountain View Conference, 13-0 in league and 24-3 overall, while Grant Union was the No. 3 seed from the Wapiti League, 8-4 in league, 16-9 overall.

The Prospectors stayed with their opponents in the first quarter, tying the score three times and ending the quarter ahead 12-10.

Contributing to Grant Union scoring in the quarter were Kori Pentzer, with 4; Heather Mosley, 2; Riley Sharp, 3, including 1 point at the free-throw line; and McKenzie Wilson, 3, including one free throw.

Monroe’s shots, including a few 3-point attempts, weren’t falling in the second quarter, and the Prospectors held them to 1 free-throw point in the period.

Two of Grant Union’s 6 points in the quarter came from Wilson, who sank Pentzer’s steal. Emily Mosley and Pentzer also scored a bucket each, and the Prospectors had an 18-11 halftime lead.

The Dragons fired up after the break, gaining 13 points in the third quarter to Grant Union’s 6 points, tying up the score at 24.

Monroe began pulling away in the fourth with a point at the free-throw line, and a 3-pointer from Madison Ballard.

Grant Union fired back with a 2-point shot from Pentzer, 1 point at the free-throw line from Sharp, and a 2-point bucket from Emily Mosley to gave the Prospectors a 29-28 lead with about 2 minutes left in the game.

Monroe got the lead back when Kailey Martin landed a 2-point shot, and though Pentzer and Heather Mosley each hit the mark down the stretch, the Dragons, hitting a couple more free-throws, got the 4-point win.

“Even though our goal was to get to Pendleton this weekend, you can’t take away from the season that we had,” coach Mosley said. “We’re losing three valuable seniors, Riley Sharp, Babe Nash and Emily Mosley, but overall our program is young, and it has been a joy to watch the varsity, junior varsity and junior high programs improve throughout the season. I’d also like to thank the community for their support, and I encourage them to continue to support all the athletic programs at Grant Union.”

The stats

GU girls vs. Monroe

Kori Pentzer: 12 points, 2 rebounds

Emily Mosley: 6 points, 5 rebounds

Riley Sharp: 6 points, 5 rebounds

McKenzie Wilson: 5 points, 1 rebound

Heather Mosley: 4 points, 5 rebounds

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Lindsay oversees mental health in large swath of Eastern Oregon http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20150303/lindsay-oversees-mental-health-in-large-swath-of-eastern-oregon http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/People/20150303/lindsay-oversees-mental-health-in-large-swath-of-eastern-oregon#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:52:57 -0500 KATHY ANEYEO Media Group http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309972 When Kimberly Lindsay meets someone who is mentally ill, she sees everyman.

That person on the streets mumbling to himself or making peculiar repetitive gestures could just as easily be her or anyone else.

“These are people like you or me,” said Lindsay, who is mental health director for Morrow, Grant, Gilliam and Wheeler counties. “They have a mother somewhere who held them as a baby and wants the best for them.”

Lindsay oversees a huge swath of rural Eastern Oregon’s mental health care as executive director of Community Counseling Solutions. By statute, each county must hire a mental health director, a developmental disability manager and provide certain mental health services, usually by contracting a provider like CCS. Most directors oversee only one county — Lindsay has four, covering 9,500 square miles.

Lindsay, who lives on a farm near Heppner, puts several hundred miles on her Subaru Outback’s odometer every week. The agency’s list of facilities and services include Juniper Ridge Acute Care Facility in John Day, Lakeview Heights in Heppner and mental health, alcohol and drug, and developmental disability services in Heppner, Condon, Arlington, Fossil, John Day and Boardman. Services include gambling addiction counseling, rental assistance, senior companion and foster grandparents programs and a phone line for those struggling with mental health issues. A school-based health care center is also in the works.

Lindsay is an easygoing, yet inspiring leader, say her troops. She probably doesn’t own a power suit and one of her favorite phrases is “Do the right thing.”

On Tuesday, the 42-year-old bantered with her leadership team at an all-day meeting in Heppner. The close-knit group isn’t hesitant about showing emotion or tossing out inventive ideas. In fact, that’s encouraged. At these monthly sessions, the team discusses budgets, strategy, case studies and personnel issues and dissects successes and failures.

At last month’s meeting, they talked about a recent escape of a Juniper Ridge client. The man broke through a fence after being referred to the secure facility by the Union County Jail. Staff discovered the escape during a sweep within two minutes and alerted law enforcement and media. Police nabbed him about five hours later.

Lindsay later told a Blue Mountain Eagle reporter she was proud of how staff members handled the situation, saying they were “better than textbook.” The fence sub-contractor will reinforce the fence at no cost.

CCS Business Operations Manager Shannon Boor describes Lindsay as humble, dynamic, charismatic, tenacious and ethical. Boor said her boss was once a standout athlete at Oakridge High School who competed at state in track, basketball and volleyball. Boor said Lindsay insists she is not a natural athlete, just a determined one who ran hills on weekends and evenings and snuck a set of blocks home to practice sprint starts. During basketball and volleyball seasons, she studied angles and the spin of the ball.

“This drive, discipline and focus continues to be a springboard for her success,” Boor said.

A presentation to teenagers in Gillam County a few years ago might provide one clue to why Lindsay chose mental health as her life’s work. After sharing suicide statistics, she showed photos of suicide victims on the screen. They depicted three males during happier days. One splashed with his daughter in a swimming pool. Another fished in a stream. A teenager smiled a lopsided grin.

Then she dropped the bomb. All three suicide victims were members of Lindsay’s family.

“There’s not a day in my life that goes by I don’t think about my cousin, my dad and my grandfather,” she told them.

Lindsay naturally worries about her own children, but doesn’t know if that’s what led her to her career choice — an uncle who was a counselor piqued her interest in the profession. The personal proximity to mental illness, however, gives her empathy and insight.

Mental health treatment must be person-centered, Lindsay said.

“If you just treat with medication alone, the chance of relapse is 80 percent or higher,” she said.

Providing mental health care in rural areas is often challenging. Psychiatrists and licensed professional counselors are in short supply. The lack of public transportation and the remoteness discourages some with mental illness from seeking help.

“Distance is a big factor,” Lindsay said. “Lack of access is hugely important. In urban areas, they have public transit.”

Telepsychiatry is an oft-use tool to bring psychiatrists together with rural patients. Warmline volunteers field thousands of calls from people in mental distress each year.

Staying solvent in the mental health business can prove tricky. Lindsay said CCS saves dollars by using the same leadership for all four counties, sharing administrative costs and not having duplicate layers of administrators.

“You look at our organizational structure and you see something closer to a pancake than a pyramid,” said Lindsay, who has a master’s degree in psychology from Walden University.

The agency often takes the more expensive route in order “to do the right thing.” CCS, for instance, purchases local food and supplies for residential facilities rather than shopping online. Money is spent traveling to persons in distress or transporting them to other areas of the state or buying medications so clients don’t need rehospitalization.

“If you give one ounce of goodness, goodness comes back ten-fold,” Lindsay said. “This agency has been incredibly blessed.”

You might think that CFO Scott Spears might be pulling his hair out at this Pollyanna-esque statement, but you’d be wrong.

“There’s always some skepticism,” he said. “It requires you to sit back and look at the bigger picture.”

Grant County Commissioner Boyd Britton said he is “stoked” about the expansion of services in his county since CCS agreed to be the provider in 2008. The agency took the unusual step of also agreeing to run the public health department in 2013. He believes public and mental health can work hand-in-hand, that Grant County can be an example for the state. Britton is an unabashed Lindsay fan.

“If she was to run DHS (Oregon’s Department of Health and Services), the state would be a lot better off,” he said. “She is a formidable, passionate and forward-thinking individual.”

———

Contact Kathy Aney at kaney@eastoregonian.com or call 541-966-0810.

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Dance teams compete at Pendleton http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20150303/dance-teams-compete-at-pendleton http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20150303/dance-teams-compete-at-pendleton#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:51:12 -0500 Angel Carpenter http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309973 Grant Union placed fourth against Gresham, Rex Putnam and Hermiston teams – 5A and 6A teams which they don’t usually face in competition.

Grant Union earned 71.33 in execution, 66 for content and 75 for effect.

“Our overall score was at its highest this year with a 70.86,” Adair said.

Rex Putnam received 75, Hermiston 77 and Gresham 81.67.

“We performed very well, and I expect to continue to increase our scores through the remainder of the season as we still have 40 seconds to add to the routine,” Adair said.

The junior team, coached by varsity team members Carli Gardner and Mackenzie Woodcock, placed third in their division.

The elementary team, led by coach Stephanie Parsons, placed fourth.

“For many of these kids, this was their first time competing,” Adair said. “Everyone performed well and had a great time, and we had great support from a large John Day audience.”

Amy Lallatin of the high school team and junior team member Taylor Osgood were in the top 10 for the drill down competition.

Jennifer McCloskey of the high school team also received one of 20 super sensational awards.

The varsity team is looking forward to competing at the Thurston competition in Springfield, which starts at 12 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday.

All dance levels are preparing for the Spring Showcase, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12.

The cost is by donation to support the varsity girls’ trip to state competition the following week.

A barbecue pulled-pork sandwich dinner will be available to purchase at 5:30 p.m. at the Spring Showcase.

Adair said she’s looking forward to the state competition.

“If the team continues to work as hard as they have, we will have a strong, successful finish to our season,” she said. “This is such a great group of kids, and I’m really proud of them.”

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Students learn, bake, ‘dough-nate’ http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/students-learn-bake-dough-nate http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/students-learn-bake-dough-nate#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:49:01 -0500 Angel Carpenter http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309976 CANYON CITY – Humbolt Elementary School fifth- and sixth-graders may be asking their parents to fire up the oven at home.

The students learned all the steps to baking bread Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the school cafeteria, and each received a kit to bake two loaves at home with help from an adult.

Fifth-grade teacher Georgia Boethin was instrumental in having King Arthur Flour instructor Nate Sandel visit the school to present the engaging demonstration.

Part of the program, called Bake for Good: Kids Learn Bake Share, has each student giving one of their loaves of bread to the food bank.

Fifth-grader Aiden Taylor and sixth-grader Summer Keith helped with the demo, following the directions Sandel shared in front of about 90 of the schoolmates.

Taylor seemed to have the most fun as he tried throwing dough for a pizza, and Keith braided bread dough with ease.

The students also answered questions about bread-baking science.

Sandel, who gives presentations to students in Oregon and Washington, was also scheduled to visit Burnt River School in Unity for a demonstration.

“The students learned science, math and language arts – and we had fun,” Boethin said.

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Bank of EO closes Pasco deal http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Business/20150303/bank-of-eo-closes-pasco-deal http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Business/20150303/bank-of-eo-closes-pasco-deal#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:50:18 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309974 HEPPNER – BEO Bancorp and subsidiary Bank of Eastern Oregon last week finalized the purchase of Bank Reale, based in Pasco, Wash.

The deal was approved by Bank Reale shareholders and received all the required regulatory approvals. The transfer was effective last Friday.

This week, the Bank Reale in Pasco opened as Bank of Eastern Washington, a branch of Bank of Eastern Oregon.

Heppner-based Bank of Eastern Oregon was founded in 1945 as Gilliam County Bank in Arlington. Since then it has expanded to 12 branches and five loan production offices located in 11 Eastern Oregon counties, including locations in Grant County.

“Pasco marks our 13th branch and our first location in Eastern Washington,” said Jeff Bailey, president and CEO of Bank of Eastern Oregon. “Our goal is to expand upon and execute the original vision of Bank Reale’s founders: to provide unequaled customer service and serve the banking needs of the local Pasco community as well as the outlying rural areas of the Columbia Basin.”

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Johnson claims third at state http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20150303/johnson-claims-third-at-state http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_Sports/20150303/johnson-claims-third-at-state#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:49:39 -0500 Angel Carpenter http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309975 PORTLAND – Natural talent is not wasted on Grant Union wrestler Clay Johnson, says head coach Andy Lusco.

That talent, combined with hard work, propelled the 120-division sophomore to third place at last weekend’s OSAA State Wrestling Championship Tournament in Portland.

Johnson, seeded third going into the tournament, didn’t lose confidence after finishing just 1 point away from the championship round as he continued on to the consolation round.

His state competition action began Friday in the quarterfinal round, when he faced freshman Joey Navarro of Culver.

“Clay wrestled well,” Lusco said. “With 27 seconds left in the third round, he pinned.”

In the semifinal round Saturday, Johnson lost by a 3-2 decision to No. 2-seeded sophomore Wes Turner of Gold Beach.

“It was a very good match,” Johnson said later. “Neither one of us got back points on each other. It was a close match and a hard loss. It went all three rounds, and we were both pretty tired at the end.”

Lusco said Johnson didn’t lose stride after the loss.

“Clay really came back, and we felt like he was in a position to go into the finals,” the coach said.

After beating freshman Tyson Lilly of Gold Beach in the first match of the consolation semifinals, Johnson snagged the win for third from junior Kyle Bateman of Monroe.

“We went for most of the first round taking shots and blocking,” Johnson said. “He took a shot and tucked it in, and got 2 points on the takedown. I put him in a head and arm pin late in the first.”

Lusco said Johnson wrestled patiently.

“He was fundamentally sound in that match, and it put him in a good place to get a pin.” Lusco said.

From early in the season, Lusco has expected good things from Johnson.

Johnson qualified for state last year, and he finished with a 24-9 record this season.

He claimed victory as the 2A/1A Special District 4 champion, in a district that includes 12 other schools.

“He won a lot of matches and wrestled really well,” Lusco said. “Clay has a goal and a focus, and I think he does a good job finishing the course – he’s a better wrestler every week, and every year.”

What gave the coach such confidence in Johnson’s wrestling?

“Clay is the hardest working kid on our team,” Lusco said. “He puts a tremendous amount of time in his workouts during the season and in the off season. He’s naturally talented, and it’s not wasted on him – he works hard. That’s what we’re looking for, kids that are talented and work really hard.”

The coach added, “We have high hopes for the future to shoot for a championship – we really feel that’s within Clay’s reach.”

Assistant coaches for Lusco include Tye Parsons and Jake Batease.

“My coaches were awesome and very supportive of me – they helped me prepare for each match,” Johnson said.

He added that the state tournament was fun, especially with three teammates, Andrew Copenhaver, Antonio Dancer and Chance Ballou along to provide encouragement.

“I’m looking forward to wrestling with my teammates, and to grow more in wrestling,” he said.

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Editorial: Tone matters in public access debate http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/be/editorials/20150303/editorial-tone-matters-in-public-access-debate http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/be/editorials/20150303/editorial-tone-matters-in-public-access-debate#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:16:52 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309977 In their resignation letter last week, five members of the Grant County Public Access Advisory Board offered an unintended irony when they pressed the County Court to embrace rules of respect for others and against all personal attacks. While criticizing the Court for its actions, the letter failed to acknowledge that some members of the access board have run afoul of those very rules with their own comments in recent meetings and communications. The lack of civility in the road discourse has been striking, and they must share the responsibility for that.

To be sure, the County Court played a role in the eventual meltdown of the access board. The Court created the board out of a genuine desire for a participatory process last summer, but it was a rush job. The confusion and contentiousness that ensued was almost preordained. The members were appointed to a vague purpose, without the Court providing a detailed charter for the board or setting sideboards for its operations. Unlike other appointed boards and committees, this group was left largely on its own to chart its course.

It’s no surprise, then, that the board morphed into sort of a public-private hybrid. Indeed, we suspect those who quit the board last week will be far more comfortable as a private group than as a county body. That was suggested a few weeks ago in an email exchange obtained from the county by the Eagle, through a public records request.

In the exchange, County Judge Scott Myers asked Jim Sproul, then chair of the access group, to restore the forest supervisor’s name to the board’s mail list. Sproul replied that the access board’s “private email list” had been deleted, and that any personal emails sent by board members would be “for information only to concerned citizens of our choosing.” He made it clear that “all emails sent by the access board members to interested citizens of Grant County are for information purposes only and are private.”

That blending of private communications and public duties suggests the separation last week was inevitable, and probably a good thing. Today, these members are free to pursue their goals with roads – and any other issues – as private citizens, without the constraints of transparency that go with serving on a public board.

Still to be seen is whether the tone of the road discussion improves. So far, we’re hearing an escalation of angry talk on some social media platforms; a few of the more strident voices in the wider road debate are targeting individuals, businesses and agencies for personal criticism and scorn. It’s not clear how this happened, but we’ve apparently reached a point where demonizing those with different views is seen as an effective strategy to attain one’s goals.

We hope that as the discussion moves forward, the former members of the access board will embrace the respect and tolerance rules they urged on the Court and encourage others to do the same. They have the potential to be a force for positive movement – or stalemate – on these issues.

As for the Court, we urge the members to firm up the charge of the access board before filling any vacancies and moving ahead. We also urge them to adopt specific rules of conduct for their own meetings and to post them clearly, so that all members of the public – no matter what their opinions may be – will feel comfortable attending and participating. – SC

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Cops & Courts http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/cops-courts http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/cops-courts#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:16:37 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309978 Arrests and citations in the Blue Mountain Eagle are taken from the logs of law enforcement agencies. Every effort is made to report the court disposition of arrest cases.

CANYON CITY – The Grant County Circuit Court reported the following fines and judgments:

• Stanley Robert Vincent Jr. was found guilty by jury verdict of possession of methamphetamine. He was sentenced to jail for five days, bench probation for 18 months and 80 hours community service, and fined $1,300. He was found guilty by jury verdict of tampering with physical evidence, and was sentenced to jail for 10 days and bench probation for 18 months, and fined $100. The sentence is to be concurrent with all previously imposed sentences.

• Thomas Benton Alsup, 54, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of intoxicants. He was sentenced to jail for 10 days and bench probation for 18 months, and fined $1,500. His driver’s license was suspended for three years. He pleaded guilty to recklessly endangering another person, and was sentenced to jail for 10 days and bench probation for 18 months, and fined $100. His driver’s license was suspended for 90 days. The sentence is to be consecutive to the previous one.

CANYON CITY – The Grant County Sheriff’s Office reported the following for the week of Feb. 20-26:

• Concealed handgun licenses: 25

• Average inmates: 9

• Bookings: 9

• Releases: 11

• Arrests: 2

• Citations: 1

• Fingerprints: 9

• Civil papers processed: 7

• Warrants processed: 2

• Assistance/welfare check: 2

• Search and Rescue operations: 3

John Day dispatch worked 121 calls during the week of Feb. 23-March 1. Along with the various traffic warnings, trespassing, injured animals, noise complaints and juvenile complaints, these calls included:

• John Day Police:

Feb. 25: Chickens reported in a neighbor’s yard.

Feb. 26: Criminal mischief reported at Riverside Mobile Home Park.

Feb. 28: Power outages reported in Seneca and Canyon City.

March 1: Cited a John Day man for speeding; cited a Baker City man for speeding.

• Grant County Sheriff:

Feb. 23: Hit-and-run reported near Grant Union Junior-Senior High School.

Feb. 25: Trespassing reported at the South Canyon Shell station.

Feb. 28: Arrested a John Day man for driving while suspended-misdemeanor, and cited him for speeding.

• John Day ambulance:

Feb. 23: Responded for a 79-year-old woman who fell; domestic incident in Mt. Vernon.

Feb. 24: Paged for a woman who fell.

Feb. 25: Responded for a man having trouble breathing.

• Mt. Vernon ambulance:

March 1: Responded for 60-year-old man with elevated heart rate and anxiety.

• Long Creek ambulance:

Feb. 26: Responded for a 76-year-old man.

• Monument ambulance:

Feb. 25: Responded for a 63-year-old man.

• Prairie City ambulance:

March 1: Responded for a 77-year-old woman.

CANYON CITY – The Grant County Justice Court reported the following fines and judgments:

• Failure to properly use safety belt: Orion Delray Bliss, 21, John Day, fined $95.

• Failure to change name/address: Casey T. Mortimore, 28, John Day, fined $95.

• Failure to properly secure child: Patrick Lee Kinsey, 49, Prairie City, fined $95.

• Careless driving-no accident: Patrick Lee Kinsey, 49, Prairie City, fined $220.

• Driving while suspended-violation: Tony E. Fears, 47, Prairie City, fined $330.

• Driving uninsured: Tony E. Fears, 47, Prairie City, fined $200.

• Violation of the basic rule: Jacob Golden Rau, 37, Bend, 75/55 zone, fined $160; Joshua Dennis Heath, 42, Salem, 75/55 zone, fined $135.

• Krista Beth Griffin, Mt. Vernon, pleaded guilty to third-degree theft. She was sentenced to five days in jail, 12 months probation, and fined $638.85, which includes $4.10 in restitution. She was ordered to have no contact with the victim.

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Access panel members hit the road http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/access-panel-members-hit-the-road http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/access-panel-members-hit-the-road#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:15:14 -0500 Scotta Callister http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309979 CANYON CITY – Five members of the Grant County Public Access Advisory Board resigned en masse last week at the Grant County Court meeting.

The resignations triggered a wide-ranging discussion among Court members and citizens that touched on road decision frustrations, Forest Service project timelines, collaboration benefits, and terrorist beheadings.

The action began at the Grant County Court’s Feb. 25 meeting, when Jim Sproul, the board chair, read a resignation letter aloud to the Court. The letter, which claims the County Court has “ignored or marginalized” their findings about road issues, was signed by Sproul, Howard Geiger, Billie Jo George, Judy Kerr and Tom McHatton.

The departures leave two members on the board, Steve Parsons and Mark Pengelly.

The letter said members of the board had been threatened, ridiculed and accused of lying, and it accused the Court of going against the interests of the citizens “in favor of your cronies and the agencies.”

“Maybe in the future you should follow some of the rules of the Blue Mountains Forest Partners that you so admire,” the letter said, “Specifically in regards to the following: #1 respect for board member both in and out of meetings. #2 No back door dealings. #3 personal attacks shall not be tolerated.”

The Court has had its own concerns about personal criticisms in recent meetings, with commissioners cautioning at least two access board members about negative comments to or about others. The increasing tensions prompted a discussion at the end of one February meeting as other citizens pressed the Court to restore civility to county proceedings.

Last week, after reading his letter, Sproul tossed the board’s Courthouse mailbox key onto the table and strode out, saying he was going “to go saddle a new horse.”

Geiger presented a separate letter to the Court, saying the board has worked hard to have a voice on forest issues and to represent the desires of the people.

He said it was clear the Court didn’t want input from the board but has “farmed out the future use of our forest to people that have no stake in the outcome of these forest issues.”

Judge Scott Myers thanked Geiger for his service.

The resignations came after the Court heard a presentation on the Malheur National Forest’s Elk 16 Vegetation Management Project, the third major restoration project detailed for the Court in three weeks.

Pengelly told the Court that although he didn’t sign the letter, he agreed with the sentiment. He expressed frustration about the timing of Forest Service presentations to the Court, saying several have come too late for the board to participate fully.

He said it was particularly unfortunate in the case of the Big Mosquito Project, discussed at the Feb. 18 Court meeting. He said he saw a lot of “give and take” in that project, which could have ended with the board saying, “this isn’t so bad.”

However, when the comment periods have already expired, they don’t get that chance to participate, he said.

“We’re just a bunch of people trying to find out if the Forest Service is doing the right thing, and we don’t feel they are,” he said.

Britton credited Pengelly for taking the time to attend the most recent Forest Partners meeting, noting his experience in mining could be valuable as the collaborative continues its work on future projects.

Nicky Sprauve, who was elected last fall to the Grant County Public Forest Commission, said it seems the Court “has sold out, or rolled over to the people of the forestry.”

Saying it was just his personal opinion, he likened the Forest Service’s actions to cutting the people’s throats.

“You’re no worse than ISIS for your tactics on the people,” Sprauve said, referring to the Islamic State terrorists. “You’re no worse than sitting the people down of Grant County, lifting their necks up and cutting their throats.”

Britton broke in, saying “I’m sorry, that’s enough. That’s inappropriate.”

Sprauve said he was just saying that was how it looked to him, “not that it’s so,” and that he had a right to express his opinion.

Commissioner Chris Labhart told people in the audience they should direct their comments and concerns to the Court, not to others in the audience.

The discussion calmed with a statement from Zach Williams, a member of the collaborative, who urged people to build on the progress of the past few years.

The collaboration process may not be perfect, he said, but it has given the community a voice in the process that didn’t exist before. He said the participants have worked hard for years to create a relationship with the Forest Service and get past the agency-bashing and litigation that marked the past, tactics that weren’t working for anyone.

With the accelerated restoration underway, the Malheur is headed for a harvest of 75 million board feet, up from lows of 10-20 million board feet. The John Day sawmill, once headed for closure, is still running and there is work in the forest, which Williams credited to commitments from the Forest Service at both regional and local levels.

He said there’s “a pace and a scale of restoration” today that provides for hundreds of local jobs. The three projects outlined to the Court in February alone represent some 70 million board feet of timber.

“To say the Forest Service isn’t doing anything would be disingenuous,” he said.

He acknowledged the frustration felt by Pengally and others, and said he appreciated seeing new people come to the most recent collaborative meeting to see how it works. He stressed that some projects coming to the Court now have been in process for a long time – Big Mosquito since 2011 – but several are just beginning. He urged people to follow the new projects.

“We’ve got to keep moving forward,” he said.

Following is the text of the resignation letter:

Grant County Court:

It has now been almost two years since the Grant County Ordinance 2013-1 was signed into law by the three of you and our Grant County Sheriff. In 2014 the Court formed an advisory board to represent the views of the county citizens and bring them to the court for logical discussion and action under the law.

In that regard the members of this board have diligently acquired as much information as we were allowed access by the Forest Service and the Court. That information was provided to the citizens in open meetings with the results of those meetings presented to the court for action.

In general these findings have been either ignored or marginalized. Members of this board have been threatened, ridiculed and even accused of lying by members of the court in court session and in public. As citizens of this county we deserve better. Maybe in the future you should follow some of the rules of the Blue Mountain Forest Partners that you so admire. Specifically in regards to the following #1 respect to board members both in and out of meetings #2 No back door dealings. #3 personal attacks shall not be tolerated.

When presented with actual facts on access issues you have gone against the County citizens every time in favor of your cronies and the agencies.

It is obvious to the following members of the board that under the present court and situation we would be better off serving the citizens of the County by following a more mature and trustworthy stance with a willing partner not hampered by these actions and that is willing to back the law he signed.

We hereby resign immediately effective February 25, 2015

Jim Sproul

Howard Geiger

Billie Jo George

Tom McHatton

Judy Kerr

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Sanders gets prison for Seneca shoot-up http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/sanders-gets-prison-for-seneca-shoot-up http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/sanders-gets-prison-for-seneca-shoot-up#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:15:02 -0500 Scotta Callister http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309980 CANYON CITY – Shane Lee Sanders has been sentenced to six-plus years in prison for his late-night shooting spree last October at the Timbers Inn and RV Park in Seneca.

Appearing last Thursday in Grant County Circuit Court, Sanders pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree attempted assault and two counts of coercion. The pleas were part of a settlement agreement hammered out in a three-hour closed conference before visiting Judge Michael C. Sullivan.

In open court, Sullivan sentenced Sanders to a total of 73 months in prison.

Sanders has been in the Grant County Jail since the Oct. 8 incident, when gunshots punctured the night silence in Seneca.

Authorities said the uproar began when Sanders was with his girlfriend, Tammy Moyer, in a cabin at the Timbers; he checked her cell phone and became enraged about a text message he found. District Attorney Jim Carpenter said Sanders pointed a gun at her and even pulled the trigger, but the gun didn’t go off.

Moyer escaped to the next cabin, where her son and a girlfriend were staying. The son called 911, as Sanders fired shots into the cabin, at a nearby trailer and at a pickup truck.

When Undersheriff Todd McKinley responded, he was forced to take cover as Sanders fired toward him.

At dawn, Sanders fled across the nearby golf course onto private ranch land, triggering a daylong search and a blockade of the roads into town. He turned himself in that evening.

A Grant County grand jury indicted Sanders on 26 counts including attempted aggravated murder, menacing, coercion, criminal mischief and recklessly endangering another.

The hearing last week brought the dismissal of all but the two coercion counts from the original indictment.

A new filing by Carpenter lodged the attempted assault charges.

Sanders was in court with his attorney, Robert Raschio, as the judge pronounced the sentence. The terms include:

• For coercion, a class C felony – 25 months on each of the two counts, to be served concurrently, with credit for time served, and 36 months of post-prison supervision on each count. He was ordered to have no contact with the victims.

• Attempted assault, a class A felony – 20 months on the first count and 28 months on the second, to be served consecutively, with no credit for time served, and with 36 months of post-prison supervision.

Sanders, if he qualifies, may apply for treatment and or programs that could reduce the amount of actual time spent in prison, but he must serve a minimum of 36 months before being released on any alternatives to incarceration.

Sanders declined to make a statement at the hearing.

Of six people named as victims in the original indictment, only Moyer spoke last week, attending the hearing by teleconference.

She told the judge she fears Sanders will come after her when he gets out of prison.

She said the events of that night have affected her for life, and she can’t even go shopping or be in crowds without fear.

“I’m scared to death when a gun fires,” she said. “My life has changed.”

She said she hopes Sanders gets help “and doesn’t do this to another female again when he gets out.”

The hearing also dealt with the status of three guns related to the incident – weapons that were hidden that night in October and remained missing until just a few weeks ago.

Carpenter said Sanders and his attorney accompanied authorities to the Seneca site where he had stashed the guns. One gun was located then, and Sheriff Glenn Palmer later found the others with help of a metal detector.

In court, the guns were described as a .357 Magnum, a Smith and Wesson 40 caliber, and a 300 Winchester rifle.

Sanders forfeited any right to any guns seized from the incident.

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Witty gets Baker school job http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/witty-gets-baker-school-job http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/witty-gets-baker-school-job#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:14:51 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309981 BAKER CITY – Grant School District No. 3 Superintendent Mark Witty has accepted the top job at Baker School District 5J.

The Baker School Board decided last Thursday night to offer the superintendent job to Witty, and he accepted the next day. He will succeed Walt Wegener, who is retiring.

Witty has been with John Day-based District 3 for about 17 years, the past five as superintendent.

He said this week he is excited about the opportunity to lead the larger Baker district, but he has mixed emotions about the change.

“I’ve been blessed to live here with my wife and family, and to be able to raise our four kids here,” he said, noting they had an excellent education in the local schools.

He expects the strengths of District 3 to continue, and he lauded the school board and the “wonderful staff” for working to enhance the educational offerings.

In an earlier interview, he said he saw the Baker job as an opportunity for professional growth that would allow him to continue living in Eastern Oregon.

Chris Cronin, District 3 School Board chair, said the district will begin working out the details of the next steps to fill the job.

“We’re happy for him,” she said. “This is a great opportunity, but of course, we’re very sad to see him go. He’s done an outstanding job for District 3.”

She noted Witty has been an advocate not just for his district, but for schools across Eastern Oregon. In his new job, he will be able to continue that effort, and it will still benefit the Grant County schools, she said.

“We’re not going to lose that,” she said.

Witty’s contract with District 3 runs through June 30, although the Baker district is eager to have him start working on the transition right away.

Cronin said the District 3 board will have a special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 9, to accept Witty’s resignation letter and consider options for hiring a new superintendent. The board also will look into forging an agreement with the Baker district regarding Witty’s time over the next four months.

The district also has other staff changes in the works, with Monty Nash retiring and Kim Smith succeeding him in the principal’s job at Humbolt Elementary School. The board, meanwhile, has two new board members – Ben Holliday and Kelly Stokes – drawn from the ranks of the district budget committee. They were appointed to fill the vacancies left by resignations of Ryan Joslin and Andrew Janssen, and must face election in May if they are to continue on the board.

Cronin said both are welcome additions to the board, coming with experience in the district.

Witty was one of three finalists for the Baker job. The others were Robert Vian, 67, a district superintendent in Orofino, Idaho, and Betty Palmer, principal of South Baker Intermediate School. The Baker board is promoting Palmer to assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

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Tribal backers, schools battle over mascots http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/bme/capital-bureau/20150303/tribal-backers-schools-battle-over-mascots http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/bme/capital-bureau/20150303/tribal-backers-schools-battle-over-mascots#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 15:05:36 -0500 PETER WONGCapital Bureau http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309982 SALEM — Even as the state Board of Education tries to write rules to regulate them, Oregon schools remain adamant about keeping tribal mascots — and tribal advocates are just as vocal in saying they must go.

The board will hear a progress report at its meeting Thursday in Salem and is scheduled to adopt rules April 9.

The board is trying to implement a 2014 law that allows such mascots if districts come to agreements with any of the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon.

Fourteen high schools have tribal mascot names: Warriors, used by Amity, North Douglas (Drain), Oakridge, Philomath, Lebanon, Siletz and Warrenton; Indians, used by Mohawk (Marcola), Molalla, Roseburg and Scappoose; Braves, moniker for Banks and Reedsport; Chieftains, adopted by Rogue River.

The board in 2012 gave districts five years to phase out such mascots. Lawmakers overrode it in 2013, only to have then-Gov. John Kitzhaber veto that bill. Kitzhaber signed a revised version in 2014 sponsored by Republican Sens. Jeff Kruse of Roseburg and Fred Girod of Lyons, whose district includes Molalla.

An informal work group attempted to craft a rule, but differences became evident during a two-hour rulemaking hearing last week conducted by Cindy Hunt, government and legal affairs manager for the Oregon Department of Education.

Tony Mann, superintendent of the Molalla River School District, said he has worked with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde on an agreement to retain the name of Molalla Indians.

“The tribes expect to maintain a mascot that genuinely and respectfully represents the Molalla people, the tribes, and all indigenous peoples in the state,” Mann said. “I humbly ask the board to remain neutral in matters related to this.”

He said the state board’s role should be limited to whether districts simply comply with the procedure outlined in the law.

“What I saw coming out of the work group was the necessity of having a relationship — not just a one-time meeting and agreement but an ongoing relationship — with our tribal partners,” said Paul Young, Rogue River schools superintendent.

Larry Parsons, Roseburg schools superintendent, criticized a proposed requirement for districts retaining tribal mascots to map how they would close academic achievement gaps for students. He said such a requirement should apply to all Oregon schools.

Parsons also said it would be impractical for Roseburg to adopt a name of Roseburg Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians, the nearest of Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes.

But tribal advocates say it’s time for the 14 schools to follow the lead of The Dalles High School, which adopted the name Riverhawks instead of retaining Indians as a tribal mascot.

“These mascots undermine the educational experience of all students, particularly those with little or no contact with indigenous or native Alaskan peoples,” said Se-Ah-Dom Edmo, interim president of the Oregon Indian Education Association.

“I think we can still be invested in our teams without mascot names or images associated with them.”

Edmo also said many students come from tribes outside Oregon and are not represented by the nine federally recognized tribes.

Sam Sachs, a Portland human rights commissioner and an activist for racial justice, said the affected schools should do something similar to what his alma mater South Albany High School did. The school’s mascot is still the Rebels, but there is no Confederate flag — a symbol that blacks take offense to because of the legacy of slavery in the South.

Sachs says if the board proceeds to adopt a rule, it will face a lawsuit from affected student plaintiffs.

“I am done; there is nothing left to say,” he said. “We can list numerous human rights organizations here and throughout the country that say this needs to stop, this needs to end.”

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Dist. 3 special board meeting on tap http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/dist-3-special-board-meeting-on-tap http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/dist-3-special-board-meeting-on-tap#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 14:18:40 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309983 CANYON CITY – The Grant School District No. 3 board of directors will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 9, at the District office, to discuss upcoming administrative changes.

Topics include appointing an interim principal for Humbolt Elementary for the rest of the 2014-15 school year, accepting a letter of resignation from Superintendent Mark Witty, and discussing the hiring of the next superintendent.

The meeting is open to the public.

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OHSU offers free medical coder training http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/ohsu-offers-free-medical-coder-training http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/ohsu-offers-free-medical-coder-training#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 13:49:23 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309984 FOSSIL – An event Saturday, March 14, in Fossil will offer information about training for medical coder jobs.

The recruitment fair, with a free barbecue and waffle feed, will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Glover Community Center, 501 Main St.

Representatives from OHSU and the American Academy of Professional Coders will be on hand to answer questions about the training program.

For more information contact Jamie Bourcier at OHSU: 503-250-1358 or bourcier@ohsu.edu.

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Justice Court closed March 10-13 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/justice-court-closed-march-10-13 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/justice-court-closed-march-10-13#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 13:47:21 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309985 CANYON CITY – Grant County Justice Court will be closed Tuesday through Friday, March 10-13, due to staff training.

Payments may be mailed, paid online or deposited in the secure drop box next to the Court window.

Phone messages and emails will be checked on a daily basis.

Justice Court is located upstairs at the Grant County Courthouse, 201 S. Humbolt St., Suite 120, in Canyon City. Call 541-575-1076 for more information.

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New hours at the Road Dept. http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/new-hours-at-the-road-dept http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/new-hours-at-the-road-dept#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 13:47:15 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309986 JOHN DAY – The start of Daylight Saving Time signals the change to a spring and summer work schedule at the Grant County Road Department.

Beginning Sunday, March 8, the department’s office and operating hours will be 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

For more information, call the Road Department at 541-575-0138.

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Court pens gun rights letter http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/court-pens-gun-rights-letter http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20150303/court-pens-gun-rights-letter#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 13:44:32 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309987 CANYON CITY – The Grant County Court last week signed a letter to Oregon legislators urging them to oppose any new laws that would restrict 2nd Amendment rights.

The letter notes the right to bear arms as “an essential aspect of American liberty.”

The letter came in response to indications that the Democratic majority in the Legislature will push gun-control proposals this session.

The Grant County letter asked representatives not to confuse their desire to protect “with the responsibility to defend the rights of those whom you represent.”

Signing the letter in the Feb. 25 meeting were Judge Scott Myers and Commissioners Chris Labhart and Boyd Britton.

Labhart initially expressed reservations, noting he had not yet seen any bills introduced. If that happens, he said, he’d be “on it like stink on a skunk.”

Citizens urged the Court to be proactive, not reactive, and one proposed an emergency ordinance supporting the 2nd Amendment.

The Court’s vote was unanimous to sign and send the letter.

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Letter: Logging a boost http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Letters/20150303/letter-logging-a-boost http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Letters/20150303/letter-logging-a-boost#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 10:09:51 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309988 To the Editor:

In response to the letter “Focus on logging?” in last week’s paper: I think we should give Christy Cheyne a job well done for trying to implement a plan that logs some of the millions of dead trees over 21 inch DBH on the Malheur National Forest.

In communities all over Eastern Oregon the logging of these trees would be a much needed boost. There are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of acres of trees that need this same attention in every county in Eastern Oregon.

The misuse of our greatest resource can be felt in every community in these counties also. Schools, businesses and the economy as a whole has depended on these resources as a lifeblood.

Instead of commenting negatively on the Draft Environmental Assessment I urge people to write Mrs. Cheyne and comment positively on this plan, and hope that plans like this are used all over our forests to help school funding, restore jobs that have been lost and give our small rural communities a chance for a bright future. And also to reward the Forest Service for thinking outside the box to get some much needed attention to our Forests.

Ben Holliday

John Day

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Letter: Disappointed with County Court http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Letters/20150303/letter-disappointed-with-county-court http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Letters/20150303/letter-disappointed-with-county-court#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 10:09:49 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309989 To the Editor:

I am very disappointed with the County Court. When I first suggested the access board to the FS and the Court, I saw something that would help the people of Grant County have a voice in the court on forest issues. We, the members of the board have worked very hard with the people of Grant County, and taken their comments, needs and opinions. We have condensed these desires and brought them to the Court.

I have not seen this Court make any decision that is a positive move on the suggestion made by the people of the county. I did not see one member of this Court attend a public meeting, held at the Outpost. There, the board heard the public comment on their wants, needs and opinions as to what they want done on our forest. We brought their suggestions to this court and nothing happened. The board had a meeting with another group that is also working to try and get positive outcome on the forest issues and again, we made suggestions to the Court, but nothing happened. It became very clear that this Court was not going to act on any of suggestions that have been made by the people of Grant County.

I did hear during a court meeting Commissioner Labhart say maybe it was time to have a meeting without the normal day of court business. That has been almost a month and nothing has happened.

It has become very clear that the Court did not want any input from the board. Instead, this Court has farmed out the future use of our forest to people who have no stake in the outcome of these forest issues. This Court is paying one of these groups, which I doubt has ever been to Grant County.

I think by this Court’s actions, they have shown they do not wish to listen to the people of this county. There are people who live in Grant County who would and could do the same job, as they know this forest; these people work, live and play in it, and they could do the job for a lot less money and keep the money in Grant County.

The people on this board are not going to go away. We are going to continue to listen to the people and voice a stronger voice to the Court. I also think these actions by this Court are going to wake up more people in the county to what really is the position of this Court on our forest issues.

I hope this Court will rethink these decisions and show they really care what the people of our county think. You should remember these people elected you to work for them and for the good of the county and they want a voice on what is done on our forest issues.

Howard Gieger

John Day

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Letter: A dearth of honor http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Letters/20150303/letter-a-dearth-of-honor http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Letters/20150303/letter-a-dearth-of-honor#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 10:09:35 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309990 To the Editor:

The “Cs” have it.

Coercion, collusion, collaboration, concealment, consorting, and corruption. I have been personally exposed to all in one form or another since 1986 after joining the ranks of the Forest Service. After shaking free of the erratic government militia 10 years ago, I felt slightly vindicated.

I thought to have found the perfect opportunity attempting to right the wrongs done to the American people by supporting their right to free access of their public lands. Only to find that self-serving interests exist at all levels of government.

Now the “Ds” have it as well: dishonor, dishonest, (mis)direction, deception, derision, and debasement, which leaves me with a total feeling of disgust. There are few honorable men or women left in the political world from all indication.

It only took me a short period of time to find the one person in county law enforcement committed to serving the interest of the people and is worthy of respect. Most are involved in selfish interests and grandstanding, which eliminates their view of justice and patriotic duty (dishonor); hiding self advancement and financial gain (dishonest); leading people to view their actions as being for common good (deception); scoffing or ignoring the efforts of those seeking to represent the people of this county (derision and debasement).

I missed (mis)direction which is the shell game of what rock is the snake now under.

Now being labeled as “activists” to camouflage the attempt to represent the people that, to date, local and federal governments have miserably failed to do. You don’t have to sit on top of the barrel to smell the spoilage within, so in self-interest, I will deny any association with un-American entities that are striving to take control of our lands from the people who paid for it, support it, and fought for it.

The only “weapon” you need to be concerned about from me is my right to freedom of speech which your attempt at misdirection can’t deter.

Judy Kerr

Canyon City

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Letter: Roads or timber? http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Letters/20150303/letter-roads-or-timber http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Letters/20150303/letter-roads-or-timber#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 10:09:31 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309991 To the Editor:

When did we come to the point in Eastern Oregon, that we found ourselves negotiating our access to public lands for timber harvest, and why is this an acceptable model for our elected officials?

The answer lies directly under our noses, but for the fact that a great deal of us don’t know it exists. Collaboration and the bringing together of “interested” parties to negotiate projects is killing our individual rights each and every day.

The Grant County Court, as one example, has decided to align itself with the financial interest of Iron Triangle and the “stewardship contract.” In order for Iron Triangle to move forward with getting its projects completed, they must keep the Forest Service happy.

Mr. Beverlin, supervisor for Malheur National Forest, made this very clear in early February when he informed the American Forest Resources Council that any interference or preventing the Forest Service from performing road closures will jeopardize timber outputs on the forest.

That is where we have come as a region and where the Forest Service has come to as an agency. You don’t support what we want to do, we’ll break you, period, end of story. So, what other choice do these companies have? Either Hells Canyon Preservation Council litigates a timber project if it’s not closed afterwards, or the Forest Service simply does not allow the project because you can’t keep the public shut up about it.

This isn’t just in Grant County; it’s throughout the Eastern Oregon counties and the only way to address it is to tell the commissioners that our motorized access is not to be negotiated.

We’re being held hostage, friends. Who stands up and says enough is enough?

John D. George

Bates

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Letter: Parklike home not good for deer http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Letters/20150303/letter-parklike-home-not-good-for-deer http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Letters/20150303/letter-parklike-home-not-good-for-deer#Comments Tue, 3 Mar 2015 10:09:28 -0500 http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2015150309992 To the Editor:

I’m writing this letter to Steve Beverlin, Malheur Forest supervisor, on behalf of Bucky Mule Deer and his family:

Steve, the 10-year forest initiative that your forest is working on now is destroying our homes. The loggers are removing all the habitat that we need to survive. They are taking all of the little trees, the brush, the browse we feed on, and leaving an area where we can look for a half a mile through the remaining trees and see nothing we can hide in. There’s nowhere for our babies to hide in order to escape being killed by a coyote, and if they are lucky enough to grow up, they have to dodge the cougars. We will be crowded in to smaller and smaller areas or forced to retreat to private land and that’s not good, because too many of us on private land makes the ranchers unhappy.

Our numbers are declining and the loss of habitat is part of the reason. I have lost some of my family and a good many of my friends. As far as we are concerned, the loss of our homes is not management, but destruction.

We need a place to rest and get out of the bad weather and hot sun, and a place to escape hunters during hunting season. Can’t you tell the loggers to leave a mosaic pattern of cover for us when they cut the timber? Or cut fire breaks? Fire breaks and a mosaic pattern of timber removal would help us immensely, and it would create the fire control that you are seeking, that has been proven in the past.

What has happened to common sense?

Reasonable logging is good for us and the mills need the logs, and that’s OK, but not the radical cutting that is being done in much of our home now. A parklike home is not good for us, and never has been. – Bucky Mule Deer.

Dean Elliott

Canyon City

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