Blue Mountain Eagle | Blue Mountain Eagle Thu, 8 Dec 2016 16:41:35 -0500 en Blue Mountain Eagle | Mt. Vernon collecting food donations for annual baskets Thu, 8 Dec 2016 16:23:11 -0500 The Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department is accepting donations for their annual Elderly Food Baskets.

Donations of food can be dropped off at Mt. Vernon City Hall, the Silver Spur Restaurant, Squeeze In Restaurant or given to any Mt. Vernon fire fighter.

Cash donations can be dropped off at Mt. Vernon City Hall, and if donations need to be picked up, call the city hall at 541-932-4688.

John Day Post Office extends hours for holiday season Thu, 8 Dec 2016 16:24:45 -0500 The John Day Post Office will be extending its retail hours during the month of December. Dec. 1-23, the business will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and additionally from 1-3 p.m. on the first three Saturdays, Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17. Regular business hours will resume Dec. 27.

Dayville alumnus participates in 75th commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day Thu, 8 Dec 2016 15:40:21 -0500 Angel Carpenter U.S. Navy Lt. Robert J. Campbell Martin, son of Dayville residents Dan and Pam Martin, took part in the 75th commemoration of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Wednesday, Dec. 7, on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.

A fleet of aircraft carriers sailed by the USS Arizona Memorial, situated directly above the site where the battleship Arizona sank with 1,177 officers and crew on board, during the attack in 1941.

“All the sailors were on top of the aircraft carrier and saluted as they went by,” Pam said of the commemoration event. “When they come into port, they all do that.”

Lt. Martin was on the John C. Stennis as a fleet of ships sailed past.

He is a 1997 graduate of Dayville High School, and has served in the Navy for 15 years.

Lt. Martin is currently stationed on Bainbridge Island, Washington, and was also once stationed at Pearl Harbor.

“We’re very proud of our son,” Pam said. “It was such a sad date, and my son and lots of people’s sons got to be a part of the commemoration.”

• The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred on Dec. 7, 1941.

• The Japanese attacked the United States without warning.

• The attack lasted 110 minutes, from 7:55 a.m. until 9:45 a.m.

• A total of 2,335 U.S. servicemen were killed and 1,143 were wounded. Sixty-eight civilians were also killed, and 35 were wounded.

• The Japanese lost 65 men, with an additional soldier being captured.

• Pearl Harbor is on the south side of the Hawaiian island of Oahu and is the home to a U.S. naval base.

• The attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II.

• Just five men who were assigned to the Arizona are still alive, in their 90s.

Information from History1900s and Hawaii News Now.

Kysen Lee Kinsey Thu, 8 Dec 2016 14:00:05 -0500 Kysen Lee Kinsey, infant son of Kyle Kinsey and Jessica Thomas, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Blue Mountain Hospital. No public services are planned at this time. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kysen Lee Kinsey memorial fund through Old West Federal Credit Union. Arrangements are under the care of Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845. To leave a condolence, visit

Patricia Hyde Thu, 8 Dec 2016 12:49:42 -0500 Patricia Hyde, 82, of Canyon City passed away Wednesday, Dec. 7, at St. Charles in Bend. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec.15, at Driskill Memorial Chapel. A private interment will follow. Arrangements are under the care of Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845. To leave a condolence, visit

Motorist dies in crash near Ritter Tuesday Thu, 8 Dec 2016 10:25:48 -0500 Luis Gerado Sanchez, 63, of California died in a car crash near Ritter on Tuesday, Dec. 6, according to Driskill Memorial Chapel. The vehicle, a 2001 Mercedes SUV, was northbound on Highway 395B, when Sanchez lost control due to slick conditions near milepost 80 and rolled into a tree off the shoulder of the south lane, according to Oregon State Police Sgt. Hutchison. Sanchez was found dead at the scene. No services are planned at this time. Arrangements are under the care of Driskill Memorial Chapel.

Off-leash dog kills another in John Day Wed, 7 Dec 2016 13:47:31 -0500 Rylan Boggs Dog problems persist in Grant County, and the latest incident left one canine dead in John Day.

Chris Labhart, a current county commissioner and former mayor, said he allowed a Lab mix he was walking as part of his animal care business off leash at the Seventh Street Complex Nov. 28, and the dog attacked and killed an off-leash Schnauzer another man was walking in the park.

Labhart said he had walked the dog for two years without incident. He said he was walking two dogs at the time, and he allowed both off their leashes because they had never been a problem before. He has operated his business, Claws and Paws, for about five years without any problems, he said.

“I’m not trying to hide it,” Labhart said. “It’s a horrible accident.”

Labhart was cited for maintaining dog as a nuisance, according to John Day Police Chief Richard Gray.

This incident is only the latest in a string of dog problems.

Sept. 18 in Canyon City, resident Judy Kerr shot a dog she said attacked her while she was walking her own dog. Despite initial claims by the dog owner that it was shot while moving away from Kerr, District Attorney Jim Carpenter said the dog appeared to have been shot in the front of its chest. He said Kerr was within her rights to defend herself, and no charges were filed in the incident.

At a Sept. 13 John Day City Council meeting, Tim Unterwegner said he and his wife carry pepper spray and a baseball bat in fear of dog attacks.

In August, Dayville resident Cindy Bolman received four stitches after jumping in to rescue a Corgie mix being attacked by a pit bull in John Day.

There have been 35 incidents of aggressive dogs since July 2015 with more than $3,000 paid in restitution to victims, according to Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett.

When a dog keeper is cited under Oregon state law, it can lead to multiple hearings where the district attorney, victims assistance and court collections get involved because someone did not maintain their dog properly, Stinnett said.

“I think everybody agrees it’s a social issue,” she said.

The John Day City Council considered adopting an ordinance to try to regulate and enforce aggressive dog activity. However, after receiving a coordinating draft of the ordinance, council members decided it would not meet the needs of the city and decided instead to continue education efforts.

City Manager Nick Green described the latest incident as “unfortunate” and “totally avoidable.”

Green said he would keep the city council apprised but felt he had reached a roadblock in the issue he wasn’t sure how to navigate.

“Short of an ordinance, I don’t know what measures are available to the city,” Green said, adding a countywide animal control solution seemed unlikely.

Flat Project scoping proposal released for public comment Wed, 7 Dec 2016 14:07:54 -0500 The 30-day scoping period for the Flat Vegetation Management Project on the Emigrant Creek and Blue Mountain Ranger Districts began today, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, with publication of the legal notice in the Blue Mountain Eagle and Burns Times Herald.

The Flat project area encompasses approximately 47,500 acres in the Camp Creek, Dog Creek-Silvies River, Flat Creek-Silvies River, and Mountain Creek subwatersheds, within Grant and Harney Counties. The Flat Project proposes a suite of activities including vegetation management and fuels treatments, evaluation of the road systems, and riparian, meadow, aspen, sagebrush steppe and upland restoration treatments.

The public will have 30 days to submit their scoping comments, with the scoping period ending on Friday, January 6, 2017. This project is subject to the Project-Level Pre-decisional Administrative Review Process (Objection process) as identified in 36 CFR 218, Subparts A and B. Only those submitting specific written comments during a designated opportunity to comment will have standing to object to the project. Opportunity for public comment on an Environmental Assessment includes during scoping, the 30-day public review period, or any other instance where the responsible official seeks written comments.

The documents can be accessed on the Forest Service website at: Additionally, an interactive map for the project is available at Please contact Melissa Ward or Lori Bailey to request a hardcopy, or if you have further questions, by calling 541-573-4300 or by emailing

As stated above, the 30-day scoping period will begin when the legal notice is published in the Blue Mountain Eagle and Burns Times Herald. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for this proposal. Those wishing to comment should not rely on dates or timeframe information provided by any other source.

Written comments must be submitted to:

Christy Cheyne c/o Melissa Ward

Emigrant Creek Ranger District

265 Hwy 20 South

Hines, Oregon 97738

Comments may also be emailed to:

W. Ralph Wilson Wed, 7 Dec 2016 13:48:08 -0500 W. Ralph Wilson, 83, of Prairie City passed away Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Blue Mountain Hospital. A funeral service is pending. To leave a condolence, visit Arrangements are under the care of Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845.

Luis Gerado Sanchez Wed, 7 Dec 2016 13:48:04 -0500 Luis Gerado Sanchez, 63, of California passed away Tuesday, Dec. 6, in an automobile crash near Ritter. No services are planned at this time. Arrangements are under the care of Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845.

Heart test saves Walker’s life Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:02:54 -0500 Rylan Boggs Thirty-eight-year-old Kevin Walker is still getting used to the regular metallic ticks coming from his chest.

“It’s a good noise,” his wife, Haley, said.

Kevin recently had emergency heart surgery to replace his aortic valve and remove an aneurysm on his aorta.

The valve, normally 4.5 centimeters in diameter, had shrunk to less than 1 centimeter, and the wall of his aorta had bulged out, forming an aneurysm. Both conditions were detected when he had an echocardiogram test as part of a physical for a job with UPS.

Kevin admitted he normally would have delayed getting the echocardiogram. It did not appear urgent that he receive the test, as he showed no symptoms of heart problems in the weeks leading up to his diagnosis and he had fought fires all summer for the Forest Service.

However, Dr. Bruce McLellan, a cardiologist in Bend, was in John Day for a regularly scheduled visit and agreed to perform the echocardiogram for Kevin. The test revealed the dire condition of Kevin’s heart, and within a week of receiving his results, Kevin was in Bend undergoing open heart surgery.

McLellan has been providing medical services to rural communities like John Day for 14 years to assist both patients and healthcare workers.

“We do it as a convenience for patients who can’t travel easily, particularly during the winter,” he said.

The visits help solidify relationships between the medical communities, he said. He typically travels with a small team of professionals and offers echo-tech services, such as the test Kevin received, every other visit.

Kevin underwent a more-than-five-hour surgery where his heart valve was replaced with a mechanical valve. Oftentimes a valve from a pig or cow is used, but because Kevin was so young, a mechanical valve was used because it wouldn’t need replacing. However, he will be on blood thinners the rest of his life.

To fix the aneurysm, they removed part of his aorta and replaced it with an artificial graft.

Dr. Matt Slater, the surgeon performing the operation, did not sugarcoat the danger of the procedure, Haley said. They were told multiple times that Kevin might not survive the surgery.

“I think we heard he could die at least three times in five minutes,” she said.

The procedure involved cutting open Kevin’s chest to repair the valve and the aorta. Before going under, Kevin said his goodbyes, just in case.

“I was scared,” he said, knowing his heart would literally be in the doctors’ hands.

The surgery was Kevin’s first, and he had never had never been under anesthesia before.

“It was nice when I woke up,” he said.

The recovery was painful, but the most severe danger had passed. After a week in the hospital, he was able to return home.

The Walkers were greeted by a wave of support that has carried them into the holiday season. Friends, family members and coworkers have all helped the family and facilitated Kevin’s recovery.

“The outpouring of support from so many members of our community has reconfirmed why this will be our forever home,” Haley wrote in an email.

Kevin will be unable to work until at least February, so his mother set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical and recovery expenses in the interim. So far, the page has raised $2,895 for the family.

Kevin is lucky to be alive, but it’s only by chance he received the echocardiogram that detected the heart problems. As fire season was wrapping up, Kevin was presented with the option to extend his employment to fight fire in Colorado for two weeks.

Instead, he chose to stay behind at the last minute and was able to receive the test that saved his life.

“I was right on the fence,” he said. “If I would have done that, I probably wouldn’t be here.”

Carrie Young Memorial raises thousands for seniors Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:04:03 -0500 Rylan Boggs After the death of her sister, Carrie Young, Lucie Immoos decided instead of wallowing in grief she would continue what her sister had started.

The first year Immoos put on a memorial auction in Young’s name, she raised $175. Last year, she raised $18,000 to help local seniors in need.

The 23rd annual Carrie Young Memorial drew a crowd of close to 350 Friday night at the Elks Lodge. The auction of 196 items and the raffle of a .22-caliber rifle, two cords of firewood and half a beef, cut and wrapped, raised roughly $24,000.

The money helps seniors pay for utilities, buy groceries and other essential items.

“They’re a very proud generation,” Immoos said. “They don’t ask for help.”

All of the items are donated by local businesses, family and friends, Immoos said.

“I would say probably 98 percent of the businesses in this town are so generous,” she said. “I’m just blown away.”

Immoos receives help from all over the county, but she said a small group of core women have been key to making the event happen this year and in past years.

Terri Bowden, the owner of A Flower Shop & More, helps organize all the donations into baskets for auction.

“She’s the one who makes these things pretty,” Immoos said.

Sharrie Slinkard donated her time and warehouse space to help assemble the baskets.

Dawn Wood makes all the bows, Carol Jean Schumacher helped put everything together and Immoos’s sister, Christie Winegar, helped prepare the spaghetti dinner.

“I’m very grateful, not just for the people who donate but for the people that come, because this wouldn’t be anything if I didn’t have people show up to bid on these items,” Immoos said.

State Lands staff finds ambiguity in Elliott proposal Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:16:41 -0500 Claire Withycombe Capital Bureau

SALEM — The Oregon Department of State Lands said in a report Tuesday that if the sale of the Elliott State Forest is to go through, there are some details that need to be ironed out about how key conditions of the sale will be enforced.

Lone Rock Resources, LLC, a Roseburg timber company, in partnership with the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians, was the only entity to submit an acquisition plan for an 82,500-acre swath of the forest in southwestern Oregon.

The price of the forest was fixed at $220.8 million in July.

Although the plan is financially viable and included mechanisms for enforcing the state’s public benefit requirements of the sale, some issues require more clarification, according to the department.

DSL staff said “gaps, uncertainties and ambiguities” remain in the proposed buyer’s plan when it comes to the four public benefits.

Those public benefit requirements are: the buyer of the land has to allow public access to half of the land, maintain 25 percent of old forest stands, preserve riparian areas and for 10 years provide 40 direct or indirect 40 jobs.

According to an announcement from Lone Rock detailing the proposal last month, the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians would hold a conservation easement for the public access, maintenance of old stands and the riparian areas requirements, which are supposed to remain in perpetuity.

The department said Tuesday that details about those perpetual public benefits, such as public access rights, need to be clarified.

For the jobs requirement, the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians have expressed interest in holding another type of easement called an easement in gross, according to the department’s report.

The department said Lone Rock’s plan needs “firm identification” of who holds the conservation easement, and that among other details, the state and the prospective buyers will need to address possible “obstacles to enforcement” of the easement due to tribes’ sovereign immunity.

The three members of the State Land Board are expected to make a decision about whether to proceed with the sale at their meeting Dec. 13.

The state’s plans to sell this swath of the forest got underway in late 2015. It’s already sold other, smaller areas of the Elliott.

This area of the forest is supposed to provide timber revenues for K-12 schools through the Common School Fund, but from fiscal year 2013 through 2015, the forest lost $4 million, according to DSL.

The department says it needs to sell the forest because it is in the best interest of the Common School Fund.

State Lands officials blame the Common School Fund’s losses in part on harvesting limitations, which they say are the result of lawsuits filed by environmental groups.

Those lawsuits objected to the state’s logging in areas populated by animals protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Environmental groups have objected to the sale of the forest, advocating for it to stay in public hands.

While dozens of entities, including some public agencies, submitted expressions of interest in acquiring the property, Lone Rock Resources and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians submitted the only acquisition plan in time for last month’s deadline.

Editorial cartoons Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:01:03 -0500

Farm to school: Students explore local agriculture through Friday academy Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:10:16 -0500 Angel Carpenter Humbolt Elementary students were having a hands-on lesson about the origin of the food on their tables — while digging into pumpkins.

Scooping out pumpkin seeds to dry and eat later Nov. 18 was just one of many activities the fifth- and sixth-grade students have participated in during Humbolt’s Farm-to-School Academy, offered through the South Fork John Day Watershed Council.

Program coordinator Elise Delgado of the watershed council said the students have been enjoying the activities.

“The feedback from the students has been outstanding,” she said. “There is something for every student to learn.”

Academy days have included field trips to a farm and an orchard, as well as planting classroom gardens and baking bread. The program focuses on agricultural education on many scales, from a home garden to a commercial ranch.

“The students are able to connect with different people in the community, from ranchers to natural resource personnel,” Delgado said.

Delgado, who has a background in environmental education and youth development, said that is what she enjoys most about the academy: seeing the students meet and learn from people in their field of work.

“They get to know the time, effort and energy that goes into getting food to the table,” she said. “Students learn where their food comes from — that their fruit doesn’t just come from the store, and their beef doesn’t just come from the store.”

The program is open to fifth- and sixth-grade students and has events scheduled mainly on one Friday each month, with 20-30 students participating. Some in-class lessons are held with all the fifth- and sixth-grade students involved.

In October, students took a field trip to Thomas Orchards in Kimberly. Sixth-grader Ernie Shorts said it was one of his favorite activities so far. He said he was most interested in how they graft trees.

“They cut up some branches from the kind of tree they want and cut into a stump,” he said. “They put the branch in these and that’s what kind of tree grows.”

Sixth-grader Destiny Pelayo also said she enjoyed the trip to the orchards.

“My favorite part has been being with friends and learning so many things with them in a fun way,” she said.

Delgado said the students picked apples for one to two hours, some picking their body weight in fruit. She added that some came away interested in planting their own fruit trees, drying fruit or learning more about marketing or machinery.

Amelia Hall said she was amazed at Jennifer and Lance Barkers’ Morning Hill Forest Farm, which the group visited in late September.

The Barkers live off grid at a high elevation in Bear Valley, where the temperature is known to dip down to freezing, or below, several months out of the year.

“I thought it was really cool how they could use solar energy, even when it was cloudy,” Hall, a sixth-grader, said.

She and her brother, fifth-grader Grant Hall, were so impressed by the Barkers’ handcrafted solar ovens, they were interested in building their own.

“Their greenhouse was super hot — 90 degrees,” Amelia added. “It was pretty chilly outside.”

“It was a huge temperature change,” said her schoolmate, fifth-grader Alici Archibald.

Future planned field trips include visits to area ranches and a trip to observe bees and taste honey.

Delgado said she and the volunteers with the program work to help the students learn about food production and healthy eating options.

She said she was particularly pleased with their excitement after visiting the orchards.

“I quizzed them, and the students really remembered the points they’d learned that day,” Delgado said.

The Farm-to-School Academy is funded with a grant from Oregon Farm to School and School Gardens through the Oregon Department of Education, and operates in partnership with the South Fork John Day Watershed Council, OSU Extension office and Grant School District No. 3.

Holiday Showcase a hit Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:07:44 -0500 Rylan Boggs The 20th annual Holiday Showcase was met with cheers and applause from the crowd at the old Grant Union gym Thursday night.

Students aged 4 to 18 took part, some in group performances, some as solo performances. The students danced to songs fitting this year’s winter wonderland theme and performed to tracks such as “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” and classics from The Nutcracker.

Grant Union Gold varsity dance team’s head coach Kattie Piazza danced in the showcase when she was in high school and described running the show as “surreal.”

“It’s kind of a whirlwind for me,” she said, adding that while she had assisted in the production before, it was her first time leading it.

Roughly 200 people were in attendance for the Thursday night show, and Piazza said she expected about the same for the Friday night show.

Attendees were given a discounted ticket for bringing canned food that will be donated to a local food bank.

The varsity team was joined by the Grant Union Gemstones junior high team, coached by Rebecca Batease, as well as younger dancers in the Level I, II and III dance groups, which train at Body, Fitness and Dance.

Level I consists of dancers aged 4 to 6, led by Trista Collins. Level II consists of dancers in grades 1 and 2, led by Elena Allen. Level III consists of dancers in grades 3 and 5, also led by Piazza.

“It was a really good show,” Piazza said. “We were very pleased with the turnout, and we’re glad to carry on the tradition.”

Young talent: Grant Union girls ready for big roles Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:05:25 -0500 Angel Carpenter The Grant Union Lady Prospectors are a young team with nine freshmen and just one senior, but head coach Mark Mosley said their potential is showing early in the season.

“From the freshmen to the senior, we have a lot of talent,” he said. “Some of the younger girls are going to play some pretty big roles for us this year.”

Team speed and strong defense are positives the team is bringing to the table, he said.

This is Mosley’s fifth year as head coach and his seventh year coaching, overall. His assistant coaches are Casey Hallgarth, who coaches the junior varsity girls team, and Crystal Culley.

Hallgarth has several years of coaching experience from his time leading Elgin’s varsity boys basketball team. He also coached Grant Union’s junior high football team this year.

Culley has been involved in youth basketball programs over the years.

There are 23 players making up the varsity and junior varsity teams, including nine freshmen, six sophomores, seven juniors and one senior. Returning starters are senior Heather Mosley, junior Mariah Moulton, and sophomore Kaylee Wright, who was a starter for part of last season. Several varsity girls played about 20 games of summer ball last June, with coach Mosley leading.

“They’re a very coachable group with a lot of determination,” he said.

Several players were on Grant Union’s volleyball team that won third in state, including Moulton and Mosley, who each earned All-State honors. Mosley said he believes the qualities the players showed in volleyball will carry over to basketball as they face league opponents Elgin, Enterprise, Union and Imbler.

“I expect Imbler is going to be tough,” coach Mosley said. “They have a core group of seniors, and Enterprise is not going to be a pushover.”

Heather Mosley said she’s excited to play her final year of high school basketball.

“It’s an amazing group of girls to finish out my basketball career,” she said. “We all work well together and plan on making it to districts and state.”

Moulton said the team hopes to advance further than anyone expects.

“We have a really good group of girls with a lot of hustle and heart,” she said.

Grant Union girls basketball schedule

Dec. 8-10: @ Stanfield at Umatilla Tournament, 3:30 p.m. Thursday (other games TBD)

Dec. 13: vs. Burns, 6 p.m. (JV, 3 p.m.)

Dec. 16: vs. Irrigon, 6 p.m. (JV, 3 p.m.)

Dec. 17: vs. Heppner, 4 p.m. (JV, 1 p.m.)

Dec. 21-23: @ Nyssa Basketball Tournament, TBD

Jan 7: @ Lakeview, 4 p.m. (JV, 1 p.m.)

Jan. 10: @ Burns, 6 p.m. (JV, 3 p.m.)

Jan. 13: @ Elgin, 6 p.m. (JV, 3 p.m.)

Jan. 14: vs. Union, 4 p.m. (JV, 1 p.m.)

Jan. 20: @ Imbler, 6 p.m. (JV, 3 p.m.)

Jan. 24: @ Baker, 5 p.m., JV only

Jan. 27: vs. Enterprise, 6 p.m. (JV, 3 p.m.)

Jan. 28: vs. Elgin, 4 p.m. (JV, 1 p.m.)

Feb. 3: @ Union, 6 p.m. (JV, 3 p.m.)

Feb. 4: vs. Imbler, 4 p.m. (JV, 1 p.m.)

Feb. 7: vs. Crane, 6 p.m. (JV, 3 p.m.)

Feb. 11: @ Enterprise, 4 p.m. (JV, 1 p.m.)

Feb. 17: District Playoffs, TBD

Feb. 18: District Playoffs, TBD

Feb. 25: 1st Round State Playoff, TBD

March 2-4: State Championships, Pendleton, TBD

Christmas programs coming to town Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:04:11 -0500 Students from area schools have been preparing for Christmas programs. Here is a schedule of performances:

• Seneca School’s “Let it Be Christmas” program will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, at the school with students in kindergarten through grade 6 performing.

• The Humbolt Elementary Christmas program is set for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, at Grant Union Junior-Senior High School’s new gym with students in grades K-6 performing.

• Dayville School’s talent show is scheduled from 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, at Dayville School with students in preschool through grade 12 performing.

• Long Creek School will present the program “Little Town of Christmas” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, with students in grades preschool through grade 12 performing.

• The Grant Union Junior-Senior High School winter concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, at Grant Union Junior-Senior High School’s old gym. The junior band, senior band and combined choir will perform.

• Prairie City School students in kindergarten through grade 6 will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, in the new gym at the school.

• Monument School will hold a Christmas program at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, at the school gym with music and a special visit from Santa at the close.

Our View: The hole in Brown’s budget Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:01:05 -0500 There is a gaping hole in Gov. Kate Brown’s proposed budget, released last Thursday. Brown’s financial road map for Oregon has nothing to say about the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and its burgeoning costs to local governments and school districts.

To propose a financial plan for Oregon and omit PERS is a bit like offering a battle strategy and leaving out ammunition costs.

In a nutshell, the PERS challenge is about an unfunded actuarial liability of more than $20 billion. To close that gap, school districts and local governments will face extraordinary budget strains. For some school districts, the new PERS payroll burden will mean dismissing teachers in order to pay the retirement liability of those retired from the profession.

Once more Gov. Brown has failed us. Fortunately there are legislators who are willing to think about solutions that will pass constitutional muster.

The proposal most actively being discussed would invite three constituencies to participate in a solution: public sector employers, PERS members and Oregon taxpayers. It is a realistic coalition of shared sacrifice.

The greatest political advances in history have occurred when a leader goes against his or her native values to break new ground. President Richard Nixon, the arch anti-Communist, opened diplomacy with what was then called Red China. President Lyndon Johnson, a Southerner, passed landmark Civil Rights legislation.

For there to be a breakthrough and a remedy on PERS, a similar act of courage must come from Oregon Democratic leaders, because they are most beholden to the public employees unions.

Gov. John Kitzhaber did that in 2013. Kitzhaber proposed PERS reforms, which the Legislature enacted. Elements of that package were subsequently thrown out by the Oregon Supreme Court.

Gov. Kate Brown seems to lack the courage to take up that fight and win new ground. Leadership on PERS must come from someone or some group in the statehouse. To ask local governments and school districts to strip services because of a flawed pension system is unacceptable, yet it is the current predicament that looks to only get worse in the future.

Farmer’s Fate: Mutual understandings in marriage Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:00:53 -0500 Brianna WalkerTo Waiting to get my trailer of watermelons unloaded, I sat in the shade and listened to a radio program about failing marriages and how to fix them. Several wives had even admitted to hiring detectives to follow their husbands. The melons were unloaded before the program was over, but as I got in the pickup to continue on my deliveries, I couldn’t help but think what would happen if I was to hire a private detective to follow my husband. I think the only thing the pictures would prove would be that he didn’t really use the coupons that he said he had. And maybe of him feeding the lunch I packed to the dogs while he hit Taco Bell.

Marriage really isn’t that difficult; it’s just a matter of coming to mutual understandings. He has to remember which hand towels are for every day use, and which are for (in the words of my husband) “the better people who visit my wife’s home.” And I have to keep my mitts off his shop towels; he says I use too many, and I never bring the roll back.

The only time that understanding wears thin is when we’re packing for trips. And it doesn’t matter if it’s an overnight trip or a two-week vacation, this seems to be the packing formula:

I pack my stuff, the kids’ stuff and make arrangements for the pet care. Meanwhile, my husband has clipped his toenails.

Then I clean out the food in the fridge that might die in our absence and straighten up the house, because if something happens, I don’t want the neighbors to know we’re slobs. And while I’m dumping the garbage, I see that my husband has found a chore entirely unrelated to our trip, and deeming it the utmost importance, insists it must be completed before departure: something like organizing the sockets in his toolbox, changing the filter in the heater, sorting through the pile of magazines in the end table or calling some long lost relative he hasn’t talked to since last vacation that he suddenly needs to talk to now.

Then I will call the family to say goodbye and give them a rough itinerary (just in case), ask friends or neighbors to keep an eye on the house and pack the pickup with some last-minute toys and books for the kids. And before I make my last trip out of the house, my husband is standing beside the vehicle asking why I’m not ready yet?

I remember when I was little and would spend a weekend with my grandparents. My Grandma would be scurrying around getting ready all us grandkids ready for church, and my Grandpa would be sitting in the car honking the horn. When I was little, I found it funny. I must say, with age and understanding, it’s a lot less funny than it used to be.

One of the marriage tips in the radio program I’d been listening to said, “Before you assign blame, take a breath and ask your partner for his perspective.”

His perspective?

I didn’t know how he wanted the sockets, so that was a job he needed to do. I would have thrown away the wrong magazine — such as the Fastline — so that was also a job he needed to do. And he’s never heard me volunteer to clip his toenails — although he’d be willing to let me, if I was that upset about it. And as far as me packing all the kids’ stuff? Well I was doing such a great job, why interfere with perfection?

AHHHH!!! Take a breath, take a breath. I think I’m going to double my coupon clipping, just to give him a few more opportunities to feel guilty about throwing them away!

Brianna Walker occasionally writes about the Farmer’s Fate for the Blue Mountain Eagle.

Guest Comment: Why I want to hunt Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:00:51 -0500 Jeff BarnardTo Over the course of 33 years living in Oregon, I have caught salmon and steelhead with bait, lures and flies, rowed whitewater big and small and backpacked through wilderness where a herd of elk thundered across my trail.

But I have never hunted.

Now that I am retired, I want to change that.

This is something I have wanted to do since I was a kid.

Hunting was not a tradition in my family. I did persuade my parents to let me buy an Army surplus 1903 Springfield. The .30-06 rifle cost about $20, and my plan was to sportsterize it to hunt for deer. I got part-way through the process, but never even fired it until a couple years ago, after a gunsmith finished it for me. My father never hunted, there was no uncle who had ever hunted and I moved away from the few friends who grew up to hunt. With no mentor, there was no hunting for me.

I moved to Oregon in 1983 to take a job as southern Oregon correspondent for The Associated Press, based in Grants Pass. Raising a family, I barely had time to teach myself to fish, let alone to hunt. But that changed when I retired last October.

In trying to understand why I want to do this, I have been reading a lot. I have found it is not that unusual. Tovar Cerulli, author of the book, “The Mindful Carnivore, A Vegetarian’s Hunt for Sustenance,” has even coined a term for this condition: “Adult Onset Hunting.”

I have killed plenty of fish. But I am less certain about killing a warm-blooded mammal — something with big brown eyes that can look at me and focus. People tell me they felt a combination of remorse and elation at their first kill. Do I really want that?

With all the anti-hunting sentiment out there, defenses of hunting abound. Hunting controls wildlife that damage crops and keeps populations at a point the diminishing habitat can sustain. Hunters take true responsibility for the meat they eat. Guns and ammo sales generate serious money for restoring wildlife habitat and helping non-game species headed for extinction. Since 1937, the Pittman-Robertson Act has drawn a surcharge on guns and ammunition that goes to states for wildlife conservation and hunter safety. Ironically, the surge in sales of assault weapons and pistols is generating record amounts of money for conservation. This year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributed $695,141,699 nationally, according to the website. Oregon’s share was $15,457,600.

But what motivates me is more in line with the late Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset, who concluded that “The hunter is the alert man.”

Similarly, natural history writer Pete Dunne writes in his essay, “Before the Echo,” that as a birdwatcher, he is part of the audience watching the great play of the natural world. But as a hunter he is on the stage, one of the actors.

Fishing demands alertness and attention to detail. But I want to see and feel what comes from the hunt.

Jeff Barnard wrote for The Associated Press for 35 years, 33 of them based in Grants Pass. Since he retired last fall, he has been writing a blog about teaching himself to hunt for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Hope 4 Paws plants Tree of Hope at Squeeze In Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:00:49 -0500 Hope 4 Paws: Grant County, a local non-profit dedicated to helping stray animals, has planted their “Tree of Hope” at the Squeeze In in John Day.

The tree is covered in ornaments with ideas for different gifts for animals that have been taken in by Grant County residents. People are encouraged to stop by the Squeeze In and select a donation for a local animal.

Top Grant Union musicians perform in concert Tue, 6 Dec 2016 17:00:34 -0500 Angel Carpenter Eight Grant Union High School students were selected for honor band and honor choir.

The musicians traveled to McLoughlin High School in Milton-Freewater for the OMEA District 6 concert that included 90 students from 13 Eastern Oregon schools.

Grant Union students selected for honor band were: Annie Wall, clarinet; Samantha Floyd, trombone; and Alyssa Hoffman, French horn.

Students participating in honor choir included: sopranos Manao Kanazawa and Nikki Jones; altos Tiana Allen and Avery Hughes; and bass James Mabe.

The students are led at Grant Union by music director Mary Ann Vidourek.

The honor band concert was led by conductor Brandon Beck, a music director at Walla Walla University, and the honor choir was directed by Dr. Dean Luethi, an associate professor of music at Washington State University.

“It was nice to be able to hear a larger choir and all the parts,” Mabe said.

There are only four boys singing bass for the Grant Union choir.

“It was really fun getting to see people we haven’t seen in awhile and fun to sing in a big choir,” Jones said.

Wall said she enjoyed having Beck as the director because “he knew how to connect with the kids.”

Wall also was selected as first chair clarinet for the Nov. 18-21 Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, where she was part of a 300-student band.

“I didn’t want to be first chair, but it happened,” she said. “We had a combined piece with the band that turned out really well.”

Grant Union junior and senior bands and grades 7 through 12 choir will hold a winter concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the school’s old gym.

Cops & Courts Tue, 6 Dec 2016 16:59:43 -0500 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:

• William Allen Goodwin was convicted of driving under the influence and sentenced to 90 days in jail with credit for time served and fined $1,455.00.

• Celeste Donna Lee was convicted of felon in possession of body armor and sentenced to one year of bench probation, 15 days in jail with credit for time served, 30 hours community service and fine $250.

• Christopher Boyer was convicted of resisting arrest and harassment and sentenced to three years bench probation, 50 days jail with credit for time served, 80 hours community service and fined $300.

• Matthew Brian Cafagno was convicted of fourth-degree assault constituting domestic violence and was sentenced to 18 months probation, 40 hours community service 15 days in jail and fined $100.

CANYON CITY — The Grant County Sheriff’s Office reported the following for the week of Nov. 24-30:

• Concealed handgun licenses: 5

• Average inmates: 18

• Bookings: 14

• Releases: 14

• Arrests: 1

• Citations: 6

• Fingerprints: 3

• Civil papers: 10

• Asst./welfare check: 2

• Search and Rescue: 1

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

• Ray Klein Inc. vs. Shawna R. Clark and James D. Clark. Money judgment awarded to Ray Klein Inc. for $592.78.

• Exceeding the state speed limit: Kristi Caylor, 46, Sumpter, 75/65 zone, Nov. 11, fined $160; James Michael Albright, 52, Central Point, 42/30 zone, Nov. 4, fined $160; Miguel Angel Lopezserrato, 24, Canyon City, 66/45 zone, Oct. 13, fined $160.

• Violation of the basic rule: Robert Brandon Cosgrove, 33, Redmond, 89/55 zone, Nov. 9, fined $435; Jessica E. Hudson, 31, Monument, 75/55 zone, Nov. 11, fined $160; Jacob Ryan Batease, 22, Canyon City, 75/55 zone, Nov. 16, fined $160; Sheryl Viane McElravy, 51, Vancouver, Washington, 78/55 zone, Nov. 13, fined $160.

• Failure to properly secure child: Ashley Marie Pompa, 29, John Day, Nov. 29, fined $95.

• Following too closely: Cole James Carlson, 19, Troutdale, Oct. 22, fined $220.

• No seatbelt: Justin Alan Scheidegger, 22, John Day, Nov. 10, fined $110.

• No seatbelt passenger: Aaron Roseberry, 30, Canyon City, Nov. 10, fined $110.

• Failure to drive within lane: Gerald F. Bennett, 64, Keno, Nov. 9, fined $220.

• Failure to obey traffic control device: Ricky Dale Weickum Jr., 19, John Day, Nov. 5, fined $260.

• Failure to properly use safety belt: Troy Ray Winters, 45, Dayville, Nov. 10, fined $95.

• Aiding/ counseling in a wildlife offense: Jesus Antonio Morales, 50, Ontario, Oct. 1, fined $110, will suspend $50 if hunter education is completed by March 3.

John Day dispatch worked 150 calls during the week of Nov. 28 through Dec. 4. Along with the various traffic warnings, trespassing, injured animals, noise complaints and juvenile complaints, these calls included:

• John Day Police

Nov. 28: Responded to a dog that was killed at the Seventh Street Complex. Responded to a stalking complaint in John Day.

Nov. 30: Received a report of an out of control subject and responded with the Grant County Probation Department. Report of a flue fire in John Day. Report of dogs running at large attempting to attack people. Arrested a 20-year-old Canyon City resident on a Baker County warrant. Report of a male subject beating on doors of an apartment building, possibly intoxicated.

Dec. 1: A welfare check was requested on a subject who was not answering the phone or door. The subject was in jail.

• Grant County Sheriff

Nov. 28: Responded to a report of a person being held against their will in the Greenhorn Area. The call was unfounded and sheriff’s deputies arrested a 40-year-old La Grande resident for misuse of 911.

Nov 29: Received a report of a restraining order violation.

Dec. 2: Responded to a report of an attempted break-in at a Middle Fork Residence.

Dec. 3: Report of an unattended death. Responded to a possible break-in on Bumpy Road, assisted by JDPD and OSP.

• John Day ambulance

Dec. 2: Responded with Oregon State Police to Canyon City for a report of a female subject with a broken leg.

Grant Union wrestlers grapple well at opening meet Tue, 6 Dec 2016 16:58:35 -0500 Angel Carpenter The Grant Union wrestling team was in tip-top shape for Saturday’s meet in Irrigon.

Of the 14 Prospector wrestlers competing, two-thirds won their matches, said Grant Union head coach Andy Lusco.

“Twelve of the 14 of them placed in the top three in their respective weight classes,” he said.

The top placers included six freshmen and two first-year upperclassmen.

“It was a great day for a first meet,” Lusco said.

Irrigon meet results:

Jesse Paulson, 113-lb class, 3-0, first place

Damion Young, 126-lb class, 2-0, first Place

Braden Spencer, 126-lb class, 2-1, second place

Jay Goldblatt, 145-lb class, 2-0, first place

James Mabe, 160-lb class, 3-1, second place

Russell Hodge, 170-lb class, 3-0, fist place

Dillon Maley, heavyweight, 2-1, second place

Drew Lusco, heavyweight, 3-0, first place

Toby Boatwright, heavyweight, 2-1, second place