Blue Mountain Eagle | Blue Mountain Eagle Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:16:20 -0400 en Blue Mountain Eagle | County Court minutes 10-22-14 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 09:30:48 -0400 IN THE COUNTY COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF GRANT

Access the court’s weekly Agenda and approved Minutes on the Commissioners page at

OCTOBER 22, 2014

Pursuant to notice made to the newspaper of general circulation throughout Grant County, the radio station, county website, and e-mail distribution list, a regular meeting of the County Court was held at the County Courthouse in Canyon City OR.

9:00 am -- Call to Order. Present were Judge Scott W. Myers, Commissioners Boyd Britton and Chris B. Labhart, Secretary Mary Ferrioli, and Wes Aasness. A Pledge of Allegiance was given to the United States flag. The invocation was given by Wes Aasness.

CLAIMS. The court had reviewed and approved claims and Extension Warrant Nos. 222 - 232. Tagged claims were a conflict of interest for Boyd Britton Welding / $255.00 to remove the old jail door and the airport’ late VISA claim of $107.26 to Bank of Eastern Oregon.

AGENDA. MSP: Myers/Britton -- to accept the agenda with discussion about holding a joint meeting with the Forest Service and Public Access Board.

9:10 am – Larry Blasing and Jim Sproul entered


Labhart attended the Oregon Rural Health Conference in Sunriver last week. Monday he had an EOCCO Board meeting then a local CAC meeting on Tuesday. Tomorrow Labhart meets with the Senior Citizens Advisory Council; next Monday he’ll attend a Blue Mountain Hospital Compliance meeting. Labhart will be out of state to visit family the first week of November.

Britton thanked the Chamber of Commerce, specifically Jerry and Marsha Franklin, for putting the 150th Anniversary celebration together, Also, Dennis and Julie Reynolds and others who did a good job in Canyon City this Sunday. He attended the Blue Mountain Forest Partners general meeting last Thursday. Friday he met with Susan Jane Brown of the Western Environmental Law Center and Congressman Peter DeFazio’s Policy Advisor Franz Joseph to talk about biomass. Monday he attended Congressman Greg Walden’s Forestry Summit with Umatilla County Commissioners, Regional Forester Jim Pena, and many others. Britton attended a Grant County Farm Bureau meeting to discuss the trich Ordinance. Yesterday he attended a Blue Mountain Forest Partners and High Desert collaborative with Regional Forester Pena.

Myers met with Red Cross rep Karen Parmelee last Friday about a potential MOU around emergency response. He attended the county’s 150th Anniversary Sunday in Canyon City. He recognized the good work of a lot of dedicated people who put on a well-attended and memorable celebration. Yesterday Myers chaired the Northeast Oregon Housing Authority board meeting in La Grande. The jail tour will be at 10:45 am and contract negotiations with Pinnacle Architecture will begin at 1:30 pm for the Elevator Project. Myers has a wedding ceremony to perform at 4:00 pm today. He said he and Treasurer Kathy Smith are continuing to seek guidance from other counties about Human Resources positions, and discussing potential office space. There was discussion about how the county handled HR in the past, and how important it is to have a qualified individual in place to handle this full time responsibility. Britton suggested that we seek the advice of labor attorney and Senior HR consultant Trent Whitford.

9:20 am -- Kathy Smith entered

MINUTES. MSP: Britton/Myers -- to approve the October 15 minutes with a minor change.

BUDGET HEARING. At 9:22 am the court held a Supplemental Budget Hearing to consider proposed changes to the Sheriff Patrols Fund to include $100,000.00 in additional revenue expected to be received from road blocks provided for the Forest Service during recent fires. Expense lines were allocated as $30,000.00 to Personnel & Services, $20,000.00 to Materials & Services and $50,000.00 to Capital Outlay. Budget Officer Kathy Smith was present and had provided the budget resolution for signature. She noted that these funds could be used to offset the cost to operate the Sheriff’s department. Myers recited the resolution in its entirety. No public comment was offered and the hearing was closed. MSP: Labhart/Myers -- to adopt Resolution 14-37 for the Sheriff’s Patrol Fund.

HOWELL PIT. Court members reviewed and signed a 5-year Rock Quarry Lease and Mining Agreement with Art Ragsdale with an annual lease payment of $1,500 beginning May 2015. The court had asked that the lease term be reduced from 20 to 5 years. MSP: Myers/Britton-- to circulate for signature the Rock Quarry Lease and Mining Agreement with Art Ragsdale for the Howell Pit as presented.

HAND CHECK. The court reviewed and approved a hand check signed by Judge Myers on October 16 to Doubletree Hotel for $1,038.23 for the Veteran Service Officer’s previously approved attendance at the ODVA Conference in Portland. MSP: Myers-- to approve the hand check on Bob Munchausen’s behalf for the ODVA Conference at the Doubletree Hotel in Portland for $1,038.23.

JOINT MEETING ON PUBLIC ACCESS. Myers recommended that court members put together a short list of what we expect for joint meetings with the Forest Service and Public Access Board. The court looked at available dates and a preferred time to meet with the Forest Service and the Public Access Board. Myers has suggested that each entity come up with a possible scenario on how to move forward so that can be brought to the joint meeting. The meeting’s purpose is to establish guidelines on how things will work and how the committee addresses issues with the Forest Service and the Court, and vise-versa. Labhart suggested a Work Session (with no public comment) at the airport on October 28 or 29 at 6:30 pm. Myers agreed to ask about the availability of the airport and the parties on October 28 (preferred).

9:40 am -- Patrick Bentz and Kathy Smith entered

AIRPORT FUEL DISPENSER. Airport Manager Patrick Bentz presented bids received to purchase and install a new 100LL Jet-A fuel dispenser. He explained that last spring the dispenser’s leak detector was failing to reset so the system defaulted to “slow flow.” After two weeks and five visits from fuel repair companies the system was working properly. But, now the aviation community is aware the fuel system is unreliable and fuel sales are being lost because of it. Scope of Work includes cost and labor for the dispenser, replacement of the existing piping from the turbine to the dispenser, installation of the sumps below the new dispenser, and a new activation switch for the dispenser -- all according to DEQ requirements using a state-certified supplier list. Cost estimates were received from Central Service Inc. in Bend (including electrical) @ $24,897.14 and Pacific Environmental Services Co. in Airway Heights WA (including electrical) @ $41.674.00 plus sales tax and permits. The quote from Eastern Oregon Petroleum in Pendleton @ $15,730.00 plus or minus 15% does not include the dispenser, but they’ve been asked for that cost. Bentz said Central Service said they could complete the project by the end of November; Pacific Environmental could not start until next spring. He noted that carry-over funds from last fiscal year are on hand to pay for the project which he’d like to have completed by Thanksgiving. He recommended Central Service in Bend based on experience with the company’s quick, reliable response to previous problems. He planned to send the required 30 day notice to DEQ as soon as a contractor is selected. Treasurer Kathy Smith said, even though approximately $25,000.00 was carried over and fuel revenue was received this year, she didn’t think the airport can afford the upgrade this year and still operate within their income. She suggested taking this project expense out of Courthouse Reserve which has $671,000.00 at this time. Other discussion followed about the airport’s fuel sales profit and plans to market the airport’s new fuel dispenser once it is installed.

MSP: Myers/Labhart -- to approve an award to Central Services Inc. with the expense coming from the Courthouse Reserve Fund suggested by the Treasurer. Britton asked for the Airport Commission’s recommendation on this project. Bentz felt the Commission would agree with his recommendation since it’s their first priority. Myers agreed. Britton questioned Bentz about his previous request to contact local providers Ed Staub & Sons and Triangle Oil. It was noted that DEQ requires using state-certified suppliers. The question was called; Britton voted no.

Bentz reported the Forest Service has agreed we could use their portion of the training room rent to upgrade the teleconference system in the conference room. Bentz said the system does not allow conversations to be heard by those who attend by phone.

PUBLIC COMMENT. Public Forest Commissioner Larry Blasing provided a copy of the Commission’s October 15, 2014 letter to Regional Forester Jim Pena requesting a totally new planning staff be assigned to formulate new plans on individual forests. Blasing talked about his impression of the Forestry Summit which he recently attended with Mr. Pena and other interested parties. Britton reported on discussions held at Congressman Walden’s recent Forestry Summit as well as during the Blue Mountains Forest Partners general meeting. Blasing talked about work on past and future projects, and concerted efforts of the collaborative group, to prevent law suits over timber sales. It was understood that difficulties could develop if conservation community members are no longer able to participate in the process.

Jim Sproul asked about any recent response from the Forest Service about access issues. Some discussion took place about the importance of talking with the Forest Service about initiating salvage activities on the Murderer’s Creek and Bald Sisters fire area. Other discussion followed about a variety of associated forest fire management issues.

JAIL INSPECTION. At 10:45 am, pursuant to ORS 169.040, the court and Court Secretary conducted an inspection of the Criminal Justice Facility lead by Jail Manager Josh Wolf. A tour was made of the facilities which included the Sallie port, booking room, kitchen, medical room, exercise room, cell areas and control room. The inspection was concluded at 11:40 am.

At 1:30 pm the court held contract negotiations with Pinnacle Architecture about the Courthouse Elevation Project. Other participants were Circuit Court Administrator Tammy Wheeler and Treasurer Kathy Smith.

Respectfully Submitted, Mary R. Ferrioli / County Court Secretary

Bad signatures top reason for ballot rejection Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:31:52 -0400 Hillary BorrudCapital Bureau Oregonians who want to make sure their votes get counted on Nov. 4 might want to pay close attention to their handwriting.

Signature problems were the top reason ballots in the state’s vote-by-mail system got tossed out in the 2010 mid-term election, according to data from Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown’s office. County clerks in 30 Oregon counties ­— six didn’t report data — rejected nearly 5,000 ballots in that election because signatures on the envelopes did not match the signatures on file, and more than 3,200 ballots were discarded because they lacked any signature. Approximately 1,900 ballots arrived too late to be counted.

The counties that did not report the numbers of ballots they rejected in the 2010 mid-term election were Curry, Grant, Lincoln, Malheur, Tillamook and Wheeler counties.

The number of rejected ballots translates to a tiny fraction of the total ballots cast. Less than 1 percent of the 1.4 million ballots cast were rejected in the 2010 mid-term, and similar percentages in other recent elections. Nonetheless, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office and an expert on early voting said there are ways that Oregon could improve.

“I think any time a ballot is not counted, that there is something that needs to be worked on,” said Tony Green, a spokesman for Brown. “Even though these are very small percentages, these are still voters who wanted to cast a ballot and we should look for ways to make sure as many votes as possible are counted.”

Green said lawmakers did just that earlier this year, passing a bill to increase the amount of time voters have clear up signature problems with the local county clerk’s office. Under the new law, voters must resolve any signature issues ­­­by no later than 14 days after the election, according to the Secretary of State’s manual.

In addition to discrepancies in handwriting and ballots without signatures, another common problem is that people who live in the same household will accidentally sign each other’s ballots.

Oregon has more experience with mail-in ballots than much of the nation. The state created a pilot program in 1981 to allow the practice for local elections, and voters approved a statewide vote-by-mail system in 1998.

Paul Gronke, political director for DHM Research and the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College, said counties could make it easier for people to vote on time, if they installed more drop boxes in convenient locations. Gronke was less concerned about ballots rejected because the signatures did not match, because he said signature verification is an important measure to prevent fraud.

“The biggest problem in my opinion is the disparity in drop boxes in different counties,” Gronke said. Contrary to what people might believe about Oregon’s voting system, Gronke said, “we don’t vote by mail. Over half the ballots are delivered by drop box.”

Many counties have just a handful locations for voters to deposit ballots, according to the Secretary of State’s drop box locater. In some of the most populous counties, the numbers of drop boxes varies significantly. Multnomah County has nearly 30 official ballot drop boxes, while Washington County has fewer than 20.

As election day approaches, more people use the drop boxes. Voters who do not get their ballots in the mail by Friday should instead deposit their ballots at one of these locations to make sure their votes are counted, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Tillamook County Clerk Tassi O’Neil said her office always receives a handful of late ballots after an election, “because people just forget what day election day is.”Clerks send letters to people whose ballots were not counted, and that news often upsets these voters.

“You feel bad, but you can’t count their ballot,” O’Neil said.

LC-Ukiah finds victory at home Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:36:09 -0400 Angel Carpenter LONG CREEK – The thrill of victory was in the air as the Long Creek-Ukiah volleyball players won their first game of the season Oct. 18.

At home in Long Creek, the Mountaineer-Cougars bested the Burnt River Bulls and then lost to the Prairie City Panthers.

“We came in with amazing attitudes and held that attitude all day,” said coach Reagan Enriquez, who coaches with Linda Studtmann.

The home team beat the Bulls 3-1 with scores of 21-25, 25-15, 25-12 and 25-15.

“After losing the first set, all the girls played hard to win the last three,” Enriquez said.

The win was followed by a 0-3 loss to the Panthers, with scores of 6-25, 7-25 and 10-25.

“Even with the disappointing loss against Prairie City our team still played well together,” she said. “They just had fun with it.”

On Oct. 11, the Mountaineer-Cougars faced the Jordan Valley Mustangs.

Enriquez said her team was missing two players due to ankle injuries, but persevered. They held out for a close second set, but lost 0-3 with scores of 11-25, 18-25 and 9-25.

“We prepared for our last two games by fixing our mistakes from previous games, serving and rotation harmony,” she said. “The girls genuinely care for each other this year which makes the team stronger.”

PC takes tough loss to Jordan Valley Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:25:01 -0400 Angel Carpenter JOHN DAY – The Prairie City Panthers started out strong last Saturday at the 1A High Desert District Tournament, only to lose some steam as the first match progressed.

The Panthers, facing Jordan Valley, won their first set 25-18, but then fell by scores of 12-25, 17-25 and 22-25.

“Saturday didn’t turn out like we had hoped and planned,” said head coach Louanne Zweygardt. “We came out strong in the first set against Jordan Valley, but then couldn’t maintain enough intensity to finish it.”

The Panthers didn’t let the loss keep them down for their final game of the day against Harper/Huntington.

The Panthers had beaten the Hornets 3-0 the previous weekend.

This time it took just two sets, the Tigers claiming 25-17 and 28-26 wins.

Looking back at the Jordan Valley loss, the coach said, “We served well as a team – 92 percent – Michel Hitz had six aces, and Brianna Zweygardt was 100 percent.”

She added that Amy Black had 12 kills and Lindsey Stewart had four.

“Net calls on hitting and blocking hurt us, and our passing game let us down,” she said. “We had a long week before with homecoming events, and a couple girls dealing with illness that was sapping their energy – I guess it wasn’t meant to be.”

Their performance improved against Harper/Huntington, she said.

“Our passing game improved, but our attack suffered a little with several hitting errors,” the coach said.

Stewart had six kills, and Black had five.

Team serving was 92 percent with Hitz, Black and Cassie Hire serving at 100 percent, and Brianna Zweygardt only missing one for the day.

Overall, Zweygardt said, “Amy Black and Michel Hitz had some impressive kills, Cassie Hire played the net very well and Brianna Zweygardt had a good day setting and serving. Against Harper/Huntington we were able to get playing time for our bench players, and they came out strong.”

The coaching said she enjoyed working with the team this season.

“We had some really great moments on the court and were able to play at a level we haven’t seen for several years,” she said. “They are a good group of girls.”

For the tournament, Amy Black received first-team recognition.

League awards will be announced at the team awards banquet, the day and time to be announced.

Bowling results Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:23:30 -0400 Nugget Lanes

Oct. 22

Nooners Senior League:

Men High Game:  Duane Daniels 171

Men High Series:  Duane Daniels 492

Women High Game:  Chris Rowe 178

Women High Series:  Chris Rowe 481

White Trash Wednesday Men’s League:

High Game:  Grant Benton 222

High Series:  Grant Benton 598

Oct. 23

Thursday Mixed League:

Men High Game:  Jerry Coombs 173

Men High Series:  Jerry Coombs 463

Women High Game:  Ashley Wyllie 137

Women High Series:  Ashley Wyllie 358

County sports this week Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:22:02 -0400 Oct. 31: GU football at Imbler, 2 p.m.

Oct. 29: Day/Mon volleyball at Hosanna Christian, Klamath Falls, 7 p.m. (1st round state playoff)

Oct. 31: Day/Mon football at Joseph, 1 p.m.

Nov. 1: PC football hosts Burnt River, 1 p.m.

Nov. 1: Grant Union volleyball at Vernonia, 1 p.m. (1st round state playoff)

Management, communication at heart of forestry summit Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:29:14 -0400 George PlavenEO Media Group LA GRANDE – Residents of rural Eastern Oregon want to see more done on federally managed forests to restore timber jobs, maintain public access and protect communities from potentially destructive wildfires.

Locals say they also want more direct engagement with the U.S. Forest Service as the agency continues revising its 15-year Blue Mountains National Forests Land Management Plan.

Approximately 175 people attended a panel discussion on forestry issues Monday, Oct. 20, at the Blue Mountain Conference Center in La Grande, hosted by new Regional Forester Jim Peña and Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.

Panelists included representatives from mining, recreation, agricultural and logging industries, as well as county officials. One by one, they expressed their concerns and vented frustrations over a perceived lack of active management on the Umatilla, Wallowa-Whitman and Malheur national forests.

Union County Commissioner Mark Davidson said the Forest Service is allowing timber resources to go to waste by cutting back on logging, allowing the woods to become overgrown while families struggle below the poverty line.

Northeast Oregon has lost 19 mills and 4,700 jobs over the last 30 years.

“We are letting this resource go to waste while the children we should be caring for are going hungry,” Davidson said. “It goes right back to the health of our communities and families.”

The Eastern Oregon Counties Association already voted unanimously to reject the proposed Revised Blue Mountains Forest Plan and each of six alternatives, saying the documents fall short of their social and economic needs.

“We were disappointed in the outcome,” Davidson said. “We feel the preferred alternative fails our communities, and fails the needs ecologically.”

Tom Insko, inland region manager for Boise Cascade, estimated the three forests are growing at a rate of 800 million board feet per year. The company's Eastern Oregon operations mill just 170 million board feet per year, and of that only 10 percent comes from the local national forests.

Four out of Boise Cascade's five Eastern Oregon lumber mills have cut operations down to a single shift, Insko said, due to the amount of raw material they've been able to harvest. If those facilities could each add a second shift, it would add 180 new jobs to the economy.

Those wood products jobs pay about 40 percent more than the average position in Union County, Insko added.

“The adverse impact on our communities is considerable, and solutions are sorely needed,” Insko said.

Larry Cribbs, vice president of the Eastern Oregon ATV Association, talked about the need to maintain open motorized access into public lands, while Jan Alexander with the Eastern Oregon Mining Association discussed the mounting backlog of mining operations still under evaluation by the Forest Service.

“I think, basically, the Forest Service reacts to the environmental groups,” Alexander said.

Peña listened for more than an hour before taking time to respond, saying the Forest Service now has different processes and priorities as it establishes management objectives.

“Thirty years ago, we had different rules and a different level of engagement,” he said. “Now, it’s a national thing and we’re integrating national needs with local needs ... Everybody has their own set of values.”

In terms of timber harvest, Pena said he doubts levels will ever reach what they once were, regardless of need. The forests should have an open and sustainable transportation system, he said, though he recognized there is disagreement over what exactly that should look like.

“We have to balance access with the environmental consequences, and operating roads that are unsafe,” Pena said.

One thing Peña did agree with was the need to continue engaging the public as the Forest Service works toward finalizing its Blue Mountains management plan.

“How do we provide for everybody to have their share of the national forests?” he asked. “I don’t agree that we aren’t providing those opportunities now, but I think we can do it better.”

Walden mentioned on multiple occasions the U.S. House has now twice passed legislation that would increase logging on federal lands, requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to designate land in every national forest suitable for commercial timber harvest — which would be known as “forest reserve revenue areas.”

That bill is currently awaiting action in the Senate.

During question-and-answer with the audience, Hermiston resident Pat Maier mentioned she and others circulated a petition against the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision at the Umatilla County Fair, which garnered 850 signatures in four days.

Maier said she does not want the issue to become “us vs. them,” but if it comes to that, she said the taxpayers will rule.

“Our Forest Service needs to take a more friendly approach about what the people in their communities think,” she said. “It is very important we keep public access to our lands.”


Contact George Plaven at or 541-564-4547.

Grant Union 2104 Homecoming royalty is crowned Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:22:47 -0400

County teams clash on Prairie City field Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:22:30 -0400 Day/Mon 42 – Prairie City 7

By Angel Carpenter

Blue Mountain Eagle

PRAIRIE CITY – The Dayville/Monument Tigers took Prairie City by storm 42-7 for the Panthers’ homecoming game.

The home team was hampered early in the junior varsity game when a player injured his knee in the first quarter.

That took Prairie City down a notch to just seven players on its 8-man team.

Dayville/Monument played on with eight until the fourth quarter when they took a player out, evening the playing field.

“We really wanted to win,” said Prairie City head coach Darrel McKrola. “We had a good game plan, but it was thrown to the wolves when we lost a player in the first quarter.”

Off to a roaring start, Prairie City was first on the scoreboard in the first quarter, marching the ball to the goal line.

Omar Ceja earned the touchdown and kicked the extra point.

Prairie City followed up with two sacks of the Tiger quarterback Jeremy Hand, but Hand finished the drive with a keeper touchdown.

The quarter ended 7-6 with the Panthers leading.

Tiger Garrett Warner recovered a Panther fumble in the start of the second quarter, and Dayville/Monument capitalized on it. Tiger Brody Breck gained yardage with it on the next play.

Hand connected with Breck next on a pass as Hand was going down on a tackle, and Sage Flower completed the task, receiving for the Tiger’s second touchdown of the game.

After a Tiger quarterback touchdown later on, the half ended with Dayville/Monument leading 18-7.

Dayville/Monument’s passing game got the third quarter off to a good start for the Tigers and took their score up another 7 points.

The quarter ended 34-7.

Prairie City made short gains to start the fourth quarter, with receptions by Dorran Wilson and Anthony Hall.

Ceja made a kick attempt on the fourth down, but the ball fell just short of the goal.

Another Panther highlight from the fourth quarter was Wilson’s first interception which he ran back 50 yards, but was unable to punch it in to score.

“They had some really good sacks,” said coach McKrola, estimating his team had about 15. “That was the highlight of our tackling game.”

Passing wasn’t on line, he said.

“It’s just tough having only seven guys with only two in the backfield,” he said, noting they’re required to have five on the line offensively.

“I just want to praise the boys on their positive attitudes,” he added. “They came into timeout saying, ‘Man, I hit that guy good’ – we just had fun.

Tiger head coach Nathaniel Ashley said he felt his team played well, and highlighted Tanner Walczyk for a “great first game as running back.”

“We made a few mistakes but all minor and correctable,” he said.

Prairie City is scheduled to host Burnt River at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Dayville/Monument has a varsity game in Joseph at 1 p.m. Friday.

Stats highlights


Jeremy Hand: 200 yards rushing, 170 yards passing, one rushing touchdown, two passing touchdowns, one passing 2-point conversion, one interception

Sage Flower: 55 yards rushing, 30 yards receiving, one receiving touchdown

Garrett Warner: 85 yards receiving, two touchdowns, one fumble recovery

Brody Breck: 90 yards receiving, one 2-point conversion

Eathin Rhinehart: one fumble recovery

Tanner Walczyk: 35 yards rushing, 15 yards receiving, one fumble recovery

Court, access panel meet with FS official today Tue, 28 Oct 2014 08:56:30 -0400 JOHN DAY – The Grant County Court, the Public Access Advisory Board, and Malheur National Forest Acting Supervisor Steve Beverlin will meet for a work session at 6 p.m. today in the conference room at the Grant County Regional Airport.

The public may attend, but no public comment will be taken during the work session.

Grant County’s quiet local measure deserve support Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:53:04 -0400 Grant County’s only local measure is something of a sleeper, sparking little discussion and virtually no campaigning.

Measure 12-55 would make Grant County’s two county commissioner positions nonpartisan, starting in 2015.

The measure brings that job into conformance with all other elected jobs in the taxpayer-funded county government. The county treasurer, assessor, clerk and even the third member of the County Court, the judge, are nonpartisan positions.

One might see an exception in the partisan Grant County Public Forest Commission, but it is an anomaly created by the voters – independent of county government and not funded by the taxpayers. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to make it nonpartisan, too, but that’s an issue for another ballot.

Meanwhile, all but two of our regular county officers are elected on a nonpartisan basis to run the county’s business, make policy, oversee employees and departments, and represent the people. All of them.

The latter is a good reason to pass this measure. It is not critical that the elected commissioners be of one party or another to do their job. And for those who find party affiliation a critical matter, it would still be a matter of public record and the topic could be broached in any campaigns.

Grant County remains a Republican stronghold, with half the voters registered GOP. However, the rest are roughly divided between Democrats and “other” – mostly non-affiliated.

This measure won’t impede our ability to elect the best person for the job. It won’t weaken or advance any party’s standing. It could streamline the election process, and provide a more vigorous dialogue in commissioner races, with a large number of voters brought into the conversation. We support Measure 12-55.

Letter: Protect kids; no on 91 Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:53:50 -0400 To the Editor:

Hey, Dad. Hey, Mom. Hey, Grandpa and Grandma. How might you feel if your son or daughter or grandkids wind up in the emergency room from pigging out on brownies or candy or gum or cookies or soft drinks or, for that matter, milk that has been laced with the high-powered THC that is around today?

Some of the advocates of this marijuana baloney have no boundaries, you know, so think real carefully what might happen, and help protect your kids. They have enough problems without adding to the list.

Your “no” vote on this ridiculous marijuana issue in the coming election will help prevent that situation.

There is nothing wrong with marijuana as a true medicine, if it is dispensed on a doctor’s prescription, and through a registered pharmacy, but not the way this Measure 91 is written.

Vote “no” on Measure 91.

Dean Elliott

Canyon City

Letter: Cast your vote Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:53:47 -0400 To the Editor:

Over many election cycles, I’ve listened to conservatives who didn’t cast a ballot complain, “My vote doesn’t count so why bother?”

Here’s why:

Four years ago, Chris Dudley lost the election to John Kitzhaber by less than 23,000 votes. The margin was less than 2 percent!

Think of how different Oregon would be without the failures of the past four years.

According to the Secretary of State, in that election cycle, 135,000 registered Republicans who received their ballots in the mail, did not vote.

Perhaps they were discouraged, or didn’t believe their candidate could win, or maybe they just couldn’t find a stamp.

For whatever reason, some rural conservatives are content to sit on the sidelines while Portland liberals call the tune.

This election is being conducted while our National Guard units are scattered all over the world, fighting for our freedom, our liberty, and our precious right to vote. They will never surrender.

But by not voting we will surrender the Oregon we love and where we raised our families.

There is no excuse for any Oregonian to fail the duty of citizenship when the cost of voting is the price of a stamp.

Please change Oregon for the better – Cast your ballot and mail it today. Let no Oregon ballot go un-voted!

Ted Ferrioli

John Day

(Ted Ferrioli is the state senator for District 30, which includes Grant County.)

Letter: Town hunting is lazy Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:53:44 -0400 To the Editor:

Here we go again, hunting seasons galore. Here we go again, being awakened early in the morning by mighty hunters who are too lazy to drive out of town. Sure, town hunting is convenient. Just rattle a Cheetos bag and the critters walk right up to you. How about having a little courtesy and going out into the actual wilds, which are literally just a few minutes away, instead of being jerks.

Carla Schroder

Mt. Vernon

GU netters advance to state Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:30:27 -0400 Angel Carpenter COVE – The Prospector volleyball team relished the thrill of victory last Saturday as they won third seed to the state playoffs at the Class 2A Wapiti District Tournament.

“All the girls played very well together as a team and brought a lot of intensity and focus to the court,” said Grant Union head coach Shae Speth. “They were determined to make it to state and had a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude to get there.”

The team advances to state action this weekend, but the details weren’t available at press time.

“We don’t know yet where we’re going for the first round of state, but we’re thrilled to be in it,” Speth said. “We believe that we can compete with anyone in the state when we’re playing well, and we showed that on Saturday.”

At the district tourney, the Prospectors first faced the Imbler Panthers, a team they had beaten in their Oct. 16 homecoming game.

Grant Union took nothing for granted.

“We prepared all week for Imbler, knowing we needed to get that first win at districts,” Speth said.

The Prospectors won 3-0, with scores of 25-12, 28-26 and 25-15.

“We came out very strong in the first set, but fell behind late in the second,” she said. “We fought off a few set points by Imbler to pull ahead with the win. In the third, we again played strong offensively and defensively.”

Mariah Moulton and Kori Pentzer both had 100 percent serving in the game.

The Prospectors had a quick turnaround to face the Cove Leopards, who had just lost to Union in a five-set match.

“Again, we came out strong and played well,” Speth said. The team netted 12 blocks and had 54 kills in the match.

Grant Union won the match 3-2, with scores of 25-21, 25-18, 25-27, 17-25 and 15-13.

“We had one of our best serve-receive games of the season, which led to a lot of great swings by our hitters,” she said.

In the third set the Prospectors were up 24-19, but Cove pushed ahead to win that one.

Speth added it was especially difficult to lose that set since they faced nearly the same scenario in a fifth set against Cove in a home game earlier in the season, when they were up 14-10 but lost 14-16.

“It all came down to a fifth set to go to state,” Speth said.

In the final set, Cove served first, and Emily Mosley started off with a kill.

“Mariah Moulton went on a tremendous serving run, making it an 11-0 lead,” she said. “It was great to see the team focused and determined at that point; we took care of the ball and came out with a commanding 15-3 victory.”

Moulton was 100 percent on serve-receive, perfect on passing for the day.

Carli Gardner was 100 percent serving in the tournament.

Speth noted that Gardner seems to have recovered well from an ankle injury she had a few weeks ago.

“She was a strong force in the middle,” Speth said, adding that Pentzer and Mosley also seem to be recovering from their injuries.

She said Chelsie Kodesh had one of her best days passing and had some key digs, while Pentzer showed “she’s one of the most dynamic hitters in our league.”

“The girls all played great,” said Speth.

Burns won the tournament championship title with Union in second place.

The stats

GU vs. Imbler

Mariah Moulton: 5 kills, 13 digs, 100 percent serve-receive

Sam Brock: 1 block assist

Sydney Stearns: 1 dig, 1 ace

Rheanna Cartner: 6 kills, 23 set assists, 4 aces, 11 digs, 3 blk assists

Mariah Meyerholz: 8 set assists, 1 ace, 2 digs

Heather Mosley: 3 kills, 4 block assists

Carli Gardner: 6 kills (on 13 attempts with no errors), 2 digs, 1 solo block, 2 block assists

Emily Mosley: 1 kill, 2 digs, 1 block assist

Kori Pentzer: 17 kills, 13 digs, 1 block assist, 100 percent serve-receive

Chelsie Kodesh: 12 digs

GU vs. Cove

Moulton: 5 kills, 13 digs, 100 percent serve-receive

Brock: 1 block assist

Stearns: 1 dig, 1 ace

Cartner: 6 kills, 23 set assists, 4 aces, 11 digs, 3 block assists

Meyerholz: 8 set assists, 1 ace, 2 digs

H Mosley: 3 kills, 4 block assists

Gardner: 6 kills (on 13 attempts with no errors), 2 digs, 1 solo block, 2 block assists

E Mosley: 1 kill, 2 digs, 1 block assist

Pentzer: 17 kills, 13 digs, 1 block assist, 100 percent serve-receive

Kodesh: 12 digs

Now, if he only had a brain ... Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:13:34 -0400

A mini-reunion of retired ‘fossils’ Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:13:26 -0400

Brooke Aspen McClain Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:13:11 -0400 Shahaylie Smarr and Kenny McClain announce the birth of their daughter, Brooke Aspen McClain, on Oct. 15 in Salina, Kan. She was 16.5 inches long and weighed 4 pounds, 5 ounces.

Grandparents are Russell McClain of Alaska, Rena Halvorson of Texas, and James and Corinna Smarr of John Day.

Support overflows for baby Julia Haney Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:12:48 -0400 Angel Carpenter JOHN DAY – A benefit yard sale last Saturday filled Keerins Hall, and hearts, to overflowing.

The proceeds will help pay for medical expenses for 7-month-old Julia Haney, daughter of Cammie and Ethan Haney of John Day.

In mid-September, following an injury, Julia was life-flighted to St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise, where she underwent life-saving brain surgery followed by several days in the pediatric intensive care unit.

She was later transferred for inpatient care at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City until last week when the family returned home.

Family friend Marsha Delaney of Canyon City organized the benefit with the help of Karen Johnston, Cindy Tirico and Darlene Nodine – plus about 20 more volunteers.

“It went really well – we almost doubled our goal,” Delaney said. “I want to thank all those who volunteered their time and donated items, also the shoppers who really were generous in their support.”

She added, “When I took the proceeds to Cammie and Ethan, we all cried – they were very appreciative.”

Delaney said she had a goal of $1,500 and the event brought in over $2,600.

“It’s good to know that even though we live in a community that is economically stressed, people still are willing to come and give what they can to help those in need – you don’t find this everywhere,” she said.

The Haneys said they are encouraged at the progress their daughter makes each day, however, it is not yet known if her recovery will be 100 percent.

Julia will continue to receive periodic outpatient therapies which will require trips out of town.

People wishing to help with the expenses can donate to “Ethan and Cammie Haney” at Umpqua Bank.

“We are excited to continue to see her improve day by day and appreciate all of the well wishes and prayers on our behalf,” Cammie said on the family’s Caring Bridge site.

Anita Landis Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:12:32 -0400 HAMMETT, Idaho – Anita Jean Landis, 55, died Oct. 15, surrounded by loved ones, at her Hammett, Idaho, home, following a long battle with cancer.

Mrs. Landis was born June 15, 1959, in John Day, to John Isham and Myrtle Alice Stinnett. She graduated from Grant Union High School in 1977, and moved to Hammett to live with her sister and brother-in-law.

It was there she met the love of her life, Steven Paul Landis, whom she married on Nov. 18, 1978. They had two daughters, Laura and Sarah, and later opened their home and hearts to four children, Alexis, Austin, Lorenzo and Patricia, whom they loved as their own.

She committed her life and energy to caring for her family, with her grandchildren holding a special place in her heart.

As a child, she dedicated her life to the Lord. She was involved in many church activities, and supported her husband’s ministry. Her desire was that all her family would grow up to have a firm relationship with Jesus.

Her hobbies included hunting, fishing, and gardening. She also enjoyed working alongside her husband on their family farm.

Survivors include her husband, six children, four grandchildren, seven brothers and one sister.

She was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Joint Heirs Ministries Inc., 6050 Elmore Rd., Fruitland, ID 83619.

Ruth Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Maynard Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:12:28 -0400 Ruth Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Maynard, 92, of Monument, died Oct. 19. No public service is planned. Her ashes will be mingled with her husband Dan’s, and spread near their former ranch.

Mrs. Maynard was born Aug. 7, 1922, in Cybur, Miss., the youngest child of Ruth Hall and James Fullerton Davis.

During the 1930s, the family moved to Fossil. She started college at Oregon State, with the goal of becoming a medical doctor, but as with many of her generation, World War II interrupted her plans.

On Nov. 16, 1942, she married her high school sweetheart, Dan Ellsworth Maynard.

After the war, they settled in Cle Elum, Wash., and started a family. During their life together, they lived in Western, Central and Eastern Oregon, as well as Arizona, finally settling on a ranch near Monument.

She was active in many social and cultural groups. She was a master gardener, served on the Oregon Farm Bureau legislative committee, and was a founding member of MAKE for the Monument area. She loved theater and music, and encouraged her children to participate in those activities. During her youth, she was an avid competitor in tennis, fencing and skiing.

Survivors include her children, Katherine Ann (Clyde), Dan E. II (Valerie) and Marc Christopher (Lindy); grandchildren, Desiree, Rose Lynn and David; great-grandchildren, Shamayil, Elle Rose, Justice and Hayla; and stepgrandchildren, Neva Noe, Roni Hickerson, Eric Towers, Nichole Towers, Michael Luttrell and Mikayla Luttrell; and stepgreat-grandchildren, Sierra Cates, Austin Cates, Grace Noe, Gabriella Noe, Lilly Towers, Karma Towers and Angelo Towers.

She was preceded in death by her siblings, James, Jessie Mae, Ralph and William.

Memorial donations may be made to the Monument Senior Center, P.O. Box 306, Monument, OR, 97864.

Arrangements are under the direction of Zeyer Funeral Chapel, 83 N. Midland Blvd., Nampa, ID 83651.

Student art Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:59:35 -0400

What’s Happening Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:59:22 -0400 The deadline for What’s Happening items is 5 p.m. Friday. Call Cheryl at the Eagle, 541-575-0710.

• Noon, Outpost Restaurant, John Day

A step-by-step demonstration will be offered for business owners on how to claim and set up a web page. Chamber members and guests are welcome to the public business meeting. For more information, call 541-575-0547.

• Noon-6 p.m, Dayville Merc, Dayville

The new owners of the Dayville Merc invite everyone to a welcome party, with free food and several activities planned. Kids games and hotdogs will be from noon-2 p.m.; raffles from 2:30-4 p.m.; costume contest starting at 4:30 p.m.; and s’mores and hotdogs from 5-6 p.m. Microwave experiments will be going on throughout the day, so people are encouraged to bring something to test out in the microwave.

• 5:30 p.m., Grant County Fairground Pavilion, John Day

Saddle up, pardners – It’s almost time for Blue Mountain Healthcare Foundation’s annual meeting, dinner and auction. This year’s theme is “Welcome to the Wild Wild West.” The evening kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with a no-host bar, games and auction viewing, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and a business meeting and a presentation at 7:30 p.m. On the dinner menu: beef brisket, mashed potatoes, cowboy beans, biscuit, green salad and apple crisp, offered by Blue Mountain Hospital’s Any Thyme Cafe Catering. Tickets are $30 a person or $50 per couple. The event will include three auctions: silent, live and pies, and drawings for items such as a $500 gift certificate to Flagstaff Sports in Baker City, an Apple iPad Mini, and a Remington rifle 700 30-06 with Nikon Prostaff Scope. To RSVP, call Bob Houser, 541-575-4151, or Judy Krutsinger, 541-620-1010.

• 9 a.m., United Methodist Church, John Day

Ye Olde Thrift Store at the United Methodist Church in John Day will hold its annual Christmas sale in the church’s fellowship hall. Hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 9 a.m.-noon on Friday.

Grant County seniors Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:58:33 -0400 JOHN DAY – On Monday, Oct. 20, Margaret Glass and Gloria Kulis greeted us at the desk. Al Altnow and Gordon Black delivered the meals. Al came back and helped others from First Christian Church serve the barbecued chicken wings, macaroni salad, peas, tater tots, rolls and brownies.

Cathy Altnow played the piano for us. Karen Barrietua led the flag salute, and Al Altnow asked the blessing.

Wally Wedde won the Len’s Drug certificate, and Bill Toop got the free meal. We have a new assistant cook, Isa Larkin. Brandi will be greatly missed, but Isa will be a welcome addition.

On Thursday, Oct. 23, Ron Dowse and Kris Labhart greeted us at the desk. David Turner and Jim Maple delivered the John Day meals, and Sara Jane and Scott Moore delivered the Mt. Vernon meals. Our servers were from St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. They served the chicken enchiladas, corn, fruit and cookies. Jan Ellison sponsored the meal in memory of Dan Ellison.

Ron Dowse did the announcements for senior programs manager Veanne Weddle. Ron announced it was a good idea to check your checking and credit card accounts several times a month between statements, since there has been so much fraud going on around the country. He also announced that if someone needs energy assistance, they need to call 1-800-838-3186. If you have an application to turn in, mail it to CCNO, 2802 Adams Ave., La Grande, OR 97850. This needs to be done this way until Veanne gets back the first week of December.

We had a good turn out for the meal on Oct. 23. Thanks to all for coming.

We had several guests and look forward to seeing you again.

Jerry Pasco won the Chester’s Thriftway certificate, and Gregg Starr won the Valley View certificate.

Representatives from Pacific Source Insurance will be at the Senior Center during the noon meal on Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron Dowse filled in this week for Alma Joslin who was out of town.

PRAIRIE CITY – It’s now only one month until “Bene-Fete.” All systems are go. The stage got delayed due to the constructor’s illness, so y’all pray for him now, OK? And thank you to whoever hauled off all the old, dusty carpet. We all appreciate that donation.

Speaking of which, thanks to David and Kathy Thompson for the donation of the Conn organ that belonged to the late Ruth Casebeer. It will be very useful in future activities at the Hall.

Due to Joe’s indisposement, Bruce handled the announcing chores on Oct. 22. He is looking for a flag stand for the State of Oregon flag he would like to donate. So if you can help out, let him know.

Buzz led the flag salute, and Helen Emmel asked the blessing. Our volunteer servers were Lana Abarr, Sandi Rennels, and Pam Howard. Sandi and sister Ila prewashed the silverware after dinner, and Bonnie Lake helped out in the kitchen clean-up. Bruce and Wanda helped me count the money.

The winner of the $5 in trade donated by Prairie Hardware was Billy Drinkwater. And speaking of Prairie Hardware, have you been in there lately? The shelves, they are a-changin’. And there’s a whole bunch more of them! When you wander around in there at Christmas on the Prairie on Nov. 22, you will be either amazed or lost.

The Blue Mountain Care Center ladies, Lorna and Jonie, brought Dorothy Blasing, Ken Lang, and Darrell (Goose) Pierce.

For our meal we had orange or grape juice, green salad, chicken pot pie, and cinnamon roll cake for dessert. I just looooove her chicken pot pies. And in keeping with the season, Iva made up some bowls of candy treats for each table.

The big surprise was Pam and her new hairdo. What a change it made in her appearance! Several people have failed to recognize her. (I won’t mention any names.) Years ago, I put on a black upswept wig and a dress that required a size 40 DD bra for a play. My own mother didn’t recognize me. Kept wondering when I would appear. Now that’s a good costume.

Derrol is counting the days until he gets the cast off his leg. And that will be on Election Day. And on that subject, if you are an American citizen, you should be registered to vote. And if you are registered, you have received your ballot. So mark your choices and get it to the ballot box. And it wouldn’t bother me at all to show my photo ID to vote. So much for that soapbox.

Eph. 2: 19 “Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people ...); and you belong to God’s household.”

Shoot to benefit Dayville FFA Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:58:23 -0400 KIMBERLY – A clay pigeon jackpot shoot will be held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Kimberly Rock Products pit.

There will be jackpots; Annie Oakley; mens, womens and kids competitions; and more. The cost is $3 per shoot, and concessions will be available.

Proceeds benefit the Dayville FFA.

The pit is located at the 9-mile marker on Highway 402, between Kimberly and Monument.

Call 541-934-2143 for more information.