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Wildfire Preparedness Fair at Timberline Lodge posted on 04/29/2023

Jeremy Goers, West Zone Fire Management Officer for the Mount Hood National Forest (MHNF), said he was told that Hwy. 26 might be the last unburned east-west corridor in the Cascade Mountain range.


“That blew my mind,” he said. “We can thank Portland General Electric (for shutting off power in 2020). They saved it. It’s kind of terrifying to think about.”

Goers and many others representing agencies and stakeholders in the Mount Hood community will take part in a Wildfire Preparedness Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at Timberline Lodge. The fair will offer people the chance to learn about preparing for wildfires and how to get the most accurate information.

Goers noted that discussion about wildfires on the west side of Mount Hood ramped up following the Camp Fire in 2018 that destroyed much of Paradise, Calif. Last October, the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) Community Mitigation Assistance Team (CMAT) visited the area to help build collaboration with the various agencies, businesses and residents for wildfire preparation.

“It was great, the whole idea is you have to get buy-in from the majority of the community,” Goers said, noting that Timberline, the Oregon Department of Forestry, Skibowl and Hoodland Fire District were among the participants.

CMAT’s visit resulted in a report aimed at building the group, now called the Mt. Hood Corridor Wildfire Partnership, and have discussion about wildland fire risk throughout the year. Goers noted that in April, the group was able to test a framework for evacuations in Government Camp presented by Clackamas County Disaster Management.

“It’s been great so far just to continue to get people talking,” he said.

Clackamas Fire District is expected to bring a simulation table that features the topography of an area and can simulate how a wildfire might act under certain conditions, such as wind. Those conditions can be altered to see the change in the fire’s behavior.

Brent Olson, Battalion Chief for CFD, noted the simulation table is a new technology the district received recently and that it conglomerates many different data inputs from various sources to display the simulation in a way that’s easy for people to understand.

“It does more than just wildfire, it does flood response, plume modeling for hazardous materials like chemical releases and evacuation modeling,” he said, noting that the Timberline event will be the first one where it is utilized for public outreach.

Information will also be available on a new technology being used on Mount Hood, Pano Stations, utilizing enhanced visual equipment supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to quickly identify fire activity. Sandy Fire District Chief Phil Schneider noted that the technology, which has four towers in the area, has notified him of fires even before he gets the call from 9-1-1 dispatch.

“I’m pretty impressed,” he said. “It’s been catching everything in our fire district that’s a significant fire.”

Schneider noted he can access the visual feed, which includes a full 360 degrees for each tower, and that another one is expected to be installed at Timberline Lodge.

“It’s a big deal, it’s pretty cool technology,” Schneider said, adding that the towers offer a much needed eye over the Bull Run area, where lightning strikes might start a small fire that could be undetected for days without the technology.

Schneider, who has spent more than four decades with the Sandy Fire District, noted that in recent years he’s seen fires burn quicker and hotter in the region. He added the fair offers people a chance to become more educated about the risk while also learning of ways to be responsible and take care of their property, including grants available through Ant Farm.

He also noted that the simulation table will be able to show how mitigation efforts on a specific property can make a difference in how wildfire spreads and how properties can be saved.

“It’s pretty impactful for the community to see that,” Schneider said.

Goers added that it’s hard to tell what this summer’s wildfire season will look like, but it’s imperative for the community to be prepared for this year and beyond.

“We’re always going to get fires,” Goers said. “We get a lot of human-caused fires; way more than we should.”

The Wildfire Preparedness Fair will also feature Smokey Bear, kids’ activities and a reward for participants who visit all the agencies there. For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/view/wildfire-partnership.

By Garth Guibord/MT


New owner and publisher takes over Mountain Times in May posted on 04/29/2023

With 23 years of experience in the publishing industry, and a current focus on monthly community magazines, Matt Nelson, owner of Active Media, will take over as the owner and publisher of the Mountain Times.

Nelson fondly recalled his first job delivering newspapers and credits it with starting him on his path to his publishing career.

“My passion is in print. It always has been,” he said, adding that he was excited when the opportunity to take on publishing a community-focused newspaper was presented to him.

“The focus of our publications is to show the good going on in the communities, highlight local businesses and help readers discover those hidden gems in the region that people may know about or not,” Nelson said.

As the owner of Active Media, Nelson publishes monthly magazines that present news and events in communities throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, including the cities of Canby, Keizer and Tigard.  Based out of Aurora, Active Media currently employs more than 40 staff members to provide coverage throughout the region.

“We find that we tend to do best when we work in regions that have a strong sense of local pride,” Nelson said.

After 13 years of working as a reporter, editor and finally owner and publisher of the Mountain Times, Garth Guibord will step away from the newspaper industry to pursue other opportunities. The paper has been in many ways a family business for Guibord, who took ownership of the paper in 2021 with his wife.

“When I started at the paper in 2010, I would often bring my son with me to interviews, usually in a pouch on my back or on my chest. Everyone was just fine with that,” Guibord said. “Working at the Mountain Times allowed me to be at home for both my boys, which is something I'll always be grateful for.”

While Guibord is excited to pursue new opportunities, he also has confidence in Nelson’s ability to represent the voices and needs of the Mount Hood communities.

“I’m excited for the future of the paper under Matt. He has a tremendous amount of respect for the paper and the community and wants to build on what makes it so successful,” he said.

Nelson will take over publishing in May in preparation for the June paper.

Nelson said his focus will be on continuing coverage of the schools, non-profits, local businesses and “jumping in with both feet” to provide great local coverage.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone on the Mountain,” Nelson added.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Photo by Jean Ludeman.
Welches artist offers new look at Lewis and Clark posted on 04/29/2023

Welches resident Steve Ludeman has had an interest in the Lewis and Clark expedition his entire adult life and visits historical locations when he can. A few years ago, he read Steven Ambrose’s “Undaunted Courage,” which had a section about the expedition’s journey from Harpers Ferry, W. Va., to Pittsburgh, Pa., down the Ohio River and then up the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Missouri River, called the “Eastern Legacy.”


“I did not know of the eastern section of the expedition,” Ludeman said. “This is a story in itself.”

Around the same time, a new law was passed extending the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to include the “Eastern Legacy.”

And as Ludeman was looking for a direction to head in his painting, this added section fit the bill.

Now more than two years into a project he expects to take up to four years, Ludeman’s eight finished pieces will be on display from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Red Trillium Gallery, 373 E Historic Columbia River Hwy., in Troutdale, as part of the gallery’s Second Saturday Art Event.

Ludeman has read Lewis and Clark’s journals a couple times, while he and his wife also traveled back east last fall and spent two months visiting sites of the “Eastern Legacy.” He met with historians and would set up his easel at the locations to start his watercolor paintings.

“It’s a deep dive into history,” Ludeman said, noting that he’s aiming for up to 22 total pieces. “When I started out, I had no idea how much fun it would be. I’ve met so many interesting people.”

He added that he’s also working closely with the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, and that while some of the more complicated pieces can take months to complete, others are more straightforward and take a few weeks. Ludeman also noted that his experience has revealed to him that not all historians agree on the facts, offering a challenge for him to paint historically accurate art.

The pieces have already been exhibited in Pittsburgh, Pa., Nebraska City, Neb. And at Lewis & Clark College. After the Troutdale exhibit, the show will continue in Missoula, Mont.

Ludeman sees the “Eastern Legacy,” which occurred between July and December 1803 and covered approximately 1,400 miles, as an important aspect of the journey for Lewis and Clark.

“This is where they laid the foundation for the entire exploration,” Ludeman said. “They did their planning, they acquired their supplies and equipment, recruited crew members, they built the boats, they planned the route.”

Corbett artist Jim Kunz will also have art on display and the Saturday event will feature refreshments. For more information on Steve Ludeman’s art, visit www.steveludemanfineart.com.

The Red Trillium Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on the gallery, visit https://www.redtrilliumgallery.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Welches Elementary students get free books from Rotary Club posted on 04/29/2023

Sarah McIntyre, a member of the Sandy Rotary Club and also the Library Director for the Sandy Library, enjoyed visiting all the elementary schools in the Oregon Trail School District to give free books to preschool, Head Start, kindergarten, first grade and second grade students. At one school, a student was on a mission to find the most difficult book for him to read.

“I think he was in kindergarten,” McIntyre said. “We finally found one that was hard enough for him. It’s really fun to see how excited they get and to foster a love of reading.”

The club, which formed in 2022, donated approximately 1,000 books total, thanks to fundraising efforts and a matching grant from the Rotary Foundation. Books included fiction and non-fiction, with titles ranging from “Fly Guy” to “Star Wars” to National Geographic books on otters and more.

“It’s fun to see them all excited to get a book,” said Rotarian Shelley Anderson when she came with McIntyre to Welches Elementary School on Friday, April 14, to give out books. “(Reading is) the key to everything.”

“A powerful way to build young readers is to allow kids to choose books they are interested in reading,” Welches Schools Principal Kendra Payne added. “This gift from Rotary allows kids to do just that, choose their own book to read and also to keep.”

“I want to thank the Sandy Rotarians for choosing to support the academic success of our youngest students,” OTSD Superintendent Aaron Bayer said. “Owning their own books inspires a sense of pride and excitement for learning.”

The Sandy Rotary Club has partnered with other local groups to support projects, including the Sandy Senior Center, Ant Farm, Sandy Action Center, City of Sandy and Sandy Kiwanis Club. McIntyre noted that no specific projects are planned for the immediate future, but the group will be fundraising for projects down the road. She added that Rotarians are expected to sell tamales at the Sandy Library’s Spring Celebration, on Saturday, May 6,, and at the City of Sandy’s Run/Walk with Pride on Saturday, June 10, to benefit Students Advocating for Equality. The club also hopes to sell mini pies at this year’s Sandy Mountain Festival.

The Sandy Rotary Club meets at 4:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, at the Sandy Family Restaurant, 39024 Proctor Blvd. in Sandy. To learn more about the Rotary Club of Sandy, visit www.sandyrotary.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT


New book on Steiner cabins donated to museum posted on 04/29/2023

Henry Steiner, an early settler in the area, constructed more than 100 cabins and two churches on the Mountain over a span of 30 years.

These log cabins were not just simple structures but were infused with artistry and craftsmanship; Steiner used unconventional logs, including crooked ones, as well as handcrafted doors and doorknobs made from small trees, giving each cabin a unique charm.

The significance of these log cabins was brought to the forefront by Julie Steiner, granddaughter of Henry Steiner, and her husband, Skeet Arasmith, who took up the task of documenting the locations and status of Steiner cabins and published a book, titled “Steiner’s Log Cabins,” on the Steiner cabin story.

Arasmith, a geologist, meticulously researched the history of the cabins, collecting photographs and documentation from the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum and other sources to create a comprehensive account of these unique structures and then donated the book to the museum.

“We're really glad Skeet did it because people wanted to write a book, but we didn't want people to profit from the museum's research,” said Lloyd Musser, the museum’s volunteer curator.

The release of the book has been warmly received by the local community, with the book flying off the shelves on the first day of its release.

It has become a treasure trove of mountain history, providing insights into the legacy of these iconic log cabins and the craftsmanship that went into their construction.

Despite being initially inexpensive when sold, these log cabins stood the test of time. Many other log cabins from that era have rotted away or collapsed, but the Steiner cabins, with their durable construction and careful craftsmanship, have endured for more than 85 years.

In addition to the book release, Musser also shared that the annual Steiner cabin tour will be held on Saturday, Aug. 12, allowing visitors to experience firsthand the charm and history of these unique log cabins.

Further information about the tour can be found on the museum's website starting from July 1.

Copies of Arasmith’s book can be purchased for $30 at the museum's gift shop, located at  88900 Government Camp Loop in Government Camp, or on the museum’s website, https://mthoodmuseum.org/.

By Ty Tilden/MT


Spring season welcomes numerous shows posted on 04/29/2023

After enjoying his go-around as the director of last season’s “Fuddy Mears,” Jay Hash wanted to dive back in and direct another show. This month, his follow up will be “Jitters,” by David French, at the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company (NNB).

The comedy takes the audience behind the scenes of the theater world, a “play within a play,” as a provincial Canadian theater company mounts a production of “The Care and Treatment of Roses.” In it, a popular (but aging) actress attempts to make a comeback in Canada, but conflicts due to egos and personal issues threaten to derail the plan.

“Things start to escalate and you wonder how it’s going to work out in the end, “Hash said. “It’s a struggle, because there’s egos involved. Not just hers, but others who see it as a vehicle for her.”

Hash noted that he prioritizes character exploration and working with his actors to discuss relationships, history and other intricacies of their roles.

“It gives a more fleshed out character over the course of (the show),” he said. “I like to make sure that is one of the key elements of when I’m producing a show like this.”

Hash also added that NNB’s stage, located at the Boring Grange, allows for them to break the “fourth wall,” an imaginary wall that separates the audience from performers, by utilizing the area in front of the stage for part of the action.

“We have this interesting split level thing going on,” he said, noting that characters such as the writer and director of the “play within the play” are on the same level as the audience and utilize the theater’s entrances and exits. “It gives this immersion for the audience.”

NNB presents “Jitters” from May 19 through June 4 at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, including ticket pricing or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.

NNB auditions

NNB will hold auditions for its September production of “Steel Magnolias,” by Robert Harling French, from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, May 20, and 6:30-9 p.m. Monday, May 22, at the Boring Grange. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.

The Gin Game at SAT

Sandy Actors Theatre’s (SAT) May production of D. L. Coburn’s “The Gin Game” has a small cast, but an experienced one. Just two performers take the stage, and Jim Butterfield and Anita Sorel are well known to SAT audience members. So is the director, Tobias Andersen, a veteran of stage, film and television.

Butterfield noted that he’s worked with Sorel in the past, including “On Golden Pond,” when they received compliments on their chemistry on stage.

“It occurred to me this would be a good thing to do with her,” he said.

The pair play two residents at a home for senior citizens who strike up a friendship over a game of gin rummy. Butterfield noted the card game becomes a battle between two people who are not comfortable with others but are also desperately trying to find companionship.

“They each have their own difficulties relating to the world at large,” he said, while noting how different the characters are from each other. “Somehow, they get thrown together, desperately trying to find a connection with each other. In a place with a couple hundred in the old folks home, neither of them has found anybody else in the entire place to talk to.”

“They’re stuck, they won't get off it,” Andersen added. “She won’t get off of it with her husband, he won’t get off of it with his business partners. Any audience coming to see this show will have a lot of laughs and they will see two of the most fascinating characters ever written.”

SAT presents “The Gin Game” from Friday, May 5 through Sunday, May 28, at 17433 SE Meinig Avenue in Sandy (behind Ace Hardware). Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 general admission, $15 for students, seniors, first responders and veterans, and $13 for children (reservations are recommended). For more information, or to make reservations call 503-936-4378, find SAT on Facebook or visit sandyactorstheatre.com.

“Cinderella” continues

Sandy High School will continue its production of the classic musical “Cinderella,” music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, new book by Douglas Carter Beane and original book by Oscar Hammerstein II, from May 4-6. Performances will take place at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium, located at 37400 Bell Street in Sandy. Tickets are $11 for adults, $8 for students and seniors and kids five and under are free.

For more information, visit https://www.sandydrama.com/.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Contributed photo
A trail of success for Sandy High School ski teams posted on 03/31/2023

For the first time in 20 years, the Sandy High School (SHS) Girls Ski Team won the annual Mt. Hood League Race. The Sandy girls came in first place out of eight schools in the competition held on Feb. 17 at Ski Bowl East.


“It was an amazing outcome. It was definitely supposed to be a team building year,” Sandy High School Ski Team Coach Josh Kanable said. Kanable has been the coach for both the Sandy boys and girls ski teams for 13 years.

“This is the first year (in my tenure) the girls have come out on top of the Mt. Hood League,” Kanable said.

Both the Sandy boys and girls teams had several youth from Welches and Rhododendron that made a strong showing at the Oregon Interscholastic Ski Racing Association (OISRA) ski races at the Hoodoo ski resort in Sisters Oregon on March 2-3.

Aeris Eaton, Bode Burke, Denali Barrett, Dylan Brown, Elle Schreiner and Grace Burke represented SHS in the race and competed in the slalom and giant slalom.

Sandy junior Elle Schreiner placed 16th overall combined out of 113 girls in the OISRA state competition.

“I am on the mountain four to six days a week, and I love sharing that with the Sandy High Ski team,” Schreiner said. “There is no better place than on the mountain, and the team has the kindest atmosphere around.”

Eaton, a senior, took home the Sportsmanship award at the Mt. Hood league competition for her display of team spirit and kindness to other teams and participants throughout the season.

“You would think the great part is skiing on beautiful Mount Hood three days a week but the best part is the people,” Eaton said. “Being a senior on this team and having the opportunity to get to know everyone was one of the best parts of my senior year.”

The SHS ski team exemplified sportsmanship with the team’s practice of welcoming skiers of all experience and skill levels.

“This year we had four athletes who had never skied before on the team,” Kanable said.

He added that skiing has traditionally been a hard sport for many youth to have access to.

With the support of the Oregon Trail School District’s funding for bussing and coaching, Kanable has been able to develop the program from eight participants in 2010 to 31 students this season.

“They light up at the end of the night,” Kanable said about the positive response from participants of all skill levels on his team.

With the majority of the team returning next season, Kanable anticipates another positive season next year.

The Sandy boys team placed first in the Mt. Hood League the last three seasons before this year. The boys finished fourth in the league this year and are not losing any seniors on their side.

“The squads will be bigger, stronger and more experienced. I think they improve every season, and we’ll have some skilled skiers coming in as freshmen,” said Kanable. “It’s a wonderful group of kids, who excel on and off the slopes.”

By Ben Simpson/MT


Meeting scheduled on possible Dorman Center agreement posted on 03/31/2023

At a Tuesday, March 14 Hoodland Fire District (HFD) Board of Directors meeting, Clackamas County Commissioner Mark Shull invited the HFD board to a Clackamas Board of County Commissioners (BCC) executive session to hear a proposal for the purchase of the Dorman Center properties to use as the site of a new district fire station.

The executive session will occur on the morning of Tuesday, April 4 and will be closed to the public. Community members will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on the matter after the two boards have their initial discussion.

“The Hoodland Board is excited to hear the county’s terms for the transfer of the properties,” HFD Fire Chief Jim Price said. “Although there are no numbers yet, it seems the county’s intent is a minimal cost (for the district to purchase the properties),”

Shull stated that the BCC was not ready to put forward firm numbers on their proposal for the Dorman Center’s transfer to the HFD. However, Shull was able to present a preview of the county’s proposal without final numbers or terms.

“The numbers don’t really mean anything; the concept does,” Shull said.

Shull explained that the county was considering leasing the property to HFD for five years. As a term of the lease agreement, if HFD maintains the property, the community garden and parking for the park and ride mountain express shuttle, the lease will be reduced by one third for each of the three conditions met.

Shull stated that if HFD satisfies these requirements the lease will be reduced to a nominal amount. The fire district will have five years to secure grants, a bond and other funding for the construction of the new station. If the district fails to secure funding for a new station the site will be returned to the county. If HFD secures funding during the five-year period, the property will be transferred to the district.

“A new fire station is very important; you need a new facility. The five-year period will be an opportunity to get your ducks in a row,” Shull said. “The Dorman Center has been sitting on the rolls of the county for many, many years. It’s doing nothing positive (unoccupied).”

During the meeting, members of the HFD board highlighted that a new station at the Dorman Center site would function as a community focal point.

“It’s a really good place for a fire station. The site offers a better location for serving the region, a better layout for a future station and an easier undertaking than demolishing and rebuilding in the current location,” stated Chief Price. “We’re currently optimistic that the discussion is progressing right on schedule.”

After the April 4 executive session, the BCC will need to vote on any agreement at a public meeting. No such meeting is currently scheduled.

The BCC typically holds meetings at 10 a.m. on Thursdays at 2051 Kaen Road in Oregon City but will also hold evening meetings once a month at 6 p.m. on Thursdays, typically the second Thursday of the month.

Anyone wishing to provide comments to the BCC during a business meeting can register via Zoom when attending online or fill out a blue card at the door when attending in person.

For more information on the BCC, including weekly schedules and meeting agendas, visit https://www.clackamas.us/bcc. More info on the HFD can be found online at https://www.hoodlandfire.us.

By Ben Simpson/MT


County moves forward with regulations on short term rentals posted on 03/31/2023

At a Wednesday, March 15 policy session, the Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) voted to move forward on a policy proposal regarding regulation of Short Term Rentals (STRs). The only commissioner to vote against moving forward was Chair Tootie Smith.

“This issue has been going on for many years,” said Commissioner Mark Shull, one of the presenters of the proposal and the commissioner who visited the Mountain community in January to attend a meeting of the Hoodland Community Planning Organization that discussed regulating STRs. “It is a very emotional topic. We’ve listened to all these constituents, considered all their concerns and come up with this draft regulation.”

Commissioner Paul Savas, who worked on the proposal with Shull and also presented it to the BCC, noted that the effort was done with three things in mind: no impact to the county’s general fund, a reasonable entry for STR operators and a way to address how STRs can be good neighbors in the community.

“I think those are three essential points that are really, really important,” Savas said.

The proposal would require STR owners and operators to register via an online process that would include an affidavit covering a variety of topics, including life-safety requirements, occupancy limits, contact information and requirements such as off-street parking and garbage pickup. Owners and operators would also have to acknowledge their responsibility to collect and remit the Transient Lodging Tax (TLT), which is set at six percent in the county and applies to hotels and other establishments for stays of up to 30 days.

In his comments, Savas noted that there are approximately 639 payees of TLT within the county, with an estimate of 1,100 other operators who do not pay.

The proposed program would create a new position with the county, funded by revenue from the program, that would handle TLT and registration enforcement, customer service, inter-department coordination and other responsibilities.

Enforcement of the program would be complaint-driven, with no inspections involved, and would work with property owners to become compliant. The program would not require any further participation from the county code enforcement or from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office beyond what they do currently.

Program funding would be through a surcharge of eight percent of the TLT for the property, and the county will explore one-time funding from the Clackamas County Tourism Development Council, which is expected to be up to $200,000, while also looking into if the county’s lottery revenue allotment could be used as well.

The proposed regulations would begin with a three-year pilot program, culminating in a report to the BCC. Savas noted the program is not expected to be a “profit generator.”

Other board members expressed some concerns over the proposal, including a need to clearly define what qualifies as an STR under the program, where the startup funding will come from and the rights of property owners. Language regarding potentially limiting the number of STRs after the completion of the pilot program was removed from the document before its approval.

Under the timeline included in the proposal document, policy advisors will reconcile feedback from the BCC, develop an outreach process and work on drafting code language. Public hearings and an adoption process are expected to take place starting in April and May.

“STRs across the nation are becoming more and more popular,” Shull said. “This draft … is in the best interest of all our neighborhoods. We cannot continue to have the unregulated situation we have now.”

For more information on the BCC, visit https://www.clackamas.us/bcc.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Contributed photo
Farmers Market's fruitful fundraising effort this spring posted on 03/31/2023

Kate Brauner, manager of the Hoodland Farmers Market, noted that fundraising accounts for approximately 90 percent of what the market needs to function throughout the summer months.


“Community support is critical in making the market move and function,” she said, adding that grants make up the next largest portion of operating funds.

The market is currently raising funds through https://www.gofundme.com, search for “Hoodland Farmers Market.”

Brauner said there will be some new additions to the market, which will start on Saturday, May 27 this year, including a toilet that is ADA accessible and participation in the “Double Up Food Bucks Oregon” program (matching money spent at farmers markets through the Farmers Market Fund).

She also hopes to have a fund to help pay for the musicians who will play at the market and to use money for better signage to draw more from the seasonal traffic.

The market is also looking to add volunteers, including looking for someone with accounting experience to be the treasurer on the market’s board of directors, another opening for a volunteer to run the kids booth and anyone who has experience with fundraising and marketing.

Brauner noted that this year, the market has opened up the opportunity for business sponsorships, with three different tiers of involvement.

“If local businesses want to support the market and local farmers, becoming a sponsor would be extremely helpful,” she said, noting that more information is available on the market’s website, https://www.hoodlandfarmersmarket.org/, under “Get Involved.”

The market will be back on the same day of the week (Saturday) and in the same location (at the Church on the Mountain) as last year. Brauner noted that the market will run two weeks longer into October this year, as the weather proved hospitable to an extended season.

Interested vendors and musicians can also find more information on participating this year, and Brauner added that she is particularly interested adding hot food vendors.

“It’s a delicate balance (to) keep the right blend of food and other items,” she said.

Brauner also noted two other additions to the market, as two different regular farmers had children recently.

“When you support the market, you support small family farmers,” she said.

For more information, find the market on Facebook and Instagram, and anyone interested in volunteering can email hoodlandfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Just Rum's new Sandy tasting room posted on 03/31/2023

John Hasbrouck got started in the distillation industry after inheriting some whiskey distillation equipment from his great-uncle. Despite having little interest in whiskey production, Hasbrouck began experimenting with the apparatus.

After hundreds of hours of refining and honing his skills and methodologies, Hasbrouck is now ready to share the fruits of his labors, traditional sipping rum produced by his company, Just Rum, with the world.

One of the significant milestones for Just Rum was the opening of their tasting room earlier this year. Conveniently located in downtown Sandy, the tasting room is home to Just Rum and Boring Cider Company. It offers light bar fare, such as pizza and paninis, is open to minors and serves non-alcoholic beverages.

Hasbrouck sees the tasting room as a learning opportunity.

“I’ve never owned a bar or restaurant before,” he said. “The purpose of this tasting room is so that I can figure out how to do this.”

Despite his lack of experience in the restaurant and bar industry, Hasbrouck has big ambitions.

“When we outgrow this building, I want to build a campus,” he said. “A full-service restaurant, catering, a bar, a lounge and a speakeasy. I want to make rum and ciders, build a cooperage, and make barrels. I really want to contribute to Sandy. I love the community and the small-town feel.”

The tasting room is one of those key steps from their beginnings producing rum solely for retail distribution.

The early days of the company saw Hasbrouck and his close friend James Roberts selecting pure, unrefined ingredients to create their recipe. The pair perfected the recipe and founded Just Rum with their friend, Greg Masden, in 2018.

Their first and simplest product is dubbed The Simple White. Originating directly from the still, this is rum as pure as it comes. Though this pure product has its purposes, Hasbrouck wanted to infuse flavor and character into the product.

Taking inspiration from traditional whiskey flavors, another rum, Toasted Oak, was born. Wood-rested in a toasted oak barrel as the name suggests, this rum is revered for its whiskey-like flavor profile and characteristics.

As Just Rum continued to gain popularity and commercial viability, a third flavor was born. The Maple Rested offers a gentle sweetness from the toasted maple wood it resides in.

In 2019, Just Rum took home two gold medals from the Rum Renaissance Festival in Miami for Simple White and Rested Maple, cementing their popularity from their humble beginnings in Sandy.

Throughout the journey, Just Rum has strived to remain a distiller of high-quality spirits using pure ingredients. Now producing more than seven varieties of rum, merchandise, flights and tastings, Hasbrouck and his team are expanding sales into southern Washington and soon Idaho.

Though Hasbrouck’s dreams of a sprawling rum-fueled campus are distant, these early years are just as crucial.

“We’re getting better at it,” he said. “We’re figuring it out. We’re not pretentious.”

Just Rum is located at 17020 Ruben Lane in Sandy. The tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., except on Fridays through Sundays when the doors stay open until 9 p.m. More information can be found online at www.justrum.com or by phone at 503-498-8710.

By Ty Tilden/MT


Resources limited for traffic enforcement in county posted on 03/31/2023

Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Lieutenant Marcus Mendoza addressed traffic issues at the Hoodland Community Planning Organization (CPO) last month, noting that 86.9 percent of calls regarding traffic by the CCSO occurred on Hwy. 26 in a recent 13 month period.

He added that since Hwy. 26 is a state highway, it is the jurisdiction of the Oregon State Police (OSP) and that anyone who calls 9-1-1 regarding a traffic violation on the highway, the call will go to OSP dispatch and not CCSO dispatch.

“It’s not lost on me that if you get in a crash on Hwy. 26 here in Welches … you just want help,” Mendoza said.

He added that even when calls go through OSP dispatch, a CCSO deputy may get to the scene first, and that OSP doesn’t run true 24-hour service.

“It’s not the best system,” Mendoza said.

CCSO breaks down Clackamas County into various districts, with the Mountain area and Boring staffed as a single district. Mendoza noted that with Hwy. 26 serving as the major road from east to west, response times can be quicker than in other districts in the county that feature a web of smaller county roads.

Mendoza also noted that typical shifts include two deputies for inlying areas with higher populations and one deputy for districts that are outlying, such as the Mountain – Boring area, while one deputy is assigned to traffic enforcement for the entire county during the day.

According to Mendoza, CCSO has hired more than 40 new deputies in the past two years but remains understaffed and the office has more than 40 vacancies. That’s even after a levy that was passed to fund an increase of patrol deputies by 28.

“Money is not the issue, it is finding good people,” he said, noting the job requires a background check and 18 months of training, leading to approximately two years to get a new deputy on the job. “We are constantly hiring. We are just trying to catch up, just like every other law enforcement agency in the country.”

Mendoza added that the CCSO uses other tools to try and improve traffic issues, including a reader board that can warn drivers of speeding while also collecting data on the issue.

“To me it's not about writing tickets, it's about changing behaviors,” he said, adding that he gives “a ton” of warnings to drivers. “If we want to make a difference and help save lives, the best way we can do that is change driving behavior and make it safer.”

The CCSO website (https://www.clackamas.us/sheriff) now features a “Dashboards” tab that offers a bevy of information on various calls, from traffic stops to crimes, and broken down to various areas in the county.

The CPO is also currently looking for volunteers for a sub-committee regarding short-term rentals.

Anyone interested in serving on this sub-committee can email hoodlandcpo@gmail.com.

The next Hoodland CPO community meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, at the Church on the Mountain, 68301 Hwy. 26 in Welches. The CPO will elect all board positions at the meeting and the Hoodland Fire District Fire Marshall will be the guest speaker.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Clackamas Rep's gala returns posted on 03/31/2023

Cyndy Smith-English, Managing Director for the Clackamas Repertory Theatre (CRT), noted that when the theater’s yearly gala fundraiser began sometime around 2008, it was a very different format.

For the first five or six years, CRT offered a whole play for one night.

“It was a lot of work, but everybody had fun,” Smith-English said.

But when a new board member suggested changing things up to an auction with a less intensive performance, the evening really took off.

This month, the yearly gala returns after three years off due to the coronavirus pandemic, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 15.

The evening, themed as “Dream the Impossible Dream,” will feature complimentary wine with food, a silent auction, a live auction featuring two actors (and a little improv) and performers David Saffert and Jillian Snow Harris in a tribute to Liberace and Liza Minnelli.

“This year is going to be very fun,” Smith-English said. “They’re just fabulous. He sounds like Liberace, he plays the piano so well.”

The evening will help fund the upcoming CRT season, which will offer Ken Ludwig’s “The Gods of Comedy” from June 29 through July 23, “The Man of La Mancha,” an award-winning musical inspired by Miguel De Cervantes’ “Don Quixote,” from Aug. 3-27 and Laura Brienza’s “Old Love New Love” from Sept. 7 through Oct. 1.

“It’s a good deal to buy the season pass,” Smith-English added.

Tickets for the CRT Gala are $75 and can be purchased online at clackamasrep.org. The gala will take place at the Niemeyer Center on the Oregon City campus of Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Avenue in Oregon City.

For more information, visit clackamasrep.org or call 503-594-6047.

Readers Theatre evening

Reader’s Theatre Gresham presents a staged reading of “Cathleen ni Houlihan,” by Augusta, Lady Gregory, and W.B. Yeats, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 3, at the Center of the Arts Little Theatre, 333 N. Main Avenue in Gresham. Tickets are $9 at the door, with tickets for Mt. Hood Community College students available at half price.

Readings happen on the first Monday of every month through June.

The May reading will be “’Night Mother,” by Marsha Norman, on Monday, May 1, and the June reading will be “I Never Sang for My Father,” by Robert Anderson on Monday, June. 5

For more information, visit www.readerstheatregresham.org or email ReadersTheatreGresham@gmail.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Photo by Garth Guibord
Fire District proposes Dorman property as site for new station posted on 03/01/2023

The future of the Dorman Center property in Welches has remained undecided since the failure of the Hoodland Park District Ballot Measure in June 2022. Scotch Broom and other invasive species have begun to stake their claim on the property in the meantime, as Clackamas County weighs options for the site's use.


The Hoodland Fire District (HFD) presented a proposal to the county in December requesting the two parcels of land that comprise the Dorman Center as the site for a new fire station.

HFD’s initial proposal requested that the county deed the parcels to the fire district in the same manner that the county had intended to donate the land for the Hoodland Community Park District.

The Clackamas Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) responded to the proposal in early February with a counteroffer. The counteroffer indicated the county will present a lease-to-own or option-to-buy offer to HFD before the district’s public board of directors meeting on Tuesday, March 14.

“We don’t know what the offer is going to be. We are hoping the BoCC will donate the property to another government entity (similar to the park district),” said Scott Kline, HFD Division Chief and Fire Marshal.

Kline added that the county has also received an offer to buy the property from a private party. The parcels are currently zoned as an Open Space Management (OSM) district. This zoning specifies that the property must be used for non-commercial purposes. However, the property can be purchased and used for parking or loading area, as utility facilities and other conditional uses. A fire station is allowed as a conditional use for the property.

HFD’s current aging facilities are a hodgepodge of additions that stretch back to 1966, do not meet current seismic structural requirements and have 24/7 staff sleeping in a jobsite shack separate from the main facilities, causing an impact on emergency response times.

“(24/7) staff currently has to go through three secured doors before they can get to the emergency response apparatus,” Kline said, describing how the current facilities size constraints limit the district’s ability to serve the mountain communities.

HFD’s proposal stipulates that the district will maintain the community garden currently on-site and provide 12 park and ride spaces for the Mountain Express shuttle. The proposed terms state that HFD will secure funding for a new station within five years and begin construction within ten years.

The new station would also include a community meeting room that could be secured from the rest of the station to facilitate community use. The current station’s public meeting space cannot be secured from the rest of the station and requires additional staff to be present whenever there is community use to assure security and adequate emergency response.

Kline added that if the district receives the property HFD will begin maintaining the grounds. The property will be cleared of invasive species such as scotch broom and used to showcase Firewise practices for maintaining wildfire resilient properties. The public gardens will also be maintained for community use.

“If people want to weigh in on the use of the site, they can write the county commissioners, or attend the BoCC meetings either virtually or in person to express their opinion on the best use of the site,” Kline said.

Kimberly Webb, Public Information Officer for Clackamas County, noted that due to the BoCC being on recess that no comment could be made at the time of publishing.

She added that the BoCC typically discusses such arrangements during executive session but will need to vote on any agreement at a public meeting and that no such meeting is currently scheduled.

The public is invited to attend the HFD board of directors meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, at the main station 69634 Hwy. 26 in Welches. The BoCC’s counterproposal will be discussed at the meeting.

The BoCC typcially holds meetings at 10 a.m. on Thursdays at 2051 Kaen Road in Oregon City, but will also hold evening meetings once a month at 6 p.m. on Thursdays, typcially the second Thursday of the month.

Anyone wishing to provide comments to the BoCC during a business meeting can register online via Zoom when attending online or fill out a blue card at the door when attending in person.

For more information on the BoCC, including weekly schedules and meeting agendas, visit https://www.clackamas.us/bcc. For more information on the HFD, visit https://www.hoodlandfire.us/.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Sandy forges ahead with Community Campus ideas posted on 03/01/2023

A long-awaited revamp of the old Cedar Ridge Middle School (CRMS) campus is finally underway. Through Thursday, March 9, the City of Sandy will ask area residents to contribute input on developing a new park and recreational facility in downtown Sandy through an online survey.

Sandy Parks and Recreation Director Rochelle Anderholm-Parsch stressed the importance of getting feedback on what the public wants out of the property.

“We would love to hear about how [community members] want to get in there and use that space,” she said.

Following the relocation of CRMS to the campus of the old Sandy High School building on Bluff Road, the city purchased the ten-acre property from the Oregon Trail School District in 2016 with plans to convert it into a hub for community and recreation. This vision is set to become a reality in early 2025 when construction is anticipated to be complete.

Until March 9, Sandy’s Parks and Recreation department will host an online survey where locals can contribute ideas for the property. Previous feedback has sparked interest in developing a new skate park, bicycle pump track, permanent restrooms and picnic shelters.

Anderholm-Parsch also clarified that the city hopes to see more input from the younger demographic to cater the design of the campus toward more people.  Currently, the campus is in the early stages of development and a concrete plan and budget have not yet been created. The city’s 2022 Parks Master Plan did indicate a need for a new park development in the northeast sector of Sandy – something that was anticipated at the site’s purchase in 2016.

Funding for the project will be pulled from leftover funds from the property purchase, a fund comprised of development fees paid to the city that is earmarked for park development and an expected grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

As far as the rest of the CRMS property, the city won’t rush to renovate. The Olin Y. Bignall Aquatic Center has been deemed too dilapidated to feasibly repair and will require complete rebuilding in the event that the community desires an aquatic center.

Other buildings on the property are being occupied by SandyNet and are not currently on the docket for rebuilding.

As the city continues to finalize the plan for the community campus, they will seek more feedback and publish information.

More details can be found on the city’s parks and recreation website at www.ci.sandy.or.us/parks-rec.

By Ty Tilden/MT


Govy rest area relocation lands federal grant posted on 03/01/2023

The effort to relocate the rest area on the east end of Government Camp by Timberline’s Summit Pass (formerly the Summit Ski Area) got a boost in January when it received $715,000 in federal funding as part of the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP). The money will be used to study the potential move.

“This federal investment takes a significant step on the road toward making this heavily used stop for motorists on U.S. 26 a safer spot,” U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said in a press release. “An essential part of quality infrastructure is safety, and I’ll continue teaming up with Oregonians working hard to reach the ultimate goal of ensuring this rest stop is as safe as possible.”

Manuel Padilla, Project Manager for Oregon Solutions, one of the organizations involved in the potential rest area move, spoke at the Government Camp Community Planning Organization’s (CPO) February meeting, noting that the grant money will focus on the first phase of the work, including planning, design and cost estimating.

“The other pieces that will come after that; engineering, development of planning, details of cost estimates, sources of funding,” he said.

The funds are slated to be distributed in 2025, Padilla noted, but could be available as early as November 2024. He added that collaboration between the various organizations involved in the project, including the U.S. Forest Service, Clackamas County, is a key component.

John Burton, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Timberline Lodge, also spoke at the CPO meeting, noting that they are working with Clackamas County on a transit hub in parallel to the rest area move. He added that a feasibility study is expected to be completed, including rough cost estimates, by the end of May and that stakeholder outreach will likely be done sometime in April.

Burton added that the Summit Pass area would be a great selection for a transit hub, which could include public restrooms, bus stalls, chargers for electric vehicles, bike racks and more, with the goal of making transportation around the Mountain more effective and safer.

“We’re just going to keep pushing forward,” he said.

Burton also noted that the long-term vision for parking in the area would include an area off of Timberline Road.

For more information about Oregon Solutions and the Government Camp rest area redevelopment, visit https://orsolutions.org/.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Mt. Hood Pie Company continues sweet legacy of Oregon Candy Farm posted on 03/01/2023

When Alex and Aligra Pavich bought the Oregon Candy Farm property ten years ago, the pair basically started from scratch to create a business. From the walk-in freezer to the coolers and just about everything in between, the entrepreneurs waded through red tape to bring everything up to code and into the 21st century.

“We basically redid the whole thing,” Alex said. “It just took us years to do that. It was just so outdated. It needed an overhaul, more than just a fresh coat of paint.”

The pair opened the Sandy Commissary Kitchen, a shared kitchen for small businesses to use by the hour or the day, in 2019 and have now launched their latest endeavor, the Mt. Hood Pie Company. And just like their approach to their investment in their property, these pies are all made from scratch.

Their selection includes traditional favorites, including a Hood apple, pumpkin, key lime and pecan pies, while Alex noted they also specialize in cream-based pies, such as banana cream, chocolate peanut butter, coconut cream and a range of berries, from blueberry cream to cherry cream. He also noted that new flavors of pies that aren’t available elsewhere are going to appear on their menu, including an Oreo mint pie, similar to a grasshopper pie, in time for “pi day” (March 14, the date which mirrors the math constant of the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter) and for St. Patrick’s Day.

“I’m just experimenting all the time,” Alex said. “That’s my goal, high end pie.”

Pies can be purchased online, with delivery and pick up options, as well as a growing number of area restaurants and food purveyors, including Timberline Meat Market, White’s Meat Market, Cooper’s Wine Bar and the Skyway Bar and Grill.

Meanwhile, Alex noted that the Sandy Commissary Kitchen has found its niche, with a number of regular clients utilizing the space to prepare food, wash dishes and more. Alex, who ran a food cart selling mini donuts in Portland more than ten years ago and used a commissary kitchen at the time, noted that it can be especially challenging for people running food carts and other startups to accomplish everything in such a small space.

“Not all of these businesses can afford the (equipment), all the stuff you need to do basic business as a food maker,” he said.

Alex noted that back when the pair bought the Oregon Candy Farm property, which was for decades an institution that drew countless people to enjoy its sweets, the timing was right as they looked to get out of Portland.

He added that they’ve cleaned up the property, making walking trails and even revitalizing a pair of trout ponds that they enjoy with their two young children.

“Now our kids have a place to play,” Alex said.

The Mt. Hood Pie Company and the Sandy Commissary Kitchen are located at 48620 Hwy. 26 in Sandy. For more information, visit www.mthoodpiecompany.com and www.sandycommissarykitchen.com.

To reach the Mt. Hood Pie Company by phone, call 503-482-8121, and to reach the Sandy Commissary Kitchen by phone, call 503-668-5149.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Hoodland 'piecemaker' offers some comfort around the world posted on 03/01/2023

Arlene Glueck, a member of the Mount Hood area Piecemakers quilting group, is proof that you don’t have to go very far to make a big difference.

As a volunteer for the non-profit organization Quilts Beyond Borders (QBB) she has steadily produced quilts that are shipped to children in need around the world from the home she has resided in for years.

In early December, this modern day “Rosie the Riveter” contributed 30 quilts that were shipped to Ukrainian refugees in Poland in a show of support during their ongoing war. The quilts were largely made with materials donated to Arlene by the Piecemakers.

“I can’t solve the conflict, but I can give a kid a blanket,” Glueck said. “I’ll never meet them, and they’ll never meet me but at least it’s something.”

Glueck’s quilts were part of 185 quilts contributed by the northwest chapter of QBB to Ukrainian refugees in Poland in December.

The organization has partnered with Jeremiah’s Hope, an Abilene, Texas non-profit, to assure the quilts will be properly distributed to the refugees. Jeremiah’s Hope has been sending shipping containers from Abilene to the dispossessed since the beginning of the war.

Glueck filled Hoodland Lutheran Church, the site of the Piecemakers weekly meetings, with the quilts before they were shipped off to provide warmth to children in need.

And her contributions extend beyond the war in Ukraine. She has previously donated quilts to QBB that were sent to Ethiopian refugee camps, an orphanage in Israel and Syrian refugees abroad and in the United States.

“They go all over the world,” Glueck said.

QBB’s mission is to reach out to under-served children, mainly orphans, across the world to “provide a handmade quilt and spread love and hope.” According to QBB, more than 140 million children in the world today have lost one or both parents. QBB was created in March 2007 to support these children.

QBB provides specifications to volunteers interested in donating quilts. Each quilt must be “washable in primitive conditions” and made from “good fabric.” The organization requests that donations are approximately twin sized. QBBs guidelines state the size is preferred because, “(it) works well for small children, and when an older child ages out of an orphanage at 17 or 18, it is large enough to wrap up in and small enough to be carried in a backpack, so it doesn’t become a burden if the recipient ends up living on the streets.”

“I make my quilts full of color,” Glueck said. “I’m sending a piece of myself out there; I want it to be nice.”

Each quilt has a label that reads, “Quilts Beyond Borders, Made for You with Love, By (name(s) of the quiltmaker(s)), Belongs To (child’s name will go here).”

The quiltmaker signs their work, and the child adds their name when they receive their quilt.

“In a lot of places kids don’t own anything. They’re just getting out with a suitcase,” Glueck stated.

“Arlene is a very special person. She has a heart for children in need,” said Susan Schmidt, Vice President, and NW Regional Coordinator for QBB.

Schmidt stated that Arlene’s contributions were part of the 1,600 quilts produced and sent from the northwest chapter of QBB in 2022. In total, QBB has donated 30,000 quilts since 2007.  The group’s efforts continue in the new year.

Most recently, more than 200 quilts were sent from the northwest in response to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Glueck plans to remain busy contributing to the organization.

“I can’t solve the world’s problems, but I can make a quilt for a child in need,” she said.

More information about Quilts Beyond Borders, including submittal guidelines, is available online at Quiltsbeyondborders.wordpress.com.

The Piecemakers quilting group meets weekly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on each Thursday at Hoodland Lutheran Church, 59151 Hwy. 26. The group welcomes interested community members.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Auction brings back the fun to help support Welches Schools posted on 03/01/2023

Three years ago, the Welches Parent Teacher Community Organization (WPTCO) was about to hold its annual auction fundraiser when the coronavirus pandemic hit, leading to the event’s cancellation just a few days before it was scheduled. The pandemic nixed it again in 2021 and even when things started opening up, strict restrictions also prevented the auction from happening in 2022.

This month, however, it is back.

“Everything just got put on hold until now,” said Ally Hornor, co-president of the WPTCO. “That was a big bummer.”

The event is the WPTCO’s biggest fundraiser, which helps the organization support the school, staff and students throughout the year, including for things including playground equipment, field trips, technology, art programs, guest speakers, the “Thank You” ticket store and much more.

This year’s event, which will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 18, at Camp Arrah Wanna, 24075 E. Arrah Wanna Blvd. in Welches, will be for adults ages 21 and older only. It will feature a dinner of corned beef, cabbage and more, spearheaded by Ally’s husband, Jason Hornor (known for his years at the Skyway Bar and Grill), live ukulele music by Sara Lee Houston, beef from Laurelwood Brewing, a silent auction and a live auction, run by Tom Anderson of the Rendezvous.

“He always brings a fun time,” Ally said.

The big ticket auction items includes a stay at Timberline’s Silcox Hut for up to 12 people, including dinner and breakfast.

“That’s a really fun one,” Ally said. “(Timberline) is just so wonderful to the school.”

Other auction items include a pontoon boat rental, an annual pass to the Aladdin Theater, a rafting package in Maupin, wine, gift baskets, gift certificates to area restaurants and more.

“We’re just really looking forward to having a fun, community event again; it’s been so long,” Ally said. “We’re really hoping and anticipating that this is a successful event for our school.”

For more information on the auction, including ways to volunteer or donate, email welchesptco@gmail.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Bikes, boards, bites, beer and more posted on 03/01/2023

Edwin Berns, better known as Wynn, just opened his first outdoor recreation shop in Welches, Goodwynn’s, but his sights are much, much higher. His goal is to rival outdoor recreation chain REI with 300 of his own locations, each with 3,000 square feet, in places such as Bend and Aspen, Colo.

“If it will work here, it’ll work in those other locations,” he said. “Got to shoot high.”

Wynn, who was born in Waitsfield, Vt. and had a grandfather who ran a store, described his new business endeavor as a “one stop Mountain shop,” similar to a Vermont country store that also has a ski, snowboard and bike shop.

Goodwynn’s will offer a variety of outdoor gear, clothing and services, but customers can also hang out and enjoy a meal, beer and non-alcoholic beverages, or just grab something ready made on their way up or down the Mountain.

“Every weekend’s been growing,” Wynn said, noting that it’s been a draw for people who want to go to a bar but not drink alcohol. “Everybody is saying it’s what we needed on the Mountain, which is a cool thing.”

Wynn, who was a ski athlete, coached skiing and spent 10 years working locally at Windells, noted he looked at a lot of different places before he found his current location, where The Fly Fishing Shop once served countless people seeking Mountain recreation.

He noted that the area has changed a lot in recent years, but with more vacation rental properties and the number of skiers (both recreationally and those who seek a career in the sport) that pass through, there is a need for a business like his.

“Every pro, every kid that’s a serious skier has to come through here at some point,” Wynn said.

Wynn’s focus is on local and hard to find items, with local vendors including Treefort and Govy 500, with gear that stresses performance and quality, while also maintaining a presence with fly fishing and serving the biking community.

His efforts are expected to be boosted this month with the addition of a couple of food trucks behind his building, while he noted his plans include six total trucks on site year-round with indoor and outdoor dining.

Wynn’s vision for the future could also include movie premieres, morning yoga and workspaces that offer internet and printer access for people who need to stay connected while on the Mountain. His goal is also to be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, in order to serve the first people up the Mountain and the last ones who come down.

“That’s what we’re really striving to do; always here if something breaks or if they need a meal,” Wynn said.

Goodwynn’s is located at 67296 Hwy. 26 in Welches. For more information, visit https://www.goodwynns.com/ or email info@goodwynns.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Photo by Garth Guibord
Rhody's road to reworking Hwy. 26 has options posted on 02/01/2023

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will seek feedback from the Mountain community on three different concepts for changing the layout of Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron through a virtual open house, available online between Feb. 1-22 at tinyurl.com/RhodyOpenHouse.


Sandra Hikari, ODOT Major Projects Planner, noted that the U.S. 26 Rhododendron Refinement Plan, which launched last year and included a drop-in event last August on the Mountain, doesn’t have funding yet and they hope to identify whether the project is feasible first.

“We’re looking at what’s the feasibility and what are the constraints and opportunities of each of the designs,” Hikari said.

The project’s goal is to address transportation safety, access and connectivity issues in the community, including identifying the appropriate number of highway lanes, identifying the safest locations for pedestrians to cross Hwy. 26, evaluating entry and exit points for destinations and businesses, evaluating bus stop locations and other improvements, such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes and dedicated driveways.

The concepts for the open house include a five-lane alternative (with a pedestrian refuge island), a three-lane alternative (with a pedestrian refuge island) and a three-lane alternative with no island, along with a “no build” option.

Hikari added that ODOT has done some analysis that indicates a three-lane alternative would not cause much more delay than keeping the highway configuration as it is, but it would push congestion further to the west.

“We’re going to see congestion in the future either way,” she said.

Once ODOT has a preferred alternative, it would be developed in further detail with a document on it expected to be complete by the end of April.

Visit the online open house at tinyurl.com/RhodyOpenHouse or use the QR code in this edition.

The community’s desire for improvements to the highway was previously documented by the Rhody Rising committee of the Rhododendron Community Planning Organization (CPO), which is also considering the future development of buildings and the community.

Mike Miskowicz, CPO President, noted that the Rhody Rising committee is currently in a holding pattern.

By Garth Guibord/MT


STR regulations could be addressed by county in near future posted on 02/01/2023

Last September, the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners repealed regulations on short-term rentals (STRs) in unincorporated Clackamas County, citing a lack of funding for the decision. But as complaints from the Mountain community continue regarding the impact that STRs have on the area, Commissioner Mark Shull appeared at a meeting of the Hoodland Community Planning Organization (CPO) on Wednesday, Jan. 11 to share his thoughts.

“My personal desire is to get this issue taken care of,” he told a crowd of 113 in attendance. “I don’t want to kick the can down the road, I want to get things done so we can move on to bigger and better things.”

Shull, who noted he did not speak for the entire board, described his point of view as an advocate for property rights and that government should interfere as little as possible, but that he wanted to listen to people in the county and advocate for the best interests of most people.

The first problem with STRs he highlighted was the reduced housing inventory for residential use, which he could see alleviated by only allowing owner-occupied STRs and stopping out-of-state entities from buying property.

He noted that the problem of “party houses,” with an excessive number of guests, could be helped by limiting the number of guests not staying overnight to 15 (which is the current county code for a single family dwelling), while also having parking requirements such as one off street space per bedroom at the STR.

He also suggested an escalating fine system for violations, culminating in a $1,000 fine, a revocation of a permit and one year of ineligibility.

“That might sound a little tough but it's got to be that way,” Shull said. “Some of these outside entities are making tens of thousands of dollars per week.”

Among the other suggestions he made were fines for STRs operating without paying the transient room tax, renters unable to use STRs for an income-generating event such as a concert, mapping out where STRs are located in the community, setting a requirement for STRs to be a certain distance apart and a requirement that an STR application holder must take timely action in the event of complaints or problems.

Dozens of attendees took the opportunity to speak at the meeting, addressing other issues and concerns, both in opposition to STRs and in favor of them.

Other problems raised with STRs included hot tubs repeatedly dumped with chemicals polluting the immediate area, businesses unable to find employees due to lack of housing, excess garbage and the wild animals attracted to it, and the added demands on water and sewer systems.

“I feel the STRs are destroying the fabric of our community,” said Dave Lythgoe, who serves as the CPO’s vice president, during the public speaking period. “Our neighborhoods are becoming saturated with STRs.”

Others shared some of the positive impacts that STRs have had on the Mountain community, including the benefits to the local economy, that STR properties are often well taken care of and how they provide positive experiences for visitors to the area. Betsy LaBarge, who founded Mt. Hood Vacation Rentals and managed properties for years before selling her business last year, noted that one problem regarding housing is that current laws favor tenants and many property owners don’t want to be landlords.

“It’s really hard to find what would be great renters,” she said.

In a follow-up email to The Mountain Times, Shull noted that the next step in the process to address these problems is for the Board of County Commissioners to agree on draft language for regulations.

After that, outreach and public hearings would take place.

“The Board does not have definite dates for this, but the Commissioners are in agreement that it must be done as soon as possible,” he wrote to The Mountain Times.

Shull added in the email that he took notice of the intensity of the community when it comes to issues with STRs, both positive and negative.

“As a Commissioner elected by the people it is my responsibility to be respectful of all views, but to act on behalf of the majority so that my decisions will result in helping the most people possible,” he wrote.

He told the audience at the CPO meeting that people can testify in front of the county board to try and get action on regulations sooner.

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” Shull said. “Bureaucracy moves so slowly. I want to get it resolved so you can move on.”

For more information on the Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners, including meeting agendas, visit https://www.clackamas.us/bcc.

The next meeting of the CPO will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at the Church on the Mountain, 68211 Hwy. 26 in Welches. Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Marcus Mendoza is expected to speak about traffic on the Mountain.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Grant funding offers a new breath for HFD equipment posted on 02/01/2023

After an extensive testing and review process of leading self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), Hoodland Fire District (HFD) has added new SCBA’s that offer improvements in ease-of-use and ergonomics through a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).

“The new SCBAs have better visibility,” HFD Lieutenant/Paramedic Evan Jarvis said. “The mask doesn’t feel as heavy. They’re a lot more comfortable and easier to wear.”

The fire district was awarded the FEMA grant in August 2021 for the replacement of all the district’s SCBAs. The grants are offered by FEMA every year since 2001 to provide funding for “critically needed resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.”

“An SCBA is worn any time we’re working in a IDOH (In Danger of Hazard) environment,” HFD Division Chief/Fire Marshal/Paramedic Scott Kline said.

These critical pieces of protective gear were last upgraded in 2008 and met 2007 standards at the time. The SCBA’s are evaluated for safe use based on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and become obsolete after approximately 15 years of usage.

“After 2022 (the district’s previous SCBAs) would not meet the safety standard set forth by the NFPA,” Kline said.

The district acquired the new SCBAs, produced by the company MSA Safety, in August and began utilizing the new protective gear in November after a two-month training period.

The training period assured that paid and volunteer staff would be adequately familiarized with the differences of the new equipment before having to use them at a major fire event.

“If something happens to the new packs, we wanted to be prepared to fix the issue,” Jarvis said.

A SCBA consists of a facemask, backpack, straps and an air bottle. A significant change with the new units is that the voice box and Bluetooth electronics used for communicating in the field have been shifted from the mask to the pack, which reduces the weight and strain on the firefighter’s head.

“The (new) pack is heavier than the old one but feels lighter due to improved ergonomics,” Jarvis said.

The new packs also have an adjustable lumbar plate to improve comfort for different height users.

“This is a great feature because firefighters come in all sizes,” HFD Senior Firefighter/Paramedic Matt Nicholson said.

The air bottles are now attached by quarter-turn quick-connect as opposed to a threaded attachment.

“This is a huge improvement that we really like,” Jarvis said.

He added that the quick-connect will allow firefighters to reduce the time needed to switch out the air bottles during a major fire.

The district tested three leading brands of SCBAs during the selection process. Paid staff and volunteers drilled with the gear and then submitted reviews based on a grading system which was then tallied to assure an objective process.

The MSA SCBAs substantially won the grading system review process. The packs also received positive review from neighboring fire districts that were previously using the gear.

The grant money will enable the district to purchase 31 masks and packs, 62 refillable bottles and ten extra masks.

More information about the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is available online at https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters.

Hoodland Fire District can be contacted by email at hoodland@hoodlandfire.org or online at https://www.hoodlandfire.us/.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Mountain's preschool aims for full return this fall posted on 02/01/2023

Alicia Sperr, board president of the Mt. Hood Learning Center, noted that before the coronavirus pandemic, the program served more than 50 kids on a daily basis, offering preschool programs for kids five and younger, along with preschool and afterschool programs. The center even needed to expand by adding a second room to accommodate the demand.

“It was just such a hit; everybody loved the program,” Sperr said. “Then COVID hit and obviously that changed a lot.”

Even when the pandemic started to recede, the center held off from opening while other aspects of the community did, including the school. As Sperr noted, getting three- and four-year old kids to wear masks was a challenge.

Last fall, the center, a nonprofit organization that opened in 2014 at the Welches School, reopened with smaller enrollment, but the center now hopes to be back to full capacity for this coming fall. Interested families can go to an open house from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, at the school, 24901 Salmon River Road in Welches, where they can also enroll their children for the fall.

“We’re really wanting to get the word out this year back in full swing and open in fall,” Sperr said.

Heather Purnick, the center’s Director and Lead Preschool Teacher, noted that there will be up to 28 spots available, with one classroom for three-year olds to provide social and emotional growth and the other for four- and five-year olds as they prepare for kindergarten. Preschool days last for four hours and families can enroll for two, three or four days per week.

“Compared to most preschools, that is actually a long session,” Purnick said.

The open house will give a chance for parents and kids to meet the staff, visit classrooms and get an introduction to what the kids will be learning.

“Our main way of learning in our classroom is learning through play,” Purnick said. “It’s not just a cookie cutter type of program. Each child has their own plan and they succeed because of that.”

Purnick has been with the center from its start, while spending a total of 25 years in preschool education. She noted that her teaching assistant was once one of her preschoolers, and she also enjoys seeing her former pupils in the community, including being “bombarded by three teens giving hugs” during a recent trip to the Thriftway.

Spots in the program are expected to fill quickly and in the past the center has employed a lottery system for enrollment, with a waiting list also available.

For more information, visit https://mthoodlc.com/, call 503-668-3868 or find the center on Facebook.

By Garth Guibord/MT


New owners at El Burro focus on family posted on 02/01/2023

After owning her own business for 20 years, Angélica Negrete and her family know the work it takes to run an independent business.

“I grew up with eight sisters and one brother. Our parents taught us to work very hard and whenever one of the family needs help, we would all work together,” she said.

Carlos and Angélica Negrete recently decided to expand their business endeavors through the purchase of El Burro Loco in Welches with the needs of their family in mind. The Negrete’s took over ownership of the established restaurant at the beginning of January.

The Negrete’s have an adult son, Carlos Ivan, and a daughter, Karla. Carlos Ivan has special needs, and the family had been searching for a business the whole family could work at together. Owning a restaurant has also been a long-term goal for Carlos, who has more than 20 years’ experience working in the restaurant industry.

As the new owner of El Burro Loco, Carlos will be able to put his culinary talents to work continuing to provide the quality food and customer experience the restaurant is known for in the Mount Hood community. Now he’ll be able to use his experience working alongside his wife and two adult children.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have a husband who is so hard working and talented,” Angélica said. “It’s been 29 years of wonderful cooking in our marriage.”

The Negrete’s plan to keep the menu the same to satisfy existing customers but add new dishes from Carlos’s personal cooking experience.

El Burro Loco will continue operation with its existing staff. “I’m very happy with the staff (at the restaurant),” Angélica said. “We think they’re a really good team.”

With the new ownership, the restaurant will now be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. The Negrete’s are also doing a bit of remodeling to the restaurant including adding new chairs and benches in the dining area.

“We want to make sure everything is comfortable for guests when they dine with us,” Angélica said.

The Negrete’s are excited with their new business venture and to continue to offer an inviting restaurant for the community to enjoy.

“Everyone is welcome, especially children and the senior community,” Angélica said. “Family is very important to us.”

The Negrete’s are planning to host an outdoor BBQ and invite the community to join them to celebrate their new business ownership when the weather improves in the spring.

For now, the family’s focus is working together on the transition of taking on ownership of the business. Even Angelica’s brother Ivan, who owns a cleaning business, Cascade Cleaning, has been helping with deep cleaning and renovating the restaurant for its new chapter.

“My happiness doesn’t fit inside my chest to see my husband so happy to own the restaurant,” Angélica said.

El Burro Loco is located at 67211 Hwy. 26, Welches.  More information, including food and drink menus, is available online at https://www.elburro-loco.com. The restaurant can be contacted by phone at 503-622-6780.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Golfing is a farce at Sandy Actors Theatre posted on 02/01/2023

Ron Palmblad, director of the Sandy Actor’s Theatre’s (SAT) February production of Ken Ludwig’s “Fox on the Fairway,” sees some similarities between the farce and some of the television shows he enjoyed growing up, including “I Love Lucy” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”

“Regular people in regular situations that react in an irregular way,” he said.

The comedy sets members of the Quail Valley Country Club against those from the Crouching Squirrel Golf and Racquet Club in a tournament and culminates in a legendary 18th hole. It also hearkens back to the Marx brothers, with mistaken identities, slamming doors and more shenanigans.

Palmblad, who has been involved in theater since the 1970s when he was in middle school, noted that he had a couple of plays to choose from when offered the chance to direct. He was familiar with Ludwig’s works and selected “Fox on the Fairway,” which has proven to be even funnier than he thought.

“Now that we’ve gotten into it and we’ve blocked the whole show, the opportunities for so much humor are more prevalent than you realized before,” Palmblad said. “The cast is having a good time.”

He added that getting the play up on the stage led to more involved movement than he had anticipated.

“The amount of physicality was a surprise,” Palmblad said. “It was there, but (the cast is) getting a workout. They’re working up a sweat.”

SAT presents “Fox on the Fairway” from Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, March 12, at 17433 SE Meinig Avenue in Sandy (behind Ace Hardware). Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 general admission, $15 for students, seniors and veterans, and $13 for children (reservations are recommended). For more information, or to make reservations call 503-936-4378, find SAT on Facebook or visit sandyactorstheatre.com.

A preview night will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, with an art show, “Animal Antics” by the Wy’East Artisans Guild, before the show at 7 p.m. Tickets for the preview will be $10 and only available at the door.

Reader's Theatre Gresham returns in Feb.

Reader’s Theatre Gresham presents a staged reading of “Crossing Delancey,” by Susan Sandler, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, at the Center of the Arts Little Theatre, 333 N. Main Avenue in Gresham. Tickets are $9 at the door, with tickets for Mt. Hood Community College students available at half price.

The comedy is about a young Jewish woman who seeks love in New York City. Readings happen on the first Monday of every month.

For more information, visit www.readerstheatregresham.org or email ReadersTheatreGresham@gmail.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Photo by Garth Guibord
Hoodland's healer leaves to write next chapter in life posted on 01/01/2023

Dr. Murlan Grise has many a story to tell after 39 years of practicing family medicine on the Mountain. So many that his wife has suggested that he write a book.


And while many of those stories might never be told due to patient confidentiality, Dr. Grise shared one from the early years of his practice:

One night, a patient called because his wife had chest pains. As she was just 35 years old, Dr. Grise initially thought there wasn’t much to worry about, but he could tell the man was concerned and so Dr. Grise went out to pay them a visit.

He listened to the woman’s heart and it did sound suspicious, so they went back to have an EKG done. The first part of the reading looked like a normal heart rhythm, but the second showed a flatline. The woman’s heart had stopped.

While the husband called 9-1-1, Dr. Grise started CPR. At the time, the fire district didn’t have anyone on duty, so he continued CPR by himself for 20 minutes before the first responders could make it there. In the end, she was revived and is alive and healthy to this day.

“It all worked out wonderful,” Dr. Grise said. “That’s the amazing part, to get her back.”

Last month, after 39 years serving countless patients from his Mountain clinic, Dr. Grise left the practice.

“I feel so lucky and honored to be able to take care of the people in this community for this long,” he said. “What a wonderful life I’ve had.”

Dr. Grise arrived on the Mountain in 1983 as he was about to start a medical residency in an emergency room (ER).

He had heard that the doctors running a satellite clinic here didn’t want to continue, and when he came up and thought it would work for him, he canceled the residency and started his practice.

“My goal was to make a viable family practice out of it,” Dr. Grise said, noting it was challenging at first and he worked as an ER doctor in addition to the practice. “I was fully vested in trying to make it work. The ER was really good for me, in those days there was no family practice residency.”

The first clinic was located in the Hoodland Shopping Center, but in 1985 the clinic moved to its current location across the street on Welches Road.

“Everything took off after that,” Dr. Grise said.

In his 39 years serving the community, he’s seen many family members from three different generations and some from four generations.

“I feel old,” he joked. “If I got four generations of people, that means I've been around a long time.”

Dr. Grise doesn’t call it a “retirement,” as he’s already set up volunteer work with a clinic in St. George, Utah to help the underserved community there.

“I think it’ll be a really good experience for me,” he said, adding that he and his wife bought a home there. “I’m not quite ready to retire. I still have a lot to offer.”

Dr. Grise described himself as an “active person” and that his new home is a great place to be active, including hiking and biking, adding that it is a “pickleball mecca.”

“Great place for that; (I) love pickleball,” he said, noting that there will be 27 pickleball courts where he will live but that there is still a wait to play.

Dr. Grise noted he has mixed emotions leaving, saying that the thing he will miss most about his practice is the people.

“I just feel like they're very resilient, they’re very conscientious, supportive people,” he said, adding that he raised his family here. “The only thing I had to worry about was do I have enough hours in the day to keep up.”

“It's a wonderful experience to be able to take care of families. It's very rewarding. I will miss this place immensely.”

And as the end of Dr. Grise’s story at his Mountain clinic draws to a close, his message to his patients is heartfelt:

“Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your health care,” he said.

“I tell everyone of them that. They tell me that, but it’s a two-way street. I just can’t be more thankful.”

By Garth Guibord/MT


Ellie McCloskey receives new heart posted on 01/01/2023

Ellie McCloskey was celebrating her eleventh birthday at a game of miniature golf with her father, Brandon, and her grandparents in November when they received the long-awaited call that she had an offer for a donor heart.

On Nov 15 at around 4:20 a.m. Ellie entered surgery at the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford, Calif. and successfully received the donor heart transplant.

“The 14 hours I was waiting (during the procedure) were the longest in my life,” Brandon said.

The McCloskey’s discovered in June that Ellie was in urgent need for a heart transplant due to complications from Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a heart condition Ellie was diagnosed with at age seven.

The Mount Hood family had been waiting since July in Palo Alto, Calif. for a suitable donor heart with the appropriate size, blood type and a similar enough antibody profile for the procedure.

When the call came in that a donor heart was finally available Brandon said that the initial rush of relief from the news gave way to more concern as the family rushed to prepare Ellie for the high-risk surgical procedure.

Now the family is excited to report that at the one-month biopsy on Dec. 16, Ellie was 100 percent grade 0 for organ rejection and does not have a single sign of her body rejecting the heart transplant.

“It’s very hard to believe that just one month ago Ellie had her heart replaced with a new heart and is doing so incredible,” Brandon said. “Ellie is really getting back to herself. She can walk up and down stairs without getting winded, she can walk all over the store, all over town really, without having to take a break.”

Ellie still has a long road ahead before she is ready to return home to the Mount Hood region.

She currently has weekly visits to the hospital for blood analysis and monitoring to make sure her anti-rejection medicine is functioning properly.

She’ll undergo additional biopsies of her heart material at six, eight and twelve weeks after the surgery.

The McCloskey’s are anticipating the possibility of returning home in mid-February if Ellie’s test results continue to produce the best possible outcome with no signs of organ rejection.

Even with the best outcomes, Ellie will have a lifelong process of testing and monitoring her new heart ahead of her.

“Ellie’s traded being a heart failure patient for being an organ transplant patient,” Brandon said.

Brandon attributes part of the positive response thus far to the fact that Ellie is the first Stanford pediatric patient to receive a heart transplant using the TransMedics Organ Care System (OCS) transport system, commonly referred to as the “heart in a box.”

The device is a portable, warm perfusion and monitoring system designed to keep a donor heart at a human-like, metabolically active state. The heart is kept warm and is alive and pumping prior to the surgery. This allows for an increased transport range and has a greater than 80 percent survival rate for patients six months after transplant.

Although the McCloskey’s are happy to report positive news regarding the recovery process the lengthy stay in Palo Alto while maintaining their home on the mountain continues to be a financial challenge.

The family is continuing to accept community support on their GoFundMe page for medical expenses and the process of getting Ellie settled back at home.

In the meantime, Ellie has been enjoying playing with remote control cars, reading and doing arts-and-crafts while she is recovering.

Brandon reports that Ellie is really looking forward to being able to go outside and explore without physical limitations and finally take part in hikes and other activities she was unable to do before the transplant.

The McCloskey’s are excited to plan a tentative trip to Yosemite by way of Crater Lake for when Ellie has recovered from the surgery and has a stable condition that allows travel.

Continued updates will be available on the McCloskey’s GoFundMe page at https://gofund.me/690e9509.

“She’s really able to be a kid again. It’s amazing,” Brandon said.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Govy CPO subcommittee to revisit incorporation study posted on 01/01/2023

The Government Camp Community Planning Organization (CPO) will move forward this month with a subcommittee that will update the 2008 Incorporation Study, offering insights into the costs and benefits of a possible incorporation effort for the community. The formation of the subcommittee follows a survey the CPO performed last year in which 83 percent of 41 total responses supported the effort (registered voters in the community comprised 19 of the 41 responses).

“Everyone on the committee and the community at large is interested in finding the information first,” said Nick Rinard, president of the CPO board, adding that the goal is for the discussion to be guided by the facts. “That’s what motivated the interest in an updated study. People felt it was time to get informed again.”

The study could help answer a number of questions, such as the possible impact on taxes, how much the assessed property value changed since 2008, the impact on relationships with other agencies (including the Oregon Department of Transportation and the U.S. Forest Service) and others.

Rinard added that there are no deadlines and the work will be exploratory, and once the study is officially underway, it could conclude in approximately six months.

He added that the scope of work will take place in two phases, with the first working with a consultant, Ed Trompke from Jordan Ramis, to come up with a recommendation for the community.

If that recommendation is to move ahead with an incorporation effort, phase two would be getting it put on a ballot.

Rinard noted that there is no glaring need for incorporation, but there are issues for the community that may be helped by it, including policing, parking, FIREWISE efforts, traffic and the public restroom project that the CPO is working closely on with Oregon Solutions.

“The idea of the locals having more control is attractive, (and) how feasible, how much responsibility comes with that,” he said.

The 2008 study resulted in an incorporation effort for the May 2010 ballot, which was defeated with 48 “no” votes to 35 “yes” votes.

Rinard, who was not the CPO president at that time, noted there was some vocal opposition to the effort then, while he senses people are now open minded about the possibility of exploring it again.

Rinard added that a city can provide as many or as few services as wanted, while a physical building, such as a city hall, is not a necessity.

The community is currently served by two local special districts: a road district with a three-member board of directors and a sanitary district with a five-member board.

“They’re doing a great job,” Rinard said. “They could serve under a different structure and carry on with the same work, with protections and possible controls of a city.”

Rinard has a list of people willing to volunteer on the subcommittee that will update the study, but he added that the goal is to be as diverse as possible in representing the community, including the ski areas, full time and part time residents, plus those in the communities of Summit Meadows and Wapinitia.

He added that anyone who is interested in participating can contact the CPO for more information.

“The sense I get from the community is that people are passionate about Government Camp,” Rinard said. “That’s a good citizen base to have. We all feel united by our love for the Mountain.”

By Garth Guibord/MT


Amazon warehouse PDX9 partners with fire district posted on 01/01/2023

Wintertime marks a season of giving, but also a season of increased risk for house fires, with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reporting that home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season.

In the spirit of giving, Amazon warehouse PDX9 in Troutdale partnered with Hoodland Fire District’s (HFD) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to promote community safety in the winter months by donating one hundred smoke alarms, including batteries, to citizens in the Mount Hood region in December.

“I want to stress, without a smoke detector you’re more likely to be injured or killed in a home fire,” HFD Fire Chief Jim Price said.

An NFPA report states, “Almost three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in properties with no smoke alarms (41 percent) or smoke alarms that failed to operate (16 percent).”

PDX9 delivered the smoke alarms to HFD’s main station on Dec. 15. While there, the team from Amazon received a tour of the district’s facilities.

Chief Price noted that the team from PDX9 made it clear they would like to maintain the partnership and help the district with other areas of need for the community.

“It’s a local group. It’s Amazon, but this donation is really the Troutdale warehouse wanting to get involved in the community,” Chief Price said.

The donation occurred after a member of the district’s CERT team, Felecia Forston, contacted Jodi Knapp at the Amazon Warehouse (PDX9) in Troutdale about needs for the fire district and community. Knapp was a driving force behind the donation, connecting PDX9’s Senior Operations Manager Gary Heath with HFD’s CERT team.

Chief Price added that the team from Amazon PDX9 have donated over 2,068 hours of volunteer work in the region helping with projects to make the local communities better.

“The district will be working with our CERT team to help get these detectors out in the community, making the mountain a safer place for all,” Chief Price said. He stated that the district can inspect and install the smoke detectors for community members in need of assistance.

Chief Price urged community members to make sure they have an adequate number of smoke detectors in their homes and inspect them to make sure they operate properly.

“Smoke detectors save lives; it’s their primary purpose. Also, a smoke detector will sense a fire before a person can smell or see a fire, allow for an early response from firefighters and limit the extent of fire damage,” Chief Price said.

Community members can contact HFD for information on how to acquire the donated smoke detectors from the CERT team.

HFD can be contacted by phone at 503-622-3256, or by email at hoodland@hoodlandfire.org. Amazon’s PDX9 warehouse can be reached by phone at 888-892-7180.

By Ben Simpson/MT

New event space opens in Rhododendron posted on 01/01/2023

Jan Ostram and her husband, Todd, had spent years looking around for a building to run a business from. They finally found that location when they came to an agreement to buy Still Creek Inn in Rhododendron.

Their timing, however, wasn’t ideal as they signed the papers in March 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic began.

“Every single bit of business was canceled, for I don’t even remember how long,” Jan said.

But the pair who are also behind Busy Bee Catering got busy, fixing and renovating the building in just about every way, from electrical to plumbing to even cleaning out under the structure.

“It’s always something, but now, just about everything’s been fixed,” Jan said. “It’s clean, it’s nice.”

Their new venture, Alpine Events, offers space and facilities for business meetings, receptions, family get togethers, memorials and more, with a name derived from the building’s former glory as the Alpine Hut.

Jan also hopes to conduct a variety of other events from the building, including cooking classes, knitting classes, art events, pop-up dinners, after ski events and more.

“It’s just about getting people together to gather and learn from each other with a comfortable atmosphere and good food,” she said. “That’s the goal.”

Next summer, the pair hope to work on the outside of the building, including adding a patio in back.

But they also aren’t going to operate it as another restaurant, with the focus on the events rather than set hours of service.

“It’s important to try something new,” Jan said. “We’re excited to show it to people. We hope they like it.”

Alpine Events is located at 73365 Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron.

For more information, visit https://www.alpineeventsmthood.com/, call 503-622-4618 or email info@alpineeventsmthood.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT


NNB's 'Evening of Radio' fundraiser posted on 01/01/2023

When radio plays were popular, broadcasts utilized a variety of means to create sound effects, including closing the lid of a piano to replicate a door or hitting the side of a drum for a gunshot. As Kelly Lazenby knows, some are more challenging than others, citing the sound of breaking glass as one of the more difficult ones.

But that won’t stop Lazenby, the Artistic Director of the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company (NNB), and other performers from taking the stage and bringing to life radio plays and more for the theater’s January fundraiser, “Live on Stage: an Evening of Radio,” on the final weekend in January.

“It’s just going to be a fun evening,” Lazenby said.

Some of the selected titles for the evening include “Dragnet,” “The Life of Riley,” “My Favorite Husband” and something in the superhero genre. The performance will include plenty of special effects and musical jingles from the time when radio plays were a phenomenon.

“We don’t have the capability of breaking glass sound, but we can pretty much recreate other things,” Lazenby said, adding that a modern digital sound system helps with a number of other challenging sounds, such as a car driving up.

She noted that one year the theater performed “Slurp! Goes the Amoeba,” which featured cast members gurgling from a cup of water.

“It sounded pretty good on the microphone,” Lazenby said.

The evening will also feature live music from the era played by Kyle Lewis.

Lazenby noted that the proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to upgrade the restrooms at the theater’s home, the Boring Grange. She noted that paint and new sinks are high on the priority list.

“Whatever money we have will be put towards that,” Lazenby said.

NNB presents “Live on Stage: An Evening of Radio,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Jan. 28, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. Tickets are $12. For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.

There is no Readers Theatre Gresham performance for January, the next reading will take place Monday, Feb. 6.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Photo by Garth Guibord
Santa's 'letter' helper posted on 12/01/2022

In a press release from 2019, the U.S. Postal Service noted that it expected to deliver a total of 800 million packages delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day and more than 28 million packages per day and nearly 2.5 billion pieces of first-class mail processed and delivered during the week of Dec. 16 that year. And while that includes an influx of greeting cards, it perhaps misses the most important correspondence of the holiday season: letters to Santa.


For children on the Mountain who wish to send a letter to the Jolly Old Elf, Santa has a helper to make sure they reach him and also allows him the time and opportunity to respond. Jami Muise, who retired from the USPS last year and now works for the Welches Schools, took on the role last year and even created a kid-sized mailbox at the Brightwood Post Office just for those letters.

“I got quite a few last year,” Muise said, adding that the new mailbox will be out right after Thanksgiving in time for those children who can’t wait any longer to let Santa know about their holiday wishes.

Amongst those she delivered to Santa included some from kids who couldn’t write, but drew a picture, while others that had unique requests. One boy’s wish list included a chainsaw, fishing pole, boots and a donkey.

“That was so cute,” Muise said. “There’s so many sweet kids that don’t even ask for a bunch of gifts. A lot of them ask for something for their little sibling.”

She took on the role of Santa’s helper following the retirement of Larry Hoyt, who first took on the responsibility at the Sandy Post Office and then carried on as he went to the Eagle Creek Post office and finally the Brightwood branch. Hoyt noted that many kids wrote to Santa and noted how hopeful they were that they had behaved enough during the year. Santa, he added would write back about their good hearts, while sometimes noting how much snow fell at the North Pole or how his clothes were a little more snug this year than in years past.

“I would still be doing it if it weren’t for Jami, she’s so enthusiastic about it,” Hoyt said, adding that the toughest part of the job was when letters didn’t include a return address.

Muise, who also decorates the post office for the holidays, added that kids can drop off letters at the other post offices on the Mountain and she will make sure Santa gets those, too.

“I just love kids so so much,” Muise said. “I hope that we’ll get more letters (this year).”

By Garth Guibord/MT


Safety first – fire district offers tips for holiday season posted on 12/01/2022

As members of the Mountain community busy themselves decorating and preparing to celebrate the festive time of the year, Hoodland Fire District (HFD) Division Chief/Fire Marshal Scott Kline urged residents to keep fire safety in mind throughout the holiday season.

“This should be a happy and exciting time of the year, but don’t let that distract you from keeping your family and friends safe from fire,” Kline said. “By following a few important safety tips, you can help ensure your holidays remain happy.”

Holiday cooking, decorations, candles and Christmas trees all contribute to an increase in house fires nationally during the holiday months and winter according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Cooking fires, often caused by unattended stoves or distracted behavior, are a leading cause of home fires around the holidays. A 2020 NFPA report stated that Christmas Day is the second-leading day of the year for home cooking fires; Christmas Eve is the fifth.

“U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 790 home structure fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, in 2015-19,” according to NFPA.org. More than two of every five decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.

Candles offer a decorative glow to the holidays but pose a significant risk for house fires. Kline stated that Mountain residents are urged to not leave candles unattended and make sure they are not near combustible materials. During the month of December candles start 45 percent of home decoration fires.

Almost three times as many candle fires occur on Christmas Day as the daily average.

Christmas tree fires account for a smaller percentage of holiday fires, but a dry Christmas tree can ignite and spread a fire in minutes, causing greater damage to a structure.

A live Christmas tree burn of a dry tree conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) documented that flashover, or a rapid spreading of fire from one surface to another because of intense heat, can occur in less than one minute, as compared to a well-watered tree, which burns at a much slower rate.

Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in almost half of home Christmas tree fires. Nearly one in five Christmas tree fires were started by decorative lights.

HFD suggested that Mount Hood residents follow these guidelines to assure a safe and joyful holiday:

Tree care and Decorating Tips

– Choose a fresh, healthy tree with a deep-green color and flexible needles.

– When you get the tree home, cut off the bottom two inches of the trunk. This creates a fresh, raw cut for the tree to soak up water.

– Water your tree daily. A tree may consume between a quart and a gallon of water per day.

– Place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source such as a fireplace, woodstove, heating duct or radiator.

– Use only noncombustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree.

– Always unplug tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

– If using a woodstove or fireplace, keep it always screened. Keep ribbons, boughs, and other decorative materials at least three feet away.

– After the holiday season, promptly dispose of the tree and other greenery before it dries out.

– Burning a tree in a stove or fireplace is dangerous; proper disposal includes recycling or pick-up by a disposal service.

– Maintain your holiday lights. Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots and broken or cracked sockets.

– Do not overload electrical sockets. Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe.

Candle Safety

A safe alternative is to use battery operated, flameless candles which can look, smell and feel like real candles. However, if you decide to use real candles, follow these safety tips:

– Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish candles when you go to bed, leave a room or before leaving the house.

– Keep candles away from things that burn. Keep candles at least one foot away from combustibles including clothing, curtains, upholstered furniture, greenery and decorations.

– Always use a sturdy non-combustible (metal, glass or ceramic) candleholder. Make sure the candleholder is big enough to catch dripping wax.

– Place candles out of reach of small children and pets.

– Keep candles out of high traffic areas.

– Trim wicks to one-quarter inch before lighting.

– Avoid candles with items embedded in them such as twigs, flowers or leaves. These items can ignite or even explode.

– Always use a flashlight (not a candle) for emergency lighting.

General fire safety

– Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area and in each bedroom.

– Make a home fire escape plan and practice it with the whole family.

– Keep escape routes clear of clutter so you can escape quickly in case of fire.

For more information on holiday fire safety, please visit https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Winter-holidays and https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/holiday.html.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Senior Center on verge of two-year lease with county posted on 12/01/2022

The Hoodland Senior Center agreed to a two-year lease with Clackamas County to remain in the building they’ve called home for ten years, including the last six months without a lease. The new lease still needs approval from the Clackamas County Commissioners, although it is not yet on an upcoming agenda.

“We still don’t have much security,” said Ella Vogel, the senior center’s director, noting that the county has the right to sell the building during the term of the lease.

Vogel added that the center has been particularly busy in recent years, with a number of governmental offices such as the Department of Motor Vehicles being closed and seniors relying on the center’s computers to get things done such as renewals of licenses and registrations or apply for social security.

“They come here, and they still do,” she said. “(Assistant Director) Leita (Bibler) and I did our best. What we didn’t know, we learned.”

The county also awarded a grant for $11,860 to the center to assist low-income seniors and the disabled with home repairs and other improvements.

Projects likely to be approved include heating/cooling system repairs, roof repairs, snow removal, fixes to decks/steps and other projects that enhance safety, health and livability.

There is a limit of $600 per applicant, with income limit requirements.

Vogel noted that many seniors on the Mountain are living in trailers, and that some have had trouble finding contractors to perform small projects.

“Furnaces go out, toilets go out,” she said. “These are things that we need to be able to help them with that other people can’t. We’re trying to take care of those lower income people and whatever they need.”

The grant was secured with the help of volunteer grant writer Brittany Kintigh. All money must be utilized by June 30, 2023.

For more information, contact the Hoodland Senior Center at 503-622-3331 or hoodlandseniors1@gmail.com. The center is located at 65000 Hwy. 26 in Welches.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Hoodland Community Thanksgiving Dinner will not return posted on 12/01/2022

For more than 30 years, the Hoodland Community Thanksgiving Dinner offered a place for Mountain residents to come together, enjoy a meal and celebrate together. The coronavirus pandemic led to the event being canceled in 2020 and 2021, but now the committee behind the dinner has decided that it will not return at all.

Mark Grove, committee chair, noted that as word has trickled out, he’s heard from the people in the community that it will be missed.

“They’re saddened by it, everyone liked the event (but) they understand why,” he said.

Grove, who worked on the event for 15 years in different capacities, noted that the event began as a way to provide a meal for people who couldn’t afford it, but it turned into something for people whose children had grown up and they didn’t have anyone to celebrate with.

“It provided a meal and community with their neighbors; a place to go and visit and have some good food,” he said.

Preparation for the dinner would begin a month in advance, with donations of food and money needing to be lined up. In the days right before the event, shopping, decorating and picking up food would be done, with a service held the night before. Once that was over, chairs were put away and the chopping and dicing would commence, with approximately 40 volunteers helping with the various tasks.

“Everyone went to work, and worked late into the night,” Grove said.

Cooking would begin as early as 4 a.m. on Thanksgiving, with the first meals heading out for the Meals on Wheels program.

Grove noted that a typical Thanksgiving might include 27 turkeys or more, served with 100 pounds of potatoes, five gallons of gravy and so much more, for approximately 300 attendees and 50 Meals on Wheels meals.

In an email to The Mountain Times, Grove noted that many factors contributed to the decision, including COVID-19, while thanking those in the community who helped make it happen every year.

“Camp Arrah Wanna graciously provided their lodge and kitchen for the dinner most of the past 30 plus years,” Grove wrote. “Food donations were collected from local businesses including Hoodland Thriftway, The Resort on The Mountain (Mt. Hood Oregon Resort), US Meats, Mt. Hood Foods, ZigZag Inn, Sandy Action Center, Mt. Hood Roasters Coffee Company, Barlow Trail Roadhouse, Mt. Hood Lions and many more. Monetary donations were collected through The Church on the Mountain, these included local entities like The Hoodland Women's Club, Merit Real Estate, Clackamas County Bank, Dr. Grise at Hoodland Adventist, Welches Mountain Building Supply, Hoodland Fire District and scores of individual donors.”

“The committee is sad to make this decision, but proud of the 30 plus years the event has been happening on the mountain,” he added. “It wouldn't have been possible without the abundant and continuous support provided by local businesses and volunteers. At the end of each event, any excess funds were distributed to local charities that served the mountain community.

“A huge thank you from the committee to all of the wonderful people that supported this event.”

By Garth Guibord/MT


Skyway set to celebrate the departure of the Hornors posted on 12/01/2022

Skyway Bar and Grill owners Tracie Anderson and Tom Baker had one big question for chef Jason Hornor when they approached him to manage the Mountain restaurant's kitchen when it reopened in 2007.

“They said, ‘Can you make BBQ?’ I said, ‘I’m from Texas,’” Hornor recalled about his initial role creating the menu and helming the kitchen.

Jason’s mission to “up the game,” of food on the Mountain with unique and different takes on classics often highlighted a fun and playful sense of humor, such as serving rabbit on Easter.

Over the past 15 years Jason and his wife, Ally, who has worked as front-of-house manager since 2010, have helped the Skyway establish itself as a mountain institution for distinctly Northwest BBQ with great hospitality.

“Jason will always come up with something a little different but awesome,” Ally said.

But as all good things must end, Jason and Ally will leave the Mountain establishment to pursue new goals in the new year after assuring the Skyway is in good hands with new management. A send-off celebration for the couple will be held on New Year’s Eve.

The Hornors met through the Skyway and have been instrumental to making the restaurant a much-loved local destination with a reputation that extends far from Mount Hood.

“The Skyway has really been central to our lives for years. We’ve celebrated every big moment there, from our wedding reception to our baby showers,” Ally said. “It’s not just a job. It’s a family for us.”

The couple’s decision has been bittersweet for the community and Skyway’s current owners, Tracie Anderson and Tom Baker, who credit the couple with being the face and the backbone of the restaurant for years.

“They’ve helped us in so many ways build this place up. The Hornors are fair, honest, straightforward and really fun,” Anderson said. “They’re very well liked in the community and will be missed.”

Regulars of the Skyway will be relieved to learn that the Hornor’s are planning to remain in the region.

“We’re calling it our retirement from the restaurant industry,” Ally said. “With both kids in school it was obvious how little time we have together as a family.”

The Hornors live in Rhododendron with their two school-aged children: daughter Maizie is eight-years old and is in third grade and their son, Jadon, is five and just began kindergarten this school year.

“Weekends, evenings and holidays are what you work in the food service industry,” Anderson said, adding the schedule can be difficult to balance with family-life and school-aged children.

Anderson noted the couple went above and beyond assuring the Skyway would continue its reputation for excellence at their departure. The Hornor’s announced their intention to leave in May and have been working to assure a smooth transition.

Current Skyway bartender Ben Deacon will take on the role of restaurant manager. Sous Chef Joey Parisie will take over the day-to-day operation of the kitchen.

“We are leaving it in good hands,” Jason said. The couple stated they wanted to feel good with where the Skyway was heading when they left and had prioritized helping get the business through the pandemic.

“Their heart is here too. They want to see us succeed,” said Anderson.

The Hornor’s last night will be on New Year’s Eve when the Skyway will celebrate their time and contribution to the restaurant.

 A big New Year’s Eve party is planned with a live band and Jason’s family is flying in from Texas to join in the celebration. Community members are invited to come share their memories and wish the Hornor’s well.

“It’s been a great chapter in the book,” Ally said.

Skyway Bar and Grill is located at 71545 Hwy. 26 in Zigzag. More information, including menus, is available online at https://skywaybarandgrill.com.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Los Andes Shop opens store in Hoodland Plaza posted on 12/01/2022

Debbie Berhó and her husband have been offering a variety of handmade textiles through popup shops and at summer events in recent years, including up in Government Camp. As they considered a location for a potential retail space, it became clear that the Mountain community was calling.

“We felt very welcome,” Berhó said. “We already feel like we have some connection with a lot of the people in the Mountain.”

Last month, the Berhós opened Los Andes Shop in the Hoodland Plaza, 68212 Hwy. 26 in Welches, offering sweaters, jackets, blankets, couch throws, hammocks, hoodies and more that feature southwestern and western themes. A Grand Opening celebration will be held Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 1-4, where the first five customers each day will receive a gift along with their purchase and there will be a drawing for a $25 gift certificate for the Hoodland Plaza merchant of the winner’s choice.

“It’s been very exciting,” Berhó said. “We’ve been thinking about it for a few years.”

The pair began selling on the Mountain in 2019 in Government Camp, then a popup location during the ski season in 2020-21 and at the outdoor plaza by the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum in the summer of 2022.

Their offerings include many textiles from the town of Otavalo in Ecuador, such as hoodies featuring a blend of alpaca and acrylic, making them very soft, yet washable. They have also added items featuring Bigfoot, including trucker hats and blankets, due to popularity.

At their new retail space, Berhó anticipates increasing their inventory of items specific to the Mountain, including a windbreaker featuring an outline of Mount Hood, while also adding heavier wool items, such as mittens and gloves, to combat the cold of winter.

“They’re not something you're going to find for sale at Costco or Fred Meyer,” Berhó said.

She added that they prioritize their relationships with the people in Ecuador who make the products and are not interested in carrying poorly made items.

“Neither my husband nor I are interested in purchasing something like that,” Berhó said. “We really are dedicated and committed to the people we buy from. We know that for many of them, the orders make a difference in feeding their families. That's important to us.”

She added that they also appreciate the relationships they’ve made on the Mountain, including watching kids at ski camps grow up through the years and their time with the Museum.

For more information, visit https://losandesshop.com, call 503-207-3214, email losandesshop@gmail.com or find the store on Facebook. Los Andes Shop hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Contributed photo
Through it all, Ellie McCloskey still smiles posted on 11/01/2022

Ellie McCloskey wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up; the career has been her dream since she was three years old. Her deep curiosity in all living creatures gave her the bravery she needed for a recent visit to the nation’s largest reptile store, the East Bay Vivarium, where the ten-year-old stood face to face with snakes larger than she is.


Ellie’s using that bravery as she awaits another adventure, a heart transplant at the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. The Mount Hood resident was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy three years ago, which causes a muscle imbalance where the heart muscle grows thin, the left ventricle becomes enlarged and can ultimately lead to heart failure.

“Ellie’s a really happy kid. She brings a smile to everyone’s face she meets,” said her father, Brandon McCloskey.

Now the local girl with a winning smile is unexpectedly facing an urgent and high-risk procedure to enable her to continue with her adventures.

When Ellie was diagnosed, her doctors informed her family that she would need to be monitored for a heart transplant in five to seven years. After a check-up in June, Ellie’s doctors informed her father that she was in immediate need of a heart transplant due to an increase in pulmonary pressure in her lungs.

The doctors gave the family less than two weeks to prepare to go to California for monitoring and the procedure. Now Brandon and Ellie are staying at the Ronald McDonald House with Ellie under close medical supervision as they wait for a suitable donor heart.

The two must now wait for an undetermined period that may stretch for months or over a year to receive a donor heart that is the appropriate size, blood type and has a similar enough antibody profile for the procedure.

“It’s been hard for Ellie because she feels okay,” Brandon said.

Although Ellie is in urgent need of a transplant, her day-to-day condition has remained stable and she is able to maintain some normalcy in her routine.

Ellie is currently on 24-hour IV medication and is responding well enough that the two can go on outings in the region within four hours of the facility. Brandon has taken Ellie to explore the Oakland Zoo, and the two have plans to visit the Monterey Aquarium and Ripley’s Believe-it-or-not museum.

Brandon is also planning to take Ellie trick or treating in Oakland with family friends so she can dress in her inflatable Tyrannosaurus Rex costume.

Although the McCloske’s can find moments of enjoyment, the family is under financial burden as well as emotional stress due to the magnitude of the procedure and duration of their stay away from home.

Brandon has had to take a leave of absence from his job in Sandy and must find a way to maintain his mountain home while caring for his daughter.

Fortunately, members of the community have stepped forward to help the family.

“The Mountain’s really pulling together for Ellie,” Brandon said.

Mt. Hood Coffee Roasters, the Rhododendron Dairy Queen and Fernie’s Coffee are among local businesses donating a portion of their funds from certain events to support the McCloskeys. A GoFundMe account has been established for community members to help support the family during their hardship. A page has also been established on Facebook titled: “Ellie’s heart adventure products” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/767577611217061/?ref=share) where people can purchase items to support the family. Friends of the family are assuring the family dogs are cared for and their home is maintained.

Now the McCloskeys are faced with their wait and the uncertainty ahead of them. Luckily the family recently befriended another family, the Carpenters from Paradise, Calif., also staying at the Ronald McDonald House. The Carpenter’s son, Zack, has become a good friend to Ellie. He is recovering from a heart transplant and is being monitored until it is safe for the family to return to their home.

“It’s pretty cool to see how well Zack’s doing,” Brandon said.

Donations for the family can be directed to the GoFundMe account at https://gofund.me/690e9509.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Rising costs could increase need for help for the holidays posted on 11/01/2022

Carol Norgard, one of the organizers of the yearly Hoodland Community Christmas Basket Program, notes that the need for food and other necessities on the Mountain this year may be more than ever, citing how the increased prices of gas and food have made things challenging.

“(They’re) the two things that people need,” Norgard said. “Their money is not getting as far.”

That’s where the baskets come in, offering help to those who need it, including food, personal hygiene items and gifts for children up to 18 years old during the holiday season. Applications for the baskets were expected to be available in late October and to be returned by Monday, Dec. 5.

Organizers estimated that there could be up to 150 families applying for baskets this year.

For those who can help, donations including canned food, hair brushes, tooth brushes, tooth paste, hand soap and shampoo, as well as age appropriate gifts for the children are needed (giving trees at various locations will have tags that include a child’s age and present wish). Canned food should have an expiration date of 2023 and later.

Norgard noted that when it comes to what items are most needed, every year is different, while the organizers typically buy a good amount of spaghetti sauce and cereal. Two items that she enjoys giving the most are cranberry sauce and olives.

“It’s one of those Christmassy things,” she said.

The program began in 1987 and serves approximately 400 people a year in the community, including areas from Cherryville through Government Camp. Baskets will be available to be picked up on Friday, Dec. 16 and Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Mt. Hood Lions Club building, 24730 E. Woodsey Way in Welches.

In addition to donations, volunteers are also needed, included people to help organize the boxes between Wednesday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 17. A signup sheet for volunteer help is expected to be posted on www.signup.com soon.

Monetary donations may also be made to: Hoodland Community Christmas Baskets, PO Box 74, Welches 97067.

Applications can be returned to: Welches Mountain Building Supply*, 67250 Hwy. 26; Clackamas County Bank*, 67403 Hwy. 26; Hoodland Library, 24525 Welches Road; Welches Schools*, 24901 Salmon River Road; Smoke on the Mountain, 23860 Arrah Wanna Blvd.; Welches Liquor Store* in the Hoodland Shopping Center, 68254 Hwy. 26; Coffee House 26*, 67211 Hwy. 26; or Hoodland Fire District’s main station, 69634 Hwy. 26.

* denotes locations as also have giving trees.

Dollar General, 24888 E. Salmon River Road, has a giving tree, while the library has a giving tree for scarves, mittens and hats. Any location that has a tree can also receive toy and food donations.

Additional barrels for food and toy donations are located at the Brightwood Store, 63065 Brightwood Bridge Road; Govy General Store, 30521 E. Meldrum Street in Government Camp; Skyway Bar and Grill, 71545 Hwy. 26; and Coffee Brewsters and the Hoodland Thriftway, both in the Hoodland Shopping Center.

For more information, call Carol Norgard at 503-622-3256.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Free food market moves to new location in November posted on 11/01/2022

Every month for the past four years, Neighborhood Missions has held a Free Food Market, offering food boxes to those who need it, in the parking lot at the Hoodland Senior Center.

But with the center expected to finalize a new lease agreement with Clackamas County, Neighborhood Missions needed to find a new spot.

“We appreciate it and offer thanks that we’ve been there so long,” said Steve Carlson, who helps facilitate the market.

The new location will be at Hoodland Lutheran Church, 59151 Hwy. 26, with the same hours as before, 9-10 a.m.

And while the market is typically held on the last Monday of each month, the holiday season will push the market date earlier for December. November’s will take place on Monday, Nov. 28, while December’s will be a week early, on Monday, Dec. 19.

Carlson noted that in the past two months, the market has served more than 80 households, including 16 new ones.

“It seems apparent that the need is increasing,” he said.

The food for the program comes from the Oregon Food Bank, and Carlson noted that they have been able to order extra food to meet the new demand.

He also stressed that Neighborhood Missions is able to deliver food boxes and if there is need for additional food, they can provide it.

Robert Boertien, Chair of the Hoodland Senior Center board of directors, noted that the new agreement reduces the center’s control over the back parking lot.

“The traffic generated by free food day cannot be safely accommodated without access to the entire back lot,” Boertien wrote in an email to The Mountain Times.

He added that the center will cooperate with Neighborhood Missions as they strive to meet the needs in the community.

For more information or to request help, call 503-622-9213.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Mt. Hood Roasters Coffee Company celebrates 20 years posted on 11/01/2022

This month, Rick and Jiyeon Applegate will celebrate 20 years of owning and operating Mt. Hood Roasters Coffee Company – a micro roastery based in Rhododendron offering beans, blends, beverages and more to visitors in the area and beyond.

It’s a story that blends one of Oregon’s most prominent pioneer family’s name, Applegate, in an area famous for the contributions of another pioneer, Sam Barlow, utilizing equipment developed by Oregonian Mike Sivetz, one of the most celebrated names in the air coffee roasting industry.

“We’ve always been fiercely in love with Oregon,” Rick said. “It’s history, it’s culture and the whole culinary piece that makes Oregon so special. Coffee, beer, wine and now spirits. To be able to participate in that culinary endeavor is really exciting to us.

But if the timing didn’t work out just as it did, the Applegates might be celebrating a different anniversary this year, rather than reflecting on the past two decades on this side of Mount Hood.

Rick retired from the Army in 2001 and was looking for a good opportunity to run a small business, and while his wife, Jiyeon, suggested a small teriyaki restaurant, the owners of a roastery and coffee shop in Welches were looking to sell. Despite not knowing much about coffee, the Applegates dove in with John and Teresa Ayala, with John being the brains behind the company’s original coffee blends and Teresa, Jiyeon and Rick leading the day-to-day operations.

The Applegates had a vision for their new business: they wanted Mt. Hood Roasters Coffee Company to function in a way that a winery might, with a home, production facility and cottage where restaurateurs and chefs could visit, stay and build relationships.

Their search for just such a perfect location took them to Cascade Locks to see if something was suitable for their operations in the Columbia Gorge.

“If God’s opening this door, we need to walk through it,” Rick recalled discussing with his wife about the opportunity.

But fate intervened, as only a few days after visiting Cascade Locks, the owner of a property in Rhododendron dropped by the restaurant to see if the Applegates would be interested.

“We went up there and we looked and it was exactly what we needed,” Rick said, adding that he was unsure at the time if they could afford it. “The way things worked out, we sold the restaurant, sold our house and bought (the property) within 30 days. Everything just fell in line.”

That was not only a key moment for their business, but their lives, he added.

Toasting the roasting highlights

Rick reflected on the past 20 years roasting and brewing coffee, noting a few of the many instances that stood out. One was when the National Geographic Society put Mt. Hood Roasters Coffee Company on the National Geographic MapGuide to the Central Cascades.

“When we fold that map out still, we see Timberline Lodge and Mt. Hood Roasters as the two Mount Hood GeoTourism significant points of interest. We’re really proud of that,” Rick said. “That’s the platinum standard.”

Another was in December 2019, when actress and Oregon native Katee Sackhoff spent several days at Mt. Hood Roasters Coffee Company for two episodes on her YouTube channel. Sackhoff, known best for her role as Lieutenant Kara “Starbuck” Thrace in “Battlestar Galactica” and as Bo-Katan Kryze on both “The Mandalorian” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” animated series, spent time on Mount Hood as a child and her time as a barista at Mt. Hood Roasters Coffee Company brought out a large number of fans.

“Katie Sackhoff was a big thing,” Rick said. “We had so much fun to be found by a celebrity like that.”

But Rick also points to a heart attack he suffered in 2013 that changed the direction of the company. He spent the next three years recovering, and the visions of growing the company to something even bigger were gone.

“Life isn’t about trying to build a $10 million dollar company,” Rick said, noting that his priority at the time was to reduce stress. “That really changed the operations tempo of our business and our long-term focus.”

That focus included more efforts into fundraising and using the power of the company to create financial resources for other organizations and in the community.

“I came to the realization that you can be profitable and for profit, and benevolent at the same time,” Rick said. “They’re not mutually exclusive ideas.”

Among the ways that Mt. Hood Roasters Coffee Company has given back includes, helping buy playground equipment for several schools, supporting the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol, partnering with groups and people for fundraisers, such as raising money with Sackhoff for local Oregon schools, and so many more.

Rick also looked to help support his employees, offering competitive wages and encouraging them to buy homes and offering them sick time where unused days can be exchanged for more vacation at the end of the year.

“It’s so much more manageable for us,” Rick said. “I think it’s the right thing to do as a small company.”

Mt. Hood Roasters Coffee Company also brought in people through Oregon’s JOBS Plus program, while also partnering with Clackamas County on jobs programs, including one that helped juvenile offenders with internships to get them back on their feet.

“We’ve been able successfully, with six families, to move them out of welfare and into full employment,” Rick said.

And the charitable endeavors continue to this day, as Mt. Hood Roasters Coffee Company and Sackhoff have paired up again for another fundraiser to fight children’s cancer, leading to more opportunities with other celebrities to make a difference.

Rick, who will turn 60 early next year, noted that the long-term future of the business will lie in somebody else’s hands.

“Who’s the next generation, that’s what we’re looking for,” he said.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Collaborated effort by community a priority for wildfire threat posted on 11/01/2022

After near misses from the Beachie, Lionshead and Riverside wildfires and two Public Safety Power Shutdowns (PSPS) by Portland General Electric in two years, the danger of wildfire along the Hwy. 26 corridor between Sandy and Government Camp has gone from a vague possibility to an urgent and annual threat to the approximately 19,000 people who call the corridor home.

“We’ve been fortunate we haven’t had a large fire on the Hwy. 26 corridor at this point,” Hoodland Fire District (HFD) Division Chief Brian Henrichs said. “To keep our communities safe, the magnitude of work that needs to be done is daunting.”

To help the multiple groups living and serving the region along Hwy. 26 better coordinate their wildfire resilience efforts, HFD and the Zigzag Ranger District of the Mount Hood National Forest arranged for a national inter-agency Community Mitigation Assistance Team (CMAT) to visit and evaluate the region’s fire mitigation efforts. The team visited the Mount Hood communities from Oct 3. to Oct. 13.

CMATs are enlisted nationally to help resolve fire mitigation challenges that occur in a region when multiple groups are involved. The team’s goal for their visit to the Mount Hood region was to assist residents and organizations along Hwy. 26 establish a wildfire partnership to coordinate and develop long-term fire mitigation strategies using best practices.

“(The evaluation) was to help us collaborate and unify our efforts, so we’re not all working in different directions,” Henrichs said.

CMATs are comprised of public and private wildland-urban interface mitigation professionals from across the country and are sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

The CMAT met with entities along the corridor and assessed their ongoing efforts and challenges preparing for wildfires.

The meetings included local homeowner’s associations, community planning organizations, the three fire districts along Hwy. 26, Portland General Electric, Portland Water Bureau, the Oregon Department of Forestry, Skibowl, Timberline Lodge, the USFS and several other government and community groups.

The CMAT then presented recommendations for action and collaboration throughout the communities. The goal of the guidance is to help address high-risk areas on the corridor and focus the use of resources on larger projects instead of taking a scattered approach to smaller treatments.

The CMAT presented a report with advice for all stakeholders, including short-term immediate priorities and long-term, five-to-seven-year goals, as the corridor develops a partnership to become wildfire adaptive.

The CMAT proposed generating momentum for the regional partnership by achieving some small, early accomplishments, such as establishing slash disposal sites at quarries in the region for cleared brush and other fuel sources, getting chipping done in communities that have already cleared brush and supporting roadside projects.

“Individual homeowners are going to have to take ownership and start hardening their properties,” Henrichs said.

Henrich added that participants hope the partnership will allow the region to receive grants to aid in the fire mitigation efforts. Government Camp recently received a $75,000 grant for homeowners to harden their properties. Similar grants can help address the expense of chipping and contractors to clear defensible space on properties.

The CMAT urged all parties involved in the fledgling partnership to celebrate accomplishments and coordinate resources, but to focus on investing most of their time and resources on risk mitigation. The group cautioned that meetings and events do not reduce the risk of wildfires, and that clear goals should be established and met at each meeting.

The CMAT report stated that for the region the threat of fire has become personal.

“Residents, visitors, businesses, and public service agencies alike were without power for 8 days, with smoke in the air from a nearby fire and no way of finding out what was going on,” read the report, detailing the first PSPS event as a wake-up call for the region and an impetus for the new wildfire partnership.

The CMAT report recommends that adaptation to the increased risk of wildfire begin with personal action by hardening defensible properties and continue outward as a coordinated effort to establish resilience throughout the region.

More information about preparing your property for wildfire is available online at https://www.hoodlandfire.us. More information about the Community Mitigation Assistance Team program is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/fire/cmat.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Fair offers community building and start to holiday shopping posted on 11/01/2022

In an effort to create an affirming event and promote Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer and Questioning Two-Spirit, Intersex, Asexual and Plus people (LGBTQ2SIA+) business owners, Identity Euphoria will host a Rainbow Saturday Artisans Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 in the Rainbow Lodge at the Hull Foundation & Learning Center, 43233 S.E. Oral Hull Road in Sandy.

“Serving smaller communities of Oregon and Washington will help build community for queer people and provide opportunities for non-queer people to learn about queer culture and issues,” Identity Euphoria co-founder Charlie Joplin said.

The event will have approximately 20 vendors selling a variety of craft and handmade items perfect for gifts. Vendors will have a variety of items for sale, including house plants, handmade pottery, hand-carved and burned wood crafted items, jewelry, bath bombs, artwork, home and vehicle decor and more.

Entry to the event is free, while a raffle of donated items to raise money for the Hull Foundation will also be held. Commemorative tote bags will also be available for purchase, with a third of the proceeds from the sales going to the Hull Foundation as well.

One vendor, Bright Eyes Photos: NW, will offer family holiday photos against a fireplace backdrop for $5 each, and donate 60 percent of the proceeds to the Hull Foundation.

There will also be a booth with local women offering affirming mom hugs, and the Sandy group Students Advocating for Equality will also have a table and be offering information on their causes and events.

Joplin and co-founder Brittany Allen formed Identity Euphoria, a nonprofit corporation working to acquire 501(c)3 status, in late 2020, inspired by a lack of resources for the queer community in the smaller towns they grew up in and in the Pacific Northwest overall.

“Identity Euphoria’s vision is to make a better future for queer people in smaller communities and, therefore, better for the communities as a whole,” Allen said. “Identity Euphoria is the resource I wish my hometown had when my generation was going through grade school.”

This event aims to create a safe and empowering space for queer small business owners to sell their wares as people begin their holiday shopping.

Identity Euphoria’s organizers hope that rather than queue up outside a big box store on Black Friday, people will come do some of their holiday shopping with local, queer-owned small businesses.

“With more and more people looking for ways to be more intentional with their spending, this event gives folks a way to not only shop local from Oregon business owners, but support members of a marginalized population,” Allen said.

For more information, visit Identity Euphoria’s Facebook event page at fb.me/e/2Oxht66xk.

By Identity Euphoria/For the Mountain Times


Voters look to cast ballots by Tuesday, Nov. 8 posted on 11/01/2022

The race to be the next Governor of Oregon is one of the most competitive races on the November ballot, while Mountain voters will also get to have their say on a number of local and area candidates.

Ballots are due by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, but mailed ballots must be postmarked by election day and received at the election office within seven days of the election (no postage is necessary).

Voters who need a replacement ballot must make arrangements for pickup at the county elections office by Friday, Nov. 4.

The first election results are expected to be released shortly after 8 p.m. on election day, while Monday, Dec. 5 is the last day for results to be certified.

For Mountain area residents, state races include Darcy Long or Jeff Helfrich for House District 52 and Raz Mason or Daniel G. Bonham for State Senate District 26.

Sandy voters will decide between Walt Trandum and James Hieb for House District 51.

Clackamas County races include Paul Savas or Libra Forde for Clackamas County Commissioner, Position 2; Ben West or Sonya Fischer for Clackamas County Commissioner, Position 5; and Catherine McMullen or Sherry Hall for Clackamas County Clerk. Brian Nava is running unopposed for Clackamas County Treasurer.

Sandy voters will also determine races including Stan Pulliam or Kathleen Walker for Sandy Mayor and Chris Mayton or Jason J. Pruden for Sandy City Council, Position 1. Laurie Smallwood and Carl Exner are running unopposed for council positions 2 and 5, respectively.

Sandy voters and voters in unincorporated Clackamas County will also vote on measures that would prohibit psilocybin-related businesses in their respective areas.

Drop-off ballot sites

*Drive-up ballot drop access

– Clackamas County Elections*: 1710 Red Soils Ct., Oregon City, 97045

– Boring branch of Clackamas County Bank*: 28500 SE Hwy. 212, Boring, 97009

– Hoodland Public Library: 24525 E Welches Road, Welches, 97067

– Sandy City Hall (on the back side): 39250 Pioneer Blvd., Sandy, 97055

– Sandy Public Library*: 38980 Proctor Blvd.,Sandy, 97055

Your voted ballot may be dropped off at any official drop site in the state.

For more information, including an online voter's pamphlet, a way to track your ballot, more drop box locations in Clackamas County and a locator for drop boxes throughout the state, visit: https://sos.oregon.gov, http://www.oregonvotes.gov/dropbox or https://www.clackamas.us/elections.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Hadley Carpenter (left).
Serving up volleyball lessons from experience posted on 10/01/2022

Hadley Carpenter, head coach of the Welches Schools girls’ volleyball team, can relate to the student athletes who can’t get a serve over the net. She was there once, in the same situation and even in the same gym, as Carpenter began her journey in volleyball as a Welches student.


“I stayed after practice every day so mad at myself because I couldn't get the underhand (serve) from halfway on the court,” Carpenter said. “It’s fun to see the progression that they make and it’s interesting for me to think back that I was the same way. I had never played before, just like these girls.”

Carpenter, who grew up on the Mountain and attended the Welches Schools from 2011-13, went on to play at Sandy High School, while also playing club level volleyball. She then went to Mt. Hood Community College to get an associate’s degree, and now works as an educational assistant at Welches Schools.

She started coaching during the coronavirus pandemic, which offered some challenges such as organizing carpools, no parents or fans inside during games (games could be viewed online), only traveling close by and not shaking hands with opponents. That led to a surprising development this year, as the team can finally travel together by bus to their away games.

“I couldn’t figure out why the girls were so excited about the buses on the first day when we were talking; they had to carpool the last two years,” Carpenter said. “It’s nice to just be able to get on a bus and go.”

“It’s exciting that the parents get to come and we get to interact with them,” she added.

This season also brings a familiar face to the sidelines, with Becky Fortune serving as her assistant coach. That’s a turnabout for Carpenter, as Fortune was her coach during her years on the team.

“I’m really enjoying it,” Fortune said. “It’s just so cool to know that somebody I coached liked it enough to come back.”

Both coaches noted that they focus on the basics of the game, while seeing the team as a great way for students on the Mountain to make some friends and have an activity to do after school. But their efforts are also resulting in continued enjoyment of the sport, with four Welches Schools graduates playing on the Sandy High School team.

“I’m like a proud parent, I think,” she added. “I’m just so glad she’s back and doing this. It’s a great connection with the girls. To come full circle and now be sharing that again is pretty cool.”

The current program at Welches Schools features 16 girls, including two sixth graders, on two teams, one varsity and one junior varsity. The team typically plays one home game each week, with the season ending on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The schedule of games can be found on the school’s website, https://www.oregontrailschools.com/Domain/16.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Short-term rental regulations repealed by commissioners posted on 10/01/2022

The short-term rental (STR) regulations for unincorporated Clackamas County were repealed by the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) by a vote of three to two at the Thursday, Sept. 8 meeting.

Commissioners Martha Schrader, Mark Shull and Chair Tootie Smith voted in favor of the repeal, while Commissioners Sonya Fischer and Paul Savas voted against the motion.

The BCC delayed implementing a registration fee to fund the two full-time county employees needed to run the STR program since the regulations were adopted in July 2021. As a result, Clackamas County Counsel urged the BCC to repeal the regulations due to the fact that they are currently unenforceable.

“County Counsel has proposed that we get this off our books … and not give people the false sense that this code provision is in play, because it is not if it is not funded, there’s no application fee, there’s no enforcement mechanism, there’s no staff committed to reviewing any of the provisions,” Clackamas County Counsel Stephen Madkour said.

“My biggest concern is that leaving it on right now without funding just doesn’t make sense to me. We need to figure out a way to fund it. I’d appreciate my colleagues having continued discussions about it,” Commissioner Schrader said.

The program was initially designed to be funded by a biannual registration fee of approximately $800-900. This fee has met with resistance from the BCC.

The regulations were originally drafted over a three-year process of public outreach and work by the Clackamas County Planning and Zoning Division. Commissioner Fischer noted that the vast majority of the testimony from the public over the course of the process describes STRs as having a negative impact on livability in the Mount Hood communities and calls for county regulation.

Only one member of the community gave testimony at the final hearing.

“We have no recourse. We’re trying to get you to help us with this. We need that help,” stated Richard Harris regarding his ongoing issues with a neighboring STR.

“Too many people have invested a lot of time on this. The impression would be that we’re walking away, and I just can’t support that,” Commissioner Savas said.

County counsel stated that the regulations will remain available and can be reassessed at a later date if the BCC agrees upon a manner for funding the regulations.

“If the board has any desires to resurrect and implement it, it’s well thought out, it’s well drafted, it’s a good code it just isn’t in operation right now,” Madkour said.

Chair Smith stated that if other members of the commission can create a set of regulations that don’t cost any money from the general fund, she would be willing to address the issues of the community members in the Mount Hood area impacted by unregulated STRs.

“It’s a matter of practicality. If they have a house up there it’s their private property right to be able to rent it out,” Smith stated.

The regulations will be off the books 90 days after the board’s vote.

More information regarding the final hearing is available online at https://www.clackamas.us/meetings/bcc/business.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Hoodland Fire banquet honors last two years posted on 10/01/2022

After a two-year break from Hoodland Fire District’s (HFD) annual award ceremony, the event’s organizer Division Chief Brian Henrichs found himself with a unique problem – he needed to make sure that other members of the planning committee didn’t discover that they were receiving awards for their service in the past two years.

“It’s been difficult this year because I’ve got to keep the awards secret,” Henrichs said.

Due to pandemic social distancing restrictions, the HFD personnel have not had the opportunity since 2019 to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the district’s finest.

Members of all parts of the HFD, including career staff, volunteers, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members and the support group gathered on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Mt. Hood Lions Club for the return of the annual awards banquet and picnic. The event was an opportunity for the district to catch up on missed commendations.

“We had a lot of people to recognize,” Henrichs said.

 The Rookie of the Year awards were given to Brandon Bergeron for 2020 and Kiera McPherson for 2021 to recognize their work exemplifying the values of the district.

The Firefighter of the Year award recipients were chosen by community members in the district. Community members voted through an online SurveyMonkey poll. Matt Nicholson received the award for 2020 and Dawson Kooch for 2021.

Dawson Kooch also took home the Chief’s Award for 2020 for his work managing the new Government Camp station.

“I've put a lot of time in. It's been a great four and a half years,” Kooch said. “I've been motivated to help make the place better and it's great to be recognized.”

“He really took the reins, and there wasn’t a project or task that he couldn’t take on,” Henrichs said. “I couldn’t be prouder of him.”

Division Chief/Fire Marshal Scott Kline received the Chief’s Award for 2021 for his tireless work seeking out grants for the district. HFD received approximately $300,000 in funding in recent years due to Kline’s efforts.

“We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without him,” Henrichs said.

District volunteer firefighter Amanda Schmitt also received multiple awards, including a Meritorious Service Award for her “unwavering commitment to all aspects of the fire service.”

Portland General Electric received the second Meritorious Service Award for their strategic public safety power shut-off in the Mount Hood area during the unprecedented high winds that caused devastating fires throughout the state in early September 2020.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that shutting off power saved the community significant loss and devastation,” Henrichs said. “We had inactive power lines go down on Kiwanis Camp Road during the wind event. If a fire had started there, we would have been unable to stop it.”

Unit Citations, a formal, honorary mention of a uniformed services’ specific and outstanding performance, were awarded to the TIPS NW Hoodland Chapter and the Hoodland Fire Cadet Program for 2020.

Engine 351, Rescue 351 and C351 received a citation for a multi-patient motor vehicle accident that involved three patients being pinned on the scene and requiring extrication in 2021.

Also in 2021, Engine 351 and C352 received a citation for managing multiple calls including the successful delivery of twins at home.

Additional awards given to staff and volunteers for exemplary service include:


EMT of the year


  • 2020 – Amanda Schmitt
  • 2021 – Anthony LeFevour


CERT Member of the year


  • 2020 – Felecia Forston
  • 2021 – Sue Allen


Support Group Member of the year


  • 2020 – Dan and Nancy Wolf
  • 2021 – Dale Crotty



By Ben Simpson/MT


Hoodland Library deals with vandalism, GoFundMe efforts underway posted on 10/01/2022

Lara Wilent, Library Clerk for the Hoodland Public Library, noted that nobody is really certain when the wooden sign that has hung above the library entrance disappeared. It wasn’t until somebody came in and noted how challenging it was to find the library due to the lack of signage.

“We can’t imagine why somebody took the sign,” Wilent said. “It’s a big, heavy wooden sign. It’s not like its metal and recyclable.”

The sign was made locally when the library moved to its current location in 2014, at a cost of approximately $500 at the time. Wilent noted that they expect that cost to double as they look to replace it now.

And that’s not the only act of vandalism targeting the library, as the drop box for patrons to return items after hours was hit last November, rendering it unusable since. A new drop box could cost as much as $1,500, but the library doesn’t have the funds to replace it or the sign.

Wilent noted that the library will add a slot into the front door to allow for returns after hours, although due to supply chain issues, there have been delays.

In the meantime, the library has not been charging overdue fines due to lack of ability for people to get books and other materials back.

In an effort to raise money to replace the drop box and the sign, people can donate at https://gofund.me/4fd217fa, or drop off donations at the library, 24525 Welches Road or mailed to the Friends of Hoodland Library at P.O. Box 298 Welches, OR 97067.

Wilent added that the sign will be remade by the same Mountain craftsman that made the first one.

“It’s good to know that sign was made and is being remade by a local person,” she said.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Mt. Hood Unida continues building community posted on 10/01/2022

When it comes to favorite holidays, Dia de los Muertos is right up there for Cristina Saldivar, Vice President of Mt. Hood Unida, a local nonprofit organization with a mission to unite community and empower Latinos.

“It is a day that we, in Mexico and almost all Latin American countries, remember those that we have lost,” Saldivar said. “Every country, every community, every town does that a little bit differently.”

Mt. Hood Unida will offer the Mountain community a chance to celebrate and remember from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Wildwood Recreation Area, 65670 Hwy. 26 in Welches, for its Dia de los Muertos celebration. There is no admission fee for the event and refreshments will be provided.

The group held the event for the first time last year, and Saldivar noted that the community altar, where people can place photos or mementos of lost loved ones, will be back.

“A community and its members need a space to grieve,” she said, noting the event also offers a way to celebrate memories of loved ones. “You can really feel the collective grief and the collective joy. I think that’s what’s really special.”

The event will also feature live music by a mariachi band and artwork created by Welches Middle School students as part of Mt. Hood Unida’s Una Voz program, where students meet every Wednesday after school to celebrate the history, culture and contributions of the Latinx community on the Mountain.

“We are getting a lot of positive feedback,” said Maria Burke, Mt. Hood Unida President, who noted her daughter relayed how much students are enjoying it. “We’ve had so much fun doing the project and the kids are loving it.”

The program received grant funding from the Dr. Martens Foundation and both Saldivar and Burke, sisters who grew up on the Mountain and attended Welches Schools, hope to find more grant opportunities to do more after school programs.

“I would have loved something like this when I went to Welches,” Burke said.

The organization also wants to build on its relationship with the community by partnering with other agencies to provide services, including medical, dental and mental health needs, for the Latinx community on the Mountain.

“Now that Mt. Hood Unida established a connection with the mountain community, we, at Mt. Hood Unida, are excited to find ways to serve its Latino population,” Saldivar said. “Mt. Hood Unida is aware of the unmet medical, dental and mental health needs within the population. We are very passionate about establishing partnerships with agencies to meet those needs. We know when these basic needs are met, the whole community will thrive.”

For more information on Mt. Hood Unida programs and to find how to get involved, visit https://www.mthoodunida.org/ and find the organization on Facebook and Instagram.

By Garth Guibord/MT

This is Halloween! Spooky Alley returns back to its usual haunt posted on 10/01/2022

Shirley Dueber, one of the organizers of the annual Spooky Alley Halloween event, noted that while last two year’s iterations were a success, the fact that they had to be drive-thru events meant it wasn’t quite the same.

“It was fun, but not nearly as much fun as when we can watch the kids playing games,” Dueber said.

This year, Spooky Alley brings back the fun and games as it returns to its usual haunt, the Hoodland Park Plaza, 68200 Hwy. 26 in Welches, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31.

Dueber noted that among the popular games returning are a hole-in-one golf game and a guessing game where contestants can try to figure out how many candies are in a bowl, with the winner taking home all the candy.

“In that game, no adult has ever won. It’s amazing,” Dueber said, adding that the game has been part of the event for nearly 20 years and more often than not parents will think their kids’ guesses will be ridiculous.

The annual event also offers costume judging, with different times for different ages of kids: children up to three years old will be at 6:45 p.m., children ages four to seven at 7 p.m., children ages eight to 12 at 7:15 p.m., children 13 and older at 7:30 p.m. and a grand prize ceremony at 7:45 p.m.

Dueber also noted that the event needs support, both with donations and volunteers.

Much of the work is done before the event actually happens, with up to 20 people working different shifts on the days immediately before. Another 20 people typically facilitate the games on the night of the event, while there may be up to eight volunteers needed for the food room.

Anyone interested in volunteering or supporting the event can contact Dueber at 503-349-6879.

And even though Dueber has spent many years making Halloween a fun and enjoyable night for the Mountain community, she still hasn’t lost her passion for the event.

“I’m getting excited about the fact that we’re going to have a normal Spooky Alley,” she said. “I’ll probably be more excited than the kids.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

Readers Theatre Gresham returns anew posted on 10/01/2022

Michael Streeter, Readers Theatre Gresham’s (RTG) Artistic Director, wants to grow the audience for the monthly staged readings, with actors reading a play with scripts in hand on a bare stage and minimal props. And with RTG returning after a two-year hiatus due the coronavirus, there are a number of changes taking place to help achieve that goal, including a new space (the Center of the Arts Little Theatre at 333 N. Main Avenue in Gresham), serving beer and wine, a new sponsor (Center for the Arts Foundation) and a new approach to selecting plays.

Streeter noted that previously, RTG focused on the American classics, including Neil Simon for comedies and dramatic playwrights such as Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. And while this season does offer some greats of American drama, the offerings will include other classics from throughout the world, including William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” Martin McDonagh’s “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” and Augusta, Lady Gregory, and W.B. Yeats’ “Cathleen ni Houlihan.”

“The overarching theme for me when selecting a season, do we have quality plays that directors are passionate about doing,” Streeter said. “That usually turns out to be top quality material. I like to lean toward Pulitzer Prize nominees and winners.”

To lead off the season on Monday, Oct. 3, RTG will offer “Macbeth,” the tragedy about a Scottish general who is spurred to kill the King of Scotland to take the throne himself and is then consumed by paranoia and must kill more people to protect himself. Streeter will direct the reading and play the titular role, and the play has a special place in his heart as he met his wife in a production of “Macbeth” decades ago when he was an actor and she was a makeup artist.

“It’s a show that I’ve been passionate about for over 30 years,” Streeter said, adding that this reading will feature just six actors who will all play multiple roles.

Streeter also sees the new location as a boon to the theater, as there is ample and convenient parking, plus theater patrons can easily go out for dinner at a nearby restaurant and also get a show in.

“There’s a lot of pent-up demand,” Streeter said.

RTG’s readings will happen on the first Monday of every month, starting with “Macbeth” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3. Tickets are $9 at the door, with tickets for Mt. Hood Community College students available at half price. For more information, visit www.readerstheatregresham.org or email ReadersTheatreGresham@gmail.com.

2022-23 Readers Theatre Gresham season


  • Oct. 3: “Macbeth,” by William Shakespeare.
  • Nov. 7: “The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” by Alfred Uhry.
  • Dec. 5: “The Dock Brief,” by John Mortimer.
  • Feb. 6, 2023: “Crossing Delancey,” by Susan Sandler.
  • March 6, 2023: “The Beauty Queen of Leenane,” by Martin McDonagh.
  • April 3, 2023: “Cathleen ni Houlihan,” by Augusta, Lady Gregory, and W.B. Yeats.
  • May 1, 2023: “‘Night Mother,” by Marsha Norman.
  • June 5, 2023: “I Never Sang for My Father,” by Robert Anderson.



Three productions end in early October

Clackamas Repertory Theatre presents the comedy, “The Book Club Play,” through Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Niemeyer Center on the Oregon City campus of Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Avenue in Oregon City. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices are from $30-40. For more information, visit clackamasrep.org or call 503-594-6047.

Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company presents “Hello Dolly!” through Sunday, Oct. 16, at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for children and seniors, and $13 for law enforcement. For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.

Sandy Actors Theatre presents “Rumors” through Sunday, Oct. 16, at 17433 SE Meinig Avenue in Sandy (behind Ace Hardware). Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 general admission, $13 for children and $15 for seniors, first responders, students and veterans (reservations are recommended). For more information, or to make reservations call 503-936-4378 or visit https://sandyactorstheatre.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Contributed photo
Cider Squeeze celebrates the summer harvest posted on 09/01/2022

For anyone looking to understand how pioneers made cider with antique, hand-cranked presses and sample the results, the Philip Foster Farm Historic Site has an event to quench that desire – the 2022 Philip Foster Cider Squeeze. The annual cider squeeze celebrates the late summer harvest and showcases the spirit of the early settler families and the life and time in which they lived.


“It’s a big party,” said Jennifer Goldman, programming director at Philip Foster Farm. “Families are invited to experience life as a pioneer.”

Guests are invited to bring their own apples and enjoy the satisfaction of making apple cider the old-fashioned way using the hand-cranked cider presses. The event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historic farm, located at 22725 SE Eagle Creek Road in Eagle Creek.

“The event started with early members of the Home Orchid Society getting together, making cider and selling it,” Goldman said. “It was the original fundraiser to raise money to open the historic farm site.”

The cider squeeze has been held annually since the Philip Foster Farm historic site opened in 1993. Guests can also buy cider already prepared and packaged on site.

The cider presses used at the squeeze were originally built between 1900 and the 1940s. They were donated to the farm by families in the Mount Hood region and restored for modern use.

Families are asked to limit the amount of apples squeezed at the event to two gallons to allow time for others to make use of the cider presses. A bulk squeeze will be held the following day, Sunday, Sept. 18, from 2-6 p.m. for the production of an unlimited amount of apple cider.

“At the bulk squeeze people can use one old press from 1910 that is enormous,” Goldman said.

In addition, the event will feature live music, folk dancing, kid's games and tours of the grounds, including a tour of an 1860s barn with a corn-grinding station and the opportunity to use a cross-cut saw. There will be various food vendors on site and reenactors in historical costumes to explain about the history of the region and give people a hands-on experience.

Admission to the event is $5 for individuals and $20 for families. Admission is free for Jacknife-Zion-Horseheaven Historical Society members, including volunteers who have worked at least 10 hours at the farm this year.

The costs for participating in the cider squeeze include:

– Press cider from your own apples: $3.00 per gallon

– Press cider from provided apples: $6.00 per gallon

– Use provided jugs: $1.00 each (jugs hold 1 gallon of cider)

– Pre-pressed, pasteurized cider: $7 per gallon.

Parking for the event is available at both parking lots at the farm. Guests attending the bulk squeeze are invited to park in the lot on Eagle Creek Road.

More information regarding the event is available online at https://philipfosterfarm.com/farm-events/cider-squeeze/.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Welches Schools return to normalcy posted on 09/01/2022

Just one year ago, Welches Schools Principal Kendra Payne had to plan for a school year with a great deal of uncertainty, not knowing how in-person classes would pan out and what kinds of restrictions might happen or not due to coronavirus. This year, however, the focus of Payne and her staff is on how best to educate their students, rather than a pandemic.


“It’s just so nice to be able to plan and not have to worry about those things,” Payne said.

The first day for Welches Schools will be Tuesday, Sept. 6, doors opening at 8:50 a.m. and class starting at 9:05 a.m., while dismissal will be at 3:55 p.m.

Wednesdays during the school year, except for the first Wednesday (Sept. 7), will be an early dismissal at 2:55 p.m.

Payne noted that events canceled during the past two years will return this year, including the Rainbow Run, the Harvest Festival, monthly awards assemblies and an open house that will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1. The open house will offer a chance for students and families to meet teachers, see classrooms, sign up for activities like volleyball, get middle school locker assignments, learn about volunteer opportunities and more.

Payne added that the middle school students will continue the new electives model this year, which includes high interest offerings such as art, music, creative science, leadership and more. Previously, the school used an intervention model for electives, which meant students who were below grade level received academic support instead of electives.

Meanwhile, the Welches Parent Teacher Community Organization (WPTCO) will get a chance to regain momentum lost from the pandemic. Payne noted that a number of established parents from the organization no longer have children at the school and parents of younger students are needed to help rebuild its membership, as well as establish a new vision and priorities.

Payne added that the pandemic’s impact on the support that the WPTCO has offered the schools in the past was evident.

“We’ve felt it in all the small ways: teacher appreciation, back to school events, fun nights and (other) events,” she said. “We’re ready to get them back again.”

Payne also noted that the school building will be open to volunteers this year. Volunteers will need to fill out an application, go through a background check, attend an orientation session and either be vaccinated or have an exemption form.

The Welches Schools is located at 24901 E. Salmon River Road in Welches and can be reached at 503-622-3166. For more information, please visit https://www.oregontrailschools.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT


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Madras native the newest firefighter for HFD posted on 09/01/2022

Aaron Marshall was born and raised in Madras and was a star quarterback in high school who attended the College of the Siskiyous in Weed, Calif. on a football scholarship. After a career-ending injury, Marshall was encouraged to be a different kind of hero by his uncle, who served as the Assistant-Chief/Fire Marshal for the Bend Fire Department from 1995 until his retirement in 2012.


Marshall chose to follow his uncle’s path and pursue a career as a firefighter and last month, the Hoodland Fire District (HFD) announced that he joined the district staff as a career firefighter/paramedic.

“So far the community has been really great,” Marshall said. “It’s beautiful on this side of the mountain and it seems the district has built a great organization.”

The addition returns the career staffing for the district after a vacancy was created with the departure of Lieutenant Andrew Figini at the end of April.

“By adding Aaron to our staff we’re still able to respond out of our station with two firefighter/ paramedics,” HFD Division Chief/Fire Marshal Scott Kline said.

Marshall will be joining HFD from the Jefferson County Fire District (JCFD) where he served as a firefighter/paramedic for the past year.

He began his career as a student volunteer at JCFD where he received his firefighter 1 and paramedic certification and worked for three years in a student volunteer firefighter position. After graduating from college Marshall began working full time at Warm Springs Fire and Safety as a career firefighter/paramedic from 2018 to 2021 before returning to JCFD for a year.

Marshall will begin his service in the HFD with a training period to familiarize him with the district’s procedures and standards during the month of September. New career staff are certified on all the district’s emergency response vehicles and also driven around the district to familiarize them with the roads before responding to emergency calls.

“It’s the little things that are slightly different,” Marshall said, citing different protocols for EMS and standard operations as things that vary from district to district.

Marshall will be fully trained and on shift by the beginning of October.

Marshall currently resides in Madras. Outside of work Marshall enjoys outdoor activities, playing or coaching sports, rollerblading, reading and hanging out with friends and family.

“I’m excited to begin here and hopefully have a long career in the district,” said Marshall.

More information about HFD is available online at https://www.hoodlandfire.us.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Grant program to help businesses recover posted on 09/01/2022

While some aspects of life have returned to normal following the coronavirus pandemic, area businesses are still hurting from COVD-19’s impact, be it from lost revenue, higher prices from inflation or in other ways. This month, many of them have the opportunity to mitigate that financial hardship.

The Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce (SAC), along with the North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce, have established the North Clackamas/Sandy Small Business Recovery Grant program, offering small businesses of 50 or fewer full-time employees a chance to receive assistance payments.

“Our whole team feels really great being able to do this,” said Khrys Jones, Executive Director of the SAC, noting that State Senator Chuck Thomsen played a key role in making it happen. “We still hear they need money. We’re really starting to hear not that the cost of everything is going up. Inflation is hitting them hard.”

The program will assist businesses that lost revenue due to mandatory or voluntary closures or other losses related to the pandemic (such as supply-chain issues, hiring and retention of employees and more), and generally defined as those losses having been incurred from January 2020 forward. Impacted businesses will be required to show proof of losses incurred related to the pandemic.

An open-application period will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7 and end at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, with a review period lasting until Friday, Sept. 23 and notifications sent at the end of the month. Approximately $850,000 will be distributed in amounts up to $10,000.

Businesses must be for-profit for the program, as other types of businesses such as non-profits, school districts, financial institutions, pawn shops, liquor stores, gas stations, firearms dealers, places of worship and more are ineligible.

Jones added that the chamber is still offering services through the Business Recovery Center, including help with taxes, marketing and more, which is expected to run through May 2024. She also noted that even after the grant funding is used for the grant recovery program, they want to find more funding for future grants.

“We’re hoping this isn’t the last round,” Jones said.

For more information, including a full list of restrictions and requirements, and to apply for a grant, visit https://sandyoregonchamber.org.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Futures of STRs, HD 52 rep to be debated posted on 09/01/2022

The Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) are expected to hold a final public hearing of the repeal of county regulations for Short Term Rentals (STRs) in the unincorporated areas of the county during September. The hearing was initially scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 8 during a meeting in June, but the county could not confirm this as an agenda item as of Monday, Aug. 29.

15 community members from the Mountain community spoke at the June meeting, and public comments are expected to be received during a potential September meeting. The commissioners were expected to hold policy sessions this summer in an attempt to draft an alternative program before the September meeting.

For agendas on upcoming BCC meetings, visit https://www.clackamas.us/bcc. More information about STRs is available online at https://www.clackamas.us/planning/str.

The BCC will also hold a joint session on Wednesday, Sept. 7 with commissioners from Hood River and Multnomah Counties following the resignation of State Rep. Anna Williams to interview candidates and select a replacement for the open House District 52 position. Oregon law requires that a legislative vacancy be filled by county commissioners representing the district in which the vacancy exists. House District 52 spreads across parts of the three counties.

Finalists were selected by the local Democratic Party (as outlined by state law), since Williams belongs to that party. County commissioners have no involvement in the selection of finalists.  The three finalists are: Kristen Dillon, Lori Kuechler and Nicholas Walden Poublon.

The person selected will fill the remainder of Williams’ term, which runs through December of this year.

The meeting will be held from 3-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7, over Zoom. The public is welcome to virtually attend the proceedings over Zoom and provide comments during the designated time.  Connectivity information can be found at https://www.clackamas.us/meetings/bcc/other/2022-09-07.  The meeting will be posted later to the county’s YouTube channel and the Clackamas County Government Channel.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Sandy Cruisin' Car Show returns on Sept. 10 posted on 09/01/2022

Cliff Mudder has brought his 1934 Ford three-window coupe to the Sandy Cruisin’ Car Show since 2011, when he first entered while it was still under construction. Last year, Mudder took home Best of Show and the Best of 1930s awards, and he’s hoping to return this year to defend those titles.

“I still love getting the car out,” Mudder said, noting when he first bought it the car was in a box and he had to put it together. “We’ve always got a lot of compliments.”

This year’s Sandy Cruisin’ Car Show will take place on Saturday, Sept. 10, opening at 8 a.m. for check-in and 9 a.m. for the general public, on the grounds of the St. Michael Catholic Church, 18090 SE Langensand Road in Sandy.

Organizer Anne Chambers noted that this will be the 24th year for the event (which was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic), and that it originated as part of the Sandy Oktoberfest.

The event features raffles all day long, music, food and more, with trophies in more than 20 classes of cars awarded at 2:30 p.m. Cars must be checked in by noon to be eligible for awards, while ballots must be returned by 12:30 p.m. There is a $15 registration fee for the first class of car and each additional class is $10.

Chambers reported that when the event returned last year after a one-year hiatus, it turned out to be the biggest one yet, with more than 240 cars taking part.

“I think everybody really missed getting out,” she said, noting that as many as 200 cars could be expected this year.

Chambers added that the money raised will be used locally, including St. Vincent de Paul programs that support those in need.

And while the cars draw the crowds, Mudder noted that what he enjoys most about these events is meeting new people and connecting with friends.

“We have met so many people, they’re closer to me than my brothers,” he said. “When you’re not there, you’re missed.”

For more information on the event, find the Sandy Cruisin’ Car Show on Facebook or visit http://www.sandycarshow.org.

By Garth Guibord/MT


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Comedy and music on stage in September posted on 09/01/2022

When Clackamas Repertory Theatre (CRT) selects plays for a season, David Smith-English noted they go through numerous scripts before finding one that piques their interest. Smith-English will direct one of those, “The Book Club Play,” by Karen Zacarías, opening this month, although it took him a couple times reading the script, which centers on a book club, before really envisioning it.


“I first read it, (it’s got) just six characters talking about books; you can’t have a play with no action,” Smith-English said. “The more I read it, the more I realized it’s right there, all this wonderful action is going on.”

The comedy, a newer play that CRT intended to do three years ago before the pandemic thwarted those plans, offers the story of a devoted book club that becomes the subject of a documentary filmmaker’s efforts. The club’s intimate discussions, along with the literature and a provocative new member, are all captured on film.

“Some interesting things happen when people forget there’s a camera on them,” Smith-English said. “It’s really fun. It’s just a really enjoyable experience with a fabulous cast.”

CRT presents the comedy, “The Book Club Play,” from Thursday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Niemeyer Center on the Oregon City campus of Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Avenue in Oregon City. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices are from $30-40. For more information, visit clackamasrep.org or call 503-594-6047.

CRT will also offer an evening of music, featuring the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim performed by Susannah Mars and Merideth Kaye Clark, for one night only at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21. Tickets are $20 and sold at the door.


Classic musical in Boring

The names of the women who have tackled the role of Dolly Gallagher-Levi in the renown musical “Hello Dolly!,” book by Michael Stewart, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and based on the play “The Matchmaker” by Thornton Wilder, include some A-list celebrities: Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Pearl Bailey, Mary Martin, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Bernadette Peters among them.

For the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company’s (NNB) production, veteran performer and NNB’s Artistic Director Kelly Lazenby will take on part with her husband, Justin, directing.

“It’s a ‘bucket list’ part for her,” Justin said.

The story focuses on Dolly, a turn-of-the-century matchmaker who decides that the next match she needs to make is to find someone for herself. The show includes many well-known songs in the musical theater cannon, including “It Only Takes a Moment,” “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” and the title number, “Hello, Dolly!”

In taking on such a popular show, Justin noted that he hopes to solidly hit the things that audience members will already know, including those songs, while also making the story their own.

“I like to tell the story without distraction,” he said, adding that there is a “delightful familiarity” with the show.

Justin added that while the show offers challenges, including mounting a production with such a large cast in a space that has its limitations, he enjoys how positive the story is.

“Even the grumpiness of the main guy is all tongue in cheek, it’s all fun,” he said. “This one is just meant to be an uplifting story of love and relationships.”

Justin added that many reservations have already been made for the show, so audience members are encouraged to buy tickets as soon as they can.

NNB presents “Hello Dolly!” from Friday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Oct. 16, at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for children and seniors, and $13 for law enforcement. For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.


Neil Simon’s “Rumors” in Sandy

Patrick Roth’s involvement with the Sandy Actors Theatre (SAT) stretches back to 2007, and he’s performed in numerous productions since. But Roth will take on a first-time role with SAT’s latest production, Neil Simon’s comedy “Rumors,” as the show’s director.

And while the process has endured some bumps in the road, including a performer testing positive for COVID-19 and another one dropping out altogether, Roth is focused on making sure the audience will enjoy it.

“I hope they just come out laughing,” he said.

The play tells the story of the Deputy Mayor of New York, who is wounded just as a gathering for his tenth wedding anniversary is about to begin. With his wife nowhere in sight, his lawyer, Ken, and Ken's wife, Chris, must get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive.

“In this show, everyone is an opposite, which is great,” Roth said. “They each have their power dynamics, which is classic Neil Simon. Each character trying to outdo each other.”

Roth has a background in clowning, and he noted that has offered a good foundation for the play’s movement and physical comedy, adding that he’s enjoyed connecting his cast with their inner comedic timing.

SAT presents “Rumors” from Friday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Oct. 16, at 17433 SE Meinig Avenue in Sandy (behind Ace Hardware). Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 general admission, $13 for children and $15 for seniors, first responders, students and veterans (reservations are recommended). For more information, or to make reservations call 503-936-4378 or visit https://sandyactorstheatre.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Hoodland Fire ups staffing for fire season posted on 08/02/2022

All Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) fire districts officially entered wildfire season on July 11. Drier, hotter conditions have set in on the Mountain and throughout the state after a cool, wet spring. The risk of human-caused and naturally occurring blazes continues to increase as grass, scrubs and other underbrush that flourished during the wet season dries and becomes an abundant fuel source waiting for a spark.

The Hoodland Fire District (HFD) received a $35,000 grant from the Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM) to fund additional staffing for the 2022 fire season.

“With the additional staffing we have a better chance to catch a fire while it’s small before it has a chance to escalate,” Hoodland Fire Chief Jim Price said.

The OSFM Response Ready Oregon Initiative allows districts to expand staffing capacity using their current staffing model and pay scale. The OSFM made an initial investment of $4 million to fund the 2022 Wildfire Season Staffing Grant program. The OSFM defines fire season as spanning from June 1 to Oct. 31 for the purpose of the grant. All grant funds must be utilized by Oct. 31.

Chief Price stated that HFD will utilize existing personnel to increase staffing for the months of August and September, including career staff working overtime, volunteer firefighters and with a volunteer firefighter continuing to fill a temporary role due to a vacancy in the career staff. The additional staff will generally be on from noon until 8 p.m. when higher temperatures, lower humidity and potential winds increase the likelihood of a fire.

The fire risk on the mountain was moderate at the end of July according to the ODF.

“The great thing about the high precipitation earlier in the year is it pushes fire season back. The bad thing is the fuels grow as a result,” Chief Price said.

Triple digit temperatures will continue to dry fuels throughout the region at the beginning of August.

The district continues to perform wildland fire risk assessments in Government Camp in a preventative measure. Other preparation for fire season includes making sure all equipment is serviced and ready, monitoring the severity of conditions in the region and tracking ODF guidelines regarding fire hazard.

Citizens are reminded to be aware of ODF restrictions and monitor for changing conditions.

More information about wildfire preparation and prevention is available on the HFD website at www.hoodlandfire.us.

Additional information about the Response Ready Oregon grant is available at https://www.oregon.gov/osp/programs/sfm/Pages/OSFM-Grants.aspx.

By Ben Simpson/MT


ODOT event looks at Hwy. 26 in Rhody posted on 08/02/2022

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will hold a drop-in event from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11 at the Mt. Hood Foods Grocery Store parking lot, 73265 Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron, to get community feedback on transportation on Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron.

The event is part of ODOT’s U.S. 26 Rhododendron Refinement Plan, a project launched in April to address transportation safety, access and connectivity issues in the community. The plan’s goals include identifying the appropriate number of highway lanes, identifying the safest locations for pedestrians to cross Hwy. 26, evaluate entry and exit points for destinations and businesses, evaluate bus stop locations and other improvements, such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes and dedicated driveways.

The plan, which builds upon concepts developed in the Rhododendron Main Street Redevelopment Concept Plan, is in the planning phase, with final street design elements and a concept plan expected to be complete in early 2023.

Sandra Hikari, ODOT Major Projects Planner, noted that an online open house for the project will likely take place in October, but the August drop-in event offers an informal opportunity for people to share their thoughts.

“This is a way to get folks who don’t have as much of an online presence,” she added.

Hikari also noted that ODOT is currently performing technical analysis, traffic counts, looking at traffic impacts of existing conditions and looking at highway lane configurations from a safety standpoint on the section of Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron, approximately between Road 10 and Road 20. ODOT has listed the funding for developing the plan to be $150,000.

The community’s desire for improvements to the highway was previously documented by the Rhody Rising committee of the Rhododendron Community Planning Organization (CPO), which is also considering the future development of buildings and the community.

The Rhody Rising committee is not affiliated with the ODOT effort.

Mike Miskowicz, CPO President, noted that the Rhody Rising committee is currently in a holding pattern.

The CPO will hold its next meeting from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Mt. Hood Village RV Resort, 65000 Hwy. 26 in Welches.

For more information on the ODOT refinement plan, visit TinyURL.com/US26RhodyRefinement.

By Garth Guibord/MT


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Residents urged to help fight the tansy ragwort invasion posted on 08/02/2022

Bouquets of yellow flowers are blooming across our region. Unfortunately, these colorful blooms are from the poisonous plant known as tansy ragwort. They have many residents feverishly working to protect their fields and livestock.


“This year is shaping up to be one of the worst for tansy ragwort that we have seen,” said Samuel Leininger, WeedWise program manager for the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District (CSWCD). “Weather conditions this year resulted in perfect conditions to allow these plants to flourish. We are receiving calls from concerned residents across Clackamas County.”

By the time tansy flowers appear, the best management of this weed is a good pair of leather gloves and a healthy dose of perspiration from pulling mature plants. Mowing and cutting do not kill the plants and only spreads the poisonous vegetation.

Tansy ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris) has long tormented hay producers and rural landowners who graze livestock. Horses and cows are especially susceptible to this poisonous weed.

“The alkaloids in tansy will build up in the liver and cause irreversible damage in grazing animals,” Dr. Cath Mertens, a local veterinarian, noted.

“They will generally avoid eating this weed unless there is nothing else available. The best thing to do is to make sure your horses and livestock always have something available to eat other than tansy.”

Contaminated hay is also a problem because it becomes impossible for feeding animals to avoid tansy., “Please pay close attention to the hay you put up or purchase,” Dr. Mertens said.

In the 1960s and 70s, two insects known as the cinnabar moth and the tansy ragwort flea beetle were released in Oregon. These biological control insects have been effective, but they follow a boom-bust cycle.

According to Joel Price, biological control entomologist for the Oregon Department of Agriculture, “Two years ago the tansy ragwort population was very high, but the following year the biological control insects had reduced the tansy ragwort population by 95 percent.”

“With little left for the insects to eat, the insect populations crash,” Price added. “In a normal year, there would be time for the biocontrol population to build up. However, the historically wet spring is causing problems for the flea beetle. This insect overwinters in the ground and the overly wet spring is keeping it from reproducing quickly enough to help control this year’s tansy explosion.”

Tansy outbreaks not only poison livestock but also affects the relationships of neighbors. In Clackamas County, there are no longer weed inspectors to regulate tansy ragwort, so residents are encouraged to work with their neighbors to control this weed.

Tansy ragwort is manageable. Residents are encouraged to focus on areas that are grazed and along fence lines to help prevent plants from spreading. Flowering plants can be pulled and composted away from grazing animals or disposed of as trash. Residents are also encouraged to plan for the coming year to prevent plants from blooming. The Clackamas SWCD has developed Tansy Ragwort Best Management Practices (https://bit.ly/3RSj8yZ) to help residents with their control efforts.

“More than ever, we need neighbors working together to protect pets and livestock from potential poisoning”, Leininger said.

If you have questions about steps you can take, please contact the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District at 503-210-6000 for more information.

For the Mountain Times by Lisa Kilders, the Education and Outreach Program Manager for the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District.

Skyway's Crawdad Festival is back posted on 08/02/2022

Tracie Anderson, co-owner of the Skyway Bar and Grill with Tom Baker, traces the roots of their annual Crawdad Festival to her mom and dad, who started the tradition more than 25 years ago.

“It was always friends and family gathering, barbequing and boiling up crawdads,” she said.

After the pair bought the Skyway in 2000, they thought it would serve as a great venue for the event, and the family agreed.

“That’s when it changed from a party to a festival,” Baker said.

Now in its 17th iteration (due to a few years off from the pandemic and from the widening of Hwy. 26), the festival is back on Saturday, Aug. 20 and Sunday, Aug. 21.

The event features approximately 550 pounds of crawdads, cooked Louisiana style, and turned into various dishes, from po’ boys to gumbo to barbeque.

In keeping with its roots, a crew of family and friends volunteer to set things up and get the party started.

“It’s really been a tradition for a lot of families,” Anderson said. “It’s something we all mark our calendars for.”

In addition to the crawdads (which necessitate an extra refrigerator at the restaurant), the festival offers spicy corn and potatoes, plus a face painter, t-shirts featuring designs by Baker, a “wheel of fun” and live music from noon until close on both days.

There is a $5 entry fee for the festival (kids 12 and under are free), with food items priced individually (crawdads can be purchased as part of a meal or by the pound).

And despite securing approximately a quarter ton of crawdads, people are encouraged to enjoy them while they last, as there aren’t usually any leftovers.

“This year is extra special, we’ve been feeling so strange the past couple years, not getting together,” Anderson said. “So this is going to be a good one.”

The music lineup for the Crawdad Festival includes: the Mojo Band (Funk Jazz) from noon - 3 p.m., Chervona (Vagabonding gypsy folk-punk) from 3:30-5:30 p.m., and  the Pagan Jug Band (zydeco) 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20; and  the Pagan Jug Band (Zydeco) from noon - 2 p.m., the Reverb Brothers (Swamp Rock) from 2:30-5 p.m. and Blue Flags & Black Grass (Old Timey) from 5:30-8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21.

The Skyway Bar and Grill is located at 71545 Hwy. 26 in Zigzag. For more information, call 503-622-3775, find the restaurant's page on Facebook or visit https://skywaybarandgrill.com/.

By Garth Guibord/MT

All Seasons celebrates two decades posted on 08/02/2022

Carol Burk moved to Rhododendron in 1997, and quickly established her already-existing company, Carol’s Complete Cleaning, in the mountain communities. After receiving encouragement from customers who owned vacation rentals in need of management, Carol started All Seasons Vacation Rental (ASVR) in Welches in 2002.

“It started strictly organically,” Burk said. “A lot of customers I had from cleaning asked if I wanted to manage their properties and it grew from there.”

Fast-forward 20 years and All Seasons is the last locally owned, boots on the ground vacation rental management company in the community.

Now Burk manages 32 properties in the Mount Hood area and has accommodated travelers from around the globe who choose to plan their stay on the mountain with her company.

ASVR currently has 13 employees, 11 of which are local residents, with the other two residing nearby in Sandy.

Burk stated her business has the highest number of employees to properties managed in the region as part of her company’s philosophy of providing prompt and attentive service to both guests and property owners.

In addition to providing local jobs, All Seasons strives to foster business relationships in the community.

“I try to do as much business with local vendors as possible,” Burk said.

All Seasons provides 24 hour a day, seven day a week customer service for visitors and property owners. The company website states that ASVR also “provides full-service property management including Marketing, Lead Management, Bookings, Property Cleaning, and light Maintenance for our owners.”

Throughout the 20 years running the business Burk has garnered most of her clients from word of mouth and referrals. As part of the company’s focus on providing the best service for guests and homeowners employees attend conferences and training seminars during the year to stay abreast with changes in the vacation rental industry.

Looking ahead Burk plans on increasing the number of houses the company manages to 50. Burk stated the company had been understaffed due to the pandemic but had recently hired two more staff members and were poised to increase the operation.

ASVR’s office is located at 23804 E Greenwood Avenue, Welches and can be contacted by phone at 503-622-1142 or online at https://www.mthoodrent.com.

By Ben Simpson/MT


'The Sound of Music' hits the stage at CRT posted on 08/02/2022

The cast of Clackamas Repertory Theatre’s (CRT) August production of “The Sound of Music” has had an extended time to consider their roles, as the show had been cast prior to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Director Jayne Stevens noted that the performers, including Merideth Kaye Clark as Maria Rainer and Leif Norby as Captain Georg von Trapp, have put in a lot of work during their wait.

“I think there’s a really nice energy in the room because of that,” Stevens said. “Everyone is excited to be back doing musical theater.”

The show, one of the classic musicals from the 20th century, offers the story of Maria, a governess for a large family who falls in love with the widowed father, Captain von Trapp, with the two attempting to flee the Nazis. Many theatergoers will be familiar with the show, featuring music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, either from its numerous stage productions or the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews.

Stevens noted that it is a challenge to mount such a well-known musical, balancing between giving the audience what they know and want and also presenting it in their own way. But she also added that the themes in the musical, including how some people have the means to leave where they live when it gets too difficult and others don’t (reflected in the current invasion of Ukraine), as pertinent to the world today.

“A lot of people didn’t have money and didn’t escape,” Stevens said, adding that the show is also centered around a woman and what her options are in the world. “There’s a lot of meat to ‘The Sound of Music,’ and I think sometimes people forget about it.”

Stevens, who has performed in two different productions of the show in her youth, noted that the music, including classics such as “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things” and “Do-Re-Me,” offers a “beautiful choral sound that you don’t always get in a musical.”

Stevens added that the show and the CRT season are dedicated to Janice Osterman, who passed away before being able to see this musical produced at the theater. Janice and her husband, Jim, have been major sponsors of CRT since the first season, in 2005.

“The Ostermans have been such huge supporters of Clackamas Repertory Theatre from the start,” Stevens said, noting that the first Friday show, normally opening night, will be a sold-out performance for Jim and his family and friends.

The CRT presents “The Sound of Music” from Aug. 4-28, at the Osterman Theater on the Oregon City campus of Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Avenue in Oregon City. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. A low-cost preview performance will be held on Thursday, Aug. 4. Children under the age of six will not be admitted.

For more information, visit clackamasrep.org or call 503-594-6047.

Audience members will be required to wear masks and provide proof of vaccination to attend performances. CRT’s COVID-19 policy is subject to change and can be viewed online, at https://www.clackamasrep.org/tickets-events/covid-19/.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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Honoring fallen firefighters, both near and far posted on 07/01/2022

The bell ceremony is a fire service funeral tradition that reflects respect and honor for a deceased firefighter. Throughout history, the tolling of a bell has been used to summon and give direction to firefighters during alarms and to signal the beginning and the end of service. The funeral bell acts as a ceremonial last call and signifies the end of duty for departed firefighters.


In her role as State Commander of the Oregon Fire Service Honor Guard (OFSHG), Hoodland Firefighter Amanda Schmitt leads the volunteer organization as they provide funeral services, including the bell service and flag presentation, and pay tribute to firefighters as they are laid to rest across the state.

On June 9 the Honor Guard held a public ceremony honoring Oregon firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2021, at the Fallen Firefighter Memorial Wall in Salem. Schmitt also led the Honor Guard in providing funeral services for retired Hoodland firefighter and volunteer Larry Morgan on June 11 at the Church on the Mountain in Welches.

The OFSHG was established in 1998 to provide traditional fire service funeral honors in rural parts of the state that lacked Honor Guard resources. At the time there were no Honor Guard resources for the rural fire service agencies in Oregon when one of their current or retired members died.

“That’s who we serve really, the small rural districts,” Schmitt said. “The state fire service realized there was a need for the honor and traditions of the fire service at funerals throughout the state.”

The mission of the Honor Guard is to honor the fire service traditions and remember those who have fallen, while providing support for their grieving families. The Honor Guard has specific ceremonial protocols for line-of-duty deaths, active-duty deaths and retired-member deaths.

The organization coordinates with the family and will only provide the portion of the ceremonial service the family desires.

At the June 9 public ceremony four new names of fire service professionals that died in the line of duty in 2021 were added to the memorial wall. All families were in attendance and were able to witness the honors given to the fallen firefighters.

The Oregon Fallen Firefighters Memorial is located at the Oregon Public Safety Academy, in Salem. The memorial was dedicated in 2006 and lists the names of 174 firefighters who have lost their life in the line of duty in the state since 1881.

Closer to home Schmitt performed funeral services for retired Hoodland firefighter Larry Morgan on June 11.

Morgan proudly served his community as a volunteer firefighter/EMS from 1993 until 2017 and in retirement on Hoodland’s Volunteer Support Group.

“(Morgan) was instrumental in cooking and feeding the firefighters whenever there were major calls and also at fire department functions when all the families could gather together,” Schmitt said.

“His family was also a big part of the fire department and his son Phil also volunteered for a time. Family is priority and the fire department is usually just an extension of a larger family unit,” she added.

At Morgan’s service the honor performed the bell ceremony, presented a folded flag to his wife as well as a ceremonial challenge coin and his helmet to the family.

Schmitt has served in a volunteer role as OFSHG State Commander for nine years and has volunteered as a member on the OFSHG team since 2001.

Schmitt has also served the mountain communities as a volunteer Firefighter with the Hoodland Fire District (HFD) since 2000.

More information about the OFSHG is available online at http://www.ofshg.org. More info about HFD can be found at https://www.hoodlandfire.us/.

By Ben Simpson/MT

County moves ahead on repeal of STR rules posted on 07/01/2022

Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) edged closer towards repealing county regulations for Short Term Rentals (STRs) in unincorporated Clackamas County at a June 23 public reading, with a four-to-one vote to proceed to a final public hearing of the repeal proposal.

The reading provided a fresh airing of long-simmering public grievances, as Mount Hood residents in attendance detailed the negative impacts of STRs on their communities. 15 community members spoke at the hearing and urged the commissioners to act on the matter while highlighting impacts the rentals have on their neighborhoods.

“The can has got to be stopped being kicked down the road. We need to move forward with this,” Welches resident Rob Bruce stated. “Please understand, we’re not against STRs, but we are for community, and we’re losing community quickly.”

BCC Chair Tootie Smith stated that she and other commissioners are opposed to the proposed $800 registration fee (covering two years) that would be required to fund the program.

“I believe it’s quite onerous,” Smith said.

Residents countered the fee was comparable to other county fees, such as the cost of a mailbox repair, and necessary to implement regulations for issues including occupancy, building safety and parking that business entities such as hotels and inns are held accountable for under business zoning code.

Community members testified STRs are largely operated in residential neighborhoods, often by out-of-town owners and increasingly corporate and business entities. They detailed STRs impact on issues such as road easements and access for emergency vehicles.

With no established method for funding and enforcing the program county counsel urged that the code regarding the registration program and regulations be removed from the county code.

The commissioners had a scattershot response to the procedural meeting and were united primarily by opposition to implementing a registration fee. Commissioner Paul Savas suggested substituting last minute revisions to the regulations into the repeal process to maintain momentum on the issue. County Counsel urged that any revisions or amendments be addressed on a separate track while continuing to recommend that the current code be repealed due to lack of funding.

“It’s cleaner to repeal the ordinance. This ordinance goes into effect in seven days and staff will not implement it because we have no funding,” County Administrator Gary Schmidt stated.

Commissioner Mark Shull called for a rewrite of the regulations to include maximum occupancy limits and address if the property owner must reside on site, but both issues are addressed in the current iteration of the regulations. Commissioners Martha Schrader and Smith voiced opposition to the fee but expressed the need to create a modified regulatory framework for the STRs. Commissioner Sonya Fischer stated a need to change the funding source for the code enforcement but was the lone vote in opposition to repealing the existing county code governing STRs.

“This commission listened to communities across Clackamas County and threaded the needle on these regulations,” Fischer said. “These regulations are good. This (current) board as a whole has not even been briefed on all the work the previous commission did on the issue.”

The second and final public reading is scheduled for the Sept. 8 BCC meeting. The commissioners determined to hold policy sessions in the interim and attempt to draft an alternate registration and regulation program for STRs by that date in hopes of presenting an alternative to the existing code with a different means of funding at the time of repeal.

STRs will continue to be allowed in unincorporated Clackamas County as stated in the Zoning and Development Ordinance but with no regulatory framework to address community impact.

“I’ve been following the process for three years. It’s amazing to me that given the length of the process we’ve come back to being nowhere,” said Barbara Smith, full time Rhododendron resident.

More information about the program is available online at https://www.clackamas.us/planning/str.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Future of county land uncertain after Park District fails posted on 07/01/2022

When the final numbers were counted by Clackamas County Elections, Measure 3-581, which would have formed a Park District and received three parcels of land on Salmon River Road from the county to develop, failed.

Vote totals were 662 in favor of the district and 1,425 against it.

The effort to form the district, which started before the coronavirus pandemic, included a petition submitted last November that required more than 788 verified signatures, with organizers surpassing that number.

County numbers revealed that 48.79 percent of voters in the precinct where the district was proposed cast a ballot.

In a written statement submitted to The Mountain Times by the district’s three chief petitioners, Marci Slater, Regina Lythgoe and Bonnie Hayman, they expressed their disappointment while pledging to remain a part of the process in hoping that the land would be used for the community’s benefit:

“It would appear that the Ballot Measure 3-581 proposing to establish Hoodland Park District has not met the required votes to go forward with almost half of the electorate in the proposed boundary voting. While we are sad that the district did not win the voter's favor, we are not sad for ourselves,” they wrote.

The statement continued: “The Hoodland Park District Committee, spurred on by Hoodland Women's Club, accomplished its goal and did so with dignity, professionalism and grace. We set out to find a way to secure and preserve the Dorman Center site property for the Hoodland Communities to be enjoyed by local folks for generations to come. The motivation was purely out of love for the place in which we live. The way to do that was to establish a Special (Park) District in order to secure the land deed from Clackamas County. We followed the state statutes governing the formation of such districts in Oregon, collected the requisite petitions and testified at the requisite hearings. We inspired the community to get engaged in the conversation about the validity of the district. Most people woke up and got excited about this idea, some in a positive way and some in opposition but we were all intrigued! Finally, we put the measure before the voters on the proverbial ‘silver platter,’ complete with a very competent and talented group of candidates for the board. Then our job was done.”

“Indeed, the sadness we feel is for our community,” they continued. “It is a sadness that accompanies an unrealized plan. The community may never have this opportunity again to build something for itself with its own money and its own plan. An amazing, unique and historic opportunity to build something for the future generations of this community, a farsighted plan, has been passed up by the voters. Going forward, we will continue to support our community and any plan that includes the preservation of (the) Dorman Center site for the better good of all our neighbors will be supported by us in any way we can. Many thanks to everyone who helped and or supported this measure. The volunteers put in many selfless hours of work, ideas and love of this community.”

Kimberly Dinwiddie-Webb, Public Information Officer for Clackamas County, noted that the county will hold discussions regarding the future of the land involved with the proposed district over the next year, but no specific timeline has been set.

“We know that the community is curious about these parcels and we will share more information when it becomes available,” she wrote in an email to The Mountain Times.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Sandy's summer returns with festival fun posted on 07/01/2022

Khyrs Jones, Executive Director of the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce, noted that the return of the chamber’s biggest annual fundraiser, the Music Fair and Feast, has got people in the community talking, especially after two years without the event. Not just about the live music or the kids' activities or the food, but about getting out and seeing some familiar faces after two years off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“All I’ve heard is positive; everybody seems to be excited and ready for something,” Jones said. “People use it to connect with people.”

The event runs from Thursday, July 7 through Saturday, July 9, in Sandy’s Centennial Plaza, and draws approximately 40,000 people, with proceeds going to the Chamber to support Sandy area businesses.

It kicks off on Thursday with Family Night from 5-11:30 p.m. and free admission for all ages. The Rational Delusions will play from 7:30-11 p.m. following the Sandy Mountain Festival Parade.

Friday’s music will feature Chris Carpenter & The Collective from 5:30-8:30 p.m. (admission fee is $7) and the Wil Kinky Trio from 9 p.m. until midnight.

Saturday will be Family Day from noon to 5 p.m. (free admission, with an admission fee of $7 after 5 p.m.), with musical acts BBbluzemanband from 3-5 p.m., Jimmy Russell’s Party City 2034 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and Jennifer Batten and Full Steam from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Jones noted that Carpenter will be a familiar face, as this will be the third time he’s played at the event, while Batten is a local guitarist who played with Michael Jackson as part of her career.

“We didn’t think we’d be able to get her, especially on a weekend night,” Jones said.

Jones added that the past two years have been tight for the Chamber and that they decided not to bring back the chili cookoff and kids’ bakeoff this year.

Instead, Ace Hardware and US World Class Taekwondo will offer family activities from noon to 3 p.m. while Ria’s Bar will sponsor Bingo at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The event will also feature local food vendors, including barbeque and gyros, signature cocktails and a beer and wine garden.

“We’re excited to support local food businesses,” Jones said.

Tickets ($7 general admission and $20 for a VIP package, including a commemorative cup and three drink tickets) are required for Friday and Saturday after 5 p.m. For more information on the event and the chamber, or to purchase tickets, visit https://sandyoregonchamber.org.

A coupon for $2 off of Friday admission is available at the Sandy Les Schwab Tires, 37895 Hwy. 26 in Sandy. Tickets are also available at Geren’s Farm and Landscape Supply, Forrest Insurance Agency and Ace Heritage Hardware.


More July fun in Sandy

The Sandy Mountain Festival also returns to action this July after a two-year hiatus, kicking off with the parade, starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 7, running east on Pioneer Blvd. between Bluff Road and Wolf Drive.

Carnival rides, located behind the Dairy Queen, 17400 Beers Ave. in Sandy, will run from 6 p.m. to close on Thursday, July 7 and noon to close from Friday, July 8 to Sunday, July 10.

The festival's arts, vendors and live music will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 9 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 10 at Meinig Park in Sandy, offering shopping, food and more.

For more information and to buy tickets for the carnival, visit https://www.sandymountainfestival.org/.

And the City of Sandy 4th of July fireworks show will take place at dusk on Monday, July 4 at Sandy High School, 37400 Bell Street in Sandy.

Parking is available at the school. For more info, visit www.ci.sandy.or.us.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Summer starts with a farce at Clack Rep posted on 07/01/2022

David Smith-English, director of Clackamas Repertory Theater’s (CRT) production of “Desperate Measures,” noted that when the show opens this month it will have been more than two years since the theater’s last indoor performance.

“I’m excited,” he said. “It just seems like forever for me.”

The musical comedy offers the story of Johnny Blood, whose life is on the line after he shot a man while trying to save his love. The show is set in Arizona in 1892 with a cast of characters including a mysterious sheriff, an eccentric priest, a corrupt governor, a saloon girl gone good and a nun out of the habit.

“It’s a wonderful show,” Smith-English said. “It has a kind of western tinge to it. The music is so memorable. People are going to go out humming these songs.”

The show is based on William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure,” and Smith-English noted that the plot line closely follows the Bard’s play. The musical also stays true to Shakespeare by using iambic pentameter, a structure of unstressed and stressed syllables, which Smith-English sees as a benefit to the performers.

“It really eases the understanding of the lines,” he said. “Everything has a rhyme to it and it also makes it easier to memorize.”

Smith-English added that while audience members will really enjoy the music and the laughs, they will also get insight into relationships and love.

“You go away reexamining your own relationships,” he said. “It’s very funny. As Shakespeare’s show was, it’s a little naughty, in a very fun way.”

CRT’s production of “Desperate Measures,” book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg, music and vocal arrangements by David Friedman and orchestrations by David Hancock Turner, will run Thursdays to Sundays through July 24, at the Niemeyer Center on the Oregon City campus of Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Avenue in Oregon City.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices are $40 for adults and $30 for youth (ages six to 25).

For more information, visit www.clackamasrep.org or call 503-594-6047.

This production includes recorded simulated gunshots. Masks and proof of vaccination will be required for audience members, while the theater will also accept proof of a negative COVID-19 test from a healthcare provider taken within 48 hours before you attend a performance.

CRT’s summer season will continue with productions of “The Sound of Music,” from Aug. 4-28, and “The Book Club Play,” from Sept. 8 to Oct. 2.

By Garth Guibord/MT


District's summer program helps students make up for lost time posted on 07/01/2022

Students from throughout the Oregon Trail School District (OTSD) will have a chance to further their learning, including earning credits for high school students, through the district’s free summer academy program.

Kendra Payne, Principal of Welches Schools, noted that there will be traditional core subjects, such as math, in addition to high interest classes on other subjects, including courses for high school students such as the literature of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, Archetypes in Film, Light Vehicle Maintenance, Shakespeare in Film, Mixed Media Painting, Unlocking Mystery, Soccer Skills and Conditioning and Grid Weave Drawing.

“It’s just really fun, different classes; things to keep kids engaged and learning,” Payne said, noting that there are a lot of students from the Welches Schools who will participate in the academy.

The academy consists of two different three-week sessions, while including bus service and food for the students all at no charge.

OTSD Communications Director Julia Monteith noted that the program is funded by two grants from the Oregon Department of Education (Summer K-8 Enrichment Grant and Summer High School Academic Support Grant), which covers 80 percent of the costs, and the Federal Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund providing the remaining 20 percent.

The academy is open to currently enrolled students of the OTSD (incoming kindergarten students are not eligible), and classes will be held at Sandy Grade School (38955 Pleasant Street in Sandy), Cedar Ridge Middle School (17100 Bluff Road in Sandy) and Sandy High School (37400 Bell Street in Sandy).

Payne noted that it is the second year for the program and that some art offerings will be part of the Right Brain Initiative, an arts integration to help students link learning from one area to others.

“It’s great instruction; (students) just have some fun learning along with the traditional core subjects,” she said.

Monteith reported that the first session is full, but there are still some openings for middle and high school students in the second session, beginning Monday, Aug. 1. There is also a wait list for elementary students, in case some spots open up.

The summer academy is not available as a remote option. For more information, visit https://www.oregontrailschools.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

County commissioners aim to repeal short term rental program posted on 06/01/2022

The Clackamas Board of County Commissioners (BCC) began the process of repealing county code that would establish a short-term rental (STR) registration program and business regulations for short-term rentals in unincorporated Clackamas County at a May 10 meeting.

The repeal of the county code will not impact the zoning and development ordinance (ZDO) that allow STRs in the county.

The county code regarding the registration program and business regulations has not been enforced since the program was established in July of 2021 due to the BCC delaying implementing a registration fee for the program necessary to fund the two full-time county employees needed to run the program.

“It became clear that this current board was not interested in implementing the fee,” Assistant County Counsel Nate Boderman said.

The BCC voted to delay implementing action on establishing the fees needed to run the program until May 2022. At a May 4 policy session, the board voted to once again delay action until 2023.

Then, at a May 10 policy issue meeting the board approved County Counsel Stephen Madkour’s recommendation to proceed with the process to repeal the portion of county code, Section 8.10, that establishes the registration and business regulations for STRs.

Counsel recommended a repeal because the program has not been funded and as a result the regulatory components are not being enforced.

“I wasn’t crazy about having regulations on the books that weren’t going to be enforced,” Boderman said.

In addition to striking down the registration fee, STR owners will not be required to register with the county or provide information regarding contact in case of complaints, proof of insurance, or an affidavit of compliance with safety standards. STRs will also not be subject to requirements for maximum occupancy, off-street parking, garbage pick-up and noise and safety requirements not covered under existing county ordinance.

The work completed since spring of 2019 by county staff establishing a registration program and regulations will remain eligible to be adopted at a future date by the BCC.

Repeal of the registration and business regulations will not affect zoning ordinance or whether STR owners will be subject to the required county transient lodging tax and the state transient lodging tax.

The ZDO that clarifies that STRs are allowed in unincorporated portions of the county is currently on hold pending an appeal with the state. The challenge to the ordinance does not impact the mountain communities “based on the nature of the challenge stating there is no separate use in a resource zone,” Boderman said.

Repeal of county ordinances requires two public hearings to be held at least 13 days apart, at which time citizens are invited to provide testimony on the proposed repeal. A date for the first public hearing has not been set. Boderman anticipates the first public hearing will be scheduled for mid to late June.

“(The hearings) are an opportunity for anyone interested in the topic to address it directly with the board,” Boderman said.

More information is available online including: the staff report and video of the May 4 Policy Session: https://www.clackamas.us/meetings/bcc/presentation/2022-05-04-0, staff documents and video for the May 10 Issues Session: https://www.clackamas.us/meetings/bcc/issues/2022-05-10, and background information about the project: https://www.clackamas.us/planning/str.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Jon and Dee Tullis.
A Mountain of memories posted on 06/01/2022

It takes very little time at Timberline Lodge to begin to appreciate its majestic grandeur and its testament to those craftsmen who created the iconic building. But if one could spend nearly four decades there, as Jon Tullis did in his career, some of the smaller details can also stand out.


Tullis, who retired this year, noted one of the designs on the rock face of the main lobby’s chimney as just such a detail.

“One in particular resembles a circle of clasped hands,” he wrote in an email to The Mountain Times. “I believe it is called ‘Working Hands.’ I hope that’s true because that’s what it symbolizes for me – all the folks who have worked here, and the teamwork that it took to build the Lodge. That’s a perfect symbol for the spirit of Timberline.”

Tullis began his career at Timberline in 1984, after moving from New York state and introducing himself to the lodge’s operator, Richard Kohnstamm, following a day of skiing. Looking back, he described it as a “perfect fit” and how he played a part in the Lodge’s ongoing and continuing place in history.

“Well, among other things, I think it means that I have spent my career at a special place, doing something that I really enjoyed, and I like to think it was something worthwhile and that mattered,” Tullis wrote. “It puts me in the fine company of all the others who came through Timberline, from the dreamers, to the builders, the artists, the architects, the athletes, the visitors and certainly those that have worked to preserve Timberline Lodge and keep it thriving. It is quintessential Oregon. I am proud to be a part of its heritage, and proud to have contributed to its preservation. I hope the Lodge will be cherished for many generations to come.”

Tullis added that the Lodge, dedicated in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression, continues to be operated as it was originally intended, as a ski lodge and gathering spot. That type of use for a historical building can offer challenges, as Tullis wrote about in the Winter 2022 edition of “Timberlines,” a publication from the Friends of Timberline organization.

“Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt’s WPA Administrator called it ‘social usefulness’ and I think we are still carrying that out to this day,” Tullis explained. “So you see as operators of the business, we are the keepers of that culture. We would never want it to be a museum, like so many other landmarks are, you know, where people simply get the velvet rope treatment. We are in the hospitality business. We want people to enjoy it the way it was intended to be enjoyed. We are  preserving not just the  Lodge, but its original mission. That’s what the phrase ‘preservation through use’ is all about. Yes, it can be challenging in a place that gets so much wear and tear, but once you fully realize the mission of ‘preservation through use,’ how you operate it, care for it, and preserve the place becomes very logical, and very achievable. It feels right.”     

Tullis, who has relocated to the Oregon Coast with his wife, Dee, particularly hopes that two of his contributions to the Lodge, the singer/songwriter series held in the main lobby and the Mountain Music Festival held outdoors at the historic amphitheater, will return after the coronavirus pandemic and continue on.

“I hope that can be resurrected,” he wrote. “There is something about live music that really blows magic into this place. And lots of fond memories are made. I sure have a lot.”

Tullis also noted that when he first started working at Timberline Lodge, it felt more like a bed and breakfast establishment, while they frequently held special events, such as art fairs, ski races or snowboarding competitions, to attract visitors.

“Nowadays, we simply don’t need to do those any longer because we are packed, particularly on peak winter weekends,” he wrote. “So that’s just one thing that has changed. With increased visitation comes increased pressures and the challenges of traffic congestion and everything else that comes with capacity crowds. That’s one thing I think our land managers and everyone who works in the tourist industry really need to get right in the coming years. We need more recreational infrastructure, more parking and more alternative transportation solutions. I’m a big fan of smart planning, and we have some catching up to do.

“But having said all that, I can also tell you what has NOT changed, and that’s Timberline Lodge as a place,” he added. “In this fast-paced world where it seems that everything is accelerating and changing before our eyes, the old-world charm and the sense of permanence that Timberline Lodge provides is precious. It looks and feels a lot like it did some 80 years ago. That really resonates with people. Long live Timberline Lodge, jewel of the Cascades!”

Tullis plans on spending time hiking, fishing, volunteering in his community and enjoying sunsets in his retirement.

But he’ll also explore his musical passion by hosting a two-hour radio show on KMUN, 91.9 on FM radio and also streaming online (www.kmun.org).

Tullis’ story from the “Timberlines” publication can be read at https://www.friendsoftimberline.org/uploads/1/2/9/8/129876921/webfot47new.pdf.

By Garth Guibord/MT

County election results delayed after ballot bungle posted on 06/01/2022

Clackamas County made election headlines last month from Arkansas to New York and beyond, thanks to ballots printed with blurred barcodes that rendered them unreadable to the county’s automated equipment. The error resulted in thousands of ballots requiring duplication by election workers of different political affiliations.

Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall acknowledged the blurred barcodes in a press release dated May 4, and as of Saturday, May 28, a total of 98,187 ballots had been counted out of 116,045 received and 16,559 ballots needing to be duplicated remained.

The county has until Monday, June 13 to certify the results.

While some results from the May primary have been decided even before the outstanding votes in Clackamas County are tallied, voters on the Mountain will have to wait before learning the fate of the proposed Hoodland Park District (Measure 3-581). If formed, the district would receive three parcels of land on Salmon River Road from Clackamas County and would develop the Dorman Center site as a community park, with possible amenities including a pavilion, playground, walking trails, extended community garden, bike pump track, skate park, dog park, space for farmers market, restrooms and onsite security.

The district would be funded by a local property tax, proposed to be a maximum of 67 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (resulting in approximately $200 per year on a house with an assessed value of $300,000) and would be overseen by a board of five volunteer directors, also elected on the May ballot.

As of Saturday, May 28, voters had cast 1,205 votes in opposition to the proposed district against 534 in support.

Marci Slater, the chief petitioner for the proposed district, noted that it was still too early to call it one way or the other.

“I’m not fretting over it or worried,” she said, adding that it was still possible for the “yes” votes to be in the majority. “We left it up to the voters.”

Should the district fail in the final tally, the county would look to sell the parcels of land. Clackamas County Public Information Officer Kimberly Dinwiddie-Webb noted that there is currently no timeline on next steps with the property as the county is focused on finishing the election results on or before June 13.

Out of seven candidates running for the district’s board of directors, the five with the most votes as of that date were Robb Courtney, Regina Lythgoe, Becky Fortune, Brittany Kintigh and Dannelle Wolfe.

Elsewhere on the ballot, Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam came in third in the state for the Republican nomination for Oregon Governor, with the early returns in Clackamas County placing him second to winner Christine Drazan. Drazan will face off against Democrat Tina Kotek in the November election.

On the local level, Raz Mason will be the Democratic nominee for State Senator, 26th District, facing Republican Daniel Bonham, while Republican Jeff Helfrich will face Democrat Darcy Long in the race for State Representative, 52nd District. Anna Williams, who currently serves as the 52nd District Representative, chose not to run for reelection.

County races that could be impacted by the continuing vote count include Clackamas County Commissioner Position 2, where incumbent Paul Savas held a lead over Libra Forde, 38.13 percent to 33.23 percent, and Clackamas County Commissioner Position 5, where incumbent Sonya Fischer held a lead over Ben West, 44.71 percent to 39.02 percent, as of Saturday, May 28.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Fire District reminds community to prepare for wildfire season posted on 06/01/2022

Hoodland Fire District (HFD) announced personnel changes in May and continued its public outreach to prepare citizens for potential wildland fires as the district gears up for summer on the Mountain.

Lieutenant Andrew Figini will leave the district to accept a position as a lateral firefighter for the city of Portland. He accepted the position on April 30. Figini has been with the district for more than seven years.

“We’re excited for Andy’s opportunity and for new people to step in and fill these roles,” Fire Chief James Price said.

Figini’s role with the district will be filled by volunteer firefighter Amanda Schmidt on a temporary basis while the district completes the civil servant hiring process.

Long-time HFD firefighter James Lucas was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in May. Lucas has been with the district since July 1, 1996. He most recently served as a senior firefighter.

HFD hosted a Wildfire Community Preparedness event on Tuesday, May 24 at the Hoodland Fire Main Station. The fire district partnered with Clackamas County Disaster Management to present information to the community on how to protect a home from a wildland fire, evacuation preparedness and how to evacuate large animals and pets.

“The Hoodland Fire District would like our citizens to start thinking about wildland fire season before it is upon us,” Division Chief/Fire Marshal Scott Kline wrote in an email. “Research around home destruction vs. home survival in wildfires show embers and small flames as the primary way many homes ignite in wildfires.”

Kline described how homeowners can prepare their homes and minimize the likelihood of embers or small flames from touching the structure by maintaining a three zone Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) defensive perimeter.

The immediate zone encompasses the structure and the five feet surrounding the home. It is considered the most important area to maintain for fire prevention. The intermediate defensive zone includes area up to 30 feet from the structure and the extended zone encompassing up to 100 feet.

“Within our communities we may not be able to get out to that 100-foot mark, but as a homeowner, please take the time to work on the immediate zone (0-5 feet) to lessen the chance of your home igniting in a wildfire,” Kline noted.

Community members received information on how to prepare for a wildfire and how to prepare to evacuate. Tips included creating and preparing a wildfire action plan – a checklist that includes evacuation routes and emergency meeting locations. Residents should stay alert in the case of a fire and know how to receive the latest news and information from local media and Clackamas Fire. Clackamas Fire reminded community members to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice due to the rapid and unpredictable movements of wildfires.

The community preparedness event also featured information from Clackamas County Dog Services and Sound Equine Options on evacuating large animals and pets in the case of an evacuation in the community.

More information on wildfire preparation can be found online at https://www.hoodlandfire.us/wildfire-information.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Los Andes Shop moves to Museum's plaza for summer posted on 06/01/2022

Deborah Berhó and her husband started selling sweaters that her husband’s mom knit from her home in Chile in 1988. But they went to college, found careers and the sweater business took a backseat.

In 2018, the pair returned to selling sweaters and more at fairs and other events with their business, Los Andes Shop, while also setting up shop in Government Camp during the summer. This year, they will be back at the Mt. Hood Cultural Center & Museum’s plaza between Saturday, June 18 and Monday, Sept. 5, offering a variety of handmade textiles, including sweaters, jackets, blankets, couch throws, hammocks, hoodies and more, featuring various themes, such as southwestern, sasquatch and Mount Hood.

“We are excited to be in that location this coming summer,” said Berhó, who has a PhD in Latin American history.

The textiles they offer include many from the town of Otavalo in Ecuador, and Berhó notes that the area has been known for its production of fabric for centuries, ever since Spain's occupation of the country. The hoodies they offer feature a blend of alpaca and acrylic, making them very soft, yet washable, while they have also added items featuring Bigfoot, including trucker hats and blankets, thanks to how popular the big beast is.

Berhó noted that their relationships with the people who make the textiles is a high priority, including supporting many women who get to work at home while taking care of their children and earning a living.

“It is special,” Berhó said, adding that she and her husband usually travel down to Ecuador in the spring. “We try to honor them and know them as people, and that’s really fun, too.”

Their relationship with the Mountain is also important, and Berhó noted that they have appreciated the open arms the community has offered them.

“We have made a lot of good relationships with people on Mountain,” she said. “We have people that come back that get a new (blanket) each year.”

Los Andes Shop will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. For more information, find them on Facebook or visit https://losandesshop.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT


PGE continues to replace tree connections posted on 06/01/2022

Portland General Electric (PGE) completed approximately 100 replacements of electrical service drops that were attached to trees on Mountain Properties during 2021 and has continued the efforts this year, according to Andrea Platt, PGE Media Relations. Platt noted that this will be a “multi year project” to bring the drops up to current standards.

Property owners who have a PGE stake on their property with a work order starting with the letter “M” are encouraged to contact the company to work through design options for their site.

“Each of these tree attachments are dealt with on a case-by-case basis,” Platt said. “You can imagine it’s time consuming.”

She added that there are currently hundreds of ongoing conversations with various landowners, while approximately 200 attachments are also on U.S. Forest Service land.

Platt noted that people generally understand the safety component of the project.

“That seems to be resonating,” she said. “That’s a good thing.”

Platt added that almost all poles that hold distribution lines are “direct buried” into the ground, a standard industry practice where the pole is inserted directly into the ground to the required depth and then backfilled with tamped gravel.

No precise timeline for the project completion was available, and Platt added that the efforts have been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic and supply chain issues.

For more information, or if you have a stake on your property and want to contact PGE, please visit https://portlandgeneral.com/tree-attachment.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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Govy to Timberline gondola part of larger vision of the future posted on 05/01/2022

Mountain residents who have been around long enough may remember the Skiway Tram that ran from Government Camp to Timberline Lodge back in the 1950s. And in a few years, it's possible a similar ride will be available, with Timberline eyeing a gondola to connect the lodge and Summit Pass, as outlined in the Master Development Plan (MDP) released in late March.


“It’s going to be great for a wide variety of customers,” said John Burton, Timberline’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations, noting that skiers, sightseers, hikers and more would be able to use the gondola throughout the year, all while removing traffic and congestion from Timberline Road and Hwy. 26.

The MDP, a 134-page document that can be found on Timberline’s website, www.timberlinelodge.com, offers a 10-year plan and includes bevy of conceptual ideas for the direction of future development and improvements, including upgrades to the Summit Pass area. The document is required as part of the special use permit Timberline and Summit work under, and Burton noted that after Timberline Lodge operator R.L.K. and Company took over operations of Summit in 2018, the new MDP process began.

Burton noted that the process to develop the new plan included stakeholder and community feedback (including various partners such as Clackamas County and the Government Camp Community Planning Organization), while taking a broader view of the new combined recreation area and an eye toward sustainable development.

“The last thing Timberline wants is to build something that delivers more capacity than we can handle,” Burton said, adding that the Timberline special use permit is the longest held permit in the country. “We need to keep building and maintaining our facilities.”

A press release on the MDP noted that it was reviewed and accepted by the U.S. Forest Service.

“While it does not approve any of the concepts held within, it recognizes that they are consistent with the Forest Plan,” Jeff Kohnstamm, R.L.K. and Company President and Area Operator, said in the release.

The approval doesn’t mean that visitors will get to enjoy a gondola ride from Government Camp to Timberline this year (or even in the near future).

Burton noted that other projects in the MDP will likely be tackled first, including a new facilities shop that could include space for employee locker rooms and ski patrol, along with increased snow making for Timberline.

“Those would be the first proposals from the Master Development Plan, if I had to guess today,” he said. “Things will happen at Timberline before things happen at Summit. There will be lots of things going on in addition to moving forward with this gondola project.”

Burton added that when Kohnstamm is ready to move ahead, they will go back to the plan and then make a formal proposal for the gondola project, which could transport up to 2,000 people per hour.

The formal proposal would then kick off the National Environmental Policy Act work, which could take up to three years to complete.

Burton estimated that the timeline for the gondola to be up and running might be the 2028-29 season, adding it took seven years for Timberline to get its bike park done. He also noted that Timberline will have to coordinate with area partners on the timing due to other projects, including a possible move of the rest area at the east end of Government Camp.

“We’ll talk to everyone and we’ll get through it,” Burton said.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Hoodland Farmers Market returns for fifth year with big changes posted on 05/01/2022

When Kate Brauner found out that the Market Manager for the Hoodland Farmers Market was ready to pass the reigns of the job to someone else, she decided to take the plunge.

“It was just a really cool opportunity to increase community in my hometown and (increase) food access,” said Brauner, who grew up in Welches and knew the previous manager, Lauren Carusona.

And that’s not the only thing new for the market, which has offered fresh produce and more to Mountain residents every summer since 2018. The market will have a new time and day of the week, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays from May 28 to Oct. 1, and a new location at the Church on the Mountain (68301 Hwy. 26 in Welches).

“This makes it more accessible to families with young children,” Brauner said. “I want it to be a community hub.”

The market will bring back a number of familiar vendors (along with a few new ones), with Roots Farm, Hoodhills Farm, Frances Waddell Art, La Fountain Herbal, Hood Soaps, Heart Song Ceramics, White River Healings and Root and Wallow Farm already signed up, with the possibility that more will take part.

Brauner also plans on expanding the market’s offerings and keeping shoppers around longer by adding musical performances, children’s activities and hot food on site, including sausages by Root and Wallow Farm.

In addition, the market will accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

“So everyone can enjoy the market and it’s not a novelty,” explained Brauner, who is also currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Agriculture. “It’s something that can benefit all parts of the community.”

This is Brauner's first venture into running a farmer’s market, but she has had experience as an organizer and in community outreach. She noted that the amount of work involved was “trickier” than she expected, but she has other ideas for the market, including creating new local jobs and offering youth internships.

“That’s kind of my goal, moving into that direction; not only supporting farmers and healthy food access, but labor as well,” Brauner said. “I’m really happy with the way it’s shaping up.”

The market can be supported through its page on www.gofundme.com. For more information, find the market on Facebook and Instagram, and anyone interested in volunteering can email hoodlandfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Hoodland Fire's Scott Kline graduates from elite officer program posted on 05/01/2022

Hoodland Fire District (HFD) Division Chief/Fire Marshall Scott Kline graduated from the National Fire Academy’s (NFA) Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program on Thursday, March 24. Kline joins an elite group of less than one percent of all senior fire officials nationwide who have graduated from this executive program.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) website states “the EFO program is the pinnacle of the USFA’s commitment to support the needs of fire and emergency medical services agencies in preparing executive officers.”

The intensive program consists of a two-week class every year for four years onsite at the NFA’s campus in Emmitsburg, Md. Each class is equivalent to an upper-division baccalaureate or graduate-level course and can be used for obtaining a graduate level degree.

“The EFO Program allowed me the opportunity to identify situations and conduct research that could then be applied to improve both our fire district and community,” Kline said.

During the four-year program, Division Chief Kline took courses in Executive Development, Executive Analysis of Community Risk Reduction, Executive Analysis of Fire Service Operations in Emergency Management and Executive Leadership, a course which focuses primarily on issues and areas of personal effectiveness. Kline would then produce a written Applied Research Project (ARP) within six months of completing each course. The ARP was required to relate to factors that could influence the Hoodland Fire District.

“I always look for educational opportunities. I look how it will benefit me with what I am doing for the fire district,” Kline said.

The EFO program uses two different selection criteria to admit students: service and academic. Service requirements include holding the rank of a chief officer, or key individuals that hold a position of authority or leadership. Academically, students are required to have a bachelor’s degree or a combination of college credits and life experiences.

Kline has been with the HFD for 37 years. He began as a volunteer firefighter in November, 1984 and was hired as a career firefighter with the district in November, 2004.

Kline’s education includes an Associates of Applied Science (AAS) in Fire Protection Technology (Portland Community College), Bachelor of Science (BS) in Geography and Regional Planning (Eastern Oregon University) and a Certificate of Paramedic Education (Oregon Health Sciences University/Oregon Institute of Technology).

Kline has resided in Welches since 1996. Prior to that he was a resident of Government Camp.

Kline offered his thanks for the district’s support and for allowing him time away from work each year to attend classes and complete the EFO program. He also thanked his wife Lisa and their family for the encouragement and support through the process.

“I would have not completed this program without the support of everyone in my family and firefighting family,” Kline said.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Enjoy some Mariachi on Mother's Day posted on 05/01/2022

Maria Burke, President of Mt. Hood Unida, noted that while Mother’s Day is important in the United States, it has a special place in Mexico, rivaling Christmas and Easter in the holiday hierarchy.

“It’s a big holiday,” she said. “We celebrate it with mariachi, dinners (and) meals with family.”

This month, Mt. Hood Unida, a local nonprofit formed to unite community and empower Lantinos, will offer a Día de las Madres from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, May 7. The event will feature a tamale dinner, mariachi, a makers market and more, with proceeds supporting Mt. Hood Unida programs.

“We wanted to do Mother’s Day just because we know how big it is in our culture,” Burke said.

Cristina Saldivar, Vice President of Mt. Hood Unida and Burke’s sister, noted that moms from all families made sacrifices for their children. Their mother, Maria Saldivar (who will be catering the event), left her family in Mexico to start a new life in Welches, without knowing a person here or even the language.

“Our mother did that for us; we appreciate it very much,” Burke said. “We have so many different opportunities and we’ve had a wonderful life here on the Mountain.”

The event will feature a mariachi band made up of students from Woodburn High School.

“Nothing makes me more proud and feel joy for my culture than that intense, beautiful sound,” Cristina said. “Mariachi brings people back to a time they want to remember; events, special days that are a snapshot of culture, joy and resilience.”

The event’s market will include vendors with arts and goods, including churros from Tanny’s Bakery in Gresham.

Dia de las Madres will be held at the Mt. Hood Lions clubhouse, 24730 E. Woodsey Way in Welches. Tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for children and can be purchased at the door or at Coffee House 26, 67211 Hwy. 26 in Welches.

Mt. Hood Unida formed last July and kicked off their events calendar with a Día de la Independencia last September and Día de los Muertos in October. It offers the Saul Gallegos Ruiz Memorial Scholarship, helping Latinx students in the Oregon Trail School District participate in school sports.

Burke also noted that Mt. Hood Unida just received grant funding for an afterschool program starting this fall, Una Voz, where middle school students can practice Spanish, learn about the culture and more. She added that in the future, they hope to have a space of their own to help connect people with resources and more, while Cristina added that future offerings could include an open mic night, a migrant women’s writing group and more.

“We know that there are some really incredible stories out there on the Mountain,” she said. “With the organization, there hasn’t been a moment we haven’t stopped dreaming.”

The group is also looking for possible board members, volunteers and committee members. For more information, visit www.mthoodunida.org.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Grand opening for historic sawmill at Philip Foster Farms posted on 05/01/2022

The smell of fresh sawdust will greet history buffs, pioneers-in-training and other guests at the grand opening of a historic Pacific Northwest sawmill at the Philip Foster Farm National Historic Site on the Barlow Road. The event will be held at the historic farm located at 22725 SE Eagle Creek Road in Eagle Creek from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.

“Our goal is to make history hands on. Being able to add this sawmill is very cool,” said Elaine Butler, Educational Director for the historic site.

Although Foster Farm offers a hands-on educational experience of life in the region during the pioneer days, guests are reminded to watch their fingers around the saw. The sawmill was donated to the historic site by the Heiple family, residents of Eagle Creek. The farm received a grant from Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory, a branch of Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs, to restore the sawmill.

Philip Foster came to Oregon in 1843 and established a sawmill in Oregon City. Foster was originally from Maine, where he had a thriving lumber business and store. He moved to Eagle Creek in 1847 to supply provisions for settlers on the Oregon Trail and opened a second sawmill. These sawmills were crucial for the development of the communities of the region.

The model recently acquired by the farm is a later model from the early 20th century. Foster shipped his original sawmill from Hawaii in the mid-19th century.

The grand opening will have a 2 p.m. dedication of the exhibit and ribbon cutting attended by Clackamas County commissioners. Food and beverages will be available. Admission is $5 for individuals or $20 for a family. No reservations are required. Admission is free to Jackknife-Zion-Horseheaven Historical Society members and Clackamas County Historic Pass holders.

Foster Farm is a reproduction of the site Philip Foster originally settled in Eagle Creek. The facility has been open since 1993 and offers school tours and summer camps for kids to experience life in region during the mid-19th century.

Although the sawmill has been installed at its new home, the historic site is still in the process of returning it to working order.

“If there are any volunteers interested in being involved with the restoration of the sawmill please contact the farm,” Butler said.

More information is available online at https://philipfosterfarm.com/farm-events/sawmill-grand-opening-may-14-2022/.

By Ben Simpson/MT

The Scene on Stage: May features two shows posted on 05/01/2022

Justin Lazenby, director of the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company’s (NNB) May production of “The Dining Room,” once acted in a production of the comedy during his college years. The play is set in the dining room of a house over the course of many years, with a cast of six playing 50 different characters.

“When I was in it, it was fun for that aspect,” Lazenby said. “You just got to shuffle the cards of all the human interactions that any one person might have encountered in their life.”

Those human interactions include scenes such as Thanksgiving with an aging grandmother, a birthday party with small children, adult children fighting over the house's furnishings and older children needing to live at home again.

Lazenby noted that the scenes organically flow from one to another with quick exits and entrances and is a “peppering of 30 different messages” in an array of different stories.

“It’s one of those shows that has a little something for everyone, which I really like,” he said.

And while the play offers a lot of humor, it also has some meaningful moments that will touch the audience.

“It’s funny, but at the same time there’s a lot of life in there,” Lazenby said, noting that the production is appropriate for all ages. “The comedy comes from having to deal with life, with hard decisions.”

NNB presents “The Dining Room,” by A. R. Gurney, from Friday, May 20 through Sunday, June 5, at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays.

Ticket prices are $12-15, with group discounts available. For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.

More comedy in Sandy

Sandy Actors Theatre’s May production is the comedy “Welcome to Paradise,” by Julie Marino, offering the story of Evelyn, who takes what might be her final trip to her Caribbean beach house but those around her have other ideas.

The production will run from Friday, May 6 through Sunday, May 29, at 17433 SE Meinig Avenue in Sandy (behind Ace Hardware). Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for senior citizens, veterans, and students and $13 for children (reservations are recommended). For more information, or to make reservations call 503-936-4378 or visit sandyactorstheatre.org.

A preview night will also be offered at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 5, preceded by the Wy’ East Artisans Guild’s art gallery presentation “Relationships.” Tickets for the preview are $10 and only available at the door.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Contributed photo.
Five local piecemakers send quilt to national show posted on 04/01/2022

A quilt made by five Hoodland piecemakers will be a semifinalist at the 2022 American Quilter’s Society’s (AQS) QuiltWeek, a prestigious international quilt show with entries from 43 American states and 15 other countries. The five local quilters who will be recognized at the show for their collaborative work on the quilt are Patricia Sharp, Charlene Opperman, Andi Hobgood, Jean Ludeman and Darlene McKinney.


“It’s going to be pretty exciting to be there with all these amazing quilts. It’s quite the recognition,” Ludeman said.

The 2022 AQS show will be held April 27-30 at the Schroeder Expo and Carroll Convention Center in Paducah, Ky. The annual contest, now in its 36th year, will feature works from 406 contestants. Awards will be given in 16 categories along with nine overall awards. Cash prizes totaling $125,000 will be awarded. All semi-finalist’s quilts will be displayed at the show for an audience of more than 30,000 expected attendees.

The five found the inspiration for their quilt, titled “First Run at Timberline Lodge,” from a watercolor painting called “First Run” by local artist Steve Ludeman, depicting Timberline Lodge on a wintry morning.

“We’ll be able to showcase Timberline to those out in the east,” his wife, Jean, said.

Each piecemaker created and quilted a panel, that when hung together replicates the painting of the lodge.

The quilt is 60 inches by 43 inches with each piecemaker contributing a 12-inch by 43-inch section in which they showcase their individual interpretation of the painting through fabric selection and technique.

“It’s tricky getting everything to line up,” Opperman said. “I think it turned out pretty good for five people working together on one big project.”

The five quilters met as members of the local “Piecemakers” quilting group of approximately 20 local quilters who meet every Thursday at the Hoodland Lutheran Church. They began working on the project in 2020 but shelved the quilt for a period during the pandemic before rejoining and completing the work in 2021.

“COVID kind of got in the way,” Ludeman said.

The group entered the quilt in regional shows in 2021 and won “Viewer’s Choice” at the Columbia River Gorge Quilt Show in October 2021.

“When the quilt turned out so well, we thought we’d take a chance and submit it for (the AQS QuiltWeek) show,” Ludeman said.

“AQS has a longstanding history of having the best of the best quilts in our contests,” stated AQS President Bill Schroeder in a press release.

“This year’s contest is no exception, and these quilts are truly exceptional,” he added.

Members of the group will attend the show in Kentucky and winners will be announced at the AQS Awards Presentation on Tuesday, April 26 before the show.

The piecemakers are looking for a permanent home for their quilt to be displayed in the community after it is returned from Paducah.

They have not yet determined if they will collaborate on more challenging group projects.

“Getting five people to agree on every little thing; that’s definitely working,” Opperman said. “It’s a great group of people to work with.”

More information is available online at www.AmericanQuilter.com.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Spring Garden Fair gets the green light after two years off posted on 04/01/2022

Sharon Andrews has seen some signs about more people getting involved in gardening, including taking walks around her neighborhood and noticing the time and energy people have put into their houses during the pandemic.

Those budding gardeners (and any others interested in plants) will have the chance to really kick things into gear at the 36th Spring Garden Fair, held by the Clackamas County Master Gardener™ Association on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds and Event Center.

The two-day event has drawn more than 7,000 people in the past (but was not held for the past two years due to the pandemic), and this year’s fair will feature 120 vendors offering plants, garden art, containers, tools, amendments and more.

“We’re super happy” said Andrews, who does publicity for the fair.

The fair started in 1984 when a member wanted to start a scholarship for students studying plants at community college, resulting in a fuschia sale. The event continues on with its charitable roots, being put on by only volunteers and with proceeds going to the association. Local school children also help raise money with “plant taxis,” wagons leased to people so they can easily cart their new plants and more around.

“The whole thing is based on fundraising for all sorts of people,” Andrews said.

The event will also feature a food court, a raffle, Master Gardener activities, a potting station and more. Admission is $5, with free parking.

Fair hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Clackamas County Fairgrounds and Event Center is located at 694 NE 4th Ave. in Canby. The fairground is a smoke-free facility, and no pets are allowed – service dogs only, please.

For more information, visit www.springgardenfair.org and www.cmastergardeners.org or find the fair's page on Facebook.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Hoodland Fire receives grant money for Govy fire prevention posted on 04/01/2022

The Hoodland Fire District (HFD) received a grant from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in February for wildland fire preparation work in Government Camp. The Small Forestland Firewise® USA grant awarded $75,000 to the district for work to improve the defensibility and survivability of structures in the community during the occurrence of a wildland fire.

“With this kind of preparation, the chances of the wildfire taking out a house are very minimal,” HFD Division Chief/Fire Marshal Scott Kline said.

The grant money will be utilized to create 30-foot defensive parameters around structures in Government Camp to increase the likelihood of the buildings withstanding a wildland fire.

The grant application states the work will include “the removal of brush, small diameter coniferous and alder regeneration in the understory, and pruning within approximately 30 feet of the primary structure on each property as well as along the driveway.”

Trees that are dead or dying and are considered hazardous near houses will also be removed by certified arborists as part of the project.

The work will be performed by ODF crews, HFD personnel and private contractors. Community members can contact the Government Camp Community Planning Organization to get added to a list of properties that HFD will assess for the project.

After being approved by HFD for the funding, property owners can submit receipts for work performed by contractors. HFD will provide before and after photos of qualifying sites to the grant program.

The grant is funded by Firewise® USA, a national program that assists communities to prepare for wildfires. The grant money will be utilized in Government Camp because it is the only Firewise® community currently active in the district.

Kline stated the clean-up project will begin later this spring and continue through the fall.

The district will also engage in educational outreach in Government Camp as part of the grant. Outreach activities will include creating incentives for fuel reduction on properties as well as the development and distribution of a brochure detailing open burn regulations within the fire district and Clackamas County.

In addition, the grant money will be used to increase the number of address markers throughout the village to assist emergency responders in locating properties in the event of an emergency.

The grant application states that HFD will “work to develop an action plan that guides Government Camp’s residential risk reduction activities, while engaging and encouraging community members to become active participants in building a safer place to live in an area prone to wildfires.”

HFD will be discussing Firewise® membership with other communities in the Mount Hood area this spring and arranging meetings for community groups with the ODF, the agency that manages Firewise® in the state. The Rhododendron Community Planning Organization, Timberline Rim, and Zig Zag Village have all previously participated in the wildland fire preparation program.

More information is available online at https://www.hoodlandfire.us/how-to-prepare-your-home-for-wildfires.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Mount Hood Chamber resumes in-person meetings posted on 04/01/2022

The Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce was set to resume in-person meetings in January, when the pandemic took a turn for the worse and the chamber held off once again. But with the coronavirus waning, in-person meetings are now on the agenda, and fortunately for the chamber, January’s scheduled speaker will be able to kick things off in April.

Jason Brandt, President and CEO of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association (ORLA), will offer a picture into the state of Oregon’s hospitality industry with the latest available trends and data at the Tuesday, April 5 meeting, held at 10 a.m. at the Mt. Hood Oregon Resort, 68010 E. Fairway Avenue in Welches.

“Oregon’s hospitality industry is vast with varying business models and types,” he explained in an email to The Mountain Times. “The way the pandemic felt varied greatly based on the business type of the operator and where the operator’s business is located in the state.”

Brandt noted that staffing challenges remain a constant in the industry and hopes that consumers can be patient as businesses attempt to resume full service, while continuing to embrace dining and to go services.

“Pending any major wildfire challenges Oregon could have a significant rebirth this summer after two plus years of pandemic anxiety,” Brandt continued. “The best case scenario would be record sales and top level demand for Oregon’s restaurant and lodging locations so our operators can continue working to pay down the debt they took on to stay in business during the pandemic. Paying down debt will be a major behind the scenes focus for many of our establishments post pandemic.”

He noted that the trend towards mobile and flexible work plans created new opportunities and changed the dynamics of the industry, with some regions benefiting while others didn’t.

“A number of Oregon’s coastal, gorge, and valley markets saw record sales months during periods of the pandemic,” Brandt wrote. “Others more reliant on business and conference travel like Portland took a hard hit and continue their recovery process. We have certainly seen a tale of two realities within the hospitality industry over the course of the past two years.”

“I’m excited to see everyone again,” wrote Coni Scott, co-president for the chamber, in an email.

“Many of us have not been working with one another these last two years and now are excited to get back in the loop,” she added

For more information on the chamber, visit https://www.mthoodchamber.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Second installment of 'Queens Girl' at CRT posted on 04/01/2022

Portland actor, musician and writer Lauren Steele was ready to perform the one-woman show “Queens Girl in Africa,” by Caleen Sinnette Jennings, last fall at Clackamas Repertory Theater (CRT) when the pandemic took a turn for the worse and the production was delayed. This month, Steele’s performance as Jacqueline Marie Butler and 17 other memorable characters can be enjoyed by theatergoers as the show will go on.

“It’s been a really cool experience to have something marinating in your mind for months and months,” Steele said, adding that while this is her first time back as an actor due to the pandemic, she has also been working on her musical endeavors, including a new album and a single that’s now available on music platforms.

“Queens Girl in Africa” is the second play in the “Queens Girl in the World” trilogy, and Steele also tackled the first play in 2019 at CRT, winning a Drammy award for Best Solo Performance.

The second play picks up with Butler as she finds herself at a crossroads of personal and political upheaval when her family abruptly moves to Nigeria following the assassination of civil rights leader Malcolm X, a close family friend.

Steele played more than a dozen characters in the first installment, and noted that she’s spent time on the characterization of the array of characters in “Queens Girl in Africa,” with the biggest challenge in tackling a variety of African dialects.

“We have the comfort of some of the same archetypes as last time, (but) different circumstances and personalities,” she said, adding the only characters that appear in both plays are Butler and her parents.

Steele sees parallels between the play and the world around us, as Butler has to deal with different aspects of her identity within the larger context of war and political upheaval.

“I think that’s kind of where we’re at now,” she said. “I hope people walk away with some comfort in that it’s not the first time we’ve been through something like this. What you’re feeling is okay and you’re not alone.”

Steele also noted that the audience will also enjoy the humor in the play.

“I hope people have a whole lot of fun,” she said.

CRT presents “Queens Girl in Africa,” by Caleen Sinnette Jennings and directed by Damaris Webb, through Sunday, April 24, at the Osterman Theatre on the Oregon City campus of Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Avenue in Oregon City.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices are $40 for adults and seniors and $30 for youth (ages 6-25).

For more information, visit clackamasrep.org or call 503-594-6047. A free pre-show lecture will be held one hour before the Sunday matinees on April 3, 10 and 24.

Music in Boring

Americana singer Larry Wilder will be back this month at the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company (NNB) in Boring for a weekend of music. Wilder, who performed last April at NNB, spent much of time since then working on a variety of cruise lines, including a ship docked in The Dalles for the Fourth of July.

“I’m so glad to be doing this,” Wilder said about his NNB performances.

He noted that the last two years have given him a chance to evolve as a performer. Wilder’s approach is to try and make a connection and engage with the audience through his songs (and jokes).

“Without question, the pandemic gave us pause to reflect on everything, family relationships, personal philosophy and faith,” he said.

Wilder doesn’t plan on mentioning the pandemic (or politics) in his performance, but will focus on the songs, ranging from The Kingston Trio to Harry Belafonte to John Denver to Rodgers and Hart and more.

“The song stories are phenomenal,” he said. “I want to keep the people having fun; make them feel part of the great American musical heritage. I’m pretty lucky to get to do this.”

NNB presents Larry Wilder at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. Tickets are available at the door or online. The performance will consist of two 45-minute sets with one intermission and is appropriate for audience members of all ages. For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Volunteers needed to help clean up around Sandy posted on 04/01/2022

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Journal, approximately 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day, a day of peaceful demonstrations to promote environmental reform, held on April 22, 1970.

This year, the City of Sandy and SOLVE will hold a cleanup event on Saturday, April 23, hoping to make a difference for the local environment. Carol Cohen, the city’s Event Coordinator, has a target of 100 people participating.

“It’s a great community event,” Cohen said, noting that last year the event brought out 50 volunteers, while it was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic. “I think people are ready to give back to the community. It just makes people feel really good.”

The event will be held between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and feature trash clean up and invasive species removal at parks, trails and other public places. Cohen noted there are a variety of different sites (such as Meinig Park, Tickle Creek and the downtown corridor) that volunteers can choose from based on the time they have available.

“If you want to do the main street corridor, that might take 45 minutes to an hour,” she said.

Volunteers of all ages are welcome, but Cohen noted that they should be prepared for working in any kind of weather and bring closed-toed shoes and warm clothing. Bags, grabbers and other equipment will be provided (although it is helpful if volunteers can bring their own gloves, if possible).

Volunteers are encouraged to register prior to the event at https://www.solveoregon.org, but they can also register the day of.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Contributed photo.
Mount Hood represented by Luke Winters at 2022 Olympic games posted on 03/01/2022

Gresham’s Luke Winters’ early memories of skiing involve him, his brother and his father heading up to Skibowl, parking their camper in the lot and hitting the slopes.


“Night skiing at Skibowl was probably the biggest one for us when we were young,” Winters said. “Almost every weekend we’d be up there and we’d ski until the lights turned off.”

Last month, Winters represented Mount Hood, Gresham and his country at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. And while the first-time Olympian was unable to finish his runs on the slalom and giant slalom courses, he came away from the games without looking back and wishing he had done anything different.

“I knew I was skiing well, things were going well for me,” Winters said, adding that he had his best World Cup results in the weeks leading up to the Olympics. “Once I get to the start, it’s just the same as any other race. I was really not nervous at all in the start gate.”

Winters, who graduated from the Sugar Bowl Academy in California, added that in his earlier years, he also played baseball and football, but realized early in high school that ski racing would be his focus. Being an Olympic athlete and racing in the World Cup were on his radar in high school but started to become real after he graduated.

“That was the goal, but at the same time, I didn’t have this crazy dream from a young age,” he said. “I was good, I was talented and I worked hard. It didn’t really become obtainable until after high school.”

For the Olympics, he and his teammates expected the course (one made specifically for this event and featuring man-made snow) would have conditions similar to skiing in Colorado early in the ski season, with cold and dry snow.

“When we got there, everyone was caught off guard a little bit,” he continued, noting it lacked any texture. “The snow was super dry, there’s no friction at all.”

Winters said that the first day he struggled but made adjustments to his equipment and ended up feeling really good on the hill.

“Some people never figured the snow out,” he said. “I felt super confident going into the races.”

Unfortunately, his runs ended in disappointment.

“I didn’t expect the speed going into the top,” Winters said. “In ski racing, things just happen so fast.”

Winters’ final run was delayed by a day, but that lead to the opportunity for him to enjoy the closing ceremony (he arrived in China after the opening ceremony), making for a memorable experience.

“You don’t really realize (it’s) the world really coming together when you’re up competing,” he said. “That’s really why the Olympics are so special, you see everyone. Everyone is in the same place, all the flags. That really was actually pretty cool and special.”

Unfortunately, Winters was unable to have any family members join him in China due to restrictions, with only coaches and staff allowed. But he did note that it’s not uncommon for him to not have his parents on hand during the World Cup seasons.

“They don’t make it over very often anyways,” he said. “Obviously it would have been awesome to have them there.”

Immediately after the games, Winters was off to Germany for his next World Cup event at the end of February, while noting he was grateful for the chance to get back to racing.

“There’s so much focus on the Olympics for the U.S., people who really do know about ski racing know World Cups are just as competitive,” he said. “That’s really what we’re here to do.”

The current World Cup season is past the halfway point, with races in Austria, Slovenia and elsewhere before the finals in France at the end of March. Winters will need to be in the top 25 of the standings to be in the finals.

Winters is focused on the World Cup, with the 2026 Olympics in Italy not on his mind. He noted that the location will be a familiar one for skiers and they will have a great understanding of the conditions before the races start.

“It almost feels like a home Olympics,” he said.

For more information on how to view World Cup races, visit NBCSports.com. Luke Winters can be found on Instagram as “lukedwinters.”

By Garth Guibord/MT


Mobile breast cancer screening clinic to visit Sandy posted on 03/01/2022

When Tami Beaty first discovered her breast cancer she found it by accident. Now after her personal struggle with the disease, this breast cancer survivor is helping provide Mount Hood area women with easy access to cancer screening through her role coordinating a visit from a mobile mammography program to Sandy in March.

“Women often think that if what they’re feeling is small that it’s probably nothing,” said Beaty, the volunteer event coordinator for Sandy’s Seventh-day Adventist Church. “I think it’s really important for women to understand that catching stuff early makes a world of difference. Don’t skip your mammogram.”

The Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) Health Hillsboro Medical Center Mobile Mammography Program will be offering screenings by appointment at Sandy’s Seventh Day Adventist Church, 18575 Southeast Langensand Road, Sandy on Wednesday, March 30.

This will be the first visit to Sandy by the mobile program, which aims to provide convenient access to mammograms closer to home and work, and serve as a “fast and effective alternative” for women to receive their regular screenings.

The OHSU van is the only mobile mammography program in Oregon that provides 3-D mammography (Digital Breast Tomosynthesis) to communities in the Mount Hood area.

The van has been recently updated with individual dressing rooms and an emphasis on personal privacy. All screenings are performed by a female technologist. OHSU radiologists review the images and results are delivered to patient’s primary care physicians.

“(The program) is very discrete, very private and very safe. It’s as safe as going to the hospital,” Beaty said. “Sandy is a growing community. We need services like this out here for people who don’t have access, and so people don’t have to drive into town.”

Individuals must be at least 35 years old to be eligible for the screening and have gone one full year since their last screening. Participants must not be pregnant or have breast fed in the past three months and should have no known lumps, pain or discharge.

The program accepts most insurance plans including Medicare, Oregon Health Plan and programs for low-income individuals including ScreenWise and Project Access. Kaiser Permanente insurance is not accepted by the program.

The Sandy Seventh-day Adventist Church is planning on hosting the clinic quarterly for the community.

“If this clinic fills up, we’ll offer it every other month,” Beaty said.

The program is part of a larger public health outreach program on part of the Sandy church.

The organization is also hosting a vision clinic on March 6. The church will be offering a diabetes clinic and a depression and anxiety recovery program in the coming months.

Appointments can be made by contacting Beaty by phone at 503-698-4622. 17 appointments are being offered for the initial visit of the mammography program with exams currently still available.

For more information on the upcoming event visit https://www.sandyadventistchurch.org.

More information on the mobile mammography program is available online at https://tuality.org/hospital-services/breast-health-services/mobile_mammography/.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Contributed photo.
Heard from the Mountain to Carnegie Hall posted on 03/01/2022

Sandy High School junior Denali Barrett noted she comes from a musical family, with her parents singing to her since she was young.


But last month, Barrett, who sings with the high school chorus and has taken lesson since she was eight, had the unique experience of singing at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of the High School Honors Treble Choir concert.

“I don’t think I had any expectations,” she said. “I knew everybody there was going to be super talented, so I was looking forward to that. It turned out really awesome.”

The opportunity arose last summer when she found out about the concert, produced by WorldStrides, an educational travel and experiences organization that offers a number of programs, including in the performing arts. Barrett, 17, recorded her audition, sent it off and found out a month later that she was selected, noting that just 1,400 singers out of 15,000 made the cut.

“It's kind of weird. What's the likelihood to get in?” she said.

Barrett received the pieces she would perform in early December to learn them prior to her arrival in New York. Once in the Big Apple she rehearsed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with her group, consisting of 90 young women, before the Feb. 6 concert.

After rehearsals, Barret (who was visiting New York for the first time) took part in a planned activity, including going to a Broadway show, a private yacht on the Hudson River and a visit to the top of the Rockefeller Center.

“New York is super overwhelming, but I love cities so it was really cool,” she said, noting the buildings are “massive.” “The concert itself was the best part for sure. Other than that, the yacht ride was pretty cool.”

Barrett noted that when the group arrived at Carnegie Hall and performed their sound check, the acoustics of the space were notable, particularly after rehearsing in a room at a hotel.

“You could hear all the sounds and the voices envelop you,” she said, adding that she enjoyed all the music they sang, but her favorite was “As the Rain Hides the Stars” due to the harmonies.

Barrett’s parents made the trip with her, and her mom, Julie, noted that they enjoyed exploring the city, including visits to Central Park, the Natural History Museum, the 9/11 memorial, while also reflecting on what it was like seeing her daughter on stage at Carnegie Hall.

“Are there any words? Overwhelming, amazing, proud,” Julie said. “I know my girl’s going places.”

Denali plans on studying music in college, and in the meantime, she’s planning on auditioning for the AllStars group at the Portland School of Rock, where she has studied.

By Garth Guibord/MT


TIP NW offers training academy for new recruits posted on 03/01/2022

Each month Jami Schroeder and other Trauma Intervention Program NW (TIP NW) volunteers offer 40 hours of immediate support to their fellow citizens in crisis during the hours of their greatest need. The volunteer organization is contacted by law enforcement, fire, medical and hospital personnel to respond to the scene of a traumatic event and provide “emotional aid and practical support and resources to victims of traumatic events and their families in the first few hours following a tragedy.”

“No one should be alone in the hardest times of their life,” said Schroeder, Crisis Team Manager for TIP NW.

TIP NW will hold a volunteer training academy at the end of March at the Portland Fire and Rescue Training Center, 4800 Northeast 122 Avenue, Portland and is seeking new volunteers for their organization.

The 60-hour training academy is held over a two-week period from Wednesday, March 23 until Wednesday, April 6. After the two-week training academy, volunteers enter a three-month field training program during which they are paired with a veteran TIP NW volunteer responder before graduating as a TIP volunteer.

“(This training) ensures that all volunteers are well prepared and ready to respond to citizens in crisis with confidence and assurance,” the TIP NW website states.

“It’s an opportunity to support people in your community and help people on their very worst day,” said Sally Chester, TIP NW volunteer responder in the Hoodland Fire District.

“We want as many people who are qualified and have the heart to volunteer in the community as possible,” Chester added.

Volunteers respond to the scenes of “sudden or unexpected death (natural, homicide, suicide, accidental, infant), industrial accidents, sexual assaults, violent crimes and other traumatic incidents,” according to the TIP NW website.

“We’re there to help with the immediacy of the event,” Schroeder said.

Volunteers are automatically activated by the emergency response center after first responders submit a request and respond to the scene in pairs.

“We maintain a 20-minute response time, and volunteers are generally responding from their homes,” Schroeder said.

TIP NW offers a teen volunteer program and encourages high school students interested in supporting their community to register for the academy.

TIP NW detailed that the requirements for volunteering and registering in the academy include:

– $50.00 registration fee, due after talking with TIP Staff and confirming place in academy.

– COVID-19 vaccination.

– Have a working cell phone (with texting capabilities).

– Have internet access and an email account.

– Have a driver’s license, auto insurance, working vehicle and GPS navigation system (driver’s license and vehicle not a requirement for teens).

– Attendance at all sessions of the Training Academy.

– Paperwork, fingerprinting and criminal background investigation done through TIP before the training (details will be given upon admittance to academy).

– A copy of your three-year Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Driving Record (available on the DMV website).

– A copy of auto insurance reflecting current coverage.

– Attend all monthly continuing education meetings, take three 12-hour on-call shifts per month and sign a one-year contract upon completion of three-month field training program.

To register for the training academy or for more information contact TIP NW by phone at (503) 823-3937 or online at www.tipnw.org.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Park District moves on to May ballot posted on 03/01/2022

The proposed Hoodland Park District will move forward to the May ballot after Clackamas County Commissioners approval at the Thursday, Feb. 3 meeting, which was held virtually. The commissioners did modify the proposal by removing the communities within the 97028 zip code, including Government Camp, Wapanitia and Summit Meadows, after members of those communities expressed the desire to be removed.

“We’re very happy that it made it to the ballot because we believe that people in the Mountain communities want to be able to vote on it,” said Marci Slater, one of the district’s chief petitioners. “We’re excited about the next three months where we can have an open conversation about what this means for our community, the great opportunity that is before us.”

Slater noted that plans are underway to hold townhall meetings and rallies to help spread information about the proposed district.

If formed, the district would receive three parcels of land on Salmon River Road from Clackamas County and would develop the Dorman Center site as a community park, with possible amenities including a pavilion, playground, walking trails, extended community garden, bike pump track, skate park, dog park, space for farmers market, restrooms and onsite security.

The district would be funded by a local property tax, proposed to be a maximum of 67 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (resulting in approximately $200 per year on a house with an assessed value of $300,000).

If the district wins voter approval, it will be overseen by a board of five volunteer directors, who will also be elected on the May ballot. Anyone interested in filing as a candidate for the district’s board must do so through the county by Tuesday, March 8.

“They won’t have much time to file,” Slater said. “Anyone can file; the more the merrier. Having a choice is good.”

Those who are interested can go to the elections website at https://www.clackamas.us/elections and find the link for the May election to find more information on how to file. She added that the hope is that the board will be comprised by members of the various communities within the district’s boundaries.

Slater noted that she is aware of two people who plan on filing, although she will not. She added that those elected to the first board of directors will be very hard work.

“It will be like setting up a company,” she said. “The first couple years will be organizational and policy based.”

Other important dates prior to the May election include Thursday, March 10 for voter’s pamphlets candidate’s statements and Monday, March 21 for voter pamphlet arguments for/against.

Updates on the park district, including planned events, can be found on the Nextdoor app and on the district’s website, https://www.hoodlandparkdistrict.us/.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Renewed CPO made official, March meeting next posted on 03/01/2022

More than a dozen community members attended a virtual meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 16, where they approved the reactivation of a Community Planning Organization (CPO) for a number of Mountain communities, from Lolo Pass Road to Cherryville Road. The CPO, which is expected to garner an official name at a future meeting, will receive land use applications from the county and provide feedback, along with serving as a venue for discussion of community issues.

“I feel it's really important,” said Nora Gambee, who was elected as the CPO’s chair at the meeting. “I want to make sure that things are going to happen that are going to benefit the community. We are going to listen to the community and the community is going to have input.”

All residents, property owners and business owners within the CPO’s boundaries are counted as members. The CPO will have its next meeting virtually at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 17. A link will be available at https://www.clackamas.us/community/cpo.html.

Gambee, who is also currently on the board of directors of the Hoodland Fire District, noted she was a prior member of the Mt. Hood Corridor CPO, the organization that ceased operations approximately ten years ago, and wants to see more control over what’s happening with land on the Mountain.

“People are clearing land and not doing anything,” said Gambee, who has lived in the area for 35 years. “I care about what happens to it and the people in it; we have some pretty wonderful people in the community.”

Other members of the new CPO’s board of directors were elected at the February meeting, including David Lythgoe as the vice chair, Marti Bowne as the secretary, Patricia Erdenberger as the treasurer and Jenni Rogers as an at-large director.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Nutz-n-Boltz has a play to remember posted on 03/01/2022

Jay Hash, the director of the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company’s (NNB) March production of “Fuddy Mears,” has a long history with the show, which he first encountered during his high school years. At that time, he competed in speech and debate and even went to the state tournament, and every step along the way a competitor would recite a ten-minute abridged version of the play for the “humorous interpretation” competition.

“This play has been haunting me forever,” Hash said.

Hash went on to direct a smaller version of the show in a class, then finally saw a full production of it during a visit to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Now, Hash, a 2006 graduate from the University of Oregon, has taken the helm to offer the story of Claire, a woman who wakes each morning with no memory of the previous day and who relies on her husband and son to remind her. But Claire’s world is shaken when a mysterious man who claims to be her husband arrives and has murder on his mind.

“I think it’s a very powerful story, a very well-crafted and thought-out story,” Hash said, noting that the production has taken some inspiration from the work of David Lynch, particularly his television show “Twin Peaks.” “It lends itself really well (to that interpretation).”

Hash added that he and his cast are putting a focus on keeping the characters as realistic as possible, as he sees overdramatizing them as a potential pitfall to diminish the play’s message. He also noted the comedy does touch on some tricky subject matters, but that he hopes people will be able to laugh and learn at the same time.

“If people come in with an open mind I think they’ll be thoroughly entertained as well as enlightened,” Hash said.

In addition to following Hash for most of his life, this production of the show has taken its twists and turns. Initially offered to Hash at NNB four years ago, the show was pushed out when Mount Hood Community College scheduled it, then again when Sandy Actors Theater produced it and finally delayed again due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve been waiting for so long to be able to put this thing on,” Hash said.

NNB presents “Fuddy Meers,” by David Lindsay-Abaire, from March 4-20, at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children and seniors, and $10 for law enforcement. For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.

Auditions for May show

NNB will also hold auditions for the spring production of “The Dining Room,” by A. R. Gurney, from 7-9 p.m. Monday, March 7 and Tuesday, March 8, at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. The cast includes three men and three women and auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.

Performers need to be COVID vaccinated before auditioning. Headshots/resumes encouraged but not required. For more information call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.

Comedy continues in Sandy

The Sandy Actors Theatre continues its production of “Things My Mother Taught Me,” by Katherine DiSavino, through Sunday, March 20, at 17433 SE Meinig Avenue in Sandy (behind Ace Hardware). The comedy offers the story of Olivia and Game, who move into an apartment together but complications arise when both sets of parents show up. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. For more information or to make reservations call 503-936-4378 or visit sandyactorstheatre.org.

College production in March

Clackamas Community College’s (CCC) theater department offers a production of “Red Herring,” by Michael Hollinger, the story of Boston gumshoe Maggie Pelletier, who has to nose around the “red herrings” of who dumped a body in the harbor in this tribute to the classic noir detective story.

Show times for “Red Herring” are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 3 through Saturday, March 5, and a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, March 6, at the Niemeyer Osterman Theatre, 19600 Molalla Ave. in Oregon City. There will also be a 10 a.m. matinee Friday, March 4.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (62+) and $6 for students (free for CCC students). Tickets are discounted $1 if purchased online. Visit www.clackamas.edu/theatre or call 503-594-3153 for reservations. Seating is limited and masks are required.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Park District decision pushed to Feb. 3 by Commissioners posted on 02/01/2022

After three January hearings to listen to public testimony, including one interrupted by anti-vaccination rabble rousers, the Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) will make a final decision on whether to send the Hoodland Park District to the May ballot at the Thursday, Feb. 3 business meeting.

Some commissioners expressed their support for the district towards the end of the Jan. 20 meeting, but with a modification to the proposed boundaries to remove the communities within the 97028 zip code, including Government Camp, Wapanitia and Summit Meadows.

“We still feel like we’ve got good momentum toward moving toward the election,” said Marci Slater, one of the district’s chief petitioners. “We’re looking forward to bringing some local control to decisions on what the Mountain community needs.”

If formed, the district would receive three parcels of land on Salmon River Road from Clackamas County and would develop the Dorman Center site as a community park. Possible amenities could include a pavilion, playground, walking trails, extended community garden, bike pump track, skate park, dog park, space for farmers market, restrooms and onsite security.

The district would be funded by a local property tax, proposed to be a maximum of 67 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (resulting in approximately $200 per year on a house with an assessed value of $300,000).

Slater noted that while there were questions regarding the district’s mill rate, organizers remain confident in their projected funding, with a proposed budget based on a rate of 57 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

“We did some additional research, looking at other standalone park districts and districts part of small communities,” she said. “We feel very confident that we’re right in the middle of all that.”

The proposed district met with resistance from those in the 97028 communities, who noted the distance to the Dorman Center site, higher property taxes, no planned facilities for those communities and not being included in the petition process among the reasons for wanting to be excluded from the district’s boundaries.

Nick Rinard, president of the Government Camp Community Planning Organization (CPO), noted that after a meeting more than two years ago that began the conversation of the district, the pandemic disrupted communication and the community felt left out.

“It’s just a shame it got compressed because the petitioners turned in the petition before we had a meeting,” he said, noting the organizers had to meet a November deadline to get the petition for the district in to the county.

A survey conducted by the CPO of those in the 97028 communities revealed 84 percent of respondents opposed formation of the district. Rinard credited Jake Thompson, who spearheaded the CPO’s subcommittee that conducted the survey, for gathering the data.

“This was not spun in any way for or against,” Rinard said. “We were just genuinely concerned, what did the community feel, what were their thoughts. Once revealed, it became my job to represent that opinion of the community.”

If approved by the commissioners, the district will be overseen by a board of five volunteer directors, who will also be elected on the May ballot.

Slater said the district’s organizers will be out to rally the community before the May vote, as long as the pandemic allows it. She noted that they hope to hold rallies, town hall meetings and more.

Updates on the park district, including planned events, can be found on the Nextdoor app and on the district’s website, https://www.hoodlandparkdistrict.us/.

“I’m excited about the process; I’m looking forward to moving ahead,” Slater said.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Community rallies for fresh start to CPO posted on 02/01/2022

Approximately 10 years ago, the Mt. Hood Corridor Community Planning Organization (CPO) ceased operations, leaving communities such as Welches, Wemme, Zigzag and more without an official voice to offer opinions on land use to Clackamas County. Development has not stopped however, and next month community members will gather by Zoom at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16 to start a new CPO and take on this important role.

“The real importance is getting the word out for proposed developments; getting full community input, rather than just immediate neighbors,” said David Lythgoe, who served as president of the former CPO and has been part of the effort to form the new one. “I’ve been happy and surprised with the amount of community interest. I hope it continues after formation.”

The proposed boundaries of the new CPO (which has yet to have an official name) would include communities from Lolo Pass Road to Cherryville Road, with all residents, property owners and business owners as its membership. The CPO will be run by a board of directors.

Katie Wilson, Clackamas County Community Engagement Coordinator, noted in an email to The Mountain Times that if voters are successful in starting the new CPO, members will proceed with nominating and voting in a board and then revising their bylaws at future meetings.

She added that CPOs receive land-use notifications to review and must convene at least twice a year while following public meeting laws. The bylaws will determine the number of board members, their roles and the elections process.

If the CPO is formed, community members at the kick-off meeting will nominate and vote for initial board members.

Any member of the proposed CPO can join the meeting by registering in advance at https://www.clackamas.us/event/mt-hood-community-meeting.

By Garth Guibord/MT

First stage of rest area by Summit on CPO agenda posted on 02/01/2022

On the eastside of Government Camp, right next to Summit Ski Area, is a rest area, offering public bathrooms for visitors, but also in need of upgrades. That possibility could become a reality sometime in the future, thanks to efforts by Oregon Solutions (OS), a program created by Oregon’s Sustainability Act in 2001 that fosters collaborative governance through partnerships with various organizations, and numerous area agencies and stakeholders.

Manuel Padilla, a project manager for Oregon Solutions, will take part in the Government Camp Community Planning Organization’s (CPO) meeting on Friday, Feb. 11 to provide an update on where things stand. The meeting will be held via Zoom.

“The community really is appreciative of Oregon Solutions having one of its main goals to engage with the local community,” said Nick Rinard, president of the CPO. “That’s really what the community is asking for.”

The project started in 2020, when OS conducted a series of interviews and found various stakeholders, including the U.S. Forest Service, Clackamas County and more, expressed interest in improving transit to the Mountain and the rest area.

“We’ve found strong agreement and alignment that status quo is not workable going forward — that the needs and current uses of the rest area have outgrown what that facility was designed for initially — but we’ve also agreed that figuring out how to move forward, where the rest area function might best be located, and how that work would be funded is going to take some careful study and planning, and the goodwill of all the players and partners,” noted Doug Decker, a project manager, in an email to The Mountain Times.

Decker explained that the first step was to identify Phase 1-type work that would be necessary to explore the feasibility of a move, potential locations and functions for the rest area, and they submitted a Federal Land Access Program (FLAP) proposal in the fall of 2021 to fund feasibility and concept study work. Word on the grant funding is expected sometime this spring.

“We’ve also been working to clarify and outline the roles and responsibilities of the various agencies and partners and to identify the commitments each are able to make to the project,” Decker continued, noting that the current rest area was previously operated by the Oregon Department of Transportation until 2012, while the facility is on USFS land and is operated by a permit.

In an assessment report released by OS in January 2021, they noted that none of the various organizations linked to the current rest area see themselves in a lead role for a possible project.

“The community of Government Camp and the local businesses rely on the restrooms at the rest area, so any change needs to be carefully thought out and timed with some type of pedestrian restroom that can serve the Government Camp area,” Decker added.

The assessment report listed a few possible project elements, including moving the rest area and redeveloping the site of the current area, development of public restrooms in Government Camp, creating a pair of rest areas further east from Government Camp and creating a transit hub or exchange, perhaps including a mass parking facility in the Rhododendron area.

Decker noted that after a determination on Phase 1 funding is made, early feasibility and planning work could begin in 12 to 18 months.

“Everyone on the team is interested in moving forward as quickly as possible with this work, and also recognizes the many unknowns that remain ahead, including funding, potential relocation sites and important questions about roles and responsibilities in managing the overall project,” he wrote. “The team is hard at work on these.”

Decker added that the project is “clearly going to be several years,” and that the Oregon Travel Information Council will continue to operate and maintain the existing rest area.

“This seems like a project that has a good chance of succeeding, whatever form it may take,” Rinard said. “This is a huge opportunity for Government Camp.”

For more information about Oregon Solutions and the Government Camp rest area redevelopment, visit https://orsolutions.org/.

By Garth Guibord/MT

One-stop tech services in Sandy posted on 02/01/2022

Tired of driving to Gresham or further into the Portland metropolitan area to fix a broken cell phone screen, a faulty laptop or a video game console on the fritz?

Lifetime Sandy resident Blake Horsfall understands your pain. Horsfall recently opened a brick and mortar location for his information technology and electronics repair services business, Restore Hub, in downtown Sandy to address the Mount Hood community’s technology needs.

“We try to be a one-stop shop no matter the (technology) issue,” Horsfall said.

Horsfall started Restore Hub out of his house in Sandy in February 2021. Less than a year later, he relocated the business in January to a storefront located at 39084 Proctor Boulevard, Unit B in Sandy.

“I love Sandy and have lived here my whole life. It’s growing and I wanted to be a part of that,” Horsfall said.

Restore Hub offers computer, smart phone and tablet repair, business information technology services, web design and data recovery. Restore Hub aims to serve the needs of individuals and small businesses in the region.

“Pretty much anything to do with technology we do it,” Horsfall said.

Restore Hub is open to walk-in customers 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and available on Friday and Saturday by appointment.

Horsfall offers consultations for larger projects, such as website design or creating server networks.

“I try to give a couple approaches to tackling a project,” Horsfall said.

On-site services are available for customers who need assistance at their home or business with computer repair or setting up a wi-fi network.

Horsfall began working in the information technology field as an IT intern for SandyNet, the City of Sandy’s community internet service utility. He attended George Fox University, where he received a Computer Science Degree. While attending school he worked at uBreakiFix cellphone and computer repair shop in Sherwood.

“I realized I wanted to focus more on repair services during my time there,” Horsfall said.

Horsfall handles most facets of the business, such as repairs to website and network design, and partners with national companies for certain data recovery issues.

Horsfall plans to incorporate a strong retail focus as the business establishes itself and become more of an electronics store.

Restore Hub is currently an authorized reseller for Dell, Western Digital hard drives and other technology manufacturers.

“We’re trying to build the business organically and debt-free. Eventually we’d like to shift to a larger space with more stock,” Horsfall said. “We’d like to be the local, independently owned service solution for everyone’s technology needs, from little old ladies to small businesses.”

Restore Hub can be contacted for additional information or to arrange a consultation by phone at 503-427-8120 or by email at support@restorehub.tech. Additional information is available online at www.restorehub.tech.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Concepts could lead to enhancements for Mount Hood posted on 02/01/2022

A range of topics surrounding recreation around Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge are at the heart of legislative concepts compiled by Representative Earl Blumenauer and Senator Ron Wyden. A comment period on the concepts ended last month, and Janine Kritschgau, Communications Director for Blumenauer, noted they received 1,027 comments.

“It was a ton,” Kritschgau told The Mountain Times. “We’re really pleased. It’s excellent to have so much engagement.”

The concept topics included enhancing sustainable and equitable outdoor recreation, such as relief of crowded trailheads, dispersal of use and rehabilitation of wildfire-damaged infrastructure; protecting natural features and improving habitat for wildlife; prioritizing protection of communities at risk of wildfire damage; ensuring tribal treaty rights are honored and protected; and modernizing transportation systems.

Kritschgau noted that the comments they received could shift priorities around somewhat. Some of the steps taken through legislation could include new additions to the Mount Hood Wilderness, recreation enhancements for the Pacific Crest Trail, enhanced recreation in the Gorge, enhanced trail stewardship in the Mount Hood National Forest, new wild and scenic river designations and enhanced public safety.

Kritschgau added there is no immediate timeline in place for these legislative concepts and that there "will be many more points for participation down the road throughout the legislative process, which will include hearings and more lawmaker meetings."

The concepts did elicite comments from some locals.

“Congressman Blumenauer and Senator Wyden’s proposal has elements that will please some people but concern others,” said Wilent, a Rhododendron resident who writes The Woodsman column for The Mountain Times. “However, they have not yet presented their plan to the federally-chartered Mt. Hood–Willamette Resource Advisory Committee, of which I’m a member. I urge them to present it to the committee, which is comprised of 15 people from the communities around the two forests and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. I think the committee would like to have a chance to offer its constructive input.”

For more information, visit https://blumenauer.house.gov/.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Contributed photo.
Fire District granted off-road emergency response vehicle posted on 02/01/2022

Hoodland Fire District (HFD) received a new high-axle emergency response vehicle on Jan. 24 that will certainly turn heads on the mountain due to a combination of unique appearance and off-road performance ability.


“It’s a different looking type of vehicle than people are used to seeing at the station,” HFD Division Chief/Fire Marshall Scott Kline said.

The high-axle rescue vehicle is made by Earthcruiser, a boutique RV company from Bend that typically produces approximately 30 custom overland vehicles each year. The model HFD received is a CORE V8, cab-over-chassis base model design that is a separate division of the company.

The vehicle was selected for the district by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) as part of a grant program intended to increase emergency response preparedness across the state.

HFD was awarded the vehicle for use in response to flooding or high-water events that require evacuating and transporting civilians to safety. The vehicle is multi-use and will also be used to assist with wildland fires.

“CORE applications include wilderness firefighting, Homeland Security, medical response, equipment delivery, mobile laboratories, DIY overland vehicle builders, and more,” according to the Earthcruiser website.

The district has ordered a custom slip-on fire unit that can be loaded and unloaded from the chassis with a forklift. The fire unit will be a combination of a water tank, pump and hose reel. The skid can be unbolted and traded out with seating on the vehicle in minutes, depending on which application is required.

“The idea is to augment our brush vehicles or to have an additional one as needed,” Kline said. HFD applied to receive a high-axle rescue vehicle through the OEM’s State Preparedness and Incident Response Equipment (SPIRE) grant in 2019 and received approval in 2020.

The SPIRE grant was established by Oregon State House Bill 2687 and funded $5 million of emergency response equipment across the state. The grant included an equipment list of eligible items with priority given to items that are intended to save/sustain lives.

Approximately six of the CORE vehicles were awarded to fire districts across the state through the grant.

The CORE chassis typically costs just over $100,000 for the base model according to the Earthcruiser website.

“Due to the grant the vehicle didn’t come out of fire district money,” Kline said.

For more information contact HFD by email at hoodland@hoodlandfire.org.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Mom's advice a lesson in comedy posted on 02/01/2022

Joni Tabler, director of the Sandy Actors Theatre’s (SAT) February production of “Things My Mother Taught Me,” by Katherine DiSavino, noted some challenges in mounting a play during a pandemic, including rehearsing in masks and limiting physical contact. And even though the production’s opening night has been pushed back by the recent surge, she’s keeping things positive.

“We’re all just excited that we get to do anything at this point,” Tabler said. “We’ve been so starved.”

Tabler first encountered the play a few years ago as a member of the theater’s artistic team, when they were searching for scripts that might make for good productions. The comedy offers the story of Olivia and Game, who move into an apartment together, but complications arise when both sets of parents show up.

“It has a lot of humor in it,” Tabler said, adding that the author also wrote “Nana’s Naughty Knickers.” “I think it’s going to be something that everyone will like.”

She also noted how the show is lighthearted, and that it offers a message about how when people really love each other, they can weather anything.

“In the end, money and things like that don’t matter,” Tabler said, noting that the show is appropriate for kids 12 and older. “It’s really you’re with the person you should be with. I think it’s going to be one of those shows that's going to be uplifting.”

Due to the ongoing pandemic, audience members are encouraged to pay attention to the SAT website for updates on protocols. Audience members will need proof of vaccination or a negative test within the past 24 hours and must wear a mask.

SAT presents “Things My Mother Taught Me,” by Katherine DiSavino, from Friday, Feb. 25 through Sunday, March 20, at 17433 SE Meinig Avenue in Sandy (behind Ace Hardware). A preview night will be offered on Thursday, Feb. 24. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. For more information or to make reservations call 503-936-4378 or visit sandyactorstheatre.org.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Photo by Garth Guibord
Welches Schools celebrates the life of Hollis Carpenter posted on 01/01/2022

Hollis Carpenter loved swings, both the tire and rope versions that her family have at their Mountain home. Hollis’ mother, Amber, remembers the time she spent out enjoying them.


“She would be out there for hours by herself,” Amber said, adding that Hollis had a “big imagination.”

Last month, thanks to donations from the community, the Welches Schools installed a new swing to remember and celebrate the life of Hollis, who died in a drowning accident at a summer camp on Aug. 21, 2020, despite wearing a life jacket.

“Hollis loved holidays, giving gifts, her birthday, celebrations,” Amber said. “Any excuse for a party or gathering, she was at the center of it.”

The swing, which will also feature a plaque dedicated to Hollis and painting by students at the school in the future, marks another moment where the Mountain community rallied around the Carpenter family and their loss. Donations totaled more than $15,000 for the new swing.

“To me, that is saying that so many people came together for a little girl and did that in her honor is huge,” Amber said, adding that her older daughter, who works at the school, has heard students talking about the new swing. “Even the younger kids know her and remember her.”

“Hollis Carpenter was a joy,” said Kendra Payne, Welches Schools Principal, adding that the model of swing selected is a Unity Swing, one fitting of Hollis. “She was kind and funny and fun. I will never forget her laugh, her bright eyes, her big smile and her sweet voice.”

In the aftermath of Hollis’ passing, the family set out to collect life jackets and install a station at the Pine Hollow reservoir, where they have a cabin. Amber estimated the effort garnered 200 lifejackets, made available in case anyone at the site who forgot one could recreate safely.

Amber added that support came from all over the community, including the Welches Liquor Store, the Rhododendron Dairy Queen, Coffee Brewsters, the Welches gas station, Skyway and so many more.

“It just goes so deep, where you don’t even realize,” she said. “The fact that my kid could drown while wearing a life jacket, it’s insane.”

In another example of how the community stepped up after Hollis’ passing, Amber recalled how the Riverside Fire that year forced the family to evacuate from their house. A custom-made urn had just arrived and was placed in their car, but it was broken into and the urn was stolen (no ashes were in the urn at the time).

Amber reached out to the man who had made it, who responded that a box would be arriving soon. An anonymous member of the Mountain community had tracked down the maker on Etsy and replaced it for the family.

“Somebody did that,” Amber said. “The effort to do that is so incredible, it just speaks volumes for our community. We still to this day do not know (who did it).”

Hollis’ middle name was Day, a contribution spurred on by her older sister because “Hollis Day” is close to “holiday.” And in light of that, the family and community have taken to the saying, “Make every day a Hollis Day,” a reminder to keep Hollis’ happy, kind and loving spirit alive every day.

“It represents her and a good overall quality of life,” Amber said, noting how the middle name was very appropriate for her daughter. “She would not want us to sit around; she’d want the party to go on. We’ve really tried to honor that.”

“She lived the biggest life for a 12-year-old,” Amber added, noting that Hollis got to travel to Puerto Rico and went to Disneyland three times in the year before she passed.

This year, the family also hopes to continue the efforts to protect children recreating on the water by adding a life jacket station at Trillium Lake.

By Garth Guibord/MT

2021 marks the end of Sandy River Watershed Council posted on 01/01/2022

The Sandy River Watershed Council (SRWC) – an independent nonprofit organization working to preserve and protect the Sandy River watershed since 1997 – ceased its operations last month as the board of directors announced its dissolution.

“It’s a tremendous loss and it's been very painful,” Gerald Murphy, a 46-year Mountain resident who was the vice chair of the SRWC board, told The Mountain Times. “We did everything we could, but it's just down to economics.”

In an email dated Friday, Dec. 17, the SRWC noted that staffing losses, limited funding and restricted conditions from the pandemic lead to financial difficulty. Murphy noted the organization dropped from six full time positions to 1.5 in that time, adding that they paid back grant funding and were ceasing operations as responsibly as possible.

“We’re going to just disappear by the end of the year (2021),” he said. “It’s been a real struggle.”

The SRWC has partnered with various other organizations through its history in a number of projects throughout the Sandy River watershed, including annual litter cleanup events, “Weed Smackdowns” to remove invasive species, stream restoration projects, floodplain reconnection projects and many more.

Murphy got involved with the SRWC after the 2011 flood, joining the board in 2013, and his participation with the organization lead to getting involved with other committees, including the Clackamas County Planning Commission.

“My awareness and everything I could learn about channel migration has led to my community involvement,” he said.

Murphy noted that the loss for the watershed efforts is huge and fears for when the next high-water event similar to 2011 or 1996 happens.

He did add that there are grant opportunities for other organizations to help pick up the slack, citing the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, The Freshwater Trust and the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District as a few of the groups who could fill the void.

“This is way too valuable a watershed to just let go and ignore,” Murphy said, adding another way that the SRWC contributed was that it also offered help to the City of Sandy during the process of trying to improve the city’s wastewater system.

In an email to The Mountain Times, Heather Ibsen, Public Affairs Officer for the Mount Hood National Forest, wrote, “The Sandy River and its watershed is important in sustaining populations of salmon, steelhead and other aquatic species - as well as supplying hundreds of thousands of Oregonians with clean drinking water. With about 70% of the Sandy River basin on Mt. Hood National Forest land, we’re dedicated to working with all partners interested in its restoration.”

The December email cited more than 16,000 volunteers with the organization since 2013 that made a difference to the watershed, while Murphy offered his appreciation to those involved.

“The dedication from the staff and board members has been incredible,” he said. “It hurt so much to see this go down.

"We did everything we could. We were just as shocked we had to go this direction. We thought it was the most responsible thing we could do.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

County hearing on Hoodland Park District set for Jan. 6 posted on 01/01/2022

Clackamas County Commissioners will take comments regarding the proposed Hoodland Park District at the Thursday, Jan. 6 business meeting.

The meeting will be both in-person and virtual and will begin at 10 a.m.

The proposed district, which will be decided on by voters in the May election, would encompass approximately 20,000 acres, including the communities of Sleepy Hollow, Brightwood, Wemme, Welches, Zigzag, Rhododendron, Government Camp and Wapinitia, and feature a board of directors that will be elected on the same ballot.

Regina Lythgoe, one of the district’s organizers, hopes that the board can feature members from throughout the district, if formed.

“It would be nice to have representation from all of our communities,” she said.

If formed, the district would receive three parcels of land on Salmon River Road from Clackamas County and would develop the Dorman Center site as a community park.

Possible amenities could include a pavilion, playground, walking trails, extended community garden, bike pump track, skate park, dog park, space for farmers market, restrooms and onsite security.

The district would be funded by a local property tax, proposed to be at approximately 67 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (resulting in approximately $200 per year on a house with an assessed value of $300,000).

Some community members in the Government Camp area expressed reservations about the district, with a survey by the Government Camp Community Planning Organization revealing 84 percent of respondents opposing its formation.

A report suggested that the district exclude the communities of Government Camp, Summit Meadows and Wapinitia.

Kimberly Dinwiddie, Clackamas County Public Information Officer and Policy Liaison, told The Mountain Times that the commissioners could modify the petition that succeeded in obtaining enough signatures to put the district on the May ballot.

Lythgoe noted that the district’s current boundaries are based on the boundaries for the Welches Schools and that the district’s improvements would help everyone.

“It benefits both sides,” she said. “It’s considered the Mountain.”

Lythgoe added that the district’s organizers are expected to meet with a campaign coordinator in January to map out a timeline to help in the run up to the election.

If the district fails to form, the parcels of land on Salmon River Road will be sold by Clackamas County.

By Garth Guibord/MT

A changing of the guard for Fire District's volunteer board posted on 01/01/2022

After nine years of serving as the president for Hoodland Fire District’s (HFD) Volunteer Board Association (VBA), Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Nick Miller is stepping down from his role with the board. Miller will be succeeded as president of the VBA by Firefighter/EMT Dawson Kooch, station manager at the Government Camp Station.

“My life has gotten busier,” Miller said. “I like to stay engaged as much as possible, but don’t currently have the time the position deserves.”

Miller, the owner of Cascade Yard Works in Zigzag, began volunteering at Hoodland Fire District in 2001 and has since earned his firefighter, emergency medical responder (EMR) and EMT certifications. During his 20 years with the district, he has received awards for Firefighter of the Year, Medical Responder of the Year and the Fire Chief's Award: Above and Beyond. He will continue serving as an active-duty firefighter/EMT volunteer responder for the district and will remain on the board as the sergeant at arms for the organization.

The VBA held the vote for new officers on Dec. 14 and new officers were announced at a meeting on Dec. 15 at the main station in Welches. Other board officers elected are Vice President Firefighter/EMT Brandon Bergeron, Treasurer Lisa Kline, and Secretaries Sally Chester and Debra Sinz.

The volunteer board is a not-for-profit organization that promotes community outreach and fundraising activities for the fire district, a combination district comprised of paid staff and volunteers providing emergency response for the mountain communities.

Kooch joined the district in 2018 after participating in Gresham Fire District's Cadet Program. He has received his firefighter and EMR certifications as well as his EMT rating. Kooch recently received commendations for his service during a 17-day deployment at the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon and has taken part in seven wildland deployments.

A recent remodel of the Government Camp Station, where Kooch is the station manager, made it possible for HFD to maintain volunteers on site in a residency program. The proximity of agency responders to a potential fire in the community contributed to the reduction of the ISO (Insurance Services Office) rating from 10 to 4 for properties in the area.

“(This role) is a new way of taking responsibility. I got a lot of support from members urging me to pursue the position,” Kooch said. “The responsibilities are definitely keeping me very busy. We have the Government Camp station staffed 95 percent of the time.”

Kooch’s priorities for the VBA include continuing the organization’s mission of public outreach, encouraging public involvement and awareness of HFD’s role in the community, promoting recognition for HFD member’s achievements and revitalizing fundraising efforts.

Both Miller and Kooch underlined the important role volunteers play in assuring safety and emergency response in the fire district and encourage public involvement.

“Some members of the community don’t realize the volunteer opportunities with HFD,” Miller said.

For more information regarding volunteer opportunities with HFD contact the district at hoodland@hoodlandfire.org or 503-622-3256.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Rhody CPO meets in person for first time in two years posted on 01/01/2022

The last time the Rhododendron Community Planning Organization (CPO) held an in-person meeting, various dignitaries (and a cake) were on hand to celebrate the first of two centennial celebrations for the community. This month, the group will hold its first in-person meeting since then, a break of two years thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s going to feel great,” Steve Graeper, CPO President, said. “It’s long overdue and we’ll be able to start a communication process that has been lacking for the past two years.”

The agenda includes a series of guest speakers, leading off with Hoodland Fire District Chief Jim Price, who will discuss his vision for the district and possibly making Rhododendron a Firewise community. Bill Messner and Julie Hernandez will represent Portland General Electric and will discuss wildfire management and preemptive outages, followed by a short discussion with Marci Slater about the Hoodland Park District that will be put to voters in May 2022.

Graeper also plans on providing updates on a possible Rhododendron Gateway Arch sign and next steps on the Rhody Rising efforts to revitalize the community. He noted that after the recent completion of a transportation growth grant, he hopes to get the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to do a traffic study (more in-depth than a speed study) in an attempt to make Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron more pedestrian friendly.

“It was not my idea to put the highway on a road diet,” Graeper said, referring to the idea of reducing the lanes on Hwy. 26 to a single lane in each direction in Rhododendron. “That was ODOT’s idea. It’s just a possibility.”

The meeting will also feature the election of new officers for the CPO, with Graeper planning on no longer serving on the board.

“It’s time for a change,” he said.

The CPO meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, at the Mt. Hood Village RV Resort, 65000 Hwy. 26 in Welches.

A full agenda is expected to be posted in the Rhododendron Post Office in early January.

Graeper noted that COVID-19 protocols will be in place, including masking, but the specific measures in place may change based on recommendations at the time.

“It’s a very fluid environment with COVID, we don’t know what the requirements will be,” he said.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Winter reading challenge to read for a better world posted on 01/01/2022

Looking for a staycation idea now that the holidays are over and the dark, cold days of winter have fully arrived?


Sandy and Hoodland libraries invite community members to participate in Beanstack’s fifth annual winter reading challenge during the month of January. The “Read for a Better World” reading challenge encourages readers to explore diversity, empathy and action through literature.

Library patrons are challenged to read for 600 minutes or more from Jan. 1 through Jan. 31. The libraries will award a $50 gift certificate from a local business to a winner drawn from the participants who complete the challenge.

2022 will be the second year the local libraries take part in the event. In the winter of 2021, 31 community members participated in the challenge.

“People seemed to really enjoy the program last year,” said Monica Smith, children’s librarian for Sandy and Hoodland Public Libraries. “We’re hoping to get more (participants) this year.”

The challenge is sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group. Library patrons will have access to Lerner’s “Read for a Better World” themed books during the challenge.

“Readers need a true diversity of books to not only see themselves, but to see that they are part of a big, beautiful, diverse world… Read for a Better World provides an inclusive literary collection that will help (participants) grow as readers and as people,” stated Lerner Publishing on their website.

Libraries and schools throughout the nation are encouraging their communities to read a target number of minutes and books during the winter reading challenge. Libraries and schools with the highest performance will earn prizes from Lerner Publishing Group, including book collections, signed books and virtual author visits.

Readers can keep track of their progress on the library’s Beanstack site at Sandy.Beanstack.org or through the Beanstack app for iPhone and Android.

Any age library patron can enter in the reading challenge.

Smith provided a sample list of recommended reading for the program by age cohort:

Ages 0-6

“H Is for Home: A Sesame Street ® Guide to Homes around the World” by Karen Latchana Kenney.

“Parents Like Mine” by Marie-Therese Miller.

“Something Special: All Kinds of Foods” by Lisa Bullar.

 Ages 5-10

“Thanku: Poems of Gratitude” edited by Miranda Paul.

“Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer” by Traci Sorell.

“Ruth and the Green Book” by Calvin Alexander Ramsey.

Ages 10-18

“Immigration, Refugees, and the Fight for a Better Life” by Elliott Smith.

“Mass Incarceration, Black Men, and the Fight for Justice" by Cicely Lewis.

“The Life Heroic: How To Unleash Your Most Amazing Self” by Elizabeth Svoboda.

Age 18+

“The Four Million: The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories” by O. Henry.

“The American Dream? A Journey on Route 66 Discovering Dinosaur Statues, Muffler Men, and the Perfect Breakfast Burrito” by Shing Yin Khor.

“Walden” and “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau.

Registration and more information is available online at Sandy.beanstack.org.

By Ben Simpson/MT

'Dragnet,' 'Popeye,' more for theater fundraiser posted on 01/01/2022

Kelly Lazenby, Artistic Director of the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company (NNB) in Boring, noted that choosing a selection of radio plays and more for the annual “In Front of the Philco” fundraiser can be an interesting process.

“It’s kind of tricky, because you don’t want it to be so unfamiliar,” she said, adding that the length of the pieces and the number of voices are also factors.

This year’s offerings, which will take place on the weekend of Jan. 28-30, include “Dragnet,” “Flash Gordon,” “My Favorite Husband” and “Popeye,” along with a selection of jingles, commercials and perhaps even a live musical number.

“They’re all either funny or else really super melodramatic,” Lazenby said. “There’s no in between, really.”

She added that in doing plays that were intended for a radio audience, it offers the opportunity to search out pieces that include some interesting sound effects – which is a good reason “Flash Gordon” is part of the performances.

“I like doing things like ray guns, rockets blasting off and stuff like that,” Lazenby said.

Each evening of performances will last less than two hours and will be appropriate for all ages. There will also be concessions available for purchase.

Lazenby hopes that the fundraiser can help pay for NNB’s upcoming spring productions: David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Fuddy Meers,” about a woman who wakes up each morning with no memory of yesterday, in March; and A.R. Gurney’s “The Dining Room,” about the experiences of a number of different families in the room that brings everyone together, the dining room, opening in May.

NNB’s “In Front of the Philco” fundraiser will be held Friday, Jan. 28 through Sunday, Jan. 30, at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $15. For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Contributed photo
Naughty weather makes finding a nice tree a challenge posted on 12/01/2021

Area merchants and tree farmers warn that locals looking for that perfect Christmas tree this season can expect a less abundant selection after a summer of high heat and drought conditions impacted tree farms in the region.


U.S. Forest Service representatives stated that people intending to harvest their own tree should expect to find more “Charlie Brown Christmas Trees” in the National Forest with plenty of cheer, but potentially a brown spot or two due to the parched conditions this year.

“I think this is the worst season we’ve had,” said Kathleen Harrison, owner of Harrison’s Tree Farm in Sandy. Her farm, located at 48080 SE Coalman Road in Sandy, is a family-run farm that began growing trees in 1996.

The farm supplies three buyers in the Seattle area and one near Hillsboro, and is open for U-Cut on weekends starting the Friday after Thanksgiving. Harrison estimated they sell 800 trees annually to people looking to choose their own tree.

“We lost 40 to 50 percent of the new seedlings we planted this year during the heat dome in June and we’re seeing a lot more brown then usual on the older trees” Harrison said.

The farm was able to fill its wholesale orders for the year but she anticipates having to incorporate younger than ideal trees to meet demand as well as potential shortages in years to come as this year’s lean planting matures.

Welches Mountain Building Supply typically sells approximately 150 to 175 trees to the Mountain community each year. The owner of the building supply, Rochelle Simonds, noted that most of the tree suppliers in the area are having the same issues with burnt trees and stunted new growth. Simonds was able to secure the trees her business needs for their lot from Al and D’s Christmas Trees in Estacada, a farm she has done business with for years.

“We’re all local and we’re in it together,” Simonds said about the farm’s willingness to work with to assure the needed supply of fresh-cut trees.

“The heat impacted a good 50 percent of the trees that we would have marked for sale this year,” said Kevin Morris, operator of Al and D’s farm. “When you have a dead spot, it throws the whole tree off.”

Both Simonds and Morris predict a price increase in farmed Christmas trees this year due to the reduced supply.

Morris stated that due to the small nature of the family farm he operates generating a set profit is less a factor than using the land for cultivation.

“We try to be fair; it is Christmas,” Morris said. “We enjoy making sure the community has Christmas trees up there.”

For residents interested in finding and cutting their own trees, Christmas tree permits for the Mt. Hood National Forest are available to purchase at local vendors and online through Recreation.gov. The permits cost $5 per tree with a limit of five permits per house.

“The trees are not like lot Christmas trees,” said Heather Ibsen, Public Affairs Officer for Mt. Hood National Forest. Ibsen stated the trees in the National Forest were also showing signs of stress from the hot and dry conditions this year.

A Forest Service press release stated that this year “tree cutting is prohibited along Highways 26, 35, & 216; in Wilderness; in the Bull Run Watershed and The Dalles Watershed; fire closure areas; Camp Baldwin; and other areas closed to public entry.”

“Last year was busy out in the forest, and we’re expecting the same this year. We anticipate increased visitation but on a smaller footprint due to fire closures,” Ibsen said.

She requested that people seeking to cut their own trees in the national forest be prepared for changing weather and respect signage for boundary lines guiding where cutting is allowed. More information about the permits is available online at https://tinyurl.com/mthoodtreepermit.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Park District petition expected to be approved posted on 12/01/2021

Organizers of the proposed Hoodland Park District, a new entity that could receive three parcels of land on Salmon River Road from Clackamas County and oversee community projects from Wapinitia to Sleepy Hollow, expect the county to verify enough signatures on a petition to put the potential district on the May 2022 ballot. The petition required 788 signatures to be submitted to the county before Nov. 18 to be verified, and Regina Lythgoe, co-chair of the effort, reported 1,077 signatures were obtained.

“It was a relief to finally get them done in such a short amount of time,” she said, adding that 34 volunteers participated in the drive to get signatures. “It feels good to get everybody involved and all the help we got from the volunteers.”

The county has 10 days to verify signatures and certify the petition, which Lythgoe expected to be done in the early days of December. Once certified, the county commissioners will have 50 days to hold a public hearing, but no date has been set as of yet.

Lythgoe noted that organizers expect to hold a number of community forums and other outreach following the hearing.

The proposed district would encompass approximately 20,000 acres, including the communities of Sleepy Hollow, Brightwood, Wemme, Welches, Zigzag, Rhododendron, Government Camp and Wapinitia, and feature a board of directors that will be elected on the same ballot. District organizers hope to develop the Dorman Center site as a community park, with possible amenities including a pavilion, playground, walking trails, extended community garden, bike pump track, skate park, dog park, space for farmers market, restrooms and onsite security.

The district would be funded by a local property tax, proposed to be at approximately 67 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (resulting in approximately $200 per year on a house with an assessed value of $300,000).

The district could acquire other land in the community (either by purchase or a gift) and secure different methods of funding (such as grants) to create trails connecting Mountain communities, an ice-skating rink or other amenities.

If the district fails to form, the parcels of land on Salmon River Road will be sold by Clackamas County.

One Mountain community expressed some reservations about the proposed district, as the Government Camp Planning Organization formed a subcommittee to gauge interest in it.

The subcommittee created a survey, which showed 84 percent of the 156 responses were opposed to the district (76 percent of 33 registered voters who participated were opposed).

The survey was conducted over three days in October and was limited to one response per household.

In a document outlining the survey, the subcommittee recommended that petitioners should reconsider the proposal and exclude the communities of Government Camp, Summit Meadows and Wapinitia.

Lythgoe noted the district’s aim is to improve livability throughout the Mountain and that many of the people who work in those three areas live in Welches, Rhododendron and other Hoodland communities.

“We’re in this together,” she said.

For more information, visit the district’s website, www.hoodlandparkdistrict.us or email hoodlandparkdistrict@gmail.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Photo by Garth Guibord
Breckie, coffee and more at Fernie's posted on 12/01/2021

Sandy Spitzer first moved to the Mountain in 1996 and has worked in various industries, including at a snowboard camp and in a number of restaurants.


Last month, Spitzer opened her own business, Fernie’s Coffee, 73265 E. Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron.

“I can say I’ve always wanted to be my own boss,” Spitzer said. “I didn’t know what it was going to be.”

Fernie’s offers various coffee drinks along with breakfast, including biscuits and gravy, bagels, steel cut oats and Greek yogurt parfaits, along with lunch, including sandwiches and soup.

Spitzer noted that her experience in serving drinks gave her a head start on her new trade.

“It’s kind of like bartending, but with coffee,” she said. “It's definitely an art, like bartending.”

Fernie’s offers Stumptown coffee and Spitzer noted that the process of getting up to speed on preparing drinks has been made easy by the coffee company.

“I’m definitely learning a lot; Stumptown has been awesome, they have a really great educational program,” she said, noting that a representative has visited the mountain coffee shop a couple times to help get things started.

Spitzer also noted the shop will have consistent hours along with friendly service and will be dog-friendly (after all, Fernie’s is named after her family’s miniature Australian shepherd). Photos of customers with their pets already adorn walls at the shop, and Spitzer hopes to someday offer homemade dog treats.

“People love their dogs up here,” she said.

For now, she’s not planning on adding anything new for the immediate future, although she added she’s planning on growing at some point, “one way or another.” She’s focused on getting everything dialed in for the winter season, while appreciating all the support she’s received to get to this point.

“The community’s been really helpful,” Spitzer said.

Fernie’s Coffee is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday (closed on Wednesday). For more information, find Fernie’s on Facebook or call 503-564-9061.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Chamber returns to in-person meetings in January posted on 12/01/2021

The past 21 months for the Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce have been anything but “business as usual.” After the coronavirus pandemic hit, the chamber halted in-person meetings, held board meetings via zoom and took efforts to help its members, including not collecting dues for a year.

Next month, the chamber will restart its monthly in-person meetings, held on the first Tuesday of each month, and will welcome Jason Brandt, President and CEO of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association (ORLA).

“The 21-month long span of the pandemic to date has caused widespread disruptions in Oregon’s hospitality industry,” Brandt wrote in an email to The Mountain Times. “Our discussion at the Chamber will include a review of the challenges faced by the industry to date, relief programs that have assisted many with business survival, and the many challenges that persist as operators work to bring back a sense of normalcy for their employees and customers.”

Brandt added that while some businesses have started to be profitable again, some had to go into debt to cover unavoidable losses.

“Our hope at ORLA for the business world would be that 2022 is full of consistency for business operations without unexpected and overly volatile government regulations,” Brandt noted. “2019 was the last year any business was able to rely on operating hours based on their own decision making."

“Our hope for 2022 is that it is filled with opportunities to bring joy and fulfillment to our guests as we work to transition from a pandemic to the management of an endemic throughout our state and country,” he added.

The chamber will play its part in helping out Mountain businesses this year by reducing membership dues, made possible by years of volunteer efforts, including the proceeds from The Bite of Mt. Hood.

The chamber’s first in-person meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, at the Mt. Hood Oregon Resort, 68010 E. Fairway Avenue in Welches. Refreshments will be served and COVID protocols will be followed. For more information, call 503-622-3017.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Fire District urges home safety preparation for the winter posted on 12/01/2021

While the mention of a chimney sweep can frequently bring to mind the movie “Mary Poppins,” a proper chimney cleaning can help prevent a chimney fire, which can rapidly develop into a fire that effects the structure of the building.


Each year approximately 25,000 chimney fires are reported nationwide and cause millions of dollars of damage to homes, thousands of injuries and many deaths.

“We recommend you clean your chimney at least twice a year. Creosote can really build up quickly,” Hoodland Fire District Chief Jim Price said. “We’ve already had a couple chimney fires this fall and we expect a few more heading into the winter.”

HFD residents can borrow chimney brushes from the district’s main station in Welches as community members begin to spend more time indoors and rely on their chimneys for warmth and comfort during the cold winter months. The program is offered by the HFD for free in an effort to prevent chimney fires in the district.

Creosote is a highly flammable residue that builds up inside the chimney as a byproduct of burning wood. When the sticky, black or brown material builds up in sufficient quantities and is exposed to high enough flue temperatures a chimney fire can occur.

Residents are advised to measure the inside of their chimney pipes before coming to the station during business hours to borrow an appropriately sized brush and six-foot extension rod. A photo I.D. and the completion of a check-out form is required to borrow a brush. Instructions for using the brushes are available online on the HFD website.

The district also offers to install reflective address markers for residents whose driveways are not currently marked in an effort to facilitate quick emergency response times.

“One of the things that slows us down the most is finding the house,” Chief Price said. “Most of our calls are in-house medicals, and we have lots of elderly and vulnerable populations.”

Residents can order the materials for the markers from the district for $25. The markers will be assembled and installed by HFD at no additional charge.

Chief Price added that the district has many residences on unmarked, long and treelined driveways.

“The markers are a value to us. It makes (responding to an emergency) a lot easier when minutes count, seconds count,” he said.

The address marker will be installed at the end of the driveway so that it is easy to see from a distance. Markers can be ordered on HFD’s website and will take four to six weeks for delivery and installation.

More information about both home safety programs is available online at https://www.hoodlandfire.us or by contacting HFD by phone at 503-622-3256.

By Ben Simpson/MT


A Christmas mystery posted on 12/01/2021

Kelly Lazenby, director of the December Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company’s production, noted that a play with Sherlock Holmes has always been at the top of the list. This month, the time has come with “The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays,” by Ken Ludwig.

“It’s funny, it’d madcap, it’s a little bit of a murder mystery and it’s Christmas,” Lazenby said. “There’s a little bit of everything.”

The story features a group of actors celebrating Christmas together at the home of actor William Gillette in Connecticut. Gillette was a real person, an actor who met Arthur Conan Doyle, wrote a play based on the Sherlock Holmes adventures and then played Sherlock for more than 20 years on Broadway.

In the play, Gillette must recover after being shot in the final show of the season, which also featured a stagehand dying. When the cast gathers at Gillette's house, they are joined by theater critic Daria Chase, who ends up murdered later that night, offering Gillette a chance to try his hand as Sherlock Holmes for real.

Lazenby noted that the show is running for just two weekends, but each weekend will include a Saturday matinee in order to offer eight performances. COVID-19 protocols will be in place, including masks, but Lazenby added that those haven’t been a big challenge for the theater.

“It hasn’t really been too much of a hassle, people are pretty happy to be going somewhere,” she said.

NNB’s production of “The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays,” by Ken Ludwig will run from Friday, Dec. 10 through Sunday, Dec. 19, at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays.

Ticket pricing is from $12-15 and the show is appropriate for all ages, but best enjoyed if over 10 years old. There are special group rates for parties of ten or more and concessions will be served. For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.

“Miracle” continues

in Sandy

The Sandy Actors Theatre (SAT) will continue its production of “Miracle on 34th Street,” about a Santa at a department store who claims to be the real Santa and ends up going to the Supreme Court where he gets the help from a little girl. The production is written by Lance Arthur Smith, adapted from the 1947 Lux Radio Broadcast (itself adapted from the hit movie).

“Miracle on 34th Street” will run through Sunday, Dec. 19, at SAT, 17433 SE Meinig Avenue in Sandy (behind Ace Hardware). Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 general admission, $13 for children and $15 for seniors, first responders, students and veterans (reservations are recommended). For more information, or to make reservations call 503-936-4378 or visit sandyactorstheatre.org.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Tips for living where the wild things are posted on 12/01/2021

As the boundaries between rural and urban areas shrink, encounters and conflicts with wildlife become more common. Forest-dwelling communities know this particularly well. It’s a natural assumption that many wildlife species move in and around those communities, some more welcome than others.

Native to Oregon, cougars range throughout the state and the highest densities occur in the Blue Mountains in northeast Oregon and in the southwestern Cascade Mountains. Their primary food source is deer, but they will also consume elk, raccoons, beaver and other mammals and birds.

The number of cougar complaints in the Mount Hood area received by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) this year is on track to be well below average. While there is no recently documented increase in cougar populations around Mount Hood, it’s important to consider the factors that may contribute to the perception of more of these big cats in the area.

Over the last several years the use of trail cameras and home security cameras has increased. With eyes and ears open 24/7, these camera systems catch critters that would otherwise go undetected. The animals appearing on a doorbell camera have likely been around for quite a while, only now having their cover blown.

Seeing a cougar around your home can be unsettling if you weren’t aware of their presence before. However, sighting a cougar is not necessarily a cause for alarm and the good news is there are steps to help humans and wildlife coexist peacefully in spaces we share:

– Learn your neighborhood. Be aware of any wildlife corridors or places where deer or elk concentrate.

– Walk pets during the day and keep them on a leash.

– Shelter pets and livestock indoors at night.

– Feed pets indoors.

– Don’t feed wildlife. Don't leave food and garbage outside.

– Use animal-proof garbage cans if necessary.

– Remove heavy brush from near the house and play areas.

– Install motion-activated lights along walkways and livestock/poultry enclosures.

– Be more cautious at dawn, dusk and nighttime when cougars are most active.

– Deer-proof your garden and yard with lights and fencing.

If you encounter a cougar, make yourself look big, spread your arms and make lots of noise. Cougars will often retreat if given the opportunity, so leave them a way to escape. Above all, don’t run. In the extremely unlikely event that you’re attacked, fight back and protect the back of your head and neck.

Following these precautions and staying alert outdoors can make our communities safer for humans and for wildlife.

Cougar concerns can be reported to your local ODFW office in Clackamas at 971-673-6000 during regular business hours or the Oregon State Police after regular business hours and for emergencies. For more information on living with cougars visit https://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/cougars.asp.

By Beth Quillian/For the MT

Beth Quillian is a public information officer with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Photo by Garth Guibord
La Niña pattern offers hope for a snowy winter posted on 11/01/2021

Mount Hood ski resorts are readying for the winter season as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecast calls for a cooler, wetter winter in the Pacific Northwest and across the northern part of the country.


This winter’s NOAA forecast holds promise for a good snow season on Mount Hood and is largely predicated to the occurrence of the ocean-atmospheric climate phenomenon known as La Niña.

“(La Niña) is the main driver for a forecast of above-average precipitation in the region this winter,” said Andy Bryant, National Weather Service Hydrologist. “Big picture; it’s a good outlook for snowpack in the North Oregon Cascades.”

The La Niña weather pattern periodically occurs when lower than average sea temperatures in the Eastern Tropical Pacific shifts the jet stream to the north. This shifting of the atmospheric river of winds over the Pacific commonly brings more storms to the northern part of the North American continent.

“During this phenomenon, the storm track is aimed at Washington and Northwest Oregon,” Bryant said.

This winter, the NOAA expects moderate La Niña conditions to result in slightly below-average temperatures in the region and slightly above-average precipitation. Current data shows strengthening La Niña conditions in the Pacific.

Area ski resorts are preparing for a busy season, potentially aided by favorable snow conditions. “La Niña typically bodes very well for snow conditions at Timberline and other ski areas on Mount Hood,” said John Burton, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Timberline Lodge. “Last year there was a lot of demand for outdoor experiences and also a lot of challenges. We’re looking forward to things being back to somewhat normal.”

This season, Timberline’s Summit Pass, formerly known as Summit Ski Area, is officially part of the Timberline ski area. The addition increases the resort’s vertical terrain to 4540 feet, the longest in the United States.

Mt. Hood Skibowl has worked to streamline guest experience this winter with tickets available for purchase online in January, additional kiosks for lift ticket redemption and a new Skibowl food truck offering grab-and-go seasonal menu items and beverages. The resort is also beginning a multi-year project replacing their metal halide lights with LED replacements. The retrofit will reduce energy consumption by 50 percent and provide an improved visual night experience for guests.

“La Niña years have always been very generous to Skibowl, and we are looking forward to more of the same this season,” said Mt. Hood Skibowl representative Karen Norton.

Above-average precipitation and mountain snowfall this winter should also help alleviate some of the severe to exceptional drought conditions covering most of Oregon.

“It will take 120 to 130 percent of average precipitation for western Oregon to get out of drought conditions,” Bryant said. “It is really unlikely that central and eastern Oregon will see the 150 to 175 percent of average precipitation needed to end ongoing drought conditions.”

“We’re hopeful for some good snow in the Western Cascades,” he added.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Christmas basket program sends out call for volunteers posted on 11/01/2021

Carol Norgard, one of the volunteer organizers of the annual Hoodland Community Christmas Basket program, noted that last year’s efforts included close to 60 volunteers, an increase from past years when 30 volunteers participated. She attributed that partly to spreading out the volunteers throughout the day and limiting the number of people involved at any given time due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“More people can come and assist before or after work,” Norgard said, adding that the efforts were spread over a few days, starting in the morning and going into the evenings, which offered times for community members with varying schedules.

And for the second year in a row, organizers will use signup.com, a website that helps facilitate volunteer efforts, allowing people to log in and sign up for a time slot and activity. Volunteers will have to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions this year, too.

The program offers a food basket and a gift for children ages 18 and under to those in need within the Welches Schools boundaries. Norgard said they helped between 80 to 95 families each year in the past three years, and they anticipate the same number this year, although they plan for more in case the need arises.

“Things were very similar (in 2020) to the way they’ve been all along,” she said.

Anybody on the Mountain is welcome to participate and Norgard added that many people show up who don’t have children or are not part of one of the community organizations, but just want to help.

Volunteer activities include moving the food items (covered vans and trucks are needed for this part), sorting the food, checking the expiration dates, assembling boxes, deliveries and more, and Norgard noted that it can involve a lot of lifting. Every food box is assembled for a family of four, but the group will add more items for larger families.

“We pay attention to that because we have the opportunity to,” Norgard said.

Volunteer times are available from 2:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18. A cleanup day will be added to the www.signup.com site.

For more information, or to sign up for volunteering, visit https://signup.com/go/kXdgUML. The group will also accept donations, which can be offered through Venmo at www.venmo.com/u/Hoodland-ChristmasBaskets.

For anyone interested in receiving a basket, applications will be available starting the first week of November at various locations, including the Clackamas County Bank, Coffee House 26, Smoke on the Mountain, Welches Mountain Building Supply and the Welches Liquor Store.

Welches Schools will also send home applications, which can be dropped off at any location where they are available and also at the Hoodland Fire District main station, 69634 Hwy. 26 in Welches.

Giving trees will be available in late November, offering the chance to get gifts that are part of the basket program. Trees will be located at Clackamas County Bank, Coffee House 26, Smoke on the Mountain, Welches Mountain Building Supply, Welches Liquor Store and the Welches Schools.

The Hoodland Community Thanksgiving Dinner has been cancelled this year.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Park District petition on the clock for getting signatures posted on 11/01/2021

Clackamas County approved a petition that could pave the way for voters to decide the fate of a proposed Hoodland Park District on the May 17, 2022 ballot. The petition, in the works since before the coronavirus pandemic began, will now be circulated through the Mountain community as organizers hope to secure 1,000 signatures before the Thursday, Nov. 18 deadline.

“It feels very gratifying,” said Marci Slater, one of the organizers of the effort, noting the petition requires 788 valid signatures but they have a higher target to provide a margin of error. “We are looking forward to just getting it on the ballot. We want to get it on the ballot so that everybody has a voice in whether this goes through. I feel like there’s a lot of momentum in the community for this.”

The proposed district, which had originally been considered for the November 2020 election, would encompass approximately 20,000 acres, including the communities of Sleepy Hollow, Brightwood, Wemme, Welches, Zigzag, Rhododendron, Government Camp and Wapinitia, and feature a board of directors that will be elected on the same ballot. If formed, the district would receive three parcels along Salmon River Road gifted by Clackamas County, including the site of the former Dorman Center, which features the current community garden.

The district would develop the Dorman Center site as a community park, with possible amenities including a pavilion, playground, walking trails, extended community garden, bike pump track, skate park, dog park, space for farmers market, restrooms and onsite security. The district would be funded by a local property tax, proposed to be at approximately 67 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (resulting in approximately $200 per year on a house with an assessed value of $300,000).

Organizers and up to 25 volunteers were expected to begin collecting signatures at various sites throughout the community starting on Friday, Oct. 29 (a full list of sites and times is available at the end of this story). Slater added that she expects another 20 volunteers to be trained on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

A full copy of the petition will be on hand at every site, but Slater encourages people to visit www.hoodlandparkdistrict.us to read it beforehand.

Slater added that she was expected to take part in a Zoom call with the members of the Government Camp Community Planning Organization on Thursday, Oct. 28 to answer questions and concerns.

She noted that there is some resistance in that community to being included in the district’s boundaries, but that she hopes people there see the potential for the district developing recreational activities there in the future, as the district could acquire other land in the community (either by purchase or a gift) and secure different methods of funding (such as grants) to create trails connecting Mountain communities, an ice-skating rink or other amenities.

“I’m glad that they are paying attention and engaged,” Slater said. “This is really important.”

She added that if enough signatures on the petition are approved, the Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners will have a hearing where people can share their thoughts on the proposed district. If the district fails to form, organizers noted the parcels of land will be sold by Clackamas County.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Mount Hood National Forest welcomes new Forest Supervisor posted on 11/01/2021

When Meta Loftsgaarden moved to northwest Oregon in 2003, she looked east from her office in Portland and saw the sun rising over Mount Hood.

“There’s nothing more gorgeous,” she said.

Now, as the new Forest Supervisor for the Mount Hood National Forest (MHNF), Loftsgaarden will get a multitude of views of that iconic peak, overseeing four different ranger districts (including the Zigzag Ranger District) and everything associated with them, from recreation and timber harvest to fire prevention and fish habitat.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” she said. “The Mount Hood National Forest is really just one of the most diverse forests in the west, certainly in this region.”

Loftsgaarden grew up in Montana, noting that she spent much of her time in national forests and parks, including spending time cross country skiing. In her early days in Oregon, she and her husband came to the Zigzag Ranger District where she realized that despite the forest’s proximity to an urban center, there were undiscovered places just a short distance away.

“For me, Zigzag was the first place that I got to that made me feel that this could be home,” she said, adding that while she is new to the job, she has spent 18 years finding places on Mount Hood to explore.

Loftsgaarden previously worked for the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service on partnership and policy issues including farmland protection, working forestland easements, and strategic conservation, and most recently served as the Executive Director for the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, a state agency that supports community-based conservation, habitat restoration, and improved water quality.

For Loftsgaarden, balancing the demands on the forest, with the large numbers of visitors and the transportation issues, with the environmental impact of human activities as a challenge for her new role, also noting the forest’s economic impact, including timber harvesting.

“I think there’s a lot of really cool opportunities that lie within that in how we manage the forest moving forward,” she said.

When asked about a possible revision of the Northwest Forest Plan, originally signed in 1990 and used to manage the forest (including the recently approved timber harvest under the Zigzag Integrated Resource Project), Loftsgaarden noted that the efforts would be started at the national level. She added that even without revisions, there have been studies and other analysis that have been informing decisions connected to the plan.

Loftsgaarden also said that when there is a revision to the plan, she anticipates working on it with the public and various other partners in an open and transparent way.

“I would expect that this is going to be a process that we are going to engage a lot of people in,” she said.

Loftsgaarden also noted how she wants to help visitors and others understand how closely the decisions on the forest are connected to the people who live there. In light of that, she said she plans on being “thoughtful and intentional” about those decisions and to take the time to understand the perspectives of people living in the forest corridor.

“Everything impacts people on the Mountain,” said Loftsgaarden, who has a Masters of Public Administration from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Science from Montana State University. “A lot of forests don’t have this population.”

By Garth Guibord/MT



Mountain's new holistic care clinic posted on 11/01/2021

Doctors Jason and Melanie Brown moved to Welches in 2018 to raise their five boys with greater proximity to the healthy influence of Mount Hood’s nature and outdoor activities.

The couple, who met while earning Doctor of Chiropractic degrees from the University of Western States, have owned and operated the Pure Life Clinic in northeast Portland for 15 years.

After settling into their new home on the Mountain the couple decided to expand their practice with a clinic offering their holistic health and wellness treatments in their new community.

“We realized we’ve found our forever home and now we want to have our business here,” Melanie said.

After carefully searching for the right location, the two signed a lease in April and gradually began seeing patients at their new practice, the Mountain Life Clinic, during the summer. The new clinic is located at 67195 Hwy. 26 in Welches.

“By word of mouth we’ve had nice, slow growth over the summer,” Jason said. “Now we’ve got everything in place at the clinic and we’re ready to blow it up.”

The couple’s described their new undertaking as a low-volume clinic that utilizes science-based natural medicine techniques to address patient concerns as well as examining and finding solutions for underlying barriers to optimal health.

The clinic offers chiropractic care, massage therapy and treatment plans for auto injury, pain management and sports medicine. Jason provides a focus on rehabilitation treatments at the clinic and Melanie often provides a clinical focus for prenatal and child treatments.

Melanie stated that while the treatments provided are all based on evidence and science, the two have made an attempt to create a relaxing environment and provide a calming oasis to receive treatment in. The clinic offers a flexion distraction chiropractic table for spine and back treatment.

The two are joined by Fran Nystrum, LMT, a long-term resident of the Mount Hood community who provides massage therapy at the clinic, and Dr. Cristine Kadykalo, who provides naturopathic medicine consultations.

The clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Appointments can be made online or by calling the office. The practice accepts Blue Cross, Moda and Pacific Source insurance and offers discounts for community members without insurance.

Jason stated that the clinic strives to be a “point of entry” for addressing health conditions and aims to provide conservative treatments before referring patients for further MRIs, x-rays or surgical consultations.

“Often the patients that fail to respond to an initial conservative treatment plan ultimately respond better to the surgery due to the preparation,” he said. “If (conservative treatment) works you’re better and if it doesn’t we’ve helped patients prepare.”

Melanie stated the couple hopes to make the clinic a place where people can learn about all elements of their health. Future plans for the clinic include offering a yoga class on Monday nights and other community involvement.

More information about the Mountain Life Clinic is available online at https://purelifeclinic.com/mountainlifeclinic. The clinic can be contacted by phone at 503-287-0010 or by email at FrontDesk@MountainLifeClinic.com.

By Ben Simpson/MT


The Scene on Stage: A holiday heart-warmer posted on 11/01/2021

Theatergoers at Sandy Actor’s Theatre’s (SAT) radio show of “Miracle on 34th Street,” opening this month, may recognize Kris Kringle. Yes, that is Santa Claus, but in this case, patrons may also recognize the performer. That would be Curt Hanson, who recently was in episodes of “Portlandia” and “Documentary Now!” and has also performed at various Portland-area theaters, but is perhaps best known as Mr. Perkins in the classic movie “The Goonies.”

Hanson plays a Santa at a department store who claims to be the real Santa, and ends up going to the Supreme Court where he gets the help from a little girl. The production is written by Lance Arthur Smith, adapted from the 1947 Lux Radio Broadcast (itself adapted from the hit movie).

“It’s a great show; very poignant in places,” Hanson said, while noting that playing Santa is a far cry from Mr. Perkins.

Director Cheryl Rudarmel Beam noted that the show will include updated, custom commercials and feature 11 actors using three microphones to create the atmosphere of a radio show. Beam noted that the actors will interact with the live audience, while the production will take all precautions to stay socially distanced.

“We want families to feel comfortable bringing their children,” she said, noting that they are not expecting to offer concessions.

Beam added that she hopes the show can bring some happiness to area families, noting the challenges of the pandemic.

“I hope they embrace the Christmas spirit this year,” she said. “I know it's been hard for all of us these last few years. At least they can enjoy a show together; it’s a very heartwarming story.”

SAT presents “Miracle on 34th Street” from Friday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Dec. 19, at 17433 SE Meinig Avenue in Sandy (behind Ace Hardware). Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 general admission, $13 for children and $15 for seniors, first responders, students and veterans (reservations are recommended). For more information, or to make reservations call 503-936-4378 or visit sandyactorstheatre.org.

A preview night will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 23, featuring the Wy’east Artisans Guild’s “Christmas Presents” exhibit. Tickets for the preview are $10 and only available at the door.

By Garth Guibord/MT


School profiles highlight student data, lack assessment data posted on 11/01/2021

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released the At-A-Glance School and District Profiles for the 2020-21 school year last month. The profiles included graduation data along with student and teacher data.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the profiles released last year and this year do not include all of the data found on the previous versions, with assessment data being reported separately due to lost participation rates and attendance data also expected in a seperate report.

“The information provided in this year’s at-a-glance is very limited, but the bullet points about our programs and opportunities for parent engagement are useful take-aways,” Welches Schools Principal Kendra Payne wrote in an email to The Mountain Times, while noting the Oregon Trail School District opted out of the state assessments year but will participate next spring.

Despite the lack of state assessment data, Payne wrote that teachers have continued to use formative assessments in classrooms to determine whether students understand the content and are ready to move forward. Teachers also use other methods for gathering data around student learning, she added, including Acadience, a screener that helps determine whether elementary students need small group support.

“We also use a standards-based assessment called iReady that helps teachers plan for reading and math instruction,” Payne wrote. “These assessments have been utilized consistently over the past two years, and continue to give teachers meaningful data about their students.”

Payne cited the district’s focus on meeting individual student’s needs as the district’s biggest strength, while the Welches Schools’ biggest strength is in building relationships with students and families.

“Our strength is in our community, and that will help us serve the increased needs of our students,” she noted.

Payne added that a variety of programs have been expanded and refined to help improve student achievement in the past two years, including refining the Response to Instruction & Intervention system to make data-based decisions about student supports at the elementary level and revamped electives and the advisory program at the middle school level.

“Our knowledge of our reading programs has grown through practice applying them in virtual and in-person settings,” she noted. “We will continue to refine our instructional practices to maximize student growth.”

To view the ODE At-A-Glance School and District Profiles for the 2020-21 school year, visit https://www.ode.state.or.us.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Photo by Garth Guibord.
Area menus include staffing and supply shortages posted on 10/01/2021

Sunday night at dinner time and the Barlow Trail Roadhouse’s normally bustling dining room is empty with a “Closed” sign on the door. This scene played out several times over the summer, not as a result of state mandates or an outbreak of illness, but from a lack of prepared food to serve the public.


“We call it ‘Sold out Sundays.’ It’s five o’clock on Sunday and we’re out of food. Sorry to laugh, but it’s weird,” said Sue Exley, co-owner of the Barlow Trail Roadhouse in Welches.

Local restaurants have reported record sales since reopening for dining in the spring. The boom in business has presented new challenges as restaurant owners navigate supply chain issues, food cost increases and labor shortages all impacted by the pandemic. 

Local restaurateurs described frequently encountering empty shelves at the restaurant supply stores over the summer and having to go to as many as four or five different stores to get goods needed for their restaurants.

“The chef stores have been 33 percent empty (this season),” said Rick Exley, co-owner of the Barlow Trail Roadhouse.

Exley stated he’s driven the 60-mile round trip to Gresham to get menu items multiple times a week to stay up with customer demand.

Local restaurant owners stated that the restaurant food distributors that supply the area’s restaurants have struggled to make deliveries and have the same food shortages and price increases.

“The suppliers basically don’t have enough drivers and warehouse pickers,” said Tom Anderson, owner of the Rendezvous Grill in Welches.

Rick Exley stated a distributor he has worked with, Harbor Foodservice has ended service to the Mount Hood Region due to a lack of drivers. He added that other products he uses have been unavailable due to COVID-19 outbreaks at the production facilities.

“COVID-19 and quarantines are still hitting the big distributors,” Exley said.

Some in the community are shifting where they get their food in response to the shortages and to support the local community.

“We try as much as possible to get locally grown and produced goods to step away from the big box restaurant supplier,” said Robin Klein, owner of Al Forno Ferruzza in Rhododendron.

After operating for months with scaled-back crews offering mainly take out, local restaurants have found themselves understaffed for the surge in customer demand over the summer.

“We’re so busy we can’t keep up,” Sue Exley said. “It’s unprecedented; it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen in 18 years.”

“We’re chronically short on labor,” Klein added.

Labor shortages during re-opening have been reported by restaurants nationwide. Mount Hood business owners noted the small labor pool in the community has amplified the issue in the region.

“It’s even more severe for us on the mountain,” Sue Exley said.

She also cited a lack of affordable housing for workers, extended unemployment benefits, childcare and workers transitioning to other more consistent employment as factors.

“People got tired of being the yo-yo on the string,” Exley added about the multiple shutdowns and re-openings of the region’s restaurants over the past year and a half.

The Rendezvous Grill has scaled back hours of operation to retain its core of long-term employees.

“We’ve held on to our basic staff that we’ve had for years and years,” Anderson said. “A restaurant is a human resources business. They cook it; they clean it, and they sell it. (By reducing hours of operation) we’ve been able to focus on our core crew.”

Mount Hood area restaurateurs cite lessons in adaptability learned from the highly seasonal nature of business as key for overcoming obstacles in the past year.

“What’s cool about the Mountain is that people are already adaptable. They’re ready to put on a jacket and eat outside. We’ve been able to adapt to new mandates, windstorms, fires and power outages and keep the business going,” Klein said.

“The public has been very supportive. We’re lucky to be in the community,” said Anderson. “We open at three and see what happens. It’s an adventure every day.”

By Ben Simpson/MT


Park district effort has Nov. 15 petition deadline posted on 10/01/2021

After being delayed for more than a year, organizers of a potential Hoodland Park District restarted efforts with a rally held on Tuesday, Sept. 14 to help enlist volunteers to circulate a petition. Approximately 750 signatures will be need by Monday, Nov. 15 in order for the district to go a vote on the May 17, 2022 ballot.

“Awesome, more exciting than ever,” Regina Lythgoe, one of the organizers, said in describing the starting effort.

The proposed district, which had originally been proposed for the November 2020 election, would encompass approximately 20,000 acres, including the communities of Sleepy Hollow, Brightwood, Wemme, Welches, Zigzag, Rhododendron, Government Camp and Wapinitia, and feature a board of directors that will be elected on the same ballot. If formed, the district would receive three parcels along Salmon River Road gifted by Clackamas County, including the site of the former Dorman Center, which features the current community garden.

The district would develop the Dorman Center site as a community park, with proposed amenities possibly including a pavilion, playground, walking trails, extended community garden, bike pump track, skate park, dog park, space for farmers market, restrooms and onsite security. The district would be funded by a local property tax, proposed to be at approximately 67 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (resulting in approximately $200 per year on a house with an assessed value of $300,000).

Becky Fortune, who raised five boys on the Mountain and attended the September rally, noted that there were limited options for activities for her children, adding that her boys would frequently travel to Sandy to use the skateboard park there.

“It was a challenge,” Fortune said.

Fortune started working at the Welches Schools more than 20 years ago and recalled a number of grant-funded activities she helped coordinate, including adult classes such as yoga and pilates, art classes taught by area artists, afterschool programs and more, that only lasted a few years. She sees an opportunity for a potential park district to collaborate with various organizations on the Mountain to return some of those offerings for the community.

“I visualize being able to bring that back,” Fortune said. “We wouldn’t necessarily have to build a community center, but work with the school district for facilities.”

The district would also open the opportunity for other land in the community to be purchased or gifted, with a number of potential developments throughout the Mountain, such as bike and pedestrian trails connecting Mountain communities, an ice skating rink, a swimming pool and more. Organizers also noted that grant funding would be available to the district for projects, such a skate park, or for acquisitions, while the community would help determine the components and design of a proposed park.

If the district fails to form, organizers noted the parcels of land will be sold by Clackamas County.

More info hoodlandparkdistrict@gmail.com or visit www.hoodlandwomensclub.org.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Hoodland Fire receives grant for new breathing apparatus posted on 10/01/2021

While many imagine the breathing apparatus firefighters are frequently shown wearing into a fiery environment is an oxygen tank, it contains regular breathing air, which consists of only 21 percent oxygen.

“Pure oxygen in a fire isn’t a good thing,” said Scott Kline, Division Chief for Hoodland Fire District, pointing out one of the many potential dangers firefighters encounter in the line of duty.

The Hoodland Fire District (HFD) was awarded a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) in August for the replacement of all the district’s Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). The annual grants have been offered by FEMA since 2001 to provide funding for “critically needed resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.”

“A SCBA is worn any time we’re working in an IDOH (In Danger of Hazard) environment,” said Kline.

A SCBA consists of a facemask, backpack, straps and a tank. The grant money will enable the district to purchase 31 masks and packs, 62 refillable bottles and 10 extra masks.

The updated protective gear will cost $220,398 with $209,900 provided from FEMA funds and the district providing five percent in matching funds, or approximately $10,495.

The SCBAs are evaluated for safe use based on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. The district’s current SCBAs were last upgraded in 2008 and met 2007 standards at the time.

Kline explained the district was expecting to have to phase out and replace these devices next year.

“Next year (our current devices) will not meet the safety standard set forth by the NFPA,” Kline said.

The updated standards will render the 15-year-old SCBAs obsolete. The district will not be able to donate the gear to another district for use.

Each bottle contains 45 minutes of regular breathing air for use in the field before a replacement bottle is needed. HFD has a compressor to refill and reuse the tanks at the station.

HFD will begin receiving sample SCBAs from manufacturers for evaluation and testing, followed by a bid request, purchasing and fulfillment over the next six months before receiving the new devices.

More information about the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is available online at https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters. HFD can be contacted at hoodland@hoodlandfire.org.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Friends of Timberline auction focuses on experiences posted on 10/01/2021

Last year, the Friends of Timberline (FOT) shifted its annual auction to be an online event, offering some unexpected challenges, including trying to understand the software to make it happen.

“It was a big learning process,” said Laura Henderson, FOT Vice President and Chair of the 2021 FOT Auction. “We survived it and we got through it.”

This year, the auction returns in an online form again, with a focus on offering bidders the chance to win a variety of outdoor experiences, including a guided hike on the south side of Mount Hood, the chance to visit a master gardener’s garden and a unique fly-tying experience.

“I would love to do that,” Henderson said. “In the time of COVID, those (outdoor experiences) are important to people.”

Other auction items include an original Pucci chair from the Timberline ski lift, a vintage Puccci scarf, embossed prints, a custom bench and pillow upholstered with Pendleton fabric, Timberline Lodge related art and collectibles and more.

Things kick off at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 with a live broadcast from Timberline Lodge, which will offer an update on the restoration of the naturalistic pools at the lodge. The auction's start will take place at approximately 6 p.m.

Henderson noted that there was a dedication in September for the pools, an ongoing project for FOT that has now been completed.

“It’s just a beautiful and special place,” she said.

Henderson added that the auction is one of the key opportunities for the organization to do fundraising. FOT will celebrate its 50th anniversary in a few years, and Henderson hopes that a future project will include preserving its history and stories through videos.

“That’s one of the things that’s on the horizon that we’re starting now to do fundraising and planning,” she said.

Auction participants can preregister for the event at www.friendsoftimberline.org, and all registered bidders receive a Columbia Sportswear pass to the Employee Store in Southwest Portland. The auction will run from Saturday, Oct. 2 through Wednesday, Oct. 6.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Photo by Garth Guibord.
Mountain students thankful to return to the classroom posted on 10/01/2021

Last month, students returned to the Welches School for a full day of education for the first time in nearly 18 months. After more than a year of virtual learning and a limited return to the classroom, the kids were ready.


“I’m really excited to go back because my mom was going to make me go back to virtual, but then she realized I should probably come back to school to see my friends more,” third grader Bryan Califf said. “I’m really happy about that.”

Eighth grader Xavier Davis was surprised about how going back to school was easier than he anticipated, noting that the biggest differences was having to see people and his sudden lack of ability to grab a bite to eat.

“I would just stand up, turn my camera off, go downstairs, get food and come back,” Davis said about his experience in virtual learning, adding that it wasn’t much fun to work on the assignments he was given without talking to anybody about them.

Fellow eighth grader Emma Mayer noted that the time away from school impacted her social skills, while paying attention was a challenge with so many distractions at home. That made the return to school a pleasant one, but still a challenge with the sudden return of so many classmates.

“It was good, a little nerve wracking with so many people,” Mayer said.

Third grader Wren Schreiner spent her first year at the schools mostly learning from home, meaning her return to school this fall also includes meeting her new classmates in person.

“I am really excited to get to know everybody here and get some new friends,” she said, adding that she loves how small the school is after going to one that was “huge.” “I had a really fun time there, but now at Welches I’ve been having way more fun.”

And while fifth grader Gunnar London is excited to see his teacher and friends in person, he did note a couple things that were pleasant about his time learning at home.

“I do miss the mute button,” he said, “And it was nice that I didn't have to wake up in the morning.”

Principal Kendra Payne noted the start of the school year did have a few challenges, including an impact from the bus driver shortage that is felt throughout the state and the need to refine the loop for parents to drive through and pick up their children. But she also wanted to thank the community for helping to make the best of it all.

“We just really appreciate everybody's patience,” Payne said. “I’m just really grateful for the community.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

Effort to recall County Commissioner Mark Shull underway posted on 09/01/2021

Organizers of a recall effort for Clackamas County Commissioner Mark Shull have started the prep work before they file the official petition, which is expected sometime this fall. Cris Waller, who is expected to be the Chief Petitioner, told The Mountain Times that 50 volunteers have been trained and are collecting pledges to sign the petition.

“In that way, what we are hoping to do is ensure that before we pull that trigger, we have enough support, we have enough people lined up to sign,” Waller said. “We want to make sure that once we say ‘go’ we are going to succeed and get this on the ballot.”

Shull, who took office in January, came under fire for offensive and racist comments posted on social media.

“We’re continuing to see that behavior,” Waller said.

Once a petition is filed, the organizers will have 90 days to submit approximately 30,000 valid signatures from voters from the district to recall Shull. A signature verification process will follow; if the petition fails to meet the number of valid signatures the process is stopped, while if the petition does have sufficient signatures, Shull can either resign within five days or face a recall election within approximately one month.

Mike Silvagio, another one of the organizers on the effort to recall Shull, noted that their goal is to have 40,000 signatures, as validity rates in most recall efforts come in around 75-80 percent.

“I’ve done this a number of times, familiar with campaigns that squeak in and others that exceed expectations,” Silvagio said, adding that they have learned from recent recall efforts on how to better prepare to get the necessary signatures, including one on Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Silvagio noted that the passage of Oregon Senate Bill 761 from the 2019 regular session changed how signatures can be obtained. The new law, in effect since 2020, requires that only electors who have a personally printed copy (or requested a print copy from someone) of an electronic signature sheet for a petition or prospective petition may sign a signature sheet.

“A lot of this is breaking new ground,” Silvagio said, adding that electronic signature sheets are important due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. “So far we’re on track. We’ve got a really good head start on that 90-day period.”

Shull told The Mountain Times that he expected the recall effort after he was elected.

“I knew this was coming,” he said, adding that he doesn’t believe that anybody he’s dealt with would accuse him of being a xenophobe, homophobe or racist. Shull also noted that he delivered a statement to Muslim leaders from Portland, calling that a “resolved issue.”

Shull does not plan on campaigning against the recall petition and remains intent on doing his job as a commissioner.

“That, in and of itself, is all I should do to counteract any efforts on the recall,” he said, adding that he has no political advisors working for him. “More and more people have watched my performance and are very comfortable with me as a commissioner. That is what I believe is important.”

Shull said that his approach to being a commissioner is to represent everybody in the county and that he would not resign if enough signatures on the petition are verified, but he would “happily go home and go about (his) business” if the recall vote doesn’t go his way.

“I got elected by the people of Clackamas County, I intend to serve them,” Shull said, adding that he is convinced that in the end he will prevail.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Fish, forestry and more in new natural resources magazine posted on 09/01/2021

Years ago, Mountain resident Steve Wilent attended a joint workshop that featured different forestry and wildlife groups from Oregon and Washington. In some meetings, they listened to presentations on managing wildlife and forestry.

“We have a lot in common,” Wilent said. “I thought a magazine that could bring out that same kind of info sharing, technique sharing and support would go over well.”

Last month, Wilent published the first edition of that magazine, “Natural Resources Management Today.” The free monthly release includes insights and updates on fish, forests, range, wildlife and water, and will also venture into a variety of other topics, such as wildland fire, carbon sequestration and markets, ecosystem services, GIS and remote sensing, natural resources management education, recreation, urban parks and green spaces.

Wilent, who served as the editor of the monthly newspaper of the Society of American Foresters, called “The Forestry Source,” from 2004 until this year and as a forestry and natural resources instructor at Mt. Hood Community College since 1996, noted there hasn’t been a publication that offers crossover opportunities for these various fields and the number of people who could be interested in it is large. There are more than 250,000 natural resource management professionals in the U.S., plus approximately 119,000 students at more than 1,000 institutions of higher learning within the field. And there’s more by adding professionals in Mexico and Canada to the tally, plus any landowners and other stakeholders who may be interested in these topics.

The inaugural edition includes stories on private forests, the pressure of a growing population on southern timberland owners, technological innovation in fighting wildfires, a student profile (a feature that will be in every edition) and more.

Wilent, who is also a former publisher of The Mountain Times, noted that the reaction to his first edition has been positive, but he’s not looking to rest on his laurels.

“I want to know how it can be made better,” he said. “I invite that kind of feedback from readers, with the goal of making it a better newsletter.”

Wilent added that wildfire coverage will be a continuous thread throughout the magazine, thanks to the topic involving more than just forests.

“That’s an important topic for the nation,” he said, “It’s a huge topic that will be covered to some degree in just about every edition.”

He also hopes to have more coverage on technology, specifically drones, which are used in a wide range of natural resource management areas, such as stream surveys, vegetation and fish habitat and more.

“Instead of having a crew walk up the stream, they get all this data and more,” Wilent said. “You still need to have people in the woods, but the drone is a tool that helps capture a great area.”

The magazine will also give back to the natural resource management community through a $2,000 scholarship, open to students enrolled in 2022 in undergraduate and master’s in natural resources degree programs. And at some point down the road, Wilent also hopes to offer an internship program.

“That’s a priority for me, get students involved,” he said.

"Natural Resources Management Today" is free and can be viewed as a PDF by registering at https://nrmtoday.com/.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Fire district's new 'game changer' mobile response network posted on 09/01/2021

Before this past spring, the Hoodland Fire District (HFD) used iPads connected to cellular networks to manage incidence response data.

“If we didn’t have cell service, we lost everything,” Brian Henrichs, HFD Division Chief for Operations and Training, stated.

That issue was solved when the district acquired and installed Cradlepoint LTE mobile data centers (MDC) for all the district’s emergency response vehicles in May.

The Cradlepoint LTE emergency network greatly improves the district’s ability to access important, time-sensitive information when responding to calls in parts of the district where cellular service is limited, stated Henrichs.

“The (data centers) have been a game changer,” Henrichs said. “We used to have to pay close attention when responding in areas out of cellular range, but the new Cradlepoint network gives us close to real-time data throughout the district.”

Funding for the MDCs was made possible by a Special Districts Association of Oregon coronavirus relief fund grant. The system cost the district approximately $114,000 to equip 12 vehicles altogether.

“This purchase wouldn’t be possible without the coronavirus grant,” Henrichs stated. “It would have otherwise taken the district years to fund the MDCs.”

The district ordered the Cradlepoint system with the grant money in October of 2020, but encountered delays due to the devices being backordered that prevented the district from equipping the vehicles until the spring.

HFD field tested the devices in areas of the district without cellular connectivity before making the purchase and found that the new network provides comprehensive coverage in the Mount Hood communities. The MDCs are equipped with built-in GPS tracker and hard-loaded maps including hydrants and water supply access points to assure accurate location data regardless of data connectivity.

The Cradlepoint network also protects and secures patient data by providing enterprise-grade network security that ensure data remains protected and HIPAA compliant.

“The safeguards on patient information add another protective layer to privacy for the public,” Henrichs said.

The Cradlepoint network makes district firefighters less reliant on emergency dispatchers for incident information and time-sensitive updates. The network updates every 15 seconds assuring the responders have the latest information from police and other first-responders while in-route.

“Sometimes communication with dispatch can be delayed. (The MDC’s) take that delay out of the equation during incident response,” Henrichs said.

The data centers provide the firefighters with multiple layers of maps including Google Earth, a topographical map, and the ability to measure distance from the vehicle to a location on the map. This feature is useful to get a rough estimate for hose lay in the case of a wildfire or structure fire with no direct vehicle access.

The Cradlepoint mobile emergency data network is also utilized by Clackamas County Sheriff’s Department and the Clackamas County Fire District.

Henrichs stated that he was familiar with the system from his tenure working with American Medical Response and had been interested in acquiring the technology since he joined HFD. “It’s a huge benefit for the district,” he said.

For more information on HFD, visit https://www.hoodlandfire.us.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Photo by Garth Guibord.
¡Bienvenida ChiCali Cantina! posted on 09/01/2021

Robin Parker’s journey into Mexican food began at a young age. Growing up as an adopted child in Whittier, Calif., she wanted to be a part of a big family she didn’t have but connected with a Hispanic family down the street.


“I loved how all of the family members would be in the kitchen together cooking and all of the smells,” Parker wrote in an email to the Mountain Times. “I loved how we all sat at the table together eating with tortillas (no forks) and listening to everyone speaking Spanish, from then on, I was hooked!”

The latest step in the journey is her new restaurant, ChiCali Cantina, 68256 Hwy. 26 in Welches (in the Hoodland Park Plaza), offering Mexican and American cuisine based on her experiences in the Baja region and in Southern California. Parker noted the menu will appeal to both locals and tourists, with creative twists on Mexican food “without being too fussy or fancy.”

She added that menu items will be made from scratch and using high-quality ingredients, including made-to order guacamole, salsas and enchilada sauces from dried chiles that are shipped in, their own poblano cheese sauce for nachos, a house-made ice cream featuring a habanero salted caramel sauce and seasonal dishes featuring high-quality steak cuts and fresh seafood, such as stuffed jumbo shrimp. In addition to the Mexican cuisine, ChiCali Cantina will also offer burgers, specialty salads and beach-inspired fresh fruit bowls.

The beverage list will include whole fruit and fresh-squeezed margaritas, tequila flights and other creative cocktails and west coast wines.

“We have put our heart and soul into creating an experience that represents the same vision and passion that was put into creating our food, as well as investing in our community,” Parker added. “Our atmosphere incorporates a sense of being on vacation blending nature, a fun beach-y vibe, and a warm inviting lounge and outdoor area to gather by the fireplaces.”

The restaurant’s vision stems from her food and travel experiences, including time spent in the Baja region, southern California and in Arizona.

“We traveled to Cabo annually for about 16 years and were kindly invited into many kitchens on my travels and learned a lot of salsas and other dishes, lots of fun,” Parker noted. “From my travels, I always dreamt of having a place where you can enjoy taqueria style tacos and well-made margaritas in a great environment.”

She began her career in the industry as a personal chef, then catered to CEOs at some of the largest companies around Portland and then spent time on a consulting team that offered front and back-of-house training, menu development, food costing and more.

Opening ChiCali Cantina offered the unique challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, adding to the costs of building materials, lead times, permits and food.

“We are grateful for the ability to build our dream and are compassionate for our friends and fellow restauranteurs who greatly suffered the aftermath of unprecedented times,” Parker wrote.

The restaurant will also offer a Mexican-inspired Sunday brunch featuring fresh-squeezed mimosas, pasilla Bloody Marys, huevos rancheros, chilaquiles and cornmeal pancakes with candied bacon and orange-infused maple syrup. ChiCali Cantina is a family-friendly restaurant (serving cotton candy to kids on Sundays) and has a large patio that is also dog friendly (with a dog menu).

ChiCali Cantina is open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (the restaurant is closed on Monday and Tuesday). Happier Hour is from 2-4 p.m. daily.

For more information, visit www.chicalicantina.com or call 503-564-9091.

By Garth Guibord/MT


New owners keep the wine flowing at Cooper's posted on 09/01/2021

Cooper’s Wine Bar and Shop in Welches will “pass the bottle” to new ownership starting in September. A current employee, Bri Dittlinger, and business partners will take over the establishment and continue the legacy of Cooper’s by keeping the wine flowing when long-term owners Shannon and John Thompson relocate to Hood River.

The new owners are hosting a grand reopening party with live music, appetizers and a local tasting event from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, to celebrate their new adventure as wine shop owners.

“It’s been a dream that sparked into a reality,” Dittlinger said about the decision to purchase the shop. “We wanted to make sure (Cooper’s) stayed in the community.”

Dittlinger is purchasing the business with her husband, Kevin, and another couple, Michael Morlan and Ryan Black. The two couples met while neighbors in the Mount Hood RV Village. They bonded over a common background of growing up in the St. Louis area, similar career paths and a shared interest in wine. The four were regulars at Cooper’s when Dittlinger began working parttime two years ago with Shannon Thompson, who mentored her on working in the industry.

“(Shannon) knew when she was mentoring me that I was interested in owning a shop. When the opportunity came up, I knew I did not want to let it go, and that we four have a friendship solid enough to open a business together,” Dittlinger said.

The shop will continue to offer a selection of local and imported wine with a focus on west coast and northwest regional wines. The shop features a “Mountain Local” section that offers 30 bottles produced within 100 miles of Mount Hood.

All four owners will work at the shop pouring wine and beer and offering guidance on the selection. September will mark the return of Cooper’s hosting beer and wine tastings, as well as offering beer and wine by the glass and charcuterie plates. The wine glass pours consist of four reds, three whites and a sparkling wine selection and will rotate every week. Tasting flights are available of any four of the eight glass pours.

The shop will resume hosting wine tastings from local wineries on the second Friday of each month. The local tastings will begin on Friday, Oct. 8 with wine from Wy’east Vineyards in Hood River.

“We want to continue to offer an inclusive and open space to gather in the community. Our goal is to have a business where anyone can show up and feel welcome,” Dittlinger said.

Community members are invited to come meet the new owners at the Sept. 10 re-opening party and enjoy live music and food provided from the neighboring cantina.

Cooper’s Wine Bar and Shop is located at 24540 East Welches Road in Welches. New hours for the shop in September will be 3-9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 1-9 p.m. Saturday.

Cooper’s offers indoor and outdoor seating.

More information is available on the establishment’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cooperswines/ or by phone at 503-662-2025.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Dental clinic returns in early October posted on 09/01/2021

Tami Beaty, Director of the free dental clinic being held next month at the Sandy Seventh day Adventist Church, understands that people may not be prioritizing tooth health during these tough times.

“It’s been very apparent that there’s a lot of people that need this care,” she said, noting the challenges of the pandemic and that money is likely going to other needs.

The clinic, which first started in 2018 but was not held last year due to COVID-19, will offer a variety of dental services, including fillings, extractions, cleanings, x-rays and a new addition this year, crowns.

“We’re super excited about that,” Beaty said.

She also noted that people can get “flippers,” which are essentially dentures for a small number of teeth where people may be missing them.

“That can really make a difference when someone is going to a job interview,” Beaty said. “This is about people’s livelihoods, making their lives better, fuller.”

The last clinic (in 2019) served more than 100 patients and this year members of the Mount Hood Community College dental hygiene program will be on hand to help as many people as possible.

“We are going to try to get people through as fast as we can,” Beaty said. “It seems like every year we push harder to get people through.”

The clinic will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3 at the Sandy Seventh day Adventist Church, 18575 SE Langensand Road in Sandy. Beaty noted that patients should arrive early to start going through medical clearance for the clinic. No appointments are necessary, and the event will be first come, first serve for treatments.

There will be a limit of one service per patient, but Beaty added that during the times when there aren’t as many patients, people can go through the process again to receive further treatment. Root canals will not be offered.

The event will also feature free clothing for everyone who needs it, as well as free books and free baby equipment. Beaty also hopes to offer free food boxes during the clinic.

Beaty also added that if any dental assistants or dentists are interested in volunteering for the event, or if anyone has questions about it, to contact her at 503-698-4622.

Patients are asked to bring their owns masks to the clinic.

By Garth Guibord/MT

End of Summer Festival brings the tunes posted on 09/01/2021

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce has worked hard to help area businesses, including partnering with other chambers and Clackamas County for a business recovery center.

This month, the chamber will offer up some good vibes with its End of Summer Festival, similar to the annual Music Fair and Feast.

“It’s great to have something to focus on that’s positive,” said Khrys Jones, the chamber’s Executive Director. “From what I've heard, people are just ready to go do something.”

The event will take place on Friday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 11 at Sandy’s Centennial Plaza, 39295 Pioneer Blvd. Friday night will feature two musical acts, the Wil Kinky Trio and Jennifer Batten and Full Steam, along with food and a beer garden (doors open at 5 p.m. and music ends at midnight).

Saturday’s offerings (doors open at noon and festivities run until midnight) will include the Sandy Kiwanis motorcycle show (winners announced at 2 p.m.), a Kid’s Zone activities area from noon to 6 p.m., family bingo at 3 p.m., a photo booth from 4-7 p.m. and live music starting at 4 p.m. The musical acts (in order) will be BBLUEZMANBAND at 4 p.m., Chris Carpenter & The Collective at 6 p.m. and Nightlife starting at 9 p.m.

Jones noted that the event features a few more local bands than in the past, offering more of a community feel, while some people may be familiar with Jennifer Batton for playing guitar with Michael Jackson.

Food offerings are expected to include barbeque, nachos, baked potatoes, pastries and more. Jones added that masks will be required, but she hopes to have plenty of tables and chairs available to help people spread out.

General admission tickets (good for one night) are $10, VIP one-night tickets (including no-line entrance, entrance for one day, two drink tickets and a commemorative koozie) are $20 and VIP two-night tickets (including no-line entrance, entrance for both days, four drink tickets and a commemorative koozie) are $35. For more information, visit https://sandyoregonchamber.org/.

Further updates will be posted on the website and the chamber’s social media accounts.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Contributed photo.
Rhododendron celebrates its centennial +1 posted on 08/01/2021

On Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, the Rhododendron Community Planning Organization (CPO) held what was to be the first of two celebrations that year to mark the community’s 100th anniversary of the U.S. Postal Service commissioning the Rhododendron Post Office. More than 18 months later, the second celebration (delayed by the pandemic) will go on.


“We’re excited about it,” said Steve Graeper, CPO President.

The celebration, held simultaneously with the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum’s (MHCC) Steiner Cabin Tour on Saturday, Aug. 14, will offer looks into the community’s past, present and future, featuring kiosks from various organizations, a rhododendron plant sale, a special postmark cancellation created by Mountain artist Sue Allen and more.

Organizations taking part are expected to include Clackamas County, U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Forest Service (Zigzag Ranger Station), a display by the MHCC at the Log Lodge and a master gardener.

Graeper added a food cart may also be included and crossing guards will be on hand to make sure visitors can safely cross Hwy. 26.

Graeper also noted a report on the possibility of developing the core of Rhododendron will be available for people to look at.

“Hopefully we can start getting the downtown core developed,” he said, adding that a “road diet” could be considered to help slow traffic (see Graeper’s commentary on Page 6 of this issue for more).

The unincorporated community of Rhododendron was originally formed in 1909 as Rowe, with a post office named after Portland mayor Henry S. Rowe. In 1917, the Rowe post office was renamed Zig Zag with the spelling later changed to Zigzag.

Rowe built the Rhododendron Inn in 1905, a destination that attracted visitors from Portland, who took the Mt. Hood Loop Highway for a daylong journey to arrive there.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Hoodland Fire personnel join Bootleg Fire effort posted on 08/01/2021

The Hoodland Fire District (HFD) deployed three personnel and a type 6 fire engine on July 10 to assist at the Bootleg Fire, one of the largest fires in the state’s history.

The blaze has burned more than 380,000 acres in the Fremont-Winema National Forest in southern Oregon since July 6, as widespread drought conditions and record temperatures have brought fire conditions a month early to the entire region.

“This is the driest it’s ever been this early,” HFD chief Jim Price said on July 14. “It’s at least August-dry a month ahead of usual.”

HFD’s Lt. Andrew Figini was deployed at the Bootleg Fire on the State Fire Marshal’s Blue Incident Management Team. HFD’s Lt. Eric Macy and firefighter Dawson Kooch joined Brush 353 as part of a Clackamas County task force deployed to assist with the wildfire.

Chief Price stated that deployment was limited to three personnel because the district “doesn’t have any more (staff) to spare.” He added that despite the shortage of available personnel that HFD “has it covered, and things will ease up,” when more personnel return from scheduled leave.

Chief Price stressed the importance of helping elsewhere in the state and said, “It could be our turn next, and they could be up here helping us.”

He also urged members of the Mount Hood communities to be aware of the elevated risk of fire on the mountain stating, “Fuels in the area are very dry, and extreme caution is encouraged.”

Price stated that in mid-July the Mount Hood area was already at Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) II on the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) fire protection guidelines for areas west of the Cascades. IFPL I began on June 25 and marked the declaration of fire season by ODF. IFPL II includes limited shutdowns and restrictions on industrial operations in the region’s forests.

Community members are advised to prepare for potential public safety power shutoffs, wildfires and potential evacuations.

Power was shut off for many Mount Hood residents in September of 2020 as wildfires raced through the region.

“I would not be surprised if at some point (a shut off) happens again,” Chief Price said.

Sign up for Clackamas County Public Alerts at https://member.everbridge.net/index/892807736729067#/signup.

 Be prepared for public safety power shutoffs, visit https://portlandgeneral.com/outages-safety/be-prepared/prepare-your-home.

Be prepared for wildfires and potential evacuations if required, find more information at  https://www.ready.gov/wildfires.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Photo by Peggy Wallace
Rhody's Log Lodge wins restoration grant posted on 08/01/2021

Anita Halmøy Wisløff-Menteer and Erik Sims Wisløff-Menteer, owners of the Log Lodge in Rhododendron and Bestie’s Coffee, were awarded an Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (OSHPO) grant in July to aid with the restoration of the historic log building, originally constructed by William Lenz in 1929.


“We’re very happy to be recognized,” Anita said. “We were drawn to the building originally because it has a lot of soul and stories. We definitely knew how much work it would be.”

The OSHPO "Diamonds in the Rough" grants provide funding to restore or reconstruct the facades of historic buildings that have been heavily altered and return them to their original appearance. The reconstruction is funded by the state in an effort to qualify buildings for historic register designation (local or national).

The Log Lodge, located at 73330 Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron, is one of several log structures and frame buildings built by Lenz in the Mount Hood region during the 1920s and 30s. Other notable public houses constructed by Lenz include the Barlow Trail Inn, the Brightwood Tavern and the Traveler’s Roost, now known as the Zigzag Inn and Restaurant.

“The lodge has near 100 years of history to it. We’re hoping by restoring it that it’ll have many more,” Erik said.

The building was originally used as a music or meeting hall and then became a bar named the Log Lodge from the 1940s to the 1970s. The couple intend to keep the name and return the building to its use as a public house and lounge where locals and visitors to the mountain can congregate for drinks and good food.

“The lodge has a great room with a double-sided fireplace that is very iconic of the region,” Erik said.

The couple has enlisted David C. Rogers, renowned regional log builder and preservation expert, for the reconstruction process, as well as PMA Architects.

“We’re not just putting a band-aid on it,” Erik said about the couple’s commitment to maintain key structural elements of the log building’s original design.

The grant is part of OSHPO’s Preserving Oregon Grant program and is supported in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust. Grants are awarded for amounts up to $20,000 and are matched by funds from the grantee. The grants are awarded annually for four to six projects across the state.

The couple have temporarily closed Bestie’s Coffee while they focus on the renovation project. They intend to reopen the coffee shop in its new home in the lodge in the fall of 2021 and have the new lounge operational in 2022.

The grant application process was aided by support from the Rhododendron Community Planning Organization and the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum, who helped the couple gain insight into the history of the building in the community.

“Over time we’ve realized what a cultural anchor the lodge has been,” Anita said. “We feel a lot of support from the community (for the project).”

Anita invites any citizens with photos or stories about the lodge to contact the couple as they continue to map out the timeline of the building in the community.

Updates about the restoration progress will be available online at https://www.facebook.com/besties.coffee/ and the couple can be contacted by email at mail@bestiescoffee.net.

By Ben Simpson/MT

New book on Rhododendron a 'labor of love' for the authors posted on 08/01/2021

In researching the book he wrote with his wife, “Images of America: Rhododendron,” Steve Graeper learned about some of the unique characters who helped make the community special. One was Ethel Gallagher, who was known for dressing to the nines, dancing at the Log Lodge and serving breakfast at her cafe with curlers in her hair.

“That’s so typical of Rhododendron,” Graeper said. “I wish I knew Ethel Gallagher.”

The book offers seven chapters and 127 pages on the community, featuring stories and a bevy of historical photographs throughout the years.

Graeper noted that during the process of compiling photos and stories, he and his wife, Judi, were concerned they did not have enough photographs. But once they started working on the layout, he had to pare back from the more than 250 photographs they planned on using.

“That was kind of sad,” Graeper said. “What pictures do we pull, what pictures do we keep; that editing process was tough. Hopefully we kept the best.”

The book will be available at the Rhododendron Centennial +1 celebration (see story on Page 1 for more details), while Graeper also hopes to have it for sale at Mountain businesses in the near future. A limited number of autographed copies are also available for $25.

Graeper offered his thanks to Mary Carol Day and Leslie Phillips for their help in editing the book.

“We couldn’t have done it without them,” he said.

Graeper added that proceeds from the sales will benefit the Rhododendron Community Planning Oragnization.

“It was a labor of love for both my wife and my standpoint,” he said. “We’re very very pleased with how it turned out. We hope the community is as well. We didn’t do it for ourselves, we did it for the community.”

To order a copy, please email Rhodycpo@gmail.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

It's a bird! Hawkwatch resumes its raptor review posted on 08/01/2021

Hawkwatch International, a nonprofit organization that focuses on monitoring raptors, has tracked the migration of these birds since 1986, including at Bonney Butte since 1994. Last year, like so many other aspects of life, the group was unable to collect data on what types of raptors were migrating.

Starting at the end of August, Hawkwatch International will restart its efforts at Bonney Butte, lasting through the end of October and offering a chance for Mountain residents and visitors to learn more about raptors, from golden eagles to merlins and more (annual counts typically range from 2,500-4,500 migrant raptors of up to 18 species).

Kirsten Elliott, Hawkwatch International Development and Communications Director, noted that the lost year of data from 2020 is unfortunate, but losing more beyond that would be a bigger issue.

“When you have that long term data set, it’s not a massive problem," Elliott said. “It was so critical for us to open back up this year, at least for the science, if nothing else.”

Bonney Butte will see a crew of five raptor biologists who search the skies for migrating raptors between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day. They’ll hopefully be able to note the species of raptor and then tally daily counts that are available in real time.

Staff will also take part in educational programming and interpretation, helping visitors understand more about migration ecology, raptor identification and the group’s research efforts.

Elliott added that there are opportunities for a closer look as they also lure raptors in and trap them in an effort to tag the bird’s leg and learn more about its health. Birds are then released, which can make a strong impression for anyone there to witness it.

“That’s really magical,” Elliott said.

In the past, the group has also held a festival in Government Camp, but Elliot noted that will not take place this year.

“We hope to bring back festivals, it’s a great way to connect,” she said. “We love Government Camp.”

Bonney Butte Hawkwatch will run from Friday, Aug. 27 through Sunday, Oct. 31 and is located on the southeastern flanks of Mount Hood, within the Mt. Hood National Forest, and approximately six miles southeast of Government Camp. For directions and a list of suggested items to bring, please visit https://hawkwatch.org/bonney.

All activities are weather dependent and the best dates to visit fall between Tuesday, Sept. 7 and Tuesday, Oct. 12. If you are a large group, please contact Hawkwatch to schedule your visit in advance.

By Garth Guibord/MT


The Scene on Stage: Action packed August posted on 08/01/2021

When Katie Murphy took on the task of booking just one band for Sandy Summer Sounds this year, one group came to the top of her head. Scott Pemberton O Theory (SPOT), with their “Timber Rock” mix of jazz, funk, blues and rock, was a crowd favorite from the 2017 concert series.


“He just has a really wild, unique way of playing guitar,” Murphy said of Pemberton, adding that she received more positive comments than usual regarding the 2017 concert. “It’s almost like an extension of his body. He makes you happy watching him. He’s an upbeat person.”

SPOT will play from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, in Meinig Park (17670 Meinig Ave. in Sandy), part of a celebration of the City of Sandy’s 110th anniversary, featuring the theme of “Sandy Past and Present.” The city will also offer movies in the park, free ice cream, Bingo, a “reverse” parade and more throughout August, all free of charge.

More music will take place in Meinig Park from 3-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14 with the Sol Path Music Festival, featuring four bands: Ten Spiders, offering funky, bluesy folk rock; Silent Temple, playing jazz fusion; Flying Caravan, with psychedelic folk; and the Neptune Bass Association, offering eclectic reinterpretations of classics in a band of two bass players.

Murphy noted the festival’s origins came from a local group of professional musicians who were frustrated with not being able to play in the past 18 months due to the pandemic. They offered to put on the festival with just minimal help from the city.

“We couldn’t say no to that,” Murphy said. “It made it very doable.”

She added that unlike in prior years food vendors will not be on hand, but that people are welcome to bring picnics and beverages to the park. As of late July, Murphy also noted that visitors should check with the city’s website (https://www.ci.sandy.or.us/) and the city’s Facebook page to get any updates on COVID-19 protocols.

The city will offer two movies this month at Meinig Park: “Raya and the Last Dragon,” about the fantasy world of Kumandra where humans and dragons live together (rated PG), at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7; and “Trolls World Tour,” about six different troll tribes scattered over six different lands (rated PG), at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21. Moviegoers are encouraged to bring a blanket or some lawn chairs.  More events from the city in celebration of its 110th anniversary include: free ice cream with the Sandy Trolley from noon to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13 on the Sandy Shopper Shuttle Route; city-wide Bingo from Saturday, Aug. 14 to Tuesday, Aug. 23, where citizens can solve clues at local businesses to be entered in a drawing for prices (cards can be found at Sandy City Hall, the Sandy Library, local business and more); and a “reverse” parade from Saturday, Aug. 14 through Saturday, Aug. 28, when local families, neighborhoods, organizations and more throughout the city will offer decorations for people to enjoy as they walk, bike or drive around Sandy (those wishing to decorate can register through the city’s website).

And the city will also hold a celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28, featuring chalk art from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (registration is required through the city’s website) and Visit Todos Juntos, children’s craft and a prize spinwheel, at the Sandy Library (38980 Proctor Blvd.). Also on that day, the Sandy Historical Society and the Sandy Actors’ Theatre will bring history to life with a combination of living history reenactors and historical photographs from Sandy’s past from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Centennial Plaza, 39295 Pioneer Blvd, at the corner of Pioneer and Hoffman Street. And at 4 p.m. the Wy’east Artisans Guild will dedicate, “Growing Together” a colorful 120-foot mural, created by Becky Hawley.

For more information, visit https://www.ci.sandy.or.us/.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Photo by Garth Guibord
Steiner Cabin Tour returns in August posted on 07/01/2021

Suzanne Zoller first tried to go on the annual Steiner Cabin Tour, offered by the Mount Hood Cultural Center & Museum, in 2017, but the tickets were sold out. Garrett Stokes planned on going last year, but the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.


This year, the tour returns on Saturday, Aug. 14, and Zoller and Stokes will get to enjoy the tour in an unusual fashion: as owners of two of the seven log cabins hand-built by Henry Steiner and his family during the 1920s and 1930s.

“It’s super exciting,” Zoller said. “It was just a dream we never thought would come true. (We) never thought we’d have an opportunity to get a Steiner Cabin and preserve it and restore it.”

Steiner built a number of log cabins in the Mountain community and beyond, known for their signature architectural features such as basalt fireplaces, log doors, half log staircases and more. Materials for the cabins were primarily native materials found around the site, with the only exceptions being items such as windows and sinks.

This year’s tour, a self-guided walking route through the community of Rhododendron that will take up to three hours, begins at a “pop-up” museum at the Log Lodge, 73330 Hwy. 26. Volunteers will greet participants at each cabin and provide a brief description of the cabin and owners, while participants will also get to meet the owners and learn more about their cabins.

Zoller, who grew up in the Portland area and spent time cross country skiing on Mount Hood, purchased her cabin with her boyfriend in July 2020. The cabin features a banister classic of Steiner’s work, but also a built-in bookshelf and a sleeping porch.

She added that the small cabin needed quite a lot of work and that it remains a work in progress. But her boyfriend spent the winter peeling and staining logs by hand to start the restoration process.

“When I saw it, it’s just an amazingly cute cabin,” Zoller said, adding that she expects the chimney and fireplace to be restored in time for the tour and that she’s also focused on restoring native plants to the property. “We never expected to get our hands on one.”

Stokes, meanwhile, purchased his Steiner Cabin in September 2020 and moved in that November. He was familiar with the Mountain community from visiting his son, who lives in Portland, and vacationing on Mount Hood. And after living in a 100-year-old craftsman house in Seattle, he feels right at home in his new cabin.

“I’m used to living in old, well built homes,” Stokes said. “This was a dream come true, to have an authentic Steiner on Mount Hood.”

Stokes noted a number of elements he enjoys, including the half-log staircase with a unique, curved railing, a lofted ceiling and one special feature not found in many Steiner Cabins: a bridge.

“Even the floors are just hand-planed,” he said. “That craftsmanship is just outstanding.”

Stokes’ cabin was in excellent shape, noting that he has focused on electrical and heating upgrades, but he also added that he’s brought in some special decor to the cabin. For nine years, Stokes lived close to Bavaria, where Steiner’s family came from, and he has a cuckoo clock and other items made from the area now in his cabin.

Lloyd Musser, the museum’s volunteer curator, noted that the tour (which started 15 years ago) offers a full range of features that Steiner Cabins are known for, while a couple cabins are now on the second generation of owners. He added that capacity for the tour is limited to 300 people.

“We’re feeling good,” Musser said about the mood at the museum. “We didn’t know what to expect when we reopened here.”

Tickets for the 2021 Steiner Cabin Tour will go on sale at 7 a.m. Thursday, July 1, and are available online at the museum’s website, www.mthoodmuseum.org. Tickets are $35 each for museum members and $40 each for non-members; they can be paid for with a credit card or via PayPal. All proceeds will benefit the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum.

Participants should print a receipt at check-out. This will be exchanged for the required wrist band and tour map on August 14.

The usual etiquette rules apply: no pets, no high heels, no strollers in the homes and small children are not recommended. Some cabin owners may provide and request booties to be worn. Participants can also ride bicycles on the route.

For additional information, please call the museum at 503- 272-3301.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Birdhouses that are miniature marvels posted on 07/01/2021

Locals stopping in Welches Mountain Building Supply in Welches recently may have noticed the presence of birdsong or the “not for sale” sign hanging from an occupied birdhouse outside the store during the spring and summer months.

The presence of birds contentedly nesting in an intricately crafted miniature log cabin act as the best advertising imaginable for the wares of Mount Hood area woodworker Rollo “Dutch” Dutcher.

For the past fourteen years since his retirement, Dutcher has been crafting artisan quality bird houses that have earned him a strong local following in the Mount Hood communities for their combination of form, function and regional style.

“Every spring the swallows pick one or two homes to raise their families in. We put up a sign saying those houses aren’t available to sell until fall,” said the owner of Welches Mountain Building Supply, Rochelle Simonds. Simonds has sold the birdhouses to a steady supply of new and repeat customers at her store over the past five years.

“With his eye for detail his bird houses are as functional as they are beautiful,” Simonds added.

Dutcher’s birdhouses are miniature mountain cabins, complete with cedar-shingled roofs, river-rock masonry, and details such as ornamental chimneys and fir pillars to complement the aesthetic.

“When I retired I started looking around for something to do. There’s a lot of birds around here so I picked birdhouses,” said the 84-year-old Dutcher.

Dutcher works from his shop at his family Christmas tree farm, Dutcher’s Farm, located in Boring where he has lived for the past 54 years.

Dutcher was born in Flint, Michigan and moved to Oregon in 1964. He worked as a carpenter from the age of 18, and later as a general contractor and cabinet maker for 33 years until he retired at the age of 70.

His birdhouses are made from 60 percent organic, recyclable material. Dutcher refurbishes used cedar fencing and planes it down at his shop to make the roof shingles for the houses.

He uses fir branches from the Christmas trees for the rest of the structure and colored river rock for the masonry.

Dutcher designs the bird houses himself, and they are priced individually. Dutcher also offers his wares from his family tree farm where his son sells vegetable starts. He stated that they make for popular gifts and are frequently purchased in addition to the Christmas trees.

“We love working with Dutch. We finally got him to start signing his creations because they really are works of art,” said Simonds.

Rollo “Dutch” Dutcher’s birdhouses are available at Welches Mountain Building Supply, 67250 Hwy. 26 in Welches and at Dutcher’s Farm, 33755 SE Compton Road in Boring.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Huckleberry Half Marathon set for August posted on 07/01/2021

After a one-year hiatus, The Huckleberry Half will once again host runners on a scenic route that showcases the beauty of Mount Hood National Forest while offering plenty of challenge and perhaps a sighting of a Bigfoot or two.

The half marathon will be held on Saturday, Aug. 7 with packet pickup scheduled to begin at 6:30 a.m. The run starts at Welches Middle School and follows the Salmon River in Welches. Runners and walkers can choose to participate in the 5K, 10K, 15K or the half marathon distance categories of the event.

“My hope is that through this 2021 Huck Half, we can get back to the ‘heart’ of running events,” wrote Brady Mordhorst, the Huckleberry Half Race Director, in an email. “Running events used to be great platforms for local towns, nonprofits, youth groups, etc. to bring people together to enjoy running/walking. The smaller size (this year) will create a feeling more akin to the past days of running events.”

This year’s run is limited to 250 and allows more space to soak in the scenery. The 2019 event had 550 participants, but different COVID-19 restrictions during the organizing period for this year led to a reduction in capacity.

This year marks the seventh year for the half marathon. The run strives to benefit the local community and partners with nonprofits in the area.

“We have a variety of nonprofits involved and a good portion of event sales going back to Mt. Hood National Forest,” said Mordhorst. He added that the race gave more than $7,500 back to the community in 2019.

“We love benefiting the local area, if there is anyone who would like free vendor space at our Start/Finish line or any nonprofits that can use fundraising, please reach out to us,” Mordhorst noted. Approximately 50 volunteers from local organizations are slated to help coordinate the run this year.

Registration cost for the event will cost up to $65, depending on distance. Registration includes a custom finishers medal, finisher soft shirt, bib, chip timing and free photos with Bigfoot. There are prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place overall male and female for each distance.

There is no gear check available at the event, but organizers stated parking is close to the start/finish location. Porta-potties will be available at the race start and along the route, as well as several aid stations.

“Our mission this year is focused on getting people back to running after the pandemic shutdown (we’ve greatly reduced our prices, more than $30 less than most Portland area events) and helping local businesses,” said Mordhorst. “If we get people back out running and help businesses recover, we will be happy.”

Mordhorst is also happy to announce that the Huckleberry Half Bigfoot mascots will return this year to cheer on runners and pose for before and after photos.

More details about the run including registration and contact information are available online at https://www.huckleberryhalfmarathon.com.

By Ben Simpson/MT


State reopens as pandemic wanes posted on 07/01/2021

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed an executive order on Friday, June 25 to lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions issued under Oregon’s emergency statuses, ushering in a big step in the road to recovery. Restrictions were to be lifted either when the state achieves 70 percent of adults having received their first dose or on Wednesday, June 30, whichever came first.

“I’m proud of our collective efforts to vaccinate more than 2.3 million Oregonians,” Brown said in a press release. “It is because of this success that we can move Oregon forward, and into the next chapter of this pandemic. We are ready.”

With restrictions lifting, masks will not be required in most settings and there will be no capacity limits or physical distancing required.

On the same day, the Oregon Department of Education announced the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 school year to help school districts prepare their staff and campuses for the next academic year. Included in the Framework is that the state’s public schools will return to full-time and in-person instruction next year.

“Working together, we can harness this opportunity to rekindle joy and learning in the classrooms, auditoriums, and playgrounds across Oregon,” said Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill in a press release.

“Oregon schools are ready to once again be vibrant places for learners, staff, and their families.”

Earlier in June, Clackamas County moved into the “lower risk” category, with the county having vaccinated 65 percent of residents aged 16 and older and submitted a vaccine equity plan to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

As of Friday, June 25, OHA reported 69.1 percent of Oregon’s adults received vaccinations, with an additional 31,264 needed to hit 70 percent. One additional COVID-19 related death was reported on that day, bringing the state’s death toll to 2,761, while 232 new confirmed cases were reported, bringing the state’s total to 207,787.

The state’s eviction moratorium was expected to expire on Wednesday, June 30, but a federal eviction moratorium is in place through the end of July. Renters can be protected through July if they complete the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Eviction Protection Declaration and provide it to their landlord. More information is available at https://www.cdc.gov.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Live music returns to the Skyway in July posted on 07/01/2021

Tracie Anderson and Tom Baker took over the Skyway Bar and Grill more than 20 years ago, and in that time the restaurant has offered more than 2,500 nights of music.

Anderson noted that bands have come from everywhere on the national and local scene and that while some have played at the Skyway since the beginning, others just while traveling through.

Since last March, however, it has been a different tune with no music, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the stage is now set for a return to live performances at the Skyway.

“I think we're all excited. Musicians are happy to be playing music and we're happy to have music be a part of our restaurant/bar,” she wrote in an email to The Mountain Times. “I think we all feel a sense of relief. The past 15 months have separated us and now we get to gather again for a common interest.”

Anderson noted that they plan on summer shows to be held outdoors from 7-9 p.m. for one or two days per week. Updates will be available through the Skyway’s Facebook page and website, as well as in the calendar section of The Mountain Times.

The music runs the gamut, from bluegrass and rock ‘n’ roll to jazz and folk.

Anderson sees music as a way to bring people together, allowing them to focus on what they have in common rather than their differences.

“We've heard from so many customers, and employees that they really miss live music and can't wait until we start booking shows,” she added. “I think we miss dancing and partying together. Live music brings us all together. People make friendships here and I think live music plays a big part in that.”

The Skyway Bar and Grill is located at 71545 Hwy. 26 in Zigzag. For more information, including an upcoming schedule of music, visit skywaybarandgrill.com or find them on Facebook.

Upcoming concerts at Skyway

Saturday, July 3: Deja 2 +  (Mike Gilbert, John Slater, and Loren King).

Friday, July 9: Free Creatures (Folklore Hip Hop).

Saturday, July 10: Steelhead Stalkers (Latin Jazz).

Saturday, July 17: Pagan Jug Band (High Energy Bluegrass).

Saturday, July 24: TBA.

Friday, July 30: Billy D. & The Hoo Doos (Chicago Blues).

Saturday, July 31: Coming Up Threes (Celtic Rock).

Saturday, Aug. 14: Countryside Ride (Country-Western Honkytonk).

Friday, Aug. 27:Lewi Longmire & The Left Coast Roasters (Roots Rock).

More dates to be added.

By Garth Guibord/MT


A dramatic garage sale posted on 07/01/2021

When the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company (NNB) began 16 years ago, it started with some theater seats, lighting canisters and a light board. Today, after offering hundreds of performances to thousands of theatergoers, the attic is packed with a bevy of props, set pieces, costumes and more.

This month, NNB will help clear out the clutter with a sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, July 23 and Saturday, July 24, offering people a chance to walk away with some fun, useful items while supporting the theater.

“It’s just the accumulation of all the years,” said Kelly Lazenby, the theater’s artistic director and one of the founders. “There’ll be some good stuff.”

Lazenby noted a few of the types of items that will be available, including vintage clothes, sporting equipment, dishes, toolboxes, lighting fixtures, bolts of fabric, lots of hats, uniforms and even fur coats. And with all the costumes available, Lazenby added that it makes for a good opportunity for anyone looking to get an early jump on a Halloween costume for this fall or for a quilter to find a large range of fabrics and clothes.

“It’s going to be all very reasonable,” she said. “I don’t think we have things that are too expensive.”

Proceeds from the sale will help the theater refinish the floors and materials (such as wood to build sets) for future productions.

NNB will also hold auctions for the winter production of Ken Ludwig’s “The Game’s Afoot” at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27 and 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28. The comedy features three men and five women in a play within a play about a staged production of “Sherlock Homes.”

Rehearsals start in mid-October and performers need not attend both audition days.

NNB is located at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring.

For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.


Sandy Actors Theatre seeks volunteers

The Sandy Actors Theatre (SAT) hopes to build its volunteer roster, seeking people for a few housekeeping duties before shows and serving snacks and beverages during intermissions. Anyone interested can contact Steve Morrow at 503-819-1860 or steve@sandyactorstheatre.org.

SAT will also open its 2021-22 season with a production of “Dead to the Last Drop,” by Ken Jones, opening on Thursday, Sept. 23.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Photo by Garth Guibord.
Market returns with a Mountain of produce posted on 06/01/2021

With the Hoodland Farmers Market having entered its fourth season on Sunday, May 23, Market Manager Lauren Carusona knows it has made an impact from the response she’s getting from people.


“I keep getting a lot of, ‘Oh I can't wait to have farm fresh dinners all summer,’” Carusona said, noting that people are becoming more aware of the impact that food can have on their lives as well as the choices they make with their money. “Building community and connection to food has always been our goal. Now that it’s our fourth season, it feels like we’re really stepping into that role.”

The market will offer fresh produce, meats, soaps and more from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday through September in the parking lot at the Whistle Stop, 66674 Hwy. 26 in Welches. The season will be the longest for the market, which had a shortened one last year due to the pandemic and the wildfires.

“It feels really exciting and the timing feels good with the vaccination roll out and some of the restrictions being lifted,” Carusona said. “We’re starting to feel a little sense of normalcy return.”

Carusona added that the market is building off of previous years with a number of returning vendors. The vendors for the opening day included: Chicken Coop Botanicals, offering natural health products handmade by local herbalist; Twig Furniture, featuring locally-made one-of-a-kind furniture made from branches; Hood Soaps selling handcrafted vegan and goats milk bar soaps, whipped body butter, lotion bars, lip balms and laundry soap; Hood Hills Farm, with farm fresh produce, canned and fermented foods; Roots Movement Farm, offering farm fresh produce and mushrooms; Heart Song Arts Pottery, with handmade pottery; Northwest Acid Test, selling hand printed and dyed clothing inspired by Oregon; Sugar Maple Swine, a small family farm with humanely raised pork products;  Bristly Rose, offering flowers and veggies; and an info booth, offering stickers, tote bags and can koozies for sale.

The market’s first Sunday brought out some new people, including Mountain residents Candice Kelly and Julie Cook. They noted they came out to be more involved and support local businesses.

“Everything looks great,” Cook said. “The greens look really good.”

“I just hope that more vendors come out and everybody can support each other locally,” Kelly added.

Brightwood resident Matt Sorrell was also a first-time participant at the market and noted he hopes to see more vegetables as the season progresses.

“I’m into it, I'm excited,” he said. “We’re looking for something like this up here so this is pretty perfect.”

Lavonne Heacock, who has been to the market in years past, said the market and people gathering together gives her hope as they grow and share organic foods.

“Farming is not an easy thing,” she said. “It’s good to see people using the land again and risking being small farmers.”

The market has implemented procedures due to the pandemic, including masks covering mouths and noses required by participants, keeping a distance of six feet from others and one customer at a time at each booth. This may change as the needs of the community change and safety guidelines are lifted.

For more information, or if you would like to be added to the market’s newsletter, visit the market’s Facebook page or email hoodlandfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Fire district budget prepared for 2021-22 posted on 06/01/2021

Hoodland Fire District (HFD) Fire Chief James Price presented a draft budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year to the district’s budget committee during a May 18 Zoom meeting. The draft budget was approved for adoption by the committee without a need for a second scheduled meeting.

“This year’s budget saw no significant changes in the things that cost the most, such as personnel,” Chief Price said. “We’re returning the training budget to where it was in 2018, providing funds for FIREWISE preparation in the community, and are able to put some funds in reserves.”

For the July to June budget year of 2021-22, HFD will have a permanent tax rate of $2.6385 per $1,000.00 of assessed value and $0.25 per $1,000.00 of assessed value for the local option tax levy.

The draft budget is an increase of $888,573 from the 2020-21 budget. New expenses are dependent on potential grant awards of $637,778, as well as an anticipated increase of three percent in property tax revenue.

The 2021-22 budget funds several projects including FEMA grant funds for two new firefighters through the SAFER Act, grant funds and matching district funds for protective gear, replacement of living quarters and a generator at the Welches station, FIREWISE community efforts and an increase in the general funds unappropriated and Disaster/Contingency funds.

HFD came under scrutiny in 2020 after a Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) organizational assessment detailed “significant financial and operational challenges unique to your community and district,” including a lack of required financial audits for the past three years.

The SDAO report stated that the district could require further financial support in the form of a general obligation bond in the future to cover the cost of new fire apparatus and building improvements.

Chief Price credited Interim Fire Chief Steve Abel for completing audits for the three years during his tenure in 2020 and stated the district is working to resolve the issues presented by the SDAO regarding the district’s finances and personnel management.

“The district is trending in the right direction,” Chief Price said. “We were able to put some funds in reserves. We have to climb out of some difficulty; it’s an ongoing process.”

The proposed budget will be published for public review by June 9. A final vote on the budget will take place at the Tuesday, June 22 board of directors meeting. The HFD board of directors cannot vary appropriations by more than 10 percent in any fund without returning the budget to the committee for approval.

More information, including a draft of the proposed budget, is available online at https://www.hoodlandfire.us/2021-2022-hfd-draft-budget.

By Ben Simpson/MT


PGE plans to add poles on some Mountain properties posted on 06/01/2021

Portland General Electric (PGE) began marking properties for potentially adding poles to properties last month, the start of an effort to remove service drops that are attached to trees. Andrea Platt of PGE Strategic Communications noted the project is in the design work phase and PGE will engage with property owners for potential design solutions in the coming months.

“We’ve got a number of ways that we’ll plan to reach out to customers so they have a sense of what we’re doing and what the options might look like,” Platt said. “If customers don’t agree with the location for a future potential pole, we want to have dialogue.”

Properties were marked with stakes with pink ribbons where a new potential pole could be placed.

Platt noted that PGE is constantly assessing equipment to be in line with current laws, noting that the lines that were attached to trees were done many years ago.

“Times have changed and regulations have as well,” she said, adding that these relocations are part of a broader effort to protect areas around wires and equipment.

Mountain resident Mike Gudge has concerns about the change, including that the new pole will be “unsightly.”

“The way they route them, routing away from trees as much in the open and clear as they can,” Gudge said. “Now they’re hidden among the trees and the branches.”

Gudge added that he hopes other options will be considered, including perhaps electrical standoffs that could insulate a line from the tree it is attached to.

Homeowners with questions about potential poles can contact PGE at 503-228-6322.

Stakes put on properties have a job number on it and homeowners can use that as a reference.

By Garth Guibord/MT


McKnight returns to school board with write-in win posted on 06/01/2021

Of the 422 write-in votes cast for the Zone 3 (Welches) position on the Oregon Trail School District’s (OTSD) board of directors, some notable vote getters included one for cartoon character Elmer Fudd, five for different spelling variations of Donald Trump, one for former children’s television host Fred Rogers (who died in 2003), one for fictional television character James T. Kirk and two for legendary singer Johnny Cash (who also died in 2003).

But in a twist of fate, voters selected current board member Kurt McKnight, who decided against running for reelection due to an upcoming move, with a total of 47 votes, defeating two other write-in candidates: Melanie Brown, who received 32 votes, and Mike Wiley, with 18 votes (all vote totals provided by Clackamas County Elections as of Tuesday, May 25).

“I was really surprised to see that many write-ins for my name,” McKnight said. “I was also very touched by it.”

McKnight added that this changes his thought process on the situation, he sees that the voters have asked him to remain on the board.

“I’ve thought a lot about it, and I’m probably going to accept,” he said, adding that when he is ready to move and will not be able to serve the school district, he will resign and allow the board to appoint someone to fulfil the remainder of the four-year term. “I love what I do, I love what we’ve done (on the school board). There’s a lot more to do and I’d be honored to do another year or two.”

The May 18 Special District Election also saw the approval of Measure 3-566, a five-year county sheriff Public Safety Local Option Levy, a levy that first passed in 2006 and then renewed by voters in 2011 and 2016 without any changes. This time, the levy’s rate increased by 12 cents to 36.8 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, which will maintain funding for 84 jail beds in the county jail, 30 jail deputies, 18 patrol deputies and the Sheriff’s specialized drug enforcement team, while also adding 16 patrol deputies, six jail deputies, two internal affairs investigators, implement and maintain a body-worn camera program and five detectives to investigate elder abuse/neglect, child abuse/neglect, human trafficking and felony crimes.

The levy, which will last from 2022-27, received 43,756 “Yes” votes (56.16 percent) against 34,153 “No” votes (43.84 percent).

“The passage of Measure 3-566, confirms our community values excellent public safety services and expects Clackamas County to continue to be a safe place to live,”  work and raise a family," said Sheriff Angela Brandenburg in a statement. “I look forward to the opportunity to further the good work that the men and women of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office do each and every day.”

Other results on the ballot include three reelected members of the OTSD board: Marjan Salveter in Zone 1 (North Sandy), Robert Lee in Zone 5 (Cottrell/Bull Run) and Randy Carmony in Zone 7 (At Large); and three elected to the Hoodland Fire District’s board of directors: Mary Ellen Fitzgerald (Position 3), Nora Gambee (Position 4) and Cliff Fortune (Position 5). All six ran unopposed.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Noah's Quest offers support to those who have lost a child posted on 06/01/2021

Saturday, June 26 will mark the 16th annual Noah’s Quest, a walk/run event for everyone who has lost a child or the hope of a child, and for those who care. The event is a personal one for its organizer, Carol Cohen, who lost her son Noah as a stillborn in 2005.

“Every year it's hard for me, I get very emotional,” Cohen said. “I always have a hard time talking.”

But Cohen, who now has two daughters, also noted that the event serves as a reunion of sorts, bringing together people who have shared the experience of losing a child, while also welcoming those whose loss is more recent and are looking for support.

“I feel good to continue doing this every year because I know it helps people,” Cohen said. “We meet new people and then there’s a bond.

“When people come up to me and just thank me for an event like this, it’s overwhelming,” she added. “It's unfortunate that we have to do an event like this. It’s hard to see new people.”

The event will offer a five- or ten-kilometer walk and run, along with a one-kilometer kid’s run at Sandy Bluff Park, 36910 Goldenrain St. Packet pick up will happen at 8 a.m. and an opening ceremony will be held at 8:45 a.m.

Participants are highly encouraged to pre-register by Thursday, June 24 at 503-668-5569 or online at www.cityofsandy.com. Early registration is $30 ($5 for the kid’s run), while registration on race day is $40. Kids ages 6 and under can run free, unless they run in the kid’s run.

The event will also feature a raffle and guest speaker Pat Schweibert, a registered nurse who has co-founded a number of support groups (including Brief Encounters) and written several books, at 11 a.m.

Participants can also request to have their baby’s name on a sign in the racecourse. The deadline for a submission is 2 p.m. Thursday, June 24.

The event, which was held virtually last year, will adhere to COVID safety guidelines, which may include masks during part or all of the walk/run. It will take place rain or shine, but it may be canceled in extreme weather. In the event of cancellation, entry fees will be used as a donation to Brief Encounters support group.

For more information, or if you are interested in volunteering, please visit www.cityofsandy.com or call 503-668-5569.

By Garth Guibord/MT


New book tackles the un-boring community of Boring posted on 06/01/2021

The community of Boring has experienced a surprising array of unexpected and unusual events during its 118-year history.

The small Oregon town, with a name that leads to easy jokes about its sleepy nature, has been the home to a rich array of eccentric characters and events over the years. From the time the future heavyweight boxing champion of the world was hired to fight the town bully, to a massive fire blamed on fireworks that left half the town in ashes, the history of Boring has been anything but, and was populated with moonshiners, runaway trains, wild west gangs and a wild man who lived in the woods among other notable characters.

Boring resident and unofficial town historian Bruce Haney has gathered these unorthodox stories in his new book “Eccentric Tales of Boring, Oregon.” Haney gives a monthly speech about the history of Boring for the Boring Community Planning Organization and runs a popular history group called Boring Oregon History.

“I started looking in the newspaper archives for the most un-boring Boring stories I could find. After a couple years I realized that I had all these great stories that only myself and the people that attended these meetings knew about,” Haney wrote in an email. “That is when I decided to take the best ones and deep dive into researching them and make a book out of them.”

The tales Haney researched and collected for his book largely take place in the early years of the 20th century before the second world war. Haney touches on secret societies such as the Odd Fellows and Rebekah’s influence on the social life of the community, the proliferation of bootlegging operations during prohibition and the logging industry’s physical toll on workers in the region, plus a one-armed band on the vaudeville circuit comprised of maimed mill workers and further accounts of death and disfigurement of the town’s mill workers.

“I hope that readers get a better understanding of early 20th century America,” Haney noted. “I hope that when someone jokes ‘How boring is Boring,’ they will be able to tell the person how truly un-boring Boring is and has always been.”

Haney sheds light on an incident of historic prejudice that resulted in murder with the grim recounting of an assault on a trio of East Indian millworkers. A band of white millworkers began firing on the cabin occupied by the East Indian workers in an effort to intimidate them until one of the assailants began firing into the cabin and struck and killed Harnam Singh, a recent immigrant whom little is known about. One newspaper stated he was only in the country for two weeks at the time of his murder.

As a whole, the collection encapsulates a cross section of the driving influences and impulses of a community and the region during the first half of the twentieth century.

The book is Haney’s first foray as an author. Haney stated he is currently researching and planning his next book.

“I love researching and building stories using history. I have a few different possibilities for the next book ... I’m enjoying the feeling of being published for the first time,” Haney wrote.

The process of researching the book on Boring led Haney to develop a deeper connection with the town and its residents.

“When I was wondering how old that bar or that two-story brick building was, I never thought that it would lead to me finding and being welcomed into such a wonderful community,” Haney wrote in the preface to his book. “I grew up in the big city nearby, Portland, but I never felt part of a community there. In Boring, I do.”

“Eccentric Tales of Boring Oregon” in published by Arcadia Publishing and the History Press.

More information is available online at www.arcadiapublishing.com and www.historypress.net.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Al Forno's new owners prep for summer posted on 06/01/2021

As one of the new owners of Al Forno Mount Hood Pizzeria in Rhododendron, Robin Klein credits her predecessor, Stephen Ferruzza, for building a successful restaurant. Klein noted the excellent food, nice decor and the pizza’s reputation among a solid following of locals and visitors alike.

“We’re really really grateful that we have the opportunity to acquire this business,” Klein said. “I love it.”

Klein, who has worked at the restaurant for the past few years, noted that the new ownership is not going to change much, keeping the same menu and recipes, but she does plan on a few smaller tweaks. The menu will expand with a pear pizza and will also offer most dishes as prepared or with vegan ingredients.

“We’re able to maintain the authenticity,” Klein said. “We’re not really trying to change too much.”

She also added that the restaurant has an expanded back patio and will be adding a new pizza oven this month, which will help keep hungry customers happy.

Klein and her partner Robis Marks took over at the end of last summer, and despite entering the business during the pandemic, Klein reported that things went fairly well. Their fortitude was tested with the September wildfires and the harsh winter weather, which included the wind storm that wrecked their tent covering the patio.

Klein added that in the future they hope to add some music and other entertainment, building on the feeling of community in Rhododendron.

“We’re excited about the summer,” she said. “I think the community right there in Rhody is going to be special.”

Al Forno Ferruzza is located at 73285 E. Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron. Hours of operation are from 4-10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and noon to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit mapleaqua.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Photo courtesy of James Wilson
Challenges expected for summer recreation season posted on 05/01/2021

Last spring, the U.S. Forest Service closed off the Mount Hood National Forest (MHNF) in response to the coronavirus pandemic. When the forest reopened in May 2020, it saw “unprecedented use” throughout last summer, according to Ben Watts, West Zone Recreation Program Manager for the Zigzag and Clackamas River Ranger Districts.


And Watts expects more of the same this summer.

“I think that people again are going to turn to the outdoors as an outlet,” he said. “We are anticipating similar levels of recreation and use this season as compared to last.”

Similar to last summer, Watts noted that travel restrictions, limited event offerings and people’s wariness to being exposed to the coronavirus at certain places will contribute to large numbers of visitors in the MHNF. But making the situation more complex, he added, are areas in the forest that are closed due to the wildfires from last fall, which he estimated at more than 200,000 acres.

That might lead to more people concentrated in a smaller area of forest this year, perhaps similar to what happened with the closure of some recreation sites in the Columbia River Gorge after the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. Thankfully, some of those sites have recently reopened, which may offer another outlet for outdoor recreationists.

“That’ll help some,” Watts said.

Watts added that the MHNF will try to add extra law enforcement directed toward the fire closure areas, while also looking to add a digital pass option for some recreation fee sites and even fee machines at places such as the Ramona Falls Trailhead. The digital pass, which could be in place sometime in June, would allow visitors to pay for a Northwest Forest Pass, needed at many sites to park, through a QR code on their phones.

Watts also noted that access may be limited to Trillium Lake, with people turned away when all the parking spots have been filled. Last summer, some visitors parked illegally at the trailhead, which could have hindered first responders in the case of an accident.

“Emergency access would be really problematic,” Watts said, adding that something similar may be needed at Timothy Lake.

Another complicating factor for this summer will be from the high number of fallen trees due to the heavy winds over the fall and winter. Watts noted that there are problems on many trails in the MHNF, including a number that have not had any work done to clear and repair them.

“This isn’t a state or municipal park, this is a wilderness,” Watts said. “These places sometimes don’t get annual maintenance.”

That was echoed by James Wilson, a hiker who writes about his experiences on his blog www.elevationchanges.com, and who hiked some around Bald Mountain and the Muddy Fork Loop/ Ramona Falls after last September’s fire and wind event. In an email to The Mountain Times, Wilson noted that while he is a highly capable hiker, sections of the trail “strained my ability and perception of what is a fun day in the woods.”

“This is going to be a while fixing,” Wilson wrote. “It is not just clearing downed trees off the trail, it is trying to re-negotiate a way through an old-growth forest that toppled onto itself in every different direction and ripped much of the tread off the hillside. Some of these trees are huge.”

Wilson, who hopes to get out this summer and work on a project that will offer a more thorough map of water sources, camp sites and the snowpack retreat on the Timberline Trail, added that visitors could encounter a “sunk cost” type of danger when trying to maneuver through toppled trees and facing pressure to push on and not lose the time already invested in a hike.

“This is when things can go wrong very easily,” he noted.

Watts also called for visitors to be prepared for varying trail conditions and other hazards, including ensuring camp sites are safe. He also noted that when visiting the forest this summer, it will be good to have optional plans if your first choice location is already full.

Watts added that the MHNF is expected to put time and effort into the areas impacted by last year’s wildfires, which destroyed picnic tables, fire rings, toilets and more. Meanwhile, concessionaires, outfitters, guides, volunteer organizations and other partners will have to adhere to the state’s COVID-19 guidelines, while there will also be signs posted reminding visitors to maintain social distancing and wear masks.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Sandy peace vigil to end with final event on Friday, May 28 posted on 05/01/2021

After 15 years of weekly community gatherings to promote peaceful solutions to conflict, the organizers of the Sandy Peace Vigil have announced that the group will hold its final physical vigil. The vigil will be held from 4-5 p.m. May 28 at the intersection of Hwy. 26 and SE 362 Drive in Sandy.

The group held its first vigil on Feb. 2, 2007. The group initially gathered as a public response to the Bush administration’s military action in Afghanistan and Iraq said group organizer Mary Andersen.

“The vigils are a gesture to remind people of the conflicts our country is involved in. We want peaceful resolutions and for people to think about nonviolent options,” said Andersen, a resident of the Alder Creek community since 1984.

Participants display signs calling for an end to the conflicts and to raise awareness in the community.

“Probably our most iconic sign is ‘Honk for Peace,’” vigil participant Bruce Ryan said.

Ryan, a Brightwood resident, is a retired teacher and veteran of the United States Navy who served in Vietnam. Since his time in the military, he has been an active advocate for peace and a participant in the Sandy vigils since their inception.

“I think legislative action is more telling then street protests, but what you hope for with street protests is passersby say, ‘What the [heck] is going on,’ and ask about the issues,” Ryan said.

Andersen stated the group “isn’t political” and that people “turn out with a variety of political views who just want peace.”

Over the years the group has had a number of military veterans involved as active participants.

The vigil was originally held every Friday from 4-5 p.m. After several years, the group began holding the vigil every first Friday of the month.

In January 2008 the group held a 24-hour vigil attended by up to 30 people to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the gathering.

“We’ve been out rain or shine, sometimes it’s been really dicey with snowing and ice, but we thought it was important to be consistent,” Andersen said.

The group stopped the vigils in March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Andersen encouraged continued community involvement during the pandemic with a virtual vigil in the form of an email newsletter with stories promoting peace and links to petitions. She intends to continue with the community engagement and invites citizens to join the community online by emailing sandypeacevigil@gmail.com.

“We think it remains useful to remind people there are still troops fighting and dying. There is plenty of conflict in the world and we feel it is important to continue to work towards nonviolent solutions,” Andersen said.

The final peace vigil is open to the public and will be held rain or shine.

By Ben Simpson/MT


No candidate for Welches school board position posted on 05/01/2021

On a ballot with just one true race for the Mountain community, voters will also encounter no candidate for the Zone 3 (Welches) position on the Oregon Trail School District’s (OTSD) board of directors in the May 18 special district election. Longtime board member Kurt McKnight will not run for reelection, a decision he noted he made the last time he ran.

“I am ... to become a full time resident of Hawaii in the next two or three years,” McKnight said, adding that this is part of his long-term retirement plan. “With that I couldn’t honestly run for another term. (It’s) time for somebody else to represent the mountain area on the school board.”

McKnight added that he is “very happy” with what the board has accomplished during his tenure, including improvement in student achievement, career and technical educational offerings, the new Sandy High School building and upgrades at the other schools.

“I really can’t say enough how excited I am where our leadership has taken our district,” he said. “The board has played a part in that, but the heavy lifting has been through our administration, our union, our employees. That’s really made the difference. I’m very excited to see the opportunities ahead that we have, where we’ve come from and where we are today.”

McKnight added that he was surprised nobody filed to be a candidate for the position.

“There’s a lot of good people out there,” he said. “Hopefully their goals, vision and heart will align with the great direction the district is headed.”

McKnight also encouraged anyone who is interested to fully understand the responsibilities of the position, noting that it is important to work together on the board and not as an individual. He had served on the district’s budget committee and others in addition to being a board member and stressed that he never stopped learning about the district, education and students.

“When I first got on the school board thought I knew all the answers,” McKnight said. “And I was absolutely wrong.”

He added that one of the challenges for the next board will be the unknown effects of the pandemic and the 2020-21 school year.

“We’ve done the best we can and teachers have done the best they can, but the kids have really suffered emotionally and educationally,” McKnight said. “The collateral effects of this we may now know for a few years.”

Julia Monteith, Communications Director for the OTSD, noted that if there are several write-in candidates that receive votes for the Zone 3 (Welches) position, the person with the most votes would win. Clackamas County Elections would then send a form for the winner to either accept or decline the position. If the position is not filled, the board could appoint someone.

All OTSD voters vote on each board position, but board members must live in the zone they represent.

Marjan Salveter will run unopposed for reelection to the Zone 1 (North Sandy) position on the OTSD board of directors, while Robert Lee will run unopposed for reelection to the Zone 5 (Cottrell/Bull Run) position and Randy Carmony will run unopposed for reelection to the Zone 7 (At Large) position. All terms, including the Zone 3 (Welches) position, are for four years.

Elsewhere on the ballot, the Hoodland Fire District’s board of directors will see two members run for reelection unopposed, Mary Ellen Fitzgerald for Position 3 and Cliff Fortune for Position 5, while Nora Gambee will run unopposed for Position 4, currently held by Darcy Lais.

There are no more than one candidate for positions on Mountain water districts or the Government Camp Road board.

The only race with more than one candidate will feature John W. Bay and Dan Mancuso running for Position 2 on the Government Camp Sanitary board. That board will also have Cornelia Gunderson running unopposed for Position 4.

All official drop sites in Clackamas County are available to the public 24 hours a day starting Wednesday, April 28 through 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18. Ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18.

Postage is no longer required to mail a ballot, but a postmark on a ballot will not count for the deadline.

Ballots will be delivered between Thursday, April 29 and Monday, May 3. If a ballot has not been received by Wednesday, May 5, please contact Clackamas County Elections at 503-655-8510 or www.clackamas.us/elections.

Ballot drop sites include:

Hoodland Public Library

24525 E Welches Rd

Welches, OR 97067

For a full list of locations, visit the elections website.

By Garth Guibord/MT


RWA comes to agreement to protect water source posted on 05/01/2021

In an email dated Monday, April 26 to the board of directors of the Rhododendron Water Association (RWA), board president Steve Graeper announced an agreement had been reached with Chilton Lumber to preserve a buffer zone on both sides of Henry Creek on property the lumber company acquired earlier this year. The zone includes a 150-foot “no touch” buffer on the south side of the creek in the 150-acre parcel and a complete no harvest area on the north side of the creek in the parcel.

The agreement, which cost the RWA $175,000 and was pending signatures at press time, will be written into the deed for the parcel and last in perpetuity.

“I’m much more positive than I was two weeks ago,” Graeper told The Mountain Times, noting that the lumber company had taken a harder line early in the process. He added that the result was a, “Fairly reasonable final outcome,” and credited state officials and environmental groups to helping bring Chilton Lumber to the negotiating table.

In an email dated April 10, Graeper outlined the situation to the board, noting that Chilton Lumber intended to clear-cut the property and with current guidelines and Henry Creek’s designation as a small type “F” stream, the “No Cut Zone” could be as narrow as ten feet.

That buffer would impact the turbidity (the amount of suspended solids) in the stream, possibly leading to periodic boil water notices or worse.

“If the private property is clear-cut, the turbidity levels in Henry Creek will increase to a point we will not be able to filter out the impurities or Henry Creek could go underground and Rhododendron could possibly lose its sole source of clean safe drinking water to over 1,000 residents,” Graeper explained in the earlier email, citing a similar situation with the Corbett Water District, which lost the South Fork of Gordon Creek as a water source due to similar circumstances. “Unlike Corbett, which has the North Fork of Gordon Creek as an alternate water source, Rhododendron has no alternate source.”

Graeper added that logging on the property could begin as early as May 1, noting how the price of timber is at an all-time high plus the need for harvesting the lumber to take place before fire danger in the area reaches a critical point that precludes logging.

The land is one of two privately held parcels, totaling 230 acres, in the RWA watershed, while the majority of the watershed is in the Mount Hood National Forest.

Graeper told The Mountain Times that the RWA has 365 members and serves approximately 1,000 people. He noted that when he first became president, he made a promise to never have a special assessment added to the bill.

“I’m not going to do that to our members,” he said, noting that he is exploring a number of avenues to find funding for the agreement. “I’m just trying to continue to maintain the clean, fresh, state-award winning best tasting water to our members.”

He added that the RWA is one of 58 water systems in the Mountain community, stretching from Government Camp to Alder Creek, and just three of them, including the RWA, are surface water systems.

All others are groundwater systems, which are not impacted by logging practices.

“We are unique upon the mountain in the fact that our watershed is so vulnerable,” Graeper said.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Hoodland Fire and Clackamas County team up for vaccine clinic posted on 05/01/2021

The Hoodland Fire District (HFD) will hold a COVID-19 vaccination clinic with Clackamas County in late spring to provide access to the vaccine for community members in the region. The clinic is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, May 12 with the goal of having 500 vaccinations to distribute at the main station, located at 69634 Hwy. 26 in Welches.

“(The district) realized that there is an unmet need in the community for a local option for Covid-19 vaccinations. Partnering with Clackamas County gives us the capabilities to meet this need and help our community get vaccinated,” HFD District Fire Chief James Price said.

The county has partnered with fire districts throughout the county to distribute the vaccine.

“Clackamas County is committed to bringing a clinic to the mountain communities,” Clackamas County Public Information Officer Kimberly Dinwiddie said. “For the clinics we work with community groups to provide access for people typically underserved at other events. We realize that in the rural and mountainous areas of the county, going to the convention center or airport in Portland doesn’t always work for our residents.”

Dinwiddie added the clinic was in the early planning stages and the date was still very flexible.

“It all comes down to vaccine supply,” she said.

Supply chain issues on the federal and state level have impacted the distribution of doses allocated for the county. Dinwiddie added that the county will not know until two weeks before the clinic if the anticipated 500 doses are available on that date or if the clinic will have to be rescheduled later in the spring.

Price noted that HFD discussed working with the Oregon Trail School District and the Mt. Hood Lions Club to coordinate the event, as well as the Hoodland Senior Center to help provide access to the vaccine for community members who need additional assistance with sign up or transportation.

The clinic will be held by appointment, available through the county website at www.clackamas.us/coronavirus/vaccine or by phone at 503-655-8224. Dinwiddie noted that the county will work with community groups to provide access to underrepresented groups before opening the reservations up to county residents online.

Dinwiddie added that reservations for other clinics have filled within the afternoon of being made available online.

“We’re asking for people’s patience with the process,” she said.

Other clinics will be available throughout the county as more vaccine supply becomes available.

“We’d love to be in the position to have ongoing clinics throughout the county,” Dinwiddie said.

HFD will post information and updates about the clinic on the district’s website at https://www.hoodlandfire.us and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Hoodlandfire. Information about the status of the clinic will also be available through the county’s website at www.clackamas.us/coronavirus/vaccine.

By Ben Simpson/MT


The return of Sandy Actors Theatre posted on 05/01/2021

As if closing down to the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t bad enough, the Sandy Actors Theatre (SAT) lost its sign after it took a beating during the high wind event from last year.

Now, that sign is repaired and back in its proper place by Ace Hardware and the theater also has its first performance in more than a year with “Relationships at Play,” a collection of monologues and two person scenes that can be watched online.

“It’s just a way for us to say we’re still around,” explained Joni Tabler, a SAT board member who helped spearhead the virtual show.

Tabler, who also acts and directs at SAT, noted that all the scenes for the online show have to do with relationships, such as family and friends, and feature a number of familiar actors who have performed with SAT in the past.

There is also footage of readings and viewing the show is free, with viewers encouraged to offer a donation instead.

A link to the show is available at the theater’s website, https://sandyactorstheatre.org.

Meanwhile, Tabler added that the theater is preparing for a 2021-22 season with live performances, hopefully opening by the end of September and likely featuring four plays (instead of the usual five). She noted that the first priority, however, is ensuring that the audience is safe.

“We’re not going to do anything that’s going to put anybody in a bad situation,” Tabler said. “That’s why we’ve taken our time to come back.”

Tabler couldn’t divulge specific plays the theater has selected since the order of shows is unknown, but noted they have small casts and are all comedies.

“We need something that’s a lot lighter for how it is right now,” she said.

Tabler added that the closure of the theater due to the pandemic has been a challenge, but they got help from a grant to pay rent and bills. She also reflected on how the silver lining was that those involved with the theater were able to make some improvements to the theater while also cleaning things.

Meanwhile, Tabler also noted that SAT patrons have reached out to express their support and to inquire what the status of the theater was, especially when the sign was missing.

“They were all saying, ‘We wish you were back,’” Tabler said. “People are anxious for us to open our doors again.”

For more information call 503-668-6834 or visit sandyactorstheatre.org.

By Garth Guibord/MT

10 Years Ago: Students offer international support posted on 05/01/2021

Welches students in the giving mood

Welches students demonstrated selfless behavior by spearheading a project named “The Big Give” to help those in need. Many generous tasks were undertaken during the month long event, including collecting socks for Japan following a devastating earthquake and tsunami, and collecting pennies to donate to a children's hospital.

As part of the sock collecting project, the students reached out to local businesses to offer raffle incentives and found many willing partners. Then Welches Principal Alex Leaver commended all the students for their work, noting that the socks and pennies projects were initiated by the students.

"It's them responding in a compassionate and empathetic way, which is one of the things we want from our students," Leaver said. "It's part of being in a healthy community." Way to go, Welches students.

In other news at Welches Schools Denise Emmerling-Baker won an Excellence in Education Award. Emmerling-Baker started teaching at a private school in 1998 and shortly after joined the Oregon Trail School District, going on to teach Welches Elementary and Middle School students in the English Language Department.

Online tool to combat invasive species

The war against invasive species was ramped up a notch when The Oregon Invasive Species Council launched iMapInvasives, an online GIS-based reporting and querying tool which accurately records and tracks the whereabouts of invasive plants, animals, fish and diseases. IMap was developed through a partnership between the Nature Conservancy, Nature-Serve, The NY Natural Heritage Program, Florida National Areas Inventory and Oregon Biodiversity Information Center.

More than 85,000 observations of invasive species were included at the start and the list continues to grow. Invasive species cause problems in the forests, meadows, streams and rivers to native plants and animals.

To learn more about invasive species, visit the Oregon Invasive Species website at www.oregoninvasivespeciescouncil.org, or call 1-866-INVADER if you spot a pesky invader. To access iMapInvasives, visit www.imapinvasives.org, click on OR.

In Other News...

The search for a new superintendent for the Oregon Trails School District moved along after receiving 26 applications,

The Villages at Mt Hood held a Community Survey, Mike Aldridge and Alexandra Loren won the first ever King-Queen competition at Mt. Hood Skibowl, Rhododendron resident Leslie Stockdale introduced her new book, "Clover, the Plover, and Muffin, the Puffin, and the Oil Spill.”

Several Sandy High School students won awards at the Oregon Thespians State Acting Competition: Garrett Larreau and Joshua Grozav won two awards in solo acting, Larreau and Bryn McLaughlin earned a Showcase Award in duo dramatic acting, Chris Shiprack a finalist award for Solo Acting, and Jesta Knoles and Danny Wesselink a finalist award in Duo Comic Acting. Bravo!

By Frances Berteau/MT

Graphic by Wes Thelen.
Earthquake swarms bring a deeper understanding posted on 04/01/2021

On Monday, March 1, a 45-minute-long swarm of earthquakes occurred to the southwest of Mount Hood’s summit at a depth of approximately one to two kilometers below sea level. This was after more than 100 individual earthquakes hit the south side of the mountain’s summit on Sunday, Jan. 17, with a maximum magnitude of 2.7 on the Richter scale and at a similar depth.


Residents around Mount Hood need not fear an imminent eruption, as these swarms are characteristic of earthquakes related to regional stresses and not associated with movement in magma. Scientists are watching, though.

“Anything that happens near the summit of any volcano is going to get our attention,” said Wes Thelen, Research Seismologist with the Cascade Volcano Observatory (CVO), adding that they did not see any other activity that would indicate a lead up to some “broader unrest.”

And thanks to three volcano monitoring stations installed on Mount Hood in September 2020, swarms such as these can help our understanding of its volcanic secrets and the seismic activity in the area. The sites each include seismic and GPS instruments, and scientists now have an opportunity to better understand the factors involved with Mount Hood’s volcanic activity.

Thelen, who has worked at CVO since 2016, assesses seismic data on a daily basis for volcanoes from Mount Baker to Crater Lake to determine their volcanic hazard. He noted the location of the three new equipment sites are far from ski resorts and other developments where previous equipment exists, such as at the top of the Palmer Lift at Timberline and a waste processing plant at Mount Hood Meadows, eliminating much of the noise that occurs at times.

“These sites are in areas that are very very quiet,” he said. “These are very good observations of the same events.”

That could help scientists determine what orientation the fault plane is in or how an earthquake slips, thanks to the next level of details.

Thelen also noted the GPS sensors offer data that was not previously available, which could help reveal any deformation in the land (such as inflation or deflation) associated with an earthquake. That type of deformation would be expected if a volcano was building toward significant unrest or an eruption.

Thelen added that while the recent earthquake swarms may not have been missed if the stations were not in place, he likened the added equipment to having more witnesses at a crime scene, giving observations a higher degree of reliability.

“What’s different about these stations is that we’re seeing these things much better now,” Thelen said. “We’re getting now at least three stations, quite close, up on the volcano.”

Swarms such as these are not common, but have happened in the past, including in November 2013, September and October 2014 and May 2016.  The swarm to the south (in January), Thelen noted, is fairly typical on Mount Hood, typically occurring once a year, while he added that there is a regional stress present in the crust around the mountain and even if Mount Hood wasn’t there, he’d expect similar earthquakes to occur.

In time, enough earthquakes will be recorded offering a new data set that can reveal some of the hidden secrets of Mount Hood, perhaps including the size of the magma chamber and how deep the chamber is, thanks to being able to track the path of the seismic waves.

“When we start to get a picture like that, we can build some conceptual models … of what might link these swarms together,” he said, adding that the new data will also offer a better assessment of what hazards might be associated with the activity.

And the new stations should add momentum to interest in Mount Hood’s volcanic activity, spurring studies to look deeper into the mountain than we have seen before.

“We don’t know a lot about what’s happening inside the volcano,” Thelen said.

Mount Hood is a challenging volcano to study, he added, in part because there is no record of its eruptive cycle. Most volcanic earthquakes will occur under the summit and remain so small that people are unlikely to feel them.

“It really dissipates energy quickly,” Thelen said, adding that an earthquake approaching a magnitude of 3 at the summit of Mount Hood would get their attention.

And our understanding of Mount Hood will grow more later this year, as scientists received permits from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to add instruments and monitoring equipment around Government Camp for long-term study of thermal water features and infrasound instruments at Mt. Hood Meadows.

Thelen also noted that their work would not be possible without the efforts from different partners on Mount Hood, including the USFS, Timberline and Mt. Hood Meadows.

“We’re really appreciative of the different partners we have in the area to keep these stations going,” he said.

Data from the remote monitoring stations transmit in real-time data to the CVO and its monitoring partner, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. To view data from these new stations on the CVO webpage, https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mount-hood/monitoring.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Sandy and SOLVE partner for Earth Day cleanup posted on 04/01/2021

The city of Sandy will team up with the environmental nonprofit organization SOLVE for “SOLVE IT in Sandy,” an annual spring litter clean up from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 17. The event coincides with state-wide clean up events hosted by SOLVE for Earth Day. Volunteers spread out in Sandy and pick up litter and debris to beautify the city.

“We see a lot of resident participation, including organized groups. It’s a good way to give back to the community,” said Carol Cohen, Event Coordinator for the City of Sandy.

Volunteers of all ages are invited to meet at the Sandy Community Center parking lot at 38348 Pioneer Blvd. in Sandy.

The cleanup will focus on eight to ten different sites including the Sandy River Trailhead, Tickle Creek, Main Street, the Sandy community park and the cemetery.

“With the recent ice storm there was a lot of damage,” Cohen said. “There’s a lot of clean up that needs to be done.”

SOLVE (formerly SOLV) was founded in 1969 as part of a community effort to address litter in the state.

Over the years the nonprofit has expanded its mandate to address a wider scope of community and environmental issues.

For 2021, SOLVE is combining the organization’s annual Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup and SOLVE IT for Earth Day events. The Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup was first held in 1986 and SOLVE IT community clean up events began in 1990 as part of Earth Day. The community of Sandy has participated in hosting a SOLVE IT Earth Day event for the past ten years.

SOLVE provides volunteers for the event with bags, grabbers, vinyl gloves, safety vests and sharps containers. Hoodview Disposal and Recycling donates a 20-yard dumpster for the litter gathered by volunteers.

Participants are encouraged to arrive with a face covering, warm clothing, closed-toed shoes, work gloves and a supply of water.

Preregistration for the event in required online at https://www.solveoregon.org/opportunity/a0C1I00000QFKbUUAX.

On the day of the event volunteers can drive through to check in and pick up supplies while signing up for a designated area.

Organizers of the event will provide coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts, donated by Joe’s Donut Shop in Sandy, for volunteers.

“They’ve got to do the work first before they get their goodies,” said Cohen laughing.

More information about the event is available on the city of Sandy community services website at https://www.ci.sandy.or.us/comm-services/page/solve-it-sandy.

More information about SOLVE and other Earth Day events in Oregon are available at https://www.solveoregon.org.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Levy on May ballot to fund Sheriff's Office upgrades posted on 04/01/2021

A levy to help fund the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) operations will be on the May ballot, with voters to decide on renewing a levy that would increase the rate by 12 cents to 36.8 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The levy was first passed in 2006 and then renewed by voters in 2011 and 2016 without any changes.

The levy follows a survey conducted by Patinkin Research Strategies earlier this year which showed that 63 percent of the 400 likely voters in the county who participated were in favor of the levy renewal at the new rate. The survey proposed a series of questions regarding the CCSO and different options of funding levels for a potential levy, including one option with no increase.

“Our polling indicated that the least favored option was a straight renewal of the levy,” Sheriff Angela Brandenburg wrote in an email to the Mountain Times. “I believe this is due to the fact our expenses will exceed revenue by the end of the levy, resulting in the reduction of approximately 12 law-enforcement positions.”

The current levy, which funds 84 jail beds in the county jail, 30 jail deputies, 18 patrol deputies and the Sheriff’s specialized drug enforcement team, expires on Dec. 31, 2021.

The renewed levy, Measure 3-566, would maintain those while also adding 16 patrol deputies, six jail deputies, two internal affairs investigators, implement and maintain a body-worn camera program and five detectives to investigate elder abuse/neglect, child abuse/neglect, human trafficking and felony crimes. The levy term would be from 2022-27 and would cost approximately $98.26 per year on a home with an assessed value of $267,000 (an increase of $32.05 per year from the expiring levy).

It is estimated the proposed rate would raise $22.20 million in 2022-23, $22.87 million in 2023-24, $23.56 million in 2024-25, $24.26 million in 2025-26 and $24.99 million in 2026-27.

Brandenburg noted that the operating budget for the CCSO has remained relatively the same since the last time the levy was renewed, but that expenses and demand for services have increased. The CCSO receives 64.28 percent of its funding from the county’s general fund, with 12.64 percent from the levy, 10.81 percent from contracts, 6.75 percent from Enhanced Law Enforcement District and the remainder from grants, charges for services, licenses and permits.

The survey also revealed that 74 percent of respondents were very satisfied with how the county spends tax dollars and 80 percent are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of service provided by the CCSO.

For more information, visit https://www.clackamas.us/sheriff.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Hoodland Fire teams up for live fire training posted on 04/01/2021

Volunteer recruits from the Hoodland Fire District (HFD) participated in a live fire training event hosted by Estacada Fire District on Feb. 27 at the Estacada Fire training grounds, 261 SE Jeremy Loveless Ave. in Estacada. The exercise was an opportunity to provide training for the firefighters under realistic conditions and to assure the firefighters are trained to perform at their best when a real emergency occurs in the community.

“The trainees get to experience the heat and smoke of a fire in a controlled environment,” HFD’s Lieutenant Andrew Figini said. “It’s a safety thing. You don’t want to do anything for the first time in an uncontrolled environment.”

Recruits from HFD were joined by recruits from Colton Rural Fire Protection District  for the training exercises, utilizing Estacada Fire’s new mobile training facility.

The training was also an opportunity to assist Estacada Fire District’s interim chief Steve Abel with running training exercises using the new mobile training prop, while also offering a pool of instructors needed to train an upcoming class of recruits for Estacada Fire. The recruits who participated also fulfilled requirements for Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards & Training certification.

“It was a train the trainer event,” Figini said. “We assisted in learning how to run the prop and then train the students.

“It was an opportunity for good interdepartmental cooperation between our department and theirs,” Figini added.

Eight recruits from Hoodland Fire and four recruits from Colton Fire participated.

The new mobile prop is a shipping container with a set built inside it out of wooden pallets and plywood. A fire is then set to simulate an actual structure fire.

“It’s as close to being in a house on fire without having a building to burn,” Figini said.

Figini explained that since the exercise is held in a metal shipping container the fire is hotter than one experienced during a house fire. `

“We built up the fire slowly throughout the day and eased (the trainees) into the deep end easy,” Figini said. “They’d go in and get a good hit, get a good knockdown and then we’d reset. If you go through the prop you can pretty much handle anything.”

Estacada Fire held their first week of volunteer academy starting on March 3. The district will train 24 recruits utilizing the mobile training prop through June.

More information about the Hoodland Fire District is available online at https://www.hoodlandfire.us.

By Ben Simpson/MT

On stage: a weekend with Larry Wilder posted on 04/01/2021

Larry Wilder, a northwest musician known for his entertaining performances of Americana, has played thousands of concerts, including opening for such luminaries as Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt and Pete Seeger, while also touring Europe three times and in Japan.

This past year has been a little different, although he has done concerts over Zoom while also performing outdoors on occasion, including at senior residences and for his neighbors.

“You can immediately see what it means to the people who are there,” Wilder said.

On the weekend of April 24-25, Wilder will return to the live stage at the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company in Boring.

Wilder offers fast-paced entertainment featuring guitar, banjo and vocals (he is a National Yodeling Champion) from across the entire spectrum of Americana, including folk songs, popular country tunes and even the unexpected, such as Irving Berlin or Cole Porter.

“I only do what they want to hear,” Wilder said of his audience. “I want the shows to be quick and engaging and interactive. I want them to remember me as being entertaining and that they felt good.”

Wilder, who counts Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie as some of his influences, has been performing for decades and noted that the most important part of his concerts is making his audience feel good.

“I think the longer I play, the more I can sense their feelings and what really works for them,” he said.

Wilder noted that his performance is a journey through Americana music, part of our musical heritage, and that multiple generations are enthusiastic about the songs. And even if few people remember bands such as the Kingston Trio today, the songs they sang still resonate with an audience.

“It’s the power of those songs,” Wilder said. “Whatever the enthusiasm and fun was then, I don’t think it changes much.”

Wilder’s performances weave songs together, such as “I’ve Been Everywhere” with “This Land Is Your Land” or the classic Cash tunes “Walk the Line” and “Ring of Fire,” while interspersing them with some jokes and narratives. He’s been known for playing two songs at the same time on a banjo, while also leading sing-alongs with the audience.

“If the folks want to participate, I encourage that,” Wilder said.

NNB presents Larry Wilder at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24 and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 25 at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. The performances are a fundraiser and donations will be accepted at the door. Capacity for each performance will be limited to 50. For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com, and don’t forget to bring a mask.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Welches Schools reopen posted on 03/01/2021

On Thursday, Feb. 18, Debbie Ortiz dropped her five-year-old son, James, off at Welches Schools for his first day of in-person kindergarten. She described the process that she and her husband went through to make the decision for James to go as “a struggle,” following the months of virtual learning due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We sat down and talked it over. We went through all the information the school sent us; it helped,” Debbie said. “The first day after I dropped him off, I went back to my vehicle and I cried. I hope I did the right thing.

“Everything seems to be going really well so far,” she added.

That Thursday marked the return of kindergarteners and first graders to Welches Schools, with Principal Kendra Payne noting approximately 70 percent of students opting in for the hybrid model, while the remainder will continue with virtual distance learning. Each student is part of a “cohort,” a small group that attends school in person on either Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday, while attending virtually on the other days.

Payne said the early returns of the hybrid schedule are going “really well.”

“I just feel like our kiddos have needed this and we’ve needed it as educators, as well,” Payne said. “I really surprised myself at how emotional I got when those first kids came in and realized how much I had relied on them and how much their absence in the building has really just affected our own mission and our passion. It’s been just really positive.”

The return to school is based on the county’s metrics for coronavirus case rates, case counts and positive tests. Payne noted that subsequent grades are expected to return in phases, depending on if the metrics allow: second and third graders returned Thursday, Feb. 25, while fourth and fifth graders are expected to return on Thursday, March 4 and sixth, seventh and eighth graders on Thursday, March 11.

“At this point I feel like we’re going to be pretty well on track with that timeline,” Payne said.

Numerous protocols are in place due to the pandemic, including required face coverings for students, staff and visitors, six feet of physical distancing between people (including proper spacing for desks and tables), visual screenings for symptoms, sanitizing classrooms and frequent touchpoints and more. Students will not eat breakfast or lunch at the school, but will receive a meal pack as they exit for home (teachers may include snack breaks and will share more information on this with families).

Payne noted that it was a challenge to address the required components for reopening and addressing all the logistics that go into a typical school day, from paths of travel in the hallways and the use of bathrooms, to how to use exits/entrances and the way in which arrivals and dismissals will take place.

“We’ve just really had to kind of think about all of it a little bit differently and just be willing to change our processes,” she said.

One updated change will be a drive-through loop for parents to pick up their children after school. Vehicles will enter from Salmon River Road, travel to the basketball court (between the elementary and middle school buildings), use a number system associated with all the children in the family to pick them up and then exit via Woodsey Way.

“That was actually inspired by the PGE support stations that were set up during the fires,” Payne said, referencing the wildfires that impacted the area in September 2020.

Even with all the protocols in place, the district is also preparing for a possible positive test at the school, including following state and county guidelines such as isolation, parent notification, cleaning/disinfecting and contact tracing. Oregon Trail School District Communications Director Julia Monteith noted that even if a test were to come back positive, that might not mean the school would cease in-person instruction.

“It would be more probable that if there was an exposure within a cohort, that cohort might need to quarantine for a couple weeks, but not necessarily both cohorts,” Monteith said, adding that the metrics in Clackamas County are “really good right now.”

Monteith also noted that the district’s schools could stay open even if the county’s metrics rose, as long as the school’s metrics were under control, while also offering COVID testing.

Meanwhile, James appreciates being back at school “because of my friends,” although his mom reported one aspect about the return that he’d like to see some improvement on.

“The only thing he said the first day is, ‘We can’t go play on the swings and stuff,’” Debbie said.

For more information about OTSD’s hybrid learning and the return to school visit www.oregontrailschools.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Vision of Rhody's future offered in February meeting posted on 03/01/2021

Clackamas County and MIG Consultants hosted a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 10 to present a draft of three design alternatives for the Rhododendron Main Street Site Redevelopment Plan and share community feedback gathered from a survey conducted in December 2020.

The presentation highlighted the community survey participants’ preference for a redevelopment plan that includes rental housing on the site over a design alternative featuring a larger hotel.

Jon Pheanis, the representative for MIG Consultants, presented design alternatives for associated transit, frontage and crossing improvements for the redevelopment site.

These elements have all received positive feedback from the community during the outreach and planning period.

“We’re not starting from scratch, that’s not what this project is about,” Pheanis said. He detailed MIG’s goal of supporting the community’s vision while integrating transportation and land use planning.

“The redevelopment site’s location between the river and the highway poses challenges due to setback requirements,” Pheanis added.

Of the three design concepts, one featured a hotel and additional retail space, while the other two consisted of a mixture or rental housing and retail. The survey results showed a strong preference for rental housing and a general disapproval for the out-of-scale design of a larger structure.

Pheanis stated that Clackamas County and the Oregon Department of Transportation had informed the consultants that zoning requirements would limit the proposed number of housing units on the site and that development would need to comply with a legal requirement to preserve access to the separate lots.

“ODOT is eager to assist the redevelopment in enabling safer access for all users,” said ODOT representative Kate Hawkins.

Hawkins stated a traffic study would be the next step for transportation planning in the community. Hawkins added that many of the proposed changes would be easier to implement after the department sees the construction of a sidewalk.

“We want to work with the community here,” she said.

Brett Fischer, a representative for the owners of the private property at the proposed development site, stated that any development planning would make it difficult to include a location for the Park and Ride service which currently utilizes the lots. Fischer added that access to the private property for use by the Park and Ride was a temporary allowance until the sites were developed.

Senior Planner for Clackamas County Scott Hoelscher stated that the next step of the redevelopment process would entail prioritizing frontage improvements which can only take place pending both funding and the development of the private property at the site.

“The private property’s development is not guided by the county, although the overall redevelopment is a community effort built by consensus we hope,” Hoelscher said.

Hoelscher stated the county would examine the feedback and comments from the community while continuing to access the redevelopment plan.

“It’s a community project, we want to hear from everyone,” Fischer said about the private property owners' desire to incorporate community feedback into their decision-making process.

$68,350  in funding to hire the MIG consulting team came from a Transportation and Growth Management Grant – Quick Response Program from ODOT and Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.

More information about the project, including a video of the Feb. 10 meeting and a PDF of the draft recommendations, is available online at https://www.clackamas.us/engineering/rhododendron-main-street-redevelopment-plan.

Scott Hoelscher can be emailed at scotthoe@clackamas.us.

By Ben Simpson/MT

New Welches residential subdivision in early stages posted on 03/01/2021

Clackamas County received a pre-application conference request on Wednesday, Feb. 3 regarding a partition/subdivision of nearly eight acres of land south of Hwy. 26 and to the east of Vincent Road, with Stage Stop Road near the southeast corner in Welches. The project could result in a 27-lot single family residential subdivision on the land, currently divided between two owners: Jeremy Zuidema, who owns 5.76 acres, and Jeff Goode, who owns 2.06 acres directly to the south of Zuidema’s property.

The land for the project is opposite another parcel of land on the west side of Vincent Road that was recently logged.

In an email to the Mountain Times, Zuidema stressed that the project is in the preliminary stages and aspects of it could change.

“We envision a community with a mountain feel, similar to houses on Bright (Avenue),” Zuidema wrote, adding that they anticipate the houses being between 1,600 to 2,500 square feet at a cost between $450,000 and $550,000 each. “We are considering other affordable housing options but need to discuss these ideas with the county planning (department).”

Ben Blessing, Senior Planner with Clackamas County Planning and Zoning, noted in an email to the Mountain Times that if the project moves forward with a land use application, a formal notice will be mailed to neighbors within a certain radius around the property and will also be posted on the county’s website.

“Input and comments from the surrounding community or anybody else will be added to the record and considered in the land use decision,” Blessing wrote.

The pre-application conference request noted the property is currently vacant with “no significant trees” and a slope of approximately two percent from east to west.

The request also inquired about a representative from the Oregon Department of Transportation being included due to the property’s proximity to Hwy. 26.

Zuidema noted that the timeline for the project could see construction beginning by the end of the year.

“I am hoping to have the street and utilities infrastructure finished mid to late summer,” he wrote. “Hopefully we can start building houses in September or October.”

Goode did not respond to a request for comments before publication.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Brenda Manley
Retirement delivers Postmaster Brenda Manley back to her family posted on 03/01/2021

Brenda Manley, postmaster for the U.S. Postal Service in the Mount Hood region, retired in February after a 30-year career serving the mountain communities.


Manley ended her role as the postmaster in Welches, Government Camp, Brightwood and Rhododendron. She currently resides in Rhododendron and plans to spend her retirement enjoying all the activities available in the region during the work week.

“I’ve been so fortunate I get to live, work and play on the mountain. I’ll be doing a lot more playing Monday through Friday,” Manley said.

Manley started her career as a postmaster relief at the Brightwood post office in 1991. She worked every Saturday for eight years in this role until her promotion to postmaster.

Manley served as the postmaster in Welches for 17 years and added on the responsibilities of overseeing the Government Camp, Brightwood and Rhododendron offices eight years ago.

“I’ll miss seeing members of the community, my coworkers and seeing kids grow up,” Manley said about leaving her position. “You really get to be part of the community. I’ve even weighed a few babies.”

During her tenure Manley oversaw the centennial celebrations for three mountain post offices: Welches in 2005, Brightwood in 2010 and Rhododendron in 2020.

Manley’s 30-year career experienced many changes to the U.S. Postal Service. When she began in Brightwood in 1991 the office included a calculator, stamps, a telephone and no computer.

“The biggest change was automation: you hardly have to sort any mail these days,” Manley said. “And Amazon of course, Amazon trucks every morning.”

Manley plans to spend her new free time skiing, hiking, gardening and enjoying time with her family.

“My family is very happy I’m retiring,” said Manley.

The at times inclement weather on the mountain can make delivering the mail a challenge during severe storms. Manley recalled a particularly heavy storm that downed powerlines and blocked access to the Brightwood post office. Manley commandeered her family’s sleds to pull the mail from the office to waiting delivery vehicles.

Now she anticipates her visits to the post office will have a much more relaxed feel.

“The post office is such a focal point in the community. When people are picking up their mail they’ll stand around, talk and catch up with their neighbors,” Manley said. “Now when I’m picking up my mail, I’ll be able to visit.”

By Ben Simpson/MT


New technology to assist Hoodland Fire posted on 03/01/2021

The Hoodland Fire District (HFD) expected to have three LUCAS chest compression system devices ready to use last month, reducing close contact emergency responders will have with patients and improving the chances patients who are in cardiac arrest will survive.

The three devices were made possible thanks to approximately $41,000 in grant money from the CARES Act, last year’s economic stimulus in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s equipment that our fire district would never be able to afford without the CARES funding,” said Brian Henrichs, the HFD Division Chief who spearheaded the effort to get the devices. “It will hopefully last us a really long time.”

Henrichs noted that each of the three district’s stations will have one of the LUCAS devices, which offers responders the ability to provide hands-free cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The devices, he added, came out approximately ten years ago and can be found in numerous other fire districts, including in Sandy and Gresham.

Responders may still initiate CPR, Henrichs said, performing it hands-on for up to four minutes before a quick transition to get the device in place and turned on. But he noted that the devices can be so successful that it induces patients to regain consciousness, not something that is frequently achieved with manual CPR.

Henrichs added that the district needed to wait on extra batteries for the devices, which are necessary in the district due to the travel time involved with taking patients to an interventional cardiac catheterization lab, where a stent can be installed. That travel time from the HFD can take up to 45 minutes, which is also approximately how long one battery will last, and Henrichs noted it would be unfortunate to have to switch to manual CPR part way through the journey.

Henrichs, who joined the district three years ago after working for American Medical Response, added the training to get the district’s responders up to speed on the new device was fairly easy, taking only 30 minutes. He also noted that anyone at the Emergency Medical Technician level or higher in the district can use it.

“It’s one of the best life-saving devices,” Henrichs said. “I don’t know why we haven’t had it for years.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

Leather crafts for a lifetime at Dark Forest posted on 03/01/2021

Welches resident Jeff Curry appreciates well-crafted objects that can last a long time, but sees us living in a society that is more focused on buying stuff that will quickly be thrown away. Curry still uses his grandmother’s cast iron pan, seasoned decades ago and still doing its job, while also enjoying a record player and the records that date back to his mother’s youth.

“You just don’t throw those away,” Curry said. “They still work perfectly great. I’m much more interested in things you're going to hold on to and have more meaning.”

And with that philosophy in mind, Curry opened his new business venture, Dark Forest USA, a lifestyle goods company that offers handmade leather products, including wallets, camera straps, cast iron mittens and more.

Curry, who grew up in Pittsfield, Mass. and went to school in Vermont, uses American leather and thread for his products and the leather is tanned with vegetable oil, making it more environmentally friendly than the chemical-based alternatives. His products also come with a lifetime guarantee.

“I really wanted to make something that would stand the test of time,” Curry said, adding that he’s “on a crusade” to share with people why investing in something that is well-made will pay off in the long run, rather than buying a number of cheap alternatives.

Dark Forest USA, named with that idea that even in the deepest, darkest parts of the forest, the light will always shine through, is Curry’s second business venture, after starting the textile company Treefort with a business partner. During that endeavor, Curry learned some basic leather skills while creating hundreds of different logos for a variety of products, but when he suffered a ski injury in 2017, he started developing his new business during his recovery.

“From there, I just kind of got hooked on the whole leatherworking thing,” he said.

Curry, who also worked locally at Windell’s Ski Camp as a ski coach, noted that the momentum for his new company gained steam during the coronavirus pandemic, when he was stuck at home and devoted more time into crafting leather.

He added that when he takes his pieces to craft fairs, the cast iron mitten (used to protect hands from a hot skillet) is a popular item, while his golf tee holster (featuring embossed initials) was a hit as a Christmas present for his father.

In the near future, Curry hopes to figure out the final designs for feminine wallets, saying that he’s always experimenting with new designs, but he doesn’t want to rush something along and then have to change it.

“I’m a very meticulous person,” he said. “I need to figure it out and make a couple to test out before releasing it.”

For more information, visit www.darkforestusa.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

The 'Ives' of March at Nutz-n-Boltz posted on 03/01/2021

Kelly Lazenby, Artistic Director of Boring’s Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company (NNB), notes that the short plays by David Ives that will be performed as readings in March will appeal to people who are familiar with the culture of live theater.

“They’re very clever word plays, all of them,” she said. “There’s a bunch of homage to theater itself in each play. If you’ve been in theater before, understand where it’s coming from.”

Of course, even for those audience members who are theatrical novices will also enjoy them, thanks to Ives’ wit and humor. The performances, taken from his compendium “All in the Timing,” include plays that examine all the bad decisions on a first date, making up a language on the fly and three monkeys tasked with writing “Hamlet.”

Lazenby noted the performances will be readings, featuring actors with scripts in hand and minimal props. The theater has offered a number of these types of evenings in recent months, as they are more manageable to produce while adhering to COVID-19 restrictions.

“It's a good way to do something that doesn’t need a whole lot of preparation,” Lazenby said, adding that they also offer a chance for the performers to stretch their acting chops with some interesting characters.

She also noted the theater is limited to 20 percent capacity, but that they have been encouraged by seeing some new attendees for the recent shows.

Performances will take place with all necessary safety protocols in place, including seats spaced to allow for social distancing, sanitizing all seats between performances, hand sanitizer and staff wearing masks and gloves. If any performances are not allowed to go on, all prepaid tickets will be refunded in full.

The cast will include Ian Leiner, Justin Lazenby, Kim Berger, Tracey Grant, Kraig Williams and Kelly Lazenby.

NNB presents “All in the Timing” March 19-21 at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Ella Vogel (left) and Leita Bibler.
Senior Center's future in current location at risk posted on 02/01/2021

The Hoodland Senior Center faces an uncertain future as Clackamas County considers ending ownership of the building the center has occupied since 2012.


Senior Center director Ella Vogel noted Representatives of Clackamas County Social Services told the local not-for-profit in July 2020 to prepare for the sale of their current venue.

“There’s a good possibility we’d have to shut down,” Vogel said about the possible loss of the venue.

County representatives have been unable to provide a decision on the sale or a timeline for the not-for-profit to find a new community space since the July announcement, leaving the center concerned about its ability to continue to provide the community services it currently offers.

The building that the Hoodland Senior Center occupies was originally built by the U.S. Forest Service as an information center. Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs purchased the building following the closure of the information center and entered into an agreement to rent the property to the senior center for $1 a month in 2012.

The center’s lease with the county states, “because the property was purchased with transient room tax revenue, this arrangement must have a “tourism” benefit to justify the occupation by a lessee for below market value rent. This arrangement will benefit the traveling public by making public restroom facilities available.”

Vogel noted that the senior center’s lease includes an agreement to purchase all supplies for the public restrooms and to keep them clean. The lease details that all maintenance and repairs of the building are the responsibility of the county.

The county tourism department implemented a 75 percent budget cut as a result of pandemic related tourism revenue shortages in May of 2020. At that time the oversight of the senior center building was transferred to the social services department. The county has made a decision to evaluate continued ownership of the building due to revenue shortages.

“The income we have to keep facilities is gone,” said Kimberly Dinwiddie, Clackamas County public information officer.

The county has not yet begun an evaluation of the building. The evaluation will factor in maintenance and repair costs including a new roof.

Dinwiddie stated that “all options are on the table” and that the county will begin “gathering facts to form opinions” to present their findings to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) in the summer. A decision on the building is expected to be made by the BCC in the fall.

“These conversations are very early,” Dinwiddie said. “We’re a long way from making a decision.”

The Senior Center offers programs and provides opportunities that promote independent living for senior adults aging in place in the county’s rural communities.

The Senior Center uses its current location to provide a Meals on Wheels program for seniors 60 years of age or older in Alder Creek, Sandy, Brightwood, Rhododendron and Welches. The organization provides medical rides, food boxes, energy assistance and information and assistance connecting with Clackamas County resources. The center serves as a meeting space for community organizations such as local water districts, the Hoodland Women’s Club, the Trillium Garden Club, classes, study groups, tai chi and the Welches mobile library.

“We realize the Senior Center plays a pivotal role in our communities, not only with the services it provides, but as a gathering place. We intend to keep the community informed on the decision-making process,” Dinwiddie said.

The Hoodland Senior Center is located at 65000 E. Hwy. 26 in the Mount Hood Village RV Resort and can be reached by phone at (503) 622-3331.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Angela Brandenburg takes over as the new County Sheriff posted on 02/01/2021

Angela Brandenburg took over as the Clackamas County Sheriff last month, following the retirement of Craig Roberts after 16 years on the job. Brandenburg is the 33rd county sheriff since 1845, when William Livingston Holmes became the first.

Brandenburg has served with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) for 27 years, working up through the ranks from Reserve Deputy to Undersheriff, while also taking on roles including the Public Information Officer and as a member of both the Search & Rescue and SWAT Teams. She also served for five years as the Director of A Safe Place Family Justice Center and was responsible for leading CCSO’s Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team.

Brandenburg, who lives in Molalla, also served nine years in the Oregon Army National Guard.

Roberts, who joined the CCSO in 1979 as a reserve deputy, praised Brandenburg in a statement he released upon his retirement.

“Sheriff Brandenburg is taking command of an incredible operation,” Roberts said in the statement. “I know the Sheriff’s Office will only further its tradition of excellence under her leadership.”

Former Sheriff Roberts’ full statement is available on the CCSO website, www.clackamas.us/sheriff/news.

To introduce the new Sheriff to our readers, the Mountain Times (MT) emailed a series of questions to her, which are presented here:

MT: What has been your experience, both as a member of the CCSO and as a civilian, when visiting the Mountain?

Sheriff Brandenburg: “Early in my career I did a stint as CCSO's Public Information Officer, and I also had the honor of working closely with the Mountain community for several years as a Sheriff’s Office representative on the Mt. Hood Coalition Against Drug Crime citizen group. This relationship continued as a Patrol deputy and Sergeant, when I served on the front lines in the area. During this time, I became familiar with residents' deep love for their community, as well as their passion to keep it safe. As a Clackamas County resident, I know we're so fortunate to have Mt. Hood in our backyard. I love the outdoors and visit the mountain with my family often. I recognize this community survives in part thanks to visitors like my family.”

MT: You have spent 28 years with the CCSO, why did you choose this career path and what do you find most rewarding about your work in the CCSO?

Sheriff Brandenburg:  “After graduating high school, I joined the Oregon Army National Guard, following in the footsteps of family members who enlisted. That marked the beginning of my public service. I joined CCSO as a Reserve deputy and quickly realized this was the work for me. The ability to help people who cannot help themselves is absolutely rewarding. I jumped into full-time law-enforcement work with both feet, and I'm honored to serve my community each and every day.”

MT: Clackamas County includes urban, suburban and rural areas throughout a large land territory.

What are the biggest challenges in covering such a diverse area?

Sheriff Brandenburg:  “Although patrol is the most visible part of our office, we provide many services across the county. We are responsible for the jail, court security, civil service, investigations and search and rescue, and we have many special units and partnerships throughout the county. Managing all of these responsibilities, keeping performance at a high level and meeting the expectations of our diverse communities is a great challenge.”

MT: Members of the Mountain community have expressed concerns in the past regarding two subjects in particular: response time after calling the CCSO and speeders on Hwy. 26.

How can the Sheriff’s Office work toward improving these issues on the Mountain, and what are the challenges in doing so?

Sheriff Brandenburg: “Highway 26 is the major thoroughfare on the mountain, and I realize traffic related issues are of concern. 26 is a state highway, which makes it the jurisdiction of the Oregon State Police. As you know, their staffing is low at the moment, and they do not provide 24-hour service. Our deputies supplement in the area by providing patrol services, traffic and DUII enforcement, and crash response.

One of my priorities is to determine if we're using our resources effectively and efficiently. To that end we'll be working with an outside firm to conduct a comprehensive staffing study. We'll be looking at how we staff our patrol districts, including looking for any areas where service can be improved.

We're also talking to our Patrol deputies, who know their districts well and are familiar with areas that are likely to need more attention. In their available time, those are the areas they generally patrol. We stop a lot of criminals in the act by using these proactive approaches.

My goal (is) to use the information from this staffing study to drive our decision making regarding our resource allocations early in my administration.”

Editor’s note: The staffing study Sheriff Brandenburg mentioned was approved and began in early January. It is expected to take up to 15 weeks to complete.

MT: The Search and Rescue efforts have gone through restructuring in the past year: where do they currently stand and do you have any other plans for further changes to the structure?

Sheriff Brandenburg: “Year after year, we are seeing a 10-15% increase in the number of searches we conduct. Last year we restructured and formed Clackamas County Search and Rescue (CSAR), and still work alongside volunteer organizations such as Portland Mountain Rescue. We have great working relationships with our partners in the search and rescue community. That's key in accomplishing SAR missions, which often involve multiple agencies and organizations working in concert. I will continue to strengthen our relationships with our partners. This in turn will improve our capabilities to conduct safe and successful missions.”

MT: Police agencies face so many challenges in this day and age, what is the biggest challenge for the CCSO?

Sheriff Brandenburg:  “Currently the lack of resources to help those affected by mental-health and addiction issues is one of the biggest challenges, not only for CCSO but for all our local law-enforcement partners. The lack of these resources and the recent closure of the Hooper Detox Stabilization Center means more people are ending up in the jail and the criminal justice system, where they do not belong. You have to address these problems at the root, leading with addiction and mental-health services.”

MT: In the past year, there has been a discussion in this country about police reform and how police interact with people of color. Do you see any opportunities within the CCSO to make changes along these lines?

Sheriff Brandenburg: “Under my leadership, we will continue to be dedicated to serving all of our communities. One of my goals includes engagement with all of our communities by every level of my office – from deputies on the street to my command staff. What I do know and recognize is that many communities are fearful of law enforcement, and we have to meet them where they're at. Together, through open and safe dialogue, we can be more responsive to their unique needs, promote trust, and make improvements in the services we deliver.

Another priority of mine is to promote transparency and officer safety. I’m seeking funds to purchase body-worn cameras for our personnel. I want the public to better understand our work, and I believe these cameras will be a helpful tool and critical to transparency.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

Commissioner Mark Shull asked to resign posted on 02/01/2021

Clackamas County Commissioner Mark Shull, who defeated Ken Humberston in the November election and was sworn in earlier in January, was censured by the Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on Thursday, Jan. 14 for comments posted on social media that were “derogatory, offensive, insensitive and racist,” as noted by the board's resolution. The BCC further called for Shull’s resignation, adding to a growing chorus of people and organizations critical of Shull for his posts.

The BCC resolution, which passed by a 5-0 vote (including Shull voting for it), further noted that Shull “imputed to Clackamas County a reputation of racist, sexist, and religious insensitivity and intolerance,” damaged the county’s reputation and that his “statements and opinions are detrimental to the trust and confidence of the residents of Clackamas County and the Board of Commissioners’ ability to ensure the delivery of services to the County’s residents.”

“Last summer, the Board of County Commissioners passed a Resolution Condemning Violence and Racism against Black/African American and all people of color,” BCC Chair Tootie Smith said in a statement. “This Resolution serves as a call to action for the County to address systemic disparities and ensure that all people can feel safe and thrive in our county. I am in full support of the resolution and of the work of the Equity and Inclusion Office and the value the office brings to our county employees and residents.”

Shull released a lengthy statement on Monday, Jan. 18 requesting forgiveness and understanding from the Muslim community, while noting he “never expected these conversations (on social media) to extend past the people in those discussions.”

“I certainly didn’t imagine that some of these would be presented to countless people, causing real fear, anxiety and pain,” he added.

Shull noted in the release that he received hate mail and death threats, while also outlining a meeting with members of the Muslim community.

“Today we must listen to the voices of wisdom of the past who taught us about love and tolerance,” he said in the press release. “We must listen to the opinions of others with respect even when we do not agree with them.

The Oregon Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations also called for Shull’s resignation, noting on its website, “There is time for people like this to redeem and repair themselves, and the communities they affected. But it cannot come with just an apology. These things will take time, as the damage runs deep. These were not merely one-off comments from several years ago. The statements were targeted, rife with bigotry, dog whistles, and doubling down hard.”

A video link to access a recording of the BCC meeting when Shull was censored is available at https://youtu.be/ozmIR_lOnz0.

Shull indicated that he would not resign and under Oregon law, he can only be recalled after serving six months of his term.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Mountain businesses team up for raffle to benefit restaurants posted on 02/01/2021

Two Mount Hood businesses have teamed up to show some love to local restaurants struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic this Valentine’s Day.

Mount Hood Cannabis in Rhododendron will raffle a custom-made snowboard from Welches-based Habitual Snowboard Company in an effort to promote dining at local restaurants impacted by a loss of business due to the pandemic. The drawing will be held on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, Feb. 14, a holiday that is traditionally a busy day for the restaurant industry.

“A significant part of our customer base are chefs, waiters and dishwashers at local restaurants. They’re really taking a beating due to COVID this season,” said Michael Budd, owner of Mount Hood Cannabis. “Both of our businesses are having a great snow season, and we wanted to transfer some of that benefit back to others.”

Community members can enter the drawing for free by bringing a receipt from dining at a local restaurant in 2021 to Mount Hood Cannabis. The receipt will be exchanged for five raffle tickets.

Raffle tickets are also available for purchase at the dispensary and at Mountain Mogul Pizza, located at 68278 East Hwy. 26 in Welches, for individuals under the age of 21. Ticket costs are one for $5, three for $10 and seven for $20. Proceeds from the sale of the tickets will be donated to Meals on Wheels.

Budd stated the partnership with Habitual Snowboards was a natural fit because “the product is exciting, and it will hopefully energize people to get involved.”

Habitual Snowboards is a Mount Hood-founded “farm to table” snowboard company that uses locally sourced American manufactured materials to craft their boards entirely in-house at their shop in Welches.

“Supporting our local community is just as important to us as shaping and riding snowboards,” the company notes on its website.

Mount Hood Cannabis also highlighted the importance of community involvement to their business.

“Our customers and employees just want to be positive influences on the community, and we’re always looking for a way to contribute,” Budd said.

Mount Hood Cannabis is located at 73410 Hwy. 26 in Rhododendron and can be contacted by phone at 503-622-4272. More information about the dispensary, including updates on the raffle, can be found on its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Mount-Hood-Cannabis-Compnay-1520388478061986/.

For more information about Habitual Snowboard Company visit its website at https://www.habitualsnow.com or by email at habitualsnowboardsco@gmail.com.

By Ben Simpson/MT

'Besties' a first step for Log Lodge posted on 02/01/2021

Last summer, Anita Halmøy Wisløff-Menteer and Erik Sims Wisløff-Menteer found themselves as the new owners of the Log Lodge in Rhododendron and in the middle of a pandemic. And thanks to how so many aspects of life as they knew it were shut down due to the coronavirus (including Erik’s band, Blitzen Trapper, not being able to tour) the pair sold their Portland house and moved to Rhododendron.

“We just realized that neither of us had anything going on in Portland, so we might as well just head up to the Mountain,” Erik said.

Anita and Erik have a larger vision for the Log Lodge, a historic building on the south side of Hwy. 26, but while they chip away at repairing and restoring it, they also opened Bestie’s Coffee, a food truck that offers beverages and food. They see their location as convenient for tourists travelling up to Mount Hood and hope that locals swing by, too.

Anita, who grew up in a small mountain town in Norway, noted they will focus on offering things that people can take with them on a ski trip or other recreational activities, with plans to have sandwiches and pastries in the future. She also noted they might offer “wieners in a thermos,” a popular skiing meal in Norway that features hot dogs in a thermos with hot water, buns and condiments for a hot lunch on the slopes.

“We do that all the time up (on Mount Hood) and we get a lot of weird looks,” she said. “It’s a great thing, so hopefully people will try it out.”

Erik, who grew up in Salem, added that they will offer Water Avenue coffee, noting it’s a good change of pace from some of the heavier brews they experienced in Portland.

“We really like their coffee and the roasting methods,” he said. “It’s incredibly flavorful. They’re just a really solid team.”

The pair plan to feature coffee in the Log Lodge when they open it, offering a place for people to sit and work during the day. And even though no firm timeline is in place for that to open, they both can appreciate the fact that due to the pandemic they would be closed up even if the building was ready.

“For us, it’s weirdly good timing,” Anita said. “We wouldn’t have been able to open anyway.”

And to help people who want to make a quick stop while getting their drinks, Bestie’s Coffee can be preordered online, allowing beverages to be finished by the time people stop by.

The pair added that they are extremely grateful to the community of Rhododendron and their neighbors, who have been very helpful as they have started their endeavors.

“We love it up here; everyone is so amazingly nice,” Anita said. “It’s so fun to be part of such a small community. The nature is amazing.”

Bestie’s Coffee is located at 73330 Hwy. 26 and is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week.

For more information, or to preorder, visit Bestiescoffee.net.

Anita added that late in January, a second food truck joined in at the location. The Flavor Bus offers breakfast, lunch, drinks and catering, featuring bright veggies, sustainable fish, better meats and all-around healthy recipes.

Menu items include sashimi grade albacore, house-made turkey chorizo and vegan herb maple sausages, with house-made sauces such as Liger sauce made with cashew, red pepper and grapefruit and a low-sugar teriyaki sauce.

Hours for the Flavor Bus will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. For more information, visit www.theflavorbus.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Draft plan for Rhody to be presented Feb. 10 posted on 02/01/2021

Clackamas County and MIG Consultants will host an online virtual meeting from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10 to present a draft of the Rhododendron Main Street Site Redevelopment Plan. The plan will include feedback from a survey and video conducted in December on three design alternatives for the community, including associated transit, frontage and crossing improvements.

The December survey received a total of 239 responses.

Scott Hoelscher, Clackamas County Senior Planner noted that feedback received from the Feb. 10 meeting will be used to make further refinements to the plan and that one more final meeting to review the draft will be held. After that, it will be packaged into a final report.

Hoelscher added that he hopes to make the information that will be presented at the Feb. 10 meeting available to the public at another location, allowing people who don’t have internet access a chance to offer comments.

Steve Graeper, President of the Rhododendron Community Planning Organization, which has spearheaded the “Rhody Rising” efforts, agreed that it is important for more people to be a part of the process.

“There are a lot of people on the Mountain that don’t have access or are uncomfortable with the internet,” he said.

The project is a partnership with Mt. Hood Holdings, LLC, Rhododendron Community Planning Organization (CPO), Clackamas County and the Transportation and Growth Management Program (TGM). The Rhododendron Main Street Site Redevelopment Plan offers an opportunity for local residents and businesses to plan for redevelopment in a way that reduces demand on the transportation system while accommodating desired workforce housing.

The project area centers on two privately held properties on the southwest side of Hwy. 26 totaling 3.73 acres. Publicly owned lands adjacent to the Rhododendron Swinging Bridge and the Rhododendron Community Landscape at the Barlow Trail Oregon Historic Marker are also included.

For more information or to find a link to the Feb. 10 meeting, visit the project website at https://www.clackamas.us/engineering/rhododendron-main-street-redevelopment-plan.

By Garth Guibord/MT

10 Years: Flood recovery, plaque recovered and coffee 'Crew' posted on 02/01/2021

The Flood

In the Feb. 2011 issue of The Mountain Times, it was reported the mountain community was still busy mopping up from the floods that raged through mountain neighborhoods in mid-January, with residents, volunteers and emergency personnel alike responding in an overwhelming display of selflessness.

Heartwarming stories of neighbors helping neighbors poured in, the Hoodland Fire District set up emergency operations and an evacuation center, enthusiastic volunteers of all ages turned up to fill sandbags, benefits for flood victims were planned and much more. From this unwelcome event which devastated significant portions of the mountain, an outpouring of care, compassion, concern and support for one another came to the fore.

Magic Mile Plaque

The Magic Mile Plaque, which disappeared from the slopes of Timberline Lodge in years past suddenly reappeared when a man who wished to remain anonymous found it while moving belongings from his mother's house and shipped it to Christy Covington, Zigzag Ranger District coordinator.

Originally placed at the first tower of the Magic Mile, the plaque commemorated the first Magic Mile chairlift, and was dedicated by Norway's Crowned Prince Olaf on May 21, 1939.

The Magic Mile is considered to be the first ski lift built and fabricated with steel towers and was the first lift to serve Timberline Lodge.

Covington planned on re-installing the plaque at the Silcox Hut, noting it also has a connection to the lift. Unfortunately, the plaque is not the first historical treasure to disappear, or even reappear, at or around Timberline Lodge, and Covington said that one year an ashtray was returned.

Who knows what lurks in our basements and attics.

Mt Hood Business Alliance – Pharmacy

The recently formed Mount Hood Business Alliance announced at its meeting in Jan. 2011 that a new pharmacy on the mountain was a distinct possibility, and semi-retired local pharmacist Jeff Williams was approached by the group to get the ball rolling.

"People keep saying 'do it.' I'm certainly open to talking about it (with Thriftway). The Mountain certainly needs the service," Williams said.

The idea of Thriftway being a possible site for the project was discussed, although as mountain residents will recall, the pharmacy ultimately opened up in the Rendezvous shopping center. It has since closed its doors.

Brew Crew

After purchasing 'Java the Hut' in Jan. 2011 from Rick and Georgi Tyson, new owners Travis and Suzy Brewster opened the coffee shop located in the Hoodland Shopping Center under the new name of “Coffee Brewsters.” The Brewsters had plans to redecorate the interior and convert the look to a more lodge-like rustic feel, which resulted in old snow shoes and skis being dropped off by locals.

Despite the changes to the decor, the Brewsters stuck to the slogan "Where the Mountain gets its coffee," which remains to this day.

In other news

Students at the Welches Middle School vowed to stomp out bullying, a packed Villages at Mt. Hood Town Hall meeting heard information from Clackamas County Commissioners regarding the flood and the proposed mountain bike trails on Mount Hood, and the Cascade Ski Club in Government Camp hosted the “Come Fly with Us” open ski jump competition at Skibowl.

By Fran Berteau/MT

File photo by Lara Wilent.
A decade later, 2011 flood a reminder of nature's fury posted on 01/01/2021

As the Mountain community enters the cold and dark season (all while dealing with a pandemic), the 10-year anniversary of the 2011 flood reminds us all that a little warmth at the wrong time can be a very dangerous thing. Unseasonably warm temperatures coupled with heavy rainfall and melting snow wreaked havoc in mid-January 2011, causing flooding in the Sandy, Zigzag and Salmon Rivers while leaving more than 200 people without electricity, water or telephone service, and necessitating a human chain up and down Lolo Pass Road. Thankfully, nobody perished in the flood, but three houses were lost.


“It was quite an endeavor,” said Mic Eby, who served as the Hoodland Fire District Chief at the time and has spent more than 40 years with the district.

Eby noted that the district began preparations for the flood in the days before and watching the weather reports. He added that the district’s volunteers came out in force, including members of the CERT group, to help fill and transport sandbags, provide traffic control, perform welfare checks and more.

“It was amazing how the community came together for that,” he said.

Jay Wilson, Clackamas County Resilience Coordinator, recalled that in the aftermath of the flood, a town hall was held, featuring all the County Commissioners and a large crowd of community members.

“It was quite a heated, passionate conversation,” he said. “It was a packed house.”

Wilson noted that out of that conversation, among many others, it became clear that members of the community wanted to “fix” the rivers in a similar fashion to what the Army Corps of Engineers did following the 1964 flood.

“That just became the biggest single issue that our office worked on for the next five years,” he said, adding that they had to shift those expectations to help people understand that it was not a case of trying to control the river, but trying to manage the risk involved with the river.

Wilson explained that when people protect a property with riprap, rock formations placed to prevent erosion, the hydraulic energy bounces off of it and creates a slingshot, sending the destructive force elsewhere in the river.

In light of that, efforts have been made to restore the rivers to their natural floodplains, which takes some pressure off of the homeowners.

“It doesn’t make the risk go away, it just helps to give it more stability,” Wilson explained, while also noting that fighting a river will also harm fish habitat.

Wilson pointed to two big projects on the Mountain connecting the rivers to their floodplains: one completed in 2016-17 upstream of Timberline Rim that opened a side channel and installed big lumber erosion management structures (which has already demonstrated that cutting the flow and energy out of the water does work) and the removal of levees and opening of side channels at the confluence of the Sandy and Salmon Rivers.

While the 2011 flood helped to shift in this thinking process, the recovery from the event was different for the county than anything it had done before, Wilson noted. In the past, the county mostly dealt with permits for emergency work on properties impacted by flooding, but Wilson described the county’s efforts in 2011 as being a community recovery facilitator, doing “more listening than talking” and trying to find common ground through a transparent public process.

He noted that the county formed an interdepartmental flood recovery group that met weekly and then bi-weekly for approximately eight years to coordinate their efforts primarily on the Sandy River flood issues.

The aftermath of the flood also revealed that the county needed a scientific analysis of the behavior of the rivers to better understand what the best approach was for policies and programs. The result was a 2015 channel migration zone study, which Wilson described as the “single biggest development” resulting from the flood.

“Oregon didn’t have anything like that before,” he said. “This was the state’s first assessment of that degree.”

The study, which has not yet been formally adopted, came with hazard and risk maps that identified hundreds of homes on the Mountain that are currently in imminent threat if a repeat of the 2011 flood took place. Wilson added that the numbers jump to several thousand homes in imminent threat if we have another flood similar to 1964.

“That got a lot of people’s eyes open,” he said.

By adopting the hazard and risk maps in that study, the zoning and land use designations of those areas would change. But Wilson added that there are complications that have prevented that.

To help share the valuable information, the county has held a “Flood of Information” event every year (except 2020, thanks to the pandemic) to provide new information, including a mapping tool that is also available online (https://www.clackamas.us/dm/channelmigrationzoneresources.html).

Wilson noted that for two years in a row, he met couples at the event that realized their property was in the channel migration zone, and therefore at a higher risk, and noted they wouldn’t have purchased the property if they had known before. But there is no law requiring the disclosure of the risk during the sale of one of these properties.

Wilson added that people’s perception of risk has changed since the 2011 flood, noting that at some of the public meetings immediately following the flood, a lot of people expressed interest in the possibility of a buyout for their property. But after time, fewer and fewer people were interested.

“Unfortunately, I think a lot of human nature is to be reactive,” he said.

Wilson added that the biggest single finding from the 2015 report confirms that the deck is stacked against homes that are right next to the Sandy and Zigzag Rivers. That’s because these rivers lie in a volcanic landscape and the homes are built on terraces that are still unstable, and that doesn’t even account for climate change causing glaciers to retreat and revealing loose soils.

“It doesn’t take much to mobilize it,” Wilson said. “Sediment creates erosion patterns. Anything that brings more sediment into the river, it creates a lot more uncertainty.”

And despite the magnitude of the 2011 flood and the strong emotions that followed, the past 10 years have been fairly quiet for flood events, perhaps creating the appearance that the risk has diminished.

“I think people get lulled into complacency despite all the work we’ve done up there,” Wilson said.

To make matters worse, Wilson added that should the Mountain community be impacted by wildfires, the loss of vegetation in the forest would mean a diminished ability to manage runoff from heavier rainfall.

“If we ever have a fire in the upper Sandy basin, you can bet the jeopardy of the riverside homes will go up as the river reacts to the new environment,” he said.

Wilson noted that now is the time to rethink our assumptions about living in a community with such dynamic rivers. Perhaps instead of property owners taking what they can get after a home is destroyed, programs that buy out properties in harm’s way could solve the problem before it arises again, with the potential for bringing more land into the public domain and providing greater recreational opportunities on the rivers.

“We’re still working to try and find a way to live with the river, rather than fighting it,” Wilson said.

By Garth Guibord/MT

AntFarm shifts services to provide COVID-19 relief posted on 01/01/2021

When the COVID-19 pandemic began its rapid spread throughout Oregon, Two Foxes Singing (Nunpa), the executive director of AntFarm Youth Services in Sandy, knew the non-profit he had founded would need to provide greater support to the Mount Hood communities.

“AntFarm has pivoted,” he said. “We’ve expanded our services to reach our community with what they need.”

The nonprofit was established in 1999 to provide youth and family services in Sandy with a focus on youth programs that create a “healthy, purposeful, and compassionate community.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, AntFarm immediately applied for grants to support community members. “I saw so many youth and families struggling,” Nunpa said.

AntFarm is now taking a three-prong approach to providing pandemic relief in the Mount Hood region. The nonprofit has expanded services to offer rent assistance to Clackamas County residents facing financial hardships from the economic disruptions, provide economic and moral support for quarantined individuals, and assist Oregon’s tribal communities and communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

AntFarm was also contracted to distribute federal relief funds from the CARES act for rent relief in Clackamas County. The nonprofit has successfully distributed $1.5 million in rental assistance since March and has assisted approximately 300 to 400 families.

The grant covered all of Clackamas County, but AntFarm was able to offer much of the aid to families in Sandy, Estacada and other Mount Hood communities.

“By the nature of us being here, our people are getting more support,” Nunpa said.

The nonprofit is waiting to determine how additional federal rent assistance will be implemented in 2021.

AntFarm received a community engagement grant from the Oregon Health Authority to provide “wraparound” support to individuals in documented isolation and quarantine periods due to COVID-19. The support includes assistance accessing health care, grocery shopping, housing support, utilities and telecommunication support, and help connecting to community resources.

“(The wraparound support) helps people continue to live,” Nunpa said.

The funding typically covers 14 days of quarantine and is limited to 30 days for someone who has COVID-19 and still has symptoms. Nunpa added AntFarm has been receiving approximately five referrals a day for people in need of assistance due to quarantine.

AntFarm was also awarded a $150,000 health equity grant from OHA to assist tribal communities and communities of color, who have experienced higher rates of illness, exposure and loss of business during the pandemic.

“The relationships with these groups… and their knowledge of the needs of their specific communities are the keys to breaking the hold of structural and systemic racism and oppression,” said Leann Johnson, director of OHA’s equity and inclusion division in a recent press release.

AntFarm has been working with the Latinx population in the region to address health disparity, economic disruptions, food insecurity and housing, and other areas of need.

“We hired from and of the community,” Nunpa said. “Our new hires have done an excellent job reaching into the community and doing triage.”

Three of AntFarm’s recent hires are bilingual and have been working extensively with the Latinx population.

The new year brings new uncertainties regarding funding for COVID-19 relief programs.

“I’ve been impressed working with the Oregon Health Authority and how quickly they have been able to secure the funding and implement the programs,” Nunpa said.

In the meantime, the workers at AntFarm will continue to abide by the mantra they have adopted over the course of the pandemic, “You’ve just got to keep showing up.”

More information about AntFarm Youth Services COVID-19 relief programs is available by contacting the organization at covidrelief@AntFarmyouthservices.com.

For more information on AntFarm, including it's bakery in Sandy, visit www.antfarmyouthservices.com.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Residents have icy reception to water rate increase posted on 01/01/2021

After a summer of tap water with high levels of iron, Cedar Glen Estates residents got a chance to voice their displeasure over a proposed water rate increase and the water quality and service provided by the Salmon Valley Water Company (SVW). The Public Utility Commission of Oregon (PUC) held a telephone public comment hearing regarding the SVW’s for a rate increase on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Residents of Cedar Glen Estates cited financial and quality-of-life impacts resulting from the water quality and a proposed base rate that will be significantly higher than the rate in neighboring communities as reasons for the PUC to refuse the request.

“I am opposed to the increase in rates for Salmon Valley Water Co. until they can demonstrate that the water they provide is safe to drink, and that they will show integrity in managing this vital resource, including refunding customers who are not able to use the water due to poor quality, they should not be allowed to charge more to customers,” Welches resident Rachel Vance said in a public comment submission to the PUC.

SVW is in the process of drilling a new well to accommodate increased demand in the region and reduce the iron concentration in the water supply. The construction was slated to be completed by the summer of 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“More than anything the new well is driving the rate increase,” SVW general manager Michael Bowman said.

The monthly bill of the average residential customer served by SVW will increase from $24.99 per month to $32.98 in the first year and then to $44.68 per month in the second year with the new tariffs. After deducting for operating expenses, the projected revenues will produce a 7.25 percent return annually for the utility according to the company’s general rate revision filing with the PUC.

This is a reduction from the 7.6 percent rate of return the PUC granted SVW when it applied for a rate revision in 2014.

A representative for SVW stated that the complaints stem from the use of an old reserve well during periods of high demand. The well, located off of East Routledge Lane, has a high concentration of iron from years of use and is known locally as the “iron well.”

The stay-home restrictions over the spring and summer of 2020 created the highest demands in the utility’s history with usage up 30 to 35 percent. This resulted in SVW incorporating water from the iron well into their main supply more frequently than in past years.

“We’re fully aware (the iron concentration) causes problems for our customers and we feel we have a very good solution with the new well,” Bowman said. “We empathize with any difficulty our customers have faced. We have a good level of confidence that we’ll have the issue resolved going forward.”

Iron is labeled a secondary contaminant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Secondary contaminants are not considered a risk to human health. The EPA has established non-enforceable “secondary maximum contaminant levels” as guidelines to assist public water systems in managing their drinking water for aesthetic considerations, such as taste, color and odor.

Bowman stated that the SVW complies with the recommended guidelines and tests regularly to assure the iron content remains below the three parts-per-million standard.

The target date for the completion of the new well is April 1. It will replace the iron well in meeting increased demand during peak summer use.

“Utilities are only allowed to recover costs that are reasonably and prudently incurred, and Oregon law requires that rates must be just and reasonable. The profit margin that a company is entitled to earn is based on a number of factors including the national economy and the level of business risk when compared to similar companies. The Commission employs a team of economists who regularly conduct these analyses to ensure that the public interest is represented,” the PUC noted in an email.

“Public comment is certainly an important part of our process,” said Kandi Young, PUC public information officer. “I would strongly encourage community members to reach out with issues. It’s important for the commission to hear their input."

The Oregon Public Utility Commission can be reached by phone at 503-373-7394 or by email at puc.publiccomments@state.or.us.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Mountain community rises up to assist injured biker posted on 01/01/2021

Tim Cornish has biked to work most every day for the past 26 years. But the bicycle enthusiast hit a rough spot at the end of September when the seat post on his bike broke, causing Cornish to fall and break his arm at his elbow.

And while Cornish doesn’t have a car, he does have some supportive friends in the community, including Jolynne Milone, owner of Koya Kitchen, who helped raise money for Cornish and organized a meal train effort to bring food to him, and George Wilson, owner of Mt. Hood Bicycle, who gave Cornish a new bike at a celebration on Friday, Dec. 4.

“It was quite a surprise,” Cornish said. “It was the last thing I expected.”

Wilson has known Cornish for almost 20 years and noted he is not an extravagant person and that the bike he had didn’t fit him properly. Wilson added that the post likely snapped because Cornish is so tall and the post was past the minimum insertion point.

Cornish’s new bike, a Surly “Big Dummy,” is a cargo bike with a longer wheelbase that will be a better fit.

“He just needed something that he could depend on,” Wilson said. “We’re a small community here and we all have to take care of each other. If more people are prone to helping, we’d be much better off. I’m just doing my part.”

Milone noted that her efforts were made easy because so many people in the community know him, adding that while she went around to area businesses asking for prize donations for a raffle, she also had people drop by her restaurant just to donate money.

“Tim is so sweet, he’s such a nice person,” she said. “It was really easy to ask for him.”

Cornish, who is still recovering from his injury, appreciated all the efforts involved to help him in his time of need.

“I’m very thankful to George and looking very forward to when I’ll be able to ride the new bike,” he noted. “I’m also very thankful to Jolynne for organizing the donations of needed food and money during my recovery. I’m also very grateful to everyone at Koya Kitchen and all those who donated prizes or bought tickets for the raffle.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

10 Years Ago: A new mayor and watershed winners posted on 01/01/2021

Malone passes the torch

After serving for eight terms as Sandy's mayor, Linda Malone brought down her gavel for the final time at the Dec. 20, 2010 Sandy City Council meeting, and folks turned out in droves to wish the mayor well. Malone was narrowly defeated at the polls in the November 2010 election, with Bill King elected as the new mayor.

Under the leadership of Malone, many environmental protection regulations were adopted including a stream and wetland protection ordinance, the Dark Sky ordinance, six new neighborhood parks were developed and the list went on. Malone was known for welcoming differences of opinion and for council to share their views.

"As small as Sandy is, a group of people working together can make a difference," Malone said.

Then Sandy City Manager Scott Lazenby called her tenure "the Malone Era." Altruistic to the end, Malone finished by wishing King well.

"I hope Bill will have as wonderful an experience as I had," she said.

Firefighters train at "Burn-to-Learn"

Hoodland firefighters are often called out to respond to fires in weather conditions which can be extremely hazardous on the Mountain, and when there is snow and ice on the ground, downed trees and the temperatures dip, water from hoses can turn into ice and access to buildings can be a serious impediment for firefighters who need to climb ladders and tote hoses for hundreds of feet.

Such was the case when a fire broke out at the Collins Lake condos in Government Camp years before, so when a "burn-to-learn" opportunity arose in December 2010, with a chance to train in the snow with live fire, then Hoodland Fire Chief Mic Eby jumped at the chance.

A "burn-to-learn" training experience is when a homeowner agrees to burn their old house or cabin already slated for demolition, and it's a win for both parties, as firefighters can train with a live fire under controlled conditions and the homeowner has the majority of their demolition finished. After a "burn-to-learn," a homeowner can clean up and be ready to build a new home or chalet, while the firefighters are much more prepared for the next emergency.

Watershed Councils pick up Support Grants

The Clackamas County Water Conservation District awarded $35,000 in support grants to several watershed councils in Clackamas County, and among the winners was the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council.

"Watershed councils are key partners in conserving natural resources," District Manager Tom Salzer said.

"We have funding and deep expertise in proven, practical conservation practices. Councils have a unique ability to engage people across a watershed," he added. "Together, we accomplish far more than either of us could do alone."

In Other News...

The Mt Hood Cultural Center & Museum's volunteer appreciation luncheon saw the Volunteer of the Year Award given to July Gilsdorf, the Hoodland Women's Club was busy gearing up for its second annual crab feed, Sandy High School received the green light to move forward with construction after a LUBA appeal was denied and The Mountain Times published the top ten stories of the year for 2010, with the first place story going to the revolving door and dizzying transition of multiple principals at the Welches School.

By Frances Berteau/MT

Volcanic monitoring stations installed on Mount Hood posted on 01/01/2021

(MT) – Between Sept. 29 and Oct. 2, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO), in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and Mount Hood National Forest, installed three new volcano monitoring stations on the flanks of Mount Hood. The three stations enhance the existing seismic, GPS and volcanic gas monitoring network that is currently in operation around Mount Hood.

Each station includes seismic and GPS instruments, including a broadband seismometer that detects the tiny earthquakes, smaller than Magnitude (M) 1.0 and not felt by humans, caused when magma, gas or fluids move beneath the volcano. The GPS equipment measures subtle ground deformation of the volcano in response to magma entering or leaving the magma reservoir several miles below the summit.

Mount Hood has erupted repeatedly for hundreds of thousands of years, but its most recent eruption series was from 1781 to 1793, just before the arrival of Lewis and Clark in 1805. While Mount Hood is not currently erupting, it produces frequent earthquakes and earthquake swarms, and steam and volcanic gases are emitted in the area around Crater Rock near the volcano’s summit.

Because of the significant hazards the volcano poses to nearby communities and infrastructure as well as to aviation, USGS researchers designated Mount Hood as a very high threat volcano in an updated 2018 National Volcanic Threat Assessment. Factors in this included its proximity to nearby communities and popular recreation areas, major highways and potential to impact airspace affecting the Portland metropolitan area during unrest or eruption.

Data from these unoccupied, remote monitoring stations are transmitted in real-time data to the Cascades Volcano Observatory and its monitoring partner, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). View data from these new stations on the CVO webpage, https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mount-hood/monitoring (all monitoring data streams), or at https://pnsn.org/volcanoes/mount-hood (earthquakes only).

Mount Hood seismicity is monitored by the PNSN and CVO via a regional network that includes five seismic stations within 12 miles of the volcano.

Robust monitoring networks are a key tool for mitigating volcano hazards that will affect people and property. Volcanoes can awaken rapidly — in just days to weeks — and initial precursors to that awakening can be subtle, including small earthquakes, small ground movements and minor changes in gas chemistry.

The most effective volcano monitoring network requires that instruments be installed in multiple locations on the volcano’s flanks well before unrest begins to catch these early changes.

Mount Hood is one of the most seismically active volcanoes in the Washington and Oregon Cascades, and the most seismically active volcano in Oregon. In an average month, up to two earthquakes are located by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) within three miles of the summit.

Most Hood earthquakes don't actually occur directly beneath the volcano's summit, but instead in one of several clusters located two to three kilometers to the west, southwest and southeast of the summit.

The largest earthquake recorded in the vicinity of Mount Hood was a M 4.5 in 2002 that was widely felt and followed by a M 3.8 aftershock four hours later. Seismic events greater than M 3.0 also occurred in 1989, 1990, 1996 and 2010. Earthquakes in these clusters tend to occur in swarms (defined as three or more located earthquakes in a single day) or "mainshock- aftershock" sequences.

Scientists believe that earthquakes in the clusters south of the summit occur on tectonic faults and aren't directly related to volcanic processes occurring beneath Mount Hood. The largest earthquake recorded beneath the summit was a M 3.5 in 1989 that was felt. In contrast to the southerly clusters, earthquakes directly beneath the summit rarely occur in swarms.


County approves short-term rental regulations posted on 01/01/2021

(MT) – The Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) approved changes to the Zoning and Development Ordinance to allow for short-term rentals (STRs) in unincorporated Clackamas County at a Dec. 17, 2020 meeting.

The changes include a registration program and regulations for STRs and are scheduled to go into effect on July 1.

STR regulations will include provisions for short-term rental owners to register with the county every two years and pay a fee to help cover the costs of administration and enforcement.

The exact fee amount will be approved by BCC this spring, but it has been estimated to be in the range of $800 to $900 for each two-year registration.

The regulations will also limit overnight occupancy to two people per sleeping area plus four additional people (not to exceed 15 people regardless of the number of sleeping areas), require one off-street parking spot for every two sleeping areas, posted quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. (in accordance with current county ordinance) and other building and safety requirements.

Enforcement of the regulations, which only apply outside of city limits in the unincorporated areas of the county, will be carried out by either the Sheriff’s Office or Code Enforcement, depending on the issue.


Jim Price tabbed as the next Fire Chief posted on 12/01/2020

The board of directors of the Hoodland Fire District (HFD) selected James Price as the next Fire Chief following interviews with the final three candidates on Monday, Nov. 16. A Meet and Greet event for the three candidates to be introduced to the public on Sunday, Nov. 15 was cancelled due to the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Price comes to HFD from the Rogue River Fire District, where he was the Fire Chief for the past six and a half years.

“I’m just super excited for the opportunity,” Price said. “My door is always open to the community.”

Price grew up in Battleground, Wash. and his father and an uncle served as firefighters in Portland. He noted that he wasn’t initially interested in following in their footsteps, but after volunteering for the Clark County Fire District, he discovered he enjoyed it.

Price went on to serve with the Baker City Fire Department as a Firefighter/Paramedic before taking the helm at Rogue River.

In his earlier years, Price recalled skiing at SkiBowl and driving by the HFD station while thinking it might be a good place to work. He enjoys hiking, fishing, bow hunting and reading.

Price added that he has heard about the “great community” on the Mountain and good things about the people involved with the HFD.

Price will take over as the HFD grapples with issues brought to light by an organizational assessment performed by the Special Districts Association of Oregon, in which it offered 64 recommendations dealing with everything from governance and personnel management to finances and the training and safety program.

He noted that he sees it as a good opportunity to “meet those challenges.”

Price is tentatively set to start on the job on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

Shirley Dueber, president of the HFD board of directors, noted that the final three candidates were all very qualified to take on the challenges of the job.

“If we could have, we would have hired all three of them,” Dueber said. “Every one of them would have fit in somewhere where we needed them in the department. It was a hard choice.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

Contributed photo.
Book on Rhododendron is at the photo finish posted on 12/01/2020

Judi Graeper had originally planned to have a book celebrating the history of Rhododendron published for the community’s centennial celebration in August. But in the age of COVID-19, not to mention how life can also throw a few curveballs, neither the book nor the celebration made the target date.


“Even if August happened, the book wasn’t going to be ready,” Graeper said.

Now, Graeper expects the book, which will be published by Arcadia Publishing, to be finished in March, but still hopes for a little assistance in gathering more photos to be included. The pandemic has forced area museums to close, making finding and accessing historical photos incredibly challenging.

Graeper noted that she has collected a good number of photos from people who come from families who lived or visited in Rhododendron in the past, but a consistent theme keeps coming up.

“Part of the problem is, many of them say, ‘We didn’t have a camera, so we have no pictures,” she said.

Graeper added that her focus now is to find more photos of businesses from earlier in Rhododendron’s history, including the Begonia Garden, Gadwood’s Market, Barlow Road Furniture Company and the liquor store.

The end result will be a book featuring up to 270 photos and more than 100 pages long, similar to ones on the Mount Hood National Forest and Timberline Lodge also published by Arcadia.

Chapters in the book, which will include a large number of photos with detailed captions, will feature aspects of Rhododendron’s history, including businesses, landmarks such as Tollgate 5, notable moments like the 1964 flood, and significant people, such as the last tollgate keeper, Arlie Mitchell, and the Native Americans who utilized the area long before settlers arrived.

Graeper noted that photos need to be high resolution and that she cannot use any photos from newspapers, unless an original photo can be obtained.

The book will tentatively be available next summer when the Rhododendron Community Planning Organization hopes to celebrate the centennial plus one year.

Copies are also expected to be available at the Mount Hood Cultural Center and Museum, the Sandy Historical Society Museum and elsewhere in the community.

If you have historical photos of the community of Rhododendron that can be used for the book, please email Judi Graeper at jgraeps@comcast.net.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Genetic breakthrough reignites Mount Hood cold case posted on 12/01/2020

Groundbreaking genetic analysis and genealogical research identified skeletal remains found on Mount Hood in 1986 as a young Oregon woman who was never reported missing despite her disappearance and death in the mid-seventies, announced state forensic officials in late October.

Now with a positive identity to the cold case, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) is asking for public assistance determining the cause of death of 19-year-old Wanda Ann Herr more than four decades ago.

“She was truly a mystery. She wasn’t on anybody’s radar,” said Dr. Nici Vance, State Forensic Anthropologist with the Oregon State Police. “After years of working on the missing persons cases (in the state) you know all the names. We had never heard this girl’s name before.”

The search began with a partial skull, a single tooth and bone fragments discovered by US Forest Service Workers on Still Creek Road near Government Camp in 1986.

At the time, an Oregon State Police forensic examiner determined the remains belonged to a woman in her twenties or a small man and had likely been in the woods for ten years. The year of death was established as approximately 1976.

Little else could be determined about the identity of the person, and the case remained dormant for decades.

In 2008 Dr. Vance had the partial skull sent to the University of North Texas for DNA analysis. The results concluded the skull belonged to a woman in her late teens or early twenties.

DNA samples gathered from the skull fragment was uploaded into a national forensic DNA database operated by the FBI, and the case was entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). The DNA yielded no matches and the case remained open.

In January 2019, the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office received a grant to perform a new method of intensive DNA analysis and forensic genetic genealogy on more than 100 sets of unidentified human skeletal remains in the state.

This new process became famous in 2018 when it was used to track down and apprehend the Golden State Killer.

The Government Camp skull was among the first group of DNA samples sent out to Parabon Nanolabs in December 2019.

The lab’s genetic analysis revealed the skull belonged to a “female of Northern European descent with fair skin, hazel/brown eyes, brown hair, and some freckles,” said county officials.

This breakthrough, combined with genealogical research utilizing the GEDmatch website, produced the first positive identification from the skull: Wanda Ann Herr, born in 1957.

“I had worked with the company. I knew what they were capable of,” Dr. Vance said. “They garnered some great results.”

Little information about Wanda is currently known. Investigators contacted her surviving sisters, and with their cooperation, conducted further DNA testing to confirm her identity.

According to her sisters, Wanda was raised apart from her family and was possibly living in a group home in Gresham at the time of her disappearance.

Investigators stated that they believe she was a “chronic runaway” based on interviews. There are no records of her as a runaway or missing person according to county officials.

“She came from kind of a dysfunctional family back in the day,” said Detective Mary Nunn of the CCSO Homicide & Violent Crimes Unit.

“A lot of people are calling who knew her as a child. We’re looking for people who knew her from 1976 when she was 19, people from the group home, someone who knows who she hung out with,” Detective Nunn said.

Investigators stated that Wanda had no DMV record, bank account and that she is not mentioned in any police report.

Detectives urge anyone who knew Wanda Ann Herr, her associates or her whereabouts in the 1970s to contact the CCSO Tip Line at 503-723-4949 or online at https://www.clackamas.us/sheriff/tip. Please reference CCSO Case # 86-025724.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Local chapter of TIP NW offers comfort after tragedies posted on 12/01/2020

June Vining, Executive Director of Trauma Intervention Program NW (TIP NW), was a founding volunteer of the organization, a group of specially trained citizen volunteers who provide emotional aid and practical support and resources to victims of traumatic events and their families in the first few hours following a tragedy. When she started, the group responded to up to a dozen phone calls per month. Now, they average 170 calls per month, including one Vining responded to the night before talking to The Mountain Times, when a young woman lost her fiancé.

“Showing up (on the worst day of their life) is what’s most important,” Vining said. “We can’t fix what bad thing has happened. We’re grateful they weren’t alone. That’s really an honor and a privilege.”

TIP NW coverage area includes all or parts of Multnomah, Clackamas, Clark, Skamania and Washington Counties. While they have always responded to calls from the Mountain community, 18 months ago they brought on five volunteers in and around Hoodland, decreasing the amount of time it takes for somebody to arrive on the scene.

“Having people right in their area that understand the community and the resources right there has been huge,” Vining said. “The fact that we can put people there right away is huge.”

“We’re proud and humbled to volunteer in our community, and grateful for the opportunities to serve others,” wrote the members of the Hoodland group, Stephanie Barber, Sally Chester, Feleicia Forston, Nora Gambee and Debra Sinz, in an email to The Mountain Times. “We joined TIP for the same reasons we joined Hoodland Fire, to extend our reach and support. With TIP we are able to go on calls for Hoodland and Sandy Fire Districts, and on-call 24/7/365.”

The volunteers respond to all the “media worthy” calls, she noted, including being a part of the response to the wildfires earlier this year, but many more natural deaths and other calls that never make the news, including drug overdoses, car accidents, violent crimes, fires and people who are distraught and seeking immediate support. Responders arrive with a manual, helping guide people to bereavement resources, all the phone numbers that may be needed and various forms.

“We’ve become kind of experts on what I refer to as the death system, what happens next,” Vining said.

Of course, the volunteers are also there to help people process what has happened, helping families to grieve and understand.

“Sometimes you don’t have to say anything,” Vining said. “Just be here.”

TIP NW currently has 182 active volunteers, with a staff of four full time employees.

Vining, who noted that the group would welcome more volunteers or donations, recalled first getting involved as a stay-at-home mom who just had her third child. She saw an article about the program and how the training would be offered in Portland, so she told her husband, a homicide detective, that he should take it and he thought she should volunteer.

Now, Vining is a master trainer and certifies trainers across the country.

She added that responding to calls has changed a lot in the nearly three decades since she began: back then cars didn’t have GPS, so they used the same spiral-bound  map book that firefighters and police officers also used and they also had to carry quarters and know the locations of payphones in the area.

“Things have changed a lot,” Vining said. “We’re doing a lot, quiet (and) behind the scene. Hopefully helping the community stay healthy and appreciated. What we do puts a human touch on what’s become a high-tech world.”

For more information on TIP NW, or to learn how to volunteer or donate, visit www.tipnw.org.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Anna Williams holds off Jeff Helfrich for House District 52 seat posted on 12/01/2020

Anna Williams pulled off a victory and earned a second term for the House District 52 (HD52) seat by defeating Jeff Helfrich in the November election. Results posted by the Oregon Secretary of State on Wednesday, Nov. 25 showed Williams with 19,209 votes (48.73 percent) to Helfrich’s 19,125 votes (48.52 percent), a margin of just 84 votes.

“It was a long two weeks while we waited on the final results, but I’m thrilled that the election came out in my favor,” Williams wrote in an email to The Mountain Times. “In Clackamas County, there was a strong conservative turnout that unseated Democratic county commissioners and city councilors throughout my district and beyond. Relative to those other races, I’m happy with how mine turned out even if I’d have preferred a wider margin of victory.”

HD52 covers parts of Multnomah, Hood River and Clackamas Counties, with Williams taking the most votes in Hood River County while Helfrich received more votes in the other two. In Clackamas County, 10,613 votes were cast for Helfrich while Williams received 7,538.

“I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you for your time and effort you put towards my campaign,” Helfrich wrote in an email to The Mountain Times. “Your contribution has meant the world to me and my family. Throughout the last few years, we've all seen firsthand how politics has pulled our communities apart. Now is the time to come together.”

Helfrich added that he did not see the victory by Williams as a “mandate to do more of the same in Salem.”

“My hope is we can find a new path forward for our state where decisions are made for the greater good of the people in our communities, not for the political parties that politicians represent or the special interests that support them,” he wrote. “Let's use this season to come together and remember what unites us as a state and a nation is far greater than what divides us.”

Williams noted that in her first term she made “significant efforts” to listen to people throughout the district, including those from across party lines.

“Even though most of them probably continued to oppose me this year, the fact that I eked out a victory while so many other Clackamas County Democrats were unseated leads me to believe that at least some of those conservative voters appreciated my willingness to hear them out, and my attempts to make sure they felt represented in the legislature,” Williams wrote. “Above all else, though, I’m thrilled with the high turnout in our district, and I’m grateful for the hard work that went into making sure everyone who submitted a ballot had their vote counted – including some people who were given the chance to cure ballots with signature errors. Even though counting every vote over the course of the weeks following Election Day made the race much closer than it looked on November 3rd, it’s a testament to our democratic values that everyone’s voice was heard.”

Elsewhere in Clackamas County, Mark Shull defeated Ken Humberston for Position 4 on the Board of County Commissioners by a vote of 93,923 to 90,324. The voters of Sandy reelected Mayor Stan Pulliam, who ran unopposed, and elected Richard Sheldon for Position 3 on the city council, Kathleen Walker for Position 4 on the council and Don Hokanson for Position 6 on the council.

By Garth Guibord/MT

New doc at Sandy Rose Natural Health posted on 12/01/2020

Rose Natural Health expanded its’ healthcare practice in November with the addition of a second physician, Dr. Kurt Beil.

Dr. Beil joins the practice’s founder Dr. Elizabeth Busetto in offering holistic, natural healthcare to the residents of Sandy and the Mount Hood communities.

“I work extensively with people with chronic diseases: endocrine, digestive, thyroid issues, as well as mental health, stress and joint and muscle pain,” Dr. Beil said.

Dr. Beil is a naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist who has been practicing medicine since 2006. He recently returned to Oregon at the beginning of 2020 after practicing in New York for five years and currently resides in Welches.

As a fully trained and licensed physician in Oregon, Dr. Beil treats a range of health conditions and offers diagnostic and laboratory testing services to patients as well as natural treatment options.

“In my new role at the practice I’ll provide a focus more on men’s health issues,” Beil added, explaining Dr. Busetto offers an array of prenatal and young family services.

Dr. Beil studied at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM) in Portland, where he received Naturopathic (ND) and Classical Chinese Medicine (MSOM) degrees. He obtained a Master's of Public Health (MPH) degree from the Oregon Master of Public Health program before returning to his alma mater to teach and conduct research as a faculty member.

Dr. Beil focused his research on the effects of natural and built environments on physical and mental health. During his tenure in Portland he worked with community nonprofits to promote the parks, trails and natural areas of the metropolitan region as a public health resource.

The two doctors originally met in school, started dating and are now working together.

“We’re life partners, romantic partners,” Dr. Beil said, noting the pair had recently gone hiking in the Columbia River Gorge at the site of their first date. “We have our life together here in the region.”

Rose Natural Health is located at 38953 Pioneer Blvd. in Sandy and offers services Monday through Friday by appointment only. The office can be reached by phone at (503) 954-3676. More information about the services provided as well as scheduling appointments for new patients can be found online at www.rosenaturalhealth.com.

Rose Natural Health accepts both Moda Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance.

By Ben Simpson/MT

County on board with Governor's approach to COVID-19 posted on 12/01/2020

(MT) – In a press release dated Nov. 25, Clackamas County noted it will comply with Governor Kate Brown’s announcement of a more risk-driven approach to reduce the spread of COVID-19 across Oregon. The Governor’s announced metrics now directly tie allowed activities to clear measures of risk  – based on COVID-19 case data – helping businesses and the county plan ahead for reopening.

“It has been a long year for Clackamas County residents with COVID-19 and the recent wildfires. Thank you to everyone for your patience and continuing efforts to stay safe,” said Gary Schmidt, Clackamas County Administrator. “Most Clackamas County buildings will remain open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, as has been the case for the past several months.  Please check the county website to confirm office hours before visiting and consider setting up an appointment before visiting and using services through the telephone, email, webpages or other electronic means.”

Using state data available as of Wednesday, Nov. 25, a total of 5,574 Clackamas County residents have contracted COVID-19 this year; 77 county residents have died from the disease. County health officials warn the recent large weekly increases in new presumed cases is alarming.

“To give some perspective, this summer, Clackamas County averaged 100-150 positive COVID-19 tests per week. In October, it jumped to 200 per week. Last week – in just one week – we hit 811 cases,” said Philip Mason-Joyner, Clackamas County Public Health Director. “That means we have more than tripled our number of county residents infected with COVID-19 in just a few weeks.”

The data-driven framework take effect Thursday Dec. 3. The risk metrics mirror current school metrics by monitoring COVID-19 case rates (the number of cases per 100,000 population in large counties such as Clackamas) and percentage of test positivity.

The Oregon Health Authority will use the latest data to update the metrics every week; since the metrics use the latest two weeks of data, counties can potentially move between risk categories – and change limitations on activities – every two weeks. The latest available data on these metrics shows Clackamas County would be in the “Extreme risk” category.

Meanwhile, the county joined other counties in Oregon in taking a “two-week pause” to fight COVID-19 starting Wednesday, Nov. 11. The two-week pause limited social interaction, in an effort to curb spiking COVID-19 infection rates.

“We realize that the news of a two-week pause is something Clackamas County residents did not want to hear,” said Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard in a press release. “We understand this is disappointing. But it’s necessary.”

Governor Brown ordered the two-week pause in counties with a case rate above 200 per 100,000 people over a two-week period.

“Please don’t wait to do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Clackamas County Public Health Officer Doctor Sarah Present in a press release. “We understand people miss seeing their loved ones, and it’s more challenging to wear a face covering and distance when we are with people we trust. However, we are not going to contact trace or test our way out of this pandemic. The change will come when individual behavior changes collectively – that's in our control.”

Most people who contract COVID-19 get it from family and friends who are increasingly attending indoor social gatherings and aren’t using face coverings. Public health officials find that most positive COVID-19 cases in Clackamas County are from social gatherings large and small. Officials said a two-week pause should help slow the spread of the virus before maxing out hospital capacity, putting a strain on PPE supply chains and requiring further lockdown.

Contributed photo.
Mountain cleanup braves COVID and snow posted on 11/01/2020

More than fifty volunteers put on warm layers and protective masks to help clean up Summit Ski area and Government Camp on Saturday, Oct. 24, despite steady snow and social distancing restrictions.


The event was part of the Mount Hood Institute’s (MHI) second annual Mt. Hood Cleanup. The cleanup was organized with assistance from the Sandy River Watershed Council and SOLVE.

The nonprofits faced a series of scheduling challenges this year that resulted in the event being rescheduled twice and almost being rescheduled for a third time.

“First it was COVID, then it was the fires. We almost rescheduled today because of the snow,” said MHI secretary Karly Osten. “We had fifty people show up so we’re pretty tickled.”

The volunteers spread out at safe distances throughout eight zones encompassing the ski area and the roadsides of Government Camp filling bags provided by SOLVE with litter in an effort to prevent waste from entering the Sandy River watershed.

The cleanup has been organized for the past twelve years by Jocelyn Gary, a local teacher and outdoor enthusiast. The past two years have been organized through her role as director of the MHI, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting sustainable recreation in the Mount Hood National Forest that Gary co-founded in 2019 with Ben Comfort and Brett Wesson.

This year’s cleanup was slated to include Trillium Lake, Timberline Lodge and Mount Hood Meadows as part of the All Mountain Cleanup on Sept. 19. The original event was cancelled due to the fires in Mount Hood National Forest.

“It was really hard this year trying to get everything rescheduled … with the fires. Once (Hwy.) 26 was reopened and we got approval from the ski area we made it happen,” said Gary. “Thankfully people are so hungry to get out and help because of COVID.”

The cleanup covered an area in the headwaters for the Sandy River, a stronghold considered critical for endangered salmon populations.

“Anything we can keep out of the watershed in terms of human garbage is beneficial,” said Deputy Director of the Sandy River Watershed Council (SRWC) Sara Ennis.

Ennis stated a main concern for the health of the watershed is plastic waste. Plastic slowly breaks down into microplastics which then bioaccumulate in species throughout the ecosystem.

“Every new wave of research makes (microplastic’s) impact seem even worse,” Ennis said.

SRWC has been involved with the annual cleanup event for the past nine years.

Gary noted MHI was happy with the turnout for this year’s event and hope to organize a cleanup at Ramona Falls once the trails have been cleared of downed trees from the Labor Day windstorm.

More information on the Mount Hood Institute and future cleaning events is available online at https://www.mthoodinstitute.org. Information on volunteering with the Sandy River Watershed council in available at https://sandyriver.org.

By Ben Simpson/MT


Traditions face challenges as pandemic enters holiday season posted on 11/01/2020

Community efforts to help those in need during the holiday season have had to adjust due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, resulting in changes to how they are done or, in the case of the annual Hoodland Community Thanksgiving Dinner, being cancelled altogether.

Mark Grove, who has been involved in the dinner for 15 years, noted it has happened for nearly 30 years and he has never heard of it being cancelled before. It is held at Camp Arrah Wanna and serves approximately 300 people, but the camp is shut down, making the decision less challenging.

“It was disheartening, but easy to make,” Grove said. “Every angle we looked at it, it just seemed like a bad idea to do it.”

Grove noted that the dinner doesn’t just offer food, but fellowship for those who participate, while adding that many of the people served come from a population that has a high vulnerability to COVID-19.

He added that while they are not doing the dinner this year, organizers are grateful to the community for all their continued support.

“Thank you for everything that everyone has provided all these years,” Grove said.

For Thanksgiving, Mountain community members who need a full Thanksgiving dinner meal box, from appetizers to dessert, can reach out to the Sandy Action Community Center at sandyactioncenter.com or 503-668-4746. Suburban Auto Group in Sandy has teamed up with the center and the Estacada Area Food Bank to help fund the boxes, including matching donations up to $5,000 through Monday, Nov. 9 via a Go Fund Me effort. For more information, visit www.suburbanautogroup.com.

Erinn Sowle, President of Suburban Auto Group, told The Mountain Times in late October that they had almost already surpassed the goal.

“I’m really thrilled at the response,” she said.

And efforts are already underway to continue the annual Christmas Basket program, offering a food basket and a gift for children ages 18 and under to those in need within the Welches Schools boundaries. The program started taking sign-ups last month, with forms available at various local businesses, including Smoke on the Mountain, the Hoodland branch of the Clackamas County Bank, Mt. Hood Cannabis, the Welches Liquor Store, Charlie’s Mountain View, Coffee House 26 and Welches Mountain Building Supply.

Applications for the program are due by 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4.

In a typical year, people would go and pick up boxes and gifts, but as organizer Carol Norgard explained, this year’s program will include deliveries on Friday, Dec. 18 or Saturday, Dec. 19 as the only option. An adult with an ID must be present for the delivery, while non-deliverable boxes will be given to local food pantries.

Norgard said she expected numbers to increase due to the challenges people are facing. In recent years, the program has helped up to 100 local families, but organizers are anticipating up to 120 this year.

Community members can also help the program by giving gifts at giving trees at various local businesses, including Smoke on the Mountain, Clackamas County Bank, Mt. Hood Cannabis, Charie’s Mountain View, Coffee House 26 and Welches Mountain Building Supply. Norgard added that they will need more volunteers to help with the deliveries, which will be done by a pair of volunteers. Delivery volunteers should be able to lift up to 60 pounds and know their way around the Mountain community.

Norgard added that putting everything together will be a longer endeavor this year, as they will be limited by the number of people who can sort through food and gifts at the Welches Lions Club building.

“We can’t have too many people in the building at once while we’re sorting,” she said.

The Lions Club has also shifted gears to support the program with their annual Toy Drive Dinner, which will be take-out only, on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Meanwhile, the Mountain’s community outreach program, Neighborhood Missions, just marked the two-year anniversary of holding a free market once a month.

Program facilitator Steve Carlson noted the market, which is open from 9-10 a.m. at the Hoodland Senior Center (65000 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches), will continue as normal through the winter months. To maintain social distancing, boxes will be put in people’s cars for them.

Carlson added that the turnout for the market has been consistent in recent months, with an average of approximately 75 households served. He noted that the food program is supported by the Oregon Food Bank.

Neighborhood Missions also offers other assistance for housing costs, prescriptions and gas, plus food boxes in between the dates of each monthly food market. The organization will not hold its annual Harvest Festival this year due to the pandemic, but Carlson noted they have received donations that have recouped some of the funding the event would have provided.

“The good thing is so many people have been so generous in sending in monetary contributions,” he said. “That has been a relief for us.”

Monetary contributions can be sent to Neighborhood Missions, PO Box 594, Brightwood, OR 97011.

For more information on Neighborhood Missions, call 503-622-9213 or email neighborhoodmissions1@gmail.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

County to finalize short term rental regulations by 2021 posted on 11/01/2020

The Clackamas Board of County Commissioners (BCC) renewed efforts to complete the long-delayed short-term/vacation rental (STR) regulations for unincorporated Clackamas County at a Oct. 13 policy session.

The BCC announced a series of upcoming public hearings on the proposed county code amendments in November and December. The BCC will vote on the matter before the end of 2020, with any new regulations going into effect on July 1, 2021.

“It’s an aggressive schedule because (the BCC) has prioritized this and has instructed staff to do whatever we can to get it done by the end of 2020,” said Clackamas County Planning Director Jennifer Hughes during the policy session.

The regulations were first drafted in 2019 following extensive public polling in the mountain communities.

“This draft is really the result of over a year of work, of research and public outreach,” said Martha Fritzie, the county’s principal planner.

The public review process of the draft has been delayed since March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires in the county.

Fritzie stated the county defines a STR as “a dwelling unit, or portion of a dwelling unit, or a guest house that is rented to any person or entity for lodging or residential purposes, for a period of up to 30 consecutive nights.”

The proposed code amendments will require STR owners to register rentals with the county finance department every two years and pay an estimated $800-900 fee to cover the costs of administration and enforcement. The regulations will establish rules regarding maximum occupancy, fire and safety requirements, off-street parking, garbage pick-up and quiet hours for the rental properties.

“These regulations will be enforced by the Sheriff’s Department or Code Enforcement, depending on the issue,” Fritzie said.

The new regulatory program will be created to be “full cost recovery” and fund its operation from the predicted STR registration fees. The program will create two full time employee positions with the county, one for the administration of the program and the other to handle additional code enforcement.

Readings of the draft establishing the new registration program and regulations in the county code will be held at the 10 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 5 and the 10 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 19 business meetings.

Public hearings on amending the county’s Zoning & Development Ordinance (ZDO) will be held at a Planning Commission meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23 and during a BCC Land Use Hearing at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 9.

The public are invited to comment in writing or at any of the hearings. All of the hearings will be held on Zoom due to the ongoing pandemic.

The BCC is scheduled to take action on the proposed code amendments at its regular business meeting on Thursday, Dec. 17.

Community members who not able to attend a hearing are welcome to submit their comments before the hearings to Principal Planner Martha Fritzie at mfritzie@clackamas.us or by US Mail to Planning & Zoning, Development Services Building, 150 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City, OR 97045.

The draft regulations and details of upcoming public hearings are available at www.clackamas.us/planning/str. Information on how to connect to meetings and hearings on Zoom will be posted one week before each event.

By Ben Simpson/MT

'Meet and greet' scheduled for Fire Chief candidates posted on 11/01/2020

Nine applicants submitted materials to the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) by the deadline of Friday, Oct. 16, forming the pool from which a new Fire Chief will be hired for the Hoodland Fire District. The district’s board of directors met on Friday, Oct. 23 to review the applications and develop a consensus on the top candidates to move into the interview process.

A Meet and Greet event featuring the top three candidates will take place on. Sunday, Nov. 15. Time and place will be posted on the district’s website, www.hoodlandfire.us. The public is welcome to the event, which will also include the district’s career and volunteer staff.

“We were really elated to get that many,” said the district’s board of directors president, Shirley Dueber.

Interviews are expected to take place on Monday, Nov. 16, with a decision on the new chief sometime after. The new chief could take over for the new year, although Dueber noted it would depend on the finalist’s prior obligations.

The new chief will take over a district grappling with issues brought to light by an organizational assessment performed by the SDAO, in which it offered 64 recommendations dealing with everything from governance and personnel management to finances and the training and safety program.

Interim Fire Chief Steve Abel noted that the district continues to make progress, but much of what will be implemented will take place when the new Fire Chief is aboard. Abel added that two of the financial audits from previous years that were not done previously have been completed (for fiscal years 2016-17 and 2017-18), with the only reported discrepancies relating to administrative procedures. An audit for the 2018-19 fiscal year is also in the final stage of completion and should be done by the end of November, according to Abel.

“Getting (three) audits completed in this timeframe shows the commitment of our Fire Board and staff,” Abel said in an email to the Mountain Times.

Abel also added that the testing process for the district’s Division Chief position was completed on Friday, Oct. 16, featuring three staff members who applied for the position. The position transitioned from a deputy chief position and will fulfil the intent of a levy passed by voters in May 2019. Abel plans on making the promotion once the testing results have been certified by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Abel appointed Scott Kline earlier this year to the Deputy Chief position on an interim basis, but that appointment concluded at the end of October due to a six-month limit by the CSC.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Chamber partners with county to spur business recovery posted on 11/01/2020

Following their earlier efforts to help Mountain businesses during the pandemic, the Mt.Hood Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Clackamas County’s Economic Development Division to connect businesses with resources to support them. This program, called business recovery centers (BRCs), is funded by $2 million in CARES Act funding and includes a number of chambers throughout the county.

BRCs will provide funding for each chamber to hire and deploy staff to support businesses, including offering connections to services such as legal assistance, accounting and childcare.

“We’re doing it as slim as we can to make as much money available to the businesses,” said Jeri McMahan, Mt.Hood Area Chamber Business Recovery Center Representative.

McMahan said the chamber submitted a proposal and budget, including planning to use space at the Hoodland Senior Center and hire up to three outreach workers.

She noted that while the program could begin at the start of November, funding still needed to be approved before it began.

The program is expected to last until the end of the year.

McMahan added that the outreach program offers person to person contact and that the approach should be better than generic emails that might not even be read.

“Boots on the ground and personal contact are more successful,” she said.

The chamber has not held its monthly membership meetings due to the pandemic, while board meetings have been held online. McMahan noted that this year the chamber will not hold its annual volunteer breakfast, a celebration of volunteerism that draws a crowd of people every December.

Earlier this year, the chamber created a promotional video that aired on television and announced that there would be no membership dues for the 2020-21 year to help support Mountain businesses during the pandemic.

For more information about BRCs or the chamber, visit www.mthoodchamber.com, email mthoodareachamber@gmail.com or call 503-622-3017.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Resident program makes positive impact in Government Camp posted on 11/01/2020

Dawson Kooch, Brandon Bergeron, Matt Garcia and Lucas Staples have been thrown into the fire – figuratively speaking – in their early days with the Hoodland Fire District’s (HFD) resident program in Government Camp. The four live in the recently renovated fire station while serving as the first responders around Government Camp, meaning they may have to wait 20 minutes before other responders arrive on the scene.

“Having that station staffed has been wonderful,” HFD interim chief Steven Abel said. “They’re absolutely energetic. I’m glad we have competent people up there.”

For example, Abel noted, Dawson responded to a motorcycle accident in September and was able to get a helicopter from the Life Flight Network on its way to help before any other responders arrived.

“A lot can happen in 20 minutes,” said Kooch, a 20-year-old who grew up in Damascus and has been at the station for three months. “It’s a lot to take in. A lot of big decisions need to be made.”

There was also the cardiac arrest patient up at Timberline, the head-on collision on Hwy. 26 involving a semi-truck and multiple other vehicles at 4 a.m. and the RV fire.

“That was a new experience for me,” said Bergeron, also 20, who grew up in Sandy and has been at the station for two months. “Rolling up on that was like, ‘Whoa. This (RV) is ripping.’”

The group lives at the station, performing normal chores, training and maintaining a professional atmosphere, while also looking to build a career in the fire service. Garcia is a paramedic intern, Kooch and Staples take an Emergency Medical Technician course through Mount Hood Community College, while Bergeron works a part-time job at the Mt. Hood Athletic Club in Sandy.

“Days that just one of us are here, those are the most exciting days,” Kooch said.

Staples is the newest addition, starting at the station in early October. The 21-year-old Sandy High School graduate noted he had met Kooch while at the district’s academy and had met Bergeron at the gym, has found the early experiences of living and working together to be enjoyable.

“It’s honestly been great,” Staples said.

“It’s like a scene out of ‘Step Brothers,’” he added, referring to the movie starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.

The residential program, which survived after a similar student program got cut due to monetary reasons, may make another positive impact on the community with an updated Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating, which insurance companies use to help set insurance rates. Abel noted a survey was recently completed and a new rating is expected.

“I am concerned about ISO ratings, but even more important is the service (residents of Government Camp) are getting now,” Abel said, adding that he hopes the higher visibility may attract more local people to participate in the district.

And the public is starting to take notice. Kooch noted in his first couple weeks, nobody said anything, but in September somebody stopped by with some energy drinks for them. And later in the month, the responders went out on a nighttime call and a resident serenaded them with a chant of “Hoodland Fire.”

“It was kind of cool,” Bergeron said. “It was nice to feel supportive.”

Kooch, who met Bergeron for the first time earlier this year, noted that living at the station means that there’s the possibility of a tone at any time, signifying the need to respond to a call, keeping them on their toes.

“At any point, you never know when someone’s going to need help,” he said. “It helps the day go by quicker, that’s for sure.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

County's property tax revenues continues growth in 2020 posted on 11/01/2020

(MT) – Property tax revenues increased by 4.47 percent in Clackamas County this year, rising to $962,182,559, according to a press release from the county’s Department of Assessment & Taxation. Tax statements were mailed to 178,506 real and personal property owners on Oct. 22 and 23.

The $41.1 million increase in property taxes is generated from new construction, voter approved money measures and the three percent increase in assessed value under Measure 50 (M50).

Real market value in Clackamas County grew five percent this year, continuing a growth trend that started in 2013, although the growth rate for 2020 was at a slightly lower rate than in the past few years.

Property taxes in Oregon pay for local services. In Clackamas County, property taxes support 130 local government districts, including 18 school districts, 16 cities, 13 fire districts, 12 urban renewal agencies and the county. Other taxing districts providing services include water, public safety, the Port of Portland and Metro. Tax code areas on your statement identify the unique mix of taxing districts for your location, there are 365 different tax code areas in Clackamas County.

Real market value of all property in Clackamas County, including new construction, totaled $86 billion for Jan. 1, 2020, up from $81.9 billion in 2019. Taxable value grew by 5.0 percent, from $53.1 billion to $55.8 billion.

The average real market value of a single-family home is $488,376 and the median value is $425,969. The average taxable value is $312,744 and the assessed value of an average home is equal to about 64 percent of its real market value. The Assessor’s values on tax statements are as of Jan. 1, 2020 and reflect market changes from Jan. 1, 2019 to Jan. 1, 2020. The values do not reflect changes in the real estate market after the assessment date of Jan. 1, 2020.

Property owners typically see a three percent increase in taxes due to M50’s constitutional limitation of assessed value growth. This year some areas are below three percent where districts levied less for bonded debt, while in other areas taxes are greater than three percent due to voter approval of new money measures.

Approximately 50,000 property owners will see tax increases between zero and two percent, 51,000 between two and three percent, 45,000 will see increases greater than three percent due to new money measures and approximately 14,000 will see taxes reduced.

Under Measure 5’s tax limitation (M5), tax savings have decreased for many property owners throughout Clackamas County over the past several years due to the steady increase in real market value. For properties in North Clackamas and Lake Oswego School districts, new local option levies approved in 2019 increased tax and triggered compression for the districts. Compression limits or reduces the tax property owners would otherwise pay without the M5 limitations. M5 tax reductions grew from $6.7 million in 2018 to $12.1 million in 2019 to $13.1 million in 2020. This year 34,000 accounts received some savings as a result of the M5 limits, an increase of 762 accounts over last year.

People can register at Clackamas.us/at for a virtual Town Hall from either 1-3 p.m. or 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

If you have questions regarding the values on your tax statement, please call county appraisal staff at 503-655-8671. Taxpayers can file value appeals with the Board of Property Tax Appeals (BOPTA) through Dec. 31. BOPTA’s phone number is 503-655-8662.

Full payment of taxes is due by Nov. 16, to receive a three percent discount. A two percent discount is given if a two-thirds payment is received by Nov. 16. No discount is allowed on a one-third payment on Nov. 16, with additional one-third payments due on Feb. 16 and May 17, 2021.

Photo by Mic Eby.
No trick! Spooky Alley is back! posted on 10/01/2020

In the 60-something years that Spooky Alley has been held, there have only been a couple occasions when it was almost cancelled. And while the coronavirus pandemic has caused the cancellation of events all over the world, Spooky Alley will be back, offering the kids on the Mountain a safe and fun place to celebrate Halloween and fill their bags (and stomachs) with some sweets.


“It’s such a fun time, we can’t let it go,” said event organizer Shirley Dueber. “It is a safe place for the kids to be.”

This year, the event will take place from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, in the rear parking lot of the Hoodland Park Plaza, 68200 Hwy. 26 in Welches. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, participants should arrive in cars and enter from Welches Road. Everyone must remain in cars and follow the signs through candy stations to receive treats.

The event will also include a scary amount of decorations, games with prizes that kids can earn while in their car and the traditional costume judging competition. For those kids interested in the competition, please bring a photo of the child in costume, with the child’s name, age and phone number on the back.

The “Haunted Corridor” part of the event will not return this year and no refreshments will be available.

Dueber has been involved with the event for 40-something years and remembered two previous times when it faced some serious challenges. One time, she noted, it snowed more than 18 inches before 7 p.m. but things still went off without a hitch (although the fire chief at the time was seriously delayed in getting home that night).

Another time, a different group had planned to organize the event but announced two weeks before it was scheduled that it wouldn’t happen. Dueber and another local took the lead and made it happen.

“We threw it together in less than two weeks,” she said. “So we have not missed a year since it started. That’s when they made me permanent chair.”

Dueber noted that her favorite candy is Snickers but admitted in horrifying fashion that she doesn’t like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups because while she enjoys both peanut butter and chocolate, she doesn’t enjoy them together.

“I will avoid them,” Dueber said. “If I get any I give them away.”

She noted that the event is made possible by donations from businesses, organizations and individuals throughout the community, including the Mt. Hood Lions Club, the Hoodland Women's Club, the Welches Liquor Store, All-Ways Towing and more.

“There’s a number of real faithful people that I can depend on year after year to make sure it happens,” Dueber said. “We do what we can for the community, especially the kids.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

Riverside Fire.
Hoodland Fire steps up to battle numerous wildfires posted on 10/01/2020

Smoke blanketed the Mountain for more than a week in September as wildfires raged in Clackamas County and beyond, including the Riverside Fire, which caused the evacuation of Estacada and put Sandy and the rest of the county on high alert.


The Riverside Fire began on Tuesday, Sept. 8 and was fueled by dry weather and high winds, conditions that prompted Portland General Electric (PGE) to preemptively cut the power to the Hoodland community.

“We’re really glad they did,” Steven Abel, Hoodland Fire District’s interim Fire Chief said, noting that the end result meant that while food may have spoiled, the community was spared a higher risk of a fire. “(And) I think PGE scored a homerun with the community center they set up.”

Abel also credited PGE for their communication, both in giving an advanced warning of the shutdown and during the time when power was out.

Abel noted that the district’s firefighters were on hand and ready for the event, with volunteers staffing the station. So many people showed up that Abel added they didn’t have enough beds at the main station for them.

Up to nine firefighters were sent out to active fires, including in Estacada and Colton, along with four of the district’s apparatus: a type-3 engine, a water tender and two brush trucks.

“There’s a lot of talent here,” Abel said.

“I think for a fire district this size, to have that talent … the community is getting a great level of service from that," he added.

The Mountain community reached the Level 1 evacuation status, “Be Ready,” and returned to normal on Monday, Sept. 21.

“For once we can see the mountains,” Abel said, adding that the district will follow the lead of the Mount Hood National Forest (MHNF) when it comes to when the burn ban will be lifted.

The MHNF closed during the windstorm and while many areas reopened Saturday, Sept. 26, campfires were still prohibited and users were urged to use caution around downed trees.

As of Sunday, Sept. 27, the Riverside Fire was 34 percent contained, with minimal fire activity remaining beyond smoldering.

According to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, as of Saturday, Sept. 26, the state had experienced nine confirmed fatalities, five missing persons, 2,626 sheltered persons, 5,169 individual assistant registrants (1,696 approved), with approximately 1 million acres burned, 2,291 residences destroyed and 1,503 other structures destroyed.

The Oregon Employment Department has launched Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), providing financial support to people whose ability to work has changed due to the wildfires. People are eligible if they live in the following counties: Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion.

DUA applications, instructions, frequently asked questions and more at the Oregon

Employment Department’s website, http://www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/Disaster.

Applications must be received by Friday, Oct. 23.

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) made 21 arrests in Level 2 (“Be Set”) and Level 3 (“Go”) evacuation zones between midnight on Tuesday, Sept. 8 and 6 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Friends of Timberline auction goes virtual posted on 10/01/2020

The Friends of Timberline (FOT) kick off their annual auction on Saturday, Oct. 3 following a virtual visit to the lodge and featuring presentations from guests including United States Senator Ron Wyden, as well as current news from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Timberline’s operator, R.L.K. and Company.

The auction will be held online this year from Oct. 3-12 with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the final stages of the Naturalistic Pools Restoration Project at the lodge.

The auction will begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday to coincide with the virtual lodge visit and will be a multiday event ending at 1 p.m. on Oct. 12.

“The idea for this year’s auction is to offer up some unusual things,” said FOT president Brent Dahl. “We’ve never done an online auction before.”

Advanced preview of the auction items is available after completing registration to bid. New items will continue to be added daily until Oct. 2.  

The Naturalistic Pools Restoration Project is slated for completion by Oct. 31. The pools restoration has been an ongoing project of the FOT since 2016 and will open to the public in 2021. The project is currently “a little short on funds,” according to Dahl.

“The project will restore the pools back to how they were in the 1930s” Dahl said. The pools were an original landscape feature on the initial blueprints for the lodge. The three stacked pools cascade into each other with the aid of a water pump returning the water uphill, and the largest pool offers a clear reflection of Mount Hood on its surface.

An update on the project and a video tour of the pools will be a part of the virtual lodge visit on Oct. 3. The visit will be held on Zoom from 5-6 p.m.

Wyden is a featured guest for the event.

“He’s a personal fan of the lodge,” Dahl said.

Other guest speakers include Jeff Kohnstamm from R.L.K. and Company, Todd Davidson from Travel Oregon and an update from the USFS about current conditions in Mount Hood National Forest.

The lodge visit will be followed by a historic FOT photography slide show at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The virtual visit is open for attendance by the public on Oct. 3 via Zoom at http://bit.ly/VirtualLodgeVisitOct3 .

The Zoom meeting ID for the lodge visit is 745 946 8799 and the passcode is PivotPlan.

Interested community members are invited to register for the auction at http://bit.ly/FOTauctionsignup or http://bit.ly/mobileFOTauctionsignup to sign up by mobile phone.

The FOT will also be holding their annual meeting online via Zoom on Oct. 1 from 6-6:30 p.m. The meeting will feature updates on the activities of the nonprofit and a vote to elect new board members.

The meeting can be joined at http://bit.ly/FOT2020annualmeeting. The Zoom meeting ID is 745 946 8799 and the passcode is PivotPlan.

“The main thing is for FOT to maintain community in this most unusual of years,” Dahl said about shifting the 45-year-old nonprofit’s upcoming events to an online format.

The Friends of Timberline Lodge can be reached by email at info@friendsoftimberline.org or by phone at 503-295-0827.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Pizza toppings from scratch at Ivy Bear posted on 10/01/2020

Scott Olsen launched the Ivy Bear Family Pizzeria in 2012 with the goal of bringing artisanal pizza making methods to Mount Hood. After years of crafting his pies using traditional Italian recipes along with locally sourced ingredients and house-made sauce and dough, Olsen is now venturing closer to realizing his dream of a “farm to fork” style pizzeria with the addition of his own seasoned, smoked and cured meat toppings.

“The more you can do from scratch allows you to make a product that no one else can make,” Olsen said about the production of his pizzas. “I try to do everything I can to make the best pizza possible.”

In August, the Ivy Bear began offering house-made Canadian bacon, Italian sausage, seasoned beef and three varieties of house cured pepperoni: original, habanero and bison with their pies.

“The (house-made meats) take the pizzas to a whole other level,” Olsen said. “When I do it in-house I can offer a better product than a manufacturer. They always have their bottom line.”

Olsen said he was inspired while visiting the German town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber with his wife on their honeymoon in 2017. There they visited German butcher shops and witnessed the traditional production of cured meats and sausages.

The new production methods require a considerable amount of additional time. The pepperonis spend over a day in a dedicated curing chamber and the Canadian bacon takes more than a week to brine, dry and smoke.

“I thought it might require too much time. It’s turned out totally feasible and (the meats) are way better,” Olsen said. “It’s not a money saver, but to be able to stand behind the product, it’s worth it.”

Olsen has invested in new equipment for the process including a butcher-shop caliber meat grinder, a sausage machine, humidifiers for the curing room and a custom-machined pepperoni slicing attachment for the pizzeria’s meat slicer. Olsen had his neighbor create the attachment, which he described as resembling a “gatling gun” that can cut seven pepperonis at a time.

Even with the new production Olsen intends to continue to offer the toppings at the same prices. The bison pepperoni will be offered at a higher price point due to the higher cost of the Eastern Oregon-raised, grass-fed bison meat.

“I recently asked the staff if they could think of anything we can do from scratch that doesn’t involve raising the animals or producing the cheese,” Olsen said about his dedication to producing artisanal pizza. “I really don’t think there are more than a dozen pizza restaurants in the United States doing what we’re doing.”

The Ivy Bear Family Pizzeria is located at 54735 Hwy. 26 in Sandy. The pizzeria is open daily from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and can be reached by phone at 503-208-9111.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Theater makes a scary return posted on 10/01/2020

When the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company (NNB) last offered a live production in front of an audience, they enjoyed the first few performances of Sam Bobrick’s “Weekend Comedy” in March. But the run ended after six performances thanks to the coronavirus epidemic, which also cancelled the theater’s subsequent musical.

But it’s tough to keep a good theater troupe down, and this month NNB is back with a new staged reading for each of the first four weekends in October.

“It feels good,” said Kelly Lazenby, NNB’s Artistic Director and one of its founders. “We just decided that we would slowly get our feet wet a little bit. They are all sort of fanciful and very theatrical.”

The month kicks off with “Through the Looking Glass,” adapted from Lewis Carroll’s work, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” on Oct. 3-4, featuring performers Jim Butterfield, Tracey Grant, Melissa Sondergeld Hood, Kaleb Hood and Justin Lazenby.

On the weekend of Oct. 10-11, George Bernard Shaw and Christopher Morse’s “Pygmalion” will be read, followed by “Don Juan in Hell,” by Shaw, on Oct. 17-18 and an evening of Edgar Allen Poe on Oct. 24-25.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays, with performances taking place at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. Admission is $10, with a special offer of $30 for all four shows, with tickets only available by reserving online and no sales at the door (any tickets for performances that are cancelled will be refunded).

Lazenby noted the Grange building makes for a good setup to adhere to social distancing standards, with seating limited to 30 people per performance and chairs spread out (families will be permitted to sit together). Face coverings are required and all seats will be sanitized in between performances.

“There’s a way to do it safely,” Lazenby said, noting the theater did not have a good way to try and make online offerings work since the pandemic hit. “A lot of people were really happy when I sent out a press release (announcing the shows).”

She added that while the theater was dark this summer, that doesn’t mean that things weren’t busy. She and her husband spent time working on the Grange building, including painting, refinishing the floor and remodeling the lobby and kitchen.

“It’s looking pretty spiffy in there,” Lazenby said.

She also noted that there are no plans for the theater to ramp up to full speed yet, and it will likely depend on when students are allowed to return to in-person learning at school. She sees potential for doing another reading for the Christmas season, but conceded that full live performances might not return until next year.

For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Stretch run for election starts this month posted on 10/01/2020

(MT) – Mountain residents should circle Tuesday, Nov. 3, election day, on their calendar, as ballots are due by 8 p.m.

Register to vote

Most Oregonians (those with a valid Oregon Driver’s License/Permit/ID card) can register online. All others can complete a voter registration card and return it to the Elections Office. Voter registration cards are available online, as well as at post offices and libraries. The deadline for new voter registration is Tuesday, Oct. 13. Visit www.clackamas.us/elections for more information.

Get your ballot

All households in Clackamas County will receive two Voters’ Pamphlets – one for state contests and one for local level contests. Voters’ Pamphlets will be delivered to households a week before ballots are mailed.

Oregon uses vote-by-mail, so look for your ballot in the mail 14-20 days before the election. If you will be away from home, contact the Elections Office at 503-655-8510 to find the best way to receive your ballot.

Make your selections

Locate the candidates and/or measure responses (“Yes” or “No”) of your choice by filling in the rectangular box to the left of your choice with black or blue ink.

To vote for a write-in candidate, one whose name does not appear on the Official Ballot, completely darken the box to the left of the dashed line provided for the office and print the full name of the candidate on that line.

Remember, you don’t have to vote in all contests on your ballot. Your votes for the contests you select will still be counted. If you vote for more than the number of candidates allowed for an office, or you vote both “Yes” and “No” on a measure, it is called an “overvote,” and your vote for that position or measure will not be counted.

Review your ballot

Ensure you have correctly marked your choice(s) for each contest. Your ballot contains contests printed on both the front and back. Remember to review both sides of your ballot.

Remember to sign your ballot return envelope. Your signature is your identification. Every signature on every ballot envelope is examined to make sure it matches the signature on the voter’s registration.

If you lose your ballot, or it is spoiled in any way, contact the Clackamas County Elections Division at 503-655-8510 to request a replacement.

Return your ballot

Vote early and return your ballot by mail. No postage necessary, but make sure it’s mailed or dropped off in time to reach the county by 8 p.m. on Election Day. The last day to safely return your ballot by mail is Tuesday, Oct. 27 (please note, a postmark doesn’t count).

Drop your ballot off in person. Deliver your signed and sealed ballot to any official drop site by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Drop sites can be found at www.clackamas.us/elections/official-ballot-drop-sites.

Voters can confirm their ballot has been received and accepted by visiting https://sos.oregon.gov. The site refreshes daily, so it could take up to 48 hours to display the accurate information.

Important Dates

Monday, Oct. 5: Ballots mailed to voters out of state.

Oct. 7-9: In home delivery dates for both State and County Voters' Pamphlet.

Tuesday, Oct. 13: Registration deadline for new voters.

Wednesday, Oct. 14: Ballots mailed to all voters / Drop Sites opened.

Tuesday, Oct. 27: Ballot processing begins after public certification test of the tally system.

Tuesday, Nov. 3: Election Day, ballots due by 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 17: Last day for voters to resolve ballot challenges.

Monday, Nov. 23: Last day for County Clerk to certify election results.

Clackamas County Elections Division is located at 1710 Red Soils Court, Suite 100 Oregon City, OR 97045, and can be reached at 503-655-8510, by email at elections@clackamas.us or online at www.clackamas.us/elections.


Old men dance, young pups play and a fundraising jolt posted on 10/01/2020

Celebra Con Nosotros

A slice of Latin America arrived in Sandy with the first annual Fiesta en La Plaza which included music, food and entertainment.

One of the highlights of the festival was the "Dance of the Old Men," which despite its name, was a lively exhibition of toe-tapping fun featuring migrant farm workers wearing colorful costumes, masks and sombreros, clattering on the bricks of the plaza with wooden shoes while leaning on their canes and clutching their backs like old men.

The "Dance of the Old Men" is a traditional Mexican dance.

In addition to the food and dancing, there were craft booths, activities for the children and storytelling.

Deputy Consul Jorge Torres-Mendoza represented the Mexican Consulate from Portland.

Viva Mariachi Mexico, a mariachi band, ended the evening, which had the audience clapping along and dancing to the lively music.

Dog Days at Skibowl

Every dog has its day, and the setting for the first annual Dog Day at Skibowl was perfect, providing dogs of all shapes and sizes room to sniff, snooze, play, lounge and do what dogs do best. Monica Cory, then media manager at Skibowl and a self-professed dog lover, came up with the idea which also tied in with a benefit for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

"Skibowl is a perfect place for this event with its 40 acres of trails and the accessibility and services," Cory said.

The event featured fun runs/walks, a "best pet trick contest," a raffle and dog-friendly vendors selling everything from leashes to treats.

Oregon Guide Dogs for the Blind, which has a campus in Boring, provides 350 guide dogs free-of-charge to visually impaired people each year. For more information about guide dogs and the incredible work they do, visit their website at www.guidedogs.org.

WPTCO Fundraising with Mt. Hood Roasters

Wake up, smell the coffee, raise some money and a red-hot concept of selling coffee as a fundraiser was brewed. Cheryl Gunderson, then WPTCO vice-president came up with the idea.

"Coffee is something most people buy on a regular basis anyway ... so I approached Rick Applegate (proprietor of Mt Hood Roasters) and asked if he had done any fundraising with coffee," Gunderson said.

As it turned out, Applegate had been developing a fundraising division in their company for some time.

"When Cheryl came to us with the idea we were elated," Applegate said. "It makes us very happy that our community found a way to launch this concept with us. We are very thankful for all the work WPTCO does for the school."

The Leadership Class at Welches School designed a custom label for the coffee bags, and the yearly fundraiser was in full swing, with students selling coffee for prizes provided by local businesses. During the past ten years Mt Hood Roasters has sold 7,000 12-ounce bags and raised $29,000 for the WPTCO from the sale of its coffee. The coffee fundraising for this year is on hold due to COVID.

By Frances Berteau/MT

John Ingrao resigns as Hoodland Fire Chief posted on 09/01/2020

John Ingrao resigned as the Hoodland Fire District Fire Chief, effective July 31. Ingrao had served as the Fire Chief since January 2017 but had been placed on administrative leave in March by the district’s board of directors, pending an investigation. His resignation effectively ends the investigation.

Board chair Shirley Dueber had no comment on the investigation.

Interim Fire Chief Steven Abel, who was hired in March to oversee the district during Ingrao’s absence, noted the board approved the first reading of a draft job description for a new Fire Chief at a Thursday, Aug. 27 work session. The board could approve the second reading at the Tuesday, Sept. 8 board meeting and the recruitment process could begin after that, which will be coordinated by the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO).

Abel noted the position could be advertised for a 30-day period as early as the middle of September, with interviews potentially lined up for the second week of November.

“Then it's a matter of timing … making sure we have the right candidate for Hoodland and the person’s availability,” Abel said, adding that he hopes the process is complete by mid-December and that he will assist the SDAO.

Chief Abel also noted he asked the board to approve a job description for a division chief, shifting from the search for a Deputy Chief position that had been underway, while noting there is no timeline for finding candidates for the new position.

He added it is intended to meet the intent of a levy passed by voters in May 2019 to fund a Deputy Chief position, a process that began in November 2019 only to restart this past February after not enough applicants came forward.

Abel appointed Scott Kline earlier this year as the Deputy Chief on an interim basis.

“I think we have great talent here within the organization,” Abel added.

By Garth Guibord/MT

County holds listening session on race issues posted on 09/01/2020

In response to the civil rights moment sweeping the nation following the death of George Floyd, Clackamas County Commissioners showed they want to listen and learn from residents’ experiences with issues of race and racism in the county.

The commissioners hosted a digital town hall on Wednesday, Aug. 19 on the topic “Race Issues in Clackamas County.”

The town hall was a listening-style session during which community members shared experiences with race and racism in the county directly with the commissioners. The event was moderated by Clackamas County Equity and Inclusion Officer Martine Coblentz.

“Equity, diversity and inclusion have been important to the county for years,” Coblentz said. “We want to continue building the public’s trust and that includes rural and unincorporated communities in the Mount Hood area as well.”

On June 18, commissioners passed "A Resolution Condemning Violence and Racism Directed at Black, African Americans and All People of Color," censuring racism following Floyd’s death.

The resolution tasks the county to review all county policies and ordinances for any discriminatory impacts.

The town hall was held in an effort to provide a safe space for residents to share impacts and recommendations toward addressing inequities that exist.

The commissioners stated in a press release for the event that, “recognizing racism is both an historic and present reality in Oregon and Clackamas County specifically, the commissioners find it critical to listen to resident experiences.”

Community members described their experiences with racism in the county and shared recommendations for change.

Shared experiences included bullying and racial slurs in the county’s schools, profiling in stores and encounters with “Proud Boys,” a right-wing group designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Calls for action included establishing methods for holding institutions and elected officials accountable for systemic discrimination and addressing inequity in access to housing, healthcare and bias by law enforcement.

Clackamas County is 85.8 percent white according to county demographic data. The county’s 1.1 percent African American population is below the state’s 2.2 percent average and the nation’s 13.4 percent total.

“We had a good representation from communities throughout the county,” Coblentz said about residents' participation in the digital meeting. “I was pleased; it was a very good first step.”

Coblentz added that the next step of the process of implementing the recently based resolution involves reviewing what policies and procedures need to be addressed for discriminatory impact.

Clackamas County will partner with the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) for a full scan of minority communities throughout the entire county including the Mount Hood communities. The CCC will use this data to help assess how county policies and institutions impact these communities and make recommendations.

More information about the county’s efforts to address equity, diversity and inclusion is available at https://www.clackamas.us/diversity. A full copy of the recently passed resolution is available at https://dochub.clackamas.us/documents/drupal/9367ec38-f479-46c0-a732-29dd9b917092.

By Ben Simpson/MT

White River Fire
Wildfire season hits close to home with White River Fire posted on 09/01/2020

A wildfire started by lightning was discovered on Monday, Aug. 17 approximately 13 miles southeast of Government Camp in the White River drainage near Forest Road 48. Early estimates put the fire at approximately 150 acres, but by Saturday, Aug. 29, it had grown to 11,184 acres.


Mary Ellen Fitzgerald, Incident Information Officer, noted that the fire left lands on the Mount Hood National Forest and was threatening Pine Grove.

Hoodland Fire District (HFD) Chief Steven Abel stressed that this time of year brings high fire danger in the area and that all open fires are banned in the Mount Hood National Forest and in the district.

“We’re just asking people, the weather is dryer, to be extremely cautious,” Abel said. “People don’t realize the danger we are in right now.”

Abel added that the district sent a brush truck with two personnel to the White River Fire, and that Clackamas County had recently declined to send firefighters to California.

“Our first priority here is to make sure the Hoodland Fire District is covered,” Abel said. “That’s not going to be an issue.”

The efforts on the White River Fire took a tragic turn on Monday, Aug. 24 when Thomas Duffy, 40, of Bozeman, Mont. died when the helicopter he was flying crashed while conducting bucket drops.

An Honor Guard procession from Portland to Hood River was on Thursday, Aug. 27. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

The response to the fire grew to include 819 total personnel and 19 engines, five dozers, eight water tenders and seven helicopters as of Saturday, Aug. 29.

The Wasco County Sheriff issued evacuation notices on Thursday, Aug. 27 for the area east from Bear Springs Ranger Station along Hwy. 216 through Pine Grove to the intersection of Endersby Road and Hwy. 216, also included are all of Endersby Road, Linns Mill Road and Kelly Springs Road.

For the latest closure information and specifics on closed campgrounds, recreation areas, trails and roads, see the forest Facebook page and Inciweb https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7013/

Protect your home

Tips from the American Red Cross on how to prepare your property for a potential wildfire:

– Create a defensible space around your home by using the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) zone concept.

– Choose fire-resistant plants. Consult a landscaper in your area or this state-by-state list of fire-resistant plants at the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise website.

– Create empty space between shrubs and trees to reduce the chance of flames leaping between them.

– Prune trees above the height of bushes and shrubs (approximately six to ten feet off the ground) and remove dead branches.

– Mow grassy areas regularly so that the grass is never more than four inches high.

– Remove dead and dry plants that could fuel a fire, as well as fallen leaves, pinecones, and other dry plant material.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Coffee House 26 offers hand with water drive posted on 09/01/2020

When Amber Ford, owner of Welches coffee and book shop Coffee House 26, heard about the water crisis in Warm Springs she knew she wanted to raise awareness and provide assistance for the neighboring community on the other side of Mount Hood.

“Our thought process was, ‘There are 200 to 300 families, including older people and children, in a community being impacted by the pandemic without running water,’” Ford said. “We don’t know the details of the political issues, we just knew our neighbors needed help.”

After a temporary fix to a break in a water line failed at the end of June, thousands of Warm Springs community members, businesses, as well as a health clinic and senior housing on the reservation were left without safe tap water for more than seven weeks. Approximately 300 families were left with no running water at all. A reservation-wide boil notice was issued on June 25 and stayed in effect until Aug. 17.

Ford decided to head a donation drive to deliver water and other needed supplies to Warm Springs. She established Coffee House 26 as a community drop spot in Welches at the beginning of July.

“Welches is small, but as soon as we put (the donation drive) on Facebook I felt like I was getting calls constantly asking what people could do to help,” Ford said.

During July and the first weeks of August the drive gathered 450 sealed gallons of water, canned food, sanitizing and hygiene products, masks, as well as donations to a fund established to crowd source repairs for the water system. Ford and her partner, Tyler Lehmann, made a trip every other week to deliver the supplies to a drinking water distribution center operating out of an old school in Warm Springs.

Ford stated the water crisis was made even more drastic by a quarantine on the reservation during the end of July which was extended through Aug. 21.

During the quarantine the water donation center remained open to provide community members with a place to procure fresh water and use handwashing and shower stations.

The water boil notice was lifted for the reservation on Aug. 17 after repairs were completed to the water line.

“As of 4:30 p.m. Aug. 17, 2020 the EPA concurred with the results and recommendation of the water department to lift the boil water notice. Normal consumption of potable water can resume,” said Travis Wells, general manager of the Warm Springs Branch of Public Utilities, in a written statement.

Ford intends to continue to accept water and personal hygiene products at Coffee House 26 for Warm Springs.

“The community recently discovered that another section of the line is now broken, affecting more residents and leaving many without water,” Ford wrote in a follow-up email. “They are still battling COVID pretty intensely, and now they have an outbreak of fires surrounding the reservation.”

Ford stated she hopes continued support from Welches residents will help “ease some of the worries” for the neighboring community.

“It’s a weird time to ask (for donations) but people didn’t even blink,” Ford stated about the positive community support for the drive.

Coffee House 26 is located at 67211 Hwy. 26 in Welches.

By Ben Simpson/MT

"Polar Vortex"
Local quilter misses out on show thanks to coronavirus posted on 09/01/2020

A blue and white quilt, titled “Polar Vortex,” created by Welches resident Jean Ludeman took a trip to Paducah, Ken. this year. Unfortunately, Ludeman did not.


The quilt was accepted for the American Quilter’s Society’s (AQS) QuiltWeek, a quilt show featuring hundreds of quilters from around the world, competing for ribbons and awards. The show was initially scheduled for April, then rescheduled for September and finally cancelled altogether, all due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thankfully, the quilt made its way back to Ludeman earlier this summer.

“It’s been like many things for many people, it’s been a roller coaster ride,” she said, noting that it now resides in her dining room. “The disappointment of not being able to go and see it hanging was difficult, but certainly understandable under the conditions we’re in right now.”

Ludeman started sewing garments when she was nine years old and has sewn on and off her entire life. When she was close to retirement, she took a class to make table runners, then got serious about quilting in 2005.

“I enjoy selecting the fabrics and figuring out the patterns; I like the challenge,” Ludeman said, adding that she does all kinds of quilting, including applique, landscapes, portraits and more. “I enjoy it all. I think it's the challenge of finding the right fabric in creating the look you want.”

Ludeman, who quilts on average five days each week, got the pattern for “Polar Vortex” a few years ago, noting the person who designed it had done it with primary colors. Looking to do something different, her vision was a quilt featuring gradation of blues and whites.

She finished it last September and it was included in quilt shows in Portland and the Columbia River Gorge, where it received multiple first place ribbons. Ludeman noted that judges at shows look very closely at each quilt, including the stitching, design, matching of points and more.

“Quilting shows are very competitive,” she said. “It gets very detailed toward the end, picking which is best. I was honored to receive all those ribbons.”

Ludeman added that she has been to the AQS QuiltWeek twice before, but this was to be the first time with one of her quilts. The show typically lasts up to four days, including classes and vendors offering the latest tools and patterns.

But she may get another chance to see her quilt there, as she plans on submitting “Polar Vortex” for the 2021 show.

“It’s hard to know whether it will be juried in a second time, but we’ll hope,” Ludeman said.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Future of backup well uncertain for Welches Water Company posted on 09/01/2020

At the Saturday, Aug. 22 annual meeting of the Welches Water Company, held over Zoom, president Ray Miller noted the non-profit, which serves 130 households, could not resolve problems surrounding access to its backup well through mediation.

The backup well, which has seen heavy use over the past two years, was built in the 1990s on property then owned by Doug Saldivar and his wife, but the property was sold two years ago to Mark Tobias and Monica Taylor. An agreement between the Saldivars and the water company from 2001 gave the company access to the well and a shed, but an easement was never filed with the county and a copy of that agreement did not surface until this past spring.

Jennie Bricker, an attorney representing Tobias and Taylor, noted at the meeting that they do not believe they are bound by that agreement.

“The bottom line is Mark and Monica took title to the property with no knowledge of the agreement,” Bricker said, adding that her clients had been informed of an informal agreement when purchasing the property and had wanted to craft a written agreement with the water company. “Things could have been much different. I regret that they have gotten to this point.”

Bricker added that the couple did not feel they were getting cooperation from the water company, including a “threat” that the company could convert into a district and take the property via condemnation.

Tobias and Taylor sent a letter dated Aug. 14 to the members of the water company, explaining their side and outlining their terms for continued use of the well.

Saldivar, who still lives in the area, also attended the annual meeting to respond to aspects of that letter, including the contention that Tobias and Taylor were not aware of the fact that the well was intended for the water company’s use.

“It surprised me a little bit,” Saldivar said. “I have a feeling with the stress and everything that’s going on, they remembered things differently.”

He noted that when the property was put on the market, he created a website that included a page with information on the well and the water company, including three associated easements, while also explaining the situation when interested buyers toured the property. He also provided a three-ringed binder with zoning and other information to Tobias and Taylor after the purchase and in the disclosure forms when the closing on the property took place.

Saldivar also added that the well was discussed during the process when he and his wife considered keeping part of the property that included the well and when he recommended that Tobias and Taylor serve on the water company’s board, noting there was “no motivation to keep info from them.”

Saldivar did take responsibility for not recording the 2001 contract with the county.

The standoff on the well leaves the water company unable to make changes to the shed, preventing them from upgrading to a UV filtration system. Miller noted that they are operating as if under the 2001 agreement, but that future steps are up to Tobias and Taylor.

“They have threatened us with the closure of the well and the closure of the shed area,” Miller said. “The next move is up to them.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

Welches students begin school year with distance learning posted on 09/01/2020

Schools across Oregon sent students home in March for the coronavirus epidemic, first for a few weeks, then for more than a month and finally for the remainder of the school year.

Now, as the 2020-21 school year begins, students in the Oregon Trail School District (OTSD) will remain at home for distance learning, with the choice of virtual synchronous or asynchronous instruction.

"We want to thank our families for their resilience, adaptability, and patience," Aaron Bayer, OTSD Superintendent, said. "We understand the pressure distance learning puts on them and are committed to expanding our partnership to engage their children in learning."

Synchronous instruction, via live-streamed sessions, will occur during regular school hours. Asynchronous instruction, via recorded sessions, can be done at a time convenient for the student’s family.

Classes for synchronous instruction will offer a full curriculum, with students receiving grades, while the district intends to transition to a hybrid model when students are allowed back into the classroom. Parents who are uncomfortable sending a child to school when the transition happens can opt to have their child continue to participate in the virtual classes from home.

Asynchronous instruction will be provided by two online educational platforms, Schools PLP for grades kindergarten through fifth and Edgenuity for grades six through 12, offering pre-recorded lessons that may be viewed at any time. Students who participate in online instruction would not transition to the hybrid model once schools reopen but would continue with the online instruction for the full school year.

Students with an Individualized Education Program or a 504 plan will hear from case managers during the first week of school to go over their plans.

The district will also work with families for technology and internet needs, including Chromebooks and wireless hotspots available for checkout.

Virtual classes will take place on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with advisory classes and kindergarten through fifth grade community building classes on Wednesdays. Teachers will also have daily office hours. Elementary students will be assigned to their grade level class, while middle school students will be in classes for core content areas (math, science, social studies and English language arts) and high school students will be assigned classes based on their completed forecast.

The district also will offer meals, and will distribute a plan and schedule to parents, along with information about the state’s expanded free and reduced guidelines.

To transition to the hybrid model, offering instruction with two cohorts of students attending school on alternating days, the district will follow health metrics from the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education. Metrics for both Clackamas and Multnomah County will be considered due to 38 percent of the district’s teachers living in Multnomah County.

For more information and full details on reopening and COVID-19, visit www.oregontrailschools.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Contributed photo.
'Peaceful Vistas' mural returns to its former glory posted on 07/30/2020

Roger Cooke’s 1993 mural, “Peaceful Vistas,” has offered the inspiring image of a pioneer wagon train to passersby on Meinig Avenue between Proctor Blvd. and Pioneer Blvd. in Sandy. The Sandy Arts Commission (SAC) restored the mural last summer and had planned on celebrating the accomplishment in May.


Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, that celebration was postponed twice. But now, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, that celebration will finally take place.

“It’s been a year since we started the restoration,” said Becky Hawley, chair of the SAC. “ I feel like this is the culmination of a lot of hard work and a chance to allow us to honor the original artist. I hope that it will focus a positive light on the city’s public art.”

The event and an unveiling of a bronze historical marker honoring Cooke will be held in the parking lot across the street from the mural, at the corner of 17450 SE Meinig Ave. and Pioneer Blvd., offering space enough for participants to practice social distancing.

Hawley and Pamela Smithsted were the lead artists for the restoration work, which included other local artists and featured an almost total repainting of the mural. The only part left untouched was Cooke’s signature.

Cooke, who lived on Marmot Road for many years and was known for his historical depictions of Native American tribes, painted the mural for Oregon’s sesquicentennial celebration. Cooke painted more than 60 murals, including in small towns along the Oregon Trail.

Restoration work took more than three weeks to complete with volunteers contributing more than 280 hours. Other painters included Marcia Morrow, Arts Commissioner and Wy’east Artisans Guild (WAG) president, WAG members Micaiah Meyer and Vern Groff, Lori Putman of the Sandy Historical Society and Taylor West, a recent graduate of Sandy High School.

Hawley noted that the restoration process was fun in part due to people in cars who were stopped at the traffic light in the intersection and took the opportunity to honk their horn or shout out encouragement.

“We realized what a need there was for a bronze plaque with info on the artist and the history,” she added.

Hawley also noted the mural was in sad shape in some areas before the restoration, including portions that had completely lost the paint. Fortunately, most of those areas were part of the sky, where Cooke had not used many layers of paint.

“The majority of foreground was still intact,” Hawley said. “We were able to use a clear primer over the existing mural and then do a kind of paint by number, using pattern underneath.”

The effort was helped by Ernie Brache of AEC, who loaned the use of a scissor-lift for the duration of the project, and John and Allison Milward, of Ace Hardware, who offered supplies.

Prints of Cooke’s work are expected to be available at the celebration, with proceeds benefiting the City of Sandy’s Arts Fund.

“I’m just hoping that this will be a positive show of appreciation for Sandy’s public art and appreciation for what has gone into saving it,” Hawley said.

For more information about the ceremony, email CityArt@cityofsandy.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT


Community survey highlights future options for Rhododendron posted on 07/30/2020

A recent community-wide online survey for the “Rhododendron Main Street Site Redevelopment Plan” revealed a community desire for safer highway conditions for pedestrians and cyclists in the proposed development area, as well as an interest in improving the appearance of the site from the highway.

The survey was conducted from May 28 through June 19 by Clackamas County, the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) and the MIG consultant team.

“We got fairly good turnout for an online survey,” said Scott Hoelscher, Senior Planner for Clackamas County Department of Transportation and Development.

There were a total of 116 survey participants with 57 percent of respondents indicating that they are part time/seasonal residents. 17 percent of survey participants were year-round residents and 9 percent own businesses in the community.

The survey results will be used by the consultant team to develop three design alternatives to guide redevelopment of the project area. The proposed site for redevelopment consists of two privately held properties on the southwest side of Hwy. 26 totaling 3.73 acres. The properties are across from Mount Hood Foods and the Rhododendron Post Office.

Publicly owned lands adjacent to the Rhododendron Swinging Bridge and the Rhododendron Community Landscape at the Barlow Trail Oregon Historic Marker are also included in the project area.

The survey was one of several methods for collecting input from the community including an online virtual tour of the site. Additional opportunities for community input to refine the preferred concept will occur during the following months.

“An interest in streetscape frontage redesign and safe crossing of Hwy. 26 stood out to me,” Hoelscher said about community input gathered from the survey.

76 percent of respondents chose “Providing safer conditions for walking and biking” as the top opportunity for the redevelopment from the survey options. This was followed by 62 percent of participants choosing improving appearance along the highway as a focus for the project.

Survey respondents chose unsafe biking/walking conditions or crossings, highway traffic, speed or noise and the appearance or condition of businesses as the top challenges the community faces while planning the project.

When asked about types of new residential uses for the site, townhomes had the highest positive response followed by condos or townhomes with office uses or commercial spaces on the ground floor.

Themes expressed by write-in responses include maintaining a forested, cabin identity for the community and ensuring consistent design of new development. Some respondents voiced opposition to the development citing concern over change to the rural nature of the community or the small site size being unable to support development without increased traffic issues and strain on existing infrastructure.

Respondents also suggested the design team consider increased traffic impacts and affordability/displacement in the community.

“I’m pleased with the feedback from the survey,” said Steve Graeper, Rhododendron Community Planning Organization (CPO) board president, in a written response. “Comments were as expected, most of them favorable.”

“We’re going to use this input to move to the next stage of developing three conceptual design alternatives,” Hoelscher said.

The original timeline for the project called for the completion of the design process during the summer of 2020.

“That timeline was pretty aggressive,” Hoelscher said, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a major factor in slowing the timeline for the redevelopment project. “We’re not going to complete (the design alternatives) this summer.”

More information on the project is available at:


By Ben Simpson/MT

Community survey highlights future options for Rhododendron posted on 07/30/2020

A recent community-wide online survey for the “Rhododendron Main Street Site Redevelopment Plan” revealed a community desire for safer highway conditions for pedestrians and cyclists in the proposed development area, as well as an interest in improving the appearance of the site from the highway.

The survey was conducted from May 28 through June 19 by Clackamas County, the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) and the MIG consultant team.

“We got fairly good turnout for an online survey,” said Scott Hoelscher, Senior Planner for Clackamas County Department of Transportation and Development.

There were a total of 116 survey participants with 57 percent of respondents indicating that they are part time/seasonal residents. 17 percent of survey participants were year-round residents and 9 percent own businesses in the community.

The survey results will be used by the consultant team to develop three design alternatives to guide redevelopment of the project area. The proposed site for redevelopment consists of two privately held properties on the southwest side of Hwy. 26 totaling 3.73 acres. The properties are across from Mount Hood Foods and the Rhododendron Post Office.

Publicly owned lands adjacent to the Rhododendron Swinging Bridge and the Rhododendron Community Landscape at the Barlow Trail Oregon Historic Marker are also included in the project area.

The survey was one of several methods for collecting input from the community including an online virtual tour of the site. Additional opportunities for community input to refine the preferred concept will occur during the following months.

“An interest in streetscape frontage redesign and safe crossing of Hwy. 26 stood out to me,” Hoelscher said about community input gathered from the survey.

76 percent of respondents chose “Providing safer conditions for walking and biking” as the top opportunity for the redevelopment from the survey options. This was followed by 62 percent of participants choosing improving appearance along the highway as a focus for the project.

Survey respondents chose unsafe biking/walking conditions or crossings, highway traffic, speed or noise and the appearance or condition of businesses as the top challenges the community faces while planning the project.

When asked about types of new residential uses for the site, townhomes had the highest positive response followed by condos or townhomes with office uses or commercial spaces on the ground floor.

Themes expressed by write-in responses include maintaining a forested, cabin identity for the community and ensuring consistent design of new development. Some respondents voiced opposition to the development citing concern over change to the rural nature of the community or the small site size being unable to support development without increased traffic issues and strain on existing infrastructure.

Respondents also suggested the design team consider increased traffic impacts and affordability/displacement in the community.

“I’m pleased with the feedback from the survey,” said Steve Graeper, Rhododendron Community Planning Organization (CPO) board president, in a written response. “Comments were as expected, most of them favorable.”

“We’re going to use this input to move to the next stage of developing three conceptual design alternatives,” Hoelscher said.

The original timeline for the project called for the completion of the design process during the summer of 2020.

“That timeline was pretty aggressive,” Hoelscher said, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a major factor in slowing the timeline for the redevelopment project. “We’re not going to complete (the design alternatives) this summer.”

More information on the project is available at:


By Ben Simpson/MT

'Bite' proceeds to help boost area businesses posted on 07/30/2020

One of the Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce’s most popular events, the Bite of Mount Hood, will have an immediate impact despite not being held since 2017. The organization will use proceeds in two ways to support community businesses in the face of the coronavirus pandemic: the first is a 30-second advertisement that will air on KOIN, the northwest television station affiliated with CBS, and the second is by paying dues for it’s 2020-21 year for its members.

“It’s needed,” said Coni Scott, Chamber Vice President and head of membership. “It’s really important that the chamber does everything they can to help everybody. Businesses are really having a hard time.”

Scott chaired the Bite and noted the philosophy behind it was to put all the money back into the community, with the funds set aside from the Chamber’s operational funds. She added that in the past the organization offered grants as part of that support.

The KOIN advertisement is expected to start airing on Saturday, Aug. 15, and will likely feature a variety of scenes from the Mountain community, including recreational activities such as biking and hiking, a restaurant and more. Scott said that is expected to run for three months and will cost $17,000.

She added that the area where the advertisement will be seen, as far as the Oregon coast and down to Eugene, is where a large portion of recent visitors come from, looking for a safe vacation option close to home.

Scott noted that the dues total approximately $12,000, which keep the Chamber going throughout the year, including insurance and bookkeeping.

As for a possible return of the Bite, held in April for a number of years featuring food from a large variety of area restaurants and offering auctions and more, Scott didn’t rule it out for the future. But she added that somebody would need to step up as the new chairperson.

By Garth Guibord/MT

El Burro Loco rides into a new era posted on 07/30/2020

Marc Accuardi, one of the new owners of El Burro Loco, described himself as an “Italian chef that fell in love with Oaxaca food,” thanks to his experience in Mexico.

“I always thought Mexican food was pretty simple,” Accuardi said. “Boy was I wrong. The complexity of the region is unbelievable.”

Accuardi and his business partner, Darren Wiese, who also own the Whistle Stop Bar & Grill, plan on freshening up the menu at the Burro with some better products and doing things on more of a daily basis.

“We’re not stocking the refrigerator full of things,” Accuardi said. “We use what we made today. That’s shown a huge improvement.”

Accuardi noted they’ve already upgraded the rice to a higher quality (and vegetarian), while also improving the black and pinto beans, adding a chicken mole tamale, new salsas and more.

“It’s like what we did at the Whistle Stop,” Wiese said, adding that they plan on bar upgrades, including expanded tequila and new cocktails. “We just elevated a little bit, freshened things up.”

The pair, who took over on May 1, also plan on adding good bar food, such as a variety of queso, while also striving for consistency in their food and drinks. And while they have already done some work in the kitchen and dining room, the long-term plans include moving the cantina to the south side of the building and perhaps having an outdoor kitchen offering grilled items and street tacos.

For the meantime, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurateurs have focused on the recipes that travel best for takeout options. Shrimp is out, for now. The restaurant is currently open with counter service (customers order at the counter), but with half the seats the establishment has had in the past.

“Fortunately, the weather’s been good,” Accuardi said, noting they will not have table side service until the county enters Phase 2 of the recovery. “The outside seating is proving to be of help.”

Wiese added that they are also operating with utmost concern for the safety of the customers and employees, “trying to create a great experience while minimizing contact.”

The pair noted that running two restaurants on the Mountain offers an opportunity for their employees to work at both. They also want their employees to use their backgrounds and add to the Burro’s offerings, such as an infusion of flavors from El Salvador.

El Burro Loco is located at 67211 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches and hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, call 503-622-6780 or visit www.elburro-loco.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Aunt B's Bakery ready to roll posted on 07/30/2020

Belinda Torres worked long nights behind the scenes as the Dragonfly Bakery’s master baker for the last two years. Now she is making good on her long-standing agreement with the Dragonfly Bakery’s owner Rory Klingbeil and taking over ownership of the bakery.

“I’ve always been the baker. I opened it from day one,” Torres said about her involvement with the business. “It’s all me.”

On June 15, Torres became the official owner of the bakery located at 24525 E. Welches Road. The bakery has been renamed Aunt B’s Country Mountain Bakery and is now operated with new hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

“I chose the name cause I’m a country-style cook,” Torres said. She and Klingbeil opened the Dragonfly Bakery in July 2018 with the plan for Torres to eventually purchase the business.

“Rory (Klingbeil) called me at two in the morning one night and said, ‘B you need a bakery,’” Torres said. At the time she was working for Klingbeil at the Dragonfly Café and Bakery baking pastries and waiting tables.

Torres said she initially didn’t think she could afford to start her own business.

Klingbeil offered to establish the bakery if Torres would agree to buy the business after two years of running the operation.

Now as the new owner, Torres continues to work 16-hour days preparing food for the bakery and supplying baked goods for other local businesses. Torres runs Aunt B’s with her husband, Tony Graham, who operates the bakery during business hours.

“It’s a scary process, but I’m excited,” Torres said about assuming ownership during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an effort to provide fresh-made food at an affordable price during the pandemic, Aunt B’s offers a “Heat and Eat” menu of take-home dinners for preorder and pick-up. Preorder options include baby back ribs, pot pies and chicken and dumplings, as well as a selection of sides and fresh-made breads.

The take home menu is rotated every ten weeks to include new additions and the pastry case features new options daily.

“They call me the scone lady,” Torres said, laughing when asked about her signature baked goods. She added that “cheesecake pillows,” or cheesecake baked in puff pastry, a “lemonburst” scone and a pound-plus breakfast sandwich served on a bacon-cheddar-jalapeno biscuit were other customer favorites that are available daily.

The bakery is currently only offering to-go items due to social distancing requirements. Torres has seen a steady weekly increase in take-home orders with new customers coming from nearby communities including Estacada, Boring and Sandy.

The bakery offers free coffee to on-duty first responders including local police, fire department and emergency medical technicians.

“We’re there for them,” Torres stated. “They’re out there doing important things in the community. We feel they deserve something.”

Aunt B’s updated “heat and eat” menu is available on the bakery’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/greatscones. The bakery can be reached by phone at 503-564-9285.

By Ben Simpson/MT

10 Years Ago: Sustainability at Timberline posted on 07/30/2020

Timberline boasts 'gold standard sustainability'

Sustainable Travel International bestowed on Timberline Lodge and Ski Area the honor of being the first ski resort in the world to receive third-party certification through its sustainable Tourism Eco-certification. Timberline was recognized for its strengths in the areas of environmental conservation, cultural heritage, historic preservation and economic development. Jon Tullis, Public Affairs Director of Timberline Lodge, was honored by the recognition and pointed to its worldly significance.

"We are convinced that sustainability isn't just a passing trend,” he said. “We see it as a mega-trend in not just our industry, but in all of corporate America. It is more of a game-changer than you may think."

Garth Guibord joins the Mountain Times

The Mountain Times was pleased to report in the Aug. 2010 issue that Garth Guibord had joined The MT as a staff writer, having worked at The Sandy Post for the previous four years covering news in the local area. Then editor and publisher Larry Berteau said he felt fortunate to have grabbed up Guibord.

"We have looked for another writer for some time, but the unique skills required of an enterprise reporter don't come along very often," Berteau said. "When Garth became available, I didn't hesitate. He is a solid writer, a master of Associated Press style, and his presence on the MT staff will be immediately evident."

Fast forward ten years to the present 2020 and Guibord is the current editor of The Mountain Times, still providing first rate and unbiased news coverage, and a solid editorial style contributing to a quality community newspaper.

Native Plants

The Mountain Times reported on a July workshop hosted by the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council and the Zigzag Ranger District which identified invasive plants that endanger the area. The workshop also featured showy native plant alternatives such as a red columbine to the attendees.

Invasive plants may not seem like much of an issue until you see an entire field full of Scotch broom or blackberries which create maintenance problems for homeowners and when they grow in streamside areas, they can severely degrade fish and wildlife habitat. The ranger district described a recently discovered two-acre patch of Policeman's helmet next to a wetland near the Salmon River where the dense thicket of this invader makes it difficult for native plants to grow on the forest floor, meaning less food and nesting cover for birds and small mammals.

Policeman's helmet can be thwarted with the planting of natives like Red columbine, and this bright plant grows up to three feet tall, flowers in the summer and attracts hummingbirds and produces seeds that are eaten by juncos and finches.

And in other news...

Ground was broken at the Bell Street property in Sandy where the new Sandy High School was to be built, Real Estate Broker Cindy Nerison joined the staff at Merit Properties in Welches, Betsy LaBarge, president/CEO of Mt. Hood Vacation Rentals, was selected to serve on the Tourism Development Council of Clackamas County and Sandy Police were busy picking up dinner plates at local restaurants during the 'Tip a Cop' event which supports the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

By Frances Berteau/MT

Photo by Garth Guibord
Welches Walk delivers Mountain’s message: Black Lives Matter posted on 07/01/2020

Approximately 150 people came out on Saturday, June 13 for Welches Walks for Racial Justice, joining cities across the country and around the world in a peaceful demonstration in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man killed in Minnesota by a police officer. Welches Schools alumni Cristina Saldivar, Madeline Kenney, Brooke McAlester, Jenny Covington and Maria Burke organized the event.

“It was great for us to see that turnout,” Saldivar said. “It was special for us to see we were not alone.”

The walk began at the intersection of Hwy. 26 and Welches Road and travelled down Hwy. 26 to Woodsey Way and into the baseball field next to the school. There, the group knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the first reported time that the police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck, and then broke into small groups to discuss race.

The effort started after the organizers recognized a lot of interest in the community, including seeing Black Lives Matters (BLM) signs, while also wanting to make a local impact.

“We were feeling very angry and we wanted to figure out a way to open up this conversation to more people than just our immediate friends and family,” Kenney said.

The event brought out people from all parts of the Mountain and beyond, from local families with young children to retired teachers who once taught the organizers when they were students.

Tom Well, who taught at the Welches School for 32 years before retiring in 2009, joined the walk while carrying a sign that read “Not too old to stand up for change.”

“Being the white guy, haven’t really understood the oppression that a lot of people of color have had to live with,” Well said, while noting how proud he was of the organizers. “As I’m becoming more educated and seeing more things happening, it's really opening my eyes.”

Well, who recalled growing up in Portland and seeing signs on doors such as “whites only” and the Selma march, noted he believes the global demonstrations seem different this time and real change could be in the works.

“It needs to happen,” he said. “For me, it needs to start at the top and we need to have a person that is compassionate about other people, cares about other people, lift people up and not push them down.”

Bryan Tull, a Brightwood resident who will have two children at the Welches Schools this fall, noted  that his family comes from a diverse background, including Native American, Chinese and more, and wanted to stand with the community at the event.

“I feel like we pass off as white,” Tull said. “We’ve been sitting on our privilege for too long. I wanted to make a difference and show our kids there’s other people not doing as well as we are.”

Lisa Aschoff, whose husband’s great-great grandfather, Adolf Aschoff,  was one of the early settlers in the community, noted she grew up in the south where she witnessed racism and recognized that she needed to step up and join the effort.

“I feel the flame moving around the world,” said Aschoff, adding that she has a grandchild who has a white mother and a black father. “It's astounding that we have an ear all across the world. For me to stand back and not put my energy behind this would be wrong.”

The walk also included Shemar Lenox and Jaylen Welch, both Gresham residents who have similarly organized an effort in their community to bring more awareness of the BLM movement, called the Gresham Standup Movement. They hope to implement changes within the schools, police and more.

“We felt like there wasn’t really anything being done in our community,” Welch explained, adding that the group plans on more protests this summer, including going to Washington D.C. in August. “Gresham is very white populated, and we need the white voice just as much as we need everybody else. We need change and we need it now.”

Organizers of the Welches Walks for Racial Justice also created a website, https://welcheswalks.weebly.com/, spearheaded by McAllester, offering a variety of resources and links to help keep the discussion going. McAllester noted that the site points people in the right direction to better equip them for that discussion.

“I just want people to start listening,” she said. “Some listen to certain voices and not others because it fits the narrative.”

“It's easy to be in our bubbles and surround ourselves with those who align with those values,” added Saldivar. “There’s so much more we need to be listening to.”

The organizers of the Welches Walk for Racial Justice hope to offer more events in the future, including a movie screening and trivia night.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Hwy. 26 safety corridor expected to be decommissioned this fall posted on 07/01/2020

A safety corridor on Hwy. 26 between milepost 25.2 and 57.45 is expected to be decommissioned by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) this fall, although an exact timeline is still unknown, according to Don Hamilton, ODOT Region 1 Public Information Officer. The corridor was created in 1996 as a tool to help reduce crashes while long-term solutions are being implemented.

“Safety corridors are not intended to be permanent,” Hamilton said. “This one was a fairly lengthy one.”

As part of the decommissioning, signs that read “Safety Corridor” will be taken down and traffic fines will no longer be doubled.

Hamilton noted that the numbers reflect the success of the corridor and the improvements that have taken place, with 59 fatal/severe injury crashes occurring in the corridor between 1991-96, but dropping to 25 between 2013-18, a decrease of 58 percent.

ODOT has designated 21 different corridors in the state, and after the stretch on Hwy. 26 is decommissioned, just four will remain. Hamilton noted that ODOT continues to monitor what happens in the corridors after they are decommissioned.

“We are also watching those former corridor areas very carefully,” he said. “That's a critical part of this, we will continue to evaluate the safety and prioritize improvements in this area.”

According to ODOT, $65 million has been invested into improvements on 41.3 miles of Hwy. 26 since 2008, including variable message signage, median strips and more. Another $4.4 million is expected to be spent on more improvements in the near future. ODOT is also expected to continue to fund law enforcement overtime in the area through safety grants.

ODOT also reported that out of the people involved in the fatal/severe injury crashes on Hwy. 26, more than half involved local residents.

A safety corridor on Hwy. 26 between Gresham and Sandy had previously been decommissioned in 2006.

For more information, visit https://www.oregon.gov/odot/Safety/Pages/Roadway.aspx.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Clackamas County delayed in reopening to Phase 2 posted on 07/01/2020

New modeling of the coronavirus released by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Institute for Disease Modeling in late June revealed it is spreading more rapidly in the state. The model, based on data through June 18, predicted that daily case levels could rise as much as 20 percentage points.

"We know that COVID-19 is in our communities," said Dean Sidelinger, MD, Oregon state health officer, in a press release. "This latest model provides us with a sobering reminder that we all need to guard against continued spread, especially as we continue to reopen and the weather gets warmer.

"Think hard about your choice of activities, especially as we get close to the Fourth of July holiday,” he added. “Ask yourself: how can I reduce my risk and the risk I might pose to people around me?"

As of Friday, June 26, OHA reported a total of 7,818 cases of the coronavirus in Oregon, including 665 cases and 24 deaths in Clackamas County.

As of Tuesday, June 23, the county had 8.45 trained case investigators, with eight others hired and in training, and 3.4 trained contact tracers, with 9.2 others hired and training.

Clackamas County Commissioners sent a letter to Governor Kate Brown on Thursday, June 18 that requested approval for the county to move into Phase II of reopening. Brown, however, grouped Clackamas County with Multnomah and Washington Counties as a tri-county area that must remain in Phase 1 of reopening until at least Friday, July 10.

“I know this impacts communities and businesses in Clackamas and Washington counties but, as we reopen our state, we must recognize how interconnected the metro area is,” Brown said in a press release.

Brown also announced that people in that tri-county area, in addition to Hood River, Marion, Polk and Lincoln counties, are also required to wear face coverings while in indoor public spaces, including grocery stores and other businesses, starting on Wednesday, June 24.

Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard issued a statement stressing that the health of the county’s residents remains the top priority and the county is working to prepare for Phase 2.

“We understand that many are ready to return to normal life, get back to work, and gather with our friends, loved ones and community,” Bernard said. “It is understandable that some are disappointed that we are not moving into Phase II. Yet, we cannot ignore the increase in cases of COVID-19 and the alarming projections of how many more people would get sick if we continued into Phase II reopening.”

The county reopened its primary service buildings, the Development Services Building (DSB) and the Public Services Building (PSB), to the public during limited hours on Monday, June 22. Both buildings are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday, offering services including Assessment and Taxation, Business and Community Services and more.

Other county departments continue to offer virtual services. Residents are encouraged to contact departments regarding services at www.clackamas.us/departments for clarification regarding open services.

For information on Clackamas County’s preparations to enter into Phase II visit: www.clackamas.us/coronavirus/reopening.

OHA recommendations on what you can do to suppress the virus:

– Stay 6 feet away from other people.

– Wear a mask.

– Avoid large gatherings, and if you are in a group setting (like a holiday barbeque)  stay outside, keep your distance and use a face covering when you’re not eating.

– Wash your hands frequently.

– Stay home if you’re sick.

By Garth Guibord/MT

The Shack to reopen with upgrades and new ownership posted on 07/01/2020

Welches restaurant and sports bar, The Shack, known to its’ regulars as their “home on the mountain” will reopen following state-mandated closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic with new ownership.

The bar and grill, located at 67350 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches, will be taken over by longtime employee Erin Aikens, who tentatively plans to reopen the bar by early August, along with co-owners Richard Isabella and Will Allie.

“Frankly, we weren’t up for the necessary rebuild in light of what has happened to our operating environment,” The Shack’s previous owner Kim Perry wrote in a Facebook post regarding her decision to sell the business.

“One of our key employees has chosen to step up and take over. We couldn’t be happier! We now know that there will be continuity and all of you will be able to continue enjoying the hospitality the Shack has to offer,” Perry added.

Aikens has worked as a bartender at the Shack for five years and had right of first refusal to purchase the business. She is a native to the Mount Hood region who graduated from Sandy High School.

“I’ve always wanted to own a bar,” Aikens said. “It’s been part of my plan working as a bartender.”

Aikens is partnering with Richard Isabella and Will Allie to renovate and reopen the business. They plan to renovate the bar and grill before reopening for service to the public. Planned updates include installing new floors, deep cleaning and painting.

“It’s a good time to do renovations and spruce (the bar) up,” Aikens said. The new owners intend to delay reopening to complete the work to avoid having to reclose for renovations.

“I think it’s a good time to reinvent, so why not,” said Aikens. “I still want to keep it The Shack. It’s what people expect and love.”

Aikens intends to reopen by Saturday, Aug. 1 at the latest. The bar and grill will reopen with a shortened menu and with its' hours of operation reduced to noon to 10 p.m. daily while determining the impact the pandemic will have on the business.

“We’re rolling with the punches and doing our best,” Aikens said. “I’m really excited and really scared. I think I’d be apprehensive any time (opening a first business).”

Other planned changes to the bar include the addition of live music after reopening. The business had an unused stage that is being renovated and set-up to accommodate live bands.

“We look forward to having everyone back dancing and drinking and having a great time,” Aikens said.

More information, including updates about reopening, will be available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/The.Shack.Welches/. The Shack can be contacted by phone at 503- 622-3876.

By Ben Simpson/MT

BDK is the local go-to for screen printing posted on 07/01/2020

When lifelong board-sport enthusiasts Michael and Tracey Kays moved to Mount Hood from Hawaii in 2014, they were finally able to achieve their snowboarding dreams. They settled into their new home in Rhododendron and cemented their ties to the region by opening their second skateboard business, BDK Boardshop, in Sandy in 2016.

The couple are now taking on a new venture in the Mount Hood community with BDK Printwerks, a custom screen printing and embroidery business they launched in March.

“I’ve been screen printing on the side since the 80s,” Michael said, explaining he would often print shirts or other goods for local businesses he frequented or through word-of-mouth. “It just got to the point where we realized we needed to step it up.”

Michael began screen printing while in the military in Hawaii and continued printing for his first board shop and skate park on Oahu.

BDK Printwerks specializes in offering screen printing services to small businesses. The Kays provide personalized service for companies or individuals in need of customized goods printed in small or large quantities. The addition of a commercial embroidering department in March expands the array of goods BDK Printwerks can produce to include hats, beanies, polo shirts, towels, totes and other goods.

“I’m happy to meet and discuss,” Michael said. “I like that aspect; we’ll work hand in hand to help a business realize their idea.”

He explained this approach was something instilled in him through his involvement with the close-knit ethos of skate culture.

In addition to printing, Michael has done design and logo work and can assist clients in executing their concept for printing on textiles. There’s a “different method to the madness” when setting a logo or design up for screen printing Michael explained.

BDK Printing offers custom-designed hats created by Michael for skateboarding and 914 Porsche enthusiasts available for order through their website.

There are no minimums for print orders.

“We’re always happy to review a design and put together a quote,” Michael said.

The Kays officially launched BDK Printwerks in March before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the mountain communities.

“We’ve kept rolling through (the shut-down),” Michael said.

The couple plan on finding a shop location in the Mount Hood region in the near future for the business to house both the printing and embroidery departments, as well as potential for a retail space.

“We love working with the local community,” Michael said.

Local clients include Mount Hood Roasters and the Mount Hood Villages. The Kays hope to offer expanded services to existing customers and bring their hands-on service to new customers in the region.

For more information or a quote contact BDK Printwerks through their website at www.bdkprintwerks.com or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/bdkprintwerks/.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Hoodland Fire’s accolades, Mountain glass and mustards posted on 07/01/2020

Hoodland Fire earns citation for big night

The Hoodland Fire Dept was presented with a Unit Citation by The Oregon Fire Chiefs Association for service above and beyond their normal responsibilities to their community.

The honor was bestowed on the unit for the heroic rescues and aid given to the community on the never-to-be-forgotten night of Jan. 2, 2009, referred to as the “big night,” when torrential rain, accompanied by high water and rapid snow melt caused the Sandy and Salmon Rivers to overflow their banks, resulting in devastating flooding in the community. It was considered a 100-year flood event.

Hoodland Fire, which normally responds to one or two calls a day received 21 calls in 24 hours on the first night. State Fire Marshall Randy Simpson and OFCA President Mark Prince handed out the well-earned citation, and Explorer scouts were also given district citations for their volunteer work with sandbagging.

Mt Hood Museum

The Mt Hood Cultural Center & Museum landed a $25,000 contract from Clackamas County Tourism Development and Cultural Affairs after it turned in the top request for proposal for providing tourism information services in the Mount Hood corridor.

“I'm pleased, especially that they approved the amount we asked for,” said Lloyd Musser, curator of the museum.

The three other applicants were The Mt. Hood Adventure Park in Gov't Camp, Wy'east Book Shoppe and Gallery in Welches and the Sandy Chamber of Commerce.

Diana's Trading post

Diana Jones, a member of the Portland Rain of Glass, opened Diana's Trading Post in the Rendezvous Center in Welches for business and gave residents a blast from the past with her unusual wares. Jones offered antiques, curious oddities and collectibles, estate sales, gently used and vintage clothing, and promoted Native American and western art and artists in her store. The grand opening featured glassblower Joshua Marc Kehrberg of Portland, and the store often hosted free classes with guest historical speakers.

Native Plants

The fifth in the series of native plants to the mountain in the Mountain Times featured the invasion of the garlic mustards. The nasty, persistent plant had been spotted on the Salmon River in Welches.

“Garlic mustard produces chemical compounds that inhibit the growth of nearby plants,” said Russ Plaeger, then with the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council. “It's a threat to our native wildflowers.” This shady character can be found in moist areas in the forest and along streams, roads and hiking trails where the seeds have hitched a ride on people or deer. When found, pull the plants by hand, put them in bags and dispose of in the trash because the plants can still produce seeds after pulling. To avoid confusion with native fringecup and piggy-back plants, crush a few leaves and the garlic mustard will give off a strong garlic odor.

And in other news...

The Oregon Trail School District took its third shot at securing a principal for Welches Schools, after a 10-year hiatus Jason Stoller returned to Timberline Lodge as its chef and it was reported The Bite was a huge success raising more than $8,000 for local businesses with The Hoodland Senior Center netting a $600 donation.

By Frances Berteau/MT

Contributed photo.
Three-alarm birthday parade for Mountain boy posted on 06/01/2020

When Welches resident Gideon Kasier joined his mother in their front yard on his seventh birthday on May 1, he expected the somewhat disappointing chore of pulling weeds to await him.

With the community under strict stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Gideon’s birthday was shaping up to be a quiet day, without the excitement of friends or a festive party.

The Kasier’s were tending to their yard when their task was interrupted by a rush of sirens and flashing lights as local emergency response vehicles from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), the Hoodland Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) began parading down the family’s street.

Gideon watched with excitement as the procession, led by a patrol car with a sign in the passenger window that stated, “Happy Birthday,” slowly passed his home. Members of all three departments waved and a Hoodland Fire Department truck stopped to lower the boy a gift bag. Gideon was excited to see the parade included the CCSO’s K9 officer, Grimm, his personal favorite.

“I got my son pretty good. He was not expecting it,” his mother, Hannah Korpela, said about the surprise parade.

“Gideon’s been pretty isolated because he hasn’t been able to see his classmates,” she said, explaining the difficulty of celebrating a young child’s birthday while social distancing.

Korpela contacted the CCSO to inquire about arranging a parade to make Gideon’s birthday special despite the restrictions of the quarantine after seeing the department post a similar surprise birthday parade on their Instagram page.

“I got an overwhelming response from the sheriff’s office almost immediately,” Korpela said.

CCSO representative Sergeant Marcus Mendoza stated the department was approached the first weekend of the stay-at-home order to participate in a socially distanced celebration for another child’s birthday in the county who was isolated due to the restrictions on group gatherings.

“It hit home. It made me think how (the quarantine) impacts kids. At a young age a birthday is one of the biggest days of their year,” Mendoza said. “We’ve been really trying to get out there and help them celebrate.”

The Clackamas sheriff’s office has participated in more than 20 similar surprise parades for county children during the stay-at-home restrictions. They have been joined by other county service providers, including local fire and police departments, the USFS and American Medical Response (AMR) representatives.

“We were all jazzed about doing it,” said Hoodland Fire Department’s temporary Deputy Chief Scott Kline about being part of Gideon’s birthday celebration. “Everyone working the shift (the birthday) was on was excited to participate.”

Mendoza explained that all participating departments first priority continues to be responding to calls and emergencies, but that the departments have been able to make at least an appearance close to the date and time of most parade requests. He added the CCSO is limiting the appearances to celebrations for children only.

“It’s a way to show some support for the community and the kids… to show them that their birthday is important,” said Mendoza.

“We’ve been trying to help with public outreach while keeping the department safe,” Klein added.

Korpela stated that Gideon was so impressed by the unexpected visit that he is working on a surprise of his own – thank you cards for those that participated.

“Gideon still talks about it. He thinks it was the best birthday.” Korpela said. “Now my youngest is like, ‘What’s going to happen for my birthday?’”

All departments that participated in the surprise parades emphasized that their first priority continues to be responding to calls. Further information or inquiries are requested to be addressed only by email to the CCSO at sheriffpio@clackamas.us.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Restrictions ease as Clackamas County enters Phase 1 posted on 06/01/2020

Clackamas County joined 33 other Oregon Counties in reopening on Saturday, May 23, easing restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic and entering Phase 1 of the three-phase process. Phase 1 includes limited reopening of restaurants, salons, gyms and malls, along with gatherings of up to 25 people for recreational, social, cultural, civic or faith events with physical distancing requirements.

“Thank you, Clackamas County,” said Board of County Commissioners Chair Jim Bernard in a press release. “Without your incredible efforts in ‘flattening the curve,’ we would not have been able to move into Phase 1.”

The county approved its application for reopening on Tuesday, May 19 by a unanimous vote of the county commissioners. The county must remain in Phase 1 for 21 days, while state guidelines for Phase 2 were unknown at the time of press. A future spike in COVID-19 cases could result in a return to the previous restrictions and closures.

Mountain restaurateurs took the news with a mix of excitement and concern, including Susie Exley of the Barlow Trail Roadhouse in Welches. Exley noted that they tried to stay open and offer takeout options when the pandemic closure began but had to stop because it wasn’t making financial sense.

Exley added that their hours of operation are yet to be determined, but she expects to be open from Wednesday to Sunday with limited options that include the restaurant’s most popular options, such as fish and chips.

“We just don’t even know how busy or not busy we will be,” Exley said, adding that her staff is excited to get going again.

She added that her biggest fears include having to go back to the previous restrictions or having an asymptomatic customer that leads to people at the restaurant needing to be in quarantine.

“That is what causes me to pause a little bit and not go too gung-ho,” Exley said. “You just don’t know.”

Tom Anderson at The Rendezvous Grill never fully shut down his restaurant, despite the challenges of doing takeout.

“Customers have been really good to us,” he said, noting one benefit of exclusively doing take out is the lack of dishes. “People want us to be there on the other side and have been very supportive.”

By continuing to operate with takeout, Anderson noted that he feels the restaurant is in better shape than if he had closed entirely. To meet distancing requirements, he will have to remove tables to adhere to guidelines, but he added that the ability to seat customers outside will be a huge help.

“The outdoors will save us; the timing of it is good,” Anderson said, adding that costs have gone up due to the pandemic.

Anderson also noted that prior to the pandemic he had already begun restructuring things, including combining the restaurant’s lunch and dinner menus. Now that the restaurant is open for customers to eat there, he expects to only offer lunch on weekends and be open for less hours to start with.

At the same time, he noted that insurance companies will not cover issues related to COVID-19 at the restaurant, so he will take things slowly.

“We are in no hurry,” Anderson said, adding that it has been hard to sleep at night. “We would love to let somebody else be the guinea pigs.”

Meanwhile, the Mount Hood National Forest was expected to reopen most day-use and trailhead sites on Friday, May 29. Several sites, including most campgrounds, will not open immediately, and a list of opened and closed sites can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/mthood/conditions.

"We are looking forward to reopening many previously closed areas on the forest, while prioritizing the health and safety of the public and employees,” said Richard Periman, Mt. Hood National Forest Supervisor, in a press release. “We’re asking the public to be prepared, be respectful of others, and recreate responsibly.”

Some facilities, such as vault bathrooms, may not be maintained daily. It is recommended that all visitors be prepared to provide for their own sanitation and be as self-contained as possible while recreating.

Timberline Lodge and Ski Area also reopened last month, featuring a Covid Response Management Team, Covid employee training and strategies to keep guests and employees safe and healthy. Guests should be prepared for limited chairlifts and new processes for parking, lift tickets and lift lines, while the hotel will only be open to overnight guests and have a limited number of rooms available.

For up to date details about visiting and recreating Timberline Lodge, please visit www.timberlinelodge.com.

Despite the lifting of restrictions, a number of annual events have been cancelled for this summer, including the Mt. Hood Artisans Market, Clackamas County Bank’s Party on the Patio, Compassion Sandy, Hood to Coast and the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum’s Steiner Cabin Tour and Steiner Society Social.

“The concern for the health of cabin owners, event staff and tour participants, as well as the uncertainty of the situation, have driven our decision to cancel,” said Lloyd Musser, museum curator, in a press release.

The Steiner Cabin Tour and the Rhododendron Centennial +1 Celebration have been rescheduled for Aug. 7, 2021.

To find out what businesses in Clackamas County are currently open, visit https://www.clackamas.us/coronavirus/business or https://ccgismapservice.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=3bcd62a700b945d1b907a28dff29f354

Businesses owners who have questions about their requirements should visit https://govstatus.egov.com/reopening-oregon#phase1

To view the county’s plan and progress with Oregon state prerequisites, visit www.clackamas.us/coronavirus/reopening.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Report uncovers many issues with Hoodland Fire posted on 06/01/2020

An Organizational Assessment on the Hoodland Fire District (HFD) performed by the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) offered 64 recommendations on six areas of the district: governance, personnel management, staffing and organizational design, emergency response system, finances and the training and safety program.

In a letter to the president of the district’s board of directors, Shirley Dueber, that accompanied the assessment, Consulting Services Administrator Shanta Carter noted the district faces “Significant financial and operational challenges unique to your community and District.” The report is based on visits performed by consultants on March 4 and 5, including interviews with the Chief, staff, board members and others.

Interim Fire Chief Steven Abel, who started at the position in early April following Fire Chief John Ingrao being put on administrative leave pending an investigation, credited the board of directors for seeking a third party, unbiased report on what needs to be addressed.

“A plus here is that the Fire Board and staff are all willing to work together to address the identified issues and continue to provide quality services to the community,” Abel wrote in an email to The Mountain Times.

The report cites a “great level of tension” between the board of directors, featuring three new members elected in 2019, and Chief Ingrao, which it attributed to the board’s desire to better understand the district’s operation costs. And while the SDAO report stressed it did not “second guess” the decision made by the previous board and the Chief to implement 24/7 coverage in the district, it did note that consequences from that decision include the Chief’s position being reduced to half time.

The evaluation team also found a lack of general leadership and accountability in the district, citing the limitations of a part-time Chief and the lack of a Deputy Chief position, describing it as a “management vacuum” and that it created “unsafe working conditions” for district employees. Voters in the district approved a levy in 2019 to fund a new Deputy Chief, which is now filled on a temporary basis by Scott Kline until the search for a permanent Deputy Chief resumes.

The report also highlights concerns about the district’s apparati and stations, including that the move to 24/7 coverage lead to defunding the Building and the Apparatus Reserve funds, suggesting that a decision may need to be made to going back to the voters for further financial support.

“It will require the District to consider going to the voters in the future to pass a general obligation bond to purchase new fire apparatus and building improvements,” the report noted.

The report also notes other problems including a lack of required financial audits for more than three years, operational guidelines that have not been met, inconsistent employee evaluations and the lack of an up to date strategic plan.

The report also highlighted some of the strengths of the district, including the high level that the EMS program operates on and maintaining a healthy unappropriated Ending Fund Balance (cited at a little more than $2.2 million), while also noting the the district’s Training Officer, Lt. Andy Figini is “motivated and desires to provide a quality training program but will need the support in his efforts to move the department forward in this area.”

Abel noted in his email that the district immediately addressed some recommendations, while most are in process and ongoing. He added that developing a strategic plan is expected to begin in June, and that the district is “full speed ahead” and will not be impacted by the current investigation regarding Chief Ingrao.

“The Fire Board has given me full authority, responsibility and accountability to address the recommendations,” Abel wrote.

Abel also noted that the report found no evidence of fraud or misappropriations and that one of the “past” audits is expected to be released from the auditor’s office within another week. Completing the past audits is expected to take a few years.

Abel added that the board is “more active in establishing policies and oversight regarding the Fire Chief, fiscal oversight, and in establishing overall policy,” including requiring him to provide monthly updates on addressing the recommendations.

“Moving [at least for now] away from a part-time Fire Chief to a full-time Interim Fire Chief, there is more ‘oversight’ and accountability within staff,” Abel noted. “The Deputy Fire Chief position is a great asset, in that allows us to focus on specific areas to be addressed.”

Abel added that the report is a public document and available for the asking.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Sandy has its new ‘Happy’ place posted on 06/01/2020

Owner Brie Escalante noted the second location of her Le Happy restaurant, a creperie and bar in Sandy and located at 38687 Proctor Blvd., had a busy week after opening on March 8.

“People were excited to have a new concept on the mountain,” Escalante said. “We’re excited to be here. We think we’re a nice addition to Sandy.”

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Governor Kate Brown shuttered all restaurants and bars in Oregon March 16, the Monday after Le Happy’s official opening. The temporary closure of the restaurant’s bar and dining room paused the momentum of the new restaurant and has forced the Escalantes to operate as take-out only while the community has sheltered in place to avoid the virus.

Now Escalante states her family is “not trying to rush it,” as the governor begins reopening restaurants for limited dining. She is cautiously coming up with a plan to reopen the restaurant’s dining room to the public and will continue to offer take out until the time is right to welcome back eager Mount Hood residents.

Le Happy opened its first location in Northwest Portland in 2000, while Brie and her husband, Juan, purchased the restaurant in 2015.  The pair have lived in Sandy for 16 years since moving to the region in 2004.

“We always had our intention to open closer to home,” Brie stated about the decision to open a second location in Sandy. “It’s definitely our hometown. All our friends and family are here.”

Both locations offer a European-style selection of savory and sweet crepes and a sophisticated array of craft cocktails. The menu features a variety of house salads, a top sirloin served with Maison salad and gorgonzola crepe called “Le Steak” and house-made meatballs in a savory sauce trio.

Craft cocktails include “Le Rouge Belle,” described on the menu as a “delicious and dreamy pureed raspberry-lime kamikaze” and “My One and Only,” a maraschino cherry and vanilla vodka dry martini.

Escalante said that there are plans to expand the menu for the Sandy location due to the larger kitchen on premises.

Currently the Portland location is closed, and the Sandy location offers the full menu to-go available on the restaurant’s website for online orders.

The Escalantes are planning for the reopening of both restaurants with a focus on providing appropriate personal protective equipment for staff and a safely sanitized dining environment for guests.

“Health and safety have always been a priority of ours. We’ve always maintained a hundred percent score with the health department and we’re happy to continue that,” Escalante said.

Escalante stated the restaurant had trained a great staff and that she was happy to be able to provide jobs in the community once the time comes to reopen.

“We’re primarily a family-run business, and we appreciate all the business during this time. We want to send a big thank you for trying out a new cuisine and supporting us,” Escalante said about the positive support from the community.

Current information about the status of the restaurant, including menus and hours of operation, are updated daily on the restaurant’s webpage at https://lehappy.com. The Sandy location can be reached by phone at 503-563-7707.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Food box program going strong during pandemic posted on 06/01/2020

Neighborhood Missions, in partnership with the Oregon Food Bank and the Hoodland Senior Center, has offered a Free Food Market on the last Monday of each month for a couple years. Their efforts to help those in need in the community have continued during the COVID-19 pandemic, including providing food box to up to 75 households (approximately 180 people) last month.

Steve Carlson, who facilitates the market, noted that despite the onset of the pandemic, numbers of people receiving boxes have not surged.

“Not as many as I would have anticipated, which has been surprising to me,” Carlson said, noting that other factors, such as stimulus checks and unemployment. “As this goes on longer, we may see an increase more than we have.”

The market, which is open from 9-10 a.m. at the Hoodland Senior Center (65000 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches), has seen a good number of monetary donations, which Carlson said could be used to help other programs on the Mountain that help those with food insecurity, such as Meals on Wheels and the summer lunch program.

“We’re looking at some ways we can utilize those contributions in a little wider way,” he said. “We are feeling like that could be an area where we could have a substantial impact.”

The market has taken steps to adhere to social distancing, including boxing food for people as they wait in their cars (normally the market allows people to select items from a table). Neighborhood Missions also offers assistance with rent, utilities, prescription drug costs and gasoline, although Carlson noted they have not had a lot of recent requests. To request aid, call 503-622-9213 and leave a message. Somebody will call back within 24 hours.

Carlson also added that volunteers are welcome to help at the food market and that Neighborhood Missions has a committee to help with planning and organizing the effort. The committee meets the second Monday of every month at 2 p.m. at Hoodland Lutheran Church, 59159 E. Hwy. 26,.

“We always welcome more voices, more ideas to serve the needy in our community,” Carlson said.

Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office also has a program to help seniors impacted by COVID-19, the Community Care Initiative. It offers food, medicine and household supplies, along with delivery. Those in need can email CCIrequests@clackamas.us or call 503-794-8008.

By Garth Guibord/MT

10 Years Ago: Elections and a new Mountain wrap posted on 06/01/2020

Election May 2010

At the May primary election 10 years ago, Government Camp remained un-citified, then Welches Senator Rick Metsger fell short in his primary bid for state treasurer, John Kitzhaber took a leap forward in his comeback effort, Jim Bernard held his county seat and Sherry Hall was headed for a November runoff for the position of County Clerk.

Measure 3-354 would have made Government Camp Oregon’s newest incorporated city, but it failed, with 58 percent No votes versus 42 percent Yes votes. Sen. Metsger lost the Democratic primary to Treasurer Ted Wheeler, with Metsger tallying 38 percent of the votes to Wheeler’s 62 percent. Former Gov. Kitzhaber defeated opponent Bill Bradbury in the Democratic primary with a 66-30 percent edge and was set to face off against Republican primary winner Chris Dudley in the November election. County Clerk Sherry Hall was unable to win the necessary majority despite garnering the most votes and was also headed to a runoff in the November election against winning opponent Canby Mayor Melody Thompson.

A nose for news

If you wondered why a bloodhound was working an attentive crowd for pats and tummy rubs at the Wy’east Book Shoppe, it was because Jeff Schettler presented his new book “Red Dog Rising,” a riveting true story about Schettler’s time with the police force and his loyal and courageous bloodhound, Ronin. Schettler, a retired police K-9 officer, was attached to the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Teams’ K9 Assistance Program and described how he and Ronin were involved in hundreds of searches over the years. Sister, an up and coming two-year-old trailing bloodhound who travels with her owner and handler, Mary Davenport, to Schettler’s presentations, was soaking up the attention from the audience.

The proceeds from the book benefit a non-profit organization founded by Schettler that trains dogs for children with special needs.

Native Plants

The fourth in the series of native plants featured in The Mountain Times featured the Nootka wild rose and the Red-osier dogwood. The rose’s pale, pink-to-rose flowers produce orange-to-scarlet hips that are used as food by grouse, bluebirds, thrushes and many others. Their springtime blossoms are a showy, deep pink followed by equally showy rose-red hips in the season. The Red-osier dogwood is deciduous, providing clusters of creamy, white flowers blossoming in late spring. They give way to white or bluish fruits that are eaten by warblers and other birds. The leaves provide fall color, food for butterfly larvae and the nectar is used by adult butterflies. The dogwood is excellent for stabilizing steam banks.

And in other news...

In an election held May 15, 2010 at the Villages at Mt Hood Town Hall, Carol Burk and George Wilson were voted to fill two of the open board positions. A shakeup at the Timberline Rim Board saw six trustees resign, and co-owners Ryan and Hidee Cummings opened up Wraptitude, a restaurant located on Hwy 26 across the parking lot from Clackamas County Bank. That’s a wrap.

By Frances Berteau/MT

Hope spreads throughout community during pandemic posted on 05/01/2020

In the past six weeks, Oregon residents and most of the nation have ceased many daily activities and sheltered in place in response to the spreading peril of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time Mount Hood community members have found ways to offer support, from crafting protective gear to limit the spread of the virus to offering messages of hope to fellow community members suffering distress during these difficult times.

Kim Vasquez, a Zigzag resident, knew she was meant to help when the medical community began calling for support due to a dangerously low supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the state.

Vasquez began sewing at such a young age her grandmother would put books under the sewing machine pedals so her feet could reach them.

“I’m a sewer,” Vasquez said. “I by nature always have piles of fabric for future projects. Then one day it just happens to be for something that helps.”

After learning of the shortage of PPE in the state, Vasquez joined the “Crafters against COVID-19 *PDX*” Facebook group. The group was started on March 18 and currently has more than 8,000 members in the region producing non-medical grade PPE for use by patients in hospital settings to prevent the spread of the illness. The group coordinates pick-up of the PPE produced by Vasquez and other volunteers by the Multnomah County Health Department for distribution to hospitals.

As of April 17, more than 13,000 masks have been contributed by volunteers of the group to hospitals in need in the region.

“What I am doing is a very small drop in the bucket,” Vasquez said. “The people on the front lines are the ones making the big contribution.

“Making a small contribution to make their lives somewhat easier is but a benefit.”

Due to a shortage of elastic, Vasquez has switched to producing “ear savers,” hand-sewn straps that cushion medical grade PPE masks while wearing to prevent nurses from developing ulcers from the masks.

With the new national recommendations for individuals to wears masks in public to limit transmission of the virus, Vasquez intends to produce non-elastic masks for local use. She plans on reaching out to local businesses with staff that face greater exposure to the public and offering free supplies of masks.

“Even with the shortage (of elastic) I’ll keep going,” Vasquez said.

In efforts to support locals dealing with despair brought on by isolation and the current events, the bells of St. John of the Woods Catholic Church in Welches and neighboring churches in Sandy have begun to ring every evening at 6 p.m. Participating churches will continue to do so nightly for the remainder of the pandemic.

“The purpose for ringing the church bells is to bring comfort to those in distress, to bring hope to those who have lost all hope, and to restore faith to those who have lost their way during this pandemic,” said Ron Le Blanc, parishioner at St. John of the Woods, in a recent press release.

This nightly ringing of the bells is part of Le Blanc’s “Bells for Hope” campaign. Le Blanc encourages other churches regardless of denomination join in a “choir of church bells” to spread hope to community members feeling isolated.

During an April 16 Clackamas County “Coronavirus Town Hall” county commissioners praised community members for doing their part daily to combat the spread of COVID-19 by abiding by state and county social distancing guidelines.

“I want to say thank you to our constituents. Thanks for staying home. Thanks for physical distancing,” commissioner Martha Schrader said. “This is an unprecedented time in the history of Oregon and in the history of our county.”

By Ben Simpson/MT

Comment period opens for Summit boundary expansion posted on 05/01/2020

A comment period opened at the end of April, offering the community a chance to provide feedback on a proposal to expand the boundary of the Summit Ski Area. R.L.K. and Company, who has operated Timberline Lodge since 1955, acquired the special use permit (SUP) for Summit in 2018, and the proposed boundary expansion will create “permitted connectivity,” noted Jon Tullis, Director of Public Affairs for Timberline.

The comment period will end on Tuesday, May 26.

“This is the first step to set the table,” Tullis said, describing it as a “mapping exercise.”

In a 2019 Master Plan, future conceptual proposals for the two areas included a new day lodge, a new quad chairlift, summer activities, improved parking and transportation solutions and a gondola to offer an alternative way for visitors to get from Summit to Timberline. Tullis noted that the plan was put through a robust stakeholder process and built enthusiasm over the general concept.

The proposed boundary expansion would amend the Summit SUP to add approximately 206 acres to the permitted area. The expanded boundary would include portions of the Alpine Trail and historic West Leg Road. There would not include any ground disturbance or vegetation removal.

“This (boundary) proposal really changes nothing on the ground,” he added. “We want to hear what the public has to say. The first indication was enthusiastic.”

To read the scoping letter, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/mthood/landmanagement/projects. For more information about the 2019 Summit Master Plan, visit www.summitskiarea.com.

Electronic comments, including attachments may be submitted to: comments-pacificnorthwest-mthood-zigzag@usda.gov. Due to concerns regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, electronic comments are strongly encouraged. Written comments may also be submitted via mail (but not hand-delivered) to the Zigzag Ranger Station at 70220 E Highway 26, Zigzag, OR 97049.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Summer markets to open with safety in mind posted on 05/01/2020

Two Mount Hood markets are making cautious plans for returning during the summer season to offer community members access to locally farmed foodstuffs and artisan goods produced in the region.

Both the Hoodland Farmers Market and the Mt. Hood Artisan Market are anticipating shortened seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are planning on opening with a focus on social distancing and ensuring the safety of the public and vendors at the markets.

“The Hoodland Farmers Market will continue its mission to bring fresh, real food and locally made goods to the people of Mt. Hood while supporting local businesses during these unprecedented times,” said the market’s manager, Lauren Carusona, in a recent press release.

The Hoodland Farmers Market will delay opening from May to June this year. The farmers market is deemed an essential business during the pandemic and will return to its previous home in the El Burro Loco parking lot, 67211 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches every Sunday from noon until 2 p.m. starting June 7.

In response to the pandemic, the farmers market will serve as a place to pick up pre-ordered items and not a place to gather, browse or socialize in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Customers can contact individual vendors and arrange to place prepaid orders for pick up at the market. Contact information for the vendors will be available on the farmers market’s social media and in an email newsletter.

Carusona stated the market has been researching safe distancing protocol used by other farmers markets. No money will be exchanged, a hand washing and sanitizing station will be provided on site and customers will be required to maintain appropriate distances while picking up preordered goods.

Carusona highlighted the fact that while the social element of the market was diminished it was still an opportunity to purchase nutritious, locally produced food and ensure money being spent was supporting the local economy.

“The silver lining of this difficult time is that our community has all that it needs and more and it’s safer,” Carusona said.

The Mt. Hood Artisan Market has six dates planned for the summer. The first artisan market is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend in the courtyard at the Mt. Hood Village and RV Resort, 65000 E. Hwy 26 in Welches with a market scheduled every three weeks through September. The schedule is currently tentative depending on state guidelines over the following months.

“We hope to provide a safe environment for our vendors to come out and show their wares,” said market organizer Heidi Flanders. “We want everyone to be safe during these uncertain times and we’ll follow state mandate and guidelines throughout the summer.”

The artisan market strives to be a starting point for new artists and craftspeople in the region who haven’t begun to get their art out to the community.

The markets saw an uptick in interest from vendors and the public after operating for two years and organizers hope for the potential for community members to browse and enjoy entertainment including live music, vendors samples and other activities later this summer if social distancing guidelines are reduced.

“We’re looking forward to getting back to having more community involvement,” Carusona said. “At this time we’re working with the pandemic and making sure we put safety first.”

For more information about the Mt. Hood Artisan Market email Heidi_flanders@equitylifestyle.com. More information about the Hoodland Farmers Market can be found on the market’s Facebook page.

By Ben Simpson/MT

[Editor’s note: following publication in our newspaper, it was announced that the Mt. Hood Artisan Market has been cancelled for this summer.]

Sandy Library offers takeout services amid pandemic posted on 05/01/2020

The Sandy and Hoodland Library branches shut their doors on Monday, March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic, cutting off the communities from the services they provide.

But things got a little better on Monday, April 13, when the Sandy branch started offering take-out services (curbside delivery of items on hold) on a reservation basis.

“They were super excited to get curbside service,” said Sarah McIntyre, Library Director of the Sandy and Hoodland Public Libraries, about the library patrons.

McIntyre added that while they are trying to figure out a way for the Hoodland branch to start a similar curbside service, Hoodland patrons are encouraged to visit the Sandy Library until that happens.

To utilize the curbside service, patrons place items from the library on hold, then can check their library account around 10 a.m. to see if the items have arrived. If so, they should call the library  at 503-668-5537 to schedule a time for pick up (there are a limited number of pick up spots every 15 minutes).

Patrons are to arrive at their scheduled time and then call the library from their vehicle, with their library card number handy. Staff will then take the materials and place them on a table on the west side of the library, where the patron can pick them up after the staff have safely returned to the library building.

McIntyre noted that the biggest issue at this point is people showing up early for their appointment.

“In the real world, it isn’t a problem,” she said. “But if you arrive early, you have to wait until your appointment time to call.”

McIntyre added that the service should be of particular importance for people who are outside the Sandy city limits and might not have good internet service, limiting their ability to download or stream entertainment.

“Getting DVDs and books into their hands was really important to us,” she said, adding that it has also been rewarding seeing parents get out stacks of books to help their kids with distance learning while the schools are closed.

McIntyre also noted that while they expected to be overwhelmed, the early days of the service have not been that way. She said they have yet to hit the maximum number of appointments on a given day, 36, but that the staff did already know what to expect from the people who have utilized the service.

“They’re voracious readers,” McIntyre said. “A lot of them watch a lot of movies and TV on DVD.”

Meanwhile, there are also virtual programs available to patrons of the library, including Facebook groups for children’s storytimes and a virtual book group, which will meet online through the internet service Zoom. The book group’s first meeting is expected to be on May 4 to discuss Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild.” Contact the library to get a link for the meeting.

“We’re trying to keep people engaged and let them know the library is still here for you,” McIntyre said. “Sandy and Hoodland are wonderful areas. Honestly, we miss them.”

For more information, call the Sandy Library at 503-668-5537 or email libraryassistants@ci.sandy.or.us.

Library phone hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Sandy Library is located at 38980 Proctor Blvd. in Sandy.

The Hoodland Public Library is located at 24525 E. Welches Road in Welches. For information email hoodlandlibrary@ci.sandy.or.us or call 503-622-3460.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Photo by Peggy Wallace
Two area shops now pizza partners posted on 05/01/2020

Paola’s Pizza Barn has fed families in and around Sandy for generations, while Al Forno Ferruzza is a relative newcomer to the Mountain pizza scene, opening in Rhododendron in 2016 and quickly gaining a strong reputation. Last month, the two pizza purveyors joined forces in a reimagining of the Sandy location, combining the best of both businesses with their collaboration, Al Forno Ferruzza at Paola’s Pizza Barn.

“People know Al Forno Ferruzza from our shops in Portland and in Rhododendron, so people were really excited,” said Stephen Ferruzza, owner of Al Forno Ferruzza. “And then there’s people that have been coming to Paola’s for 42 years that are willing to try something new.”

Ferruzza teamed up with Denise Overton, who has lived in Sandy since she was five years old and took over Paola’s a little more than a year ago.

“I knew the Paolas for a very very long time,” Overton said. “I just wanted to reopen it and bring back the family name. Leonard Paola did a lot for the community and the sports teams.”

That community spirit will be at the forefront of the new collaboration, with the Sandy location offering both of the respective restaurants’ styles of pizza while melding the recipes of both families and offering a large space for bigger events and community gatherings, including local schools and sports teams.

“That’s the goal, to keep the history of a generational pizza shop,” Ferruzza said. “It’s a family-oriented experience the whole way through.”

Ferruzza learned his pizza skills from his father, who was born in Sicily, and he stresses locally sourced and fresh ingredients, fresh mozzarella and the traditional style of making the dough. His Rhododendron flagship location is also known for cannolis, strombolis, calzones and some culinary innovations such as MapleAqua, a lightly sweet and bubbly drink, produced in the only FDA-approved facility in the Mount Hood Corridor to make specialty items.

Al Forno Ferruzza at Paola’s Pizza Barn will feature these dishes in addition to much of what has helped make Paola’s a well-loved restaurant over the years, including family recipes for meatballs, barbeque sauce, dressings and the traditional prime rib dinner on Fridays.

Ferruzza noted the larger kitchen at the Sandy location will offer many more options for the menu, including pasta dishes, wings and sandwiches on fresh baked bread, along with a remodeled bar.

Last month’s opening was limited to take out and delivery orders, thanks to the coronavirus outbreak. Ferruzza is experienced when it comes to opening during challenging times, however, as his first brick and mortar pizza location in Portland opened during the recession in 2008.

At the Sandy location, they have put food safety protocols in place that will allow the pizza to not be touched after it comes out of the oven. And Ferruzza sees a great tasting meal made from fresh ingredients as a good way to help out when people have to stay at home.

“When you eat something nutritious, you’re automatically in a better mood,” said Ferruzza, whose first entry into the pizza world was a food cart with no outside investment that also helped build its reputation at festivals and other events.

For people who have yet to try one of his pizzas, he recommended starting with the traditional margherita, while some other offerings will include a pesto and vegetable pizza with fresh kale.

And when restrictions are lifted, the Sandy location could offer up live music and other events, including possibly a drive-in theater in the back and ax throwing. Overton also hopes that an oyster feed, currently scheduled for Saturday, June 20, will go on as planned.

“Community is more important now than it’s ever been,” Ferruzza added. “Paola’s is a community center for the town of Sandy. We’re just going to nourish that.”

For more information, including current specials, or to place an online order, visit mapleaqua.com. Al Forno Ferruzza at Paola’s Pizza Barn will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, while the Rhododendron location currently offers takeout and delivery from Wednesday to Sunday until restrictions are lifted.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Scott Kline named as Interim Deputy Chief of Hoodland Fire posted on 05/01/2020

With the Hoodland Fire District’s search for a Deputy Fire Chief delayed due to Fire Chief John Ingrao being on administrative leave and under investigation, Interim Fire Chief Steven Abel appointed Scott Kline to the position on an interim basis.

Abel noted the position is just on a temporary basis of up to six months and that at some point, the district will complete the hiring process.

“The Fire Chief needs to be able to do that,” Abel said about the hiring process, noting it was important to move forward with getting somebody in as the Interim Deputy Chief to help focus on the operational aspects of the district.

The search for a Deputy Chief began in earnest last May, when voters passed a bond to fund the position. The search officially opened last November only to restart in February after not enough applicants came forward.

Ingrao had indicated he would retire at some point after the new Deputy Chief was onboard.

The district is also in the middle of its budget process, moving forward with strategic planning while also anticipating the completion of an audit report from the Special Districts Association of Oregon.

Abel added that while all this is happening, he has been impressed with the district’s responders, including the crews that responded to a structure fire and an “extensive” brush fire in April.

Kline’s new role as Interim Deputy Chief was expected to begin on Friday, May 1.

By Garth Guibord/MT

10 Years Ago: The Bite brought a bevy of fun posted on 05/01/2020

A Century of Brightwood

Brightwood commemorated 100 years of postal history on May 6, 2010 by celebrating at the original Brightwood Post Office (now Mountain Retreats), and also by ushering in a new postmaster, Aaron Campbell, the 13th postmaster of Brightwood. A special postmark honoring Brightwood’s centennial was created by Brightwood artist Sue Allen.

Bite of Mt. Hood

The premier Bite of Mt. Hood, a fundraising event benefitting the Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce and the Hoodland Senior Center, took place on May 1 at Mt. Hood Village in Welches. For those who have sampled the delights of the Bite over the past several years, memories will linger on for the delicious food and scrumptious desserts provided by local restaurants, a silent and live auction, and live music. For the premier event, French troubadour Eric John Kaiser provided a taste of Paris with traditional French tunes.

Zac Miller – Martial Artist

Zac Miller proved to be undefeated in the art of amateur cage fighting in May of 2010, having prevailed in his first three bouts for the Team Quest Fight Club. Miller grew up on the Mountain, from pre-school through Welches schools to graduating from Sandy High. A large mountain contingent would accompany Miller to his fights to cheer him on, including his mom, Connie Miller. “She’s my No. 1 fan,” Miller said. “Besides Nick (older brother), she’s the loudest one in the crowd.”

Rhody Angler top fly-caster

Mia Sheppard of Rhododendron excelled in the Spey-O-Rama Casting Festival in San Francisco, and snagged first place in the Spey cast event. It was fierce competition, with three former champions pitted against the Mountain angler. The event featured the three ways to cast a fly line: the roll cast, the overhead cast and the Spey cast. The latter was developed in Scotland and is the most often used with two-handed fly rods. Be careful if you try out fly fishing, you could get hooked.

Johnson RV opened

Johnson RV officially opened for business with a ribbon cutting at their Sandy location. Johnson RV is one of Oregon’s largest new and used RV dealerships, and for the opening in April, 2010, the guests enjoyed barbeque in a celebration that included prizes, free gifts and sales.

Native Plants

The third in the series of native plants to the mountain featured in the Mountain Times featured the enormous Douglas fir, Western red-cedar and red alder. These are our quiet sentinels, standing tall and majestic, shading wider sections of our rivers to maintain the cool temperatures that salmon need to survive. The seeds of the firs and cedars attract flocks of birds such as grosbeaks, nuthatches and siskins in the autumn, and birds and flying squirrels nest in the cavities of mature trees while the deeply fluted bark of the old firs provides habitat for hundreds of creatures. Given their great size and longevity, it is best to plant these trees in places where they will have room to grow to their full potential.

By Frances Berteau/MT

Coronavirus impacts all facets of life on the Mountain posted on 04/01/2020

Restaurants, businesses and organizations throughout the community mirrored life around the world when they shuttered their doors last month as COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, became a pandemic. Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order on Monday, March 23, closing non-essential businesses, prohibiting large gatherings and limiting social contact between people.

“It is essential to the health, safety, and welfare of the State of Oregon during the ongoing state of emergency that, to the maximum extent possible, individuals stay at home or at their place of residence, consistent with the directives set forth in my Executive Orders and guidance issued by the Oregon Health Authority,” Brown said in a statement.

Some impacted aspects of Mountain life include the closures of schools, parks, playgrounds, ball fields and sports courts in the Oregon Trail School District until at least Tuesday, April 28, closure of the Bureau of Land Management’s developed recreation facilities (including Wildwood) and the closure of all campgrounds, day-use sites, trailheads, Sno-Parks, fire lookouts, OHV areas, ski areas (and ski area parking lots) and other developed recreation sites in the Mt. Hood National Forest (MHNF) through at least Friday, May 8.

Heather Ibsen, Acting Public Affairs Officer for the MHNF, noted in an email to the Mountain Times that while developed trailheads are included in the closures, trails are not. But she added that people are encouraged not to head to the forest to recreate.

“Across the region, we are asking people to please delay travel to outdoor destinations as much as possible,” she wrote. “We’ll still be here when it’s much safer for all of us. Time outdoors is important for mental and physical health, but for right now, please explore your neighborhood and follow the (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines on social distancing.”

MHNF offices are conducting public business by phone, email or web-based transactions. Latest updates and information can be found online: www.fs.usda.gov/mthood.

The impact of the closures was evident everywhere, not just in the signs in the windows of businesses, but in the number of newly unemployed people. During the week of March 15, the Oregon Employment Department (OED) received more than 76,500 initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits, and during the first three days of the week of March 22, initial claims have been tracking at record levels again.

OED had received just 4,900 initial claims filed during the week of March 8.

In response to the pandemic, OED enacted temporary rules to give more flexibility in providing unemployment benefits to COVID-19 affected workers, including for employees whose employer stops operation for a short period of time, such as cleaning following a coronavirus exposure or by government requirement.

Workers can also get unemployment benefits and do not need to seek work with other employers if their place of employment will resume operations. To receive benefits, affected workers must still be able to work, stay in contact with their employer and be available to work when called back. Information for filing an online claim and a full resource guide with questions and answers about specific COVID-19 coronavirus-related situations and unemployment benefits is available at Oregon.gov/employ.

In another effort to help Oregonians maintain social distancing and avoid the coronavirus, people who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits can now purchase groceries online from Walmart and Amazon. People may be eligible for SNAP if their work hours are reduced or they lose your job. For more information, visit OHP.Oregon.Gov or https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/Offices/Pages/Self-Sufficiency.aspx.

Taxpayers will get an extended amount of time to file both state and federal tax returns, with the date moving from April 15 to July 15 (for more information, to check the status of a refund, to make payments or get forms, visit www.oregon.gov/dor/), while the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services issued a temporary emergency order requiring all insurance companies to extend grace periods for premium payments, postpone policy cancellations and non-renewals and extend deadlines for reporting claims.

In support of COVID-19 response, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and the State Emergency Coordination Center have established a webpage where Oregonians can submit requests to donate services or supplies, volunteer to support or to engage in a business relationship with the state at https://oregon-coronavirus-geo.hub.arcgis.com/. The biggest need right now is for Personal Protective Equipment, such as masks, gloves, and gowns.

The City of Sandy offers resources and information on the pandemic, including links to local and national organizations, area closures and ways to access essential services at https://www.ci.sandy.or.us/COVID-19Information.

Mountain residents can also find help through Neighborhood Missions, a community outreach program sponsored by Hoodland Lutheran Church that provides assistance for those in need. For more information on Neighborhood Missions, visit http://hoodlandlutheranchurch.org/neighborhoodmissions or call 503-622-9213.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Fire Chief John Ingrao put on admin leave posted on 04/01/2020

The Hoodland Fire District’s board of directors placed Fire Chief John Ingrao on administrative leave last month until an investigation can be completed. Board chair Shirley Dueber noted there was no further comment on the investigation or what prompted the decision, but stressed to the community that the district will continue to serve the community without restrictions.

“Everything will run as normal,” Dueber said. “There will be absolutely nothing for the community to worry about. The district is covered and will stay that way; we have good crews and they know their job.”

Dueber added that the board hired Steven Abel to serve as Hoodland’s interim fire chief, who will start April 1. Ingrao took over as the fire chief in January 2017 after serving as Deputy Chief since 2011.

Ingrao’s leave occurs when the district is in search of a new Deputy Chief, thanks to a bond passed by voters last year to fund the position. Ingrao had indicated he would retire at some point after the new Deputy Chief was onboard. The search, which opened last November only to restart in February after not enough applicants came forward, will now be delayed.

“I’m not sure of ramifications for deputy chief, but I think it will be on hold,” Dueber said, noting that the district had received applicants.

Dueber added that the board is also currently grappling with a new budget and is waiting for an audit report from the Special Districts Association of Oregon, which was performed over the course of about a month and examined all of the district’s responsibilities and activities.

“We’ve got all kinds of things on the table that need to be taken care of,” Dueber said, noting that the audit was done because they want to “make sure they were well covered in every department.”

Dueber added that the board also promoted Scott Kline to Battalion Chief last month.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Contributed photo.
Blind athletes carve slopes at Mt. Hood Meadows posted on 04/01/2020

An enthusiastic group of visually impaired athletes enjoyed the sensation of gliding down the slopes at Mt. Hood Meadows ski resort on Saturday, March 7 as part of the Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) final ski event for the winter season.

The NWABA hosted nine ski events during the winter season of 2019-20, pairing blind athletes with Mt. Hood Meadows instructors for adaptive lessons. For many of the participants these lessons where a first-time opportunity to experience skiing, while for others it was a chance to revisit a cherished activity they enjoyed before the loss of vision.

“I never had the chance (to ski) when I was fully sighted because I never lived by mountains before,” program participant Anita Thomas said. “For someone who started two years ago and being 70 years old, it’s terrific fun. It’s worth getting up at five or earlier in the morning.”

The NWABA provided all equipment, slope access and transportation from Vancouver or Portland for the two-hour events. The organization partnered with Mt. Hood Meadows to provide one-on-one guidance for the athletes from resort instructors who have received training as part of the resort’s adaptive skiing program.

The adaptive training allows instructors to make snow sports accessible to people of all abilities. The instructors assist individuals with visual, cognitive or physical impairments in closely guided lessons or snow sport sessions.

“It’s very similar to how we teach an average snow sport lesson, but the coolest part of it is how it emphasizes strong communication and really listening to the individual,” said Emily Hearle, training and adaptive supervisor for Mt. Hood Meadows.

The NWABA is a Vancouver-based nonprofit organization founded in 2007 with the mission of offering “life-changing opportunities through sports and physical activity to individuals who are blind and visually impaired.” This winter marked the fifth year the organization has hosted ski events.

“We had close to full rosters for all our ski events this year,” said Mary Holmes, programs specialist for the NWABA.

“It’s a great experience. We’ve seen a lot of growth with the athletes coming back and doing the program each year,” she added. “People have a good time on the slopes with the instructors from Mt. Hood Meadows; they’re very knowledgeable. We definitely want to continue the program next year.”

In addition to skiing the NWABA offered a winter snowshoeing program in Eugene this past season and hopes to expand it to Mount Hood next year.

With the ski season completed, the NWABA will soon offer spring programs for blind athletes including hiking, tandem bicycling, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and a running program.

For more information, visit www.nwaba.org or https://www.skihood.com/en/lessons-and-rentals/adaptive-lessons.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Park district vote pushed back a year due to virus posted on 04/01/2020

Members of the Hoodland Park District Committee decided to push back an effort to put a taxing district on the November ballot due to restrictions placed on the community from the coronavirus outbreak. To be on the ballot, committee members needed to submit a petition signed by 15 percent of the registered voters (750 signatures from 4,886 voters) within the proposed district to Clackamas County Elections by Thursday, May 7.

“Therein lies the rub,” noted the committee’s co-chair, Marci Slater, in an email to the Mountain Times. “In light of the Social Distancing regulations now in effect  this task is not physically possible.”

Slater added that the county cannot legally postpone the deadline.

The committee has targeted the May 2021 election for the proposed district, which would assess a tax of 54 cents per thousand dollars on homes within the boundaries. That rate would generate an annual assessment of approximately $165 on a home valued at $300,000.

Slater also noted that the committee requested the County Commissioners and Clackamas County Parks and Forests to extend a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding the parcel of land across from the Welches Schools (the former Dorman Center site) that will be used for the park until May 2021. The MOU, which gifts the deeds of three parcels of land, had set to expire at the end of March 2020.

If the district fails to be approved by voters, the land will be sold by the county for development.

Residents of the park district were also expected to vote on candidates for the Park District Board on the November ballot. The board will manage park development projects, the district budget, apply for grant funds and determine from community input the facilities available at the new park.

“We are committed to this project and will continue to work toward our goal of a Hoodland Park District dedicated to the recreational needs of all Hoodland area residents,” Slater wrote. “Thanks to everyone who has supported this project thus far. We are grateful and depending on you to help us going forward.”

For more information, visit www.2020parkvision.org and www.hoodlandwomensclub.org.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Dollar General looks to add location on the Mountain posted on 04/01/2020

A new Dollar General Store could appear in Welches sometime in the next four years, following approval of the design proposal by Clackamas County late last year.

“The development is free to move forward meeting these conditions,” said county Senior Planner Martha Fritzie. She added the design review process was past the appeal period which ended in December.

The addition of the Dollar General has received some criticism from local residents who feel the county is leaving community voices out of development decisions. Notice of the application was sent to property owners within 300 feet of the intended development’s property lines.

“We need to change the zoning laws so that when the community is going to be impacted there is public notice, preferably written up in the paper,” said Meredith Sanders, a Welches resident for 16 years. “We don’t get a say in what’s going on with development on our mountain.”

The approximately 7,500 square foot retail store will be constructed at 70140 E. Hwy. 26 on a parcel of land zoned for Rural Tourist Commercial (RTC) use.

Retail stores are permitted as a primary use on property zoned RTC in the Clackamas County Zoning and Development Ordinance (ZDO).

“If the code allows for certain uses then the use is simply permitted,” said county Senior Planner Glen Hamburg. “The area for the proposed development has been zoned RTC for a long time.”

The future sight of the Dollar General Store is bordered to the east and west by other RTC properties, one of which is a Subway restaurant. The property is bordered to the south by Hoodland Park and across Hwy. 26 to the north by properties zoned for residential use.

The application to develop the retail space for the Dollar General Store was submitted to the county’s planning and zoning department’s design review committee by Brad Krem of Embree Asset Group and Scott Franklin of PacLand. Representatives from the Embree Group did not respond for a request for comment in time for publication.

The Clackamas County website states the purpose of design review is to “ensure developments meet the needs of the community by complying with all applicable codes and zoning regulations.”

The design review committee determined that the design for the retail space complied with all applicable codes and zoning regulations and approved the plan for the store under the condition that the land use follows plans filed with the county on Oct. 7, 2019, participate in a “post land use transition” meeting, and submit a statement of use form to calculate applicable System Development Charges prior to applying for building permits.

More information about the design for the new Dollar General Store is available online at https://www.clackamas.us/planning/designreview.html. More information about county zoning is available at https://www.clackamas.us/planning/zdo.html.

By Ben Simpson/MT

10 Years Ago: Mt. Hood Green Scene is born posted on 04/01/2020

Successful schussers

The Mt. Hood Race Team, competing against 25 teams from Oregon, Washington and Idaho, nabbed a second place overall at the Buddy Werner Championship Ski races held at Skibowl. Mt. Hood racer Luke Winters, 12, of Gresham, swooped to first places in the giant slalom and slalom, capturing the boys overall individual champion trophy for the second year in a row, and Shannen Burton placed third overall in the girls' individual score. In team competition, the girls took home the second-place trophy and the boys placed third. Girls team members were Shannen Burton, Ashley Lodmell, Orianna Galasso, Kayla Lanker, Teagan Estelle, Graeson Fish and Katherine Dean, and the boys team members were Luke Winters, Cody Winters, Nate Gunesch, Luke Musgrave, Hunter Kern and Sam Flecker. A.J. Kitt, four-time Olympic skier, inspired 260 of the Pacific Northwest's top ski youth racers at the opening ceremonies.

A new Green Scene

The Mt. Hood Green Scene, spearheaded by Doug Saldivar, hosted its first recycling fair in April at the Welches Middle School, offering recycling opportunities for the community that included everything that lurks in the storage shed. "The goal is to build community awareness," said Saldivar, who estimated the turnout at the fair to be more than 400. At the day's end, almost 7,000 pounds of recycled goods were collected, including 160 pounds of discarded batteries, 400 pounds of cardboard, 60 pounds of scrap metal, 150 tires, 12 cubic yards of styrofoam and 140 fluorescent bulbs containing mercury. The event was sponsored by the Sustainable Hoodland Network, the Villages at Mt Hood and the Clackamas Office of Sustainability. Saldivar, a member of the board of Directors for the Villages at Mt. Hood, secured $3,500 of funding from Portland Recycling to pull off the event.

Runner up for Best Tasting Water

The Rhododendron Water Association received second place for Best Tasting Water in the state of Oregon at the Oregon Association of Water Utilities annual conference in Bend. The Rhododendron Water Association's David Jacob accepted the award, plus a "Special Service" plaque for exemplary service during the association's crisis the previous November when a giant Douglas fir smashed through the filtration unit during the rainstorms of late autumn.

Pacific ninebark and twinberry honeysuckle

The second in the series of native plants to the mountain featured in the Mountain Times were the Pacific ninebark and the twinberry honeysuckle. The ninebark flourishes on the mountain and is spotted by its clusters of white flowers, while the less frequently seen twinberry has to be enjoyed close up, showing off its blooms of small, yellow flowers. Both plants provide good erosion control along streams and can be successfully transplanted. Ninebark's seeds provide food for birds and mammals and the plant can grow to 15 feet. The twinberry is a fast-growing plant that can reach eight feet tall and has black, bitter berries. Some Northwest native peoples had taboos against eating them, and the Kwakwaka'wakw believed that if you ate the berries you would be unable to speak.

By Frances Berteau/MT

Volunteer rescuers shocked after Sheriff changes SAR posted on 03/01/2020

In a letter to Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers, Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts announced changes to the operational structure, including bringing volunteers under a single and unified county team and creating a non-profit for the county’s SAR efforts.

“In the wake of recent litigation, at the recommendation of my county counsel, and after a comprehensive study, I have decided to make these changes,” Roberts wrote in the letter, noting the study was conducted by retired Undersheriff Matt Ellington.

“This reorganization is in line with state law that governs Search and Rescue in Oregon,” said Oregon Office of Emergency Management State Search and Rescue Coordinator Scott Lucas in a press release after the letter had been made public. “It’s considered best practices, as it follows the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Advisory Council guidelines.”

The new structure is a departure from the way SAR operations have been handled in the county, which included a variety of citizen volunteer groups such as Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue (PNW), Portland Mountain Rescue (PMR) and Mountain Wave Search and Rescue (WAVE). Some members of those organizations expressed surprise and dismay at the decision, including Mark Morford, Rescue Leader and Board Member of PMR.

“Mount Hood is an expert environment,” Morford told the Mountain Times, noting that team identity is an important aspect in SAR operations and his organization has built a national reputation for excellence since it began 40 years ago. “Why would you possibly throw that away and try to build something like that at taxpayer expense, that’s crazy.”

Russ Gubele, President of WAVE, said he was “disappointed and frustrated” about the decision, noting that a recent lawsuit over a rescue on Mount Hood had to do with a dispatch delay and not the volunteer teams.

“You have the best of the best in Clackamas County,” Gubele said, adding that citing the lawsuit for the change is “crazy.” “It seems unbelievable that you would want to dismantle that and start over with something new.”

As part of the restructuring, Roberts assigned Deputy Scott Meyers to SAR on a full-time basis and also assigned Lt. Brian Jensen as the new supervisor to oversee SAR. A subcommittee of experienced SAR volunteers will be formed to help determine logistics and develop short-term and long-term strategic plans.

A press release added that further details on the new structure would be revealed in the coming months.

The Mountain Times requested more information on the transition time for the new SAR operations, any budget ramifications from the change and if there will be any impact on the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to perform other duties in the county following the personnel shifts, but did not receive any response.

The Sheriff noted that volunteers who are certified by the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association can volunteer with the CCSO’s new structure through an application process, with a deadline of Tuesday, March 31.

Morford noted that the 75 members of PMR were unanimous in wanting to remain with the organization.

“Right now, our members are committed to staying together as a unit and working with the Sheriff to reach objectives while maintaining identity as a team,” he said. “Whatever the state of this discussion is, PMR is going to continue to train, we are going to keep our morale up and we are going to respond every time the sheriff asks us to respond to Mount Hood.”

Morford also suggested that recent conversations with the CCSO could yield a compromise, which appeared to be reached as of Wednesday, Feb. 26, when a press release noted PMR and CCSO “arrived at a mutual agreement in principle on general terms for a closer relationship between” the two organizations.

“This partnership will strengthen our existing integration of personnel and resources, and will make planning and mission response more efficient,” the groups announced in the press release. More details are expected to be released as discussions continue.

Gubele added it is hard to tell how many of WAVE’s approximately 100 members would be interested in applying for the county’s new SAR team.

“Nobody’s really saying one way or another, I suspect not a lot of people will,” Gubele said, adding that the organization was founded in the wake of the Oregon Episcopal tragedy on Mount Hood in 1986 and performs a variety of roles in the county and with other nonprofits and counties. “Anybody that has not been favorable or supportive of what is going on is likely not going to be accepted anyway.”

“For time being, we are all here and can be called upon,” he added. “We’re ready to go.”

CCSO Sergeant Marcus Mendoza noted in an email to the Mountain Times that the county is prepared to fulfill the obligation of SAR operations, which is a state mandated function of the CCSO.

“I want to make this clear to the public that if a SAR were to occur today the Sheriff’s Office is prepared and will respond as we have countless times in the past,” he wrote.

Hoodland Fire Chief John Ingrao told the Mountain Times in an email that the change in CCSO’s SAR operations would have no impact on their response.

“We provide the same level of response as we always have and we work well with CCSO on all emergency responses the two agencies have in our District,” he wrote.

Current Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association (OSSA) SAR-card holders interested in becoming members of the new team can complete a volunteer application and background-check process at https://www.clackamas.us/sheriff/sarteaminvite.html. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, March 31.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Town hall highlights plan for Hoodland Park District posted on 03/01/2020

The Hoodland Women’s Club hosted a town hall meeting on Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Mt. Hood Oregon Resort to present plans for the creation of a Hoodland park district to fund a new park in Welches. The meeting was attended by approximately 50 people.

The women’s club intends to circulate a petition and gather 750 signatures, or fifteen percent of the 4,886 registered voters in the proposed park tax district, to qualify the initiative to appear on the ballot in November 2020.

Clackamas County Commissioners Jim Bernard, Ken Humberston and Martha Schrader attended the town hall in support of the creation of the park district.

“Your vision is to have children playing in a park. That’s one of the most beautiful visions you can have as a citizen,” Schrader said about the development of a community space at the site formerly occupied by the Dorman Center across from Welches Schools.

The creation of a Hoodland Park District will allow Clackamas County to gift the deeds of three parcels of land along Salmon River Road, including the Dorman Center site and the current community garden space, to the district for the formation of a park.

If the district is not passed on the November ballot the land will be sold by the county for development.

“Now is the time to preserve and protect lands and assets in your community,” Humberston said. He cited population growth in the county and an increase in related development as factors that will limit the availability of land for public spaces. “It’s not like you’ll get a second bite at the apple. It’s beneficial to you and future generations.”

Park District Committee Co-Chair Marci Slater stated the new district will be funded by a property tax of $0.54 per thousand dollars of assessed property on homes located in the park district. This rate represents an estimated annual assessment of $165 on a $300,000 home and will provide the district with an estimated budget of $500,000 beginning in 2021.

“Your local tax dollars will stay local, and not be managed by the county or state,” Slater said. “The district will provide the community with a vehicle to form its own recreational spaces.”

Slater stated the majority of the funding for the park will come from grants and low-interest loans the community will become eligible for with the formation of the new district.

Park district committee member Bonnie Hayman emphasized the value of the land promised by the county, citing the purchase of similar acreage by the City of Bend for the development of a community park for $1 million. She stated the in-kind land donation would qualify the district for grants it would not otherwise have access to.

“The tax base in the district is absolutely necessary to get (the park) started. It is the heart but not the muscle that will drive the project forward,” said park district committee member Cyndi Dyal about the role grants and other sources of financing will have in funding the park.

Community members in attendance raised concerns about parking, traffic, insurance costs and potential for drug and criminal activity associated with the new park. Some questioned the need for an additional park with existing assets such as Wildwood Recreation Site in the community. Others voiced concern over what type of development would occur if the plots were sold by the county.

Many in attendance voiced support for the proposed district stating the benefits the infrastructure will bring to the community.

“You may not be using the park, but you’re still benefiting as part of the community,” said Tamara Lundberg, a resident of Sandy who owns a second home in the proposed district.

Park district committee member and legal counsel Gary Linkous stated that from preliminary polling the committee had received enough positive community response to move forward with attempting to get the initiative on the ballot in 2020.

Linkous added that the county has been a great resource for the formation of the district. “The county has basically told us, ‘If you want us to help you, we’ll show you how to play in your community and we’ll give you the land,’” he said.

Residents of the park district will also vote on candidates for the Park District Board on the November ballot. The board will manage park development projects, the district budget, apply for grant funds and determine from community input the facilities available at the new park.

For more information about the park district, visit www.2020parkvision.org and www.hoodlandwomensclub.org.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Guide Dogs alumnus flourishes as police comfort dog posted on 03/01/2020

Tagg, a two-year-old black Labrador, faced his first difficult assignment within weeks of being sworn in as the Gresham Police Department’s premier comfort dog.

Tagg accompanied police officers to Dexter McCarty Middle School in Gresham after a child was struck and killed by an impaired driver while walking to school on Jan. 6. He was there to comfort classmates as school administration announced the tragic death of the student.

“It was amazing to see the calming effect Tagg had on the kids,” Public Information Officer Benjamin Costigan stated in an email.

Tagg is the first comfort dog in Multnomah County and one of a select few in the Pacific Northwest. He was sworn in by the Gresham Police Department on Dec. 17, 2019 as a member of the department’s employee wellness program. In his role with the department, Tagg helps support the health and well-being of officers and community members. He will be present for victim and witness interviews, go to non-active police calls and provide support after stressful situations.

“Dogs especially work well when interviewing children,” Costigan noted about one of Tagg’s many roles interacting with the community.

As part of the employee wellness program, Tagg provides emotional support for officers who face stressful situations on a regular basis. Costigan stated that studies have shown that having a dog around can lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health and have a calming effect on people dealing with stress.

The Gresham police decided to incorporate a comfort dog to their employee wellness program after Police Chief Robin Sells learned of the success of similar programs in police departments on the east coast.

"Officer and employee wellness has become a top priority for us,” Chief Sells said. “The donation of this comfort dog will benefit the entire department and we are so grateful for our donors."

“We were very fortunate to have Tagg donated by Guide Dogs for the Blind, his preventive vet care by Banfield Pet Hospital, emergency vet care by VCA Animal Hospital, food from Nutro and training from Dove Lewis,” Costigan stated. “The Gresham Police Officers Association donated to help with upfront costs. Many members of the public have donated to his care as well. Without their help this would not have been possible.”

Tagg was bred by Guide Dogs for the Blind specifically to be a guide dog. After being born in California, he went to live with puppy raisers in Reno, Nevada prior to coming to Oregon to finish his schooling at the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus in Boring.

In order to be considered for his career change Tagg had to meet specific requirements.

“We wanted a dog that is easy to handle and solid in the environment they are working in that still has that confidence and really enjoys meeting people,” said James Dress, Dog Placement Manager for Guide Dogs for the Blind. “We were looking for a dog that’s inviting to people. We really liked Tagg’s temperament for the position.”

In addition to his training as a guide dog for the blind, Tagg has received his American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen training certificate. He is currently in the process of therapy dog training with the goal of becoming a certified therapy dog.

“The main goal was to find a dog who would provide comfort and emotional support for the officers,” Dress said. “Due to his excellent handler and his temperament (Tagg) has very quickly been able to do more and make a difference in the community.”

Tagg will make appearances at events like Coffee with a Cop, City Fest and visits to schools and nursing homes.

Costigan added that Tagg has adapted very well to his new position. Tagg accompanies Costigan home every night and returns to work with him in the morning.

“He works regular hours just like a normal employee. Except he gets to sleep at work sometimes,” Costigan said while laughing. “Everyone has welcomed him with open arms. He is excited to come to work every day and greet everyone. Officers, records staff and administration alike.”

By Ben Simpson/MT

Sandy High teams finish season without home pool posted on 03/01/2020

Last May, the Sandy Pool closed its doors as the City of Sandy looked to refine its vision for the pool, part of a larger Sandy Community Campus project. That closure left the Sandy High School (SHS) swim and water polo teams without a home pool, but did not stop them from competing this winter.

The two teams, which wrapped up their seasons last month, practiced at an outdoor pool at Mount Hood Community College (MHCC) and held a number of “home” games at other schools, including Parkrose and Barlow. That lead to more travel for the teams and the athletes dealing with colder temperatures during practice times.

“I’m sure that the coaches and kids would say that in a lot of ways it was more difficult,” said Garet Luebbert, SHS Athletic Director. “They did okay; better than last year.”

Mountain resident Gretchen McAbery, who had two children, Emma and Griffin, on both teams this year, noted the practice pool was heated, but that many parents bought their kids parkas to stay warm between the locker room and the pool, adding that the parents were concerned about the situation.

“We don’t like that the kids are having to swim outside,” Gretchen said. “The fall wasn’t bad, being outside was actually a beautiful thing.”

Emma, a senior who joined the water polo team her sophomore year and the swim team her junior year, noted a number of differences from past seasons, including getting home later due to the travel and dealing with the rain during some practices, plus a practice that was cancelled due to the low temperature. Despite the challenges, she added that the situation might have provided advantages, such as the practice pool having two deep ends and athletes treading water the entire time, but also disadvantages, such as younger players not learning how to stay in control.

“I don’t think we were behind (other teams),” Emma said, adding that it was disappointing to have “Senior Nights” (a designated home match for sports teams that typically offers a great deal of support from friends, family and more) located in other communities.

Griffin, a junior who has done water polo all three years in high school and joined the swim team for his sophomore year, added the locker room situation was not ideal, as most team members brought their stuff outside with them for safekeeping. That led to occasions where their belongings got wet from the rain.

Despite the challenges, Griffin plans on participating next year even if the practice situation remains the same.

“You’d have to cut my legs off not to do water polo,” he said.

Luebbert noted that he expects to move forward with an agreement with MHCC for next season, while making sure they have “something to fall back on” and that they will watch Sandy’s decisions with their pool “very closely.”

“(Our parents’) voice and their concern for continuing strong aquatic sports needs to be heard at the city level,” he said, adding that SHS enjoys a strong water sports community that sticks together and has done a lot to keep the sports alive.

Emma, who will go to the Cascades Campus of Oregon State University this fall, noted she wants the programs to continue for her friends who are sophomores and freshmen.

“I want them to continue to play,” she said. “I want people to still have those opportunities.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

Govy fire station ready for responders and visitors posted on 03/01/2020

For years, a remodeled fire station in Government Camp has been on the wishlist of the Hoodland Fire District (HFD). Now, with work complete, the station is ready to serve as the base for three student residents, who will help reduce response time and provide greater coverage in the community.

“The ability for Hoodland Fire District to project staffing and emergency response to the Eastern most environs of the District has a dramatic impact on the Citizens and visitors we protect,” wrote HFD Chief John Ingrao in an email to the Mountain Times. “The staffing of the station may at times reduce current response times by 20 (minutes) and provide a faster level of service for medical emergencies, traffic accidents and fires. Currently all District responses come from the Welches Main Station and the response times are dependent on weather and road conditions as to arrival times.”

“In addition, staffing of the Government Camp station allows the District to ‘have a presence’ in the Community that has been lacking for many years,” Ingrao added. “The goal is to provide the same level of service throughout the entire District providing Public Safety as the District’s Prime Goal.”

The remodeled station, located at 87600 E. Government Camp Loop, will be opened to the public at an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 7, featuring self-guided tours, a chance to meet HFD staff and volunteers, information on volunteer opportunities and refreshments.

Matthew Garcia has volunteered in the district since 2019 and joined the student resident program in 2019. He will serve as the station’s Building Manager and noted that the program now includes three students who work 48-hour shifts alongside the district’s paid staff.

“We are essentially the fourth body on a shift,” Garcia said, adding that each shift includes one student resident at the Welches fire station.

The remodel at the station primarily consisted of interior portions of the living quarters, including the living room, kitchen and bathroom. The work included gutting the walls to the studs due to a water incident a few years ago that created mold behind the drywall, Garcia noted.

“It needed some love and care,” said Garcia, who is enrolled in the College of Emergency Services in Clackamas. “I think this remodel is really what’s going to make it comfortable for the students living there.”

The students will be at the Government Camp station when they are not on shift or at school, where they will be available for calls. Two vehicles will be housed at the station: a brush rig with advanced life support (the residents will be able to help prep patients before more help arrives on the scene) and an engine for structure fires and motor vehicle accidents.

Garcia added that the resident program helps solve one of the difficulties with Government Camp: the challenge of finding volunteers, largely due to the numbers of seasonal residents.

“Because there’s not volunteers in the area, there’s no response in the area,” he said. “The big picture is to get this ball rolling so we can start to add on to the students.”

Garcia added that he hopes community members will stop by during the Open House and will also feel comfortable dropping by at other times with questions or just to say hi.

“We just really want to be a resource for them when we are available,” he said.

For more information, visit www.hoodlandfire.us.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Imagination Library offers a head start for kids posted on 03/01/2020

Since the Oregon Trail School District (OTSD) joined Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program in 2013, 452 children have enjoyed a free book every month until they turn five, according to Pat Sanders, who coordinates it in the district. Globally, the program has given away more than 100 million books, with operations in the United Kingdom, Australia and beyond.

“We’ve done really well,” Sanders said of the local effort. “We could still do more. (There’s) a whole group of children that hasn’t been reached.”

The program is free and families can sign up children who are under the age of five through the OTSD website, oregontrailschools.com (under the “Families” tab, located in the upper right). Every month, a free book gets mailed to the child, ranging from picture books to the traditional last book for a child’s fifth birthday, “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come,” by Nancy Carlson.

Sanders, who served as the principal at Kelso Elementary School in Boring and has had three of his own grandchildren take part in the program, noted that children who are exposed to books before kindergarten arrive at school with skills and abilities that will help them get a jump on their education, including identifying sight words, phonics and even knowing how to properly hold a book and recognize where the title is.

“When they get to kindergarten, they definitely have an advantage over kids who don’t have books available,” Sanders said.

He added that numbers in the OTSD have gone up and down through the years, with 162 children currently involved. One of the more recent books, Ezra Jack Keats’ “The Snow Day,” proved to be an appropriate one for his grandson, who was getting ready to go up and enjoy some snow on the Mountain.

The Imagination Library is sponsored by the Oregon Trail Education Foundation (OTEF) and can also be supported by area residents by signing up for the Fred Meyer Community Rewards program and AmazonSmile.

All funds contributed through Community Rewards and Amazon Smile go directly to the Imagination Library program. OTEF is a private, independent, voluntary organization that supports students, teachers and families of the Oregon Trail School District.

By Garth Guibord/MT

BODY WORLDS returns to OMSI posted on 03/01/2020

Trigger your curiosity and discover the mysteries and magic underneath your skin with a trip to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). OMSI's latest exhibit offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of the human body.

On Saturday, March 7, OMSI will host the Pacific Northwest debut of Gunther von Hagens' “BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life.” This well-renowned and popular anatomical exhibit has attracted more than 50 million people globally and is the third time a BODY WORLDS exhibit has been featured at OMSI. All specimens presented in the exhibition are preserved through plastination, a scientific process invented by pioneering anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977.

"We are thrilled to once again bring BODY WORLDS to the Pacific Northwest," said Nancy Stueber, OMSI president in a press release to The Mountain Times. "This extraordinary exhibit will offer our visitors a unique experience and spark conversations about the many changes experienced during each phase of life and highlight the steps we can all take to remain fit, healthy, and active."

The 10,000 square-foot exhibit is designed by BODY WORLDS' creative and conceptual designer Dr. Angelina Whalley, director of the Institute for Plastination.

"Dr. von Hagens originally developed plastination as a way to teach people about the human body and show its full potential," Whalley said. "Today, BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life is the perfect way to use this science to showcase the beauty of the human body and reveal the secrets of vitality, longevity and well-being."

More than 100 specimens have been specially curated for this exhibition, and visitors will see individuals' organs and systems as well as full-body plastinates in various poses including football players and gymnasts.

The plastination process replaces the natural fluids in the specimen with liquid reactive plastics that are hardened and cured with gas, light or heat. Before hardening the plastic in the specimens, the plastinates are fixed into extraordinary, lifelike poses, showing how we internally respond to activities in our everyday life. The specimens in the exhibit come from an established donation program that relies on donor consent.

BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life runs March 7 through Sept. 13.

OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, 503-797-4000.

Tickets can be purchased online at omsi.edu, via phone at 503-797-4000 or in person at the museum.

Due to tremendous public interest, advance ticket purchase to BODY WORLDS is recommended.

By Frances Berteau/MT

Contributed photo.
Actress Katee Sackhoff serves up coffee on the Mountain posted on 01/31/2020

Coffee drinkers likely won’t mistake a cup of the local Mt. Hood Roasters brew with that of the national chain Starbucks. But hundreds of visitors dropped by the Rhododendron roasters on Saturday, Dec. 28 for some Starbuck – without the ‘s.’

Katee Sackhoff, Oregon native and star of television and film with credits including “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” “Riddick,” “Don’t Knock Twice” and especially for her performance as Lieutenant Kara “Starbuck” Thrace in “Battlestar Galactica,” dropped in to learn the skills of a barista.

Sackhoff, who spent many summers in her youth at her parent’s cabin in Rhododendron, loves coffee and noted that because her Battlestar Galactica character’s name is so close to the coffee chain’s name, her fans sometimes associate the two.

“They always will, which is a beautiful thing and I love it,” she told The Mountain Times.

Sackhoff’s adventure at Mt. Hood Roasters will be the subject of an episode on her YouTube Channel, with its second season starting at the end of March. When discussing potential topics with her producing partner, Robin Gadsby, coffee seemed like a natural choice, especially since Sackhoff didn’t know how to make a latte despite drinking a half dozen each week.

“We wanted to learn about the process: where coffee comes from, roasting the beans, making a good cup of coffee,” she said. “And we wanted to do it in a place that was cold. There’s nothing better than a warm cup of coffee on a cold day.”

Gadsby found out about Mt. Hood Roasters, and the choice seemed to cement itself when they walked through Portland International Airport and saw bags of Roasters coffee for sale.

Sackhoff, who remembered building pools as a child in the Zigzag River with her brother to play in and learned to ski when she was just two years old, arrived on Friday, Dec. 27 for training.

The biggest lesson she learned had to do with everything needed to pour a shot of espresso.

“It has everything to do with the packing of beans, the quality of beans and the pace of water that goes through it,” said Sackhoff, who didn’t start enjoying coffee until she became an actor and needed it to stay up. “It’s not about muscle, it’s about technique.”

The next day, people started showing up early to get some java from “Starbuck.” One order particularly stood out for the budding barista, which included seven shots of espresso and 15 pumps of syrup over ice.

“The only thought that went through my head was that this person must also drink Mountain Dew,” Sackhoff said. “Nobody can handle that much caffeine and sugar.”

The number of fans who came out left a big impression on Sackhoff, who can also be seen this month in a Valentine’s Day episode of “The Flash” on CW and later this year in “Another Life” on Netflix.

“It never ceases to amaze me that not only am I blessed to be able to do what I love for a career, but that people are so supportive and so welcoming to me in their lives,” she said. “Mt. Hood Roasters was truly a very special experience for me. The staff was top notch and every single person I met was fantastic.”

And the good buzz doesn’t stop there, as Mt. Hood Roasters owner Rick Applegate noted that Sackhoff roasted a batch of coffee that will be featured in special packages as “Katee’s Galactic Blend.” Sackhoff signed all 32 bags of the coffee, which will be donated to various nonprofits to be used as a fundraiser, including at schools in the Oregon Trail School District.

Applegate added that he, his staff and his wife, Jiyeon, truly enjoyed their two days with Sackhoff.

“It was totally cool,” he said. “It was like Jiyeon and I were working with our sister. It was insanely chill. She was just incredibly kind and down to earth.”

Sackhoff added that in addition to enjoying her experience back on the Mountain, she learned another valuable lesson.

“The coffee I was drinking (before) is not good coffee, even if I thought it was,” she said.

Episodes from her first season can also be found at YouTube.com.

Mark your calendars for custom label auctions

Upcoming fundraisers that will include the custom label coffee, “Katee’s Galactic Blend,” signed by Katee Sackhoff include:

– March 14 at the Welches Elementary School Carnival Silent Auction.

– April 3 at the Tucker Maxon School for the Deaf Annual Fundraiser.

– April 11 at the Oregon Trail Academy Annual Fundraiser.

– April 17 at the Kelso Elementary School Annual Fundraiser.

– May 1 at the Firwood Elementary School Carnival and Auction.

– May 14 at the Friends of the Childrien annual “Friendraiser.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

Hoodland Fire celebrates its finest at banquet posted on 01/31/2020

Members of all parts of the Hoodland Fire District (HFD), including career staff, volunteers, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the support group, gathered for the annual awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Mount Hood Oregon Resort, celebrating the district’s best of 2019.

Jaden Markham, a student firefighter from Gresham, took home the Firefighter of the Year award for exemplifying the mission and values of the district.

“Every minute that he can he just puts forth 100 percent of his effort into the fire district,” said Lieutenant/Paramedic Scott Kline, who emceed the event with Battalion Chief Pat McAbery.

Markham noted his passion for firefighting runs in his family, with his father serving as a firefighter in Gresham. Markham first became a cadet with the Gresham Fire Department and has ascended to the role of captain with that program.

He started volunteering with the HFD in 2017 and was accepted into the district’s student program in 2018. Markham is pursuing a career as a firefighter and is currently in school studying to get his paramedic certification.

Markham noted the award will keep him pushing to continue to be a strong contributor.

“It just shows that all the effort and time and hard work, even on the days I feel that I’m not doing a good job or I’m just kind of tired, it makes me want to push more,” he said. “It just gives me that incentive to do my best and learn more every day.”

Markham added that one recent call was an “eye opener” for him, as he got to work on the pump at the scene of a fire for the first time.

“I got to see a different side of the job, instead of just being a firefighter actually being an engineer,” he said, explaining that the engine carried 1,000 gallons of water and he needed to use math to help determine the hydraulic pressures and control the water flow.

“I just realized that there’s more to learn in the fire service than what I know now, and I will always be learning throughout my career,” he added.

Gary Brandt, a support volunteer who performs various duties including running medical calls, vehicle maintenance and administrative work, landed three awards: Support Volunteer of the Year, the Above and Beyond Award and the Emergency Responder of the Year.

“He does a lot of different things,” Kline said. “He always seems to say ‘yes’ and with no hesitation.”

“He just seems to always be available to go out on EMS calls no matter what time of night,” he added.

Dontae Blake earned a Civilian Commendation for providing assistance at the scene of a serious motor vehicle accident where he worked to free the victim of a burning vehicle and cared for the occupant.

Elizabeth Niemeyer earned an award from her work with the Support Group, Nora Gambee won an award from her work with CERT and all members of CERT were honored with the Chief’s Award.

Years in Service honorees were Tyler Myers, Kelli Ewing, Ben Hardy, Brian Henrichs and Andi Figini for five years of service, and McAbery and Kline for 35 years of service.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Photo by Peggy Wallace
Killer Burger set to slay skiers’ hunger posted on 01/31/2020

Ravenous after burning somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 calories an hour skiing or snowboarding on Mount Hood? Portland burger chain Killer Burger has dispatched its latest addition, a 29-foot-long, 16,000-pound food truck to Rhododendron for the winter in hopes of satisfying winter sports enthusiasts’ appetites on their way to and from the slopes.

“We’re excited to be part of the mountain, part of the ski season,” said John Hickmon, operations manager for the food truck. “We’re very happy with the turnout of skiers and snowboarders.”

The mobile food truck opened for winter operations in Rhododendron on Nov. 6 in the Mt. Hood Village Market parking lot. The truck offers Killer Burger’s full menu of 100 percent natural beef burgers, made-to-order, with every burger order including bacon and fries. The truck is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.

“We’re basically a brick-and-mortar running out of a truck,” Hickmon said about the food truck. The truck can hold up to 500 burgers at a time. No burgers are “hot-held”, with each order requiring a five to fifteen-minute cook time to assure the freshest product.

The menu features ten signature burgers, all made with locally raised Northwest beef from Fulton Provisions. Specialty burgers include the “Bender,” served with bacon, spicy BBQ, crispy jalapeño and cheddar, and the “Peanut Butter Pickle Bacon,” burger topped with bacon, peanut butter sauce and pickles.

The truck offers kid-friendly options including a kids’ burger and a grilled cheese sandwich, both served with fries and the choice of a soda or juice box.

Customers can also customize their order to their preference with a vegan patty, gluten-free bun or by “bombing it” with a house spicy secret sauce.

Hickmon stated the biggest challenge the business faces in Rhododendron is the weather during the winter months.

“I’m proud of the crew dealing with the elements day-to-day,” Hickmon said. “It’s great to have such a killer crew.”

The truck is scheduled to remain in the Mount Hood area through April when it will resume mobile operations catering events throughout the region.

“Everyone seems really stoked that we’re here. We’ve definitely got some support from the locals,” Hickmon said, adding that there is potential for establishing a brick-and-mortar location in the Mount Hood area in the future.

The truck began operations as the 13th Killer Burger operation in January 2019. The Killer Burger franchise was founded in 2010 in Portland.

More information about the Killer Burger truck and franchise are available online at www.killerburger.com.

The truck is available to rent during the remainder of the year for birthdays, weddings, business buyouts and other events.

For information about event rentals contact event coordinator Lauren Hickmon at lhickmon.wescor@killerburger.com or by phone at 503-502-4928.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Master Recycler program returns to Clackamas County posted on 01/31/2020

Lauren Norris, Program Manager for the Master Recycler Program administered by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, noted that more than 1,800 people have learned about recycling processes, composting, alternatives to hazardous household products, thoughtful consumption and green building.

“People come for different reasons, but also to bring resources and ideas and knowledge to projects they want to get done in their own communities,” Norris said.

This spring, the regional program will return to Clackamas County, with limited spots available for participants to enjoy a hands-on opportunity to learn about recycling and waste reduction. The spring session will start Wednesday, April 1, and run for eight consecutive Wednesdays, at Clackamas County’s Development Services Building, 150 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City. There will also be two half-day field trips on Saturdays.

Norris noted in addition to recycling, the program also focuses on repairing and resource sharing, including how “repair fairs” and “libraries of things” are helping minimize the impact on what people buy.

“Most libraries in Clackamas County have a ‘library of things,’” she said.

Norris also noted the program, which started in 1991 with a nonprofit in Seattle and then spread to Oregon State University, is evolving, including a complete overhaul of the course handbook four years ago to include a look at materials management and the full life cycle of materials. That can help with decisions about where changes can be made to make bigger impacts.

“It really is an exciting, new document they receive on the first day,” Norris said.

The course is a blend of presentations by professionals in the field, peer group discussion and project development. Participants agree to attend all classes and field trips and, after completing the course, put their skills to work to help others conserve natural resources by volunteering 30 hours of public outreach.

Master Recyclers work at information booths at community events, provide presentations in the community, work on original projects and inspire their neighbors and co-workers.

A $50 fee covers course materials and limited scholarships are available.

Registration closes at noon, Wednesday, March 4. For more details and to apply, visit www.masterrecycler.org.

The regional Master Recycler Program is sponsored by Metro, the City of Portland, Clackamas County, Washington County, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Recycling Advocates.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Sandy resident offers free workouts for every age and every body posted on 01/31/2020

When Sandy resident Amanda Klaumann set out to start a healthy exercise routine more than a decade ago, she was too intimidated to join a gym. Klaumann said she struggled to find a group fitness option she was comfortable with in the community and found the fees for local gym memberships out of her budget.

After what she describes as a “long journey with weight loss,” Klaumann lost 120 pounds through diet and a home exercise routine. Through her personal experience she saw the need for accessible group fitness classes in Sandy for community members that cannot afford gym memberships but could benefit from the community and structure of a group fitness routine.

In response, Klaumann began instructing two free fitness classes each week at the Living Way Fellowship Church, 39300 Dubarko Road in Sandy in December. Classes are open to all ages and fitness levels and are held at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.

“I want to give other people the opportunity to have what I didn’t have,” Klaumann said. “I want to create a place where everyone who wants to exercise can. It’s fitness for everybody and every body.”

No membership or sign up is required for the classes. Klaumann noted that the Living Way Fellowship's pastor Paul Stone allows her to use the church’s building free of charge, which enables her to offer the classes for free to the community.

Klaumann said the initial community response has been positive with several regular participants. The classes are open to every age group, and attendance has ranged from ages 16 to 72.

“We can all teach each other,” Klaumann said about the community focus of her classes.

Monday night classes are “Cardio night,” and include the ReFit dance-fitness program, which utilizes a combination of music, movement and toning elements.

ReFit is a fitness brand based in Waco, Texas that uses a “value based” approach to its’ dance-fitness program. Its website states the program is a “fitness ministry, fitness outreach or simply fitness with purpose.” Klaumann described her classes as non-denominational and focused on fostering a sense of community as well as the concept that wellness

includes more than just physical fitness.

On Thursday nights Klaumann leads “Rev + Flow” classes which focus on developing balance, flexibility and endurance. These classes involve high-intensity, low-impact and low-weight exercises designed to be accessible and beneficial for all ages and fitness levels.

Klaumann stated she intends for her classes to be welcoming to all community members looking for a way to begin a fitness routine.

“There’s no products, no membership and no angle,” she said, adding that donations will be accepted and will go right back to supporting community programs.

“If they have a beating heart, (community members) can come get over that hurdle and start exercising,” Klaumann said, encouraging those looking for a way to begin a healthy fitness routine.

For more information about the free fitness classes contact Amanda Klaumann by email at amanda@refitrev.com. More information, including special events are detailed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RevolutionFive0Three/.

By Ben Simpson/MT

Travis Nodurft
Bitten by the ‘Wing It’ bug posted on 01/31/2020

Travis Nodurft will sometimes see videos about kids arguing what character they are from “Wing It,” Clackamas Repertory Theater’s recurring interactive children’s show he developed six years ago. Kids even show up to the latest installments of the show dressed up as their favorite character, sometimes landing them up on stage (as one girl who dressed up as Buzz, Nodurft’s character, can attest to).

“These are real characters in our lives,” Nodurft said, noting how some kids have grown up going to the shows (now numbering 30).

Buzz, Luna, Rita, Jazz and the gang will be back on stage this month, capping a three-part series about a spider, Ocho, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. Each show (six per year) is a fresh creation, sometimes based on known stories and sometimes based on whatever set is currently on the stage at Clackamas Community College (CCC).

“We wing it,” said Nodurft, a middle school teacher in Oregon City who was trained as a clown at Ringing Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College and toured with the Red Unit of the Circus. “We’re going to take whatever we have and use it.”

The first script he came up with, a story based on the classic story of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” still hasn’t seen the stage. That first show, on Oct. 4, 2014, used a different story based on “Little Red Riding Hood” in order to introduce the characters, a crew of winged creatures that present a problem before getting everyone’s help to solve it (while also enjoying some dancing, singing and fun).

Nodurft, a graduate of CCC, added he may use that first script if “Wing It” ever ends its run, but don’t count on that to happen any time soon.

“Honestly, it is probably one of the greatest things I do,” he said. “This is truly one of the things I love more than anything. We’re not going anywhere soon.”

Nodurft noted that each character is developed for kids to get a solid understanding of them and connect with them, not just be part of a storyline. The performers include professional actors found on other stages throughout Portland, some of which have participated in every one of the performances.

“We’re just a family up there,” Nodurft said. “I feel so fortunate that we can still do this together.”

Nodurft cited two challenges in creating the performances, including that the schedules of the performers can be tough to juggle around. And each year, the Christmas show can be a challenge, as it tends to pull in a slightly different crowd who might expect a different theatrical experience.

He also keeps things fun and interesting for adults, with 1980s and 1990s references, including “Kite Man,” noting that a colleague of his came to a recent show and laughed so hard it led to crying.

“That’s what I want,” Nodurft said, adding that he loves for kids to enjoy the magic of the stage. “And I just want everybody to know that live theater is one of the most amazing opportunities to talk about real problems.”

CRT’s “Wing It” series of interactive children’s shows will offer a performance at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Niemeyer Center on the Oregon City campus of Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Avenue in Oregon City. The show includes singing, dancing and a talent show for kids, offering a chance to go up on stage. Admission is $5 at the door with no reserved seating. Future performances include April 4 and June 13. For more information, visit clackamasrep.org or call 503-594-6047.

First February weekend offers two shows

Sandy Actors Theatre presents “Making God Laugh,” by Sean Grennan, about a family’s adventures over the course of 30 years of holidays, through Sunday, Feb. 2, at 17433 Meinig Ave. (behind Ace Hardware). Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 general admission, $15 for students and seniors and $13 for children under 12 (reservations are recommended). Active duty military in uniform are free. For more information, or to make reservations call 503-668-6834 or visit sandyactorstheatre.org.

The Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company (NNB) will offer “In Front of the Philco: A Night of Radio Plays,” featuring several famous radio plays, including “The Shadow,” “The Bickersons” and a few old radio spots and jingles. The evening will feature live sound effects, raffles, games and more.

“In Front of the Philco: A Night of Radio Plays” will run through Sunday, Feb. 2 at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in Boring. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children and seniors, and $11 for teachers and law enforcement. For more information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit nnbtheater.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

Rhody celebrates 100 years posted on 01/31/2020

(MT) – It was a packed house at the Still Creek Inn on Saturday, Jan. 25 as the community celebrated the centen