- Sherman County Wellness Center Opens
- “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” Theater Presentation, Feb. 20
- Businesses Invited to Meet Colleges, Universities about Internships, Feb. 24
- CASA Volunteer Training Begins Feb. 16
- Great Electrifying Family Event at Bonneville Lock & Dam
- History Forum: WWII-era Mattress Making, Feb. 13
- Sherman County Wireless Internet slowness addressed by County Court
- More than 147,000 sign up for Health Insurance in Oregon
- Links | This and That
- Links | Public Land Management
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” —Cesare Beccaria
1. Sherman County Wellness Center Opens
“The Wellness Center is back open! Thank you for your patience and understanding while the flooding issue was dealt with.”
~ Caitlin Blagg District Administrator Sherman County Health District Sherman County Medical Clinic
2. “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” Presentation, Feb. 20
Sherman County Public/School Library Saturday, February 20 at 11:00 a.m. presented by Traveling Lantern Theatre Company.
Leap into the exquisite land of Narnia! In a mysterious old house, children find a musty, magical wardrobe containing a secret entrance that leads them into a fantastic world. More than just a story, C.S. Lewis’ Narnia is a land where a malicious witch and a beautiful and dear lion touch the hearts and influence the choices of all who enter.
For further information about this program please contact Sherman County Public/School Library at (541) 565-3279. Library website: www.scpslibrary.wix.com/scpsl.
3. Businesses Invited to Meet Colleges, Universities about Internship Resources
On February 24, the Gorge Tech Alliance (GTA) and Columbia Gorge Internship Network welcome businesses to meet with colleges and universities to hear about the resources available to set up and support internships with their top students. Reps from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Oregon State, Oregon Tech, Portland State and Washington State as well as Columbia Gorge Community College will be on hand. Businesses that are curious about having an intern (seasonal or long-term) or better connecting with universities for recruiting engineering talent are especially invited to attend. The event will be Feb. 24, 6:30pm at Springhouse Cellar Winery in Hood River. Appetizers will be provided; there is a $10 entry for non-GTA members. “We know there a lot of impressive students seeking internships at Gorge businesses” says Jessica Metta, GTA Executive Director, “and businesses looking for that next amazing employee. This event is a good way to help start those connections.” Ann Harris with Oregon State University (OSU) Open Campus adds, “As part of the Columbia Gorge Internship Network, OSU Open Campus links the campus and the region, so it was a natural fit to partner on this event.” University representatives will share ways that businesses can find employees through their alumni or current students and how universities can help set up internships or work experience programs that benefit businesses. Learn more about the presenters at crgta.org.
4. Winter CASA Volunteer Training Begins February 16th in Hood River
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASA volunteers are appointed by local judges to be their eyes and ears regarding the well-being of a child in foster care. CASA volunteers ensure that the child is getting needed services and that they find a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible. Volunteers spend 8-10 hours per month and are required to complete a background check and training. If you are curious about becoming a CASA volunteer, contact Columbia Gorge CASA by calling (541) 386-3468 or going to www.gorgecasa.org
5. Great Electrifying Family Event | National Engineering Week, Bonneville Lock & Dam Washington Shore Visitor Center, Feb 27
PORTLAND, Ore. – Are you looking for a way to spend time with the family? Have fun? Learn something? Save money? Do all of those things at Bonneville Lock and Dam’s annual Great Electrifying Event. “We have this engineering marvel right in our back yard,” said Bonneville Dam Park Ranger Robin Norris. “This is an opportunity to get up close to a generator and see how we make electricity using the power of the Columbia River.” Bonneville Dam hosts a full day of hands-on activities, videos and tours Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Washington Shore Visitor Center. “This event is part of National Engineering Week,” said Norris. “It’s designed to teach the basics of electricity and how we generate it at Bonneville Lock and Dam. It is geared toward elementary and middle school students but really has something for the entire family.” Visitors will learn how different forms of energy work through hands-on activities and videos, and can take a tour inside Bonneville’s Powerhouse 2. Guided tours will be offered every 15 minutes starting at 10:30 a.m. Tours will be limited to 25 participants and visitors must register by 2 p.m. To get to the Washington Shore Visitor Center, travel on Washington State Route 14 to milepost 39, then turn onto Dam Access Road about one mile west of the dam or three miles west of the Bridge of the Gods. Follow the signs to the visitor center. For more information about Bonneville Lock and Dam, call 541-374-8820 or visit the Portland District website at: http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Locations/ColumbiaRiver/Bonneville.aspx
6. History Forum: Mattress Making, Feb. 13
Mattress-making occupied Wasco County residents during World War II in 1942. Local historian Sandy Bisset shares photos and stories at the Original Courthouse, 410 W. 2nd Place in The Dalles, Saturday, Feb. 13. There was a factory in Dufur and OSU Extension-sponsored projects at area Grange Halls designed to turn a bumper crop of cotton into inexpensive bedding. The program begins at 1:30 p.m. It is second in the 2016 Regional History Forum series that takes place Saturdays during February. There is a TV monitor on the ground floor of the 1859 courthouse to serve those unable to climb the stairs. Coffee and cookies will be served after the program.
7. Sherman County Wireless Internet slowness addressed by County Court
~ Mike Smith, Sherman County Commissioner
The internet speed of the Sherman County Wireless Internet system has been slowing recently. Currently the system shares capacity with Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler counties as well as all the schools, government offices and Emergency Services. Our system worked well for several years. However, internet usage has expanded beyond the limitations of what is currently available. While the Sherman County Court has a fiber optic project under construction now, it won’t help correct the slowness issues until completion later this year.
A solution has been found that should help within the next few weeks. By connecting the Wasco Annex to fiber, which already exists in Wasco, the system can be reconfigured to significantly increase internet speed right away. The network will be able to carry more internet traffic than ever before. Another benefit benefit will be an increase in available speeds for schools and other users.
The Court is enthusiastic about the opportunity to improve Internet speeds right away. As the work is being completed, updates on progress will be made available.
8. More than 147,000 sign up for Health Insurance in Oregon
Salem — More than 147,000 Oregonians signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov during the open enrollment period that ended Jan. 31. Enrollment for 2016 is about 31 percent higher than last year, when about 112,000 people signed up. Oregon had the largest rate of increase in enrollment of any state that uses HealthCare.gov. Seven out of 10 of those who enrolled this year are receiving tax credits averaging $256 per month to help pay for premiums. “We are encouraged that so many Oregonians were able to sign up and take advantage of financial help. Signing up is an important first step toward getting the care you need,” said Patrick Allen, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). “As a next step, consumers should familiarize themselves with their plans. If you have questions about what doctors, services, and drugs are covered, you can always call your insurer.” It’s also important to report any life changes to HealthCare.gov as soon as possible. Changes in income, number of family members covered, or getting other coverage can affect the coverage or financial help you’re eligible for. Those who missed open enrollment may still be able to get covered. If they experience a qualifying life event, such as getting married, having a baby, or losing health coverage, they can apply for a special enrollment period through HealthCare.gov. Many low-income Oregonians are also eligible for free or low-cost coverage through the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon’s Medicaid program. You can apply for the Oregon Health Plan at any time. If you’re not sure if you qualify for a special enrollment period or the Oregon Health Plan, you can find out by answering a few questions online at https://www.healthcare.gov/screener/.
Those without coverage could have to pay a penalty when they file their federal income tax return. The penalty for going without coverage in 2016 is the higher of 2.5 percent of yearly household income or $695 for every adult in your family plus $347.50 for every child under 18. In early 2016, most Oregonians will receive one or more tax forms — IRS Form 1095 — about the health care coverage they had in 2015. These tax forms verify that consumers had the coverage required by the Affordable Care Act. “If you received tax credits to help you pay for your insurance during 2015, you will need to file a federal income tax return,” Allen said. “You need to reconcile the amount of tax credits you qualified for with what you received. Otherwise you could have to pay back those tax credits back to the federal government.” Some Oregonians may qualify for a health coverage exemption to avoid paying the fee for not having coverage. Exemptions are based on a number of things, such as certain hardships, life events, health coverage or financial status, and membership in some groups. For more information, visit irs.gov and dcbs.oregon.gov.
9. Links: This and That
100th Anniversary of the Historic Columbia River Highway
Black History is American History
Art Classes at The Dalles Art Center
Opinion. Poverty Promoters Taking Over the Rural West
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Lead Survey
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
Oregon’s ‘motor voter’ law boosts voting rolls by 4,300
Rare Footage of Famous Fighter Pilot
Last Flight from Da Nang
Photographs | Vietnam 1965-1975
Genealogy: Cyndi’s List + Categories
Cultural Development Grants
Is socialism in America’s Future?
Buying from the U.S. Government
State & Federal Surplus Property
9. Links | Public Land Management
Oregon standoff timeline: How the occupation unfolded
30 minutes of chaos: Witness details events of Finicum shooting http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2016/02/30_minutes_of_chaos_witness_de.html
Law Enforcement | Road Blocks, Barriers, etc.
Opinion: It’s Time for Western Politicans to Speak Up
The Future of Ski Resorts on Public Lands
Environmental Laws Primarily Benefit Lawyers
Ranchers & Malheur Refuge
Federal judge orders release of sole Oregon defendant in refuge takeover
Lane County, Oregon & BLM
2002-2011 Nevada rancher/former Shoshone chief’s range war with BLM predates Bundy standoff