News Stories for Wed., Jun. 14, 2017

The Columbia River Gorge Commission decided Tuesday to deny Union Pacific Railroad’s appeal of the Wasco County Commission’s November 2016 decision rejecting a proposed 4-mile rail expansion project near and within the town of Mosier. The Gorge Commission also rejected Union Pacific’s arguments that it is exempt from the federal law that protects the Columbia River Gorge as a National Scenic Area. The commissioners issued their decision Tuesday afternoon after several hours of oral arguments from the parties. Attorneys for Friends of the Columbia Gorge (Friends), Columbia Riverkeeper, and Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility argued at the hearing as parties to the appeal and urged the commissioners to deny the petition due to a combination of tribal treaty concerns, natural, scenic and recreation impacts on the Gorge, and objections from the City of Mosier. Union Pacific Railroad, Wasco County, and the Yakama Nation are also parties to the appeals. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Confederated of the Umatilla, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, and Oregon Wild also participated in the case.

The Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation has awarded four tribes and Native-led organizations a total of $150,000 through their “Drop Sugary Drinks!” grant opportunity. The focus of the grant is to reduce young Native children’s consumption of sugary-sweetened beverages (SSB) and promote healthier beverage options. One of the four recipients is the Native American Youth and Family Center in Portland. The Center will assess the prevalence of sugary drink consumption and work with families with children ages 0-8 to understand barriers related to healthier choices like water and breast milk.

The Jefferson County Library’s Summer Reading Program will run June 20th through July 25th for youth in Madras, Warm Springs, Crooked River Ranch and Culver areas. Kids can fill out book slips and turn them into the library.  At a grand finale at the end of the program they will draw prize winners from the book slips. The more slips you enter, the better your chances are for winning. For kids who are too young to read, they will accept slips from parents who have read a book to their child. Book slips can be picked up at the Jefferson County Library or downloaded at Warm Springs’ Summer Reading Program events will be done at the ECE, you can talk to folks at the Warm Springs Library for more information. And, listen for special summer events coming up.