KWSO News 6/17/19

A public information meeting on the water main break repairs in Warm Springs will take place today at 5:30 at the old elementary school gymnasium. Gelco Construction is scheduled to begin work today to repair the 14 inch water main break in the Shitike Creek.  It is expected that water will be shut off on Tuesday starting at 5:00 am for a minimum of 36 hours. Public Utilities staff did some work to minimize water outages to the community and it is anticipated that these outages will be contained to the Campus area only, not everything south of Highway 26 as previously projected.

More than 150 people gathered Friday for the first day-long “Hanford Journey,” a collaboration between the Yakama Nation and the Columbia Riverkeeper to both honor the life and legacy of tribal environmental leader Russell Jim and to acknowledge that the fight continues. Jim, how passed away last year, is best known for the stance he took against the unsafe disposal of nuclear waste at the Hanford nuclear reservation near Richland.  The Hanford Journey started off with 45-minute tours in boats to the B reactor — one of nine plutonium reactors built at Hanford — and across the Columbia River. In June, the U.S. Department of Energy moved to reclassify some of the site’s remaining high-level waste as low level in an attempt to save $40 billion in cleanup costs and quicken the cleanup process. The reclassification would allow the government to leave the waste in the ground.

Last week, the U.S. Department of the Interior held a roundtable discussion to address public safety issues confronting Indian Country. The meeting focused on developing a comprehensive approach to concentrate on cold cases, violent crimes, and missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives. American Indian and Alaska Native people face alarming levels of violence. Warm Springs Tribal Council Chairman Raymond Tsumpti, Sr. was part of the listening session.