The Observer. (La Grande, Or.) 1968-current, March 19, 2022, WEEKEND EDITION, Page 2, Image 2

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In 1859, the opera “Faust” by
Charles Gounod premiered in
In 1931, Nevada Gov. Fred B.
Balzar signed a measure legalizing
casino gambling.
In 1942, during World War II,
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
ordered men between the ages of
45 and 64, inclusive, to register for
non-military duty.
In 1977, the series finale of “Mary
Tyler Moore” aired on CBS-TV,
ending the situation comedy’s sev-
en-season run.
In 1987, televangelist Jim Bakker
resigned as chairman of his PTL
ministry organization amid a sex
and money scandal involving
Jessica Hahn, a former church
In 1991, Polish President Lech
Walesa arrived in Washington for
his first state visit to the United
In 1995, after a 21-month hiatus,
Michael Jordan returned to profes-
sional basketball with his former
team, the Chicago Bulls.
In 1997, artist Willem de
Kooning, considered one of the
20th century’s greatest painters,
died in East Hampton, New York,
at age 92.
In 2003, President George W.
Bush ordered the start of war
against Iraq. (Because of the time
difference, it was early March 20
in Iraq.)
In 2007, a methane gas explo-
sion in a Siberian coal mine killed
110 workers.
In 2013, Pope Francis officially
began his ministry as the 266th
pope, receiving the ring symbol-
izing the papacy and a wool stole
exemplifying his role as shep-
herd of his 1.2-billion strong flock
during a Mass at the Vatican.
In 2020, President Donald
Trump focused attention on a
malaria drug, chloroquine, as a
possible coronavirus treatment;
the FDA issued a statement saying
that there were “no FDA-approved
therapeutics” to treat COVID-19.
Ten years ago: An assailant
on a motorbike opened fire with
two handguns in front of a Jewish
school in the southern French city
of Toulouse, killing a rabbi, his
two young sons and a girl. (The
gunman, French-born Mohammed
Merah, was killed in a gunfight
with police after a 32-hour standoff
at his apartment; he had also killed
three French paratroopers.) The
Justice Department announced it
had begun an investigation into
the fatal shooting of 17-year-old
Trayvon Martin in Florida by a
neighborhood watch captain,
George Zimmerman. (No federal
civil rights charges were filed; Zim-
merman was acquitted of sec-
ond-degree murder after claiming
Five years ago: Author-colum-
nist Jimmy Breslin, the legendary
street-smart chronicler of wise
guys and underdogs, died at his
Manhattan home at age 87.
One year ago: President Joe
Biden and Vice President Kamala
Harris visited Atlanta, days after a
white gunman killed eight people,
most of them Asian American
women, in the Atlanta area. The
United States accused China of
committing “genocide and crimes
against humanity” against Uyghur
Muslims and other minorities;
China accused the U.S. of discrim-
ination “and even savage murder
of people of African and Asian
descent.” Four men described as
leaders of the far-right Proud Boys
were indicted on charges stem-
ming from the Jan. 6 riot at the
Capitol. (The four remain jailed
and are awaiting trial.) The U.S.
cleared President Joe Biden’s goal
of injecting 100 million coronavirus
shots, more than a month before
his target date of his 100th day in
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Renee
Taylor is 89. Actor Ursula Andress
is 86. Singer Clarence “Frogman”
Henry is 85. Singer Ruth Pointer
(The Pointer Sisters) is 76. Actor
Glenn Close is 75. Actor Bruce Willis
is 67. Actor-comedian Mary Scheer
is 59. Playwright Neil LaBute is
59. Actor Connor Trinneer is 53.
Rock musician Gert Bettens (K’s
Choice) is 52. Rapper Bun B is 49.
Rock musician Zach Lind (Jimmy
Eat World) is 46. Actor Virginia Wil-
liams is 44. Actor Abby Brammell is
43. MLB pitcher Clayton Kershaw is
34. Actor Craig Lamar Traylor is 33.
Actor Philip Bolden is 27.
Wednesday, March 16,
Jackpot: $3 million
Lucky Lines
Estimated jackpot: $33,000
Powerball: 17
Power Play: 2
Jackpot: $147 million
Win for Life
Pick 4
1 p.m.: 2-0-5-1
4 p.m.: 2-7-7-3
7 p.m.: 2-5-1-4
10 p.m.: 3-2-0-1
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Lucky Lines
Jackpot: $34,000
Pick 4
1 p.m.: 1-0-8-9
4 p.m.: 1-9-5-3
7 p.m.: 2-0-8-4
10 p.m.: 1-5-0-5
SaTuRday, MaRcH 19, 2022
Tacos and teaching moments
La Grande students get
real-world look at dining
business from corporate chef
The Observer
LA GRANDE — High school
and middle school students in the La
Grande School District treated their
classmates to a taste of the South
Pacific the past week.
La Grande High School and La
Grande Middle School students were
served Hawaiian tacos during lunches
prepared by their classmates under the
direction of Chris Murray, the corpo-
rate chef of Taher, Inc., the food service
firm the La Grande School District con-
tracts with to help provide its meals.
Murray, who is from Minnesota,
made his third visit to the La Grande
School District as guest chef. Each
time he introduces students to dishes
they likely were unfamiliar with.
Murray, during his last visit in Feb-
ruary 2020, helped students prepare
Vietnamese entrees.
“We want to expose kids to new
food from throughout the world,”
Murray said. “You can explore cul-
tures through food.”
The Hawaiian tacos served over the
past week featured pork belly, some-
thing Murray said he chose to “warm
people up in the middle of winter.”
Murray spent hours teaching stu-
dents about the art of cooking during
his visit. He said he strives to boost
the culinary skills of students for a
practical reason during his sessions
in La Grande.
“It is a life skill. If you can cook
you can get a job almost anywhere in
the world,” he said.
A key to becoming a successful
cook is knowing how to cut effec-
tively, he said, which is why Murray
always focuses on teaching students
knife skills at the start of his instruc-
tional sessions.
“One of the reasons we start with
Wallowa County Chieftain
Taher/Contributed Photo
Professional chef Chris Murray shows students how to sear pineapple wedges during a
cooking class at La Grande High School on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
knives is that we want to emphasize
safety,” Murray said.
The corporate chef, whose job
takes him throughout the world,
always enjoys his visits to La
“This is one of my favorite places
to come,” he said. “It is beautiful and
the people are great.”
LHS junior Mason De Jong
credits Murray with being an out-
standing teacher.
“He makes it fun and very easy to
learn,” he said.
De Jong is a student in one of
Rhonda Calhoon’s food and travel
class at LHS. The students in these
classes prepared and served the
Hawaiian tacos for LHS students on
Wednesday, March 16.
At La Grande Middle School 33
of its students prepared and served
Hawaiian tacos at lunch under Mur-
ray’s direction on Thursday, March 17.
Calhoon said that as a corporate
chef, Murray travels around the world
finding recipes that he later re-creates.
She said this was important for students
to see, explaining being a chef doesn’t
necessarily mean only working in a
Heather Torres, who also works for
Taher, Inc., and is the director of the
school district’s food service program,
said Murray “is fun and energetic.”
Torres also said Murray is out-
standing at communicating with
Calhoon agreed, praising the chef’s
ability to explain to students the impor-
tance of the concepts he was teaching.
“He did a good job of answering the
whys,” she said.
Calhoon said it was a partic-
ular delight to have Murray visit her
classes because it has been a long time
since guests were allowed, due to the
COVID-19 pandemic.
“This makes it more exciting for the
students,” she said.
County gives Elgin Opera House complex a boost
approve funding
for signs, awnings
The Observer
Friends of the Opera House
in Elgin received a boost
from the Union County
Board of Commissioners
on Wednesday, March 16.
The board of com-
missioners voted to pro-
vide the organization with
$8,738 for updating three
signs and replacing two
awnings for the Elgin Opera
House complex’s second
building, on Alder Street
about two blocks south of
the opera house itself. The
money, which the Friends
of the Opera House applied
for, will be provided from
Union County’s Transitory
Tax Discretionary Fund.
The transitory tax is also
known as Union County’s
motel tax.
The $8,738 will cover
65% of the project’s total
cost of $13,443, according
to information provided to
Union County by Kathy
Bonney, executive assistant
of the nonprofit Friends of
the Opera House.
“We are super excited,”
Bonney said.
The awnings will
replace those at the
entrance of the Hale
Turner Little Theatre at
831 Alder St. The existing
awnings have deteriorated
because of bad weather,
Bonney said.
The updated signs “will
allow visitors to locate our
Alder Street venue with
ease and convenience,”
Bonney said.
The Alder Street
building also includes a
dance studio and will soon
have a second stage, the
Jewel Theatre, which will
be completed in one to two
months, Bonney said.
The Friends of the Opera
House were gifted the Alder
Street building in 2015.
The building had previ-
ously been a restaurant and
lounge but had been vacant
for a number of years.
Bonney said with the
completion of the Jewel
Theatre, the Friends of the
Opera House will be in
a position to put on more
“We could feasibly
host multiple shows each
weekend,” Bonney said.
“This location will allow
us to produce our dream of
a regional Shakespearean
Festival this summer.”
The festival is slated for
June 17-26.
County OKs workforce housing in amended zone
Wallowa County Chieftain
lowa County has updated
its rural service zone to
allow a new type of work-
force residential develop-
ment with the approval
Wednesday, March 16, of
an amendment to its Com-
prehensive Land Use Plan.
The Wallowa County
Board of Commissioners
held a public hearing to
approve two amendments
to the Comprehensive Plan
during the board’s regular
meeting. One amended Goal
9, Economy of the Area,
by updating the Economic
Opportunity Analysis. The
other amended the rural ser-
vice zone, to support the
findings of that analysis.
“The short of this is you
had a rural service zone
where a dwelling was an
outright use,” Commission
Chairwoman Susan Rob-
erts said.
That made it primarily
a residential zone, instead
of a zone to support eco-
nomic development. Plan-
ning Director Franz Goebel
noted that the Economic
Opportunity Analysis
stressed both a severe lack
of workforce housing and a
need for more commercial
uses allowed. This amend-
ment includes a provision
to help address these needs.
The Economic Goal 9
update was deemed nec-
essary following the 2019
Legislature’s approval of
Senate Bill 2 relating to
employment opportuni-
may have
to return
Bill Bradshaw/Wallowa County Chieftain
Wallowa County Planning Director Franz Goebel reads findings
accompanying an amendment to the county’s Comprehensive
Land Use Plan before the county commissioners adopted it at their
meeting Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
ties in Eastern Oregon,
according to the Leg-
islature’s website. The
bill allows listed Eastern
Oregon counties that
undertake economic
opportunity analysis to
designate up to 50 acres
outside urban growth
boundaries for indus-
trial and other employ-
ment uses notwithstanding
statewide planning goals
related to agriculture,
forest use or urbaniza-
tion. The bill excludes
high-value farmland and
requires county coordina-
tion with the state forester
and nearby cities.
The county commis-
sioners addressed the next
step by amending the rural
service zone to allow more
comprehensive commer-
cial uses including work-
force housing.
During their discus-
sion March 16, the com-
missioners agreed there
are properties near Joseph,
Wallowa and Enterprise
that might benefit from the
uses allowed in the newly
amended zone.
Commissioner Todd
Nash recused himself from
discussion and voting upon
the new ordinances. He said
that because of property he
owns in the county, there’s
the potential for a conflict of
interest. Commissioner John
Hillock said he also owns a
“small piece of property that
could potentially be affected
by this zone, but it’s com-
pletely developed,” so he
saw no conflict of interest
for himself.
The changes
“The rural service zone
is presently an option for
any nonresource zoned
property and will continue
to be,” Goebel explained
to the commissioners.
“To utilize the rural ser-
vice zone, a landowner
would first apply through
the public hearing pro-
cess for a zone change. If
approved, zone permits
would be required prior to
any development.”
But in amending the
old rural service zone,
the Planning Commis-
sion wanted to be more
specific as to what uses
are allowed. Goebel said
the commission wanted
to make sure the zone is
focused on commercial
uses and that it does not
“become a de facto resi-
dential zone. It was a com-
mercial zone; it just wasn’t
very fleshed out in the
types of commercial and
light industrial uses.”
During the public com-
ment portion of the hearing,
Joseph resident Milley
O’Callaghan asked if
grazing and timber harvest
would be allowed in the new
version of the rural service
zone and if bed-and-break-
fasts would be allowed.
“Timber and grazing
uses are still allowed in
this zone,” Goebel said, but
added that no short-term
rentals or bed-and-break-
fasts would be.
He emphasized that the
old version of the rural ser-
vice zone has been view-
able on the county’s web-
site for several years and
the amended version has
been available in the Plan-
ning Office for a couple of
months for the public to
“This amendment will
not affect any existing
property owners upon
approval,” Goebel said.
Property owners still
need to apply for a zone
change prior to taking
advantage of proposed
allowable uses.
of the federal American
Rescue Plan Act funds
the city of Enterprise is
to receive may have to be
returned, the city council
was told during its meeting
Monday, March 14.
The city resolved at its
Feb. 14 meeting to distribute
the $443,000 it has received
under the American Rescue
Plan Act in responso to
the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, on March 14 the
city’s administrator, Lacey
McQuead, announced the
possibility that some of
the funds may have to be
returned. City attorney
Wyatt Baum agreed that
losing the funds is a possi-
bility, so McQuead said none
of the funds will be spent
until the expected second
round of funding is received.
She said the next round is
expected in July or August
and is to total $221,795.
She said after the
meeting that there was a
notice sent out regarding a
“claw-back plan” that could
possibly rescind recently
allocated funds.
“However, it doesn’t
sound like Oregon is a part
of the rescinding funds dis-
cussion, as it was not on the
list of 30 states this could
impact,” McQuead said in
an email.
Fire Chief Paul Karvoski
said there is a concern over
rising prices, and the list
of funding requests he had
previously made likely will
go up.
After a discussion by
the council, it was agreed
the ARPA Committee will
review recommendations
made, make adjustments
and revisit the issue at the
next council meeting.
Housing study
In another matter,
Katy Nesbitt, the county’s
director of natural resources
and economic develop-
ment, presented a housing
study completed by Zack
Cahill, of Eastern Oregon
University, that had been
simplified by the county
housing committee. Nesbit
explained the results of the
study, focusing on how the
city of Enterprise can help.
Sara Miller, of the
Northeast Oregon Eco-
nomic Development Dis-
trict, spoke on the ben-
efit of having city staff and
its Planning Commission
actively involved in the pro-
cess to improve the housing
McQuead told the
council that the city cur-
rently has two representa-
tives — herself and John
Lawrence — serving on
the group two Workforce
Housing Team. The city
also has received $50,000
for a Technical Assis-
tance Grant from the state
Department of Land Con-
servation and Development.
Of that amount, $25,000
will be allocated to helping
find solutions with the
workforce housing and
middle-income housing
shortage and $25,000 will
be allocated to an eco-
nomic analysis study, both
of which will be part of the
city comprehensive plan.
Pump track
The council also heard
from Angela Mart, presi-
dent of the Wallowa Moun-
tains Bicycle Club, which
is promoting the construc-
tion of a pump track on
city property. Mart and the
club’s vice president, Zeb
Burke, visited a proposed
site near the city well and
agreed to move forward
with the next step, the appli-
cation for a conditional use
permit. McQuead said she
would email an application
to Mart and review with
Baum the requirements for
the city moving ahead with
the project.