Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, September 18, 2015, Page 11, Image 11

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September 18, 2015
Another step taken
for bringing water
to Odessa Subarea
Move allows
revenue bonds
to pay for water
Capital Press
Matthew Weaver/Capital Press
Spokane TV weatherman Tom Sherry stands with representatives of the Spokane County Cattlemen, Rosauers grocery stores and the Wash-
ington Beef Commission to mark the Beef Counts program’s $20,000 donation to the Second Harvest food bank Sept. 9 in Spokane, Wash.
Beef industry donates $20,000
to Spokane area food bank
Capital Press
SPOKANE — Washing-
ton cattle ranchers and beef
processors have donated more
than $20,000 to help feed the
region’s needy.
The industry’s Beef Counts
program recently capped a
summer-long promotion with
Second Harvest food bank, Ro-
sauers grocery stores and Agri
Beef Co. by giving the beef to
Spokane families in need.
Proceeds from every beef
sale at Rosauers in Spokane
went directly to the Beef
Counts program at Second
Harvest, said Rob Noel, direc-
tor of channel marketing for the
Washington Beef Commission.
The commission presented
a check for more than $20,600.
The total includes matching
funds from Agri Beef, which
processes donated beef at its
Yakima, Wash., plant, and do-
nates time and resources to the
“Our goal is to be able to
raise enough through these
promotional, fund-raising ef-
forts to allow Second Harvest
to have a year-round supply of
beef they can order,” Noel said.
“Beef has a lot of great nutri-
tional value, and food banks
just don’t get enough of it.”
Quality protein makes up
roughly 4 percent of donated
food, said Melissa Cloninger,
director of donor relations for
Second Harvest.
“Beef is costly, especially
for families who are struggling
to put enough food on the ta-
ble,” Cloninger said. Protein
helps provide a balanced diet,
she said.
“We are seeing a higher level
of need all year long, and fam-
ilies seeking assistance more
chronically than 12 years ago,”
Cloninger said. “Because of this
last great recession and recov-
ery, when wages are not quite
back to pre-recession wages,
they’re working but they just
can’t make ends meet.”
Noel said the Beef Counts
program will “absolutely” con-
tinue. Since 2010, it has raised
more than $460,000, or roughly
750,000 beef servings.
Ranchers also donate to the
program, Noel said. Ranchers
donate a calf during the Beef
Counts Rollover Auction every
fall in Toppenish, Wash,, and
auction it repeatedly. Last year,
ranchers raised $26,000 in 30
minutes, a figure also matched
by Agri Beef, Noel said.
Spokane County Cattle-
men members distributed one-
pound ground beef packages to
families in need, alongside oth-
er Washington products — po-
tatoes, plums, bread and apples.
“This allows the local
community to see the produc-
ers in action,” Noel said.
Cloninger singled out the
food industry, particularly re-
tail grocers, wholesalers and
producers, for their efforts.
“If it weren’t for the gen-
erosity of the entire communi-
ty, we wouldn’t be able to do
nearly the work we do in feed-
ing hungry people,” she said.
The East Columbia Basin
Irrigation District board has
taken another step toward
bringing Columbia River
water to farms in the Odessa
Subarea that are running out
of groundwater used for irri-
The district board has ap-
proved a 40-year renewal of
its master water service con-
tract with the U.S. Bureau
of Reclamation, clearing the
way for issuing 30-year reve-
nue bonds to pay for the infra-
structure, said Levi Johnson,
development coordinator for
the irrigation district.
The contract covers coor-
dinated conservation water
and water from the Lake Roo-
sevelt incremental releases
program, he said. These water
supplies are authorized for
groundwater replacement in
the Odessa Subarea.
The district board has en-
tered into water service con-
tracts with landowners on
7,000 acres. Roughly 10,000
acres are slated to get water
via the 47.5 distribution sys-
tem on the East Low Canal,
so named for its location 47.5
miles along the canal system.
Before the end of the year,
the district plans to issue
tax-exempt municipal reve-
nue bonds for financing the
distribution system. The dis-
trict will take on the bonded
indebtedness and service it
through annual charges to the
landowners who receive the
water, Johnson said.
The charges help cover the
debt the district is taking on to
build the delivery system, in-
cluding pressurized pipelines
and pump plants, and pay for
the remaining East Low Canal
Without the certainty pro-
vided by the contract renew-
al, bonds would likely have
needed higher interest rates,
Johnson said.
The lower interest rates
will benefit the farmers, said
Mike Schwisow, director of
government relations for the
Columbia Basin Develop-
ment League.
The league supports com-
pletion of the Columbia Basin
The district board will
next begin negotiations with
the Bureau of Reclamation to
gain contractual authority to
deliver water to 70,000 acres
covered under the Odessa
Subarea Special Study.
Water will be provided to
those acres through six addi-
tional delivery systems, John-
son said. More revenue bonds
will be issued to finance con-
struction of those systems.
Revenue bonds are loans
that are repaid with the money
received from the people who
benefit from the specific proj-
ects that are financed.
The irrigation district
hopes to complete the designs
in 2016, Johnson said.
Washington state vineyards busy with earliest harvest
Capital Press
Wash. — It’s one of hundreds
of small wineries in the state,
but Martin Scott Winery may
be unique when it comes to
spectacular settings and view.
Nestled in a ravine and a
high bluff overlooking the
Columbia River south of East
Wenatchee, the winery is in its
16th year of production with
just 3 acres of vineyard and
its own facilities where all
1,000 cases of wine per year
are made.
Flowers adorn a wrought
iron gate entry. The owners,
Mike and Judi Scott, have
hosted weddings on the care-
fully manicured grounds sur-
rounding their home and tast-
ing room.
“We sell locally. We’re
not the smallest winery in
the state, but we are small
and have no design to grow,”
Mike Scott said.
His crew hand-picked Pi-
not Gris the morning of Sept.
10 and turned to pressing and
the start of fermentation.
Harvest is earlier than usu-
al throughout Central Wash-
ington because of a mild, dry
winter and warm spring.
“We started picking Sau-
vignon Blanc on Aug. 12 in
the Yakima Valley. That’s our
earliest start on record,” said
Kevin Corliss, vice president
of viticulture for Ste. Michelle
Wine Estates, the state’s larg-
est wine producer.
The company’s prior ear-
liest start was Aug. 15, 1987.
Labor Day to Halloween is
the industry’s normal harvest
Dan Wheat/Capital Press
Mike Scott, co-owner of Martin Scott Winery in East Wenatchee, Wash.,
looks at Pinot Gris harvested Sept. 10. He and his wife, Judi, are among
hundreds of owners of small vineyards and wineries in the state.
With such an early start,
vineyard operators are hop-
ing for an early ending, but
winemakers want that full
month of October for leeway
in choosing optimal picking
times on each variety to maxi-
mize flavor, Corliss said.
The Washington Associa-
tion of Wine Grape Growers,
in Cashmere, estimates the
crop at 231,192 tons. That’s
up from 227,000 in 2014 and
would be more if not for pro-
longed, excessive heat in June
and early July, said Vicky
Scharlau, association execu-
tive director.
“The heat impacts differ-
ent varieties differently but
it definitely has an impact.
Growers and winemakers say
it provides concentrated fla-
vors which is a good thing,”
Scharlau said.
Flavor profiling and tar-
geting the style of wine is a
“science and art,” she said.
“Growers like to get grapes
off the vine, but winemakers
are looking for that certain
kind of flavor.”
The dry season helped hold
down fungal diseases, and
drought in the Yakima Valley
hasn’t had a huge impact on
wine grapes, Corliss said.
“Maybe a few growers
have had things a little drier
than they wanted, but wine
grapes are pretty durable on
water stress,” he said.
Washington is second only
to California in wine and wine
grape production. Washington
has 350-plus growers, 53,355
bearing acres and more than
850 wineries producing 12.5
million cases annually. Win-
ery revenue is estimated at $1
billion annually by the state
wine commission.
The state Department of
Ecology is behind on a sched-
ule it outlined at the associa-
tion’s annual convention in
February to regulate waste
water discharge of wineries,
Scharlau said.