East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, April 01, 2016, Page Page 3A, Image 3

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Friday, April 1, 2016
East Oregonian
Page 3A
TRCI inmates restore bicycles for charity
“This is our real
job. It’s account-
ability, and it feels
good to have that
East Oregonian
In a small room off a
concrete courtyard, two men
break down bicycles to the
last ball bearing.
Salvaged from dumpsters
and garage sales, the bikes are
cleaned and evaluated by the
patient hands of Eric Jimenez
and Hunter Nelms. If the duo
can restore the bikes, they do.
If they cannot, they turn them
into parts, carefully cataloged
and stored on shelves until
A bicycle that had been
hit by a car had a frame bent
too badly to restore, but the
seat, the handlebars, and
the wheels were in perfect
condition. Both bicycles
completed in the session
earlier this month used parts
from ¿ve others.
“We will save everything
we can,” Nelms said. “We
will save the individual ball
bearings because we know
eventually we will have to
put one in.”
With new paint and new
life, the restored bikes are
given to needy families or
are rafÀed to raise money for
nonpro¿t groups.
Launched in October,
“Cycles of Hope” is a bicycle
restoration program that
provides both community
service and inmate rehabil-
itation within the minimum
— Eric Jimenez,
TRCI inmate
Staff Photo by Jennifer Colton
Eric Jimenez, left, and Hunter Nelms take apart a donated bicycle at Two Rivers Cor-
rectional Institution. The two inmates are the first employees of “Cycles of Hope.”
security unit at Two Rivers
Correctional Institute.
The Umatilla prison
offers multiple rehabilita-
tion programs that teach
inmates career skills and
responsibility. The programs,
which inmates must apply
for and be assigned to, give
them avenues for focus and
expression. Cycles of Hope
is the most recent.
“We have one inmate who
has had nothing but trouble
inside, but he’s a phenomenal
bike mechanic. He hasn’t had
problems since,” TRCI Sgt.
Kevin Hodges said. “It’s a
complete turnaround.”
Currently, Jimenez and
Nelms are the only two
inmates assigned to Cycles of
Hope, but 14 inmates gradu-
ated a training course from
Scott’s Cycle and Sports in
Hermiston earlier this month.
Jimenez, 30, is serving
time for robbery and
burglary; Nelms, 36, is in
for ¿rst-degree attempted
robbery. Both have a release
date of 2019; both have chil-
dren, and both say they have
a desire to turn their lives
“The programs help us to
be reintegrated, to be respon-
sible. This gives us a job,
something to look forward
to so it’s not just Groundhog
Day all over again,” Jimenez
said. “This is our real job. It’s
accountability, and it feels
good to have that responsi-
Jimenez and Nelms work
two three-hour shifts a day
for Cycles of Hope. They
evaluate new donations,
clean and deconstruct the
pieces. They remake seats
and rerun cables.
“We do everything from a
tune-up to a full reconstruc-
tion,” Nelms said. “There’s
nothing we can’t do.”
Both Jimenez and Nelms
had worked with bicycles
before incarceration, but in
the corrections setting, small
things, like using a staple gun
or a wrench, require extra
authorization and paperwork.
Despite the handicaps, the
duo continue working,
making do with what they
have and salvaging whatever
they can.
The biggest expense
for the program is buying
materials. Most of the bikes
donated or purchased need
new tires, tubes or brake
“We take effort in doing
a thorough job all the way
down to the bearings and the
spokes. It makes us feel good
that we’re doing something
for the community. We
wouldn’t feel right if we send
out a bike that’s garbage,”
Jimenez said.
Since it opened, Cycles
for Hope has restored 87
bicycles, including 48 that
went to underprivileged local
families for Christmas.
Most of the bicycles come
from donations, although
some have been purchased.
Anyone can donate bicycles
or parts to the program by
contacting Hodges at TRCI
or participating in a donation
drive, such as “Bikes for
Beverages” on April 2 at Java
Junkies in Umatilla.
Nelms, working on a
crew at solid waste disposal,
immediately noticed a bin
of bicycles. He asked the
supervisor, who talked to
staff at the dump, and the
bikes were delivered to
the institution and became
part of the program. Once
restored, the bicycles go to
schools or Agape House,
orphanages or local public
safety departments. Most
bicycles are distributed with
helmets from Good Shep-
herd Medical Center and
the Healthy Communities
momentum,” Nelms said. “I
love what I do.”
Contact Jennifer Colton
at jcolton@eastoregonian.
com or 541-564-4534.
Myren retires as Morrow County undersheriff
East Oregonian
Staff photo by Jade McDowell
Don Gilbrech, Baylee Snow and Leonard Hamilton
build a gazebo in Hash Park in Umatilla.
Hash Park gets new gazebo
East Oregonian
The family of former
Umatilla mayor George
Hash is honoring his
contributions to the city
with a new gazebo in his
namesake Hash Park.
The large metal gazebo,
which cost more than
$30,000, is being donated
by Hash’s son Dr. Daniel
Hash, a dentist in Montana.
A plaque embedded in the
cement base reads “Dedi-
cated to George and Alice
Hash, 65 years of love and
Alice Hash died in 2010.
Umatilla’s mayor from
1991 to 2004 and was
instrumental in bringing
Two Rivers Correctional
Institution to Umatilla.
During World War II he
parachuted into Normandy
during the D-Day invasion
and later was captured by
the Germans and was a
prisoner of war. He moved
to Umatilla in 1955 and
taught industrial classes in
Umatilla and Hermiston
schools for 30 years.
The gazebo is sched-
uled to be done Monday.
Leonard Hamilton of
LRH, a fabrication shop in
Spokane, was working on
the project Thursday. He
said after Daniel Hash hired
him for another project, he
handed Hamilton a painting
of a gazebo and asked him
to design and build it to last.
“It’s here to stay,”
Hamilton said. “It will be
here for quite a while.”
He said the neighbors
around the park have been
very kind in bringing the
contractors coffee and
treats, and even invited
them over for Easter dinner
last week.
Steve Myren was Morrow County
undersheriff for more than a decade.
Friday at 5 p.m. marks the end of his
last shift. He described the transition to
retirement as “petrifying.”
Myren graduated from high school in
Silverton. And in his just shy of 36 years
of working life, he has wore one kind of
public safety uniform or another — from
volunteer ¿re¿ghter to dispatcher to
deputy sheriff.
“Everything I have done has taught
me something else, another skill,” he
Myren was born and raised in the
hamlet of Scotts Mills. His ¿rst law
enforcement job was in Mount Angel, he
said, and that led to a stint as a Morrow
County sheriff’s deputy. He left that in
1998 to work for the Chemical Stockpile
Emergency Preparedness Program,
where he wrote the medical and decon-
tamination plans for the former stockpile
of weapons at the Umatilla Chemical
Myren, though, still wanted to be a
“I missed law enforcement so bad I
took a pay cut to go back to it,” he said.
He joined the Umatilla County
Sheriff’s Of¿ce in 2004 as a deputy. The
next year, Ken Matlack became the new
sheriff of Morrow County and pegged
Myren as his second-in-command.
Myren developed a reputation as
undersheriff as the of¿cer anyone could
call, which he said earned him some
ribbing from cops for being a “pet
deputy.” Myren, though, said he took it
as a “badge of honor to a certain extent.”
Helping people is the core of the
job, he said. And while police cannot
give legal advice, they can help people
understand the role of law enforcement
and pass on information about who to
call in certain situations.
Photo courtesy Morrow County Sheriff Ken Matlack
Morrow County Sheriff Ken Matlack (left), outgoing undersheriff Steve
Myren (center) and new undersheriff John Bowles celebrate Myren’s
That has gotten more dif¿cult over
the years, he said, as some people have
grown to be more personally responsible
while others have tended toward more
¿nger pointing. Public safety takes a
village, he said, but plenty of the villagers
now want to call a cop at the ¿rst hint of
a disagreement with someone.
“Where they used to sit down around
the table and maybe didn’t agree, they
talked things out,” Myren said. “That
doesn’t happen anymore. That hasn’t
happened in a number of years.”
John Bowels is the new undersheriff.
Myren said he and his wife, Mim
Myren, are looking forward to some
traveling in their RV, but Boardman is
their home, where he also operates a
business of equipping police and other
emergency vehicles with lights, radios
and more, or removing those items from
old vehicles.
He won $5.5 million in the Oregon
Megabucks lottery in June 2015 and took
the 25-year annuity, saying at the time it
would help make a more comfortable
Myren also said he will volunteer
as a ¿re¿ghter and emergency medical
technician and stay on with the sheriff’s
of¿ce as a special deputy, as well as
continue serving as one of Morrow
County’s medical examiners.
“I don’t want to go stir crazy,” he
And he said he will still answer the
call from the federal government as an
operations section chief during critical
incidents or big emergencies.
Retirement also could mean Myren
has more time for an old hobby —
shooting. He used to take part in compe-
titions, he said, but the demands of work
put that on hold. Now he can plan to
attend an event and not worry about
getting that call from work.
IMESD gets
$198,000 state grant
for CTE program
The InterMountain
Education Service District
announced it received a
$198,000 grant from the
Oregon Department of
Education’s Career and
Technical Education Summer
Program grant fund.
“The 18-month grant
(spring 2016 through fall
2017) allows the IMESD
to offer a CTE Technology
Education Program, including
a high school event next
month and two programs this
summer for high school and
middle school students,” an
IMESD press release states.
The grant is designed to
support summer programs
that recruit students into
high demand and high wage
The grant-funded spring
event is the STEP Tech Expo,
April 27 at the Pendleton
Convention Center. Students
will get a chance to learn
about careers in technology,
get introduced to regional
technology businesses and
participate in hands-on
The summer events will
be a pair of technology
camps, one for high schoolers
and the other for middle
school students. The IMESD
will announce camp details
Additionally, the
grant will also cover paid
internship opportunities in the
technology center.
UCo Health to
honor Public
Health Heroes
dinner and fundraiser
will highlight innovative
community health initiatives
and recognize this year’s
Public Health Heroes — local
people and organizations who
support and promote public
Organized by UCo Health,
the Public Health Awareness
Dinner & Fundraiser is
Wednesday at 6 p.m. (doors
open at 5:30 p.m.) at the
Hermiston Conference
Center, 415 S. Highway 395.
The cost is $40 per person,
$75 for a couple or $350 for a
table of 10.
Last year’s inaugural
event raised more than
$6,000 to support CARE and
Nurse Family Partnership.
This year, the goal is to raise
$10,000 to be used toward
improving access to healthy
For more information,
contact Meghan DeBolt at
541-215-3620 or meghan.
Park, 1205 S.W. Court Ave.,
The event also features a
planting demonstration by
the Tree Commission and
a pruning demonstration
by Clive Kaiser, an
OSU Extension Service
horticulture professor.
For more information, call
Arbor Day event
provides free
of dance classes will provide
instruction for people who
want to get out on the dance
Àoor with con¿dence.
Just Swing It (Single Step
Swing, 4 Step Swing, and
East Coast Swing) offers
techniques for a variety of
tempos and musical styles
including pop, country and
hip-hop. The Basic Social
Dance class covers the
foxtrot, cha cha and waltz.
Presented through
Hermiston Parks &
Recreation, instructor April
Dyntera offers the classes
on Thursdays from April 7
through May 12 at The Arc
building, 215 W. Orchard
Mountain alder, western
larch, mountain ash,
serviceberry and mock
orange seedlings will be
available during an Arbor
Day celebration sponsored
by the Umatilla National
Forest and Pendleton Parks &
About 700 free tree and
shrub seedlings will be
distributed on a ¿rst-come,
¿rst-served basis. The event
is Saturday, April 9 from 9
a.m. to 3 p.m. at Roy Raley
Classes hit the
Ave., Hermiston.
Just Swing It runs from
6:15-7:15 p.m. and Basic
Social Dance is from
7:30-8:30 p.m.
The sessions are open
to those 14 and older
(participants 14-17 must have
an adult present). The cost for
each six-week course is $30
for Hermiston residents or
$38 for non-residents.
For more information, visit
com. To register, call
541-667-5018 or stop by the
recreation of¿ce, 180 N.E.
Second St., Hermiston.
Submit information to:
com or drop off to the
attention of Tammy Malgesini
at 333 E. Main St., Hermiston
or Renee Struthers at 211 S.E.
Byers Ave., Pendleton. Call
541-564-4539 or 541-966-
0818 with questions.