East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, December 12, 2017, Page Page 8A, Image 8

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    Page 8A
OFF PAGE ONE
East Oregonian
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
Dan Woellmer, with Jimco Fence of Salem, carries
a section of fencing over his head while installing a
fence along the Union Pacific Railroad line on Mon-
day in Pendleton.
FENCES: Aims to reduce
illegal railroad crossings
Continued from 1A
Staff photo by Kathy Aney
Tom Tangney, commander of VFW Let ‘er Buck Post 922 salutes during the singing of the national anthem
Sunday at Olney Cemetery in Pendleton at the Wreaths for Remembrance ceremony.
WREATHS: High school
group laid about 200 wreaths
Continued from 1A
Staff photo by Kathy Aney
Griswold High School senior Lynne Ashby lays a
wreath at Olney Cemetery in Pendleton on Sunday
as part of Wreaths for Remembrance.
Senior Alyssa Keene took
Kubishta’s advice, thinking
about each veteran and saying
his or her name either silently
or aloud.
“It was really an honor,”
Keene said. “These were men
and women who have fought
and sacrificed so much for our
country.”
The Griswold High School
Euro Club started the Wreaths
for Remembrance project
eight years ago. They laid 64
wreaths that year and slowly
built the program to about 200
in 2017. Some year, they hope
to sell enough to adorn all
1,000-or-so veterans’ graves
at Olney. The Helix tribute is
modeled after Wreaths Across
America, an event that started
with the laying of 5,000 at
Arlington National Cemetery
in 1992.
“It comes down to grati-
tude,” Kubishta said.
The wreath laying, he said,
nudges the students away
from a self-centered culture
and focuses them on others.
“It gets them into a
cemetery where they have
to get out in the cold and
feel uncomfortable,” he said.
“They get to give back a little
bit and do something not for
themselves.”
Last year, several inches
of snow on the ground made
identifying graves extremely
difficult. This time, things
went smoothly.
During the ceremony,
senior Kailey Mize sang two
songs with origins in World
War II: “White Christmas” and
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
———
Contact Kathy Aney at
kaney@eastoregonian.com or
941-966-0810.
HOLIDAY: A guitar raffle enticed more folks to come down
Continued from 1A
sales.
Pendleton has a core of
people, Royal said, many
of which are his customers,
who are long-time residents
and want to see the town
grow. Events like the stroll
help his and other specialty
shops, he said, but growth
in Pendleton’s population
would be a bigger boost.
Some time later in the
midst of the stroll, Royal
said business turned out to
be more than good.
Several doors down,
Echo Bike & Board owner
Stephanie Myers and her
staff were working on a
window display. She said
last year’s stroll brought an
increase in foot traffic and
business, but that died after
5 p.m. She said having the
stroll from 1-5 during the
day “would be awesome,”
but the store would be open
until the event ended at 7.
The store has been in
Pendleton almost three
years, and Meyers said
business has been good this
year.
Molly Turner of the
downtown
association
was hopeful this year’s
stroll drew larger crowds
than last year’s. Some
1,100 people RSVPed, she
said, and given the day’s
temperature was almost
balmy compared to last
year’s, when strollers had to
navigate ice and snow, there
was the potential for more
people participating.
Businesses off of Main
Street joined the event,
and some shops offered
discounts to strollers. A
guitar raffle enticed more
folks to come down. Instead
of buying a ticket, strollers
had to get stamps from
seven of nine participating
establishments, then turn in
their stamp card by 7 to the
downtown association, 380
S. Main St.
The Pendleton Center
for the Arts drew families
with free sugar cookie
decorating, probably about
as much a hit with the kids
as Santa. Roberta Lavadour,
director of the arts center,
credited Turner with the
success of the stroll.
“She is sort of the
kingpin we needed to drive
these downtown events,”
parking lot.
The $70,000 cost was
split between a $20,000
Wildhorse Foundation grant
to the Pendleton Enhance-
ment Project and Union
Pacific Railroad. The group
expects the fences will be
completed next week.
The fence is meant
to
funnel
pedestrians
through the Main Street
railroad crossing rather
than allowing them to walk
around the crossing arms.
Union Pacific spokesman
Justin Jacobs said the
railroad company enjoys
working with community
partners to enhance railroad
safety. He said it’s illegal for
pedestrians to travel across
railroad tracks outside of
designated crossings and
the aim is to decrease these
types of pedestrian habits.
Pendleton Downtown
Association
Executive
Director Molly Turner said
the fences could also act
as a community enhance-
ment for Museum Park,
providing a barrier between
park patrons and the rail-
road tracks.
“It makes it more usable
for them,” she said.
With Webb’s Cold
Storage demolished and the
fences nearly completed,
the project will move on to
its third and final phase, the
most ambitious and expen-
sive part of its plan.
The group had originally
envisioned creating an
event plaza surrounded by
historic trusses from the
Eighth Street Bridge and a
food hub from the Commu-
nity Action Program of East
Central Oregon.
After failing to reach a
mutually agreeable land
lease with Union Pacific,
the project refocused its
efforts on beautifying the
parking lot across from the
Fraternal Order of Eagles
sans a CAPECO food hub.
The press release notes
that creating a South Main
Street gateway for the
downtown area is a goal
of the city’s 2003 urban
renewal plan.
The project’s current
plan calls for relocating
three trusses around the
parking lot in 2018 or 2019
as the city continues to work
on replacing the Eighth
Street bridge. With more
than $100,000 in financial
backing of Umatilla County,
the Pendleton Development
Commission,
Pendleton
Foundation Trust and
private donors, the project
is still raising money toward
the relocation costs.
Turner said the enhance-
ment project is convening
a committee to take a look
at the landscaping for the
improved parking lot and
opportunities to solicit
public input on the project.
———
Contact Antonio Sierra
at asierra@eastoregonian.
com or 541-966-0836.
HERMISTON: Must fulfill a
request in 10 days starting Jan. 1
Continued from 1A
Staff photo by Kathy Aney
A crowd reacts as Pendleton’s community Christmas tree lights up Saturday in
front of the Hamley Steakhouse as part of the Holiday Stroll.
companies or attorneys.
Victims always receive a
redacted copy of their police
report for free. Smith said
police reports take about
15 minutes to prepare, but
the police department also
gets about two requests per
month for video footage,
which takes two to four
hours to complete.
City staff made the same
recommendation of $35
per hour two years ago, but
the council rejected it. This
time, however, Smith said
the legislature has enacted
a bill that gives the city 10
days in most cases to fulfill a
request starting Jan. 1. That
causes more of a burden for
the city, he said, and cities in
Washington have reported
that a similar law has caused
some people to make
repeated time-consuming
requests on the hope that
the city will fail to meet a
deadline and they can take
the city to court or press for
a settlement.
“I feel like we need to
be prepared to ward off
some of these frivolous
requests,” he said.
The council voted unan-
imously to update the fee
structure.
The council also gave the
city manager permission to
enter into an agreement for
developer Denis Hyatt to
lease the land to build four
hangars out at the Hermiston
Municipal Airport. Assistant
city manager Mark Morgan
said Hyatt plans to use one
and rent out the other three.
He said he was “very confi-
dent and excited” about the
project because the city-
owned hangars are all full
and have a waiting list.
On Monday, Smith
also introduced Mark
Krawczyk, who was on his
first day as the city’s new
finance director. Krawczyk
is replacing Amy Palmer,
who resigned in July. He
was previously assistant
finance director for Fort
Worth, Texas and said all of
his career has been spent in
finance, including 16 years
in the utilities industry.
———
Contact Jade McDowell
at jmcdowell@eastorego-
nian.com or 541-564-4536.
SHOOTING: The involved
officers remain on leave
Staff photo by Kathy Aney
Continued from 1A
Murray Dunlap sings
Christmas songs Satur-
day during the Pendleton
Holiday Stroll just prior to
the lighting of the com-
munity Christmas tree.
Thorin Endicott, 3, squeezes frosting onto a cookie Sat-
urday at the Pendleton Center for the Arts during the
Pendleton Holiday Stroll. Thorin’s brother Grady works
on his own cookie.
Lavadour said.
Beyond
a
one-day
increase to the bottom line,
Lavadour said the culmina-
tion of these events helps
brand downtown as a fun
and happening place.
Some chill settled in
as the sun went down and
people gathered outside
the Hamley Steakhouse
& Saloon at the corner of
Southeast Court and Main
Street for the lighting of
the community Christmas
tree. Turner addressed the
crowd, which topped more
than a hundred, and said
while this was the second
stroll, it was the first tree
lighting.
Pendleton City Council
president Neil Brown took
the mic and said the tree,
a blue spruce, was alive,
and the Pendleton Parks
and Recreation Department
would plant it after the
holidays. He also gave
a few remarks about the
history of the Christmas
tree, including a bit about
Staff photo by Kathy Aney
child sacrifice and how the
Swiss put real candles on
their trees, which they set
up Christmas Eve and take
down Christmas day.
Moments later he led the
crowd in counting down
from five to one to power
up the tree.
The lights went on, and
the crowd clapped and
cheered.
———
Contact Phil Wright at
pwright@eastoregonian.
com or 541-966-0833.
compromise grand juries
that review cases.
“I get all that,” Roberts
said, “but at the end of the
day, the identities should
not have an impact on
determinations.”
The officers remain on
leave and the suspect at
Oregon Health & Science
University, Portland. The
chief said the two officers
passed mandatory and
volunteer
psychological
evaluations in the wake of
the shooting. One is due to
return to work soon, but the
officer who fired his gun
is off duty until the Baker
County District Attorney’s
Office completes its inves-
tigation of the shooting.
Umatilla County District
Attorney handed off the
case due to a conflict of
interest. Roberts said he
heard it could be two
weeks before Baker County
District Attorney Matt
Shirtcliff wraps up the
work. By then, the officer
will be off work almost a
month.
The shooting inves-
tigation, however, is not
interfering with the inves-
tigation of the Walmart
theft case. Roberts said
police preserved video
evidence from the store and
questioned employees, and
the case involves two or
three others aside from the
shooting victim.