TOP 10 Saturday, December 30, 2017 East Oregonian levels of groundwater nitrates. The permit also does nothing to account for air emissions, they argued. Regardless, the agencies denied a petition for recon- sideration in July, allowing Lost Valley to move ahead. It is expected to provide between 125-150 jobs, and the milk will be sold to nearby Tillamook Cheese at the Port of Morrow. Continued from 1A refrain from making up 14 hours of missed class time. Interstate 84 and Interstate 82 were closed repeatedly due to icy conditions and crashes, particularly on Cabbage Hill, and Oregon Department of Transportation workers worked thousands of hours of overtime in January and February to help keep the interstates and state high- ways clear. The extreme weather was a boon for some businesses, as repair work for fend- er-benders piled up and snow shovels ﬂ ew off the shelves, but other businesses reported an unusually-low winter slump as people avoided driving the icy roads as much as possible. 4 8 3 Umatilla County Fair moves to EOTEC Nearly three years after its groundbreaking, the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center hosted its ﬁ rst Umatilla County Fair and Farm-City Pro Rodeo in August. Construction on the project, located on the south- eastern edge of Hermiston, came down to the wire as volunteers and contractors worked nearly around the clock to ﬁ nish everything needed for the fair and rodeo’s new home. The fair dealt with complaints from neighbors and fairgoers about trafﬁ c jams, dust, noise and a lack of shade, but also saw plenty of compliments from participants who enjoyed the larger venue, air-conditioned exhibitor hall, extra box seats in the rodeo arena and much-improved restroom situation. The move prompted changes at the old fairgrounds in the center of Hermiston, where the former Hermiston Senior Center was torn down and a new parking lot for Hermiston High School, set to open next week, was built. And after tapping Nate Rivera as EOTEC’s interim manager, the EOTEC board hired venue management company VenuWorks to begin full-time operation of the center in January 2018. 4 Marchers take to Pendleton streets The organizers of the Women’s March on Pend- leton expected about 150 people to show up Jan. 21 for the event. They got more than 400. Women, men and children strode through downtown Pendleton streets from city hall to the Umatilla County Courthouse to the Heritage Station Museum. Many hefted signs expressing the need for respect, compassion, and solidarity with women. The event coincided with marches nationwide. Women’s rights was the central theme of the day, but marchers expressed a multitude of reasons for their participation. Some spoke out against President Donald Trump or police brutality, others showed support for the Black Lives Matter movement and immigration. At the end, they sang “We Shall Overcome,” an anthem if the Civil Rights Movement, and “This Land is Your Land.” The Blue Mountain Marchers hit Pendleton streets again on Earth Day, April 22, for science, and around 150 marched in June to show support for LGBT rights. Marchers on the other side of the political spectrum took to Pendleton streets in August to show support for Cliven Bundy and his family. The event drew 13 people. The marches might not be done. Organizers are looking at another Women’s March for Jan. 20, the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration. 5 Marijuana goes on sale in Pendleton The sale of marijuana went from a practice that was nearly banned in 2015 to one of Pendleton’s fastest growing industries. After city voters deci- sively voted to legalize medical and recreational marijuana, Jan. 1 marked the ﬁ rst day cannabis businesses could apply for licenses. Despite needing to gain approval from both the city and the state, and pay the thousands of dollars worth of accompanying fees, three Page 11A Staff photo by E.J. Harris Marchers take to Pendleton streets during an the Equality March for Pride and Unity on Sunday, June 11, in Pendleton. More than 130 people participated in weekend march. 6 Staff photo by E.J. Harris A marked increase in the amount of smoke from northwest wildﬁ res can be seen in these side-by-side photographs from Monday, August 4, and Tuesday, Aug. 5, in Pendleton. Wolf depredation, kills throughout year Wolves, a protected species in Eastern Oregon, spent much of 2017 in the crosshairs of both poachers and state wildlife ofﬁ cials. Following repeated attacks on livestock in the area, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife approved kill orders for four wolves from the Harl Butte pack in Wallowa County, plus one more wolf from the Meacham pack which had preyed multiple times on cattle owned by Cunningham Sheep Company. But that wasn’t all. A wolf was also poached in Wallowa County in November, and a hunter reported that he shot a wolf he believed was threatening him in Union County. The man was not charged in the incident. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission now heads into 2018 looking to ﬁ nalize an update to the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. Speciﬁ c proposals have drawn criticism from conser- vationists and ranchers alike, ensuring contention over the predators is far from over. 9 7 5 Staff photo by E.J. Harris Staff photo by E.J. Harris Budtender Evan Hilliard uses chopsticks to handle marijuana while measuring out an order for a cus- tomer on Wednesday, June 21, at Kind Leaf in Pend- leton. Twin carousels simultaneously milk 80 cows on each side while slowly revolving in the milking par- lor at the Columbia River Dairy outside of Board- man. 9 8 ODFW ﬁ le photo This 2014 photo shows a female wolf from the Minam pack out- side La Grande after it was ﬁ tted with a tracking collar. Staff photo by Kathy Aney Maroon 5’s Adam Levine sings during the Pendleton Whisky Music Fest on Saturday, July 15. Beat Schmid, associate director of the Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change Division at PNNL, talks about the scientiﬁ c payload of the Ar- ticShark unmanned aerial vehicle to a group of Pendle- ton dignitaries on Wednesday, March 8, at the Pendleton UAS range. 10 marijuana dispensaries opened in 2017. The ﬁ rst retailer — Kind Leaf Pendleton — opened in March and reported almost 100 customers before the ﬁ rst day was halfway done. Pendleton Cannabis and High Desert Cannabis would follow in the coming months and have been successful enough to stay open through the end of the year. Although none have opened yet, two marijuana grows have also received approval from the Pendleton Planning Commission. The city of Pendleton hasn’t publicly disclosed the revenue it has received from its share of the state tax on recreational marijuana and its own 3 percent sales tax, but there are early signs that pot has been a revenue generator. At a recent Pendleton City Council meeting, Kind Leaf co-owner Brandon Krenzler Staff photo by E.J. Harris reported that his dispensary has already provided more than double the $25,000 the city projected it would receive from marijuana tax revenue. That doesn’t mean mari- juana sales haven’t been without their fair share of controversies. A coalition of neighbors and Pendleton School District ofﬁ cials successfully pushed smoke shop owner Bryson Thurman to move his proposed marijuana dispen- sary from Tutuilla Road to a different location after outcry at a planning commission meeting. The summer of ﬁ re and smoke Though there were no major ﬁ res in the area, Eastern Oregon was inundated with smoke from all sides. The northeastern part of the state was hazy for most of 6 Maroon 5 headlines Pendleton Whisky Music Fest In its second year, Pend- leton Whisky Music Fest ﬂ oored locals by netting headliner Maroon 5. The show drew people from all over the West Coast to see the band perform at the packed Round-Up Grounds. The pop/rock band was a departure from the previous year’s country headliner, the Zac Brown Band. With three Grammys, and the growing visibility of frontman Adam Levine on NBC’s “The Voice,” Whisky Fest orga- nizers hoped the band would appeal to a broader base, bringing in more people to the event. Event organizers said more than 16,000 people attended the concert, a 30 percent increase from the inaugural show. The event was also expanded with a Friday night concert in downtown Pendleton, and organizers addressed the major complaint from 2016 — long lines for alcohol — by adding vendors and selling scrip instead of taking cash in the venue. The 2018 Whisky Fest is July 14, and an announce- ment for the headliner is expected in February. August and September, ﬁ rst with smoke from wildﬁ res in Montana and then, due to westerly winds, more smoke from the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge. In addition, ﬁ res near Sisters in Central Oregon, and in British Columbia burned during the summer. The Eagle Creek Fire was started September 2 by a 15 year-old boy playing with ﬁ reworks, who was charged with reckless burning. It closed down portions of I-84, rerouting trafﬁ c to Wash- ington’s SR-14 for several weeks. The ﬁ re was declared 100 percent contained on Nov. 30, almost three months after it was sparked. The ﬁ re burned more than 75 square miles and closed several trails in the Gorge. 7 Mega-dairy beats appeal, starts operation A second mega-dairy began operating at the former Boardman Tree Farm in 2017, despite concerns from environmental groups over potential air and water pollution. Lost Valley Farm, owned by California dairyman Greg te Velde, received its permit for a conﬁ ned animal feeding operation, or CAFO, from the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Department of Environmental Quality on March 31. The farm will have 30,000 cows at full capacity, and generate an estimated 187 million gallons of waste- water and manure every year. Though ODA and DEQ insist the permit for Lost Valley is the most protective of any dairy in Oregon to date, a coalition of groups adamantly opposed the its approval, saying it would generate as much waste as a mid-size city in an area that already suffers from elevated 10 ArcticShark, AirBus launch at Pendleton test range Some of the Pendleton Unmanned Aerial Systems Range’s promise has been realized this year. The range broke through with major companies and organizations agreeing to test their new aircraft in Pendleton. With the help of a $1.7 million ﬁ nancial package from the state, the range unveiled a new hangar at the Pendleton airport in June. It’s ﬁ rst tenant is A^3, the Silicon Valley subsidiary of French aviation giant Airbus. A^3 is using the hangar and the range for Project Vahana, a drone that’s being tested as an air taxi, among other applications. The company transported the vehicle to Pendleton in November and began testing it. The Paciﬁ c Northwest National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy facility in Richland, Wash- ington, also tested one of their latest unmanned aircraft — the ArcticShark. An offshoot of a UAS used for surveillance and reconnaissance by the Navy, the 625-pound drone with a 22-foot wingspan started testing at the range in February. With the intention of ﬂ ying a mission in 2018, the ArcticShark has more than a dozen instruments it will use to measure climate data over the coast of Alaska.