Thursday, June 13, 2019 143rd year, no. 171 $1.50 WINNER OF THE 2018 ONPA GENERAL EXCELLENCE AWARD Brush fire near Hermiston kicks off fire season By JADE MCDOWELL East Oregonian herMIsTOn — a series of fires along railroad tracks near Hermiston kept firefighters busy Wednesday afternoon. The five fires, which started at roughly 11 a.m., burned between Walls road and highway 730 northeast of hermiston. uma- tilla County Fire district Chief scott stanton said the cause of the fires were under investigation, but looked like they had likely been sparked by a train. On Wednesday afternoon about 3 p.m. stanton was supervising mop-up operations at the fires. he said they were not large — the one he was at looked to be about 5 acres. “They were in heavy brush and trees, not just grass, so that made it more difficult,” he said. umatilla rural Fire Protection district, echo Fire department and Boardman rural Fire Protec- tion district assisted in the effort. stanton cautioned area res- idents to be extremely careful during what he predicts will be a dangerous fire season. “The grasses are cured and ready to burn,” he said. “It’s going to be a windy day tomorrow, and it’s getting hot and dry.” The national Weather ser- vice in Pendleton also warned of an increase risk for wildfires Thursday. The agency reported thunder- storms were likely Wednesday evening over central and east- Judge Johnson ern Oregon and portions of cen- tral Washington. Then winds will increase over the area Thursday. The gusts and the low humidity will lead to “red flag conditions.” The red flag warning is for Thursday afternoon until 10 p.m. Westerly winds of 15 mph will increase to 25 mph, and humidity will be 15-20 percent. “Any fires See Fire, Page A8 OCB Photo/Claire Withycombe Log truck drivers rallied at the Cap- itol on Wednesday to protest House Bill 2020, which will implement a cap-and-trade program. Despite their presence, the bill passed out of its fi- nal committee 13-8. It will get a vote in the House on Monday. air horns of protest can’t stall climate bill By AUBREY WIEBER Oregon Capital Bureau of the CTuIr Board of Trustees and chairman of the CTuIr General Coun- cil — the only tribal member ever to do that. In 1980, he began serving as associ- ate judge in the umatilla Tribal Court and then acting chief judge. His first term as chief judge began in 1988. a few accomplishments during John- son’s time as chief judge especially stand out. In 2011, at Johnson’s urging, the CTuIr Board of Trustees voted to cre- ate an independent judiciary with sep- aration of powers. This was a neces- sary move, he said, that ensured that the court was autonomous from tribal democrats appear to have the support to move forward on a mas- sive environmental plan to price carbon after a week of turmoil and uncertainty. house Bill 2020, which would implement a cap-and-trade program, passed out of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means on Wednesday. It now goes to the House floor for a vote scheduled for Monday. It’s the most significant piece of legislation still in the works, with the legislative session ending in two weeks. The legislation — and the 116th amendment proposed on it — passed out of committee on a 13-8 party vote with sen. Peter Courtney, d-salem, temporarily sitting in for sen. Betsy Johnson, d-scappoose. Johnson, the most conservative of the senate dem- ocrats, has been a vocal opponent of the bill, saying it would destroy the state’s economy. at about 20 minutes, it was easily the shortest of the 20 hearings the bill has endured. Business trade groups have long opposed the bill, but individuals working in industry have also made themselves seen in hearings for months. Wednesday was no different, as log truckers rallied in front of the Capitol in the morning before filling See Judge, Page A8 See Climate, Page A8 Staff photo by E.J. Harris Judge William D. Johnson, right, is sworn in by Judge David Gallaher during a ceremony Wednesday at the Nixyaawii Governance Center in Mission. Judge first CTUIR member to pass Oregon bar By KATHY ANEY East Oregonian PendLeTOn — Judge William d. Johnson stood in the rotunda at the nixyaawii Governance Center and raised his right hand. This wasn’t the first time for John- son. he was swearing in for his fourth 10-year-term as chief judge of the uma- tilla Tribal Court. The 90,635-square- foot governance center where he stood on Wednesday afternoon didn’t even exist the first time he took the oath. Johnson is the first member of the Confederated Tribes of the umatilla Indian reservation to graduate from law school or to pass the Oregon Bar. Before the ceremony, he agreed to sit down and talk about his long career and his pas- sion for tribal law. he traces his interest in law to a mag- azine story he read in the early 1970s. “I saw a newsweek article about Indian lawyers,” Johnson recalled. “It said there were only two in the whole nation at the time. I saw that and thought, ‘I could do that.’” The Pendleton high school graduate did his undergrad work at Oregon state university and then studied law at the university of Oregon. Johnson runs through his bio in an understated way. after a stint as a prosecutor for Lane County, he headed back home to prac- tice as an attorney. still in his 20s, he simultaneously served as both chairman Council sets rules for buying fire station By ANTONIO SIERRA East Oregonian PendLeTOn — as the Pend- leton Fire department prepares to move to its new digs at 1455 s.e. Court Ave., its current fire station at 911 s.W. Court ave. will go on the market for the first time in its 59-year history. But the city isn’t simply looking for the highest bidder to take over the property. Pendleton city staff explained how they expect to find the ideal buyer for the site through the request for proposal process at a Pendleton City Council workshop Tuesday. City Planner George Cress said staff developed the process to pro- vide the city with flexibility in deciding who should own the fire station next. a draft letter advertising the request states that the city is looking for an experienced developer that proposes a concept that contributes to Pendleton “fiscally, socially, and environmentally.” “The project should be finan- cially successful on its own as well as having a broader catalytic or sim- ulative effect that will lead to fur- ther redevelopment, higher property values and increased spending in the downtown,” the letter states. “Ide- ally the Project should go beyond something that is minimally feasible Staff photo by E.J. Harris See Council, Page A8 A Pendleton Fire engine backs into one of the bays of the Court Street fire station after returning from a call Wednesday in Pendleton.