Local Briefing for August 26, 2013

By Observer staff August 26, 2013 10:51 am
Local Briefing for August 26, 2013

La Grande School Board to meet Wednesday

The La Grande School Board will meet for a board meeting/work session at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The meeting will begin in the conference room at Willow Elementary School. 

Members will then travel to other parts of the school district to look at the progress of work done this summer.

Jeff Merkley town hall set in Island City

ISLAND CITY — U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., will conduct a town hall meeting Wednesday at the Island City Elementary School.

The town hall meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. and will run through 6 p.m.

Merkley, a Democrat from Portland, has served in the U. S. Senate since 2009. He earlier served as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives for 10 years.

Page Turners read
‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage’        

 Cook Memorial Library’s Page Turners Book Club is reading “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce for its Sept. 12 meeting. Meetings are held at
6 p.m. the second Thursday of the month in the library Archives Room. New members are always welcome.

ODOT crews continue work on Highway 237

UNION — Oregon Department of Transportation maintenance crews are continuing work east of Union on Highway 237 near milepost 18 (Higginson’s Corner) to cut back a rock outcropping next to the highway. 

During winter storms, the outcropping created an area where snow drifts would build up on the road, resulting in safety concerns and occasional closures. Most of the major excavation on the project is now complete. However, crews will continue to work in the area over the next couple months. 

Motorists can expect intermittent lane closures and delays of up to 20 minutes at times. All work on the project is expected to be completed this fall. 

“We’re using a boulder buster technique to fracture the rock, so an excavator or loader can break it up and remove the rubble,” said ODOT District 13 Assistant Manager Dennis Hackney. The boulder buster utilizes a shotgun shell-size explosive charge placed in a drilled hole filled with water to fracture the rock with an explosive shock. 

In addition to reducing snow drifts, removing the rock outcropping will also create additional space next to the highway for storage of snow and ice that is plowed off the road. 

Along with helping improve wintertime safety on Highway 237, the rock removed from the project site was used to enhance about a mile of highway shoulders along Highway 203 west of Union. The shoulder work is changing the angle of the steep slope into the adjacent ditch to help reduce vehicle rollovers in the event a motorist veers off the highway. The shoulder enhancement work that is improving safety along this route will continue through the fall as rock material becomes available. Travelers are advised to watch for crews and be prepared for intermittent traffic delays..

New storytime geared
to 0 to 3 year olds 

A new storytime geared  for 0 to 3 year olds is coming to the Cook Memorial Library. Join Miss Carrie in the Story Circle at 11:15 a.m. every Tuesday beginning Sept. 3. Those attending will do finger plays, read board books and play with early learning toys.

Senior meal served
in Union Tuesday

UNION — Senior meal in Union will feature sub sandwiches with turkey, tomatoes, cheese and lettuce, plus a salad and dessert at noon Tuesday at the United Methodist Church.

Get update on Maxville project at Brown Bagger 

JOSEPH — An update on the Maxville project will be given at the Brown Bag lunch at the Josephy Library at noon Tuesday.

Director Gwen Trice will provide an update on the Maxville project — collections, spaces and the upcoming musical play based on the Maxville experience.

These discussion programs are free and open to the public. For more information, email
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture at 541-432-0505.

Union Co. Republicans meet Wednesday 

Union County Republicans will meet at noon Wednesday at the Flying J Restaurant. A no-host lunch is available. For more information, contact Greg Barreto 541-910-5246 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Workshops target disasters, collections

PENDLETON — Two day-long workshops will take place in Baker City and Pendleton this fall as part of the state’s Connecting to Collections project. The workshops are open to volunteers and staff of libraries, archives and museums, as well as collectors of historic items.

The first workshop, “Collections Care: Cleaning, Mending, and Housing,” will take place Sept. 18 in Pendleton and Sept. 19 in Baker City. Randy Silverman, preservation librarian at the University of Utah, will present basic and advanced information on caring for historical items found in libraries, museums and archives.

The second workshop, “Disaster Response and Recovery,” will take place Oct. 14 in Pendleton and Oct. 15 in Baker City. Presenter Kris Kern, of the Portland State University library, will discuss how libraries, museums and archives can best recover from a flood, fire or other disaster that damages or destroys historical materials.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services funded the workshops through a grant to a coalition of statewide organizations, including the Oregon Library Association and the Oregon State Library, led by the Oregon Heritage Commission, which administers the Connecting to Collections project.

While the workshops are free, pre-registration is required. For additional workshop information and to register, visit www.oregon

Tree falls on power line, causing outage Sunday

SUMMER VILLE — Some 150 OTEC members lost power at
7:45 p.m. Sunday on Hunter Road and in the rural area of Summerville due to a tree falling through a power line caused by the weather.  Power was restored to all customers by 11:20 p.m., OTEC said.

Grant application
date changes

Starting in October, the Wallowa County Cultural Trust Coalition will be granting in the fall for the following year.  

Applications for Wallowa County entities may be found online at www.wallowavalleyarts.org/partnership. For 2014 they must be received by Oct. 31, 2013, to be considered. 

For more information contact Janet Pulsifer at janet.pul
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 541-398-0189.

In March, grants totaling $5,800 were given to Wallowa Valley Festival of the Arts, Wallowa County Farmers’ Market, Josephy Center for the Arts, Wallowa Valley Land Trust, Lostine Community Center, the Oddfellows and other organizations.

Find out more at www.cultural