Local Briefing for September 6, 2013

By Observer staff September 06, 2013 10:16 am
Local Briefing for September 6, 2013

Public transit meeting scheduled Tuesday 

UNION — A public comment meeting for the Public Transit Fare Study and community delivery strategies in Union will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Union City Hall. Planning and project materials are available on the web at www.neotransit.org.

Urban Renewal meeting canceled

The Urban Renewal Advisory Commission meeting Monday has been canceled, with no items submitted for consideration. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at City Hall. For more information, call 541-962-1307.

Blood drive takes place Thursday 

An American Red Cross blood drive for the La Grande community will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1802 Gekeler Lane. To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Denny
or Colleen Langford at

Learn steps toward homeownership

With signs of recovery in the housing industry, more and more families are looking for their first home.

Anyone interested in learning the steps toward homeownership is invited to a free workshop, “ABCs of Home Buying,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Union County Transit Center, 2204 E. Penn Ave.

Co-sponsored by Community Connection of Northeast Oregon and the Northeast Oregon Housing Authority, the free workshop is open to the public. Area professionals, John J. Howard of Howard & Associates and Teri Champlain of AmericanWest Bank, will discuss real estate and lending issues.

To register, call Di Lyn Larsen-Hill at NEOHA, 541-963-5360, ext. 32, or Debbie Votaw at Community Connection, 541-963-3186, by Sept. 15.

Historic Trails Council meets Sunday 

The Oregon Historic Trails Advisory Council will meet in Enterprise at 8 a.m. Sunday at the Wilderness Inn, 301 W. North St. The meeting is open to the public.

La Grande planners meet Tuesday

The City of La Grande Planning Commission will meet in regular session at
6 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at City Hall.

Landmarks Commission meets 

The City of La Grande Landmarks Commission will meet in regular session at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at City Hall.

South County Health District meets

The South County Health District will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. A previous announcement that the meeting would take place Sept. 3 was incorrect. District officials will be discussing clinic business and issues.

Oregon Heritage
to award fellowships 

Oregon Heritage will award up to three $2,000 fellowships to full-time students of an Oregon university or college for researching, writing and presenting a topic related to history, geography, archaeology, cultural heritage or historic preservation in Oregon. 

Details and the application form are available at www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/FINASST/Pages/Scholarships.aspx. The application deadline is Oct. 25.

For more information, contact Cara Kaser, Heritage outreach specialist, at 503-986-0670 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sale benefits
Marian Academy 

Ten Twelve Antiques is closing its doors. Proceeds from sales on Saturday will benefit the Marian Academy. The sale will run from 8 a.m. to
3 p.m. at 1012 Adams Ave.

DEQ penalizes
La Grande company

A La Grande company has been issued a $3,300 penalty from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for failing to file an annual air quality report.

HNS Inc., a company that does portable and stationary rock crushing on Industrial Lane, has an air quality permit to continue those operations. 

According to the DEQ, the company is required to submit an annual report by Feb. 15 of each year, but they have not yet received one.

HNS Inc. has until Sept. 13 to appeal the penalty.

The annual report is used by the DEQ to ensure pollution limits in the permit are being followed, according to a DEQ press release.

Preschoolers’ success is class focus 

Your Role in Your Preschoolers’ Success in School class will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday in the Child Care Resource & Referral classroom, 1901 Adams Ave., Suite 3. 

People attending will learn strategies to engage children in pre-literacy activities in a playful yet focused way, using conversations, games, stories, rhymes and songs. Skills learned from these activities, class organizers said, can be a powerful predictor of success in school.

Those attending will learn how they can incorporate fun language activities in day-to-day routines, and how to assess a child’s development.

The class is free and open to the public. To register or
for more information, call 541-963-7942, ext. 22, or 1-800-956-0324, ext. 7

MOPS family picnic set for Sunday

The Mothers of Preschoolers annual family picnic/potluck will take place at
4:30 p.m. Sunday in the Riverside Park pavilion. This is a chance to bring families together as summer fun comes to a close and a new year for MOPS begins. People are asked to bring a dish or two to share; MOPS will provide drinks and table service.

MOPS welcomes all moms with young children, from pregnancy though age 5. The group meets from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month September through May.  Meetings are held at Valley Fellowship, 507 Palmer Ave., and include fellowship with other moms, a meal and fun with either a craft or a speaker. 

New members are welcome to join. The theme this year is “ A Beautiful Mess,” which is designed to help mothers feel comfortable. Child care is available for $1 per child. 
For more information,
visit MOPS online at

Bingo players gather Saturday evening 

SUMMERVILLE — I.O.O.F. bingo will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Oddfellows Hall in Summerville.

State Fair attendance down from last year

SALEM — Preliminary State Fair attendance figures are in, and the estimated total is 196,814, or 5.6 percent below 2012’s total of 208,392.

This year’s fair was slightly warmer than 2012, and Salem’s weather station recorded rain on five days between Aug. 23 and Sept. 2, but paid concerts account for the single largest difference between 2012 and 2013.

More than 35,000 people purchased tickets for 2013 concerts with no sell-out events, versus around 53,000 with one sell-out in 2012.

Public participation in arts and crafts competitions was up over 2012, in some cases by 50 percent and more.

“I’m proud of our staff for putting on a quality, clean event,” says Oregon State Fair Manager Toni Payseno. “But I think people do expect big events like this to grow and change over time, and that’s something that will be more within reach thanks to the Legislature’s action earlier this year.”

The 2013 Oregon Legislative Assembly passed a law to transform the state fair and exposition center into a public corporation, giving it more flexibility to create new programs and services, control costs and form creative partnerships with businesses and nonprofits. A team is working on the transition to help establish the corporation by 2015.

Travel agency celebrates authors

Meet authors AJ Arthur — Rebecca “A” Cass, Molly “J” Brog, and Dennis “Arthur” Cass — at a book signing for their first novel, “Homicide on the Half Shell” Tuesday when Alegre Travel celebrates a grand reopening at its new location, 1307 Adams Ave. The event starts at 3 p.m., and a ribbon cutting will be at 5:30 p.m.

Free fitness classes help battle cancer

Olivia Westenskow is offering free fitness classes as a benefit for a woman fighting cancer, Verda Lilly, at the Art Center from 8:30 a.m.
to 3 p.m. Saturday. For
more information, call