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Looking Back on Dec. 29

December 29

20 Years Ago-1993

The Dalles city councilors Monday night gave a new lease on life to the Crate’s Point living history exhibit, allocating one-time expenditure of $50,000 to prepare the site for the 1994 visitor season. The sum will be matched by additional state funding. The move culminates a significant restructuring of the exhibit, which opened last spring under The Dalles Convention & Visitors Bureau. The park won acclaim for its unique portrayal of Oregon Trail pioneer life through the eyes of interpretive actors, but its popularity didn’t translate into financial success. A $300,000 operating deficit at the CVB resulted primarily from under budgeted costs and over budgeted revenues, making the history park’s future uncertain.

“We know we’re in trouble,” District 12 Supt. Ivan Hernandez plainly summarizes the beleaguered financial condition of The Dalles’ largest school district, as he and other school officials view sweeping changes in the way their schools may be forced to do business. Financial losses on paper gained a human dimension this month, as the district laid off 2.6 positions including a Kindergarten teacher and middle school science teacher. While this was the indirect result of Chapter 1 federal funding cuts to the district’s program it’s a harbinger of what’s shaping up to be a tough year in District 12.

40 Years Ago-1973

Over 31 years of service with the Oregon State Police, virtually all of it with the local office, was recognized in retirement ceremonies Friday for Senior Trooper Tom Helvey. Helvey started his career with the OSP in the Albany office in September of 1942, but three months later came to The Dalles in December. He’s been here ever since, in a variety of positions of patrol work, fish and game and recently in an office job. Ops officials noted it was rare that an employee spent his entire career in the same office and Helvey is thought to be one of only two men who have been in The Dalles their entire career.

Various courses arranged by the Chenowith Community Resources Center are being offered in The Dalles area in conjunction with Mt. Hood Community College. The program is similar to one established at Hood River. In most instances college credit is granted. Mt. Hood Community College has granted permission for the courses to be offered. In addition, the Oregon Division of Continuing Education proposes to offer an undergraduate and graduate three-hour college credit course titled Psychological Changes in Old Age.

60 Years Ago-1953

Louis Elterich Company of Port Angeles, Washington, held the low bid of $152,545 today for construction of a railroad bridge at Fifteen Mile Creek at Seufert three miles east of here. The work is part of the relocation of the Union Pacific railroad company main line made necessary by construction of The Dalles Dam. Completion time is 300 calendar days. The low of 15 bids received yesterday afternoon was $20,280 below the $172,825 Army Engineers estimate.

The 1954 political season is expected to get underway in Wasco County shortly after New Year’s Day with a number of city, county and state elective offices to be filled in the New Year. County Clerk D.V. Bolton today announced he is ready to prepare petitions for candidates for office. Top offices to be filled in Wasco County are that of Circuit Judge and Wasco County representative in the House of Representatives at Salem. Incumbents are Circuit Judge Malcolm W. Wilkinson and Rep. Russell Hudson. County officials up for re-election are County Clerk D. V. Bolton, ommissioner S.M. Hix, Assessor Harry E. Greene, School Supt. Frank Braumbaugh and County Coroner Kenneth Libby.

80 Years Ago-1933

Bids for construction of a new east highway approach to The Dalles were opened by the state highway commission in session at Portland today, according to a report received here by city officials. Kern & Kibbe, Portland, had the low bid of $47,531 and presumably will be awarded the contract or the project, which calls for grading and resurfacing 0.7 of a mile immediately east of the city limits. Curves and narrow places in the present approach will be eliminated by the new construction. The highway improvement is coming as practically a gift to the city, inasmuch as almost all funds are being supplied by the public works administration. Although the city must provide a right of way for that portion of the project within the city limits, most of the desired property has been donated.

The absent minded professor who tried to mail a letter in a fire alarm box found his counterpart in The Dalles today, when an examination of one of the Christmas seal sale answer boxes revealed a handful of Christmas cards “mailed” in the box, addressed to Idaho cities. The box, which occupies a prominent downtown corner, apparently had been mistaken by the Christmas card sender for one of Uncle Sam’s green-painted letter boxes. A goodly number of remittances for the Christmas seals also were found in the box, and other answer boxes around town, indicating that people of The Dalles in large number now are remembering to send in money for the little red and green stickers.

100 Years Ago-1913

The Dalles is to have a new $100,000 high school. The proposed institution was accepted by the taxpayers of school district number 12 at a special bond election yesterday, by a vote of 228 to 163, the majority in favor being 65. It is estimated that one-third of the taxpayers who were eligible to vote yesterday, exercised their franchise. It was the largest vote, however, ever polled at a school election. The board of school directors will hold a meeting Friday night to award an architect’s contract, no architect having been selected as yet to prepare the plans, which will be submitted to the contractors, and to superintend the erection of the new high school. Construction work on the $100,000 educational institution will probably be commenced about March 1. It is hoped to have the building ready for occupancy January 1, 1915. The high school is to be erected where the Academy Park grammar school now stands. The Academy building will be razed, and the pupils there now will probably be housed in portable buildings.

Congressman N.J. Sinnott of this city has introduced in the House of Representatives a “deferred residence” homestead bill. “The object of the bill is to make it possible for the settler to make his homestead a fit place for himself and family to live in before he is obliged to take up actual residence thereon,” stated Congressman Sinnott, who returned from Washington yesterday.

Looking Back is compiled by The Chronicle’s CeCe Fix.

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