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Editorial: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs Up

Hoofin’ it

Congratulations to The Dalles equestrian team members, Tate Ho well, Summer Kendall, Jaeden Biehn and Andrew Richman, for picking up first-place honors in the freestyle fours drill team event at the second OHSET meet of the season at Powell Butte. In two events thus far, The Dalles has posted 30 top-10 finishes, including back-to-back wins in the freestyle fours. The team also placed third amongst the small teams division in session No. 2.

Shout-out to key player

A shout-out to reigning 2A Baseball Player of the Year and Dufur High School graduate Kolbe Bales. The freshman left-hander is enjoying a solid start to his collegiate career at Western Oregon University, where he has tossed 22 2/3 innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on 13 hits with 37 strikeouts and six walks. So far, he has a record of 2-1 with seven saves and an earned run average of 1.59.

Life lessons

Thanks to The Dalles Middle School and Jocelyn Paris for engaging students in STEM classes. The kids seem to really enjoy the hands-on lessons and the community benefits as a result.

Students on the move

A tip of the hat to the students who chose to participate in the March 14 walkout. For whatever personal reasons, they peacefully stood in solidarity with their peers, took ownership of their political voices and showed a lot of maturity.

Positive resolution

To Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District for reaching an interim solution to keep park users and dog walkers happy at Firehouse Park. A temporary fence bisecting the small park will create an exclusive, all-day off-leash area for dogs, while children can safely use the playground equipment on the other side of the fence.

Sentinels standing by

Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue, The Dalles Police Department, Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police have personnel waiting 24/7 to answer emergency calls within the community. We can all sleep a little better knowing that law enforcement officers, firefighters and medics are going to be there if we need them.

Bilingual challenge

To The Dalles High School students in Brian Greeley’s Spanish II classes, who performed a play in Spanish for youngsters at Colonel Wright Elementary, and also read to students their own bilingual books they wrote in Spanish. It’s a long tradition enjoyed by both schools.

Google contributions

Google officially opened its third building in March and a party was thrown to celebrate the occasion. Two major grants were announced at the event: $100,000 to North Wasco County School District 21 for technology updates and another $100,000 for the district to fund the second part of a computer science grant issued last year. In addition, The Dalles Wasco County Library was given $50,000 to increase the number of WiFi hotspots available for loan.

Wasco County has gained millions in funding for education, free public WiFi and other programs from Google, which has committed to being a good community partner.

Winning medalist

Golfer Tyler Vassar is a star for shooting a one-under par 70 to capture medalist recognition at the Riverhawk Invitational at The Dalles Country Club last week. This was Vassar’s third time winning medalist, as he previously captured back-to-back Indian Creek Invitational titles as a freshman and sophomore. The standout golfer wound up 12 strokes ahead of teammate Aidan Telles. Over the first nine holes, Vassar led Telles and Seaside’s Curtis Kunde by six strokes with his 34, and he added a 36 on holes 10-through-18 get his win. Seaside captured first place in the team standings with its 363, six strokes ahead of The Dalles (369).

Bringing Easter to life

Kudos to the cast and crew of The Last Days of Jesus pageant for reaching their 40th anniversary; they put on great performances year after year and do so with great faith and a positive attitude.

Feeding those in need

To Community Meal for celebrating its 35th anniversary this month. The free meal, provided three days a week, has been served by countless volunteers over the years. That it has been sustained for decades is a testament to the giving and supportive nature of the community.

Bravery under fire

The Dalles City Councilor Darcy Long-Curtiss is to be commended for standing against opposition from her peers to speak out about what she perceived as wrongdoing in the decision-making process. It takes courage to go against the majority and she never flinched when criticized.

Giving back

The Mid-Columbia Health Foundation recognized outstanding volunteers and philanthropists in March through the annual Tradition of Compassion awards.

The awards for outstanding service were a reminder of how many people and businesses in this community are working to improve the quality of life for others.

The foundation also gave out more than $17,000 in grants to keep valuable local programs up and running.

Thumbs Down

Wrongful behavior

Three juvenile and one adult were charged this month with assault and robbery tied to the beating of a teen.

The adult, 18-year-old Taren Thomas Michael McCall of The Dalles was arrested on East 14th Street and is facing charges for the incident. Two of the involved juveniles were already on probation for other crimes.

This incident is a reminder that, even in a small town, bad things can happen.

— The Chronicle runs “Thumbs” to recognize exemplary acts and encourage change when necessary.


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