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Jesse Burkhardt

Stories by Jesse

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Appealing to the senses

A gift shop near the eastern edge of The Dalles’ downtown business district might be a little bit off the beaten track, but for local shoppers it would be well worth it to search the store out.

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‘Once Upon a Winter Wonderland’

Starlight parade is Nov. 24

On the day after Thanksgiving, the 28th annual “Starlight Parade & Tree Lighting Celebration,” sponsored by The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce, takes place in the downtown business district. This year’s parade theme is “Once Upon a Winter Wonderland.”

A wild and rewarding ride

No matter what path a person travels, at some point the trail has to come to an end. That is where I find myself in November 2017, as I will be leaving The Dalles Chronicle today and heading out on the path of “semi-retirement.”

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Forum examines wood products sector

MCEDD symposium offers extensive analysis of forest products industry

Despite challenges, a keynote speaker at an economic symposium focused on timber said he sees a bright future for the industry.

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Center Market brings convenience to TD

24-hour market opens

A new 24-hour market has opened in The Dalles. On Oct. 23, the Center Market started welcoming customers into its bright, clean store at 1015 Walnut St, on the city’s west end. According to the market’s owner, Joson Singh, one of the main features the new business has to offer is convenience and reliability. “We’ll be open 24 hours a day, and all holidays,” Singh said.

City approves $3.8M for pipelines

Funds included for bike lanes on Second St.

A major infrastructure upgrading project is about to get started in The Dalles. Last week, The Dalles City Council unanimously approved a $3.8 million contract with Crestline Construction for infrastructure projects.

Curbside recycling going to landfill

Many items that previously have been recycled are headed for the trash heap until Northwest officials figure out what to do with them. Jim Winterbottom, district manager of Waste Connections, Inc., which operates The Dalles Disposal and Hood River Garbage, told The Dalles City Council on Oct. 23 that China is not accepting recycled materials from the West Coast at this time. “All this stuff we’ve been getting away with for years is coming back to haunt us,” Winterbottom said.

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Suiting up for Halloween

There’s a new “fright shop” in town. Halloween is less than a week away and community members can find a wide variety of costumes, masks and all types of accessories in one convenient location. For the second year, Costumes to Suit Your Fancy is located in the old Griffith Motors building at 523 E. Third Street. The temporary business not only makes Halloween shopping more convenient, but provides more costuming options.

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Board OKs new contract with Sunshine Mill in TD

In a 5-4 vote Tuesday, the Columbia Gateway Urban Renewal Agency board voted to convert two balloon payments owed by Sunshine Mill into a single monthly payment. The restructured agreement with Sunshine, the old grain silo property that is operating as Copa Di Vino, a wine distribution company, will require payments of approximately $12,800 a month beginning next March. They will continue until August 2021.

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Coffee supply company sets up shop in TD

Post Canyon Coffee Roasters, a new company in The Dalles, is perfecting the art of roasting organic coffee beans at home and getting their product into the hands of local coffee lovers.

Council focuses on room tax

Forming a tourism advisory committee and addressing the impact of the homeless emerged as top interests at a Monday work session of The Dalles City Council regarding distribution of room tax. Those two topics were also among the top ideas generated at a Sept. 18 public hearing the council held on tourism and how to spend room tax dollars.

‘Distinguished Service’ nominee names sought

Deadline for submissions is coming up fast

As the end of 2017 approaches, it’s time to consider nominations for The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce “Distinguished Service Awards” that are given out in January. Chamber members are invited to nominate an individual or business that represents the qualities outlined in the various award descriptions.

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Railroads, officials discuss concerns

Wide-ranging meeting touches on safety, better communication

Representatives of the two major railroads that operate in the Columbia River Gorge and government leaders from around the area recently met in an effort to bridge communication gaps amid controversy. In a “listening summit” that stretched over six hours at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson, railroad officials from Union Pacific (on the Oregon side of the Columbia River), and BNSF (on the Washington side), met with local mayors, county officials, and other community leaders to discuss a variety of issues.

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Expansion planned for Klindt Cove park

Port undertakes new project

The Port of The Dalles will increase the size of Klindt Cove Kiwanis Park by another 1.25 acres, expanding onto an adjacent lot to the west. Kathy Norton, assistant to the port director, said the upcoming development calls for additional parking, a walking path, heating for the restrooms, landscaping of the new lot, and a butterfly garden.

Granada bid for city money denied

Owner requests $3,000 to advertise theater reopening

Granada Theater owner Chuck Gomez appealed to The Dalles City Council on Monday for $3,000 to market the grand reopening the weekend of Nov. 10, but was denied that request.

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City ends pot buffer zone fight

The Dalles City Council has taken action to avoid a potentially costly legal battle with a marijuana business located within 1,000 feet of another pot shop, which is not allowed under a city ordinance. After meeting in executive session on Sept. 25, members of the city council returned to open session and voted 4-0 to pull the plug on legal moves against Columbia River Herbals LLC and its owner, Norm Brock.

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From Books to Bikes

Masons help give kids an extra reason to read more books

For several years, it has been a tradition for members of the Masonic Lodge in The Dalles to purchase bicycles and then donate them to local schools as an incentive to encourage youngsters to do more reading. Hew Hillis, master of Wasco Masonic Lodge No. 15, said members have engaged in the program since 2014.

Tygh Valley recycler branches out

There’s a significant new player in the area’s recycling network. Emerald Systems LLC is a sustainability consulting and materials management company based in Tygh Valley, and the startup business has big plans.

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Recycling services brace for trouble

Decisions in faraway China may soon have a direct, and possibly damaging, impact on local recycling programs. According to Jim Winterbottom, district manager of The Dalles Disposal/Hood River Garbage, China is poised to ban the import of many materials that are currently recycled in that country. “Drastic changes that have been announced in the international recycling markets within the last three months are causing a potential crisis in terms of our recycling industry on the West Coast in particular,” Winterbottom explained.

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New youth basketball league gears up

In an effort to give youngsters around the region more opportunities to learn basketball skills and gain game experience, Brian Stevens is organizing the “Gorge Hoops Youth League,” a new youth league that will be open to kids from first through eighth grade. The first games are scheduled for early November.

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Cascade Square’s enhancements win praise

The Cascade Square Shopping Center celebrated the completion of its major renovation project with a ribbon-cutting and other festivities on Sept. 16, and now the merchants are hoping the changes make a difference in their bottom line.

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Long says so long to bread

Franz Bakery supervisor retires after 34 years serving area residents

Dave Long, a longtime sales supervisor in The Dalles — first for Wonder Bread and then for Franz Bakery — enjoyed his final day on the job on Sept. 22. Long delivered bread to a variety of customers around the Columbia River Gorge region for 34 years, beginning in 1983.

Klebes named ‘vertical housing zone’ manager

Council approves new process for city developments

In a unanimous vote, The Dalles City Council approved changes to the way the city’s “Vertical Housing Zones” are processed and named Matthew Klebes, who serves as The Dalles’ assistant to the city manager, as Vertical Housing Zone manager.

Internship program ready to roll

TD company will focus on training

It’s only natural that “Gorge Works,” a technical career internship program organized by the Port of the Dalles and Columbia Gorge Community College, will have its formal kickoff on Oct. 6. That’s because Oct. 6 is “Manufacturing Day” in the United States, a day for celebration of “modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.”

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Granada looking grand

Celebration of reopening scheduled Nov. 10 to 12

With work on the exterior of the Granada Theater almost complete, the owners of the historic, 1929-era theater are ready to schedule a “Grand Opening Gala” in November. Mayor Steve Lawrence said the work on the theater has been transformational.

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Fire hurts businesses

It has been a very difficult few months for businesses in The Dalles and around the Columbia River Gorge area.

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Aero Drone adds software mission

Mosier resident taking Tygh Valley startup on a new path

Tygh Valley is becoming a little bit more of a “Mecca” for drone activity in Oregon. A growing startup business — Tygh Valley-based Aero Drone Corporation — is opening a new front in its operations with a plan to create software to help manage fleets of drones.

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Flag-raising honors 9-11 victims

Sixteen years ago, on Sept. 11, 2001, a coordinated series of attacks by terrorists shocked the nation and left nearly 3,000 people dead. On Monday, the anniversary of that tragic day, students at Colonel Wright Elementary School in The Dalles gathered around the flagpole in the school’s courtyard to observe a ceremonial raising of the American flag as a way to reflect on that dark day and honor the victims of the attacks.

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Dufur teacher focuses on tech

Dezirah Remington selected for special conferences, committees

It is turning into a very busy summer and fall for Dufur High School teacher Dezirah Remington, so it’s lucky that she likes to stay active. Over the past few months, Remington has been accepted for three special outside programs.

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SAPA celebrates safety

Although many area residents may not even realize there is still an aluminum manufacturing facility operating in The Dalles, the SAPA Extrusion North America plant at 2929 W. Second Street continues to expand and invest in its growing work force. On Thursday, Aug. 24, SAPA – which stands for Scandinavian Aluminum Profile Association – held its second annual “Health and Safety Day” on the front lawn of its facility, and dozens of employees turned out to enjoy a free lunch catered by Beachwood Eatery in The Dalles.

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Rotary program promotes peace

Youth Exchange project opens the world to area high school students

Since the early 1970s, The Dalles Rotary Club has sponsored the Rotary Youth Exchange, which provides high school students with the opportunity to study in a foreign country.

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Riverenza set to become ‘The Riv’

Some alterations are planned for the Riverenza Espresso Bar & Café, located at 401 E. 10th Street in a century-old stone building, an impressive structure that once housed the Church of Christ. The Riverenza, which first opened as a coffee shop in November 2007, is now gearing up for new ownership and a new direction. “We are in a transition phase,” said Noah Blakely, who is in the process of purchasing the business with his wife and co-owner, Lauren.

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County hears update on ‘Gorge 2020’ plans

It’s running a tad late, but representatives of the Columbia River Gorge Commission (CRGC) are optimistic the “Gorge 2020 Management Plan Review & Update Process” will be in draft form by the summer of 2019.

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Military museum opens doors

Grand opening planned for Veterans Day

The Dalles finally has a museum dedicated exclusively to the military. With thousands of veterans living in Wasco County, a museum to honor locals who have served in the armed forces has long been on a community “wish list,” and is now a reality.

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TDHS duo shines at PNW showcase

Seufalemua, Smith played in front of college coaches, scouts

The Dalles High School athletes Dalles Seufalemua and Dominic Smith were invited to participate in the Pacific Northwest Regional Baseball Tournament held this weekend in Ravensdale, Wash. for a showcase, where the top prospects from the classes of 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 had an opportunity to show off their talents in front of colleges and professional scouts.

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Veterans take flight

Organization brings thrill of flying to vets from Oregon Veterans’ Home

The concept behind Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation is in the organization’s motto: “Giving back to those who have given.” The devotion inherent in the motto was recently on display at the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport in Dallesport.

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TD joins ‘Drive Less’ campaign

Annual event to bring awareness of alternatives

The city of The Dalles is hoping to encourage residents to try different modes of transportation. Starting Sept. 16 and continuing through the end of the month, the city will partner with Mid-Columbia Economic Development District and the Oregon Department of Transportation for the 2017 “Oregon Statewide Drive Less Connect Challenge.”

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Wheatland takes root in TD

Insurance firm expands into agricultural community

The managers of Pendleton-based Wheatland Insurance Center long ago realized that setting up a branch office in The Dalles made good sense, because Wheatland focuses on providing farm and crop insurance for rural, agricultural communities. And the expanding company made its move early this year.

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New A.D. knows value of sports

Matt Morgan is ready to get to work. Morgan, the new athletic director/vice principal at The Dalles High School, was hired July 26 and is already serving in his new role.

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‘Sole sharing’ to help high school runners

Running shoes don’t come cheap these days, and not every high school student has a budget that can cover the cost of new footwear. “I have started a shoe drive where we are asking for anyone with gently used, or new, running shoes laying around, to donate them to benefit the runners at the high school. The shoes we collect would benefit The Dalles High School cross country and track teams,” explained Angela Hanson, whose daughter, Emily Johnson, will be on the school’s cross country team this fall and the track team in the spring.

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Stevens brings fresh approach to TD basketball

New girls’ basketball coach at The Dalles High School preaches defense, eliminating errors

Brian Stevens, the new head coach for The Dalles High School girls’ basketball team, said he has a simple motto that reflects his philosophy about the sport. “Basketball is a game of mistakes,” Stevens said. “The team that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins.”

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TD dancers finish first in Seaside

A visit to the Oregon coast proved to be very rewarding for members of the Dance Club Academy from The Dalles. The team of dancers — who ranged in age from 8 to 18 — competed at the grand championships in Seaside on the Aug. 4-5, and placed first in every category.

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Gym fundraiser honors boy who died

CrossFit The Dalles had personal connection with Parker Perkins, 4

It’s a workout for a good cause. This coming Friday, Aug. 11, CrossFit The Dalles will engage in a day-long fundraiser for the family of Parker Lee Perkins, a 4-year-old boy from The Dalles who died July 30 as a result of an off-road vehicle accident near Goldendale, Wash. Two CrossFit coaches – Hailey Tenneson and Britt Gannon – came up with the idea because Parker Perkins’ aunt, Michelle Austin, regularly works out at CrossFit, which is located at 312 Court St. in downtown The Dalles.

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Pickleball taking off in The Dalles

CGCC will offer class starting in September

There’s a new sport in town, and it’s one most people have probably never heard of before. The sport is called “pickleball,” and has a playing court that uses the dimensions and layout of a badminton court with a net and rules similar to tennis.

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City revokes A&P site permit

Owner asks city for more time to comply

Citing a failure of the business to comply with conditions of its site plan permit, The Dalles Planning Department has revoked the “site plan review” permit for A&P Recycling. The key issues the city wants to clear up are the company’s method of outside storage and lack of screening.

Real estate office adds key staffer

Strong market fuels growth

In a small sign of a thriving real estate market in The Dalles, Columbia Gorge Real Estate is making a new hire to keep up with strong business levels.

City reverses water ruling

New business gets green light for hookup outside city limits

The Dalles City Council reversed an earlier decision and voted to allow a commercial water hookup for a business that wants to locate outside city limits.

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TD couple wins mining award

Husband and wife team earn ‘Good Neighbor’ recognition

Charles and Irene Kornegay, who own the Five Mile Quarry about seven miles southwest of The Dalles, have won recognition from the Oregon Department of Geology & Mineral Industries for their efforts to restore rock quarry lands that had been inappropriately mined.

City chips in $5K for ‘Neon’ promo

Money will fund all-inclusive marketing for the festivities

Promoters of the annual Neon Cruise weekend in The Dalles are trying a new approach to marketing this year, and have enlisted a bit of help from the city of The Dalles. The city-wide Neon Cruise party is Aug. 11-13, and the city recently approved $5,000 to assist with a marketing campaign across the region.

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Granada Theater renovations moving fast

As July comes to a close, renovations to the Granada Theatre in downtown The Dalles are in high gear, and it won’t be much longer before the theater reopens. “We are on track for the grand reopening gala Nov. 10, 11, and 12,” said Chuck Gomez, co-owner of the theater at the corner of Second and Washington streets.

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