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Posted on January 5th in News

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Court approves MOA with Burns Paiute Tribe

by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 16, the Harney County Court agreed to appoint Harney County Judge Steve Grasty to represent Harney County in settlement negotiations on the Transportation Management Plan (TMP).

Grasty said the TMP has been in litigation since about 2008.

On Nov. 28, 2007, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a Decision Record adopting the proposed TMP for the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area. On Jan. 4, 2008, the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) petitioned for stay of the effect of that decision to the Department of Interior’s Board of Land Appeals. A long, complicated legal battle ensued.

The court will meet for an executive session the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2016, to work on litigation. Grasty said he’ll use the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Act of 2000 in the negotiation process.


The court approved a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Burns Paiute Tribe and Harney County to develop a plan for clarifying right of way issues for the Kassler Parcel and the right of way for West Loop Road.

A survey was conducted of the Kassler and surrounding parcels, and some confusion arose as to whether there was clear demarcation of the right of way for West Loop Road.

The tribe and county agree that no conflict exists, or is anticipated, regarding continued use and right of way of the road. The MOA memorializes the parties’ mutual trust and commitment to determining how to clarify and resolve right of way issues on the road by survey, quitclaim, agreement, or other means.


The court reconvened at 8:30 a.m., Dec. 17 to open and review bids for the courthouse heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) project, as bidding for the project was scheduled to close at 5 p.m., Dec. 16.

The county received sealed bids from Custom Plus Heating & Air Conditioning ($535,300), Central Oregon Heating & Cooling ($612,613), and Bend Heating & Sheet Metal. The original bid for Bend Heating & Sheet Metal was $572,600, but modifications and clarifications adjusted the bid to $530,000.

There are some tasks, such as removing the old boiler, that the county can perform to lower project costs.

Anthony Dickman, HVAC engineer, will review the bids.

The current boiler is condemned and must be replaced by September 2016.


The court received a letter from Chris Marklund, National Association of Counties associate legislative director, stating that the Omnibus spending bill fully funds the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program at $452 million for fiscal year 2016.

The PILT program was created to partially offset the cost of providing county services to federal public lands, which are exempt from property taxes. Without this funding, Grasty said there would be significant layoffs.

Marklund also stated that the Omnibus spending bill will add $1.5 million (for a total of $79 million) in fiscal year 2016 to make additional resources available to reduce the backlog of BLM grazing permit applications. The bill also included $60 million within the BLM budget for sage grouse habitat conservation activities.

Public lands policy concerns are also addressed in the bill, including a provision requiring the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service to report on nonemergency closures of public lands to hunting, fishing, shooting, and other recreational activities. There is also a prohibition on funding for the Fish and Wildlife Service to issue further rules to place sage grouse on the Endangered Species List, and the Department of the Interior is prohibited from administratively creating new wilderness areas. The bill also contains a directive that the Forest Service, National Park Service, and BLM work with state and local governments in drought-stricken regions to facilitate the prompt removal of hazardous trees and prioritize funding to reduce the threat of wildfire.


In other business, the court:

• received an invitation to Tony Svejcar’s retirement party, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Jan. 23, 2016, at Burns Elks Lodge No. 1680. Svejcar is a rangeland scientist and research leader at the Agricultural Research Service in Burns.

“That’s a big loss,” Grasty said regarding Svejcar’s retirement. “I hope he stays around and weighs in on some stuff;”

• upon recommendation from Harney County Roads Supervisor Eric Drushella, approved John and Cheryl Williams’ application for an approach off of East Steens Road. Drushella explained that this is an improvement to an existing approach;

• received a letter from Rod Klus, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife district wildlife biologist, stating that the department is preparing to review its Management Objectives (MOs) for deer and elk. Harney County Commissioner Pete Runnels volunteered to serve on a committee to review MO proposals;

• discussed the BLM’s application to withdraw approximately 1,929,580 acres of public and National Forest System Lands, which are identified as Sagebrush Focal Areas, in Oregon. The proposed withdrawal would close these lands to location and entry under the United States mining laws to protect and preserve greater sage grouse and its habitat.

Grasty said he will push for an analysis of the loss of economic opportunity that could result from the proposed withdrawal;

• received a letter stating that the Prineville District of the BLM is proposing to expand and update its existing district-wide integrated noxious weed management program, primarily by increasing the kinds of plants controlled from noxious to all invasive plants and increasing the number of herbicides to be used from four to 14.

“My hunch is that this will almost mirror what the Burns district did,” Grasty said;

• received a request to lease county-owned land for grazing.  Grasty suggested that the court develop a process;

• reviewed Senator Wyden’s Outdoor Recreation Bill Discussion Draft Outline for Feedback. Grasty and Harney County Commissioner Dan Nichols expressed concern about the bill. Grasty said he will ask community members to read it and provide input;

• mailed a Notice of Public Works to the Bureau of Labor and Industries for emergency replacement of the bridge that burned on Old Experiment Road;

• reviewed water use requests.

Grasty will ask Geographical Information Systems Coordinator Bryce Mertz if he can start providing maps showing the locations of water use requests.

The next regularly scheduled county court meeting will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Judge Grasty’s office at the courthouse.

About 20 percent of Oregonians have chronic pain

Living with chronic pain can be overwhelming, and it frequently leaves people feeling isolated, frustrated, dependent, and even depressed or anxious. The person with chronic pain, not only endures physical discomfort, but often experiences psychological, social, and economic stressors, as well. According to the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Annual Report from 2012, about 20 percent of Oregonians suffer from chronic pain. Common methods for treating chronic pain typically come from prescription drugs that mask pain and provide temporary relief. These methods can also lead to adverse side effects and do not cure the underlying cause of pain. A new, local Pain Clinic has been created through Cornerstone, a mental health outreach program, with the goal of treating chronic pain through behavioral support methods specifically addressing the body’s physiological response to pain and the areas in life that have been negatively impacted by this chronic condition. The Cornerstone Pain Clinic intends to meet the needs of those in the community suffering from chronic pain, and it is a collaborative effort between medical, mental health, and pharmaceutical professionals.

In collaboration with health care providers, the Cornerstone Pain Clinic will utilize treatment strategies proven to decrease the brain’s overall response to pain, effectively reducing the amount of pain experienced and simultaneously better equipping a person’s ability to self-manage pain that may persist. In order to reduce the brain’s response to pain, it is important to understand why pain can become a neurological chronic condition. An individual’s pain usually originates either from an injury or another chronic condition or illness. When an individual is injured, pain serves as a purposeful signal and should last until the injury has been healed. On the other hand, chronic pain continues past the normal time of healing and no longer serves a functional purpose. The experience of chronic pain changes the way the brain functions and processes pain. The central nervous system becomes highly reactive to any form of pain and ceases to function normally. Additional stress to the central nervous system (such as anxiety, stress, trauma, or other psychological issues) prior to or just after an injury, can also greatly attribute to the a person’s susceptibility to chronic pain. The treatment methods of Cornerstone Pain Clinic all focus on decreasing the reactivity of the central nervous system that has been altered by persistent pain and/or psychological stressors.

A free Living with Chronic Pain workshop will be held Jan. 8, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. at the Cornerstone Building, 610 West Monroe in Burns. The workshop will provide information on how chronic pain originates in the brain, the body’s physiological response, and the emotional response from living with this condition. This workshop is open to individuals experiencing chronic pain or to people who have a family member or friend who suffers. Refreshments will be provided. Additional information on the Cornerstone Pain Clinic program will be provided for those interested. Contact Ashlee Voges at 541-589-1729 with any questions.

Raymond F. Angell 1952-2015

Posted on December 30th in Obituaries


OBIT Angell WEBRaymond F. Angell, 63, passed away Dec. 21 in Burns.

Ray Angell was born July 10, 1952, in Liberal, Kan., to Janet Kathleen and Raymond Chadwick Angell. He grew up in Kansas, meeting his high school sweetheart, Sheila Gillespie. They met and married in Gove, Kan.

Ray went to Kansas State University for his bachelor of science and master’s degrees. The couple’s oldest, Jonathan Ross, was born in Bryan/College Station, Texas, January 1982, while Ray received his doctorate in range science from Texas A&M. After finishing school, Ray went to work for the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center as a rangeland scientist. He retired in July 2015.

In the summer of 1986, Ray and Sheila brought home twins, Chad Nelson and Kelsi Rae, to their 4-year-old brother. Ray and Sheila raised the three children in Burns, who all graduated from Burns High School. Jonathan went into the Navy, and the twins finished schooling in the Portland metro area.

Ray took great pleasure in spending time with his family. Camping, hunting, fishing, and ham radio were a few of his hobbies. But maintaining their 1901 Victorian home, and fixing up his children’s three homes, made him the best jack-of-all-trades.

Ray and his family attended Pioneer Presbyterian Church ever since they first moved to Burns in 1982. Since most family remains in Kansas, the church community has become their family.

Ray is survived by his mother, Janet; brother, Scott Angell of Kansas; wife, Sheila; children, Jonathan and Kelsi of Gresham, and Chad of Molalla; and eight grandchildren, Joshua, Elizabeth, Michael, Emily, Samuel, Mackenzie, Lucas and Esther.

He was preceded in death by his father, R. Chad Angell.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at a later date at Pioneer Presbyterian Church in Burns.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Pioneer Presbyterian Church.

Gordon Keith Choate 1947-2015

Posted on December 30th in Obituaries


OBIT Choate WEBGordon Keith Choate, 68, passed away Dec. 15 at St. Charles Hospital in Bend, surrounded by his family.

Gordon was born July 22, 1947, in Burns. He was the second of five children born to John and Ima Choate. Gordon grew up in Burns with his family, and later graduated from Burns Union High School in 1965. After high school, he worked in the lumber industry as a mill worker and logger until 1985, when he moved to Redmond to attend Central Oregon Community College (COCC) in Bend. After graduating from COCC, Gordon worked as a substance abuse counselor for almost 10 years, assisting individuals through the difficult phases of recovery. In 1995, Gordon began his adventure as a self-employed business owner, dabbling in various business ventures that included owning Country Pleasures Antiques in downtown Redmond, buying and selling real estate, and his latest endeavor of running an online auction website. Gordon lived his life with zest and grit, touching many along the way. He was a self proclaimed “mountain man” who found solace in the outdoors, spending much of his time hunting or backpacking with friends and family.

Gordon is survived by his daughters, Debbie George, Dawn Choate-Combs, Becky Winters, and Melissa Church-Roberts; grandchildren,  Tyler George, Hannah George, Brooks Morgan, Nicole Morgan, Austin Wilson, Bree Porfily, Logan Porfily, and Lucas Roberts; great-grandchild, Dakota Worman; and siblings, Tom Choate, Jerry Choate, and Sharyn Ochoa.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m., Jan. 9, at Redmond Grange, 707 SW Kalama Ave. in Redmond. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Autumn Funerals in Redmond, 541-504-9485,

Should friends desire, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to family at 1473 SW Canyon Drive, Redmond, Oregon, 97756.


Wednesday Dec. 30

Posted on December 30th in Community Calendar

Bring babies to Lapsit Storytime at Harney County Library, 80 W. “D” St., each Wednesday at 10 a.m. Enjoy music, stories, rhymes and fingerplays especially for babies and toddlers.

Storytime for preschoolers is scheduled at the Harney County Library, 80 W. “D” St., each Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Contact the Harney County Library for more information, 541-573-6670.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets each Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord, Burns.

ALANON, an ongoing support group for friends and families of alcoholics, meets every Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord, Burns. Please use the north side door. For more information, call 541-589-0329.

A Women’s AA meeting is held every Wednesday at noon at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord, Burns.

Thursday Dec. 31

Posted on December 30th in Community Calendar

A Walking Class is held each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from  10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. indoors at the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center.

Kiwanis Club of Burns-Hines meets for a no-host luncheon at noon each Thursday at Bella Java, 314 N. Broadway in Burns.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly meets at noon each Thursday at Hines City Hall, 101 E. Barnes. Call 541-573-2896.

Tai Chi for Better Balance with Diane Rapaport is held each Tuesday and Thursday at Harney County Senior and Community Services Center from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. — free.

Friday Jan. 1

Posted on December 30th in Community Calendar

Happy New Year!

A recovery group, “Celebrate Recovery,” meets each Friday at the Harney County Church of the Nazarene, 311 Roe Davis Ave. in Hines. Snacks served at 5:30 p.m. The main meeting is held at 6 p.m., and small group sessions are at 7 p.m. For more information, call 541-573-7100.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets each Friday at 10 a.m. at Harney District Hospital in the small conference room near the cafeteria.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets each Friday at Symmetry Care at 5 p.m.

Saturday Jan. 2

Posted on December 30th in Community Calendar

A Veterans lunch will be served at the Hampton Station Cafe the first Saturday of each month beginning March 1. RSVP  by calling Shelley at 541-576-4951.

Diabetes Support Group meets at the Harney County Health Building, 420 N. Fairview, the first Saturday of each month at 2 p.m.

Waggin’ Tales is held the first and third Saturday of the month at Harney County Library from 1-3 p.m. Please call the library, 541-573-6670, for an appointment to read with a dog.

Harney County Arts and Crafts Association meets the first Saturday of each month. This month, they will meet from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the basement conference room of the Harney County Courthouse. Use the rear building entrance. Artists of any age and artistic medium are welcome to attend. The first hour is art demonstration or workshop. Contact Karen Hendrickson at 541-413-0124 for more information.

Sunday Jan. 3

Posted on December 30th in Community Calendar

A free community dinner, eat in or take out (no strings attached), is served the first Sunday of each month from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Pioneer Presbyterian Church, 417 W. Washington in Burns. The church is both wheelchair and walker accessible, and a limited number of deliveries are available. For more information, call 541-480-6809.

Overeaters Anonymous meets each Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Harney District Hospital Annex (downstairs in cafeteria area).Enter through the cafeteria door on North Grand. For more information, call Susie at 541-589-1522.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets every Sunday at 7 p.m. at Foursquare Church for 12×12 study.

Whaddya Think?

Which is your favorite Sunday afternoon activity?
  • Watching football (35%)
  • Taking a walk/drive (20%)
  • Napping (18%)
  • Reading (14%)
  • Baking (9%)
  • Playing family games (4%)

85 total vote(s)

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