Gerald J. Crowley 1923-2015

Posted on March 11th in News

Gerald J. Crowley passed away Jan. 31 at the Partners in Care Hospice House in Bend.

Gerry was born April 30, 1923, in San Francisco, Calif., to Daniel J. and Margaret F. (Moriarty), the second of three living children. He spent his early childhood in Colusa, Calif., and grew up in San Francisco, attending St. Patrick minor seminary, and graduating from St. Ignatius High School in 1941. He was in the ROTC program at the University of San Francisco, majored in accounting, and graduated in 1947. During World War II, Gerry served in the Army in the 4172 Quartermaster Depot Co. in the Asiatic Pacific Theater as supply depot commander.

While working for Yosemite Park and Curry Co., Gerry met a vivacious Navy veteran from New York named Mary Pagliuca. Romance led to their marriage in San Francisco on Jan. 28, 1950. Gerry and his bride lived in West Covina, Calif., for 36 years. They raised three children while Gerry worked as an accountant, general manager, and insurance salesman. After an economic slowdown in the ’70s, he returned to school at Cal State Los Angeles and earned a teaching credential. He then taught for the Montebello School District for 16 years. He was active in his church parish and in the Charismatic Renewal Movement.

Gerry and Mary moved to Bend in 1989. They participated in the St. Francis of Assisi parish, attended prayer meetings, and Gerry helped lead retreats. He became a Eucharistic minister at St. Charles Medical Center and served for 25 years. He also volunteered for Interfaith Caregivers, and donated gallons of blood to the Red Cross. After his wife’s death in 2010 at Hospice House, he volunteered there for Partners in Care until shortly before his death.

Gerry loved to travel, hike, camp, ski, listen to music, swim, read, paint, garden, and meet people. His faith, optimism, generous spirit, curiosity, and energy kept him going as if he were a younger man. He survived a rollover accident shortly before his 90th birthday, and went on to celebrate his 90th in his hometown with his family.

Gerry is survived by daughters, Suzanne (Scott) Thomas of Burns, and Paula (Curtis) Hansen of Covina, Calif.; son, Dave (Marian) of Las Vegas, Nev.; and grandchildren, Monica, Adrian, Melanie, Lucas, Katie, Erica, and Ryan.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary; his infant daughter, Lisa; his brother and sisters; and an infant grandson.

There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 14, at the historic St. Francis of Assisi Church at Franklin and Lava streets in Bend. A rosary will be said at 9:30 a.m. The reception following the funeral will be at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, 300 NW Franklin Ave. (across from the church).

Autumn Funerals is in charge of arrangements, and can suggest where to donate in lieu of flowers.


Hines rates set to increase over six-month period

by Steve Howe
Burns Times-Herald

At the regular meeting of the Hines Common Council Feb. 24, the council discussed the need for the city to immediately raise base water rates, in order to be able to apply for loans or grants through the Infrastructure Finance Authority (IFA) for desperately-needed water and sewer improvement projects. Base rates will be raised gradually from the current $38 per two-month billing period to $92 by the July-August billing (adding $18 in March-April, $18 in May-June, and $18 in July-August).

City Administrator Joan Davies told the council that in applying for the funds to help pay for a Master Water Plan, she was informed by IFA that in order to qualify for loans or grants, the city must be charging a minimum base water rate. Davies explained that the rate is determined by taking the median income for Hines ($36,706, based on the 2010 U.S. Census), dividing it by 12 months, and taking 1.5 percent of that figure. This gives the rate of $45.88 per month, or $91.76 per two-month billing period. Davies said the city has been charging $19 per month since June 2010.

“It’s not a choice,” said Davies. “We have terrible things wrong with our water system that have got to be fixed. We have no money to do it with. So the only way we get money is through a loan, and we won’t get a loan unless we raise rates.”

Davies said that the IFA recommended making the increase in steps, in order to make the transition easier.

“But it’s not easier, if you have to reach that total before a loan will be approved. We have people who struggle at $19, and they are going to have to pay $46,” said Davies.

She said both water towers need to be fixed, lines need to be moved, and meters need to be replaced.

Superintendent of Public Works Pedro Zabala also stressed the need for improvements.

“Our water is very good. But if you don’t get these water lines in place, Hines will never grow and sustain industry,” he said.

Davies agreed, adding that the city would be unable to even maintain the lines without obtaining loans. She detailed a dire situation:

“We have fixed 24 holes and one active leak in the ground reservoir. The foundation of the elevated tower is deteriorating. It’s a mess inside – the water’s good, but it was built in 1928. We have lines crossing through private property without easements. We have a huge line going from the elevated tower to the King Street development, through private property, with no easement. That’s thousands in attorney fees, much less construction money.”

•••

Zabala reported in detail on the dive team from Inland Potable that fixed a leak at the ground reservoir on the hill, and cleaned and applied epoxy to 24 rust nodules, which had the potential to leak. A portion of the video taken by the team was shown. He said that a small, active leak developed later, and that Inland Potable recommended that they come back in the fall to check the tower again.

Councilor Hilda Allison asked Zabala if the dive team felt good about the fixes they made. He said that they had just addressed the rust nodules, and that there was no way they could repair the damage to the bottom of the tank that occurred either in shipping or during the erection of the reservoir. Zabala and Councilor Loren Emang described a coating that could be applied to the bottom of the tank to remedy the situation, but the cost of the project had not been discussed. Both Zabala and Emang had talked to the Inland Potable divers, who described the tank as the “mobile home” of water tanks. They said it was not designed for long-term use, and was not a good choice because of its bolted seams.

Zabala reminded the council that he had sent out 56 water meter heads for repair or replacement in December. He said he still doesn’t have them back, because these types of meters are back-ordered at the company. While reading meters that day, he said that 50 to 60 more showed they had stopped working.

•••

Davies reported on her discussions with a property owner about buying a lot that the maintenance crew needs to cross in order to access a sewer line for clean-outs. She said that the seller proposed a new idea: if the city agrees to clear brush from both of the lots the seller has for sale, he will give the city an easement for one year, as well as the right of first refusal to buy the lot for $25,000. The other condition given was that a ditch that had been diverted across the southernmost lot years ago be piped and backfilled to grade. It was the general consensus of the council that these terms would be the most logical way to go.

Davies also reported that she was hosting a meeting the next day with the Department of Environmental Quality and various local agencies in a continuation of efforts to educate the public on limiting outdoor burning and keeping smoke particulates at a level that does not violate the Environmental Protection Agency limits.

Davies said on Friday she would attend a 911 board meeting, along with  Hines Police Chief Ryan DeLange, to discuss dispatch costs for the city next year.

She advised the council that the cans and bottles fund for park improvements is now at $3,995.22.

•••

Bob Seymour of Guyer  & Associates in Baker City, was in attendance to provide a summary of the 2013-14 financial audit of the city. The audit had been delayed because of fixed assets that had been valued incorrectly years ago. He presented the opinion of the audit, which was positive.

“It’s a clean opinion,” he said. “It means that the financial statements fairly reflect the financial position of the city of Hines.”

•••

Chelsea Harrison, Harney County Chamber of Commerce director, was in attendance. She reported that registration for the John Scharff Bird Festival had been opened two weeks prior and that 125 people had already signed up. Harrison said two new tours had been added this year, and were already sold out. She said they have new flags with children’s art on them to advertise the festival. She said she plans on placing eight of them along the highway in front of the golf course, and wanted to be sure they would not be in the way of the city maintenance crew.

•••

Becky Cunningham of Rimrock Recycling was in attendance to update the council on recent news, and to ask for a letter of support for a grant application. She said the recycling center sees between 32 and 50 cars per day, volunteers have donated more than 6,000 hours, and 220 tons of material have been processed and 51 refrigerators have been drained.

Cunningham said that because of the recent longshoreman’s union work slow-down at West Coast ports, they have been unable to ship out any material for the past few weeks. She said that they are continuing to stay open, with an all-volunteer staff.

“Hopefully in a month or two we’ll be back to shipping and back to having income,” said Cunningham.

•••

In other business, the council:

• heard from Allison regarding the project to purchase the Oregon & Northwestern train engine that originally ran in Hines. She said that things have been delayed due to people’s busy schedules, but that at the next meeting on Tuesday, March 3, the group will refocus its efforts. Funds currently total almost $4,000, and around $70,000 will be needed to get the engine bought, transported and set up at Hines Park;

• approved travel expenses for Hines Police Department officers to attend Child Forensic Interview Training, with registration paid by the district attorney. The training is required for law enforcement officers to work on cases involving children;

• heard from Hines Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Spence that his department had responded to four 911 calls since the last meeting, and that three individuals had completed Part C of Winter Fire School, achieving their Firefighter I certifications;

• approved accounts payable for Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and Feb. 24, in the amounts of $9,803.25, $6,514.87 and $17,804.78, respectively. The council also approved the payment of $5,196.51 to Inland Potable for the service and repair of the water tower.

• passed Resolution 2195, funding workers’ compensation coverage for volunteers, an annual cost;

• passed Resolution 2196 instituting an annual loss prevention program;

• approved a franchise agreement with Charter Communications;

• appointed Davies as budget officer.


Basque historian to make cultural presentation

by Laurie O’Connor
for the Burns Times-Herald

Mural of Basque sheepherder, Ely, Nev. (Courtesy of the Ely Renaissance Society)

Mural of Basque sheepherder, Ely, Nev. (Courtesy of the Ely Renaissance Society)

Come join us for a festive evening of Basque history, music, food, and wine, on Thursday, March 12, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Harney County Library. The program is free and open to the public. David Lachiondo, Basque historian and accordionist, will discuss “The History of the Basque People in America,” accompanied by photos and his accordion. Harney County Library will provide tapas and Basque wines following his presentation.

Dave Lachiondo is the son and grandson of Basque immigrants to Idaho. Born in 1947, he is a career educator who has served as a teacher, guidance counselor, school and district administrator in Idaho’s public and parochial schools. He received his bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College of California in 1969, his master’s in education from Idaho State University in 1973, and doctor of philosophy degree in education from the University of Idaho in 1985. He has served as an adjunct professor of education for the University of Idaho, as well as a special lecturer of Basque studies at Boise State University. He is presently the director of the Basque Studies Program at Boise State.

A traveling exhibit, titled Amerikanuak! Basques in the High Desert, will be on display at Harney County Library March 9-14.

Dave Lachiondo will be presenting on Basque history and culture. (Submitted photo)

Dave Lachiondo will be presenting on Basque history and culture. (Submitted photo)

This exhibit, created by the High Desert Museum in Bend, tells the story of Basques in the American West. It discusses many of the most important aspects of Basque culture, beginning with who the Basques are and where they come from.

The story of Basques in the High Desert is one with carved aspen trees, and “stone boys,” often times the only reminder that the hills were once roamed by those sheepherding men.  It tells of the Basque hotels where hearing a familiar language and eating a familiar food could make all the difference in the world to a Basque immigrant.  These boarding houses for Basques were a way to keep the language, Euskera, alive in a new and unfamiliar place.  The exhibit provides many images of Basques from the Basque country to America, to show where this group of people came from, and more importantly, the impact that they made upon the American West after their arrival.  Interpretive text accompanies these images to make their stories come alive.


Community art sculpture in the works

Posted on February 25th in News

All are invited to contribute pieces to the sculpture

by Connie Robbins
for the Burns Times-Herald

Art project webMy Crane Union High School art classes and I have been entrusted by the Harney County Arts in Education Foundation-performance arts center committee to create a sculpture to be on display during the Arts symposium events in late May. The sculpture is to represent our community coming together in support of the “arts.”

Purpose: The goal of this project is to show others the diversity, uniqueness and creativity of the people of our community…of Harney County.

The arts that I would like to represent include, but are not limited to:

• Performance arts: music; drama; dance.

• Visual arts: painting, drawing, etc.; sculpture (clay, metal, wood, etc.); fabric (weaving, quilting, etc.); crafts (bead work, jewelry, etc.)

• Photography

• Creative writing: poetry; stories, etc.

• Computer graphics

• Architecture

• Others I may have failed to mention?

The preliminary drawings of the plan I have for this sculpture are displayed. The sculpture will be designed for indoor use due to the nature of the project and desire to represent all art forms. I would like to give credit to my art classes for some of the ideas of this sculpture.

This is a preliminary drawing of what the sculpture may look like. People have been sketched in to give a sense of size of the sculpture (though not necessarily to scale). The tree represents a “juniper,” the shape of the tree representing “people.” These are adults coming together to support art education to children (uplifted on the shoulders of adults).  The “children” will hold branches extending up and out, emphasizing the artwork created by local community and artists which are the “leaves” of the tree. This will be a lighted sculpture from the inside (I hope).

What is needed?

What I am mostly looking for is “leaves” created by anyone in the county, young and old. These leaves can be made of any material, but limited to 4×6 inches. My goal is to have lots of art represented in these leaves and lots of them.

A leaf must reflect one of the listed-above arts by use of materials and/or design. The shape of the “leaf” is not important, but must stay within the 4×6 inch limit. Be aware that a wire will need to attach at the “base” of your leaf design for application to the sculpture. There is no limit to the number of leaves you create.

Please include a short paragraph explaining the inspiration or story that led to the creation of your leaf. Feel free to use this project as a way to express yourself creatively and/or honoring others, through poetry, etc. Be sure to also include your name and medium used, as well. If you are under 18, please include your age.

Each leaf will be photographed and put into an “album” with the information (paragraph) you wrote about your art leaf for others to enjoy and to experience the true nature of this sculpture.

I also need community members to create clay or wood relief carvings of faces. These faces are to represent emotions expressed by audiences and performers/artists while engaged in the arts of their choice. These will act as faces for the “people” on the trunk, therefore, they should be faces of children and adults, young and old. Faces should fit an area approximately 6×7 inches, though the size can fluctuate up to 8 inches. Please drill holes in the corners of the faces so they can be attached to the armature (tree trunk). These must be fired and preferably glazed. Colors of the glazing should represent the emotion exhibited. I will need about 10 adult and 10 children faces…though the exact count will not be known until the project is under way. If this is a project you would like to take on, please email me or call for more information.

All leaves (with paragraphs) and faces need to be at the Harney County Chamber of Commerce, 484 North Broadway Avenue in Burns by May 1.

Any questions, please contact: Connie Robbins, Crane Union High School,  541-493-2641 ex. 233, 541-413-1515 or robbinsc@harneyesd.k12.or.us


CEO recruitment efforts continue

by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

Harney District Hospital (HDH) Development Coordinator Denise Rose began the regularly-scheduled meeting of the Harney County Health District Board of Directors (held Jan. 28) by presenting a video.

She explained that the video, which was produced by Evan Franulovich of eFrog Productions LLC, will primarily be used for physician recruitment.

“We were thrilled by the results,” Rose said concerning the video.

“It’s very professional, and it hits all the right notes,” HDH Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jim Bishop added.

The video can be viewed on the hospital’s website at: http://www.harneydh.com/Image-Asset/assets/Harney%20District%20Hospital%20-%20ipad.mp4

•••

Board chair Dan Brown provided an update concerning the CEO recruitment committee. The purpose of the committee is find a replacement for Bishop, who will retire in August.

Brown said 35 resumes  had been received, and initial candidate screening began via videoconferencing.

“The process appears to be going well,” Brown said regarding CEO recruitment efforts. “Qualified candidates find this an attractive opportunity. I think it’s a compliment to the hospital, and particularly, employees and administration.”

Eric Buckland is assisting with the recruitment efforts. However, Bishop said he and HDH Chief Financial Officer Catherine White recommend eliminating a few items from his proposed contract, as these duties could be completed by the board and/or committee.

The board agreed to have Bishop present a modification of the contract proposal to Buckland.

“I don’t anticipate this being a difficult discussion,” Bishop said.

Board member Shana Withee complimented the committee on its ability to recruit qualified candidates while saving money.

•••

During the public comment period, Cecil Dick stated that Harney County’s rural communities should have been included in the recruitment video.

Dick also expressed concern about wait times in the emergency room.

He reported that, although they were told someone would be right with them, he and his wife waited several hours after checking in at the emergency room on Jan. 4. Dick acknowledged that the emergency room was busy that day, but said he felt someone should have checked on them. He added that his comment was not a complaint, but a suggestion for improving service.

Bishop apologized for the bad experience, and Rose ensured that their medical need was met. HDH Chief Operating Officer/ Chief Nursing Officer Barb Chambers said she would follow up, and Brown thanked Dick for his comments.

•••

Clinic Manager Stacie Rothwell provided an update regarding HDH Family Care.

Rothwell reported that the clinic served 1,603 patients in December 2014, an increase of 409 patients from the previous month.

“We have been very busy with a lot of sick patients, but not the usual flu season traffic in the clinic to date,” Rothwell reported. “We are ready for flu season to start at any given time.”

She also reported that Dr. Heidi Vanyo was interviewed for a primary care physician position during the first week of January, and an offer was extended for her employment. If she accepts the offer, she will begin in May or June.

Rothwell said the clinic is in the process of obtaining credentialing for Dr. Henry Elder, a Canby-based psychiatrist, to provide services through videoconferencing.

Board member Tim Smith expressed concern regarding remote evaluation.

Rothwell replied that patients would be carefully selected for the service, adding that some may need to be referred to providers outside of Harney County for in-person assistance.

Bishop said the video conferencing services will be implemented on a trial basis.

•••

Chambers reported that Dr. Jeffrey Mathisen, a general surgeon at HDH, is “making a huge impact” in the hospital’s surgical services.

She added that physical therapist Kris Sanders recently became certified in the “McKenzie Method” and can now offer this service to patients.

Chambers also reported that two, full-time nurses and an ultrasound technician have been added to the staff, and the first meeting of the patient advisory council went well.

•••

In other business:

• Board secretary Susan Doverspike provided the finance committee report via email.

• The board discussed the quality and patient safety committee report.

Chambers said an “exceedingly low” number of medication errors were made, and she’s “very proud of that.” She explained that only about four errors were made in a one-year period.

• The board held its retreat Jan. 23 to work on strategic planning.

Board member Ann Vloedman said the board still needs to complete its self assessment. This will be discussed during the next board meeting.

• HDH Health Information Services Coordinator Toni Siegner said Amy Dobson is teaching a program to help pre-diabetic patients make lifestyle changes. She also reported that Kristen Gregg set up a children’s reading corner.

• White provided an overview of the profitability of the cataract surgery program.

• Rose updated the board regarding recruitment efforts and application statistics.

• HDH Human Resources Manager Sammie Masterson provided 2014 statistics concerning the average staff age (44.3 years) and longevity (6.5 years). The hospital’s doctors makeup the youngest age demographic (38.3 years).

• The board reviewed policies 100.040 “Duties of the Treasurer,” 100.045 “Duties of the Secretary,” and 100.050 “Duties of the Clerk” and approved them without changes.

• The board granted medical staff privileges to  Drs. Susana Samaniego, Meredith Baker and Brigit Hatch and Licensed Clinical Social Worker Chris Siegner.

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25 in the hospital board conference room.


Council considers airport fuel truck

Posted on February 18th in News

Plan approved to upgrade streetlights on North Broadway

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

Looking to increase the amount of fuel storage at the Burns Municipal Airport, Airport Manager Jeff Cotton asked the city council for permission to apply for a fuel truck through the General Services Administration (GSA) program.

Cotton told the council at their regular meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 11, there were currently two vehicles available through GSA. One has a 2,500 gallon tank, and the other a 6,000 gallon tank.

Cotton said he would prefer to get the larger tank as that would allow him to have more fuel on site during fire season when demand is high, and he could also order a full load of fuel to be delivered to the airport, resulting in a lower price.

Cotton explained that while he can submit a request for the vehicles, there is no guarantee one will be awarded to the airport. There is no cost for the vehicle if one is awarded to the city, but the city would have to pay for getting the vehicle to the airport. The preferred vehicle is in Palmdale, Calif., so the only expense to the city would be getting someone to the truck and driving it back to Burns.

The council agreed to allow Cotton to put in for the vehicles, and if neither is awarded, to continue searching for a fuel truck through the GSA program.

•••

Public Works Director Dave Cullens requested permission to use $6,544 from his budget to upgrade the streetlights on North Broadway. He said they would put in LED lights that provide better lighting while using less energy, and Oregon Trail Electric Co-op would help pay for a portion of the project. The LED lights would replace 16 of the lights currently being used.

The council approved the request.

•••

Mayor Craig LaFollette stated in the absence of a city manager, everybody has stepped up to help get work done, and he thanked them. He then proposed additional pay for Interim City Manager/City Clerk Dauna Wensenk and Municipal Judge/Utilities Clerk Dawn Crafts. The proposal was for an additional $500 a month for Wensenk and an additional $100 a month for Crafts until the time a city manager is in place.

The council unanimously approved the proposal.

•••

The council reviewed two donation requests, one from the Harney County Opportunity Team (HCOT) for the Arrowhead Plaza project, and the other from the Nadzitsaga Lacrosse Club.

Councilor Terri Presley stated when a donation request is made, she would like a representative from the group to attend the council meeting.

“It would be nice to have someone here to answer questions, if we have any. It’s a courtesy thing,” Presley said.

After some discussion, a motion was made to donate $100 to HCOT and $50 to Nadzitsaga. The motion passed on a 6-1, with Presley voting no.

 

In other business:

• the council approved Resolution 15-591 A, affecting changes to the 2014-2015 budget moving   funds from the water and sewer fund to the airport fund for the fire suppression project, and clarifying the well developed for the fire suppression project is the capital asset of the water and sewer fund;

• the council discussed Resolution No. 15-595 that establishes fees for medical marijuana dispensaries. Before approving the resolution, the council decided they needed clarification on the fee schedule, and tabled the discussion until they could talk with their legal counsel;

• Councilor Presley told the council the Capital Improvement Plan at the airport included putting up a structure to house snow removal equipment at a cost of $500,000. She explained that $450,000 would be Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funds, and the other $50,000 would be a local match. Presley explained that one of the conditions of using the funds to build  the structure was that the city then agreed to purchase new snow removal equipment within the next five years. She recommended the city take building the structure out of the plan for now, as there was no guarantee of getting grants to fund a new equipment purchase. The council agreed;

• the council appointed Wensenk budget officer for the 2015-2016 fiscal year;

• Burns Police Officer Robby Tiller reported that he and Blaze, the drug dog, passed the training held in Mountain Home, Idaho, and received their certification.

The next Burns Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, at city hall.


Sniffing out trouble

Posted on February 18th in News

Dogs are used in detection of illegal substances

by Steve Howe
Burns Times-Herald

Parker Hetherwick and “Monnty” (left), and Robby Tiller and “Blade” are the two certified drug detection dog and handler teams in Harney County law enforcement. (Photo by STEVE HOWE)

Parker Hetherwick and “Monnty” (left), and Robby Tiller and “Blade” are the two certified drug detection dog and handler teams in Harney County law enforcement. (Photo by STEVE HOWE)

Burns Police Department (BPD) officer Robby Tiller recently achieved his certification as a drug detection dog handler, working with Blade, his canine partner against crime.

Tiller has been an officer with BPD for two-and-a-half years, and has been working with Blade, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois, since last September. The two have been training for the certification exam since that time, and on Feb. 5, they scored 100 percent on the intensive, three-hour test.

Parker Hetherwick, deputy with the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, has been Tiller’s instructor throughout the process. Hetherwick has been with the sheriff’s office for eight months, and worked previously for the Burns Tribal Police for four-and-half years. He has worked with detection dogs for a number of years, and currently spends his days with a two-year-old black Czech Shepherd named Monnty.

Both Blade and Monnty are trained as drug detection dogs, and Monnty is “dual-purpose,” as he is also trained in apprehension and tracking. This means that he can chase or track and hold down someone who is attempting to evade law enforcement officers.

Tiller and Hetherwick both said that the dogs are great tools, and they wouldn’t be able to do a lot of their work without them. Hetherwick stressed that the dogs are used because of their special skills, which help keep the community safer.

“The intent is not to scare people. We use dogs because their sense of smell is 10 times more sensitive than humans,” Hetherwick said.

To explain, he suggested imagining you walked into a house where beef stew is being cooked. A person can smell the stew as a whole entity, while a dog would be able to smell the beef, carrots, and each of the various components.

Hetherwick said that dogs have an amazing ability to sniff out narcotics, even when they are packaged up and masked by other scents.

Passing the test

The certification is conducted by the Pacific Northwest Police Detection Dog Association. Tiller’s certifying exam was held in Mountain Home, Idaho, and involved detection testing in a variety of situations, including vehicles, various rooms in a building, and parcels and luggage.

Tiller said the test was stressful, but it was all about him and Blade working together as a team.

“It’s all about trusting the dog,” he said.

He added that it’s vital to be able to pick up on subtle signals that the dog gives, such as when sniffing becomes more rapid.

Maintaining the skills

Re-certification is required annually, and Tiller and Hetherwick have to log four hours per week of drug detection training with Blade and Monnty. Hetherwick must do an additional four hours per week of apprehension training with his dog.

When practicing apprehension drills, Tiller puts on a bite suit or sleeve, and Hetherwick gives the command to Monnty to pursue him. The dog bites and locks his jaw on Tiller, trying to hold him in place until Hetherwick gives the command to release him.

Canine crime fighters

Detection dog training starts early, at two months of age. Blade was originally procured from Adlerhorst International, Inc. in Riverside, Calif., an organization that specializes in police canine training. Drug dogs are trained in detection of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana. They learn to pursue a specific toy, and then are introduced to the scent of each drug when a packaged sample of it is inserted into the toy. Blade’s “go-to” item is a rubber ball, and Monnty’s is a rubber Kong toy.

Commands are given in a language other than English, in order to ensure that the dog only responds to its handler, and not the person being apprehended. Blade has been trained in German, while Monnty “speaks” only Czech.

Off the clock

The dogs live at home with their handlers and lead normal canine lives when they’re off duty. Hetherwick said Monnty fits right in with the family, and the only thing they have to watch out for is keeping him away from people food, so that he doesn’t become distracted by the smell of it during drug searches.

On duty

Tiller and Hetherwick are the only certified detection dog handlers in Harney County law enforcement. They are called with specific requests from all local law enforcement agencies when there is suspicion of the presence of illegal drugs. Their work shifts have been coordinated so that there is a dog available during every shift.

If one of the dogs alerts,  it gives probable cause for an immediate search in some cases, and in others probable cause to obtain a search warrant.

Tiller said that on the very same day of his certification, he made a traffic stop and recovered a full marijuana pipe.

•••

With these two certified dog and handler law enforcement duos “sniffing out” trouble, the community can only become a safer, happier and healthier place to live.


Ferrioli speaks at Lincoln Day dinner

Posted on February 11th in News

State senator lays out Republican agenda for 2015

Steve Howe
Burns Times-Herald

Sen. Ted Ferrioli paid a visit to Burns on Saturday, attending the Lincoln Day dinner hosted by the Harney County Republicans. (Photo by STEVE HOWE)

Sen. Ted Ferrioli paid a visit to Burns on Saturday, attending the Lincoln Day dinner hosted by the Harney County Republicans. (Photo by STEVE HOWE)

Oregon Senate Republican Leader Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, attended the Lincoln Day Dinner, hosted by the Harney County Republicans, Saturday, Feb. 7 at the Burns Elks Lodge.

Ferrioli presented an overview of current happenings in the state legislature, outlined the 2015 senate Republican agenda, and discussed his role on the committee working on the implementation of Measure 91.

Ferrioli said that in general, senate Republicans  were working to grow jobs, reduce regulation, and keep and expand tax cuts. He noted a number of bills being proposed by Democrats that would levy additional taxes. He said that those and other proposals, include raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and mandating that employers offer paid sick leave and family leave, would bankrupt thousands of small businesses.

In outlining the goals of the senate Republicans for the 2015 legislative session, Ferrioli said that they were far more detailed objectives than those of the Democrats. Some agenda items include:

• Working to grow rural Oregon by expediting land-use decisions for new and expanding businesses in counties with declining populations;

• Working to protect and expand the 2 percent tax cut to small businesses;

• Working to stop any taxes that hurt families and small businesses.

Ferrioli said that he is on the joint committee responsible for the implementation of Measure 91, which passed in the November 2014 election and legalizes recreational marijuana. He said he plans to place all those testifying before the committee under oath, in order to ensure that the newly legitimized marijuana business is not tied up in the black market.

He said that in the proceedings of the committee, he has been confronted with the question of how marijuana can be legal in Oregon, when it is illegal at the federal level. The response he has gotten, he said, centers around the 10th amendment, which states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Ferrioli said that he is a “big fan” of the 10th amendment, and added that he wonders why it couldn’t be used in other cases, such as those of timber or grazing laws.

In other comments, Ferrioli said he:

• opposes a proposal to require background checks on private transfers of firearms;

• wants additional school funding to be tied to educational outcomes.

•••

Gretchen Bates, the new chair of the Harney County Republican Central Committee, talked about the need for people to get involved, and what the Harney County Republicans are currently focused on.

Bates talked about “tipping points” – the points at which people become inspired to take action.

“More people need to know that their efforts are required,” said Bates, “now is not the time to think that our involvement doesn’t matter.”

She said she is committed to preserving the values of hard work and self-sufficiency that are characteristic of Harney County. Bates noted that threats on a nationwide level include terrorism, illegal immigration, over-regulation, debt, and a biased media. She said that internal threats were just as dangerous as external threats, and recalled a quote from Abraham Lincoln: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

Bates said that as chair, her goals include coordinating with other like-minded groups, and creating an “action wing.” She noted that major issues the organization is focused on addressing include sage grouse, road closures, school funding, and finding and electing Republicans to office.

•••

Tim Smith, former chair of the Harney County Republican Central Committee, spoke about the need for voters to step up during elections, and the power that Harney County and the 2nd Congressional District have to influence elections. He said that too many people are not voting during gubernatorial elections, and noted that the 2010 Republican candidate for governor lost by only 22,000 votes.

“We have the ability to elect the governor in the 2nd Congressional District,” said Smith.

•••

Art Robinson, chair of the Oregon Republican Party, said that the country is challenged now more than ever. He said that people “have forgotten that this is a constitutional republic,” and that elected officials are acting as career politicians. However, citizen volunteers are responding to these problems, he said.

“Today, millions of Americans are coming out of the woodwork to help out,” said Robinson.

“Our party is vital, our country is vital, and we’re winning,” he added.

•••

Richard Burke, executive director of the Western Liberty Network (WLN) presented information on his organization, and encouraged people to get involved in local government.

Burke explained that WLN offers training to grassroots activists on how to engage with local government, and get elected to local government offices. He said that although it is “unnatural” for conservatives to want to get involved in government, people should take responsibility and get involved.

“Folks on the left dominate local government, even in conservative areas,” said Burke.

He reminded the audience that May 19 was the filing deadline for the next election. He stressed that no position is too small or unimportant, and that experience is not necessary.

“All you need is a good head, and good values,” said Burke.

“You can win here,” he said.

•••

Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians For Immigration Reform (OFIR), spoke to the group about the effects of illegal immigration, the dire situation at the nation’s borders, and the defeat of Measure 88 in the November 2014 election.

Kendoll said that illegal immigration impacts every part of life in this country. She said that the group is non-partisan, and that its members support the mission of the organization for a variety of reasons. According to their website (www.oregonir.com), OFIR “works to stop illegal immigration as well as reduce legal immigration to a more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable level here in Oregon and across the United States.”

Kendoll described her visits to the border, saying that it is a crisis situation, and that more elected officials should travel there to witness what is happening. She said that sheriffs, ranchers and others are pleading to the U.S. Congress to address the issue, without result.

Kendoll encouraged people to get involved. She said her own “tipping point” was when Measure 88, the Oregon Alternative Driver Licenses Referendum, was put on the ballot for the November 2014 election. The measure would have made four-year driver licenses available to those who cannot prove legal presence in the United States. She touted the overwhelming defeat of the measure as a victory, and noted that 87 percent of voters in Harney County voted against the measure.

“It takes all of us to be a success,” said Kendoll.

•••

The next meeting of the Harney County Republicans will take place Tuesday, March 3, at 5:30 p.m. at Figaro’s Pizza. For more information, please contact Gretchen Bates at 541-573-7595.


Fire crews from the Burns Interagency Fire Zone expect to carry out a 9,200-acre prescribed fire on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Refuge Headquarters within the coming weeks. If weather permits, officials say the project could have started as early as Monday, Feb. 9.

The prescribed fire is intended to reduce fuel loading and improve wildlife habitat. The Burns Interagency Fire Zone does a number of prescribed fire projects annually to develop more fire resilient and healthier ecosystems.

Burning will occur as weather and fuel moisture conditions allow. There will be noticeable smoke and increased traffic around prescribed fire areas. The public should be aware of the activity and avoid the project site as much as possible.

For further information on prescribed burning in Harney County, contact the Burns District Bureau of Land Management office at 541-573-4400.


Resident brings issues to council

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

The city of Burns should have a new city manager in place by this summer.

At their regular meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 28, the Burns City Council approved the hiring procedures and job announcement as prepared by the city’s legal counsel, Jeremy Green.

The tentative schedule for the hiring process is to begin the hiring process Feb. 1, start the screening process March 31, begin background checks and committee interviews April 15, begin sending letters of rejection and schedule an interview with the finalists May 1, select the preferred candidate June 1, and have the new city manager begin work in July or August.

There was some concern by the council on the amount of time the process takes, and Green explained that the time line can always be shortened if the council deems it necessary.

The council also expressed interest in having someone from the community on the screening committee, and Green concurred with the suggestion.

•••

The council approved Ordinance No. 15-832, establishing time, place and manner regulations concerning medical marijuana dispensaries.

Green stated the ordinance is a “living document” because new legislation may be passed regarding the dispensaries and that would precipitate changes in the ordinance.

The council discussed a pending resolution to establish fees for medical marijuana dispensaries. Green said he had checked the fees of other cities, and felt the city of Burns should establish comparable fees.

•••

John Chambers was in attendance to discuss several issues with the council. Chambers said that he, and others, have a problem with the “urban deer herds,” and the risks they pose to the community. He cited safety risks to people, domestic animals and vehicles, and said some form of action needs to be taken by the city to mitigate the risks for the benefit of the residents.

Mayor Craig LaFollette stated he didn’t want it to seem like he was “passing the buck,” but he recommended Chambers speak with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), as the city has no jurisdiction over the deer.

Chambers said he had talked with ODFW and was told they can’t capture and transplant the deer because the urban deer may spread disease  to the wild  herds, and because of the in-breeding occurring in town.

Chambers said he has spent a lot of money on landscaping, and the deer have destroyed about half of the plants.

“I can’t shoot them. Well, I could, but that would be illegal,” Chambers said. “There are a lot of people that are fed up with the deer problem.”

He suggested the council set up a committee to formulate solutions.

Chambers then questioned why the owner of a home or business is responsible for the sewer line from the structure to the main line? He suggested it be changed from the structure to the right-of-way, as most problems occur at the connection between the service line and the main line.

“Why would we do that?” asked LaFollette. “Why would we take on that financial responsibility?”

“Because I’m asking you to,” replied Chambers.

Public Works Director Dave Cullens said if the city took over that responsibility, there would have to be a sewer rate increase to cover the cost.

Chambers then stated his concerns about truck traffic through the city on Broadway and Monroe streets. He suggested trucks be re-routed around town because of safety concerns.

“Take the truck traffic off those roads,” he said.

Chambers also said there is problem with CenturyLink in the community, but he would address that issue at a later date.

•••

Nick Collins, president of Harney County Little League, told the council the organization is working on a project to expand the baseball facilities on West Pierce, with the goal of hosting a Little League Tournament.

Collins said the event would bring in anywhere from 30-35 teams for a week, and other towns that hosted the event brought in about $100,000 revenue.

Collins said he is trying to raise funds for the project, and wasn’t asking the city for a donation, but rather a sponsorship and support.

“It’s a community thing,” Collins said. “The kids use the fields, and we’d like to have one facility where boys and girls of all ages could be playing at the same time.”

He said the organization needs fencing for the project, and asked about the city helping with that.

City Clerk Dauna Wensenk stated there is fencing at the airport, and the city needs some of it for a project, but not necessarily all of it.

“I don’t know how much fencing you need, but let’s say we had 250 feet of it. Could you use that?” LaFollette asked.

“We’ll take anything you can give us,” Collins said, and added they would probably need about 2,500 for the entire project.

Councilor Dan Hoke said he’d like the city to help out “in-kind.” He suggested maybe the public works crew could help the volunteers on a schedule type basis.

Cullens said the city has, in the past, donated the red cinders and bladed the area. The city also donates the water.

•••

In other business:

• the council approved Resolution No. 15-594, authorizing C&B Sanitary Service to increase its service rates under the solid waste franchise agreement;

• the council scheduled a workshop for 6 p.m. Monday Feb. 16, to discuss several topics, including the ordinance that governs  the council for the benefit of new councilors, the current condition of city streets and solutions to the deterioration, and the water and sewer fund;

• Mayor LaFollette appointed Ted Marshall, Curt Blackburn, councilors Lou Ann Deiter and Terri Presley, and the three city office staff members to the Flood Ordinance Prevention committee;

• LaFollette said at a previous meeting, a resident made reference to the ethics of the council. He stated if someone has an issue with ethics, the state has a government ethics commission that residents can write to or call.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, at city hall.


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