One Stop Shop to hold grand opening Jan. 17

by Steve Howe
Burns Times-Herald

The operators of the new downtown Burns store, One Stop Shop. From left to right, Judy Presley, Linda Whiting, Michelle Severe, and Andi Harmon. (Photo by STEVE HOWE)

The operators of the new downtown Burns store, One Stop Shop. From left to right, Judy Presley, Linda Whiting, Michelle Severe, and Andi Harmon. (Photo by STEVE HOWE)

Shopping can sometimes be a challenge, whether it involves driving long distances or surfing the web for hours on end. That’s one reason a group of four enterprising and artistic local women decided to team up and combine their time and talents to open a new store, One Stop Shop, in downtown Burns.

The store will be operated by Andi Harmon, Judy Presley, Michelle Severe, and Linda Whiting. The group’s goal is to create an establishment where a variety of distinct, but complementary products and services are offered, and to be able to be accessible to the public on a more regular basis than each of them individually are currently able to do. Each one of the four has their own specialty offering.

Harmon will provide:

• Photography. Outdoor sessions will be offered, as well as workshops for those wanting to learn the skill.

• Custom printing services. This will include standard posters and flyers, as well as archival-quality photo printing, and even special adhesive wallpaper prints, featuring Harmon’s photography or customized orders.

• Computer services. Repairs, one-on-one training, consultation (i.e., for business computer operations), and web design.

Presley will offer custom framing services (including conservation framing), as well as a variety of standard-sized, ready-made frames in the store. A large variety of frame samples and mat colors and styles will be on hand at the shop. Presley has operated her own business, Judy’s Custom Framing, for 15 years, and has 20 years of experience in the craft. She was originally trained by Myrna Tuning, who provided framing service at a longtime business in Burns.

Severe is a self-described western wildlife multimedia artist. Her mediums include oils, pastel, pencil, pen and ink, glass etching, wood burning and scrimshaw. Scrimshaw, in this case, involves carving images directly into the smooth bone finish of an antler. Severe has worked for many years with Great Basin Art in Prairie City, doing scrimshaw on the handles of obsidian knives. In addition, Severe does custom artwork on handmade juniper furniture, with wood-burned and painted scenes, as well as etched mirrors and gun cabinets.

She also does the majority of the scrimshaw work for Silver Stag’s steel hunting knives.

Severe’s prints and other pieces will be available at the new store, and she also takes custom orders. Her work can be viewed at her website, www.michellesevere.com, and on her Facebook page.

Whiting is another local artist contributing to the shop. Like Severe, she paints, focusing strongly on nature themes, including birds and outdoor scenes. She also does bead embroidery and bead weaving with “seed beads,” which are just a couple of millimeters in size. Whiting has her own space, Designs by Linda Gallery, about two miles outside Burns, but hopes this shop will make it easier for customers to find her art, since the gallery is out of town and not always open. Her prints and pieces will be available at the shop, and she also takes custom orders.

The shop will also eventually feature traditional western gear made by local craftspeople, and possibly art supplies.

•••

One Stop Shop will hold its grand opening Saturday, Jan.17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Refreshments and homemade goodies will be provided, and drawings will be held every hour for gift certificates and other prizes.

General hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It is located at 29 E. Washington Street in Burns. The phone number is 541-589-4249.


by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

Due to scheduling conflicts concerning the holiday season, the November and December meetings of the Harney County Health District Board of Directors were combined, and a single meeting was held Dec. 3.

During the meeting, Harney District Hospital (HDH) Chief Nursing Officer Barb Chambers said the hospital worked with Dr. Kelly Mingus of Smile Burns Oregon to provide a free oral cancer screening Nov. 14.

“We had around 10 local residents take advantage of the screening, and Dr. Mingus found three of the 10 patients with questionable concerns regarding oral cancer and others with a variety of dental problems,” Chambers reported.

She added that the patients who showed signs of oral cancer were chewing tobacco users.

Board member Ann Vloedman suggested that the hospital remind the public about the dangers of chewing tobacco as well as the importance of oral screenings.

Board member Tim Smith suggested placing posters in the local high schools to inform students about these statistics.

Vloedman added that no one under the age of 30 participated in the screening.

Dr. Jeffrey Mathisen, a general surgeon at HDH, said teachers and coaches can make a difference by intervening when they catch students using chewing tobacco.

Dr. Mathisen also stated that the spread of oral cancer to adjacent lymph nodes is almost immediate.

Chambers said Dr. Mingus referred patients showing signs of cancer to oral surgeons.

Board chair Dan Brown  commended Dr. Mingus for his efforts and said he’d like to see the oral health screening be repeated.

•••

Chambers also reported that she attended an Ebola workshop, which was provided by the Deschutes Public Health Office Nov. 7 in Bend.

She said St. Charles Medical Center (SCMC) will take Ebola patients at its Redmond campus for up to 96 hours, before transporting them to one of the six Oregon facilities that accept and provide treatment for them. She said SCMC also contracted with a special ambulance service to transport patients to and from its Redmond campus and has spent close to $250,000 on renovations, equipment and education.

“I’m blown away by what St. Charles has done on Ebola,” Chambers said. “I don’t understand the expense.”

Regarding HDH’s preparation for Ebola, Chambers said, “I think we do a great job with our resources and stewardship of our resources. We are prepared as much as we need to be.”

•••

Clinic Manager Stacie Rothwell said HDH Family Care received “tremendously favorable” feedback from auditors from the Oregon Health Authority who visited Nov. 4 to survey the clinic’s Tier 3 Medical Home designation.

“They offered many compliments to the progress that we have made as a Tier 3 and noted that they will be using many of the things we do at HDH Family Care as examples to the other Tier 3 clinics that they survey in the future,” Rothwell reported.

•••

The board received an audit presentation from Eide Bailly LLP for fiscal year 2014.

The presenter said no difficulties were encountered in conducting the audit, and he complimented Chief Financial Officer Catherine White, management, and staff for their “excellent cooperation.”

He said HDH has quite a bit of debt, but explained that it has a newer facility. He added that the salaries of HDH staff are in line with those of other critical access hospitals, but said the hospital could reconsider its prices as long as the community could stand the changes.

Brown suggested that the board’s finance committee review the audit and bring any questions to the next board meeting.

•••

In other business, the board:

• received a report concerning the overall state of the district from Chief Executive Officer Jim Bishop, titled State of the Harney County Health District November 2014. (For the full text of the report, please see page 20 of the Dec. 10, 2014 issue of the Burns Times-Herald; )

• discussed ongoing efforts to reach out to local veterans concerning the medical services available at HDH;

• reviewed policy 100.030 “Code of Conduct,” and approved it without changes;

• reviewed policy 100.031 “Board Member Confidentiality.” The word “yearly” was removed from the sentence, “All board members shall complete a yearly HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] refresher training.”  The board approved the policy as amended;

• reviewed policy 100.035 “Duties of the Chairperson.” The sentence, “No one board member shall serve as chairperson for more than two consecutive years,” was removed. The policy was approved as amended.

• granted medical staff privileges to physician assistant Brad Scott (orthopedic); Dr. Milton Kim (surgery); Dr. Stephen Kornfield, Dr. Robert Boone, Dr. Cora Calomeni, and Dr. William Martin (oncology); and Dr. Patrick Brown (radiology).

The next Harney District Hospital Board meeting will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 28 in the downstairs meeting room at the hospital.


HDP selects new executive director

Posted on January 7th in News

High Desert Partnership (HDP) is a local nonprofit organization that has worked over the past several years to help create the collaborative forums necessary to address the ecological, economic and social challenges in our region in a proactive way.

When Sara Jones was hired as the executive director for the High Desert Partnership at the end of 2013, the organization had a large list of things to accomplish for 2014. In 2013, the partnership received additional funding in order to expand their work, and Jones successfully took on the challenge. In 2014, Jones helped bring greater awareness about High Desert Partnership’s work in the region.

In July, Jones’ family relocated to Southern Oregon, but Jones remained in the position, making regular trips back to Burns to carry on the business of the partnership. Chad Karges, board member of the High Desert Partnership, expressed thanks to Jones on behalf of the entire board “for all things she advanced while at High Desert Partnership and for sticking with the organization even after her family relocated.” Karges said, “When looking back, Sara’s accomplishments have helped prepare the organization for the future.”

In this past year, Jones successfully organized a Science Forum with the Harney County Restoration Collaborative to highlight current practices for restoring dry-pine forest ecosystems surrounding Burns. As a follow-up to this forum, she convened a Small Diameter Wood Products Economic Summit, generating interest for developing alternative products from the wood being harvested as part of restoration efforts. One spin-off from the economic summit, the High Desert Partnership has kicked off a contest open to all students in Harney County. Students are encouraged to work in teams to create products from small diameter wood. Cash scholarships are available to the winning teams. Jones has also worked closely with the Harney Basins Wetland Initiative, a group that is working to address carp control issues and protect/enhance traditional flood irrigation practices in the Harney Basin.

Recently, the High Desert Partnership selected Brenda Smith to succeed Jones in the executive director position. Smith has been in Harney County since 2008, working on rangeland management issues with Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center. The High Desert Partnership looks forward to working with Smith to build upon the progress made during Jones’ tenure.


by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

Bonnie Angleton holds her newly-adopted granddaughter, Lybbi, who was born in Xiamen, China. (Submitted photo)

Bonnie Angleton holds her newly adopted granddaughter, Lybbi, who was born in Xiamen, China. (Submitted photo)

Bill and Bonnie Angleton are hosting a “Sip & See” Friday, Jan. 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Ribbons & Roses (located at 441 N. Broadway in Burns). The event will grant community members an opportunity to meet Lybbi (ShuFang) Cotter, the Angletons’ newly-adopted granddaughter, while sipping some hot cider and enjoying a couple of cookies.

Bonnie’s daughter, Molly (Hatcher) Cotter, and her husband, Mark, adopted Lybbi from Xiamen, China on June 20. She joined siblings Luke, 14, Logan, 13, and Leah, 10, at their home in Salem on July 2.

Luke and Logan are the Cotters’ biological children, and the couple adopted Leah from Louyang, China when she was 4.

According to their blog, the Cotters began considering adoption in 2007, after running into an old friend who had recently adopted a child from China. The couple started checking into the adoption process and selected an agency, All God’s Children International, which connected them with information about children who were in need of families. They discovered Leah, and the rest was history.

The Cotters remained on several adoption email lists, but didn’t actively pursue adopting another child until 2014. According to the blog, the Cotter children frequently encouraged their parents to adopt again, even offering to exchange birthday and Christmas celebrations for the opportunity to have another sibling.

In a video titled Lybbi’s Story, Mark explained that Lybbi’s photo “jumped out” at him in an email. And when he showed the photo to the Cotter children, they were really excited.

“They were all in before we were,” Mark said.

However, Mark and Molly were concerned about the adoption because Lybbi has a severe congenital heart defect.

“She’s what they call single ventricle where the right side of her heart didn’t develop, so she’s functioning with just the left side,” Mark explained in the video.

According to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s website, “Children with a single ventricle defect are born with a heart that has only one ventricle large enough or strong enough to pump effectively. In most cases, children with single ventricle heart defects require intense medical intervention soon after birth.”

The Cotters’ blog states that Lybbi was found abandoned near the Xiamen Zhongshang Hospital in October 2012 when she was 2 months old. She was taken to the Xiamen Children’s Welfare Institute and placed in the special care room. She underwent heart surgery in January 2013, but the surgery was reportedly “touch and go.” Lybbi survived and was taken back to the special care room, only to be hospitalized again with pneumonia.

In order to fully determine her condition, Lybbi needed a heart catheter. However, considering the difficulty that she encountered during her previous surgery, doctors in China were reluctant to perform any additional surgeries on Lybbi.

The blog states that, “If she stayed in China it was pretty certain that she wouldn’t survive long.”

In the video, Molly said she and Mark doubted whether they could handle the adoption financially, emotionally and physically.

“But God has a sense of humor,” she said with a laugh.

The couple decided to consult with a doctor in Atlanta, Ga. to determine how they could transport Lybbi — who required a feeding pump, oxygen and medications — home from China.

They also discussed how their family could be affected if Lybbi were to pass away after they adopted her.

However, Mark said, “It just kind of stuck with me that, if that did happen, that God would help us through it.”

Deciding to move forward with the adoption, the Cotters were faced with the challenging task of getting Lybbi home.

A cardiologist had to clear Lybbi for air travel, as there were concerns regarding how the altitude could affect her condition.

The Cotters were also required to provide medical equipment for Lybbi, which entailed carrying 14 large batteries all over China in backpacks. (Bonnie explained that, after adopting a Chinese child, parents must travel to various locations throughout the country in order to complete all of the necessary paperwork.)

The Cotter children assisted with the effort by helping their parents carry the batteries. Luke and Logan even trained for the trip by packing rocks, books and other heavy items on their backs so they could get used to the weight.

“This is a family affair,” Bonnie said regarding adoption. “The entire family went to get both kids.”

When the Cotters received Lybbi, the 2-year-old weighed 13 pounds and was unable to sit up on her own.

Now age 2-and-a-half, Lybbi weighs more than 20 pounds and is able to sit up and roll over. She is working toward standing and goes to physical therapy twice a week to improve her motor skills. Lybbi is also learning English, and her favorite word is currently “da-da.”

However, she still requires oxygen and medication and continues to struggle with eating. In fact, the Cotters have to chart her daily intake of calories to ensure that she’s keeping enough food down.

After arriving in the United States, Lybbi underwent an additional surgery at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

In the video, Mark explained, “They still don’t really know what her prognosis is. It’s one step at a time. They’ll do one procedure and wait to see if that works, and then if it does, they’ll go on to the next step.”

Bonnie said Lybbi has quite a few more medical procedures in her future, including a major open heart surgery.

But, despite her medical challenges, Bonnie said Lybbi is “very good natured” and “a really funny little girl.”

She said Lybbi’s older brothers taught her how to “fist bump,” and now she goes around fist bumping everyone in the room.

“Her siblings absolutely adore her,” Bonnie said. “They are so good with her.”

She added, “It’s pretty amazing how these little kids flourish, just mainly from having a family. Adoption in any form for anyone is so dear to my heart because of my religious beliefs and the fact that every child needs a family.”

Bonnie acknowledged that the cost of adoption can be astronomical, but said prospective parents may be able to find funding assistance.

People in various phases of the adoption process can also access emotional support.

In the video, Mark said he and Molly sent out an email requesting that people pray for Lybbi to have a safe trip home. The couple was later informed by their social worker that about 20,000 people honored that request.

“It was just an amazing, amazing experience to have people that we didn’t know, that didn’t know us, that didn’t know Lybbi that were just praying for her,” Mark said.

The Cotters continue to receive support from other Salem-area families who have gone through the adoption process, as well as a coordinated team of medical professionals at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Oregon Health & Science University and Shriners Hospital for Children.

They’ve also received support from the Harney County community and hope to show their appreciation during the Sip & See on Jan. 2.

Lybbi’s Story can be viewed online by visiting: http://vimeo.com/115183255. You can also read more about Lybbi on the Cotters’ blog at http://lybbishufang.wordpress.com.


At approximately 2:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 26, the Harney County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Yellowjacket Lake for an individual who was reported to have fallen into the lake.

When the deputy arrived, he found a male individual who was in the water, about 50 to 100 yards from shore. The deputy attempted to reach the individual, but was unable to do so.

The individual went under the water a short time later. The Burns Fire Department, Harney County Search and Rescue and the Harney District Ambulance arrived a short time later, and were able to retrieve the individual from the water. Harney EMS attempted CPR, and transported the individual to Harney District Hospital. The individual was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The individual was identified as Gene Andrews, 67, from Hillsboro.

The investigation showed Andrews had attempted to ice fish by taking a small pontoon boat on to the ice that was only one to two inches thick. When on the ice, the pontoon boat broke through the ice, causing Andrews to fall into the water. Andrews was unable to get back into the pontoon boat, and was not wearing a life vest.


Concern expressed over results of youth survey

by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

Charlotte Rodrique, chair of the Burns Paiute Tribe’s Tribal Council, signed a proclamation Thursday, Dec. 18, stating that the council doesn’t support the use, cultivation, sale, or distribution of marijuana within the boundaries of tribal trust lands or other properties owned by the tribe. (Photo by SAMANTHA WHITE)

Charlotte Rodrique, chair of the Burns Paiute Tribe’s Tribal Council, signed a proclamation Thursday, Dec. 18, stating that the council doesn’t support the use, cultivation, sale, or distribution of marijuana within the boundaries of tribal trust lands or other properties owned by the tribe. (Photo by SAMANTHA WHITE)

Charlotte Rodrique, chair of the Burns Paiute Tribe’s (BPT) Tribal Council, signed a proclamation Thursday, Dec. 18, stating that the tribe rejects the Oregon legalized marijuana initiative, Measure 91, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to uninvolve themselves in the regulation of marijuana on tribal land.

In an article titled DOJ Says Indian Tribes Can Grow and Sell Marijuana, the Associated Press’ Jeff Barnard and Gosia Wozniacka reported that the DOJ said, “Indian tribes can grow and sell marijuana on their lands as long as they follow the same federal conditions laid out for states that have legalized the drug.”

However, the BPT’s Tribal Council declared in its proclamation that it doesn’t support the use, cultivation, sale, or distribution of marijuana within the boundaries of tribal trust lands or other properties owned by the BPT.

Tribal Council Secretary Wanda Johnson said cultivating and selling marijuana could’ve been an economic opportunity for the BPT, which is the smallest and most economically-disadvantaged tribe in the state, but the council was very strong in its resolve not to make money off of the health and wellness of tribal members of future generations.

The proclamation echoes Johnson’s sentiments, stating, “We value the health and wellness, above all else, in protection of future generations…”

Many who were present during the signing of the proclamation expressed concern regarding the results of the 2014 Student Wellness Survey.

Introduced by the Oregon Health Authority in 2010, the anonymous, research-based survey assesses school climate, positive youth development, and the behavioral health of Oregon youth in grades 6, 8 and 11.

Students who took the survey in 2014 had the option of indicating whether they’re affiliated with the BPT, and this information was used to generate data that’s specific to tribe members.

L-R: Tribal Council Secretary Wanda Johnson, Tribal Council Chair Charlotte Rodrique, Tribal Council Sergeant-at-Arms Jarvis Kennedy, and Tribal Council member Donna Sam pose with the proclamation just minutes after it was signed. (Photo by SAMANTHA WHITE)

L-R: Tribal Council Secretary Wanda Johnson, Tribal Council Chair Charlotte Rodrique, Tribal Council Sergeant-at-Arms Jarvis Kennedy, and Tribal Council member Donna Sam pose with the proclamation just minutes after it was signed. (Photo by SAMANTHA WHITE)

Survey results for 8th graders

Results of the 2014 survey of 8th grade students showed that:

• 83.3 percent of students who designated enrollment in the BPT reported that they hadn’t used marijuana in the past 30 days. (The statewide percentage was 90.6);

• 8.3 percent of student BPT members reported using marijuana once or twice in the past 30 days (compared to 3.7 percent of students statewide);

• 8.3 percent of student BPT members reported using marijuana three to nine times in the past 30 days (compared to 2.4 percent of students statewide);

• 0 percent of student BPT members reported using marijuana 10 to 19 times in the past 30 days (compared to 1.1 percent of students statewide);

• 0 percent of student BPT members reported using marijuana 20 to 39 times within the last 30 days (compared to 0.6 percent of students statewide); and

• 0 percent of student BPT members reported using marijuana 40 or more times in the past 30 days (compared to 1.5 percent of students statewide).

Survey results for 11th graders

Results of the 2014 survey of 11th grade students showed that:

• 44.4 percent of students who designated themselves as BPT members reported that they hadn’t used marijuana in the past 30 days (compared to 78.8 percent of students statewide);

• 0 percent of student BPT members reported using marijuana once or twice in the past 30 days (compared to 7 percent of students statewide);

• 11.1 percent of student BPT members reported using marijuana three to nine times in the past 30 days (compared to 5.2 percent of students statewide);

• 22.2 percent of student BPT members reported using marijuana 10 to 19 times in the past 30 days (compared to 2.8 percent of students statewide);

• 11.1 percent of student BPT members reported using marijuana 20 to 39 times in the past 30 days (compared to 1.9 percent of students statewide); and

• 11.1 percent of student BPT members reported using marijuana 40 or more times in the past 30 days (compared to 4.3 percent of students statewide).

Additionally, 22.2 percent of 11th graders who designated themselves as BPT members reported that they started using marijuana when they were 11 years old, and 55.6 percent reported that it would be “very easy” for them to get marijuana

Zero tolerance

Prior to signing the proclamation, Rodrique discussed the negative impact that drugs and alcohol have had on BPT members.

The council’s proclamation states that marijuana impacts brain development, is linked to school failure, is deemed a gateway drug, and is the most common illegal drug found in drivers who are involved in accidents.

The BPT has a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy, which includes the use of medical marijuana. Additionally, all BPT employees must submit to random drug testing.

Taking responsibility

The proclamation asserts that tribal council, tribal police, tribal programs, and community leaders are responsible for ensuring public safety and the safety and health of the community’s children.

It adds that parents, guardians, and other family members have the responsibility and ability to impact their children with conversations and by modeling behavior.

The proclamation also places responsibility on the youth by stating, “Young people have the responsibility to prepare themselves for a future where they will not have the protection of their parents or tight-knit community, and, therefore, must learn to make positive decisions.”

Leading the way

Rodrique will send a copy of the proclamation, along with an explanatory cover letter and the results of the 2014 Student Wellness Survey, to Sen. Ted Ferrioli.

She’ll also send copies to other tribal councils, hoping they’ll follow the BPT’s lead by adopting similar proclamations.


Beaty’s Butte Working Group goals reviewed

by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

During its regularly-scheduled meeting (held Dec. 17), the Harney County Court engaged in a lengthy conversation concerning the administration of the parole and probation department.

William Cramer Jr., judge of the Circuit Court, 24th District (Harney and Grant counties), wrote a letter to the court stating, “I have been open about my concern of having the county sheriff as the administrative head of the county probation department prior to the sheriff first being appointed. I request that no decision be made that gives the interim sheriff salary or authority to administer the probation department without an opportunity to be heard.”

But Harney County Sheriff Dave Glerup, who was present during the meeting, asserted that the sheriff is better suited to supervise parole and probation than the county court. He then encouraged the court to grant David Ward, who was appointed Harney County sheriff effective Jan. 1, the authority to administer the department once he becomes sheriff.

Glerup argued, in part, that since parole and probation has been administered by the sheriff:

• the number of probation officers has increased;

• hours of operation have increased;

• there’s more communication and coordination with local police departments;

• jail inspections are much more in-depth; and

• Harney County citizens are safer.

Sgt. Brian Needham agreed, stating that the department runs more efficiently under the sheriff’s administration. He added that the county court lacks law-enforcement experience and Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) training.

“I don’t want to see community corrections go backward,” Needham said.

“That’s not going to happen,” Harney County Judge Steve Grasty replied, adding that public safety is a major priority.

The court also discussed the letter that the Harney County Board of Commissions received from Jeremiah Stromberg, assistant director of community corrections for the Oregon Department of Corrections. The letter, which outlined areas of noncompliance with intergovernmental agreements, was dated Sept. 15. An update to the letter was dated Nov. 13.

Harney County Community Corrections Supervisor Roger Stampke said some of the comments that were made in the letters are “just down right not true.”

Ward said many of the noted deficiencies have already been corrected, and the department is continuing to work through the other items.

Stampke, Ward and Glerup all expressed frustration with a lack of access to training and direct communication with Stromberg.

Harney County Commissioner Dan Nichols said he felt the letter was “just a smack down from the bureaucrats,” adding that he wasn’t “hugely alarmed” by its content. However, he added that now would be a good time to sit down and discuss the parole and probation department.

Grasty said he’d like to meet with Stampke, Ward and District Attorney Tim Colohan to work through the letter and discuss the department further.

Ward said, “Bureaucratic smack down or not, it’s always good to know where we can improve,” adding that he’s “excited to be on board.”

“The bottom line is we have a big decision to make here, and we need to sit down and work through this together,” Ward said. “As a group, we all want to make the decision that best suits the citizens of our county. Whoever is going to provide them with the better sleep at night is the model we want to follow. I am excited to sit down and work with you on this. I firmly believe that we can handle this.”

Grasty will schedule a meeting with Stampke, Ward and Colahan to continue the discussion. Cramer will be invited to attend the next county court meeting to contribute to the conversation, as well.

•••

The court participated in a joint session with Lake County via teleconference to discuss the Beatys Butte Working Group, which is an Oregon Consensus project. Representatives from the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), Beatys Butte Grazing Association, and Harney Electric Cooperative Inc. also participated in the discussion.

According to the Oregon Consensus website, the Beatys Butte Working Group was created to explore “collaborative approaches to public land management and ecological preservation on the 500,000-acre Beatys Butte Common Allotment, located between Hart Mountain and Sheldon national wildlife refuges…”

A lengthy discussion ensued concerning each of the five key issues that the group was formed to address. These issues include:

• the potential listing of the greater sage grouse as an endangered species;

• livestock grazing;

• wild horse habitat;

• energy development; and

• wilderness study areas.

The conversation steered toward wild horse habitat when Stacy Davies, president of the Beatys Butte Grazing Association, said 15,000 new wild horses are being produced in the area annually, but the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is only able to adopt 1,500 of them out. With production rates ten times higher than adoption rates, the wild horse population continues to grow and compete with cattle for a limited amount of forage.

Davies said 10 ranches are totally dependent upon the Beatys Butte allotment for survival, and he expects five of them to go out of business in the next 18 months.

Grasty asked whether the group could focus on cattle, wild horses, and those ranches before moving onto other conversations. He then asked Harney County Commissioner Pete Runnels and Lake County Commissioner Ken Kestner to collaborate on a  letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell expressing the need for an emergency plan for Lake and Harney County ranchers.

Meanwhile, Grasty suggested that the group sit down and identify its areas of agreement so that the collaborative process can continue.

“We’ve got to get done what we can trust each other to do,” he said.

•••

Hines City Administrator Joan Davies, Burns Fire Chief and Planning Director Scott Williamson, and Harney County Planning Director Brandon McMullen attended the meeting to discuss the ongoing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood plain issue.

Williamson said he located some information in the city of Burns’ archives, which he will scan and put into a database that can be commonly accessed for future use.

Davies said she’s been researching council minutes and other information for the city of Hines, but she hasn’t found anything other than what was in the comprehensive plan.

In an effort to gain a more accurate projection of where flood waters could go, the county and both cities invested in a mapping and modeling project. This information was handed off to the community Dec. 18.

McMullen said FEMA will run the information through its process.

Grasty said this doesn’t resolve all the issues, but it makes a huge difference.

However, he said he thinks the county and two cities should continue to push for the establishment of a base flood elevation. He also suggested that they ensure they’re all in agreement before signing anything from FEMA and that they attempt to meet with Sen. Ted Ferrioli and Rep. Cliff Bentz concerning this issue.

•••

In other business, the court:

• received an update from Grasty concerning the SageCon meeting that he attended in Bend Dec. 12;

• signed an order to appoint Ward to act as Harney County sheriff, effective Jan. 1;

• reviewed an application from Sitz Ranch LLC for an approach on Van Drewsey Road. The court agreed to approve the approach and include Harney County Roads Supervisor Eric Drushella’s recommendations;

• received an update from Runnels concerning the Coordinated Care Organization.

The next regularly-scheduled meeting of the county court will be held Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 10 a.m. in Judge Grasty’s office at the courthouse.


Legal implications for city discussed by attorney

by Steve Howe
Burns Times-Herald

The Burns City Council held a meeting Wednesday, Dec. 10 to discuss and receive public comment on time, place and manner restrictions for a medical marijuana dispensary.

Jeremy Green, legal counsel for the city, was on hand to present the draft ordinance, which would place additional regulations on the operation of dispensaries in the city of Burns, above and beyond state law. Green and the council fielded questions and comments from the public on the issue.

At the Oct. 22 meeting, the council approved an ordinance amending  and restating Burns Municipal Code (BMC) Chapter 5.05 (concerning business licenses), stating:

“…the Burns City Council finds that it is necessary to amend and restate BMC Chapter 5.05 in its entirety in order to, among other things, accommodate businesses that may have otherwise been inadvertently prevented from operating in the City’s corporate limits.”

A business license for a medical marijuana dispensary was approved by the council Sept. 10 “with modifications or amendments,” with the intention of placing the time, place and manner restrictions on the business in a separate ordinance before issuing the license.

A draft of this ordinance was presented at the Nov. 12 meeting, where the council reviewed the document and received public comment. A second draft was distributed at the most recent meeting.

Green outlined the legal risks involved in the time, place and manner restrictions, saying that they had to be backed up by legitimate, safety-driven concerns in order to avoid a lawsuit. He also explained, in response to questions about the other options the city has, that if the council were to undo the amendment made to the business license ordinance in order to deny the issuance of the license to a dispensary, the city could face legal action.

“If you were to go back and require compliance with federal law, then you could deny the business license to that particular dispensary and any other dispensary that comes in,” said Green.

“That doesn’t end it, though, because you could be subject to legal challenge from that dispensary, not only based on the business license piece, but based upon a retroactive issue as well,” he added.

•••

The majority of public comment was against the dispensary, and against the use of marijuana in general.

Grant Gunderson addressed Green and the council regarding section 5.05.120 of the business license ordinance, which states that “all licensees must comply with all federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances,” asking how it allowed for a medical marijuana dispensary to exist (as marijuana is illegal under federal law).

“This is no longer a regulatory-driven business license ordinance. It is now…an information-gathering type ordinance,” said Green.

He explained that the city would not be ensuring compliance with federal law, and that other cities have similar ordinances.

“We don’t have the resources – financial, staffing, and otherwise – to go about enforcing federal laws,” said Green.

Gunderson also asked if cities could be more restrictive than the state when it comes to medical marijuana dispensaries.

“I would argue that, yes, they can,” said Green.

Gunderson asked about the viability of various restrictions placed on the dispensary, including additional location restrictions. Green reiterated that he believed they were possible, as long as they were tied to a legitimate, safety-driven reason.

Gunderson asked if the approval of the business license for the dispensary implied approval of the location, which is currently planned at the former Bike Burns shop on Highway 20.

“The mere fact that we’ve already issued a business license to a medical marijuana facility, does not mean that they’re not ultimately going to be subject to our time, place and manner restrictions,” explained Green.

“Even if that means they can’t be there?” asked Gunderson.

“They’re going to argue that they get grandfathered in, we all know that…but an argument could be made that that isn’t the case,” said Green.

“Is it unreasonable to make them change the name of the dispensary – right now, they have ‘Enjoy’ on there, that to me is hypocrisy – medical marijuana?” asked Gunderson.

“Honestly, that is the first time I’ve received a question regarding controlling the name of a business…I will look at it,” said Green.

•••

Following further discussion about concerns regarding the amendment made to the business license ordinance (which relieved the city of responsibility for regulating businesses’ compliance with federal law), Councilor Jerry Woodfin suggested that it should be reversed.

“What I’m hearing is, with these time, place and manner restrictions, if we put something in there, somebody’s going to challenge it. And then somebody else is going to find something in there, and they’re going to challenge it,” said Woodfin.

“I think if we’re going to sit around and worry about getting challenged, we should just draw the line and say, ‘Let’s go back and say you have to follow state and federal law,’ and then there’s just one thing to challenge.”

The comment was met with approval from the crowd.

In response, Mayor Craig LaFollette asked the council whether they remembered the executive session in which they had this discussion with Green’s counsel.

“I don’t want the public to think that we didn’t already have this discussion. We had this discussion in detail. And I’ll leave it at that,” he said.

•••

Charity Robey said her biggest issue with the dispensary was the disposal of the marijuana. She said that if it were placed in dumpsters outside the building, it would pose a threat to children and pets.

Green pointed out a provision in the draft time, place and manner ordinance, which states that the dispensary “must provide for secure disposal of marijuana remnants or byproducts; such remains or byproducts shall not be placed within the dispensary’s exterior refuse containers.”

•••

Sgt. Brian Needham, speaking on behalf of himself and the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, said allowing the dispensary would result in increased “black market” marijuana, a higher crime rate, and increased law enforcement costs.

Bev LaFollette told the councilors that she felt it was in their best interest to “go back” and undo the amendment to the business license ordinance.

“I think we need to back up, and we need to slow down and look at this,” she said.

“I think the majority of the people here would like to see ‘federal’ put back in,” she added, referring to the ordinance.

LaFollette said that if the council did decide to keep going forward, she would like to see additional restrictions on the dispensary, including that it be 1,000 feet from childcare facilities and preschools, and that background checks be required for everyone working at the facility.

Andrea Letham asked the council “what the hold up” was with going back and undoing the business license ordinance amendment.

“What are we really scared of, a lawsuit? I’d be more scared about what’s going to happen to our children,” she said.

Kirby Letham added to her comments.

“The biggest risk is going against what the majority of the local people think and feel,” he said.

•••

Kim Rollins addressed the council, and said he was not pro-marijuana, but was pro-marijuana reform.

He asked Green to clarify whether medical marijuana and recreational marijuana (after July 1, 2015) would still be legal in Harney County, even if dispensaries were denied business licenses. Green responded, “Yes.”

Rollins said that the legal marijuana industry was projected to be a $10 billion business by 2018.

He asked, “What are we achieving by restricting a legal business? Why should we put restrictions on our economy in Harney County?”

Members of the crowd responded, with some commenting that it was “dirty money,” and that “we don’t want it.”

Stacey Johnson also responded to Rollins.

“We don’t care about that part of the economy; we don’t want that,” he said.

•••

Doug Gunderson told the council that he coaches wrestling and football, and has seen the effects of marijuana users on kids’ lives.

“Some of them are medical [marijuana users]. I know of one cardholder that brought his kid to football practice, and was also drinking, because he was so high that he didn’t think drinking was a problem…that’s the kind of trash that marijuana users are,” he said.

Rob Paramore commented that he lives in Harney County because of the quality of life.

“I don’t think the general population wants anything to do with this [dispensary],” he said.

“Why don’t we just eliminate it all from Harney County, and see what happens?” asked Paramore.

Dr. Tom Fitzpatrick thanked the council for facilitating the public hearing.

“I just ask each one of you to think about what everyone said. We had an eloquent discussion tonight about how we feel, and I just hope you listen,” he said.

•••

Following public comment, Green asked the council to provide a general consensus on how they would like to proceed. He said that he could help the council move forward with the reconsideration issue or with the time, place and manner restrictions, or go back and analyze all of the options.

Jerry Woodfin responded:

“I’ve made my decision…I think it’s fair to at least have a vote on whether we do go back.”

Councilor Terri Presley said that the council needed to look again at the risk analyses before making the decision to undo the amendment to the business license ordinance.

“We need to look at all our options,” she said.

The rest of the council agreed, and Green said he would look into the pros and cons of undoing the amendment of the business license ordinance, and would put the time, place and manner restrictions on hold until a resolution was passed.

The next regular meeting of the Burns City Council will be held Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. at city hall.


by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

Taylor Crafts (left) and Cailyn Wilber (right) were presented with belt buckles by 2014 fair queen Randi Johnson. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Taylor Crafts (left) and Cailyn Wilber (right) were presented with belt buckles by 2014 fair queen Randi Johnson. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

“Boots, Buckles and Broncs” was selected as the theme for the 2015 Harney County Fair, Rodeo and Race Meet at the Harney County Fair Volunteer Appreciation Christmas Party Sunday, Dec. 14.

Fair Manager Don Slone also announced the selection of Joanna Corson as the Grand Marshal for the 2015 fair. For the rodeo court, queen Cailyn Wilber and princess Taylor Crafts were introduced and presented with belt buckles.

Before revealing the identity of the Grand Marshal, Slone read a short biography to give the audience some clues. Slone said she was born in Burns, the oldest of four children; she attended grade school at Crane and Lawen, and graduated from Crane Union High School as valedictorian; she attended Oregon Technical Institute in Klamath Falls; she has two children; is a dedicated volunteer, having been involved in many community organizations; has been a 4-H leader for 40 years, starting as a crochet leader, but is best known for the Frisky Fleas 4-H Dog Club.

Corson was unable to attend the event, but Slone unveiled the bench that will be located at the fairgrounds in her honor.

The 2014 fair report was also presented to those in attendance, and the statistics are as follows:

Exhibits

• 169 adults entered 1,051 open class exhibits

• 157 youth entered 596 open class exhibits

216 4-H and FFA youth entered 1,008 exhibits

The bench that will be located at the fairgrounds in honor of 2015 Grand Marshal Joanna Corson was unveiled. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

The bench that will be located at the fairgrounds in honor of 2015 Grand Marshal Joanna Corson was unveiled. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Fairgrounds events

• There were 164 youth events, with 7,599 people attending. This is 29 more youth events and 1,282 more people than in 2013.

• There were 202 public events, with 26,671 people attending. This is 27 more events and 2,435 more people attending than in 2013.

• There were 46 private events, with 1,691 people attending. This is 34 less events and 1,950 less people attending than in 2013.

• All of this was a total of 412 events, with 35,978 people attending. That is 22 more events and 1,784 more people than in 2013.

Volunteers

• There were 701 volunteers and sponsors working directly for the fair board in 2014. This is 143 more volunteers than in 2013.

• Estimated hours by those volunteers were 9,413 or equivalent to 4.5 full time employees.

• At minimum wage, those volunteer hours would cost $85,620.

Financial statistics

• The expense of the 2014 fair was $191,618. The income of the 2014 fair was $194,610.

• The estimated gross dollars earned by 24 community organizations during the fair is $486,748 or $36,806 more than in 2013.

• The 4-H and FFA auction alone grossed $275,086 or $35,362 more than in 2013.

• The estimated gross dollars generated by community organizations at the fairgrounds during the off season was $108,316 or $2,116 less than in 2013.

• The economic impact of the 2014 fair to Harney County is $5.1 million. Economists say on average, money rolls over 7.5 times.


Holiday Happenings

Posted on December 10th in News

Your guide to Harney County’s fun festivities

by Steve Howe
Burns Times-Herald

Make your list and check it twice, because there’s plenty going on this holiday season in Harney County that you won’t want to miss! Check out these festive events, get your Christmas shopping done at local merchants and bazaars, and take the time to make a charitable donation in the spirit of the season.

Events

The Annual Downtown Christmas Jamboree & Parade will take place Saturday, Dec. 13, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in downtown Burns. The schedule of activities includes:

8 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Breakfast with Santa at the Burns Elks Lodge.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Games at Martial Arts America

• Crafting at Country Lane Quilts

• Face painting by Burns Christian Church at The Children’s Barn

• Cookie decorating at Sweet & Unique

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. –

• Nativity set displays at Burns Garage by community members

• Specialty vendors at Harney County Community Center

• Gingerbread House judging at the Harney County Community Center

• Coloring contest and cider at Broadway Deli

12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

• Pictures with Santa at Ruthie’s In His Image Photography

• Marshmallow Shooters at Arrowhead Plaza

2 p.m. – Canned food movie at Desert Historic Theatre. Miracle on 34th Street will be shown, and admission is canned food donations.

4 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Ugly Sweater Social at The Book Parlor

5 p.m. – Broadway Lighted Christmas Parade, sponsored by Umpqua Bank. (First place wins $75, second place wins $25.)

5:30 p.m. – Bonfire with Santa at the Christmas tree across from Safeway. Hot dogs and hot chocolate will be provided by Burns Foursquare Church.

For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 541-573-2636, or visit the website at www.harneycounty.com.

•••

Burns Butte Sportsmen’s Club Christmas Fun & Games Shoot will be held Saturday, Dec. 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the trap range on Radar Hill. Lunch is available and all levels of shooters are welcome.

Music and Services

The Harney County Church of the Nazarene presents Carols by Candlelight at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, at 311 Roe Davis Ave. in Hines. Featured soloists this year are Bettina Bowman, Ann Franulovich, Barb Rothgeb and Michelle Yunker. Megan Kartchner will be featured with her grand concert harp. A men’s quartet, made up of Brian Bowman, Evan Franulovich, Don Greenfield and Ken Peckham, will also be performing. Admission is free, and a reception will follow. For more information, call 541-573-7100.

•••

The community is invited to attend two Christmas services at Harney County Church of the Nazarene. The services will be held Sunday, Dec. 21 at 10:45 a.m., and Christmas Eve, Wednesday, Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. The special guest will be Kyle Ruggles, who will be performing on flute at both services. For more information, please call 541-573-7100.

Shopping

The Round Barn Visitor Center Open House will be held Sunday, Dec. 14, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 51955 Lava Bed Road, in Diamond. There will be a book signing with Debbie Raney and Kate Marsh.

•••

Last Chance Christmas Bazaar will take place Saturday, Dec. 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hines City Hall. Local handcrafters, food vendors, and artists will be present. Vendors: there is no charge for a table, and some spaces are still available. For more information, or to sign up as a vendor, contact Hines City Hall at 541-573-2251.

•••

Oard’s Gallery & Museum will host Oard’s Annual Christmas Open House on Saturday, Dec. 20, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 42456 Highway 20 East, Burns. New jewelry is available.

•••

Need a tree? The Crane Union High School (CUHS) senior class is selling Christmas trees as a fundraiser. Please call CUHS at 541-493-2641 ext. 1 to order your tree – $40 for tree farm trees, and $30 for forest trees. There is a $5 delivery charge.

Season for Giving

Toys for Tots is collecting new toys for children in need. Toys can be placed in drop boxes located at Burns High School, Slater Elementary, King’s Variety store, Big R, Rite Aid, Erickson’s Thriftway, or the Harney County Chamber of Commerce. $10 donations are also appreciated, and can be delivered to Burns High School. The deadline is Dec. 11. For more information, contact Kathy Wassom at 541-573-2044.

•••

Harney County Dollars for Scholars has a donor that will match all contributions up to $20,000 until Dec. 15. Any amount is accepted and appreciated. Send contributions to P.O. Box 243, Hines, 97738.

•••

First Lutheran Church will hold a Winter Coat Giveaway, Friday, Dec. 12 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 14, from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., at 349 S. Egan Ave. in Burns. If you or someone you know needs a warm coat, gloves, or hat, all you have to do is show up. Donations of new or “gently-used” items can also be dropped off at this time. Residents of Harney County are asked to clean out their closets and put those unused items to good use.


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