Saturday November 29

Posted on November 26th in Community Calendar

There are no scheduled events for this day.

Sunday November 30

Posted on November 26th in Community Calendar

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

Monday December 1

Posted on November 26th in Community Calendar

Masonic Lodge meets the first Monday of each month at the Burns Masonic Lodge, 1210 W. Taylor, at 7 p.m.

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

Burns Fire Dept. meets each Monday at the Burns Fire Hall at 7 p.m.

The Hines Volunteer Fire Department meets at the Hines Fire Hall each Monday at 7 p.m. (except the last Monday of the month). Prospective members may contact Fire Chief Bob Spence at 541-573-7477 or 541-573-2251.

Narcotics Anonymous meets each Monday at 10 a.m. in the community room at Saginaw Village, 605 N. Saginaw. For more information call 541-589-4405.

Tuesday December 2

Posted on November 26th in Community Calendar

Come Home to Harney County, the Hines train project, meets the first Tuesday of each month in the Hines Council Chambers, 101 E. Barnes in Hines. All interested are welcome to attend.

Silvies River Spinners meets the first Tuesday of each month in the Harney County Courthouse basement meeting room at 5:30 p.m.

Harney Hospital Foundation meets the first Tuesday of each month in the Hospital Conference Room at 7 p.m.

Sylvia Rebekah Lodge meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at the I.O.O.F. Hall, 348 N. Broadway, at 6:30 p.m.

Fall open enrollment for Medicare Drug plans and Advantage Healthplans. Trained SHIBA (Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program) will be at the Senior Center, 17 S. Alder, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to help you compare your plans. Call 541-573-6024 for appointments.

Harney Basin Writers meets each Tuesday from noon until 4 p.m. in room 302 of the former Lincoln School, corner of A Street and Court Ave. in Burns. Elevator on the south side. Quiet writing time until 2 p.m., then readings begin. Adults of any writing style are welcome to attend.

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

Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Program (SHIBA) trained volunteers will be at the Harney County Senior Center each Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call the senior center at 541-573-6024.

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

Boy Scouts meet each Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the LDS Church in Hines. All boys age 11 and above are welcome to participate.

Alcoholics Anonymous holds an open meeting each Tuesday at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord in Burns at 7 p.m.

The Seven Wonders of Harney County

Posted on November 19th in News

Idea aims to promote tourism

by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

Diamond Craters

Diamond Craters

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Harney County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chelsea Harrison said Harney County doesn’t need roller coasters and amusement parks. With more than 10,000 square miles of land, she said the county’s wide-open spaces and abundance of natural beauty are enough to attract visitors, especially those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city.

“The option of having the wide-open spaces is very intriguing,” Harrison said, adding that many travel to this area in search of an opportunity to explore nature without running into their next-door neighbor. “This is that utopia that they’ve been looking for.”

In an effort to draw visitors to Harney County, Harrison collaborated with the Harney County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Harney County Community Response Team to develop The Seven Wonders of Harney County.

Travel Oregon recently launched a similar tourism-promotion campaign called The Seven Wonders of Oregon, which highlights Mount Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon Coast, the Painted Hills, Smith Rock, the Wallowa Mountains, and Crater Lake.

When she saw Travel Oregon’s list, Harrison said she thought, “Wait a minute. How did Steens Mountain not make it?”

Steens Mountain

Steens Mountain

She admitted that Oregon is a beautiful and diverse state, and it’d be difficult to select only seven natural features to emphasize. However,

Malheur National Forest

Malheur National Forest

she said she could think of six wonders that are located in Harney County “off the top of her head.” And to discover the seventh, she was advised to look up at the brilliant myriad of celestial bodies above her head.

The Seven Wonders of Harney County include the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Diamond Craters, Malheur National Forest, Steens Mountain, hot springs, Alvord Desert, and star gazing.

Harrison said she hopes to introduce the idea to tourists this spring.

The chamber’s website will feature photos of each “wonder” on its main page. Anyone who views the site will be able to click on the photos for more information and to find travel itineraries, which will include suggestions for accommodations (such as meals and lodging) that will promote local businesses.

For example, travelers who want to experience the Diamond Craters will be informed about the Round Barn Visitor Center, Hotel Diamond and Steens Mountain Guest Ranch.

Harrison said the selected wonders represent all areas of Harney County. She explained that travelers can access Malheur National Forest

Hot springs

Hot springs

through Burns, Hines, Drewsey and Buchanan. The Alvord Desert can be accessed through Fields, Steens Mountain can be accessed through Frenchglen and The Narrows, Diamond Craters through Diamond, and the county’s various hot springs through areas like Crane and the Alvord Ranch.

Additionally, star gazing opportunities exist throughout the entire county. In fact, Harrison said Harney County has one of the lowest levels of artificial light in the United States, making it a great place to get an extraordinary glimpse of the night sky.

She added that many recreational opportunities exist in the Malheur National Forest, including “gravel grinding,” or bicycling on a mix of asphalt, gravel, dirt and single-track roads and trails. Harrison said she’s working with local U.S. Forest Service staff to recommend activities that won’t interfere with the agency’s forest-management efforts. She added that the forest’s roads are wide

enough to safely accommodate both bicycles and automobiles.

In addition to promoting Harney County’s wonders on the chamber’s website, Harrison plans to add the information to the Eastern Oregon Visitor Guide, explaining that Harney County has its own section in the guide. Harrison said Travel Oregon may also publish an article about Harney County’s wonders, which could bring national and international attention to the area.

Alvord Desert

Alvord Desert

She said the idea is intended to bring tourists to Harney County, which could help create economic growth, as tourism dollars “trickle down” to benefit the community as a whole. She added that some visitors may even decide to set up shop in the area.

“What I hope is that, as The Seven Wonders draw in people, they will see the opportunity that is available in Harney County,” Harrison said.

She said she also plans to promote agriculturally-based tourism, explaining that people around the world have expressed interest in learning more about ranching and the rural way of life.

In addition to its rugged allure, Harrison said Harney County offers a strong sense of community.

“This community embraces people,” she said. “It’s amazing how it embraces people. People come in and say, ‘This is such a nice town, and

there are very nice people here.’”

She added that visitors have reported receiving a level of customer service from local merchants that is unmatched in other areas.

Star gazing

Star gazing

But locals need not worry about a population influx, as Harrison said most of the travelers who will be brought in by the tourism promotion will not opt to move here.

Instead, The Seven Wonders of Harney County will offer residents an opportunity to show off their people and places and remember why they choose to live here.

Folk group released sophomore album

by Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

As part of its Snowshoes and Union Dues tour, Canadian folk group West My Friend is returning to Burns this month.

Hosted by Janet Braymen, the quirky quartet rocked the Braymen family ranch with an engaging  outdoor performance on Aug. 5, 2013.

Since then, the group has been busy recording its sophomore album When the Ink Dries.

The album’s first note is reminiscent of a chamber music performance, but the title track takes a folk-inspired turn with the introduction of traditional instrumentation and vocals. This ominous opener poetically portrays the possible repercussions of building the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline across British Columbia.

On the contrary, the lyrics of the following song, The Tattoo that Loved Her Anyway, are quite comical. The accordion that accompanies this silly (yet slightly sad) story about a lonely woman who falls in love with her French-speaking tattoo makes the song sound like a sea shanty from the days of yore.

Though it’s lyrics speak of longing, Missing You is undeniably upbeat. The catchy hand claps in the background almost beg for audience participation. And the exuberant trumpet creates an interesting contrast with woeful lyrics like, “There isn’t room for romance,” and, “Singing my heart out but never getting through.”

The band brings it down a notch with Thin Hope — a simple, yet emotionally-gripping song that showcases both the tenderness and power of Eden Oliver’s vocals.

The following song, My Lover, is charming and cheerful. With a distinct Americana influence, the song sounds like it could’ve been written yesterday or many decades ago.

Oliver’s voice soars above the melodic harmonies and soft instrumentation featured in Troubles. With lyrics like, “Callus won’t form on broken skin,” the song’s sage lyrics offer the same sort of insight that you might obtain from a grandparent. Yet the next song, Lady Doubt, is all about insecurity and uncertainty.

Featuring an array of instruments — including flute, pump organ, piano, clarinet, recorder, percussion, strings, trumpet, flugelhorn, French horn, trombone, and bass trombone — The Cat Lady Song is a theatrical show-stopper referencing “feline ferocity.”

The highly-literate Ode to Silvia Plath is optimistic and hopeful, while Baleen Whale is stuffed to the gills with playful pirate puns.

Dark and Deep brings back the hearty hand claps featured earlier in the album with an added element of jazz-scat-style vocals.

Appropriately, Last Call is featured at the end of the album. The slow and mournful tune, which  tells a tale of longing for lost love, ends with the promise of more music to come.

Released internationally on April 6, When the Ink Dries was recently nominated in the Canadian Folk Music Awards for the “Oliver Schroer ‘Pushing The Boundaries’ Award.” The band’s first full-length album, Place (released in 2012), received multiple award nominations, including “Roots Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year” at the Vancouver Island Music Awards.

The Chamber Music Society (CMS) of Harney County will host a concert featuring the four-piece folk band on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at the Harney County Community Center (located at 484 N. Broadway in Burns).

Presale tickets can be purchased at Gourmet and Gadgets and the chamber of commerce. Admission is $15 for an individual or $40 for a family. Tickets will also be available at the door until they’re sold out.

The doors will open at 6:30, and the show will start at 7 p.m. Snacks will be sold during the performance to benefit the CMS scholarship fund.

If you’re hoping to enjoy an evening with some quirky Canadians, just look to the West, my friend!

Award presented by Public Lands Foundation

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

(L-R): Berry Anderson, William Andersen, Louie Molt, Roxane Bailey, SWCD chairman Carol Dunten receiving the award from Public Lands board member Dick Prather, Marty Suter-Goold, Andrew Shields, and Jeff Rose. Not pictured: board member Pat Sharp and Robert Greisen. (Submitted photo)

(L-R): Berry Anderson, William Andersen, Louie Molt, Roxane Bailey, SWCD chairman Carol Dunten receiving the award from Public Lands board member Dick Prather, Marty Suter-Goold, Andrew Shields, and Jeff Rose. Not pictured: board member Pat Sharp and Robert Greisen. (Submitted photo)

On Nov. 3, the Harney County Soil and Water District received an award and public citation from the Public Lands Foundation, commending its work in helping to form the first Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the greater sage grouse in Oregon.

The citation reads as follows:

The Public Lands Foundation presents the Harney County Soil and Water Conservation District with its 2014 Landscape Stewardship Award and this Citation. The Foundation grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Harney County Soil and Water Conservation District led a diverse group of partners to help create the first Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) for the Greater sage-grouse in Oregon. This was a multi-year project spanning close to three years that required the Conservation District to seek out new and innovative ways to achieve this goal.

Working closely with private landowners and other partners, the Conservation District was able to develop a model process and document that is vital for the protection of sage-grouse in Harney County and southeastern Oregon.

The Conservation District forged ahead on this project in spite of the current uncertainty in the final listing decision to show commitment to the process and to ensure that private landowners have the flexibility needed if the sage-grouse is listed. The Harney County sage-grouse CCAA provides a model for ranches to use and provides a suite of management actions that have been identified to benefit sage-grouse. If the sage-grouse is listed and a ranch has an approved CCAA, there will be little impact to ranch activities.

After completion of the Harney County CCAA, the next step was to assist ranches with the development of area- or ranch-specific CCAAs. This effort has led to the successful completion of the first ranch-specific CCAA (Home Ranch CCAA). The Conservation District is continuing to work with ranches to support the completion of additional ranch-specific CCAAs. Currently, the Conservation District has requests for assistance on over 25 CCAAs.

Completion of the Harney County CCAA has also helped the Burns District BLM develop the first Sage-grouse specific candidate conservation agreement (CCA). This is similar to the CCAA, but only addresses management within a BLM allotment. Establishment of the CCA for a BLM allotment will allow approved management actions to continue if the sage-grouse is listed. This foresight and leadership exhibited by the Conservation District will help prepare private and public land managers develop strategies to protect sage-grouse habitat while meeting other objectives.

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present the Harney County Soil and Water Conservation District with its 2014 Landscape Stewardship Award and this Citation for invaluable contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.

Edward W. Shepard, President

Burns to play Regis at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 at Hermiston H.S.

by Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

Burns’ defensive back Ty Hueckman times his leap perfectly on a pass intended for Union/Cove’s J.D. Graves. (Photos by RANDY PARKS)

Burns’ defensive back Ty Hueckman times his leap perfectly on a pass intended for Union/Cove’s J.D. Graves. (Photos by RANDY PARKS)

Austin Feist completed all eight of his pass attempts for 147 yards and three touchdowns, and Jeff Davies rushed for 75 yards and three scores on seven carries to lead the Burns Hilanders to a 47-6 win over Union/Cove (U/C) in the Class 2A quarterfinals on Saturday, Nov. 15, at Burns High School.

After forcing the Wildcats to punt on their initial series, the Hilanders took over at their own 29. Five running plays netted 39 yards, and Feist then connected with Trace Tiller on a 32-yard touchdown pass to put Burns up 6-0.

On their next possession, Burns put together a six-play, 67-yard drive, capped off by a 9-yard TD run by Davies. Davies also ran in the two-point conversion to give the Hilanders a 14-0 advantage.

The Wildcats fumbled on their next punt attempt, giving the Hilanders a first down at the U/C 31. Three plays later, Davies scored from 10 yards out, and Burns led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.

U/C started their next drive at their own 18, and on third-and-10, Derrick Murchison completed a 33-yard pass to Brooke Scantling to keep the drive alive. The drive then stalled and Burns took over on downs at their own 40.

The Hilanders went the 60 yards in five plays, getting the score on a 9-yard pass from Feist to Justin Lewellen.

The Hilanders’ Trey Recanzone intercepted a Murchison pass on the Wildcats’ next possession, and Davies scored from seven yards out to give Burns a 35-0 lead with 7:35 left in the half.

U/C went three-and-out, and Burns began their next drive at the Wildcats’ 45. On first down, Ty Hueckman hauled in a 45-yard scoring pass from Feist, and the half ended with Burns up 41-0.

The Hilanders made it 47-0 with 1:31 left in the third quarter on a 9-yard TD run by Garrett Blackburn.

The Wildcats’ only score came on their next possession as Scantling reeled in a short pass from Murchison, broke a tackle, and raced 38 yards down the sideline to the end zone.

Burns finished with 420 total yards, while holding U/C to 126 yards, including just 42 rushing yards.

Murchison finished 5-of-19 for 79 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, and the Wildcats rushing attack was led by Aaron Clark with 47 yards on 19 attempts.


U/C       0      0     0     6      6

Bur     21     20    6     0     47


First quarter

Bur — Trace Tiller 32 pass from Austin Feist (kick failed) 4:34

Bur —Jeff Davies 9 run (Davies run) 7:40

Bur — Davies 10 run (James Obradovich kick) 9:11

Second quarter

Bur — Justin Lewellen 9 pass from Feist (Obradovich kick) 3:13

Bur — Davies 7 run (Obradovich kick) 4:25

Bur — Ty Hueckman 45 pass from Feist (kick failed) 6:38

Third quarter

Bur — Garrett Blackburn 9 run (kick failed) 10:29

Fourth quarter

U/C — Brooke Scantling 38 pass from Derrick Murchison (pass failed) 2:46

Individual statistics

Rushing — Burns, J. Davies 7-75, Feist 5-56, Recanzone 6-48, S. Davies 6-(-8), Blackburn 2-18, Van Tassel 2-3, Lewellen 1-11, Gunderson 2-4, Goss 5-14, Peasley 1-(-4). Union/Cove, Witty 4-10, Clark 19-47, Scantling 2-2, Loftis 2-(-15), Murchison 1-(-1), Stitzel 1-0, Kellogg 3-(-1).

Passing — Burns, Feist 8-8-0 147, Recanzone 2-4-1 52. Union/Cove, Murchison 5-19-2 79.

Receiving — Burns, Blackburn 1-12, Tiller 2-52, J. Davies 2-18, Hueckman 1-45, Van Tassel 1-11, Lewellen 2-56, Bailey 1-5. Union/Cove, Graves 1-7, Scantling 2-71, Loftis 2-1.


With the win, the Hilanders advance to the 2A semifinals, and will play Regis, a 29-9 winner over Gold Beach. Burns will play Regis at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at Kenison Field at Hermiston High School.

The other 2A semifinal game features Heppner taking on Knappa.

The Burns-Regis game is the second game of a triple-header being played at Kenison Field on Nov. 22. The first game, at 11 a.m., features Vale taking on Blanchet Catholic in a 3A semifinal match-up. Then, at 6 p.m., Adrian plays Dufur in a 1A semifinal game.

Admission prices are $8 adults, $5 students, and each ticket is good for all three games.

Al Bonson 1957-2014

Posted on November 19th in Obituaries

OBIT Bonson webAl Bonson of Burns  passed away Nov. 2

Al had a great love of stories, whether reliving the events in one of his tall tales or listening to adventures told by family and friends. He loved to laugh and make others laugh. Like all true fisherman and storytellers, the facts might be slightly exaggerated and bent over time, but they were real and were a doorway into the man we knew and loved.

Al was born September 1957, in San Diego, Calif., the second son to Norman and Donna. This is where his journey began. Not all chapters in life begin and end in the way we foresee them, so Donna was soon caring for her young family and looking to the future.

Donna met and married Larry Root in 1961, and soon settled in Idanha. An idyllic time and place with boundless opportunity for a growing family of young boys looking for adventure. It was a like a page from Tom Sawyer for Al and his brothers, Norm, Craig, Andy and Hoot. Fishing and playing on the river banks and in the woods were some of Al’s fondest memories as a young boy. Al always had a close relationship with all of his brothers and family.

A change of jobs in 1970 meant a move to Burns for the family, and a new set of friends for Al. Many of these friendships from elementary and high school became life-long relationships. Al was a loyal friend, quick to tease and just as quick to help you when you were down.

After graduating, Al worked several jobs, including one at Edward Hines Lumber Mill. In 1986, Al began working for his brother, Andy, alongside his father, Larry, brother, Hoot and Uncle Dave, at Andy’s new company, Andy’s Custom Work. Hard work and long hours spent haying and farming in Burns and Christmas Valley were just fine with Al, but helping teach his nieces and nephews along the way were the times he treasured most. Al was great with kids; he was tough, but always loving.

Around this time, The Powerhouse Restaurant hired a new waitress; a new girl in town with red hair and an outlandish laugh. It was there that Al and Steph met for the first time. They began dating in 1989, sharing many passions, including family, travel, music and Oregon Duck football. Ten short years later, they realized they were perfect for each other. They married in the spring of 1999.

Al and Steph traveled throughout their marriage. Family and friends joined them on trips from the Costa Rican jungle to the Caribbean seas. He lived for adventure, grabbing life with both hands and squeezing everything he could out of it. And he encouraged others to do the same. Oregon Duck football was a venue for sharing time with others. He and Steph loved tailgating at Autzen Stadium with family and friends. A mention of Oregon could cause you to lose hours debating the merits of his favorite team.

As much as both Al and Steph loved to travel, they equally loved living in Harney County. The people and the country are amazingly beautiful. The sense of community and fellowship here is a true blessing.

When Al faced the illness that threatened his health and future, he battled it like a warrior poet. Against incredible odds, he chose to hope and live each moment. He spent this time as he did his life, having adventures and spreading love. While he lost his battle with the illness in the end, his life came full circle. Those people whom he loved so much stepped forward to be at his side, with hearts as large as his and encouragement along the way.

Al was preceded in death by his dad, Larry Root; nephew, Brandon Bonson; and many cherished family and friends.

Al is survived by his wife, Steph Bonson; mother, Donna Root; brothers, Norm Bonson, Craig Bonson, Andy Root and Larry Root; sisters-in-law, Mary Bonson, Teri Bonson, Jana Root and Dawn Root; 16 nephews and nieces; 16 grand-nephews and nieces; many uncles, aunts and cousins; as well as friends who are loved like family.

Mary Jane Fine 1923-2014

Posted on November 19th in Obituaries

OBIT Fine webMary Jane Fine, 91, a longtime resident of Harney and Grant counties, passed away of natural causes Nov. 10 at Blue Mountain Care Center in Prairie City.

Mary was born Jan. 25, 1923, in Chicago, Ill., to Leonard and Edna (Sarre) Johnson. Mary grew up in the hard times of the Depression years.

At age 14, with a work-for-room-and-board arrangement, Mary left Illinois with her aunt and uncle, Bill and Mae Taber. Traveling in the back of a pickup truck, Mary reached the end of the journey when they arrived at Steens Mountain. Mary and the Tabers first lived along Indian Creek, then on a homestead near the Blitzen River. It was there, she always said, she learned the value of hard work by helping them build fence, cutting wood, packing horses, and assisting with the Taber’s hunting and fishing guide service.

In 1941, Mary and a girlfriend moved to Portland, to work on ships at the Kaiser shipyards. After the war, Mary returned to the Burns area.

Mary wed Clifford Fine in 1948. They lived and worked at Roaring Springs and Three Mile ranches in Catlow Valley just south of Frenchglen. During that time, their two children, Joseph Mark and Sally, were born. After 12 years, Mary and Cliff purchased a ranch and moved the family to the Double O Valley, 45 miles southeast of Burns.

In 1980, Mary and Cliff moved to Grant County, where they purchased a ranch outside of Dayville on the south fork of the John Day River. Ten years later, they scaled down their ranching operations and moved to Mount Vernon. After Cliff’s death in January 1992, Mary, along with Sally’s help, continued the ranching operation on a smaller scale. Six months later, Mary became seriously ill, which forced the sale of the last of their cattle. Mary pulled through the medical crisis, and stayed the rest of her years in her Mount Vernon home.

Mary is survived by son, Joseph Mark Fine; daughter, Sally Fine; granddaughters Tamora Fine and Shyanne Fine; two great-granddaughters; cousin, Etta Mae Critchlow; sister-in-law, Mildred Fine; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Clifford; and brother, Donald Johnson.

A graveside service was held Nov. 17 at the Burns Cemetery in Burns. A reception was held at the Burns Elks Lodge following in the Service.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Harney County Senior and Community Services  Center through Driskill Memorial Chapel, 241 S. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845.

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