Union County Wide Burn Ban

Effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, August 11, 2017


Union County Board of Commissioners voted in an emergency session today to implement the County Wide Burn Ban/Regulated Use restrictions at the recommendation of the Union County Fire Defense Board. As specified in County Ordinance 2016-01, the commissioners may ban all fires outside incorporated cities within Union County. No fires of any kind are allowed except regulated agricultural field burning and gas barbeques. Fire Defense Board Chief Larry Wooldridge stated that the region is in a prolonged period of hot and dry conditions that have brought burning conditions to an extreme level in the county. Weather forecasts are indicating the possibility of lightning storms later this week increasing the potential for large fires in the area. Recent warm dry weather has cured lower elevation fine fuels and larger fuels. Chief Wooldridge indicated that the Fire Defense Board will continue to monitor the conditions.


In addition to Union County fire restrictions, forest officials will implement Phase C public use restrictions at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 11, 2017 on the Umatilla and Wallowa Whitman National Forests and all Oregon Department of Forestry lands due to high fire danger, the potential for human caused fires, and concern for public safety. The increased restrictions pertain to the use of campfires, smoking, chainsaws, internal combustion engines, all-terrain vehicles and generators. Additional information regarding forest restrictions and fire danger in Northeast Oregon can be found at www.bmidc.org/restrictions/shtml.


The Forest Service and Oregon Department of Forestry are currently engaged on fires in the region including Indian Lake, Clarks Creek, Bear Butte and the Tupper Corral. Concern over forecasted hot and dry weather, availability of dry fuels and a concern for a potential lack of available firefighting resources necessitated the implementation of the Burn Ban/Regulated Use of the Burn Ordinance which will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 11, 2017.


The ordinance may be read in its entirety on the county website at www.union-county.org/emergency-services.


Paving and sidewalk upgrades along OR 82 near La Grande

LA GRANDE, Ore. – High Desert Aggregate and Paving, Inc., has begun work on the Oregon Department of Transportation’s project along Island Avenue (OR82/Wallowa Lake Highway) in the La Grande area. The project includes upgrading sidewalk ramps to meet current American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and repaving the section of highway between Adams Avenue in La Grande to Riddle Road, near Starbuck’s Coffee. The freeway ramps at Interstate 84 Exit 261 will also be resurfaced and some traffic signal upgrades will be performed. Sidewalk work will be performed during the daytime hours, while paving occur at night between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. to minimize impacts to businesses. Pedestrian can expect sidewalk detours along coned off sections of the highway shoulder area. Motorists can expect lane closures with a minimum of one eastbound, one westbound and the middle turn lane open for traffic most of the time during the evening construction work. Some lane restrictions will remain in place during daytime to accommodate ADA sidewalk ramp work and pedestrian detours. Sidewalk ramp upgrades have begun near the west end (Adams Avenue) of the project. Paving activities will begin later this month.


Motorists are cautioned to drive with extra care through this work zone and watch for pedestrians along the shoulder area and bicycles in the travel lane. Business accesses may be blocked for short periods during night time paving activities. Construction crews will work to minimize impacts to businesses as much as possible.


Traffic signal upgrades will be occurring during the day at the Monroe, Portland Street, and Riddle Road intersections. During signal upgrade work the signals will be activated by timers, rather than triggered by existing traffic. Motorists are advised to be patient as wait times may be longer than usual.


Paving work is scheduled to be completed by late September, followed by roadway striping (painted lines). Sidewalk and signal work may continue next spring if not completed before winter weather sets in.


“We ask that all pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists respect the traffic control cones, signs and other devices as they move through this work zone,” said ODOT Project Manager Mike Remily. “Business accesses will be marked with blue ‘Business Access’ signs to identify that the accesses are open. We will also be providing regular construction updates to business owners to help keep them informed as to when construction activities might impact them.”



  • Paving work will occur in late August/early September and take about 2 to 3 weeks to complete.
  • Sidewalk and ADA ramp work has begun and is expected to continue through mid-November.
  • Some sidewalk work may continue next spring.
  • No lane closures at any time will be allowed for construction activities from August 18 thru
    August 22 due to the anticipated increased volumes of traffic for the eclipse.


For more information or to receive regular project updates via email, please contact Mike Remily at phone: (541)963-1349, cell: (541)786-0952, email: Michael.D.REMILY@odot.state.or.us

Update from Rep. Greg Walden


We owe our profound respect to the men and women who’ve served our country. On Friday, 25 World War II veterans arrived in Washington, D.C. to see their memorial on the National Mall. They came from across Oregon, representing every branch of our country’s military. We can never truly repay the debt of gratitude owed to these heroes. It was a privilege to fly American flags over the Capitol in their honor and pay tribute to each of them and their service in the Congressional Record. Thank you to the trip organizers, families, friends, and loved ones for making this Honor Flight possible. Thank you, most of all, to the veterans for making this day so special and for your service to our country.

On Friday, 25 World War II veterans from across Oregon visited their memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Please continue reading to learn more about recent legislation we’ve passed to improve the care for Oregon veterans, and meetings I held with Oregonians who were visiting Washington, D.C.

Increasing access to quality, timely care for Oregon veterans

Click here or on the image above to view my remarks on recent legislation to support our veterans

Improving the care Oregon veterans receive at the VA is certainly a priority of mine and I know that it is for all Oregonians. The House recently passed seven pieces of legislation to take on some of the biggest issues facing our veterans and improve their access to timely care. Legislation the House passed will help the VA move through the backlog of appeals and increase flexibility in the appeals process. This will answer many of the concerns I’ve heard from veterans in the district — some of whom have waited two years just to get through the first step in the appeals process.

We also took concrete steps to improve the mental health care our veterans receive and to tackle the opioid epidemic — which has affected veterans and non-veterans alike across our country. The bills we passed will create a pilot program to explore new, innovative treatment options for veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and allow for better monitoring of VA prescription drug use.

There is still much work to be done to get veterans access to the care they have earned and deserve in a timely manner. We won’t give up until that is done. These bills are an important first step in making progress on that front. To read more about these bills, please click here.

Meeting with Oregonians in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to Alison Moss of Bend, Oregon on being commissioned into the United States Navy. It was a privilege to present her with a flag flown over the Capitol and spend a few minutes with her proud mother and grandmother.  

Marisa Remington of Oregon Network of Child Abuse Intervention Centers and Kim McDonald of the Mt. Emily Safe Center in La Grande discussed their work with me while in Washington, D.C. for the National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference.

Members of the Oregon Nurses Association gave me an update on their policy issues last week as part of their national conference in Washington, D.C.

Winner of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition

Liberty Rossel’s artwork, “We Have Seen Too Much”, was selected by a panel of judges as the winner of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition for our district.

Congratulations to Josephine County resident and Grants Pass High School senior Liberty Rossel for winning the Congressional Art Competition for Oregon’s Second District. Liberty’s painting “We Have Seen Too Much” was selected by a panel of local art professors and artists out of 87 entries from students around southern, central, and eastern Oregon. Her powerful painting will be showcased in the U.S. Capitol among the best student artwork in the nation, where it will be seen by members of Congress and visitors from around the world. Special thanks to all the art teachers from high schools around the state for encouraging their students to participate, and to this year’s outstanding judges for doing the difficult work of choosing our winner out of so many great entries. For more information on this year’s competition and how to participate in future competitions, please click here: https://walden.house.gov/artcompetition

That’s all for this update. Remember, you can always keep in touch with me via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District

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NEOEDD Board Meeting

Public Notice: NEOEDD Board Meeting


Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) is holding a board meeting on Thursday, June 22, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. at the Baker County Commission Meeting Room, 1995 3rd St., Baker City. All NEOEDD board meetings are open to the public. Please contact the office for a meeting agenda.


The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District’s mission is to provide resources and facilitate quality decision-making for the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses and communities in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties. Learn more about our programs and business support at www.neoedd.org.


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Business Foundations Workshops Free to Public

ENTERPRISE, Ore. – Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) offers a free, six-week workshop series to help entrepreneurs and small-business owners build the basis for a successful enterprise. Register by Jun. 23 to reserve your seat in Wallowa, Elgin, Baker City, or La Grande. But, don’t wait—class size is limited!


Lisa Dawson has taught the Business Foundations program for more than ten years, and her students—existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties—continue to give her rave reviews. This hands-on class covers the basics of running a successful business: overhead and variable costs, goal-setting and sales projections, marketing, and other considerations, and brings it all together in a business plan.


Best of all, thanks to a Community Development Block Grant through Wallowa County, the classes are offered free of charge!


Workshops take place:

  • Wallowa: Mondays, Jul. 10 – Aug. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Wallowa City Hall, 104 N Pine St.
  • Elgin: Tuesdays, Jul. 11 – Aug. 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Elgin Depot, 300 Depot St.
  • Baker City: Wednesdays, Jul. 12 – Aug. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. at HatchLab Baker, 2019 Main St.
  • La Grande: Thursdays, Jun. 29 – Aug. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Umpqua Bank, 1215 Adams Ave.

To register, call NEOEDD by Friday, Jun. 23 at 541-426-3598 or 800-645-9454, or email kristyathens@neoedd.org. Preference is made to people with low-to-moderate incomes; income verification will be required.


The workshops last six weeks, with the following topics:

  • Gaining Perspective: View business concept from a high altitude in order to define vision, set priorities, and get a good look at the main topics to be addressed.
  • Laying the Foundation: Define line of business and analyze financial essentials, from overhead costs to break-even points.
  • Getting into the Flow: Cover the financial bases of cash flow, sales forecasting, and financial documents.
  • Mission & Markets: Revisit mission, discuss market research, identify and assess competitors, and target markets.
  • Get the Word Out: Discuss creative marketing strategies and give peer feedback on product, or marketing materials.
  • Goodbye & Good Luck: Present business plans and generate next steps.

Here’s what former class participants have to say about the Foundations class:

  • “[I appreciated Lisa’s] low-key and helpful attitude, and her desire to help each of us regardless of our business choices.” –Participant in Halfway
  • “I hadn’t looked at break-even point, overhead costs, and marketing costs before this class.” –Participant in Enterprise
  • “[I valued] being able to get a grasp on my business intentions and the necessary work involved to be successful.” –Participant in Baker City

The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District’s mission is to provide resources and facilitate quality decision-making for the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses and communities in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties. Learn more about our programs and business support at www.neoedd.org.


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Support for Veterans


Wilsonville, OR –  Yesterday, Republicans in the Legislature held a press conference with veterans and advocates to express support for Senate Bill 1054, which would lift the restrictions preventing veterans and their family members from accessing mental health care services.

Currently, the Brown administration’s so-called “Certificate of Need” process puts providers of veteran mental health care services through a brutal, labyrinth-like process when trying to build new facilities.  SB 1054 would end these roadblocks and fast track the process so veterans and their families can better access the promised care they need and deserve.

Yesterday, the same day as the Republican press conference with veterans and advocates, Gov. Kate Brown showed up to a gathering to celebrate and honor the 1186th Military Police Company from the Oregon National Guard.  Instead of policy and advocacy, she offered photographs and tweets. Brown did order the flags to half-mast to show some respect, but the Oregon GOP Chairman points out that the governor is offering nothing more than gimmicks and gestures.

“The governor snaps photos with veterans and easily follows Memorial Day traditions, but when the cameras aren’t flashing it’s a totally different reality,” state Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier.  “The reality is that government unions and the Brown administration are holding veterans hostage, collecting ransom payments from mental health care providers, and playing games with veterans services budgets.”

Support from Oregon voters for state veterans services is overwhelming, as was demonstrated by the over 83% YES vote for Ballot Measure 96 in 2016 to allocate Oregon Lottery proceeds to fund these services, a message Gov. Brown has decided to ignore.

“If the governor truly cares about veterans, she would put her lip service into serious action and help get Senate Bill 1054 passed and signed into law,” added Currier.  “Heading into this Memorial Day weekend and remembering those who sacrificed so much in service to our nation, we must all demand that our Governor finally delivers to our veterans the care and support we owe them.”


Link to Online Posting:



The Oregon Republican Party is the state’s arm of the Republican National Committee. It’s Chairman and officers are dedicated to promoting Republican principles within the state of Oregon and to improving the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s working families through economic freedom and equal protection under the law.

La Grande Summer Music Camp 2017 “Rockstar”


  • Registration is now open for the La Grande Summer Music Camp 2017 “Rockstar”!
  • Instrument playing, daily concerts, dance, piano lessons, guitar lessons, recorder, instrument building, treasure hunts and games.
  • Two PreK-2nd camps 6/12-16 & 7/24-28, 9-noon (Tuition $80/camp).
  • One 3rd-6th Grade camp 6/26-30 9-2pm (Tuition $100).
  • 30% Sibling Discount across all camps.
  • Information & Registration at www.emersonmusicarts.com or 541-605-0425

TrackTown Youth League

TrackTown Youth League is a series of completely FREE all-comers track meets throughout Oregon, culminating in a championship meet at Hayward Field in Eugene. No prior track & field experience is necessary to participate; the mission of TrackTown Youth League is to provide youth from all backgrounds and income levels the opportunity to participate in track & field. Please let us know if you can help spread the word within your community, especially by publicizing the La Grande meet in your newsletter or event calendar. I’ve included key information below as well as a link to download the La Grande meet’s flier. Please note that families need to arrive early as outlined below to allow time for check-in and number pick-up. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Kate Johnson
Oregon Sports Authority

Attorney Workshop

NEOEDD Offers Attorney Workshop for Small Business Owners

ENTERPRISE, Ore. (May 2, 2017) – Are you a small-business owner who seeks basic legal information? Learn about the factors that you should be taking into account as you make decisions, including how to hire a professional service provider.

The workshops will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.:

  • May 22: Cook Memorial Library Meeting Room, 2006 4th St. in La Grande
  • May 23: HatchLab Baker, 2019 Main St. in Baker City
  • May 31: Fishtrap, 400 E Grant St. in Enterprise

Thanks to a Community Development Block Grant through Wallowa County, these workshops are offered free of charge!

This workshop will include the following topics:

  • Benefits and downsides of various legal structures: Sole Proprietorship, LLCs, S-Corporations, B-Corporations, Partnerships
  • Liability and how legal structures may reduce risks, the relationship between legal structures and raising money through an equity offering, common mistakes new businesses make regarding structure choices
  • Rules of thumb for businesses in different industries
  • Trademarks and patents: what does a business need to know, when should they seek help?
  • Employment law: wage and hour requirements and workplace protections
  • Bylaws and operating agreements
  • How to hire an attorney

Presenters are Wyatt S. Baum (La Grande and Baker City) and Sadie Kennedy (Enterprise). To register, call Kristy at NEOEDD, 541-426-3598 or 800-645-9454, or email at kristyathens@neoedd.org. Preference is made to people with low-to-moderate incomes; income verification will be required.


The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District’s mission is to provide resources and facilitate quality decision-making for the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses and communities in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties. Learn more about its programs and business support at www.neoedd.org.


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