Clark College in the Gorge hosts open house, help with tuition

BINGEN, Wash. – Clark College will host an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 9, at its Bingen, Wash. campus.

The evening’s program will feature a guest speaker Rebecca Kleiva from Clark’s Workforce Education Services Office. She will discuss programs available to students for reducing or covering the cost of tuition, in addition to an overview of the Winter 2016 CADD (Computer Aided Design and Drafting) program offerings.

The CADD classes being offered for the Winter 2016 quarter are:

  • CADD 150 – INTRODUCTION TO SOLIDWORKS (Tuesdays & Thursdays, 7-9:20 p.m.): Parametric solids modeling with SolidWorks, covering the breadth of the software at a basic level. Create part, assembly, and drawing files, including design tables and multiple configurations. Recommended for anyone comfortable using a PC.
  • CADD 216 – INTEGRATED COMPUTATIONAL DESIGN (Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2:20 p.m,): Use of computational simulation within CADD applications in the design and analysis of engineering problems. Also, use of integrated surface/solid modeling techniques, and use of CADD in documentation of designs and analyses. Prerequisite: A grade of “C” or better in ENGR 150 or CADD 150

Registration for winter 2016 classes is now open, and students interested in enrolling can visit the Clark College website for more information.

To RSVP for the Open House, set up an appointment with Rebecca Kleiva, or for more information on Clark College in the Gorge, please contact Karin Duncker, Columbia Gorge Educational Program Manager, at  or 509-493-1430. Clark College in the Gorge is located 310 S. Larch Street, in Bingen, in the lobby of the Zepher Building.

Longtime art instructor Kloman launches teaching studio on Heights

Joy Kloman with some of her art in new studio space.

Joy Kloman with some of her art in new studio space.

A love of art and a love of teaching people how to express themselves through art have inspired Joy Kloman to set up a teaching studio at 1412 13th St. Suite 100 (just north of Ten Speed Coffee).

Kloman, a professor of painting and drawing for six years at the University of Mississippi and a nine-year resident of the Gorge, will teach painting to groups or individuals, adults and children, by appointment.

She also hopes to host painting parties, in which she will guide people in completion of a 16-by-20-inch painting inspired by an existing work of art.

“It’ll be a good chance for people who may be a little unsure of themselves to be creative and comfortable,” says Kloman.

“I don’t want it to be intimidating. I think it can be fun.”

Art called early to Kloman. After leaving her childhood home in Pensacola, Fla., Kloman attended the Kansas City Art Institute and graduate school at the University of Florida.

“”In college art classes, I couldn’t get enough of it,” she recalls. “Early on, I knew I wanted to teach art.”

She says painting parties and group classes can hold up to 12 students. All work will use quick-drying acrylic paint, so students can take their paintings home with them.

To meet Kloman and get a look at the studio — she will also display her own artwork — may attend an open house from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 5. The first painting party runs from 7 to 9 p.m. that evening.

Get more information on her web site or facebook page. To contact her, call 541-399-7873 or send e-mail.

Happy Thanksgiving, and don’t forget community meal

Just a quick reminder — if you don’t have plans for dining this lovely Thanksgiving Day, just go on down to the Riverside Community Church between 1 and 5 p.m. for the free community Thanksgiving meal.

Prepared by over 100 volunteers during the past week, the meal draws on the generous donations of local restaurants, food distributors and private individuals. It features the traditional mix of turkey, stuffing and more — with Tofurky for the vegetarians in the crowd.

It’s a great way to avoid the prep (if you’re disinclined), enjoy the day with your family and friends, meet up with others from the community, and meet some new people while taking in the gorgeous view from the church fellowship hall.

The church is at the south end of Fourth Street, where it tees into State Street, in downtown Hood River.

Portland group inks offer to buy Hood River Hotel, nearby Sproat Building

The Hood River Hotel , built as an annex to the former Mt. Hood Hotel, as seen from the Pietro's  Pizza parking lot, which is where the Mt. Hood Hotel was located.

The Hood River Hotel , built as an annex to the former Mt. Hood Hotel, as seen from the Pietro’s Pizza parking lot, which is where the Mt. Hood Hotel was located.

A Portland group of investors has signed an offer to buy two major downtown Hood River buildings — the classic Hood River Hotel, and the adjacent Sproat Building.

Brian Cunninghame

Brian Cunninghame

Brian Cunninghame, longtime owner of the hotel, confirmed that he and the potential buyers had signed a buy-sell agreement a week ago.

The deal will move forward if the buyers complete a feasiblity study that ends on Dec. 31.

“It’s by no means a done deal, not by any stretch,” said Cunninghame, who bought the hotel in 2000.

Commercial real estate broker Greg Colt confirmed that he had been approached by the Portland group through their broker. They initially were interested in the Franz Hardware building at the corner of Second and Oak.

After they saw the building and expressed serious interest, Colt said he told them about the Sproat Building and hotel.

That got the potential buyers even more excited, Colt said, and they made offers on all three structures. Owners of all three rejected the offers. Counter-offers for sale of the Sproat Building and hotel, however, were accepted.

“I hadn’t planned on selling it quite yet,” Cunninghame said.

He had listed the hotel for sale in 2011 and had it on the market for a couple of years, but got no acceptable offers and took it off the market about 1.5 years ago.

“The buyer came to us, made a good offer and seemed like a good guy,” Cunninghame said. “We’ve accepted an offer.”

He said the potential buyer “has a great vision and plans for the building.”

He said the buyer would keep the hotel as a boutique property.

“Their idea is to take it to the next level, make some improvements, and capitalize on the historic character of the hotel,” he said.

Cunninghame said the buyers intend to keep hotel staff in place, including longtime general manager Cathy Butterfield, who was unavailable for comment.


B Gorge-us Boutique offers jewelry, clothing for ‘local’ budgets

Bertha Logsdon inside her somewhat-new store inside the Oak Mall.

Bertha Logsdon inside her somewhat-new store inside the Oak Mall.

After 28 years as a legal assistant with Arens & Associates, Bertha Logsdon was ready for reinvention.

Earlier this summer, she was going a little stir-crazy. She had landed a job as a probation tech with the Hood River County parole and probation office, and felt like the local retail scene could use a place that offered more affordable clothing and jewelry for local budgets.

Thus was born B Gorge-us Boutique. Tucked a bit out of walk-by sight at the back of The Oak Mall (think Gorge Dog and Bette’s Place) at 416 Oak St., the store “caters to locals,” Logsdon says.

The store features her own work, plus that of local artists Stephanie Johnston and Charlene Fort. There’s also a selection of imported clothing, including products from Ecuador.

Curious? Drop by for an open house event Saturday (Nov. 21) from 3 to 6 p.m. Snacks and beverages will be available while you browse.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Call 541-701-1368.

Worth noting for your Friday …

If you still turn to The Oregonian for news (of Portland, if not much of Oregon), you may find it of interest — and concerning — that the state’s largest news organization is again offering buyouts before more possible layoffs. All according to a story in the Willamette Week …

What’s up with the Forest Service? Senate legislation that just passed — according to — is designed to force the USFS to act on earlier legislation to effect a land exchange on Mt. Hood. Since when is one bill not enough? Hmm. Let’s hope this bill gooses the bureaucrats to get’r done …


Biz sprinkles for your chit-chat donut

We need more parties. Oh, thank you, to the good folks putting the “local back in yokel” (OK, not quite sure what that meant, but it sounded good) at Gorge Owned. Ramping up now for the GO!vember! Party at Kickstand Coffee (13th and State) on this coming Friday eve, from 6 to 10 p.m. Food, bev, tunes from the Shed Shakers. Drag yo’ fine ol’ self down there, ‘cuz entry is FREE. Of course, you gotta pay for whatever you stuff in your face (makes sense), and you can, if you wish, buy raffle tix for a spiffy $1,400 Kona Esatto D road bike from Dirty Fingers, and lots else. Follow the link  to get thee fun …

Kudos to the kids at 64 Taphouse and Growler Station in downtown Hood River, on Third between Cascade and Oak. The New School beer site named it one of the top 11 Oregon taprooms. Nice place. The Buzzer had a chance to stop in last week for the first time, and found tap lineup impressive, nicely displayed behind the bar, and a decent mix of bar and table seating. Plus, bottomless pretzels to salt your thirst. Yum! Get thee there …

Hiring now for operations manager with the new Hampton Inn, through craigslist and the Innsight Hotel Management Group. Hotel lodgers, coming soon, to a boat basin near you. Get thee hired …

File under “Russian nesting dolls of aerospace,” the news that our friends at Insitu have advanced the art of unmanned aerial systems to offer a drone … that launches another drone. How long before that launched second drone has its own drone to launch into the hall of mirrors. Get thee one …


Tree clearing near Phelps Creek, wetlands incursions get two-landowners in … hot water

Erosion barriers follow path of Phelps Creek several feet back from its channel.

Erosion barriers follow path of Phelps Creek several feet back from its channel.

County and state officials say illegal activity on adjoining parcels of property west of Hood River led to a cease and desist order on one property, and attempts to close the barn door (after the cow got out) on the other.

The properties involved include:

  1. A 12.5-acre parcel owned by Andy Von Flotow, doing business as Westend Lands LLC, southwest across Country Club Road from the Timbercrest Condominium complex. The Department of State Lands on Nov. 3 issued a cease and desist order to stop work on the property because “unauthorized fill and/or removal on the property … presents an imminent and substantial risk of injury, loss or damage to water resources of the state.”
  2. A 16-acre parcel owned by Dave Ryan of Ryan Holdings LLC. As first reported locally by The Buzz on Aug. 25, Walmart sold the 16-acre property to Dave Ryan and Ryan Holdings LLC this summer, several years after failure to gain approval for a 185,000-square-foot Super Center project.
Rock retaining wall and drainage channel near where Von Flotow property meets Ryan property.

Rock retaining wall and drainage channel near where Von Flotow property meets Ryan property.

About a month after Ryan acquired the property, in early October, crews showed up with chainsaws, large excavating equipment and an agenda. They began removing most of the standing trees and piling the trunks into large brush piles.

Several inquiries to county and city planning officials triggered investigation.

Clearing on the Ryan property continued to within feet of the flow channel of Phelps Creek, which snakes across the property, beneath Country Club Road and ultimately drains into the Columbia River at Wah Gwin Gwin falls near the Columbia Gorge Hotel.

Work stopped shortly after a large pile of fill dirt was deposited near where the creek passes beneath Frankton Road.

Cindy Walbridge, planning director for the city of Hood River, visited the Ryan property on Oct. 9 even though the city has no jurisdiction until the property is annexed to the city. In the meantime,  Hood River County has oversight.

Walbridge said the activity on Ryan’s property saddened her.

“I was just sick,” she said.

“I called David Ryan and said ‘What did you do?’ The damage is done, but he said he would reclaim the flood plain and replant. I’m not sure what that will look like.”

How did all this happen? On one hand, it’s simple: City and county planning officers don’t get involved until someone walks in their door and proposes development.

“We don’t have much we can do before someone applies for something,” says Walbridge.

“The state can help us with the Department of State Lands and Department of Environmental Quality if the property owner starts working with wetlands.”

Stumps show extent of tree removal adjacent to and into channel of Phelps Creek.

Stumps show extent of tree removal adjacent to and into channel of Phelps Creek.

Rules, for instance, require a permit from DSL before moving or removing more than 50 cubic yards of material from the bed or banks of “waters of the state.”

In a Nov. 2 letter to Von Flotow, Heidi Hartman, aquatic resource coordinator for the DSL, said “waters of the state” include the Pacific Ocean, rivers, lakes, ponds and wetlands. Her letter cited concerns about an earth and rock retaining wall near a waterway on the Von Flotow property that drains north toward Country Club Road.

As for the Ryan property, John Roberts, county development and planning director, said “there were a number of reasons things fell through the cracks.”

“The first thing is, he didn’t ask anyone for permission,” Roberts said.

Until someone presents development plans, the county has little reason to engage with the property owner.


A pile of fill dirt sits just back from the Phelps Creek stream channel near intersection of Frankton and Country Club roads west of Hood River.

A pile of fill dirt sits just back from the Phelps Creek stream channel near intersection of Frankton and Country Club roads west of Hood River.

“With a development plan, then the ball is in our court,” he said. “It gives you the ability through the code and review criteria to get after it. But the counties aren’t the dirt police.”

He said Ryan told the county he was just moving dirt. Move enough dirt, in the wrong place, and it triggers the county’s flood plain ordinance.

One floodplain zone provision requires a permit before any “dredging, filling, paving, grading or excavation.”

Another provision of the county floodplain zone notes that tree removal must follow the state Forest Practices Act, which requires a 50-foot vegetation buffer along streams.

“He was able to slip through the cracks,” Roberts said. “He did go over the edge. The stream setback is uniform in our code at 50 feet. He went up to the edge … and in.”

Roberts said the county is working to get Ryan “on a path to compliance.”

“That involves us, DEQ and the Department of State Lands,” he said. “That took a lot of effort to get all three coordinated out there, and aware of what happened.”

Greg Svelund, spokesperson for the DEQ, said the agency is mailing a “pre-enforcement” notice to Ryan. He said Ryan faces a fine of around $4,000 for failure to get the required permit.

Neither Ryan nor Von Flotow has responded to calls placed Nov. 13 for their side of the story.

The puzzle has one key element missing. Ryan’s property lies in a regulatory gray zone, just outside the Hood River city limits, but inside its urban growth boundary. County code specifically exempts properties in that gray area from its current stream protection overlay (Section 42.05 – Applicability / B.”This Article does not apply to streams or lakes within … the Hood River and Cascade Locks urban growth areas.”).

Roberts said the county had intended for years to update its code to extend its stream protection overlay to cover those lands, but it just hadn’t happened.

Roberts, who took over from retired county planning director Mike Benedict earlier this year, could only speculate as to why that regulatory gap hadn’t been addressed, inferring budget and staffing challenges.

“If it had been adopted, we wouldn’t have been such a toothless tiger,” he says.

“That’s what put us on our heels. It will be adopted soon, you better believe it.”