Classes for medical staff, pesticide applicators and wild plant lovers

Check out these forthcoming opportunities to add or brush up on skills for Gorge employment:

Pesticide Recertification – Worker Protection Standard. The class provides four core credit hours toward recertification of Oregon certified pesticide applicator licenses. Class meets at The Dalles campus of Columbia Gorge Community College, from 1-5 pm April 28; and from 8 to noon April 29 at the Hood River Indian Creek Campus. The workshops are free. Pre-register by calling 541.506.6011, or online.

Plant stewardship class series of three workshops, each including a presentation and field trip. Take them all, or separately. Instructor Barbara Robinson is a Gorge resident since 1986, and an expert on Gorge plants. She has been in charge of restoration on the Discovery Center grounds since 1997. Classes include Wildflower Stewardship, April 30; Oregon White Oaks, May 20; and Weeds of the Gorge, June 4. Register online or by calling (541) 506.6011. Cost of the series is $69, or $29 each.

Workshop on ICD-10 transition for medical professionals, to prepare for the Oct. 1 deadline. This workshop benefits any organization that reports diagnosis codes for reimbursement, orders management, prior authorization and referrals, or statistical analysis. The class is intended for students with prior knowledge of ICD-9-CM coding. Students should bring a ICD-10-CM code book. Class meets at Columbia Gorge Community College in The Dalles at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 9. The cost is $79. Register online or by calling 541-506-6011.

Workshop will help grant writers employ use of census data

If you write grants — or intend to — you should think about the May 14 “Census Data For Grant Writers Workshop” organized by the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District.

Topics include finding the most current and relevant data, accessing data on over 40 topics, including age, sex, race, income, education and language spoken at home, and how to present Census Data in a grant proposal.

It’s free to attend, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Columbia Gorge Community College Indian Creek Campus, Room 1.202. Attendance is limited to the first 30 people to sign up.

To reserve your seat, contact Sherry Bohn , 541-296-2266, no  later than April 30.

Sunday morning musings: Compare your income now — and then

If you follow business and economic news, you will recognize the oft-used phrase “in inflation adjusted terms.” You may also have wondered how you could evaluate your own numbers

As we all decompress after income tax week, the Buzz wanted to point you to a at least one tool your government provides in exchange for your tax dollars.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a great little Consumer Price Index Inflation adjuster.

Just enter a number — income, or price of a car, or whatever — and select the year, and then select the year with which you’d like to compare. In other words, it works in both directions — from then to now, or now to then.

It should come in handy the next time you talk salary with your boss.

To illustrate, the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 has the same buying power as $1.76 in 1976, when the minimum wage was $2.30 an hour

Or, to put it another way, those minimum wage workers making $2.30 in 1976 would need to make $9.40 in 2015 to buy the same stuff — $2.15 more than the federal law requires.

Oregon is doing a little better on that score than D.C. The minimum here adjusted upward to $9.25 on Jan. 1. So we’re kinda sorta staying even at that end of the scale.

But, to borrow a line from Capital One, “what’s in your wallet?”

Remodel of former ANPC space will create space for Celilo catering arm, other tenants

An artist's rendering of what the remodeled building will look like along Third Street.

An artist’s rendering of what the remodeled building will look like along Third Street.

If you’ve wondered about the all the activity around the former ANPC building at Third and Columbia, it’s all related to a linked series of property deals downtown.

CopperWest Properties Principal Broker Maui Meyer and business partners Ben Stenn, Jacqueline Carey and their families — dba Argonaut Investments — recently tipped a few dominos.

“We have moved from founding the Sixth Street Bistro, to ownership of the Sixth street together, to ownership of the building, then to Celilo, and then we sold the Sixth Street to Chris and Stacey Creasy, and now we have sold the building to them as well,” Meyer said.

They then channeled assets from the sale into purchase of the building opposite the Elks Lodge parking lot.

“We are remodeling for a couple growing businesses,” Meyer says.

He said that involves about 3,500 square feet on the street level floor. They will still have a 500-square-foot space available on that floor.

“It could be a small cafe/tasting room,” Meyer said. “We are recessing the exterior wall on the west side to make a covered area in the front of the building.

“In the basement, there will be office/warehouse space, but it is really nice, with open warehouse beams, and nice lighting. All in all, a great project. It’s a stellar building for a reuse project.”

Meyer said the catering arm of the Celilo Restaurant & Bar is going in one corner of the basement, “but the rest is for lease in configurations as small as 250 square feet up to about 1500 square feet.”

He said the total available space in the basement runs to 3,500 square feet.

“I suppose I could go that large if someone wanted that,” he said.

It’s all going for less than $1 a foot triple net, “so it’s cost effective, basically new space in downtown.”

Next up for a redo is the Davidson building, just to the south at the corner of Cascade and Third.

“We want to add back the detailing from it’s original construction and modernize the interior, but that’s a couple years away,” he said. “That building is fully leased with great tenants. Very happy to be a part of this family.”

Commercial realtor Greg Colt said the property acquired by Argonaut also includes the parking lot between Artifacts and the Davidson building.

Pages prepare to take helm of Hood River Stationers


After 35 years at the helm of Hood River Stationers, Sue Hull is preparing for the next chapter in life.

As Hull prepares for travel, new owner-manager Jessie Page is preparing to step into the job. She and her husband, C.J. Page, take over June 1. He has a painting business, so Jessie will focus her energies on the store.

In the meantime, Hull and Page are working side-by-side to make sure Page understands all the details that go with running a shop with thousands of products.

Hull says she took over from Mary Lou and Forrest Bellus in 1979, signing the business contract on the same day she learned she was pregnant with her second son.

“I planned to have the store until Jeremy was in the first grade,” Hull recalls. “I never thought about it, and the next thing I knew, I was long past that cutoff date. I always had a good time, and it was perfect for being a mom — I could take a break whenever I needed to help the kids with something.”

She credits longtime employees Darlene Kollas and Mary Kay Bielemeier for making that possible. Kollas has been with the store for 33 years. Bielemeier left late in 2014, to move to the Astoria area and be closer to family there.

Page says she was ready to get back to business after several years as a stay-at-home mom. She worked as an optician for 13 years before taking time to help her 13-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter.

She and Hull had talked about a possible purchase as far back as 2007, and “we regrouped in October.”

She’ll add her own decorative touch, but anticipates no major changes.

“We’ll have more home goods,” she says.


Info-bits that could add bacon flavor to your sense of self

A quick roundup of info from the Inbox …

Gorge wineries are doing Passport month in April. For $25, you get discounts on tastings and wine and other stuff. Sound tasty? Get your ticket to sip. …

Hood River Hard-Pressed Cider Fest is Saturday (April 11), in Odell. Details here

Speaking of wine, the Jacob Williams winery out in the Avery ‘hood is opening its new tasting room this weekend (April 11-12). 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Chance to try the recent bottlings of winemaker John Haw. Get details here, or call 541-645-0462 …

As fruits and veggies start to burst from the ground, swell on their branches and vines, and pile up on the counters of growers all over the Gorge, the Gorge Grown Food Network reminds you that a host of farmer’s markets are your solution for too-many-zukes. Even small quantities from the backyard tree or herb garden can find an appreciative consumer. Just e-mail one of these markets to arrange a booth space, or find out how to share a commingled community table space.

Thursday, April 16, is your chance to learn more about the new Columbia Gorge Internship Network at a free workshop designed to answer questions from business owners and managers looking to share knowledge with talented interns. The event is at 3 p.m. at White Buffalo Wine Bar, 4040 Westcliff Drive, Hood River.  …

MTMCare, founded in Hood River by Randee Bowder, RPh, and Nicole Schrankel, PharmD, to help link consumers and pharmacists so they can ensure appropriate use of medications, has retooled its look and website. Check it out …

Clark College, based in Vancouver, is extending its reach to offer a small slate of professional development courses to Gorge residents, in the Bingen-White Salmon area. Karen Duncker, Gorge program manager, says the spring lineup includes these classes. Apologies for the late notice here, but the registration deadline was April 7. That said, you may still be able to get in. Go here for details and contacts :

  • E-mail etiquette and communication – 1-4 p.m. April 15, $109, inst. Jodi Blackwood
  • Project management – 8-4:30 p.m. April 28, $399, inst. Ron Sarazin
  • Lean Six Sigma Overview – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 6, inst. Russel Boyles
  • Intermediate Excel – 1-5 p.m. May 13, inst. Melissa Beatty


Signs of spring, and new businesses poking up from the soil

As we do occasionally here at the Buzz, we’ve taken a look at last month’s new business filings with the Secretary of State’s office, and come away with more curiosity than answers. If you or someone you know is associated with any of the listings below, and wants to share plans, feel free to contact us. We don’t include every filing, because sometimes the name suggests nothing other than a name:

  • Nobody’s River – Amber Valenti
  • Twin River Packing (Produce) – 1766 Markham Road
  • Broken Boulder Vineyards – 2340 Heritage Loop
  • Mac’s Auto Glass (no address given)
  • Hood River Handball Association – Michael Stenberg
  • Monkey’s Fist Cycleworks – Brook Bielen
  • Let the Kid Guide – Lisa Kosglow
  • Treble Inc – Alicia Beckman
  • Union Event Co. – Stephanie Laur
  • Gorge Fine Painting – Rory Streeter
  • Meadowlark Concepts – Dustin Laur
  • Three Mile Farms
  • Green Girls Hood River – Kirsten Cook
  • Triskele Rivers – Carrie Fuentes
  • Yoli’s – Yolanda Campos
  • Bone Creek Heritage Farms – Sally Packer-Akin
  • Conerly Consulting Firm – Scotty Conerly
  • Hood River Mobile Dental Hygiene – Heather Walker
  • Computer Evolutions – Brady Lane
  • Elevon Solutions – Amy Esnard
  • High Winds Cannabis – 220 Clearwater Lane

Note to people looking to hire kitchen talent

It’s hiring season for Gorge food and beverage businesses. From personal experience, many will struggle to find and hire skilled staff.

If that describes you, you might want to bypass the “help wanted” channels and go straight to the folks training and kicking out qualified cooks.

In the course of researching another project, I spoke today with Maxine Borcherding, lead chef instructor at Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland. She says not all of their students come from or want to stay in Portland. Many are small town kids, and would love to return to a place like home. Hood River, for example.

OCI has a placement office, led by Nina Tuthill, and a 6-week externship program, coordinated by Florice Lim . Send either of them a note if you are looking for help finding help.

Sen. Merkley holds Hood River town hall 6 p.m. Monday, April 6

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., will meet the public at town hall events Monday through Wednesday, April 6-8.

The Hood River event is at 6 p.m. Monday, April 6, in the cafeteria of the Hood River Middle School.

He will update constituents on his work in Washington, DC, answer questions and invite suggestions.

“There are huge issues facing Oregonians and the best way for me to effectively advocate for Oregon’s families and businesses is by getting out on the road and holding a town hall in every county, every year to hear directly from Oregonians,” said Merkley.

Since joining the Senate in 2009, Merkley has held a town hall in each of Oregon’s 36 counties every year.