By John Bowler

   CRR Correspondent
   Crooked River Ranch Chamber President Ben Mallery and Vice President Carol Holcomb were recently re-elected for a fourth term of the positions they have held for the past three years, according to the executive director of the chamber, Paul Nemitz.
   Business booming
   Ben Mallery, owner of Ranch-based West Coast Builders, which designs and builds custom homes, is one contractor who maintains, "Business is booming."
   He currently has five custom homes under construction, five more custom home permits in process and expects to receive contracts to build five additional homes before the end of 2008.
   Four of the new stick-built homes will be replacing mobile homes on the building lots being utilized, he added.
   Dean Powers, chairman of the Ranch Architectural Committee, said the 2007 report of building permits issued for The Ranch will be available by the end of January for comparison with the 2006 report.
   CRR 2008 outlook
   This being the time-honored part of the year to review the past 12 months for clues to what lies ahead in the next 12, interviews were conducted with Ranchers serving in various capacities here who make a practice of keeping their fingers on the pulse of their community.
   Here's a summary of what they reported:
   1. A recommendation about how to pursue a north emergency exit will be made to the CRR Board this month.
   2. The next step for the Oregon Public Utility Commission with the Crooked River Ranch Water Co. hinges on what was contained in the box of documents PUC's Michael Doherty reported arrived in his office late last week. They presumably are in response to the court order issued last month to CRRWC's J. R. Rooks that he produce documents by Jan. 14 that had been previously ordered and not delivered by him.
   3. There's no word on why the Jefferson County Commission and the CRR Board held only one of their planned three or four joint meetings last year or if they plan to resume them in 2008.
   4. The CRR Community Development Organization reports efforts to locate an attainable spot to build the long-sought CRR Community Center is still very much in the air with no indication when it will come to earth.
   5. The Commercial Loop continues to be plagued with trashy looking properties belonging to owners who so far have resisted efforts to enforce a cleanup and nobody has come up with a solution.
   6. The Special Road District plans to complete the southern emergency exit before the end of the 2008.
   7. Events in 2008 planned so far: a reprise in late spring of last year's successful Vintage Motorcycle Rally sponsored by Powroll and the CRR Chamber; a return session of the popular Dixieland Jazz Festival under the guidance of Rancher Harry Brown and sponsorship of the Big Dog Saloon; the always popular Lions Buffalo Roast in July; bring-your-own fireworks on the Fourth of July under the watchful eye of the CRR Fire Department.
   In general, Ranchers appear to be heading into 2008 pretty content with the status quo of their community and not fretting unduly about any major issues -- surprisingly, not even roads.
   The Association Board seems pleased with the job performance of the community manager, Aaron Palmquist, who begins his second year in that role this month.
   They say he has taken a considerable load off their shoulders that they had to deal with directly before his arrival.
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