CRR Steel Stampede set to roll
By John Bowler
This year's repeat of the successful 2007 Steel Stampede, which raised around $5,000 for the Crooked River Ranch Fire Department, is being promoted and managed by the CRR/Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce.
The event, which will be held May 3 and 4, will also receive net proceeds from the founder, CRR-based Powroll Motor Performance.
When asked why another Steel Stampede, Pete Fisher, Powroll research and development leader will tell you, "Because Powroll wants to contribute to this community and I like old bikes." It will be staged rain or shine.
Powroll's Web site, http://powroll.com, lists Fisher as a Powroll employee since the 1970s who purchased the company in the 1990s and is widely known for having "technical expertise with all things four stroke." Nicol and Scott Fisher, his children, own Powroll.
The CRR Stampede is sanctioned by the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association, www.ahrma.org, which runs similar events all over the country.
The CRR Stampede features trials on Saturday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a scramble, Sunday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10; adult-accompanied children are free.
About 35 entries are expected for the trials which test machines and riders' ability to run 10 observed sections of a proscribed course including rough terrain, grades, sharp curves and obstacles, without their feet touching ground for which they are charged a point. Lowest point total wins. Trials are the best spectator events.
A scramble consists of two rounds of five lap races of similar machines and rider ability over natural but less challenging terrain than the trials. Best combined scores of the two rounds wins each class.
The expected 125 participants will be from the northwestern states, Canada, Northern California and Nevada.
The stampede will be held in the fields across from the Trading Post store, beyond the golf course on the lower level of Chinook Drive -- the Ranch entry road.
Ranch-based businesses are invited to participate. Volunteer workers are needed and will earn a stampede shirt. Call 923-2679 for more information.
J.R. Rooks verdict
Crooked River Ranch Water Co. manager J.R. Rooks received a not guilty verdict from a Jefferson County Circuit Court jury last Thursday.
He was charged by the state with criminal mischief for allegedly destroying some juniper trees on CRR Homeowners Association property abutting CRRWC property in March 2006, without permission from Ranch authorities.
Association officials had lodged a complaint against Rooks with the sheriff's office about the incident. The latter investigated and cited Rooks for criminal mischief.
District Attorney Peter Deuel said upon review of the citation, he thought misdemeanor charges against Rooks were warranted at the time.
A key piece of prosecution evidence according to Deuel was a statement Rooks made to investigating officers, the gist of which was that he did not have association approval to remove the juniper trees and there was no need for it.
"Attempts made to settle the case out of court were unsuccessful," said Deuel.
A jury trial convened April 14 after numerous delays. Rooks, who was defended by Madras attorney Tim Gassner, did not respond to a voice-mail request for comment. Gassner agreed with Deuel that pretrial settlement attempts were unsuccessful.
Former Ranch board members Lexus Johnson and Vern Bowers were subpoenaed by Gassner. They testified that Ranch fire chief Patrick Reitz and Rooks volunteered during a board meeting in 2000 to clear excess fire fuel from sensitive Ranch areas under a grant the fire department had received for fire hazard reduction.
They appeared during the meeting to seek permission to perform the clearing of trees and brush on Ranch property as called for and both said their organizations would conduct the clearance without fees being charged to the association.
Johnson explained, "No motion was necessary by the board because no costs or money were involved. Permission was given to Reitz and Rooks by consensus of the board to clear hazardous fuel sources from Ranch property."
Nobody interviewed was sure why it took from 2000 to 2006 to clear the trees in question. The trees' number and value also remains in contention.
Frank Hettick who said he was board president at the time recalled "Reitz and Rooks appearing but I do not remember any action being taken by the board at the time, or subsequently, in response to their request."
"Notes of such meeting actions and motions, were kept on record at one time," he said.
Ranch Association President Frank Ferraro confirmed, "No meeting minutes or other records were found after a thorough search by several board members, that substantiated the Johnson/Bowers testimony or disputed it."
Neither did he know of any instructions to Rooks by a board member not to cut down the trees in question.
Ferraro went on to say, "I will ask for a motion at the board meeting April 21 prohibiting anyone from removing or altering Ranch property in the future without explicit authority of a motion passed by the board."
Several conflicting post mortem analyses were received about this trial. The only consensus running through them was that it was a monumental expenditure of time and money relative to the issue's size and it generated considerable acrimony in the community which apparently didn't benefit either the Ranch or the CRRWC.