Featured Stories


Police fee, tobacco ban take effect in city

Bus policy changes, trail support in question


Public art funding gap narrows

The Forest Grove Public Arts Commission (PAC) raised $3,800 through a June 1 benefit dinner at Stecchino Bistro. The money will go toward a public art piece for the Forest Grove City Library, featuring the glasswork of nationally renowned glass artist Ed Carpenter — whose mother volunteered at the library years ago — as well as the metalwork of Eric Canon and the woodwork of Greg Kriebel, both local artists.

Altogether, the commission has raised nearly $12,000 of the project’s total estimated cost of $69,000. That includes $3,000 of the community-enhancement grant the Forest Grove City Council recently awarded it for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, plus $3,000 from last year’s grant, $1,000 from the Stars in the Grove talent show last winter and $850 from the recent sale of a donated vehicle.

Separately, the Forest Grove Library Foundation has collected $40,000 for the project, leaving $17,000 to be raised between now and the three-day Labor Day weekend, when the library always closes and Carpenter would like to use that time to install the art piece.

Future PAC fundraisers will include a murder-mystery dinner at the library and another special event with the three artists. To donate, contact Colleen Winters at 503-992-3246 or go to fglf.org.

Police to stop stretching thin

Organizations that request police assistance with their public events in Forest Grove will have to pay a new fee of $89 per hour to cover the costs of police services during the event. Approved by city councilors June 9, the new fee will include another $9 (10 percent) to cover overhead costs for a total of almost $100 an hour, with a minimum four hours required. Previously, police officers tried to absorb the duty into their regular work load, but would sometimes need to leave to answer a call, raising liability issues.

At the moment, the three officers on a typical shift can’t cover their patrol duties and special events, which will now be covered by overtime officers, Police Chief Janie Schutz told councilors, adding that other police departments in the county charge such a fee.

Trail grant requests denied

Two grant requests for the Yamhelas Westsider Trail project came up empty recently, including a $1 million ask to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, which did not include the trail when it announced its grant winners last week.

The Yamhelas rail-to-trail project aims to link Gaston to McMinnville via a pedestrian/bike/equine trail. Last year it won a $1.4 million grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation’s ConnectOregon program, which funds multi-modal projects around the state.

About $300,000 to $400,000 will go toward design and engineering work now being solicited by Yamhill County, which is the official contact for the project.

The remaining $1 million will go towards the $2.4 million cost of buying right-of-way from Union Pacific Railroad. The $1.4 million still needed for right-of-way won’t come from this year’s ConnectOregon grants. ODOT announced last week that only 37 of the 104 requests were granted, with the Yamhelas trail 58th on the list. Yamhill County had requested $4.5 million for the project, with a matching pledge of $1.2 million.

“It’s not a deadly blow,” said Lyell Gardner, board president of Friends of the Yamhelas Westsider Trail. “We just need to find another source to pay for that thing.”

For more information, go to the project’s website: yamhelaswestsidertrail.org.

Tobacco/smoking ban passes

The Forest Grove City Council has banned smoking and tobacco products on city-owned or leased property, excluding sidewalks and streets. The unanimous vote at the June 9 council meeting followed assurances from Police Chief Jamie Schutz that officers would “take it slow” and use plenty of time to warn and educate people about the ban before enforcing it with citations, and from Parks and Recreation Director Tom Gamble to “educate but not infuriate” people about the ban.

Standing Up for GroveLink

The board of directors (executive committee) of Ride Connection, the nonprofit that operates Forest Grove’s local transit service, approved a policy change that will let up to three people stand on the bus if all seats are full, as long as they stand behind the yellow line — away from the wheelchair area — and grab a bar or pole for support.

If a driver finds someone waiting at a bus stop when the bus is at full capacity with riders and standees, the driver must tell the would-be rider the bus is full and let them know when the next bus is scheduled to arrive.

Gaston council replaces two

The Gaston City Council recently appointed Jeremiah Jeffries and Don Richter to the council to replace Grace Haines-Kloock and Rick Kloock, who resigned for personal reasons.




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  • 26 Dec 2014

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