Composting controversy continues

A resolution to the controversy over the composting odors in North Plains will not be reached by the end of the year after all.

Washington County commissioners must extend the permit for Nature’s Needs to continue accepting food waste by the end of December. But agreeing on a plan to monitor and respond to the most offensive odors will longer than that to work out.

Because of that, the commission will be asked to vote on a 30-day extension at its Dec. 18 meeting.

At the request of the commission, a working group has been formed with officials from Washington County, North Plains and Recology, the company that owns the Nature’s Needs composting facility. The group cannot finalize a plan for the commission to consider by the end of the year, however, in part because of the holidays. Instead, the commission will probably be asked to approve an eight-month extension with conditions at its Jan. 22 meeting.

Wyden watching out for SolarWorld

Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is worried that a loophole will allow Chinese companies to continue dumping solar panels in America at below cost.

Wyden supports the U.S International Trade Commission’s recent unanimous ruling that China’s illegal trade practices have damaged domestic solar manufacturers. But Wyden says he will “make sure federal agencies follow through and fully enforce trade laws” as chairman of the International Trade Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

The ITC ruling came in response to a trade complaint filed by SolarWorld, the German company with a large manufacturing plant in Hillsboro. It ratified tariffs on Chinese-made products that had previously been imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department.

But according to Wyden, the department exempted panels made from solar cells produced in other countries. Wyden worries Chinese companies will avoid the tariffs by exporting that step in the manufacturing process.

Hops are hopping

The new Hillsboro Hops baseball team is moving closer to reality every day. The schedule for the team’s first season in Hillsboro is expected to be announced in the near future.

In the meantime, construction of the new minor league baseball stadium where the team will play is ahead of schedule. The first concrete footings were poured at the site in the Gordon Farber Recreation Complex last week. Vertical construction will get under way soon.

The first order of team apparel sold out in one day. Hundreds of additional T-shirts with the Hillsboro Hops logo are on order, along with a supply of replica caps. They are expected to arrive before Christmas but advance orders are being taken at the team’s website,

Season tickets are also for sale there, too

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