Crooked River Ranch Roundup

Mike Gangstead, Don Fahlgren adn Kirk Neal, left to right, all participated in the 'Ugly Tropical Shirt' contest at the CRR chamber's gala.At the first 2014 Crooked River Ranch Club and Maintenance Association Board of Directors monthly meeting, Jan. 20, board members waded into an agenda that largely comprised issues held over from 2013.

First off, they listened to public input from Sharon Tindall, the most recent contractor to run the Snack Shack behind the clubhouse, which serves the refreshment needs of primarily the kids and people using the swimming pool in the summer time.

The offerings of the Snack Shack, which adjoins the pool, include various hot and cold drinks, light snacks, such as sandwiches, hot dogs and hamburgers, plus ice cream and other confectionery for desserts. A limited number of tables both outside and under cover are available for patrons to enjoy their purchases and chat over them.

Over past years, the Snack Shack, which has had an unusual number of operators over the years, has been an albatross over the board’s head for its propensity to lose money and stimulate complaints from patrons over food quality and variety as well as bad service.

The board annually debates how to minimize the financial drain of the Snack Shack and the griping it generates. After trying to run it with contractors and volunteers from the board, it was finally decided some time back that contracting the operation out to an experienced food service facility operator was the wisest approach.

Last year, that was Tindall, who previously operated a coffee and snack dispensing trailer in the space between the two office buildings adjacent to the clubhouse in the Ranch commercial area.

Tindall told the board at the monthly meeting that she would not renew her contract to run the Snack Shack again this year, but she had some suggestions for improving its overall performance. The board suggested that she get together with Ranch Administrator Judy LaPora to review her ideas for implementation.

On Monday, Tindall said she had discussed the matter with LaPora, and that they haven’t concluded anything definite so far, but she was hopeful a solution could be reached.

Tindall also said she has an opportunity to move her coffee and snack trailer to Terrebonne, where she thinks the volume of traffic almost guarantees financial success. Nevertheless, she would prefer to operate on the Ranch, where she lives and to which she is devoted.

LaPora was noncommittal about a solution to the snack bar conundrum in a telephone conversation Monday. She had the impression from conversations to date with Tindall that the latter was high on moving her own snack trailer to Terrebonne. LaPora is not sure that the board is willing to bend on the local facility rent sufficiently to allow Tindall to make the kind of a return that would be attractive to her.

LaPora said the Ranch was not mandated to run a snack operation and she didn’t know what the local sentiment would be if they didn’t. Also, she has no knowledge of the interest in running the snack bar by either of the two other restaurants on the Ranch — the Big Dog or the Sandbagger. The latter is only a stone’s throw from the pool area and has a shaded outside serving facility in the summer, so it wouldn’t be too long a stretch for pool patrons to go. It remains to be seen how this conundrum will be resolved.

In the official highlights of the meeting, it was noted that homeowner Marty Wilson spoke to the board about the U.S. Forest Service meeting which took place on Jan. 7. Wilson said that the majority of people who attended the meeting were not in opposition to shooting on the Peninsula, but wanted shooting done in a safe environment.

Wilson suggested reallocating funds from other Forest Service projects to fund a safe shooting range, which would be fenced and signed. He added that he believes the Forest Service has an obligation to make the area safe now that they have been made aware of the potential danger to adjoining homeowners and other users.

In a follow-up conversation on Monday with Slater Turner, Crooked River National Grassland district ranger, he said that there were procedural and financial constraints on the Forest Service, which manages that area.

“The USFS cannot legally respond immediately to all the requests it receives simply because it doesn’t have either the resources or the authority," he said.

Turner plans to get together with community leaders, such as the county commissioners and the Ranch board, to discuss how best to proceed, as well as fund any safety improvement effort where shooting takes place in the Grassland.

Despite the risk of a shooting accident, a USFS enforcement officer who recently visited the Grassland shooting area twice at Turner’s request found it “a lot safer than many other similar areas he had visited," and no one was visible either shooting or traversing the area.

Kathie Gangstead, new Crooked River Ranch-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce executive director, reported the chamber's annual Gala attracted 94 people Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars clubhouse in Redmond, where it was held. She said they enjoyed a great meal and a raffle of over 50 door prizes.

Mae Huston, a Culver resident, announced at the board meeting that she is running for election to the county commissioner position currently held by John Hatfield, who is retiring from the position.

A call placed to her was returned while she was at work, but time ran out before it could be completed with more information about her. So far no other candidate for that position at this end of Jefferson County has surfaced, which raises the question of why? There usually is enough hot air circulating around the Ranch to indicate the presence of incipient candidates with political ambitions in that direction.

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