Beat the winter blues

Children play at Sunset Park in Hermiston.

Hermiston residents have an opportunity to provide input for the parks and recreation department’s master plan.

The plan currently being drafted will guide the department’s work for years to come, prioritizing spending and construction on new parks and other facilities.

The city has posted an online survey, accessible until Nov. 1. The survey, which takes about 10 minutes, can be found at It asks residents for feedback on how happy they are with each of Hermiston’s current parks and recreation facilities, then asks them to prioritize other potential projects such as an indoor aquatic center, new playground, ice skating rink or boat ramp.

The survey is anonymous, but people can submit their contact information if they want a chance at being drawn for one of five $100 gift cards.

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The Echo Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is open for the season. Regular hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 2-6 p.m.; Fridays from 2-10 p.m.; Saturdays from 11 a.m to 10 p.m.; and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s located at 100 N. Dupont St., Echo. General admission is $10 for ages 3 and older, free for ages 2 and younger or $12 for an all day pass. There are additional fees for other ticketed attractions. The Field of Screams Corn Maze Path is $12 (Oct. 19, 26 and 31 from 7-9 p.m.). For additional information, visit or search Facebook. See the Oct. 9 edition of the Hermiston Herald for a story and photos.

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Altrusa International of Hermiston is rolling out a fresh new fundraising event. The Altrusa Food Truck & Auction Extravaganza is Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Hermiston Community Center. Admission is $20. The event also features wine and beer tasting, live entertainment, a raffle for a chance to win a $2,000 Visa card and a 50-50 cash drawing.

Tickets can be purchased from Altrusa members or the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce. See the Oct. 16 Hermiston Herald for a full story.

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Travelers heading up or down Cabbage Hill along Interstate 84 east of Pendleton can expect lane closures in the westbound and eastbound lanes over the next few weeks. Shoulder paving began this week in the westbound lanes, and will shift to the eastbound lanes in a week or two. Motorists are advised to slow down and be prepared for single-lane travel. Depending on weather conditions, this work is expected to be completed around mid-October.

The paving will seal the area where power cables were installed. Those wires will help provide electricity to a dozen digital message boards, freeway lighting and other enhancements that are part of a $15 million I-84 Snow Zone Safety Improvements Project. The project includes new highway cameras, road sensors, curve warning signs, a new freeway ramp gate and other features that will improve safety, especially during the winter season.

Construction and some lane closures will continue near the top of Cabbage Hill through October. The two-year project that started earlier this year will resume next spring. All work is expected to be completed by next fall.

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The menu for the Harkenrider Senior Activity Center for Thursday is meat loaf, potatoes and gravy, vegetables, fruit and dessert. Friday is hamburgers, bag of chips, potato salad and dessert. Monday is egg salad sandwich, salad, fruit and dessert. Tuesday is chicken noodle soup, biscuit and dessert. Next Wednesday is two slices of pizza, salad and dessert.

— You can submit items for our weekly By The Way column by emailing your tips to

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