By the way: City looking for feedback on food trucks

HH file photo Pamela Lund, right, talks to Taco's Xaxi taco truck owner Gabriela Rodriguez about work in 2016.

The City of Hermiston is considering amendments to its mobile food vendor rules, and it wants feedback from residents.

A survey will be available at hermiston.or.us until July 15.

After the city passed a mobile food vending ordinance in 2013, many food vendors closed up shop rather than pay for a $500 license and follow the other regulations outlined. Those regulations include moving each night, providing parking, not providing seating for patrons, closing by 10 p.m. and following design standards. As a result, the city only issued three vendors licenses and cannot issue more without a vote from the city council.

As food trucks have gained in popularity nationwide, members of the public have approached the city council about issuing more licenses and creating an area where food trucks can gather. The city survey asks for opinions on increasing the number of licenses, creating a food cart pod and possible amendments to the ordinance.

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The Hermiston Chamber of Commerce is gearing up to put FUN in the festival. See next week’s Hermiston Herald for information about Hermiston Funfest. The free family-friendly event is Saturday, July 14 in downtown Hermiston.

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The East Oregonian and Hermiston Herald have a new intern for the summer.

Brittany Norton, a native of Eugene, is a 2018 graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. She graduated with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and media studies, and has an interest in feature writing. She has written for student-run publications Ethos Magazine and OR Magazine, and has published freelance work in Eugene Weekly and 1859 Magazine. She will be joining the newspapers through the Charles Snowden for Excellence in Journalism program, which is run through the University of Oregon.

You can check out her story on job vacancies on A5, and contact her with story ideas at 541-966-0809 or at bnorton@eastoregonian.com.

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Kayak Public Transit will be making stops in Echo starting July 1.

The free public bus system run by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will make multiple stops per day at City Park between Bridge and Dupont streets.

Echo residents can take the Hermiston Hopper into Stanfield, Hermiston, Umatilla, McNary or Irrigon in the morning and return in the afternoon. They can also take the bus into Pendleton, with connections to La Grande and Walla Walla.

Susan Johnson, manager of Kayak, said people can find the full schedule at ctuir.org/tribal-services/planning/kayak-public-transit and encouraged riders to call dispatch at 541-429-7519 with questions.

“Our dispatchers are here to help people plan their trips,” she said. “It can be confusing for riders to figure out the schedule, but they are very helpful.”

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U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley — who recently confirmed he is “exploring” the possibility of a presidential bid — is holding a series of town halls in Eastern Oregon, including stops in Umatilla County.

On July 8, Merkley will stop at the Pendleton Early Learning Center (455 SW 13th St. in Pendleton) for a town hall at 1 p.m. That same day, Oregon’s junior senator will move onto Boardman, where he’ll hold a town hall at the Port of Morrow Riverfront Room (2 Marine Drive NE in Boardman) at 4 p.m.

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You can submit items for our weekly By The Way column by emailing your tips to editor@hermistonherald.com.

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