25 YEARS AGO
Although construction on Highway 730 began before Christmas, the work didn’t really become visible until two weeks ago. Now anyone passing through Umatilla can view the progress.
Last week, workers with J.C. Compton Contractor, Inc. blocked off two lanes of traffic through Umatilla and began digging up the asphalt in the westbound lanes, creating havoc for drivers, residents and business owners.
The project, which is scheduled to be complete the first week of July, will rebuild the road from curb to curb, widen the current railroad bridge to four lanes of traffic and add sidewalk, curbing and new signs and lighting on the east end of town. All of this at a cost of $3.4 million.
Once completed, the downtown section of highway will be three lanes, two directional lanes and one center turning lane. Currently the highway has two lanes of traffic with no turning lane. The highway department opted for this new configuration after talking to local businesses and residents.
The new configuration will allow the downtown area to have parking on both sides of the highway, while allowing cars to keep moving without having to stop for vehicles waiting to make a left turn.
Until the rebuilding of the highway is finished, businesses are having to cope with traffic hassles and a reduction in customer count. Terry Stubenrauch, a manager with the 24 hour convenience store, Circle-K, said the construction hit them hard the first day.
“We saw a big slowdown that first day, but things are starting to pick up again. Not back to the same level as before, but it is coming back.”
Reconstruction of the westbound lane of traffic is scheduled to be completed by April 17, with crews digging up the eastbound lane of traffic April 19 and finishing work May 8.
50 YEARS AGO
Edna Morris, executive director of the Umatilla County Housing Authority, announced an open house at the 32 new low-income units just completed in town.
The new homes are between Victory Square and Orchard Homes. Rentals include duplexes, four-plexes and single homes.
Morris said that renting began in March and is based on family income. For two people, the maximum annual income is $3,600 and for eight it’s $5,800. A single person over 62 must not have an income more than $3,000.
The Timber Company of Hermiston was the contractor with a bid of $304, 845, and the total construction cost was $350,000.
• Campers, boaters and sightseers are cautioned against parking on the river banks or islands of the Columbia River between McNary Dam and John Day Dam, beginning April 16.
The John Day pool forming Lake Umatilla will fill very rapidly, and water will rise about one foot per hour. This rise can trap vehicles, equipment and people.
75 YEARS AGO
(The following editorial ran on the front page of the Hermiston Herald)
To the Readers of the Hermiston Herald:
The $13,000,000,000 second war loan is the responsibility of every one of us. As Americans, we must lend our government every dollar we can during these next few weeks. No matter how much or how little our paychecks are, each of us must do his part.
The money is urgently needed to back up our armed forces now on the offensive with the weapons they must have to win and win quickly.
We are asked to give up our luxuries and even our comforts to match in a small way the sacrifices our men in the armed forces are making on the fighting fronts.
Remember: They give their lives — we are only asked to lend our money.
Only you know how much you can lend. Don’t wait for someone to come around and ask you to do your part.
Do it today. Do it gladly. Do it to the utmost of your capacity.
Do it knowing that upon how much you do depends to a large extent how quickly we win this war.
• A proposal for immediate construction of the Umatilla rapids dam on the Columbia River near Umatilla is before the war production board.
Bonneville Administrator Paul J. Raver said on his return from Washington D.D. that the Bonneville advisory board had recommended the project as necessary to meet war demands. Raver added that additional generators for Grand Coulee dam also had been recommended.
“All we are asking for is a minimum of war needs. We don’t want to use any more critical materials than necessary,” he said.
100 YEARS AGO
The income tax law has made it necessary for farmers to keep a closer account of their business. This feature of the income tax alone may in the end prove a great blessing.
Farmers generally have not taken kindly to bookkeeping because books made for that purpose have been too complicated. We now have a book that is so simple that any person can keep his accounts very accurately. This book was designed by the Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Agricultural College and is the only book published that gives a complete yet simple summary at the close of the year showing the year’s business.
Agricultural agent Shrock has 50 of these books that he will give away to farmers or to farm boys or girls who wish to keep farm accounts. He will assist in entering the inventory and will explain the use of the book. He will visit each cooperator during the year to check up on the work and at the end of the year will help close the book and summarize the year’s work.