Things are looking up for a couple of towns along the Columbia River: Rep. Greg Walden’s got traction going for Hermiston, Oregon, as his legislation allowing OSU to relocate its agricultural research station has passed the House. Basically, the problem with its current location is that the little town has more than quadrupled in population, and much of the station’s footprint is now inside the city limits.
As originally written, the grant allocating the land for a research station would revert to federal ownership if it ever moved, and Walden was able to successfully strip that requirement. This – if passed in the Senate – will allow the station to move further away and free up land in the Hermiston city limits for future development.
Further west, meanwhile, Astoria schools get a much-needed shot in the arm after some grim years; they’re due to get $800,000 more from the state, which should enable them to add another teacher or two, buy new textbooks, and pick up some 100+ Chromebooks for elementary and middle-school kids. The latter two are especially good additions, as texts haven’t been updated in half a dozen years, while Chromebooks based on the Android OS are relatively bulletproof when compared to Windows machines, and considerably less expensive than Apple or Windows counterparts.