Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stevenson Grange Community Resiliency Program -- Plant Clinic on 5/03

This is the poster for the second of our 2014 Stevenson Grange #121's Community Resiliency Programs, the drop-in Plant Clinic, to be held at the Hegewald Center (710 Rock Creek Drive), in Stevenson, on Saturday, May 3rd, from Noon until 3 p.m.  The plant doctors are OSU Master Gardeners.  If you have problems with bugs, pests, plant growth issues, etc., come and ask these experts about research-based gardening answers!  Bring your plants and/or your questions
at any time during the 3-hour session.  Contact Mary Repar, Grange Master, for more information, at tel:  509.427.7153, or e-mail repar@saw.net.

This is the only plant clinic that we will have right now.  Our Wilderness Survival 101 went well  on Saturday, April 26th!  Seventeen folks, ranging in age from 14 to senior gave up their beauty sleep in order to learn how to basically survive in the wilderness!  John Carlson did a great job and his fire starting and building a basic shelter demos were wonderful!!  Full house and interest shown in having a longer session!  Next Year! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rowena Wildlife Clinic Raptor Discovery Program

The Raptor Discovery Program, April 9th, at 2:30 p.m., at the Stevenson Library (call 509.427.5471)  provides education about birds of prey for adults and children of all ages through the cooperative efforts of the Rowena Wildlife Clinic, Wildlife Rescue of the Gorge, and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center.  These non-profit organizations, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, care for and train non-releasable, disables raptors for educational purposes.  This program survives on donations from the general public.

Stevenson's Barnstorming Blue Grass Show

The Stevenson Barnstorming Blue Grass show, featuring The Steel Drivers (Cahalen Morrison and Eli West)  and a songwriting contest, will take place on Saturday, April 12th, 2014 in the Exhibit Hall, down on the County Fairgrounds.  Live performances start at 7 p.m., and the songwriting contest will be held at 3 p.m.  For tickets call 509.427.3980, or visit columbiagorgebluegrass.net.  Spring is here!  Time to live a little and get your music on!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

County Open House--Hegewald Center

Skamania County's annual Holiday Open House will be held on Dec. 10th, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Hegewald Center.  Music will be provided by Andreas Ehrlich.  This event benefits the Christmas Basket Fund.  Donations of non-perishable food and money are very welcome!  Call 509.427.3980 for more iformation.

Women's Business Holiday Showcase

The Columbia Gorge Women's Business Holiday Showcase will be held on Sunday, December 1st, at the Best Western PLUS, in Hood River, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., in the gorge Room;  the address is 1108 East Marina Way, Hood River, OR.  This is a silent auction benefitting Soroptimist International of Mt. Adams.  There will be 40 vendors, goody bags, samples, door prizes, and more!  Let us all support our local women's businesses!  Happy Holidays!

Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors at Stevenson Library Dec. 2nd

SHIBA advisors will be at the Stevenson Library on Monday, December 2nd, 2013, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.  Folks can drop in or call 360.735.3686 for an appointment.  These advisors are a great asset during this open enrollment period for Medicare!  They provide "free, unbiased and confidential help with Medicare and healthcare choices."  Please spread the word!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Stevenson Grange #121 meets 9/02

Stevenson Grange #121 will hold its regular 1st Monday meeting on September 2nd, at 6:30 p.m., at the Hegewald Center.  For Grange information, please call Mary Repar, Master, at 509.427.7153.

The Stevenson Grangers are busy this summer with gleaning from local orchards and gardens, with gleanings going to the local food bank and Skamania Seniors;  and, we are also helping with the Stevenson Farmers Market and the Stevenson Community Gardens.  The Grange information booth at the Skamania Fair garnered a 1st place ribbon, too!  There are always enough projects to do and all that is needed are more hands!  At 16 members, the Stevenson Grange is growing but we can always use more members.

At the 124th State Grange Convention, in Ocean Shores, WA, during the last week of June, Stevenson Grange #121 stood fast for the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and for the Equal Rights Amendment becoming part of the Washington State Constitution (WA state passed the ERA but 8 more states are needed to reach the 3/4ths required for a constitutional amendment to become law).  Both of these resolutions are now part of the Grange Legislative Handbook.  The Grange has always stood for women's rights and continues to do so.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Stevenson Grange #121 Meeting

Stevenson Grange #121 will have its regular 1st Monday meeting at the Hegewald Center, on Dec. 3rd, 2012, at 6:30 p.m.  Call Mary Repar, at 509.427.7153, for information.

Seeking the Greatest Good

"Seeking the Greatest Good:  The Conservation Legacy of Gifford Pinchot," is a new documentary about the USDA's first Forest Service chief, Gifford Pinchot.  It premiered at the Skamania Lodge on Nov. 16th, but will be also shown on Public Broadcasting Stations.  Check your local stations.  The documentary is short and it might be useful to read Pinchot's autobiography, Breaking New Ground, to get a refined picture of the man, his times, and his outlook on conservation.  The time has come to revisit Pinchot's, Muirs, and Douglass's views on our natural world and what we humans will have to do stay alive in it.  Our very survival is in question.  And yet people are still debating climate change.  The debate is over, folks.  Climate change is here.  Humanity's survival is not a given or predestined in this new world.  We either learn to live with Nature or we will be obliterated by it.  The Earth doesn't care if humans survive.  Do we care if we survive?  The next few years will tell the tale.  We have to look to the past in order to discern our future--and Gifford Pinchot's learned views are a good place to start learning about our past, the past where we humans have extracted the Earth's treasures without thought of the consequences.  "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."  (Santayana)  If we repeat our past this time, we will be doomed.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

War of ideas between the sexes??

PRESS RELEASE                                                              25 JUNE 2012             

Female Vet Vies for Against 3 Men for Commission Job

Mary Repar, a 15-year US Air Force Reserve veteran, faces three men in the August primary, in the Skamania County District #2 Commissioner race.  In a county dominated by Republicans in elected offices, Repar is going against the odds as an independent Democrat.  Repar states, “Our county faces some rough times, now and in the future.  How we got here should be a lesson learned and this lesson should provide impetus for changing the way business is conducted.  Our future should be based on accountability and transparency in our government.  We should look at these challenges as opportunities to make our county a better place to live and work, for all of us.” 

Considered too radical by some for advocating more vocational educational opportunities for adults and more science training for community children, Repar believes that Skamania’s future lies in becoming a county with the best educated people who will be able to work on the NEON project and other projects that deal with global climate change.  NEON—the National Ecological Observation Network, which has been approved, but still does not have adequate funding, for the USFS portion of the Wind River Nursery, can be an incubator for high paying local jobs.  Repar says, “I see this program as a way to keep and bring our children home to Skamania County.  This project will provide family wage jobs for our community.  I want to make sure that it is our citizens who get these jobs.”

Ms. Repar also wants the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to be used to earn money for the county, but not by cutting down more trees than necessary for forest health.  “Carbon sequestration is an important tool in the fight against global climate change, which is already happening.  Carbon sequestration can help us earn money through cap and trade.  Instead of fighting over the Gifford Pinchot, we can make it work for us and help our environment at the same time.  Why spend our time and energy re-fighting the same old battles?  We can pool our resources to fight for a better future for us and our children.”

Ms. Repar has a scientific and analytical background, having worked as a geophysicist for major oil companies, both in the U.S. and overseas, and having worked as a Intelligence Officer in the USAF Reserves.  She also advocates for county energy independence and conservation.  Her goal is to make homes and businesses energy independent by working to get grants and loans for upgrades and renovations to existing buildings and homes.  “Solar energy and innovative rooftop wind turbines are just a start.  Fuel cells for homes and businesses are now a reality and should be investigated.  The Sixth Northwest Conservation and Electric Power Plan states, ‘…substantial amounts of conservation to be cheaper and more sustainable than most other types of generation… The plan finds enough conservation to be available and cost-effective to meet 85 percent of the region’s load growth for the next 20 years,’” Repar says.  “We can do this.  It’s not impossible.  But we have to think and plan ahead.”

Perhaps Repar’s most innovative goal is to garner Federal dollars for Skamania County through changing the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act into a retooled “Secure Resources Act.”  Ms. Repar states, “Skamania County produces fresh, clean water and lots of nice, clean oxygen for our fellow humans, and I believe we should be rewarded for keeping our county in forests and waterways instead of developing it.  To that end, the Federal government should pay us for our resources.  The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act needs to be re-tooled into the Secure Resources Act.”

Repar has other goals for Skamania.  If elected she wants to work on the following issues:

  • Utilities--Undergrounding our utility poles so that we don’t have to worry as much about storm outages, and to provide a safer working environment for our utility workers.  The aesthetics of our locales are being impacted and this impacts our quality of life, and it impacts tourism, one of our main economies.  We can work with other government entities to achieve this benefit for our community.
  • Small Business Incubators:  Work on getting our small businesses to be the incubators of our work force.  It is small businesses that will make our community stronger and keep it thriving.  If we depend on one or two big employers, then we will be subject to their ups and downs—and in a small community those ups and downs can be devastating to both our citizens’ and our county’s welfare.
  • Affordable High Speed Internet:  If we want to have businesses in rural areas that don’t have the populace to support these businesses, then we will have to help our small business people with affordable high speed Internet services that will open up their economic horizons and bring their products and services to the attention of a wider audience.
  • Education:  Work with our school district to provide sites and opportunities for ongoing adult education, night school classes, and other opportunities for adult learning and re-training.

As District #2 commissioner, Ms. Repar will make sure that constituents are kept in the loop on decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods.  “There is no worse feeling than to be blindsided by events about which one knew nothing or was not forewarned.  We have to look to the future instead of dwelling on the past.  I want to work for the people of District #2 and Skamania County.  Together, we can achieve our common goals by pooling our resources and working toward a better future,” Repar says.

Currently, Ms. Repar is the Secretary for the Skamania Lions Club, serves on the Stevenson Board of Adjustment, and is president of the Stevenson Grange.  She has also served on the following:  County Fair Board, Skamania County Public Health Advisory Board, and Stevenson’s Comprehensive Plan Review Committee.  Ms. Repar was president of the Friends of the Stevenson Library for 12 years.  Her hobbies are mushrooming, reading, and artistic endeavoring.

She worked as a geophysicist in the oil industry, and served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve as an Intelligence Officer, retiring as Major.  Her education includes a B.S. in Applied Physics from Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan.

]Mary Repar has a blog, skamanianewsportal.blogspot.com and can be followed on Facebook, Repar for Skamania County Commissioner.  Reach Mary at telephone number 509.427.7153.]

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Candidate's Statement for Commissioner, District #2

Candidate’s Statement
Mary J. Repar,
Commissioner, District #2

Our county faces some rough times.  How we got here is a lesson learned and should provide impetus for changing the way business is conducted.  Our future should be based on ACCOUNTABILITY and TRANSPARENCY in our government, and COMMUNICATION with all our citizens.  We must invest in our people instead of buildings.  How we do that is by fostering education opportunities (vocational and academic), creating small business incubators (small business is critical to our economic well-being and survival), creating a economic hub zone for small businesses and start-ups, making high speed Internet affordable for businesses and citizens, and much more.
  • Elected Experience:   Elected as Park and Recreational District commissioner, in 2010.  (Not in office, since the levy did not pass.)
  • Other Professional Experience: U.S. Air Force Reserve, Intelligence Officer, Major, retired—served as operations and plans officer, political/military analyst, executive officer, supervisor, etc.;  Geophysicist and seismic interpreter for major oil companies, consultant.
  • Education: Bachelor of Science (’75) from Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI
  • Community Service:  Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 29 years;  Stevenson Board of Adjustment, 12 years;  Skamania Fair Board, 5 years;  Skamania Lions, Secretary, 6 years, present;  Stevenson Toastmasters, 7 years;  Friends of the Library, President, 12 years;  Skamania County Public Health Advisory Board, 2 years;  Stevenson’s Comprehensive Plan Review Committee, 18 months;  Stevenson Grange #121, President, present.