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Baptist church hosts Bible school

Trout Lake News for July 10

By the

Trout Lake Newswriters

Pat Arnold, 395-2233

Bonnie Reynolds, 395-2527

Maxine Bulick, 395-2101

Nicole Bull

Mt Adams Baptist Church Vacation Bible School will be held July 21-25 from 9 a.m. to noon at Jonah Ministries. Children ages four to 12 are welcome. Call 395-2748 to volunteer or sign up. The theme this year is Power Lab, learning about gaining power from God.

Congratulations to all the students who worked hard to earn the numerous scholarships proudly distributed by the Trout Lake Community Foundation. The combined fund distributed about $22,000 in scholarships this year, including scholarships from the Foundation, from the Community Club, the Mt. Adams Riders, the Erwin Sweighoefer Memorial Fund, Trout Lake Farm, and a medical and an engineering scholarship. This year also brought a new scholarship, the Hylton-Johnson Memorial Scholarship, which provided a generous post-graduate scholarship. The Pennies for Scholars drive raised $1647.51 this year, every penny valuable.

Many scholarships are a one-time grant, so the student has the extra help their freshman year in college, but not thereafter. The post-graduate scholarships can go to students in later years in college or in graduate school or to students returning to school, so are very useful.

If anyone has an interesting item, craft, or service that they would like to donate to the Foundation's Silent Auction at the Trout Lake Fair, the contact is Kathy White, 395-2585

The Foundation's other major fundraiser is the Labor Day Rummage Sale. Donations can be dropped off at Coralee's office for weekly sorting. If you are bringing a donation, it is helpful if items are dropped off on Wednesday evenings during sorting time, between 5:30 and 7:30. And volunteers to work the sale are always appreciated. Call Coralee at 395-2218 for more information.

County Assessor Van Vandenberg spoke and answered questions at the community council meeting on July 2. He offered several explanations, and no apologies or sympathy, for the recent increases in property valuations. First, he believes that the sales history base for the valuations is valid. There were over 1,000 sales, and about 4800 parcels, in Revaluation Area 1, which includes most of the west end of the county, except Glenwood. Trout Lake was the leader in appreciated sales in the county. From these sales, the assessor's office uses various computer programs to analyze sales and trends, as well as to determine the value of any buildings, and he has confidence in those programs. Land is valued at the "highest" use, defined, perhaps shortsightedly, as residential, and vacant land is valued at the residential use. The market bust did not start appearing in Trout Lake sales until February 2008, and the cut-off for the new valuations was December 31, 2007. Mr. Vandenberg spoke with great confidence that the valuations were correct for the moment in time that they were done. Re-evaluations, reflecting current trends, will come about no later than 2012, but may come sooner if the assessor's office is successful in converting the county to an annual reassessment system, which he hopes will be in place in 2010.

Primarily, Mr. Vandenberg expressed his determination to get all properties in the county up to 100 percent of market value on his watch. When he took office in 2003, properties were severely undervalued, even at that time.

The effect on your taxes is unclear. Certainly your tax bill will not go up proportional to the assessment increase. The tax bill is decided late in the year when all taxing district budgets have been set and approved.

What he did not address, however, is the effect that this will have on school funding. Rural districts with a low tax base get proportionally more funding from the state. This major increase in our tax base is likely to decrease state funding, as happened in Goldendale when the power plant was built, and therefore require bigger levies to keep the same level of funding. Stay tuned, and greet opinions that increasing tax base is good for all of us with probing questions.

No one, get it? no one gets to go out of town the first weekend of August. Between the 43rd Annual Trout lake Fair and the 1988-2008 high school reunion, there's something going on that needs YOU. (The older high school classes have reunions too, but as far as I know not this year).

Here is the information sent by the reunion committee. The Trout Lake School Reunion for graduates from 1988-2008 will be held Saturday, Aug. 2, 2008 from 6-9 p.m. at Jonah Ministries (the Old School). The program includes a potluck and softball game. The event actually begins with the parade. Meet at 11 top of the hill by the county park to ride on the reunion hay bale float for any alumni and their families.

The reunion theme is Remember. Reconnect. Give back.

Remember. Do you remember the days in the Old School? Jonah Ministries will allow us to gather in the Old School gym for a reunion program, potluck and sports.

Reconnect. Let's reconnect with one another, and create a strong network of alumni and friends now that we are spread all over the world.

Give back. Register for the Alumni Contact List which will be an invaluable resource for Trout Lake School to use for guiding current and graduating students in making future plans for college or career. When the Alumni are organized, we can make collective efforts to give back to the community. Scholarship funds, service projects, speaking at assemblies or graduations and mentoring are some ideas on the table. Further planning will take place at the reunion.

Potluck dish assignments are by last name: A-H, main dishes; I-P, side dishes; and Q-Z, dessert.

If you want in on the softball game, don't forget your mitts and bats!! Questions or RSVP to Lumina Gershfield or Alisa Heberling

Detailed info about the fair will be coming to you soon in the booklet and will also be available on Here's a quick overview. Friday evening, Aug. 1: community potluck social at Elk Meadows picnic area -- hamburgers, hot dogs and soda are furnished and lively music will entertain. Saturday, Aug. 2: fireman's breakfast at the Trout Lake School and 5K/10K runs at Jonah Ministries, followed by the parade from Guler County Park to Jonah Ministries. The rest of the Saturday, festivities will continue with children's games, cow-milking, a timber carnival, a zip line, a climbing wall, food and beverage booths, displays, contests featuring children's art, photography, sewing, cooking, veggies, and flowers. The White Salmon Jazz band will play at noon. There are raffles for hay, firewood and the Trout Lake Quilter's quilt (on display). Two auctions take place in the afternoon: the Silent Auction for Scholarships and Auction of Cooking Contest Goodies. End your evening with a barn dance with live music at Trailhead B&B.

Sunday, Aug. 3, come join us in being thankful for our blessing at the Community Church service in the Jonah gym. Everyone is welcome. For more information please contact Ray Thygesen at 395-2318 or

The Trout Lake Horizons Steering Committee has sent its application for the final $10,000 to be awarded, and asked for the money to be put toward upgrading the Grange Hall kitchen. The first sum of $4,000 that was available was awarded to a sustainability program consisting of a series of presentations about sustainability and to purchase, through the WSU Extension, audio-visual equipment which could be used at the Grange to make these presentations. The proposal from the Trout Lake Sub-Area plan committee to use some or all of the $10,000 toward a septic/sewer feasibility study for rural center was not accepted by the steering committee. Our thanks to those who put in much volunteer time to see the Horizons program through to completion.

Pat Arnold, newswriter


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