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February 19, 1998     Quad City Herald
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February 19, 1998
 

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QUAD CITY Serving the towns of Brewster, Bridgeport, Mansfield, Pateros and lower Methow Valley i i II I II II I i Weather iii H L P February 11 45 34 trace February 12 38 34 .63 February 13 46 31 .04 February 14 39 37 .08 February 15 43 35 0 February 16 48 36 0 February 17 46 31 0 Weekly weather report through courtesy Security Section, Chief Jmeph Dam Members overwhelmingly approve packing plants merger Growers in the Magi and Crisp 'n Spicy cooperatives almost unanimously approved a merger of the two organizations at meetings Wednesday, February 11. Thecombined vote was 185 in favor of the merger and two votes against, said Magi manager George Chapman. Under the terms of the merger, Crisp 'n Spicy growers become members of the Magi cooperative, with the same position and rights as any current Magi grower. The two companies will continue separate operation through June 1; Magi will assume operation of Crisp 'n Spicy's Pateros facility after that date. The Crisp 'n Spicy facility has apple and pear processing lines and a recently installed, separate ' processing line for Bing cherries. A new processing line for Rainier cherries is being installed there, Chapman said. The expanded company will operate under the Magi name. However, the cooperative will continue to sell fruit with the Crisp"n Spicy label, Chapman said. Chapman said it is his hope that if the 1998 crop is of good size, the processing facility work force at Crisp 'n Spicy will have as much work as they do qurrently. In merging into a larger company, growers in both cooperatives gain from more efficiency in operation and lower per-unit processing costs, Chapman said. One reason Magi was interested in merging was that it did not have enough room to accommodate all its operations, Chapman said; the merger gives Magi more room for processing and storage. In addition, the cherry processing lines allow the cooperative and its growers an entry into a new- to-Magi commodity market. The new, bigger Magi will have about 190 growers, cultivating an estimated 6,000 acres. Its growers raise many varietiesofapples, cherries pears and some peaches. [umpinff r-Jtearts Rope jumpers raise $1700 for Heart Fund Bridgeport Elementary School physical education teacher Scott Sattler has taught his students that jumping rope is good cardiovascular exercise---good for the heart, that is. Last Thursday, February 12, some of the students jumped rope not only for theown heartsbut for the benefit of hearts everywhere. The annual Jump Rope for Heart drew 101 children, more than ever before, Sattler said. The children raised about $1,700 that will be donated to the American Heart Association, he said; "they really worked hard." For 90 minutes the kids moved from station to station throughout the grade school gym, sometimes jumping rope by themselves, sometimes with a group. They faced such difficult two-rope playground tests as the double dutch-- some of them had mastered the tricky run-in entry--and the even more challenging eggbeater, where the two ropes are at a 90 degree angle. (When doing the eggbeater, it's difficult even to synchronize the ropes, assome of the kids discovered.) Second through fifth graders participate in Jump Rope for Heart; the money they raise is used for research into heart disease and in finding better methods of treatment. Cheryl Schwoizer photo This Bridgeport Elementary student Jumped rope so last the rope all=appeared (on camera, at least.), Brewster dance ordtnance revise.6 by council People who want to stage dances for profit in Brewster will be forced to apply for a license and pay a $50 fee prior to each dance under terms of a revised ordinance passed by the Brewster City Council. That decision drew protest from aWenatchee man who is staging dances at the old Rio Theater. Police Chief Mike Thurber said he thout the $50 per dance fee was reasonable, since police officers and the police department incur the expense kgroundchecks and processing the applications. Lupe Gonzalez, who has been holding dances at the old theater for about three months, said he thought the fee was too high and would cut into his already- slim margin of profit, ....... He asked if other businessmen were forced to pay similar fees and, if not, why the dance sponsors had t.o pay it. Mayor Bonnie House said she thought it was because city officials consider it is important to exercise more control over the dances and prevent possible trouble, Thurber said the concern grew out of an incident at a dance Saturday night, February 7. A fight that had begun inside the theater spilled out into the street; Thurber said the concern was not only the Saturday night fight but also the possibility that trouble might continue at subsequent events. Gonzalez said he had had a security guard and the rules posted prominently near the door. The two men who started fighting were told to leave as soon the confrontation was noticed, he said. He said he didnot know what he or the security guard could have done. House said she thought the ultimate solution might be more--and more visible--security guards. She also urged Gonzalez to call the police any time he thought he might need help in preventing disturbances. In other business at the regular council meeting Wednesday, February 11, council members voted to increase the tax on motel and hotel rooms from two to six percent. City officials proposed the tax in December, but protest from motel owners caused the council to table it. Motel owners said it would make con't on page 5 Small camera to check sewer line leakage in Bridgeport Commissioner candidate Brian Maydole asks for Bridgeport Council's support Bridgeport city officials will inspect one-fourth of the city's sewer lines with a tiny camera to see if water is leaking. Bridgeport City Council members voted to spend $7.800 to hire an outside company to clean the lines and check for leaks. At an cartier meeting Jenkins told council members that records from the city wells and wastewater treatment plant indicate more water is being pumped from the wells than is being treated at the sewer plan t . It will be necessary to fred the leaks and repair them, he said. In other business, council members discussed enacting a dance hall ordinance. Council members said they supported the idea of an ordinance regulating public dances. Historically, however, disturbances at public dances have occurred outside the dance hall, not inside, and council members want someone with the authority to act outside the dance hall. Jenkins said he hopes to have a draft ordinance available by the next council meeting, scheduled for February 25. Council members approved the first reading of a revised nuisance ordinance. The ordinance addresses derelict cars, unsightly property, overgrown vacant lots, and similar situations. The new ordinance sets a time limit for the property owner to respond to the abatement request and lists the procedures available for enforcement, including citation into civil court. Brian Maydole of East Wenatehee, a candidate for the Douglas County Commissioner seat vacated by Jay Weber, attended the meeting to ask for the council's support. After some discussion, council members agreed to send a letter to corn missioners Dane Keane and Leslie Emerick, saying that Maydole was the only one of the three eandites to attend a meeting or to come to Bridgeport. The council held an executive session; following it, they authorizedthe mayor to give a salary increase to acting city clerk Jean Hardie. She is serving in the job in the absence of longtime city clerk Pat Gordon, who is recovering from illness. Hardie is the deputy clerk. Favorable vote confirmed for all Quad City schools Voters in the Mansfield, Bridgeport, Pateros and Brewster school districts approved maintenance andoperations levy requests in all four districts in voting February 3. Official results of the elections were released Friday, February 13. Mansfield voters approved a two year request for $59,000 per year, casting 137 yes votes and 69 no votes for 66.5 percent approval. Because the levy requests are revenue measures, they must receive at least 60 approval to pass. Brewster School District officials requested a two year levy, asking for $485,000 in the first year and $530,000 in the second year. District officials took, a new approach, requesting an all-mail ballot; their gamble paid off with a successful vote. The levy request received 503 yes votes and 307 no votes, getting the approval of 62.1 percent of the voters. Bridgeport School District officials requested $95,000 per year for two years. The levy request received 260 yes votes and 114 no votes, passing with 69.5 percent approval. Pateros School District voters approved a one year, $160,000 levy request with 221 yes votes and 104 no votes for 68 percent approval. Two years ago, voters in the Bridgeport School District rejected the levy on its first submission and barely approved it on the second vote, This year it passed by nearly 70 percent on the first try. District superintendent BobAllen attributed said he thought this year's results reflected a better understanding of the issues by the voters. In addition, some members of the Bridgeport School Board were active in the effort to disseminate information, and students in the Bridgeport High School leadership class conducted a door-to-door voter registration drive. Allen said in his opinion all of those efforts helped in promoting voter awareness. "I put on the(reader) board out here (in front of the middle school-district office), 'voters, thank you for your support,'" Allen said. Brewster superintendent Ji Kelly said he thought the by- mail ballot contributed to the approval of the district's 1998 levy. (The 1997 levy was rejected on the first vote and was approved by .31 percent on the second vote.) More than half the district's registered voters sent back their ballots, a substantial improvement over previous years, when voters went to the polls or requested a by- mail ballot. Kelly said he thought district officials are trying to be responsive to the needs of district patrons, which may have helped in its approval.