From the Chamber…
From the Chamber…
ELGIN, OREGON Area residents and visitors looking for a fun way to celebrate Mother’s Day might want to consider taking a ride on the Eagle Cap Excursion Train. The popular Mother’s Day Brunch Train, kicks off the 2014 excursion season with a combination of delicious food from Ten Depot Street, exceptional spring canyon scenery and a special gift for the mothers on board. The Mother’s Day Brunch Train departs at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 11, from the Elgin Depot. Brunch is served during the 3.5 hour ride beside the Grande Ronde and Wallowa Rivers. The meal includes a selection of breakfast and lunch entrees, pastries, fruit and beverages. Passengers can relax in their seats or move about the train. Car hosts answer questions and encourage conversation among passengers.
Tickets are available through Alegre Travel, the excursion train booking agency, 541.963.9000 or 800.323.7330. Agents can also, upon request, book motel rooms and offer advice on other activities and attractions in the area.
“This is one of our most popular trips of the season” said Peggy Weishaar of Alegre Travel. “We always sell out, so don’t wait to reserve your seats.” Weishaar noted the train robberies are also very well received, as are the Fall Foliage trips in October. “We are offering more variety this season, so that is getting lots of attention from a wide range of ages and interests.”
Volunteers from the Friends of the Joseph Branch are busy getting the train ready for the season. Their plans for 2014 include painting the exterior of the cars and doing some restoration on the UP caboose so it can be parked at Minam to promote the excursions. The River Bend facility of the Oregon Youth Authority has agreed to help with projects in preparation for the season.
“We are pleased with the increase in volunteers who want to help prepare for the season and host on the train,” said Ed Spaulding, Friends of the Joseph Branch President. “There is a long list of tasks to accomplish, so the more hands to help, the better.” Volunteer wannabes can contact Peggy at Alegre Travel.
The historic Joseph Branch, now known as the Wallowa Union Railroad, was rescued from salvage in 2003 when the Wallowa and Union county governments formed the Wallowa Union Rail Authority and purchased railroad from Elgin to Joseph in Oregon’s northeast corner. Volunteers with the Friends of the Joseph Branch, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, assists the rail authority with managing the excursion business and the depot, operating the train, hosting passengers, restoring the rail cars and preserving the history of the railroad. See the web site, www.eaglecaptrainrides.com for information about the 2014 schedule and how to volunteer.
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NORTH POWDER, OREGON The North Powder Huckleberry Festival committee is seeking craft and food vendors for their eighth annual event, Saturday, July 26. The event is held in the heart of North Powder, located at exit 285 from Interstate 84, between Baker City and La Grande, in northeast Oregon. The theme for this year’s festival is Huckleberry Funn! The festival is celebrates the delicious wild berry that grows in the nearby mountains and salutes the community’s pioneer heritage.
Other components of the day include the Huckleberry Hot-Rod Show-n-Shine, the festival parade, entertainment, a free “World’s Longest Huckleberry Sundae, a huckleberry dessert contest, a fun run/walk, activities for kids, a mud volleyball tournament, street dance, Fire Station Barbecue and the Powder Valley All-School & Community Reunion Breakfast. This year’s parade Grand Marshals are longtime community supporters Larry Craig and Kara Jo Willits.
To apply for a vendor booth at the event or seek additional information, please contact Bev Bigler, Vendor Coordinator, 541.898.2320 or email@example.com. The committee looks for new vendors each year, to add to the regulars and those who have come every year.
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Lake Oswego, Ore. – March 26, 2014 – Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington is proud to announce that U.S. World Class Taekwondo of Gresham is the 2014 recipient of the Oregon Business of the Year Torch Award.
Sam and Claire Lider took over the school in 2009—which opened in 1988—and is now one of the largest Taekwondo facilities in the Northwest, serving more than 200 students.
In its entry for BBB’s Business of the Year Torch Award, U.S. World Class Taekwondo cited the importance of giving back to the community. Every year, the company provides a free program to area-school children that teaches bully prevention, leadership skills, anger-management techniques and self defense.
When asked what the Torch Award means to its business, Owner and Master Instructor, Sam Lider said, “We feel that BBB has recognized that we are a business that goes well beyond the minimum standard in order to gain our customers’ trust. The Business of the Year Torch Award validates that our extra efforts in the marketplace do not go unnoticed, in fact, they are acknowledged.”
BBB Torch Award recipients are selected by volunteer judges from third-party community organizations.
Learn more about BBB’s Business of the Year Torch Awards at bbb.org/bbb-business-of-the-year-torch-awards.
It’s time to submit projects for the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District’s (NEOEDD) Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Economic and community-development projects for Baker, Union and Wallowa counties should be submitted by city and county governments, and non-profit organizations by Friday, April 18.
NEOEDD, which is updating its five-year plan, seeks projects that will have a positive impact on economic and community development and that are likely to be implemented in the next three years. Projects must be submitted each year to remain on the current project list. Transportation projects should only be included if there is a strong link to economic development. Private projects are not eligible.
The 2013-2018 CEDS is available here: http://tinyurl.com/ockxkgx
Use the following link to submit project information: http://tinyurl.com/ohqgbvv
After April 18, NEOEDD will ask stakeholders and the public to rank the projects by importance.
The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District’s mission is to provide resources and facilitate quality decision making for the benefit of entrepreneurs, businesses and communities in Baker, Union, and Wallowa counties. Learn more about our programs and business support at www.neoedd.org.
Lake Oswego, Ore. — March 13, 2014 — More than two dozen people have contacted Better Business Bureau to complain about Blue Moon Coins out of Vancouver, Wash., after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. The company, which sells wholesale precious metals and coins, has earned an “F” rating with Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington after failing to respond to six complaints.
Customers allege that after placing orders, the products do not arrive; the company has racked up 25 complaints within the last three years including 19 serious ones. The Washington State Attorney General’s Office says it has 16 complaints against the business from 2013 to 2014.
One customer says he lost $168,000 after placing an order with Blue Moon Coins in September 2013. After months of attempted contact, the man tells BBB that he still has not been able to reach the company or receive a refund.
A Washington State customer tells BBB that he purchased $6,000 in merchandise from Blue Moon Coins in early January 2014, but when trying to cancel the order, he claims the company never responded. He now wants to warn other potential customers before they do business. “I want the public to know, so someone else doesn’t get caught in this trap,” he says.
The BBB accreditation of Blue Moon Coins was revoked in December 2013 after the business failed to comply with the BBB Code of Business Practices.
BBB is concerned about the serious nature of these complaints and reminds consumers to properly research companies at bbb.org before making purchases.
Lake Oswego, Ore. — March 12, 2014 — Frantic calls from grandchildren in trouble arrive late at night; they need help immediately and plea for money. Worried grandparents send wire transfers as instructed—often thousands of dollars. However, the grandchildren are safe, the callers are scammers and the money is gone.
The “Grandparent Scam” has been around for years and is just one variation of the imposter scams that dupe tens of thousands of consumers every year. Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington and the Portland Police Bureau’s White Collar Crimes Unit are teaming up to offer tips on avoiding these threats:
Wanda Russell of Portland, Ore., almost fell for this classic “Grandparent Scam”: She received a call from a person claiming to be her grandson; he told her that he had been in a fight and sounded “funny” due to a broken nose. The caller claimed that he was being illegally held in a Mexican jail and needed help posting bail, asking Russell to wire him money.
“He sounded pretty convincing, but I remembered reading about this scam, so I kept asking questions,” Russell said. Once the “grandson” realized that his target was doubtful, he immediately ended the call.
“I see at least one report a month where an elderly person loses money—that’s not recoverable—to this scam,” says Sergeant Vic Dody with the White Collar Crimes Unit, “Russell was one of the lucky ones.”
Loved ones who legitimately need help will never get angry when asked questions to verify identities. For information on the latest scams, visit BBB’s News & Events page.