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Station Still Spry at 80

KODL has covered the Gorge through changes in frequency and ownership By Rodger Nichols The oldest radio station in the Columbia River Gorge recently celebrated its 80th anniversary. When KODL signed on the air in October 1940, it was the only station between Portland and La Grande. In the eight decades since, it’s been on […]

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Manager’s Report — December 2020

Happy Holidays Greetings, As the seasonal tune goes, the weather outside is—or can be— frightful. What isn’t frightful is the reliability of your electric service and the resilience of the infrastructure and teams that provide it for you each day. As I reflect on this past year and its many challenges, I am most appreciative […]

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Restoring Habitat Favors Fish

By Rodger Nichols Just like the mighty Columbia River, Northern Wasco County PUD has far more going on behind the scenes than immediately visible on the surface. One of those activities involves the McNary Fisheries Compensation Committee. The group many people have never heard of is looking for good ideas and is willing to pay […]

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Going Up: From Diver to Lineman

Navy diver finds second career in utility industry By Rodger Nichols Erik Gardipee will finish 20 years in the U.S. Navy in January 2021. He is serving the last few months of that term not at sea, but with Northern Wasco County PUD. Erik is job shadowing under a Department of Defense program called SkillBridge. […]

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Manager’s Report — November 2020

Continued Excellence Greetings, Two years ago, the Northern Wasco County PUD Board of Directors accepted my recommendation to adopt a new strategic plan. This 10-year plan retargets our efforts and allows the district to continue to position itself and our community for a successful energy future. Progress is being made on the plan’s objectives. We […]

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Two Cents’ Worth — on Two-Cent Pieces

By Rodger Nichols Many people think what Americans consider standard U.S. coinage—the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, and dollar—are all Americans have ever used. That is far from the case. America is a young country. When it declared itself independent from England, it rejected everything, including the British monetary system of 240 pence-to-the-pound sterling. The […]

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Manager’s Report — October 2020

Public Power: The Community-Owned Advantage Greetings, Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District is one of more than 2,000 public power utilities that helps power the lives of more than 48 million people across the country. There are many reasons why you, our customers, continue to own and operate your own electric utility. Since our founding […]

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Local Power Supply

Northern Wasco County PUD’s power sources continue to evolve By Rodger Nichols Wasco County’s first power plant was a wood-fired steam generator built in July 1888 at Seventh and Union streets. D.M. Smith and J.W. French bought the plant in 1892 and moved it to First and Laughlin streets, where The Dalles wastewater treatment plant […]

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Oh, What a Year It’s Been

Greetings, Last year at this time, I updated you on the district’s capital investment plan and the commencement of the advanced meter infrastructure project. Everyone was gracious and understanding as we upgraded the various systems to current technology. We’ve been able to be more responsive to your needs because of these investments. Little did we […]

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A Buzzing Enthusiasm

A half-million bees keep Jerry Frazier on his toes Story and photos by Rodger Nichols Bees might as well be Jerry Frazier’s mascot. He is just as busy as a member of the hive. Jerry sold his successful Oregon Trail Insurance business eight years ago, but he has not slowed down one bit. He serves […]