Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Circuit Court Judge Paul Crowley of Hood River has announced that he will retire from the bench on July 1.
He was appointed to the court by Gov. Barbara Roberts in 1991, at age 32, and was subsequently elected four times.
“I look at it not as retirement but transitioning to a new phase of life,” Crowley said. “I want to do so when things are going well with the court. And I don’t want to look back on things I didn’t do because life got too comfortable. I want to transition to the next phase on a positive note.”
An avid hiker, Crowley is a longtime member of the Crag Rats mountain rescue group.
Crowley, who lives in Hood River, has served as chief administrative presiding judge of the five-county Seventh Judicial District for 15 of his nearly 23 years on the bench. The district includes Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler counties.
Crowley, 55, will work part-time for the next five years as a senior judge, assisting with conflict cases and judicial shortfalls around the state. He also plans to offer his services as a mediator without charge for public interest dispute resolution in the Gorge.
Locally, he was instrumental in developing mediation and alternative dispute resolution in the courts.
“If there’s a conflict, there’s almost always a solution. Creating quicker, less expensive and more satisfying means of resolving disputes has been one of the most rewarding aspects of this job,” said Crowley.
In 2012, he successfully mediated a new rate formula for the four counties that share financial responsibility for the jail and juvenile detention facilities at NORCOR, settling a long-running dispute.
Crowley’s other public interest mediations include resolving a water rate dispute between the City of Hood River and the Ice Fountain Water District, and settling an open meeting dispute between the City of Cascade Locks and the Friends of the Columbia Gorge.
At the request of the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, Crowley chaired a state-wide technology task force that facilitated the state court movement to the e-Court system. Under the e-Court system, all court records and filings will be kept and made electronically.
“It was a job that needed high-level facilitation skills,” said State Court Administrator Kingsley Click, herself a Task Force member. “Judge Crowley did a fantastic job mediating through long- standing disputes and creating a climate that allowed for difficult but necessary change.”
Crowley’s successor will be appointed by Gov. Kitzhaber.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge