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Fire Chief Demers retires

Warrenton Fire Chief Tim Demers has retired. His last day was Tuesday. Demers, who served 11 years as chief of the Warrenton Fire Department, has spent 39 years as a firefighter. Demers was known for bringing professionalism to the department and for being a stickler about rules pertaining to safety in construction projects in the city. His family home is in Sisters, Ore. Former Fire Chief Ted Ames, who left Warrenton in 2013 to become Astoria’s Fire Chief, has been hired to fill t (continued)

County has fall festivals and Halloween horror shows

October isn’t all about Halloween, but try telling that to someone who loves the annual event. This year, Clatsop County residents will find an array of things to do from the scary to the tame to the celebratory (think harvest). Warrenton has a brand new city-sponsored activity this year that could become an annual event. And there are returning favorites, like the Warren House light show, that are quickly becoming county classics. Here are some of the highlights for the next two weeks. ** (continued)

Obituary: Joe Martinez

Joe Martinez, a former Astoria resident and decorated war veteran, died Oct. 9 in Texas, while visiting family there. Martinez was born June 19, 1948, in Deming, N.M., to Joe and Felisa Martinez. The family moved to California when he was young. At age 15, he was mentored by a friend who taught him to plumb and do construction. He served in the Army in Vietnam and received eight medals, including a Bronze Star for taking out a Vietcong trap that had been set for his company to walk into. He was (continued)

Obituary: Don Abrahams

Astoria native Donald Dee Abrahams died Monday, Sept. 30, in Astoria. He was 90. He was born in Astoria on March 27, 1929, to Albert and Adriana Abrahams. He grew up at Big Creek Camp 3, attended elementary school in Knappa and graduated from Astoria High School. He married Evelyn Hendriksen in 1959 and together they had three children. They later divorced. Abrahams joined the National Guard after high school and also attended a trade school for mechanics. He later owned and operated two logs (continued)

Property tax bills in the mail

Property tax statements for the 2019-20 tax year are arriving in mailboxes this week. Property tax bills this year account for $90.9 million. The taxes cover county government services, city services, education, Port of Astoria, rural fire and, in Warrenton, the city’s library and future middle school campus. Taxes increased by about 8 percent over last year. Tax payments are due by Nov. 15 to receive a 3 percent early payment discount. (continued)

Hammond boat basin dredging contract approved

Sediment has caused problems for the city and its boaters

Dredging at Hammond Marina will begin next month, after years of delay. Warrenton City Commission approved a $748,560 contract with Bergerson Construction to remove accumulated sediment from a 10 ½-acre section of docks and the channel entrance. “This is so exciting,” Commissioner Pam Ackley said. “So where’s the dance party?” Ackley, who has a boat moored at the marina, also serves on a city committee that developed a master plan for marina improvements. A lack of dredging has made (continued)

Taking a test Flite (board) across Cullaby Lake

Cullaby Lake is a great spot to fish, kayak, watch bald eagles and catch a glimpse of … an electric hydrofoil. Corey Davis of Manzanita was using the lake last week to test and enjoy his Fliteboard, an expensive but novel way to enjoy the waters. “It doesn’t make a wake. It doesn’t make a sound. It’s a super pleasant experience,” said Davis, a U.S. sales and marketing representative for the Australia-based Fliteboard. Davis, who lives in Manzanita, is an avid surfer, skier, water (continued)

Volunteers sought for open public policy seats

Open seats are available on several local government committees. Most spots require panel members to be residents of the area they’ll represent or, in some cases, business owners. Some seats could require an accounting background or other qualifications. **Parks Clatsop County seeks applicants to serve on the Recreational Lands Planning Advisory Committee. The committee assists in developing long-range plans for county parks and formulates amendments to the recreation lands element of the (continued)

Fort Stevens paving work begins

A four-week paving project in Fort Stevens State Park began this week as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prepares for a massive rehabilitation of South Jetty. “South Jetty Road will see heavy use during the rehabilitation project, so USACE contractors are improving road conditions now,” said Justin Parker, manager of Fort Stevens State Park. “Plus, park visitors will reap the long-term benefits from the freshly paved road.” Bayview Asphalt of Seaside is performing the paving work, (continued)

City, grassroots team honored for downtown improvements

Downtown Warrenton was recognized during a statewide conference of Oregon Main Street. The city, along with Spruce Up Warrenton, were named “The One to Watch.” There were 20 businesses, projects, and people recognized at the annual awards event held late last week in Tillamook. “The city and Spruce Up Warrenton have been working hard on revitalizing downtown (and) South Main Avenue and it is getting noticed!” the city exclaimed on its Facebook page. Brenda Hoxsey, director of the (continued)

Business and development tidbits for Oct. 11

** Tobacco retailer licensing delayed Clatsop County commissioners postponed taking action on an ordinance establishing a tobacco retailer licensing program aimed at preventing sales of tobacco and inhalant products to those younger than 21. Under the program, any business in the unincorporated county that sells tobacco and vaping products would be required to buy a $350 license from the Public Health Department. The fee would pay for retailer education, inspection and compliance checks an (continued)

District shows off plans for new middle school

Parents attending school conferences this week were among the first to see preliminary plans for the new middle school campus. “Now we can move into the developmental design phase,” Superintendent Tom Rogozinski told the school board Tuesday night. “This is the schematic -- the big picture – showing the spaces, building orientations, floor plan, number of stories.” Earlier that evening, Warrenton city commissioners approved a revision to the city’s development code to allow the (continued)

Volleyball team garners second win against Taft

Warrenton girls volleyball team went into the third set Tuesday night against Taft tied. They won the first set 25-20, but dropped the second 18-25. They went on to win the third set 25-16. The Warriors swept the Tigers in the fourth set, perhaps owing to Leah Schiewe serving six aces in a row. It gave them a match win of 25-15. “We are definitely scrappy as a team,” sophomore middle blocker Melia Kapua said afterward. “We just keep making the unexpected plays. Our serve reception could (continued)

Tribes show just how important Tansy Point is

The Confederated Lower Chinook Tribes and Bands quietly purchased 10 acres this spring at Tansy Point, the site of one of the most important yet devastating moments in the history of local Indian tribes. Last month, the tribe won a $6,000 state grant to construct an interpretive kiosk on the site of the 1851 Tansy Point Treaty. The award from Oregon Cultural Trust was one of $2.7 million announced statewide to cultural and historical groups last month. Of that figure, $682,000 went to 45 county (continued)

Port board is unified in approving new strategies

Just two tiny fixes to the Port of Astoria’s long-awaited Strategic Business Plan: Use the words “past” and “prior” when summarizing the body’s discord. “I have two small things,” Commissioner Robert Stevens told the consultant who’d written the plan. Ensure the two sentences of the introduction that refer to board disagreements and public distrust are in the past tense, he told her. “There’s no more rancor here,” Stevens said. The port’s Board of Commissioners the (continued)

Airport wins new grant for repairs

Astoria Regional Airport, along with John Day Airport in Grant County, have won a combined $2 million in federal grants for critical infrastructure improvements. “This grant funds the first phase of much needed rehabilitation of the airport apron,” said Gary Kobes, Port of Astoria airport manager. “The original was constructed in the early 1940s and has served well, but is approaching the end of its useful life.” The apron is the portion of the airport where airplanes are parked, (continued)

Landscape work begins downtown

A crew from Big River Construction adds soil amendment after removing asphalt in the small park adjacent to Dairy Maid and the post office. The plaza revitalization is being done with Warrenton Urban Renewal Agency funds and includes a public gathering area with benches, trees and other landscaping. Utility pole bump-outs on South Main Avenue and a triangular park north of Warrenton High School are included in the improvements. (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

History in the Making for Oct. 11

Some of Warrenton’s top stories that ran during the month of October two and nearly three decades ago involved people and places that remain in the news in 2019. Twenty-eight years ago October 1991 ** Negotiators for Warrenton Education Association and the school district present their cases to a state fact-finder in hopes of coming to terms during difficult contract negotiations. Contract language and insurance benefits remain outstanding issues and teachers are worried about class size, WEA (continued)

Senior Moments: Birthday cakes -- the good, the bad, and the disgusting

Not so long ago, I went to the birthday party of a compatriot and there were 92 candles on his cake. Quite a flame! Someone had a blow dryer plugged in nearby just in case it was needed (use on the low setting for birthday candles) along with a portable fire extinguisher. So, the question comes up, “Why do we blow candles out on birthday cakes?” How did that get started? Years ago, people may have believed that the smoke from candles carried their wishes and prayers to gods who lived in the (continued)

Senior Moments: Can bugs predict a cold winter?

It’s a well-known fact that seniors are a barrel of information. And we don’t mind showing it off, do we? The other day, I was trying to explain to my wide-eyed great-grandsons Joshua and Silas how a caterpillar can tell us if we’ll have a cold winter or a mild winter after they placed two into my hand to pet. Later I had to check out my many sources. “According to folklore, the amount of black on the woolly bear (caterpillar) in autumn varies proportionately with the severity of the (continued)


College offers help to those seeking a GED

Clatsop Community College will have an orientation for those interested in obtaining their general education diploma (GED). Orientations are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, at the college’s south county classroom, 1455 N. Roosevelt Drive, Seaside, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, in Room 114 of Columbia Hall on the Astoria campus. Those younger than 18 should bring a parent or guardian. GED classes are free and take place at various times and locations throughout the week (continued)

Liberty Theatre's Classical Series opens Oct. 11

The Liberty Theatre’s Classical Series opens Friday, Oct. 11, with wild and more tame performances by an eclectic-style orchestra. The concert is at 7 p.m. at the theater, 1203 Commercial St. The theater formed a partnership with Portland-based 45th Parallel University Orchestra, which is known for bridging the gap between old and new chamber music, bluegrass, jazz, gospel, Persian and folk music. The performance, called “Primordial Swamp,” features the world premiere of a new work (continued)

Free ESL classes offered at library

Warrenton Community Library, in conjunction with Clatsop Community College, is offering a basic ESL (English as a second language) course. Classes are free. Classes began Oct. 2 and are from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at the library, 160 S. Main Ave., through mid-December. For more information, call 503-791-7408. (continued)

Cancer collaborative sponsors lunchtime health chats

The public is welcome to any of several informative and informal lunch-time conversations about improving your health sponsored by Columbia Memorial Hospital and the Knight-OHSU Cancer Collaborative. All presentations are from 11 a.m. to noon in the activity room at the center, 1905 Exchange St., Astoria. Sessions are free and light bites will be provided. For more information, call 503-338-4520. Wednesday, Oct. 2: “Go With Your Gut” and learn about gut health and cancer and how to promote (continued)

Medicare classes help with open enrollment

Classes on understanding Medicare are scheduled at three locations in Clatsop County. Fall open enrollment is Oct. 15-Dec. 7. Northwest Senior and Disability Services and Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance are sponsoring the classes. To register, call 503-861-4200. Walk-ins also are welcome. Seaside: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 18 and Nov. 15 at Bob Chisholm Community Center, 1225 Avenue A. Astoria: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 18 and Nov. 20, second floor Coho Room, Columbia Center, 2021 Marine (continued)

Cruise ship schedule

Eleven cruise ships are scheduled to dock at the Port of Astoria this fall. Their arrival usually flushes downtown businesses with shoppers and provides local tour guides with plenty of work. Sept. 17: Island Princess Sept. 23: Star Princess Sept. 26: Seven Seas Mariner Sept. 26: Coral Princess Sept. 26: Oceania Regatta Sept. 27: Volendam Sept. 30: Star Princess Oct. 1: Oosterdam Oct. 9: Norwegian Jewel Oct. 15: Grand Princess Oct. 22: Grand Princess (continued)

Police and Public Safety

Public safety calls for week of Oct. 11

** Warrants Warrant service, 5:30 p.m. Sept. 25, Second Street kayak dock. Kimberly Kay Thomas, 48, of Warrenton was arrested on a contempt of court warrant. Warrant service, 7:08 p.m. Oct. 3, Fred Meyer. Paul Lee Roebuck, 47, no known address, was arrested on several Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office warrants. Warrant service, 7:57 p.m. Oct. 4, Pacific and Russell drives, Hammond. Justin Henry Chase, 25, of Hammond was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant issued by Clatsop County Circuit Court. (continued)

Public safety calls for week of Oct. 4

** Warrants Warrant service, 10:28 a.m. Sept. 29, 1100 block Pacific Drive, Hammond. Zane Cruz Belshe, 57, no known address, was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant from Pacific County, Wash. ** Thefts and burglaries Shoplifting, 11:35 a.m. Sept. 24, Walmart. Tyece M. Sawyer, 22, of Astoria and Sunie K. Lyon, 19, of Hammond were cited for third-degree theft and criminal mischief after they allegedly attempted to leave the store without paying for $79 in cosmetics, pet flea medication and a purse. (continued)