Clatsop County’s independent weekly newspaper
Contact us
Classified ads
Tsunami evacuation map
Archive search
Archived print edition PDFs
Order here

Edward Jones Investments
Maddox Dance Studio

Less than an hour south of Clatsop County

Warrenton Kia

Health advisory lifted at Cullaby Lake

Oregon Health Authority lifted the recreational-use health advisory for Cullaby Lake last weekend. Water monitoring confirmed that the level of harmful algae toxins are below dangerous levels for human exposure. However, the cyanotoxin level in the lake remains well above the OHA guideline value for dogs, so health officials recommend keeping pets out of the lake. Although the Aug. 21 advisory has been lifted, conditions can change rapidly due to changes in weather and nutrients in the lake. (continued)

Couple dies after being swept out to sea

A couple who’d recently immigrated to the United States from China were killed when they were swept out to sea by a large wave Sunday evening near Depoe Bay. Their 10-year-old daughter was not caught in the wave and survived. Miaochan Chen, 49, and Wenjun Zhu, 41, of Lake Oswego were visiting the coast with their daughter and picnicking off Otter Crest Loop when they took a trail down to rocks overlooking the ocean, the Oregon State Police reported. A wave washed over the rocks and swept the (continued)

Improvements coming to Highway 101, Ensign intersection

Concerns about excessive collisions at what has become the city’s busiest intersection has prompted Oregon Department of Transportation to make some changes there this weekend. An ODOT crew will remove the flashing yellow arrows at the Highway 101 intersection with Ensign Lane. Beginning Saturday, the north/south left-turn lanes on 101 will be “protected only,” which means travelers must wait for a green arrow before turning. There will no longer be “permissive” left turns with the (continued)

Final days of summer

Signs of fall are everywhere

The region’s busiest season is winding down. Thousands of tourists bulked up Clatsop County’s population, causing traffic snarls, requiring rescues and even getting a trailer stuck in the ocean surf. They also provided a flush of money for local businesses and helped create jobs for residents. (continued)

Hallways bulge with students as new year begins

When students returned to school this week, they found a freshly painted grade school, revised athletic programs and a larger class of peers. Districtwide, 1,046 students are on the rolls in the Warrenton-Hammond School District, and increase of 41 kids. The biggest jump was at the high school, which had 278 students on the books this week. Add a healthy number of kindergartners – 83 to 85 – next week and Warrenton Grade School is a busy place. The campus serves kindergarten through eighth (continued)

State-sponsored savings program replaces employer retirement

A savings program set up by the state treasury is popular with residents even those who aren’t taking advantage of it. OregonSaves was developed in July 2017 for workers whose employers don't offer retirement plans. More than 80 percent of Oregonians say they support the program, according to research sponsored by AARP Oregon. The study, conducted by DHM Research in Portland, also shows bipartisan support for the program. “I’m a pollster. I'm asking Oregonians questions about pub (continued)

Technology to ease fish and game licensing process

New modernized licensing system is on the way for hunters and anglers in 2019. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will launch a new electronic licensing system Dec. 1 when 2019 licenses and tags go on sale. With the new system, hunters and anglers can choose to carry their documents electronically (on their smart phone or tablet) and tag fish and wildlife with a mobile app that will work even offline. Customers still can use paper documents, but they’ll be able to print licenses and tags (continued)

Essay on voting targets high schoolers

To promote the importance of voting, area high school students are invited to participate in an essay contest, “I Will Vote.” It’s open to all high school students in grades 9 to 12 in Clatsop County or Pacific County, Wash. Indivisible North Coast Oregon and the American Association of University Women Astoria and Seaside chapters are the contest’s sponsors. Winners will get $250 for first place, $150 for second and $100 for third place. “Voting is the bedrock of our democracy, and (continued)

Bank awards grant for theater's school programs

US Bank has awarded a $2,500 Play Grant to Astoria’s Liberty Theatre. The grant will help fund the annual Classical Series and accompanying school workshops during the 2018-19 season. “Our investments ensure economic vitality and accessibility to the arts in local communities, as well as support for arts education,” the company wrote in a press release. (continued)

Local man earns nursing degree

Kirk Hamar of Warrenton graduated from Simpson University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. He is the son of Linda Hamar and the late Rev. Jim Hamar. Simpson University, founded in 1921, is in Redding, Calif. (continued)

Hammond man to challenge Balensifer for mayor's post

Henry Balensifer will have some competition in his race for Warrenton mayor. Retired commercial truck driver John Washington, 54, of Hammond has filed for the post, which will be decided in the Nov. 6 election. Balensifer, who was 23 when first elected to the City Commission in 2012, was appointed to the mayor’s post by fellow commissioners last year when then-Mayor Mark Kujala stepped down. Washington said he first got interested in local politics when the city placed a moratorium o (continued)

City struggles to craft policy on home-stay residences

There are more than a dozen Warrenton homes listed with Airbnb, an online company that matches travelers with available rooms in residents’ homes. All those listings are illegal in the city of Warrenton; current city codes do not allow them. Finding a solution has created a quandary for the City Commission, which held a workshop on home stays Tuesday evening. “We’re trying to be ahead of the game -- pre-emptive – however you want to say it,” Commissioner Rick Newton said. Other (continued)

Hunter's group provides big game preview

Hard winters can wreak havoc on big game herds, making forage harder to find and causing deer and elk to be more vulnerable to predators as they struggle through deep snow. Hunters often are relieved when winters are mild. However, while deer do better in light winters, it doesn’t make much difference to elk, who thrive in both harsh and mild winters because of their size and strength. Deer stick to their traditional winter range even when conditions are poor, while pronghorns light out for (continued)

Liberty Theatre makes new hires

The Liberty Theatre has been awarded $30,000 from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation over a period of two years to support staff expansion. The theater has increased the amount of programming in concerts, dance, theater, special events and arts during the past two years. In the 2017-18 season, there was an average of seven events each month with more anticipated in 2018-19. Two new positions were created. Nancy Schwickrath was hired in June as an administrative assistant to Executive (continued)

Clatsop Community College's 'Au Naturel' show seeks artists

Clatsop Community College has issued a call for artists to enter the 2019 “Au Naturel: The Nude in the 21st Century.”   The event is an international juried exhibition that opens Jan. 24 at the college’s Royal Nebeker Art Gallery.  The competition is open to all artists from around the globe working in two-dimensional drawing, painting or printmaking with a focus on the nude human figure. Entrants must be 18 or older and submitted artwork must have been executed in the last three years (continued)

Students named to dean's list

Two Warrenton students were named to the dean’s list for spring term at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. Abby Mathews and Noni Webster both maintained a 3.5 or higher grade-point average while completing at least 12 hours of coursework during the term. (continued)

Seaside dispatchers pass specialized training

Seaside Police dispatchers Xin Chen and Brittany Nelson recently graduated from the basic telecommunications class offered by the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training at the Public Safety Academy in Salem. The two-week course includes emergency call handling techniques, stress management, civil liability, ethics, criminal law, overview of fire rescue and law enforcement operations, and other topics. The 9-1-1 training program began in 1993. (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

Mayor's Message: August will be hard to beat

August has been quite the month so far! Despite the smoky start, there have been many occasions for celebration. Pacific Coast reopened, we dedicated our city’s veterans memorial (thank you to the Fort Stevens Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars), and last weekend we had a free community concert. Additionally, the city kicked off its first community meeting for the Economic Road mapping process. We kicked off the economic road mapping with a community gathering in Hammond. The choice (continued)

Senior Moments: How to talk politics and still sleep well

OK, Labor Day is behind us and the kids are back in school. Parents and grandparents can sit back and enjoy a quiet cup of coffee. But, as most are aware, it is the official kickoff for national political campaigns in the United States. Many may groan over that, but some of us – including me -- love election years. It seems that the midterms have become more important and require more study and evaluation than ever before. Of course, after the midterm election, we begin the next presidential (continued)

This Week in Aboriginal History: Indian Affairs makes a formal apology to Indians

Sept. 7, 1972: The commissioner of Indian Affairs extends federal recognition to the Chippewa Tribe of Sault Ste. Marie in Northern Michigan. The federal government placed land in trust for the tribe to become its official reservation. Sept. 8, 2000: The Bureau of Indian Affairs marks its 175th birthday and Kevin Grover, head of the bureau, offers a formal apology to American Indians for the previous misdeeds of the agency. Sept. 9, 1836: Alexander Le Grand, a frontier surveyor/trader, is (continued)

Letter to the Editor: Proudly display the flag and let the VFW know

Recently, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Forts Stevens Post 10580, began a program of searching out residents in and around Warrenton that fly the American Stars and Stripes at their home or place of business. Post Commander Marc Warren, with approval of VFW members, initiated a special Appreciation Certificate to be given to those displaying the American flag in an appropriate manner. As the post service officer, I was designated the coordinator for serving the awards to citizens at their homes (continued)

Senior Moments: Things to do before we die

A quick reminder that the Warrenton Senior Citizens Inc. meal site will be closed Monday, Sept. 3, in commemoration of Labor Day. Most of our grandkids probably would define Labor Day as something that happens just before school begins and maybe the last chance for a summer picnic or similar outing. There’s an old saying, “If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it’s probably Labor Day weekend.” (I think that happens more elsewhere than on Labor Day weekend in our (continued)

This Week in Aboriginal History: Crazy Horse surrenders, is killed in jail disturbance

Aug. 31, 2009: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signs a 20-year gambling pact with the Seminole Tribe, which agrees to pay the state $12.5 million a month for 30 months in exchange for running slot machines and blackjack games. Sept. 1, 1875: The U.S. government attempts to purchase the Black Hills from the Sioux Indians and fails. Sept. 2, 1779: On the orders of George Washington, Gen. John Sullivan and his force of 4,500 men continue attacks on New York Indians suspected of being British Allies. (continued)


Classes help returning students

Lives in Transition classes show that college is always possible. And a new round of classes starts Tuesday, Sept. 25. The free Lives in Transition program at Clatsop Community College works with people to overcome barriers to a college education. The program is free and provides resources and individualized support to help students work toward personal, educational and career goals. Childcare and gas subsidies may be provided. Call 503.338.2377 to enroll.  ** Astoria day classes: 9 a.m. to (continued)

Scramble at Fort Clatsop is on free admission day

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park hosts the ninth annual South Clatsop Slough Scramble on Saturday, Sept. 22. The start and finish lines are at the parks Netul Landing, about 1 ½ miles south of Fort Clatsop. Registration is from 8 to 8:45 a.m., with the scramble beginning at 9 a.m. Those younger than 18 must have a parent or guardian sign their registration. Participants can choose a 5-kilometer walk/run or a 10-kilometer run along the park’s trails. Both loops have ups and downs on (continued)

African gospel duo performs Sunday

IJenNeh Liberian gospel duo performs in concert at 4p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, at Pioneer Presbyterian Church, next to Camp Rilea. Admission is by goodwill donation. IJenNeh (which means “Heaven” and is pronounced “eye gin nay”) began as “Echoes of the Blind.” The group was composed of blind men and women who sang for food on the war-ravaged streets of Liberia. Lead singer Lasana Kanneh remembers singing in the midst of rebel fighting with bullets flying overhead. They were sometimes (continued)

States allow two days for sturgeon fishing

Anglers will have two days in September to get out on the Columbia River to catch and retain white sturgeon under rules approved last week by the Oregon and Washington departments of fish and wildlife. The two-day recreational fishery is Sept. 15 and Sept. 22. The white sturgeon season is about two weeks earlier than last year, when inclement weather impacted success rates and overall harvest. Recreational fishers head to the water with an overall harvest guideline of 1,231 fish for the two (continued)

Researcher to talk about roads before Highway 101

Historical researcher/writer Jerry Sutherland presents “Crossing Clatsop in the 1800s” during the next In Their Footsteps free speaker series event at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at Fort Clatsop.   Sutherland first researched early Clatsop transportation routes while writing “Calvin Tibbets: Oregon’s First Pioneer,” published in 2016. In the 1840s, the route that eventually became U.S. Highway 101 bisected Tibbets’ provisional land claim just north of Clatsop Plains Presbyterian (continued)

'Other' Flavel house featured in three-day fund-raiser

Clatsop County Historical Society is host for a three-day “Flavel Fun” series focusing on the family that had such an impact on Astoria’s last century. The event is sponsored by the society, City Lumber and Newenhof family in honor of Greg Newenhof, who had worked to restore the long-neglected Flavel residence before dying earlier this year. The groups hope to raise money to finish the restoration work. “A Family Residence in Decline” is the topic of John Goodenberger’s lecture at 7 (continued)

Preparedness is goal of 'Get Ready'

The American Red Cross and NW Natural have joined forces to help the public prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies. Seven “Get Ready” events will be held in the state, including one in Astoria, during September. Both groups also will participate in an event Sept. 29 sponsored by the city of Warrenton and Warrenton CERT.  All Get Ready events are free and open to the public. A free lunch is provided by NW Natural. Local fire departments, police departments, and oth (continued)

Classes offered for small business owners

Want to improve your business acumen? Clatsop Community College’s Small Business Development Center is offering a variety of classes this fall that should help. There are classes in Quickbooks, Excel and management. ** Small Business Management, 3:30 to 5 p.m. every other Wednesday from Oct. 3 through June 5. Cost is $695. The executive business management course is designed for existing business owners who want to gain the skill and expertise necessary to gain control of their business, (continued)

Symphonic band announces its 38th season

North Coast Symphonic Band returns to the Liberty Theatre for its 38th season in October. The community band, with Dave Becker as conductor and musical director, is a self-supporting nonprofit group with 50 volunteer musicians. The group provides two of its four annual concerts for free. The first concert of the season is at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. “Dances of Enchantment” will feature a collaboration between the North Coast Symphonic Band and 3 Leg Torso, a well-known ethnic folk band from (continued)

Port of Astoria releases cruise ship schedule

Plenty of cruise ships will visit Astoria this fall, with 13 expected just in September, according to the Port of Astoria. Their arrival brings thousands of people to downtown Astoria and local attractions, where people spend money buying souvenirs, eating and playing. The schedule: Sept. 4: Celebrity Infinity Sept. 11: Disney Wonder Sept. 12: Silver Explorer Sept. 14: Coral Princess Sept. 15: Celebrity Solstice Sept. 20: Island Princess Sept. 20: SS Mariner Sept. 22: Explorer of the Seas Sept. (continued)

Companies join forces to offer electric car rebate

Pacific Power and Nissan have joined forces to offer a $3,000 incentive to Pacific Power’s customers and employees who purchase a new 2018 Nissan LEAF. The incentive, which runs until Sept. 30, can be combined with federal tax credits and state rebates. “Pacific Power customers can fuel electric cars like a LEAF for the equivalent of about $1 per gallon and eliminate tailpipe emissions, oil changes and trips to the gas station,” said Cory Scott, Pacific Power’s director of customer (continued)

Theater announces classical series performers

The Liberty Theatre is selling tickets for its new Classical Series, which begins next month and runs through May 2019. It’s the second year of classical performances and school workshops. The first season included seven workshops within Astoria and Warrenton high schools and reached more than 100 students. Thanks to foundations, corporations and donors, organizers plan to present workshops at more area schools during the 2018-19 season. The Sept. 22 season opener is “The Eight Seasons” (continued)

Egg Thursdays now at the Food Web

Thursdays are Egg Days at the North Coast Food Web. Farm-fresh chicken and duck eggs will be available for purchase from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Food Web, 577 18th St., Astoria. Hosts are Brutal Hill Farms, Lazy Creek Farms, Spring Up Farm and Blackberry Bog Farm. (continued)

Habitat conservation stamp competition opens

Artists are invited to compete in the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 2019 Habitat Conservation Stamp, Waterfowl Stamp and Upland Game Bird Stamp art competitions. Collector’s stamps, art prints and other promotional materials are produced from first place artwork. Winning artists in each contest receive $2,000. Entries can be delivered or shipped to ODFW headquarters between Aug. 31 and Sept. 28, at 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive S.E., Salem, OR 97302. Habitat Conservation Stamp: (continued)

Police and Public Safety

Public Safety Calls for week of Sept. 7

** Warrants Warrant service, 4:07 p.m. Aug. 29, 91800 block Highway 104. Kenneth Leon Standring, 21, of Warrenton was arrested on a warrant from Washington County. ** Thefts and burglaries Shoplifting, 7:53 a.m. Aug. 27, Walmart. Kenneth Leon Standring, 21, of Seaside was cited for criminal third-degree theft, third-degree criminal mischief and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Shoplifting, 11 a.m. Aug. 29, Walmart. Ashly Dawn Dafoe, 23, of Ilwaco was cited for criminal (continued)

Public Safety Calls for week of Aug. 31

** Warrants Warrant service, 4:24 a.m. Aug 28, Robinson Community Park. Adrienne Lynn Bighill-Green, 41, of Naselle was arrested on a felony warrant out of Washington state. She was booked at Clatsop County Jail. **Thefts/burglaries Stolen bicycle, 4:19 p.m. Aug. 22, 1100 block Southeast Anchor Avenue. Kent brand mountain bike valued at $150. Burglary, 5:54 p.m. Aug. 22, 100 block Southwest 14th Street. A TV valued at $937 was taken. Shoplifting, 4:53 p.m. Aug 23, Walmart. Hannah L. Havranek, (continued)