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Cruise ship to berth at Port of Astoria

First published in the Oct. 16 print edition

A cruise ship with no passengers was expected to arrive at the Port of Astoria on Thursday, where it will remain at berth for six months. “This decision to accommodate the vessel was not taken lightly,” port Executive Director Will Isom wrote in a notice issued this week. “Public safety is our top priority. The port has received confirmation from the cruise line that no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported on board the vessel.” The Norwegian Cruise Line ship also (continued)

County receives shipment of quick-response COVID tests

Health officials now can get nearly instantaneous results from COVID-19 tests. Clatsop County Public Health Department received 1,000 BinaxNOW test kits on Wednesday from Oregon Health Authority. The portable test kits – approved for use in August by the federal Food and Drug Administration – require no laboratory processing and can produce results in as little as 15 minutes. The county’s other kits had to be sent to a lab and took two to seven days or longer to process, Public Health (continued)

Fellowship's new minister serving members remotely

Pacific Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Astoria has a new minister who will serve the group in a nontraditional way. The church is meeting remotely on Zoom as it attempts to keep members safe during the pandemic. The Rev. Denise M. Cawley lives in Milwaukee, Wisc., and will serve the congregation remotely. “We interviewed ministers nationwide and picked the best one to lead our church into the next stage of growth,” said Laura Gordon of Seaside, the fellowship’s board president. (continued)

City signs agreement with port and fish processor

From the Oct. 9 print edition

The city of Warrenton, Port of Astoria, and the Scoular company signed a joint development agreement this week that spells out what each will do to get a fishmeal processing plant up and running at the Airport Industrial Park. The company plans to have its proposed 14,400-square-foot plant ready for the 2021 fishing season, which begins in April. The plant would use the cast-offs from other seafood processing plants and turn them into fish meal for the aquaculture and fishing industries, said (continued)

State, company tackle questions about Pacific Seafood outbreak

From the Oct. 9 print edition

Recent outbreaks of coronavirus at a Warrenton seafood plant and at the White House have some similarities: both have been linked to large gatherings in which participants wore no face coverings. A Labor Day party is the possible “super-spreader” event for Pacific Seafood employees, who have now completed their mandated 14-day quarantine. A party in the White House Rose Garden for Judge Amy Coney Barrett is suspected of contributing to an outbreak that included the president. “Outbreaks (continued)

Seasonal show-offs

Suddenly, scary things are everywhere. Fall is bringing out the pumpkins, changing leaves and … great decorations. We’ll feature more of these in the weeks ahead, but for now, take a drive by the Warren House, which has a choreographed light show and talking creatures. Donations there will go to Spruce Up Warrenton. And let us know of other events and frights. (continued)

City hires new building official

From the Oct. 9 print edition

Warrenton has hired a new building official to replace Robert Johnston, who retires at the end of the year. Van Wilfinger, who is regional manager for Interwest Consulting Group, comes to the city from Palmdale, Calif. “Van has over 20 years’ experience in the field and, along with his customer service philosophy, I believe he will be a great addition to the team we are building here at the city,” City Manager Linda Engbretson said. “He has family here and is excited to be i (continued)

Business and Development Tidbits for Oct. 9

Dr. Kevin Baxter, who started his family medicine practice in Astoria in 2003, has signed an agreement with the Port of Astoria for offices on the top floor of the Pier One building. Last month, Baxter unexpectedly resigned from his position as chief medical officer for Columbia Memorial Hospital after just nine months. Baxter’s practice will lease two suites facing the water for $3,300 per month. The suites have some of the best views on the Columbia River waterfront. Filling the vacant (continued)

County cultural groups win $400,000 in state support

Clatsop County’s cultural organizations received more than $400,000 in grants through Coronavirus Relief Fund Cultural Support. More than $25.7 million will be distributed to 621 groups across the state through a partnership between the Oregon Cultural Trust and its county and tribal cultural coalitions. The funds, meant to help cultural groups facing losses due to the pandemic, were made available through a $50 million relief package from the Oregon Legislature in July. “Many cultural (continued)

Grants will improve boat facilities

Sixteen boating access points, including Nehalem Bay State Park and Clatsop County’s Westport boating facility, will get state money for improvements. Oregon State Marine Board approved 16 boating facility grants for motorized and nonmotorized boating access and improvement projects around the state during a special Marine Board meeting Aug. 27. ** Nehalem Bay State Park will receive $103,779 to replace the boarding docks. State parks must provide a $33,500 match for the project. ** Westport (continued)

County's household hazardous waste facility wins state honors

Clatsop County’s Household Hazardous Waste collection facility has received statewide honors. The Oregon Public Health Association will award Clatsop County the Champion for Healthy Environments Award at its annual conference on Monday, Oct. 12. The award recognizes a person, team or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to creating a healthy environment in their community. The facility has taken in more than 100,000 pounds of material, including paint, flammable liquid, (continued)

Ham operators sought for emergency network

Are you a ham radio operator who’d like to provide service to the county and your community? Disaster Communications Neighborhood Radio Network hopes to link all county areas to emergency services during power and cell-tower outages. Clatsop Auxiliary Communications, through the Clatsop County Office of Emergency Management, is reaching out every licensed amateur to see how they can help during a disaster. There are more than 500 licensed hams in the county. AuxComm is mailing red postcards (continued)

Fish market coming to downtown Warrenton

From the Oct. 2 issue

Sometimes circumstances close one door but open another. For Malcolm Cotte, who lost his job with other employees when Warrenton Deep Sea closed, the market’s shuttering meant developing a new game plan. By the end of the month, he plans to open Fishstix, a new seafood market in downtown Warrenton. “It’s lacking a fish market,” Cotte said Wednesday. “Warrenton Deep Sea’s closing was the closing of an institution. There’s a hole that needs to be filled.” Cotte, 49, had b (continued)

Postal Service taking a fresh look at relocating

From the Oct. 2 issue

The U.S. Postal Service is studying conditions at the Warrenton Post Office to determine whether it’s time to move to a new location. “I appreciate your interest in assisting the residents of Warrenton in this matter,” U.S. Postal Service Government Relations Representative Cory D. Brown wrote in response to an inquiry by state Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. “The building was studied in 2017 and determined to have sufficient space for our operational needs at tha (continued)

Oh pooh! There's no place to go, septic haulers lament

From the Oct. 2 issue

As Warrenton’s sewage lagoons near capacity, septic haulers have found themselves in a messy situation. Warrenton is the only place in the region where septic companies can offload their, uh, stuff. And the city has begun to put the brakes on. “It’s a big problem,” said Jerry Lebo, who has owned Complete Septic Service in Astoria for 23 years. “It’s making us unable to respond to health hazards, such as when somebody’s tank is overflowing on the ground.” First Warrenton limited (continued)

Video shows safe way to can fish

The pandemic has many people interested in canning, do-it-yourself projects and other home-based goods and crafts. Amanda Gladics, a fisheries specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University Extension, and Kelly Streit, a registered dietitian with Extension, collaborated on a tuna-canning video as part of the university’s Eat Oregon Seafood campaign. The video can be found at The campaign and video were made to promote (continued)

Business owner receives award from DAR

Jeff Kelland, owner of NC Shooter Supply, received the Outstanding Veterans Volunteer Award Sept. 16 at a meeting of the Astoria Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution. State awards normally are given at the state conference with all 34 Oregon chapters attending. Due to COVID-19, the state conference was cancelled. Kelland, who served in the Marines during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, was recognized for his passion in cleaning the headstones of veterans at Ocean View Cemetery in (continued)

Obituary: Lin Higgins, Hammond

Linda “Lin” Miller Higgins, 73, died of cancer Sept. 3 at her Hammond home. Higgins served as acting officer of the Hammond post office and also served a term on the Warrenton-Hammond School Board. She was born Jan. 23, 1947, in Homestead, Penn., to Clarence and Eunice Miller. As an adolescent, she moved to the West Coast, eventually graduating from California State University, Northridge. In 1971, she moved to Oregon. In 1977, she met and married Matt Higgins, her husband of 43 years. Her (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

Letter to the Editor: Boothe-Schmidt would bring a better tomorrow

I have been a resident of Clatsop County for 10 years. I am employed for the Department of Health Services, Child Welfare. In my job, I work with families and children who struggle daily just to stay alive. This includes working with the homeless, individuals who struggle with drug addiction and mental illness. The current health crises have exposed the vulnerability of the marginalized members of our society and people of color. What does this all mean? It means we need to elect Debbi (continued)

Letter to the Editor: Ackley will be missed on city commission

When Pam Ackley told me that she wasn’t running for re-election to the Warrenton City Commission, I was very sad; I tried hard to talk her back into running. Another commissioner appeared to be devastated by the news. Warrenton has been fortunate to be enabled by the diversity of professions on our City Commission team. We currently have a contractor, a realtor with land-use experience, a retired state trooper who has a legal perspective, a businessman, a trained leader, and a very good city (continued)

Letter to the Editor: All Oregonians deserve steady jobs

I am writing to voice my support for Debbie Boothe-Schmidt for my state representative. Debbie has roots in our community as a dedicated public servant and small business owner and was a strong advocate as our union representative. No matter our race or place, every Oregonian should be able to have a good, reliable job. We should all be able to live in communities that enjoy clean air, clean water, and natural resources now and for generations to come. Republican candidate Suzanne Weber is (continued)

Letter to the Editor: Jobs and healthy environment are not mutually exclusive

We all want our families to be able to have reliable, good-paying jobs now and in the future. But the corporate interests behind Timber Unity PAC, along with Koch Industries and other large corporate interests, have created a false choice in rural Oregon: either economic prosperity or clean drinking water and air, healthy forests and thriving wildlife. These corporations want short-term profits that leave our communities with fewer jobs. Mechanization of logging and mills has greatly reduced (continued)

Financial Focus with Adam Miller

Protect your family from long-term care costs

Like everyone, you want to remain physically and financially independent throughout your life. But if you lose some of this freedom, the last thing you’d want is to become a burden on your family. How can you keep this from happening? First, you need to be aware of the risk. Someone turning 65 today has almost a 70 percent chance of eventually needing some type of long-term care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll face that (continued)

Senior Moments: The importance of voting

As a child, if I should happen to sneeze, my mother would always say "Bless you child!" and somehow, I always said "Thank you." Who or what started those responses? We’ve blamed our parents almost since the beginning of time for just about everything. I always said "bless you" to my kids when they sneezed and I hear them doing the same to their kids and grandkids. You may have thought, as I did, of Adam blaming Eve in the Garden of Eden. Blame did not have to be taught to us. It comes (continued)

Letter to the Editor: Boothe-Schmidt is best choice for state rep

Debbie Boothe-Schmidt is the best choice to be our representative for House District 32. Debbie has been a small business owner and a union member and leader for the last two decades. She knows what it is like to run a business during the coronavirus crisis, and to make payroll in tough times to support employees who are counting on her. As president of her union, she has fought for better pay and benefits for her members. Debbie truly understands labor issues from both sides of the table, and (continued)

History in the Making: Goodwill store has its grand opening

** September 2010, Ten years ago ** Scott Watson becomes Warrenton’s first full-time paid firefighter/emergency medical technician. Goodwill holds a grand opening for its new store on Discovery Lane in the North Coast Business Park. General contractor Mark Baldwin competes for the Warrenton City Commission seat held by Mayor Gil Gramson. Friends of Clatsop County Community Gardens and volunteers from Home Depot build 32 raised beds, a fence and gate at the new Hammond Community Garden. City (continued)

Senior Moments: A few thoughts on feeding the brain, plus a mice ditty

I really like Brazil nuts. Maybe that’s why one might say I am a little nuts. My friends, Bob and Babs, have consumed seven Brazil nuts each at breakfast for as long as I’ve known them. Brazil nuts are good for us. What’s so special about them? They’re high in selenium, which affects disorders, such as anxiety. A few weeks ago, we got on the subject of seniors and anxiety as we get older. Are we more anxious or less? As a child, I was fed cow's brains and told it would make me smarter. (continued)


Drug take-back event is Oct. 24

The biannual drug take-back event sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. Anyone with excess prescription or over-the-counter drugs is urged to participate. This year, the DEA also is taking back e-cigarettes and vaping devices with the batteries removed. The drive-through drop-off event will be on Second Street side outside Warrenton Police Department, 225 S. Main Ave. Volunteers will come to the vehicle to retrieve th (continued)

Rainforest trivia night postponed

North Coast Land Conservancy had to postpone its virtual rainforest trivia night, which means there’s still time for teams to sign up. The event begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29. It’s a fundraiser for the nonprofit group, which hopes to raise $10 million to create a 3,500-acre rainforest reserve adjacent to Oswald West State Park. Register at (continued)

DAR to host CASA volunteer

Astoria Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will meet at 11 a.m. Oct. 21 at Astoria Golf and Country Club, 33445 Sunset Beach Road, Warrenton. The program will be presented by a volunteer from CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocate. Members and women 18 and older who are interested in membership or attending the meeting should contact registrar Sue Glen at 503-861-0574 by Oct. 19. (continued)

DAR hosts CASA volunteer

Astoria Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will meet at 11 a.m. Oct. 21 at Astoria Golf and Country Club, 33445 Sunset Beach Road, Warrenton. The program will be presented by a volunteer from CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocate. Members and women 18 and older who are interested in membership or attending the meeting should contact registrar Sue Glen at 503-861-0574 by Oct. 19. (continued)

Land conservancy hosts virtual trivia night fundraiser

How much do you know about the rainforest: in science, in literature, even in sports? Everyone has a shot at winning North Coast Land Conservancy’s first virtual trivia night at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22. Join by yourself through Zoom on your computer or smartphone or round up some friends and form a team: team members can be together or all be in different locations, anywhere in the world, conferring about your answers offline via text. The winning team receives a gift basket containing a (continued)

Solo art show is all about 'Rediscovering Silence'

Clatsop Community College’s Royal Nebeker Art Gallery opens its 2020-21 season with a solo show, Rediscovering Silence, featuring Seattle-based artist Chris Sheridan. This show is an award show, the premier prize awarded during the 2020 annual international competition Au Naturel: The Nude in the 21st Century. The show runs Oct. 5 through Nov. 12. The gallery exhibit is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Guests must wear face coverings and practice social distancing (continued)

Community event planned for Halloween

With so many events cancelled this year – and some communities banning door-to-door trick-or-treating – Warrenton’s children will have a fun activity on Halloween. On Tuesday night, city commissioners approved an application from Spruce Up Warrenton to have a Halloween Trunk or Treat event at Robinson Community Park. “We’re going to play it pretty safe,” said Jeanne Smith, event organizer. There will be no congregating, those handing out treats must wear gloves and masks, and each (continued)

Gallery's artist group featured in exhibit

Trail’s End Art Association will feature an eclectic show of mixed media, collage, acrylic and more throughout the month of October. The show features works from the gallery committee, a group of artists that works to organize, label and hang a changing art show every month. The show begins Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 24 with an artists reception from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Featured artists are Maryanne Gantenbein, (continued)

Police and Public Safety

Man suspected of shoplifting leads police on car chase that ends with crash, foot pursuit, arrest.

A man suspected of stealing items at Walmart led police on a vehicle pursuit that ended with a crash, a foot pursuit and, ultimately, an arrest. Adam Wayne Fisher, 34, of Long Beach, Wash., was booked at Clatsop County Jail on two counts of reckless endangerment, attempting to elude police, two counts of hit and run, reckless driving, robbery, theft, criminal mischief and escape. Walmart called to report a theft in progress by a man who possibly had a knife about 5 p.m. Thursday. As officers (continued)

Public safety calls for week of Oct. 9

** Warrants ** Warrant service, 9:31 p.m. Oct. 2, Panda Express. Anatoliy V. Melnik, 33, of Vancouver, Wash., was arrested on warrants from Clackamas and Clark counties. Warrant service, 5:25 a.m. Oct. 4, 600 block Marlin Avenue. Zackary J. James, 35, of Portland was arrested on a failure to appear warrant from McMinville Municipal Court. Warrant service, 1:50 p.m. Oct.1, police station. Scott D. Mueller, 70, of Warrenton was arrested for an outstanding warrant from Clackamas County. ** Thefts (continued)

Public safety calls for week of Oct. 2

published in the Oct. 2 print edition

** Warrants ** Warrant service, 1:06 a.m. Sept. 27, Warrenton Mini Mart. Jessica M. Bouvia, 37, of Seaside was arrested on a warrant from Clatsop County Parole and Probation. ** Assaults ** Domestic violence, 8:56 a.m. Sept. 21, 0-100 block Northeast First Street. Breanne Nicole Carr, 26, of Warrenton was arrested on suspicion of fourth-degree assault after she allegedly smashed a TV in her home. ** Thefts and burglaries ** Shoplifting, 10 p.m. Sept. 20, Walmart. Brittany A. Niverson, 23, of (continued)