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Commission likely to fire port director

The Port of Astoria appears ready to fire Executive Director Jim Knight. After a one-hour meeting Tuesday with two lawyers behind closed doors, the five members on the Board of Commissioners aired their grievances or conveyed their support in public, one by one. Dirk Rohne, elected to the commission in 2017, spoke first. He cited circumstances that convinced him the port’s chief officer needs to go, including the breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by a hotel company over the Riverwalk Inn, (continued)

Students prove their a generation of servant-leaders

Turning students into leaders sometimes means encouraging them to serve others. During this final week of school, students picked up trash, pulled weeds, cleared beach debris and spread wood chips. While seniors graduated last week, nearly every Warrenton High School student in grades 9-11 volunteered for the manual labor. “The whole-community event was really something that was student-driven,” said Ian O’Brien, vice principal. “Our former athletic director, Robert Hoepfl, did all the (continued)

Every residence to get a recycle bin latch

Windy days may no longer be trashy days

A bit of verbal strong-arming was all it took Tuesday night for Warrenton city commissioners to get what they wanted from its recycling company: wind locks on every recycling bin in town. A resolution to raise the curbside recycling rates 2.7 percent was on the agenda – as were several other rate increases. The city does its own waste hauling, but contracts with Recology for recycling services Initially, resident Tony Faletti spoke, imploring the commission to require the company to install (continued)

Summer programs kick off with sign dedication

Warrenton Community Library kicked off its summer reading program last weekend with the dedication of a new sign and about 40 children and adults pledging to read books. “It went off quite well; we had quite a few people there,” site manager Nettie-Lee Calog said. The county’s other libraries participate with summer programs as well. Children and adults have a chance to win prizes for reading. “We want to keep kids so they don’t forget stuff over the summer,” Calog said. The library (continued)

Water, sewer, other rates to increase

Death, taxes and city service costs. All three are inevitable and, on Tuesday, Warrenton City Commission voted to raise water rates, sewer rates, recycling rates, developer fees and community center fees. Nothing will go up by a huge margin, but the hikes are necessary to keep operations running, city leaders said. “I feel like the city of Warrenton’s rates are like the state of Oregon. We are nickel and diming people to death,” Commissioner Mark Baldwin lamented. “But I know we have to (continued)

Business and development tidbits for June 14

CTE BUILDING Warrenton High School’s CTE (career and technical education) building can go in now that school is out. Baldwin Construction has begun the groundwork and is expected to pour the concrete for the base of the building within the next few days. Once it’s set, the metal building will be erected. The district won a large multi-year grant for CTE programs. The metal building, worth about $75,000, was donated by Robert Roberts of R&M Steel Company in Caldwell, Idaho. The building is (continued)

Fisher/cable cooperative wins state award

Oregon Fishermen’s Cable Committee, an Astoria based nonprofit group that works with commercial fishermen and fiber-optic cable providers, received the Department of State Lands 2018 Partnership Award from the State Land Board on Tuesday in Salem. The award is based on innovation, consistency, effort and setting a good example for partnership with state agencies to protect natural resources. The award recognized the OFCC’s more than 20-year history of working cooperatively with submarine (continued)

CoastWatch gets new manager

Jessica Jones has been named volunteer coordinator for CoastWatch, an Oregon Shores Conservation Program through which volunteers adopt a mile of shoreline, monitoring for both natural changes and human impacts. Jones, who is based in Astoria, replaces Fawn Custer, who was named citizen science trainer. Jones has managed large and small habitat restoration projects, engaged dozens of land owners in land conservation and was former director of both the North Coast Watershed Association and th (continued)

Utility foundation donates money for AAUW women’s scholarships

The Seaside AAUW (American Association of University Women) recently received a $2,000 grant from the Pacific Power Foundation for its scholarship programs. The grant will help provide scholarships for local young women who are either the first in their family to attend college or are returning to college after a five-year absence. Pacific Power Foundation is one of the largest utility-endowed foundations in the United States. Its mission is to support the growth and vitality of communiti (continued)

Mother elk gets aggressive, prompts police action in Hammond

A neighborhood was cordoned off after an elk cow began charging at cars and people in an attempt to protect her newborn calf. The first call came in about 7 p.m. May 29 in the 500 block of Seventh Street in Hammond. The elk had given birth in heavy grass in an open lot at Seventh and Fleet streets. As Officer Al Fontana arrived, the elk charged his patrol vehicle, forcing him to back away. Residents reported that the elk was charging at them when they attempted to leave home or drive throug (continued)

Dig up some dirt at Warrenton's community gardens

Sometimes, spring is hard to spot on the North Coast. Yet would-be gardeners should heed the calendar, not the conditions, and get those flowers and veggies in the ground. Bell pepper, tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, potatoes and some squash are slow growers. Many seeds and bulbs require 60-degree soil to sprout, which has been challenging this year, to say the least. For those with green thumbs but no garden space, Warrenton, Hammond, Seaside and Astoria have community gardens. Space still is (continued)

State changes barbed-hook rules on Columbia

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife adopted temporary rules allowing anglers to use barbed hooks when fishing for salmon, steelhead and trout in the Columbia River beginning June 1. The agency chose to remain concurrent with Washington state’s fishing regulations since the river is jointly managed. The temporary rule will remain in effect until further notice or until it expires in late November. For it to become permanent, the Fish and Wildlife Commission must approve a rule change, which (continued)

Gearhart company wins bid for three projects

A $608,755 bid was awarded to Bayview Asphalt of Gearhart for projects on Koppisch Road in Knappa, Columbia Beach Lane just south of Warrenton and a bike path on 19th Street near the Clatsop County Animal Shelter. Construction of the bike path began June 3. (continued)

NW Natural sends credits to customers

NW Natural will issue $16.3 million in credits to its Oregon customers this month. The credits are due to efficient pipeline capacity management and use of the company’s underground natural gas storage facility in Mist. The average residential customer will see a credit of about $16 on their June bill. Commercial customers also will see a cost savings. The average small commercial customer in Oregon can expect to receive $72. NW Natural provides natural gas service to 2 million people in (continued)

Deputies graduate from academy

Two Clatsop County sheriff’s deputies are slated to graduate from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training’s public safety academy on June 14 in Salem. Graduates are Deputy Ian McNabb and Deputy Daniel Raymer. DPSST provides training to more than 25,000 students each year. (continued)

The beach may be the best route to prepare for the worst

An experiment to ensure Clatsop County’s residents can survive a catastrophic event brought the latest in military technology to Sunset Beach on Monday. Two unusual amphibious landing craft, which use powerful turbines to ride above the ocean on a cushion of air, carried supplies to the beach from a Navy ship anchored 3.6 nautical miles off shore. Each LCAC (landing craft/air cushion) can carry 60 tons of emergency equipment. On Monday, the two hovercraft carried trucks and road equipment. (continued)

Emergency operations center may be vulnerable to a tsunami

The center built to handle emergency operations in a catastrophe may itself be vulnerable to a disaster. The county’s Emergency Operations Center is in Warrior Hall at Camp Rilea. “The best science at the time indicated that the EOC was in a good location,” said Vincent Aarts, emergency management coordinator for the county. Shortly after the center’s ribbon-cutting in 2011, a 9.0 quake struck off the coast of Japan, triggering a tsunami that devastated that country. “As Tohoku (continued)

Rocking and rolling on Warrenton's roads as project continues

Things are rocking down the highway again in Warrenton. After winter hiatus, a project to stabilize North Jetty in Ilwaco is back in full swing. Boulders for the Army Corps of Engineers project are headed through town. As many as 40 truckloads of rocks, weighing 6 to 30 tons each, are making their way through town, courtesy of Big River Construction, which is serving as a sub-contractor for J.E. McAmis, a heavy civil marine contractor from Chico, Calif., which won the jetty stabilizati (continued)

City takes another swipe at blighted properties

Balancing compassion with the strong arm of the law can be daunting, Warrenton officials have found. A hoarder whose rental property is packed inside and out with bottles, cans and other “collectables” will likely be homeless unless patience prevails in cleaning it up. City commissioners voted Tuesday night to declare a duplex at Main Avenue and Ninth Street a public nuisance. The property at 951-953 S.W. Main Court is strewn with junk cars, rubbish, overgrown vegetation and boxes of junk. (continued)

Business and development tidbits for May 31

Life Flight expects to begin construction next week on its new base at the Astoria-Warrenton Regional Airport. Construction contracts were signed last week for the new 7,680-square-foot hangar, which will include offices and sleeping quarters for pilots and medical personnel. Life Flight signed a 20-year lease with the Port of Astoria late last year for land adjacent to Lektro, near the center of the airport. The nonprofit medical transport company received a $665,000 ConnectOregon state (continued)

CMH honors two caregivers

Columbia Memorial Hospital commemorated Hospital Week May 12-18 by giving Spirit of Caring awards to two employees. Mari Montesano, a social worker in the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative, received the staff award. Jay Reynolds, a nurse practitioner in the CMH/OHSU Cardiology Clinic, received the provider award. Each year, the hospital recognizes caregivers who go above and beyond what’s expected to create a warm and welcoming environment. This year, a record 29 staff members and fiv (continued)

Project for mothers in recovery nearing completion in Astoria

County staff recently joined representatives from other agencies at an open house celebrating the near-completion of a project providing housing for mothers in recovery. The property on Agate Street in Astoria, which was acquired by the county through tax foreclosure, was donated to Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, which partnered with Clatsop Behavioral Healthcare and Oregon Housing and Community Services to rehabilitate the dilapidated building into a four-unit apartment complex. The units (continued)

SafeOregon tip line takes aim at teens and bullying

The Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association has partnered with middle and high school students to produce a public service announcement highlighting SafeOregon, a school safety tip line available to students statewide. The SafeOregon public service announcement will air in television markets throughout Oregon. The tip line gives kids, parents, schools and their communities a way to report safety threats or potential acts of violence. More than 3,000 tips have been received during the two year (continued)

Oregon an 'innie' not an 'outie' for employment

Oregon is an in-migration state. More people move into Oregon each year than move out. The population growth fuels the expansion of cities and brings new brain power to foster the economic engine of Oregon’s future. Workers in some occupational groups are more likely to move than others. Where do these in-migrants come from? And when Oregonians leave, where do they go? The American Community Survey’s data from the years 2013 to 2017 provide information about migration characteristics (continued)

Military news for week of May 31

Air Force Airman Scott A. Karbowski graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas. The airman completed an eight-week program in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force. Karbowski is the grandson of Shirley and Robert Miller of (continued)

Road work for week of May 31

** Warrenton A project to improve Youngs Bay Bridge on Highway 101 is under way and expected to continue through 2021. A containment structure attached to the sides of the bridge was built and most of the work is being done from a barge beneath the bridge. There will be periodic single-lane closures at night. County crews will be cleaning the Del Rey and Sunset Beach approaches. ** Astoria A project to replace six aging bridges along Astoria’s waterfront will continue through June 2020. (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

Mayor's Message: Surviving, if not thriving

Last week I had the distinct and eye-opening pleasure to observe the capability the US Navy can bring to our coastline should a major disaster occur. Several elected officials including myself and Mark Kujala, the county commissioner for our district, were briefed at Camp Rilea about the process by which active-duty military assets are requested or tasked to assist in major disasters. We then rode out to the USS Anchorage on a hovercraft to see firsthand the capabilities the Navy could bring to (continued)

Senior Moments: Bits and pieces make up large portions of life and puzzles

Bits And Pieces has been one of the most popular jigsaw puzzle makers for many years. However, any brand works for me as my favorite part of jigsaw puzzles is putting together the edges. Fortunately, there are several folks in my apartment complex who love to finish puzzles. But credit for doing the edges sometimes falls on me. So where am I going with this? Really, just the first three words: Bits And Pieces. I often think of those words as being a big part of our lives as seniors. As we think (continued)

Mayor's Message: Demonstration was one for the scrapbooks

This week was full of action! Navy ships patrolling the shore with hovercraft landing on the beach with equipment, and quick offload/reload and take-off exercises at the airport with Air National Guard C-130s. It was one to put in the scrapbooks, although it’s my hope we can turn that demonstration into a real exercise someday. If anyone had a chance to watch the KOIN-6 video short that had interviews of U.S. Navy officers, including an admiral, you heard the same statement loud and clear as (continued)

Senior Moments: Songs tell stories of history lived

I got to thinking the other day that maybe I could be a “romantic.” I guess it depends on one’s definition, but my preferred take on “romantic” is that I could be called a visionary. I was at a potluck on Friday where there was an energetic youngish couple trying to get everyone to come up and sing into the microphone using background music similar to karaoke. Once before when this happened, I was too bashful. But this time, I decided to do it. We had to choose a song we liked to sing (continued)

Senior Moments: Totally tantalizing tongue twisters

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked? This tongue twister has been around since the early 1800s and I’m just about positive it’s familiar to most of us seniors. According to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, it was a tool used to help with pronunciation lessons. Here’s another: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck (continued)


Dinner to benefit child with leukemia

A dinner and silent auction to benefit a local 7-year-old who has leukemia is set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at Camp Rilea. The event for Jackson Humpal is hosted by Fort Stevens VFW 10580 post and auxiliary. Admission is $12, which includes spaghetti, bread, salad, dessert and beverage. For tickets, contact the post at its website, or call Debbie Little at 503-739-0661. (continued)

Pyxis Quartet keeps audiences in the dark

Pyxis Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 21, at the Liberty Theatre, 1203 Commercial St., Astoria. Members of the string quartet also are members of the Oregon Symphony. Their classical selections include George Friedrich Haas’ “String Quartet No. 3,” for which the theater will be completely dark. Tickets are $35 reserved seating and can be purchased online at or at the box office from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. (continued)

CMH sponsors healthfulness classes

The Columbia Memorial Hospital Cancer Collaborate is hosting a series of informational lunch-time conversations about improving health. The free presentations are from 11 a.m. to noon in the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Center activity room, 1905 Exchange St., Astoria. A light meal is provided. ** June 13: A speech pathologist will provide tips and tools for those who are experiencing or have experienced cancer and those who support them. This month’s topic is “Difficult Swallowing: Dysphagia and (continued)

Auditions set for children's performance

Auditions for the children’s performance of “A Night at the Olios” will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at the Astor Street Opry Company Playhouse, 129 W. Bond St., Astoria. The play is directed by Ashley Mundel and features a dozen performers ages 8 to 17. All acts and performances will be appropriate for families and children. No experience or preparation is necessary. Rehearsals will be mostly weekday afternoons, with a few weekends beginning June 4. Performances are June 28-30. (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)

Police and Public Safety

Public safety calls for week of June 14

** Warrants Warrant service, 2:03 p.m. June 4, 600 block Seventh Avenue, Hammond. Hoa Dinh Luu, 52, no known address, was arrested on a felony warrant from Washington County. ** Burglaries and thefts Burglary, 4:39 p.m. May 21, 200 block Southeast Anchor Avenue. More than $2,000 in stamps and ammunition were taken. Shoplifting, 12:19 p.m. June 6, Rite Aid. Shendell J. Walgren, 26, of Gearhart was cited for criminal trespassing. Shoplifting, 12:22 a.m. June 9, Walmart. Melody M. Harrison, 45, of (continued)

Man arrested for recklessness with gun

A Renton, Wash., man was arrested after Hammond residents reported gunfire and screaming near their homes in the middle of the night. Adam Wayne Heinke, 29, was booked at Clatsop County Jail on suspicion of disorderly conduct, unlawful possession of a weapon with intent to use and reckless endangerment. “The first report was of multiple gunshots and people screaming,” Senior Officer Jeff Dalrymple wrote in a probable cause declaration. He pulled up near the Hammond Post Office and didn’t (continued)

Public safety calls for week of June 7

** Thefts and burglaries Burglary, 9:12 a.m. May 25, 1000 block Southeast Marlin Avenue. A business reported a battery valued at $100 was stolen off a trailer. Burglary, 11:50 p.m. May 25, 0-100 block Southwest Birch Court. Kidd Cody Atkins, 24, of Astoria was arrested on suspicion of burglary, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing and fourth-degree assault after he allegedly broke into a home and attacked the owner. Burglary, 11:10 a.m. May 28, 1000 block Southeast Marlin Avenue. A business (continued)

Man arrested for strangling sister who tried to wake him for work

A 22-year-old Warrenton man was arrested Saturday after he allegedly strangled his sister for waking him up, according to a police report. Kenneth Leon Standring II was arrested on suspicion of fourth-degree domestic violence and strangulation following the 1 p.m. assault at his mother’s home in the 1000 block of Seventh Avenue in Hammond. Standring had been sleeping in a bedroom and wouldn’t answer when his mother and sister attempted to wake him so he could go to work, according t (continued)

Public safety calls for week of May 31

** Warrants Warrant service, 8:06 p.m. May 20, Costco. Timothy Dean Yaakola, 47, of Warrenton was arrested on a warrant issued by Clatsop County Parole and Probation. ** Thefts and burglaries Shoplifting, 10:20 a.m. May 23, Rite Aid. Nicholus Allen Lyons, 36, of Astoria was arrested on suspicion of third-degree theft after he attempted to leave the store without paying for a $4 bottle of wine. He was taken to Clatsop County Jail when it was discovered he also had a warrant for failure to appear (continued)


Warrenton graduates win awards, scholarships

** If you go ** What: Warrenton High School’s 2019 commencement When: 7 p.m. tonight, June 7 Where: Warrenton High School gym, 1700 S. Main Ave. Sixty-two Warrenton High School students are expected to walk across the stage tonight during the school’s 101st commencement exercises. They’ve spent hundreds of hours in classes, accomplished sports, scholastic and extracurricular achievement and put in dozens of hours in community service. This week, the graduating class of 2019 enjoyed senior (continued)

Grade school needs 'experts' for after-school academy

Warrenton Grade School wants you. If you’ve got an interest, hobby, skill or experience that’s appropriate for sharing with students consider volunteering for the Warrenton After School Academy. Applications are available on the district’s website and at the Warrenton Grade School office. The academy is run by volunteers as an enrichment program targeting students in grades 5-8. Students select from a schedule of eight-week enrichment classes designed by community members, so they may (continued)