29 September 2010 by Published in: News No comments yet

CES Parents Group Receives Nike Grant for Fitness Trail

CELEBRATING THE RECEIPT OF A $20,000 GRANT from the Nike Employee Grant Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation are members of the Clatskanie Elementary School (CES) Parents Supporting Education Association (PSEA), from left: Chris Boothe, Stephanie Gibbens, CES Principal Yolanda Brackman, Lisa Christen, Cyndi Warren, Gretchen Moore, Billi Leinonen and Robin Miller.

The funds, for which the PSEA applied last spring, will be used to develop an approximately one-third mile long asphalt fitness trail on the CES campus. The photo above was taken by the “lower field” around which the trail will wind.

The trail will have several fitness “pads” or pull-out areas for resting spots and for students to engage in fun physical activities, nutrition lessons and mental challenges. Nike employees are contributing ideas in developing the fitness pads and other lifestyle improvements to help the PSEA achieve its objective of encouraging the students of CES to lead physically active and healthy lifestyles, because “healthy kids are better learners,” said Moore, one of the leaders of the project. A ground-breaking ceremony with Nike representatives is being scheduled.

PSEA members are also working with Mark Kynsi of Kynsi Consruction, which is expected to start work on the trail in about three weeks.

In addition to being “overwhelmed with gratitude to the Nike employees for believing in and supporting this project,” the PSEA also expressed thanks for “the broad base of community support and enthusiasm.” Special thanks were offered to Brackman, the Clatskanie School District and school board, Rex Nicholas (district maintenance), Robin FouchŽ and the Clatskanie Together Coalition, the Columbia County Health Coalition, Clatskanie Mayor Diane Pohl, Melody Davis and the MTC Works program.

Anyone wishing to contribute towards the cost of additional construction materials and fitness equipment, is asked to contact Cyndi Warren, PSEA treasurer, at cyndi@dconnorcpa.com. Chief Photo by Amanda Gail Moravec

Boat Crash Saturday Night on Columbia River Injures 3; Investigation Continues

by Deborah Steele Hazen

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies are continuing their investigation into a boat crash on the Columbia River near Clatskanie that put three people in the hospital Saturday night, Sept. 25.

Sheriff Jeff Dickerson told The Chief this week that the crash was being investigated as possibly alcohol-related, and that “the evidence we have thus far indicates the vessel was traveling fairly fast in the dark – and that’s a recipe for trouble.”

Law enforcement and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to the crash in the vicinity of the old seining grounds downriver from Port Westward just after 10 p.m. Saturday night.

According to Sheriff Jeff Dickerson, an operator of a boat in the area observed the crash, and reported that the 16-foot aluminum boat had struck a wing dam (wood piling jetty) in the Columbia.

As sheriff’s office marine deputies were responding, the witness, whose name was not released, used his boat to retrieve the three males from the crashed vessel, which he left adrift. He brought them to a dock that was inaccessible to emergency crews.

Brian Youngblood, a volunteer with the Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District, launched his boat in Clatskanie and transferred the injured to the Viuhkola fish station dock off Erickson Dike Road at the mouth of the Clatskanie River (Beaver Slough), where they were met by CRFPD ambulance crews who subsequently transported them, with assistance from Columbia River Fire and Rescue, to St. John Medical Center.

The individuals transported to the hospital were Bradley A. McKay, 40, Clatskanie (determined by investigators to be the boat operator), Michael E. Lindberg, 50, Portland, and Clifford R. Fetter, 39, Sandy.

Sheriff Dickerson said that “information on the condition of those involved in the crash is sketchy. St. John’s hospital has refused to release information to investigators without a subpoena.”

After these individuals were transported to the hospital, deputies conducted a search for the crashed vessel which was located Sunday afternoon near Sand Island, approximately two miles east of Jones Beach on the Columbia River. (See photos below.)

The sheriff’s office is asking for anyone who might have any information regarding this incident to call 503 366-4600.

Three Men Injured When Boat Strikes Piling

Three men were injured late Saturday evening, Sept. 25, when a 16-foot boat, operated by Bradley McKay of Clatskanie, struck the “wing dam” (wooden piling) pictured top, near the old seining grounds on the Columbia River between Port Westward and Wallace Island. Damage to the aluminum Hewes boat’s bow is pictured bottom. The injured men were taken to the Viuhkola fish station on Erickson Dike Road where they were met by Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District medical personnel. See story on page 1 for more information.   Photos courtesy of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

Clatskanie City Council Considers Sewer Rate Increase

by Deborah Steele Hazen

A 7.5 percent sewer rate increase effective Jan. 1 is under consideration by the Clatskanie city council.

The council considered three proposals for raising sewer rates to keep the fund operating in the black at its meeting Sept. 22.

Currently, the combined sewer base rate and consumption rate for a residential customer using 1,000 gallons of water per month is $36.02.

A 7.5 percent increase, which the council will consider at its Oct. 7th meeting, would bring the sewer bill for a residential customer with 1,000 gallons of consumption to $38.75 per month.

Commercial users, who have the same base rate but a higher consumption rate, would see their bills with 1,000 gallons of consumption go from the current $41.64 to $44.78.

The sewer rate for motels and hotels, including 1,000 gallons of consumption would go from the curent $24.46 to $26.32.

The council settled on the 7.5 percent increase after deciding that a five percent increase would not create a sufficient revenue increase to keep up with expenses in the sewer enterprise fund. They rejected a 10 percent increase as being too steep for the sewer system users.

A 7.5 percent increase will bring in an additional $11,736 to the sewer fund between Jan. 1 and the end of the fiscal year next June 30. For the 2011-12 fiscal year it would create an additional $23,473 in sewer funds.

Preparedness Proclamation

Mayor Diane Pohl read a proclamation declaring “National Preparedness Month” in October.

She noted that the Clatskanie CERT (Citizens Emergency Response Team) is going strong, is recruiting new members and continuing training.

Ike Donation and Report

Outgoing Clatskanie Kiwanis Club President Bob Emminger presented a check for $300 for the care of the Clatskanie K-9 police officer, Ike. (See pictures and captions on page 14.)

Cemetery Concerns

Local citizen Larry McCallister, a genealogist and historian, expressed concern that damage to headsstones, especially in Maplewood Cemetery, is continuing.

City Manager Greg Hinkelman noted that McCallister had presented photographs of the damage which he believes is caused by careless mowing and weedeating.

Hinkelman and public works director Dave True said they had voiced the concerns to Maurie’s Mowers, the contractor who mows the cemeteries, and “have issued some specific instructions.”

True said he had observed their mowing this summer and believed that they were not beiing careless. ‘You’re gong to have little instances,” he acknowledged, noting that Maplewood Cemetery is difficult terrain to mow.

Hinkelman said that the city had received a report of “people going into the cemetery and knocking over headstones,” and the city has confirmed that some headstones have been detached from their bases. They were restored where possible. “We also received today a report of a tree that fell down on the far east side of the cemetery,” Hinkelman said. It was cleaned up by the city crew.

With McCallister’s assistance. city recorder Karyn Purdue and True have been assembling an accurate map that is necessary to have Maplewood Cemetery designated as an historic cemetery. The city could then apply for grants to do headstone repairs.

Hinkelman expressed his gratitude to McCallister for his diligence in monitoring the cemeteries. Mayor Pohl offered to tour Maplewood with McCallister and have him point out the damage.

“This is more than a small-scale, couple of stones being chipped,” McCallister told the council. “None of the other cemeteries in this area have damage like this.”

McCallister regularly visits local cemeteries to photograph stones for other genealogists around the nation.

Speaking as a member of the board of the Clatskanie Historical Society, Deborah Hazen also expressed concern about protecting the headstones in the local cemeteries as historic resources.

ODOT Report

Hinkelman reported that the bid date for the planned Highway 30 project through Clatskanie has now been moved up to Dec. 9, with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) apparently planning to do all the work next summer.

At its August meeting, the council heard a report that it was likely that the bid date would not be until next March, which would mean that the work probably could not be completed in one year.

The city had discussed encouraging ODOT to postpone the bid opening until the fall of 2011 and doing all of the work in the summer of 2012.

But with the bid opening moved up to December of this year, it means that the city will have to accomplish the expensive work of moving the lift station that will be in the way of the planned widening of the Van Street-Highway 30 intersection. That work should be done prior to the winter rains setting in, True said.

What’s more, Hinkelman said ODOT had “assured me they will have more public hearings” on the planned work.

“This is just driving us nuts.”

The city staff will continue to work with ODOT in hopes of clarifying the issues surrounding the highway project.

Health and Safety Fair Planned Saturday

Local organizations have joined together to offer a variety of events this Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Clatskanie Health and Safety Fair.

The fair has been planned by a partnership of Clatskanie People’s Utility District (PUD), Clatskanie Kiwanis Club, Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District (CRFPD), Clatskanie Together Coalition (CTC), Wauna Federal Credit Union (WFCU), and the Clatskanie School District and is open to the public.

Events will take place in two locations. Free transportation between the sites will be provided by Columbia County Rider.

Events planned to take place at the Clatskanie Fire Station and Wauna Federal Credit Union parking lots (along Truhaak Street) are:

Prescription drug drop off by the CTC; electricity demonstration board by the Clatskanie PUD; shred van by the Sterling Savings Bank; extinguisher training and smoke trailer by the CRFPD; identity theft prevention by WFCU; bicycle rodeo by Kiwanis; fruit and vegetable petting zoo by the Oregon State University Extension Service, and boater safety by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

Events taking place at the Clatskanie Elementary School, on south Nehalem Street are:

A showing of the movie Food Inc.; a fun run by the Parents Supporting Education Association (PSEA); immunizations by Columbia Public Health; child fingerprinting by the Clatskanie Masonic Lodge #133; Body Mass Index (BMI) checks by Anytime Fitness; introduction to the health curriculum by the Clatskanie School District; a planned visit by a Life Flight helicopter; a teddy bear clinic by the Clatskanie Family Medical Clinic; blood pressure screening by The Amber; a sleep disorder demonstration and oxygen level screening by Lincare; Wii Fit by the Clatskanie Recreation Center, and gun safety by the Clatskanie Rifle and Pistol Club.

The first 100 kids at the Kiwanis bicycle rodeo will receive a free helmet. Kids may also bring their bicycle to the rodeo and get a free tune-up.

Clatskanie Drug Turn-In Event Slated Oct. 2

The Clatskanie Police Department and the Clatskanie/Westport Weed and Seed Committee will be sponsoring a “no questions asked” drug turn-in event on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Clatskanie Fire Department.

Area residents are invited to turn-in outdated or unused prescription drugs, over the counter medicine – including vitamins and supplements and veterinary medicines for disposal by incineration.

The goals of this event are to collect unwanted and expired drugs from individuals, to keep them out of the wrong hands and out of the environment; to educate the public to store drugs safely and securely to prevent accidental poisoning, drug abuse and contamination of rivers and water supplies, and to teach consumers how to dispose of small amounts of unwanted medications in their homes.

The turn-in is for individual households only. Medication cannot be accepted from businesses such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices or any other institution.

Those participating in the drug turn-in are asked to bring medication in original containers and remove or obliterate all personal information from the containers such as name and phone or prescription numbers, leaving only the contents description legible.

The turn-in will not accept medical waste, medical sharps, injectibles or intravenous solutions due to the potential hazards posed by blood-borne pathogens.

The turn-in will not accept chemotherapy drugs. The incinerator operators prohibit them due to emission concerns. Chemo drugs should be returned to the clinic or hospital that prescribed them for disposal.

For more information contact Clatskanie Police Department Chief Marvin Hoover at 503 728-2145, or Weed and Seed members Robin Fouche at 503 728-0333 or Jim Hogan at 503 728-3473.

Boy Scouts Accepting Winter Clothes Donations

In conjunction with the Clatskanie Health and Safety Fair Saturday, Oct. 2, a winter clothes drive will be taking place at Clatskanie Elementary School (CES), 815 S Nehalem Street.

Kevin Holm of Boy Scout Troop 347 will be accepting donations of coats, hats, socks, and other winter clothes at a booth during the Health and Safety Fair.

Donations of children’s, men’s and women’s winter clothing in all sizes will be accepted.

The clothes drive is a Boy Scout Eagle project and will continue past Oct. 2, when donations can be taken to Turning Point or to CES.

School Board Hears Reports, Discusses Financial Future

by Deborah Steele Hazen

The Clatskanie School District board of directors heard positive reports from administrators and student body leaders, and pessimism about future school financing at a regular board meeting Monday, Sept. 27, followed by a work session Tuesday.

Clatskanie Middle/High School (CMHS) associated student body president Randy Hathaway reported on a visit to the school by motivational speaker Jeremy Johnson, a successful back-to-school night, plans for the homecoming celebration the week of Oct. 25, and sign-ups for the eScrip program, which brings money to the school from people shopping at Safeway.

The board heard the good news about the grant award to the Clatskanie Elementary School (CES) Parents Supporting Education Association (PSEA) for development of the fitness trail. (See the photo and caption on page 1.)

CMHS Principal Jeff Baughman remarked on the increased number of volunteers with the revitalized Booster Club who are regularly helping with various projects.

He noted that CMHS achieved adequate yearly progress this year and that he was “fairly happy” with the state report card. The dropout rate was a low 2.3 percent last year, and approximately 90 percent of seniors graduated. Nonetheless, he said, class populations typically drop during their high school years and “we’re taking a look at where they are going.”

Vice Principal/Athletic Director Annikke Olson reported that the concussion impact program implemented for student athletes is working well.

Special Education Director Mary Mitchell reported that the Clatskanie School District was “100 percent compliant” for the past school year in its special ed procedures and record-keeping. Staff members now are learning about the new state monitoring requirements.

The school board reviewed wording in policy JHFF which is about reporting requirements regarding sexual conduct with students.

They adopted a revised school calendar that moved graduation up a week to June 4, and allows for the five furlough days at the end of school that were agreed to under the certified contract.

School bus supervisor Paul Simmons reported on plans to change the bus route on Cedar Grove Drive because the road is in such bad condition. Parents will be notified and a new stop will be located, Simmons said.

Insurance Report

Finance Manager Janine Salisbury reported that 16 employees qualified for the insurance opt-out benefit, including five new ones for this fiscal year. The net savings from the new opting out employees (offset by the cost of providing new or increased opt-out benefits plus payroll expense to employees who previously did not take health insurance) is $17,000, Salisbury said.

A number of employees have chosen less expensive health insurance plans this year. Employee enrollment in Kaiser medical insurance has increased by 14. Thirty-one employees pay less than $1 per month for their share of health insurance.

The district share of employee health insurance has increased by about $5,000 per month from the prior year. That “small amount of increase is due in part to employees opting out, but mostly due to a decrease in the number of employees from the prior year,” Salisbury explained.

Financial Future

Superintendent Ed Serra reported that, according to the latest information from the Oregon Department of Education, state school funding for the 2010-11 school year will stay “where we were as of July 12,” but only because of federal Education Jobs Fund Program money and promised reserve funds by the legislative leadership.

“What we’ve adopted as our budget is firm so far,” Serra said, but if there is another round of cuts, “we don’t know.”

Furthermore, “the future economic reports are pessimistic.”

The board agreed to devote its work session Tuesday, Sept. 28, and next Tuesday, Oct. 5, at 5:30 p.m. in the board room in the Community Education Center, to the topic of the “new normal” in state school funding and what the future might hold.

Topics that surfaced during Tuesday’s brainstorming session included the possible merging of districts, consolidation of services, online courses, grant writing and political involvement in regard to school funding.

Clatskanie Community Choir Presents Fall Concert

Clatskanie Community Choir is presenting its “Fall Favorites” concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, in the Donavon Wooley Performing Arts Center at the Clatskanie Middle High School (CMHS), 471 SW BelAir Drive.

The concert marks the fifth season for the communtiy choir, and is sponsored by the Clatskanie Park and Recreation board.

The choir will be directed by Robert Emminger with accompaniment by Riki Davis. The group will be performing well known songs from the 60’s and 70’s, such as “Moon River,” Born Free,” “Tears in Heaven,” “Unchained Melody,” and “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore.”

The choir will also sing an 18th century madrigal which tells the story of “Alan a Dale” in the time of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest.

In addition to songs by the choir, The Uke Girls will perform a pair of songs; Riki Davis will play a solo; and choir member and Clatskanie School District Superintendent, Ed Serra, will perform a classic Eric Clapton hit with choir director Emminger.

Anyone interested in joining the community choir may attend the first rehearsal for the Christmas program on Monday, Oct. 11, at 5:30 p.m. in the CMHS choir room.

Rehearsals are held each Monday at 5:30 p.m.

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