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August, 2011

Skirvin Competes in World Championship This Weekend

CLATSKANIE’S WORLD CLASS TIMBER SPORTS competitor Jeff Skirvin will travel to The Netherlands this week for the Stihl Timbersports world championship.

Skirvin, who teaches forestry and art at Knappa High School, and coaches the KHS timber sports team, won the stock saw event at the national professional Stihl Timbersports championship at the Oregon State Fair last weekend.

Skirvin was also a member of the winning west region relay team which defeated three other regional teams from around the United States.

The four relay events are stock saw, single buck, underhand chop and standing block chop. The best in each event will compete together in the relay event in The Netherlands against teams from Europe, New Zealand, and Australia.

One other competitor from the Pacific Northwest, Brandon Sirguy, of Maple Falls, Wash., also qualified for the world championships which will be televised in December on ESPN.

Skirvin has previously won world championships in stock saw and hot saw, and has won second in the world in tree-topping. Chief File Photo

School Starts Next Week for Clatskanie, Rainier, Knappa Students

The 2011-12 school year for Clatskanie, Rainier and Knappa school district students will begin next week with the first day depending on individual schools and grade levels.

Clatskanie Elementary School (CES) is having a staggered   start on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 6-8, with parents informed by letter of their students’ first day. All CES students will be at school on Friday, Sept. 9.

Classroom hours for CES begin at 8:10 a.m. and end at 2:10 p.m.

Seventh and ninth graders at Clatskanie Middle/High School (CMHS) will begin the school year on Tuesday, Sept. 6, with Wednesday, Sept. 7, being a full day for all seventh through 12th graders.

The school day at CMHS runs from 8 a.m. until 3:15 p.m., except every other Wednesday, beginning Sept. 14, when school won’t start until 8:50 a.m., to allow for staff development time.

First day for students at Rainier’s Hudson Park Elementary (HPE) is Wednesday, Sept. 7, for grades one through six. Kindergarten students will begin on Monday, Sept. 12, after home visits are conducted next week.

Rainier Junior/Senior High School (RJSHS) will welcome seventh grade, ninth grade, and all students who are new to the district on Tuesday, Sept. 6. All other RJSHS students will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

First day for all students, except kindergarteners, in the Knappa School District is Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Kindergarten home visits will be conducted next week with class starting on Monday, Sept. 12.

Vernonia School District students were scheduled to begin Thursday, Sept. 1, with the first day of kindergarten on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Complete school opening information for the Clatskanie, Rainier, Knappa and Vernonia school districts was published in the Aug. 25th issue of The Chief which was mailed free to all postal patrons in the 97016 and 97048 zip code areas.

Hiring Starts for New ORPET Plant

ORPET, the new bottle recycling facility at the Port of St. Helens’ Multnomah Industrial Park in Warren, is expected to begin operations later this year, and “has begun a search for talented individuals to interview for a variety of positions,” according to general manager Mark Samuel.

All hiring is being done through the Oregon Employment Department, and the first set of positions that applicants are being sought for include maintenance manager, maintenance lead, maintenance technician, quality lab technician and shift supervisors.

Qualified applicants should contact Karen Macfarlane at the St. Helens office of the Oregon Employment Department, 500 N. Highway 30, Suite 320, St. Helens, 503 397-4995, ext. 222, e-mail Karen.S.Macfarlane@state.or.us.

Appliants must register in iMatch Skills and must complete an application in the employment office. A National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is preferred, but not required.

A workforce of about 25 is anticipated and other jobs will include machine operators, shipping and receiving clerks, forklift operators and some clerical positions.

The first plant of its kind in the region, ORPET will convert millions of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles collected each year under Oregon’s bottle bill into materials for manufacturing, construction and packaging.

Labor Day Big Band Concert Kicks Off CAC’s 23rd Annual Performing Arts Series

Kicking off the Clatskanie Arts Commission (CAC) 23rd annual Performing Arts Series is the North Coast Big Band concert in the Clatskanie city park on Labor Day – Monday, Sept 5.

The public is invited to attend the free concert from 2 to 4 p.m. The bleachers will be available for seating, but attendees are urged to bring their own chairs.

As a fundraiser for CAC, hot dogs, sausages, hamburgers, corn-on-the-cob, ice cream and beverages will be sold, beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing throughout the concert. Free cake and coffee will be served at intermission.

The North Coast Big Band concert is sponsored by the Clatskanie Park and Recreation District.

Other performances in the 2011-12 CAC Performing Arts Series includes the folk and blues group Willapa Hills on Oct. 14, the musical Lowe Family on Nov. 18, the Missoula Children’s Theatre production of King Arthur’s Quest on Jan. 20 and 21, the “Men of Worth,” Celtic musicians, on Feb. 10, and the Oregon Symphonic Band on April 29.

Season tickets are now available. For more information call Elsa at 503 728-3403 or visit www.clatskaniearts.org.

Clatskanie Baptists Complete Another Mission to Brazil

by Cindy Bloomer

A team of 23 from Clatkanie Baptist Church (CBC) traveled to Brazil in August on a mission trip to provide ongoing support in a church planting effort.

The CBC’s mission efforts in Brazil began 10 years ago. At that time the church “plant” was in the planning stages. The congregation in Clatskanie has partnered with the “mother church” in Niteroi, near Rio de Janeiro, to establish a church in the suburb Jockey and have provided funding, prayer and manpower for the project.

Last year in May, a CBC group helped with building a foundation for the church in Jockey. This year, when the mission team arrived, they were pleased to see the completed church building.

The team, ranging from teenagers to grandparents, departed for Brazil on Aug. 4 and returned Aug. 16. Mission projects focused on community outreach in the suburbs around Jockey and Anaia, and rebuilding a wall around an inner-city children’s shelter in Reame.

The group from Clatskanie was joined by 10 from Iowa who were led by CBC’s former youth pastor, Kirk Bennett. The combined group was evenly divided to the communities of Jockey and Anaia.

For some members of the Clatskanie missions team – several returning for the third time – going to Brazil was like “coming home.” The people there have become like an extension of family, they said.

Among their first impressions was the hospitality of the Brazilian people. “The first day in Anaia the people would wait until the team got their food before eating,” said Hugh Newton. The church in Brazil also had people praying 24 hours a day prior to our arrival, related Virginia Shockley.

Projects

Many who made the journey to Brazil have never done construction-type work before – those on the team familiar with the process provided instruction to the others.

Construction efforts by the mission team helped a family in Jockey to remain in their home. A 14-year-old girl and her year-old baby lived with her mother in a dilapitated dwelling which members of the team said amounted to little more than a cardboard box.

The city had threatened to condemn the house and force them to move. The team started construction on a foundation and erected an exterior wall, thus preventing their eviction.

Brazilian law provides for “squatters rights,” making it necessary for residents to erect a wall surrounding the property.

Such was the issue regarding the children’s shelter in Reame where team members rebuilt the wall. The old wall which defined the property boundary was leaning at a precarious 45-degree angle, said team members. Not only is the wall necessary for maintaining property boundaries, it serves as a security barrier as well.

The shelter houses children ages three to 15, many  of whom are victims of various kinds of abuse.

While the Brazilian people are “very good about taking in children of relatives,” said Toby Harris, those typically in the shelter are children who have no family to take care of them.

Children may remain at the shelter for up to two years while awaiting placement in a foster home. The problem is there are very few foster homes available. For example, in a nearby city with a population of 500,000 there are only 20 foster homes, stated Harris. All too often children return to living in places such as the dump.

Painting was completed in seven rooms at a church in Anaia along with the help of those from the community. There was one day, recalled Newton, when there was no translator and all communication was done by means of body language – amazingly, everyone was able to understand each other, he said.

Community Outreach

With the church building in Jockey now completed, members of the team were more free to focus on reaching out to those in the community and building relationships with them.

Many were involved in assisting with VBS (vacation Bible school) which was held during the group’s stay there. Youth members of the team reached out to the Brazilian children – holding a soccer day camp and teaching them games such as hopscotch and the hokey pokey.

Home visits were conducted with the aid of translators. Virginia Shockley recounted the excitement of visiting with a woman she had met 10 years ago on her first trip to Brazil who is now attending school. She marveled at the spiritual growth that has taken place since that time.

Members of the team visited with a boy whose father had been murdered six months before. He has no brothers or sisters and lives with his mother and grandfather in Jockey.

The grandfather came to the church seeking help for their family and shared concerns regarding his grandson. Team members were encouraged to hear that a leader from the Jockey church prayed with him to accept Christ – the congregation in Jockey plans to continue helping the hurting family.

Big Surprise

About halfway through the mission trip on Aug. 10 the team welcomed another member whom most did not realize was coming – Pastor Ron Jacobson.

As members of the team prepared for the trip they remarked how it “just did not seem right” that Pastor Jacobson was not going. In fact, he was scheduled to officiate at a funeral and did not have any plans of joining the team this time in Brazil.

Just days before the mission trip, he relented – especially after receiving a particularly hearfelt e-mail from his “home” in Brazil. He arranged to travel with team member Jack White who was already scheduled to arrive later.

Only his wife Pat and a couple of the others knew of his plans and managed to keep it a secret.

Opening Doors

Serving the people in Brazil is about more than just helping where there is great need, according to the team.  “Meeting physical needs opens the door to meeting spiritual needs,” said Harris.

Sometimes those doors open in rather unexpected ways. While laying brick, Newton’s daughter Audrey lost her footing and fell five to six feet from scaffolding – she landed flat on her back, her head narrowly missing a pile of bricks. Fortunately, she was uninjured.

Newton was unaware that some preteen girls had been observing his interactions with his daughter. Following the accident, the girls inquired as to why he showed such protection and concern. “Because he’s her dad,” they were told. They still seemed confused, related Newton, and did not seem to grasp the love a father has for his daughter.

Mutual Learning

“We have learned far more from being with them than they have from us,” stated various members of the team. “The people in Brazil are so grateful, and so filled with the love of Christ,” they added.

On the other hand, the church in Brazil has expressed that the people from Clatskanie Baptist Church “are like an example of Christian living,” said Pastor Jacobson.

During a painting project, Newton observed a 10-year-old Brazilian girl. “Why are you working so hard?” he asked. “I am working so hard because this is my church,” she replied.

Team members noted that the people take such pride in what they have – the interiors of their homes are “absolutely immaculate.”

Clatskanie Baptist Church is in the process of arranging for students in Brazil whom they have gotten to know through their mission trips to come study in Clatskanie.

Bonds Formed

On the last day of the trip there were some tears shed by Clatskanie teens, knowing they were not coming back, said Iris Makinson. They certainly had an experience they will never forget.

“I have grown to love the people in Brazil – they are like an extension of family,” said Pastor Jacobson. The Brazilian church has become an extension of the Clatskanie Baptist congregation as well. Likewise, the church in Brazil thinks of those in Clatskanie as part of their own church family.

“It’s all about the relationships built over the years, not the brick and mortar,” stressed Pastor Jacobson.

“Through technology such as Facebook and e-mail we are able to keep in touch,” he added.

Several team members expressed the sentiment that they would leave for Brazil again in a heartbeat if they could.

The Mission Team

Clatskanie Baptist Church 2011 Brazil mission trip team members are: Marilyn Boyd, Kurt Boyd, Chip Crawford, Kevin Crawford, Toby Harris, Anna Hastings, Dustin Hastings, Monica Hastings, Pat Jacobson, Pastor Ron Jacobson, Iris Makinson, Tom Miller, Audrey Newton, Hugh Newton, Doug Putman, Becky Reeves, Deanna Remick, Carmen Rice, Lory Rice, Cassidy Shefstad, Virginia Shockley, Daynette Stangel and Jack White.

“I’m proud of the people and the sacrifices made to go and be a part of the team,” stated Pastor Jacobson. Many of those who went did not have the benefit of a paid vacation. Family members who remained at home took on extra responsibilities, he explained.

Even though various fundraising efforts totaled $6,600, much of the cost was borne by each individual. “Once you say you’re going to go, God provides,” said Newton.

Team members are quick to add they couldn’t have done it alone – they credit the support of their families and the church congregation for making it possible and consider them part of the team as well. They expressed gratitude for all those who believed in the mission trip without seeing the needs in Brazil with their own eyes.

Serving at Home

Even though in Brazil the poverty and level of violence is unlike anything experienced in the local communities, the mission team has found that the needs of people remain the same – people need to know that they are loved and valued, and they are in need of Christ.

“Those who went to Brazil came back with a deeper love for their own community,” said Pastor Jacobson.

Several members of the mission team remarked how it seemed rather easy to serve in Brazil, but they became burdened with the insight that there are similar needs right here within their own community.

Having returned from Brazil, they are now determined to be more involved with their own community.

REPLACING A BRICK WALL around a children’s shelter in Reame was one of the projects completed by members of the Clatskanie Baptist Church Brazil mission team during their trip Aug. 4-16. The wall serves as a property boundary as well as a security barrier.                    Photo Courtesy of Carmen Rice

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