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March, 2012

Finally, Spring Arrives

LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER SNOW ushered in the vernal equinox, spring actually appeared in full bloom as cherry blossoms flanked the “Welcome to Clatskanie” sign on the west end of town, and daffodils brightened the garden of Elsie Reed. Chief Photos by Amanda Gail Moravec

 

DSL Public Meeting Set April 3 in Astoria

by Deborah Steele Hazen

Department of State Lands (DSL) land management and removal-fill programs will be the topic of a public meeting set for Tuesday, April 3, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Judge Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial Street in Astoria.

According to a notice from the DSL, the meetings will focus on the “basics” of the agency’s land management and removal and/or fill program, as well as recent legislation requiring the DSL to revise its administrative rules.

A staff presentation will take place during the first hour, while discussion and public input will occur in the second hour of the meeting. A similar public workshop was held March 20 in Charleston on the southern Oregon coast.

Legislation passed during the 2011 session which will require “rulemaking” by the DSL, includes Senate Bill 600, sponsored by Northwest Oregon’s State Senator Betsy Johnson, which exempts drainage district facilities, riprap and voluntary habitat restoration projects from DSL waterway leases.

Those issues were the topic of much public discussion during “rulemaking” hearings held by the DSL in late 2009 and early 2010. Public outcry against the DSL’s plan to require drainage districts to pay lease fees to the agency for its facilities, and property owners to sign leases for erosion control measures such as riprap, resulted in a suspension of rulemaking on those issues in April of 2010.

Now the DSL is again working on revisions to its administrative rules governing the leasing and registration of structures on, and uses of, state-owned submerged and submersible lands.

Posting of the draft rules, which have been developed by DSL staff and an advisory committee, was tentatively scheduled for April 1 in the Secretary of State bulletin. That will begin the formal rulemaking process, which will include yet-to-be-announced public hearings this spring.

The draft rules will be reviewed by the Department of Justice to ensure that they are compatible with Senate Bill 600 that also included exemptions for city and county road maintenance, and allows the issuance of a general permit for drainage maintenance on agricultural land in limited amounts.

More information on the waterway rulemaking is available from Chris Castelli, land manager, at 503 986-5262, chris.castelli@state.or.us, or by going to the Internet site: http://www.oregon.gov/DSL/rules_activity.shtml.

Also under discussion at next week’s meeting in Astoria will be rulemaking for Senate Bill 518, which made changes to DSL’s general permits governing removal or fill; Senate Bill 766, which calls for streamlining of the permit process for economic development; House Bill 2189, which deals with surface water withdrawal, and House Bill 2700, regarding linear removal/fill projects such as pipelines.

For more information on issues related to removal-fill permits contact Gloria Kiryuta at 503 986-5226, gloria.kiryuta@state.or.us.

To subscribe to e-mailed DSL information go to http://rogue.dsl.state.or.us/dsl_mailing/signup_multi.php.

 

PUD Board Approves Union Contract

An extension of the collective bargaining agreement for members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 125, who are employed by the Clatskanie People’s Utility District (CPUD), was approved by the utility’s board of directors at the regular monthly meeting March 22. The board authorized general manager Greg Booth to execute the two-year contract extension from March 1, 2013 through Feb. 28, 2015. The only change in the contract is that wages would increase by 1.75 percent per year.

As an example and in comparison to neighboring utilities, a CPUD journeyman lineman currently makes $39.75 per hour, compared to Columbia River PUD’s $39.96, Cowlitz PUD’s $39.22, and Portland General Electric’s (PGE) $39.78.

By 2014, a CPUD journeyman lineman will be making $41.15 per hour, compared to Columbia River’s $41.37,  Cowlitz’s $40.71, and PGE’s $41.39.

Among other reports at the meeting it was noted that from Dec. 21, 2008 through March 16 of this year, CPUD had loaned its crew to assist other utilities to repair storm damage for a total of 1846 hours – most of it to West Oregon Electric Cooperative, based in Vernonia.

Crew members spent a total of 264 hours March 14-16 helping Lane Electric repair damage from the recent heavy snowstorm.

County Clerk Denies Annexation Petitions

CPUD board members were given copies of a March 15th letter written to Lonnie and Elaine Richards and Jeff Trass regarding their petitions to withdraw the rural area west of Rainier from the Columbia River PUD, and annex  to the Clatskanie PUD, which already serves the area within the 1940 city limits of Rainier and the rural area east of Clatskanie up to approximately Alston’s Corner. In addition to rural Rainier, Columbia River PUD serves southern Columbia County and a small portion of Multnomah County.

The letter from Columbia County Clerk Elizabeth E. Huser states that “after consulting with legal counsel and reviewing legal opinions from both PUDs,” she had concluded that the withdrawal petition does not comply with the requirements of Chapter 198 of Oregon Revised Statutes, which governs special districts. Chapter 261 governs PUDs but does not specifically provide for the situation of withdrawing from one PUD and annexing to another, which has never occurred in Oregon before.

Huser’s interpretation is that since the PUD chapter of Oregon law does not specifically address the situation, it would fall under the withdrawal procedures outlined in the special district laws.

While the Clatskanie PUD officially has taken a neutral stance on the annexation proposal, Booth said he did not agree with the county clerk’s interpretation of the law.

“I take exception to it,” he said. “It is not consistent with the spirit of the PUD chapter,” which calls for “any suitable method or proceeding… which may appear most conformable to the spirit of this chapter…”

In her letter to the Richards and Trass, Huser recommended that they “seek legal counsel for special direction on compliance with Chapter 198.”

 

6th Annual Raymond Carver Writing Festival Announces Student Poetry Contest

In celebration of April as National Poetry Month, the Friends of the Clatskanie Library, Inc. invite students in kindergarten through grade 12 from within the boundaries of Clatskanie School District 6J to submit their best poetry writing in the Raymond Carver Writing Festival (RCWF) student poetry contest that begins on Sunday, April 1.

In step with this year’s RCWF theme “A Poem in Your Pocket! A Journey in Writing, Rhythm and Rhyme” students are asked to think of “life” as more than a place – but rather as a source of inspiration, a setting for adventure and a journey of discovery as they consider topics for their written entries, a Friends of the Library spokesperson explained.

Students must submit their poetry on 8 1⁄2 by 11-inch paper, typed or hand-printed, with a cover letter (supplied by their teacher and/or respective school offices, and the Clatskanie Library) by the Tuesday, May 1, deadline. Illustrated poems are welcomed and event coordinators urge participants to be creative. Submissions are limited to one entry per student and may be turned in to teachers, the school’s offices or the Clatskanie Library during regular business hours throughout the event.

Cash prizes of $50 each will be awarded for poems taking first place in the all-school (public, private and homeschooled) graded divisions of 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, and $100 for the top pick in grades 10-12. Each graded division will also receive award certificates for first, second and third place judged entries including honorable mentions.  Poems winning first place will be featured in The Clatskanie Chief newspaper.

Student poetry cash awards are funded by Dr. Keith B. McGillivary, of Eugene, a Raymond Carver aficionado and fan club leader. Dr. McGillivary, a retired dentist, grew up in Clatskanie and is a member of the historic Popham family that pioneered the first local lending library in Clatskanie. This is the sixth year of a continuing grant from Dr. McGillivary for the RCWF. It is administered by the Friends Foundation.

All poetry submitted to the contest will become the property of the RCWF under the auspices of the Friends of the Library, Inc., also known as the Friends Foundation, and may be displayed to promote RCWF-sponsored events on a continuing basis.

Born in Clatskanie on May 25, 1938, Raymond Clevie Carver conquered poverty and ignorance to become one of the most recognized and respected authors in the world.  By the early 1980s Carver’s unique “minimalist” style and character studies of everyday lives in short stories earned him a place in literature and writing programs at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Carver was also an accomplished poet.  He died of  lung cancer in Port Angeles, Wash., on August 2, 1988, at the age of 50.

Other events this year include a RCWF “Carver Movie Night” featuring “Everything Must Go,” a screen version by Dan Rush of Raymond Carver’s short story “Why Don’t You Dance?” on Friday, April 27, at 8 p.m., and the annual RCWF “A Poem in Your Pocket!” – poetry slam for adult poets ages 18 and older on Saturday, April 28, starting at 10 a.m., with the conclusion at 6 p.m.

Both activities are offered as free events at The Blue Nutria, 80 Steele Street, in Clatskanie and are supported by a $1,500 grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust administrated through the Columbia County Cultural Coalition in partnership with the Friends of the Clatskanie Library, Inc.

For more information on this event, interested parties are encouraged to call the library at 503 728-3732 or visit raycarverfestival.com where updated official cover letter forms for the poetry entries will be available online.

 

10th Annual Bulky Waste Cleanup Day April 14

The 10th annual Clatskanie bulky waste cleanup day has been set for Saturday, April 14 from 8 a.m. until noon at the Clatskanie City Park.

The cleanup day is open to Clatskanie area residents and requires identification with a 97016 zip code. The waste is limited to two car, pickup or small trailer loads per household. No commercial loads will be taken.

Sterling Bank will have a free document shredding truck  in their parking lot, 199 N. Nehalem Street, from 9 a.m. to noon.

The cleanup day is for bulky items such as televisions, dishwashers, stoves, water heaters, washers and driers, microwaves, furniture, car batteries, scrap metal, computers, printers and monitors, etc. The charge will be $10 per car, pickup or trailer load.

Freon containing appliances, including refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners, will be accepted for $15 each.

Car and truck tires will be accepted for $1 each. Tires must be taken off rims.

The following items will not be taken at the bulky waste day: car bodies, hazardous waste (including pesticides, solvents, paints and paint cans, thinners, etc.), commercial waste, propane bottles, concrete or brick, tires on rims, household food or garbage, or yard debris.

Additional monetary donations will be accepted for disposal costs.

For more information, to volunteer and for senior assistance with delivery of bulky items contact the City of Clatskanie at 503 728-2622 or email kpurdue@cityofclatskanie.com.

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