25 July 2012 by Published in: News No comments yet

Spires of Purple Bedazzle Nature’s Summer Landscape

ERUPTING INTO A CHORUS OF COLOR, foxgloves stand elegantly like a choir poised in concert robes, across a hillside along Highway 47 outside Clatskanie.

Chief Photo by Cindy Bloomer



Morrow Pacific Formalizes Barge Building Proposal


The Morrow Pacific Project has signed LOIs (letters of intent) with Gunderson and Vigor Industrial, two Portland companies, for the construction of 20 enclosed barges, a combined purchase price of over $75 million.

“These LOIs formalize our commitment to working with local companies. We look forward to collaborating with Gunderson and Vigor,” said Clark Moseley, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Morrow Pacific project.

The Morrow Pacific project would ship low-sulfur coal by rail from the Powder River basin of southeastern Montana and northeastern Wyoming to an enclosed warehouse at the Port of Morrow.

From there, the enclosed barges, proposed to be built by Gunderson and Vigor, would move the coal to the Port of St. Helens-owned Port Westward Industrial Park near Clatskanie. An enclosed transloader would then transfer the coal from barges to oceangoing vessels bound for Asian trading allies, such as Japan, South Korea or Taiwan, according to a press release from the Morrow Pacific project, a subsidiary of Australian-based Ambre Energy.

Under the LOI Gunderson would construct 15 enclosed barges. The bid, valued at over $55 million, would create hundreds of jobs. “We need projects like this in Oregon. This is an amazing opportunity for Gunderson, and would employ 350 local workers,” said Bill Furman, CEO of Gunderson.

Morrow Pacific also signed an LOI with Vigor Industrial valued at over $20 million for the construction of five enclosed barges. “This project will increase manufacturing jobs in Oregon, provide economic development in rural communities, grow exports from the state and strengthen our region’s ability to develop new opportunities in Asia. For these reasons, we are pleased that Vigor will support the Morrow Pacific Project,” said Frank Foti, CEO of Vigor Industrial.

The LOIs are contingent on project financing and permitting. The current timeline would have barge construction start in mid-2013.

The project is seeking permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of State Lands and Department of Environmental Quality.

According to Morrow Pacific, its project would “raise the bar for environmental standards in coal export operations. Between the Port of Morrow facility until it arrives in Asia, there will be no visible coal and little, if any, coal dust.”


Bluegrass Festival, Quilt Show, Buck-a-Book, Garage Sales Set First Weekend in August

Clatskanie’s summer festivals will continue next weekend with the annual Bluegrass Festival, the Outdoor Quilt and Craft Show, the Clatskanie Friends of the Library “Buck a Book” sale, and the community-wide garage sale.

The 16th annual bluegrass festival will get underway Thursday, Aug. 2 with a chili and cornbread feed. Bluegrass musicians and their fans, who are expected to fill the park with their motor homes and trailers, will participate in a cornbread contest.

“If we can locate some fresh corn, a corn boil will go along with it,” said festival organizer Mac Wilson of Clatskanie.

Pancakes, bacon and eggs will be cooked and served on a donation basis on Friday and Saturday mornings, Aug. 3 and 4.

Jam sessions will begin as soon as the first musicians arrive in the park and will continue throughout the day and night all during the festival.

A number of “good, entertaining bands” are expected.

The schedule for Friday evening, Aug. 3, will include:

5 p.m.: The Clevengers, from Salem.

6 p.m.: Lost Creek, Portland.

7 p.m.: Puddletown Ramblers, Portland.

8 p.m. Down the Road, Seattle.

Saturday’s schedule is:

12 p.m.: Lost Creek.

1 p.m.: Money Creek Mining Co., Everett, Wash.

2 p.m.: Fern Hill, Rainier.

3 p.m.: The Clevengers.

4 p.m.: break time.

5 p.m.: Puddletown Ramblers.

6 p.m.: Down the Road.

7 p.m. Money Creek Mining Co.

8 p.m.: Fern Hill.

The bluegrass festival will close with a gospel show beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5.

Quilt and Garage Sales Set Aug. 4

The Outdoor Quilt and Craft Show is set for Saturday, Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include quilts displayed at businesses throughout Clatskanie’s shopping district and in Cope’s Park.

Local quilters or quilt owners are encouraged to “enter your quilts, your grandmother or auntie’s quilt, your neighbor’s quilt, a quilt you were given as a gift. It doesn’t matter what year they were made, and they can be hand-quilted, machine-quilted, or even tied.”

The quilt show committee notes that the Aug. 4th event is not a juried show,  “it is viewers’ choice, so don’t be afraid that your quilt might not be ‘good enough’ to enter. It is all about the beauty and the journey!”

Young people are especially encouraged to enter quilts they have made.

Awards to be given during the show include three viewer’s choice awards, the mayor’s choice, the challenge quilt award, and two awards for quilts made for persons under 13 years of age.

Also in connection with the quilt show will be a craft show, vendors, food and other forms of fun in Cope’s Park, located along NE Conyers Street, across the Clatskanie River from the city park.

Multiple vendors will be selling handmade items such as jewelry, bags, and handmade soap.  A group of volunteers will be selling food as a fundraiser for Clatskanie’s Volunteer Firefighter Association.

Spaces are available for additional vendors. Those who have a product they would like to sell may contact The Quilted Dandelion at 503 728-0626.

A “quilt block run” is also scheduled in connection with the event.

Featured quilter of the show, Judy Irish, will teach a class on Friday, Aug. 3. Contact Desma at The Quilted Dandelion to sign up.

Help is needed to hang quilts the day of the show. Volunteers are asked to meet at The Quilted Dandelion at Grannis Square at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4. Coffee and donuts will be provided to the helpers.

Volunteers are also needed the day of the quilt show and after the show at 4 p.m. to remove the quilts. Those interested in helping are asked to call Polly Gibson at 503 369-6178.

Organizers of the quilt show thanked the business owners supporting the event by sponsoring an advertisement in the quilt show booklet, including Ark Real Estate, The Bag Ladies Yarn Shop,  Carla’s Closet, The Clatskanie Chief, Clatskanie Computers, Clatskanie River Inn, Columbia River Subway, Inc., Colvin’s Pub & Grill, The Crafty Crones, Crist Machine Quilting, Cronies, Flowers ‘N Fluff, Fultano’s Pizza,  Hazen Hardware, Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant,  Kallio’s Antiques & Gift Gallery,  Nancy Williamson Framing and Fibers, The Quilted Dandelion,  Redemption,  Some Like It Hot,  Sporty’s, Turning Point Community Services Center, and Windermere/St. Helens Real Estate.

The quilt show committee also expressed thanks to the business owners supporting the show by allowing quilts to be hung in front of their business establishments.

The 18th annual Clatskanie Community-Wide Garage Sale, sponsored by the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce, is also set for Saturday, Aug. 4.

All of the addresses will be printed in next week’s Chief, and maps will be available on Friday, Aug. 3, and Saturday, Aug. 4, from the Chamber office at Windermere/St. Helens Real Estate, Carla’s Closet and Flowers ‘N Fluff.

Persons interested in having garage sales should fill out the form on page 8.

Buck-a-Book Sale Slated August 2, 3, 4 

Seeking funds for youth enrichment programs at the Clatskanie Library, the annual Friends of the Library Buck-A-Book Sale is slated for Thursday and Friday, August 2 and 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., finishing with a “Buck-A-Box or Bag” closeout sale on Saturday, Aug. 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the library located at 11 Lillich Street.

“We have a nice selection of books weeded from library shelves this year including a wide selection of local donations,” notes library director Elizabeth Kruse. The book sale also features specially priced sets of materials including vintage volumes, videos, audio books and encyclopedias.

“Our annual book sale is what the Friends do best and our customers’ special needs come first,” says sale setup coordinator John Lillich who extends a caution to dealers and other early birds “that in fairness to all” the sale will start exactly at 10 a.m. each day with no “presale purchase” exceptions.

“Each year we have topped our initial goal of $1000 enabling funds to nurture ongoing children’s educational programs at our local library that might not otherwise be possible due to budget constraints in these generally austere times of library and school funding,” says Friends Foundation president Ernest A. Carman. He encourages “fellow bibliophiles” of all ages to come forth and be part of this opportunity to find real treasures at bargain prices.

“Come check us out and enjoy some free, ice-cold lemonade,” say library staff members and Friends’ volunteers as they encourage attendance at this “back by popular demand” opportunity.

For more information, including volunteering during the sale or helping with setting up on Wednesday, August 1, at 4 p.m., call the library at 503 728-3732.


Five Blues Bands Take Stage Saturday in Clatskanie City Park

A day of great music for a worthwhile cause is planned this Saturday, July 28, in the Clatskanie city park as five Pacific Northwest blues bands will perform during the sixth annual Rhythm on the River blues benefit.

A benefit for the United Way of Columbia County, the blues festival will start with vendors opening at 11 a.m., followed by music beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing throughout the afternoon and evening.

Headlining this year’s festival is the Norman Sylvester Band which will take the stage at 8 p.m.

Earlier in the day, blues artists will include Lisa Mann and Her Really Good Band, Richard Wilkins Blues Band, The Beacon Street Titans, Steelhead, Ed Neumann and the Seasoned Pros, and the Linda Myers Band.

The day of music in the park will also include clinics with professional musicians, beginning at 1 p.m. in the gazebo. Those interested should bring their own instruments. Pat Haley of the Richard Wilkins Band will be conducting a guitar clinic, according to event organizer Kathye Beck.

It is anticipated that other professional musicians will also be giving instruction in the park gazebo through mid-afternoon, but no formal schedule was set.

Admission to the blues festival is $5 per person or five cans of food which will be given to Turning Point Community Service Center in Clatskanie. Children under 16 are admitted for free.

Some seating in the park is available, but festival-goers are encouraged to bring their own chairs. No alcohol is allowed in the park.

In addition to the music, five food vendors will be set up in the park along with a dozen other vendors of services and products. Author Will Robertson will be selling and autographing his cartoon books. There will also be face painting, henna tattoos, balloons, and many of the not-for-profit booths will have items for raffle or sale to help raise funds for their various programs.

In a silent auction, United Way will be offering two hand-carved wall hangings by Harold Lawler, a Coach purse valued at $228, cases of toilet tissue and paper towels, blues festival T-shirts, and more.

A raffle for a beginners guitar package and signed blues posters will also be held. Named “The Tuxedo,” the guitar package “strat pack” includes amp, guitar bag, strings, picks, string winder and cord.

United Way of Columbia County, which will be accepting debit and credit cards, will be taking orders for this year’s blues T-shirts made by V & V leathers in Vernonia

Sponsors of the event include the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce, Clatskanie Parks and Recreation District, Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery, Evenson Logging Company, Greenwood Resources, Inc., Kern and Thompson LLC, LE’s Income Tax, US Bank, Wauna Federal Credit Union and Windermere Foundation.

In-kind donations are being provided by Affordable Banners and Signs, Boise, Chris Kaleta, Clatskanie PUD, Eric and Pam Sellix, Fultano’s Pizza, Georgia-Pacific, Harold Lawler, Naked Winery, V&V Leathers.

United Way also expressed thanks to Colvin’s Pub & Grill, Conestoga, Subway, Ixtapia, Flowers ‘n Fluff, Fultano’s Pizza and Tio Calvino’s for providing food and beverages for the bands.

For more information, e-mail uwcc@hotmail.com or visit www.rhythmontheriverblues.com

Blues Band Profiles

In the order of their performances, following are descriptions of the blues bands performing in the park on Saturday

1 p.m. – Lisa Mann and Her Really Good Band. Lisa’s influences run the gamut, from low down blues sisters Etta James and Koko Taylor, to singer-songwriters like Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow.  Her songs paint pictures of a gritty history of personal ex-

perience in life, love and the not-always-pretty music business.

2:10 p.m. – Richard Wilkins Blues Band. Chicago blues is the order of the day, with detours into boogie woogie, R&B ballads, and the occasional 60’s rock and roll tune. Bring your dancing shoes or go barefoot.

3:20 p.m. – The Beacon Street Titans. Entertaining group of musicians whose “jump blues” style is contagious. Fronted by harp player and singer Howard McClung with Darryl Boggs, veteran of the Los Angeles jazz and blues scene on guitar, Don Covrette on keyboards and sax, Kirk Bryant on bass, and Joel Gunz on drums.

4:20 p.m. – Steelhead. Led by guitarist Paul Keller and bass player Michael Esquire, this hard driving band covers all styles of rhythm and blues. Greg Larson on drums, and guitarists Billy Traub and Michael Clark round it out.

5:40 p.m. – Ed Neumann and the Seasoned Pros. Keyboardist/vocalist Neumann has performed with numerous local and national acts and is currently the band leader of the Jim Mesi Band.

The Seasoned Pros are familiar faces from the Portland music scene, including Paul Jones of the Delay Band.

6:50 p.m. – The Linda Myers Band – A hometown girl, Linda has been performing off and on since the age of 11. She performs her “West Coast” style of blues with her husband, former Ventures player Harvey Wicklund, whom she met while opening for the iconic ‘60’s surf band.

8 p.m. – The Norman Sylvester Band. Sylvester and his band use their power of music to perform for many benefits, charities, and individuals in need.  The Norman Sylvester Band has shared the stage with BB King, James Cotton, Tower of Power, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Otis Clay, Peter Frampton, Junior Wells, Isaac Scott, and many others.


New Assistant Principal Hired

Clatskanie School District board of directors approved the hiring of Amy McNeil as the new assistant principal at Clatskanie Middle/High School at a special meeting Tuesday night, July 24.

McNeil emerged as the recommended candidate for the job after a series of interviews last week with administrators, staff, students, community representatives and board members.

McNeil, who holds an initial administrative license, has served as a teacher at Scappoose High School for the past eight years and as activities director for the past three years. Prior to that she taught at Amity.  McNeil has taught a variety of health, physical education and leadership classes, and has served as Scappoose’s volleyball coach.

“I’m happy to be here and happy for the opportunity,” McNeil told the school board at Tuesday’s special meeting. She was accompanied to the meeting by her husband, Troy, who was recently hired as a math teacher at St. Helens. The couple has four children.

McNeil replaces Annikke Olson who resigned earlier this month.

As part of the motion approving the hiring of McNeil, the board also approved the salary package negotiated by superintendent Mary Mitchell. McNeil was hired at a base annual salary of $65,000 for a 215 day work year, with an added 23 days of extra duty at $6,953.59. However, because she is starting a month into the fiscal year, a month’s salary was taken off, setting her net salary for the year at $65,957.83, plus the standard school district benefit package.

The board unanimously approved the motion. “We’re excited to have you,” said board chair Megan Evenson. “We think your a good fit for our community.”



Master Gardeners Invite Public to Open House

A GARDEN OPEN HOUSE at Clatskanie’s community garden is planned this Saturday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, on SE 2nd Street, behind the Presbyterian Church located at 215 S. Nehalem Street in Clatskanie.

Hosted by the Oregon State University Extension Service Columbia County Master Gardeners, the open house will include information about how to grow vegetables in Clatskanie’s “unique micro-climate,” when, how and what kind of tomatoes to grow for a bumper crop, simple compost tips, having chickens and ducks as “garden helpers,” and irrigation systems to make gardening easier.

Pictured harvesting vegetables, which are donated to Turning Point Community Service Center, are, from left: Dan Howell, a master gardener from Kelso, young helpers Sydney and Brody Walsh; master gardeners Carey Bowen and Linda Allen, both of the Clatskanie area, and Allison O’Sullivan, Columbia County field educator for the extension service’s “Grow Healthy Kids and Communities” program.

In their second year of growing a community garden – for both food bank and demonstration purposes – on a plot of land donated for the purpose by the Clatskanie Presbyterian Church, the master gardeners say they’ve learned much about growing vegetables in Clatskanie’s unique “micro-climate” and the need to fence out the deer.

In addition to being grateful to the Presbyterians for the use of the property, the gardeners also expressed gratitude to local employees of Frontier, who obtained permission from the company and then provided water for the garden.

This year’s garden has been far more successful than last year’s producing peas lettuce, swiss chard, onions, tomatoes, squash, sunflowers, beets, beans, peppers, radishes and more.

The master gardeners are experimenting with various forms of container gardening, and are eager to share what they’ve learned with others – novices or experienced.

They are also hoping to attract the participation of other local master gardeners.

They invite all interested to Saturday’s open house. Those wishing to help with the garden or wanting further information may call Carey at 503 341-2193.

Chief Photo by Deborah Steele Hazen



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