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March, 2013

Easter Tulips Benefit Local Scholarships

SELLING TULIPS again this Easter weekend are members of Clatskanie’s Chapter T P.E.O. sisterhood. P.E.O. “sisters,” who are also mother and daughter, Deborah Hazen and Amanda Moravec, invite everyone to stop by the Evergreen Shopping Center in Clatskanie this Friday, March 29, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., and Saturday, March 30, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (or until sold out). Members of the philanthropic education organization will be selling tulips in a variety of colors for $5 a bunch. Tables will be set up in front of Some Like It Hot and between Safeway and Hi-School Pharmacy. Proceeds from the sale go to state and international P.E.O. scholarship programs. Currently, Chapter T is sponsoring nine local women for P.E.O. scholarships.

Chief Photo by Adam J. Wehrley

Holy Week Observances, Special Easter Services Scheduled This Week

Holy week observances culminating with special Easter services and events are planned at various churches in the Clatskanie and Rainier areas.

Details on community egg hunts are listed in a separate article on the front page.

Community Service

A “Community Sonrise Service” will be held in Rainier on Easter Sunday, March 31, from 7-8 a.m. at Riverside Community Church in the gym, formerly the elementary school in Rainier, located at 305 West C Street.

The community Easter service is sponsored by the Rainier Ministerial Association and all are welcome.

The sermon will be given by Rainier Assembly of God’s new associate pastor Morris Guiendon, worship will be led by Riverside Community Church’s worship team, and an artistic dance called “Passion for the Cross” will be performed by members of Rainier Community Church of God.

Some churches are holding services during Holy Week in addition to Sunday services, and some have adjusted their regular Sunday service schedule for Easter. Listed are religious observances and schedule changes for area churches.

There are no plans for a community-wide Easter service in Clatskanie this year.

Rainier Community Church of God

Rainier Community Church of God, 321 West C Street, is hosting a Maundy Thursday observance on March 28.

The evening will begin with a lasagna dinner at 6 p.m. open to the community. Any monetary donations received will benefit H.O.P.E. (Help Our People Eat), Rainier’s community food pantry.

A dramatized Seder meal in observance of the Passover will begin at 7 p.m., and include a time of worship and communion.

On Easter Sunday, breakfast will be served at 8 a.m., followed by Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and worship service at 10:45 a.m.

Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be held on Holy Thursday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m., at Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, East 2nd and D streets in Rainier.

An Easter Vigil is set at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 30.

Easter Mass is scheduled at 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 31.

Faith Lutheran Church

Faith Lutheran Church, 1010 NE 5th Street in Clatskanie, will hold a Maundy Thursday service at 7 p.m. March 28.

A Good Friday service is scheduled at 7 p.m.

Easter Sunday worship service begins at 10 a.m., with breakfast and lunch served before and after the service. An Easter egg hunt is planned for the children following the service.

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, S.W. High Street in Clatskanie, will hold a Good Friday, Passion of the Lord service on March 29 at 6:30 p.m.

Easter Mass is set at 11 a.m. on Easter Sunday.

Clatskanie Baptist Church

Clatskanie Baptist Church’s Easter observances begin with a Good Friday service at 7 p.m. at the church located at 415 S. Nehalem.

“A Trial Gone Wrong” will be the topic of the sermon. “Come experience a specially designed service in music to feel what it might have been like to be at the trial of Jesus,” said a church spokesperson.

Brunch is set from 8-10 a.m. on Easter Sunday. All are welcome.

Two worship services will be held on Easter – one at 8:30 a.m. and the other at 10:15 a.m. The service will feature drama and music. The sermon topic is “The Resurrection Is Fool Proof.”

Birkenfeld Community Church

Birkenfeld Community Church, 11249 Highway 202, is holding a Good Friday service at 3 p.m., at the historic “ninth hour.”

A sunrise service is set Easter morning at Fishhawk Cemetery at 7 a.m. A breakfast will follow at the church at 8 a.m. The worship service time for Easter Sunday has been changed to 9 a.m.

Apostolic Lutheran Church

Apostolic Lutheran Church, 18614 Beaver Falls Road, is hosting a Good Friday service at 7:30 p.m. Guest pastor Burton Farley of Ridgefield, Wash. will deliver the message.

There will be no Sunday school on Easter Sunday. Worship service is scheduled at 11 a.m. with Pastor Farley speaking. An Easter brunch will be held after the service, followed by another worship service beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Westport Community Church

Westport Community Church, 49246 Highway 30, is having a sunrise service at Bradley Park at 7 a.m.

An Easter breakfast is set at the church at 8 a.m., followed by regular services – Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m.

Heritage Bible Church

Heritage Bible Church, 75212 Larson Road in Rainier, will host a “resurrection breakfast” at 8 a.m., with regular Sunday service to follow at 10 a.m.

Mayger-Downing Community Church

Mayger-Downing Community Church, 80071 Life Lane, has changed its worship service time to 8:30 a.m. for Easter Sunday. A potluck brunch will follow, everyone is welcome.

Columbia Bible Church

Columbia Bible Church, 407 East 2nd Street in Rainier, has scheduled an Easter breakfast at 9 a.m. Worship service is set at 10:30 a.m.

Alston’s Corner Assembly of God

Alston’s Corner Assembly of God, 25272 Alston Road, will not have Sunday school or evening service on Easter. Worship service will be held at the usual time of 10:30 a.m., music will be provided by youth and children.

Few Races on May 21st Ballot

There will be few races but most special districts in north Columbia County have at least one candidate for board of directors positions that will be on the May 21st ballot.

Additionally, there will be a race for position 4 on the Port of St. Helens board of commission between incumbent Terry Luttrell and challenger Michael Clarke of Scappoose. Position 5 incumbent commissioner Chris Luttrell is unopposed for re-election.

Filings closed Thursday, March 21, for various special district seats. Following are the candidates for north Columbia County positions.

Clatskanie School District 6J: Michael Moravec, position 2; Valerie J. King, position 4; Erick Holsey, position 5.

Rainier School District 13: Bill Scholten, Zone 1; Dale Archibald, Zone 2; Chad Womack, Zone 5; Monica Rea, Zone 7.

Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District: John Moore and Greg Brody, position 1; William D. Mellinger, position 2; David Scott, position 3.

Columbia River Fire & Rescue: Kim Walker, position 2; Diane Dillard, position 4; Peter Koss, position 5.

Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District: Joan Marie Jones, position 2; William C. Dejager, position 3; Patrcia Wright, position 4; no candidate filed for position 5.

Clatskanie Library: Linda Constans, position 1; no candidate filed for position 2.

Clatskanie Park and Recreation District: Ryan Tompkins, position 1; Gary Kuehl, position 4; Bruce Holsey, position 5.

Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District: Connie Budge, Zone 2; Henry Heimuller, Zone 3; Tyler Miller and Robert Anderson, Zone 5.

Rainier Cemetery: Tomey Greer, position 2; M. Dearl Taylor, position 3

Clatsop County

Filings for countywide and eastern Clatsop County special district seats included:

Port of Astoria: Lawrence A. Pfund and James T. Campbell, position 1; Stephen C. Fulton, Gilbert Gramson and David Maki, position 2; Ric Gerttula, Brad Smithart, Mark Mead, position 5.

Sunset Empire Transportation: Neal Smith, position 1; Ken Mancebo and Kevin Widner, position 2; Kathy Kleczek, position 3; Paul Lewicki, position 4.

Clatsop Community College: Patrick Wingard, zone 2, position 2; Frank Satterwhite, zone 2, position 3; Rosemary Baker-Monaghan, zone 3, position 5.

Clatsop Care Center Health District: Karen Burke, position 1; Roy Little and Robert Peterson, position 2; Susan Peterson, Robert Duehmig, position 3; Paul Radu, position 5.

Jewell School District #8: Matt Armstrong and Michael Stahly, position 2; Bryan Swearingen, position 4.

Knappa School District #4: Cullen R. Bangs, position 3; Craig Weaver, position 4; Cindy Sapp, position 5.

Elsie-Vinemaple Rural Fire Protection District (RFPD): Sandra Lerma, position 1; Lisa Clapp, position 2; Fred Wildgrube, position 3; position 4 no filing; John Ilg, position 5.

Knappa-Svensen-Burnside RFPD: Gary Jacobson, position 1; Emily Smith, position 3; Grant Forman, position 4; Donald Bartlett, position 5.

Additionally, the Knappa-Svensen-Burnside RFPD is seeking a general obligation bond authorization not to exceed $395,000 to purchase fire apparatus and improve facilities.

Westport-Wauna RFPD: No filings for position 1, 3, 4 or 5.

Wauna Water District: no filing for position 2; Don Andrew Nicholas and Mark W. Clark, position 4.

Clatsop County Rural Law Enforcement: Bud Henderson, zone 1; John Raichl, zone 2.

Columbia 9-1-1 Operating Fund Renewal

Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District board of directors  have placed a request to renew the 9-1-1 operating fund on the May 21st ballot.

The proposed operating levy rate will be the same rate as it is currently – 29 cents, which is two cents less than the 9-1-1 operating levy approved by voters in 1998.

The proposed renewal would continue the 29 cent rate for the next five years, totaling 15 years with no rate change: the same rate as approved in 2008, 2003 and at a slightly reduced rate from that approved in 1998.

Kathy Denckla, a Vernonia area resident and president of the board for Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District, pointed out, “This is simply a renewal of the operating funding. We are not requesting new taxes. The renewal of the funding will maintain this essential and reliable service to everyone in Columbia County.”

She added, “The district has been efficient while improving services, and continues to seek alternative funding for needed technical system improvements. As a result, the rate will continue to stay the same, which is slightly less than the amount voters approved in 1998.”

The 9-1-1 district has accomplished its promise to improve essential equipment while at the same time increasing reliability and service, according to the board. The number of calls to the district have continued at about 220 per day.

Construction of the county-wide communications system is complete and is now being used to enhance the efficiency of first responders.  “District 9-1-1 dispatchers handled more than 80,000 phone calls last year,” reported district executive director, Jeanine Dilley. “We successfully connect 16 different emergency service agencies with people who need their help.  9-1-1 is a vital link for the safety and livability of our communities.”

The Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District operating fund supports all ongoing functions of the 9-1-1 call center, including 24-hour staffing, training and coordination with local and state emergency operations. The five-year renewal will maintain the level of service citizens throughout Columbia County now receive.

For more information on the operating fund renewal or the Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District, interested persons may contact Dilley at 503 397-7255, ext. 2223, jdilley@columbia911.com, go to www.columbia911.com, or contact members of the Columbia 9-1-1 Communications District board of directors.

CRFPD Levy on Ballot

Also on the May ballot is a five-year local option levy for the Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District (CRFPD).

Measure 5-233 asks voters to approve a levy of $1.2533 per $1,000 of assessed property value in addition to the CRFPD’s base rate of $1.71 per $1,000.

A yes vote on the levy would provide funding for additional firefighter/paramedic positions, improved ambulance services, purchase of needed replacement equipment and fire hoses, as well as funding for maintenance of the district’s buildings and property.

The ballot title filed with the Columbia County Clerk’s office states that “the permanent tax rate alone is inadequate to properly ensure fire and ambulance services. Our community continues to have increasing demand for emergency fire and medical response. Combining the permanent tax rate with a five-year levy will allow the district to provide staffing and equipment to ensure we can respond to the increasing number of calls for service.”

If approved, the levy would begin in the 2013-14 fiscal year. The levy rate of $1.2533 on a home with an assessed value of $100,000 would be $125.33 per year for five years in addition to the property taxes already paid to the CRFPD.

The proposed CRFPD local option levy would raise approximately $536,629 in 2013-14, $551,834 in 2014-15, $567,469 in 2015-16, $583,548 in 2016-17, and $600,082 in 2017-18.

Community Easter Egg Hunts Set This Saturday

Easter egg hunts are scheduled this Saturday, March 30, in Clatskanie, Rainier and St. Helens.

The annual Clatskanie area Kiwanis-sponsored Easter egg hunt is set for 10 a.m. sharp at the Clatskanie Middle/High School athletic fields. The free event begins promptly and is over within minutes.

Toddlers and children to age four, and five to seven-year-olds will be assigned to the football field. Children eight to 10 will hunt in the baseball outfield area.

Eggs for the hunt will be commercial preparations enclosed in a plastic “shell,” said an event organizer. Special prizes will be available after the hunt on the track in front of the grandstand.

Parents are urged to be sure each child is accompanied by at least one adult family member.

Rainier Eagles Egg Hunt

An Easter egg hunt sponsored by the Rainier Eagles will be held in Rainier Riverfront Park on Saturday, March 30, beginning at 10 a.m.

All children in the community up to 10 years of age are invited to participate. The Easter bunny will be making an appearance at the egg hunt to distribute goodies.

mEGGa Egg Hunt

The 13th annual “mEGGa Egg Hunt” will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in St. Helens on Saturday, March 30.

Gates open at 9:30 a.m. and the hunt begins at 11 a.m., signaled by a fire engine siren. Free shuttle bus rides will be available from St. Helens High School, leaving every 15 minutes.

Babies and children up to age 12 will be divided into groups according to age. A hunt designed specifically for physically and cognitively-challenged children is planned.

Columbia County Fairgrounds is located at 58892 Saulser Road in St. Helens.

Spring Kicks Off Season with a Chilly Start

ELEVATION CAN MAKE QUITE A DIFFERENCE in weather conditions, as evidenced at the summit between Clatskanie and Mist last week on Thursday, March 21. The sign is one of a number of elevation markers installed recently in the area by Oregon Department of Transportation.

SCENES OF SPRING clashed with snow last week in the higher elevations as a winter-like burst of weather invaded the first days of the new season. Chief Photos by Cindy Bloomer

Oregon, Washington Governors Ask President’s Environmental Council to Intervene on Coal Terminals

by Deborah Steele Hazen

The governors of Oregon and Washington have asked U.S. President Barack Obama’s Council on Environmental Quality to “undertake and complete a thorough examination of the greenhouse gas and other air quality effects of continued coal leasing and export before the U.S. and its partners make irretrievable long-term investments in expanding this trade.”

The letter dated Monday, March 25, specifically names Ambre Energy’s Morrow Pacific Terminal proposal, which would see up to eight million tons of coal per year transported by barge from Boardman in Eastern Oregon to the Port of St. Helens-owned Port Westward site near Clatskanie.

It also names the Millenium Bulk Terminals proposal in Longview and the Gateway Pacific Terminal in Bellingham.

In the letter addressed to Nancy Sutley, chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Executive Office of the President, Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon and Governor Jay Inslee of Washington urge the CEQ “in the strongest possible terms” to halt the coal export terminals proposed for the Pacific Northwest until “a thorough examination” is completed.

Port of St. Helens commission chair Robert Keyser, of Clatskanie, said he thought the letter could be a “death sentence” to Ambre Energy’s Morrow Pacific Project and the Kinder-Morgan proposal – which has not yet entered the permitting process – to export coal from Port Westward.

He noted that the Port had been trying to get a clear answer from the governor’s office about what industrial development it would support at Port Westward for the past year. “That is where we were trying to get to when we invited the governor here a year ago.”

Morrow Pacific Project Responds to Letter

On Tuesday morning, the Morrow Pacific project released the following statement in response to Monday’s letter to the CEQ from the governors:

“We are following the direction of the Corps (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) in regards to the permitting scope and process. The Governors’ proposal is outside the scope of federal regulation and we do not agree with the request in the letter.

“The Morrow Pacific project referenced the draft CEQ guidelines in the Environmental Review, which was submitted to the Corps in August of 2012. The guidelines are one reason that we decided to quantify the localized impact of greenhouse gases.”

The response noted a March 18th article in SNL Energy, which reported that the Corps “will not conduct an intensive, all-encompassing programmatic environmental impact statement for the proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest.”

Last year Governor Kitzhaber, joined by U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, asked the Corps to conduct a “programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS)” on the proposed coal export terminals.

According to the SNL Energy article the decision by the Corps not to conduct the  “programmatic” EIS followed months of meetings coordinated by the CEQ.

The SNL Energy article further stated: “President Barack Obama’s stance on climate change postulated during his inauguration and State of the Union addresses prompted speculation that the White House would play a more authoritative role in evaluating coal export proposals.

“But Meg Gaffney-Smith, the acting deputy chief for the Corps’ operations and regulatory division, said the White House Council on Environmental Quality, or CEQ, is no longer coordinating meetings between agencies such as the Corps, BLM (Bureau of Land Management), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the Surface Transportation Board.

“Indeed, documents that SNL Energy obtained show emails from CEQ associate director for NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) Oversight Horst Greczmiel coordinating meetings from June to September 2012, but none since then.

“‘CEQ regularly plays a facilitating role among agencies engaging in NEPA reviews to encourage interagency coordination, and brought together agencies to coordinate with each other on timely responses to letters on the same general topic,’ White House CEQ spokeswoman Taryn Tuss said. ‘CEQ does not direct agencies how to conduct their NEPA reviews. It is the agencies’ responsibility to implement NEPA and apply their analysis on a case by case basis, according to their individual NEPA regulations.’”

The Morrow Pacific project has been designed to  receive low-sulfur coal by rail from the intermountain region to an enclosed warehouse at the Port of Morrow in Boardman. From there, enclosed barges would move the coal to Port Westward. An enclosed transloader would then transfer the coal from barges to ocean-going vessels bound for Asian “trade allies,” such as Japan, South Korea or Taiwan.

“The Morrow Pacific project raises the bar for environmental standards in coal export operations. From the Port of Morrow facility until it arrives in Asia, there will be no visible coal and little, if any, coal dust,” according to company spokespersons.

Text of Governors’ Letter

Copies of Monday’s letter from Governors Kitzhaber and Inslee to the CEQ chair were sent to cc: Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior; Bob Perciasepe, acting administrator of the EPA; John McHugh, Secretary of the Army; Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works; U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the Oregon Congressional delegation, and the Washington Congressional delegation

The letter read as follows:

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing several permit applications for coal export shipping terminals in Oregon and Washington under Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act, and Section 10 of the federal Rivers and Harbors Act. The permit applications include the Gateway Pacific terminal north of Bellingham, Washington (Peabody Energy – up to 48 million tons per year); the Millennium Bulk Terminals proposal in Longview, Washington (Ambre Energy – up to 44 million tons per year); and the Morrow Pacific Terminal at the Port of Morrow in Boardman, Oregon with a downstream barging component to Port Westward, also in Oregon  (Ambre Energy – up to 8 million tons per year).  Collectively, these proposals could result in the export of up to 100 million tons of coal per year.  The expected end use of this coal is for energy production in Asia. No final decisions have been made on the related applications for state permits for these facilities. Our agencies are committed to a rigorous, fair and objective process to review these applications, within the scope of our respective authorities.

“As you know, while coal consumption is declining in the United States, consumption in Asia is driving a substantial increase in global coal use. Although China and India are working to increase their use of other fuels and renewables, coal consumption in Asia has more than doubled in the last ten years. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global coal demand will grow by 16.9 percent over the next five years, or 2.6 percent per year.  To date, coal exports from the United States have not been a major source of supply for foreign markets, but that is beginning to change. U.S. coal exports already have grown from 50 million tons in 2006 to just under 100 million tons in 2012 according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA). The U.S. holds the world’s largest recoverable coal reserves, according to the EIA, much of which are found on federal lands in the western U.S. The recent interest in coal export shipping terminals along the west coast, along with decreasing domestic demand, is a clear indication that the U.S. could become a significant supplier of coal to Asia.

“Coal will inevitably play an important part in the global energy supply in the short term. However, before the United States and our trading partners make substantial new investments in coal generation and the infrastructure to transport coal, extending the world’s reliance on this fuel for decades, we need a full public airing of the consequences of such a path.  Coal is the major source of global greenhouse gas emissions, and its share is increasing rapidly.  Increasing levels of greenhouse gases and other pollutants resulting from the burning of coal, including pollutants other than CO2, are imposing direct costs on people, businesses and communities in the U.S. and around the world.  These costs include the public health costs of increased atmospheric deposition of mercury in drinking water sources, as well as costs resulting from ocean acidification, rising sea levels, wildfires, and shrinking snow packs that are key sources of

water for the western U.S.

“As the major owner of coal reserves in the western U.S., the federal government must consider whether it has appropriately priced the coal leases that it continues to grant, including the practice of granting non-competitive leases. Senators Ron Wyden and Lisa Murkowski recently asked the U.S. Department of the Interior for information concerning alleged industry practices using in-house trading affiliates to avoid paying royalties that reflect actual export sales. These issues raise significant concerns that we are subsidizing the export of coal at the same time we are winding down domestic consumption due to serious environmental and health concerns.

“We believe the federal government must examine the true costs of long-term commitments to supply coal from federal lands for energy production, whether that production occurs domestically or in Asia. We cannot seriously take the position in international and national policymaking that we are a leader in controlling greenhouse gas emissions without also examining how we will use and price the world’s largest proven coal reserves.

“The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has issued draft guidance for agencies concerning when and how they need to consider the climate change effects of their actions. Given that the cumulative total of coal exports from Oregon and Washington could result in CO2 emissions on the order of 240 million tons per year, well above the significance level described in the draft guidance – it is hard to conceive that the federal government would ignore the inevitable consequences of coal leasing and coal export.  We believe the decisions to continue and expand coal leasing from federal lands and authorize the export of that coal are likely to lead to long-term investments in coal generation in Asia, with air quality and climate impacts in the United States that dwarf those of almost any other action the federal government could take in the foreseeable future.

“For these reasons, we urge the CEQ in the strongest possible terms to undertake and complete a thorough examination of the greenhouse gas and other air quality effects of continued coal leasing and export before the U.S. and its partners make irretrievable long-term investments in expanding this trade.  We understand that the draft CEQ guidance under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that is referenced above is likely to be finalized in the near future, and applaud that step and urge that the new policy be applied to coal export terminal proposals now pending as well as to all future decisions concerning coal leases. We also ask that you evaluate and determine the proper policies for pricing coal leases from federal lands, both as a matter of securing a fair return for this resource, and to account for the direct costs of the resulting emissions to U.S. businesses and communities.  These steps are needed for the U.S. to make sound decisions as the international demand for the coal resources in the U.S. continues to grow, and to ensure that we do not simply pass these tough issues on to future generations.”

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