FLAG DAY was observed in Clatskanie on Friday, June 14, as members of Boy Scout Troop 241, Clatskanie Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2994 and American Legion Post 68 conducted a flag retirement ceremony in the Clatskanie City Park. Torn, faded and otherwise damaged flags were ceremoniously burned as prescribed in the United States Flag Code. Chief Photos by Deborah Steele Hazen
by Adam J. Wehrley
Rejecting a proposal for zoning changes prerequisite to bringing industrial development to 786 acres of Port of St. Helens-owned land adjacent to the Port Westward Industrial Park near Clatskanie, the Columbia County planning commission voted 4-1 in favor of a motion to deny the rezoning request at its Monday, June 17th, meeting.
Terry Luttrell, who serves on both the Port commission and the planning commission recused himself from the deliberations and voting on the rezoning.
Planning commissioner Alta Lynch cast the sole vote against the denial.
Guy Letourneau, Paula Lichatowich, Linda Hooper and Jeffrey VanNatta voted to deny the application.
“I was really shocked the way it went,” said Luttrell, “I thought it would be a closer split or in favor. I don’t know what happened.”
In total, the rezoning would affect 957 acres, 786 owned by the Port and 171 in private hands. Currently the land is zoned PA-80 agricultural use and the proposed rezone would change the zoning to rural industrial planned development.
The Port purchased its portion of the land in 2010, with plans to apply for rezoning. Although rezoning is required for any industrial development, opposition had focused on a rail-based coal transloading facility proposed by Kinder Morgan, which withdrew its proposal in May.
With coal off the table for the land in question, the Port is still seeking rezoning in order to attract other industries.
Opponents of the rezoning have voiced environmental concerns, dangers from increased rail traffic and threats to surrounding farms along with objections to zoning agricultural land for industrial purposes.
Backers of the Port’s rezoning request cite the need for family wage jobs and increased property tax evaluation which industrial development would bring to the area plagued by high unemployment, government funding shortfalls, worker exodus and under-employment. Atop the unemployment is the figure cited by several rezoning proponents that 72 percent of Columbia County workers commute to jobs outside the county.
The planning commission’s decision came after dozens of testimonies were given at two public hearings in May and hundreds of letters and other documents were submitted, for and against the rezoning.
The Columbia County commissioners may over-rule the recommendation for denial and approve the rezoning. County planning manager Glen Higgins said that the planning commission staff will compile an updated report incorporating the evidence submitted during the hearing process for the county commissioners to review.
Public notice for the commissioners’ decision requires 30 days and Higgins stated he did not anticipate final action until after July.
With just one week to go until the annual Clatskanie Heritage Days events blast off, a few schedule changes and more details about events were announced this week.
First on the schedule is the annual Heritage Days talent show and coronation ceremony set for 7 p.m. on Friday, June 28, at the Donavon Wooley Performing Arts Center at Clatskanie Middle/High School.
Performers of all kinds are being sought and persons interested in being in the talent show should contact Heritage Days chair Dave Borgstrom at 503 728-4248 or e-mail email@example.com.
Riley Rivera, a 15-year-old Clatskanie High School student, is the single Heritage Days princess this year, but she is being assisted by 2012 Heritage Days Queen Whitney Sherman.
The two have been appearing together at various speaking events including at the Clatskanie American Legion Hall, 930 NE 5th Street, during Bingo at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, and at the Clatskanie Kiwanis meeting on Tuesday, June 25, at 12 noon at Colvin’s banquet room.
A special feature of the talent show/coronation, will be the presentation of the C. Keith Birkenfeld Humanitarian Award to Clatskanie Mayor Diane Pohl.
CAC Breakfast, Cruisers Car Show, Pie in the Park
A full-day of events is set for Saturday, June 29, beginning with the Clatskanie Arts Commission (CAC) breakfast from 6:30 to 10 a.m. in the American Legion Hall, 930 NE 5th Street.
The breakfast menu will include pancakes, eggs, sausage links, biscuits and gravy, coffee and juice. Cost is $6 per person or $4 for children under 10. All proceeds benefit CAC.
Approximately 300 collector cars from all eras are expected to park on the grass of the Clatskanie City Park for the 23rd annual Clatskanie Cruisers Heritage Days Car Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 29.
Dozens of awards sponsored by local businesses will be given in a variety of categories.
The public is invited to walk through the rows of cars and participate in related events including a poker walk, kids’ games, product raffles, a 50/50 raffle, D.J. music, food and craft vendors and performances by Ronda’s 50/50 Line Dancers.
Another featured event on Saturday, June 29, is the annual “Pie in the Park” baking contest and pie sale sponsored by Clatskanie Chapter T P.E.O.
All pie bakers are invited to enter their pies in the baking contest. For adult bakers (age 18 and older) pies will be judged in the categories of fruit, holiday specialty and sugar-free. Youth (17 and younger) are invited to enter pies in the fruit or holiday specialty categories.
All pies entered in the contest must have homemade crusts. Each baker may enter a maximum of two pies. Pies entered in the contest will be sold in the pie booth.
Going to the Dogs
The annual “Strut Your Mutt” just-for-fun dog show is set at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, in the city park, followed by the CERT “Dog Day Afternoon” events.
All local canines and their best friends are invited to participate in events such as longest tail, shortest tail, longest ears, shortest ears, owner/dog look-a-like, traveled the farthest, best smile, best trick, curliest hair, best costume and best kisser, judged by Doug Kallberg from The Dog Zone in Longview.
After the mutt strut at approximately 3 p.m., the Clatskanie Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will host “Dog Day Afternoon” as a CERT fundraiser.
Events will include an obstacle course, a “show and go” ring for obedience and conformation. Prizes will be awarded.
Entry fees are $4 per event or $10 for all three events.
Beginning at 12 noon on Sunday, June 30, all former students, teachers and friends of Clatskanie schools are invited to the no-host all-school reunion in the vicinity of the covered picnic area.
The Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce encourages local merchants to have sidewalk sales Monday through Wednesday, July 1-3.
Movie Nights, Skateboard/Bike Show,Teen Dance
A family night movie will be shown Monday, July 1, outdoors in the park, weather permitting, when darkness falls, and a teen night movie will be shown Wednesday, July 3, also in the park, weather permitting.
There is no charge for the movies, which are being sponsored by the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce and Clatskanie Kiwanis.
A skateboard/bike showcase, sponsored by the Clatskanie Heritage Days court, is set for Wednesday, July 3, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Clatskanie Skate Park. Those interested in participating are asked to contact court chaperone Lori Sherman at 360 431-7910.
The Clatskanie High School cheer team is sponsoring a teen dance in the city park tennis court from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2. Admission is $3 per person or $5 per couple.
4th of July Parade
The annual 4th of July parade, which will march down Nehalem Street at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 4, will have the theme of “Having a Blast in Clatskanie.”
Ernest “Ernie” Carman, who has been active for many years as a volunteer with the Clatskanie Senior Citizens, the Clatskanie Friends of the Library, the Raymond Carver Writing Festival, the Clatskanie Arts Commission, Kiwanis and other community service projects, has been selected as grand marshal of the annual 4th of July parade.
A parade application is printed on page 10 and is also available at the Clatskanie Fire Station and at The Clatskanie Chief office.
Prior to the parade, members of visiting courts are encouraged to gather with the Clatskanie Heritage Days court at 9 a.m. in the historical museum at the I.O.O.F./Clatskanie Cultural Center building at 85 S. Nehalem Street.
Parade formation is at 10 a.m. in the Clatskanie Elementary School parking lot for marching units, and in the back parking lot of Clatskanie Middle/High School (enter from S. Nehalem Street) for motorized units.
Veterans Invited to Participate in Parade
All Clatskanie area veterans are invited to ride on a flatbed truck during the 4th of July parade.
Veterans can get on board at the CMHS loading dock beginning at 9 a.m.
Breakfast on the Parade Route
The Clatskanie High School football team and friends will be selling breakfast burritos along the parade route from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the 4th of July.
The breakfast burritos will sell for $3 each or two for $5.
Chili Cooks Wanted
After the parade, the traditional events, as well as a new one – a chili cook-off – will center in the city park with vendors, the logging show, bouncy toys, bingo, and live music.
Chili cooks are encouraged to get out their best recipes for a chili cook-off to take place in the covered barbecue area of the park, with sampling available to the public.
The cook-off, a benefit for the 4th of July fireworks, will see four awards and prizes given out for first, second and third place, as well as “people’s choice.”
A registration form is available on page 10. For complete rules and more information call Laurie at 760 881-8936 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Logging Show Featured Event
As it has been for many years, the Clatskanie Heritage Days Logging Show will be a featured event on July 4th on the baseball diamond in the city park.
Events include axe throw, springboard, underhand, double buck, Jack & Jill, hot saw, modified saw, log roll, choker set and obstacle pole.
Axe throw and choker set events for kids 12 years and under will start at 12:45 p.m., followed by the adult show at 1:30 p.m.
Contestants in the adult show must sign in and sign a release form by 11 a.m. A registration form, which may be mailed to Judy Skirvin, 91412 Connelle Drive in Clatskanie, is available on page 10.
Prize money of $70 for first place, $60 for second place, $40 for third place, and $30 for fourth place will be given in the adult competition.
Rubber Ducky Race
The annual Rubber Ducky Race, sponsored by Wyldlife/Young Life, will be held on the out-going tide at 5 p.m. on the 4th at the city park bridge.
The rubber ducky race was previously announced to be held on July 5.
Contributions Needed, Raffles for Diamond Necklace, Traeger
All persons who enjoy Clatskanie Heritage Days are encouraged to make a contribution in the various cans around town or by sending a check.
Tax deductible contributions may be made to the Clatskanie Foundation designated for either fireworks or the logging show. Those who don’t need the tax deduction may make the contribution directly to Clatskanie Heritage Days. Either way, the checks should be sent to Clatskanie Heritage Days, P.O. Box 635, Clatskanie, OR 97016. (Donation forms are available on page 10).
Two raffles are underway to raise funds for the celebration.
A total of only 500 tickets will be sold at $5 each or five for $20 for a diamond heart-shaped necklace with a total one-half carat weight in diamonds. The pendant, purchased by the Heritage Days Committee in partnership with Bob Chrisman of the Gallery of Diamonds in Longview, is suspended on a 14-carat white gold chain. The necklace has an appraised value of $1700.
Tickets are available at Sterling Bank in Clatskanie where the necklace is on display, and may also be purchased at the Heritage Days information booth in the city park on June 29 and 30.
A Traeger grill, donated by Hazen Hardware, will be the grand prize in a separate raffle to benefit Heritage Days with tickets available at the Heritage Days booth throughout the celebration.
Drawings for both raffles will be on the night of July 4 just before the fireworks show.
Those who contribute $200 or more to Heritage Days are recognized as “Benefactors,” so far this year, they include: Clatskanie Cruisers Car Club, Georgia-Pacific Wauna Mill, Portland General Electric, Hazen Hardware, The Clatskanie Chief and Fultano’s Pizza.
Patrons contributing $100 or more are: Clatskanie Market & Video, Ron and Alice Puzey, Rick and Laura Erickson.
CMHS Alumni Games July 6
The fourth annual Clatskanie High School (CHS) alumni baseball game is scheduled for Saturday, July 6, at the CHS Ron Puzey Field.
All former CHS baseball players are invited to play in the game during Clatskanie’s Heritage Days celebration. Sponsored by the Clatskanie Park and Recreation District, two games and a home-run derby will be held starting at 11 a.m. Players from 1996 and earlier will play at 1:30 p.m. and 1997 and later players will play afterwards.
Even year graduates will play odd year graduates. Contact CHS Coach Ryan Tompkins at email@example.com. A player participation fee of $20 is required with registration by June 15 to reserve a spot. Registration includes a commemorative 2013 Alumni Baseball game T-shirt.
There will be no admissions charge for spectators. A barbecue/concessions will be sold as a fundraiser for the Clatskanie Summer Baseball program.
An alumni softball game is also planned, but no further information was available this week.
More Heritage Days Information
Those interested in having a booth in the park, in performing during the talent show, or in becoming a Heritage Days volunteer are encouraged to call Borgstrom at 503 728-4248 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Deborah Steele Hazen
Jeff Gilbert, a former Rainier High School principal, who was fired from his job as Reynolds High School principal a year ago, has agreed to repay the Reynolds School District in Gresham over $17,000.
The Reynolds school board voted unanimously at its June 12th meeting to approve a civil compromise agreement between the district and Gilbert stating that he will pay $2,000 per month beginning in July, with a final payment of $1,216.03 in March of 2014.
The agreement came after the district hired a private investigator to look into Gilbert’s potential misuse of public funds over an 18 month period prior to his firing on June 2, 2012 for alleged misuse of public funds, his failure to maintain his administrator’s license and insubordination. Gilbert unsuccessfully appealed his dismissal to the Reynolds school board and the state’s Fair Dismissal Appeals Board.
A spokesperson for the district said that the investigation revealed that Gilbert had misrepresented personal purchases and sought and obtained reimbursement for expenses he did not occur in the amount of $17,216.03.
According to The Oregonian, Gilbert, 44, agreed to the settlement nine days after a Multnomah County deputy district attorney told Gilbert’s lawyer that prosecutors were “prepared to seek an indictment against Gilbert for theft based upon the evidence developed” by the investigator. The district attorney’s office indicated it would refrain from pursuing criminal charges against Gilbert if he reached an agreement with the district for repayment.
Gilbert e-mailed the following statement to the press last week: “After living through an 18-month investigation costing my family over $100,000 in legal fees, we have made the painful decision to end my conflict with the Reynolds School District. The district has vast resources and there seemed no end in sight to their pursuit of this issue so I felt that a civil compromise was the only course of action to make this end. The time has come for it to be over for all parties. It was an honor for me to serve the students and community of Reynolds.”
The investigator’s report states that Gilbert fraudulently claimed 21 separate reimbursements that were either false, misleading or consisted of fraudulent invoices. It details the personal purchases as vehicle rentals, a memorial video for a family funeral, video arcade games, flat screen HDTVs, an entry table, a home theater system, wireless music speakers, jewelry, home office supplies, a printer and household items.
According to the investigation, Gilbert used money out of a fund created with fees collected from students. The money he repays will be returned to an associated student body fund.
Gilbert was in the center of a controversy in the Rainier School District in the spring of 2007, ending in his resignation after he refused to accept a “plan of assistance.”
He got the job as Reynolds principal in 2008.
BUSY GETTING READY FOR HERITAGE DAYS are 2013 Heritage Queen Whitney Sherman and 2012 Princess Riley Rivera. The two have been speaking to local organizations, selling raffle tickets and buttons, handing out schedules and helping with various Heritage Days preparations. Chief Photo by Deborah Steele Hazen
There is still time for local girls, aged 5 to 10, to sign-up for “Princess-in-Training” this Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Clatskanie Senior Citizens’ Castle, 620 SW Tichenor Street.
The event will consist of princess-like fun – crafts, games, singing and dancing, curtseying and lunch, under the sponsorship of The Clatskanie Chief.
There is no cost for “Princess-in-Training,” but the event is limited to 25 girls and they must pre-register by calling The Chief office at 503 728-3350 or e-mailing email@example.com by 5 p.m. this Friday, June 21.
The girls will also be invited to participate in the Heritage Days talent show and coronation on Friday, June 28, and ride on a castle float in the 4th of July parade with the 2012 and 2013 Heritage Days queens.
Parent volunteers are welcome to assist with the princess-in-training day, and are needed to accompany the float on the 4th of July. Those willing to volunteer are asked to make that known when they register.