24 July 2013 by Published in: News No comments yet

4-Hers Flock to Columbia County Fair

DOZENS OF CLATSKANIE AND RAINIER youth participated in the 2013 Columbia County fair last week. Clatskanie area livestock 4-Hers pictured are: top row from left:Travis Potter, Cassi White, Ian Davidson, Katie Lefor, Logan Davidson, Mason Kent, Cheyenne Potter, Kees Tjaarda; second row from left: Timber Zea, Mackenzie Zea, Hunter Makinson, Kerissa Engen, Walker Makinson, Lacey Makinson, JD Lefor, Jayden Makinson, Kyler Tjaarda, Ryder Zea; front row from left,  Ella Potter, Paisley Potter, Ky Potter, Tyler Potter, Tobin Potter, Kassidy Engen, Reilly White, Kira Tjaarda and Kade Tjaarda. Chief Photo by Adam J. Wehrley

School Board Welcomes New Superintendent 

by Adam J. Wehrley

The Clatskanie School District (CSD) board of directors met briefly Monday, July 22, to welcome new district superintendent Dr. Lloyd Hartley, induct new board member Valerie King and set district goals for the year.

The opening meeting of the 2013-14 school year started with the administration of the oath of office to King as a board member. She was elected in the May.

Michael Moravec was selected as board chairman and Megan Evenson as vice-chair.

Dr. Hartley reported on goals which resulted from a seven-hour school board work session and a survey of the CSD staff. “For as short a time as we had we got as much input as possible.” said Hartley.

Two “non-negotiable” goals were set along with four others. The first regarded providing research-based and viable curriculum for students to master a common set of essential skills and concepts.

The second was to establish a formative and summative student assessment system to regularly inform teachers of student progress and allow them set a road map for students to reach learning targets.

Goal three is, “The district will create a system/pathway of problem solving/communicating to increase the culture of respect and trust for all.”

A leadership development goal was, “The district will embed and acknowledge leadership skill development within school structures and pursue ways to increase leadership skill development for all.”

The fifth goal is, “The district will maintain sustainable financial operations for the long term stability of the district.”

Goal six is, “The district will provide, within budget constraints, staff/board professional development in alignment with board goals.”

The 2013-14 goals passed unanimously.

The board signed an operating agreement with Dr. Hartley.

Hartley reported on several meetings he has had while settling into the district. He met with CSD finance director Janice Essenberg to go through the district’s budget line-by-line.

He also met with members of Parents Supporting Education Association (PSEA) to discuss student activities and programs conducted by PSEA at Clatskanie Elementary School (CES).

Harley met with Rainier superintendent Michael Carter to discuss inter-district cooperation and course sharing.

CSD is moving the district offices to CES, where Dr. Hartley is school principal as well as superintendent. Future CSD board meetings will be held in the CES library.

Statement on “Sextortion” Case

In regard to the civil lawsuit in the much-publicized Harrison “sextortion” case, CSD released the following statement:

“The Clatskanie School District reaffirmed its commitment to student safety and a safe learning enviroment today, assuring parents and the community that the district rigorously follows its safety procedures.

‘Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our students,’ said Clatskanie School Superintendent Lloyd Hartley. ‘We are committed to upholding our student safety and discipline policies, and will continue to do so in the future,’ Hartley reiterated.

“The District is not permitted to comment any further on this matter as further elaboration would concern confidential student information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPSA), which is a federal law guaranteeing the privacy of student information.”

Bluegrass Festival, Quilt Show, Book Sale Set First Weekend in August

The Clatskanie community’s second biggest festival weekend of the year is coming up on the first weekend in August with the 18th annual Clatskanie Bluegrass Festival,  Quilt Show and the Friends of the Library Buck-a-Book Sale.

Bluegrass musicians and fans are expected to come from throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond for the bluegrass festival in the Clatskanie City Park which will feature three days of live music, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 2, 3 and 4.

Headline bands include a Clatskanie favorite, Kathy Boyd and Phoenix Rising, whose members wrote and recorded “Twelve More Miles to Clatskanie,” which won a worldwide Internet contest. Kathy (Jackson) Boyd grew up in Clatskanie. The band will play two shows on Saturday, Aug. 3, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Fern Hill, from Rainier, will play on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 2 and 3, at 8 p.m. both nights.

Other featured bands include the Puddletown Ramblers, Steer Crazy, Hardshell Harmony, Mission Mountain and Alder Creek.

Shows are planned at 5, 6, 7 and 8 p.m. on Friday evening, and 12 noon, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 p.m. on Saturday. In between there will be almost continuous “open mic” performances.

A chili and cornbread feed is planned on Thursday, Aug. 1, and breakfast will be available in the park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

There are no admission charges for members of the public attending the festival.  For those who wish to bring their recreational vehicle and camp in the park during the festival, a fee of $50 will be charged for a five-day stay.

For more information contact Mac Wilcox at 503  728-2678, macwlx@clatskanie.com.

Clatskanie Quilt Show Set Aug. 2 and 3

Do you have a special quilt to show? Whether you made it yourself, or your great-grandmother made it many years ago, it’s welcome at the Clatskanie Quilt Show, set Friday and Saturday, Aug. 2 and 3, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The free show will open Friday at the American Legion Hall, 930 NE 5th Street, and expand Saturday to the Clatskanie City Park area along NE 5th. Various local businesses will display quilts both days, and vendors will offer their wares at the Legion Hall.

Those interested in showing a quilt, should bring it to the American Legion Hall on Thursday, Aug. 1, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The organizers are also selling tickets for a quilter’s raffle basket, valued at more than $260. It Includes: a Cut ‘N Press quilters mat, 45 mm rotary cutter with five replacement blades, No Math quilt chart, Aurafil variegated thread sample pack, battery-operated LED light for small areas with two adhesive backs, ruler, three bottles of Best Press Linen, a $50 gift certificate from The Quilted Dandelion, and a $25 gift certificate from Simply Country Quilting.

Raffle tickets are on sale now through Aug. 14 at The Quilted Dandelion, and at the show. The winner will be drawn Aug. 15.

Volunteers are needed to help set up the Saturday display. To help, or get more information about the show, phone The Quilted Dandelion at  503 728-0626.

Show sponsors include Ark Real Estate, the Bag Ladies Yarn Shop, Carla’s Closet, The Clatskanie Chief, Clatskanie Computers, the Clatskanie River Inn, Colvin’s, Cronies, Discounts & Deals, Hazen Hardware, Ixtapa, The Quilted Dandelion, Singing Dog Jewelry, Sporty’s, Stitchen Custom Embroidery, Windermere, and Your Finishing Touch.

Friends’ Buck-A-Book Sale Aug. 1, 2, 3

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, Aug. 1 and 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and finishes with a spectacular “buck-a-box or bag” closeout sale all day long on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the library located at 11 Lillich St.

“We have a nice selection of books weeded from library shelves this year and a wide variety of books donated locally,” notes library director Elizabeth Kruse. The sale will also feature specially priced sets of materials including vintage volumes, videos, audio books and children’s books.

“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 encouragesd “fellow bibliophiles of all ages to come forth and be part of this unique 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 unique “back by popular demand” opportunity.

For more information including volunteering during the sale or helping with setting up on Wednesday, July 31, at 4 p.m., call the library at 503 728-3732.

Increased Fire Restrictions Now in Effect

Warm weather and dry conditions have prompted Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) to tighten fire restrictions in northwest Oregon, including all of Columbia County, which went into effect on Friday, July 19.

The “regulated-use closure” rules will place limits on a variety of activities that could ignite a wildfire, such as campfires, smoking and use of chainsaws. The ODF Astoria, Tillamook and Forest Grove districts are encompassed by the stepped-up fire safety rules.

“Conditions in the forest have reached the point when we typically see fire starts,” said Don Everingham, assistant to the northwest Oregon area director. “We haven’t had a really significant event yet, but fuels are drying and the extended forecast is for hot, dry weather.”

Fire Safety Rules

The following fire safety rules took effect Friday on all private and non-federal public forestlands within the three districts.

• Smoking prohibited while traveling, except in closed vehicles on improved roads.

• Open fires prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking fires and warming fires, except at designated locations. Use of wood-burning devices, used in conjunction with temporary dwellings, including tents and trailers, is prohibited. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

• Non-industrial use of chainsaws is prohibited between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Chainsaw use is permitted at all other hours, if the following firefighting equipment is present with each operating saw: one shovel and one operational eight-ounces or larger fire extinguisher or suppressant. A chainsaw must have a spark-arresting screen with a maximum mesh size of .023 inches. A fire watch is required for one hour following the use of a saw.

• Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited, except on improved roads and in designated areas. The motor vehicle ban is waived in the following locations: Rogers, Jordan Creek and Trask basins; Diamond Mill and Nicolai Mountain off-highway vehicle (OHV) areas, and Nestucca Trail areas.

• Possession of the following firefighting equipment is required while traveling, except on state highways, county roads and driveways: one shovel and one gallon of water or one operational two and one-half pound or larger fire extinguisher.

• Use of fireworks is prohibited.

• Use of tracer ammunition, exploding targets and sky lanterns is prohibited.

Rules are subject to change on short notice as wildfire danger varies. Officials recommend checking with the local ODF office just prior to traveling to the forest for the most current information. Offices and contact information can be found at www.oregon.gov/odf/.

Fire safety tips for outdoor recreationists are available on the Keep Oregon Green Association website at http://keeporegongreen.com/.

Energy Council Meets in Clatskanie Aug. 2 to Consider PGE Request

The Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC), the decision-making body of the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE), will meet Friday, Aug. 2, at 8:30 a.m. at the Clatskanie River Inn, 600 E. Columbia River Highway.

On the agenda will be a request for amendment 10 to Portland General Electric’s (PGE)  Port Westward generating plant site certificate.

PGE proposes to expand the site boundary for the new generating plant to accommodate three additional temporary laydown areas for use during construction of the unit 2 facility.

The laydown areas would include:

• A 1.9 acre expansion of the previously approved laydown area at the north end of the site.

• A 5.7 acre expansion of the previously approved laydown area near the water intake structure at the south end of the site.

• An additional 3.3 acres of laydown area within the fence line of the PGE-owned Beaver Generating Plant.

PGE requested an expedited review of the amendment since the unit 2 generating plant, a 200-megawatt, variable load generating plant, is currently under construction. On July 22nd, the ODOE staff recomended that the amendment be approved, and EFSC will consider it at its Aug. 2nd meeting in Clatskanie.

ODOE will accept written or e-mailed comments on the amendment until 5 p.m. on July 31. Comments should be sent to: Chris Green, Siting Analyst, Oregon Department of Energy, 625 Marion Street NE, Salem, OR 97301, or e-mailed to chris.green@state.or.us.

Members of EFSC will also hear oral comments at its Aug. 2nd meeting.

More details on the Port Westward generating project, including the amendment request and the proposed order are available online at: www.oregon.gov/energy/Siting/Pages/PWG.aspx.

A hard copy is available at the Clatskanie Library, 111 NE Lillich Street, Clatskanie.

Personnel Issues, Conferences, Report Keep PUD Board Busy 

by Deborah Steele Hazen

At its meeting July 17, theClatskanie People’s Utility District (PUD) board of directors took action in regard to its Share the Warmth fund, met in executive session with a human resources specialist, heard public comments, and reported on conferences attended.

In the only action item of the night, the board set a limit of $100,000 on revenues from surplus scrap metal sales that go into the Share the Warmth fund. The fund is administered by Turning Point Community Service Center and HOPE of Rainier, to help pay the electric bills of needy local residents.

While it receives donations from citizens of approximately $5,000 per year, the fund is primarily supported by the PUD’s scrap metal sales, as decided by board action several years ago.

Currently, general manager Greg Booth reported, the fund balance stands at $82,000, but that is expected to increase substantially as the PUD retires large sections of its “A” feeder system.

HOPE and Turning Point have been distributing about $30,000 from the fund per year. “It seems reasonable to not have all of the surplus metal sales automatically go into the Share the Warmth fund if that fund already has an adequate balance to provide for customer assistance,” Booth wrote in a memorandum to the board.

The board agreed and unanimously passed a motion establishing a target level of $100,000 for the Share the Warmth fund, and directing that revenues from the surplus metal sales go to that fund only to the extent that it is at or less than the $100,000 level.

Personnel Issues

Last week’s meeting began with a board workshop session. At the beginning of the workshop, citizen Mike George expressed concerns about PUD personnel issues,  said he no longer supported Booth, and asked the board to take action.

“We are taking actions,” board chair Don Hooper responded. “We have been for some time, and we are continuing to. But, we are not at liberty to talk with you about this.”

The board adjourned into an over hour-long executive session with human resources consultant Cheryl Hetterview regarding her review of employee communications.

Booth also updated the board on initial settlement discussions on the “contracted-for-committed-to” litigation against the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).

Directors Report on Conference

Following the executive session and the motion regarding the Share the Warmth fund, the board responded to George’s continuing criticism of the expenses of board travel, in addition to the health and life insurance the PUD board members receive. Director Merle Gillespie noted that he did not take the health insurance benefit.

“I would like to get a report on that trip back to Tennessee,” citizen Don Salmon stated.

Directors Gillespie and Bob Wiggins responded with reports on the seminars and sessions they had attended at the recent American Public Power Association (APPA) conference in Nashville, Tenn.

In contrast to George’s characterization of the conference as a pleasure trip, Wiggins and Gillespie emphasized that the travel experience was “terrible.” Wiggins commented that “my wife had a lovely time at my expense.”

Wiggins said attended seminars on public power business models, including the importance of a well-educated governing board; the relationship between utility boards and chief executive officers; a report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which, he said, was “reinterpreting the federal power act,” particularly in regard to open access interconnections.

Gillespie attended seminars and “break-out sessions,” on finances, the “Smart Grid,” “pay-for-performance” contracts with general managers, and cyber security.

The APPA, the directors said, have “done an excellent job of lobbying and taking on the issues in Washington, D.C.”

Gillespie and Wiggins emphasized the importance of organizations like the APPA. “At the federal level that’s the only way we have any influence.”

Other Reports

Booth gave a series of reports, including:

• The new web site is undergoing final work and should be operational by the end of this month. It will be more customer-friendly.

• Bollards are being installed along the portion of the river walk adjacent to the old headquarters site to provide for pedestrian access.

• The necessary permits for guying the line adjacent to the railway have been secured, so that portion of the construction of the Clatskanie-Wauna 115 kilovolt line will be underway shortly, and the conductor should be installed within the next couple of months.

• Following the regular maintenance shutdown in May, there were unforeseen difficulties with the Wauna cogeneration unit which resulted in its shutdown until the weekend of July 6. After a short run it was discovered that one of the generator bearings was leaking excessively. It is now out of service for investigation of the cause and repairs. An estimate of the cost and time involved for repairs is not yet available.

• Work will begin soon on a rate and cost study based upon preliminary BPA rate proposals. Booth said he planned to have a proposal to the board by October to adjust rates to reflect BPA cost increases. The preliminary BPA power rate increase for the Clatskanie PUD is expected to be somewhere in the three percent range.

Board Meets Monday

A special meeting of the Clatskanie PUD board is set for Monday, July 29, at 5:30 p.m. in regard to the new manager recruitment.

Booth announced in April his intent to retire next February.

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