The Columbia County four-year local option levy for jail operations was failing by about a 58 percent margin in preliminary election results available Tuesday night.
The jail operating levy was the only issue on the Nov. 5th ballot for Columbia County.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Columbia County Commissioner Earl Fisher. “But the people have spoken and we will have to honor their decision.”
If it had passed, the measure would have instituted a property tax levy of approximately 58 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, and would have added staffing for 75 jail beds for inmates arrested in Columbia County. Currently, there are only enough beds for 25 inmates arrested by law enforcement agencies within the county.
In 1998, Columbia County voters approved a $13.9 million bond levy to build the jail with a 255-bed capacity, but there was no provision in the levy for operating funds. It was known that sooner or later a jail operating levy would be needed. Since it opened in January of 2001, the jail has operated with money from the county’s general fund and by renting beds to the U.S. Marshal’s office and the federal immigration service.
However, the county general fund has experienced financial deficits in recent years and can no longer support jail operations. The continued operation of the jail in any capacity is dependent upon federal bed rentals.
Fisher said Tuesday night that he believed the jail would be forced to close sometime between now and the end of the fiscal year next June. The exact timing will depend on the amount of federal prisoners. “We’ll be looking at all of that over the next couple of weeks,” Fisher said.
If the Columbia County jail closes, arrangements will have to be made to house local inmates in other jails, which will involve bed rental fees and costs of transporting inmates.
Several Veterans Day activities are planned in the Clatskanie and Rainier areas, starting off with the annual recognition assembly and breakfast at Clatskanie Middle/High School on Friday, Nov. 8, and continuing through Monday, Nov. 11.
Hosted by the CMHS National Honor Society, Friday’s salute to veterans will begin with a breakfast served in the CMHS commons for all enlisted military personnel, veterans and their families from 9 to 9:45 a.m.
Following the breakfast, an assembly will be held in the Donavon Wooley Performing Arts Center auditorium.
The Veterans Day recognition assembly will open with a color guard and flag salute, followed by remarks from local resident Mike Burghardt, who serves as brigade support commander for the Oregon National Guard; CMHS acting principal Amy McNeil, and CMHS councilor Rhonda Stecker.
The CMHS band and choir will perform patriotic music and the national anthem. Band member Griffin Haas will close the assembly by playing “Taps.”
Rainier Veterans’ Day Observances
Rainier’s Veterans Day observances are sponsored by the Columbia River Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post and Auxiliary 1909.
On Saturday, Nov. 9, the VFW will host a free potluck dinner with social time beginning at 4 p.m., followed by dinner at 5 p.m. The gathering will also include an auction, door prizes, raffle and prizes for children.
An open house at the Rainier Senior Center will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11. A veterans service office representative will be available to speak to veterans about benefits and assistance.
The Amber Honors Veterans
The public is invited to attend a “certificate ceremony” honoring veterans on Monday, Nov. 11, from 2 to 4 p.m. at The Amber Assisted Living facility, 365 SW Bel Air Drive in Clatskanie.
A social hour for veterans and their families will include finger foods and beverages.
Veterans Day Dinner at Legion Hall
All veterans and their families are invited to a free lasagna dinner at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11, at the Clatskanie American Legion Hall, 930 NE 5th Street.
The dinner is sponsored by American Legion Post 68 and Auxiliary Unit 68 to thank local veterans for their service.
Hair Cuts for Veterans
Christophers by Appointment in Clatskanie will be offering free hair cuts on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, to active duty, reservists and veterans, both men and women, in appreciation for their service.
Walk-ins will be accepted on Monday, Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 245 W. Collumbia River Highway. Call 503 728-2667 for more information.
CCC Honors Veterans, Military Families
Clatsop Community College (CCC) will host a ceremony to honor veterans, service-members and their families on Friday, Nov. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the CCC Performing Arts Center, 16th and Franklin, in Astoria.
“Honoring Military Families” is the theme of this year’s ceremony, focusing on the pride, dedication and service of military families. Doors open at 5 p.m. with refreshments and a casual gathering. The Jewell School band will begin playing at 5:20 p.m.
The program will start at 5:30 p.m. and will include an intergenerational color guard, military speakers, the Warrenton Grade School Choir and the POW/MIA (prisoners of war/missing in action) table ceremony.
CCC will be joined by the United States Coast Guard Sector Columbia, Clatsop Community Action, Oregon Employment Department, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and students from two local schools to honor the community’s service-members and veterans.
Support for On-Going Clatskanie Veterans Memorial Projects
With the arrival of Veterans Day, the Clatskanie Veterans Memorial Committee expressed gratitude to members of the community – individuals, businesses and organizations – for their continuing support.
The committee meets monthly to assure on-going maintenance of the memorial. During the past year, the committee oversaw the project to install wheelchair access to the memorial, located across Lillich Street from the Clatskanie Library in downtown Clatskanie.
The committee also gathers and maintains information for updating names on the memorial. A deceased veteran’s name is automatically added to the memorial if they were a resident of the Clatskanie area (97016 zip code) upon entering the service, and/or a resident of the Clatskanie area at the time of their death.
If a veteran does not meet those specific criteria, but still has a significant local connection, the name may be presented to the committee for review to determine whether inclusion on the wall is appropriate.
If anyone is interested in participating in this process or has questions regarding the memorial, they may contact Gerry Simmons at 503 728-2421.
Contributions may be sent to the Clatskanie Veterans Memorial Fund, c/o Clatskanie Veterans of Foreign Wars, P.O. Box 974, Clatskanie, OR 97016.
Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization, along with other Columbia County community agencies and organizations, is seeking to gather the opinions of area residents about how to build healthier communities.
A community meeting is planned for 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the old middle school building, 555 SW Bryant Street, in Clatskanie for public input.
Representatives from Cover Oregon will be at the meeting to help residents enroll in Medicare and Medicaid plans as appropriate. The meeting will also feature a raffle with gift certificates toward a water or electric bill, or for gas for the winner’s car.
For more information about the Columbia Pacific CCO, please visit www.colpachealth.org.
by Special Correspondent
Ernest A. Carman
In what continues to be an all-time favorite for local Clatskanie Arts Commission (CAC) theater patrons, the Oregon Symphonic Band (OSB) returns on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m., for an encore performance in the Donavon Wooley Performing Arts Center, at Clatskanie Middle/High School, 471 SW BelAir Drive.
An organization of approximately 60 musicians, which has been acclaimed nationally as Oregon’s “premier symphonic band,” OSB gathers onstage under the baton of award-winning conductor Dr. Michael Burch-Presses to perform their “Fall Concert 2013”
Ryan Nowlin’s “The Maker’s Mark” starts the program followed by Thom Ritter’s Concerto for
Flute and Wind Ensemble,” Henry Fillmore’s “Rolling Thunder,” Ralph Ford’s “Romanza” and then James Curnow’s “Bridge of the Gods” will close the first half of the show.
After the intermission, the instrumentalists return to the stage with John Wasson’s “American Fanfare,” Jan Van der Roost’s “Dublin Dances,” and then William Walton’s “The Spitfire” will call curtains on the performance.
“OSB is comprised of some of the Portland area’s best instrumentalists, professional and amateur and although our musicians come from all walks of life, we all have two things in common: we all love to play great band music and we are all volunteers,” notes CAC chair and retired Clatskanie area music teacher Donavon “Dee” Wooley.
OSB conductor Dr. Michael Burch-Pesses, who is also director of bands at Pacific University in Forest Grove, has recently been paid a high compliment by his former Navy subordinates. They honored him officially for his past distinguished career as a bandmaster in the United States Navy where he enlisted as a horn player and worked his way up through the ranks to become the Navy’s senior bandmaster and head of the Navy’s music program. While he served as leader of the Naval Academy band in Annapolis, Maryland the band received the George Howard Citation of Musical Excellence from the John Philip Sousa Foundation which is the highest civilian award for a military band. He is also the recipient of the Legion of Merit, the highest award ever given to a Navy bandmaster.
Tickets, at $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens or students, and $6 for children 5 and under, are available at Some Like It Hot, 401 W. Columbia River Highway, in the Evergreen Shopping Center, or at the door with the CAC box-office opening at 2:30 p.m. the afternoon of the show.
As the second offering in the 2013-14 Performing Arts Series, this performance by the OSB underscores CAC’s ongoing mission of providing a variety of entertaining programs and events which enrich the lives of the people of the Lower Columbia Arts Region. It is sponsored through the generosity of Mike Arthur Machine Service based in Clatskanie.
For more information about this and other CAC offerings throughout the year, patrons are invited to call the commission at 503 728-3403 or visit the CAC on the web at www.clatskaniearts.org.