A FEW FLAKES OF SNOW clung to the leaves of a foxglove plant near the summit of Clatskanie Mountain alongside Highway 47 between Mist and Clatskanie Tuesday morning as sub-freezing temperatures and possible snow showers were predicted for the coming week. Chief Photo by Cindy Bloomer
by Adam J. Wehrley
In the midst of on-going tensions between the City of Rainier and current leadership of the Rainier Senior Center, city councilor Judith Taylor is the subject of a recall election initiated by senior center board president Bill Dias.
Dias took over leadership of the center in July after the the former president resigned amid allegations of questionable accounting practices and improper use of the facility.
As the councilor assigned as liaison to the senior center, it was Taylor’s responsibility to ensure that financial reporting requirements stipulated in the center’s lease of the facility from the city were met.
Supporters of the recall accuse Taylor of bullying and intimidating center volunteers and staff.
Her supporters, including other city councilors, state that she is fulfilling her assigned role and looking out for the best interests of the community and has a history of dedicated service to Rainier.
The building housing the senior center was completed in 2003 and was funded by an Oregon Economic and Community Development (OECD) grant for $600,000 and a $62, 500 grant from the Rainier Economic Development Council (REDCO). As the original recipient of the grant, the city retains ownership of the facility and the lease agreement between it and the senior center grants broad financial oversight to the city.
The center itself is operated by a nonprofit organization which administers the various services and programs taking place at the center and throughout the community.
The recent efforts by Taylor and other councilors to re-establish communications with and financial oversight over the center led to conflicts between the council and center leadership.
Recall ballots are currently in the hands of Rainier voters and due back to ballot boxes on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
Taylor has filed a complaint with the Oregon Elections Division stating that Dias made false statements on the recall forms.
See the letters to the editor on pages 4 and 5 for opinions of this issue.
by Adam J. Wehrley
“You have the right of be free of fear at school,” said attorney Morgan Smith at an anti-bullying presentation, Monday, Dec. 2, at Clatskanie Middle/High School (CMHS).
Approximately 25 parents and community members attended the presentation about defining, detecting and preventing bullying and the school district’s policies over bullying and harassment.
Smith spoke on behalf of the Oregon School Board Association (OSBA).
Earlier in the day, Smith gave similar presentations to the entire student body and to the CMHS staff.
First he defined bullying and distinguished it from other forms of unacceptable behavior and conflict in social interaction.
Bullying is intentional aggressive behavior involving an imbalance of power or strength typically repeated over time, Smith explained. He also emphasized that both state law and district policies specify protected classes and higher levels of protection for students of those classes. Protected classes are listed as, “a group of persons distinguished, or perceived to be distinguished, by race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, familial status, source of income or disability.”
Smith explained that the district purview is over any behavior which interferes with the victim’s education whether or not the bullying and harassment occurs on school property or during a school-sponsored event.
He also spoke about the ways in which technology has complicated bullying issues by allowing anonymous attacks and the more rapid spread of gossip, accusations, photographs, etc., even when the bully and victim are not in close proximity.
He suggested that in a school the size of CMHS nearly every student is electronically connected to each other through mutual friends on social media.
Smith reported that studies show 15-35 percent of U.S. students are victims of cyber-bullying and 10-20 percent admit participating in it at one time.
He suggested parents conduct Internet searches of their children’s names to see what has been posted online. He also said that once something is online it will be there “essentially forever.”
He stressed the need for students and parents to set social media privacy settings very high, not to allow anyone access to accounts and passwords, and not to do anything online you would not do face-to-face.
Smith said that, while staff are required to investigate all bullying reports, they are prevented by federal laws protecting the privacy of minors from reporting on disciplinary actions taken against students. According to Smith this may lead to the perception that the district has not taken action, which can cause victims to believe reporting bullying and harassment is futile.
He said that both victims and bullies have the right to an education, but that even small districts could find ways to provide that without exposing students to intimidation.
Besides in-school discipline and expulsion, Oregon law also provides districts with the authority to ask the Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend student drivers licenses.
As a result of audience questions, Smith distinguished the role of the school district versus that of law enforcement. District Super-Intendant Dr. Lloyd Hartley said, “Our job is to look at things through the lens of ‘is the student impacted educationally.”
State law also mandates that district staff report physical and sexual abuse of students to law enforcement or child services.
Responding to other audience questions, Smith stated that he supports the use of law enforcement personnel as school resource officers, but stated that they are most appropriate to combat drugs, violence, and drug abuse, but bullying and harassment are behavior problems that are the responsibility of the district.
Dr. Harley closed by emphasizing that Monday’s presentations were just the opening of the anti-bullying dialogue at CMHS.
Santa Claus is scheduled to take time out of his busy holiday schedule to make appearances in both Clatskanie and Rainier in the coming week.
Additionally, there are numerous other holiday season events coming up in the local area.
“Breakfast with Santa” Dec. 7 in Clatskanie
A “Breakfast with Santa,” co-sponsored by the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce and Colvin’s Pub & Grill, is set for Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in Colvin’s Banquet Room, 135 N. Nehalem Street in Clatskanie.
Children and their families are invited to enjoy a buffet breakfast of french toast, diced ham and scrambled eggs, fried rosemary red potatoes, biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage links, orange juice, hot cocoa and coffee.
Santa Claus will be in attendance and will be available for pictures and to hear Christmas wishes. Parents and grandparents are encouraged to bring their cameras.
Cost is $6 for children under 10, and $10 for older youth and adults.
Seating is limited and reservations are required by calling Colvin’s at 503 728-4122.
Santa at the Fire Hall
Jolly Old Saint Nick will also be available for pictures at the Clatskanie Fire Department, 280 SE 3rd Street, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.
A $3 donation per picture is suggested.
All proceeds will benefit the Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District’s goal to purchase Christmas food baskets and gifts for local families in need.
Hospice Bazaar in Longview Dec. 7
The annual holiday bazaar and bake sale to benefit Community Home Health and Hospice will be held in Longview on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the hospice center at 1035 11th Avenue in Longview from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There will be raffles, vendors, Christmas carolers and baked goods. Proceeds will benefit hospice’s charity care and volunteer programs.
Toy ‘N Joy Breakfast
Rainier United Methodist Church’s annual Toy ‘N Joy breakfast is scheduled Saturday, Dec. 7, from 7:30-10:30 a.m. at the church located on the corner of 1st and C streets in Rainier.
Donations will benefit Rainier’s Toy ‘N Joy program.
The menu includes all-you-can-eat buttermilk or blueberry pancakes, ham, scrambled eggs, applesauce, orange juice, coffee and tea.
Bake, craft and white elephant sales are planned by the church ladies. Proceeds will go to various missions efforts.
Rainier Tree Lighting Celebration Dec. 8
Rainier’s annual tree lighting celebration to illuminate the community Christmas tree will be held on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 5 p.m. in front of Rainier City Hall.
A visit by Santa is planned and all are welcome to join the festivities.
A welcome is extended by the City of Rainier and the Rainier Chamber of Commerce to those who would like to help decorate for Christmas.
Participants are asked to meet at Rainier City Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 3, to be part of the decorating effort from 1 to 3 p.m.
For more information call Judith Taylor at 503 556-0457.
Rainier Senior Center Bazaar Dec. 7
A Christmas bazaar to be held at the Rainier Senior Center on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will benefit the senior center.
Santa will visit at the bazaar from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those who come are invited to bring their cameras for free pictures with Santa.
Vendors will offer homemade items for sale and the senior center will have food available for purchase including nachos, hot dogs, chili dogs and pies sold whole or by the slice. A quilt raffle is also planned.
Tree Sales to Benefit HOPE of Rainier
HOPE community food pantry will be opening its Christmas tree lot on Saturday, Dec. 4, in the J & R Sales parking lot in Rainier.
Scheduled hours are 12 noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m., and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. through Dec. 22.
Locally grown six-foot noble fir trees are priced at $25, and a limited number of larger trees will be available for $30. Proceeds will go to purchase food for needy families in the Rainier area.
Anyone who is interested in being a volunteer at the tree lot is asked to call Lisa Soule at 503 728-4228.
Clatskanie School Concerts Dec. 10 & 19
Clatskanie Middle/High School’s (CMHS) annual Winter Music Concert, including the Clatskanie Elementary School (CES) fifth and sixth grade bands, is set for Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Donavon Wooley Performing Arts Center at CMHS.
The CES winter assembly, featuring the first through sixth grades will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19, in the CES Cardiff gym.
Craicmore Christmas Concert Dec. 14
Craicmore will perform a “Celtic Yuletide Celebration,” which incorporates seasonal songs and tales with traditional Scottish and Irish music on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Donavon Wooley Performing Arts Center at the Clatskanie Middle/High School at 471 SW BelAir Drive.
Prior to Craicmore’s evening concert on Saturday a special one hour public workshop entitled: “Celtic Connections” is slated by the performers of the band at 11 a.m. Dec. 14, in the same auditorium.
“It promises an engaging, interactive program for people of all ages, it’s free and it’s fun,” says a spokesperson for the Clatskanie Arts Commission (CAC) which is sponsoring this program as a continuation of its 25th performing arts season.
Tickets for the evening concert are $15 for adults, $12 for students or senior citizens, and $8 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at “Some Like It Hot!” in the Evergreen Shopping Center in Clatskanie, or at the door, with the CAC box-office opening at 7 p.m. in the foyer of the auditorium on the evening of the show.
This performance and workshop receives grant support from the Oregon Cultural Trust administered through the Columbia County Cultural Coalition. The Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce is also helping to sponsor the Christmas concert.
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 them on the web at www.clatskaniearts.org .
Red Kettle Ringers Sought
The Clatskanie TOPS Club is again heading up the effort to ring the bell for donations to the Salvation Army’s “Red Kettle” program to raise funds to help local residents.
Volunteers are needed to take turns ringing the bell. Those interested in this community service are asked to call Laura Brewer at 503 780-1021.
Churches Plan Events, Religious Observances
As Christmas approaches, local churches are planning special services and events in observance of the holiday season. Scheduled events include the following.
Carolling and Soup Supper Dec. 4
Clatskanie United Methodist Church planned a soup supper and Christmas carolling on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Supper will be served in the church basement and is open to all, free of charge. Musical accompaniment for carolers will be provided by Bob Emminger.
Clatskanie United Methodist Church is located at 290 S. Nehalem Street.
Rainier Community Church Sets Children’s Program
Rainier Community Church of God will have a children’s Christmas program during the Sunday morning service on Dec. 15, at 10:45 a.m. Special worship music by Nick Clark is planned for the morning service on Dec. 22.
A “come and go” candlelight communion open to all on Christmas Eve will be served on Tuesday, Dec. 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the church, located at 321 West C Street in Rainier.
Old-Fashioned Carolling at Westport
Westport Community Church extends an invitation to share the joy of Christmas with friends and neighbors with its “Old Fashioned Christmas Carolling” on Friday, Dec. 20.
Carollers will gather at 5 p.m. at the church, located at 49246 Highway 30 in Westport. The evening will conclude with chili and hot chocolate served in the fellowship hall.
A candlelight Christmas service will be held at Westport Community Church on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 6 p.m.
Children of all ages will recreate the Christmas story. Following the service, there will be a live nativity scene outside the sanctuary and refreshments in the fellowship hall.
Gateway Worship Center Sets Musical Program
Gateway Worship Center in Clatskanie, 610 NW 5th Street, will hold a Christmas program on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 6 p.m.
“The Singing of the Carols” will include music performed by the church youth, “playing of the bells” by children, and congregational singing of a variety of Christmas carols.
Refreshments will be served after the program and treats distributed to children in attendance.
Baptists Plan Community Christmas Dinner on Dec. 25
A community Christmas dinner, for anyone who needs a place to go on Christmas, is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 25, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Clatskanie Baptist Church fellowship hall.
For more information call 503 728-2304.
HANGING THE SNOWFLAKE STREET DECOR, before the real ones start to fall, the Clatskanie People’s Utility District (PUD) was performing one of its annual services to the communities it serves this week by dressing them up for the holidays. Freezing temperatures and the possibility of snow was in the forecast for the coming week.
Volunteers from the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce held two recent work parties to replace the burned out or broken bulbs in the decorations. It may be noted that there are fewer decorations up than in past years. That is because the Chamber leadership, after receiving input from community members, decided not to ask the PUD to hang decorations that are badly in need of refurbishment. In recent years, the Chamber, with funds raised through the annual “Snowflake Page” that ran in last week’s issue of The Chief, has refurbished all of the snowflakes as well as the “Seasons Greetings” that hang across Highway 30 on either end of Clatskanie. The project to refurbish and/or replace the holiday street decorations is on-going. Those wishing to contribute to the Chamber’s community lighting fund are invited to do so by sending a check to the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce Lighting Fund, P.O. Box 635, Clatskanie, OR 97016. Chief Photo by Adam J. Wehrley
As part of a national “Scouting for Food” effort to collect food for distribution to the needy, Clatskanie and Rainier Boy Scouts will be going door-to-door this Saturday, Dec. 7, collecting food donations for local food banks between 9 a.m. and 12 noon.
Collection bags are being distributed prior to the food drive at residences within the city limits. Residents are invited to leave a bag of food on their porch for scouts to pick up.
Clatskanie Boy Scout Troop 241, along with Cub Scout Pack 241 and Clatskanie Girl Scout Troop 10126 will deliver all food and monetary donations to Turning Point Community Service Center.
As part of the food drive, Cub Scouts will have a table in front of Safeway in Clatskanie to collect donations from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday. Donations may also be dropped off at Sporty’s through Friday, Dec. 6.
“Scouting for Food” efforts by Rainier Boy Scout Troop 332 and Cub Scouts will benefit H.O.P.E., Rainier’s community food bank.
For Rainier donations that are not picked up, residents may call H.O.P.E. at 503 556-0701 to arrange pickup.