LOCAL FISHERMEN WERE AT LEAST CATCHING SOME RAYS in Wallace Slough Monday, April 7, on what was originally scheduled to be the last day of the spring Chinook salmon sport fishing season on the lower Columbia.
High water and turbid conditions have kept the catch well below the 12,400 fish expected to be taken by anglers. As a result, Oregon and Washington fishery managers extended the season until Monday, April 14, with a one-day commercial season closing the river to sports fishermen on Tuesday, April 8. Chief Photo by Adam J. Wehrley
It’s spring cleaning time in Clatskanie!
The 12th annual Clatskanie Bulky Waste Cleanup Day is set this Saturday, April 12, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon in the Clatskanie City Park.
Sponsored by the City of Clatskanie with assistance from numerous other local organizations, agencies and businesses, the cleanup day offers Clatskanie area residents the opportunity to bring up to two car, pickup or small trailer loads per household of bulky waste to the park at a cost of $10 per load. Additionally, there is a $15 charge per Freon-containing appliance (refrigerators, freezers, etc.) and $1 per tires. Tires must be off the rims.
Items accepted as part of the $10 per load include televisions, dishwashers, stoves, water heaters, washers and dryers, microwaves, furniture, car batteries, scrap metal, computers, printers and monitors, etc.
Items not accepted include no food and/or household garbage, car bodies, hazardous waste including pesticides, solvents, paints and paint cans, thinners, etc.; commercial waste, propane bottles, concrete or bricks, tires on rims, and yard debris.
No commercial loads are allowed and proof of Clatskanie area residence – identification with the 97016 zip code – must be shown.
Additional monetary donations will be accepted to help with disposal costs. Proceeds are used for community beautification projects.
In conjunction with the bulky waste cleanup day, Sterling Bank and Recall Shredding will offer free shredding of documents in the Sterling Bank parking lot at the corner of N. Nehalem and Steele streets in downtown Clatskanie.
Sponsors, volunteers and donors, in addition to the City of Clatskanie, include the Clatskanie Sanitary Service, Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce, Clatskanie Park and Recreation District, Clatskanie People’s Utility District, Sterling Bank – Clatskanie, Les Schwab Tires – St. Helens, Clatskanie Masonic Lodge #133, Clatskanie Cub Scout Pack #241, The Clatskanie Chief, Clatskanie Kiwanis, Kynsi Construction, Great Vow Zen Monastery, Clatskanie Builders Supply, Stan’s Refrigeration, Columbia County Land & Development Services, and community volunteers.
For more information, to volunteer, and for senior assistance with delivery of bulky items, contact the City of Clatskanie at 503 728-2622 or e-mail: email@example.com.
by Deborah Steele Hazen
Joining a number of municipalities around the state, the Clatskanie City Council adopted a one-year moratorium on marijuana dispensaries at its meeting April 2. The Rainier City Council adopted a similar moratorium at its meeting Monday (see story inside).
The ordinance was enacted under Senate Bill 1531, which was passed by the legislature earlier this year. It allows the governing body of a city to place a moratorium on the operation of registered medical marijuana facilities until May 1, 2015.
In adopting the ordinance, Mayor Diane Pohl and city councilors noted that the moratorium allowed under state law was consistent with the existing city ordinance that forbids the city to issue a business license to a business that violates state or federal law.
Mayor Pohl expressed her opinon that the issue would eventually be settled on the federal level.
Budget Revisions for Public Works Projects
In other action items on the agenda, the council:
• Approved a supplemental budget resolution rescinding a previous supplemental budget funding the wastewater treatment plant headworks project, and authorized a new supplemental budget at a revised cost for the headworks of $230,000. That money comes from the enterprise zone fund.
The amount is greater than what had been estimated last fall after Public Works Director Ray DiPasquale located a used headworks and related equipment which was purchased from the City of Wilsonville. However, it is far less than the original estimate for the project of $750,000.
• Also approved was a supplemental budget of $15,000, also from the enterprise zone fund, for an unanticipated water line replacement off of SE 2nd Street.
• Following an executive session the council approved a $5,000 bonus for City Manager Greg Hinkelman with “a heartfelt and grateful thank you.”
Other than the bonus, Hinkelman’s salary has remained at $6697 per month for the past two years.
Mayor Pohl read proclamations for Sexual Assault Awareness Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Reports, Public Comments
DiPasquale reported that the water main would be shut down on North Nehalem on the night of April 9-10 for repairs. (See the notice on page 8).
Finance manager Sharry Hilton reminded the council that April 24 will be the first meeting of the budget committee.
At the beginning of the meeting, Rob and Brenda Cameron, the new owners of Hump’s Restaurant, introduced themselves. (See photo and story on page 1).
Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Jenefer Grant gave a brief update on the courts, explaining that they have been backlogged because of the implementation of eCourt, switching all paper files to electronic files. “We’re almost to the point that we’re caught up,” Judge Grant said. “Thank you for your patience.
Former City of Clatskanie prosecuting attorney Cathleen Callahan introduced herself as a candidate for Columbia County Circuit Court Judge, position 1.
by Deborah Steele Hazen
Supporters of the air emissions permit to allow expansion of Global Partners/Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery (CPBR) oil transloading operations at the Port Westward industrial site near Clatskanie out-numbered opponents by a slight margin at an Oregon Department of Environmental Quality public hearing in Clatskanie April 3.
The subject of the hearing was a new Standard Air Contaminant Discharge Permit for the crude oil and ethanol storage and marine vessel loading operation, which CPBR plans to expand at Port Westward. The expansion will include an investment totaling $50 to $70 million and the creation of 30 new permanent jobs to add to its existing workforce of approximately 50.
Cascade Kelly, the former owners of CPBR, began the transloading of crude oil in 2012 under a modification to its existing DEQ permit. Global bought the facility and expanded the shipments in 2013.
After the shipments were increased, the DEQ informed CPBR that it must apply for a new air quality permit. That application process began last summer and last week’s public hearing was part of that process.
In a separate action on March 27, the DEQ issued notice of a civil penalty assessment of $117,292 because the agency says Global/CPBR has been shipping oil at a level not allowed under the original permit.
Global spokespersons have repeatedly said they believe they have been operating in compliance with the permit.
They told The Chief this week that they intend to appeal the civil penalty.
Opponents Dominate Q&A
Last week’s hearing began with an approximately hour-long question and answer session that was dominated by opponents of the project.
As the session began, DEQ personnel emphasized that the permit covers only what the facility is allowed to emit into the air as the oil is transloaded from rail cars into storage tanks and from the storage tanks to barges or ships.
The operation is not considered “a major source of air pollutants,” a DEQ spokesperson said. In fact, equipment being installed by CPBR will capture over 99 percent of the emissions that escape during the process.
Columbia County meets all state and federal air quality standards and the emissions from the CPBR transloading operation will not endanger that standard, according to the DEQ.
A Cowlitz County resident, spoke about the airshed shared by both sides of the Columbia River, arguing that the permit should be denied because “in Longview, some toxic air elements already exceed the standards.”
Nina DeConcini, DEQ Northwest region administrator, responded that “there are areas that have ambient concentrations that are above standards,” but that those concentrations are not necessarily caused by industry. “Vehicles are the main contributors,” according to Dave Monroe, who manages DEQ’s air quality program. Woodstoves also contribute to air pollution.
Various questioners asked about the civil penalty, and the requirements for reporting under the new permit. Monthly reporting will be required, and the DEQ also performs inspections and audits records “to make sure that the facility is operating in continual compliance.”
Several opponents asked the DEQ to revoke the permit based on its mission to protect the environment.
Some were critical of the DEQ for allegedly allowing CPBR to exceed the permit limits in terms of the number of oil cars transloaded and for not fining the company more. The DEQ is not contending that there were emissions that exceeded air quality standards
In regard to questions about possible oil spills in the water, the DEQ stressed that no permit was required, because no oil is allowed to be spilled in the water.
However, the DEQ is also in the process of reviewing the oil spill contingency plans required for both the CPBR operation and the ships or barges that are loaded at Port Westward.
Most Public Comments Emphasize Positive
Many of the same opponents who spoke during the question and answer period, repeated their concerns during the public comments portion of the 3 1/2 hour-long meeting.
While the DEQ personnel repeatedly emphasized that they had no authority over oil trains traveling over the tracks, the issues of the rail, climate change and the impact of fossil fuels on the planet were common themes of the opponents.
Mike Seely of Seely Family Farms, who had previously asked if the DEQ measured the emissions from his farm equipment as he waited for the oil trains to pass, said that having the movement of his farm equipment delayed by trains coming into Port Westward was his main concern. He said he had waited 30 to 45 minutes. “We need this resolved.”
Testifying in support of the permit were representatives of Global Partners and CPBR, numerous employees of the plant, Clatskanie Mayor Diane Pohl, State Representative Brad Witt, representatives of trade unions, local citizens, and Columbia County Economic Team executive director ChuckDaughtry.
The employees testifying emphasized that they were doing so of their own free will, and their support had not been solicited by management.
“There are those who want to focus on the negative,” said Colleen Squires, whose husband works at CPBR. “While I admire your passion, a pessimistic outlook does us no good. Living in fear of the ‘what ifs’ is futile… It seems unfair to convict this company of wrongdoing before we’ve given them a chance to show their expertise.”
Daughtry emphasized the “significant positive economic benefits to Columbia County and the state of Oregon from the jobs, investment and benefits to taxing district.
CPBR general manager Dan Luckett stressed that CPBR/Global Westward “is an essential component in utilizing domestic oil to displace foreign oil imports,” explaining that for every barrel of oil transloaded at Port Westward for shipment to West Coast refineries, one barrel of foreign oil is not needed.
“Global would like to safely expand the existing site capabilities to capitalize on the economic potential of emerging markets,” Luckett continued.
“Since its inception, the men and women of CPBR have focused on our commitment to safety and protecting the environment.
“Our employees include both union-represented local men and women, as well asemployees and experienced management professionals working diligently to maintain our Port Westward facility to best-in-class standards.
“Our employees have worked in excess of 270,000 man-hours without a single Lost Time Accident.
“Our employees have received over 12,000 hours of safety and 5,800 hours of oil operations training.
“CPBR embraces a culture of continuous improvement which applies to all aspects of our work. Included in our safety systems are:
“We see commitment to the environment as equal to safety. Protecting the environment and stewardship of our Port Westward location are of prime importance to CPBR.
“CPBR is an active member of the Clean Rivers Cooperative and regularly participates in training exercises along the Columbia.
“CPBR regularly conducts audits of our spill response preparedness and coordinates drills with the EPA, USCG and ODEQ.
“CPBR operations at Port Westward are highly overseen and regulated by both State and Federal agencies. CPBR has 26 separate coordinated/integrated plans and/or permits:
“We are regulated by six separate State and/or Federal agencies. We have been audited by said agencies 46 times over the last 17 months, all resulting in no significant or actionable items.
“CPBR participates in 19 separate agencies/committees/organizations dedicated to the health, safety and welfare of the communities we impact.”
Kate Scott, a Quincy resident and an employee of CPBR, spoke passionately in support of the permit. “I have a family wage job plus benefits and retirement right here in my hometown! The management at CPBR repond promptly to any concerns. The training never stops. We respect our environment – the air and the water, the land and the wildlife. Our expansion improves our small town economy.”
Written Comments Accepted Through Friday
Written comments will be received until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 11. They may be sent by mail, fax or email to:
DEQ Northwest Region
Air Quality Permit
2020 SW 4th Ave.,
Portland, OR 97201
Email: NWRAQPermits@ deq.state.or.us.
by Adam J. Wehrley
Directed by 1998 Clatskanie High School (CHS) graduate Brian Perkins, “Golden Kingdom,” will be screened at the Cannes International Film Festival in France this May.
A feature-length drama, “Golden Kingdom” is the story of four young Buddhist monks in a remote monastery in Myanmar (formerly Burma). It is Perkins’ debut film.
Perkins, a former Chief reporter, has traveled extensively through the remote parts of Asia and India, and was inspired by the orphan boys raised as novice monks in war-torn Myanmar.
The screening in Cannes may help Perkins find a distributor for the film to audiences.
After traveling through Asia, Perkins founded an independent feature film production company Bank & Shoal, based in Portland.
Miles Lauridsen, a 1997 CHS graduate, worked as visual effects supervisor for “Golden Kingdom.” Lauridsen has worked as a visual effects and digital effects artist in numerous Hollywood films including: “Tron: Legacy,” “Iron Man 2” and “The Twilight Saga.”
A synopsis of “Golden Kingdom” reads:
“With their monastery nestled in the luscious jungle mountains of Myanmar, life cycles peacefully for four young Buddhist monks. One day the head abbot, Sayadaw, learns he must depart on a journey through the mountain pass – a journey that may never see his return.
“Alone and exposed, the four young boys, led by the courageous Witazara, must now fend for themselves. Strange days filled with ghostly phenomena and jarring events shake the boys to the core, dramatically influencing their understanding of this world and beyond, as Witazara must choose whether to follow the master into the pass.”
Perkins exclusively cast locals in the film, including several young monks.
“Burma’s Buddhist monasteries have long been a refuge for children orphaned by natural disaster, communal violence, and disease. The monks also take in boys whose impoverished parents do not have the means to sustain them with sufficient clothing, food and shelter. These boys become novice monks at the monastery,” explained a brochure on the film.
“The older monks raise and educate these boys, and the local villagers keep the orphans fed with alms. It is this world that the story of GOLDEN KINGDOM inhabits and brings to life on the screen,” the brochure continued.
While a graduate student at the University of California Berkeley, Perkins received the Eisner Prize’s honorable mention for film and video. He was the recipient of numerous acknowledgments during his undergraduate studies at New York University.
He has directed numerous music videos in Los Angeles and New York City, and was involved in Alma Harel’s “Bombay Beach,” which won the Tribeca Film Festival’s top prize in 2011.
Step back in time to the year 1853 for a living history reenactment of the Rainier area at the fifth annual “Rainier Revisited,” presented by the Rainier Junior/Senior High School history club.
History will “come to life” this Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Beaver Homes Grange in Goble. An ongoing living history storyline is planned throughout the day.
The event schedule includes various military camp presentations, period arts and crafts with Lilia Demko at 11 a.m., a program on agriculture at 11:30 a.m. with David Placido and Lilia Demko, Pat Haas’ portrayal of the life of a voyager working for the Hudson Bay Company at 12 noon and 2 p.m., “Tales of the Trade” by Karen Haas at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., a spinning demonstration by Virginia Rose at 1:30 p.m., and Lone Wolf Forge presentation with Gary Lewis at 3 p.m.
Admission is a donation or can of food for H.O.P.E. (Help Our People Eat), Rainier’s community food pantry.
Sponsors for this year’s event are Clatskanie People’s Utility District (PUD), Tobie Finzel – Vernonia Hands-On Art Board, Just-A-Mere Farm – Randy Skeans, Columbia River PUD, WorldStrides, Country Financial, Bob’s Towing, Educational Maps and Globes – Kirk Fullmer, the Placido family, Daughters of the American Revolution – Mt. St. Helens Chapter, Cash Advantage Carpet Cleaning, Teevin Bros. and the Demko family.
Beaver Homes Grange is located at 31105 Beaver Homes Road in Goble. Turn onto Nicolai Road from Highway 30 at Goble and follow the signs
For more information contact Andrew Demko, RJSHS history club advisor, at 503 556-4215 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW HUMP’S RESTAURANT OWNERS Rob and Brenda (Hermo) Cameron are working hard cleaning and refurbishing the restaurant in time for a planned May 3rd opening. The long-rumored purchase of the landmark local building from former owners Pam (Humphrey) and Eric Sellix closed March 31.
The Camerons plan to keep the name bestowed on the business by its original owners Forris and Rachel Humphrey over 60 years ago, and honor the tradition of a quality family restaurant. “We want to recognize what the Humphrey family did, and carry the torch,” says Rob. “We want to put the blood back in the heart of Clatskanie,” says Brenda.
Both Rob and Brenda graduated from Rainier High School and have fond memories of visiting Hump’s as they were growing up. Rob’s parents formerly ran the Riverview Restaurant in Rainier, and Brenda’s grandmother was an employee of Hump’s.
Another set of grandparents, Lee and Al Washburn, at one time owned and operated the Fireside Restaurant at Woodson. “It just feels natural to us,” say the Camerons. They plan to honor the local logging legacy in their decor.
The new Hump’s will be a casual dining family restaurant focusing on breakfast and lunch with dinner specials and a menu including steaks, seafood, halibut fish and chips, chicken-fried steak, etc. They will also offer catering, and the banquet room will be available for meetings, trainings, etc. Article by Deborah Steele Hazen, Photo by Adam J. Wehrley