“Oh, the Places We’ll Go!”

CES Auction Raises Over $12,000


RAISING OVER $12,000 to fund increased learning opportunities, activities and trips for Clatskanie Elementary School (CES) students, staff and volunteers held the second annual CES auction Saturday, May 31. Fifth grade teacher Brad Thorud acted as auctioneer as reading teacher Sarah Thorud assisted. Clatskanie businesses and residents donated sale items which joined the CES class projects that were auctioned. Chief Photo by Molly G. Wehrley

Graduation Ceremonies Set Saturday for Clatskanie and Rainier High Schools

Commencement ceremonies for members of the 2014 graduating classes of Clatskanie and Rainier high schools are set this Saturday, June 7.

The big day for Clatskanie graduates will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday with Baccalaureate services in the Donavon Wooley Performing Arts Center at Clatskanie Middle/High School (CMHS).

The graduation ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the CMHS gymnasium.

Pictures of the graduates and profiles of the 13 honor graduates are featured in the special section inside this issue.

Various members of the class will be featured speakers, and the CMHS band will play the processional and recessional music.

The class motto is: “The question is not who is going to let us, but who is going to stop us.”

Rainier Graduation

Rainier’s graduation is set for Saturday, June 7, at 7 p.m. in the Chris Binder Memorial Gymnasium at Rainier Junior/Senior High School (RHSHS). Tickets are required.

Speakers at the commencement ceremony will include Superintendent Michael Carter, RJSHS Principal Grade Blue, class valedictorian Brian Guisinger, salutatorian Alyssa Swanson, and two other graduates Lauren Shroll and Audrianna Young.

The Rainier class of 2014 motto is “Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” – Albert Einstein.

The class flower is the red rose, and the class song is “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.

Rainier graduates and profiles of the valedictorian and salutatorian are also in the special section inside.

Rainier’s Baccalaureate ceremony was held Sunday evening at 7 p.m. in the RJSHS auditorium with Levi Richardson, youth pastor from the Alston Corner Assembly of God Church, as the speaker.

“A Magical Time in Clatskanie” Begins June 21, 

Continues with Heritage Days Events June 28-July 5

Plans are continuing to take shape for Clatskanie’s annual Heritage Days celebration.

“A Magical Time in Clatskanie” will begin Saturday, June 21, with the “Princess-in-Training” event, and then continue on Saturday, June 28, with the annual Heritage Cruise “Show and Shine” car show in the Clatskanie City Park.

The 4th of July parade, activities in the park and fireworks will highlight Friday, July 4. The celebration will continue with a round of activities on Saturday, July 5.


Girls aged 5 to 10 are invited to participate in the Princess-in-Training day at the Flippin Castle on Saturday, June 21. Pre-registration is required and may be accomplished by calling The Chief office at 503 728-3350, stopping by the office at 148 N. Nehalem Street, or emailing

Breakfast, Car Show, Pie on June 28

The main schedule of events will begin on Saturday, June 28, with the annual Clatskanie Arts Commission (CAC) breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. in the American Legion Hall, 930 NE 5th Street.

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 the 28th. Dozens of awards sponsored by local businesses will be given in a variety of categories.

Another feature in the park that day will be the Chapter T P.E.O. “Pie in the Park” baking contest and pie sale. 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 divisions.

All pies entered in the contest must be homemade – including the crusts. Each baker may enter a maximum of two pies. Pies entered in the contest will be sold in the pie booth.

Vendor Information, Parade Applications, Donation Needed

Other food and vendors will also be available in the park on June 28, as well as on July 4-5. Vendor information is available at: or on the Clatskanie People’s Utility District (PUD) website at:

Also available in the packets on those websites are a schedule of events, parade applications, and a form for donations. Donations for general expenses may be made to Clatskanie Heritage Days. Tax-deductible donations for fireworks or the logging show should be made out to the Clatskanie Foundation. All of the checks for Heritage donations should be mailed to: Clatskanie Heritage Days, P.O. Box 635, Clatskanie, OR 97016.

Additional questions regarding Heritage Days may be directed to Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce president Mike Clark, 503 467-8600, e-mail

Talent Show Performers Sought

The festivities will continue on Monday, June 30, with a talent show at 7 p.m. in the Clatskanie Middle/High School Donavon Wooley Performing Arts Center auditorium.

People of all ages who are interested in performing in the annual Heritage Days talent show on Monday, June 30, should contact Lori Sherman at 360 431-7910, or email Deadline to register for the talent show is June 16.

Sidewalk Sales, Movie Night, Skateboard/Bike Showcase

Local merchants are encouraged to have sidewalk sales June 30 through July 5.

A skateboard/bike showcase is set to begin at 3 p.m. in the Clatskanie Skate Park.

An outdoor family movie night will be shown in the city park as darkness falls Thursday night, July 3.

July 4th Activities

“A Magical Time in Clatskanie” will be the theme of the 2014 4th of July parade down Nehalem Street, which will be followed by the logging show, Kiwans bingo, a chili cook-off, rubby ducky races, vendors, booths, a bounce house and live music in the  park.

The annual 4th of July fireworks show will light up the sky Friday night when darkness falls.

All-School Reunion, Strut Your Mutt, CERT “Dog Days”

The celebration will continue on Saturday, July 5, with the all-school reunion in the park, the “Strut Your Mutt” dog show at 1 p.m., and the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Dog Daze event at 3 p.m.

Alumni Baseball Games

Also on Saturday, July 5, the 5th annual Clatskanie High School alumni baseball games and activities are planned at Ron Puzey Field at Clatskanie Middle/High School.

The day will begin with a home run derby at 1:30 p.m., followed by in/out field practice at 3 p.m. and the alumni game – pitching the graduates of even years against odd-number year graduates – at 4 p.m.

The format will be one nine inning game. If it lasts more than three hours, a new inning will not be started.

A player participation fee of $20 is required. The fee will include a commemorative C Baseball game T-shirt. There will be no admissions charge for spectators. A barbecue/concessions stand will benefit Clatskanie Summer Baseball.

Players wishing to guarantee a spot should contact Ryan Tompkins at or call 503 728-2146 ext. 2248.

Social Media Spurs Rainier Student Protests, Suspensions

by Adam J. Wehrley

(Editor’s Note: The article printed in the June 5, 2014 issue of The Chief  incorrectly indicated that dozens of student suspensions were a result of protests at RJSHS. Below is a corrected story regarding the incident.)

Dozens of Rainier Junior/Senior High School (RJSHS) students joined protests and disrupted classes as a result of social media accusations by a student claiming he had been suspended for supporting a fellow student who was a victim of bullying.

RJSHS senior Naythan Taylor posted a letter on a Concerned Citizens of Columbia County Facebook page Thursday, May 29, claiming that he had been suspended after bringing a bullying issue to light at the school.

On Friday, May 30, over 100 RJSHS students gathered to protest the suspension. RJSHS staff allowed the protests for a time before ordering students back to class. Many students did return, but others marched off campus where Taylor was being interviewed by a Portland television news crew.

Protests grew increasingly disruptive and threatening as many parents joined in. Racial and sexist slurs were hurled at district staff.

State and federal laws protecting student privacy prevented RJSHS staff from issuing extensive statements regarding the incidents resulting in Taylor’s suspension. However, Taylor’s parents have since released his disciplinary records.

Staff descriptions of Taylor’s interactions with RJSHS personnel show Taylor’s speech to be confrontational and laced with profanities and sexist slurs.

RJSHS principal Graden Blue’s notes about the incident which resulted in Taylor’s suspension begins with Taylor demanding to meet with Blue, deriding staff and describing the situation a “f***ing joke.”

Blue responded, “I’m here to listen to you, but you need to calm down.”

Taylor accused Blue of not doing anything about bullying and that his friend was talking about killing himself.

Blue responded, “We are doings things, but I need you to calm down and let us do our jobs.”

According to Blue, he repeated that the staff was addressing the problem while Taylor sweared and belittled staff.

At that point, Blue warned Taylor that he would be suspended for impeding the investigation.

According to Blue’s notes, Taylor said, “You’re not going to f—ing do anything.”

Blue repeated the threat of suspension and Taylor left.

Blue’s records report that Taylor was suspended for  disruption to the school, profanity and impending the bullying investigation.

Additionally, Taylor’s disciplinary records show dozens of similar disruptive outbursts involving profanity, defiance and confrontations with staff.

Superintendent Michael Carter, who was out of state Friday, issued a statement Monday, June 2, reiterating that Taylor’s suspension was the result of violations of student conduct code.

Dr. Carter said, “The disruption was largely the creation of the media, who chose to respond when they were hearing only one side of the story.”

He continued, “When students report bullying, their concerns are taken seriously and are investigated. Sometimes the cases are made difficult because there are exchanges on social media that make bullying even more difficult to track and stop. When threats of suicide are made, the students are offered services including free mental health therapy and emergency intervention. We cannot share details of services offered to specific students even to their concerned friends without violating student privacy and state and federal laws.”

Students who defied staff directions to return to class after Friday’s initial protests are required to write essays on civil disobedience, famous protestors and how civil disobedience and peaceful protest can benefit society.

“In the future we want to teach students about appropriate ways to protest (with the notation that students should understand the need to have the full information before they jump to conclusions) and the need to express disagreement in civil terms,” concluded Dr. Carter.

District administrators stressed that, “No one was suspended for protesting.” Suspensions were issued to those who went beyond the allotted time and disregarded safety directions to return to the school.

As of Tuesday, June 3, Taylor’s original accusations had been shared over 6500 times on facebook, with 9,300 likes and 640 comments.

The Chief Returns to Friday Publication

by Deborah Steele Hazen

Beginning the third week of June, The Chief will return to its historical weekly publication day. It will be dated on Friday, rather than Thursday.

The Chief will go to press early Thursday morning, June 19 – rather than Wednesday morning as has been the case for many years. It will go into the mail and out on the news stands in local stores, restaurants and businesses by mid-day on Thursdays.

Local subscribers who now receive their Chief in the mail on Thursdays, will receive it on Fridays. Delivery for out-of-county subscribers may be delayed another day.

Except for late breaking stories, the deadline for news, advertising and public notices for each week’s issue will be 5 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Prior to 1966, The Chief went to press on Thursdays and was dated on Fridays since its founding in 1891. In 1966, the change was made to accommodate the schedule of grocery advertisers. Those advertisers now use direct mail.

The change back to a Thursday press time is being made so that The Chief staff can better cover events that occur during the first half of the week.

News sources and advertisers are encouraged to consider the one day later publication and mailing of The Chief. For instance, if a garage sale starts early Friday morning, it may be best to put the advertisement in the week before with a reminder the week of the sale.

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