Amidst Our Triumphs – Tragedies

Editorial Comments

by Deborah Steele Hazen

It was another great Heritage Days celebration in Clatskanie, and we congratulate and thank all who were involved in it.

Elsewhere in this issue is a thank you to the financial and/or in-kind contributors to Heritage Days. Also deserving of particular thanks are Michael “Mike” Clark, who, as the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce president, had much of the responsibility for the celebration thrust rather suddenly on his shoulders, and Lori Sherman, a Heritage Days volunteer who did a huge amount of work for several different events and aspects of the celebration.

The weather could have been better for the car show on June 28. The clouds and threats of rain kept some participants away, but there were no more than a few sprinkles that actually fell here, and the Clatskanie Cruisers did their usual fine job of running it.

The “Pie in the Park” baking contest had 22 participants, and the pie sale was very successful as a fundraiser for P.E.O. scholarships.

The weather improved throughout the week leading up to the 4th.

The Heritage talent show was thoroughly enjoyable.

The biggest crowd ever turned out for family movie night in the park on the 3rd. The return of the bike/skate park showcase was a welcome addition for the kids.

For the first time in many years, I rode on a float in the parade rather than watched or covered it. But from what I could see, and from the reports I’ve heard from others, it was one of – if not the best – parade ever.

We were particularly appreciative of and touched by the Abbott sisters’ salute to this newspaper. Thank you!

Hundreds of parade watchers flocked to the park afterwards, and we appreciated the excitement of the logging show, which the Skirvin family has put on for over 30 years!

The Kiwanis bingo entertained many, and the bounce houses and the pony rides were hits with the kids, as were the dunk tank and the ducky races, put on by Wyldlife/Young Life.

The second annual Chili Cook-off is growing and has the potential to be a real addition to the celebration.

The fireworks show was very good – despite the unplanned intermission for the grass fire.

Clearly, Clatskanie Police Chief Marvin Hoover was certainly correct in calling for an end to the illegal amateur fireworks displays because of the dangers they pose – particularly because of the dry conditions.

Thank goodness for our Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District personnel, who were very busy throughout the weekend, organizing the parade and responding to calls – two of them tragic fatalities.

There was a good turn-out Saturday, July 5, for the popular dog show events.

Nonetheless, the Heritage Days Committee, which operates under the umbrella of the Clatskanie Chamber of Commerce, is well-aware that the celebration – especially in the park after the 4th of July parade – could use more activities.

We are aware that a carnival helps entertain kids, but the reality is – especially with current gas prices – that Clatskanie’s celebration is too small to draw a carnival on the 4th of July when they can go elsewhere to bigger crowds and larger profits.

To state once again what seems to me to be obvious. There is no dedicated funding for Heritage Days other than what volunteers are able to raise and what local industries, businesses, organizations and individuals contribute.

If you have ideas for how to make Clatskanie Heritage Days even better, by all means call Mike Clark at 503 467-8600 or e-mail him at

If you are willing to help with Heritage Days, please don’t wait for an engraved invitation – we’re too busy to send them out.

Contact Mike.

Watch this newspaper for opportunities to volunteer.

Become a participant.

Send a donation to Clatskanie Heritage Days, P.O. Box 635, Clatskanie, OR 97016

Please Be Careful

Finally, Heritage Days is just the first of the big summer celebrations, and the weather has turned warm. There will be much swimming and boating, many barbecues and beach parties, many trips.

We don’t want to preach, but please be careful out there.

Two people lost their lives within a few miles of Clatskanie and Rainier this past weekend.

In a moment, our fun and celebration can turn to tragedy.

The Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriffs Association, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police and the Oregon Department of Transportation offer the following safety reminders to help keep your holiday travels safe:

• Get rested before you are tested. Fatigued drivers are more frequent during holiday weekends because of increased travel and activity. Be patient and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.

• Pay attention. An inattentive driver is a growing safety concern on our roads and an increasing factor in traffic crashes.

• Know before you go: Stay up to date on road conditions by visiting or calling 5-1-1. Don’t use your cell phone to check on this non-emergency information while driving.

• Even when workers are not present, all work zone speed limits still apply and fines double. Inactive work zones still have equipment, detours, and incomplete changes in the roadway so drivers need to slow down and be alert.

• Share the road. Don’t tailgate and be sure to check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.

• Be on the lookout for bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable users of our roads.

• Always use safety restraints and child safety seats correctly (see for free safety seat clinics and proper buckling tips).

• Don’t drink and drive; don’t be impaired and drive. These can be deadly combinations.

• MOVE OVER if you are approaching any type of emergency vehicle, tow truck or roadside assistance vehicle which is stopped on the roadside with emergency lights activated.

• Every traveling person – bicyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and motorists alike – are reminded that we all have individual responsibility for keeping our roads safe.

• Immediately report aggressive, dangerous and intoxicated drivers to 9-1-1 or call Oregon State Police at 1-800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865).

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