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City extends emergency declaration

Warrenton city commissioners on Tuesday extended the city’s state of emergency declaration through June 9. City events are cancelled and no committee meetings will be held. Clatsop County commissioners will meet today, May 29, and are expected to extend the county’s emergency declaration to July 6. Both the city’s and Clatsop County’s emergency declarations were to expire May 31. “The emergency declaration extension is solely to be in a position to get federal reimbursement for costs (continued)


Volunteers sought for planning posts

Three seat are open on the Clatsop County Planning Commission. The panel is the county’s committee for citizen involvement on development and land-use issues, such as zoning, natural resources and transportation. The group meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in Astoria. The open positions are for two terms ending on June 30, 2024, and one term ending on June 30, 2022. For more information, contact Gail Henrikson at 503-325-8611. Applications are available at the County (continued)


Toyooka, Bangs easily win County Commission seats

Clatsop County Commission will have two new board members in January after newcomers John Toyooka and Courtney Bangs beat incumbents Sarah Nebeker and Kathleen Sullivan. A five-year tax levy for the Clatsop County Fairgrounds also was approved. Toyooka, 59, manager of Lum’s Auto Center, took 60 percent of the vote from Nebeker in the District 2 race. What resonated with voters? “Hopefully it was the message that I wanted to unify, to take partisan politics out of the mix and work toward the (continued)


Saying thanks during tough times

So many to thank and not enough ways to say it. Last week was National Law Enforcement/Police Appreciation week. This week highlights Emergency Medical Services. Next week begins with Memorial Day, an opportunity to reflect on those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so we could be free. We often remember those in the military when we think of people who regularly put their lives in harm’s way. But peace officers, firefighters and those working on road crews have dangerous jobs as well. During (continued)


State, county slowly come alive after pandemic closure

Restaurants, bars and some personal services are back in business after the governor approved Clatsop County’s plan for a phased-in approach to reopening. Gyms, retail stores, barber shops, salons, spas and tattoo parlors are allowed to partially reopen. Local restaurants and bars may offer sit-down dining. And gatherings of up to 25 people are now allowed. All reopened business are required to follow state guidelines on numbers of customers, physical distancing, cleaning and other measures (continued)


Oregon's Chinese are the focus of award-winning heritage project

Emigrants from China were an essential part of rail expansion and other large public works projects in the United States during the 1800s. The role of Chinese Oregonians in the state’s history is at the forefront of an archaeology project underway in the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument. Buck Rock Tunnel, high in the mountains on Bureau of Land Management land, is being excavated by students from Southern Oregon University under the supervision of BLM Archaeologist Lisa Rice. Rice has (continued)


Hovercraft story wins regional award

Last year’s story about an emergency preparedness drill that brought a military hovercraft to Sunset Beach brought The Columbia Press a first-place award in the technology writing category for small newspapers in the Northwest Excellence in Journalism competition. The awards, which were announced Monday night, are sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists and included newspapers from Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana. Sisters Cindy Yingst and Peggy Yingst covered and (continued)


Utility customers to get credits

NW Natural customers can expect a credit on their June bill. Credits returned to Oregon customers this year are a record $17 million. The average residential customer will see a credit of $16.88, about 30 percent of an average monthly bill. The average small commercial customer will see a credit of $77.09. “Our customers’ natural gas bills are about 40 percent lower than they were 15 years ago,” NW Natural President David H. Anderson said. “During such a challenging time for so many due (continued)


2020 graduation to be a huge community hug

A communitywide celebration honoring Warrenton High School’s 2020 graduating class is in the works. Parents, teachers and local business leaders are organizing an event that will abide by social distancing requirements in which the entire town can participate. “We are working on a plan for graduation that will be held on the original graduation date of June 5,” Principal Rod Heyen told school board members. “We will be working on trying to use as many of the traditional aspects of a (continued)


School district furloughs 35 in uncertainty over state funds

The Warrenton-Hammond School District furloughed 35 classified employees, placed a temporary freeze on hiring and is making other belt-tightening moves as the COVID-19 pandemic decimates the budgets of schools and local governments. On Wednesday night, the school board gave preliminary approval to a 2020-21 budget that includes $11.7 million in expenditures with an expected $12 million in revenue. Schools in Oregon had expected a bit of a windfall in the coming year as businesses pay th (continued)


Club celebrates its centennial this summer

The Angora Hiking Club has lasted a century, surviving the 1918 Spanish Flu, the Great Depression of 1929, and World War II. And it will survive the pandemic of 2020. Hiking offers a respite from work, stress, and depression, chief guide Arline LaMear said. The club, which has about 90 members today, was organized on July 4, 1920. On that day, 18 members of the Knights of Pythias hiked to the top of Saddle Mountain. Once at the summit, they read the Declaration of Independence and sang the Star (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

Letter to the editor: There's bad information out there

I have recently been informed that there was a post on Facebook that any worker who tested positive for CV19 would have their children removed by Children’s Services. It is not true. If parents contract CV19 and are unable to care for their children, then they can ask Children’s Services for help, and the children could be placed where they will be provided for while the parents recover. It is up to the parents. Also, I’ve heard a rumor that if someone asks for a CV19 test, the (continued)


Letter to the editor: Masks protect, yet they annoy

A few thoughts on wearing a mask: It’s hard to breath and wear a mask for very long; at least I find it to be so. So I feel for the workers at stores who wear them for hours. Thank you store workers! Also, I can’t tell if people are smiling or crabby when only eyes peek out. One day, I told a man in the store that I was smiling under my mask. He said he was, too. We all do look strange walking around faceless. But, hopefully, soon we can resume our identities. My great-granddaughter who is (continued)


In My Opinion: Practicing wellness in a pandemic

Living through the coronavirus era has forced many of us to confront what we thought we knew about emotions and prolonged stress. The pandemic has come in like a perfect storm, flooding our lives with uncertainty while robbing us of many of our usual coping mechanisms. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen the strain settle in. Unchecked emotions have fueled spats on social media, tensions within personal relationships, unease in workplaces around our community, and increased alcohol use. It (continued)


Senior Moments: Flags will help us remember this year

Warrenton Memorial Day festivities, as many have lamented, just won’t be the same this year as in years past. Memorial Day services at Fort Steven’s National Cemetery will be accomplished quietly by a few veterans when the small flags are put in place. Meanwhile, the flag-changing service at the post office also will be achieved quietly. The United States flag will be lowered to half-staff at sunset on Sunday, honoring our fallen heroes who gave their lives fighting for a common cause, (continued)


Off the Shelf: Summer Reading Program includes innovation

COVID-19 will not stop summer reading fun! The State Library of Oregon has been hosting a weekly series of virtual meet-ups for librarians across the state and the meetings have proven to be a valuable tool for deciding what services the library can provide. Input and ideas from the virtual meet-ups, along with collaboration with Seaside and Astoria public library staff, have helped shape a new, innovative Summer Reading Program for Clatsop County families. Starting June 1, Warrenton Community (continued)


Senior Moments: Virtual doctor visits and more

A friend of mine threatens to let her dog’s groomer cut her hair if the groomer opens before her hair dresser. I’m thinking of going with her. I love seeing moms and dads in the backyard cutting the kids’ hair, just like when I was a child. In my large family, none of us ever went to a professional to get our hair cut. That was mother's job! Ah, more time for memories these days, for sure. I had an appointment for a virtual (using the Facetime application) appointment with my doctor last (continued)

Events

Missing travel? Take a journey with maritime museum's mini boats

Columbia River Maritime Museum and Pacific Power invite the public on an adventure that can be taken from one’s easy chair. The adventure begins today, May 29, via livestream. It’s the first in a series of three online distance-learning events involving the 5-foot boats, which are equipped with global-positioning satellite system. The “Mighty Miniboat Float” program provides an unusual educational opportunity that introduces students to ocean science, international exchange, and all (continued)


Household hazardous waste collection is June 13

Clatsop County’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 13. The new collection center, 1789 Williamsport Road, Astoria, is specially designed to receive and handle toxic, flammable and otherwise hazardous products that can pose a risk in the home and workplace and to the environment. Residents may bring cleaners, paint, batteries, pesticides and other hazardous products for free disposal. The drive-through facility allows residents to drop off (continued)

Police and Public Safety

Public safety calls for week of May 22

** Thefts and burglaries ** Shoplifting, 7:45 p.m. May 11, Fred Meyer. Bari Katherine French, 35, of Gearhart was cited for third-degree theft and criminal mischief after she allegedly attempted to leave the store without paying for $83 in merchandise. Auto theft, 1:23 p.m. May 12, 1200 block Southwest Cedar Drive. A teal 1991 Geo Metro was taken. Auto burglary, 2:01 p.m. May 12, 100 block Southwest 14th Street. Fishing, climbing, and camping gear valued at $569 was taken. Shoplifting, 6:09 (continued)


Public safety calls for week of May 15

** Thefts and burglaries ** Shoplifting, 7:09 p.m. May 3, Walmart. Tyler C. Buckner, 24, of Warrenton was cited for third-degree theft after he allegedly attempted to leave the store without paying for a light bar and LED lights valued at $99. Shoplifting, 9:46 p.m. May 6, Fred Meyer. Hope A. Bodway-McDonald, 21, of Seaside was cited for second-degree theft and Kelli Louise Grieve, 26, of Springfield was cited for third-degree theft after they allegedly attempted to leave the store without (continued)

Education