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Despite challenges, Community Day of Thanks a success

Volunteers organized by Veterans of Foreign Wars Fort Stevens Post 10580 and Auxiliary fed more than 200 people last week during the annual Community Day of Thanks. Indoor dining at Warrenton Community Center was cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions, so all meals were delivered or available as takeout. There also was a power outage part of the day. “The community Thanksgiving had a lot of challenges this year, but many, many were able to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner thanks to the VFW and (continued)

County considered at 'high risk' for coronavirus

A two-week freeze on some businesses and activities ended Wednesday, but a new round of COVID-19 restrictions was ushered in the following day. The governor’s Risk and Protection Framework details limits on social and at-home gatherings, restaurants, fitness centers, retail stores and other entities, based on whether a county’s COVID-19 risk is designated low, moderate, high or extreme, based on recent infection rates. Clatsop County was designated “high risk,” along with five other (continued)

Infusing holiday charm into downtown

First published in the Nov. 27 print edition

Spruce Up Warrenton is taking to the streets to put some holly jolly frosting on what could be a sad season for those in isolation or otherwise dealing with the pandemic. “If all this comes together, we’ll be able to be seen from space,” said Brenda Hoxsey, chair of the nonprofit group that’s dedicated to improving downtown Warrenton. Last weekend, volunteers included Tommy and Jeanne Smith, Ken Davis, Mike Moha, Brenda and Norm Hoxsey, and Pacific Power employees. This weekend, the (continued)

County, seafood processor reach accord on coronavirus

A standoff between Clatsop County and Pacific Seafood over handling of COVID-19 cases has been settled with an agreement reached Monday between the two. The agreement details how the two will work together to protect the health and safety of company employees and the rest of the community during the pandemic. Last month, the state stepped in to facilitate an hourlong virtual town hall meeting for elected officials and the public meant to shed light on how the plant was dealing with pandemic (continued)

Post-turkey weekend activities kick off the holidays

The weekend after Thanksgiving is the official kick-off for many Christmas activities. There’s no question the holidays will look and feel different during these days of COVID-19. Yet there still are things that can be done by yourself or with your household. **Distanced visits with Santa ** Downtown Astoria is all lit up for the holidays. The Christmas tree on Marine Drive at 17th Street was put up and lit Nov. 21, although there was no ceremony this year due to the pandemic. Santa will (continued)

UO chemist's research getting to bottom of top cup of coffee

The future of good espresso will be brewed with the help of University of Oregon chemist Christopher Hendon, known widely as Dr. Coffee. The Specialty Coffee Association, after months of grinding through proposals from universities around the world, announced that the UO will be a research partner for a four-year espresso extraction research project. “Toward a Deeper Understanding of Espresso Extraction” was announced Nov. 12. The project will spark the development of formal guidelines on (continued)

Oregon is tops in many food products

Oregon may not be a major producer of turkeys, but you can thank the state’s farmers for other staples found on a typical Thanksgiving table and throughout the holidays. Oregon is No. 1 in the nation for Dungeness crab production -- $68 million worth! We’re No. 2 for pears and onions, No. 3 for cranberries, and No. 4 for green peas and potatoes. If you raise a toast during the holidays, remember that Oregon hops are used to produce many of the region’s craft beers. The state ranks No. 3 (continued)

Group helps needy and seeks people willing to 'adopt' families for the holidays

A group from Warrenton Hammond Healthy Kids put together Thanksgiving food baskets for those in need. The nonprofit community benefit group partnered with Warrenton-Hammond School District and Walmart to provide all the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal for the families of 138 Warrior students. The group also is organizing a holiday Adopt-A-Family project. Those who would like to be included on the list of potential families that will be adopted are asked to contact Warrenton Grade School. Those (continued)

New bridge stops flooding, helps fish

A collaboration between Clatsop County and Columbia River Estuary Task Force has helped solve a chronic flooding problem and improved fish habitat along the John Day River. The county Public Works Department and CREST recently completed construction of a new bridge on John Day River Road east of Astoria. The 60-foot span replaces two culverts where water sometimes backed up during high tides and covered a section of the road, which serves nine residences and private timberland. There’s also a (continued)

Cancer, arthritis drugs priciest in the state

Cancer and rheumatoid arthritis drugs are among the most expensive drugs in the state of Oregon, the Department of Consumer and Business Services reports. Yervov, used to treat melanoma, was at the top of the list at $43,525 per single prescription. For the second year in a row, the brand-name drug Humira, commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, was the drug Oregon’s health insurance companies spent on, as it is the most prescribed specialty drug. The 17,435 Humira prescriptions i (continued)

County seeks those interested in transportation issues

The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners is accepting applications for a position on the Northwest Oregon Area Commission on Transportation. The commission is an advisory body to the Oregon Transportation Commission and provides a local forum for information, discussion and coordination of transportation issues, project and funding procedures, and recommends investment priorities based on local transportation system plans. The commission covers Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook and wester (continued)

Port's hopes build for industrial park at airport

First published in the Nov. 20 print edition

Nothing is quick when it comes to construction. The adage certainly applies to plans for a fishmeal plant near the airport. Concerns about capacity at Warrenton’s wastewater treatment plant and whether the business would attract birds that could pose flight-safety hazards continue to plague the Scoular company’s plans. Time is of the essence, company officials have said, because they’d like to begin processing fish by July. The Scoular plant is a key component of the Port of Astoria’ (continued)

Appeal denied of Pacific Seafood's housing extention

First published in the Nov. 20 print edition

A man who lives next to a planned dormitory for workers at the Pacific Seafoods plant has lost an appeal of the city’s decision to extend the company’s construction timeline. “I’m not opposed to them having that housing,” Scott Widdicombe said after the meeting. “I’m opposed to the way they want to do it.” A year ago, Warrenton’s Planning Commission approved the company’s request to turn a 27,750-square-foot former metal fabrication building at 1815 N.W. Warrenton Drive into (continued)

VA doctor's lung cancer assessment idea gives him medical 'Shark Tank' win

Those who enjoy the TV show “Shark Tank” may be interested to learn the Veterans Administration has a similar program to boost and fund encouraging new medical research ideas nationwide. This year, the VA’s annual version of Shark Tank gave the top prize to a team from VA Portland Health Care System. There were more than 400 VA health innovators in the competition from across the country. The Portland team was led by Dr. Christopher Slatore, who created a centralized lung cancer screening (continued)

History in the Making: 'Magic' mushrooms send students to hospital

A look at Warrenton's top stories from the annals of The Columbia Press.

** November 2010, 10 years ago ** Contractor Mark Baldwin defeats Mayor Gil Gramson for a seat on the Warrenton City Commission. Fire destroys Dick Mattson’s historic home along Adair Slough between the airport and High Life Adventures. The 1880 house once was owned by pioneer physician Bethenia Owens- Adair. ** November 2000, 20 years ago ** Lylla Gaebel beats fellow candidates Ed Bussert and Deon Harris to win a seat on the Warrenton City Commission. Incumbents Jeff Hazen and Paul Rodriguez (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

Senior Moments: Nothing is broken this Thanksgiving

I wish I’d heard Sen. Rand Paul soon enough to share this with you in regard to our six-person limit for Thanksgiving dinner. It seems some people felt they should be able to have 15 people for dinner, since that’s how many were allowed to be at a funeral. So, on Thanksgiving Day, some declared it a funeral celebration for that beautiful turkey on the table, who certainly gave his all for us. Many of you have been watching your share of Christmas movies lately, as I am. It’s surprising (continued)

Mayor's Message: Community provides attitude of gratitude

This was the hardest Mayor’s Message I’ve ever had to compose. These are difficult days, and it’s tough to know what to say. I’m not going to write a snow job on how wonderful this season is, or some admonishment to stay away from each other that everyone has heard a million times by now. Instead, I’m going to write about Warrenton and what we’ve got going for us. We’ve got great residents, who are caring for their neighbors and families. We’ve got great teachers, who are doing (continued)

Off the Shelf: Race Talks initiated mindful discussions

Warrenton Community Library hosted a six-session Rural Race Talks facilitated by LaNicia Duke, which wrapped up Nov. 4. The talks began Sept. 23, with community members meeting via Zoom and in person at Warrenton City Hall and continued every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m., with those attending learning how to talk about race. As they talked, most discovered core truths and values along the way. Tackling the subject is challenging, but LaNicia helped the group feel at ease with her outgoing, (continued)

Senior Moments: Things to ponder on those dark and stormy nights

It was a dark and stormy night. I thought of that phrase as I went to bed Monday night. Was that credited to Peanuts creator Charles Schultz, author Charles Dickens, or both? The answer is yes. Both. But it was not original to either of them. The phrase was coined by Victorian author Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton in the book, “Paul Clifford,” published in 1830. Charles Schultz taught Snoopy, as well as Charlie Brown, to begin their writings with that dark and stormy night phrase. Schultz’s (continued)


Master of mushrooms to speak at 'Nature Matters'

David Lebo, a botanist and ecologist, will talk about the biology, ecology and identification of Oregon coastal macrofungi at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10. Macrofungi produce the diversity of mushrooms found in coastal habitats. His presentation is part of the Nature Matters series of lectures sponsored by Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and Fort George Brewery. The event is free and can be heard live via the brewery’s Facebook page, Lebo has a master’s (continued)

Salamanders are focus of lecture

Tiffany Garcia, an associate professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University, will talk about local salamanders during a streamed event on Facebook Live at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10. Her talk, “Terrestrial Salamanders in Forested Ecosystems,” is sponsored by the Lower Nehalem Watershed Council. Garcia will review the salamander’s habitat needs and behavior and share insights from her research into their responses to timber harvesting. The event is free. To (continued)

Blaxploitation in film is topic of lecture

Ron Craig, executive director of the Astoria International Film Festival, will lead a discussion, “Blaxploitation in Film” during this month’s Ales & Ideas lecture. The event is sponsored by Clatsop Community College and Fort George Brewery. It will be broadcast from the Fort George Lovell Showroom via Facebook Live at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3. The arts can open doors to cultural diversity, providing models for inclusivity, Craig says. The arts also can perpetuate cultural stereotypes and (continued)

Seaside beach cleanup planned

Seaside Aquarium is sponsoring a Treasure the Beach cleanup from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Participants are urged to dress warmly and comfortably and check in at the aquarium during those hours for directions on the best places to be helpful. (continued)

High school seeks bottles and cans

The Warrenton High School class of 2021 will have a can and bottle drive to raise funds for graduates and graduation activities. Donations will be accepted from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, in the Warrenton High School parking lot, 1700 S. Main Ave. (continued)

Cooking classes available for cancer patients

North Coast Food Web and Columbia Memorial Hospital’s Knight Cancer Collaborative cosponsor cooking classes for those dealing with cancer. The next class focuses on pies and is from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the food web, 577 18th St., Astoria. Classes are free for cancer collaborative patients, those who have completed treatment, and their support people. Participants are limited to 12 and registration is required by calling 503-338-4520. Classes are hands-on and use tasty, (continued)

Police and Public Safety

Public safety calls for week of Nov. 27

** Thefts and burglaries ** Shoplifting, 4:28 p.m. Nov. 20, Fred Meyer. Cherilee McAnelly, 46, of Seaside was cited for third-degree theft and criminal mischief after she allegedly attempted to leave the store without paying for $48 in panties and thongs. ** Suspicious circumstances and disturbances ** Trespassing, 1:23 a.m. Nov. 15, Skipanon River Bridge. Joshua M. Wenger, 33, no known address, was cited for criminal trespassing. Providing false information to police. Travis J. Freniere, 34, (continued)

Public safety calls for week of Nov. 20

** Warrants ** Warrant service, 4:04 p.m. Nov. 10, dike trail on Galena Road. Lonie Charles Davis Jr., 42, no known address, was arrested on a felony warrant issued by Clatsop County Circuit Court. Warrant service, 6:11 a.m. Nov. 14, 800 block Alternate Highway 101. Natasha Irene Ackerman, 36, no known address, was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant issued by Washington County Sheriff’s Office. ** Burglaries and thefts ** Shoplifting, 2:54 p.m. Nov. 7, Fred Meyer. Frank K. Nimz, 39, no known (continued)