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County dealing with four COVID workplace outbreaks

Clatsop County has four workplace outbreaks, including a second outbreak at Pacific Seafoods in Warrenton, Public Health Director Mike McNickle told county officials Wednesday evening. By Thursday morning, the news was so much worse. “It’s been a very fast-moving week,” he said. “We’re waiting for test results of 30 that we took Monday” and 159 more tests that were conducted on employees at Pacific Seafoods. Seventy-seven of the 159 Pacific Seafood night shift employees who wer (continued)

Few hurdles left for airport industrial park

Efforts to resolve issues at the Airport Industrial Park are progressing as the Port of Astoria works with two seafood processing plants planning to locate there. The Scoular Company, based in Omaha, Neb., is in the design and feasibility stages of building a fish meal and fish oil processing plant. Their product would be used for pet food and aquaculture. “Warrenton’s proximity to the necessary raw material supply makes it an attractive location for this plant,” said Melissa Matczak, (continued)

New community development director has his eye on downtown

Warrenton has a new community development director. Scott Hess, 36, will take on the role in late October, City Manager Linda Engbretson said. Hess is community and economic development director for the Wasatch Front Regional Council in Salt Lake City. The council is an association of governments made up of elected officials from six counties. He formerly was the council’s transportation planner for bicycle and pedestrian facilities. “Scott’s past experience in city and county government (continued)

Remembering Alex: Death of man who was different should not go unnoticed

**Editor's note:** Deb Vanasse's piece reminds us that we're all flawed human beings and that there are many sides to every story. Alex Jimenez had a smile that lit up his whole face. Having served as a U.S. Army specialist in Iraq, he wanted nothing more than to deploy again. But he showed behaviors consistent with schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, and the military refused to let him re-enlist. Instead, he became one of an estimated 40,000 homeless U.S. veterans. After bouncing (continued)

Finally! Children return to school

Schools received good news last week that allowed all students to return to in-person classes this week. Of course, nothing is as it was, but the 2020-21 school year got off as smoothly as could be expected. “It’s been great. I couldn’t have asked for a better start,” said Rod Heyen, Warrenton Grade School principal. “Our staff is engaged and working hard trying to maintain all the protocols and cohorting and all the hoops we’ve got to jump through.” In all grade levels there are (continued)

Devastation left in wake of a million burned acres

More than a million acres have burned along with 1,616 homes and 1,461 other structures in the most devastating fire season in recent state history. On Wednesday, there were eight confirmed fatalities, 12 missing persons and nearly 4,000 people in shelters. The statistics from the Office of Emergency Management are sobering and heart-wrenching. On Tuesday, Gov. Kate Brown declared a State of Emergency in Oregon, banning all open burning, and the use of chainsaws, except in emergencies. Within (continued)

Coronavirus death toll passes 500

Five new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the past week by Clatsop County Public Health authorities. They include a woman in her 40s and a man in his 60s, both living in the north part of the county, both reported Sept. 11. On Monday, two more were reported: both women in their 30s, one from north county and one from south county. On Tuesday, a male in his 20s from north county was reported. The new cases bring the total county count to 105 with 97 recovered and the rest convalescing at home. (continued)

Business and Development Tidbits for Sept. 18

New middle school construction aims to beat weather

There has been a flurry of activity at the site of Warrenton’s future middle school as construction crews attempt to get as much completed while the weather is nice. “It seems like we have very few issues left,” said Scott Rose, project manager for the district’s consultant, R and C Management. Work is on schedule and the campus is set to open for the fall 2021-22 school year. This month: ** The bus driveway, bus parking area and parent parking was excavated and the gravel subgrad (continued)

KMUN receives relief grant to help with diminished funding

KMUN has been awarded a COVID-19 relief grant from Oregon Community Foundation, a statewide philanthropy assigning donor funds for transforming change in Oregon. The $11,000 grant was secured in late July. The nonprofit KMUN, which operates independently of public radio and commercial stations, works on a tight budget. Income to the station from businesses has decreased by 50 percent, the station reported. KMUN has been able to keep playlists and personalities holding strong by shiftin (continued)

Buoy 10 fishery was fast and frenzied

This year’s Buoy 10 fishery was short on time while long on visitor problems. Warrenton Police Chief Matt Workman described the popular two-week Columbia River salmon event as a bit of a free-for-all. “It almost becomes a Vegas atmosphere,” he said. “Some think they can do whatever they want while they’re here.” Jane Sweet, Warrenton’s harbormaster, described this year’s short season as chaos compounded by staff shortages and a lack of adequate campsites. “We were hit so hard (continued)

All grade levels may be back on campus soon

Warrenton’s youngest students begin attending on-campus classes on Monday. Older students could follow a week later, Superintendent Tom Rogozinski told school board members at their meeting Wednesday night. The COVID-19 metrics – an equation that the state uses to determine when students can return to in-person learning – have been improving. The metrics require no more than 10 active cases per 100,000 population for all students to return. If there are more than 10 cases but fewer than (continued)

Bringing the ballot box home

Some residents were upset when they learned, during the May primary election, that Warrenton would have no drop box for ballots. The ballot box historically has been kept inside Warrenton City Hall and is brought out as soon as ballots are put in the mail. But, because of the pandemic, City Hall was closed and the Clatsop County Elections Department did not think the city warranted a temporary drop box in May. “We now have a permanent ballot box installed in the parking lot behind City Hall, (continued)

Pavement contract goes to Seaside firm

The city of Warrenton approved a $377,266 contract with Bayview Asphalt on Tuesday for pavement improvements to 20 streets throughout the city. Hammond streets included in the plan are portions of Third Avenue, Fifth Avenue, Ninth Avenue, Jetty Street, King Salmon Place, Mariner Street and Lake Road Spur. Warrenton streets included in the plan are portions of First Street Southeast, Seventh Street Southeast, Ninth Street Southwest, 10th Place Southeast, 13th Street Northwest, 14th Str (continued)

Watch what you eat. Especially in front of the kids.

It’s no surprise that young children like sugar and salt in their food and develop their preferences based on what their parents feed them, but new research suggests that how parents view their own self-regulation also is a contributing factor. Food systems heavy in calories and light on recommended nutrition are a major factor contributing to global obesity and are a major challenge to parents of young children, says T. Bettina Cornwell, Phillip H. Knight Chair and head of the Department of (continued)

Fires burn through the state and the West

Fires burned throughout the state and the West this week, causing suffocating air quality, closing highways and forcing the evacuation of large areas. Tinderbox conditions forced the closure of Clatsop and Tillamook state forests, all Bureau of Land Management public lands, and many state parks, including Silver Falls, Detroit Lake, North Santiam, and Collier Memorial. The parks were evacuated early Tuesday as fires and heavy smoked pushed closer to them. Cape Lookout near Tillamook also was (continued)

Staying healthy in smoke-filled air

To reduce the impacts of smoky air, the Clatsop County Public Health Department recommends the following. ** Stay indoors with windows and doors closed and any gaps sealed. Avoid strenuous activity. ** If available and if needed for comfort, run an air conditioner on the “recirculate” setting. Be sure to change the filter at appropriate intervals. Other types of room or central air filtration systems may help remove airborne particles, but they need to be selected to adequately filter the (continued)

Volunteers sought for animal shelter

Clatsop Animal Assistance and the Clatsop County Animal Shelter need volunteers. Shelter volunteers walk and bathe dogs, and socialize and play with the cats. Volunteers who are also CAA members can help out by transporting animals to and from veterinary appointments, handling dogs at off-site adoption events, and fostering. Shelter volunteers go through a two-hour orientation. These are offered Friday and Saturday mornings; you must schedule in advance by calling the shelter at 503-861-7387. (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

Letter to the Editor: Boothe-Schmidt best choice for House District 32

I’m writing to tell you why I will be voting Debbie Boothe-Schmidt for state representative of House District 32. As a registered nurse living and working on the North Coast, I have seen countless residents struggle to access local affordable healthcare. Some residents struggle with transportation to Portland for specialty appointments. Others have to decide whether to buy food or life-saving medications each month. Other people have difficulty accessing local, affordable mental health o (continued)

Letter to the Editor: Science should guide Oregon's forest policies

We Oregonians want to be safe from devastating wildfires like the ones that are burning now. The science is clear: If we do nothing to address climate change, disasters like these will only increase. Yet in an editorial published in the Washington Post, Timber Unity’s Julie Parrish has the gall to use this disaster as an occasion to point fingers at Black Lives Matter protesters, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Gov. Kate Brown. Conveniently, she ignores the fact that in the last regular (continued)

Letter to the Editor: Gun owners should take better care of their freedom

I am amazed at the things people do in the times we are in. I was appalled to read about the open carry rally in Seaside in front of the business of an owner that doesn’t support open carry. Then I learned that they also had turned up in front of one of our county commissioner’s home, and the neighbors, of course, were very unhappy. I am a gun owner and would like to keep that right. The intimidation presented by this group will do nothing but feed the fire for people who want to push for (continued)

Letter to the Editor: God bless America. Now treat it right.

How in the world do I deserve to have an opinion? If any of you who have had relatives who fought or contributed to keeping this country free, you deserve the right to vote and have an opinion about what is going on in our streets. Three of my grandfathers and one of my wife Charlotte’s grandfathers fought in the American Revolution. One was captured in the battle of Long Island and another lost a leg to free us from England. Another grandfather enlisted with the North in the fight to fr (continued)

Letter to the Editor: Consider prayer as Oregon burns

All those affected by the wildfires are in our thoughts and prayers. I ask the residents of Oregon to please pray the Litany of Saint Joseph every day, “Go to Joseph” (Genesis 41:55). (continued)

Off the Shelf: Libraries can help young people connect with stories

Summer 2020 is winding down and we’ve completed our distribution of take and make craft bags and books from our Summer Reading Program. We gave out 511 bags and books at Warrenton Community Library (WCL) this summer! Thank you to everyone who participated and shared their pictures and crafts. Most of the free books were donated from the nonprofit organizations Kids Need to Read (five boxes from Mesa, Ariz.), Lisa Libraries (eight boxes from Kingston, N.Y.) as well as support from Astoria and (continued)

Senior Moments: Keeping an eye on our reactions

It can be difficult to control our reactions during our self-imposed and/or by law pandemic restrictions. Maybe we seniors have too much thinking time. For instance, our local Pinochle Club, which consists of eight regular players and about six substitutes, were to meet at my home the last week of February. I planned an appetizing and fun lunch for half-time during the fun. COVID-19 had just begun to take over our lives and, upon making several phone calls, we opted to postpone the game “a (continued)

Financial Focus with Adam Miller

Financial moves for widows and widowers

If you’ve recently become a widow or widower, you’re obviously dealing with an enormous emotional burden, and coping with your grief can seem like a full-time struggle. Unfortunately, the business of life goes on – and the financial moves you make at this time can have a big impact on your life. So, as you attend to your affairs, consider the following suggestions: ** Don’t make hasty decisions. Even though you’ll need to make some moves in the near future, don’t feel rushed into (continued)

Senior Moments: What's your personality type?

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Does the need to hurry ever end? Having had a little more time than usual while recuperating from my recent fall, I have had the luxury of moving slower. Many of you have heard of the four temperament personality types: sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic. Type A (sanguine) -- Having participated in several personality analysis test, more than once I have been diagnosed as being a type A person: “highly talkative, enthusiastic, active and social. We sanguines (continued)


Climate change is topic of Ales & Ideas lecture

Clatsop Community College President Chris Breitmeyer and the college’s new vice president of academic affairs will lead a discussion on climate change during the first installment of this year’s Ales & Ideas lecture series. “Climate Change: What, Why, and How We Might Change the Change,” is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, during a Facebook Live event. Peter G. Williams, the new college vice president, has a doctorate in education from Oregon State University and a master’s degree in (continued)

Hike planned on Cullaby Lake trail

Angora Hiking Club will take a walk on the Cullaby Lake Wetland Interpretive Trail at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7. The trail features outstanding flora and fauna at the lake, which has hosted rodeos, car races and regattas. The 2.7-mile trail is an easy loop and begins between the park host’s trailer and the historic 1928 Lindgren House. Parking passes are $5. Participants should wear sturdy walking shoes, bring water and a snack and, perhaps, binoculars. Face shields and social distancing will (continued)

Gallery's artist group featured in exhibit

Trail’s End Art Association will feature an eclectic show of mixed media, collage, acrylic and more throughout the month of October. The show features works from the gallery committee, a group of artists that works to organize, label and hang a changing art show every month. The show begins Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 24 with an artists reception from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Featured artists are Maryanne Gantenbein, (continued)

Area food banks offer food and other supplies

The following food banks can help those in need. Lighthouse Christian Church, 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at 88786 Dellmoor Loop (east end of church). Open to anyone who needs food, including meat, eggs, vegetables and canned goods. Bring a box. Warrenton Food Pantry, 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, adjacent to Calvary Assembly of God Church, 1365 S. Main Ave. Clatsop Emergency Food Bank, 3-4 p.m. weekdays, 1103 Grand Ave., Astoria. Grace Community Dinner, 4 to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and the second and (continued)

Event for those with autism to go virtual

Color the Coast for Autism will be held virtually at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3. The event is hosted by Autism Society of Oregon. Ordinarily, the event includes a 5-kilometer fun run or walk plus carnival games, raffles, resource tables and free lunch for registered participants at the Astoria-Warrenton-Seaside KOA. Registration this year is free. Participants are urged to go for a walk with their team between Sept. 13 and 19 and send photos and videos of it to The (continued)

Police and Public Safety

Warrenton fire announces promotion and a hire

Emotional and spiritual help for firefighters and others suffering loss is now available from Warrenton Fire Department. The agency has added Fire Chaplain Kevin Byers to its ranks after a 10-year vacancy in the position, Fire Chief Brian Alsbury said. “Firefighters are often subjected to intense emotional and stressful situations as they respond to tragic events,” Alsbury said. “Their regular interaction with victims who are emotionally distraught can take a toll on their persona (continued)

Public safety calls for week of Sept. 18

** Warrants** Warrant service, 3:45 p.m. Sept. 11, 100 block Southwest Cedar Avenue. Joshua James Barrington, 28, of Warrenton was arrested on a failure to appear warrant and released per COVID-19 protocols. Warrant service, 1:28 p.m. Sept. 9, Alternate Highway 101 south of the airport. Darren E. Carlson Jr., 30, of Astoria was arrested on a contempt of court warrant and released. ** Thefts and burglaries ** Stolen license plate, 9:21 a.m. Sept. 11, Lum’s Auto Center. An employee of (continued)

Man injured in Knappa shooting

An Astoria man was shot early Sunday, the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office reported, but little else was released about the circumstances of the shooting. Jeremy Puerta, 34, was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital after he was found injured on Knappa Dock Road in Knappa. A call came into the dispatch center of suspicious activity and possible medical emergency at 2:13 a.m. Cody Scott Rogers, 31, of Knappa was taken into custody at the scene and booked at Clatsop County Jail on suspicion of (continued)

Sheriff's Office warns of potent heroin in area

The Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office warned the public that there’s a potentially fatal type of heroin being distributed on the North Oregon Coast. There have been multiple overdoses attributed to the supply. “The sheriff wants to remind local residents that our office recognizes the importance of medical intervention in these cases,” a press release states. “We encourage anyone witnessing or experiencing a drug overdose to obtain emergency services using the 9-1-1 system.” And (continued)

Public safety calls for week of Sept. 11

** Warrants ** Warrant service, 10:03 p.m. Sept. 3, 100 block S.E. Neptune Drive. Nicholas V. Ulch, 38, no known address, was arrested on two warrants. Warrant service, 4 p.m. Sept. 6, Costco. Jonathan L. Desersa, 50, of Durango, Colo., was arrested on a fugitive warrant. ** Thefts and burglaries ** Stolen fishing equipment, 5:25 a.m. Aug. 17, Warrenton Marina. A Tillamook man reported seven reels and seven rods valued at $3,290 had been stolen. Shoplifting, 7:35 p.m. Aug. 30, Walmart. Jeremy (continued)