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Memorial Day is about thankfulness

Memorial Day is so much more than a three-day weekend that kicks off the start of summer. It is the day set aside, by federal order, to remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty. “We celebrate our freedoms, and yet, we mourn the cost that they required,” wrote Kelly Fitzpatrick, Oregon’s director of Veterans Affairs. “… It is this holiday that speaks most keenly to our highest ideals as well as the steep price we are willing to pay for them.” Local groups will hold (continued)

Warrenton man wins silver medal for craft

Samuel Burnett of P&L Johnson Mechanical won a silver medal recently at the 32nd annual National Craft Championships in Long Beach, Calif. Burnett, a refrigeration and HVAC service technician, is a Astoria High School graduate and lives in Warrenton. He has been working for the company since 2016. The championships are part of the Associated Builders and Contractors 2019 convention. Burnett placed in the HVAC category. About 170 craft professionals competed in 14 categories representing 12 (continued)

Envisioning possibilities in an unfinished neighborhood

A community garden here, a cluster of cottages there, a courtyard ringed with tiny homes and a pedestrian path along the perimeter. The possibilities for a cohesive new neighborhood seemed endless last week during a three-day design charrette, an opportunity for property owners and other interested people to come together with creative ideas and solutions. The 19-acre Spur 104 project area, which runs from Ocean Crest Chevrolet to Home Depot, was rezoned earlier this year from low-density (continued)

City to sponsor farmer's market at Warrenton Marina

Warrenton could get its own farmer’s market with fresh seafood, live music, hand-made crafts, food trucks and kettle corn. Plans are for a weekly market from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays in the parking lot and grassy area at Warrenton Marina. It wouldn’t compete with farmer’s markets held in Astoria on Sundays, Seaside on Wednesdays and Ilwaco on Saturdays and could, in fact, provide an additional opportunity for vendors. Harbormaster Jane Sweet and marina assistant Jessica McDonald were (continued)

Band hits a high note: 13 years as state champs

Warrenton High School placed second in the Oregon School Activities Association’s annual band and orchestra competition last week. It was the 13th consecutive year that the school has been in the top two. “We are so proud of the hard work our students have put in this year,” Principal Rod Heyen said. “We were, by far, the biggest and most inclusive student band in 3A. Congratulations Warriors!” The 2019 OSAA statewide high school band and orchestra championships were held May 8-11 at (continued)

Development tidbits: Perhaps a second food truck?

A second food truck owner has approached the city about leasing a spot in the gravel lot next to City Hall, where the Nicaraguan food truck Tres Bro’s opened May 1. The city will draw up an agreement with the barbecue truck’s owner, who wasn’t named. “We’ve had two unsolicited offers,” Mayor Henry Balensifer said. “Some of our downtown revitalization efforts are starting to work.” The city is considering purchasing a vacant lot across the street from City Hall, which is owned by (continued)

Commercial fishing boat destroyed after coming aground

A commercial fishing boat struck ground and broke apart Monday on the north side of Clatsop Spit near the entrance to the Columbia River Bar. Crews from Coast Guard Station Astoria and Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco responded after the shipmaster and sole occupant of the 38-foot fishing vessel Theron called for help shortly before midnight. The shipmaster reported the boat had lost steering while crossing the bar and was drifting toward the breakers and shoal. At 12:30 a.m., the master reported (continued)

School district hires construction manager for new campus

Construction of the district’s new middle school took a leap forward Wednesday night with the hiring of a construction management company to oversee the process of building a new middle school. “I think it’s hands down the best process to use for this,” said Greg Morrill, vice chairman of the Warrenton-Hammond School Board and president of Bergerson Construction. The board and school administrators will receive a steady flow of information and be involved as the ultimate supervisors in (continued)

New ideas for unsafe mix of man and beast

Human impacts on elk – and vice versa – have caught the eye of Gov. Kate Brown. “I am designating the Clatsop Plains Elk Collaborative as an Oregon Solutions project and appointing Warrenton Mayor Henry Balensifer and Seaside Mayor Jay Barber as the project co-conveners,” Brown wrote to local mayors, including Gearhart Mayor Matty Brown on April 26. Oregon Solutions is a state entity tasked with developing “sustainable solutions to community-based problems” through the collaboration (continued)

Columnists & Other Opinions

Letter to the Editor: Transit candidate has varied service background

I am writing in support of Tracy MacDonald, who’s running for Position 1 on the Sunset Empire Transit District board. Tracy didn’t tell you all the things you need to know about him. Tracy is a very humble person by nature. He proudly served his country as a Marine from 1969 to 1973, in the Coast Guard’s 3rd Marine Air Wing. The Marines are the ones who paid for him to go to Santa Ana Community College to get a Transportation Planning Certificate. This training covered the many facets of (continued)

Senior Moments: Much ado about potatoes and catsup, or should we say ketchup

I have a gripe. It’s pouring out, I drop an envelope I’m trying to mail and I must climb out of my car to pick it up. The car behind me gives a rude honk to hurry me up. I was trying to mail the letter in our ridiculously located mail drop box outside the Warrenton Post Office. It’s at an odd angle as you leave. The U.S. Postal Service may be struggling financially, but how much would it cost to move it somewhere without a turn so angled we have to back up just to reach it? On another (continued)

Senior Moments: It’s no surprise that ‘mother’ can be used so many different ways

Mother [MUH-ther] – noun, one person who does the work of 20. For free! (see also masochist, loony, saint.) Sunday is Mother’s Day. The age-old question, “what is a mother?” comes to mind. It’s interesting to note that the word mother can be a noun, adjective or verb. A mother could be all three in one sentence. A mother could be a woman who has given birth to or never birthed a baby. And nowadays it is not too unusual for a dad to mother his children while the mother is working (continued)


'Old Ringers' play about a group of seniors' solutions to dwindling income

A risque take on how five down-on-their-luck seniors try to cope with a shrinking economy and their shrinking pocketbooks is the subject of “Old Ringers,” presented through May 31 at the Liberty Theatre. The play is by Joe Simonelli and directed by Seneschal Incavo. It stars Susan Wentworth, Susi Brown, Slab Slabinski, Patricia Shannon, and Toni Ihander. Performances are at 7 p.m. May 23, 24, 29, 30 and 31 in the McTavish Room at the Liberty, 1203 Commercial St., Astoria. The play i (continued)

Economic conference includes discussions on workforce, social impacts

Will our strengths and growing diversity steer it through changing tides or are there rough seas ahead? The Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference May 21-23 at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center promises to answer those questions. There will be more than 20 panel discussions on housing and homelessness, coastal workforce challenges, the economic and social impact of alcohol, cannabis and substance abuse, preserving rural economies and more. Keynote speakers are Enrico Moretti, (continued)

Church news: St. Francis replacing Stations of the Cross

A baby bottle campaign, in which those who support the work of Coast Pregnancy Clinic fill a baby bottle with coins and bills as a donation, is underway. The bottles should be returned before or shortly after Father’s Day, June 16. The clinic is at 279 Sixth St., Astoria. The funds are used to provide resources to families who are in need. St. Francis de Sales Mission Church in Hammond is replacing its 14 Stations of the Cross. Contributions are being sought. To donate, send a check t (continued)

College's student art exhibit on display in Nebeker Gallery

Clatsop Community College’s 2019 student art exhibit is on display in the Royal Nebeker Gallery, 1799 Lexington Ave., Astoria, through June 7. An opening reception honoring all CCC student artists is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the gallery. During the reception, cash prizes and award winners will be announced and both jurors will be present at the reception to give a talk. The show is an annual juried event that showcases the talents and creativity of the college’s art students (continued)

WHS theater presents 'The Addams Family'

Warrenton High School’s drama department presents “The Addams Family: A New Musical Comedy” at 7 p.m. Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25. The play stars Anna Schenbeck as Morticia, Blake Leitch as Gomez, Robert Burk as Lurch, Paddy McCargish as Uncle Fester, Emily Bergerson as Pugsley, Sofia Morrill as Wednesday and Serena Moha as Grandma Addams. The play will take place in the high school gym. Admission is $8 at the door. (continued)

AHS presents 'Willy Wonka'

Astoria High School presents the musical “Willy Wonka,” an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” at 7 p.m. May 17, 18, 24 and 25 in the high school auditorium. More than 25 high school and middle school students will take the stage. Those who attend the May 17 performance also can see the school’s spring art show in the adjacent cafeteria. Visitors can peruse the art show starting at 5 p.m. before taking a seat for the musical. General admission is (continued)

Football camp registrations begin

Anyone in grades 3-12 interested in playing football is invited to the Warrenton High School’s four-day spring Warrior Football Camp from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. May 28-31. The camp is non-contact and focuses on individual and team skills throughout the week. Campers will work with the entire WHS coaching staff, along with middle school and Pee Wee coaches. The camp is $40 if registered and paid by May 15 and $50 after. Some scholarships are available. Each camper receives a 2019 Warrior Football (continued)

Symphonic band announces its 38th season

North Coast Symphonic Band returns to the Liberty Theatre for its 38th season in October. The community band, with Dave Becker as conductor and musical director, is a self-supporting nonprofit group with 50 volunteer musicians. The group provides two of its four annual concerts for free. The first concert of the season is at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. “Dances of Enchantment” will feature a collaboration between the North Coast Symphonic Band and 3 Leg Torso, a well-known ethnic folk band from (continued)

Police and Public Safety

Seaside student threatens school shooting, is removed

A Seaside High School student has been suspended after sending emails Tuesday to other students telling them to stay home because there’d be a school shooting today, Seaside Police reported. One of the message recipients immediately reported the threat to high school administrators, who called police. The student who sent the threat admitted sending the message, but denied intending to carry it out. The juvenile told officers they were frustrated. The teenager did not have any known access to (continued)

Public safety calls for week of May 17

** Warrants Warrant service, 5:48 p.m. May 7, Skipanon River Bridge on Alternate Highway 101. Justin Henry Chase, 25, of Hammond was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant from Clatsop County Circuit Court. Warrant service, 8:33 p.m. May 11, 200 block Southwest Alder Avenue. Krysta Nicole Schluter, 21, of Warrenton was arrested on a warrant from Clatsop County Circuit Court. ** Thefts and burglaries Shoplifting, 6:35 p.m. May 6, Walmart. Crystalee A. Broome, 33, of Longview, Wash., was cited fo (continued)

Drug take-back nets hefty load

Warrenton Police Department collected about 100 pounds of no-longer-used medication and gave away 17 medication lock boxes during its spring drug take back event. There were 61 collection sites in Oregon, which resulted in 5.4 tons of medication removed from circulation statewide. The federal Drug Enforcement Agency, along with its law enforcement partners, organized the 17th semi-annual event nationwide on April 27. Nationwide, there were 6,400 collection sites and close to 469 tons of (continued)

Public safety calls for week of May 10

** Thefts and burglaries Theft of Oregon Trail Card, 3:30 p.m. April 24, bus stop in front of Fred Meyer. Theft/fraudulent use of a credit card, 8:54 a.m. May 1, Yuma, Ariz. A store credit card belonging to a manager at Costco was used in Arizona to fraudulently purchase $434 in jeans, water and a $400 Visa Silver card. Shoplifting, 2:09 p.m. May 2, Walmart. Angela L. Borens, 49, of Tillamook was cited for third-degree theft and criminal mischief after she allegedly attempted to leave the store (continued)


Ocean plastics is subject of many sixth-grade lessons

Some teachers really know how to take an idea and run with it. When sixth graders at Warrenton Grade School expressed an interest in how plastics can harm ocean animals, science teachers began with an idea that snowballed into a project across many classroom disciplines. All students began by watching the film “Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” During language arts, students researched various subjects on the theme, including plastic vs paper bags at the grocery store. (continued)