Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2012 Republican Presidential Primary Straw Poll Results

Mitt Romney 24 (54%)

John Huntsman 4 (9%)

Rick Perry 3 (6%)

Sarah Palin 1 (2%)

Gary Johnson 0 (0%)

Herman Cain 2 (4%)

Newt Gingrich 0 (0%)

Rick Santorum 0 (0%)

Ron Paul 9 (20%)

Michele Bachmann 1 (2%)

Clatsop County Board Of Commissioners Approve Jail Plan Study Funding

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011


The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday approved funding for a remodeling plan for the county jail.

The vote is the first step in a proposal to seek voter approval next year for a major expansion of the undersized facility.

The funding will pay for plans including a detailed layout, preliminary design and specific costs for a project that would add up to 100 beds to the existing jail at Seventh and Duane streets in Astoria. The county will seek bids from qualified architectural firms for the project. The plans will be used to develop a final design, bid documents and construction drawings, if and when funding is secured.

The board, with Commissioner Patricia Roberts absent, voted unanimously for the budget adjustment, which will make up to $100,000 available out of the county’s Special Projects budget.

"The campaign for a new jail begins now,” Commissioner Peter Huhtala said. “It’s clearly needed.”

The funding will also pay for an updated cost estimate for construction of an all-new jail facility, for cost-comparison purposes with the remodeling proposal. The board also passed a resolution allowing for the costs to be reimbursed by a jail construction bond.

The board will review the resulting plan and cost estimates and decide whether to seek voter approval for a bond measure to fund the project, likely in either the May or November 2012 elections.

Sheriff Tom Bergin and County Manager Duane Cole told the board that multiple studies of the jail issue, including a comprehensive review completed in 2008 by Voorhis Associates complete with population and crime forecasts, have made clear the need to expand or replace the existing 34-year-old, 69-bed facility.

have done the study to end all studies,” Cole said of the Voorhis report.

In 2006 the Sheriff’s Office contracted with the DLR Group architectural firm to draft a plan for adding 80 dormitory-style beds in the ground floor of the jail building, which currently houses Sheriff’s Office staff. County officials have determined that that plan is not workable, but in a recent meeting with county staff and Sheriff’s Office officials, DLR representatives presented an alternative proposal that adds up to 100 beds on the building’s upper level where the current jail is located.

Most studies say the county needs at least 120 jail beds. The current facility, plus the 15 beds the county rents in Tillamook County, means that many offenders serve only two or three days of much longer sentences before they’re released for lack of space, Bergin said. “There is no truth in sentencing,” he said.

Bergin said he believes voters are more likely to support a project that upgrades, rather than replaces, the existing jail.

“I have been a proponent of trying to utilize this building all along,” Bergin told the board. “But we need to have (these plans) done before we go to voters.”

Clatsop County voters rejected a bond measure for a new jail in 2002. No detailed plans were drawn up for that project, and the possible location had not been selected.

Board Chair Dirk Rohne, who also serves on the board of Clatsop Community College, noted that the college failed several times to gain citizen support for its modernization project until it developed a plan to remodel the existing campus, at approximately half the cost of earlier proposals.

“We need to be able to maintain public safety in our community, and this is one part of doing that,” he said.

Huhtala noted that materials and labor construction costs are low. “The timing is excellent,” he said.

Released by:
Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 338-3622

Clatsop County Sheriff's Auction Offers Up Assorted Vehicles And Boats October 22, 2011

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011


Several vehicles and boats will be up for bid at a public auction hosted by the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 22 at the county Road Department shops, 1100 Olney Ave. in Astoria.

The auction will start with a viewing from 9 a.m., and the bidding will start at 10 a.m. People interested in bidding will need to arrive at 9 a.m. to register and obtain a bidding number. Sales are “as is, where is” and the successful bidders must make payment by cash or check at the close of the auction. All purchased items must be removed from the property no later than Friday, Oct. 28.

Items to be auctioned include: 2004 Dodge pick-up, 1991 Cavalier coupe, 1991 Cavalier station wagon, 1996 Jeep Cherokee, seven Ford Crown Victorias (1997-2006), 1996 Dodge 150 pick-up with canopy, 1991 Ford ambulance and six boats of various makes and models.

Released by:

Tom Bennett

Community Relations Coordinator

(503) 338-3622

728 Foot Bulk Carrier Loses Propulsion 9 Miles Off Cape Disappoinment!

SEATTLE — The U.S. Coast Guard and Wash. Dept. of Ecology are monitoring a 728 foot bulk carrier that lost propulsion nine miles west of Cape Disappointment, Tuesday.

The motor vessel Edfu has anchored and is holding its position in 17 mph winds and 13 foot seas.

The Coast Guard has offered assistance and is waiting for the crew Edfu to assess what repairs will entail. A Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter crew out of Coast Guard Air Station Astoria conducted an over flight Tuesday evening to assess the situation.

Edfu's destination was Kalama, Wash., and the vessel is not carrying any cargo. The cause of the propulsion failure is not know at this time.

Wash. Dept. of Ecology Public Affairs Officer Curt Hart can be contacted at (360) 480-7908.

The Wash. Dept. of Ecology has established a website at the below address.
Click This To Go To WDOE Site

For more information, please contact 13th Coast Guard District Public Affairs, at (206) 217-7237.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Special Election Voter Registration Deadline Set For October 18, 2011

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011


The Clatsop County Clerk and Elections Office reminds local residents that Tuesday, Oct. 18 is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 special primary election.

Ballots for the election will be mailed out beginning Friday, Oct. 21 for registered Democratic and Republican voters.

Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. is the deadline to hand in or mail a registration form if you are registering to vote for the first time. To be eligible to vote, you must be an Oregon resident, a U.S. citizen, and be at least 18 years old by Election Day.

You must update your registration if you move or change your mailing address, change your name, or wish to change your party affiliation. Those who are updating their registration have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to do so.

People can register online with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office at Voter registration forms can also be downloaded from the “Clerk/Elections” page at

For more information go to the Clerk/Elections page on the Clatsop County website or call (503) 325-8511.

The special election features primary contests for the vacant District 1 Congressional seat. Only voters registered as Democratic or Republican will receive ballots.

Released by:

Tom Bennett

Community Relations Coordinator

(503) 338-3622

Clatsop County Property Tax Bills Go Into The Mail In The Next Few Days!!!

Tuesday October 11, 2011


Property tax bills for the 2011-12 fiscal year will arrive in mailboxes in the next few days.

The tax bill that you will be receiving will show market values in most areas have decreased, but this may not translate into lower taxes. The primary reason can be found in the provisions of Ballot Measure 50, the constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1997.

Under Measure 50, your assessed property value cannot increase by more than 3% annually unless you have made significant improvements to the property. In addition, your assessed value cannot be higher than your real market value.

The real market value (RMV) on your tax statement represents the market value of the property as of Jan. 1, 2011, based on 2010 sales. It is important to understand that your property taxes are based on your assessed value (AV), not market value. In most cases, assessed values are still significantly lower than market values. A decline in the market value does not automatically reduce your Measure 50 assessed value unless your real market value falls below your maximum assessed value (MAV). See the following example:





*Reflects 3% increase

Another factor that may explain increases on property taxes is voter-approved levies or bonds.

Within Clatsop County, tax rates on individual statements vary because property taxes support 60 local government-taxing districts, most of which have different boundaries. These districts include schools, cities, local fire, water and sewer districts, rural law enforcement, road districts and other special assessment districts.

Tax payments for 2011 are due on or before Tuesday, Nov. 15. For your convenience, taxes can be paid at any one of the following ways:

· By mail in the envelope included with your tax statement.

· Clatsop County Assessment and Taxation Office, 820 Exchange St., Suite 210, Astoria. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

· Local branches of Bank of Astoria, Clatsop Community Bank or Wauna Federal Credit Union.

· Online – go to “Property Records/Taxes” at for more information.

If you disagree with the value of your property as printed on your tax bill or a penalty assessed for late filing, you can file an appeal with the Clatsop County Board of Property Tax Appeals. Forms are available from the Clerk and Elections Division, 820 Exchange St. in Astoria and the Clatsop County website Petitions must be filed by Jan. 3, 2012.

Released by:
Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 325-1000

Sunday, October 09, 2011