Friday, October 21, 2011

Obama Announces The War In Iraq Is Over, Troops To Be withdrawn By End Of Year!!?

Obama announces total Iraq troop withdrawal
By BEN FELLER - AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday declared an end to the Iraq war, one of the longest and most divisive conflicts in U.S. history, announcing that all American troops would be withdrawn from the country by year's end.

Obama's statement put an end to months of wrangling over whether the U.S. would maintain a force in Iraq beyond 2011. He never mentioned the tense and ultimately fruitless negotiations with Iraq over whether to keep several thousand U.S. forces in Iraq as a training force and a hedge against meddling from Iran or other outside forces.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 28, 2011 Clatsop County Board Of Commissioners Regular Meeting Agenda

Update!!:October 12, 2011 Clatsop County Board Of Commissioners Regular Meeting Highlights

Clatsop County Board of Commissioners
Full Audio Transcript

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011 regular meeting
(Official minutes available once approved by board)

Jailing plans funding approved
The board, with Commissioner Patricia Roberts absent, voted unanimously to approve a budget adjustment of up to $100,000 to pay for a detailed schematic plan for a proposed 100-bed expansion of the Clatsop County Jail.

County Manager Duane Cole and Sheriff Tom Bergin told the board that multiple studies, including a 2008 study by Voorhis Associates, have provided the necessary data to show that the existing 69-bed jail is inadequate for the county’s needs. The schematic, for which the county will now seek bids, will provide a detailed plan including specific costs, detailed lay-out, and preliminary design to present to voters, should the board decide to seek a bond measure to fund the project, Cole said. All of this information will be used to develop the final design, bid documents and construction drawings once the project is funded.

The funds will come from the Special Projects budget. The board also approved a resolution allowing for the planning costs to be reimbursed by a future jail bond.

Darigold agreement amended
The board approved an amendment to the sale agreement with Coastal Family Health Center for the former Darigold property. The amendment changes the deadline for the removal of the existing building from Oct. 1 to Dec. 15, and changes the sale closing date from Dec. 31, 2012 to May 31, 2013. The changes are necessary because of delays caused when the original vendor contracted for asbestos removal withdrew from the project.

The board voted in February to sell the property at Ninth and Duane streets to Coastal Family Health, which plans to build a new facility housing its clinic as well as offices for local social service agencies.

Other Business
-Approved a $1-a-year lease agreement between the Oregon Military Department and the county’s Emergency Management Division for the use of a 20-foot-by-80-foot strip of land adjacent to Warrior Hall at Camp Rilea Armed Forces Training Center for construction of the county’s Emergency Operations Center Communications Wing. The new facility, to be built by the county with a $500,000 federal grant, will provide a permanent location for radio, microwave and other communications equipment used in the EOC.

-Approved the annual contract with the Bonneville Power Administration for funding for the county’s Select Area Fisheries Enhancement (SAFE) program. The contract, for $438,398, will fund the rearing and release of 540,000 coho and 1.6 million Chinook salmon in the county’s net-pen fisheries program.

-Approved a contract with a new provider of commissary services for the Clatsop County Jail, Turnkey Corrections. The new computerized system will reduce staff time. The board also approved establishing a new checking account to handle commissary funds.

Services available through the jail commissary system – personal items, video visitation - are provided at inmates’ expense at no cost to the county.

-Conducted the first reading of an ordinance rezoning an .86-acre property at the Westport Ferry Landing from Lakes and Wetlands to Aquatic Development. A public hearing and second reading are scheduled for the board’s Oct. 26 meeting.

-Approved a letter in support of a land-acquisition project in Warrenton of the North Coast Land Conservancy.

-Scheduled its November and December meetings for Nov. 9, Nov. 30 and Dec. 14 to accommodate the holidays. All three meetings are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Judge Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial, Astoria.

Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 325-1000 ext. 1312

Clatsop County Law Enforcement Teams Arrest Five For Crimes Related To Family Violence!

Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011


Local law enforcement agencies arrested five offenders as part of the ninth annual National Family Violence Apprehension Detail Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Deputies and officers from the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office and Parole and Probation Division and the Astoria, Seaside and Warrenton police departments, working in teams, served outstanding arrest warrants and probation detainers for crimes related to family violence. The teams attempted to serve 20 warrants and checked on 45 registered sex offenders.

Five people were arrested on outstanding warrants or for failing to register as sex offender. Law enforcement personnel will follow up on several other cases where registered sex offenders appear to be out of compliance.

The National Family Violence Apprehension Detail, launched in 2003, is organized by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team. Last year 190 law enforcement agencies nationwide participated in the detail, resulting in more than 1,000 arrests.

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Clatsop Ambulance Service Area Advisory Committee Still Seeking Applicants To Serve

Monday, Oct. 17, 2011


Clatsop County continues to seek applicants for open seats on the Ambulance Service Area Advisory Committee.

The committee provides input to the county Board of Commissioners on the ambulance service plan and ambulance service franchisee. The committee will review the service plan as part of mandated update of the document and recommend possible changes to the board.

The openings are for members who have no association with the emergency medical system. The county board of commissioners will make the appointments.

To apply, obtain an application form and return it to the Clatsop County Manager’s Office at 800 Exchange St., Suite 410, Astoria OR 97103, (503) 325-1000. Forms are available from the County Manager’s Office or can be downloaded from the county website at “Committee application forms” under “Administration/Board of Commissioners.”

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

Clatsop Sheriff And Rural Law Enforcement District Advisory Committee Host Second Public Meeting October 27

Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011


The Rural Law Enforcement District Advisory Committee is hosting the second in a series of public meetings Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011 at 6 p.m. at the Jewell School Library, 83874 Hwy 103.

The Sheriff’s Office along with the RLED is seeking public input in developing the Sheriff’s Office Strategic Plan for 2012 through 2017. This is an opportunity for the public to provide input in regards to how the Sheriff’s Office is doing its job now, where they would like to see their Sheriff’s Office in the future and how do we get there. The meeting will include a briefing on how the Sheriff’s Office has performed on the current strategic plan. You can visit the Clatsop County website at and go to the Sheriff’s page to view the current strategic plan.

We will also discuss jail proposals and outline the issues that the county jail faces currently. We will be asking for public input on the various proposals. This will include a briefing that demonstrates some of the challenges the entire criminal justice system faces in the county due to lack of effective jail beds.

If you are unable to make this meeting, there will be more opportunity as the Sheriff’ s Office intends to conduct further meetings in Lewis and Clark, Clatsop Plains/Gearhart and Knappa/Svensen/Westport areas throughout the fall and winter to seek additional input on the strategic plan and jail proposals.

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

Clatsop County Planning Division Hosts Panel Discussion On County's Ocean Planning Proposal

Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011


A panel discussion Monday in Seaside hosted by the Clatsop County Planning Division explored the county’s proposal to extend its land-use planning authority beyond the ocean shoreline.

Local and state land-use experts and others discussed and took audience questions about the project, in which the county is developing a review code under Statewide Planning Goal 19-Ocean Resources to cover the stretch of ocean 3.45 miles out from shore.

The Goal 19 plan element will allow the county review applications for new ocean uses not envisioned when its land-use code was first adopted in 1980, including wave energy installations, and help ensure those new developments are compatible with fishing, recreation and other uses.

“In coming years new uses will compete for space in the ocean,” County Commissioner and panel moderator Peter Huhtala said. “One emerging ocean industry will create electricity from waves, wind and tidal forces. As we nurture this renewable ocean energy industry we must respect and protect existing ocean users.”

The county planning commission is tentatively scheduled to hold a public hearing on the draft plan in December. The plan will go to the county board of commissioners for its review in early 2012.

Panelist Mark Barnes, a planning consultant who is assisting the county with the Goal 19 project, said the plan element would put in place the same type of land-use review process used in the rest of the county. Only structures would be subject to review, not uses like fishing, navigation and recreation, he said. Barnes compared the ocean code to the county’s jurisdiction in forest lands, where its review authority is limited to structures, and state and federal rules govern uses such as logging, road-building and hunting.

The county’s project is taking place at the same time that the State of Oregon is updating its Territorial Sea Plan, which covers the same 3.45-mile band of ocean. The Ocean Policy Advisory Committee (OPAC) has been tasked with the project, which is aimed at providing opportunities for wave-energy developers while protecting fishing, viewsheds and other resources.

The updated plan is due to go to the state Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) in summer 2012.

Studies found that the Oregon Coast has some of the best wave-energy potential in the United States, but when developers began proposing projects in 2004, concerns were raised that the state had no system in place to ensure the new projects are compatible with existing uses. In 2008 then Governor Ted Kulongoski signed an executive order directing state agencies to create a plan for identifying renewable energy sites.

Tim Josi, Tillamook County Commissioner and LCDC member, noted that Clatsop County and the state disagree whether counties have any land-use jurisdiction offshore, and said the issue will need to be resolved.

Panelist Paul Klarin, Marine Program Coordinator for the state Department of Land Conservation and Development, said Clatsop County’s work on the Goal 19 issue “could lead to something very positive, regardless of where the jurisdictional issue ends up.”

For information on the county’s Goal 19 project, go to “Ocean Planning” under “Land Use Planning” at

For information on the State of Oregon’s Territorial Sea Plan update, go to

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Got Your Clatsop County Property Tax Bill? Want To Know Where Those Dollars Go?

Monday October 17,


Property tax bills
have arrived in the mail. Where does your tax dollar go?
Clatsop County
collects taxes for all local taxing entities – 66 in all. But only about 12
cents out of every dollar goes to county government – the rest pays for schools,
city services, water and sewer districts, rural fire districts and other public
Here’s the break-down
of the average tax dollar:
· Schools (including
community college) – 48.41 cents
· Cities (including
urban renewal) – 19.41 cents
· Other (water, sewer,
recreation, transportation) – 17.17 cents
· County – 12.11
· Rural fire districts
– 2.90 cents
To see an illustrated
break-down, as well as information on paying your property tax bill, go to
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
· Online – go to
“Property Records/Taxes” at for more
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