Saturday, May 19, 2012

Armed Forces Day - May 19, 2012

President Harry S.
Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come
together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support
of our country.

On August 31, 1949,
Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day
to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single
day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the
Department of Defense.

Repsol Cancels Argentine LNG Exports!

18 May 2012 Last updated at 18:41 ET
BBC News

Spanish firm Repsol has cancelled a contract to provide liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Argentina.

The move comes weeks after the Argentine government seized control of Repsol subsidiary YPF.

Repsol told news agency AFP that state-run Argentine energy firm Enarsa "has made a series of violations" and "is not respecting its terms".

Currently Argentina relies on LNG imports to meet 20-30% of domestic natural gas consumption.

Read Full BBC News Report

Friday, May 18, 2012

Six Clatsop County Manager Finalists Visit For Interviews And Reception May 29-30, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

The six finalists for the position of Clatsop County Manager will come to the area next week to meet county commissioners, staff and other community leaders – as well as the general public – to make their case why they deserve to be the county’s next top administrator.

The Board of Commissioners is seeking a replacement for outgoing manager Duane Cole, who is retiring May 31.

Out of an initial pool of 40 applicants, the board narrowed the list of candidates to six following recommendations from executive search consultant Greg Prothman, who conducted interviews of 15 applicants and shared his findings and impressions with the board.

The six finalists will be the guests at a public meet-and-greet reception Tuesday, May 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express, 204 West Marine Drive, Astoria. Citizens will be able to meet one-on-one with the applicants and ask them questions.

On Wednesday, May 30 the candidates will undergo interviews by three panels made up of the county commissioners, senior county staff and labor representatives, and local stakeholders including representatives from cities, Clatsop Community College and the Astoria/Warrenton Chamber of Commerce.

The county commissioners hope to make a final selection by early June.

Here is the list of finalists:

Ed Green

Home: Rifle, Colorado

Most recent position: County Manager, Garfield County, Colorado, 1998-February 2012

Education: B.S., Business, University of Colorado; MBA, Colorado State University

Ed Green was most recently County Manager for Garfield County, Colorado, a position he held for more than 13 years. Prior to serving Garfield County, he was Project Vice President and Director for Contracts and Asset Management for the Fluor Corporation in Cincinnati, Ohio, an environmental remediation firm. He has also worked for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Hughes Aircraft and the Department of Energy at Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, all in Colorado.

Gene Green

Home: Silverton, Oregon

Most recent position: Public Works Director, West Linn

Education: B.A., Organizational Administration, Alaska Pacific University; Master of Education, Boston University

Gene Green was most recently the Public Works Director for the city of West Linn, where he served the city for more than five years. Prior to that, he was City Manager of Molalla for more than eight years. He has also served as Assistance City Manager for Unalaska, Alaska, and has held management positions with the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility and the Anchorage Capital Projects Office.

Michael McNees

Home: Indianapolis, Indiana

Most recent position: Chief Operating Officer, USA Track and Field

Education: B.A., Chemistry, Indiana University; MBA, Louisiana Tech University

Michael McNees was most recently the Chief Operating Officer for USA Track & Field, a position he held for more than three years. While serving as COO, he was also the organization’s Interim Chief Executive Officer for a year and a half. Prior to working for USA Track and Field, McNees was County Administrator for Blaine County, Idaho, from 2007-2009. He was also City Manager of Sarasota, Florida, for six years, and he was with Collier County, Florida, from 1984-2001, serving in a number of capacities, including six years as Assistant County Manager/Chief Operating Officer.

Tom Mitchell

Home: Bothell, Washington

Most recent position: Chief Executive Officer, Mendocino County, California

Education: B.S., Business Administration, San Jose State University

Tom Mitchell is currently taking time out to travel and visit family following 30 years of work at the county level in California. He was most recently the Chief Executive Officer for Mendocino County from 2007-2010. Before going to Mendocino County, he was County Administrative Officer for Calaveras County for five years. Mitchell was also with the County of San Luis Obispo from 1979 to 2002, serving in several capacities, including Accountant, Administrative Services Officer and finally General Services Administrator, a position he held for 12 years.

Travis Myren

Home: Fitchburg, Wisconsin

Most recent position: Director of Administration, Dane County, Wisconsin

Education: B.A., Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; Master of Public Administration, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Travis Myren has been the Director of Administration at Dane County, Wisconsin, since 2009. He has been with the county for 13 years, beginning his career there as Assistant to the Director of Administration, and serving as Deputy Director of Administration for eight years.

James Payne

Home: Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Most recent position: Partner, Precision Organizing and Records Management

Education: B.A., Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Master of Public Administration

James Payne is currently a partner at Precision Organizing and Records Management, a firm located in Rio Rancho, New Mexico that provides comprehensive records management services to corporate and municipal clients. Prior to that, he was City Manager for Rio Rancho from 2007-2008. Payne also served the City of Waukesha, Wisconsin, as City Administrator for eight years, the City of Franklin, Wisconsin, as City Business Administrator for 13 years, and the City of LeMars, Iowa, as City Administrator for four years. He was also Assistant to the City Manager at the City of Roseville, Minnesota, for three years.

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

Thursday, May 17, 2012

North Coast Parenting & Clatsop County Juvenile Department Offers Workshop On Technology Impacts On Children

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

North Coast Parenting and the Clatsop County Juvenile Department are offering a workshop on technology impacts on children.

“Plugged In: The Neurological, Interpersonal and Personal Impact of Technology-Only Entertainment” will be offered Thursday, May 24 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial St., Astoria.

Dr. Doreen Dodgen-Magee, a clinical psychologist in Portland, will describe how technology over-use impacts growth and development in children’s neurological function and development of a sense of self.

Pre-registration is required for the workshop. For more information and to download registration forms, go to “Documents” on the Juvenile Department page at

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Global Energy Firms Announce LNG Canada

Press Release
Global energy firms announce LNG Canada, consultation begins with
First Nations and local communities

Vancouver, British Columbia, May 15, 2012 – Shell Canada Limited, Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), Mitsubishi Corporation, and PetroChina Company Limited today announced they are jointly developing a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility near Kitimat, British Columbia. The LNG Canada project LNG Canada brings together the four companies’ extensive development experience, technical depth, financial strength and access to markets required to be the leading LNG developer in Canada. LNG Canada would connect the abundant supply of Canadian natural gas to growing markets around the world. This also begins the formal consultation process with First Nations and local community residents regarding the project.
Shell holds a 40-percent working interest, with KOGAS, Mitsubishi and PetroChina each holding a 20-percent working interest. “Our combined expertise, and our focus on technological innovation in delivering safe and environmentally sound LNG projects around the globe, ensures that our LNG Canada project would be well-suited to deliver long-term value for British Columbia and increase access to new export markets for Canada,” says Jose-Alberto Lima, Vice President LNG Americas, Shell Energy Resources Company.
The proposed LNG Canada project includes the design, construction and operation of a gas liquefaction plant and facilities for the storage and export of liquefied natural gas (LNG), including marine off-loading facilities and shipping. LNG Canada can create significant economic benefit for the province, First Nations, local communities and the region. Such a project can create thousands of jobs during construction and hundreds of full-time, permanent jobs during operations. Such a significant energy project can also bring indirect economic development opportunities to the region.
A decision to move this project into development would be taken after conducting necessary engineering, environmental and stakeholder engagement work with start up around the end of the decade, pending regulatory approvals and investment decisions.
“As the world’s largest LNG buyer and operator of LNG terminals, we recognize the potential value of the LNG Canada project for our company and for British Columbia, and we look forward to conducting
business in B.C., with respect for all local residents and their traditions,” said Mr. Young Sik Kwon, Vice President of Korea Gas Corporation.
LNG Canada will initially consist of two LNG processing units referred to as “trains,” each with the capacity to produce six million tonnes of LNG annually, with an option to expand the project in the future.
“We have a history of working with our joint-venture partners, as well as conducting business in Canada,” said Junichi Iseda, Senior Vice President, Mitsubishi Corporation. “We look forward to continuing to invest in Canada through this project, creating economic growth and new, important trade links between our two nations.”
The demand for natural gas, the cleanest burning fossil fuel, remains high in Asia and other markets. LNG Canada would deliver a project that offers a new source of LNG to global markets, while providing benefits to Canada, British Columbia and its coastal region.
“This project will contribute to a further strengthening of trade relationships between China and Canada and will help China use clean burning natural gas to fuel its economic growth,” said Bo Qiliang, Vice President, PetroChina Company Limited.

Clatsop County And Georgia-Pacific Reach Settlement In Tax Case

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Clatsop County and the owner of the Wauna pulp and paper mill have reached a settlement over the company’s tax challenge.

The county and 60 other taxing districts will pay Georgia-Pacific a total of $2.5 million in property tax refund.

The case involves challenges filed by Georgia-Pacific against a 2008 tax penalty and the tax assessment on part of its Wauna facility.

The settlement ends a four-year legal struggle that had the potential to hit local cities, schools and other taxing bodies with a significantly larger bill. Along with the payment, the settlement also establishes a real market value for the Wauna mill that Georgia-Pacific cannot appeal for the next five years.

The county informed the other taxing districts of the settlement by letter this week.

The payment will be paid off with a 10-year loan or bond that county officials believe can be secured with an interest rate of less than 3 percent. Clatsop County’s share of the payment, including loan costs and interest, would total $375,544. Other districts’ shares would range from approximately $1 to $653,300 – annual payments on those shares will be deducted from the districts’ yearly property tax disbursements, under the terms of an intergovernmental agreement that was signed by all the districts in 2009 in anticipation of a refund payment.

The county will host a meeting next week for representatives of the affected taxing districts to explain the settlement and payment plan.

The case dates to 2004, when Georgia-Pacific was granted tax exemptions under the Lower Columbia Maritime Enterprise Zone for construction of its new No. 6 paper-making machine. Under the exemption, property taxes assessed on the new machine were to be waived for five years.

In 2007 the company was disqualified from the exemption program for failing to maintain a minimum required number of employees at the machine. As a result of the disqualification, the company had to repay the exempted taxes, totaling approximately $4.1 million. That money was distributed among the 60 taxing districts.

Georgia-Pacific filed an appeal in Oregon Tax Court challenging not only the exemption penalty but also the assessed valuation of the entire mill for three tax years. The appeal claimed that the assessment, on which Wauna’s annual property tax bill is calculated, overvalued the mill by approximately $154 million.

Tax assessments of large industrial properties like Wauna Mill are conducted for counties by the Oregon Department of Revenue, which joined Clatsop County in fighting the appeal.

In 2010 Tax Court Judge Henry Breithaupt ruled that Georgia-Pacific could only challenge the tax assessment on the new paper machine for 2004 and 2005, and the assessment on the mill as a whole only for 2007, which significantly reduced the scope of the company’s claim. On May 1 the county, along with the state Department of Revenue and Department of Justice, reached agreement with Georgia-Pacific on the terms of a settlement.

Along with the payment, the settlement establishes the real market value for the No. 6 paper machine of $291 million.

Under Georgia-Pacific’s claim, Clatsop County and the other districts could have been required to refund more than $11 million if the company had prevailed on all appeals at trial.

State statute mandates that all of the 60 taxing districts in Clatsop County are liable for a portion of the settlement, regardless of whether Wauna Mill lies within their boundaries.

Wauna pays a total of $3,410,536 a year in property taxes to taxing entities in Clatsop County, making it by far the county’s biggest single taxpayer.

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Straw Poll For Clatsop County Sheriff - Who You Gonna Vote For?

Clatsop County Sheriff Summary
Bill Fuzia . . . . . . . . . . 1,076 - 10.78%
Jim Pierce . . . . . . . . . . 2,772 - 27.76%
Steve Barnett . . . . . . . . .. 699 - 7.00%
Tom Bergin . . . . . . . . . . 4,536 - 45.42%
Michael V Nelson . . . . . . . . 882 - 8.83%
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . ..... 21 - .21%
Over Votes . . . . . . . . . 2
Under Votes . . . . . . . . . 619

Tom Bergin
Steve Barnett
Bill Fuzia
Michael V. Nelson
Jim Pierce

Who's your candidate?
Post your choice in "Comments"

Monday, May 14, 2012

White House Official Says Analysis Will Drive LNG Export Policy

Sutherland -
Posted: May 14, 2012

Reuters reports today that Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, told an industry group that the Obama Administration was "certainly not opposed to LNG exports," and that LNG export policy will be driven in accordance with the results of the U.S. Department of Energy's forthcoming analysis of the environmental and economic effects of exporting LNG.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Historic Battleship USS Iowa To Become Naval Museum In Southern California

By ERIC RISBERG Associated Press
May 12, 2012

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — Firing its 16-inch guns in the Arabian Sea, the U.S.S. Iowa shuddered. As the sky turned orange, a blast of heat from the massive guns washed over the battleship. This was the Iowa of the late 1980s, at the end of its active duty as it escorted reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers from the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz during the Iran-Iraq war.Some 25 years later, following years of aging in the San Francisco Bay area's "mothball fleet," the 887-foot long ship that once carried President Franklin Roosevelt to a World War II summit to meet with Churchill, Stalin and Chiang Kai Shek is coming to life once again as it is being prepared for what is most likely its final voyage.