Thursday, October 18, 2012

Clatsop County Board Of Commissioners Hosts A Wide-Ranging Community Conversation On Future Economic Development

Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012

The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday assembled a broad selection of public and private agency representatives for a wide-ranging conversation about Clatsop County’s role in economic development stretching from industry to the arts.

Officials from the Port of Astoria, Clatsop Community College, Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce, county departments, local, regional and state economic development entities and other groups discussed their own organizations’ roles, ways they can improve collaboration and cooperation, as well as policies of the county that can impact their efforts.

Enterprise zones, infrastructure improvements, housing and health were all part of the discussion, which was designed not as a planning session but a sharing of information about the tools available locally, according to Board of Commissioners Chair Peter Huhtala, who told participants their input will prove useful when the board meets to discuss future goals.

“We have no illusions that government creates jobs, but we set the stage,” he said.

Chamber Director Skip Hauke said at one time no fewer than 21 different entities had some role in economic development in the county. The chamber, in an effort to better focus those groups’ work and revitalize its own lagging efforts, pushed for the formation of a Clatsop Economic Development Resources (CEDR), a collaborative project of the chamber, community college and the county, which provides $60,000 a year to the organization.

Kevin Leahy, director of CEDR and the college’s Small Business Development Center, explained CEDR’s mission of retaining, expanding and recruiting business, and noted that local statistics for job-creation and business counseling are up sharply while the rest of the state remains flat.

Clatsop Community College serves as a conduit for many other entities through partnerships with local hospitals and other programs, said President Larry Galizio. The college itself brings money into the area through the 39 percent of students who come from outside Clatsop County, he added.

Port of Astoria Property Manager Mike Weston said the port is teaming with regional and state economic development agencies and actively pursuing funding for major improvements to its pier facilities and Tongue Point, while also tackling 20 years of deferred maintenance. “Any investment in the port comes back 10 times what we put in,” he said.

Commissioner-elect Sarah Nebeker and her husband Royal Nebeker, who sits on the Oregon Arts Commission, spoke on the economic impact the arts can have locally by boosting the quality of life and enhancing education. The county, with leadership by the county and other governing bodies, could obtain up to $100,000 in state funding for arts-promotion, they said.

Clatsop County Public Works Director Ed Wegner noted that the county, after a long period focused on maintenance, has in the past few years tackled a number of large capital projects directly related to economic development, including the extension of Ensign Lane in the North Coast Business Park, a fix to the yearly flooding of Highway 101 south of Seaside that is currently out for bid, and a community development plan for Westport.

Community Development Director Hiller West said the department strives to make its mandated regulatory processes as smooth as possible for developers. The department has also tackled long-range projects like Westport plan, as well as the recently completed Joint Land Use Study with Camp Rilea. An inventory of buildable lands has been made available on the internet to positive response from builders.

Released by:

Tom Bennett

Community Relations Coordinator

(503) 338-3622

Clatsop County Commission Board's October 24th Agenda Now Ready For Review

Read Full Agenda

Election Ballots To Hit Mailboxes Beginning Friday, October 19th

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012
Ballots for the Nov. 6, 2012 General Election will be mailed out to all Clatsop County voters starting Friday, Oct. 19.
The election features federal and state contests including races for President, Representative in Congress, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, Commissioner of Bureau of Labor and Industries, State Representative, Judge of the Oregon Supreme Court Position 3 and Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals, Position 6. There will also be nine state measures on the ballot.
Also on the ballot are the race for Clatsop County Sheriff and city council contests in Astoria, Cannon Beach, Gearhart, Seaside and Warrenton, as well as for the boards of the Clatsop Soil and Water Conservation District and Clatskanie People’s Utility District. The City of Seaside is seeking a five-year levy for fire equipment and personnel, and the City of Warrenton has two measures on the ballot – a five-year library operations levy, and a city charter amendment requiring a vote by the public for the Mayor’s position. The Knappa-Svensen-Burnside Rural Fire Protection District is seeking a five-year bond for equipment and facilities improvements.
You can now track your ballot over the Internet by going to From this site you can find out whether you are registered to vote, learn about the voting process, and after you have mailed or dropped off your ballot, confirm that your county elections office received your ballot.
The deadline to register to vote for first-time voters or those new to Oregon has passed, but people already registered in Oregon who have changed their name, address or party affiliation have until 8 p.m. Election Day to update their registration and receive a ballot.
If you have a valid Oregon driver’s license or permit, you can go to and register online. Otherwise, you may fill out a voter registration card and bring it to the Clatsop County Elections office at 820 Exchange St. in Astoria or mail it to Clatsop County Elections, 820 Exchange St., Ste. 220, Astoria, Oregon 97103. Voter registration cards can be found local post offices or at
Ballots must be received at the county elections office or an official drop site location by 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6. Postmarks DO NOT count. If you are mailing your ballot, please be sure to include sufficient postage to ensure it is received. Ballots with insufficient postage will not be delivered by the post office and will be returned to you.
Completed ballots can be dropped at the following sites:
· Clatsop County Clerk’s Office, Public Services Building, 820 Exchange St., Astoria -or- 24-hour drop box in front of office.
· Cannon Beach City Hall, 163 Gower St., Cannon Beach
· Gearhart City Hall, 698 Pacific Way, Gearhart
· Seaside City Hall, 989 Broadway, Seaside
· Warrenton City Hall, 225 S. Main Ave., Warrenton
· Knappa High School, 41535 Old Highway 30, Knappa
· Mist-Birkenfeld Fire Hall, 12525 Oregon Highway 202
· Clatskanie Library, 11 Lillich St., Clatskanie
If you have questions about registration, filling out your ballot, or getting a replacement ballot if you make a mistake, go to the Clatsop County website at or call the Clatsop County Clerk’s Office at (503) 325-8511.
Released by:
Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 338-3622

Clatsop County Public Health Urges Immunization For Community Immunity

Oct. 17, 2012
Clatsop County Public Health Department reminds citizens that immunization provides protection for the entire community.
Oregon is currently experiencing an epidemic of pertussis, or whooping cough, which is a highly contagious respiratory disease. As of mid-September, there have been 17 cases of pertussis in Clatsop County this year, which is too many for any vaccine- preventable disease.
For adults, whooping cough is an annoyance that can linger up to three months. But for newborns who are too young to be vaccinated, pertussis can be deadly. Their tiny bodies have a hard time tolerating the wracking coughs, and infants are the most vulnerable to serious complications. This year in Oregon, 21 infants have been hospitalized for pertussis, all of them too young to be fully immunized.
But these children are not getting the illness from each other, they’re getting it from adults and older siblings. That’s why it’s crucial for adolescents and adults to get the one-time Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) booster shot to help develop what’s called “community immunity.” Many people don’t realize that immunity weakens over time, so everyone should continue to receive a tetanus and diphtheria (Td) booster every 10 years. The science is clear that flu, Tdap and other vaccines are extremely safe and effective. The more residents vaccinated, the higher the immunity for the entire community and the lower the disease rate.
Another way adults can protect children from serious illness is by getting a seasonal flu shot every year to provide protection throughout flu season, which runs from August until the end of June. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot. While in most cases the illness causes only misery and missed work, even healthy people can get the flu and spread it to others, and at its very worst, it can cause serious secondary diseases like pneumonia. Last flu season, 34 children in the United States died from influenza.
To find out more about immunization, for both children and adults, talk to your primary health care provider or call the Clatsop County Public Health Department at (503) 325-8500.
Released by:
Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 338-3622

Clatsop County Program Participants Sought For Human Services Connittee

Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012

Are you a resident of south Clatsop County and a social services recipient?
The Clatsop County Human Services Advisory continues to seek diverse participation on this citizen panel.
The committee advises the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners on services for local residents with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and drug or alcohol addictions.
There are two openings – one for an unexpired term ending February 2013, and a second for a full term ending February 2015. The Board of Commissioners will make the appointments.
Applications will be taken through Nov. 1. Application forms are available online at under “Your County-Citizen Involvement,” from the office at 800 Exchange St., Suite 410, or by calling (503) 325-1000.
Released by:
Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 338-3622

Monday, October 15, 2012

Student Bullying and Harassment at Astoria Middle School - Anybody have a dog in this hunt?

It is way past time to take this discussion public.
GRP is interested in hearing your story and you can post it "Anonymously" to protect your student's identity in the comment section of this dicussion to get it into the public venue.