Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Wauna CU Donation

September 4th, 2015

The people of Columbia County and the Wauna Credit Union are stepping up to help wildland firefighters around the region, as the credit union announces that is matching donations to support emergency personnel, going through the end of this month. Marketing Vice-President Mike Chapman says that they have established an in-person donation fund at each of their seven branches, along with a secure, on-line donation option on their website and Facebook page. Donors also have the option of sending their donation to help with the Chelan complex of fires in Washington, the John Day complex of fires in Oregon, or to a fund that supports all Northwest fire victims. Donations are being accepted through September 30, with Wauna Credit Union matching up to five thousand dollars. Call 1-800-773-3236 for more information, or go to

Weekend Events–9/4-7/15

September 4th, 2015

High school football kicks off this weekend, and at Friday night’s Kelso-Mark Morris season opener, the Mark Morris Foundation will be serving up a pre-game barbecue, with burgers, chips, cookies and sodas available for $6 per person. They’ll start serving at 5:30 pm, and will continue until about halftime. Proceeds will help support scholarships offered by the MM Foundation.

The re-scheduled screening of “Finding Nemo” at Lake Sacajawea is set for Friday night at Martin’s Dock. You’re invited to bring the family, along with your blankets, low-back chairs and picnic dinners for the free show, which should start around 8 pm. Get there a bit early to get your preferred spot.

They didn’t have enough entries to run the “Battle of the Bowls” chili and chowder competition, but there’s still plenty of other activity planned for Saturday’s Wooden Boat Festival at the Elochoman Marina in Cathlamet. There will be rubber duck races, sea chanties with the Skamakowa Swamp Opera, youth boat building, “shingle boat races” and a whole bunch more. Admission is free.

Out at the beach, the annual Chinook Art Festival starts on Saturday and runs through Monday with blown glass, photography, jewelry, oil & watercolors, pottery & more. This is free to attend, and is open to the entire family.

At Fort Stevens, the annual Civil War Reenactment will be taking place, with re-created battles, Union and Confederate camps, demonstrations of medicine, fashion and other aspects of the period. Activities are planned Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with the last battle planned for noon on Monday. Go to for more information.

Labor Day:
Starting at 10 am on Monday, the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Labor Council hosts its annual Labor Day Picnic, going from 10 am until 3pm at the Toutle River RV Park, just west of I-5 off of exit 52, north of Castle Rock. They’ll be serving all of the regular picnic goodies, along with swimming, a giant croquet tournament, a bouncy house, Simon Says games, face-painting and prizes for the kids. Call the RV Park at 274-8373 for additional information.

Monday afternoon in Clatskanie, the Astoria-based North Coast Big Band will perform in Clatskanie City Park. At 1 pm on Monday, the Clatskanie Arts Commission will start selling food as a fundraiser, and then the concert will run from 2 to 4 pm. The CAC will also be celebrating its anniversary, serving free cake at the band’s intermission. You can bring your own chairs and picnics, as well. Get in touch with the CAC if you need more help.

Farmers Markets:
The Cowlitz Community Farmers Market will be open on Saturday from 10 am until 2 pm, set up in the 7th Avenue parking lot across from the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. They’ll have plants and plant starts for sale, along with fresh produce, hand-crafted gifts and garden items, honey, baked goods and more. Admission is free.

The Clatskanie Farmer’s Market is open from 10 am until 2 pm on Saturdays on the lawn at Cope’s Park. Vendors of fresh fruits and veggies, plant starts, hand-crafted gifts and other merchandise will be joined by special events, cooking and tasting demonstrations, carnival games and chances to win prizes. Find out more on their web page, or on their Facebook page.

The Puget Island Farmer’s Market is open each weekend through October 16th at Stockhouse’s Farm on Birnie Slough Road near Cathlamet. Along with the fresh produce, local beef, fruits, baked goods and other items. Hours are 3 to 6 pm on Saturday.

The Kelso Bridge Market is open on Sunday in its new venue at the Three Rivers Mall. This year, the Bridge Market is operating in the space across from the new Three Rivers Cinema, open from 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday near the Southwest door of the mall. They’ll have fresh Rainier Cherries, blueberries and Marionberries for sale this weekend, along with fresh produce and plant starts, hand-made craft items and other special trinkets.

KapStone TRO/Insurance Issue

September 3rd, 2015

KapStone Paper and Packaging is asking for help from the courts, claiming that the strike by Local 153 of the AWPPW is becoming “violent and threatening.” Today’s Daily News reports on the hearing in front of Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning, who granted a temporary three-day restraining order, with another hearing planned for tomorrow. KapStone is requesting that the union pickets be limited in number and location; the TRO issued yesterday imposes a 10 mph speed limit on Fibre Way, and orders all involved to “conduct themselves in a manner which does not cause a breach of the peace.” KapStone claims that strikers are harassing and intimidating people, while union officials claim that their people have been peaceful, and that replacement workers are provoking incidents on the picket lines. Tomorrow’s hearing is set for 1:30 pm in Cowlitz County Superior Court.

Waterside Energy Proposal

September 3rd, 2015

If all works out as Houston-based Waterside Energy envisions, Longview would be the first U. S. producer of fuels that meet the 2025 Low-Carbon Fuel Standards, while also shipping Liquefied Petroleum Gas to Asian markets. Waterside presented its proposal for more than a billion dollars of investments next to the Port of Longview at a special Port Commission meeting, and CEO Lou Soumas says that they think this project is doable. Waterside is proposing two separate projects, which would be built on 75 acres of land directly adjacent to Port Property. The $800 million Riverside Refining project would be built on 25 acres of currently-undeveloped land that Waterside plans to buy from Fern America, while the $450 million LPG project would go on 50 acres of land that’s currently occupied by North American Pipe and Steel, better known as NAPSteel. A contract for that land is in development, which would allow NAPSteel to remain on the property, leasing it from Waterside while construction gets under way. Soumas says that these projects will bring 700 construction jobs and 180 permanent jobs after they’re built. The low-carbon gas, diesel and jet fuel would be taken by barge to be distributed in the Portland market, while the LPG would be transferred from trains to ships, and then would go to Asia. The refinery would be capable of 45,000 barrels per day, which is about five percent of the local market share. The LPG facility could handle up to 75,000 barrels of propane and butane each day. The permitting process is currently projected to take about two years, and if all goes as planned, these facilities could be operational by 2018 or 2019.

Winlock Wrapup

September 3rd, 2015

The Department of Ecology is winding down its presence in the Winlock area, announcing that the emergency response phase to the cooking oil spill into Olequa Creek is coming to a close. DOE says that the source of the oil runoff is contained, the stormwater system has been cleaned and that oil-contaminated soil has been removed. They say that they have recovered all of the oil that they can from Olequa Creek, and that the owners of the damaged warehouse are signing a contract to have that building demolished and removed. Work continues on disposal of the remaining liquids and solid waste after the spill. It’s now estimated that between 66,000 and 100,000 fish were killed when as much as 1,000 gallons of cooking oil spilled into the creek when fire broke out at the Olympic Trading Company warehouse. Most of the fish killed were sculpin; it’s speculated that the combination of the oil, hot water flushing into the creek, and stress from the warm water temperatures also contributed to the high kill rate.

Heller Death Investigation

September 3rd, 2015

Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson says that they’re looking for a “person of interest” in connection with the July 28th death of Christopher Heller, 30, of St. Helens. He was found seriously injured on July 19th, having been dealt a head injury at a home where he had been working near Rainier. He died from that injury on the 28th. An autopsy shows that blunt force trauma was the cause of death, and the incident is being ruled as a homicide. Dickerson says that they’re interviewing people and they’re following up on leads, but no suspects have been identified.

Apiary Road Work

September 3rd, 2015

If you usually use the back roads to get to Vernonia, Mist or other locations in northwest Oregon, be aware that one of the main links from Rainier to Vernonia is closed for the next couple of weeks. Columbia County is replacing a double-culvert with a new concrete arch culvert, work that’s going on about a mile-and-a-half north of the intersection with Highway 47. This closure is projected to run through the 16th of this month. You’re advised to use Highway 47 from Clatskanie or use the Scappoose-Vernonia Highway if you’re trying to get in and out of that area.

LCC Ranking

September 3rd, 2015

You may see some strutting around by staff and faculty at Lower Columbia College, as a new ranking of “best and worst community colleges” puts the local institution at number 22 in the entire country. says that they used “17 relevant metrics in four dimesions,” including Cost and Financing, Classroom Experience, Education Outcomes and Career Outcomes. College officials also say that LCC has one of the highest median wage rates of recent associate degree graduates coming out of the Washington Technical and Community College System. The most recent rankings put LCC at number seven in the state, coming in just behind several Seattle-are institutions.

MSH Workshop

September 3rd, 2015

The “Leave No Trace” events connected to Mount St. Helens continue this evening, with a Hunters Workshop planned for tonight down in Woodland. The Subaru/Leave No Trace Trainers will be on hand to provide information to hunters and other outdoor recreationists to apply “Leave No Trace” principles to their activities. Tonight’s workshop runs from 7 to 8 pm at the Woodland Community Center, and is open to all who are interested.

Hot Eats

September 3rd, 2015

Longview native Joe Sundberg is making his mark on the American culinary scene, as a Seattle restaurant that he recently opened with three partners is getting national acclaim. “Manolin” is ranked number 9 out of the Top Ten Upstart Restaurants in the Nation by Bon Appetit magazine. There’s a nautical theme to the restaurant; in fact, the facility is named after a character from Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.” The Bon Appetit reviewer says that there’s a lot of good food at Manolin, but the mole sauce is the highlight. Manolin is located near North 36th and North Stone Way, a few blocks from Gas Works Park.