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About Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current | View Entire Issue (July 8, 2007)
V E R N O N I A’ S
reflecting the spirit of our community
pages 12 & 13
Stub Stewart State Park Celebrates Grand Opening
0nJuly 8, Stub Stewart State Park officially opened its doors for visitors. The
park is the first full-service state park campground to be constructed in more
than thirty years, and is located on 1,654 acres, eleven miles south of Vernonia
on Highway 47.
The Park celebrated with a dedication ceremony on July 7, with an estimated 600 in attendance. Festivities
included music, tours and a BBQ.
Ceremonies began with the raising of the first flag which was then lowered and handed to the Stewart family,
followed by Alena Ferguson singing the national anthem. Tom Brian, Chairman of the Washington County Board
of Commissioners gave the history of how this park evolved and elaborated on the excellent collaboration be-
tween state and county ag encies as well as celebrating the memory of Stub Stewart.
Tony Hyde, Columbia County Commissioner, began by saying how amazing to be standing in this place...
just 40-minutes from Portland. Hyde also spoke of “the other man behind the park,” – Tom Brian; Brian was the
person instrumental in getting this land secured for the park and construction underway.
“This is momentous,” said Tim Woods, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) Director. “Stub
Stewart represents an unprecedented combination of hard work, unique land deals and community support. It
adds the kind of camping and trails we need to serve Oregon’s most populated region.”
Dedication speeches were followed by an official ribbon cutting, tours of the park, and a BBQ lunch sponsored
by NW Natural Gas.
Volunteers and community groups played a significant role in the development of the park. Boy Scouts and
Eagle Scouts, Portland Urban Mountain Peddlers, Oregon Equestrian Trails, and other volunteers helped build
trails, campsites, the equestrian camp, and picnic tables.
Camping facilities will be available on a first come - first served basis through August 16. After that date,
campers can call 1-800-452-5687, Monday-Friday 8am-7pm to make reservations.
meet dan brown
Grade School Principal Will Keep Job
In statements read at a public school board meeting on July 12, 2007,
Vernonia School Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Cox and the Vernonia
School Board stated they support Washington and Mist Grade School
Principal Aaron S. Miller, and that Miller would not lose his job.
Miller was cited at Fort Stevens State Park on July
6 for possession of 1.4 grams of marijuana by a Clatsop
County sheriff’s deputy.
Superintendent Cox has reported the incident to the
State Teachers Standards and Practices Commission
(TSPC), who will investigate whether there has been
a violation of ethics. Cox believes there has been no
violation, because the incident took place off school
grounds and did not involve with students.
The incident also does not appear to be a viola-
tion of the district employee Drug and Alcohol policy,
since Miller was off-duty and off school grounds. “The
School Board may need to revisit this policy,” said Cox.
According to the Oregon Bar Association, posses-
sion of less than one ounce of marijuana in the State of
Oregon is punishable by a fine of $500 up to a maxi-
mum of $1000 and is not a criminal conviction.
“I am very disappointed Mr. Miller used such poor
judgment,” said Cox the day after the School Board
meeting. “And there will be consequences.” Because
this is a personnel matter, those consequences cannot
legally be made public by the school district.
“I know the public trust has been broken,” said Cox.
“But hopefully this will be something we all can learn
from. I made my decision based on what I felt is best
for our students. I believe there is a better lesson to be
learned in seeing Mr. Miller deal with the consequenc-
es...I am trying to abide by a higher law than an eye for
The decision to retain Miller has raised controversy
within the community; especially because of a previous
case involving random drug testing of student athletes
that was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1995.
“It is disgusting that a principal who openly
and in public does drugs should be allowed to remain
continued on page 5