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About Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 1, 2007)
V E R N O N I A’ S
reflecting the spirit of our community
Pages 12 & 13
Local Logger Critically Injured
Benefit Dinner Planned for Schaumburg
Dean Schaumburg, a long-time Vernonia resident, was critically injured
in a logging accident Thursday, August 16, 2007. The circumstances of the
accident are currently under investigation.
Since the accident, Dean has had back surgery, brain surgery and
they’ve reconstructed his ankle. He is still in intensive care at press-time
at OHSU. Visitors are limited at this time to immediate family members.
Dean has a wife, Kendra, and a one-year-old son, Sylas. Grandparents
Valerie and Jerry DeWitt are helping with the baby. Kendra and her family
thank you for all the love, prayer and support you’ve given them during this
very difficult time.
In addition to tremendous help from family and friends, the community
is coming together with fundraisers to help the family with medical ex-
penses. There has also been an account set up in Dean’s name at Wauna
Federal Credit Union.
A spaghetti dinner is scheduled for Sunday, September 9, from 1p.m.
to 6 p.m. at the Buckhorn Restaurant in Vernonia. Cost is $8 for adults and
$5 for children. There will be live music and a beer garden. All proceeds go
to help off-set Dean’s medical expenses.
The Lions Club will also be holding a BBQ benefit for Dean’s family on
Saturday September 15, in the Sentry parking lot from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Eyes Wide Open” and the Costs of War:
A Conversation with Exhibit Coordinator Jeff Hunter
By Scott Laird
Six billion dollars. The amount is staggering. It is
unimaginable. And it is frightening. It is the approxi-
mate cost Oregon taxpayers have paid for the war in
Iraq. That dollar amount is not the only cost incurred.
There is also the pain and suffering of those who have
been injured and the loss to the families of those who
have been killed. There are other costs as well.
On July 27 Vernonia was the honored host of a trav-
eling exhibit, presented by the American Friends Ser-
vice Committee (AFSC), that attempts to show Ameri-
can citizens the stark realities of war and the costs of
war in terms of human life. The exhibit was sponsored
by Veterans for Peace, Chapter 72, from Portland; the
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Rural Organization Project from Scappoose,
Military Families Speak Out, and the Columbia
County Citizens for Human Dignity. The exhibit
was set up on the front lawn of Vernonia High
School and featured posters with photographs
and facts, leaflets and other information, and,
most powerfully, tributes to those killed during
the conflict. Rows of military boots represented
the ninety soldiers from Oregon who’ve been
killed. One hundred scattered pairs of shoes,
each pair equaling 6,500 Iraqis, represented the
estimated 650,000 Iraqi citizens who have died
as the result of the American invasion of their
country. Hard hats arranged on the lawn repre-
sented civilian contractors from Oregon who’ve
been killed. As a backdrop, small multi colored
memory flags hung from racks, each with a name
and age for the more than 3,000 American sol-
diers killed since March of 2003.
CWO Erik C. Kesterson was a member of Vernonia High
School’s Class of 1992
(continued on page 18)
Changes in the Air at Cedar Ridge Retreat Center
By Scott Laird
Many of Vernonia’s residents know the Cedar Ridge Re-
treat Center as the summer home of the Larry Steele Basketball
Camps and the Spring and Fall Outdoor School for students.
But Larry Steele and his wife Britt Bensen Steele, owners of the
property, are making some exciting changes in the business they
run in the hills above Vernonia. They are creating a business
they hope will be a model for sustainability and
“green” business practices.
“Our intention is to be a more mindful
business, more intentional about how we do
business,” said Britt during a recent phone con-
versation. “We want to be a business that is
able to give back more than we use up.”
Larry echoed Britt’s sentiments about Ce-
dar Ridge’s changing business practices. “We
started looking at this several years ago and
are just getting started making changes,” said
Larry during my visit to Cedar Ridge. “We want to be ahead of
the mainstream in embracing green building practices and con-
sidering climate change in everything we do here. It’s all about
education, knowledge and understanding.”
Larry, as most Vernonians know, was a professional bas-
ketball star with the Portland Trailblazers for nine years in
the 1970’s, helping the Blazers win their only championship
in 1977. In 1981 the Trailblazers honored Larry by retiring
his #15 jersey. Larry has owned the property since 1991 and
has been married to Britt for three years.
Britt works as the Director of Fitness and
Weight Management at Wellspring Medi-
cal Center in Woodburn. The couple cur-
rently lives in Portland but recently pur-
chased six acres on Keasey Road. T h e y
have plans next summer to build an envi-
ronmentally friendly home there.
The Retreat Center, located on twen-
ty-eight acres of forested hills, is just one
mile outside of Vernonia. The facility of-
fers a variety of overnight accommodations including lodge
rooms, cabins, bunkhouses and tent platforms; indoor and
outdoor meeting spaces;
(continued on page 18)