Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 1, 2007)
Bits and PC’s - Bringing Vernonia into the 21st Century
By Scott Laird
Things don’t always turn out the way you plan
them. And always be prepared for change.
Those are just a few of the lessons that the
owners of Bits and PCs are learning.
Jim Gooch and Jeff Hopkins are the own-
ers of Vernonia’s leap into the 21st century,
a store right on Bridge Street that features
technological gadgets and services. And
even though some people said that there
was not a need for this kind of business in
a small town like Vernonia, Gooch and Hop-
kins have taken the leap in a big way, and
are proving to be successful.
Many people in Vernonia know Jeff Hop-
kins, who owns Agalis Network Services, as
their local Internet Service Provider. This is
Gooch’s first time as a business owner.
“Jeff and I started this business because we
saw a need for a retail store front, but espe-
cially a place where people could bring their
computers when they needed help or repairs,
and know that someone knowledgeable with
the right tools would be there,” said Gooch
recently during a break from work. “We saw
a need and decided to fill it.”
Bits and PCs offer a variety of services,
specializing in PC repairs and building new
computers. They sell new and refurbished
cell phones and accessories. Gooch is also
learning to repair cell phones. Another pop-
ular service is refilling ink cartridges for com-
puter printers. “We send them out to Rapid
Refill Ink who recycle the used cores and re-
fill them as needed,” said Gooch. “Our cus-
tomers can bring in their empty cartridges or
phone in their order with the cartridge they
need, and we can have it for them usually
the next day, or in two days at the most. It’s
been really convenient for a lot of people.”
“Our goal is to find and provide services that
don’t exist here in this community, services
that people have to drive to find today,” ex-
plained Gooch. “That’s really why we got
into business in the first place.”
So far the results have been, if nothing else,
interesting. “We have been surprised by a
number of things that have happened, things
that we didn’t expect,” said Gooch.
Group Welcomes New
The Providence Medical Group clinic in
Vernonia has added a new provider, Rob-
ert Giusti--Family Nurse Practitioner.
On November 2, 2007 from 4-7 pm our
clinic will be having an open house to
welcome Bob to our community. We will
have light refreshments and give tours of
our clinic for those who have never been
There also will be a drawing for a door
prize. The public is invited to attend.
The business started in the old Buckleberry
Cottage building in Madison Avenue about
fifteen months ago, and moved out to Bridge
Street soon after. “We saw a 50% increase
in sales once we moved out to the main
street front,” noted Gooch, “which was not
a real surprise. What was surprising was
how many people didn’t
know we were back
there at all.”
we need is used equipment that people no
longer want, so we have access to parts.
Lots of people have equipment sitting in
drawers that are broken or that they don’t
use because they upgraded. We can use
those things for parts, and help somebody
else get back up and running.”
“We’ve been somewhat
surprised by peoples’
willingness to spend
money on PC repairs.
We do a lot of work re-
pairing people’s home
computers. Our expec-
tation was that more
people would just buy
new ones,” said Gooch.
“Prepaid phones have
been very popular, and
that was a surprise.
And the need for cell
phone repairs was not
What does the future hold for Bits and PC’s?
“Well, without giving too much away, I would
say we are investigating new services and
ways of transferring older forms of media to
newer forms,” hinted Gooch.
Stay tuned. With the rapid changes taking
place in technology, you (and Bits and PCs)
never know what you’ll see next.
“We hope to grow the business and be able
to hire employees for jobs with higher skill
sets. That way, we’re giving back to the
Bits and PC's is located at 866 Bridge
Street. They are open from 10am-6pm Mon-
day through Friday, 10am-5pm on Saturday.
They can be reached at 503-429-TECH.
“And we are trying to expand the repair and
refurbishing part of the business,” conclud-
ed Gooch. “People continue to bring us
equipment they would like repaired. What
Police Dog Training in Vernonia
Vernonia Police Sargent Mike Kay, through his training as a Master Handler, is helping ex-
pand the skill level of Police Dog handlers and their canine officers here in Vernonia. Every
other Friday afternoon, officers from all over the Portland metro area gather in Vernonia to
work on their handling skills through a program sponsored by the American Council on
Criminal Justice Training.
Recently Officer Ken McCoy from the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Department worked with
his dog Chieba, and Officer Ray Ayers from the Warrenton Police Department got in some
training with Ruff.