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About Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 2008)
voice in other words
Voices In My Head:
A Mental Fricassee
By P.J. O’Leary
It was a pleasure to receive so many positive responses regarding my Janu-
ary “Mother Nature” column. We as a community continue to battle back from
the blow which she has dealt us, but I’m certain that the resilience shown by
those affected and those who continue to aid in the recovery will make our town
stronger than ever.
Among those who enjoyed the column, there were quite a few who were
tickled by my metaphorical use of the word “turd.” So there- now that I’ve gra-
tuitously mentioned it again, there’s no reason to think that this month’s column
should not be equally resplendent.
This month I think I need to clean out the refrigerator and serve up a cerebral
casserole. I have little portions of thoughts which won’t make a full meal but are
too fresh to toss out. My Mom always said “use it up, or it’ll go to waste.” Good
advice. Those Vernonians who are second and even first generation Southern-
ers might prefer to think of this as a mental fricassee. Hey, don’t get me wrong.
I’ve always said that a possum on the grill beats one on Highway 47 anytime.
Since I mentioned my Mom, let me share with you what my Dad said re-
cently. Both Mom and Dad are eighty-eight years old, and my siblings and I feel
blessed that we can continue to benefit from their wisdom. I called them on New
Year’s Day and asked my Dad if they went out partying on New Year’s Eve. He
said “We were going to go to the tavern, but then we remembered that all our
friends are dead.” Apples apparently do not fall far from the tree.
Next item: Do any of you ever play Target Tag? My family and I frequently
play this game at the Target store on 185th in Hillsboro. It could just as easily
be played at Costco or Winco. According to the rules you get one point if you
see someone you know from Vernonia and two points if you know their name. I
scored twenty-two points one afternoon, and I seriously can’t foresee that record
being broken. As the Mailman, I can frequently provide their address as well,
but my family doesn’t give extra points for that. It may sound inane, but in the
heat of the game seeing a clerk from the Mini-Mart picking out laundry deter-
gent can be every bit as exciting as seeing Jon Bon Jovi at the airport.
Last item: As of this writing, Timber Road remains closed because of the
December 29th slide. The ODLMLM (Oregon Department of Large Moving
Land Masses) spokesman said recently that “The mountain that slid was quite
old and really needed to be replaced anyway. Because the cost of replacing it
with indigenous mountain materials would be cost prohibitive, we have decided
to import a mountain from the Hengshan Range in the Hunan Province of China.
It may not last forever, but you can’t beat the price.”
At least we fix our mountains. Columbia County residents have been forced
to look at Mt. St. Helens, that trashy broken-down eyesore belonging to our
neighbors to the north, for nearly 28 years. Granted, the cost of renovating a
mountain like that would be pretty steep, but over here we have a way of taking
care of problems like that. There’s not much that can’t be covered by one of
those big blue plastic tarps. I have a neighbor who’s had one over his unfinished
garage for over fifteen years, so there’s no reason why those Washingtonians
couldn’t do the same thing. “But it will blow off,” they’d say. Not if you hang
those water-filled gallon milk jugs on the edges. They also make green plastic
tarps now. That might look more natural. That’s probably the way to go.
IF YOU NEED LOCAL TOWING SERVICE
IN THE VERNONIA AREA-
By Chief Mathew Workman
The year of 2007 was unfortunately a record setting year for Columbia County.
The county had sixteen fatal traffic accidents eclipsing the previous yearly high total
of twelve. Over all, preliminary statistics show that the Oregon Traffic Death totals
were down for the year. In 2006 there were 478 traffic deaths. As of midnight De-
cember 31st, there were 450 traffic deaths reported in Oregon for 2007. These of
course are preliminary numbers and are subject to change pending cause of death
determinations if a death occurs thirty days from the date of crash.
Many of the motor vehicle crashes in the county involved speed and some in-
volved impaired driving. In talking to Sgt. Larry Lucas from the Oregon State Po-
lice, he feels the increase in motor vehicle crashes and fatalities is directly related
to the lack of manpower to do regular road patrols by the State Police and County
Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Lucas told me that when the State Police were conducting en-
hanced patrols on Hwy 47 around the bridge construction sites, they saw a seventy-
five percent reduction in crashes while conversely seeing a rise on Hwy 30. Sgt.
Lucas says the correlation is evident that increased presence has a positive influence
on traffic crashes and other traffic-related incidents.
Several traffic-related laws changed in Oregon for 2008. You can find a list of
these changes on the Vernonia Police website by clicking on the “New 2008 Laws”
link. Some of the news laws enhanced DUII statutes, made new crimes for killing
people while driving and restricted teen cell phone usage. If you go to the link, you
will also find several other non-traffic laws discussed as well.
In an effort to increase traffic safety for Vernonia drivers, the Vernonia Police
Department offers three informative brochures. The first brochure is called “Slow
Down: Control the speed, control the damage” which addresses the dangers of speed-
ing on Oregon roads. The second brochure is called “Space Out: Keep your distance,
it’s the law” which discusses the dangers of tailgating. The last brochure is called
“Move Over: Protect those who protect you” which discusses the legal requirement
to move over when passing emergency vehicles. All three of these brochures are
available at the front counter of the police department.
The Rainbow Ends with a Pot O’ Gold
Join us for this celebration of great food, many o’ prizes, a credit union
update and elections for our Board of Directors!
Wauna Federal Credit Union’s
41st Annual Meeting
Westport Church at 49246 Hwy 30, Westport
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Social 2:00 pm, Meeting at 3:30 pm
(no charge to attend the meeting)
Limited to 200 Adult Tickets - $5 each
30 Children Tickets (10 and under) - Free
Hurry - First Come, First Serve!
All tickets sold at the
door will be $10 each.
Make sure you request service from a local provider.
Police and County personnel are required to use a rotating
pool of available providers, unless you speciﬁcally ask for a
service by name.
For towing emergencies this winter in and around the
Vernonia area, please ask for
R & R TOWING
There for you, when you need it the most!