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About Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 1, 2009)
V E R N O N I Aí S
reflecting the spirit of our community
It’s Toy and Joy Time Again
Each year, as the holidays approach,
we are reminded that this is the time of year
for giving-- the time of year to remember
those in need, and help make the season a
little brighter for everyone in our community.
The Vernonia Volunteer Fire Depart-
ment is stepping up again this year and coor-
dinating “Toy and Joy,” a program that pro-
vides Christmas presents for children in the
local community who, without the program,
would not have received anything for Christ-
Applications for the “Toy and Joy”
toy donations, will be available at the Verno-
nia Fire Station, Sentry Market, Black Bear
Coffee Shop, and Creatures Pet Store. Com-
pleted applications should be returned to the
special holiday mailbox located in front of
the Fire Station at 555 E. Bridge Street. Let-
ters to Santa can also be dropped in this spe-
cial mailbox, and will be forwarded on to the
North Pole by the firefighters.
“Everything will be out and available
on November 13th,” said Wolfe.
Toys and gifts are especially needed
for the youngest members of our communi-
ty-- infants and toddlers,
and the older eligible
children, aged 12-14.
If you would like to
make a financial dona-
tion to the Toy and Joy
Program, checks should
be made out to “Toy and
Joy” and sent to the Ver-
nonia Fire Department,
555 E. Bridge Street,
Vernonia, OR 97064. A
gift-wrapping party and
Volunteers get presents ready for Toy & Joy delivery.
potluck is scheduled for
program will be available starting on Novem- December 19th-- this is a great opportunity
ber 14th, and toys will be delivered on Sun- for adults in the community to participate and
day, December 20 th , between 11:00 AM and help make Toy and Joy a reality for local kids.
8:00 PM. Applications must be received by
The program will be slightly differ-
December 13th. Eligible children must be ent from the past two years, due to the large
between the ages of 0-14, and be living in the influx of donations that were received imme-
family home. The applying families must re- diately after the Flood of December 3, 2007.
side within the Vernonia Fire District.
So many gifts were donated that year from
This year’s program is being orga- outside sources that a large storage contain-
nized by volunteers Kathy Wolfe and Janelle er was set up in the station parking lot, and
Bashaw. “We just want to make a lot of a large number of gifts were held over and
magic happen, a lot of eyes sparkle, and a used last year. The large number and types
lot of people happy,” said Wolfe, as she and of gifts available were unusual the past two
Bashaw were announcing this year’s program years. “We received donations in 2007 from
in late October.
large corporate donors of things like $50 gift
Applications, as well as barrels for cards that we were able to provide to children
in the community,” says Wolfe. “We
just don’t have the resources this year
to distribute those kinds of gifts.”
Even so, Wolfe expects local fire-
fighters to make a big impact on the
lives of local children again this year at
Christmas time. “We expect to spread
lots of joy throughout the community
on December 20th,” she said.
If you need more information about
the Vernonia “Toy and Joy” program,
you can contact Kathy Wolfe at 503-
429-4650, or at 503 804-2844.
2 & 10
UNWC Welcomes Back
Salmon Part II: A Closer Look
at a Watershed Restoration Project
By Scott Laird
Manager for what was called the
“Tweedle Project,” to replace two
The Upper Nehalem Wa- impassable culverts with bridges on
tershed Council (UNWC), based Tweedle Road that crosses Tweedle
in Vernonia, has been helping de- Creek and George Creek in the
velop and implement watershed Jewel area near mile 40 on the Ne-
restoration projects for many years halem River. “These culverts were
local region. A
tion dedicated to
restoration of the
shed, the coun-
cil helps address
Work crews install a new bridge near Jewell
that will allow better fish passage.
agement issues and
provides a frame-
work for coordination and coopera- the only barriers to fish passage on
tion among key interests.
either of these streams,” said Pey-
Key to the UNWC’s work ton.
is their role in establishing partner-
The project brought to-
ships and bringing together region- gether the Clatsop County Road
al stakeholders like environmental Department, and the Oregon De-
groups, local and regional govern- partment of Fish and Wildlife, U.S.
ment agencies, forestry and agri- Department of the Interior, along
cultural interests and local citizens. with local contractors. Peyton was
One specific focus and especially happy with the partner-
concern is the health and viability ship with the Clatsop County Road
of local native salmon populations. Department. “They helped oversee
To that end, this past summer the the design process, helped with the
UNWC helped implement a num- grant application, they hired the
ber of projects that monitored and contractors, oversaw the imple-
directly affected local Coho Salm- mentation, did some of the pav-
on’s ability to find suitable refuge ing, and some erosion control, after
and return to streams that flow di- the fact,” said Peyton. “Clatsop
rectly into the main stem of the Ne- County Road Department did an
awesome job. Their work was just
Maggie Peyton, UNWC flawless.”
Director, with the support of
When complete, the proj-
UNWC board of directors, has been ect will enhance 2.3 miles of
responsible for securing millions of salmon-bearing streams. A major
dollars in grant funding for various funder of this project, and most
projects, and built partnerships that of the UNWC’s projects, is the
have continued to work together to Oregon Watershed Enhancement
develop successful projects.
Board (OWEB)-- on this particu-
This past August, Peyton lar project, they contributed over
and the UNWC acted as Project
continued on page 27
New Film Shows Concerns About Gas Drilling
A new documentary film, Split Estate, was recent-
ly aired on the Green Planet channel during the month
of October. The film, presented by Red Rock Films, ex-
plores concerns around natural gas drilling and mineral
rights ownership, and the social and environmental im-
pacts and effects this loosely regulated industry is hav-
ing in communities where they are at work. The film,
since its initial showing on October 13, has generated
quite a buzz on the internet.
Recently, gas drilling has begun near Vernonia
in the Mist/Birkenfeld area where mineral rights leases
have been signed by local residents.
The film focuses on Colorado and New Mexico,
but points out that natural gas drilling activities are ex-
panding all over the United States. It explores concerns
about drinking water contamination, loss of civil liberties,
and health issues.
In addition to being shown on television, some
local communities where gas drilling is being considered
are taking a somewhat unconventional approach and ob-
taining their own DVD copies of the film. It has been
shown publicly at local schools, churches, and restaurants.
For more information on this controversial and
informative film, go to splitestate.com, or to view other
news articles about the issue, search “split estate” on the