The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, January 06, 2015, Image 1

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    Second sea turtle
washes ashore
Loggers battle
in the Bash
142nd YEAR, No. 135
housing’ is
far from it
home on the market
in December was
almost $250,000
EO Media Group
Debbie Morrow hears the words “af-
that does not come to mind is Can-
non Beach,” said Morrow, executive
director of the Oregon Association
of Realtors.
In fact, when she was initially
asked to interview for a story about
Cannon Beach’s affordable housing
— that is, housing a family could
afford to purchase on the area medi-
an income of about $55,500 — she
thought it may have been a prank
call. The reason: Cannon Beach pret-
ty much has no affordable housing.
Sheri Russell, branch manager
of Columbia Bank and a member of
the city’s newly appointed afford-
able housing task force, said that
houses listed between $150,000 and
$200,000 fall within a reasonable
one house in that price range is was
listed for sale in Cannon Beach.
In the period since Jan. 1, 2012,
the median home price in Cannon
Beach has hovered at $547,000.
• The average list price was
• The high list price was $3.2 mil-
• The average sold price was
$565,800; and
• The high sold price was $3.75
row provided.
This is not a new trend, said Rob-
in Risley, a real estate agent with Ka-
mali Sotheby’s International Realty
in Cannon Beach and Gearhart. “It’s
always been a problem just because
Cannon Beach’s price point is higher
than most other cities around.”
The city’s natural touch points —
the parks, the scenic views (particu-
larly of Haystack Rock), the forest
reserves to the east and the ocean-
front land to the west — all contrib-
ute to high property values, Morrow
Cannon Beach historically has
been “branded as a destination, as
a resort-type community,” she said.
“‘God’s playground,’ if you will.”
But the city’s culture is in dan-
ger of adopting a “drawbridge men-
tality,” she said: “‘Now that I have
mine, I don’t want anyone else to
have theirs.’”
A six-member city task force,
composed of locals with different
See HOUSING, Page 10A
JOSHUA BESSEX — The Daily Astorian
Mayor Arline LaMear addresses the crowd during the City Council meeting Monday. This was LaMear’s first City Council meeting as may-
or. Councilor Drew Herzig is in the background.
Former librarian sworn in as Astoria’s mayor
The Daily Astorian
rline LaMear was sworn
in on Monday night as the
mayor of Astoria, christen-
ing a new era of leadership at City
The 75-year-old former librari-
an at the Columbia River Maritime
from former Mayor Willis Van
Van Dusen, a Pepsi distributor who
guided the city for 24 years and
was the longest-serving mayor,
hugged LaMear when the transi-
tion was complete.
“I would just like to say `thank
you’ to the citizens of Astoria,”
the new mayor said. “This is such
a wonderful community, and I am
both honored and humbled to be
the mayor. And I hope I will do the
job that all of you expect of me.
“I also hope that those of you
who did not support my candidacy
will work with me. I’m certainly
willing to do that. And I hope that
we can all work cooperatively be-
cause we all want the best for this
In November, LaMear defeated
Larry Taylor, a manager at Intel and
on the City Council since 2008, and
has made the renovation of the As-
toria Public Library her priority.
LaMear recognized Van Du-
sen for his service to the city, both
as mayor and for his previous six
JOSHUA BESSEX — The Daily Astorian
A full crowd packed the chamber to listen to the new City Council at the meeting Monday.
years on the council, and said he
had mentored her and others.
“It is a little daunting after
24 years, but I’m excited about it.
I’m excited about our new coun-
cil, and look forward to all kinds
of progress in the city,” she said
Zetty Nemlowill, the marketing
director at Astoria Co-op Grocery,
and Cindy Price, a writer and com-
munity volunteer, were sworn in
Monday night by LaMear as new
city councilors after winning elec-
tions in November.
a majority on the City Council are
women. State Sen. Betsy Johnson,
mark the occasion and the bouquets
were on display on the council dais.
“I think Astoria is an old city.
But I think that it’s just one way
that we can prove that we are capa-
ble of evolving and really excelling
into the future,” Nemlowill said of
the distinction.
While the political and ideo-
logical direction of the new coun-
cil will reveal itself over time, the
See LAMEAR, Page 10A
NeCus’ Park sign helps restore tribal presence
Cannon Beach
hopes to turn
park site into
cultural center
EO Media Group
The newly minted NeCus’
Park sign that the public
works department set up at the
edge of Fir Street the morning
of Dec. 31 means much to the
Clatsop-Nehalem Confederat-
ed Tribes.
Resembling a traditional
ing on water, its prow pointed
resolutely toward the ocean, the
sign symbolizes and celebrates
the indigenous village named
NeCus’ that once prospered in
the area prior to colonization,
according to tribal members.
NeCus’, which the tribe
believes was founded near the
mouth of Ecola Creek at the
Cannon Beach Elementary
School site, roughly translates
ly out.”
The park covers the city-
owned north portion of the
school site. When the Seaside
School District closed the
school in June 2013, the parcel
became the property of Clat-
sop County, which then gave
it to the city of Cannon Beach.
The city hopes to purchase the
south portion of the site from
the school district and, one
day, transform the full prop-
erty into a Clatsop-Nehalem
interpretive center.
Until then, however, the
city is making do with a public
park, which now has its own
sign that Dick Basch, vice
chairman of the tribe, lovingly
called a “showpiece.”
“It’s just wonderful. It’s re-
ally exciting,” said Diane Col-
lier, chairwoman of the tribe,
as the public works crew se-
cured the sign to its base be-
fore a crowd of about a dozen
‘Only the beginning’
Designed by Susan C.
Walsh, a Nehalem-based art-
ist who owns Manzanita Sign
See PARK, Page 10A
Public works employees Kirk Anderson (left) and Paul
Phillips (right foreground) place the NeCus’ Park sign
atop its base near Fir Street. Dick Basch (center back-
ground), vice chairman of the Clatsop-Nehalem Confeder-
ated Tribes, enjoys the moment, along with Diane Collier,
the tribe chairwoman; Jan Siebert-Wahrmund, a Cannon
Beach resident; and Robin Risley, a member of the Parks
and Community Services Committee.