Second sea turtle washes ashore Loggers battle in the Bash NORTH COAST • 3A SPORTS • 7A TUESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2015 142nd YEAR, No. 135 Cannon Beach’s ‘affordable housing’ is far from it ONE DOLLAR LAMEAR TAKES POWER AT CITY HALL Lowest-priced home on the market in December was almost $250,000 By ERICK BENGEL EO Media Group CANNON BEACH — When 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 $875,000; • The high list price was $3.2 mil- lion; • 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 said. 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 By DERRICK DEPLEDGE The Daily Astorian A rline LaMear was sworn in on Monday night as the mayor of Astoria, christen- ing a new era of leadership at City Hall. 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 community.” 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 afterward. 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 By ERICK BENGEL EO Media Group CANNON BEACH — 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 locals. ‘Only the beginning’ Designed by Susan C. Walsh, a Nehalem-based art- ist who owns Manzanita Sign See PARK, Page 10A ERICK BENGEL — EO Media Group 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.