The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, January 16, 2015, Image 1

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    Stories from
the Goondocks
take the stage!
142nd YEAR, No. 143
We need
more $$
Area legislators,
schools, parents
grapple to pay
for education
The Daily Astorian
JOSHUA BESSEX — The Daily Astorian
Astoria City Councilor Cindy Price sits behind the soundboard at the KMUN radio station where she volunteers as a radio host about
once a month. As a councilor, Price wants to focus on greater transparency, particularly on city finances, more scrutiny of development
projects and the shift of drunken-driving prosecutions from the city’s Municipal Court to the county’s Circuit Court.
Price wants to focus on greater transparency, drunken-driving prosecutions
The Daily Astorian
hen Cindy Price was
sworn in this month to
the Astoria City Coun-
cil, she took care to assure her
supporters in Ward 3, the heart of
downtown, that she had heard them
during the election campaign.
Her issues will be greater trans-
es, more scrutiny of development
projects, and the shift of drunk-
en-driving prosecutions from the
city’s Municipal Court to the coun-
ty’s Circuit Court.
“Some of it just goes down
to goal setting,” Price said in an
interview after what she billed a
“salonical” — a meet and greet
with residents — last weekend at
the Astoria Public Library. “Why
are certain goals set? What is the
vision of the city and what part of
that vision does this goal meet?”
Mayor Arline LaMear and the
City Council will hold a goal-set-
ting session next week, which will
help shape the city’s policy agenda
for the coming year.
Price, 60, a writer, radio host
and community volunteer, has sug-
gested that the city look to the Al-
bany strategic plan as a model. The
Willamette Valley city has outlined
four broad themes — great neigh-
borhoods; a safe city; a healthy
economy; and an effective gov-
and objectives for each subject area
The general message to state Sen.
Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, and
state Rep. Deborah Boone, D-Can-
non Beach, was pretty clear from
school leaders gathered Thursday
night at Capt. Robert Gray School:
After years of deep cuts and only one
recent biennial raise, schools still
need more money to recover and in-
vest in improving education.
Astoria School District hosted
the legislative forum to speak with
local legislators about their needs. It
comes amid multiple proposed state
budgets for the 2015-17 biennium
from the governor and chairmen of
the House and Senate, and about two
weeks before the 78th Oregon legis-
lative assembly begins Feb. 2.
See SCHOOLS, Page 8A
CMH already has
the keys for John
Warren Field, just
needs the paperwork
The Daily Astorian
JOSHUA BESSEX — The Daily Astorian
Councilor Cindy Price speaks with City Manager Brett Estes at the council meeting Jan. 5.
consistent with the city’s overall
mission, vision and values.
Divisive DUII decision
A policy change Price hopes is
on the city’s agenda is the transfer
of drunken-driving cases to Cir-
cuit Court, a divisive issue that for
years has pitted the city against
Clatsop County District Attorney
Josh Marquis, Price’s husband,
who has sought jurisdiction.
The Oregon Court of Appeals
ruled last year that the city has the
authority to direct DUII cases to
Municipal Court, but, philosophi-
cally and politically, the question is
far from settled.
LaMear has said the DUII issue
could be the topic of a work session
of the City Council, and a discus-
sion item has been set for the coun-
cil’s next meeting Tuesday night.
“I did not make it the center-
piece of my campaign at all. But
I’ve made it clear that I think that
the highest standard of justice
available to Astoria citizens and
visitors to Astoria is at Circuit
Court and not at Municipal Court,”
Price said.
“And that’s sort of the basis on
which I probably will make all of
my decisions: What’s the highest
See PRICE, Page 8A
“We are done with that property,”
said Superintendent Craig Hoppes
to the Astoria School District Board
of Directors, shortly after they vot-
ed Wednesday night to approve two
more property transfers and a bill of
sale to Columbia Memorial Hospital
for John Warren Field and the adja-
cent bus barn.
transferring the entire property at 1905
Exchange St. for the Astoria Sports
Complex on Williamsport Road.
Hoppes said CMH’s lawyer
found two more parcels at the site
See FIELD, Page 8A
Cast out commissioner: No regrets for coal dock clash
ergy, the Australian company
proposing to ship coal via the
Northwest to Asia. But Mater
and two other commission
members rejected that project
on a 3-2 vote Aug. 22.
Now the port, whose of-
Capital Bureau
SALEM — The former
chairwoman of the Oregon
Transportation Commission
says she has no apologies for
her opposition to $2 million in
state money for a coal-load-
ing dock project — a vote that
prompted Gov. John Kitzhaber
to remove her last week.
Catherine Mater of Cor-
vallis, who led the commis-
sion for just seven months,
made her remarks Thursday at
a hearing by the commission.
The commission is reconsid-
ering the project for a share of
$4 million in grants for non-
highway transportation proj-
ects under Connect Oregon.
Atop the short list recom-
AP Photo/The Oregonian, Rob Davis
Catherine Mater, transportation commissioner fired for
coal opposition, fires back at coal supporters.
mended by a review panel last
week is $2 million for renova-
tion of Berth 2 at the Port of
St. Helens near Clatskanie on
the Columbia River.
The port’s original request
was to have been matched by
$3 million from Ambre En-
all-purpose dock for oceango-
ing ships, proposes to put up
the $3 million match itself.
The four remaining com-
mission members will decide
the grants at their next meet-
ing Feb. 19 in Keizer.
On Thursday Kitzhaber
named commission member
Tammy Baney, a Deschutes
County commissioner and
supporter of the dock renova-
tion, as Mater’s replacement
as chairwoman.
Kitzhaber opposes coal ex-
— including his transporta-
tion adviser — say the dock
project should stand on its
own merits. Despite Ambre’s
commitment to the project,
they contend the renovation is
commodity neutral and would
allow shipments a variety of
Also in support of the
project is Sen. Betsy John-
son, D-Scappoose, the No. 2
senator on the Legislature’s
joint budget committee and
co-leader of its subcommittee
on transportation and econom-
ic development. Kitzhaber
needs the support of Johnson
and other legislators for his
broader agenda.
See MATER, Page 8A