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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (July 16, 2015)
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • THURSDAY, JULY 16, 2015
Communities need ‘skin in the game’
Founded in 1873
STEPHEN A. FORRESTER, Editor & Publisher
LAURA SELLERS, Managing Editor
BETTY SMITH, Advertising Manager
CARL EARL, Systems Manager
JOHN D. BRUIJN, Production Manager
DEBRA BLOOM, Business Manager
HEATHER RAMSDELL, Circulation Manager
We need to address
quake realities in
our coast schools
ne aspect of the tsunami
threat is undeniable. Kids in
our schools are at risk.
The Oregon Coast can anticipate an
earthquake offshore will generate a tsu-
nami similar to the March 2011 earth-
quake in Japan.
C ANNON S HOTS
could replace Seaside’s schools without
The Oregon Department of Geol- breaking taxpayers’ backs.
ogy and Mineral Industries — DOG-
“We need to move our high school
AMI, rhymes with “tsunami” — offers and middle school up to a safer location,”
inundation maps that show whole Johnson said. “On the face, it seems so
“downtown areas of Cannon Beach and simple: Get our kids out of danger. But it
Seaside as being prone to complete in- is actually a very complex question.
“Part of the problem is, it’s not as easy
Last month, Seaside School District as ‘let’s move the school,’” Johnson said.
Superintendent Doug Dougherty said “Seaside has a two-part whammy. When
the district is considering a new bond your last bond failed so dramatically,
to move Seaside schools — Broadway you didn’t have property or site control,
Middle School, Seaside High School and the site you chose created additional
and Gearheart Elementary School — to costs in the architectural requirements
safer ground. It was tried in 2013 to the because it was odd terrain. You have to
he cover of today’s Coast Weekend is priceless. A father hangs tune of $128.8 million, and soundly de- figure out how to get ownership of the
RQWRKLVVRQZKRLVH[WHQGHG²¿VKLQJQHWLQKDQG²RYHUD feated by voters.
The physical threat remains the cat-
Land-use architecture, urban-growth
Seaside pond. The image captured by Josh Bessex is the antithesis alyst: “There are four
boundaries and site lo-
cation are critical to pro-
of an era in which technology devours some children.
gon Coast in the inunda-
vide options for school
Much has been written about ecosystem. But it does not treat tion zone, and we have
siting, Johnson said, all of
the detriment of children missing these properties like a museum or WKUHHRIWKRVH´'RXJK-
which require a “breath-
amount of mon-
the outdoor experience. One writ- solely as a land bank. It uses these
new bond, taking
er has dubbed this phenomenon a parcels to help the rest of us con-
ery one of these schools only three
Johnson has been
³QDWXUH GH¿FLW GLVRUGHU´ 7KLV LV nect with nature. The CW article DVVRRQDVSRVVLEOH´
through this process
the season for reconnecting with contains a schedule of the conser-
Dougherty said he
before, after flooding
in 2007 destroyed three
nature. No region makes it easier vancy’s seasonal programs.
presented within a year later? Sell
schools in Vernonia.
America’s long affection for and a half or later, be-
“A lesson I learned
McKinley Smith’s Tuesday the land has been evoked by a suc- cause the economy here
from rebuilding three
schools in Vernonia after
feature on Clatsop Community FHVVLRQ RI ZULWHUV +HQU\ 'DYLG “has not fully bounced
a natural disaster: The
College’s Upward Bound Summer Thoreau is the icon of nature
district still has to pass a
community has to have
Academy is all about nature’s writing. The transcendentalism local option levy in November to main- skin in the game,” Johnson said. “It can’t
teaching power. Lee Cain, who that Thoreau and Ralph Waldo tain staffing levels.
just be, ‘Let’s go to the state and get them
Since two initiatives, one to replace to pay for it.’ First, we can’t. It cost us $40
leads the project said: “I don’t Emerson fostered in the 19th cen-
have to do much. Nature does the tury resonates today. In his recent school buildings and one to maintain million to rebuild three schools in Ver-
staffing, are unlikely to pass in one year, nonia. The costs are so dramatic.”
WHDFKLQJ´'XULQJWKHVFKRRO\HDU encyclical — a plea for the Earth the clock will have to wait on needed
The urgency is growing, and will
Cain teaches a renowned salm- — Pope Francis made reference safety measures, or “physical retrofits,” shape policy in Salem not just in terms
of natural disaster funding in our region,
on biology class at Astoria High to society’s unhealthy diversion as government officials call them.
Same issue, new bond, only three but through every future capital project.
away from the environment.
years later? Sell that to voters. Many
“It was actually the presence of Sea-
The Coast Weekend cover fea-
Another way of looking at Cannon Beach residents are still miffed side and some other coastal schools in
ture is about the North Coast Land Francis’ teaching document is that at the way Cannon Beach Elementary the tsunami zone that caused me to be so
adamantly opposed to the Senate presi-
Conservancy’s nature-based pro- if we do not rediscover the Earth School was shuttered.
Before all the horses and all the dent’s pet project of rebuilding the Capi-
grams for children and adults. The and treat it better, our successors king’s men have to put Humpty-Dump- tol building, to the tune of $350 million,”
NCLC is devoted to preserving will suffer badly. We are the ulti- ty together again, citizens, civic leaders Johnson said.
and government officials of good faith
“When he was in trying to break our
coherent elements of the coastal mate endangered species.
must work together so the next bond arms to get us to vote for that, I said, ‘I
won’t be a failure. Planning should be- cannot, Mr. President, go back to my
coastal communities with any modi-
At a breakfast meeting of the Sea- cum of integrity and look parents in the
side Downtown Development Associ- eye and say, “I took care of a box full of
ation July 9, state Sen. Betsy Johnson, politicians before I took care of a box full
D-Scapoose, responded to an audience of kids.”’ That was not what he wanted to
member who asked how the district hear.”
If we do not rediscover the Earth,
our successors will suffer
No. 2 home
part of its maritime history
this January when the badly
derelict ferry Kalakala was de-
molished following decades of
neglect and unsuccessful resto-
Now, Columbia River com-
munities may have a chance to
regain our connection with the
more modest and savable Tourist
No. 2 ferry.
jor owner of the Cannery Pier
Hotel and thus a man with a test-
ed commitment to strengthen-
ing our ties with the Columbia,
arranged for the Tourist No. 2’s
owner, Capt. Christian Lint,
to bring the ferry back from
Bremerton, Wash., to Astoria.
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credible entity to take on stew-
ardship of the old vessel.
For generations, transporta-
tion between Columbia estuary
settlements was by watercraft. To
the Chinookan tribes on this im-
mense body of water — virtually
an inland sea — the estuary wasn’t
a barrier, but a safe and friendly
ground. They scooted around it at
will. For decades following white
settlement, ferries, riverboats and
personal vessels followed this an-
cient pattern of uniting isolated
river villages via the water.
*UHDW 'HSUHVVLRQHUD LQIUD-
structure spending jump-started
highway connections among
communities along the two
shores. But the ferry system be-
tween the foot of 14th Street in
Astoria and the north shore ter-
minal in Megler remained the
only practical way to get across
the estuary between the two
VWDWHV XQWLO WKH EULGJH ZDV ¿Q-
ished in 1966.
The bridge transformed life in
longer did a trip back and forth
require careful timing.
Nearly a half century after its
construction, we are still in the
process of fully integrating busi-
ness and personal life between
the two shores. Nobody here
would relish going back to hav-
ing to depend on ferries.
There remains, however, great
nostalgia for the ferryboat era,
when anyone with 25 cents for
a passenger ticket could have a
voyage across the Great River of
the West, tasting the salt spray
and getting close-up views of
It was an inconvenient, but in-
credibly rich, experience.
Reading comments to our sto-
ry about Tourist No. 2’s pending
visit make it clear there is much
on the estuary. It would be good
to explore and possibly create a
long-term purpose and funding
stream for the vessel, something
that would get people back out
onto the Columbia’s waters in
This will be tricky. Everyone
knows the old saying that “Boats
are holes in the water, into which
\RX WKURZ PRQH\´ 5XQQLQJ D
historic ferry would be more ex-
pensive and challenging than op-
erating the riverfront trolley.
Even so, in a distinctly mari-
WLPH FRPPXQLW\ LW LV WHUUL¿FDO-
O\ WHPSWLQJ WR WU\ WR ¿QG VRPH
practical way to bring this old
boat back into the family.
R.J. Marx/The Daily Astorian
Sen. Betsy Johnson speaking
before members of the Seaside
Downtown Development Associ-
ation July 9.
There is some hope in Salem as leg-
islators show a growing awareness of the
threat and its immediacy. The Senate
considered two bills this year to address
State Senate Bill 778 gave DOG-
AMI the power to require mitigation
measures for buildings, with the aim of
reducing risk to the public. What legisla-
tors didn’t like and why the bill ultimate-
ly failed was the bill would also give the
department the power to block develop-
ment if it decided a building could not be
made safe. “Nobody wanted DOGAMI
to be in charge of anything,” Johnson
said, citing a history of bad management
and overreach by the agency.
While that measure failed, the Senate
did pass Bill 447, with $125 million that
will allow schools in certain situations to
apply to the state to move certain facili-
ties or allow schools to apply for seismic
The bill establishes a grant pro-
gram to provide matching fund grants
to school districts for capital costs of
school districts. Johnson calls it a “path-
way” to upgrades in Seaside and Can-
According to Johnson, the rules for
implementation have not been deter-
mined. The bill is awaiting the gover-
Whether or not Superintendent
Dougherty can use the proposed state
funds remains to be seen, but money
was made available, Johnson said.
Clearly any steps in the future will
require a coalition of local, state and
federal entities. Whether the school
district and its voters have the stomach
to approach this again after only three
years remains to be seen. The cities may
also look to include other stakeholders,
including educational foundations and
environmental organizations, when de-
veloping a potential site. Any new build-
ing effort will require not only school
board, city and state participation, but
grassroots support and a capital commit-
ment on the part of our communities.
Haste, hustle and Scott Walker
set of beliefs or plan for
they say, a polished and
levelheaded tactician, a
what to do with power.
I suspect that we’ll
n the formal announcement of his learn, with just a bit more
wrote Kyle Cheney and
presidential campaign on Mon- digging, that he was mull-
day, Scott Walker mentioned God ing campaign slogans in
“He learned the value of
right away, introduced himself as a WKHZRPEDQGUDQKLV¿UVW
questions, rather than an-
preacher’s son and invoked religion race in the neighborhood
repeatedly, as he has throughout a wading pool, pledging to
What an inspiring les-
perpetual candidacy that stretches ease restrictions on squirt
and what a window
back to his college days, when he guns and usher in a ban on
political success to-
told the Marquette University year- two-piece bathing suits.
book: “I really think there’s a rea-
He has drawn barbs for
He tailors his persona to the race
son why God put all these political the fact that he left Marquette before
graduating and was many credits shy at hand. To win his second term as
But what I see in him is the kind of a degree. But I know plenty of governor of Wisconsin and thus
of soullessness too common in people whose intellectual agility and be able to crow, as he’s doing now,
American politicians and the kind of erudition aren’t rooted in the class- about the triumph of a conservative
careerism that makes American poli- room, and his lack of a diploma isn’t SROLWLFLDQ³LQDEOXHVWDWH´KHSOD\HG
down his opposition to abortion, sig-
tics such a dreary spectacle.
I see an ambition
The priorities that naled resignation to same-sex mar-
even more pronounced
conspired in it are. riage and explicitly supported a path
than any ideology. I
He was apparently to citizenship for undocumented im-
see an interest in per-
consumed during his migrants.
But with his current focus on the
sophomore year by a
that eclipses any in-
(failed) bid for student Iowa caucuses, he no longer supports
vestment in personal
body president. Ac- DSDWKWRFLWL]HQVKLSÀDXQWVKLVDQ-
cording to a story by ti-abortion credentials and has called
a way of
These are hardly
'DYLG )DKUHQWKROG LQ for a constitutional amendment per-
unusual traits in our
The Washington Post, mitting states to outlaw same-sex
halls of government.
he was disengaged marriage. He even has a newfound
But they’re distilled in
from, and cavalier affection for ethanol.
His advisers, meanwhile, trum-
Walker, the governor
about, the acquisition
of knowledge. And pet his authenticity. Authenticity?
He’s styling him-
he dropped out right That’s in tragically short supply in
self as a political out-
around the time he the presidential race, a quality that
commenced a (failed) candidates assert less through co-
of geography, not professional his- candidacy for the Wisconsin state herent records, steadfast positions
or self-effacing commitments than
tory. While it’s true that he hasn’t Senate — in his early 20s.
worked in Washington, he’s a polit-
Walker’s cart has a way of getting through what they wear (look, Ma,
ical lifer, with a résumé and worl- ahead of Walker’s horse. Only after no jacket or necktie!) and even how
dview that are almost nothing but VHYHUDO ÀXEEHG LQWHUYLHZV HDUOLHU they motor around. Walker is sched-
this year were there reports that he uled to trundle through Iowa later
He’s been on one Wisconsin was taking extra time to bone up on this week in a Winnebago, and of
ballot or another almost every two world affairs. This was supposed to course Hillary Clinton traveled there
years over the last quarter-century, be a comfort to us, but what would from New York in that Scooby van.
and he’s only 47. Before the gover- really be reassuring is a candidate
norship, he was a state assemblyman who had pursued that mastery al- Monday’s big speech. That was his
and then a county executive.
ready, out of honest curiosity rather opening line and an echo of what so
many contenders say.
We know from the biographies of than last-minute need.
I trust that they all do love this
him so far that he has been absorbed
When allies and opponents talk
LQWKRVH³SROLWLFDOWKRXJKWV´VLQFHDW about his strengths, they seem to fo- country. But from the way they
least the start of college, before he cus not on his passion for governing pander, shift shapes and scheme, I
could have possibly developed any but on his cunning at getting elected. wonder if they love themselves just
fully considered, deeply informed “He’s a sneaky-smart campaigner, a little more.
By FRANK BRUNI
New York Times News Service