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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 4, 2015)
LET THE LIGHT IN
FRIDAY EXTRA • 1C
PAGES 8A & 9A
143rd YEAR, No. 113
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2015 • WEEKEND EDITION
Port settles with two former employees
Browne and her lawyer receive $478,000; Herman case ongoing
By EDWARD STRATTON
The Daily Astorian
T he Port of Astoria on Thursday
released two agreements signed last
month to separate the agency from
two former employees.
The agency signed a separa-
tion agreement with Mike Weston,
the former director of business de-
velopment and operations whose
last day was Monday. In a separate
agreement, it settled a lawsuit with
Colleen Browne, the former ¿ nance
manager ¿ red a year ago.
In the settlement, Browne and her
attorney Anne Foster will receive a
total of $478,900 from the Port of
Astoria’s insurer, the Special Districts
Association of Oregon. The Port ¿ red
both Browne and former Facilities
Manager Tammi Herman a year ago.
Foster represented both when they
¿ led a civil suit in U.S. District Court
against the Port and Weston in Febru-
Browne and Herman claimed
Weston abused his authority during his
tenure as interim executive director,
and that the agency retaliated against
them for reporting his indiscretions.
Weston held the position between Sep-
tember 2013, when former Executive
Director Hank Bynaker resigned, and
October 2014, when Executive Direc-
tor Jim Knight was hired.
See PORT, Page 10A
Wetlands plan ﬁ rst, then open for business
Pot ads generate
inquiry from Paci¿ c
County Post Of¿ ce
The Daily Astorian
LONG BEACH, Wash. — Con-
fusion over whether the U.S. Postal
Service can mail the Chinook Ob-
server and other newspapers with
marijuana advertising will reach the
desk of the postmaster general.
In a letter to Postmaster Gener-
al and Postal Service CEO Megan
J. Brennan, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden
and his colleagues — U.S. Sen. Jeff
Merkley and U.S. Reps. Suzanne
Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer —
seek clarity on how federal postal
regulations intersect with state laws
that legalize recreational marijuana.
Washington state and Oregon are
among the states that have legalized
recreational marijuana, but the drug
remains illegal under federal law.
The U.S. Department of Justice,
however, has encouraged states to
establish strict regulations on legal
pot and has said that federal en-
forcement priorities do not include
prosecution for possession of small
amounts of marijuana for personal
On Monday, Long Beach Post-
master Mark Scarborough contacted
Chinook Observer Publisher Matt
Winters with a memo dated Nov.
27 from managers of the Portland
District. “The memo contained the
eye-catching line: ‘If a mailpiece
contains an advertisement for mari-
juana, that piece is unmailable …,’”
The Observer and The Daily As-
torian share a weekly publication,
Coast Weekend, which frequently
carries advertising for marijuana dis-
pensaries in Paci¿ c County, Wash-
ington, and Clatsop County. About
half of the Observer’s newspapers
are sent through the mail. A small
portion of Astorian subscribers are
served by mail.
Joshua Bessex/The Daily Astorian
A sign designates the location of North Coast Business Park near Southeast 19th Street and Southeast Ensign Lane in Warrenton.
County in talks with potential developer for Warrenton area
ARRENTON — Earlier this year, all
signs pointed to development at the
North Coast Business Park.
Having already been designated a Regional-
ly Signi¿ cant Industrial Area, the 12-acre lot
across from Costco in Warrenton also became
part of the Clatsop Enterprise Zone, where prop-
erty tax exemptions could be offered to encour-
age new projects .
The next step for the county-owned proper-
ty was to take offers from interested business-
However, the county recently learned that
no mitigation had been done on the site’s many
wetlands. An application — submitted in Octo-
ber to the Oregon Department of State Lands
and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — could
take up to 18 months for approval, pushing the
timeline for development into 2017.
“They didn’t understand turning in the pa-
perwork was not the end of the story, it was just
the beginning,” Clatsop County Community
Development Director Heather Hansen said of
it was over. I don’t think he realized the applica-
tion could take a year or year and a half.”
‘It wasn’t as
shovel -ready as
By KYLE SPURR
The Daily Astorian
Clatsop County commissioner
The news came as a surprise to the c ounty
Board of Commissioners.
C ounty commissioners learned about the
delay this fall in executive session during ne-
gotiations with an interested developer. Before
executing an agreement, the county’s land use
attorney informed the board about the need for
“It wasn’t as shovel -ready as advertised,”
Commissioner Dirk Rohne said.
County staff was not at the table once nego-
Hansen, who helped submit the 1,200-page
application, said former County Manager Scott
Somers had the impression the wetland mitiga-
tion was not going to hinder development.
“Scott was just confused,” Hansen said. “He
just thought when we turned the application in,
Submitting an all-encompassing application
at once is part of a new “speculative approach,”
Hansen said, which is being encouraged by the
Department of State Lands.
Traditionally, applications would be sent one
by one for speci¿ c development plans.
The new approach allows wetland mitigation
to be done on an entire site, taking out any un-
certainty for future developers.
“If you could get this taken care of in ad-
vance, it’s more marketable,” Hansen said.
The application focuses on compensatory
mitigation, where the county plans to preserve
wetlands on about a dozen other properties in
order to be able to impact wetlands at the North
Coast Business Park.
By compensating for the loss of wetlands,
the county will not have to purchase wetland
credits, which can cost up to $100,000 each.
If a developer is seriously interested in a por-
tion of the park, Hansen said, they could submit
See WETLANDS, Page 10A
Spring launch at hand
for Cannon Beach market
wide range of
beer and wine
By DANI PALMER
EO Media Group
Tolovana Park will likely
have a new multimillion dol-
lar grocery, fully stocked, by
ne[t summer :ith ¿ nanc-
ing in place, Tim Welsh, his
brother Jon Welsh and their
father James plan to begin
construction and open Fresh
Foods Cannon Beach in late-
May or early June.
In April, the Welsh family
members purchased a vacant
lot at 3401 S. Hemlock St.,
across the street from the Tolo-
vana Inn, near the on-ramp to
U.S. Highway 101. Site plans
for the 10,000-square-foot mar-
ket were approved by the De-
sign Review Board at its May
meeting. There will be 29 off-
street parking spaces at the site,
and a sidewalk will be added on
the west side of the property.
On the shelves, product
will lean heavily toward nat-
ural choices, Tim Welsh said,
but a “broad spectrum” of op-
tions will be available.
A full-service market,
Fresh Foods Cannon Beach
will offer a health and beau-
ty section, “an incredible beer
and wine selection,” a pro-
duce department, a meat and
dairy section and a deli with
soups and sandwiches along
with a coffee bar.
Welsh said they will work
with local vendors to supply
items like baked goods and
partner with Sleepy Monk
for coffee . The cafe area will
feature an inside eating area,
seating 17, an outside sitting
area and Wi-Fi connection.
A second À oor will consist
of of¿ ces.
See POT ADS, Page 10A
N O BL E S
GRA ND S
W rea ths
Ceda r S w a g
Cu stom Flocking
a nd Fire Reta rd a nt
Gifts for ga rden ers, ba ckya rd bird en th usia sts,
equestria n s, pet lovers a n d h obby fa rm ers
G IFT CERTIFICA TES
M u c k Boots • S tove P e lle ts $225/ton
H ea lthy Pet Trea ts
O pen : M on -Sa t • 9a m -5:30pm
Su n d a ys 11a m -3pm thru D ec. 13th
See MARKET, Page 10A
D elivery A va ila ble!
34963 Hw y 101 Bu s., Asto ria | 503-325-1562
1m ile south of old Y oungs Ba y Bridge
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