The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, May 16, 2016, Page 6A, Image 6

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    OPINION
6A
Founded in 1873
STEPHEN A. FORRESTER, Editor & Publisher
LAURA SELLERS, Managing Editor
BETTY SMITH, Advertising Manager
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • MONDAY, MAY 16, 2016
100th anniversary of the Seaside
High School: now can we move?
SOUTHERN
EXPOSURE
CARL EARL, Systems Manager
JOHN D. BRUIJN, Production Manager
DEBRA BLOOM, Business Manager
HEATHER RAMSDELL, Circulation Manager
Sealed landill
became a mecca
Soccer association is among
our best nonproits
A
mong the good things to celebrate in Clatsop County
are two former landills — Astoria’s and Warrenton’s.
Turnaround of the Warrenton landill came irst. In 1986 it
was sealed. The city offered the site to the nascent Lower
Columbia Youth Soccer Assn. Over some 25 years, the
league has created a soccer complex that is renowned across
Oregon.
The soccer association Construction contributed.
epitomizes the beneits of One of Bengel’s anecdotes is
partnership and leverag- about Phil Gaffney, superin-
ing. The league’s irst soc- tendent at Big Rock. Having
cer ield had numerous grown up playing on the
benefactors. The Oregon soccer ields, he’s returned
Community
Foundation as a volunteer to upgrade the
was one of them. In fact, the complex.
foundation’s gift to the soc-
Now the league is over-
cer association was among capitalized, as Jerry Boisvert
its irst into this county.
put it. And that may allow it
Now the league has done to help the city of Warrenton
it again, as it responds to create more outdoor recre-
a request from the city ation destinations.
of Warrenton for a play-
Creation of the soccer
ground. Erick Bengel’s story league and its fields made
Tuesday described the array life richer for generations
of the playground’s bene- of Clatsop County boys
factors, including the city, and girls. The league’s
which provided $25,000 in ingenuity and energy
a pass-through grant from are an example for all of
a foundation. Nygaard Clatsop County’s nonprofit
Logging and Big River organizations.
B y
R.J.
M aRx
T
here were eight students in the
graduating class of 1915. The
school budget totaled $12,650. Today
that number would just about pay for a
season’s worth of volleyballs.
Of the 1916-17 budget, the lion’s
share — $4,000 — was for teacher’s
salaries, $1,275 for maps, apparatus,
stoves, curtains and other necessaries.
“After the irst year of school the
levy will not be as high as it is this sea-
son as the building is new and must
be equipped with all that is necessary
to make a modern school and one that
every voter and taxpayer in the district
may be proud of,” the Seaside Signal
wrote.
A half century
In 1966, the district consolidated
three districts: Seaside, Gearhart and
Cannon Beach.
“All of the districts are growing and
additional facilities will be needed,”
wrote the Signal.
The uniied district debuted in Sep-
tember 1967 with 1,475 students, 501 at
the high school.
In decades to come, with increased
enrollment, buildings past their pro-
jected life span and evidence of a mor-
tal seismic threat, the need for a new
school building became a perennial
topic of conversation.
In 1970, 400 voters in the school dis-
trict illed out building questionnaires.
“Construct a Clatsop County High
School,” was the suggestion in one
reply.
“Replace Central and remodel
Broadway,” “Consolidate with Warren-
ton-Lewis and Clark area” and “build
a new high school in Clatsop Plains,”
were others.
Only 20 of 400 respondents voted
for a “do nothing” plan.
Throughout the next two decades
successions of administrators, board
members and the community sought
solutions.
In 1986-87 voters had the chance
to approve a plan that would allow the
district to develop ideas for a new high
school.
Plans for a 25-year bond issue
included purchase of a new site and
building of an 800-student high school.
R.J. Marx/The Daily Astorian
Seaside High School students participate in a tsunami evacuation drill.
That year’s $12.3 million plan
would have alleviated space problems
at the elementary level as well, partic-
ularly in Gearhart and Cannon Beach.
That was a lot of money — a “rib-eye”
purchase, the Signal wrote.
The verdict from the voters was
crushing — 2,913 to 570.
It was at about this time that Oregon
State University marine biologist Curt
Peterson and researcher Mark Darienzo
began piecing together the links
between the Juan de Fuca plate and seis-
mic activity along the coast, referred to
then as “tectonic subsistence.”
This information was to have a pro-
found inluence on all efforts to replace
at-risk schools.
ing board, according to Henderson, to
consider other options, such as build-
ing a smaller campus on the hill or
one to house just elementary school
students.
This century mark is bittersweet.
While we welcome the 100th year of
Seaside High School, we join in the
enthusiasm and urgency for a new high
school to take its place.
One hundred, 50, 25 years ago there
was no hard evidence of the risk we
face every day. There is now.
The high school stands 14 to 18
feet above sea level, according to geol-
ogist Tom Horning. The likely tsunami
will lood to elevations of about 40 to
50 feet, nearly to the top of the high
school gymnasium roof.
Obvious risk
“The wave will strike about 15
In 2013, with declining enrollment, minutes after the inception of quak-
Cannon Beach Elementary School ing,” Horning said in an email. “It
closed after two engineering consul- takes roughly 15 minutes to reach
tants found that its gym was likely to safety in the hills from the school,
collapse in a quake.
assuming that trafic
Compelling
doesn’t block evac-
This
research brought the
uation and that the
realization Gearhart
weather is good for
century
Elementary School,
evacuating. The high
Seaside High School
school structure will
mark is
and Broadway Ele-
be swept away, leaving
mentary School were bittersweet. only concrete founda-
potential death traps for
tions and steps. Any-
kids in a disaster scenario.
one caught in the building by the tsu-
Led by Superintendent Doug nami will die. Anyone caught below
Dougherty, the district brought a 50 feet elevation will also likely die.
$128.8 million bond measure to fund Very dangerous place.”
construction of a new consolidated
Taylor Barnes, a Seaside High
school campus above the tsunami School senior and student representa-
inundation zone.
tive on the City Council, among young
Supporters of the bond measure leaders seeking to move the school.
focused their campaign on children’s Their voices are reaching to Portland,
safe, high-tech classrooms, wrote Bon- Salem and points beyond.
nie Henderson in her recounting of the
“I think this is the year,” Barnes
campaign in “The Next Tsunami: Liv- said last week after Seaside’s coun-
ing on a Restless Coast.”
cil meeting. “Ultimately it’s going to
“But the bottom line for many ‘no’ come down to the community mem-
voters seemed to be the cost,” Hen- bers. They’re ready. A lot of people are
derson wrote. “Even some supporters frustrated. The time is now because we
were having a hard time swallowing can’t wait. Whether we’re ready or not,
the increase in property taxes that the it needs to be now.”
construction of the new campus would
R.J. Marx is The Daily Astorian’s
have required.”
South County reporter and editor of
The defeat sent Dougherty and the Seaside Signal and Cannon Beach
the school board back to the draw- Gazette.
Transportation panel
should be open
F
Let’s talk about Trump and taxes
ew state functions gen-
erate as much interest,
or cost so much money,
as transportation. Keeping
deliberations about trans-
portation policies and prior-
ities open to public scrutiny
ought to be a top priority for
all who truly care about gov-
ernment transparency.
Taking a page from the
Obama
administration,
which talks a good game
on openness but actually
suppresses the free low
of information, Gov. Kate
Brown takes the position
that a majority of the Oregon
Transportation Commission
can meet privately as part of
a planning committee with-
out any notice. As Hillary
Borrud of our Capital
Bureau reported, the plan-
ning group — appointed
by Oregon Transportation
Commission Chairwoman
Tammy Baney — is discuss-
ing what issues a contractor
should examine as part of a
review of the Department of
Transportation.
There may very well be
politically awkward aspects
of the review. How this
examination is framed will
help determine the agency’s
future directions and look
at how state highways and
other transportation infra-
structure currently function.
On the line are hundreds of
millions of dollars in proj-
ect spending the Legislature
could approve next year.
In light of cities vying with
rural areas, gas taxes, peren-
nial suspicions about waste
and favoritism, debates over
motor vehicles versus public
transit, and a host of other
issues, these discussions
obviously should be con-
ducted in public.
Our open meetings law
states: “The Oregon form
of government requires an
informed public aware of
the deliberations and deci-
sions of governing bodies
and the information upon
which such decisions were
made.”
It does not bode well
for Gov. Brown’s views of
transparency that she sees no
contradiction in her rhetoric
and actions on this matter.
Editorials that appear on this page are written by
Publisher Steve Forrester and Matt Winters, editor of the
Chinook Observer and Coast River Business Journal, or staff
members from the EO Media Group’s sister newspapers.
By PAUL KRUGMAN
New York Times News Service
his seems to be the week for
Trump tax mysteries. One
mystery is why Donald Trump,
unlike every other major party
nominee in modern times, is
refusing to release his tax returns.
The other is why, having decided
that he needs experts to clean up
his ludicrous tax-cut proposals, he
chose to call on the services of the
gang that couldn’t think straight.
T
On the irst mystery: Trump’s
excuse, that he can’t release
his returns while they’re being
audited, is an obvious lie. On the
contrary, the fact that he’s being
audited (or at least that he says he’s
being audited) should make it eas-
ier for him to go public — after all,
he needn’t fear triggering an audit!
Clearly, he must be hiding some-
thing. What?
It could be how little he pays
in taxes, a revelation that hurt Mitt
Romney in 2012. But I doubt it; given
how Trump rolls, he’d probably boast
that his ability to game the tax system
shows how smart he is compared to
all the losers out there.
So my guess, shared by a number
of observers, is that the dirty secret
hidden in those returns is that he isn’t
as rich as he claims to be. In Trump-
world, the revelation that he’s only
worth a couple of billion — maybe
even less than a billion — would be
utterly humiliating. So he’ll try to
tough it out. Of course, if he does,
we’ll never know.
Meanwhile, however, we can look
at the candidate’s policy proposals.
And what has been going on there is
just as revealing, in its own way, as his
attempt to dodge scrutiny of
For those who don’t fol-
his personal inances.
low such things, Kudlow
The story so far: Last fall
has a record of being wrong
Trump suggested that he
about, well, everything. In
would break with Repub-
2005 he ridiculed “bubble-
lican orthodoxy by raising
heads who expect hous-
taxes on the wealthy. But
ing-price crashes in Las
then he unveiled a tax plan
Vegas or Naples, Florida, to
that would, in fact, lavish
bring down the consumer,
huge tax cuts on the rich.
the rest of the economy,
And it would also, accord-
and the entire stock mar-
Paul
ing to nonpartisan analyses,
ket” — which was exactly
Krugman
cause deicits to explode,
what happened. In 2007 he
adding around $10 trillion to the predicted three years of “Goldilocks”
national debt over a decade.
prosperity. And on and on.
Now, the inconsistency between
Moore has a comparable forecast-
Trump’s rhetoric and his speciic pro- ing record, but he also has a remark-
posals didn’t seem to hurt him in the able inability to get facts straight. Per-
Republican primaries. Neither did the haps most famously, he once attempted
wild irresponsibility of those speciics, to rebut, well, me with an article detail-
perhaps because all the major contend- ing the supposed beneits of state tax
ers for the GOP nomination were pro- cuts; incredibly, not one of the many
posing huge, budget-busting tax cuts numbers in that article was right.
for the rich. True, none of them were
So why would Trump turn to these
quite as off the charts as the Trump of all people to, ahem, ix his numbers?
plan, but such distinctions were prob-
It could be a peace offering, an
ably lost on primary voters — $4 tril- attempt to reassure insiders by bring-
lion, $10 trillion, who cares?
ing in Kudlow and Moore, who are
Having secured the nomination, inluential members of the Republican
however, Trump apparently feels the establishment — which incidentally
need to seem more respectable. The tells you a lot about their party.
goal, I suspect, is to bring the head-
But my guess is that the explana-
line numbers down enough to let the tion is simpler: The candidate has no
media’s propensity for false equiva- idea who is and isn’t competent. I
lence kick in. Hillary Clinton has a mean, it’s not as if he has any inde-
plan that actually adds up, while Don- pendent knowledge of economics, or
ald Trump has a plan that will cost $4 even knows what he doesn’t know.
trillion, but which he claims is dei- For example, he keeps asserting that
cit-neutral? Hey, it’s the same thing!
America has the world’s highest taxes,
Oh, and meanwhile he suggested when we’re actually at the bottom
once again that he might raise taxes among advanced nations.
on the rich, then walked it back, with
So he probably just went with a
credulous media eating it all up.
couple of guys he’s seen on TV, assum-
But what’s really interesting is ing that they must be there because
whom, according to Politico, Trump they know their stuff.
Now, you might wonder how
has brought in to revise his plans:
Larry Kudlow of CNBC and Stephen someone that careless and incuri-
Moore of the Heritage Foundation. ous was such a huge success in busi-
That news had economic analysts spit- ness. But one answer is, how success-
ting out their morning coffee all across ful was he, really? What’s in those tax
America.
returns?