The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, April 14, 2017, WEEKEND EDITION, Page 7A, Image 7

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Awards: ‘I was a crazy, wild animal when I came to Astoria’
Continued from Page 1A
Pulitzer that raised more than
$100,000 from about 125,000
people to pay for the pedestal
on which the statue stands.
“The sum of all those small
things is really just as important
as all the big things she does,”
Waisanen said of Larsen’s big
and small, but always impact-
ful, exploits, from fundrais-
ing for a disc golf course at the
Clatsop County Fairgrounds to
recycling newspapers with the
Astoria Lions Club.
Taught to volunteer
“I was a crazy, wild animal
when I came to Astoria,” Tay-
lor said amid raucous laughter.
A Boise, Idaho, native who
moved to Astoria from Seat-
tle in 2006 and took over Old
Town Framing on Commer-
cial Street, Taylor said she had
never volunteered before. Then
Tiffany Estes, a downtown
business owner and then pres-
ident of the Astoria Downtown
Historic District Association,
shanghaied her into the vice
“Dulcye always shows up,”
Estes said, introducing her
friend and fellow downtown
advocate. “There are few things
more valuable in a volunteer or
a community leader than being
present and being engaged. For
her, there’s no halfway. It’s all
or nothing. It’s go big, or go
For the past six years, Taylor
has been president of the down-
town association, winning Vol-
unteer of the Year at the Ore-
gon Main Street Conference
for her efforts. She has since
joined several other volun-
teer boards, recently co-found-
ing the nonprofi t Astoria Ferry
Group to bring back the Tourist
No. 2, which plied the Colum-
bia River between Oregon and
Washington state prior to the
opening of the Astoria Bridge.
Taylor said it was City Man-
ager and former Community
Development Director Brett
Estes who taught her all about
city government, while Tif-
fany Estes taught her how to
be a Lady Liberty, an honor she
said she is proud to share with
someone as accomplished as
“I don’t think I have enough
time to do everything you’ve
done in your lifetime,” Taylor
told Larsen. “But I’m going to
give it a good shot.”
Pot: No signs of consumers losing interest Fire fee: ‘You have
no clue of the area’
branded “Uncle Rudi’s.” Each
is aimed at attracting a differ-
ent demographic through price
and packaging.
“Not everyone wants to buy
your grade-A bud,” Roni Lay-
man, a trimmer, said. “They
may not have the budget.”
Some medical patients
favor the lesser line because
they can buy the product in
quantity at a cheaper price and
use it for cooking, she said.
Choice simply depends on the
consumer and their needs.
Continued from Page 1A
Holmes is the owner of
Quality Growers, one of more
than two dozen marijuana pro-
ducers that have taken root in
Pacifi c County since 2012,
when recreational sales were
legalized in Washington state.
In 2014, there were only two
marijuana producers based in
Pacifi c County. Today there
are 17. All but two — Green
Labs in South Bend and Van-
couver Weed Co. in Ilwaco —
are concentrated in Raymond.
Pot production
Pink Floyd played on the
speakers and a skunky smell
swirled over a sea of green all
basking under bright lights.
Workers wearing latex gloves
and sunglasses strolled along
isles of hundreds of mature
plants, pausing every few steps
for a closer look.
It was a typical afternoon
at Quality Growers, where up
to 35 pounds of pot are har-
vested every 10 days for recre-
ational marijuana stores across
the state.
Depending on the strain, it
can take between seven and
12 weeks for a clone to fi nish.
They currently grow more than
20 strains, but are beginning to
narrow it down to those which
do best on a 60-day fl ower-
ing cycle. Like a slow-mov-
ing conveyor belt, the plants
are moved along in 10-day
stages, with each stage occur-
ring in separate buildings,
starting with the nursery. Also
known as the “clone room,”
the nursery is where hundreds
of young clones are clustered
under ultraviolet light. In the
early stages, a close eye is kept
on each clone’s root length, an
early indicator of health and
readiness for transplantation.
After 10 days, they are trans-
planted to bigger pots and
moved under bigger lights.
In the second stage, now a
little over a foot tall, the plants
begin to take their characteris-
tic shape and leaf structure. It’s
during this stage that the plants
could essentially be considered
teenagers while they experi-
ence rapid growth. Upkeep is
important during this stage to
prepare the plant for a success-
ful harvest, said master gar-
dener Tyler Solverson.
“It’s a double function,”
Solverson said. “We clean it
Luke Whittaker/EO Media Group
Master grower Tyler Solverson works hands-on with the
plants during every step of the process. “I consider myself
a farmer,” Solverson said. “Just a different form of farming.”
up and we get clones.” Like a
gardener pruning a small tree,
Solverson meticulously trims
the undercarriage of the plants,
cutting away smaller, second-
ary branches to allow light and
energy to be concentrated to
the top canopy, where he says
the biggest and best buds are
produced. Many of the trim-
mings are saved and trans-
planted as clones.
Potential to grow
Once the plants have passed
through the fi rst two stages,
they go to the big building next
door for fl owering, the longest
Inside, more than 800 mar-
ijuana plants are grouped
together on tables of 20. For
the next 60 days or so, buds
will grow and expand the
stalks, the “fl ower” of the
plant. As a state-defi ned Tier
3 producer, Quality Growers is
permitted to grow up to 30,000
square feet of pot, measured
by the canopy, which is more
area than two Olympic-size
swimming pools. Currently,
however, they are growing
approximately 6,000 square
feet, mostly do to space limita-
tions indoors.
They will be expand the
grow outdoors in the summer,
when weather is more ideal.
“We’re tiny now compared
to the potential we have,”
Holmes said.
Typically between 120 to
150 plants are harvested at a
time. The plants are fl ushed
with gallons of water to strip
any excess nutrients and fed
sugar just before harvest.
“We give them a 10-day
molasses fl ush, some sugar to
sweeten and fatten them up
right at the end,” Solverson
said. “It’s all about the weight
and the percentage of THC, ”
main psychoactive component.
The buds are dried for
seven to 10 days in a separate
building. After the fl owers are
dried, the buds are divided into
three classes based on qual-
ity and hand trimmed before
being ready for retail sale
about 30 days later.
After the pot is trimmed,
it’s ready for packaging. In the
packaging room, a Michael
Jordan poster hangs above
employee Jimmy Forbes, who
has perfected the art of roll-
ing joints using a specialized
machine. Forbes estimates he
has rolled more than 30,000
joints for Quality Growers,
which, coincidentally, is near
the same point total Jordan
scored during his basketball
career — 32,292.
The marijuana at Qual-
ity Growers is separated into
two categories including a pre-
mium and bargain line, each
given a distinct name and
packaging. The premium buds
are packaged and sold under
the name “PUR” line, while
the lesser quality go into bags
After the marijuana is har-
vested, dried and cured, it
goes to a third-party testing
lab before being available for
retail sale. The marijuana is
tested for potency, microbiol-
ogy, residual solvents and pes-
ticides by labs approved by the
Washington State Liquor and
Cannabis Board . Holmes uses
organic growing methods and
supports the stringent testing.
“A sample of every strain is
sent to the state,” Holmes said.
“We’re held to a higher stan-
dard than the food industry.”
Upon passing the test, the pot
is ready for retail sale.
When legal pot fi rst entered
the scene in Washington in
2014, prices were at a historic
high of nearly $30 per gram on
average, according to state fi g-
ures. Prices have since fallen
as new retailers and produc-
ers come online and continue
to fl ood the market with more
Quality Growers fetches
between $1,300 and $1,700
per pound wholesale — or
$2.80 to $3.70 per gram —
when sold to retail marijuana
stores, according to Holmes.
Once on store shelves, the
pot fetches between $1,812 to
$6,795 per pound, or $4 to $15
per gram after taxes.
Consumers haven’t shown
signs of losing interest, par-
ticularly in Pacifi c County.
March sales reached $392,359,
the highest ever for the c ounty,
which is even more remark-
able given there are only three
stores. March was also a ban-
ner month for Quality Grow-
ers. They reached $75,000
in sales for the fi rst time, but
Holmes believes the best is yet
to come.
“We have the potential
to do between $120,000 and
$140,000 monthly,” he said.
Continued from Page 1A
Seaside Golf Course
One parcel under consid-
eration, for instance, was the
Seaside Golf Course.
“This is one that we
struggled with,” said Neal
Bond, a committee mem-
ber and protection unit for-
ester for the Astoria District.
“Golf courses are not where
ODF needs to be, where it
should be.”
While the course includes
structures. putting greens
and a river running down
the middle, dense collections
of trees surround it. In that
case, the committee decided
to reassess certain tax lots on
the parcel, while leaving oth-
ers as forestland.
The committee originally
added 4,750 lots — owned
by 2,300 residents — last
year. It also removed more
than 600 property owners.
Forestland classifi cations are
reviewed every fi ve years.
The annual property
tax fee assessed to owners
of forestlands in the Asto-
ria district is $1.21 per acre.
Owners are charged a mini-
mum assessment of $18.75
each year. A $47.50 sur-
charge can be added if prop-
erty owners build additional
structures on their land.
A handful of property
owners voiced their argu-
ments opposing the clas-
sifi cation of various lands
during the public comment
session Thursday. Com-
plaints included dissatis-
faction with the assessment
criteria, the process the com-
mittee has used to make
assessments and communi-
cation between the Depart-
ment of Forestry and the
that many residents living in
urban areas, as well as local
offi cials who were part of the
decision-making process,
were unfairly exempt from
the assessments. One decried
the committee’s process for
determining assessments.
“Have you physically
come and seen my prop-
erty?” Shanon Meehan said.
“I fi nd it a little disheartening
that you’re calling swamp
forestland. You have no clue
of the area. You haven’t gone
there and researched it or
looked at it or taken photos
from a different view except
from up above.”
Dale Edwards said some
of the minutes from past
committee meetings have
not been made public, so
he needed to pay for open
records requests. He still
was unable to fi nd informa-
tion pertaining to his specifi c
property assessment.
“I can’t even argue with,
up to this point, whether my
place is forestland or not.
And I don’t believe it is,”
Edwards said.
appealed will receive a letter
in the mail stating whether or
not their property was reclas-
sifi ed, Department of For-
estry spokeswoman Sherron
Lumley said.
While looking at over-
head photos of properties,
committee member and
Olney-Walluski Fire Chief
Ron Tyson noted a few prop-
erties that, though not part
of the current appeals pro-
cess, should be consid-
ered for removal during the
next cycle of committee
One property near Lewis
and Clark Road, for instance,
was not part of the appeals
process, but was situated
in a similar location as a
nearby property that was
removed from forestland
classifi cation.
“Be sure to make note of
that,” Goody told his staff.
April 20th, 2017
Bay: Celebration, ceremony scheduled for May 13
Continued from Page 1A
‘Rest and refuel’
some of nature’s longest migra-
tions,” Rob Clay, the strategy’s
director, said in a press release.
“Their ability to travel thou-
sands of miles depends upon a
network of critical sites along
the way, where they can rest
and refuel.”
Ferrier hopes the desig-
nation will get people to pay
attention to the area’s impor-
tance for wildlife, and partic-
ularly species that are endan-
gered or threatened, such as
the snowy plover.
“The refuge and Long
Beach P eninsula offer tre-
mendous habitat for the birds,
which translates into excep-
tional viewing opportunities
for the public,” she said.
The recognition also cred-
its property owners, conser-
vation groups, businesses and
state and federal agencies for
managing land around the bay
and peninsula with shorebirds
in mind.
A conservation effort to
bulldoze dunes and remove
invasive plants is underway
along area beaches. So far,
cordgrass has been removed
from almost 8,000 acres,
restoring signifi cant portions
of habitat for shorebirds and
other native wildlife.
“Now, it looks like
open sand,” Ferrier said. “I
think people will notice a
An International Migra-
tory Bird Day celebration and
a ceremony to designate the
site is scheduled from 2 to 4
p.m. on May 13 at the Colum-
bia Pacifi c Heritage Museum
in Ilwaco.
Customer Appreciation
(Sliders, chips, pop & water - provided by Mary’s Bar & Grill)
& More 420
Blazing Deals
$4 Grams • $4 Joints
$4 Edibles
Ilwaco - 133 Howerton Way (8AM-8PM)
Located at the Port of Ilwaco, Next to Jessie’s Seafood
WARNING: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. There may be health risks associated
with the consumption of this product. For use only by adults 21 and over. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana
can impair concentration, coordination, and judgement. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence
of this drug.
He is Risen