The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, April 19, 2017, Image 1

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144TH YEAR, NO. 209
on rates
Health care
could take
budget hit
350,000 Oregonians
could lose coverage
Capital Bureau
SALEM — With about a month to go
before a critical revenue forecast, Oregon’s
budget writers released a more detailed list
of cuts to address the state’s approximately
$1.6 billion budget gap if new revenue isn’t
The cuts are across the board and intended
to show what it would take to balance the
state’s budget. For example, about 350,000
Oregonians would no longer be eligible for
coverage under the recent Affordable Care
Act Medicaid expansion, and a ballot mea-
sure to require the state to pay dropout pre-
vention, college readiness, and career and
technical education for high school students
would only be partially funded.
The co-chairs of the Joint Committee on
Ways and Means released a similar docu-
ment in January, with fewer specifi cs. Since
then, subcommittees have been working on
different areas of the state’s budget to fi gure
out where agencies and programs could be
cut to make those targets.
Hike for upkeep
The Daily Astorian
CANNON BEACH — After four
hours of heated debate, the public
works committee decided Tuesday to
table a plan that would increase water
rates in Cannon Beach by 40 percent .
Instead of recommending the plan
at the May 2 C ity C ouncil meeting as
originally planned, members of the
committee decided
to schedule a spe-
cial meeting May
9 to discuss issues
each had with the
proposal .
“I think it’s a lit-
tle rushed. We need
a more robust con-
versation about pri-
orities and where all
the money goes,” public works com-
mittee ice chairman Richard Bertel-
lotti said . “The reality is we have to
raise some rates to do some main-
tenance, but we need to understand
why it is needed.”
Dan Grassick, the city’s public
works director, said the average com-
bined sewer and water rate in Cannon
Beach would increase from about $52
a month to $70 beginning in July .
$1.6 billion gap
Lawmakers face an approximately $1.6
billion gap between what the state is expected
to realize in revenue and what it would take
to pay to maintain existing services.
Trio travels the river to promote salmon runs
Infrastructure needs
The water and wastewater master
plan seeks to fi nance about $3.4 mil-
lion in water infrastructure, as well
as about $1.3 million in wastewater
projects, according to the Civil West
Engineering Services study commis-
sioned by the city. These projects
would focus on rehabbing or replac-
ing a variety of systems, including
brittle water lines and water storage
“We are retaining the same rate
structure, just increasing the base
price and unit price to fund opera-
tions, maintenance and capital proj-
ects,” Grassick said.
But members of the public works
committee took issue with how proj-
ects were prioritized, how high the
rate would jump, and, most notably,
the lack of involvement the commit-
tee had in forming the plan.
“We were frozen out of this pro-
cess,” Bertellotti said. “That’s got to
change or there is no reason to have a
public works committee.”
Grassick said he apologizes for
not including them in the two prelim-
inary planning meetings last year. He
also said committee members were
given the master plans in December,
but due to travel and weather com-
plications couldn’t meet until now to
discuss it.
The Daily Astorian
orthbound traffi c stalled momentar-
ily on Old Youngs Bay Bridge Tues-
day afternoon. Plodding along on horse-
back, a line of cars stretching behind them,
were Idahoans Kat Cannell and Katelyn Sprad-
ley. The two women, each riding a horse and
with another pack animal following , skirted
around the south side of Astoria on their way
to Pipeline Road, ending their fi rst day of rid-
ing in Svensen.
The two explorers , to be joined by another
friend in Portland, are on a seven-week, 900-
mile Ride for Redd, an awareness effort to pro-
mote Idaho’s endangered salmon runs.
Ride for Redd will soon be setting up an online
fundraiser to help pay for the trip. For more info,
Submitted Photo
Malheur Enterprise editor Les Zaitz in the
weekly paper’s newsroom last year. The
tiny paper was embroiled in a potentially
costly public records fight with the state .
state, wins
Going upstream
Redd is a term for the spawning grounds of
salmon and other fi sh. By early June, the trio
will end their trip at one of those spawning
grounds, the alpine Redfi sh Lake at 6,547 feet
in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains.
“Idaho salmon come up the Columbia,
come up the Snake and then come all the
way up the Salmon River, 6,500 feet in eleva-
tion, 900 miles inland and they’re some of the
toughest salmon in the world because of their
route,” Cannell said. “Not many salmon travel
that hard.”
“… Sometimes referred to as the Olympi-
ans of the salmon world,” Spradley added.
Of the 13 salmon species on the e ndangered
s pecies list, four are located in Idaho. Sock-
eye salmon are listed as endangered. Spring,
See RIDE, Page 7A
Photos by Damian Mulinix/For The Daily Astorian
TOP: Kat Cannell and Katelyn Spradley
ride up through a south Astoria neighbor-
hood Tuesday afternoon. The two, and a
third rider joining them in Portland, are rid-
ing to Redfish Lake, Idaho, to bring atten-
tion to endangered salmon populations.
ABOVE: Kat Cannell laughs with members
of her support team as she and Katelyn
Spradley rode through Astoria Tuesday.
Zaitz is a former
Oregonian reporter
Idaho Statesman
BOISE, Idaho — Les Zaitz has been liv-
ing and working at a ranch near John Day in
Eastern Oregon for more than a decade — not
exactly where most would expect to fi nd one
of the state’s top investigative journalists.
The 61-year-old is a former reporter and
editor for The Oregonian who favors jeans
and boots as daily attire and a cowboy hat
when not in the offi ce. He grew up on the west
side of the state in Keizer, and started muck-
raking as a teenager, probing high school bud-
gets in response to grumbling about cuts.
“I did an investigation of the athletic
department’s budget,” he recalled. “They
were in the red, and other departments had to
cut spending.”
He followed the money to fi nd out why.
Pulitzer Prize fi nalist
Edward Stratton/The Daily Astorian
Almost a half-century later, the two-time
Pulitzer Prize fi nalist hoped to relax more
after retiring from The Oregonian following
exhaustive coverage of the armed occupa-
tion at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
But he’s still working long hours and break-
ing big news, now for a weekly newspaper
that he owns with his family, The Malheur
Katelyn Spradley, left, and Kat Cannell start their horseback journey from the Pacific Ocean
up the Columbia, Snake and Salmon river basins to Idaho Tuesday morning on Sunset Beach.
See ZAITZ, Page 7A