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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 29, 2017)
145TH YEAR, NO. 129
AUTHOR RECALLS A CHRISTMAS
WEEKEND BREAK • 1C
WEEKEND EDITION // FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2017
‘A piece of the puzzle’
By BRENNA VISSER
The Daily Astorian
When Tanner Rich joined the
Gearhart Volunteer Fire Department as a
part of his Pacifica Project senior year of
high school, he never expected he would
help fight the largest fire in California
Rich, 19, a Seaside native, was
deployed to the Thomas Fire in Ven-
tura County, which burned 440 square
miles and destroyed more than 1,000
His previous experience consisted of
structure fires, medical calls and helping
with the occasional car wreck. So natu-
rally, he was filled with equal parts uncer-
tainty and excitement.
“It was pure shock. Wow — I’ve never
seen something like that before. I grew up
in Seaside,” Rich said. “Taking in all the
burnt houses, seeing people coming back
to find their houses was a very somber
Rich was one of the dozen firefight-
ers sent from Clatsop County to fight a
variety of fires blazing in Southern Cal-
ifornia earlier this month. The major-
ity of the task force’s time was spent at
the Thomas Fire, which has burned more
than 280,000 acres and killed one Cali-
AP Photo/Chris Carlson
See FIREFIGHTERS, Page 6A
Firefighters from Kern County, Calif., work to put out hot
spots during a wildfire Dec. 16 in Montecito, Calif.
TOP STORIES OF THE YEAR
BEGINNINGS CHASED ENDINGS IN 2017
Judges reverse sanctions
against the retired educator
By DERRICK DePLEDGE
The Daily Astorian
and travel time consumed entire days.
The opening was a landmark achievement, with the
city, county and hospital working together to find creative
solutions. Local leaders such as former Astoria Mayor
Willis Van Dusen worked tirelessly to make it happen.
Local and regional donors contributed more than $3 mil-
lion to the project.
The Oregon Court of Appeals on Thursday reversed
sanctions against former Astoria High School principal
Larry Lockett over his handling of a relationship between a
teacher and a student in 2004.
Several years after the student left school, she informed
a counselor that she had a sexual relationship with the
teacher when she was 17.
The state Teacher Standards and Practices Commission
revoked Lockett’s teaching and administrator licenses in
2015 after concluding he committed gross neglect of duty
in failing to investigate the relation-
ship in 2004.
But the appeals court ruled that
the commission’s order against
Lockett “lacks substantial evidence
and reason.” The court reversed the
order and sent the issue back to the
commission for further explanation.
Lockett, a highly regarded
administrator, retired as principal in
2012 after 12 years in charge. Blair
Henningsgaard, Lockett’s attor-
ney, said Lockett sought the appeals
court review to preserve his profes-
“It’s a terrible result,” Henningsgaard said of the sexual
relationship. “But there’s nothing to say that it’s Mr. Lock-
ett’s fault that that happened.”
The state attorney for the Teacher Standards and Prac-
tices Commission could not immediately be reached for
Questions about whether Lockett exercised proper over-
sight as principal were unearthed after a police investiga-
tion into the former student’s claims about the teacher and
reviews by the Astoria School District and the commission.
The commission determined Lockett was told the stu-
dent had moved in with the teacher to help with household
tasks as the teacher recovered from a broken leg while his
wife and children were away. Staff at the high school also
said they told the principal the student and teacher were in
the teacher’s classroom alone with the lights off and the
See 2017, Page 7A
See LOCKETT, Page 6A
Photos by Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian
People at the base of the Astoria Column gaze up at the solar eclipse in August.
The Daily Astorian
he community works together to open a new can-
cer center, while a historic business closed for good.
Buildings owned by the remnants of one of Astoria’s
first families changed hands.
Young baseball players rallied under incredible odds
to win the state championship, and area schools also won
titles in basketball and track and field.
Courts struggled to reduce prison use for drug and
property crimes, while law enforcement confronted tur-
moil in its ranks.
Here are just a handful of the year’s top stories, illumi-
nating the highs and lows, challenges and triumphs of life
on Oregon’s North Coast
A landmark achievement
The new Knight Cancer Collaborative in Astoria, a
partnership between Columbia Memorial Hospital and
Oregon Health and Science University, opened in the fall.
The 18,000-square foot, $16.5 million center now pro-
vides a local option for North Coast residents in need of
Plans for bringing cancer treatment services to the area
first began in 2008. The hospital estimated that 75 to 100
people used to travel from the North Coast to Portland or
Longview or Seattle for radiation therapy — treatments
People file in past one of many decorative features
in the lobby of the Knight Cancer Collaborative in
Astoria to take a tour.
Astoria resident finds her quiet place
Wanted to be
close to water’
The Daily Astorian
The days have slowed
down since Paola Carreras
moved to Astoria this year.
It is a very different place
from the Caribbean island
where she grew up. It is colder,
grayer. It is definitely smaller
— she feels like a city girl who
landed suddenly in the country.
But, like home, Astoria is
also a city whose moods and
HIGHLIGHTING PEOPLE WHO ARE NEW TO THE COMMUNITY
weather are shaped by the
presence of water.
“I am an island girl and
I always thought to myself
wherever I moved it would
have to be somewhere close to
water,” Carreras said. “I need
She had been planning to
move after she graduated from
college, and Astoria happened
to present itself as an option.
Carreras is a familiar face
to anyone who has recently
walked through the doors of
Carruthers, a restaurant at the
corner of Commercial Street
and 12th Street. Of the two
roles she fills there — serv-
ing and bartending — Carreras
loves bartending best.
“It’s like an in-between,”
she said. “Between serv-
ing people and concocting
Katie Frankowicz/The Daily Astorian
See NEIGHBOR, Page 6A
Paola Carreras at Carruthers in Astoria, where she works.