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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 25, 2018)
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 2018
JIM VAN NOSTRAND
Founded in 1873
JOHN D. BRUIJN
Live county broadcasts boost transparency
oday we give a tip of the hat
to Clatsop County for an
action that fosters openness in
It’s a core theme for news media, but
one we believe should be embraced by
For the past several months, county
staff have been working behind the
scenes to televise and broadcast Board
of Commissioners meetings live. The
idea is that this will create a more
engaged citizenry by bringing meet-
ings to the homes of people who cannot
attend in person.
Efforts began some while ago.
Officials reached a franchise agreement
with Charter TV in 2015, following
several years of negotiations. As part of
this, Charter paid $39,000 to cover the
cost of a public-access channel.
The following year, commissioners
approved a $90,000 contract to upgrade
audio and install video capabilities in
the Judge Guy Boyington Building
in Astoria, where the board meets.
Cameras, a projector with retractable
screen, audio improvements and other
The Daily Astorian
will note that it’s not always going to
be scintillating viewing. Government
meetings invariably move at a pace that
causes many to chafe, in part because
our elected and appointed officials
must follow myriad rules to ensure the
legality of actions taken.
Later the channel may be made
accessible for groups to produce pub-
lic-access programming. But first, staff
will monitor for any technical issues.
Clatsop County government plays a
significant part in our lives. It is pleas-
ing leaders have worked through sev-
eral technical delays to introduce this
way to make the commissioners’ deci-
sion-making process more visible.
Clatsop County Manager Cameron Moore gives a report during a county commission-
ers meeting. The meetings are now televised.
upgrades were added.
The meetings take place at 6 p.m.
on the second and fourth Wednesdays.
Delayed recordings have been posted
on the county website at www.co.clat-
sop.or.us and YouTube since last year.
Now they are broadcast live on the
Government Access Channel 190 to
Charter/Spectrum cable customers in
the county. Recordings are posted the
next day on the county website.
We hope many Clatsop County res-
idents will take advantage of this ser-
vice; it’s an excellent step toward more
With tongue firmly in cheek, we
County on TV
Clatsop County Board of
Commissioners meet 6 p.m. the second
and fourth Wednesdays. Broadcasts
are on the Charter/Spectrum cable
Government Access Channel 190.
Recordings will be posted the next day
on the county website at www.co.clat-
Letters should be exclusive to
The Daily Astorian.
Letters should be fewer than
250 words and must include the
writer’s name, address and phone
number. You will be contacted to
All letters are subject to editing
for space, grammar, and, on occa-
sion, factual accuracy. Only two
letters per writer are allowed each
Letters written in response to
other letter writers should address
the issue at hand and, rather than
mentioning the writer by name,
should refer to the headline and
date the letter was published. Dis-
course should be civil and people
should be referred to in a respectful
manner. Letters in poor taste will
not be printed.
Send via email to editor@dai-
lyastorian.com, online at dailyasto-
rian.com/submit_letters, in person
at 949 Exchange St. in Astoria or
1555 North Roosevelt in Seaside,
or mail to Letters to the Editor, P.O.
Box 210, Astoria, OR 97103.
Fighting for NOAA is fighting for our communities
pride myself on the quality and service at
our Long Beach, Washington, hotels, but
there’s no denying the truth: visitors don’t
come here for the hotels. They come for the
beaches, the fishing, the Discovery Trail. They
come for the incredible experiences waiting
right outside the door.
These natural treasures are the economic
bedrock of our tourism-dependent commu-
nity, and you will hear simi-
lar stories at towns all up and
down the coast. Our prosper-
ity is built on carefully man-
aged shorelines, and healthy
ocean waters that support
abundant marine life.
Long Beach, Astoria
other Pacific Northwest
towns have long since rec-
ognized this is too big a job
to tackle alone. We rely on teamwork — with
funding from the National Oceanic and Atmo-
spheric Administration programs — to stew-
ard our critical ocean resources.
Here’s just one example: the NOAA-
funded coastal zone management program,
which supports locally-led shoreline manage-
ment planning. Such plans keep homes and
buildings away from erosion-prone or sen-
sitive areas, protecting people and property
while maintaining the health of our world-
Salmon habitat restoration? The tsunami
warning system? Beach protections? They
all rely heavily on NOAA funding — fund-
ing that the Trump administration and some in
Congress are proposing to cut in the upcom-
ing budget negotiations.
That spells trouble, not just for the coast,
but for the Northwest’s overall economy.
Matt Winters/Chinook Observer
High surf last week carried large debris east of the Long Beach Boardwalk.
Research shows investments in watershed res-
toration drives significant economic activity.
As a business owner, mother of small boys,
and lifelong coastal resident, I’m concerned
that losing NOAA funding would hurt our
economy and put lives at risk.
As a kid growing up in Long Beach, my
father and I would listen to the weather fore-
cast to see when it was safe to leave port.
Dad, like every other commercial fisherman
in town, relies on NOAA’s system for moni-
toring ocean conditions. The weather on the
coast is not just tough — it’s dangerous.
Nowadays we use iPhones to get the fore-
cast, but the information still comes from
NOAA’s tracking system — a system that
comforts fishermen’s families with the knowl-
edge their loved ones aren’t navigating into
a dangerous storm. Without it, our fishermen
will be operating blind.
But on the coast, you don’t even need
to set foot on a boat to face weather dan-
gers. With two kids in school and a hotel that
opens straight onto the beach, I’m counting
on NOAA’s tsunami warning system to keep
my family and customers safe when disaster
The White House and House of Represen-
tatives have proposed cutting $900 million
and $700 million, respectively, from NOAA’s
operating budget. And while the Senate’s plan
more-or-less maintains funding at current lev-
els, at the moment there is no federal budget
at all. Instead, Congress has passed a series
of short-term funding extensions, known as
continuing resolutions. The third expired last
week, triggering a short government shut-
down before Congress passed a fourth on
Monday, kicking the decision into February.
Continuing resolutions keep the lights on,
but they hamstring long-term agency plan-
ning. Astorians should be proud of U.S.
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, and U.S. Sens. Ron
Wyden and Jeff Merkley, who have all stood
up for our coastal communities. I hope Wash-
ington state and Oregon’s members of Con-
gress continue the fight for the coastal zone
management program, Sea Grant, the Pacific
Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund and other pro-
grams we rely on. I urge them to support the
Senate’s proposed NOAA funding levels.
The United States is a country with a vast
amount of shoreline. At the end of the day, our
needs aren’t all that different from the needs
of communities in New Jersey or Florida: the
safety of our citizens, the health of our fisher-
ies and the strength of our economies. NOAA
is an integral part of all three.
Tiffany Turner is the co-owner of Adrift
Hotels Inc. She lives in Seaview, Washington.