The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, September 03, 2018, Page 7, Image 7

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    7A
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2018
Festival: Product
of a $10,000 grant
Continued from Page 1A
Photos by Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian
The bus arrives at a stop in Cannon Beach to take Kevin Widener to the library.
Widener: ‘Increase in rents has been
outpacing the HUD voucher standard’
Continued from Page 1A
Cannon Beach in 1975, where
his father took a job as a
teacher. After graduating from
Seaside High School, Widener
received an associate degree
from Clatsop Community
College.
For about 13 years, he lived
and managed rooms at the Pic-
ture Window Resort in Cannon
Beach before it closed in 2003.
Out of a job and a home, Wid-
ener alternated between staying
with friends and staying on the
streets, struggling to find hous-
ing for the next three years.
Part of his struggles were
due to what Widener referred
to as a “worsening neurologi-
cal disorder,” which has slowly
affected his ability to walk,
the strength in his left arm and
other motor functions. Between
the neurological disorder, an
intensifying case of chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease,
and the side effects that come
with the medications to treat it
all, holding down a full or part-
time job became increasingly
more difficult.
It also marked the begin-
ning of his reputation as a ded-
icated public transportation
user.
“With all the medication
and the neural problems, I just
voluntarily gave (driving) up,”
he said.
After three years of insta-
bility, Widener applied for dis-
ability and a low-income hous-
ing voucher, which allowed
him to afford a small apartment
in Seaside for about 12 years.
Kevin Widener rides the bus to Cannon Beach to pick up
his mail and spend time at the library.
There, he was able to manage
a few apartments and collect
cans for extra income.
Widener volunteered with
a number of environmental
groups — protecting the envi-
ronment is one of his interests
— and ran a campaign for the
transportation district seat.
“I obviously ride the bus a
lot, so I thought I could bring
my perspective,” he said.
In March, an electrical fire
drove Widener and his neigh-
bors out of the apartment com-
plex. Soon after, the owner sold
the property.
The landlord, Ken Quarles,
who had developed a relation-
ship with Widener over 12
years and eventually served as
his campaign manager, felt bad
about the sudden upheaval. He
decided to let Widener stay in a
side room of another property
he managed for a few months
before the sale finalized.
“We all knew Kevin. And
his dad was a much-loved
teacher for us,” said Quarles,
a longtime Cannon Beach res-
ident. “All of us old-timers …
everyone has just kept an eye
on Kevin.”
Outpaced
Again finding himself in
housing limbo, Widener has
struggled to locate a place
on the North Coast that his
voucher can cover. When he
does, he is often met with a
waiting list six months to a year
long.
“I don’t have six months
to a year. I don’t have a home
now,” he said.
What Widener is facing
isn’t unique, said Todd John-
ston, executive director of
the Northwest Oregon Hous-
ing Authority. According to
the U.S. Department of Hous-
ing and Urban Development,
average fair market rent for
a one-bedroom apartment in
Clatsop County will be about
$654 in 2019 — about a $200
difference from what Wid-
ener can expect for his voucher
based on his fixed income.
“What’s happened with
us with the voucher program
is that the increase in rents
has been outpacing the HUD
voucher standard,” Johnston
said. “Now voucher rents aren’t
keeping up with the market.”
Widener isn’t particular
about his next home.
“I don’t plan on being home
most of the time anyway,” he
joked.
Widener likes to stay
involved, whether as a fix-
ture at the local library or as a
contributor to a City Council
meeting, where he is known to
always keep a close eye during
budget season.
“As the one in charge of the
meetings, I’ve always appre-
ciated his comments. They’re
often insightful,” Mayor Sam
Steidel said. “He always comes
at things with a different point
of view.”
If Widener is not at the
library or City Hall, he’s at the
bus stop, where he is able to
rattle off when the next bus will
arrive without glancing at the
schedule. It’s important for him
to keep sharing his experience
as a bus rider with the trans-
portation district, as expanding
public transportation is his pas-
sion and his lifeline.
“When I see situations
where I can help, I help,” he
said.
Trump’s pollution rules rollback to hit coal country hard
By ELLEN
KNICKMEYER and
JOHN RABY
Associated Press
GRANT TOWN, W.Va.
— It’s coal people like miner
Steve Knotts, 62, who make
West Virginia Trump Country.
So it was no surprise that
President Donald Trump
picked the state to announce
his plan to roll back Obama-era
pollution controls on coal-fired
power plants.
Trump left one thing out of
his remarks, though: northern
West Virginia coal country will
be ground zero for increased
deaths and illnesses from the
rollback on regulation of harm-
ful emission from the nation’s
coal power plants.
An analysis done by his
own Environmental Protection
Agency concludes that the plan
would lead to a greater num-
ber of people here dying pre-
maturely, and suffering health
problems that they otherwise
would not have, than elsewhere
in the country, when compared
to health impacts of the Obama
plan.
Knotts, a coal miner for 35
years, isn’t fazed when he hears
that warning, a couple of days
after Trump’s West Virginia
rally. He says the last thing
people in coal country want is
the government slapping down
‘People here have had it with
other people telling us what
we need. We know what we
need. We need a job.’
Steve Knotts
62-year-old miner in West Virginia
more controls on coal — and
the air here in the remote West
Virginia mountains seems fine
to him.
“People here have had it
with other people telling us
what we need. We know what
we need. We need a job,”
Knotts said at lunch hour at a
Circle K in a tiny town between
two coal mines, and 9 miles
down the road from a coal
power plant, the Grant Town
plant.
The sky around Grant Town
is bright blue. The mountains
are a dazzling green. Paw Paw
Creek gurgles past the town.
Clean-air controls since the
1980s largely turned off the
columns of black soot that used
to rise from coal smokestacks.
The regulations slashed the
national death rates from coal-
fired power plants substantially.
These days pollutants rise
from smoke stacks as gases,
before solidifying into fine par-
ticles — still invisible — small
enough to pass through lungs
and into bloodstreams.
An EPA analysis says those
pollutants would increase under
Trump’s plan, when compared
to what would happen under
the Obama plan. And that, it
says, would lead to thousands
more heart attacks, asthma
problems and other illnesses
that would not have occurred.
Nationally, the EPA says,
350 to 1,500 more people
would die each year under
Trump’s plan. But it’s north-
ern two-thirds of West Vir-
ginia and the neighboring part
of Pennsylvania that would be
hit hardest, by far, according to
Trump’s EPA.
Trump’s rollback would
kill an extra 1.4 to 2.4 people a
year for every 100,000 people
in those hardest-hit areas, com-
pared to under the Obama plan,
according to the EPA analysis.
For West Virginia’s 1.8 million
people, that would be equal to
at least a couple dozen addi-
tional deaths a year.
Trump’s acting EPA admin-
istrator, Andrew Wheeler, a for-
mer coal lobbyist whose grand-
father worked in the coal camps
of West Virginia, headed to coal
states this week and last to pro-
mote Trump’s rollback. The
federal government’s retreat on
regulating pollution from coal
power plants was “good news,”
Wheeler told crowds there.
In Washington, EPA spokes-
man Michael Abboud said
Trump’s plan still would result
in “dramatic reductions” in
emissions, deaths and illness
compared to the status quo,
instead of to the Obama plan.
Obama’s Clean Power Plan tar-
geted climate-changing carbon
dioxide, but since coal is the
largest source of carbon diox-
ide from fossil fuels, the Obama
plan would have curbed other
harmful emissions from the
coal-fired power plants as well.
About 160 miles to the
south of Grant Town, near the
state capital of Charleston,
shop owner Doris Keller fig-
ures that if Trump thinks some-
thing’s for the best, that’s good
enough for her.
“I just know this. I like Don-
ald Trump and I think that he’s
doing the right thing,” said
Keller, who turned out to sup-
port Trump Aug. 21 when he
promoted his rollback pro-
posal. She lives five miles from
the 2,900-megawatt John Amos
coal-fired power plant.
the arts association’s director.
The festival is the product of a $10,000 tourism
and arts grant given by the city. The goal is for the
event to serve as a fundraiser for education programs
at the nonprofit art gallery. But as the festival gains
steam, Mico hopes to build music workshops and
lectures into the weekend in pursuit of the gallery’s
larger mission to educate. Think a way scaled-down
South by Southwest festival in Austin, she said.
“We focus so much on paintings that we are
losing our mission to support all artists of Can-
non Beach,” Mico said. “Education is our mission.
That’s kind of the inspiration for this, so we wanted
to act proactively as well as include more perform-
ing artists.”
The festival falls right after the Tolovana Arts
Colony’s summer concert series and Manzanita
Music Festival. It is also filling a gap left by ’Stack-
Stock, a music festival that debuted on the same
weekend last year at Haystack Gardens. Organizers
have yet to confirm whether another ’StackStock
will be held.
Mico said she sees the new event as an indepen-
dent product geared more toward educating a new
generation of local musicians than straight enter-
tainment. After the event gets established, Mico
hopes other local musicians and nonprofits will
coordinate to expand the event and benefit from the
donations.
“We think this has the opportunity to be really
special,” she said. “This is for anyone who loves
Cannon Beach and loves music.”
A new music festival is planned
for Cannon Beach in September.
Hardaway: She has
logged 120 to 170 miles
during training sessions
Continued from Page 1A
Hardaway fell probably a
dozen times. “While I was at
intersections in Wilsonville, I
probably was seen numerous
times falling over.”
After relying heavily on
a stationary bike at the start
of training, Hardaway grad-
ually weaned off of them as
she improved her balance
and endurance. Some weeks
she would ride for two to
three hours, while others she
would train 15 to 18 hours.
For the past 2 1/2 months,
she has logged 120 to 170
miles during each three-day
training session.
Hardaway, whose hus-
band has accompanied her at
times during training, called
it “a family mission.” Now
more seasoned and passion-
ate, she plans to continue
with the sport after the can-
cer ride — and a couple of
weeks of rest.
Hardaway is nervous lead-
ing up to her lengthy journey,
she said. But, “I keep remem-
bering why we do this and it
keeps me grounded.”
Liz Hardaway, of Wilsonville, lost both of her parents
to cancer.