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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (July 2, 2019)
THE ASTORIAN • TuESdAy, July 2, 2019
JIM VAN NOSTRAND
Founded in 1873
JOHN D. BRUIJN
Folk built Astoria’s civic furniture
ou remember the day when you
learn a certain lesson.
One of mine occurred in the
late 1990s. Anita Decker called to ask
whether she and Cheri Folk could come
by my office. I said yes.
In agreeing to that meeting, I realized
that whatever it was they wanted, I would
say “yes.” That was because of their cred-
ibility and my respect for
both of them.
In that moment I real-
ized that charitable giv-
ing is relationship-driven.
Getting to know Cheri,
who died last week at
the age of 74, was one of
the delights of the long
campaign to acquire
and restore the Liberty
My mother and Cheri came of age in
different eras, but they were a lot alike.
While my father was the prominent figure
in our family’s newspapers, my mother
had the head for business. And like Cheri,
mother was largely self-taught. During my
orientation to Astoria in 1988, my mother
signaled her admiration for Cheri.
The board of directors that drove the
Liberty Theatre’s restoration was a gath-
ering of strong personalities. It was an
example of how people of often differ-
ent political inclinations get to know each
other well by working for a shared com-
During one of my many conversations
with Cheri, I joked that she should write
for The Astorian’s editorial page. “You
wouldn’t like that, Steve Forrester!” she
Over a period of some five years, Cheri
and I made the pitch for gifts to numerous
prospects. As we walked them through the
bedraggled, unrestored building, Cheri’s
refrain was, “Can’t you just see what this
Cheri succeeded me as president of
Liberty Restoration Inc. Her contributions
to what I call the civic furniture of Astoria
Cheri Folk, second from left, fundraising for the Liberty Theatre in 2014 with community leaders.
IN OREGON BANKING, SHE BROKE GlASS
CEIlINGS ANd EARNEd THE RESPECT OF
HER PEERS IN A 36-yEAR CAREER.
were several and widespread. She belied
the image of the banker as an impersonal
and distant figure.
In Oregon banking, she broke glass
ceilings and earned the respect of her
peers in a 36-year career. Without a col-
lege degree, she quipped to a colleague,
“I’m the girl at school who was good at
When the Bank of Astoria merged with
Columbia Bank in 2004, she and another
groundbreaker, Melanie Dressel, head of
the Tacoma, Washington, parent bank,
handled the transition. Dressel died at age
64 in 2017.
If you stay in one place long enough —
especially in a small town — you meet a
lot of people. Many of them make a last-
ing impression. Some of those acquain-
tances — fleeting or long term — change
you. Cheri made that kind of difference in
my life. I’m grateful that I had the oppor-
tunity to know this remarkable woman.
Steve Forrester, the former editor and
publisher of The Astorian, is the presi-
dent and CEO of EO Media Group.
Follow the money
n response to the front-page article,
“Apartment project blends workforce
housing, vacation rentals” (The Astorian,
June 19): There has been a push to curb
short-term rentals with arbitrary rules
and fees imposed on local property own-
ers, which seems excessive, unfair and a
deliberate bias against local people who
just want to maintain their property and/
or pay property taxes.
Preservation has been important for
Astoria, yet it takes money for resto-
ration/maintenance. Follow the money.
Developers, generally with cookie-cut-
ter corporate hotels, want our waterfront,
while we the citizens sacrifice our own
need for income and loss of property val-
ues due to the riverfront view now being
blocked, especially in the “Bridge Vista
zone.” A vista?
Is it OK to eliminate locals, the cit-
izens who live and work here, pay-
ing property taxes for years, who bear
the burden of maintenance/preservation
alone, especially if divorced or widowed?
Does eliminating locals pave the way
for developers so they can add 34 Airb-
nb-type vacation rentals?
Why discourage short-term rentals
with no history of complaints, infractions
or police calls? For those who vote on
this issue, do they understand the positive
impacts on communities? I question the
veracity of their decision, and the arbi-
trary rules and excessive fees.
Have they stayed in an Airbnb or
researched the reviews? The extra money
of “sharing” helps with preservation,
taxes and offering guests real hospitality.
Please don’t deny the opportunity for
local citizens to follow part of the money.
Need to act now
egarding the editorial “Oregon law-
makers need to take a timeout” (The
Astorian, June 22), there are several
things I’d like to point out.
Perhaps the most important is that the
writer seems to confuse democracy with
politics. Our representative democracy is,
and has been, mainly a fairer way to get
things done than was/is feudalism, mon-
archy or dictatorship. We get to vote for
representatives, who then in turn vote on
issues we communicate are important to
Democrats have supermajorities in
both houses, and are pretty united on HB
2020. Democracy would say, “This is the
will of the majority of the people, and
should become law.”
Politics is the art of not only getting
elected, but getting your way once there.
I give the Republicans credit here — they
did the only thing they could to get their
way. Good politics. I’m waiting for the
next move from the Democrats.
I also take issue with the editorial’s
assertion that the bill would be disastrous
for working-class Oregonians and do lit-
tle to prevent climate change. Califor-
nia’s experience has been pretty good for
workers, and the more cities, states and
countries that provide some examples of
actions to be taken, the more likely that
the climate crisis can be overcome.
Whether the legislature acts or not, we
have to tackle this problem. It would be
so much easier if they did act. A timeout
is just not feasible. We need to act now.
Proving the point
aiting in line at the pro shop, I
noticed the golf tournament on
TV. “What tournament is that?” I asked
After a long, slow moment the golf pro
said, “That would be the U.S. Open Golf
Tournament.” Something in his reply
hinted that a person purporting to be a
golfer, who didn’t know the U.S. Open
was being played, should walk away and
leave the links open for a true golfer.
I took no offense, paid my money and
went on to the course. And proved his
Fix nursing contract
am responding to the article “Nurses
accuse Columbia Memorial Hospital of
hoarding cash” (The Astorian, June 28),
concerning the nurses’ contract dispute
with Columbia Memorial Hospital. I was
diagnosed at CMH with Stage 4 pancre-
atic cancer in mid-February of this year.
Since then, I have been treated — and
cared for — at CMH.
My type of cancer has a very grim
prognosis, and limited treatment options.
When diagnosed, I was offered participa-
tion in various clinical trials at prestigious
hospitals nationwide. Instead, I chose to
be treated at the CMH/Oregon Health and
Science University/Knight Cancer Center
here in Astoria. After four months, I could
not be more pleased with that decision.
The particulars of my situation have
required visits to the emergency room, an
in-patient stay, and weekly chemotherapy
infusions. Every aspect of my treatment
and care has been outstanding. The oncol-
ogist is first-rate. The nurses could not be
And the same can be said of all the
ancillary staff, too numerous to mention
here, but nonetheless important and cru-
cial to patient outcomes. Even the hospi-
tal administration has been compassionate
What all this means is that CMH is a
well-run hospital, equivalent in every way
to hospitals far larger and more presti-
gious. In particular, CMH is undoubtedly
superior to Providence Seaside Hospital
and Ocean Beach Hospital.
The fact that the nursing staff at CMH
is paid less, with fewer benefits, than the
nursing staff at Providence Seaside or
Ocean Beach seems like an aberration,
which I strongly urge the hospital admin-
istration to fix, as soon as possible, effec-
tive with the next contract.