The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, July 02, 2019, Page A6, Image 6

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    A6
THE ASTORIAN • TuESdAy, July 2, 2019
Business: Redevelopment leads to new business
tilled spirit.
A downtown cluster
analysis by the association
two years ago found poten-
tial growth in gift and craft
stores, clothing and specialty
food and drink.
“If you’re looking at
trends nationwide, it’s not
uncommon to see more food
and beverage and dining,”
Heath said of the new mix of
businesses.
Continued from Page A1
projects, such as the for-
mer J.C. Penney Co. store
being turned into a taproom
and food court, the Wal-
dorf Hotel building that will
become workforce housing
and the Norblad Building,
where owner Paul Caruana
has been steadily filling up
with new businesses.
New development
Danny Miller/The Astorian
The Liberty Theatre will receive state money for stage
renovations.
Money: $1 million in
lottery money coming
to the Liberty Theatre
Continued from Page A1
and four large warehouses
totaling 120,000 square
feet.
Brett Estes, the city
manager, said the city has
had a number of discus-
sions with Business Ore-
gon over the past couple
of months about cleanup
of potential pollution and
redevelopment of the prop-
erty. The city would act as
a pass-through for the state
money.
“It’s a large piece of
property that could have
quite a bit of impact on the
neighborhood,” Estes said.
Astoria Warehousing
Inc. closed the complex
last year when its parent
companies moved oper-
ations to the Seattle area.
Several hotels operate just
west of the warehouse,
with another proposed to
the east.
Fort George Brewery,
which purchased land at the
North Coast Business Park
in Warrenton for a new dis-
tribution campus and pub,
has shown interest in the
Astoria Warehousing prop-
erty. The company’s own-
ership has declined to com-
ment further.
County jail
The $2 million in state
general funds for the Clat-
sop County Jail project
will go toward deferred
maintenance at the former
Oregon Youth Authority
facility.
Monica Steele, the
interim county manager,
said the county has been
working with Sen. Betsy
Johnson, D-Scappoose, to
get funding for deferred
maintenance.
Johnson, the co-chair-
woman of the Joint Com-
mittee on Ways and Means,
has an important role in
state spending.
“For years, Oregon
Youth Authority had pos-
session of that facility
and the state didn’t pro-
vide adequate funding for
their asset to make sure
the building is taken care
of and there is a significant
amount of deferred main-
tenance out there. And so
we’ve been working with
her this past year to get
funding and she was able
to do so,” Steele said. “We
are very excited.
“This was a long, hard
fight that we truly appre-
ciate her fighting on our
behalf.”
The Legislature did not
approve Senate Bill 678,
which would have pro-
vided $1.9 million to fund
the restoration of the Sal-
vage Chief vessel for emer-
gency response.
Floyd Holcom, who
bought the Salvage Chief in
2015, believes the decom-
missioned vessel could be
useful after a disaster.
Tiffany Brown, the
county emergency man-
ager, and others are skep-
tical about the project.
Brown had alerted county
commissioners to the bill
last week.
“To get kicked in the
stomach by your home-
town team is purely unfor-
tunate,” Holcom wrote on
Facebook. “They have no
plan.”
Liberty Theatre
The Liberty Theatre
landed $1 million in lottery
money.
The money will go to
the development of a fully
operational stage and puts
the organization in the run-
ning for larger grants to
fund a $3.3 million capi-
tal campaign to modernize
the theater and diversify
the types of performances
it can offer.
With money that has
been raised through other
efforts, the theater now has
40% of the capital cam-
paign funded, according to
Jennifer Crockett, the the-
ater’s executive director.
She heard late Sunday
night that HB 5050 had
passed with the theater’s
grant funding in place and
was still processing the
news Monday morning.
“This was just a crazy
idea a year and a half ago
and now we’re well on our
way,” she said.
Work will begin imme-
diately to improve the front
of the theater and to reno-
vate a concessions stand.
“Those bring in money
for operations right away,”
Crockett said. The the-
ater has already hired
an architecture firm and
contractors.
The state money will
go toward the expansion
of the theater’s stage, rig-
ging, lighting and curtains,
as well as the creation of
dressing rooms and a load-
ing area.Crockett said the
theater worked with John-
son on a strategy. “We met
with her first and she told
us what we should ask
for based on how big our
project was and what she
thought she could get into
the budget.
“She said $1 million so
we asked for a million.”
Liberty representatives
ended up meeting with
almost everyone on Ways
and Means and traveled
to Salem several times to
present the project. The
organization had already
researched how the ren-
ovations would improve
the value of the theater’s
offerings and provide eco-
nomic benefit to the rest of
Astoria.
Crockett and others
involved with the Lib-
erty started out confident
their request for $1 million
would be approved. But
with the turmoil in Salem
this session, and walkouts
by Republican senators,
Crockett worried about
lengthy delays.
If the funding had not
passed muster at the Leg-
islature, all plans at the
Liberty would have likely
been on hold for another
year.
With the state money
guaranteed and the capital
campaign moving briskly
forward, Crockett and the
Liberty Theatre’s board
of directors are looking at
how to begin increasing
staff capacity. The orga-
nization plans to start an
internship program and
then staff for specialized
positions, such as stage
crew.
Nicole Bales and Katie
Frankowicz of The Asto-
rian contributed to this
report.
Nowhere is the develop-
ment more noticeable than on
the western edges of down-
town, historically less devel-
oped than the Commercial
and Duane street corridors to
the east. The redevelopment
of two former Flavel fam-
ily buildings at the intersec-
tion of 10th and Commercial
streets has led to several new
businesses.
Hillary Smith runs Hills
Wild Flours doing custom
online cookie orders for
weddings, parties and other
events. Smith kept tabs on the
restoration by Marcus and
Michelle Liotta of the M&N
Building before approach-
ing them about moving into
a small storefront on Ninth
Street next to South Bay Wild
Fish House.
The Liottas have also
added Wild Roots Movement
& Massage, Terra Stones
and their own Reclamation
Marketplace to the build-
ing. Smith opens her shop on
weekends offering cookies,
scones and other pastries.
“It’s nice having a shop so
I can meet somewhere other
than my house,” she said.
“Other than that, I’m just
upstairs working.”
Across
Commercial
Street, Julia and Matthew
Myers opened Myers Ther-
apy offering soft-tissue treat-
ment in the corner suite of
the Flavel Building, next to
Clothing store
Edward Stratton/The Astorian
Graphic designer Emily Engdahl, right, recently opened Blue
Collar Collective with her partner and photographer Justin
Grafton. The shop, on 10th Street across from the Astoria
Transit Center, features the work of upward of 30 different
artisans and smaller-scale makers.
Drina Daisy Bosnian Cuisine.
The building’s new owners,
James and Lisa Long, fixed
up the corner suite first and
have been restoring a former
clothing store next door.
The area around the Asto-
ria Transit Center has added
new Thai restaurant Curry
& CoCo on Ninth Street
and Blue Collar Collective,
a partnership of graphic art-
ist Emily Engdahl and pho-
tographer Justin Grafton. The
couple provide creative ser-
vices for small businesses
and showcase the works
of upward of 30 artists and
smaller-scale makers in their
storefront on 10th Street.
“The merchandising we
have here is 100% Pacific
Northwest and Oregon-con-
nected or -focused, with a
specific focus on small-batch
producers and nontraditional
artists,” Engdahl said.
Next to Bloomin’ Crazy
Floral on Commercial Street,
Jody
Patterson
Morrill
opened Jody Rae photogra-
phy, a studio specializing in
portraiture. Like Smith, Mor-
rill gathers most of her busi-
ness online, photographing
visitors to the Oregon Coast.
“I’d say 90% of my cli-
ents are not from here,” Mor-
rill said.
On the east end of down-
town,
Jeff
Schwietert
recently opened his new-
est location of Schwietert’s
Cones & Candy, a chain of
sweet shops stretching down
the North Coast.
Ron Neva, co-owner
of Astoria Wild Products,
recently opened his new fish
house, seafood shop and mar-
itime-themed bar Hurricane
Ron’s in the former Charlie’s
Chowder House and Tiki Bar.
William Hicks, who pur-
chased the Abeco Office Sys-
tems building on Commer-
cial Street, took down the
metal siding, uncovered the
second-story windows and
restored the facade with a
more colorful flair.
Amid a growing collec-
tion of alcohol-related busi-
nesses on Duane Street,
Seth Howard and Michael
Angiletta opened Blaylock’s
Whiskey Bar in the Wie-
veseik Building, formerly
Columbia Travel, with more
than 100 varieties of the dis-
The downtown associa-
tion is still trying to recruit
a general clothing store to
replace J.C. Penney, she
said. The taproom and food
court effort, led by local
apartment owner Sean Fitz-
patrick and Baked Alaska
chef Chris Holen, recently
received $148,880 from the
Oregon Main Street Revi-
talization program, coupled
with a $103,640 local match,
to restore the Duane Street
facade of the former depart-
ment store but has yet to
begin construction.
One of Heath’s signature
accomplishments was help-
ing attract Innovative Hous-
ing, Inc. to redevelop the
former Waldorf Hotel next
to City Hall into workforce
housing. The group recently
secured $2.8 million from
the state Housing and Com-
munity Services Depart-
ment to cover nearly half of
the development costs. The
group will soon start inviting
potential tenants to get their
opinion on what amenities
they need, Heath said.
On Wednesday, the down-
town association cuts the rib-
bon on a new mural by art-
ist Andie Sterling covering
the 13th Street Alley, another
beautification project meant
to better connect businesses
on Commercial and Duane
streets.
Vaping: ‘We openly talk about it in the classroom’
Continued from Page A1
The devices are unlaw-
ful for people younger than
21 to purchase. Health offi-
cials also worry about a lack
of understanding surround-
ing the adverse health effects
of vaping.
The county’s Public
Health Department recently
surveyed school leaders,
counselors and nurses. Edu-
cators reported extreme con-
cern with the increased use
of e-cigarettes and at least
moderate familiarity with
their prevalence, but less
understanding related to how
addictive the substances are.
“Pretty much what we
found in the schools mirrors
what’s happening nation-
ally,” said Julia Hesse, the
county’s tobacco prevention
specialist.
Jerome Adams, the sur-
geon general, issued an advi-
sory late last year about a ris-
ing epidemic of e-cigarette
use by minors. The National
Youth Tobacco Survey found
a 75% increase in 2017 and
2018 in the use of e-ciga-
rettes by high school-age
children, and 50% among
middle schoolers.
Hesse started hearing
more from educators about
the alarming trend this year,
she said, especially from
the rural Knappa School
District.
“I’ve seen it all the way
from 12th grade down to
seventh grade,” Smalley said
of Knappa’s experience.
The
school
district
noticed students charging
vaping devices in class
and outlawed all electron-
ics charging in response,
she said. The district also
partnered with the Clat-
sop County Sheriff’s Office
to begin issuing citations
for the use of e-cigarettes
on campus. The district is
planning more training for
incoming students, parents
and staff in the fall.
“We openly talk about it
in the classroom,” Smalley
said. “We’ve tried to be
really open and honest and
have communication with
kids.”
Lynn Jackson, principal
at Astoria High School, said
he saw the trend of vaping
and e-cigarettes pick up over
the past two to three years.
“It’s just like the vapor
itself,” he said. “You’re try-
ing to find ghosts.”
Confiscations
aren’t
always effective because stu-
dents often share the prod-
ucts, Jackson said. While
fines can be part of the solu-
tion, he said, it is education
that primarily tamped down
on tobacco use in the U.S.
“One of the main strate-
gies is making sure people
know the health effects of
vaping, that it’s being taught
throughout our student pop-
ulation,” he said.
The county can offer
training for school staff but
isn’t funded to do educa-
tion in the classroom, Hesse
said. She pointed to policy
changes as the most effec-
tive means of curbing use of
e-cigarettes by minors.
The county health and
juvenile departments created
a tobacco retail license so
far approved by the county,
Gearhart and Cannon Beach,
Hesse said. The proceeds
of the approximately $275
annual fee would go toward
educating retailers and per-
forming annual inspections.
“The best way public
health will be able to help
reduce the use of tobacco,
vaping products and other
inhalants is to reduce the
availability of these prod-
ucts to our youth,” Mike
McNickle, the county’s pub-
lic health director, said in a
recent news release. “The
Tobacco Retail Licens-
ing program will move the
county in the right direction.”
Champion: Cleanup has been a community effort
Continued from Page A1
collected butts back to ciga-
rette manufacturers and ask
them (politely) to start tak-
ing responsibility for how
to recycle their products —
a piece of activism the city
couldn’t necessarily tackle.
The first 24 containers
went up last week. Cham-
pion hopes to be able to
install 80 in high traffic
areas: at local businesses,
at beach access points and
elsewhere in the city.
“We’re not here to say,
‘Shame on you for smok-
ing,’” Champion said. “This
is about being a responsible
smoker.”
“The (Cannon Beach
Chamber of Commerce’s)
motto states, ‘Love Cannon
Beach like a local and have
it love you back,’ and ‘There
is magic here,’” Champion
wrote in her proposal to the
City Council. “Those decla-
rations are compromised by
all litter, particularly toxic
butt litter as visitors explore
Cannon Beach.”
“As a city that advertises
as much as it does as a very
special place, it seemed like
Katie Frankowicz/The Astorian
Lolly Champion designed what she calls ‘a kind of silly’ poster to
raise awareness and educate people about cigarette butt litter.
a huge inconsistency to us
that we had this many ciga-
rette butts,” Champion said.
The number of discarded
cigarette butts predictably
surges after holidays and
over busy weekends. They
accumulate on sidewalks
and on the beach, where
they are found by Champion
and others who routinely
roam the community pick-
ing up butts.
“You begin picking them
up and you pick up more and
more and it just becomes this
kind of compulsive reac-
tion,” Champion said.
The pickers will compare
notes when they encounter
each other on their rounds,
“How many did you pick?”
Despite all the upfront
work Champion has put in to
get the disposal containers in
place, dealing with cigarette
butt litter has been a com-
munity effort, she said.
But like other community
pushes to curb the use of sin-
gle-use plastic bags on the
North Coast, cigarette butt
disposal in Cannon Beach is
kind of a drop in the bucket
when it comes to address-
ing the larger issue of plas-
tic pollution.
“I guess it’s just lit-
tle steps. And is it going
to change the world? No,”
Champion said. “It’s still
worth doing.”