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About The Columbia press. (Astoria, Or.) 1949-current | View Entire Issue (May 15, 2020)
T he C olumbia P ress
C latsop C ounty ’ s I ndependent W eekly
May 15, 2020
Vol. 4, Issue 20
2020 graduation to be a huge community hug
The Columbia Press
A communitywide celebration
honoring Warrenton High School’s
2020 graduating class is in the
Parents, teachers and local busi-
ness leaders are organizing an event
that will abide by social distancing
requirements in which the entire
town can participate.
“We are working on a plan for
graduation that will be held on the
original graduation date of June 5,”
Principal Rod Heyen told school
board members. “We will be work-
ing on trying to use as many of
the traditional aspects of a normal
graduation ceremony, with the new
social distancing guidelines that
ODE (Oregon Department of Edu-
cation) has given schools.”
School board Chair Debbie Mor-
row also began reaching out to
community members and families.
Ideas include a parade of the se-
niors in cars and goodie bags filled
with encouraging letters, artwork
and, perhaps, treats or gifts.
“I think the kids have processed
it through better than us parents,”
Morrow said. “I’ve cried a bucket of
tears over this.”
See ‘Graduates’ on Page 5
B y C indy y ingst
The Columbia Press
A dozen signs supporting local grads stand near the Warrior statue downtown.
How to help give a hug
Send a card or write a letter of
encouragement to seniors, which
will be reproduced and given to
Children can create pictures
with well wishes, which will be
reproduced and given to each
Businesses can donate 55 small
gifts, such as AA batteries, key
chains, lip balm, adult coloring
books, coupons for a free taco or
Make 55 small craft projects –
such as a Christmas ornament
with each graduate’s name.
Donate cash that organizers
can use to purchase or make
Drop off or mail any of the
above items to the Warren-
ton-Hammond School District
office, 820 S.W. Cedar Ave.,
Warrenton OR 97146. Make
checks out to the school district.
Sponsor a graduate for $25
in a special section that will run
June 5 in the Columbia Press
with each graduate’s photo.
Pandemic turns political as some reject the rules
The Columbia Press
Pandemic-inspired restrictions im-
posed by politicians have led to anger,
defiance and the politicizing of a health
As more businesses require masks or
limit the purchase of meat or toilet paper,
some frustrated shoppers have rebelled.
A man from Ocean Park, Wash., was
cited for harassment after he became
rankled over Costco’s limits on meat pur-
chases. He yelled obscenities at employ-
over state funds
ees and spit on a store manager, police
Retail stores report problems with
shoppers who refuse to wear masks or
stay separate from others, and who belit-
tle or threaten employees attempting to
get them to comply with health and dis-
The longer the economy is closed, the
more angst erupts.
Last weekend, protesters tore down
barricades to get to the beach in Seaside.
An even larger protest over closures is
planned this weekend.
A rally planned for noon Saturday at
the Turnaround is expected to draw hun-
dreds from out of the area. Police issued
a statement saying they’re prepared and
working with all sides to ensure a safe
and peaceful demonstration, but warned
residents to use caution and decorum.
The city will close vehicle and bike
traffic on Broadway from Columbia
See ‘Pandemic’ on Page 4
The Warrenton-Hammond School
District furloughed 35 classified em-
ployees, placed a temporary freeze on
hiring and is making other belt-tight-
ening moves as the COVID-19 pan-
demic decimates the budgets of
schools and local governments.
On Wednesday night, the school
board gave preliminary approval to
a 2020-21 budget that includes $11.7
million in expenditures with an ex-
pected $12 million in revenue.
Schools in Oregon had expected a
bit of a windfall in the coming year as
businesses pay the state’s brand new
Corporate Activity Tax. The Student
Investment Accounts each district
created to spend the money were to
help the most vulnerable students
Warrenton-Hammond had expect-
ed more than $900,000 in SIA mon-
ey. But with the virus unleashing fis-
cal agony on so many businesses, it’s
unclear how much new money will
come. And funding from the Oregon
Lottery and marijuana taxes is ex-
pected to drop as well.
In addition, payments to the Public
Employee Retirement System and for
health insurance rose markedly.
“It is in this context that we have
built the budget,” Superintendent
Tom Rogozinski told board members.
“It’s not overly dire, but it’s not overly
optimistic, either. … We’ve created an
opportunity for us to be agile.”
See ‘Budget’ on Page 8