The Columbia press. (Astoria, Or.) 1949-current, July 16, 2021, Page 3, Image 3

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    The Columbia Press
July 16, 2021
Warrenton will pay less, but remain in tourism council
The Columbia Press
sioners unanimously ap-
proved the budget with-
stepped back Tuesday
out funding for LCTC.
night from an earlier de-
But Tuesday night,
cision to withdraw from
there was a change of
the Lower Columbia
Tourism Council.
“I believe we’re getting
Instead, the city will
more than our mon-
simply scale back the
ey’s worth” from LCTC,
amount of money it
Newton said. He’d like
LCTC was formed
the agency to push his
three decades ago to
idea to make Warrenton
combine the marketing
the walking capitol of the
efforts of Astoria and
Warrenton. Both cities
“I think what they do
collect taxes from tour-
for us is very important.
ists when they camp Mayor Henry Balensifer and former
… I do not have enough
in the area or stay in a Commissioner Pam Ackley dedicate an
data to walk away from
hotel. The tax money is Oregon Film Trail sign at Hammond Mari- them.”
used to attract more vis- na, where parts of the movie “Free Willy”
itors by letting people were filmed.
Dyer agreed. “We need
across the state and na-
to make a decision based
tion know about the region’s
As Warrenton becomes a on facts, not feelings,” Dyer
more dominant force in the said.
In years past, Warrenton region, it should renegotiate
David Reid, executive direc-
sent 6.8 percent of the “tran- its participation in agencies tor of the Astoria-Warrenton
sient” tax it collects to LCTC, such as LCTC, Mayor Henry Area Chamber of Commerce,
or about $53,000 per year.
Balensifer said Tuesday.
which manages LCTC, said
But recently, city leaders
“We’ve discussed this for Warrenton needs to take a
have felt the agency was tak- five years that I can remem- more active role on the coun-
ing the money without con- ber,” Commissioner Mark cil’s board.
sidering Warrenton’s goals. Baldwin said, advocating
“That has not been hap-
And during budget meetings leaving the council. “What pening in the last year, so we
in May, the city’s finance are we getting? That’s the need to work on that. It goes
committee decided it could data we do know -- we’re not in both directions. It’s a part-
make better use of those getting much. … We need to nership,” Reid said.
tourism dollars, particular- do work on that marina and
LCTC’s primary mission
ly through improvements to this is a start.”
isn’t attracting more tourists
Hammond Marina.
Last month, city commis- to the region, it’s about man-
State gets upgraded 911 locational system
Oregon’s 911 program and
RapidSOS, an emergency re-
sponse data platform, have
formed a partnership to de-
liver enhanced location data
to each of the state’s 43 911
dispatch centers.
Oregon is the first in the na-
tion to securely deploy Rap-
idSOS into an existing, secure
emergency services network.
“The existing 911 system
used to locate cell phone
calls is over 20 years old,
designed long before smart-
phones or GPS,” explained
Program Manager Frank
Kuchta. “When a person calls
911 from a cell phone, the dis-
patcher can’t see the caller’s
exact location; instead, they
have to rely on the caller’s
wireless carrier for the infor-
Yet 80 percent of 911 calls
come from cell phones and
location information comes
from a cell tower that could
put the caller miles away from
where they are physically.
More than 10,000 lives
could be saved nationwide
each year if 911 could locate
wireless callers faster, allow-
ing first responders to assist
callers sooner, according to
the Federal Communications
The RapidSOS Platform
securely delivers real-time
data from smartphones and
sensors to 911 centers, help-
ing personnel quickly verify
emergencies and providing
location and additional data.
aging visitors, getting people
interested in coming here
during the off season, he said.
“If there’s a story to be told
about Warrenton, I’d like
Warrenton to be telling that
Commissioners passed a
resolution Tuesday night that
would give LCTC 2 percent
of the transient tax, or about
$15,525 per year. The rest of
the money would go to the
Hammond Marina capital re-
serve fund.
The vote was 4-1, with New-
ton voting no.
Regatta returns after hiatus
Astoria Regatta returns
this year for an abbreviated
festival on Aug. 14.
Just a few weeks ago, the
Regatta’s Board of Direc-
tors had canceled the event
for the second year in a row.
However, as COVID-19
infections have fallen and
pandemic restrictions have
lifted, the board reconsid-
ered its decision.
“The Regatta board came
together this year with the
goal of reviving some out-
door events that could be
held safely during the pan-
demic,” President Melissa
Grothe said. “I anticipate
that we’ll be celebrating a
return of the full festival
in 2022.”
The Seamen’s Memorial
and Highwater Boat Parade
will take place.
The memorial will recog-
nize the region’s maritime
history at 11 a.m. Aug. 14 at
Astoria’s Maritime Memo-
rial Park.
The boat parade will be
visible from the Riverwalk
and begins at 5 p.m. Cap-
tains can sign up at astori-
Annalyse Steele, an Asto-
ria High School graduate,
was crowned 2020 Regatta
queen in a small, ceremo-
ny last summer. She will
continue to serve through