The Columbia press. (Astoria, Or.) 1949-current, February 04, 2022, Page 7, Image 7

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    The Columbia Press
February 4, 2022
Senior Moments
with Emma Edwards
Mayor’s Message
by Henry Balensifer III
Isn’t it time to recalibrate?
Warrenton is a town of contributors
My outside thermometer
died a few weeks ago. So I be-
gan a study of thermometers.
Many people look at their
thermometers daily. Feb. 2
was such a day.
I’ve let Punxsutawney Phil
share a bit of space today,
since he fits in with a story
about weather.
Most people know that
Punxsutawney Phil lives in
Gobbler’s Knob, Punxsutaw-
ney, Penn. The legend since
the 1700s is that Phil can pre-
dict the weather. He saw his
shadow on Feb. 2, was fright-
ened and scurried back in-
side his burrow. If his predic-
tions are correct, winter will
continue with a vengeance,
driving us to look at our ther-
mometers more often for the
next six weeks.
I ordered a new thermom-
eter, which proved to be too
small for my street-facing
porch. So I installed it on my
patio, which faces the court-
In desperation, I enlisted
the help of my wise, big-city
son-in-law. He studied the
situation, took measure-
ments and I took pictures as
he did.
We did FaceTime, too. Long
story short, he sent me the
perfect specimen of a ther-
mometer a week later, after
I’d about given up. My big
porch proudly displays the
bigger thermometer and it
made me happy, especially
on Feb. 2.
A page of important hints
arrived with the thermom-
eter. There were all kinds of
hints easy enough for me to
understand. The only words I
had to look up in the dictio-
nary were calibrate and re-
Emergencies come in all
shapes in sizes. They are
stressful and chaotic. The city
of Warrenton faced such an
emergency on Jan 6.
We had been monitoring
the very high tides and snow
melt, which was making the
tides higher than the tide ta-
bles, which kept our 35 tide
gates closed longer than usu-
al earlier that week.
In looking back on the
events leading up to the Jan.
6 flood, we had what was
considered a 700-year storm
event! Places that didn’t re-
quire FEMA flood insurance
— and didn’t have it — flood-
ed, and other places we’d
never seen inundated got in-
When I declared an emer-
gency, we activated our
Emergency Operations Cen-
ter, which coordinated the
efforts and got information
out. I have to say, it was im-
pressive to see it in action.
Our public works staff had
been on shifts battling the
problem since the heavy
rains earlier that week, and
they continued in exhaust-
ing conditions to keep water
When it was clear we were
not going to be able to stave
off widespread inundation
without additional resources,
an emergency was declared.
Quick as a flash, we had vol-
unteer firefighters working
with Oregon Military De-
partment wildfire teams sent
from Camp Rilea and Salem
augmenting public works to
pump water from inside the
city to out.
All told, there were three
fire trucks and even a con-
verted Jet Ski, as well as trash
calibrate (both were covered
under calibrate).
I guess they figure if you
can calibrate you can reca-
librate. I learned that I can
recalibrate any thermometer
by putting it in the refrigera-
tor for five minutes. For small
recalibration problems, there
is a button on the back of the
Well, that got me to think-
ing. Do we need a button on
the back of us? Could we pos-
sibly need to recalibrate our
lives as changes land upon
us? Just think about it! For
instance, this past year when
an adorable little cat named
Holly entered my world, I
had to recalibrate. After a
year, I still find recalibration
thoughts or actions neces-
And yes, I have even had
to talk to the Lord in prayer
about “us.” At times, it actu-
ally gets that serious!
She still tries to jump into
the refrigerator, but at least
now I know why. Maybe she
thinks she can recalibrate if
she can remain in there for
five minutes? I know that
works with a thermometer,
but what if it made her even
smarter than she is now?
Maybe I need to take her
Many of us have had to re-
calibrate due to the pandem-
ic. Changes.
As seniors, we face many
changes in our lives calling
for recalibration. And no, I
am not suggesting time in the
But maybe too often we cal-
ibrate instead of looking at
the directions (our Bible) to
learn just how to recalibrate.
Food for thought.
pumps deployed to assist
our struggling stormwater
It was a team effort, but
between the exhausted staff,
fresh crews from the Oregon
Military Department, and the
great turnout of our volun-
teer fire department, we kept
the flooding minimized.
Now what does “minimized”
mean in this situation? I real-
ize many will find that a bad
description, but let me put it
in perspective.
Just a half inch of difference
in the water level would have
been the difference from
about 50 to 70 properties
flooded to several hundred.
The difference in water ele-
vation of that half inch means
that instead of a garage be-
ing flooded (the most com-
mon issue), your crawlspace
would be.
I’m pleased that the city had
a debrief of the event with the
City Commission and we are
going to be putting addition-
al emphasis on stormwater
infrastructure going forward.
The most critical issue is
getting a massive pump on
Alder Creek, which, when
overwhelmed, floods the
Hammond and old-town
Warrenton districts.
I want to thank our public
works, fire and police staff,
volunteer firefighters, and
the Oregon Military Depart-
ment for their efforts. It was
a team effort!
I also want to thank all the
citizens who offered up as-
sistance from generators to
strong backs. We truly live in
a great community!
Taking what we have
learned, our next effort as a
city will be to improve invest-
ments to stormwater infra-
Letter to the Editor
Praise for Public Works staff
Thank you to our Public
Works Department, who
came out immediately after I
called them to remove a mat-
tress that was dumped in a
ditch off of Second Street.
They provide service with a
smile and it is very much ap-
Lori Beth Kulp
The Warrenton City Commission regular meeting scheduled for
Tuesday, February 8 at 6:00 p.m. has been cancelled due to a lack of
agenda items.
The Warrenton City Hall is accessible to the disabled. An interpreter
for the hearing impaired may be requested under the terms of ORS
192.630 by contacting Dawne Shaw, City Recorder, at 503-861-0823
at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting so appropriate assistance
can be provided.
Published in The Columbia Press on Feb. 4, 2022.