Cannon Beach gazette. (Cannon Beach, Or.) 1977-current, February 13, 2015, Image 1

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    FEBRUARY 13, 2015 • VOL. 39, ISSUE 4
Breakers Point
may use riprap to
stabilize condo
Plans call for cutting 70 highway trees by spring
By Erick Bengel
Cannon Beach Gazette
Before March 15, the Ore-
gon Department of Transpor-
tation plans to cut down the
dying alder trees along U.S.
Highway 101, between Can-
non Beach’s north entrance
and Sunset Boulevard.
The operation is the first
phase of a three-phrase tree-thin-
ning project, said Bill Jablonski,
manager of ODOT District 1.
ERICK BENGEL PHOTO roughly 5,000 trees near that
Erosion along the Ecola Creek Estuary is encroaching on stretch of highway for remov-
Breakers Point Building 45. In lieu of packing down sand al, marking them with a light
harvested from dune grading to shore it up, the homeown- blue dot. The trees may pose
ers association may use riprap, consisting of a 30-foot line a threat to drivers, especially
of boulders stacked 7 feet high.
the trees with branches that
lean precariously over the
Erosion bringing condos. “It’s moved in quite road, he said. Once ODOT
a ways.”
Ecola Creek
A year ago, the estuary hazard, the department be-
was about 30 feet away came legally liable for any
bank within feet bank
from the building; now it is accidents that may occur as a
of building
less than 20 feet, Francis said. result of their continued pres-
In 1989, it was about 100 feet ence in the highway corridor.
By Erick Bengel
away, the report says.
Because the trees are in a
Cannon Beach Gazette
“If we see another couple state highway right of way,
of feet disappear, what will ODOT can legally eliminate
Unless the Breakers Point happen is the gas line will be them without obtaining a per-
Homeowners Association exposed, and I think that it PLW ¿UVW GHVSLWH D FLW\¶V RU
gets City Council permission would be very prudent for us county’s ordinance that might
to deposit several thousand to take action,” he said.
require a permit — a fact that
cubic yards of sand onto the
Taking action will in- 2'27FRQ¿UPHGZLWKWKHVWDWH
embankment of the Ecola volve hiring contractors to Department of Justice last fall.
Creek Estuary, thereby shor- lay down riprap — large
“I was verifying that the law
ing up a nearby condomini- boulders stacked on a gravel does exist,” he said. “ODOT
um whose foundation is be- base — in the bank below the has the right to take out danger
ing compromised by erosion, building. The pile of boulders trees in the right of way.”
emergency riprap may have would stretch 30 feet long,
to be placed there instead.
VWDQGIHHWWDOODQGFXWIHHW for removal in 2016, and the
Inch by inch, the steep deep into the bank, he said.
remainder of the 200 targeted
northern slope of the estuary
is sloughing away, edging Emergency clause
ber of trees removed may be
Last month, the planning less than 200 but will not ex-
steadily closer to Building
1R DW WKH VRXWK HQG RI commission denied the as- ceed 200, he said.
Larch Street. Without inter- sociation’s proposal to grade
“We certainly have an ob-
vention, the two-story wood- QHDUO\FXELF\DUGVRI ligation to the people who are
frame building and the gas sand dunes west and south motorists that we remove the
main beneath it will become of Breakers Point, a proposal danger trees,” Jablonski said,
endangered, according to an that originally included shift- adding that the department
engineering report from Jan- LQJFXELF\DUGVRIWKH doesn’t yet know whether it
uary 2014.
graded sand onto the estuary will contract out the labor.
“The erosion has taken bank to stabilize Building
Moving forward
place pretty severely,” said 1R
ODOT approached the
Bruce Francis, property man-
See Erosion, Page 5A City Council in mid-2014 to
ager of the Breakers Point
About a mile-long corridor along U.S. Highway 101 between Cannon Beach’s north en-
trance and Sunset Boulevard may be thinned out by the Oregon Department of Trans-
portation. Highway officials plan to remove 200 dead and dying trees. An estimated 5,000
trees line the corridor.
let the city know of its plans,
as a “way for us to be trans-
parent with the community,”
Jablonski said.
Initially, the city asked its
arborist, Will Caplinger, to in-
dependently review the prob-
lematic trees. But, because
ODOT and the city didn’t
follow up with each other,
that review never happened,
Public Works Director Dan
Grassick said.
“ODOT did not pursue the
project, and so the decision
was made not to spend the re-
sources unnecessarily,” he said.
But now ODOT is mov-
ing forward, Jablonski said.
The department intends to
renew its conversation with
Grassick and City Manager
Brant Kucera.
ODOT is open to feedback
from the city and its residents,
Jablonski said. If people want
ODOT to offset the loss by
planting new trees, the de-
partment could very well do
that, he said.
“I think (ODOT) should
be required to replace what-
ever they take out,” said for-
mer Mayor Mike Morgan,
who works as Astoria’s inter-
im city planner.
A blue dot is displayed on twin alder trees on the west side
of U.S. Highway 101 near the Sunset Boulevard entrance.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has marked
about 200 trees for possible removal from along the high-
way; the removal will be done in three phases, beginning
before March 15 and ending in 2017.
However, since the project
involves a mile-long stretch of
trees that ODOT believes could
collapse onto the highway,
there isn’t likely to be much
negotiation before ODOT goes
to work, Jablonski said.
“We recognize that there
is a sensitivity (to) the trees’
removal, but we also have
an obligation to the motor-
ing public to remove those
trees,” he said. “If anything,
we’re doing a courtesy to the
city to let them know what
our plan is.”
See Trees, Page 7A
City brings new emergency consultant on board
Stacy Burr to
cover gamut
of potential
By Erick Bengel
Cannon Beach Gazette
The city of Cannon Beach
has hired its new emergency
preparedness consultant.
Stacy Burr, a Eugene res-
ident and the owner of Stacy
took over the consulting posi-
left by Bill Vanderberg, who
stepped down in fall 2013.
Stacy Burr, of Eugene, is the
new emergency preparedness
coordinator for Cannon Beach.
She will advise city manag-
ers, the emergency prepared-
ness committee and the prede-
ployment container committee
— which manages the tsuna-
mi storage container program
— on how to strengthen and
expand their efforts to protect
Cannon Beach’s residents and
visitors during emergencies,
especially natural disasters.
Her duties will include
updating the city’s “incident
action plan,” a playbook
for handling emergencies;
conducting on-site Incident
Command System training;
developing Cannon Beach’s
Community Emergency Re-
sponse Team (CERT); and
pursuing federal Department
of Homeland Security grants
for projects like upgrading
critical infrastructure, City
Manager Brant Kucera said.
Burr will “help us build
our emergency systems up
to the best of our ability in a
small town, to build up the
places where we are weak and
to reinforce the places where
we are currently strong,” said
Paula Vetter, a member of
the emergency preparedness
committee. “We’re really ex-
cited to have her on board.”
Though Burr will cover the
gamut of potential catastrophes,
the long-anticipated Cascadia
Subduction Zone earthquake
and tsunami is her top priority.
“That’s the biggest emer-
gency we could have to face,”
said Bob Mushen, vice chair-
man of the emergency pre-
paredness committee. “And
we have no idea, of course,
when that’s going to happen.”
When it does happen,
the city will need to create
shelters, distribute food and
water, set up sanitation, pro-
vide medical care, do crowd
control — all requiring well-
trained volunteers. Burr will
help the emergency pre-
paredness committee attract
more people to serve during
an emergency, Mushen said.
At minimum, Burr is re-
quired to attend the month-
ly emergency preparedness
committee meetings and
twice-monthly container com-
mittee meetings, beginning
this month. She plans to com-
mute from Eugene, she said.
Kucera estimates that
Burr will put in between 12
and 25 hours per month, or
“whatever it takes to get the
job done,” he said.
She will be paid $15,000
which ends June 30; however,
her salary may change when
it is re-budgeted for next year,
beginning July 1, Kucera said.
A ‘go-getter’
Burr has worked in public
safety and disaster manage-
ment for the past 15 years, de-
veloping emergency response
See Burr, Page 3A
Major crimes rose in Cannon Beach last year
Smith, has been charged
with aggravated murder
in the child’s death and at-
tempted aggravated mur-
der for injuries suffered by
Smith’s 13-year-old daugh-
ter. Smith is awaiting trial
in 2016.
By Erick Bengel
Increases also occurred
Cannon Beach Gazette
in robberies, assaults, bur-
glaries and thefts last year.
Cannon Beach expe-
Meanwhile, decreases
rienced a 35 percent hike occurred in motor vehicle
last year in Part 1 offenses thefts, domestic disturbance
— considered to be major responses, fraud, vandal-
crimes — but a decrease in ism, sex offenses, drug/
Part II or lesser crimes, ac- marijuana cases and others.
cording to an annual report
However, the depart-
distributed by Police Chief ment provided more than
Jason Schermerhorn.
twice the number of citizen
Heading the list of ma- assists than last year. Over-
jor crimes in 2014 was night camping warnings
the murder of a 2-year-old DOVRLQFUHDVHGVLJQL¿FDQWO\
FKLOG WKH ¿UVW KRPLFLGH LQ The department has eight
Cannon Beach in decades. SROLFH RI¿FHUV LQ DGGLWLRQ
The child’s mother, Jessica to Schermerhorn.
Motor vehicle
thefts, accidents
decreased in 2014
annual report says
Beach Chamber of Com-
merce, Rotary Club of Sea-
side and Cannon Beach Ru-
ral Fire Protection District.
Schermerhorn said he will
continue the event.
The department also
sponsored and participated
in the eighth annual South
County Citizens Academy,
which Schermerhorn start-
ed when he worked for the
Seaside Police Department.
Jessica Smith is awaiting trial on charges that she murdered The academy takes citizens
her 2-year-old daughter last year. The murder is the first in interested in law enforce-
Cannon Beach for decades.
ment “behind the scenes”
and trains them in various
³2XU WUDI¿F WLFNHWV DQG is getting much more ed- aspects of local law en-
warnings were down, but ucated on different things forcement activities. Also
also, along with that, the and a lot more experienced participating in the acade-
accidents were down as working with the communi- my were Seaside and Gear-
hart police departments,
well,” Schermerhorn said. ty,” he said.
“That was good to see.”
7KH FLW\¶V ¿UVW 1DWLRQ- Clatsop County Sheriff’s
Overall, the department DO 1LJKW 2XW ZDV KHOG DW 2I¿FH DQG WKH &ODWVRS
had a good year, he said.
City Park last year, in part-
See Crime, Page 6A
“I think the department nership with the Cannon