Cannon Beach gazette. (Cannon Beach, Or.) 1977-current, April 21, 2017, Image 1

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    APRIL 21, 2017 • VOL. 41, ISSUE 8
Water discussion reaches a boiling point
Hike seeks
to fi nance
C ouncil meeting as originally
planned, members of the com-
mittee decided to schedule a
special meeting May 9 to dis-
cuss issues each had with the
proposal .
“I think it’s a little rushed.
We need a more robust con-
versation about priorities and
where all the money goes,”
public works committee ice
chairman Richard Bertel-
lotti said . “The reality is we
have to raise some rates to do
some maintenance, but we
need to understand why it is
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
After four hours of heat-
ed debate, the public works
committee decided Tuesday
to table a plan that would in-
crease water rates in Cannon
Beach by 40 percent .
Instead of recommending
the plan at the May 2 C ity
Dan Grassick, the city’s
public works director, said the
average combined sewer and
water rate in Cannon Beach
would increase from about
$52 a month to $70 beginning
in July .
Infrastructure needs
The water and wastewater
master plan seeks to fi nance
about $3.4 million in water in-
frastructure, as well as about
$1.3 million in wastewater
projects, according to the Civ-
il West Engineering Services
study commissioned by the
city. These projects would fo-
cus on rehabbing or replacing
a variety of systems, includ-
ing brittle water lines and wa-
ter storage tanks.
“We are retaining the same
rate structure, just increasing
the base price and unit price to
fund operations, maintenance
and capital projects,” Grass-
ick said.
But members of the pub-
lic works committee took is-
sue with how projects were
prioritized, how high the rate
would jump, and, most nota-
bly, the lack of involvement
the committee had in forming
the plan.
“We were frozen out of
this process,” Bertellotti said.
“That’s got to change or there
is no reason to have a public
works committee.”
Grassick said he apolo-
gizes for not including them
in the two preliminary plan-
ning meetings last year. He
also said committee members
were given the master plans
in December, but due to trav-
el and weather complications
couldn’t meet until now to
discuss it.
Why now?
There has not been a
signifi cant rate increase in
Cannon Beach for 10 years,
Grassick said.
Because of this, the Pub-
lic Works Department has not
been able to fully cover oper-
ational costs without dipping
into the general fund, Grassick
said. While this has been the
status quo in Cannon Beach,
Grassick said there are long-
term issues with depending
See Water, Page 7A
City council
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
Following the trend of many cities along
the North Coast, the Cannon Beach city
council is considering adopting an immigrant
inclusivity resolution.
The resolution, which “embraces, cele-
brates, and welcomes its immigrant and refu-
gee residents and their contributions,” is not
the same as becoming a sanctuary city.
The resolution was drafted after several
citizens approached Cannon Beach Police
Chief Jason Schermerhorn about wanting
Cannon Beach to become an inclusivity city
like their northern neighbor Astoria did in
March. Seaside City Council also is consid-
ering an inclusivity resolution.
Schermerhorn said he then went to the
Lower Columbia Hispanic Council, a major
player in passing the resolution in Astoria, to
discuss next steps and in the hopes of build-
ing a closer relationship with the Latino com-
“I know there is a lot of fear growing,”
Schermerhorn said. “We want people to
know we’re not actively seeking to deport
undocumented folk.”
This string of proposals come in light
of an executive order signed by President
Donald Trump in January that would with-
hold federal grant money from sanctuary
cities—a general term describing cities that
seek to protect undocumented immigrants
from federal immigration policies. The City
of Seattle has fi led a lawsuit challenging the
Inclusivity resolutions allow cities to sup-
port immigrants and refugees without run-
ning the risk of possibly losing that money
by not cooperating with federal immigration
There was never a discussion suggest-
ing becoming a sanctuary city rather than
an inclusivity city with the citizens who ap-
proached him, Schermerhorn said.
In the draft of the resolution, it states the
policy is aimed to keep the roles of local and
federal government clear and enforceable,
rather than framing it as a resistance to federal
deportation practices. No changes to current
Cannon Beach police policy are necessary to
adhere to these goals, Schermerhorn said.
Seaside Heights Elementary School students play with thermometers in the touch tank at Puffi n Welcome.
Bring on the puffi ns
Event welcomes
tufted puffi ns to
Cannon Beach
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
Kindergartners came to explore,
learn and welcome tufted puffi ns back
to Haystack Rock at the Puffi n Wel-
come on Friday, April 14.
Haystack Rock Awareness Program
volunteers were scattered about, im-
parting the lessons of local marine life
with touch tanks and tide pool tours.
Some were supervising games like
“Puffi n Predator,” the main objective
of which was to pick up as many piec-
es of driftwood — which represented
See Puffi ns, Page 10A
HRAP Education and Volunteer Coordinator Lisa Habecker and
volunteer Tracy Abel explain the rules to a game at Puffi n Welcome.
See Resolution, Page 10A
By-the-wind sailors make landfall again
EO Media Group
NEWPORT— The Oregon coast-
line is again experiencing a “blue
tide,” when beaches are strewn with
an aquamarine layer of jelly-like or-
ganisms. Each spring, there are innu-
merable bodies of by-the-wind sailors
or Velella velella, and their strandings
are a regular, but still fascinating phe-
nomenon on the coast.
The common name of these gelat-
inous creatures — by-the-wind sailor
— refers to the clear, triangular sail
Velella velella, the so-called “blue tide,” are less of at the top of the animal’s body which
a threat to animals and people than the red variety. catches the wind and propels it across
the surface. Short tentacles hang from
the underside of the sail. Found in all
the world’s oceans, these animals have
no independent form of movement and
will drift at the whim of the breeze.
Despite Velella’s simple yet ef-
fective sail, heavier winds during the
spring and summer months may cause
mass strandings. During such condi-
tions, it isn’t uncommon to see miles
and miles of Oregon beach carpeted
with stinking heaps of Velella, which
quickly die and decay on shore, turning
from a metallic blue to a lifeless white.