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About Cannon Beach gazette. (Cannon Beach, Or.) 1977-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 26, 2018)
VOL. 42, ISSUE 2
JANUARY 26, 2018
Public works, planning directors announce retirement
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Planning Direc-
tor Mark Barnes and Public Works
Director Jim Arndt announced their
retirement at a City Council work
session on Tuesday.
Arndt was hired less than a year
ago to fill the vacancy left by former
Public Works Director Dan Grassick.
He cited personal reasons unrelated
to City Hall, but said he still plans
to remain in the community. His last
day is March 2.
“There are just some personal
things I have to take care of. I didn’t
think I would have to go so soon,”
Arndt said. “(City Hall) is a won-
derful group of folks. I wish I could
as a planning director and consultant
around the North Coast, he said he
was ready to take some time for him-
self. He looks forward to spending
more time with his family and trav-
eling. As for any reminiscing about
his time at City Hall?
“Let’s talk in October,” he said.
City Manager Bruce St. Denis
said while the city looks for Arndt’s
replacement, Assistant Public Works
Director Karen La Bonte will serve
as the interim. St. Denis hopes to
contract with Jensen Strategies —
the same firm who helped recruit St.
Denis for the city manager position
— to help hire for both positions.
“Luckily, we’ve got someone to-
tally qualified to step in (for Arndt),”
St. Denis said.
‘Both have been
excellent…. I’d keep
both of them if I could.’
Cannon Beach Gazette
City Manager Bruce St. Denis
have seen a few things through, but I
don’t think the city will miss a beat.”
Arndt is leaving in the midst of
an ongoing debate about water rate
increases to finance failing water and
sewer infrastructure — a project that
has dominated the majority of his
tenure since getting hired in May.
“It’s been a tortuously long pro-
cess, but I think we moved the ball
down the road. We got out the mes-
sage these infrastructure needs need
to be addressed, and the public is
understanding that,” he said. “That’s
the first step.”
Barnes, who has been with the
city for five years, plans to leave his
post by the end of October.
“Everyone has to retire some-
day,” Barnes said.
After more than 30 years serving
As for Barnes, St. Denis hopes to
hire a new planning director by July
so there is time for Barnes to train
the new hire before he leaves.
With St. Denis only two months
on the job as city manager, he said
losing two department heads so early
in his tenure could bring “some po-
tential challenges” as he transitions
into his own role.
Overall, St. Denis feels confident
in the city’s ability to move forward.
“Both have been excellent. Mark
is amazing at answering my ques-
tions. He has such a wealth of insti-
tutional knowledge we have to pass
on,” St. Denis said. “And Jim is so
knowledgeable in his field. He’s
done a great job for us. I’d keep both
of them if I could.”
the calm after
URSULA LE GUIN
a literary giant
Author’s work was
rooted in Cannon Beach
By R.J. Marx and Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
Extreme high tides left debris and sand as far as the Ecola beach access ramp.
High tides rock the
Story and photo by Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
n Thursday, Jan. 18, Cannon
Beach, like the rest of the Oregon
Coast, bared witness to extreme
high tides that produced impres-
sively large waves and even more impres-
sive photo opportunities. Locals and visi-
tors alike gathered at Tolovana State Park
to watch as waves came as high as the
parking lot, with debris and foam rushing
to fill the beach access ramp. Thunder and
lightning cracked behind Haystack Rock
as weather alternated between torrential
downpour and a light breeze. The Ecola
beach access ramp had debris and silt as
far up as the Wayfarer hotel parking lot.
Waves crested over the top of the Tilla-
mook Head Lighthouse.
According to the National Weather Ser-
vice, offshore buoys recorded ocean swell
heights of up to 36 feet Thursday morn-
ing. Wave heights were still cresting at 30
feet by the afternoon and continued to be
high through Friday. The high tides made
the beach unwalkable, and carried in 10-
15 foot logs onto the shore as if they were
twigs. No injuries or rescues were reported
in Clatsop County. A man was swept out
to sea during Thursday’s storm swells at
Depoe Bay, and a group of women were
rescued from the raucous waves by Cape
The railing of stairs leading down to
Haystack Rock off the “S curves” will
need to be repaired after logs brought in by
large waves crashed into the stairwell, said
Public Works Director Jim Arndt. Other
than, the city will work on clearing debris
Ursula K. Le Guin, a literary giant who
made her home in Portland and Cannon
Beach, died Tuesday at 88.
The world-famous author was heralded
as a major female voice in science fiction,
but her work transcended the genre.
Betsy Ayres, of Cannon Beach, remem-
bered Le Guin as a friend and inspiration.
“Her ability to see other societies and other
worlds opened up my eyes to different ways
of looking at my own life,” she said. “She
will be greatly missed.”
She was born Ursula Kroeber in Berke-
ley, California, on Oct. 21, 1929, the young-
est of four children and the only daughter of
two anthropologists, Alfred L. Kroeber and
Theodora Quinn Kroeber.
As a young writer, Le Guin acutely
felt the closed society of both literary and
male-dominated elites, which stymied her
yet also shaped her own genre-defining
She graduated from Radcliffe College in
Massachusetts in 1951, earned a master’s
degree in romance literature of the Mid-
dle Ages and Renaissance from Columbia
University in New York in 1952, and won
a Fulbright scholarship to study in Paris.
There she met her future husband, Charles
Le Guin, who survives her.
From ‘Alice’ to Sherlock Holmes
PERMIT NO. 97
See Le Guin, Page 6A
Katherine Lacaze wins grant to produce
children’s theater in Clatsop County
By Nancy McCarthy
For Cannon Beach Gazette
COURTESY KATHERINE LACAZE
Katherine Lacaze accepts a grant
from Charlene Larsen of the Clatsop
County Cultural Coalition.
A mystery will unfold in Seaside
this summer, and some local kids
will help Sherlock Holmes solve the
They will participate in a play in-
volving the famous British detective
who follows the clues to uncover the
guilty party when no one else can.
The play’s director, Katherine Laca-
ze, received a $1,250 Clatsop County
Cultural Coalition grant to stage the
performance in partnership with the
Sunset Empire Park and Recreation
This is the second year that Lacaze
has received a cultural coalition grant
to produce a children’s play. Last year,
she directed 25 children in “Alice in
Wonderland,” complete with Alice,
the Cheshire cat, the Queen of Hearts
and lots of croquet players.
“I hope we will get that many
again; we need at least 20 kids,” said
Although she hasn’t decided ex-
actly which Sherlock Holmes play
she will present, it will be one that is
written especially for children. The
younger children will be among the
“Baker Street Irregulars,” street-smart
kids who help Sherlock ferret out
clues. Older kids will play Sherlock,
Mr. Watson and Mrs. Hudson.
Auditions will be this spring, and
rehearsals will begin in May or June
for performances in August. She is
seeking kids “that have confidence in
themselves; who can follow instruc-
tions; and be able to get outside them-
selves, who have the intrinsic ability
to be silly and goofy,” she said.
Theater has long been a part of La-
caze’s life. She began teaching chil-
dren’s theater as a high school student
in Arizona and in college. Her pro-
ductions included “Music Man,” “The
Importance of Being Earnest” and
“You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.”
Although she works full time at
the Seaside Convention Center, is a
freelance writer and takes care of her
3-year-old daughter, Juliette, Lacaze
is also active at the Coaster Theatre in
Cannon Beach. Last year, she played
the lead in “Barefoot in the Park”
See Lacaze, Page 10A