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4A • September 30, 2016 • Seaside Signal • seasidesignal.com
Student voices add
urgency to bond vote
loves a parade
he ﬁ rst choir practice of September almost coincided
with my birthday. As a participant for many years,
they invited me to a pizza party prior to practice.
I walked both ways to church in the evening hours — a
workout for me. I missed the Sixth Avenue turnout coming
home so I kept
on going to 10th.
On the way, Tessa SCENE & HEARD
out of her house
along with her
ley. Tessa walked me the rest of the way home, being the
nice girl that she is. We go back a long way to the Seaside
Clinic when she came in as a tad with a broken leg. So
much water under the bridge. It was an interesting moonlit
night. I had watched the two big helicopters go over —
always a thrill. I saw my ﬁ rst one many years ago. At that
time it was called an autogyro.
It was so good to realize that the telephone poles were
gone and the overhead wires although there is still no light.
I do detest the metal boxes, which are the new way to store
electrical equipment — I think. Maybe they should be cov-
ered with rufﬂ ed petticoats, Ha, or ivy or honeysuckle. The
green color itself is so ugly, although future plantings will
help come. When will we have the parade? (Just walking
citizens, if need be.) Maybe by Thanksgiving. It’s hard to
make predictions in such a case when so many deadlines
have already passed.
On the 9/11 weekend, I had several family members
come to town — a son and daughter; A daughter-in-law; a
granddaughter and her husband. We were quite busy. They
took me out for breakfast, lunch and a birthday dinner,
which was “YOOJ” for me. My son had ordered a cake and
when the kids sang happy birthday to me, several patrons in
the restaurant joined in. I think some clapped. It was cool,
even though I had to get old to deserve it. If one celebrates
her birthday for three days, does that mean she’s three years
older? Yikes! One of my meals out was at the Buoy Beer
Co. in Astoria. My pretty redheaded granddaughter took
Robin and me. This time there were three sea lions at the
viewing station, under Plexiglas below the restaurant. One
was a tremendous size and a fracas over napping territory
ensued. I froze at dinner because a door to the river was
open throughout our stay.
As I’ve told you, I had a lot of company for my birth-
day. I was honored, pampered and entertained, but it was a
great disappointment to me, too, to have missed the Legion
picnic on 9/11. I look forward to that event every year, hav-
ing been a member of the auxiliary for 69 years. And they
always have strawberry shortcake not used at the Fourth of
July celebration. Darn!
R.J. MARX/SEASIDE SIGNAL
Seaside student leaders Kara Ipson, Lizzy Barnes and Emma Dutcher hope to raise awareness of the tsunami threat.
t used to be called the barbershop circuit. When guys
hung around in vinyl-covered metal chairs reading Field
& Stream. You could be sure that whatever news — and
whatever opinions around it — would be fully explored
in their entirety, although not always without embellish-
very wrong for Sea-
SEEN FROM SEASIDE
side School District
bond supporters in
2013. That was the
ﬁ rst go-around in the
drive to move three
schools — Seaside High School, Broadway Middle School
and Gearhart Elementary School —from the tsunami inunda-
tion zone to safety. Proposed only six days after the closure of
Cannon Beach Elementary School, the bond measure would
have created a new 50-acre campus at a location to be deter-
mined after the vote.
With a substantial turnout in an off-year election, of the 11
voting precincts in the school district, only one, Precinct 40,
passed the measure, and it did so by a mere 12 votes;
Here’s what I heard in the barbershop about that bond:
The proposal was oversized, indulgent and ill-timed.
The school district couldn’t be trusted to stick to a budget.
High property taxes would force residents from their
And don’t they always overstate the risk?
Add to that a few more ill-tempered comments, personal
or otherwise, and you might be plenty lathered up.
The barbershop topic this year — heard from Gearhart to
Cannon Beach — is the $99.7 million bond to move Seaside
schools out of the tsunami zone.
Gearhart Elementary School, Broadway Middle School
and Seaside High School were built with an expected lifespan
of 45 to 50 years, according to district Superintendent-emeri-
tus Doug Dougherty. Each school building has been used be-
yond that span — they’re unsafe, deteriorating and inefﬁ cient.
At Broadway Middle School, students sit in classroom
structures with aging utilities, cinder block construction and
walls torn by horizontal shearing.
Gearhart Elementary school’s gym is riddled with dry rot
and “would collapse in an earthquake,” Dougherty, who has
volunteered his time to supporting passage of the bond. Leaks
are so bad in the 68-year-old school, “It’s pretty much like
playing whack-a-mole, where you are pretty sure the leak is
not coming directly from the spot it’s leaking from. Often
it’s many feet away and trying to track it down is very, very
At Seaside High School, classrooms are water-damaged
and pipes covered with asbestos. Mold ﬁ lls storage areas.
An oil boiler is inefﬁ cient and must be “patched together”
to remain functional. On rainy days, leaks quickly ﬁ ll large
garbage cans — “everything from slow drips to streams of
Then and now
In 2013 local residents were unprepared — or unim-
pressed — by the Cascadia subduction zone threat.
In 2013, supporters said the proposed campus would
“capture an aesthetic that reﬂ ects the communities within the
Seaside School District.” Today there is no talk of aesthetics.
No Cadillac plan or gold-plated doorknobs. Proponents are
focused on the dire risk and the state of crumbling schools —
along with coastal risk, each of the three schools in Seaside’s
tsunami zone face critical needs for infrastructure repairs,
from roof leaks to mold.
Barbershop conversation is less about denying the poten-
tial tsunami risk, but how to prepare for it.
We’ve had a few more years to contemplate the tsunami
threat, and as geologist Tom Horning says, “Get our heads
out of the sand.” Science is catching up with fears, and it is
apparent that our risk for tsunami on the coast is not if but
Bonnie Henderson’s book “The Next Tsunami” traced
the history of our ecosystem and outlined the severity of our
risk. Last year Kathryn Schulz magniﬁ ed those concerns in
a New Yorker magazine piece that won the Pulitzer Prize for
nonﬁ ction writing. New numbers from Oregon State Univer-
sity researchers show that tsunami interval frequency is even
greater than previously thought.
Property owners would pay $1.35 per $1,000 of assessed
property value, as opposed to $1.86 in 2013. Low interest
rates work in the district’s favor.
Because of the luck of the draw, Seaside could see further
cost reductions. The district is ﬁ rst in line for an additional $4
million in state aid lottery funds and considered likely to win
Instead of a vague, unknown location in the hills, this
time the district has land on 80 acres south of Seaside
Heights Elementary School. Better yet, residents don’t have
to pay for it — it’s a gift from timber giant Weyerhaeuser Co.
The new K-12 campus site plan is modest: showing a new
high school, middle school, gymnasium and cafeteria. Main
entryways for the middle and high schools are demarcated,
as well as roadways, bus drop-off areas, parking and athletic
No helipad. No theater. No gold-plated doorknobs.
The catch: The funds are contingent on the district passing
Wife: “You know that new car you bought me, Harry? It
Harry: “What do you mean? Why won’t it start?”
Wife: “I think there’s water in the carburetor.”
Harry: “Good grief, woman. You don’t know a car-
buretor from a tail pipe. I’ll check it. Where is that car,
Wife: “It’s in the swimming pool!” (Courtesy of John
Nov. 4, 1914 — Sept. 10, 2016
Freida Johnson of Sea-
side died Saturday, Sept.
10, 2016, in Seaside. Mrs.
Johnson was born Nov.
4, 1914 in Alma, Kan-
sas, to Frederick and Jen-
nie Flukinger. The family
moved to Seaside when she
was a small child. She grad-
uated from Central School
and Seaside High School,
where she played the solo
trumpet in the Seaside “All
Girls Marching Band.”
Freida met Howard E.
Johnson at the Bungalow
Dance Hall on Broadway in
Seaside. They were married
in the United Methodist
Church on May 23, 1937.
Freida’s life was always
full of music. She played
several instruments, nota-
bly piano, accordion and
trumpet. She was a Sher-
man Clay certiﬁ ed teacher.
Her earnings as a profes-
sional musician purchased a
1938 Chevrolet dump truck
that was the start of How-
ard E. Johnson Construc-
tion. In retirement, Howard
and Freida enjoyed many
years of winter months in
Mesa, Arizona where once
again Freida played in a
band, “The Arizona Acres
Freida’s life was about
family, faith, music and the
beautiful Tropicana roses
and ﬂ owers she shared with
family and friends.
The next generation
Even if lifelong residents can’t be persuaded, a new
generation can. They’re taking the lead. In 2015 Seaside
High School students founded the “Don’t Catch This Wave”
They shared their compelling personal statements on the
web, social media, to students, faculty, legislators in the state
This year the torch is carried by a new class of moti-
vated students, among them, Seaside City Council student
representative Lizzy Barnes and Associated Student Body
co-presidents Emma Dutcher and Kara Ipson. Lizzy Barnes,
the high school’s student representative on the City Council,
also shares their goals of raising community awareness of the
The school bond is foremost on their minds.
“Think about the children,” Barnes said.
“Think about the future and beyond yourselves,” Dutcher
added. “It might not affect us graduating, but it will affect
those coming up.”
My barbershop comment: It’s one thing to make a deci-
sion by choice to enter a burning building. It’s another to
be under 18 and told you have no alternative.
Process alone doesn’t
has been served
One week ago, Gear-
hart’s City Council passed
an ordinance regulating less
than 5 percent of Gearhart
homeowners who rent their
homes on a short-term basis.
In getting the ordinance
passed, the mayor and the
city administrator applauded
themselves in bull-dogging a
process, and thereby claim-
ing that democracy had been
The mayor even stated
that passing the ordinance
was “something we (the
council) wanted to do”
(“Gearhart gives new rental
rules a go,” The Daily As-
torian, Sept. 8). Don’t let
that “we” slip by you. It has
been the focus of the whole
process the past several
years. The “we” is not the
David F. Pero
citizens, but the mayor, other
council members and the
Following a process in
and of itself does not satisfy
the ends of democracy. If
it did, there would be no
reason for citizens to claim
an abuse of process. The
purpose of process is to
consider facts and hear input
from the public. Elected
and appointed government
ofﬁ cials are not expected to
John D. Bruijn
be experts on everything,
and particularly volunteer,
unpaid elected ofﬁ cials can
hardly be expected to be
experts on much at all, espe-
cially relating to governance.
This is why citizen input and
consideration of information
and facts from the public
and experts is so critical to
public discourse and excel-
lent decision making.
See Letters, Page 5A
The Seaside Signal
is published every
other week by
EO Media Group,
1555 N. Roosevelt,
Seaside, OR 97138.
The Seaside Signal welcomes letters to the
editor. The deadline is noon Monday prior to
publication. Letters must be 400 words or less
and must be signed by the author and include a
phone number for veriﬁ cation. We also request
that submissions be limited to one letter per
month. Send to 1555 N. Roosevelt Drive,
Seaside, OR 97138, drop them off at 1555 N.
Roosevelt Drive or fax to 503-738-9285.
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
She is survived by her
three sons and daughters-
in-law, Ron and Janette,
Larry and Sharon and
Bruce and Terri Johnson;
a daughter, Bonnie Do-
ney; 10 grandchildren;
a sister and brother-in-
law, Bonnie and Ken Bul-
letset; a sister-in-law, Alice
Flukinger; and numerous
nieces and nephews. She
was predeceased by her
husband, Howard E. John-
son; and brother, Harold
A memorial service
was held at Seaside United
Methodist Church on Sat-
urday, Sept. 24. A reception
followed at the church. In-
terment is private.
may be made to the Seaside
United Methodist Church,
or a charity of one’s choice.
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