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4A • January 6, 2017 • Seaside Signal • seasidesignal.com
Council to continue in
hange came quickly in Seaside.
Don Larson presided over his
last meeting only two weeks
before his death. Now that is
dedication to service.
The day after he died the council swore
in a new mayor, Jay Barber.
Larson would have applauded the
efﬁ ciency and the devotion to civil service.
He was dedicated to it the moment he
began service after moving to Seaside on
his retirement from the National Guards
civilian team. In 2006 he won re-election
unopposed and proudly supported a $4.65
million water tank, which succeeded with
75 percent of voters.
In 2008, his role in bringing a new
library building to Seaside was so signif-
icant the Seaside Public Library is now
called the Don Larson Building. In 2009,
Larson won the Small City Award from the
League of Oregon Cities.
Larson ran unopposed in 2010, but in
2014 he found himself with two challeng-
ers. Larson gained 62 percent of the vote
against Angela Fairless and John Dunzer.
At the time, he urged expansion of the Sea-
side Civic and Convention Center, a goal
he saw to fruition earlier this year.
In the years to follow he also undertook
the North Holladay Drive improvement
project, recently completed and an aesthet-
ic transformation for the roadway. Mayor
Larson was there with the ceremonial
scissors for the ribbon-cutting, despite the
obvious impediments of his own medical
Larson wasn’t afraid to cast a dissenting
vote, as he did earlier this year in a land
dispute involving a proposed hotel plan.
Larson was the sole councilor to side with
the hotel owner in that decision. During a
lot-line dispute, Larson was the lone vote
for a homeowner on the basis of precedent.
Yet he could change his opinion on an
issue, becoming a strong advocate of the
passage of this year’s bond to move Sea-
side’s schools out of the tsunami zone.
Concerned about the impacts of can-
nabis legalization, he and councilor Dana
Phillips voted against medical marijuana
facilities in 2015, but ultimately joined
council members in permitting its recre-
ational licensing in Seaside. Their opposi-
tion led to restrictions keeping pot shops
out of the city’s downtown core.
The ability to “get out and talk with
people” was an aspect that carried him
through his entire political career in Sea-
side. “I’ll just try to do my best,” Larson
told the Signal after his ﬁ rst mayoral
election in 2002.
In an event overshadowed by the
dramatic turns the city witnessed over
those two days, Councilor Don Johnson
was awarded with recognition from the
community and his fellow councilors.
“We were lucky to have the foundation
of our past councilors,” Johnson said.
“Don (Larson) and the councilors were
able to implement their plan, their founda-
Johnson described it as an “honor and
privilege” to serve the community.
Larson’s longtime friend and fellow
councilor Barber, a pastor, former college
president and seasoned public speaker,
movingly eulogized Larson in City Hall
a winner at
SCENE & HEARD
R.J. MARX/SEASIDE SIGNAL
Jay Barber is sworn in as Seaside mayor by City Manager Mark Winstanley.
SEEN FROM SEASIDE
and in the church. In an emotional meeting
held the day after Larson’s death, council-
ors unanimously endorsed Barber to ﬁ ll the
city’s top spot.
Barber promised to continue Larson’s
legacy and commitment to the city.
“It’s a great honor to be the mayor
of any city, but particularly of a city as
well-managed and run as this city,” Barber
His words were both a eulogy and a
state of the union, in which he praised the
community and its volunteerism.
Barber said he seeks to maintain the
parity among the mayor and board mem-
“I want to say no single one of us has
more power than the other,” he said. “Not
the mayor, not the council president — we
work as a body. When we make decisions
we support that decision. We may not al-
ways agree, but when we make a decision,
we move forward.”
Barber laid out six priorities.
“The No. 1 priority that I would like to
continue: Mayor Larson’s legacy of civili-
ty, his love for our city and his openness to
our citizens,” he said.
Barber urged support for Seaside’s
police and ﬁ re departments, important
ingredients of the city’s quality of life.
Looking ahead, he gave a nod to Tom
Horning, the Seaside geologist who won
election to his ﬁ rst term, on a platform of
Barber said he is concerned that the
next urban renewal project has an oppor-
tunity to ﬁ nd funding for bridges, many
of which are vulnerable to ﬂ ooding or
R.J. MARX/SEASIDE SIGNAL
Councilors Don Johnson and Jay Barber
at a council workshop.
collapse in a Cascadia Subduction Zone
Part of the tsunami protection will
begin with the new Seaside High School
campus in the Southeast Hills. In order
to start the project, the city will need to
expand the urban growth boundary to
provide utilities and roads.
Barber indicated he may seek to bring
more land into the urban growth boundary
not only for emergency shelter, but to open
buildable areas buildable areas for low
income and affordable housing. “It’s a high
priority for the people who live and work
here in our tourism industry,” Barber said.
It is a tribute to the spirit and collegi-
ality of Larson that he was able to preside
over such a board of like-minded civic
leaders. There will be plenty of shake-ups
through natural events, but having a steady
hand at the helm is something to be valued
at all levels of government.
“I want to continue the legacy Mayor
Larson has started over the last 14 years,”
Barber said at his ﬁ rst meeting as mayor.
“His model of civility and community ser-
vice is one we can all work to preserve.
“I have no more power than the other
six members of the council, we have to
work together to get things done, and that
will be my goal to provide leadership in
the two years we have left to get things
appy New Year! Things are looking
up! Dec. 11 was the occasion of the
annual Christmas dinner offered
by the service clubs at the Seaside Civic
and Convention Center. It was a big turkey
dinner for the middle of the day; so much of
mine came home in a box for later. We had a
congenial group. I missed a drawing by one
number — the story of my life — though two
of our tablemates were winners.
Brian Owen of the Seaside Chamber of
Commerce was MC and Pastor Rob Sachs of
Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church gave the in-
vocation. We were entertained during dinner
by the Tsunami Skippers and rope jumpers
who are so clever, a far cry from what we
learned in school. Some were outstanding and
had been to a competition in Florida. Stacey
Dundas introduced them.
The center looked really nice. I am always
puzzled that they can’t afford a clock. There’s
a nice spot to the right of the stage to hang
one, which would make it look like the audi-
torium at Central School.
I was so disgusted with Dorchester mov-
ing to Salem because it’s “easier” to reach.
Politicians never have real trouble getting
where they want to go. I’ve already written
about their increasing exclusivity, shutting
out the locals who used to attend keynote
speeches. I was so sorry to have missed Tuck-
er Carlson who is really cool.
Dec. 18, a group from the United Method-
ist Church composed of the choir and other
members went caroling. It was mostly to
shut-ins and residents of nursing facilities.
Our ﬁ rst visit was to Necanicum Village
where choir director Debbie Vail led us
upstairs and downstairs to sing. Residents
welcomed us and often joined in. There
followed about three private homes of church
members, then on to Neawanna by the Sea
and Suzanne Elise. Wherever we went to sing
Christmas, after a few numbers, residents
began to come out of their rooms and share
in the familiar carols. It was surprising to see
an old man join in with gusto, very familiar
with all the tunes and loving every minute.
At Suzanne Elise, I met a great gal who
once worked with me at Ocean Park Nursing
Home as well as a favorite former neighbor.
It was a heart warming and body freez-
ing experience to kick off the week before
We ﬁ nished the evening with a meal at
the home of Pastor John and Bee Tindell. We
enjoyed a robust offering of hot chili made
by Ann Santo Pietro with lots of “carne.” Our
hostess Bee had many other tempting foods.
We were also further ﬁ lled: good food; good
will; good cheer; good fellowship and every-
one went home refreshed by the true spirit of
Miscellany: Anis Amri, Isis dispenser of
perﬁ dy in Berlin recently, looked like Marlon
Brando to me.
A termite walked into a bar and asked, “Is
the bartender here?”
Ah, well. The oldies are often the goodies.
A look at great books of 2016 you might have missed
s we leave 2016 behind and
look toward a new year, I
thought I might review some
great books that came out in 2016,
just in case you missed them.
One of the things I get asked
a lot as a librarian, besides if my
ﬁ rst name is Marian (from “The
Music Man”), is whether I enjoy
sitting around reading all day. Many
people assume librarians get to
sit around all day, book in hand,
perhaps reading aloud from time to
time to small children. In fact, the
number one thing people want to
volunteer to do at a library is read
aloud to children. Most librarians
never get to read a book at work,
and much more planning goes into
Storytime than just reading aloud!
I can only think of a handful of
times I have more than skimmed
a book for a book review at work
in the 12 years I’ve been a librar-
ian! Our work as librarians is to
immerse ourselves in book culture,
but we are also far too busy to
sit around and read while on the
David F. Pero
clock. For most librarians, customer
service is on the job, and reading
is recreation at home after hours.
Most people who work in libraries
DO love books and love to read
them so here are a few of the books
I read this past year (some new,
some not) including some off the
best seller list of 2016.
I just recently got into a fan-
tasy series by Terry Brooks. The
TV series called the “Shannara
Chronicles” is based on his “Elves
of Shannara” series. The books
and the TV series don’t have a lot
in common, since the TV series
is loosely based on just one of the
books. These books can be pretty
dark with a world set after our time
that has self-destructed, with the
people, elves, and demons in them
both courageously good and very
evil. If you like elves and humans
interacting in a post-apocalyptic
future world that also has magic,
then these books are for you. This
series can be confusing because
many people start with the sword of
Shannara trilogy with the ﬁ rst title,
“Sword of Shannara.” However,
there are books before and after the
“Sword of Shannara” in chronolog-
ical order so for those looking for
an intense series that has multiple
books in the series, I would recom-
mend trying Terry Brooks.
A nonﬁ ction bestselling book
this year, “The Soul of an Octopus”
by Sy Montgomery is not only
interesting but some people ﬁ nd
it fairly controversial. The author
went to several different aquariums
and observed the octopuses there,
even holding them and watching
them for long periods of time.
While she didn’t observe these
octopuses out in the wild, she did
make some interesting observations
about octopus behavior. So much of
John D. Bruijn
what the octopus can do, how they
behave and act is mysterious to the
human. I learned a lot of fascinating
facts about the octopus and found
the real life octopus far more inter-
esting than I ever knew. Right after
I read this book, an octopus was in
the news on the east coast for trying
to make a run for it out of its aquar-
ium tank. Sadly, it died. This book
has some interesting observations
regarding these strange and mys-
teriously beautiful creatures that I
believe most readers will enjoy.
Our children’s librarian told me
about a young adult book called
“Orbiting Jupiter,” by Gary D.
Schmidt. It’s deﬁ nitely a page turn-
er. I think I read it in an hour with-
out putting it down. It’s very sad,
gritty, and real. An eighth-grade
boy who is also a father. Coming
from a hard life followed by juve-
nile detention to live in foster care,
his options seem low and his future
bleak. Without giving too much
away, there is a lot to this book that
will make adults and teens alike
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really enjoy it and even cry.
Another young adult book,
“An Ember in the Ashes,” that
both teens and adults will enjoy, is
written as a fantasy combined with
a dystopian world story. Set in a
world similar to the Roman Empire,
the story of a girl and a boy, a slave
and a soldier from birth, neither
one free. Both know disobedience
ends in suffering or death, but what
happens when their two conﬂ icting
worlds collide and they ﬁ nd them-
selves both at odds with the empire.
Can two mere cogs in the great
wheel challenge even the empire
My favorite genre is myster-
ies and there were a lot of great
mysteries written in 2016. Some of
my favorite authors, Charles Todd,
M.C. Beaton, and Anne Perry all
come out with new books this year.
I’m looking forward to new
reading treasures to share with you
in 2017! Come and visit us at the
Seaside Library where many more
new books await!
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