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A4 • Friday, August 2, 2019 | Seaside Signal | SeasideSignal.com
THESE KIDS ARE AMAZING
Katherine Lacaze/Seaside Signal
Seaside High School Associated Student Body oﬃ cers
Whitney Westerholm and Taylor Barnes present the
“Don’t Catch This Wave” program at a December 2015
City Council meeting.
Westin Carter, Gracie Rhodes, Caitlin Hillman, Mayor
Jay Barber, Andrea Castro, Briana Boyd and Josh Brown
at a ceremony to present $5,000 to the city for tsunami
wayﬁ nding signs.
or those of us living here in late 2016
during the campaign for a new
school outside of the tsunami
inundation zone, no voice
in the debate was more
strongly felt than those of the
A $128 million bond in
2013 had failed at the polls
Three years later, with a
reduced price tag, added
state funds; and Weyerhae-
user’s donation of a campus
site in the Southeast Hills,
the outcome looked favor-
able — but voters still had to
contend with a bond measure
seeking almost $100 million.
In 2016, the bond passed deci-
sively, thanks in no small measure to
the eﬀ orts of Seaside High School stu-
The ASB student council is a group of 11 repre-
sentatives that focuses on improving campus life
and helping students have a positive eﬀ ect out-
side their school.
Leadership introduced the “Don’t Catch This
Wave” campaign to raise awareness about the
threat of a tsunami and its potential to devastate
three of the school district’s buildings, Broadway
Middle School, Seaside High School and Gear-
hart Elementary School. (Cannon Beach Elemen-
tary School closed in 2013 after similar concerns.)
Student outreach extended from City Hall to
Salem and beyond.
The bond passed convincingly and work is
well underway. Completion and opening of the
new schools are expected in September 2020.
While those original ASB members have since
graduated and will never attend the new school,
today a new generation of students remain
focused on tsunami safety and awareness.
On June 15, members of the Seaside High
School Associated Student Body presented
Community Development Assistant and Emer-
gency Preparedness Coordinator Anne McBride
and Mayor Jay Barber with a gift of $5,000 to
be used toward the wayfinding project coor-
SEEN FROM SEASIDE
dinated through the planning and public works
The blue ground markers could guide the way
for on-foot evacuation to the designated tsunami
evacuation routes and ultimately to safe assem-
bly areas outside of the inundation zone.
The goal is to raise daily awareness by provid-
ing wayfinding cues to allow people to plan their
own evacuation route with or without the aid of a
map and get to safety as eﬀ iciently as possible —
reinforcing “muscle memory” for escape routes
prior to an actual event.
Total cost of the project is about $19,000, with
between $12,000 and $13,000 coming from the
state through Oregon Emergency Management
and the Oregon Department of Geology and
A matter of curriculum
Tsunami safety classes began for these students
in sixth grade and continues through high school.
Students watched videos of the tsunami in
Japan while they were still in middle school.
Students recognize that preparedness
— and resiliency in the aftermath of a
quake — begins locally.
“I think we all know on the Coast
we’re not a priority. We’re a tiny
coastal community,” said Westin
Carter, whose older brother
Colton was a founding mem-
ber of “Don’t Catch This
Wave” campaign. “We’ve got
to at least protect our children
while they’re in school.”
“As you go to high school,
you become more and more
aware,” student Caitlin Hill-
man said. “The main thing we
learned was how to deal with any
sort of emergency, including tsuna-
mis, earthquakes, tornados — overall,
be aware of disasters.”
Students would like more attention — and
dollars — put to Seaside’s endangered bridges,
unlikely to remain standing in a Cascadia Sub-
duction Zone event.
“It’s scary to think that my mom is at home
alone, if there aren’t bridges to connect her, what’s
going to happen?” Carter said.
ASB students at the City Hall check donation
ceremony — Carter, Hillman, Briana Boyd, Josh
Brown and Andrea Castro — gave special thanks
to their advisors, Anne Lynes and Jim Poetsch.
“You really helped us,” Boyd said.
The students are already looking ahead to next
year with outreach to other communities along the
coast. “We’re not planning to take our foot oﬀ the
gas,” Carter said. “We’re going to finish this. We’re
going to get there. We’re going to start looking at
other ways to do it.”
“To me, that is remarkable,” Barber said to stu-
dents. “You’re the people who raised the issue.
You demonstrated what had to happen and that
helped voters to step up. A $100 million bond issue
in a small community is unheard of, and it passed
with a strong majority. And you’re responsible for
that. You helped people’s eyes to be opened.”
With about $2,000 in funds from the “Don’t
Catch This Wave” remaining, campaigns will be
more informational, Carter said. “It’s allocated to
tsunami funds. It’s not going to a garage sale.”
When did grocery carts became a method of transport for transients?
he ﬁ rst ones I saw were in
the late spring, higher up on
the alphabet streets, in par-
ticular Avenue U and Beach Drive,
but also just on the Prom at Ave-
nue T. The carts were always empty
and looked forlorn. It bothered me
when they hung around for more
than a day.
It’s always discouraging to see a
shopping cart where a shopping cart
shouldn’t be. I lived in New York
City in the 1970s when the city was
teeming with homeless. My apart-
ment was in Greenwich Village, but
my work was way uptown.
It wasn’t unusual at the end of
a workday to climb the steep stairs
leading up from the underground
subway to street level. The subway
at the time was a subterranean hell
that, in addition to being a fast and
cheap method of transportation, was
also home to an entire underground
city of transients.
I’d emerge on to grimy Seventh
Avenue to weave and dodge my
way past sepulchral human forms.
Most nights I had to step over one,
if not two, prostrate bodies crowded
into the vestibule of my build-
ing where dirt-encrusted men and
women huddled in ﬁ lthy blankets.
Many homeless used shopping
carts to store their meager belong-
ings, or haul their bottle and can
collections gleaned from dumpsters
and bins to redemption centers to
collect on the deposits. It was a way
of life for them; a discouraging, dis-
tressing way of life.
And not one I’m happy to see
repeating itself 42 years later in
Google the words “homeless
and shopping carts” and you can
see quite a bit has been written.
AskReddit published an article
titled, “How do homeless people
get to keep shopping carts?”
A site called homelessadvice.
com published “Five reasons
why the homeless have shopping
carts.” Smithsonian Magazine pub-
lished an article how an exquisitely
designed cart for homeless people
inspired a wave of artist activism.
The ﬁ ve reasons, if you’re curi-
ous, as to why the homeless need
John D. Bruijn
shopping carts are to transport pos-
sessions; collect cans; to use as
walkers (you may have noticed
some of the homeless have seri-
ous knee and hip problems); to pro-
tect themselves (you can ﬂ ip them
on their side and cover with a tarp
and crawl into them, making a lit-
tle cave); and carry old and smaller
pets. I have noticed many of the
transients in Seaside this summer
are on the road with pets.
Stolen shopping carts are a big
problem for grocery stores.
In March 2018, The Subur-
ban Times, an online publication,
published a story called “Grocery
Cart Theft: Someone Has to Pay.”
According to the article, The Food
Marketing Institute reported that
nearly 2 million shopping carts are
stolen nationwide every year, trans-
lating into a per-store loss of $8,000
to $10,000 annually. Those costs, of
course, are passed along to consum-
ers. So, in the end, we pay.
Many shopping carts end up
miles from where they were stolen.
Retrieving them is the job for the
grocery chain where it’s sometimes
deemed less expensive and time
consuming to just leave carts where
they’ve been abandoned.
A few weeks ago an abandoned
shopping cart appeared outside this
newspaper ofﬁ ce. It just turned up
one day. It had a few empty plastic
bags in it, the kind the city recently
banned. Months ago, my husband
and I jotted down information from
a sign posted outside Safeway on
Roosevelt Drive with the number to
call to report an abandoned cart. He
called it. Days passed, and eventu-
ally the cart disappeared.
It’s impossible to know if some-
one from Safeway came and picked
the cart up, or if another transient
came along to claim it.
Either way, it’s gone.
But I know it won’t be long
before I see another.
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