Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current, August 16, 2019, Page 3, Image 3

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    Friday, August 16, 2019 | Seaside Signal | SeasideSignal.com • A3
Behavioral health
forum planned
for veterans
The Astorian
Photos Neal Maine/Pacifi c Light Images
A cedar waxwing feeds its young.
The Oregon Health
Authority and the Ore-
gon Department of Vet-
erans Affairs are host-
ing community forums
on veterans behavioral
health to help inform a
fi ve-year strategic plan
to better meet the needs
of veterans.
As part of a state-
wide tour, a forum will
be held from 10:30 a.m.
to 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 20
at the Astoria Armory.
The state Legisla-
ture invested $3.1 mil-
lion over two budgets
toward veterans behav-
ioral health. The Oregon
Health Authority and
the Department of Vet-
erans Affairs dedicated
a portion of the funding
to create a needs assess-
ment study to identify
challenges and opportu-
nities for reforms.
“Oregon
veterans
have given their time
and talents to serve our
nation in times of war
and peace. I am deeply
concerned about the
challenges that veter-
ans reported in access-
ing behavioral health
services,” Steve Allen,
the health authority’s
behavioral health direc-
tor, said in a statement.
While all the forums
are free and open to
the public, registra-
tion is required. Reg-
ister at https://conta.
cc/2Oz7BYM.
Jeepers creepers, as birders
BUSINESS
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Mothing event
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By CARA MICO
For Seaside Signal
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The North Coast Land
Conservancy’s Circle Creek
Conservation Center is
home to fl ocks of birds,
both resident and migra-
tory, including cedar wax-
wings, song sparrows and
fl ycatchers.
Flycatchers are diffi -
cult to see on a sunny day
as they’re too busy hunt-
ing. But resident bird expert
Mike Patterson was pleased
to see the rain on the August
2 bird excursion. The misty
weather kept the elusive
bird lower to the ground and
thus easier to spot.
There are more than 600
species of regional birds,
including the fl ycatcher.
Other birds like the brown
creeper were also out to play
in the rain, skittering up
and down the iconic Sitka
spruce trees.
“It’s always nice to get
brown creepers,” said birder
Mike Patterson after the
two-hour bird watching
event at Circle Creek.
The bird event took
a small group of birders
from the Circle Creek barn
through the west end of the
property along legacy loop.
Patterson
has
been
involved in conservation on
the North Coast since the
late 1980s, but started bird-
ing as a child. He blames his
early obsession on “hang-
ing around the wrong peo-
ple” and having a biologi-
cal bent.
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The western meadowlark, one of the species
found at Circle Creek.
“I’m creeping up on the
50 year mark, there’s very
little in the way of local
birds I haven’t seen and
the ones I haven’t seen are
rare,” said Patterson.
To keep track of the birds
he sees Patterson uses the
apps eBird and iNaturalist.
He encouraged the new and
seasoned birders to make
use of these resources. It’s
easy to forget what you saw
after a half century of bird-
ing. Patterson has been for-
tunate to have seen a vari-
ety of life-time birds having
lived in Africa for two years
as part of the Peace Corps,
including a black throated
The American kestrel, one of 600 local species
of birds.
warbler.
As to the why, Patterson
is fascinated with the inter-
connectedness of every-
thing. In addition to birds,
the group saw salamanders
and a variety of other fl ora
and fauna.
“Everything is amaz-
ing, I bird the place not the
birds. The bird makes no
sense without the context,”
explained Patterson.
Upcoming events for
the conservancy include
a mothing workshop, also
led by Patterson, to be held
on Saturday, Aug. 17, from
8 to 10 a.m. at the Cir-
cle Creek Conservation
Center. Mothing involves
looking for and enjoy-
ing the more than 1,200
regional moth species. The
method includes looking
for moths on the moth wall
and in no-kill traps located
throughout the property.
While the mothing will
largely be done near the
barn, there will be some
hiking.
If you want to attend keep
in mind that it’s rain or shine,
there are no toilets on site
and dogs are not allowed.
Bring water and snacks and
wear sturdy shoes. Registra-
tion is required but the event
is free.
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Judge Brownhill to retire this year
By NICOLE BALES
The Astorian
After 25 years on the
bench, Clatsop County Cir-
cuit Court Judge Paula
Brownhill will retire in
November.
Brownhill, 68, is the pre-
siding judge of the court.
She was appointed by Gov.
Barbara Roberts to fi ll Judge
Thomas Edison’s position in
1994 and elected four times.
Brownhill did not plan
on fi nishing another six-year
term and didn’t think it was
fair to run and win reelec-
tion only to leave, she said.
She hopes Gov. Kate
Brown will appoint a new
judge before she retires.
The primary election is next
May.
“I decided it was best to
do it before the election and
if I do it now then some-
one has an opportunity to
be appointed to the position
before the election to see if
it’s something they really
want to do,”
Brownhill
said.
Lee Mer-
rill,
the
trial court
administra-
Judge Paula
tor, is also
Brownhill
retiring this
fall.
“Lee and I work really
well together,” Brownhill
said. “It seemed like a good
date.”
Brownhill chose a retire-
ment option which requires
her to work 35 days a year
for fi ve years. She will fi ll in
for judges in the county and
around the state.
She is looking forward
to staying involved in law
while also visiting different
parts of the state.
“The people I’m able to
interact with in the court-
room and in meetings, in the
community — that’s the best
part about the job,” Brown-
hill said. “There’s so many
people we interact with fre-
quently and I like them all
and I will miss that interac-
tion with them as well, but
I’ll enjoy being retired.”
Clatsop County District
Attorney Ron Brown said
Brownhill’s retirement is
“well-deserved after a dis-
tinguished career.”
Brownhill became the
presiding judge after Judge
Philip Nelson retired after
his term ended in 2016.
Judge Cindee Matyas and
Judge Dawn McIntosh also
serve on the court.
Brownhill just received
the Oregon State Bar’s Wal-
lace P. Carson Jr. Award
for Judicial Excellence for
2019, which honors a mem-
ber of the state’s judiciary
for making signifi cant con-
tributions to the judicial sys-
tem and who is “a model of
professionalism, integrity
and judicial independence.”
Brownhill said the award
was unexpected and that she
felt honored.
“I’ve learned a great
deal,” she said. “It’s been
a good job and I really feel
honored to have this posi-
tion for so long and have
the voters have confi dence
in me.”
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