The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, August 19, 2004, Image 1

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U.S. Postage Paid
Vernonia, OR 97064
Permit No. 37
Vol. 19, No. 16
“Voice of the Upper Nehalem River Valley”
Presenting the colors…
Members of the Oregon Army National Guard received
cheers and encouragement as they proudly led the 2004
Vernonia Jamboree Parade.
The beer garden will be open
from 6:00 p.m. to midnight.
A dance featuring the music
of the Bare Soul Band will start
at 8:00 p.m. and end at 11:00 p.m.
On Sunday, the Lions Club
breakfast starts the day at 8:00
a.m. Parade sign-ups are at
9:00 a.m. for the parade that will
start down Main St. at 11:00 a.m.
A community church service
will start at 9:30 a.m. at H.S.
Kelly Field.
Bingo will be held from 1 to
5:00 p.m. and a Kids’ Pedal
Pull will start at the track at 1:30
p.m. The Combine Demolition
Derby will begin at 5:00 p.m.
For more information, call
August 19, 2004
Many questions on 47J project
It was standing room only at
a public hearing before the Ver-
nonia School Board, August 12,
with patrons asking questions
about plans for school build-
Board member Randy Han-
sen chaired the hearing in the
absence of Jim Krahn. Cari
Levenseller, Phil Doyle and Ed
Buckner completed the neces-
sary quorum. Tim Titus and
Gienah Cheney did not attend
the hearing.
Hansen opened the hearing
with the “finding of fact” that
would allow the district to use a
design/build process to con-
struct a new middle school,
gymnasium and cafeteria build-
ing. Board members, having re-
ceived the proposed findings
on July 13, had few questions;
members of the public had
With experience as a profes-
sional cook, Sally Harrison
wondered if the kitchen area
was adequate to meet the dis-
trict’s needs. Superintendent
Mike Funderburg and Hansen
said they visited several similar
school kitchens and that the
area allowed in the plan was
larger than a newly remodeled
Get ready for fun, games at Banks BBQ
Don’t miss the fun at this
years Banks BBQ on Saturday,
August 21 and Sunday, August
22. Activities begin at 9:00 a.m
Saturday when the hamburger
stand opens at Sunset Park.
Rides, games, food and craft
booths will be open both days.
At 10:00 a.m. registration
starts for the first Banks BBQ
Cruiz-In followed by judging at
noon and awards at 2:00 p.m.
Stock tractor registration
and weigh-in will be from noon
to 1:00 p.m, with the tractor pull
starting at 2:00 p.m. Pickup
registration for elimination be-
gins at 3:00 p.m. for the pickup
pull planned for 6 to 9:00 p.m.
Paul Ireland at 503-366-7116
or contact him via e-mail at
See pages 14-15 for more
on Banks BBQ
kitchen in Clatskanie. Harrison
also questioned the esthetic
qualities of a steel building and
was assured that the building
would be attractive, both inside
and outside, with many win-
dows facing the street and not
“just a steel building.”
Many questions concerned
the future of existing buildings.
Funderburg said that “no exist-
ing buildings would be torn
down to construct the new facil-
ity” and that existing facilities
are needed for kids. Two sixth
grade classes, art instruction,
special education and food
service, will remain in the
Washington Grade School
(WGS) basement until the new
building is ready for occupancy.
The district’s initial estimate
of occupancy was woefully in-
accurate and, according to
Funderburg, it will be from six
months to a year before con-
struction is complete. Asked
about the closure of Lincoln
Grade School, Hansen said
that decision was made prima-
rily for budget reasons, in order
to achieve significant savings in
utilities and transportation.
Several people asked about
the district’s future plans. Fun-
derburg said, “no decisions have
been made at this time, but the
future [of district facilities]
would be a board decision.” A
large body of evidence shows
that all of the school buildings
in Vernonia are deteriorating
and are seismically unsafe.
Hansen went on to say that
that there were two basic choic-
es: The first is to move to an-
other location, which would be
expensive because it would re-
quire buying property. Addition-
ally, every committee that has
looked at the issue has deter-
mined that keeping the schools
in town is best.
The second choice is to start
with something and expand.
The board has discussed ask-
ing the public for a levy to fi-
nance future buildings. Deci-
sions concerning the fate of
WGS and high school buildings
will develop as part of that dis-
cussion. Tom Jones said he
would have liked the board to
hold a public hearing before
proceeding with building a mid-
dle school.
Jones also asked about the
trees located between WGS
and the high school. Funder-
burg said that the building
process would determine which
trees needed to be removed.
He added that both the mainte-
nance committee and the
board have discussed the safe-
ty of trees in the playground.
Because a child was killed by a
falling tree limb at a school in
California, Funderburg recom-
mended the removal of three
trees close to the play struc-
Please see page 12
Local businesses invited to dessert
Blood Drive set coffee and commercial code meeting
business own- sion of occupancy permits and
for August 23rd ers Oftentimes,
are frustrated, annoyed, or commercial code require-
There will be a Red Cross
Blood Drive on Monday, Au-
gust 23, from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.
at the Vernonia Community
Church, 957 State Ave.
Positive identification is re-
quired to donate. To sign up,
call Melissa at 503-528-5608.
For more information, call Pas-
tor Grant at 503-429-6790.
even angered by commercial
building codes. If you have
ever been in that situation, or
think you may be in the future,
the City of Vernonia is offering
an evening of dessert, coffee
and code information.
Thursday, September 16 at
7:00 p.m., business owners are
invited to City Hall for a discus-
ments. In addition to city offi-
cials, there will be a represen-
tative from Columbia County
Land Development Services,
which oversees commercial
construction and remodeling
for the City of Vernonia. Audi-
ence members will have the
opportunity to ask questions,