PRESORTED STANDARD 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- ings. 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 many. 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. FREE Paul Ireland at 503-366-7116 or contact him via e-mail at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. 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, also.