The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, November 20, 2008, Page Page 15, Image 15

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    The INDEPENDENT, November 20, 2008
Page 15
Power of the People
By W. Marc Farmer,
General Manager,
West Oregon Electric Cooperative
Giving Thanks
In times of economic turmoil, uncertainty and strife, it
would seem to some that there is little to be thankful for this
year. As I write this article, my mind is full of remembrance for
the many things we do have to be thankful for and hope once
again renewed.
Heading into the winter months, like so many of you, I can’t
help but reflect back on the events of last winter. It is here that
my thankfulness truly begins as I still marvel and am grateful
that, despite the quickness and severity of the flood and winds, no lives were lost.
Many thanks can be given again for all of the wonderful friends, neighbors, and
strangers who pitched in to help all of those affected by the storm damage. It was
truly heartwarming and wonderful to see and experience the tremendous outpour-
ing of service, caring, and support throughout the weeks and months after the flood.
Faith in humanity and goodness were restored. New friendships and bonds were
forged, and our town once again showed its resiliency and strength.
I am thankful as the General Manager for the dedicated Staff and Line Crews
who spent countless hours restoring the system from both the wind and the flood.
Our Co-op Family worked above and beyond the call of duty to get the temporary
office together, the flooded office cleaned out, and had us ready to serve our mem-
bers as soon as possible. There was an unselfish desire to help one another and
our members as much as possible. I am thankful to work with the good people that
I do and for a Board that supports our efforts and cares about our members. It is a
great organization to be a part of, and on behalf of all of the Staff and Crews I would
like to express our appreciation to all of our members for their support and for the
opportunity to serve them in this beautiful area.
There should also be thanks given to Staff and Crews for all they do throughout
the year to raise funds to help our members who are in need through our “Care to
Share” program. WOEC employees raised over $2,000, which will be matched by
the Board, to provide energy assistance to our members. The spirit of giving, con-
cern, and help are alive and well here at WOEC.
It is always in my heart and mind to be thankful for the great country we live in.
Despite its difficulties at the moment, it is still a true blessing to have the freedoms,
the beauties, and the bounties we enjoy in the United States. As we head into the
holiday season our hearts are full of thanksgiving and our hopes and prayers that
each of our members will find peace, joy, and happiness.
The winter months mean a lot of work for us as we contend with effects of the
weather on our system. As I have stated before, we remain dedicated, ready, and
willing to do all that is within our power to maintain service for our members so that
your homes may be bright and warm through the holidays and throughout the year.
Happy Holidays everyone and at this time a Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Dog owners reminded to renew licenses Is it time to renew boat registration?
Columbia County dog own-
ers are being reminded that it’s
time for 2009 dog licenses.
The dog license period is from
January 1 to December 31 of
each year. To avoid penalties,
licenses for 2009 must be ob-
tained no later than March 2.
Renewal notices are mailed to
all county residents who ob-
tained dog licenses in 2008.
To renew licenses by mail,
return the completed license
renewal application, with the
renewal fee and proof of rabies
vaccination valid until October
2009. The license cannot be re-
newed without proof of rabies
vaccination. Residents may
send in either the original or a
copy of the current rabies vac-
cination certificate; the County
will return it with a receipt for li-
cense renewal. An owner who
does not have a current rabies
vaccination certificate, may ob-
tain a temporary application at
the Animal Shelter. The tempo-
rary application is valid for 30
days, allowing time for to up-
date the dog’s rabies vaccina-
License fees vary, as fol-
lows: A spayed or neutered dog
is $12.00; an unfixed dog is
$30.00. Dog owners over 65
years of age receive a discount
and pay only $5.00 for the first
spayed or neutered dog, and
$15.00 for all unfixed dogs.
What are the deadlines and
penalties for not licensing or re-
newing my dog license?
Residents needing dog li-
censes are reminded that it is
best to renew by March 2, as
over 800 residents learned in
2008. When a late penalty is
added, the license fee is $25
per dog. Residents who own
dogs that have not been li-
censed are encouraged to con-
tact the Court Clerk’s desk at
the Court House in St. Helens,
or Animal Control at 2084 Ore-
gon Street, in St. Helens. Until
March 2, 2009, the penalty fee
is waived for owners of unli-
censed dogs who voluntarily
come in to obtain a license.
If an unlicensed dog is locat-
ed or impounded by Animal
Control, the owner will be
charged a fee of $25.00. If the
dog owner had previously re-
ceived a citation for having an
unlicensed dog, the fee can
reach $75.00. Additionally, a ci-
tation can carry a fine of up to
License fees are used to op-
erate the County Animal Shel-
ter in St. Helens and to fund
Animal Control investigations
of animal neglect, abuse and
nuisances. During the last fis-
cal year, the County shelter
took in 527 dogs. Over 90 per-
cent of these were either re-
turned to their owners or new
homes were found for them.
This is remarkable compared to
the national average of around
44 percent.
The goal of Animal Control is
responsible pet ownership. The
program has offered numerous
licensing clinics, dog chipping
events, penalty fee waivers and
other outreach to the communi-
ty. The licensing of dogs aids
Animal Control in reuniting
owners with their lost dogs, as-
suring rabies vaccination, re-
sponding to citizen calls re-
garding dog-related incidents
and providing a stable funding
base so County shelters can
care for lost, abandoned or in-
jured dogs.
For more information, con-
tact the Columbia County Ani-
mal Control Shelter by calling
503-397-3935 from 11:00 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m., Monday thru Fri-
day, and 11:00 a.m. to 3:00
p.m. on Saturday, or the Coun-
ty Clerk’s Office, 503-397-
3796, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00
p.m., Monday thru Friday.
Boaters who have a registra-
tion decal on their boat for “08”
should have received their
courtesy registration renewal
notice card. The Marine Board
mailed approximately 90,000
cards on November 3.
“It’s easy to renew online,
and there’s no processing fee
involved,” said Ashley Massey,
Public Affairs Specialist for the
Marine Board. The Marine
Board switched last year to a
new e-commerce system that
eliminates the cost to renew
online. Each renewal card con-
tains the boat owner’s registra-
tion number (OR number) and
a special PIN number. The boat
owner can go to the Marine
Board website at www.boatore-, click on the registra-
tion icon, and enter the infor-
mation from the renewal card
into designated fields. The on-
line system is secure, and per-
sonal information is protected
when paying with a credit card.
The Marine Board does not re-
tain any credit card data.
“Another advantage to re-
newing online is that users can
print out a temporary permit,
and immediately get out on the
water,” said Massey. “The tran-
saction is automated, so the
Marine Board can process the
renewal much faster. Decals
are mailed within 5-7 business
Please see page 18
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