The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, March 05, 2009, Image 1

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U.S. Postage Paid
Vernonia, OR 97064
Permit No. 37
“Voice of the Upper Nehalem River Valley”
Vol. 24, No. 5
Large crowd attends town
hall meet on school sites
Blackbirds return…
A male Red-winged Blackbird, left, at Vernonia Lake, attempts to attract the notice of one
of the first female Red-wings to arrive for this year’s nesting season.
Police stop VHS students transporting illegal drugs
Two Vernonia High School
students were arrested Febru-
ary 27 while trying to bring Ec-
stasy, an illegal drug, to Ver-
The Vernonia Police Depart-
ment received tips about the ju-
veniles’ activity and, working in
conjunction with an informant
and others, located the vehicle
they were driving, and stopped
it on Highway 26. Ecstasy pow-
der was recovered inside the
The 16 year-old driver and a
15 year-old passenger were
taken into custody at the
scene. The vehicle they were
driving was seized and referred
to the District Attorney’s Office
for forfeiture. Officers also
seized two cell phones with the
names of the suppliers.
Both juveniles are being
charged with unlawful posses-
sion, unlawful manufacture and
unlawful delivery of an illegal
According to Vernonia Inter-
im Police Chief Mike Kay, the
amount of Ecstasy recovered
was enough for over 60 cap-
sules of the drug, which one
suspect said would have been
sold at the high school.
“I would like to thank the
March 5, 2009
community for the information
and trust they showed in this
department,” Chief Kay said.
As part of the ongoing pro-
cess to select a new site for
Vernonia schools, the district
held a Town Hall style meeting
on March 2 in the Middle
School cafeteria. About 150
people turned out to hear about
the process of selecting a new
site for the schools.
Interim Vernonia City Admin-
istrator Jim Johnson, also a
member of the Oregon Solu-
tions Team Siting Sub-commit-
tee, gave a Power Point pres-
entation on the three sites re-
viewed. Included in the presen-
tation was a re-look at the Knott
Street site that was removed
from the mix early on in the
Oregon Solutions siting project.
At the last 47J District Board
meeting, board member Ernie
Smith had asked for the Knott
St. site to be reconsidered.
The Knott Street site had
some things going for it, includ-
ing one owner, already inside
the city limits, already accessi-
ble and mostly level. Reasons
given for the site not being pre-
ferred when the Siting Team
narrowed the field and started
looking closer at just a few sites
were that it is not centrally lo-
cated, is difficult to walk or bike
on Hwy. 47 (N. Mist Drive) to
and from school, is the only
large parcel the city has zoned
Light Industrial (stated as im-
portant to the city), would be
Golf club owner Fred Fulmer dies
Fred R. Fulmer, III, longtime
manager of the family-owned
Vernonia Golf Course, died
February 19 at his home.
Before moving to Vernonia
to manage the Vernonia Golf
Course in 1986, he managed
the Seaside Golf Course for 17
The 45.68 acre Vernonia
Golf Course, located on Timber
Road, started with nine holes
designed by George Junor in
1926. In 1999, the course ex-
panded to 18 holes, with the
addition of nine holes designed
by Fulmer. The course has a
66.8 rating and a slope rating of
Fulmer’s family continues to
operate the course, which is
open to the public.
A full obituary can be found
on page 21.
fully isolated in a flood event,
there are wetlands and a creek
that would have to be dealt
with, and a new city reservoir
would be required to get
enough water pressure to the
After the Site Team nar-
rowed the sites to three; the
NW Corner Site (above the
cemetery), the Boot Site
(above Spencer Park) and the
current site, SERA architects
came in with a team of special-
ists to look at each site based
on criteria set by the Site Team.
Members of the SERA team
were at this town hall meeting
and, after Johnson’s presenta-
tion, were available for ques-
When all the site information
was presented, the audience
was told that the Boot Site is
currently the favorite, but the
ultimate decision will be made
by the Vernonia School Board,
perhaps as early as their March
12 meeting.
A new concept drawing for
the schools was also presented
which calls for one building for
K-12 grade classrooms, one
administrative building with
cafeteria and shared areas, a
covered play area, a gymnasi-
um/locker room/shop/physical
education building, and track,
football and ball fields. All of it
would fit on 17 acres, com-
Please see page 5
Join Vernon-
ia’s 26th Annu-
al St. Patrick’s
Day Parade on
Tuesday, March
17, starting at 5:15
p.m. at State Ave. and Bridge
St. There are no
entrance fees,
and everyone is
invited to partic-