The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, April 02, 2009, Page Page 15, Image 15

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    The INDEPENDENT, April 2, 2009
Advocates sought
Volunteer advocates and in-
vestigators are needed to
serve as ombudsmen for resi-
dents of nursing homes, resi-
dential care facilities, assisted
living facilities and adult foster
care homes. The Office of the
Long Term Care Ombudsman
will train the volunteers on the
aging process, communication
skills, problem-solving skills,
investigation and other om-
budsman skills. The certifica-
tion training will begin on
Thursday, May 14, in Portland.
As Certified Ombudsmen,
volunteers work to improve the
quality of residents’ lives by
identifying and investigating
complaints and concerns on
behalf of the residents, then
working with the facilities to
make changes. The typical
concerns ombudsmen address
cover a broad range, and often
include resident care, resi-
dents’ rights, such as privacy,
respect and dignity; and quality
of life concerns such as appro-
priate activities and meals.
“The volunteers make a
tremendous difference in the
lives of the residents,” said
Kathy Walter, Program Admin-
istrator. “They are well-pre-
pared and effective.”
For information about the
program or about how to get in-
volved, call Walter at 1-800-
Power of the People
By W. Marc Farmer, General Manager,
West Oregon Electric Cooperative
It’s Official!
With the President’s signature on the
Omnibus Bill, West Oregon Electric Cooper-
ative will be the recipient of a federal ear-
mark of $475,000 towards the construction
of a new substation in Vernonia. The total
cost of the new substation will be approxi-
mately $1.9 million to build. The earmark
funds are a grant that will be used to pur-
chase the new transformers for the substation.
U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith placed the ear-
mark last year for inclusion in the 2009 bill. U.S. Representative
David Wu then pushed for the earmark to be included on the
House side. Their combined efforts made it possible for us to re-
ceive this important grant and we are very grateful to them. They
originally asked for more funding, ($1.5 million), but committees
reduced the amount of the earmark to $475,000. Every dollar
counts in this project so we appreciate very much their support
and work to keep us in the Omnibus Bill.
The timing of this grant couldn’t be better, as the transformer in
the Vernonia Substation is 39 years-old this year and has been
flooded twice. They operate at their optimum for 40 years, so it is
time to replace the current transformer. It made no sense to put a
brand new transformer into a substation that is sitting in the flood
plain, thus began the decision to build a new main substation for
Vernonia located well above the high water marks. We will begin
the design and engineering of the new substation in May and or-
der the new transformers. It takes a year to make them and have
them shipped to us. The permits and site prep will be started this
year, as well, with actual construction to begin and be completed
in 2010. We hope to have it on line by the end of next year.
I am also excited to report that we have received a $500,000
grant towards the Timber/Elsie Transmission Line Project and al-
most $2 million from FEMA. We are set to begin the rebuild of this
line, which was damaged in the 2006 windstorm and further dam-
aged in the 2007 windstorm. We are going to underground most
WOEC General Manager Marc Farmer met with Senator Ron
Wyden last week in Washington, D.C.
of this line to avoid continued destruction of the line. This will save
us millions of dollars over the lifespan of the underground line.
The savings will come from reduced maintenance, outages, and
replacement costs. Construction will start in April.
We continue to search for additional dollars from both the state
and federal levels for these two projects, as well as funding for a
new building out of the flood plain. I traveled back to Washington,
D.C., to thank Senator Wyden and Representative Wu for their
successful efforts to get WOEC the earmark funds, and made a
presentation for the additional funds we are looking for. I also met
with Rural Utility Services in the Agriculture Department for fund-
ing options. A presentation has also been given to the Governor’s
office for inclusion in the Stimulus Bill funding. We will keep you
apprised of our achievements.
ShoeString Players present a mystery
Players present The Hilarious
Hillbilly Massacre, a mystery
ala carte by Peter DePietro, in
French, Inc.
About the play? The Birch-
bumble family, a wild and fun-
loving clan from deep in the
hills of Tennessee, is celebrat-
ing a family reunion and y’all
are invited. Before the moon-
shine starts flowin’, evil befalls
as a barbaric IRS agent crash-
es the party, and murder and
mayhem follow. Enjoy a hog
slappin’ good time with deli-
cious down-home vittles, may-
hem, and merriment – it’s an
audience participation comedy
that will leave everyone hootin’
and hollerin’ for more!
The show is directed by
Shannon Vaerewyck. “This
has got to be one of the funni-
est shows that I have seen in a
very long time!” said Brian
Vaerewyck, and “definitely a
Page 15
show to forget the rest of the
world for a few hours and laugh
real hard at the mayhem that
ensues as the mystery unrav-
Players (SSCP) will present
four evenings of this dinner the-
atre, on April 17, 18, 24, and 25
at 6:30 p.m., at the Yankton
Grange, 33065 Pittsburg Road,
St. Helens, next to the Yankton
Arthur Academy.
Tickets will go on sale April 2
at The St. Helens Book Shop at
58527 Columbia River High-
way, The Buzz Hair Salon at
139 N 21st Street, and with PayPal.
Tickets are $20 each for admis-
sion and dinner. Seating will be
limited, so get your tickets ear-
This play is for adult audi-
ences. All tickets must be pur-
chased in advance. No tickets
will be available at the door.
The ShoeString Community
Players (SSCP) has been pro-
Please see page 20
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