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About The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current | View This Issue
The INDEPENDENT, May 7, 2009
Published on the first and third Thursdays of each month by
The Independent, LLC, 725 Bridge St., Vernonia, OR 97064.
Publisher Clark McGaugh, firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor Rebecca McGaugh, email@example.com
Mentor Noni Andersen
Printed on recycled paper with vegetable based dyes
Is Big Brother watching?
Vernonia School District Board of Directors, on April
23, approved the first reading of a new policy, ECAC,
authorizing the district to use video surveillance on cam-
pus. Perhaps, they want to protect the campus from
vandalism. Video surveillance is becoming more and
more common, even on the streets in some cities. But,
no, the policty goes on to say that recordings may be-
come part of a student’s educational record or a staff
member’s personnel record. That means they are
watching your kids and their own employees for any
sort of misbehavior. This seems Orwellian, where soci-
ety becomes dehumanized. Is this lack of trust warrant-
ed, or does the policy need a closer look?
City starts getting organized?
The City Council recently was presented with an out-
dated, unneeded ordinance to rescind. That’s good.
Hopefully, that means the city is working on getting
their ordinances in order. Right now, we are all expect-
ed to follow these ordinances which are the city’s laws.
But, the only thing online is a list of ordinances, not the
ordinances themselves. And, city staff has, at times,
been unable to get their hands on ordinances when re-
quested. They haven’t all been filed in the same place
in any kind of order. Also, during a recent, informal au-
dit on the city’s grant papers, many were missing or
mis-filed or incomplete, similar to the ordinances. Ide-
ally, the ordinances should be online or, at least, read-
ily available (without a copying cost) to any citizen.
Do officers need more training?
We have concerns about an 18 year-old being
tasered at a recent underage drinking party. How can it
be that two Vernonia Police Officers, each weighing
over 200 lbs. can’t subdue a 135 lb, considerably intox-
icated young man? When asked about the incident, In-
terim Police Chief Kay would say only that the other of-
ficer was struck in the chest and that he (Kay) will need
surgery on both knees. He did not explain how the in-
juries happened. But, back to our real question: Was it
necessary to use a taser? See the next issue for more
information on tasers.
By Dale Webb, member
Nehalem Valley Chapter, Izaak Walton League
Well, we made it to
spring, although I wasn’t
sure the other day while I
was returning from clam
digging, when the road
turned white from hail.
Hey, the clam digging has
been good and the clams
were even better, yum,
yum! All you need to dig
clams is a shellfish license, a shovel or clam gun
and a container (everybody must have their own
container). Of course if you are going to dig in or
near the water, then hip boots or chest waders
are a want.
Hunters, you have until May 15th to put in for
those controlled hunt tags, better get after it.
Hunters also need to have a heads up to a se-
vere ammo supply problem. Many sporting
good stores have bare shelves where ammo and
reloading supplies used to sit. On my last visit to
Bi-Mart in Forest Grove there was only black
powder, no primers, very few loaded shells (no
.22 rim fire). I did bag some .17HMR rounds for
a sage rat hunt and a box of reloading bullets for
my big game rifle. This ammo/component short-
age has many people perplexed and concerned.
There are all kinds of conspiracy theories on the
Internet, most centering on a plot by the govern-
ment to take our guns away by leaving us with
no ammo to use in them. What is more likely is
some very big government contracts to re-supply
our nation’s armies and a huge upswing in gun
and ammo sales due to fear about the current
administration’s direction on gun control. Then
there is the ugly greed component that comes
into play any time something becomes scarce.
Some retailers have expressed concern about
people who are placing orders by the pallet load,
or buying all the reloading components when
they come into the store. Some of the ammo/
reloading components are now showing up on
the Internet at double the price. The rumor is
that the ammo shortage should start to let up in
a couple of months; time will tell. It would defi-
nitely help if retailers would limit sales and
spread the ammo/components around a little. I
have found myself buying components now
when I see them, instead of – as in the past –
when I needed them. That change in attitude
alone can cause a shortage.
Are the Coho salmon in the Nehalem system
ready for a harvest on native fish? This should
be the question being asked of our ODF&W fish-
ery biologists. The department is proposing al-
lowing a tidewater harvest of native Coho
salmon this fall. Part of the reason for this har-
vest is the collapse of the fall Chinook fishery in
the Nehalem. Last year the run was around
2,000 fish and this year is projected to be similar.
So, to help ease the pain to fishermen, the de-
partment is thinking of allowing the Coho harvest
to help salvage some sort of a season. There
are several concerns though with doing so, one
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