The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, September 02, 2010, Page Page 2, Image 2

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The INDEPENDENT, September 2, 2010
Published on the first and third Thursdays of each month by
The Independent, LLC, 725 Bridge St., Vernonia, OR 97064.
Phone/Fax: 503-429-9410.
Publisher Clark McGaugh,
Editor Rebecca McGaugh,
Mentor Noni Andersen
Printed on recycled paper with vegetable based dyes
Who is the Police Chief?
Vernonia Chief of Police Frank Grace told Vernonia’s City
Administrator (then Bob Young) that he did not intend to stay
on in Vernonia after his one-year contract was up on August
31. That was months ago. Admittedly, between the city’s
budget and sending Young packing, there have been a few
things going on, but…the position of police chief is the sec-
ond highest official in the city after the city administrator. At
the council’s August 2 meeting, Interim Pro Tem (yes, it’s re-
dundant but that’s what they are calling him) City Adminis-
trator Bill Haack’s report to council said he was going “to poll
the City Council on their general support to initiate an inter-
nal hiring for an interim Chief of Police position to be select-
ed in early September”. He did not poll the council in public
session, so we don’t know if that’s been done.
At the August 16 council meeting, Chief Grace’s final ap-
pearance before council, nothing was said. Not even good-
bye or thanks. That was poor form. Nothing was said at the
meeting about a replacement for Grace.
On August 24, Mayor Sally Harrison indicated nothing
had been decided. August 31 was Grace’s last day on the
job, according to the timeline the public was given. Informa-
tion was requested from Haack this week, but no response
had been received by press time. Certainly at the next meet-
ing, September 7, there should be news of who is in charge
of Vernonia’s police department.
Reports are not informative
Vernonia City Council used to approve a list of the bills
being paid at each meeting. The report listed who was paid,
how much and what for. This was the report that told us (so
we could tell you) that the city had sprung for a $20,000 se-
curity system (cameras), for instance. Just a bit more infor-
mation on that report and it would have been a very useful
tool. Now the report given to council gives a running total of
the percent of the budgeted amount that has been used for
each area. No longer does the public (unless you are on the
Blue Ribbon Ad Hoc Committee) know what’s being pur-
chased. Though somebody has to sign off on big and small
purchases, the council isn’t looking at this. Hopefully, coun-
cil will wish to look at more informative fiscal tools in the fu-
Candidate filing is closed
Four candidates filed for the Vernonia Mayor position and
eight for the two council positions (see page 1 for a list). It’s
great to see so many willing to help Vernonia in this way. We
urge all the candidates to attend the meetings from now on
to see what council does, and get up to speed on current is-
Ike Says…
By Dale Webb, member
Nehalem Valley Chapter, Izaak Walton League
Ok, did we make it? My
last two articles have in-
cluded stream tempera-
ture data for the local area
and the hope that we
would have a summer
season that did not ex-
ceed the upper lethal limit
for salmonids. Well, we
did it! The recent hot
stretch didn’t help our little fish friends, but did
escape reaching the lethal limit of 75 degrees.
The water did reach 73.9 degrees on August
17th and most likely caused some mortality
among juvenile salmonids that were not in the
optimal pools for survival.
I was crawfish catching on the 16th and ob-
served schools of salmonids in only certain pools
in the Nehalem; I was down stream from the con-
fluence of Rock Creek. I would estimate that the
fish schools ranged in size from 100 to 300 fish
and they appeared as a ribbon of fish that flowed
out of fairly fast water and into slower side water
as I spooked them from their optimal place in the
stream. I tried my best to identify them, but came
up short. I could not say for sure that they were
Coho juveniles; they may have been cutthroat
trout or steelhead, although I would be amazed if
it was the latter since the numbers were so high.
Rock Creek fared very well this year, with a
high reading on July 26th of 68.7 degrees at its
confluence with the Nehalem. This is an excel-
lent temperature and optimal for salmonid
growth. We should be out of the woods for high
stream temperatures this year. This late in the
year the days are shorter, the sun is lower in the
sky and the nights are cooler, all these factors
will keep the streams cool, even if daytime tem-
peratures reach high levels.
Archers are now in the woods in pursuit of
deer and elk. So, how is Oregon doing in regards
to deer and elk populations? Here is a quick look
at the most reliable indicator that we have for
these populations, harvest data.
In 2009 the Western Oregon Blacktail harvest
was 20,033 bucks and 22,496 deer total (female
deer made up the balance). In 2008 the harvest
was 23,381 bucks and 25,851 deer total. To gain
some perspective over time, I looked up the
1996 harvest stats. In ‘96 the harvest was 27,014
bucks and 33,998 deer total. So one can see that
we has been a 25% decrease in deer harvest
since 1996 and a 14% decrease between ’08
and ’09. Saddle Mt. unit had a decrease to 493
bucks taken during the general season.
For Western Oregon elk, in ‘09 we had a har-
vest of 4,057 bulls and 6,777 elk total (cows
made up the balance). In ’08 we harvested 3,625
bulls and 6,392 elk total. In 1996 we harvested
4,447 bulls and 6,869 total. So one can see the
harvest increased by 6% between ’08 and ’09,
but is down 1% since ’96. So it would appear that
Please see page 3