Highlights from the Clatsop County Commission meeting this week:
County Manager Scott Somers briefed the board on the cause of the ballot error that affected the Nov. 4 General Election. Somers said the Clerk and Elections Department did not follow its procedures
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Easing east winds and some welcome rain helped fire crews fighting the 100 acre Hug Point fire this morning. The cause of the fire is under investigation but early reports indicated gusty winds fanned slash burns being conducted by Stmpson Timber Company in the forest land south and east of Arch Cape causing the fires to spread.
A winter storm is moving into the Portland-Vancouver area as moist Pacific air from the southwest hits entrenched frigid air. Locally there are few issues weatherwise this morning but there are just a couple of schools delaying Thursday morning. The Jewell, Vernonia and Ocean Beach districts have two hour delays. For Ocean Beach that delay only applies to Ocean Park Elementary. Other peninsula schools are on time today. KAST News is posting closures and/or delays on Facebook and on Twitter. While the coast hasn't been badly impacted by this blast of arctic air, It's a different story in the metro area this morning with a mix of conditions. ODOT reports snow flurries on Highway 26 heading into the valley this morning and temps below freezing. Bradley Hill on higway 30 appears clear with temps well above the freezing mark. There are icy places on the road and colder temps appraoching Clatskanie.
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) released the following statement in commemoration of Veterans Day.
"Veterans Day is a time to reflect on and appreciate the millions of men and women who served all over the world and fought in battles to secure the freedom we continue to enjoy. Our veterans served this country bravely, and America is stronger because of their courage and sacrifice. We honor and thank them for their service, and we recommit to the enduring promise that the United States makes to all veterans: that they have the support they need to succeed after their service ends.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is seeking volunteers to help the public spot whales as part of its Whale Watching Spoken Here program. The program places trained volunteers at 24 whale-watching sites along the Oregon coast each year during winter and spring watch weeks, when Gray whales migrate to and from Alaska. This year, the dates for the whale watching weeks will be Dec. 27-31, 2014 and March 21-28, 2015.
A Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced a man with reported heart attack symptoms from the 35-foot recreational vessel Fish Tale II, more than 35 miles west of the Columbia River entrance, Saturday. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, was diverted from training, safely hoisted the 35-year-old man and transported him back to the air station where he was transferred to awaiting emergency medical personnel.
Astoria Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce that the AstoriaAquatic Center has signed a contract with Healthways Fitness and SilverSneakers to offer olderadults with Medicare to utilize the Astoria Aquatic Center facilities at no charge.
The Coast Guard detained the 600-foot motor vessel Ikan Sudip, Wednesday, requiring the vessel to remain in Longview until significant safety violations are corrected by the ship's crew.
The Coast Guard is working with the vessel's crew, owner and managing company to mitigate the safety violations and make repairs to the vessel prior to it departing port. Coast Guard vessel safety inspectors are also working with the the flag state of the Ikan Sudip and the classification society, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, responsible for certificating vessel construction and engineering.
The National Park Service is seeking input from November 7 – December 7th 2014, about the proposed increase in the park entrance fee. The National Park Service has updated the current entrance fee schedule, which has not changed since 2008.
Board members of the Seaside Downtown Development Association (SDDA) announce that Tita Montero will be theassociation's next executive director.
The federal agency responsible for tracking such matters has researched the issue and has reported that, indeed, sea lions eat a great deal of the spring chinook salmon entering the Columbia River. This is a fact local fishermen have been well aware of for decades. Commercial gillnetters working their drifts began seeing the sea lions as a growing threat after a relatively small migratory population began longer stays each season until, at last, they stopped migrating altogether. The agreeable climate and ready availability of a steady food supply has attracted a growing number of sea lions that seem to be everywhere in the river system.