SHHS graduation schedule Senior assembly
Senior assembly — Wed., June 4, 10:15 a.m., high school gymnasium.
Senior students are in charge of this assembly. Some awards are given, class history is read and a slide show presented.
Senior award night — Wed., June 4, 6:30 p.m., Olmscheid Auditorium.
Students will be recognized for college scholarships and other awards they have re-ceived. Please note that the colleges do not always inform the high school when a scholarship is awarded, so senior parents are urged to contact Gordon Jarman, at 397-1900, who will provide the information to be shared on award night.
Baccalaureate — Wed., June 4, 8 p.m., Olmscheid Auditorium. The service is sponsored by the St. Helens Ministerial Association.
Senior banquet — Thur., June 5, 6:30 p.m., cafeteria or commons.
Graduation — Fri., June 6, 7:30 p.m., Doc Ackerson Stadium.
All the traditions of graduation from St. Helens High School will be honored on this evening. Seating is extremely limited for the graduation ceremony, and admission is by ticket only.
Lewis and Clark projects coming together for Columbia County
Explorer train begins; Historical Society trail project slated for 2004
One of the first attractions of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration in Columbia County to get underway is the Lewis and Clark Explorer Train which brings visitors from Portland to Astoria following along the Oregon side of the Lower Columbia River.
The train will operate for the season every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and Monday through Sept. 2. The Astoria-Warrenton region was the western-most outpost of the Corps of Discovery and location of the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies. The train runs from Linnton beginning at 7:50 a.m. and returns at 8:50 p.m.
Bob Brown, president of the Historical Society of Columbia County, has also been preparing for Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration for a long time and has no doubt his long-term trail project will be up and running by next year, marking 200 years after Lewis and Clark actually pasted through our
region. "We’ve got lots of time,” said Brown. Brown was explaining what they have accomplished so far, what they are presently working on, and what is yet to come.
One of the most ambitious ventures is the development of interpretive walking trails on the north end of Sauvie Island and the south point of Sand Island. The trail system will not only show visitors the site where Lewis and Clark stopped, but will offer them the opportunity to connect with nature and visualize what the area might have been like when the Corp of Discovery made their pass through.
Although completed, at this point in the development the wide graveled trails are in constant need of maintenance. Again this July, two more college students from the Student Conservation Corps will spend 12 weeks maintaining the existing trails, filling in and grading low spots, and fighting back the encroachment of nettles and other invasive plants.
At the moment, finished graded and graveled pads for concrete platforms, one on Sauvie Island and one on Sand Island, are slated to be poured in late June with money from the National Park Service and the National Heritage Commission, with another platform on Sauvie Island to be laid when funding is available. Although a USDA Forest Service grant Brown wrote last fall has been approved, until the county approves, it is on temporary hold. He is hopeful it will come through at any time and will help move the project forward. The money will also fund the interpretive panels, which will explain what the visitor sees from the individual focal points along the trails.
Another large aspect of the trail project is the art work, informational kiosks, interpretive panels and resting benches which will be situated along the trails. According to Mark Nebeker, Oregon Department of Fish Wildlife manager of the area on Sauvie Island, vandalism is a big issue. After considering a number of options, the material of choice for most of the project has turned out to be vandal-resistant and cost-effective concrete.
In July, the 2003-2004 grant applications will again become available and Brown is certain he will have no trouble getting more funding for the ambitious project. “With our progress so far, it should shed favorable light to grantors to offer additional money for completion of the project,” said Brown.
Still needed are concrete casts of tree trucks which will be used not only for the interpretive panels but for the legs of resting benches. All the concrete bases will be designed to blend into the surrounding environment.
The art work, also molded concrete to resemble geese, beaver, condors, salmon and other wildlife, will be situation at intervals along the trail with interpretive panels explaining what the visitor is seeing. Included will be concrete casts of Native American women digging wapato in the marshes, visible from one of the platforms in Sauvie Island.
Another aspect of the project still on the drawing board is transportation. Brown is hoping to purchase three 10-person pontoon boats to take visitors to and from both islands. The pontoons are expected to be fashioned with facades of authentic Chinook canoes, carved from cedar logs. The trip is approximated to be two hours beginning and ending in St. Helens and starting next summer.
For more information about the project contact the Historical Society of Columbia County. For information about riding the train dial 1-800-USA Rail.
St. Helens school board sets timeline for hiring interim superintendent
Lowers high school graduation requirements
to 27 credits in 2003-04; 25 credits in 2004-05
The St. Helens school board set an aggressive schedule Monday night to select an interim superintendent before Walt Blomberg leaves on June 23 to become the new chief executive at the Woodburn School District.
Chair Julie Koch said they will seek help from the Oregon School Board Association in compiling a list of qualified candidates by June 12. Koch noted that at least two candidates have shown an interest in the position from within the district.
The board hopes to conduct interviews prior to the June 23 regular school board meeting and make a final selection on that date, she said.
“To ensure a smooth transition, we would like to have an interim candidate fulfill the superintendent’s role prior to Walt’s leaving,” said Koch.
The Woodburn School District officially hired Blomberg on May 15 at an annual salary of $105,000, representing a 5 percent increase over his $100,500 St. Helens wages.
Blomberg informed the St. Helens School District on April 11 that he had been named a finalist for the Woodburn position. He cited personal reasons for seeking the position.
He was appointed St. Helens superintendent in July 2002, after serving four years as Woodburn’s assistant superintendent and director of personnel.
Lowers graduation credits
The school board approved a reduction in graduation requirements that will allow seniors to graduate in 2003-04 with only 27 credits.
The district presently requires students to earn 28. The Oregon Department of Education presently mandates a minimum of 22 credits.
The board approved a permanent reduction to 25 credits beginning with the 2004-05 school year.
Under the revised plan, students would be required to earn three less elective credits. Students would be expected to earn four credits in language arts; two credits in social studies, one credit in U.S. history; a half credit in economics, citizenship and career education; one credit each in physical education, health and applied arts; three credits in math; two credits in science; a half credit in computer literacy; and eight elective credits.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the district office. The board is planning a work session on Monday, June 9, at 6:30 p.m.
Scappoose stores sell alcohol to a minor
OLCC compliance check test catches five licensees off guard
Five of 17 licensed businesses in Scappoose sold alcohol to a minor during a compliance operation conducted last week by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) and Scappoose Police.
Licensees that sold to the underage volunteer were: B&B Market and Supply, Main Street Pizza, Scappoose Shell, Rose Valley Market, and the Wigwam Tavern.
Licensees and their employees who serve or sell alcohol to the minor, or fail to verify their age, face administrative sanctions including fines or license suspensions. The store clerks were cited into court for providing alcohol to a minor and face $350 fines.
Four OLCC inspectors, two Scappoose officers and two minor volunteers made the compliance checks May 28.
The businesses that refused to sell were: Fred Meyer, Ixtapa, JJ's Marketplace, Longfellows, Multnomah Channel Yacht Club, Barnstormer Inn, Ichabod's Restaurant, Jackpot Food Mart, Lung Fung Chinese Restaurant, Mark's on the Channel, Pizza Vendor, Roadrunner Gas and Grocery, and the Wayside Inn.
In a compliance check, young people ages 18-20 attempt to buy alcohol from licensees or their employees to see if they are properly checking identification and obeying state law prohibiting alcohol sales to anyone under 21. The underage volunteers, who are supervised by OLCC inspectors or other law officers, carry their own legal ID and are advised not to lie about their age.
The OLCC offers training to store clerks, service permit holders and others on ID checking techniques, identifying false identification and the laws regarding minors and alcohol.
County jobless rate drops one percentage point
The unemployment rate for Columbia County fell from a revised 11.9 percent in March to 10.9 percent in April.
According to the Oregon Employment Department, the 1 percent decline in the jobless rate is a normal change for this time of the year.
The decline offers little comfort since the county remains the only one among the six counties that comprise the Portland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) with a rate in double-digit territory.
By comparison, Clark County, Wash., came in as second highest at 9.9 percent; followed by Multnomah with 8.6; Yamhill 8.1; Clackamas 7; and Washington 6.9.
Columbia County’s total nonfarm payroll employment for April is 370 jobs below the April 2002 level of 9,860. Other industries employment levels showed only insignificant changes of 10 or less jobs from March to April.
Clatsop County’s jobless rate fell from 8.6 percent to 7.5 between March and April.
BTA River City Festival bike ride
On Saturday, June 21, The Columbia County Bicycle Transportation Alliance will be holding its annual festival ride.
There are two events being held in conjunction with the Kiwanis River City Day parade, a 4-mile family ride that begins at 10 a.m., and a 33-mile scenic ride that starts at 11 a.m.
Both rides start at the St. Helens Middle School parking lot located on 15th Street.
There will be a prizes drawing for registered riders with items donated by local merchants. Two grand prizes will be given: a Adams Trail-A-Bike donated by Gateway Bicycles in Portland, valued at $150; and a Beto child seat donated by The Bike Shop in St. Helens, valued at $85.
Registration is required by both rides. The family ride is free, and the longer ride is $7, which includes a rest stop with snacks.
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South County Spotlight