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Welcome to the past issues of -- Over The Back Fence 2011

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September 5, 2011

Here we are, Labor Day, the end of summer, and the start of a new school year. Remember, schools are open, and the speed through a school zone is 20 mph. Watch out for kids waiting by the street for the school bus. Some are pretty young, and may venture out into the line of traffic. We have lots of kids, but none to spare.

VFW Auxiliary U-Price Rummage Sale

VFW Post 2848 and its Auxiliary Unit will hold a rummage sale Friday, Sept. 9, and Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Bay City Community Hall. Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

This will be a U-pick U-price sale. Rummage being sold is by donation, and sale proceeds go to projects to help veterans and support the community.

Those wishing to donate rummage for the sale should bring their donations to the Bay City Community Hall between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8. Items remaining unsold at the end of the sale will be donated to the thrift store.

Denny's Restaurant – VFW Post 2848 Veterans' Support Program

A new program is in the works for November. Denny's Restaurant has teamed up with VFW Post 2848 and its Auxiliary Unit to support our troops, the Veterans' Home in The Dalles, and programs carried out locally by Post 2848 and the Auxiliary.

Post and Auxiliary programs include: Promoting patriotism in local schools; supporting families and grandparents who are raising children of active military serving overseas; sending CARE packages to troops serving overseas; and providing personal items for veterans living in the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles. The Post and Auxiliary are working on setting up a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Support Group, and making veterans' medical care available in Tillamook.

Barrels will be set up at Denny's for items donated by the public. Or, you may donate by purchasing a "VFW Star," your choice of red, white or blue. Those placing donations in the barrel or purchasing a star will receive a discount on their next visit to Denny's of Tillamook.

The program will run during the month of November, the month when we honor our county's veterans. Be generous, and enjoy lots of meals at Denny's

100 Years of Rails in Tillamook County

This year marks the centennial of rails in Tillamook County. As with all centennials, we celebrate. Mark your calendars. The great day is Saturday, October 1.

The gala celebration will be held at Lumbermen's Park in Garibaldi, and the park is being spruced up for the occasion. According to Pat Patterson of Garibaldi, the park will be dressed up to resemble a Southern Pacific Railroad station. We are all familiar with the Rayonier No. 90, which has been on display at the park for many years. Pat was one of the people who brought that venerable old logging locomotive to Garibaldi.

At one time he had envisioned using the locomotive to haul tourists from Hillsboro to Tillamook County, but those plans never came to fruition. Today, the locomotive stands as a mute reminder of what once was, a glorious era of steam locomotives hauling freight and passengers from coast to coast, making the United States the great country it has become.

Lumbermen's Park used to be the property of the now-defunct Oregon Washington Plywood Company, which had ceased to operate many years ago. The site had become an eyesore. But, Lions Clubs to the rescue! Back in the '60s, the Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach Lions Clubs asked the Oregon Washington Plywood Company for permission to clean up the area and turn it into a park. Not only were local "Leos" involved in the cleanup, but also volunteers from Oregon, Washington and California.

Since the park's creation, it has been visited by thousands of tourists from around the world. I recall hearing French, German and Italian spoken there by some of the visitors.

When you come to Lumbermen's Park on October 1 for the centennial celebration, there'll be something for everyone. In addition to the venerable old No. 90, sporting a fresh coat of paint for the occasion, you'll see other static displays as well. Doyle McCormack will have his Great Northern diesel locomotive on display.

Doyle was an engineer on the iconic SP Daylight 4449 during its heyday. It would be nice to have the 4449 there as well, but I imagine the cost of trucking it here would be prohibitive. But the old No. 90 will stand in for her. There'll even be a working model of a Southern Pacific cab forward articulated steam locomotive, thanks to local rail buff Glen Wadley.

The cab forward was developed by the Southern Pacific because of the number of tunnels along the line. When a locomotive is working steam while lumbering uphill through a tunnel, the engine crew is gasping for air by the time the engine emerges. Putting the cab in front gets the engine crew through the tunnel ahead of the smoke and stack gases. Back in 1956, when I lived in Mountain View, Calif., those beautiful locomotives had been relegated to hauling local passenger trains between San Francisco and San Jose. The next stop for most of them would be the scrap yard. Steam was on its way out.

A rail buff myself, I am looking forward to attending the centennial October 1. I hope to see all of you there.

A Bit of Rail History

The age of westward expansion was well underway when the Congress, in 1850, authorized exploration to find the best routes west, with the idea of building a railroad to the Pacific Ocean. In 1862 the Congress, then shy a few southern states, enacted the Pacific Railway Act, authorizing two railroads, the Union Pacific out of Omaha, and the Central Pacific out of Sacramento, to build a rail line from the Missouri River to the Pacific. A later law authorized four rail companies to build transcontinental railroads.

The following year, the Congress settled a dispute as to gauge, decreeing it to be four feet, eight and one-half inches from rail to rail. The issue of gauge probably arose because the rail lines in the South were often of a different gauge than those in the North, and the army in control of a particular section of track had to re-gauge the track to use its own equipment. (The gauge selected is sometimes referred to as the Mine Cart Gauge, because it was the gauge typically used to move rail mine carts in Wales. It was convenient for the British to use that gauge when it started building railroads because the equipment to manufacture the wheel sets was already available.)

California was booming following the gold rush, and many had made the trip around the horn by ship. Four Sacramento businessmen, C.P. Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker and Mark Hopkins, organized the Central Pacific Railroad, which, under the Pacific Railway Act, would build a line east across the Sierra Nevada, to meet up with the Union Pacific, building westward from Omaha. Central Pacific was later leased by Southern Pacific, but remained a corporate entity until 1959, when SP bought it outright.

There was great competition between the two companies, each trying to build more of the railroad and acquire more land grants. The railroads leased the land to farmers or cattlemen, and had a monopoly on transportation of their goods to market. But I digress.

In Oregon, two rail companies, the SP and the Great Northern (part of James J. Hill's Northern Securities) were anxious to build a line to the North Oregon Coast and reap great profits from the region's abundant stands of virgin timber. In those days, around the turn of the 20th century, lots of rail was being laid. There were two routes between Portland and Eugene east of the Willamette River, and several companies were competing to build a route down the wast side.

Along came a guy named Elmer Lytel, who, secretly grubstaked by SP, began construction of the Pacific Railway and Navigation Company Railroad in 1905. Construction, begun at both ends, was essentially completed in 1911. By the time SP acquired the line as its Tillamook branch a few years later, the rail line was making nice profits hauling passengers, timber and wood products. SP's objective was to create a diversion in order to prevent Great Northern from gaining a line to the Coast and tapping its abundant virgin timber.

 

The Port of Tillamook Bay obtained trackage rights in 1952, at first for local operations, but gradually expanding its operation into the Valley. During the latter half of the 20th century, long haul carriers began to abandon their branch line operations. Some lines were abandoned altogether and the track taken up; others were leased or sold. The Port of Tillamook Bay acquired all 90 miles of the SP Tillamook branch line in 1989.

In 1996 and again in 2007, severe Pacific storms wiped out the line through the Salmonberry Canyon. A nonprofit group, named the Pacific Railway and Navigation Company after the original company, was formed to promote repair and restoration of the railroad.

Looking back in history, the completion of the railroad in 1911 caused Bay City, Tillamook and other coastal communities to boom. Tourists came in droves to enjoy the ocean beaches or take the launch from Bay City to vacation at the Bay Ocean Resort.

The advent of the automobile and the completion of a road to Oceanside and Bay Ocean precipitated Bay City's decline. Bay City, now no longer a destination, had depended on tourist dollars to support many of its businesses. In cities throughout the country where people had relied on street railways or interurban rail, their increased use of private automobiles put an end to local rail transportation.

But today, cities like Portland are leading the transition back to rail as an alternative to the private automobile. Today's roads are choked with traffic, and most parts of the country lack the means to maintain and expand their highway infrastructure to support an ever-increasing traffic burden.

Tillamook County is hard hit. It lacks the tax base or the means of keeping its roads in repair, especially with the increased truck traffic hauling lumber and other goods formerly carried by rail. The time has come to take another look at putting the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad back in operating condition.

Rebuilding the railroad will provide jobs, desperately needed in today's economy. Hauling goods by rail will relieve much of the load on our highways. With the two steam locomotives housed in Garibaldi, rail tourism will bring many tourist dollars into the county. Perhaps rebirth of our railroad will bring renewed prosperity to the County. Think about it.

To Wipe or Not To Wipe

Saturday I called my brother, Pat, and had a really nice conversation. It was his birthday. He is three years younger than I am, but has some significant health problems.

After serving a stint in the Air Force during the mid to late '50s, Pat went to work for Grumman Aircraft on Long Island. He wound up working in their space program, and traveled all over the world. He and his family spent several years in the island nation of Madagascar, also known as the Malagasy Republic.

This fledgling republic had depended for centuries on its colonial overlords for all its manufactured goods and modern conveniences. But the new republic felt it had to manufacture something of its own, to break free from its dependence on other nations for the items it had been importing.

Its first attempt at DIY manufacturing was that single, most essential commodity upon which all civilized society depends, the one item which none of us can do without: toilet paper.

They started manufacturing their own TP. And to be sure it found a market in the local economy, the government declared imported TP contraband. Everyone had to use the local stuff. Pat and Barbara, by this time seasoned world travelers, brought their own supply of TP with them in their household effects. Happily, this was before the government declared it contraband.

Pat said the local TP defied description, but likened it to a brown paper sack with splinters on a toilet paper roll. You couldn't flush it, because it would wad up in the sewer line and cause all sorts of problems. You had to put it in a trash can. They may even have shellacked it for appearance's sake.

The people at the satellite station where Pat worked were desperate for some legitimate U.S. tissue to soothe their behinds, now becoming more red and sore by the day from the abrasive qualities of the local stuff. In desperation, the station director wrote to his people at the Gottard Space Center, pleading for some genuine U.S. TP. But, alas, there was no response.

As luck would have it, Pat was called back to Gottard to deal with some kind of technical problem with their computer system. Innovative guy my brother is, he took with him several dozen rolls of Malagasy TP and replaced the rolls of U.S. TP in the executive washrooms.

When the boss came charging out of the restroom thundering about the new TP, Pat calmly advised him that that is what the people in Madagascar have to use, and that their pleas for stateside TP had gone unanswered.

In no time at all, the Gottard Space Center had an airplane carrying a high priority "diplomatic pouch," an abundant supply of stateside TP, winging its way to the U.S. Embassy in Madagascar. I think Pat is revered there as a saint to this very day.

Friends of the Library

Friends of the Library plans a pasta dinner on September 17, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Bay City Community Hall. There will be lasagna and spaghetti, and Pat Vining, Bay City's chef in residence, will be wearing his chef's hat.

Pat became famous for his cooking at an upscale fish camp in Alaska. Stay tuned for more on this event.

Bay City Arts Center

Yoga classes began Thursday, August 25, at 6 p.m. The classes are held every Monday and Thursday. The fee is $5 per class, Michelle Lawhorn is the instructor, and she'll have extra mats available.

The August Artist of the Month was Richard Kuensting, whose works remain on display. Richard creates art works in two or three dimensions, and makes and fires some pretty spectacular pottery. Stop by the Arts Center any time it's open and see for yourself.

The Poet and Songwriter's Circle meets Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Just drop by if you're interested.

The Barbershop Quartet meets Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. If you're interested in joining, give Bob Chambers a call at (503) 842-4864.

The next Pancake Breakfast will be Sept. 18, 8 a.m. to noon. After breakfast, you may paint a "Peace Rock" to give to a friend on International Peace Day, Sept. 21. But please refrain from delivering it through a window.

Toddler Art resumes October 5, from 10 to 11 a.m. Nancy Slavin wishes to "team teach" the program. If you'd like to join Nancy and become a part of the teaching team, call BCAC at (503) 377-9620.

Bits and Pieces

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The post and its auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Oct. 1.

September 13, 2011

September 13, 2011The start of our week proved very exciting, as you will read below. We also had what has to be the shortest City Council meeting in recent memory. And our fire department acquitted itself extremely well. Read on!

Bay City Fire Department on the job

I was awakened at about 3:45 this morning when my neighbor, Betty Oliver, called. My first thought was, who died? Nothing like that. A neighbor's house was ablaze. Initially we thought it was the Hoffmans' place above ours, on E Street. But, no. I learned after daylight that it was the home of Norm and Lorraine Hallowell on 9th Street.

The fire was spectacular, and certainly an unusual way to start my 80th birthday. When I got outside, the entire structure was engulfed. From my vantage point, looking at it up the hill, it seemed almost like the burning of Valhalla at the end of Wagner's "Twilight of the Gods."

The flames licked the heavens, sending thousands of burning embers aloft. I watched warily as they drifted eastward and settled, still aglow, slowly to the ground. Sharline and I were concerned that they might land on our roof, or in the forested area east of our place. Happily, there was an onshore flow, and the humidity had risen enough to mitigate somewhat the possibility secondary fires.

Our firefighters had their work cut out for them. When I came out into my back yard, I could see the water from the fire hoses hitting the flames and vaporizing, and I could feel it as it settled back to the ground as a mist.

The fire was pretty well contained by 4:30. A Bay City engine company remained on the scene after the other fire trucks departed, to cool any hot spots, prevent the fire from flaring up again, and to protect neighboring properties.

Darrell Griffith, our fire chief, reported to the City Council at its meeting earlier this evening, that it was a two-alarm fire, with equipment from Tillamook and Garibaldi responding in addition to Bay City's two fire engines. In total, Darrel said, there were six additional fire trucks on the scene, as well as an ambulance and a vehicle from the Sheriff's Office. Because the house was fully involved when our fire department arrived, the firefighters could not enter it. They had to cool and contain the blaze, and prevent it from spreading to neighboring properties.

It was a harrowing experience for Norm and Lorraine. According to Darrell, they were asleep when the fire started. Apparently the fire had been burning long enough to burn through the roof, and the house was so full of smoke that Norm and Lorraine had to feel their way along the walls to the door. Someone told me that Norm was in his shorts, and Lorraine in her nightgown. (I've experienced something on that order when I underwent training in fighting shipboard fires --- the smoke was so thick you couldn't see or breathe --- really frightening, but I had more on than just my shorts.)

Darrel commended Norm and Lorraine for not trying to salvage any belongings before exiting the building. Had they done so, Darrel surmised, one or both of them wouldn't be here. Thankfully, as it turned out, they are both OK and staying with family. According to Darrell, the State Fire Marshal's office will send an inspector to determine point of origin and cause of the fire.

I was terribly saddened to see that beautiful house go up in smoke. Norm had built the house himself. It had a beautiful deck around the front and side, and a commanding view of the bay and the ocean, probably like no other in town. When Sharline and I saw it this morning, nothing remained but some charred timber and a tall chimney.

My sincerest sympathy to Norm and Lorraine on their tragic loss.

And to our fire department, my sincerest gratitude for their rapid response and the great job they did getting the fire under control and protecting neighboring properties. Bay City has a great fire department, fully deserving of our wholehearted support.

Resurfacing the Sports Court at the Park

The City obtained a grant earlier in the year to resurface the sports court at the City Park. This has been pending for some time, and various factors have slowed progress. At the Sept. 13 City Council meeting, City Public Works Superintendent Dave Pace announced that he is working on a date to get the sports court resurfaced before the fall rains begin. He said the grantor has agreed to an extension of time to complete work funded by the grant.

Protecting the Water and Sewer Systems

The Council approved the acquisition of software upgrades to integrate the new chlorine analyzer into the water production system, and dissolved oxygen probes for the City's sewer system.

The computer software will make automatic adjustments of chlorine levels and operating conditions of the water production system, and will notify public works employees when human intervention is required. Several weeks ago, an eagle flew into the power transmission lines, shorting them out. The system switched to generator power as designed, but failed to switch back when the power grid was re-energized. The fault was not noted until the next morning when it was discovered that the reservoirs were nearly empty.

The upgrade and equipment will cost $20,290, and installation costs will be $3,960.

Kilchis Regional Water System Consolidation

There was an interesting turn of events at the Tuesday City Council meeting. Dave Pace has been working diligently on various scenarios to consolidate the several user "districts" into a single district.

City Attorney Lois Albright informed the Council that the Kilchis Regional Water "District" was really not a district at all, but rather an association of groups using water from the wells at Dill Bar on the Kilchis River. Only two members of the current "district" have a tax base: the City of Bay City and the Wilson River Water District.

The biggest users in the Kilchis System are the Creamery, which uses 50 percent; and the City of Bay City, which uses 30 percent. Other user groups are Northwood, Wilson River, Latimer Road Water Association, Juno Water Company, and Cole Creek, which has opted out.

The simplest way to "consolidate" the present users within the Kilchis Regional Water System is to form a legitimate taxing district with a tax base, Albright advised. Presently, only Bay City and the Wilson River Water District have a tax base.

To form a district, she explained, a petition must be filed with the County Commissioners, who would then hold several public hearings at various stages of the process. Since a tax base would also be requested for the new district, the matter would have to go to the voters within the proposed district boundaries.

 

There would also have to be a district board, candidates for which would also be on the ballot. Much other administrative and preparatory work must be done before the election: a survey of the proposed new district, preparation of a district map, and development of water and tax rates, and system development charges.

Albright recommended that matter go to the voters at the next general election, November 2012.

Nuisance Ordinance Violations

David Pace reported to the Council that the ordinance violation on Bewley Street had been cleaned up satisfactorily, but violations on 18th Street and Trade Street continue to fester.

The 18th Street and Trade Street violations both involve automobiles in various states of repair or disrepair visible on the property or on the public right of way. Pace expressed his concern that oil or gasoline might be leaking from the vehicles and finding their way into the local watershed.

Both offenders are to be advised that they must have the vehicles removed or properly screened from public view by Oct. 5. If the violations persist beyond that date, the Council would consider abatement by the City at its October 11 meeting. Pace is looking at arrangements to have a local towing company remove the offending vehicles from the properties.

Friends of the Library

Friends of the Library plans a pasta dinner on Saturday, September 17, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Bay City Community Hall. There will be lasagna and spaghetti, and Pat Vining, Bay City's chef in residence, will be wearing his chef's hat. Cost will be $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 or under.

Pat became famous for his cooking at an upscale fish camp in Alaska

Bay City Arts Center

On Sunday, September 18, from 8 a.m. to noon, the Arts Center will host its monthly pancake breakfast. The menu includes pancakes, eggs, salsa, beans, fruit, yogurt, juice, coffee and tea --- all you can eat. And, it's only $5 for adults, or $4 if you're a member.

After breakfast, you may paint a "Peace Rock" to give to a friend on International Peace Day, Sept. 21. But please refrain from delivering the Peace Rock through a window.

The August Artist of the Month was Richard Kuensting, whose works will remain on display through September. Richard creates art works in two or three dimensions, and makes and fires some pretty spectacular pottery. Stop by the Arts Center any time it's open and see for yourself.

On Sunday, October 2, from 5 to 7 p.m., the Arts Center will host a reception for a community art project, "A Walk in Their Shoes," sponsored by the Tillamook County Women's Resource Center. It will be an artistic expression of sexual and domestic violence. As explained to me by Joe Wrabeck, the exhibit participants will paint or color designs on shoes expressing their feelings about domestic and sexual violence.

For more information, call the Women's Resource Center at (503) 842-8294. If you'd like to participate, and it's not too late, you may pick up the materials you will need from the Resource Center at 1904-C 3rd Street, Tillamook. There will be a silent auction of the exhibit pieces starting after the reception. Proceeds of the auction will go to the Women's Resource Center.

Yoga classes are held every Monday and Thursday. The fee is $5 per class, Michelle Lawhorn is the instructor, and she'll have extra mats available.

The Poet and Songwriter's Circle meets Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Just drop by if you're interested.

The Barbershop Quartet meets Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. If you're interested in joining, give Bob Chambers a call at (503) 842-4864.

Toddler Art resumes October 5, from 10 to 11 a.m. Nancy Slavin wishes to "team teach" the program. If you'd like to join Nancy and become a part of the teaching team, call BCAC at (503) 377-9620.

I had mentioned in previous issues that the Arts Center had planned to show its documentary film on Tillamook County on Labor Day. That didn't work out, and the film needs a bit more editing and cleaning up. Joe Wrabeck now estimates that the film will be shown sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Stay tuned.

Bits and Pieces

The deer are back again. Sharline and I have seen several, some with younguns in tow, during the past week. The little fauns' spots are fading rapidly. Winter is on its way.

We've also found a coyote calling card, and what my neighbor believes might that of a bear. The blackberries are on, and bears love blackberries. So, keep your small pets inside or where they will be safe.

Not only did I celebrate my 80th birthday Tuesday, but Sharline and I also celebrated our 59th wedding anniversary. In the early '50s, a guy couldn't get married in the State of Oregon without parental consent until he was 21. For girls, the age of emancipation was 18 years. My folks lived back in New York at the time, and my mother was not overly keen on the idea of my getting married in any event.

So, on Sept. 13, 1952, Sharline and I scooted across the border, found ourselves a Justice of the Peace in Stevenson, Washington, and tied the knot. And my mother said it wouldn't last!

My three daughters surprised us Sunday morning by coming to Bay City, taking us to breakfast at Downie's, and visiting with us the better part of the day. Carla, our Lincoln City daughter, baked me a birthday cake --- or should I call it a birthiversary cake --- and I almost blew the dentures out of my mouth trying to blow out the candles. We used only three candles because of the ban on outdoor burning.

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The post and its auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Oct. 1.

And that's it. See you soon over the Back Fence

September 22, 2011

BAY CITY, September 22--- I completed this on the last day of summer, but several brush fires delayed my posting the Back Fence until Saturday. For the information of you astronomers and cosmology buffs, autumn started at 2:05 a.m. Sept. 23. Though it's called the Autumnal Equinox (Latin, equal night), day and night are not exactly equal, owing to the shape of the Earth. At this time of year, we generally lose about two minutes of daylight each evening. It starts getting dark early pretty quickly.

The passing of a dear friend

Sharline and I were saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend, Chuck Downie. I had known Chuck ever since moving to Bay City in 1994. We were both Navy veterans, and we told each other tall tales about how we won our respective wars single-handedly.

Chuck had been in declining health for the past several months, and, at his request, he moved to Kilchis House. He was concerned that he had reached the point where he would pose too great a burden on his wife, Hazel.

Chuck was transferred to Tillamook County General Hospital Tuesday when he was found unconscious in his room. He passed on this morning.

Our deepest sympathy to Hazel, Karen Malcom, and the entire family. There will be a memorial service for Chuck at the Rockaway Community Church at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 1.

Garibaldi celebrates 100 years of rail in Tillamook County

Next time you drive through Garibaldi, stop at Lumbermen's Park and look at the static train display. A crew has been busy painting the engine, old Rayonier No. 90, to resemble a Southern Pacific steam locomotive. Likewise, the passenger car/museum and the caboose are getting an SP facelift. Lonnie Ortiz has done a great job lettering the rolling stock "Southern Pacific."

The celebration gets underway Saturday, October 1, at 9:30 a.m. when the "Rails 100 Golden Spike Special" opens for boarding. Sadly, the Special has been sold out for some time, according to Garibaldi rail enthusiast Pat Patterson.

While the train is gone, Death Grass and other groups will perform, and there will be a honky-tonk piano player. There will also be a miniature train, the B&P Express, for young and old to ride around a spruced up Lumbermen's Park, thanks to the Nestucca Valley Lions Club. The Rockaway Beach Lions Club will operate the Weenie Wagon.

The Special, pulled by the Number 25, departs at 10 a.m., with stops in Rockaway Beach and Wheeler, were a lunch will be served. The return trip will stop again in Rockaway Beach for about 30 minutes, and will arrive in Garibaldi about 3:30 p.m.

Upon return of the Special, there will be music by the Neah-Kah-Nie High School band and Death Grass.

The official ceremonies begin at 4:30 p.m. with a brief history of the Pacific Railway and Navigation Company Railroad, reverently known as the "Punk, Rotten and Nasty." Former County Commissioner Paul Hanneman will speak on Saving the Railroad; John Foulk will speak on the Lions Club's new sign; Rosenberg employees will present gold letters for the Doug Rosenberg No. 25; and Pat Patterson will speak on Denny Pastega's Old Pacific Railroad Station.

This will be followed by the ceremonial driving of the Golden Spike by George Hamilton, assisted by Garibaldi Lions president Laurice Meyers.

George Hamilton came from a railroading family in Portland. Following a stint in the Navy during WW II, when he was a turret gunner in a TBM torpedo bomber flying from the USS Enterprise, George came to work for the SP on its Tillamook Branch Line, and later for the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad after the port acquired the line from the SP. As a freight conductor, George had special responsibilities, such as packaging fresh-caught crab in ice for delivery to SP's president and CEO, A.W. Kilburn, at SP corporate headquarters. Kilburn was responsible, years ago, for bringing several tour trains from Portland to Tillamook County.

The formal ceremonies conclude about 5:30 p.m. with music by the Neah-Kah-Nie High School Band.

Throughout the day, visitors can view displays of rail equipment and an operating model railroad in the passenger car on the display track. An HO scale model of an SP cab-forward articulated locomotive will be in operation, courtesy of Glen Wadley. According to Patterson, the four locomotives used on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, the Number 25, the Curtiss Lumber Number 2, the Great Northern diesel and the Port of Tillamook Bay "cow" diesel, will also be on display during the ceremony.

Many have fond memories of the Southern Pacific, which ceased to be when it merged with Union Pacific in 1996. There had been many other mergers, but rail operations always continued under the SP label. With the 1996 merger with UP, the SP name became the stuff of myth and memory. The Golden Spike ceremony in Garibaldi is dedicated to all the men and women who built and operated the Southern Pacific System.

But there is more to come. On Sunday, October 9, the actual 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first passenger train from Portland on the PR&N RR, the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad will run two trains from Garibaldi to Rockaway Beach. The first leaves at 2 p.m., and the second at 4 p.m. Seats will be available on a first come, first served basis. Cost will be $5 for adults and $3 for children. Tickets may be purchased at the Pioneer Museum or the offices of the Headlight-Herald or the North Coast Citizen. The Headlight-Herald will offer free costumed photos of people wearing 1911 era garb.

I have fond memories of the "Espee." When I lived in Milwaukie in the late '40s, the SP line was about two blocks from my house, and I enjoyed watching those huge steam locomotives switching cars about at the local siding. When I lived in Mountain View, Calif., in 1956, steam was all but gone. Those magnificent cab-forward articulated locomotives had been relegated to hauling commuter trains between San Francisco and San Jose. I watched them go by every day.

Sharline and I made several delightful trips on the Shasta Daylight, and I took some great photos of Mount Shasta from a passenger car window. I thought SP might be interested in having them to advertise the Daylight, but, alas, SP passenger service was on its way out, too. Amtrak loomed on the horizon. In fact, the commuter passenger train between San Francisco and San Jose would be the last passenger operation by any railroad, using its own equipment, in the United States. Amtrak provided all other passenger service. Like they say, nothing is forever. Just ask anyone who loved the venerable SP Railroad.

Resurfacing the Sports Court at the Park

In spite of the recent rains, work is proceeding on resurfacing the sports court at the City Park, or, more properly, the Al Griffin Memorial Park. The old surface has been removed, and a new asphalt surface is in the offing. Let's hope they get it done before the rains begin in earnest. It's that time of year.

Friends of the Library

Friends of the Library served a great a pasta dinner on September 17. Sharline and I, in company with our neighbors, Jim and Betty Oliver, enjoyed a very nice meal and some good music. Ice cream with chocolate and a brownie topped off the meal. Sharline and I each sampled the spaghetti and the lasagna. Both were excellent, thanks to our chef in residence, Pat Vining.

 

There were also used books for sale and lots of intriguing items for silent auction. And, I have to surmise that I didn't win the 50-50 drawing, since my telephone hasn't been ringing, except for people wanting money.

Pat wasn't sure of the exact amount garnered during the feed, but he was confident that they did better than last year, owing to the silent auction and the drawing.

Bay City Arts Center

On Saturday, October 1, from 5 to 7 p.m., the Arts Center will host a reception for a community art project, "A Walk in Their Shoes," sponsored by the Tillamook County Women's Resource Center. It will be an artistic expression of sexual and domestic violence. As explained to me by Joe Wrabeck, the exhibit participants will paint or color designs on shoes expressing their feelings about domestic and sexual violence.

For more information, call the Women's Resource Center at (503) 842-8294. If you'd like to participate and it's not too late, you may pick up the materials you will need from the Resource Center at 1904-C 3rd Street, Tillamook. There will be a silent auction of the exhibit pieces starting after the reception. Proceeds of the auction will go to the Women's Resource Center.

Yoga classes are held every Monday and Thursday. The fee is $5 per class, Michelle Lawhorn is the instructor, and she'll have extra mats available.

The Barbershop Quartet meets Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. If you're interested in joining, give Bob Chambers a call at (503) 842-4864.

Toddler Art resumes October 5, from 10 to 11 a.m. Nancy Slavin wishes to "team teach" the program. If you'd like to join Nancy and become a part of the teaching team, call BCAC at (503) 377-9620.

On Friday, October 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Arts Center will host the Kilchis Point Day Camp. The event is sponsored by the Pioneer Museum and offered to students in grades five through eight.

The day will include hiking the trail, a scavenger hunt, learning about compasses, and the food web at Kilchis Point. There will be a lunch at the Arts Center, story telling with Tim Doty, and arts projects. Deadline for registration is October 7, and class size is limited to 40. For more information or for reservations, call the Arts Center at (503) 377-9610.

Saturday, October 15, will feature the Latin Dance Band, Conjunto Alegre, with Aquiles Montas, starting at 7 p.m. There will be all sorts of Latin dances and light refreshments. Cost of the event is $10 if reservations are made in advance, or $13 when paying at the door. This night of sizzling music is part of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Sunday, October 16, will feature the BCAC monthly pancake breakfast. Cost is $5 for adults, and $4 for members. There will be a family storytelling workshop with Tom Doty from noon to 2:30 p.m. At 3 p.m. there will be a special presentation of Doty and Coyote, sponsored by the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum.

Sunday, October 23, will be cleanup day. The Arts Center is looking for some help in cleaning up the place and getting it ready for winter. If you're good at washing, painting, window repair, ceiling repair, wall repair --- well, just about any kind of repair --- come on down and roll up your sleeves. There's plenty of work for all. And, outside, there's lots of weeding and trimming.

I had mentioned in previous issues that the Arts Center had planned to show its documentary film on Tillamook County on Labor Day. That didn't work out, and the film needs a bit more editing and cleaning up. Joe Wrabeck now estimates that the film will be shown sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Stay tuned.

The Neutrino Conundrum

Much ado has been made over the premature arrival of neutrinos traveling from Switzerland to Italy. In the micro-nanosecond it took them to make the trip (what kept you?), they arrived before a beam of light would have gotten there. Was Einstein wrong? Horrors!

To me it would seem to confirm Einstein's theory. Time is relative, not absolute. For an object traveling through space-time, time slows relative to the object's velocity. For those little neutrinos, time slowed so they never actually reached light speed in the medium through which they were moving. There is also the phenomenon of quantum mechanics, which governs the behavior of subatomic particles.

The same has been experienced with certain subatomic particles traveling through the atmosphere. Though their lifespan is so short that they would not ever reach the Earth's surface, they have been detected on the surface. That's because time for them slows relative to their velocity.

Time is also affected by gravity, a phenomenon known as time dilation. All the satellites buzzing around the Earth have clocks, and these clocks must be reset frequently because of their velocity through space and the effect of the Earth's gravity. The relativity of time is one feature of Einstein's theory which has become scientific fact.

Bits and Pieces

The deer are still here. I think they like our dandelions, and I'll let them eat all they want before I mow. Sharline and I enjoy watching the young ones race each other around our house. Eva, our little dog, gets very excited whenever the deer are running. Must be her predator killer instinct.

I ran into Bob Miles at the Post Office today. I hadn't seen Bob for quite a while. Bob was very complementary of the great job the contractor is doing on Seattle Ave. "They're doing the ditches the right way this time," he said.

Today I had the pleasure of attending the open house at the expanded offices of Albright & Kittell PC, Attorneys at Law. Lois Albright is our city attorney, and does a pretty decent job of keeping our City Council out of trouble. They have expanded their office to make room for their "kids" to join their practice. It's quite a place, and they had a great spread. I was impressed with the handicapped entrance at the rear of the building, wheelchair ramp and all.

As everyone must be aware by now, the burn ban is finally history. Open burning is permitted, so long as you have a burn permit. If you're in doubt about the limitations on what can be burned, and how long you can burn, call the fire department and inquire. Their number is (503) 377, 0233. There is generally someone there on weekdays.

And, Darrell Griffith, our new fire chief, has made up a yellow sign which indicates barrel burning is allowed, but no open burning. In addition to the placard on the front of the fire department, there is now an appropriately colored sign in the window of the city office.

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The post and its auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Oct. 1.

September 29, 2011

Isn't it amazing how quickly the seasons change? One day we're experiencing the dying gasps of summer, and the next, fall is upon us with a vengeance. And there is something new in the works. Tillamook County has finished its hazardous materials collection facility. The facility will be open for household hazardous materials the first Saturday of each month, from 9 a.m. to noon, I'm told. That sure beats holding the stuff for six months before taking it to a collection station. Better yet, there's no cost for households.

Garibaldi celebrates 100 years of rail in Tillamook County

When you visit Lumbermen's Park in Garibaldi, you'll notice some big changes. In preparation for the centennial celebration of rails in Tillamook County the display train is now a Southern Pacific train. The locomotive, a logging mike, is now the Southern Pacific No. 90. The caboose also sports the SP brand. And you'll find the Lumbermen's Park spruced up and ready for the celebration.

The celebration gets underway Saturday, October 1, at 9:30 a.m. when the "Rails NW Special" opens for boarding for those who have reservations. It's been sold out for quite a while. The Rockaway Beach Lions Club will also be opening the Weenie Wagon to cater to the gustatory needs of Garibaldians and visitors alike.

For those who didn't get reservations on the Rails NW Special, the Nestucca Lions Club will open their B&P Express for boarding and rides around the park and boat basin.

The Rails NW Special will depart at 10 a.m. for stops in Rockaway Beach and Wheeler, where a lunch will be served. The return trip, with a 30-minute stop in Rockaway Beach, will bring the Rails NW Special back to Garibaldi about 3:30 p.m.

While the Rails NW Special is gone, there will be a host of things to do. There will be music in on the passenger car stage, though we don't know right now who will be performing. "Deathgrass" was scheduled to perform, but several of the performers will be out of town. As to the honky-tonk piano, the piano at the park has been deemed "untunable." To me, that would seem to make it sound more honky-tonk --- certainly more evocative of that style of music than a concert grand. Possibly, "Asleep at the Switch" may be able to fill in for "Deathgrass."

The passenger car museum will be open all day, and will contain exhibits of rail and logging equipment. There is a working HO scale model railroad in the museum car. Glen Wadley of Bay City had ordered a scale model of the SP cab forward articulated locomotive to run on the track, but I learned today that the model is on "back order." Ain't that the way. I think Pat Patterson or one of the other organizers will probably provide some pictures of the cab forward locomotive.

The SP was the only railroad in the United States to use cab forward steam locomotives. This was because of the large number of tunnels and snow sheds on the Southern Pacific line. The smoke and stack gases from a conventional steam locomotive would practically asphyxiate the engine crew when pulling a heavy train upgrade and working steam.

Following return of the Special, there will be more music while final preparations are made for the ceremony and the driving of the golden pike.

The official ceremonies begin at 4:30 p.m. with a brief history of the Pacific Railway and Navigation Company Railroad, reverently known as the "Punk, Rotten and Nasty." Former County Commissioner Paul Hanneman will speak on Saving the Railroad; John Foulk will speak on the Garibaldi Lions Club's new sign; Rosenberg employees will present gold letters for the Doug Rosenberg No. 25; and Pat Patterson will speak on Denny Pastega's old Southern Pacific Railroad Station. If the weather is bad, they may move the start of the ceremony ahead a bit to get people out of the rain sooner.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., or possibly earlier, George Hamilton, assisted by Garibaldi Lions president Laurice Meyers, will drive the ceremonial Golden Spike. This will be accompanied by rousing music by the Neah-Kah-Nie High School Band.

Hamilton's railroading career was interrupted by WWII, when he was a turret gunner aboard a TBM torpedo bomber flying from the USS Enterprise. Following the war, he became a conductor on the Tillamook Branch Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Many have fond memories of the Southern Pacific, which ceased to be when it merged with Union Pacific in 1996. There had been many other mergers in SP's history (for a time, it was owned by the Denver and Rio Grande Western), but rail operations always continued under the SP label. With the 1996 merger with UP, the SP name became the stuff of myth and memory. The Golden Spike ceremony in Garibaldi is dedicated to all the men and women who built and operated the Southern Pacific System.

Following the ceremonies, at about 6 p.m., there will be a spaghetti dinner fundraiser at the Old Mill Marina to send local grade school children to Washington DC. (They couldn't do any worse than the crowd we have there now doing the country's business.)

But there is more to come. On Sunday, October 9, the actual 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first passenger train from Portland on the PR&N RR, the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad will run two trains from Garibaldi to Rockaway Beach. The first leaves at 2 p.m., and the second at 4 p.m. Seats will be available on a first come, first served basis. Cost will be $5 for adults and $3 for children. Tickets may be purchased at the Pioneer Museum or the offices of the Headlight-Herald or the North Coast Citizen. The Headlight-Herald will offer free costumed photos of people wearing 1911 era garb.

Bay City Boosters

The Bay City Boosters begin their new activity year Friday, Sept. 30, at 11:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome. Bring an auction item if you have one, and perhaps a potluck dish to share with your friends.

Our guest speaker will be Gordon McCraw, the Tillamook County Emergency Management Director. He will talk on disaster preparation.

Bay City Arts Center

On Saturday, October 1, from 5 to 7 p.m., the Arts Center will host a reception for a community art project, "A Walk in Their Shoes," sponsored by the Tillamook County Women's Resource Center. It will be an artistic expression of sexual and domestic violence. As explained to me by Joe Wrabeck, the exhibit participants will paint or color designs on shoes expressing their feelings about domestic and sexual violence.

I had the opportunity to visit the Arts Center Wednesday to look at some of the 82 exhibits which have been entered. You wouldn't believe the originality of these exhibits. I was absolutely amazed at people's ability to achieve such expression simply by decorating and displaying shoes.

There will be refreshments, and a silent auction of the exhibits will be held during the evening. Proceeds go to the Women's Resource Center.

Yoga classes are held every Monday and Thursday at 6 p.m. The fee is $5 per 75-minute class, Michelle Lawhorn is the instructor, and she'll have extra mats available.

 

The Barbershop Quartet meets Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. If you're interested in joining, give Bob Chambers a call at (503) 842-4864.

Toddler Art resumes October 5, from 10 to 11 a.m., conducted by Nancy Slavin. This program will be offered every Wednesday. Check the BCAC Web site for more details. Go to the Grapevine section labeled "Links" to find the link to the Arts Center.

On Friday, October 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Arts Center will host the Kilchis Point Day Camp. The event is a free program sponsored by the Pioneer Museum and BCAC, and offered to students in grades five through eight. The program is limited to 40 students, and registration must be made by October 7. Registration forms are available through the schools and libraries, and on line at the BCAC Web site.

A bus will pick up students at East Elementary School at 8:30 a.m. and return them to East Elementary at 3:30 p.m. Parents of students in the Neah-Kah-Nie School District may bring their children to Kilchis Point at 9 a.m. and pick them up at BCAC at 3 p.m.

The bus will deliver the children to the Kilchis Point Trailhead at the Pioneer Museum Park in Bay City, where they will enjoy guided hikes, a scavenger hunt, a compass game and other outdoorsy types of activities. The children should dress appropriately for a fall outdoor adventure: waterproof boots, rain jackets, hats/caps, and long pants.

The children will return to the Arts Center by bus at about noon for a lunch, which will be followed by an art/science project and story telling by Tom Doty, a Native American storyteller.

On Saturday, October 15, BCAC will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with sizzling Latin dance with Borikuas, Neftali Rivera and Aquiles Montas. The event starts at 7 p.m. with dance and light refreshments. Cost is $10 for adults, $3 for children, if reservations are made in advance. When paying at the door, admission will be $13 for adults and $4 for children.

Sunday, October 16, will feature the BCAC monthly pancake breakfast. Cost is $5 for adults, and $4 for members. There will be a family storytelling workshop with Tom Doty from noon to 2:30 p.m. At 3 p.m. there will be a special presentation of "Doty and Coyote," sponsored by the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. The storytelling workshop and performance are free, courtesy of the Pioneer Museum.

Sunday, October 23, will be cleanup day. The Arts Center is looking for some help in cleaning up the place and getting it ready for winter. If you're good at washing, painting, window repair, ceiling repair, wall repair --- well, just about any kind of repair --- come on down and roll up your sleeves. There's plenty of work for all. And, outside, there's lots of weeding and trimming.

I had mentioned in previous issues that the Arts Center had planned to show its documentary film on Tillamook County on Labor Day. That didn't work out, and the film needs a bit more editing and cleaning up. Joe Wrabeck now estimates that the film will be shown sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Stay tuned.

Requiem for a Gazebo

When I was getting up Sunday morning I heard a "ker-thunk" on my deck. We were having some pretty heavy winds, much heavier than I had expected after reading Gordon McCraw's weekend weather forecast. I peeked out my side window and saw my gazebo lying at about a 45-degree angle on my deck.

As I went back into my bedroom to get dressed, I heard a scraping noise. Back to the window, the front window this time. My gazebo, or what was left of it, had moved about 10 feet farther to the north, and the metal frame was threatening my front window.

Time for action. I dressed hastily and went about removing the fabric cover and side panel, both of which were functioning very effectively as sails. In fact they reminded me of our current ship of state --- no rudder to guide it --- just lots of bluster. But I digress.

I ripped the back panel off first --- no time to untie the tapes, I just yanked mightily. Then came the canopy. The biggest challenge was to get the first corner free of the metal spine buried deeply in its pocket. At this point, I really didn't care whether I got it off in one piece. I just had to get it off even if I had to rip it in two to do it. The gusting wind didn't help much. But, finally, I got the stupid thing off and then proceeded to remove the top piece, that little square of fabric that covers the vent hole at the peak of the canopy. Keeps the rain out, or so I'm told.

The canvas removed, Sharline and I went to breakfast at Downie's. I needed to fuel up to dismantle the metal frame. Actually that was not nearly as difficult as I had imagined it would be.

I had bought the gazebo in 2009, after I had to dismantle my earlier gazebo in order to replace some deck boards. It certainly didn't last as long as I had expected. I had thought the canopy would fail, but it held together beautifully. It was the metal that failed. The base plates were all severely rusted, and the wind pressure broke the uprights off cleanly. When I started to cut the thing up with my reciprocating saw, I found that I could pull the metal parts apart by hand almost as easily as sawing them up. It practically crumbled in my hands.

No more gazebos for me. I'll cut a hole in the center of the heavy wooden table I built about 10 years ago and purchase a nice adjustable umbrella to replace the gazebo. The umbrella can be stored in the rafters of my garage during the winter.

Bits and Pieces

As everyone must be aware by now, the burn ban is finally history. Open burning is permitted, so long as you have a burn permit. If you're in doubt about the limitations on what can be burned, and how long you can burn, call the fire department and inquire. Their number is (503) 377-0233. There is generally someone there on weekdays.

During his final days as fire chief, Don Reynolds was working on some revised rules for open burning, suggesting, primarily, that the burn be limited to two hours and be kept as smoke free as humanly possible.

And Darrell Griffith, our new fire chief, has made up a yellow sign to indicate that barrel burning is allowed, but no open burning. In addition to the placard on the front of the fire department, there is now a sign displayed in the window of the city office.

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The post and its auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Oct. 1.

October 23, 2011

Well, here it is, three weeks after my last Back Fence. This time I have a pretty good excuse. Read the piece about FEMA.

Be a Shining Star

The Tillamook Denny's Restaurant and VFW Post 2848 are proud to announce their "Be a Shining Star" program to support veterans and their families in need. From October 24 until November 20, you can make a contribution at Denny's by buying a "Patriotic Star," which will be displayed on Denny's Wall of Honor in the entranceway. You may buy the Star in your own name or in the name of your favorite veteran or hero.

All contributions will go to the post's Veterans' Relief Fund. This fund takes on added importance because of the needs of our young veterans returning from service in Afghanistan and Iraq. For each contribution, Denny's will provide a certificate good for $2 off the price of a meal.

There will also be a barrel inside the front door to collect items to be sent to the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles. They can use things like shaving gear, toilet articles, lap blankets and books.

And in honor of Veterans Day, Denny's will give each veteran dining there on Nov. 11 a discount of 20 percent on the cost of his or her meal. You will need to show some ID to prove you are a veteran. Your VA identification card, a military ID card, active, reserve or retired, or a copy of your DD-214 or WWII discharge papers will work.

In addition to aiding veterans and families in need, the VFW and Ladies' Auxiliary support patriotic programs such as Voice of Democracy and Patriots' Pen, and programs to aid children, such as the Grub Club, Holiday Baskets and the Children's Christmas Shoppe. They also support the Salvation Army with food drives, bell-ringing and cash donations.

So, it's a win-win situation. You make a donation for a good cause and you get $2 off the price of a meal --- and they serve great food at Denny's, so you can't lose.

The VFW is proud to partner with Tillamook Denny's on this project. So, let's all get down to Denny's, enjoy some great food and help a veteran.

FEMA Resplendent in its Bureaucratic Finery

On October 23, 2006, FEMA approved Tillamook County's Multi-Jurisdiction Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, including Bay City's plan. FEMA approval qualifies us to apply for grants to shore up our defenses against major hazards, such as earthquakes and floods.

As FEMA applications go, the 2006 plan was relatively simple. FEMA provided wish lists for structural and non-structural initiatives to mitigate losses and save the government lots of bucks on the theory that carrying out the initiatives will actually reduce losses later.

But nothing is forever. These plans must be updated every five years. Our deadline for having our five-year update approved by FEMA is today, October 23, 2011. The County, sadly, dropped the ball on this one. The Director of Community Development had been given responsibility for hazard mitigation planning back in 2005. Our previous director resigned several months ago, and nothing was done on the update until our new director, Valerie Soilihi, came on board. She lost little time getting started, as the County was by that time playing catch-up ball. Vicki Goodman of VLG Consulting was brought in to prepare the Multi-Jurisdiction Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan Update, and she subcontracted with Sabrina Pearson to do the detail preparation.

FEMA wasn't sitting on its hands during those five years. In their zeal to achieve absolute administrative perfection, FEMA bureaucrats foisted off on a bureaucracy-weary country a 20-point process to be adhered to in producing this year's update. The bottom line is that the county had to produce a 240-page document loaded with a torrent of polysyllabic bureaucratic nonsense in an impossibly short period of time --- a couple of weeks.

Thanks to Sabrina and others we got it done. I spent much time proofreading and editing the material, recommending changes where necessary, as did many others involved in the process.

My friend, John Gettman, commented on the cost of complying with those 20 steps at the local level, and reviewing the sheer volume of paper at the federal level. It would take at least five years to review all that stuff. And the contract to produce the update cost the County $35,000.

But on the upside, look at the thousands of jobs that would be created to hire people to review the tons of paper generated in the process.

And, do I feel FEMA will have approved the update by October 23? The chance of that happening is about that of an elephant becoming airborne at PDX. I dread to think what the 2016 update will be like, with its hundreds of added pages of administrative perfection.

Garibaldi Celebrates 100 Years of Rail in Tillamook County

The City of Garibaldi celebrated 100 years of railroading in Tillamook County on Saturday, October 1. The event was organized by the Garibaldi Lions Club, with participation by the Rockaway Beach and Nestucca Valley Lions Clubs.

The day's main feature was a round trip from Garibaldi to Wheeler aboard the Rails NW Special, with Aaron Zorko at the throttle of the newly acquired McCloud River Railroad No. 25. This beautiful locomotive has a 2-6-2 wheel arrangement, known as a Prairie type.

The centennial run had been sold out long ago. Those lucky enough to get tickets enjoyed a meal at Wheeler while the locomotive made a run-around to couple onto the rear of the train for the return trip to Garibaldi.

While the Special was making the grand tour, the Nestucca Lions Club operated its B&P Express around Lumberman's Park and the boat basin. This was for the folks who couldn't get tickets on the Rails NW Special. The B&P Express, sadly, had no dining car, so the Rockaway Beach Lions Club operated the Weenie Wagon to feed the hungry passengers. The display train had been spruced up and re-lettered for the Southern Pacific Railroad to stand in for the real thing. Getting real SP equipment through the Salmonberry washout for the celebration would have been somewhat daunting, I'm afraid.

But the celebration didn't go exactly as planned. The wind was freshening and rain was forecast, which, thankfully, held off during the ceremony. "Deathgrass," which was scheduled to play for an hour when the Special returned, died several days earlier. The bass player and drummer were out of town and not available to perform. And the "piano" at the small park pavilion was deemed "untunable and unplayable," so there was no honky-tonk piano, either.

Without music to entertain the crowd, master of ceremonies Pat Patterson decided to open the dedication ceremony immediately upon the Special's return at 3:30 p.m. It was probably a good decision, because returning passengers were starting to drift away.

The speakers faced another challenge: the Number 25's hissing and clanking, as steam locomotives do while at rest, a scant 20 feet away. As the first speaker, I gave a brief history of the Pacific Railway and Navigation Company Railroad, which was taken over by the Southern Pacific Railroad only four years after it began operation.

Then came Paul Hanneman, who described how the railroad was restored following the storms of 1996. Hanneman is a former state representative and former member of the Tillamook County Board of Commissioners.

A delegation from Rosenberg's Building Supply presented Doug Rosenberg with his name in gold letters, to be applied to the McCloud River Railroad No. 25. Rosenberg was largely responsible for getting MCRR No. 25 for the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad.

Master of Ceremonies Pat Patterson talked about the historic SP railroad passenger depot, which was moved recently from its old location in Tillamook to the Blue Heron. Scott Wickert, co-founder of the OCSR, hopes, one day, to build a spur and include the passenger depot and the Blue Heron in the tourist train schedule.

Finally, Garibaldi Lions president Laurice Meyers and former Port of Tillamook Bay commissioner Ken Bell drove a ceremonial "golden spike" commemorating 100 years of rail in Tillamook County. Retired SP Tillamook Branch Line conductor George Hamilton, who had been scheduled to drive the spike, was unable to do so, although he was present at the ceremony.

 

The driving of the "Golden Spike" was accompanied by several rousing marches, courtesy of the Neah-Kah-Nie High School band.

A spaghetti dinner was held at the Old Mill that evening to raise funds to send Garibaldi Grade School students to Washington, D.C.

Local rail buffs who couldn't get on the Rails NW Special Oct. 1 would get another chance. The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad scheduled two round trips a day between Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach the following Saturday and Sunday to commemorate the arrival in Tillamook of the first passenger train from Portland on a rainy Oct. 9, 1911.

City Council Report

My neighbor, Bob Miles, addressed the Council at its October 11 meeting to praise Dave Pace and the Public Works Department for the excellent job they've done resurfacing Seattle Avenue near Bewley Street. Bob commented that they got the drainage ditches just right. Bob had worked on roads before going off to dental school, so he knew something about the process. Bob, like the others living downhill from the old "D Street Project" of the late '90s, is very sensitive to water runoff issues.

Most of the meeting was devoted to Public Works issues. The biggest project currently underway is the intertie between the Kilchis Regional Water System and the Tillamook Water District. The intertie assures water for the Creamery on the north side of the Wilson River, and for the hospital on the Tillamook side, in the event of an outage in either district. Dave reported that the engineers are preparing the pre-design for the project, which will involve shoving the pipe under the river instead of hanging it on a bridge. They have already completed the "archeological resource" evaluation, govspeak for a frantic search for arrowheads, hoping against hope that none are found. And now the bureaucrats are clamoring for a "coastal consistency determination." (What, in heaven's name, is that, besides being another bureaucratic gimmick to put off making a decision?)

Dave also reported that an obstruction in a culvert along 16th Street prevented him from running the camera completely through to locate a catch basin so that it can be uncovered. When the catch basin is finally located, water runoff on the west side of 16th Street will be diverted into it to relieve flooding of downhill properties on 16th and 15th Streets.

Plans are afoot to create a formal water district to encompass Bay City, the Creamery and most of the small user districts within the Kilchis Regional Water System. The City expects to put formation of the district and election of its board of directors on the 2012 general election ballot.

The rains came before the sports court in the park could be resurfaced. The old surface was removed recently, but not in time to beat the fall rains. Dave reported discovery of several "soft spots" in the court area, which had to be dug out. But, surprise, surprise, the rains came with a vengeance in spite of a forecast for fair weather.

Dave added that considerable ground water was discovered after the old surface was removed, making it necessary to improve drainage before resurfacing. Otherwise, ground water would push up the new asphalt, causing it to crack. The original plan had been to have the new surface down before the rains came, but perhaps the delay was providential.

The Council also granted a one-month extension to abate the nuisance on a Trade Street property near the City Park. Regarding a violation on 18th Street, Dave reported that, with the construction of a fence to screen the yard from public view, that violation was essentially resolved. He reported that he would keep an eye out to be sure the nuisance doesn't recur.

Fire chief Darrell Griffith reported that the department had responded to 20 calls during September, including one major house fire. He also said he had worked out an agreement with Pacific Seafood to park their trailers where they would not block the fire lane.

Doug Olson, representing Tillamook Citizens for Sustainability of Roads, appeared before the Council to discuss an upcoming ballot measure authorizing general obligation bonds for $15 million to make some much-needed repairs to Tillamook County's ailing roads. Of the 46 counties in Oregon, Olson said, Tillamook County's roads came in last. Other revenues normally used to repair roads have all but dried up, Olson said,

The present low Interest rates on bonds justify going for the bond measure at this time, Olson added. The measure would result in a levy of $0.54 per $1,000 in property value. This would result in a tax of $54 per year for a property assessed at $100,000. This won't repair all the roads, Olson continued, but it will go a long way toward bringing some of our most-used roads up to standard.

Bay City Boosters

The Bay City Boosters began their new activity year Friday, Sept. 30. Guest speaker Gordon McCraw, Tillamook County Emergency Management Director, gave an outstanding PowerPoint presentation on catastrophic disasters along the Oregon Coast, and preparing for survival.

The Boosters' meet next on October 28 at 11:30. Bring an auction item and, if possible, a potluck item to share with your friends. See you there.

Bay City Arts Center

Yoga Session No. 2 has ended. According to the most recent BCAC weekly update, yoga classes are being conducted Mondays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. Classes are lead by Michelle Lawhorn and cost $5 per 75-minute session. If you are interested in yoga or have any questions, please call or e-mail BCAC. The phone number is (503) 377-9620.

Toddler Art resumed October 5. Nancy Slavin will conduct the sessions every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. Check the BCAC Web site for more details. Go to the Grapevine section labeled "Links" to find the link to the Arts Center.

Open Mike night is Nov. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. Come down and share your talents with your neighbors, or just come down and support our entertainers by being part of the audience.

I had mentioned in previous issues that the Arts Center had planned to show its documentary film on Tillamook County on Labor Day. That didn't work out, and the film needs a bit more editing and cleaning up. Joe Wrabeck now estimates that the film will be shown sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Stay tuned.

Bits and Pieces

There is a mama deer and two fawns running around town. They've been frequent visitors in my yard --- I just wish they'd eat more of my tender, green grass. Several mornings ago I spotted them downtown. They had been enjoying a nice breakfast in the little community garden between ArtSpace and the church. Several cars stopped to watch them, tying up traffic for a few minutes, but nobody seemed to mind. Finally, tired of being observed by a nosey public, they trotted across 5th Street to dine in the privacy of that nice wooded area on the corner. Bon appétit!

Mother Nature, happily, afforded me yet another chance to mow my grass before winter, and I took her up on it. And just in time! But the uphill areas in my yard look like the wrath of the Almighty. I haven't been able to tend to those areas for two summers. With luck, I'll make up for that, come next spring. I hope.

To all our rain birds headed for southern climes, drive safely and enjoy your rain-free winter. We'll miss you. See you in the spring.

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The post and its auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Nov. 5.

November 2, 2011

Halloween is behind us, and Christmas will be upon us like a shot! Whatever happened to Thanksgiving, the Forgotten Holliday?

Firefighters' Association to hold Garage Sale Nov. 5

Time is short. The Bay City Volunteer Firefighters' Association will hold a garage sale at the Fire Station from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. Your donations of things you no longer use would be most welcome. You can drop off your donations at the fire station any time during the day when Darrell is there. Also, you can drop off your donated items Friday evening when the firefighters are setting things up for the sale.

We have an outstanding fire department, and our firefighters are ready to lay it on the line for all of us, day or night, regardless of the hour. Our firefighters perform many services for the community besides fighting fires, and your donations help them purchase items they need to get this done. For example, they have a collection of cuddly toys to help ease children through a stressful event, such as a fire or loss of a family member.

So, be as generous as your means will allow. And be sure to stop by the fire hall Saturday. You might find that special something you've always wanted.

Welcome Angie

A great big Bay City welcome for Angie Cherry, our newest member of the Bay City office staff. Angie, a part-time employee, works the counter when the office is open to the public. I had met her in June when I made a site visit to her property in connection with a forthcoming hearing before the Planning Commission.

Angie has a great sense of humor, and is a really fun person to deal with. She is a most welcome addition to our city office staff. But, Angie warns, you'll just have to get used to dealing with a redhead. Welcome aboard, Angie.

Shop with a Cop

Denny's and Tillamook Fred Meyer are partnering with the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office and the City of Tillamook Police Department to support our local Shop with a Cop program.

The program was devised in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1978, to give underprivileged children a chance to purchase Christmas gifts for themselves or their family members. Senior Officer Nick Troxel of the Tillamook Police Department is coordinating this year's program, which kicks off Thursday, Nov. 10. But in order to make the program work, money must be raised.

Denny's to the rescue. Anyone eating at Denny's between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nov. 10 will enjoy a great meal. And, Denny's will contribute 10 percent of the meal cost to the Shop with a Cop Program. It's a great opportunity to enjoy great food while making a contribution to an excellent cause.

Between now and December, the Department of Human Services will identify children in Tillamook County between the ages of 4 and 10 who are eligible to participate in the program. These are kids whose families lack the means of providing them a very merry Christmas.

On a day in December, the children selected for this year's program will assemble outside the Tillamook Fred Meyer Store before the store opens. Fred Meyer is contributing $75 in merchandise for each child participating in this year's program. Each child will be accompanied on his or her shopping spree by a uniformed police officer or sheriff's deputy. Each child may purchase up to $100 in merchandise. As each child leaves the store after shopping, the officer will accompany another child into the store for his or her Christmas shopping.

Nick informed me that, in his experience with the program, most children prefer to buy several small items for their family members, rather than things for themselves.

And, if you would like to contribute to Shop with a Cop, you can write a check payable to the Tillamook Police Department. Be sure to put a note on the memo line that the money is for Shop with a Cop.

It's a great program. It enables the kids to enjoy a merry Christmas, and it develops a bond of trust between the children and police officers.

Daylight Savings Time Ends

Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend, at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, to be precise. So, don't forget to set your clocks back one hour Saturday evening.

And another caveat. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms! And, while you're at it, test them to be sure they still work. A little caution now could save lives later.

Veterans to Celebrate Veterans Day Next Week

The VFW and the Tillamook Air Museum are in the final stages of planning a gala Veterans Day celebration, set for Friday, Nov. 11.

Things get started at 0800 hours with an S.O.S. Breakfast. There is not a veteran among us who will not relish such a delightful and delectable repast, just as they did in the old days. Cost of the breakfast is a very affordable $5. Proceeds from the breakfast go to the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles.

The program, which is free of charge, starts at 0930 hours with posting of the colors by the U.S. Coast Guard, accompanied by members of the Clan Macleay Pipe Band. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Tillamook High School Vocal Ensemble will perform the Star Spangled Banner.

Pastor David Hurd, of the Bay City United Methodist Church will offer the invocation, followed by "Amazing Grace" performed by Clan Macleay.

Master of Ceremonies and one of the keynote speakers will be Col. William Hatton, USMCR, Retired. Col. Hatton has performed several tours of duty in Iraq.

Kathryn Miles, a WWII WASP pilot, had been scheduled as the other speaker, but unfortunately she is ill and will be unable to be with us. We are looking for someone to replace her.

The Tillamook Community Band, and the Tillamook High School and Community Choirs will perform all the service anthems. There will also be a performance by the Stardust Trio, playing selections from the '40s as well as some newer material.

Burt Darnielle will display his Traveling War Museum all day, and a representative of the Library of Congress will be available to collect veterans' personal histories.

The VFW and Ladies Auxiliary will have a table to register veterans to vote, and a representative of Denny's Restaurant in Tillamook will be on hand to sell "Shining Stars" and collect donations of items for the Oregon Veterans' Home. Proceeds of the Shining Star program go to support VFW programs for youth and veterans.

This year's program is especially dedicated to our Afghanistan and Iraq veterans, although it honors all our veterans.

One word of advice. When you come, be sure to dress warmly. That hangar can get pretty cold.

Be a Shining Star

The Tillamook Denny's Restaurant and VFW Post 2848 are proud to announce their "Be a Shining Star" program to support veterans and their families in need. From October 24 until November 20, you can make a contribution at Denny's by buying a "Patriotic Star," which will be displayed on Denny's Wall of Honor in the entranceway. You may buy the Star in your own name or in the name of your favorite veteran or hero.

 

All contributions will go to the post's Veterans' Relief Fund. This fund takes on added importance because of the needs of our young veterans returning from service in Afghanistan and Iraq. For each contribution, Denny's will provide a certificate good for $2 off the price of a meal.

There will also be a barrel inside the front door to collect items to be sent to the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles. They can use things like shaving gear, toilet articles, lap blankets and books.

And in honor of Veterans Day, Denny's will give each veteran dining there on Nov. 11 a discount of 20 percent on the cost of his or her meal. You will need to show some ID to prove you are a veteran. Your VA identification card, a military ID card, active, reserve or retired, or a copy of your DD-214 or WWII discharge papers will work.

In addition to aiding veterans and families in need, the VFW and Ladies' Auxiliary support patriotic programs such as Voice of Democracy and Patriots' Pen, and programs to aid children, such as the Grub Club, Holiday Baskets and the Children's Christmas Shoppe. They also support the Salvation Army with food drives, bell-ringing and cash donations.

So, it's a win-win situation. You make a donation for a good cause and you get $2 off the price of a meal --- and they serve great food at Denny's, so you can't lose.

The VFW is proud to partner with Tillamook Denny's on this project. So, let's all get down to Denny's, enjoy some great food and help a veteran.

Bay City Boosters

The Bay City Boosters met October 28. There being no speaker this month, the entire program was devoted to business matters. The potluck featured quite a spread, with lots of Halloween goodies for dessert.

John and Gretchen Power provided the Halloween table decorations --- complete with Halloween candy.

The Holidays will soon be upon us. In November the Boosters will meet the 18th, and in December the meeting will be on the 16th, which happens to be Beethoven's Birthday.

One of our members reported being harassed by phone calls at all hours of the day and night, trying to collect a debt that is not owed. I advised the member to call the Oregon Attorney General's office to report the matter, and to change the telephone number. One further bit of advice which I neglected to offer at the meeting: Make that new number unlisted!

Bay City Arts Center

Yoga classes are again being held Monday and Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. Classes are lead by Michelle Lawhorn and cost $5 per 75-minute session. If you are interested in yoga or have any questions, please call or e-mail BCAC. The phone number is (503) 377-9620.

Toddler Art resumed October 5. Nancy Slavin conducts the sessions every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. Check the BCAC Web site for more details. Go to the Grapevine section labeled "Links" to find the link to the Arts Center.

Open Mike night is Saturday, Nov. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. Come down and share your talents with your neighbors, or just come down and support our entertainers by being part of the audience. There is no charge, but donations are always welcome.

The Poet and Songwriter's Circle no longer meets Tuesday evenings.

The monthly pancake breakfast will be held Nov. 20, from 8 a.m. to noon.

I am pleased to let you know that the documentary film, "Remembering Tillamook County," will be shown Wednesday, Dec. 28, followed by a fundraising dinner. BCAC, in its announcement, made no mention of a charge for viewing the film, but I'll pass that information as soon as I find out. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the film. Joe Wrabeck had originally expected the film to be shown on Labor Day, but it turned out that the film still needed some tweaking up.

Utter Disgust and Revulsion

I read, with disbelief and disgust, Jennifer Lommen's letter in the Nov. 2 issue of the "Headlight-Herald." Jennifer was expressing her disgust over the theft of what very little remained of her grandparents' Bay City home following a tragic fire on the morning of Sept. 13. "Why," she asked, would anyone be so cruel as to take what little remained of her grandparents' passions, after they had just lost everything they owned in the fire.

Entry to the property was barred pending an investigation by the State Fire Marshal, and a yellow tape surrounded the property. This is routine in fires like this. It is important to determine the cause of the fire, be it defective wiring, spontaneous combustion, or whatever, so that future fires can possibly be prevented.

According to Jennifer's letter, a couple of ladders survived the fire and were taken. Not only did the thieves trespass and violate a fire investigation, they invaded the privacy of a couple of elderly folks who had lost everything they owned in the fire. They, themselves, barely made it out of the burning house, wearing only their night clothes.

My only question is: How low can a "human" being get? Why was it necessary to violate the investigative area, tread on other artifacts which might have survived the fire, and confound the investigative process? This couple had lost everything they owned. Why compound their pain and sorrow with this heartless act?

To Jennifer, my condolences over your grandparents' tragic loss. I know you will do your best to help them through this difficult time in their lives.

Bits and Pieces

It was a very quiet Halloween. Nobody came to my house, and it's just as well. Sharline and I hadn't gotten to the store to stock up on any of that stuff that rots kids' teeth.

I mowed my grass last week, hoping it would be the last for the season. But, wouldn't you know, there was enough heat and water around to make that stuff keep growing. It's ready to mow again. Some days I just can't win.

My latest "Gordon's Update" warns of a mild windstorm and lowering snow levels in the Coast Range. Snow will get down as low as 2,000 feet. Winter is just about upon us. Whatever happened to the good old summertime? Looks like it's about time to get out the studded tires. This is probably the last winter we'll be able to use them. Then, it's back to the old snow tires and chains.

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The post and its auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Nov. 5.

November 9, 2011

Hope to see you all at our Veterans Day celebration at the Tillamook Air Museum Friday. Breakfast goes down at 8 a.m., and the show starts at 9:30. Hope to see you all there. See the Vets Day article for some last minute updates.

International Survivors of Suicide Day

Saturday, Nov. 19, is International Survivors of Suicide Day. Deah Christensen-Carney of the Tillamook Family Counseling Center has announced a program for survivors of suicide loss on that day at the Family Counseling Center, located at 906 Main Ave., Tillamook.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the world dies by suicide. And every 41 seconds, someone is left to make sense of it. Thousands of survivors of suicide loss gather together on this day for mutual support and practical guidance on coping with grief.

If you have lost someone to suicide, you are invited to join Deah at the Family Counseling Center. Registration will be at 12:45 p.m. The session will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact Deah at 503 812-5505, or by e-mail at daec@trcc.org .

Shop with a Cop

Denny's and Tillamook Fred Meyer are partnering with the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office and the City of Tillamook Police Department to support our local Shop with a Cop program.

The program was devised in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1978, to give underprivileged children a chance to purchase Christmas gifts for themselves or their family members. Senior Officer Nick Troxel of the Tillamook Police Department is coordinating this year's program, which kicks off Thursday, Nov. 10. But in order to make the program work, money must be raised.

Denny's to the rescue. Anyone eating at Denny's between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nov. 10 will enjoy a great meal. And, Denny's will contribute 10 percent of the meal cost to the Shop with a Cop Program. It's a great opportunity to enjoy great food while making a contribution to an excellent cause.

Between now and December, the Department of Human Services will identify children in Tillamook County between the ages of 4 and 10 who are eligible to participate in the program. These are kids whose families lack the means of providing them a very merry Christmas.

On a day in December, the children selected for this year's program will assemble outside the Tillamook Fred Meyer Store before the store opens. Fred Meyer is contributing $75 in merchandise for each child participating in this year's program. Each child will be accompanied on his or her shopping spree by a uniformed police officer or sheriff's deputy. Each child may purchase up to $100 in merchandise. As each child leaves the store after shopping, the officer will accompany another child into the store for his or her Christmas shopping.

Nick informed me that, in his experience with the program, most children prefer to buy several small items for their family members, rather than things for themselves.

And, if you would like to contribute to Shop with a Cop, you can write a check payable to the Tillamook Police Department. Be sure to put a note on the memo line that the money is for Shop with a Cop.

It's a great program. It enables the kids to enjoy a merry Christmas, and it develops a bond of trust between the children and police officers.

Veterans to Celebrate Veterans Day Friday

The VFW and the Tillamook Air Museum are in the final stages of planning a gala Veterans Day celebration, set for Friday, Nov. 11. There are some updates from last week.

Things get started at 0800 hours with an S.O.S. Breakfast. There is not a veteran among us who will not relish such a delightful and delectable repast, just as they did in the old days. Cost of the breakfast is a very affordable $5. Proceeds from the breakfast go to the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles.

The program, which is free of charge, starts at 0930 hours with posting of the colors by the U.S. Coast Guard, accompanied by members of the Clan Macleay Pipe Band. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Tillamook High School Vocal Ensemble will perform the Star Spangled Banner.

Pastor David Hurd, of the Bay City United Methodist Church will offer the invocation, followed by "Amazing Grace" performed by Clan Macleay.

Master of Ceremonies and one of the keynote speakers will be Col. William Hatton, USMCR, Retired. Col. Hatton has performed several tours of duty in Iraq.

Kathryn Miles, a WWII WASP pilot, had been scheduled as the other speaker, but unfortunately she is ill and will be unable to be with us. Our other speaker will be SSGT Matthew Mintz, USANG, who has recently returned from his third tour in Iraq.

The Tillamook Community Band, and the Tillamook High School and Community Choirs will perform all the service anthems. There will also be a performance by the Stardust Trio.

Burt Darnielle will display his Traveling Military Museum all day, and Don Adams, representing the Library of Congress, will be available to collect veterans' personal histories.

The VFW and Ladies Auxiliary will have a table to register veterans to vote, and a representative of Denny's Restaurant in Tillamook will be on hand to sell "Shining Stars" and collect donations of items for the Oregon Veterans' Home. Proceeds of the Shining Star program go to support VFW programs for youth and veterans.

Denny's will also hold a drawing and award two veterans a free meal.

This year's program is especially dedicated to our Afghanistan and Iraq veterans, although it honors all our veterans.

One word of advice. When you come, be sure to dress warmly. Even though this year's ceremony is being held under the white canopy inside the hangar, it can get pretty cold in November. But it won't be as drafty as it is in the open hangar.

Be a Shining Star

The Tillamook Denny's Restaurant and VFW Post 2848 are proud to announce their "Be a Shining Star" program to support veterans and their families in need. From October 24 until November 20, you can make a contribution at Denny's by buying a "Patriotic Star," which will be displayed on Denny's Wall of Honor in the entranceway. You may buy the Star in your own name or in the name of your favorite veteran or hero.

 

All contributions will go to the post's Veterans' Relief Fund. This fund takes on added importance because of the needs of our young veterans returning from service in Afghanistan and Iraq. For each contribution, Denny's will provide a certificate good for $2 off the price of a meal.

There will also be a barrel inside the front door to collect items to be sent to the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles. They can use things like shaving gear, toilet articles, lap blankets and books.

And in honor of Veterans Day, Denny's will give each veteran dining there on Nov. 11 a discount of 20 percent on the cost of his or her meal. You will need to show some ID to prove you are a veteran. Your VA identification card, a military ID card, active, reserve or retired, or a copy of your DD-214 or WWII discharge papers will work.

In addition to aiding veterans and families in need, the VFW and Ladies' Auxiliary support patriotic programs such as Voice of Democracy and Patriots' Pen, and programs to aid children, such as the Grub Club, Holiday Baskets and the Children's Christmas Shoppe. They also support the Salvation Army with food drives, bell-ringing and cash donations.

So, it's a win-win situation. You make a donation for a good cause and you get $2 off the price of a meal --- and they serve great food at Denny's, so you can't lose. The VFW is proud to partner with Tillamook Denny's on this project.

Bay City Boosters

With Halloween behind us, it is now, officially, the "Holiday Season." What that means, in real life terms, is that everything is different. Thanksgiving and Christmas both occur near the end of the month, so the Boosters have to hold their meetings on a different day.

The Boosters will meet Friday, Nov. 18, and Friday, Dec. 16, when they will enjoy their Thanksgiving and Christmas potlucks. In January, it's back to normal, with the meetings taking place on the last Friday of the month.

On December 16, the Boosters, along with the rest of society, will celebrate Beethoven's Birthday. Maybe we can find someone to play his Pathetique Sonata while we're eating lunch. Or maybe we all could join in singing his "Ode to Joy."

Bay City Arts Center

Yoga classes are again being held Monday and Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. Classes are lead by Michelle Lawhorn and cost $5 per 75-minute session. If you are interested in yoga or have any questions, please call or e-mail BCAC. The phone number is (503) 377-9620.

Toddler Art resumed October 5. Nancy Slavin conducts the sessions every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. Check the BCAC Web site for more details. Go to the Grapevine section labeled "Links" to find the link to the Arts Center. There will be no Toddler Art on Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Poet and Songwriter's Circle no longer meets Tuesday evenings.

The monthly pancake breakfast will be held Nov. 20, from 8 a.m. to noon. Stay after breakfast and create a table decoration for your own Thanksgiving feast.

I am pleased to let you know that the documentary film, "Remembering Tillamook County," will be shown Wednesday, Dec. 28, followed by a fundraising dinner and a silent auction. If you would like to donate something for the silent auction, call the Arts Center at (503) 377-9620, or send them an e-mail at baycityartscenter@gmail.com. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the film. Joe Wrabeck had originally expected the film to be shown on Labor Day, but it turned out that the film still needed some tweaking up.

FEMA Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test

Today, the entire country was primed for the first nationwide test of FEMA's Emergency Alert System test. It was to occur at 11 a.m. PST, as I recall.

The appointed hour came and went. My TV programming continued as scheduled, without even the hint of an interruption. Not even a faint "beep." I waited anxiously for my NOAA Weather Radio to start warbling --- nothing but dead silence.

It was a failure of Shakespearian proportions, sort of a "Much Ado about Nothing." Wow!! Are we now doomed to suffer a tsunami, or have a comet on a collision course with the Congress and not know about it?

Maybe the Russians inadvertently caused the failure, bollixing FEMA's EAS Warning System with their super strong radio signals to start the failed propulsion engines on their Mars rocket. It was supposed to land on Phobos, one of the Mars moons, to collect samples and return them to Earth. Maybe next time they'll knock a chip off of Diemos. The English translations would be Fear and Panic, which, no doubt, the FEMA folks are experiencing right now.

Or maybe, as a cost-saving measure, FEMA outsourced the design and manufacture of the EAS to some needy third world country. Or maybe the technician couldn't remember which button to push.

Whatever the reason, I'm still waiting to be warned.

Bits and Pieces

We had our first killing frost Friday, Nov. 4. Sharline had been urging me to get her plants into the greenhouse, and I didn't get it done. My bad! But, the plants didn't look all that bad when I moved them later that day. Let's hope they survived.

The last time I checked, our sole ballot measure was going down to ignominious defeat. Looks like we won't be getting any extra road repairs this year. This is a bad time to look for extra money, I guess. But maybe it's a blessing in disguise. We'll need to slow down some, which should reduce the accident rate.

A very happy birthday to Danielle Hurd. Danielle celebrated her birthday Tuesday evening at ArtSpace. Sharline and I were unable to make it. I had spent a good potion of the day setting up chairs and tables at the Air Museum, and I was too pooped to pop when I got home. Sad, because I've always enjoyed Danielle's imaginative birthday parties.

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The post and its auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Dec. 3.

November 16 , 2011

I think winter is upon us. Happily, the big blow today turned out to be not quite so bad as Gordon McCraw had predicted. But, best to be prepared.

Don't Fence Me In

Heather Robinette, who owns the Cutting Loose Beauty Salon, and her husband, Kenneth Grieve, appeared before the City Council at its Nov. 15 meeting to appeal an order to move their fence back to a point 25 feet from the intersection of Short and 9th Streets. They had previously moved the fence eight feet back as directed by a Public Works employee.

A letter from Public Works superintendent David Pace, dated October 25, advised Grieves and Robinette that the "fence has been constructed within a clear vision area (at the intersection of Short and 9th Streets) and is obstructing the view from Short Street of oncoming traffic and is a serious safety issue and needs to be corrected immediately."

The fence is six feet in height, the maximum permitted by the Development Ordinance. The alternative is to leave the fence in place but lower it to three feet. Grieve pointed out that the renter in his house, located just north of Cutting Loose, had young children who could easily scale a three-foot fence. When it was pointed out there was no Stop sign on Short Street at 9th, David said he'd get a sign put up immediately.

The Council first advised Grieve that the Planning Commission could authorize a variance. Discussion finally got down to the issue of safety, and whether there was there an actual safety issue. Grieve pointed out that clear vision from that corner is far better today than before he erected the fence, because he had cleaned out the blackberry which was blocked the view.

When it was noted that the platted width of the Short Street right-of-way was 60 feet, Councilor John Gettman pointed out that the actual width of the right-of-way was 24 feet, and that the actual location of the public right-of-way was unclear. Steve Donovan, an engineer under contract with the City, advised that surveying to determine the precise locations of the public right-of-way and a strip of city-owned property would cost from $1,000 to $5,000.

So, then the question became, if the fence is to be moved to a point 25 feet from the corner, just where is the corner? Where does the 25 feet begin? Attorney Lois Albright advised that, because it was uncertain where the Short Street right-of-way was actually located, there was no way to say exactly where the fence should be located.

The Council voted to allow the fence to remain its present location.

City Council Member Resigns

Councilor Terry Krum surprised the mayor and other members of the City Council with his sudden resignation at the opening of the November 15 Council meeting. Krum was initially appointed to replace Terri Neiman, and then elected to a four-year term in 2010.

Krum said he was resigning because he felt he could not fulfill his obligation to the City. Much of his plumbing work of late has been out of town, he said. When invited to retain his seat until the end of the meeting, he declined, stating it was better for him to step down now.

The City is seeking someone to replace Krum and serve out the remainder of his term, which expires at the end of 2014. Anyone interested in being appointed to serve out the remainder of Krum's term should apply to the City office. To be eligible, you must be a resident of Bay City for at least one year, and be registered to vote. Applicants will be interviewed at a date to be determined.

It's a High Pressure Job

Bob Miles advised the Council that he was having a problem with water pressure --- too much of it. Bob said his water pressure was 100 psi, and it was wreaking havoc with his plumbing. He has had several visits by a plumber to replace blown seals. Bob also advised that the pressure should not exceed 80 psi. If this continues, he said, people will start experiencing blown toilets and water heaters.

Dave Pace said he had been aware of the problem, but had not yet discovered the cause. The City has two water systems: A high level system to serve its higher elevation properties, and a low level system to serve the lower elevation properties.

Steve Donovan, of SHN Consulting Engineers, advised that the pressure should be less than 80 psi, but that most fixtures should be able to handle 100 psi. He said the cause should not be too hard to determine, but correcting the problem could involve a greater challenge.

Steve went on to suggest installing pressure-reducing valves, which, he said, should cost about $50 each. He also suggested that the City maintain a small stock of the valves. He said that some cities have shared the cost with their water customers.

Dave was directed to determine which properties were affected by high water pressure and notify each property owner of the problem by letter.

Sometime soon, owners of properties in the higher elevations of Bay City may expect to receive a letter alerting them to the problem.

In other water-related matters, Dave advised that he intends to replace the steel water pipe on Warren Street. To do so, he said, he would have to bore horizontally under the railroad tracks.

As part of the discussion, Councilor Becky Smith noted that the Pioneer Museum site accessed off Warren Street had more than 1,000 visitors during the last two months, and that traffic was expected to increase further as more portions of the Museum site are completed.

That would require that Warren Street be repaired and resurfaced following installation of the pipe. Before that can be done, it must be determined whether that part of Warren Street belongs to the City or the County. Gettman pointed out that the Transportation Plan calls for modifying the intersection between Warren Street and U.S. 101.

The Tennis Court's Awash

The Council, at its workshop on November 14, received a report from Dave Pace about the tennis courts. It had been the plan to have the tennis court completely surfaced by the end of summer, or in early fall at the latest.

After the old surface was removed, Dave said, he discovered an area which was very soft and wet. In digging down, he discovered an accumulation of ground water. This, he said, was what had been forcing the old surface to buckle.

Dave explained that he intended to lay pipe and install drainage rock to assure proper drainage. Then, he said, he would prepare the area for surfacing next spring, when the asphalt plant again opens. Preparation, he explained, is not unlike building up a roadbed before paving.

Dave, in his written report, said that Don Averill had volunteered his time and a skid loader to complete digging out the tennis court and stockpiling the spoils.

Plans for the New Park and Fire Station

The City has been awarded two grants, one to acquire the old school property on Tillamook Avenue for a park, and a second to plan the park layout. A part of the park would be traded to build a new fire station out of the tsunami run-up zone. The grants to purchase the land and plan the park came from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), and must be use solely for the purchase of park property.

A third grant to pay the matching amount of $122,000 did not come through. The grant opportunity was canceled because there were too few applicants, but it may be reopened in 2012. The City has not yet accepted either of the two grants, because there is no guarantee it can pay for the property in full before the acquisition grant expires.

The Council agreed to accept the Planning Grant, and authorized application for a Ford Foundation grant to pay for balance owed on the park property, to be known as the Watt Family Park. As a last resort, the City could borrow from a reserve fund to complete the purchase.

The original plan had been to purchase the park property, and then trade about one acre of it for property of equal value elsewhere in the City, to add to the parks system. But Councilor John Gettman noted that there were problems with that plan, since it would be very difficult for fire equipment to negotiate a turn onto Tillamook Avenue. It was also noted that there must be an auxiliary fire station at the north end of town, because a tsunami following a subduction quake would split the City into two island communities. Emergency equipment would be unable to travel to the north end of town from a fire station in the south.

Gettman also stated that best location for the fire station would be on McCoy Street near Bewley. He pointed out that it must be known whether the new fire station will be located on the park property before any planning under the planning grant can commence.

 

International Survivors of Suicide Day

Saturday, Nov. 19, is International Survivors of Suicide Day. Deah Christensen-Carney of the Tillamook Family Counseling Center has announced a program for survivors of suicide loss on that day at the Family Counseling Center, located at 906 Main Ave., Tillamook.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the world dies by suicide. And every 41 seconds, someone is left to make sense of it. Thousands of survivors of suicide loss gather together on this day for mutual support and practical guidance on coping with grief.

If you have lost someone to suicide, you are invited to join Deah at the Family Counseling Center. Registration will be at 12:45 p.m. The session will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact Deah at 503 812-5505, or by e-mail at daec@trcc.org .

Veterans Celebrate Veterans Day

The veterans of Tillamook County celebrated Veterans Day last Friday at the Tillamook Air Museum. It was estimated that about 400 people attended, the largest crowd ever. Many of them came early to enjoy a traditional SOS Breakfast prepared by the Air Museum Café. Proceeds from the breakfasts will go to the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles.

Col. Bill Hatton, USMCR, Retired, was the MC as well as one of the two keynote speakers for the event. Col. Hatton had done two tours in Iraq, as well as service in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The other keynote speaker was SSGT Matthew Mintz, U.S. Army National Guard. SSGT Mintz had recently returned from his third tour of duty in Iraq.

Music for the event was provided by the Tillamook Community Band and Choir, and the Tillamook High School Choir. Members of the Coast Guard posted and retired the colors, accompanied by members of the Clan MacLeay Pipe Band.

The Stardust Trio performed five selections from the late '40s and early '50s, all new material they had prepared for the Vets Day celebration. David Hurd, pastor of the Bay City United Methodist Church, offered the invocation, and Jon Dyk played "Taps."

Denny's Restaurant awarded free dinners to the seven Iraq/Afghanistan veterans in attendance. Denny's was also selling "Patriot Stars" to support the relief funds of VFW Post 2848 and its Auxiliary. The money raised goes into a special fund to help veterans in distress and their families, and to support programs which encourage patriotism in our children.

Also present at the event was Burt Darnielle and his Traveling Military Museum, and Don Adams, who is collecting veterans' histories for the Library of Congress.

VFW Post 2848 and its Auxiliary extend their sincerest appreciation to Mike Oliver, Christian Gurling and Michelle Forster of the Tillamook Air Museum for hosting the event.

Be a Shining Star

The Tillamook Denny's Restaurant and VFW Post 2848 are proud to announce their "Be a Shining Star" program to support veterans and their families in need. From October 24 until November 20, you can make a contribution at Denny's by buying a "Patriotic Star," which will be displayed on Denny's Wall of Honor in the entranceway. You may buy the Star in your own name or in the name of your favorite veteran or hero.

All contributions will go to the post's Veterans' Relief Fund. This fund takes on added importance because of the needs of our young veterans returning from service in Afghanistan and Iraq. For each contribution, Denny's will provide a certificate good for $2 off the price of a meal.

There will also be a barrel inside the front door to collect items to be sent to the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles. They can use things like shaving gear, toilet articles, lap blankets and books.

In addition to aiding veterans and families in need, the VFW and Ladies' Auxiliary support patriotic programs such as Voice of Democracy and Patriots' Pen, and programs to aid children, such as the Grub Club, Holiday Baskets and the Children's Christmas Shoppe. They also support the Salvation Army with food drives, bell-ringing and cash donations.

So, it's a win-win situation. You make a donation for a good cause and you get $2 off the price of a meal --- and they serve great food at Denny's, so you can't lose. The VFW is proud to partner with Tillamook Denny's on this project.

Bay City Boosters

The Boosters will meet Friday, Nov. 18, one week early because of Thanksgiving. Everyone is welcome.

There will be no auction this month. Rather, members are asked to bring some food for the Food Bank. See you there.

Bay City Arts Center

Yoga classes are again being held Monday and Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. Classes are lead by Michelle Lawhorn and cost $5 per 75-minute session. If you are interested in yoga or have any questions, please call or e-mail BCAC. The phone number is (503) 377-9620. There will be no yoga class November 24.

Toddler Art resumed October 5. Nancy Slavin conducts the sessions every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. Check the BCAC Web site for more details. Go to the Grapevine section labeled "Links" to find the link to the Arts Center. There will be no Toddler Art on Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving.

The Poet and Songwriter's Circle no longer meets Tuesday evenings.

The monthly pancake breakfast will be held Nov. 20, from 8 a.m. to noon. Cost is $5 per person, $4 for members. Stay after breakfast and create a table decoration for your own Thanksgiving feast.

I am pleased to let you know that the documentary film, "Remembering Tillamook County," will be shown Wednesday, Dec. 28, followed by a fundraising dinner and a silent auction. Things get underway at 5:30 p.m. If you would like to donate something for the silent auction, call the Arts Center at (503) 377-9620, or send them an e-mail at baycityartscenter@gmail.com. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the film. Joe Wrabeck had originally expected the film to be shown on Labor Day, but it turned out that the film still needed some tweaking up.

It's a bit early, but there are some interesting events programmed for January. On January 7, John Stowell will hold a jazz guitar workshop and performance.

On January 14, there will be a book reading with authors Judy Allen and Tricia Gates Brown.

On January 21 and 28, there will be photography workshops with Jim Young. The classes will meet four or five Saturdays.

Bits and Pieces

A very happy birthday to Pat Vining. He said he and Linda celebrated quietly with a giant cake. I don't know when Pat finds time to eat cake, with all the things he's involved in. Anyway, Pat, hope you had a happy one last Monday, and that there will be many, many more.

I'm sorry the roads measure didn't pass, but I can understand why. With the economy in a funk, and so many people unemployed or underemployed, I can see where putting bread on the table takes precedence over fixing our roads. Maybe next year.

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The post and its auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Dec. 3.

November 23 , 2011

Last week, the predicted blow sort of fizzled. Not so this week. We had some pretty heavy winds and lots of rain. I mean lots. Today my rain gauge showed 4.85 inches in 36 hours. Happily, we had no power outage at my home, but we did have a couple of very brief blips --- just enough to require that all the clocks be reset. But, one thing I can really attest to --- it's sure great to have Gordon McCraw and his detailed weather forecasts. Keep up the good work, Gordon.

Appreciation for an old veteran

I didn't tell this story last week because the Back Fence was far too long already.

Sharline and I went to Portland the Sunday following Veterans Day. We go there every three months to see one of Sharline's several doctors. When you get old, you seem to accumulate doctors. It would be much nicer if we could accumulate wealth instead.

We always get a Monday morning appointment, so we can drive over Sunday afternoon and return midday Monday. At my age, I have no desire to drive across town in Portland, nor do I wish to contend with rush hour traffic on U.S. 26 from Beaverton or Hillsboro clear into town. You see, Sharline's doctor practices at Portland Adventist Hospital, and that's about as far across town as one can get.

After checking in to our motel, we went to dinner at the Mall 205 Olive Garden. We dine there every time we come to that part of Portland. We were busily devouring our dinners when the waitress sat down at our table to tell us that the gentleman at a nearby table would be picking up our tab as an expression of gratitude to an old veteran. I guess my baseball cap emblazoned with "Korea – Vietnam Veteran" blew my cover.

My benefactor was getting ready to leave, so I went over to his table to thank him for his kindness. He looked to be in his mid to late thirties, and was accompanied by his lovely wife and two darling little children, I would guess to be about 5 and 3 years old.

We introduced ourselves, and each child, a little girl and a smaller boy, shook my hand and said, "Thank you for your service." I've never had an experience like that before, and Sharline and I were very touched by it.

And so I say again to my benefactor: Thank you so very much for your kindness and your thought.

Be a Shining Star

Denny's Restaurant just completed its Patriotic Star Program to raise money for the veterans' relief funds of VFW Post 2848 an its Auxiliary Unit. Restaurant patrons purchased Patriotic Stars in the name of their favorite veterans, the money to go to the relief funds. The stars were displayed at the front entrance of the restaurant, along with a display of flags and a collage of pictures.

Anyone purchasing a star received a discount on the cost of the meal. There was also a collection barrel for items to be donated to the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles.

Eight of us gathered at Denny's Tuesday about noonish to enjoy a good meal and some banter before collecting the Post and Auxiliary colors and the donations. With me were Jim and Kahna Henry, Sterling and Anita Hanakahi, Bill and Karen Rust, and Juanita McCamman.

As I was leaving the restaurant after having collected our flags and the other memorabilia on display, I thanked the manager for partnering with the VFW and Auxiliary to help veterans in need. The collection barrel was full, and people's donations for the patriotic stars were more than generous. The manager, and I wish I could remember his name, said he was looking forward to what Denny's would do next year to help the veterans.

So, a heartfelt thanks to Denny's for all you've done to support our veterans. We appreciate it.

Nov. 22, 1963, a Day that will Live in Infamy

I remember it like it was yesterday. John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson were in Dallas, Texas, for a major political event. I was assigned to Headquarters, 1st Naval District, in Boston, where I administered programs for Naval Reserve medical personnel.

It was a quiet Friday, and nothing much was getting done. It was about 1:30 p.m. when my secretary, Adeline Albert, returned to the office, quite excited. "Jacqueline Kennedy has been shot," she yelled as she limped into the office. A radio was turned on, and we all listened in disbelief.

Why would anyone want to harm the first lady, we all wondered. Then, to our horror, we learned it was not Jackie, but rather Jack Kennedy himself who had been shot. We listened intently as news crackled over the radio that the Kennedy motorcade had sped off toward Parkland Hospital. News reporting in those days was not nearly so high tech as it is today, so much of what we heard was conjectural at best.

There were "eye witness" reports of what had happened as the motorcade passed the schoolbook depository, from which the shot had been fired. There was a lot of confusion among the media reporters as to exactly what happened. Then came news that the motorcade had arrived at Parkland Hospital and the president was inside.

Waiting and more conjecture by news reporters trying to fill airtime. Then it came. "Ladies and gentlemen, John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, is dead." It was a tearful Walter Cronkite reporting.

We all sat in stunned silence. As the afternoon wore on, other news came filtering in. The vice president had arrived at Parkland Hospital. The vice president had left Parkland Hospital. The police had nabbed a suspect in the shooting. And on, and on, and on.

 

A report came in that a guy named Lee Harvey Oswald had been arrested. There was a search for a local judge to swear in Lyndon Johnson as the 36th president of the United States aboard the presidential airplane.

Finally it was 4:30, time to go home. I got into my car and drove off toward the Sumner Tunnel for my trip to my home in Marblehead. The whole place was like a morgue. The silence was deafening. Where, ordinarily, people would be jockeying for position ahead of the other car so as to get through the tunnel sooner, honking horns and sometimes swearing at other drivers, it was eerily silent. No honking horns, no cutting in line, no discourtesy of any kind. The traffic just flowed along in silence.

It's a memory that will be with me to the end of my days.

House of Pies

This morning I decided to take Sharline to eat breakfast at Downie's Café. It was, of course, a great breakfast. Those ladies do a great job.

But they also bake pies, or, at least Karen Malcom does. I heard someone exclaim that the restaurant had baked 70 pies for Thanksgiving orders. Now, these things are truly awesome pies. Last Christmas I ordered a pie to take to my daughter's house in Lincoln City.

While Sharline and I were still living in Silverton, back in the early '90s, I heard about Downie's pies. Why I waited so long to try one, I'll never know.

So, if you're looking for something special to take to Grandma's house on Christmas, order a pie from Downie's. You'll be glad you did.

Bay City Boosters

The Boosters will meet Friday, Dec. 16, for its Christmas potluck. Though it hasn't yet been announced, I would expect that members will be asked to bring some food for the Food Bank. President Linda Vining mentioned the possibility of having a Chinese gift exchange.

More on this later. Stay Tuned.

Bay City Arts Center

Yoga classes resume Monday, Nov. 28. Michelle Lawhorn's Classes are held Monday and Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. and cost $5 per 75-minute session. If you are interested in yoga or have any questions, please call or e-mail BCAC. The phone number is (503) 377-9620.

Toddler Art resumes Wednesday, Nov. 30. Nancy Slavin conducts the sessions every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. Check the BCAC Web site for more details. Go to the Grapevine section labeled "Links" to find the link to the Arts Center.

The Poet and Songwriter's Circle no longer meets Tuesday evenings.

The monthly pancake breakfast will be held Dec. 18, from 8 a.m. to noon. Cost is $5 per person, $4 for members.

The documentary film, "Remembering Tillamook County," will be shown Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 5:30 p.m., followed by a fundraising dinner and a silent auction at 6 p.m. If you would like to donate something for the silent auction, call the Arts Center at (503) 377-9620, or send them an e-mail at baycityartscenter@gmail.com. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the film.

It's a bit early, but there are some interesting events programmed for January. On January 7, John Stowell will hold a jazz guitar workshop and performance.

On January 14, there will be a book reading with authors Judy Allen and Tricia Gates Brown.

Starting January 21 at 1 p.m. there will be digital outdoor photography workshops with Jim Young. The classes will meet four or five Saturdays. The first class will cover the technical aspects of digital cameras. Be sure to bring your own camera.

Bits and Pieces

The deer have been frequent visitors at my place lately. I just wish there were more of them, because my grass is growing and it's too wet to mow. It's that time of year. On sunny days, the sun doesn't shine long enough to dry the grass sufficiently for mowing.

The City is seeking applicants for a vacant City Council position. To be eligible, you must have been a resident of Bay City for at least one year, and you must be a registered Oregon voter. If you're interested, stop by the city office and fill out a form. All applicants will be interviewed by a selection committee, which will make its recommendation to mayor Shaena Peterson. The appointee will serve out the unexpired term of Terry Krum, approximately three years.

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The Post and its Auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Dec. 3.

I wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving, even though the stores are all decked out for Christmas, and Thanksgiving seems to slipped out of existence.

November 30, 2011

One down, two to go. Thanksgiving is behind us, and now we look forward to Christmas and New Year's Day. It's too bad the season has been hijacked by retailers looking to make a buck or two. It's almost is if we have reverted to the Saturnalia, imperial Rome's December orgy. Sad.

A Happy Fifth Birthday to our new Library Building

Has it been five years already? How time flies.

Our new Main Library celebrates its fifth anniversary Saturday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 5 p.m. And, they're having a birthday party. According to Sara Charlton, our county librarian, fundraising to build the new library took 18 years. That was a monumental undertaking by any standard. But Sara and the building committee got it done.

Our old library, located in a former automobile dealership, had simply run out of space. It had served well at first, but as community needs grew, the former auto dealership just ran out of gas. The cost of retrofitting and expanding the old building simply couldn't be justified. The stacks filled just about the entire attic area, and there were problems with weight and moisture. The only answer was a new building, designed to serve today's community and library needs.

Today our new library building serves as an anchor for a whole area of Tillamook, and several other new buildings of complementary design now dot the area. TLC is a good example.

Tillamook County now has a library of which it can be justly proud. I look forward to joining all of you December 10 to celebrate its first five years. See you all there.

A Thanksgiving to Remember

This Thanksgiving, Sharline and I had the pleasure of dining with Karen and Bill Rust and their friends in the Fellowship Room of the Bay City United Methodist Church. It was a great meal, just as it has been in past years when I have had the privilege of dining with the Rusts.

But as it does every Thanksgiving, my memory goes back to a Thanksgiving dinner I helped prepare and serve 61 years ago in North Korea. The Division Hospital was set up in an actual hospital building in Hamhung, a city several miles inland from the port city of Hungnam. Being temporarily on the outs for the perceived misdeeds of a working party to which I had been assigned at Wonsan, I had been relegated to mess duty instead of patient care. The entire working party shared my fate.

The afternoon before Thanksgiving, a truck containing our Thanksgiving dinner backed up to our galley door. There were fresh yams, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, apples and oranges. The place looked like an Italian outdoor fruit and vegetable market back in New York. There were also canned olives, mincemeat, cranberry sauce, sacks of flour, cane sugar, brown sugar, dried bread cubes, and cans of sage and assorted other spices, plus nuts and hard candies. There must have been a ton of frozen turkeys, still packed in boxes, which had to be thawed by the next morning. There were even bags of dates, raisins, and miniature marshmallows, for what purpose I hadn't the foggiest notion.

"Sarge, what's with all these goodies?" I foolishly asked the mess sergeant. "Ever heard of MacArthur?" the mess sergeant retorted, obviously convinced of my complete and utter stupidity. "He said to feed all the troops in Korea a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving, so that's what we're gonna do." He added that he had gotten word just that morning to "get our butts down to the supply dump and pick the stuff up."

The rest of the afternoon was spent peeling and dicing vegetables while the cooks worked out a schedule to prepare the feast for the morrow. There were scarcely enough containers and kitchen capacity to prepare such a feast in that little Korean hospital kitchen. One of the cooks was busy rolling and proofing dough for the dinner rolls to be baked later in the evening. The pies would go in the ovens as soon as the rolls came out, so that all of our limited oven capacity would be available for the turkeys tomorrow.

Thawing the turkeys was a real trick. Each box contained four turkeys. The boxes were flattened and the turkeys were laid out, two on each box lid and two on each base. The place was awash with dead birds by the time we had them all out of their boxes. Then, with every level surface occupied by frozen turkeys, where do we put the pies to cool when they come out of the oven?

It was nearly midnight when we galley slaves finally secured, promising to return at 5 a.m. When we arrived Thanksgiving morning, the cooks were already hard at work removing the giblets and necks from the partially-thawed birds, and setting the birds atop the ranges where the heat from the ovens would hasten the thawing process. We had to improvise in order to find roasting containers for all the birds, and it was obvious that we were in for a game of musical cooking pots.

"Sarge, you'll probably think me stupid for asking this," I said. Since I had irritated him with my inane questions the day before, I thought I would preface today's question with a full admission of my stupidity. That way, he might be a bit more tolerant of my ignorance. "How in the hell are you going to cook all this stuff? There's not enough space to set it down, let alone pots and pans to cook it."

"Well, Sol, you've asked your first smart question since coming here!" beamed the mess sergeant. "MacArthur should have asked the same damned question before he had his supply henchmen ship us all this stuff." The sergeant had found a willing ear to listen to his dissertation on command stupidity, and he was not going to pass the opportunity by.

"If you think we got it bad, pity those poor slobs up north. At least we could bring the turkeys inside to thaw --- most of those poor bastards will have to cook the damned things frozen." He took a swig of his now-tepid coffee and continued his prepared speech. "If this building didn't have these gas ranges, we'd be cooking outside on our field ranges, and we'd never get done. We may still have to fire one of them up outside. And the pots and pans --- now that's a real problem." To be sure, the sarge had people looking in every nook and cranny for any kind of container that would hold food for cooking. Jokingly, the sarge added that he'd "even settle for bedpans" if he could get away with it.

Breakfast was something easy to fix and clean up --- oatmeal mush. The troops didn't care for it, but then, they didn't have to do the cooking. Taking no chances that the correct menu would not be prepared, MacArthur's logistics geniuses had provided each field command with a stack of printed menus, with ornate borders and fancy printing. Not only were printed menus shipped to every field command along with the turkeys and trimmings, the menus had been published in all the leading stateside newspapers and the overseas editions of Stars and Stripes, and broadcast over Armed Forces Radio. There was no way anyone could claim ignorance and omit any of the prescribed items from their Thanksgiving dinner. Woe betide any mess sergeant who deviated from the holiday menu which had been decreed by none other than the Generalissimo himself.

Gradually, the great dinner took shape. The candied yams were cooked early and removed from the ovens to make room for the turkeys. When the turkeys were done, they would come out and the yams would go back in to heat up. The potatoes I had peeled yesterday were boiling merrily on the surface burners, gradually softening to the point where they would yield to the potato whip and allow themselves to be reduced to a shapeless pulp, hopefully with as few lumps as possible.

When the turkeys went into the ovens, I was surprised to see that there was no stuffing inside them. "You never put the stuffing inside the turkeys," responded the mess sergeant to another of my stupid queries. "I'm going to prepare the stuffing now, so why don't you come give me a hand so you can see how it's done."

Feeling somewhat honored at being chosen for such an important task --- after all, what would a turkey dinner be without stuffing? --- I stepped up to the preparation table, ready to do my bit for troop morale. We poured the dried bread crumbs into a medium stock pot, moistened them with some of the stock from the roasting turkeys and mixed it in with our hands. We cut up the necks and giblets which had been boiling alongside the spuds, chopped some celery stalks into miniature crescents, shed a few tears while dicing up the onions, added sage, pepper, and several other spices, used our hands to mix the dressing some more, and spread it evenly on the few extra baking pans we had managed to scrounge up. Adding a little more of the turkey stock, we slid the pans into the ovens to cook.

"Stuffing's the last thing we prepare," explained the mess sergeant, "can't let it sit for long in the galley or on the serving line. Otherwise, the dysentery at Inchon would look like a Sunday picnic. We don't save it after the meal, either. What we don't serve, we throw out. The stuff is dynamite."

While the stuffing was cooking in the oven, one of the cooks removed the cooling turkeys from their roasting vessels and poured the remaining stock into a large pot on one of the surface burners. A bit of flour and a few other ingredients later, there was rich, brown turkey gravy ready for the serving line. Trays of candied yams went back into the ovens for a final warm-up, the potatoes were whipped, and milk and butter --- yes, real butter --- were added, and we were about ready. It was a welcome reprieve from that canned margarine, which required a jackhammer to get it out of the can.

Since mid morning, the aroma of the roasting turkeys and stuffing had gradually mingled with that of the freshly-baked pies as it wafted slowly through every corner of the hospital building, producing a mouth-watering fragrance which announced the near-readiness of a meal truly fit for a king. Already, like giant condors circling ever closer to their dying quarry, ravenous, salivating warriors were gathering near the galley to join in the feast. Occasionally, one of us would slip a few tidbits to some of our friends waiting outside, to heighten their anticipation and assure their appreciation of the meal that was soon to come. Only a relatively small number of them had eaten breakfast, possibly to save as much room as possible for the feast, or, more likely, because most of the troops hated oatmeal mush.

 

Two of the cooks busied themselves carving up the turkeys while another shoved the dinner rolls into an oven to warm them up. Corpsmen from the wards arrived with their orders for trays for the bedridden patients, accompanied by enough able-bodied patients to help carry the trays back to the wards. As a reward for their effort, each of them was given a pass to cut into the head of the chow line when they returned to get their own meals --- they had, after all, given up their own places in line to help their fellow Marines. It would take about twenty minutes to prepare all the trays for the wards.

Finally, with the last of the bedpatients' trays on their way to the wards, the line was opened to the rank and file and the rush was on. There would be unlimited seconds for everyone, a necessity because those small mess kits would not hold the entire meal. The line extended all the way down the hallway and around the corner. Most of us were assigned serving stations on the chow line, each server handling two items. One of the cooks served the turkey, and another the pie. Several of the galley slaves were responsible for watching and replenishing the serving line as quantities in the serving containers started to run low. The serving line kept on going for what seemed an eternity. It was almost as if there were an infinite number of people waiting to be served --- they kept on coming, some returning for seconds, thirds, and fourths.

Finally, after heaping layer upon layer of turkey and trimmings onto the mess kits of smiling Marines for almost two hours, the end was in sight, and, in another twenty minutes or so, we were finally able to close the line and shut the doors --- all but one. And still, our sated customers kept coming, poking their heads through the still-open door to see if they couldn't get just one more slice of turkey, or another dinner roll or a piece of pie. It had been a food orgy of almost Roman proportions, lacking only dancing girls and a vomitorium.

It had been a meal not soon --- or ever --- to be forgotten. Never before, and never again, would any meal served from a military kitchen surpass, or even approach, the culinary grandeur of the feast we all --- cooks, galley slaves, and scullerymen alike --- had created this Thanksgiving. We had achieved what would surely be the zenith, the sumnum bonum, the great granddaddy of all holiday meals everywhere. Our satisfied customers lacked only the presence of family members and loved ones to make their day complete. This meal was unique for another reason as well --- there was not one single complaint from anyone who had partaken of its bounty. Each of us had enjoyed the opportunity to participate in creating this monumental holiday feast, and we all savored the moment, for tomorrow, it would be back to the same old routine --- canned and dried rations and the usual gripes.

None of the scullery or kitchen staff had eaten. The scullery people had had their hands full washing and returning the cooking and serving containers so that they could be refilled and used again --- and again --- and again. Everything came to a stop, the freezing scullery people were brought inside, and we all sat around the preparation table and gorged ourselves on the abundance of leftovers from the serving line. There had been more than enough to feed the hospital staff and patients, and I think there was enough left over to feed the 5th Marines. I believe that Thanksgiving feast replaced about one-half of those 35 pounds I had lost during Kim Il-sung's revenge, the dysentery I had acquired at Inchon.

We took our time, about an hour or so, packing as much of that magnificent feast into our bellies as we could possibly force down our gullets. Before sitting down to eat, several of the cooks broke up some turkey carcases and threw them into a pot with some remaining stock and some water, and let them simmer while we continued to feast. "Turkey soup," commented the mess sergeant, "that's what's for dinner. The troops shouldn't be too hungry after that noon meal today."

"Sarge," I asked, "after this, just what the hell do you do for an encore?" "That's the rub," he responded after thinking for a moment, "there can be no encore after this meal. Every meal I prepare from now on will be compared to this one."

"That was sure nice of General MacArthur to order up this nice holiday feed for his troops in Korea," piped up Lucky Adams, who had, on more than one occasion, demonstrated the astounding depth of his naïveté.

"Don't think for a minute that El Magnifico served up this spread as a holiday morale booster for the troops," snapped the mess sergeant. "This feast was put on for one reason, and one reason only --- so that Caesar, in his imperial palace in Tokyo, could have yet another opportunity to pander to the press. It's what he does best --- wants to look good to the Congress and the folks back home. He sure as hell didn't do it for the troops! Hell, I'm damned surprised one of his supply goons didn't send blocks of ice with instructions on how to sculpt a turkey."

A short while later, Yu Dai-shek came in to join me for a few minutes. We hadn't seen too much of each other since I had been relegated to the limbo of field culinary arts. There was not too much call for an interpreter in the galley, especially since no indigenous labor was permitted there. I was surprised to learn that Dai-shek really didn't care for our Thanksgiving fare. He would have preferred rice, skiaki, or sushi. He was not accustomed to our rich holiday fare, although he did eat his fill of fresh fruit, hard candy, and nuts.

We took our time with cleanup activities, nibbling away at our still-abundant leftovers. Turkey hash or something similar was on dock for the next day's evening meal, and any leftovers after that would be given to the Korean laborers to take home. Back at my hut, my friends and I continued our turkey feast well into the night, eagerly consuming the turkey, pie, rolls, butter, fruit, nuts, and hard candy I had brought back with me from the galley.

It was a feast which, to this day, I remember as if it happened yesterday.

Bay City Boosters

The Boosters will meet Friday, Dec. 16, for its Christmas potluck. Though it hasn't yet been announced, I would expect that members will be asked to bring some food for the Food Bank. President Linda Vining mentioned the possibility of having a Chinese gift exchange.

More on this later. Stay Tuned.

Bay City Arts Center

There are no yoga classes this week. Classes will probably resume Monday, Dec. 5. Call to make sure before coming down. Classes are held Monday and Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. and cost $5 per 75-minute session. If you are interested in yoga or have any questions, please call or e-mail BCAC. The phone number is (503) 377-9620.

Toddler Art resumed today. Nancy Slavin conducts the sessions every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. There is no charge to attend. Check the BCAC Web site for more details. Go to the Grapevine section labeled "Links" to find the link to the Arts Center.

The monthly pancake breakfast will be held Dec. 18, from 8 a.m. to noon. Cost is $5 per person, $4 for members.

The documentary film, "Remembering Tillamook County," will be shown Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 5:30 p.m., followed by a fundraising dinner and a silent auction at 6 p.m. The film was created under the direction of Wil Duncan. If you would like to donate something for the silent auction, call the Arts Center at (503) 377-9620, or send them an e-mail at baycityartscenter@gmail.com.

It's a bit early, but there are some interesting events programmed for January. On January 7, John Stowell will hold a jazz guitar workshop and performance.

On January 14, there will be book readings by authors Judy Allen and Tricia Gates Brown.

Starting January 21 at 1 p.m. there will be digital outdoor photography workshops with Jim Young. Classes are scheduled for January 21 and 28, and February 4, 11 and 28. The first class will cover the technical aspects of digital cameras. Be sure to bring your own camera. The fee to attend all five classes is $100.

Bits and Pieces

The City is seeking applicants for a vacant City Council position. To be eligible, you must have been a resident of Bay City for at least one year, and you must be a registered Oregon voter. If you're interested, stop by the city office and fill out a form. All applicants will be interviewed by a selection committee, which will make its recommendation to mayor Shaena Peterson. The appointee will serve out the unexpired term of Terry Krum, approximately three years.

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The Post and its Auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Dec. 3.

I hope all of you had a very happy Thanksgiving.

December 7, 2011

For better or worse, it's that season of the year. I find it more stressful with each passing year, probably because I'm not getting any younger. I no longer buy gifts. Too much hassle. I just send some money and tell my kids to buy themselves something they've always wanted. Actually, Sharline and I would just prefer to be with our kids on Christmas, and forget about the gifts.

Burn Permits --- Get 'em while they're hot

Word from Darrell Griffith, our new Fire Chief: If you burn outside, whether in barrels or open piles, your permit expires the end of December. Time to renew. And, Darrell says, the 2012 permits are available now. Just drop by the city office and pick up your new permit. There is no cost. The office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from noon to 5 p.m. the other two days.

A Happy Fifth Birthday to our new Library Building

Has it been five years already? How time flies.

Our new Main Library celebrates its fifth anniversary Saturday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 5 p.m. And, they're having a birthday party. According to Sara Charlton, our county librarian, fundraising to build the new library took 18 years. That was a monumental undertaking by any standard. But Sara and the building committee got it done.

Our old library, located in a former automobile dealership, had simply run out of space. It had served well at first, but as community needs grew, the former auto dealership just ran out of gas. The cost of retrofitting and expanding the old building simply couldn't be justified. The stacks filled just about the entire attic area, and there were problems with weight and moisture. The only answer was a new building, designed to serve today's community and library needs.

Today our new library building serves as an anchor for a whole area of Tillamook, and several other new buildings of complementary design now dot the area. TLC is a good example.

Tillamook County now has a library of which it can be justly proud. I look forward to joining all of you December 10 to celebrate its first five years. See you all there.

Thoughts about Pearl Harbor

I had turned 10 in September 1941, which qualified me to assume major responsibilities around the house. My family had arrived in New York City from Montana only six months earlier, and we were living in a duplex near the corner of 99th Street and Third Avenue in Brooklyn. (Now, if that's not a radical change in life style for a 10-year-old kid, I don't know what is. Talk about culture shock!)

My dad was an Army captain stationed at the New York Port of Embarkation at 59th Street in
Brooklyn. That Sunday, my mom and dad had gone to the Army-Notre Dame game, which was being played at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. My younger brother and sister had been committed to my care.

I turned the radio on and tuned it to the station carrying the game --- WOR, I believe. I really don't know why I wanted to listen, as I really didn't care about football. It wasn't any fun if you couldn't see it, like I used to in Missoula, Mont. My friends and I would climb up Mount Sentinel, which overlooked the football field, to watch the games. Sometimes the ROTC guys would run us off --- we hadn't paid to see the game --- but we always came right back.

My favorite part of those games was the half-time, when the field was taken over by the marching band. I considered that much more interesting than the game, anyway. Well, I could still enjoy the half-time music on the radio without watching them march.

But, because my dad was in the Army, I secretly wanted the Army to kick the pants off the Fighting Irish. But I would never know how the game came out. I don't remember how much of the game had been played when suddenly the announcement came that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor.

From then on, the airwaves crackled with bulletins about the raid. I remember the announcer repeatedly stating that all military personnel were to report immediately to their duty stations. It was about an hour and a half later when my parents returned home. My dad shifted into his ODs and left for the Port of Embarkation. I wondered what all those soldiers and sailors were going to do at their duty stations --- certainly not shoot down Japanese planes or sink their ships.

I didn't have the foggiest idea where Pearl Harbor was. All I knew was that Captain Midnight was in charge of the Secret Squadron, which was based at a secret airfield at Pearl Harbor. Trouble with that was, the good Captain was rarely at his secret airbase. He and his mechanic, Ichabod Mudd, and his two teenage companions were always in some God-forsaken location or other doing all the work of the Secret Squadron, while the rest of the squadron stayed behind to make sure nobody found out about the secret airfield. At least he would have been safe from the Japanese attack. He was usually out chasing his archnemesis, the Barracuda.

My mother patiently explained to me that Pearl Harbor was in the Hawaiian Islands. The news continued to come in throughout the day. We learned of Colin Kelly, who was shot down, the war's first hero. Later I heard a snippet on the news about Colin Kelly's survivors, and misunderstood it to mean that Colin Kelly had survived being shot down. Not so, my mother assured me. He had departed for that great big airfield in the sky. This was one of the vagaries of the English language I never fully understood as a child.

The following day I heard President Roosevelt give his "Day that will live in Infamy" speech, and the news that the United States Congress had declared war against the Empire of Japan.

It suddenly became difficult to buy certain items we had come to take for granted, such as sugar, bananas and meat. The stuff was being requisitioned to feed a rapidly growing Army and Navy. Soon there was a makeshift rationing system in place until a more elaborate point rationing system could be placed in effect. The speed limit was reduced immediately to 35 mph on the highways. This was not so much to conserve gasoline, I was told, as it was to conserve rubber. Much of the world's rubber came from areas controlled by the Japanese, and there was no synthetic rubber then. But that was soon to come.

I remember that a first class postage stamp cost three cents, and an airmail stamp cost five. Post cards went for a penny. There were two postal deliveries a day, and one on Saturday. It was no time at all before we were having drives to collect scrap metal, paper, oil, and all manner of things that could be used for the war effort. Most metals became strategic materials and were very hard to obtain for civilian use.

There was a veritable orgy of patriotism. People uprooted their Japanese cherry trees, a stupid thing; and there was an all-out effort to stamp out Japanese beetles, a good thing. In those days, the label, "Made in Japan," signified an item of markedly inferior quality. People broke up kids' toys of Japanese manufacture, and just about anything else that was made in Japan.

But, some practical things evolved as well. People started planting Victory Gardens wherever they could find room. In New York City, that was usually hard to come by. The children used their allowances to purchase stamps, which they pasted on special cards. When a card was full, it could be swapped for a $25 War Bond.

I don't know who won the football game that day, but four years later, we did win the war. I was at a doctor's office getting a physical examination to go to summer camp the day Enola Gay dropped the bomb in Hiroshima, and I was at Camp St. Agnes in New Jersey when the second bomb was dropped and Japan surrendered. And the lights went on again all over the world --- for a while.

The Bay City Streets Committee

The Streets Committee met Monday for the first time since 2006. Prior to its five-year hiatus, the Committee had mapped out all of Bay City's streets and prioritized them for upgrade or repair. During the hiatus, Bay City also developed a Transportation System Plan, with the help of a grant-funded "expert," of course.

The Committee, chaired by Pat Vining, was pleased that most of the street work prioritized by the former committee had been done. That is not to say that there is no more work to do. There is, of course.

A new player in the equation is the recently completed Bay City Transportation System Plan. Much of that plan deals with modernizing and improving the intersections of City streets with U.S. 101. When ODOT rerouted the highway away from 5th Street years ago, the result was a number of highway intersections that leave much to be desired.

A street intersection should, ideally, be 90 degrees. Few, if any, of the highway intersections meet that standard. The Transportation Plan has some serious failings as well. We had hoped for a speed reduction through town to 35 mph and safe pedestrian crossings. Neither of those things happened. The consultant instead recommended a pedestrian overpass at Hayes Oyster Drive, a pricey undertaking at best.

 

The Committee, today, has much to do. We need to get moving on some of the highway intersections. According to John Gettman, a member of the Committee, a proposal involving U.S. 101 will take about four years of jumping through administrative hoops before it is "shovel ready." As greater demands are placed upon our transportation system in Bay City and on the highway, it is imperative that we start to work now.

It was also noted during the meeting, that some aspects of the Transportation Plan may have to be changed. It was the consensus of the Committee that, since it is our plan, we are at liberty to change it. But it is a safe bet that, if any of the proposed changes involve ODOT, that agency will have to give its imprimatur as well.

Another matter discussed in the Plan is traffic calming. Public Works superintendent David Pace, advised the Committee that he had obtained some movable speed humps which he intended to set up in problem areas. Another problem was the City's previous inability to obtain grants to improve 16th Street. 16th Street is heavily traveled by employees of the Handle Factory going to and from work. The Committee's consensus was that David obtain traffic counts on 16th Street to bolster the next application for a Special Cities Allotment Grant to repair 16th Street. Stay tuned.

Bay City Boosters

The Boosters will meet Friday, Dec. 16, for its Christmas potluck. Though it hasn't yet been announced, I would expect that members will be asked to bring some food for the Food Bank. President Linda Vining mentioned the possibility of having a Chinese gift exchange.

More on this later. Stay Tuned.

Bay City Arts Center

Yoga classes resumed Monday, Dec. 5, following a Thanksgiving holiday. Classes are held Monday and Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. and cost $5 per 75-minute session. If you are interested in yoga or have any questions, please call or e-mail BCAC. The phone number is (503) 377-9620.

Nancy Slavin conducts Toddler Art sessions every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. There is no charge to attend. Check the BCAC Web site for more details. Go to the Grapevine section labeled "Links" to find the link to the Arts Center.

The monthly pancake breakfast will be held Dec. 18, from 8 a.m. to noon. Cost is $5 per person, $4 for members. Stick around after breakfast and make a Christmas ornament,

The documentary film, "Remembering Tillamook County," will be shown Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6 p.m. by a fundraising dinner and a silent auction. The film was created under the direction of Wil Duncan. If you would like to donate something for the silent auction, call the Arts Center or send them an e-mail at baycityartscenter@gmail.com.

There are some interesting events programmed for January. On January 8, John Stowell will hold a jazz guitar workshop and performance. Note: This is a date change from previous BCAC schedules.

On January 14, there will be book readings by authors Judy Allen and Tricia Gates Brown. Both authors live on the Oregon Coast.

Judy Allen will read from her book, "Looking Through the Water," her first novel. It is a story set in the 1940s. It involves a young lady who discovers that she has special gifts, resulting in conflicts within her family and her church.

Tricia Gates Brown will read from her book, "Jesus Loves Women." This is a story about a young woman raised a fundamentalist Christian, who casts off her upbringing to discover herself.

Digital outdoor photography workshops, conducted by Jim Young, are scheduled for January 21 and 28, and February 4, 11 and 28. The first class will cover the technical aspects of digital cameras. Be sure to bring your own camera. The fee will be $25 per class, or $100 to attend all five classes.

'Tis the Season to be Jolly

Here we are once again, standing on the threshold of our year-end orgy. On Sunday, it will be just two weeks to Christmas. We're entering a round of Christmas parties. Pity the poor slob who's dieting. Come January, it will be necessary to shed those additional pounds picked up during virtually endless rounds of partying.

I have three parties next week, and one more the following week. Then there's that big day itself --- all that turkey and stuffing --- all those trimmings. Yikes!

VFW Post 2848 has decided to hold its Christmas dinner at 4 p.m. Thursday, December 15, at Denny's Restaurant. This will be a pleasant change. We won't have to do any preparation or cleaning up.

Then I have a date with the Boosters on the 16th, and another Christmas dinner on the 17th. Then there is, I hope, a final get-together on the 20th. I hope I don't turn in to a turkey.

But with all the partying that goes on at this time of year, please stay safe and don't drive impaired. If you're going to an event where alcohol is served, be sure to designate a driver, one who agrees to refrain from the sauce for that evening.

Bits and Pieces

Congratulations to Austin Cherry on his recent 4-0 wrestling win, and on his selection as Neah-Kah-Nie Athlete of the Month. Had it not been for his mom, Angie, I wouldn't have known about Austin's wrestling prowess. At least I am forewarned that Austin is one guy it doesn't pay to mess with. So, Austin, keep up the good work.

Angie is our new city employee, who tends the counter during hours the office is open to the public. She's a great addition who really brightens up the place.

And, congratulations are in order for Ron Matlack, upon his recent installation as Grand Master in his Masonic Lodge. Ron is also active in our VFW post.

The City is seeking applicants for a vacant City Council position. To be eligible, you must have been a resident of Bay City for at least one year, and you must be a registered Oregon voter. If you're interested, stop by the city office and fill out a form. All applicants will be interviewed by a selection committee, which will make its recommendation to mayor Shaena Peterson. The appointee will serve out the unexpired term of Terry Krum, approximately three years.

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The Post and its Auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Jan. 7, 2012.

With the season upon us, take care, enjoy yourselves, and have a great holiday season. Be merry, and be safe.

December 14 , 2011

How time flies, especially when you're having fun. It was 63 years ago Tuesday that I joined the navy. My mother had moved back to New York in September of 1948, just after I had started my senior year at Milwaukie High. When I couldn't get into a high school in New York as a senior, I got a job cutting glass. After a couple of months, my dad took me to the Navy Recruiting Station on Church Street in downtown Manhattan, and I signed up. My dad, a retired Army officer, wanted me in the Navy so I would be aboard a nice, clean ship when we went to war with the Russians, instead of slogging through the mud with the infantry. Was he ever surprised when I ended up serving with the Marines in Korea!

Burn Permits --- Get 'em while they're hot

Word from Darrell Griffith, our new Fire Chief: If you burn outside, whether in barrels or open piles, your permit expires the end of December. Time to renew. And, Darrell says, the 2012 permits are available now. Just drop by the city office and pick up your new permit. There is no cost. The office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from noon to 5 p.m. the other two days. I just got mine.

New Year's Eve Dance in the Offing

There will be a New Year's Eve community dance at the City Hall again this year. It was tried for the first time last year and, according to Sara Charlton, was a rousing success.

The fun starts at 8 p.m., and ends at midnight, when the New Year breaks upon our little part of the world. The Ocean Bottom Country Blues Band will provide country and blues rock music. Admission is $8 for singles, and $15 for couples. Proceeds go to the Bay City Beautification Committee. They're the good folks who take care of the hay rack planter boxes around town.

So, come on down and enjoy a safe and sane New Year's Eve.

Thoughts from Long Ago

(We were in Hamhung, North Korea. We had finished treating hundreds of Marines' frostbitten and frozen feet and finished evacuating most of them. The Chinese were rapidly advancing on Hamhung, and we were becoming concerned whether we would become another Dunkirk.)

I recall that it was December 13, the second anniversary of my joining the Navy, when we got the word to pack everything, evacuate the last of the patients, load up the trucks, and head for the docks in Hungnam. It took us the better part of the day to get our gear down to the staging area, our efficiency having been severely impaired by the throngs of civilians begging to be taken along with us. Some of our laborers stayed to help with the loading, hoping to be taken aboard ship --- assuming there were ships --- to escape to the south. Yu Dai-shek told me of rumors he had heard from the local Koreans, that the few roads leading south were hopelessly jammed with fleeing civilians, and that some had even been gunned down by roving bands of guerrillas. As we were boarding our trucks for the final trip to Hungnam, many of our former laborers pleaded to be taken aboard and away from the danger they were soon to face, some even begging tearfully for a quick and merciful death if we could not take them with us. I had never experienced anything like that before, and I have never forgotten the terror in their eyes and the despairing expressions on their anguished, pleading faces as we abandoned them to their fate. Some followed us, running as fast as they could, until they could run no more.

It was getting dark when we reached the port area. Happily, the Navy had not been resting on its behind while all this was going on. There, in the harbor, were almost as many ships as I had seen at Inchon. But this time it was different. The ships were of all varieties, anything the Navy could divert to Hungnam on short notice. In addition to the typical assortment of leaking tubs and rust buckets likely to be found for such occasions, there were several well-appointed passenger vessels used to transport dependent wives and children between the States and the Far East. We would go aboard one of these, but for the life of me, I can no longer remember its name.

Our ship was riding at anchor out in the harbor, the dock space having been reserved for the vessels which would be loaded with cargo. The ship was full to overflowing with troops when we arrived, and it was every man for himself. Yu Dai-shek and I, along with several other hospital corpsmen, found ourselves a space under a lifeboat on the starboard weather deck. There was no room below --- every compartment, every stateroom, was full to capacity, and tired Marines were even sacked out on the decks and in the passageways. Even the ship's master and his officers had vacated their quarters to accommodate the troops. There was an honor system, not through any sort of formal agreement, it just happened that way. If you left your gear to mark the space you had staked out, no one else would move in on you. Like a mining claim, that space you staked out belonged to you.

Dai-shek and I asked a passing member of the ship's crew about chow --- was there any such thing on board. Yes, there was. In fact, the galley would operate around the clock to feed as many as possible. The challenge was to find the end of the chow line and have the patience to wait it out. Unlike the unwritten rule about staking your claim to a space on deck, no such rule applied to a place in the chow line. Whenever you went to eat, you always took a buddy to hold your space in case you had to visit the head. In view of the fact that a typical wait in the chow line lasted from three to four hours, visits to the head were not an uncommon occurrence. Two meals were prepared each day, a morning meal and an evening meal. When you got in line, you ate whatever was being served when you reached the mess decks. Then, you went out and got back in line. It was almost three in the morning when Dai-shek and I finally got our meal, our first in about two days. It was creamed chipped beef on toast, but I was hungry enough to eat the creamed chipped beef even if it had been served on cow pies.

Too much of a good thing

Bob Miles visited the November meeting of the City Council to advise the Council that his water pressure was 100 psi when checked by a plumber, and asked what the City could do about it. Bob followed up with a letter, which was presented to the Council at its Dec. 13 meeting. Bob stated that he had hired a plumber to replace some gaskets in his toilet. His neighbor's pressure was 105 psi. Maximum pressure, under current building codes, should be no more than 80 psi.

Public Works superintendent David Pace reported at Tuesday's meeting that he had conferred with the city engineer on the problem. The City had recently put a new 500,000-gallon high-level reservoir, located on the Forest Road, into service. Previously, the high-level customers had been served by a single 100,000-gallon reservoir above Base Line Road east of the City.

David said he checked fire hydrants in various parts of the high-level system to determine whether there was a pattern to the excessively high water pressure. To determine whether the new reservoir had contributed to the problem, he isolated the new reservoir from the system. After four hours, he rechecked the pressures at several locations in the high-level distribution system. The City is served by two distribution systems: One serves the higher levels; the other serves the lower levels.

His report to the Council, that isolating the new reservoir from the system made no difference in the water pressure, was received with some skepticism. Councilor Becky Smith, who lives in Goose Point at the end of the low-level distribution system, reported that her water pressure exceeded 80 psi.

Becky is installing new plumbing and appliances in her home, and expressed concern over damage from excessive water pressure. She also expressed concern for her safety and that of other residents in her area.

Chuck Bartholet, who lives on Seattle Ave. west of 9th Street, said his water pressure was also high. He called the neighbor who lives across the street to ask about his water pressure. By sheer coincidence, the neighbor's water line burst while he was on the phone.

In his letter, Bob said he had had his plumber install a pressure-reducing valve at a cost of $292.03, and that his pressure was now 80 psi. David said the cost of a valve is about $99, plus cost of installation. He stated that the valve should be installed inside the house, above ground level. Bob also asked whether "any compensation could be provided to me for the plumbing services." Bob added that he had first reported the problem to the City office in September.

City attorney Lois Albright expressed concern whether there might be a possible system design flaw, and asked that David consult with the City engineer and perform some additional testing. The Council directed David to provide the City a written report.

David said it would take him about three weeks to finish the evaluation, and suggested a special meeting on Tuesday, January 3, to discuss possible ways to resolve the pressure issue.

 

Bay City Boosters

The Boosters will meet Friday, Dec. 16, for its Christmas potluck. There will be no business meeting with this event, president Linda Vining announced. Instead, the Boosters will enjoy a potluck lunch together and engage in a "Chinese Gift Exchange." And, I'm reliably informed that there'll be no singing of Christmas carols this year.

Now, if you've never experienced one of these gift exchanges, you're in for a treat. Each participant brings a wrapped gift, valued at $10 or less. Each participant is assigned a number. Then participant No. 1 selects a wrapped gift and unwraps it. No. 2 may then select a wrapped gift or take No. 1's gift, whereupon No. 1 selects another wrapped gift. Once a gift has changed hands three times, it's out of play. The exchange continues until the last wrapped gift is taken.

Bay City Arts Center

Yoga classes resumed Monday, Dec. 5, following a Thanksgiving holiday. Classes are held Monday and Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. and cost $5 per 75-minute session. If you are interested in yoga or have any questions, please call or e-mail BCAC. The phone number is (503) 377-9620.

Nancy Slavin conducts Toddler Art sessions every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. There is no charge to attend. Check the BCAC Web site for more details. There will be no class on Dec. 28. Go to the Grapevine section labeled "Links" to find the link to the Arts Center.

The monthly pancake breakfast will be held Dec. 18, from 8 a.m. to noon. Cost is $5 per person, $4 for members. Stick around after breakfast and make a Christmas ornament,

The documentary film, "Remembering Tillamook County," will be shown Thursday, Dec. 29, at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6 p.m. by a fundraising dinner and a silent auction. Originally scheduled for Dec. 28, the showing was postponed one day so Wil Duncan can attend. The film was created under his direction, and it's important that he be there.

The film will be followed by a crab feast fundraising dinner, $15 for adults and $7.50 for children. The silent auction will be underway through the early evening.

Auction items will include a weekend stay at a coastal vacation home, a spring salmon guided fishing trip for two, local artistry, gift baskets, a bowling alley gift card, wine, books by local authors, and more.

If you would like to donate something for the silent auction, call the Arts Center or send them an e-mail at baycityartscenter@gmail.com.

There are some interesting events programmed for January. On January 8, John Stowell will hold a jazz guitar workshop and performance. Cost will be $20 per person for the workshop, and $7 for the performance at 5 p.m., which will include a soup and bread meal.

On January 14, there will be book readings by authors Judy Allen and Tricia Gates Brown. Both authors live on the Oregon Coast.

Judy Allen will read from her book, "Looking Through the Water," her first novel. It is a story set in the 1940s. It involves a young lady who discovers that she has special gifts, resulting in conflicts within her family and her church.

Tricia Gates Brown will read from her book, "Jesus Loves Women." This is a story about a young woman raised a fundamentalist Christian, who casts off her upbringing to discover herself. There will be no charge for the book reading event.

Digital outdoor photography workshops, conducted by Jim Young, are scheduled for January 21 and 28, and February 4, 11 and 28. The first class will cover the technical aspects of digital cameras. Be sure to bring your own camera. The fee will be $25 per class, or $100 to attend all five classes.

'Tis the Season to be Jolly

With all the partying that goes on at this time of year, please stay safe and don't drive impaired. If you're going to an event where alcohol is served, be sure to designate a driver, one who agrees to refrain from the sauce. We want everyone to survive this holiday season intact, and be ready to hit the ground running when 2012 rolls around.

Bits and Pieces

When I visited our Post Office this morning to pick up my mail and purchase some more Forever stamps before the price goes up, I caught sight of something very unusual across 5th Street. There was a scraggly-looking turkey foraging in the grass, accompanied by three ducks and several chickens. One of the Kaufman daughters happened by at the time, taking the back route to her house. The avian foragers fell right into line behind her, following her up the hill. I asked whether she was being followed by her dinner, and she assured me that such was not the case. "They're not mine," she said.

That turkey reminded of the emu we had wandering around town several years ago.

And, last Sunday, after a sumptuous breakfast at Downie's, I spotted a white and black rabbit across the street. It seemed to be taking care of some personal business in someone's side yard before hopping away. Anyone missing a pet rabbit?

The City is seeking applicants for a vacant City Council position. To be eligible, you must have been a resident of Bay City for at least one year, and you must be a registered Oregon voter. If you're interested, stop by the city office and fill out a form. All applicants will be interviewed by a selection committee, which will make its recommendation to mayor Shaena Peterson. The appointee will serve out the unexpired term of Terry Krum, approximately three years.

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The Post and its Auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Jan. 7, 2012.

With the season upon us, take care, enjoy yourselves, and have a great holiday season. Be merry, and be safe.

December 21 , 2011

The big day is almost upon us. Sharline and I have just attended the last of our scheduled Christmas gatherings. We've gotten our Christmas cards mailed out, and now all we have to do is enjoy a nice holiday. I don't even plan to turn on my computer.

Bay City's Christmas Angel

We have a very generous Christmas Angel in Bay City. Some very kind person, who wishes to remain anonymous, came to the City Office today and contributed $1,000 to help pay the water bills for those who are struggling to make ends meet. With today's economy, there many who have trouble figuring out where the next meal is coming from. Our benefactor's generosity is what Christmas is all about.

A Sad Note

I learned recently that Denver Buxton passed away in November. Denver was a veteran of WWII, who had a nice house and property along Patterson Creek. He had been an active participant with the Patterson Creek Pals for many years, and certainly did his part improving the creek for fish.

In recent years, Denver had played host to Diane Griffin's grade school class for their annual fish release. Denver's property afforded just the right spot to release the tiny salmon hatchlings into the wild. Several years ago, while still writing for the Headlight-Herald, I did a piece on Denver and his family performing their annual maintenance of the Patterson Creek fish ladder.

Denver will be sorely missed, but his public spirit and his many contributions to the restoration of Patterson Creek and its riparian areas will not be forgotten.

Burn Permits --- Get 'em while they're hot

Word from Darrell Griffith, our new Fire Chief: If you burn outside, whether in barrels or open piles, your permit expires the end of December. Time to renew. And, Darrell says, the 2012 permits are available now. Just drop by the city office and pick up your new permit. There is no cost. The office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from noon to 5 p.m. the other two days. I just got mine.

New Year's Eve Dance in the Offing

There will be a New Year's Eve community dance at the City Hall again this year. It was tried for the first time last year and, according to Sara Charlton, was a rousing success.

The fun starts at 8 p.m., and ends at midnight, when the New Year breaks upon our little part of the world. The Ocean Bottom Country Blues Band will provide country and blues rock music. Admission is $8 for singles, and $15 for couples. Proceeds go to the Bay City Beautification Committee. They're the good folks who take care of the hay rack planter boxes around town.

So, come on down and enjoy a safe and sane New Year's Eve.

A Memorable Christmas Eve

(We had recently arrived in Masan, South Korea, after having been evacuated from North Korea. Our unit, bivouacked on a hillside overlooking the hamlet of Masan, had set up a small hospital to take care of any medical needs arising during our month of rehabilitation.)

A day or so before Christmas Eve, Father Reilly, whom I had met several years before joining the Navy, asked me to accompany him to a little Catholic church about a half mile up the hill from our compound. We walked up the hill, talking about our earlier acquaintance during his assignment to the Immaculate Conception Monastery in Jamaica, New York. I had been an altar boy in those days, and had served him at Mass on more than one occasion. Father Reilly belonged to the Passionist order — priests and brothers who live a contemplative, monastic life when not performing missionary work. He had received a special dispensation to become a member of the Navy Chaplain Corps.

Father Reilly had come to seek permission to celebrate Midnight Mass at the church on Christmas Eve. The parish priest, a Korean, spoke little English, but he was fluent in Latin as were most Catholic priests of the day. It was not long before the two of them had completed their arrangements for the Mass. The Korean priest, more than happy to make his little church available to the Marines who had defended Pusan and Masan six months earlier, asked only that his parishioners be welcome to join us at Mass.

Shortly after 11:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the devout began to assemble outside our compound. They came from all over Masan, Marines and Koreans alike. Somehow, someone had managed to locate a large number of candles, almost enough for everyone who came to attend the service. The air was still and the night clear and cold, but not oppressively so, quite unlike the nights up north. Our candles alight, the sounds of Christmas carols rising above the throng, our procession made its way slowly up the hill to the door of the little church. There, the Korean pastor welcomed us and threw open the doors, revealing the warm, inviting glow within. I turned for a moment, and looked back. Almost as far as the eye could see, the faithful with their flickering lights moved solemnly up the hill, the strains of their carols drifting over the peaceful countryside. Still singing, their candles still alight, they filed in, genuflected, and took their places in the pews on either side of the main aisle.

The throng soon overflowed the little church, and those outside gathered near the open door so that they, too, might participate in the worship. Fresh, green pine boughs, and white and red flowers adorned the altar and the crèche to one side. The church was ablaze with the soft light of hundreds of votive candles, and the air was pungent with the mixed aromas of incense, pine, and beeswax. I was to serve at Mass that evening, alongside a Korean altar boy, and I accompanied Father Reilly to the vestry to prepare for the service. From inside the vestry, we marveled at the blended sounds of Korean and English as the congregation sang "Silent Night" a cappella, as Franz Gruber had intended when he penned it one snowy Christmas Eve many years ago. Having forgotten most of my Latin responses, my role was to pour wine and water into the chalice for the Offertory and the water for the Lavabo, and to hold the paten for Father Reilly as he distributed communion.

It was a curious sight, the diminutive Korean altar boy in his cassock and surplice, and I, in my Marine Corps fatigues, towering head and shoulders above him. The Korean pastor, acting in the capacity of Master of Ceremonies at a High Mass, assisted Father Reilly as he said the Mass of the Nativity, the first of the three Masses a priest may say on Christmas. The Mass lasted almost an hour. Two brief sermons were given that evening, one in English by Father Reilly, the other in Korean by our gracious Korean host. The Mass concluded with the singing of "Adeste Fidelis," some singing it in Latin, some in English, and some in Korean.

We filed silently out into the clear, cold Korean night, the hamlet and valley below softly aglow in the pale light of the full moon and the millions of stars smiling down upon us, and, basking in an inner glow of peace and tranquility, we filed, quietly and contemplatively, to our bivouacs in the village below. The ordeal of the North had ended, and, for a brief time, the war would be but a distant memory.

Too much of a good thing, Part Two

Bob Miles visited the November meeting of the City Council to tell them of his concern over the excessively high of city water pressure at his home. He had experienced some blown gaskets and had to hire a plumber to make repairs. It turned out that Bob's water pressure was 100 psi. Building codes call for no more than 80 psi. Several other households located in the lower reaches of the high-level system also noted excessive water pressures.

Public Works superintendent Dave Pace checked water pressures and prepared a diagram showing areas where excessively high pressures were noted. To determine whether the new high-level reservoir north of town was contributing to the problem, Dave cut it out of the system temporarily and checked pressures again. He reported to the December meeting of the Council that cutting out the new reservoir apparently made no difference.

Councilor Becky Smith advised that her house, which is served by the low-level system, also had water pressure greater than 80 psi, and city attorney Lois Albright expressed concern whether there might be a defect in the city's water system. Dave was instructed to consult the city engineer and prepare a written report.

The City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday, January 3, to discuss the water pressure situation and decide what action to take.

Watt Family Park

Earlier this year, the City was notified that it had been approved for a grant to acquire the tract of Neah-Kah-Nie School District property between Tillamook Avenue and McCoy Street. This grant will pay 80 percent of the cost of the property. The City is also working on planning grant to lay out the park. The park, as envisioned, will include a playground, sports field, running track, wetland, nature play area, and a parking area.

The City is now working on obtaining a grant from the Ford Foundation to help pay the 20 percent match required to purchase the property and create the park.

 

There will be a series of four public meetings to acquaint people with various aspects of the park. A staff meeting was held today to set up a schedule these meetings, and the meetings of the Project Advisory Committee. The four public meetings will discuss the various aspects of the park planning process. These will include general layout of the park, placement of fences, parking areas, playgrounds and the like; creation of the water park and nature play areas; and several other aspects of park development in which the public would be interested. It is expected that some of the public meetings may be held at the Bay City Arts Center.

Then, it is planned to bring the matter before the Planning Commission at its February 15 meeting, where the public will, once again, be given the opportunity to comment on the park's development.

The park property was originally sought because it might afford a good location to relocate the fire station out of the tsunami run-up zone. It the fire station were to be relocated to a portion of the park area, the City would have to dedicate another area of similar value to become a part of the parks system, as a way of "buying back" the area to be used for the fire station.

However, that aspect of park development is on hold, pending release of the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) revised tsunami run-up maps. LIDAR surveys of the area have been completed, and the new maps are in the final stages of completion. With the lessons learned from the March 11 Japan earthquake and tsunami, run-up patterns might be quite different from those indicated on existing DOGAMI maps.

Bay City Boosters

The Boosters will meet Friday, Jan. 27. This meeting will feature input on the development of the Watt Family Park, in addition to regular Boosters business. Stay tuned for more on this.

Bay City Arts Center

Yoga classes resumed Monday, Dec. 5, following a Thanksgiving holiday. Classes are held Monday and Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. and cost $5 per 75-minute session. If you are interested in yoga or have any questions, please call or e-mail BCAC. The phone number is (503) 377-9620.

Nancy Slavin conducts Toddler Art sessions every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. There is no charge to attend. Check the BCAC Web site for more details. There will be no class on Dec. 28. Go to the Grapevine section labeled "Links" to find the link to the Arts Center.

The monthly pancake breakfast will be held Sunday, January 15, from 8 a.m. to noon. Cost is $5 per person, $4 for members.

The documentary film, "Remembering Tillamook County," will be shown Thursday, Dec. 29, at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6 p.m. by a fundraising dinner and a silent auction. Originally scheduled for Dec. 28, the showing was postponed one day so Wil Duncan can attend. The film was created under his direction, and it's important that he be there.

The film will be followed by a crab feast fundraising dinner, $15 for adults and $7.50 for children. The silent auction will be underway through the early evening.

Auction items will include a weekend stay at a coastal vacation home, a spring salmon guided fishing trip for two, local artistry, gift baskets, a bowling alley gift card, wine, books by local authors, and more.

If you would like to donate something for the silent auction, call the Arts Center or send them an e-mail at baycityartscenter@gmail.com.

There are some interesting events programmed for January. On January 8, John Stowell will hold a jazz guitar workshop and performance. Cost will be $20 per person for the workshop, and $7 for the performance at 5 p.m., which will include a soup and bread meal.

On January 14, there will be book readings by authors Judy Allen and Tricia Gates Brown. Both authors live on the Oregon Coast.

Judy Allen will read from her book, "Looking Through the Water," her first novel. It is a story set in the 1940s. It involves a young lady who discovers that she has special gifts, resulting in conflicts within her family and her church.

Tricia Gates Brown will read from her book, "Jesus Loves Women." This is a story about a young woman raised a fundamentalist Christian, who casts off her upbringing to discover herself. There will be no charge for the book-reading event.

Digital outdoor photography workshops, conducted by Jim Young, are scheduled for January 21 and 28, and February 4, 11 and 28. The first class will cover the technical aspects of digital cameras. Be sure to bring your own camera. The fee will be $25 per class, or $100 to attend all five classes.

'Tis the Season to be Jolly

With all the partying that goes on at this time of year, please stay safe and don't drive impaired. If you're going to an event where alcohol is served, be sure to designate a driver, one who agrees to refrain from the sauce. We want everyone to survive this holiday season intact, and be ready to hit the ground running when 2012 rolls around.

Bits and Pieces

I was pleased to receive a response to last week's Back Fence, with regard to the "farm animals" and the rabbit. The lady who responded said that there are actually four rabbits running around. She added that her granddaughter wanted to keep one for herself. Every little kid wants a cute pet bunny, it seems.

Several days ago I received an e-mail from my friend, Carol Waggoner. Carol had served on the Planning Commission for several months, but left for health reasons. She apologized for not being able to mail out Christmas cards this year, because she had to take her husband, Jim to the hospital. He had to spend several days at St. Vincent's, and is scheduled to return in several weeks for reevaluation of his condition. Let's all hope and pray that Jim has improved. It's lousy when a family member is taken ill, and even worse when it occurs during the year-end holiday season. Take care, Jim, and get well quickly.

I have it on good authority that someone has been selected to replace Steve Weld as the County Veterans' Service Officer. Starting in mid-January, our new Service Officer will be Bill Hatton, who recently retired from the Marine Corps Reserve. Bill, who served in Iraq, is very familiar with the problems faced by veterans, and will make an excellent Service Officer.

The City is seeking applicants for a vacant City Council position. To be eligible, you must have been a resident of Bay City for at least one year, and you must be a registered Oregon voter. If you're interested, stop by the city office and fill out a form. All applicants will be interviewed by a selection committee, which will make its recommendation to mayor Shaena Peterson. The appointee will serve out the unexpired term of Terry Krum, approximately three years.

The Planning Commission is still one member short. Those living outside the City but within the Urban Growth Boundary are now eligible to serve on the Commission. Applications should be submitted to the City office.

VFW Post 2848 recently changed its meeting day and time. The Post and its Auxiliary now meet the first Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting will be Jan. 7, 2012.

With the season upon us, take care, enjoy yourselves, and have a great holiday season. Be merry, and be safe.

 

 

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