Police chief praises Peninsula teensFrom 7 p.m., June 5 through 8:30 a.m., June 6, I had the privilege of being a chaperone on the Ilwaco High School Class of 2004 senior trip to Seattle. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about the trip - not because of the graduates, but because for me 11 p.m. is a late night.

I just wanted the community to know what a great group of graduates we have. I was impressed with their manners and behavior from the start of the trip to the end. They were fun to be around, and I really enjoyed the whole trip. One of the bus drivers for the chartered bus commented to me that it was one of the best high school groups he had ever driven for. He stated that their "small town" values and attitudes were refreshing.

I even enjoyed the informal question and answer period I had with some of the graduates concerning law enforcement on the way home, even though I really, really, really wanted to sleep.

This community can be proud of this group and how they represented the Peninsula on this trip. Good luck Ilwaco Class of 2004.

Flint R. Wright

Chief of Police, Long Beach

OP man recounts Coast Guard rescueOn Sunday, May 16, my son (Evin) and I were plucked out of Willapa Bay by a Coast Guard helicopter. After having spent four-plus hours floating in the bay, it is hard to describe what a wonderful sight that orange bird was, especially when the rescue came just moments before the final descent of darkness. While Evin and I would like to thank everyone that assisted, we have a special place in our hearts for the "Coasties."

The day after the rescue, several crewmen came to Columbia Memorial Hospital to talk with Evin. They gave him some patches and some pictures of the helicopter he rode in. Their concern and extra effort in helping him to recover from his ordeal was touching.

The crew members directly involved in our rescue were incredible. When we visited the Astoria station on the following Tuesday, to drop off a "thank you" note, we got a chance to meet everyone involved in our rescue, with the exception of the helicopter pilot.

We asked them how to best express our gratitude, and they told us to "spread the message." The message was this: While several errors were made by yours truly on May 16th, we survived because: A. We had a "float plan" and B. We both wore Personal Flotation Devices. And this letter is my attempt to help "spread the word."

We maintained regular contact with family, ashore, until shortly before we capsized. They knew where we were and what our plans were. When we didn't return at the expected time, they knew something was really wrong. Because we both wore life-jackets throughout the entire trip, we didn't have to fight just to stay afloat. So, even if you do something really dumb on the water, IF you make sure that others know what you are doing and where you are, you may survive, IF you are wearing a life jacket.

I won't attempt to thank our rescuers, individually. They stressed the team-work element of their work. To a man, each of these dedicated young men was quick to give his fellow crew members an equal or even greater share of the credit for having saved our lives. The rescue swimmer stressed the importance of the crewman that worked the winches and hoist that ultimately brought us into the warmth. We met some of the mechanics who work on the equipment and one of the men who stand 12-hour watches in the communications room; and we were constantly reminded of the importance of each of their roles in any rescue effort.

Before our misadventure, I had a lot of faith in the men and women who make the U.S. Coast Guard work. From the moment we hit the water, I was convinced that, if we couldn't save ourselves, we'd eventually see a Coast Guard helicopter and they would find us. They didn't let us down. And we didn't make their job impossible, because they knew where to look for us and we were able to stay alive and afloat until they found us.

PS: We'd also like to thank those ashore, who organized and helped coordinate our rescue, including local law enforcement and concerned family members. Special thanks are due to my wife, Rhonda, for knowing when to call for help and for knowing who to call first - my brother, George Hill - whose persistence and expertise got us the help we needed, when we needed it most.

Dale Hill

Ocean ParkLetters of ThanksWe wish to thank our District 1 Aid Crew for a job well done. During the past several months we had to depend on them on two different occasions.

They had to transport Jodie from Ocean Beach Hospital to Providence in Portland when she needed to be with her doctors up there. The two gentlemen who made the trip with her were just great, very caring and they did everything they could to make her trip comfortable. I remember her saying that they were great and the trip was all right.

And then recently we had to call District 1 Aid to our home when she became ill. Again they were very caring and gentle with her. We just couldn't believe how fast they got there when the call was made. She and I had talked and agreed we had to make sure District 1 Aid got a big thank you. Since then she has passed away, but she would want you to know this. We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated crew in our community.

The family of Jodie Marie Bolden would like to thank all of our family, friends and neighbors for their prayers and kindness during our recent loss. All of the cards, food and flowers were much appreciated. The support we received will never be forgotten.

We want to give special thanks to nurse Donna Mead from Harbor Home Health and Hospice. She became a good friend while making her many visits to take care of Jodie. Thank you to Sharon Hedbloom and Pastor Kerry Stroupe for their kind words and their time spent with the family in our time of sorrow.

Thank you to Pentilla's Chapel by the Sea for helping to make the arrangements and being so patient with the family through the whole process. Also, a special thank you to all of the friends who attended the memorial services.

Chuck and Lacie Bolden and extended family

Long Beach

ReachOut Food Bank Board of Directors would like to thank all those who worked so hard to make our recent bake sale a success.

To all the volunteers who made the goodies and a certain 'angel' who really knows his way around the oven, thank you so much. We had so many wonderful, tasty items that were a real treat to look at as well as to taste. You all really are the best. Thank you so much for all your time, effort and generosity.

To the volunteers who put in the hours needed to sell the baked goods, thank you for such a fine job. To the two of you who worked Bay Avenue so effectively, the area may never be the same but you did a most excellent job.

Thanks to Eagles Aerie No. 3602 for the use of your tables. Many, many thanks to all of you who came by to chat, look over the food bank and to buy the goodies. We especially appreciate those who stopped by to "smell the beautiful smells" and left a donation. Thank you, thank you. The combined efforts of so many wonderful people raised over $330 for the food bank.

ReachOut Food Bank

Board of Directors

Olie Caldwell, Patty Caldwell, Peggy Martin, Mike Renfo, Mickey

Padgett-Schmale and Donna Simonson

Tlohon-nipts Alternative High School Class of 2004 would like to take this opportunity to thank the following for helping to make our graduation so memorable. For their gifts to our Senior class we say "thank you" to Dairy-aire, Western Coastal Mortgage, First American Title Company, Pelican Landing, Pacific Realty, Haff Shell and a special thank you to Leslie Brophy for gathering the gifts and getting them to the students. To Buzy Beez Copy Center," Thank You for our wonderful yearbooks!" The members of our Senior Presentation Panel this year were Opal Eaton, Don Parsons, Dave Sexton, Jean Riggs, Marge Stover, Leanne Gray, John O'Phelan, Sam Seaman and Leslie Brophy. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to share in the finale of our year. We could not have done it without your support.

Tlohon-nipts Class of 2004Sign petition for I-872 to restore primary election choicesEven though I am an independent who was elected county commissioner in Wahkiakum County, I'm writing this letter as a private citizen.

I'm very troubled by the trend to stifle voter choices. An overwhelming majority of voters supported the old "blanket primary" where you chose the person regardless of party affiliation to represent you in the general election. Secretary of State Sam Reed, the State Grange Association and the majority of state senators and representatives worked hard to pass legislation that would insure voters have an unrestricted choice at all stages of the election process.

That choice has been denied by the governor's partial veto. Forget about the "person" running for office, you'll only be able to vote for one party's slate of candidates. These are not the times to be limiting voters' choices.

It appears that there is also a move to limit independent and minority party candidates. In order to be placed on the ballot as an independent, you must hold a nominating convention. This convention must be attended by 100 registered voters in the jurisdiction of the office for which the nominations are made. The old standard was 25.

In counties like Wahkiakum where the two incumbent county commissioners are running as independents, roughly 12 percent of the registered voters (100 out of 800) in their districts have to attend a single convention in order to get the candidate's name on the ballot. The major party candidates only have to pay a filing fee. The possibility exists that the two incumbent county commissioners running as independents for re-election won't even get on the ballot!

I hope there would be a cry of outrage if independent or third-party candidates in our more populous counties were also required to have 12 percent of their registered voters attend a single nominating convention in order to get on the ballot.

Limiting voter choices is not conducive to citizen participation. Please fight for the right to choose the person you want representing you by registering to vote, signing the Grange Initiative 872 "Top 2" primary petition and working toward a more voter representative process in choosing our leaders.

Mark Linquist

Grays RiverMounding at Corps' disposal site places mariners at riskA U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contract dredge has begun placing sediment in expanded dredge spoil disposal site E as of last weekend.

A USACE bathymetric survey from April, held up from public distribution for approximately five weeks, shows very disturbing and life-threatening mounding just north of expanded site E.

Areas that used to be over 40 feet deep in the 1997 baseline year are up, at least in one spot, to 19 feet. The Columbia River Crab Fishermen's Association has accepted the Corps' own maximum mound induced wave amplification of 10 percent as an acceptable degree of additional risk. However, this is ridiculous.

USACE has established a no dump zone in the northern portion of the site to lessen the exacerbation of the mounding. This may or may not be sufficient to prevent addition to the problem. The risk is too great to assume.

Monitoring in the past has never prevented mounding, only dumping restraint and re-dredging sands just placed in the site has. History would tell us that dumping any sand in the area will make the mound worse, not better, and certainly not acceptable.

The Corps is playing with local mariners' lives and this has potentially deadly consequences. The last time CRCFA issued a severe mounding warning was in 2001 before any marine casualties occurred. In that year five people lost their lives on Peacock Spit, and 11 were nearly on that list, but escaped through successful rescue. CRCFA is again raising the red warning flag. Marine navigational safety is being placed at extreme risk.

Current projections are for a near 5 million cubic yard dredge season, anticipated 1.5 mcy in site E, which is, in our opinion, too much.

Alternatives are extremely limited. The deepwater site will have to be used for the first time this year. No other choice exists. The temporary USACE 103 site is a conditional use site that needs modification to meet Oregon conditional consistency. The current site is in area of high crab density. The Corps suppressed that information for over eight months during the public process so that they would not receive any comments that would have needed to be addressed.

Our current assessment of the crisis is to suspend disposal in expanded site E and move the deepwater dump zone to the area of the deepwater site that the Corps has demonstrated has the least crab impact.

At this time any other dumping will either place mariners' lives at extreme risk or kill untold numbers of our county's natural resource base and economic contributor to the local economy. It is a very poor situation the Corps has currently under progress - life threatening and as well threatening to the livelihoods of local fishing industry.

In addition, the crab industry faces double jeopardy at the deepwater site. If the 103 site is used, it will destroy very productive habitat. The channel deepening sediments are scheduled for the far southwest corner of the deepwater site, according to the only EIS, where the temporary 103 should be and when those deepening sediments go there, will kill unnecessary additional habitat.

This is nothing more than an additional insult to the coastal fishing communities since no mitigation is offered for these potential and substantial losses of crab. Why is it that the fishing industry is always sacrificed for the Corps' "least cost"? This is a completely unacceptable assault on the people of the coast by destroying their natural resources without compensation and eliminating their historical route to the fishing grounds.

CRCFA delivered an information sheet to Doris McKillip, project manager of the Mouth of the Columbia River project last Wednesday. These are some of the questions the USACE needs to address, immediately, since they have created this crisis.

Highly disturbed,

Dale Beasley

CRCFA, IlwacoResident proud of President ReaganI can say that I am proud to have lived during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. I am appalled by last weeks letter condemning his legacy.

Former President Reagan was an inspiration for many people, not for what he did not do, but for what he did.

Reagan not only survived an assassin's bullet, but kept us from war. We saw his help in the end of the cold war and the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union.

To me, I am proud to have him as one of our presidents. He was a monumental force in his day.

Robbyn Myers

Ilwaco

Education better than road blocksRegarding blocking roads to the beach. We don't mind the blocks on the beach, but they are going to look like heck. It will ruin the looks of the area.

Our road has been there for many years. The Coast Guard used it, and it is an access for all emergency vehicles. It is located between the Klipsan Beach approach and Cranberry Road.

We citizens report any suspicious activities, driving in the dunes, driving on the clam beds, and tires too close to the dunes. Our little two-wheel road takes care of 11 houses on our street, with just four of us permanent residences.

That federal grant money (which probably came from taxpayers) should be used to educate the tourists and visitors who don't know the rules of our beaches. Some of that money could be used for enforcement of the laws and ordinances and make the fines heavy to pay for any damage. Put flyers in the motels, hotels and rental cabins with rules and laws of the beach and the penalties if caught. Place signs at these roads.

I think closing these little roads penalizes the citizens of the Peninsula. We are not the people violating the laws of the beach.

I would like to know who is going to be sued if some little kid climbs on these barriers, falls and gets seriously injured: Pacific County or Washington state, which supposedly gave the money to the county. Who's going to clean the graffiti off the blocks as I'm sure there will be things that you don't want your children to read.

Bill Grieve

Long BeachIs beach driving so darned great?The end is near: Chemical weapons? A meteor? Global warming? Nope. According to Scott Pietz, the end comes from restricting beach driving. Yep, he scientifically drew a direct correlation between ending beach driving and high taxes, condos on the water's edge, and the Peninsula becoming a ghost town.

Wow! Now that is some real big, bad stuff. But I have to wonder what sort of facts he used to come up with this doom-and-gloom prognostication. Sure, some people would be disappointed they couldn't drive their SUVs and pick-ups from Ocean Park to Long Beach. But would people really stop coming? Our incredible beach would still be here.

Believe me, there is a whole group of people that stay away from Long Beach because they dislike beach driving. Many Washington residents bypass our beaches and head straight to Oregon with their families (and their wallets). Without beach driving, they might well choose to spend their vacation dollars in our community and state.

Lastly, if beach driving is so darn great, why doesn't the official Peninsula Web site, www.funbeach.com, show even one picture of vehicles on the beach? All I find are sunsets, kites, kids playing and people riding horses on the beach. Maybe because the folks who really know what it takes to bring in tourists (and money) know that beach driving doesn't sell. Face it, having the beach look like I-5 just isn't what people want to see in their travel brochures

Mr. Pietz would have us believe the only reason people come to the Peninsula is for beach driving. I have more faith in Long Beach than to think watching the waves from behind a dashboard is all we have to offer.

Russ Woodruff

Ocean ParkSign targets the Follicly ChallengedOn State Route 4, near the public fishing access, there is an approximately 8' by 8' sign that says, "Baldy Must Go." One cannot help but wonder just who "Baldy" might be, and when he should be on his way.

Surely the message is not political. I happen to know that baldies occupy places in virtually every political party.

Certainly it can't be a racist statement. Having traveled on four continents, I happen to know that baldies are found across the spectrum of racial and ethic groups.

Without question, it is not aimed at all bald people. I remember enough high school grammar to spot a singular number when I see it.

Eliminating whom the sign does not address, we arrive at one sound conclusion: They (whoever they are, for the message is not signed) want just ONE bald guy to "go."

Now, I am one. To express it in politically correct terms, I take part in the large swath of the world's population that happens to be "Follicly Challenged (F.C.)."

Does that sign send a message to me, personally? Or is it addressed to any one of perhaps hundreds of F.C. people who live and wear hats among these sometimes clear-cut hillocks?

Such a sign is too vague. I wonder how many F.C. people have been struck with a sense of paranoia, fearing that it might be speaking to them. How many are thinking about putting their homes up for sale and moving, while F.C. people can still get a fair price for their property. How many are scanning the highways for a road-kill raccoon, which could make a matching "rug" for a salt-and-pepper rimmed middle-age pate.

Of course, there may be other possibilities. It could be a mere private joke among friends. Or, it might be a tasteless, impolite insult directed at a person notable for a lot more than what may or may not appear the top of his head. In the latter case, clear thinkers would not want such a sign to pretend to represent what this community stands for.

Here's one relieved F.C. guy who won't be leaving because of the sign. My friends tell me they had nothing to do with it, and want me to stay.

Richard Cary

NaselleAfter ticket, she won't be speedingI never thought that I would be sending a letter to the editor.

I have something to say to the drivers of the Peninsula. If you happen to get behind a car going exactly the speed limit and are upset because it is going too slow, it is probably me. That has happened to me many times in the last month.

If you want to go around me, have at it, I cannot afford to go over the speed limit, and I want to explain and ask for your patience.

You see I always try to be a law-abiding citizen, but a month ago, I was driving on Pioneer Road, on my way back to my business. In thought, I was not thinking about that road having a 35 mile an hour speed limit. I have no idea why they made the east end of Pioneer a 35 mph limit, but I guess I thought it was like Sandridge (45mph).

Obviously, the officer didn't care about my reasons or my thought that the road shouldn't be 35 mph, so he wrote me a ticket. I deserved the ticket, even though I pulled over as soon as I saw the officer turning around to get me. (I would have liked a warning better, however.)

I can tell you with all honesty, that I am very careful to obey the speed limit in town, I just lost it on Pioneer, where there are no big housing developments or anything that should make the speed limit 35mph. So I will pay the $101 ticket, which I can't afford, but this is just the beginning - it is the insurance rise that will kill me. Being a small business owner, insurance is already high and will surely increase with this ticket.

You see, dear drivers, this is the reason that I will not drive over the speed limit. Imagine if I get another ticket, how that would affect my insurance? Yes, I am extremely paranoid!

Thanks for reading and drive carefully.

Nancy Aust

Long BeachHelp Girl Scouts go on July 14-18 tripFor the past 13 months, Cadette Girl Scout Troop 2399 (ages 12-15) has been raising money to go to a jamboree in Northfield, Minn., July 14 - 18. The girls hope to expand their knowledge by attending mini classes each day; trying new things, like tubing down a river; and meeting new people from around the country and the world, including Egypt and Kuwait.

This troop has been together for eight years and has gone on many other smaller trips. This will be their first experience going on an airplane as a group to a new destination. The girls are very excited and are hoping to be able to go.

The troop has been working on many fund-raisers throughout the year, including car washes, a dunk tank, garage sales and the annual cookie sale, plus parents' monthly payments. So far they have raised $3,700 of the $6,500 needed to go. In other words, the girls still need to earn the round-trip airfare.

Although they are planning a few other fund-raisers, at this time they are asking for donations in any monetary amount. You can go to any branch of the Great Northern Federal Credit Union and donate to Cadette Troop 2399. You can send donations to Cadette Troop 2399, P.O. Box 593, Ocean Park, WA 98640. If you have any questions, you can contact trip advisors: Cheryl Brady at 665-6420 or Teresa Miller at 642-3682.

Cheryl Brady

Ocean Park

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