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2013

Year in review — Part II: So much going on in Canby


July

Man finds dud hand grenade while doing yard work

A man called Canby Police at 7:42 p.m. Thursday, June 13, to report finding what appeared to be a grenade in the yard of his home in the 1100-block of N. Grant St.

The resident told officers he found the grenade laying on the ground while digging up tree stumps.

The rusty, dirt-covered grenade bore several recent gouge marks from when the resident tilled the area. It appeared to be a practice grenade with a pin in its top and a hole at the bottom.

Officers sent photographs to a deputy with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office bomb unit.

The deputy arrived at 8:24 p.m. to confirm the grenade was inert and take possession.

Program tackles problems or people in need

Sometimes even helping hands need helping hands.

The Helping Hands ministry of the Bridge to Life Fellowship and Bethany Evangelical Free Church have teamed up to tackle an ambitious project helping people in need and they are inviting other members of the community to roll up their sleeves and join in. The Helping Hands Ministry started about two years ago. Its purpose is to help people — seniors, single moms, the sick, the handicapped and the poor — with simple chores they cannot do themselves.

Helping Hands works through Wendy Kaufman May, client services coordinator at the Canby Adult Center. It is her job to provide seniors with resources to help them stay independent and healthy.

Down in flames

Canby’s new library project is dead, done, gone.

The Urban Renewal Agency board voted 4-3 Wednesday, July 10, to stop the Second Avenue new library-city offices renovation project once and for all.

This came just two months after City Council first halted and then revived the project with promises to get behind the decision and move forward. Forward progress ended June 19 when council voted 4-3 against loaning $950,000 from sewer reserve funds to buy the Canby Utility property essential to the library project.

It came to an end at the July 10 meeting when commission members Brian Hodson, Ken Ryder, Tracie Hensley and Tim Dale voted to halt the project. Richard Ares, Clint Coleman and Greg Parker favored continuing the work.

The project is gone. So is the nearly $1 million spent on it so far. So are the grants and donations for the project.

Councilor Rich Ares resigns post

When the gavel fell to end Wednesday night’s Canby City Council meeting, Councilor Rich Ares’ time on the council was done.

Disappointed with what he considers a “no” mentality from Mayor Brian Hodson and councilors Ken Rider, Tim Dale and Traci Hensley, Ares read a passionate letter toward the end of the meeting indicating his time as a city councilor was done when the gavel fell.

“The city council is supposed to serve the community,” Ares said. “We’re not. We’re not serving the general public. We are serving specific publics. I’m not a big spender. I’m pretty much in the middle, but when we don’t do things like build libraries, where we can do it and not raise taxes to the public — shame on us.”

Welcome back, big girl

Fans greeted the Canby Ferry like a long-lost friend when it returned to service Friday after a six-month hiatus.

The ferry service shut down while its vessel underwent a major maintenance overhaul at Diversified Marine Inc. on Hayden Island in Portland. But Friday morning, it was once again shuttling passengers between the Wilsonville and Canby sides of the Willamette River.

The ferry opened at 6:45 a.m. Friday and had a customer waiting, said Mike Oleson, project inspector for the ferry retro fit.

Being ready to take care of business

Mass shootings. Tragedies that occur all too often, in a Colorado movie theater, a Connecticut elementary school and as close to home as a Clackamas shopping mall.

It’s something law officers hope never happens, but if it does, they must be prepared to deal with it.

And more officers are being trained for that situation through programs like the interagency active shooter response training conducted over 2 ½ weeks recently in Canby and Oregon City.

AUGUST

Sign of the times

Interest in building residentia homes has returned to Canby, a good sign that things are, at last, starting to get better.

After suffering through single-digit or no residential building over the last five years, the city of Canby is going to get some action at last. And Economic Development Director Renate Mengelberg is excited to welcome it to town.

A quartet of proposed projects could have saws churning and hammers swinging sooner rather than later.

Making the scene with space

Canby High School teacher Caitlin Henden didn’t have an out of this world experience this summer but did have the next best thing. She spent two weeks in June undergoing the simulated astronaut training and development program at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

She was one of 210 educators from around the world attending the program through the Honeywell Educators@Space Academy Program.

“The purpose of the camp was to bring teachers together, to network, to get kids excited about the space program again,” she said.

Creator of the ‘Con’

Few people know that one of the largest pop culture event in Oregon was created, developed and is run out of small town Canby.

Longtime Canby resident Ron Brister knows, though. He’s the driving force behind Rose City Comic Con, a pop culture delight that highlights words, art and creativity in one fun, family-oriented package. It’s about comics, man. But it’s about more than that. And yes, dressing up as a super hero or comic book figure is just fine. That’s the way this “con” rolls.

Created in 2012, this year’s second edition will be Sept. 21-22 at the Oregon Convention Center and is expected to see a dramatic increase in attendance from last year.

“Last year we were in a smaller space and it was our first year, so we were hoping for 1,000 people,” Brister said. “We ended up with 4,100 that first weekend.”

SEPTEMBER

Chili Cookoff + Rotary Auction = excitement

A Canby tradition for 21 years, the Canby Herald Chili Cook-off has been a tasty staple of local fundraising. This year, the 22nd edition of the cook-off, the event is going to partner up with a relatively new fundraising endeavor and, together, help fill Canby needs in the process.

The Canby Herald Chili Cook-off will partner with the Rotary Club of Canby’s annual community auction for an afternoon of something special Saturday, Sept. 21.

“We’re excited to be co-sponsoring the event with the Rotary and their annual auction,” said Sandy Storey, one of the chili cook-off organizers the last few years. “This gives us a larger and more diverse committee to work on the cook-off.”

Aurora tabs new mayor

After a brief discussion, Aurora’s city council selected its next mayor Thursday. Bill Graupp took the oath of office, replacing Gregory M. Taylor, who resigned after an Aug. 18 DUII arrest. Before he took office, Graupp spoke briefly in support of his predecessor. |

“I want to acknowledge Greg and the Taylor family for all the efforts they have put into the city,” he said. “I’m game for filling in.”

Finding its economic footing

Quietly, underneath the radar, so to speak, the Aurora State Airport has been busy expanding its economic influence in Canby, Wilsonville and the surrounding area.

It’s a far cry from several years ago, when public skepticism over proposed future plans for the airport were at their height.

Now, state officials say, the construction of a new air traffic control tower is on track to start before the end of the year, and businesses are thriving in a way not seen since before the recent recession.

“There are in the vicinity of 1,000 people working here, and they’re all making good money, most of them,” said James Hand, a local real estate broker and private pilot.

OCTOBER

Library director Hummel resigns post

Canby Public Library Director Penny Hummel’s last day will be Monday, Oct. 7.

Hummel resigned the post she has held four years in a Sept. 23 letter to Mayor Brian Hodson and the Canby City Council.

The city recruited Hummel to revitalize the library and help plan a new library. A plan to build a library on Second Avenue was deemed by the project team as the best and least expensive option. The Second Avenue project was approved August 2012 and then killed by a council majority in July 2013.

Hummel held little hope that the city’s elected officials would allocate additional funds for a new library.

“I’m concerned that they will move instead in the direction of building a substandard library with the limited funds that are now left over from the Second Avenue project,” she said.

“Ultimately, it is time for me to shift my focus from the Canby library to other arenas where I can make a positive impact.”

Lights, camera, Canby

Canby was ready for its first closeup last month.

Several sites in the community were featured in a commercial shot Sept. 28-29. The production company was well aware of what Canby had to offer. One of the partners is Chris Mead, a Canby resident and a Canby Police officer.

He and cinematographer Sean Brown founded their Portland-based Three Point 1Four Productions a year ago.

The Canby location shooting was for a national client they could not identify, Mead said. The city of Canby helped make the project a smooth one, he said.

“The city and Renate (city development director Renate Mengelberg), have been great working with us, Mead said.

And we’re back!

The city will explore acquiring the property needed for a new library-city hall, referring the project to voters and how to pay for it.

At an Oct. 9 special meeting, the Canby Urban Renewal Agency board discussed building a library-city hall on Third Avenue. The three-phase project would take about four years at an estimated total cost of $14,801,504.

The first phase would include an 18,125-square-foot library, a 3,000-square-foot basement and an unoccupied second-story shell for future city offices.

The second phase would be finishing the city administration offices, and the third phase would be a 5,000 square foot expansion of the library and council chambers.

The URA meeting followed a joint workshop the previous night with members of the Canby Public Library Board.

Whatever happened to the big stink?

Canby residents around Canby’s wastewater treatment plant are likely glad it’s gone, but haven’t forgotten a stretch of foul stench that emanated from the facility more than a year ago. A sludge drier that was supposed to create a usable resource instead created a stink that simply couldn’t be stopped.

In the end, equipment and plant modifications to use the machine topped $2 million and the city of Canby looked to recoup that expense for a system that didn’t get the job done.

Naturally, litigation followed.

City Administrator Greg Ellis said that the multiple lawsuits are in mediation at the moment and there has been some movement in the process, but a settlement is still some ways away.

sewer reserve funds to buy the Canby Utility property essential to the library project.

It came to an end at the July 10 meeting when commission members Brian Hodson, Ken Ryder, Tracie Hensley and Tim Dale voted to halt the project. Richard Ares, Clint Coleman and Greg Parker favored continuing the work.

The project is gone. So is the nearly $1 million spent on it so far. So are the grants and donations for the project.

Councilor Rich Ares resigns post

When the gavel fell to end Wednesday night’s Canby City Council meeting, Councilor Rich Ares’ time on the council was done.

Disappointed with what he considers a “no” mentality from Mayor Brian Hodson and councilors Ken Rider, Tim Dale and Traci Hensley, Ares read a passionate letter toward the end of the meeting indicating his time as a city councilor was done when the gavel fell.

“The city council is supposed to serve the community,” Ares said. “We’re not. We’re not serving the general public. We are serving specific publics. I’m not a big spender. I’m pretty much in the middle, but when we don’t do things like build libraries, where we can do it and not raise taxes to the public — shame on us.”

Welcome back, big girl

Fans greeted the Canby Ferry like a long-lost friend when it returned to service Friday after a six-month hiatus.

The ferry service shut down while its vessel underwent a major maintenance overhaul at Diversified Marine Inc. on Hayden Island in Portland. But Friday morning, it was once again shuttling passengers between the Wilsonville and Canby sides of the Willamette River.

The ferry opened at 6:45 a.m. Friday and had a customer waiting, said Mike Oleson, project inspector for the ferry retro fit.

Being ready to take care of business

Mass shootings. Tragedies that occur all too often, in a Colorado movie theater, a Connecticut elementary school and as close to home as a Clackamas shopping mall.

It’s something law officers hope never happens, but if it does, they must be prepared to deal with it.

And more officers are being trained for that situation through programs like the interagency active shooter response training conducted over 2 ½ weeks recently in Canby and Oregon City.

AUGUST

Sign of the times

Interest in building residential homes has returned to Canby, a good sign that things are, at last, starting to get better.

After suffering through single-digit or no residential building over the last five years, the city of Canby is going to get some action at last. And Economic Development Director Renate Mengelberg is excited to welcome it to town.

A quartet of proposed projects could have saws churning and hammers swinging sooner rather than later.

Making the scene with space

Canby High School teacher Caitlin Henden didn’t have an out of this world experience this summer but did have the next best thing. She spent two weeks in June undergoing the simulated astronaut training and development program at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

She was one of 210 educators from around the world attending the program through the Honeywell Educators@Space Academy Program.

“The purpose of the camp was to bring teachers together, to network, to get kids excited about the space program again,” she said.

Creator of the ‘Con’

Few people know that one of the largest pop culture event in Oregon was created, developed and is run out of small town Canby.

Longtime Canby resident Ron Brister knows, though. He’s the driving force behind Rose City Comic Con, a pop culture delight that highlights words, art and creativity in one fun, family-oriented package. It’s about comics, man. But it’s about more than that. And yes, dressing up as a super hero or comic book figure is just fine. That’s the way this “con” rolls.

Created in 2012, this year’s second edition will be Sept. 21-22 at the Oregon Convention Center and is expected to see a dramatic increase in attendance from last year.

“Last year we were in a smaller space and it was our first year, so we were hoping for 1,000 people,” Brister said. “We ended up with 4,100 that first weekend.”

SEPTEMBER

Chili Cookoff + Rotary Auction = excitement

A Canby tradition for 21 years, the Canby Herald Chili Cook-off has been a tasty staple of local fundraising. This year, the 22nd edition of the cook-off, the event is going to partner up with a relatively new fundraising endeavor and, together, help fill Canby needs in the process.

The Canby Herald Chili Cook-off will partner with the Rotary Club of Canby’s annual community auction for an afternoon of something special Saturday, Sept. 21.

“We’re excited to be co-sponsoring the event with the Rotary and their annual auction,” said Sandy Storey, one of the chili cook-off organizers the last few years. “This gives us a larger and more diverse committee to work on the cook-off.”

Aurora tabs new mayor

After a brief discussion, Aurora’s city council selected its next mayor Thursday. Bill Graupp took the oath of office, replacing Gregory M. Taylor, who resigned after an Aug. 18 DUII arrest. Before he took office, Graupp spoke briefly in support of his predecessor. |

“I want to acknowledge Greg and the Taylor family for all the efforts they have put into the city,” he said. “I’m game for filling in.”

Finding its economic footing

Quietly, underneath the radar, so to speak, the Aurora State Airport has been busy expanding its economic influence in Canby, Wilsonville and the surrounding area.

It’s a far cry from several years ago, when public skepticism over proposed future plans for the airport were at their height.

Now, state officials say, the construction of a new air traffic control tower is on track to start before the end of the year, and businesses are thriving in a way not seen since before the recent recession.

“There are in the vicinity of 1,000 people working here, and they’re all making good money, most of them,” said James Hand, a local real estate broker and private pilot.

OCTOBER

Library director Hummel resigns post

Canby Public Library Director Penny Hummel’s last day will be Monday, Oct. 7.

Hummel resigned the post she has held four years in a Sept. 23 letter to Mayor Brian Hodson and the Canby City Council.

The city recruited Hummel to revitalize the library and help plan a new library. A plan to build a library on Second Avenue was deemed by the project team as the best and least expensive option. The Second Avenue project was approved August 2012 and then killed by a council majority in July 2013.

Hummel held little hope that the city’s elected officials would allocate additional funds for a new library.

“I’m concerned that they will move instead in the direction of building a substandard library with the limited funds that are now left over from the Second Avenue project,” she said.

“Ultimately, it is time for me to shift my focus from the Canby library to other arenas where I can make a positive impact.”

Lights, camera, Canby

Canby was ready for its first closeup last month.

Several sites in the community were featured in a commercial shot Sept. 28-29. The production company was well aware of what Canby had to offer. One of the partners is Chris Mead, a Canby resident and a Canby Police officer.

He and cinematographer Sean Brown founded their Portland-based Three Point 1Four Productions a year ago.

The Canby location shooting was for a national client they could not identify, Mead said. The city of Canby helped make the project a smooth one, he said.

“The city and Renate (city development director Renate Mengelberg), have been great working with us, Mead said.

And we’re back!

The city will explore acquiring the property needed for a new library-city hall, referring the project to voters and how to pay for it.

At an Oct. 9 special meeting, the Canby Urban Renewal Agency board discussed building a library-city hall on Third Avenue. The three-phase project would take about four years at an estimated total cost of $14,801,504.

The first phase would include an 18,125-square-foot library, a 3,000-square-foot basement and an unoccupied second-story shell for future city offices.

The second phase would be finishing the city administration offices, and the third phase would be a 5,000 square foot expansion of the library and council chambers.

The URA meeting followed a joint workshop the previous night with members of the Canby Public Library Board.

Whatever happened to the big stink?

Canby residents around Canby’s wastewater treatment plant are likely glad it’s gone, but haven’t forgotten a stretch of foul stench that emanated from the facility more than a year ago. A sludge drier that was supposed to create a usable resource instead created a stink that simply couldn’t be stopped.

In the end, equipment and plant modifications to use the machine topped $2 million and the city of Canby looked to recoup that expense for a system that didn’t get the job done.

Naturally, litigation followed.

City Administrator Greg Ellis said that the multiple lawsuits are in mediation at the moment and there has been some movement in the process, but a settlement is still some ways away.

NOVEMBER

Bookstore gets new look and name

The bookstore at the Canby Public Library has undergone several changes of late. Friends of the Library have given the bookstore an official name — The Book Garden. They are also overseeing physical improvements to the facility to make it more inviting.

The Friends will reintroduce the bookstore, with its new name and logo, Saturday, Nov. 16, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in conjunction with Music in the Stacks.

Facelift for a facade

The Canby American Legion has put on a new face.

Post 122 at 424 NW First Ave. held a reopening celebration last week after undergoing an extensive remodeling.

The about $90,000 project added a new roofline and parapet stacked rock wainscot, a new smaller awning, upgraded windows and doors, an attractive entrance with better handicapped access, and new tan and brown color scheme.

A $3,000 grant paid for design services and construction drawings. The façade improvement program provided $25,000, which was matched by the Legion.

The Urban Renewal Agency contributed another $25,000 and granted the Legion a $35,000 loan from its revolving loan fund.

The project also resolved an important issue for the post. The remodeling brings the post into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The mighty MO!

Lurking below the slow-moving waters of the Molalla River in and around Canby is far more sport than many realize.

The river, which had seen fishing activity along its banks and in its waters slow for many years, has undergone a renaissance of sorts over the last decade. Fish, it seems, have reappeared in the waters around Canby and the secret is getting out slowly but surely.

That rebirth has been well-received by those who like to dip a line, including members of the local chapter of the Northwest Steelheaders.

“The Molalla is active,” said Sam Wurdinger, chapter president of the NSA. “I think it has gotten a bad rap. In the late ‘90s, the hatchery plants for steelhead were cut along the Molalla. Hatchery steelhead were a popular game fish at the time. At that point, there weren’t a lot of wild fish in the river and people stopped coming to the Molalla altogether. It has just been in the last 10 years that people have started coming back. Fish are there and opportunities are there.”

And that’s all year long.

Connecting the dots

Recognizing and returning stolen merchandise may be as easy as connecting the ‘dots’ moving forward thanks to a partnership between the Canby Police Department and a product called CopDots.

The high-tech property marking program will offer police the chance to identify more stolen merchandise and increase the odds of those hit by theft, getting their stuff back. That, said Canby Police Chief Bret Smith, is a win-win for the community.

Canby Police announced the partnership last week during a demonstration of the product by DataDot Security Solutions, which produces CopDots. As explained by DataDots’ representative Michael Whitestone, the process has been made wonderfully simple.

Through a pen-like apparatus, property owners and the police can place virtually-invisible-to-the-naked-eye property-identification numbers on items folks want to keep track of — electronics, jewelry, musical instruments, weapons and more.

DECEMBER

Catching a ‘vision’

What’s the future of the Clackamas County Event Center?

That question, and the ideas that have come from patrons, stakeholders and those simply with a passion for the facility, will form the answers for the future. And that’s an exciting prospect, according to Laurie Bothwell, executive director of the Clackamas County Event Center.

“We’ve been involved in vision planning since July,” she said. “We did surveys during the fair to see what people were interested in, then did an analysis with our stakeholders to get an internal feel for the vision for the fairgrounds. Then we did a focus group with the city of Canby and people who rent our facility or work with us during the fair.”

Those were followed by a pair of community forums held recently that were lightly attended, said Bothwell.

“They weren’t as well attended as we’d hoped,” she admitted. “I think we had about 15 the first day and 10 the second. But the people who did attend gave us some good input on things.”

The visioning process is looking at everything at the event center — what needs to be updated, remodeled or replaced. And, once a course of action has been decided, how best to move it forward and fund it.

Engaging in energy efficiency

Looking to change its power use footprint, the North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora has added a unique resource to its facility.

A solar panel array — stretching along Miley Road — is nearly complete.

The array stretches from the entry gate at the extension center to its northwest corner and will allow the NWREC to cut its energy consumption and, hopefully, improve its budget situation.

That’s the goal for Mike Bondi, extension service director.

“This project is part of a bigger effort by Oregon State to incorporate alternative energy into our locations around the state,” Bondi said. “And that’s actually part of a larger effort by the Oregon University System. Some other public institutions have signed on to explore ways to use alternative energy.”

Riding the tracks of potential

With railroad tracks running right through the heart of Canby, leveraging that resource for the city’s benefit has been a topic of conversation of late.

Nationally, rail shipping is gaining momentum with an increasing level of interest and investment.

Rail transportation can be less expensive and can haul four times the load of a truck — especially for long distances. In the region, there are relatively few rail served industrial sites to meet an increasing demand.

According to Renate Mengelberg, economic development director, Canby is well positioned to take advantage of this potential. It is adjacent to the Union Pacific mainline and is served by the Oregon Pacific Railroad.

The city is exploring the potential of flexible rail access to multiple users.

“Rail can offer substantial cost advantages for a variety of businesses in Canby,” Mengelberg said.

Creating new media magic

Any doubt about social media’s increasing influence on entertainment and promotion simply won’t do.

Just ask Canby’s Meg Hodson. The wife of Mayor Brian Hodson, Meg Hodson has a passion for new social media. She started her own blog more than a year ago, Happy Kids Inc., and can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

And it’s that enjoyment of social media that plopped a unique opportunity in her lap last week – and demonstrated the growing power of social media.

“I’m active on social media and one day on Twitter I got a direct message from American Idol saying they wanted me to come down for an exclusive Idol event,” Hodson said.

The request was unique. American Idol would fly Hodson and about 15 other women, mostly bloggers, down to Los Angeles for a behind the scenes look at American Idol and an early screening of its first episode.

To make it happen, Hodson was on a plane Tuesday morning and back home Wednesday night.

“It was really the first time something like this has been done,” Hodson said. “I was definitely tweeting and using Facebook and Instagram while down there. We were limited in a few things we could photograph, but had a lot of access.”



Local Weather

Cloudy

59°F

Canby

Cloudy

Humidity: 87%

Wind: 7 mph

  • 20 Oct 2014

    Rain 61°F 50°F

  • 21 Oct 2014

    Mostly Cloudy 64°F 53°F