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Contentious sign moved to safer spot

Superintendent admits sign a hazard; marker moved from intersection
by: Stover E. Harger III MOVING ON UP – The “Chinook Fields” sign was moved Monday, Dec. 19 because it partially blocked drivers’ view of Highway 30.

The controversial Scappoose School District's 'Chinook Fields' sign, which some residents blamed for blocking drivers' view of Highway 30 from E.M. Watts Road, was moved this week after the school admitted it is a safety hazard.

Scappoose School District Superintendent John Miner said he agrees with residents' concern about the district's newly constructed large concrete marker, which was originally placed at the corner of E.M. Watts and the highway. On Dec. 19 - at an estimated cost to the district between $1,000 and $1,500 - work crews uprooted the sign and moved it away from the intersection.

The sign has been criticized since it was installed last month because it partially blocks motorists' line of sight - despite being technically outside a 'safety-restricted zone.'

'It's always different when you look at something in a drawing and when you get it in the ground,' Miner said.

Although the sign had city approval and met all ordinances, Miner said, 'There was some sight impairment.'

Since our initial Dec. 7 report on the criticism surrounding placement of the concrete marker, The Spotlight has heard from numerous readers about their desire to see the sign moved.

'Glad to know I'm not the only one concerned,' wrote Shannon Fischer on www.spotlightnews.net. 'I also called the district as well as the city... I have 6 children in this district and am going to be very concerned if the sign isn't changed.'

The still-not-yet-completed sign, built by Portland architecture firm DLR Group, is meant to advertise the recreation field where the former Otto H.H. Petersen Elementary School stood. It stands 5 feet tall and is nearly 12 feet wide.