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Letters published Friday, Sept. 16, 2016

You are very welcome

I would like to thank the South County Spotlight, in particular reporter Nicole Thill for her wonderful article and Rose Zimnicki for her great help with our advertisement. It was a pleasure to work with both people and it was very nice to see the support your team gave to our local group and community.

Our group is small in comparison to most other quilt guilds, but we displayed over 200 quilts, ranging in expertise from beginner to expert. We donated over a dozen quilts to the Snoopeeland Child Development Center at the church, and our visitors generously purchased raffle tickets for two quilts which will benefit the Columbia River People’s Utility District GLOW Fund and the Columbia City Community Library.

I hope you got a chance to stop by and see the show. We had many, many compliments on the quality of our show and the people involved.

Thank you again for your support. I enjoyed working with you and we hope to do it again in 2018.

Patty Norgaard

Quilt Show Committee member

Columbia River Piecemakers Quilt Guild

A refresher for pedestrians as fall approaches

Now that school has started, it is a good time for parents to remind their children to walk facing the traffic when they are on streets and roads without sidewalks. And Scappoose has a lot of them.

Adults are due for a reminder too. I see a lot of adults not following that simple rule.

People should be paying attention to where they are walking. Be aware of your surroundings. It is not the time to be checking your cell phones. Your guardian angel can’t save you if you are not paying attention.

Learn to be responsible for yourself and you will live longer.

Kay Fail


Forum to focus on ‘The Big One’

I bet you are interested in knowing more about the big earthquake that is predicted to happen within the next 50 years.

A public forum presented by the Democratic Central Committee will be held on Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Columbia Soil and Water Conservation District office at 35285 Millard Road, in St. Helens.

The presentation is titled, “The Cascadia Subduction Zone and what we need to know, now.”

Della Fawcett, a volunteer geologic hazards coordinator, is our presenter.

Lots of good discussion will follow, so we hope to see you there.

Paulette Lichatowich

Columbia City

Conundrum considerations

According to the Oxford University Press, a conundrum is a confusing and difficult problem or question.

It was brought to my attention some time ago that a St. Helens company was attempting to open a game room for young people in the former Flowers 4 U shop.

It seems this company ran into a snag when they were told two more restrooms would have to be added to the one existing restroom, including one which would be appropriate for persons with disabilities.

OK — if that’s the law, that’s the law.

However, here’s the conundrum:

A friend and I decided to have lunch at the new bistro which opened a couple of weeks ago next to Grace’s Rivertown Antiques. It is a charming little business with a river view and we were looking forward to a good meal.

There was even a ramp for those who have disabilities.

As we had been doing a good amount of shopping in the antique shops and had hit a few yard sales, we asked to be pointed to the restrooms to wash up. We were told there were no restrooms but we could probably go to a nearby business and use theirs.

I’m certain the city of St. Helens has a responsible explanation for this discrepancy in restroom facility requirements. I am also certain it has nothing to do with who you know in government circles.

I followed up by contacting the county’s health inspector.

I’m looking forward to a good meal at the bistro when I am able to wash my hands before doing so.

Another conundrum: I have learned a bit more about the “cleaning process” of the Portland Superfund material which might be used to seal the toxic ponds near the Old Mill Park in St. Helens.

First I was told the toxic sediment would be sent to Arlington for cleansing before being used in St. Helens; then I was told there was no way the toxins and carcinogenic (cancer-causing) waste can be cleaned from this sediment.

I then had a conversation with St. Helens City Manager John Walsh. Here is how I now understand it.

To put it simply, some of the nation’s most contaminated land from a Portland Superfund area will be dredged in Portland. The bad part will go to Arlington and the not-so-bad part will come to St. Helens.

Portland will pay St. Helens to accept this sediment because they don’t want to keep it. Thus, St. Helens will have the money to develop the waterfront property.

I so hope this beautiful spot along the Columbia develops into the city park we have all hoped for and deserved for decades — but is it worth it to bring superfund waste into our city?

Mr. Walsh assures me high-tech methods will be used to encase this horrible toxicity. I assume Arlington told their residents the same thing when they agreed to accept nuclear waste. Guess what? Arlington leaks.

And yet a third conundrum: it appears an area just up the slough/river from the same proposed park development is being considered as a firing range for law enforcement. Who could possibly think it would be a good idea to put a shooting range at the tail end of this park property?

I do know that St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss and City Councilor Keith Locke recently toured this property with a firing range in mind.

Mr. Locke has not yet returned my phone call. Chief Moss was kind enough to do so.

Chief Moss tells me this area, approximately one-half mile from the end of the proposed park, is on the slough side of Boise Paper in an old concrete-lined hole once used for the storage of lime. He assures me, if this area is ever developed for a firing range, the five-foot-high concrete walls would be made much higher and would be tested for noise pollution.

I like that word, “conundrum.” It rolls

nicely off the tongue and it is so very useful to explain much of the confusing and difficult problems or questions abounding in our city and county.

Nancy Whitney

St. Helens