You are welcome!

Thank you for the wonderful article by Darryl Swan in the March 7 edition of The Spotlight. It really captured the struggle we’ve been going through to fight invasive plants in the park, like ivy, as part of the ongoing restoration work. We couldn’t do it without the great support from the community, including Scapppose Bay Watershed Council and city of St Helens.

Our next volunteer work party is Saturday, April 6. We’ll meet at 9:30 a.m. at the water treatment plant and work until noon. We’ll see what kind of weather we have; we hope it will be a mild, spring day.

It’s a great place for local residents to enjoy a peaceful walk in the woods, and it’s a haven for a bit of Oregon’s endangered, diminishing oak habitat. It can also serve as a classroom for teaching and learning about oak woodland ecosystems. Come visit soon!

Caroline Skinner

Howard Blumenthal

St. Helens

City reps listen, but you must speak out

I would like to thank the Mayor and the Scappoose City Council for their courteous hearing of my concerns at the March 18th Council meeting. I greatly appreciate them re-opening a public hearing and providing me the opportunity to speak. To me, this clearly demonstrated their desire to hear from citizens.

If the resulting action was any indication, the Council did not share my concerns but I did have the opportunity to speak. I would encourage anyone who has concerns, thoughts or suggestions regarding the business of the City of Scappoose to attend City Council meetings and speak directly with the Mayor and Council.

Lisa Smith


Building on positive experiences

The article on “World Day of Prayer” you published on Feb. 27 was very much appreciated. It concisely portrayed the purpose of the prayer service at Grace Lutheran. Around 80 people joined together to intercede and celebrate fellowship in prayer. It was a positive exercise for our community.

Diane Grube


Bakery bad news

Maddy and I were shocked to see that St. Helens’ great Houlton Bakery is closing this month not long after the good bookstore in the same building went out of business. The cause of the closure seems to be a problem with the landlord. This is really a shame as this is a stunningly good bakery with very nice management and staff, and one of the city’s bright and successful businesses. Let’s all do what we can to encourage the keeping of the bakery.

Mike Sheehan


For a good cause

In July, my Girl Scout Troop and I will be embarking on a great adventure. We will be joining other Girl Scouts from the United States on a trip with EF Tours traveling overseas. Our troop is on our final fundraising push. As a troop leader I am writing to you to see if you could put our story in your paper in hopes we will raise the remaining funds for our trip.

Our troop has been together 11 years. When the girls reached sixth grade I suggested to them that if they worked really hard and stayed in the program, we could travel anywhere in the world they wanted to. I showed them some pictures of a trip I took to London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland years earlier. That sparked their interest. With many hours of research and finding our tour company that we would travel with, our adventure began. The biggest obstacle, of course, was figuring out how to fundraise $42,000 that we would need.

The parents did not want their Girl Scout experience to just be about the trip so we all stepped up to support the girls in their troop. We delved into the scout program teaching them the importance of community service, leadership and earning badges. Since 2008 they have earned their Bronze and Silver awards, planned and hosted five camps for other Girl Scouts in our area and completed the Volkswalking program. With all that they have done they are amazing role models for the younger Girl Scouts in our communities.

As a troop of six scouts, we have been aggressively raising money for the past four years with money earning projects such as growing and selling our own pumpkins and lettuce bowls, monthly bottle return drives, selling jam, a Christmas tree lot during the holiday, some donations from local businesses and of course Girl Scout cookies all the while working the Girl Scout program. With all of these projects our troop has raised over $30,000 and counting.

We have upcoming fundraising events in April and May. A bottle return drive April 13 at Ace Hardware, spaghetti feed on April 20 at the St. Helens Moose Lodge and another bottle return drive/car wash on May 11.

Thank you for your consideration.

Shannon Vaerewyck

Girl Scout Leader

Troop 11380

St. Helens

Helping horses, but not on contract

I enjoyed reading one of your letters from Jeannine Duehren of St. Helens on March 6. I applaud her dedication to helping horses in Columbia County; however, I have a correction regarding the Oregon Humane Society and our commitment to the horses in the county.

Ms. Duehren incorrectly stated the Oregon Humane Society has a contract with Columbia County to investigate abuse and neglect of horses. This isn’t true. The Oregon Humane Society is privately funded and receives no tax dollars or government or county contracts for their funding. OHS helped over 118 horses in Columbia County in 2012 alone and all of which was made possible through private donations. While we work closely with Columbia County Sheriff and District Attorney offices, it is because it is the right thing to do, not because we are contracted to do so.

If anyone is interested in adopting a rescued horse, please check out our website at

Ms. Duehren singled out many great organizations stepping up for horses in Columbia County and the Oregon Humane Society is happy to be a part of that list.

Sharon Harmon

Executive Director

Oregon Humane Society

Contract Publishing

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