Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Articles from the September 28, 2023 edition


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  • Rising tide: Residents of the Lower Columbia estuary confront a shifting landscape

    Diana Zimmerman|Sep 28, 2023

    Westend residents turned out last Tuesday for the second workshop in a planned series of four to talk about how flooding is impacting the property and lives of people living in the Grays River, Rosburg, and Deep River communities and to brainstorm ways to tackle the issue. Jackson Blalock of the Pacific Conservation District led the workshop with the assistance of representatives from his conservation district, the Washington Sea Grant organization, and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership....

  • Rising tide: Residents of the Lower Columbia estuary confront a shifting

    Diana Zimmerman|Sep 28, 2023

    Over the years, flooding has become an increasing problem for people in the Westend of Wahkiakum County. It was hard to imagine when I drove up to Nick and Dee Nikkila's home in Deep River on a beautiful late summer day last week, but Nick had evidence. Not long after sitting down to talk to the pair about what they were seeing on their property, Nick pulled up a video he made and posted on Youtube. You can see high water covering Wirkkala Road, the long drive to the Nikkila house, and how Nick...

  • Many questions, but little certainty, on potential emergency strategies

    Diana Zimmerman|Sep 28, 2023

    There have been questions about what local emergency planning, including evacuation and communication, is in place for Cathlamet in the event of a large fire or other disaster, and Cathlamet Fire Chief Vernon Barton, PUD General Manager Dan Kay, and Undersheriff Gary Howell were at the Cathlamet Town Council meeting last Monday to give some answers. “It’s still fire season,” Mayor David Olson said. “We want to get the conversation started.” Olson wanted to know: How are emergency alerts gi...

  • After a long break, NOAA gauges Columbia's currents

    Diana Zimmerman|Sep 28, 2023

    Lorraine Heilman, an oceanographer with NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, talked to an audience in Cathlamet recently about a project she led to survey the current in the Columbia River. As part of the National Current Observation Program, she and her colleagues go all over the country to update the tidal current tables, using "ever more interesting and new and fancy pieces of equipment," she said. They used Cathlamet as a staging area in the last year. "The marina is...

  • Beach replenishment of continual concern

    Ian Brandon|Sep 28, 2023

    County commissioners approved a number of practical measures Tuesday, and heard a comment about missing sand. Kevin Prestegard said he was “looking for sand” because he had lost approximately a quarter acre of beach at his south side Puget Island property. The missing sand, Mr Prestigard blamed on the dredging of the ship channel. All the commissioners agreed that they had no information about plans to replenish the beach because the Army Corps of Engineers would not respond to requests for information in a timely manner. They suggested tha...

  • A bickering school board

    Sep 28, 2023

    by Karen Bertroch When the NGRV School Board met on September 19, there was a good-sized audience with comments and questions. They were, for the most part, respectful. On the other hand, board member Tyson Vogeler continues to challenge most items on the agenda and how the meeting is run. His actions set a tone for everyone in the room to do the same, which is unfortunate. To my knowledge, no one on the board is embezzling money. Nor is the board intentionally ignoring state law involving board procedures. As the “newspaper lady” att...

  • We are on our own to find the truth

    Sep 28, 2023

    To The Eagle: In regard to last week’s letters “Stop the blame game” and “Place credit (and blame) where due,” in my opinion, the articles they’re getting their information from are disinformation. These articles are written by Democrats and liberals who will not report negative activities against their own party. They’ll come up with justifications in a way that doesn’t make sense. I hate to say this, but Republicans do the same. So really we are on our own to find the truth. Disinformation is not important but what’s important is that...

  • Cheap shots are not economic policy

    Sep 28, 2023

    To The Eagle: In last week’s letter titled “A Wild Idea,” a contributor skewered the libs ‘humorously’ by cracking wise at the expense of this nation’s homeless. That writer suggests, only for our ironic amusement of course, that our increasing population of American families who will endure another winter in tents, on this nation’s sidewalks and back alleys, could profitably be “taxed to build nice homes” for undocumented emigrants, that other vilified population of the desperate, huddled poor. What other class of afflicted humanity is this...

  • Port 2 purchases boat

    Diana Zimmerman|Sep 28, 2023

    The Wahkiakum County Port 2 Board of Commissioners talked about potential funding, events, and purchased a boat at their September meeting last week. Port 2 Manager Sam Shogren proposed that the port purchase an 18 foot wooden work skiff, based on a historical boat design by the Danielsen family of Puget Island. Wide and stable, with a flat bottom, the boat was restored in 2020 by Welcome Slough Boatworks and by members of the local Traditional Small Craft Association, of which Port...

  • Port 1 continues upgrades to campsites, other amenities

    Diana Zimmerman|Sep 28, 2023

    The Wahkiakum County Port 1 Board of Commissioners met last Wednesday for a quick update on activity at the marina. Mayor David Olson was in attendance. He invited Port Manager Todd Souvenir to a workshop on the design of the waterfront park at the town council meeting on October 16. “The decisions made there will affect the overall design, and it’s right adjacent to you, and we want to know what your druthers are, in terms of how things are placed, and how we can work together to make sure tha...

  • Vivid birds on display in special exhibition

    Sep 28, 2023

    In the early 1920s, Willard Ayers Eliot hired a well-known natural history artist, R. Bruce Horsfall, to paint 56 works to illustrate Eliot's book "Birds of the Pacific Coast." Published in 1923, this popular and enduring bird identification book saw at least five editions. Eliot was deeply involved with the Oregon Audubon Society (OAS, now Portland Audubon), and in 1941, he donated the Horsfall paintings to OAS. Portland Audubon donated 55 of Horsfall's vibrant illustrations to the Oregon Histo...

  • Patricia Lex Welton

    Sep 28, 2023

    Patricia Alice Lex Welton, 82, of Pleasanton, CA, passed away peacefully at her home on August 29, 2023. Patricia was a loving mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, and great grandmother. Patricia was born to Mildred and Lyle Lex in Clatskanie, OR. She was the second oldest of 4 siblings, two sisters Dian (Shelly Halloway and Lauren DeRosier) and Mary (Lindsay Pakzad) and brother Bill. Patricia grew up on Puget Island, on Welcome Slough, two houses down from Heritage Bible Church, where she...

  • Eric Howard

    Sep 28, 2023

    Eric Franklin Howard, 65 died on August 25 in Longview. Eric was born to Arthur and Joyce (Harns) Howard on February 13, 1958 in Longview. He lived most of his life there.He moved to Cathlamet four years ago. He graduated from RA Long High School in 1976. He began a long career dump truck driving for several Longview - Kelso businesses retiring from J L Storedahl Trucking in 2018. He is survived by two daughters Carrie Sonntag (Ryan) and Crystal Howard, a son Eric Howard, Jr, a brother Randy Howard (Cindy) and a sister, Danielle Howard and his...

  • Northwest author will read from debut novel

    Sep 28, 2023

    Mike Stark, a former reporter for the Daily Astorian, and for KMUN, will read from his novel, “The Derelict Light,” on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Astoria Public Library, 450 10th St., at 6 p.m. Stark’s first novel, but third book, “The Derelict Light” recounts the story of the fire that consumed downtown Astoria in December 1922 through the eyes of a lovesick thief, a Finnish immigrant, klansmen, socialists and Oregon’s first female fire investigator. The book was published by the University of Nebraska Press, which says of it: “Inspired by hist...

  • Free covid tests available

    Sep 28, 2023

    Every household in the United States can now receive four free covid-19 rapid tests by mail by calling 1-800-232-0233, or by visiting covidtests.gov online. The tests should be good through the end of the year. Some of the tests may appear to have passed their expiration date, but the dates were extended by the US. Food and Drug Administration....

  • Folk festival will return to Skamokawa

    Kay Chamberlain|Sep 28, 2023

    WET AND WINDY­—I hope you have had your wind breakers and your rain jackets handy, along with some boots, as it appears we have had quite the little storm already, with more to come. If you’re like me, you are ready for it to be over! With power bumps, phone outages and internet outages, it’s been a real “fun” start to the week. Here’s hoping the promised weather shows up. Just think: winter has yet to begin, and I’m already moaning about the fall weather—ha! To top things off, my computer opted to update and do an entire change in its lo...

  • The Eagle Calendar

    Sep 28, 2023

    THURSDAY Cathlamet Fire Department, 7 p.m. Senior Citizen Luncheon, Hope Center, Noon. Senior Citizen Luncheon, Rosburg Hall, Noon. Skamokawa Fire Department, 7 p.m. Grays River Fire Department, commissioners, 7:30 p.m. Puget Island Fire Department, fire/Ambulance, 7 p.m. District No. 4 Fire Department, 7 p.m. Food Addicts Meeting, Hope Center, 3rd & Maple, Cathlamet, 6-7 p.m. Westside Play & Learn Group, Valley Bible Church, 9:30-11 a.m. Eastside play and learn group, St James Family Center 5:30-7p.m. West End Food Pantry, Johnson Park, 1- 5...

  • Downriver Dispatches

    Karen Bertroch|Sep 28, 2023

    The rain has arrived, it's steady and most welcome. One more way we know it's fall, I changed sheets on my bed and put on flannel ones, as well as the comforter. I wrote a commentary on the local school board meeting for The Eagle, but did not include any report on business handled. At the last board meeting, they approved hirings, policies and the purchase of a new transport van at $85,450. It looks like enrollment will be a bit over 300 students, much like last year, but the final number will...

  • Sheriff's Report, September 28, 2023

    Sep 28, 2023

    September 17 — 10:29 p.m. A caller reported that a deer was still alive after getting hit on Altoona/Pillar Rock Road. September 18 — 1:18 p.m. A caller complained about a vehicle that was parked on Columbia Street. He said the car was partially blocking his driveway and impeded his view of oncoming traffic, making it difficult to exit his driveway safely. The Town of Cathlamet was contacted and the vehicle was removed. 1:57 p.m. A phone was found on Greenwood Road. The owner was contacted. He said he lost the phone at a Walmart in Ast...

  • Wide variety of tech activities offers alternatives to traditional core curriculum

    Diana Zimmerman|Sep 28, 2023

    The Wahkiakum School District Board of Directors started their meeting with a presentation from Apollo Solutions, which looks for ways to reduce energy consumptions in buildings, and has been helping Wahkiakum in the background find ways to address their aging facilities. Scott Lewis gave a recap and provided a timeline for what comes next with the $5 million grant the district was recently awarded. He said a $35,000 had been approved for an engineer to determine project costs, and that...

  • Ghost towns, old homes, and felled trees

    Brandon J. Simmons|Sep 28, 2023

    "Certain places kind of haunt you," Carl Wirkkala told me on the phone the other day. He remembers grinding cascara bark and catching crawdads with poles cut by his grandmother, who lived in an old house along Knappton Road in Naselle. When he was young, he would tell his dad and his uncle "weird stories about police." The two men would take little Carl on trips looking for scrap iron among the dark, dilapidated houses of Frankfort, a ghost town that was set to be the new Astoria. "It never...

  • Mules power through a daunting lineup

    Diana Zimmerman|Sep 28, 2023

    It's been a tough way to start a season against some of the best teams in the region, but the Wahkiakum Mules are still looking at the silver lining in the midst of a 0-4 start. They lost 55-6 to a much larger Toledo team on Friday, not just physically, but as far as turnout. There are 66 boys playing for the Indians to Wahkiakum's 27. "The kids played tough," Coach Ryan Lorenzo said. "They were just outmatched in size and physicality. Toledo is a really good squad with some amazing coaches....

  • Mules continue to grow on the court

    Diana Zimmerman|Sep 28, 2023

    The Wahkiakum Mules volleyball team shows steady improvement, but is still looking for their first win of the season. On Thursday, the Mules hosted Napavine and lost in three sets, 25-7, 25-13, and 25-15. "We started out slow and hesitant but showed steady improvement," Coach Kayli Hurley said. "Napavine has a strong squad with a quick offense. My blockers had some great touches. "We've been doing a lot of tinkering with lineups trying to find one that suits us best and are getting closer." Stan...

  • Taking aim at immersive history

    Sep 28, 2023

    The Society for Creative Anachronism met on Saturday. An international organization with 130,000 members worldwide, the group meets regularly at the fairgrounds. Above, Lady Elovel of Avalon, also known as Cathy, instructs a local in medieval archery, as a participant in red demonstrates their skill. Photo by Ian Brandon....

  • State agency seeks input from anglers

    Sep 28, 2023

    The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is hosting a series of online public meetings this fall to discuss development of the 2023-24 coastal steelhead fishing season. Fishers and anyone interested in steelhead management and conservation along the Washington coast can attend the first of these public meetings beginning at 6 p.m. on Oct. 25. The primary goal of the first town hall meeting will be to solicit fishery proposals from the public for the upcoming season. Fishery managers with WDFW will also present information on the...

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