The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle

 

March 11, 2021

Karen Bertroch

The former Bank of the Pacific building in Naselle will become a medical clinic this year.

It's Sunday morning. I am grateful I get to spend time with you since this is the best time for me to write. It's a time to think about what is happening to us as a community and to us as families. I am happy to bring you words of some good changes coming. One change that happened for me was the arrival of a new computer. It's called an "all in one" and I can't begin to describe for you how it changes my life. It has an updated, but still old-fashioned keyboard for one thing, and a big monitor screen. I learned how to type in high school in 1963, and that one skill has carried me in working situations where no one cared what my education was so much, but could I type and could I write a complete sentence so, needless to say, I love this keyboard and I am smiling as I type on it.

Naselle Clinic Update: Last week I spoke with Larry Cohen, CEO of the Ocean Beach Hospital (OBH). We talked about two changes coming this year that will help us. Due to the covid shutdowns, OBH was forced to slow down with renovations on the Bank of the Pacific building in Naselle that will become the "new" Naselle Clinic, hopefully by the end of 2021. The Bank of the Pacific gifted the building to the Ocean Beach Hospital when they closed their branch in Naselle. Many local folks remember when that bank was established.

In front of the Appelo Archives Center is an old tree "round" that was originally located in front of the bank. It is a reminder of the forests that built our timber industry that was and is so important to us. For us to have tried to build a modern building from the ground up ourselves would have been a huge undertaking, but with the bank's realization of what an updated clinic would mean to us, they made the offer to OBH, and we are grateful that OBH accepted that gift.

Mr. Cohen gave me his schedule for moving forward now that we are past the initial lockdown we have been living with for the past year. Mr. Cohen hopes to see construction of renovations to begin in May or early June of this year. There will be three examination rooms, and Lori Sharrow, family nurse practitioner, will be the medical provider of the facility. Since she began working at the current Naselle Clinic, many patients have expressed appreciation for her and the experience she brings. And patients will no longer have blood taken in the kitchen as is done in the current clinic. There will be a separate room for that. Many of us are so used to the kitchen that it was a surprise to hear about that change, but it sounds like a great improvement. The kitchen has served us well for many years and it feels homey to be there.

New Physical Therapy building about to open: OBH has not been able to dedicate much room at the hospital or at the Ocean Beach Medical Clinic for physical therapy (PT). When the PT building just down the street from the hospital was closing, the hospital board decided to take it over and develop a program that could meet the needs of the patients who needed ongoing physical therapy as part of their plan to help develop their flexibility and strength. The newly renovated PT building will be opening soon.

Changes in Naselle: The new clinic will bring many changes to "downtown" Naselle. Since the current clinic is located off SR 4, those passing through might not realize there is health care available locally. The "new" building will further give the impression of a main area. Naselle is an unincorporated area, so it's going to show visitors that with the school, the post office and the clinic in one general area, it appears to actually be a town!

New parking will be necessary, so with that also being developed, the image of a populated area will be realized as well. This could help Naselle further develop as a location for people to consider buying or building a home. Parpala Road has become a popular area for new homes over the past years and continues to be seen as a prime location for folks working on the Peninsula or in Astoria, and as a place to work for folks coming from South Bend. Naselle is becoming a bedroom location due to its beauty, high quality school, and its ideal location for those who value recreation and access to both the Columbia and Willapa Bay.

What I don't understand is where in the county is downtown Naselle? Oh, I know where Naselle is, but the downtown? I asked Mike Swanson and he didn't know and he's in real estate. He's a big shot.

The first time I drove through: There's a hardware store and a real estate office and a motel. This must be downtown Naselle. And the town ended and I was driving through the woods and there's the school and a restaurant and a gas station. This must be downtown. And the town ended and I was driving near a cattle pasture and then there's the library and a post office and a market. This has to be the downtown. There's even a liquor store. That's downtown. I know Naselle and I know some Wirkkalas. I know how to spell Wirkkala with two KKs in a row. That doesn't make sense but it's Finnish. That's how I know Naselle.

What I figured out is, it looks to me like they have three Naselles: There's NA-selle and B-selle and C-selle. Just like flashlight batteries. I thought you'd get a charge out of that.

So for us who live around here, let's review the Senior Lunches at Rosburg Hall in Grays River:

March 11: Irish stew, heritage cabbage, sliced oranges.

March 18: Chicken burrito, spanish rice, fiesta veggies, sliced peaches.

March 25: Pork chops and gravy, mashed potatoes, dinner blend veggies, sliced apricots.

For more information contact Diane Hollenbech at 360.465-2991.

Word for the Week: Gratitude.

 

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