Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


September 1, 2022

Karen Bertroch

Tree project crews: Theo Burkhalter, Frankie Mendez (PUD), Bowen Burkhalter, Mark Elliott (PUD), Gus Burkhalter, and Scott Cameron (PUD). PUD crew did the tree topping and Burkhalter crew helped clean up.

Photo of the Week: The Wahkiakum PUD crew came to my house last week to remove an aspen tree that was growing too near the power line in my yard. Three very capable men came, Mark, Frankie and Scott. Three boys were there to help also, my yard helpers who have been another great crew, Theo, Gus and Bowen Burkhalter. They happened to be working in my yard the second day that the PUD crew came when they brought the chipper/mulcher machine and mulched the tree within 30 minutes. It was a shock to see the empty space where the tree had been. I planted three aspen trees about 15 or more years ago and one of them, the grandaddy of the group, was clearly struggling with very few leaves and empty small limbs. It was just by chance that I learned the PUD will help us if a power line is in jeopardy. A few days before, Shane Pfenniger, foreman, was working at my neighbor's property so I happened to ask him if my tree was too close. We then talked about my options and learned the PUD will send out a crew to top a tree, then mulch it at no cost. If needed, they will also disconnect the power line that's too close to the tree, then hook it back up after the tree removal is done. There are parameters regarding all this, of course, because they don't cut trees back for no reason, but if you see that a tree of yours is getting too close to your power line, please keep in mind that the PUD is just as concerned as you are.

Probably a lot of you readers already are aware of the work the PUD can do concerning trees and power lines, but I have not given enough attention to that service over the years myself. Now that the trees I planted are getting older, I am paying attention to my neighbor, Bob Torppa, who has warned me in the past that I need to be watching the trees around my house. I have made it a project to have flowers and trees planted from states where I have lived, including a sycamore maple for Indiana, aspen trees for Colorado, forget me not flowers for Alaska, and lupines that look a lot like the Texas state flower, the bluebonnet. The aspens usually do not grow in Washington. However, there are some on the west Cascade mountains. My tree seedlings came from the Pacific county Conservation District. They need a lot of water so the ones I have growing at the edge of my little pond are doing better than the ones planted near my front deck where ground is dry. Taking the biggest one out was a loss because it provided shade for my morning coffee spot, but it needed to be done, so I am grateful for the PUD helping me keep my power line safe. I am also grateful that just by chance the crew came on the day I had the Burkhalter boys here to help clean up the tree mess after it was topped. Mark, who cut the tree, did a great job of cutting the bigger portion of the tree, and dropping it away from my best plants. Call the PUD for more information: (360) 465-2171 for a Grays River call or (360) 795-3266 for a long-distance call. It's a good time of the year to get troublesome trees taken care of before the fall and winter seasons bring strong winds and storms.

News we need to know from Rick Nelson at The Eagle: He emailed WSDOT to ask about the timing of the SR 401 slide repair and possible detour. Celeste Dimichina, Communications & Media Relations at WSDOT responded with this: "At this time, the project is tentatively scheduled to go out for competitive bidding in November 2022. From there, once a contractor is chosen, work would begin in either spring or summer 2023. In the meantime, with the bypass lane in place, we continue to closely monitor the slope, ensuring the area is safe for all travelers."

Covered Bridge Dinner: The Grays River Covered Bridge Dinner is sold out already! Wahkiakum 4-H reports that the dinner is all sold out. It's a wonderful event so good for you folks who jumped in and got your tickets early. Appelo Archives has scheduled their Loggers Reunion on same date so there is still another option for the day.

Naselle Coffee Company: Hannah Footh, new owner of the latte stand at Okie's is looking for a barista with some experience to work with her. Naselle Coffee has been busy this summer.

New Tiny Home: Allen and Diane Bennett own the small trailer park on Knappton Road. Driving by, you will see a new tiny home that will be set up soon. The Bennetts told me since it's a legal trailer park, they wanted to make a tiny home or two available there. Great idea since renting any size home at all can be difficult in our area. We need good housing ideas like this one. Congratulations to the Bennetts for a fine contribution to our area.

Zimmerman's Farm has corn coming this fall: The Zimmerman's Farm is so fun to watch because it's always full of color and wonderful organic vegetables and berries. And check out the article on line from the Chinook Observer, "Largest organic farm in SW Washington," from June 7 and read all about the farm and wonderful people who run it. And yes, I'm watching the corn grow whenever I drive "the loop." It's doing fine and I bet it will be a nice crop this fall.

September 1: Naselle GRV School's first day of the school year.

September 5: Labor Day holiday weekend. Avoid the Astoria bridge, if possible.

September 7: Senior Lunch at Rosburg Hall (Wednesday group).

September 9-11: Farm to Fiber Festival at the County Fairgrounds in Skamokawa. Times: 9-5 on Friday and Saturday and 9-4 on Sunday. For more information, call (360) 703 7291 or (360) 904-6065.

September 20: Naselle/GRV School Board meeting at 6:30.

September 22: Fall equinox, only three weeks left of summer.

October 1: 4-H Covered Bridge Dinner at 4:30 - Tickets are all gone.

October 1: Loggers Reunion at Appelo Archives Center at 11 a.m.

CAP/Thursday Senior Lunches at noon are now located inside Rosburg Hall.

Word for the week: Trees


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