Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Eva Malerich of Deep River, supporter of the Deep River Church, is home for the summer, seen here at the Appelo Archives Center. Photo by Karen Bertroch.

We are so sad at the news of the fire that destroyed the beautiful home of Dan and Clair Stephan out on Altoona Pillar Rock Road. Such a tragedy, but it's wonderful none of the 10 people in the house were hurt. Their home and yard were so wonderful. We are all praying for the family and thankful for all the firefighters who went out to help in the middle of the night last Saturday.

We have so many reasons to be proud of our Naselle GRV high school athletes this spring. Our track/field and baseball teams excelled in their finals and with the baseball team winning State (again) I know we are proud of our young people. "Small schools doesn't mean little talent," that's for sure. Justin Laine said: "Our student-athletes showed tremendous character, perseverance, and resilience. What an awesome showing for our track athletes. Great job, tracksters and coaches. The baseball team showed grit and toughness in defending their crowd. Proud to be a Comet!"

With the dry weather we're having I find myself a bit confused about my yard. I'm not used to even thinking about watering until July, so it feels as if we're ahead of ourselves. I bought some new hoses as I am focused on how to keep all my plants watered. I spend so many months inside in the winter, yet here we are with cool days and dry yards on June first. Bendog has me concerned, too, because of his aging and arthritis, but vet Dr. Lisa in Naselle, came through with some amazing medicine that helps his pain. High humidity, though, puts many of us, both dogs and people, into pain we forget when the sun's out. I hope it's out today. So many good things are happening like graduation, summer days, community events and with Memorial Day just past us, memories of not only wars past, but shortened lives. I am from the Vietnam generation so the MIA POW flag means a lot to me. Korea also was a war that seldom is discussed, yet was devastating to our troops and their families. With modern medicine, we can do so much more for our injured soldiers, so it is our duty to support funding for the VA as much as possible. Too many veterans aren't getting the help they need. Senator Patty Murray has made that a priority. We should as well and let all our federal representatives know that we hold our veterans in the highest esteem and want them to have the help they need, especially those with mental challenges.

A need has come to my attention that we all should be thinking about. I have a copy of a letter that Fire Chief Robert Maki wrote that states: "We are replacing a 1979 Seagrave fire engine in station 2 (Raistakka Road), with a 2001 Pierce Dash that we are purchasing from Skamokawa Fire at a cost of $25,000. This has depleted both our capital and operating funds. I am asking if there is a possibility that you might be able to help us with a donation to replace funds in our operating account so that we may continue to serve the District as we have in the past?" Their operating fund is $60,000 annually. They currently need funding for their operating expenses for 1-2 months totaling $5,000 to $10,000. We all pay taxes into the Fire District, but the costs of firefighting are very high. An affordable used fire truck is hard to find. Let's do what we can to help our volunteer neighbors have the necessary funds to maintain the high level of knowledge, skills and support they provide. When we live in rural areas with a low population, it is crucial that we give through donations, as well as taxes, to keep our homes as safe as possible. I will be sending a donation myself and I hope all of you will too. Please send your donations to Wahkiakum County Fire District #3, PO Box 10, Rosburg, WA 98642.

Photo of the Week: Eva Malerich, Deep River resident and advocate. Eva comes home every summer from her winter home on the east coast. We are always happy to have her with us. Her devotion to the historic Deep River Church has been an inspiration. Welcome home, Eva. That little church is almost completely restored with one window left to be installed. Thanks to both Eva and Krist Novoselic along with his brother, Robert, for all the recent work done.

Calendar of Events:

Mondays: First Monday of the month, Naselle Library has a men's coffee gathering 10-11:30.

Tuesdays: Naselle Lutheran Church sponsors morning quilters and knitters in afternoons.

Third Tuesday: Naselle Grays River School Board meets at 6:30 in school library.

Second Wednesday of the month: Grays River Habitat Enhancement District meets at the Grays River Fire Hall across from Duffy's Pub at 5:15.

Wednesdays: AA meeting at the Grays River Grange at noon.

First Thursday of the month: Grays River/Rosburg Gardening group meets at Johnson Park at 6.

First Thursday of the month: Caregiver Support Group at Naselle Library with OBH staff 1-2.

Thursdays: CAP Senior Lunches are located at Rosburg Hall at noon.

Second Friday of month: Women's Coffee Group at Naselle Library at 10.

June 3: Vendor Blender at Naselle Community Center from 10-4.

June 3: Barbecue Potluck at Johnson Park from 2-6 with live local music and ice cream.

June 7 and 21: Wednesday Senior Lunches at Rosburg Hall at noon.

June 9: Blood Drive at Johnson Park.

June 10: High School Graduation at 4.

June 10: First Grays River Grange Farmers Market at Grays River Grange then second Saturdays of the month from 10-1.

June 24: FAFF Salmon Dinner 5-7 and Concert 6-8 at Rosburg Hall: $20 Music by Emily Rudolph and Sunnyside. Tickets at

July 29: Nordic Music Concert at Chinook School at 5 with kantele and harp.

August 19: Loggers Reunion with BBQ and beer from 2-5.

Word for the Week: Children


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