Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Noreen Fitts holding her new granddaughter named Noreen. Courtesy of Emily Loftis via facebook.

State Senator Jeff Wilson wrote the following after I sent him a question on the Legislature's web site: "Please note the Naselle youth camp was funded for ongoing soft closure and I was able to include in this year's operating budget a task force to be populated by area locals including the Chinook tribe. I am proud of this because the camp now will have a local say in any future potential this facility will be heard!" I thanked him for this information and hope he comes to visit us over the summer. We need our legislators to know our thoughts and needs. It's easy to send a message. Just enter WA State Legislators for District 19 and you'll get there.

What a busy weekend our area had! Tea, salmon dinner, Puget Island garage sales, and more I am sure. Was happy to hear that my "old" friends Anita Raistakka and Kayreen Gilbertsen were together for the Puget Island garage sales. Kayrene is a fantastic textiles restorer. Anita took a historic wedding dress donated to the Appelo Archives to see if Kayrene can brighten it up and clean it. Thanks, Kayrene.

Now that Bob Torppa is fully retired it is wonderful to hear about the family using their fifth wheel to take the grandkids and Gigi (Arlene Nelson), their great grandmother, on trips. They love Seaside so I hope they had a good time early this week. With school out, Grandson Robbie is now able to go anytime, and his T-Ball loving sister is always ready for adventures. Grandchildren are such a gift. Bob's friend Marshall Blanchard and his wife, Denise, are often on the road, as well as Joel and Noreen Fitts from the neighborhood. Bob, Marshall and Joel worked hard in their younger years and I love to hear about their adventures, too. Marshall still works hard.

The Zimmerman farm is doing well, so Bendog and I often drive by to see how well their plants are growing. Last year I watched the corn growing, but I haven't spotted any this year. However, there are rows of plants that look like peas or green beans. What a gift it is to have organic vegetables for sale close by, organically fed milk cows down valley for organic milk and a Farmers Market at the Grange Hall. We are country folks for sure!

The Naselle Grays River Valley School Board met last Tuesday with an agenda of reports and revised policies to discuss. Principal Justin Laine had many proud reports of students and activities, field trips and high performing athletes. I hope you might consider attending a meeting to show support for our school board volunteers. I understand Bob Torppa has filed for the school board seat that Tyson Vogeler is leaving at the end of the year. No one had filed yet so Bob did before the last filing date closed. Thanks Tyson, for your good work and I know Bob will bring in all his experience from being on the school board in the past.

July 4 is almost here. Bendog and I usually spend the weekend in the yard if the weather is nice. It's fun to wave at tourists driving by to the Covered Bridge, or spend time at Ahlberg Park meeting new folks or those stopping by to see the bridge. The park looks wonderful these days and the Sorenson side across Grays River is open for folks to get down to the river and fish or let kids play in the water. The Grays looks a bit low since we've not had much rain.

Photo of the Week: Emily Loftis sent this photo on facebook of Noreen Fitts and her new granddaughter, named Noreen. Isn't that smile on Noreen's face a joy to see? Congratulations, Noreen. What a wonderful honor.

It sounds like the "Smoke on the Water Music Fest" at the Fairgrounds on September 1-3 is going to be great fun. A three-day music festival seems right up everyone's alley for Labor Day weekend. Kay Chamberlain listed the line-up of musicians and bands in her column. You can get tickets on the website: Or call the fairgrounds office at 360-795-3480 and leave a message.

Denise Blanchard is offering a "wild animals painting night" on July 20 from 6-8 p.m. at Johnson Park. You can choose from several wildlife animals. The cost is $30. Call Denise to pre-register at (360) 355-0472.

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 5:30.

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

Wednesdays at 2 at the Timberland Naselle Library: July 5, Amazing Magic Show; July 12: Reptile Man; July 19: Brownsmead Flats; July 26: East of Sun and West of Moon with Pegasus Puppets; August 2: Ice Cream Party and Great Egg Hunt.

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.

Second Saturday of month: Grays River Grange's Farmers Market at the Grange 10-1.

July 5 and 19: Senior Lunch at Rosburg Hall at noon.

July 5: Amazing Magic Show at Naselle Timberland Library at 2 for kids and families.

July 18: Naselle GRV School Board meets at 6:30 in the library. Budget hearing will be at 5:30.

July 20: Paint Night at Johnson Park for wildlife painting class. $30 (360) 355-0472.

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 at Appelo Archives Center.

Word for the week: Sunshine


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