Longview’s Red Light Camera ordinance is going to a vote of the people in November, but the fur is still flying between backers of Longview Initiative Number 1 and city officials. By a vote of 4-3, the City Council voted to declare the initiative invalid, but did vote to put the issue on the November ballot for an advisory vote. I-1 organizer Mike Wallin says that the “advisory vote” is a slap in the face to the more than 3,600 people who signed the petition. Council member Dennis Weber, who actually helped to write and pass Longview’s initiative ordinance 30 years ago, says that November’s vote will be much more than just “advisory”. About 50 people came to this morning’s meeting, with nearly all expressing support for opportunity to allow people to vote. In the end, Mayor Kurt Anagnostou was joined by Council members Dennis Weber, Mary Jane Melink and Chuck Wallace in voting to declare the initiative invalid, and for the advisory vote in November. Don Jensen, Ken Botero and Chet Makinster voted against that motion. City Attorney Marilyn Nitteberg-Haan says that she’ll now start working on a resolution that best reflects the wishes of the City Council, then that resolution will be placed on a future Council agenda for discussion and citizen input. That work started a series of testy e-mails, also involving Mayor Anagnostou and Tim Eyman, Washington’s “Initiative King” and red light camera nemesis. Eyman says Anagnostou and the Council “royally screwed” Longview’s voters, while Anagnostou claims that Eyman and other initiative backers played fast and loose with the facts, not telling petition signers the full impact of a binding vote. Nitteberg-Haan says that to get a measure on the November ballot, it will need to be ready for the Auditor some time in August. She says that means a draft resolution will need to be in front of the Council some time late in June or early July.
Archive | May, 2011
The Longview City Council holds its regular meeting tonight, starting with an executive session on potential litigation. The regular meeting is set to begin at 7 pm, where the Council will be asked to consider a purchase offer on the building that’s been used as the Longview Square Dance Center for more than 30 years. PNE Corporation is offering the city $307,000 for the building, to use the property for storage of trucks, equipment, materials and as a “lay-down yard.” There will also be a discussion regarding the next step in the involvement in a Metropolitan Parks District, and they’ll also discuss a possible full closure of the Civic Circle in late August and early September, starting the work on the Civic Center Circle renovations. Tonight’s meeting is open to the public.
Longview Police are looking for your help in solving a cold case, dating back to July of 2007. Detective Steve Dennis says that Lorie Haley hasn’t been seen since that time. She was 54 at the time of her disappearance, and Dennis says that they suspect foul play in the case. Haley was known to frequent hotels in the Longview, Kelso and Woodland areas. He also says that Haley and her van may have been in the Kalama River Road area around the time that she disappeared. Her green 1999 Ford Windstar was recovered in Spokane on July 9th, 2007. At the time she went missing, Haley was 5’2″ and 102 pounds, with shoulder-length brown hair and blue eyes. If you have information in the case, call Detective Dennis at 442-5827; you could also get a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in the case by calling CrimeStoppers at 577-1206.
Kelso Police say that it looks like a man committed suicide at a home on South 7th Avenue. Officers and the Coroner’s Office were called to the home shortly after 10 am yesterday, when the 55 year-old man was found hanging in the garage of the home. People on the scene say that the man had last been seen at about 11 pm on Tuesday night, and had recently been upset about some marital issues. The body was turned over to the Coroner for a post-mortem exam, while authorities started making efforts to notify next-of-kin.
A man wanted for illegal possession of drugs in King County was arrested yesterday evening in Longview, as he tried to get some dinner at Community House on Broadway. During the routine background check that the facility runs when people want to use their services, Community House turned up a felony warrant on Tyrone Ozell Momon, 48, of Seattle. He was arrested without incident at about 6:45 pm, and now awaits transfer back to Seattle.
The people running the “Community House Cares” fund drive say that they’re about three-quarters of the way to their goal of $100,000, with only a few days remaining in the effort. Community House Director Rich Kirk says that they’ve raised $75,000 so far, with the fund drive running through the end of this month. He says that the money raised will help to keep the facility open through the end of this year, but he says any additional support will definitely help out. Kirk also says that planning for additional fundraisers is under way, including a “bowl-a-thon” that being set up for July 30th and 31st at Splitz in Kelso. Details on that event will be released in the next few weeks. If you’d like to help out with the current “Community House Cares” fund drive, contact them at 425-8679.
The Washington Department of Transportation now says that rock scaling work on Ocean Beach Highway near Cathlamet is done two weeks ahead of schedule, so the full closures of the highway are being lifted. WashDOT officials say that the contractor working on the project used two scaling crews, so they were able to finish the work early. You can still expect single-lane closures and delays of up to 15 minutes at a time over the next three weeks, as final work is buttoned up. Find out more by checking on the project on the WashDOT website.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is announcing a change with the speed limit signs on the Sunset Highway at the Highway 47 junction near Vernonia. ODOT says that new electronic speed limit signs have been installed, and they say that the speed limit will actually change, depending on the amount of traffic. State officials say that the speed limit on that stretch of highway will vary between 30 and 50 miles an hour, depending on traffic flows. They say that this change is intended to help traffic turning off of Highway 47 during times of heavy traffic flow, helping to make that a safer move. They say that this is an interim solution to the problem, with plans to install a new interchange at that junction in the future.
The Kelso High School production of the classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” has been extended through this weekend, with performances tonight, tomorrow and Saturday. They lost a performance last Saturday, due to a conflict with the annual Kelso Powwow. Performances are being held at 7:30 pm tonight, tomorrow and Saturday, along with a 3 pm matinee on Saturday. The doors to the Kelso High Auditorium open a half-hour prior to the curtain. Tickets will be available at the door.
Doctor Adam Wolfer presents today’s Community Conversation lecture, offering a talk entitled “Quiet Genius Pushing Boundaries: Madame Curie.” The Community Conversation lecture is presented at noon in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts. Admission is free.