As new bridges, buildings and roads are built and reconstructed up and down the West Coast, Longview will literally be providing the foundation for that work, courtesy of the product coming out of the new Skyline Steel facility at the Port of Longview. Grand opening ceremonies were held yesterday at the 30,000 square-foot plant, where Governor Chris Gregoire was a keynote speaker. The plant is now producing threaded steel bar that’s used to help reinforce rock walls along highways, along with large-diameter straight-weld and spiral-welded steel pipe that’s used as pilings underneath buildings, bridge abutments and other large construction projects. About 40 people are now working at the plant, and at full production, about 65 people will be running the plant. It’s noted that nearly all of those now employed are local people, many who had unemployed prior to this startup. This is one of six Skyline facilities across the country, and the first on the West Coast. It’s planned that this facility will serve the construction industry for Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska, already producing materials for major projects. This plant is providing pilings for the 520 Floating Bridge and the Alaskan Way Viaduct projects in Seattle, and is also expected to provide materials for the pending I-5 Crossing project.
Archive | July, 2011
The City of Longview is moving ahead with the Civic Circle reconstruction project, as the City Council accepts a bid from Halme Construction of Battle Ground to do the work. Out of four companies that bid on the project, Halme came in with the low bid of $368,500. City Manager Bob Gregory says that the city is going to have to dip into the Capital Projects Fund to fully supply the project, but he also says that won’t affect other projects in the city. About half of the project cost will be covered by a federal grant; the city has to provide a 13 percent match from the Arterial Street Fund, then will also provide $80,000 from the Street Fund and $77,000 from the Capital Project Fund. It’s planned that the project will be started at the end of August, starting after the Unique Tin Car Show. The Civic Circle will be completely closed for about three weeks, as crosswalks are raised, warning lights are installed and the circle is re-striped to create a three-lane roundabout. It’s expected that the Civic Circle would re-open in mid-September.
The Longview City Council is giving its thumbs-up to the Downtown Action Agenda, the five-year action plan that was developed through the National League of Cities America Downtown Program. Mayor Kurt Anagnostou raised some concerns about some of the language in the plan, but Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce CEO Rick Winsman says that this is a framework, and the exact action steps have yet to be determined. Winsman says that the Action Agenda was unanimously endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Doug Harvey with the Longview Downtowners also says that the Agenda has unanimous support from that organization. A matrix is now being distributed, showing different topics, along with the groups that would be involved with the implementation of those topics. In other action last night, the City Council also approved the purchase of a new pumper truck for the Longview Fire Department, at a cost of $450,000, and also approved its contribution to the Cowlitz County “Big Deal” tourism plan, approving an allocation of $3,632 from the city’s Lodging Tax Fund over the next five years.
Weyerhaeuser is out with second-quarter earnings this morning, reporting a profit of $10 million in the second quarter of 2011. The company reports net earnings of $10 million, compared to net earnings of $14 million in the same period last year. Net sales came in at $1.8 billion, exactly the same as the second quarter of last year. President and CEO Dan Fulton says that they’re confident that ongoing efforts to sharpen their focus and reduce costs are putting the company in a position to generate superior returns for shareholders. Earlier this week, the company announced the sale of the Westwood Shipping Lines, which is part of the ongoing effort to continue the focus on core businesses. Company officials say performance improved in the Timberland segment of the company in the second quarter, but the expect that to soften in the third quarter. Wood products is also expected to continue to be soft, but they anticipate significant improvement in the cellulose fiber and homebuilding markets in the next three months.
A truck crash on Industrial Way caused some problems yesterday afternoon, knocking out power and traffic signals along Oregon Way. At about 11:50 am, William Gordon Jurmu, 18, of Longview was towing a pickup being driven by his 16 year-old brother, Timothy. The back pickup blew a tire, swerving off the road and hitting a PUD pole. Neither teen was injured, but the collision knocked out power to more than 1,400 customers along Industrial Way, Oregon Way and into the Highlands. Traffic signals on Oregon Way were out for a little over a half-hour; most customers were back on by about 12:30 pm. All repairs weren’t complete until just before 3 pm. State Troopers blame the crash on defective equipment, and plan to issue a citation for driving with that defective equipment.
The 2011 Cowlitz County Fair continues today, with the Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo getting started tonight. The first go-round is set for 7 pm, followed by a 1 pm matinee tomorrow and the finals at 7 pm tomorrow night. The Saturday afternoon matinee is also the “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” performance, and the PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center Foundation will also hold a Ping-Pong Ball Drop. You can buy a numbered ping pong ball for $5, and during Saturday’s show, those balls will be dropped on a target in the Rodeo Grounds. The ball ending up closest to the center will win a thousand dollars. Balls can be purchases prior to tonight and tomorrow’s Rodeo performances. Another highlight for today is the FFA Livestock Market Sale, which will start at 6:30 pm, at the barns next to the Horse Arena. Setup for the first-ever Thunder Mountain BBQ Championship will go on today, then that competition will go on tomorrow, with teams competing to make the best pork, chicken, brisket and ribs. The Demolition Derby is set for 2 pm on Sunday. Remember that separate tickets are needed for the Rodeo and Demolition Derby.
The second annual “I Miss Bart’s” Reunion is set for Friday night at the Monticello Hotel. This is a 21-and-over event that will run from 8 pm until 2 am, with some of the favorite bands like “Checker” and “Off the Hook” performing live. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Humane Society of Cowlitz County.
“Downtown Live” continues on Friday night in the 1200 and 1300 blocks of Commerce Avenue in Longview. They’ll be previewing the city’s new “Outdoor Gallery,” with previews of the 11 sculptures that will be installed in downtown. Jeff Jolly will also be doing some live sculpting during tonight’s event. Along with those presentations, there will be special food and drink, they’ll have live music, a free outdoor movie screening and extended hours at stores in the area.
Longview’s Community Market is also open on Friday nights in the 1200 block of Commerce Avenue, right next to Stylemasters. They’ll have plants, crafts, produce and other items for sale.
Woodland’s all-new Farmer’s Market continues this weekend at Horseshoe Lake Park, with live music, fresh food and hand-made crafts. The Woodland Farmer’s Market will be open from 3 until 7 pm.
The 9th annual J. H. Kelly Mother and Son Adventure will be held from 11 am until 2:30 pm Saturday at Lake Sacajawea. They’ll have a rock wall, an obstacle course, catapult, archery, fishing, kayaking and other activities. Contact Longview Parks and Recreation for additional information.
The 30th anniversary of Vista Park in Skamakowa will be held on Saturday, with a party planned from 10 am to 3pm at the park just west of town.
The annual “Rhythm on the River” Blues Festival starts at 1 pm on Saturday at the Clatskanie City Park. Five separate bands are scheduled to play; they’re also having an Appraisal Fair, the annual Friends of the Clatskanie Library Book Sale, and a community-wide Garage Sale in Clatskanie.
The third annual Toutle Lake High School Multi-Class Reunion is planned for Saturday, running from noon to 5 pm at Harry Gardner Park, on the South Toutle River, just outside of town. They’ll have a potluck lunch and live entertainment.
The Sluggers Relay for Life Team is having a Bunco party on Saturday night at the North Gate City Church in Kelso. This gets started at 6 pm on Saturday; along with the bunco games, they’ll have a potluck dinner with drinks provided. This is intended to help raise money for next month’s Relay for Life event at the Expo Center.
The Cowlitz County Community Farmer’s Market continues on Saturdays through October in the parking lot on 7th Avenue, across from the Cowlitz County Expo Center. Hours are 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday.
The Kelso Bridge Market continues on Sunday, open from 10 am to 3 pm in the green space next to the Catlin Spray Park. Come on by for crafts, produce and other fresh items for sale. The Market will run each Sunday into September.
Kevin Schwartz came up with a 12th inning pinch-hit, RBI double to give the Cowlitz Black Bears a 6-5 victory over the Bellingham Bells. The Bears are just two games out of the playoffs as the host the Bells again tonight at 6:35 pm…..The Mariners return to action tonight at home against the Tampa Bay Rays, KLOG 6:00 pm…..The Kelso Babe Ruth 14 All-Stars have one more weekend of preparation as they begin Regional action Monday night in Salem…..The Seahawks had two light workouts yesterday as training camp is underway. The team agreed to a deal with free agent tackle Alan Branch from Arizona…..The hydros hit the Tri-Cities for the Columbia Cup this weekend…..In golf, the Longview Country Club Member-Guest and the Mint Valley His & Hers is this weekend.
The Seahawks paid big money to land two marquee free agents, luring WR Sidney Rice and LG Robert Gallery…..The Mariners snapped a 17-game losing streak with a 9-2 victory over the Yankees. Felix Hernandez got the win and Mike Carp had four hits to lead the 17-hit attack. The M’s host Tampa Bay for three starting Friday night…..Matt Maurer pitched well in the Cowlitz Black Bears 5-1 win over Bellingham last night. The Bears host the Bells again tonight at 6:35 pm at Story Field…..The Kennewick Bandits outlasted Pacific Tech 12-10 in 13 innings at the State Legion tourney yesterday. Pac Tech’s season comes to an end…..Sign ups are from 10 am to 2 pm Saturday at the Fred Meyer store for Lower Columbia Youth Football. The league is for kids in grades 3-6.
Longview Police now report that a 21 year-old man is being charged with second-degree assault, after he allegedly used a pellet gun to shoot a 14 year-old girl in the leg. Officers, Deputies and aid personnel responded to Miller’s Market shortly before 11 pm, when it was reported that the wounded girl had been found in the parking lot. Officers got to the scene and learned that the shooting had actually taken place outside at a nearby apartment, located in the 700 block of 32nd Avenue. Containment was set up, and several people who’d been in the area were detained. Interviews were conducted, and it was learned that the victim had been in a verbal argument with a 20 year-old woman, just prior to the shooting. The investigation eventually lead police to William C. Goldsberry, 21, the resident of the apartment. Investigators say that Goldsberry is an associate of the victim, and allegedly admitted to shooting her from his living room window. A Sheridan pellet gun and a container of pellets were taken from the apartment, while Goldsberry was arrested and booked. The girl was taken to St. John Medical Center to be treated for her wound.