Most of the school kids around the area still have a few days of summer left, but students in Toutle Lake and Winlock are already in class, hitting the books. Winlock actually started class yesterday, while the school doors swung open today in the Toutle Lake district. The majority of local school districts will be opening next Tuesday, the day after Labor Day, but in Kelso and Longview, school starts on Wednesday, the 7th. Remember that kids will be on local streets, making their way to and from class, and be sure to watch the 20 mile-per-hour school zone speed limits.
Archive | August, 2011
The National Labor Relations Board is filing an official complaint with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, claiming that the union is using unfair tactics in its protest against EGTand the grain terminal at the Port of Longview. Responding to complaints about “illegal behavior” by picketing Longshore Union members, the NLRB has concluded that the ILWU has been “restraining and coercing employees,” which is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act. At the ILWU headquarters in San Francisco, union leaders are saying that they plan to fight the NLRB, stating that EGT has filed inaccurate claims. They also blame EGT for provoking any violence or confrontations at the gates of the facility. The complaint calls for a formal response from the union by September 12th.
Longview Police and Fire crews have been responding to several more arson fires in the Highlands over the past 36 hours. At around 3:20 yesterday morning, a dumpster fire was reported in an alley behind a home in the 500 block of 22nd Avenue. At 2:40 this morning, a dumpster was set afire on a corner in the area of 22nd and Alabama, then at 4:25 am, someone set a couch and a chair on fire in an alley between Oregon Way and 15th Avenue. All three incidents are being called arsons. No suspects have been identified.
Once again, the operating levy for the Castle Rock Library has been rejected by voters. The final tally from Cowlitz County Elections shows that the levy received 260 “yes” votes and 184 “no” votes; that puts the levy at 58.56 percent approval, just shy of the 60 percent needed for passage. In addition to losing the levy, Library supporters have also learned that they missed the deadline for putting measures on this November’s ballot, so they won’t be able to go back for another vote until next year. Library Director Vicki Selander says that they’ll now be implementing “austerity measures,” to try and extend their existing funding as far as possible. She also says that fundraising efforts will get under way. The Castle Rock Library was in a similar situation in 2008, when the operating levy failed; levies that were run in 2009 and 2010 were able to get voter approval.
After a number of delays, groundbreaking ceremonies are planned today on the $10 million ORPET plastic bottle recycling plant in St. Helens. When complete, the facility will be recycling plastic water bottles and other plastic items, creating about 20 new jobs in that area. It’s projected that the facility will recycle about 90 percent of the plastic bottles used in Oregon, material that used to be shipped overseas for processing. ORPET is a public-private partnership between the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative and two entrepreneurs, Tom Leaptrott and Dennis Denton. The plant will be built on Port of Saint Helens property on Old Portland Road, and should be in operation by December. Today’s groundbreaking ceremony is set for 2 pm today.
Today is the last day of operation for Your Market Place on Commerce Avenue in Longview. Tom and Linda Doerr are closing the grocery store after five years of operation. The Doerrs announced the closure earlier this month, saying that competition from chain stores and a need to deal with personal health issues made the continuing operation untenable. About 30 workers will be affected by the closure. The owner of the building, Lakeway Investment of Longview, tells the Daily News that there hasn’t been much interest in the 40,000 square-foot building, but they expect interest to pick up as the store’s equipment is sold and moved out.
Today is the deadline for applications for Kelso’s 2012 Lodging Tax allocations. Agencies and organizations that have upcoming events, and who would like support from the Kelso Lodging Tax Fund need to submit an application for those funds with the Kelso City Manager’s office by 4 pm today. Contact the City Manager’s officer at 577-3301, or you can check the city’s website at www.kelso.gov.
The Rainier Assembly of God Church is hosting a “Back to School Bash,” running from 7 to 8:30 tonight in the church at the base of the Lewis and Clark Bridge. Organizers say that they’ll have food and fun for the whole family, live music, an inflatable obstacle course and bounce house, a rock wall, paintball target shooting, prize giveaways and free school supplies for all of the kids. It’s free and open to everyone. Parents will need to attend with their kids to be eligible for the giveaways, and to sign consent forms for the rock-climbing wall.
Mike Trout hit two homers and drove in five runs to lead the Angels to a 13-6 win over the Seattle Mariners last night. Game three of the four game set is tonight, KLOG 6:00 pm…..Clackamas downed Lower Columbia 3-1 in college volleyball last night. The Devils begin play at the Highline tournament later today…..The LCC women’s soccer team opens the season today at the NWAACC Friendlies tourney at Starfire in Tukwila. The Devils play Green River at 11 am today…..Speaking of Starfire, the Sounders beat FC Dallas 1-0 last night in the US Open Cup semi-finals…..Joey Miller of Kelso fired a 42 to take 4th place in the GSHL 3A boys golf jamboree yesterday at Green Mountain in Camas…..The L.A. Sparks beat the Seattle Storm 68-62 in WNBA action last night.
One of the ILWU members who’ve been picketing the entrance to the EGT grain terminal is under arrest on a charge of second-degree malicious mischief, while the Prosecutor’s Office also reviews video tape to see if a contract worker at the facility should also be charged. At about 6:50 yesterday morning, EGT security called 911, reporting that contractors attempting to enter the property were being blocked by picketers. It’s alleged that Scott Le Roy Mitchell, 40, of Kelso had dented the rear passenger door of a Prius that was entering the facility, doing an estimated $1,400 damage. Mitchell was arrested on a charge of second degree malicious mischief, and is currently being held without bail. A little later in the morning, union officials provided a video tape to the Sheriff’s Office, reportedly showing a gold Chevy Suburban entering the property, shoving picketers to the side as it went inside. Two union members claim that they were hit, with one taken to St. John Medical Center to get treatment for a bruised knee. That tape is now being reviewed to see if assault charges should be filed. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has been picketing the terminal for several weeks, protesting EGT’s refusal to use ILWU members to staff the facility. EGT claims that they are not bound by a contract with the Port of Longview, requiring the use of ILWU members at their facilities. A court hearing on a lawsuit regarding that claim will be heard next year.