After an audit of the agency’s books showed that major mistakes had been made, the Executive Board for the United Way of Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties fired Executive Director Kalei LaFave on Tuesday. In a press release, Board President J. D. Rosetti announced that they had “ended the tenure of its Executive Director.” Rosetti says that the agency “over-allocated” to its 23 member agencies in 2014, leaving the local United Way with no unallocated cash reserves. A routine audit performed late last year shows that the United Way made more than $700,000 in allocations last year, an amount that is more than $200,000 over the amount of pledges that came in. In yesterday’s announcement, Rosetti also said that member agencies should prepare themselves for smaller allocations in 2015. Rosetti says that they still plan to operate the office as it has been in the past, with two full-time employees, but he also says that there’s no time table for replacing LaFave. It’s also being reported that Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha has resigned from the United Way board, but he’s not discussing his reasons for doing that.
Archive | January, 2015
The questions get a lot tougher today for the five men who have been selected as finalists for the Longview City Manager position. Four of those finalists met with citizens and city staff at a reception held last night at the Longview City Hall. John Williams has been the Battle Ground City Manager since 2009, and he says that he’s familiar with Longview and its issues. James Patrick has been the City Manager for Storm Lake, Iowa for the past five years, and he says that he has the skill-set to serve the people of Longview. Curtis Calder has been working for the city of Elko, Nevada since 1998, and has been City Manager since 2003; however, he says that he’s well acquainted with Longview. Dave Campbell came to Longview in 2005, after serving for 17 years as the City Manager for Chehalis. He says that this kind of work is in his DNA, and that it was just natural to pursue this job. Dana Reed of Tremont, Maine wasn’t able to attend last night, because of travel issues caused by the massive storm that hit the northeast. He did get in late last night, and will participate in today’s meetings and interviews. The City Council has an executive session planned from 9:00 am until 2:30 pm, to conduct these interviews; the candidates will also meet with groups of stakeholders and department heads. The City Council has a goal of selecting a replacement for Bob Gregory as soon as possible after these interviews are concluded.
LCC Security asked Longview Police to assist in the effort to find an armed man that was spotted yesterday afternoon on the Lower Columbia College campus. LCC Security relayed a second-hand report that a man with a gun in his waistband was seen at about 4:40 pm, heading from the area of the library, going toward the Student Center. Security was able to meet with the female student that made the report a few minutes later, and she says that the man actually had what she described as a “battle axe” stuffed in his pants. The woman says that she actually talked with the man, who reportedly said he was “paranoid,” and was taking the weapon to the home of a friend. The campus was checked, but the man wasn’t located.
Sheriff’s Deputies were out in the area of Coal Creek Road last night, looking for someone who may have been shining laser lights at passing aircraft. The Seattle Air Route Traffic Control office contacted the Sheriff’s Office at about 9:20 last night, saying that there had been several reports that someone had been shining a green laser into the sky, coming from the vicinity of Ocean Beach Highway and Coal Creek Road. A further check of the longitude and latitude of the laser incidents put the location toward the very end of Coal Creek Road. Deputies checked the area, but were unable to locate anyone with a laser.
A woman who was recently fired as the chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission is firing back, claiming that the Port of St. Helens sent in a fraudulent grant application, and when that application was rejected, Catherine Mater lost her job. The Oregonian reports on the latest development in this incident; Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber fired Mater after she cast the tie-breaking vote that rejected the $2 million dock renovation grant, intended to help Ambre Energy build a coal export facility. Mater says that her research shows that the application from the Port of St. Helens failed to note that a lease agreement was needed, and that the project wasn’t “ready for construction,” which is another requirement of the grant application. Port officials strongly disagree with Mater, saying that her accusations have no merit. The next meeting of the Oregon Transportation Commission is planned for the 19th of next month, where the grant application will again be up for consideration.
There’s a special “White Party” planned for tonight at the Longview Public Library, inviting all LGBTQ and “gender nonconforming” youth from Longview, Olympia, Vancouver and all around the area for dancing, food and music. Library officials say that “White Parties” are a traditional winter celebration in the LGBTQ community, and generally involve the guests dressing in white or silver. Funding for this party came from a $300 grant from the Seattle PRIDE Foundation, helping to pay for a DJ, hors d’oeuvres, a photobooth and decorations. They’ll also have information on the Library’s “Rainbow Community” group and the upcoming activities that they have planned. Tonight’s “White Party” is scheduled to run from 6 to 9 pm. Call the Longview Library at 442-5301 or go to their web page for more information.
Kyrie Irving scored a career-high 55 points to lead the Cavaliers to a 99-94 win over Portland…..Stanford downed Washington 84-74 last night…..LCC men’s coach Jim Roffler earned career win #499 in the Red Devils 76-62 win at Grays Harbor last night. The LCC women are now 8-0 in league after a 73-25 win over GH. Both teams open newly renovated Myklebust Gym Saturday with the women’s game at 1 pm and the men’s game at 3 pm…..The Kelso boys host Fort Vancouver tonight, KLOG 6:55 pm…..The Kelso girls travel to Hockinson tonight. Also, Mark Morris is at Ridgefield and R.A. Long hosts Hudson’s Bay…..The Kelso wrestling team clinched the GSHL 3A wrestling championship with a 41-25 win over Prairie.
The Community Conversation lectures continue at noon today at Lower Columbia College, continuing on the theme of “Turning Points in Science.” Biology instructor Louis LaPierre will present “When You Were a Tadpole and I Was a Fish: Developmental Genetics Reveals Our Deepest Ancestry,” starting at noon today in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts. Admission is free; anyone interested is invited to attend.
As the seagull activity picks up on the Cowlitz River, indicating that at least a few smelt are making their way upstream, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is announcing that a limited fishery of the threatened species will be allowed next month. Recreational dip netting will be allowed from shore on Saturday, February 7th and 14th, going from 6 am until noon each day. Depending on the strength of the run, additional dipping days could be added. Commercial dipping will also be allowed on the main stem of the Columbia, going from 7 am until 2 pm on Mondays and Thursdays in February, going downstream from the mouth of the Lewis River.
Saying that they anticipate a strong Spring Chinook run, fishery managers are planning to allow the initial 2015 fishing season to run through April 10th. From March 1st to April 10th, anglers on the main stem of the Columbia downstream from Bonneville Dam will be allowed to keep one hatchery Chinook allowed as part of the daily catch limit. The river is currently open to Spring Chinook fishing from Buoy 10 to the I-5 Bridge. Full details on the Spring Chinook fishery are available on the WDFW website.
Marshawn Lynch spent his five minutes of interview time at Super Bowl Media Day by answering every question with “I’m here so I won’t get fined”. We’ll see if he gets fined…..The Blazers take on the Cavaliers in Cleveland today, KLOG 3:05 pm. The Cavs beat Detroit last night for their seventh straight win…..The LCC basketball teams are at Grays Harbor tonight, women at 6 pm and the men at 8 pm…..In boys hoops last night Kelso defeated Centralia 76-64. Also, Mark Morris shutdown Hockinson 67-34 and Washougal defeated R.A. Long 50-36…..The Kelso Lassies defeated Centralia 67-45…..The Kelso wrestling team hosts Prairie tonight at 6 pm…..In boys swimming, Kelso hosts MM and RAL in a 4 pm start at Gaither Pool.