As local anglers are preparing their boats for tomorrow’s opening of the annual Buoy 10 fishing season, the Coast Guard and other marine law enforcement agencies are also preparing, looking to make sure that the fishing boats don’t get tangled with the ocean-going vessels coming in an out of the Columbia River. “Operation Make Way” is intended to help make sure that those conflicts are avoided. The Coast Guard and other marine patrols will be making sure that fishing boats are not anchored in the shipping channel; boats found in those locations could get a citation of up to $5,000. Patrols will also be making sure that boaters have the proper safety equipment aboard, and that everyone aboard is complying with safety and fishing regulations. This effort will continue through the months of August and September.
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Today is the final day of the City of Longview “Curb Appeal Contest.” Over the past two months, the city has been promoting the slogan “Make Longview Beautiful,” soliciting nominations for a business to receive the Mayor’s Award for “Best Curb Appeal Improvement.” Before and after photos are being posted on the “Make Longview Beautiful” Facebook page. Visitors to that page can vote for the photo that they think shows the most improvement, and the one that gets the most “likes” will win, with the results confirmed by a “Civic Pride Committee,” comprised of various community stakeholders. Get more information on the “Make Longview Beautiful” Facebook page.
Lower Columbia School Gardens Director Ian Thompson is out with a big ‘thank you” to the community, as people step up with donations that have landed a $20,000 grant from the Health Care Foundation. Thompson says that the Lower Columbia School Gardens needed to collect $10,000 in donations to be eligible for the challenge grant, and that money came in over the past two months. Thompson says that it’s extremely gratifying to see the support for this completely community-created and supported effort. He points out that five years ago, there was only one local school garden; now, there are 13. 2,900 local students were involved in the School Gardens this year. Thompson says that the effort is continuing, as additional resources are needed as the program expands. While this $30,000 is great, Thompson says that they still have a goal of raising an additional $41,000 in support. He’s projecting $21,000 in general fund needs, coupled with $20,000 in sales from the upcoming Fall Harvest Event. Get more information on the program and find out how you can help by going to the Lower Columbia School Gardens website.
Be sure to bring your boogie shoes to tonight’s Kirkpatrick Family Care Summer Concert at the Lake, as “The Twangshifters” bring their version of rockabilly to Martin’s Dock. Based out of Portland, “The Twangshifters” say that they specialize in “stripped-down, no-nonsense rockabilly, blues and rock-n-roll.“ Band members say that they are the “love children of Carl Perkins and Patsy Cline.” The weather should be great for tonight’s free concert, which starts at 6 pm. You can bring the entire family and your own picnic dinner, or there will be also be food vendors set up on the Hemlock Plaza.
First-degree assault charges are being filed against Cody Alan Tamayo, 21, of Longview, after he allegedly pistol-whipped another man yesterday afternoon. The victim called Longview Police shortly before 6 pm yesterday evening, claiming that Tamayo had used the pistol to hit him in the face and head several times. Officers met with the victim at a residence not far from where the alleged attack occurred, and found evidence of the assault. They say that the victim was bleeding, and clearly had been struck multiple times in the head and face. Officers located Tamayo a few blocks away, along with a woman who had supposedly driven away with the gun that Tamayo had been holding. Police say that they did recover a pistol from inside that car. Tamayo is now being held in the Cowlitz County Jail on charges of first-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and second-degree car prowling. The investigation continues.
After months of study, input and review, the Cowlitz County Commissioners are moving forward on an ordinance that covers the allowed locations for recreational marijuana production, processing and sales. Commissioner Jim Misner says that it’s time to get this on the books. The new ordinance contains development standards and siting criteria for all tiers of marijuana production, processing and retail sales, and covers all of the unincorporated county. The measure passed on a 2-1 vote, with Commissioner Dennis Weber voting in opposition. Weber says that there are still some holes and questions, possibly leaving county employees to be exposed to legal action. He asked to have language included that reflects the fact that a majority of Cowlitz County citizens voted against I-502, also acknowledging the discrepancy between state and federal laws at this time. That request was turned away, with Misner and Commission Chair Mike Karnofski voting to pass the ordinance as it was presented. Wahkiakum County also passed a similar measure.
A couple of weeks after it was announced that lease negotiations between the Port of Longview and Haven Energy were far apart, it now appears that progress is being made in the effort to locate a butane and propane export facility at the Port of Longview. At yesterday’s Port Commission hearing, Executive Director Geir Kalhagen says that talks continue, with the focus still on what’s going to be best for the Port of Longview. Kalhagen says that the port is now in the process of responding to Haven’s rebuttal of the initial lease offer presented by the port, and they hope to have some additional communications in hand by next week. It was pointed out that Haven has already exercised a second four-month option on the proposed site, so they remain interested. The Port of Longview is moving ahead with its portion of environmental review, approving a contract with Parsons Brinkerhoff to examine four phases connected to development of the export facility. That’s expected to cost as much as two million dollars, with the majority of that cost to be borne by Haven Energy.
You need to be aware of nighttime lane closures on Ocean Beach Highway between 9th Avenue and Washington Way, as a sewer main replacement project continues. Starting tonight at 8 pm, the westbound lanes of Ocean Beach Highway will be closed between Washington Way and 9th Avenue, a closure that will remain in place until 9 am tomorrow morning. Similar nighttime closures are planned tomorrow night, also continuing Monday through Friday night through August 15th. Detours will be posted, and access to businesses in that area will be maintained. To avoid possible congestion, you may want to find an alternate route around this work zone.
Work continues on the sewer lining project that’s tying up traffic on 15th Avenue between Hemlock and Florida Street, work that is expected to go through all of next week. Contractors have the left southbound lane of 15th Avenue shut down between Hudson Street to Florida Street as this work proceeds; both directions of Hemlock Street are restricted to right turns only at 15th Avenue. Business access is being maintained, but left turns out of businesses fronting the 15th Avenue work zone will be prohibited. Detours are posted, and you’ll want to use alternate routes to avoid delays.
The Vietnam Traveling Wall is scheduled to arrive today in Lewis County, with plans to have the 370-foot memorial open for visits tomorrow through Sunday. The wall is an 80-percent-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that is located on the National Mall in Washington, D. C., containing the names of all of the American men and women who died while serving in the Vietnam War. The Vietnam Traveling Wall will be on display at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis, just off of I-5.
Sunday evening, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe invites you to come by Willow Grove Park as they hold a vigil to pray for the health of the Columbia River. The tribe’s spiritual leader, Roy Wilson, will lead the vigil, which will also include a canoe ceremony, a blessing of the river, drumming and dancing. You’re also invited to bring a dish for the potluck and salmon dinner that’s planned. Participants will also be allowed to offer their own prayers, poems or stories about the Columbia River, and they’ll also have fun stuff for the kids to do. This is one of several vigils that tribes are planning all along the length of the Columbia, which also mesh with the resumption of US-Canadian negotiations over the river’s flow. Sunday’s vigil is scheduled to start at 5:30 Sunday evening, and is open to all. Call St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at 423-5600 if you have any questions.