For the first time this year, Twin Harbors is open for razor clam digging, but Long Beach remains closed. Washington Fish and Wildlife says that a six-day dig opens today and goes through next Tuesday. Digging will be allowed on this evening’s tide ONLY at Twin Harbors. Tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, Copalis, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks will all be open for digging. Monday and Tuesday of next week, only Twin Harbors will be open again. Long Beach remains off-limits, due to continuing issues with high levels of Domoic Acid. Digging is allowed on the evening tides only; be sure to have your current shellfish harvest license, and be sure to observe the harvest and bag limit rules.
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Smiles Dental in Longview is prepping for the annual “Gift of Smiles” Free Dental Day, signing people up today, to provide free dental services tomorrow. Local residents will be able to call in today, starting at 8 am, and make an appointment for cleanings or restorative dental work. The restorative work includes things like filling, extractions or other treatments that can be done in an hour, and that do not require extra labs. Smiles Dental will be doing this work tomorrow, but you must get an appointment beforehand. The phone lines at Smiles Dental will open at 8 am today; you can call 200-6995 after that time to make an appointment. Smiles Dental in Longview is located at 820 Ocean Beach Highway, suite 110. Get more information by going to welovesmiles.com. Smiles Dental started the Gift of Smiles in 2009, and has provided more than $710,000 in free dental services since that time.
They’re starting the process of looking for a new director for SAFE of Columbia County, after the current director announced that he’s heading back to Los Angeles. SAFE of Columbia County provides support for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, and has been run for the past four years by Naaman Cordova-Muenzberg. Last week, Cordova-Muenzberg informed the SAFE board of directors that he and his partner plan to return to LA in May, where he can be closer to family and friends. Cordova-Muenzberg is a Southern California native. The SAFE board is developing a succession plan, with a goal of releasing a job announcement within the next week.
Today’s Community Conversation lecture is titled “Brain vs. Brawn: Two for the Price of One?” It’s being presented by Lower Columbia College nursing instructor Annette Ward, continuing on with this term’s theme of “Sports and Society.” The free lecture begins at noon in the Laufman Lecture Hall in the Health and Science Building at LCC, and is open to anyone interested.
There’s a “Paint and Sip” event planned for this afternoon at the Monticello Park Senior Living Center, located at 7th and Hudson in Longview. This is a benefit for the Monticello Lions, and will start at 5 pm. Glazy Days will be supplying the paints and supplies; they’ll be pouring Roland Wines, and they will also be serving chef-prepared appetizers and you’ll be able to take home your specially-created wine glass. Paint-n-Sip at Monticello Park runs from 5 to 7 pm this evening; call 575-1778 to reserve your seat.
After a third round of commercial test dipping showed an increase in the number of fish, Washington Fish and Wildlife is announcing that there will be one day of recreational smelt dipping, coming up this Saturday from 8 am until 1 pm. WDFW says that recreational smelt dipping will be allowed on the Cowlitz River this Saturday only; the open area is also limited this year. This year, the river is open only from the Harry Morgan Bridge on Tennant Way to the Al Helenberg Memorial Boat Launch in Castle Rock. The limit will be the same as in recent years, set at ten pounds per person. That works out to be about a quarter-full five-gallon bucket. Fishery managers are still predicting an overall smelt return of about 3 million pounds this year, compared to just over 5 million pounds last year, and 16.6 million pounds in 2014. No license is required, but game wardens will be monitoring the river closely, keeping a close eye on harvest limits.
Longview Police say that the body found on the Cowlitz River last Sunday has been identified as Shannon Eileen Fuchs, 52, of Longview, and an autopsy shows that she died from hypothermia. A person walking along the dike in the 1500 block of Third Avenue reported finding Fuchs’ body late Sunday morning, in an area where several transient camps are located. The manner of death is being listed as “accidental,” and Longview Police now say that the death is no longer being investigated as a homicide. The investigation remains open for now, as several additional details are wrapped up. Memorial services are pending.
A man tells Kelso Police that a group of young men tried to rob him last night in the area of East Pine Way and Grade Street. The man called 911 just before 11 last night, saying that he was walking along the street when three subjects approached and accosted him. The man claims that one of the suspects tried to grab him by the neck, and then they tried to steal his bags. The suspects took off without getting anything. The suspects are described as “younger,” and all three were wearing black hoodies. They were last seen taking off down Grade Street. No arrests have been reported.
The City of Kelso is moving ahead with revisions to the city’s Comprehensive Plan, Development Code and Zoning Code, with revisions approved at last night’s City Council meeting. Consultant Gregg Dohrn presented the revised codes at last night’s meeting; he says that a lot of work has been done to reduce the amount of red tape, and to make the documents much easier to understand and to use. The revised codes also allow for “mixed-density” residential devlopments, allowing for a blend of single-family and multi-family housing in the same area of town. Dohrn says that they have reduced the number of chapters, a move that should made the Comprehensive Plan and the Development Code much more user-friendly. The revised codes were moved through on first reading, and will return to the Council for final adoption at their second meeting in April. The Council pushed that out another month, to give themselves and the public adequate time to review and comment on these revised documents.
As many as 150 disgruntled citizens gathered yesterday morning outside of the O. O. Howard House in Vancouver, rallying outside of the office of Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, and demanding that she hold a Town Hall, and increase her interaction with constituents. Many at yesterday’s rally held signs dealing with the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act, while other signs showed concern about President Trump’s executive order on immigration. Staffers for Beutler say that she was in Skamania County yesterday, before conducting a Telephone Town Hall meeting last night. Beutler’s office say that she’s committed to contact and get feedback with as many constituents as possible; the people involved in yesterday’s event are demanding even more availability. Beutler is entering her fourth term as the Congressional Representative for the Third District, receiving nearly 62 percent of the vote in last November’s election.
The J. H. Kelly company of Longview reportedly has come in with the low bid for construction of the building that will house a new McMenamins hotel, restaurant and brew pub at the Port of Kalama. Construction bids for the building were opened last week, and J. H. Kelly reportedly came in with the low bid of $7.3 million. The port will construct the building, and then the Portland-based brewery chain would lease and operate the facility. The bid is a bit over original estimates on the project; it’s reported that some negotiations will be held before the deal is finalized. Project managers say that they’re still on track to get building permits from the City of Kalama in the next few weeks, and to get this new McMenamin’s open by this fall.