Meetings are planned today in Portland and at the Blue Mountain Community College campus in Hermiston, where the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality plans to take public comment on draft air quality, storm water and water quality permits for the proposed Coyote Island coal export terminal in Boardman. This would be the eastern end of the coal export project proposed by Ambre Energy of Australia. The western end of the project would be at Port Westward near Clatskanie, where the coal would be transferred from barges to ships that would transport the coal overseas. Because of the huge numbers of people anticipated, DEQ has required people to register in advance for the day-long hearings, to try and minimize the waiting times for those who want to present comments. They also say that this system will insure that the people involved will actually get a chance to speak, rather than having to travel many miles and wait several hours, then to get shut out of the opportunity. Today’s hearings run from 8 am until 8 pm at BMCC and at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, broken up into two-hour sessions. Get more information from the Oregon DEQ website.
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The board for the YMCA of Southwest Washington in Longview has several meetings with members set up over the next eight days, where they plan to discuss the merger of the facility in Longview with the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette, based in Portland. In a letter sent to members late last month, Mike Claxton says that the local Y has been engaged with the national YMCA organization, working on a strategic plan over the past year. During that process, Claxton says that they discovered that the Longview Y has been “operating on auto-pilot,” and hasn’t been working to stay current with program and service offerings. As a result, the Y board decided to take what they call “a somewhat aggressive approach to renew the organization,” re-examining the facility and organization from top to bottom. They also determined that aligning with the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette will bring in access to updated programs and services, along with access to services in fundraising, grant writing, human resources, marketing and advertising and in accounting. Claxton says that the Y of Columbia-Willamette has a demonstrated track record of “getting things done,” running clean and efficient buildings while offering a dynamic array of programs and services that evolve with changes in member demands. A series of membership meetings are planned to discuss this merger, starting today at noon and 6 pm. Additional meetings are set for 9 am tomorrow morning, and on Wednesday, the 17th at 10 am and 7 pm. Contact the YMCA on 15th Avenue in Longview if you have other questions.
Rainier Junior-Senior High School history teacher Andrew Demko is in Washington, D. C. this week, taking part in the 2013 Summer Educators’ conference, hosted by C-SPAN. During this conference, teachers in grades six through 12 will be learning more about C-SPAN, and how they can effectively integrate the cable news channel’s offerings and online resources into their classrooms. They’ll have sessions on C-SPAN’s mission, programming and event coverage, along with training on how to use C-SPAN’s online resources. They’ll also get information on StudentCam and Teacher Fellowship opportunities, along with examples from others who have successfully incorporated C-SPAN’s offerings into the classroom.
It’ll be Island Music and Boat Drinks at tonight’s Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event. Brooke Fisher with the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce says that the theme for this month’s Business After Hours is “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” and will feature tunes from the Cowlitz Ukulele Association, along with island-themed food and beverages. This is taking place from 5:30 to 7:30 pm today at Cowlitz County Title Company, located at 1159 14th Avenue in Longview. You can register on the Chamber of Commerce website, or call 423-8400 for additional information.
The awards for this year’s Go 4th Parade are out; Hilander Dental wins this year’s Commercial Float award, while Love, Inc. won the Religious Float prize. Lower Columbia Head Start was presented with the youth Group Float award, and the Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo princesses were this year’s Equestrian winners. The Commercial Motorized award goes to Carl’s Towing, and Hutton Motorsports had the best Decorated Car. For walking groups, the Youth prize goes to Fresh Attitude Dance Studio and the Adult award goes to Sign Print 360 Band. Mahalabeya Gamal was the best Costumed Group, Lower Columbia School Gardens wins the Open award, and the Grand Prize went to Bumble Bee Towing. The award plaques in each category can be picked up at the Candy Bouquet, located inside The Merk on Commerce Avenue in Longview.
Angela Jennifer Irene Anderson, 23, of Longview is being charged with first-degree assault after an incident reported last night at the River City Trailer and RV Park on California Way. Just before 8:30 pm, another resident of the facility called 911, reporting that there was a woman armed with a knife, chasing another woman. Longview Police responded and questioned the two women, eventually taking Anderson into custody on the assault charge. Elizabeth Worth, 45, was also arrested on a misdemeanor warrant, and has since been released from the jail. The investigation into the incident is continuing.
Ryan Minton, 61, of Kalama remains in the Intensive Care Unit at PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver after a motorcycle crash reported yesterday afternoon on I-5 near Woodland. At about 2:30 pm, Minton was southbound on the freeway, getting off at the Dike Access Road. State Troopers say that he swerved to miss some debris, and lost control of his bike. Minton complained of chest and back pain after the crash, and was taken by ambulance to Vancouver. State Troopers continue to investigate the crash; no charges are reported at this time.
Longview Firefighters asked Longview Police to help deal with a “very strange man” who was at the 7th Avenue Walmart store yesterday evening. At about 9:30, a man reportedly called LPD, asking for help in rolling up the fireworks tent that was in the store parking lot. Officers declined the request. Around 10:45 pm, Longview Firefighters responded to a report of a small brush fire near the store; when they responded, the man who had called for assistance with the tent was still there, saying that he’d set the fire for “training purposes. He once again asked for help with the tent; it was noted that he had nothing to do with the facility, but had simply taken it upon himself to disassemble this structure. Longview Police report that the incident was “settled by contact,” with no charges reported at this time.
Summertime means road work around the area, and there are a few projects that might affect your travels. Starting today, you can expect single-lane closures on 3rd and 1st Avenue between Tennant Way and Lincoln Street in Kelso, as deteriorating concrete panels along that portion of West Side Highway are repaired and replaced. This work is scheduled to run from 9 am to 4 pm, today through Friday.
The City of Longview Water Division is doing some repair work on water distribution lines, working in the 700 and 800 blocks of Broadway Street. That work is set to begin at 7 am today, and should be complete by 5 pm on Thursday of next week. Starting today, the westbound, inside lane of Broadway between 7th and 8th will be closed to through traffic, a closure that will be in place until Thursday, the 18th. Use alternate routes to avoid possible congestion.
The Washington Department of Transportation is also kicking off a series of projects to repair and resurface aging pavement on I-5 between Woodland and the Clark County Fairgrounds. Starting tonight, single and double-lane closures are planned in both directions of I-5, while crews grind out the old pavement, and replace it with fresh asphalt. These nighttime closures are expected to continue into the fall. Crews will also be doing repairs at the Ridgefield Weigh Station, will replace roadway traffic sensors, and will pave the ramps at the La Center Interchange. If you’re traveling through this area t night over the next few months, be sure to budget some extra time, or plan an alternate route.
Your kids can learn all about how to grow their own food at a Gardening Camp that’s planned for this week, courtesy of the WSU Master Gardeners. “Camp Luqal Luqal” will start this morning and will run through Friday; sessions for kids in grades 1 through 3 will go from 8 to 11 am each day, and sessions for kids in grades 3 to 5 will go from 1 to 4 pm. Gary Fredericks with the Master Gardeners says that this will be a hands-on experience, giving kids a chance to explore the worlds of bugs, plants and weather. There is a fee to attend, and there’s a limit of 25 kids per class. Sessions will be held in the Floral Building on the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. Call the Master Gardeners at 577-3014, extension zero for more information.