Former Longview City Council member Chuck Wallace is starting a fundraising effort, working to collect his possible share of legal fees that he and fellow recall petitioners Bill Ammons and Doug Irvine might owe, but he’s going about it in a non-traditional manner. Wallace literally hit the street yesterday, holding a cardboard sign on a street corner, asking for contributions while also chastising the Cowlitz PUD. Wallace says that he has two goals, actually working to raise money, while keeping the issues at the PUD top of mind…wallace…Wallace, Ammons and Irvine could be on the hook for as much as $12,000 in legal fees accumulated by PUD Commissioner Ned Piper, as he defended himself against the allegations raised in the recall petitions that were filed by the trio. Wallace was out in the rain and wind yesterday, and says that he may be out again over the next few days. Wallace says that he knows that some people might consider this to be “undignified,” but he also thinks that the Cowlitz PUD and its leadership has been “undignified.”
The finalists for the Longview School Superintendent position are being announced, two men from Washington and one from Colorado. After two days of initial interviews, the Longview School Board is inviting Mike Parker of Hoquiam, Doctor Christian Cutter of Castle Rock, Colorado and Doctor Paul Farris of Ellensburg back for final interviews. Parker currently works as the Superintendent of the Hoquiam School District, a position he has held since 2006. Cutter is a former Assistant Superintendent in the Douglas County School District in Castle Rock, a position he held for three years, before leaving in February of this year. Farris is the current Superintendent of the Ellensburg School District, working in that position since 2008. Those three individuals will be brought in for interviews that will be held on May 5th, 6th and 7th. District officials say that each of the candidates will spend a day in the district, including hour-long community forums that will be held at 11 am and 7:30 pm each day. The day will also feature tours and meetings with administrators, students and district staff. The specific schedule for each candidate will be announced at a later date. The Longview School Board is hoping to choose a successor to Suzanne Cusick at its meeting on May 12th, with a goal of having that person start work on July 1st.
Former YMCA bookkeeper Tomi Jean Dupper is going to prison for two years, sentenced in connection with her theft of more than a half-million dollars from the facility in Longview. Today’s Daily News reports on Dupper’s sentencing, after she accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to a single count of first-degree theft. Dupper was arrested in February of last year, after an audit of the YMCA’s books showed that Dupper had been pilfering money for some time. She was initially charged with two counts of first-degree theft, and eventually entered the guilty plea on the single count. Dupper also agreed to accept an exceptional sentence in the case. There is a maximum sentence of ten years possible, but under the standard sentencing guidelines, Dupper would have been eligible for a range of zero to 90 days. Dupper was taken into custody immediately after her sentencing. She also continues to work on making restitution to the Y, having paid back about $207,000 of the $500,000 she admits to stealing. The court is also ordering her to pay nearly $300,000 in additional restitution, but officials with the Y say that they’re not sure if the full amount will ever be repaid. YMCA board members say that there has been some good come out of the incident, as accounting practices have been strengthened, while the organization itself has been “re-energized.”
The Longview City Council holds its regular meeting at 7 pm tonight, with Police Chief Jim Duscha scheduled to present the city’s 2013 Crime Report. Duscha will talk about the crime rate in the city over the past 12 months, along with other events and happenings inside the department. The Council will also be asked to take action on a contract for a boat rental concession at Lake Sacajawea. Michael Dewayne Neyland of Silver Lake-based Sasquatch Enterprises is hoping to open that concession by next month.
There’s another job opening at the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments, as the Port of Woodland hires Economic Development Planner Jennifer Keene as their new Executive Director. Port Commission members say that Keene is familiar with the area, has knowledge of issues and projects at the port, and has the positive attitude to get things accomplished. Keene was chosen out of a pool of four finalists, including Michael Beardsley, Mik Hendrickson and Ruth Linoz. Keene replaces Nelson Holmberg, who left the port last month, to take on a consulting position. Along with filling Keene’s position, the COG is also looking for an Executive Director, as Steve Patterson steps away to take a leadership position at C-Tran in Vancouver.
The Lower Columbia College Foundation is announcing the addition of four new members. The LCC Foundation was established in 1976, with the goal of supporting students, encouraging public support of the college and strengthening the teaching, learning and cultural environment of the college and the community. Foundation officials say that these new volunteers will help to further that mission. Rich Gushman is the president of Gibbs and Olson, a local engineering firm. Gushman is not only a Kelso Hilander, he’s an LCC graduate himself. Linda Davis of the Davis and Associates CPA firm brings financial expertise to the Foundation. Debbie Sweet of SweetSpot Frozen Yogurt and DCK Wallace, Inc., is a successful local entrepreneur, while Heather Snyder brings her 20 years of marketing and communications experience to the Foundation Board. She currently works with Fibre Federal Credit Union as a Graphics and Communications Specialist.
The time warp to 1964 continues at today’s Community Conversation lecture, with today’s talk focused on the rise in the importance of teens in the marketplace. Philosophy instructor Dennis Shaw is today’s speaker, presenting a lecture titled “Riding the Swell: Demographics and the Culture of Teenage Consumption.” The free lecture starts at noon in the Wollenberg Auditorium at the Rose Center for the Arts.
You can get some additional arrows for your job-hunting quiver at the 2014 Career and Employment Fair, being held today at Lower Columbia College. LCC officials say that more than 20 employers from across the Southwest Washington region will be taking part in the event, giving you the opportunity to explore careers, and to network with local employers. You’ll have a chance to learn how to “dress for success,” practice your “elevator speech,” polish up your resume and strengthen interview skills, along with other topics related to the job search. The 2014 Career and Employment Fair runs from 10 am to 3 pm today in the LCC Student Center. Admission is free and the event is open to anyone interested.
Five musical artists with ties to the local area are teaming up for a special show tonight at the Rose Center for the Arts, looking to raise money for Community House on Broadway. Tonight’s concert will feature singer Raeann Phillips, guitar virtuoso “Avi,” singer Brandy Lynn, Christian musical artist Chrissy Shelton and blind performer Steve Stefanowicz. Each will be performing original songs, and will also talk about the background to those songs at tonight’s show. This is the kickoff event to the “Community Cares” campaign, raising money to support the local homelessness rehabilitation center, also gathering funds for their new mental health care center. The Rose Center opens for tonight’s special show at 6 pm; free-will offerings will be accepted at the door.
The Blazers are back home after taking the first two NBA playoff games in Houston. LaMarcus Aldridge with another monster game as he scored 43 in Portland’s 112-105 win over the Rockets. Game three is tomorrow night at the Moda Center…..Kyle Seager’s three-run, walk-off homer in the 9th gave the Mariners a 5-3 win over Houston, snapping an eight game losing streak. Seattle is off today…..The LCC baseball team is hoping to play a big home game with Tacoma today at 4 pm…..Mark Morris is at R.A. Long in a big Civil War baseball double header at the Lumberyard, 3 pm. Also, Columbia River is slated to play at Kelso today at 4 pm, weather permitting…..The Seahawks have four prime time games this season, including the NFL opener vs Green Bay on September 4th.