This week’s Community Conversation lecture is being moved to Friday, and will feature an actual “rocket scientist” as today’s speaker. 1956 R. A. Long graduate and LCC alum Paul Laufman has been involved in the U. S. space program since its early days, working as a project engineer on major defense and manned space programs, helping to develop rocket propulsion systems. Credits include the Apollo moon landings and the Space Shuttles. In the mid-90’s, he was a co-founder of United Paradyne Corporation, which now provides propellants and pressurants for space missions and satellite launches around the world. Today’s talk is titled “Space Policy and its Entrepreneurial Impact in the Pacific Northwest,” and will start at noon. The location has also been moved, with this week’s lecture being held in the Heritage Room, on the first floor of the LCC Administration Building. Admission is free.
You may need some rain gear for today’s wrap-up of Bike to Work Week in Cowlitz County. Today is National Bike to Work Day, and you’re invited to give the car a rest and pedal your way to and from the workplace today. You can get started with a free cup of coffee, available until 9 am at the Triangle Shopping Center Starbucks outlet. There’s still time to get signed up for the prizes that will be given away at the Grand Finale, which will go from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at Cassava, which is located at 14th and Broadway in downtown Longview. Highlander Cycling of Kelso is donating a bicycle that will be given away, Bob’s Bike Shop is donating a GoPro 3 action camera, and Canyonview Cyclery is donating combination light set. Find out more by going onto www.cowlitzonthemove.org.
Washington’s official ship is scheduled to be at the docks in Rainier over the weekend. After spending tonight in Cathlamet, the “Lady Washington” and the “Hawaiian Chieftain” are scheduled to tie up at the Rainier Marina tomorrow. Both ships will be open for tours from 10 am until 1 pm tomorrow and Sunday; “Battle Sails” are also planned for 2 pm each day. There’s an “Evening Sail” at 6 pm tomorrow night, and an “Adventure Sail” at 11 am on Sunday. Tickets for those special sailing events are available at www.historicalseaport.org, or by calling 1-800-200-5239. After Sunday’s events, the ships will head to St. Helens for an overnight stay on Tuesday, and then will continue on their tour up to Pasco. The ships will be back through this area in late June, with a stop in Kalama scheduled for June 24th to 26th.
Longview Historic Preservation Month concludes tomorrow, with special tours of the Longview Theatre on Commerce Avenue planned as the wrap-up event. Stageworks Northwest recently acquired the facility on Commerce Avenue, and is now in the process of restoring the 1940’s-era venue. Stageworks Northwest Board Chairman Tim Cusick will be leading tomorrow’s tours, which will also feature a 30-minute presentation on Stageworks. The tour is set to begin at 10 am tomorrow morning, at the theatre in the 1400 block of Commerce Avenue. Admission is free.
The 3rd annual Ash Kicker Adventure Run is planned for tomorrow at the Toutle River RV Park, just off I-5 north of Castle Rock. The event is billed as Cowlitz County largest charity 5K adventure run, with hundreds of hardy souls overcoming obstacles, mucking through mud and braving the elements to complete the course. Bigfoot Community Events is helping to coordinate this year’s Ash Kicker, which is raising money for Longview Parks and Recreation, Lower Columbia School Gardens, the North County Recreation Association, Reading is Fundamental of Cowlitz County, and Spencer’s HeartStrong Foundation. The first wave of runners will hit the course at 9 am tomorrow morning, and then the last wave will leave at 3:30 pm. There’s a barbecue, live music and other fun after the competitors finish the course. You can still register by going to www.ashkicker.org.
Weyerhaeuser’s Mount St. Helens Forest Learning Center opens for the tourist season, greeting tourists starting Friday and going through September 2nd. Located at Milepost 33 on the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway, the Forest Learning Center looks at the eruption of Mount St. Helens from the perspective of one of the area’s largest forest land owners, also showing how the forest has rebounded since the 1980 eruption. The Forest Learning Center is open from 10 am until 6 pm each day through September 2nd. Admission is free.
There’s a special folk concert on Friday night, featuring “The Walking Willows,” a duo with Rich Hinrichsen and local piano teacher Martin Kauble. This will be held at The Electric Bean, located on Washington Way in Longview. The show starts at 7 pm, and admission is free.
Get Friday’s night’s dinner at the Castle Rock Eagles Hall, and you can also help out Special Olympics of Cowlitz County. This runs form 5 to 7 pm on Friday; proceeds will help purchase equipment and uniforms for local Special Olympians.
Comedy Hall of Famer Paula Poundstone brings her exceptional improv skills to the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts on Friday night; curtain is set for 7:30 pm. Call 575-TIXX for ticket information.
The Mainstage Theatre group channels The Bard with a production of “The Taming of the Shrew,” presented this weekend and next weekend on the Dana Brown Mainstage at R. A. Long High School. Curtain is set for 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday night.
The Kelso High School Drama Club is putting a bit of a different spin on “Alice in Wonderland,” presenting the Lewis Carroll classic with psychedelic sets, music and clothing from the 60’s and 70’s. Showtimes are set for 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday night. This show will also run next Tuesday through Thursday night.
Stageworks Northwest continues a production of “The Secret Garden” at the Longview Theatre on Commerce Avenue, running each weekend through May 12th. Curtain is 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday, with a 2 pm Sunday matinee.
The Loves Street Playhouse in Woodland continues a performance of the 1908 Golden Garter melodrama that’s subtitled “Is a Dead Magician Considered an Abra-Cadaver?” Curtain is 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday, along with 2 pm Sunday matinees in the theatre at 126 Loves Street in Woodland.
The 28th annual “In Honor of Our Children” Powwow will be held on Saturday at Kelso High School, sponsored by the Kelso Powwow Committee, Incorporated. This runs from noon to 9 pm, with grand entries of the tribes set for 1 and 7 pm. There will be dancing and drumming competitions, raffles and vendor booths. Admission is free.
The King Brothers are playing a Relay for Life benefit show on Saturday, starting at 7 pm Saturday night at the Longview Eagles Lodge, located at 1526 12th Avenue in Longview. The local tap dancing groups TAPestry will open the show. Donations will help support the local Relay for Life efforts.
The Kelso First Baptist Church is holding one of its “Soup’s On” community meal events, starting at 11:30 Saturday morning. They’ll also have a clothes closet available for those who might be in need. The church is located at 214 South 4th Avenue in Kelso.
The Cowlitz Community Farmers Market continues on Saturday, open from 9 am until 2 pm in the parking lot on 7th Avenue across from the Fridays. The market runs through October.
The Downtown Farmers Market is open each Sunday in downtown Longview. They’ll open up at 10 am on Sunday in the parking lot behind The Merk, just off 14th and Broadway.
Seattle put a patchwork crew together on the mound, and that was just enough to get past the NY Yankees last night, 3-2. The M’s now move onto Cleveland for a three-game series, KLOG coverage starts at 3 pm…..The LCC Lady Devils open up the NWAACC softball championships today down at Delta Park in Portland. Their first game is against Columbia Basin, and then they’ll be taking on Wenatchee Valley…..The Kelso Lassies are playing in the 3A Bi-District Tournament at the Sprinker Fields in Spanaway. The opponent in today’s game is Shelton…..In the 2A District Tournament, R. A Long will be taking on Capital at 4 pm, being played at Ft. Borst Park in Centralia…..The Clatskanie Tigers bear Rainier 3-1 in a seeding game. Both teams will now have road playoff games next week.
The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office reports that two people were injured early this morning in a semi-versus-car collision that took place on I-5 southbound between Kelso and Castle Rock. The collision took place a few minutes after 4 am, near the weigh station at milepost 44 southbound. Deputies say that the passenger car suffered “significant damage” in the crash, and extrication equipment was needed to get the two occupants out of the car. Both of those people were taken to St. John Medical Center for treatment. Their conditions haven’t been updated as of yet, nor have their names been released. The State Patrol is taking over the investigation into the collision.
Russell Beam, 22, is being cited for failing to drive on the right side of the road after a two-car crash that closed Glenwood Drive for about 90 minutes last night. Longview Police say that the crash took place at about 7:10 last night, when the car Beam was driving collided with another vehicle. One person complained of chest pain after the crash, and extrication was also needed to get one person out. Glenwood Drive was closed after the crash, with traffic diverted to Pacific Way until nearly 8:40 pm. The condition of the injured person hasn’t been updated as of yet.
Longview Police are also investigating a rollover crash reported last night in the 3100 block of Pacific Way. Officers and aid crews were called to that location at about 9:45 pm, when a GMC Yukon went off the road, flipping onto its top. The 911 caller reported that the top of the SUV was crushed, and extrication was needed to get the single occupant out of that damaged vehicle. One person was transported to Saint John Medical Center after the incident; that person’s condition hasn’t been updated. LPD hasn’t yet released any other information on the crash.