Each week we recognize those people and organizations in the community deserving of public praise for the good things they do to make the North Coast a better place to live, and also those who should be called out for their actions.
This week’s Shoutouts go to:
• Clatsop Community College, which this week conducted its grand opening ceremony for Patriot Hall, the cavernous three-story gymnasium which was redeveloped in a $16 million project that began in 2015. The project was paid for through a countywide bond measure and state money that state Sen. Betsy Johnson helped secure. Johnson was a guest speaker at the event and called the project “bold and transformational” and lauded the community for making the project happen during her stirring remarks. The 30,000-square-foot building features a basketball court with 540 seats, studio and office space, classrooms, expanded cardiovascular and weight training areas and a third floor elevated track with views of the picturesque Columbia River. The hall’s design also makes its energy use 70 percent more efficient than other buildings of the same type. College President Christopher Breitmeyer gave a special thanks to the college’s neighbors for their patience through the construction. The ribbon for the opening was cut by the third-floor track and the Swenson family, longtime supporters of the college, ran the first official lap. The college plans to conduct a rededication of the building on Nov. 11, in honor of the old Patriot Hall’s original dedication on the first Armistice Day in 1921.
• U.S. Army National Guard Col. Dean Perez, who has led the statewide Oregon Training Command headquartered at the Camp Rilea Armed Forces Training Center for the past four years. Perez recently turned over command to Lt. Col. Noel Hoback, of Grants Pass, at a ceremony in Salem and will be heading for a two-year duty tour at the Pentagon in October. Perez said he plans to return to Astoria when his new tour concludes. • The Cannon Beach Museum and History Center, which recently staged its annual Cannon Beach Cottage and Garden Tour. The tour offered more than 500 people who signed up a chance to visit homes with creative architecture, scenic landscaping and historical significance, this year in the city’s north part of town. The event also included concerts, a luncheon and a garden tea.
• The Willapacific Branch of the American Association of University Women, which is celebrating its 70th year on the Long Beach Peninsula. The AAUW’s mission is to advance equity for women through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research, and the branch promotes that mission with a variety of events that include the recognition of six Ilwaco and Naselle high school junior women who excel in science, technology and math. Each year it also awards a scholarship to an Ilwaco senior.
This week’s Callouts go to:
• Members of Congress who have ignored suggestions from Oregon U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, to change the way the federal government pays for fighting fires on public lands. The federal government doesn’t treat fighting wildfires like combating and recovery from other natural disasters from a budgeting standpoint. Instead of putting money aside in a separate account for the specific purpose like it does for other natural disasters, it underfunds wildfire fighting efforts and lumps it into the budgets of agencies including the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Those agencies then have to essentially borrow money from other places within their own budgets to use to fight the big blazes. That often leaves the agencies with less money to do other primary work like thinning overcrowded forests, which play a role in the severity of the fires. Congress needs to listen to Wyden and the Oregon delegation, since the cost of fires across Oregon this year continues to grow.
Do you have a Shoutout or Callout you think we should know about? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure to take a look.