Giving 110 percentThe Cannon Beach Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department was packed with firefighters and community members recently for its annual crab dinner and awards night.

Guests enjoyed a PowerPoint presentation of firefighting and rescue photos, past and present. The show also featured a video of a recent semitruck fire that shut down U.S. Highway 101 near Cannon Beach for an hour. The footage was shot by Cannon Beach videographer Dave Pastor.

Fire Chief Cleve Rooper congratulated the department "on a terrific year," with a record number of calls where all came back safely.

Tony Docekal, five years; Mike Balzer, 20 years; and Frank Swedenborg, 25 years; were awarded length of service jackets, embroidered with the Fire and Rescue emblem. Swendenborg, in turn, honored Rooper for 33 years of service with a Fire and Rescue sweater vest.

Mark Morgans, left, was named 2003 Firefighter of the Year. He has been with the department for five years and has served as an Emergency Medical Technician, a member of the High Angle Rescue Team and a National Fire Protection Association instructor. He is the Cannon Beach Volunteer Fire Association and the Clatsop County Firefighters Association treasurer.

"This means the most because it comes from my fellow firefighters," Morgans said. "Everyone in the department gives 110 percent. It's not that I do anything exceptional when it comes to an emergency. We all get the job done."

Astoria theater director SUSI BROWN is a stickler for detail and authenticity. That's why she enlisted expert help when she decided to stage HENRIK IBSEN's play "Hedda Gabler" at The River Theater.

The show, which opens Feb. 5 for a two-weekend run, is set in 1890 Norway. To create the costumes, Brown recruited KATHRYN BOURN, right, a talented seamstress and dedicated member of the Northwest Civil War Council. Readers may recall the story about her May 2002 period costume wedding in Oysterville, Wash.

For Bourn, the male actors were relatively easy to dress for the Victoria era, but she spent hours researching clothing history Web sites to properly capture the women's styles. As Hedda (a somewhat nasty lady), lead actress Rhonda Alderman will appear in icy blue. Bourn clad a more sympathetic character, played by Kimberly Kile, in golds, peaches and pinks.

"One of the biggest challenges that I faced was budget limitations," Bourn said. "The costume budget for the entire production was half what I have spent on some of my Civil War ball gowns. Consequently, I had to look for less expensive fabrics that would nevertheless look like the silks, satins and wools from the period."

Also, Bourn has been helping the cast learn to fire two .44 New Model Army revolvers, kindly loaned by a fellow re-enactor. "One of the strangest aspects for me was learning how to load - with blank charges - and clean the Remington pistols that Hedda uses." Bourn said. "Although I am around firearms when I do living history, I don't normally handle them."

Tickets are available by calling The River Theater at 325-7487. The show runs through Feb. 15.

Old cell phones and chargers that are no longer being used will be collected free of charge at a "Cell Phone Collection Event" from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 31 at Astoria High School. Some can be recycled for use by local groups such as the Women's Resource Center. The rest will be consigned to a certified recycling firm. The event is a project of Astoria High School senior Erick Wisti.

Cellular telephones contain hazardous materials such as lead and mercury. Placing them in the trash would allow the phones to go to landfills, and that could lead to long term adverse effects on the environment, according to Wisti. He urges community members to "dig out those old phones and chargers" and drop them off at Astoria High School Jan. 31.

The Cannon Beach History Center wants to give new life to old newspapers by culling interesting bits of information from them.

The organization is looking for Cannon Beach newspapers dated 1980 or earlier. If these old papers are lingering in the darker recesses of your home, give them new life and a place in history. The Cannon Beach History Center is a nonprofit organization serving Cannon Beach and Arch Cape. It's located at the corner of Spruce and Sunset streets, across from the fire station. Mailing address is Cannon Beach History Center, P.O. Box 1005, Cannon Beach, OR 97110. Or contact them at (503) 436-9301 or on the Web at (

Send us your ears! If you have an item for In One Ear, send it to Patrick Webb, Managing Editor, The Daily Astorian, P.O. Box 210, Astoria OR 97103 or e-mail Include a daytime phone number for follow-up calls.


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