Walking in their footstepsLewis and Clark are almost here. The commemoration of their epic journey, that is.

North Coast residents have a chance to walk in their footsteps without leaving their own back yard. A new book is available to guide both local residents and visitors on that journey.

"Destination: The Pacific, A Guidebook and Personal Journal," commemorating the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial is a comprehensive guidebook which lists 16 Lewis andClark sites in the Columbia-Pacific Region. It features eight full-color plates by photographer Andrew E. Cier, plus additional photographs, quotes from the original journals, and directions for locating each site. These include Fort Clatsop, their "wintering-over" location; the Saltworks on the Seaside beach; and views that Clark described as "the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed."

The book was compiled, photographed and published entirely on the trail by North Coast residents. It's available at the Fort Clatsop Gift Shop in Warrenton, at Heart of Glass and Lucy's Books in downtown Astoria, and at the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce in Long Beach, Wash.

After six years of work, St. Mary Star of the Sea School received accreditation from the Northwest Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities, one of six regional accreditation associations in the United States.

"It's like a stamp of approval," Principal DIANE RAMSPERGER said. "It is an outside team coming in and looking at the school according to certain standards and saying you meet those criteria."

RAMSPERGER said the accreditation shows the community that the 107-year-old school has high standards and will continue to work to be able to meet students' needs.

"We're very proud of our school and we have lots of parent support," she said.

There is only one week left to purchase raffle tickets for the colorful and clever, original

Sally Lackaff watercolor and pen and ink Musicians and Songwriters Expo poster. For just $1 (six for $5) you can purchase an opportunity to own this collectible piece of art valued at $300.

Lackaff is a star in the local arts community, and your investment may even grow over the years, according to Katherine Mace of Clatsop Community College's Arts and Ideas. Plus, you will be helping in the college's effort to support local artists by using original poster art related to key annual events. The original poster is on display across from the Admissions Office in Patriot Hall.

Tickets are being sold at Debbie Lake's information booth and at upcoming Arts and Ideas Expo events at the PAC, or contact Mace, Arts and Ideas 338-2473. The raffle ends Saturday with a drawing at the Tracy Grammer Duo concert at the Performing Arts Center.

Contain it. Double bag it. Dispose it.

That's the mantra GREG HORTON, 23, and BRANDON HETTEMA, 24, two Tongue Point Job Corps students, followed this month when they were cleaning up a 4,800-gallon oil spill in the Puget Sound.

They were part of a 25-member crew called up from the Tongue Point Seamanship program to assist with cleanup and decontamination. The two were ready to go less than six hours after the call came in.

Seamanship students receive HAZWOPER training, or Hazardous Waste Operation and Emergency Response, putting them in a pool of workers able to assist with oil spills and other hazardous situations.

The work in Everett and Bellingham, Wash., was hard, dirty and cold, they admitted.

"We'd wear these rain suits and rubber boots, and we'd be covered from head to toe," Hettema said. "It was tough to get rid of the smell."

But they enjoyed the experience.

"They took good care of us and paid us well," Hettema said.

Seamanship Vocational Instructor TIM PUGH said this is the seventh time the National Response Corporation has mobilized TPJC students since 1996. Thirty students assisted with the New Carissa oil spill in 1999.

Wind gusting to 50 mph, rain, hail, blowing sand: That's what it was like last Saturday, but instead of staying indoors with a cup of hot chocolate, 130 hardy souls were out on the beach picking up trash during the

Grass Roots Garbage Gang, all-volunteer, community beach cleanup on the Long Beach Peninsula. From teenagers to senior citizens, and from as far away as Seattle, they scooped up over three tons of litter in less than three hours, then warmed up with soup and chowder donated by area businesses and individuals. Organizer ELLEN ANDERSON says they all have one thing in common: a great love of the Long Beach Peninsula coastline and a balanced beach ecosystem. Washington State Parks, Pacific County and the City of Long Beach also pitched in to help with the cleanup. For more information about the Grass Roots Garbage Gang and its upcoming cleanups, go to

(www.ourbeach.org) or call 360-665-5388.

No more long extension cords to power Astoria's annual winter holiday display. Now the city's street light poles will have their own power outlets, thanks to a $13,100 United Parcel Service Foundation grant to the Astoria Downtown Development Association. The grant came Astoria's way thanks to the efforts of UPS employee TIM O'BRYANT - Astoria's "Mr. Christmas" - and more than 50 other volunteers. Known as the Merry Makers, the group has been collecting, sanding, repainting and rewiring classic street pole winter ornaments from Astoria's 1950's era for four years. The grant was presented Thursday

Want to access information about Cannon Beach online? The address of Cannon Beach's new city Web site is

(www.ci.cannon-beach.or.us). The Web site features information about the city's government, services, community and natural resources.

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 pwebb@dailyastorian.com. Include a daytime phone number for follow-up calls.

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