Front row, from left, are Anthony Lucente, David Kelley and Timothy Tilton. Back row, from left, are Matthew Carlson and Scoutmaster Birchard Kelley.Boy Scout Troop 509, which meets at Philadelphia Church in Hammond, provided a Color Guard for the Warrenton City Commission meeting Tuesday. With troop leader BIRCHARD KELLEY looking on, Senior Patrol Leader MATTHEW CARLSON and TIMOTHY TILTON, both seventh-graders at Warrenton Grade School, and WGS sixth-graders DAVID KELLEY and ANTHONY LUCENTE marched in with the flag and led the Pledge of Allegiance that started the meeting. (Scout Cody Atkins was unable to attend.) The scouts are working on Citizenship in the Community and Communications badges. A requirement for one of the badges is to attend a government meeting and write a report. They received a round of applause as they were recognized and introduced by Mayor GIL GRAMSON.

Instead of relaxing or attending a barbecue, four local residents spent Labor Day swimming across the Columbia River in the 63rd Annual Roy Webster Columbia River Cross Channel Swim, sponsored by the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce. VINNIE DELAURENTIS and his son VINCENT DELAURENTIS, 10, of Warrenton, and DIANA LILLEY and KATHLEEN HUGHES, both of Astoria, were among 580 swimmers from all over the world who made the 1.1 mile swim. All were given orange hats and numbers before they started out on the Washington side, and when they reached the Oregon shore, they were rewarded with Oregon pears, apples, drinks and sandwiches. Vincent may have been the youngest participant, because the minimum age is 10 and he had reached that birthday milestone in July. Lilley has participated in the event many times and it was the first time for Hughes.

Astoria Parks and Community Services Department received a statewide award for the Tapiola Park Playground Tuesday at the annual conference of the Oregon Recreation and Park Association in Seaside. Director KEVIN BECK accepted the 2005 ORPA Design Award on behalf of the city and the Tapiola Playground Project Association. "What impressed them the most were the unique characteristics of the playground - its 10 historical elements and customized construction, and the awesome fundraising by the community," Beck said. It's the second year in a row Astoria's parks department has won the Design Award plaque from the 800-member association. Last year's award was for the renovation of the Astoria Column Plaza.

The Seaside Fire Department raised about $15,000 from its yearly ball Saturday with blackjack, roulette, raffles and pictures with firefighters.

Association President TONY BIAMONT said firefighters definitely raised enough for air bags to lift a vehicle or a portion of a collapsed building off a trapped person. The department hopes to have enough money to buy cribbing, which Biamont said goes under or alongside what they are lifting to keep it from falling back down.

From left are Fran Godwin, Nancy Kennell, Martin Bue, Melissa Grothe, Keira Holthusen, Al Olson, Samantha Hancey, Eileen Thompson, Irene Baltimore, Dan Arnoth and Carol Olson. Kneeling is Chuck Godwin.

The Astoria Regatta Association came home with another big prize for its float. The entry in the Sept. 4 Parade in South Bend, Wash., earned organizers the Grand Sweepstakes Award.

An Astoria teenager will be honored this weekend as a "community hero" by the Children's Cancer Association.

Rosa Alcantar, 15, will be one of 26 children honored on the CCA's 2005 Wall of Courage, an exhibit depicting portraits and stories of local children who demonstrate courage and resilience despite struggling with serious illnesses, which often result in extended hospitalizations and painful treatments.

The exhibit was unveiled Sept. 8 at Beaverton's Nike campus and will be shown again at the 9th Annual Celebration of Courage at the Portland World Trade Center, 121 S.W. Salmon St., on Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.

Medical professionals at Portland children's hospitals nominate children and the CCA selects a group as "community heroes" to be included in the Wall of Courage display, which is shown periodically throughout the year at various venues.

Pat Gardner and Bill SextonPat Gardner is one of the few who have given over 2,000 hours of their personal time to Providence Seaside Hospital Auxiliary. She was presented with a 2,000 hour pin by Bill Sexton, Hospital Administrator and Martie Teske, Human Resource Director at the hospital.

Prior to joining the Providence Seaside Hospital Auxiliary 13 years ago, she spent 40 years in health care. Gardner served on the state commission of senior services, where she put her medical background and experience to work reviewing nursing homes, foster homes, and assisted living facilities.

She retired in 1992 and moved to Cannon Beach to join her husband Bill, who had relocated before her to establish a real estate business. On arriving at the coast, Gardner joined the Providence Seaside Hospital Auxiliary volunteering in many areas of the hospital, including medical records, home health, student volunteer program, gift shop, extended care, and spiritual care.

In addition to the many hours spent volunteering, Gardner also enjoys knitting, sewing and playing bridge. She also sang with the Sweet Adelines, and still sings in the Cannon Beach Chorus. In August, Gardner will be traveling to Ireland on a trip sponsored by the Auxiliary as a fundraiser.

More than 150 St. Mary Star of the Sea students sang the national anthem Wednesday morning.

Principal Terry Campbell said the event, led at schools nationwide by MENC: The National Association for Music Education, honored victims of Sept. 11 while keeping the children from becoming part of a startling MENC statistic: Two of every three American adults don't know the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner."

"We wanted to make sure that the kids recognized Sept. 11 as a significant date in history," Campbell said. "We also wanted to use this as a means to ensure our kids know the lyrics to their national anthem."

Josh Davis' mom told him he could accomplish whatever he put his mind to, so he became a 129-pound sumo wrestler, trained to run backward in India, backward-ran a race in Italy and persuaded his family to fly to Finland to compete in the Sauna World Championship.

Now, he's released a book about his experiences and about his path to discover what he's good at, says his mother, Janet Niemi.

The book, "The Underdog: How I Survived the World's Most Outlandish Competitions," features a chapter on the time Davis, of San Francisco, spent in Astoria, where his step-father, John Niemi, grew up.

The area offered the perfect training ground for Davis as he prepared for the Sauna World Championship.

Niemi, of Finnish descent, had a sauna for Davis to train in at the family's house. The 30-year-old also practiced sweating out the heat at the Columbia River Day Spa.

He convinced the entire family to accompany him to Finland for the 2004 sauna championship, in which he, his father and two siblings lasted three minutes in 250-degree heat. Typically, the contest's winners exit the sauna hot and blistered after 12 to 13 minutes, Janet Niemi said.

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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