Thursday, February 26, 2015

Study outlines impact of tsunami on the Columbia River

Engineers at Oregon State University have completed one of the most precise evaluations yet done about the impact of a major tsunami event on the Columbia River, what forces are most important in controlling water flow and what areas might be inundated.
They found, in general, that tidal stages are far more important than river flow in determining the impact of a tsunami; that it would have its greatest effect at the highest tides of the year; and that a tsunami would be largely dissipated within about 50 miles of the river’s mouth, near Longview, Wash.
Any water level increases caused by a tsunami would be so slight as to be almost immeasurable around the Portland metropolitan area or Bonneville Dam, the study showed. But water could rise as much as 13 feet just inside the mouth of the Columbia River, and almost 7 feet within a few miles of Astoria.
“There have been previous models of Columbia River run-up as a result of a tsunami, but they had less resolution than this work,” said David Hill, an associate professor of civil engineering in the OSU College of Engineering. “We carefully considered the complex hydrodynamics, subsidence of grounds that a tsunami might cause, and the impacts during different scenarios.”
The impact of tsunamis on rivers is difficult to predict, researchers say, because many variables are involved that can either dampen or magnify their effect. Such factors can include the width and shape of river mouths, bays, river flow, tidal effects, and other forces.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Governor Kate Brown Addresses Oregonians Following Swearing-in Ceremony

New Oregon Governor Kate Brown delivered the following address following her swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, February 18th:

Governors Roberts and Kulongoski, tribal leaders, Speaker Kotek, President Courtney, honored colleagues, good morning. 

As I take the oath of office this morning, I am blessed to have the support of a large and wonderful family, many of whom are here. I want to specially thank two people who’ve had a great influence on my life: my mother, Sally, and my spouse, Dan Little, who is my rock.

It’s been a tough few months.  The people of Oregon have had reason to question their trust in state government. Oregon has been in the national news for all the wrong reasons. 

That changes starting today. It’s time for us to get back to work. It’s time to move Oregon forward.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown Announces Executive Team Staff Members

On Wednesdy, February 18th, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced members of her Executive Team:

Brian Shipley, Chief of Staff
Brian comes to the Governor’s Office after having served in the government relations department at Oregon Health & Science University. Prior to that, he held positions throughout state government, including serving as Kate Brown’s Deputy Secretary of State and as a member of Governor Ted Kulongoski’s executive team. He also was Chief of Staff for the Senate Majority Leader and Director of Legislation for the Peter Courtney, President of the Senate.

Brian graduated from Willamette University with a degree in Politics and Environmental Science and received his law degree from Georgetown University.

Benjamin Souede, General Counsel
Ben graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and cum laude in 2002 from Harvard Law School. After law school, he served as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Susan P. Graber of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. After completing his clerkship, Ben moved to Washington, D.C. to serve as a Senior Advisor to then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY).

Ben began his legal practice with the leading D.C. litigation firm Williams & Connolly LLP. Upon returning to Portland, he continued in private practice as an attorney, first with Lane Powell PC and then as a founding attorney of what is now the Angeli Ungar Law Group LLC. He is also a founding member of the Advisory Board to the Oregon Innocence Project.

Kristen Grainger, Communications Director
Kristen graduated from the University of Washington in 1988, and has been vice president and assistant to the president at Willamette University since 2002. Prior, she worked in Oregon state politics for more than 13 years as a journalist, political advisor and legislative advocate, including service with Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers from 1996 to 2002, and communications director for Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski’s 2002 gubernatorial campaign.

Gina Zejdlik, Senior Policy Advisor
Gina is a graduate of the University of Washington and Notre Dame law school. She previously worked as a Deputy Legislative Counsel for the Oregon Legislature with an emphasis on government ethics, redistricting and election law. After serving as Legislative Director for Secretary of State Kate Brown, she was appointed Interim Elections Director. Most recently, Gina served as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State.
 --from the Governor's office

Thursday, February 5, 2015


The public is invited to learn more about a proposed enterprise zone designed to boost economic development in Clatsop County at a meeting Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Judge Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial St., Astoria.
Clatsop County, the Port of Astoria and the cities of Astoria and Warrenton will consider submitting an application to the State of Oregon for the designation of an enterprise zone covering multiple areas.
The enterprise zone program allows property tax exemptions of up to five years on new capital construction such as new buildings/structures, modifications, additions and new equipment, in exchange for job creation and other public benefits. Participating firms are required to meet program requirements set by the state as well as the local sponsors. Once the five-year period ends the qualifying improvements are fully taxed.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Clatsop County Board of Commissioners Highlights Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 regular meeting

Vision adopted
The board adopted the Clatsop Vision 2030Together. The Vision, crafted with assistance from consultants Zenn Associates and developed through a long public outreach effort that included interviews, community workshops and surveys, provides a roadmap for where citizens hope to see the county in 15-20 years. It includes an overarching vision and core community values, as well as visions for each of six focus areas: Economy and Jobs; Arts, Culture and History; Health, Safety and Resilience; Education and Learning; Environmental, Natural Resources and Recreation; and Community Development and Planning.
The board will consider a plan with specific implementation measures at a future meeting.

Wetlands measures
The board voted unanimously not to have county staff draw up interim wetlands protection measures for the Arch Cape and Cove Beach communities, instead opting to allow a newly formed ad hoc committee to examine the issue and bring recommendations to the board. The committee will focus on the Local Wetland and Riparian Corridor inventories conducted for the Arch Cape area in 2011.

Budget policies adopted
The board approved the Fiscal Year 2015-16 Budget Policies and Strategic Plan/Resource Reduction Strategy. The policies provide guiding principles and instructions for developing the upcoming year’s county budget. They include:
·   Conserving General Fund resources to fund high-priority programs.
·   “Status quo” department staffing levels with any proposed changes fitting within base budgets; any new staffing or program request accompanied by justification form.
·   A goal of no increase in materials and supplies expenditures for General Fund departments
·   Pursuing revenue sources to the fullest extent possible
·   Budget savings achieved during the fiscal year be saved and added to ending fund balance
·   No “back-filling” use of General Fund dollars to make up shortfalls in state or federal funding.
The Resource Reduction Strategy prioritizes county functions for funding in the event that cuts are necessary during the budget year:
1.     Public Safety and Justice
2.     Public Health
3.     Government Direct Services
4.     Community Development, Land Use, Transportation and Housing
5.     Culture and Recreation

Fee study discussed
The board heard a presentation on a comprehensive study of the county’s service fees. The study examined what percent of the cost of service delivery the existing fees cover, compared Clatsop County’s fees to other jurisdictions, and recommended fee adjustments. The board will consider action on the recommendations at its Feb. 25 meeting.

Other Business
In other business:
-Approved an increase in the vaccine administration fee for the county Public Health Department from the current $21.96 per vaccination to $44. Director Brian Mahoney explained that the current rate covers only 50 percent of the department’s actual costs to administer vaccinations.
-Approved a property line adjustment on the southern boundary of Cullaby Lake County Park to account for cranberry bogs that were found to encroach into the park property during a 2010 survey. The county will trade 0.88 acres of property to two neighboring landowners in exchange for land of equal size to adjust the boundary and place the bogs entirely outside the park.
-Appointed Commissioner Lisa Clement to the Northwest Senior and Disability Services Board.
-Approved a proclamation declaring Feb. 2-9 as Tongue Point Job Corps Week in recognition of the program’s 50th anniversary in Clatsop County.
-Voted to hold all the board’s regular meetings at 6 p.m.

Submitted by Clatsop County

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


A capacity crowd of over 100 packed the Warrenton Community Center last night (Tues) for a  public meeting about the permitting process for the proposed Oregon LNG export terminal and pipeline project.

Representatives from Oregon DEQ, the  Department of State Lands, the Department of Land Conservation and Development and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers addressed questions relating to the permitting and certification process. 

DEQ representatives focused on 401 water quality certification, intended to ensure that work completed under the Federal Clean Water Act Section 404 Dredge/Fill permit would meet state water quality standards.

Representatives from the Army Corps of engineers declined specific comments on a pending lawsuit filed by Oregon LNG against the Corps.  The Corps says it has a permanent easement to deposit dredge spoils in the same location of the proposed terminal on the Skipanon Peninsula.  The easement, dating from 1957, could prevent construction of the proposed terminal.

Public comments will continue to be taken until February 16th.*  Comments can be mailed, emailed or faxed to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced conditional authorization for Oregon LNG to export domestically produced LNG to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S.

Oregon DEQ will hold another question and answer session in a public meeting January 29th in Vernonia. 

*Comments may be mailed to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Northwest Region, Attn: 401 Public Comments, 2020 SW 4th Ave., Suite 400, Portland, OR 97201

Comments can be emailed to:, or faxed to:


Wednesday, January 14, 2015


The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) announces the opening of the 2015 Local Government Grant Program grant cycle for funding public parks and recreation projects.

Large, small and planning grants are available for cities, counties, metropolitan service districts, park and recreation districts, and port districts looking to fund the following types of projects: planning, development, rehabilitation, acquisition, and acquisition and development.

The Local Government Grant Program is designed to help local government agencies acquire property for park purposes and fund outdoor park and recreation areas and facilities. The grants are funded from voter-approved lottery money. 

OPRD gives more than $4 million annually to Oregon communities for outdoor recreation projects and has awarded nearly $50 million in grants since 1999. 

Applications, a grant manual, application deadlines and other information are online at

Submitted by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department