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WEDNESDAY April 22, 2009

Chinook Observer Comets struggle with league foes on the diamond

Rusting rails along the tower have made it so visitors can no longer walk out onto the deck surrounding the room that houses the light.

an icon in need

GFWC does a lot wit a littl

By AMANDA FRINK Observer staff writer

PENINSULA — General Federated Woman’s Club-Pacific Shores recently received recognition for their leadership, fundraising, domestic violence awareness, international affairs, arts in the community, and education efforts — not bad for a club with only six members. Started in 2003 by Cheryl Holman, the Peninsula club get together for friendship and fun. Meeting once a month, Joyce Wingett, Pinkie Eggleston, Pam Donovan, Cheryl Holman, Noralee Stanton, and Veronica Frink meet for lunch, have potlucks, craft together and strive to make an impact through local community service projects and helping other charitable organizations. In conjunction with the Ocean Beach Hospital Auxiliary, the group sponsors the Women’s Heart to Heart Luncheon each February. The ladies also get together to make “comfort pillows” for breast cancer patients. For the past few years, the ladies have held craft workdays to make as many as 36 denim totes for Head Start kids, which

With a small group I think we can accomplish quite a bit. But more people with ideas is very valuable . JOYCE WINGETT Member of the General Federated Woman?s Club

Years of coastal weather are causing the North Head Lighthouse to literally crumble. The base of the structure on the north side shows considerable damage.




LWACO — At 111 years old, the North Head Lighthouse would have a lot of stories to tell if it could only speak. During its first years of operation, William McKinley was president of the United States. Throughout the past century it was a longstanding witness during the prohibition, women gaining the right to vote, construction of the Panama Canal, two World Wars, the stock market crash of 1929 and Sputnik. In our little corner of the world, the beacon continued to shine during the Civil Rights movement, the introduction of television, Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, and the emergence of the World Wide Web. But if it were given the chance to speak, the structure would likely tell us about the misery of its current condition. Badly cracked and crumbling at the base, North Head Lighthouse might say something along the lines of, “Help me.” Built in 1898, North Head Lighthouse was designed by Carl Leick, who has been credited as having designed most of the lighthouses on the Washington and Oregon coasts. Owned by Coast Guard since 1939, the beacon stands 65 feet tall and guides ships through the “Graveyard of the Pacific” as they approach from the north.


Students learn the biz on oyster

According to Washington State Parks Historic Preservation Planner Alex McMurry, North Head is the second oldest lighthouse on the Washington coast. Its southern counterpart, Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, was completed in 1856. After leasing the property to the state for a number of

years, Coast Guard District 13 Lieutenant and Lighthouse Coordinator Jon Lane says the Coast Guard is beginning to cut ties with some of the lighthouses they own. With all the charts and navigation technology available to mariners today, the need for long range aids to navigation, such as lighthouses, are falling by the wayside. According to Lane, the Coast Guard is currently in the process of transferring ownership of the North Head property to the state of Washington. “State Parks has done some minor maintenance, they’ve done some abatement and removed toxic waste, and the lighthouse is stabilized safely for tours – our park staff feel very passionate about people being able to take tours in it,” says Virginia Painter, a spokesperson for Washington State Parks. “The Historic Preservation Field School did an assessment on the lighthouse and determined that there are about $2 million in project needs for the lighthouse, and that’s not uncommon at all – in fact I’d say it’s better than other historic buildings,” says Painter.

See Lighthouse on Page B4

Large cracks like these run like veins along the base of the lighthouse. By DEEDA SCHROEDER For the Observer

BAY CENTER — For Katrina Gauthier and Brittany Olsen, sophomores at Astoria High School, downing raw oysters doused in cocktail sauce was no big deal. Sure, it was Olsen’s first time ingesting the raw, jumbo shellfish. But she was still cool as a cucumber. “It was good,” Olsen said, smiling after the oyster had made its way securely into her gullet. Josh Wareham, a sophomore, didn’t quite have the same opinion. “It was dank,” he said, after the plump gray oyster slid down his

Contact photojournalist Damian Mulinix 642-8181 ext. 304,

throat. But maybe that was a compliment. “It was my first time. It was really good, really excellent,” Wareham said next. For five Astoria High School and nine Tongue Point Job Corps Center students last week, a half-day field trip to Bay Center to visit Goose Point Oysters ended with oyster shooters all around. Their chef instructors, Eric Jenkins of the Duncan Law Seafood Consumer Center and John Newman of Newman’s at 988, a Cannon Beach restaurant, organized the tour as part of the schools’ curriculums.

See Goose Point on Page B5

are personalized with each child’s name and used to take paperwork to and from school. They’ve also made emergency backpacks for the kids, which hold bottles of water, snacks and other things each of them might need following a fire or earthquake. Other community projects include providing school supplies and female-inspired books to local schools; putting together holiday food baskets for needy families; donating Visa gift cards and toiletries to a local women’s shelter; holding a garage sale fundraiser each summer; donating money to PACE; assisting with funds for parenting classes; and making baby blankets, hats and other items to sell at the Ocean Beach Hospital gift shop. Though they tend to focus their efforts locally, GFWC-Pacific Shores’ involvement spans the globe, such as purchasing flocks of chickens for women to raise and help feed their families in third-world countries. Currently, members are knitting and crocheting hats for newborns up to 18-year-olds. The hats are sent to the Treehouse organization in King County, where they will be distributed to foster children. Last year they sent off 55 hats to keep kids’ heads warm and cozy. GFWC-Pacific Shores is always looking for new members and worthy local projects to work on. “Just with a small group I think we can accomplish quite a bit,” says Wingett. “But more people with ideas is very valuable.”

See GFWC on Page B4

Kathleen Nesbit of Goose Point Oysters gave students from Astoria High School and Tongue Point Job Corps a tour of her family's oyster plant in Bay Center. DEEDA SCHROEDER The Daily Astorian Photo



DAMIAN MULINIX/Chinook Observer

A window on the south side of the building remains boarded up after it was blown out during the storm of December 2007.

LIGHTHOUSE: Continued from Page B1

McMurry says University of Oregon’s Pacific Northwest Historic Preservation Field School spent a week at North Head last summer to assess the damage and make a recommendation on how to address the problem. “Since the lighthouse is over 100 years old, things need work in every area, but the main thing we’re l ooki ng at i s advanced d et eri o rat i o n o f t h e s t o n e, ” M cM u rry ex p l ai n s . “Th at particular place is in a brutal environment and the sandstone has not fared well. Things have been done to prevent deterioration, but when they prevented water from going in they also prevented water from going out. The water is trapped,

such as in a freeze- thaw — the water freezes and expands, and then the stone cracks and breaks apart.” He says there are also signs of rust and deterioration at the lantern level near the top of the lighthouse, and adds that ventilation issues also played a part in the damage, “We need to get them open again to let the building breathe, essentially.” “The sandstone is further deteriorated than what we thought,” he continues. “The field school tried a proprietary product fix. They chiseled down an area on the southwest quadrant of the tower — they had to go down 6- to 8 inches to find good stone — then built it back up with the [Jahn] product. Because of


the time, cost, and labor involved, the field school’s recommendation is to cut new stone for the outer foot or so. And I agree with their recommendation … It’s becoming obvious that stone replacement might be the way to go here — it’s costly, but in long run it’s less costly than the synthetic material.” Though the damage has affected the lower 10 feet of the tower, McMurry quickly adds, “The base is a few feet thick, so it’s not of huge concern – it’s not in imminent danger of collapse. The base is concrete and faced with stone, the outer block at the very bottom is three feet thick. But it needs to be looked at in the relatively near future for repair.” While State Parks has had some responsibility for minor maintenance, such as painting, they can only perform work when their operating budget yields the funds needed to do so. Washington State Parks still has to replace windows at North Head due to storm damage. “If you think about the environment it’s in, it’s doing pretty wel l , ” McMurry says of t he coast al l andm ark. “It ’s not i n imminent danger of failing, but it’s something that we should be l ooki ng at fi xi ng i n 10 t o 20 years. Due to the cost, a project like this will take a lot of planning because we need someone qualified to restore it to the original as close as possible. There are some parts that need a significant amount of work, but it’s not so far gone that it can’t be saved. C omplete rehabilitation of the


, APRIL22, 2009

building is possible and it can be as good as it was when it was new, provided we have the money to do it … The biggest hurdle is funding for construction.” According to Painter, there are more than 700 historic buildings in the state. McMurry hopes that North Head will be one of the projects that will rise to the priority list sometime soon, “What it all boils down to is saving this for future generations … Right now we’re planning how to pay for it and prioritize it. I would hope that this one would rise to the top sometime soon.”

Provided Photo

Students from the University of Oregonʼs Pacific Northwest Historic Preservation FIeld School assess damage to the sandstone at the base of the North Head Lighthouse. The group spent a week last summer examining the deterioration to the historic coastal structure.

••• HILLTOP BOWLING LEAGUES Friday Night Mixed Week 28 of 32 1. Red Heads 35 13 31 17 2. Black Sheep 27 21 3. Gambowlers 4. Jerico 23 25 22 26 5. Bandits High Scratch Game: Curtis Anderson 220, Tom Jacobson 207, Laurie Carter 203, Lawana Merchant 200. High Scratch Series: Curtis Anderson 595, Tom Jacobson 567, Lawana Merchant 582, Laurie Carter 501. Starlight League Week 32 of 32 1. State Farm 42 22 40 24 2. Hearing Center 35 29 3. Your Castle Fence 4. Hilltop Bowl 30 34 30 34 5. Ask Jim 29 35 6. NAPA 7. Surfside Golf 28 36 22 42 8. Moose Lodge High Scratch Game: Tom Hersey 224, Larry Vaughn 205, Vin Ciaramella 201, Vicki Davis 189, Nancy McNitt 188, Erlinda Tomberlin 180. High Scratch Series: Vin Ciaramella 584, Tom Hersey 581, Larry Vaughn 565, Vicki Davis 504, Erlinda Tomberlin 475, Nancy McNitt 461. Harbor League Week 27 of 32 176.5 131.5 1. Doogers 2. State Farm 167.5 140.5 164.5 143.5 3. Chinook Observer 162 146 4. Hilltop Bowl 5. Pepsi 158 150 152 156 6. Pierson Construct 7. Flyin’ Eagles 145 163 8. Active Enterprises 106.5 201.5 High Scratch Game: Ron Dietl 255, John Chappell 224, Bryan Lovett 219. High Scratch Series: Ron Dietl 617, Curtis Anderson 604, Tom Hersey 580. ••• PENINSULA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB

Play begins at noon each Monday at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco. New players and visitors are always welcome. If you need more information call Bill Eastman at 665-6283. Monday, April 13 12.5-table game. North-South Winners: 1st in A bracket: Gayl and Doug West 2nd in A bracket: Teresa Jefferson and Kay Penstone 3rd in A bracket: Merton and Joanne Lott 4th in A bracket: Mary Wiese and Irene Harrowtiz 5th in A bracket: Marion Blake and Cherie Bernard 1st in B bracket: Teresa Jefferson and Kay Penstone 2nd in B bracket: Merton and Joanne Lott 3rd in B bracket: Joyce Haller and Jim Bernard 1st in C bracket: Teresa Jefferson and Kay Penstone 2nd in C bracket: Merton and Joanne Lott East-West Winners: 1st in A bracket: Gretchen and Jerry Leenerts 2nd in A bracket: Sharon Rooney and D. Ann Carver 3rd in A bracket: Jim Hermanson and Verla Dunn 4th in A bracket: Molly Ziessler and Alice Whalen 5th in A bracket: Paul Hoskin and John Curtis 1st in B bracket: Sharon Rooney and D. Ann Carver 2nd in B bracket: Jim Hermanson and Verla Dunn 3rd in B bracket: Molly Ziessler and Alice Whalen 4th in B bracket: Paul Hoskin and John Curtis 1st in C bracket: Sharon Rooney and D. Ann Carver 2nd in C bracket: Paul Hoskin and John Curtis 3rd in C bracket: Maxine Mechals and Margaret Eastman ••• PENINSULA WOMEN’S POOL LEAGUE April 13, Week No. 1 Doc’s Hags 12 3 10 5 Doc’s Ball Busters Doc’s Q-Tees 10 5 Doc’s Boo Bees 5 10 5 10 MLBT Gals Doc’s Beach Bums 3 12 3-Fers: Renee Cook, Anita Erevia, Lynn Gardener, Sheree Larson, Dee Reis, Norma Rice, Jean Waibel. Table run: Sheree Larson

GOOSE POINT: Continued from Page B1 Kathleen Nisbet is the human resources and payroll manager for the company. First Nisbet asked the group a bas i c quest i on t o gauge t hei r bivalve knowledge. “Does anyone know anything about oysters? ” she asked the sm al l crowd gat hered out si de next to a large rectangular white p l as t i c s eed t an k . Aft er a moment of silence in response, she continued. “Well, then we’ll start at the beginning,” she said. Ni s b et i s t h e 2 3 - y ear- o l d daughter of David and Maureene Nisbet, who started the company in 1975 with just 10 acres of t i d el an d s . No w t h e co m p an y owns 500 acres and employs 45 fu l l - t i m e em p l o y ees . S h e’s slowly learning the ropes, and has worked in the oyster beds herself. She explained just how oysters come into being. “Tiny oyster seeds look like baby grains of sand,” she said. Three million of those seeds are ad d ed t o “m o t h er” s h el l s , o r


s h el l s fro m l o n g - s i n ce eat en oysters, where they’re treated to a warm water bath and a diet of tasty algae. For up to three days, t h e g ro wt h co n t i n u es , u n t i l t hey’re ready t o m ove out t o their new home in the Willapa Bay. “How many oysters attach to o n e s h el l ? ” as k ed i n s t ru ct o r Jenkins. Nisbet explained to the group of students that about seven or ei g h t wo u l d g ro w fro m each original host shell. “Where do you get the seeds?” asked Newman. A company in Ti l l am o ok s p awns t hem , s h e said. “We do mostly bottom cult ure, where t hey grow i n t he m ud, ” Ni s bet expl ai ned. The tidelands are staked out to mark the individual beds, with ribbons to show whose beds belong to whom when the water covers the surface. But when the tide goes out, Nisbet said the beds form a pat t ern she st i l l l i kes looking at.


“It l ooks l i ke a pat chwork quilt,” she said. It takes three years to grow a large-sized oyster, and the mollusks must be planted every year t o k eep u p wi t h t h e h arv es t cycle, Nisbet said. Many of the largest specimens are exported to Asian countries like China and Japan. She praised the pristine water of the bay, reputed to be among the cleanest in the world. Gills filter the oyster’s food — plankt o n — fro m t h e wat er. Th e cleaner and fresher the water, the better the oyster tastes, Nisbet said. B ecause the bivalves go through 50 gallons of sea water a day, keeping that water clean is a big priority for the company, she added. “We p ro t ect t h e wat er an d make sure there’s nothing going into it. The oysters literally are the water they grow up in,” Nisbet said. The group went inside to look at the giant hopper where steel t ubs of harves t ed oys t ers are dumped to be shucked. It looks like a bus- sized feeding trough, holding 1,200 bushels each time — for a whopping 60,000 total pounds. Workers sit at the bottom of the tapered feeder, practicing their shucking dexterity for eight hours a day, four to five days a week. Nisbet said the shucking crew members are paid by the pound to encourage speed and accuracy. “These guys are fast, and they m ake real good m oney doi ng what they do,” Nisbet said. The Tongue P oint C ulinary students will review what they

GFWC: Continued from Page B1

, APRIL22, 2009

learned in class, Newman said, exploring how their experience fits with their textbook material. Newman works full- time at the Job Corps Center while maintaining his chef position at his restaurant, an arrangement that makes for some long days, he said. “I h av e a d ay an d a n i g h t j ob, ” Newm an sai d. S t andard days can start at 6:30 a.m. at his C an n o n B each p ro fes s i o n al kitchen, and after his eight hour day at Tongue Point, he ends up back there again at the end of nightly dinner service. J en k i n s t each es t h e h i g h school st udent s basi c seafood cu l i n ary cl as s es , fro m k n i fe skills to gear needed for fishing, in a class he calls, “From Ocean to Plate.” The high school group al s o d o es an i n d i v i d u al j o b shadow with a chef toward the end of the year, and each student chooses a particular local fish to study at length. It ’s al l bui l di ng up t o t he S eafo o d Grad u at i o n Di n n er, when the class will prepare and cook a meal for the 80- person Astoria High School staff. Until then, they’ll polish recipes, work on technique, and have another field trip to Bornstein Seafood. Jenkins will help each student select a recipe they’ll prepare for the event — one that’s challenging enough without snuffing out the students’ aspirations. On t h e m en u wi l l b e J o s h Wareham’s Oysters au Gratin, a recipe he’s hopefully perfected thanks to Jenkins’ help and the visit to Goose P oint Oyster’s operation.



Established in 1890, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs’ origination is traced back to Jane Cunningham Croly, a journalist who was denied admission to a press club dinner because she was a woman. Now headquartered in Washington, D. C. , GFWC has approximately 4, 000 clubs and 100, 000 members worldwide. According to the federation’s statistics, every year approximately 13 million hours and $37 million are donated through the success of 168,400 GFWC club projects. While advocating on behalf of women, children and families, GFWC members are strong supporters of education, the arts, natural resource preservation, healthy lifestyles, and the elderly and disabled. Described as “grassroots advocates,” the active ladies are committed to involvement, unity, leadership, networking, caring and responding to the needs in their communities — each day following their motto, “Unity in Diversity.” According to their headquarters, “GFWC is credited with establishing 75 percent of the counProvided photo try’s public libraries, GFWC members work to create pillows for breast cancer patients to use after surgery. developing kindergartens in the public schools, and advancing the Pure Food and Drug Act. Federation members continue to initiate innovative programs on issues of national and international prominence, including child labor, youth suicide prevention, alcohol and drug abuse education for women and children, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Violence Against Women Act, literacy, pay equity and conservation.” Members create programs and projects advocating the arts, conservation, education, home life, international affairs and public affairs. In addition, members of GFWC-Washington State dedicate their time to legislative outreach, conservation workshops, their Women’s Information Center, scholarships, community service projects and Federation Forest State Park. Washington state has five GFWC districts, which is made up of 44 clubs and approximately 700 members. For more information about GFWC, call 800-443-GFWC or log onto To find out more about joining GFWC-Pacific Shores, contact Joyce Wingett at 665-2510. The club’s next meeting will be held at noon on June 18 at All the Tea and China in Ilwaco — drop in and bring a friend!

An icon in need  

By AMANDA FRINK Observer staff writer WEDNESDAY April 22, 2009 Large cracks like these run like veins along the base of the lighthouse. Come...

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