Year in review — Part I: An interesting start

A multi-alarm fire, opposite, caused more than $200,000 at a facility owned by Rose Agri-seed on Barlow Road just outside Canby


Canby Ferry leaves for overhaul

The Canby Ferry headed through the Willamette Falls Locks on its way to Hayden Island in Portland and 6-month overhaul.

The 84-foot shell-bottom boat retrofitted just a year shy of the 100th anniversary of ferry service at the Canby crossing. Clackamas County officials estimate that more than 9,500 vehicles per month use the ferry to cross back and forth between Wilsonville and Canby.

At Hayden Island, the M.J. Lee II, launched in 1996, underwent a number of upgrades, including the installation of new electric motors to replace the boat’s hydraulic propulsion system. The retrofitting was funded by a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Leadership program donates Decorative bike racks

The Canby Community Leadership Program unveiled its gift to the city of 60 decorative bicycle racks.

Each class in the program through the Ford Institute Leadership program focuses on a project benefiting its community. The Canby group chose the bike racks for its project.

Thirty-two racks were installed downtown, including 19 on Northwest First Avenue. Thirteen racks surround Wait Park and the Canby Public Library. Fifteen more racks were installed in area parks, swim center and the Clackamas County Event Center.

Many of the bicycle racks feature plants and flowers in following Canby’s “Garden Spot” theme.

Bike racks near parks feature children playing. The bike rack by the Clackamas County Event Center will feature a bucking bronco in a salute to the Canby Rodeo.

Work progressed on the Sequoia Parkway improvement that will include a bridge and eventually connect to 13th Avenue.

Canby Municipal Court moves to new police station

City Attorney Joe Lindsay and Canby Municipal Court and its staff relocated to the new police station at 1175 NW Third Ave.

Court operations were set up in the police records area. The court and records clerks share a glassed-in reception counter.

Canby has had a municipal court since 1960. The court handles traffic violations, traffic crimes, misdemeanors and municipal code violations.

In its new home, the court holds sessions on Mondays in the police station Community Room, Judge Rod Grafe presiding.

Canby Herald among six newspapers sold to Pamplin Media Group

The Canby Herald and five sister properties from Eagle Newspapers were sold to the Pamplin Media Group.

The newspapers involved included the Herald, Newberg Graphic, Wilsonville Spokesman, Molalla Pioneer and Madras Pioneer and Woodburn Independent.

Mark Garber, president of Pamplin’s newspaper division, said the purchase of the five Portland-area community newspapers strengthens the company’s presence in the metro area.

Pamplin Media Group also owns the Portland Tribune and 17 other weekly newspapers, including those in Beaverton, Gresham, Tigard, Oregon City and Lake Oswego.

Columbia looks for answers after Peru helicopter crash

Seven crew members, including five Americans, died Monday, Jan. 7, when a Columbia Helicopters aircraft crashed in Peru.

Their tandem rotor, heavy-lift copter crashed in the Peruvian jungle after taking off from the provincial capital of Pucallpa. The Model 234 helicopter was contracted to support petroleum exploration operations.

One of the American victims was former Portland area resident Darrel Birkes, load manager on the cargo helicopter.

The other victims were command pilot Dann Immel, of Gig Harbor, Wash.; co-pilot Igor Castillo, of Peru; maintenance crew chief Edwin Cordova, of Melbourne, Fla.; aircraft mechanics Luis Ramos, of Peru, and Jaime Pickett, of Clarksville, Tenn.; and load manager Leon Bradford, of Santaquin, Utah.

Columbia Helicopters, based out of the Aurora State Airport, has offices in Peru and Papua New Guinea.

Three escape injury in spectactulary pileup

Three drivers escaped injury in a spectacular pileup at Arndt and Airport roads that left a van lodged atop two cars.

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said a gray 2007 Acura westbound on Arndt ran a red light at Airport Road and struck the passenger side of a white Columbia Helicopters van westbound on Arndt. The impact drove the van up onto the hood of a Toyota Camry in the southbound lane of Airport Road as it waited to turn left onto Arndt.

The vehicles came to a rest with the van lodged atop the hoods of both cars.

None of the drivers were injured. All wore seatbelts.

Trost magnet school status put on hold

The Canby School Board put off a decision on making Trost Elementary School a magnet school for Dual Language Immersion and sending students not in the program to Carus Elementary School.

Between 50 to 60 people attended the meeting Thursday night to protest the proposal. Sixteen people spoke, 15 against the idea, and one in support of a board having to make hard decisions.

After hearing the proposals and objections from the audience, the board asked Superintendent John Steach to gather more information on more options for the next meeting.

Board members asked Steach to return with more information at its Feb. 7 meeting. The board asked that he investigate other boundary options including Lee Elementary School and Ninety-One School.

Andrea Parks wins Baker Prairie Geography Bee

Baker Prairie Middle School eighth-grader Andrea Parks bested 15 other finalists to win the National Geographic Geography Bee. The victory made the daughter of Alex and Natalie Parks, of Canby, eligible to advance to state competition.

Rev. John Eide retires

Twenty-one years after he and wife, Mary, arrived from Bozeman, Mont., the Rev. John Eide called it a career at Macksburg Lutheran Church.

During his tenure, Eide oversaw the installation of the stained glass windows, a major sanctuary remodeling, the rebuilding of the steeple that houses the 1,200-pound bell and the addition of padding in the pews.

The past two years, Eide had worked with the youth group and created Macksburg’s own Vacation Bible School curriculum, which included videos for children from preschool to fifth grade.

CAT recognizes 2 Millionth rider

Sean Nelson, of Canby, was the 2 millionth rider for Canby Area Transit.

Sean Nelson, of Canby, got a big surprise when he boarded the 9:30 a.m. bus to Oregon City -- Canby Area Transit officials singled him out as CAT’s 2 millionth rider.

Nelson said he uses CAT daily to commute to work and to school. He works as a cook at Sushi Moto at the Happy Valley Towne Center and attends Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland.

He continued on his way with a free annual bus pass and other gifts. All the other passengers accompanying him to Oregon City received free monthly passes. So did the passengers on the 10:04 a.m. return trip to Canby.


Coleman appointed to council

Financial adviser Clint Coleman, 48, a Canby resident since 2007, was named to fill a vacancy on Canby City Council.

Council selected Coleman over two other applicants to fill out the remainder of the vacant council term, which expires July 31, 2014.

Coleman’s community involvement includes Canby Main Street, Canby Rodeo Association, Canby Area Chamber of Commerce member, Ford Family Leadership Class, Big Weekend car show judge, St. Paul Rodeo board member, West Linn Lions Club president and more.

Columbia Helicopter shuffles management lineup

In a long-planned move, Columbia Helicopters promoted Stan Wilson to president of the company.

Mike Fahey remained chief executive officer as Columbia Helicopters took the first of several actions to focus the leadership team on future growth opportunities.

“As we see significant new opportunities for global growth as an organization, we determined the timing is right to align our leadership team for the future growth of Columbia Helicopters,” Fahey said. “The first step in this transition process was to promote Stan to president, where he will transition over to managing the organization.”

Wilson’s day-to-day management focus would allow Fahey to spend more time on strategic partnerships, new client development and further exploring strategic growth opportunities.


Purple Heart returned

After a more than three decades quest and with the help of veterans groups, Canby resident Ronda Stone returned the Purple Heart medal she found in an abandoned storage locker 34 years ago to the family of U.S. Army Pvt. Lowell Reynolds who died in January 1944 in St. Croix, France. Her search picked up steam when social networking came in and led her to two organizations dedicated to reuniting veterans and their families with their medals.

Two alarm fire causes $200,000 damage at agri business

More than 40 firefighters battled a two-alarm fire that destroyed a storage building at Rose Agri-Seed on Barlow Road Thursday. Canby Fire District officials estimated the total loss at $200,000.

The fire started in a drying device and destroyed a 60-by-100-foot metal building used for storage and new product research and its contents.

Firefighters had to go in blind through thick smoke across Barlow Road. They emerged from the smoke to find a metal agricultural building in flames and called in a second alarm. Help came from Aurora, Clackamas, Tualatin Valley, Hubbard and Monitor fire departments.

The location hampered firefighting efforts. It was a rural area with no fire hydrants or sufficient water supply.

The firefighters shuttled seven water tenders from five fire units to fetch the 40,000 gallons of water used to fight the fire from the nearest fire hydrant in Canby.

Olympic distance runner Lopez Lomong visited Canby in March.

Lopez Lomong speaks at Baker Prairie Middle School

Students at Baker Prairie Middle School heard first hand Thursday the moving story of Olympic athlete Lopez Lomong in a program arranged by the Baker Prairie Student Peace Advocacy group.

Lopez was among the thousands of refugees known as "The Lost Boys." Rebel soldiers kidnapped him when he was 6 to be trained as a child soldier in the brutal Sudan civil war. He escaped and spent 10 years in a refugee camp.

In 2001, when he was 16, he was one of about 4,000 "Lost Boys" brought to the U.S. through a U.N. and U.S. government program.

He became a U.S. citizen in 2007. A year later, he made the U.S. Olympic team and was chosen by his fellow athletes as the Team USA flag bearer.

He competed in his second Olympics in 2012 and ran in the 5,000-meter race in the London games. On March 1, Lomong set a new American record for the indoor 5,000-meter run. Lomong has dedicated himself to making a difference in South Sudan by forming a foundation in his name to help the people of his native country. For this effort, he was named the 2012 National Humanitarian of the Year.

Reagan Griffin won the 2013 Future Chef competition at Baker Prairie Middle School with her Chinese Chick Salad.

Reagan Griffin wins chef contest

Reagan Griffin, right, adjusts her chef’s hat at the 2013 Future Chef competition Thursday at Baker Prairie Middle School. Griffin won the contest for third- to sixth-graders with her Chinese Chick Salad.


Fireman Troy leaves

Division Chief Troy Buzalsky, one of the most recognizable faces of the Canby Fire District 62, retired from Oregon fire service after 30 years, the last seven of them in Canby.

Buzalsky’s last day as the Canby district’s division chief, community services and fire marshal, was Friday, April 6. He started a new phase of his career Monday, April 8, as shift battalion chief with the Longview, Wash., Fire Department.

Thousands of Canby schoolchildren knew him as Fireman Troy through the fire and safety program he initiated in the Canby School District elementary schools.

Zoar Lutheran building razed

Zoar Evangelical Lutheran Church razed its original building at 190 SW Third Ave. Work crews demolished the 86-year-old, three-level wood frame building as part of the church’s ongoing building program, making way for a parking lot for the modern, 12,200-square-foot one-level building that replaced it.

The original church was built in 1927 and added on to in 1953 and 1962. Including all three levels, the old church contained about 14,500 square feet. The last event there was a Feb. 10 Ash Wednesday service.

The church, which has 323 members, launched its building program in October 2003. Its first phase – including offices, meeting rooms and an educational wing – was dedicated in September 2005.

The second phase includes a 3,000-square foot fellowship hall, kitchen, lobby and storage. The project was completed Feb. 6 and the church held its first service there Feb. 17. An eventual third phase will include a sanctuary and library.

Up and down library vote

In a stunning turnaround Wednesday night, the Canby City Council voted first to halt the new library project, and then reversed itself and voted to proceed.

The drama played before a packed council chamber. Council’s first vote came after hearing 22 out of 25 speakers urge continuing the project.

The councilors first voted 3-2 to halt the project. Tracie Hensley, Tim Dale and Ken Rider voted to stop the project while Richard Ares and Clint Coleman voted to proceed. The sixth councilor, Greg Parker, was unable to attend. About a half hour later, council undid that action.

After discussing alternatives, options and costs, Councilor Rider made a motion to reconsider the earlier vote against the project. The second time around, council voted 4-1 to move forward building a new library. Hensley opposed the motion.

Spectators remaining in the gallery cheered and applauded.

Prior to his motion, Rider said, “The vast majority of the people who showed up tonight who had the courage or the knowledge came and they voiced their opinion. We had just a handful or less of individuals that were willing to testify to the other side. I feel the people have spoken. They've come out here and shown their desire and I want to honor that.”

After the meeting, Rider said, “The additional cost for the Third Avenue site was not economically feasible. And there was no other alternative to absorb $5 million.

“I felt the people had spoken and I had better retract my vote and go with the will of the people.”

The project to build a new $7.7 million library on Second Avenue was approved in August 2012 by the city Urban Renewal Agency board, which is comprised of council members and the mayor. But at the agency’s March 13 meeting, Hensley asked that library project be reconsidered and put to a vote by the people.

Since then the city had spent about $350,000 on the project, including hiring a project manager and architect. The project has gone through three community design workshops and a first-phase design had been developed.

The new library was to be funded by $5.7 million from bonds, a $1 million grant and a commitment to raise another $1 million. On Dec. 28, the city sold $14.05 million in bonds to fund construction of the library, converting the old library into city offices, extending Sequoia Parkway and other projects.

Marathon narrow escapes

Four Canby area residents escaped tragedy when they participated in the prestigious Boston Marathon on April 15. Kelly Daugherty, Bettylou Morrow, Bob Hammitt and Dennis Brands had finished their runs and were away from the area where two bombs exploded, causing three deaths and scores of injuries.

Baker Prairie's Tony Crawford takes on new challenge.

Crawford leaving

Baker Prairie Middle School geography teacher Tony Crawford was elected vice president of the Oregon Education Association.

Crawford was elected to a two-year term at the recent annual representative assembly of the 42,000-member teachers union held recently in Portland. He will assume his duties in July.

Crawford’s election will bring an end to a 33-year teaching career, all of it in Canby. The school year for faculty ends June 19.

He began his Canby teaching career at Knight Elementary School from 1980 to 1985 when he moved to the social studies department at Ackerman Middle School. He taught there until 2011 when it closed and has been at Baker Prairie since.

Crawford’s accomplishments include establishing the Student Peace Advocacy group and Peace Prize, first at Ackerman and now at Baker Prairie. That program also led to the Ackerman Peace Garden, which includes an I-beam from the World Trade Center destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The peace program brought to Canby many distinguished speakers, including, Olympic athlete and humanitarian Lopez Lomong, Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi; and Frederik de Klerk, former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

In his new position, Crawford will serve as chairman of the OEA budget committee and the OEA foundation, which oversees donations for meeting student needs.

Explore Canby app

The city of Canby launched “Explore Canby,” a new app that makes finding the information people need easily on their favorite mobile devices.

The new Explore Canby app can be downloaded from GooglePlay. The app links to all things Canby and includes a searchable business section, a community page listing frequently needed information and a visit tab to aid visitors and tourists. Other useful buttons include the Canby Library, CAT Transit Service

Candidate rejected

Macksburg area resident Don Morgan had served 12 years on the board of directors for the Canby Area Parks & Recreation District and filed early as a candidate for re-election to Position 5 in the May 21 special district elections. Then the day before the filing deadline, someone told him the Canby Fire District needed a candidate to run for the Zone 4 seat on its board of directors and he filed for that as well.

He saw no conflict in meeting times, the districts were not connected in any way and both seats were unpaid.

A week later, someone called from Clackamas County elections. He could not do both, they said. He had to pick one or the other. But when he called back a couple of hours later, things had turned worse.The county had consulted state election officials who said Morgan could not be on the ballot for either seat.

State law says no one can run for more than one district office in the same election. If that does happen, all that person’s filings are invalidated.

Morgan could still run and even be elected as a write-in candidate, but he couldn’t go on the ballots.

The ballots will showed no candidate for either Canby Area Parks & Recreation District Position 5 or Canby Fire District Zone 4.

“I’ve told some of my friends to write me in for both positions and we’ll see what happens, since no one is running for either one,” Morgan said.

Peace prize winner

Seventh-grader Graham O’Connor was named the 2013 recipient of the Baker Prairie Peace Prize from a field of 43 seventh- and eighth-grade nominees. He is the son of Tom O’Connor and Joan Flora, of Canby.

His selection for the prize modeled after the Nobel Peace Prize was announced at a May 24 assembly in the middle school gym. O’Connor wants to make acting his career.

His was the second Baker Prairie Peace Prize awarded and the 13th overall. The prize was initiated in 2001 at the former Ackerman Middle School.

Perry wins school board seat

Voters in the May 21 Special District Election chose Angi Dilkes Perry to fill the only contested seat on the board of directors for the Canby School District.

Unofficial results showed Perry received 2,064 votes to 1,784 votes for her opponent, Rob Sheveland, for Position 7 on the board. Both were making their first bid for elected office.

Perry is vice president of Eames Consulting. She and her husband have two sons, a high school freshman and a first-grader.

The top vote-getter in school board balloting was former teacher and administrator Michael A. Zagyva. In his first try for elective office, he received 3,403 votes. He was unopposed in his bid for the Position 4 seat vacated by Andy Rivinus.

Incumbents Tom Scott and Kristin Downs were unopposed for re-election to Positions 2 and 3.


1,000 cyclists converge on Canby

Canby and the Clackamas County Event Center served as a hub for more than 1,000 bicyclists participating in the 39th annual Pioneer Century bicycle tour through the Willamette Valley.

The bicycling event was sponsored by the Portland Wheelman Touring Club and was based at the Clackamas County Event Center in Canby.

Participants had their choice of five routes through the Canby, Molalla and Champoeg areas. The routes varied from a 32-mile jaunt to 77- and 100-mile trips.

Second Avenue Library project stalls

The new Canby Public Library project was once again in familiar territory — limbo.

On June 19, the Canby City Council voted 4-3 against loaning $950,000 from sewer reserve funds to buy the Canby Utility property essential to the project.

And subsequently, voting as members of the Urban Renewal board of directors, they rejected the sales agreement negotiated between the city and the utility.

In both instances, councilors deadlocked 3-3 and Mayor Brian Hodson cast the deciding vote.

Traci Hensley, Tim Dale and Ken Ryder voted against the proposals, and Richard Ares, Greg Parker and Clint Coleman were in favor.

The 5 percent, 10-year loan from the sewer reserve funds was to be repaid by urban renewal revenue.

The funding rejection came two months after council halted then reconsidered 5-1 to continue with the Second Avenue library. Council first voted 3-2 to halt the project, but after reconsidered after looking at alternatives.

Melon marauders

Authorities arrested a Canby man and were looking for another man in the theft of eight tons of watermelons valued at about $7,000.

Both thefts occurred June 7. Seventeen pallets of water melons were stolen from two Winco stores, one in Beaverton and the other in Tigard.

Police identified the suspects through an employee’s description and video from the store.

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