The Scuttlebutt – News From Around Our Town

Randy & Sharon Parrow in New Orleans.

Randy & Sharon Parrow in New Orleans.

Where Do You Read The Voice? Randy and Sharon Parrow were caught reading Vernonia’s Voice in New Orleans during Mardi Gras  in  February.  We hope they also found some time to sample the local cuisine and maybe even a Hurricane drink or two!  The big question is whether Sharon will return with any Mardi Gras beads?

Paula Oliveros, Maina Martin and Hanna Hofer at Waikiki Beach.

Paula Oliveros, Maina Martin and Hanna Hofer at Waikiki Beach.

Aloha! A group of four Vernonia High School exchange students traveled to Hawaii as part of their year in the United States.  Paula Oliveros from Spain, Maina Martin from France, and Hanna Hofer, and Hanna Farsh from Germany all spent a week soaking up the sunshine and hanging out on Waikiki Beach with other students through the ASSE program.  The girls had a chance to snorkel, learn to hula dance, shop, eat fresh pineapple,  meet some parrots, work on their tans and attend a traditional Hawaiian  BBQ.  Their favorite activity was definitely taking surfing lessons. “I think it is paradise!” said Paula.

Vernonia Hands-on Art held its annual meeting February 13.  The Board elected the following officers for the 2013 term:  Josette Mitchell, President; Erika Paleck, First Vice President; Kathy Larsen, Second Vice President; Diana Peach, Secretary; and Tobie Finzel, Treasurer.  Hands-on Art is an arts and heritage non-profit organization that includes the annual Junior Salmon Auction, Vernonia Pioneer Museum, Vernonia Community Theater, and other local cultural activities in its programs.

Carol Sawyer moved to the Vernonia community in 2001 but recently relocated to an assisted living home in Beaverton due to multiple health challenges.  Many of you have known Carol or taken a class from her.  She taught Spanish at the high school, substituted in the district from time to time, hired many young people to help her with her home and yard work, and taught adult classes including Women’s Spirituality, Poetry, Spanish, Creative Writing and Autobiography.  She was a member of the Vernonia Hands-on Art Board for several years and was a member of the Columbia County Cultural Coalition.  She was the Oregon State Spelling Bee champion in 2003 and took the National Senior Spelling Bee title in that same year.  Carol represented Vernonia in the 2008 My Fair Lady pageant.  Fluent in Spanish, French, Hindi, and Portuguese, she’s lived an international life from her birth in Venezuela, education in pre-Castro Cuba, college at Reed in Portland, and lived and worked in Paris, France; Viranasi, India; Ibiza, Spain; and San Francisco, California.  If you’d like to call or visit Carol in her new home, please call Tobie Finzel, 503.705.2173, for contact information.  Carol welcomes calls, visits or notes from her many friends here.

Toni Barton and Amy Smith at the VRFPD Banquet

Toni Barton and Amy Smith at the VRFPD Banquet

VRFPD Banquet The Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District held their annual banquet on Saturday February 9 at the McMenemins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove.  The agency invited and recognized several local businesses who had representatives in attendance including Vernonia True Value, Bridge Street Mini Mart and All In Pub. The highlight of the evening was the announcement by the VRFPD Board that Dean Smith has been named Fire Chief. The group enjoyed a BBQ dinner and were served cake in celebration of fire recruit Kendrick Leaverton’s 18th birthday.  A slide show prepared by volunteer Amy Smith recapped the year in pictures.  Awards were given in recognition of outstanding service; winners were Rookie of the Year, Micheal Haley, Officer of the Year, Dan Hanson, Firefighter of the Year, Kara Kemper, Volunteer of the Year, Amy Smith.

Clever Cricket to Close  The Clever Cricket is closing their doors as of May 15.  Owner Camrin Eyrrick announced this sad news to the Vernonia community in a Letter to the Editor published in the February 21, 2013 issue of Vernonia’s Voice.  This unique toy store which featured educational toys and games, clothing and more has been a favorite of locals and visitors since 2004 and has always been one of the reasons that downtown Vernonia has remained an interesting and vibrant place to shop.  Eyrrick says she may create an on-line outlet for the business, but her storefront in town will most certainly be missed.

Adam Buchan recovering at OHSU.

Adam Buchan recovering at OHSU.

Adam Buchan Many people have been asking about the condition of Adam Buchan, the young Vernonia resident who was injured on the site of the Vernonia School Demolition.  Here is an update on Adam‘s condition which was provided by his family.  Adam was taken by life flight to OHSU on January 22nd.  He sustained massive and nearly fatal crush injuries to his chest.  He has been in the ICU for an entire month.  He has been making good progress.  Family,  friends and OHSU staff are all very impressed with his “fight.” He is still not breathing completely on his own, and his ventilator tube makes him unable to talk at the moment. He is communicating by mouthing words, and using his hand to sign.  Adam received news on February 19 that he was about to be released from the ICU.  Once his lungs are healthy enough to withstand more surgery, they will be going back in and fixing the rest of the damage.  He has a long road ahead. The family want to stress that there is only room for positive and helpful support, please leave any negativity at the door. This is about Adam’s life, and he is very lucky to be alive.  He is still very susceptible to infection, he is actually fighting pneumonia for the second time, so the family is  asking for limited visitation until he is more stable.  The family says they appreciate all the support and well wishes for Adam; the OHSU staff is incredible and giving him the best possible care.