A tip of the hat; a kick in the pants: Nov. 16, 2010

A tip of the hat; a kick in the pants

A tip of the hat to the Blue Mountain Community College Board of Education, led by Chairman Kim Puzey, for voting to rename BMCC’s Pioneer Theatre to the Bob Clapp Memorial Theatre. 

Bob Clapp was a theater arts and speech instructor at BMCC for a quarter century. He and his wife, Caryn, raised their children in Pendleton and later moved to the coast. Clapp passed away in September. 

The College Community Theatre thrived under his inspiring leadership, and his spirit lives on in Pioneer Theatre. It’s only right that the theater will henceforth bear Clapp’s name.

A kick in the pants for the National Marine Fisheries Service for its slow response to sign off on a permit the Port of Morrow has requested.

Port officials began last spring gathering information to apply for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit to perform in-water work along the Columbia River. The Corps received the port’s application July 28. The port plans to extend its container dock about 50 feet by digging that far into the bank. Allowing container barges to come farther inland would make it possible for the port’s crane to load and unload longer barges.

Workers hope to begin the work Dec. 10, when a three-month lock closure begins on some downstream Columbia River dams. While the Corps of Engineers improves the locks, the port hopes to upgrade its container dock.

Among the agencies that must OK the permit is the National Marine Fisheries Service, which is charged with providing a biological opinion about the project. Officials there received information they needed and began working on the opinion Sept. 9. Agency officials have told port engineer Ron McKinnis they expect to complete their work by March 5.

Delaying the project until early March defeats the purpose. Barges will begin moving up and down the river again in mid-March when the locks reopen.

NMFS officials need to understand the importance of the port’s timetable for beginning and completing this project, and they need to respond appropriately by completing their biological report before the lock closure begins.

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