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October 10, 2012     The New Era Paper
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October 10, 2012
 

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1F  r - October 10, 2012 VouR COt4MUNITV Page 11 l Logs From page 1 to get both of that. A stable stream would allow more riparian veg- etation to grow, which will create more cover." To accomplish that and create the "catcher's mitts" and "crash racks," which essentially are 15- to 20-foot logs buried vertically along the shores of the creek, with other large logs placed horizontally in a slanted position to channel wa- ter away from the banks, Gatchell and Hartstein enlisted the help of Cascade Timber Consulting, which manages a good deal of the sur- rounding forestland. The project was funded with a $160,000 grant from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and $21,000 in Title 2 money, from fed- eral timber payments to counties. Also, Hartstein said, the U.S. Forest Service donated 120 mature trees that were dug up with their root wads intact and transported to the creeks. Both said CTC was a critical player in getting the job done. "Really, CTC was so critical to getting this work done," Gatchell said. "This was done on their land and they pointed us to a local con- tractor, Haley Construction, that did a phenomenal job." He and Hartstein said Haley's and Matt Bostrom's expertise in creating the "catcher's mitts" with excavating equipment was invalu- able. "Like how to get those logs out of the ground with rootwads on them, keep them long and get them where they needed to go - I was impressed," Gatchell said. Hartstein said CTC put a "phe- nomenal" amount of effort into the project, "from going out with us looking at sites to giving us ideas how to implement projects. They've been great." Gatchell said the stretch of channel in which the "catcher's mitts" and helicopter-transported logs were placed is the worst in the creek. He said remnant stumps along the stream bed suggest that it once ran through a forest, that like- ly kept Canyon Creek much more stable than it is today. "It's a relic of past logging practices, but it's also the result of geography in that area," he said. Surrounding the confluence of the creeks is a large deposit of gravel that is a product of the geo- graphic layout of the area. "It's a really deep, big wedge of gravel that goes way up above the Owl Creek and Canyon Creek bridge," he said. "It's a historic sed- iment that's accumulated over the years. It's a pretty amazing place, actually." How long it takes for the stream to create the desired gravel deposits that will create more deep pools behind the "catcher's mitts" will depend on the weather, Gatch- ell said. "It could happen in one winter if we have serious flows like last winter. Things in rivers change the most during flooding events. They don't change that much year to year. Scour pools Will work during a nor- mal year. But crash racks, where we've got it set up so the channel tries to flip over to the other side of the bar and the "catcher's mitt" collects wood and rack up gravel behind it." Photo by Scott Swanson H-46 Sea Knight helicopter lifts a log with a root wad from a pile in Can- yon Creek for transport to another part of the streambed. Logs positioned at different angles in the Canyon Creek streambed will help trap gravel and sand that will form pools and help position the creekflow in a way that benefits both the forest and the fish in the creek, project designers say. Gatchell said the work that has been done since mid-August has all ready paid off. Before logs were installed to create scour pools, "we didn't see any fish up there at all," he said. "As soon as we did the excava- tion work, we saw fish jumping all over. Now you can find schools of six to 10 fish in those pools. I was amazed how it changed, in terms of number of fish. He said that salmon fry can also be found in some pools. Hartstein said there will likely be more wood added to Canyon Creek next summer, with the pos- sibility of doing some of the same things in Soda Fork. "Just about all the creeks around here could use additional wood," he said. "We just have to prioritize where the best areas are to work on." i Schools From page 1 something," who needs needs health insurance but had to drop it. She said the employee couldn't drop it until this month, resulting in a small paycheck. Another employee added that her check was only $57. "It could have been better had we not went to a four-day school week," said Canfield, president of the Sweet Home chapter of the Oregon Employees Association, which represents the district's classified employees, who provide support services in the district. That was because she worked fewer hours and had to pay for her insurance. Board member Kevin Burger asked about the 15 or 16 employees that the union says have lost hours and insurance coverage because of the four-day school week. Canfield said last month that those who don't qualify for full coverage were, last year, able to pay the increased personal costs of their insurance by working the extra day. The district initially agreed to let employees in that situation work an extra half hour a day so they could qualify for full coverage, Canfield said last month. Of the approximately 15 people she knows of who fall into that category, five were actually expected to enroll, she said. Last month, one of them wasn't taking health insurance at all because that employee lost a day's wages and didn't get the extra half hour the employee had been promised. "We made a plan to bring those hours back," said Supt. Don Schrader said Monday night. "We're in the process of doing that." Last month, he said the union and district disagreed on the correct interpretation of the contract. Part of the problem is that the contract with the union was written when the school week was 40 hours. Some employees, he said, were confused over whether insurance is based on hours per day or hours per week. The district's position is that it is the latter. Monday night, Business Manager Kevin Strong told The New Era, "No one had their district contribution reduced due to the four-day week." The union has filed a grievance, taking it straight to the superintendent because it was more of a grievance on behalf of an entire class of employees, said OSEA Field Rep. Jill Simmons. The grievance involves insurance, hours and subcontracting. The subcontracting refers to administrators assigning classified work to teachers, Simmons said, and an administrator is doing classified courier work and custodial work. The union presented the grievance to the superintendent on Oct. 1. He has 10 days to respond to it. "We're hopeful they're going to present some resolution to the issues," Simmons said. "We're getting that response together," Schrader said. "I thought that the meeting (with the presentation) went well. It seemed to me we'll be able work through these things." Present at the meeting were Mike E. Adams, Jan Sharp, Chanz Keeney, Dale Keene, Chairman Jason Redick, Jenny Daniels and Kevin Burger. In other business, the board: Tabled a proposed $3,500 stipend for Sweet Home High School Assistant Principal Tim Porter, who handles .5 full-time equivalent curriculum director duties as well. He worked the two positions at .5 FFE each last year but is full-time assistant principal this year. His salary already reflects half- time at curriculum director pay, but he is working more than full-time, Schrader said. As .part of the discussion, Ke'eney asked about Dave Goetz's salary, whose year increased by 13 days as he moved from Junior High principal to director of human resources, transportation and maintenance, requiring him to work additional days. Keeney said he has no problem with paying the administrators for their work, but the decision to increase the salary by 13 days should have gone to the board first. "It only makes sense his paycheck would go up, but I wish it was put out front," Keeney said. "I just like to be aware of what's going on," especially, he added, in light of the cuts the district has had to make. Schrader said the assumption was he had just moved to another position with more days. "We haven't truly increased pay here," said Redick. "He is still receiving the same pay." On Porter's. stipend, Daniels noted that he was already being compensated at a higher rate than his full-time job, assistant principal. "If someone's going to get a new stipend every time something's added, I should be getting a lot of stipends at my work," Daniels said. "If we didn't have the position, we would suffer a great loss," Schrader said. "Having someone willing to do it as extra work is really worth it." Schrader suggested that the question be tabled, and he would return with more information about it. The board agreed, voting 7-0 to table it. Held off discussion and action on administrator salaries to allow Redick and Adams time to meet with the administrators and hammer out a proposal. Approved goals for 2012- 13. Among them is goal one, "Increase student achievement for all students." Goal two is, "Improve student achievement and close the achievement gap." Goal three is, "Balanced budget." Under each goal are several outcomes that indicate success. The board did not yet adopt proposed action plans to achieve these goals. Hired Joan Pappin an additional .2 PTE as school nurse. Approved a job share request by Sarah Lynn, junior high social studies. Accepted the resignation of Kathryn Tippetts, .25 FTE ESL teacher at the junior high and high school. Accepted the donation from Greg Lewelling ofa 1989 Plymouth Sedan to the SHHS automotive program. Approved a request by the Sweet Home Genealogical Society to copy "The Huskian" as a fund- raising effort. Proceeds would be split between the society and the school. Approved achievement compact revisions. The New Era rel]qirqds '0': +0 SHOP LOCAL Shopping Locally Helps Us All!