By SUE RYAN
News staff writer
September 27, 2006
Cascade Locks community members lined up for a fried chicken dinner Monday night at the Marine Park pavilion.
The occasion was the national “Eat Dinner with Your Family Night.” The Cascade Locks Interested in Kids (CLIK) group chose to combine that theme with their third meeting on underage drinking in the community.
Coordinator Greg Hauer told the audience that research showed that youth who ate regularly with their families were less likely to become involved in substance abuse.
The dinner is marked each year on the fourth Monday in September. By this time next year, CLIK may not be able to sponsor another dinner. The group was not renewed for its annual $100,000 federal grant for next year, which ends funding for Hauer’s position as of Dec. 31. It would also end funding for sponsoring events such as the community dinner.
The third meeting on underage drinking focused on what has taken place since the initial forum held last spring. Hauer reported that out of the two previous meetings, the group focused on two task forces. One worked on educating the community and businesses about the potential legal ramifications of selling alcohol to minors.
“The problem is people don’t realize the issues involved with underage drinking, the consequences of doing it,” Hauer said.
Under ORS 471.620, property can be forfeited to authorities for selling or giving away liquor in violation of the law. This includes any room, house, building, boat, structure or place of any kind. Part of what the CLIK team did was to post flyers in local stores and mail the information out to everyone in Cascade Locks.
The second team dealing with the issue was a parent patrol that formed to perform impromptu raids of known drinking hangouts. Whether or not any raids actually took place during the summer months was unclear.
The desire remains, though, to see one of the known hangouts, the Bum’s Castle, removed or demolished. The first meeting of both children and adults identified this as one of the known places that underage drinking takes place in the community.
The site is the now-derelict remnants of a mill once owned and operated by Wind River Lumber Company in Cascade Locks. The building has mostly collapsed into hunks of jagged concrete and rusted rebar jutting up through it. A partial shell of the building remains, which Hauer said local youth have told him they climb up on.
“They have told me they actually jump up and down on what remains of the roof,” he said.
The Port of Cascade Locks owns the property and has begun the process to remove the building. However, they have run into some red tape in trying to move the process forward through working with the railroad.
The city has granted the port a permit to tear out vegetation to access the building, which is on a point near the port’s marina but only accessible by water or via the railroad tracks. City Manager Bob Willoughby was at the community dinner and said the snag lies in crossing the railroad’s property to access the site.
“The railroad has committed to some wildfire protection work with the city and that could be a venue to resolve the issue,” he said.