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Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
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(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577

Castle Rock concert continuing despite drug and noise concerns

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Music festival organizers downplayed concerns over amplified sounds, increased traffic and potential drug use during the April 22 Castle Rock City Council meeting.

A 2-stage festival put on by Schools Out 4 Summer III is scheduled for June 1 and 2 on private acreage at Larson Ln. SW and has been billed as EDM (Electronic Dance Music) plus Hip-Hop, Rock and Folk/Acoustic. Concerns regarding Go Go Girls and $5 discounted tickets to "girls in schoolgirl outfits" were brought by resident G. W. Griffith, to which festival spokesman Greg Meakin said were meant to be harmless youthful entertainment.

Resident Melvin Larsen voiced concerns about inevitable drug use, crowd control, emergency vehicle access on the one-lane road, as well as the Cowlitz burial site status of the field in question.

City Attorney Frank Randolph, backed by City Planner T. J. Keiran, reminded the Council no legal challenge within city ordinance existed to prevent property owners from hosting temporary events, or to lengthen the process of granting noise variances, predicting "a disaster for everybody" if such a variance were withheld. Without a solid proposal from promoters, the council had no concrete grounds to contest. If conditions for permits are met, the show will likely take place.

Juxtaposed to the controversial music venue was Melody Kranz, representing I Topped The Rock 5K Run to seek resources for the local fundraiser on June 1, the same day as the School's Out event. Police Chief Bob Heuer put his support behind the 5-year-old fundraiser event to provide officers coordinating with race volunteers on traffic, crowds, and parking.

Public Works Director Paul Vorse was questioned again in detail about the water meter at 123 Front Ave. and city standards. City Attorney Frank Randolph defined the council vote to write off the discrepancy between the inflated $700 January 2013 billing and the $140 average paid as "gifted public funds," adding responsibility for proving faulty equipment lies with the customer. Mayor Paul Helenberg wanted to revisit "The O" incident while Council Member Earl Queen recommended the city "let it go, the owner had good evidence (3 years billing for that address)." The question was raised: What if everyone wanted their water meter tested?

Paul Vorse reiterated internal department tests on a brand-new, in-the-box meter registered 0% at low flow, that his department ran hundreds of gallons while the Oregon Meter ran one test with about 7 gallons of water.

"We need to move forward," he said, proposing setting a range of measurement standards for the future.

The next meeting is scheduled for May 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Senior Center. Those with questions or in need of accommodations may call (360) 274-8181.

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