Longview Daily News from Longview, Washington on September 1, 1986 · 3
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Longview Daily News from Longview, Washington · 3

Longview, Washington
Issue Date:
Monday, September 1, 1986
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mam Ktos Monday, September 1, 1986 The Daily News A3 Volcano plaintiffs fear state may claim lawsuit winnings SEATTLE f API Af i . j ' taiji mg ui U1C (JldlUUilS Will reacbed an out-of-court settlement with the Weyerhaeuser Co. last week over the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens say they may never see their share of the money. Betty Gadwa and Jim Scymanky said the state Department of Labor and Industries could claim part of the cash to repay benefits they received. They were among the representatives of 14 victims of the eruption who settled with Weyerhaeuser for a reported total of 5225,000. The plaintiffs had alleged in a King County Superior Court suit that ended inconclusively last December that Weyerhaeuser misrepresented the danger posed by the volcano and misled its logging employees and others into believing it was safe to be near the peak. Fifty-seven people died when the mountain exploded on May 18, 1980, blasting 1,300 feet off its summit and devastating 230 square miles of timber. Gadwa, 39, of Salem, Ore., lost her husband, Tom, who was working with a contract logging crew seven miles from the peak when the eruption occurred. His body was never found. Scymanky, 42, of Woodburn, Ore., suffered second- and third-degree burns from the eruption while he was doing tree-thinning work north of the peak. The settlement announced last week was to be divided among the plaintiffs, with about half that going to plaintiff lawyer Ron Franklin's firm, sources who refused to be identified said. But Labor and Industries could take most or all of Betty Gadwa's and Scymanky's shares. Gadwa had received six years' worth of worker's compensation at $1,100 a month for the loss of her husband, she said. Scymanky said he has received close to $300,000 in worker's compensation and medical cost payments from Washington. Dan Hadal, a spokesman for the state agency, said he could not discuss any of the individual cases but confirmed Gadwa's statements about a state claim against her part of the settlement. He said the state will have to approve any settlement before it is final. Gadwa refused to discuss details of the settlement but said her share is "not very much" anyway. "It's really not going to do me any good," she said. "I'm going to end up with zero." The suit, originally filed on behalf of 18 victims, sought unspecified damages from the timber giant and from the state. Franklin said his clients were looking forward to pressing their negligence case against the state. The judge who presided over last year's five-week trial between the plaintiffs and Weyerhaeuser dismissed the state as a defendant prior to trial, ruling state officials were immune from legal action in the eruption. But Franklin is appealing the decision and says he hopes for a trial against the state, which he alleges was negligent in drawing the boundaries of a restricted access zone too close to the volcano. The trial jury dismissed the claims of three of the nine plaintiffs whose claims went to deliberations and deadlocked on the others. Judge James McCutcheon dismissed the claims of several plaintiffs before the trial began, ruling they were tecreational visitors when the volcano blew. Franklin said several of those recreational visitors are included in the Weyerhaeuser settlement One plaintiff settled with Weyerhaeuser during the trial. Mark Clark, Weyerhaeuser's attorney, said that in agreeing to a settlement the company was not acknowledging responsibility for any of the deaths and damage suffered by those who sued. The agreement will be sent to McCutcheon Sept. 8 for his approval. K - . A " ? i' A. X, 1 t i i jtif f W4 7 7 c Rain on our parade Daily News photo by Gefi Hinds A light rain made for light attendance for all except children and ing. Four-year-old Dustin Nunes (right) watches the procession pass by political candidates at Longview's Labor Day parade Saturday morn- from a safe, dry vantage point along Broadway. State Roundtable still feeling its way SEATTLE (AP) - The Washington Roundtable, modeled after business groups in California and about a half-dozen other states, was supposed to forge a new agenda for the long-range interests of the-state when it was formed three years ago. It hasn't happened so far. "They've had very little effect on the system yet," said state Rep. Dan Grimm, D-Puyallup, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Even by the assessment of Round-table members, the group has had trouble translating its ideas into action in Olympia. "We're still feeling our way along," admitted G. Robert Truex, Roundtable chairman and chairman of Rainier Bank. The Roundtable was formed three years ago by some of Washington's most powerful business executives. While it has issued a variety of weighty reports on issues of pressing concern to the state, even Truex, in his annual report, told fellow members in blunt terms the group has accomplished only minor legislative changes. He called this "an unsatisfactory return on our research investment" The problem may be that the Roundtable hasn't made up its mind about itself. Although Truex would Tourism boom falls short SEATTLE (AP) Expo 86, cheaper gasoline prices and the fear of terrorism abroad combined to boost tourism in Washington state this summer, although the numbers don't appear to be as high as some had predicted. Traffic through the state is 30 percent higher than normal and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport arrivals are up 25 percent, said David Tanner, research analyst for the state Department of Tourism. Avis car rentals at Sea-Tac are running 35 percent higher than last year, says manager Mark Holcomb. Final state figures on second- and third-quarter revenues from sales, gas and room taxes won't be available until late fall, but so far this summer, some hotels are reporting only 6 percent increases in occupan-cy r stcs. That falls short of the 10 percent originally predicted by the Department of Tourism. "Expo is getting rave reviews," says Bill Taylor, state director of tourism. "We knew we were going to have a lot of Washingtonians going. " However, the influx of tourist dollars in Washington is inconsistent so far this summer, with some businesses benefiting far more than others. "It's a mixed bag," Taylor said. While hotels elsewhere in the state showed modest gains, Seattle hotels enjoyed an average 17 percent increase in guests, says Tom Kennedy, spokesman for a consulting firm that does hotel and motel occupancy surveys. , . Ferryman's Motel near Vancouver, Wash., has the predicted 10 percent more visitors, but manager Gil Fox says, "The way everybody was talking, it was going to be a lot more." "We've been getting a few Expo visitors, but very few," says Dave Zinzer, manager of the Travelodge in downtown Vancouver. "The last two weeks were the best we've had in about 2V4 years," says Jerry Trumbo, manager of a Denny's restaurant close to 1-5, also near Vancouver. Red Lion Inns spokeswoman Charlene Dempsey says bookings in 13 Washington hotels are three times higher than last summer's, but the Vance Tyee, a motel near the freeway south of Olympia, is getting about 25 walk-in guests a day and only about one-fourth of those are Expo-bound, says spokesman Rick Clarey. "We don't feel as great an impact as we had thought," he says. Average attendance at state attractions including Seattle's Space Needle, Fort Vancouver and the Olympia Brewery is up 8 percent. The state visitor information center on Interstate 5 in Vancouver, Wash., has set records for daily visitors in recent weeks. And Seattle's Gray Line Tours is reporting out-of-town tour business up by 150 percent, airport-to-town service up 70 percent and local sightseeing tours up 30 percent, says spokesm an Gordon B arr. Tourism officials say many Californians and Orego-nians are driving through the state, and hordes of out-of-staters and foreigners are flying in. But most are heading straight to the world's fair in Vancouver, British Columbia, without enjoying much more than a night's rest and a couple of meals in Washington. Washingtonians who often vacation near home are heading north, as well. In fact, Washington, Oregon and California residents together are expected to make up about 18 percent of the 20 million visitors Expo 86 expects by its Oct. 14 closure, says John Oleson, manager of U.S. marketing for Expo in Seattle. Those motels and restaurants hidden from the 1-5 corridor, for instance, aren't doing as well, on the average, as those right next to the freeway. Taylor says he thinks the anticipated September-October surge will give the state the $30 million, 10 percent windfall in tourist dollars predicted from the start. 7 : : Z-lJ&l.A ' Auodated Prat photo Turbo power on water Visitors to Seattle's Pier 70 take a look at the Alcyone, a high-tech sailing vessel owned by the Cousteau Society. Its two fat masts are actually the forces that propel it through the water. Called turbosails, the two 33-foot-high vertical aluminum cylinders have the power to drive the 103-fooMong research ship. Each turbosail has a metal flap on its trailing edge and vacuum fans along its length, creating aerodynamic forces similar to airplane wings. like to see it get more involved with the Legislature, he acknowledged that the group hasn't decided whether it wants to be a think tank or an active lobbying force in Olympia. Truex said more involvement will be required of the Roundtable 's members, saying they need to "learn to listen to and work in the legislative market as well as we do . in our business m arkets." Since it was formed by 35 executives in March 1983, the Round-table has issued nine reports on topics ranging from the state pension system to the crisis in higher-education funding. John Ellis, Roundtable vice chairman and Puget Power president, said he wasn't disappointed at the group's accomplishments. "We've done about all I would have expected a group as new and as diverse would do in a couple of years," he said. Roundtable members now are tackling another thorny issue: whether to overhaul the state's tax . system. "This will be the toughest thing for us to deal with and we may not deal with it," said Dick Page, full-time Roundtable staff director. "Taxes are a divisive subject with the public and it's a divisive subject with business." Coast Guard seeking boat with 5 aboard GOLD BEACH, Ore. (AP) - The Coast Guard shifted its search farther out to sea today as it resumed attempts to find an Astoria-based shrimp boat missing for four days with five people on board. Lt. Mike Ghizzoni of the Coast Guard district headquarters in Seattle ' said a C-130 aircraft from Sacramento, Calif., was searching an area 15 to' 90 miles west of the coastline between Gold Beach and Eureka, Calif. He said the four-engine plane being used in today's search was to cover about 7,000 square miles today. The 80-foot vessel, the Liebling, last was seen by the crew of another shrimp boat about 1 a.m. Thursday approximately 20 miles south of Cape Blanco, near Port Orford. It was reported missing about 11 a.m. Thursday. On board the vessel were its owner and operator, 40-year-old Dale Dixon, his three sons, Rusty, 18; Jason, 15; and Caleb, 8; and a crewman, Mike Goergen, 25. Ghizzoni said the Coast Guard did not know the hometowns of Dixon and Goergen. Authorities said Dixon was to have met his ex-wife in Brookings Saturday night to return their three sons, who live with their mother in Crescent City, Calif. Maple Flat erupts with sasquatch sightings as Volcan moves in A sasquatch is posing for photographs in the Toutle Valley. A 21-foot-tall model of the legendary ape has been greeting visitors and pleasing youngsters all summer at North Fork Survivors, a volcano tourist business at Maple Flat. Volcan, as he is called, is soon to be joined by a female version to be called Helena, and there's a chance that the business might get a third sasquatch - baby Ashley. "There supposedy have been quite a few sightings of sasquatches around Mount St. Helens. We thought this would fit in with that," said Rosalie Rinear, sister of Ron Rinear, who co-owns the establishment with Blair Barner. "Visitors really like him," she said, adding that children especially enjoy being photographed with the hairy, towering model. , Volcan eventually will be wired to give a tape-recorded talk about the sasquatch legend. Recordings may even include some supposedly live sasquatch screeches, she said. Casts of the creature's footprints may also be displayed. Beverely Roberts of the Olympia area built Volcan of pipe, plywood, fiberglass, chicken wire and a brown, furry nylon material. Barner said Volcan cost several thousand dollars to build and weights about 1,400 pounds. Do the owners of sasquatch believe the legend is true? "No. It's just for attraction," said Barner. - Rosalie Rinear isn't so sure: "It's possible. They have them in other parts of the world. I've never seen one and don't really care to." t u w i ; ! A Volcano Watch Andre Stepankowsky Reporter Historic cabin picked apart A piece of history is being lost near Mount St Helens. Campers are slowly picking apart an old cabin nestled in the Green River Valley 13 miles north of the mountain. For firewood, judging from the black campfire remains nearby. The cabin, probably built in the early part of this century, was used by the Mike and Lu Moore family to wait out ash fall from the M ay 18, 1980, eruption of the volcano. Towering Mount Venus sheltered that part of the valley from the eruption's blast cloud, but ash blackened the sky and air while the Moores were cooking breakfast that morning. When this writer first visited the cabin in 1982, its roof was caved in but its four walls were intact A visit there last week found the front wall of the cabin and the roof missing. Empty liquor bottles litter the area. "Oh no. That's terrible," Moore said when told of the vandalism last week. "That's one of the artifacts from the eruption." "To destroy or dismantle something is to take away our heritage and some of the lessons we can learn from the land," said Barbara Hollenbeck, forest archaeologist for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, where the cabin is located. "What is there on public land is for everyone not for a few who need wood for a fire or something for their mantelpiece." She said the Forest Service doesn't know who built the cabin and why. "We assume it was for mining, but have been unable to connect it with any mining claims," she said. It also could have been a trapper's or homesteader's, she added. Hollenbeck said the Forest Service tries to protect historical buildings on its land, but the forest is too large to watch over them all. Dam work to. start Six years of study and argument about Mount St. Helens silt control is about to end. On Sept. 9, the Army Corps of Engineers will open bids to clear trees from the site of a dam it will build across the Toutle River's north fork to trap the volcanic debris. A week later, the Corps intends to award the contract for the work. The job involves clearing trees and other debris and must be completed by Jan. 1. Tentatively, the Corps plans to advertise for bids for the dam itself on Sept. 17 and to award the contract by Nov. 13. The contractor will have about five months to finish the first stage of the dam. The only holdup is if Congress does not approve $17 million in construction money for the project before Oct 1. The Corps already has $1.4 million for the tree clearing work. Volcanic nuggets The NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw is planning to broadcast a story about Mount St. Helens this fall and will be filming in the area in September. M.L. Flynn, a reporter for the news show, recently called The Daily News and the Cowlitz County Advocate searching for "compelling" stories to tell. You may have read last week that the largest mud flow in Mount St. Helens history was 100 feet deep, moved at 45 mph and was as large as the flow of the Amazon River at flood stage. Well, how big is that? you may have asked. Answer: 8 million to 10 million cubic feet per second or about 30 to 40 times the Columbia's River's average flow at.Longview. Did you know that Mount St. Helens lava dome which is about 850 feet high and about 3,000 feet wide is more than twice the size of the old Goat Rocks dome on the mountain's old north flank. That dome grew on the side of the mountain during eruptions in the mid-19th century, but was blown away on May 18, 1980. The outside of the new volcano visitor center at Sea-quest State Park is just about complete, down to the land-. scaping. Work continues on the exhibits inside, with completion expected by mid-November. No opening date has been set

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