125 years ago
March 11, 1892
On motion of councilman Story, city attorney was instructed to institute an action on behalf of the city of Montesano for the purpose of condemning a right of way for street purposes, viz: the extension of Main street from its present northern terminus northward in the same general direction through the land of B. Zeebuyth, which motion was put to a vote and carried by unanimous vote of all councilmen present.
Report of committee on replanking of bridge, that the county commissioners could not appropriate money for such purpose—bridge being within city limits. On motion street committee instructed to clean off and repair bridge where necessary.
Street Commissioner reported pool of water back of Judge Griswold’s residence should be drained; also sewer needed from River street to Silvia street, at north end of said streets.
Electric light committee and electrician instructed to prepare schedule of rates for electric lights. Also to cut current on elevated roadway and remove lights from same.
100 years ago
March 9, 1917
The Montesano high school girls’ basketball team defeated the Aberdeen girls’ team last Friday evening by the score of 14 to 12, and by this victory won the championship of Southwest Washington. During the season just closed, the girls played seven games and won seven games and made the wonderful record of scoring 131 points to their opponents’ 50. At the same time the Montesano boys lost to the Aberdeen boys, 16 to 29.
The girls’ game was remarkable for the hard, fast playing and the clean, sportsmanlike conduct shown by both teams. The crowd that witnessed the game came away thrilled by the splendid contest. The Montesano girls excelled in the quality of their team work; shown by the clever and accurate passing of the ball. Their quick handling of passes and their ability to keep the ball out of their opponents’ possession is a splendid tribute to their ability as players and to the coaching of Miss H. Holcombe which they have received. The locals secured the lead at the very start of the game and after that were never headed.
75 years ago
March 12, 1942
Robert W. McDonald, foreman of The Vidette since May, 1922, has taken a leave of absence to accept a position with the Pacific Typesetting company of Seattle, largest trade printing plant in the northwest, and will start his new duties there next Monday.
McDonald has been associated with The Vidette company, being now president of the concern, almost continuously since he came to Montesano from Seattle. For a short time, about 15 years ago, he was associated with D. Gerald Cloud in the Cloud-McDonald Printing company.
Cloud is now president of the Pacific Typesetting company, which serves the printing industry over a wide area.
During his residence here, McDonald has been active in veterans’ affairs, being a member of the American Legion. He formerly was a member of the Montesano Active club. He has been serving as chief air raid warden in his district. He is also a member of the Grays Harbor Game Protective association. Mrs. McDonald is particularly active in the American Legion auxiliary.
50 years ago
March 9, 1967
Is the community of Montesano floundering on a sea of indecision? Would a Chamber of Commerce “steering committee” help our town sail into the future on a strong, steady course?
Those two vital questions, in essence, were posed by attorney Greg Nelson at last Thursday’s stimulating CofC luncheon session at Ben Moore’s Broiler. It was Nelson’s opinion that the answer to the first question definitely is “yes”—and to the second, quite possibly “yes.”
Taking the opportunity offered by the lack of a scheduled speaker, Nelson—who is city attorney as well as an ardent Chamber member—said, “We come here once a week, have lunch and usually hear a thought-provoking speaker, but we never do anything about following up the ideas for community improvement that the speakers give us.”
Nelson said he felt the time might be ripe for formation of a “steering committee” to promote a progressive community. The Chamber might well budget operating funds for such a group, “a strong nucleus to get things done.”
The attorney estimated that members of such a committee should be willing to meet for a couple of hours every week “to help get some community improvement projects rolling.”
25 years ago
March 5, 1992
Two hours of soul searching on the failure of the Montesano school district levy took place at a community meeting held by the school board at Simpson Elementary school Monday night.
Board Chairman Mike Sweeney told the group the most consistent message he got was that the district did a poor job getting out information on the two-year, $679,000 Operations &Maintenance levy, which failed by only nine votes early last month.
“We didn’t do a good enough job,” said the chairman. Boardmember Chuck Klinger added he thought the campaign “started too late.”
The upshot of the session was that the Levy Committee, which is not sponsored by the district, would have a meeting on Monday, March 9 to form a recommendation prior to the board’s March 17 meeting about what changes, if any, to make in the levy when it is put before the voters a second time during the primary election May 19. The meeting will be held in the new junior high gym at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by a tour of the new high school.
Upwards of 50 people came to the special school board meeting. Most appeared to be supporters of the levy, but there were reports from people who had talked to dissenting voters.
Reported complaints ranged from the funding of Montesano Community School to people upset over additional “maintenance” costs they thought should have been lessened by construction of the new high school. Others cited misunderstandings about what the O &M funds are spent on — misunderstandings exacerbated by a “low key” campaign and a failure of the district to break down the costs for voters in a sufficiently comprehensible and detailed manner.
10 years ago
March 8, 2007
The Montesano Fire Department experienced nearly a 3 percent decrease in call volume in 2006, but Chief Ken Walkington doesn’t expect much more of a drop off in 2007, especially with all of the new homes being built in the area.
“I foresee a rise in call volume,” Walkington said. “And I think it will continue—this city is growing.”
The reason for the 2.6 decrease in call volume is not readily apparent, Walkington noted in the department’s annual report for 2006.
“My gut tells me that competition from District No. 2 (Central Park) is why we see the erosion in market share,” the chief added.
“Fire departments are a business. If you don’t run it like that – you fail.”
The addition of District 2 to the inter-facility transport business is not necessarily a threat to Montesano’s department.
“This business is geared towards providing a better service to the citizens—District 2 helps us do that,” Walkington said.
Another reason for the decreased volume of calls is that emergency medical services have become more in demand as opposed to the need to fight fires.
“We have seen a decrease in fire call volumes,” Walkington said. “Better building materials, more commercial building inspections and better safety planning all help to lower the instance of fires.”
More inspections and better safety planning are good programs, but it is tough to get empirical data on how many fires are actually prevented Walkington said.