Seaside Signal Articles

Ch-ch-changes for the Historic Gilbert District a’coming. It’s all good.

Kirwen Building

Downtown parking changes get nod in first reading



Seaside took a step Monday to eliminate the parking requirement for certain types of residential uses above ground floor commercial uses in the city’s downtown core.

Acting on a recommendation from the Planning Commission, the council considered the measure to make workforce housing more economical for developers and provide more affordable housing for tenants.

“There’s been a push to look at creating opportunities to allow the second story of the downtown core areas to allow for residential uses,” Community Development Director Kevin Cupples said.

Mayor Jay Barber said the ordinance was in response to the council goal to provide more workforce housing, particularly in the core area. “This is a step toward that as well.”

Ordinance 2020-03 creates a new zoning definition for “dwelling, residential-over-commercial,” a dwelling unit of one bedroom or less, located above a commercial establishment.

The current ordinance requires two parking spaces per dwelling unit for all types of apartments, multifamily dwellings and conventional detached dwellings.

This will bring parking requirements similar to surrounding communities, Cupples said. “That would be one parking space for a studio apartment, for a one-bedroom it would be 1.25, and for a two-bedroom, it would be 1.5 parking spaces per unit.”

The ordinance seeks to reduce regulatory hurdles associated with developing workforce rental housing and promote more efficient use of land within the city. The measure is based on discussion and public comment from the Planning Commission, which undertook the ordinance in October.

Council member Tita Montero showed concern whether residents would be exempt from three-hour limits in the downtown parking zone.

Steve Wright called the ordinance a “first step. A lot of this still has to go back to the Planning Commission afterwards,” he said. “They can work out things like parking tags, where to park, and how to keep the streets clear so the street sweepers can go through. I think it’s time to get this done, moving forward.”

The Planning Commission could address parking when applicants come in for development, Cupples said. “If someone went in to propose it, it would be up for review,” he said.

Montero was the sole vote against the change, seeking greater guidance in parking rules. “I’m uncomfortable not knowing what the expectations are of people living in those units.”

“We can’t put everything in an ordinance to address every situation,” Wright said. “I think this is the right step to make.”

Following the first reading, the ordinance will be scheduled for a public hearing and second reading at the March 9 meeting. The new parking rules could go to a third reading and final adoption on March 23.


Blue Bond Studio and Gallery offers painting classes in Seaside


Posting an article published in the Seaside Signal by Eve Marx, Dec. 22, 2017

Blue Bond, or Blue as he likes to be called, was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He says he was educated in Tacoma, Washington, but you may detect a bit of Southern charm in his accent. He’s been a professional full time painter since 1967. “I’ve been painting for four decades…

Source: Blue Bond Studio and Gallery offers painting classes in Seaside



Blue Bond offers personalized one to one painting classes in Seaside.


Blue Bond offers group painting classes in Seaside, as well.

Seaside First Saturday Art Walk Nov. 4th, 5-7pm

Thank you, The Daily Astorian!!!


SEASIDE — Celebrating 13 years in 2017, the next Seaside First Saturday Art Walk will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 4. Visitors meet artists, see original art, sip wine and snag appetizers by favorite restaurants and personal chefs, view artist demonstrations and, oftentimes, enjoy live music … read more…

Source: Seaside First Saturday Art Walk


Map courtesy of KP Graphic Arts.

From near extinction to a place in art

Thank you Eve Marx, reporter for Seaside Signal/ The Daily Astorian!!!


Named the “state animal” in 1969, the American beaver builds the dams and wetlands that serve as habitat for Oregon salmon, steelhead, birds, amphibians and insects. Beavers are nature’s hydrologists, “Beaver Tales: A Celebration of Beaver Art” curator Sara Vickerman …


Source: From near extinction to a place in art

And, for more info about the good things BEAVERS do, go to:

Dr. Stephen Ramsey, from the OSU Center for Genome Research & Biocomputing (the Center has recently announced the completion of its sequencing of the beaver genome, so this is very well timed –

Frances Backhouse will offer a talk based on her research and writing that appeared in her award-winning book, Once They Were Hats: In Search of the Mighty Beaver. At Beach Books on May 6th at 1:pm.

The Wetlands Conservancy has posted information on the Beaver Tales art project. The link is below. Feel free to share it with your friends and contacts.

Listening to the Land: Dam, Beaver! Dam!
Wednesday, April 19
6 to 8 pm
Seaside Public Library

Here’s a link to an excellent short video, with great aerial depiction of the changes that beaver dams bring to meadows . . .

And for more inspiration, a video of beaver swimming on U-Tube. .

While nothing can compare to the real beaver it is great to see more comprehensive research about the positive impacts of beaver dams.…/osu-cascades-students-scien…/394113930

Barber is named Seaside mayor

SEASIDE — Jay Barber became mayor Monday night, following in the footsteps of former Mayor Don Larson, who died Sunday.At the council’s last meeting, Barber put his name forward to fill Larson’s unexpired term. City Council President Don Johnson did the same. But before a City C

Source: Barber is named Seaside mayor

Strength of Seaside community is source of pride.


Permission to print granted by Jon Rahl.

Published March 4, 2016 Seaside Signal

Side Rail by Jon Rahl

Shortly after I arrived in Seaside during the summer of 2010, it became evident that this was a tightly woven community. Business leaders, shop keepers and residents alike all welcomed me and my family to the area with open arms. People were happy to converse, discuss life and especially tourism in the Seaside I was just starting to learn so much about. But there was something about Seaside that stood out six years ago that still stands out today; the strength of community and a generous, giving attitude present in nearly everyone I come into contact with.

It stood to reason that the tragic event that took the life of Seaside Police Sergeant Jason Goodding on the evening of Feb. 5 might test the resolve of this community. At times over the ensuing week, I’m sure we all felt tested. How could this happen? Why would this happen? This shouldn’t happen. Yet, the underlying tone throughout Seaside in the days and now weeks that have followed is unwavering support of the Goodding family, Seaside Police Department and each other.

What I learned the week leading up to Sgt. Goodding’s memorial service is that this “small” town has a heart of gold and the ability to rally in a way that is almost indescribable. From pitching in and wanting to help, to raising all kinds of money to assist Jason’s family, to simply being there to love a fellow neighbor and give a hug, I cannot say enough positive things about the week that grew out of a horrific moment in time.

It’s very sad that it takes tragedy to bring us together in ways like this. It’s easy to take little moments for granted. It’s easy to turn to our devices. It’s easy to not engage with our family, friends and community members. But it feels much better to avoid doing those things. So I encourage us to start engaging more. Don’t be afraid to give a hug, say I love you, or simply say hi to a stranger. I’m pretty sure – especially after listening to the way friends and coworkers described Jason – that Sgt. Goodding would have done just that.

I don’t work directly in law enforcement, but I’m proud to be a Seaside city employee that at times gets to work alongside these fine men and women as the public information officer for the city, police and fire department. And serving alongside law enforcement members from across the state to help plan and get word out about Sgt. Goodding’s memorial the week of Feb. 5-12 was a true privilege — an honor I’ll never forget.

The Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation — the organization that rallied to bring many of these law enforcement officials to Seaside — is an organization I’d never heard of prior to February 5, but what I’ve learned since then is that they are a group we can all be thankful for. They work with the families of fallen officers, police agencies and cities in Oregon to help ensure that these incredibly difficult moments are handled in a most exceptional way. I hope we can all agree, these wonderful men and women did just that. I took a month off of writing about tourism because I felt this message was important to convey. Seaside will continue to heal from this tragedy and we’ll do it in a way that shows the strength and pride of our incredible little town.

Have a thought or a question about tourism in Seaside, or maybe an idea for a future column? Drop me an email at Jon Rahl is the director of tourism for the Seaside Visitors Bureau and assistant general manager of the Seaside Civic & Convention Center.­­­

Five Minutes With: Denise Fairweather – The Daily Astorian

Denise Fairweather is hosting a fun paint and sip night at the Fairweather House & Gallery in November.

Source: Five Minutes With: Denise Fairweather – The Daily Astorian

A very special thank you to the Seaside Signal/ reporter Katherine Lacaze!

Indeed, good things are happening. CEDR 2014 and 2015 winners both from the Historic Gilbert Block!


Our 2015 CEDR/CCC SBDC awards event was one for the ages …all the winners were an inspiration to everyone in attendance!


CEDR  Small Business
Congratulations to the CEDR award winner!
2015 Business Service to the Community
Denise Fairweather


“I am thankful for good things, good friends and good work. Thank you to CEDR for the honor. “Those the live for the arts, support the arts.”–Denise Fairweather


So, too, located in the heart of the Gilbert Block, the 2014 CEDR award was given to Karen Emmerling of Beach Books.

Gilbert Block Building, Beach Books


“So thrilled to accept Beach Books award – 2014 Business Service to the Community (Small Business) – presented by the Clatsop Economic Development Resources. The presentation was last night at the Liberty Theater. What a wonderful evening”. Karen Emmerling


Gilbert’s Mark

Frenchman’s vision changes Seaside forever
(Created: Thursday, January 15, 2009 11:02 AM PST)

Donald Allison

(Editor’s note: This is part of a continuing series of stories about the history of Seaside)

Seaside’s unique Gilbert District along Broadway was created by just as unique of a man, Frenchman Alexandre Gilbert, Sr., who was Mayor of Seaside from 1912-16, and helped rebuild downtown after the devastating fire of 1912.

Gilbert was born in Lucon and became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in August of 1877, relocating from San Francisco to Astoria in 1881 where he ran a wholesale and retail liquor business. In 1889, Gilbert served as commissioner for the State of Oregon at the Paris Exhibition and was in charge of the Oregon exhibits.

According to the Clatsop County Historical Society, Gilbert moved to Seaside in the early 1890s and built a large, Queen-Anne style house that sits at 341 Beach Dr. During the next few years he would continue buying property and developing the town.

“The work he did to develop property in Seaside was much admired, considered a benefit to all, a way of showing confidence in the future of the town,” wrote Lisa Penner (Cumtux, Vol. 22, No. 3).

According to records at the Seaside Museum and Historical Society, Gilbert bought up property downtown after the fire and loaned money to several businessmen to rebuild or repair as necessary. The Gilbert Insurance Company carried much of the coverage on the destroyed buildings, and as mayor and a businessman, Gilbert saw that the town recovered and people continued to prosper.

One of the buildings lost in the fire was the Catholic Church on Court Street, and because of money owed for the construction of the church buildings, the property that it had sat on was sold. Gilbert, in 1913, donated property to the church and “started a building-fund boom.” The church was erected and dedicated in 1914, where Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church stands today.

In the June 11, 1914, Seaside Signal reported “Building operations on the new $60,000 Gilbert building at the corner of 7th Street and Broadway, are being pushed to the highest capacity and this beautiful structure will be completed and ready for occupancy by the middle of July.”

Gilbert also donated to the city a strip of land along the beach that would later be used for Seaside’s Promenade, according the Gilbert’s great-granddaughter, Virginia McConkey-Hendrickson.

“He envisioned families strolling along the boardwalk with their children, and then sitting down on the grass to enjoy a picnic, much as he remembered them doing in France,” McConkey-Hendrickson said.

As a child visiting her great-grandfather at the Gilbert House in Seaside, McConkey-Hendrickson said his kisses on both cheeks were always special, prickly mustache and all.

“He really didn’t quite know how to relate to small children, so he made up for it by giving us something,” McConkey-Hendrickson said. “He jingled the silver dollars in his pocket, and when we were ready to go home, he would give us each a silver dollar. On the way home, I felt so rich.”

Some mystique does follow Gilbert, as great-granddaughter Kathleen McConkey-Kulland describes in Cumtux: “ A story that I cannot verify is that he owned a fancy bar and brothel in Astoria on Astor Street (the local Red Light district), which included a trapdoor in the floor through which drunken men were dropped into waiting boats, and when they sobered up, they were aboard a ship at sea and were part of the ship’s crew.”

McConkey-Kulland said because of Gilbert’s love of French escargot, he imported the snails from Europe and kept them in little hutches behind his house.

“The hutches had wire screens and he fed them lettuce until they were big enough to eat,” McConkey-Kulland said. “Some of the eggs fell through the screens on to the ground and from there they multiplied and moved off.”

Gilbert owned 600 lots called “Hermosa Park Development” which stretched from Avenue A to the Lewis and Clark Salt Cairn, and from the river to the waterfront. He also owned much of the land that is now Sunset Hills. When Gilbert died on April 26, 1935, Seaside businesses closed from 9 to 10 a.m. during funeral services to honor him. He is buried in the Gilbert tier at the Abbey View Mausoleum at the Ocean View Cemetery in Warrenton.

Gilbert Inn Bed and Breakfast owner and operator Jeannie Vick said Gilbert had a getaway cabin in Seaside while he lived in Astoria, and later he and his wife, Emma, built the house that is the Gilbert Inn. The getaway cabin is still there, but hidden away inside the huge Inn.

As a child, Vick used to stay at the Gilbert Inn with her family who would make the trip to Seaside from Portland.

“My grandparents were good friends with Alex’s grandchildren,” Vick said. “It was just a beach house.”


100 Years Ago

(Created: Thursday, April 16, 2009 10:58 AM PDT)
100 years ago

April 17, 1909

Work on the two buildings in course of erection by Alex Gilbert has been somewhat delayed owing to the non-arrival of some of the lumber. Thursday, however, plenty of material was on hand, and further delays are not expected. The highest grade of fir is being used throughout, and both structures will reflect credit upon their owner.

About 30 Hungarians came down from Astoria Thursday en-route to Tillamook to work on the railroad grade. They took the “wallowby” route from this point.

Land, logged-off and brush land, as fertile and as favorable located, (within a few miles of Seaside), as any in Western Oregon, can be purchased cheaper than lands of the same quality can be had anywhere else on the Pacific Coast.

M.N. May will have a handsome home when it is completed, for no expense is being spared to make it attractive. The work of construction is progressing rapidly, and C.A. Brunold is installing modern plumbing from cellar to roof.

The Royal Bakery building is rapidly nearing completion and will add considerably to the value of property on Bridge Street. Mr. Menzel is to be congratulated for his enterprising spirit. His abundant faith in the present and future of Seaside is demonstrated in sensible and substantial manner.

Theodre Kingsley finished digging his potatoes this week. They are a fine lot, too, kept much better in the ground than they would if they had been dug last fall an stored in the cellar.