Between April and May, programming at the Cannon Beach Library changes noticeably. Soon the crush of tourism will impede the library’s ability to find vacant rooms for visiting authors and open parking for large audiences.
Although the Cannon Beach Reads group will continue monthly discussions of important books at 7 p.m. on every third Wednesday of the month, increased traffic on the North Coast encourages used book sales from the book sale room and two special holiday events: the Memorial Day Rare and Old Book Sale, May 25-27, and the library’s huge July Fourth Used Book Sale, July 4-7. Volunteers are sought to help with both sales.
Katie Voelke, director of the North Coast Land Conservancy (NCLC), will conclude this season’s World of Haystack Rock Lecture Series with “Conservation, Land, and Public Access: The Pros and Cons. Join the Discussion” at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 8, at the library, 131 N Hemlock St.
Voelke settled on Oregon’s North Coast with her husband Scott in 2003. Before joining the NCLC, she was a field worker with the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
In 2005 Voelke became NCLC’s first stewardship director, working with Executive Director Neal Maine. In 2008, she became executive director of NCLC. In addition to her administrative duties, Voelke continues collecting bugs with her three sons and hiking and camping with her family. Her presentation, the last in the World of Haystack Rock Lecture Series until the fall, is free and open to the public.
This column regularly comments on books discussed by Cannon Beach Reads or recently added to the library’s collection, books that serve to stimulate conversations and concern about perceived threats to our small chunk of paradise.
One such book was “Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism” by Elizabeth Becker. At the time when Cannon Beach Reads devoted a meeting to discussing “Overbooked,” city and county officials, business leaders, hotel managers and citizens worried about a housing deficit. “Overbooked” addressed many aspects of this civic conversation: livability, scale of housing, loss of a remembered past or lack of services for year-round residents.
Difficulty finding a parking spot, navigating downtown sidewalks and anticipating jaywalkers suggests that climate change, once again, came early to Cannon Beach. Becker’s analysis of tourism’s effects on popular destinations explained what occurred during April, the cruelest month on the North Coast, when spring brought far more than Gardenia, Magnolia and Azalea blooms to paradise. “Overbooked” makes readers hypersensitive to this shift to a shoulder-season population.
At 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 15., the Cannon Beach Reads group will discuss Jeff Goodell’s “The Water will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World”—another book that substantiates links between human activity and danger posed for those dangling their feet in rising tides while clinging to paradise.
As Goodell stresses, rising global temperatures and melting ice caps and mountain glaciers already send seawater into New York and Boston business districts and Native-American villages along the Pacific and
This year, the Northwest Authors Series at the Cannon Beach Library attracted record attendance for readings by North Coast and Oregon poets on Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings. Most recently Fisherpoet Clemens Starck of Dallas, accompanied by the music of fellow Fisherpoets Jon Broderick of Cannon Beach and Jay Speakman of Gearhart, presented a sampling of his poems to 40 people who found the library open after hours on Thursday evening, April 25.
Starck—a retired union carpenter, construction foreman and former merchant seaman—has published seven books of poetry. These include “Journeyman’s Wages,” which received the William Stafford Memorial Poetry Award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers and the Oregon Book Award for Poetry in 1996. “Cathedrals & Parking Lots,” his latest collection of poems, was published last fall.
The Northwest Authors Series returns to its regular schedule at the Cannon Beach Library at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 18, when Portland’s Kristina McMorris, a New York Times bestselling author, will read from and discuss “Sold on a Monday,” her latest novel.
In addition to “Sold on a Monday,” McMorris has published “Letters from Home,” “The Christmas Collector,” “Bridge of Scarlet Leaves,” “The Pieces We Keep,” “The Edge of Lost” and two anthologized novellas.
With an extensive background in public relations, event planning, film and television, McMorris hosted the WB’s weekly program “Weddings Portland Style” for six years and was a contributing writer for “Portland Bride & Groom” magazine.
“Sold on a Monday” was inspired by a 1948 newspaper photograph of a mother and four children sitting on a front porch with a sign reading “4 CHILDREN FOR SALE: INQUIRE WITHIN.”