Oct 232014

Restoring the Yachats River Covered Bridge

Restoring the Yachats River Covered Bridge
Ken Gagne photos

New, inside and out

New, inside and out

Pushing hard to finish on time.

Pushing hard to finish on time.

As you can see, the old Yachats River Covered Bridge is back to looking much like a restored version of its old self. They tore the old gal down to bare everything with only a wisp of two walls still standing. Workers went about restoring every square inch of the historical landmark to something like it’s original configuration.

The bridge was built originally in 1938 and was first restored in 1984. The current restoration began several months ago after a spirited disagreement between the county public works department and the adjacent property owner who claimed the bridge emptied out onto her private property. County Commissioners disagreed and said that the bridge touched a public road on the north side of the crossing and said the road extends past her house and up into the woods – even has a name as given decades ago – Forest Road 5590 which wound its way through woods, past several homes and a lumber handling area back in the days when there was lots of logging going on in the area.

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 Posted by at 2:51 PM
Oct 232014
Sandra Roumagoux

Sandra Roumagoux

The Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is hosting a Celebration of Women “Wine & Chocolate” event on Sunday, October 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Newport Performing Arts Center, 777 W Olive Street, Newport. In addition to wine and chocolate, light hors d’oeuvres will be available for purchase.

“Brava! Women in Theater” will present three vignettes coordinated by Akia Woods, and directed by Mary Eastman. Hosting the performances will be Cindy McConnell. Actresses will be Khlo Brateng, Bonnie Ross, Nikki Atkins, and Barbara Berge.

Many local women authors will have their books for sale and will also be available to autograph them. Women candidates for local offices will be present so that you can get to know them better. In addition to NOW, Altrusa, American Association of University Women (AAUW), and League of Women Voters (LWV) will have information available about their local organizations.
There will be a silent auction with many exciting donations to bid on. Among the items are artwork by several local artists, restaurant certificates, handcrafted jewelry, gift baskets, an excursion, and a variety of gift certificates.

One of the premier auction offerings is the painting “Ocean Cliffs-Lost Creek” by internationally-known artist and Newport Mayor Sandy Roumagoux. It is the only still available piece from a series of six paintings, one of which sold for $2,000. The work shows the fragility of the cliffs from sea waves and wind erosion on the Oregon Coast. The painting is currently available for viewing in the lobby of the Newport Performing Arts Center. It has an opening bid of $250.

Proceeds from the Celebration go towards Central Oregon Coast NOW’s various programs focused on helping women and girls achieve their full potential. Two projects are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), which partners with the school district to broaden the participation of girls and young women in STEM fields, and CourtWatch, which collects data and reports information about the local judicial system’s good practices and problems in domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking cases.
Celebration of Women highlights how Newport is rich in talent, organizations and businesses that support women. We invite you to come to the Celebration of Women to honor these achievements with “Wine & Chocolate”. If you need further information, please email centraloregoncoastnow@gmail.com or phone 541-614-4677.

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 Posted by at 11:39 AM
Oct 232014

Chris Burns - Fishing

Week of October 23rd

In the Creel: The rain may be keeping landlubbers indoors, but those who go out fishing are instead seeing the rain move a lot of fish into the rivers, and catch rates are going up. This is particularly true for the wild Coho run. Meanwhile, the ocean has been too rough for all but the hale and hearty; fishing offshore is reasonably problematic even on a ‘good’ day. Even the charter fleet has been mostly in port hoping for a break in the weather. Bottom fishing, though spotty due to poor sea conditions, may be picking up again; the winter bite can be red hot. Clammers are stuck with the lower low tides occurring after dark until next year, so not much effort recently, especially for razors. So, overall, we’re looking at a mixed creel this week, with Mother Nature in charge of affairs.

Salmon River: Fall Chinook fishing is fair to good with this week’s rain likely pushing a lot of fish out of tidewater. Casting lures or floating bait under a bobber should work well. Cutthroat trout fishing is fair through the mainstem with sea-run cutthroat found in the lower portion of the river.

Siletz River/Bay: Fall Chinook fishing is fair to good with anglers having success from the jaws all the way up to the deadline. Recent rains have pushed a lot of fish out of tidewater so anglers have a large fishing area to choose from. Trolling down low, bobber fishing or drifting down from the deadline should all produce through the weekend. The wild Coho fishery is producing good results with anglers catching fish around the mouth up to middle tidewater. Coho are also being caught above tidewater but to a lesser extent so far. Summer steelhead fishing is fair in the upper river above Moonshine Park. The cutthroat trout fishery is fair with sea-run cutthroat available throughout the mainstem. Using small presentations such as spinners, jigs under a bobber, or fly fishing can produce good results.

Yaquina River/Bay: Fall Chinook fishing is fair with anglers catching a few from around Sawyers Landing all the way to the head of tide near Elk City. Fish are in a variety of spawning stages but a good push of new bright fish is expected. Trolling herring, large spinners or bobber fishing on the incoming tide have been working, especially around slack tide. The wild Coho salmon fishery is fair with anglers having the best success in the lower river from Sawyers Landing up to the airport boat ramp. Trolling herring or spinners faster and higher in the water column than you would for Chinook is a good bet.
Cutthroat trout fishing is fair with sea-run cutthroat found in upper tidewater and in the lower portions of the Yaquina and Big Elk above the head of tide. Using small lures or fly fishing can be very productive as well as trolling near the head of tide.

Alsea River/Bay: The fall Chinook fishery has slowed down recently in tidewater but rain events this week will really improve the bite. Fishing the river above tidewater should be productive through the weekend. The wild Coho salmon fishery is producing fair to good results in the middle to lower bay and we should see improvement in the river above tidewater following this week’s rain. Sea-run cutthroat trout can be found in the lower to middle section of the mainstem. Resident cutthroat are spread out through the basin. The Alsea has many opportunities for bank fishing along Highway 34.

Central Coast Lakes: Rainbow trout fishing should pick up as water temperatures drop. However, Big Creek Reservoirs have not been stocked since June and there are no current restocking dates listed by ODFW, so the number of fish available may be limited.

Saltwater angling and shellfish harvesting…
Continue reading »

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 Posted by at 11:00 AM
Oct 232014

Chris Burns Weather

Thursday, October 23rd – Lincoln County

Summary: The Pineapple Express helped fuel intense rainfall along the Central Coast yesterday with amounts near predictions at 2-4”. The Valley got plenty, too, as record rainfall of 1.88” fell in Portland, breaking the old mark of 1.31” in 1951. The breeze was nothing to sneeze at, either. Yachats had a gust of 51 mph, it hit 52 mph on the Yaquina Bay Bridge and 71 mph at Mary’s Peak in the Coast Range. The thermometer topped out at about 60F and the wind settled down for a while in the afternoon, but returned sporadically in the evening and overnight. The steady rain turned to showers, but some were drenching. This morning, showers continued, it was windy at times and low temps were in the mid-50s.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust/Rain*…
Lincoln City: 59F/55F/40mph/2.22”
Depoe Bay: 59F/54F/38mph/2.67”
Newport: 59F/54F/41mph/3.75”
Waldport: 60F/54F/37mph/2.93”
Yachats: 61F/56F/51mph/3.15”

*Rainfall listed is for the past 24 hours, but overall storm totals surpassed 4.00” in some areas.

Forecast: The National Weather Service issued a new Special Weather Statement this morning for potential WON RAINstrong winds this weekend for Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon, including the Central Coast. A low pressure system is forecast to develop well off the Northern California coast Friday and move northeast toward the Oregon and Washington coasts and then inland on Saturday, possibly bringing high winds to the coast and even the Willamette Valley. If high winds do occur, they would knock down trees and cause power outages as well as make driving difficult particularly in high profile vehicles and on bridges and overpasses. At this time it looks like the highest winds would occur late Saturday afternoon and into the overnight hours.

Remnants of Hurricane Ana are involved in the weekend prognosis; right now, the storm is tracking toward the Northwest. Albeit Ana will lose its classification as a tropical storm, impacts for us could still be substantial.

For today, look for showers and a chance of thunderstorms, high about 60F and breezy. Mostly cloudy tonight, showers likely with lows of 50F. Steady rain returns tomorrow along with light east winds and the mercury just makes 60F. Outlook is for a storm to arrive Saturday with the potential for strong winds up to 60 mph, high surf and deluges of rain. Sunday and Monday, we’re down to a chance of showers again and a break from the intense weather systems. But that’ll be short-lived as the next storm arrives Monday night into Tuesday and then possibly yet another later in the week.

Travel: For all areas of Northwest Oregon, heavy rain showers may cause debris flows and localized flooding on streets, roads and highways. In the Coast Range today, showers, chance of thunderstorms and 55-60F. Valley destinations are expecting showers with highs of 60F. For the Cascades, showers; the snow level is at 6,500 feet. Snow is possible down to the highway passes late this weekend.

Marine: Seas have receded to 10-11 feet at 13 seconds this morning and winds are SSW 15-25 knots. As of 8:00am, WON SCADepoe Bay bar is closed to all recreational and uninspected passenger vessels. Yaquina Bay bar is closed to all recreational vessels 30 feet and less. A Small Craft Advisory for winds is in effect until 6:00pm. A Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas is up through late tonight. Today, expect SW winds 15 knots gusting to 25 and seas 9-10 feet at 12 seconds with showers and a chance of thunderstorms. The breeze eases to S 10-15 knots tonight and tomorrow, choppy seas about 9 feet. Outlook is for another storm Saturday with southerly gale-force winds rising to 25-30 knots gusting 35 or higher, seas building to 16 feet, and then up to 20 feet by Saturday night. Sunday and Monday we’ll be between systems so the wind drops to SW 10-15 knots with seas 12 feet subsiding to 7 feet. Next storm is on track for Monday night and Tuesday.

Notices to Mariners…
* The commercial fishing fleet is already gearing up for the opening of crab season in December. Operation Safe Crab is a coordinated effort to protect fishermen in the Oregon and Washington Dungeness Crab Fishery. Many unsafe conditions can be detected and corrected at the dock prior to a vessel getting underway. Fishing vessel safety examiners will be conducting voluntary safety checks and dockside examinations in Newport October 28th-31st and November 24th-26th.
* On October 20th, Oregon State University deployed four research buoys approximately 7 nautical miles SW of Yaquina Bay. For exact coordinates and more information, see the latest US Coast Guard Local Notice to Mariners.
* Yaquina Head light has been discontinued until December for a lighthouse restoration project.

On the Beach… Showery, breezy, surf 10-12 feet (high).
* Surf and wind may build to very high levels this weekend.
* Tides
10/23 Thu 12:18 PM 8.62 H
10/23 Thu 06:52 PM -0.02 L
10/24 Fri 01:17 AM 7.35 H
10/24 Fri 06:44 AM 2.26 L

In Short: Heavy showers, moderate winds, then continued stormy.

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 Posted by at 7:58 AM
Oct 232014
Is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security forcing the Coast Guard to shut down Newport helo base?

Is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security forcing the Coast Guard to shut down Newport helo base?

Commercial Fisherman and prominent Newport area figure Herb Goblirsch walked into the Lincoln County Commission meeting Wednesday morning and dropped a bomb on the place – a credible explanation on why the Coast Guard is so intent on closing down their Newport Air Helo Rescue base.

Goblirsch says his research shows that Congress went home without approving a Border Protection appropriation. Without funds from that appropriation to intercept tens of thousands of Latin American children at the border and tens of thousands more from other Central American countries, it is bankrupting the Department of Homeland Security border operations. Goblirsch says the Director of Homeland Security, who has enormous powers, raided the budgets of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Transportation Safety Administration AND THE COAST GUARD to the tune of $405 million dollars. Budgets approved last year for all three federal agencies have been thrown out the window and it appears there isn’t much anyone can do about it. Homeland Security has a lot of power.

Goblirsch said he attended this week’s Newport Town Hall Meeting dealing with the Coast Guard’s intended closing of the Newport helo air rescue operations. He told commissioners that he asked one of the coast guard brass where the two soon-to-be “homeless” air rescue choppers are being transferred to. Goblirsch said the response was, “Nowhere,” they’re being de-commissioned.” Goblirsch said that leaves just three Coast Guard Air Rescue helos to patrol the entire Oregon Coast. Three.

And of course each county commissioner could do the math. If one helo has a mechanical problem, you’re down to two. If the weather is bad where another one is based, you’re down to 1. Which is like no coverage at all.

The numbers are clear. The situation is beyond outrage. This is the richest country on Earth and we’re told, in so many words, that people will just have to start dying because the federal government can’t seem to figure out how to properly run the country.

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 Posted by at 12:07 AM
Oct 222014
A 500 ton lift has been approved for the Port of Toledo - a total game changer for the facility and likely to become a big family wage job creator.

A 600 ton lift is being sought for the Port of Toledo – a total game changer for the facility and to become a big family wage job creator.

Port of Commissioners Tuesday evening decided they have a long way to go and a short time to get there. So they’re puttin’ the pedal to the metal to get their Yaquina Boat Works property ready for their new 600 ton boat lift which arrives next Spring. But before it does, the port will have to completely redo the Yaquina Boat Works itself. They’ll have to relocate the existing dry dock, remove the dry dock piers, relocate the wash system, build a new haul out pier system for the lift and lots more.

To get all that done, and all the in-water work completed before next February 15th, they’re going to have to really hustle. And hustle SMART!

The tight timeline and tight margins prompted Toledo Port Commissioners and Port Manager Bud Shoemake to pursue what’s called a “design build” process. A designed build project has a lot of competitive bidding by subcontractors but the leadership comes from someone who may not have been the cheapest. He or she will simply be the best in the opinion of port commissioners and Shoemake. Design Build asks the question, “Who better to coordinate the construction than those who designed the project?”

The commission this week decided to put out a “Request for Proposals” to get several firms to propose competent “fast-tracking” of the project.

The port set the deadline for the RFP’s for November 10th with the bid award for November 15th. All in-water must be complete by February 15th.

Port officials say the star of the show, the 600 ton lift, will arrive late next spring. But it’ll arrive not quite fully assembled. That will take some time, as well as for training the lift operators.

Port officials say with a 600 ton lift there were be very few fishing boats in the U.S. or Alaskan fleets that can’t be worked on at Toledo’s Yaquina Boat Works. It’s a complete game changer – a huge economic boost for the regional economy. Shoemake predicts it will provide many partnering and other mutually beneficial relationships between the Port of Newport and the Port of Toledo along with other local boat works companies. And these new relationships will begin growing more and more family wages jobs that the area is starved for.

The first customer fishing vessel arriving at the Port of Toledo’s Yaquina Boat Works should be lifted up out of the water by next fall. Shoemake says the boat works should be able to work on nine boats at a time, once they get the routine down.

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 Posted by at 11:04 PM
Oct 222014
Trinity guard rail that has failed safety tests, impaled drivers and severed limbs.  ODOT evaluating the situation.

Trinity guard rail that has failed safety tests, impaled drivers and severed limbs. ODOT evaluating the situation.

A $175 Million dollar lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Texas against Trinity Highway Products for allegedly inappropriately changing the design of their company’s common guard rail “heads,” a change which now causes them to fail. Trinity’s guard rail heads were originally designed to collapse when hit, while hanging onto the car so it doesn’t go back into traffic.

There are thought to be 900 such guard rail “headers” along Oregon Highways.

ODOT says they’re going by what the Federal Highway Administration is saying – they’re not approving any new Trinity product until they re-test them and verify they works as claimed. Latest crashes show that the header doesn’t collapse – rather, it sends the guard rail straight into the vehicle and kills and maims people inside.

The story is in the Oregon. Click here.

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 Posted by at 8:22 PM
Oct 222014
Lincoln City City Council Archive photo

Lincoln City City Council
Archive photo

marijuana plant wiki

marijuana plant

The Lincoln City Council seems poised to enact a sales tax on both recreational marijuana (if it’s approved at the polls) as well as medical marijuana which is already legal to sell in Oregon. The federal government, on paper, disagrees, but that’s another story.

The council Monday night will be considering a new city law that places a 5% sales tax on the sale of medical marijuana, or medical marijuana-infused products, to marijuana card holders within the city limits of Lincoln City. In addition, the council is pondering whether to place a 10% sales tax on recreational marijuana and marijuana-infused products sold within the city limits of Lincoln City.

Before the city council makes a decision, councilors would like to hear from the public – get their take on it.

Many Oregon cities and counties are racing to get their new marijuana sales tax laws on the books. They’re trying to beat the state to the punch in that the voter initiative bans local taxes on marijuana, requiring that all possible taxes on marijuana be handled by the state – reflecting how it’s already done with liquor. State liquor stores tax liquor and then return some of the collected revenue to local cities and counties in which the sales were made. Cities and counties with their new sales tax laws would mean that all the revenue they collect they keep.

What’s different about Lincoln City’s tax plan is that they’re taxing medical marijuana – something many cities and counties have decline to do since medical marijuana is legally medicine under Oregon law. The arguments goes ‘unless you’re going tax all medicines, you shouldn’t be taxing medical marijuana. That’s basically discrimination.’

At any rate, the Lincoln City Council wants to hear from Lincoln City residents or about how they feel about the new tax being levied on marijuana – either recreational OR medical. The council convenes Monday night, October 27th, 6pm at Lincoln City City Hall, third floor. Go all the way down to left to the council chambers.

The council is meeting on October 27th to debate the issue because it’ll be the last city council meeting they can pass their marijuana tax and have it take effect before the voters pass recreational marijuana November 4th – that is – if they pass it.

The city council meeting begins 6pm, Monday, October 27th, third floor of city hall. When you get off the elevator and go inside, when you get to the really long hallway, turn left and go to the end. And don’t forget to sign up to speak to the council.

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 Posted by at 7:12 PM
Oct 222014
Steve Boynton Superintendent of Schools

Steve Boynton
Superintendent of Schools

Lincoln County Schools Superintendent Steve Boynton, probably still with some ringing in his ears from protest outcries and exclamations of misunderstanding from teachers, parents and maybe some students, Wednesday tried to set things straight about what is, and what is not going on, with rearranging schools county-wide to add full-day Kindergarten district-wide.

Boyton said the impressions that were migrating around the district about school changes to accommodate all day kindergarten, were very premature. He said everything is still in the talking stages. Any “near” final plan will have to go before the school board which will hold its own public hearings to get reaction from teachers, parents and citizens. In the meantime, there are public meetings scheduled to begin talking with teachers, parents and residents about all day kindergarten, what effects it may have on schools, bus routes and daily work loads for teachers and students.

In Lincoln City, public meetings are scheduled for:
* Wednesday, October 29, 6pm at Oceanlake School,
* Tuesday, November 4th, 6pm, Taft Elementary,
* Thursday, November 13, 6pm at Taft High

In Newport, a public meeting is set for:
* Wednesday, October 29th, 7pm, Newport High School Library (Boone Center)

The big push for all day kindergarten is coming largely from the Oregon Department of Education which wants to do something about Oregon’s low achievement scores among young learners. Boynton says a large portion of students entering first grade simply aren’t prepared. It shows, he says, that half-day kindergarten just isn’t getting the job done. So the state is implementing full-day kindergarten with strings and “some” money attached. That money will pay for extra teachers and teaching materials – but that’s about it.

So that’s the dilemma.

Boynton told reporters that there are some minor funds for making a few building changes, but not much more than that.

The upshot is that the only way to get more classroom space is to reopen Yaquina View School. And that means groups and organizations that now use that space will have to move out. New kindergarten classes will also mean that the former Arcadia School in Toledo will likely have to be re-opened, displacing some organizations operating there. Boynton said accommodations can be made for the Christian School to give them more time to find another location. However, he said the child care center may have to move more quickly.

There are also some logistics to work out for Siletz and Toledo families who may be affected by efforts to accommodate all day kindergarten between their two communities. Siletz has a charter school.

Lincoln City’s adjustments MAY include redrawing student boundaries with some Oceanlake children being transferred to Taft Elementary. Taft Elementary would be remodeled somewhat to create new classrooms space. Then special program services that don’t require classrooms would be moved to Taft High.

That would leave Oceanlake having kindergarten through 2nd grade, Taft Elementary with grades 3-6, and the rest at Taft High 7-12.

Preliminary discussions for Newport show that Newport High is already busting at the seams. No room for anything else. That puts pressure on Newport Prep Junior High and Newport Middle School – the high achieving Isaak Newton Magnet School.

Boynton says preliminary discussions show that Yaquina View School would take kindergarten through 2nd grade, Sam Case would become 3rd through 5th grades, Newport Prep 6th through 8th, and what happens to the Isaak Newton Magnet Program at Newport Intermediate school is unknown at this point. Currently they take select students grades 6 through 8th. Again, Newport High’s status doesn’t change.

For Toledo, they’ll be back using some classroom space at Arcadia Elementary, which has been used by other groups since the school was closed. Those groups, as we mentioned earlier, will have to find spaces elsewhere in the area. Toledo enrollments have fallen a bit so the situation, says Boynton, is a little fluid. Still he says that Toledo Elementary will likely need some remodeling to handle at least some changes.

The new relationship between schools, no matter how it turns out, will require at least 13 new teachers added to the school district employee roster. Again, the State Education Department provides the money for that since they’re the ones pushing for expansion to all day kindergarten. However, there is no money for buildings or building remodels.

Boynton says no decisions have been made – the exploration of options is still ongoing. However, between public meetings along the way, including in front of the school board, it all should settle out by January 1st so the district can be ready for school, with full time kindergarten, by the opening bell of school next fall.

Boynton reminded reporters, parents and regular citizens that Oregon’s K-12 education is not performing well, according to national test scores. And that something must be done about it. And that “something” is the proven effects of all day kindergarten. It works. It gets children ready to say goodbye to mom and dad for a while, focus their learning about being with other people and friends, develop social skills and have times times during the day to work on numbers, words and rudimentary reading and arithmetic. Boynton says all day kindergarten gives students a one and a half year learning advantage all the way through school.

Boynton says the district will be open and transparent through the entire process. He says he welcomes comments and questions about any and all aspects on how the school district adds full day kindergarten to its curriculum. He can be reached at 541-265-4403, or you can email him at Steve.Boynton@Lincoln.K12.or.us.

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 Posted by at 3:20 PM
Oct 222014
Click ad for details

Click ad for details

Free hepatitis C screenings

Hepatitis C is on the rise, with about 3 million adults in the United States that are infected with the virus. Hepatitis C can cause liver damage and liver cancer if left untreated. Early treatment can prevent further damage.

Health care providers from Samaritan Infectious Disease will offer free screenings for hepatitis C on Thursday, Nov. 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital.

Sugat Patel, MD, of Samaritan Infectious Disease, will speak about the importance of testing for hepatitis C. His team will offer testing at no charge while testing supplies last. Testing kits were provided by Samaritan Community Benefit Funds.

To reserve your space, register on line at SamHealth.org/BeHealthy or calling 541-768-4887.

Optional free HIV testing will also be offered.

The event is part of the Healthy Minds, Health Bodies seminar series offered through Samaritan Health Services. Healthy refreshments will be provided.

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 Posted by at 1:16 PM