Nov 252014
 
Lawsuit filed to keep Coast Guard Air Rescue in operations from Newport

Lawsuit filed to keep Coast Guard Air Rescue in operations from Newport

A noted maritime attorney out of Portland today painted a very encouraging picture for those trying to stop the Coast Guard from pulling their air rescue helicopter out of Newport.

Attorney Mike Haglund said under federal law, the policies of the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Department of Homeland Security, what the guard did by merely announcing a departure date from Newport, without any explanation or going through required procedures, was illegal. Haglund said the guard violated federal statutes dealing with Homeland Security provisions, the National Environmental Policy Act and under its own policies to protect the public.

Haglund said that the request for an injunction against the Coast Guard action at the Newport Airport will take the better part of a week to ten days to play out. He said copies of legal papers requesting the injunction will be forwarded to the U.S. Attorney in Portland. The U.S. Attorney will be compelled to respond promptly and appear in federal court in Eugene during the week of December 7th to answer complaints by those bringing the lawsuit: Newport Fishermen’s Wives, the Port of Newport, the City of Newport, Lincoln County Commission and the North Lincoln Fire Protection District.

Haglund said he feels confident that the court will take very seriously the complaints addressing the criteria for winning an immediate injunction in federal court:
1) That the complaints will likely prove true and prevail on their merits in a trial.
2) That when the Coast Guard was placed under the Department of Homeland Security it’s primary mission of search and rescue was to continue and not be degraded, which it will be if the Newport base closure order stands.
3) That there will be irreparable harm done by the action of the base closure which is well documented in light of what a resultling two hour rescue window will do to people in the cold waters off the Oregon Coast. Rescue missions will often become body retrieval operations.
4) That the loss of human life that such an action will cause overrides the Coast Guard’s desire to save money. Haglund says a clear assessment under the court’s provision of a “balance of hardship” favors keeping the helo base open.

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Haglund went into detail about the provisions of the Federal National Environmental Policy Act and how it will play a big part in courtroom testimony. Haglund said that local, state and federal government agencies, including the Coast Guard, must justify major actions or changes of levels of service to the environment, of which human beings are a part. Haglund said this is not the first time that the Coast Guard has been sued in court for failing to fulfill the requirements of NEPA. Haglund says the Coast Guard Commandant has provided no information, returned no phone calls and made no comments beyond what was included in the short letter to local Lincoln County governments that the Coast Guard is leaving. The only other communication was the postponement of the base closure until December 15th.

Haglund said if ordered by the court to follow NEPA and Homeland Security provisions, the process of investigating everything associated with the base closure would take up to 9 months, which would give the Oregon Congressional Delegation enough time to turn things around, budget-wize, for the Coast Guard so it can no longer justify the closure of the base. The South Carolina Congressional delegation is also trying to stop the Coast Guard from closing a base on their coast.

So, to sum up, everyone is expected to be in federal court in Eugene the week of December 7th. Haglund says Judge Michael McShane knows that the Coast Guard has a self-imposed December 15th deadline to close the helo base, so he expects Judge McShane will waste little time in making a ruling on whether to order the Coast Guard to back off and do it’s homework while the Oregon delegation in Washington continues to do their homework on the federal budget.

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 Posted by at 5:03 PM
Nov 252014
 
American Legion Thanksgiving spread...free!

American Legion Thanksgiving spread…free!

The American Legion, Newport Post 116, will be hosting their Annual FREE Thanksgiving Dinner for any who would like to join us on Thanksgiving Day, November 27th, from 12 Noon to 4 P.M at 424 West Olive in Newport.

We will also be providing home delivery if you are unable to come to the Post to dine with us.  Please call and make your delivery reservation no later than Wednesday, November 26th. Call 541-265-9017.
 
Jerry Flores
Commander

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 Posted by at 4:47 PM
Nov 252014
 
Toledo Police 我們不一定總是講這種語言,但我們還是把工作完成! From Mandarin Chinese:  "We may not always speak the language but we still get the job done."

Toledo Police
我們不一定總是講這種語言,但我們還是把工作完成!
From Mandarin Chinese: “We may not always speak the language but we still get the job done.”

This week Toledo Police Officers were dispatched to a possible DUII driver heading westbound on Highway 20 near Pioneer Mountain loop. A witness said that a white van was failing to maintain a lane, varying in speeds and was obstructing ten to fifteen cars behind it.

The officers intercepted the van at the Toledo West Junction and attempted to pull the vehicle over at Mile Post 5. The vehicle failed to pull over. A slow pursuit was initiated. The vehicle maintained speeds of 35 to 45 mph. At two miles east of Newport the van finally pulled over onto the right shoulder. A Toledo Police Officer pulled in behind the van and shined his spotlight into the van’s driver side mirror. The officer then proceeded to get out of his patrol car when suddenly the van got back onto the highway. When the officer caught back up the van had resumed a constant speed of 45 mph.

As the officers were approaching Newport they were advised that Newport Police were near Mile Post 1 with spike strips. The strips were deployed and they disabled the van’s left front tire. The van eventually stopped on Highway 20 at SE Fogarty Street in Newport.

The driver was identified as a Chinese tourist who could not speak English. But he did present a Chinese driver’s license. A male passenger was able to translate to the officers. There were no signs of intoxication and they said they didn’t drink.

The passenger explained that there are three couples in the van and they had come to America to tour the West Coast. He also said they started in Seattle and were going to end their tour in Southern California stopping at Disneyland along the way.

The passenger said they were headed to the Elizabeth Inn in Newport for the night. He said they were unaware that the police were trying to pull them over. He said when they pulled over at Mile Post 2 they assumed, based on American Movies, that the police would get on a loudspeaker and tell them to pull over. When the police didn’t, they thought it was okay to keep driving.

The somewhat amused officers explained the law enforcement customs and protocols when driving in the U.S.

The officers did not issue a citation. In fact they assisted with changing the tire and released the Chinese tourists to enjoy the rest of their trip in America.

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 Posted by at 3:47 PM
Nov 252014
 

Crab boats off South Beach last winter... Julie Sacchetti

Crab boats off South Beach last winter…
Julie Sacchetti


Dungeness Crab season starts Monday morning at 9am.

Dungeness Crab season starts Monday morning at 9am.

Gentlemen! Start your hoist engines!!

Between now and December first commercial fishing boats filled with crab pots will be heading out to sea from a number of Oregon coast towns and hamlets, all aboard to be out there for the starting gun of the crabbing season. It’ll come at 9am, Monday morning, December 1st.

With crab prices skyrocketing over the past few years, there’s huge money to be made for those who know where to drop their pots and how to get ‘em back fast to the beach overflowing with Dungeness beauties.

In 2009-10, crab prices were well under $2 a pound on. But last crab season, prices roared back and forth across the four and five dollar a pound lines making for some really happy fisher families.

This year’s on-time start of December first bodes well for the catch because samplings by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife show that the crabs are fat and good size. It’ll make for a great start of the season. Typically crab season runs hot and heavy for a couple of months then begins to slack off as other fisheries come up on the calendar at the end of winter and into Spring.

barrel banner 10-3-14

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 Posted by at 3:33 PM
Nov 252014
 

Girl Scouts, Yo-Pro's, big wigs from the chamber and a hungry mass of senior celebrants = a really good time!!!

Girl Scouts, Yo-Pro’s, big wigs from the chamber and a hungry mass of senior celebrants = a really good time!!!

Nuthin' yummier...fourths please!!!

Nuthin’ yummier…fourths please!!!

Lorna Davis and her troops makes it all look so eeeezy!

Lorna Davis and her troops makes it all look so eeeezy!

Future citizens practicing the finer things that nurture worthwhile communities!

Future citizens practicing the finer things that nurture worthwhile communities!

The Newport 60+ hosted a complete Thanksgiving Meal this week. The Mojo behind the delectable meal was the energetic Yo’Pro’s (young professionals) associated with the Newport Chamber of Commerce. The Chambers Director, Lorna Davis, also displayed honed kitchen savvy.

The team prepared a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal. Some were asking which cooking school these chefs were from. The meal was that good!

52 Meals on Wheels were delivered to homebound seniors by volunteers. The dining room was packed at both the noon and 2 pm seating. Over 170 meals were served by the delightful Girl Scout troop. They delivered dinner, salad and desserts. They served milk, juice and coffee. The dining room tables were adorned with the scouts artistic harvest designed placemats. The Toledo troop even entertained the diners with song!

The Friends of the Newport Senior Center, a (501C3), and the Newport Senior Center Association purchased the food this year. This event is looking for permanent donations to financially support the dinner. If you might be interested in finding out more please contact Peggy O’Callaghan at 541-574- 5459. The donation would be tax deductible.

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 Posted by at 3:29 PM
Nov 252014
 
It's safe to go back into the water - wetsuit recommended, however.

It’s safe to go back into the water – wetsuit recommended, however.

From Oregon Health Authority -

The Oregon Health Authority has lifted a health advisory issued August 1 for Devils Lake, in Lincoln City in Lincoln County.

Water monitoring has confirmed reduced levels of blue-green algae and their toxins. These reduced levels are not likely to be harmful to humans and animals.
Oregon health officials advise people who use Oregon water bodies for recreation to always be alert to signs of harmful algae blooms. People and their pets should avoid contact if the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish-red in color, or if the water has a thick mat of algae with an unpleasant odor.

For local information about water quality or blue-green algae sampling, contact the Devils Lake Water Improvement District office at 541-944-5330. For drinking water information, contact your local drinking water treatment facility. For health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms, or to ask questions about a news release, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0400. For information about advisories issued or lifted for the season, call the Oregon Public Health toll-free information line at 1-877-290-6767 or visit the Harmful Algae Bloom website at www.healthoregon.org/hab and select “Algae Bloom Advisories.”

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 Posted by at 1:41 PM
Nov 252014
 

Over two tons of food donated to Food Share

Over two tons of food donated to Food Share

Food to be distributed throughout the county in time for Turkey Day

Food to be distributed throughout the county in time for Turkey Day

Thriftway Helps “Bag Local Hunger”

Thriftway stores in Newport, Lincoln Beach and Toledo joined together this month to Bag Local Hunger in Lincoln County. The three week event raised 4,344 pounds of food for emergency programs throughout the community.

“Although pantries and hot meal sites operate year-round, the need for food assistance increases in the winter months, when seasonal work decreases and the holidays are upon us”, states Nancy Mitchell, Executive Director.

Food Share’s network of partner agencies provides emergency food and hot meals to over 1800 families each month. “We’re grateful for the support of our community Thriftway stores, local shoppers, and for other generous partners such as Bigfoot Beverages, who transported the food to Food Share for distribution to multiple agencies.”

For more information regarding Food Share of Lincoln County, call 541-265-8578 or go online to www.foodsharelincolncounty.org.

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 Posted by at 12:27 PM
Nov 252014
 

12:02pm
North Lincoln Fire is enroute to a report of a dumpster fire at Water’s Edge Condos at 5201 SW 101. Heavy smoke in the area.

12:03pm
First fire unit on scene says flames coming out of the dumpster.

12:05pm
Fire is building, consuming plastic recycling bins.

12:15pm
Fire’s out.

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 Posted by at 12:04 PM
Nov 252014
 

Chris Burns Weather

Tuesday, Nov. 25th – Lincoln County

Summary: Yesterday tracked on the forecast with a little sunshine in the morning and rain developing between lunch and dinner. About a quarter inch of precipitation was accompanied by sou’westers 15-25 mph with a few higher gusts and the thermometer was in the upper-50s. Yachats pulled off a trifecta with the most rain, the highest wind gust and the warmest temperature. The steady rain turned to showers in the late evening and continued dripping on us through the night. Low temps were little different from the highs. This morning it was cloudy, showery, foggy in spots and the southwest wind was still gusting 20-25 mph.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust/Rain…
Lincoln City: 58F/49F/22mph/0.16”
Depoe Bay: 57F/48F/31mph/0.25”
Newport: 55F/45F/31mph/0.17”
Waldport: 58F/46F/24mph/0.17”
Yachats: 59F/49F/36mph/0.33”

Forecast: Your turkey’s feathers should start to dry out later today as rain diminishes and the breeze eases with highs of 55-60F. Areas of fog are expected to develop this afternoon and tonight under mostly cloudy skies, the mercury settles to a low of about 50F. Tomorrow is projected to be WON SHOWERSmainly dry with a high near 60F and light winds.

Thanksgiving Holiday Period… So you don’t have to pluck wet feathers, coax the bird into the coop by tomorrow night before rain returns. Windy and rainy on Thanksgiving Day, and then more rain is likely through Sunday, highs of 50-55F, lows near 45F.

Travel: In the Coast Range today, a chance of rain with 50-55F. Valley destinations are also expecting some rain and highs of 55-60F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast is rain with temps near 55F. For the Cascades, rainy and breezy; the snow level is at 8,000 feet.

Outlook for Holiday Travelers… Rainy with wet pavement Wednesday night through Sunday night at the lower elevations. Spots of ice are possible in the Coast Range Saturday night and Sunday night. The Gorge may also have icy areas Saturday through Sunday. Cascade highways should be wet until sometime Saturday when the snow level plummets to 3,000 feet and then snow remains likely through Sunday night. Carry chains or traction tires, and be prepared to use them.

Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 13”, a loss of 2” since yesterday; an overall gain of 7″ during the past seven days.

Ski Report – New Snow/Base/Condition…
Hoodoo 0”/3”/Closed
Willamette Pass 0”/6”/Closed
Mt. Bachelor 0”/21”/Open, packed powder
Mt. Hood Ski Bowl 6”/18”/Tubing Hill open Thu-Sun
Mt. Hood Meadows 10”/19”/Open Fri-Sun
Timberline 7”/17”/Closed

Marine: Rough seas continue this morning, 10 feet at 8 seconds, and winds are SSW 15-20 knots gusting to 25. A WON SCASmall Craft Advisory for hazardous seas is in effect until 9:00am. Seas are expected to subside to 8 feet and lengthen to 13 seconds later today; SW winds should be fairly steady around 15 knots with gusts to 20. Ditto tonight. Tomorrow and Thursday, another weather system impacts local waters producing a southerly breeze of 20-25 knots gusting 30 with seas 7 feet building to 10 feet on Thanksgiving Day. Outlook is for W wind 20-25 knots on Friday; swells 10 feet. An easterly breeze of 10-15 knots and seas about 8 feet are predicted for Saturday.

On the Beach… Showers, breezy, surf 8-10 feet (moderate).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
* Tides
11/25 Tue 07:25 AM 3.27 L
11/25 Tue 01:20 PM 9.22 H
11/25 Tue 08:19 PM -1.07 L
11/26 Wed 03:09 AM 7.58 H

In Short: Showers ending, moderate winds, drying, patchy fog, then rain returning.

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 Posted by at 7:30 AM
Nov 252014
 
Coast Guard Air Rescue Helo

Coast Guard Air Rescue Helo

News Conference – public invited: Newport City Hall, City Council Chambers
1pm, Tuesday

Fishermen’s Wives, Lincoln County, the City of Newport, and the Port of Newport have joined in a lawsuit to stop the Coast Guard from closing down their air rescue helicopter facility at the Newport Airport. They’re filing the request for an injuction tomorrow, Tuesday, in Federal Court in Eugene.

The lawsuit will ask a federal judge to put a hold on the closure until the Coast Guard goes through all the legal steps required before they can take such action. The lawsuit adds that one of those steps is to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that takes into account all the impacts that such a base closure would create – something the Coast Guard has not done. In short, a letter to the community saying goodbye doesn’t cut it.

Unless otherwise exempted, the Coast Guard must comply with the NEPA requirements. Fishermen’s Wives attorney Michael Haglund, a well known maritime attorney in Portland says, this is not the first time the Coast Guard has been caught trying to cut corners on an important decision. He says the only exemption from complying with NEPA is if it’s specifically stated in an appropriations bill, which does not exist in this case.

Haglund says there are hundreds of legal cases in which the Forest Service, the BLM, the military and other federal agencies, have been stopped from taking certain actions because to do so would violate NEPA provisions. Haglund says he fully expects the federal judge to issue a court order to cease facility shutdown proceedings until the NEPA requirements are fulfilled and fulfilled properly. Haglund added that the process would take at least six months which will allow enough time for Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to take the situation to Congress and find the money to keep the base open. A similar request is being sought by the state of South Carolina which is also protesting a similar closure of a Coast Guard facility on its coast.

Many Central Coast communities have protested the impending shut down of the helo station. Anyone falling overboard from a commercial or charter fishing boat, from a cliff or simply swept out in a rip current would face a near-certain death sentence because of the time it takes for a Coast Guard motor lifeboat to get to them. Without the air rescue capabilities which can pluck victims from the cold waters off the Oregon Coast, or to lower a water pump down to a leaking vessel to keep it afloat until it reaches port, lives and property would be lost as a matter of routine. Insurance rates for fishermen and other marine related activities would rise substantially in light of a near-complete abandonment of the Coast Guard’s rapid response mission to protect the coast and all those who live along it or make their living just offshore.

These and other points would have to be evaluated and proper attention paid to them before an agency could act on a closure as contemplated by the Coast Guard.

The filing of the request for an injunction against the Coast Guard will occur Tuesday morning at the Federal Courthouse in Eugene, followed by a news conference at the Newport City Council chambers Tuesday afternoon at 1pm.

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 Posted by at 2:19 AM