Jul 312014
Sen. Jeff Merkley D-Oregon Senate GOP holds back his bill to bring jobs back from overseas.

Sen. Jeff Merkley
Senate GOP holds back his bill to bring jobs back from overseas.

WASHINGTON – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement today after a Senate minority voted to filibuster the Bring Jobs Home Act, which would end tax subsidies for companies that ship jobs overseas and reward companies that bring jobs back home. Merkley is an original cosponsor of the bill.

“This bill is a no-brainer: When so many Americans are seeking good-paying jobs, why would we subsidize the export of our jobs overseas? Instead, we should be rewarding companies for moving their jobs back to U.S. soil – which is exactly what this bill does. It’s incredibly frustrating that a minority of Senators are blocking this common-sense measure. In Oregon, manufacturing is the backbone of our state’s economy. If we don’t make things in America, we won’t have a middle class in America.

“In blue-collar neighborhoods like the one where I live, a good job can make or break a family’s success. That’s exactly why we need to do everything we can to keep and create good, living-wage jobs here in America. I’ll keep urging my colleagues to pass the Bring Jobs Home Act because this bill goes straight to the success of our families and our entire middle class.”

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 Posted by at 12:02 AM
Jul 302014
Sunset a la Yachats Ken Gagne photo

Sunset a la Yachats
Ken Gagne photo

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 Posted by at 11:17 PM
Jul 302014

A med-evac medical crew aboard a REACH helicopter landed in the baseball field behind Newport’s main fire station Wednesday. The blades of the big red bird had barely stopped turning when a fast-paced training session broke out. They were there to learn as much as they could, as quickly as they could, because you never know when another cry for help for a REACH rescue might come crackling from the radio.

Usually REACH crews and firefighters are too busy handling a bad wreck or other emergency to do much talking or share notes on where ground rescue ends and airborne evacuation begins. But they sure got a chance Wednesday evening.

Veteran volunteers and some of the newer ones got it straight and to the point from the REACH flight crew, what is needed at a traffic crash or fire and how best to work with the REACH crew so they can get in and out fast to increase the chance of survival for the victims.

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 Posted by at 10:35 PM
Jul 302014

6:37pm Possible surfer in distress off the Newport South Jetty. Reporting party says a windsurfer board is adrift with no sign of its rider. Party says has been watching for about 20 or so minutes.

Firefighters combing the area.

6:50pm Windsurfer is safe and sound. Not in distress.

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 Posted by at 6:39 PM
Jul 302014
Devil's Punchbowl - inside Steve Power

Devil’s Punchbowl – inside
Steve Power

Steve Power is not satisfied with photographing the incredible power of the sea at Devil’s Punchbowl. He wants to show us the inner machinery that produces such spectacular water shows to those above.

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 Posted by at 6:19 PM
Jul 302014

Cascade Head Archive photo

Cascade Head
Archive photo

Cascade Head Courtesy photo

Cascade Head
Courtesy photo

The Nature Conservancy invites anyone interested in preserving Cascade Head Preserve to participate in a volunteer work party taking place on Saturday & Sunday, August 23rd – 24th. Located near Lincoln City, Cascade Head is a coastal promontory overlooking the Pacific Ocean that provides critical habitat for native prairie grasses, rare wildflowers, the threatened Oregon Silverspot butterfly and the Cascade Head catchfly.

On Saturday, we will work a full day removing Queen Anne’s lace on the pinnacle. On Sunday, we will work a half day performing trail work. The work party includes a four to five-mile roundtrip hike with elevation gain and may require volunteers to hike off trail and stand on uneven ground while working. Please bring hiking shoes, a daypack, lunch and snacks, a full water bottle, layers of clothing to be prepared for any weather–including raingear and a hat and sunscreen. Also bring gloves, if you have them–if not, we have gloves for you to borrow.

Registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact (503) 802-8100, orvolunteers@tnc.org or the alternate contact; Debbie Pickering at (541) 994-5564.

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 Posted by at 6:02 PM
Jul 302014

Drone Videographer Ed McVea happened to catch a few Orcas rummaging about the bay in search of something that’s usually high on their grocery list – sea lions. There was no indication that they managed to bag any. But you never know.

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 Posted by at 4:59 PM
Jul 302014

Terry Thompson, Chair Lincoln County Commission

Terry Thompson, Chair
Lincoln County Commission

Wind Farm proposed off Coos Bay - A clear threat to commercial fishing say fishermen...

Wind Farm proposed off Coos Bay – A clear threat to commercial fishing say fishermen…

The Lincoln County Commission and Oregon Coast commercial and recreation fishers are in “yell mode” over federal plans to approve a giant wind energy farm 16 miles off Coos Bay. They say the Wind Float/Principle Power project would dramatically affect the Whiting fishery along the Oregon Coast – one of the more lucrative fisheries for the Oregon Coast economy.

A Lincoln County Commission protest letter was sent out today asking the federal agency in charge of the process to back off and start the permitting process over, mainly because the agency moved ahead without adequately consulting Oregon’s fishing industry and other related interests. Commission Chair Terry Thompson, himself a commercial fisherman, said the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) did not do its homework in siting the proposed Wind Float project because if they had they would have realized that it’s right on top of one of the most strategic fishing areas off the Oregon Coast. Thompson told News Lincoln County that “It’s not too late to do this right. There are areas where the wind farm could be placed that doesn’t hurt the fishing industry.”

Thompson said the commission asked BOEM to do ALL the research necessary to ensure that wind energy interests are not given the impression that everything is moving along fine only to learn later that it’s not. Thompson said the focus should be on a thorough process, with everyone at the table, so everybody gets it right the first time.

Thompson said the protest letter was sent to BOEM and to U.S. Senators Wyden and Merkley and to Congressman Kurt Schrader.

Thompson says the permitting process for the Wind Float project could take up to three years to complete so there is plenty of time to do a better job of figuring out where the project should be located.

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 Posted by at 4:26 PM
Jul 302014
Lincoln County Animal Shelter

Lincoln County Animal Shelter, 541-265-6610

Found female beagle, older, mile 2.5 Hwy 34. Has collar but no tags. Is micro-chipped but have been unable to reach owner. Maybe vacationing in area? Dog in good shape and hasn’t missed many meals. She’s safe with us for now. Owners can call Animal Control in Newport and get our contact information.

Lincoln County Animal Shelter: 541-265-6610

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 Posted by at 2:04 PM
Jul 302014
Speed Advisory Signs Helps traffic slow down well ahead of a traffic issue.

Speed Advisory Signs
Helps traffic slow down well ahead of a traffic issue.

ODOT will activate 17 new advisory speed signs on southbound Interstate 5 and southbound Interstate 405 Thursday July 31, the next in a series of projects using new technologies to provide real time information to drivers so they’re not rear ending each other entering or leaving the downtown area.

The advisory speed signs, part of ODOT’s new RealTime technologies, will display an advisory speed when weather, congestion, a crash, a stall or other obstruction slows traffic.

The signs will give drivers a heads-up to slow down before they reach a problem area, helping reduce rear-end crashes and the congestion they cause. As traffic slows, the signs will display a lower advised speed. The advised speed will continue to decrease as drivers approach the backup.

Advisory Sign Locations

Advisory Sign Locations

The signs are along southbound Interstate 5, from the Marquam Bridge to the Ross Island Bridge, and along southbound Interstate 405 approaching the intersection with I-5. ODOT chose the I-5/I-405 area south of downtown Portland because it’s particularly prone to rear-end crashes. Rear-end crashes most commonly take place when motorists unexpectedly encounter a line of vehicles slowed by congestion.

The advisory speed will be generated automatically by sensors in the road. The signs will go dark when not needed. Drivers will not be ticketed simply for exceeding the advisory speed. However, the Oregon Basic Rule still applies, which provides that drivers can be cited for driving recklessly or too fast for conditions, regardless of the speed limit.

Advisory speed signs are also part of the ODOT RealTime signs activated last week on OR 217.

National studies show that advisory speed signs have reduced overall crashes by 20 percent, reduced rear-end collisions by 30 percent and reduced secondary crashes by 40 percent.

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 Posted by at 9:21 AM