Apr 182015
Rep. Knute Buehler R-Bend

Rep. Knute Buehler

A bill by Central Oregon Rep. Knute Buehler to allow women quick access to birth control without a doctor’s prescription was derailed Friday in the state legislature and sent to a work group with Buehler leading it.

Buehler has pointed to California as already having a similar provision and the fact that national reproductive health care organizations fully endorse the move as giving women better access to birth control thereby avoiding any unintended pregnancies and the high costs of pregnancy care.

Buehler said he expects to re-introduce a similar bill in the 2016 legislative session.

 Posted by at 2:42 PM
Apr 182015
Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Little Leaguers take over fields in North County baseball

Lincoln City Youth League baseball action resumes Saturday at 9 a.m. at Kirtsis Park with competition at all levels all day long on all three fields of play.
For a look at Lincoln County Youth League action, go to SportsLincolnCounty.com or click here

 Posted by at 2:15 PM
Apr 182015

Fire aftermath at 437 NE 32nd.  Shows fire department's expert work at saving what was possible to be saved - especially with high winds.

Fire aftermath at 437 NE 32nd. Shows fire department’s expert work at saving what was possible to be saved – especially with high winds.

437 NE 32nd, Newport Ed McVea photo

437 NE 32nd, Newport
Ed McVea photo

Pacific Homes Beach Club Fire

Pacific Beach Club Fire
Jackie Meeds photo

Pacific Beach Club neighborhood...

Pacific Beach Club neighborhood…
Maggie McAfee photo

An unattended pot of boiling cooking oil flashed to flame late this afternoon at a home in Pacific Homes Beach Club off NE 32nd in Newport, and soon the whole modular home became a fireball.

An elderly couple, at 437 NE 32nd, was in another part of the home when a smoke alarm alerted them that there was a fire somewhere in the house. They walked in to the kitchen and saw the boiling oil fire igniting the kitchen cabinets. Both tried to put the fire out but by then it was too much for them. They grabbed the two dogs, called for the cat and immediately called the Newport Fire Department.

The fire department pulled up within a few minutes but the fire had gotten too much of a head start to save the home – not only the home but the attached garage.

Fire Chief Rob Murphy said his firefighters then turned their attention to the next door neighbors. Since their garage was attached to the garage of the burning home, it was already showing signs of igniting. Despite valiant efforts to save it the neighbor’s garage was also lost – but not the neighbor’s home. Firefighters managed to save it despite huge flames and intense heat.

After most of the fire was knocked down, firefighters cut their way into the neighbor’s outside wall that was exposed to the heat and flame to make sure the fire didn’t get inside the wall. Chief Murphy said they didn’t find any.

Chief Murphy said the couple were not injured and their two dogs are fine too. However, there were some anxious moments about the fate of their cat. A firefighter soon came around from the back of what was left of the home holding a sopping wet but quite-alive feline.

Chief Murphy said the moral of the story is that nothing should be left on a stove without somebody there to watch it – especially cooking oil. The lady of the house, he said, did not know that she had left the pot of oil on the burner.

Chief Murphy advises the public to also have the appropriate fire extinguisher for the kitchen at the ready in case something goes wrong. He said the homeowner appeared to have the right extinguisher but that the fire had already grown so large the woman just couldn’t keep up.

The one home and both garages, including their contents, were lost. But everybody got out okay. Both the fire victims and the neighbors have family in the area to take care of them until everything is sorted out.

 Posted by at 1:50 PM
Apr 182015

Chris Burns Weather

Saturday, Apr. 18th – Lincoln County

Summary: It was a bona fide sunshine gale yesterday (see Weather Factoid below) as north winds topped 40 mph along parts of the Central Coast; Waldport’s anemometer spun-up to 43 mph for the peak gust. Temperatures were mostly in the upper-50s albeit Lincoln City’s thermometer topped out at 63F for the highest reading. It was mainly clear, but there was haze over the beach in the afternoon and a few clouds appeared around sunset. Skies were mixed during the evening and overnight with some serious foggy spots developing early this morning dropping visibility to a quarter mile. At sunrise, patchy fog persisted but skies were blue above and the wind had fallen light.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust…
Lincoln City: 63F/48F/38mph
Depoe Bay: 56F/44F/32mph
Newport: 57F/39F/38mph
Waldport: 57F/43F/43mph
Yachats: 57F/44F/41mph

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Forecast: The sunshine gale scenario is expected to develop again today, so it’ll be a smidge breezy at times for the Depoe Bay Wooden Boat Show, Crab Feed and Ducky Derby, and for Lincoln City’s Devils Lake Paddle. The mercury should climb up WON SUN-WINDto 60F or better under mostly sunny skies. Clear tonight, breezy, and lows of 45-50F. Sunny again tomorrow but the wind is projected to be a little lighter while temps climb to 65F, maybe higher. Outlook is for sunshine and a northeast wind of just 5-10 mph on Monday; cooler with a high of 55-60F. Patchy fog and partly sunny Tuesday, followed by an overall change to damper weather Wednesday through Friday as the current pattern breaks down and minor fronts are allowed to bring a chance of showers in off the ocean. Temps for mid- to late-week are predicted to be 40F lows and 55F highs.

Travel: In the Coast Range today, mostly sunny with 65-75F. Valley destinations are expecting sunshine and a high of 75F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast calls for sunny skies, light east wind, temps near 75F. For the Cascades, there is bare pavement on the highway passes this morning, temperatures are 30-35F; sunny, the free air freezing level is 10,000 feet. Outlook for weekend travelers is dry roads tonight through Sunday night for all of Northwest Oregon including the Cascades where the freezing level will be around 11,000 feet.

Surface Rescue

Call or email George today!

Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 47”; a loss of 3” since yesterday; an overall gain of 6” in the past seven days; 68” less than this date last year; 86% below the 30-year average Snow Water Equivalent (total amount of moisture in the snow pack).

Ski Report – New Snow/Base/Condition…
Mt. Bachelor 0”/44”/firm packed
Mt. Hood Meadows 0”/31”/wax warm for spring skiing
Timberline 0”/73”/no report

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Marine: The N wind is still blowing like crazy this morning, 15-25 knots gusting 30, with seas 9-10 feet at 12-14 WON SCAseconds. A Small Craft Advisory for winds is in effect through tomorrow morning. The strong northerly is expected to stay up around 20-25 knots gusting 30 today, tonight and tomorrow, along with lumpy seas 7-9 feet and 6-7 foot windwaves. Outlook is for the N breeze to finally subside a bit on Monday, easing to 15-20 knots, and swells drop to 7 feet at 13 seconds. NW winds 15-20 knots on Tuesday, swells 8 feet, and then conditions ramp-up again Wednesday as the N wind returns at 20-25 knots and choppy seas rebuild to 10 feet. Always check the latest Bar Reports before you venture offshore.

On the Beach… Becoming sunny, very breezy, surf 6-8 feet (moderate).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
* Tides
04/18 Sat 06:36 AM -0.96 L
04/18 Sat 12:56 PM 8.08 H
04/18 Sat 06:40 PM 0.71 L
04/19 Sun 12:52 AM 9.42 H


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In Short: Clearing and windy, then continued clear, warmer and breezy.

Weather Factoid: So what’s causing these unusually strong winds during sunny weather? The hefty northerly breeze of the past few days is not related to a storm system. Normally when we get winds above 40 mph, it is due to a front on the leading edge of a Pacific weather disturbance. Right now, however, conditions are stable; and that’s where the rubber meets the road. The air from a strong high pressure center over the ocean is rushing in to fill the void left by very low pressure over Northwestern California and Southwestern Oregon. This low pressure is not the result of a storm system, but rather is caused by warm temperatures and rising air south of us. The highest winds, then, will blow during the warmest part of the day, i.e., afternoons and evenings. Because of their stability, these ‘sunshine gales’ can last for prolonged periods, sometimes a week or more.

 Posted by at 8:03 AM
Apr 182015

Chris Burns - Fishing

Week of April 16th

In the Creel: Weather may be the limiting factor for ocean salmon and rockfish over the next few days. But when/if you can get across the bar, most bottom fish are quick limits, though lingcod can’t find a hook with both fins right now. Razor clamming may finally be in the cards as a series of minus tides begins this weekend; bay clamming should also be really good. There’s been an uptick in Dungeness crab pulls, though harvests remain seasonally slow. The rivers are a low priority right now with some closed to all fishing and others showing only weak results for steelies. Cutthroat trout season opens next month and that might be your best shot in the near-term if you like working the rivers. Fishing Rule #1: The least experienced fisherman always catches the biggest fish.

Traveling Notary Service

Call now: 541-968-5811 or email Smith.and.Loya@gmail.com

Salmon River: The river is closed to fishing until May 23rd, when it opens for cutthroat trout.

Siletz River/Bay: Steelhead fishing is slow to fair. Fish are being caught in most sections depending on river conditions. This time of year tends to produce a good percent of native fish and/or post-spawn fish. Typical steelhead tactics apply such as side drifting, bobbers and jig/bait, or casting spoons or spinners.

Yaquina River/Bay: The river is closed to all fishing until May 23rd with the cutthroat trout season opener.

Alsea River/Bay: The winter steelhead fishery is slow and will remain so for the rest of the season. Native fish tend to be prevalent this time of year. Casting lures, bobbers and jig/bait or drifting beads along the bottom can be effective techniques.

Central Coast Reservoirs and Lakes: The rainbow trout stocking program is in full swing and most water bodies have been stocked recently or will be again soon. Most areas will be stocked multiple times until early June. Be sure to check out the 2015 stocking schedule here.

Saltwater angling and shellfish harvesting…
Continue reading »

 Posted by at 6:00 AM
Apr 182015
New $57 million dollar PCH on May 19 ballot

New $57 million dollar PCH on May 19 ballot

Officials from the Pacific Communities Health District and Samaritan Health Services told Lincoln County Commissioners this week that it’s critical that the voters vote yes on a new $57 million dollar hospital and doctors office complex. It’s on the ballot May 19th.

The two groups both agreed that the current hospital is inadequate for what the community needs and deserves. They pointed out the current hospital is over 50 years old, and doesn’t lend itself to all the new technologies or modern work flow spaces.

They said a new hospital will prompt upgrades in nuclear medicine, cardiology, ortho surgery and cancer detection. The new hospital would also prompt Samaritan Health Services to install somewhere around $10 million dollars in new medical equipment. There will also be a new doctors’ office complex so that Newport area residents who need medical attention can go pretty much to one location and get the full range of those services. And having new, bright and shiny offices, it will attract top notch doctors and medical technicians to work and live here on the coast. They estimated 50 new jobs would be created if the new hospital is approved by the voters May 19th – employment levels rising from the current 450 to something just over 500. All of them very good paying jobs.

They also defended their decision to move on a ballot question so quickly. They pointed out that interest rates on loans and bonds are currently very low, so the community would save a large amount of money in total financing costs.

And a final pitch on the new hospital came from a growing awareness that the coast is in the cross-hairs of a large earthquake that could strike at any time. Hospital District and Samaritan Health officials both agreed that the current hospital would likely not survive the earthquake, thereby rendering the facility unable to meet the local medical needs of a population needing intense acute care. They argue that a hospital built to modern day earthquake standards would be much better able to provide high level medical care for the first weeks after the quake and probable tsunami.

The county commissioners listened intently and offered their congratulations to Health District and Samaritan officials on what appears to be a solid offer to the voters of Lincoln County – more medical services based in Newport (fewer trips to the valley), higher tech equipment, a re-invigorated medical staff, more jobs and the ability to combine a higher level of awareness on staying healthy, but when necessary, providing higher levels of medical expertise when local residents need it.

As for the average homeowner tax cost for the $57 million dollar project, if you own a $150,000 home, your property tax bill would go up $12.50 a month. If you own a $250,000 home, your taxes would rise right around $25 a month. If you own a $350,000 home, your average monthly property taxes would rise around $35 a month.

May 19th at 8pm is the deadline to get your ballot turned in to the courthouse. It’s ballot measure 21-163.

 Posted by at 12:41 AM
Apr 172015
Armed visitors to the state legislature at the height of last year's debate over gun violence. The Oregonian photo

Armed visitors to the state legislature at the height of last year’s debate over gun violence.
The Oregonian photo

Gun advocates dead-set against any background checks for private party gun sales in Oregon have filed recall petitions against three lawmakers that voted in favor of those expanded background checks – the pro-gun group threatening – “And there could be more recall petitions.” But those targeted lawmakers contend the tide has turned against the gun-advocates and the voters will prove it.

The story is in The Oregonian. Click here.

 Posted by at 11:14 PM
Apr 172015

Grace MacDougall, 19 Needs a kidney transplant SOON!

Grace MacDougall, 19
Needs a kidney transplant SOON!

Grace and father Craig MacDougall (works at Newport DMV)

Grace and father Craig MacDougall (works at Newport DMV)

A plea from Grace’s parents:

In the past year and a half we learned that Grace had Chronic Kidney Disease due to VUR (Vesicouritureal Reflux) and Neurogenic Bladder. Talk about an adventure no one wants to go through!

As we have traveled down this path, searching for solutions, Grace’s kidney function has continued to decline. It has become evident that the only way for Grace to live is to have a kidney transplant.

Let me tell you about Grace! Grace is 19 years old. She is a student at the University of Arizona, studying business. The first week of her freshman year Grace spent in the hospital with acute renal failure. But Grace is something special, and a week in hospital didn’t hold her back. Despite everything being against her; in spite of having been in hospital when she should have been in class; even with all of the follow-up doctor appointments with Nephrologists and Urologists and regular practitioners, that repeatedly took her out of her classes, Grace still achieved a 4.0 in her first semester in school and made the dean’s list. Where Grace has a will, nothing in the world will stop her! She has a piece of board in her room, here at home, with all of her hopes and dreams written down. She is the most goal-oriented teenager I have ever met. She continues her schooling, knowing that she will soon have to take a break for transplant surgery. Yet she is still doing a phenomenal job.

Grace is the kind of girl who turns heads, and turns hearts. She is smart and pretty and even frustrating at times, but her laugh is infectious and her smile is entrancing. She is impossible not to love and she has so very much to bring to this world!

Grace will have to have a kidney transplant in order to survive. Her kidney function, as of the date of this writing is 22%, and she loses a percentage point about every month. At around 20% she goes into ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) and will go on the transplant list.

Obviously, a live donor is best. So we are trying to raise money to help pay the out of pocket costs for potential donors to be tested, and for the actual donor who may actually lose wages and have expenses as a result of their life saving gift. We also need money to pay Grace’s medical expenses which will be lifelong – surgery, follow up treatments, medications, and who knows what else.

If we raise more money than we need, all of the rest of it will go to the American Kidney Fund.

We are asking for your help! Please donate to Grace’s Go Fund Me account by clicking here.

Please and Thank you!

Danielle Waluck, Grace’s Mom.

 Posted by at 10:29 PM
Apr 172015

elks century

Toledo Elks Lodge #1664 Exalted Ruler Darrin Turner (right) recently presented representatives from the Toledo Historical Museum, Jim Franklin (center) and Oop Johnson (left), with a check for $1000.00. The funds were provided by a Gratitude Grant issued to the Toledo Lodge from the Elks National Foundation. The Elks National Foundation provides grants to Lodges all across the United States to assist the Lodges in bettering their communities and community residents. These grants have been used for supplies for students, food baskets, drug-free events for kids, back-pack programs, sports equipment for local kids’ teams and so much more.

For additional information on becoming an Elk call the Toledo Elks Lodge at 541-336-2276.

 Posted by at 4:22 PM