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First 2011 Newport Farmer’s Market in the shopping bag…

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May 072011

Newport Farmer’s Market, Saturday. Click on photos to enlarge!

The fresh fruits and vegetables part of the year is finally upon us, here on the Oregon Coast. The first Saturday installment of the Newport Farmer’s Market kicked off promptly at 9am this morning and closed punctually at 1pm. And a good time was had by all.

As would be expected, the early season offerings are somewhat limited to Spring salad greens and chards, radishes, and other cool weather crops. But there was also homebrew honey, succulent breads and pasteries and pleasant splashes of flowers and starter plants. Farmers are a pleasant combination of Willamette Valley and Coastal, each competing for your healthy food funds.

Later in the season, these cool weather crops be joined by peas, snap peas, and a smattering of tomatos. Come June the gardens will be cranking out fruits and vegetables more closely associated with summer, including cherries, peaches, corn, more tomatos, onions, carrots, and come fall an explosion of fruits, corn, and squash. And all tasting so good you’ll wonder how you live without them so many months of the year.

The Newport Farmer’s Market is the second oldest in the state going back 34 years; started just two weeks behind the oldest farmer’s market in the state, the one in Albany.

Farmer’s Market President Mike Smith says the trend is to eat fresh and to keep it local. Smith says “It’s always good to know where your food is coming from.” Smith says an emerging trend of “Hoop House” farming is producing earlier crops of starter plants and earlier fruits and vegetables. “Gathering Together Farms near Philomath is expected to show up in the next couple of weeks with fresh strawberries; unheard of this early in the season,” said Smith, “thanks to hoop house experimentation in the valley.”

The Newport Farmer’s Market runs every Saturday from now until the end of October. It runs 9-1 on the south lawn of Newport City Hall. And there is always a wide variety of artists and crafters mixed in for fun and pleasure!

Here’s a note from the Farmer’s Market just e-mailed into the news pod: Rain or shine, wind or calm the vendors of the Newport Farmers’ Market are there for you each Saturday beginning May 7, 2011 through October 28, 2011. Thanks News Lincoln County for the great photos and coverage. We appreciate it. It was a great opening day and lots of customers braved the weather to support the market. There were drawings for items donated by the vendors and special discounts and give-aways to celebrate Mother’s Day. Plans are being made for Kid’s Corner which will be the third Saturday of each month. Mark you calendar for Saturday May 21 The Kid’s Corner will be helping kids make beaded bracelets with elastic cord and pipe cleaners (for small hands) plus a few beaded animals that can be attached to a key chain, zipper clip, fishing line to hang, or makes a nice toy on it’s own.

Fiery fatal crash just east of Elkton claims life of Washington man.

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May 072011

Highway 138 near Elkton, early Saturday

Update: 4:18pm The driver was identified as Steven M. Taylor, 51, Yakima, Washington.

Oregon State Police reports that a vehicle westbound on State Route 138 just east of Elkton left the road early this morning, hit a tree and burst into flames, killing the driver, identified as Steven M. Taylor, 51, of Yakima, Washington.

Troopers say Taylor was consumed in the fire along with the rest of the car.

Young man and female passenger survive Yaquina Bay Road rollover

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May 072011

Yaquina Bay Road, MP 8.6

A young man and woman survived a rollover accident on Yaquina Bay Road Saturday morning. It happened right after a sharp curve at mile post 8.6. The male driver, from the Newport area, said he had just come out of a curve when his right rear tire separated from the rim causing him to lose control. His four-wheel desert racing vehicle went off the elevated side of the road, hit a mass of large river boulders and rolled over and down to river level. Both he and his passenger were wearing full racing harnesses and survived the ordeal unscathed.

The young man said he had planned to head south for desert racing in southern Nevada this season “but that’s out of the question now,” he said. He pointed out how big river rocks tore up his frame and the rollover badly damaged the cab.

Missing Canadian couple’s car found with her inside alive. He’s missing. Relied on vehicle’s GPS on trip to ‘Vegas.

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May 072011

Albert and Rita Chretien

The mystery surrounding a missing Canadian couple driving to a convention in Las Vegas, and last spotted in Oregon, has been solved. It appears they lost their way by following their vehicle’s GPS unit, units which are notoriously unreliable in remote and many rural areas of the country. Instead of sticking with U.S. 395 all the way to Las Vegas, Albert and Rita Chretien, watching their GPS unit, thought they could take in some scenery by using back roads. But a long time later they wound up deep inside a mountain range along a river, several hundred miles east of where they could have come out, possibly on Interstate 80 near Winnemucca, Nevada. They eventually got stuck on a muddy road along the Bruneau River, thirty miles east of Owyhee, in northeastern Nevada. They were so far away from any help, they may as well have been on the moon. The area is right next to a designated wilderness area, a local favorite for elk hunting.

And it was a couple of hunters on motorized quads bounding up an extremely isolated and muddy Roland Ranch Road who discovered the Chretien van. The van had apparently been stuck in the mud for weeks. Inside was Rita Chretien, 54, who said her husband left March 22nd in an effort to get to State Route 225 to the east where he hoped to summon help to pull their van out of the mud. The trek was thirty miles as the crow flies, but much farther as the river winds. She told her rescuers since then she had survived on what little food she and her husband packed for their long trip, as well as water from a nearby creek. She said the last she saw him, he was walking away holding the vehicle’s GPS system in his hand to help guide him.

Owyhee County Search and Rescue are currently combing that region, searching along the road for any sign of Albert Chretien, 58, who by now most certainly must have died. He would have been trying to hike down endless miles of river drainages, surrounded by mountains over 10,000 feet high and across ground that is usually snowbound or extremely muddy from mid-October through May.

Rita Chretien asked her rescuers if anyone had found her husband. No word on how they replied, knowing full well that surviving 49 cold days and extremely cold nights in the remote Jarbidge Mountains would be nearly impossible. She was airlifted by Summit Air Ambulance to St. Luke’s Hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho for treatment of prolonged exposure to the cold and wet outdoors as well as probable malnourishment. She told the Oregonian that she apologized to her family for the anguish she and her husband put them through. The newspaper quotes her as saying “We made some bad choices.”

Authorities have long warned travelers not to rely too much on their vehicle’s GPS system. They say GPS’s are only as accurate as the software they come loaded with. If a GPS’s software is not up to date or wasn’t very accurate to begin with, people can get false impressions on which route(s) to take to save time or take a joy ride. Even traditional paper road maps show isolated rural roads that look like they’d be drivable year round when, in fact, they are snowbound much of the year, and terribly muddy the rest like the glorified hunting road the Chretiens got stuck on. Authorities say it’s always best to stick to the major highways and not be tempted to leave them even if a GPS system shows a more direct connection that looks like a viable alternative.

Trusting their GPS, Albert and Rita Chretiens drove out to what looked like the ends of the Earth instead of the bright lights of Las Vegas.

Newport Farmers Market opens 34th annual run at Angle and 101, front of City Hall, Saturday 9am.

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May 062011

The 34th running of the Newport Farmers Market kicks off tomorrow, Saturday, May 7th at 9am, next to Newport City Hall. The market runs 9am-1pm, so you’ve only got four hours to hang out, sample little tasties, view remarkable art and gather ye starter plants while ya may. Being early in the season, some vegetable and fruit offerings may be a bit thin; all the more reason to get there early. The Newport Farmers Market runs every Saturday through the rest of Spring, through Summer until October 29th. So that is a lot of visiting with your friends, making new friends and getting some of the best tasting food on the planet while you’re at it!

Here’s their website: Click here.

Preserving head-to-head competition maintains our so-called “free market.”`

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May 062011

In a remarkably clear example of how at least some free markets are kept as unfettered as possible through regulation and oversight, the U.S. Justice Department has struck a blow for “value priced” hair care products, something we all use.

Here’s a quick lesson in how legal intervention and regulation helps to create a positive outcome for shoppers.

Click here.

Finally, an explanation for Newport area woman’s new accent after dental surgery

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May 062011

Typical oral surgery

By now everybody has heard the Newport woman speak in her scottish/irish brogue following dental surgery in Portland. After making the rounds of newspapers and appearing on a national TV morning show, the woman’s condition is given a more academic treatment in this article in the Los Angeles Times. Click here.

Fight/damage at Otis area R/V Park reported

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May 062011

10:48 Situation under control.

10:35pm Sheriff and Oregon State Police units are racing to the scene of a report of a large fight and “bust up” at the Evergreen R/V Park near Otis, north of Lincoln City.

Reports say two trailers were being ransacked and “busted up” by an unknown number of people. One report was that there are six to seven people on scene. One was said to be a tall, muscular white male with a knife, wearing a white t-shirt, jeans and dark jacket. He was reported to be leaving in a large U-Haul truck, but may now be returning to the r/v park.

Law enforcement has just arrived.

White fungus threatens bats at Oregon Caves National Monument

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May 062011

Courtesy NY Conservation Dept.

A big open house, or “open cave” is coming up at Oregon Caves National Monument east of Cave Junction this Saturday. For those who are there to see the bats, monument staff have a word of warning. DO NOT WEAR ANY CLOTHING OR FOOTWEAR, OR BRING ANY BACKPACK THAT VISITED ANY BAT FUNGUS INFECTED CAVE IN THE LAST SIX YEARS, INCLUDING ANY BAT CAVE EAST OF THE ROCKIES!

They’re serious. A white fungus that attacks bats’ mucus membranes has killed over a million bats east of the Rocky Mountains and all over Europe. And Oregon Cave rangers don’t want it to show up in their area. Anyone who wears any clothing or carries any accessories brought inside caves east of the rockies or anywhere in Europe will be asked to surrender their place in line. Rangers say they can’t imagine anyone would knowingly threaten the existence of something they value enough to drive a great distance to see without changing clothes or leaving a backpack in their car.

More on the story from the Medford Mail-Tribune. Click here.

A BBC news video report: Click here.

One better than a TV News Anchor….A NEWPORT ANCHOR!

 Special Events  Comments Off on One better than a TV News Anchor….A NEWPORT ANCHOR!
May 062011

You don’t have to be a Salty Dog to sport an anchor on the Oregon Coast, but you’ll need to pump some iron to toss The Newport Anchor!

The inaugural Newport Celtic Festival & Highland Games presented by Toby Murry Toyota on June 10-11-12 will feature two unique events in addition to the traditional Highland Games contests of skill and strength. Both contests are intended to become traditions at the annual festival and will feature a $100 cash prize to the winners.

The Newport Anchor Toss
To connect Newport’s active fishing and seafaring community with the maritime heritage of the seven Celtic nations, organizers have created an innovative challenge called the Newport Anchor toss. Unique to the Newport Games, the contest will be open to all Highland Games athletes at the event. The 65 lb. anchor saw years in the briny deep until local fisherman Dave Richcreek found it in his nets one day and donated the rusty relic to the Games. Tossing this cast iron weight for distance will be no feat for the weary, but the winner walks away with a $100 cash prize.

The Clan MacLaren Challenge Caber
The Clan MacLaren Challenge Caber is a special event designed to test the very best Highland Games athletes. The caber toss is a traditional Scottish athletic event involving the tossing of a large wooden pole called a caber, similar to a telephone pole. Cabers at the regular games contests vary in length from 12 feet for novices and up to 18 feet in length and can easily weigh over 100 lbs. The object is not the sheer distance of the throw, but rather to have the bottom end of the caber land directly 180 degrees from the thrower. A perfect throw ends with the ‘top’ end nearest to the thrower and the ‘bottom’ end pointing away in a straight line. Hand crafted by Raymond Mabey especially for the Newport Games, The Clan MacLaren Challenge Caber is 18’6” in length and 140 lbs. The caber challenge will be open to all Highland Games athletes who successfully toss the ‘regulation’ caber during competition. The winner of the challenge caber contest will pocket $100 and have their name engraved on the Newport Caber for posterity. Both the Newport Anchor and Clan MacLaren Caber Challenge are scheduled for Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of the regular competition.

Highland Games 101
The Highland Games are open to both men and women with divisions ranging from novice to master. Persons interested in taking part can pick up a copy of official rules and entry form at the Newport Recreation Center or download the full package from Advance entries must be postmarked by June 8, 2011, with day of games entries accepted as space allows. A series of free Highland Games clinics are being offered by the Newport Rec Center. Clinics are held at 6:00pm every Wednesday night before the event. Interested parties may contact Liam Hughes at the Rec Center or call 541-574-5453 for more info.