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Weather forecasting that might get better than just looking out the window…

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May 032011

Dual polarity radar station, NOAA

Weather forecasting along Oregon’s Central Coast is more often a crap-shoot than anything else. The weather prognosticators usually have the storms down alright, but the prediction of severity is often off the mark.

That may be about to change as a new, far more sophisticated, radar station is being built on the central Washington Coast that not only sees storms coming, it can look deep within them to determine rainfall, wind strength and whether they’re growing or not. The story is in the Oregonian. Click here.

Newport Chamber Update

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May 032011

May 3, 2011

“Marketing Your Business On-line” Workshop

The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a free “Marketing Your Business On line” workshop presentation on Friday, May 27. For the convenience of chamber members, there will be two identical workshops, one before and one after the regular Friday luncheon. The Embarcadero will be hosting the workshop at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Frank Geltner, Newport Internet, will facilitate a panel of presenters including Lisa Gray, owner of Gray’s Web Design; Misty Lambrecht, owner of Webfoot Marketing & Design; and Timothy Brogan, manager of Newport Internet. Topics will include web design, search engine optimization, how to have an effective social media campaign, managing your on-line reviews and local listings, spam, viruses, lists, business apps, and related topics. Please RSVP to Chamber Office 541-265-8801.

Newport Marathon Seeks Business Help

This year’s Marathon is slated for Saturday, June 4, 2011. The Newport Booster Club encourages your business to promote the marathon with welcome signs, billboards and by cheering for the runners. The race starts at 7:00 a.m. Runners are in the Nye Beach area by 7:10 and to the Bay Front by 7:30. We are looking for volunteer entertainers to spur on the runners…..musical groups and other performers that could be along the town route. 900 Marathon runners will be competing. Each runner receives a “Goodie Bag”. These contain little gifts, maps, and special coupons for marathon runners from local businesses. Your business is welcome to have something in the bag. If you are interested in donating and/or lending a hand, contact us by May 13, 2011 through Martha Voorhies, (541) 444-1056 or by e-mail at

“Know Your Newport” Hospitality Training Seminar

The Chamber’s “Know Your Newport” Hospitality Training Seminar, is on May 18th, at the Parks & Rec. Center. The training sessions are free of charge, and attendees may register at the door (over 16 years of age). A morning session (9:00am-11:30am) and an evening session (6:00pm-8:30pm) will be offered. Participants will receive: A guided bus tour through Newport’s neighborhoods, free passes to area attractions, refreshments, door prizes, and a chance to win the Grand Prize of $100.00 featured at each session of the Training Seminar. Businesses are urged to sign up for a vendor booth (free of charge), as well as use this opportunity to educate their employees. For information, or to register for a booth, call the Chamber @ 541-265-8801.

Nominate Your Outstanding Employee

The Chamber’s Hospitality Committee is looking to honor your exceptional employee with an Employee of the Month Award. Do you have an exemplary Employee that exudes proficiency in the following criteria: Quality of Service, Friendliness, Knowledge of the Area, & Role Model for other Employees? If so, call the Chamber office @ (541) 265-8801 or visit us @ to download a nomination form. Employee of the Month recipients will be presented with the Award at a Chamber Luncheon, receive a $50 check, and will be showcased in the Communiqué Newsletter.

Making the Yaquina pretty, because WE CAN!

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May 032011

From the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce

NEWPORT, Oregon – Eleven years ago Newport’s Thompson Sanitation Service and Toledo’s Georgia Pacific teamed up to “Adopt A River”, as a part of Oregon’s SOLV project, aimed at cleaning up and preventing vandalism throughout the state. Thompson Sanitary’s and Georgia Pacific’s area starts at the mouth of the Yaquina River near Newport and ends in Toledo. Their goal each year is to drag hundreds of pounds of trash from the banks of the river.

This year, the Newport Chamber of Commerce’s Yo-Pros plan to participate in this community effort and would like to invite any interested persons to join them on May 14th, at the Yaquina Bay Yacht Club for registration at 8:45 am. The clean-up will be from 9:00 am to 11:30 am, with a barbeque to follow (location TBD). For more information, contact Lisa Kellenberger at Thompson Sanitary Service at 541-265-07249.

Oregon AG: Osama bin Laden’s death triggering scams all over the internet. Watch out!

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May 032011

The death of Osama bin Laden is undeniably one of the biggest stories of the last decade. Oregon Attorney General John Kroger, however, cautions Oregonians to be careful when searching the internet for footage or news about bin Laden’s death. As seen with the Japan earthquake and tsunami, cybercriminals exploit top stories by creating fake videos, photos, Google ads, and news reports that contain malware and viruses.

Already some highly trafficked blogs have been infiltrated by cybercriminals. For instance, a man who lived near bin Laden’s compound inadvertently “tweeted” the raid. People flocked to his website to read his account of events. Unfortunately, so did cyberthieves and his blog was compromised. Those who visited his site are likely to have unknowingly downloaded viruses or malware onto their computers.

On Facebook there is fake video footage of bin Laden’s death. When opened, the link exposes the user’s personal information to the cybercriminal and downloads malware onto the user’s computer.

Attorney General Kroger offers the following advice to avoid falling victim to cyber-scams:

Be cautious of links from emails, social networking sites, or Google searches. If the URL and the search topic don’t relate in some obvious way it’s best to avoid it.Pop-up ads related to popular internet searches commonly carry malware. Do not be enticed by fake offers of “free” stuff, surveys or contests. Never provide personal information through pop-up ads. If a website redirects you to download software or “codec” in order to view a video, stop. These are signs of a scam. Make sure your computer has up to date anti-virus software. Perform a virus scan on a regular basis.

Scammers and identity thieves pose a significant threat to Oregon consumers. Last year Oregonians reported losing nearly $2 million to scams. The Oregon Department of Justice is committed to protecting Oregon consumers. Anyone who thinks they may have been contacted by a scammer should call the Oregon Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or go to

Newport City Council Honored Their Finest Monday Night

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May 032011

Officer Thomas Lekas, NPD Employee of the Year

Newport Police Chief Mark Miranda, with the City Council looking on, awarded several officers with professional awards Monday evening. Officer Thomas Lekas was named Police Employee of the Year for his consistent excellent public relations skills along with his professional, knowledgeable, respectful and always helpful demeanor. Officer Lekas is part of the police vehicle maintenance team.

Officer Keith Garrett, Distinguished Service Award

Chief Miranda awarded Officer Keith Garrett a Distinguished Service Award. Officer Garrett, on the evening of January 23rd, was part of a pursuit team trying to catch David Durham who had just earlier shot Lincoln City Police Office Steven Dodds in south Lincoln City. Although Garrett and other officers were being shot at during the pursuit, they stuck with the chase. Officer Garrett provided tactical support as other officers’ vehicles sustained damage from gunfire. When a spike strip just north of Waldport stopped Durham’s SUV, from which he fled, Officer Garrett maintained his composure and took up a tactical position with other officers so that Durham could not return to his vehicle for more guns or ammunition.

Officer Kraig Mitchell, Distinguished Service Award

Officer Kraig Mitchell was also awarded a Distringuished Service Award for his superior performance in pursuit of David Durham that fateful night in January. Officer Mitchell’s vehicle sustained bullet damage from shots being fired by Durham as he sped south on 101 south of Newport. He momentarily pulled over to assess the bullet damage, considered it minor, and was soon back in the chase. After road spikes forced Durham from his vehicle, Officer Mitchell maintained surveillance from the span of the Waldport Bridge to stop northbound traffic on 101 from entering a dangerously volatile area and to help ensure Durham could not backtrack around to his vehicle in an attempt to acquire more guns and bullets.

Sergeant Tony Garbarino, Distinguished Service Award

Sergeant Tony Garbarino was also on duty the night Durham gunned down Officer Steven Dodds. Sergeant Garbarino was another officer who pulled in behind Durham as other officers were forced to check bullet damage to their vehicles, and then resume the chase. Sergeants Garbarino’s patrol car was also hit by gunfire. While dodging bullets Sergeant Garbarino was on his police radio to a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy north of Waldport who was laying road spikes across 101 just north of the Waldport Bridge, a tactic that stopped the pursuit quickly. Sergeant Garbarino also took up a tactical position near Durham’s abandoned vehicle to guard against Durham returning to it for more firepower although he had what was believed to be one of the deadliest killing devices in the world, an AK-47 Semi-automatic.

Chief Miranda remarked that Sergeant Garbarino and the other officers that evening displayed profound courage at great personal risk for life and safety and that their diligence, perseverance and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest professional traditions of the Newport Police Department.

All officers received a standing ovation from the audience and from the Newport City Council.

Meanwhile Lincoln City Police Officer Steven Dodds, who is a Newport resident, continues to make what many consider a miraculous recovery from multiple wounds inflicted by David Durham whom Officer Dodds had pulled over for a traffic stop. Durham has completely dropped off the face of the earth as far as his bank accounts, family and friends are concerned. They say no one has heard from him leading authorities to speculate that he escaped the area and is lying extremely low in a distant location or he drowned that night trying to cross the mouth of an extremely cold Alsea River during a lowering tide. Some believe his heavy weapons pulled him under and his body was swept out to sea.

Sergeant Tod Sarazin, who was unable to attend the award ceremony, was given the Employee of the Quarter Award for his professional service to the department and to the citizens of Newport.

Norm is UP there in his helicopter, looking down with a smile on his face.

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May 022011

Norm Winningstad with his favorite toy.

Under the heading of “if they couldn’t name the airport after Norm Winningstad, the least they could do is put his name on the road that leads up to it.” And that’s what the Newport City Council did Monday night, despite opposition from their planning commission. The commission said there was no prescedent for it even if Winningstad practically put the Newport Airport on the map.

Many Newport locals who knew Norm Winningstad said there’s plenty of presedence for it in the names of Moore, Abbey, Naterlin, Case, Bayley and other town notables who got their names slapped on street signs all over Newport. However, it seems that Mr. Winningstad was a slightly “controversial” character, a borderline swashbuckling high tech entrepreneur that did a lot of good for the electronics industry in Oregon, but some add, a lot that wasn’t so good as far as some investors were concerned. Critics also contended that Winningstad insisted on getting his way about a lot of things which rubbed many people the wrong way.

However there are a number of people in the community who loved the way Norm Winninstant rubbed their organizations…like with money for the arts, music and other cultural activities. For them, Norm Winninstad was a helicoptering, high flying knight in shining armor who they miss terribly. Winninstad supporter Carla Perry told the council that few people have supported the arts anywhere in Oregon like Norm Winningstad. And for that the least the city council should do is to rename SE 84th Street, the one that leads up to the airport from 101, “Winningstad Way.”

Motion made, seconded, and on a 5-2 vote they told Public Works Director Lee Ritzman to notify the proper private and public agencies of the street’s new name and to order new signs.

By the way, two pilots on the council, Dean Sawyer and Dick Beemer, voted no. But the other pilot, Jeff Bertuleit voted yes.

A Million Dollars Up for Grabs! And They’re Circling City Hall.

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May 022011

Small Expo Center, Sandy, Utah

A small exposition center that would accommodate a wide mixture of tourist attracting events and other activities has been kicking around Newport for years. Newport City Hall has a million dollars in the bank toward “something” that would pump up the city’s tourist numbers. Besides an expo center there are those who would like to build a large commercial recreational water park at South Beach. The Oregon Coast Aquarium would like a few hundred thousand to add tourist attracting improvements to their facility, a proven tourist magnet. Others would prefer the city pour some money into the budding Heritage Maritime Museum overlooking Newport’s Bayfront. City Councilor Jeff Bertuleit cautioned, “don’t spread the money around so thin that you don’t get anything important out of it.”

Mayor Mark McConnell commented to his council that the politically influential Newport Lodging Association is concerned about the process by which any of the million dollars will be spent. They want to know how priorities are weighed and who is going to have the final say. McConnell said all that will have to be worked out. He reminded the council that the county has plenty of room for “something” at the fairgrounds. The county has been imagining some sort of an expo center that would accommodate not only the annual Lincoln County Fair but also other major events like the Newport Celtic Games, outdoor and indoor sporting events as well as large convention space that would attract much larger groups than typically now hold their annual meetings in Newport.

Mayor McConnell and the council decided that it’s time to begin moving some or all of that million dollars out of its holding pattern and into the light of public discussion, some of which will be pursued during upcoming city budget discussions.

Newport’s Big Creek Road Repair Up to a Year Away

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May 022011

Big Creek Road, since January 17th

The Newport City Council got the good news and the bad news about the January storm damaged Big Creek Road Monday night. The good news is that FEMA is likely to pay 75% of the city’s cost in repairing the road, complete with toe-in reinforcement down below so that the fill up above won’t slide down as well. The bad news is…it’s likely to be an engineering challenge and may take more than one construction season to get a good engineering estimate and then do it. Total cost: $750,000 or there abouts according to Public Works Director Lee Ritzman.

Lakewood HIlls Neighborhood Association representative Wayne Brunelle told the council that with 31st Street slumped out to one lane, and a frequently busy 36th Street to 101, their area has only 1.5 roads out of their neighborhood in case of an emergency. And they’re not happy about it. They asked the council to lay down a traffic counter on 31st and 36th Streets to determine the number of daily trips on both road to determine if the city ought to do something about their plight.

Ritzman told the council “the data we have on 31st and 36th is pretty old. We will install the counter pretty quick and come back with more current numbers.” Although Brunell strongly hinted that the neighbhood association would like to see 31st repaired, Ritzman distanced himself from the idea citing continued earth movement in the area, although not as bad as in recent years. Ritzman also said he will work with Newport Police on tabulate the number of accidents at 36th and 101 to determine if a stop light might be warranted at that intersection. Obviously ODOT would have to be part of that discussion.

Ritzman said another option that might be to extend Harney Street from town northward into the Lakewood Hills area.

The Council set a June 18th at noon work session to discuss the issue further.

One Vehicle Crash on Highway 20, 13 miles east of Toledo, near Eddyville

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May 022011

3:37pm First responders enroute. Unknown injuries. Reports say a vehicle struck a power pole at Thornton Creek Road, went over an embankment toward, but not in, the water.

3:29pm Mother via cell phone to 9-1-1 says her vehicle has overturned with three young children inside. One is bleeding from the mouth. Another has blood on her hands. Mother released all three from their seat belts. All are out of the car

3:31pm Children have been removed from the vehicle. Ages 4,2 and 1.