Search Results : If We Want It

Letter to the Editor: “We can have it if we want it badly enough!”

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Feb 082016

Editorial Comment by Joanne Cvar

The 2016 election campaign is bringing media attention to health care reform, including scare tactics about the cost and viability of comprehensive universal health care.

Contrary to claims that comprehensive quality health care for everyone in the country would “break the bank,” such existing systems in Canada and Scotland spend about 40% less for universal health care coverage than we spend for our system, with better outcomes. And the Affordable Care Act currently leaves about 33 million people uninsured and many more under-insured.

Surprisingly,the cost of health care coverage for all those uninsured Americans would not raise taxes as much as the media claims. As it turns out, taxpayers already pay two-thirds of the health care dollar in the US. In addition to Medicare and Medicaid. the VA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American taxpayers, including the uninsured, pick up the tab for the benefit costs of state and federal public employees like teachers, FBI agents, firefighters and members of Congress. We also pay for the tax subsidy granted by the ACA to private health insurance, about $326 billion a year, expected to increase to $538.9 billion by 2024.

An expanded Medicare for All system in the US would result in massive savings in administrative costs. Canada and Scotland, with universal health care, pay about 16.7 cents of the health care dollar for billing and administration, while we pay about 31 cents here. We could save $400 billion annually on paperwork alone, enough to cover all of the uninsured and eliminate co-payments and deductibles for the rest of us..Without those savings, there is no way to pay for expanded coverage.

We already pay for universal health care. We just aren’t getting it. We need to counter the misinformation the media is spreading with the facts. Voters will support new taxes if they know the money will be well spent to bring health care justice to the USA at last.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies and other law enforcement sweep county of wanted persons

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Oct 122010

Lincoln County law enforcement has successfully completed its 8th annual countywide sweep to arrest offenders on outstanding warrants for family violence related charges, as well as compliance checks of registered sex offenders residing in Lincoln County. The local enforcement campaign was part of the National Family Violence Apprehension Detail which involves dozens of police agencies and hundreds of law enforcement officers nationwide.

The District Attorney’s Office, Lincoln County Sheriffs Office, Lincoln City Police Department, Newport Police Department, Oregon State Police, Toledo Police Department, and Lincoln County Community Corrections conducted the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team sweep in all areas of Lincoln County on Tuesday, October 12, 2010. The fifteen officer team made 182 registered sex offender contacts to verify compliance with registered sex offender requirements, and made 88 warrant arrest attempts. The effort of the participating officers resulted in the identification of 20 registered sex offenders who were out of compliance.

Arrest warrants will be requested for these subjects for Fail to register as a sex offender.

Sheriff Dennis Dotson stated, “The coordination and cooperation between the law enforcement agencies in Lincoln County was the principal reason for the success of this campaign. The officers involved in the sweep worked as a team and made contacts in and out of their respective jurisdictions. This effort is but one more example of our officers’, troopers’ and deputies’ commitment to making Lincoln County a safer place to live.”

(Authorized by Committee to Elect Patricia Patrick-Joling)

So you want to walk along Oceanview Drive? Hmmmmmmm……..

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Aug 312017

North end of Oceanview
Walking space off pavement is very tight. No room for error.
Google maps photos

…more of the same headed south…

One of the scariest curves in north Newport, just south of Agate Beach

Starting to find some shoulder room….but it’s not consistent.

Still not much room for error….

Finally to Spring Street.

One of the most pleasant and scenic roads to walk along in Newport has, for years, been less than safe for bicyclists and pedestrians. It’s Oceanview Drive that peels off of Highway 101 at the north end of town, winds its way toward the ocean, then parallels it south through Agate Beach, and up the hill to the south, plateaus past NW 15th, then drops down to Spring Street.

There are those who actually ride their bikes and even dare to walk along this rather cramped stretch of city street. Near misses are common as blind spots abound due to heavy vegetation and curves and elevation ups and downs.

A group of Newport citizens are going to ask the Newport City Council to upgrade bike and pedestrian safety along Oceanview. Some want the speed limit dropped to 25mph…maybe even 20. It’s 35mph now. ODOT says it’s a certified 35mph roadway by state law. An ODOT official told the city he wouldn’t bet on getting approval for even 30mph as city Public Works Director Tim Gross is willing to look at. Gross said ODOT might agree to 30mph.

Some ideas that are expected to be explored include getting property owners to trim their property vegetation that is illegally encroaching on public right of way. Those who need to “trim back” their little jungles will be notified by city crews. City staff says there are stretches where sidewalks would be possible which would also be accompanied by storm sewers. And they’re not cheap.

The entire stretch of Oceanview Drive provides much needed access to the Nye Beach part of Newport, so any idea of making Oceanview “one way” won’t likely be entertained.

Any of these or other ideas that might arise will take some time to be analyzed, costed-out and money acquired. City staff says they’ve budgeted some time in front of the city council to listen to those who want Oceanview to be improved so that more people can more safely bicycle or hike along it’s rather lovely meanderings. The city council meeting is set for Monday, September 5th, 6pm at City Hall.

Anyone wanting to give their thoughts or opinions about upgrading Oceanview Drive are cordially invited to join the discussions.

Click here for details

Eat More, Weigh Less – North Lincoln Hospital says it’s no joke!

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Aug 312017

North Lincoln Hospital
Lincoln City

CHIP kicks off with free introductory sessions in September

Lincoln City – Do you want to eat more and weigh less, drop your blood pressure and cholesterol, save your heart and save money on your food bill? If so, plan to attend an informational session to learn more about the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP).

Presented by physicians and other volunteer staff from Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, CHIP is a simple 30-day lifestyle education program that helps participants discover ways to take charge of their health with safe, simple and deliberate lifestyle choices.
Learn about CHIP at one of these free information sessions: Monday, Sept. 18, Tuesday, Sept. 19 or Wednesday, Sept. 20, 6 to 6:30 p.m.

Click here for details

The program begins with a comprehensive initial health screening on Friday, Sept. 22, followed by evening meetings on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for five weeks, Sept. 25 through Oct. 26. Each meeting includes discussion and videos on topics including heart disease, diet and exercise along with a delicious meal prepared by the group leaders.
Tuition is charged for the CHIP sessions, with discounts available for accompanying spouses or friends. Some individuals may qualify for a scholarship. The CHIP information sessions and meetings are held at the Seventh-day Adventist Church Fellowship Hall, 2335 NE 22nd St., Lincoln City.

For more information and to register for the free information session, send an email to or leave a message at 541-994-5151.
For more information about CHIP, visit

Click here for details

Two high speed chases finally bags fleeing wanted man

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Aug 222017

Eric Pullen 27
High speed chase
Caught in Polk Co.
Over $90,000 bail

Earlier this morning at 4am, a Lincoln City Police Officer observed a vehicle pull out of NE Port Ave northbound onto NE 14th St and recognized the driver as 27-year-old Eric Pullen, a suspect driver who fled police on foot after a vehicle crash Monday.

The Officer activated his emergency lights in an attempt to stop the vehicle. But the suspect vehicle accelerated away and the officer gave chase. The suspect vehicle continued northbound on NE 14th St to NE West Devils Lake Rd. A second Officer set up spike strips on NE West Devils Lake Rd near the intersection of Highway 101. The suspect vehicle drove over the spike strips and dragged them onto Highway 101, where the spike strips fell off onto the northbound lane of travel. The second Officer followed the suspect vehicle and the pursuing Officer.

The suspect vehicle turned south onto NE East Devils Lake Rd, where it went onto the 1726 Forest Rd and turned east. The suspect vehicle continued eastbound on the 1726 Rd to Bear Creek Rd where it turned north. Once the suspect vehicle reached Highway 18, it turned east and proceeded eastbound.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Grand Ronde Police took over the pursuit and located the suspect vehicle crashed into a ditch near Spirit Mountain Casino. Pullen was taken into custody without further incident for an outstanding Felony Warrant out of Lincoln County, an outstanding Warrant out of West Linn Municipal Court, two counts of Felony Elude, one count of Misdemeanor Elude, and two counts of Reckless Driving. He was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail.

Due to the spike strips being dragged onto Highway 101, three uninvolved civilian vehicles were damaged with punctured tires. One of the vehicles had to be towed due to the damage.

The Lincoln City Police Department is continuing its investigation.

More and more updates as we head for “E-Day”

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Aug 182017

Solar Eclipse Aug. 21
Commons photo

Salem OR — As the eclipse quickly approaches, issues related to traffic, wildfires, and smoke are affecting travel. Rumors related to fuel, and a shortage of eclipse-rated glasses, are also prompting concerns. The Oregon Eclipse Joint Information Center, working with partner centers and agencies around the state, will issue regular updates starting today.

+ The State Emergency Communications Center (ECC) elevated from “enhanced watch” for the eclipse to activation at 1 p.m. on Friday in order to coordinate response to the growing number of wildfires in the state.

Click here for more info

+ Some people have questioned whether enough fuel is available at Oregon gas stations. The Oregon Department of Energy reports fuel trucks are making deliveries around the clock. Even if a station runs out of fuel, its a temporary situation.

+ The terminals report that Oregons supply is in great shape, with no problems. Fuel haulers reinforced that. Theyre making their deliveries and not reporting any problems.

+ Should you encounter a fuel shortage at an area gas station, we recommend you visit another fuel station or return to the station that was out of fuel at a later time.

+ Stay calm fuel on!

Click here for details

+ Weather and smoke levels can vary dramatically during wildfires. This can vary not only daily, but also hourly. Smoke may also affect one part of a community but not another. This can make it difficult to provide specific health warnings, especially when conditions change quickly.

+ Since smoke from wildfires varies around the state — and can change quickly — we recommend residents and visitors visit the multiagency site for communicating smoke information to the public at This site has the best and latest information about smoke conditions in your area.

+ Some people, such as those with chronic heart or lung disease, children and the elderly may experience health effects even when the air is unhealthy for a short time. It is important to take precautions based on your individual health and the smoke levels around you. This may mean staying indoors when air quality is poor. It may also mean not exercising during these conditions.

Click here for info

+ Traffic into and around Oregon will increase over the next few days as more and more people arrive to view the eclipse.

+ The best advice is to get where you are going and then stay put. Arrive early, stay put and leave late is your best course of action.

+ Those wanting the best and most current information on traffic conditions around the state should visit the Oregon Department of Transportations Tripcheck web page at

+ ODOT also has a mobile site at

Click here for details

+ Some areas have reported the supply of eclipse viewing glasses is low or depleted. While genuine protective eyewear is the only safe way to directly view the eclipse, one alternative to glasses includes a homemade pinhole projector. Visit the OEM Facebook page for a link to instructions on How to Make a Pinhole Projector to View the Solar Eclipse. The OEM page is

+ For additional information on safe viewing, visit the Oregon Academy of Ophthalmology at, and the Casey Eye Institute

Oregons 211 information line is the best source of information for questions regarding Eclipse issues. Resident and visitors are encouraged to call 211 or visit for information.

Click here for details

Missing Dallas woman found on cliff near her car north of Florence

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Aug 162017

Heather Mounce, missing from Dallas, Oregon


Missing Heather Mounce of Dallas, OR was discovered on a cliff near where her car was parked north of Florence. The Coast Guard was called in. They came – they hovered – they rescued Heather Mounce and she has been re-united with loved ones. The circumstances of how she became stranded on a cliff were not immediately revealed.


Police are looking for a missing 37-year-old Dallas woman who was last seen at 8:30pm last Saturday. Police say Heather Mounce made a 2pm phone phone to a family member. But she hasn’t been heard from since.

Mounce drives a red 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt with Oregon plates 724-EFB. It was found parked just off Highway 101 north of Florence near Cox Rock.

Police say they don’t believe Mounce was abducted They believe she was traveling under her own free will.

Mounce is 5’7,” 170 pounds with straight black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone who may have seen her is asked to contact their local police, sheriff or Oregon State Police. Authorities say Mounce has no warrants for her arrest. Police say they just want to make sure she’s okay. Her departure made her family and friends very puzzled.

Anyone who had any contact with her after 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, or might know where she is, is asked to contact Sgt. Josh Calef of the Dallas Police Department at 503-831-3516.

Yachats City Council says “We have enough Vacation Rentals, thank you.”

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Aug 112017

Ken Gagne

The Yachats City Council this week affirmed their earlier declaration that the city is enforcing a limit on the number of vacation rentals within the city limits. Currently there are 125 vacation rental licensed dwellings in this community of 680 residents. Yachats city councilors voted 3 to 2 this week to adopt a new ordinance enforcing the cap, final language for which is being drafted and readied for adoption in early September.

The majority decided that Yachats is a distinct, unique community apart from being strictly a tourist magnet – not to diminish the value of tourism which is, admittedly, the corner stone of the town’s economy. Councilors said they want to continue a balance between tourism and the lifestyles of year-round residents.

Townspeople also reminded the council and the community, and especially the VRD industry, that under state law – the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Act – every Oregon city and county, from Portland to Harney, Medford to Astoria, must, by law, provide a fair and equitable mix of housing for low to high income families. Those supporting the Yachats City Council’s decision on a VRD cap point out that there are very few, if any, so-called affordable housing units left in Yachats, so the last thing Yachats needs are more VRDs.

On the flip side, the VRD industry is saying that VRDs are major contributors to the local economy and that if local governments want more affordable housing the council is the entity to ensure such housing is built. They say as more vacation rentals are added to the tax rolls, along with tourism room taxes that they generate, city coffers will swell, enabling city leaders to partner with developers and affordable housing non-profits to construct housing aimed at the most rent-burdened segment of the town.

Of course the arguments can go on all night like: VRDs bring in hordes of outsiders who are determined to have a good time. Such crowds put more pressure on city services like water, sewer, roads, parks, police and fire protection which erodes Yachats’ ambiance as a charming village on the Oregon Coast while running up costs for providing city services. And there is the undeniable trend that tourism industry workers are becoming harder and harder to come by because they can’t find an affordable place to live and they’re increasingly not willing to drive 50 to 100 miles round trip to work while making only $11/hour (if they’re lucky).

A third rail to the discussion is trying to find a solution to the growing popularity of VRDs on one hand and the desire to enjoy living in a distinctly unique and socially warm community on the other.

Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, “Buy real estate because they’re not making any more of it.” Many cities in Europe learned long ago, that without land, you can’t build out, because there’s no longer any “out” out there. So they decided to build UP. In Europe, more and more families live in “mixed use” mid-rise apartments or condo complexes.

These mid-rise complexes are generally four stories high with residents paying, as part of their rent or mortgage, the cost of the land at a 75% discount because four families, living vertically, together pay jointly for the land over which they live. And land is a very expensive part of the housing challenge.

But residents of such developments may not have to pay even 25% of the land cost if they agree to live in a five story complex with commercial businesses or professional offices on the ground floor. Again, just like Europe learned hundreds of years ago. The relatively high rental rates for ground floor businesses automatically soften or down-write rental or mortgage rates for those who live above them.

Another aspect – these mid-rise structures can be built with indoor atriums or other socially pleasing places to catch a bite to eat, run in to friends, or schedule meetings with work-related professionals or business associates or accommodate public gatherings or meetings. The possibilities are endless.

Although some people might shy away from such a living arrangement, America’s up-and-coming Millennials are very clear they don’t want to live in McMansions with expansive yards to maintain just so they can have a convenient place to play three games of badmitten a year in the side yard.

But the game killer for mid-rise housing in Yachats is that locals, especially the city council, don’t want any mid-or-high rise buildings blocking their iconic view of the Pacific Ocean.

So if the council sticks to its decision about capping VRDs at 135 dwelling units, it would suggest that new VRDs would begin popping up in areas just outside the city limits of Yachats. As a matter of fact, anyone wanting to create a VRD outside any city limits in Lincoln County can get a VRD license fairly easily at the county courthouse in Newport. But be forewarned there are parking requirements involved just like in the cities. And don’t forget, there is also the issue of providing sewer and water services. If you’re not just down the street from a major sewer or water plant you’re quickly talking about drilling a well and putting in a septic tank. But with the rental rates that VRDs fetch, those costs should not be a show stopper.

Little tiny houses and accessory dwelling units (adding small dwellings on the ground next to already built homes) may relieve some of the strain in the current situation, but most demographers agree it’s not a long-range solution to the housing crisis. And certainly not in Yachats.

The Yachats City Council is expected to formally adopt the cap on VRD licenses at their first meeting in September.

We’re talkin’ trash here…and how to re-beautify our home….

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Aug 062017

It’s not expected to be quite this bad since the eclipse will be in the East, not over the ocean.

The City of Newport and SOLVE are seeking individuals and local non-profit organizations to participate in a post-eclipse beach clean-up. This is an opportunity to help the environment and raise funds for local non-profit organizations.

The beach clean-up, coordinated with Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department and SOLVE, will be held on Saturday, August 26, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. There are six beach sites scheduled for clean-up during this event: Ernest Bloch/Lucky Gap Trail Beach; Agate Beach; Nye Beach; Yaquina Bay State Park; South Beach State Park day use area; and Lost Creek.

Local non-profit organizations can earn up to $10 per volunteer hour, with a maximum of $1,000 per organization for participating in this event. Interested non-profits should register their group with Peggy Hawker (see below.)

The assignments will be made on a first come/first served basis. Local non-profit organizations will be required to appoint two beach captains per site. The beach captains will attend a mandatory training on August 11th at City Hall. They will pick up supplies at that time.

Individuals wanting to assist in this effort should register. Just click here.

Questions should be directed to Peggy Hawker at 541.574.0613, or by e-mail at

Why take a lifetime to learn ALL about your community when you can learn it in 9 months?

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Aug 012017

Oregon Coast Community College Campus, Newport

Leadership Lincoln Classes Begin Soon!

Newport, Oregon – The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce and Oregon Coast Community College would like to announce that applications for enrollment of the 2017-2018 Leadership Lincoln Program are now being accepted.

The Leadership Lincoln Program has prepared many of our community’s leaders for the past twenty-five years, and has over 700 alumni. This 26th year the program will again bring together individuals who are involved in the surrounding communities, who want to develop a better understanding of Lincoln County, their leadership abilities and networking contacts.

The ten month program starts on September 13th, and continues through June 2018. Participants will meet for sessions that focus on issues relevant to Lincoln County: such as History and Culture, Business & Industry, Education, Healthcare, Government and much more.

Enrollment in the Leadership Lincoln Program is limited to 35 participants. For more information on the Leadership Lincoln Program, or to receive an enrollment form, contact The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce at (541) 265-8801 or Oregon Coast Community College at (541) 994-4166. Enrollment deadline for the Leadership Lincoln Program is Friday, September 1st, 2017.

The Chamber would like to thank Columbia Bank in Newport for once again offering a scholarship for this year’s program. Every year, the scholarship is made available to any board member, director or employee of a local non-profit organization or community service agency. They would also like to thank Oregon State Credit Union for sponsoring and providing class materials that benefit the program and students.