Apr 122013
Crestview Heights School Waldport

Crestview Heights School

Crestview seventh and eighth-grade students will be back in class on Monday, April 15, at Waldport High School. Several Crestview staff members will be at the high school Monday morning to greet their students, show them the way to their new classrooms, and help to smooth the transition.

Crestview elementary students, grades k-6, will be back in class on Monday, April 22. The location of their temporary classrooms will be determined on Thursday, April 18, once site inspections and other details are completed. A meeting for parents of elementary students is planned for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at Crestview Heights School.


Lab results show that the air quality inside Crestview Heights School is good, Lincoln County School District officials said Friday. While repairs and remodeling continue at the school, the plan is for students to finish the school year in temporary classrooms.

On Friday, April 19, community and school volunteers will rally to help teachers move their classrooms into the temporary location. People interested in helping are asked to call the school at 541-563-3237.

Plans for making up the missed days of school have not been finalized.


 Posted by at 2:17 PM
Apr 112013

Waldport City Council Thursday

Waldport City Council

Jenny Demaris Lincoln County Emergency Manager

Jenny Demaris
Lincoln County Emergency Manager

Lincoln County Emergencies Manager Jenny Demaris is making the rounds of local cities, helping them to be better prepared for any emergency, but for earthquakes and tsunamis especially.

Demaris told the Waldport City Council Thursday that much of Waldport’s business area and a large number of homes are just a few feet above sea level and therefore are directly in the path of most distant tsunamis and definitely in the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake 250 miles off the coast of Oregon and the large tsunami that would be created from it.

Demaris said a distant tsunami created by an Alaskan earthquake could damage Waldport but nothing like the disaster power of a Cascadia event. Demaris said updated tsunami inundation and escape route maps are about to be delivered throughout Lincoln County so locals and tourists can know which way is up and which route to take to get there.

Demaris outlined a number of public outreach events coming up in May. On May 1st at noon, there will be a news conference held at the the Lincoln County Commission Chambers where officials will introduce the new tsunami evacuation maps for communities throughout Lincoln County and a preview of the county’s information outreach campaign.


Here it is:

* Leading off the campaign will be two Tsunami Readiness Rallies in Lincoln City May 7th – both at the Lincoln City Cultural Center at 540 NE Highway 101. One at 3pm, the other at 7pm. The new tsunami maps and other emergency preparedness information will be shared by the Oregon Department of Geology and the Lincoln County Office of Emergency Management.

* On May 9th, another Tsunami Readiness Rally will be held at 6:30pm at Waldport High School on Hemlock/Highway 34 in Waldport. The new evacuation maps will be handed out and other information as was given in Lincoln City.

* The same for Newport residents on May 11th, at 10am. The Tsunami Readiness Rally will be conducted at the Agate Beach Best Western just off Highway 101 just north of Walmart.

* And then another Tsunami Readiness Rally will be held May 18th, 10:30am, for the Bayshore and Sandpiper communities north of Waldport guided by personnel from the Seal Rock Fire District.


The Waldport City Council then talked about the town’s aging tsunami warning sirens. It was agreed that all three of the 55 year old devices should be retired due to age and the fact they don’t work well anyway. Emergencies Manager Jennie Demaris says many communities are not relying on tsunami sirens since even when they are activated many people inside their homes and while driving in their cars can’t hear them. She said the widely used “Everbridge” notification system is far more effective at notifying residents of an approaching tsunami via email, text, cellphone, internet news websites as well as over local TV and radio stations. However, that’s just for tsunamis generated in Alaska, Japan, South America, Indonesia and other seismically active areas around the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire. If it’s the Cascadia earthquake, the shaking itself will be your only tsunami warning. When the shaking is over, everyone is to immediately head for higher ground and stay there until an all clear signal is given.

Demaris says getting everyone in Lincoln County up to speed on being prepared for distant tsunamis and the Cascadia “big one” is going to be a big job – but it’s got to be done in order to save as many lives as can be saved. “The better prepared we are, the more people will survive it,” she said.


 Posted by at 11:58 PM
Apr 112013

Waldport City Council Thursday

Waldport City Council

Rick Hill Green Bike, Waldport

Rick Hill
Green Bike, Waldport

Sharrows being installed in Newport

Sharrows being installed in Newport

Green Bike, a service that provides free bicycles to anyone who wants to use them to get around Waldport, is looking to make bicycling a little nicer for locals and visitors alike. Green Bike lead mechanic and volunteer coordinator Rick Hill told the council he would like the council to authorize adding “Sharrows” to city streets where bicycling is encouraged. Sharrows are painted (or vinyl applied) symbols on regular travel roads to remind motorists that bicycles can be expected to use the roads as well, and to be on the lookout for them. It’s a safety thing.

Hill said that Newport recently added sharrows to a number of their streets as a safety reminder. Hill said Newport loans the stencils to other Lincoln County communities free of charge. He asked the council to designate which streets the sharrows should be painted on. Mayor Susan Woodruff said it would most likely have to be just on city streets for starters – maybe not on Highway 101 or 34, since those are under the jurisdiction of ODOT. Councilors came up with a number of streets that the sharrows would be good for by routing visitors to specific locations like parks, the port, visitors center, the beach, the post office, etc. City Manager Nancy Leonard said she’ll contact ODOT to see if they’d entertain sharrows and, if so, where.

Hill also posed the idea of the council establishing specific bike routes throughout the area so tourists could more fully enjoy their bike riding in Waldport. The council thought that was a good idea – in fact it was also suggested that the city work with the South Lincoln County Trail Committee which is in the process of updating trails for hikers, horseback riders, aquatic travelers and bicyclists. A member of the committee was in the audience and said “let’s do it!”


 Posted by at 11:00 PM
Apr 112013
Putting a little light on the subject. Courtesy photo

Putting a little light on the subject.
Courtesy photo

Clarification: North sign not quite yet in place. But it’s about ready.

The Waldport City Council Thursday finished their mission for ensuring a first good impression for folks visiting or just passing through Waldport – the nice new “Welcome to Waldport” signs that will soon sit at the north as well as the south end of the community. One is to sit at the north end of the Alsea Bay Bridge, the other is already in place at 101 and Ocean Hills Drive, across from Governor Patterson Memorial State Park.

The finishing touch will be providing night lighting for both signs. The council approved a contract to have both of them professionally illuminated for a grand total of $5,500.


 Posted by at 10:21 PM
Apr 032013
Alsea Bay  OSU Sediment Study

Alsea Bay
OSU Sediment Study

Monitoring sediment and organic materials in Alsea Bay estuary

From: Drs. Miguel Goni and Jim Lerczak, Oregon State University

(Here’s what those red buoys are all about, bobbing out there on Alsea Bay)

Like many of the small rivers along the Oregon Coastal Range, the Alsea is ‘flashy.’ When a Pacific Storm brings heavy rains to the coast, river stage and the flow of river currents can rise rapidly and often reaches flood stage in the winter. As river flow increases, high concentrations of sediments and organic materials can be brought from the forests of the coastal range to settle on the intertidal flats of the bay or be flushed out to the coastal ocean. These materials are important to the ecosystems of the bay and of the coastal ocean.


This past winter Drs. Miguel Goni and Jim Lerczak of Oregon State University monitored sediment concentrations and sediment movement in Alsea Bay as part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation. They have been measuring sediment concentrations and currents in the bay to determine exactly how much sediment makes it down from the coastal mountains and determine how much sediment and organic materials settles on intertidal flats and how much bypasses the flats to be flushed directly to the coast. They have been making measurements by surveying from small boats. In addition, they have anchored current meters and sediment sensors at different locations of the bay. For example, you may have noticed red buoys near the Port of Alsea and upriver near Drift Creek. Both of these buoys have a sediment sensor attached to them.

The experiment started in December 2012 and will continue until May 2013. It will be repeated next winter (2013-2014). If you have any questions about the experiment, feel free to contact Jim Lerczak (jlerczak@coas.oregonstate.edu) or Miguel Goni (mgoni@coas.oregonstate.edu).


 Posted by at 11:12 AM
Mar 282013
Crestview Heights School Closed through April 5

Crestview Heights School
Closed through April 5

Crestview Heights School in Waldport will be closed for another week, allowing work crews enough time to remove mold, clean ducting, change air filters and perform other remediation.

It is anticipated that school will be back in session on Monday, April 8.

“We have a lot of work to do. It’s best that we take the time to do it right,” LCSD Support Services Director Rich Belloni said. “We understand this creates a hardship on families but this really is our best option at this point.” Families and staff will be notified about the school closure through the school district’s emergency phone messaging system.


Mold was discovered inside the school during the recent interior demolition of a classroom. District officials took advantage of the school’s closure for spring break, March 22-29, to pull cabinetry away from walls in other classrooms to check for problems. Most windows have been leaking and mold was found in most classrooms, Belloni said.

The district hired PMG, Inc., a mold abatement firm based in Portland, to remove the mold. This entails removing sheetrock and scrubbing the area. A third-party inspector, PBS Engineering & Environmental of Eugene, has been hired to perform air testing, to inspect the areas, and give approval for an area to be reoccupied.


Once approval is given, the school district will close up the interior wall, put cabinets back in place, and thoroughly clean carpets with HEPA vacuum cleaners. In rooms where windows have been removed, the wall will be formed for new windows then covered with plywood on the outside, insulation on the inside, and plastic covering the insulation.

“It will be tight so it won’t be drafty and cold,” Belloni said. “It may not be aesthetically pleasing, but we will be able to have school.”

District officials will determine how to make up the missed days of school at a later date.


 Posted by at 8:54 AM
Mar 042013

Keeping the juice flowing across Alsea Bay Maggie Rivers photo

Keeping the juice flowing
across Alsea Bay
Maggie Rivers photo

Before -left After - right

Before -left
After – right
Courtesy graphic: Central Lincoln PUD

From Chris Chandler
Central Lincoln PUD

The two wooden structures holding up Central Lincoln’s 69-kilovolt lines across Alsea Bay in Waldport are nearly 50 years old, and those years have not been kind.

“Those two structures have been worrying me for some time, said Central Lincoln’s Chief Engineer, Bruce Lovelin. “They’ve been deteriorating due to rough coastal weather, age, and sea salt. And, if either of them had come down in a storm, we would have had to scramble to keep the lights and heat on in the Waldport area.”

But replacement in water isn’t as simple as just pulling out one, and putting in another. “We were required to get permits from several state and federal agencies due to their concerns for aquatic species, and the application process took nearly three years. The permits require us to be finished by March 15—less than two weeks away. We’ve carefully planned every detail, and are very hopeful we’ll have decent weather,” Lovelin said.


What are currently two three-pole wooden structures will be replaced with two pairs of steel towers that will be only slightly higher than the old ones. “Guy” wires and anchors, and some old pilings will be removed as well. The new steel structures are expected to last 80 years, are designed to stand up to winds of 130 miles per hour, and won’t need guy wires or anchors. “We want customers in the Waldport area to know that at first, the new structures will stand out,” said Lovelin. “But after a few years, thanks to salt air and time, the steel structures will blend in much like the old wooden ones do now.”


With a barge, a crane, four steel towers, installation of tower holders called “caissons,” and wooden structure removal there will be much to see in the Alsea Bay area in March. “This is a great project, and we welcome our customers to watch every step,” Lovelin smiled. “But safety comes first, so we ask that folks please stay back a safe distance. This especially includes boats, canoes, and kayaks. We appreciate everyone respecting our safety boundaries.”


 Posted by at 11:15 AM
Mar 032013
 Photo caption: Tourism development grant presented to South Lincoln County Rural Tourism Studio. From left to right: David Locke, President of Greater Yachats Chamber of Commerce; Holly Macfee, Vice President for Brand Strategy, Travel Oregon; Sue Woodruff, Mayor of Waldport, co-chair of RTS Umbrella Committee; Maggie Rivers, Director, Port of Alsea; Harry Dalgaard, Destination Development Specialist,Travel Oregon; Bev Wilson, Director Yachats Visitor Center; Sandy Dunn, Yachats City Council; Andrea Scharf, Marketing Director, GoYachats.

Photo caption: Tourism development grant presented to South Lincoln County Rural Tourism Studio. From left to right: David Locke, President of Greater Yachats Chamber of Commerce; Holly Macfee, Vice President for Brand Strategy, Travel Oregon; Sue Woodruff, Mayor of Waldport, co-chair of RTS Umbrella Committee; Maggie Rivers, Director, Port of Alsea; Harry Dalgaard, Destination Development Specialist,Travel Oregon; Bev Wilson, Director Yachats Visitor Center; Sandy Dunn, Yachats City Council; Andrea Scharf, Marketing Director, GoYachats.

The first installment of a grant for $7,500 from Travel Oregon is on its way to the South Lincoln County Rural Tourism project. A “big check” facsimile was presented on Thursday, February 28, to representatives of the local project by Holly Macfee, Vice President for Global Brand Strategy, and Harry Dalgaard, Destination Development Strategist, both with the Oregon Tourism Commission dba Travel Oregon.

The communities of Waldport, Seal Rock, and Yachats participated in the Rural Tourism training program last spring. Action teams were formed to carry out several projects: development of a map of all non-motorized trails between Ona Beach and Cummins Creek; the Oregon Coast Gravel Epic, a cycling event which will take place October 5-6, 2013; We Speak, a training program for hospitality workers; and development of a plan for marketing this area to attract new visitors and encourage them to stay longer.


Macfee was in Yachats to share a “brand toolkit” developed by the Travel Oregon team and Travel Oregon’s agency of record, Portland ad firm Wieden + Kennedy, to help rural communities promote tourism through joint marketing efforts with their local destination marketing organization which, in the case of the coast, is the Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA). The marketing theme is The People’s Coast, making generous use of the fact that thanks to a bill passed when Tom McCall was governor, all of Oregon’s 363 miles of coastline literally “belong to the people” with free and unlimited access for Oregonians and visitors alike—something that is not true in other coastal states, where ocean scenery is often marred by No Trespassing signs and barred to public access.


Tourism is a major source of employment in rural areas, and South Lincoln County is no exception. In 2010, tourism generated 19,950 jobs on the Oregon coast, and $1.5 billion dollars in revenue, the second biggest region in the state after Portland. Promoting our area helps attract new residents and businesses. This makes our Rural Tourism projects a vital part of the local economy, with widespread impacts.

Sue Woodruff, mayor of Waldport and co-chair of the Rural Tourism Umbrella Committee, says she is very excited to have these projects finally coming to fruition. “We expect great results from all of the action teams’ efforts. Tourism dollars help keep our local economy healthy. This allows us to diversify our economies to retain existing businesses and residents, and bring in new services and stores so that our communities remain vital and we don’t have to drive over to the Valley every time we need a new pair of shoes!”


 Posted by at 12:00 PM
Jan 262013

Central Coast Fire Rescue
Pulls alongside stalled crab boat

Central Coast Fire Rescue
Ties the two craft together

Central Coast Fire Rescue & disabled boat
Headed in to Alsea Marina

Rescued crab boat party
Back at Alsea River Marina
Glen Weaver photo

Stalled boat captain happy to be back on shore
Also happy that the crab they caught are too!

Several people aboared a small crab boat were stranded for a while in Alsea Bay as their boat’s motor stopped running. They began hollering for help and waving their arms. They attracted the attention of a number of people on the beach and three men passing by in a small outboard.

Those aboard the outboard tried to pull them back to the marina, but for some reason progress was too slow, so someone called for help from Central Coast Fire Rescue.

CCFR was on scene within a few minutes and launched their large rescue Zodiac. They met up with the stranded boat in the middle of the bay and tied the two craft together. Slowly the Zodiac, with the crab boat in tow, headed for the marina. Within five minutes everyone was safe back on the dock happy to be back on shore along with all the great crab they caught.

CCFR personnel noted that all those aboard the stranded boat were wearing life jackets. The captain of the boat said a clogged impeller caused his motor to shut down.

 Posted by at 1:11 PM