Agate Beach Surf Classic

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Sep 132017

Agate Beach Surf Classic
September 29-October 1, 2017

Newport Parks and Recreation will be hosting the annual Agate Beach Surf Classic on September 29-October 1. This event is unique due to the partnership between City government and local surf shops and other businesses. It is a one of a kind event on the Pacific Northwest Coast. Packet pickup is on Friday evening at Rogue Brewery in South Beach. Surfers will compete on Saturday and Sunday at Agate Beach just south of the lighthouse. Competitive heats will starts at 8am.

Event pre-registration is $40 online. Day of registration is $50 and closes fifteen minutes prior to the first heat. Spectating is free. There will be music, food and a beer garden throughout both day. Prizes are given to the top three competitors in each division. There will be a raffle on Sunday for those that buy raffle tickets during the 2-day event.

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We are always in need of volunteers to help with the contest. Volunteers will assist with contest set-up, registration, party set-up, and contest teardown. We will do our best to place you in an area you have requested. If interested, contact us through our website or by phone.

This event would not be possible without the support of our amazing sponsors. Ossies Surf Shop, Ocean Pulse Surf Shop, Rogue Brewery and the Newport Chamber of Commerce are 2017 Presenting Sponsors. This year’s Gold Sponsors are Ocean Equity Real Estate and Sport Guard. All proceeds from the event go towards the youth scholarship program at the Newport Recreation Center. These funds allow children from economically, disadvantaged households the opportunity to participate in a number of fantastic recreation programs.

For additional information, please visit www.Newport or contact Newport Parks and Recreation at 541-265-7783.

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Buckle up every time – Correctly!

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Sep 132017

It went into effect in late May, but you may not have heard yet: child passengers under age two must use a child seat with harness in a rear-facing position, unless the child turned one year of age prior to May 26, 2017. Previously, the age requirement for rear-facing was up to age one, but safety advocates have known for years that rear-facing is a best practice. Now, in Oregon, it’s law.

Over the past few weeks, law enforcement agencies around the state have been looking for opportunities to educate motorists about this new law, along with Oregon’s other occupant safety law for child passengers, which says a child over age two (or who turned one year of age prior to May 26, 2017) must ride in a car seat with harness or in a booster until they reach age eight or 4’ 9” in height and the adult belt fits them correctly. Statewide education efforts will continue during National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 17 – 22, an event that recognizes the significant role proper child restraints play in saving lives.

“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading nationwide cause of death for children ages one through twelve years old,” said Occupant Protection Program Manager Carla Levinski. “Too often it’s because the child was riding in the wrong type or incorrectly installed child restraint.”

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In 2015, 20 percent of the 981 children aged eight and under that were injured in Oregon traffic crashes were using adult belts instead of child restraints as required by law. Nineteen of the injured children were using no restraint at all.

“Parental modeling can significantly affect a child’s behavior with respect to nurturing consistent and proper restraint use habits,” Levinski said. “Even though 97 percent of Oregonians surveyed report ‘always’ using restraints, our crash data for 2015 shows lack of safety belt or child restraint use remains a factor in 35 percent – or 79 – of the total 289 motor vehicle occupant fatalities.”

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A primer on Climate Change

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Sep 132017

Earth heating up

Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest

A free and open to the public talk will be given October 1st by Deb Lev, a natural resource professional and a climate change leader trained by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

The event is sponsored by The event begins at 3pm at the South Beach Community Center located at 3024 SE Ferry Slip Road in South Beach.

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Music teachers trying to help their students

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Sep 132017

Jessica Treon (l) and Mary Lee Scoville (r) review music to be performed at the event.
Chris Graamans photo

The fall Spotlight on the Teachers Benefit Concert: Classics You Love will be presented by the Lincoln County District of the Oregon Music Teachers Association on Sunday, September 24th, at 2 p.m. at the Newport Performing Arts Center. Admission is by donation to the Suzanne Brown Student Aid Fund.

“The Spotlight recitals are held twice a year. They are the primary means of support of the scholarship fund,” says Jessica Treon, treasurer of the local district. “We currently have seven students using the scholarship fund. It is used to provide tuition for lessons, books, or festival fees for those students whose families cannot afford the full costs of music education. The family contributes what they can, teachers discount their fees, and the fund makes up the difference. As time passes, the expense of the concerts increases. We need lots of help to keep these students in lessons and hope the community will continue to support our efforts.”

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This year’s fall concert will feature ten local music teachers including two new members, Diane LaRue of Newport and Andrea Roesel of Lincoln City. “Our group of performing teachers is really growing. It’s exciting to have so many joining us on stage. For the first time in our history of Spotlight Concerts we have two different piano quartets performing,” says Mary Lee Scoville. “Jessie Treon and I have performed in piano quartets for almost twenty years. We will perform this year with Rita Warton and Andrea Roesel. The second quartet includes Tiffany Jefferson, Kristen Thompson, Cathy Champion-Predmore, and Diane LaRue.” In addition, OMTA members Christine McKenney and Doreen Thorusen will be performing. Guest performers include Walt Hogsett, cellist, Alex Lundquist, vocals, and OMTA alumni, Milo Graamans and Justin Herndon.

“With so many talented players and singers, this program will delight you with works by composers from Mozart and Verdi to Chopin, Grieg, Barber, and Ives. A treasure of music in an atmosphere of joy,” says Tiffany Jefferson, president of the local OMTA district. “After the concert we have delicious refreshments and all the performers will be there.”

For more information about the concert or the scholarship fund call Jessica Treon 541-563-4183 or visit our website or Lincoln County Oregon Music Teachers Association on Facebook.

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Weather or Not: The Home Stretch

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Sep 132017

Wednesday, Sep. 13th – Lincoln County

Summary: Sunny and breezy yesterday; mainly clear, patchy fog overnight.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust/Rain…
Lincoln City: 63F/55F/23mph/0.00”
Depoe Bay: 61F/46F/27mph/0.00”
Newport: 63F/45F/29mph/0.00”
Waldport: 61F/50F/26mph/0.00”
Yachats: 60F/49F/28mph/0.00”

Newport Airport Conditions…
Ceiling: unlimited
Visibility: 10 miles/Wind: calm/Altimeter: 30.04”

Forecast: We’re in the home stretch of our late-Summer weather with a few more days of sunshine before it gets wet and windy. Today through Saturday expect partly to mostly sunny skies, light winds, highs of 60-65F and lows of 50-55F. Outlook is for the first storm of the season to arrive sometime Sunday bringing substantial rainfall and blustery sou’westers. The rain continues into Monday followed by unsettled and showery conditions as the week progresses. Thermometer readings will be somewhat cooler; the Cascades may even get their first Autumn snowfall.

wxon-twitterBe sure to follow Weather or Not’s Twitter feed to keep current on the latest conditions. You’ll get updated travel info and notification of any new advisories, watches or warnings. Follow @chrisburnswx.

Travel: In the Coast Range this morning, highways are dry, temps 40-45F. Willamette Valley roads are dry, thermometer readings near 55F. The Columbia River Gorge has dry pavement, temperatures 60-65F, it’s smoky in spots and I-84 remains closed in places due to effects of the wildland fires. For the Cascades, highways are dry, 40-45F, patchy smoke, the free air freezing level is 13,000 feet. * An interactive map of the latest Northwest/Central Oregon travel weather is available here. Also, motorists should always visit ODOT’s TripCheck before hitting the road.

Marine: Winds are N 5-10 knots this morning, with seas 6 feet at 8 seconds. Winds will subside somewhat for the second half of this week as the NE Pacific high weakens a bit. The first organized front of the season appears likely to impact the waters late Sunday into Monday. This will probably bring solid small craft advisory southerly winds, with an outside chance at gales. Seas running 6-8 feet today, but will ease back as winds fall, generally staying 4-6 feet for Thursday into Saturday. * Full text of the latest marine forecast is available here. And, make sure you check the latest Bar Reports before venturing offshore.

On the Beach… Mostly sunny, surf 4-5 feet (low).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
* Tides
09/13 Wed 7:05 AM 6.27 H
09/13 Wed 12:11 PM 3.20 L
09/13 Wed 6:28 PM 8.25 H
09/14 Thu 1:39 AM 0.30 L

In Short: Mainly clear, light winds, then trending wet and windy.

A family in dire need of “Go Fund Me” assistance to save their son’s life

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Sep 132017

Oliver lies in a Children’s Hospital bed after dying twice due to a birth defect. He and his family need help, and lots of it!

Here is some information on the family needing our help:

I am Calvena Ainsworth, Oliver Barber’s maternal grandmother. His mother is my daughter Nicole Ainsworth and his (step) Dad is Tarrick Taha. We have lived in the area for 11 years or so. I currently live in Newport, Oliver and his family currently live in Toledo.

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Newport City Council wondering if they should clamp a lid on new vacation rentals while considering new rules on VRDs.

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Sep 122017

Vacation Home Rentals
Archive photo

The Newport City Council will hold a public hearing for community input on whether the city should revisit its rules for the establishment of vacation rentals within the city limits, and whether a temporary moratorium on new vacation rentals is needed while the current rules are being revisited. The public hearing will be held at 6:00 P.M., on Monday, September 18, 2017, in the City Council Chambers of the Newport City Hall, 169 SW Coast Highway, Newport.

Interested persons are encouraged to attend the public hearing to share their views with the City Council. Written testimony may be mailed to the Newport City Hall, Attention: Peggy Hawker, 169 SW Coast Highway, Newport, Oregon 97365, or e-mailed through Written testimony must be received by 5:00 P.M., on September 18. Written comments received by Monday, September 18, at 5:00 P.M., will be distributed to the City Council that evening.

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The Yachats City Council recently put a cap on the number of vacation rentals that will be allowed within the city limits – 125. However there are already 145 vacation rentals on the books so there wouldn’t be any openings until attrition whittled the number down to less than 125. Lincoln City is also re-examining its vacation rental situation. Lincoln City is having the same kind of problems being a tourist dependent economy that must have places for tourists to stay without gobbling up standard homes and apartments needed by those who work in the tourist industry – cooks, waitresses, maids, maintenance workers and the like. Scarce housing is a nationwide problem and it’s very acutely felt throughout Oregon.

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Renters! Know your rights!

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Sep 122017

Newport Library

Free Workshop Scheduled for Renters

The Fair Housing Council of Oregon will be conducting a free workshop for renters in Lincoln County on their legal rights under federal and state fair housing laws. The workshop will be held at the Newport Library (35 NW Nye St, Newport, OR 97365) on Tuesday, September 19th at 7:00 pm.

Fair housing laws give individuals the right to live in any housing they can afford regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, the presence of children under age 18 (familial status), marital status, sexual orientation, and source of income. Illegal discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently in a housing transaction because they are a member of one of these “protected classes.” This one-hour workshop followed by a Q&A session will provide practical and applicable information on a range of fair housing issues.

The Fair Housing Council of Oregon is a nonprofit organization, which conducts outreach, education and enforcement activities to prevent illegal housing discrimination.

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Judge Bachart rules “close, but no legal grounds to live…’

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Sep 122017

Clear cuts in Siletz Gorge area.
Rio Davidson photo

Members of Lincoln County Community Rights were turned back in their efforts to join a nationwide movement to give the natural environment the status of being a living thing…similar, if not identical, to the rights of human beings.

A group called Lincoln County Community Rights, an offshoot of the group that convinced a majority of Lincoln County voters to ban pesticide spraying on local forest lands, claimed that the very life of the Siletz River watershed is threatened by timber companies that were clear cutting the forests whose waters flow into the Siletz River. The group contends that accelerated timber harvesting violates the very life-giving ecology of the watershed, thereby threatening wildlife on the ground and in the waters that flow from the watershed.

Judge Sheryl Bachart admitted that the concept of a watershed having the status of a living organism was unusual, she none-the-less determined that such a finding would be better affixed to the efforts of the Community Rights organization. She then ruled that any personhood attributable to a given area of ground is unchartered legal territory. However such findings that the Earth is a person – a mechanism that creates life – has been adopted in Ecuador and a number of other countries around the world.

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The attribution of legal personality to nature or to certain elements of the natural world can be considered an attitude emerging in several doctrines as well as governments worldwide. The historical concept of the public trust, as in “held in public trust,” under the common law has been recently expanded to include the natural world or some of its elements that become protected entities like fish, trees, birds and other animals.

At the same time, various “rights of nature” have been recognized in the constitutions of several countries. These affirmations have spawned a number of lawsuits and other legal efforts aimed at non-human primates and other animals to be recognized as legal persons. In New Zealand, a river has been assigned a “legal personality” as having “natural needs” in order to remain viable. The consequences, both of the advantages and disadvantages of this approach to environmental protection, are growing in world-wide popularity and are coming under more scientific and legalistic study.

The following is news release from Lincoln County Community Rights:

Judge Sheryl Bachart has denied the Siltez River Ecosystem intervention in an active lawsuit dealing with the recently adopted rights-based law that bans aerial spraying of pesticides in Lincoln County, also known as Measure 21-177.

The judge ruled that intervention by the Siletz River Ecosystem, although an interesting idea, would not serve any purpose that is not served through the intervention of Lincoln County Community Rights, and that there was no need for an additional intervention. She stated that the argument in favor of the intervention, as well as her reasoning, would become public record and could be picked up again at a later stage of the lawsuit by a higher court hearing an appeal.

Two pro-aerial spray interests – Newport resident Rex Capri and Wakefield Farms – filed a lawsuit against the County and County Clerk in the beginning of June, contending that state law protects the “right” to aerial spraying of pesticides over the community’s right to ban it (as secured by the adoption of Measure 21-177) in order to protect health and safety.

The intervention by the Siletz River Ecosystem came about because adoption of Measure 21-177 in May secured the right of ecosystems, including the Siletz River Ecosystem, to be free from aerial spraying of pesticides. The law allows the river ecosystem to protect that right through advocates like Carol Van Strum.

“Sadly, the Siletz and other ecosystems already have the right to exist and flourish but are denied the right to defend those rights. In time the courts in this country will be unable to ignore the truth,” says Carol Van Strum, advocate for the intervention of the Siletz River Ecosystem, “but it may be too late for the Siletz.”

Siletz River Gorge area clear cuts.
Google Earth image

Over the last year, high courts in New Zealand, India, and Colombia have recognized rights for rivers and glaciers as a means of creating a higher standard of protection for those ecosystems. In Ecuador, the federal constitution has recognized rights of nature since 2008, and has held in two different legal cases that rivers have rights and that human activity was violating those rights, with restitution going to restoring the ecosystem.

“Although the Siletz River Ecosystem did not prevail, the most significant aspect of this case is that it nevertheless has raised an important concept for the courts and larger community to grapple with, namely the necessity to recognize the moral imperative of the rights of nature,” says Ann Kneeland, attorney for Lincoln County Community Rights and for the Siletz River Ecosystem.

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