Mar 212015

Devil's Punchbowl rescue by Lincoln County Rope Rescue Team, Saturday

Devil’s Punchbowl rescue by Lincoln County Rope Rescue Team, Saturday
Jim Fairchild photo

Rope Team member headed down to rescue the two stranded surfers.

Rope Team member headed down to rescue the two stranded surfers.

Rope Team member preparing to hoist a surfer to safety.

Rope Team member preparing to hoist a surfer to safety.

12:01pm- Several surfers are stranded on rocks off Otter Rock. They have tried to paddle their way out to safety but a strong incoming tide stopped them. High tide at 1:40pm.

12:03pm- Depoe Bay Fire Rescue calls for Coast Guard helo. Coast Guard reports their helo will be coming from North Bend. 45 minute minimum wait time.

12:04pm- Depoe Bay Fire Rescue activates Lincoln County Rope Rescue Team.

12:06pm- Three surfers. Two on the rocks. One now trying to surf his way back in.

12:11pm- One surfer has made it back to shore.

12:20pm- Surfer on shore says the other two stranded surfers on the rocks have cuts on their feet.

12:23pm- Otter Rock Fire-Rescue can still see the two remaining surfers on the rocks.

12:34pm- More rope rescue team members are arriving on scene. Gathering at Punchbowl.

12:39pm- Coast Guard was delayed. Just now getting airborne. Transit time 30 minutes from North Bend.

12:40pm- Rope Rescue Team still preparing.

12:43pm- Although the helo is finally enroute, rescuers say the wind is blowing possibly too hard to make a Coast Guard helo rescue possible. Rescuers continuing to get the rope rescue team into position to launch their own rescue.

12:50pm- Rope rescue team has lowered down over the cliff and has made contact with the two stranded surfers. High tide is an hour away.

12:50pm- Coast Guard still not on scene. From time of call to arrival will be about an hour. Another example of why the Coast Guard should keep their Newport Air Rescue base open.

12:54pm- Rope Rescue Team is getting the job done. They’ve told the Coast Guard to cancel. They’re probably off Perpetua by now.

12:56pm- Rope Rescue Team continues to retrieve the two stranded surfers.

1:15pm- One surfer is rescued. Bringing up the second.

 Posted by at 12:08 PM
Mar 212015
Former Governor Kitzhaber and First Lady Cylvia Hayes.  The Oregonian chronicles their fall from power, if not grace.

Former Governor Kitzhaber and First Lady Cylvia Hayes. The Oregonian chronicles their fall from power, if not grace.

With amazing speed, the political reporters at The Oregonian have produced a top to bottom assessment of the tumultuous weeks prior to Governor John Kitzhaber’s tumble from stature and resignation from office.

Although there will surely be several books written about this troublesome chapter in Oregon’s history, The Oregonian seems to have gotten most of it already down in a lengthy story in today’s edition.

After you’ve poured yourself another cup of coffee, click here.

 Posted by at 11:31 AM
Mar 212015
Have you seen Patsy?? Lost in Siletz/Logsden area. 541-444-2474.

Have you seen Patsy??
Lost in Siletz/Logsden area.

Patsy is a black and white Shih Tzu is missing in the Siletz/Logsden area just across the river from Rivers Edge Chevre goat farm – about 4-5 miles East of Siletz. Patsy has a fresh haircut and is wearing an orange, yellow Remington vest. If you have seen her, please call Larry at 541-444-2474.

 Posted by at 11:30 AM
Mar 212015
Good Mornin' Breakfast! Sunday, 7:30-11am Yachats Lions Club on W. 4th, Yachats

Good Mornin’ Breakfast!
Sunday, 7:30-11am
Yachats Lions Club on W. 4th, Yachats

Yachats Lions are out running around again, helping those who can’t help themselves as well as giving a hand up for others. They’re having another Sunday Breakfast fundraiser at the club headquarters on West 4th.

Tomorrow early they’ll kick open their doors so everybody can enjoy a big Sunday morning breakfast full of ham and sausage, scrambled eggs and pancakes and a beverage. Runs 7:30am to 11am and a donation of five bucks is suggested.

Donations raised go to college scholarships, YFAB, South Lincoln Resources, Lions Sight and Hearing programs and others. So head down there early!

 Posted by at 9:55 AM
Mar 212015
No mass release of inmates.  It was a computer glitch.

No mass release of inmates. It was a computer glitch.

The head office of Oregon State Prisons says they’re sorry for scaring thousands of families last evening when the system suffered a computer glitch, notifying thousands of people that an inmate they’re concerned about was released. That includes murderers, domestic batterers and others.

The prison system system sent out a blanket notice that it was a false alarm and that they were working on it.

The story is in The Oregonian. Click here.

 Posted by at 9:10 AM
Mar 212015

Chris Burns Weather

Saturday, Mar. 21st – Lincoln County

Summary: Right on schedule, yesterday’s storm began less than an hour before Spring officially arrived at 3:45pm. The southerly breeze ramped-up rapidly with rainfall not far behind. The peak wind gust for the day was 43 mph at Yachats, which also claimed top honors in the precipitation department with over a third of an inch. High temperatures came in around 60F. The heaviest steady rain was over by midnight albeit the southwest wind held on until early this morning, accompanied by a few hefty showers. At daybreak, skies were quickly clearing and the breeze had fallen to light.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust/Rain…
Lincoln City: 62F/53F/40mph/0.24”
Depoe Bay: 59F/48F/35mph/0.13”
Newport: 59F/46F/38mph/0.27”
Waldport: 60F/48F/33mph/0.23”
Yachats: 59F/50F/43mph/0.35”

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Forecast: We’re between weather systems today, so Spring Break kicks off with a mix of sunshine and clouds, moderate winds and highs of 55-60F. Increasing clouds and a slight chance of rain are on tap for tonight, lows of 45F, and then rain again WON SUN-CLOUDStomorrow with up to half an inch possible; the thermometer stops around 55F. Outlook is for breezy at times and rain continuing Sunday night through Monday night, leaving another inch or so of wet stuff in the gauges. Showers on Tuesday, a chance of rain Wednesday, sunny and warm Thursday (it could hit 65F), and back to a chance of rain next Friday.

Travel: In the Coast Range today, showers, partly cloudy, with 55-60F. Valley destinations are expecting a chance of showers, partial clearing and highs of 60-65F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast calls for showers likely, moderate west winds, temps near 65F. For the Cascades, there is wet pavement at Government Camp, slush/snow on Santiam Pass, and snow flurries at Willamette Pass this morning, temperatures are 30-35F; windy, snow showers, 1-2 inches accumulation, the snow level is at or below the passes at 4,000 feet. Outlook for weekend travelers is mainly wet pavement at the lower elevations.

WARNING NWS SWSA Special Weather Statement has been issued by the National Weather Service for the Cascades including highway passes at Government Camp, Santiam Pass and Willamette Pass. Snow levels lowering to near the passes this weekend with some accumulating snow finally returning at times through at least Monday. A Pacific cold front moved through Northwest Oregon on Friday night and snow levels will be lowering to near pass elevations today. Snow accumulations will be 1-2 inches at most today. Another cold front will be moving through the Cascades on Sunday while snow levels hover around or just below pass elevations, and this front will likely produce 2-4 inches. This will be followed by yet another system late Sunday night and Monday. Computer models suggest snow amounts as high as 3-6 inches possible on Monday. A warm front will be lifting through the area Tuesday and Wednesday. A few more inches of snow are possible Tuesday before the snow level rises to above the passes by Wednesday.

If you have travel planned through the Cascades, be prepared for Winter driving conditions. Carry chains or traction tires, as well as extra provisions should you become delayed while crossing the mountains. Studded tires are still legal in Oregon through March 31st.

Surface Rescue

Call or email George today!

Cascades Snow Pack: Currently 23”; a loss of 1” since yesterday; an overall loss of 5” in the past seven days; 93” less than this date last year; 94% below the 30-year average Snow Water Equivalent (total amount of moisture in the snow pack).

Ski Report – New Snow/Base/Condition…
Hoodoo 0”/0”/closed
Willamette Pass 0”/0”/closed for season
Mt. Bachelor 0”/40”/wide variety
Mt. Hood Ski Bowl 0”/1”/tubing only
Mt. Hood Meadows 0”/22”/frozen and loose granular
Timberline 0”/20”/spring riding

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Marine: The breeze is SW 15-20 knots with some higher gusts this morning and seas are rough, 8-10 feet at 8-10 WON SCAseconds. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay bar is closed to recreational vessels 32 feet and less, and to uninspected passenger vessels 26 feet and less. Yaquina Bay bar is closed to all recreational and uninspected passenger vessels. A Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas remains in effect until 11:00am. S winds 20-25 knots gusting 30 early today but easing to SW 5-10 knots by this afternoon with seas 8 feet at 10 seconds. Tonight, S winds 5-10 knots backing to SE after midnight and swells dropping to 6 feet. Another weather system impacts local waters tomorrow with S wind rising to 15-20 knots but seas remaining around 6 feet at 9 seconds. Outlook is for southerlies Monday through Wednesday 5-15 knots gusting 20 at times; swells building from 8 to 11 feet by Tuesday, but subsiding to 7 feet midweek.

Notice to Mariners… Newport’s Blessing of the Fleet is today beginning with Survival Suit Races at the Newport Tradewinds dock below Mo’s Annex at 9:30am. Then fishermen, wives and friends board their vessels at 11:45am and get in line up and down Yaquina Bay. At 1:00pm the Blessing ceremony begins with a Coast Guard Helicopter fly-over, followed by the parade of vessels moving westward toward the Yaquina Bay Bridge where a priest/minister will perform a blessing on each passing boat.

On the Beach… Sun and clouds, windy early, surf 7-8 feet (moderate).
* Oregon Parks and Recreation is hosting Whale Watch Week today through next Saturday, March 28th, at twenty-four designated sites along the coast. Trained volunteers from the ‘Whale Watching Spoken Here’ program will help visitors spot gray whales migrating north from Baja California to Alaska. Details and site locations are available here.
* Tides
03/21 Sat 07:38 AM -0.36 L
03/21 Sat 01:52 PM 8.79 H
03/21 Sat 07:51 PM 0.21 L
03/22 Sun 02:07 AM 9.47 H

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In Short: Mixed sky, drying, breeze easing, then more rain.

 Posted by at 8:00 AM
Mar 202015
Taft High's Katie McCardell Fielding a line drive

Taft High’s Wednesday Lewis
Fielding a ground ball in practice

Taft High won the first two games but lost the nightcap Saturday in a softball tripleheader at the Anderson Cubs Classic in Redding, Calif.

Katie McCardell wins two games for Taft Friday

Katie McCardell wins two games for Taft Friday

The Tigers opened the spring break trip with a 10-1 five-inning victory over Arcata (Calif.) High, defeated Yreka (Calif.) 9-4 in the second game and dropped the final game 5-1 to Foothill (Calif.) High.

Taft High won the first two games but lost the nightcap Saturday in a softball tripleheader at the Anderson Cubs Classic in Redding, Calif.

Read the full story at or just click here.

About Sports Reporter Jim Fossum:

Lincoln County resident Jim Fossum is a longtime local newspaper reporter and award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in print journalism. He worked at the Newport News-Times and the Lincoln City News Guard for the past six years. Jim was an editor, reporter, beat writer, columnist and page designer at the near-200,000-circulation Las Vegas Review-Journal for 25 years before retiring to the Oregon Coast at age 48 in January 2006.

Fossum, 57, was among the youngest sports editors of a major metropolitan daily when he was promoted at age 33 to be sports editor of the Review-Journal in 1991. He served 16 years as sports editor of Nevada’s largest paper and oversaw a staff of 17 full-time writers and copy editors and a daily color section of eight to 10 pages on weekdays and 16 to 18 on weekends and Mondays during football season.

Fossum was named Nevada Sportswriter of the Year in 1998 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and joined national winners Jim Nantz of CBS Sports and Mitch Albom, then of the Detroit Free Press, in Salisbury, N.C., for the awards ceremony.

Winner of numerous awards from the Nevada Press Association for news, feature, column and headline writing, he has judged several state newspaper and high school design, editing and writing contests. While serving in virtually every role of print journalism at the Review-Journal, Fossum attended several annual seminars at numerous major newspapers across the country, including the Baltimore Sun, The Arizona Republic, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Times, the Seattle Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Subjects of these gatherings of journalists of all abilities from papers of all sizes included layout and design, editing, interviewing, writing, headline and caption writing, typography and photography.

Fossum has worked with many of the most talented journalists and iconic athletes in the world while covering Final Fours, college bowl games, world championship boxing and all three major professional golf tours as a longtime member of the Golf Writers Association of America. He has written for Golf and Golf Digest magazines and been a contributor to Sports Illustrated. Jack Nicklaus, Joe Montana, Larry Bird and Bjorn Borg are among the many sports superstars he has interviewed in addition to documenting the careers of Las Vegans Randall Cunningham, Andre Agassi and Greg Maddux.

A longtime member of the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE organization), Fossum helped oversee the group’s annual West Regional Convention for several years at numerous Las Vegas Strip resorts. He helped recruit the APSE’s National Convention, featuring virtually all of the nation’s leading sports journalists, to the MGM Grand in 2006.

In the summer of 2005, 30 years after graduating from Lake Havasu (Ariz.) High School, he was honored with his alma mater’s Distinguished Alumni Award in his first year of eligibility and delivered the Class of 2006 commencement speech.

Fossum has been honored with numerous community service awards from charitable organizations such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the American Cancer Society. Before retiring in 2006 with a vision disability, Fossum was cited for his contributions to local sports by the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame.

 Posted by at 11:47 PM
Mar 202015
New $57 million dollar PCH on May 19 ballot

New $57 million dollar PCH on May 19 ballot
Samaritan PCH graphic

We pushed this story back to the top because of all the questions surrounding the funding of medical services in central Lincoln County.
More details are found below.

Topping the list of major issues on the May 19th ballot is a $57 million dollar complete replacement of the Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport. If voters approve the tax increase, the 125,000 square foot redo would have it’s ribbon cutting in the summer of 2017.

While building the new hospital and renovating a few buildings that will survive the transition, hospital intake and clinic services will remain available throughout the “year-plus” construction period while some other medical services will be in transition between old buildings and their new ones.

Pacific Communities Hospital Chief Executive Officer David Bieglow said everything will be done to make the new hospital’s construction as smooth as is humanly possible. He said when completed, again, in the summer of 2017, hospital rooms will be 20% larger, imaging services will be upgraded along with nuclear medicine. Internal medicine, cardiology, cancer treatments, orthopaedics and other high demand services will be much easier to administer.

There is also a slight urgency to rebuild Samaritan’s PCH due to the increasing likelihood of a Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake. Current PCH facilities are inside buildings that were built 60 years ago and would likely fare rather poorly in a violent earthquake. North Lincoln Hospital in Lincoln City is also doing some evaluating of their facilities as well and are coming to a similar conclusion – they need new facilities.

As for the funding issue on the May 19th ballot the hospital district is asking voters from Gleneden Beach to Yachats (but not Toledo) whether they would agree to see their property taxes rise 98-cents a thousand of assessed valuation. That’s the tax rate they need for the $57 million dollar redo of the Pacific Communities Hospital. The tax “override” would amount to a $7.50 a month increase in property taxes for a $100,000 dollar home, a $15 a month increase for a $200,000 home and $23 a month increase in property taxes for a $300,000 home.

Pacific Communities Hospital is a non-profit corporation operating under a Lincoln County voter-elected board of directors called the Pacific Communities Hospital District Board. It operates much like a local fire district, and has been providing revenues for Pacific Communities Hospital for decades. The voter-elected board levies a general property tax on all property owners within the district – again – Gleneden to Yachats, but not Toledo. The tax rate is currently 36-cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation. Their levy is expected to produce roughly $3.36 million in the current fiscal year.

Hospital districts are usually set up in typically economically depressed or otherwise low income areas where property taxes are levied so the area can afford a hospital so that those with serious health care issues, victims of traumatic accidents, etc, don’t have to endure being driven 60 miles to the nearest hospital. The same situation prevails in Lincoln City, with the North Lincoln Hospital District. It too has an elected board of directors and levies a property tax in their district (north county) of 51-cents per thousand, raising roughly $2.5 million to help run North Lincoln Hospital.

Much more information is expected to come out shortly from Samaritan about this massive rebuild of medical services here on the coast.

 Posted by at 8:50 PM