Nov 112014
Sen. Jeff Merkley D-Oregon

Sen. Jeff Merkley

Merkley Applauds Major U.S.-China Climate Agreement

Washington, D.C. — Oregon’s Senator ‎Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the announcement that the United States and China have reached a major climate change agreement that will result in significant reductions in carbon pollution by the two nations:

“The economic security of American middle class families depends on tackling climate change, which is why today’s announcement that the two largest economies in the world are committing together to cutting carbon pollution is so important.

“Climate change is a global problem, and it requires a global solution. ‎This agreement is a good start to taking on the carbon pollution that threatens our way of life and our natural resource economy in rural America, and particularly in our West. We can’t bury our heads in the tar sands any longer. Catastrophic climate change is already harming our economy, particularly industries such as our farming, fishing and forestry in Oregon. It’s time for action, and this is an important step forward.”

 Posted by at 8:19 PM
Nov 112014

scam alerts

We’re getting reports that there’s yet another phone scam making the rounds of Lincoln County – this time the owner of a Waldport Restaurant heard the man on the phone say “You’re behind in your electric bill nearly $500. If you don’t pay immediately we’ll be over in 45 minutes to shut your power off.”

The owner of restaurant checked her power bill and confirmed she had a receipt for September already paid in full, so “there must be some mistake,” she told the caller. But the man on the phone insisted that her bill is over due and that the owner must pay immediately or the power truck with a crew will appear outside her restaurant and her lights will go out.

But then the caller went on to say something that instantly gave him away as a scammer. He said, “Go to C&K Market and buy a Money Card for the amount owed.”

The C&K Market has been closed for nearly a year.

The restaurant owner hung up the phone and tried to call Central Lincoln PUD but got no answer. It’s a holiday for many government and government-related offices – Veterans Day.

So a word to the public. The scammer season is in full bloom. If you get one of these calls just hang up. No power company does business like that including Central Lincoln PUD.

 Posted by at 4:21 PM
Nov 112014
Marijuana growing indoors Archive photo

Marijuana growing indoors
Archive photo

Now that Oregon voters have given thumbs up on recreational marijuana, the state Oregon Liquor Control Commission will now package it up, wrap it with enacting regulations and turn it loose on the public with hopefully no unintended consequences. Hint: The magic number is 4 and will be street legal July 1st of next year.

The Oregonian has an article that will explore what the early days of legalization is likely to look like – how marijuana is grown and who can grow it. Click here.

 Posted by at 3:47 PM
Nov 112014
Busy garden by the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse Master Gardeners project

Busy garden by the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
Master Gardeners project

Fava Bean Jungle

Fava Bean Jungle

,,,to where credit is due!

,,,to where credit is due!

Not exactly big - but it is a potato!

Not exactly big – but it is a potato!

A road map on the fence, courtesy of the students...

A road map on the fence, courtesy of the students…










Master Gardener Liz Olsen and her Sam Case School agronomist students on their final touches on the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse garden for another growing season!

This year due to the abundance of edible flowers, sunflowers, calendula, marigolds and flowering herbs/greens – oregano, fennel, arugula, the garden is now also designated as a Pollinator Garden in addition to being a Pesticide Free Zone!

When putting the garden to bed this season, we are trying a new experiment – some beds were covered in black landscape cloth then covered with straw (don’t use hay too many grass/weed seeds) to see if the soil becomes less compacted throughout the winter and if the soil is warmer in the spring.

Winter prep.  Gotta be good to the ground in the fall so it can grow good stuff in the spring.

Winter prep. Gotta be good to the ground in the fall so it can grow good stuff in the spring.

Two beds were sown with Crimson Clover a cover crop and covered with straw. The Clover will be turned into the soil as an amendment in the spring.

Two beds were planted with various kinds of garlic and covered with straw.

All beds were amended with Lime to sweeten the “ph” of the soil and Super Triple Phosphate 0-45-0 since our soils are so poor in phosphate.

A favorite part for everyone is digging in the soil together. Favorite of the students planting and digging POTATOES!!!

The YBLG demonstrates amazing well what edibles can be grown in inhospitable coastal conditions. Of course, growing tomatoes is a daunting and fruitless endeavor right on the coast but we are able to get at least a decent crop of cherry and grape tomatoes.

New this year – we had a jungle of Fava Beans (similar to Lima Beans) They took over two of the beds. I guess we overplanted a bit!

Teacher Kim Haddon is a wonderful teacher. At the end of the harvest she asked the students what the terms or processes of Photosynthesis, Chlorophyll, Transpiration and other plant science terms. The students shouted out correct enthusiastic responses. I commented that our Master Gardeners just learned these terms this season, so the 2nd grade students are way beyond the curve.

Next season, I think we will try for mini pumpkins and winter squash one more time. So that can be a project for the new MG Apprentices along with any other edible project/demonstration of their choosing.


 Posted by at 3:13 PM
Nov 112014

Chris Burns Weather

Tuesday, Nov. 11th – Lincoln County

Summary: Mostly sunny skies, highs near 60F and light winds made yesterday another keeper. Whether or not our blooming azaleas and late-growing lawns realized it, humans could surely feel a slight nip in the air. Even with all-day full-on sunshine, the low Fall Sun angle kept thermometers near normal (which is 56F for November 10th). A few clouds reared-up toward evening and provided some lovely context for sunset photos, but skies cleared completely again shortly after dark and remained so overnight; the mercury dipped to the low-40s. The anticipated east wind arrived around 2:00am and was blowing 10-20 mph by daybreak. Arctic air is rapidly elbowing its way into Eastern Oregon this morning where Burns plunged to 14F.

Past 24 Hours High/Low…
Lincoln City: 56F/44F
Depoe Bay: 59F/40F
Newport: 57F/43F
Waldport: 59F/42F
Yachats: 58F/39F

Forecast: A National Weather Service Special Weather Statement remains posted for much colder temperatures area-wide beginning today. Cold and windy conditions are expected now through Thursday. There’s a possibility of Winter-like precipitation falling mainly in and near the Columbia River Gorge, but also in the northern Willamette Valley from Salem north to Portland. Although considerable uncertainty exists, confidence is growing that a low pressure system will move towards the Central Coast late Wednesday and spread precipitation over the area Wednesday evening into Thursday. There is a chance some combination of snow, sleet and freezing rain will fall during this period.

For the Central Coast on this Veterans Day, east winds will transport cooler temperatures to our area (see Weather Factoid below). Today is expected to be mostly sunny, highs about 50F and easterly winds building to 25-30 mph gusting 40. Ditto for the breeze WON SUN-WINDtonight, along with clear skies and lows dropping close to freezing, around 35F, so toss an extra log on the fire. Tomorrow, sunny and windy early followed by increasing clouds and winds shifting to southerly; rain is predicted to begin around dusk. While some parts of Western Oregon may see some freezing precipitation Wednesday night, it still looks like the Central Coast will not. Low temperatures of 35-40F should keep anything that falls here in liquid form. Outlook is for rainy and windy with seasonal temperatures Thursday through Saturday, and varying chances of rain into early next week.

Travel: In the Coast Range today, sunny, breezy and 45-50F. Valley destinations have a High Wind Warning in place until noon tomorrow and are expecting clear skies with highs of 45-50F. For the Cascades, mainly clear and very windy with gusts to 65 mph; the freezing level is at 4,000 feet, and there are spots of ice on the highway passes this morning. Outlook for travel on Wednesday and Thursday – motorists should be prepared for snow in the Cascades and possible Winter-like driving conditions elsewhere in Northwest Oregon. Cascade snow levels are projected to be around 3,500 feet Wednesday and Thursday; carry chains or traction tires. High profile vehicles will also need to use extra caution in strong east winds when traveling along I-84 between I-205 and Bonneville Dam, and over the Glen Jackson Bridge on I-205 in Portland during this period.

Marine: East winds are beginning to blow with a few gusts to 15 knots this morning, especially near shore; seas are 5 WON SCAfeet at 12 seconds. As of 7:00am, Depoe Bay and Yaquina Bay bars are unrestricted. A Small Craft Advisory for winds is in effect through Wednesday morning. Today, tonight and tomorrow, E winds 20-25 knots with a few gusts near 30 and W swells 6-9 feet. Outlook is for a switch to southerly winds 15-25 knots Wednesday night through Saturday and choppy seas rising to 8-11 feet.

On the Beach… Mostly sunny, breezy, cool, surf 3-4 feet (low).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
* Tides
11/11 Tue 08:41 AM 3.54 L
11/11 Tue 02:26 PM 7.91 H
11/11 Tue 09:25 PM 0.07 L
11/12 Wed 04:24 AM 7.00 H

In Short: Mainly clear, windy, much cooler, then warming with rain.

Weather Factoid: How come east winds drastically change our temperatures? An occasional easterly breeze does indeed bring large fluctuations in Central Coast thermometers; in fact, both ways – sometimes hot, sometimes cold. In Summer, hot high-pressure air from east of the Coast Range can at times rush west to fill a void created by lower pressure along the coast; temps soar. In Winter, this infrequent wind pattern can develop in a similar manner, but the high pressure east of us is bursting with cold air instead of hot; temps plummet. Outside of these generally short-lived and unique east wind events, temperatures here are moderated by the ocean. The prevailing westerly winds (northwest and southwest) reaching this area have been blowing steadily over sea surface temperatures in the 45-55F range, consequently our average thermometer readings are usually within about 10F of there. The dominant westerlies are also ordinarily strong enough to block the atmospheric set-up that allows east winds and abnormal temperatures to cross the coastal mountains.

 Posted by at 7:50 AM
Nov 112014
View from "The Knoll" Above Roads End Lincoln City

View from “The Knoll”
Above Roads End
Lincoln City

The Villages not for sale

The Lincoln City City Council was pitched Monday night to sell their recently acquired Villages properties at the north end of town. A developer based in Salem said he’d write the city a check for $2.5 million and outright give the city the much coveted upper “Knoll” area for open space. The city council said basically thanks but no thanks – they’ll shepherd the kind of development that best suits the city and the community. Once developed the city stands to make a bundle on the property – revenues that can be used not only to further enhance The Villages but also other parts of Lincoln City. The council agreed with City Manager David Hawker that such valuable property should be developed in a way that reflects the wishes of the people of Lincoln City, not a single developer.

Medical Marijuana The Oregonian photo

Medical Marijuana
The Oregonian photo

Where to put any additional medical marijuana dispensaries

The Lincoln City City Council Monday night moved a step closer to approving rules on where future medical marijuana dispensaries will be located in the city. The council got an earful from dispensary operators to not overly restrict their placement because medical marijuana is a proven prescription for certain ailments thereby making it a medicine – and it’s recognized by the state as such. Still, a number of local church officials condemned any sales of marijuana in the city – one minister saying, in so many words, that the city ought to ban its sale, period. It was quickly pointed out that state law prevails in such instances. And the state says it’s legal.

In the end the council tightened the rules on where additional medical marijuana dispensaries might locate – so much so that the areas where it would still be legal to have such an operation would be a pretty tough find. The council not only adopted the state regulations but also added some of their own recommended by the city planning commission who also studied the issue:

1- Medical marijuana dispensaries cannot locate within 2,000 feet of another dispensary.
2- Medical marijuana dispensaries cannot locate within 1,000 feet of a school, park or church.
3- Medical marijuana dispensaries must have a plan to properly dispose of marijuana waste and residue.

In voting for the added provisions, City Councilor Chester Noreikis said Lincoln City already has four medical marijuana dispensaries and that’s enough. Of the four, two fully comply with the new regulations, the other two don’t. They comply only with the state’s siting regulations. But the two won’t be shut down because the city’s tighter regulations will go into effect long after the two were already up and running – and running legally. They will be grandfathered in. But the new rules will make it very hard to find a spot to set up another one.

The city council said they will formally adopt the final regulations at their next council meeting.

Fred Meyer store Suburban Portland

Fred Meyer store
Suburban Portland

What’s better? Big Box stores or quaint hometown mom and poppers?

The Lincoln City City Council heard Lighthouse Square property owner David Emami implore the council to allow him to create a store area beyond the city’s 60,000 square foot limit on his property because several large chains have been shopping for a way to get into the Central Coast market – Lincoln City their preferred choice.

Emami said the city’s current size limit on individual stores, 60,000 sq. ft., is a non-starter with larger chains like Fred Meyer, Target and others. He said Lincoln City has not experienced much real growth because of it’s attempts to overly protect local mom and pop stores from competition when in fact many of those stores would benefit as more shoppers from throughout the region flocked to Lincoln City instead of to Newport, Salem or suburban Portland. Emami’s architect also pointed out that mom and pop stores don’t have higher paid middle-management positions which pumps up membership in the region’s middle class. But city staff noted that several mid-size local grocery stores might go under.

City Councilors have in the past acknowledged that the uniqueness of Lincoln City that is found in its small scale, beachfront charm. But councilors none-the-less agreed to take another look at the square footage cap which could eventually open the door for Emami’s plans for the Lighthouse Shopping Center. Emami said Fred Meyer has looked at it but they can’t shoehorn one of their stores into that small of a space. They need more. But again, will there be enough parking? City staff reminded the council that there are very few large enough sites around Lincoln City to accommodate the larger stores.

City planning staff said multi-story buildings involving big box stores are popular in larger American cities – stores on the ground floor, apartments/condos on the upper – or having more stores on the second or third floors. But Emami added that only Portland/Lake Oswego seem amenable to such arrangements. He also said his property – the big square footage on the north side – won’t accommodate second and third stories. It wasn’t originally built for multi-story.

The council sent the size cap back to the city planning commission for another review and to send their findings back to the city council so they can another look at it.

Vacation Rental

Vacation Rental

Another bite of the VRD apple

And the Lincoln City City Council finally managed to formally approve changes in the way vacation home rentals are sited and operated in town. They passed the first of three new ordinances that seek to regain control of what some have termed a fast growing problem with vacation home rentals – noise, garbage, parking and the erosion of quality of neighborhood atmosphere.

The council took a lot of heat from those who have complained for months that the council was going after a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. But the council begged to differ. A recent survey of registered voters revealed that a strong majority believes that VRD’s have dramatically grown in number and that they want them brought back under control. But VRD owners and managers say VRD’s are part of the economic foundation of the community – drawing well heeled visitors from Portland and other northwest cities. They say VRD’s employ landscapers, cleaning and maintenance workers as well as provide income for vacation management firms – many of them local.

Having said all that, City Attorney Richard Appicello reminded the audience and the council that under state land use law, the city must provide a balance of housing opportunities for its residents and visitors. He said many city residents, especially in single family neighborhoods have made their displeasure clear that something must be done to restore the quality and character of their neighborhoods. And to that end Appicello proposed a very long awaited new city ordinance that lays out the creation of a new “Vacation Rental,” or “VR zone.” Anyone with a vacation rental in a VR zone gets unlimited night rentals all year long, just like vocational rentals located in commercial zones.

However, the council did not approve the other two-thirds of the revised vacation rental regulations. Those include rules covering VRDs in residential zones that already exist along with new VRDs coming on line. Those hot button issues will come up for review and possible approval at the council’s December 8th meeting.

 Posted by at 1:01 AM
Nov 102014
Anthony McCorckle, 10. Returned home early this morning.  Hid out in neighbor's home, under a bed.

Anthony McCorckle, 10.
Returned home early this morning. Hid out in neighbor’s home, under a bed.

Missing 10 year old Anthony McCorckle returned home safe to his Little Creek Apartment that he shares with his parents. McCorckle reportedly was playing with his sister and other friends outside when suddenly he took off running into the woods.

His sister returned home to tell her parents that Anthony, who is said to be severely ADHD, had run off and hadn’t returned. After an hour or so Anthony’s parents called police who in turn called in Search and Rescue and the Coast Guard helicopter to begin searching for the boy. The Little Creek Apartments is located just uphill from Highway 101, an area where transients are routinely seen moving through the area. Transient camps are also fairly common nearby as well as in several other areas of Newport.

At 2am this morning the search was called off for the evening, with plans to resume at 8am.

But at 5:45 this morning, Anthony showed back up at home telling his parents that he ran off, climbed through a neighbor’s window and hid under a bed all night.

An earlier report indicated that due to Anthony’s hyper-activity disorder, he does this sort of thing every so often.

 Posted by at 5:48 PM