May 202014
 

lgbtflag

No great surprise around Oregon on Monday, as a federal court judge ruled that Oregon’s ban on gay marriage wasn’t legal – not under the U.S. Constitution to which all other laws are subject to formal review and ruling.

The federal judge in Portland ruled that the anti-same gender marriage amendment to the Oregon Constitution violated the 4th and 14th Amendments. The judge ruled that under those provisions, it is not legql to deny someone their rights simply because other people don’t like them.

Here’s more on the story from The Oregonian. Click here.

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 Posted by at 12:29 AM
May 202014
 
State Capitol Building

State Capitol Building

Lincoln County’s jobless rate actually took a bump up in April, rising from 7.5% to 7.6%. It was 7.9% last year at this time. Similar increases occurred in Multnomah, Washington, and Tillamook counties, including Linn.

Statewide Oregon saw it’s overall unemployment rate stagnate at 6.9% March to April, up from 7.9% at this time last year.

In major Oregon cities, Corvallis continued to show improvement, it’s jobless rate falling from 5.5% in March to 5.3% in April. It was 5.9% last year. Eugene saw it’s jobless rate fall from 7 down to 6.9%. It was 7.9% at this time last year. Portland went from 6.4% in March to 6.3% in April. 7.4% last year. and Salem was flat – 7% in March, the same in April. 8.5% last year at this time.

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 Posted by at 12:17 AM
May 192014
 
Ballot boxes

Ballot boxes

Tuesday is election day in Oregon. Those who have not yet cast their ballots must do so by Tuesday evening, 8pm at any number of box drop sites. Here are those locations:

Location: Lincoln County Courthouse – located in rear parking lot at the east end of the second row of parking.

Directions:

Go west on West Olive Street to 4-way stop by the jail.
Turn left onto SW Nye Street.
Turn left into second entrance to courthouse rear parking lot.
Go all the way to the end of the row and you will see the ballot box on the left side. (It is marked, “Official Ballot Drop Site.”)
Put your ballot in the box without having to get out of your car!

Lincoln City
Location: Lincoln City City Hall – located in the lower parking lot under the City Hall.

Directions:

Turn west at the stop light by the City Hall. (across from Burger King).
Enter the one-way entrance to the parking lot under the building.
The ballot box is near the elevators next to the water payment box and the book and video drops. (It is marked, “Official Ballot Drop Site.”)
Put your ballot in the box without having to get out of your car!

Waldport
Location: Waldport City Hall – located in the City Hall parking lot at the east exit.

Directions:

Go to City Hall on Highway 34.
Turn south between the City Hall and the school.
Take an immediate right into the City Hall parking lot.
Continue around the island and you will see the ballot box on the left by the exit. (It is marked, “Official Ballot Drop Site.”)
Put your ballot in the box without having to get out of your car!

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 Posted by at 10:29 PM
May 192014
 
Spencer Nebel Newport City Manager

Spencer Nebel
Newport City Manager

In order to repair what has been repeatedly described as a near dilapidated sewer and water distribution systems under and between the streets of Newport, ratepayers have been shouldering some unexpected rate hikes that, for the low income and seniors, have really stung. And there are going to be a few more ratepayer pangs of pain in the future. But the rate of increase is moderating.

According to figures released by City Manager Spencer Nebel at Monday night’s city council meeting, sewer rates will rise July 1st just 4%, water 5% and 5% for stormwater and infrastructure fees. Rate increases of similar sizes will be necessary over the next few years, but then moderating after that. On a better note the city’s portion of the property tax rate will not change in the next fiscal year which also starts July 1st.

Pool viewed from southwest with current Recreation Center directly alongside. Click photo to enlarge

Pool viewed from southwest with current Recreation Center directly alongside.
Click photos to enlarge

Recreation Center top New pool lower.

Recreation Center top
New pool lower.

However, a tax rate increase that the voters approved on the last ballot measure to build a new city aquatic center will will show up on property tax bills, 42-cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation.

These and other factoids are found in the city’s budget narrative for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1st.

Nebel also told the council that the budget discussions over the past few weeks revealed that the city was, indeed, spending more money on projects than revenue was coming into the city. Nebel was quick to point out that although the trend was definitely toward the red, the city had not gone over the “falls,” but could eventually, if the financial reins aren’t pulled in for a while. Nebel said that explains his “hold the line” approach to next fiscal year’s city budget which still must continue to find funds to replace the city’s water and sewer lines, some of which are 75 years old and are literally falling apart. Other funding sources like urban renewal are expected to help finance those sewer and water line replacements along with an aggressive city effort to land more state and federal grants and/or low interest loans.

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 Posted by at 9:31 PM
May 192014
 
Map of GP Outfall nearly a mile offshore from Nye Beach

Map of GP Outfall nearly a mile offshore from Nye Beach

Oregon State University researcher Dr. Sarah Henkel told the Newport City Council Monday night that the GP outfall does not appear to pose any significant health threat to the coast. She said her team sampled clams, crabs, fish and other organisms north and south of the GP outfall as well within the GP outfall mixing zones nearly a mile off Nye Beach. She went through a long list of potential harmful chemicals and some were found, but at extremely low levels, and not many of them attributable to the outfall. She noted the study reveals that a lot of man-made chemicals are found in the environment but that in this case, they’re at very, very low levels – neither a threat to fish life nor to human beings, even if they eat them.

Although there are a number of critics of the outfall study, none offered any testimony before the council in any form of rebuttal.

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 Posted by at 7:15 PM
May 192014
 

Crab pots from F/V Valkyrie - Garibaldi OSP photos

Crab pots from F/V Valkyrie – Garibaldi
OSP photos

Oregon State Police enforcement boat Guardian with seized illegally used pots on board.

Oregon State Police enforcement boat Guardian with seized illegally used pots on board.

From OSP:

A three-month investigation by Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division into illegal crabbing activity conducted by a Garibaldi-based fishing vessel led to the recovery of over 150 illegal crab pots, some of which may be stolen, and pending charges for two men. The investigation is continuing and OSP is planning a public viewing June 9th of seized crab gear with markings not associated with the fishing vessel named “Valkyrie”.

OSP Fish & Wildlife Division troopers started the investigation in December 2013 after a mandatory hold inspection noted the “Valkyrie” deployed commercial crab pots in the Pacific Ocean and did not conduct a landing within 14 days as required by law. The “Valkyrie” is owned and supervised by ARON STEINBACH, age 34, from Bay City, and was operated by two different captains. The first captain was THOMAS WHITE, age 30, from Nehalem, and the most recent captain was a 52-year old Garibaldi man.

In February 2014, OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers contacted STEINBACH and WHITE about violations. Subsequent to the ongoing investigation, STEINBACH was cited for Leaving Gear Set More Than 14 Days Without a Landing and WHITE was cited for No Commercial Fishing License. It also became apparent to troopers that many of the vessel’s crab pots had not been worked for long periods of time, causing concern that the gear could be killing, wasting and harming crab, greatly impacting the resource.

Starting May 6, OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers aboard the Department’s Patrol Vessel “Guardian”, assisted by the Coast Guard began seizing “Valkyrie” commercial crab gear from the ocean near Cape Falcon. Many of the more than 150 seized crab pots had evidence of multiple violations. Several contained biomass in the form of rotten crab or crab parts, indicating crab were being caught by the unchecked gear and the crab were dying and going to waste inside the gear.

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On May 12, STEINBACH, who was in the Tillamook County Jail on an unrelated matter, was cited by OSP for the following class A misdemeanor charges:

* Waste of Commercial Food Fish
* Commercial Dungeness Crabbing With Inadequate Release Mechanism
* Leaving Gear Set More Than 14 Days Without a Landing
* No Buoy Tags
* No Pot Tags

Each charge may have additional counts resulting from the ongoing investigation. No charges have been filed at this time for the vessel’s recent captain.

OSP Fish & Wildlife Captain Jeff Samuels thanked the United States Coast Guard and Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance.

“The Coast Guard’s help in providing personnel, vessels, aircraft, and logistical support was invaluable, and the manpower from a Sheriff’s Office work crew to off-load the crab pots was much needed,” said Samuels.

During the crab pot recovery, crab gear with different markings was found indicating some of the gear may be stolen. OSP Fish & Wildlife Division is scheduling a public viewing of seized crab pots to possibly identify any gear as stolen and facilitate its return to any owners. The viewing is scheduled June 9 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the OSP Tillamook Office located at 5995 Long Prairie Road.

Questions regarding the investigation and scheduled crab gear viewing may be directed to Sergeant Todd Hoodenpyl at (503) 815-3373.

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 Posted by at 1:25 PM
May 192014
 
A day long awaited The Oregonian photo

A day long awaited
The Oregonian photo

A federal judge has ruled that Oregon’s Constitutional ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution on freedom of expression, equal protection, and other federal laws prohibiting discrimination.

Here’s the details in The Oregonian. Click here.

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 Posted by at 12:37 PM
May 192014
 

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 11.39.15 AM

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 Posted by at 11:41 AM
May 192014
 

10:56am – Vehicle vs. pedestrian at the Shell Station on Highway 101 downtown Waldport. The female victim is conscious and breathing and is complaining of light pain. Paramedics are just now arriving on scene.

Vehicle is still on scene. Northbound traffic is being shut down.

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 Posted by at 11:00 AM
May 192014
 
Awaiting ruling from federal judge... The Oregonian photo

Awaiting ruling from federal judge…
The Oregonian photo

Gay marriage is expected to be re-established in Oregon when a federal judge strikes down Oregon’s constitutional ban against it in a noon announcement. Oregon would thereby join a number of other states in holding such bans as unconstitutional under federal laws of equal protection as cited by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here’s more on the story from The Oregonian Jeff Mapes: Click here.

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 Posted by at 10:18 AM