Weather or Not: Short’n’Sweet

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May 252017

Thursday, May 25th – Lincoln County

Summary: Cloudy morning, sunny afternoon yesterday, overcast overnight.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust/Rain…
Lincoln City: 62F/50F/26mph/0.00”
Depoe Bay: 60F/44F/25mph/0.00”
Newport: 55F/45F/28mph/0.00”
Waldport: 57F/48F/22mph/0.00”
Yachats: 60F/48F/23mph/0.00”

Newport Airport Conditions…
Ceiling: unlimited
Visibility: 10 miles/Wind: N 3 mph/Altimeter: 29.94”

Forecast: This’ll be short and sweet. With high pressure well-entrenched over the Pacific Northwest, expect mainly clear skies, dry, and moderate sea breezes today through next Wednesday. Temperatures will be a tad below seasonal as the mercury climbs to around 60F in the afternoons, and dips to about 50F during the nights.

Memorial Day Weekend… Mostly sunny, high 60F, low 50F.

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 bare, temps 40-45F. Willamette Valley roads are dry, thermometer readings 45-50F. The Columbia River Gorge has dry pavement, temperature 50F. For the Cascades, highways are dry this morning, 35-45F, the snow level is 7,500 feet.

* Outlook for holiday weekend travelers is bare pavement at all elevations including the Coast Range and Cascades through Monday night; the free air freezing level remains well above the passes at 10,000-13,000 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 NE 5-10 knots gusting 15 this morning with seas 11-12 feet at 10 seconds. A Small Craft Advisory for hazardous seas remains in effect through this afternoon. The pattern of higher pressure over the NE Pacific and lower pressure inland will persist into early next week, and winds should stay below Small Craft Advisory thresholds through that time period. A modest front looks to arrive around the middle of next week at the earliest. Steep, choppy seas continue to run 1-2 feet above forecast guidance, and thus don’t expect them to drop and stay below 10 feet until later today. Then seas stay under 10 feet for at least the next week. * 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, breezy, surf 8-10’ feet (moderate).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
* Tides
05/25 Thu 06:42 AM -1.93 L
05/25 Thu 1:15 PM 7.57 H
05/25 Thu 6:37 PM 1.67 L
05/26 Fri 12:48 AM 9.64 H

In Short: Mainly clear and cool with moderate winds through next week.

 Posted by at 7:57 AM

Pacific Seafood/Trident deal back in the barrel? Suit against the sale alleges violation of monopoly laws.

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May 252017

A lawsuit has been filed against Pacific Seafood and Trident Seafood Corporation for allegedly violating federal anti-trust laws by Trident earlier ignoring a $1.8 million offer to buy Trident – nearly $800,000 less than an offer made earlier by Innovation Marine and Front Street Marine.

Attorneys for Innovation Marine and Front Street Marine contend the move was to solidify a fish processing monopoly along the Oregon Coast.

Here’s a reaction by Pacific Seafood’s attorney Dan Occhipinti:

Richard Carroll, an out-of-state investor backed by private equity interests, and Steven Webster, a Newport real estate developer, filed a lawsuit today against multiple seafood processors in an attempt to acquire properties along Newport’s “working waterfront.” The properties include the former Trident surimi plant that was scheduled to open next week. The future of that facility is now in doubt, with more than 140 jobs and a major market for local whiting fisherman at risk.

The lawsuit was filed by Portland plaintiff’s attorney Michael Haglund in the U.S. District Court in Eugene (Case No. 0:17-CV-00815). Named defendants include California Shellfish Company, Inc., Trident Seafoods Corporation, and Pacific Seafood Group, among others.
“We’re stunned that Haglund would file this just as the 2017 season is getting started,” said Heather Mann, Executive Director of the Midwater Trawlers Cooperative, which represents 24 trawl vessels, many of which participate in the West Coast whiting fishery and deliver their catch to Newport. “We are still digesting the complaint but it looks like it could hurt Newport whiting fishermen.”

The plaintiffs broadly allege that defendants conspired to deprive them of past opportunities to purchase waterfront properties. Allegations in the complaint date back as far as 2013. Webster’s company, Front St. Marine, LLC, recently purchased properties now occupied by Undersea Gardens and Seawater Seafoods Co.

The suit comes on the heels of the highly-publicized acquisition earlier this month of the former Trident facility. Trident announced in April that it would cease operations at the plant after years of financial losses. Pacific Seafood agreed to acquire, retrofit, and operate the facility in time for the 2017 season, but only if fishermen, the community, and the Oregon Department of Justice agreed.

Fishermen affected by potential closure unanimously supported the sale to Pacific Seafood, as did all major West Coast seafood processors. The Oregon Department of Justice also reviewed the proposal to keep the plant open and developed terms under which Pacific Seafood could acquire and operate the facility.

“The Newport fishing industry came together to support the surimi plant,” said Terry Thompson, Lincoln County Commissioner. “It’s frustrating to have a lawsuit introduced that could threaten a major source of income to the Newport area.”

The lawsuit filed earlier this evening may prevent Pacific Seafood from operating the surimi plant this season.

“This was a surprise lawsuit filed just as our team members are working around the clock to get this plant ready for the season,” said Dan Occhipinti, a spokesman for Pacific Seafood. “We made a commitment to Newport to do everything we can to keep the plant open. We don’t know yet know what effect this lawsuit is going to have.”

But the legal firm that filed the lawsuit contends that the sale of Trident to Pacific Seafood was a conspiracy to violate federal anti-trust laws and regulations. Here’s their side of the story.Innovation Marine Complaint

 Posted by at 2:56 AM

Parasailor has run into trouble off Newport…

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May 242017

Report of a parasailor has lost control and is struggling in the ocean about several hundred yards off shore from South Beach.

Reporting party said she could see the parasailor drifting south. But now she’s lost sight of him.

Coast Guard Newport is racing out the jaws in a 46-footer running full on. Should be in the area within a few minutes.

Surf looks bumpy but not overly large. The Coast Guard Motorlifeboat has a 20 mph headwind.

A sail just popped up off the point.

Newport Fire-Rescue says they see the distressed parasailor straight out, due west from them. The Coast Guard needs to come back south. They’ve overshot him.

Newport Fire-Rescue has has established radio communications with the Coast Guard Motorlifeboat. Coast Guard is being directed back south and toward the capsized parasailor. Winds are blowing at about 25 to 30 with gusts a little over that.

Small boat has intercepted the distressed parasailor. They’ve rescued him and they’re bringing him back to shore – South Beach State Park. Coast Guard headed home.

 Posted by at 6:37 PM

Newport: Bay Road gas leak update

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May 242017

Crews work to repair sheered gas line.
Reader photo

The natural gas line accident in front of the Embarcadero Tuesday has all been taken care of. According to city public works, a contractor installing new storm drains along the Bay Road was working in a very confined underground space, and due to utility crowding, they accidentally damaged a 4-inch natural gas line.

Northwest Natural responded to the scene and turned off the line and made the repairs. Crews worked through the early morning hours to get everything back to normal.

City Public Works Director Tim Gross says the project is part of a larger storm drain problem that’s needed major work for years. The project will funnel storm water from high atop John Moore Drive down to The Embarcadero, then underneath and into the bay. There will be also be other connections into the system that will help better drain areas just off East Olive. Completion is many months away.

 Posted by at 12:28 PM

Watch out for the Snowy Plover!

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May 242017

Can you spot the Snowy Plover nest?

Step lightly – they’re almost impossible to see.

After more than 50 years, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) wildlife biologists have learned that at least one western snowy plover chick has hatched on a beach at Nehalem Bay State Park. This is the first verified hatchling in the area since the 1960s, and follows three years of increased sightings and species activity, including nesting attempts.

Western snowy plovers are a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, and are protected in all west coast states. Collaborative efforts like OPRD’s Habitat Conservation Plan, developed in coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is showing results with the expansion of snowy plovers northward. The population is growing along parts of the southern Oregon coast, where areas with signs and nest designations are part of everyday beach-going in the spring and summer. Yet, species recovery is much more likely to continue if populations can establish themselves along the entire coast.

OPRD asks that visitors keep a cautious eye out. Plovers nest in dry sand, in tiny, shallow scrapes that are almost invisible. Not only are nests easy to miss, or step on, but the bird will abandon its eggs if repeatedly disturbed. Plover chicks are mobile almost immediately after hatching. They freeze in place and hide in small depressions–like footprints–when they perceive danger.

The Nehalem nesting area, like all nesting sites, is clearly designated with signs, and they remain off limits until the nesting season ends.

Maps and more information can be found by clicking here.

 Posted by at 9:57 AM

AARP Smart Driver Refresher Class coming up in Lincoln City June 8

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May 242017

The AARP Smart Driver refresher class for all licensed Oregon drivers will be held in Lincoln City on June 8 (Thursday) from 9 AM to 4 PM, at the Lincoln City Community Center on NE Oar. Pl. There will be a 1 hour lunch break from Noon to 1 PM.

The new 6 hour course has been totally upgraded with a new curriculum that addresses updated driving technologies as well as medical aspects of the aging driver, and other research-based information. Successful completion of the course may entitle you to a discount on your auto insurance.

Through the use of videos and discussions, the instructor will cover many topics, including the new driver and pedestrian laws; changes in vision and hearing as we get older (the aging human brain) and tips for handling these changes; reaction times; driving in inclement weather; collisions and how to avoid them; modern auto technologies; and many more subjects helping those attending to become smarter and more effective drivers.

Class size is limited, so reservations should be made. For reservations contact: Lincoln City Parks & Recreation at: 541-994-2131. There is a fee of $20 (to cover supplies). If you are an AARP member (bring AARP card), the fee is $15. The check should be made out to AARP. Feel free to bring a friend.

Thank you.

Ron Potter – POB 2140 – Waldport, OR 97394 – 541-270-1002

 Posted by at 9:06 AM

Natural Gas Leak – Bay Blvd and John Moore

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May 242017

Heavy equipment along the Bay Road buttoning up a leaking gas line.
Reader photo

Possible natural gas leak in Newport near intersection of Bay Blvd and John Moore Road. Newport Fire-Rescue is on scene.

Newport Fire has called for mutual aid from Seal Rock Fire. Smell of natural gas in the air. There’s talk of a large evacuation of people from surrounding buildings.

Many residents in the immediate vicinity are not being allowed into the area to go home. The leak could be quite large, creating a large fire danger. Bay Boulevard, Vista Drive, Harbor Crescent and other streets are off limits until firefighters know what they’ve got.

Northwest Natural Gas crew is on the scene.

Nortwest Natural crews starting to dig to close off the leak. Electricity is shut off from John Moore to highway 20.

Some residents are being allowed to return to their homes. No through traffic at this time.

Gas leak has been closed off by Northwest Natural Gas crew. Fire and law enforcement personnel are opening the roads and leaving the area. Electricity is being restored.


 Posted by at 8:20 AM