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Congressman Kurt Schrader blasts Oregon Legislature’s draft of redistricting

 Politics  Comments Off on Congressman Kurt Schrader blasts Oregon Legislature’s draft of redistricting
May 172011

Rep. Kurt Schrader

Oregon Coast Congressman Kurt Schrader today blasted state Democrats and Republicans in the way they’re proposing to draw new district boundaries across the state. Schrader said if the current proposal stands, he’ll lose all of Lincoln and Tillamook counties in his Fifth Congressional District. More from the Portland Oregonian: Click here

Teaching basketball on a global scale at Newport Recreation Center

 Recreation  Comments Off on Teaching basketball on a global scale at Newport Recreation Center
May 172011

Coach Stephen Pearl, top two photos, Liam Hughes, bottom

With summer around the corner, Newport’s Parks and Recreation Department is again setting up a series of programs. Once again basketball takes center stage and the department is pleased to announce that top British youth coach Stephen Pearl will again be traveling to the Central Coast to work with Newport Recreation Department sports coordinator Liam Hughes in coaching local youngsters. Pearl will be bringing with him a program specifically designed to improve the British Olympic Basketball Team’s performance.

Pearl is one of the British coaches delivering an initiative called T16 “Towards 2016”. He explained, “Great Britain is not a nation known for its basketball, so before FIBA (the international governing body) would agree to Great Britain’s entry in the 2012 London Olympics, they wanted to be sure that there was a concerted effort to increase the sustainability of the game. We have nothing like the infrastructure of other European countries and quite rightly, they wanted to be sure that there would be a legacy following on from the Games.

So the British basketball governing body has devised the T16 project to try to get the Great Britain teams to reach the 2016 Olympics on merit. We are now working to a specific curriculum designed to improve the game at all levels and lead on to better players challenging for international places. As the coach for the East of England, I am entrusted to establish this new national coaching system with the players I work with. I will be bringing the program with me to Newport and will be working with your young players to help me in understanding its implementation. I am very excited to be coming back to Newport and look forward to working with your very motivated young people.”

To compliment Pearls international flavor, Hughes has a strong background in the style of basketball played in America. Hughes played his high school ball at Modesto Christian, which is one of California’s basketball powerhouses. He then played at the collegiate level at both Oregon State and Western Oregon Universities. He now runs the sports programs for the City of Newport and enjoys the opportunity to work with the next generation of young athletes: “ I have been very lucky to have had the opportunity to be coached by some of the top coaches in the game. I have no real way of repaying these people that helped me, so the best I can do is to try to pass on the things I have learned to the next generation.”

Once again, there are three camps being offered. In the week beginning 27th June there are camps from Monday to Thursday for ages 5-8 from 10 am – 12 noon and ages 9 – 11 from 1 pm – 5. For 5th – 8th July the 12 to 14 year olds will be in action from 10 – 4 pm. There will also be a camp tournament on the evenings of 7th and 8th July.

Statewide marijuana advocate convicted of income tax evasion

 Daily News  Comments Off on Statewide marijuana advocate convicted of income tax evasion
May 172011

Provided by Oregon Attorney General John Kroger

Attorney General John Kroger today announced the conviction and sentencing of the president of Portland-based The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF), who was arrested in March for tax evasion.

“Paying taxes is not optional,” said Attorney General Kroger.

Paul Stanford pleaded guilty today in Marion County Circuit Court to one count of Oregon Personal Income Tax Evasion. He was sentenced to 18 months of probation and 160 hours of community service.

Stanford is the president of THCF, a Portland-based organization founded as a nonprofit in 1999 that has grown dramatically. According to the Foundation’s website, it now has medical clinics in at least ten states and more than 100,000 patients. However, in 2010, the IRS announced that it had revoked THCF’s status as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity.

Under Oregon and federal law, charitable organizations are required to file periodic financial reports with the Charitable Activities Section of the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service. Although THCF registered with the Department upon its inception in 1999, THCF had long periods of delinquency in which it failed to comply with state and federal reporting requirements applicable to charitable organizations.
The Charitable Activities Section referred THCF’s lack of compliance to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS subsequently revoked the organization’s tax exempt status and according to THCF records, the IRS assessed the organization more than $1 million in payroll and other taxes. THCF also has been delinquent in paying taxes to Oregon Department of Revenue.

In the course of investigating THCF’s revocation, the Charitable Activities Section learned that Paul Stanford had failed to pay personal income taxes on compensation he received from THCF. The Section referred the matter to Criminal Justice Division, which handled Stanford’s prosecution on personal income tax charges.

Sen. Merkley: “We should end tax giveaways to Big Oil.”

 Sen. Jeff Merkley  Comments Off on Sen. Merkley: “We should end tax giveaways to Big Oil.”
May 172011

Sen. Jeff Merkley

Provided by Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the Senate voted Tuesday against initiating debate on a bill to end tax giveaways to Big Oil companies:

“The current tax subsidies for the oil industry were put in place when the price of oil was $17 a barrel. Times have changed – the price of a barrel has jumped to around $100 and the most profitable Big Oil companies are pulling in $5 million in profits every hour. They don’t need additional taxpayer giveaways to stay afloat.

“Today, the U.S. Senate had an opportunity to debate whether American taxpayers should continue reaching into their pockets to hand over $2 billion per year to Big Oil. America is facing tough choices about tax fairness and reducing deficits. These are serious issues that deserve a full debate and that’s why I’m disappointed that this vote failed tonight.”

Newport City Councilors issue report cards on City Manager Jim Voetberg’s job performance

 Daily News  Comments Off on Newport City Councilors issue report cards on City Manager Jim Voetberg’s job performance
May 172011

The Newport City Council met in executive session Monday to evaluate City Manager Jim Voetberg’s job performance. Although details of the discussions surrounding their evaluations are confidential, their actual written evaluations are public record.

To read them, click here.

Order of evaluations:

Councilor Dave Allen
Councilor Lon Brusselback
Councilor Jeff Bertuleit
Councilor Dick Beemer
Councilor Dean Sawyer
Councilor Sandra Roumagoux
Mayor Mark McConnell

Newport Walmart in for major expansion this summer

 Daily News  Comments Off on Newport Walmart in for major expansion this summer
May 172011

Walmart corporate officials have issued a check to Newport for around $100,000 in city building fees and supplemental funds for Lincoln County Schools related to building fees, as they finally confirmed a timeline for the expansion of the old Walmart in the north part of Newport.

The over eight million dollar project will expand the store’s square footage toward the north and northeast, with the addition of a full grocery within the building. The store will expand from today’s 100,000 square feet to about 120,000 square feet when they’re done later this Fall.

Newport Community Development Director Derrick Tokos said construction should begin within a month.

Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce gets their Newport tourism promotion contract renewed

 Tourism  Comments Off on Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce gets their Newport tourism promotion contract renewed
May 172011

Facing down two competing proposals to run Newport’s tourism advertising campaign, the Newport City Council renewed its agreement with the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce to be in charge of the city’s commercial media face for another year. The job went out to bid recently with the chamber re-applying, while two others also applied, Fuzegroup out of Laguna Beach, California and the Bend Media Group, based in Bend, Oregon.

Three city councilors reviewed their proposals: Sandra Romagoux, Long Brusselback and Dean Sawyer. All three said all three competitors showed good qualifications. As for whether they thought the three competitors could stay on message variations were slight. Where the Newport Chamber of Commerce pulled ahead was in the fact that they had strong promotion ideas and could, at any time, enlist a small army of volunteers, which is critical in s small town like Newport. Out of a perfect score of 100, the Greater Newport Chamber of commerce came in first with a score of 96.67. Number two went to Bend Media with 86.67. And last was Fuzegroup at 79. All councilors said they like the fact the chamber has a small army of volunteers that it can summon with the click of a mouse, something that out-of-town agencies can’t do.

The vote to rehire the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce was unanimous.

Newport Finance Director: City finances should be “alright” in the coming fiscal year.

 Daily News  Comments Off on Newport Finance Director: City finances should be “alright” in the coming fiscal year.
May 172011

Newport City Hall

Newport City Manager David Marshall told the city council last night that the city weathered the recession over the past year pretty well and that tax revenues might be up ever-so-slightly during the next fiscal year which starts July 1st.

Marshall said tourism room taxes will hold steady to slightly lower. Other revenues will remain largely flat, he predicted. He said the city will have to watch its spending very closely so that there are no more surprises as happened this year when several city funds were showing ending fund balances in the red for streets, the airport and parks and recreation especially. That’s been corrected, according to Marshall.

Marshall indicated ongoing labor negotiations with city worker unions may not produce signed labor agreements between now and July 1st, when the new fiscal year begins. So the council will likely have to adopt a budget amendments after those contract agreements are signed.

Naming a street Norm Winningstad Way at the Newport Airport tougher than expected.

 Daily News  Comments Off on Naming a street Norm Winningstad Way at the Newport Airport tougher than expected.
May 172011

Newport Airport

Correction: Action referred to Airport Committee, not Planning Commission

Naming the street that connects Highway 101 to the Newport Airport something other than Southeast 84th continues to dog the Newport City Council. They were expected to confirm renamoing the street in honor of a recently departed Newport resident who was very active at the airport. But Monday night a number of people in the “flying community” came forward and tried to convince the council that there are others who contributed much more than Norm Winningstad ever did to the Newport Airport and did it in a more friendly and less commanding way.

In the face of the opposition, the council referred the matter back to the city airport committee to discuss the issue. The planning commission earlier voted down calling the road Winningstad Way because they felt there was no precedent set for naming city streets after specific people. In addition, planning commissioners were contacted by a number of airport boosters who opposed the name Winningstad Way being placed on the street sign at the entrance to the airport.

Newport swears in new police officer

 Daily News  Comments Off on Newport swears in new police officer
May 172011

Above, Officer Brad Purdom is “badged” by his wife, and he’s sworn in by Peggy Hawker, City Recorder, bottom.

Newport Police Chief Mark Miranda presented his latest hire to the force during Monday night’s Newport City Council meeting. He’s Brad Purdom and was most recently an umpire for sporting activities, a skill set that police use on the streets everyday in settling disputes or calling motorists on a bad piece of driving. There were two vacancies in the police department but due to budget constraints only one was filled.