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Planning for the way people treat the Beaver Creek Watershed

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Jul 292011

Beaver Creek Natural Area

Provided by MidCoast Watersheds Council
Beaver Creek Forest Planning Presentation

Viva Worthington of the Siuslaw National Forest will present a talk to the MidCoast Watersheds Council on the Forest’s planning efforts for Beaver Creek and adjacent areas near Newport and Toledo, at the August meeting of the MidCoast Watersheds Council. The meeting will be Thursday, August 4, at 6:30 PM at the Central Lincoln PUD.

The planning area, Called Beaver-Wright-Mill unit, includes Forest Service lands in the Beaver Creek Watershed and the adjacent Wright Creek and Mill Creek drainages. This is the Beaver Creek (one of several in Lincoln County) that flows to the ocean at Ona Beach. Much of the upland in its basin is National Forest land, and backs up to the Drift Creek Wilderness. Forest Service’s Mill Creek acreage is upstream of Toledo’s municipal watershed, and Wright Creek drains to Poole Slough on Yaquina Bay.

The Forest Service planning effort for the Beaver Wright Mill unit will consider commercial thinning of plantation areas and other management for wildlife habitat and forest diversity, habitat restoration projects, and road management options, among other things. Compared to recent area plans completed by the Siuslaw National Forest, this unit has more opportunities for management partnerships and cooperative planning with neighboring lands.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is currently working on management plans for the Beaver Creek State Natural Area and the newly expanded Ona Beach State Park, downstream on Beaver Creek. Over on Mill Creek, Toledo is developing forest management plans for its municipal watershed, abutting National Forest Lands, and the Pacific Forest Trust and The Wetlands Conservancy are developing sustainable forest management practices on their lands in Wright Creek drainage.

The Council will meet at 6:30 PM, August 4th at the Central Lincoln PUD in Newport at 2129 North Coast Highway in Newport, across the highway from Safeway.

The Presentation will be followed by a business meeting. Light snacks will be served.

For additional details please contact Wayne Hoffman at 265-9195 or by email: mcwc@midcoastpartners.org

What’s private. What’s public. The difference is what matters.

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Jul 292011

As the Democrats and Republicans exchange body blows over whether the U.S. will pay its debts already created by the U.S. Congress, a basic fundamental refresher essay seems in order. Although it gets a little partisan here and there, it’s well worth reading and should restore a basic sense of what America really has stood for, and how those moral codes made the United States of America the “light of the world.” And it may help comfort those who are over 40 remember why it all used to make sense.

Click here.

Newport Farmers Market partners up with Food Share

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Jul 292011

Volunteer Jordan Day with Food Share brochures at Farmers Market

Newport Farmers’ Market to host produce drive for Food Share of Lincoln County

In an effort to help provide fresh food to clients of the emergency food pantries of Lincoln County, the Newport Farmers Market is sponsoring a food drive on Saturday, August 6th.

Market customers who donate 2 produce items purchased that day at the Newport Farmers’ Market or who make a $5 donation to Food Share of Lincoln County, which will be the non-profit booth of the week, will receive 2 raffle tickets for a chance to win prizes donated by market vendors. For a $20 donation one gets 10 raffle tickets.

Prizes donated by Newport Farmers’ Market vendors include work by Oregon Coast Photography, work by Marion Moir Arts, produce from Schindler Farms, jewelry from Bead Chicas, a “Wonder Woolie Ball” from Glassic Totems, food products from All Great Things and Carmel Knoll foods, items from Wildwoman Creations, with many more great contributions still coming in. Food Share volunteers will be at the booth to answer your questions.

Come check out the amazing things Food Share of Lincoln County does in our community and come help the Newport Farmers’ Market support them!

Coast Guard to the rescue off Manzanita

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Jul 292011

Courtesy USCG

Provided by U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River in Warrenton, Ore., received a report Thursday of the vessel taking on water at 2:50 p.m. and subsequently launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Astoria, Ore., and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Station Tillamook Bay, Ore.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., both Coast Guard response teams arrived on scene and determined the vessel was without propulsion; however, the two members on board were able to pump water out rapidly enough to stay afloat.

The motor life boat crew towed the vessel in to Garibaldi Marina in Tillamook Bay.

Neither crew member sustained any injuries.

So you think the debt ceiling is no big deal?

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Jul 292011

The roar and political thunder over the national debt ceiling has many people wondering why there is such a fuss over simply stopping the U.S. Government from expanding its debt limit. Other than the fact it does NOT allow MORE spending that what’s already been approved by the Congress, it’s failure to be raised would have a very big effect on everyone’s life. The story is from the Statesman-Journal.

Click here

Dragon Theater Puppets headed for Lincoln County

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Jul 292011

Dragon Theater Puppets Perform at County Libraries
Provided by Newport Library

Puppets are featured at this week’s Lincoln County libraries’ One World, Many Stories summer reading programs on Wednesday and Thursday, August 3 & 4. All children and families are invited to attend one of these free programs.

This year’s show, Rapunzel Redeems Rumpelstiltskin, is Dragon Theater Puppets original production written specifically for the library theme of “One World, Many Stories”.

Wednesday, August 3 Dragon Puppet Theater will be at Waldport Public Library (10 a.m.), Newport Public Library (1 p.m.), and Driftwood Public Library in Lincoln City (6:30 p.m.). On Thursday, August 4, they will be at Toledo Public Library (11 a.m.) and Siletz Public Library (1 p.m.).

The puppet shows are funded by Ready to Read grants from the Oregon State Library and the Lincoln County Library District as well as support from Ross and Janis Neigebauer and Jeanette Hofer. Lodging is provided by La Quinta Inn and Suites of Newport and D’Sands Motel in Lincoln City.

Big aircraft hanger fire near McMinnville causes millions in damage

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Jul 292011

Photo Courtesy McMinnville Fire Dept.

Fireballs erupted from an Evergreen Air storage facility near McMinnville yesterday as aircraft parts and other items went up in flame. Six fire departments responded to the blaze but they said all they could do was prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings because spraying water on magnesium parts is like setting off a bomb. The story is in the Oregonian. Click here.

Photo: Mid-South Rescue Technologies

What happens when water is applied to a car fire with a small amount of magnesium in its steering column

Former Arizona cop sentenced in Lincoln County court, next round possibly “the feds.”

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Jul 282011

Brent Thomas

A former Phoenix area police officer who moved to Lincoln City with his girlfriend, also a former police officer, has pleaded guilty to savagely assaulting her at their Lincoln City home last April. Brent Thomas was sentenced to serving time already served in the Lincoln County Jail since being taken into custody. Court records reveal that Thomas had argued with his girlfriend at their Nelscott residence, during which Thomas beat her up so badly she needed stitches for a number of head wounds, and that he had choked her. He was picked up by authorities just west of Philomath after an all points bulletin went out over statewide 9-1-1 systems.

In 2010, Thomas was a Glendale, Arizona police sergeant and was the immediate supervisor of his then police officer girlfriend. When Thomas’ wife learned about their affair, she filed for divorce and contended that he had beaten her repeatedly over the last ten years of their marriage. However, due to lack of immediate evidence, no charges were ever filed. When both Thomas and officer Heather Opp learned they were both going to be fired for having an affair, seen as compromising professional ethics and employment rules, they both quit and moved to Lincoln City where Thomas pursued his gun manufacturing and sales activities through his internet website. In early April they quarreled and authorities say Thomas assaulted her and then drove off, heading back to Arizona. He was intercepted near Philomath and lodged in the Lincoln County Jail.

In addition to getting a jail sentence for time already served, Thomas will have to pay nearly $20,000 in court costs and restitution to his now former girlfriend. He is banned from owning or even possessing guns. And he is to be evaluated for alcohol addiction. He is also barred from entering any bar or tavern or to drink any alcoholic beverages. His case is expected to be forwarded to the U.S. Agency of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Tree Protesters Arrested in Coos County

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Jul 282011

Provided by Oregon State Police

Three people, all perched on aerial platforms in two trees, were taken into custody by Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers and Coos County (CCSO) deputies Thursday afternoon at the site of an illegal logging protest on the Elliott State Forest at the Elkhorn Ranch timber sale site in Coos County. The arrival of law enforcement officers followed Wednesday night’s delivery of a letter from the Department of State Lands advising the protestors that their actions were illegal and they were to clear the area by noon on Thursday.

Twenty OSP troopers, detectives and ten CCSO deputies arrived with Oregon Department of Forestry personnel Thursday at noon and provided the three persons on platforms in trees another opportunity to voluntarily come down and leave. If they refused, they were told they would be arrested for Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree as reflected in the letter delivered the previous night.

A backhoe was contracted by the Oregon Department of Forestry and transported to the site to repair roadway damage and clear debris positioned to block access to the protest site. Unknown persons dug a trench about 3 feet deep and two feet across the width of the roadway, damaging a culvert in the process. The debris left at three of the protestor-constructed road barricades consisted of downed trees, large rocks, dirt, and barb wire.

Troopers and deputies, working in cooperation with the Department of Forestry which manages the land under an agreement with Department of State Lands, took their time talking with the three perched protestors. CCSO deputies with special training in high angle rope rescues helped secure one of the platforms.

A boom platform vehicle was used by police to reach the aerial platforms which were between 70 and 90 feet in the air. The three subjects, two women and one man, all climbed higher into their trees before they surrendered. At approximately 3:30 p.m. all three agreed to voluntarily come down and surrender.

The three were interviewed by OSP detectives and then transported to Coos County Jail. They are identified as:

* GRACE PETTYGROVE, age 23, from Eugene, Oregon
* ROBERT OLIVER, age 18, from Seattle, Washington
* EMMALYNN GARRETT, age 26, from Bandon, Oregon

Newport Public Works Director Lee Ritzman is fired.

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Jul 282011

After many years as a public works director, Lee Ritzman was terminated today by City Manager Jim Voetberg . Ritzman has a four month pay provision in his employment agreement if he’s fired. Ritzman will receive four months pay plus health insurance and unused vacation pay for a total of approximately $38,000.

Ritzman had run into criticism by a number of city councilors for delayed projects or missed grant opportunities for various others. Inadequate cost estimates on the city’s new water treatment plant project also got him into hot water. In his news release, Voetberg said “it is my determination that the Public Works Department needs new direction and leadership.” The city recently hired Tim Gross as senior projects manager for the department. Voetberg said he is appointing Gross as interim public works director until issues surrounding the leadership of the public works department can be sorted out.