It was “Owney Day” in Toledo as a new postage stamp celebrates the life of a little dog who carried so much goodwill around the country and around the world…

 Toledo  Comments Off on It was “Owney Day” in Toledo as a new postage stamp celebrates the life of a little dog who carried so much goodwill around the country and around the world…
Jul 272011

“Owney” in the RxR mail car, 1887

In the 1880s, during the height of the Railway Mail Service, clerks in the Post Office in Albany, New York, took a liking to a terrier mix named Owney. Fond of riding in postal wagons, Owney followed mailbags onto trains and soon became a good-luck charm to Railway Mail Service employees, who made him their unofficial mascot. Working in the Railway Mail Service was very dangerous. According to the National Postal Museum, more than 80 mail clerks were killed in train wrecks and more than 2,000 were injured between 1890 and 1900. However, it was said that no train ever met with trouble while Owney was aboard.

As Owney traveled the country, clerks attached medals and tags to his collar to document his travels. When John Wanamaker, Postmaster General from 1889 to 1893, heard that Owney was overburdened with tags, he gave him a special harness to display them all. During his travels crisscrossing the country, and two trips around the world, Owney accumulated more than a thousand medals and tags. Today a preserved Owney is on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum in a case that includes some of his medals and tags.

“Owney at the Smithsonian”

Art director Phil Jordan worked with veteran stamp artist Bill Bond to create this special symbol of the United States Postal Service.

The Owney the Postal Dog stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.

In Toledo today, the Yaquina Pacific Railroad Historical Society celebrated the issuance of the “Owney” Forever Stamp with a hand cancellation and Owney Look-a-like contest. They also had a good time with McGruff and Police Chief Dave Enyeart. Here’s a quick video on the fun today….

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Fire at GP paper mill

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Jul 272011

Georgia Pacific, Toledo

Updated 8:55 am, Thursday

A fire erupted early this evening at Georgia Pacific’s Toledo paper plant machine number three. While fire units were enroute, a GP fire suppression team extinguished the fire at around 6:45pm.

Toledo Fire officials say a fire in paper machine number three was extinguished by a GP fire suppression team. During their firefight, hot water sprayed onto a team member who suffered a burn to his upper arm. He was transported by ambulance to Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport. He was treated and released and a mill spokesman says he’s back at work this morning.

Such fires are fairly common in paper mill operations where there is lots of heat and paper dust in the manufacturing process. Because of that, fire fighters say mills such as Georgia Pacific have extensive fire suppression equipment always at the ready for employee teams and, as with today’s fire, was used quickly to douse the flames.

Heceta Head Lighthouse scenic site closing Aug. 15 for renovations

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Jul 272011

Heceta Head improvements

Heceta Head Lighthouse parking lots and trail will close to the public for approximately 7 weeks beginning Aug. 15th. Changes in the construction schedule have pushed back the original closure date from Aug. 1st. There will be no access to the park or lighthouse starting August 15.

The US Forest Service (USFS) and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) are partnering to improve the west parking lot and the uneven, erosion-prone 1/2-mile trail leading to the lighthouse. The east parking lot will also close to serve as a staging area for the project contractor. The USFS and OPRD are partnering on the project because the work occurs on lands owned by both.

The project will reshape and repave the west parking lot to improve drainage and repair erosion damage, chronic problems at the site. A new sidewalk leading to the beach will improve accessibility to the beach. Trail rehab work includes installing culverts and shifting parts of the trail into the hillside, a safety move to counter severe erosion. New benches and interpretive signs will be added to the trail, and the trail surface at the lighthouse will be improved.

The historic assistant lighthouse keeper’s house, which the USFS operates through a concessionaire as a B&B, will remain open, although parking will be limited.

Although the parking lot and trail project is expected to take 4-7 weeks, much of the work depends on the weather. The parking lots and trail will reopen as soon as work on them is complete, probably by Sept. 30, 2011.

Repairing an “oldie but not goodie” in Toledo

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Jul 272011

Video provided by Adam Denlinger

Toledo’s Clear Well water tank has been patched and the leaks appear to have been stopped for now. Public Works Director Adam Denlinger says the tank, built in 1938, appears to be leak-tight for the moment, but they’ll continue to monitor tank seams for the next six months to head off any further leaks.

Denlinger says repair efforts included drilling 85 holes along various seams which were then filled with pressurized epoxy.

Denlinger and City Manager Michelle Amberg were recently given the go-ahead by their city council to pursue a contract with a bonding company to float revenue bonds to pay for critical water system replacements and upgrades. Seal Rock water customers will also be on the hook for a part of those funds since Seal Rock buys their water from Toledo.

Fundraiser 1/2 Marathon for proposed Oregon Coast Aquatic Park

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Jul 272011

Provided by Friends of the Oregon Coast Aquatic Park

The third annual Newport Half Marathon will be run September 17. The half marathon is the fastest growing running event in the US, according to Alan Rasmussen, founder of NW Running League,

Take advantage of the early registration discount and register now- $35 for adults; $25 for kids. Price increases after August 31. There is something for the whole family: half-marathon run and walk, 10-mile run and walk and half marathon bike. We have expanded each division this year to include relays for those who can’t run the full course. So, grab three friends and sign up!

You can register by downloading an application from our website or online at or type in Forms will soon be available at Bike Newport and the Newport Parks & Recreation Building.

We still need volunteers. Call Kat to sign up! More information is available at or by calling Kat Pedersen at 867-4649 or Jeff Bertuleit at 265-3032. The half marathon is a benefit for Friends of the Oregon Coast Aquatic Park. Our mission is to provide a quality aquatic facility for residents of and visitors to the central Oregon coast.

Oregon Coast Aquarium: Eating more intelligently can be good for our oceans!

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Jul 272011

Shark tube, Oregon Coast Aquarium

From the “everything’s connected” department, the Oregon Coast Aquarium offers up a fascinating thought about how people’s eating habits can have a major effect on the world’s oceans. Click here for the story!

US Postal Service studying closing small offices nationwide. Eddyville on the list.

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Jul 272011

Faced with an $8 billion deficit, more people communicating with e-mail and more package delivery being taken over by UPS and FedEx, the United States Postal Service has announced a long list of urban and rural office closures or potential closures. And the post office in Eddyville is on the list as well as Gardiner, near Reedsport. The story is in the Statesman-Journal. Click here.

This coming weekend in Toledo…

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Jul 272011

Yaquina River Museum of Art (top), Judy and Michael Gibbons (bottom)

Here is a sampling of what will be offered during August’s First Weekend Toledo:

The Yaquina River Museum of Art will be open on Saturday and Sunday, the 6th and 7th, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm. “STILL LIFE & THE FIGURE,” a selection of art from the Museum’s permanent collection, the Michael & Judith Trust, and on loan from museum supporters. Twelve artists show figurative work in bronze sculpture and paintings in oil, acrylic, and gouache. Last chance to see this outstanding collection of art as the exhibit comes down August 15 to make way for Art Walk 18 Invitational Show by Don Prechtel from Creswell, Oregon. Light refreshments will be served. School House Exhibit and Office Building, 151 NE Alder Street. For more information call (541)336-1907 or e-mail
Attached photo: YRMA still life & figure exhibit.jpg

Gallery Michael Gibbons will be open on Saturday the 6th from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday the 7th from noon to 5:00. Michael and Judy Gibbons invite you to celebrate art with them throughout the whole year as they commemorate their 25th Year in Business! Michael is presenting an outstanding show of 15 of his Oregon paintings done on location (ala prima)in his Signature Gallery in Toledo at 1st Weekend August 6 and 7 for a unique experience! Oregon wine and cheese reception to meet and talk art with Michael Gibbons. For more information, call (541)336-2797 or visit
Attached file: gibbons 25 years celebration.jpg

Ivan Kelly Gallery-Studio will be open for the weekend from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm on the 6th and from 12:30 – 5:00 pm on the 7th. Showcasing “Sculptured by Pacific Storms,” an 8″ x 16″ juried into American Society of Marine Artists National Art Museum Exhibit Tour of 8 public art museums in 6 States beginning October 2011 thru July 2013. “Every winter the dunes bear the full brunt of our Oregon Coast gale force winds which remodel them into these elegant pristine shapes. Quite ordinary at midday, they take on a special quality of light, shadow and color in the early morning sun.” Light refreshments will be served during the gallery reception at 207 East Graham Street. More info at or (541) 336-1124 – one block above Main St.
Attached file: kelly sculptured by pacific storms.jpg

Skybound Art Gallery will be open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on the 6th and 7th. The gallery will be showcasing new works by its artists-in-residence: mixed media artist Caroll Grant Loomis, painter Becky Miller, and mosaic artist Berta Sergeant. All three artists work and show in the gallery and welcome the public daily to come and observe their creative efforts in action. Skybound is located at 305 N. Main Street. For more information, call (541) 635-0114 or visit

New scam making the rounds in Oregon…

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Jul 272011

Attorney General John Kruger

Green Dot Sweepstakes Scam

Attorney General John Kroger is warning Oregonians to not respond to unsolicited “sweepstakes” phone calls. Both the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Justice’s Consumer Hotline have received reports about suspicious callers who notify consumers that they have won a sweepstakes and then instruct them to purchase a prepaid credit card to cover “taxes” or “fees” associated with collecting their cash prize.

One Marion County resident was contacted on his cell phone earlier this week by a con artist who asked him to purchase three $1,000 Green Dot MoneyPak credit cards. In order to collect his sweepstakes prize, the man was told he must call an Idaho number and read the serial numbers off the back of the cards. Fortunately, he smelled a rat and called the Marion County Sheriff’s Office instead.

Bogus sweepstakes and lottery offers are among the most common types of scams run by crooks who seek to rip off Oregon consumers. These operations are often run by perpetrators located outside the U.S. – making it very difficult for law enforcement agencies to track them down. In 2010 the Department received 1,054 complaints about international money schemes, with $1,999,323 in reported losses – more than double the $707,783 reportedly lost in 2009.

Attorney General Kroger offers the following advice to consumers when it comes to unsolicited telephone calls, mail or e-mail about a sweepstakes or lottery:

· Never pay to play in a sweepstakes.
· Never pay money to claim a prize.
· Do not give out your prepaid credit card number to someone you don’t know (learn more about Green Dot prepaid cards).
· Participating in a foreign lottery is illegal and such lotteries often have close ties to organized crime.
· Beware of fake organizations that go by names similar to more widely-known groups in order to trick
· Government agencies do not sponsor sweepstakes.
· Beware of requests for information about your income, credit card ownership, or bank accounts as a condition
of participating in a sweepstakes or lottery.
· Do not participate in sweepstakes or respond to advertisements that resemble a check, bill or invoice.
· Destroy fake sweepstakes or lottery offers by shredding or deleting them.

The Oregon Department of Justice’s Consumer Hotline, 1-877-877-9392, is a free resource for all Oregonians with consumer-related questions, concerns or complaints. If you or someone you know has fallen victim to a sweepstakes or lottery scam, please contact the Consumer Hotline for assistance.

A reminder from Newport Chamber…

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Jul 272011

The July 29th Chamber Luncheon will be held at the Shilo Oceanfront Resort at 12 noon. Lincoln County D.A. Rob Bovett will be presenting on ‘Prescription Drug Abuse Trends’ and will be showing Youth PSA Videos.

We hope to see you there!

Lorna Davis
Executive Director