Fire alarm at Newport’s Fred Meyer

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Jul 032011
 

9:28am
Newport fire units are enroute to Fred Meyer’s at 101 and 20th for a fire alarm. Location pinpointed is a water flow alarm at “food riser #3.”

9:35am
Fire units handled. Apparently no fire.

What Oregon lawmakers did, didn’t get around to doing, or consciously failed to do…

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Jul 032011
 

Oregon lawmakers adjourned the legislature last week with a list of accomplishments, near accomplishments, and outright flops. Here’s a list of some of what they did accomplish without federal stimulus money and without over-committing the state’s precious reserves. The story is in the Statesman Journal. Click here.

One legislative orphan left to die on the Capitol steps was House Bill 2009 which was the product of endless meetings on how best to gauge the health of Oregon’s near shore ocean. Supporters of the bill said the establishment of marine reserves, with either outright bans on human activity or near to it, is necessary to devise a near-shore regulatory framework to keep our coast waters healthy. Marine reserve supporters say there is research that proves that human activity is having a harmful effect on the health of oceans and along the Oregon coast. Opponents, however, vociferously contended that there has already been enough research on Oregon’s territorial waters to challenge those broad contentions. Their opposition to the establishment of marine reserves was muted, however, due to a not-so-veiled threat by environmental protection groups to launch a statewide voter initiative to mandate the reserves despite the reluctance of the legislature. House Bill 2009 never did come up for an up or down vote.

Some point to the fact that House Co-Speaker Arnie Robian is from Coos Bay whose community involvement with the marine reserves process has been somewhat contentious. The Port of Coos Bay, especially, has demanded that any legislation authorizing marine reserves carry with it “economic mitigation” for any commercial fishermen who are kicked off their traditional fishing waters for the sake of ocean research as well as for any lost jobs at Coos Bay area’s three major fish processing facilities. The port’s demand that the state compensate for such lost fishing related income was met with less than open arms in Salem.

A spokesman for Governor Kitzhaber’s office told NewsLincolnCounty.com that the governor is keenly aware of the political and environmental stakes and will work with all those involved to develop a way forward on the issue while plans are made to develop another attempt at legislative review. Funds for implementing part of the targeted marine reserves program are found in the state’s environmental protection and anti-pollution agencies. It remains to be seen how the environmental groups react to the governor’s efforts. If they’re judged insufficient, a statewide “Save Our Ocean” campaign could kick off with a voter signature collection campaign that would put the marine reserves issue on the ballot. Most political observers and pundits predict it would overwhelmingly be approved mainly on the strength of voters in the Eugene and Portland areas.

Newport Symphony Summerfest- July 4 Pops Concert at Newport High School Gym

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Jul 022011
 

Newport Symphony Orchestra

The Newport Symphony Orchestra’s 7th annual FREE Fourth of July concert starts at 4pm, at the Newport High Gym, with a program of popular music along with traditional patriotic music.

The concern features guest conductor Norman Leyden, the Conductor Emeritus of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra as well regular Conductor Adam Flatt whose animated relationship with the orchestra, as well as with the audience, is frequently an added plus that launches waves of laughter and applause rolling about the crowd for those who pay close enough attention. Actor and narrator David Ogden Stiers is the orchestra’s Associate Conductor. Soprano Katie Harman, 2002 Miss Oregon who went on to be crowned Miss America that year, will also perform.

For more information on this FREE concert simply call 541-574-0614.

Coastal mussel ban from Tillamook to Astoria

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Jul 022011
 

Coastal mussels
Click to enlarge photo

Oregon Agriculture Department officials have closed recreational mussel harvesting on Oregon’s northernmost beaches due to high levels of marine toxins. The closure was announced Friday and extends from the south jetty of the Columbia River south to Cape Meares near Tillamook. The closure includes mussels found on beaches, rocks, jetties, and where bays meet the sea.

Officials say clam and crab harvesting are NOT affected. They’re still safe to eat. All coastal areas south of Cape Meares remain open to recreational shellfish harvesting, according to state agriculture officials.

Paralytic shellfish toxins can cause minor to severe illness in humans. Even death. Officials report that even thorough cooking of the mussels will not make them safe to eat. Shellfish poisoning in humans usually begins with tingling of the mouth and tongue. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, paralysis of the arms and legs, and paralysis of the muscles used for breathing. The toxins are produced by naturally occurring algae at sea.

Newport Police arrest DUII driver who had been earlier cited by OSP for 95 mph in a 55.

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Jul 022011
 

Larry Duncan, DUII, in pick-up.

Newport Police were dispatched to a report of a pick-up that ran off Highway 101 at NE 31st Saturday evening. Upon arrival, officers detected that both driver Larry Duncan of Blodgett and his female passenger were exhibiting impaired behavior. Duncan agreed to a series of physical agility tests to ascertain his level of impairment. He flunked and was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. At the jail the suspicion was changed to a drunk driving charge when he blew a .16% blood alcohol level, twice the legal limit for DUII. He was being held on $45,000 bail. He was also cited for reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

About an hour and a half earlier, Duncan had been pulled over in Yamhill County by Oregon State Police and cited for driving 95 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Vehicle crash on 101 near Bob Creek – man trapped inside.

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Jul 022011
 

A vehicle that has run off the road on Highway 101 near Bob Creek has entrapped the driver. The vehicle is surrounded by brush and he can’t get the doors open to escape. The vehicle is so far off the road it’s not visible from the highway. A witness is standing by at the shoulder to direct first responders. It’s at milepost 171 south of Yachats.

The witness who went into the brush to check on the driver said he snapped at her to “get away.”

Yachats Fire/Rescue is enroute along with law enforcement.

Federal and State Agencies claim Spotted Owl recovery plan won’t significantly affect short or long term logging in Oregon.

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Jul 022011
 

After a rousing chorus of criticism to an earlier plan to aid the endangered Spotted Owl in its recovery, federal and state agencies say the goal can be met without severely reducing timber harvests in Oregon. The story is in the Oregonian. Click here.

New sidewalks under north end of Yaquina Bay Bridge, connecting Bayfront to Yaquina State Park

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Jul 022011
 

New wrap around sidewalk and sidewalk links to “dangling bridge staircases”

It’s a challenging goal, but Newport Public Works Projects Manager Tim Gross says he thinks he can get it all done in time to help celebrate the 75th birthday of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Gross is planning to extend the new sidewalk from the top of Naterlin Drive to the north bridge loop road, clear through to Yaquina Bay State Park. He’s also looking to connect it into the “dangling” bridge staircases that adorn both sides of the bridge.

Gross says it’s a pedestrian link that probably should have been made when the bridge was built, but for whatever reason, wasn’t. “So now may be the time to do it, since there are grant funds and other city resources to pay for it,” said Gross. “If we can finesse the grants and manage other financial resources, I think we can have it all in place by October 2nd, the official 75th birthday of the bridge.”

Gross is looking at more than just sidewalks. He’s also looking to make the intersection on the west side of the bridge more pedestrian safe. He said work crews will be “squaring it up” it to better accommodate crosswalks.

The Lincoln County Historical Society is throwing a birthday party for the bridge on October 2nd, the 75th anniversary of its completion. Gross said first-ever sidewalk access from the Bayfront to Yaquina State Park, as well as direct access to the bridge pedestrian walkways, could certainly make the day a little more special in that pedestrians would have their own route around the north base of the bridge, rather than just for motor vehicles.

Gross admitted that the project timeline will be tight but added, “We should be able to get it done by October 2nd if we just stay at it.”

Top Photo: North end of bridge; Eastside “dangling” staircase
#2 Photo: Sidewalk top of Naterlin Drive
#3 Photo: Looking west from Naterlin @ loop road
#4 Photo: Loop road under bridge
#5 Photo: Westside “dangling” staircase
#6 Photo: Intersection to be “squared up” for crosswalks
#7 Photo: Road at entrance to YB State Park

Auto Crash Highway 101 milepost 120

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Jul 012011
 

One car sideswiped another on 101 milepost 120, just south of Lincoln City. The crash sent one car to the side of the highway, the other car off the highway completely and off into the trees. Sheriff’s deputies say the occupants appear to be okay, but they’re pinned inside their car by branches and thick brush. One deputy told 9-1-1 dispatch, “They can’t get their doors open. We’ll be doing some yard work to get ’em out.”

No serious injuries.

10:00pm Victims have been removed from their car. Appear to be okay. Paramedics are checking them out.

Power out in most of Waldport

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Jul 012011
 

Reports are coming in that the power is out in wide areas of Waldport. Cause not yet known. CLPUD is being dispatched.

4:35pm – The Waldport Substation is out. Crews are trying to bring it back on line. No estimated time for restoral.

4:50pm – Power restored.