WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT…

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Feb 222011
 

From the National Weather Service

A WINTER STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR HEAVY SNOW WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON

* TIMING…RAIN SHOWERS ARE ALREADY MIXING WITH WET SNOW DOWN TO THE VALLEY FLOOR. HOWEVER ACCUMULATIONS HAVE BEEN RESTRICTED TO THE HIGHER TERRAIN. ACCUMULATING SNOW WILL BE POSSIBLE DOWN TO THE VALLEY FLOOR LATE TONIGHT…WITH HEAVIER SNOW BECOMING LIKELY LATER WEDNESDAY AND CONTINUING INTO THURSDAY.

* ACCUMULATION/SNOW LEVELS…UP TO 3 INCHES OF SNOW ARE POSSIBLE AS EARLY AS WEDNESDAY MORNING. AN ADDITIONAL 2 TO 4 INCHES ARE EXPECTED LATER WEDNESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY. GENERAL STORM TOTALS OF 2 TO 5 INCHES ARE EXPECTED FOR THE COAST AND LOWLANDS BY THURSDAY EVENING…WITH LOCAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 10 INCHES POSSIBLE MAINLY IN THE HIGHER HILLS.

* IMPACTS…ROADWAYS MAY BECOME ICY AND SNOW COVERED…RESULTING IN SLICK DRIVING CONDITIONS. THIS MAY SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT THE COMMUTE BOTH WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY.

Yachats Photographer sharing work with Coastal Arts Guild

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Feb 222011
 

Shoreline by Jerome Kimmel, click picture to enlarge

The Coastal Arts Guild welcomes Yachats photographer, Jerome Kimmel as our guest speaker. Kimmel will be speaking before the Arts Guild 11:30am, March 6, at the Newport Visual Arts Center.

Kimmel’s interest in photography began when he lived in New York. Over the next thirty years, it became a more consuming passion during his time in San Francisco and Carmel California. Eleven years ago he retired and moved to Yachats and says he has had more time to pursue the  “perfect print.” In his early years, his focus was black and white – but he says he now uses digital and photoshop computer techniques to create his work. Today, travel and the coastal landscapes of Oregon provide his inspiration. He does his own printing at home using Giclee process.

Kimmel is a member of the Yachats Arts Guild. Three of his pieces were recently accepted in the juried show at the Florence Events Center.

The public is always invited to attend the Coastal Arts Guild (CAG) luncheons. The CAG welcomes new members and will provide staffing training for new members to sit at the Runyan Gallery. CAG members always look forward to the fun-filled monthly luncheons and the variety of guest speakers. Monthly themes vary – for March it is Corned Beef and Cabbage in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

The Guild is comprised of artists and art supporters and provides opportunities for community involvement, teaching after-school art in elementary schools and other efforts to further the Arts on the Central Oregon Coast (emphasizing the Visual Arts). 

Guild members volunteer to staff the Runyan Art Gallery of the Visual Arts Center, and hold special events throughout the year.  Our fund raising efforts support art in the schools, as well as sponsoring artist receptions at the Runyan Gallery, which is located at the Historic Nye Beach Turnaround at 777 NW Beach Drive.  The Gallery is open Tuesday – Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM.

Home brew beer no longer “beyond the pale” in Oregon?

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Feb 222011
 

In what appears to be a pretty easy sell by Oregon home brewers of boutique beers, the Oregon Senate has approved a change in state liquor laws that currently makes it illegal for beer made at home to be taken beyond the front porch.

The little known law enacted in the Prohibition 1930s barred anyone making beer in their home from taking it off their property and could be charged with a serious offense if they did. Certainly if they tried to enter a beer brewers competition at the State Fair. The law was “discovered” last year which forced the cancellation of the competition at at the 2010 State Fair. The law also conjured up the notion that receiving a prize at such a competition or paying dues to a brewer’s club constituted payment for the brew triggering a license requirement from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Well, all that appears to be fading away with the Senate’s passing of SB 444. The bill, which is now enroute to the House with numerous sponsors lined up to push it along, expands the exemption for homemade beer AND fermented fruit juice from the Liquor Control Act. Not only can hobby brewers and fermenters form dues paying clubs, they can also conduct tastings. They will also be allowed to receive a tax deduction or credit for donating beer, wine or fermented juice to a non-profit organization.

From being nearly outlawed to becoming a tax-duductible item, who says government can’t be responsive!?

You never know “who” is doing “what” off our coast.

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Feb 222011
 

Hashish, courtesy DEA

The FBI reports that the last member of a very ambitious drug smuggling operation has been brought to justice in a case going back to 1992, during which 25 TONS of hashish was delivered off Washington state and smuggled ashore.

Lee Rushing, aka Anthony Bear, 65, pleaded guilty today in Tacoma Federal Court to money laundering. Rushing hid from the law for many years, the FBI finally tracking him down living under an assumed name in The Netherlands. Rushing will be sentenced in federal court in early June.

The story goes back to the early 90’s when Rushing and a number of others bought 25 tons of hashish from growers in Pakistan. They loaded it aboard a freighter which met up with three rented fishing boat off Willapa Bay, Washington. The hashish was soon taken ashore and loaded into leased trucks and transported to warehouses in California and New York.

The FBI says what broke the case open was the fact that participants in the drug operation suddenly had gobs of cash which drew the attention of law enforcement. One of the first smugglers was caught after agents obtained a search warrant for one of the fishing boat captains who suddenly was rolling in money with no way to explain how he suddenly got so rich. When they searched his property in Crescent City, they found a half million dollars in cash buried in his front yard.

Over the years the FBI caught up with most, if not all of the smugglers, all of whom are serving, or have served, lengthy prison terms. Lee Rushing will be facing up to ten years in prison when he’s sentenced in Tacoma federal court on March 27th.

How NOT to have an accident in a snow storm!

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Feb 222011
 

From Jim Kusz
North Lincoln Fire & Rescue

Severe Winter Weather in Forecast!

Extremely cold weather and snow at sea level is expected in the next few days. Be sure to have extra food on hand and check on elderly friends and neighbors before the weather closes in.

It is especially important to get winterized to avoid dangerous situations while traveling in cold weather. Keep your fuel tank full, check your battery, belts and hoses, windshield wipers and antifreeze in your radiator and be sure you tires are ready for any condition, equip your car with studded tires and check your tire pressure.

Here are some safe winter driving tips:
Slow Down! Drive according to road and weather conditions. Remember, the posted speed limits are for dry pavement and ideal conditions.
Clear snow and/or ice and frost from all windows and lights before driving, putting a blanket over the windshield at night to keep frost from forming on is a little trick I learned.

Watch for icy surfaces on bridges, even when the rest of the road seems to be in good condition. Bridge decks will ice up first.

Look farther ahead in traffic. Actions by other drivers will alert you to problems and give you extra seconds to react.

Don’t get overconfident with four-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive helps you get going quicker but it won’t help you stop any faster.

Braking – Don’t pump anti-lock brakes. If your car is equipped with anti-lock braking system (ABS), do not pump your brakes. The right way is to “stomp and steer.” Make sure you know how to use your braking system in all weather and road conditions.

Snowy Roads – Snow on a road may be hard-packed and slippery as ice. It can also be rutted and full of hard tracks and gullies. Or it can be smooth and soft. Wet snow can make for slushy roads. Heavy slush can build up in the wheel wells of your vehicle and can affect your ability to steer. Remember, look far ahead as you drive, so you can recognize hazards and have plenty of time to respond. Adjust your driving to the road and weather conditions.

Drive safe,

Jim Kusz / Captain
Public Education, PIO and Safety Officer
Serving Depoe Bay and North Lincoln Fire & Rescue Districts
541-996-2233 ext. 223 
24 hour cell 503-407-0801

Warming Center at Nazarene Church Needs Volunteers!!!!

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Feb 222011
 

The good folks at the Nazarene Church are opening their door again this week to provide a warming shelter for our community’s homeless. Men, women AND children. The weather forecast is for wintery conditions, to be sure.

The warming center desperately needs volunteers for every shift. One hour, two hours, whatever is offered.

The warming center will open Thursday evening at 5pm. They shut the doors at 9:45pm. Only law enforcement can bring in anyone past 9:45pm.

If your heart leads you to volunteer, call Lola Jones at 541-265-9883.

Sen. Ron Wyden calls for hearings on Patriot Act’s “Secret Laws.”

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Feb 222011
 

Provided by Senator Wyden’s Office (unedited)

Wyden Begins Effort to Amend Patriot Act
Introduces legislation to require evidence for “business records”

Washington, D.C. – As a three month extension of the USA PATRIOT Act makes its way to the President’s desk, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said Congress must use the newly added time to hold the “debate it has spent ten years avoiding.”

“Americans deserve laws that strike the best possible balance between fighting terrorism ferociously and protecting the rights and freedoms of law-abiding American citizens,” Wyden said.” “The Patriot Act does not strike that balance. It was written and passed six weeks after the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history. Congress wisely included sunset dates for the Patriot Act’s most controversial provisions, so that they could be thoughtfully considered at a later time. After ten years, it is clearly time for that debate.”

One of the biggest impediments to debating the Patriot Act, Wyden said, is the problem of “secret law,” or instances in which government agencies rely on secret interpretations of what the law means without telling the public what those interpretations are.

“It is impossible for Congress to hold an informed public debate on the Patriot Act when there is a significant gap between what most Americans believe the law says and what the government is using the law to do. In fact, I believe many members of Congress who have voted on this issue would be stunned to know how the Patriot Act is being interpreted and applied,” Wyden said. “Of course, intelligence agencies need to be able to conduct operations in secret, but even secret operations need to be conducted within the bounds of established, publicly understood law. Any time there is a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the government secretly thinks the law says, I believe you have a serious problem.”

Wyden is also proposing a modification to the “business records” provision of the USA PATRIOT Act. This provision currently permits government agents to obtain a broad array of information or objects, such as blood or DNA samples, simply by asserting that they are “relevant to an investigation”. Wyden’s legislation (S. 406) would replace the “relevance” standard with a “nexus to terrorism” standard. Under this standard, intelligence agencies could still use the Patriot Act to obtain records or tangible things, but would have to demonstrate that the records were in some way connected to terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.

“This is really a debate about the standard our government should have to meet in order to obtain personal information about individuals from banks, hospitals, libraries, retail stores, gun shops, and other institutions,” Wyden said. “Government agents should not be able to collect this sort of information on law abiding American citizens without showing that they have at least some connection to terrorism or other nefarious activities. ‘Relevance’ is simply too broad of a standard – as there are limitless interpretations of the word ‘relevant.’”

The “nexus to terrorism” standard has been previously considered by the Senate, and was included in a Patriot Act reauthorization bill sponsored by Senators Specter, Feinstein and Kyl in 2005, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent.

Newport Chamber Biz Blurbs

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Feb 222011
 

February 22, 2011

Newport’s 3rd Annual Restaurant Week: March 21st -27th!

The community is invited to celebrate its love for food ranging from fine dining to fast food! Participating restaurants will feature special menus, promotions, and discounts. Diners will have the opportunity to sample new restaurants they havent yet experienced, and explore exciting new dishes at their old favorites. Please visit www.newportchamber.org for participating restaurants and menus.

New Sponsorship Opportunities For 2011 Newport ‘Relay For Life’

Please contact Katie Fournier kfournier@westerntitle.com to set up an appointment to take advantage of the newly reduced sponsorship opportunities for this year’s Relay for Life. Increase your company’s credibility by forming a strategic alliance with the American Cancer Society- the largest and most respected voluntary health organization in the United States. Make an impression and expose your business to your target audience for an affordable tax deductible donation and show your commitment to serving your community.

Nominate Your Outstanding Employee

The Chamber’s Hospitality Committee is looking to honor your exceptional employee with an Employee of the Month Award. Do you have an exemplary Employee that exudes proficiency in the following criteria: Quality of Service, Friendliness, Knowledge of the Area, & Role Model for other Employees? If so, call the Chamber office @ (541) 265-8801 or visit us @ www.newportchamber.orgto download a nomination form. Employee of the Month recipients will be presented with the Award at a Chamber Luncheon, receive a $50 check, and will be showcased in the Communiqué Newsletter.

Alsea Highway at MP 30 still being cleared. Expect delays.

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Feb 222011
 

From ODOT

OR 34 (Alsea Hwy) remains restricted to a single lane of travel at milepost 30, nine miles west of Alsea, due to a landslide. ODOT crews will work with a contractor today to remove the remaining 400-500 cubic yards of rock and debris from the westbound lane. Flaggers will control travel through the area in alternating directions. Motorists should take an alternate route or expect delays. Motorists are asked to use extreme caution if traveling through the work zone.

Weather Service: Big snow coming to the coast

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Feb 222011
 

The National Weather Service (NWS) says it’s going to start snowing tonight and into Wednesday morning here on the coast, with snow sticking to the ground making for a slippery commute to work Wednesday morning.

The NWS predicts the snow will turn briefly to rain Wednesday around noon, then switch back to snow, heavy at times, through Thursday afternoon. Snowfall is expected to continue into Friday with cold temperatures and nightmare driving conditions.