Two motorcyclists arrested for speeding, reckless driving and more

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Aug 132018

Sunday evening Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody Tadlock was working traffic enforcement in the city of Waldport. He spotted a black motorcycle make an illegal pass near the intersection of NW Hemlock Street and N. Bay Street. The motorcycle was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed. Deputy Tadlock attempted to stop the motorcycle, but the driver refused to yield. A high speed pursuit ensued up to milepost 6 on Alsea Highway. The pursuit was terminated due to the reckless nature of the driver, who was making illegal passes and driving into oncoming traffic.

While reviewing in-car video to identify clues of who was operating the motorcycle, it again passed Deputy Tadlock, this time going westbound. A short pursuit was initiated, but was again terminated due to the reckless driving of the motorcycle operator.

While reviewing video from local businesses, Deputies were able to get video and photograph stills of the driver involved in the pursuit. Additionally, it was found that the motorcycle operator had a riding partner, associated with a second motorcycle described as blue in color. During the investigation, multiple motorists on Highway 34 called in to report the two motorcycles were continuing to drive recklessly up the highway, putting lives at risk.

The two motorcycles were eventually located by a Benton County Deputy in Alsea, parked behind a house. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Philomath Police, and Oregon State Police responded to the location of the recovered motorcycles. The operators of the motorcycles were located in a nearby house. Stephen Schoonover, age 29 of Sweet Home, was taken into custody and charged with reckless driving with a bail of $15,000. Matthew Short, age 30 of Albany, was taken into custody and charged with two counts of felony elude, reckless driving, reckless endangering, driving while suspended, and additional crimes with a total bail amount of $345,000.

Pacific Seafood wants to buy Bayfront area properties to house their workers

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Aug 132018

Pacific Seafood can’t find housing for its workers, so it wants to create its own.

Pacific Seafood processing is asking Newport City Hall to allow them to create their own worker housing because their workers can’t find affordable housing in Newport.

Pacific Seafood will be sitting down with city planning commissioners August 13th to work out some changes to the city code to allow the company to provide workforce housing for its workers by acquiring properties on, or near, the Bayfront so their workers can have a place to live and not have it cost them an arm and a leg.

City planners seem to be in agreement with Pacific Seafood’s idea, but in order to make it all happen, city planners must propose a change in the city code that still has a thirty day limit on room rentals in commercial and industrial zones. The city planning commission will be considering a change to allow rentals for longer than 30 days.

Pacific Seafood has 430 fish processing workers during the height of the fishing season. Company officials say if the planning commission and city council go along with their request, the company could create much needed workforce housing for Pacific Seafood without worsening an already critical shortage of similar housing throughout the Newport area.

If the city planning commission adopts the changes the issue would be handed up to the City Council for their review and probable approval.

House fire in Lincoln City

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Aug 132018

Lincoln City Fire-Rescue, with assistance from Depoe Bay Fire-Rescue are racing to the scene of a house fire in 2200 block of SE Highway 101. Close to SE 23rd.

The structure fire is accelerating. All firefighters ordered out of the home and assume a “defensive” attack – let it burn but don’t allow flames to ignite anything nearby.

Lights of Hope 2018 – August 25, 5pm, Toledo Waterfront

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Aug 122018

Lights of Hope, 2018
August 25, 5pm
Toledo Waterfront

These days it seems that opioid addictions are spreading across the country faster than wildland fires in Oregon. And they are. But other addictions involving methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, PCP and others have already sunk deep roots into the minds and bodies of millions of Americans. Then there’s alcohol. Addictions are involved with alcohol as well.

The city of Toledo is holding a Lights of Hope 2018 celebration at the Toledo Waterfront on Saturday, August 25th starting at 5pm. There will be speakers and many opportunities for citizens to learn more about how legal and illegal substances can destroy lives, families, if not entire communities.

Families and individuals can learn about the insidious and deadly trends of drug use – why people get “hooked” but also how they get “UN-hooked.”

Plan to attend The Lights of Hope 2018 celebration of life and sobriety at the Toledo Waterfront, August 25th starting at 5pm. Here’s a brief preview of the event. Click here.

Response #4 to Toledo Recall Petition Claims

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Aug 122018

The views, observations and opinions expressed in this Letter to the Editor reflect those of the submitter and do not necessarily reflect the views, observations or opinions of the staff, management or advertisers of Opposing views are cordially invited to be submitted to:

Response #4 to Toledo Recall Petition Claims – Mayor Billie Jo Smith, Toldeo

The recall petition that has been filed in Toledo makes 5 claims against Mayor Billie Jo Smith, and 4 against City Council President Terri Strom and Councilor Deanne Dunlap. Some of the claims are completely untrue. All are misleading and are the opinions of the individuals leading the recall.

The petitions against Terri Strom and Deanne Dunlap repeat the claims against the Mayor, and accuse them of supporting the Mayor. In fact, the Mayor and Councilors have been acting on the decisions of the City Council.

To respond to all of the claims in one article would make it too much to print and read. Also, some of the claims have several parts. To make this easier for readers, we are responding to only one of the claims at a time. This is the fourth of five in this series of responses. This claim is divided into two sections for the responses.

Recall Petition Claim:

Incompetent evaluation and recommendation of a deeply flawed annual budget. Failed to recognize numerous errors in the proposed budget as presented by City Manager Martin.

The Truth:
The 2018 – 2019 proposed budget was developed by our City Manager and Department Heads. The calculations and past expenditures were entered by our financial contractors from the Cascade West Council of Governments.
Initially, the financial contractors needed to train new staff for the Finance Department, try to familiarize themselves with the City’s Finances, and reorganize the use of our computerized system to take advantage of many features that had not been utilized in the past.

When they began helping to organize the new budget, the contractors discovered that much of the information they needed had not been entered into the system before the former Finance Director retired in December, 2017. They had to search for records in other hard copy and spreadsheet files and notebooks that were not clearly documented.

The first edition of the 2018-2019 budget was put together with incomplete information and was revised immediately, as needed information was located.
The proposed budget was carefully reviewed by the budget committee, and the committee Chair was a CPA, with governmental budget experience.

The Budget Committee met five times this year. Four of the meetings were planned, as the meetings in the past had been rushed, with many questions unanswered. This year the committee members heard detailed explanations of each account from the Department Heads in charge of them. The fifth meeting was to provide time to consider and make any needed budget adjustments due to public testimony.

The former Finance Director, and community members she had provided with information, presented possible errors in the calculations and criticized the changes in format of the new budget. This input was presented as a criticism of the City Manager, and was not provided to him ahead of time in a manner that would have shown a desire to be helpful.

All public input was carefully examined, and many corrections and changes were made in later editions of the budget.

The budget that was approved by the Budget Committee and ultimately by the Council is a good one. It meets the criteria for a good budget, in that it appropriates necessary funds and provides the framework for expenditures this next fiscal year. It also is a conservative budget, as overall the budget expenditures are approximately a million dollars less than that of the last fiscal year. This means that our City Manager is planning ahead for possible budget constraints in the future.

A budget is an estimate, a working document. It can be adjusted during the year if new information or needs arise. Such adjustments may be necessary when the City receives the results of the much delayed 2016-2017 audit, which was submitted by the former Finance Director. The City will then be able to submit the 2017-2018 financial records for auditing of the financial data and financial systems. The documentation that was left when the Finance Director retired cannot be reconciled between the City’s official financial system and the additional methods of documentation that were used in the past.

Publicly insulted citizens who pointed out problems.

The Truth:
The members of the public were treated respectfully by the budget committee, although some of the public comments were accusatory and presented in a negative manner. The speakers were thanked, and the information they provided was taken.

All of the information presented by the public was carefully examined by the City Manager and the City’s financial department, and budget changes were made, where appropriate.

Most, if not all, of the public speakers were using information provided to them by the former Finance Director.

It was discovered that the Fire Chief had violated city policies and provided the former Finance Director with a copy of the City’s complete financial record files. The files contain information that is protected by law from public view. She could have obtained this information legally through a public records request, and the confidential information would have been redacted. The City’s financial contractors also had discovered that during the last five months of the former Finance Director’s employment with the City, a large amount of critical financial information had not been documented or entered into the city’s official financial records; tax receipts had not been recorded, and the bank accounts had not been balanced. Municipal Court receipts had not been recorded, causing unfair penalties to be imposed on individuals.

The Finance Director of the Cascades West Council of Governments, contracted to provide the City’s financial services, provided the Budget Committee with a printed list of the financial information and documentation that had not been recorded during the last five months of the former Finance Director’s tenure with the City.

The Mayor read this list aloud at the Budget Committee meeting. The list did not place blame, it simply factually stated what had been found. During the entire reading of the list, the former Finance Director and the former City Recorder were openly laughing with each other.

Many of the problems being brought forward by the former Finance Director and her supporters were caused by this lack of documentation and the difficulties our finance contractors were having in trying to accurately fill in these huge gaps.

The question of who was responsible for recording the information listed was asked. The answer was that it was the responsibility of the Finance Director.
Later in the meeting, the former City Recorder stood up and criticized the Mayor for insulting a former City staff member (the former Finance Director) in public.

The Mayor had only read the document that had been given to the Budget Committee.

Submitted by Toledo Mayor Billie Jo Smith

Smoke investigation 2030 SE Marine Science Drive

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Aug 122018

Smoke investigation at HMSC, 2030 Marine Science Drive, South Beach.

** Small grass fire, caused by discarded smoking materials, put out quickly per Fire Chief Rob Murphy.