Jun 022013
 
Samaritan House Homeless Family Shelter Garden Getaway Weekend

Samaritan House Homeless Family Shelter Garden Getaway Weekend

Garden Getaway Weekend Approaches

Get your tickets now for the annual Samaritan House Homeless Family Shelter Garden Getaway Weekend, which takes place this year on June 22 and 23!

This year events begin on Saturday, June 22 with a delicious dinner paired with both oral and silent auctions. Held at the Newport Shilo Inn and Suites, 536 SW Elizabeth in Newport, the doors will open at 5:00. The full-course dinner features a choice of entrees as well as dessert and complimentary wine. The tickets are $50 person, and attendees will enjoy the music of the Bad Lee Bent Trio as well as games that will be played throughout the evening. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

On Sunday, June 23, the Garden Tour will start at noon. This year the seven featured gardens are along Yaquina Bay Road and just outside Toledo. There is a wide variety of gardens, ranging from a garden with vegetable patches to one with exotic water features. A shuttle is provided for several gardens. The cost of the garden tour is $20. Each garden will have a raffle, and two of the gardens will have refreshments for your enjoyment.

A combined ticket for both events is $65. All proceeds go to support the Samaritan House Homeless Family Shelter, which has been sheltering, educating and guiding homeless families with children toward independence since 1988. Tickets are available at businesses throughout the county.

Ticket information is available at www.samfamshelter.org or by calling 541-574-8898.

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 Posted by at 8:45 PM
Jun 022013
 
Lincoln City Proposed 2013-14 budget bound for the city council June 10th

Lincoln City
Proposed 2013-14 budget bound for the City Council June 10th

After hours testifying before the Lincoln City Council and its budget committee, city staff was able to offer its best shot at a reasonable city budget for the upcoming fiscal year starting July 1st.

Overall, it s $29.5 million dollar financial plan that includes a 2.5% cost of living increase for city workers, except for most department heads whose pay is frozen in place until the state average catches up with them. City Manager David Hawker defended the premium pay saying just because the city limit sign says the town has a population of 8,000 souls, it overlooks the fact that the town’s population and demand for services reaches the 15,000 mark or more during the long tourist season which requires higher pay to attract higher performing personnel to meet the demand for police, parks and recreation, utility and tourism promotion services.

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The City County/Budget Committee voted unanimously to pass the proposed budget which will get another review by just the city council which is expected to adopt it June 10th with little or no changes. City Councilors voting with the citizens committee expressed no major heartburn with what was proposed by Hawker and staff. We’ll see if that opinion holds true for the next week.

Highlights include a 4% increase in water and sewer rates. Hawker said although Lincoln City is playing catchup for a long stretch of no rate hikes, it’s nothing like what Newport and other cities are facing with much longer gaps in properly maintaining their sewer and water systems. Hawker pointed to Newport’s proposed 15% rate hike per year for five years just to keep the water and sewer services working. But even then, there will be a bit of a juggling act in bringing Roads End into the city, after which revenues for sewer and water to the city will fall off since they’ll pay lower “in city” rates. However, that will be somewhat offset by Roads End property taxes flowing into the city treasury, albeit at a graduated rate. As those property taxes rise, Hawker said, it’ll fix the imbalance. He mentioned that the Roads End annexation is likely to be challenged so the timing of the financial arrangement may be shifted ahead depending on how long a final legal decision takes.

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Still there are major water and sewer projects to tackle around the city including continuing to plug leaks in the city’s water system. He said the system is leaking about half of what it was a few years ago, but that it is still a lot of water. Hawker said he suspects a lot of it is leaking from pipes between the street mains to homes and businesses which the property owners are responsible for fixing. He said the city might play a role in helping residents and businesses acquire loans to get themselves more water tight.

City Public Works Director Lila Bradley reported that they are planning to shove another pipe from the waste water treatment plant, under Schooner Creek, paralleling the single pipe they already have. It’s intended for emergency back-up and for allowing the primary pipe to be routinely cleaned and otherwise maintained. More on the sewer side she said there will be improvements made so that the Nelscott outfall doesn’t overflow so often during major storms. Sewer sludge land disposal is also an issue in that Siletz River farmland “receiving areas” are getting harder to come by which is prompting the city to ponder buying land in the area. Otherwise, he said, it would mean much higher costs transporting it to sites way out Highway 18 toward Grande Ronde.

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Hawker also told the budget committee that storm water infiltration remains an on-going headache for the city. He said finding places where storm water is getting into the sewer lines is a never-ending process. He said it requires constant smoke testing and inserting a TV camera inside the pipes to show engineers where stormwater is getting access to the system. He said the city’s sewer capacity is thereby reduced until the infiltration is lessened or preferably stopped altogether.

Hawker mentioned that a plan to provide sewer service around the rest of Devil’s Lake is on the radar. Getting the concept on paper is partially funded by fees paid by Bi-Mart which agreed to pay a penalty of sorts for inadvertently constructing their new store at a lower energy efficiency level than originally agreed to by the city.

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One citizen committee member asked about what he called disparities in the quality of childrens playground equipment at Regatta, Cutler City and Wecoma parks. He said “Wecoma’s doing fine, but the other two aren’t. Equipment at Regatta and Cutler City are breaking and then disappearing.” Public Works Director Lila Bradley said they’re aware of the situation and that they are upgrading Regatta Park but not with new equipment. At Cutler City, she said, equipment is being repaired and will soon be re-installed.

Other aspects of the budget were raised including another reference to the fact that Lincoln City is still taking a wait and see approach to whether it will join Newport and the rest of the county (except Toledo) which recently turned over 9-1-1 dispatch responsibilities to the Willamette Valley Communications Center (WVCC) run by the Salem Police Department. With the recent addition of the Lincoln County police and fire agencies, WVCC now dispatches for over 30 emergency services agencies in Marion, Polk and Lincoln Counties. Hawker said Lincoln City is still pondering its options including whether a tandem arrangement with Toledo might be a way to save money without farming it out to Salem. But either way it goes, Hawker said, he wants a back-up dispatch center available on the coast if something knocks out service between the coast and WVCC. It’s been said that Lincoln City could save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in dispatch costs if it joined the rest of the Lincoln County agencies that have already migrated to WVCC.

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 Posted by at 6:34 PM
Jun 022013
 
Rocky caught pilfering the bird food supply!

Rocky caught pilfering the bird food supply!
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Joyce O’Dell-Lehmer photo

Rocky Racoon has been giving Joyce O’Dell Lehmer fits while she tries to protect her bird feeder. She says Rocky’s been sneaking up and pilfering the bird stash. Joyce has even taken to grabbing the hose and squirting him – which seemed to work…for a while. Tenacious breed those Rac’s.

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 Posted by at 5:09 PM
Jun 022013
 

Sitka Center

Mingle and Muse event Sitka Center for Art & Ecology Otis

Mingle and Muse event
Sitka Center for Art & Ecology
Otis

Judy Vogland, artist

Judy Vogland, artist

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Mingle and Muse at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology

OTIS – “Mingle and Muse” is the Sitka Center’s summer artist lecture series. From May to October the Sitka Center offers workshops that nourish people’s desire for art making, writing and exploring the natural world. One of this summer’s instructors, Judy Vogland, will talk about her artwork Tuesday, June 18th at 4:30pm. The fun begins with mingling and light snacks at 4:30pm followed by the presentation at 5:00pm. If you’ve never been to the Sitka Center, this event is a great chance to explore the studios and see what it’s all about.

Judy Vogland is an artistic force, making this a presentation not to miss. Judy is known for her poignant assemblage collages, courageous teaching methods and her dubious relationship with rules – she loves to break them! The mixed media surfaces of Judy’s work explode with visual stories that are constructed out of discarded objects. This cultural bi-product takes on a second life as Judy reveals the sentimental stories these discarded items contain. How can art reflect the story of our humanity? This free lecture series is designed to get people excited about how creativity can make the world a better place.

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Sitka Center Executive Director, Jalene Case, says, “We often hear from people who live locally that they’ve never been to the Sitka Center so, this is a delightful way to visit while enjoying a lively presentation about art. And, thanks to our local sponsor Inn at Spanish Head, the event is free.”

For a complete list of “Mingle and Muse” dates, presenters and driving directions, head to the Sitka Center’s website at www.sitkacenter.org or call their office at 541.994.5485. This event is free and open to the public. Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, 56605 Sitka Drive, Otis, OR 97368.

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 Posted by at 2:58 PM
Jun 012013
 

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Sen. Jeff Merkley D-Oregon

Sen. Jeff Merkley
D-Oregon

Merkley: USDA Must Give Guidance to Oregon Wheat Growers Within 10 Days
Merkley says review of GMO field-testing practices at USDA needed

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley has called on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to give guidance to Oregon wheat growers on how ensure their product is marketable and meets the needs of their customers, following the discovery of genetically modified wheat engineered by Monsanto found in eastern Oregon. Merkley says their guidance must be given within 10 days, before the Oregon wheat harvest starts. Yesterday, Japan announced it had halted their purchase of Oregon wheat, illustrating need for quick action by USDA.

“USDA must move forward quickly with its investigation to determine how genetically engineered wheat arrived in this farmer’s field, and provide clear guidance to the wheat farmers throughout the Northwest to ensure that their product is marketable and meets the specifications of their customers. In order to put the appropriate measures in place before the upcoming wheat harvest, USDA must provide this guidance within the next 10 days.”

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Merkley also noted that “this incident underscores the need for an agency review of field-testing practices to determine how to avoid this situation in the future.”

Merkley led an effort last week to repeal the “Monsanto Protection Act,” a rider quietly and anonymously dropped into a must-pass spending bill in March that stripped federal courts of their ability to require more thorough safety review for some genetically modified seeds.

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The text of the letter is below.

Dear Secretary Vilsack,

As you know, genetically modified “Roundup Ready” wheat engineered by Monsanto was recently found in a wheat field in eastern Oregon. Because there are no genetically engineered strains of wheat approved for sale in the United States, and there are countries that specifically restrict the import of genetically engineered foods, this incident has the potential to cause significant market disruptions if swift action is not taken to address the situation.

In Oregon, 85-90% of the wheat grown is exported, most of which goes to Asian markets. In 2011, this exported wheat was valued at over half a billion dollars. Yesterday, Japan announced it would temporarily suspend imports of western white wheat and feed wheat from the U.S., and cancel a purchase of 24,936 metric tons of white wheat.

Within the next two weeks, farmers in Oregon will begin harvesting their wheat crops. These wheat growers need to know what they can do to ensure that their product is marketable and will meet the needs of their customers in the Asian markets.

USDA must move forward quickly with its investigation to determine how genetically engineered wheat arrived in this farmer’s field, and provide clear guidance to the wheat farmers throughout the Northwest to ensure that their product is marketable and meets the specifications of their customers. In order to put the appropriate measures in place before the upcoming wheat harvest, USDA must provide this guidance within the next 10 days.

While it is still unclear how this wheat arrived in this farmer’s field, this incident underscores the need for an agency review of field-testing practices to determine how to avoid this situation in the future.

Sincerely,
Senator Jeff A. Merkley

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 Posted by at 11:02 PM
Jun 012013
 

Courtesy photo

Nancy Lee Chong, Quilter
Courtesy photo

Hawaiian Applique Courtesy photo

Hawaiian Applique
Courtesy photo

“Making It Fun” Program at Quilt Guild Meeting

Hawaiian appliqué expert Nancy Lee Chong will present a program titled “First, Make It Fun!” at the Oregon Coastal Quilters Guild (OCQG) meeting June 13 in Atonement Lutheran Church’s Fellowship Hall, Newport. “Table walk,” which offers the opportunity to see and to participate in various guild activities, begins at 6 p.m.; the general meeting starts at 6:30.

There are still spaces available in Chong’s two-day workshop on Hawaiian appliqué June 14 and 15. Cost for the class, including a choice of one of 12 Hawaiian quilt patterns, is $92 for non-guild members. To sign up for the workshop and receive a supply list, call either Liz Ritchie, 541-563-4178, or Marylynn Kleemann, 541-563-8740. The class will meet in Atonement’s Fellowship Hall.

Chong’s specialty is stress-free needle-turn appliqué. She shows how easy appliqué can be without the use of freezer paper, toothpicks, starch, cardboard, plastic, ironing, or interfacing—putting students directly in touch with their needles, thread, and fabric.

In 1991, Nancy Lee Chong and her sister, Janice Lee Baehr, formed Pacific Rim Quilt Company to sell their Hawaiian quilt patterns and hand-dyed fabric as well as to promote Hawaiian quilting. Together they have produced three distinct lines of appliqué quilt patterns: Hawaiian quilts; two-fabric appliqué quilts; and quilt borders and table runners. They have also produced two instructional videos on the techniques associated with these subjects and a book/DVD set, “Design Your Personal Hawaiian Quilt”.

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 Posted by at 8:38 PM
Jun 012013
 

sea lion buoy wide ken gagne

Proud daddy sea lion roars.."It's a buoy, it's a buoy!"

Proud daddy sea lion roars..”It’s a buoy, it’s a buoy!”
Ken Gagne photo
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 Posted by at 6:27 PM
Jun 012013
 
Jason Dimicelli, 40 Fraud

Jason Dimicelli, 40
Fraud

Deputy David Hawley with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office recently investigated a theft complaint located near the 4000 block of N Highway 101 in Lincoln Beach, OR.

Deputy Hawley’s investigation revealed that Jason S. Dimicelli, 40 years of age, from Lincoln City, allegedly rented out a vacation property without the owner’s permission. Further investigation revealed that Dimicelli was allegedly conducting similar illegal activity in other parts of western Oregon.

Dimicelli was tracked down by law enforcement in another county and was eventually transported to the Lincoln County Jail in Newport. Dimicelli is currently being held on $855,000 bail.

Deputies say Jason S. Dimicelli has been linked to unlawfully renting out multiple residential properties in three separate counties including Lincoln, Clatsop and Yamhill counties. If anyone knows anyone who has been victimized by a rental scam with Dimmicelli acting as the landlord and/or property manager, they should contact their local police agency and file a report.

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 Posted by at 6:12 PM
Jun 012013
 
Heading out for a day's fishing! Ken Gagne photo

Heading out for a day’s fishing!
Ken Gagne photo
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 Posted by at 6:04 PM
Jun 012013
 
Tom Mock on Olalla Lake on Friday showing us what life's all about...

Tom Mock on Olalla Lake on Friday showing us what life’s all about…
Tom Mock photo

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 Posted by at 12:38 PM