Aug 262014

Lincoln City City Council File photo

Lincoln City City Council
File photo

Bob Ward Historical Researcher The Oregonian photo

Bob Ward
Historical Researcher
The Oregonian photo

Sir Frances Drake historian Bob Ward recently won a $20,000 grant from Lincoln City to help promote what he hopes to find at the bottom of the Salmon River estuary – one of Sir Frances Drake’s ships from Drake’s sailing around the world in 1579.

But before he could begin his project to prove that Drake’s first U.S. landfall was at Whale Cove – not at Drake’s Bay near San Francisco, a portion of the grant the council gave him some months back was nearly taken away from him Monday night.

Lincoln City Director of the Visitors and Convention Bureau said half of that grant comes from tourist room tax dollars which, by state law, must be used to pump up tourism through smart marketing. Pfaff said Ward told her and the council that it would be a great tourism draw to the coast as he proves that the wrecked ship is deep in the mud under the estuary. And that would be great publicity, both nationally and internationally.

But Pfaff countered that Ward’s time line has slipped due to bureaucratic delays and a rather piercing attack by neighbors who don’t want tourists or anyone else trapesing around their roads and across their properties just to see where 16th Century artifacts would be brought to the surface and documented – even if it proved that Drake first set foot on North America on the Oregon Coast – not in California as the history books all claim.

But again, due to the delays, Ward is now several weeks behind schedule and Pfaff is now saying that since news media access to the project has been made impossible by surrounding land owners who won’t let them on their property to gain access to the actual retrieval operation, there’s little if any marketing gains to be made. And that, she says, violates at least the spirit of state laws that mandate that room tax revenues are spent on viable marketing.

Mayor Dick Anderson agreed saying the project has migrated from an exciting national, if not international news event, to the city becoming an investor in the search of the ship.

A very adamant Bob Ward denied that anything of the sort is going on – rather there’s been only a slight slip in the project timeline due to the neighbors and one slow-to-arrive (and last) permit to proceed.

Ward outlined the use of ground-probing radar which he claims will give very clear pictures of exactly what’s down in the sediments and sands near the mouth of the Salmon River. He said release of the information and of the wide array of historical artifacts that Ward believes is down there, some of which might adorn the North Lincoln Historical Society, whose facilities in Lincoln City are very popular.

The moment of truth came for a vote among the council as to whether they were going to yank Ward’s grant. Mayor Anderson and councilors Chester Noreikis, Henry Quandt voted no. But councilors Roger Sprague, Wes Ryan and Gordon Eggleton voted to still award the money saying there’s a lot of publicity if they find it and that a few week slip in his schedule should not trigger a withdrawal of a grant necessary for the project to move forward.

A tie vote means that Ward still has the promise of the council. However the matter was referred back the the Visitors and Convention Committee to get their take on the issue.

Cracking down on those who flaunt Lincoln City’s mandatory trash pick up laws…

The council gave its blessing to a plan drawn up by City Manager David Hawker to get those who don’t pay for weekly trash pick up on the list to have it done. North Lincoln Sanitary told the council recently that there are hundreds of people who have escaped the mandate that everyone (where feasible) sign up for regular trash pickup. Councilors noted that mandatory trash pickup has been a nice Ego boost for the town since the hey days when trash was found all over the place, over-stuffing cans, and generally making the town rather unsightly some weekends.

Hawker recommended that staff be directed to come up with a list of those who pay a water bill but who don’t pay for garbage pickup. Those whose households who don’t use at least 400 cubic feet of water a month will be given the option to pay a five dollar garbage bill every month and then extra for the haul away as well. Those who still refuse to participate in the program could very well find themselves in a courtroom. Mr. Hawker said staff will return shortly with a draft of the proposed ordinance.

VRD issue may be winding down…

More very complicated discussions filled the council chambers on a nearly 3 year running theme of what to do about Lincoln City’s Vacation Rent Dwelling industry. Those who see things from a vantage point of more is better vehemently disagreed – one VRD owner vowing that if the council goes through with their plan to improve controls over VRD’s they’ll face a considerable lawsuit.

The council told Mr. Hawker and City Attorney Richard Appiccella to re-open public testimony over the issue during the next city council session at the 15th. Formal adoption of the new VRD ordinance may occur later this year.

 Posted by at 2:12 AM
Aug 262014

1st Little Free Library in Newport courtesy Ford Family Leadership Program

1st Little Free Library in Newport courtesy Ford Family Leadership Program

Soon the little "bird house" type library will be a nest stuffed with knowledge - donated books for the neighborhood and the kids of Sam Case Elementary.

Soon the little “bird house” type library will be a nest stuffed with knowledge – donated books for the neighborhood and the kids of Sam Case Elementary.

Earlier this summer we told you about the Ford Family Leadership Program that seeks to draw together good hearted volunteers making a quality of life enhancement in their communities. The group evaluated a number of ideas gleaned from across the country and the group chose “Little Free Libraries.” The idea of the micro libraries, that look a lot like bird houses, was first hatched by a man whose mother was a school teacher back in Wisconsin that imbued in him a lifelong love for reading and learning. He set out to honor his mother by building little free libraries like the one in these pictures, taken at Sam Case School on Monday. The idea spread countrywide to where there are tens of thousands of them, not only in the U.S. but also many other countries.

The first little free library in Newport was constructed with volunteers who spent weeks learning from the foundation and helping to carry out their philosophy of improving communities. These little libraries will be stocked by local groups aimed at those who just want a good book to read, or to learn more about the world around them. It’s also aimed at improving local literacy which is a precursor to any successful life.

The next Little Free Library will be built at the First Presbyterian Church, right outside Newport Food Pantry where those having a hard time with the economic adjustments still happening around the country can still nourish their bodies as well as their minds with what’s inside a little free library.

For those who would like to partake of the library program feel free to walk right up to the little library…peruse what’s there, take it home and read it. Then bring it back for someone else to read. Often, those returning “checked out” books will stop and linger, having informal chats about the books they’ve read and recommending other books to their new found acquaintances.

Before the summer is through the group will erect 11 Little Free Libraries throughout Lincoln County.

 Posted by at 1:21 AM
Aug 252014

A woman was hit Monday afternoon by a large vehicle near the Lincoln City Cultural Center on 101 and was very seriously injured. CPR was being given to her at one point. An ambulance with lights and sirens was seen headed for North Lincoln Hospital.

Lincoln City City Manager said during Monday night’s city council meeting that a large vehicle was turning left off of 6th onto 101 while an elderly woman was in the crosswalk. She was hit and was injured very badly. She was loaded aboard a medical transport helicopter at North Lincoln Hospital and flown to a trauma center in Portland.

Mr. Hawker reminded everyone to be very alert for pedestrians in marked, as well as unmarked crosswalks, not only year round, but especially during the heavy tourist season.

 Posted by at 5:55 PM
Aug 252014
Getting down to what matters to each individual when they mail in their ballot this fall....

Getting down to what matters to each individual when they mail in their ballot this fall….The Oregonian photo

A lengthy public debate which included the entire spectrum of who is for GMO foods vs. those who are totally against them has come up with a verdict – of sorts. And the recommendation to voters this fall won’t please those who demand GMO labeling at the grocery store.

The story is in the Oregonian. Click here.

 Posted by at 3:03 PM
Aug 252014
Coffin Butte Landfill Filling up fast

Coffin Butte Landfill
Filling up fast

The Lincoln County Solid Waste District and Solid Waste Advisory Committee is sponsoring a public meeting to discuss the potential increases in Lincoln County’s Recycling and Recovery Rates. Recovery rate and a variety of additional solid waste concepts will be presented by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

DEQ is developing ideas on solid waste and recovery for possible introduction in the 2015 Legislative session. The concepts, developed with feedback from a Materials Management Workgroup, included over 90 public and private sector representatives aimed at updating waste shed recovery goals. Goals were last updated in 2001 and were set through 2009. DEQ would like to meet with Lincoln County officials and residents to discuss possible changes to our waste recovery goal.

Commissioner Doug Hunt said, “The decisions we make today regarding our handling of solid waste will have far ranging impacts in our future. Our landfill space is limited and the more quickly we fill up available space the more quickly we will need to find another location which will lead to higher costs. By addressing this challenge now and enhancing our handling of solid waste to improve recycling, recovery and composting, we are effectively addressing the challenges of the future today.”

Click ad for more info

Click ad for more info

Lincoln County has had a recovery goal of 20% since 1992. While we have met or exceeded our goal, during this time, recovery rates in Oregon have increased from 27.1% to 49.7%. Lincoln County’s most recent official recovery rate was 36%. Attendants at this meeting will learn more about the development of recycling and recovery initiatives, as well as guide Lincoln County’s recycling and recovery goals for the upcoming decade.

Your participation at this meeting is vital to ensure you or your organization can express its interest in the future recycling and recovery goals for Lincoln County. Join us Tuesday, September 2nd at 11:00am, Newport City Hall, City Council Chambers.

PLEASE RSVP Mark Saelens ( or 541-272-4803)

 Posted by at 2:55 PM