Apr 032014
 

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My Sisters’ Place presents LUNAFEST®, a screening of short films made by, for, and about women on Friday, April 11, 2014, at 5:00 P.M. at The Yaquina Bay Yacht Club on the Newport bay front.

LUNAFEST is a traveling film festival dedicated to promoting awareness about women’s issues, highlighting women filmmakers, and bringing women together in their communities. The evening is the first ever LUNAFEST on the Oregon Coast. In partnership with Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital and Samaritan Health Services, My Sisters’ Place is screening the films to celebrate the strength of women, create awareness of the issue of domestic violence, and raise money for the services it provides to Lincoln County.

My Sisters’ Place supports those facing domestic violence, sexual assault, and dating abuse by providing crisis intervention, emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis line, safety planning, advocacy, court information and support, agency referral, education, and outreach. In 2013, My Sisters’ Place sheltered 117 people for 3,853 nights, handled nearly 2,000 calls on its 24-hour crisis line and helped 734 people get court protection and/or agency services.

The evening will begin at 5:00 PM with complimentary refreshments and snacks, a chance for attendees to buy raffle tickets for a gift basket, and a silent auction. At 6:00 PM, the 90-minute lineup of short films will run without intermission, followed by a drawing of the winning raffle ticket. My Sisters’ Place wishes to attract people of all ages, including students and teenagers, to this community event.

All proceeds from this LUNAFEST will benefit My Sisters’ Place and Breast Cancer Fund. Tickets are $15, $10 for students, and can be purchased at www.lunafest.org/newport.

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 Posted by at 7:38 AM
Apr 022014
 
Medical Marijuana moratorium for unincorporated areas of Lincoln County now runs through May 1 of next year.

Medical Marijuana moratorium for unincorporated areas of Lincoln County now runs through May 1 of next year. But it may fall sooner than that.

Saying they want to see how the whole marijuana issue plays out in Oregon, the Lincoln County lengthened their medical marijuana dispensary moratorium to May 1st of next year – this in an effort to see where things line up legally, as well as to give commissioners more time to develop useful regulations on where such dispensaries should be located and how they are operated. Capping the number of dispensaries might eventually become the law of the land, or maybe the Oregon Liquor Control Commission might get the green light to sell the plant.

Commissioners, meeting with Depoe Bay City Councilors, said the situation is very fluid in Oregon and that a lot could happen in the next year – with voters likely to pass a recreational marijuana ballot issue next November. Councilor Zeke Olsen and Mayor AJ Mattila both expressed strong interest in figuring out how medical marijuana, or even recreational marijuana, could be taxed for the city’s benefit. The town’s budget is sorely stretched trying to upgrade sewer and water lines as well as finishing the paving of local streets. There are Depoe Bay harbor improvements that are also coming up to maintain the harbor as the community’s primary economic engine.

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Thus far, the City Council has not proposed a moratorium. But if they decide to enact one they’d have to scramble fast to beat the May 1st deadline for notifying the state of their intent. Thus far, Clerk Recorder Pury Murray says no one has raised the issue with her but if someone on the council wants a moratorium, they better request it quickly. May 1st is coming up very fast.

Meanwhile, Lincoln County Counsel Wayne Belmont said that even though the county now has a moratorium on the pharmacies through May 1st, 2015, the moratorium could be lifted well before that, if the county comes up with operating regulations that commissioners can approve. County Commissioner Bill Hall said also that it might be a good idea to consider having an advisory ballot so local voters could weigh in on the debate.

So, everything up in the air in Depoe Bay, a little less so for those living in rural parts of the county. Local cities like Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Toldeo, Waldport and Yachats have not shown any tendency to enact a moratorium, but Newport and the county both have done so. May first is coming up fast.

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 Posted by at 11:19 PM
Apr 022014
 
Jack Morgan Park Getting new boat ramp But using the old ramp footprint.   No expansion.

Jack Morgan Park
Getting new boat ramp
But using the old ramp footprint. No expansion.

Getting in and out of the Siletz River at Jack Morgan Park is about to get a little easier, if not more enjoyable. Lincoln County Commissioners awarded the bid of $106,000 to Billeter Marine of Coos Bay to build a new boat ramp at the park, which is right off the Siletz Highway, about 2/3 the way from Toledo to the river mouth just south of Taft. Under specifications laid out by the State Marine Board, the ramp cannot be any larger than the old one it’s replacing. The new ramp, to be completed by fall, will be used primarily in the winter, spring and early summer when Siletz River levels are high. Summer flows will see mainly canoes and kayak’s using the ramp for easy entry into the river.

The state marine board is providing the vast majority of the funds. Lincoln County is putting up just over $17,000 as the local match for the marine board grant.

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 Posted by at 10:59 PM
Apr 022014
 
Newest branch of Fishpeople Seafood?

Newest branch of Fishpeople Seafood?

Editor’s note: The request of the city planning commission is to formulate conditional use parameters on ANY commercial business in commercial land use zones. Those conditions are NOT aimed strictly at the Fishpeople Seafood proposal.

Toledo may soon have a gourmet fish dinner preparation and packaging operation based inside the old Toledo Fire Hall atop Business 20, just uphill from JC Market. The council decided Wednesday evening to make sure the plant’s operating parameters are clearly outlined and enforceable. Readers may recall the nightmare caused by the last fish processing outfit that occupied a building just down the other side of the hill, which drove the neighbors half-crazy with the smell and fish oil run off that came down their neighborhood streets.

Project sponsor Port of Toledo has assured the city council that their prospective tenant, Fishpeople Seafood, would be ideal for the site since it is a proven winner in the marketplace, processing and shipping gourmet pre-packaged meals from Alaska to Central California. And they have a very good reputation in areas where they already have facilities.

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Port of Toledo General Manager Bud Shoemake says Fishpeople Seafood already ships product to 525 stores throughout the west and are still growing. Around this part of Oregon, Shoemake says it’ll be mostly tuna that will be pre-gutted and bled in Newport before it’s transported to Toledo for preparation and shipping. And thirteen full time jobs are promised.

But again, old fish processing nightmares die hard and so the council wanted to make sure that there would be sufficient restrictions on the operations and that their impact on the immediate neighborhood would be minimal. Shoemake says their port offices are right on the other side of the wall, so you couldn’t have closer supervision on the operation. Shoemake says Fishpeople Seafood has a platinum reputation in the industry.

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With that the council voted 3 to 2 (with Mayor Grutzmacher and Councilor Jill Lyon voting no) to order the city planning commission to consider what restrictions should be applied to such an operation and to get back to the council with those recommendations ASAP. It seems that Shoemake and crew would like to have the operation up and running by this summer to coincide with this season’s tuna harvest.

In other council doings, the council counted up 15% of its liquor and cigarette taxes it gets from the state and divided up those 8,000 dollars among various local social services groups for the fiscal year ahead. One thousand dollars were awarded to five organizations – Toledo Food Share Pantry, Council of Government’s Meals on Wheels, Samaritan Senior Companion Program, Children’s Advocacy Center of Lincoln County and CASA of Lincoln County. $900 was awarded to Shangri-la, $800 to My Sister’s Place, $700 to Central Coast Child Development Center and $600 to RSVP of Lincoln County.

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 Posted by at 10:23 PM
Apr 022014
 
Awarded to Toledo City Council Wednesday evening

Awarded to Toledo City Council Wednesday evening

Here in Oregon, trees are everywhere, so you might wonder what being a Tree City USA town means amidst such naturally lush green leafy splendor.

Well, quite a lot, really.

City of Toledo Aquatics and Recreation Manager Joe Andrews showed his city council the 20 year plaque the city just received from the National Arbor Day Foundation, thanking the city for all their years of supporting living things that are not only beautiful, but are life-giving as well. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and give off oxygen – mother nature’s air purification system. They hold soils in place, reduce erosion, provide cool shade in summer, a bit of a respite in the rain as well as timber – at least around here. But the Arbor Day Foundation likes it when a city has an active tree replacement and expansion program, which all Tree City USA towns and cities have.

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Toledo also has a tree protection program, backed up by city laws, a Tree Board that oversees such protections, spends at least two dollars per year per city resident on tree preservation programs and the city celebrates Arbor Day every year.

And with their 20 year plaque, Toldeo has been doing right by trees for quite a while. Certainly longer than any other Lincoln County city – Lincoln City 6 years, Newport 2 years.

Many other Oregon cities are also Tree City USA communities, some even for far longer than Toledo. Salem is king of the trees at 38 years, Portland 37, Eugene 35, Sun River 34 and Rogue River 31.

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 Posted by at 9:51 PM
Apr 022014
 

THERE ARE FOUR SEGMENTS TO THE VIDEO – JUST KEEP WATCHING.

Nuka has been busy for the past month learning how to behave with trainers before he moves to the Sea Otter Exhibit and meets his new raft, or sea otter family. Despite his young age and short time at the Aquarium, the little otter’s training is progressing in leaps and bounds.

Nuka quickly learned to gently accept food from people with his paws and to leave and return to the water on cue. He also follows trainers as directed during training sessions and stands patiently on a scale during checkups.

He is still practicing paw “target,” which is one of the most important management behaviors the Aquarium’s mammalogists teach animals under their care. Mastering the target behavior will help Nuka participate in his own care, like learning how to lie patiently while staff touch him during weekly veterinary exams.

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The target behavior requires Nuka to hold his paws, nose and attention on a designated point, like a foam buoy, for an extended period of time. This proves to be challenging for the energetic little sea otter that seems to be easily distracted by the world around him, but his performance has improved quickly.

Recognizing his progress, the Aquarium’s mammalogist graduated Nuka from his quarantine pool today to a pool that adjoins the Aquarium’s Sea Otter Exhibit, and shares water with the Aquarium’s other sea otters.

Nuka will get acquainted with sea otters Judge, Mojoe and Schuster through a fence for about a week. Once the animals get to know each other behind the scenes, the trainers will open the gate to let the newest member of the raft swim to the main pool in the Sea Otter Exhibit for the first time.

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The sea otter pup only weighs 35 pounds right now, approximately half the size of the other otters, but that will not stop him from shaking things up for his exhibit mates. The Aquarium’s mammalogists plan a gradual introduction, in part, to ensure that the energetic little pup’s antics do not overwhelm the other adult otters.

Visitors will be able to view Nuka’s training progress during daily Sea Otter Feeding Presentations at the Aquarium later this spring.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is open every day this spring from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit aquarium.org or call (541) 867-3474.

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 Posted by at 5:14 PM
Apr 022014
 
Newport considering formalizing its med marijuana moratorium Monday, April 7th, 6pm, City Hall

Newport considering formalizing its med marijuana moratorium Monday, April 7th, 6pm, City Hall

THE CITY OF NEWPORT WILL HOLD A PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ON ORDINANCE NO. 2063
REGARDING A MORATORIUM ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES

On Monday, April 7, the City Council of the City of Newport will be considering Ordinance No. 2063 regarding a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. Public comment will be accepted at the City Council meeting which will be held in the City Council Chambers, at 6:00 P.M., at City Hall, 169 SW Coast Highway.

In March, the state legislature and governor approved changes that allow local governments to implement a moratorium on the licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries to provide adequate time for local governments to consider any of the local regulatory options allowed by the state.

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The City Council can consider a moratorium on the licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries for up to a year, but it also has the option of removing a moratorium soon than that if local regulations are adopted.

A copy of the proposed moratorium will be included in the City Council packet which will be posted on the city’s website by Friday, April 4, at 9:00 A.M.

Interested parties who are unable to attend the Council meeting may submit written comments, by e-mail, to Peggy Hawker, at P.Hawker@NewportOregon.Gov, by 3:00 P.M., on Monday, April 7, or by deliverying comments to City Hall by 3:00 P.M. on Monday, April 7th.

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 Posted by at 4:45 PM