Eckman Creek Quarries near Walport fined nearly $15,000

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Mar 202018

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The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined Kauffman Crushing Inc. $14,870 for violating its water quality permit at its active mine off Eckman Creek Road in Waldport.

The company, which operates Eckman Creek Quarries, has a 1200-A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit that allows it to discharge certain types of stormwater to Eckman Creek under specific conditions. The company discharged from an unauthorized outfall in violation of its permit and failed to perform monitoring required under the permit. Monitoring stormwater discharge is essential to evaluate the effectiveness of pollution controls.

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In addition, staff from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries observed antifreeze containers, a fuel tank and containers of oil and grease stored in an uncontained area next to a sediment pond in September 2017. The permit holder must store all hazardous substances within berms or other contained areas to prevent stormwater from washing any materials that leak or spill into waterways.

During that inspection, the Stormwater Pollution Control Plan required under the water quality permit didn’t include the latest permit requirements. DEQ is requiring the company to update its plan within 15 days of the department order becoming final.

The company has until April 3 to appeal the penalty.

View the enforcement letter at:

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New Drugs Could Help Prevent Hearing Loss – Le’Anne McEachern, Au. D.

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Mar 202018

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Researchers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have discovered that inhibiting an enzyme called cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) protects mice and rats from noise or drug induced hearing loss. The study, which was published March 7 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggests that CDK2 inhibitors prevent the death of inner ear cells, which has the potential to save the hearing of millions of people around the world.

According to the World Health Organization, 360 million people worldwide, including 32 million children, suffer from hearing loss caused by congenital defects or other factors. These factors include infectious disease, use of certain medicines, or exposure to excessive noise.

Yet, there are currently no FDA-approved drugs to prevent or treat hearing loss. A team of researchers led by Dr. Jian Zuo screened over 4,000 drugs for their ability to protect cochlear cells from the chemotherapy agent cisplatin. Cisplatin is used to treat a variety of cancers but causes irreversible hearing loss in up to 70% of patients.

Zuo and colleagues identified multiple compounds that protected cochlear cells from cisplatin, several of which are already approved to treat other conditions. Three of the ten most effective compounds were inhibitors of an enzyme called CDK2. One of these CDK2 inhibitors, kenpaullone, was more effective than four other compounds that are currently in clinical trials for treating hearing loss.

Injecting kenpaullone into the middle ear protected both mice and rats from cisplatin-induced hearing loss. Moreover, kenpaullone also protected the hearing of mice to noise as loud as 100 dB. “Given that 100-dB noise is in the range of noise insults, commonly experienced by people in our society, kenpaullone could have significant clinical application in treating noise-induced hearing loss,” says Zuo.

In the case of cisplatin-induced hearing loss, kenpaullone appears to protect hair cells by preventing CDK2 from stimulating the production of toxic reactive oxygen species from the cells’ mitochondria.

“The robust protection conferred by one-time local delivery of kenpaullone suggests that CDK2 inhibitors may transform the clinical prevention and treatment of cisplatin- and noise-induced hearing loss in patients,” Zuo says. “Modifications of the treatment regimens, additional optimization of the delivery methods via the use of hydrogels, and structural modifications of the compounds via medicinal chemistry could ensure even better results with CDK2 inhibitors in treating hearing loss in humans.”

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“Love, Simon”

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Mar 202018

PFLAG Loves “Love, Simon”
The Central Oregon Coast chapter of PFLAG is sponsoring up to 30 LGBTQ student admissions from Lincoln County GSA (Gay/Straight Alliance) groups to attend local showings of the new film, “Love, Simon”. 

A community screening of the movie “Love, Simon” will be held in both Lincoln City and Newport starting this weekend. On Saturday afternoon, March 24 the first 15 GSA (Gay Straight Alliance members with LCSD student ID will be admitted as guests of PFLAG OCC at Coming Attractions Theater in Newport! 

On Sunday, March 25 the first 15 LGBTQ students with LCSD ID will be admitted as guests of PFLAG OCC at matinee showing at the Bijou Theare in Lincoln City! 

About the movie “Love, Simon”, local PFLAG board member, CM Hall says, “If you’re a fan of love and people and gay kids coming out with support, please, please go see the movie, “Love, Simon”. It features great actors and music. It feels like the teen movie of the era but appeals to the masses. It is supremely wonderful. So heartwarming, affirming and cathartic. Be sure to pick up extra napkins at concessions. You’ll need ’em.”

Research shows that LGBT students who receive support from their families, schools and communities are able to survive the stress and challenges far better than students who don’t have that support.

Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.

PFLAG provides factual and helpful information and personal connections for families whose children or teens believe they may be among the minority in gender identity or sexual orientation. For more information, call 541-265-7194.
See the trailer for “Love, Simon” here:

Working to raise a community’s “healthy” bottom line…

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Mar 202018

Recognizing the importance of physicians in our community

At Samaritan Health Services, building healthier communities is at the core of our mission. As we prepare to celebrate Doctors’ Day on March 30, it is the perfect opportunity to thank and recognize the important work our physicians do each and every day to help us achieve our health care mission.

The hundreds of dedicated physicians who work in Samaritan Health Services’ hospitals and clinics in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties play such an important role, taking care of our patients and helping to improve the health of our communities. In a health care industry that is complex and changing, they help lead the way in providing innovative and high quality care.

Our physicians also represent Samaritan’s core values – passion, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence – as members of our community. They volunteer their time, participate in community groups and spend time teaching the next generation of physicians. We are proud and grateful to work alongside such compassionate, hard-working individuals.

Doug Boysen, JD, MHA
Samaritan Health Services

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Siletz River Salmon Fishery and Annual River Clean-up on the agenda…

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Mar 202018

Siletz River Clean Up
Chip in!
Archive photo

The Siletz Watershed Council will be holding our quarterly community meeting on Tuesday, March 20th at 6:30PM at the Siletz Public library. Light refreshments will be provided.

We are excited to have a presentation from Ian Keene, Aquatics Program Biologist for the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians Department of Natural Resources. Ian is an award-winning urban forester, fisheries biologist and is in charge of the GIS system for the Tribe. He oversees data management for 1.3 million acres and works with partners throughout the region on various projects. Ian will share information on some of these ongoing and upcoming projects in the Siletz Basin. Ian’s presentation is entitled, “Hydrological Salmon Modeling in the Main Stem of the Siletz Watershed”.

After the presentation we will be organizing logistics for the upcoming Siletz River Clean-up scheduled for Saturday April 14th, 2018. We are looking forward to this annual event and will be spreading the word over the next month. Please plan on attending if you would like to help with the event, or contact Evan Hayduk [(541) 265-9195 or]

We will also cover council business, community announcements and provide time for anyone else who would like to ask questions or provide comments.

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Altrusa Trivia Bee returns April 21st!

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Mar 202018

Getting ready!
Altrusa photo

Altrusa Trivia Bee returns April 21

Trivia buffs won’t want to miss the 28th annual Altrusa Trivia Bee on Saturday, April 21st. Registration is now open for an always-memorable evening of light-hearted fun and games at the Rogue Ales Public House on the bayfront in Newport.

Bill Klein, the man behind Mr. Bill’s Trivia Show since 1984, will act as emcee and host, quizzing six-person teams on topics including geography, music, history and more. Participants will compete for prizes, as well as bragging rights for this annual event.

“There is always good competition at the Trivia Bee but you don’t have to be a trivia buff. In fact, sometimes it is more about the age of players on your team. Teams with a mix of male and female and ages usually fare the best,” Klein explained.

The Trivia Bee is organized by Altrusa International of Yaquina Bay – a non-profit service organization assisting women and children in Lincoln County. The Trivia Bee acts as a fundraiser for the group’s programs, which are focused on literacy and health in the region. “Mr. Bill” is so instrumental in this fundraiser, last year he was given Altrusa’s distinguished “Helping Hands” award for his role in creating a fun evening that teams look forward to each year.

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“Think of the Trivia Bee as a great game of Jeopardy with the extra perks of playing with friends, winning prizes and having lots of laughs,” said Angela Nebel, event chairperson. “Best of all, the proceeds benefit children and women in the region. It’s the perfect evening.”

Team registration costs $150. Raffle tickets will also be on sale at the event, with numerous prizes donated by area merchants. To register a team, please call Tami Atkinson at (541) 270-5515 or email her at An early-bird drawing will be held for those teams who register before April 4, with one team winning a special prize. Space is limited, so don’t delay. Final registration deadline is April 17.

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Newport City Council with a verrrrry full plate!

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Mar 202018

Newport City Council
Monday evening

The Newport City Council Monday had a brutal agenda to deal with. Right off the bat there was a skirmish between Newport Fire Chief Rob Murphy and a couple of members of the city’s citizens budget review committee who questioned whether the city ought to pursue the acquisition of a new fire boat – a craft that could better fight a waterfront fire than any trucks on the street, according to Fire Chief Rob Murphy.

But city budget committee member Janet Webster strongly questioned whether the purchase would be at the expense of other just as pressing, if not more pressing issue than adding an expensive fire fighting device. Webster said the city is at risk of not being able to move forward on street and utility issues among other challenges. But Chief Murphy said the fire boat would be bought with an outside grant leaving the city on hook for only maintaining the craft. The city council said all this will have to be sorted out during the city’s process of establishing a budget for the next fiscal year which begins July 1st.

Newport Airport
Pulls back a bit on dreams of jet airline service.

The city council decided to lighten the load on the Newport Airport for training employees for a wide array of aviation issues that pertain to the airport being able to handle commercial jet turbo-jet airliners. Airport Director Lance Vanderbeck and Fire Chief Rob Murphy said the so-called Part 139 requirements that rule the airport from a Federal Aviation Administration perspective is not really needed at the Newport. It requires lots of training that takes up a lot of airport time and budget and frankly should be dropped, according to Vanderbeck and Chief Murphy. Vanderbeck pointed out that turbo-prop nine passenger commuter planes, like Seaport, can still serve Newport without the Part 139 agreement with the FAA.

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But City Councilor Laura Swanson said she didn’t want the airport to back-slide on the Part 139 FAA provision which would, she claimed, send a message that would reduce the airport’s perceived receptiveness to commercial airline service. “Not so,” said pilot, former city councilor and lifetime career official for the Federal Aviation Administration, Ralph Busby. Busby said the airport’s future for scheduled airline service is sketchy at best, but if it came to pass, the city could get its Part 139 designation back very quickly. Busby says to let go of it ‘for now’ saves the city money and allows those working in connection with the airport to concentrate on more important matters related to the airport as it operates today. The council voted to let the Part 139 obligation expire.

Yaquina Cab Co.

The council also took on what appears to be a business rivalry between locally owned Yaquina Cab, owned by Michelle and Frank Geltner and local upstart Pacific Coast Cab that intends to compete with them. Michelle Geltner urged the council to ensure that Pacific Coast Cab also offers seven day a week service 24 hours a day. She said unless that requirement is put on them, they could cherry-pick the busy times, reducing Yaquina Cabs revenues and crippling their ability to keep their 24/7 service promise. There was a lot of back and forth among councilors but in the end the issue was tossed back to City Manager Spencer Nebel who said he and his staff would get together with Yaquina and Pacific Coast and see how things might work out. Michelle Geltner said they don’t begrudge the competition – she just wants to continue the high level of service the Newport area has become accustomed to enjoying. She said they’re committed to a high level of service which includes their drivers who get paid vacations. She said that would all be threatened if an outside company comes in and plucks out the easy money to the detriment to the overall performance of taxi cab service in the area. Nebel said the business license renewals on cab service will up for renewal at the end of June so staff will get busy on the issue.

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Utility rates for water and sewer are apparently on the upswing. The city will be holding public meetings on the issue during April, May and June. Watch this space for dates and times or consult the city’s website. Final hearing and rate setting is scheduled for June 4th. There will be a lot of debate and a tough decision for the city council that day.

The council decided to put in new sidewalks on the backside of the new municipal pool as well as a retaining wall. It’ll help ease a parking shortage in the area when it’s done. The funds for the project are coming out of the unused remains of the fund that paid for the construction of the aquatic center.

The new home of Newport’s Clock Tower.
Hurbert and 101.
Google Maps photo

And finally, the council seemed to agree that the old town clock that was mowed down by a errant driver some time back will be replaced by a new one, but likely at Herbert and 101. The city will notify local businesses and property owners when the blessed replacement is about to be made.

Newport Mayor Sandra Roumagoux is not running for re-election

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Mar 192018

Mayor Sandra Roumagoux will not run for a third term.

Newport Mayor Sandra Roumagoux will not be running for re-election as Mayor. Mayor Roumagoux did not give a reason during the Newport City Council meeting, but indicated that she’s enjoyed the experience. So the race for Mayor of Newport is wide open for next November.

Come the end of December Newport will have a new Mayor because current Mayor Sandra Roumagoux told News Lincoln County that it’s been a very interest ride, but she wants to turn her later years in life to artistic and educational pursuits – both creating new art and teaching art to the younger folks. In fact this January just “Artist Sandra Roumagoux” will be exhibiting some of her work by invitation at the 2019 curated show at the Jordan & Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene. She will also be exhibiting her works at a Liisa Rahkonen political show on water at the Lincoln City Cultural Center in January 2019. She’ll also be teaching art with Menuca Corbett by Creative Arts Community in Portland. And of course Sandra has her own students that are eager to learn her “figurative art style” dealing with environmental and social issues.

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Mayor Roumagoux started her political career in Newport when she joined the Newport City Council in 2010 and then became elected mayor which spanned 2012 to 2018. She tells News Lincoln County “it’s been a very busy six years as Mayor.” Hiring a fine city manager like Spencer Nebel who she calls “the steady hand on the wheel of the city.” She says her tenure on the council and as Mayor has seen great progress for Newport in terms of city becoming the Pacific headquarters for NOAA, a growing Hatfield Marine Science Center, saving the Coast Guard rescue helicopter base in Newport, creation of Safe Haven Hill and the beginnings of being prepared for “The Big One,” the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. And of course the wonderful OMSI educational facility at South Beach.

Mayor Roumagoux says when she first became Mayor she didn’t realize the complexities of city government but learned a lot through the expert help of the Oregon League of Cities and other associations and professional groups. She said she immediately grew to deeply respect those who are city recorders and clerks whose job it is to keep accurate meeting minutes, all communications in order, city ordinances and public notifications. “They all do an incredible job, including our own Clerk-Recorder Peggy Hawker.” “Peggy’s amazing,” she said.

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Looking toward the future, Mayor Roumagoux said Newport, like most communities and cities across the country, must find solutions to the frightening rise in the cost of housing – especially for those families that are spending half their income just on rent. Finding money for streets, expansion and maintenance of water and other utilities is a challenge. The city budget – always a tall order.

When asked how the next nine months will be until she turns over the gavel to the new mayor in January of 2019 she said “It’ll be busy, but I’m determined to see it through. We have a great city council. They not always agree on everything, but they are smart, thoughtful adults who love Newport and want what’s best for the town and the people in it.”

“I’ve enjoyed my time in political office, but I’m also going to be ramping up, in the months ahead, my continued dedication to the arts – both as an artist and as an art instructor. I very much look forward to it.”

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North Lincoln Hospital says: Eat More – Weigh LESS! That’s right: You read it correctly!

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Mar 192018

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CHIP kicks off with free information session in April

Do you want to eat more and weigh less, drop your blood pressure and cholesterol, save your heart and save money on your food bill? If so, plan to attend an informational session to learn more about the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP).

Presented by physicians and other volunteer staff from Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, CHIP is a simple 30-day lifestyle education program that helps participants discover ways to take charge of their health with safe, simple and deliberate lifestyle choices. Learn about CHIP at one of these free information sessions: Monday, April 2, Tuesday, April 3 or Wednesday, April 4, 6 to 6:30 p.m.

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Following the information sessions, the program begins with a comprehensive initial health screening on Friday, April 6, followed by evening meetings on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for five weeks, April 9 through May 10. Each meeting includes discussion and videos on topics including heart disease, diet and exercise along with a delicious meal prepared by the group leaders.

Tuition is charged for the CHIP sessions, with discounts available for accompanying spouses or friends. Some individuals may qualify for a scholarship.

The CHIP information sessions and meetings are held at the Seventh-day Adventist Church Fellowship Hall, 2335 NE 22nd St., Lincoln City.

For more information and to register for the free information session, send an email to or leave a message at 541-994-5151.

For more information about CHIP, visit

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