Conflicting views over who should be elected to the Lincoln County bench

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Apr 212018

The views and opinions of submitters to “Letters to the Editor” do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of, its staff or advertisers. The positions taken in the following letter are strictly those of the submitter.

In addition a substantial allegation has surfaced in the race for Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge. A supporter of the incumbent makes a claim of a reprimand from the Oregon State Bar for ethical violations in connection with a case some years back involving court challenger Russell Baldwin. The challenger responds via a rebuttal.

“Vote for Judge Branford”

To the Editor:

Judge Thomas Branford has 29 years of experience as a Lincoln County Judge. It is vital that voters return him to the bench. Judge Branford’s record as an honest, ethical, fair-minded judge speaks for itself.

His opponent has a record that speaks for itself as well, but Russell Baldwin’s record is very disturbing. Please do a little research and find out what you can about this man. His listing on the Oregon State Bar member directory will show that he was reprimanded in 2001. The State Supreme Court record showing Baldwin’s ethical violations can be found on Page 171 of this report:

More recently, look up Lincoln County Case #15CV12092. You will see that Baldwin lost this case and now owes his former clients $260,000. This is public record, available for anyone to see.

As we all know, anyone can get elected to anything in this country if enough people fail to pay attention. Please learn what you can about the people you are voting for.

Thank you
Rick Mark
Lincoln City, OR


April 21, 2018
Re: Responding to Rick Mark’s Letter re: Branford for Judge

Dear Editor:

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to two points made in Mr. Mark’s letter.

1. Stipulation. Nearly 20 years ago, I represented a home owners association. The only issue was whether a homeowner had unlawfully built into a setback area. The judge awarded my client summary judgment, meaning we won. Afterward, the losing attorney complained to the bar. He urged that I should not have represented the association because I had done a will for the homeowner many years before, when he and I were law partners. Since the dispute involved only a few hundred dollars, I stipulated to a public reprimand to put it behind me with a minimum of fuss. That lawyer and I remain friends, and he refers clients to me. And since my stipulation, I have been admitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United State Supreme Court bars. To gain admission, I detailed the above facts.

2. Lincoln 15cv12092. About three years ago, I had to sue a former client to get paid. I did so after I was forced to resign due to his conduct.
The circuit court ordered me to sue my former clients for foreclosure. My statutory lien was against a judgment. So I did as the court instructed me. I hired lawyers from out of county, and more than 2 years later the circuit court had still not foreclosed my lien — a lien securing money that the State had been ordered to pay into court. Later, Judge Branford inexplicably refused to foreclose my lien after trial. So the court still holds my money it previously awarded for my services. And the matter has been appealed, so the case is long from finished. And my lien still remains—after 3 years! A reasonable person might conclude that our circuit court is quite unfamiliar with the basics of foreclosure law.

Our state constitution guarantees that “justice shall be administered, openly and without purchase, completely and without delay.” Or. Const. Art. I, sect. 10. It is my professional and personal experience that our court’s business is not receiving the attention that our constitution requires. That is why I am running for judge. Our judiciary will benefit from the balance that my 30 years of civil litigation experience shall bring. I will faithfully discharge my oath, and my duty under ORS 1.050. We can, and should, do better. Vote for change: timely hearings of your concerns.

Follow me on Facebook, RussBaldwinforJudge.
Russell L. Baldwin, Attorney at Law

Chimney Fire at 1159 SW 62nd – Lincoln City

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Apr 212018

Report of a chimney/Flue fire at a home at 1159 SW 62nd. Occupants of the home are outside – a few of them are squirting hose water on outside of the chimney.

North Lincoln Firefighters should be arriving on scene right about now…

Firefighters say the flue fire is still very active. Two story home. ‘

Fire command is running a fire hose inside the home, then shooting water up the chimney to knock down the fire and cool off the chimney. They will also have to go up into the attic and make sure no embers or flames escaped the chimney and caught anything on fire in the attic area.

Newport: Fire Alarm at 1034 NW Coast

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Apr 212018

Report of a fire alarm going off at 1034 NW Coast, Apartment A.

Two story wood frame building. No smoke showing. Occupant says was a false alarm. Burned food on the stove.

Fire-Rescue headed back to headquarters.

24 Years Toledo “Tree City USA” Town. Now Headed for 25.

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Apr 212018

24th Tree City USA Award
Toledo Oregon!

Arbor Day Foundation Names Toledo Tree City USA for 24th Year

The City of Toledo, Oregon, was named a 2017 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.
The City of Toledo achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

Trees are assets to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.

Click here for details

The City of Toledo was one of 63 cities in Oregon who has been approved for 2017 Tree City USA status by the Arbor Day Foundation.

More information on the program is available at
ABOUT THE ARBOR DAY FOUNDATION: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information is available at

Toledo Pool Sign-Ups Start May 1st!!

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Apr 212018

Toledo Pool
On the grow….

Summer Sign-ups for Toledo Pool Swim Lessons start May 1st. Spots fill up fast!!!

Call Melany or Sue for more details and to get registered.

541-336-3181 Option 3.

Letter to the Editor – Lincoln County Commons

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Apr 212018

The views and opinions of submitters to “Letters to the Editor” do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of, its staff or advertisers. The positions taken in the following letter are strictly those of the submitter.

Letter to the Editor:

Gerry Barrett has exposed the grossly inadequate funding actually available for the huge convention center proposed by the county commissioners.

Some of the shortfall might come from the city of Newport, which believes it will provide funding from the city’s new urban renewal zone. So, tax dollars that might otherwise go towards building sidewalks, paving streets, adding needed stop signs and increasing the police force beyond current 2009 staffing level, would instead be spent on building a convention center that will be a drain on county and city taxpayers, inevitably needing the maintenance and repairs the county has been unwilling to fund on the current fairgrounds.

However, even adding city tax dollars will be insufficient to fund the center’s construction.

Once construction has begun, and funding from those sources proves inadequate, the county and city will demand passage of a tax levy to provide the needed funds. The cry will be: we’ve come this far! We’ve got sunk costs! We can’t stop now, we have to finish it!

Instead, it’s time for the county commissioners learned to live within the county’s budget. The proposed convention center is not an essential government service. It’s not a road, not a police force, nor is it other essential services or infrastructure.

Like Ms. Perry, I believe there are already existing and underutilized potential convention/event/meeting structures in Newport and South Beach. In addition to the Maritime History building, there are also school buildings, including the community college’s. Schools sit empty on many weekends, breaks and most of the summer. The college has been almost empty by 5:30 pm on the weekdays and weekends. It has a large open central space, as well as many meeting rooms. Just like a convention center.

Where is the demand for the huge spaces the commissioners desire? At least one hotel along Elizabeth Street, as well as the Best Western in Agate Beach, has “convention” space and facilities that appear to be lightly used and could handle far more meetings, conventions, and trade shows than they currently do. Salishan’s convention/meeting facility has struggled unsuccessfully for years to break even.

The consultant’s report on a proposed convention center listed events that might be held there. All but one of those events has been held successfully at the middle school and Yaquina View school, successfully using existing facilities that taxpayers have already paid for.

I suggest the county commissioners seek to utilize these structures further, rather than wasting tax money on a large superfluous facility.

Susan Hogg Newport