Three crab boat crewmen perish as huge wave capsizes them off Newport

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Jan 092019

The wreck of the Mary B II
Just north of the north jetty at entrance to Yaquina Bay

From Oregon State Police

Tuesday evening, a little before 10:00 PM, the US Coast Guard was notified of a boat needing assistance crossing the Yaquina Bay bar due to high seas. US Coast Guard left the Yaquina Bay station and at 10:13 PM Oregon State Police was advised the Fishing Vessel Mary B II had capsized with three people on board.

The search immediately began and the US Coast Guard, with their helicopter, found James Lacey (age 48 from South Toms River, NJ) in the Pacific Ocean and transported him to Pacific Communities Hospital, in Newport, where he was pronounced deceased. At 12:28 AM, Newport Fire Department found Joshua Porter (age 50 from Toledo, Oregon) on the beach, near Nye Beach, where he was pronounced deceased.

The Mary B II ultimately ran aground, on the beach, near the north side of the Yaquina Bay North Jetty. The boat Skipper, Stephen Biernacki (age 50 from Barnegat Township, NJ) was found with the boat and pronounced deceased at the scene.

Road Closure Alert: NE Harney to be closed Thursday, 5-10pm

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Jan 092019

NEWPORT: NE Harney street closure alert for Thursday, January 10th.

Newport Public Works advises NE Harney will be closed Thursday, Jan. 10th from 5 PM to 10 PM for urgent water service repairs. Also John Moore Drive northbound will be partially closed. Traffic will be able to use right lane for Northbound and Westbound traffic.

Crab boat capsizes while entering Yaquina Bay jaws. All 3 crewmen perish.

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Jan 092019

Preliminary reports say the Fishing Vessel Mary B II was flipped over last night by 20 foot waves as it tried to get through the jaws entering Yaquina Bay. Two crewmen were hurled overboard and drowned. One other crewman is also believed to be deceased and is still trapped in the wreckage.

At the time the Coast Guard was responding to the crew’s request for an escort through the jaws and in to Yaquina Bay. Two fishing vessels were successfully guided into the bay. The third vessel, the Mary B II, was overwhelmed by a 20 foot wave and was capsized.

Names of the deceased have not yet been released. The case has been taken over by Oregon State Police.

Weather or Not: The Drought Continues

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Jan 092019

1/9/19 Rain today-tonight, up to 3/4″ total, windy with S gusts 40-50mph, high 50-55F, low 40-45F, chance of showers tomorrow morning, then mostly cloudy, high 55F. Outlook: mainly overcast Fri, varying possibilities for some light rain or showers Sat-Tue, average temps, highs 50-55F, lows 40-45F.

Beaches Today:
Surf Height…………..17 to 21 ft.
Weather………………Cloudy with rain. Highs around 55.
Wind…………………Southeast 25 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph, becoming south 35 to 40 mph with gusts to 55 mph.
Tides (South Beach)…
High tide…7.6 ft at 02:43 AM PST.
Low tide….3.8 ft at 07:58 AM PST.
High tide…8.2 ft at 01:47 PM PST.
Low tide….0.2 ft at 08:29 PM PST.
Sunrise – 7:54 AM PST. Sunset – 4:54 PM PST.

Marine: A Gale Warning is in effect from 10:00am this morning through this evening for S winds 30-35 knots gusting 45 and combined very rough seas 21 feet at 14 seconds.

The Drought: Lincoln County is still in a severe drought according to the National Weather Service. Rainfall totals have remained well below average. Even now, nine days into January with just 1.67″, we’ll be playing catch-up to the normal 10.24″ for the month. Read the latest in-depth Drought Report here.

Wyden blasts Trump over Medicare cuts due to the shutdown

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Jan 092019

Sen. Ron Wyden

Wyden Decries Medicare Cuts Resulting From Trump Shutdown
Senate Republicans Failure to Act Will Lead to Hundreds of Millions in Cuts to Medicare Next Month

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today sounded the alarm on imminent cuts to Medicare if Congress does not take action to pass a bill to end the Trump Shutdown.

“Medicare is set to be the latest casualty of the Trump shutdown,” Wyden said. “Instead of focusing on seniors’ health care, doctors and hospitals will be forced to contend with across-the-board cuts to their Medicare payments. On top of all the other misery of the Trump shutdown, the president and his Republican allies will be responsible for cuts to seniors’ health care program. It’s time for Mitch McConnell to let the Senate vote on a bill to reopen the government and prevent hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to Medicare.”

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Under federal law, if the total cost of legislation at the end of a session of Congress exceeds the total revenue raised, an automatic cut to government programs is implemented to make up the difference unless Congress takes action to prevent those cuts from going into effect. At the end of 2018, Trump’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimated that amount to be $482 million dollars, but it is likely higher due to the passage of additional legislation at the end of the year. According to the law, known as PAYGO, the Trump administration is required to issue a sequestration order – putting the cuts into effect – not later than 14 days (excluding weekends and holidays) after the Congress adjourns. This year, that date is estimated to be on January 24th.

Medicare will bear the brunt of the cuts – leading to a shortfall in payments to doctors, hospitals, and coverage providers who ensure seniors get timely, quality care. The House passed legislation last week that would waive these cuts and reopen the government. The Senate has not scheduled any action to take up a government funding bill.

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Surf Rescue off Newport’s North Jetty – F/V Mary B 2 capsized

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Jan 082019

10:15pm Preliminary information is that the fishing vessel Mary B II was in the jaws of the Newport jetties when it capsized, tossing three persons into the rough seas. Rescuers pulled one person from the water. CPR was performed on him all the way to PCH in Newport. Details on the other two aboard were not immediately available.
Surf Rescue launched off Newport’s North Jetty. Person(s) off Newport’s North Jetty. Newport Fire-Rescue is enroute to the scene. Coast Guard notified.

Newport Fire is on scene at Yaquina Bay State Park. Multiple Fire-Rescue units on scene.

More Newport Fire personnel enroute.

Three people are said to be inside the North Jetty. Ambulance is staging at Yaquina Bay State Park.

Weather conditions: Raining, temperature 46, wind gusting to 25.

Coast Guard helo hoisting one victim. CPR in progress. Victim is being transported to Nye Beach Turnaround.

One victim arriving at PCH.

Second victim pulled from the water.

Lincoln County Officials Sworn In

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Jan 082019

Judge Thomas Branford, Kaety Jacobson Co. Commissioner, Doug Hunt Co. Commissioner, Jayne Welch Co. Treasurer, Michelle Branam District Attorney, Dana Jenkins Co. Clerk

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Sen. Merkley responds to Trump’s speech on TV

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Jan 082019

Sen. Jeff Merkley

Merkley Response to President Trump’s Address

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after President Trump’s national address:

“Let’s be very clear: The only ‘crisis’ at the southern border is the humanitarian crisis President Trump and his administration created by ripping babies away from their parents’ arms and locking up children. The solution to this shutdown is simple: Pass the Republican-written bills to fund the government that the House and Senate have already agreed upon. The path out of this shutdown has been the same since day one, and a misleading and misinformed speech does absolutely nothing to change the facts.”

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Meditate & Create Playshop at Newport VAC

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Jan 082019

Visual Arts Center
Nye Beach Turnaround

Submitted Announcement

Newport Visual Arts Center is pleased to present a fun event designed to help people expand their own creativity. If you’ve set an intention to be more creative in 2019, this may be the catalyst you’ve been looking for. On Saturday, January 19th, the VAC in Nye Beach will host a “Meditate & Create Playshop” in their upper level studio space.

The purpose of the playshop is to help writers, artists, musicians, leaders, innovators and others to strengthen their relationship with creativity. With gentle humor and simple actions, facilitator Eileen Lighthawk guides her students on a journey of discovery and empowerment.

Lighthawk, who has decades of teaching experience, believes that inspiration 
surrounds us, and creativity exists for us all. 
”We are interesting beings, both creation and creators; wave and particle; spirit and matter. Each of us is unique in our perceptions, and each has something unique and life-affirming to share. I like to help people access their own authentic voice.” 

Click here for details

In this playshop, an environment is created to honor and strengthen each 
individual’s friendship with Creativity. In just a few hours, class participants will get to practice simple creative techniques that they can use for the rest 
of their lives. The class is open to all skill levels. (Including the “I have no skill” level.)

Each participant will leave at the end of the day with a uniquely beautiful and personally meaningful painting. More importantly, each participant will take home 
a stronger understanding of their own ability to create in any field of endeavor.

The playshop fee is just $37, which includes studio space and all art supplies.
Register by contacting the Coastal Arts Guild at 541-765-4599.

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Weather or Not: Drying Trend by Weekend

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Jan 082019

1/8/19 Rain today-tomorrow, total up to 1″, E winds gusting 30mph through this evening but becoming S on Wed with gusts near 50mph, highs in the low-50s, low in the upper-40s. Outlook: decent chance of rain Thu, then just a slight chance of rain and some partial clearing Fri-Mon, highs 55F, lows 45F.

Beaches Today:
Surf Height…………..8 to 11 ft.
Weather………………Cloudy with rain. Highs around 55.
Wind…………………Southeast 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 30 mph.
Tides (South Beach)…
High tide…7.7 ft at 02:09 AM PST.
Low tide….3.8 ft at 07:19 AM PST.
High tide…8.6 ft at 01:11 PM PST.
Low tide….0.0 ft at 07:55 PM PST.
Sunrise – 7:54 AM PST. Sunset – 4:52 PM PST.

Marine: A Gale Warning is in effect beyond 10 miles from shore this afternoon through tomorrow evening. A Gale Watch has been posted for late tonight until tomorrow night inside 10 miles from shore.

Wallace Kaufman out and about in early morning silence….

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Jan 072019

Poole’s Slough
Wallace Kaufman photo

The start of a dry day this morning over Poole’s Slough. And a few animals. Oregon Oyster Farm’s floats took such a beating from the seals that the company took all the floats in from the bay but left one small one onto which the seals crowd. Looks like they are applauding me as I float by.

Wallace Kaufman

Early Bird gets the shot
Wallace Kaufman photo

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Newport City Council has four new members – Wastewater problems – Who will run the Port of Newport, etc.

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Jan 072019

Due to three vacant seats on the Newport City Council and one move-up to Mayor, there were four new city councilors appointed Monday evening. The new councilors are Ryan Parker, Cynthia Jacobi, Beatriz Botello and CM Hall.

Appreciation for their service was expressed for outgoing councilors Mark Saelens, Wendy Engler and Laura Swanson along with kind and appreciative words expressed for the departing three-term Mayor Sandy Roumagoux.

Rogue Brewery continues to grow, but at whose cost?

In other council business Newport Public Works Director Tim Gross was given the green light to hire an engineering consulting firm to help the city assist companies to reduce the strength of their industrial sewage that flows into the city’s sewer treatment plant. Specifically called-out was Rogue Brewery but there are other local brewers that will likely also fall within the category of needing to pre-treat their discharge before it heads toward the sewer plant.

The goal is to not allow private businesses to suddenly overwhelm the city sewer treatment system and expect regular city rate/taxpayers to foot the costs. The city approved spending just over $50,000 for a consulting firm to recommend effluent pre-treatment regulations. Gross seemed confident that the state Department of Environmental Quality and the federal Environmental Protection Agency will stand behind the city’s efforts to deal with a situation that has become a big problem for Newport Public Works. This is an evolving story.

Meanwhile, the city council approved the launch of a utility discount program which will allow low income residents to get up to a 30% discount on their water and sewer bills for those at 60% (or lower) of local median income. The Community Services Consortium will run the program which includes getting the word out to the public that this new cost savings program is about to be launched. Newport water and and wastewater bills will include details on it. It’s scheduled to be launched March 1st.

Port of Newport
Dean Sawyer photo

And finally the council talked about an effort at the state legislature to take-over of the Port of Newport based on the recent track record of the port commission. Over the past few years, there has been a revolving door among the commissioners, along with the loss of a large state grant that was awarded to the port to help further refine the construction and use of the new Newport International Terminal.

The port’s inability to manage the grant caught the eye of a number of state lawmakers. They say they’ve lost faith in the port’s credibility in growing the port in to a powerful economic engine for not only Newport, but for the entire state. They say legislation will be introduced in the upcoming state legislature to do to Newport what the state did to Coos Bay some years back. The state stepped in and heavily invested in what was a sleepy port of Coos Bay, turning it into a major economic powerhouse that benefits Oregon statewide – not just local users. Oregon’s economy thrives on foreign trade and state officials insist that the Port of Newport is way under-performing.

Click here for Details

Such a state plan is seen as a very substantial threat to the Newport area fishing fleet which fears international shipping will “take over” the port. Negotiations are underway to find some “middle ground” between shippers and fishers as to who gets to use the port’s facilities at specific times of the year.

Somewhat complicating the situation is that the fishing fleet has traded in many of their smaller boats for fishing vessels that are basically too big to tie up at the small docks that line the bay. They require far more space to unload their catch and work on their nets. And fishermen contend that there are some portions of the year they absolutely must have access to the International Terminal during peak fishing time periods.

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Many fishermen fear a loss of control of the port while others embrace a state take-over because future grants from federal and state governments are needed to move the port forward – especially in terms of usage and expansion.

Many observers are anticipating somewhat of a “showdown at the OK Corral” type confrontation at the upcoming legislative session. City Manager Spencer Nebel seemed to take sort of a neutral stance on the issue, perhaps realizing that growing pains are seldom pretty. Stay tuned.

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Fatal Crash on Newberg-Dundee Bypass – Icy road surface…

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Jan 072019

Fatal head on crash claims one life. Hwy 18 was closed on Newberg/Dundee Bypass

Head-on crash on Hwy 18
Early Monday morning

Preliminary investigation shows that at approximately 5:20 AM two commercial vehicles collided on Hwy 18 near milepost 57 – this is on the recently opened Newberg/Dundee bypass. A fire broke out as a result of the collision.

The operators of both commercial vehicles sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced deceased at the scene.

There was a passenger car involved and the operator sustained minor injuries and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

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Icy roadways are believed to be a contributing factor in this crash.

Oregon State Police and emergency personnel were on scene of a vehicle crash on Hwy 18 milepost 57 – Dundee Bypass.

This crash has resulted in a fatality.

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The hardest thing to do…is to contemplate one’s own retirement!

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Jan 072019



The Oregon State Treasury is launching a new retirement savings program called OregonSaves. OregonSaves is a simple and convenient way for workers to save for retirement. It allows employees to save a part of each paycheck in their own, professionally-managed retirement account through payroll deductions at work. The account is also portable, allowing employees to take their account with them from job to job. Any business with employees in Oregon that doesn’t offer a qualified retirement plan will need to facilitate the State’s program for its employees.

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The program began in July 2017 with a small pilot group of employers. It is scheduled to continue to roll out in phases to all Oregon employers through 2020. Wondering when your Lincoln County business has to be participating? Check the diagram, above. If your business has five employees, for example, you need to be set up by November 2019. Don’t miss this free workshop, where you can ask questions and be fully prepared to comply with this new statewide program.

Call 541-994-4166 to register


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