Letters to the Editor – Don’t build “The Commons Convention Center”

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May 152018
 

The views and opinions of submitters to “Letters to the Editor” do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NewsLincolnCounty.com, its staff or advertisers. The positions taken in the following letter are strictly those of the submitter.
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Commons Convention Center – bad idea!

I believe that the idea of building a convention center in the heart of Newport would bring many unhappy consequences for the citizens of Lincoln County.

One major consequence that would affect all of us would be a huge increase in traffic on our our already often impassable Hwy 101. And questioning the cost to our communities and citizens for increased tourism and traffic should be an important aspect of planning. Would citizens at-large reap benefits, or just the restaurants and hotels? The Chamber of Commerce reports that a successful tourist industry with millions of visitors each year already exists in Lincoln County. And we already have several large facilities that host conventions.

It is essential for us to question, and understand, the enormous multi-million dollar upfront costs, and the half-million dollar annual subsidy that would fall on Lincoln County taxpayers. Even the County Commissioners admit the money available today and the so-called Common’s plan don’t add up. Don’t you need to know how you are going to pay for something before you make a plan to build it?

Many of us support having a Fairgrounds and 4-H in our county. Having it in the center of Newport is not the best, or only place, available. How about considering and exploring where other Lincoln County cities want it — such as in Waldport, Toledo, or on the tribal lands at the north end of Lincoln City?

It is important for a plan of this scope that the citizens affected and paying for it, come to meetings, ask questions, and listen carefully to the answers given. Leaving such an important and costly decision to three County Commissioners and one County Attorney is not prudent or responsible. Fair Board meetings are held the second Thursday of every month at the Lincoln County Courthouse. Board of Commissioner meetings are held every Wednesday at 9:30 at the Courthouse. Supposedly, two more Master Plan presentations will be scheduled soon. Please plan to attend and speak up against the convention center.

Dorothy Stern-Kucha
Depoe Bay

Russ Baldwin’s statement going in to election day….

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May 152018
 

Opinion Disclaimer

The views and opinions of submitters to “Letters to the Editor” do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NewsLincolnCounty.com, its staff or advertisers. The positions taken in the following letter are strictly those of the submitter.
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Hi. I am Russ Baldwin, your candidate for Circuit Judge, Pos. 3

I would like to thank the voters for going on this journey with me.

The final votes will be cast on May 15th. Please drop off your ballots before 8 pm Tuesday, at any official drop box. They are listed on your ballot envelope. Caution: it is too late to mail ballots to arrive in time to be counted.

It takes courage to challenge the status quo, to put yourself out there for the right reasons to bring about a positive shift for our courts to function better.

If elected, I intend to use “pre-trial orders” much like our federal courts use to budget court time. Simply, the judge decides the timelines along with the parties to an action, so that cases move through the court system smoothly with both sides knowing the timeline to complete all phases of a case. That way litigants know how long their case will take in most situations. Secondly, I will always show you my work when making a ruling. I will give findings of fact and conclusions of law for full transparency. That way, if any litigant desires to seek appellate rule, that process should also be fair and transparent. There will be no “back room deals” or hidden “agendas.”

When running for office, things can be said that are untrue or are grossly exaggerated to dissuade voters. That is part of politics. I have endeavored to make my campaign about ideas rather than a popularity contest. Thank you for participating!

I have really enjoyed meeting many of you and hearing your concerns. It has meant a lot to my family and me to feel so included in our coastal communities, in a more personal way. After the election, I want you to know that I will keep an open and neutral mind. As your judge, I want you to know that I will remain accountable to the voters for my decisions. I will uphold the law fairly, remaining impartial. I hope to be your public servant. It is our court house, and I will work for all of you.

We can rise up and overcome obstacles with positive change. I am reminded how loving and kind most people are, and how and why our democracy has been the envy of the world for most of our history. I hope to work constructively with our local law enforcement and social services agencies, in partnership with community groups to uplift our communities.

Mahatma Ghandi famously said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Imagine if we encouraged one another in this way, our politics would quickly improve. I have seen this positive side on our ride together. Thank you for that reflection.

Best,

Russell Baldwin, attorney
Candidate for Circuit Judge, Pos. 3

Lincoln City trash rates going up 9% – A bright vision for the town’s Cultural Center – Learning how to cope with “The Big One”

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May 142018
 

Read it and weep…China is no longer the trash can of the world…


North Lincoln Sanitary’s co-owner Tina French told the Lincoln City City Council Monday night that the trash collection and recycling world has been turned upside down – with higher rates to boot. After listening to what China has done to the world’s recycling markets, and the costs of taking what little they take…that’s right, they’re now charging for it…North Lincoln Sanitary asked for, and received, a 9% increase for average trash and garbage service in the Lincoln City area.

For Info Click Here

The changes are extremely complicated – more than can be properly listed in a news story. But suffice it to say that bare bones trash pickup rates will rise from $18.26 a month to $20.56 a month. As to what specialty services you or your business have relied on, you should check North Lincoln Sanitary’s website at NorthLincolnSanitary.com. Again, the city council and city finance director mulled the numbers and all agreed the 9% increase was justified.

There is also a certain amount of trepidation in light of the fact that China’s role in the world-wide recycling industry will remain uncertain for a while. And international politics between the Trump Administration and many countries world-wide, including China, is another potentially damaging unknown.

Walkways, artwork, activity areas, music and performance areas, much more parking…


South end with major addition of parking to the east.


South entrance


West entrance and plaza

The council’s then turned their attention toward Nikki Price, the Executive Director of the Lincoln City Cultural Center. She gave her annual report to the council and it was quite impressive both in variety and quality of events and performances. The Center is solvent with a variety of income streams – not only from admissions – but in local donations and endowments that clearly shows the community’s appreciation for such a well rounded array of music, live theater and all forms of art.

However, Ms. Price’s central point turned out to be a big pitch for financial help in taking the Center to a whole new level – help from the city as well as from the community, and grants – however they can be found. Ms. Price said for all of the wondrous and fabulously enjoyable musical and eye-popping artistic offerings, the Center needs an upgrade to continue to grow the Center’s role in the community, if not regionally. She said they would like to see the exterior of the facility rejuvenated to accommodate more activities outside, requiring a wrap-around sidewalk and performance areas. All that would also better accommodate the long-popular farmer’s market and other community attractions. And of course, lots more parking. Ms. Price said it’s crucial. Total sticker price on all this: $1.6 million which will no doubt be raised by community support, grants and a bit of help from City Hall. Ms. Price indicated that it will take more planning and sequencing of each stage of the upgrades to make the vision a reality.

Click here for details

The council acknowledged and lauded the Center’s growing entertainment role and it’s substantial contribution to Lincoln City’s tourism economy. To be continued.

Lincoln City
Working on an evacuation plan for low lying areas if “the big one” hits.

The city council also got an update on how Lincoln City citizens can get out of the way of the looming Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake. The term “looming” describes the State Office of Emergency Management’s prediction that the earthquake is a bit overdue – the last one striking 318 years ago – it’s average re-occurrence varying from 250 to 350 years.

A representative from Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development said that every coastal community needs to know how to evacuate and where to go during an evacuation. State documents documents revealed which areas of Lincoln City would be inundated by the flood waters, and which areas could provide refuge in strategic areas of the city. Besides getting up and out of low-lying areas ahead of the tsunami, (which could arrive in as little as 15 minutes) the city needs to list safe areas of town and specific facilities that could provide shelter for residents and tourists along with large supplies of food, medicines and common prescription drugs. As a side-note, it’s becoming more clear that in the event of a Cascadia event, evacuees must concentrate on getting themselves to higher ground “ASAP” without having to lug personal effects and food while they scamper up a hill. Large stockpiles of life-necessities should be waiting for evacuees who successfully flee low lying areas.

The city council promptly ordered the city’s planning commission to take the lead in developing a resiliency plan for Lincoln City residents and visitors. Once the plan is complete, it will be delivered to the city council for their review, any additional recommendations and approval.

Click here for details

Medicare – Don’t leave home without it!! (If you’re “mature” enough…)

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May 142018
 


Are you confused about Medicare?

Please join us for a two-hour “ABC’s of Medicare” Seminar on Wednesday, May 23rd at 10:30am, Oregon Coast Community College in Lincoln City.

Our experienced Medicare Counselors can make it easier for you to understand. Please call to register at 541-574-2684. We have private appointments available also. Let us know how we can help!

Click here for Details

Learn how to burn…SAFELY!

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May 142018
 

Recommended configuration of a debris pile.
ODF photo


May is Wildfire Awareness Month in Oregon and the ideal time to trim back trees and shrubs from around your home that could pose a wildfire threat.

As you begin spring clean-up, forestry officials urge you to chip or recycle yard debris. If burning is the only option to dispose of woody material, follow safe burning practices.

“If you burn debris, use common sense and follow safety rules,” said Oregon’s State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “This can prevent most wildfires caused by burning debris and keep lives and property safe.”

Escaped debris burns are the leading human cause of wildfire in Oregon, especially in the spring and fall when people think it is safe and OK to burn. In 2017, backyard debris burns that escaped control resulted in 149 wildfires burning 334 acres at a cost of $183,000 to put out.

A burn pile is less likely to escape control if these simple safety tips are followed:

* Call before you burn – Burning regulations are not the same in all areas and can vary with weather and fuel conditions. If you’re planning to burn, check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry district, fire department, or air protection authority to learn if there are any current burning restrictions in effect, and whether a permit is required.

*Know the weather forecast– Never burn on dry or windy days. These conditions make it easy for an open burn to spread out of control.

* Clear a 10-foot radius around your pile– Also make sure there are no tree branches or power lines above.

* Keep your burn pile small – A large burn may cast hot embers long distances. Small piles, 4 x 4 feet, are recommended. Add debris in small amounts as existing material is consumed.

* Always have water and fire tools on site – When burning, have a hose with a sprayer nozzle, bucket of water, shovel and dirt nearby to extinguish the fire. Drown the pile with water, stir the coals, and drown again, repeating till the fire is DEAD out.

* Stay with the fire until it is completely out – Monitoring a debris burn from start to finish until dead out is required by state law to ensure that any escaped sparks or embers can be extinguished quickly. Go back and recheck old burn piles, as they can retain heat for several weeks and then rekindle when the weather warms and wind begins to blow.

* Never use gasoline or other combustible liquids to start or increase your open fire. Every year, 10 to 15 percent of all burn injuries treated at the Oregon Burn Center in Portland are the result of backyard debris burning.

* Burn only yard debris – State regulations prohibit the open burning of any material that creates dense smoke or noxious odors.

* Escaped debris burns are costly– State law requires the proper clearing, building, attending and extinguishing of open fires any time of year. A first-time citation carries a $110 fine. If your debris burn spreads out of control, you are responsible for the cost of fire suppression and very likely the damage to neighboring properties. This can range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars.

Found pooch in Seal Rock. Is he yours?

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May 142018
 

FOUND: Gray, male, robust Westie dog. He has a faded red collar, no tags. He’s being kept in the Seal Rocks RV park office (Tel: 541-563-3955)- he was wandering around the RV park.

Learn HOW to BURN!

 Daily News  Comments Off on Learn HOW to BURN!
May 142018
 

Recommended configuration of a debris pile.
ODF photo


May is Wildfire Awareness Month in Oregon and the ideal time to trim back trees and shrubs from around your home that could pose a wildfire threat.

As you begin spring clean-up, forestry officials urge you to chip or recycle yard debris. If burning is the only option to dispose of woody material, follow safe burning practices.

“If you burn debris, use common sense and follow safety rules,” said Oregon’s State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “This can prevent most wildfires caused by burning debris and keep lives and property safe.”

Escaped debris burns are the leading human cause of wildfire in Oregon, especially in the spring and fall when people think it is safe and OK to burn. In 2017, backyard debris burns that escaped control resulted in 149 wildfires burning 334 acres at a cost of $183,000 to put out.

Click here for details

A burn pile is less likely to escape control if these simple safety tips are followed:

* Call before you burn – Burning regulations are not the same in all areas and can vary with weather and fuel conditions. If you’re planning to burn, check with your local Oregon Department of Forestry district, fire department, or air protection authority to learn if there are any current burning restrictions in effect, and whether a permit is required.

*Know the weather forecast– Never burn on dry or windy days. These conditions make it easy for an open burn to spread out of control.

* Clear a 10-foot radius around your pile– Also make sure there are no tree branches or power lines above.

* Keep your burn pile small – A large burn may cast hot embers long distances. Small piles, 4 x 4 feet, are recommended. Add debris in small amounts as existing material is consumed.

* Always have water and fire tools on site – When burning, have a hose with a sprayer nozzle, bucket of water, shovel and dirt nearby to extinguish the fire. Drown the pile with water, stir the coals, and drown again, repeating till the fire is DEAD out.

Click here for details

* Stay with the fire until it is completely out – Monitoring a debris burn from start to finish until dead out is required by state law to ensure that any escaped sparks or embers can be extinguished quickly. Go back and recheck old burn piles, as they can retain heat for several weeks and then rekindle when the weather warms and wind begins to blow.

* Never use gasoline or other combustible liquids to start or increase your open fire. Every year, 10 to 15 percent of all burn injuries treated at the Oregon Burn Center in Portland are the result of backyard debris burning.

* Burn only yard debris – State regulations prohibit the open burning of any material that creates dense smoke or noxious odors.

Click Here for details

* Escaped debris burns are costly– State law requires the proper clearing, building, attending and extinguishing of open fires any time of year. A first-time citation carries a $110 fine. If your debris burn spreads out of control, you are responsible for the cost of fire suppression and very likely the damage to neighboring properties. This can range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars.

Click here for details