Toledo Walk/Run to “strike out” hunger…

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Mar 212017

Lace up for 5K/10K run/walk!

Registration is now open for the fifth annual Strike Out Hunger fun run organized by Toledo Food Share Pantry. It all takes place on April 8th starting 11am at Toledo’s Waterfront Park.
The entry fee for the 5K/10K run/walk is $25.00 that includes a cup of chowder, steamed oysters, grilled hot dogs or hamburgers, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Toledo Food Share Pantry will be hosting a post run event that is open to the public to come and enjoy live music by Son of Beaches. There will be clam chowder from Chowder Bowl, steamed oysters, grilled hot dogs or hamburgers, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages for purchase.

Please come and join us to support Toledo’s Food Share Pantry silent auction to fight against hunger in our community. All proceeds goes directly into pantry’s operating fund.

To register, go to: and search “Strike Out Hunger”.

For further information about Toledo Food Share Pantry, please visit our website:

 Posted by at 2:44 PM

Street in front of Newport Rec Center and new Aquatic Center CLOSED THURSDAY!

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Mar 212017

The City of Newport will be closing the street, and parking, in front of the Newport Recreation and Aquatic Center, on Thursday, March 23, beginning at 7:00 AM. The closure will end at 5:00 PM. The ADA spaces at the north end of this area will remain open.

The temporary closure is due to the installation of the sculpture, “Happiness Found,” in front of the Aquatic Center.

The community is invited to participate in the unveiling and dedication of the sculpture on Friday, March 24, at 5:30 PM. Newport Recreation and Aquatic Center, 225 Avery Street. A meet-and-greet the artist reception will follow.

Questions regarding the unveiling, dedication, and meet the artist reception should be directed to Peggy Hawker, City Recorder/Special Projects Director, at, or by telephone at 541.574.0613.

 Posted by at 2:30 PM

Due Date Approaches for 2016 Federal Income Tax Returns

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Mar 212017

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Due Date Approaches for 2016 Federal Income Tax Returns
Provided By: Duane J. Silbernagel

Tax filing season is here again. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to start pulling things together — that includes getting your hands on a copy of last year’s tax return and gathering W-2s, 1099s, and deduction records. You’ll need these records whether you’re preparing your own return or paying someone else to do your taxes for you.

Don’t procrastinate

The filing deadline for most individuals is Tuesday, April 18, 2017. That’s because April 15 falls on a Saturday, and Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in Washington, D.C., is celebrated on Monday, April 17. Unlike last year, there’s no extra time for residents of Massachusetts or Maine to file because Patriots’ Day (a holiday in those two states) falls on April 17 — the same day that Emancipation Day is being celebrated.

Filing for an extension

If you don’t think you’re going to be able to file your federal income tax return by the due date, you can file for and obtain an extension using IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Filing this extension gives you an additional six months (to October 16, 2017) to file your federal income tax return. You can also file for an extension electronically — instructions on how to do so can be found in the Form 4868 instructions.

Filing for an automatic extension does not provide any additional time to pay your tax! When you file for an extension, you have to estimate the amount of tax you will owe and pay this amount by the April filing due date. If you don’t pay the amount you’ve estimated, you may owe interest and penalties. In fact, if the IRS believes that your estimate was not reasonable, it may void your extension.

Note: Special rules apply if you’re living outside the country or serving in the military and on duty outside the United States. In these circumstances you are generally allowed an automatic two-month extension without filing Form 4868, though interest will be owed on any taxes due that are paid after April 18. If you served in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area, you may be eligible for a longer extension of time to file.

What if you owe?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not filing your return because you owe money. If your return shows a balance due, file and pay the amount due in full by the due date if possible. If there’s no way that you can pay what you owe, file the return and pay as much as you can afford. You’ll owe interest and possibly penalties on the unpaid tax, but you’ll limit the penalties assessed by filing your return on time, and you may be able to work with the IRS to pay the remaining balance (options can include paying the unpaid balance in installments).

Expecting a refund?

The IRS is stepping up efforts to combat identity theft and tax refund fraud. New, more aggressive filters that are intended to curtail fraudulent refunds may inadvertently delay some legitimate refund requests. In fact, beginning this year, a new law requires the IRS to hold refunds on all tax returns claiming the earned income tax credit or the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit until at least February 15.1

Most filers, though, can expect a refund check to be issued within 21 days of the IRS receiving a return.

1 (IR-2016-117, IRS Urges Taxpayers to Check Their Withholding; New Factors Increase Importance of Mid-Year Check Up, August 31, 2016)

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 Posted by at 12:52 PM

Newport City Council: Teaming up with AirBnB, Sewage Spills, Fortifying NFD HQ, Aquatic Center Update, and Pesticide Spraying Controversy

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Mar 212017

Newport City Councilors Monday night decided to allow the vacation rental booking giant AirBnB to collect the town’s hotel-motel room tax on properties that aren’t signed up with the city to rent rooms in their homes or apartments. Right now there are about 150 such rentals that the city knows about because they have a business license and so the city collects that tax.

But, like many people, the council figures there are a lot of AirBnB rentals operating “out there” that operate without a business license and so are NOT signed up with the city. So councilors took AirBnB up on their offer to collect the city’s room tax on prroperties listed with them. But part of the deal is that AirBnB won’t divulge who their booking clients are and so the city will simply get a monthly check from AirBnB without revealing who their clients are. No estimate yet on what the room tax boost might add up to.

City gets hit with DEQ fine

As everyone knows, this past winter was a tough one for Oregon, but especially tough for the coast where rain came down in terms of feet, rather than just a lot of inches. And with all that rain getting into the city’s sewer system, certain sections overflowed and diluted sewage was sent down Nye Creek, Big Creek, Schooner Creek and Agate Creek.

One of those overflows didn’t get reported right away to the State Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and so that triggered a nasty fine for the city. City Public Works Director Tim Gross told the council that DEQ over-reacted – that the minute they knew the huge rainfall event had triggered the spill, they sent crews out to post signs saying there’s been a spill at such and such a beach and to be forewarned about walking across any creeks that empty out onto an affected beach. That part of the public notification part was performed. But because there was a new city technician working the weekend shift, he thought the warning signs on the beach was enough. But of course it wasn’t. He had to notify the DEQ as well – but he didn’t because he didn’t know. So when DEQ was eventually notified, the city got hit with a fine.

Gross said it was the first such fine in years against the city because the city, up until then, was Johnny-on-the-spot to DEQ with notifications if anything went wrong. Sewer spills are common along the Oregon Coast because cities and counties have very old sewer collection systems that date back 50 or more years, back when local governments got financial assistance from the federal government. But that assistance has tapered off over the years, and it’s forced local sewer and water operators to scrounge for what state or federal grant money might still be out there.

Gross wrote a letter to DEQ telling them of the millions of dollars that Newport has spent over the last ten years on their sewer collection system and how they’re on the verge of bringing a big part of it up to snuff. Gross said the city’s mistake did not change anything in terms of notifying the public and taking note of the completely unavoidable overflow. The problem was in sending an email a little late to the DEQ.

In the end, the city settled with DEQ and is paying a $22,400 fine with DEQ agreeing to not fine them again as long as sewer upgrades, as outlined by the city, stay on schedule.

Newport Fire Dept.
Undergoing earthquake strengthening.

Fire Department given green light on renovation to Main fire station

A long-awaited green light to stiffin Newport Fire Department’s headquarters building against “The big One” was awarded Monday night. The nearly $1.5 million dollar project that will re-fortify the building just off Nye and NW 10th was approved by the city council on a unanimous vote. The planned renovation to the building was originally priced much higher, so the city had to take a very sharp pencil and start trimming it down. Fire Chief Rob Murphy the lower figure will work based on the way he and the architects did some corner-cutting – but not so much that it would substantially affect the building’s susceptiblity to a large Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.

Chief Murphy told the council that when the project is launched, the fire department will have to move out of the building – administration to the north station, equipment scattered between the old sewer plant and fire training center and the Newport Airport station. No project start date has yet been formally announced.

Finishing touches to Newport Aquatic Center

Hopefully the last “Change Order” for the new Newport Aquatic Center

The council got hit with a couple of change orders on the town’s new Aquatic Center. The $86,000 bump in price for construction was blamed on some overlooked items on the original list of ingredients, not the least of which link the new pool with the City Recreation Center right next door. It wasn’t because they had forgotten that stuff, but rather there were changes that had been made to the new pool, that made the original link-up of the two buildings more challenging than they envisioned. The council voted unanimously for the price bump.

Chemical Spraying
BLM photo

To aerial spray pesticides or not to aerial spray pesticides – that is a question for the May ballot

And finally, there were a few citizens at the city council meeting that wanted the council to oppose Measure 21-177 – the big anti-aerial spraying measure on the May ballot. A few residents told the council that the voter initiative is poorly written and if passed at the polls May 16th, will hurt the county’s economy including the area’s two major ports. They contended that the measure would throw the county into chaos due to allowing individual citizens to file complaints against many businesses that work on and for the Newport fishing fleet and other industrial operations in the region.

The council said it would schedule a public comment session at the next city council meeting to get a feel of how Newport residents weigh in on the issue.

Supporters of the measure say 21-177 merely protects the rights of Lincoln County residents to live in peace, without fear of overhead pesticide spray helicopters – some of which has contributed to the polluting of salmon and trout streams along with human health. Spray victims contend that pesticides can “drift” in the air from where they are released by a helicopter or airplane. They say if a ban on aerial spraying is good enough for the U.S. Forest Service, it’s probably good enough for the rest of Oregon’s private lands. Aerial pesticide spraying is state regulated for state lands and private timber companies. There is going to be a lot of smoke and fire on this issue.

 Posted by at 8:32 AM

Weather or Not: Brighter Days

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Mar 212017

Tuesday, Mar. 21st – Lincoln County

Summary: Rain, moderate winds yesterday, showers overnight into this morning.

Past 24 Hours High/Low/Gust/Rain…
Lincoln City: 55F/47F/15mph/0.59”
Depoe Bay: 52F/44F/19mph/0.53”
Newport: 52F/43F/29mph/0.69”
Waldport: 54F/46F/22mph/0.80”
Yachats: 56F/46F/24mph/0.73”

Newport Airport Conditions…
Ceiling: scattered @ 3,600’, broken @ 4,300’ & 4,900’
Visibility: 10 miles/Wind: SE 5 mph/Altimeter: 29.69”

Forecast: We’re receiving over 12 hours of light each day now as the time between sunrise and sunset continues to increase at the rate of about 3 minutes every 24 hours. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’ll be any drier. Long-term projections currently show varying amounts of precipitation extending out over the next 10 days. Today through tomorrow, we’ll be in a slot with heavier rain east and west of us, so the Central Coast can expect a showery pattern, possible thunderstorms, moderate winds, highs 50-55F and a low of 45F. Outlook is for rain Thursday and Friday, showers Saturday, rain Sunday and showers Monday. The mercury will be a bit below seasonal as highs reach 50F and lows dip to 45F.

wxon-twitterBe sure to follow Weather or Not’s Twitter feed to keep current on the latest conditions. You’ll get updated travel info and notification of any new advisories, watches or warnings. Follow @chrisburnswx.

Travel: In the Coast Range this morning, highways are wet, temps 40-45F. Willamette Valley roads are wet, thermometer readings near 45F. The Columbia River Gorge has bare pavement, temperature 45F. For the Cascades, expect wet highways with spots of ice this morning and 30-35F, the snow level is above the passes at 6,000 feet. * An interactive map of the latest Northwest/Central Oregon travel weather is available here. Also, motorists should always visit ODOT’s TripCheck before hitting the road.

Marine: Winds are ESE 10-15 knots this morning with seas 6 feet at 17 seconds. A Small Craft Advisory for winds is in effect from this morning through this afternoon. A Gale Watch is in effect from this afternoon through late tonight. Weak high pressure builds over local waters tomorrow bringing quieter weather. A stronger front with solid gale force wind gusts of 40-45 knots is expected late Thursday. Seas should respond accordingly and climb well into the teens. Weak storm systems appear on tap for Friday through Sunday, but should have few impacts besides an occasional uptick in winds and seas. * Full text of the latest marine forecast is available here. And, make sure you check the latest Bar Reports before venturing offshore.

On the Beach… Showers, breezy, surf 4-5 feet (low).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
* Tides
03/21 Tue 06:58 AM 6.96 H
03/21 Tue 02:10 PM 1.60 L
03/21 Tue 09:03 PM 5.81 H
03/22 Wed 02:06 AM 4.16 L

In Short: Showers, moderate winds, then wet and unsettled all week.

 Posted by at 8:08 AM

Statements for and against Proposed Ban on Aerial Pesticide Spraying on Private Timberlands

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Mar 202017

Lincoln County Board of Commissioners urging “No” vote on ban on aerial spraying in the county.

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners Wednesday voted unanimously to say “no” to a citizens petition (Measure 21-177) to ban aerial pesticide spraying on any private or state-owned timber in Lincoln County. The “no” vote is a political statement by the commission that urges county voters to do the same. The cost of the statement being placed in the county voter’s pamphlet for the May 16th election is being paid out of the pockets of the county commissioners themselves. No public money is involved.

Here is the statement from Lincoln County Commissioners Doug Hunt, Terry Thompson and Bill Hall:

As elected leaders of Lincoln County, we have a duty to look out for the people we represent. We acknowledge concerns within our community about the application of aerial pesticides and want to encourage deeper dialog within Lincoln County where we can arrive at common ground on protecting the public’s health. Measure 21-177 is not that approach.

Unclear definitions will create unclear consequences for the county. Measure 21-177 fails to define key terms while defining others too broadly. The term “aerial” is undefined, meaning the measure may prohibit many applications and methods of use by a wide variety of local industries.

The measure gives individuals the right of “direct action” to enforce this measure. That term is not defined. The measure defines corporations to include all government entities thereby restricting county practices. It allows direct intervention amounting to vigilantism. Under 21-177 individuals from anywhere in the county can use direct actions to enforce the measure and they are granted civil and criminal immunity for all actions taken, including destruction of private property. Local law enforcement’s hands would be tied in instances of criminal trespass or sabotage of private equipment. It will tie up county courts and expose us to numerous legal challenges. The measure is a direct challenge to the U.S. Constitution claiming that a county ordinance should supercede federal law.

If adopted, the county will face a protracted battle to defend it the courts, the legal cost of which will trade off funds for county services. It will divert county funds thereby causing an increase in bureaucracy.

Under 21-177 the county would be responsible for full and complete restitution of the ecosystem from any impacts from aerial spraying. The county does not have the resources to undertake such large scale habitat and waterway rehabilitation programs.

Measure 21-177 is not the proper tool to protect Lincoln County. We encourage a “no” vote.

Statement of rebuttal from Citizens for a Healthy County

Press Release from: Citizens for a Healthy County
Contact: Rio Davidson, 541.961.5606

Citizens for a Healthy County have been working with local residents to create a local law that would protect us from the hazards of aerial pesticide spraying. The group has been reaching out to residents of the county to come together and stand up to the state and regulatory agencies to protect the rights of the citizens to be free from pesticide exposure.

Monday the Lincoln County Commissioners decided to write an argument against measure 21-177, which would ban aerial spraying in Lincoln County. This is after Citizens for a Healthy County and many residents of Lincoln County sent emails asking the Council Commissioners to reconsider. The Yachats City council recently endorsed the Yes on 21-177 campaign and one of the Yachats City councilors also sent a letter asking the Commissioners to reconsider.

The emails came too late as the Commissioners sided with big timber corporations over the health of the people of Lincoln County on Monday morning.

Rio Davidson a member of Citizens for a Healthy County responded,”This is total misunderstanding and distortion of the truth, by the County Commissioners with respect to Measure 21-177. The local ordinance is about discontinuing the dangerous application of pesticides by helicopter and planes. It affects our children, water sheds, and wildlife. If aerial spraying is harmful enough to ban on federal forest, it is harmful enough to ban on all forests.”

The County Commissioners were convinced, by the primarily out of county corporate funded opposition, that there are problems with the text of the law as written. This is after the county had approved the law to be voted on in the summer of 2015. “If the county had problems with the wording why was it not brought up at the time of filing?” said Maria Sause. This ordinance can be read in full on the website.

Citizen for a Healthy County’s Rio Davidson explained, “There should be no confusion about what constitutes aerial spraying – it’s stated in state webpage,( ) ”and it emphatically does not apply to an individual spray-painting a boat that’s been lifted out of the water, to applications of any sort applied by hand. Pesticides may be applied by a tractor on delivered from any vehicle operated on land. To state otherwise is a ploy by the opposition to confuse the public, and spread misinformation and we expect to see a lot of that.”

Davidson continued: “As for ‘citizen direct actions’ to hold illegal sprayers accountable under Measure 21-177, clearly the commissioners have again misinterpreted the text of the ordinance which indicates that citizens may take action by filing complaints alleging violations of 21-177. The ordinance does not condone or provide for illegal trespassing on private property or for ‘taking the law into their own hands’. He continues by explaining that ‘direct action’ provides for taking legal direct action through county legal offices against those who violate the aerial pesticide ban the same as if any other county law were broken.” He added, “Any reference to vigilantism is aimed at trying to confuse and scare the voters. The measure does not support people taking the law into their own hands.”

This measure is necessary because the Lincoln County and the State have protected the timber corporations right to spray over the right of the citizens to have clean air and safe water to drink. We urge you to vote yes on measure 21-177 to protect our drinking water, wildlife habitats, and health of local families. The timber industry does not need aerial spraying in order to control vegetation. Manual brush removal options would create local jobs in our forest economy. A hands on, in the field approach to control the growth of young vine maple, salmonberry, alder, etc. from competing with Douglas fir seedlings would help maintain a healthy habitat for fish, wildlife and our community.

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 Posted by at 5:06 PM