WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY


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Lincoln County Commissioners to ascertain status of VRDs in areas outside city limits

Report on Lincoln County’s VRD licensing program

Vacation Rental Dwellings
Good source of room tax revenues as well as increasing complaints from neighbors – loud parties and streets choked with cars. Rising numbers of VRDs also reduce available residential housing which drives up rental prices on what’s left (and shrinking).

A report on Lincoln County’s VRD licensing program and potential options for action will be presented to the county Board of Commissioners at their May 29 meeting. Board Chair Claire Hall said no decisions will be made at this time.

In 2016, the county adopted a licensing and enforcement program for VRDs outside city limits. Almost 500 VRDs have been licensed in the three-year period since the ordinance went into effect.

According to Hall, the Board has asked for information about potential steps for dealing with VRDs on septic tanks (about two-thirds of all currently licensed VRDs) and addressing issues with the local contact requirement for complaints about rentals.

The Board has also requested potential alternatives for further regulation of VRDs.

If the Commissioners decide to move forward in any of these areas, there would be a directive to staff to develop more, specific proposals for citizen input and further review before any actions are taken.

The Board meeting begins at 9:30 am in the Commissioners Conference Room #108 on the first floor of the Courthouse, 225 W. Olive Street, Newport

Fishing Outlook

Paul Olmsted
ODFW Fish Biologist
Siletz River

Best bets for fishing this holiday weekend

With a three-day weekend coming up for many, plan on at least one day (or two!) on the water. Here are just a few fish to consider:

  • Chinook fishing continues throughout the Rogue River.
  • Shad are being caught in the Umpqua, Coos and Coquille basins.
  • Kokanee fishing has been good in Detroit and Green Peter Reservoirs, as well as Lake Billy Chinook and Wickiup Reservoir.
  • Largemouth bass from Davis Lake have been stocked in Pine Nursery Pond, Prineville Reservoir and Prineville Youth Pond.
  • Summer steelhead are being caught on the Siletz, Nestucca, Wilson, Clackamas, Sandy and Santiam rivers.
  • Smallmouth bass anglers should consider the rocky shores of the Columbia River, as well as the dozens of other places where bass are on the bite.
  • Surfperch fishing should be good when the swells and wind cooperate.
  • TROUT, thousands of ‘em, are being stocked in dozens of ponds, lakes, streams and reservoirs just in time for the holiday weekend.

 

First Weekend in Toledo art displays

First Weekend Features the Yaquina Watershed in Toledo

Every month Toledo celebrates the arts during First Weekend Toledo Art Celebration. The two-day event gives artists and galleries around town an opportunity to open their doors and invite the public to visit, talk with artists and see what’s new. First Weekend Toledo Art will be ushering in the month of June on the 1st and 2nd with enchanting art displays.

The Yaquina River Museum of Art will be giving a special feature on “Yaquina: A Traveling Exhibit.” The traveling exhibit is the crown jewel for the Museum and its mission to preserve, make public and promote an appreciation of the artistic expressions of the land and people of the Yaquina River watershed. The exhibit features 45 plein air paintings by regional artist Michael Gibbons from locations in the watershed. “Yaquina” offers a visual documentation of the beauty, history, health and viability of the Yaquina Watershed. Through experiencing these poetic landscape interpretations, a benchmark is offered for sustaining this significant environment for forests, fish and wildlife.

“I paint whatever moves me,” Michael Gibbons says, “When I’m painting in nature, it is the divine experience of the land that feeds my inspiration.”

The Yaquina River Museum of Art will be featuring the DVD “Yaquina: A Painted Voice for a Sacred Landscape” as well as limited edition giclee prints of 5 paintings selected from the exhibition. The full exhibition will be on display at the LaSells Stewart Center on Oregon State University’s main campus in Corvallis from June 1st through July 12th. The Yaquina Rive Museum of Art, located at 151 NE Alder Street, will be open from Noon-4PM on Saturday and Sunday during First Weekend.

Across the street, Michael Gibbons Signature Gallery will be featuring “A Path of Roses”, a painting done in the Portland Park Blocks on a warm summer day using a painting technique called “ala prima” which refers to a method of painting in which the artist applies wet paint to already administered layers of wet paint. Michael Gibbons chose to show an empty path beside a life size bronze sculpture. It is almost as though one will travel with the mounted soldier hero together down the path of roses. Not often would the phrase ” A Path of Roses” be related to a war and perhaps the artist wishes to show the irony of it. Michael Gibbons Signature Gallery will only be open Sunday, June 2nd during First Weekend from 11AM-5PM and will offer complimentary wine and refreshments.

Wild Horse Skies
Ivan Kelly

Ivan Kelly Gallery & Studio will be displaying “Wild Horse Skies” a painting featuring grazing horses on a rugged beach landscape. Ivan Kelly, a Signature Member of the American Society of Marine Artists, is also known for his detailed depictions of wildlife and big game. The artist will be on hand to talk about his work from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday and noon to 5 pm on Sunday at 207 East Graham Street.

Frank Jones

On Main Street, Frank Jones will be featuring his music and photography at Francyfolk Photos & Music. Jones, also known as “Toledo’s Troubadour,” will be on hand from 10 am to 4 pm each day to delight folk song aficionados with his guitar and singing voice. Francyfolk Photos & Music is located at 227 South Main Street.

Across from Holy Toledo, Janet Runger will be featuring her talents as an assemblage artist at Crow’s Nest Gallery & Studio. Wander through her gallery during First Weekend and see forgotten objects turned into treasures. Crow’s Nest Gallery & Studio is located at 170 North Main Street.

A note from Newport Public Works

The City of Newport Public Works Department and AIMS Companies are beginning the annual project of cleaning and inspecting a portion of the City sewer system.

The project will start on Tuesday, May 28, and be completed in early August.

AIMS will be working in different areas of the City and will make an effort to disrupt traffic as little as possible, but there will be traffic control around their trucks and equipment.

 

Bringing back our seagoing furry friends…

You “otter” attend this important information session!!
OCA photo

Sea otters used to exist along the Oregon coast, but were from these waters during the Maritime Fur Trade more than 100 years ago. Now, environmental managers are considering reintroducing the once native sea otter. The likelihood of reintroduction success is unclear, and managers seek to better understand these knowledge gaps before deciding whether to proceed with such an effort. To address these uncertainties, we must first answer two key ecological questions:

(1) Does Oregon have suitable sea otter habitat, and what ecological or anthropogenic factors may influence the likelihood for reintroduction success?

(2) How might sea otters alter or change Oregon’s nearshore ecosystems, if they were to be reintroduced?

The Oregon Chapter of the American Cetacean Society is having their monthly meeting on Saturday June 1st, from 10:00AM to 12:00PM.The meeting will be held at the Newport Public Library, 35 NW Nye, Newport, OR. The event is free and open to the public. Join us for “An ecological assessment of a potential sea otter reintroduction to Oregon” by guest speaker Dominique Kone.

Dominique’s talk will address these questions by explaining what this information and answers to these questions could mean for the broader reintroduction effort.

Dominique is a masters student studying Marine Resource Management at Oregon State University (OSU). For his thesis work, Dominique is assessing the ecological factors and implications of a potential sea otter reintroduction to Oregon. Before joining OSU, Dominique worked in the marine and wildlife conservation field by developing and applying scientific research to inform policy and management. As an ecologist, Dominique merges his experience in science and policy to better use targeted research for the conservation and effective management of at-risk marine species and ecosystems. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies Science with a concentration in Conservation Biology from Colby College.

The American Cetacean Society protects whales, dolphins, porpoises, and their habitats. The non-profit organization was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in San Pedro, CA. Information on the ACS can be found on the website: www.acsonline.org

You can also find us on Facebook now at American Cetacean Society-Oregon Chapter

PADIO Open Water Diving Course – Sign UP!

Toledo Pool
On the grow….

PADI OPEN WATER DIVING COURSE
LAST CHANCE TO SIGN-UP
GREATER TOLEDO POOL
June 1-2 & June 8-9
8am-4pm June 1-2 & 8am-5pm June 8-9
Toledo Pool
174 NW 7th Ave, Toledo, OR 97391
 
The PADI Open Water Diver course is the world’s most popular scuba course, and has introduced millions of people to the adventurous diving lifestyle. The fun part about this course is… well, just about all of it because learning to dive is incredible. You breathe underwater for the first time (something you’ll never forget) and learn what you need to know to become a certified diver. During the course, you’ll make pool dives and four dives at local dive sites under the supervision of your Eugene Skin Divers PADI Instructor.
This first weekend will consist of 4 classroom sessions and 4 pool sessions at the Greater Toledo Pool. The following weekend will consist of 4 open water dives (2 each day). 

Required Personal Gear: mask, snorkel and fins.

Cost of the course: $400

Course limit: 12 people 

Registration: Call the Greater Toledo Pool  541.912.6576 

CALL TODAY AND RESERVE YOUR SPOT!

Down home music from a down home radio station….KYAQ

Blues and Surprises!

The Tex Brooklyn Experiment will be performing live on KYAQ 91.7 FM Radio, Club KYAQ on Sunday June 2, 6 PM – 8 PM and on www.KYAQ.org.

KYAQ Radio 91.7 FM presents Club KYAQ, featuring live music performed in the studio, on the first Sunday of each month.

The TBX is Robert Rubin on keyboards and vocals, Bill Stiffler on bass and vocals, Charlie ‘Duck’ Loomis on guitar and vocals and Deane Perkins on drums. They will perform original songs written by Rubin, along with some traditional blues and surprises.

Rubin a local songwriter performs under the name Tex Brooklyn. He has penned music for the All County theater production of “ The Gift” and the original Red Octopus production of “A Mid-Summer Nights Dream” He has put music to poems and lyrics of Andrew Rodman, Lewis Carroll and A.A. Milne, for Theatro Mundo productions. He composed “ The Chicken Minuet” for The Snow Queen. Rubin says “It’s all about the songs. We really appreciate this opportunity to have our songs heard by a larger audience that could possibly never attend a local gig. “Party at your house”.

“TBX”

To see lyrics and learn more visit www.texbrooklyn.com

Club KYAQ will be streamed live at www.kyaq.org and on the radio 91.7 FM Everyone is invited to attend the show at the studio.

KYAQ became the first Lincoln County local public radio station when it signed on the FM dial at 91.7 on January 3, 2014, KYAQ is dedicated to advancing the common good of the Oregon Central Coast through the power of connection. Their mission is to strengthen the fabric of our community by weaving together vital threads of news, information, science, music, and art, creating an environment rich with surprise and discovery.

The KYAQ Studio is located in the Floweree Community Center, formerly Mary Harrison School, located at: 321 SE 3rd St. Toledo, Oregon Studio Phone Number: 541-635-0034 Call in a request! Their E-mail address is: comments@KYAQ.org

Calling All Nature Lovers!!!

 

 

 

Cascade Head
File photo

Volunteers Needed at Cascade Head Preserve Saturday, June 8th

The Nature Conservancy invites anyone interested in preserving Cascade Head Preserve to participate in a volunteer work party taking place on Saturday, June 8th.  Located near Lincoln City, Cascade Head is a coastal promontory overlooking the Pacific Ocean that provides critical habitat for native prairie grasses, rare wildflowers, the threatened Oregon Silverspot butterfly and the Cascade Head catchfly.  Volunteers will perform trail work.  The work party includes a four to five-mile roundtrip hike with elevation gain and may require volunteers to hike off trail and stand on uneven ground while working.  Please bring hiking shoes, a daypack, lunch and snacks, a full water bottle, layers of clothing to be prepared for any weather — including raingear and a hat and sunscreen.  Also bring gloves, if you have them — if not, we have gloves for you to borrow. 

Registration is required at nature.org/oregonworkparties. Questions?  Contact (503) 802-8100, orvolunteers@tnc.org or the alternate contact; Debbie Pickering at (541) 994-5564.

 

County Commissioners set up more transitional housing for paroled ex-offenders

Converted half-way house for ex-offenders just across SE 10th from Newport City Hall and Recreation Center.

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners has approved the purchase of a five-bedroom house in Newport for use as additional post-release (from jail)  transitional housing.

The vacant home, located at 168 SE 10th Street, Newport, was previously operated as a group home and has three bathrooms.  It’s across the street from Newport City Hall and Recreation Center.  Purchase price is $347,500, with the money coming from state funding for parole and probation.

Initially, the county will be able to house five male probationers at the property, but with future modifications, it may be possible to house as many as ten individuals at the site.

Board Chair Claire Hall, the supervising commissioner for the department said, “This is a great win-win. We’re going to improve community safety and help people get their lives back on track.  It’s important that our half-way houses are close to parole, mental health and counseling services which are centered near the downtown area.  There are counselors that live in the half-way house with the parolees and they closely monitor their comings and goings.”

The County’s community justice program already operates three homes for offenders released from custody, with a total of 28 available beds, but department director Tony Campa says there’s a long waiting list for these facilities.

Campa said each probationer will have an assessment with a program designed to meet their individual needs. “Each individual will have “wrap-around” services geared towards their needs, as different treatment programs work for different people.”

He added that the new house will be targeted to serve men experiencing mental health disorders, substance abuse, homelessness, or a combination of all three.

2nd Annual Teak Lady Sail

The Port of Toledo’s fleet of Teak Ladies will be sailing up the Yaquina River on May 25, 2019. This is the 2nd year volunteers and friends of the Port of Toledo will sail the three sister vessels from Newport to Toledo. Each of these beautiful, 17-foot sail boats have been donated to the Port by their previous owners for use in the Toledo Community Boathouse program. Any boats are welcome to join the procession.

The Teak Ladies will arrive at Port of Newport’s Commercial Dock 3 late in the afternoon on Thursday, May 23 and will be on display until their departure Saturday, May 25 a 12:00pm. The boats will sail upriver to their home dock at the Port of Toledo’s marina, providing many opportunities to view the boats from the Bay Road.

The Teak Ladies are maintained and sailed by members of the Teak Lady Society, a group of volunteers working under the leadership of David West and local boatwright Rick Johnson. Johnson and West have just completed repairs on Ma Zu and given her a fresh coat of varnish and paint. They were assisted by Toledo High School vocational student, Jacob Rogers.

The Teak Lady sloop was designed by Fenton Kelkenny of San Francisco and modeled after larger yachts. The A. King Slipway in Hong Kong was commissioned to build the boats between the years of 1939 and 1958. They were built of hand sawn teak and feature custom carved tillers, carved name plates, and hand crafted brass ventilators. In the 1940’s the Teak Ladies had their own sailing class in San Francisco Bay.

These three boats have been donated to the Port of Toledo for use by the Toledo Community Boathouse. In 2009, Jim and Carolyn Hitchman of Waldport, Oregon donated Ma Zu to the Port. Ma Zu was built in 1958 and is also known as Teak Lady #21. In 2011, Robert and Claire McDonald of Spokane, WA donated Che Hon, built in 1939, also known as Teak Lady 11. The most recent addition to the fleet is donated by David West, and is the prototype Teak Lady, named Yuan Mun built in 1937. West found Yuan Mun in San Francisco when researching the history of the Teak Ladies.

For more information about the Teak Lady Sail or the Wooden Boat Show please contact the Port’s office at 541-336-5207 or email info@portoftoledo.org

No date has been set yet for the new group home to become operational but Hall and Campa expressed hope that it will be soon. The County’s pre-purchase inspection of the property found only minor repair needs.

Samaritan Report shows $161 Million in local health investment

North Lincoln Hospital
Lincoln City

Samaritan report shows $161 million in local health investment

In 2018, Samaritan Health Services invested nearly $161 million in community health.
These investments are designed to help address activities that promote healthy families, greater access to health care, better networks, healthy kids, healthy teens and healthy seniors throughout Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties.

Samaritan makes this information available in its annual Community Health Impact Report. Available now, the 2018 report highlights the investments made in community health activities, such as free health screenings, services for low-income individuals, health-related research, training for health professionals and grants to local non-profits in support of health initiatives.

“As we complete these activities each year, we believe it’s important to report back to the community regarding progress that has been made in each goal area,” said Doug Boysen, president and CEO of Samaritan. “In this report, you’ll find success stories as well as data that will help illustrate how we are partnering with many others in our region to build healthier communities together. We are pleased to share these stories of hope and inspiration with our customers and partners.”

Learn how Samaritan’s contributions impacted local organizations, including Sweet Home Emergency Ministries, the Benton County Oral Health Coalition, the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence, Yachats Youth and Family Activities Program, Linn Together, Volunteer Caregivers and more.

Visit samhealth.org/Impact to read the report.

Senator Merkley introduces bill to expand wilderness areas in Eastern Oregon

Painted Hills
Eastern Oregon

Senator Merkley Introduces The Sutton Mountain and Painted Hills Area Preservation and Economic Enhancement Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today introduced the Sutton Mountain and Painted Hills Area Preservation and Economic Enhancement Act, legislation to create federal wilderness in the area of Sutton Mountain and the iconic Painted Hills, and to promote economic development in the surrounding area.

These new wilderness areas will offer extensive recreation opportunities, such as day hikes, backpacking trips, river floats, horseback rides, fishing, and hunting, expanding the local recreation and tourism economy. They also encompass a diversity of habitat types including grasslands, riparian areas, sagebrush shrub steppe, woodlands, and forests.

The proposal, which was developed in close collaboration with the Wheeler County community, would create new economic opportunities and designate cherished public land in Oregon as wilderness to protect it for future generations.

“With this legislation, we’ll make sure that future generations will experience some of Oregon’s most incredible landmarks—while also creating jobs and economic opportunities in the county now,” Merkley said. “I thank local community members for their impressive work in developing this proposal, and I will continue to do everything I can to be a strong federal partner and put these plans into action.”

Additionally, the legislation will empower the surrounding region to create jobs and grow the local economy by providing 2,000 acres of land for the City of Mitchell to pursue economic development projects that will help attract and host more visitors. The types of projects under consideration for that land—such as an RV park, search and rescue training facilities, or an air strip—will help make the region a more attractive and accommodating destination for travelers, who in turn will spend money in the local communities and help boost local business.

“In Mitchell, we’ve seen how protected places like the Painted Hills can help the economy through visitation, and we believe Sutton Mountain Wilderness can do the same,” said fifth-generation Mitchellite Robert Cannon, who co-owns the Tiger Town Brewery on property passed down from his grandfather.

“Our community has worked for years to develop a vision for how the proposal to protect Sutton Mountain and convey the Golden Triangle to the City of Mitchell will improve our economic future,” said Sutton Mountain working group member and local landowner Bob Mair. “With Senator Merkley’s leadership we are one step closer to realizing this dream.”

The legislation would designate roughly 58,000 acres of wilderness on four new tracts in Wheeler County independently known as Sutton Mountain, Pat’s Cabin, Painted Hills, and Dead Dog. These tracts of public land would provide recreational access and views to Sutton Mountain, the Painted Hills and John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and additionally connect to the Wild and Scenic John Day River.

Free County Transit for High School Students with Student Body Card

Free transit bus rides for Lincoln County High School Students, grades 9-12. Just show your Student ID Card!

Free County Transit Bus Rides for High School Students with Student Body Card!!

Lincoln County Transit announces a new program to allow any Lincoln County high school student to free ride anywhere in Lincoln County – just show the transit driver your high school student body card! That’s your ticket to ride!!

The service includes all county high schools and charter schools serving grades 9-12. For students who are without a reliable source of transportation, this will provide greater mobility and security to attend after-school functions, travel to work, social events, shopping and more. It also provides a free ticket for all high school student who want to explore Lincoln county. (Sorry, no free round-trips to shopping malls in Corvallis or Salem.)

According to Transit Director Cynda Bruce “We are excited to be able to offer this service to all our students, grades 9-12, throughout the county.  This will create many opportunities for them to attend after school-events or take on summer jobs! 

Funds are provided by the State Transportation Improvement Fund. Again, any high school student can get a free ride by simply showing their student body card to the bus driver.

This new program for high schoolers comes out of a new state fund called “Keep Oregon Moving.” More information can be found on this website: https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/RPTD/Pages/STIF.aspx

Newport City Council Update –

Newport City Hall

The Newport City Council really put in some hours this week trying to successfully wade through some high profile issues.

Still trying to tame the VRD situation-

First off, councilors were briefed by city Planning Director Derrick Tokos who shared the progress that’s being made to meet a July 1st deadline for getting on the city’s list for those wanting to hang on to their Vacation Rental Dwellings (VRD’s) – especially in what are called “overlay zones” which are near tourist-related businesses and the beach and which are forecasted to become more “VRD friendly.” Those VRD’s not within an “overlay zone” are expected to be phased out, but the timelines vary wildly. But the bottom line is that new VRD’s (however many there may be) will eventually (and it’ll take some time) be concentrated in areas more fitting for tourists and kept away from “normal,” well defined neighborhoods. This is a micro-slow process that will take years to smooth itself out. But the city seems committed to make the process less problematic than where the city was headed during the last few years.

City Manager Spencer Nebel told the council that these initial efforts at solving Newport’s VRD headaches will be closely monitored and after one full year closely analyzed to see what’s working and what’s not working and then making whatever adjustments in VRD rules and regulations make sense.

Newport asked to “do more” to help properly fund the state’s retirement system.

It’s not news that Oregon state-wide is bogged down with financial obligations to former local and state government workers who are now retired – and those who are retiring or will retire soon. Trouble is, there’s not enough money in the long run to keep the state’s retirement fund healthy.

An Oregon Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) expert gave the council a not so sunny plan on how to solve the problem. It was a very sophisticated pitch with a language all its own but the bottom line seemed to be that local and state government employees are going to have to make up some or all of the shortfall in the PERS bank funds.

In short, they’re going to have to settle for less than the rosy deal state workers received up until about 10 years ago. It means slightly higher payroll taxes on today’s state and local government workers to make things balance between new retirees and old retirees. The slightly increased payroll deductions on current workers will be felt – but, the expert promised, it won’t be catastrophic. The expert pointed out that former state workers who retired back in the early 2000’s, who got a big retirement boost, will soon be off into the “great beyond” at a higher rate with every passing year.

As those older and higher paid retirees “expire,” it will take some of the strain off the current system which by then will begin to pay newer retirees at a slightly lower monthly amount.

Helping to somewhat improve the situation will be Oregon’s rising population which will cause a growing government workforce to help balance the state’s retirement books from then on.

At least that’s what seems to be the plan. It’s currently being analyzed by the state legislature. And we’re getting real close to the end of the current legislative session…so they better step on it…

Now, off to something a little less complicated…

The city council this week was approached by some good folks who want to lend a helping hand to Newport’s local homeless.  They, and some other city folks say the growing ranks of the homeless are finding it harder and harder to find bathrooms and so they are using the great outdoors as their communal toilet.  Non-homeless people are, understandably complaining that something has to be done to ensure everyone – even those without a roof over their head – have access to a safe place to do what everyone does more than once a day.

So they asked the city council to do something about it.  And the council did just that.  They decided to team up with the Lincoln County Commission and it looks like they’re going to split the cost of two large portable bathrooms, one of which will accommodate anyone in a wheel-chair.  At least that seems to be the plan at the moment.

 

 

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