As we pull out of Winter and head for Spring and Summer, the Newport City Council is concerned about making sure that Newport area residents are aware that climate change increases the seriousness of wildland fires – they’re bigger and burn hotter than in the last hundred years, at least. Oregon has been hit hard by wildland fires with loss of timber, homes and habitat for wildlife.
Newport City Councilors were reminded that there is a lot of fire safety information available at local fire stations – especially information on how to make your home or other buildings more fire resistant. Pamphlets are available in both English and Spanish. Information is also available on line: Click Here.
Mayor Dean Sawyer told the council that he’s been learning about a trend to provide emergency shelter for teens who leave home for any number of reasons – not the least of which is parental abuse – either verbal or physical. Mayor Sawyer referred to a budding teen respite service in various parts of Oregon which, he says, has not quite reached the coast. The steering agency is called “Safe Place” which provides temporary shelter for teens having a tough time at home. Mayor Sawyer said he’s been doing some research on his own and is hopeful that a “Safe Place” organization can be set up in the Newport area to help teens get what they need to stay safe, fed, and hopefully re-united with their families – depending on the situation, of course. The council seemed very supportive of the Mayor’s approach which might include coordinating with the school district and private, non-profit shelter facilities.
The council also got an update on continuing negotiations between Newport and the County Commission on building a more up-to-date Animal Shelter at the south end of the Newport Airport. Talks apparently are moving right along including County Counsel Wayne Belmont offering not only funds for a new animal shelter but also the county chipping in to enlarge a water line from Highway 101 up the hill to the airport because animal shelters use a great deal of water. No date has been set for when construction on a new shelter will begin. But both the city and county appear to be eager to start.
And speaking of the airport, County Commission chair Kaety Jacobson and Mr. Belmont discussed federal government plans to use an area of the airport for staging temporary Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) facilities in the event of a natural disaster, like another Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake that hit the coast in January of the year 1700. FEMA facilities would be temporarily brought in to coordinate disaster relief during the months following the shaker.