The Newport City Council this past week examined some pretty hard nuts to crack – some issues solvable – some not. The Council heard a number of problem situations among them trying to find affordable housing – there’s practically none. Child care – many families can’t afford it.
But hope is on the way. Manufactured housing outside and inside city limits (where feasible) are getting some buyers – prefabricated structures – mobile homes which are becoming more acceptable even in neighborhoods that have regular homes. Sometimes crowded parking in cramped neighborhoods – especially during parts of the year that invite out-of-area seasonal workers who need temporary shelter.
But there is a major issue casting a shadow over the Oregon Coast and that is the inevitable recurrence of the Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake. The shakers pound the coast every 250 to 350 years. Back in 1700 a 9 Richter earthquake obliterated Native American communities. Tsunamis pounded the shore that sank up to 20 feet, putting Native Americans in a disastrous situation. Many were killed – and geologists today say “We’re overdue for the next “Big One.”
But these days local governments, including police, fire and other services, many residents are worried about the next “Big One.” Newport’s law enforcement along with an array of local neighborhood needs are looking ahead to the “Big Shaker.” Local “Cascadia Rising” experts are in the process of practicing evacuation drills, starting 9am, June 9th community-wide so when “the big one” hits again, coastal residents will know what it is and how to help save lives. The next “earthquake community drill” will be on June 9th when possibly hundreds, if not thousands of coastal residents practice how to save their own lives. Practicing is key, of course.
On June 15th those who want to participate in a drill are welcome to join the 6 hour event. Everyone from neighbors to police officers will go through the ordeal closely monitored by local Amateur “Ham Radio Operators” who will co-ordinate “rescuers” who will be going through the motions of saving lives and summoning medical professionals. The drill will be conducted on June 15th, 8:30am to 2pm and a number of Newport City Councilors will be on hand to participate at City Hall and the Armory – if not at a few more locations.
And finally, those who run the Newport Library got a nice pile of money aimed at making the library more easy to use. The library dipped into the city’s piggy bank and came out with $33,000 dollars (and then some). They will make some improvements to the library by replacing aging library windows and what sounds like a chimney upgrade. Maybe more.