WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.2 Percent in May. 

Unemployment in

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.2 Percent in May. 

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent in May from 4.3 percent in April.  Oregon’s unemployment rate has been between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent for 31 months, dating back to November 2016.  The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in both April and May.

During this economic expansion, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been lower than at any time since comparable records began in 1976.The previous low was reached in January and February 1995 when Oregon’s rate touched 4.7 percent.  In addition to the very low unemployment rate, it has been lower longer than ever before.  Since the late-1970s, during the prior five economic expansions, the unemployment rate would generally drop to a bottom in the cycle and then start moving upward within a few months.  In contrast, during the past three years, Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped down close to 4 percent, remaining near there for 31 consecutive months.  In May, Oregon’s tota lnonfarm payroll employment rose 1,200 jobs, following a gain of 4,000 jobs in April. Monthly gains for May were strongest in health care and social assistance, which added 900 jobs, and in construction and government, which each added 600 jobs.  Two industries cut jobs modestly in May: private educational services(-500 jobs) and retail trade(-400 jobs).  Looking at longer-term trends, Oregon’s economy continued to grow rapidly. Since May 2018, total nonfarm payroll employment was up 47,400 jobs, or 2.5 percent. The most rapid gainsover the past year were in transportation, warehousing, and utilities(+4,900 jobs, or 7.6%) and construction (+7,500 jobs, or 7.2%). Job gains were widespread,with five other major industries, each adding between 2.5 percent and 3.3 percent to their jobs base in the past 12 months. These industries were manufacturing (+6,500 jobs, or 3.3%), health care and social assistance (+7,300 jobs, or 2.8%), professional and business services (+6,700 jobs, or 2.7%), leisure and hospitality (+5,600 jobs, or 2.7%), and wholesale trade (+1,900 jobs, or 2.5%).  During that time, none of the major industries cut a substantial number of jobs, although three industries showed little change: retail trade;financial activities;and mining and logging.

Tom Moore Memorial Award to Volunteer Aimee Thompson of Newport!

At June’s Board Meeting longtime volunteer Aimee Thompson, of Newport, was surprised with the honor of receiving the annual Tom Moore Memorial Award. Named for a former school board member and volunteer, this award has been given since 1993 to the individual(s) who best exemplifies the volunteer spirit.

We asked Aimee if she’d share a little about her experience as a volunteer.

How did you become involved as a volunteer with the Lincoln County School District?

“I started volunteering by committing to help with reading groups in my eldest daughter’s 1st-grade classroom. Not only did my daughter struggle with reading, so were many kids as her class size was large and reading levels were all over the place. I would help with leading a certain level reading group one morning a week, while my Mother-in-law watched my two younger kids.

The Lincoln County School District has come a long way in aligning curriculum, training, school culture and more, since our girls were first enrolled. There were things I thought needed changing so I became involved. I wanted to learn more about how the schools function and how I could contribute.

 I also became very involved in Boosters because I felt our kids needed more fun activities connected with the school – carnivals, school concerts, field days and more. Some of those things weren’t happening because the District had cut PE and Music teachers. Boosters organized a school concert and many parents filled the High School gym! The Boosters worked hard and for several years we consistently had 500 kids, plus their parents, attending. If kids have positive experiences like that, it improves how they feel about school. I also come from a family of educators, so I always knew I was going to be volunteering in the schools because schools are the heart of the community and schools are where I believe we can make the most positive changes for our country and the world.”

Please, tell about one of your favorite moments you’ve experienced as a volunteer.

“Gosh, there are so many great moments associated with volunteering. The thing I love most is that I’m a constant presence for many of my kids’ classmates. They’ve known me to be in the classroom since the very beginning and we have a strong connection. Many of them stop and tell me how well they’re doing in school, what they’re up to, or more recently how “green” they’re being. I adore that! I’m glad I can be a positive figure in their life. I’ve made some huge connections coaching and received some of the most heartfelt letters and thank you’s from the girls I’ve coached. Those notes bring me to tears and I’ve kept them all.”

Do you have any advice for someone considering becoming a volunteer for the schools?

“My advice for someone who is considering volunteering in the schools is to do it, of course! It has given me great perspective about the makeup of our community, what challenges our District, getting to know the staff and teachers at my daughter’s school and how we can help them most to give the kids an excellent educational experience. That perspective has guided me in facilitating a lot of positive outcomes which have directly impacted kids, their quality of learning, and unforgettable experiences.  I feel strongly that supporting out kids in a positive way will lift-up our community and our world.

During our school years, I believe a student can have an enriching experience which can change the course of their life whatever background they’re coming from. You might never know how big of an impact you make, but just knowing it’s a possibility is enough for me.”

Here is her nomination submission from the West Area (Newport) Administration:

West Area Administration proudly nominates longtime volunteer Aimee Thompson for this year’s Tom Moore Memorial Award. Aimee is the mother of three Newport Area students and has been an active volunteer since the time her oldest daughter set foot in our schools. Over the last decade, Aimee has spent countless hours volunteering in various formats to support our schools and all those who attend. Her role as a volunteer has evolved and expanded over the years and our schools have greatly benefited from her service.

Aimee became a volunteer over ten years ago in our elementary schools. She quickly became a leader in school-based Booster Clubs where she has spearheaded a number of highly valuable fundraisers to support our school’s initiatives, programs, and field trips. The very successful wrapping paper and pie fundraisers are prime examples of Aimee’s leadership as a volunteer. In addition, she has been a leader in the organization and planning of the YV/Sam Case Carnival.  For many years she has volunteered as Booster Club President for YV/Sam Case and is the current Booster President for Newport Middle School. Her volunteer leadership has spanned thousands of hours and extends beyond her role as a booster member/President.

Going above and beyond the call of duty is routine for Aimee.  She has volunteered as an ASPIRE Mentor at Newport High School, is an active member in the Newport High School Booster Club, is a current NMS Site Council Member and tirelessly volunteers as a youth soccer coach. Through coaching, Aimee has played a significant role in pioneering all-girls youth soccer teams in Newport. The girls are thriving under Aimee’s guidance. As a member of the NHS Booster Club Aimee has, for many years, created the publications for the Booster Bash, Fall Auction and Spring Auction. In addition to all of these amazing contributions, Aimee has been instrumental in bringing a “Green Movement” to Sam Case and Newport Middle.

Two years ago, Aimee approached NMS with the idea of the school becoming an Oregon Green School. Shortly thereafter, a teacher at NMS and Aimee began brainstorming about what that might look like. With Aimee’s vision and a teacher’s innovation, the Green Team class was born at NMS. Two years later, the Green Team changed the face of NMS.  The school is now composting all food waste thereby reducing the amount of garbage headed to the landfill.  They’re also recycling more efficiently including composting paper towels and using reusable silverware. This entire program  was made possible because of Aimee’s vision and her willingness to go after and successfully secure a $10,000 grant to get the program up and moving. It’s no surprise that the green movement has made its way to Sam Case where it continues to thrive.

Aimee Thompson is a volunteer leader in Newport Schools and is highly deserving of any recognition our schools can provide. Her countless volunteer hours over the last decade as a booster, community coach, Site Council Member, school volunteer, and green school visionary make her an excellent candidate for the Tom Moore Memorial Award. The West Area Administrative Team feels Aimee is highly deserving of this commendation. Please consider Aimee as this year’s most distinguished volunteer.

 

Sincerely,

West Area Administration

Reyna Mattson, Aaron Belloni, Shelley Moore, and Kristin Becker

To learn more about becoming a volunteer in the Lincoln County School District go to our website at https://lincoln.k12.or.us/get-involved/volunteer/

 

Photo of Aimee Thompson and her family Left to Right: Husband Rob Thompson, Aimee Thompson, daughters Jillian, Blair, and Piper, Sandi and Bob Thompson – Mrs. Thompson’s in-laws

Cannon Beach Health Advisory: DON’T GO IN THE WATER!!

Cannon Beach
Beach water contaminated with sewage – source unknown. Reader photo

Oregon health authorities report that high levels of fecal material (poo-poo) have been detected offshore from Cannon Beach. Local and state authorities say it may take a few days for the contamination to clear up unless the source of the contamination is still leaking badly. Local health authorities are checking out places where such contamination may have leaked and fix it. Health officials say it’s still all-too-common that passing ships offshore sometimes dump their human waste and garbage in the ocean – just some dumps are closer to shore than others.

Fourth of July fireworks saved by the Port of Newport

Fireworks
Brian O’Neal photo

Fourth of July fireworks saved by the Port of Newport

The Newport Fourth of July fireworks display was almost cancelled this year, but thanks to the Port of Newport, the pyrotechnics will go off as planned.

Newport Fire Chief Rob Murphy explained that the barge used as a launching point over the past several years had fallen into disrepair and been deemed unsuitable for the 2019 event.  “We started looking in January, when it became apparent that there wasn’t an alternative barge available. We were honestly out of options when we went to the Port,” Murphy said.

With a nod from the Port Commission, staff members began working out the details to allow the Fire Department and its vendor, Western Display Fireworks, to use the western-most edge of the International Terminal property. “We are very grateful because we were honestly out of options,” the Chief said. “If they wouldn’t have agreed to that, we would not have a fireworks show this year.”

Paula Miranda, Port General Manager, said the Port was happy to help rescue an event that is an important part of the Independence Day tradition in Newport.  “We could not imagine a scenario where the community would have missed out on fireworks,” she explained. “While we may have to move a minimal amount of equipment, it will be worth it to know the Port played a role in the celebration.”

Locals and visitors alike will find the viewing experience to have little change as compared to previous years, according to Murphy.  “The fireworks will be shot off at an angle for the full display over the middle of the bay,” he explained. “People can watch from the same locations they have enjoyed over the years,” the Chief said.

There will be no public access to the International Terminal area on July Fourth due to safety concerns, according to Miranda. The west gate to the International Terminal will be closed and the east entrance will be blocked to vehicle traffic. While there is no opportunity to view the fireworks from the Terminal, there are many other vantage points found around the Yaquina Bay harbor.

To learn more about the Port of Newport, visit www.portofnewport.com or visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/PortofNewport.

 

Don’t know where to steer to get affordable medical coverage?

Free Medicare Seminar, June 21st, Offered by OCWCOG and SHIBA

Are you confused about Medicare? Please join us for a two-hour “ABC’s of Medicare” Seminar on Friday, June 21st at 10:00 am. Our experienced Medicare Counselors can make Medicare easier for you to understand. This is being held at the Samaritan Center for Health Education in Newport. Please call to register at 541-574-2684. We have private appointments available also. Let us know how we can help!

This is a free, impartial seminar covering all aspects of Medicare including Parts A and B, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D), and Medicare Supplements (Medigaps). This seminar is open to anyone with an interest in Medicare and will be conducted by a certified SHIBA volunteer. There is no charge for the seminar and no products will be sold or promoted. SHIBA is a non-profit, volunteer-based program sponsored by RSVP of Lincoln County.

This presentation will benefit anyone who is eligible for Medicare within a few months or is new to Medicare; current beneficiaries who would like to better understand Medicare benefits and options; and spouses and other relatives of Medicare eligible clients.

The seminar is sponsored by OCWCOG and SHIBA. It will be held at the Samaritan Center for Health Education, 740 SW 9th Street, Newport on Friday, June 21st, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.

This is an informational opportunity offered at no cost to community members. Follow-up one-on-one counseling appointments will be available.

Reservations may be made by calling 541-574-2684 but are not required. Drop-ins are welcome.

Nearly 7 Hours of Newport City Council – Councilors Tee-Tuckered at the end…

Newport City Council
Monday

Newport City Councilors worked hours on end Monday afternoon and evening trying to tackle projects big and small.  They shuffled out of the council chambers well past 10pm.  But they got a lot done.

Reversing Global Climate Change

Councilors were pitched again by Oregon 350 Central Coast for a small amount of money to launch a locally-grounded advocacy group that is pushing for a greater awareness of the deadly slide of the coast and elsewhere, into global warming.

Group leader Bill Kucha reminded the council that the city’s money would be teamed up with funds from other areas of Oregon as the world’s people embraces a strategy to stop a possible extended period of weather not seen on the earth for millions of years – rising seas and widespread devastation instead of the Earth we’ve known.

The council eventually pledged to award 350 Central Coast $10,000 to begin their local campaign that will link up with other campaigns around Oregon, the country and the World as a deadly heat-wave begins to do what some fear is the “cooking of the planet,” leaving the human race and much of the planet’s vegetation and animal life that depends on it, to an unimaginable fate. Common talk among scientists is that we’ve got maybe 15 years to turn things around. Otherwise the future is one big heat-seeking question mark.

Property tax capped for Newport property owners

The city council approved their Newport City budget for next fiscal year with all the appropriate numbers that will take to the streets on July first. Total budget for the city of Newport weighed in at $90.55 million dollars, subject to a continued decent coast economy.

The council stuck by its guns on eliminating (as much as possible) plastic shopping bags and a few other forms of it, from grocery stores. The trend is nationwide. The Oregon Legislature passed a similar bill which will stop the use of plastic shopping bags for a big part of the shopping public. When the new state law kicks in on January 1st, communities like Newport will have to comply with the new bag-ban and comply with the state law. The long term goal is to eradicate plastic shopping bags forever. However there’s been some talk about a public rebellion coupled with an effort to derail the bag-ban before the new legislative law is enacted.

Budget, Budget…who’s got the Budget?

The city council learned that although tax revenues have risen very substantially over the past year, the city’s buildings, roads, sewer and water systems, among others, have been neglected for a long, long time. City Manager Spencer Nebel told the council that with the rising cost of thousands of state workers getting ready to retire, the state’s cost to fork out all those monthly retirement checks to awaiting retirees are going to clobber state and local budgets over the next five to ten years. City Councilors were told that with a boxed-in and limited tax code the state will have a big problem on its hands in the near future. There were murmurs that a long-dreaded sales tax may be looming on the horizon. City Manager Spencer Nebel more than hinted that it’s going to take some very smart budgeting for the city to be able to meet the infrastructure needs – some of which have been long-neglected – to make sure there’s enough water, sewer capacity and storm water capacity to keep Newport liveable.

Vacation Rental Dwellings – How many is too many?

Talk then turned toward a city resource that has been a revenue plumb for a very long time – Vacation Rentals. Without all the construction controls they’d like to have, city staff says there are a lot of vacation rentals that have popped up all over during the past ten to twenty years. And many permanent Newport residents are complaining about loud late night parties – taking all the parking on the street – leaving small mountains of trash on the street while trash day is several days away – etc, etc, etc.

City Supervisors said better law enforcement should emerge fairly soon because new rules have been created to curb these and other vacation rental transgressions against the valued neighborhood peace and quiet. A soon-to-be-launched “Three Strikes and Your Out” program will soon be debuted to get the attention of out-of-towners who descend on the city, have a ball, leave piles of trash then bid it all good-bye while viewing it in their rear-view mirror as they head back for Portland or Eugene. The new enforcement program will be launched July 1st.

Lowering the boom on a particular now former VRD-provider on the Bayfront

Newport City Councilors learned that City Hall got wind of a particular vacation rental operation on the Bayfront which had allegedly been operating three illegal vacation rental units for over a decade. The city launched an investigation and wound up seeking a $50,000 fine against The Rogue Ales Public House Restaurant. Word has it that Rogue Ales didn’t know that what they were doing was unauthorized without a license. A Newport city councilor announced that when Rogue Ales was notified that such use was unauthorized without a license they shut the rental area down. One city councilor revealed that they’re still negotiating a resolution to the issue.

Lincoln City bags a cool $30,000 grant to create a new play area

New Nature Play Space at SE 3rd and SE Keel in Lincoln City

Lincoln City Parks and Recreation has been selected to receive a $30,000 play space grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Walt Disney Company.

Part of the national “Meet Me at the Park Play Spaces” grant program, park and recreation agencies across the country were invited to share their best ideas on increasing access to play spaces for children and families in their communities. Agencies with the most innovative ideas were chosen to receive $30,000 grants to build their projects.

Lincoln City Parks and Recreation is the 1st Parks and Recreation agency in Oregon to be chosen for this grant program, and will use the $30,000 to build a brand new Nature Play Space, including a “Story Circle” with trails, in a new park being constructed at SE 3rd and Keel.

“We are thrilled to have the support of NRPA and The Walt Disney Company in building our 1st Nature Play area in Lincoln City. We hope to incorporate many park amenities into our new Park located at SE 3rd and Keel, and this is the 1st step in the right direction,” remarked LC Parks & Recreation Director Jeanne Sprague.

For more information about Lincoln City Parks and Recreation, visit lincolncityoregon.org/parksandrec

“How to have a baby” classes !

All about babies…

Two-day childbirth classes offered at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital.

Expecting a baby can be an exciting and anxious time for pregnant women, but good information can create a positive experience for the new mom and newborn. To help, Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital is offering a two-day childbirth class on Wednesdays, July 10 and July 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the hospital’s Education Conference Room.

Maternity nurses Stephanie Marshall, RN, and Trista Selfridge, RN, will lead the classes. Topics include:

Preparing for the challenges of labor and delivery.
Learning about breastfeeding, relaxation techniques, what to expect when you arrive at the hospital, postpartum care, newborn care and more.
Addressing your fears by connecting with your partner or labor coach.
Discussing options for handling pain.
Learning about the basics of medical interventions and possible complications.

The class is free for those who plan to deliver at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital’s Family Birthing Center. Refreshments will be provided, along with the opportunity to tour the Family Birthing Center.

Registration is required by calling 541-996-7179.

Cast for Kids – Making a Splash!

The C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation will hold its inaugural C.A.S.T. for Kids event on Yaquina Bay in Newport on Saturday, July 27, 2019. This will be a free boating and fishing/crabbing event for children with special needs. The event is open to all children, ages 6-18, no matter their disability. Participants must pre-register online at www.castforkids.org/event/newportbay/ and the space is limited to the first 40 children who register.

The C.A.S.T. (“Catch A Special Thrill”) for Kids Foundation enriches the lives of children with special needs, supports their families, and strengthens communities through the sport of fishing. We empower families and communities to celebrate children with special needs, making these children feel valued and loved so they can overcome limitations and be successful.  Through a joyful day of fishing, kids, their families, and community volunteers come together for an explosion of fun and inspiration. The C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation hosts annual fishing and boating events across America to provide children with special needs a quality outdoor recreational experience.

The C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation is in its 27th year of celebrating children with special needs by providing free boating and fishing events for them to enjoy the outdoors. In 2019, the Foundation will hold over 75 events in 33 states, including 5 events in Oregon. Other Oregon CAST for Kids events will be held near Medford, Prineville, Roseburg, and Portland. You can view a complete schedule at www.castforkids.org.

At each event, participants receive a free fishing pole, tackle box, event t-shirt, cap, award plaque, and lunch. A morning of fishing will be followed by a picnic lunch for all and awards ceremony for the kids. Volunteer boaters and fishing guides will be taking the kids boating. Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian on the boat. If boat space allows, additional siblings and family members may be able to go boating as well. However, only participants and their parent or guardian are guaranteed to go boating at the event.
Anyone interested in sponsoring this event should contact event coordinator Jay Yelas at jay@castforkids.org.

The C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation is recognized as a tax-exempt public charity under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Roosterfish bangin’ out the hits…Beachcomber Days in Waldport

Beachcomber Days in Waldport

FLOUNDER INN SERVING ROOSTERFISH DURING WALDPORT’S 63rd ANNUAL BEACHCOMBER DAYS

Continuing a decades old Beachcombers Days tradition, the Flounder Inn Tavern on Hwy 101 in Waldport, proudly presents RoosterFish, Saturday June 15.

For more than a dozen years RoosterFish performed at various venues along the central Oregon coast. From Florence to Lincoln City the popular band was known for their high energy sets, which would include country, blues, reggae, old standards, rock and roll, requests and RoosterFish originals.

The Beer Garden event at the Flounder Inn has evolved into a reunion for the band and its friends. Many musicians who have performed with the band in the past, show up to sit in. The mix creates an exciting afternoon of music. Bring your dancing shoes.

The music will start following the parade, around 1PM. No cover charge. Adults over 21 years only are allowed inside the beer garden. Please. Call 541-563-2266 for more information.

Letter to the Editor: Climate Change Bell Clanging Loudly!!

Earth heating up
NASA Map

From Bill Kucha, Depoe Bay

I keep hearing the refrain to explain why more isn’t being done in regards to the climate crisis – “its just not time, people are not ready to deal with it.” That’s true. It isn’t time. It’s way past time – and now we have an emergency on our hands. If we hope to salvage enough of the ground we’ve lost to even hope for a livable planet in the near future, we had better move this concern to front-and-center and do it NOW!

Our political leadership at all levels of government is dragging their feet instead of enacting strategies that would reverse what is already happening. What more has to happen to get things moving more rapidly? The world is literally on fire! Many climate activist, including myself, are suffering from burnout from having rung the alarm year after year only to get a cool response and the warning, “better not alarm or scare people.”

Well, guess what? We should be darn scared at what is taking place before our eyes and even more scared at what isn’t happening – like people not taking notice and not acting effectively to combat the crisis.

Get going people! Shake things up!  Find and elect officials that care because the ones we have now are not doing nearly enough to save the day. We are in serious trouble and need to act boldly because denying the facts won’t save us.

Bill Kucha
Depoe Bay

Blue Heron Airport…

Ready for take-off on Sloughway 145….
Wallace Kaufman photos

Have a safe flight!
And thank you for flying Blue Heron Airlines

One dead, two injured as pickup careens off 1000 Line Road south of Toledo

Robert Bauman, 30
Manslaughter, Reckless Driving, DUI

One young man died and another two were injured in a single vehicle rollover accident on 1000 Line Road just before 3am this morning.

Authorities say the driver, 30 year old Robert Bauman of Toledo, had hijacked two others and was transporting them to an unknown location. At milepost 1.5 on 1000 Line, the pick-up left the road and rolled over and over down at 300 foot drop off. The plunge killed passenger Nikolas Yost, 25 of Toledo and injured the other passenger Brendon Thomas also from Toledo. Arriving law enforcement found Thomas on the roadway, having crawled back up the 300′ drop off.

Both Bauman and Thomas were treated for their injuries at PCH in Newport. Bauman was later transported to the Lincoln County Jail where he was booked for Hit and Run, Assault, Manslaughter, DUI, Kidnapping and Reckless Driving.  His bail was set at just over a half-million dollars.

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