It appears that Monday night’s Newport City Council meeting is “all wet,” literally. Heading the liquified agenda is the council’s selection of people to serve on the Georgia Pacific (GP) Technical Advisory Task Force. The council will be interviewing applicants during a 5pm council work session. Whoever is selected will advise the city on what criteria should be used in ascertaining whether GP’s effluent, from its Toledo paper plant that’s piped westward through Newport and then off shore through a very long pipe, is acceptable, as to its chemical contents. The city wants to ensure that whatever is being released out there does not hurt the ocean environment. GP is paying Newport an annual right of way fee for the pipe which is funding the testing program. (more…)
Eugene Police say a Blodgett man ran a red light at I-105 and 7th early Saturday morning, sending his vehicle careening into an empty school bus. The impact caused the pickup to burst into flame. Witnesses ran over, broke out a window of the pickup and pulled Stuart Whitehead to safety.
The school bus driver was not seriously injured. She was the only one aboard. The fire consumed the pick-up and heavily damaged the bus. Whitehead, 52, of Blodgett, was booked into the Lane County Jail on charges of drunk driving, reckless driving and reckless endangerment of another person’s life.
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME will show AT NEWPORT PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Hunchback of Notre Dame will be shown Tuesday, October 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Newport Public Library.
This 1923 adaptation of Victor Hugo’s epic novel is notable for the grand sets that recall 15th century Paris, as well as for Lon Chaney’s performance as the tortured bell-ringer of Notre Dame, Quasimodo. Ordered to kidnap a young gypsy girl, Esmeralda (Patsy Ruth Miller), Quasimodo is caught and publicly whipped. Esmeralda brings him water, and earns his eternal loyalty. When she is later unjustly sentenced to death, Quasimodo comes to her rescue. Chaney’s great performance in this silent film made him a major film star.
This movie will be shown at no charge in the McEntee Meeting Room of the library. For more information, call the library at 265-2153 or check its website at www.newportlibrary.org. The Newport Library is located at Nye and W. Olive, Newport.
A confrontation between a family and law enforcement, just south of Waldport, ended peacefully this morning just before noon.
Reports say a sheriff’s deputy, responding to a family spat, arrived on scene in the 5000 block of Neal Road to find an uncooperative adult male who had allegedly confronted another adult family member. The deputy ordered the first male to stay put, don’t move. But he was very uncooperative, according to deputies. The suspect then turned and headed for the family apartment. As he did the deputy, who knew the family to have weapons in the house, fired a single taser shot at him. A single taser dart seemed to have little or no effect.
For the next hour, deputies and back up Oregon State Police waited outside, hoping they could talk the suspect out of the apartment. But what they got were angry retorts from the suspect’s grandfather who told officers over the phone “nobody is going to come into this apartment,” and that neither he, the suspect, nor the suspect’s great grandmother were coming out.
Deputies further assessed the situation and decided that the minor offense of menacing and disorderly conduct did not warrant a risky escalation between the family and law enforcement, especially knowing there were multiple weapons in the apartment and the closeness of other occupied dwellings. They agreed to allow the grandfather to take his grandson to a doctor for an assessment of the taser wound. Officers then withdrew, intending to talk with the family about the incident later when everybody’s cooled off.
Newport City Council Candidates, Chamber luncheon
Summary of candidate statements, October 1st:
Peggy Sabanskas: City government must return to basics: Police and Fire Departments, water, sewer systems, storm drainage, road maintenance, city planning. Can’t afford special interest projects. Must emphacize economic development. Chamber of Commerce and city should partner on getting economic development director of some sort. Explore privatizing some city functions. Get publicly owned property off Highway 101. Push publicly owned property out of the way of commercial opportunities.
Randy Holman: Budget problems cannot be solved with magic wands. Need for painful cuts, along with outsourcing and privatizing some city programs. Build city reserve fund to 15-20%. Currently only 2%. On city funding priorities, police, fire, water, sewer, and streets first tier. Pool, recreation center, and airport second tier. Chamber of Commerce should help recruit businesses that are a good “fit” for Newport.
Bill Bain: Top city priorities police, fire, water, sewer. City needs to move toward creating better revenue stream for improved street and storm drain system, make them self-sufficient funds like water/sewer. Supports better internet access, rec center, senior center. Bain said the voters should stick with people they trust and know to be making progress for the city. On the Chamber role, Bain said, it should help the city with economic development and growth and that more can be done to perfect the chamber’s role.
Sandy Roumagoux: Improve the city’s water, sewer, streets, sidewalks, storm drain systems. Do something about water contamination eye-sore at local beaches. City needs a stronger reserve fund. Yelling “cut taxes and services” is not a prescription for success. It’s more complicated than that. Support greater and respectful public engagement.
Richard Kilbride: Although police and fire services are top city duties, they should not be given such priority that they substantially damage other city services like public works, library, parks and recreation. Painful cuts are coming to the city budget. Won’t be easy. City’s retirement fund is under-funded. Should consider a defined contribution system rather than a defined benefit approach to future city retirees whose program is run by the city. For PERS retirees, afraid of the increase the city will have to pay. City cannot continue to pay all of city employee medical insurance costs. City may have to establish a small subsidy fund to keep Seaport flying past next March when the big state subsidy program expires.
Dean Sawyer: Demand strict accountability and transparency in all city projects and services. Stop hiding challenging issues from the public. Need to consolidate private and public advertising and marketing resources to enhance effectiveness. City needs to stick to the basics of sewer, water, police, and fire services. They need to come first until the economy recovers. Need greater recruitment and use of volunteers to fill in the service gaps where possible.
Dick Beemer: City needs to remind itself of what are “needs” vs “wants.” Police and fire services must be managed to get most benefit for the taxpayers’ money. Storm water and storm drain services need to have their own revenue stream. Like it or not, recreation, library, parks, senior center and performing and visuals arts are always up for debate whether they are needs or whether they are wants. Requires tough decisions. Chamber is already helping with Newport’s economic development. A city-chamber partnership can always do more.
David Allen: City faces very tough financial challenges. Police, fire, water and sewer systems are core responsibilities. City needs to squeeze out greater efficiencies in all those categories before considering increased spending. Chamber and the city should partner to build new businesses in Newport to reflect the emergence of an oceanographic “center of gravity” supported by the arrival of NOAA which will spawn other scientific research centers. Will add to Newport’s economic base.
Melanie Sarazin: Making no promises to anyone or special interest group. Wants what’s best for all Newport residents. Says she’s a good listener and supports transparency in all city dealings. Wants all residents to be respectfully heard and engaged with the city council. Claims there is too much going on behind closed doors at city hall. City needs to be more business friendly. Residents should be more engaged with city issues. City Hall should be more open to citizen involvement with major issues. Water and wastewater systems need to be tier one priorities along with police and fire services. Strong police and fire protection ensures new businesses, looking to expand or relocate, considers Newport as “the place to be.” After providing adequate top priority services, the city can then focus on other services. Voters should support the newer faces, because they won’t offer the same old results.
An article in today’s Roseburg News-Review confirms what wildlife officials have been mentioning lately, and that is how the bear population is coping with a bad crop of berries this summer. In short, they’re not coping well at all, forcing them to become bolder in and around ranches, farms and outlying residences. One bear struck hard this week at a farm near Elkton. Here’s the details: