Governor John Kitzhaber, staring down into a deep vat of governmental red ink, has struck the first blow against state spending by instituting a hiring freeze and trimming back state programs that are not absolutely necessary for education, safety and health.
Beverly Beach Surfer with offshore breeze
Steve Power photo
Photographer Steve Power was driving by Beverly Beach and noticed his favorite kind of wave…the ones with “The Lion’s Mane.” They’re created by winds blowing off shore, holding up the waves a little longer than normal, and blowing the spray back over the top of the waves as they break toward the beach.
After many meetings of frequently heated debate over who or what agency should run the Lincoln County Animal Shelter, the county commissioners Wednesday decided to let the voters weigh in. The commissioners set the issue for the November 2012 ballot which will ask whether the animal protection and shelter program should be run by a county-wide district with the county commissioners as directors and, secondly, to approve a property tax increase to run it. Initially it was estimated that the tax override may be as much as 11-cents per thousand of assessed valuation. However, County Commissioner Don Lindly predicted it will be less than that if everyone’s commitment of more volunteers to help run the shelter actually produce the number of volunteers pledged.
The tax override would also cover the funding for the Sheriff’s animal control officers.
Friends of the Lincoln County Animal Shelter endorsed the move, and Lindly reported that the local humane society supports it as well. Sheriff Dennis Dotson indicated support after the commissioners changed a provision in regards to membership of an animal protection and shelter committee that will be advisory to the commission on how the shelter should run, and is running. Sheriff Dotson will pick his representative on the committee, not the commissioners. Commissioners went along with that. Otherwise, Folcas will have a member, the human society will have a member and the commissioners will pick two members at large.
If the double measure passes next November, the current special five year levy to support the shelter will be cancelled and the new funding stream installed.
They’re one of the more notable tourist attractions on the Newport Bayfront – sea lions who have squatted on a water-level pier for years, much to the delight of tourists, but consternation for the Port of Newport.
The port built the docks years ago as a courtesy pier for ship and boat crews for easy access to the Bayfront. But since the sea lions hijacked them, the dock has weakened and become unsafe for any purpose except as a perch for the bellowing beasts. And with tourists snapping pictures and tossing food at them from the docks above, both parties are thrilled at the long running make-shift arrangement.
Over the years the piers have been damaged and worn from endless spats between the blubbery pinnipeds. In fact it’s gotten to the point that the piers have become a hazard due to their decayed state and so the port is wondering what to do about them since they own them. Some business owners along the Bayfront want the port to rebuild them – fortify them so they’ll hold up better under the pounding they take from the sea lions. Port Manager Don Mann says his first duty is to the port although he fully understands and supports the tourist benefits the sea lions bring with their daily antics – but again on port property. Mann pointed out that truck drivers often have to navigate their big rigs in and around the bayfront fish processing plants, by dodging crowds of tourists who flock to the “sea lion docks” right next door. Mann says “The close quarters pose quite a hazard to families and their children.”
“I know we’ll find a solution,” said Mann, “but it won’t be much before spring.” Mann says he’s open to discussions with Bayfront businesses, some of whom have reportedly offered some financial assistance. Mann said they might think about finding another location that is better suited for the sea lions to hold their daily shows that have grown so popular over the years.
A message from Katherine Myers, Manager, Newport Food Pantry
Greetings from the Newport Food Pantry!
I am so amazed at the response from your readers. They have been wonderful filling our collection containers with peanut butter, cereal, canned meat, and ready to eat meals in a can. Those foods are always in high demand here at the pantry. Yesterday, a grateful woman with four teenagers was delighted to receive a very large jar of peanut butter.
We are still in great need of canned fruits, oatmeal, dry milk, flour/baking mixes, can openers, plastic bags for repacking (various sizes), dried beans (red, black, lentils, split peas), shelf stable milk products, shelf stable tofu, and condiments such as catsup and mustard.
Our collection containers are in many convenient locations including Walmart, Best For Hearing, Jan’s Pool Supply, Elizabeth Street Inn, Habitat For Humanity Restore, Newport Police Department, Animal Medical Care (pet food), Umpqua Bank, South Beach Christian Fellowship, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Atonement Lutheran Church, Church of the Nazarene, Longview Hills, Pacific Homes Beach Club, Nye Beach Sweets, and, of course, Newport Fire Department where food and donations can be dropped off 24 hours per day.