Saying that he has much enjoyed a long career in public service, County Commissioner Don Lindly announced today that he is resigning his commissioner’s position on June 1st.
Lindly said he had heart surgery 16 years ago on this date and that he realizes that time is passing. He said it’s time to pursue opportunities for family enjoyment and other quality of life options. He said he doesn’t like resigning in mid-term but that he’s convinced there is never a good time to resign a job you love.
County Clerk Dana Jenkins says that under state law, because Lincoln County Commissioners are partisan, the Democratic Central Committee (since Lindly is a democrat) will be asked to submit three to five names of willing candidates to the remaining commissioners for consideration. Commissioners Bill Hall and Terry Thompson will then chose Lindly’s successor who will then serve out the remaining two years of Lindly’s term.
Here is the full text of Don Lindly’s resignation letter:
For the past 40 years, I have served the public, first as an educator, ten years with Lincoln County School District, and in 1990 I was elected Lincoln County Commissioner and have served longer than any commissioner in our county’s history. I have strong beliefs about citizen participation in government going back to the early 1970’s when my good friend and mentor, the late Larry Horyna at the University of Oregon, introduced me to Community Education. I learned about the importance of citizen involvement as the effort to return “participatory democracy,” community leadership strategies and the benefits of intergovernmental collaboration as concepts I’ve used every day as an elected official.
I’m announcing today, April 4th, I plan to retire from public office before completing my term. This was a very difficult decision for me. There is no other place that I love more than our beautiful county and no job that I’ve loved more than this one. As my late friend Don Cohen used to say, “This is God’s country.” I am eternally grateful to the citizens of Lincoln County for giving me their trust and confidence for all these years as well as forgiving my occasional mistakes.
Serving you in the office of commissioner has been an opportunity of a lifetime. Along the way I have worked with so many great people dedicated to making this county and the State of Oregon everything it is today. I’ve truly appreciated your support and friendship.
One thing has remained the same over the years – Lincoln County employees continue to be conscientious and dedicated in their service to our citizens. I just couldn’t be more proud of them for the important work they do every day.
Most of all, I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, and especially my wife Lin; thank you sweetheart.
Since I had open-heart surgery on this very date sixteen years ago, I’ve looked at every day God has kept me on this planet as a gift. I’ve worked hard to serve to the best of my abilities. It’s time for me to spend more time with my family and do some of the things Lin and I have always dreamed about.
I have confidence that my colleagues will continue to do a great job for our citizens and I wish them all the very best.
My last day on the job will be June 1st. Thank you all and God Bless Lincoln County Oregon.
Off Otter Rock near Beverly Beach
Click photo to enlarge
Larry Shmagin was driving along 101 Tuesday when he happened to come across a typical Oregon winter scene and so he clicked the camera and came up with a picture of Oregon’s bi-polar weather systems; cool on shore and warm way off the coast. Thanks Larry!! Keep ’em coming!!
The Depoe Bay City Council fired off a letter Tuesday night to Oregon Parks and Recreation, asking them to hurry up and complete the renovation of the Whale Watching Wayside at the north end of the Depoe Bay Bridge. Several councilors said that while the facility just recently received a national honor for landing a spot on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, it has not yet been fully renovated as proposed by the State of Oregon. Councilors said it doesn’t look good that the U.S. Department of the Interior puts a national designation on the building yet the building has been waiting for much needed repairs for a long time. Mayor Connors was authorized by her council to send a letter to the state asking officials to take the renovation more seriously by offering a firm end date for completion.
Mayor Carol Connors dropped some bad news on her city council Tuesday night. The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department will not allow any more fireworks launched from Pirate’s Cove because “the fireworks are disruptive to Pacific Flyway Treaty protected sea birds that nest in the area.” What’s worse, a suggestion that the fireworks be moved to Fogarty Creek Park as an alternative site “has been quashed by State Parks and Recreation due to non-illuminated dangerous areas after dark, making it unsafe for pedestrians and observers on the beach,” said Mayor Connors.
Mayor Connors told her council that there is probably nothing that can be done about the rulings adding that despite a plea to the state’s congressional delegation, the city has heard nothing back. “So now, it’s pretty much up to the Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce to scope out another site, possibly south of the Depoe Bay Bridge to a bluff face along the south side of the bay.” Connors said whether Depoe Bay will have July 3rd Fireworks is strictly up to the Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce which runs them. She said she expects to meet with chamber officials to see if the city can be of any further assistance. She added that there has been talk of loading the fireworks onto a barge and pulling it out into the middle of the bay, but Connors said that’s not likely to happen because of the high cost.
So, we’ll see what the Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce can come up with. Depoe Bay merchants have benefitted substantially over the years from beating other areas to the punch over fireworks, running them the night before on the 3rd of July. Mayor Connors and the council has made it clear that the town’s business community derives a substantial portion of their tourism income from the event. So to lose it would be a terrible loss to the town in terms of commerce.
Depoe Bay City Councilors Tuesday night learned from Public Works Superintendent Terry Owings that five, very loud and brand new, tsunami warning sirens will be installed along Highway 101 from near Whale Cove Inn on the south to Thundering Shores to the north. They will also have the capability of acting like a bullhorn for public announcements as to the status of the ocean and any tsunami wave activity. Owings says they’re working out the placement of the tall power poles and getting power to them, along with communications capabilities for voice messaging to the public. He said it’s requiring tight scheduling with Central Lincoln People’s Utility District, the manufacturer and the installer, GB Manchester Corporation. Owings says the tsunami warning system should be up, tested and ready to go in the event of a tsunami by mid-Summer.
Miroco/Whale Cove Inn water line strapped to a guard rail south of Depoe Bay
Depoe Bay Public Works Superintendent Terry Owings says they’re in the final stages of planning to preserve a threatened water line connecting Depoe Bay to the Miroco subdivision and the Whale Cove Inn off 101 south of Depoe Bay. The pipe, buried just off the highway, is no longer buried since a part of the hill sloughed off and fell to the rocky shore over a hundred feet below. The pipe is literally hanging in thin air and is pressure strapped and tied to a guard rail just uphill.
Owings says the plans are in place to redirect the pipe back into the cliff and then along the highway right of way for about 150-feet to the southwest where it will reconnect to the unaffected stretch of water main to the hotel and to the subdivision. Total cost of the project is estimated to be just under $20,000. Owings says he’s hoping that FEMA will cover 75% of it since he believes that the wash out, high up on the cliff, was from flood waters pouring off the highway, causing the cliff face to be undermined.
Owings says he hopes to have the repair job done by the middle of next week. He says while they’re saving Miroco’s water line, they’ll also be re-routing the water “intake” line from Rocky Creek, which parallels the Miroco line and which provides a considerable amount of raw water to Depoe Bay and surrounding areas.
Pacific northwest fish processing giant Pacific Seafood has emerged the victor, for the most part, after a federal judge ruled that a fishermen’s group did not prove that Pacific Seafood is too big and thereby can hold down prices for fish brought to them. However U.S. District Court Judge Michael Hogan did offer some support for fishermen in that market prices paid for fish off the boats throughout the region will be reported so commercial fishermen can determine whether their wholesale prices are being suppressed through market controls. They’ll have comparative prices offered for catches, including for ground fish, crab and shrimp.
The Newport Senior Activity Center invites everyone to attend their annual May Day Luncheon Celebration where the 2012 theme is “Never Too Old To Play,” (or “Don’t let experience get in your way of having a good time.”)
It’s set for Tuesday, May 1st, starting with a Silent Auction Preview at 11am. There will be live music, luncheon at noon (for a paltry $12) and it will be served by several ‘models’ from the “Oregon Coast Men’s Calendar!”
“The Red Hat Society,” is expected to set the pace on a request that all who attend wear colorful clothing.
All proceeds benefit Senior Programs. The Senior Activity Center is located immediately northeast of Newport City Hall, off Highway 101 at SE 2nd Street. For more information call 541-574-5459.
America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama will be delivering the 2012 Commencement Address this June at Oregon State University where she has a family member on the faculty. The story is in the Oregonian. Click here.
Nana’s Irish Pub will host the next “Dine Out for Samaritan House” on Wednesday April 4th. The popular Nye Beach eatery will donate 15% of the day’s profits to help support Samaritan House, a shelter for homeless families with children. Nana’s has a strong history of community involvement, supporting Samaritan House and the Great Oregon Coast Pot-Luck Off (which raises funds for Project Homeless Connect.)
Located at the corner of 3rd and Coast Streets, Nana’s offers traditional Irish faire, such as pot pies, fish and chips, bangers and mash and corn beef and cabbage; along with soups, salads and sandwiches. Nana’s is open daily from 11am-11pm; children welcome until 10pm. Owner-operators Philomena O’Brien and Tara Coughlan opened the restaurant in 2008. Visit their website www.NanasIrishPub.com to view the full menu and learn more about unique local restaurant.
Samaritan House has been providing homeless families in Lincoln County with safe shelter and assistance in transitioning to self sufficiency since 1988. Comprehensive case management and educational programming surround the residents with a supportive and sympathetic atmosphere where they can learn the necessary skills to be independent. For more information, visit www.SamFamShelter.org or call 541-574-8898.
Lola Jones, Executive Director
Samaritan House, Inc.
715 SW Bay Street
Newport, Oregon 97365
The Oregon Coast Aquarium will celebrate Earth Day with lots of fun activities and informative exhibitors for the whole family to enjoy. The day-long events include children’s crafts, face painting and a variety of “earth friendly, green lifestyle” participants from Surfrider Foundation to Smart Pet Choices on invasive species for plants and animals. Enjoy organic munchies, green powered smoothies, free Cedar tree seedlings and so much more…. All with the price of admission.
For information on the Oregon Coast Aquarium, click here.
While racism, anti-Semitism, and bullying make headlines across the country, new solutions are found in three towns. “Not In Our Town: Class Actions,” a PBS documentary, highlights three stories of students confronting hate and bullying, working together to build safe and inclusive communities.
What can our community learn about uniting against hate?
The Interfaith Community for Peace and justice, in conjunction with the Immigration Information Response Team, will screen this PBS documentary in Newport on Tuesday April 10, at 7 p.m. In the meeting room of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 410 SW 9th St. In the first story, fifty years after James Meredith integrated the University of Mississippi, black and white students at “Ole Miss” stand together to stop a segregationist chant. When the chancellor supports their action, the Ku Klux Klan protests on campus.
Across the country, as teen suicides devastate the community of Lancaster, CA, a middle school counselor starts an anti-bullying program that inspires a citywide campaign.
And in the Midwest, anti-Semitic attacks at Indiana University rattle the college town, but community members, faith and civic leaders unite against hate and intolerance.
Class Actions is the fourth national PBS special from Not In Our Town, a project of The Working Group. Over the past 15 years, Not In Our Town has grown from a PBS documentary into a national effort to connect people working together to take action against hate and create safe, inclusive communities.
For additional information, please call 541 265 6216 or visit: http://www.niot.org
Global ecologist Allen Solomon will describe the current state of climate science and discuss how climate change may affect the Oregon coast in a free public lecture planned for Lincoln City April 15th, 2:30pm at the Driftwood Public Library at City Hall.
Soloman is a life-long forest ecologist who specialized in climate change for much of his career with the U.S. Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and in other agency and university posts, Solomon recently retired to Charleston and joined the Oregon Shores board. He is an adviser to that organization’s Coastal Climate Change Adaptation Project, an experiment in citizen-based planning now taking place in Lincoln County.
Solomon will review what scientists believe they know about global warming, and discuss the effects of climate change that are likely to occur in the coastal region, ranging from sea level rise and increased storm surges to droughts and flooding. There will be plenty of time for questions. The event will also include a brief description of Oregon Shores’ project
For more information on this event or on the climate adaptation project, contact Paris Edwards, Oregon Shores’ volunteer coordinator, at (541) 414-9371, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 United Way Day of Caring: Newport scheduled for Friday, April 13th.
The Day of Caring is a county-wide day of community service. Teams of volunteers – local businesses, students, individuals (that’s YOU!) – provide much needed labor to complete projects for local non-profit agencies that might not otherwise get done. In each of the four areas of the county (north, south, east, west) we’ve adopted one community project. The project selected in Newport this year is: Lincoln County Children’s Advocacy Center- outdoor grounds clean up. Interested in forming a team or helping out as an individual? Please contact Katelyn Hordichok at email@example.com .
Savory Cafe & Pizzeria – NOAA Shirt Days
Wear your favorite NOAA, Coast Guard, Fire Dept. or any shirt representing our Public Servants, and get 10% your meal every Saturday at Savory Cafe & Pizzeria. Savory is located at 526 NW Coast Street in the Nye Beach district. For more information, contact 541-574-9365.
April 28th – Banquet & Balloon Auction
Banquet and Balloon Auction, a major fundraiser for the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, will be held on Saturday evening, April 28th at the Best Western Plus Agate Beach Inn in Newport. This year’s theme is “Havana Nights.”The Cuban themed event will include dinner, both a live and silent auction, a costume contest, and a few surprises. Come as you are or dress in your favorite Cuban-inspired Garb. Ticket prices include: $45/single, or $375/table of eight. Those who purchase a table will receive sponsorship recognition. The Chamber is seeking donations for the auction. No donation is too big or too small! Call the Chamber office for information, tickets, and to donate. (541) 265-8801.
Help clean-up our streets! Once again the Chamber will be kicking-off it’s monthly Highway Clean-up campaign starting in April through October. The first Clean-up will be April 14th. Volunteers are asked to please meet at the Chamber office at 8:30am…..Coffee and doughnuts will be provided. For more information contact the Chamber at 541-265-8801 or email Carol@newportchamber.org
Marine Science Day at HMSC is Saturday April 14, 10am-4pm!
Join the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) in Newport for Marine Science Day on Saturday, April 14 from 10am to 4pm. HMSC will open its doors for a behind-the-scenes peek at the cutting-edge research, education and outreach in marine sciences that makes this marine laboratory unique in the Pacific Northwest. Meet scientists from Oregon State University and six government agency partners. Explore with campus tours and enjoy special family friendly activities in the Visitor Center. Come learn what’s new on the Oregon Coast’s most dynamic marine science campus. For more information, see hmsc.oregonstate.edu.
Easter Egg Hunt @ Newport Foursquare Church
Saturday, April 7th from 1-3pm at Newport Foursquare Church will host a community Easter egg hunt! Everyone is welcome. There will be a puppet show, snacks and refreshments, prizes for all ages (even the adults), and TEN THOUSAND goodie-filled eggs! Age groups for the hunt will be 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12 years old. Newport Foursquare Church is located at 215 NW 15th St, Newport, OR 97365 phone# 541-351-8141.
Washington Federal’s Ashley Barnes, customer service (L) and branch manager Dawn O’Brien (R) want the barrel filled, several times over.
April is the month that Washington Federal hosts a food drive for the Newport Food Pantry emergency food program for the city plus patrons have a chance to win one of five very nice prizes.
During April, when you visit Washington Federal and drop a can of food into the Food Pantry barrel, you receive an entry into the drawing. Prizes include a one year subscription to the News Times, a beautiful painted bowl from Earthworks Gallery, $20 gift certificate from Sand Bar & Grill, a special coffee mug & gift card from Dutch Brothers Coffee and a gorgeous glass float from Edge Art Gallery.
Food items such as peanut butter, canned tuna are especially needed. The drawing will take place on May 1st.
Food donations can also be dropped off 24 hours per day at the Newport Fire Department. The Newport Food pantry also has food collection containers at Longview Hills, Umpqua Bank, Jan’s Pool Supply, Habitat for Humanity Restore, Walmart, Pacific Homes Beach Club, Newport City Police Department, Elizabeth Street Inn, Best For Hearing, South Beach Christian Fellowship, Nazarene Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Atonement Lutheran, Newport Foursquare, First Baptist Church (1st Sunday of the month), and First Presbyterian Church (1st Sunday of the month). Newport Food Pantry also accepts food donations at its headquarters on 12th Street, immediately behind the First Presbyterian Church.
If your church, business, or civic organization would like to host a drive or collect food on a regular basis, give Newport Food Pantry a call at 541-270-0842 and they will arrange to get food collection containers to you.
Realtor Steve Salisbury giving the city council a piece of his mind; some of it “R” rated
Despite rather strong protests from several townspeople, the Newport City Council tentatively approved a new city law that allows Vacation Dwelling Residences (VRD’s) to spring up just about anywhere in town; even in well-established single-family residential areas. Community Development Director Derrick Tokos said the town’s outdated VRD ordinance was largely ineffective at regulating such uses and is sorely in need of an upgrade. He said the new ordinance before the council was carefully evaluated and refined by a special VRD Citizens Task Force and by the Newport Planning Commission.
But a number of residents, including a homeowner and a real estate agent argued strongly against allowing VRD’s, especially in single family zones because, they said, VRD’s are disruptive, problematic and difficult to control. Real estate agent Steve Salisbury said there is no greater example of the disastrous effects of homes being rented out to vacationers than in Lincoln City which is in the throes of a revolt against VRD’s. A homeowner said despite protests and complaints to Newport city authorities, a VRD in his neighborhood continued to be noisy, overbooked and boisterous with cars parked all over the area, garbage and trash strewn about, and even showed a picture of rowdy VRD renters, one standing on the street with a shotgun in his hands. He said what is obviously lacking is proper enforcement of rules and regulations aimed at making VRD’s good neighbors. He said some VRD’s are very good neighbors but too many are run by out of town owners who are only in it for the money and don’t care about the neighborhood.
However, Community Development Director Derrick Tokos said there are already VRD’s throughout Newport and that the new rules would make enforcement more effective. He said under those rules, VRD owners must have someone in charge of the property accessible 24/7 and that complaints must be dealt with immediately and effectively. Tokos said the council could adopt a graduated penalty schedule: First complaint, a warning. Second complaint, a suspension of the license to operate. Third complaint, revocation of the license which shuts the VRD down.
When asked why the city seems so supportive of more VRD’s around Newport, the council responded that although the city would receive more lodging room taxes from an increased number of VRD’s, that’s not the point. Tokos added that Newport is a tourist dependent town and that to cap or retract permission for VRD’s could cause legal problems. He cited several statewide measures that could put the city in a position closely resembling that of a “financial taking” of properties by revoking their VRD status.
Real estate agent Steve Salisbury said he still couldn’t understand why the council would even entertain allowing such a chronically disruptive use to spread further into traditional high quality-of-life neighborhoods. He said “Newport is special. It’s why its property values are again rising while those in other parts of the county are still falling.” When Tokos reminded the council that the distinguishing characteristic of single family neighborhoods is primarily ‘density,’ Salisbury strongly disagreed, saying it’s far more than that and threatened to fight the council every way he can if they pass the new rules. With that he stormed out of the council chambers.
The council certainly heard the opposition and began discussing ways to possibly further tightening regulations on VRD’s, especially in single family neighborhoods. Mayor McConnell raised the specter of making such VRD’s come under a stricter “conditional use permit” procedure that would require neighbors being notified that a VRD was being proposed on their street and to make their feelings known about it. The city would then be in a position to educate the neighbors about the city’s tough new VRD codes and of their strict enforcement.
With that the council approved the new VRD ordinance but with instructions to Tokos and the city planning commission, to take a hard look at making VRD’s in well established neighborhoods even more tightly controlled under conditional use permit provisions. They said that the planning commission should take the lead and then bring it back to the council. The council seemed committed to having some kind of a new VRD ordinance take effect July first.
No fire. Fire units are returning to base.
Smell coming from a de-humidifier.
First fire crew on scene says it’s a two story home, no smoke showing. Keep other units coming.
Depoe Bay is rolling a full response to a report of a family smelling something akin to a toxic smoke in their home at 165 Spruce Court in Lincoln Beach (east side of 101). Fire units enroute told dispatch to strongly urge the family to evacuate the house until fire engines can get on scene and determine what’s going on. Family indicated they’re reluctant to leave, but that they are complying.
Tim Gross delivering a “multiple-dose” to the city council
Click photo to enlarge
With City Finance Director Dave Marshall at his side Monday night, Newport Public Works Director Tim Gross laid out some tough medicine to swallow. Gross told the city council that Newport’s underground plumbing for sewer, water and storm drains are largely decades upon decades old, and that much of it must be replaced along with the construction of new projects like water tanks, new pump stations and a back up water line to South Beach from the Newport side of the bay.
Gross said he would prefer to see the city council take a pro-active approach with a steady annual rise in sewer and water rates along with the implementation of a first-ever storm drain fee. Gross was quick to add that the amount of those increases will depend on what portion of the total tab city ratepayers would have to contribute after federal and state grants are added to the mix along with fees levied on new private and public sector development that comes along. But he also told the council that however the money raised, it must represent an annual bump-up in revenues of 15 to 20% a year if the town is to replace its aging (and in some instances decrepit) sewer and water distribution systems under streets, yards, businesses and homes. Gross said 90% of the town’s utility pipes were installed between 1910 and 1960 and that Newport cannot go on living on borrowed time.
The council thanked Gross for his “tell-it-like-it-is” approach and admitted that it’s time the city faced up to the challenges of upgrading the town’s utility systems. Mayor Mark McConnell said he expects Gross and Finance Director Dave Marshall to begin showing those added revenues in the current budget plan for 2012-13 and for five years out. The trick, Gross re-emphacized, will be in maximizing outside grants and revenues from new development while minimizing the burden on current ratepayers.