WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Newport wins big pedestrian and crosswalk grant for Highway 101


Highway 101 @ Avery – Crossing buttons and overhead flashing lights

Newport has just been awarded a $450,000 grant by ODOT to help pedestrians in Newport more safely cross a perpetually busy Highway 101. Newport Community Development Director Derrick Tokos says the grant, plus some additional funds from the city, will target eight crossings of 101 from North 15th clear down to Bailey. Some of those crossings will have landscaped pedestrian refuge islands so that during the busy summer months, when breaks in traffic are few and far between, pedestrians can break up their journey across all five lanes.

But there will be other improvements as well, says Tokos, including pedestrian activated buttons at Avery and 101 between the Salvation Army and City Hall. When the buttons are pushed, overhead pedestrian warning lights will flash which will come in very handy during the months that the Newport Farmers Market is held on Saturdays.

Other pedestrian crosswalk improvements will be made in the City Center area in the form of pedestrian curb extenders which will shorten the pavement distance between both sides of the street.

Tokos says he expects the projects to take a while to complete, depending on labor from city public works, but that he hopes it will all be complete within the next 18 months.

Free smoke detectors in the Depoe Bay Fire District

Free smoke alarms are available for residents living inside the Depoe Bay Fire District. To qualify, you must not have enough alarms to comply with state fire codes or one or more of your alarms are working. If you’re uncertain, fire fighters will come out to your home and check for you.

The smoke alarms are through a special grant program from the Siletz Tribes Foundation in cooperation with the Depoe Bay Fire District and Ace Hardware.

Stop by the Gleneden Beach Station located at 6445 Gleneden Beach Loop in Gleneden Beach, or call them at 541-764-2202.

Watch for black ice on roadways overnight, especially inland


Highwy 20, Monday AM, MP 31
Reader cellphone photo

A young lady driving this white Mustang hit a patch of black ice and suddenly realized she was no longer in control of her car. It left the roadway and down a steep ditch where it became bogged down in deep mud. Although her air bags deployed she was not injured and declined any medical evaluation at the scene.

Oregon State Police remind everyone to know the air temperature around them and to not trust what appears to be clear and dry pavement when, in fact, it’s black ice ready to strike when you least expect it.

Chef’s Night Out – for Food Share!

Info from Food Share

The 7th Annual “Chefs Night Out,” a tasty and elegant affair, to benefit Food Share of Lincoln County, is a cure for the winter blahs. Come join us on April 23, 2012 from 6:30-9:00 pm at the Best Western Agate Beach Inn. Chef Ryan Cornwall of Star Fish Grill and Chef Laurie Card of Café Mundo will once again be hosting chefs from all over the area.
 
“We have 18 chefs committed to presenting. “said Chef Ryan “most every past participant looks forward to returning for this event. It is a small intimate affair, so the chefs get a chance to meet, greet and exchange ideas with each other.”

There are some changes this year. The most obvious is the name change. ‘Chefs Against Hunger’ has become ‘Chefs Night Out’. “Most people know what a Chefs Night Out event is all about,” said Carol DeMuth, Food Share Project Developer, “so it cuts down a lot on the explanations.” She went on to point out, the ticket prices have dropped. The cost is $30 each or 2 for $50.00. “In this hard economy, we want more people to be able to attend a wonderful event. It can’t always be about making the most money.”

The biggest and the saddest change is the departure of Chef Ryan. He and his family will be relocating to Alaska. “The community is losing a fundraising juggernaut,” declares Ms. DeMuth, “He was involved in so many fundraising events for so many organizations. As a tribute to a wonderful community minded man, I hope this is the best attended Chefs Night Out ever.”

Tickets are $30 each or 2 for $50 and are available at the Performing Arts Center ticket window during regular business hours, on Food Share’s web site www.foodsharelincolncounty.org or by calling Food Share at 541-265-8578. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

“BIZZ BUZZ” – Saving big on energy bills with heat-pumps and other energy saving strategies


New heat pump installation, residence in Waldport (Airrow Heating photos)

The expression on Kathleen Grady’s face says it all; her heating bill cut nearly in half and Central Lincoln Peoples Utility District (CLPUD) wrote her a rebate check for nearly $2,000 to have a new heat pump installed at her Waldport area home. It’s all part of CLPUD’s energy savings rebate program that covers everything from heating and cooling, home and commercial building weatherization, water heaters, washers, refrigerators, even light fixtures.

Ms. Grady said the beauty of heat pumps is that they provide much of the heat for the home by squeezing out the energy from outside air and sending it inside. Airrow Heating’s Garrett Bush added that even at temperatures below freezing there is still enough energy in the air that can literally be “mined” and thereby reduce the amount of heat your regular furnace must provide. “The savings are tremendous and CLPUD shares in the purchase of the heat pump,” said Bush. He adds, “There are major rebates available from the Oregon Department Energy and from CLPUD when we analyze and tight-seal heating duct leaks in your home’s heating system which produces substantial energy bill savings.”

CLPUD’s Chris Chandler said they have other energy saving rebates for “Energy Star” appliances like refrigerators and freezers of up to $25, and that includes CLPUD hauling your old refrigerator or freezer away for free, and a $30 credit on your next electric bill. Other energy rebates cover up to $70 for “Energy Star” clothes washers and up to $100 for “Energy Star” electric water heaters. For windows that are approved for energy savings, the rebate is $5 per square foot.

For a complete list of energy saving rebates from Central Lincoln Peoples Utility District, just click here.

Miroco water line south of Depoe Bay safe for the moment – fix is up to two weeks away.

Miroco water line

A landslide on the ocean side of Highway 101 just east of the Whale Cove Inn is expected to be fixed within two weeks, according to Depoe Bay Public Works Superintendent Terry Owings. Owings said the big rains of January caused a big slump out just north of the pavement which exposed the main water line for the Miroco subdivision toward Otter Crest and a raw water line that feeds the Depoe Bay water treatment plant. Depoe Bay has other raw water pipes feeding its water treatment plant.

Owings said he’s getting in parts today and continues to work with ODOT on the specifics of the fix. He said “The exposed lines are being held by 20,000 pound test straps so that should keep the line right where it’s at. We’ve got time.” Owings said once all the permits are obtained and the rest of the parts in, work should be started fairly soon with the rerouting of the pipe complete within two weeks.

Owings said it was just by chance that somebody spotted the exposed lines high on a cliff overlooking the ocean. He said had the water main broken, it could have easily scoured out and washed away a big part of the highway.

Hunters! Something worth pondering?


American Black Bear
Wikipedia photo

A study just out suggests that man-bear encounters in the wild could turn out less lethal than what we might expect. And no, it’s not using a higher caliber rifle on them. It’s something you put on your belt.

The story is in the Statesman-Journal. Click here.

Oregon lawmakers support bill to boost farmers markets

Newport Farmers Market

A bill in Congress that would peel off some of the subsidies now going to large corporate farming in favor of local farmers markets is being supported by a number of lawmakers, including our own Oregon Congressmen. Saying that locally grown crops are better nutritionally for families and for children at school, they say it’s long past time for local small growers are given some help in getting their products to market.

The story is in the Statesman-Journal. Click here.

Big Lincoln City Easter Egg Hunt set for Saturday, April 7th, 12n, Regatta Grounds Park, West Devils Lake Road


Wikipedia graphic

Story provided by Kiwanis Club of Lincoln City

Easter Egg Hunt

The annual Kiwanis Club Easter Egg Hunt for Lincoln City is scheduled on Saturday, April 7, at 12:00noon at the Regatta Grounds Park on West Devils Lake Road. Age divisions are 0-2, 3-4, 5-7, and 8-9 years and all children are welcome. This event is always popular, and parking can be tight, so please plan ahead. North Lincoln Fire and Rescue will sound the siren at noon to start the event, and the Easter Bunny will be there courtesy of Taft High School. Kiwanis thanks these partners who help with the Easter Egg Hunt.

The Kiwanis Club of Lincoln City is a non-profit service club from North County that focuses on children’s issues including childhood nutrition programs, literacy programs, infant needs and individual project support and scholarships for local students. Kiwanis is an active participant in Lincoln City’s Community Days Celebration. Join us for the Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, April 14, open at 7:00am at Mo’s Restaurant on 51st Street, and look for us at the Canned Food Drive at Kenny’s IGA North kicking off at 6:00am on April 12.

Kiwanis meets at the Mist Restaurant at the Surtides Resort at noon on Thursdays for lunch and informative programs. Guests are welcome at all meetings. We will be celebrating our 65th anniversary on May 5 with a celebration at Mist Restaurant. Tickets are $20 for the party and dinner, and all current and former Kiwanians are encouraged to attend.

For more information on these events, please contact Mary Larkin at 541-764-2366.

House fire on NE 43rd Street, Lincoln City (Neotsu)


Photos from an avid Lincoln City NLC reader

North Lincoln Fire/Rescue jumped right on a structure fire that was smoking pretty heavily when they got there. And firefighters appeared to have limited its spread. The owner of the home, on NE 43rd in Neotsu (Devils Lake in the background) was not home at the time.

No word on a cause yet, however, neighbors say they had “a heck of a power bump” just earlier in the day which may have had something to do with it. But as you can see the house was saved thanks to effective fire attack by firefighters. However, you can bet there will be a fair amount of smoke damage to contend with.

No injuries and the house goes into the ‘save’ category.

Newport Fire/Rescue pull overturned boater from the surf north of the Yaquina North Jetty

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Update on the boaters name: Jene Louis Hale, 53, of Portland.

A number of Newport residents and visitors were calling 9-1-1 frantically this morning, telling dispatchers that there was a blue sport fishing boat off Newport’s north Yaquina Jetty that had been swamped by high waves and that the lone male aboard had been thrown into the chilly waters, estimated to be between 49 and 51 degrees.

Newport Fire/Rescue and the Coast Guard, with two motor lifeboats and a helo, raced to the scene. At first they had a hard time locating the accident since, by then, the boat had sunk and the owner was in the surf. Knowing they were racing the clock on hypothermia, NOAA Captain Wade Blake (who happened to be walking through Government Park at the time) and a responding Coast Guardsman, headed out into the surf. They spotted the victim and raced over and pulled him up and out of the water. Since he could no longer walk due to the onset of hypothermia, the two hauled him to shore where the man was loaded into a fire/rescue beach rig which then headed for the Nye Beach Turnaround with lights and sirens wailing.

There he was transferred to an awaiting ambulance and was rushed to Pacific Communities Hospital where he was undergoing a slow rewarming of his body. He was later identified as Jene L. Hale, 53, of Portland. A Coast Guard spokesman said had Hale not been wearing his life jacket he would have likely drowned after less than five minutes in the cold ocean waters. They estimated that he was immerse in the waves for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile the hull of his recreational fishing boat spotted in the surf line just offshore from the Hallmark Hotel-Resort, along with a lot of debris from the boat, including coolers, clothing and fishing gear. Anyone beachcombing should be alert for debris caught up in the rushing beach surf for the next couple of days.

20′ boat just outside the Newport Jetty, sinking. Man tossed into cold water. Coast Guard enroute.

Video being processed.

10:45am
Man retrieved in the surf. Loaded aboard Newport FD beach rig, rushed to Nye Turnaround, loaded onto ambulance then to PCH. Said to be alert and talking. Was in the water 15 minutes. Lived to tell the story. No name yet released. Boat sunk, caught in the surf line.

10:27am
Boat capsized off north jetty, Newport. Coast Guard enroute to rescue man aboard.

Regional and national environmental protection organizations criticize U.S. Navy “public input” sessions on weapons testing project off Washington and Oregon Coasts



This week’s environmental review and public input session at Hatfield Marine Science Center on U.S. Navy Testing EIS for weapons testing project off the Washington and Oregon coasts

A number of national and regional environmental protection organizations have sent a letter to the Administrator of NOAA and to the Project Manager of the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, claiming that a still underway series of public meetings on receiving public input on an Environmental Impact Statement dealing with upcoming weapons testing operations off the Washington and Oregon Coasts, violates federal environmental protection rules that require meaningful public input before those operations can be properly considered, evaluated and a decision made as to how those operations may be properly managed. Those environmental groups contend such options are necessary so that U.S. Navy tests don’t pose a major danger to marine mammals and other marine and on shore wildlife.

Despite frequent statements by U.S. Navy officials and contractors that U.S. Navy weapons testing managers would ensure that their sonar and weapons testing would be conducted in a manner that would minimize their impact on whales, seals, sea lions and fish, when asked about proof that such management techniques would be effective by truly minimizing their effects on aquatic wildlife, the response was “we’d like to tell you that, but a lot of that information is not available other than to say we do everything we can to minimize impacts. Other aspects are classified.” Navy representatives also said “Such testing is required to test technologically advanced detection systems under ‘real live’ conditions or we won’t know if they really work.” Some residents asked why it’s important that they test so close to some of the most biologically rich and, in some cases, environmentally sensitive areas of the U.S. coastline, especially with regard to whale migrations and permanent populations of killer whales, seals and sea lions? Answers that were offered centered around the idea that enemy submarines are getting more and more quiet and harder to detect so that it’s important to test newer, high tech detection systems in areas where those subs might attempt to lie in wait and then attack the U.S.

Several Hatfield Marine Science Center Oceanographic scientists engaged the presenters in detailed dialog about other aspects of the Navy’s sonar and weapons testing programs, but they showed obvious signs that they felt they weren’t getting answers in sufficient detail.

Perhaps anticipating such frustrations, a number of major environmental protection groups boycotted the public meetings altogether. Instead of attending, they sent the following letter to to the head of NOAA and to the Navy’s testing program about their concerns that the Navy’s entire EIS review process is sorely lacking. Here’s their letter.

March 13, 2012
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Administrator
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room 5128
Washington, DC 20230

Mrs. Kimberly Kler, NWTT Project Manager
Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest
1101 Tautog Circle
Silverdale, WA 98315-1100

Re: Scoping Meetings for the Navy’s Northwest Training and Testing EIS

Dear Dr. Lubchenco and Mrs. Kler:

On behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the San Juans, InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, Olympic Environmental Council, Orca Network, People For Puget Sound, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Seattle Audubon, Washington State Chapter of the Sierra Club, Wild Fish Conservancy, and our millions of members and activists, many thousands of whom reside in Washington, Oregon, and California, we are writing to express our disappointment with the scoping process the Navy has initiated for the Northwest Training and Testing (“NWTT”) Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”).

Because this process fails to provide an opportunity for meaningful public participation as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), we have made a deliberate decision to not attend any of the Navy’s scoping meetings or to encourage our members to do so.

The Navy published its Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for the NWTT Study Area on February 27, 2012. The Notice provided dates and addresses for nine public scoping meetings (none of which are located in Washington or Oregon’s major population centers), a brief description of pre-determined alternatives (none of which identify means of achieving the agencies’ purposes and needs in ways that will result in different environmental impacts), and information on submitting written comments. The Notice specifically noted that no formal oral comments will be allowed at the scoping meetings, yet inexplicably assured the public that all comments provided orally or in writing would receive the same consideration. See 77 Fed. Reg. 11497.

As you know, the scoping process is the best time to identify issues and provide recommendations to agencies on what should be analyzed in the EIS. However, a process developed for activities with controversial impacts, like those at issue here, that does not provide opportunity for the public to testify or speak to a broader audience, or to hear answers to questions raised by others, and that fails to engage major population centers is not designed to help citizens and organization effectively participate in agencies’ environmental reviews.

Additionally, although organizations have repeatedly raised our concerns with both the Navy and NOAA on numerous occasions – calling, for instances, for greater protections for the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and other biologically important areas – neither agency has taken the steps required by law to adequately protect marine wildlife and the marine environment. Nothing in the scoping notice suggests any change in the Navy’s approach.

Under these circumstances we do not believe these scoping meetings have been designed to help our organizations and members effectively participate in this phase of the NEPA process. We do not believe our mere attendance will contribute to moving either agency to seriously address our concerns.

We would like to meet with you or your staff to discuss our concerns about how this scoping process was developed. We look forward to more substantive opportunities to participate in a manner that fulfills the purposes of NEPA.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Zak Smith
Staff Attorney
Natural Resources Defense Council
310-434-2300
zsmith@nrdc.org

Peter Galvin
Conservation Director
Center for Biological Diversity

Marcie Keever
Oceans & Vessels Project Director
Friends of the Earth

Kyle Loring
Staff Attorney
Friends of the San Juans

Priscilla Hunter
Chairwoman
InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council,

A consortium of ten federally recognized
Northern California Indian Tribes

Darlene Schanfald
Executive Director
Olympic Environmental Council

Howard Garrett
Executive Director
Orca Network

Heather Trim
Director of Policy
People For Puget Sound

Chris Wilke
Executive Director and Soundkeeper
Puget Soundkeeper Alliance

Jerry Joyce
Advisor on Marine Issues
Seattle Audubon

Tristin Brown
Conservation Chair
Washington State Chapter of the Sierra Club

Kurt Beardslee
Executive Director
Wild Fish Conservancy

Teens taken into custody on NE 58th after possible attempted burglary to nearby house



Teens corralled after possible burglary attempt on NE 55th

Newport Police rounded up three teens, two males and a female on NE 58th Street, after receiving a report of a possible burglary in the area. Police determined that the three were at a nearby location with a door open. However it was also determined that none of the three had entered the residence. At hearing the sirens of approaching police cars, all three ran down NE 58th toward the ocean. A police sergeant saw them disappear into the brush and went in after them. Within a couple of minutes, the sergeant, with two in handcuffs and one under control, emerged at the end of NE 58th.

Police ran computer criminal background checks on all three. They all came back with NO record. Police, at that point, brought the teens, two at age 14, one at 15, to their parents. Officers gave the parents a detailed explanation of the facts of the incident, cited the teens for criminal tresspass, and turned the children over to their parents. They will enter the juvenile justice system for adjudication of the case. Hopefully, lessons learned all around.

Join Oregon Coast Aquarium staff at South Beach SOLV Clean-up Saturday, March 31





SOLV volunteer beach trash picker-uppers

News Release from Oregon Coast Aquarium

Join the Aquarium staff and volunteers as we celebrate clean seas with Oregonians from all over the state by cleaning up our beaches on Saturday, March 31st. The Aquarium will be cleaning up South Beach State Park in Newport. Look for the Aquarium registration table in the parking lot near the beach. Anyone from the public is welcome to attend, although young children should be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times. Please make sure you wear appropriate clothing for this event, which may include a rainproof outer layer, hats and close-toed shoes. For questions, please contact the Aquarium at (541) 867-3474 Monday through Friday during regular business hours or at education@aquarium.org by email.

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