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Yachats Fire/Rescue enroute to house fire

Yachats Fire/Rescue is enroute to a report of a kitchen fire at a house at 520 Marine Drive, just north of town. Units not yet on scene.

Residents tell 9-1-1 they think they have the fire out. Stove top blaze.

Fire units on scene. No smoke showing. Investigating.

June was disappointing, but “no double dip recession” on the horizon.

Tim Duy
UO Economist

June was not a good month for Oregon. Jobless claims went up. Even temp job employment went down, along with residential building permits and trucking activity. Still, University of Oregon Economist Tim Duy maintains, “Although it’s not good, it’s not a sign we’re headed into a double dip recession.” The story is in the Oregonian. Click here.

Outstanding award for Coast Guardsman having “the right stuff.”

Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas Henry has been honored with the Admiral Chester R. Bender Award for Heroism for two harrowing helicopter rescues in 2010.

On March 25, 2010 Henry responded with his helicopter crew to a distress call of four surfers pulled into a small enclave surrounded by steep cliffs and jagged rocks. Pummeled by tumultuous waves and confronting the dangerously panicked surfers, he was deployed into the water to hoist all four individually out of the water to safety despite peril and tremendous physical challenge.

Henry was also being honored for a courageous actions on the evening of July 5, 2010 during a response to a call of four people clinging to a 70-degree cliff, 120-feet above the beach. Deployed for a vertical rescue with blowing debris obscuring his visibility, Henry realized and communicated mid-rescue that his hoist cable had wrapped around the helicopter’s landing gear. Demonstrating unwavering composure, for twenty minutes he bravely hung below the aircraft until he was safely delivered to an airport runway.

The Coast Guard Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1969 that supports projects that enhance the education, welfare and morale of Coast Guard members and their families.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp poses with Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas Henry, an aviation survival technician stationed at Group/Air Station North Bend, Ore., who received the Admiral Chester R. Bender Award for Heroism during the Coast Guard Foundation’s 26th Annual Pacific Area awards dinner in San Diego, Aug. 3rd.

Police activity north of Yachats

9:02 pm. One at gunpoint on Trout, just off 101 a short ways north of Yachats proper. Said to be suicidal man. They have him detained. Should bring the search to a close.

Rock n’ Roll and Food to Go!

Moby Dicks presents “Rock for Food” with a special performance by Hookahstew. All proceeds will benefit Food Share of Lincoln County. Food Share is a non-profit organization that is the official food distribution center for Lincoln County Food Pantries that ensure that no one has to go to bed hungry in Lincoln County.

Friday August 19th, get in free with 2 non-perishable food items, or a cash donation. 21 and over only, please.

Moby Dicks, 448 SW Coast Hwy 101 Newport 541-265-7847

Protesters at Highway 101 at 20 in Newport: “Tax reform – make the rich and corporations pay their share!”

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Protestors at this hour are holding signs at the corner of Highways 101 and 20, calling for tax reform so that, in their words, America’s most wealthy and corporations go back to paying their fair share, like they used to.” They’re also dissatisfied with the way the Congress is focusing on debt debates rather than on what will erase the debt; people working, paying taxes, coupled with debt reform.

On the flip side, others claim that if the country keeps taxes low and not impede the rich from making more jobs, America will get back on its feet again.

A new Mason-Dixon Line.

Calling all bridge photos! Calling all bridge photos!!

Yaquina Bay Bridge


Do you have photographs of Yaquina Bay Bridge: old or new, black and white or color? The Lincoln County Historical Society is sponsoring a photo contest in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the opening of Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport.

The Historical Society maintains a collection of thousands of photographs and will add the winning photographs to its collection for the public and historians to use for years to come.

“We’re proud of our photo collection, and we receive donations to it regularly. This contest provides an opportunity to get the best photos out there to help tell the story of the bridge and our community,” Loretta Harrison, executive director of the Society, said.

For more information, call 541-265-7509 or e-mail ochceducator@newportnet.com. Rules for the contest follow.


The person submitting the photograph must be the photographer and own the rights to the photograph.

The photographer is donating the photograph to the Lincoln County Historical Society and relinquishes all present and future copyright, reproduction, and associated rights to the Society. Photos become the property of the Lincoln County Historical Society and will go into the permanent collection of the Society.

Photos should show aspects of Yaquina Bay Bridge, can be from any time period and can be black and white or color. Prints should be approximately 8” X 10”.

Digitally altered photographs are not eligible.

Judging will be by a committee of artists and photographers and a representative from the Lincoln County Historical Society.

Photos should be submitted in an envelope, protected by a cardboard or mat backing, and should include a sheet with identification of the year of the photo and any other pertinent information, the photographer’s name, address, phone number, and e-mail.

Photo entries must be at the Burrows House Museum of the Lincoln County Historical Society by 4 p.m. Tuesday, September 6, 2011. They should be mailed to or dropped off at: Burrows House Museum, 545 SW 9th St., Newport, OR 97365.
(Hours for the Burrows House are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

First place winners will receive a copy of Judy Fleagle’s new book Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges, a beautiful, four-color, hardbound book, along with a booklet on the Yaquina Bay Bridge with historic photos. Second and third place winners will receive the booklet.

Winners will be notified by phone or e-mail and will be publicized in regional media.

The Lincoln County Historical Society, which administers the Pacific Maritime & Heritage Center and the Burrows House and Log Cabin museums, is located at 545 SW Ninth Street in Newport. The museums are free. The Log Cabin Museum is open Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Burrows House Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the history of Lincoln County and the Central Oregon Coast.

For information, call 541-265-7509 or visit www.oregoncoasthistory.org.

Bond construction progress update from Lincoln County Schools

School Board Proceeds with Toledo High CM/GC Process,
Awards Turf, Lighting Bids at new Waldport High

The locker room expansion project at Toledo Junior/Senior High School is one step closer to getting under way, with an important procedural step taken during a special meeting of the Lincoln County School District Board of Directors on Aug. 9.

Acting in its capacity as the LCSD Local Contract Review Board, the school board determined that it would be advantageous for the school district to use construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC) services for the school improvement project. The board also approved issuing a request for proposal for these services.

The decisions were made following a public hearing and after the board considered reasons to use a CM/GC rather than use the competitive bidding process.

The renovation and expansion work includes approximately 2,200 square feet of new construction adjacent to the exiting gymnasium, the renovation of 3,200 square feet within the existing weight room and storage areas, and new locker room and team room facilities.

The deadline for interested companies to submit their proposals for CM/CG services for the locker room project is Aug. 30. After proposals are reviewed and interviews conducted, the school board will award the CM/GC contract by Sept. 19. Construction is scheduled to begin in October and be completed by March 2012.

Complete information about the Toledo locker room RFP is available online at the school district’s website (www.lincoln.k12.or.us), on the “bond projects” page.

Also at the Aug. 9 special meeting, the school board accepted two bids in connection with the construction of an 82,000-square-foot football/soccer field at the site of the future Waldport High School.

FieldTurf, a company based in Montreal, Canada, will supply and install synthetic turf for $336,200. Three bids had been submitted.
Musco Sports Lighting, based in Oskaloosa, Iowa, will supply and install field lights for $129,850. This quote was obtained through the King County (Wash.) Directors Association, a purchasing cooperative that helps member school districts save time and money as well as comply with legal procurement requirements.

Coastal Progressives Update

Provided by Coastal Progressives

Announcements for August 10, 2011

Lincoln County welcomes Cindy Sheehan and her own band of brothers.

Lincoln County will welcome Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan to Newport on Monday, August 22, accompanied by Oregon Veterans for Peace and Justice with their Peace and Justice bio-diesel bus. Their Newport visit is part of a “Revolutionary Communities Road Trip,” touring the west coast with stops through Oregon and California to showcase and film community activism at the grassroots community level.

Come for the “Welcoming Community” potluck dinner at 6 p.m., in the downstairs meeting room of Atonement Lutheran Church, 2315 N. Coast Highway in Newport (just north of the PUD building). Presentations by local community peace and justice groups will follow at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The Immigration Information Response Team is hosting the Revolutionary Communities stop here, co-sponsored by Interfaith Community Peace and Justice, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and the Oceana Family Literacy Center. The presentations will also feature films of Peace Villages in Newport and Lincoln City and drumming by Oceana students.

Sheehan, the mother of Casey Sheehan, a Marine killed in the war on Iraq, is a dedicated anti-war advocate who camped out for months during two consecutive years in front of the vacation “ranch” of former President G.W. Bush in Texas, seeking his answer as to what her son had died for. The answer never came. In 2010 Sheehan ran for the US Congress against Nancy Pelosi. Her message for us about Recreating Revolutionary Communities will wrap up the presentations. For more information, visit www.revcoms.wordpress.com or call 541 563 3615.


Laundry room fire at Shilo Inn, on Elizabeth Street, Newport

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Fire was extinguished. No evacuation required. Assistant Fire Chief Rob Murphy said greasy kitchen rags that had been washed and and hot dried were stacked in a container. They ignited themselves. Murphy said such rags usually have at least a small amount of residual oils or grease in them, and when they are stacked still hot from the dryer, they can burst into flame. He said if just-dried cleaning rags are removed immediately from a dryer, always lay them out to cool before folding and stacking them.

Newport panel launches study to consider advantages of Newport’s recreation center being run by a non-profit organization, among others.

Correction on Rec Center Loss: $180,000 is correct amount (annually)
Pool Loss: $241,000 (annually)

The Newport Task Force for recommending how to run the city’s indoor recreation more efficiently, and at lower cost, convened their first meeting Tuesday night. The citizens committee was told that the center is losing nearly $180,000 a year, money that could help cover the costs of other city services. The pool loses $241.000, according to the committee. Mayor Mark McConnell was on hand to orient the group on what the council wants as feedback, including honest opinions and well researched management alternatives. If the city was to hire a non-profit entity to the run the center, McConnell said the city would expect that the same level of services, or even higher, would be preserved under that new management. Others reminded everyone in the room that the elderly, others on fixed income and low income youth should not priced out of using the facility and that programs should not be cut.

The task force, made up of a cross-section of the community, decided to launch an investigation into the kind of business models other recreation centers have in place. They’ll be asking who runs them and ask whether low income and disabled patrons enjoy continuous access to the facility. Any proposal that turns the recreation center over to a private non-profit or other entity, will still keep the city on the hook for a lot of the cost for building maintenance and for paying off its outstanding debt.

Committeeman Pat Cowan, a retired educator, asked if the original stated purpose of the recreation center still holds up and whether it’s providing the level and quality of services originally promised. Or are they higher, which makes it more costly to operate?

Committeeman Ed Simon, who serves on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commissioner and who is also a volunteer for Newport Police chimed in saying, that “disadvantaged kids can easily wind up in detention or jail if there’s nothing for them to do. That’s what the recreation center provides; things for kids to do thereby keeping them out of trouble.”

City Manager Jim Voetberg told the committee that the indoor recreation center and the pool have not met higher income goals which puts a heavier burden on the city. Voetberg suggested that the drop in income is the result of the city offering customers too many discounted coupons.

The committee decided to meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month, 5:30pm at city hall. Mayor McConnell urged the committee to do their homework, get the facts and pick the right “business model” for the recreation center. He said the council wants the committee’s recommendations by the middle of November. If the city council is inclined to go along with the Task Force recommendations, it would be able to do so in plenty of time to adjust the city’s 2012-13 budget.

With only six meetings before the drop dead date in November, the group has its work cut out for them.

If a nation expects to be both ignorant and free, it longs for a civilization that never was and never will be,” Thomas Jefferson

In what will prove to be a most thought provoking talk on the state of the U.S. and it’s “news media” and how America’s news media has managed to confuse people more than truly inform them is being held at Lincoln City’s Driftwood Public Library, Sunday, September 18th. Speaker Jeff Golden, part of the “Oregon Humanities Conversation Project,” will be talking about whether the American news media is still capable of furthering the health of our democracy. Golden will pose the question “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects to experience what never was and never will be.” A new release from the library poses the thought, “Virtually everyone agrees that the news media’s informational role is essential to effective self-government, but contemporary mass news media rarely offers what we need to function as thoughtful and competent citizens.”

Here’s the rest of their release on what will prove a mind-widening event at the library in Lincoln City.

Driftwood Public Library and The American Association of University Women (AAUW) will each be sponsoring a presentation by scholar Jeff Golden in honor of Constitution Week in September.

On Sunday, September 18th at 3:00 p.m., the library will host Mr. Golden’s presentation “What Never Was and Never Will Be: Can Our Media Serve Our Democracy”. Thomas Jefferson warned his countrymen, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization it expects what never was and never will be.” Virtually everyone agrees that the media’s informational role is essential to effective self-government but that mass media news rarely offers what we need to function as thoughtful and competent citizens. Beyond that, agreement often breaks down. Jeff Golden asks us to consider the following: What are the primary failings of contemporary mass media news? What is our responsibility and what are our opportunities to improve prevailing conditions? Do our viewpoints have enough common ground to point to possibilities for effective activism? If we are to heed Jefferson’s warning, how do we focus our time and energies?

The problem with this country, according to some disenchanted Americans, “is that there are no real leaders anymore.” What we most need, they say, are people of our Founding Fathers’ caliber, or another Abe Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt to step forward with the courage and wisdom necessary to solve our daunting problems. An opposing point of view holds that in a state or country with free and open elections, people get the government they deserve. Do the failures of modern governance and politics have more to do with a crisis of leadership or a crisis of citizenship? Join AAUW as they host Golden’s conversation “Of the People or For the People: Getting the Government We Deserve” on Monday, September 19th at 6:30 p.m.

Both presentations are part of Oregon Humanities’ “Conversation Project: A New Chautaqua”, a statewide program offering Oregon nonprofits free programs that engage community members in thoughtful, challenging conversations about ideas critical to our daily lives and our state’s future. Conversations are facilitated by some of Oregon’s leading humanities scholars. Both will take place in the Library’s Community Room. Driftwood Public Library is located on the second floor of the Lincoln City Hall building at 801 SW Highway 101 (next to Price and Pride). Any questions should be directed to Ken Hobson. His phone number is 541-996-1242 or he can be reached by e-mail at kenh@lincolncity.org

Hatfield Marine Science Center scientists “nail it” on predicting undersea volcanic eruption

Oregon State University oceanography researcher Bill Chadwick and his partner Scott Nooner of Columbia University were finishing up a research trip back on July 28th. They were about 250 miles west of the central Oregon coast when they decided to stop by one of their favorite investigative haunts, an undersea volcano called the Axial Seamount. They had learned a lot about its last eruption in 1998 and eventually conjured up a prediction that it would erupt again before 2014.

They had placed numerous earthquake and ground elevation change detection devices in anticipation of better pinpointing the exact time period of the seamount’s next big magma blow. But when they lowered their robotic research vehicle (Jason) to the side of the seamount, they couldn’t find some of their instruments. They were gone. And for good reason. The Axial Seamount had erupted on April 6th, within a time period predicted by Chadwick and Noonen.

Normally the two wouldn’t celebrate the loss of expensive equipment, some of which you can see covered in newly hardened lava on the side of the seamount. But in this case, it was probably worth it because their prediction of the eruption and the subsequent event proved that they were figuring out how the seamount operates.

In the top picture, Bill Chadwick stands beside Jason, the robotic observation vehicle aboard the R/V Atlantis, a ship operated by Harvard University’s Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The pictures below him show the hydrophones and earthquake detection and ground movement recording devices that were relaying data back to the surface. The bottom two pictures show the devices inundated and entombed by the advancing lava that shot out of the undersea volcano on April 6th.

Chadwick told NewsLincolnCounty.com that they had no inkling that the seamount had erupted. He said there had been a swarm of small earthquakes in early April but nothing to indicate that an eruption had occurred. They later learned that the devices were offline during the actual eruption. So they had to learn about their successful prediction the old fashioned way; going down and having a look through the eyes of Jason the robotic vehicle. It didn’t take them long to realize that their old dive site didn’t look the same because the eruption pushed everything around and added a lot more lava to the scenery.

Chadwick said it gave him great pleasure to realize that he and others had applied lessons learned from watching on-land volcanoes shake, rattle and blow. He said predicting Axial Seamount was a special opportunity because of its unique position in the ocean off Oregon. He says the seamount is anchored in a part of the ocean floor that is actually spreading apart. And as part of that ground moves farther east, it undercuts the North American plate that forms the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the one that is supposed to trigger a strong earthquake for Oregon and Northern California. Chadwick says Axial Seamount’s activities don’t appear to him to provide much of a cause-and-effect link on what to expect on the subduction zone. He says it’s all part of a larger whole, but how the pieces interact is hard to quantify.

Can’t find a job? Don’t like the one you’ve got? Dreaming of being your own boss? Read on!!

Oregon Coast Community College

Just about everyone eventually dreams of being their own boss, doing what they love for a living rather than what they just happened to “fall in to.” During this very slow recovery from a structural recession, it’s more important than ever to not only think-outside-the-box, but “beyond-the-box-factory” itself.

History and most economics instructors teach us that small business leads every recovery, especially those that offer a new or re-packaged set of services or products. But getting started on your new idea or approach to employment requires basic understanding of how to run such a business, from inception to taking it public, if you’re a really exceptional entrepreneur.

So here’s the pitch:

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be holding an Open House at Oregon Coast Community College on August 25th. The SBDC’s mission is to help businesses to start, grow and thrive in Lincoln County. The Center serves businesses in all stages of growth and development, from start-ups to assisting businesses owners in selling their operations. It offers free counseling and referral to all businesses in the county. Low cost seminars and programs are offered throughout the year.

Guy Faust, SBDC Director, Ron Spisso Small Business Management (SBM) Coordinator and Suzan Brewer, Office Manager will be on hand to welcome everyone that owns a business or who wants to start a business in the county. They will introduce the SBDC instructors and their offerings. Fall classes will cover businesses using social networks, Google, the Microsoft Suite, Web Page Design, Quickbooks and Constant Contact. Instructors are service providers with in-depth experience in their fields. They will share outlines of their particular classes and ask for suggestions about future related classes. There will be plenty of opportunities to share ideas for new classes and make suggestions on convenient times and venues. The SBDC is open to new class offerings by local business owners and service providers.

Next Level: Start ups and Tune ups and the Small Business Management program are two premier programs to assist businesses in their development. Each semester Rueben Johnsen assists new and existing business owners in a ten week class on how to develop a business plan. Ron Spisso leads the SBM program. This nine month program is for established businesses. It helps owners implement systems, increase sales growth, improve personnel development and overall profits. In joining either program, business owners have the chance to work closely with their peers and instructors to face business challenges and share opportunities in an intimate and confidential setting. The SBM program offers monthly one-on-one counseling. Both programs start Fall term. There are limited openings. Applications will be available at the open house.

Over the past eighteen years both programs have developed a learning community where business owners can easily stay current with their peers in a relaxed atmosphere. The Open House continues this tradition with another fun event. Refreshments will be provided. Zeke Olsen from Bone Pile Bar-B-Que will be serving his famous pulled pork sandwiches. There will be refreshments, games and several pleasant surprises. Oregon Coast Community College is located in South Beach at 400 SE College Way. The event will start at 4:30 and last until just before sunset at 7:30pm.

Celebrating NOAA, OCCC’s new aquarium building, and hangin’ out with a lunch mob.

Provided by Newport Chamber of Commerce

NOAA Celebration
Join us in celebration on August 20th and 21st, when the Port of Newport and central coast residents celebrate the official opening of the NOAA MOC-P facility. Newport’s crowning moment will be Saturday, August 20th at 11 a.m. , when members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation, Governor Kitzhaber, NOAA officials, and other state and local officials gather to dedicate the NOAA at South Beach. Here’s the schedule:

Saturday, August 20th
11:00 am…………………Dedication
12:00 pm…………………Refreshments
1:00-4:00 pm……………Open House

Sunday, August 21st
11:00 am – 4:00 pm……………Open House

Leadership Lincoln – Now Accepting Applications for 2011-2012
The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce and the Oregon Coast Community College are excited to host a new session of the Leadership Lincoln Program, now in its 20th year. We invite you to become part of a select group of 35 participants for the 2011-2012 class. The goal of this program is to develop leadership and management skills for individuals who have interest and commitment in the future of Lincoln County and to provide networking opportunities that will enhance positive professional and organizational growth. For more information, contact the Chamber office at (541) 265-8801 or email mike@newportchamber.org to sign up today!

OCCC Aquarium Science Building – August 20th
Oregon Coast Community College will hold the ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for the new OCCC Aquarium Science Building at 400 SE College Way in Newport on Saturday, August 20 at 2pm. (This event will follow the dedication ceremony for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that will be held earlier in the day.) Public tours will be held following the dedication on August 20. The dedication and tours will be free and open to the public.

Young Professionals – Lunch Mob August 11th
The Yo-Pros hold a monthly lunch-mob at a Chamber member restaurant; helping support a local business and also providing a venue for networking. We have recently added a community oriented spin to our lunch mobs and we will focus on a local non-profits at each lunch-mob. Our upcoming lunch-mob will support Bright Horizons. We encourage you to attend, socialize & network amongst your peers. Our next lunch-mob is scheduled for August 11th at noon. We will be dining at Ch’Boogie located at 608 SW Bay Blvd in Newport.

Cascades campground re-opens after storm damage

Before and after the storm at Cascara Campground, SE of Eugune.

Most of the campsites in Cascara campground at Fall Creek State Recreation Site, 27 miles SE of Eugene, will reopen August 12 after downed trees forced its closure this past March.

A severe spring storm brought down some 1,500 trees in two separate areas of the park. State work crews have repaired much of the damage to the east loop, smoothed the roadways and campsites. Of the 47 primitive campsites in the park, 12 tent sites and all six walk-in sites were severely damaged and will remain closed for the rest of the 2011 camping season. The seasonal park will stay open through September 30, and is available first-come first-served. Visitors will have access to the reservoir for swimming, fishing and boating.

While the weather remains warm and dry, recovery work will continue in areas closed to public access. Work crews will return over the winter and spring to replant native vegetation and repair remaining damage to walk-in sites.

For updates, please call 1-800-551-6949 or go online to www.oregonstateparks.org.

Two badly hurt in traffic crash in North Lincoln City

Highway 101 at Hwy 18

Provided by OSP

Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into Monday afternoon’s single vehicle traffic crash that seriously injured two men on Highway 18 near the Highway 101 junction.

On Monday 2:41 p.m. a 1999 Mazda Protégé driven by DOMINICK A. HINDMAN, age 25, from Lincoln City, was westbound on Highway 18 when it traveled across the eastbound lane and off the highway shoulder. The Mazda crashed head-on into a tree.

DOMINICK HINDMAN and his father in the right front passenger seat, LARRY HINDMAN, age 54, from Otis, were seriously injured. Two boys, ages 9 and 7, were not injured. All occupants were using safety restraints.

DOMINICK HINDMAN was transported by REACH air ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. LARRY HINDMAN was transported by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.

OSP troopers from the Newport Area Command office are continuing the investigation into the cause of the crash.

OSP was assisted at the scene by North Lincoln Fire & Rescue, Pacific West Ambulance, and ODOT.

Lincoln City’s long and winding road that leads to a way of awarding up to $75,000 annually to worthy non-profits.

Lincoln City City Council

Amid claims that city hall was doling out thousands of dollars in room tax money to local non-profits without proper review, the Lincoln City City Council labored Monday night until they felt they got it right. The council helped developed a system of doling out those funds that should hold up under future scrutiny.

Lincoln City area resident Jim Hoover, a frequent critic of what he calls “city shortcomings,” recently complained that the Visitors and Convention Bureau was awarding city grants to groups putting on local entertainment and cultural events without adequate oversight. Hoover claimed that rules surrounding the grant awards were not being followed in a consistent way. So the council had the VCB’s Sandy Pfaff appear before them, armed with an updated of procedures and protocols that should meet a more stringent test of fairness and clairty as the VCB grant review committee examines applications submitted by local groups who are vying for a part of the city’s annual $75,000 pot to put on tourism related events.

Pfaff and a member of her VCB committee outlined a series of new review criteria, most of which seemed to please the council. Pfaff promised to use clear and objective criteria by which to measure the value and return-on-investment for the city in terms of tourist draw and the number of hotel/motel room nights, restaurant use and other indicators of “visitor benefits” to the town. Mayor Dick Anderson said he also wants to see the way the committee scores local applicants; who are the winners, who are the losers and how they wound up that way. A suggestion that successful applicants be awarded 90% of their grant up-front, and the final 10% awarded only after they turn in all their paperwork, didn’t fly. Pfaff initially disagreed, saying there are many good local groups that don’t have half the costs up front for their events, so a 90% advance would get them up and running. But councilors said the current 50% now and 50% when the event is complete, is the way they want to go. Others called for funding groups that have shown success and grown their events to where they don’t need any more “seed money.” However, Pfaff said some events and their organizers require a little something every year since they don’t always break even, even though their events are popular and are well attended.

City Manager David Hawker said these and other comments gleaned from the councilors will be added to the record and be held over for another council review next month.

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