WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

 


 

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LC City Council to pick one of six proposed names to properly label the city park at 3rd & Keel

Out of many name nominations from the community, they’re down to six – City Council will pick the name….

What’s in a name?? A lot, if it’s a chance to name a city park in Lincoln City.

The LC City Council received a list of 83 potential names from the city’s parks and recreation department which it gathered from Lincoln City citizens – ranging in age from a 3 year old girl to a 90 year old woman. The city’s Parks and Recreation Committee whittled the 83 names down to just 6: Bird Song Canyon Park, LakeWood Park, Moss Ridge Park, Nesika Park, Osprey Park and Raptor’s Roost Nature Park.

The City Council seemed impressed at the variety of names offered. The Council will be the ones to pick the winning name in the next month or so.  There will be a public open house Wednesday, March 18th, 5:30pm at the LC Community Center at 21 NE Oar Place.  After that the city council will vote for a winning name among themselves during a regular City Council meeting in March or April.

One other point – the naming rules say that the name given to the park will be THE name and won’t be changed no matter how much money a business or corporation donates on behalf of the park.

So, we await the name.

Oregon State Officials and the Timber Industry lay down their political guns and compromise on new timber management laws

Siletz River Gorge area clear cuts.
Google Earth image

In a moment of what can be called an irresistible force against an immovable object, both sides backed down and agreed to compromise on how how timber, both publicly and privately owned, will be managed with conservation in mind – not just maximizing profits at the expense of Oregon water quality, preservation of wildlife and the health of residents who don’t live in cities.

Governor Brown and the timber industry have agreed to work to create legislation that will put conservation much higher on the list of natural companies, will create less of a health problem for rural Oregonians and manage Oregon’s timber industry for the long haul, not just short term profits. Here’s the story in The Oregonian. Click here.

House fire shuts down 101 in Seal Rock

Home at 10654 Hwy 101 in Seal Rock lucky to still be standing. Local Fire Department’s mutual aid and coordination saved the day and the house….

A house at 10654 Highway 101 in Seal Rock filled with smoke Sunday, causing the highway to be shut down so that firefighters could stretch their hoses across the highway to a fire hydrant on the other side.  Looks like they got enough water on the fire just in time. 

The fire triggered a “fill the gap” procedure as Seal Rock, Newport and Yachats Fire Departments raced in to save the home while other fire departments moved in to still provide coverage in the area should another fire break out.  Here’s a statement from one of the firefighters who thanked outlying fire departments who helped cover Toledo, Newport and Yachats.

“Today in Seal Rock we responded to help Seal Rock Fire District with a house fire. Because of a very observant neighbor, the crews from Seal Rock Fire, City of Newport Fire DepartmentYachats Rural Fire Protection and our department were able to stop the fire before major damage occurred.

We had to shut down Highway 101 so the fire hydrant on the opposite side of the highway could get water on the fire quickly. We thank you all for your patience and understanding.

We would also like to thank Oregon State PoliceLincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon Department of Transportation for their help with traffic control and detours. Thank you also goes to Pacific West Ambulance for standing by for us if we needed you! In true form Toledo Fire & Rescue came over for Newport backup and South County coverage and Siletz Valley Fire District stepped in to provide standby back-up for Toledo. Thank you again everyone!”

 

No official word yet on the cause or extent of the fire.

 

Possible fatal crash on Highway 20, just west of Kings Valley Road

Crash next to square with red stripe. Possible fatal. 7 miles west of Philomath.

7:00pm. Bad traffic crash on Highway 20, just west of the Kings Valley Highway intersection and seven miles west of Philomath.  There is a report that a motorcyclist may have lost his life but that’s not been confirmed.  Caution in the area.

House Fire in Seal Rock Now Out – Highway 101 Back Open…

12:00 Noon – Major house fire in Seal Rock at 10654 NW 101, near Curtis and Art Streets.  Highway 101 is closed til further notice.  Traffic detours are being set up.

12:30pm – Sounds like Beaver Creek Road is being used as a detour.

12:47pm – Firefighters are relaying information to Fire Command that the fire is mostly out.

2:00pm – Highway 101 is back open

See you at Sea Lion Caves, Saturday, February 22nd!!

Sea Lion Caves
Wikipedia

The Oregon Chapter of the American Cetacean Society is hosting a field trip to Sea Lion Caves, Saturday February 22.  Paul Engelmeyer, of Portland Audubon and the Oregon Marine Reserve Partnership (OMRP) will meet us at Cape Perpetua at 9:30 am for a program on conservation. Following this at approximately 10:30am, we will go to Sea Lion Caves. Sea Lion Caves is an official Whale Trail site, part of the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve and a bird sanctuary. It is America’s largest sea cave, with a year round Steller Sea Lion colony. The trip is open to the public. You will need to arrange transportation to Cape Perpetua and Sea Lion Caves. There is a $10.00 admission fee for Sea Lion Caves.

Please RSVP to Pam at whalegal@yahoo.com or 541-264-1026. If you leave a message please include your email address.. The RSVP is required to attend this event and further details will be sent to those who RSVP.

Please note the following regarding accessibility to the cave: if this is an issue you may remain in the gift shop to view the webcam: In order to make the trip, you must go down as well as come back up 37 steps to reach the outside trails. There are about 400 yards of uphill and downhill walking at a grade that ranges from 10% to 20%. You then reach the elevator that takes you down to the cave. There are also 63 steps in the cave in order to access the lighthouse viewpoint.

The American Cetacean Society protects whales, dolphins, porpoises, and their habitats. The non-profit organization was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in San Pedro, CA. Information on the ACS can be found on the website: www.acsonline.org

Traffic crash on North 101 just north of Hwy 18 turn off

9:40pm.  Traffic crash north of Lincoln City, about a few hundred feet north of the intersection of 101 and Highway 18.  There are injuries.

9:56pm.  Sounds like traffic is getting around the crash.

10:52pm.  Crash cleared.  Clean up done.  Highway 101 back open to normal traffic.

 

Federal Government Awards Port of Newport $1.2 to help build new Port Dock 5

EDA awards Port $1.2 million for pier project.

The main artery that connects many of Newport’s fishing businesses to the shore will get a much-needed overhaul, thanks to a $1.2 million grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Earlier this week, federal elected officials notified the Port that the EDA grant was approved.

The pier at Port Dock 5 carries power and potable water needed to service the approximately 80 fishing vessels that utilize that particular dock, as well as fuel lines to supply the floating fuel facility. The 1960s-era pier is supported by wooden pilings that have deteriorated, requiring restrictions on pier traffic and fears of further failure.

Port of Newport officials say the EDA contribution will cover 50 percent of construction costs for the $2.4 million project, providing the necessary financial lift to start construction in November. The balance of the project will be funded by the Port.

“We are thankful for the work of our legislators and others who were instrumental in helping the Port obtain this funding,” said General Manager Paula Miranda. “The pier plays a critical role in Newport’s commercial fishing industry and investment in maintaining and upgrading these facilities is a benefit for the entire community.”

Plans outline a replacement structure with fewer pilings made of steel and topped with pre-form concrete slabs, complete with a stormwater collection system. Driving access will be permitted all the way to the Port Dock 5 ramp, creating a well-designed backbone for the future of Port Dock 5.

Officials have been awaiting confirmation of EDA funds to begin the project. It is anticipated that construction will begin in November, after contracts are awarded and during the window when the State of Oregon allows in-water work to occur. Guidelines meant to minimize impacts on fish, wildlife and habitat dictate when projects of this nature can take place. Yaquina Bay’s in-water work period is November 1 – February 15.

Aaron Bretz, Director of Operations, who has shepherded the Port Dock 5 Pier replacement project through the grant process, said many pre-construction steps, including design, have already been completed.

“The Port has already invested in planning for the replacement and is in possession of the necessary permits and plans to complete the project,” he explained. “We were just awaiting assistance with actual construction costs and, thanks to the EDA grant, we are now ready to proceed.”

Miranda said completion of the project will have a positive impact on the existing fishing businesses, as well as the Port’s potential for growth.

“In recent years, the Port has had to turn away new businesses in the commercial marina due to failing infrastructure. With this project, we have the opportunity to set a new course, but it’s just one of several improvements outlined in our Strategic Business Plan. We will work with our partners at the local, state, and federal level to move the Port of Newport in a positive direction,” the general manager said.

Pier replacement is sure to be a complicated project, but one for which Bretz has prepared contingency plans.

“A temporary structure will be built to maintain access, utilities, and fuel throughout the work on the new pier. Access to Port Dock 5 will look differently during construction, but in function it will remain as similar as possible while we perform this critical work,” the operations director explained.

The end result will be a pier that is more environmentally friendly, has fewer pilings, is capable of handling road traffic, and has improved electrical conduit for larger amperage on the docks.

“The Port Dock 5 Pier replacement is a gateway project to the marina of the future that has the potential to add more businesses and jobs to the region,” Bretz noted.

Obtaining the grant adds another layer to what was a complex year at the Port of Newport. While staff worked to provide the necessary materials to the EDA, Port leaders were reassuring legislators that the organization was best managed under the control of a locally-elected commission.

The awarding of a grant after this challenging period underscores the acknowledgement at the local, state and federal levels that investment in the Port of Newport is sound choice for the regional economy.

Circuit Court Judge Pro Tempore Amanda Benjamin: Seeks to assume judgeship of retired Judge Paulette Sanders

Judge Amanda Benjamin
Circuit Court Judge Pro Tempore – seeking a full time bench election

Statement by Circuit Court Judge Pro Tempore Amanda Benjamin:

I was appointed as a Circuit Court Judge Pro Tempore by the Oregon Supreme Court in December 2018 and began working in that capacity for the Lincoln County Circuit Court on January 2, 2019. I remain in this role. Lincoln County suffered a great loss with the medical leave and medical retirement of Judge Paulette Sanders, who, in addition to her many other responsibilities, was our juvenile dependency and delinquency judge.

When Judge Sanders began to take medical leave in early 2019, I stepped up to handle her docket despite this involving more responsibilities than are typically required of a pro tem judge. I did this because I recognized that Lincoln County needed a judge with knowledge of both criminal and juvenile law to provide consistency to these cases. I have been dedicated to making sure the courts run as smoothly as possible in her absence, but also to improving the courts in every way that I can in the process. In the fall of 2019, I spearheaded the effort to bring a mental health court back to Lincoln County and coordinated with community partners to make this happen. With the help and support of community partners we began Mental Health Court officially on February 4, 2020.

When Judge Sanders retired in September 2019, I made clear my desire to remain in this role and filed for election to her seat with the full support of Presiding Judge Thomas Branford, Judge Sheryl Bachart and Judge Sanders. Unfortunately, Governor Brown appointed someone else to this position. While I respect the office of the Governor, I do not believe that the Governors’ decision reflected what is best for Lincoln County. I am fortunate to have the continued support of those who I have worked closest with on and off the bench including Judge Branford, Judge Bachart, Judge Sanders, staff, community partners, attorneys and members of our community.

While I will continue to serve Lincoln County as a Judge Pro Tempore, I currently serve as an employee of the Oregon Judicial Department rather than as an independent elected official responsible to the voters. My current position is also a limited duration position that is subject to available funding each year. Being elected as a Circuit Court Judge will ensure my ability to provide long-term dedicated service to Lincoln County.

It has been a great honor to have served on the Lincoln County bench for over a year now and to have had the opportunity to show the voters of Lincoln County exactly what they will see in me as an elected Circuit Court Judge. I encourage anyone interested in my candidacy to speak to individuals that work with the courts about me and my time on the bench. Lincoln County deserves to have the best candidate in this seat and I would not be asking for your support if I was not that candidate.

Learn more about my campaign at BenjaminForJudge.com.

Opinions expressed by currently serving Circuit Court Judges of Lincoln County:

Statement of Judge Sheryl Bachart- “If Amanda Benjamin is elected circuit judge she will become one of the best judges our bench has ever known. She is that talented. She has the support of Judge Branford, Retired Judge Sanders and myself because Lincoln County deserves a judge of her caliber.”

Statement of Judge Thomas Branford – “Amanda Benjamin is one of the very best attorneys I have encountered in my 46 years in the legal profession. In addition, for over one year now, she has served as a full-time Pro-Tem Circuit Judge. She has done that with great integrity and respect for all who come into the courtroom. In a word, she is simply extraordinary. She has earned our support in the upcoming election for Circuit Court Judge. Please join me in voting for her.”

Newport City Attorney Candidates down to two – next interview session February 18

Newport City Hall

CITY OF NEWPORT INTERVIEWS TWO CANDIDATES FOR POSITION OF CITY ATTORNEY

On Friday, February 7th, the Newport City Council interviewed two candidates for the vacant position of City Attorney. The candidates are two veteran local attorneys David Allen and Joseph Allison, both from Newport.  Allen is a long time member of the Newport City Council.

Both candidates participated in a full day of interviews that included three panels comprised of the City Council, department heads, and veteran local and regional attorneys. The interviews were followed by a writing assessment.

The Newport City Council will proceed with the selection process during a private executive session scheduled for Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

The position became vacant after the resignation and untimely passing of former City Attorney Steve Rich in October of 2019. In the interim, the city has been using outside contract legal services.

Newport FD helping Toledo FD with a house fire 2120 NE Sturdevant Place

House fire at 2120 NE Sturdevant Place, just north of Toledo High School

8:34pm  Toledo Fire has called for mutual aid from Newport to help with putting out a house fire in Toledo at 2120 NE Sturdevant Place, just north of Toledo High School sports fields. 

A short while later expanded mutual aid started coming from Newport, Siletz, Depoe Bay and North Lincoln City.  The property on Sturdevant has a main house and a number of accessory buildings.

Call for photos:  Send to: News@NewsLincolnCounty.com

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