WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Federal, State and County Health Officials launch investigation into Waldport School gas/odor incidents – SCHOOL RESUMES THURSDAY.

Crestview Heights School, Waldport
Five evacuations due to toxic odors.

After several weeks of student and staff evacuations at Crestview School in Waldport, due to unidentified noxious gases and odors, federal and state medical and health investigators are converging on the schools to get to the bottom of what’s causing the air contamination. Over the last few weeks a large number of students were taken to area doctor’s offices and PCH Samaritan Hospital in Newport where elevated levels of Carbon Monoxide has been found in their blood streams.

Fifteen children suffering from toxic inhalation were treated at PCH Samaritan Hospital in Newport this week. The hospital staff quickly notified a number of state and federal health and poison investigation teams which will be inspecting the school and tracking down the source of the contamination.  While those state and federal health and safety agencies begin testing the school environment, the state Department of Environmental Quality and the National Environmental Protection Agency will be assisting in  hopefully getting to the bottom of what has thus far eluded local agencies for weeks.  THE SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS ANNOUNCED THAT CRESTVIEW AND OTHER SCHOOLS IN THE WALDPORT COMPLEX WILL RESUME CLASSES TOMORROW – THURSDAY.

Here’s the official announcement from the Lincoln County Health Department:

Social Security Survivor Benefits…

Duane J. Silbernagel
Financial Advisor
Waddell & Reed
541-614-1322

Quiz: Social Security Survivor Benefits
Provided By: Duane J. Silbernagel CFP®

Did you know that Social Security may pay benefits to your eligible family members when you die, helping to make their financial life easier? Take this quiz to learn more.

Questions

1. What percentage of Social Security beneficiaries receive survivor benefits?
a. 5%
b. 10%
c. 15%

2. Your child may be able to receive survivor benefits based on your Social Security earnings record if he or she is:
a. Unmarried and under age 18 (19 if still in high school)
b. Married and in college
c. Both a and b

3. Which person may be able to receive survivor benefits based on your Social Security earnings record?
a. Your spouse
b. Your former spouse
c. Both a and b

4. Your parent may be able to receive survivor benefits based on your Social Security earnings record.
a. True
b. False

5. How much is the Social Security lump-sum death benefit?
a. $155
b. $255
c. $355

Answers

1. b. About 10% of the approximately 62 million Social Security beneficiaries in December 2017 were receiving survivor benefits.1

2. a. A dependent child may be able to receive survivor benefits based on your earnings record if he or she is unmarried and under age 18 (19 if still in high school) or over age 18 if disabled before age 22.

3. c. Both your current and former spouse may be able to receive survivor benefits based on your earnings record if certain conditions are met. Regardless of age, both may be able to receive a benefit if they’re unmarried and caring for your child who is under age 16 or disabled before age 22 and entitled to receive benefits on your record. At age 60 or older (50 or older if disabled), both may be able to receive a survivor benefit even if not caring for a child (a length of marriage requirement applies).

4. a. That’s true. To be eligible, your parent must be age 62 or older and receiving at least half of his or her financial support from you at the time of your death. In addition, your parent cannot be entitled to his or her own higher Social Security benefit and must not have married after your death.

5. b. The Social Security Administration (SSA) may pay a one-time, $255 lump-sum death benefit to an eligible surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, the payment may be made to an eligible dependent child. The death benefit has never increased since it was capped at its current amount in a 1954 amendment to the Social Security Act.2

This is just an overview. For more information on survivor benefits and eligibility rules, visit the SSA website, ssa.gov.

1Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2018
2Research Notes & Special Studies by the Historian’s Office, Social Security Administration

I hope you found this beneficial and informational. For more information about me and my services, visit my website:
www.duane.wrfa.com or just click here.

Thank you for your interest!

Duane Silbernagel is a Financial Advisor in Lincoln City, Oregon offering securities through Waddell & Reed, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. He can be reached at (541) 614-1322 or via email at DSilbernagel@wradvisors.com.
This article is meant to be general in nature and should not be construed as investment or financial advice related to your personal situation. The article was written by an independent third party, Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. (Copyright 2019) and is provided for informational and educational purposes only. Waddell & Reed is not affiliated with www.newslincolncounty.com website and is not responsible for any other content posted to this website.  (04/19)

Lincoln City Community Days – Tiny House – Star of the Show!!

Tiny Houses on Display
in Lincoln City

The community has long held Community Days to celebrate the all Lincoln City residents.  There will be garage sales and other things residents are interested in – including a TINY HOUSE for display in the parking lot of the Community Center.  The builder of a Tiny SMART House will be available to answer questions this weekend Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 4pm.  Volunteers will be available to answer questions and provide handouts.  The tiny house will be brought in this Friday and taken away next Thursday, April 25.  When the people aren’t there to staff it, visitors can walk around it and peek through the windows. 

Here’s more on Tiny Houses –

Lincoln City has passed an ordinance allowing clusters of 4 tiny houses on one lot.  Each house has to be 400 square feet or smaller. 

1. What is a “tiny house” in the new ordinance? What’s a “tiny house development?”
A “tiny house” is a stand-alone dwelling with a floor area of 400 square feet or less, excluding lofts. A “tiny house” does not mean a trailer or a recreational vehicle or “park models”.

A “tiny house development” means a site designed with at least four tiny houses and designed and operated under a single land development plan, or as part of another land development plan, such as a planned unit development or a cottage cluster development. (See city planning department staff for details – 541-996-1232)

2. Are Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOW) allowed in Tiny House Developments?  At this time, no. If at a future time, the Oregon State Building Codes Division approves this type of housing, then it may be possible, if built in an approved facility (and sprinklered).

3. Where can Tiny House Developments be located?  Tiny house developments can be proposed in: RM Multiple-Family Residential; GC General Commercial; and RC Recreation Commercial. In these zones, tiny house developments are permitted uses, but they must be reviewed through the site plan review process, which allows neighbors to give written comments.

4. How much land is needed for a Tiny House Development?

Tiny houses are allowed at a density of one tiny house for each 1,200 square feet of land area. Tiny houses must be separated from each other and from other structures (such as storage sheds, garages, etc.) by at least 10 feet, and at the perimeter of the development, houses must comply with the setbacks of the R-1 zone.

5. How much on-site parking is required?

A Tiny House Development must provide at least one off-street parking space for each house. Parking spaces may be clustered and need not be located immediately adjacent to the individual tiny houses they serve.

6. What about other types of manufactured “tiny houses?” Does a tiny house have to be “stick- built”? Does a tiny house need to have a foundation?  “Park Models” are manufactured under the Recreational Vehicle code, and are not allowed in Tiny House Developments. Tiny houses can be built on-site (“stick-built”) to comply with the Oregon Residential Specialty Code. A tiny house can also use amendments in the “Reach Code”, which offers some exceptions to the Oregon Residential Special Code. If a house is using the Reach Code amendments, it must be sprinklered. Tiny houses with lofts will also need to be sprinklered. If a tiny house is built off-site, it must be constructed to the applicable code path, built in an approved facility, and may also need to be sprinklered. A foundation system is required; please check with our building department for your options.

7. Can I use any of the tiny homes as Vacation Rentals?  No. The purpose of allowing this higher-density housing is to provide more workforce and affordable housing in Lincoln City. For that reason, short-term rentals are not allowed. The owner of a tiny house development is not required to live at the property; all of the units can be long-term rentals if desired. Be sure to get an Occupation Tax Permit (required for all owners who rent their property).

8. What are the System Development Charges (SDC) for a Tiny House Development?
SDC charges will differ depending upon development proposals; please contact the Public Works Department for more information.

Lincoln City Planning Dept. 541-996-1232

Bill Kucha: The big picture is emerging: And it won’t be pretty – unless we wake up!

Bill Kucha
Earth Community Booster

Thoughts from Bill Kucha:

Lincoln County, Lincoln City, and Newport should all adopt climate action plans

Why should the residents of Lincoln County develop climate action plans? In 2017, there were more than 2,000 fires and in 2018 1,880 total fires that burned 665,000 acres and 846,611 acres respectively in Oregon. Federal and state governments spent $454 million and $514 million on wildfire suppression costs in 2017 and 2018 respectfully, according to data from the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

Climate change is increasingly becoming more financially expensive in Oregon and throughout the planet. Forest fires are only one part of the ecological and economic impacts of climate change. Ocean acidification and hypoxia will have profound impacts to our local Oregon coast.

For the most part, Lincoln County residents agree that climate change is real although there are disagreements about what steps should be taken to address the problem. Here are just a few of the issues that a climate action plan should address.

1) How will Lincoln County address increasing numbers of people moving to the central Oregon coast to escape the global and regional heat?

2) How will Lincoln County address likely water shortages during summer drought seasons?

3) How will Lincoln County address the possibility of wildfires sweeping through unincorporated areas such as Otis and smaller towns such as Siletz?

4) What will happen to the fishing industry with increasing ocean acidification and hypoxia?

5) What meaningful steps can Lincoln County residents and businesses take to reduce carbon pollution?

6) What can be done in the public and private forests in Lincoln County to increase carbon sequestration?

7) What can be done to strengthen the local economy with a shift to low-carbon patterns of transportation, buildings, and consumption?

8) How can communities build resilience in the face of climate change and adapt to it?

The Oregon State Legislature, through the hard work of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction, is developing a legislative bill entitled HB 2020. This “cap and invest” bill will place a tax on carbon likely starting around $16 per ton with the tax increasing by $10 per ton per year. (This tax will translate into approximately a one cent increase in the cost of gasoline for each dollar of carbon tax increase). There will be approximately $300 million plus for transportation development and $200 million for education, impacted rural communities and other social programs generated from the carbon tax.

Counties and communities that have identified climate related projects will be much more likely to receive funding from the carbon pollution funds. Climate action plans can serve a number of purposes such as addressing the economic and environmental impacts of climate change as well as improving the chances of Lincoln County and its cities and towns receiving additional funds. Both Lincoln County and the cities of Newport and Lincoln City are developing their 2019-2020 annual budgets right now. The county and cities should be encouraged to each set aside $50,000 in funding to start the development of climate action plans as a financial investment.

– Bill Kucha

Connie Hansen Plant Sale!

Spring Has Sprung At The Connie Hansen Garden

The Connie Hansen Garden Spring Plant Sale is coming up Saturday, April 20, from 10 AM-3 PM. This is the garden’s largest plant sale and its biggest fundraiser of the year. The unique selection of plants makes this one of the best specialty plant sales in the region.

The plants for sale are propagated from the Connie Hansen Garden and the gardens of volunteers. Most perennials in one gallon (6 inch) pots are $5-$7, larger at $8-$10. Annuals in 4” pots are $3 or $4, all of which are especially suited to the coastal climate. Volunteers will be present to help with your selections, answer questions, and point out plants of interest in the garden setting.

Surface Rescue

This time of year the garden is at its finest with the rhododendron collection coming into full bloom. After shopping, enjoy a stroll, (while keeping your feet dry!), on the new paver pathways. Stop by the gift shop along the way and discover a unique selection of garden-related items.

The Connie Hansen Garden is a private non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers and donations. The garden is free and open to the public every day of the year, from dawn to dusk. FMI visit conniehansengarden.com

Annual Siletz River Clean Up is back ON!!!

Good folks, good clean-up – good eats after!

RESCHEDULED: Annual Siletz River Clean Up

Saturday, May 11th, 2019 9 AM to 2 PM
Hee Hee Illahe Park, Siletz

The Siletz Watershed Council, MidCoast Watersheds Council, and partners delayed the Annual Siletz River Clean Up after april showers and the resulting high river flows proved unsafe for conducting a clean-up as originally scheduled Saturday, the 13th.

The event is now set to take place Saturday, May 11th , when typical river levels are low enough to ensure that it can be run in safe conditions for interested boaters ranging in experience level.

About the Clean Up:

This is a family-friendly event, with opportunities for trash pickup both by boat and by foot to support the health of this special river system.

With a river length of 67 miles from its’ headwaters in the Coast Range to where it meets the Pacific just south of Lincoln City, the Siletz River Watershed drains a total area of 197,120 acres. The cities of Siletz, Toledo, Newport, and Seal Rock all obtain water from this system. In addition, the river supports vulnerable populations of coho salmon, summer steelhead, and spring chinook, as well as winter steelhead, fall chinook, chum, and cutthroat and rainbow trout, and is a popular recreational fishing destination.

River users from the Central Coast and the Willamette Valley recognize the importance of this watershed. During the 2017 Clean Up, 20 volunteers in four boats collected over 1,000 pounds of garbage from the river and banks. In 2018, the event was delayed a month back from its usual date due to high flows and bad weather. But even with this change in schedule, over 25 volunteers in five boats collected over 1,200 pounds of garbage.

These collections include a range of trash, from smaller items such as plastic bottles and food containers, to larger items like car tires and even car bodies. By working with local boat owners, we are able to remove much more trash—and much larger pieces of trash—than would be possible with just land-based coverage.

Prior to divvying up volunteers into teams, coffee and donuts may be enjoyed in the morning, thanks to donations by Starbucks and JC Thriftway.

After all the hard work is done in the afternoon, a BBQ lunch and raffle takes place. Prizes may include items from: Logsden Store, Siletz Roadhouse, Noel’s Market, Larry’s Old Place,

Englund Marine, Newport Marine, Little Chief Restaurant, Harry’s Bait and Tackle, among others.

Other sponsors and supporters include: Siletz Shuttle Service, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Dahl Disposal, SOLVE, City of Siletz, and Local Fishing Guides.

Bring your friends, gloves, waterproof boots, and dress in layers to take part in this long-term effort.

Registration is not required, but preferred, at the following link:

https://www.solveoregon.org/opportunity/a0C1I00000Gu7wd

Hope to see you at Hee Hee Illahe Park in Siletz at our rescheduled event!

State Senate suggesting juveniles, in some cases, should not be sentenced like adults

Oregon State Prison
Salem
Oregonian photo

The state Senate this week passed and sent to the House a bill that many have long called for – not charging all juvenile serious offenders as adult criminals.  If the House also gives thumbs up on SB 1008, including the governor, many young offenders won’t be facing very long sentences.  In fact, studies show that juveniles who are not mixed in with the regular inmate population tend to re-offend far less often after they’re paroled than those housed among the adults.

Here’s the story in The Oregonian. Click here.


Drug Bust in Toledo

Kelly Kearns
LCJ Photo

Sparrow Houchens
LCJ Photo

Officer Henderson of the Toledo Police Department conducted a traffic stop at NE Alder and NE 1st Street, after observing traffic violations on a vehicle operated by Sparrow Houchens of Toledo.

During the traffic stop, the Officer requested assistance from Newport Police Departments Drug K9 unit.  The Officer obtained consent to search the vehicle and the K9 was not deployed. During the search of the vehicle, with assistance from the Newport Police Officer, Methamphetamine, Digital scales, narcotic packaging material, and other drug related paraphernalia were located and seized.

The driver, Sparrow Houchens of Toledo, was taken into custody for Unlawful Manufacture Methamphetamine, Unlawful Delivery Methamphetamine, and Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine.

A second occupant, Kelly Kearns of Toledo, was also arrested for Probation Violation.

Update on Waldport Schools Bad Air Dilemma

Crestview Heights School
Two evactuations Tuesday. More children to the hospital

 

From Schools Superintendent Karen Gray, Tuesday, April 16th

Today at Crestview Heights Elementary School there were reports of an odor inside several classrooms again. The odors ranged from gas to diesel. As you know, we are working hard to try to find the source of the odor. Seven classrooms moved to the cafeteria while the fire chief and facilities managers checked the boilers and checked for CO levels. At around 10:30 the fire chief gave us the all clear and kids went back into their classrooms. Half an hour later 4 classrooms smelled something again and cleared the room to the cafeteria again. None of the CO monitors went off.

The hospital called us and we spoke with them. We learned that at least 14 children had parents take them to the ER in Newport to have their blood levels tested for exposure to CO and that some had levels from slightly elevated to elevated between a level 2 and 3. The hospital would not venture where the exposure came from. I called my staff together and made the following decision:

Starting this afternoon, Tuesday, April 16th, we will not run our boilers at Crestview Heights Elementary School or Waldport Middle School/High School. This is necessary to help learn if the boilers are contributing to the odor and if they can be blamed for exposure to CO. They will remain off as part of our Process of Elimination as to what is going on here. They will remain off between 2 and 4 weeks in order to give us the right amount of time to know if there is indeed anything wrong with our boilers. At this time we believe they are working well.

Parents, this is very important: The temperature in the schools will be cooler than usual. Please dress your children in appropriate clothing to accommodate for lower temperatures. If your child has a need for warmer clothing, please notify the principal and we will provide it. Staff, the same is true for you.

If we do not shut the boilers off we will never know. If staff and kids still smell noxious odors it won’t be from the boilers. We are also in the process of pricing and strategizing if there is any possibility of moving to electric heat. We just don’t know yet. The water at the schools is electric. The kitchen is electric. Only the heating/ventilation system is run on the diesel boilers. Space heaters (we will follow our space heater protocol) will be made available as much as possible. Staff, please just ask for one.

Sincerely,

Dr. Karen Fischer Gray, Superintendent

Mid-Coast Watershed: Making room for humans, wildlife and fish…

Visual Arts Center
Nye Beach Turnaround
Newport

MidCoast Watersheds Council

Integrated Stormwater Management.

May 2nd, 2019 at 6:30 PM

Newport Visual Arts Center, Room 205

777 NW Beach Drive

 

What actions can we take to coexist with fish and wildlife in our towns and cities? How can we maintain healthy streams where we live as more development occurs? There is great need to be mindful of the quality and quantity of water run-off in our communities, and how development changes these conditions. Please join the MidCoast Watersheds Council at our monthly Community Meeting Thursday, May 2nd at 6:30 PM at the Newport Visual Arts Center, as Mike Broili presents on the importance of—and the techniques and tools used in—restoring site hydrology in the built environment.

Over the past 150 years, most development has occurred without consideration of the impacts to the natural systems that sustain us. In the face of present day environmental issues coupled with the expected population growth in this region, we must collectively rethink how we develop our built environments and the impacts they have on hydrology and other supporting natural systems.

Mike Broili moved from the Seattle area to South Beach with his partner Karen just over two years ago, after retiring from his own environmental consulting and design firm, Living Systems Design, where he focused on low impact, sustainable building and storm water management in Shoreline, Washington. Mike grew up in a fishing and logging family in Port Orford and worked in the fishing industry in Alaska. While in Shoreline, Mike also founded and served as the former Chair of the Board of the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden Foundation; on the City of Shoreline’s Parks Board, Bond Advisory Committee, Arts Jury, and Planning Commission; and as the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Well Home Program Director. He is a Washington Native Plant Steward, a King County Forest Adviser, a certified Sustainable Building Advisor, and a Compost Facility Operator.

The presentation will begin at 6:30 PM in Room 205 on the upper floor of the Newport Visual Arts Center in Nye Beach, at 777 NW Beach Drive. Refreshments will be provided. A MidCoast Watersheds Council Board meeting will follow the presentation with the following agenda: financial report, restoration report, technical team report, administrative committee report, and action items. We hope to see you on Thursday, May 2nd!

Another Student/Staff Evacuation at Waldport School

Crestview Heights School
Waldport

Yet another outbreak of nauseating odors at the school campus in Waldport at just after 10am today.  Reports indicate that four children were transported for medical evaluation. Details are sketchy as school maintenance staff try to figure out where the smell is coming from.

Later in the morning, reports say that the students were allowed to go back in to their classrooms.  But shortly thereafter there was another evacuation due to another odor outbreak.  A number of parents have reportedly gone to the school and taken their children home.

Central Coast Fire Chief Gary Woodson says his crews combed the area that was reported to be filled with the smell/odor and couldn’t detect anything but clear air.  A test of the facilities was conducted with Carbon Monoxide detectors.  The detectors recorded ZERO gases.  Even the school’s recently installed Carbon Monoxide detectors registered ZERO.  Facilities Manager Rich Belloni has been leaning in the direction of a mold problem that’s built up in the school as happened about 10 years ago that required a big removal operation.

No word yet on what’s next. 

Jobs on the rise in Oregon

Oregon Adds 5,700 Jobs in March

Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose 5,700 jobs in March, following a decline of 1,200 jobs in February. Five major industries each added close to 1,000 jobs in March: professional and business services (+1,300 jobs), government (+1,100), health care and social assistance (+900), other services (+800), and leisure and hospitality (+700). None of the major industries cut a substantial number of jobs in March.

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in March, unchanged from 4.4 percent in February. For 29 consecutive months, dating back to November 2016, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in both February and March of this year.

Job gains in recent months are an indication of continued moderate economic expansion in Oregon, despite the tight labor market as was evident from the near-record low unemployment rate.

Since March 2018, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment increased by 32,600 jobs, or 1.7 percent. This was a slight acceleration from annual growth rates averaging 1.5 percent over the prior nine months. Over the past 12 months, the U.S. expanded at the same rate as Oregon: 1.7 percent.

Over the past 12 months, transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+3,400 jobs, or 5.3%) grew at the fastest rate of Oregon’s major industries, due to growth at warehouses, fulfillment centers, and package delivery firms. Construction employment grew by 4,400 jobs, or 4.2 percent, as growth in the industry moderated from rapid expansion in recent years. Manufacturing added 5,500 jobs, or 2.8 percent, led by computer and electronic product manufacturing, which has added 1,800 jobs in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, six of the major industries were relatively flat over the year, with none gaining more than 700 jobs.

Toledo Neighborhood Watch Group Meeting

The monthly meeting of Toledo  Neighborhood Watch group is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, 2019, at  5:30 p.m  The Toledo Neighborhood Watch group meets in the Toledo Public Safety and Police Bldg. located on Bus. Hwy. 20, just south of JC Thrifway.  Neighborhood Watch organization serves to facilitate communication between local citizens and local public safety.  Toledo citizens are invited to attend to become acquainted with their neighbor and public safety services.  For information contact Deanne Dunlap, (541) 336-1315, or Toledo Police Sergeant Pace, (541 ) 336-5555.

More debate on “Ban the Bags” and VRD’s – the controversy continues

Newport City Hall
Council reiterated plastic bag ban and more VRD controversy.

Newport City Councilors, on a 5-2 vote Monday night reaffirmed their commitment to ban single use carry-out plastic bags within the city limits of Newport. Both Mayor Dean Sawyer and Councilor David Allen voted no because they feel the issue should be decided by the voters – not the city council. Nearly six years ago Newport voters turned down the idea.

But many in the Monday night audience, a number of them children, claimed that single use carry-out bags are more than just visual blight, especially along our beaches, they also questioned whether allowing continued distribution of single use bags was healthy for the planet – especially for fish, whales sea birds and other sea creatures that confuse floating rafts of plastic debris with food. Scientists say that there are massive die offs of wildlife that think plastic is food. Scientists contend that the situation is already out of control and that massive clean-ups of numerous world ocean areas are long overdue.

 

 

Plastic bags on their way out??

Still, some members of the audience continued to push for a public vote on the issue. Their opponents, however, continued to maintain that a ban on the bags is long over-due, that banning re-usable carry-out bags is catching on across the country and around the world. When the council got down to voting, the bag ban was passed 5 to 2 – with Mayor Dean Sawyer and Councilor David Allen voting no because, they said, the voters should be given a chance to weigh in, yet again, on the issue. The last vote was in 2013 when the proposed ban was turned down.

As the audience cleared the room there were murmurs among those who want to keep their plastic bags and that a voter referendum against the ban might already be in the works. It was also noted that the Oregon Legislature is considering a bill that would outlaw single-use plastic bags state-wide. Surfrider Foundation’s Charlie Plybon told the council that a statewide plastic bag ban has a pretty good chance of passing in the legislature but that the bill has a ways to go before it crosses the finish line. If it does pass and is signed by Governor Brown, it would ban non-reusable plastic bags statewide according to the provisions of the new STATE law – not as accomplished by a number of Oregon counties and cities.

Vacation Home Rentals
Archive photo

In other City Council action they continued to try to find a way to limit the number of Vacation Rental Dwellings (VRDs) in Newport. The debate contained very little that wasn’t already well-ploughed ground on the subject. The council appeared to be trying to find a workable compromise at slowly phasing out VRDs in areas where they aren’t welcome while concentrating them in areas better suited like the Nye Beach area. But a number of permanent Nye Beach area residents said their area is already over-stuffed with VRDSs and suffer from clogged streets, loud music, garbage-strewn driveways and other nuisances.

Councilors and some members of the audience suggested that VRD owners should pay higher VRD license fees so those funds could hire city police code enforcement officers – even create a “three-strikes-and-your-out” provision in the city’s VRD ordinances.

As mentioned above, the Council seems intent on congregating VRDs near Nye Beach, perhaps Agate Beach, and possibly some additional areas along the Bayfront and in select areas of South Beach. The whole idea is to encourage VRDs in areas full of restaurants, entertainment venues and convenient access to the beach. But that leaves a lot of VRDs in areas that frequently plague stable neighborhoods. How to phase-out those VRDs was a hot topic. There are those who own these “out of place” VRDs who, some say, should be given either 5 or 10 years to close down their operations and acquire properties in town that are more suitable for “active” vacationers. There is also an interest in weeding out some VRDs that are bunched too close together. How to convince the owners of these VRDs to sell out and acquire other properties in a more appropriate location was talked about, but the conversation tended to come back to Newport’s less than plentiful VRD-friendly neighborhoods.

The discussion is scheduled to continue in front of the Newport City Council May 6th as the city tries to put the “Genie Back in the Bottle” by finding more suitable areas for VRD growth leaving traditionally well-settled neighborhoods to enjoy the peace and quiet that prevailed before what many refer to as the VRD invasion.

And the Newport City Council entertained a high ranking U.S. Coast Guard Commander who gave the council a five year renewal on the city’s status as a U.S. Coast Guard USA city. Mayor Sawyer gratefully received the plaque commemorating what is now many years that the city has enjoyed the distinction.

NHS senior Brennan Wood (grey sweater) awarded scholarship to U.S. Coast Guard Academy

And the officer also celebrated Newport High School senior Brennan Wood who competed against 3,000 other applicants nationwide who want to get their college degree from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. Out of those 3,000 applicants 250 were awarded scholarships and young Brennan Wood was among them. Brennan will enjoy free tuition and free room and board. Brennan said it was always his goal to attend the Coast Guard Academy because he always pictured himself, throughout his childhood in Newport, as a life-long Coast Guardsman or Officer. Brennan Wood – a very determined young man at the ‘ripe old age’ of 18.

Letter to the Editor – Treating children like pawns and bargaining chips

Central American refugees fleeing violence and death in their home countries.

Dear compassionate people everywhere, it’s now time for all of us to Stand Up!

The tragic events of cruelty, indiscriminate lies and hatred on the part of the current administration in the White House have moved so many of us to tears on a daily basis that I and countless others have been overwhelmed with grief and sorrow. It is without doubt, past due, high time and quite important that we all pull together as one society united to put an end to this full blown tyrannical violent madness. When children are separated from parents and locked in a cage, that’s where my compassionate heart draws the line to become far beyond extremely angry and shouts “NO MORE!”

This is how I, along with all my friends and relations, choose to fight against tyranny and oppression;
In the Spirit of our hero’s Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and living legends Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Neil Young etc…etc.. our most effective weapons against tyranny and oppression are YOUR VOTE, pencil, paper, guitar, pipes, fiddle, flute, mandolin, drums, and all of our voices singing together loud and clear! I call upon all compassionate friends and relations to band together in a flood of peaceful strength. It’s time to stand up and fight back against those who choose tyranny and oppression.

Over the course of the past 2 years, a poem began to emerge from my embattled weary mind. It evolved over time into a song called, “Stand Up for the Innocent Refugees.” We’ve performed it a few times with our ensemble Pipedance. Some of you will recognize the song if you have attended any of our recent shows.

We have now recorded the song. Our dear friend Ben Williams, director of the Butteville Store Oregon State Park, assembled a video picture collage to accompany the song which unfolded to be quite beautiful and extremely powerful in it’s raw truth.
We want to share this with all of you. With grateful hearts, we encourage you to help us share it far and wide for everyone to be inspired to move into a new future where hate, discrimination and lies are cast away to be left behind in the dust.

Please join us in heartfelt compassion to stand up, to sing out loud, to fight, to be strong, to never give up in the fight against tyranny and oppression.
We offer this song as our gift to the world. Once again, I say share it far and wide with everyone you know.
Here is the You-Tube link; Click Here

One Love, One World, One Human Family Living in Peace

Sincerely,
Gary Burman
Lincoln City Oregon

Superintendent of Schools Karen Gray responds to criticism of Waldport Schools

From LC Schools Superintendent Karen Gray

Dear Crestview Heights Elementary School Parents, Friends and Family,

We are deeply concerned with the events that have resulted in a mistrust of our ability to keep students and staff safe in our school. This year we had a boiler misfire that happened in late January, the noxious odor event from 4/2 and the event on Wednesday 4/10 of having the wind bring in more noxious odors. These events have resulted in mistrust and heightened concern about whether we, as the Lincoln County School District, are doing everything we can to address the issue. We are aware that caring adults have reached beyond our District to seek help in drawing attention to the problems we’re experiencing. The District is speaking with these people.

We want you to know that we are not in the field of education in order to cause stress or harm to children. That is the total opposite of why we work in LCSD. We care deeply about the health and safety of our children and staff. All of us are in education because we care about children. We want our teachers and support staff to be able to get back to the hard work of teaching your children. The following is a list of actions we have taken so far:

1. We have worked with experts on Carbon Monoxide (CO), such as the Central Coast Fire Department, to give us clearance for any return to the building. The Fire Chief himself checked our classrooms and gave the OK to return.

2. We have followed our safety protocols for evacuation and notification when a noxious odor is in the building.

3. We have hired outside experts from PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. (a nationally known expert in the field of environmental health and safety) and had an independent investigation from SAIF Safe and Healthy Workplaces – which was not initiated nor paid for by the School District. Both of these organizations conducted a thorough evaluation and testing of the building and the boiler, and have published those reports. (Full reports are on the website: https://lincoln.k12.or.us/our-district/public- reports/)

4. We have had two staff meetings and one public meeting to discuss the findings of these reports and to address concerns.

5. We installed 97 new CO detectors in Waldport Middle and High and Crestview Heights Elementary School. That is one CO Detector in every classroom. None of the CO detectors were triggered by these events and remained at zero.

6. We have also contracted with Groth Gates to raise the stack on the roof of the boiler room 8 feet to get the smoke up and out of the area higher and faster. This hasn’t happened yet but we have contracted with them for the work already.

7. We have had the boilers inspected by Tom Brown, the LCSD Boiler specialist. After the misfire, the jet and screen for the jet were cleaned out. The boiler was run to burn off excess fuel. The boiler was then taken apart again and checked to make sure the jet and screen were clean. The boiler was started up again and ran clean. After that point, every 10 days we are changing the fuel filters on the boiler. They have been deemed to be in good working order. They were in good working order on April 10th.

8. I have personally met with Senator Arnie Roblan in order to introduce a state bill to require CO detectors to be installed in all schools with fuel burning furnaces. He was very positive about the prospects.

The next portion of the letter is very important because I want to demonstrate to you that we are not done with our investigations of this matter and that we are definitely moving our ideas forward in hopes of resolving this.

Some of the new ideas we have moved forward on and will move forward on are:

1. On Thursday, April 11th, I called the Health Department requesting an environmental specialist to

study the school to see if they can find anything else we missed. On Friday 4/12/19 we had a discussion

with the Oregon Department of Education to request additional assistance from someone that is an

expert in environmental evaluations. A list of professionals will be sent to the district by the state and

we will then send the list of choices to a committee of parents that will select the final environmental

services company and begin a new study. The district will pay for the study. Results of the study will be

given by the parents with the district in the room and the meeting will be a facilitated meeting. We will

need parent volunteers for this committee work.

2. Beginning Monday, April 15, door use changes, parking changes and other ideas about how to control

air flow from the outside will be set into place. This includes contacting service providers such as

recycling, and re-fueling and asking them to reschedule their deliveries to a time when kids are not in

school. This includes asking folks that drive diesel trucks to not sit and idle them on our campus, near

our classrooms.

3. We have already begun the research into possible electric heating instead of diesel. Boilers don’t come

in electric run systems that can heat a building this size but we need to see what’s out there.

4. On Friday April 12, we took 6 samples to test for mold. The samples have been sent away to a

professional company for processing and the results will be back mid-week. We will report back on

that to the school.

5. On Friday April 12, our HVAC system expert, Tom Brown, checked at least 10 ducts for residual

materials and found the ducts to be clean. We may be asking for more duct work to done as well. It

costs $50,000 for all of the ducts to be cleaned.

6. We will investigate using a flue checking device we have or whether we need to purchase something

more.

7. It has also been suggested that the district check the sulfur and nitrogen levels specifically in our

studies (the PBS study did that, too) and we will make sure to do that. Sulfur was checked in the SAIF

study.

8. Finally, Facilities Director Rich Belloni called OSHA and requested Technical Assistance on this matter

and they are very willing to help us. He also called the DEQ April 15 to do the same.

Our intention is to create a document that lists everything we have done so far, everything we plan to do and

the results of that work and then communicate that with staff, parents and community in an attempt to better

our communication.

Another important piece of information is that it is not an option to use natural gas in Waldport, which is why we are using diesel burners. Natural gas which powers steam boilers cannot cross the Alsea Bay Bridge. We will be investigating the use of electric devices for heat and will keep you posted on that result.

We all want this issue to be resolved so that parents and families can feel assured that it is safe to bring their children to our schools, and feel at peace. We know that is not where we are with many of our parents right now, and we want and need that to change. We can improve communication and one way to do that is that we will be improving our communication protocol when an evacuation occurs. We will do our best to send out mass phone call messages and will continue to post to websites and social media.

In closing, as your Superintendent, I really want all of our parents, students, staff, and community to know that we take student and staff health and safety very seriously. We will continue to try different options, protocols, procedures and investigations to try to determine where these smells are coming from and how to stop them. The facts are that your children have not been exposed to CO on a daily basis, we are not poisoning your children and the district is not involved in a cover up. That is unfounded. Everything we have done so far, including the reports we have received, are listed here and the report results are on our website. Transparency means a lot to us, too.

Keep communicating and we will continue to work hard to keep our schools safe for your children and our staff. We continue to service and monitor our boilers more often than ever before and to investigate other environmental issues that may be causing headaches, and alternate ways to heat our school. I would like to give a shout out to those of you who have reached out to support the district in its efforts.

Sincerely,

Dr. Karen Fischer Gray LCSD Superintendent

A word from Sen. Jeff Merkley

My childhood was a testament to the American dream. My dad worked hard as a millwright at the local lumber mill, and later as a union machinist. My parents saved diligently, bought a modest home, and were even able to take us kids on a camping vacation every once in a while. Back then, opportunities were available to hardworking families like mine, and I ended up being the first in my family to go to college.

Today, though, those economic opportunities feel a lot further out of reach for working Americans — and instead of making it easier to make ends meet, the new right-wing tax bill has largely left working families behind or even made things worse. I’ve been receiving calls, emails, and letters from constituents all across Oregon detailing how their refunds have shrunk this year as the new tax law has gone into effect. A recent report showed that one Oregon family received a small refund last year, but owed more than $10,000 in taxes this year. Meanwhile, giant corporations like Amazon pay no federal taxes at all despite billions in profit. That’s unacceptable, and it’s no accident.

The powerful and the privileged have been stacking the deck in their favor for decades, by buying elections and lobbying for their best interests, while paying fewer and fewer taxes — and leaving hardworking Americans to foot the bill. And this strategy came to a head with the new tax law passed in 2017 that left the middle class behind while raiding the Treasury for a $1.5 trillion to giveaway to giant corporations and the richest Americans.

This tax giveaway to the wealthy and powerful is the starkest illustration yet of why we need major reforms that will end the corruption and put power back in the hands of working Americans. I’m proposing a series of bold actions — a sweeping blueprint to restore American democracy — to make sure every American has a truly equal voice in the direction of our nation. This package of legislation would end the dark money that allows corporations to control Congress, and eliminate the voter suppression and gerrymandering that silences the voices of millions of Americans across our country. It’s time to reclaim our democracy so that we can reform our tax code and our economy to work for everyone.

America should be a land of opportunity, like it was for my family. But until we take our democracy back from the special interests and the politicians who cater to the powerful and the privileged, those opportunities are going to keep shrinking for hardworking, middle class Americans. This Tax Day, I’m recommitting to keep fighting for Oregonians, for opportunity, and for the American dream.

All my best,
Sen. Jeff  Merkley

Lincoln County Health Dept: They want to listen to citizen opinion on health services

NEWPORT – Lincoln County is a great place to live. Help make it even better by providing valuable feedback to improve the health of our community.Lincoln County Public Health is seeking community input for the next Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The CHIP sets the priority work areas of the Health Department and community partners. A new plan is created every five years.
Lincoln County Public Health is holding public listening sessions in early 2019. During these sessions, Health Department staff will discuss the current state of health in Lincoln County. Members of the community can help select priority or focus areas for the next five years by providing input at these meetings.
New sessions have been scheduled at the following times:
Newport (Spanish):
Tuesday, April 16, 6:00 to 8:00pm
Newport Public Library
35 NW Nye St, Newport, OR 97365

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