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Senate Wyden: Concerned about who will replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senator Ron Wyden

Wyden Statement on Senate Floor on the Impacts of a Trump Supreme Court Nominee on Health Care

Madam President, this weekend brought tragic news with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Not a lot of members of the federal judiciary become cultural icons recognizable by only their initials. RBG did, and she earned her recognition and her place in history through an astonishing career fighting for gender equality, for the rights of LGBTQ-plus individuals, for the rights of all those who are pushed to the margins of American society. I’ve heard from a lot of Oregonians who are fearful about what her passing means for their futures,

Leader McConnell and Donald Trump have made it clear that they’re pulling out all the stops to put another far-right Republican on the highest court in the land – breaking their own rule pertaining to election-year appointments. It just goes to show how Trump and Senate Republicans have corrupted the judiciary, no matter the cost to this country.

So, now it’s down to only a few weeks before the election. It goes without saying that the future of the Court will affect just about every aspect of Americans’ lives. My colleagues have talked about a lot of those issues – the list is miles long, from the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans, to workers’ rights, to the ability of every eligible American to vote and much, much more.

However, there is one issue that will come up immediately with a Trump-backed lawsuit going before the Court soon after the election. That issue is health care. (more…)

Letter to the Editor…

Elect “My Judge,” Amanda Benjamin

Most people are fortunate enough to not have contact with the judges in our county, but this November we will all be voting for one of ours. Before casting your vote, I ask that you listen to those whose lives have been directly impacted by the courts.

I am a foster parent in Lincoln County and I see first hand the impact a judge has on children in the foster care system and in our community. We as a community need Judge Benjamin.

I have seen Judge Benjamin’s knowledge, integrity, and compassion first hand. It is clear that she truly cares about these children and families. When Judge Benjamin officiated over the adoption of my daughter, she didn’t just speak to her, she listened to her. From that moment on, in our house, she is known as “my Judge” by my daughter.

I have also seen Judge Benjamin preside over criminal cases. She treats each person with respect no matter the reason they are in her courtroom. Her ability to show kindness, respect and fairness to all is a characteristic that is so important in the Judicial role.

Judge Benjamin won’t be listed as the incumbent on your ballot but she is the candidate who took over for Judge Sanders in early 2019 and she continues to handle the cases that were Judge Sanders’. I invite you to ask those who appear in front of Judge Benjamin whether she deserves our votes. If you do, I’m confident you will join me in voting for Amanda Benjamin for Circuit Court Judge position 2 this November. 

Erinne Irish, Toledo

More election information….

Fires in Oregon
(Oregon Secretary of State)
Displaced Voter FACTS

How can I receive my ballot if I have been displaced by wildfires?
Ballots will begin being mailed October 14th. If you know an address where you will be able to receive mail then, you can add a temporary mailing address at oregonvotes.gov/myvote.

If you want to use a paper form to provide us with a temporary address Download the Absentee Ballot Request Form here.
You can pick up all of your mail (including ballots once they are mailed) at the post office that serves your permanent residence address.

Contact your county election office after October 1st for additional options they may have for pickup. Find yours here: https://sos.oregon.gov/elections/Pages/countyofficials.aspx

If I submit a change of address through USPS will my ballot be forwarded to the new address?

NO. Ballots are not forwardable. It is one of the security features of our system. You must inform election officials of your temporary address using one of the methods above in order to have your ballot sent there.

Do I need to register to vote from my temporary address?

NO. You do not need to re-register to vote if you are living somewhere temporarily because you have been displaced by wildfires. You just need to let election officials know where to mail your ballot by one of the methods above.

Will I be able to vote on the local measures where my permanent address is located even if I am temporarily living outside that area?

YES. The ballot you receive will contain the contests for your residential address, not your temporary mailing address.

What if my mailbox was destroye

If mail cannot be delivered to your home or mailbox, it will be held at your local post office and you can pick it up there.

A heads up from Newport City Recorder Peggy Hawker…

The City of Newport, Public Works Department, advises there will be traffic control and road work activity for the following streets on the specified dates below, between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM. All streets shall remain open during this time. Please obey all traffic control and flaggers during this work event.

  • SW Coast St. & SW 2nd St intersection
  • SW Lee St. Between SW 2nd St and Hwy 101
  • SW Hurbert St. between SW 6th St. and SW 7th St.
  • SW Alder St. between Hwy 101 & SW 10th St.
  • SW Bay St. between Hwy 101 & SW 12th St.
  • SW Abbey St between SW 9th St & SW 11th St.

Update on Echo Mountain Fire

Echo Mountain Fire Complex and Straight-Line Wind Event

This is an important message from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office regarding the fire and wind event that began on the night of Monday, September 7th.

ANY COMMUNITY MEMBER who experienced fire or wind damage to their home, business, outbuildings, or vehicles are encouraged to complete the Lincoln County online damage assessment process to report their damages.

The more information, local government can capture, about our damaging event the week of the 7th, the more advocacy local government can apply for financial assistance from FEMA and Small Business Administration (SBA) for our recovery.

We encourage any property owner or renter who experienced damage to ALSO fill out the online FEMA financial assistance application – even if you have insurance. You may qualify for some assistance but you must apply to receive any assistance.

Another option for business owners and property owners is to apply through the SBA for low interest loans for their recovery efforts.

We understand that the information being presented to you is overwhelming and can be confusing; we have provided the most useful documents related to applying to FEMA/SBA in this email and on our website.

Please watch for an update later today on a MULTI AGENCY RESOURCE CENTER or MARC – that will be available to any individual or business affected by either the Fire or the Wind event that occurred the week of the 7th. There will be 20+ agencies available to provide information, resources and/or answer questions.

We are finalizing the dates, times, locations and available resources this morning and will distribute that communication early afternoon today. You will be able to come to this MARC location to fill out the on-line FEMA and SBA application forms.

LOCAL LINCOLN COUNTY DAMAGE ASSESSMENT SURVEY:https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/62a4c41e1afd4ea785623f43c120adf4


FEMA Financial Assistance Application: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/

–          Select the Get Assistance on the top menu, then select Apply Online


Small Business Administration Application: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/Index

–          Click on Apply for a Disaster Loan


 Call Center Assistance:

–          They can walk you through the Lincoln County online damage assessment process and enter your information for you.

–          The Call Center can not apply for FEMA or SBA assistance on your behalf due to the confidential information required. However, resources will be available at the Multi Agency Resource Center on Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday of this week where you can fill out the on-line forms.  Hardcopy forms can be made available that you can mail in as well.



Virginia “Jenny” Demaris
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

Emergency Management Division

Emergency Manager

Call Center for More Information – 541-265-0621

Wonderful evening of music with the Newport Symphony from the comfort of your own home!

Newport Symphony Orchestra
“Visualizing the music…..”

Great Music and Intimate Evening
September 26, 6:30 pm – online
The Newport Symphony announces their first seasonal performance. It is a special intimate get together online with Music Director, Adam Flat and members of the Newport Symphony Element String Quartet discussing with the audience following the string quartet performance.
Why intimate? Because this get together, with a limited number of spaces on Zoom, gives those attending a memorable evening with Adam, Casey Bozell, Irene Gadeholt, Shauna Keyes, and Barbara Johnston.

According to Music Director, Adam Flatt, “Keeping with our pattern established over many years, we proudly offer events. We will adapt to the conditions as they present themselves over the next months, hoping to be back on stage as soon as possible, but are ready to present beautiful concerts online.

The NSO season begins online in September with a performance by our own NSO Element String Quartet and music by Debussy and Pulitzer Prize-winning Black American composer George Walker.”

Concertmaster Casey Bozell says, “We are so excited to do this… And so, the repertoire that we have for you for this concert is full of great energy and emotion.”

Everyone attending will experience a live recorded concert. Then, talk live with Adam Flatt and the members of the quartet.

All for only $25 per household.

Ticket purchase provides a link to the online event. There is no limit on the number of people watching when connecting with one device. More than one device linkage will require additional purchase(s).

For more information about the event and how to register visit:

For information contact: Don Nelson, Executive Director
Email: execdir@newportsymphony.org Phone:509-499-2965

Making Oceanview Drive a little more civilized, moving ahead with PAC improvements and Newport Fire Department’s role in the battle of the Echo Mountain Fire

The Newport City Council Monday night tackled the verrrry looooong running issue of what the town wants Oceanview Drive to be like.  Right now it’s a narrow road with people who like to speed a bit, which makes bicyclists and pedestrians uneasy – because, after all, it was part of the old coast highway.

After much discussion and idea tossing, the council decided to take things slowly by favoring the installation of speed bumps near the Agate Beach pedestrian crossing and also conducting a speed study on that stretch of Oceanview Drive.

And the council declared its intention to buy rights to use a pond on private property to help accommodate future local development of the South Beach 40th Street area.  It’s a response to plans being pursued by local businesses, expansion of OSU facilities and Wilder housing expansion, all needing increased storm water capacity for the pond be able to handle it.  The acquisition will be negotiated under the laws of eminent domain which are used commonly around the country.  The city will have to pay the land owner(s) to access the pond as well as expand it.

In other council action the council agreed to fund the final part of the Newport Performing Arts Center building rehabilitation and expansion.  The council authorized city administration to retain an architect and a final set of plans for the PAC.  No time-line was revealed as to when all the improvements will be in place or when the doors will actually open.  More planning is involved.

And finally, the council heard a stunning recounting of Newport Fire Department’s role in helping to stop the Echo Mountain blaze that burned down hundreds of homes in the Salmon River watershed.  Some of those destroyed homes belonged to local firefighters but yet they stayed in the field saving other people’s property from the onslaught of the flames.  Chief Rob Murphy said his department was strained to the limit in helping regional county and Lincoln City Fire departments fight the 25-hundred acre blaze which was caused by lightning.  Kudos were also given to Newport and other government workers for setting up a large fire refugee space inside the Newport Recreation Center that made the lives of fire refugees a little easier.

The “all clear” has been announced so that those who still have homes can return to them while others who lost their homes sift through what remains of their possessions.  Hopefully insurance wil provide the newly-made homeless a pathway back to normalcy.  Yet precious family heirlooms are likely gone – but not forgotten.

Chief Murphy strongly hinted that a new way of thinking about wildfires must be considered.  He cited Climate Change as the primary cause.  He said that the drier parts of the North American continent are working their way north and so fire departments as far north as the Columbia River, if not beyond, must plan and execute fire tactics on the ground and in the air to quickly jump on what sometimes appears to be giant fire bombs going off in our forests.  Chief Murphy strongly suggested that fire fighting is changing…and changing fast.

Special message from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and FEMA

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, County Departments, community services and FEMA are hosting a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) that will be available for those whose homes and/or businesses were affected by the Echo Mountain Fire or the straight-line wind event (wind damage beginning Sept. on the 7th); if you are a renter at one of the affected properties you are also encouraged to attend.

The MARC will be open this week at the Lincoln City Outlet Malls in Suite 200.

  • Tuesday: 3pm – 8pm, 
  • Wednesday: 1pm – 8pm, and 
  • Thursday:  8am – 1pm 

See attached announcement with full details of the MARC.

The MARC will include representatives from several support services such as Planning Department, Solid Waste, Behavioral Health, Oregon Department of Forestry, Federal Emergency Management (FEMA). Additional resources will be available either in person or in printed form; see the full list of agencies as of the time of this announcement.


  • No registration needed, free
  • Due to COVID conditions only a limited number of persons will be allowed in at one time. Face coverings and hand sanitizer will be made available. 
  • A greeter will be at the main entrance to greet attendees, provide them with information on the MARC and if needed will make a list of the order the attendee’s arrival so entrance will be based on first come first serve. (We estimate we can allow 20-25 families in at one time)
  • Computers with internet access will be available for those who need to file an application with FEMA or for the Small Business Administration (SBA).
  • Interpreters available on site to assist as needed

Confirmed Community Services Partners:

  • City of Lincoln City
  • DHS – Self Sufficiency 
  • Federal Emergency Management (FEMA – financial assistance application)
  • Lincoln County Animal Shelter
  • Lincoln County Behavioral Health
  • Lincoln County School District
  • Lincoln County School District H.E.L.P.
  • Lincoln County Emergency Management (Small Business Administration Loan Assistance info)
  • Lincoln County Environmental Health Vital Records (birth and death certs)
  • Lincoln County Environmental Health (public water system monitoring)
  • Lincoln County Planning and Development (info on rebuilding, permits, process to rebuild)
  • Lincoln County Solid Waste
  • Ministerial Services
  • Northwest Septic Service
  • Oregon Department of Forestry
  • Pacific Power and Light
  • Red Cross – Clean Up Assistance Kits
  • Robertson Environmental

Additional resources near the MARC include:

  • The Donation Distribution Center is located in Suite 118 and is open from 10am to 6pm.
  • Trauma Center for Disaster Victims (Behavioral Health) is located in Suite 410 and is open from 10am to 5pm

Questions or Need More Information?

  • Contact the Lincoln County Call Center at 541-265-0621 between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
  • Check out more information on the Lincoln County Echo Mountain Fire website at www.co.lincoln.or.us/echomountainfirego to the Disaster Damage and Recovery Page

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

Emergency Management Division



Newport City Council wants closer ties to County Emergency Office

6:28pm  Newport City Councilors said during their regular council meeting that they will seek a closer relationship with county emergency services.  Although the county has been an excellent source of emergency information during the recent wildland fires, Mayor Dean Sawyer remarked that the links and connectedness should be stronger and more accessible.  He said there were often, on the street, varying versions of the status of the wildland fires, evacuation areas and strategic phone numbers that were circulating around the area.  Some information sources were not exactly accurate.  So the council agreed that they want a closer relationship with the county in sharing emergency information.

A gun went off while people stood in line at McKay’s Market on SW 101 in Lincoln City

Lincoln City Police responded to a report of a gun going off at McKay’s Market on SW 101.  The gun belonged to a man standing in the check-out line.  Police say Nicholas Ellingford of Lincoln City was standing in line when the gun went off – the bullet entering his groin and exiting his leg.  Police say Ellingford pulled the gun out to show it to a friend who was with him.  Police say Elllingford accidentally pulled the trigger and the gun went off.

Lincoln City Police quickly arrived on scene and immediately launched first aid to slow the bleeding.  A Pac-West Ambulance crew pulled up within a few minutes and took over.  They rushed him to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital whereafter he was quickly transferred to a Life Flight Air Ambulance and soon was headed to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

When Ellingford gets out of the hospital he will have to explain to a judge why he had a concealed weapon and no gun permit.  He’s also likely to be charged with reckless endangerment to others who were standing in the same check-out line.

Police officers are requesting that if anyone was a witness to the incident to please call Lincoln City Police and ask to talk with Office Jayne Johnson at 541.994.3636.

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