lincolncountydispatch

Utility Relocation Project to Restrict Lanes on Highway 20, West of Eddyville

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EDDYVILLE— A utility relocation project will create Monday through Friday daytime lane restrictions west of Eddyville on Highway 20 (Corvallis-Newport Hwy), beginning Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 and continuing until approximately Tuesday, Dec. 1. 
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A contractor will be boring below ground and trenching for placement of electric and communications lines between milepost 15.8 and 16.3.
The work will be done during weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
During construction, traffic through the work zone will be controlled by flaggers. Travelers should expect delays of no longer than 20 minutes and typically, much less.
The utility relocation is in preparation for the next phase of construction of the US 20 Project (US 20 PME: UPRR to Eddyville), which will place traffic on a new highway alignment in fall, 2016. The new alignment will replace 10 miles of narrow, twisting old Hwy 20 with a new 5.5 mile segment that will be straighter, with wider shoulders and increased passing opportunities. 
To learn more about the US20 Project, visit: www.us20pme.com

Photographers Sought for King Tides Documentation Project

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How might a changing climate and rising sea levels affect the Oregon coast? For the sixth straight year, Oregonians are invited to bring their cameras and smartphones to the coast and join in an international effort to document unusually high “King Tides” to help answer these questions.
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This year the project focuses on three sets of extreme tides: Oct. 27-29, Nov. 24-27 and Dec. 23-25. Organized in Oregon by CoastWatch, the project invites anyone who can get to the coast during these tides to take shots at the highest reach of the tide on those days. 

Photos can focus on any feature, but the most useful show the tide near the built environment – roads, seawalls, bridges, buildings, etc.. Ideal photos would allow the photographer to return later, during an ordinary tide, to get comparison shots.
CoastWatch is making a special effort this year to document King Tides near Oregon’s four marine reserves (Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Otter Rock, Cape Perpetua and Redfish Rocks.) Participants will be able to share their photos on Flickr and should be prepared to include the date, description and direction of the photo. The Oregon King Tides Photo Initiative website will include an interactive map to help photographers determine the latitude and longitude of their shots.
For information about the project, and about the special effort to document King Tides in the marine reserve areas, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator (and an Oregon Sea Grant marine educator) at (541) 270-0027, [email protected]

Newport Holding Groundbreaking for New Aquatic Center

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By Larry Coonrod
NEWPORT—Nearly two years after voters passed a  a $7.9 million bond levy to build a new aquatic center, the City of Newport plans a public groundbreaking on Oct. 26. 
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The new center will replace the city’s 50-something year-old pool when it opens in 2016 and will located adjacent to the south side of the Newport Recreation Center. 
The soon-to-be-constructed Aquatic Center has been designed to include an eight-lane 25-yard competition pool; expanded locker rooms; a warm water multi-use pool; and seating for up to 300 spectators. 

The Newport City Council in September agreed to some modifications of the initial design after the lowest bid came in at $8.35 million. Combined with the need for a 5 percent contingency fund and a 1 percent art tax, the project ballooned to a projected cost of $9.5 million.
City staff say an improved economy since the vote two years ago and inflation contributed to the higher than expected bids.
To bring the project within a manageable budget the council approved dropping an ultraviolet water treatment process for a savings of $89,000. It canceled plans to expand the city campus parking lot along with and adopted alternative engineering options to cut budget gap to $452,000. The council also gave the go ahead to tap the city’s general fund for $50,000 and room tax revenue for an additional $430,000 over two years. 
A intra-government loan from the Agate Beach Landfill closure fund will cover the 5 percent contingency recommended to cover unexpected costs. The city plans to negotiate a lease-purchase agreement for an adjacent property at  at $3,950 month to gain an additional 100 parking spaces. Additionally, the city will recognize an economy in sharing mutual reception staff for the existing Recreation Center and the Aquatic Center
Public Invited to Groundbreaking 
City officials are inviting the public to the groundbreaking, which will take place at noon on Oct.26 on the patio at the Newport Recreation Center. 
The community is invited to attend the groundbreaking for the city’s new Aquatic Center. This event will be held on Monday, October 26, 2015, at noon, on the patio at the Newport Recreation Center, 225 SE Avery Street (enter through the main entrance of the Recreation Center). The event is free and open to the public. 
The event will begin with an introduction by City Manager Spencer Nebel, followed by short speeches by: 
Mayor Sandra Roumagoux
Parks and Recreation Director Jim Protiva
Aquatics Supervisor Kathy Cline
Shannon Blackburn, member of the Newport Swim Club
Scott Stolarczyk, Project Architect with Robertson Sherwood Architects
Adam Perna, Executive Vice President, Pavilion Construction 
Immediately following the speeches, ground will be broken on the Aquatic Center project. Refreshments will follow. 
The Newport Recreation Center is located at  225 SE Avery Street (enter through the main entrance of the Recreation Center). The event is free and open to the public. 
For more information, please contact Spencer Nebel, City Manager, at 541.574.0603 or [email protected] 
 

Georgia Pacific Closes Olalla Reservoir to the Public

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TOLEDO--Georgia Pacific has closed its Olalla Reservoir to the public over concerns that low water levels have created a safety hazard on the popular lake east of Toledo. 
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Georgia-Pacific usually keeps the reservoir open to the public for recreational purposes, but closed it effective sundown on Oct. 8.
"After careful study and consultation with state regulatory agencies, we’ve determined that declining water levels beyond our control have created an elevated safety hazard at the reservoir," The company said in a press release.  "In particular, the earthen slopes leading to the water have become too steep for visitors to safely navigate.""

Georgia-Pacific is suspending public access to the reservoir until the water rises to a safe level for visitors. The access gate will be locked 24 hours a day, a no trespassing sign will be posted and only authorized personnel will be allowed to enter the reservoir area. GP will notify the public when access is restored.
What is the reservoir used for?
The reservoir provides water to GP’s Toledo mill for the production of containerboard (the mill buys its drinking water from the city of Toledo). The company built the reservoir at the same time the mill was constructed (1956-57). For many years, GP also has allowed the public to use its reservoir during daylight hours for recreational purposes, such as fishing, swimming, boating and hiking (hunting is not allowed). Each fall, GP closes the gravel boat launch at the reservoir as a safety precaution due to seasonally low water levels.
Where does the reservoir get its water?
The reservoir is fed by a combination of rainfall, streams (currently dry) and surface water pumped from the Siletz River (currently too low to pump under GP’s permit with the state). 
What is GP doing to conserve water at the mill? 
We strive every day to use water responsibly, but when levels are low, we look for additional opportunities to reduce water use. Various conservation measures implemented earlier this year in our production processes save about 20 percent of water daily.
At what water level are mill operations affected? 
GP continues to study the potential effects of low water levels in the reservoir on operations. As with any large manufacturing facility, we have contingency plans in place for various situations, including water scarcity. For now, we continue to operate normally. We will advise you if that changes.

Oregon State Police Continue Death Investigation at Moolack Beach

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LINCOLN COUNTY-On Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 at about 4:39 p.m., Oregon State Police Troopers responded to Moolack Beach in Lincoln County for a death investigation.
According to OSP Lieutenant Justin McGladrey, a male identified as Thomas Robert Heresco, 2...

Pacific Hurricane Bringing Hazardous Beach Conditions to Oregon Coast

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By Larry Coonrod
LINCOLN COUNTY—Large southwest swells generated by Hurricane Oho hundreds of mile out in the Pacific Ocean. is expected to generate large southwest swells, creating hazardous beach conditions starting Thursday night. 
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The swell is expected to arrive in coastal waters along the north and central Oregon coast late Thursday night or early Friday. Forecasters predict the swells could reach 14 feet on Friday, creating extremely hazardous conditions as the waves break over south to southwest facing beaches. The storm could generate significant surf as well. 

Emergency response officials are urging the public to exercise extreme caution if venturing onto beaches this weekend and to avoid the surf zone and jetties as breaking waves can sweep people into the water and cause injury or death by rolling driftwood and other larger debris.  Even a small log can weigh hundreds of pounds when waterlogged, and can me moved by just a few inches of water.
The Oregon Parks Department advises people to never turn their back on the ocean and to keep a constant eye out for large incoming waves.  If a sneaker wave comes onshore and sweeps someone out to sea, do not swim in after them. Call 9-1-1 and keep an eye on them until help arrives. If possible, throw them a rope or life preserver.
A southwest of this magnitude is some what uncommon and may cause erosion areas that do not commonly see impact from incoming waves. Hurricane Oho was 815 miles northeast of Hawaii on Wednesday moving on a northward track. Weather forecasters expect Oho to remain well offshore as it loses steam and transitions into an extratropical system later Thursday and through the weekend.

Planned Power Outage Wednesday Night for Some Lincoln County Pacific Power Customers

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About 1,360 Pacific Power customers from Siletz Highway south, through the Salishan area to all of Gleneden Beach, including the north end of Coronado Shores will be without electricity overnight Wednesday, Oct 7 and into Thursday morning so Pacific Power crews can safely replace essential electrical equipment and facilities.
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The outage is scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. Wednesday night, Oct. 7 and could last until 7 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8, although power will be restored at the first opportunity. Customers in the affected area have been notified individually about the outage. Lodging and restaurant operators are encouraged to make sure their guests are aware of the interruption, as well.

“Pacific Power needs to shut off power temporarily to upgrade some essential equipment,” said Alan Meyer, Pacific Power regional business manager. “We have timed the outage to minimize inconvenience to our customers,” If customers have questions about the planned outage, they can call Pacific Power at 1-888-221-7070. Any outages during that time in other parts of the community should continue to be reported to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088.

Rare Tropical Booby fills up on Northwest Seafood at Oregon Coast Aquarium then Catches Flight South

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NEWPORT—A tropical masked booby (Sula dactylatra), that was picked up in Newport is now settling into a warmer locale. The juvenile bird is the second of its species ever reported north of Mendocino County, California.
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The booby was underweight, weighing 1,405 grams, when it arrived at the Oregon Coast Aquarium for rehabilitation on September 11.
Due to the continued threat of avian influenza, Aquarium staff followed isolation quarantine procedures, which required any person that worked with the booby to avoid Aquarium’s resident birds that day. State veterinarians worked quickly to obtain the necessary samples for testing, and when blood test results for the disease came back negative, they transitioned to regular quarantine protocols that provided the bird its own private condominium.
Despite the logistical challenges, the Aquarium’s aviculturists tended their surprise patient with enthusiasm.

“Working with a booby was a new experience for our staff, and we quickly learned they are a favorite of many staff who asked about its progress every day,” said CJ McCarty, Curator of Birds for the Aquarium.
Aviculturists introduced nutrition to the booby gradually, starting with fluids, then a fishy shake and finally whole fish to ensure the bird was adequately hydrated to successfully digest food.
Under the care of McCarty and her team, the bird soon started to pack on the grams and was strong enough to travel. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service arranged for a free flight for the booby courtesy of Alaska Air Cargo.
“Our employees take great pride in treating these animals with the utmost care. We were thrilled to be able to help this masked booby make her way to the rehabilitation center, and hopefully, soon back in the wild in her traditional habitat,” said Bobbie Egan, Alaska Air Cargo spokesperson.
The booby arrived at International Bird Rescue (IBR) in San Pedro, California late September 30, and is reportedly doing well. IBR’s animal care team will ensure it is stable before releasing it back into the wild. Based on its body condition, they anticipate the booby may take a boat ride out to an open sea release location in the near future. 
The typical range of masked boobies is the warm waters of the Caribbean, across the Pacific Ocean to Australia and Indonesia.
The booby might have made its way home on its own, had it not sustained damage to its flight feathers when a well-meaning person grabbed it off a dock in an attempt to help it.
People that find a wild animal they believe to be distressed should not approach or touch the animal. When in doubt, contact Oregon State Police at 800-452-7888, fish and wildlife officials, or qualified wildlife rehabilitators who can provide instructions on how to catch and transport the animal safely if they feel it is appropriate.
Members of the public are encouraged to watch for rare birds in the coming months. The ocean’s projected warm, nutrient-poor conditions associated with El Niño and winter storms may increase the number of injured birds appearing on the Oregon Coast.
Masked boobies are the largest members of the booby family, with a wingspan that exceeds five feet. The word “booby” is derived from the Spanish word “bobo,” which means “stupid fellow.” The name was likely inspired by boobies’ clumsy movement on land, which is typical of seabirds, and their lack of fear of humans.
The nonprofit Oregon Coast Aquarium is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. It is located at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. www.aquarium.org, 541-867-3474. Follow  on Facebook.com/OregonCoastAquarium, or Twitter.com/OrCoastAquarium for the latest updates.

Oregon Coast Health Advisory for Soft-Shell Clams to Include Gapers

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The Oregon Health Authority is updating an existing health advisory to include gaper clams (Tresus capax), which were found to contain high levels of naturally occurring arsenic.
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The advisory was updated today by the OHA Public Health Division after gaper clams were tested during a second round of sampling. It now applies to soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) and gaper clams collected anywhere along the Oregon Coast. OHA recommends removing the skin from the siphon, or “neck” of soft-shell and gaper clams before eating them. This is because the inorganic arsenic that is harmful to human health is concentrated in the siphon skin. Removal of the skin before eating reduces the inorganic arsenic to levels that are not harmful. 

The advisory is most important for recreational harvesters who dig their own clams. Soft-shell and gaper clams are collected primarily from estuaries and intertidal regions of the Oregon Coast. 
Limited commercial harvest and sale of gaper clams for human consumption occurs in Oregon. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) regulates the safety of commercially harvested shellfish. ODA will ensure that commercial dealers instruct retailers and consumers to remove siphon skins from gaper clams before eating them. 
Those planning to eat soft-shell or gaper clams with or without siphon skins should review OHA’s recommended meal limits, available at www.healthoregon.org/fishadv. 
Two other clam species, cockles and butter clams, also were tested for arsenic during the same sampling period. Arsenic levels in both of these species were found to be well below the level that is harmful to human health, so cockles and butter clams are not included in the health advisory update. As mentioned in the July 13 advisory for soft-shell clams, California mussels and purple varnish clams also can be harvested and consumed without concern. 
Public health officials say that since the arsenic detected in clams is naturally occurring, the advisory is likely to be permanent. 
In addition to arsenic, testing included a wide variety of other potential contaminants to shellfish, including metals, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, tributyltin, flame retardants and other substances. None of these other contaminants were present in any of the species at high enough concentrations to pose a risk to human health. 
By issuing the advisory, health officials hope to increase the public’s awareness of shellfish contaminants and ways to reduce human exposure to them. While it is important for people to know about contaminants in shellfish, it is equally important to include shellfish as part of a healthy diet. 
To learn more about the health benefits from eating fish and shellfish, and get information about consumption advisories and guidelines in Oregon, visit the OHA Fish and Shellfish Consumption advisories and guidelines website at www.healthoregon.org/fishadv.

State Rep. David Gomberg Files for Re-election

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Lincoln City small businessman David Gomberg has filed to run again for State Representative in the sprawling 10th House District. The district ranges from the Tillamook city limits to Yachats and inland to Sheridan and Falls City.
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"I'm honored and I'm proud to represent this very special part of Oregon,” Gomberg said. “I committed to frequently visit every corner of our large and diverse district. I've made a point to listen. And I worked hard to reflect the values and interests of the people from the central coast and Coastal Range."
Gomberg was first elected in 2012. He has focused on advocating for small business, tourism, the environment, education, and older Oregonians. In his first term, he was the only House member appointed to the Governor's Commission on Senior Services and was named Oregon Legislator of the Year by the Humane Society of the United States for his work on animal welfare.

In 2014, Gomberg ran for re-lection. He is a Democrat but was nominated by the Democrat, Republican, Independent, and Working Families parties.
"I was proud to earn the endorsement of Democrats, Republicans, andIndependents in the last election. I sincerely believe that good things happen when we work together,” Gomberg saidl “That's why I first decided to run for the State Legislature. That's why I'm running again. I'm running to continue working for the kids and families who live in our district, for our seniors, and for our small businesses."
In 2015, Gomberg was appointed to co-chair the influential Transportation and Economic Development subcommittee of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. He was recently elected to a leadership position in the Democratic Caucus, providing an important Coastal perspective to the largely metropolitan panel.
For his advocacy of education, Representative Gomberg was the recipient of the first "Friend of the College" award from Oregon Coast Community College.
Susan and David Gomberg own Gomberg Kite Productions and Northwest Winds Kite stores.
"I don't think there are five legislators in Salem that actually own cash registers." said Gomberg. "That's gives me a unique perspective which reflects our core economies of fishing, farming, and tourism in our small business district."
Oregon's primary election will be held in May 2016 with the general election following in November.

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