Researchers on the Pacific Storm, a research vessel operated by Oregon State University, tagged blue whales near the Channel Islands of California in 2006. The work was part of a 10-year study of apex predators in the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by Craig Hayslip, courtesy of OSU Marine Mammal Institute)
A comprehensive 15-year analysis of the movements of satellite-tagged blue whales off the West Coast of the United States found that their favored feeding areas are bisected by heavily used shipping lanes, increasing the threat of injury and mortality.
The researchers note that moving the shipping lanes off Los Angeles and San Francisco to slightly different areas – at least, during summer and fall when blue whales are most abundant – could significantly decrease the probability of ships striking the whales. A similar relocation of shipping lanes in the Bay of Fundy off eastern Canada lowered the likelihood of vessels striking endangered right whales an estimated 80 percent.
Results of the study – which was supported by the Office of Naval Research, the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation, private gifts to the Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute and others – are being published this week in the journal PLOS ONE.
The analysis is the most comprehensive study of blue whales movements ever conducted. It was led by researchers at Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute, who tracked the movement of blue whales off the West Coast to identify important habitat areas and environmental correlates, and subsequently to understand the timing of their presence near major ports and shipping traffic. Continue reading
The Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries will meet at 9 a.m. July 25 at the Hallmark Inn in Newport. Agenda items will include grant reports, current projects and upcoming plans. The commission will invite public comments. On the same day at 1:00 p.m. the Commission invites you to join them and the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board (OMCB) for a community planning session on a very important topic: The Future of Cemeteries in Oregon.
Both boards have noticed a trend of the increasing difficulty of getting new volunteers step in and help keep up the continuity of non-profit and often rural cemeteries–whether a non-operating pioneer cemetery, or a small operating one. With the high cremation rates in the Northwest, even the for-profit operating cemeteries are facing concerns of increasing operating costs for ongoing maintenance without the same level of new burials and revenue coming in as before. We want to compare notes on these trends and any others identified by the community. And then discuss what roll—if any—the public sector (either of our boards, or other state, county or city) should have in addressing these trends, or, simply in helping if and when a particular cemetery becomes abandoned. Melisa McDonald of Metro will be facilitating this very special session.
Please call or email Carla to RSVP for the afternoon session ASAP. 971.673.1507 or Carla.Knapp@state.or.us. The OMCB will hold its meeting regular meeting on July 24 at 1:00pm. Continue reading
By Kiera Morgan
In April Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall, chair of the Lincoln Community Land Trust approached the cities of Newport and Lincoln City along with the county asking for funding to support the hiring of a full time executive director. It was proposed to the county and the two cities to supply $30,000 each per year for three years to help pay for the director and the land trust. The director set up grants and donations to take over the funding steam after the three years, making the land trust self-sustaining by that point. When first approached with the idea, commissioners Thompson and Hunt approved the funding provided that the cities of Newport and Lincoln City did as well.
Lincoln City approved support of the program and now Newport has as well. Monday night (7/21) the city of Newport approved by a 5 to 1 vote to approve helping the land trust. Newport City Manager Spencer Nebel pointed out that the city as an employer has lost many qualified workers due to the unavailability to find affordable housing. The no vote came from councilor Ralph Busby who has been adamant through all the discussions that “the city shouldn’t be in the housing business”. The other Newport councilors however noted the positive effects of having affordable workforce housing available for economic development and growth. The other cities in Lincoln County show their support by being members of the trust.
Commissioner Hall said the trust provides income eligible buyers housing at below market value with affordable mortgage payments. The land trust owns the land and the homebuyer owns the home it sits on. In return, the home owner agrees that when ready to sell their home it has to be under the same land trust rules. Hall said the land trust hopes to build or rehabilitate at least 10 homes in Lincoln County over the next three years. Hall said he has also been appointed to a workgroup to help work on coming up with legislation to help provide more middle income workforce housing as this has been recognized statewide as an issue. The idea is to give property developers more tools to provide affordable workforce housing. For more details or to make a donation to the trust click on the logo at the top of the page.
South Beach area PUD customers called the radio station this morning reporting their power out. We got a hold of PUD and here is the explanation of what happened.
About 50 customers in the Idaho Point area of South Beach were out, beginning at 6:37 this morning, when an underground power line failed, causing an overhead wire to burn. The outage lasted about an hour and a half, and power was back on by 8 a.m. after a Central Lincoln crew isolated the problem and repaired the lines.
By Larry Coonrod
Lincoln County Dispatch
Justin Schmal of Granite, Washington with a coho salmon caught July 17 with Dockside Charters in Depoe Bay. Good weather and one of the largest coho sport fishing quotas in a decade has anglers streaming to the central Oregon coast, giving an economic boost to the charter boat operators and local businesses. (Photo by Larry Coonrod)
LINCOLN COUNTY-One of the best coho seasons in decades has charter boat operators and many local business owners smiling. The season for hatchery raised coho opened June 21 with a quota of 80,000 fin clipped salmon. A marked increase from the 10,500-hatchery quota in 2013. When the weather cooperates and provides calm seas, two fish limits have been the norm. “When you start getting limits for 14 customers plus crew, that’s pretty amazing,” says Barbara Powell with Captain’s Reel Deep Sea Fishing on the Newport Bayfront.
Salmon Synonymous with Coast
Hatcheries clip the small adipose fin in front of a salmon smolt’s tail to distinguish it from its wild brethren, which anglers must release unharmed until the non-selective coho season opens Aug. 30. “We’re throwing back 28-30 fish on top of what we are keeping,” Powell said of recent charter trips. Dockside Charters in Depoe Bay skipper Loren Goddard laughingly calls wild coho OFTM fish-as in one fin too many. Bottom fishing for rockfish and lingcod has been the bread and butter fishery for charter companies during the bad salmon years, but this year many customers are opting for salmon instead.“Salmon are synonymous with the coast and ocean fishing,” Goddard says.
Sport Fishing Economic Boost for Other Businesses
Sport fishing’s economic impact spreads beyond the charter fleet. Charter operators say many of their clients stay over at least one night. The Newport Chamber of Commerce estimates each person who stays overnight in Newport spends $137 per day. Newport day-trippers spend about $85 per person. Dylan McEntee of Mo’s Restaurants says how the charter companies are doing is an economic precursor for other Bayfront businesses.
“If they are loaded up for the week or weekend, I know it’s going to be busy, and I have to decide how to schedule my restaurants,” he said. “In years we have peak salmon seasons we see a noticeable difference in customers visiting the coast and coming into restaurants.”
The recently implemented Mixed Compostables service for Newport residents is off to a promising start. Carts were delivered the week of July 7 with the first week of collection starting July 14. Rob Thompson, President of Thompson’s Sanitary Service shared this about the program, “I’m very pleased with the customer participation of 41% placing their cart out for collection in the first week. That’s a higher percentage than we anticipated.” With the arrival of the tan-lidded carts, TSS customers can recycle their food waste, yard waste, and food-soiled paper with weekly curbside service.
Not only did 41% of Newport customers participate in the Mixed Compostables program in the first week, but the amount of compostable material in those carts yielded high results as well. In the first week of MC collection, customers diverted an average of 32% of their waste from the landfill in addition to the comingle recycling they already put out. That level of diversion from the landfill will more than meet the benchmark recovery goals set forth by the Newport City Council Resolution.
Rob Thompson goes on to say, “It’s been our experience with recycling programs that they only get better with time. Customers get used to the change and their habits improve as they understand just how easy it is to recycle.” As of press time, the second Monday results were even better than the first week of collection. While it’s early in the program, Thompson’s Sanitary Service is already very optimistic about the success of the program.
For more information or questions, please call the office at 541-265-7249, or visit our website at http://www.thompsonsanitary.com for the new Waste 101 brochure.
Information provided by Thompson’s Sanitary Service
By Kiera Morgan
The Newport City council repealed the temporary moratorium on medical marijuana dispensary facilities. The council approved business license endorsement standards for such facilities to operate in the city. House Bill 3460 allowed for the establishment of local governments to put moratoriums in place for medical marijuana dispensaries until local rules and controls where established. The City council forwarded the matter to the Planning Commission to determine whether the city should adopt local standards. The Planning Commission recommended that the City Council adopt standards regulating the conditions under which a facility may dispense medical marijuana. Council asked the Business License Task Force to consider the Planning Commission recommendations.
City manager Spencer Nebel noted that the state already has extensive regulations on medical marijuana facilities. The passed Ordinance amends the code as it relates to business licenses to create a special endorsement for medical marijuana dispensaries. In addition to dispensaries meeting the Oregon Health Authority requirements to receive a State license, local applicants will need to provide to the city proof of State registration, criminal background checks from personal responsible for the facility and for employees of the facility. It also establishes that the city will have the same access to any and all video surveillance records and recordings as required by the Oregon Health Authority for their oversight of licensed facilities.
The American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give. Donations through the Red Cross are down approximately 8 percent over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected. The number of donors continues to decline, and the shortfall is significant enough that the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks.
In addition, the Independence Day holiday falling on Friday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July. Many sponsors did not host drives because people took vacations either over the long weekend or for the entire week. In an average summer week, about 4,400 Red Cross blood drives are scheduled, compared to Independence Day week when only 3,450 drives occurred.
“Hospital patients continue to need lifesaving blood this summer, and they’re relying on the generosity of volunteer donors to give them hope in the days and weeks ahead,” said Jeff Allen, CEO for the Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region. “Please, consider giving the gift of life. Each day donations come up short, less blood is available for patients in need – and you never know when it could be your loved one needing blood.” Continue reading
The word “tuna” conjures images of a canned pantry staple, delicate sashimi over rice, or locally, fish and chips. Tuna is an important part of many peoples’ diets, but few consider the fish behind the food. The Oregon Coast Aquarium will help visitors take a bite into the story behind this keystone creature during Tuna Fisheries Day on Wednesday, July 23.
The Aquarium will create an environment of tuna-related discovery for guests of all ages to connect with these migratory fish that can swim as fast as 40 miles per hour. Interactive activities, including tuna sample tastings and learning to tie knots like commercial fishermen, will engage all five senses as visitors explore the world of tuna fish and sustainable seafood.
Youngsters will be able to connect with these formidable fish through age-appropriate interactive activities including pretending to be tuna and tuna fishermen, creating artwork related to tuna fish and even touching a real tuna in its original fish form. Continue reading