By Kiera MorganThe Newport City Council during a special meeting on Monday considered an opportunity to apply for funding from the NOAA Coastal Resilience Grant in the amount of $1.5 million. Of this amount, $500,000 would come in local funds and in-kind matching funds with $1 million being provided by NOAA. Jenny Demaris Lincoln County emergency manager along with Sue Graves with the Lincoln County School District gave a presentation about the grant to the council on June 15th.
Jenny indicated that the local match would be covered by the Board of Commissioners utilizing their Annual Public Safety Emergency Grant Program of $30,000 per year towards this project for four fiscal years. In addition, they would be requesting other governmental districts to provide matching funds. According to Newport City Manager Spencer Nebel this grant opportunity could be very significant for Lincoln County. He said if the grant is awarded it is a great opportunity for the city to participate.
If the grant is awarded, funds will be used for: 1.The purchase and placement of a 100
disaster supply caches throughout Lincoln County. 2. The development of an emergency
water plan that will review current water systems throughout the County to determine the
capability to provided purified water during catastrophic events. 3. The development and
implementation of a citizen and business emergency water education plan to include
resilience building in homes and businesses. Continue reading
On Sunday, June 28, 2015 at about 1:45 p.m., Newport Police Officers were dispatched to the Subway Restaurant located at 1522 N. Coast Highway. There was a report that two pedestrians had been struck by a motorist who then fled the scene. During their investigation, Officers learned Randy C. Parsons, age 51 of Newport, was driving a green 2014 Toyota pickup when he exited the south parking lot of the Subway Restaurant. Dee Dee R. King, age 44, and Annie Stofle, age 20, both of Albany, Oregon, were walking south on the sidewalk, on the east side of Highway 101.
Parsons exited the parking lot and struck both King and Stofle with his vehicle.He stopped, asked if they were alright, then drove away north on Highway 101 without providing his name or phone number. When struck, King rolled up onto the hood of Parsons’ vehicle. She was complaining of abdominal pain, and transported to Good Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital for evaluation. Stofle was struck in the hip, complained of pain, but refused medical treatment at the scene. Officers were able to locate Parsons at his residence where he was taken into custody at the Lincoln County Jail for Fail to Perform the Duties of a Driver. His bail was set at $50,000.
By Larry Coonrod
Firefighter Gabriella Cook uses a drip torch to ignite a burnout during a training exercise next to the Alsea Bay on June 28. Cook is a volunteer with Central Oregon Coast Fire & Rescue and a paid summer intern with the Newport Fire Department. (Photo by Larry Coonrod)
WALDPORT—While one doesn’t usually think of the Oregon coast as forest fire country, an extremely dry year has local firefighters training for the worst. This past weekend, Central Oregon Coast Fire & Rescue teamed up with the Newport and Yachats fire departments and Oregon Department of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service crews for a hands on wildland firefighting exercise. Firefighters burned a large field overgrown with brush and grass on the south side of Alsea Bay. They used flares and drip torches to simulate controlled backfires and burnouts.
Fighting Fire with Fire
On actual wild fires, burnouts are used to burn an area in front of an advancing fire to starve it for fuel. While it’s standard practice for the experienced Forest Service and Department of Forestry crews, it’s not a technique local firefighters use battling structure fires. “We’re used to taking care of buildings,” said Central Coast Fire Chief Dennis Cannon. “These guys are used to just having five gallons of water and putting out a very large wildland fire.”
Local fire departments deploy personnel to fires around the state as part of a Lincoln County task force. The June 28 training burn in Waldport gave local firefighters the opportunity to work alongside the state and federal teams they would work with on a deployment. “What we’re trying to do is build a little bit more of a comradery during a non-emergency issue,” Cannon said. “Most of the time when we get state, federal and local agencies together it’s usually because there’s a big disaster or emergency that’s going on.”
The Yaquina Wheels Bicycle Club hopes build a pump bicycle track near Oregon Coast Community College similar to the one pictured above. During a recent Newport City Council public hearing, neighbors expressed concern that the track would increasing parking congestion because the area already has popular dog park and disc gold course. (Photo by Miroslav Zigo)
By Larry Coonrod
NEWPORT—The quest to find a home for a pump bicycle track hit a bump last week when neighbors near the proposed site raised concerns about its effect on parking. Earlier in June, the Newport City Council gave the Parks and Recreation Department the go ahead to move forward with the permitting of a pump track in the Wilder development property in South Beach. Because the area is outside city limits, the permit must go through the Lincoln County Planning Department. The Yaquina Wheels Bicycle Club will pay for constructing the dirt track and club members will maintain it. In a similar arrangement, Wilder also donated use of its land for the dog park and disc golf course adjacent to Harborton Street and the city maintains them.
A bicycle pump track is a series of dirt hills—known as rollers— and berms built in a loop that bicyclists attempt to ride continually without pedaling. Forward momentum is maintained by “pumping” the
bike through the roller sections. The wooded area around the Wilder development already has number of bicycle trails. “This could be a very nice opportunity where we could incorporate with other bicycle activity that’s going on in that area,” said Newport Parks and Recreation Director Jim Protiva.
“It’s going to be designed and thought of as more of a family event where parents can bring their kids.”
By Kiera Morgan
The Port of Newport board of commissioners discussed where they are at in regards to being considered for home porting two fast response coast guard cutters. Newport is a finalist along with two ports in Astoria. Port general manager Kevin Greenwood explained to the port commissioners that there are still a lot of questions that have gone left unanswered. He said in the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) the Coast Guard showed that two berths at the NOAA port would be available for use.
In a letter sent to Coast Guard officials Greenwood said NOAA has not yet officially determined if they are able to provide any long term berthing at MOC-P. Greenwood said asking for additional pier space and wharfage would have major ramifications on the costs of the project not to mention the environmental impacts that would most likely require mitigation. Port Commissioner David Jinks expressed his concerns. Continue reading
On June 13th Newport police along with a county inmate work crew cleaned up an area above the Newport bayfront known as Heroin Hill. According to Jim Palmer Newport community service officer police had made contact with several transients in this area to trespass them from camping there. The area is right above the bayfront near the union hall off of 13th and Fall Street.
Palmer said it got to a point where the transients started using scrap material to build a structure with separate rooms. Police also started to get more complaints of increased crime in the area around the bayfront plus negative interactions with transients who were high or drunk. They received complaints of problems with locals and visitors, fighting and increased drug use.
Palmer said police decided that enough was enough. “We cleaned three large camps and four or five smaller camps. By taking down their established sites it will discourage them from coming back.” Palmer said about three weeks prior they served notice that the people there were trespassing and setting up illegal camping on city property and the area would be cleaned and the camps removed.
Officers and the county inmate work crew removed over 4,000 pounds of trash and garbage from the area during the cleanup. He said police are continuing to monitor the area and do occasional sweeps to prevent transients from moving back. Anyone who sees someone camping where they shouldn’t should contact Newport police at 541-574-3348.
Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee has provided funding for the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter facility in Newport to stay open through September 2016. The funding was included in the Homeland Security appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016, which passed the committee this morning. The bill must still pass the full Senate and the House of Representatives and be signed by the President for the funding to be assured.
“The Newport helicopter facility has helped save countless lives over the years and now we are one step closer to keeping it open for an additional year,” said Merkley. “It’s crucial that we keep this lifesaving facility operating on Oregon’s central coast.”
“I’m gratified that the Senate Appropriations Committee heard my request loud and clear and provided the critical funding to keep Newport’s air facility open through September 2016,” Wyden said. “Today’s good news about this extension for the Coast Guard station provides us more time to seek a long-term permanent solution that recognizes the facility must remain in Newport. Given the Coast Guard’s record of saving lives in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean, keeping that facility open in Newport is literally a life-or-death question.” Continue reading