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Sea Otter Awareness Day Celebrated October 1

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Everyone knows that sea otters are “otterly” adorable. It’s an indisputable fact: the Earth revolves around our sun, the sky is blue, and otters are cute. Beyond their looks and antics, sea otters boast incredible adaptations to their chilly marine environment and are considered an ecological “keystone” species.

In the wild, sea otters prey on sea urchins, which graze on the holdfasts of kelp. Enough urchin-grazing can eventually cut these massive strands of algae loose, which then drift off and die. When sea otters aren’t around to keep urchin populations in check, these kelp forests—and all the species that depend on them—can suffer. Thus sea otters are a keystone in the kelp forest ecosystem: take them away, and the whole foundation can collapse.

Sea Otter Awareness Day celebrates the vital role that these threatened animals play in the nearshore ecosystem, and highlights how the Oregon Coast Aquarium provides top-notch animal care for its four rescued sea otters: Judge, Schuster, Nuka and Oswald. The Aquarium will honor this international celebration of sea otters on Saturday, October 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Our event is an exciting way to teach people about the ecological importance of sea otters along the Pacific coast, as well as demonstrate steps we can all take to create a healthier environment for them,” said Lindsey Sprague, a marine mammologist at the Aquarium. “Our four rescued sea otters serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts, and guests will have the opportunity to come behind the scenes with us for a sneak peek into how we look after our ‘boys’!”

Displays and presentations will include information about how Aquarium staff train, feed and care for sea otters. Those on the behind the scenes tour will get a glimpse of what goes in to sea otter husbandry, from restaurant-quality seafood preparation to the enormous collection of toys and other enrichment items that keep these energetic marine mammals too busy to get into their own mischief. Additionally, sea otter facts will be spread throughout the Aquarium’s exhibits to greet visitors as they explore Oregon’s coastal and marine environments.

The Aquarium’s four rescued sea otters comprise the largest group of permanent, resident sea otters in Oregon. Sea otters were once abundant along the Oregon Coast but were hunted to extinction, and are only occasionally sighted locally to this day. The southern population is currently listed as threatened with endangerment, and the northern population also faces challenges.

Despite sea otters’ perilous position in the wild, people of all ages can help by reducing their use of single-use plastics. These buoyant bits of litter often end up in the ocean, where curious otters sometimes mistake them for food. Additionally, bagging and disposing of cat waste—rather than flushing it—helps reduce otters’ exposure to feline pathogens, to which they are fatally susceptible. These practices are even meaningful for inland residents, as an estimated 80 percent of marine debris originates from land-based sources.

Sea Otter Awareness Day activities are free with Aquarium admission. For more information, visit aquarium.org or call 541-867-FISH.

Newport Bayfront Mural Tour Walk!

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Newport Bayfront
Ken Gagne photo

As part of the celebration of Arts and Humanities Month in Newport, the community is invited to participate in a Bayfront Mural Walk. The Walk will be held on Saturday, October 8, 2016, beginning at 3:00 P.M., on Newport’s historic Bayfront. Brochures with maps will be available on the day of the walk at the Forinash Gallery, 856 SW Bay Boulevard, and at the corner of Hatfield Drive and Bay Boulevard. The brochures are available in advance at City Hall, 169 SW Coast Highway.

The maps will identify murals that embellish the sides of various industrial, retail, and commercial buildings and other structures. There are nearly two dozen murals that line SW Bay Boulevard from Hatfield Drive to the U.S. Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay which express a maritime story that is unique to Newport.

Artist Rick Chambers is the painter of the majority of the murals, but other artists have contributed to the storied walls of the Bayfront for many years.

The City of Newport Public Art Committee is working on a project that would assist in the restoration and maintenance of this irreplaceable cultural asset. Some of the murals have already disappeared, and the Committee is reviewing possible mural sponsorship opportunities. The goal of the Committee is to work with property owners, and other mural enthusiasts, to ensure that locals and visitors can enjoy the murals for a very long time.

The Noble Estate Winery will be distributing two-for-one tasting coupons to Mural Walk participants to visit its Newport tasting room which is located at 146 SW Bay Boulevard.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 8, 2016 for a special tour of Newport’s Bayfront murals.
For more information, please contact Peggy Hawker, City Recorder, at 541.574.0613 or [email protected]

ODOT Bridge Report

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Research showing what a sizable earthquake could do to Oregon’s bridges is included for the first time in the latest bridge condition report from the Oregon Department of Transportation – and it points the way to improving bridges statewide. The 2016 Bridge Condition Report(PDF), using research findings reported annually to the Federal Highway Administration, shows that almost three-quarters of the state’s bridges were built before modern seismic design specifications. Though investments in the past decade have shored up more than 270 bridges across the state, hundreds more remain vulnerable.The 2016 report estimates that addressing anticipated preservation and backlog of replacement projects for the next 20 years would cost $435 million per year. Simply to maintain Oregon’s aging bridges in their current condition, ODOT would need to spend an estimated $240 million annually – approximately $155 million in additional funding for state highway bridges.

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More than half of the bridges in the state’s inventory were built prior to 1970, and 57 percent will reach the end of their design lives by 2020. (See Figure 2, from the report’s executive summary.) With increased maintenance and repair, most of ODOT’s bridges can have a longer service life – but this does not hold true for a large number of bridges built during the Interstate-era of the 1950s and 1960s that are still in use today. Many of those bridges were designed for loads smaller than allowed by state law since the mid-1980s, and preserving them is not cost-effective.

Over the next two decades, ODOT expects approximately 900 state highway bridges to require repair or replacement, but limited funding will allow us to address only about 300 of those. Deferred maintenance will eventually require the bridges ODOT can’t repair to be weight restricted, meaning certain trucks have to take longer routes or break up heavy loads onto multiple trucks, increasing time and costs. These impacts are extremely harmful to Oregon as a heavily trade-dependent state.

The 2016 Bridge Condition Report is available online. In addition to seismic data, it includes tunnel evaluations, steel bridge paint conditions and case studies for the first time.

Raw sewage in Schooner Creek

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End of 68th

Raw sewage is getting in to Schooner Creek and flowing into the ocean through late tonight. Should be fixed by midnight or so. The entire sewage capture system has been in the process of being rebuilt. It’s nearly complete so major leaks don’t keep happening. The system is very old.

Where Schooner Creek empties into the ocean. Stay out of the creek and away from the area where the creek contacts the ocean. Walking the beach is fine but don’t go in the water.

LC to host ‘Swimposium’ for fourth time

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Lincoln City will be reaffirmed this weekend as a hub for swimming organization, leadership, training and competition when the Oregon Swimposium is held in the city for the fourth time in 19 years and second since 2014.

“We have some excellent speakers for the coaches, we have [Olympic gold medalist] Misty Hyman coming for the athletes, and we have parent education, along with official and volunteers training,” Lincoln City Swim Club coach Lissa Parker said.

Coaches and officials clinics will be held Saturday and Sunday at Taft High 7-12, while the Lincoln City Community Center will hold clinics for athletes and parents. Oregon Swim Coaches Association and USA Swimming are sponsoring the convention.

“On Sunday, we will have our House of Delegates meeting at Taft, where we decide on legislation for the following year,” Parker said.

A clinic for swimmers 13 and over will be held from 8-11 a.m. Saturday and 4-6 p.m. for kids 12 and under.

Speakers include international USA Swimming committee member Cecil Gordon, Governance Consultant for USA Swimming Jane Grosser and Olympic butterfly specialist Hyman, now coach at Arizona State.

Recently retired Maya DiRado, a multi-event swimmer who won two gold medals. a silver and a bronze at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, attended the 2014 convention in Lincoln City, Parker said.

Register online at [email protected] or the day of registration.

For more information, visit http://www.swimming.org/

What’s a Fire Hydrant Doing in City Hall?

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By Justin Werner

On the third floor of the City Hall building in Lincoln City there is a fire hydrant. Why you ask?

I took my family to City Hall so I could take a picture of the City Council chambers for a story I’m going to write about the upcoming election. I was having a great time explaining to the children about the colorful posters that decorate the walls.

“This one shows visitors to Lincoln City where they can hunt for glass floats!” I said as they listened intently.

City Hall Fire Hydrant
Kennedy K-81

“And this is a … fire hydrant?”

I was perplexed. What was a fire hydrant doing on the third floor? Did the Fire Department actually hook up hoses in the middle of the hallway? This was not any ordinary fire hydrant either. It was beautiful. We all know the classic fire hydrant which is usually yellow and shows obvious signs of weathering. This particular fire hydrant was absolutely immaculate and it was a very pretty blue. The Lincoln City logo was painted on the front and the nuts were gold. Gold chains adorned it and it looked like something you would see in a movie where the streets are gold and all the people smile and wave at you. My kids ran to it and started playing with it.

“What is it doing here?” I said under my breath.

city hall fire hydrant Seeking answers I went to the Public Works desk where a very nice person had left two plastic hard hats out for our kids.

Kevin Mattias was responsible for the nice gesture and more importantly, had some answers about the fire hydrant. I found out from him that this was not a working hydrant. There were no working parts inside it at all. It was hollow. Additionally he told me it was not hooked up to any water source. When I asked about the history of the hydrant he referred me to a Dave Scheib. Kevin said the front desk people could put me in touch with him.

skyler-werner The kids wanted me to talk to Dave immediately so I explained the process to them and at some point they realized they would have to leave the hydrant behind. My younger daughter Alaina had no problem with this but my older son Skyler did not want to go. It was the equivalent of telling him it was time to leave the playground. After a brief negotiation period I convinced him to leave. I am out two Oreo cookies as of the writing of this story.

The ladies at the front desk were ever so nice to put in a call to Dave Scheib so he would have my number and hopefully fill me in on the story of the blue and white fire hydrant. My wife took the kids down the elevator so they could look out through the glass and I decided to take the stairs to see if I could beat them to the ground floor.

Dave’s call came as I was jumping down the stairs. I dropped to the ground, opened my notepad, and prepared to take notes. Within the first minute I could tell that Dave was great at his job. He knew the model of the hydrant (Kennedy K-81) and even touched on some of the parts. He told me he teaches a class on fire hydrants and makes sure every volunteer fire fighter knows not to shut down a hydrant too fast or it can create a Water Hammer and do damage to the main. I told him that I didn’t know that and you learn something new everyday. He laughed. Turns out Dave is a pretty funny guy.

When Dave said the fire hydrant had been there for over ten years I was shocked. Had I really missed this artistic fire hydrant the whole time? Why did I see it now? Maybe it was because of my kids. Toddlers are at that height so maybe my brain made the connection because of that.

lincoln city public works We continued talking about the fire hydrant and I learned about how it came into existence. Dave Scheib wanted to standardize the fire hydrants. Dave, his supervisor, Lila Bradley, and their engineer went into action to streamline the fire hydrant system around 2005. Back then there were several different kinds of hydrants and the maintenance people who worked on them would need to carry all kinds of different parts in the trucks to be able to fix them. This was not very efficient so Dave picked one fire hydrant “to rule them all” the Kennedy K-81 for its durability, simplicity, and Made In America stamp. The Kennedy K-81 is easy to work on and you only need to order the parts for one fire hydrant.

They powder coated the City Hall Fire Hydrant and put it where it is today to commemorate a standardized fire hydrant system.

Kids love it.

 

 

Comedy Contraband at the Eventuary

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Jon Richardson

If there is a tariff on tittering or a levy on laughter, Lincoln City’s Eventuary is determined to help comedy fans avoid it by smuggling in a host of humorists for two evenings of Comedy Contraband this weekend.

Returning to host the shows is Jon Richardson, a Seattle-based comic with more than 10 years’ experience at stand up and improv comedy.

Fans voted Richardson 10th out of 166 comedians in Joan Rivers Comedy Contest in 2013. He has been a regular at the World Famous Comedy Store, has appeared on Bravo’s “LOL” and “Watch What Happens Live” and can currently be seen doing comedic recaps shows and reality star interviews on “Your Reality Recaps.”

Richardson will be joined on stage by Jennifer Cargill and Erin Plischke, who make up the improv duo Carskee. The pair have been teaching improv since 1998 and have performed at ComedySportz Austin, Improv Olympic, Annoyance Theater and The Second City Conservatory, all in Chicago. They have also taught specialty workshops with Jet City and have privately coached for numerous improv groups around Seattle.

Rounding out the lineup is Amanda Walker, a self-described comedy nerd who’s been studying comedy her whole life. She is a proud member of the ensemble Mr. Snake as well as an all-female Harold group, Captain.

Comedy Contraband will begin at 6 pm on Friday, Sept. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Eventuary, 560 SW Fleet Street. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the Eventuary.

For more information, call 541-992-5628.

Drift Creek Falls Trail closes for repairs

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drift creek falls The popular trail to Drift Creek Falls near Lincoln City will close temporarily while repairs are made to a section of washed out trail, officials said in a news release.

The trail closes on Thursday, Sept. 29 and is expected to reopen around October 7. Visitors are encouraged to contact the Hebo Ranger Station before visiting to confirm that the trail has reopened (503-392-5100).

Approximately 100 feet of trail is washed out and has been depositing soil into Drift Creek.

The washout may be impacting fish migration, along with making the hike more challenging according to officials. Repairs will include construction of a rock gabion, or small retaining wall, and re-establishment of the walking surface.

OPERA FEST 2016 ON ITS WAY TO THE LCCC

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Lincoln City Cultural Center

Lincoln City Cultural Center

LINCOLN CITY – On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Lincoln City Cultural Center will play host to some of the most beautiful songs in the canon of musical theatre and opera: from “Carmen” to “Cosi Fan Tutti” and from “Rigoletto” to “The Mikado.” These selections will be performed live, in their original languages, by the astounding voices of the Cascadia Concert Opera. Showtime is 7 pm, and admission is by donation.

The artists of the CCO are calling this program “Opera Fest 2016,” and they’re performing it at six different venues in western Oregon this fall. It will feature Nathalie Fortin on piano, and will be led by artistic directors Vincent Centeno and Bereniece Jones-Centeno.

The ensemble performing in Lincoln City will be made up of: Bernie Robe, Brennan Guillory, Caroline Charlton, Evan Mitchell, Jocelyn Clair Thomas, Lois Stark, Phoebe Gildea, Rebecca Sacks, and Zachary Lenox.

Among the highlights: “It Ain’t Necessarily So” (“Porgy & Bess”), “Three Little Maids From School” (“The Mikado”), “Lonely House” (Andrew Weill’s “Street Scene”), and quintets from “The Magic Flute” and “Carmen.” They’ve also promised “Deh Vieni non Tardar” and “La Vendetta,” both from “The Marriage of Figaro,” and one of the most famous songs in all of opera, “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s “Turandot.” You may find new favorites, as well, after hearing “Hello, Hello, Oh Margaret” from “The Telephone,” or “Alto’s Lament” by the modern composer Zina Goldrich and lyricist Marcy Heisler.

Cascadia Concert Opera is a non-profit based in Eugene dedicated to engaging communities through the vibrant musical storytelling of opera. Each year they present opera in the early fall and tour numerous cities throughout the Pacific Northwest.

The Lincoln City performance of Opera Fest 2016 will begin at 7 pm on Saturday, Oct. 1. The doors to the LCCC auditorium, at 540 NE Hwy. 101, will open at 6:30 pm. Northwest beers and wines, and a selection of sodas, cookies and Mountain Man nuts will be sold at the volunteer-run concession table, with all proceeds going to the LCCC.