Local News Digest – Russian Delegation; Reedsport man dies; Port Manager chosen; Great Pumpkin and Coal

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International exchange brings Russian delegation

About a dozen representatives of watershed councils from Far East Russia are set to begin a visit to the Siuslaw River this week.  Despite language and cultural differences, there are many similarities between the Oregon Coast and Sakhalin Island and the Kamchatka Peninsula.  That’s according to Johnny Sundstrom with the Siuslaw Institute.


Johnny Sundstrom – “The natural resource issues, if people are involved, are similar worldwide.” (click to hear comment)

Salmon restoration projects have brought together a variety of groups in Oregon to help bring back once thriving salmon runs.  Since winning the prestigious Thiess (theess) River Prize five years ago, members of the Siuslaw Watershed Council have been reaching out to help similar restoration efforts in the Western Pacific.  Sundstrom says there is a common thread.


Johnny Sundstrom – “If we view it that way, and all the people that have depended on it and who care about it and who utilize it, all those people, all around the Pacific Ocean have a common interest, and salmon are the messengers in the northern Pacific.” (click to hear comment)

The Russian Delegation will tour restoration efforts on the Siuslaw River and meet with local officials in Western Lane County during a three-day visit beginning tomorrow.

Port announces hiring of manager

An Army veteran and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point is set to take over as the manager of the Port of Siuslaw later next month.  Bob Minkewicz will be on the job November 21st says interim manager Susy Lacer.  The 54-year old from Brick, New Jersey has been most recently working as a civilian contractor in Iraq.  The former manager, Mark Freeman, left under a mutual agreement with the Port of Siuslaw Commission in September after serving 3 ½ years.

Single vehicle crash kills one

A Reedsport man died Thursday afternoon in a single-vehicle crash on Lower Smith River Road.  A Douglas County Sheriff’s spokesman said 51-year old Randy Schauwecker was driving when his vehicle left the road and flipped.  A passing motorist spotted the man’s Nissan pickup off the road about 2:00 Thursday afternoon.  Schauwecker was wearing a seat belt.

It’s the Great Pumpkin

For the 22nd straight year kids in Florence will line up for a free pumpkin tomorrow afternoon during the KCST annual Great Pumpkin Giveaway.   The pumpkins are provided by Pat and Tim Lemhouse of Florence True Value who also provide space at Old School Furniture for the giveaway.  The Boys and Girls Club will be offering games and treats and the Florence-Siuslaw Lions Club will be giving away free hot dogs and root beer.  It’s tomorrow afternoon from three to five pm.

Coal could be hauled on local rails

Coos Bay could become the west coast’s second coal export terminal if negotiations pan out.  A formal agreement to negotiate with an unnamed coal shipper was discussed Thursday by the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay.  A similar proposal to ship millions of tons of Montana and Wyoming coal to Asia by way of the Columbia River Port of Longview has been challenged by environmentalists.  The Coos Bay proposal would utilized the recently restored Coos Bay Rail Link.  Currently the only other export terminal for coal on the west coast is in British Columbia.