Local News: Storm Ready? Big Chill at the Port. Timber Revenues and Revenue Forecast

Coast Radio News
Local News

Are you Storm Ready?

With already one storm this week and more winter weather on the way it’s time to make sure you’re ready.  Chris Chandler with Central Lincoln PUD has some advice.

Chris Chandler – “I think it’s kind of a reverse Murphy’s Law.  If you’re prepared you probably won’t need it and if you’re not prepared, uh, you might.”

Coastal residents are advised to be prepared for a minimum of three days of isolation… just in case.

Central Lincoln PUD line crews work to replace one of several poles on Canary Road destroyed in a windstorm last month leaving some residents without power for several days.

Chris Chandler – “Make sure that you’ve got bottled water, ready to eat foods that don’t necessarily have to be heated and a can opener that doesn’t need electricity to operate.”

And it’s not just food and drink…

Chris Chandler – “Blankets, first aid kit, battery operated radio or one that has a hand crank.  Also, flashlights that either have up to date batteries or are on constant charge or extra batteries, those are important, things like that.”

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say a low pressure system dropping out of the Gulf of Alaska should bring gale force winds to the Central Oregon Coast this afternoon… with more systems expected early next week.

Increase in Timber Harvest could help public finances

A recent report authored by economists at Oregon State University shows that 33 of Oregon’s 36 Counties will share less than $15-million in timber sale revenue from federal lands in 2013.  That’s compared with the $230-million in “Secure Rural Schools” funding they split in 2008.  More than half of the land in Oregon is owned by the Federal Government, and for most of the past century much of it has produced timber.  The revenues generated have been shared with counties, but in the early 1990s those revenues began shrinking dramatically.

Congress passed a series of laws that supplemented them, but now that federal program is expiring with little hope of being extended.  Timber industry leaders and many public officials say the best approach would be to find ways to increase timber harvests as a way of generating revenue… and foregoing the federal program altogether.

Big Chill at the Port

Port of Siuslaw commissioners heard an update on an evaluation of the commercial ice machine.  It’s owned by the Siuslaw Fisherman’s Association which wrapped up a 7-year, $250-thousand community fund drive to rehabilitate the machine and return it to service earlier this year.  After making one batch of ice it quit working and estimates have shown it could take several thousand dollars to get it running again… money the SFA says they don’t have.  They’ve asked for the Port to help them out, but so far commissioners have been reticent.

Key Mechanical of Eugene is evaluating the condition of the machinery this week and will provide a full estimate of what it will take to restore the equipment to working condition.  That will be provided to the SFA and the Port of Siuslaw.  Commissioners say they’ll wait until after they get that to make any decisions.

Tax Revenues expected to be lower than expected

Oregon’s latest quarterly revenue forecast was released yesterday and once again it shows that tax collections will be less than what the legislature expected when they approved the current two-year budget.  Yesterday’s estimate was $84-million less than the last $210-million shortfall released in august.  That means revenue will be nearly $300-million lower than expected between now and June 2013.  It won’t affect schools and services at this time because lawmakers did set up significant reserves to safeguard against just such an occurrence.  Legislative leaders say the revenue forecast points out the need for increased job creation and economic development.

Siuslaw is ranked #1 in both the OSAA Power Rankings and the media poll.


Number One Ranked Siuslaw Vikings

There should be plenty of Baker Bulldog fans in town over the weekend.  The Greater Oregon League Champions will meet the Far West Champion Siuslaw Vikings in OSAA 4A quarterfinal action tomorrow afternoon at Hans Peterson Field.  Kickoff is set for one pm with a special extended pre-game show on KCST starting at 12:30.