Local News – Ice Machine – Holiday Fire Safety – Dunes City – Invasion of the Lamprey

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Local News

Commercial Ice Machine appears to be back on track…

Efforts to rebuild the ice maker that serves commercial fishermen on the Siuslaw river have taken eight years and several hundred thousand dollars.

Bill Dietrich – “Probably well into the 300-thousands.  And, what has happened over this period in time, we’ve had lots and lots of donors and all the money that has gone into this has been donations or generated by the fish fry and raisers and everything.”

Siuslaw Fisherman’s Association President Bill Dietrich says the sources of the cash have been varied, but they all have one thing in common…

Bill Dietrich – “Thousands of people who have come through as tourists to dump money into buckets and things to make this happen.  And then we have our own local donors, one of which has given over 150-thousand dollars of their own money towards this.  That’s a single donor.  These are people that really believe in it.”

After a rocky start last spring, it appears the ice maker is working as intended, but a final report on that will be reviewed next week by the Port of Siuslaw Commission.  Dietrich says the association would like to eventually turn it over to the Port.

Bill Dietrich – “SFA is a non-profit organization.  Our thing is to be in support of the Port and the commercial fishing industry around here.  Our dream was never to run this or own this.  Our idea was to build it up and hand it off.”

That has met, though, with resistance from individual commissioners who are hesitant to take on anything that may take up scarce operating resources.

Dunes City Council

The Dunes City Council will hear an update this evening on the progress of a proposed code enforcement ordinance.  Several other proposed ordinances will be discusses as well, including one that would spell out a septic tank education program.  No final action is expected on any of those topics, but councilors will likely take action on appointments to several boards and commission.  The Dunes City Council meets at seven pm in Westlake.

Invasion of the Lamprey

It’s still more than a week away, but an expected invasion of Pacific Lamprey Eels will descend on the Cape Perpetua visitor Center Saturday, December 17th.  Don’t worry, they’re invited.  Forest Service Biologist Ralph Lampman will present a ‘hands-on’ and puppet assisted program at the center about the creature that he says plays an “incredibly important ecological role”.  Despite resembling eels, the Pacific Lamprey is actually a fish.  Lampman is one of just a handful of scientists researching them.  His presentation is a week from this Saturday at the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center, three miles south of Yachats.  It begins at two pm.

Holiday Fire Safety

‘Tis the season when homes typically have a higher than usual number of fire hazards.  Fresh cut evergreen trees that can quickly dry out in a warm home, lighted candles, an abundance of Christmas lights plugged into an outlet that may be designed to only serve one or two strings.  That’s why Oregon State Fire Marshall Mark Wallace says people need to be more cautious than usual this time of year.  Wallace says a few tips can make a big difference.  Choose a fresh healthy tree, keep it well watered and away from any heat or ignition source… like the woodstove or a furnace.  Always unplug the tree lights before leaving for the day or going to bed, and don’t overload your electrical sockets.  Over the past four years in Oregon fires related to Christmas trees have resulted in one death, ten injuries and more than $3.4-million in property loss.  Candle related fires have led to 11 deaths and nearly 11-million dollars in damage.