Local News: Tribes Buys Ocean Dunes; Gladstone Woman Dies; County Commissioners to Talk Special District; Port Manager Starts Monday

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Ocean Dunes Golf Links Changes Hands

For now nothing will change, but eventually there will likely be some refinements made to Ocean Dunes Golf Links.  Confederated Tribes chair Bob Garcia confirmed yesterday that he signed the final papers late Tuesday afternoon to take possession of the 30 acres just north of Three Rivers Casino that includes the 18-hole course and several acres of undeveloped property.

Garcia said the previous owner, Randy Curtola, will stay on staff for the time being and the tribe does not plan on making any immediate changes. But, he called the possibilities ‘exciting’ when he talked about the future of the course.  Garcia says they’ve been in the resort business all along so it was only natural to expand to the golf facility that lies adjacent.  The property comes with an existing land use approval for development of vacant parcels but Garcia said those plans aren’t contemplated at this point.  He indicated they have their own thoughts… including eventually moving the course start and pro shop to just behind the hotel.

Garcia declined to discuss the purchase price, but confirmed that once existing liens on the property were satisfied they would likely pursue a petition for the U.S. Department of Interior to put the land in trust-status and remove it from the tax rolls.

A 65-year old Gladstone lost her life when her vehicle slid out of control and was struck by an oncoming truck on Highway 101 north of Gardiner. (Oregon State Police Photo)

Wednesday Crash Kills One

A 65-year old Gladstone woman died yesterday morning when she lost control of vehicle and crashed into an oncoming semi-trailer.  Laraine Dale Martz was northbound on Highway 101 about three miles north of Gardiner just before ten AM at the time.  Oregon State Troopers continue to investigate the cause of the crash, but did say road conditions were wet and hail had recently fallen.

The driver of the truck, 34-year old Christopher Lane of Springfield, said he tried to avoid the out-of-control SUV but was unable.  Traffic on Highway 101 was restricted to one lane for several hours during the investigation.

Special Taxing District Could be Considered for Lane County

West Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich (l) and Florence Kiwanis President Brian Fitch (r). Bozievich addressed the Florence Kiwanis Wednesday and talked about the possibility of seeking a special taxing district to fund public safety in Lane County. (Photo submitted by Erik Tanikawa)

The Lane County Board of Commissioners will hold a work session later this month to discuss the possible formation of a special district that would be used to fund public safety.

There have already been severe cutbacks in services because of the loss of federal timber revenue.  Sheriff Tom Turner announced layoffs of all patrol deputies save four; plus the closure of 131 jail beds, leaving just over 100 available at the Lane County Jail.

West Lane Commissioner Jay Bozievich said they’ll look at a plan recently enacted by Deschutes County.  Two separate districts were formed there… one for the entire county that levies a property tax to fund prosecution and the jail.  The other one covers unincorporated areas and levies another tax to pay for sheriff’s patrols.

Port Manager Set to Begin

The Port of Siuslaw has come to an employment agreement with a new manager.  Bob Forsythe will begin on the job Monday morning.  By midday Tuesday he had signed an employment contract for the $60-thousand-a-year job.  Interim manager Suzy Lacer said she’ll remain full time for two to three weeks but anticipated that she would be back to being a part time administrative employee by the end of the month.  Forsythe is a retired procurement manager for the University of California. He was one of three finalists interviewed for the job.  There were 23 applicants in all.