Erosion causes closure of river access at Port Campground

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Port of Siuslaw looking to ‘bio-engineer’ a solution:

Winter storms and continued erosion have prompted the closure of access to the beach and river on the east end of the Port of Siuslaw RV Park.

Port General Manager Steven Leskin said he believes the river bank, near a pair of popular access trails, is “sufficiently unsafe to allow guests and visitors down to the river”.

He cited significant erosion to the bank that will require “extensive repairs and renovation” to prevent further loss of land.

The closure is necessary to protect public safety.

The Port of Siuslaw has retained a maritime engineer to assist with repairs.  The hope, he added, is to “bio-engineer” a solution… using natural materials like vegetation and logs, to repair the instability.  Leskin said that’s not harmful to aquatic life and is easier to receive permits for.

The other alternative, which would be more expensive and take longer to get regulatory approval, would be installing rip-rap… large rocks.

Open House set for roadside path

Work on the long-awaited Rhododendron Drive Multi-Use Path is set to begin in June this year.  Florence City Manager Erin Reynolds said the city will be hosting an open house next week to talk about it.

Erin Reynolds – “We made a promise to the community during the previous renditions of the project that we would be able to bring forward to them information on the project.  And now this is the time to say this is what it’s going to look like during construction; you know, what would the construction schedule look like; how’s it going to look when it’s done; how’s it going to impact traffic?”

Public input prompted officials to change the proposal from a meandering path that would had much more impact on neighboring properties to simple shoulder extensions on each side.

The open house, a week from Thursday, on April 14th, will be from 4:30 to seven at the Florence Events Center.

Signs prohibited on state highway right of way

Ballots for the May 17th primary election will be mailed out at the end of this month and campaigns for a number of contested races and ballot measures are heating up.

That means it’s a good time to remind people that campaign signs are not allowed in highway rights of way.

Dave Thompson, with the Oregon Department of Transportation, says only official traffic control signs and devices are allowed in state highway rights of way.  Improperly placed signs will be removed and held at a local Oregon Department of Transportation district maintenance office for 30 days.

The signs are prohibited on trees, fence posts, utility poles and natural features… and within the view of some designated scenic areas.

Thompson said temporary political signs on private property, but within view of the state highways, are allowed with some restrictions.

Lottery scam targets victims

The Oregon Lottery is warning people of a scam that’s being perpetrated in their name.

One person called the Lottery to report she had been told by a caller that she had won a $75-million jackpot and a Mercedes Benz.

All the woman had to do to claim her prize was provide personal information to the caller.

That’s not how it works says Lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann.  “Luckily”, he said, “the player recognized the caller was asking for an unusual level of personal information and ended the call”.

The Oregon Lottery does not keep track of individual buyers of tickets… so there’s no way to call and notify someone they have won.  Bauman said a good test if you get a call like that… “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Ocean acidification solutions sought

A panel of ocean scientists says global carbon dioxide emissions are rapidly altering ocean chemistry along the West Coast and urgent action is needed to combat the troubling changes.

The group warned in a report Monday that failing to respond to ocean acidification will have devastating ecological consequences for the West Coast.

California, Oregon, Washington and the province of British Columbia in 2013 brought together 20 scientists to come up with management tools to address ocean acidification and waters with extremely low oxygen levels.

The panel outlines actions these governments can take, including exploring using seagrass to remove carbon dioxide from seawater, improving the monitoring network and identifying areas where local pollutants can make problems worse.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he’s ready to work with his counterparts on the West Coast to lead on the issue.

Sea Lions Gathering for “splash off”.

Over the past several weeks 20 different artists have been creating artwork on 20 different seven foot long fiberglass sea lions… This weekend they’ll be presented to the public says Jennifer Connor with the Florence Events Center.

Jennifer Connor – “It’s our splash off.  The FEC is celebrating our 20th anniversary, we’ve got 20 sea lions, one for each year.  They’re painted and decorated by our artists and they’ll all be in one place, in one room.”

Connor said the Friends of the Events Center sought out a unique way to celebrate the 20th anniversary so they chose a public art display.

Jennifer Connor – “They’re very graceful, and that makes us think of dancing.  And of course we have a lot of dancing performances and performing arts at the FEC so we thought that was a nice tie-in.”

This will be the only time all 20 will be in the same place at the same time.  Next week they’ll be distributed around the community where they’ll be on display until next fall.

Jennifer Connor – “In October they will all migrate back to the FEC and we will be able to auction them off for our Friends of the Events Center.”

But not all, says Connor… four of them have already been paid for by underwriters.  They’ll remain with their sponsors and the other 16 will be sold.  Saturday’s “splash off” will be at the FEC from ten to three, it’s free and open to the public.