Port seeking natural solution to erosion

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Rip rap considered too difficult and expensive

The far eastern end of the Port of Siuslaw RV Park has been closed for several weeks because of riverbank erosion.  That’s blocked a popular access to the mud flats and estuary.  Port Manager Steven Leskin said the problem has been because of the river undercutting the embankment, creating a hazard.  One traditional way of repairing the damage in the past would have included using large rocks, called Rip Rap, to build a wall around the damage.

Steven Leskin – “Rip Rap is more expensive and it’s less favored by regulators and it doesn’t have any of the advantages that a biologic solution includes.”

That biologic solution would require using dredge spoils… fill that originally came out of the river:

Steven Leskin – “The point is to design a biologic solution; something that will grow and then grow into place.  Rip Rap is not a permanent solution.  Rip Rap will eventually wear out and the foundation underneath he Rip Rap will eventually give way.  Creating a biologic solution is actually more permanent than the Rip Rap.

Port Commissioners heard some suggestions two weeks ago about how to remedy the situation.  He expects them to discuss it again later this month.  He also said access to the estuary and the river have not been completely cut off.

Fourth Oregon Dunes Triathlon

Volunteers who will be marshalling the course of the 4th annual Oregon Dunes Triathlon tomorrow morning underwent their first round of training last night at Dunes City Hall.

The triathlon, which so far has drawn about 250 entrants, is actually four different races in one.

The traditional Olympic Distance Triathlon is the premier race… it begins with a 1500 meter swim in Woahink Lake, followed by a 40 kilometer bike ride on Canary and Clear Lake Roads… that’s just under 25 miles.  It wraps up with a 10-kilometer run from East Woahink Day Use area at Honeyman Park, through the park itself and ends with a dash up the Big Dune.

The so-called “sprint” triathlon covers much of the same course but is just half the distance… a half-mile swim followed by a 12 ½ mile bike ride and a three mile run.

There are two duathlons as well… Olympic and Sprint… those are for people who don’t want to swim in the 60-degree water of Woahink and it consists of just the biking and running.

The Olympic distance races get underway at 8 AM… the Sprint races an hour later.

Justice court race smaller than expected

There are four names on the ballot for the Lane County Justice of the Peace, but only two candidates are actively seeking the spot.  Guy Rosinbaum backed out too late to have his name removed and Joshua Rogers has not responded to repeated information requests and does not appear to be actively campaigning.

That leaves two… Florence resident and grocery owner Woody Woodbury, who says it’s a half-time position… But:

Woody Woodbury – “To me the position is a full time position, it’s a 24-7 responsibility where if law enforcement needs a warrant in the middle of the night or whatever I’m accessible.  If something comes up in the middle of the night I will be there.”

He has a law enforcement and investigations background and says he won’t have any problem meeting the job requirements.  Rick Brissendon, meanwhile, is an established attorney with more than 30 years experience.  He has been Florence Municipal Judge for 18 of those years.

            206 – “This is what I do.  I’m a judge and that’s the kind of work I like to do.  In Municipal Court I’ve done primarily criminal cases.  Justice Court is an opportunity for me to expand into the civil arena as well.  I practice both criminal and civil law as a lawyer and so I like that opportunity.”

The court is based in Florence, but it’s the only Justice Court in Lane County.  It can hear cases from anwhere in the county except Eugene.  Ballots must be returned no later than May 17th.

Timber payments sought again

A bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators from western states are demanding the reauthorization of payments to rural counties in lieu of profits from reduced timber harvests on federal lands.

Under the leadership of Oregon’s Ron Wyden, the group sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Harry Reid pushing for reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools Act.

Many western states have federal land that has been used for timber production.  As compensation for not being able to levy taxes on that land to help pay for services, local jurisdictions have shared in the revenues derived from logging.

Wyden called the S-R-S program a “critical safety net” for forest counties.  The act was enacted in 2000.  It was initially slated to only last four years but has been extended several times, but the revenues provided under those extensions have been reduced.

Lane and Douglas Counties, along with several others in Western Oregon, have faced severe service cutbacks because of the reductions.

Curve advisory signs to change

If you do any driving at all on Oregon highways you are used to reducing your speed going around a curve.  If you’re like most people, you drive five to ten miles an hour faster than the little yellow curve advisory speed sign says.

In the near future, you may want to rethink that idea.

That’s because over the coming months road crews will begin putting up new advisory signs on most curves… and they’re expected to more closely match the actual speed that is safe and comfortable.

It’s part of a new federal standard established recently.  It requires consistency of curve advisory speeds on all public roads in the country.  It uses new digital and GPS aided technology that more accurately measures the forces you feel when you drive through a curve.  Older analog tools were not as consistent, and often varied from one part of the state to another.

Eric Leaming with the Oregon Department of Transportation sais that means drivers will need to watch and follow the new advisories.

Coastal Conference on FaithLaura Morett

An inspirational speaker, two-time contestant on the CBS show “Survivor”, and candidate for the Oregon House will speak about her faith in Florence next month.

Laura Morett first appeared on “Survivor” in 2009, then again four years later.  She will be a featured speaker at the June 4th “Coastal Conference on Faith”.  It’s hosted by a “cross-denominational” group called Revival Florence and will be held at Florence Christian Church.

Event chair Bill Spect said the group is “pleased to bring such a high quality speaker” to the community.

Morett will speak to both men and women during the day.  Two breakout sessions will feature Spect and Cynthia Quinn, a specialist in women’s mental and spiritual health.

Information on how to purchase advance tickets for $10 can be found at the group’s website.