PUD to aid in national study; Cold Weather Shelter; Coos Bay cleared of sunken vessel; Keeping those resolutions

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Central Lincoln to participate in policy study

Oregon is one of four states selected by the National Governor’s Association for a “policy academy” focused on modernizing electric grids.  In Oregon, the Department of Energy will be working alongside Central Lincoln PUD for ways to protect vulnerable parts of the coast in the event of a natural disaster.  Adam Schultz is a senior policy analyst the department, he says Oregon has a particular interest in making sure the coast is prepared.

Adam Schultz – “Wind and ice storms.  Heavy wind can knock down power lines.  And then the big black-swan events, which is the impending Cascadia subduction zone earthquake.  We realize there’s a significant risk to the coastal areas.”

One way to help prepare could be through the use of what are called “micro grids” that run on renewable energy.

Adam Schultz – “If there was a catastrophic event, you can imagin a situation where perhaps the utility, working with the local municipalities, could have a micro grid system with a solar or storage technology that allows it to continue operation locally for, say, a police or fire station or a medical facility or community center.”

Schultz says Central Lincoln PUD was chosen because it serves nearly 40-percent of the coast.

Florence Cold Weather Shelter expected to be busy this week

Organizers of the Florence Cold Weather Shelter could see late last week that it was going to be cold enough to justify opening the shelter last night.  They let it be known that it would open Sunday night and it did.

Greg Woods with the Presbyterian Church of the Siuslaw said they also intend to be open most of this week.

White flags showing the international symbol for shelter will be posted throughout the community any time the shelter is slated for opening.  Woods said forecast lows for this week show several nights of very cold weather.  The National Weather Service is forecasting a low tonight around 25 degrees.

Tech can help you keep resolutions

One recent national study showed 43-percent of Americans intend to lose weight at the beginning of this year.  They are resolving to do it by eating healthier and exercising more.

But, if they’re not used to doing that, they’ll have to break some bad habits and Elliot Berkman, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, says using technology can aid in that.

Where he works, they tell co-workers about their goals, and then ask them for text messages during the day to remind them.

Elliot Berkman  – It helps combat fire with fire, a little bit, to get those texts in your daily life.  And so, you don’t need to go out of your way to remember why you care about losing weight or exercising more.  We’re going to remind you, and we’ll do it in your own words.”

Abstract goals can be hard to keep in mind day-to-day.  Berkman says by asking your friends and co-workers to help keep you accountable, you can keep your target in sight.

Western removed from Coos Bay

After several months of planning and preparation, a sunken 70-foot long, 78-ton wooden fishing vessel was removed from Coos Bay last week.

The Fishing Vessel Western sank near the Empire boat ramp in January 2015.  The boat was then abandoned, leaving local and state government agencies in the Coos Bay area to deal with its removal.

In August, the Oregon State Marine Board was awarded a $55-thousand grant from the NOAA Marine Debris Program to help pay for the removal.  Billeter Marine completed the removal and disposal of the vessel Thursday.

Abandoned and derelict vessels are a growing concern on the Oregon Coast.  The Port of Siuslaw completed removal of an abandoned vessel, the Esther, late last fall.