Power Line Work May Cause Delays
Line crews that are updating the transmission lines for the Bonneville Power Administration from Florence to Eugene are going to be working just east of Mapleton for the next several weeks and traffic in the area will at times be limited. There may even be some long wait times while equipment is moved up and down highway 126. Today crews are out at milepost 18 near the Archie Knowles Campground and they expect there to be delays. Flaggers from Wuesthoss Construction will be in the area and drivers should be aware of the possibility of slow-downs and even long lines. BPA announced the work back on June 21st. According to John Tyler with BPA this is the most extensive and difficult stretch of the repair phase due to the mountains and winding roads.
“There is going to be heavy equipment that will be on the local roadways. We are also going to use helicopters at times so there’s going to be some minor interruptions to local traffic.”
Chris Chandler with Central Lincoln PUD says the need to keep technology and equipment current is tantamount to providing safe power. Chandler says all of the power that Florence uses is Bonneville power and one of the great things about them is:
“BPA’s power is over 95 percent carbon free.”
Wuesthoss Construction says the next several months will be spent working on the portion of 126 between Mapleton and Veneta, but shut downs or slow downs will be a very minimal part of the construction process.
Local Firefighters Help Chetco Fire
As the Chetco Bar Fire continues to grow, Chief Jim Langborg with Siuslaw Valley Fire and rescue shared with coast radio that a Brush Engine Crew from SVFR is at the fire and they recently had some disappointing news regarding some property that they worked very hard to protect.
“I know that this group that we have out there spent almost 5 days in an area prepping and triaging structures and the fire advanced yesterday and they ended up writing it off. We spoke with them today and they were upset about that, they felt really bad that some people lost their homes in spite of their best efforts.”
The crew is made up of Captain Andy Gray, Firefighter Engineer P.J. Crescioni, and Firefighter Levi Green. Langborg said according to latest reports the fire is zero contained and they were predicting heavy winds last night. (nicknamed the Chetco Wind by locals) Crews were busy yesterday trying to prepare for the winds and warmer temperatures by securing structures and cutting lines well ahead of the fires current boundaries. This morning ODF officials have issued notice for Brookings residents to be prepared to leave as the fire inches closer to the city.
Concert for Malakai
The Florence event center will be the hosting a concert event tomorrow evening at 7 pm for Malakai. He is an 11 year old student here in Florence that suffers from a very rare form of cancer. He is currently in Portland preparing to undergo a bone marrow transplant. The benefit tomorrow evening will help Malakai’s parents with a portion of the many hospital and doctor bills coming in. Tomorrow’s concert will feature the C.R.O.W kids of which Malakai is a member, and a singer-songwriter from San Francisco, Megan Slankard. The evening will finish with dancing and music from the Buck and a Quarter band. Tickets are still available for $15 or you can purchase a table of 8 for $100.00.
Park Passes to Rise
Oregonians and people across the country age 62 and older have until midnight on Sunday to get a great deal on lifetime passes to national parks and other federal recreational sites. The passes will be ten dollars until Monday, August 28th – when the price increases to 80 dollars. It’s the first price increase since 1994. The ten-dollar deal means many places have run out of passes. Marsha McCabe with Crater Lake National Park says her office is one of those places, but adds that the deadline is creating a surge in park popularity.
“It’s great. We’re very happy to sell senior passes, and we’re just sorry we don’t have any more to sell to folks right now.”
Folks can go to ‘store.usgs.gov’ to purchase passes online or find a nearby site where passes are being sold. Purchasing online comes with a ten-dollar processing fee. Because many sites are sold out of passes, people will be given vouchers and must redeem the vouchers before the end of September. McCabe says the price increase was passed by Congress in December, and the revenue generated from new price will go to the National Park Service Centennial Project funding.
“So, it will be for special projects that will help the national parks into the future. All of our fee dollars go into projects that directly benefit visitors at parks.”
The passes aren’t only valid at national parks. They’re good at more than two-thousand recreation sites managed by five different government agencies across the country. The pass also gets folks reduced prices on camping fees at some sites. After Sunday, annual senior passes will be available for 20 dollars.