Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Curry County Oregon’

We’ve had two whopper storms to kick off the winter rainy season.

The first, October 25, brought sheeting rain, unbelievable wind and waves. The Port of Port Orford, which we visited in the morning, had, by afternoon, sustained heavy damage, in the end estimated at over $1 million.

The Port 10/25 courtesy of Melissa Campbell

The Port 10/25
courtesy of Melissa Campbell

No people or fishing vessels were lost but a fish processing building went over the edge taking numerous fish storage tanks along, the Port office had 18” of water, waves topped the rock jetty damaging it, and one side of Griff’s, a seafood restaurant on the dock, was pushed out.

Griff's, two days later

Griff’s, two days later

Port, 10/28

Port, 10/28

The surf was amazing, totally covering the port beach and the wind was so strong our 10-year-old grandson had to run to stay in place at the overlook. The pelicans and seagulls came onshore en masse and hunkered down to wait it out on the headlands.

pelicans

pelicans

Gulls and Pelicans

Gulls and Pelicans

The second storm, which hit Port Orford Friday managed to tip over half a trailer home on Highway 101 just where it enters Port Orford from the south. (I guess those high profile vehicle warnings on the weather went unheard or were ignored. They were predicting 70 mph gusts!) The wind and rain was hard enough to wake me up Friday night but by Saturday all was just a passing memory.

Today, the sun is shining. And the streets are dry. No one can say the weather around here isn’t dramatic.

blown over trailer house

blown over trailer house

Read Full Post »

Gorse Removal in BSNA courtesy of oregonlive

Gorse Removal in BSNA
courtesy of oregonlive

Bandon Biota/State Park Land Swap: Well, it happened. The State Parks Commission in their April meeting said Yes, 4 to 2. Grant County, which had said they really didn’t want a park in their territory, led to a suspension of land acquisition originally slated to be part of the greater deal and those monies ($2.4 million) will be set aside for “future acquisition” of park lands. The 2 Nays weren’t comfortable setting aside such a large amount of money without specified acquisition lands. Now it’s up to the Bureau of Land Management (the original “owner”) to agree to changes in the original land exchange to the state regarding public use of the area forever. I imagine they’ll say yes.

In summary the vote agrees that Bandon Biota (the golf course developer) will:

  • Convey two properties to in the Bandon area into the state park system totaling 208 acres.
  • Contribute $300,000 to help combat an invasive plant (gorse) on nearby state park properties.
  • Pay $2.5 million into an escrow account to fund future acquisition of state park property.
  • Offer access to property to move the Oregon Coast Trail north of Bandon off a county road.
  • Contribute $450,000 as match for a federal grant to acquire 11 acres of coast property in Lincoln County known as Whale Cove (this contribution was made before the commission acted and was not contingent on commission approval of the larger exchange).

Wand to know more? See: http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/pages/commission-bandon.aspx

Future Pacific Gales Clubhouse Site courtesy of Alysha Beck

Future Pacific Gales Clubhouse Site
courtesy of Alysha Beck

Pacific Gales: Yet another golf course proposal, this time at the end of Knapp Road just north of Port Orford. After the Curry County Land Use Commission approved a conditional (not exclusive farming) land use for the proposed area, the Oregon Coastal Alliance appealed the decision to the Land Use Board of Appeals. The proposal was withdrawn and re-worked to address the appeals’ concerns, and was put before the Planning Commission on Thursday, Sept. 11. No decisions were made at that meeting and more meetings on the revised proposal are in the offing.

The developers remain confident, feeling they have broad community support. To quote Jim Haley, managing partner of the development company, ““I’ve been messing around this place a long time,” he said.  “I’m not quitting. I’m going to win.”

Here’s what was re-submitted to the Planning Commission:
http://www.co.curry.or.us/Departments/Public-Services/Planning-Commission

Read Full Post »

The Cape Blanco First Annual Country Music Festival

Langlois Market Prepares

Langlois Market Prepares

I took a little trip up Cape Blanco Road just before it  began (mid-August) to see first hand what this music festival had in mind. They claimed 15.000 people were going to be involved. I saw the beginnings of the stage construction and a bunch of little red flags to show the rows marked out for RVs in the sheep pastures. Really, not much else.

You know you're there when you see this

You Know You’re There When You See This

As one who was around for Woodstock, I expected the worst. The Whole of Curry County (that’s including Brookings and Gold Beach) is only 22,000+. So, the organizers expected to add about 75% extra to our area for three days. I could only think: sanitation (not enough), water (ditto), beers (too many) and brawls (ditto), ground fires for warming up (It was Cold) going crazy, igniting across the gorse. Another Port Orford/Bandon disaster. As in burning to the ground.

You know what? Nothing of note occurred in Port Orford (we are about six miles south). I guess more folks got drinking water and beer at Ray’s but honestly, there was no noticeable increase in traffic on 101, even if Ray’s aisles were blocked in with cases of brew. Other than that? Well some vendors told me it wasn’t perfect, and I can imagine the gale force winds were a surprise for many. But, for us townies it was as a passing breeze. I’m still not really convinced that there were 15,000 folks around that weekend. But that’s just me.

At the Port Orford Ray's Supermarket

At the Port Orford Ray’s Supermarket

Read Full Post »

When I was a teenager I lived in northern New Jersey. My friends and I eagerly awaited the arrival of Seventeen’s August issue to tell us what it was we should covet for our new school wardrobe. In 1969, my classmate Gay Hubert was on the cover. Notice she’s all bundled up. Hat, scarf,coat, skirt, the works. It was the stuff dreams were made of. Of course generally the first day of school’s temperatures hovered around 80°. Still, we were happy to envision ourselves in kilts and shetland sweaters.

Gay Hubert 1969

Gay Hubert 1969

Going back to school was monumental at sixteen, exciting as well as nerve-wracking. Would I like my teachers? (Generally.) Would I feel over my head? (Usually.) How much would I have forgotten of French conjugations? (Too much.) Would I be chosen for the yearbook staff? (Yes!) Would the guy I had a crush on finally notice? (Nope.)

Barn Swallows

Barn Swallows

Now I measure Septembers by changing leaves, cooler nights. Barn swallows are flocking and heading south. There is an over-richness to the fields, gone rank with asters and Queen Anne’s lace. The late-afternoon light shines at a different angle on the kitchen sink as I prepare dinner. Soup sounds more appealing. The dragonflies are slower, larger, lazier. The lake is low. Fawns have lost their spots; parents are working the velvet off their antlers.

On vacation route Hwy. 101, our main street, enormous RVs, the size of Greyhound buses or larger, lumber along with Jeeps in tow, retirees turning out after the family crowds have diminished. It feels a lull time, a pause as seasons change, full of endings, full of promise.

First Leaves Change, Port Orford © SR Euston

First Leaves Change, Port Orford © SR Euston

Read Full Post »

Wondering what that outsized filling-station-looking tank is on the west side the Seacoast Center parking lot? It’s another sign of Port Orford’s exciting movement forward as a community—we’ve now got our very own electric vehicle charging station!

This station has been provided compliments of Oregon Department of Transportation, and there’s only one more station to go in Brookings to make it possible to drive an electric vehicle (EV) along the entire Oregon US 101 Coast! This is great news and a potential major new attraction for folks to visit our deep south coast. And for now, it’s fast and free!

Thanks to ODOT, the US Department of Energy and Oregon’s Chief EV Officer Ashley Horvat. It’s been a long time in the making but now you can travel EV along the entire length of I-5 in Oregon. And soon, along the coast as well.

Here are some pictures:IMG_2487

IMG_2484

Read Full Post »

It’s fascinating the news you hear if you’ve been away for six months from your small town home.

Since returning I’ve approached friends and say “So what’s new?” Usually the initial response is something like “same old, same old.” But give people a moment and they remember all sorts of things: from the failed mayoral recall (and yes it did cost the City A Lot! of money we don’t have to spare) to the new bike shop, a new kayak to a new home. People got married; other people died. Oh and the renovated hardware store isn’t open yet; maybe for the 4th. The Friends of the Library won’t field an entry in this year’s 4th of July parade. But they’ve got a bunch of American flags to sell and wave at those who are. Sort of everything you’d expect in Port Orford.

For me, the most visually stunning change is to the facade of an old falling down building in our “downtown”, that’s condemned but no one seems able to figure out how to get it torn down. Through the grape vine I heard local Main Street folks decided to at least paint a giant mural on plywood tacked to the front of the building.

I was told the mural was loosely based on the “dazzle” or “razzle dazzle” patterns used on English and American ships in the two World Wars. As an alternative from standard “hiding” camouflage, this method was thought to disrupt visual range finders on enemy ships. It wasn’t ever proven to really work but the method created some pretty amazing looking ships like this:6a00d834543b6069e20133f555e069970b

Here’s an artist’s rendering of another pattern, this one in color.Dazzle_camo

 

Perhaps this is what inspired our new downtown mural. While it doesn’t hide the building, it certainly updates the facade. And it can break up passing drivers’ concentration pretty well too.

 

our new mural

our new mural

mural close-up

mural close-up

 

Read Full Post »

Last week we got news of yet another golf course development project slated for the South Coast. In addition to the “almost done deal” which is the state parks land swap, now there’s another course on the drawing board just north of my little hamlet, Port Orford. It’s to be placed on private land on a lonely stretch of coastal cliff just north of town, overlooking the mouth of Elk River, and across the Sixes to Cape Blanco to the north. Less than ten miles east  of its mouth, the Elk is designated “wild and scenic” and fishermen have pulled salmon from its clear, pristine waters for hundreds of years. Currently the developers of the property, who have old ties with the mega-Bandon Dunes Resort development, hope to have it open by 2016.

I’ve asked “How many are too many golf courses? and received the reply, “If you don’t golf what’s it to you?” Well…it seems to me kind of like office buildings. I don’t need one, yet it appears nobody ever asks how many are too many of those until there are. The jobs offered besides short-term construction are mostly in the service sector. I know that any job is a good job around here; times are tough. I know some say Bandon Dunes has brought opportunity and prosperity to Bandon and that may be true. (Although after yesterday’s emptiness in the downtown shopping area which should be bustling this time of year I wonder.)

But here in Port Orford, we don’t even have Bandon’s three plus blocks of tourist attractions. We’ve got a couple of very nice restaurants, a few excellent galleries, two banks, a grocery store, a great library, and an interesting, small fishing port. As of now we don’t even have our True Value Hardware Store anymore. I’m not sure what visitors will think besides “What the heck do they do around here?” (Hint: It’s not golfing; it costs too much.)

On the bright side, the new course is named Pacific Gales. They sure have gotten the area’s weather right.

HERE’S A BRIEF SLIDESHOW OF OUR ELK RIVER and CAPE BLANCO

All Photos © SR Euston

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »