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Posts Tagged ‘Port Orford OR’

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

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Forty-eight hearty Port Orfordians (and six dogs) turned out last Sunday for our very own Peoples’ Climate March. It was cold and windy but undeterred, the crowd streamed down US 101 waving homemade signs, starting at Battle Rock Park and winding up blocks away in the Ray’s parking lot. OK so it wasn’t New York City. But it was definitely Port Orford. Here are some pictures of our march:

On the other hand, the Peoples’ Climate March in New York City last Sunday sure looked huge, exciting, organized and warm! Upwards of 400,000 people marched; thousands more watched and cheered. The turnout was overwhelming to organizers who had, apparently, done a phenomenal job of corralling and moving the participants down Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue. Here are some photos:

 

The one day UN Summit on Tuesday, at whom the march was aimed, didn’t have breathtaking or immediate results. Still, what might have been considered a moribund climate “program” at the UN may have been re-invigorated by the huge march and the UN Summit participation of a bevy of world leaders including President Obama who noted in his speech: “Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we do not hear them. We have to answer the call.”

National Geographic summarized the three most important outcomes of the summit this way:

A movement to fight climate change has real people power.
More companies are recognizing that halting deforestation is good PR.
There’s growing pressure to help the world’s most vulnerable countries.

For more see: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140924-united-nations-climate-change-summit-world/

On to the UN’s next Climate Change meeting, scheduled for Paris next winter.

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Design by Ellie Akira Ohiso

Design by Ellie Akira Ohiso

Please Join Us Sunday,  
September 21, 2014
Noon
Meeting at Battlerock!

 

In Port Orford, come early with supplies to make a sign! If you’re not here, check out http://peoplesclimate.org/organizing/ for locations around the world.

If we can do it here at the farthest west incorporated townsite in the lower 48…you can do it where you are too!

Courtesy James Jean

Courtesy James Jean

For more info see:
http://billmoyers.com/2014/09/15/why-we-march/

http://peoplesclimate.org/oregon/why-we-march/

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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

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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

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Over the last month since we’ve returned to Port Orford, I’ve asked folks “so what’s new?” Although I heard many tales  not one person mentioned dredging. (See: https://wanderwest.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/plus-ca-la-change/)

In fact, according to new Port Manager Steve Courtier, a small dredging project was undertaken in May followed by the full scale dredging taking place right now—the result of the September 2013 agreement between the state and the Corps summarized at: https://wanderwest.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/looks-like-were-going-to-see-the-port-put-back-in-port-orford/

First Day Dredging

First Day Dredging

This apparent lack of interest in such an important Port Orford happening seems baffling. Remember the 2012 “Put the Port Back in Port Orford!” campaign calling attention to its ongoing shoaling problem? People with buckets, wheelbarrows and shovels, hit the beach at low tide and “dug out” a mock channel. Fishermen talked of using their boats’ propellers to churn away sediment. Grim predictions of the port’s demise were heard around town.

But now in August, 2014 a Corps-contracted dredge has arrived. It began scooping spoils mid-afternoon on Sunday July 27th, after leaving its previous mid-July job at the mouth of the Rogue. HME Construction’s dredge is working round the clock and is expected to complete the dredging ahead of schedule! So, we’re getting the dredging, 40,000 cubic yards of spoils removed in record time. And, according Courtier, the Port’s also gotten a grant and is in the process of purchasing a pump, pipes and generator which will be shared with Brookings and others for remedial dredging work. It also appears the Corps has re-committed to dredging Oregon’s small ports into the future. It sounds like a win-win-win for Port Orford to me.

So where’s the town-wide celebration I would have expected? Maybe last Saturday’s Blessing of the Fleet extended to HME’s dredge. At any rate, it looks like the Port really has been put back in Port Orford. And hooray for that!

August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014

August 5 2014

August 5 2014

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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

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