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Tasty treats, deadly dangers

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Amateur mycologist and instructor Bob Burch teaches students in his mushroom identification class about mushrooms they have collected. Wescom News Service/Matthew C. Durkee
After a night of heavy showers, we were lucky the weather was holding. This was my second year in Mushroom Identification class, and I was grateful for no repeat of the first year’s merciless downpour.

This year, I had the right gear. No more dressing like a newcomer in easily soaked hiking boots and jeans.

PVC boots and bib overalls were on to keep me dry and a sturdy walking stick helped me keep my balance while slogging up a steep slope blanketed in duff, that thick layer of loose organic matter — decaying bark, branches, needles, leaves — common on many regional forest floors.

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From docks to rocks, marine mammals grace the coastline

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Harbor seals haul out onto the rocky bank of the estuary at the Port of Gold Beach, an easy place to spot the sea mammals. The Pilot/Scott Graves
Rain or no rain, in the harbors or at one of the innumerable ocean coves and offshore rocks, visitors to America’s Wild Rivers Coast can see four main types of marine mammal, although they should keep their distance for the safety of everyone.


Harbor Seal

The harbor seal is one of the most commonly seen marine mammals along the Oregon and Northern California coastline.

Harbor seals can reach 6 feet in length, weigh up to 300 pounds and have spotted coats in a variety of shades from silver-gray to black or dark brown.

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Military Mail

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Terry Clawson shows the more than 10,000 letters that will be going to U.S. troops. The Pilot/Marjorie Woodfin
As she has every year in early November since 1969, Terry Clawson mailed Christmas letters to U.S. Troops on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Clawson, who began her Christmas letter mailing efforts in association with the American Legion in Montana, continued that activity in Brookings in 2000 as part of an Americanism project with the Brookings Emblem Club.

That first year, the Emblem Club sent 456 letters. This year Clawson mailed 10,045 Christmas letters.

The Emblem Club has received two trophies as the number one organization in the nation for sending fan mail to the troops for the last two years.
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Barnacle Ball garners $14,000

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Among the final activities at Saturday’s fundraising Barnacle Ball was a dance.
The Second Annual Barnacle Ball, Sat., Nov. 7,  “Nightfall at the Blue Lagoon,” filled the Seascape Center in Harbor with music, laughter, dancing, dining, and wild bidding, to keep the important KASPER (Kids After School Program of Education and Recreation alive and well for another year.

When  the Barnacle Ball was introduced last year the announcement included the claim that planners were “going for elegance,” and elegance was definitely a part of this year’s ball as well.

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One million cans – and counting!

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Carlo ‘Kan Man’ Pelaccio
Kans are big business in Brookings-Harbor, and no, that isn’t a typo. The program is called Kans for Kids, and Carlo Pelaccio, chairman of the can program sponsored by the Brookings-Harbor Lions Club, is the “Kan Man.”

On Saturday, the industrious Lions met at the Bankus Fountain at the corner of Fifth Street and Chetco Avenue to celebrate the one millionth can they have sorted over the three-and-one-half years they have been gathering cans to support their services to the community’s children and others in need.

The Lions have raised more than $50,000, providing $23,000 for eye examinations, glasses, and cataract surgeries, $4,000 for hearing aids, $12,000 for clothing for children in Brookings-Harbor schools, $1,700 for special computers for the visually impaired, $1,500 for Relay for Life, plus youth camps, a robotic program for Azalea Middle School, support for the children’s KASPER summer program, training funds for a seeing eye dog, food bank donations, and scholarships for students.

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