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It’s final: Harbor post office closing

After emotional pleas from Harbor residents for the last three months, the fate of the Harbor Post Office is settled. It will close on January 30, 2015, as all operations are moved to the Brookings Post Office. 

All customers will be assigned a new P.O. Box at the Brookings office, and will keep their mailing addresses.

Though the Harbor office will close, the USPS is still looking for business owners who want to run a Contract Postal Unit (CPU), which operates through another business, such as a grocery store, and would provide retail services such as mail services and selling stamps and other products. The CPU would not, however, have post office boxes. 

Harbor residents who initially protested the closing met several times in November and organized themselves to figure out a way to stop it, but were unsuccessful in their efforts.


County gets some federal funding, but it’s no bailout

Curry County is no longer getting federal O&C bailout money. But it will receive some federal funds this year as part of the Twenty-Five Percent Fund Act of 1908.

All involved agree: It’s complicated.

Locally, elected leaders want to make sure residents understand: The money Curry County will receive is not one of the unexpected bailouts O&C counties have received in recent years, said Curry County Accountant Gary Short.

Ultimately, the county Road Fund expects to get $90,000 — not $1.5 million like last year.


Huxley big on communication

County Commissioner Tom Huxley outlined his list of goals for his term that started Jan. 5 during a workshop this week in Gold Beach.

His plans revolve primarily on improved communications — from the recording microphones in the county meeting room to digitizing maps for easier access on the Internet — policy, plan and code updates; and consolidating the 911 departments of Gold Beach and Brookings.

Huxley would like to see microphones that project the board members’ voices, rather than merely record them for minutes.


Where do recyclables go?

Submitted photo An employee of Curry Transfer and Recycling secures bails of cardboard on a flatbed truck. The recycling material will be trucked to Portland for processing.

A town the size of Brookings has enough people to warrant regular visits from a recycling truck. People toss their plastic bottles, old newspapers, and cardboard into large blue bins, haul them to the curb and walk back into their homes.

For them, that might be the end of it, but it’s a long process before those materials are actually recycled.

“We take all of our material up to Portland to recycle it,” said Candie Wilk, office manager and recycling coordinator for Curry Transfer and Recycling (CTR). 

CTR has five routes in Brookings, sending trucks to pick up materials in different parts of the city five days a week. They collect once a week in Gold Beach, and twice a month in Port Orford. 


Residents irked by city’s lack of design rules

Eyebrows went up when O’Reillys Auto Parts came to Brookings last spring. Citizens complained that it didn’t fit the feel of the neighborhood, much less the entrance to town.

But when Dollar General broke ground on Easy Street a few months later, the citizens really got riled. So much so, they packed the Brookings City Council meeting Monday to voice the problems they have with the building, the road leading to it and the anticipated traffic, none of which they knew about — and therefore couldn’t address at meetings, they said, — until the project broke ground.

Karen Lomheim, who with her husband bought a house in that neighborhood, said she was disappointed in the lack of architectural design of the convenience store.

“Had we known this, that this industrial-sized shed was going to be put in our neighborhood, we probably would have considered our options,” she said. “It looks like it’s designed for tractors or animal feed. And especially for a town that sits on the most spectacular coastline in the world? Our goal is to prevent this from taking place in other areas of town.”


City: Brookings voters to decide 4-cent gasoline tax

Voters in Brookings will be asked this May to approve an ordinance — not just a question — that implements a 4-cent gas tax, because the exemptions attached to the tax are too lengthy to list in a ballot question.

That was among the questions answered at a regular meeting of the Brookings City Council Monday night, when members agreed to approve the ordinance, contingent on voter approval May 19.


Dedicated Duck fans ready for title game

John and Tina Schweers pose on their property with their near seven-foot-tall lawn ornament.

It’s arguably the biggest football game in Oregon’s history. 

The fervor over Monday’s national championship game between the Oregon Ducks and Ohio St. Buckeyes has reached a frenzy for UO football fans in Curry County, including Gold Beach residents John and Tina Schweers, who proudly portray their green and gold from head to toe and around the house.   


Pacific Gales golf course moving forward

Pacific Gales golf course property with a northern view toward Cape Blanco near Port Orford.

The Curry County commissioners approved Elk Rivers Development’s proposal for a golf course — again — with 22 conditions related to its construction north of Port Orford.

Three comments and one rebuttal to the appeal were received by deadline last week. The latest appeal required the county include wordage addressing how lighting should be shielded to keep the night skies as dark as possible.

The county has approved the project several times, but appeals, mostly from the environmental group Oregon Coast Alliance, have delayed its implementation. It is likely ORCA will again appeal the decision to the state Land Use Board of Appeals.


Citizen group pursues law levy

Sheriff John Ward’s Citizen Advisory Committee is going to have to meet every week for the next month if it is going to meet the deadline to get yet another tax levy on the May ballot to fund law enforcement in Curry County.

The group is considering asking voters to approve a temporary, split-rate tax that would serve as a “bridge” until they can draft a Law Enforcement Special District separate from the county.


The state of Curry County

County Commissioner Chair Susan Brown presented the State of the County address Wednesday, concentrating on the accomplishments of 2014 and acknowledging, but not detailing, the challenges the board faces in the new year.

Brown noted that for years, elected leaders have been reacting to the economic recession and subsequent loss of funding.


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