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Leave them alone

David Crosby spotted this baby resting at Lone Ranch Beach while its mother was in the nearby ocean. Photo by David Crosby.

David Crosby was walking at Lone Ranch Beach north of Brookings last week when he came upon the baby seal. 

“It was 2 p.m. Friday afternoon. It was left there by the mother as she went fishing,” he said.

The seal noticed the human, who kept his distance. A short time later, Crosby saw it scampering into the ocean.

Close encounters with Oregon Coast wildlife are nothing new, especially in May and June, the months when newborn animals are getting their start.


Brookings shelves annexation research

Brookings’s new study to determine if it is economically viable to annex the Harbor area will be relegated to a shelf to collect dust — at least until the issue rears its contentious head again.

City councilors Monday decided to accept Portland State University’s Center for Public Service’s study conducted last year, but not act upon any of its recommendations.

Councilor Brent Hodges said he was surprised the study showed it wouldn’t benefit Brookings to annex its neighbor to the south.

“I thought it would be much more beneficial,” he said. “I always thought having the (property tax)  income from that area would be worth it, and it’s not.”


Motor boat restrictions on Chetco proposed

The State Marine Board has received a petition requesting it adopt a new rule to ban the use of motorized boats on a portion of the Chetco River due to perceived conflicts among users, it was announced earlier this week.

The petition proposes prohibiting the use of motors on the Chetco River from the downstream boundary of the national forest near Miller Bar to the lower water tower below Social Security Bar.

The petitioners include private boater and bank anglers Paul LeFebvre, Shane Hendren, Richard Heap, Ken Range and Ted Olson, all of Brookings; and Chetco riverfront property owners Richard Behrens, Peter Celli, Randy Warren and Rhonda Seymore.


Fireside Diner a victim of Harbor sinkhole

Crews excavate an area next to the Fireside Diner in February. A sinkhole in the parking lot shut down the eatery. Photo by Al Brodock.

While the roads affected by a Harbor sinkhole and landslide last December have since reopened, there’s one thing that won’t: the Fireside Diner.

David and Angel Allen, owners of the fledgling eatery at the corner of Highway 101 and Hoffeldt Lane, have decided to lease out the building with hopes that someone else will open a restaurant there.

David Allen said it has been difficult to maintain the business with the additional expenses incurred by the sinkhole, which destroyed much of the parking lot. The restaurant has been closed since Jan. 28


Remembering Archie McVay

Pat and Patty McVay peruse family albums as they prepare for Archie’s May 14 funeral service.

Long-time Harbor resident Benjamin Archie McVay was a man with many irons in the fire, from teaching his seven children self-sufficiency to hand-dredging what was to become the safest harbor in Oregon, from traveling abroad to explore the world to working in the garden to fill the family larder.

Scratch the surface and there is much to behold, family members agreed, as two of the seven met last week to reminisce, pore through photo albums and recall “Archie’s Anecdotes.” 

McVay passed away April 23 at the age of 95. 


Officials: More access to Mill Beach

Brookings Mayor Ron Hedenskog is fighting to keep an age-old rite of passage — campfires and s’mores — available to everyone on Mill Beach.

Likewise, City Councilor Jake Pieper is fighting for the right to party on the beach — and to use the access road to get there.

The issue is that the parking area at the base of Macklyn Cove Road closes a half-hour before sunset, and those loitering on the property can be asked to leave or risk getting a citation. The beach itself is open, by state law, 24 hours a day for its entire length in Oregon.

“I keep feeling squeezed,” Councilor Brent Hodges said of limits placed on places or hours in which to recreate. “The activities we move here for are getting pecked at; I’m going to push back as much as I can.”


Sheriff seeks cash for more deputies

Curry County budget talks began this week and Sheriff John Ward was first up, asking for $1.38 million from the county’s road fund to pay for patrol services for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

He also asked county commissioners Monday if they would consider taking another $360,000 from the road fund to hire three more deputies, which would increase the hours of patrol coverage.


Season of construction around town

The sounds of construction — from bulldozers to nail guns — have been filling the air throughout the Brookings-Harbor area this month, leading many wondering what is going on in the various locations.


Ballot returns, candidates’ finances for May 17 election

Seven days left to go, and 27 percent of Curry County ballots had been returned to the county Elections Office as of Tuesday afternoon.

According to the county’s website, 3,700 of 13,861 registered voters have cast their ballot for the Primary Election May 17. Twenty-eight ballots have not been “accepted,” usually meaning the voter forgot to sign the outer envelope. The clerk’s office works with the voter to rectify those situations.


Burglars target Chetco Music Company

Brookings Police arrested one man and are searching for accomplices suspected of breaking into Chetco Music Company this week and stealing instruments and other merchandise.

Police arrested Harbor resident Michael D. Bratton, 33, for first-degree burglary. Additional arrests are likely, said Lt. Donny Dotson.

Store owner Brandon Caldwell and his mother Sue Cruickshank entered their store on Chetco Avenue around 11 a.m. Wednesday to discover that several thousand dollars worth of merchandise had been stolen.


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