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Agency mulls scenic designation for Chetco River

On Tuesday night, the Harbor Fire Hall was the site of a packed meeting to discuss designating a portion of the Chetco River as a State Scenic Waterway.  

The area in question runs from Loeb State Park to the Steel Bridge.

Several citizens attending the meeting were there out of concern that the designation of part of the river as a State Scenic Waterway would limit recreational activities on the river, such as camping. Before the meeting began, Chris Havel of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department addressed the crowd to assuage some of their concerns:


BPA line fails, 4,700 out of power

More than 4,700 Curry County customers were without power this morning when a Bonneville Power Administration line failed, according to Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative.

Power was out to most of Gold Beach, Pistol River and two major substations in Brookings when the line failed about 9 a.m., according to Coos-Curry spokesman Jacob Knudsen.

By 10 a.m., Coos-Curry had restored service to all but Pistol River customers by using a second BPA line into the area. 

There was still no word, Knudsen said, on the initial cause of the problem in the BPA line.

The Curry Coastal Pilot will keep this site updated as more information becomes available.


New federal funds for counties

Curry County has again secured a two-year Secure Rural Schools (SRS) extension after Congress approved HR 2, a Medicare bill to which the legislation was attached, federal representatives announced early Wednesday morning.

O&C funds to Curry County should total about $1.1 million, which is $488,493 more than the $657,013 it has already received in timber sale receipts, said Curry County Accountant Gary Short. The SRS extension will provide local roads and schools $1.9 million, instead of the $111,000 from timber sales on national Forest Service land, which is split, 75-25, between roads and schools.


Fish-on! 130-day salmon season

A 130-day sport salmon fishing season for the Wild Rivers Coast has been recommended by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

The season, focused on Chinook salmon, will run from May 1 through Sept. 7 along the coast in Brookings and Crescent City. 

Watch for a full story in the Saturday edition of the Curry Coastal Pilot.

The official press release for all the Pacific salmon seasons is below.


Inspiring students for 37 years

Diane Cavaness, leading her seventh grade students in a science activity, says, “I love middle school.”

The students in Diane Cavaness’ seventh grade science class call out letters as they run around the classroom. 

“A! T!

“C! I need a C! C! G!”

They’re not cheerleaders, though their chants make them sound like they could be — they’re playing a game to help them learn about DNA.

“You can see I don’t like kids sitting quietly in their seats,” Cavaness says.

Cavaness has taught for 37 years, 25 of which have at Azalea Middle School. At the end of this year, she will retire from teaching.


Tsunami debris on local beach

Three days after part of a Japanese fishing boat was found floating on the ocean south of Newport last Thursday, Harbor resident Karen Harris stumbled across a box on her daily walk on the beach below her house.

“It’s blue,” she said. “And big — about four-foot by four-foot by eight-foot.”

And it had Japanese lettering on the side.


Gas tax would fuel repairs for city streets

Brookings Public Works Director Loree Pryce has a long list of streets — three miles worth — that could see improvements on them within a year if residents approve the city’s Measure 8-80 on the May 19 ballot.

The measure asks voters to approve a 4-cent fuel tax city officials believe will raise about $300,000 a year to help repair and maintain streets. They are unsure of the exact revenue because gas stations in the city — notably Fred Meyer — will not divulge how much gasoline is sold at the pumps. The state has no such records, either, even though it collects a fuel tax.

The tax, which sunsets in three years, may generate more than twice the current $2.98 monthly System Replacement Fee seen on water bills that funds road repairs. 


Disc golf OK’d for Azalea Park

Disc golf is soaring into Brookings’ future, a group of enthusiasts told the city council at its meeting Monday night.

They were there to obtain approval for a disc golf course at Azalea Park. It would be the area’s fourth such course. The other three are at McVay State Park south of Harbor and two at Salmon Run golf course.

The sport, which involves tossing a small Frisbee-type disc at targets far away, is growing exponentially in Oregon. 


Brookings district hires new school chief


The Brookings-Harbor School Board has hired Sean D. Gallagher to be the district’s superintendent beginning July 1. 

Gallagher and the board reached a tentative agreement that will be finalized at a public meeting in the near future, officials said.

The term of Interim Superintendent Lee Bush ends on June 30.


Fukushima radioactivity reaches West Coast

It’s official.

Scientists announced this week that radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown has reached Western shores — but tests show the levels of that radioactivity are so negligible as to be insignificant.

Researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in collaboration with volunteers at more than 60 sites along the Eastern Pacific Coast and Hawaii in the past 15 months, have found trace amounts of cesium-134 and -137 that are “well below” the level of concern for human and marine life.


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