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Brookings announces goals for 2015

The Brookings City Council will discuss its own version of New Year’s resolutions — the draft Strategic Plan — at its first workshop of the year, at 4 p.m. Thursday.

In a four-page document, city officials outlined their hopes and dreams under their four goals. The goals include to:

•have an effective, responsive, ethical city government that is fiscally sustainable;

•have a safe community;

•influence economic development and improve quality of life;

•and maintain effective intergovernmental relations.


Final days for Fely’s Cafe

In 2007, fans of Fely’s Cafe stage an impromptu protest of its pending closure then. Today, there will be no reprieve for the popular eatery, which closes Sunday at the Port of Brookings Harbor.

On Tuesday morning, three customers sat in Fely’s Cafe, sipping coffee and chatting. Getting up to leave, one customer gave owner and chief cook Fely Johnson a hug, saying, “We’ll look you up the next time you’re in town.”

That may be a difficult promise to keep.

Fely’s Cafe, a landmark at the Port of Brookings Harbor, will close its doors at the end of business Sunday. The cafe is a well-loved institution among Brookings and Harbor residents, as well as tourists.

The closure is a result of port plans to renovate the Sporthaven Beach area where Fely’s Cafe stands, as well as the cafe’s noncompliance with federal regulations. 


Quake upgrades for GB campus

Thanks to a $1.1 million grant from the state of Oregon, Riley Creek Elementary School in Gold Beach will upgrade six of its buildings to make them safer in case of an earthquake.

The remodeling is made possible by a grant through the state of Oregon called the “Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program,” which funds the rehabilitation of critical public buildings — especially schools and emergency service facilities such as hospitals. 

“We want to make sure we can exit buildings safely,” Central Curry School District superintendent Dennis Johnson said. “And we felt that safety was compromised.”


New maps help locate landslides in Curry

Curry County is loaded with landslides — some 3,000 of them in a 170-square-mile area the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) studied this year.

And the new maps, available at www.oregongeology.org/sub/slido, can even show residents — right down to their address — just how safe they are.

Overall, landslides don’t represent a huge danger for most people along the coast.

“The intent is to make it as simple as possible for people to review,” said Curry County Emergency Services Coordinator Don Kendall. “It provides much more information for the roads department, for ODOT, for county planning. It’s more the geology information that they thrive on, so they know what they need to do.”


Search and rescue crews find missing hikers

Sheriff’s search and rescue personnel helped reunite two different people with their families after they went on separate hikes and became lost last weekend.

According to Sheriff John Ward, a Port Orford woman called 911 Saturday evening to say her 16-year-old son hadn’t returned from a day hike into the Grassy Knob Wilderness area between the Elk and Sixes rivers. 

The youth had planned to hike with his two dogs from Elk River into the wilderness area and then down into the Dry Creek area off the Sixes River.

When he didn’t return home before dark, his family and friends started searching the roads nearby, Ward said.


Brookings light show a hit

Neither rain nor wind could keep away the 12,160 folks who meandered and oohed and ahhed among the hundreds of thousands of twinkling Christmas lights in the Nature’s Coastal Holiday display.

The 18th annual event, held in Azalea Park, ended Dec. 25.

“It’s kind of sad, kind of happy,” said Bryan Tillung, who heads up the event. “And the job’s not done. From now until we start up again, we have to have the figurines refurbished, replace old equipment, buy new lights …”


City OKs carousel operation plan

Bud Halliday of A Carousel for Brookings has reached a five-year operating agreement with the city regarding the carousel he hopes to bring to Azalea Park.

The carousel is proposed to be located east of the KidTown parking lot and brought to Brookings to enliven the park and bring tourism to the city.

Halliday’s idea was greeted with enthusiasm when he outlined the plans to the city council at its last meeting earlier this month.


Christmas Eve storm blows in, quickly fades

Heather Porter, who has been providing feral cats with food for the past 10 years, battles high winds and rain to replenish bowls on the Chetco River South Jetty.

High winds whipped through Curry County the morning of Christmas Eve, knocking out power in scattered locations when a transformer blew out on Easy Street in Brookings.

Other brownouts were reported in Gold Beach and Port Orford, but Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative (CCEC) was able to restore power within about a half-hour.

And then, about as quickly as it blew in, the worst of the storm faded away.


Residents struggle to find health care in Curry

Jeri Shillam relocated from Grants Pass to Brookings for all the usual reasons.

“I love the beach — the weather here,” she exclaimed. “And you should see the place I bought! It even has a hot tub overlooking the water!”

But she wouldn’t have done it had she known how difficult it was to find a primary care physician.

“I have made at least 10 contacts with doctors in Brookings and Gold Beach and cannot locate one doctor who is taking new patients,” she said earlier this month. “Seventeen days ago, I submitted an application for a doctor at the largest medical office in Brookings and have heard nothing. I never knew you had to fill out an application to get a doctor.”


Study backs reroute of 101 in Del Norte

CRESCENT CITY —Sea level rise and more intense storms could exacerbate coastal erosion, flooding and landslides on Del Norte County’s coastal roads — particularly at Last Chance Grade, according to a federally-funded study on climate change impacts to North Coast roads.

Using public input and direction from a technical advisory group, the study concluded that rerouting U.S. Highway 101 around the active slide was the most desirable of two adaptation strategies to cope with climate change.

But even though the study focused on Last Chance Grade as one of four areas in Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino and Lake counties that were the most vulnerable to climate change effects, the data can be applied to roads throughout Del Norte, said Tamera Leighton, executive director of the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission.

“It’s not a key decision-making tool for a specific project,” Leighton said of the climate change study. “It’s providing a baseline guidance for how to consider climate change in transportation planning.”


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