Drive safe

Oregon State Police officials said Thursday they “really don’t want to see you” over the Memorial Day weekend.

To make that possible, the agency reminds drivers to time departures to allow enough time for travel, because experts are predicting this will be the busiest traffic weekend of 2018, a press release reads.

Other pointers include:

•Know your routes — and options if you come across detours or construction. Use the Oregon Department of Transportation’s www.tripcheck.com to find where road delays due to construction, car wrecks, landslides and other activity might be.

•Ensure your vehicle is properly equipped and in good working order.

•If you are traveling with children, have something to keep them occupied. Games, snacks and pillows will keep them occupied and help drivers keep your attention on the road.

The Oregon State Police patrol will be out in force this weekend focusing on maintaining the flow of traffic and enforcing traffic laws — but especially the so-called Fatal 5.

These five behaviors — speed, occupant safety, lane safety and impaired and distracted driving — contribute to the most serious and fatal crashes.

The water’s good

Bacterial levels at South Coast beaches are well below levels the state deems unhealthy, officials said.

At two locations at Harris Beach — among the most popular beaches for visitors on Memorial Day weekend — levels were 31 and 10 parts per million; the level at which the state issues a health advisory is 130.

Some years, a pool of ocean water collects behind a swale of sand at Harris Beach and in which seabirds often congregate.

Three readings at Macklyn Creek, which flows to Mill Beach, had levels less than 10 with the exception of one upstream that read 41.

Typically, contamination is due to upstream activity and wildlife. The city had one of its RARE participants last summer trek his way up Macklyn Creek to see if he could find leaking septic systems and other problems due to elevated contamination levels in past years, to no avail.

Ballots due

The deadline to get ballots returned in the recall election of Port of Brookings-Harbor President Angi Christian and board member Jan Barbas is 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 29.

The two are on the ballot for allegedly illegally firing Gary Dehlinger, the port manager, in an executive session meeting in April. They reinstated him, then held a public hearing he requested and after which they fired him again.

Two others originally listed on recall petitions for the same accusation were Andy Martin, a charter fishing operator, who resigned his post; and Roger Thompson, who resigned after getting a DUI in California. That charge was dismissed within the week.

As of Friday, 2,878 ballots of the 10,331 eligible voters — almost 28 percent — had been received in the elections office.

Voters can drop ballots in the white ballot-mailboxes at Brookings City Hall on Elk Drive or in the entrance to the courthouse driveway on Moore Street in Gold Beach, mail them in or hand-deliver them to the office at 94235 Moore St., Gold Beach OR 97444.

Fire season coming

Fire danger is low now, but Coos Forest Protection Association is reminding people that summer weather dries out fuel, making conditions ripe for wildfire.

Once conditions reach “moderate,” the fire season will be imposed.

Spring is the time to start removing flammable vegetation away from homes and other structures to create defensible space. There is still time left to get small piles burned before fire season.

Large piles, which create significant heat, are probably best left for fall burning, CFPA authorities recommend. Any time you debris burn you are responsible for maintaining control of your burn.

For burning restrictions inside the city limits, contact your local fire department.

More fire prevention information can be found at www.coosfpa.net, on Facebook, or by calling 541-267-3161.

Two more CBF sales

The Coos Bay District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sold two timber sales this week, including the Chetco Bar Fire Salvage timber sale, the agency announced Thursday.

Southport Forest Products purchased the Chetco Bar Fire Salvage timber sale for the appraised price of $198,499. The sale includes the harvest of 2 million board feet of timber from 140 acres in the harvest land base in Curry County that were burned in the 2017 Chetco Bar Fire.

The salvage is needed to obtain the economic value from the trees before they are eaten by bugs and then rot. More than 6,500 acres of BLM lands were burned in the 191,125-acre Chetco Bar Fire.

The BLM also sold the First Floras timber sale to PJF, Inc. of Myrtle Creek for $133,348. It includes 1.2 million board feet of timber in Curry County.

It takes approximately 16,000 board feet of lumber to frame a 2000-square-foot home. The First Floras sale is enough to build about 63 family-sized homes.

In with the new

Brookings City Manager Gary Milliman will likely hand over the keys to his office July 1 to current Finance and Human Resources Director Janell Howard as he retires after about 10 years working for the city.

The city will discuss the terms of Howard’s employment at 7 p.m. at its regular May 29 meeting.

Howard has worked for the city since 2009 and is proposed to have a starting salary of $128,000. Milliman said that that is 13 percent higher than what he currently earns, but noted that in the past several years, he has taken one-time bonuses and had the city pay for continuing education classes for him in lieu of a salary increase.

The $128,000, he said in a report to council, is within the norm for the position. A recent study shows the median salary for city managers in towns of comparable size is closer to $135,000. Howard plans to continue her work as the finance director, thus saving the city about $50,000 a year, as well.

The city council indicated it wants a smooth transition when Milliman retires, and felt hiring from within was the best route to take.

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