RARE participant

Ariel Kane has joined Gold Beach Main Street program as a Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) participant to help the nonprofit group with its streetscape improvements, economic development and community programs.

“With Ariel’s help, Gold Beach Main Street is excited to focus on our goals, increase community engagement and grow our tiny town with big dreams,” said President Laurie Van Zante. “We’re looking forward to what we can accomplish in the next year.”

Kane will coordinate, plan and manage various projects the nonprofit undertakes, in addition to marketing, event coordination and technical assistance with which other organizations Gold Beach Main Street works.

Kane, a Winston native, spent the past four years teaching English and volunteering in Japan. She will be based at Gold Beach City Hall.

Her position is supported by the city’s Urban Renewal Agency, the Ford Family Foundation and the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement.

Skate park policy

Brookings City Council will develop a policy allowing officials to close the skateboard park near Bud Cross Park if people continue to vandalize and misuse it.

The city put a fence around it in 2016 to deter BMX bicyclists from entering. Skateboard and BMX parks are built differently, and the pegs on the pedals of the bicycles were creating divots in the concrete bowl.

Currently, the gate is locked in the open position, but a policy would allow damage and misuse to trigger a policy and allow the city to lock the gate closed.

“It’s not something I’d like to take on myself,” said Public Works and Development Director Tony Baron in a city workshop Monday.

Cameras up there often result in fuzzy images, he said, and it is hard to identify graffiti vandals because their backs are often turned, Baron said.

“The cameras do a pretty good job of catching some of it,” he said. “But they can’t catch all of it. And it’s a lot of footage to go through, and sometimes it’s not clear. It’s really hit and miss.”

His hopes is that, if the park is vandalized and the town closes it for a few days — or a couple weeks, depending on the extent of the damage — park users will be more inclined to report incidents and self-police the area.

“Put up a big sign,” said Councilor Ron Hedenskog. “‘The park is closed because of vandalism. That might open some eyes up.”

Redistricting grant

The League of Women Voters of Oregon (LWVOR) received a grant from its U.S. Education Fund to create a program to educate and advocate on behalf of redistricting reform in the state.

The League of Women Voters of Curry County will host a public meeting at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Curry Public Library on 3rd Street in Gold Beach.

The league’s goal is to take redistricting out of the hands of legislators and put it back into the hands of voters to create fair and representative districts.

“We believe that voters should be choosing their representatives, not representatives choosing their voters,” the league said in a press release.

Any reform would require an amendment to the Oregon Constitution to create an independent redistricting commission with strict criteria for drawing district boundaries.

The LWVOR is urging local leagues to hold public forums in upcoming months to discuss what current problems are in the process and what could be changed.