Buoys out nationwide

A nationwide outage of all offshore buoys was reported Friday morning.

Those buoys report wave heights to ensure the safety of those at sea. They are also instrumental in estimating when tsunamis will hit shore.

As of presstime, it was unknown why the buoys were non-operational, nor when they would be back online.

Information about waves has been critical of late, with winter storms creating choppy, strong and high waves along the coast. One boat capsized in the mouth of the river in Newport, and another had all its windows blown out; both required assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Good deeds

An “old Marine” who wished to remain anonymous had three large pizzas from Fat Cat Pizza in Harbor delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard Chetco Station Friday.

“Today’s the first day they didn’t get paid,” he said of the partial government shutdown in Washington, D.C. “What’s important is that these folks be acknowledged for their good work and know they are supported by the community.”

The Fat Cat delivery driver said the Coasties were “just tickled pink.”

“I”m just trying to help them,” the old Marine said.

We’re number … 3

Brookings was listed in the top 10 of most desirable places to live in Oregon, based on data from the U.S. Census and FBI, according to Chip Tobor, a data analyst with homesnacks.com, a blog that endeavors to break information into bite-sized studies to help people understand what it’s like to live in different communities across the country.

Brookings won the ranking over 70 other locales that have more than 5,000 people.

Criteria considered included median home values and income, population density, unemployment, commute times, crime, education levels, health insurance coverage and poverty rates.

911 outages

Verizon customers were without 911 service for almost 12 hours, from 8:53 p.m. Wednesday to 8:19 Thursday morning Wednesday.

County officials sent out an alert to emergency alert system subscribers saying they didn’t know the reason for the outage and recommended anyone with an emergency use land lines.

AT&T and U.S. Cellular phones were affected to a degree, as well.

A company spokeswoman said the outage might be due to the company’s system upgrades to handle 5G; the faster system is already in place in Sacramento, Houston and Los Angeles.

New cop in Port Orford

The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training announced the list of its 384th Basic Police Class graduates, which included Police Officer Andrew Perry of the Port Orford department.

The 16-week basic police includes training in survival skills, firearms, emergency vehicle operations, ethics, cultural diversity, problem-solving, community policing, elder abuse, drug recognition and dozens of other subjects.

This class will graduate at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem on Jan. 18 with a reception to follow.

RedFish Rocks rocks

The RedFish Rocks Community Team, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting and educating the public about the marine reserve off Port Orford, recently finished its ranger season.

In that time, 10 volunteers greeted 1,807 visitors at the Battle Rock Wayfinding Point at the south end of town between July and September.

According to a press release, 76 percent of the visitors were from outside of Oregon and 10 percent were from outside of the United States — from Arizona to Tanzania. More than two-thirds had no prior knowledge of marine reserves in Oregon.

The 2019 rangers season begins in April; interested volunteers can contact Maya Holiman at maya@redfishrocks.org, or 541-332-9999.

Click, click

Josh Hayes of Brookings shot a scenic photograph of a blazing sunset through the trees while out in the backcountry — and his photo is featured as the March 2019 picture in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Oregon Elk Tracks legacy calendar.

Hayes took the photo off Forest Road 3680 in the Hunter Creek area.

Hayes is an avid fisherman and hunter and passing those skills on to his four children.

Port Orford gallery closes

Sherry Johnson, owner of the Johnson Gallery in Port Orford for the past 16 years, announced that the gallery will close Feb. 3.

Sherry and her husband, sculptor Eric Johnson, opened the gallery in a two-story house on 8th Street in 2003 and specialized in the works of local and regional artists. Eric died two years ago and Johnson has decided to retire to go bike riding, travel, volunteer and get to know her grandchildren.

She plans to stay in Port Orford.

The Johnson Gallery will have a closing sale; hours are on Fridays and weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. it is located at 530 8th St. For more information, call 541-332-0599.

Three die in capsize

U.S. Coast Guard officials announced that a crew of three died in the capsizing of the Mary B II crab boat while crossing the Yaquina Bay bar in Newport Tuesday night.

Two of the three were recovered but later died; the third was trapped in the boat.

Sea swells were reported to be 12 to 14 feet in height — and crabbing season had just begun in that stretch of the Oregon coast.

The captain of the Mary B II asked for a Coast Guard escort while crossing the bar when the incident occurred at the mouth of the two jetties. The Coast Guard immediately started a search.

Park rangers needed

The city of Brookings is accepting applications for its new volunteer park ranger program.

The primary responsibility of a ranger is to protect and monitor designated outdoor areas by patrolling city parks to ensure pedestrians, hikers and other visitors are following the rules and aren’t disrupting the natural environment or fellow guests. Rangers may be responsible for giving guided tours or presentations of the park.

They also provide guests with maps and inform them of areas that are off-limits.

The ranger would be responsible for reporting problems such as blocked trails and overflowing drains and streams. They would also monitor restrooms, report vandalism or needed repairs, and periodically prepare and submit reports regarding incidents observed in the parks.

The ranger would greet visitors, explain rules distribute flyers and other information and maintain cordial relations with the public and city officials.

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