Safety City takes apps

Safety City is taking applications in the foyer at the Brookings Police Department, or later at Kindergarten Roundup May 2.

The free program is in its 22nd year and teaches children how to be safe while riding bikes. It will be held June 24, July 8 and 22. It is available to all children who will enter kindergarten in the fall of 2019. Children can be students from public, private or home schools.

For more information, contact Dan Palicki at 541-469-5253.

Hoosk still stable

Hooskanaden Slide is in a holding pattern until the rains let up, with crews working to fill potholes as they develop and monitoring the area for any slide activity — especially with weather reports calling for more than 5 inches of rain in the coming week.

Dan Latham, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation, said there’s been no movement in the past two weeks, but they are waiting for at least two days of dry weather before they pave two lanes for traffic.

A quarter-mile of the highway slipped down the hillside Feb. 25 during a torrential rain storm, forcing drivers to use detours on Carpenterville Road — the old U.S. 101 — for two weeks.

“Our main focus is on maintaining the gravel road surface and filling potholes,” Latham said. “We’ve also been working to stabilize and strengthen the ground near the south end of the slide. My understanding is that this involves driving long nails, or long metal dowels, into the ground to hold the soil together.”

The area is prone to slides, with one closing the highway from Jan. 12 to 21, 1995 and another closing it for five days in December 1977.

Chetco Bar Fire area open

Forest Supervisor Merv George, Jr. has rescinded the Chetco Bar Fire area closure that was put into effect in December 2017. The duration of the closure was necessary to ensure public safety due to the large number of hazard trees in the area.

Packers Cabin recreation sites are now open to the public, along with a number of roads including Mount Emily, Vulcan Lake and the Long Ridge/Packers Cabin roads and several others in the area. Little Redwood Campground remains closed for now.

The public is reminded to be cautious when visiting the fire area, as many dead standing trees remain, and the potential for trees to fall intermittently remains.

“We are pleased to provide public access to this area of the forest now that a reasonable level of safety has been achieved,” George said.

Scholarship available

Curry Student Success Fund offers scholarships to Curry County residents who seek to improve their lives through college education, trade school or certification programs. For an application, email at contact.cssf@gmail.com or call 541-469-9850.

The deadline to apply for the Curry Student Success Fund scholarship is May 1.

Reading partners needed

Riley Creek School in Gold Beach is looking for a few well-behaved cats and dogs for its Riley’s Readers is a literacy program that enhances a students reading experience by having them read to animals.

Handlers must pass a background check and animals must be calm and able to sit quietly for an hour while the kids read to them. The readers meet every Wednesday, from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

Contact barbarakthomas@outlook.com

Real estate booming

Since the economy started recovering in 2012, home sales have increased in value in Curry County, according to the Regional Multiple Listing Service, a clearinghouse of information about sales.

Fewer homes were listed in 2012, at 671 — and of those, only 332 closed — but by 2018, there were 859 listings and 614 closed sales.

Average sale prices hit a low of $187,000 in 2012, but gradually creeped up into the $220,000s in 2015 and averaged $313,400 in 2018.

Median home sales hit a low of 155,000 in 2012, creeped up to $165,000 the following year, and have reached a price of $265,000 in 2018. Time on the market, however, remains in triple-digit figures, but has gone from a high of 269 days in 2014 to 158 days last year.

Harbor ladder truck

After several months of preparation, testing and specialized training for the ladder truck crew, Harbor Rural Fire Department announced Harbor 5 will be put into full-time service early next month.

Harbor 5 is the only ladder truck in Curry County and will add significant additional capabilities to the department and adjacent districts as may be required.

Food bank in March

The Brookings-Harbor Community Food Bank served 279 families and 1,938 individuals in March, and distributed 1,284 Snack Packs to students, Executive Director Pam Winebarger said this week.

The bank also received more than 3,200 pounds of donated food.

Food donations can be taken to 539 Hemlock St.; financial contributions — which can purchase more food at bulk prices — can be sent to PO Box 1415, Brookings OR 97415.

Tick-tock!

Oregonians are closer to not having to switch their clocks twice a year. The state Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would potentially establish year-round daylight saving time.

The 23-4 vote on Senate Bill 320 sends the measure to the Oregon House.

If lawmakers in the House agree, and Brown signs it into law, it would not automatically mean the end of standard time in Oregon. The bill would only take effect if both California and Washington make the same decision. It would also require congressional approval.

Opponents, including Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton, warned of unintended consequences. If the state remains on daylight savings time year-round, sunrise in Oregon would not come until nearly 9 a.m. for several weeks each winter.

Opponents of daylight savings time say that the time change each spring and fall disrupts people’s circadian rhythm, resulting in tiredness to workplace injuries and car accidents, among other ramifications.

Wealthiest places

The Oregonian compiled a top 20 list of the wealthiest places in Oregon’s 36 counties last year, and Gold Beach was tops in Curry County. Now, using U.S. Census data, officials have determined the top poorest ZIP codes, and again Curry County is in the top rankings.

Port Orford ranked as the 13th poorest ZIP code in all of Oregon.

Using IRS information regarding Oregon income data and broken down by ZIP codes, analysts started with areas across the state with the highest percentage of returns filed in the $1 to $25,000 range. From there, they pulled up Census data to match the tax information with to get a broader picture. They chose median income and percentage of food stamp/SNAP beneficiaries to further narrow down the results.

Then they used the state’s baselines to determine each individual ranking. In 2014, the most recent year IRS data was available, the median household income in Oregon was $51,243 with 19.2 percent of the population with SNAP benefits.

Locally, more than 830 tax returns were filed in Port Orford, the data shows. And 51 percent of them make less than $25,000. The median household income is $35,600 and — as food-security experts in the county have noted recently — 28 percent of households are on food stamps or get SNAP benefits.

The median income in Gold Beach, on the other hand is $48,065; Brookings’ is $40,228.

Kerby, Sumpter, O’Brien, Cave Junction and Selma all listed in the top 10 poorest zip code areas.

22926268