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Pacific City-Nestucca Valley Chamber seeks recommendations for annual awards by Oct. 25

Posted by on Oct 21, 2017 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on Pacific City-Nestucca Valley Chamber seeks recommendations for annual awards by Oct. 25

The Pacific City-Nestucca Valley Chamber of Commerce is seeking recommendations for its annual awards, which will be handed out at the Chamber’s banquet on Dec. 5. Award categories are Volunteer of the Year, Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year.
Members of the public interested in nominating a business or individual for this year’s awards are asked to send their suggestions along with a sentence or two about their recommendations to Nominations are due by Wednesday, Oct 25 as the Chamber board is planning on making a decision at their board meeting on Thursday, Oct. 26.

According to the Chamber, the Volunteer of the Year should be “someone who has given of his or her time to one or more organizations or projects which help make Tillamook County a better place to live and do business.” The nominee does not need to be a Chamber member. The Business of the Year is to celebrate a business or organization that has made an impact on the region. According to the Chamber, that could be more jobs, a new service or product or a significant investment in the area. The nominee can be anything from a single entrepreneur to a large organization. Finally, the Citizen of the Year is an award for an individual who has “stepped up in one or more areas to help make South Tillamook County the great place it is.” The nominee could be involved in local or state government, business, faith organizations, nonprofit organizations, community projects and more.

Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 – All ODF fire protection districts have ended their fire season

Posted by on Oct 21, 2017 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 – All ODF fire protection districts have ended their fire season

Housing Task Force

The Oregon Department of Forestry officially ended fire season with the last district – Southwest Oregon – lifting fire restrictions at 9 a.m. today (Friday, Oct. 20).

ODF firefighters suppressed over a thousand fires this year. The great majority were quickly contained at less than 10 acres. Invaluable to that effort was the help of private landowners, private contractors, local fire agencies, and state and federal partners, including out-of-state resources, some from as far away as North Carolina and Alberta, Canada. This year was also notable for the mobilization of the Oregon National Guard, hundreds of whom were dispatched to help on wildfires. Two Oregon Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopters loaned to the firefighting effort dropped more than 1.2 million gallons of liquid on Oregon fires during their mobilization.

Although the number of fires in Oregon (just under 2,000) was not unusually high this year, the area burned was larger than average at an estimated 678,000 acres. Only 6% of that – about 42,000 acres – burned on ODF-protected lands, even though half the state’s wildfires occurred on forestland protected by ODF. By comparison, the severe fire seasons from 2013-2015 accounted for an annual average of 81,467 acres burned. 

This year, two large fires – the Chetco Bar Fire and Horse Prairie Fire – together accounted for 85% of the acres of ODF-protected land which burned. The Chetco Bar Fire in Curry County was started by lightning and spread to become Oregon’s largest wildfire, burning 191,125 acres, of which 20,000 was land protected by the Coos Forest Protective Association. The Horse Prairie Fire near Riddle in Douglas County started in late August and scorched 16,436 acres before being fully contained. About 1,400 acres of land protected by ODF was burned in the Eagle Creek Fire, a human-caused fire in the Columbia Gorge that grew to 48,831 acres. 

Lightning was unusually rare last year but returned with a vengeance in August, keeping firefighters in southern and eastern Oregon busy well into September.
Despite being fully engaged on wildfires across the state, ODF had no firefighter fatalities and injuries were below the expected average.

Despite this year’s many lightning fire starts, ODF statistics show that the majority of wildfires continue to be caused by humans. Human-caused fires are up 9% over last year, underscoring the importance of prevention and public adherence to fire season restrictions.

Fire season is declared and terminated on a district-by-district basis based on fire danger conditions. Below is a list of ODF fire protection districts and their fire season start and end dates:

 – South Cascade District, June 26 to Oct. 11
– Western Lane District, June 26 to Oct. 11
– North Cascade District, July 5 to Oct. 11
– West Oregon District, July 3 to Oct. 11
– Northwest Oregon District, July 10 to Oct.11
– Coos Forest Protective Association, June 26 to Oct. 13
– Walker Range Fire Patrol Association, June 2 to Oct. 13
– Douglas Forest Protective Association, June 19 to Oct. 12
 – Northeast Oregon District, June 26 to Oct. 12
– Central Oregon District, June 7 to Oct. 16
– Klamath-Lake District, June 5 to Oct. 19
– Southwest Oregon District, June  4 to Oct. 20

For photos and more information on wildfires and wildfire readiness, visit ODF’s wildfire blog at
Updates on Oregon wildfires
Three new fires yesterday in Oregon burned a total of 30 acres before being contained. On existing large fires, apart from some modest growth (110 acres) on the 39,715-acre Miller Complex in southern Oregon, there was minimal fire activity across the state. Precipitation falling in much of the state has helped further dampen remaining smoldering on fire sites, although posing an increased risk for landslides. For more information about large wildfires, including those listed below, please visit:  

Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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Letter to Editor: South County – Unraveling Our Infrastructure Dilemma

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on Letter to Editor: South County – Unraveling Our Infrastructure Dilemma

Housing Task Force

It is no secret that many of our roads, sidewalks, boat ramps, recreation areas and bike lanes are shipwrecked and have seen better days. While the Haystack area in Pacific City has well maintained roads and sidewalks, sidewalks or lack thereof outside that area become a danger for pedestrians. Poorly marked crosswalks make crossing dangerous, and safe bike lanes are lacking. Potholes, cracks, damaged road signs, and poorly designed access areas can have devastating effects on all categories of users.

Several years ago while exercising my service animal on a county owned boat ramp in the community of Woods, I found myself victim to an unmaintained and dangerous public access. I have endured four surgeries and have been physically disabled from this. After years of litigation and learning that it is nearly impossible to seek damages from a governmental entity, I sought a positive remedy to replace my bitterness. I decided to take my personal tragedy and seek answers as to how to protect others from injury due to poorly maintained infrastructures owned by the county. In doing so I dropped my tort claim against the County of Tillamook and wish to share my opinion.
I believe that Tillamook County has some tremendous assets, from the beach to the mountains, and it is great that we can share them with the rest of the world. But this sharing does not evolve without an imploding infrastructure. For example, as the bulge in travelers moves through Pacific City, economic resources to maintain and support our growth for improved infrastructure become increasingly scarce and in demand.

The Tillamook County Transient Lodging Tax went into effect January 1, 2014 to create more revenue for promoting tourism. The tourism tax created by the Economic Development Council has been successful in that aspect, but it has failed in generating adequate economic resources for our local infrastructure. Seventy percent (70%) of the funds are used to promote county tourism, but only thirty percent (30%) of the tax goes to public works, and this is not satisfactory.

Although the travel and tourism economy is increasingly essential to trade in this county, it cannot justify placing the tax burden for increased energy, water, wastes, roadwork, fire, rescue, and more police on our local residents. In an October 2014 edition of the Pacific City Sun, the Director of Public Works said in regards to my injury on county property: “We haven’t been maintaining it because I didn’t even know it was under the jurisdiction of the road department…if we can’t even fill potholes how we can pay for fixing the boat ramp.”
Therefore I find it puzzling that the Pacific City Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Council, Pacific City/Woods CAC and our County Commissioners (often on the same boards) focus on promoting and increasing tourism, but have failed to provide safe public access and meet the needs of the infrastructures in dire straits within Pacific City as a whole. While the Cape Kiawanda area continues to look like a modern maintained mini San Diego with its vacation homes and expensive lodges, lined with paved roads, sidewalks and lit crosswalks, the rest of the community lacks revenue to repair its imploding infrastructure.

As a former Operations Manager of crew lodges, better known as man camps in North Dakota, I was faced with an influx of growth on the infrastructures locally, similar to the issues at hand. Together the owners sought a solution with the elected county commissioners and city council members. Drafted in this solution was the premise we would not burden the home owners with more taxes, yet would support our infrastructures while still making profits. We developed an infrastructure tax assessed against the crew lodges and oil companies causing this implosion. This tax was assessed on bi-yearly bases from their profits. The success of this new tax increased the city and county infrastructure budgets overwhelmingly. Roads were repaired, bridges were built and even a new highway was constructed.

The solution is simple. In addition to the lodging tax, which the tourist pays, it seems only fair to also tax a small fraction of the profits from the owners of the brewery, vacation homes and lodges that profit from the tourist who often pay them upwards of three hundred dollars ($300.00) or more per night. Doing so would serve dual purposes: public works, parks and other needed entities would obtain further economic assistance for needed equipment and staff, while the increased maintenance would stimulate positive growth and immediate jobs. Perhaps this tax could help keep our beaches clean and develop affordable housing for the working class that cannot afford or even find housing in this area.
It is better to deal with this now, than face huge damages in the future for injuries or property damage which in the end comes from the taxpayer. Making sense will make dollars.
Bill Minnix
Pacific City

Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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Looking Back: The Manzanita Tornado

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in Visit Tillamook Coast | Comments Off on Looking Back: The Manzanita Tornado

Words like ‘quaint’ and ‘charming’ are often the first that come to mind when Manzanita. It’s a little coastal gem with inviting shops, restaurants and lodging.
After the morning of October 14, 2016, another word has moved to the top of the list: ‘resilient.’
A little after 8 a.m. that Friday morning, a tornado blew in off the ocean and made a quick, powerful run through downtown Manzanita.
After the initial shock wore off and the dust settled, residents got a look at what was left behind.
It looked bad. Trees and power lines were down and debris was everywhere. Several storefronts in the heart of Laneda Avenue were badly damaged.
Soon, the sound of chainsaws working to remove downed trees and trucks hauling away debris became a familiar, constant background noise.
Thanks to a quick response by Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay and city officials, information was easily disseminated and clean-up crews got to where they needed to be.
A photo from 2016 shows the aftermath of a tornado in Manzanita.
Amazingly, the majority of Manzanita’s shops, restaurants and lodgings were open for business within 24 hours.
Some Manzanita shopping staples – Salt & Paper, Toylandia, Manzanita Sweets, Cones & Coffee, Wisteria Chic, Vino Manzanita and Moxie Fair Trade – were hit the hardest and faced uncertainty about when they might be able to reopen. Owners began working in earnest to repair the damage or temporarily relocate.
One year later, little of the damage is visible. All of the shops have been repaired and are now reopen, some within a few days of the tornado (MacGregor’s Whiskey Bar opened in the space previously occupied by Vino Manzanita).
Shops damaged by the tornado are repaired and open for business.
Citizens are aware that it could have been much worse: no major injuries were incurred.
If nothing else, the tornado was a reminder of the need for disaster preparation.
The quickest path to recovery in Manzanita was having folks dining at their favorite restaurants or shopping at their favorite stores again.
Source: Visit Tillamook Coast

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5 Reasons to travel ‘Chamber Style’ to Ireland

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on 5 Reasons to travel ‘Chamber Style’ to Ireland

Housing Task Force

By Sierra Lauder, Director of Events and Downtown Promotions, Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce

Our downtown office has been hopping lately. Amongst the downtown construction, launching our #constructdowntown sweepstakes, and planning the annual Awards Banquet, the Chamber is still busy preparing for our trip to Ireland in April 2018. If you’re on the fence about going, there are still some seats open and we would love for you to join us. This is your chance to spend 11 days in Ireland, immersing yourself in the history, culture, cuisine and diverse landscape.

The tour includes nine nights in handpicked hotels, daily breakfast, a private deluxe motor coach and guided sightseeing by local experts. Travelers will be treated to lush landscapes, historical sites with awe-inspiring architecture, and local pubs filled with fresh pints and friendly locals where it is not uncommon for local musicians to share songs and stories.
Eleven days can’t cover everything that there is to experience in Ireland, and everyone has different interests, which is why we opted for a tour company that can flex to build some options in to suit your travel preferences. You can choose to extend your tour a few days, or for added fees you can customize your experience both on the tour and after. So if a banquet dinner in a 17th-century castle overlooking Galway Bay sounds like your glass of whiskey, you can make that happen. Or, if you want to leave the tour in Dublin and go your own way, Go Ahead can help you plan for that.
Here are just a few reasons to consider joining us in Ireland next Spring:
1. History and Architecture. Ireland’s landscape has been riddled with intense power struggles, severe climate changes, famines, viking raids and turmoil. Yet through all this, Ireland has prevailed. We will have the opportunity to see much of Ireland’s history up close and personal on our trip, including the inside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the remains of a 6th century church, various historical castles, a Victorian mansion, the iconic Rock of Cashel that dates back to the 12th century, and the Cobh Heritage Centre. The Heritage Centre is situated within Cobh’s beautifully restored Victorian railway station, a building with its own historic story.  Because so many people from Ireland’s past travelled through Cobh, which is still one of the world’s finest natural harbours, you can learn about the stories of these emigrants, as well as other maritime, naval and military history of the area.
2. Music and Dance.  Irish traditional music has remained vibrant through the 20th and into the 21st century. Irish traditional music includes many kinds of songs, including drinking songs, ballads and laments –  sung unaccompanied or with a variety of instruments.  Traditional dance music includes reels,  hornpipes and jigs, and even the polka. Since the 20th century, Irish pubs have become little outposts of Irish culture, and we will have plenty of opportunities to see the inside of these pubs.  Towards the end of our tour in County Kerry, each tourist gets an entire free day to explore on his or her own (or with new friends) and soak in the Irish culture. You even have the option to visit a traditional Irish music and dance show while we’re there.
3. Food and Drink. At one time, Ireland was the world leader for producing and distributing whiskey – allotting for 90% of the world’s whiskey at the start of the 20th century. Our tour includes an Irish Whiskey tasting at the historic Kilbeggan Distillery – the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland, dating back to 1757. And let’s not forget that the world-famous Guinness originated in Ireland and is proudly served at nearly every pub and restaurant. Food and cuisine in Ireland has experienced a recent renaissance based on traditional ingredients that incorporate international influences. This cuisine is centered around fresh vegetables, fish, traditional soda breads and the wide range of hand-made cheeses that are produced across the country. (Try a “Dublin Lawyer” – lobster cooked in whiskey and cream.) Come hungry and find a new favorite meal or recipe idea to bring home.
4. Environment. The island’s rich vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the nickname the Emerald Isle. Some may say it is similar in climate and landscape to Tillamook with its farmland, forests and coastal habitats. Our particular tour makes a point to travel around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. For a more hands-on experience, take a walk along the coastline of the Cliffs of Moher.
5. Community Building. Even if Ireland isn’t your dream vacation, traveling “Chamber style” is worth it if only for the intense community building that ensues. Taking the conversation about how to enhance the livability of Tillamook to a new country opens up new avenues of thought, appreciation and problem solving. It gives us a chance to see how other cultures operate and thrive, and we are then able to bring this newfound energy and excitement home with us to implement in exciting ways. Being an active part of this conversation is hugely rewarding.
Intrigued? For more information about Ireland, contact me at, or call our office at 503-842-7525.

Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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