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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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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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Breathing new life into a Netarts landmark

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on Breathing new life into a Netarts landmark

By Sayde Moser-Walker

When Nick Peterson and Sky Veek bought what is now Netarts Surf Inn, the roof was leaking, mold had sprouted and was spreading through the rooms like wildfire,  and it had become a hub of seedy activities. What had once been a landmark destination along Highway 101 had become nothing more than an eyesore.
“People were still living there, but the conditions were so abysmal it’s a wonder that anyone could even breathe in that place,” recalled Sky.

Yet the price was right, and Nick and Sky were determined that with a little imagination, it could be a Netarts destination once again.
The duo began the remodel last February and opened the doors in June of 2016. They were looking to create an authentic lodging experience that reflected the character of one of their favorite beach towns, Netarts.
“Villages like this are hard to come by anymore,” Nick said. “Netarts is a dying breed as more and more coastal communities are being discovered by travelers.”

“We wanted to improve the look, feel and experience of locals and visitors to this little gem of a coastal village,” added Sky.
The majority of the work the two did themselves, including adding the hand-picked décor that makes each room unique.
“We operate on a garage-sale budget,” Sky said. “You never know what fun thing you might find in one of our rooms.”
In its original life, the 7-room cottage was the infamous Sea Lion Motel. Every Memorial Day weekend, the original owners would capture a sea lion from nearby and house it in an old milk truck turned into a tank and parked in the parking lot. People would flock to Netarts from all over the Pacific Northwest to see a sea lion up close. But it’s been decades since that tradition stopped, and the Sea Lion Motel started its slow decay into near-nonexistence.
“People were so thankful when we got in there and started the remodel,” Sky recalled. “We increased everyone’s property value, which is what feels really good to me. This was gross and yucky to look at and it was the first thing you saw when you drive into Netarts.”
And, they were able to save a piece of history. “People remember the Sea Lion Motel from the 1950s, and it would have literally just rotted into the ground and you would have driven by and watched that happening,” she added.
Their vision, however, was never to bring back the sea lion attraction, but rather to create a hip, eclectic beach cottage that offered visitors a genuine Netarts experience.  “We wanted something that looked and felt like the coast did when we were growing up,” Nick said. “It’s small town, it’s quirky, and it’s memorable.”
So far, they feel like they’re meeting and exceeding that vision.
“One thing we hear a lot is ‘there are never any cars in the parking lot,’” said Sky. “To me that’s a good thing. That means people aren’t just sitting in their hotel room, they’re out on the beach and hiking Cape Lookout and out having fun.
“That’s what Netarts is all about,” she added. “You have to love nature to be here; you have to want to go out on a boat and climb on the mud.”
Nick and Sky have restored and flipped more than 40 properties in Tillamook County, and most recently just completed another 7-room motel in Depoe Bay called The Whale Inn. Both Inns utilize an online reservation system so guests can check in at anytime of the day or night.
For more information, visit or find them on Facebook.

Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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BY EXTENSION: Partnerships that Build Community

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on BY EXTENSION: Partnerships that Build Community

Housing Task Force

By Denise Porter, Neal Lemery, Teri Fladstol

A conversation about the benefits of collaborated learning for youth and adults.
This past summer, OSU Extension Service, Latimer Quilt & Textile Center and Art Accelerated came together to offer programming for youth throughout Tillamook County.

OSU Extension Service offers a framework for working with youth and families. Collaborating with these organizations allowed us to draw on each other’s strengths and maximize resources that serve and engage the whole community. We were able to create a space where kids were engaged, stimulated and had a lot of fun. As we move forward, we will offer programming that will allow both youth and adults to explore their talents.

“Art is so important! It manifests in so many ways”, proclaimed Denise Porter, whose daughters Robyn, 10 and Rose, 6 took advantage of classes through Latimer Quilt & Textile Center and Art Accelerated this past summer. “My creativity is with the written word and not centered through textiles or canvas. I was very excited that Latimer began youth classes because Robyn enjoys working with fabric and yarns; she paints too, and really loves putting colors together. Having the opportunity at Latimer was great – her creativity is being channeled. She is surrounded by instructors who love what they do and it give her access to the type of work she enjoys.” Rose is at an age to enjoy working on art projects. Denise added, “The Art Accelerated instructors did a great job teaching class that were appropriate for her age and skill level. She really enjoyed herself.”

[Art Accelerated – Cloverbud Art Class]

Because this program is within 4-H, the projects created have another benefit – being entered as a 4-H project at the Tillamook County Fair. The 4-H Year begins October 1, meaning a youth member can begin working on their 4-H projects over the wintertime knowing that the culmination of their hard work will be show cased at the County & State Fairs in August-September of the following year.

Access to affordable classes taught by some of the brightest artists and artisans in our county gives 4-H members the opportunity to explore a new subject, develop skills, display their work at the fair, participate one-on-one interview judging and record their experiences in their record books – just in time to begin again!

[Knitting @ Latimer Quilt & Textile Center]

OSU Extension Service serves as a bridge to these groups by connecting Latimer Quilt & Textile Center & Art Accelerated with our 4-H members and families. Everyone wins in this case and we learn that when adults and organizations work together, new possibilities appear, and what can result is much greater than what each organization could have done alone. We celebrate the creative energies of the kids, their willingness to try something new, and to explore the world outside of their comfort zone!

These organizations took a risk to do something new and dared to think outside of the box. That is what we are trying to teach our community and now, we have managed to teach ourselves these important life lessons: the world is a brighter, more exciting place when we work together and it is not only fun; it grows the possibilities of every person!

By Extension, Your Connection to the Programs, People, and Publications from OSU Extension Tillamook County

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Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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Drew’s Horror-a-Thon: IT … is pretty good

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on Drew’s Horror-a-Thon: IT … is pretty good

By Andrews Jenck

I’m back and more terrifying than ever! Having been burdened with school and athletics, I’ve had little time to review movies, much less see them. One film in particular that my friends talked about endlessly was IT, an adaption of Stephen King’s novel by the same name that thankfully isn’t The Dark Tower. After finally watching it for the first time, it’s easy to see why it struck a chord with so many people. It’s a very well-made film with great acting; a compelling score, hilarious at points, shot gorgeously, and is one of the better films of the year. I only wish that this horror film was a little more, well, horrifying.

The biggest problem of IT is the execution of some of its scares, opting for the typical jump scares and loud, obnoxious sound effects throughout, amidst a few legitimate scares. Granted, I know different people are scared of different things, and maybe these techniques will be effective for you. However, as someone who does get caught off guard by these jumps, I only groan afterwards as it is such a cheap way to evoke fear from the audience. That’s not to say it falls entirely flat in this regard, as director Andres Muschiette seems to have the right ideas in place. Certain sequences, particularly involving the projector from the trailers, a bathroom sink scene, and in a warehouse, showcase some great cinematography. However, even among its disturbing imagery, the film always feels the need to overemphasize it with DAUUUUUNGs!
That being said, everything else is superb. The child actors evoke a natural kinship and fully realize the hormone-filled, vulgar-speaking, young teens that give the film a sense of believability. While everyone does fit the standard archetype, the film well-establishes their friendship and fleshes them out through slower moments and interactions. Everyone is empathetic, in which you either were one of these kids or knew someone like them, adding required levity to a film of this type. Benjamin Wallfisch’s score has a nice balance of light-hearted whimsy and suspense that may be worth downloading. When paired with the gorgeous cinematography, you get a great sense of Derry, suckering you into its relatable but unnerving atmosphere. It is able to evoke a timeless feel while working in its 80s setting, particularly involving New Kids on the Block references which are used hilariously and endearingly. The film also can be quite humorous, coming from the characters’ explicit but apathetic dialogue and most of the scenes with Pennywise, the killer clown.
Bill Skarsgard is especially effective as Pennywise, looking more childish than Tim Curry’s original portrayal, which works in the context of the film. Pennywise is a playful clown that loves to psychologically mess with the children and has some hilarious dark humor moments, beyond that internet meme. His small smile and sinisterly soft voice are particularly effective in building up suspense and dread. Unfortunately, the film has Pennywise take the form of several overused staples in horror, including zombies, dolls, demonic girls, and mummies. Again, some of it is effective but the constant jump scares and loud cues ruin much of the suspense the film was building up so well. If anything, I felt more investment than panic for these characters, probably because there’s nothing to the threat besides a killer clown. Yes, Pennywise is supernatural who represents the kids’ worst fears, but I feel there could’ve been something to add or flesh out more.
Still, if there’s one thing that annoys me more than horror films, it’s having bland characters for the sake of a large body count. I ended up caring for all of these kids, even if their roles were questionable; that in of itself is an accomplishment. Any other flaws are pretty minor, such as some underdeveloped bully characters, going a little too over-the-top at moments, a needless romance, and some forced clichés in the last act. It’s refreshing to see a low-budget film by an upcoming director and actors earn financial and critical success. I wished I loved it like everyone else and feel it may be a little too safe in certain aspects, but IT is a highly enjoyable, solid film to the point where I won’t mind too many people dressing up as Pennywise this Halloween.

Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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