Roads End Lawsuit Threat Gathers Pace

PATRICK ALEXANDER

The News Guard

Lincoln City leaders have received another batch of warnings from Roads End residents that shutting off their water supply will lead to a court battle.

Members of the Roads End Water District appeared at Lincoln City Council’s March 12 meeting to deliver 37 new tort claim notices from Roads End property owners, all of whom have threatened to sue the City for damages if the City follows through on a threat to shut off their water.

The notices add to an initial batch of 25 delivered by REWD members in January. Continue reading

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Filed under Annexation, Lakeside, Uncategorized

Future Sewer Booster

Program is Flush With Cash

The eventual expansion of the Lincoln City sewer system to the East side of Devils Lake received a boost from an unlikely source recently.  As reported in the March 14th News Guard Bi-Mart corporation has agreed to pay $25,000 toward the City’s efforts to develop a Sewer Master Plan for installing sewers around the lake.

The funding commitment is part of a negotiated settlement between the City and Bi-Mart stemming from the 2009 land purchase required for the construction of the new store located on Oar Ave.  As part of the sale agreement Bi-Mart agreed to construct its new store to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Due apparently to delays in the project the LEED requirement was not incorporated into the project.  Bi-Mart was willing to commit to the cash contribution as well as a commitment to purchase at least 6 percent of their energy needs through the Blue Sky renewable energy program.

Commencement of project to create a Sewer Master Plan for Devils Lake has yet to be announced by the City but the general topic has been on Councils agenda several times in the past few months.

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Filed under City, City Actions, DLWID, Septic, Sewer

Mid-Coast Basin Stakeholder Meeting

TMDL Process Continues With Upcoming Meeting

DEQ recently invited 34 stakeholders representing approximately 30 organizations or interests to participate as members of the MidCoast Basin TMDL Local Stakeholder Advisory Committee (LSAC) that will be convened next week. The DEQ received a number of responses and are still waiting to hear from some of the invitees.

The LSAC Kick-off meeting is scheduled for the following date and location:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Mariner Room
Embarcadero Resort Hotel & Marina
Newport, Oregon

You can download a draft agenda and the invitee list are available to download. There is space in the meeting venue to accommodate about 30 people in addition to the invited stakeholders and project team. If you would like to attend, and haven’t already responded, please RVSP to David Waltz the TMDL Basin Coordinator at the Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality 541-687-7345

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Three Candidates File for Cowan Seat

Deadline for 2012 Election Passes

Late breaking update to this article candidate Dann Cutter has withdrawn from this contest.

The deadline for filing as a candidate for office in Oregon passed on March 6th, revealing three candidates for House District 10; 1 Democrat and 2 Republicans. 

Earlier this year, State Rep. Jean Cowan had announced she will not seek re-election as the representative for House District 10 but will serve out the remainder of her current term, which expires in January 2013.  Oregon’s primary election will be held May 15, 2012 narrowing the field to two candidates competing in the November 2012 general election.  Here is a thumbnail presented in alphabetical order, of each candidate taken from the paperwork filed with the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division.

Dann Cutter – Republican Party

Mr. Cutter is currently a resident of Waldport, OR.  He is a Network Analyst at the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport where he has been employed for 15 years.  Previous positions included an Electronic Technician (Nuclear) in the United States Navy and a Assistant Network Administrator at the University of Oregon.

Mr. Cutter earned a School a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Oregon State University where he also earned a second Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science.  He also did Post Baccalaureate studies in Economics.

Prior governmental experience includes his current position on the Waldport City Council, as well as position on the Executive Board of the Cascade West Council of Governments, the Rural Health Coordinating Council, the Cascades West Area Commission on Transportation, and the Waldport Planning Commission.

See also article in The Yaquina Wavelength and News Lincoln County.  The candidate’s website is CutterforOregon.com

Jerome Donald Grant – Republican Party

Mr. Grant is currently a resident of Siletz, Oregon.  He is the owner/operator of Gracie’s Sea Hag Restaurant & Lounge in Depoe Bay.  Previous positions included a Commercial Diver and Fisherman, and owner/operator of Oregon Coast Computer.

Mr. Grant earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Economics from Western Oregon University.

Prior governmental experience includes Chair of the Oregon Sea Urchin Commodities Commission as well as a position on the Oregon Development Fisheries Board.  Previously ran for Lincoln County Council in 2010.

The candidate’s website is electjeromegrant.com.

David Gomberg – Democratic Party

Mr. Gomberg is currently a resident of Otis, Oregon.  He is the owner and President of Gomberg Kite Productions, Int’l Inc and Northwest Winds Kite Stores in Lincoln City.  Previous positions included Executive Director of the Lincoln City Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Gomberg earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Oregon State University. He earned a Master’s degree in Political Science, Economics & History from Oregon State University. He continued at Willamette University where he earned his MBA.

Prior governmental experience includes Field Director for Congressman Les AuCoin, Legislative Assistant to Barbara Roberts, Administrator of House Education Committee, and Administrative Law Judge for DMV.

See also article in The News Guard, The Yaquina Wavelength and News Lincoln County. The candidate’s website is www.electgomberg.com

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Christie Resigns After 15 Years on School Board

BY BARBARA SHERMAN
The Sherwood Gazette

The Sherwood School Board was dealing with a fairly routine agenda Feb. 14 when the unexpected happened: The longest-serving board member announced his resignation.

Mark Christie, who was first elected in 1997 and has been re-elected three more times, read a short letter saying he was leaving June 30, one year before his current four-year term is over.

“I want to stay on through this year’s budget process, and I thought this way the board would have time to appoint someone to serve the last year of my term,” Christie said Feb. 20.

He added that he is leaving the school board because he intends to run for a position on another board: Christie and his wife Pat have owned a second home for many years at Devil’s Lake in Lincoln City, and he intends to file for one of two open seats on the five-member Devil’s Lake Water Improvement Board in the 2013 election. Continue reading

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Filed under DLWID, Elections, Lakeside

Mark Christie Will Run For DLWID Board

On February 14, 2012 during Sherwood School District’s School Board meeting, Director Mark Christie announced his resignation from the Board of Directors, effective June 30, 2012. The resignation will allow Mr. Christie to continue his commitment to public service and run for a position on the Devils Lake Water Improvement Board, where his family owns property on Sandpoint.

Mark Christie has served as a director on the Sherwood School Board since 1997, and his four children all graduated from Sherwood Schools. In his resignation letter, he notes it has been “an amazing15 years…serving our great Sherwood School District” and praised the other members of the Board for their commitment to providing the best educational experience to each individual student in the District.

“It has been such a pleasure to work with, and learn from, Mark Christie,” said Superintendent  Heather Cordie, “His love of our school district and community, coupled with his years of experience, have been such a wonderful addition to our Board of Directors. He will be missed!” Board Vice Chair Sue Hekker is most impressed with Christie’s commitment to speaking his mind, always with the best interest of the children and the community he serves. “It is certainly hard to sum up the many years of service Mark Christie has given this community. He has answered the call … and left us all better for it,” notes Hekker. Fellow Director Kevin Noreen said he will miss Mark’s “sense of humor, dedication and love for the Sherwood School District.”

Christie’s term set to expire June 30, 2013 allowing him to concentrate on the 2013 election. “It’s time to pass the baton,” Christie said. “I’m leaving it in good hands.”

Look to the Devils Lake Navigator to keep you informed on all the candidates.

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Filed under DLWID, Elections, Lakeside

March DLWID Board Meeting Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting was on Thursday March 1st at 6:00pm and was held in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the third floor of City Hall.

Public Comment: There were 6 interested parties in attendance. Comments were made to the Board related to various concerns pertaining to District expense, including printing and educational activities. The commenter also expressed at staffing levels and board oversight of DLWID staff.

Septic Ordinance: A brief explanation was given to the board on the meeting recently hosted by DLWID with representatives from the City, DEQ, Lincoln County and private onsite wastewater management installers, pumpers and inspectors.  A discussion of the inspection criteria occurred; both the order of selection of properties to be inspected and the type of activities that occur during the inspection. It was suggested that proprieties within 300 feet of existing sewer should be first on the list to help minimize concerns related the sewer LID, (see below). Continue reading

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Total Maximum Daily Loads and Why Do I Care?

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has begun the planning process for developing Total Maximum Daily Loads for waterbodies in the Oregon Mid-Coast Basin. The initiation of this process has been a long-time coming. Devils Lake was originally listed based on data collected between 1986-1991 under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act for Chlorophyll and pH and Thompson Creek was listed for fecal coliforms. Over the coming 18 to 20 months, the DEQ will be developing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), for these waters.

What is Section 303(d) of the Clear Water Act?

The goal of the Clean Water Act (CWA) is “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters” (33 U.S.C §1251(a)). Under section 303(d) of the CWA, states, territories, are required to develop lists of impaired waters. These are waters for which technology-based regulations and other required controls are not stringent enough to meet the water quality standards set by states. The law requires that states establish priority rankings for waters on the lists and develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), for these waters. A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still safely meet water quality standards.

The TMDL allocates that load to point sources, (Wasteload Allocation or WLA), and nonpoint sources (Load Allocation or LA) which include both human and natural background sources of the pollutant. In many cases, the TMDL analysis is the trigger for determining the source(s) of pollutants. A TMDL may contain WLAs only, LAs only, or a combination of both. Under the Clean Water Act TMDLs are not self-implementing, meaning EPA cannot enforce implementation of a TMDL once the analysis is complete. If the TMDL identifies nonpoint sources of pollutants as a major cause of impairment, states can apply for EPA funded grants, called section 319 grants. These grants can be used to fund state programs for nonpoint source assessment and control as well as individual projects.  DLWID has recently completed work categorizing historically water quality data into a modern database format under a 319 grant.

How Will This Process Begin?

The DEQ has formulated TMDL stakeholder committees consisting of representatives from local, state and federal government, special districts, Tribal Nations, private industry, forestry, agriculture, conservation, NGOs, watershed councils, landowners.  It is the job of these stakeholder committees to play an advisory role and one such committee, the Local Stakeholder Advisory Committee (LSAC) will hold their kick off meeting from 9-5 on March 20, 2012 in Newport. This group will assist the Mid‐Coast TMDL Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which will play a large role in developing TMDL’s and thier associated implementation plans. Specific areas of interest in TMDL include Temperature, Bacteria, Sediment, Dissolved Oxygen, Aquatic Weeds, and Harmful Algal Blooms.

How do I Stay Informed on the Process?

Of course, check back on a regular basis to the Devils Lake Navigator as we plan to try to decipher this complicated topic and report it to you.  You can check in with the DEQ by following these links

Sign up to Receive Email Updates on Mid-Coast TMDL Development

Total Maximum Daily Loads Overview DEQ

Total Maximum Daily Loads Program Mid-Coast Page

Total Maximum Daily Loads Map

Background on the Clean Water Act from EPA

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Filed under DLWID, Water Quality

Attend March DLWID Meeting

Council Chambers March 1, 2012 6:00pm

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting will be held on Thursday March 1st at 6:00pm. The meeting will be held in the City Hall Council Chambers, which are located on the third floor of City Hall.

Septic Ordinance

Recently DLWID staff hosted a meeting with representatives from the City, DEQ, Lincoln County and private onsite wastewater management installers, pumpers and inspectors. The topic of the meeting was a discussion of potential inspection criteria, and state requirements. Staff will share the details of the meeting.

Save Our Shoreline

Learn about the Lakescaping class the District is sponsoring on Saturday, March 31.  The goal of the class is to educate participants on how native planting can not only simplify yard maintenance but improve the lake’s water quality and wildlife habitat at the same time. Continue reading

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Filed under DLWID, Meeting Announcements

The Language of the Lake

PATRICK ALEXANDER
The News Guard

Terminology took center stage at a recent meeting of the Devils Lake Water Improvement district (DLWID) board of directors, as members grappled with the question of how to describe the various threats to water quality.

At their Feb. 2 meeting, board members wrestled with a decision about how to word signs warning of cyanobacteria blooms and went on to discuss whether the nutrients that contribute to those blooms should be described as “pollution.”

In a split vote, the board decided to stick with a modified version of the signage the District currently uses to warn of cyanobacteria blooms rather than switching to a uniform system of signage developed by the state.

Both options give less prominence to the word “cyanobacteria” than the District’s current signs, preferring the terms “Harmful Algal Blooms” and “Blue-green algae,” – a widely used but scientifically inaccurate term for the scummy substance that thrives in nutrient-rich water and can release toxins that affect the liver and brain. Continue reading

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Filed under DLWID, Water Quality