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Eagle Rock ParkEUGENE: The Lane County Parks Advisory Committee will hold a public hearing in two weeks to gather testimony regarding the draft Five-Year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for county parks projects from 2017 to 2021.
The Parks CIP is a five-year program used to plan expenditures for capital improvements to the Lane County Parks System according to Parks Manager Mike Russell. “Projects included in the CIP are designed to improve safety, utility and efficiency of existing facilities and further develop and add amenities that will improve visitors’ experiences,” he said. “Community members who have a park project that they would like to see included in the plan are encouraged to attend the hearing and provide testimony.”

Blue River mapBy Jim Baker, Blue River CDC & McKenzie Action team
The McKenzie Action Team, a group of community volunteers, hosted an open session on February 17 for residents to gather and discuss options for dealing with septic tank issues in Blue River.
There has been a long festering problem with aging and failing septic tanks. In addition, the small lots in Blue River do not meet modern standards for building due to septic requirements.
As a result, many of the business properties in Blue River cannot reopen or expand. Building lots stay vacant and a home owner often can’t even add a bedroom to their own home for they’re growing family.

News Release from FBI - Oregon

At approximately 4:25 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Oregon State Police (OSP) began an enforcement action to bring into custody a number of individuals associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. During that arrest, there were shots fired.

PiesMCKENZIE BRIDGE: Once again, there will be no reason for anyone to eat alone this December 25th. At the annual Christmas Day Dinner, they can sit down with up to 250 of their neighbors who will have a holiday meal sponsored by the Blue McKenzie Lions Club.
The event originated over two decades ago when  Peg and Dean Osterbuhr realized there were some people who either had lost family members or  were new to the area. Because of that, they often ate alone. The solution was a free community meal that has been held at different locations before settling at the St. Benedict’s Lodge in McKenzie Bridge.
Originally, donated turkeys were taken home to be cooked by Lions Club members. As time passed, some restaurants, like the Log Cabin Inn, would cook and slice the birds. That process was streamlined a few years ago when Bill Leve made arrangements for Food For Lane County to  do the lion’s share of food preparation.
Behind the scenes, event organizer Joe Wagner works with a volunteer crew of 57 volunteers to make sure that beside turkey, diner will also feast on ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, desserts, and beverages. In addition, a dozen or so people who are home bound will have meals delivered.

LandslidesThe National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for most of northwest Oregon and southwest Washington for tonight through Wednesday afternoon.

Bridge crewThe U.S. Forest Service is gearing up for another round of temporary hiring. The agency is accepting applications for over 1,000 temporary spring and summer jobs in Oregon and Washington. 89 of the temporary jobs include positions in McKenzie Bridge, Oakridge, Sweet Home and Detroit. Openings are available in multiple fields, including fire, recreation, natural resources, timber, engineering, visitor services, and archaeology.
“Seasonal employment with the Forest Service is a great way to give back to communities, learn new skills, and perform meaningful work,” said Regional Forester Jim Peña. “If you are interested in working with a dedicated team of people who take pride in managing our national forests, we encourage you to consider joining the Forest Service.”

 

 

South ForkBLUE RIVER: The U.S. Forest Service is looking at 834 acres along the South Fork McKenzie River for some restoration work. The area extends from the base of Cougar Dam to the confluence with the McKenzie River (approximately 4.5 miles). Features include the mainstem channel and all the current or historic side channels along with the floodplain. Most of the project area is under Forest Service ownership, except for approximately 32 acres owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The project was designed to improve habitat, ecological function, and biological productivity for endangered species including spring Chinook salmon and bull trout, Pacific lamprey, and other native fish, western pond turtle, amphibians, beaver, and waterfowl. It is currently in the preliminary design phase with an expected final design by December, followed by and environmental analysis and documentation completed by March of 2016. Officials say comments are appreciated anytime, however, for input to be timely and considered in project design, they should be received by December 13, 2015.

Cafe porchVIDA: Other restaurants and area residents alike have responded to a destructive fire at the Vida Cafe by opening their wallets.
Last weekend, Ike’s Pizza ran a three-day fundraiser by pledging to contribute 20 percent of their sales to a rebuilding fund for the cafe. “On Monday we presented Sue (the cafe’s owner) with a check for $1,000,” said Jack Koehler of Ike’s, who noted they still have a donation jar on their counter.
Downriver, Heather Hernandez-Reja, owner of the River Stop Restaurant in Walterville plans a similar move this Friday., from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. she’ll kick in 25 percent of her sales to the fund while also pledging to match other customer donations.

Root wadThe Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) has selected the McKenzie Watershed Council to receive a Salmon License Plate grant for a project in McKenzie Bridge.  The grant money comes from the extra fee Oregonians pay when they purchase Salmon Plates for their vehicles.  
The “Deer Creek Floodplain Enhancement Project” totals $118,580 and will place large wood in Deer Creek to increase the stream’s complexity and reconnect the stream to the surrounding floodplain, improving habitat for Chinook Salmon and Bull Trout in Lane County.
Details of the project include pulling 24 live stream-adjacent Douglas fir or Western red cedar trees directly into Deer Creek with their root wads intact via a truck mounted yarder. Fifteen of the trees will be part of new large logjams that will be placed with an excavator.

 

 

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.