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Travel tips from the Willamette Valley led to 1853 tragedy

S Meek & ElliottRAINBOW: Emigrants  who’d been sent for help were themselves rescued in the Eastern McKenzie Valley over 150 years ago. What they endured and the ground they traveled over were brought to life last Friday at the Upper McKenzie Community Center.
Telling their story was Daniel Owen, great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin Owen. As part of the eight-man advance party from the Lost Wagon Train of 1853, Owens crossed the Cascades, passed through the Three Sisters Wilderness and eventually became among the first Euro-Americans to, “Get lost in your neighborhood,” Owen noted.

Master Plan up for review in Leaburg Thursday night

LEABURG: The Parks Division is asking the public’s opinions on how to manage 70 different properties scattered throughout Lane County. A number of public workshops on the 20-year kicked off this week, including one  at McKenzie Fire & Rescue’s  Leaburg Training Center on Thursday night.
Public input submitted so far included comments about a number of McKenzie River area sites, like the Hendricks Bridge Park in Walterville. One note from Lynn Moore cited concerns of neighbors who worry that adding an RV slots there would increase and traffic impact safety. “We will have more accidents, crime, and we do not want this park to become a campground,” she wrote.  

170-foot setback will impact all Lane streambank properties

Flood

Flood insurance or fish? Officials of counties, cities and other municipalities around Oregon had that question put on their platters in April. That’s when a lawsuit by environmental groups generated recommendations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration outlining ways the Federal Emergency Management Agency should modify the National Flood Insurance Program. Throughout the state, 15 salmon and steelhead species are listed under an Environmental Impact Statement. Each, according to NOAA Fisheries, depends on a healthy, functioning floodplain habitat.

Ron TompkinsWALTERVILLE: Like many of his generation, Ron Tompkins answered the call to arms for the armed services in World War II. Age for him wasn’t an issue, getting his mother to sign off on his enlistment papers when he was nine months shy of his 18th birthday.
Time, however, did have an effect. Coming into the Navy in 1945 he sailed out of San Francisco and arrived for duty in the Philippines. In the Marshall Islands his ship, the USS Petrof Bay, a 7,800 ton aircraft carrier, was part of a fleet being put together for the invasion of Japan. Those plans came to a halt soon after the sailors saw a strange bomber fly over their ship escorted by two fighters.
Ron says that at the time, they had no idea of the significance of what they’d seen, only remembering that the heavy bomber had what looked like a “big torpedo” slung underneath. Another clue that made sense later was chatter on the radio at the time telling people to expect some weird weather.

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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.