newspaper

Plowing 242MCKENZIE BRIDGE: Depending on the weather, Oregon Dept. of Transportation crews plan to finish clearing snow off Hwy. 242 this week and then clean up debris like downed trees. The first snow gate at milepost 61.8 will open by the end of the day on April 21st to allow fishing at Linton Lake for the high lakes season. Officials estimate the second gate at milepost 66 will remain closed until June 20th.  Clearing is beginning on the west side as well.
In the interim, some people will be able to use the route. “ODOT reminds bicyclists and hikers who access the Pass during the seasonal closure do so at their own risk and are cautioned to be aware of the inclement conditions,” according to ODOT public information officer Angela Beers Seydel.  “Safety precautions for early users include plowing operations that may occur at any time of the week, road conditions can be icy, running water, rocks, tree debris and other hazards on the roadway, ride under control, watch for other bikers/hikers, closed gates, parked equipment, etc.”

Krystal KruseBy Ada Weeks
One of Vida’s best-kept secrets is a sparkly young lady, Krystal Kruse, who attended her first rodeo at the tender age of six. While at the Eugene Pro Rodeo, Krystal was smitten, and knew that horses would be a big part of her life from then on. When Krystal met that event’s Rodeo Queen, who was signing photos and autographs, she treated her kindly and made her feel welcome and at home in the rodeo and horse world. Krystal knew then she would love to also, one day, be a Rodeo Queen.
Dreams really can come true. Sometimes, it requires a great deal of hard work, devotion, and determination, and that describes this year’s Cottage Grove Rodeo Queen perfectly. Krystal and her young mare, Delilah Gold (affectionately called Lila), have achieved many goals. Krystal and Lila have a life goal. A Thurston High School student who will graduate in 2018, she plans to enlist in the U.S. Air Force, and pursue a medical path while serving her country. In addition, Krystal plans to come home to Vida, and further pursue a degree in obstetrics.

SlugBy Kym Pokorny

Follow the glistening trail and you’ll find the gardener’s most familiar, frustrating and certainly slimiest pest, the common slug.

It’s spring, after all, and as soil temperatures start to climb, slugs rise from their winter hiding place underground to munch tender seedlings, emerging perennials and even seeds.

“What slugs want is a place that’s warm and moist,” said Claudia Groth, an Oregon State University Extension Service master gardener. “That’s why they’re coming out now. The soil temperatures are getting to be above 50 degrees, which is perfect for them.”

The Sheriff’s Office has learned that community members are again receiving calls saying they have warrants out for their arrest for missing a court date.  The callers are demanding to have money sent to clear the warrant.
These calls are a scam, and community members should hang up immediately and not engage with the caller.

Mason beeBy Kym Pokorny

For mason bees, the wait for their first meal is a long one, six months if it’s a day.

There’s no TV, no smart phone, not even a book to while away the time as these solitary bees hang out in their tight cocoons waiting for the cool temperatures of early spring to break them out of lethargy, to convene at the floral banquet waiting for them among the branches of fruit trees.

And because honeybees and other pollinators haven’t made an appearance yet, there’s more sweetness for the native mason bees.

Jason JohannesenLEABURG: “The first work we’re doing with the Connect America program is in this area,” were welcome words heard by a packed audience last Thursday night. They came from Karen Stewart, CenturyLink’s director of local government affairs, who was talking about a federally backed program to upgrade McKenzie area broadband service that is already underway. Asked for a completion date she said, “September, unless we run into construction problems.”
Under the wing of the Federal Communications Commission, the Connect America project is designed to accelerate infrastructure construction to reach some of the 23 million people who currently can’t connect at speeds of at least 10 Mbps (megabits per second of data transfer) downloading and 1 Mbps to upload. CenturyLink accepted those funds for Oregon, committing to complete the project in the state within six years.

 

Aerial of schoolFINN ROCK: Some McKenzie Schools staffers may have re-routed their vacation plans in order to spend this week in Portland. “We let the whole staff know where we are in terms of our budget,” superintendent Jim Thomas told the school board last Wednesday. “We’re in the process of notifying people that would be directly impacted by it and chose to do that before Spring Break because Portland had their job fair coming up. It wouldn’t be fair to teachers who may have to be leaving to miss the opportunity to go to a job fair.”
Specifics on who might be affected will remain confidential until they’re discussed at a future executive board session. Thomas said staff cuts are tied to declining enrollment and state support. They would hinge on factors including seniority and certifications. At the time of the meeting, estimates were that next year’s budget will decline close to $370,000, resulting in the loss of about one and a half teaching positions. Since then another adjustment from the state raised that shortage to $459,000.

By Cliff Richardson

McKenzie Varsity Sports Schedule This Week

There are no McKenzie Varsity contests scheduled this week.

Maia HardyNIMROD: Business owners and people planning start-ups heard some interesting news this month from Maia Hardy. Speaking at a meeting of the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce, Hardy outlined loan programs targeting rural businesses that are available through Community LendingWorks (CLW).
“We are a community development financial institution,” Hardy said, adding, “We’re a non-governmental lending institution that does affordable ‘mission lending’ for folks who have had a hard time accessing loans through a traditional bank.”
Community LendingWorks was established in 2012 under the wing of the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation, which, for 35 years, has worked primarily in the Eugene/Springfield metro area. It has offices both in Marion and Clackamas County as well.. NEDCO’s programs have ranged from home ownership loans to supporting business incubators.

The business model for CLW includes a revolving loan fund, according to Hardy. “A credit score is not a determining factor for getting a loan. We take a holistic look at the business and work with them if they need more of a financial education.” That additional assistance can involve one-on-one counseling or small business classes and helping them with marketing.

 

Pages

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.