Oregon

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.

SkiingSANTIAM PASS: The Hoodoo Ski Area is making preparations to open for the season on December 18th, just in time to kickoff winter break. On Monday Hoodoo had from 35 to 40 inches at the base and was expecting more snow fall this week.
According to the resort’s vice president of marketing, Leif Williams, “Snow cats are working to compact the snow to create the best conditions possible.”
Since opening in 1938, Hoodoo has evolved into a full-service ski area with more than 800 skiable acres, 30 alpine trails, 15.8 km of Nordic trails, three quad lifts, one triple chair and one double chair. The resort also offers also offers air board, snowbike and snow scooter rentals.

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.

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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.