McKenzie River Reflections

Cafe porchVIDA: Work to repair the fire damaged Vida Cafe was expected to begin this week, after long awaited building permits have been finalized. A big part of the delay, according to cafe owner Sue Nelson, was Lane County’s concerns with prior violations dating back more than 30 years - things Nelson says she and more than one previous owners never knew existed.
Starting with removal of asbestos flooring, McKenzie Taylor Construction will be doing more than a simple rebuild. Part of the approval process called for a reconfiguration of the building. “I’m going to lose the whole back half of the cafe,” Nelson said. The new addition will extend another 8 feet by 8 feet, sitting on a portion of the driveway and extending toward her adjacent house.

Oregon's BountyStrawberries, squash, asparagus,  and salad greens — not to mention a vast array of bedding plants, flowering baskets, and fresh-cut flowers — are just a few favorites of the agricultural bounty of spring. But if people want to buy directly from the source, where do you go?  
“Everyone knows where their local farmers market is. But what about farm stands, u-pick fields, and on-farm festivals out in rural areas? That’s where Oregon’s Bounty comes in,” said the Oregon Farm Bureaus Communications Director Anne Marie Moss.  
Oregon’s Bounty website at oregonfb.org is a searchable directory of over 300 family farms and ranches that sell food and foliage directly to the public.

DumpMCKENZIE BRIDGE: A $1.5 million shortage between operating costs and revenue generated is facing Lane County’s Waste Management Division. County dumps receive no property tax funding to operate.
The Board of County Commissioners is tentatively scheduled to receive a presentation regarding a consultant’s report in August and begin public discussion of the options. “We chose August in order to allow ample time for public feedback in July,” according to Devon Ashbridge, Lane County’s Public Information Officer. “The timeline also allows for in-depth board discussion outside of the larger budget process, which will conclude by the end of June. Commissioners will make the ultimate decision on which, if any, of the identified options to pursue.”
The report  includes the option of closing some of the smaller, rural transfer stations and has identified McKenzie Bridge as a possible site. Other possible changers could mean an end to discounts for senior citizens and for people who recycle their offcasts.

BLM mapBy Eric Tegethoff
Oregon News Service

Conservation groups filed a protest yesterday against the Bureau of Land Management’s latest proposal to change forest management in western Oregon.

April 28: 6:24 am: Subject Down – 35000 block, Camp Creek Rd. Report of a subject covered with multi colored blanket lying down in the parking lot. Caller does not feel comfortable approaching subject, honked her horn & no movement. 06:25: Fire Dept. advised. 06:39: Subject was just sleeping & has moved on.

Charter school busFINN ROCK: A “horrendous $459,000 budget deficit” and the loss of 6.91 positions is the harsh image officials see when they look toward the future, people learned at the April meeting of the McKenzie School Board. An alternate opportunity, based on the possible creation of a public charter school, was also up for review.
A sixteen member charter school steering committee is currently exploring what impacts the changeover might bring about. Some of their talking points range from maintaining current offerings to reviving dormant programming lost during budget and enrollment declines. Some of the latter include classes in Home Economics, shop or health occupations.
Offering insights on legalities as well as tips from programs developed at other schools was Kate Pattison from the Oregon Dept. of Education. “In your case you would have a K-12 charter school that would be governed by a separate board potentially responsible for the curriculum and what programs look like,” she noted.

LifeFlightBLUE RIVER: Police and  medical teams responded to the report of a male down with blood all over his face near the Blue River Reservoir last Wednesday. According to Oregon State Police reports, Thomas Burkhard, 55, of Blue River was found unconscious on spur road about 1/4 mile up the Blue River Reservoir Road from Hwy. 126.
Personnel from the Upper McKenzie Fire District, a Life Flight helicopter and two state troopers  all responded to the scene around 2:30 p.m. Police reported that when they arrived on the scene the patient was only coherent enough to state that he had eaten mushrooms. They also observed injuries consistent with a fall that included cuts to his knees, hands and head.
A vehicle associated with Bur-hard was found nearby but police said there were no signs of it being involved in a crash.

Image: A LifeFlight helicopter landed on the saddle dam of the Blue River Reservoir to ferry a patient to the RiverBend hospital.

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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.