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Flying toiletModular restroom swings into Hendricks Wayside

WALTERVILLE: Passersby may have been surprised last week if they noticed a big crane set up in the parking area at the Hendricks Bridge Wayside Park. Those who timed their passing right got to see parts of a building being hoisted high in the air. The work involved workers from Lane County Parks who tore down an old building and constructed a new restroom facility, along with replacing sidewalks at the popular site. The project, in cooperation with the Oregon State Marine Board, was the first phase of improvements to the Hendricks Bridge Wayside. That initial work was part of grant financed improvements fueled by the Oregon State Marine Board with funds provided by boat registrations. The second phase, according to Mike Russell, Parks and Animal Services Division Manager, is hoped to be completed by the end of 2016. It is designed to expand the parking lot and reconfigure the boat ramp into the McKenzie River. The reconfiguration would orient the ramp at more of a downstream angle to help make it a bit more “maintenance friendly,” Russell noted.

Aunt Ding'sWALTERVILLE: Nine years ago a woman says a building in Walterville, “Just looked at me and said ‘Buy me.’” Apparently that’s happened again.
In 2005 the Log Cabin Inn Restaurant in McKenzie Bridge had been lost to a devastating fire. “Every time we wanted to go out to dinner we had to drive clear into town,” recalls Gena Lamere. “We needed a place that did good old fashioned home cooking and I said ‘Okay.’”
This year Heather Hernandez-Reja felt a similar impulse when she learned Aunt Ding’s Restaurant was available for sale - as she was sitting at a table having dinner with her husband and children. That caused her to follow Gena outside and make her case.

Mobile dentistryFINN ROCK: The Tooth Taxi makes history every day. Last month the converted motor home’s trip to McKenzie Schools added to its lore. Those visits, on November 22nd and 23rd, amounted to over 8,000 screenings and 4.5 million dollars in donated services since the dental van’s inception in 2008.
Inside the 38-foot shell is a high-tech dental office with two fully-equipped operation units that include digital X-rays. With a full-time dentist and staff, the Tooth Taxi visits schools throughout Oregon to treat uninsured and under served children who have limited access to dental care. The Tooth Taxi can stay at a school for up to a week at a time, providing comprehensive and preventive care to children.

 

 

 

Family treeLEABURG: “Buy a tree and support your school” has been the phrase at Spring Creek Holly Farm since 2010. It continues in 2014 during the fifth year of the Give Back To Schools program.
The idea is simple, when buying a Christmas tree mention your school’s name. Spring Creek Holly Farm will then donate 50% of the retail price of that tree to the school.
Over the last four years the program has raised over $18,000 for area schools. Of that amount, over $2,000 was generated for both Walterville School and McKenzie Schools.

Farm manager, Gregg Melland works throughout the year planning for the Christmas Tree season. “We have made improvements in our facilities and the quality of our trees to make this a great family experience” Melland says.

Leaburg HatcheryAngling success is higher when fishing for hatchery raised trout than it is for trout grown in a more natural setting, even when that more natural environment is created in a hatchery.
A recent study in Finland found that brown trout grown in a normal hatchery environment are more vulnerable to anglers because they have a greater tendency to explore and to grab at any food supply they see.
In the study, scientists created two rearing environments: a normal hatchery environment with concrete pens and a more natural or enriched hatchery environment that provided fish with cover, a rocky bottom and real insects during their early lives. Both types were fed pellets prior to release, but natural insects were also available in the enriched environment.

Leaburg DamLEABURG: Crews from Knight Construction and Wildish Construction are nearing completion of a project that will allow workers to inspect roll gates on the Leaburg Dam without having to drain the lake.
Passers-by may have noticed concrete panels Wildish has been assembling in the parking lot. When the Knight crew lowers them into slotted beams along the face of the dam they will create sort of a “dam within a dam,” according to Eugene Water & Electric Board senior civil engineer Steve Celeste. “That will allow us to test the gate and equipment to make sure it is working properly without draining the lake,” he noted.

Forest streamBLUE RIVER: A long term research program at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest will continue for another six years, thanks to a $6.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The Long-Term Ecological Research Program (LETR) is focused on understanding ecological phenomena that occur over a long time span. More than two dozen sites around the country are part of the program.
The Andrews LETR project is designed to understand how climate and land use changes interact to affect forest and stream ecosystems. It will continue to build upon past work by using records from weather stations and stream gages scattered throughout the watershed to reveal how temperature and precipitation vary across the landscape, and how they have changed over time. Researchers will also study how air, water, and nutrients flow through the landscape.

Inside chopperMIDDLE SISTER: Benjamin Newkirk, a 39-year-old climber from Bend, was found deceased late Sunday morning after a multi-day search that was complicated by extreme weather.
Newkirk was climbing the 10,047 foot Middle Sister with another climber when he fell off the west side of the south-east ridge of the mountain on Wednesday, November 12th, at approximately 10 p.m.
On Thursday, searchers were able to hike in seven miles from the Obsidian Trailhead but had to turn back around 2 p.m. when they were at the 6,200 foot level due to heavy snowfall and poor visibility. On Friday a fixed wing aircraft patrolled the area, reporting they could not see the mountain due to a low cloud ceiling.
The search team that found Newkirk included 15 volunteers - from Eugene Mountain Rescue and Corvallis Mountain Rescue, two Incident Command staff in Bend assisting with communications, and Command staff managing the mission from Eugene.

 

Bridge reconstruction mapRAINBOW: Local drivers will need to change their normal routes next year due to restoration work scheduled for the Belknap Covered Bridåçge. Theå Lane County Board of Commissioners was scheduled to approve a work schedule this week calling for preservation work to occur from April through September of 2015.
According to Lane County Public Works, the proposed closure is in the public interest so that the bridge rehabilitation work can be done safely and more efficiently.

 

 

LCSO mapUpdating Lane County’s computer aided dispatch system had the unexpected side effect of blocking easy access to reports on calls for police services. November 19th of 2013 marked the last time the public could find information about when and where the Lane County Sheriff’s Office was responding to things like robberies, harassment or traffic accidents.
Last week the Sheriff’s Office launched a new Crime Mapping/ Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Public Log. The system allows both the media and the public to have a short report on what’s occurred. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office can now provide McKenzie River Reflections with the more detailed reports that have been part of the newspaper for years, according to publisher Ken Engelman.

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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.