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Volunteers clean up Bastendorff beach after 4th of July celebration

COOS BAY — As the smoke from the Fourth’s fireworks settled at Bastendorff Beach, a mess of cans, bottles and firecracker carcasses were left behind, luckily the Surfrider Foundation was quick to act with its annual beach cleanup July 5.

Nicholas Johnson / NICHOLAS A. JOHNSON The World 

A woman at Bastendorff Beach volunteers her time to pick the beach the day after the Fourth of July. 

Coos Bay Surfrider Foundation holds many beach cleanups throughout the year, but the day after the Fourth of July they hold a community beach cleanup to combat the resulting garbage from the holiday. The group has been holding its July 5 cleanups for the past five years now.

“Everyone around here knows that Fourth of July is a big day for Bastendorff, so we’re really grateful for all the people who are coming out to help with the clean up and keep the beach beautiful for everyone,” Kelly Wolfe with Coos Bay Surfrider Foundation said.

The past few years, the Surfrider Foundation has actively reduced the amount of trash that gets left on the beach from the Fourth simply by placing a few garbage cans on the beach. Since the group started placing the cans they’ve cut down on a lot of the garbage that simply gets left on the ground.

“I dropped three trash barrels off last night, this is the third year we’ve done that. Every year they’ve been really full,” Christal Kralicek with Surfrider said.

Surfrider had over 50 volunteers come out to comb the beach. Local organizations like Star of Hope and The Coos Drop brought large groups out to help. The Bureau of Land Management also had a team of people out sweeping the beach for trash.

“It’s a really great thing that Surfrider has been doing for years. After people have fun out here on the Fourth they come out and help us clean up. It’s something that the BLM and the state parks wouldn’t be able to do on our own, so having these volunteers out here makes a huge difference,” Megan Harper with the BLM said.

Some of the volunteers who have participated in the July 5 cleanup previously said that there was less trash on the beach this year than in previous years. One potential reason for lighter trash load is Bastendorff’s recent switch to day-use only.

“We went to a day-use regulation about a month ago, so I think people knew that they couldn’t stay out late last night. It looks like people did a great job staying within those rules and picking things up,” Harper said.

Several families found a proper balance between work and play. Parents used the opportunity to teach children the value of keeping the beach clean while still having fun and playing around.

“We have to keep the beaches clean. All of the trash, and debris, and plastics are horrendous for the wildlife. It’s great to see all these people picking up the trash and keeping it clean,” volunteer Becky Phillips said.

One young girl, Iona Speidel, said that she enjoys the beach cleanup because it helps the animals.

Nicholas Johnson / NICHOLAS A. JOHNSON The World 

A group of beach cleanup volunteers sift through the remains of a campfire picking out any trash they might find. 

“I like it because it keeps the animals from going extinct,” Speidel said.  

Surfrider promotes clean beach going practices, reminding people that they should try to pack out any trash that they bring to the beach.

“Even if people pack out what they pack in it would really reduce the amount of trash if they also just picked up one more piece of trash that they didn’t bring to help us preserve our beautiful beaches,” Kralicek said.

Most of the garbage found on the beach is firework related, but another big thing that volunteers look out for are nails.

“We find broken glass, and cigarette butts are pretty common ... we find nails from wooden pallets that people we’re burning up,” Wolfe said.

One volunteer even brought a large magnet to drag through the remains of camp fires to collect nails.

“This is where I take my family. We spend most of our time out of work at the beach. It’s critical that we take care of this natural playground,” Wolfe said.


Local
More work to begin on McCullough Bridge
ODOT to start painting the bridge in January 2019

NORTH BEND — For the first time in 20 years, the McCullough Bridge is getting a new coat of paint.

Oregon Department of Transportation rotates which bridges around the state get a facelift and are currently finishing a painting project on the Thomas Creek Bridge in Curry County. That has taken two years to finish.

Ed Glazar, The World 

A man walks Friday over the McCullough Bridge in North Bend. The Oregon Department of Transportation announce recently plans to paint the mile-long span for the first time in 20 years. The three-year paint project is slated to begin at the end of 2018.

The McCullough Bridge will be completed after three years.

“The project will bid Oct. 18, 2018, with construction probably starting about 6 to 8 weeks after that,” wrote Dan Latham in an email to The World, ODOT’s public information officer.

The McCullough Bridge has been open since 1936, a mile-long structure that “provides a vital transportation link between the city of North Bend and northern Coos County,” ODOT stated on its website about the project. “Over the last decade, the bridge has seen two major rehabilitation projects.”

Those projects, which began in 2007, include replacing the rail, resurfacing the deck, and “applying a cathodic protection treatment to the concrete sections of the bridge to prevent corrosion,” ODOT wrote on its website. “However, the bridge needs more work. . . The paint on the steel truss section of McCullough Bridge is deteriorating and rust is visible.”

ODOT explained that this project will not only remove the rust, but replace rivets, repair damaged steel, and repaint the steel truss.

“This is already through project development,” said Don Duey, the project manager at Coquille Construction Office. “This has been in the works for the last couple years because ODOT plans these projects way ahead of time.”

According to Duey, the last time the McCullough Bridge underwent this kind of treatment was back in the 1990s.

“So every 15 or 20 years it has to be repainted,” he said. “If you look at it, you will see rust streaks coming down on the green paint so they will blast that off and redo it.”

When the project begins, sections of the bridge will be secured in containment units to capture old paint as it is taken off, preventing any of it from entering the bay or being breathed in by pedestrians.

“These containments will contain the sections being worked on so nothing gets out and the workers will wear respirators,” Duey explained, describing these containments as dark and dusty. Because of that, workers “will almost have to do this by brail and that’s why it takes three years because they have self-containment for every little piece, get one part done and move to the next.”

The project is expected to begin this coming January.

“It will go through 2019, 2020, and be finished 2021,” Duey said.

Once the $20 million project begins, whenever containment areas are set up, traffic will slow and be directed by flaggers. Other than that, nothing will impede normal traffic.

“Otherwise there shouldn’t be mobility restrictions for normal vehicles,” Duey said.

For more information, visit www.McCulloughBridge.com.


Ed Glazar, The World 

A boater motors Friday past the docks at Tenmile Lake in Lakeside. The Oregon State Marine Board has asked state representatives to increase boater fees which, if approved, would take place in 2020.


Lee-wire
AP
US-China trade war elevates economic risks

WASHINGTON — The trade war that erupted Friday between the U.S. and China carries a major risk of escalation that could weaken investment, depress spending, unsettle financial markets and slow the global economy.

The opening shots were fired just after midnight, when the Trump administration imposed a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion of imports from China, and Beijing promptly retaliated with duties on an equal amount of American products. It accused the U.S. of igniting "the biggest trade war in economic history."

Because of this first round of hostilities, American businesses and, ultimately, consumers could end up paying more for such Chinese-made products as construction equipment and other machinery. And American suppliers of soybeans, pork and whiskey could lose their competitive edge in China.

These initial tariffs are unlikely to inflict serious harm to the world's two biggest economies. Gregory Daco, head of U.S. economics at Oxford Economics, has calculated that they would pare growth in both countries by no more than 0.2 percent through 2020.

But the conflict could soon escalate. President Donald Trump, who has boasted that winning a trade war is easy, has said he is prepared to impose tariffs on up to $550 billion in Chinese imports — a figure that exceeds the $506 billion in goods that China shipped to the U.S. last year.

Escalating tariffs are likely to slow business investment as companies wait to see whether the administration can reach a truce with Beijing. Some employers will probably put hiring on hold until the picture becomes clearer. The damage could risk undoing some of the economic benefits of last year's tax cuts.

"Trade disruption is the greatest threat to global growth," said Dec Mullarkey, managing director of investment strategies at Sun Life Investment Management. "The direct effects will be amplified as business confidence drops and investment decisions are delayed. Markets are still hoping that the key players return to the negotiation table."

The root of the conflict is the Trump administration's assertion that China has long used predatory tactics in a drive to supplant America's technological supremacy. Those tactics include cyber-theft as well as forcing companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to China's market. Trump's tariffs are meant to press Beijing to change its ways.

The rift with China is the most consequential trade conflict the administration has provoked. But it's hardly the only one.

Trump is also sparring with the European Union over his threat to tax auto imports and with Canada and Mexico over his push to rewrite the North American trade pact. And he has subjected most of America's trading partners to tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Many caught in the initial line of fire — U.S. farmers absorbing tariffs on their exports to China, for instance — are fearful. The price of soybeans has plunged 13 percent over the past month on fears that Chinese tariffs will cut off American farmers from China, which buys about 60 percent of their soybean exports.

"For soybean producers like me, this is a direct financial hit," said Brent Bible, a soy and corn producer in Romney, Indiana. "These tariffs could mean the difference between a profit and a loss for an entire year's worth of work out in the field, and that's only in the near term."

Christine LoCascio, an executive at the Distilled Spirits Council, said she fears China's tariffs on U.S. whiskey will "put the brakes on an American success story" of rising exports of U.S. spirits.

Even before the first shots, the prospect of a trade war was worrying investors. The Dow Jones industrial average has shed hundreds of points since June 11. But the risks are now priced into the market, and the Dow actually rose nearly 100 points Friday to 24,456.48.

China's currency, the yuan, has dropped 3.5 percent against the dollar over the past month, giving Chinese companies a price edge over their U.S. competition. The drop might reflect a deliberate devaluation by Beijing to signal its "displeasure over the state of trade negotiations," according to a report from the Institute of International Finance, a banking trade group.

The Trump administration sought to limit the impact of the tariffs on U.S. households by targeting Chinese industrial goods, not consumer products, for the first round of tariffs.

But that step raises costs for U.S. companies that rely on Chinese-made machinery or components. And it could force them to pass those higher costs on to their business customers and, eventually, to consumers.

If you like Chick-fil-A sandwiches, for instance, you may feel the effects. Charlie Souhrada of the North American Food Equipment Manufacturers said the tariffs could raise the cost of a kind of pressure cooker Chick-fil-A uses.

The administration has placed "these import taxes squarely on the shoulders of manufacturers and, by extension, consumers," Souhrada said.

One way the tariffs will squeeze farmers, landscapers and construction firms is by raising the price of excavators and loaders made by Bobcat, which uses attachments imported from China. U.S. suppliers rarely make these attachments, so the company must import them.

American trade groups are urging the two countries to resume talks.

"Tariffs will bring retaliation and possibly more tariffs," said Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers. "No one wins in a trade war."