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SAM BARBEE, The World 

Marshfield's Tess Garrett splits Salem Academy defenders Kirsten Koehnke (12) and Grace Brown during the Pirates' 47-27 win on Saturday.

Raw Point-in-Time Count numbers reveal widespread homeless problem
Finalized numbers expected to lower, but remain higher than 2017 PIT results

COOS COUNTY — Raw numbers from the 2018 Point in Time Count are out, showing an estimated 940 homeless individuals in Coos County.

The new numbers were handed out to community leaders during a homeless workshop last week hosted by Oregon Coast Community Action, though Essential Services Operations Director Maggie Sackrider said those numbers are likely to change. She plans on having the official numbers completed later this month.

“Official numbers will remove duplicates we might have counted,” she said. “We anticipated duplicates this year because we were much more thorough when we collected the information and got more community partners involved, including some school systems and other programs like Head Start.”

The raw numbers show a much different story than the 2017 Point-in-Time Count, which is a nationwide effort to take a picture of each community’s homeless problem.

In 2015, the official numbers showed 612 homeless individuals with 449 households, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 2017, the official numbers showed 397 homeless individuals with 297 households, according to HUD.

In 2018, the raw numbers showed 940 homeless individuals with 550 households, according to ORCCA.

The 2016 homeless count results were never released. HUD is only required to reveal the PIT numbers every other year, though ORCCA is required to release local numbers every year.

Sackrider anticipates the raw 2018 numbers to have duplicated data on families.

“We’re hoping we collected information from school-aged children, as well as adults,” she said. “Once the final numbers are finished, those duplicates will be gone so the number will be lower. But we anticipate those numbers, even the analyzed numbers, to be higher than previous years because of how thorough our Point-in-Time Count was last year.”

In fact, ORCCA expects the finalized 2018 numbers to be closer to the numbers from 2015.

“Homelessness is an issue that is very much in your face in our community,” Sackrider said. “The first step is understanding and knowing the numbers we’re dealing with. These people need assistance from housing to mental health assistance, but the first thing we need to know is who needs the help. These numbers also contribute to a statewide and national assessment of the homeless population. We’ve been lucky in Oregon that our representatives understand this is a big issue and it’s because of numbers generated through things like the Point-in-Time Count.”

The 2019 Point-in-Time Count is happening in the last week of January and volunteers are needed. To get involved, email or call ORCCA at 541-435-7080.

Bykes for Tykes has record year

COOS BAY — Santa rode south on his Harley for a special visit to Coos Bay so he could lead local motorcycle clubs in their annual Bykes for Tykes event over the weekend.

Nicholas Johnson / NICHOLAS A. JOHNSON The World 

Santa and friends carry bags of toys to the Bus Jam donation site at Bi-Mart in North Bend for the annual Bykes for Tykes event.

This is the 19th year that Walt Evans of Coos Cycle and Supply and his band of bikers joined together to donate bicycles and toys to families in need this Christmas.

“We have almost 300 bikes this year, that’s a record for us," Evans said. "We had 225 a couple years ago."

Last year, the Bykes for Tykes event donated 140 bikes which means this year the donation likely doubled in size. It’s important to note that Bykes for Tykes also collects hundreds of toys for donation as well.  

Unlike years past, the bikes and toys were donated to the Bus Jam fundraiser put on by local radio station K-Dock and the Rotary Club instead of being taken to the Salvation Army.

Nicholas Johnson / NICHOLAS A. JOHNSON The World 

Local bikers gathered in front of Coos Cycle and supply on Saturday in preparation for the annual Bykes for Tykes ride.

Since the Bus Jam has two toy drop off sites in the Bay Area at both Bi-Marts, the motorcade began its roaring ride around Coos Bay and North Bend by heading north on U.S. Highway 101 to the Bi-Mart in North Bend. There they unloaded half of the truck loads. After that, the bikers made their way back to the Coos Bay Bi-Mart to drop off the other half of the haul.

According to Evans, organizing and collecting for Bykes for Tykes is a yearlong process. He said that they begin collecting donations for next year soon after the event ends.

Americans to begin saying their goodbyes to George H.W. Bush

WASHINGTON — Americans will begin saying goodbye to former President George H.W. Bush today when his body arrives in Washington for public viewing in the Capitol Rotunda — a rare honor that will be bestowed on a man who earned the respect and admiration of many with his leadership, bravery and grace.

The public viewing will kick off four days of events that will include a state funeral at Washington's National Cathedral on Wednesday and a private service at Bush's longtime church in Houston on Thursday. But tributes from leaders around the world have been pouring in since his death Friday night.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called him "a perfect American" for how "he served the country in so many capacities."

"He never forgot who he was," Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Bush's presidency, told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "He never let it all go to his head. He was a man of great humility."

Bush, who died at his Houston home at age 94, will be buried Thursday on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M University.

In Washington, D.C., he will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda from 7:30 p.m. today to 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. President Donald Trump, who ordered federal offices closed for a national day of mourning on Wednesday, is to attend with first lady Melania Trump and other high-ranking officials.

James Baker, Bush's former chief of staff and secretary of state, called his boss's tenure in office "a consequential presidency" because of his foreign policy achievements.

"Yes, he's a one-term president ... but he is going to be and was a very consequential one-term president. And I would argue far and away the best one-term president we've ever had," Baker told ABC's "This Week."

Bush's crowning achievement as president was assembling the international military coalition that liberated the tiny, oil-rich nation of Kuwait from invading Iraq in 1991 in a war that lasted just 100 hours. He also presided over the end of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union.

At the Group of 20 summit in Argentina, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was raised in East Germany, told reporters she likely would never have become her country's leader had Bush not pressed for the nation's reunification in 1990.

A humble hero of World War II, Bush was just 20 when he survived being shot down during a bombing run over Japan. He enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday.

Shortly before leaving the service, he married his 19-year-old sweetheart, Barbara Pierce, in a union that lasted until her death earlier this year.

"He knew what combat was all about," Powell said on "This Week." ''He knew that combat meant the death of people, people on your side and people on the other side. And so he wanted to avoid a war."

Bush turned his attention to politics in the 1960s, being elected to his first of two terms in Congress in 1967. He would go on to serve as ambassador to the United Nations and China, head of the CIA and chairman of the Republican National Committee before being elected to two terms as Ronald Reagan's vice president.

Soon after he reached the zenith of his political popularity following the liberation of Kuwait, the U.S. economy began to sour and voters began to believe that Bush, never a great orator, was out of touch with ordinary people. He lost his bid for re-election to then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, who would later become a close friend.

It wasn't only former political rivals Bush found easy to befriend.

Roberto Molina, whose family owns Molina's Cantina, one of Bush's favorite Tex-Mex restaurants in Houston, said he remembers Bush's kindness to his staff whenever he would stop by to eat.

"No matter which party you're affiliated with, everybody seemed to say the same things about President Bush," Molina said. "He was a down-to-earth person, approachable, and just a good man."

Coos County Commissioners pass ordinance requiring lenders to register abandoned properties

COOS COUNTY — Coos County Commissioners approved an ordinance last Tuesday requiring lenders to register and maintain abandoned properties defaulted by its borrowers.

During last week’s Board of Commissioners meeting, County Counsel Nathanial Johnson discussed the county’s safety concerns with such properties citing possible health risks of built up solid waste and potential crime and drug use.

The ordinance, 18-11-011L, requires lenders after inspecting defaulted properties and determining its vacancy that it registers the property with the Coos County Planning Department no later than 14 days from inspection.

The registration consists of providing the county with accurate up-to-date contact information of the individual lender or the property management company overseeing the property. The planning department will have the forms, which has no fee attached, available online and in person at its Coquille office on 225 N. Adams St.

According to the ordinance, lenders will be tasked with maintaining its properties’ appearance freeing it of trash, graffiti, dead vegetation and other signs of vacancy. In addition, lenders are required to secure the property’s entrance and replace any damage windows or doors within 10 days of registration.

Johnson told commissioners last week of the challenges the planning department faces with such properties especially when it comes to locating a responsible party.  As a result, no one is held accountable for the oftentimes numerous code violations of the property.

Foreclosure properties, where the title has been transferred from one lender to another, are also required to register as well as those under a deed in lieu of foreclosure, according to the new county rule.

For lenders outside of the county, a posting of their contact information must be placed on the property’s front window facing the street ensuring its visibility to city officials.

The ordinance does outline for those properties where a defaulted borrow remains in its space that the lender is still responsible for inspecting the property once a month. With that being said, the inspections will only continue if the borrow remains in default.

“I think some people may wonder how much of an issue this is and unfortunately it is an issue around our county,” said Commissioner Melissa Cribbins. “On foreclosure properties frequently we have people move in and just take advantage of the situation knowing there is not an owner there to kick them out. It’s been a headache for planning department and unfortunately an even bigger headache for neighbors.”

The ordinance was passed by the board and declared an emergency, making it immediately effective.