Each week we recognize those people and organizations in the community deserving of public praise for the good things they do to make the North Coast a better place to live, and also those who should be called out for their actions.
This week’s Shoutouts go to:
• Members of two Coast Guard Sector Columbia River air crews, who returned this week from the Gulf Coast where they participated in rescue and relief operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The two air crews were sent southward and were deployed to Sector Mobile in Alabama and then to Air Station Houston. They were credited with directly rescuing about 40 people from the floodwaters and devastation and assisting many more. The returning crewmen said seeing the storm’s massive destruction was jarring and they described the scene as organized chaos. They credited their rigorous training, camaraderie and dedication to saving others in helping them throughout the deployment.
• Jason Harte, a retired Navy veteran from Ocean Park, Washington, who has been assisting in relief efforts in Texas as a volunteer with the national nonprofit Sheep Dog Impact Assistance group. The organization consists of retired military, law enforcement and fire-rescue personnel, and takes its name from the concept of sheep dogs, which traditionally protect the herd. More than 60 members from the organization’s 23 chapters across the country have traveled to Texas to help. Harte said the group he is with is coordinating with the National Guard and is concentrating on offering assistance in Houston’s hard-hit neighboring cities.
• Mo’s Restaurants, which raised $7,500 for back-to-school supplies for local elementary schools during July and August. The donations to the schools came from the proceeds of the Motivation for Kids Table inside each of Mo’s locations, and the money will be used by the schools to purchase and provide items like binders, pencils and pens to those youngsters in need.
• TD&M Enterprises, and company president Mark Utti, for launching an effort to restore the historic Times Theater in Seaside. The theater, which closed nearly 30 years ago and is a recognizable fixture with its outdoor murals at the corner of Broadway and Columbia Street, originally opened in 1941. It closed in 1989. Utti said TD&M Enterprises, which now owns the property, has plans to restore the theater while also renovating the building to include a brew pub and event space, with the possibility of live entertainment, sports viewing and even some second-run movies. The renovation work has begun with a goal of a January opening.
• U.S. Bank, which recently awarded Camp Kiwanilong a $3,000 grant for continuing operations. The camp’s staff and board are currently working toward accreditation through the American Camp Association and are also planning the development of a pilot family camp program.
This week’s Callouts go to:
• The Oregon Department of Transportation, which received mixed results in an audit released this week by the Secretary of State’s Office. On the positive side, the audit found that ODOT’s new fuels tax system accurately assesses and collects fuels taxes for Oregon and other local jurisdictions. During 2016, the system processed approximately 14,000 fuels tax returns and collected more than $565 million in fuels taxes. The audit determined the system’s calculations to be correct for 99.5% of all returns. The remaining 0.5% of records differed due to rounding errors or manual overrides of calculations by department staff. However, the audit also identified design flaws that may allow for certain fuels tax refunds to be issued for more than what was owed, and has caused inaccuracies in some key reports. The audit also identified security weaknesses which could put the system and its data at risk. The report included nine recommendations to ODOT management to correct the weaknesses.
Do you have a Shoutout or Callout you think we should know about? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure to take a look.