Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

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What a relief! Spring break in Cape Meares was back to normal. Unlike last year, when hordes descended upon us just before the state went into quarantine, this year had only the usual number of revelers. We liked seeing our full-timers, part-timers, and a few extra tourists enjoying the seashore, despite the somewhat rainy start to the week.

On a personal note, it was like old times here in the Steen household. Our son, his wife and their two children, ages 3 years and 15 months, visited the first half of spring break. Our youngest daughter and her two girls, ages 15 and 12, visited the second half of the week, with friends joining them for a day. We were up in the forest, on the beach, playing board games, shopping in town at Salty Raven and the Blue Heron, eating salmon, and making sundaes with Tillamook ice cream. It’s amazing how freeing COVID vaccinations can be!

Unfortunately, spring break also brought out the opportunists. Someone stole a black 2000 Ford Ranger right out of the Drafahls’ driveway, while they were home! Fortunately, the vehicle was found later that same day in Coos Bay. Still, it was a hassle for the truck owner, who was without his vehicle for a while and had to pay $445 to get it out of impound. A suspicious character had been recorded on a neighbor’s video camera; the police followed up on that lead and found that it was indeed the man who had stolen the vehicle. Perhaps it would be a good idea for more of us to install security cameras.

While on the topic of crime, a gentle reminder that the speed limit in Cape Meares is 25 mph. We may have visitors who aren’t keenly aware of that, but those of us who live here could do a better job—yours truly included! It’s easy to get distracted by our pretty little village and forget to check the speedometer.

A gentleman called the other day with an idea about how to permanently stop development on Bayocean Spit. He said that Cape Lookout has a sign on 8th Street denoting Netarts Spit as a part of the National Wildlife Refuge system established in the 1960s under John F. Kennedy; therefore, no building is allowed on that spit. He wonders why Bayocean Spit can’t have a similar designation. Someone reading this column might know how to further his idea.

Speaking of the spit, just a reminder that we are in the midst of the annual snowy plover nesting period, which runs from March 15 to September 15. A section of Bayocean Spit is roped off, indicating the sensitive nesting area. Please do not walk on the dry sand in this area; walk only on the wet sand. No bikes of any kind or dogs (even leashed) are allowed from the start of the marked snowy plover area to the jetty, as either might scare these small shorebirds. Please do your part to protect this threatened species.

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