Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

An art corner is developing at the corner of Mertel and 4th St. NW in Cape Meares. Jenny Francis first erected a totem-like post topped with a delicately sculpted and painted female head. Next came a similar post featuring a man’s head with piercing eyes. Both posts are covered in tiled mosaics. There’s even a bench to sit and contemplate. Check it out on your next walk around the neighborhood.

Have you tasted Cape Meares cheddar cheese? It debuted in Jan. 2018 as the first new aged cheddar created by the Tillamook County Creamery Association in the last 100 years. It is a hard, white English-style cheddar that is slightly sweet and creamy. Not only is it delicious, but it makes a great gift for friends and family. Cape Meares cheddar cheese is available locally at the Creamery’s gift shop, the Blue Heron and the TCCA Farm Store.

We got a text from a neighbor that showed swarms of jellyfish washed ashore on our beach. What caused that, she wondered? I checked into it and found that groups of jellyfish, called “blooms,” can come ashore after onshore winds. Sure enough, two or three days of strong south winds had preceded this event. Jellyfish are mostly made of water and die quickly after washing ashore.

Big news for the dike road parking lot. The Tillamook Board of Commissioners voted to approve a $10/day fee for use of that area, called “Bayocean Peninsula,” starting Jan. 1, 2021. Alternatively, a person could purchase a $55 annual day use access pass ($45 for seniors, disabled veterans and Oregon Trail Card members) that would cover all Tillamook County Parks day use areas and boat launches. Bill Baertlein, the Tillamook County Commission chair, explained that day visitors are overwhelming our community, especially in the summer, and that fees garnered from these passes will help pay for needed services such as bathrooms, parking, garbage collection, and law enforcement. I did notice that last time I was in that parking lot, the porta-potties that appeared at the end of summer had been removed. I don’t know if the plan is to put them back each summer or actually build a restroom out there; guess we’ll wait and see.

There is an alternative way to get the new annual pass. The Tillamook County Parks department will develop a series of community service projects, such as beach cleanup, for citizens to participate in that will enable them to earn an annual pass. I’m sure more information on that will follow soon.

Lastly, Commissioner Mary Faith Bell highlighted the expensive task of dredging silt from Tillamook Bay to improve conditions at Memaloose boat launch as one of the reasons the county needs to generate more money from access fees. She estimated the cost of dredging, if a permit is obtainable, to be more than $200,000, per an article in the Tillamook Pioneer.

Given the surging coronavirus, Gov. Brown has encouraged us to gather only with those in our households for the two weeks ending Nov. 25. Let’s do our part and cooperate.

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