Melonie Ferguson

Melonie Ferguson

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Spring whale migration kicks off in late March and will last into June, but the whale watching experience will look different this year due to the pandemic. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) canceled its 2021 spring Whale Watch Week program, traditionally held during spring break, meaning volunteers won’t be stationed at whale watching sites. In addition, the Whale Watch Center in Depoe Bay is closed.

Some 25,000 Gray whales will pass by Oregon’s shores from late March to June on their way to cool Alaskan waters. Many will be accompanied by their calves, born during the winter in the warm lagoons off the coast of Baja, Mexico.

Visitors may still enjoy this spring tradition on their own, while following statewide COVID-19 guidelines for safe travel and physical distancing. Most viewing sites managed by OPRD are open, with reduced services in some locations due to limited resources. A map of whale watching sites is available online. Google “whale watch spoken here” for information.

“We urge visitors to explore parks close to their homes and to respect the communities they visit,” said OPRD director Lisa Sumption. “Please, wear face coverings and give plenty of space to other visitors. If a park is crowded, consider visiting another whale watching site or returning later.”

As we go to press, there are still openings in an upcoming parenting series. Tillamook Family Counseling Center will offer a free Active Parenting classes online. Parents and caregivers will learn practical parenting tips, healthy discipline methods, and information on how to develop positive qualities in children. The curriculum is designed for parents and caregivers of children ages 5-12. Classes are scheduled from 6-7;30 p.m. Wednesdays starting March 31st and running through May 12th. For more information or to sign up, contact Mis Carlson-Swanson by email to Melissacs@tfcc.org or call (503) 842-821, extension 276.

Speaking of improving life for a child, Bright by Text is a free service by text message. They send easy, practical tips and activities right to your cell phone; they’re appropriate anyone expecting a child through parents of eight year olds. Text ELHKIDS to274448 to sign up.

Don’t forget that the Library Thrift Store, located across from Grateful Bread Bakery on Brooten Road in Pacific City, is open for business. The hours recently changed to 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sellable donations are accepted during open hours, subject to visual inspection. Proceeds from the well organized and reasonably priced venture benefit South Tillamook County Library’s building and grounds.

Happy birthday this week to: Kelly Armstrong, John Barcroft, Logan Blackburn, Lee Brassfield, Tom Cabral, Charleen Coffelt, Rowan Dillon, David Eckhardt, Cara Elder, Jeff Green, Kathy Heathershaw, Jim Huddleston, Nathan Huddleston, Abigail Love, Ruby Madrona, Cynthia Marshall, Verne Mobley, Devin Richwine, Michael Schmitz, Betsy Sisson, Forrest Whiteman.

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