Spencer David Cole

Investigative Reporter

Pismo Beach

Spencer David Cole

New Times Media Group | Environment | Government | Business |



DB Western CEO has left trail of toxic waste allegations

It’s no secret that Dennis Carter Beetham, the Rome, N.Y. -born CEO and founder of DB Western Texas (DBWT), wants a hand in shaping the future of Coos Bay’s wastewater treatment plans. The millionaire chemical tycoon has spoken at length, in person and through intermediaries, about his desire to take over ownership of both of the city's wastewater treatment plants.
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Deer(ly) departed: Five years of drought and decades of habitat loss could be impacting deer and their predators

Bill Decker, 69, drops his truck into the lowest gear and punches the gas. The Toyota Tundra whines as its all-terrain tires climb the series of broken concrete slabs that used to be called a road. "This is all public land," Decker says, surveying the surrounding chaparral, tall grass, and rolling foothills that stretch for miles.
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ICEing the system

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are arresting undocumented immigrant witnesses and victims of crimes at courthouses across the country, effectively throwing a wrench in the criminal justice system and its ability to prosecute criminals. This is according to state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), who told New Times on Aug. 24 that stricter ICE enforcement since President Donald Trump's inauguration has resulted in fewer undocumented immigrants coming forward to report crimes or give witness testimony.
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Failure to communicate: With the city's financial future in question, the Lompoc City Council struggles to find common ground

It’s Tuesday night, Sept. 5, and the Lompoc City Council is in session. After a long and arduous meeting, the city’s 2017-19 budget has finally passed, albeit contentiously, at a 3-2 vote. The boogie man of a budget—now four months late and the source of countless hours of bickering, bemoaning, and battling for a say in Lompoc’s future—is finally defeated, at least for now.
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Questions about Daily radio ad buyer results in wave of contradictions

Who is paying for Coos Bay city mayoral candidate Mark Daily's radio advertising? The answer, according to a spokeswoman for the elections division of the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, is unclear. On Oct. 20, Daily called the division to report a radio show and spot ads being run on behalf of his political campaign, Daily For Mayor.
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Councilor texts, emails reveal DBWT pressure on wastewater plant deal

The text message came in at 11:29 a.m. on March 15. "Hello Tom, Dennis would like to meet with you privately tomorrow, or sometime this week. Can you please respond, and if you have time and location that works let me know. Hope all is well, David," wrote David Petrie, an employee of DB Western Texas president Dennis Beetham.
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Jordan Cove Donates Big To Squash Measure Opposing Liquid Natural Gas Terminal

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(If) a pipeline runs through it

Wind whips through Larry Mangan’s tuft of white hair as he angles his all-terrain vehicle down the dirt road of his ranch near the edge of Haynes Inlet. The scents of saltwater, mud, blooming wildflowers and the nearby grazing cattle blend together, creating an aroma that hints at the Spring to come.
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Oregon's jolly green giant

Since recreational marijuana became officially legal in Oregon in July 2015, the state has raked in millions of dollars in revenue. Oregon began taxing recreational marijuana in January 2016 at a temporary rate of 25 percent. Exactly one year later, the state had collected more than $60 million, according to the Oregon Department of Revenue.
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Tall Shipwreck

The bevy of complaints against last weekend’s Festival of Sail continue to pile up and are beginning to shed light on the problems that derailed the four-day event, an endeavor that local governments gave some $40,000 to help facilitate. The criticism has ranged from poor organization, lofty promises and in North Bend’s and Coos Bay’s case, a lack of written contracts.
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South Coast seaweed entrepreneurs receive sizable investment

The salty seaweed known as dulse, made waves across the internet when Oregon State University announced they had patented a variety of the protein-packed, fast-growing plant that allegedly tastes like bacon when fried. “It’s actually crunchy,” says Foley’s employee, James Weimar, who admits to snacking on the “superfood" algae while he works on the tanks.
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Questions about art, correctness

An homage to the past stoked controversy at a local school following criticism by parents and community members earlier this month.


Spencer David Cole