The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Oregon Beach Weather
Today– A 30 percent chance of rain after 4pm. Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 63. South southeast wind 7 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Wednesday– Rain before 11am, then showers likely after 11am. High near 60. Windy, with a south wind 24 to 29 mph decreasing to 18 to 23 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 44 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Thursday– Rain likely after 11am. Cloudy, with a high near 65. Breezy, with a southeast wind 10 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Friday– Showers likely, mainly before 5pm. Cloudy, with a high near 59. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Saturday– Rain. Cloudy, with a high near 58. Breezy.
Mother and Child Rescued From Submerged Car near Tillamook
A mother and her one-year-old child were rescued from a car submerged in a river after a crash near Tillamook on Sunday, according to the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said the crash happened on Highway 6. “It was reported that this vehicle was westbound toward Tillamook, making numerous bad passes before crashing and landing in the river,” said TCSO deputy Ethan Ault.
Crews including Tillamook Fire District personnel and police officers helped safely rescue the mother and child, deputies said. This crash is being investigated by Oregon State Police.
Cannon Beach Food Tax Measure on Ballot Gets Lots of Feedback
Cannon Beach restaurant owners are saying a 5 percent tax on prepared food would hurt business since they are not out of the woods yet from the effects of the pandemic.
A group of Cannon Beach restaurant owners and food and beverage managers, who meet weekly to discuss issues, support each other and discuss how they are navigating the pandemic, recently had to add to their discussion, beating the Food Tax to fund City Hall.
“Restaurants are not a reliable source of taxable money for the Cannon Beach Fire District,” said Mary Ann Oyala, who along with her husband Jim, co-own three restaurants in Cannon Beach.
“We are part-owners of Bills Tavern & Brewhouse, Cannon Beach Smokehouse and Charcuterie and Warren House Pub, because of COVID and staffing shortages we are unable to open every day or full time.”
The Oyalas also believe there are better funding sources for the fire district, like paid parking, a bond, but to rely on a prepared food tax would not be the best for the city.
“The fire department needs a lot of money and a reliable funding source, Mary Ann said. “Placing a sales tax on prepared food establishment for 30 years is extremely undependable and unstable.”
Shelly Crane, owner of Oil and Vinegar Bar in Cannon Beach, and a long time citizen of Cannon Beach, said her business will not be affected by the prepared food tax, but she still opposes the measure as a funding source and she also is against where the city is deciding to put the new police department, city hall and command center.
“My town is making decisions they don’t need to be making,” she said. “Do we need a new city hall, probably, do we need it now? No.”
The Blue Ribbon Committee told our city management through research, that the location they decided was the worst spot they could have chosen in terms of being in an inundation zone, Crane said.
“We lost our grade school because it was in a inundation zone, if we need a command center, why would you put it in a tsunami zone,” Crane said. “It’s funny business to me, I don’t trust Bruce (St. Denis) but he’s got a lot of people on board.”
Crane is also worried about how the measure is worded, in her opinion, it gives city hall too much power over the funds as they roll in.
“The way it’s worded is basically giving the city a blank check… 2.5 percent would go to the fire department and the other 2.5 percent can go to the police department, city hall and infrastructure.”
Crane also believes that this is not a good time to tax restaurants, with everything they have been through and the day to day challenges that industry faces even in good times.
“The timing of this is horrible, they are not thinking what affect this will have on restaurants,” she said. “We have all been hit hard due to the pandemic.”
Jim Litherland, who sat on the Blue Ribbon Committee, charged with studying where to put a new city hall and or police department believes this is the worst possible site to build and spend millions of tax dollars.
“The prepared food tax should be voted down, the fire department should then immediately go for an expanded levy to solve their problem,” Litherland said. “And if a new city hall is to be built it should be with a great deal of citizen input, not in a rush and not on Zoom. Remember, it’s not the city manager’s city hall, it’s not the city councils’ city hall, it’s the Cannon Beach citizens’ city hall.”
Lindsey Oyala, Co-owners in the restaurant group in town along with an art gallery, said the city has done a poor job of describing the exact plans to the voters.
“I’ve been canvasing and talking to my friends and they thought this was just for the fire department and not for a new city hall,” she said. “We have seen no plans, no real costs, they (city management) has no idea what they are doing, I see this as a way of getting money from businesses who are suffering, I’d be all for it if it was just to fund the fire department, it’s like they are sneaking in a new city hall.”
The measure will be decided during the Tuesday Nov. 2 election. Ballots can be mailed in or dropped off at the ballot drop-off location in front of City Hall.
Oregon reports 3,276 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 24 new deaths
There are 24 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 4,185. The Oregon Health Authority reported 3,276 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 bringing the state total to 352,026.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (12), Benton (87), Clackamas (256), Clatsop (12), Columbia (44), Coos (31), Crook (29), Curry (6), Deschutes (311), Douglas (124), Grant (4), Harney (18), Hood River (18), Jackson (149), Jefferson (49), Josephine (61), Klamath (55), Lake (7), Lane (340), Lincoln (28), Linn (240), Malheur (12), Marion (296), Morrow (14), Multnomah (515), Polk (45), Tillamook (16), Umatilla (47), Union (31), Wallowa (3), Wasco (11), Washington (334), Wheeler (4) and Yamhill (67).
143 Fully Vaccinated Oregon Residents Who Received Pfizer Vaccine Have Died Of COVID-19
- More than 15,000 Pfizer recipients in Oregon have tested positive for COVID-19
- Moderna and J&J recipients have also reported getting infected with COVID-19
- The majority of Oregon residents with COVID-19 are patients aged 65 and older
More than 140 fully vaccinated individuals in Oregon have died of COVID-19 despite receiving the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, according to state data.
At least 143 Oregon residents who have received two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have died of the virus as of Oct. 14. The state has also recorded 15,057 breakthrough infections and 562 breakthrough hospitalizations among Pfizer recipients since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the latest data.
Among those who received the two-dose Moderna vaccine, 72 have died of COVID-19. There have also been 7,938 breakthrough cases and 333 breakthrough hospitalizations.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 34 Johnson & Johnson recipients have died, while 203 have been admitted. Overall, 3,648 J&J recipients have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Across the state, health officials have recorded a total of 30,687 breakthrough COVID-19 infections as of Thursday. The median age of breakthrough infections occurred in fully vaccinated individuals aged 48.
Of the total number of cases, 3.8% occurred in residents of care facilities or senior living communities. At least 25.1% involved patients aged 65 and older and 2.5% in children between the ages of 12 to 17.
The Oregon Health Authority has recorded a total of 348,766 COVID-19 cases among the unvaccinated and vaccinated, with 1,093 additional cases reported on Sunday alone.
The state has also reported a total of 4,161 coronavirus-related deaths, 26 of which were reported on Sunday, according to an analysis by The New York Times.
Despite the rising number of breakthrough COVID-19 cases, health experts still urge Americans to get vaccinated. Experts also note that while no vaccine is 100% effective against the novel coronavirus, they are still capable of preventing deaths, hospitalizations and severe cases.
“There will always be a proportion of individuals who will still remain susceptible to infection and illness,” Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick’s Medical School, told CNBC.
Against the more transmissible Delta variant, which is currently the dominant strain in the U.S., Pfizer’s vaccine is above or close to 90% effective in preventing hospitalization and severe disease, according to a Qatar study.
A preprint Canadian study found that one dose of Moderna offered 72% protection against symptomatic infection. However, the study cannot estimate the protection with two doses.
A study conducted in South Africa, where the Delta variant dominates, found that the J&J vaccine provides 71% protection against hospitalization.
Across the country, COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations have also been steadily decreasing over the past weeks. As of Monday, the rolling daily average was 83,576 new cases. However, case rates in states experiencing cold weather have seen a recent uptick.
Five U.S. states have seen a 10% increase in COVID-19 cases compared to last week — Iowa, Oklahoma, Alaska, Vermont and New Hampshire, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
YESTERDAY was the deadline for state employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Governor Brown issued the mandate in August requiring state employees, school employees, health care workers, and long-term care facility workers to show proof of full vaccination by October 18th. Some state workers are getting a little extra time to get vaccinated thanks to deadline extensions negotiated by their unions. That includes executive branch workers, who have until November 30th.
Employees affected by the mandate were allowed to apply for religious or medical exemptions, and some unions were able to bargain for different accommodations regarding the deadline. Still, there is concern over the potential loss of first responders, school employees, transportation workers, health care workers, and long-term care facility workers.
Meanwhile, The Oregon National Guard has started to draw down the number of troops deployed to hospitals as the state sees fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Governor Brown deployed national guard members in August to help healthcare workers as they faced a surge of patients brought on by the Delta variant.
An Oregon National Guard spokesperson said Friday they started a drawdown of troops since hospitals were covering the “necessary non-clinical positions on their own accord.” The decision to pull guard members is made on a case-by-case basis as hospitals determine their individual staffing needs in coordination with the Oregon Health Authority, according to the ONG.
The guard members offered logistical support for roughly 20 hospitals such as “materials handlers and equipment runners.” They will also assist with COVID-19 testing and other supportive hospital operations.
Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management has posted the Oregon Wildfire Recovery Update for Oct. 18, 2021, to the Oregon Wildfire Resources page. View today’s Wildfire Recovery update here. The next update will be released on Nov. 17, 2021.
The McKenzie Community Celebration in Vida, Ore., unveiled a permanent commemorative art piece designed and created by Oregon conceptual artist Margaret Godfrey. (McKenzie River Locals Helping Locals)
The McKenzie Community Celebration in Vida, Ore., included a first responder appreciation ceremony celebrating the Upper McKenzie Fire Department. (McKenzie River Locals Helping Locals)
FEMA has activated a federal program offering 2020 wildfire survivors the opportunity to purchase their currently occupied trailer. (FEMA) — Oregon Office of Emergency Management
Oregon Governor Kate Brown ordered flags be flown at half-staff to honor Colin Powell, the former Joint Chiefs chairman and secretary of state.
Powell’s death was announced Monday from complications with COVID-19. He’d also been treated over the past few years for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer. He was 84. The proclamation is set to continue through sunset on Friday, October 22. The governor went on to say Powell lived his life in service to our country, adding that she and her husband “hold his family in our hearts as we mourn his passing.
Jackson County Asks Governor for National Guard Help with Illegal Cannabis Farms
Following the biggest discovery of illegal marijuana cultivation here in Klamath County just last week, the same day, a southern Oregon county declared a state of emergency amid a sharp increase in illegal cannabis farms, police raided a site that had about two tons of processed marijuana and 17,500 pot plants.
The raid illustrates that the proliferation of industrial-scale marijuana farms has gotten so bad and so brazen that
Jackson County Commissioners asked Gov. Kate Brown to send in the Oregon National Guard “to assist, as able, in the enforcement of laws related to the production of cannabis.”
They also directly appealed to Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek for help getting additional funding to tackle the problem.
During last Wednesday’s raid in Medford, Oregon, police found a vast outdoor growing operation, plus harvested plants hanging upside down on drying racks and 3,900 pounds (1,800 kilograms) of resinous buds stashed in huge bags and in stacks of plastic storage containers. The officers took 26 migrant workers into custody, interviewed them and then released them. A warrant was issued for the arrest of the primary suspect, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said.
Courtney said he is so concerned about the surge in illegal marijuana farms in Jackson and neighboring Josephine counties that he agrees that the Oregon National Guard should be sent in. Many of the illegal growers are armed.
OSP Warns of Wildlife In Roadways Major Safety Hazards To Drivers Particularly This Time of Year
Oregon State Police say you are “usually safer” if you hit an animal with your car than if you swerve to avoid wildlife on roadways.
Troopers shared the story of a driver who recently came upon an animal on Highway 20 outside Sweet Home.
“The driver attempted to avoid the animal by applying his brakes, however, they were non-responsive, so he went into the gravel on the shoulder and lost control,” state police said. “His vehicle rolled down the ravine about 20 yards. A local bystander stopped and rendered aid to the driver who had minor injuries. The driver was transported by medics to a local hospital for treatment.”
Troopers managed to locate the driver’s dog unharmed after the crash.
The incident illustrates the danger of swerving to avoid animals in the road.
“If you cannot stop in time, unfortunate as it may be, it is usually safer to hit the animal than swerving,” state police said. “Swerving may land you in the path of another car or like this gentleman in a ditch.”
If you do hit an animal, troopers ask you to pull over and call your Oregon State Police (dial *OSP from your cell phone in Oregon) or local law enforcement to report the incident and have the animal safely removed from the roadway.
“Wildlife in the roadways presents major safety hazards to drivers,” state police said. “October through December is an especially high-traffic time for animals moving from one part of their habitat to another while they breed and forage for food, although they can and do appear on the roads throughout the year.”
Driver Safety Tips
- Scan Ahead and watch for shining eyes or movement along roadsides.
- Look for more animals after you see one animal – they often travel in groups.
- Brake. Don’t Swerve.
- Be ready for animals to change direction.
- Obey traffic signs, including wildlife warning and speed limit signs, and slow down on blind curves.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Stay Alert. Avoid driving distracted.
- Slow Down to increase your reaction time.