The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Oregon Beach Weather
Today– Mostly sunny, with a high near 59. Calm wind becoming northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.
Thursday– A 10 percent chance of rain before 10am. Partly sunny, with a high near 54. Breezy, with an east northeast wind 6 to 15 mph becoming north in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph.
Friday– Partly sunny, with a high near 52. North northeast wind 3 to 6 mph.
Saturday– A 20 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 55.
Sunday– A chance of rain, mainly after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 54.
Two Oregon Coast Guard Service Members Honored For Heroic Actions
Two Coast Guard service members on the Oregon Coast were recently honored for heroic actions taken to save lives.
Petty Officer 1st Class Trevor Salt, an aviation survival technician at Coast Guard Sector North Bend, received the 2021 Angels of the Battlefield Award from the Armed Services YMCA.
The award pays tribute to military medical personnel for providing life-saving medical treatment and trauma care to service members or civilians in distress.
Salt helped save the lives of two hikers trapped on Oregon’s snow-covered Grayback Mountain in January 2021. Salt spent more than 12 hours tending to a severely injured hiker and the hiker’s companian until the pair could be rescued by the National Guard.
Petty Officer 1st Class Wallace Qual (second from right in photo below), a boatswain’s mate serving at Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay, received the Association for Rescue at Sea Gold Medal Award. That is the highest search and rescue award presented to a Coast Guard member by a civilian organization.
Crew members from Station Yaquina Bay gather for a photo after rescuing a fisherman from 10-foot breaking seas near South Beach State Park south of Newport, OR, early Tuesday, Sep. 8. The Coast Guard exhausted several asset options before a ground crew ultimately reached the distressed mariner. Shown are BM2 Tyler Hurst, BM3 Matthew Roque, MK2 Rachel Robbins, BM1 Wallace Qual, and BM1 Jacob Hylkema. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Yaquina Bay)
Qual led an early-morning rescue in September 2020 for the master of the 44-foot fishing vessel Legend after the boat aground near the Yaquina Bay channel entrance off Newport, Oregon.
According to the Coast Guard:
Realizing that no rescue helicopters or boats were available due to on-scene conditions of 60 to 70-knot winds and less than 200 yards visibility, Qual dressed in full search and rescue gear, including an additional 20 pounds of rescue equipment, and led a Coast Guard beach rescue team in running approximately two miles down the beach to help the fisherman in distress.
Battling high surf, wind-driven sand and hurricane force wind gusts, Qual finally succeeded in reaching the master. The beach rescue team was then able to pull Qual, with the master in tow, to shore using the swimmer tending line.
Yachats Fire Dept Gets $8,000 Anonymous Gift To Replace Failing Pumper
With an $8,000 check from an anonymous donor, the Yachats Rural Fire Protection District has purchased a 1994 engine/pumper from the Newport Fire Department. When outfitted – maybe by the end of the month — it will replace a 1971 engine that was failing and had been parked at the district’s substation up the Yachats River.
Depending on how they are configured, new fire engines can easily cost more than $750,000. Most rural fire departments rely on second-hand but well-maintained engines from larger organizations.
The Yachats district knew its upriver engine was failing but didn’t have the funds to replace it. Petrick’s proposal last spring to buy an engine from a department in Washington state for $25,000 was rejected by the district board because its equipment replacement fund had just $22,000 in it.
Firefighter Joe Schwab happened to spot an online message that Newport was ready to declare the 27-year-old engine as surplus and sell it on a state website. Alerted to Yachats’ interest, Newport brought it down for an inspection by firefighters and board members Ed Hallahan and Drew Tracy. They all declared it a good fit for the district.
Newport said it would take $8,000 for the engine – something that Yachats didn’t readily have. That afternoon, the district received a cashier’s check for $8,000 from an anonymous donor.
Engine 14, which now serves as the “first out” engine in Yachats was built in 1999, but is not as versatile as the new one from Newport. The new engine was originally custom built for the city of Bellevue, Wash. fire department and has 5-inch hose connections on all four sides, instead of just the front and back, like Engine 14. It carries 750 gallons of water and its pump can handle 1,750 gallons a minute.
Yachats’ old engine – called Engine 15 – will be sold as surplus.
The district has been struggling financially for three years and voters last month turned down a big new levy request designed to solve that issue. The board plans to ask for another levy in May, but must decide by Feb. 25 how much to ask for and specify how it would be used.
Researchers Ask Oregonians To Take Photos To Help Document Sea-Level Rise During King Tide Event
The Oregon Coast is set to experience higher-than-normal tides this weekend, and researchers are asking Oregonians to take photos to help document sea-level rise as climate change worsens.
From Friday through Sunday, the Oregon Coast will be experiencing some of the highest tides of winter, known as king tides. King tides occur when the moon, earth, and the sun align at the closest points to each other, leading to enough gravitational pull to create larger-than-usual tides.
The Oregon King Tides Project is asking anyone with a camera to safely take and share pictures of the king tides, which can add about 3 feet to average tides. The resulting photo collection will help document and inform researchers on the impacts of sea-level rise, flooding, and erosion — all of which are becoming worse as global warming continues to play out.
Right now, the Oregon Coastal Management Program is currently working on a sea-level rise planning guide for coastal cities to begin to think about how cities, residents and businesses can begin to adapt to sea-level rise and move those projects forward.
Short-term options include putting up structural measures like seawalls or riprap. Other options include preventing certain types of development from being built in hazardous areas and proactively removing structures that are on the coastline if possible.
The Oregon King Tides Project photo account currently has more than 3,000 images. Residents can submit their photos on the Oregon King Tides Project website. The project is a collaboration between the Department of Land Conservation and Development’s Oregon Coastal Management Program and the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition.
Oregon reports 1,054 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 19 new deaths
There are 19 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 5,161. The Oregon Health Authority reported 1,054 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 391,099.
The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (7), Benton (13), Clackamas (55), Clatsop (6), Columbia (12), Coos (64), Crook (19), Curry (9), Deschutes (97), Douglas (52), Harney (5), Hood River (18), Jackson (73), Jefferson (10), Josephine (14), Klamath (50), Lake (12), Lane (79), Lincoln (14), Linn (30), Malheur (4), Marion (65), Morrow (4), Multnomah (121), Polk (50), Sherman (1), Tillamook (3), Umatilla (28), Union (2), Wallowa (3), Wasco (12), Washington (77) and Yamhill (45).
Yesterday was the deadline for roughly 38-thousand state workers, contractors and volunteers in Oregon to show they are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19.
Workers unions and state leaders negotiated a six-week extension from the original vaccination deadline from the original October 18th date. The extension mainly covered those working in the Department of Corrections, the Department of Agriculture and the Forestry Department.
The Conquer Covid in Klamath campaign announces its winner for the week.
Jeanne Roster of Klamath Falls won a complete Kitchen Appliance Package. Jeanne was selected in a random drawing of all Klamath County residents that have entered at conquercovidinklamath.com.
Each week the prize changes and this week it is winter clothes and winter boots for the whole family. The drawing for this week’s prize will take place on Monday morning.
Other Weekly winners to date include:
– Elizabeth Gaxiola of Bonanza who won a Big Screen TV, Home Theater System and Pizza gift certificates
– Gillian Bradford of Klamath Falls who won $6,000 in groceries from Grocery Outlet
– Nolan Napier of Chiloquin who won a top of the line Traeger Grill and 12 bags of premium pellets.
-Patricia Merrill of Klamath Falls won $4,800 in gasoline for her vehicle.
– Terri Torres of Klamath Falls won $5,000 worth of furniture for her home.
– Nicola Cherry of Klamath Falls won a $2,400 free standing pellet stove.
– Kelly Hawk of Klamath Falls won $2,500 in groceries from Grocery Outlet
– Ashleigh Carter won a $2500 Gasoline Card
– Christian Ramirez won a 65” TV, Sound System and an additional smart flat screen TV
– David Wiles won $2,500
There is a different prize each week along with the Grand Prize, which is the winners choice of a new Dodge RAM pickup or a new Dodge Durango SUV. There are numerous runner-up prizes as well.
To enter Klamath County residents can go to conquercovidinklamath.com.
There is nothing to buy and no charge whatsoever to enter. The site also lists prizes, rules and vaccination sites.
Gov. Brown Sets Special Session On Rental Aid Protection For Tenants
Gov. Brown has called a special session of the Oregon Legislature to extend temporary protections against eviction for tenants awaiting rental assistance.
She also said she wants lawmakers at the Dec. 13 session to approve up to $190 million to replenish rental assistance, until more federal money comes in, and to help tenants make the transition once that rental assistance ends next year.
The Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services will stop accepting new applications for rental assistance as of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1. The agency announced weeks ago that pending applications — an estimated 20,000 await review — would exhaust Oregon’s $289 million allocation from the U.S. Treasury for assistance. It has paid applications for about 22,000 households with the help of extra staff, an outside vendor and community action agencies in Oregon counties.
Lawmakers set aside a total of $200 million in state funds for rental assistance during a special session nearly one year ago. But all of that money was spent by June.
“I am continuing to work with federal officials at U.S. Treasury and the White House to secure additional federal emergency rental assistance funding for Oregon, but it is clear that a state solution is needed to address the urgent and immediate needs of Oregon renters,” Brown said Tuesday in her announcement of the special session.
“And, we must begin laying the groundwork now for the transition to local eviction prevention services after federal pandemic emergency programs draw to an end.”
Senate President Peter Courtney, the Legislature’s senior member, has gone through 26 of the 46 special sessions in Oregon history — counting the Dec. 13 meeting — and has presided over 11 of them. He has seen runaway special sessions with no apparent ending, though he was not in charge of them.
“Special sessions are the most difficult of all sessions,” the veteran Salem Democrat said. “Everything must be carefully planned. We have a lot of work to do. I hope we will be ready.”
The Democratic leaders of the housing committees in both chambers say they have been working for months to craft a plan that can win legislative approval. The statement by Rep. Julie Fahey of Eugene and Sen. Kayse Jama of Portland said this:
“After months of work, we have developed a proposal to extend the state’s bipartisan safe harbor protections and provide additional funds for direct rent assistance that will benefit both tenants and housing providers. As we head into the holiday season and the coldest winter months, this special session package will prevent heartbreaking evictions and support small housing providers who have made major sacrifices throughout the pandemic.”
Representatives of Stable Homes for Oregon Families have taken part in the talks, as well as previous legislative efforts. Their statement:
“We also appreciate all the state lawmakers who have been working together on a solution. Tenants are counting on the legislature to ensure no one loses their home while their applications are pending and also to provide additional funding to help keep people safe and stable during this time of ongoing economic upheaval.”
The Democratic majority leaders in both chambers, Sen. Rob Wagner of Lake Oswego and Rep. Barbara Smith Warner of Portland, are responsible for rounding up votes. Their statement:
“From the start of the pandemic, Oregon has committed to protecting individuals and families at risk of eviction. We can take action in a special session to ensure this doesn’t happen and that we keep our promise to Oregonians. No one should lose their housing because of administrative delays.”
“The Great Balloon Bomb Invasion” documentary filmed in Klamath County makes its world premiere
A new documentary film, “The Great Balloon Bomb Invasion,” which focuses on the use of balloon bombs sent from Japan to do damage in the United States during World War II, will be featured beginning Thursday on the Discovery+ streaming platform.
Executive director Stu Chait said the documentary “will lift the lid on a relatively lesser-known attack” though the use of balloon bombs. Between 1944 and 1945, Japan launched more than 9,000 bomb-rigged balloons across the Pacific Ocean. Because the U.S. government prevented the news media from reporting on the bombs, the incidents remain largely unknown outside of Klamath County.
The only deaths caused by balloon bombs happened in the woods outside of Bly on May 5, 1945, when six people on a picnic were killed after finding what turned out to be a balloon bomb. Elise Mitchell and five children died in the explosion. The site where the bomb went off has since become known as the Mitchell Monument.
Earlier this year, a film crew led by Chait was in the Klamath Basin. Filming at the monument was done June 13 after visiting and filming at the Klamath County Museum in Klamath Falls. The filming was done before the Bootleg Fire burned and devastated a large portion of the surrounding area.
The Mitchell Monument received special attention from fire crews and was not damaged. Filmmakers did record a series of interviews with people associated with or knowledgeable about the bomb in Bly. The film makes its world premiere on Thursday, Dec. 2 streaming on Discovery+ https://m.imdb.com/title/tt16234644/
A group of former Republican elected officials have dropped their challenge to new Oregon congressional districts.
The move comes after a judicial panel last week unanimously dismissed a challenge to the new maps pushed through by state Democrats. Rather than appealing their case to the Oregon Supreme Court, challengers led by former Secretary of State Bev Clarno opted to let the matter rest. That means that a new plan that could lead to Democrats holding five of the state’s six U.S. House seats will become operative Jan 1st.
Oregon gained an additional U.S. House seat following the latest census. A separate plan for redrawing the state’s 90 state House and Senate seats to reflect population changes was granted final approval by the state Supreme Court earlier in November.
Democrats hold overwhelming majorities in the Legislature. The congressional map that will now take effect was slammed by the GOP as a gerrymander in Democrats’ favor. They argued that Democrats had improperly split Portland among four districts, giving them a Democratic lean that would be hard to counteract.
Oregon residents can expect to pay more at the Christmas tree lot this year.
Officials say a variety of factors has led to what is believed to be a ten-to-30-percent spike in prices over last year
across the Pacific Northwest.
Christmas tree farm owners say supply chain and transportation costs have been a huge factor.
They say forest fires, drought, and extreme heat this summer in the Pacific Northwest took a collective toll on this year’s tree crop.
The Beaverton Holiday U-Cut Tree Farm tells reporters the summer heatwave killed more than 60-percent of the trees they planted last winter.
Police Seek Public’s Help: Missing Myrtle Creek Woman, 77
— Police made a public appeal for help locating a woman who left home early Saturday morning and hasn’t been heard from since.
Myrtle Creek Police say Bonnie Jo Short, 77, left her residence around 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 27, 2021. She is about 5-foot-4 and weighs around 110 pounds with grey hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing blue slacks, a grey and black striped sweatshirt, black boots and a grey robe.
Short was driving a silver 2015 Ford Escape bearing Oregon license plate 900MLJ.
“It is unknown where Bonnie may have gone, and her cell phone appears to be shut off,” police said. “If you have any information regarding Bonnie’s whereabouts or have seen her vehicle, please contact the Myrtle Creek Police Department immediately at 541-440-4471.”