Oregon Beach News, Friday 5/10 – Seafood Butchery Program in Oregon Coast High Schools Can Help Local Industry & Other Local and Statewide News…

The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com

Friday, May 10, 2024

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Seafood Butchery Program in Oregon Coast High Schools Can Help Local Industry

The Oregon Coast is known for its abundant seafood, but most of the fish that’s caught is is shipped out of state. Oregon Ocean Cluster Initiative (OCI) is looking to keep more seafood local and help local entrepreneurs build seafood processing operations. To do this work the Oregon Coast needs to ensure there is a strong and skilled workforce for the future of this industry.

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The OCI High School Seafood Butchery Pilot Program is a major step towards this goal. With funding help from the Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County, the program is now being deployed at six coastal high schools.

Pacific Seafood is proud to be a part of Oregon’s Seafood Butchery Pilot Program based on the coast to increase specialized workforce training related to seafood! The program provides training to coastal high school students interested in learning more about the seafood industry. We’re proud to provide all the necessary tools to help students succeed! We wish the best for all the participating students at: • Neah Kah Nie School District #56 • Eddyville K-12• North Bend High SchoolSiuslaw High School • Pacific High School

Maggie Michaels, the program director, and Lynee Jacks, Industry Communications Coordinator for the Oregon Coast Visitors Association join to talk about the program on The Jefferson Exchange > https://www.ijpr.org/show/the-jefferson-exchange/2024-05-08/seafood-butchery-program-in-oregon-coast-high-schools-can-help-local-industry?_amp=true — MORE INFO: https://visittheoregoncoast.com/industry-news/edalc-invests-in-future-seafood-workforce-high-school-seafood-butchery-program-now-underway/

Yachats Library Closes For Three Weeks As Some Items Move To Commons and Demolition Possible In July

The Yachats Library closed its doors to the public this week as volunteers began boxing up and moving some of the collection to Room 8 in the Commons for up to a year.

The temporary location will open May 29, when patrons can resume browsing a much smaller collection of books and some periodicals. The new library set-up could continue for as long as one year, as contractors tear down the old structure and erect a new, bigger library on the West Seventh Street site.

The move means these changes for library patrons:

  • Hours will be noon to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
  • Some 850 new and frequently-borrowed adult books, 400-500 children’s books, and some current periodicals, will be available. The collection formerly numbered about 18,000 items.
  • The blue metal returns box will be positioned at the end of the access ramp by the north side Commons door.
  • No large print titles, books on tape or DVDs will be available.
  • Only two computers will be available, possibly with time limits, plus a printer.

Because Room 8 is less than half the size of the current, 50-year-old building, much of the collection not being moved will be shrink-wrapped, put on pallets and stored in a Waldport warehouse.

Students from Angell Job Corps are helping volunteers move the boxes of books and other materials to the Commons.

While the Library Commission has been mulling a facility expansion for five years, it was just weeks ago that the City Council kicked things into high gear. In allocating $600,000 in urban renewal district proceeds for a new $1.46 million library building, the council ensured that the library would not lose as much as $270,000 in grants for a new, bigger structure. The current library is 2,400 square feet; the new facility will add another 1,200 square feet. READ MORE: https://yachatsnews.com/yachats-library-closes-for-move-demolition/


A Coos Bay woman was arrested following a dispute at an Empire area home where she threatened a man with a firearm.On May 9, 2024, at approximately 7:00 a.m., the Coos Bay Police Department (CBPD) received a report of a dispute and possible assault involving a man and a woman at a home in the 500 block of S. Empire Blvd. in Coos Bay.

CBPD officers responded and contacted both individuals involved. The investigation revealed that the woman, identified as Bethany Neff from Coos Bay, had threatened the man with a loaded firearm during the argument. The man reportedly fought with the woman to get the firearm away from her, but he was not injured.

Ms. Neff was arrested and transported to the Coos County Jail on the below-listed charges: • Menacing• Unlawful Use of a WeaponThe CBPD was aided on scene by the Coos Bay Fire Department (CBFD) and Bay Cities Ambulance (BCA).

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon

· Our Corrections team had a busy year in 2023!

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Here are some of the things they did that impacted our communities:

✅ Completed a consultation, reviewed recommendations, and worked on next steps

✅ Helped multiple Adults in Custody earn their GEDs

✅ Provided meals to Lincoln County Winter Shelters.You can read more about our Corrections Division on pages 15 -17 in the 2023 Annual Report: https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/266

Previous annual reports can be found here: https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/Archive.aspx?AMID=52

Nestucca Sea Ranch in Cloverdale Up for Auction

Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions, which found a buyer for the Blackberry Castle estate in Northwest Portland and actor Patrick Duffy’s Rogue River property in southern Oregon’s Eagle Point last year, has a new offering: Nestucca Sea Ranch overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the unincorporated Oregon coastal community of Cloverdale.

The almost 26-acre Nestucca Sea Ranch at 41900 Horizon View Ave. is listed for $10 million by broker Brian Ladd of Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty. But while the bidding window is open through May 16, there is no minimum required for the secluded property with views of the ocean, Nestucca River and bay.

Opening day bids posted May 3 ranged from $2.5 million to $3.4 million.

“This property is truly an iconic coastal estate and oasis with nearby access to (Bob Straub) State Park and wildlife sanctuary,” said Ladd, who is partnering with Concierge Auctions.

“The natural beauty of Oregon’s central coast makes it a prime location for buyers looking to enjoy the invigorating Oregon scenery, explore the nearby wine country and enjoy endless outdoor offerings with their friends and families,” Ladd told The Oregonian/OregonLive.

This is the second time the luxury residence with a private cove will be offered through Concierge Auctions. The current owner was the highest bidder at a Sotheby’s auction in 2014.

The 7,000-square-foot, traditional-style house was built in 1996 with a grand circular staircase, decorative millwork of mahogany, wenge and purpleheart, and large windows that frame the views.

There is a formal dining room with two transparent walls. The chef’s kitchen has built-in banquette seating and wine storage. The large primary suite is on the second level; there are three more bedrooms in the main residence.

The property has been on public listings since Jan. 25, 2023. Ladd is offering private showings by appointment, in person or virtually.

To avoid a low offer in the no-reserve auction, there are incentives for an early bidder such as a 50% discount on the buyer’s premium, which is 12% of the sale price.

To register to bid on Nestucca Sea Ranch, a $100,000 deposit is required, according to the auction house. The highest bidder also pays a premium and any transfer fees. The seller pays for the title search and title insurance, as well as broker commissions.

Coos Bay School District Hires New Superintendent

The Coos Bay School District has hired a new Superintendent for the 2024-2025 school year.

Dr. Justin Ainsworth has over two decades of experience in public education as well as a Doctorate in Education according to the school district.

He has served in leadership roles, including executive management and classroom teacher. He also held the position of Associate Superintendent in an Alaska school district where he oversaw 48 schools, 2200 staff members, and almost 20,000 students.

The Coos Bay School District also says Dr. Ainsworth has been instrumental in increased AP enrollments, higher graduation rates, and enhanced access to college and career readiness programs.

Waldport Wednesday Market Has New Hours

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Waldport Wednesday Market happening in the Community Center Parking Lot is open and has new hours: 10 am to 3 pm — Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WaldportWednesdayMarket/

Depoe Bay Needs to Fill City Council Vacancy

The city of Depoe Bay needs to fill a vacancy on its city council and is seeking for applications from qualified individuals. A candidate must be a registered voter and must have resided in Depoe Bay for at least one year.

The city council is expected to vote on a replacement at its May 21, meeting. The appointed council member will serve until Dec. 31, 2024. Should the person appointed wish to serve beyond that date, they would need to file for election on this November’s ballot.

Interested candidates for the position of city councilor should submit an application and resume to the deputy city recorder at info@cityofdepoebay.org no later than Monday, May 6, at 5 p.m. Applications can be picked up at city hall or downloaded from the city’s website at www.cityofdepoebay.org.

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Ready to take the next step in your law enforcement career? Don’t miss this chance to join a team dedicated to serving and protecting the City of North Bend!

Apply Now and be a part of something meaningful! https://www.northbendoregon.us/police

Fatal Crash – HWY 101 – Coos County

Coos County, Ore. 5 May 24- On Sunday, May 5, 1:02 p.m., Oregon State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Hwy-101, near milepost 250, in Coos County.

The preliminary investigation indicated a northbound Nissan Pathfinder, operated by Ryan Scott Sapp (38) of Grants Pass, left the roadway for unknown reasons, struck the embankment on the northbound side of the roadway, rolled, and came to rest upside down in the ditch.

The operator (Sapp) was declared deceased at the scene. A passenger in the Nissan, Tasheena Fawn Reyes (33) of Grants Pass, was seriously injured and transported to a local hospital.

The highway was not impacted during the on-scene investigation. OSP was assisted by Bandon Fire, Green Acres Fire, and ODOT.

NOAA Researchers Announce 33% Increase In Gray Whale Numbers and End Investigation Into Die-Off

There’s good news for whale lovers on the Oregon coast.

The number of gray whales that migrated south along the Pacific Coast this winter have rebounded sharply to numbers not seen in four years, according to the fisheries unit of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA.

The increase is large enough and signs of healthy North Pacific gray whales are visible enough that NOAA also announced it had ended its five-year “unusual mortality event” investigation into what may have led to their decline from 2018 through 2023.

The latest counts were conducted between late December and mid-February.

Researchers estimate there are 19,260 gray whales along the West Coast — a surprising 33% increase from the 14,530 whales counted during the same period of 2022-23. Last season’s count was the lowest since 1971-72.

Researchers have been counting whales during their southward migration since 1967 and use three months of visual surveys along the central California coast that are plugged into a formula used and refined for decades.

But a spokesman for NOAA Fisheries cautioned against reading too much into one year’s dramatic increase.

“People shouldn’t get too hung up on the 33% specifically but more importantly see that the numbers are increasing,” said NOAA spokesman Michael Milstein. “The numbers are trending up. The indications are consistent that the whales have gone from a decline to a recovery.”

That’s good news for scientists and whale enthusiast along the Oregon, Washington and California coasts.

The recovery is evident enough that NOAA officially declared an end to its five-year investigation into why many north Pacific gray whales appeared undernourished and why strandings increased starting in 2018.

NOAA’s investigation began in 2019 after hundreds of gray whales stranded along the Pacific coast from Mexico to Alaska, including in whales in their wintering, migratory, and feeding areas.

There was a roughly 40% decline in the gray whale population, leading to the official designation of an “unusual mortality event” which then triggered a required effort to understand why it was happening.

The mortality event occurred between December 2018 through last November, with peak strandings occurring during a two-year period ending in December 2020. There were 690 gray whale strandings, including 347 in the United States, 316 in Mexico, and 27 in Canada.

“While the number of strandings spiked at the start of the unusual mortality event, they have since declined to annual numbers similar to those recorded before the event began,” NOAA Fisheries said in a statement. “The number of calves born to the population also appears to be improving, with other signs that the population may have begun to recover.”

The number of calves born in 2022 was estimated at 217, down from about 950 in 2018. NOAA researchers estimate that 412 female gray whales swam north last year — nearly twice the 2022 count. Still, that number was far below the estimate of roughly 1,500 gray whale calves in 2016.

NOAA said the decline in gray whale numbers during from 2018 to 2023 resembled a similar but shorter decline between 1999 and 2000. The population rebounded in the following years eventually reaching a recent height of 27,500 whales in 2015-16 before declining again in 2019-20.

“We know the population has demonstrated strong resilience in the past, and we will be watching to ensure we know how the whales recover from this unusual mortality event,” said Deborah Fauquier, NOAA’s coordinator of the investigation.

Studies of dead whales supported malnutrition as a common cause of death and did not identify other causes or infections. NOAA investigators concluded that localized ecosystem changes, including both access to and the quality of prey, in the northern Bering and Chukchi seas contributed to the poor nutritional condition observed in live and stranded gray whales.

Killer whale predation, entanglement in fishing nets, biotoxins and collisions with vessels also contributed to gray whale deaths. But these factors were not as significant as malnutrition, researchers said.

NOAA said marine mammal stranding networks in the United States, Canada, and Mexico will continue to respond to whale stranding reports this year and collect samples when feasible. NOAA Fisheries will also conduct a survey this spring and summer to evaluate whale calf production. READ MORE: https://oregoncapitalchronicle.com/2024/05/06/noaa-researchers-announce-33-increase-in-gray-whale-numbers-end-investigation-into-die-off/

Salmon Harbor Sets Sights on a New Master Plan

Douglas County Commissioners Chris Boice, Tim Freeman, and Tom Kress, along with Salmon Harbor Director James Zimmer and staff at Salmon Harbor Marina, a division of Douglas County Government, are excited to announce that they have started on the development of a new master plan exclusively for Salmon Harbor Marina and the Waterfront. 

Master plans provide a comprehensive look at the current economy and infrastructure while helping to identify other factors relating to development, planning, acquisitions, tourism, and sustainability. Master plans then go one step farther and provide a glimpse into the future growth of a community.

Salmon Harbor is partnering with Healthy Sustainable Communities (HSC) and HGE Architects, to craft a new master plan that not only lays the groundwork for a thriving and resilient future, but also identifies potential development sites and assesses infrastructure requirements.  The new plan will also include considerations for future tourism opportunities, sustainability, community growth, support for our local commercial fisheries, and innovative solutions that enhance navigation within the marina.  HSC and HGE were the successful bidders in the request for proposals process conducted in 2023. 

The process for development of the new master plan will actively involve the residents, business owners, stakeholders, as well as the creation of a diverse Technical Advisory Committee representing various sectors of Salmon Harbor Marina and Waterfront communities.  The process also includes the completion of a comprehensive market study, which is currently underway.   

This collaborative journey signifies our commitment to steering coastal Douglas County towards a sustainable and prosperous future,” expressed Board Chair, Commissioner Chris Boice. “Through the combined efforts of our community, stakeholders, and expert advisors, we aim to establish a master plan that becomes a beacon of responsible development along the coast.”

As this collaborative process moves forward our commitment remains steadfast in addressing our community’s needs while proactively fostering public involvement and developing solutions that promote long-term, sustainable development. We anticipate that the unveiling of the new master plan will help us chart a course for new standards in growth, prosperity, and environmental resilience for coastal development. 

We encourage residents, business owners, tourists, and stakeholders to stay informed and participate in shaping the future of Salmon Harbor Marina and the Waterfront by visiting the weblink provided below. Our new webpage will host documents, future open house announcements, and essential information during the master planning process. https://douglascountyor.gov/900/Master-Plan-2024.

Federal Government States It Is Ready To Sell Commercial Wind Energy Leases Off The Coast of Coos Bay and Brookings for Floating Offshore Wind Facilities

The Southern Oregon coast is closer to hosting floating offshore wind energy, after the Biden administration announced it’s preparing to accept proposals for the area. This is the first step in a multiyear process before any wind developer could begin construction.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM, proposed an auction for developers seeking floating offshore leases to develop wind energy in two locations off the coast of Southern Oregon. The announcement kicks off two opportunities for the public to comment on the proposal — on the areas that would be developed, and on the federal government’s draft environmental assessment.

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The map shows the two wind energy areas approved off the Oregon coast. The federal government says it is ready to sell commercial wind energy leases for the two areas.

Ocean areas approved for wind energy development off the coast of Coos Bay and Brookings, which were finalized in February, total nearly 195,000 acres. There, offshore wind could have the potential to power more than one million homes with renewable energy, according to the federal agency.

Coos Bay Harbor Entrance Viewpoint, near the Charleston Marina on Dec. 7, 2023, where potential floating offshore wind turbines could be seen.
FILE: Coos Bay Harbor Entrance Viewpoint, near the Charleston Marina, where potential floating offshore wind turbines might someday be seen. Photographed on Dec. 7, 2023.Monica Samayoa / OPB

But the federal push to advance offshore wind has also prompted concerns from tribal leaders and commercial fishing groups about impacts on the marine environment, and broader concerns along the Southern Oregon coast at the speed of federal action before a state effort to guide offshore wind is in place. Federal officials said development will take years, and there will be time to incorporate Oregon’s roadmap, as long as the state meets its own deadlines.

BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein said the agency will work with government partners and stakeholders.

“We’re excited to unveil these proposed sales and emphasize our commitment to exploring the potential for offshore wind development from coast to coast,” Klein said in a release.

BOEM is also seeking feedback about several of its drafted lease stipulations, including requirements that offshore wind developers make commitments to union jobs and workforce training, that they engage with impacted communities like tribes and the fishing industry, and that they create a community benefits agreement.

The details of the proposed auction and the draft environmental assessment will be published in the Federal Register Wednesday.

A statewide emissions goal, and concerns about marine environments — Floating offshore wind could potentially help Oregon reach its goal for electric utilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity they provide by 100% by 2040. But the prospect of the new technology has prompted pushback from residents, as well as calls from Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek for more research. The governor and affected communities have asked for more transparency and engagement from the federal government, which has so far shared limited information about environmental impacts.

That pushback was a factor in the passage of state House Bill 4080, which requires Oregon to develop a roadmap, drawing on engagement with impacted communities and tribes, to define standards for offshore wind energy.

A group that included environmentalists, climate advocates, fishing industry representatives, labor unions and city officials helped draft the legislation, which state lawmakers passed in March.

That informal group, working through the facilitator Oregon Consensus, has provided Kotek with recommendations for creating an floating offshore wind energy roadmap. Recommendations include protecting the environment, culturally significant viewsheds and resources important to tribes, and supporting local communities and the fishing industry.

Kotek said the roadmap will be a critical tool to ensure the state is prepared to assess and coordinate offshore wind opportunities with the federal government, “while also ensuring that local communities are at the forefront of economic, workforce, and supply chain development opportunities,” she said in a statement. “I look forward to reviewing the recommendations from the work group.”

Nicole Hughes is the executive director of Renewable Northwest, and was part of the informal group. She said the most important part of getting so many voices from diverse interests together on this issue was to begin to understand the different concerns from each group as well as build relationships with each other to figure out solutions.

“We know we did not get all the issues, we know there’s things that were left out of consideration, we know that not every Oregonian is going to be able to see themselves in the outline that we wrote,” Hughes said. “But we’re hopeful that the work we did just sets the state agencies up for better success in the actual development of this road map, which we hope and are pushing for a much broader formal stakeholder process than we were able to accommodate in our informal working group.”

She said the group spent about nine months working on the recommendations that also includes “exit ramps,” or checks and balances on how a project should move forward and when to reevaluate or pause a project.

“Some of the ways that those can come up, you know, a new environmental situation that hadn’t been identified before, a new economic situation that hasn’t been identified before,” she said. “These are all things that might cause us to rethink the viability of offshore wind or make us go out and do more research to get more answers to questions that hadn’t yet been posed.”

The Oregon offshore wind energy roadmap is set to be completed by fall 2025.

BOEM’s Klein reiterated the federal agency’s commitment to working with Oregon’s roadmap in a letter sent to Kotek Monday. The federal government expects a sale of the proposed areas is expected to occur in October, she said, and that would likely have an effective date of Jan. 1, 2025.

“A lease does not authorize the construction of projects,” she said in the letter.

Once a developer is chosen, they will have up to five years to submit a project proposal, which will undergo an environmental review before final approval. That review, Klein said, could take at least four years to reach completion.

“Therefore, if the state adheres to the current planned roadmap timeline, the roadmap report and resulting formal policy amendments should be completed well before any [Construction and Operations Plan] decisions are made,” she said.

But news of BOEM’s proposed sale lease announcement on Tuesday left people from the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians and some from the fishing industry saying they are disappointed.

Tribal Council Chair Brad Kneaper said the federal agency should delay moving forward until more research is available to understand environmental and cultural impacts to the tribes and the fishing industry. He also said offshore wind leasing should wait until the Oregon Roadmap is complete.

“No one, including BOEM, has an understanding on how wind development will impact the fragile marine environment,” Tribal Council Chair Brad Kneaper said. “Commercial fishing interests separately requested such a delay. This only makes sense because the roadmap may be a futile effort without a commitment from BOEM to actually consider the recommendations of the Tribe, the State, and coastal stakeholders.”

According to BOEM’s website about Oregon wind energy, “the environmental impacts of any proposed wind energy projects will be assessed after a lease is issued and before BOEM decides whether or not to approve any lessee’s project construction and operations plan.”

Heather Mann, who is the executive director of Midwater Trawlers Cooperative and worked on creating and collaborating with the informal group, said BOEM is rushing the process. She is also considering switching her views to oppose offshore wind.

“BOEM does not care about the Oregon Roadmap process, instead they are rushing to meet a political and electoral deadline,” she said in a statement. “Just because BOEM claims they worked collaboratively with stakeholders doesn’t make it true.

Mann said BOEM’s announcement is undermining the work the informal group has done to work with different interests and to provide recommendations on how to move forward. (SOURCE)

Largest Cascadia Exercise Ever Planned On Coast May 14th And 15th

In the largest exercise of its kind ever on the Oregon coast, Lincoln County Emergency Management, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Human Services’ Office of Resilience and Emergency Management (OREM), city of Newport, Scappoose Fire District, Life Flight, Team Rubicon, and the United States Coast Guard, will host a two-day exercise to introduce and train first responders and volunteers in the deployment of the newest Evacuation Assembly Point (EAP), housed at the Newport Municipal Airport.

On May 14 and 15, emergency management personnel from around the state will respond to a simulated emergency, such as a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and ensuing tsunami. First responders will have an opportunity to set up, test, and demobilize tents and other EAP equipment.

Last month, OREM delivered two Conex containers — heavy duty metal storage and shipping containers — storing the EAP equipment in the northeast corner of the Newport Municipal Airport. Partner agencies, hosted at Oregon Coast Community College, have met several times since to plan for the exercise and familiarize themselves with the equipment.

This EAP is intended for temporary use to triage and provide shelter to individuals who will need to be evacuated off the coast to receive additional assistance or to return home to other parts of the state. Over the course of the two-day event, there will be demonstrations, preparedness activities, and overnight sheltering provided.

This is the second such exercise OREM has delivered to the coast, the first being housed at the Tillamook Airport. The agency plans to establish a third EAP on the south coast this summer. OREM delivers the equipment to local responders and conducts initial training, leaving the EAP in the hands of those who will be faced with the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

“As the lead state agency for mass care and shelter services following disasters, we believe it’s important to get EAP supplies to coastal communities like Lincoln County,” said Ed Flick, OREM director. “Data shows coastal communities are likely to be cut off from the rest of the state during the Cascadia earthquake. Prepositioning EAP supplies and training local communities to use them is one of our priorities.”

Demonstrations will include the use of drones operated by Scappoose Fire’s Aviation unit, a Life Flight rescue helicopter, and the Coast Guard Newport Air Station’s MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter.

“Lincoln County is grateful to ODHS for providing us with the Evacuation Assembly Point,” Lincoln County Emergency Manager Samantha Buckley said. “In a large-scale emergency event, the ability to quickly remove individuals from the area is essential to life safety and the wellbeing of our community. The EAP will allow us to provide shelter and other resources for those being medically evacuated by air. It will make a significant difference in the type of care we can provide.”

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners will hold their bi-monthly business meeting on site during this event on the second day, starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 15. As always, attendance at the commissioners’ meeting is open to the public. Remote attendance is encouraged, as access to and from the EAP site will be limited to shuttles from the main airport parking lot. If you have special transportation needs and wish to attend the meeting in person, contact public_affairs@co.lincoln.or.us.

County commissioners, county and city emergency management teams, the OREM team and at least one state legislator plan to spend the night at the EAP May 14 as part of the exercise. —- Information provided by Lincoln County and the Oregon Department of Human Services https://www.newsbreak.com/newport-or/3419243392812-largest-cascadia-exercise-ever-planned-on-coast

Lincoln County Announces Low Income Program To Help Spay And Neuter Pets

Lincoln County has announced it will use some of its federal relief funds for a spay and neuter service to help counter dog and cat overpopulation that was substantially worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The program is for local low-income households that cannot afford spay and neuter services for their pets. County staff will work with applicants and participating veterinarians’ offices to coordinate and submit payment for the procedures.

To qualify, people must be a resident of Lincoln County and income eligible, which can be confirmed by showing eligibility for SNAP/TANF; WIC; OHP; Medicaid; housing assistance; supplemental social security income; veterans pension benefits; and surviving spouse pension benefits.

The applications are online. For the English version go here; for the Spanish version, go here.

For assistance filling out the application, call the helpline at 541-270-3393. Friends of the Lincoln County Animal Shelter has volunteered to help answer questions on the helpline and assist applicants who do not have access to computers.

“Our county fell woefully behind in spaying and neutering during the pandemic, when many vets had to suspend elective surgeries altogether, and after the fires of fall 2020, which meant financial hardship for many residents,” said FOLCAS president Emily DeHuff. “These subsidies will go a long way in getting spay/neuter rates back on track.”

People who do not meet the income qualification for the county program can apply for spay/neuter and other veterinary care assistance through other programs administered by the humane society by visiting www.centralcoasthumanesociety.com and completing a request for assistance form. (SOURCE)

Rhododendron Quilt Guild (RQG) is pleased to announce a quilt show and sale taking place from 10:30 am to 5 p.m. on Friday May 17th and 10:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturday May 18th.

This exciting event will feature a stunning display of beautiful and intricate quilts, handmade by local artisans.

Visitors to the quilt show and sale can expect to see a variety of quilt styles, including traditional, modern, and contemporary designs. The quilts on display will feature a range of colors, patterns, and techniques, showcasing the diverse talents of the local quilting community. In addition to the quilt show, visitors will have the opportunity to purchase quilts, as well as other handmade items such as table runners, wall hangings, and tote bags. There will also be fabrics, patterns, and quilting supplies sold, making this event a one-stop-shop for all quilting enthusiasts. Rhododendron Quilt Guild is proud to host this event and celebrate the talent of the local quilting community.

MORE INFO: http://www.rhodyquilt.com/


Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay

Garden volunteers needed at Shore Acres State Park April through September

— Come share your gardening skills or learn new ones as a garden volunteer at Shore Acres State Park.

Join rangers in caring for the gardens 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the third Friday of every month from April through September. Tasks vary depending on the season and could include cleaning out the pond, pruning roses, trimming shrubs, pulling weeds, mulching, planting and helping to remove invasive species.

The 2024 garden volunteer schedule:

  • April 19: Pond clean out
  • May 17: Prepare for summer
  • June 21: Garden clean up
  • July 19: Garden clean up
  • Aug. 16: English ivy pull
  • Sept. 20: Prepare for fall

Sign up for one or more of these events at https://form.jotform.com/240225153017140

Participants should be prepared to travel a short distance on uneven ground and trails to the service site. Service will take place outdoors, and volunteers should be comfortable wearing work gloves and using hand tools.

Dress for the weather. Closed-toed shoes are recommended. Wear something you don’t mind getting dirty. Remember to bring a water bottle, sack lunch and work gloves if you have them (some will be provided if not).


OHA launches Fentanyl Aware social media campaign

Risks, harm-reduction strategies, recognizing and responding to overdose, and Oregon’s good Samaritan law to be focus of five-week online promotion

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today kicked off a social media campaign spotlighting the public health harms caused by fentanyl, and how people can prevent the deadly overdoses that devastate communities around the state.

Fentanyl Aware Northwest

The campaign, called Fentanyl Aware, will run for five weeks, with posts in English and Spanish. Fentanyl Aware will focus on teaching people about fentanyl risks, harm reduction strategies, recognizing and responding to an overdose, and Oregon’s good Samaritan law, which provides legal protections for individuals and the people they’re helping during a drug overdose.

The Fentanyl Aware campaign begins with a series of social media messages with facts about fentanyl – “What it is, where it can be found and why you need to be aware,” according to the first post. It then moves into messages about the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone, including how it’s given, how it works and where to can get it, followed by posts about Oregon’s good Samaritan law.

The campaign wraps up with posts warning about risks of mixing drugs with other substances, relying on fentanyl tests and using drugs alone.

OHA’s statewide campaign borrows from a social media campaign that Lane County Public Health created in 2023 with support from OHA funds. The county also shared its campaign materials with local public health partners to adapt and share – Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties collaborated to launch the Fentanyl Aware Northwest campaign through this partnership.

Just today, Multnomah County launched its own fentanyl awareness campaign, called Expect Fentanyl, focused on Portland-area youth ages 13-20.

The statewide Fentanyl Aware campaign launches on National Fentanyl Awareness Day, a day of observance that recognizes those who have lost loved ones to the overdose crisis and raises awareness of the lethal danger of illegally made fentanyl (IMF).

Cara Biddlecom, OHA’s interim public health director, said Fentanyl Aware contains youth-informed messaging, but it is intended for general audiences.

“We want everyone to see these important messages because anyone can be affected by fentanyl – teens and young adults, older Oregonians, even young children,” Biddlecom said. “These messages won’t end the fentanyl crisis, but they could help equip people with information that could help them save a life, whether it’s someone else’s or their own.”

Fentanyl is now showing up in a wide variety of drugs on the illicit market, including counterfeit pills made to look like common prescription painkillers or anti-anxiety medications. These may contain enough fentanyl in a single pill to cause an overdose.

According to OHA data, the number of people in Oregon dying from unintentional and undetermined overdoses continues to increase at an alarming pace, from 1,083 people in 2021 to 1,289 people in 2022. Fentanyl has surpassed methamphetamine as the most common substance identified as the cause of death in unintentional and undetermined drug overdoses.

In Oregon, the number of individuals who experienced an unintentional/undetermined fentanyl overdose death between 2020 and 2022 more than tripled (for all ages). And those at higher risk for unintentionally dying from a drug overdose continued to include non-Hispanic American Indians and Alaska Natives, non-Hispanic Black/African Americans, and males, though patterns of use across communities is similar. These inequities are avoidable and point to structural racism in the health system and the need for long-term policy change.

Nasal naloxone is now available over the counter, without a prescription. It can be purchased at many retail pharmacies in Oregon, and it costs about $45 for two doses. Most insurance companies cover the medication but may charge a co-pay. Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members can get naloxone at no cost at most pharmacies. Those who use drugs can get medication for overdose reversal and other harm reduction materials such as fentanyl test strips at no cost through syringe service programs. Syringe services are available to everyone that uses drugs, regardless of whether they’re injected. Visit OHA’s Opioid Overdose Reversal Medications webpage for a list of syringe and needle exchange services available in Oregon.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with substance use, please reach out for help. Speak with a health care provider or visit OHA’s Fentanyl Facts webpage for support and treatment resources. You are not alone.

Oregon Department of Early Learning and Care Celebrates the Statewide Expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library


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– Oregon Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) representatives joined Governor Tina Kotek and state officials today to celebrate its new partnership with The Dollywood Foundation for the statewide expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. During the 2023 legislative session, under Senate Bill 5506, $1.7 million was appropriated to DELC to help administer and expand the program statewide.  

The Imagination Library is a program developed by The Dollywood Foundation; a nonprofit organization founded by Dolly Parton. Since launching in 1995, the Imagination Library has become the preeminent, international early childhood book-gifting program. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by gifting books each month to children (0-5 yrs. old), free of charge to families, through funding shared by Dolly, the State of Oregon, and local community partnerships. Today, millions of children receive a specially selected book each month, from birth to age five, to help foster early literacy skills and a love of reading.   

The goal of the statewide expansion is to make books available to children ages 0-5 in every zip code in Oregon. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a voluntary program and parents of children ages 0-5 can sign up to receive a new book each month at no cost to families.  

“Brain science clearly shows that kids start to develop literacy skills from birth,” said DELC Director Alyssa Chatterjee. “That’s why here in Oregon, we’re making major investments to help kids develop the joy of reading.” 

In addition to remarks from Director Chatterjee, Governor Tina Kotek, and House Majority Leader Ben Bowman made comments and were joined by representatives from The Dollywood Foundation and local program partners. Dolly Parton provided remarks by video, concluding with an Oregon twist on her classic “I Will Always Love You.   

Currently, over 54,000 children across Oregon receive the gift of a monthly book through 55 community programs. Books are free to the family regardless of family income. The Department of Early Learning and Care is working with local community partners and The Dollywood Foundation to expand. 

Families can visit www.imaginationlibrary.com to find out if the program is available in their area or to sign up to be notified when the program expands to their community. To learn more about becoming a community partner, contact Rachel King at king@imaginationlibrary.com“>rking@imaginationlibrary.com 

Dolly Parton’s video remarks, along with the remarks of Oregon officials can be found on the DELC website.   

About the Oregon Department of Early Learning and Care – The Department of Early Learning and Care’s mission is to foster coordinated, culturally appropriate, and family-centered services that recognize and respect the strengths and needs of all children, families, and early learning and care professionals. More information about DELC is available at Oregon.gov/DELC. You can also connect with DELC on Facebook or sign up for news alerts and updates. 

About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library  – Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted over 200 million free books in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland. This is achieved through funding shared by The Dollywood Foundation and Local Community Partners.  The Imagination Library mails more than 3  million high-quality, age-appropriate books directly to children’s homes each month. Each child enrolled in the program receives one book per month from birth to age five – at no cost to families.  Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading and inspiring children to Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More®.  

The program’s impact has been widely researched, and results demonstrate its positive impact on early childhood development and literacy skills. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For more information, please visitimaginationlibrary.com

Wyden, Colleagues Pass FAA Reauthorization Act

— U.S. Senator Ron Wyden said today that the bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Act he voted for this week would save lives as well as benefit Oregon air travelers and small businesses. “It is absolutely essential to our national security and economy to fully fund the departments that keep our planes in the sky and Oregonians safe in Oregon and throughout the country,” Wyden said about the legislation authorizing operations for the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation … Continue Reading

Oregon Attorney General Announces $10.25 Million National Settlement With Wireless Carriers Over Deceptive And Misleading Ad Practices

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced a $10.25 million, 50-jurisdiction settlement with AT&T Mobility, LLC, Cricket Wireless, LLC, T-Mobile USA, Inc.Cellco Partnership, d/b/a Verizon Wireless, and TracFone Wireless, Inc. (collectively, the “Wireless Carriers”), which resolves the state attorneys general investigations into the Wireless Carriers’ deceptive and misleading advertising practices. Oregon will receive $362,838.66 for its portion of the settlement.

“Mobile phones are a necessity of life, and Oregonians deserve to know exactly what they’re paying for when they purchase one,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “Protecting consumers from false and misleading advertising is a cornerstone of our work, and this settlement is a great example of the power of working together across state and party lines,” said Rosenblum, who is currently serving as president of the bipartisan National Association of Attorneys General.

The terms of the settlements address the common misleading advertising practices of the Wireless Carriers, including misrepresentations concerning: (1) “unlimited” data advertisements, which failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose material limitations; (2) “free” phone offers, which failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose material conditions; (3) monetary incentives to “switch” wireless networks, which failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose how the monetary incentives would be provided; and (4) wireless carrier plan comparisons, which failed to disclose material differences.

The settlement terms will, among other things, require the Wireless Carriers to:

  • (1) make all future advertisements and representations truthful, accurate and non-misleading;
  • (2) refer in marketing to “unlimited” mobile data plans only where such plans do not set any numerical limits on the quantity of data allowed during a billing cycle and clearly and conspicuously disclose any restrictions on data speed, as well as the triggers of such restrictions;
  • (3) offer to pay for consumers to “switch” carriers only where they clearly and conspicuously disclose the type of fees and amounts that they will pay consumers, the form and schedule that such payment will take and all material requirements that consumers must satisfy in order to qualify and receive such payment;
  • (4) offer wireless devices or services for “free” or similar terms only where they disclose clearly and conspicuously all material terms and conditions that the consumer must meet in order to receive the “free” devices or services;
  • (5) make offers to lease wireless devices only where it is made clear to the consumer that the consumer will be entering into a lease agreement;
  • (6) make representations that a consumer will save money by purchasing its products or services only where it has a reasonable basis to do so based on comparisons with the prices of comparable goods or services of other providers, or where any material differences between those goods or services are clearly and conspicuously disclosed; and
  • (7) appoint a dedicated employee to work with the attorneys general to address ordinary complaints filed by consumers;
  • (8) train its customer service representatives who speak with consumers to comply with these terms and implement and enforce a program to ensure compliance with these terms.

Attorney General Rosenblum thanked the DOJ’s Consumer Protection team for their hard work securing this settlement.

Issues with unemployment benefits in Oregon predate new computer system, state agency says

The Oregon Employment Department rolled out a new system, Frances Online, in February. Many people continue to report issues receiving benefits.

For just about anyone, losing a job is a stressful prospect in and of itself. It can mean struggling to pay rent, cover bills or buy groceries — particularly for those without enough rainy day savings set aside.

Unemployment benefits are intended to fill that gap, providing funds that workers can draw on to tide them over, having paid into the system while still employed. But in Oregon, receiving those benefits may be easier said than done, adding stress upon stress.

The Oregon Employment Department says it’s made progress in helping people sign up for its new online claims system. But Governor Tina Kotek and ordinary Oregonians who contact the KGW newsroom practically every day say the state agency is not doing enough.

OED rolled out the new platform, Frances Online, in March. It’s been in the works for several years and was intended to replace the agency’s outdated system from the ’90s. Many Oregonians will remember less-than-fondly how that old system contributed to a meltdown during the early months of the pandemic, as thousands of out-of-work Oregonians sought benefits. Slowdowns lasted far beyond that.

Frances Online is the same system used by the new Paid Leave Oregon program, which launched last September but was dogged by complaints from families who waited months to receive benefits well into this year.

Gov. Tina Kotek addressed the ongoing issues during a press conference late last week.

“It is one of those things that I’ve been really not happy about, and we’ve had conversations directly with the department about this,” Kotek said. “What I’ve said to the agency is we have to do better. I don’t want to read any more stories about someone who can’t pay the rent and is going to lose their housing. That would be counterintuitive to what we’re trying to achieve.”

OED itself has refused to do any interviews or directly answer questions about the issues. But in a press release last week, they said that the new computer system is working as intended.

The agency said that it had paid about $111 million in benefits in the nine weeks after the Frances Online system launched, and they’d processed about 30,000 claims a week for the preceding six weeks. They claimed that 93% of people are able to use the system successfully.

The problems that persist, OED said, predate Frances Online. Long phone wait times and delays in getting claims approved are the result of staffing shortages, which the agency attributed to chronic federal underfunding of the unemployment system.

Kotek said that the state legislature approved funding for OED to add new staff but added that the agency needs to give her a better plan to address the ongoing issues.

“The legislature did allow for more money at the employment department; they’re up to hiring 70 new staff to help with the backlogs to get people through,” the governor said. “The numbers are improving, but not up to my satisfaction, and we’re continuing to work hard with the agency … like, we need to see some new ideas in addition to getting those staff on board.

“So, I wish I had a better answer today. I want people to know I’m not happy; I don’t want people left behind. I lived through the pandemic as the (Oregon House Speaker) when we had a lot of people who couldn’t get help. I want to make sure people are getting the benefits they need, and we’re still working on it.”

OED’s statement said that they are also working on adjusting staff workflow in order to address the problems, adding overtime hours for some staff. They added that they plan to improve the way they communicate to people filing claims and looking for answers by updating their messaging to the public to be clearer, as well as providing more detailed information as to why claims are being reviewed.

The agency provided some hard numbers as evidence that things are improving. The average time for an employee to handle an unemployment-related call has gone from 17 minutes to 11, suggesting they can get to more calls. The average number of items employees can complete in the Frances system went from 3.3 items an hour to 6.8.

The average time for employees to resolve an issue with a claim once they start working on it has gone from nine days down to two, OED said. (SOURCE)

Plaid Pantry Awarded Bonus for Selling $1.3 Billion Powerball Ticket

Portland, Ore. – After selling the winning Powerball ticket worth $1.3 billion, the fourth largest jackpot in the game’s history, Plaid Pantry was presented a bonus check worth $100,000 on Thursday. Oregon Lottery officials celebrated with store representatives at the location on 6060 NE Columbia Boulevard in Portland.

Oregon Lottery

“The excitement and impact of a win like this in Oregon is incredible, not only for our prize winners, but also for our communities and locally owned retailer Plaid Pantry,” said Oregon Lottery Director Mike Wells. 

Cheng “Charlie” Saephan of Portland, his wife, and their friend claimed the winning ticket from the April 6, 2024 drawing. The ticket was the only one in the country to match all five numbers plus the Powerball. 

“The energy and excitement we experienced from selling the winning ticket has been a big morale boost for the entire Plaid team,” said Plaid Pantry President and CEO Jonathan Polonsky. “We are very proud of our brand, which has been serving the Pacific Northwest for over 60 years. This bonus check will be reinvested in our business to benefit our associates, customers, and local suppliers.”

Oregon Lottery staff also surprised store customers at the Thursday event by handing out free $2 Scratch-its. 

Plaid Pantry has 104 stores in Oregon and has sold other sizable wins in recent years, including a $3.3 million Megabucks ticket in August of 2023 and a $1 million Powerball prize in March of 2023. 

Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $15.5 billion for economic development, public education, outdoor school, state parks, veteran services, and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org

OSP to Recognize National Missing Children’s Day May 25th

– In recognition of National Missing Children’s Day, May 25, 2024, the Oregon State Police Missing Children/Adults Clearinghouse is sponsoring an awareness event to provide resources for parents, guardians, and caregivers. 

The event, which coincides with Missing Children’s Day, will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2024, at the north end of Capitol Mall Park in Salem (Center Steet NE between Winter and Capitol Streets). From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., OSP representatives and partner agencies will be on hand with activities and giveaways. 

The event will include informational booths from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Safe Oregon, OSP’s Missing Children/Adults Clearinghouse, and Marion County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue. Attendees can pick up free identification and DNA kits, visit with a police search and rescue K-9, and tour OSP’s new command vehicle. 

Julie Willard, OSP’s Missing Children/Adults Clearinghouse coordinator, said, “National Missing Children’s Day is an opportunity to remember the thousands of children who go missing each year. We work to educate parents about how to keep their kids safe, and we teach children about the “4 Rules for Personal Safety” that they can learn about on Kid Smartz.” 

Kid Smartz is a child safety program that educates and empowers grades K-5 to practice safer behaviors. Please visit the Kid Smartz website for more information. 

About National Missing Children’s Day:
President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25, 1983, the first National Missing Children’s Day in memory of Etan Patz, a 6-year-old boy who disappeared from a New York City street corner on May 25, 1979. Etan’s killer was convicted in February 2017, but the case remains active because his body has never been recovered. National Missing Children’s Day is dedicated to encouraging parents, guardians, caregivers, and others concerned with the well-being of children to make child safety a priority. The commemoration serves as a reminder to continue our efforts to reunite missing children with their families.

Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs to Host Statewide Memorial Day Event in Salem May 27th

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs will host Oregon’s annual Statewide Memorial Day Ceremony in person at 11 a.m., Monday, May 27, at the Oregon World War II Memorial, located at the intersection of Cottage and Court Street NE on the grounds of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

This event honors Oregon’s fallen service members from all eras of service and will include remarks from ODVA Director Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels and Oregon Adjutant General Alan R. Gronewold, along with other veteran leaders and state dignitaries. 

The event will also feature a color guard ceremony, a performance of the national anthem by West Salem High School’s award-winning a cappella group Soundscape, and other ceremonial elements. The theme of this year’s Memorial Day event is “Oregon Remembers.” ODVA Strategic Partnerships Division Director and Navy veteran Sheronne Blasi will serve as emcee.

“Memorial Day, established following the Civil War, is a day when we all pause and remember the more than 1 million men and women throughout history who have given their lives in defense of our nation,” said ODVA Director Dr. Nakeia Council Daniels. “Those of us who volunteer to serve in our nation’s Armed Forces come from a diverse tapestry and understand when we take the oath to defend and preserve our Constitution, and our nation’s highest ideals, we do so on behalf of ourselves, our families, and every person that calls America their home. On Memorial Day, Oregon will remember all our fallen and honor their service and their greatest sacrifice. Thank you for joining us in remembering.”

Limited seating will be available. Attendees are welcome to bring their own seating for the park setting and are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather.

For those unable to attend in-person, the event will also be livestreamed beginning at 11 a.m. on ODVA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/odvavet and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAQVavs9KmvDeJ42ySFtY8A

Established in 1945, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is dedicated to serving Oregon’s diverse veteran community that spans five eras of service members. ODVA administers programs and provides special advocacy and assistance in accessing earned veteran benefits across the state. Learn about veteran benefits and services, or locate a local county or tribal veteran services office online at oregon.gov/odva

Oregon Dept. of Forestry seeks to give $10 million in urban forestry grants to federally recognized Tribes

(SALEM, Ore.) – The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, is now taking proposals from the nine federally recognized Tribes of Oregon for grants they could receive for urban and community forestry projects and programs.

In 2023, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) awarded ODF’s Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Program $26.6 million of the $1.5 billion investment in urban and community forestry from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). 

“The IRA funding Oregon received is intended to promote community and urban forest investment and tree equity for overburdened and underserved communities,” said ODF UCF Program Manager Scott Altenhoff. “Tribal communities in Oregon have a long history of displacement, dispossession and under-investment in their communities. So, a significant proportion of the funds – $10 million – are earmarked to support federally recognized Tribes’ efforts to protect and enhance their urban and community forests. This also includes workforce development in the urban forestry sector.”

Specifically, priorities for the funds earmarked for federally recognized Tribes are to:

  • Support community and urban forestry assessment, planning, and prioritization
  • Support culturally responsive community and urban forestry education, engagement, recreation, and community-building initiatives
  • Build capacity with collective impact through a community and urban forestry network 
  • Support community forestry and natural resource-related workforce development 
  • Significantly expand tree production, planting, and maintenance 
  • Support monitoring, adaptive management, and lesson sharing 

The USFS and ODF have also identified projects or programs related to first foods (foods traditionally eaten by Native Americans) and improving community access to greenspaces (e.g., developed parks or natural areas) as priorities for this funding opportunity.

Proposals should address at least one of the above program priority areas, or clearly demonstrate how the proposed project or program supports Tribal community connections to trees and/or forests, said Altenhoff.

He acknowledges that the program areas outlined may not fully reflect each Tribal Nation’s community and urban forestry needs and priorities. 

“We recognize that working with Tribes through this federal funding is critical to strengthening relationships and supporting the needs of Tribal communities to enhance cultural, socio-economic, and environmental priorities,” Altenhoff said. 

Altenhoff said a further $12.5 million will soon be made available to other eligible entities throughout Oregon. The money will fund competitive, multiyear investments in urban and community forestry programs and projects. Proposals for this second funding opportunity should:

  • increase equitable access to urban tree canopy
  • broaden community engagement in urban and community forest planning, tree planting, and management activities
  • improve community and urban forest health and resilience. 

ODF Urban and Community Forestry Program Mission and Vision

The mission of ODF’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is to advance equity, well-being, and resilience for all communities in Oregon by promoting investments in trees and green infrastructure. Our vision is for every community forest in Oregon to thrive with good planning and management, while fostering statewide recognition of trees and forests as vital contributors to the social, economic and environmental well-being of the state’s residents.

Oregon National Guard Program Offers Students Paid Opportunities To Earn High School Credit And Learn Career Skills

 “The Oregon Plan,” renewed its approval with the Oregon Department of Education, is open to high school students throughout Oregon.

High school students in Oregon will have a paid opportunity to learn professional technical training while earning high school credit, as part of the newly endorsed program called The Oregon Plan.

Created by the Oregon National Guard, the plan received official approval last month from the Oregon Department of Education, which is required as part of its regular renewal process.

“Through this exciting program students get paid to earn high school credit, learn career skills such as basic finance, medic training, construction and engineering and practice working in teams,” said Dr. Charlene Williams, Director of Oregon Department of Education. “As students plan their summer of learning and work, I hope they consider this enriching and life changing option.” 

Background On The Oregon Plan –
Established in 1995 as the Military Career Education Cluster Concept, “The Oregon Plan” enables school districts across the state to award academic credits to students who complete qualified military training and instruction. Approximately 700 high school students have joined the Oregon Guard since 2020.

“The Oregon Plan has been providing valuable education pathways for Oregon students for nearly 30 years,” said Brig. Gen. Alan Gronewold, Adjutant General, Oregon. “We’re proud to highlight this innovative program that recognizes the skills our young recruits gain through their military service.”

Multiple high schools across Oregon participate in the program, including Pendleton, Hermiston, La Grande, Elgin, Wallowa, Baker, Ontario, and Grant Union High School in eastern Oregon. Additionally, high schools in Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Douglas, Union, Umatilla, Wasco, Hood River, Malheur, Baker, and Wallowa counties have also approved use of The Oregon Plan.

By enabling credit proficiencies through military training, the Oregon National Guard and The Oregon Plan exemplify a commitment to developing educated, skilled, and work-ready youth for future success.

“Our recruiters consistently hear from educators about the value of this flexible credit program, “said Lt. Col. Jessy Claerhout, Executive Officer, Recruiting Retention Command.  “It provides a helpful pathway for students to turn their military experience into academic progress toward graduation, while obtaining life skills and leadership training.”

Many of the credits earned may also translate into college credits towards a higher education degree. Sophomores and Juniors in high school can learn more about the program here. You can also learn more about the Oregon Guard’s 100% College Tuition Assistance program here.

Oregon Offers Electric Car Rebates Again – Apply Now Until June 3rd


Due to high demand and limited funding, OCVRP will be open for a short time in 2024. Vehicles must be purchased or leased between April 3, 2024, to June 3, 2024, to be eligible for a rebate.

Applicants have six months from their date of purchase or lease to apply. Low- and moderate-income households can prequalify for the $5,000 Charge Ahead rebate by completing the application now at https://apps.oregon.gov/DEQ/Voucher/apply.



83-year-old Clarence Edward Pitts walked away from his home in Bandon on Tuesday, January 31 at around 1:00 p.m. Pitts is described as:

  • 6′ 00″
  • 150 lbs
  • Gray hair
  • Brown eyes
  • Last seen wearing an orange beanie, plaid jacket, tan pants and white shoes
  • May have a walking cane
  • Has dementia and PTSD

Pitts may be in a vehicle that was also found to be missing from the home:

  • 1999 Toyota Van
  • White
  • Oregon license plate: WYN 788

If you see Clarence or have any information pertaining to where he may be, please call the Coos County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center at 541-396-2106 or the Bandon Police Department at 541-347-3189.

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