Oregon Beach News, Friday 6/2 – North Bend Municipal Pool Celebrates Grand Reopening, Yachats Pride Festival Kicks Off Today

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

Friday, June 2, 2023

Oregon Beach Weather

Yachats Pride Festival Kicks Off Today

Yachats Pride kicks off today for the weekend with three days of free activities, including Drag Bingo, live music, a Trans Tea Party, Pride Family Picnic and a Pride Puppy Parade. There will also be vendors on hand selling homemade wares.

May be an image of text that says 'JUNE 2ND 3RD 4TH 2023 Sachats Pride FREE COMMUNITY Vendors EVENT FOR ALL AGES! Resue & Local Musicians YACHATS COMMONS PAVILLION Under the Sea Prom Sat7pm Sat7 pm Trans Tea Party Sat 1pm Puppy Parade Sun 1:30pm Picnic Sun Noon Drag Bingo F5:30pm 口ു VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! CONTACT: INFO@YACHATSPRIDE.ORG CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA TO KEEP UP TO DATE WITH NEWS AND SCHEDULE OF EVENTS OMRTO'

“This is a time for connecting with one another and celebrating the diversity of Yachats,” said Emily Crabtree, a board member of non-profit Yachats Pride. Yachats Pride was formed in 2017 to celebrate diversity among the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, inter-sex, and asexual community. The slate of events — all free — mark the group’s fifth Pride weekend.

Except as indicated, all Yachats Pride events are scheduled to take place around the Commons and Pavilion in Yachats. Beer and wine will be available for sale during all Pride events. For more details, visit the nonprofit’s website.


  • 5:30 p.m.: Drag Bingo; Lion’s Club, 344 W. Fourth St.


  • 1 p.m.: Trans Tea Party.
  • 4 p.m.: Live music.
  • 6 p.m.: Free community dinner prepared by Pride Volunteers and Ona restaurant.
  • 7 p.m.: Second Chance Prom (“Under the Sea” theme). Parental discretion advised after 8 p.m.


  • Noon to 5 p.m.: Maker Market.
  • Noon: Free community barbecue, donated and presented by the Yachats Community Presbyterian Church.
  • Noon-2 p.m.: Lincoln County Health Department offering free Covid-19 booster shots.
  • 1:30 p.m.: Puppy Parade.

MORE INFO: https://yachatspride.org

North Bend Municipal Pool Celebrates Grand Reopening

The city of North Bend made a splash as it opened the doors to the municipal pool, which had shut down nearly two years ago.

In September of 2021, pool equipment vital to operating began to fail.

The pool closed its doors with no clear reopening date in sight due to a price tag of more than a million dollars to make the repairs.

On Thursday, the closure came to an end.

‘We’re so happy to have $1.4 million in infrastructure upgrades in the pool, and that was made possible by a grant from Judith Ann Mogan Foundation, Coquille Tribal Community,’ said North Bend Mayor Jessica Engelke.

Money went to purchase and install things like a new boiler and new filtration system.

New LED lighting, renovated bathrooms with instant hot water showers, an ADA compliant lift chair, and kiosk entry system are also among the upgrades.

Pool manager Claire McKee says she’s already at home in the community after leaving Hawaii to take the job.

She’s been in aquatics for 12 years and says she’s happy to be part of the return of the beloved pool.

“I’m excited. I’m super excited to actually get to meet more members of the community. We’re currently looking into swim lessons…which we have our instructors set up, and training will occur this month,” said McKee. “We’re also looking at a junior lifeguards program because that’s something that’s quite near and dear to my heart. Individuals between the ages of 11 and 14 will be able to train as lifeguards and get those type of life skills in and around water.”

McKee says the pool plans to have water aerobics, a Special Olympics team and other offerings as it grows.

Mayor Engelke says the pool will offer free swimming for the month of June.

“I can’t tell you how many happy faces that I saw out in the crowd today. The pool means so much to our community. All the time, I talk to people about swim lessons that they took in the pool in the 60’s, the 70’s, the 80’s, the 90’s. These are generations of families who’ve learned how to swim in this pool,” said Engelke.

In the coming weeks, Engelke says a fitness court will be installed on the back deck of the pool for body weight and step exercises.

North Bend is now working with Advanced Health on a grant to offer swim lessons for open swim days beginning in July. (SOURCE)

Yachats City Hall Employee and Former Temporary Worker File Federal Lawsuit Against City Alleging Discrimination and Retaliation

The city of Yachats’ deputy city recorder and a former temporary employee have filed suit in U.S. District Court against the city, seeking unspecified damages for what they claim is racial discrimination, retaliation and discriminatory pay practices.

An attorney for deputy city recorder Kimmie Jackson of Yachats and former administrative assistant Anita Sites of Waldport filed the lawsuits May 10 in U.S. District Court in Eugene.

The lawsuit follows two Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries investigations into their similar complaints released in March that for the most part deemed their allegations either too old under Oregon law to be considered by the agency or unsubstantiated.

Sites’ portion of the federal lawsuit mirror allegations in the complaint to the state agency during portions of two years of work as a contract employee between September 2019 and June 2021.

However, Jackson’s portion of the federal lawsuit brings up new issues relating to a change of office duties and access to emails and files, turmoil that often led to her often being the only employee in city hall, not considering her for the interim city manager’s job while offering the job to white women who had less municipal experience, and attempts by city manager Heide Lambert to review and discipline her over performance issues.

Allegations by both Jackson and Sites gives a peek into the chaos and management of city hall employees during the last year of former city manager Shannon Beaucaire’s work, followed by two interim managers, several years of city council oversight, and then Lambert’s 15 months as manager. Lambert resigned April 1, effective Wednesday.

The lawsuit does not ask for a specific monetary award, but that Jackson and Sites “are entitled to recover from defendant such lost wages and benefits of employment and other economic losses in such amount as may be established at trial.”

Jackson and Sites are represented by attorney Rebecca Cambreleng of Portland. There are three sets of lawyers involved with the city – legal advisers from the Local Government Law Group of Eugene, from insurance carrier CIS Oregon, and from the State Accident Insurance Fund.

As it its practice, Yachats mayor Craig Berdie said Wednesday the city would have no comment on the litigation.

Jackson started working for the city in 2011 and after Sites left in 2021 was its only employee of color. Her lawsuit said that she complained to five city managers, former Mayor Leslie Vaaler and several council members about “systemic discrimination and harassment” that included racial and ethnic slurs, false accusations of laziness and incompetence, and accusations of running a notary business from city hall.

Jackson’s lawsuit said many of her duties were taken away when the city began using an outside contractor in 2019 to handle billing and finances. When she complained about that, Beaucaire added back some responsibilities but added more “that created an overload on plaintiff Jackson.”

“She was ignored and received no additional help and was still expected to take on all the extra work, as she always had after each of the white co-workers left and the city managers changed from under qualified white person to under qualified white person,” the lawsuit says.

Not mentioned in any of the legal documents were concerns among some city officials and council members about Jackson’s access to financial accounts. In July 2005 she pleaded guilty to embezzling $208,775 from a bank in southern California, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and to pay restitution, according to U.S. District court records. During three years probation following her prison term she was prohibited from working for banks or have control or manage any employer’s funds.

Jackson’s lawsuit said Katherine Guenther was appointed interim city manager in June 2021 “even though she had no municipal experience and had only recently started her position as city planner.”

“No one asked plaintiff Jackson at any time to take over as interim city manager despite her taking on the job duties in between city managers,” her lawsuit says. “Instead, Ms. Guenther was told not to worry about not having any experience with the position as ‘Kimmie will do all the work’ and she could just hand it all to plaintiff Jackson.”

The lawsuit alleges the issues forced Jackson to take medical leave in December 2021. She remained on it until July 2022, when she returned to city hall.

“Upon her return, she was subject to retaliation by city manager Lambert, including stripping of her job duties and responsibilities, denying previously approved and provided accommodations for her disability, and attempted discipline,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit recounts issues with a desk that did not accommodate her injured back, banning her service animal from the office because Lambert was allergic to dogs, and changing Jackson’s email access.

“Prior to her medical leave and filing her BOLI complaint, plaintiff Jackson had not, in her 12 years as a city employee, been given any discipline related to her work, or even been told that there were concerns over her work product,” the lawsuit said. “As soon as she returned, Lambert began to question plaintiff Jackson’s work, including having her send it to a white employee for review having her submit it to Lambert for approval, and attempting to discipline her for poor work product.”

The lawsuit recounts an incident in March between office staff and Yachats Brewing owner Nathan Bernard, and Lambert’s handling of it a day later that led three temporary workers to resign their positions. The lawsuit said when Jackson returned to work after their departure she was the only person in the office, was unable to answer phone calls “or help the public in any meaningful way.”

The lawsuit said Jackson wrote a letter April 10 to her union, Berdie and council members repeating the many issues, and asking for help in the office. As of its May 10 filing, she had not received a response, the lawsuit said.

Similar – but not the same — accusations Jackson made to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries were not upheld in a March report by senior civil rights investigator Tyler Stokes.

Stokes wrote that a large number of Jackson’s 32 allegations were outside the agency’s statute of limitations, and “many of the remainder are so vague/generalized that (the city) was unable to reasonably respond to them.”

Jackson filed the complaint in March 2022 alleging she’d been “subjected to a campaign of discrimination” almost since her hiring in July 2011, and that campaign included demotion, harassment, racial slurs and unequal pay practices.

The city of Yachats spent $8,589 to hire a firm to do its own investigation — not yet public — of Jackson’s complaint in case it had to fight the BOLI decision.

Stokes’ memo addressed 27 contested allegations. Some of Jackson’s allegations are neutral statements of fact, such as her hiring date or the names and terms of Yachats city managers. Stokes found that the events in 14 allegations occurred too long ago to be pursued under Oregon law. These involved previous city managers and office staff between 2015 and 2019.

In a footnote, Stokes added, “the facts do not indicate the existence of continuing violations that would justify consideration of allegations 6-19 in spite of their untimeliness.”

Anita Sites’ portion of the federal lawsuit mirror much of what she alleged in her complaint to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.

Sites began working for the city via an employment agency in September 2019, left four months later to travel and then returned in June 2020. The lawsuit says when Sites returned then-city manager Beaucaire increased her workload and duties but did not respond to requests to increase her pay that white women had been paid to do those jobs.

She also complained to Beaucaire about what she felt were harassing comments by a male employee but got no response until she sent an email to then-mayor John Moore and council members. After that, the lawsuit said Beaucaire’s actions resulted in “a campaign of retaliation based on her allegations of racism and request for equal pay.”

The lawsuit said that in March 2021, Beaucaire directed the temporary agency to offer an ultimatum to Sites to take on an additional seven pages worth of job responsibilities with no additional pay or leave within 24 hours. Sites accepted the new responsibilities for no pay increase, the lawsuit said, because Beaucaire was leaving for a new job and that Sites hoped a new interim manager “would be more reasonable, and the retaliation and harassment would stop.”

That manager, Lee Elliott arrived from Texas in March 2021 and left three months later.

The lawsuit said Sites went on vacation in late May and shortly before Elliott left the employment agency called her to say her contract with Yachats was terminated.

That July – after Elliott departed and Guenther became interim city manager – Sites applied for a full-time job with the city that was similar to the work she had been doing but paid $56,000 to $60,000 a year, the lawsuit said. Guenther needed city council approval for the hire and recommended Sites for the job.

But, the lawsuit said, during the hiring process, Mayor Leslie Vaaler insinuated that “Sites was not ethical, but said she would allow her to work in that position if she accepted a salary of $48,600 – almost $10,000 below the approved budget for the position.”

“Prior to this offer, Mayor Vaaler had asked if Yachats had $76,000 for the other candidate, a white woman,” the lawsuit said. “Plaintiff Sites did not accept the offer and had to pursue a job out-of-state as the reporting of the mistreatment and the smear campaign made her unemployable in Lincoln County.”

The BOLI senior civil rights investigator who conducted that agency’s investigation said in his March report that Sites’ complaints against Beaucaire were not filed within a year of occurring but also failed to establish “substantial evidence” that the city manager committed discriminatory pay practices.

He also found that Elliott acted within his authority to cancel Sites’ temporary work contract and there was not “substantial evidence” that the employee’s comments to her constituted discrimination or retaliation.

The BOLI investigator did find substantial evidence that Beaucaire used the term “ESL girl” to other employees in referring to Sites and that it did constitute harassment. However, the investigator said the city was not liable for Beaucaire’s remarks “because no tangible employment action was taken” and that when notified of the comments, Vaaler promised to immediately talk with the city manager.

The agency investigator ended his report on Sites’ complaint saying that while “the city council, then mayor, and then pro tem city manager collectively exhibited severe disagreement and paralysis of leadership in summer 2021 while deliberating about whether to hire complainant back into a new position, what said position would involve in terms of responsibilities, whether she was qualified for said position, and how much to pay her … the chaotic conduct of (the city’s) leadership in summer 2021 did not constitute unlawful action in violation of complainant’s civil rights.” (SOURCE)

Fish, Clam and Crab for Free During Free Fishing Weekend June 3-4

Oregon State Parks supports Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Free Fishing Weekend with free day-use parking June 3 & 4. Learn more about Free Fishing Weekend and Oregon State Parks Day at https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=v.feature-article&articleId=320.

Everyone can fish, clam and crab for free in Oregon on Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend of June.

No fishing/shellfish licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Two-Rod Validation) are required on those two days (June 3-4, 2023). Both Oregon residents and nonresidents can fish for free. Oregon State Parks also offers free parking and camping on Saturday, June 3.

All other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions. See the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for rules. Remember to check for any in season regulation changes at the Recreation Report especially for salmon and steelhead fishing. Click on the zone where you want to fish and then click the “Regulation Updates” tab to see the in-season changes.

The Recreation Report is updated weekly and features the best bests for fishing for the upcoming week.

Expect lots of extra rainbow trout to be stocked in Oregon’s lakes for the weekend; more fish are stocked during the next two weeks (for Memorial Day and June Free Fishing Weekend) than at any other time of year. This video series How to fish for trout in Oregon breaks down everything you need to know to fish for trout any time of year and see the trout stocking schedule for more information.

It’s also a great weekend to try clamming or crabbing. This year, June free fishing days coincide with a minus tide (with low tides on the coast getting below the average low water mark by one or even two feet) creating ideal conditions for clamming. MyODFW.com has all the information you need to get started clamming or crabbing including maps of locations and how-tos.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture regularly tests shellfish and closes areas when naturally occurring biotoxins get to levels that make crabs and clams unsafe to eat.  As of today, razor clamming is open from Tillamook Head (just south of Seaside) north to the Washington border but closed south of Tillamook head to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. Crabbing is open coastwide.

Closures can happen quickly and may change before Free Fishing Weekend. Remember to call the ODA Shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 or check their Shellfish page before you go.

ODFW staff and a number of fishing organizations will host events throughout the state on Free Fishing Weekend, bringing all the gear beginners need to get started. Staff and volunteers will hand out fishing equipment and be available to teach how to bait, cast, land and clean your catch.

Events are being held at following events and times, see the Family Fishing Events page for more information.

Saturday, June 3

  • Alsea, Oregon Hatchery Research Center, 7 a.m-2 p.m.
  • Camp Sherman, Wizard Falls Hatchery, 9 a.m.-noon (for age 10 and younger)
  • Enterprise, Marr Pond, 8 a.m.-noon
  • Estacada, Small Fry Lake, Promontory Park, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (for age 17 and younger)
  • Eugene, Alton Baker Park, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Gaston, Henry Hagg Lake, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Silverton at Silverton Reservoir, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Sutherlin, Cooper Creek Reservoir, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Toledo, Olalla Reservoir, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Trask Hatchery, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Ukiah, Twin Ponds, 9 a.m.-noon. Note trophy trout will not be stocked for this event due to disease concerns with these trout; other legal-size trout will be stocked.

Sunday, June 4

  • Lake Marie, Reedsport, Noon- 5 p.m.

MORE INFO: https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/2023/05_May/052323.asp

Scheduled to coincide with Free Fishing Weekend, Kelly’s Brighton Marina will release 26 tagged crabs on Saturday morning for the Crab Derby, with proceeds from ticket sales going to the sponsored charities – the MuddNick Foundation of Manzanita, OR and Animal Haven By The Sea Rescue in Nehalem.  

Bring your car, truck, or motorcycle and join in for Cars & Coffee at O’Reilly Auto Parts in Newport. There will be a BBQ vendor barbecuing sandwiches for participants and spectators.

Oregon State Fire Marshal issues grants to boost staffing ahead of wildfire season

SALEM, Ore. – To boost the number of firefighters across Oregon ahead of wildfire season, the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has awarded $6 million in grants to 185 local fire agencies across the state. 

The 2023 Wildfire Season Staffing Grant is in its second year. Local agencies within the Oregon structural fire service were eligible to apply for up to $35,000. The funding will allow these agencies to hire additional firefighters for the 2023 fire season. This year, small agencies, many of which depend on volunteers, were prioritized to receive funding. A list of agencies awarded funding can be found here.

“This grant is a beacon of hope for fire districts like ours, burdened by limited funding,” Mt. Angel Fire Chief Jim Trierweiler said. “It provides a lifeline, empowering us to overcome financial constraints and a shortage of volunteers. With this invaluable support, we can expand our team with skilled individuals, fortifying our mission to serve and protect our community this fire season.”

“The OSFM staffing grant has turned what has been a long-term vision and goal for McKenzie Fire and Rescue into a reality,” Chief Darren Bucich said. “Additional staffing will help us build on our ability to provide consistent alarm response, timely auto and mutual aid response, and the ability to continue to be a part of conflagrations.”

The 2022 grant was successful across the state, adding roughly 400 paid firefighters to the Oregon fire service during last summer’s wildfire season. These added resources allowed agencies to attack fires and keep them small and away from communities and added capacity to respond to other calls, ultimately saving lives. Read about the successes here.

The 2023 Wildfire Season Staffing Grant is part of a multi-pronged approach to combat wildfire in Oregon. Over the last two years, the OSFM has made strategic investments to modernize the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System and help communities be better prepared for wildfire. 

This grant is part of the OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon initiative. This one-time funding was made possible through Senate Bill 762, which was signed into law in 2021.  


The OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon initiative was created to help bolster capacity and modernize wildfire response within the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS). The goal of Response Ready Oregon is to attack fires while they are small and keep them away from communities.

Oregon Democrats Vote to Fine Absent Senators Amid GOP Walkout

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Senate Democrats plan to start fining their absent colleagues amid a month-long Republican walkout, a move they hope will pressure boycotting lawmakers to return to the chamber as hundreds of bills languish amid the partisan stalemate.

 This week marked the fifth in the Oregon Senate Republican walkout — the longest in Oregon history.

On Thursday, the senate president announced a fine for those lawmakers participating in the walkout. Meanwhile, some of those Republicans and an Independent held their own committee on accountability.

Oregonians from across the state showed up at the Capitol, not only urging senators to return to work, but also for their fellow lawmakers to hold their colleagues accountable. Many chanted “quorum” as they demanded lawmakers return and pass major legislation, now at a stalemate for a month.

In a procedural move Thursday, Democrats voted to fine senators $325 every time their absence denies the chamber the two-thirds quorum it needs to conduct business. The amount reflects lawmakers’ average daily pay, according to the office of Democratic Senate President Rob Wagner.

“Oregonians work for a living every day, and they don’t get paid when they don’t show up,” Wagner said while addressing the Senate. “We have a huge stack of bills sitting right over there on that cart, just waiting for us to take them up, to debate and to vote.”

The month-long Republican walkout — the longest-ever in the Oregon Legislature — once again prevented the Senate from reaching a quorum on Thursday. But Democratic Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber, citing an article in the state constitution, requested that the Senate compel absent members to attend and fine absentees $325 for every day a quorum isn’t reached. Her request was voted on and approved by the other Democrats present on the Senate floor.

The article of the Oregon Constitution cited by Democrats states that even if two-thirds of members are not present, “a smaller number may meet … and compel the attendance of absent members.”

Senate Republican Minority Leader Tim Knopp condemned the plan as retaliation.

Most Republican senators haven’t shown up for floor sessions since May 3, denying quorum and stalling hundreds of bills, including ones on abortion, gender-affirming care and gun control that have sparked fierce debate in the Legislature.

Knopp has said Republicans will only return to the Senate on the last day of the legislative session, June 25, to pass the budget and “bipartisan” bills.

Democratic Gov. Tina Kotek said Wednesday that her talks to end the impasse have failed and that Knopp wants the bill on abortion and gender-affirming care to be “substantially amended or dead.”

Kotek said negotiating on that measure, which has already passed the House, is not an option.

After Republicans staged previous walkouts in 2019, 2020 and 2021, voters last November approved a ballot measure by an almost 70% margin that was supposed to stop walkouts. Lawmakers with 10 or more unexcused absences would be disqualified from reelection in the next term, according to the measure’s title and summary.

But the text of the measure says disqualification applies to “the term following the election after the member’s current term is completed.” Republicans are taking that as meaning that boycotters who are up for reelection in 2024 could be candidates, since their current terms end in January 2025 — with the disqualification coming for the 2028 election.

Secretary of State spokesperson Ben Morris said the department is seeking a legal opinion from the Oregon Department of Justice and will follow its advice. The Justice Department is currently working on the legal opinion, Roy Kaufmann, spokesperson for Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, said in an email Wednesday.

Republican senators are expected to file court challenges if the secretary of state’s elections division bars them from registering as candidates in September. (SOURCE)

Oregonians Rally to Back Bill Providing Food Aid for All

A rally was held in Salem Thursday to urge passage of a bill to provide food assistance to Oregonians regardless of their immigration status.

Senate Bill 610, known as Food for All Oregonians, would ensure people who are undocumented and excluded from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program receive food aid in the state.

Morgan Dewey, spokesperson for the Oregon Food Bank, described the event.

“The Capitol was a beautiful backdrop for a series of speakers who shared their personal stories and organizations that are part of the 125+ organization-led coalition supporting Food for All Oregonians,” Dewey recounted.

The bill would extend aid to lawful permanent residents, U.S. Compacts of Free Association citizens and other Oregonians who arrived as immigrants or refugees.

Dewey noted more than a million people are expected to access food assistance this year. To help counteract it, the measure would help get aid to about 62,000 Oregonians.

“With food on the table, families can thrive, kids can do better in school, access to education and health care and housing becomes a little less of a worry,” Dewey outlined.

The biggest roadblock for the bill’s passage is the Senate Republican walkout. Dewey added anti-hunger advocates are urging them to return to Salem.

“We’re really calling on folks to come back and do their jobs so that pieces of legislation that will support a thriving Oregon, like SB 610 Food for All Oregonians, can pass and support our neighbors and our communities,” Dewey concluded. (SOURCE)

Employment Department Announces Weekly Benefit Amounts for Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon 

Salem, Ore. — Today, the Oregon Employment Department announced the 2023-24 minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts for Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Paid Leave Oregon. Paid Leave Oregon is new and will begin paying benefits in September.

By law, the department calculates the minimum and maximum benefit amounts once a year. These calculations are based on Oregon’s State Average Weekly Wage and are effective from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. The State Average Weekly Wage increased from $1,224.82 to $1,269.69. 

The minimum weekly benefit amount is the lowest amount the program will pay a claimant for each week they claim benefits, and the maximum benefit amount is the most the program will pay, regardless of income. 

2023-24 Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon weekly benefit amounts

Program Minimum weekly benefit amount Maximum weekly benefit amount
Unemployment Insurance$190$813
Paid Leave Oregon$63.48$1,523.63

Unemployment Insurance
Starting July 2, 2023, the minimum weekly benefit amount for new unemployment insurance claims will go from $183 to $190 per week, and the maximum weekly benefit amount will go from $783 to $813 per week. This increase only affects claims filed July 2, 2023, or later. People who file new unemployment insurance claims before July 2 will continue to receive the same benefit amount.

This is an increase of approximately 3.8%. The minimum weekly benefit amount is 15% of the State Average Weekly Wage, and the maximum is 64%. During the most recent quarter, 11.5% of recipients received the minimum weekly benefit amount, and 24.5% received the maximum. 

For Unemployment Insurance, the weekly benefit amount is usually 1.25% of what a claimant earned during their “base period,” which is roughly the first 12 of the 15 months before the date they filed their claim.

Visit unemployment.oregon.gov to use OED’s UI benefits calculator.

Paid Leave Oregon

For Paid Leave Oregon, the minimum weekly benefit amount is 5% of the State Average Weekly Wage, and the maximum is 120%. When benefits start in September, the minimum weekly benefit amount will be $63.48, and the maximum will be $1,523.63.

Paid Leave Oregon calculates weekly benefit amounts based on how much the employee earns on average in a week and how much leave they take in a week, so the amount is different for every employee. Lower wage earners will generally receive more of their usual wages than higher wage earners.

Paidleave.oregon.gov has fact sheets and guidebooks on its resources page.

Need help?  The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken-language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503- 947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov

¿Necesita ayuda? El Departamento de Empleo de Oregon (OED) es una agencia de igualdad de oportunidades. El OED proporciona ayuda gratuita para que usted pueda utilizar nuestros servicios. Algunos ejemplos son intérpretes de lengua de señas e idiomas hablados, materiales escritos en otros idiomas, letra grande, audio y otros formatos. Para obtener ayuda, por favor llame al 503-947-1444. Usuarios de TTY pueden llamar al 711. También puede enviar un correo electrónico a communications@employ.oregon.gov

Joint Task Force Serves Child Porn Search Warrant at Local Central Point Residence

JCSO Case 23-1656 CENTRAL POINT, Ore. – The Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) joint inter-agency task force served a search warrant this morning at a residence in the 800 block of Forest Glen Drive in Central Point. SOCET served the warrant after receiving information someone was distributing child pornography.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), Medford Police Department, Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force (SOHTCTF), and Jackson County District Attorney’s Office assisted with the warrant service. Detectives are interviewing possible witnesses and involved parties, and investigations are ongoing.

During the warrant, investigators seized digital devices which will be forensically examined by SOHTCTF for further evidence of child exploitation. A tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) started the investigation, which led to subpoenas, followed by the search warrant at the residence. 

SOCET is a joint inter-agency task force that started in June of 2020 to combat child exploitation and human trafficking. The task force consists of investigators from JCSO, Grants Pass Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations; as well as prosecutors from our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Jackson and Josephine County.

Sweet Home Fire District responded to a motor vehicle accident that caused widespread power outages and caused some wiring in City Hall to catch fire.

Sweet Home Fire District responded to a motor vehicle accident that caused widespread power outages. Also, the power issues caused some wiring in City Hall to catch fire. 

The motor vehicle accident involved a passenger car colliding with a power pole. The damage to the power pole was severe and caused wires to hang low over highway 20. A delivery truck was traveling highway 20, behind the accident, when the power lines became caught on the truck. This caused damage to several power poles and transformers. The result was power outages to a large portion of Sweet Home. 

Sweet Home Fire District crews were managing the motor vehicle accident, when reports of smoke inside City Hall came in. The Incident Commander then assumed command of the City Hall incident as well. An engine company from the motor vehicle accident was reassigned to City Hall and confirmed there was smoke inside the building. Crews were able to locate the source of smoke. It was due to some electrical wires that burned in the crawl space under City Hall. When crews located the damaged wiring, there was no active fire. Crews then used ventilation fans to remove the remaining smoke in the building. 

Traffic had to be rerouted off highway 20 due to the power lines on the roadway. This included a Sweet Home Fire District ambulance that was dealing with a different medical emergency. 

Other local building occupants were contacted to ensure there were no other fire issues in the surrounding area. 

Annual Art in the West Exhibition and Auction Celebrates Region Through Stunning Artwork

Painted Hills by Taylor Manoles, winner of the 2023 Art in the West Curator's Choice Award.

BEND, OR — The High Desert Museum will unveil a diverse collection of traditional and contemporary art on Saturday, July 8 in its annual Art in the West exhibition and silent auction. This year’s juried exhibition will feature over 90 works of art by dozens of acclaimed artists from across the country. 

Art in the West shares a variety of works inspired by the High Desert. The exhibit features sculptures, paintings and photography expressing responses to the landscapes, history, cultures and wildlife of the High Desert in mediums ranging from oil to acrylic, pastel to charcoal.

“The diversity of artwork, from subject matter to medium, continues to grow and impress visitors,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “These artistic interpretations of the West reveal something new and expand our appreciation of this special region.”

The 2023 Art in the West Jury’s Choice Award winter is Barbara Van Cleve. The acclaimed Montana-based photographer documents the beauty of the West through rich black-and-white photography. Van Cleve’s award-winning image, Moving On, a 16” x 20” archival pigment print, is one of several pieces the artist has in this year’s exhibition. Van Cleve has had over 100 one-person exhibitions and participated in 180 group exhibitions.

The 2023 Art in the West Curator’s Choice Award goes to an artist new to the show, Taylor Manoles, for the 38” x 38” oil painting Painted Hills. Manoles lives in Bend, Oregon shows her work across the Pacific Northwest, as well as on various online platforms. In 2022, her painting Sparks Lake Sunrise was chosen for the cover of Southwest Art Magazine.

As the exhibition grows, we are excited to welcome artists new to the show, this year including Indigenous artist and storyteller Monte Yellow Bird, Sr. (Arikara and Hidatsa of the Three Affiliated Tribes) and Russian sculptor Anton Yakushev. 

Silent bidding will be available online, with the opportunity to purchase artwork outright. The bidding will launch July 8 and continue through the exhibition’s closing on Friday, September 22. Opening bids for the art range from $225 to $8,500.

Proceeds from the Art in the West auction help support the Museum’s exhibitions and programs, bringing science, art and history education to lifelong learners throughout the region. 

A link to the gallery guide of the exhibition’s artwork will be available on the Museum’s website starting Saturday, July 8 at highdesertmuseum.org/aiw. The auction is exclusively online, and shipping is available. 

The bidding concludes and the exhibition closes on Friday, September 22 at the Art in the West Closing Party at the High Desert Museum. Attendees will mingle with participating artists, watch live demonstrations and enjoy live music, food and libations. The event begins at 6:00 pm and the auction closes at 7:00 pm. Register at highdesertmuseum.org/aiw-closing-party

Art in the West is made possible by American Art Collector and Western Art Collector magazines with support from Chubb, High Desert Frameworks and Tetherow.


THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. To learn more, visit highdesertmuseum.org and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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.

May be an image of 4 people and text

Contact us: Info@OregonBeachMagazine.com

Related posts

Oregon Beach News, Monday 4/19 – OHA Invites Public Comment On Proposed Beach Locations Through April 26, Pedestrian Struck and Killed on Hwy 101 in Tillamook County

Renee Shaw

Tips to Make the Most of Your Outdoor Spaces

Renee Shaw

Oregon Beach News, Wednesday 4/6 – Astoria Reviewing Plans for Homeless Campers, The City Of Brookings Seeks Volunteers To Help Keep Capella By The Sea Open

Renee Shaw