Oregon Beach News, Monday 11/13 – 53 Years Since A Dead Sperm Whale Was Blown Up With Dynamite In Florence & 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

Monday, November 13, 2023

Oregon Beach Weather



* WHAT...Seas 9 to 12 ft at 13 seconds.

* WHERE...From Florence to Cape Blanco between shore and 10 nm.

* WHEN...Until 4 PM PST this afternoon.

* IMPACTS...Gusty winds and/or steep seas could capsize or damage smaller vessels.

* View the hazard area in detail at https://go.usa.gov/x6hks

Sunday Marked 53 Years Since A Dead Sperm Whale Was Blown Up With Dynamite In Florence

On November 9th 1970 a sperm whale washed ashore on the South Jetty in Florence.

Three days later on November 12, 1970, that dead whale exploded into history with what has been described as the first-ever viral news story that still keeps going and is still celebrated today. The story also lives on in Exploding Whale Park. Lots of activities and more still scheduled in the next week to commemorate the event https://www.xplodingwhale.com/

Seaside Aquarium Recovered Dead Salmon Shark from Cannon Beach

Though it was not alive, it can still yield valuable information. A necropsy will be performed sometime in the future, hopefully with the assistance of a local school group. Did you know 17 species of shark reside in Oregon’s coastal waters? From the legendary Great white to the large basking shark and the innocuous spiny dogfish, Oregon’s sharks are part of the complex ocean food web. During summer and fall months, Oregonians may notice juvenile sharks stranded on the beach. Salmon sharks are one of the most common species to wash ashore.

No photo description available.

Named for their diet preference of eating salmon, the quick-swimming salmon shark can become stranded throughout the year but are most commonly found during summer months. Salmon sharks give live birth to 2-4 pups off the southern Oregon coast in the spring and the juveniles follow ocean currents and prey. While this species is able to thermoregulate (control their body temperature up to 15 degrees Celsius above surrounding water temperature) and navigate vertically throughout the water column, some juveniles end up outside their ideal temperature range and are unable to thrive.

With an average length of seven feet and weighing in at 300 pounds, mature salmon sharks are quick enough to catch salmon, birds, squid and herring. With grey bodies and white bellies salmon sharks are often mistaken for the great white, but major differences in size, diet, and teeth patterns set the salmon sharks apart. Salmon shark teeth are notably pointed and smooth while white shark teeth are triangular and serrated.

While the salmon shark may look fierce, there has never been a reported incident of a salmon shark attack on a human. If you have a question about a stranded shark or other stranded marine life, be sure to contact local experts at the Seaside Aquarium 503.738.6211.

Coastal Voices Presents December Concert Series

Coastal Voices (CV) provides a musical start to the month of December in Lincoln County with a series of concerts.

3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at Chapel by the Sea in Lincoln City.3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3 at Yachats Community Presbyterian Church in Yachats.3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Newport Performing Arts Center.

Since 1998, the former Central Coast Chorale, now Coastal Voices, has enriched the holiday season on the Central Oregon Coast by performing sacred and secular music carefully selected by founder and director emerita Dr. Mary Lee Scoville.

Coastal Voices Artistic Director Rhodd Caldwell has chosen to honor that 25-year legacy in a program titled “Holiday Highlights – Our Favorites from 25 Years!”

“I culled these songs from our extensive library after consulting with long-time choir members and fans, asking them for their favorites,” Caldwell said.

The concert begins with “This Little Light of Mine” and ends with a medley from the 1954 musical movie “White Christmas.” In between, CV will present an eclectic musical roster. SoundWaves, a small ensemble drawn from the choir, will perform several numbers.

“However you choose to celebrate these December holidays, we have a song for you,” Caldwell said. “Come to hear madrigals, traditional carols, poetry set to music, familiar popular Christmas pieces, and medieval and modern sacred selections. Come prepared to sing as well!”

There will be a short sing-along with the audience following the intermission. Words to familiar holiday favorites will be printed in the program. An instrumental ensemble will accompany Coastal Voices on selected pieces at the Newport performance.

As a seasonal fundraiser, three concert-themed gift baskets will be raffled off at each venue.

The organization is also seeking badly needed storage space for the risers in use at each performance. Please call 541-283-6295 with donations or suggestions.

Tickets cost $20 per person, 18 and older, at the Dec. 2 and 3 performances; $25 at the Dec. 9 performance, 17 and under admitted free. Buy tickets at the door or online at coastal-voices.org.

Visit coastal-voices.org for more information about the group, including how to join, or to make donations. (SOURCE)

Deceased Newborn Orca That Washed Ashore In Brookings Contributing To Marine Education Through Exhibit At The Charleston Marine Life Center

A deceased newborn orca that washed ashore on a beach in Brookings six years ago is now contributing to marine education through a local exhibit at the Charleston Marine Life Center.

The six-foot long baby orca skeleton was placed alongside a full-grown female orca skeleton. The two marine mammals are now “swimming” together and greeting visitors as they enter through the doors of the Charleston Marine Life Center.

The CMLC is the public outreach center of the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, the University of Oregon’s marine biology research and teaching field station.

Shortly after the infant orca was found, scientists performed a necropsy to find out how it died. They found that that the newborn orca had air in its lungs, but it did not have any milk in its stomach. They hypothesize that the orca got separated from its mother shortly after birth, and that it was about two days old when it died.

After the necropsy, scientists decided to preserve the skeleton so others could learn more about the difference between adult and baby orca skeletons. It took a team of marine biologists and community and student volunteers about 5-years to complete the process of decomposing and then piecing together the whale skeleton for the exhibit.

“It is not common to have a baby orca skeleton – and baby skeletons are different from adult skeletons – so this was a very important opportunity to learn about what newborn whale skeletons look like,” said Trish Mace, the director of the Charleston Marine Life Center.

It was a time-consuming process, not only because orca skeletons contain many bones, but also because infant whale skeletons aren’t fully formed, Mace said.

Figure out as you go process – There was no simple blueprint to follow.

Nancy Treneman, a research associate and instructor at OIMB, took the lead in recreating the skeleton. The infant cetacean was still in the process of developing its bones so many were still cartilage and had not yet ossified, she said.

She and her team used epoxies and acrylics to fill in the blank spaces that were cartilage. Also, because the infant whale bones were so small compared to an adult, it took some creativity to fuse the delicate pieces together and support the skeleton.

In some ways it was a figure-it-out as you go process, Treneman said. But the meticulous team took their time to do it as accurately as possible.

While the death of an infant whale isn’t something anyone wants to see, the silver lining is that many have already learned and will continue to learn from it.

“Orcas, it seems, are everybody’s favorite marine mammals. They are romanticized in some ways. But they’re also a top apex predator in the ocean. They have no natural predators. They are really intelligent and they’re social,” Treneman said.

There is still a lot to learn about orcas, so it is special to be able to give visitors to the Marine Life Center an up-close view of the skeleton, she said.

Impressive collection

The orca exhibit now adds to the impressive collection of exhibits at the Charleston Marine Life Center.

The center is part museum, part aquarium, and is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children and students are free, adults are $5 and senior entry is $4. It is located at 63466 Boat Basin Rd in Charleston.

When the CMLC is not open to the public, it is utilized for school groups and other educational activities.

“For locals who come in, they are getting to know their own backyard, in essence,” Marine Life Center director Mace said.

“I think we have a lot more diversity of marine life here than most people realize,” she said.

Exhibits at the marine life center include tanks that hold live sea creatures, fish and other marine life that have been preserved, as well as sea turtle and marine mammal skeletons. There are also many interactive exhibits and views of the Charleston Marina and the bay.

It is illegal to collect marine mammal bones without a permit. If anyone comes upon a stranded marine mammal, dead or alive, they should report it the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network Hotline at 1-866-767-6114.

More information about the Charleston Marine Life Center can be found at http://cmlc.uoregon.edu (SOURCE)

Florence Woman Uses Winnings To Support Three Rivers Casino’s Toy And Food Drive And Urges Others To Help Too

A Florence woman who has made it her mission to make sure all children have a toy for Christmas is asking others to help out with the Three Rivers Casino’s 19th annual Toy and Food Drive.

Liberty Kommer said that she sets aside a portion of her winnings for a fund she’s earmarked for the annual Christmas toy drive. She said that part of the joy is in picking out toys for the drive, as she picks out toys she would have liked to have when she was growing up. Kommer said that she never had a Christmas growing up and doesn’t want other children to go through the same thing. Last year, Kommer donated a truckload of bicycles and helmets.

The casino has collected thousands of toys over nearly two decades to be given to Toys for Tots and handed out. The drive runs through December 6 and new, unwrapped toys worth at least five dollars can be dropped off at the casino. Donors can also drop off three cans of food in exchange for five dollars in free play at the casino. More information on the drive can be found on the Three Rivers Casino’s website.

Two beach campgrounds update their closure schedules for 2023/2024

Two popular coastal campgrounds will temporarily close through spring/summer 2024 due to construction. 

Bullards Beach campground, two miles north of Bandon, closed earlier this year for about a month while construction preparation work was completed. The construction schedule changed, which allows the park to reopen temporarily for camping Nov. 13 through Jan. 1, 2024. The campground will close again Jan. 2 through May 22, 2024, to complete the project.

Beverly Beach, seven miles north of Newport, will be closed through July 1, 2024 for construction, which is an extension of the original project schedule.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department understands that it takes time to plan a trip and wants to give potential visitors a chance to make other plans. OPRD knows that these campgrounds are well loved places that will be missed this winter, spring and some of the summer season. The closures will allow crews to improve the parks for seasons to come. 

  • Beverly Beach campgrounds will upgrade the park and campground power and water lines as part of the Go Bond projects, which include improvements at 11 parks around the state
  • Bullards Beach campgrounds will upgrade its main sewer line. The park will be closed through May 22, 2024, which is an extension of the original closure. The extension will impact existing reservations from March 15 through May 22. Campers are being notified and provided with full refunds. 

During the campground closure at Bullards Beach, there will be some areas of the park that visitors can still enjoy. The day use area, boat ramp, lighthouse and horse camp will remain open.

All facilities will be closed at Beverly Beach through July 1.

“While we’re disappointed to extend the construction period later into the season, we appreciate the support as we complete these important infrastructure improvements” said Bullards Beach Park Manager Nick Schoeppner.

“In the meantime, we are excited to welcome folks back to the campground at Bullards Beach this fall and winter season.  It’s a great time to visit and enjoy less crowded beaches and trails and explore the community of Bandon and the surrounding area.”

Sale of Shilo Inn Seaside Scheduled This Month

The court-appointed receiver is overseeing the sale of the beachfront Shilo Inn Seaside. Over two decades ago, Mark Hemstreet, the hotelier of Shilo Inn chain boasted almost 50 hotels spread across the Western region. However, starting with the travel slowdown following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Shilo’s presence has diminished, and Hemstreet has encountered a string of financial challenges.

In the preceding year, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge rendered a verdict necessitating that Hemstreet and Shilo Management Corp. settle a debt owed to California-based Cathay Bank. Subsequently, the judge appointed a receiver with the authority to liquidate various assets within the receivership estate, including Shilo Inns located in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas, to offset the outstanding debt.

At present, the receiver is preparing to auction off the 113-room Seaside Shilo to the highest bidder. The hotel is described as a lucrative investment, as it generated $1.93 million in net operating income during the previous year. Interested buyers are required to submit their bids by November 22. (SOURCE)

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission to meet Nov. 14 and 15 in Newport

The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission will convene Nov. 14 and 15 in Newport, Oregon. 

On Nov. 14, commissioners will tour Brian Booth State Park in the morning and gather for a work session to discuss training from 1 to 3 p.m. at Hallmark Inn, 744 SW Elizabeth Street in Newport. 

On Nov. 15, commissioners will convene an executive session at 8:30 a.m. at Hallmark Inn, 744 SW Elizabeth Street in Newport to discuss real estate and legal issues. Executive sessions are closed to the public. A business meeting will begin at 9:45 a.m. and will be open to the public.

Anyone may attend or listen to the business meeting; instructions on how to listen will be posted on the commission web page prior to the meeting. The business meeting includes time for informal public comment related to any items not on the agenda. Registration is required to speak at the meeting if attending online, and is available online at https://bit.ly/registernov2023commission. The deadline to register to speak at the meeting virtually is 5 p.m., Nov. 13. No advance registration is required to speak in person at the meeting. Time per speaker is limited to three minutes. Please submit written public comments by 5 p.m. Nov. 13 to is.havel@oprd.oregon.gov“>chris.havel@oprd.oregon.gov

The full agenda and supporting documents are posted on the commission web page. Notable requests: 

Anyone needing special accommodations to attend the meeting should contact Denise Warburton, commission assistant, at least three days in advance: burton@oprd.oregon.gov“>denise.warburton@oprd.oregon.gov or 503-779-9729. 

The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission promotes outdoor recreation and heritage by establishing policies, adopting rules and setting the budget for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The seven members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. They serve four-year terms and meet several times a year at locations across the state. 

North Bend School District Public Meetings — November 2023

Below are North Bend School District public meetings currently scheduled for November:

November 16, 2023
       Work Session
       North Bend High School Library at 6:00 p.m. 
       2323 Pacific St., North Bend, OR

The schedule is subject to change. Please email mbrix@nbend.k12.or.us or visit the NBSD Website: https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/1573 for agenda information

80 Year Old Man Fatally Shoots Himself In Salem Police Station Lobby Saturday

Salem Police Station lobby closed due to death investigation – Opens this morning

Due to tragic circumstances which occurred Saturday afternoon at the Salem Police Department, the station lobby is closed until Monday morning, November 13, at 8:00 a.m.

Saturday at approximately 1:00 p.m., a man entered the vestibule of the police station, removed a shotgun from the bag he carried, and took his own life. Officers arrived moments later to find the man, age 80, dead from the gunshot wound. In instances of suicide, the name of the victim is not typically released.

Because of the unfortunate circumstances, the police station lobby, located at 333 Division ST NE, will be closed while the incident is investigated.

During the lobby closure, residents may still access police services in the following manner:

  • To file a police report, call 503-588-6123, select option 1.
  • For vehicle releases, call 503-588-6144, select option 9. Please call ahead to minimize delays in response.
  • For police records services, use the convenient online City of Salem Public Records Portal.

As always, if you need emergency services, please call 9-1-1.

No School Monday for Portland Students As Teachers Strike Continues

The main issues involve pay, more planning time and smaller class sizes.

Roughly 44,000 children in Portland will be out of school on Monday after a weekend of talks but no settlement agreement between Portland Public Schools and its teachers.  Monday will be the seventh day of missed classes due to the teachers strike.

“We recognize this is a hardship for a lot of our community members, especially our kids,” said School Board Chair Gary Hollands.

The Portland Association of Teachers, which represents roughly 3,700 teachers, counselors and other employees wants higher wages, more planning time and reduced class sizes. The district claims it can’t afford the union’s proposal.

Both sides met throughout the weekend. The district proposed a package that it claims addresses compensation, preparation time and class sizes. The district said the latest offer would cost an additional $147 million, requiring budget cuts over the next three years totaling almost $103 million. It’s not clear where those cuts would be made.

“We’re already taking a close look at administrative costs, discretionary spending, contracted services,” said PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero.

Portland Public School teachers went on strike Nov. 1. District officials explained it is too early to determine whether the school year will be extended for make-up days.

Driver Slams Expensive Sports Car In To Portland Office Building

The driver of a McLaren 720S — a sports car worth as much as $300,000 — crashed into the side of an office building at the intersection of Burnside Street and Grand Avenue in Portland’s Kerns neighborhood at approximately 2:54 a.m. Sunday.

Portland Fire and Rescue spokesperson Christine Pezzulo told KOIN 6 News that the firefighter who responded to the scene found one car crashed into the building’s facade. The driver was taken to the hospital by ambulance for non-life-threatening injuries. No passengers were said to have been in the car at the time of the crash.

“It was a single vehicle that hit the front of a building breaking out the glass and damaging the facade of the structure,” Pezzulo said.

Oregon Water Officials Say Permitting Must Change To Keep Tens Of Thousands Of Wells From Going Dry

The Oregon Water Resources Department must update its 68-year-old rules for permitting new wells or double down on regulating existing ones, department officials said. 

Klamath County has struggled with persistent drought and lawmakers have directed millions to residents who have had their wells dry up. (Courtesy of the governor’s office)

If it doesn’t, the growing problem of the state’s depleted groundwater reserves “is going to get very expensive,” said department director Doug Woodcock.

Many of Oregon’s 20 groundwater basins are being sucked dry faster than water can naturally be replaced, according to the agency. This is an issue across the West, where drought, river diversions and groundwater depletion have left parts of seven states scrambling to ration what water is available to them from the Colorado River Basin.

Woodcock presented updates to Oregon’s groundwater permitting laws at a hearing last week by the Oregon House Committee on Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources and Water. The agency – with input from farmers, environmental groups and well owners – has worked for more than a year on proposed rule changes that would bring Oregon water permitting laws up to date. Most importantly, the agency is attempting to define a “stable level” of groundwater and has committed to withholding new water rights in areas where the level is not deemed stable. 

Not everyone is happy. Some farmers and the water districts that serve them fear it’s a moratorium on all new groundwater allocations around the state. Mark Landauer, a lobbyist for the Special Districts Association of Oregon, said the state water agency’s proposed changes are too broad. 

“We believe that we should be looking at basin-specific rules rather than this one-size-fits-all approach,” he said. 

State Reps. Ken Helm, D-Beaverton, and Mark Owens, R-Crane, tried earlier this year to do just that. The lawmakers proposed a bill that would direct the state water resources department to stop issuing any new water rights until officials could provide an inventory of how much groundwater was left in each of the state’s 20 basins. The bill died in committee but set the stage for many of the changes the water resources department is proposing.

Oregon’s 1955 Groundwater Act requires the state to maintain stable levels of groundwater but does not define what a stable level is. The new rules would define stability as maintaining spring water levels year over year. The water level after a winter recharge period and before summer irrigation should return to about the level it was the year before. 

“So we’ll pump down groundwater systems in the summertime, but we always want those to come back up after the wet season,” said Justin Iverson, a groundwater manager at the water agency. New wells could not be permitted if they were found to diminish the quantity of surface water and instream water needed by the senior water rights holders.

Iverson said if permitting rules don’t change, it’s possible up to 50,000 Oregon wells that are 50 feet below the water table or less could go dry, costing hundreds of millions of dollars to replace.

In the last three years, the water resources department has received more than 1,000 complaints about wells run dry. Many are in areas where aquifers have been overdrawn after years of permitting with little regard for how much water is left, Woodcock, the agency director, said.

“What we’re concerned about is with the increasing summer temperatures, increasing water uses, that 1,000 wells is going to turn into many thousands,” he told the committee. 

A coalition of environmental groups called the Oregon Water Partnership expressed relief the agency is willing to practice caution in permitting. The coalition includes The Nature Conservancy, Oregon Environmental Council, WaterWatch of Oregon, Wild Salmon Center. Trout Unlimited, Environmental Defense Fund and Sustainable Northwest.

“The state has historically allocated groundwater rights without knowing whether water was really available,” said Zach Freed, sustainable water program Director for The Nature Conservancy, in a statement. (SOURCE)

Oregon National Guard Participates in Various Veterans Day Events Across the State

The Oregon National Guard participated in various events around the state on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, to honor those who have served in the armed forces.

The day began with Col. Russell W. Gibson, commander of the Oregon Army National Guard’s 82nd Troop Command Brigade, speaking at a morning memorial service at Timber Linn Veterans Memorial Park in Albany. The Oregon National Guard then performed a rifle salute to honor the nation’s veterans.

Later in the day, the Oregon National Guard participated in the Linn County Veterans Day Parade in Albany, which included several military vehicles and a marching contingent led byCol. Dustin Ballard, Oregon Army National Guard Commander of Recruiting and Retention Command. The marching formation was comprised of members of the Air and Army National Guard with a joint color guard. It represented the Oregon Army National Guard’s 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Brigade Troop Command, and the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Wing based at the Portland Air National Guard Base. 

The parade’s military vehicles included a M1129 Stryker Mortar Carrier crewed by the 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry Regiment, and two Oregon Air Guard 125th Special Tactics Squadron M1297 A-GMV (Ground Mobility Vehicle). They were followed by a 141st Brigade Support Battalion M997 Field Liter Ambulance (FLA) Humvee.

Recently retired Oregon National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel served as the parade’s emeritus grand marshal.

The Oregon National Guard’s 234th Army Band, also known as “Oregon’s Own,” country music band performed at the Albany American Legion lunch for parade participants. Another band contingent played at the University of Oregon vs. the University of Southern California Veterans Salute football game at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

Other Veterans Day events included an Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs memorial event in Salem featuring remarks by Col. Gibson.

Oregon Main Street Announces New Application Round for Top Tier Communities

Oregon Main Street just opened applications for the Designated Main Street and Affiliated Main Street level communities for new communities who want to join the OMS Network at one of the Main Street Track levels or for existing communities that want to move up a level.. Applications are due on January 31, 2023.

Applications can be found on our website at www.oregonmainstreet or Clicking Here.

OMS will host an application workshop on Tuesday, November 14, at 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The workshop will cover some of the requirements to participate at these tiers and provide tips on completing the application. You must register in advance to attend:  Click Here to Register

Oregon Main Street has a tiered approach that allows communities to participate in ways that best meet their capacity and needs.  The Main Street track, which includes Accredited, Designated, and Affiliated Main Street levels, is for communities that want to use the comprehensive Main Street Approach™ to sustain and enhance their historic downtown or traditional commercial neighborhood district.

There are specific criteria communities must meet to qualify and maintain status depending on the level of participation. Some of these criteria include:

Having an independent nonprofit focused on the historic core
Commitment to using the Main Street Four-Point™ structure
Adequate staffing levels
Participation in required trainings

There is also the Connected Communities level for communities that aren’t ready to use the Main Street™ structure but see value in participating in the OMS Network. A full list of communities participating in the OMS Network can be found at www.oregonmainstreet.org.

Acceptance into the Oregon Main Street Network, depending on the Tier, allows communities to participate in services such as training workshops, be eligible for community assessments and technical assistance, and compete for grants.

The Main Street Approach™, developed by Main Street America™, is a time-tested framework for community-driven, comprehensive revitalization. This proven approach emphasizes community organization, design, promotion, and economic vitality to create healthy and livable downtown commercial districts. This approach advocates a return to community self-reliance, empowerment and the rebuilding of commercial districts based on traditional assets, unique architecture, personal service, local ownership, and sense of community.

“We are excited about opening up applications for communities to participate in our Network at one of our advanced levels,” said Sheri Stuart, State Coordinator, Oregon Main Street. “Through a recent study of our Network, we know the difference our local main street organizations are having on their communities and welcome the opportunity to work more deeply with other communities that want to use the Main Street Approach™.” This study, culminating in the Impact of Oregon’s Main Streets Report, shares the story of how the Oregon Main Street Network strengthens community networks, bolsters the economy, generates state and local tax revenue, and fosters social connections across the state.

Oregon Main Street is part of Oregon Heritage in Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. For more information see our website at www.oregonmainstreet.org , or contact Sheri Stuart at sheri.stuart@oprd.oregon.gov or 503.986.0679.

Give blood, celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the film “Elf”

Exclusive “Elf” + Red Cross socks for donors Nov. 10-30 — Portland, OR (Nov. 10, 2023) — For many, watching the classic holiday movie “Elf” has been a heartwarming tradition for 20 years. This November, the American Red Cross is encouraging people to add a new tradition as the holiday season begins: Spread cheer with a blood or platelet donation. 

Donations are critical to the blood supply as the holiday season draws near – a time when blood donations often decline. Donors of all blood types are urged to give, especially type O blood donors and those giving platelets.

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the film “Elf,”  and create holiday cheer, all who come to give Nov. 10-30 will receive an exclusive pair of “Elf” + Red Cross socks, while supplies last. For more details, visit RedCrossBlood.org/Elf.

It feels good to give a gift to someone else that truly means something. Those wishing to help patients receive lifesaving transfusions can book a blood or platelet donation appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

How to donate blood  — A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger must also meet certain height and weight requirements.

Amplify your impact − volunteer!  — Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador at Red Cross blood drives. Blood donor ambassadors help greet, check-in and thank blood donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience.  

Volunteers can also serve as transportation specialists, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more information and to apply for either position, contact or visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.  

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood and is the primary blood supplier to 65 hospitals throughout Washington and Oregon; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

“Elf” and all related characters and elements © & ™ New Line Productions, Inc.

Enrollment In Individual Health Insurance Now Open Through Mid-January

The tens of thousands of Oregonians who buy their own health insurance can now start shopping for the best plan for next year.

Open enrollment on the federal online marketplace, which Oregon will continue to use for the next few years, runs this year from Nov. 1 through Jan. 16. Those who enroll by Dec. 15 will be covered starting Jan. 1, and those who sign up after that will be covered starting Feb. 1.

Premiums will increase 6% next year on average but individuals can obtain subsidies through the marketplace to reduce costs. The subsidies come in the form of tax credits that can be used throughout the year or at tax time. In the past, around 70% of those who applied obtained financial help. That jumped to 80% last year, according to Amy Coven at the Oregon Health Authority, which oversees health insurance enrollment.Sign up for coverage

For general information about the three levels of plans, go here. For information about coverage and to sign up, go here

But before buying a plan, state officials recommend that people use the window-shopping tool to compare plans, which vary among different areas. 

Oregon also offers free help through experts in health insurance. Find someone for the marketplace, or healthcare.gov, by clicking here

“Premiums can start as low as a dollar, sometimes even less with the financial help, and they go up from there,” Coven said. 

The average tax credit last year was around $500 per person a month, Coven said. That translated to an out-of-pocket premium cost per person of about $225.

Subsidies are based on the marketplace’s silver, or mid-range plans, and there’s no upper income limit to qualify for financial help. Individuals can also sign up for a bronze plan, which has the least expensive premium but costs more out-of-pocket for services, or gold plans, which have the highest premiums but lowest out-of-pocket costs. 

All plans include 10 essential benefits, which include emergency care and hospitalization, prescriptions, mental health and addiction services, lab services and maternity and pediatric care. The plans also include free preventive care, which is mandated by the Affordable Care Act. All Oregon plans also offer coverage for abortions, acupuncture and chiropractic care and the first three primary care or mental health care visits cost $5 even before the deductible kicks in. 

“The coverage is very robust,” Coven said.

The state has offered catastrophic coverage, which is designed to cover unexpected medical costs. And its website says it still does, but Coven said Thursday in a follow-up call that they will not be available for 2024.

Enrollment on the marketplace increased in recent year, hitting nearly 147,000 in 2022 and nearly 142,000 last year. Coven expects 2024 enrollment figures to increase over this year’s as a result of the thousands of people who are being bumped off Medicaid because they no longer qualify. Since April, state officials have been auditing the nearly 1.5 million Oregonians on Medicaid to see whether they still meet the income and other qualifications as part of the end of extra Medicaid benefits during the pandemic.

Although a majority of people on Medicaid have retained coverage, the health authority’s dashboard shows that more than 62,000 have lost the free medical and dental coverage. 

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure that folks understand what other coverage options are available and provide direct assistance for enrollment,” Coven said.

She said officials have sent out 50,000 letters to those who’ve lost Medicaid coverage. It’s not yet clear how many will remain insured by buying health insurance. The state increased the percentage of those who have health insurance during the pandemic thanks to federal and state programs. The state’s insured rate stands at 96%, though that could fall if a lot of people who lose Medicaid do not buy coverage. (SOURCE)

Oregon is Searching for its Next Poet Laureate

Oregon is searching for its next Poet Laureate. Over the two-year-term, the Poet Laureate promotes the art of poetry, encourages literacy and learning, addresses issues relating to the humanities and reflects on public life in Oregon.

Information about the Poet Laureate program, how to nominate the next Poet LaureateAnis, and how to request an appearance can be found on this website. Please also check out our Facebook page.

Nominations are accepted through January 8th, and poets are welcome to nominate themselves. The next Poet Laureate term begins in May. MORE INFO: https://culturaltrust.org/oregon-poet-laureate/?fbclid=IwAR0O-Gx81HjAKwXHwyrEVtxpgyXma9XRb5xwacG_o57ga3_lKUwIbPRMXks

Missing Yachats Man’s Vehicle Found in North Lane County

On 08/25/2023, Dustin Steyding was reported missing to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office after he left work on 07/22/2023 and hadn’t been located since. Dustin was living and working in the Yachats area. 

Dustin was reported to be in good physical condition, having previously worked as a hot shot firefighter in New Mexico. Dustin is very experienced in the woods and commonly goes out for hikes to stay in shape. Without means to locate Dustin, Deputies entered Dustin as a missing person in a national database. 

On 09/04/2023, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Dustin’s family after they located his vehicle on Keller Creek Rd, just outside of Lincoln County in Lane County. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Deputies contacted the vehicle and determined it had been at the location for some time. Deputies were unable to determine Dustin’s direction of travel from the vehicle.

The vehicle having been located in Lane County, Lincoln County Deputies contacted the Lane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team and arranged for their response the next day to started searching the area. After two days of searching, no clues to Dustin’s have been found.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Dustin Steyding should contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 541-265-0777 and reference case number 23S-07321.

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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Contact us: Info@OregonBeachMagazine.com

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