Oregon Beach News, Monday 5/13 – Largest Cascadia Exercise Ever Planned On Coast May 14th And 15th, 117th Annual Rhododendron Festival Crowns Court and Gets Ready to Kick off on Thursday & 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, May 13, 2024

Oregon Beach Weather

Active Weather Alerts – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM PDT WEDNESDAY...
...GALE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 11 AM PDT WEDNESDAY...

* WHAT...North winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt and steep wind-driven seas 6 to 8 ft at 7 seconds. Beginning Monday afternoon, winds becoming north 25 to 30 kt with gusts up to 35 kt and seas becoming very steep 8 to 11 ft at 7 seconds.

* WHERE...Small Craft Advisory conditions are expected for all areas, with Gales and very steep seas developing Monday afternoon south of Bandon.

* WHEN...For the Small Craft Advisory, from 5 PM this afternoon to 11 AM PDT Wednesday. For the Gale Warning, from 2 PM Monday to 11 AM PDT Wednesday.

* IMPACTS...Strong winds and very steep seas could capsize or damage vessels. Low visibility conditions are expected.

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

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

Coast Guard Rescues Two People and Dog off Coast Near Tongue Point

US Coast Guard in the Pacific Northwest rescued two people and a dog from the water off the Oregon coast on Saturday, May 10.

Their boat had capsized approximately 2.5 miles east of Tongue Point.

Air Station Astoria successfully hoisted one person, while the other person and the dog were rescued by Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment.

Both people were transferred to Emergency Medical Services following the rescue.

117th Annual Rhododendron Festival Crowns Court and Gets Ready to Kick off on Thursday

Twins Named King and Queen: Cort Waggoner was named King of the Coast, while his twin sister Kate Waggoner was named Queen Rhododendra

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117th Annual Rhododendron Festival "Rhody Days" | Florence, OR

The Florence Rhododendron Festival is the second-oldest flower festival in Oregon, just one year younger than the Portland Rose Festival, and third oldest on the West Coast behind the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California. Thousands come from around the world to celebrate every year on the third weekend in May. https://florencechamber.com/event/117th-annual-rhododendron-festival-rhody-days/189/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTAAAR0bQyo9XTejAMbPWPpkK2cN52bIvO6swhmbGKw9KyYX9rtdwxGlqrizkOk_aem_AYeyozkw7OeTAoTXB1pwGYWno9zvIvNNlOWPKQZjVda5LCYJdZzLUcjzr1ZdSlOrYeY5F-qloj_XRThI75E0lKL5

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/

WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER THREATENING MAN WITH FIREARM

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.

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

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.

offshore wind energy
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)

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/

EVCNB

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).

 

Oregon Listed In The Top 10 Most Dangerous States Per U.S. News And World Report

As part of the 2024 Best States rankings, U.S. News factored in both the violent crime rate and property crime rate in each state to determine how well they foster public safety, which informs the best states for crime and corrections rankings and the overall Best States rankings.

Police units respond on scene.

Oregon ranked 8th.

Violent Crime Rate: 342 per 100,000

Property Crime Rate: 2,935 per 100,000

Overall Best States Ranking: 31

 

Places at the bottom of the public safety ranking form this list of the country’s most dangerous states. Among the lower 48, they span from the West Coast to the South, and all but two of the 10 land in the lower half of the overall Best States rankings for 2024.

These are the 10 most dangerous states in the U.S. according to the Best States analysis.

  1. New Mexico
  2. Louisiana
  3. Colorado
  4. Arkansas
  5. Washington
  6. Tennessee
  7. Alaska
  8. Oregon
  9. California
  10. Missouri

For its part, the FBI notes that numerous factors can affect the amount and type of crime in different areas, including population density, economic conditions, climate and family cohesiveness.

MORE INFO: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/slideshows/10-most-dangerous-states-in-america?onepage

Merkley Joins Senate Colleagues In Calling On Postal Service To Pause Planned Changes To Mail Delivery Network

Senators Urge USPS to Request a Comprehensive Assessment of Proposed Changes from its Regulator and Address the Results

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley joined a bipartisan letter led by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Susan Collins (R-ME), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) calling on the United States Postal Service (USPS) to pause planned changes to its processing and delivery network that could slow down mail delivery until the potential impacts are further studied by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) and addressed by the Postal Service.

In the letter signed by 26 Senators, the lawmakers expressed concern over the impacts these changes have already had on communities across the country, and the potential impacts to timely mail delivery that further changes could cause. The Senators urged the USPS to request a comprehensive Advisory Opinion from the PRC that analyzes the full scope of the network changes, including changes to local transportation and postal facilities across the nation, before moving forward with any such changes.

“We call on USPS to pause all changes, pending a full study of this plan by its regulator. While USPS claims these changes overall will improve service while reducing costs, there is evidence to the contrary in locations where USPS has implemented changes so far,” wrote the Senators. “USPS must stop implementation, restore service in those areas where changes were implemented, and fully understand the nationwide effects of its plan on service and communities.”
The Senators continued: “The Postal Service’s primary responsibility is to provide timely and reliable delivery to every community across the nation. While USPS must continue adapting as an agency to remain stable and serve the public’s current needs, it must proceed with caution and understand the implications of its plans in order to protect mail delivery for all communities.”

Joining Merkley, Peters, Collins, Rosen, and Lummis in sending the letter were U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Steve Daines (R-MT), Kyrsten Sinema, (I-AZ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Angus King (I-ME), John Hoeven (R-ND), Fischer (R-NE), Jon Tester (D-MT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and John Cornyn (R-TX).

This latest letter builds on a series of actions from Merkley in opposition to the USPS downgrades in Oregon. Last month, Merkley joined a bipartisan letter with his Senate colleagues in opposition of USPS downgrades of processing and distribution facilities in Oregon, where mail processing at the Eugene and Medford facilities has begun transferring to a facility in Portland, distances of around 110 and 270 miles away, respectively. These changes are producing reports of mail delays in the Medford service area, in particular.

In March, Merkley joined his Senate colleagues in another letter to Postmaster DeJoy, urging him to stop any changes to USPS service standards that would result in job losses and further degrade mail delivery performance, especially in rural areas, which have longer distances where mail must travel and have greater potential risk for delayed service.

Previously, Merkley joined fellow Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and U.S. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer in a letter to Postmaster DeJoy asking USPS leaders to hold public hearings about its plan to consolidate mail sorting in Oregon—specifically flagging the Postal Service’s plan to transfer all sorting and distribution activities in the city to one hub in Beaverton. In their letter, lawmakers called on the USPS to engage in robust dialogue with letter carriers before moving forward with the consolidation plan involving the Portland region. Specifically, they request that USPS convene at least one listening session in every requested location that is open to all affected employees, including in Medford and Eugene.

Merkley led a bipartisan letter last year with members of the Oregon and Georgia congressional delegations to the leaders on the Subcommittees on Appropriations in the Senate and House that oversee the budget for the USPS, calling to block funds for the Postal Service’s planned downgrades.

The text of the latest letter is copied below and available here.

Dear Postmaster General DeJoy and U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors:

We call on you to pause planned changes to the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) processing and delivery network under the “Delivering for America” plan, until you request and receive a comprehensive Advisory Opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission to fully study the potential impacts of these changes.

USPS is moving forward swiftly with plans to consolidate and alter its facilities across the country, making irrevocable changes to its processing and delivery network which links all communities. This plan includes moving mail processing further away from local communities, by transferring operations out of local facilities (“Local Processing Centers” and Delivery Units) and into more distant hubs (“Regional Processing and Distribution Centers” and “Sorting and Delivery Centers”). The plan also includes “local transportation optimization,” an initiative that cuts the number of truck trips and mail collections at USPS facilities, causing mail to sit overnight in local offices. USPS has begun to implement this change without notifying the public, causing critical delays for mail that requires overnight delivery.

We are concerned about the impacts these changes have had so far, and the potential impacts that further changes could have. In regions where USPS has implemented significant changes, on-time mail delivery has declined. In addition, it is not clear these changes will improve efficiency or costs. Despite these concerns, USPS has moved forward with announcing and approving additional facility changes across the country. The nature of these changes creates concerns that local and rural service could be degraded. For example, USPS proposals to remove all outbound mail operations from local processing facilities seem to particularly harm local mail – since mail sent to a nearby locality would first have to go through a far-away processing facility, often in another state. “Local transportation optimization” has also caused disproportionate impacts on rural areas. In some rural communities, it has eliminated the possibility of overnight delivery for critical mail like medications and laboratory tests. Taken together, these changes have a nationwide scope and would affect service across the country.

We call on USPS to pause all changes, pending a full study of this plan by its regulator. While USPS claims these changes overall will improve service while reducing costs, there is evidence to the contrary in locations where USPS has implemented changes so far. USPS must stop implementation, restore service in those areas where changes were implemented, and fully understand the nationwide effects of its plan on service and communities.

In particular, we urge the Postal Service to request a comprehensive Advisory Opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), which would provide a robust and public process to study the impacts of these changes. The request and analysis must include the full scope of network changes, including the intersecting changes to facilities across the nation (conversions to Regional Processing and Distribution Centers, Sorting and Delivery Centers, and Local Processing Centers) and local transportation optimization. During a hearing before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Postmaster General DeJoy stated that USPS would consider requesting an Advisory Opinion – and suggested that USPS may slow down “mail move” changes in 2024. Disappointingly, the Postmaster General did not commit to the scope of an Advisory Opinion, or to meaningfully stopping changes until further study is complete.

The Postal Service must promptly request a comprehensive Advisory Opinion to study the impacts of its full plan. USPS should pause all changes, including administrative approvals and on-the-ground changes, until the PRC completes this study and USPS incorporates the results. USPS must improve service immediately in areas where changes have been implemented, and restore status quo operations as much as practicable.

The Postal Service’s primary responsibility is to provide timely and reliable delivery to every community across the nation. While USPS must continue adapting as an agency to remain stable and serve the public’s current needs, it must proceed with caution and understand the implications of its plans in order to protect mail delivery for all communities.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.  (SOURCE)

Oregon Joins Other States In Ordering Sigue Corp. To Cease Money Transmission Activities Due To Declining Finances

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has ordered Sigue Corp. to cease engaging in money transmission activities in the state, saying the company can no longer responsibly serve customers due to its declining financial position.

Oregon joined a number of other states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia in issuing the consent order.

Sigue is a state-regulated money transmission company licensed in Oregon and 48 other states (Nationwide Multistate Licensing System ID 915912). Over the past several months, Sigue experienced significant financial deterioration.

The company failed to complete multiple money orders and transmissions and to maintain adequate net worth and permissible investments to cover outstanding liabilities, which are violations of state money transmission law. Many customers are still waiting for their funds.

In Oregon, there are almost 200 open or unfulfilled transactions totaling $39,000 between money transmissions and money orders. Across the U.S. there were just under 25,000 open or unfulfilled transactions totaling nearly $8.6 million. Sigue stopped transmissions across the nation in January.

The order requires the company to preserve and provide access to all books and records, including information on affected customers.

“This order not only shows how Oregon’s system of regulation works to protect consumers, but also highlights the strong partnerships we have with other states, the Money Transmitter Regulators Association, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors,” said TK Keen, DFR administrator. “Fortunately, all of Oregon’s open money orders and transmissions are covered by the surety bond Sigue was required to have with the division, which means no consumers should lose money.”

As Sigue was primarily used as a transmitter to send money from the United States to Spanish-speaking countries, the division plans additional outreach to the Spanish-speaking community through the Mexican Consulate.

Sigue maintained a surety bond with Liberty Mutual that will cover all of Sigue’s unpaid or otherwise outstanding transactions in Oregon. Individuals who paid for a money transmission or money order from Sigue that went unpaid are encouraged to file a claim directly with Liberty Mutual online by visiting this website and clicking on the link that reads “File Commercial Bond Claim.” Anyone with questions for Liberty Mutual can email hoscl@libertymutual.com or call 206-473-6700.The state surety bond claim process is designed to help make affected consumers whole.

Consumers who have been affected or believe they may have been affected and would like help or to file a complaint, should contact one of DFR’s consumer advocates at 888-877-4894 (toll-free) or email dfr.financialserviceshelp@dcbs.oregon.gov.

Hackers Target Facebook “Friends” In New Scam

PORTLAND, OR — The FBI is investigating an emerging social media scam. Hackers take over a person’s Facebook account, then post big-ticket items for sale that don’t exist, like trucks, trailers and ATVs. They claim to be selling the possessions of a relative forced to move into “aged care” and can only communicate through online messaging apps. In just one Oregon incident, around a dozen people lost more than $10,000.

FBI Portland Cybersquad Supervisory Special Agent Yaqub Prowell says the first step to protecting yourself is to try to avoid getting hacked. “We want to use strong, unique passwords, as just kind of the basics of cyber hygiene. You definitely want to enable multi-factor authentication, wherever that’s available. You want to avoid unsecure wifi networks.” He adds, “Also limit oversharing. Be mindful of what you post on social media, because personal information can always be used against you.”

Prowell says hackers use various tactics to achieve one goal: Getting money. “In order to make that money, they have to get you to do something that you may not normally do.” He says they do that by using social psychology. The items listed for sale in the scam are well below market value. It’s a strategy Prowell has seen before, “Something that looks like a deal that’s just amazing and too good to be true, combined with the fact that it appears to be emanating or originating from someone that you know, that plays into our basic psychology; now we have trust.”

The hackers then use that trust to convince the victim to put a “deposit” down on an item, using a money transfer app. “At the end of the day, criminals want to make money. So, in general, if you are suddenly being asked for money from people that you know, and they’re asking you to send that money via electronic means, you really need to make sure that they are legit and that what they’re requesting is a legitimate request.” Prowell says, “Please, pick up the phone. Talk to your friend. Actually have a more close, genuine, human connection, to [be] assured that those communications that you’re having are legitimate.”

It’s just the latest cybersecurity threat. According to the FBI’s latest report, Oregonians lost over a billion dollars in 2023 to cyber-related fraud and other internet-based crimes. Prowell says, “These things can be mitigated and avoided with some basic cyber hygiene, as well as just developing the muscle memory of not being complacent in your communications with individuals that are purporting to be trustworthy.”  He urges victims of cyber crimes to report it, regardless of dollar amount, at IC3.gov.

Registration Open For Inaugural Oregon Native Trout Challenge

Anglers, grab your favorite fishing rig and a map, as registration is now open for the inaugural Oregon Native Trout Challenge.

Basalt to Breakers, an Oregon nonprofit with fiscal sponsorship by the Oregon Wildlife Foundation, is launching the Oregon Native Trout Challenge to encourage anglers to explore new waters, celebrate the diversity of Oregon’s native trout fisheries and support projects that conserve our native trout species.

“The challenge is intended to be a celebration of Oregon’s native trout species and the ecosystems that support their populations. We intentionally made this challenge different from other native trout challenges to encourage people to explore the diverse ecosystems that Oregon offers,” said B2B Founder Max McCool. “Completing the challenge consists of catching and taking a picture of any native trout species caught in each of Oregon’s eight ecoregions and submitting the location, date, and species through our online form,” continued McCool.

The Challenge is catch-and-release. “We want to ensure that each participant follows ODFW regulations throughout the challenge and isn’t putting additional pressure on any vulnerable species,” said McCool.

Each catch must be documented according to the Challenge rules to count. A one-time entry fee of $35 offsets the administrative costs of the challenge with net proceeds used for habitat restoration, trout conservation, and education projects. Beyond learning more about Oregon’s native trout species and our diverse ecoregions, the Oregon Native Trout Challenge seeks to encourage advocacy for local fisheries.

“In Oregon, salmon get the lion’s share of attention, but Oregon has stellar trout fishing throughout our state. What I like most about the Oregon Native Trout Challenge is that it encourages anglers to explore more of what Oregon has to offer,” said Tim Greseth, Oregon Wildlife Foundation’s executive director.

Participants can register at https://owhf.tofinoauctions.com/b2bchallenge24/homepages/show. For more information, visit www.basalttobreakers.org.

Basalt to Breakers — is a nonprofit corporation registered in the State of Oregon. The mission of Basalt to Breakers is to inspire, educate and engage all anglers throughout Oregon in native trout conservation projects. Basalt to Breakers is sponsored by the Oregon Wildlife Foundation. https://basalttobreakers.org/

Oregon Wildlife Foundation — is an apolitical operating charitable foundation dedicated to increasing private and public funding support for wildlife conservation projects in Oregon. Since 1981, OWF has directed tens of millions of dollars in private and public support to a broad range of projects throughout Oregon. For more information, visit www.myOWF.org.

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

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

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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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Contact us: Info@OregonBeachMagazine.com

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