The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com
Thursday, February 2, 2023
Oregon Beach Weather
Eight Oregon Coast Destinations Granted A Share Of $201,240 To Make The Oregon Coast More Accessible To Travelers With Disabilities
Eight Oregon Coast destination management organizations (DMOs) to be granted a sharel of $201,240 to partner with Wheel the World , a global accessible travel company, in their effort to make the Oregon Coast more accessible to travelers with disabilities.
The funds awarded are the result of a coordinated approach among partners to apply for Travel Oregon ’s 2022 Capacity and Small Project Grants . These communities and organizations are working to provide disabled travelers with comprehensive, accurate information to make their stay on the Oregon Coast more accessible.
Coastal organizations who received funds to partner with Wheel the World include:
Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce , $35,000 City of Lincoln City , $20,000 Coos Bay-North Bend-Charleston Visitor & Convention Bureau , $25,000 Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce , $20,000 Florence Area Chamber of Commerce , $30,500 Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce , $33,190 Waldport Chamber of Commerce , $17,550 Yachats Chamber of Commerce , $20,000
These eight organizations will work with Wheel the World to conduct an accessibility assessment of local tourism businesses, receive accessibility training through Wheel the World Academy, and have local tourism businesses listed on WheeltheWorld.com, a comprehensive guide for travelers with disabilities to find and book accessible travel experiences.
“The community of Waldport strives to be a destination known for inclusion, equity and diversity,” Waldport Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tom Fullmer said. “This grant will help our local businesses in their quest to capture the significant population of travelers who are disabled and to receive valuable inclusion in the Wheel The World global website.”
“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Wheel the World and share what we discover with people with disabilities interested in travel to Yachats,” Yachats Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bobbi Price said.
The Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) catalyzed this effort by funding a coastal cohort to attend the 2022 TravelAbility Emerging Markets Summit , held in Orlando, Fla. last June. Following the 2022 Summit, OCVA regularly convened coastal partners to share best practices and progress on accessibility initiatives within the tourism industry.
The Travel Oregon grant funding will enable many of these partners to attend the 2023 Summit to continue their learning and professional development in order to better serve travelers with disabilities on the Oregon Coast.
Two other destination management organizations serving the Oregon Coast were also awarded funds to help with accessibility improvements.
The Tillamook Coast Visitors Association was awarded $20,000 to work with Empowering Access to conduct an accessibility audit to identify gaps and shortcomings for accessibility for recreation users with mobility challenges. Travel Lane County was awarded $50,000 to expand the number of Hearing Loops in Lane County lodging properties, performing arts venues and other attractions in order to better serve visitors experiencing hearing loss.
The Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) is the official Regional Destination Management Organization for the entire Oregon Coast as designated by the Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon). OCVA inspires travel and strengthens collaboration to create and steward a sustainable coastal economy.
OCVA has the honor of working with coastal communities to align partnerships, destination development projects, and destination marketing with the vision of creating “a coastal utopia for all.” This includes coastal stakeholders, new and returning visitors, and the natural resources that make these coveted experiences so magical.
It will also allow for viable local businesses to be included on WheeltheWorld.com, a website where people can search for accessible travel opportunities across the world.
“The end result, after we receive the study’s findings, will be a more accessible Florence for visitors,” said Bettina Hannigan, president and CEO of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. “Tourism is our largest economic activity providing more than 1,400 jobs (about 40% of our local employment) and roughly $200 million in economic impact to our community. Eventually, this will boost tourism capacity and our local economy, and help more people to enjoy Oregon’s Coastal Playground who couldn’t before.”
Wheel the World — Wheel the World exists to help disabled travelers find and book accessible travel experiences including places to stay (hotels and vacation rentals), things to do (tours and activities), and multi-day trips (travel packages), serving more than 160 destinations worldwide.
Wheel the World is committed to providing detailed information about what is accessible and specialized customer support throughout the entire experience, to ensure that travelers’ needs are fulfilled before, during, and after their trip.
The Coos County Sheriff’s Office and Bandon Police Department are asking for the public’s help to locate a missing 83-year-old man with dementia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
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
- 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.
Grants Pass Police Press Conference Confirms The Benjamin Foster Case Includes Double Murder In Sunny Valley
—- On Tuesday, January 24, 2022, Grants Pass Police Officers responded to a residence regarding an assault. They found a female victim who had been bound and severely beaten into unconsciousness. The victim was transported to an area hospital in critical condition.
Benjamin Foster became the subject of a nationwide manhunt, wanted on charges of Attempted Murder, Kidnapping, and Assault in the Second Degree.
On February 1, 2023, Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman held a press conference to discuss the resolution to the Benjamin Foster Case. Representatives from the Oregon State Police, Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, and the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office were also in attendance.
Josephine County Sheriff and OSP Confirmed There Was A Double Homicide In Sunny Valley While Following A Tip To Find Foster
OSP investigators believe Benjamin Foster, the suspect wanted for attempted murder that happened in Grants Pass on January 24th, is responsible for the double homicide that happened in Sunny Valley Monday night. The homicide was discovered Monday night by the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office at a home on the Sunny Valley Loop.
The victims were identified as Richard Lee Baron Jr. and Donald Owen Griffith, who both lived on the property.
Oregon State Police says multiple items were missing from the home, including a dog. The double homicide investigation is still ongoing.
OSP also reported that a cab picked up Foster Tuesday morning and he returned to the house on Sun Glo Drive in Grants Pass where the attempted murder and kidnapping originally took place.
Police and SWAT were immediately sent to the home and a shelter-in-place was issued for the surrounding area.
Police say Foster shot himself under the home during the long standoff with police. Foster was still breathing when police were able to approach his body. They also state that when Foster arrived at the hospital, he was pronounced dead.
The investigation continues.
He left his victim for dead in Grants Pass but she managed to live and she is hanging on in critical condition. Please keep her in your prayers.
Addiction Recovery Advocates Rally For More Services At Oregon Capitol
Addiction recovery advocates rallied outside the Capitol on Wednesday demanding lawmakers do more to fund recovery resources.
The rally took place in front of the Capitol. Rally goers said it is unacceptable that a state that continually reports the highest rates of addiction nationwide has some of the lowest levels of services.
They are opposing legislation which would repeal Measure 110. The group provided the following list of 2023 legislative priorities
- Ensure that Measure 110 continues to be implemented as the voters intended, including preserving no criminal penalty for possession of small, personal amounts of controlled substances, no forced treatment, and fully funding Measure 110-enacted Behavioral Health Resource Networks, as the law requires.
- OPPOSE HB 2831 and HB 2973: These bills call for the full repeal of Measure 110.
- OPPOSE HB 2310, HB 2603, SB 254 and SB 735: These initiatives would restore criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of controlled substances.
- OPPOSE HB 2400: This bill would make failure to appear for a drug possession Class E violation a crime. (A Class E violation is the type of citation issued for drug possession under Measure 110.)
- OPPOSE HB 2089: Transfers a specified amount of monies from the Marijuana Account to cities, counties, and State Police. Would shift over $50 million away from currently funded behavioral health services. Champion policies and funding for services that strengthen Oregon’s Behavioral Health System.
Combined Measure 110 providers served more than 60,000 people during early implementation, preliminary reporting shows
SALEM, Ore. — Combined Measure 110 funding reached more than 60,000 Oregonians during the earliest phases of implementation, according to financial and operational reports filed with Oregon Health Authority (OHA).
The reporting shows that Measure 110 providers served more than 18,000 over the first three months of operation from June 1 through Sept. 30 — during a time when the service networks were still being established statewide.
That first round of reporting shows that the early Behavioral Health Resource Network (BHRN) providers spent over $10 million on network infrastructure in that early phase. The reporting largely encompasses smaller networks almost exclusively in rural areas of the state that were funded during the early implementation.
An earlier round of Measure 110-related funding called Access to Care grants — $34.5 million in bridge funding to approximately 70 statewide service providers before the formal Measure 110 rollout — ultimately reached more than 42,000 people who received substance use disorder treatment and additional support ranging from harm reduction to temporary housing.
The early financial reporting provides a preliminary account of services and spending. Measure 110 providers receive their funding on a quarterly basis. Because of this, many had not received their first quarterly payment during that first reporting period. OHA is continuing to work with providers to ensure that all data is collected.
As of July 1, the Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC), which is responsible for awarding Measure 110 grants, had approved 19 BHRNs and $72 million in funding.
The first BHRN was approved last May. The last, in Jackson County, was approved Aug. 31.
In all, the OAC obligated $265 million to 42 BHRNs and 11 tribal partners.
These service networks now exist in every Oregon county. Each offers a comprehensive array of community-based and culturally specific services for anyone seeking treatment, regardless of their ability to pay.
The initial data reflects the logistical and operational challenges that many providers confronted in building this first-in-the-nation system of care for substance use and addiction. Some of the reporting organizations were startup collaboratives; many others had to quickly accelerate and expand their existing operations to meet the required service demands of Measure 110 funding.
The data shows that BHRN providers spent approximately $3.1 million for hiring employees and other ramp-up expenses, and about $4.8 million for building construction and other necessary foundational investments to build and sustain a long-term drug treatment infrastructure in Oregon.
Over the next year, as the service networks are fully realized, these long-term investments will shift toward maintaining treatment services and supports, providing a more comprehensive assessment of Measure 110’s effectiveness.
“These preliminary reports show that local programs are putting Measure 110 funds to use and giving people who are using drugs access to life-saving treatment, harm reduction, housing and other supports,” said OHA Director James Schroeder. “While these are still early and partial reports, Measure 110 services are beginning to ramp up across the state. We’ll continue to share these progress reports each quarter.”
“The previous system that existed to address substance use was in place for 50 years, and our new system is moving as quickly as possible to become fully operational,” said OAC Tri-Chair Blue Valentine.
“Measure 110 funding has provided innovative ways for behavioral health providers in our communities to provide trauma-informed and culturally specificservices to thousands of people seeking these services, “said OAC Tri-Chair LaKeesha Dumas.
The reports yielded several examples of Measure 110 dollars making an immediate impact for communities and for people in need.
- OnTrack, Inc., in Medford, an organization that provides support services for youth, adults and families, is renovating a home to provide transitional housing for people who are transitioning from residential treatment settings and are awaiting full-time housing placement. Once complete, the home will provide housing for five to seven adults for up to six months.
- Faith, Hope, and Charity, which is based in Corvallis but serves Linn County, hired three peer support specialists who provide outreach and support for houseless people. As a result, they were able to assist 25 additional clients with services ranging from applying for health insurance, temporary housing, food, employment, and drivers’ licenses.
- The Marie Equi Institute in Portland purchased and distributed harm reduction supplies for houseless people and others who work or live close to people at high risk for overdose. They have also used the additional funding for online and in-person classes on how to administer naloxone to people experiencing overdoses.
The deadline for the next round of reporting is in April for expenditures and clients served from October through December 2022.
More about the early data reports can be found on the Measure 110 web page.
Background: In November 2020, Oregon voters passed Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act of 2020, which became effective Dec. 4, 2020, to better serve people actively using substances or diagnosed with a substance use disorder. In July 2021, the legislature passed SB 755, which amended the act and made it more feasible to implement.
People who provide drug treatment and recovery services and advocates for criminal justice reform wrote Measure 110 in response to the high rate of drug addiction and overdoses in Oregon, and the disproportionate impact of those outcomes on Oregon’s communities of color.
Their goal was to establish a more equitable health-based and effective approach to substance use disorder.
Federal Money Coming To Oregon To Help Reduce Traffic Fatalities In High-Crash Areas
Oregon will be getting seven grants worth a total of about $24 million, to help reduce traffic fatalities in high-crash areas. The Biden administration announced the grants Wednesday morning as part of the $800 million “Safe Streets and Roads for All” program.
The majority of Oregon’s funding will go toward projects on 122nd Avenue in Portland. A 5-mile stretch of that road is among the most dangerous traffic areas in the metro area. The money will be used for more street lighting, protected bike lanes, new crosswalks and several more traffic improvements. Planning grants will also go to Oregon Metro, as well as Lane, Douglas and Jefferson counties, and to the cities of Hermiston and Ontario.
Prevent a Blood Shortage — Donate in February
Keep blood on the shelves for patients like young Noelle who had 3 transfusions during open-heart surgery
Spring is close, but February often brings unpredictable winter weather that can cause blood drive cancellations and make it difficult for donors to make it to their appointments safely.
As the American Red Cross continues to monitor seasonal challenges that could impact the blood supply, donors are urged to make and keep appointments to help prevent a shortage in the weeks to come.
Donors of all blood types – particularly type O blood donors, the most needed blood group by hospitals – and platelet donors are needed daily to meet the needs of patients like 3-year-old Noelle of Forest Grove, Oregon, who needed three transfusions during an open-heart surgery. Her grandmother, Pamela Richardson of Eugene, has dedicated herself to donating blood as a thank you to those who saved her granddaughter’s life.
“They had to replace her blood three times. The whole surgical team thought they were going to lose this baby on the operating table. They just kept pumping her full of blood,” recalls Pamela. “She survived because people had donated blood that she could have.” Pamela adds, “Donating once every eight weeks is the least I can do to thank people and the health care community for saving her life.”
Click here to see the complete video interview with Pamela Richardson.
In thanks for helping keep hospital shelves stocked, all who come to give in February will get a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon. Those who come to donate this month will also automatically be entered to win a trip for two to Clearwater Beach, Florida. Details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/heart.
Protect the blood supply from dropping – book a time to give blood or platelets by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Feb. 2-14
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 16317 SE Bluff Rd., Sandy, OR, 1:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Lloyd Center Mall, 2201 Lloyd Center, Portland, OR, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Banks Fire District 13, 13430 NW Main St., Banks, OR, 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Bend Blood Donation Center, 815 SW Bond St. Suite 110, Bend, OR, 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Reedwood Friends Church, 2901 SE Steele St., Portland, OR, 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Kingpins PDX, 3550 SE 92nd Ave., Portland, OR, 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Talent Community Center, 104 E Main St., Talent, OR, 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Clear Auto Center, 4000 SW Hocken Ave., Beaverton, OR, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Trinity Lutheran Church, 2194 SE Minter Bridge Rd., Hillsboro, OR, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Elks Lodge, 350 Belton Rd., Saint Helens, OR, 10:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Mountain View High School, 1500 SE Blairmont, Vancouver, WA, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Bank of America, 121 SW Morrison, Portland, OR, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
River View Cemetery, 306 S. Taylor Ferry Rd., Portland, OR, 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 10509 SE 5th St., Vancouver, WA, 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Visit RedCrossBlood.org and put in your zip code to find a donation site near you.
Click here for b-roll of people giving blood.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 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 also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
Oregon and Washington still require face masks be worn at all blood drives and donation sites.
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, 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; 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. — American Red Cross – Cascades Region