Oregon Beach News, Tuesday 5/28 – Dead Whale Floating Off Oregon Coast Has Washed Ashore North Of Nehalem Jetty, OHA Kicks off 2024 Oregon Beach Monitoring Season& 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

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Oregon Beach Weather

Dead Whale Floating Off Oregon Coast Has Washed Ashore North Of Nehalem Jetty

NOAA says the whale washed ashore Monday morning about a mile north of the north Nehalem Jetty, in Nehalem Bay State Park. People are being asked to stay away from the carcass so NOAA can conduct an exam of the whale.

The dead whale was first spotted floating off the Oregon coast Sunday afternoon by people who live in Manzanita.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed on Sunday that they were monitoring the situation and would examine the whale after it washes ashore.

OHA Kicks off 2024 Oregon Beach Monitoring Season

Agency shares list of monitored beaches for May-September

—The Oregon Beach Monitoring Program (OBMP) is kicking off the 2024 beach monitoring season by announcing the list of coastal recreation areas it will be keeping an eye on for bacteria during summer and early fall.

The 24 beaches on the list that the OBMP, based at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division, is publishing includes some of the most frequently visited beaches in Oregon. It also includes beaches where the program has found bacteria present, or beaches for which local partners and the public have requested monitoring due to potential pollution concerns.

The following are Oregon beaches being monitored during 2024, including beach name, and the city and county in which they are located:

Beach monitoring season runs from mid-May to mid-September. Beach advisories are only issued for beaches that are actively being monitored within this sampling window. Other beaches will be investigated for inclusion in the next beach monitoring season.

OBMP works with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to identify beaches that need monitoring based on several established criteria. These criteria include: pollution hazards present; previous beach monitoring data that identify water quality concerns; type and amount of beach use; and public input.

As part of an adaptive sampling plan, beaches and sampling locations are routinely re-evaluated to ensure available resources best protect public health. A copy of DEQ’s beach evaluation is available upon request.

For more information and current beach monitoring conditions please visit: www.healthoregon.org/beach, or contact OBMP at each.Health@odhsoha.oregon.gov“>Beach.Health@odhsoha.oregon.gov or 971-673-0400.

DEQ and Other State and Federal Agencies Responding To Report of Mysterious Tar Patties and Oiled Birds Being Found On Oregon Coast

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), as well as federal agencies, are responding Thursday to the report of pieces of tar found on beaches along the Oregon Coast.

Tar balls, oiled birds found on Oregon and Washington coasts

Agencies received a report of pieces of tar in patties on Wednesday at Cannon Beach. The Coast Guard confirmed tar patties on Cannon Beach. The ODFW reported finding tar patties on Thursday near Lincoln City on the central Oregon Coast.

The agencies and partner agencies in Washington are forming a unified command to guide response in both states. The report at Cannon Beach and finding at Lincoln City comes after the discovery of multiple birds affected by a tar-like substance along the shoreline in northern Oregon and southern Washington, as well as tar balls in southern Washington.

We strongly advise the public not to handle any tar or oily product found or attempt to assist affected wildlife along the shore, but to report these findings to 1-800-22-BIRDS (1-800-222-4737).

Untrained handling of affected wildlife is dangerous to the animals and any individuals attempting to help. The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies are working together to determine the source of the tar-like substance. The source is unknown.

Coastal Community Meetings on Proposed Offshore Wind Leases To Be Held

The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) will be hosting a series of community meetings along the Oregon coast related to a proposal by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to lease areas of the ocean off Oregon’s coast to explore possibilities for wind energy development.

The proposed BOEM leases would authorize companies to study the areas off Oregon’s coast for potential offshore wind energy development projects. After obtaining leases, companies would perform activities in the ocean that may include placement of scientific buoys and collection of data about seafloor conditions, ocean habitats, and wildlife.

More information on the proposed leasing actions can be found at https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/OCMP/Pages/Offshore-Wind-Energy-Leasing.aspx.

BOEM’s proposed leasing action is not a proposal to permit the construction of an offshore wind project. A BOEM decision whether to approve a Construction and Operations Plan for a wind energy facility would be subject to a separate federal consistency review by the state, after some years of additional site assessment and project design.

As part of the state’s federal consistency review authority under the Coastal Zone Management Act, DLCD’s Oregon Coastal Management Program (OCMP) staff will review the proposed BOEM actions for consistency with current, enforceable Oregon coastal zone policies. The result of this review would be either to agree with BOEM’s proposed leasing actions, agree with conditions, or object to BOEM’s proposed actions. Enforceable policies in the coastal zone are existing state and local policies that have been approved by the NOAA Office for Coastal Management for use in federal consistency reviews, consistent with national Coastal Zone Management standards.

During the community meetings, OCMP staff will provide information about the proposed activities that are being reviewed and the applicable state policies and

authorities related to a consistency review. Community members are encouraged to provide comments on the consistency review during the 45-day comment period, which ends on June 15, 2024.

The community meetings will be an opportunity to provide comments in person which will be recorded by OCMP staff. The meeting program is as follows:

• Open House 5:30 p.m.

• Presentations 6:00 p.m.

• Public Comment 6:30 p.m.

• Next Steps and Adjourn 8:00 p.m.

May 29, 2024 (Wednesday) Noon to 3:00 p.m Virtual – join information will be available on our web page .

June 3, 2024 (Monday) 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Brookings-Harbor High School – 8293, 625 Pioneer Rd., Brookings, OR 97415

June 4, 2024 (Tuesday) 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunset Middle School – 245 S Cammann St., Coos Bay, OR 97420

June 6, 2024 (Thursday) 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Siuslaw Middle School – 2525 Oak St., Florence, OR 97439

June 7, 2024 (Friday) 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Newport High School – 322 NE Eads St., Newport, OR 97365

All ages and families are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be provided.

Comments will be accepted through June 15, 2024.

Email or written comments: Please be sure to address the enforceable policies you believe are relevant in your comments. OCMP staff may review comments on proposed actions for alignment with enforceable policies and potential conditions to enhance consistency. For more information on the federal consistency review and how to comment, visit https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/OCMP/Pages/Offshore-Wind-Energy-Leasing.aspx

Online comments: Comments may be submitted online through a webform here: https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/OCMP/Pages/Federal-Consistency-Review.aspx

In-Person comments: Community members wishing to comment in person should plan to limit comments to three minutes per person. If many people wish to comment, staff may need to limit comment time further as we want to hear from as many community members as possible.

### About The Oregon Coastal Management Program Oregon is one of 34 states to have a nationally recognized Coastal Management Program established by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. The Oregon Coastal Management Program aims to protect coastal and ocean resources, and ensure livable, resilient communities on the Oregon coast. The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development is the lead agency in the coastal program network, which also includes 11 state agencies and 42 city and county governments. Financial assistance for the Oregon Coastal Management Program is provided by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, administered by the Office for Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Oregon’s statewide land use planning program – Originated in 1973 under Senate Bill 100, Oregon’s land use program protects farm and forest lands, conserves natural resources, promotes livable communities, facilitates orderly and efficient development, supports coordination among local governments, and enables community engagement.

The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) administers the program in partnership with cities and counties. The Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC), a seven-member volunteer board, guides DLCD.

The land use planning program affords Oregonians predictability in the development process and the ability to plan and invest in the long-range by allocating land for industrial, commercial, and housing development, as well as transportation, other urban services, and farm and forest lands.

Under the program, all cities and counties have adopted comprehensive plans that meet mandatory state standards. The standards are based on the 19 Statewide Planning Goals that deal with land use, development, housing, transportation, and conservation of natural resources. Technical assistance in the form of expertise and grants for local jurisdictions are key elements of the program. https://www.newsbreak.com/news/3459593684750-coastal-community-meetings-on-proposed-offshore-wind-leases-to-be-held

Hampton Lumber Contributes to Columbia Memorial Hospital Expansion

Hampton Lumber is pleased to announce a $250,000 donation to the BuildCMH Expansion Project in Astoria, Ore. This four-year capital improvement project will expand hospital service lines, attract new health care providers, and provide the latest technology to address community health needs. It will also increase resiliency and offer a safe refuge area in case of a natural disaster like an earthquake or tsunami.

“We’re so grateful for Hampton Lumber’s generous donations of cash and wood products for the BuildCMH Expansion Project,” said Mark Kujala, executive director of the CMH Foundation. “The support of our community and their help to build this amazing expanded hospital is what makes this project so special.”

Hampton Lumber has operated a sawmill in Warrenton, Ore., since 2010. Today, the company employs roughly 160 people in Clatsop County between the sawmill and a forestry office near Knappa, Ore.

“Improved access to medical care is critically important to our employees, their families, and our neighbors,” said Lois Perdue, plant manager at Hampton’s Warrenton sawmill. “Getting major construction projects like this over the finish line takes an entire community, and I’m thrilled we’re able to support this important effort.”

Hampton’s contribution will include a combination of financial support and donations of wood products for construction and outdoor landscaping. https://www.columbiamemorial.org/news/releases/hampton-lumber-pledges-250-000-for-cmh-expansion-project/#:~:text=Hampton%20Lumber%20is%20pleased%20to,to%20address%20community%20health%20needs.

Wyden Announces Town Halls in Curry and Coos Counties

Open-to-all town halls on will be May 28-29 in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties

Portland – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today announced he will hold in-person town halls in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties on May 28-29.

Heading into these four town halls, Wyden will have held 1,081 town halls throughout Oregon – including 16 so far this year — in fulfillment of his pledge to hold at least one town hall each year in each of our state’s 36 counties. The town halls in these four counties originally had been scheduled for April, but had to be postponed because of Senate votes in Washington, DC.

“I’m glad to be able to reschedule these town halls so quickly. I’ll always keep my promise of annual open-to-all town halls in each of our state’s 36 counties because it’s crucial that all Oregonians get the opportunity in their community to ask questions, offer suggestions and share ideas,” Wyden said. “As I approach my 1,100th town hall, these direct town hall discussions remain vital, and I very much look forward to the upcoming discussions with Oregonians in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties.”

·       Josephine County, 12:45 pm, Tuesday, May 28, South Middle School gym, 350 W. Harbeck Rd., Grants Pass

·       Curry County, 5:30 pm, Tuesday, May 28, Gold Beach Jr/Sr. High School gym, 29516 Ellensburg Ave., Gold Beach

·       Coos County, 10 am, Wednesday, May 29, North Bend High School gym, 2323 Pacific Ave., North Bend (Parking available in lot behind football stadium)

·       Douglas County, 1 pm, Wednesday, May 29, Reedsport Community Charter Jr/Sr. High School, Pacific Auditorium, Reedsport (Enter at the Pacific Auditorium entrance. Please park on Longwood Drive as school will be in session.)

Douglas County authorities report that they have issued a warrant for the suspect in last month’s destruction of 18,000 juvenile salmon at the Reedsport hatchery. 

20-year-old Joshua Alexander Heckathorn of Gardiner did not show up at court on Monday. He had been scheduled for his first court appearance on May 16th, but told officials he had transportation issues and couldn’t make it.

But with his failure to make his rescheduled appearance, Douglas County Circuit Court Judge Jason Thomas issued a bench warrant for Heckathorn. 

The warrant allows law enforcement to detain Heckathorn and bring him in on $10,000 bail.

Heckathorn is accused of breaking into the Reedsport hatchery and pouring bleach into a tank with thousands of young Chinook salmon. He’s charged with burglary, criminal trespass, and criminal mischief. 

Tip of the Week for the week of May 27, 2024 – Safety Tips for Runners

SAFETY TIPS FOR RUNNERS – The Newport Marathon is just around the corner, so we can expect to see local and guest runners hitting the road on June 1st. Motorists should use extra caution, not only during special events like this, but throughout the year. Whether you are a well-seasoned runner or just beginning your running hobby, there are some things you should consider to keep yourself safe while running. The time of day and weather impact not only how you feel on your run but can also be more dangerous depending on the situation. Before heading out on your next run, consider these tips. 

Before the Run

  • Run with another person or a group.
  • Let someone know when and where you are running and when you will return. 
  • Carry ID and a cell phone. Consider adding a small card with an emergency contact and any allergies or known medical conditions. 
  • Take a whistle with you.
  • Dress for the weather and running conditions. Wear layers and sturdy shoes.
  • Wear reflective clothing or gear regardless of the time of day. 
  • Use caution if you wear headphones or anything that distracts you. Be aware of cars passing by, animals you may encounter, and other hazards on your route.
  • Vary the route and the time of day that you run.
  • If you run at night, remember to wear a headlamp and a flashing red light on your back. Consider additional reflective gear. 
  • Remember to stretch! Stretching before running and regular flexibility and strength training help prevent injuries.

During the Run

  • Run against traffic so that you can observe the approach of automobiles.
  • When possible, run on sidewalks or designated trails/pedestrian paths.
  • Remember to hydrate. Runner’s belts and vests make it easier to carry water and snacks. 
  • Keep an eye on the temperature and how your body feels. If you start to overheat, feel dizzy, or otherwise unwell, take a break in the shade and drink water. 
  • Stay alert. When in doubt, follow your intuition. If something seems suspicious, do not panic, but run in a different direction.
  • Do not approach a car to give directions. If you feel you must respond, do it while moving.
  • Run in familiar areas. Note the location of neighbors or open businesses along the route. 
  • When in doubt call for help. For an emergency, call 911. Non-emergency dispatch can be reached at 541-265-0777, or call a friend and keep them on the phone until you feel safe again.

For more information and tips visit our website at www.lincolncountysheriff.net and like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon.

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)

EVCNB

Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay

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Oregon Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen take part in Memorial Day ceremonies around the state

– Oregon National Guard Soldiers and Airmen took part in Memorial Day services and community events around the state of Oregon on Monday, May 27, 2024, pausing to remember fallen service members who have given their lives in defense of the nation.

Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty, an Army veteran, along with her husband, Oregon Army National Guard Maj. Ian Beaty, spoke to those in attendance about their own family experiences in uniform before introducing Oregon Army National Guard Col. Russell Gibson, 82nd Troop Command Brigade Commander, who was the Keynote speaker for the Memorial Day service at the Veterans Memorial Park in Beaverton.

“I welcome any opportunity to gather with my brothers and sisters in arms, and it is truly a gift to have the opportunity to honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great nation—may their memory be a blessing,” said Gibson, during his opening remarks. “Through their selfless service, they portray the values and ideals for which this country was founded.”

Gibson, who has deployed twice to combat areas of operations, spoke about those who have been lost in recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I know that many of you have stories of loved ones, friends and fellow service members you hold in your memory and in your hearts,” he said. “I would also be remiss during this solemn day of reflection to not also recognize and honor those providing support from the home front. Those that paid the personal sacrifice for us and our nation—our Gold Star Families.”

U.S. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon 1st Congressional District) also spoke and the American Legion Post 185 Band provided patriotic music throughout the event in Beaverton. The 142nd Wing and the West Coast Ravens conducted two separate flyovers during the ceremony.

In Salem, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek and Brig. Gen. Alan Gronewold, Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard, spoke at the Oregon World War II Memorial. Both the 142nd Wing and the 173rd Fighter Wing conducted flyovers around the state as well as in SW Washington at parades, memorial services and other gatherings.

The Memorial Day holiday can be traced back to the conclusion of the Civil War. On May 5, 1868, John A. Logan, as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued General Order No. 11. This order was designated May 30, 1868, “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.”

Since 1971, Memorial Day has been observed on the last Monday of May, marking a solemn time each year to mourn those who have died while serving in the U.S. military — while reflecting on their ultimate sacrifice to our nation.

Bill Walton, Who Led the Trail Blazers to Their Only NBA Title, Passed Away Over The Weekend

Walton won two NBA championships and later enjoyed a successful career as a colorful sports broadcaster, has died, the NBA announced on Monday. He was 71. Walton died after a prolonged battle with cancer, the league said. He was surrounded by his family.

As a Hall of Fame player, he redefined the center position. His unique all-around skills made him a dominant force at UCLA and led to an NBA regular-season and Finals MVP, two NBA championships and a spot on the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams.

Blazers chair Jody Allen spoke to Walton’s leadership and tenacity that helped bring a championship to Rip City, defining “one of the most magical moments in franchise history.”

The 6-foot-11 Walton led the Blazers to the 1977 NBA championship, earning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award after averaging 18.5 points, 19 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 3.7 blocks while shooting 54.5% in a six-game series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Before his time in Portland, Walton’s all-around skills made him a dominant force at UCLA, where he led the Bruins to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1972 and 1973. During his four seasons under renowned coach John Wooden, Walton was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in each year and a three-time Player of the Year.

Fire restrictions protect Pacific Northwest communities, BLM announces

– On May 24, fire restrictions will go into effect for all Bureau of Land Management public lands throughout Oregon and Washington. BLM leaders encourage all visitors to be aware of active restrictions and closures as warmer, drier weather sets in around the Pacific Northwest. 


These fire restrictions help reduce the risk of human-caused fires. Starting May 24, the use of fireworks, exploding targets or metallic targets, steel component ammunition (core or jacket), tracer or incendiary devices, and sky lanterns will be prohibited. 


“Although we had a wet winter, we must still be careful with activities that can cause a spark,” said Anita Bilbao, BLM Oregon/Washington Associate State Director


Wet weather supports the growth of invasive grasses, which then dry out quickly in the summer months. “Everyone can help to keep our first responders, local communities, and public lands safe by following fire restrictions and practicing fire safety while out on public lands,” she continued.
 

Those who violate the prohibition may be fined up to $100,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 12 months. In addition, those found responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can be billed for the cost of fire suppression. 
For the complete order and more information on seasonal fire restrictions and fire closures, please see www.blm.gov/orwafire.

May is also ‘Wildfire Awareness Month’. Visit NIFC.GOV for wildfire prevention tips: https://www.nifc.gov/fire-information/fire-prevention-education-mitigation/wildfire-prevention. 

To learn more about fire careers with BLM Oregon-Washington, please see https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire/state-info/oregon-washington/careers.

This Press Release is also available on: https://www.blm.gov/press-release/fire-restrictions-protect-pacific-northwest-communities-blm-announces. 

-BLM- The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Settlement Reached in Oregon Foster Care Class-Action Lawsuit: Parties Agree to Transform System for Thousands of Children in its Care

Eugene, OR– Today, Governor Tina Kotek, the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Agency Director Fariborz Pakseresht, and Child Welfare Director Aprille Flint-Gerner entered into a settlement agreement with Disability Rights Oregon, A Better Childhood, Rizzo Bosworth Eraut PC, and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, attorneys representing thousands of children and young adults experiencing foster care in Oregon. This settlement agreement stemmed from a class-action lawsuit, Wyatt B. et al. v. Kotek et al., that sought to improve Oregon’s foster care system. 

The settlement agreement stipulates, in part:

  • The State will contract with a mutually agreed upon Neutral Expert to address important foster care system outcome areas including maltreatment of children; quality of appropriate placements; re-entry rates; timeliness of case planning and age-appropriate mental, physical and dental health care assessments and referrals; notification and delivery of required reports of child maltreatment; and up to two (2) additional findings by the Neutral Expert within two (2) years that are actionable under the U.S. Constitution or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
     
  • The Neutral Expert’s Initial Review shall occur by April 20, 2025 (extendable up to 90 days at request of Neutral Expert) and be followed by annual reviews assessing improvements.
     
  • The Governor shall provide support to ODHS toward its efforts to achieve outcomes by assisting ODHS’s collaboration with other state agencies and by reviewing the Initial Review and annual reviews.
     
  • The Settlement Agreement ends when the Neutral Expert determines ODHS is in substantial compliance with terms or within 10 years (whichever is sooner). If, after 10 years, the Neutral Expert determines additional time is needed, the Neutral Expert may recommend an extension of no more than two (2) years.

“This case has always been about providing children in the foster care system what they need to recover from trauma and thrive—stability, safety, and nurturing from the adults in their life,” said Jake Cornett, Executive Director and CEO of Disability Rights Oregon. “After more than five years, we’re grateful Governor Kotek and the Department of Human Services see the promise of working collectively to improve Oregon’s foster care system.”

“We are grateful for the willingness of all involved in this litigation to come together to find ways to achieve our mutual goal of improving outcomes for Oregon children and families,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht“This agreement is a testament to the progress we have made in child welfare over the past several years and allows us to focus on the important work ahead.”

“We are very pleased that this case has settled,” said Marcia Lowry, Executive Director of A Better Childhood. “We have seen that a collaborative approach to reform in other lawsuits has produced excellent results in other child welfare systems, and we hope the same will happen in Oregon. It takes both sides being committed to actual progress, measurable outcomes, and real results, which we are committed to seeing happen in Oregon.”

“This settlement gives us the opportunity to continue our efforts to transform the child welfare system by supporting and preserving families – while focusing on continuous improvements that will yield better outcomes for families we serve,” said ODHS Child Welfare Director Aprille Flint-Gerner. “We appreciate the hard work by both parties in reaching an agreement that is positive for Oregon children and families.”

Resources

### Oregon Department of Human Services(ODHS) is Oregon’s principal agency for helping Oregonians achieve well-being and independence. It provides direct services to more than 1 million Oregonians each year. These services are a key safety net for people in diverse communities across Oregon.

Disability Rights Oregon upholds the civil rights of people with disabilities to live, work, and engage in the community. Serving as Oregon’s Protection & Advocacy system since 1977, the nonprofit works to transform systems, policies, and practices to give more people the opportunity to reach their full potential.

A Better Childhood is a national nonprofit advocacy organization that uses the courts to reform dysfunctional child welfare systems around the country. 

Rizzo Bosworth Eraut PC is a litigation firm with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest. We work primarily on complex civil matters representing individuals, businesses, and insurers in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm with more than 600 lawyers representing clients based throughout the United States and around the world.

Oregon’s Birth Rate Is Among Nation’s Lowest and It Keeps Declining

Oregon has one of the lowest birth rates in the nation, according to newly released federal data from 2022.

The state had just about 9 births for each 1,000 residents. Only Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont — the latter being the lowest in the nation at 8.2 births per 1,000 residents — had fewer.

Utah was tops at 13.5. The national average was 11.0. Oregon’s schools, restaurants and factories figure to be emptier in the years ahead unless something changes in the state’s anemic migration levels or something big changes in its birth rates.

“We need people to work,” said Kanhaiya Vaidya, demographer with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis. “We need people to support the elderly, not only financially but also for care,” Vaidya said. “For child care, for elderly care, we need people — working-age people.”

Oregon’s birth rates have long been among the nation’s lowest. The continued decline is in line with trends across the country and — increasingly — around the world.

Families are waiting longer to have children and choosing to have fewer children overall, Vaidya said. He attributes that partly to women taking time to get settled into careers and partly to the cost of raising kids.“People, they want smaller families. That’s what they prefer,” Vaidya said.

Oregon women are averaging 1.4 children over their lifetimes, according to the latest state fertility rate estimates, down from 3.2 in the 1950s.

Contraception has long been reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies. That trend accelerated in the 1960s, once birth control bills became widely available.

Demographers say fertility rates of 2.1 produce a stable population size, excluding the effects of migration.

So Oregon’s low fertility rates could point to a long-term decline in the state’s population. That’s especially true because in the years since the pandemic more people have been moving out of the state than moving in.

Already, deaths outnumber births in Oregon.

There are many possible reasons why Oregon’s birth rates are particularly low, but one explanation stands out to Vaidya: “We’re an older state.”

One of the oldest states, in fact. The median Oregonian is about 17 months older than the median American. And older people aren’t likely to have many more kids, or any more at all.

Over time, fewer births might ease traffic congestion and the state’s housing crunch. But a shrinking Oregon could have serious economic and cultural implications in the generations to come.

Some economists expect at least a modest rebound in migration into Oregon. But if migration doesn’t bounce back, the state could feel the impact of low birth rates in many ways. “The (school) enrollment will go down and also college enrollment will go down. The main impact is on the labor force,” Vaidya said. “We will have fewer workers in the future.” (SOURCE)

Five companies will offer health insurance in every Oregon county next year as health insurers file 2025 rate requests for individual and small group markets

DFR logo

Oregon consumers can get a first look at requested rates for 2025 individual and small group health insurance plans, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today.

In a major win for Oregonians, Moda will become the fifth company to offer health insurance in every single county in Oregon after expanding into Benton, Linn, and Lincoln counties. Moda joins BridgeSpan, PacificSource, Providence, and Regence as health insurance companies who provide coverage in all parts of Oregon. It is the first time that five insurers have offered plans in every county.  

In the individual market, six companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average increase of 5.0 percent to 11.6 percent, for a weighted average increase of 9.3 percent. That average increase is higher than last year’s requested weighted average increase of 6.2 percent.

In the small group market, eight companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average increase of 5.7 percent to 16.3 percent, for a weighted average increase of 12.3 percent, which is higher than last year’s requested 8.1 percent average increase.

The Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to help stabilize the market and lower rates. Reinsurance lowered rates by 8.4 percent. 

See the chart for the full list of rate change requests: https://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/1073/172523/5-23-24_health-insurance-coverage.pdf

“Oregon’s health insurance market remains competitive, with five carriers planning to offer plans next year in every Oregon county, up from only one statewide plan in 2018,” said Oregon Insurance Commissioner and DCBS Director Andrew R. Stolfi. “Unfortunately, inflation – both medical and nonmedical – as well as prescription drug costs, are driving prices higher than last year. Oregonians still have a lot of options to choose from and the Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to allow them to find reasonable rates.”

Virtual public hearings about the 2025 requested health insurance rates will be held July 1 from 9 a.m. to noon. A web address to watch the public hearings will be posted at OregonHealthRates.org. At the hearings, each insurance company will provide a brief presentation about its rate increase requests, answer questions from Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) staff, and hear public comment from Oregonians. The public also can comment on the proposed rates at any time at OregonHealthRates.org through July 1.

“We look forward to putting these rate requests through a rigorous public review, and we encourage the public to join the virtual public hearings and provide feedback on their health insurance plans,” Stolfi said. “This public process not only helps keep insurance companies accountable, but it gives people the opportunity be part of the process.”

The requested rates are for plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act for small businesses and individuals who buy their own coverage rather than getting it through an employer.

Over the next two months, the division will analyze the requested rates to ensure they adequately cover Oregonians’ health care costs. DFR must review and approve rates before they are charged to policyholders.

Preliminary decisions are expected to be announced in July, and final decisions will be made in August after the public hearings and comment period ends.

### About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation protects consumers and regulates insurance, depository institutions, trust companies, securities, and consumer financial products and services. The division is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest consumer protection and business regulatory agency. Visit DFR.Oregon.gov and DCBS.Oregon.gov.

Crater Lake National Park is seeking your input on a draft accessibility self-evaluation and transition plan. Public comment on the plan is being sought through June 14

The National Park Service (NPS) is dedicated to serving all visitors to help them find meaning in the resources of the national park system and its stories. Recently, park staff embarked on a process to ensure that key park experiences are available to all visitors, regardless of race, nationality, socioeconomic status, or ability. Park staff conducted a self-evaluation of the accessibility of park facilities, services, activities, and programs. Based on these findings, staff then drafted a transition plan that identifies opportunities and critical steps for improving accessibility parkwide.

This draft accessibility self-evaluation and transition plan resulted from the work of an interdisciplinary team of NPS staff, including planning, design, and construction professionals; and interpretive, resource, visitor safety, maintenance, and accessibility specialists. The draft plan identifies key visitor experiences at the park and existing barriers to accessing these experiences for people with disabilities.

The plan provides recommendations for removing barriers at priority park areas, including specific actions, example site plans, and anticipated time frames for implementation. It also addresses park policies, practices, communication, and training needs.

The goals of the plan are as follows:

1) Document existing park barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities.
2) Provide an effective approach for upgrading facilities, services, and programs.
3) Instill a culture around creating universal access.

All recommended actions will be subject to funding, consultation with other agencies, consultation with Tribes, and compliance with federal laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. Moving forward, the National Park Service will use this plan as a guide to obtain funding and plan and implement projects that will improve accessibility throughout the park.

Your input on the draft plan will help us as we work to ensure that Crater Lake National Park is more accessible to all visitors. To review the draft plan and send online comments, click on “Document List” or “Open for Comment” on the left side of the web page. The plan will be open for comment for 37 days, from May 8, 2024, to June 14, 2024. —- https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=123216

Nominations Open for AARP Oregon Volunteer Making Impact In Their Community

AARP Oregon has opened up nominations for its prestigious award for volunteerism. For the Andrus Award for Community Service, the organization will select a person or couple age 50 or older who performs services without pay in their communities.

Michael Schultz, state volunteer president of AARP Oregon, noted that Oregonians do a lot of volunteering. According to an AmeriCorps study from 2021, more than 970,000 volunteered, contributing an estimated $2.6 billion economic impact through their volunteer hours.

“That is a huge impact on our communities, on our economy and on the lives of Oregonians throughout the state,” he said.

The Andrus Award for Community Service is named after the founder of AARP, Doctor Ethel Percy
Andrus. Schultz noted that the nominator and the award winner will each receive $1,000 to donate to the nonprofit of their choice.

The 2023 winner of the award was Anne Bellegia, a founding member of the Ashland Senior Advisory Committee, and co-chair of the Livable Ashland Alliance. She has volunteered for many years with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Southern Oregon University.

“This was someone who had really invested a lot of energy and effort to make a positive impact on her community down in southern Oregon, and the selection committee felt that she definitely deserved this award,” Schultz noted.

The deadline for Andrus Award nominations is July 15th. —- Find your state’s deadline and participation status on the nomination form

Come to the World Beat Festival to Experience Global Cultures: Ukraine is the 2024 Featured Country

Salem Multicultural Institute is excited to celebrate Ukraine as the 27th annual World Beat Festival’s featured country. World Beat is one of Salem’s premier community traditions, offering a vibrant two-day program of international music, dance, song, theater, food, crafts, customs, rituals, and folklore. This year’s festival will begin Friday evening, June 28, and run through Sunday, June 30, at Salem’s Riverfront Park.

Kathleen Fish, Executive Director, emphasizes that this is the only festival of its kind honoring the Salem/Keizer community’s rich tapestry of cultures. “There are 107 languages spoken in our school district. The festival recognizes and explores the cultures of many of these families.”

The festivities kick off Friday, June 28, from 5 to 10 p.m. with “Friday Night at the Beat,” featuring vocal performances and fire dancing on the Main Stage. 

The festival opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, with the Children’s Parade. Kids who want to participate in the parade will assemble at the Pavilion at the North End of the park. 

Each child who attends will receive a passport at the entrance gate to collect stamps from each World Village. Village tents will feature kid-friendly cultural games and activities. This year’s activities include making cherry blossoms in the Asian Pacific Village, Pysanky (traditional egg decorating) in the European Village, Arpilleras (traditional Chilean textile art) in the Americas Village, and crafting Nguni Shields in the Africa & Middle East Village.

Adults can enjoy beverages in the beer garden while listening to live music. Boating enthusiasts can cheer on their favorite teams during the World Beat Dragon Boat Races

“We had over 25,000 guests attend last year, enjoying performances on seven stages representing more than 50 different countries and cultures. Our visitors come from all over the Northwest and even Canada,” added Fish.

Organized by the volunteer-driven Salem Multicultural Institute, the festival requires 400 volunteers annually to manage setup, stage operations, and cleanup. Volunteers contributing at least four hours receive an event T-shirt and free entry to the festival.

Admission to the festival is $10/1-day pass/adult or $15 for the weekend. Children 0-14, SNAP card holders, and Veterans are free. 

You can view a complete schedule and vendor list or sign up to volunteer atwww.worldbeatfestival.org or call (503) 581-2004. 

About the World Beat Festival: The World Beat Festival originated in the late 1990s and was conceived by two young mothers, Mona Hayes and Kathleen Fish, who wanted a space to celebrate cultural heritage. Starting with a small gathering in 1998, the festival has grown into Oregon’s largest multicultural event of its kind. www.WorldBeatFestival.org, 503-581-2004.

About the Salem Multicultural Institute (SMI): The vision of the Salem Multicultural Institute and the purpose of the World Beat Festival and World Beat Gallery are to create an environment of openness for all people. In all our activities, SMI aims to be family-friendly, economically inclusive, and culturally authentic. Visit the gallery located at 390 Liberty ST SE, Salem. www.salemmulticultural.org.

Oregon Consumer Justice Finds Colorful Way To Educate Used-Car Buyers

The Consumer Confidence Comic helps consumers get the best bang for their buck when purchasing a used car. (Oregon Consumer Justice)
The Consumer Confidence Comic helps consumers get the best bang for their buck when purchasing a used car. (Oregon Consumer Justice)

Buying a used car can be a risky proposition, but a new consumer guide can help people avoid common pitfalls.

The nonprofit Oregon Consumer Justice just released the first edition of its free resource, called the Consumer Confidence Comics. The unique guide doubles as an interactive comic book with coloring pages.

Michelle Luedtke, communications director for Oregon Consumer Justice, describes it as a fun way to learn how to ask the right questions.

“When you get promises from a dealer, where do you capture those to make sure that they’ll be part of your final contract?” Luedtke asked. “We have a checklist of different questions to ask at a dealer about purchasing a used car. You can also download as a resource on our website.”

The guide is available in English and Spanish.

Used car prices shot up during the pandemic but have come down a bit in the last year, with the average used car selling for about $31,000, according to iseecars.com.

Luedtke also recommended taking the time to read the fine print on any contracts. The guide goes through the process from start to finish.

“Whether or not you should be looking for financing beforehand, or what dealer financing looks like? What are scams that are common around purchasing a vehicle,” Luedtke outlined. “And then also, what to do if things go wrong.”

In Oregon, used car dealers have 14 days to finalize the financing, so you could drive it off the lot and then have to return it if the loan falls through. Consumers are advised not to make any changes to the car until they get a welcome letter from their lender. In 2022, Americans purchased about 39 million used vehicles. (SOURCE)

State Parks Day Events — Several free special events are planned June 1 to celebrate State Parks Day:

Carl G. Washburne: Hot dog BBQ noon-1 p.m. in campground B Loop, across from site 32.

Fort Stevens: Come and play disc golf 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lil’ Oozlefinch Putting Course.  Make a putt, win a special prize! Loaner discs available to use.  Giveaways and prizes for all who attend. 

Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail – Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead: Rangers and park partners will be at the Visitor Center 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with information and self-guided activities.

Jessie Honeyman: Hot dog BBQ 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the back patio of the Historic Cleawox Lodge.

L.L. Stub Stewart: The Friends of Stub Stewart State Park encourages all to come to the Community Fair at the Hilltop Day-use Area Picnic Shelter 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit the booths and tables hosted by local fire departments, state forestry agencies, and local volunteer organizations.  There will also be interpretive displays and arts and crafts activities for everyone.

Milo McIver:  Join a park ranger at the Interpretive Shelter for a Plant Identification Scavenger Hunt 10-11 a.m. Learn about the different traits of plants and how to determine which species grow within the park. Plan to spend approximately 20-30 minutes learning about edible fruits and prickly plants and then 30 minutes on the trail completing the scavenger hunt. 

Silver Falls State Park: Learn about the emerald ash borer (EAB) and its role as a threat to Oregon’s ash trees. Oregon State Parks and Oregon Department of Forestry staff will be on hand 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to share information about this destructive pest at the Discovery Table in the Stone Circle in the South Falls day-use area. 

Spring Valley Access: Easy, ½-mile guided hike exploring native plants 11 a.m. Meet at the main parking lot near 8900 Wallace Road NW, Salem, OR, 97304. 

The Cove Palisades: Festival of the Landis a free festival that celebrates the diverse history, food and culture of Central Oregon 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes Dutch oven cooking demonstrations, kids’ games and activities, petting “zoo”, mini farmers market, pollinator, wildfire, and fish displays, and more. 

Visit the stateparks.oregon.gov event calendar for a list of additional events this summer.

For camping availability, please check oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com or visit first-come-first served sites: https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=reserve.first-come

About Oregon Parks and Recreation Department – The mission of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is to provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations. The department manages 254 Oregon State Parks comprising more than 100,000 acres. Learn more at stateparks.oregon.gov.

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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