Oregon Beach News Monday, June 29: Grants to help repair Egyptian Theatre in Coos Bay

The latest news stories for the Oregon Coast and around the state of Oregon from OregonBeachMagazine.com

COVID-19 numbers: the number of cases in the state has reached 8,341. The death toll remains at 202. 

MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2020

Oregon Beach Weather

Today   Mostly cloudy, with a high near 62. Southwest wind around 7 mph.

Tuesday   A chance of rain or drizzle before noon, then a slight chance of showers after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 62. North northwest wind 5 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Wednesday   Patchy fog before 9am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 63. Light and variable wind becoming northwest 6 to 11 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday   Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 62.

Friday   Sunny, with a high near 64.

Saturday, Independence Day   Sunny, with a high near 64.

Today’s Headlines

It’s official.  All in Oregon must wear a mask inside indoor spaces, beginning Wednesday.

Gov. Kate Brown announced this afternoon that she will require Oregonians to wear face masks everywhere in the state — not just a handful of select counties — to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Brown said her new order takes effect Wednesday, and requires people in Oregon to wear a mask whenever they’re in a public indoor space, such as grocery stores, gyms and shopping malls.

Brown had been hesitant to require Oregonians to cover their mouths and noses for weeks and weeks, saying the cloth face coverings are helpful in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and should be worn. Brown recommended that the state’s residents wear face coverings as of late, but repeatedly declined to require them — saying she had confidence that Oregonians would do the right thing.

Then last Wednesday, after it became clear that coronavirus cases in Oregon are surging, Brown began requiring masks in seven counties making up about 55 percent of the state’s population. Those counties were Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Marion, Polk, Hood River and Lincoln.

Again, all Oregonians are to wear masks at indoor spaces in public, beginning Wednesday.

Grants to help repair Egyptian Theatre in Coos Bay, Liberty Theatre in North Bend

COOS BAY, Ore. – Two historic theaters in the Bay Area have been awarded federal grant funding for preservation work.

The Egyptian Theater Preservation Association in Coos Bay received $64,200 to help repair the roof on the historic theater.

The Little Theater on the Bay received $92,971 to “replace the roof and Moorish domes on the Liberty Theater in North Bend.”

The money is distributed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department from a grant by the National Park Service.

The combined $615,000 for Oregon projects was one of 9 grants awarded nationally through the Historic Revitalization Subgrant Program.

“Funding also covers the cost for the preparation of National Register of Historic Places nominations for four of the theaters not currently listed. These include the Dallas Cinema, Liberty Theater, Rex Theater, and Alger Theater,” according to the state.

“These projects will significantly impact the local communities,” said Chrissy Curran, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer. “We are pleased to have been awarded this funding so that we can support local theaters and foster our vibrant rural communities in Oregon.”

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), which includes the Oregon Main Street Network and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), has awarded $615,000 in federal grant funding for the preservation of historic theaters.

The 6 other projects to receive funding include:

  • Dallas Downtown Association, for roof, masonry, and other repairs on the Dallas Cinema in Dallas. $55,185
  • Lakeview Community Partnership, for electrical and lighting repair, fire door replacement, and curtain and rigging work at the Alger Theatre in Lakeview. $57,387
  • Newberg Downtown Coalition, to update seats and acoustical drapes in the auditorium and repair exterior lighting on the Cameo Theatre in Newberg. $80,038
  • OK Theatre, to restore façade and store fronts, update the concessions area, and add a bar service area to the theater in Enterprise. $85,178
  • Rex Theater, to restore the marquee neon and reader board, paint the exterior, repair the roof and ceiling, and install HVAC in the Theater in Vale. $90,041
  • The Dalles Main Street Program, to install new fire doors, HVAC, and awnings on the Granada Theater in The Dalles. $90,000

New modeling of the COVID-19 virus shows that COVID-19 is spreading more rapidly in Oregon, according to the latest model released today by the Oregon Health Authority and the Institute for Disease Modeling.

The model, which is based on data through June 18, offers three projections — optimistic, moderate and pessimistic — predicting that daily case levels could rise as much as 20 percentage points. The modeling assumes that hospitalizations from COVID-19 remain stable and testing remains at its present level of approximately 4,000 a day: OHA uses this modeling for data analysis and planning purposes and releases it on a bi-weekly basis.

Gov. Kate Brown says she’ll call a second special legislative session this summer to fix a state budget wrecked by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis and wants to use coronavirus relief funds to help support the Black community and working people.  

The Oregon Legislature wrapped up its first special session Friday after passing bills dealing with police accountability and the pandemic. At a Saturday news conference, Brown said she would wait to call another special session to see if federal lawmakers approve assistance for local governments. She said she may call lawmakers back to Salem in late July or early August. The Oregon Senate on Friday unanimously passed a bill that makes it easier to uphold discipline against police by lessening the power of arbitrators. The measure, which moves to the House, is one in a package of police reform measures before Oregon lawmakers during the special session that began this week. It passed the upper chamber following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed and died last month after a white Minneapolis police officer held a knee to his neck. Currently, police unions can call upon an arbitrator to review discipline handed down to a police officer and overturn disciplinary decisions.

Arbitrators have reversed high-profile officer dismissals in Oregon before. Senate Bill 1604 restricts what arbitrators can do in disciplinary cases and binds them to rule within the discipline guide.

After the second day of the 2020 special legislative session, Democrats in the Oregon House of Representatives are said to be happy with the passage of a bill that would end the practice of suspending Oregon driver licenses for overdue fines and fees.

House Bill 2020 also declares an emergency, making it effective immediately if passed and signed into law. Democrats cited the Oregon Law Center, which found more than 334,000 license suspensions over the past decade. Many of those were for people who could not pay court fines and fees from other infractions, perpetuating “cycles of debt and poverty,” and restricting the ability for someone to go to work, school, or the doctor. According to data from a recent Oregon Criminal Justice Commission report, Black and Latinx people are disproportionately stopped, ticketed, charged, and convicted for traffic infractions.

Oregon stands out on the West Coast for the way its voting districts are drawn. Unlike neighbors California, Idaho and Washington, redistricting in Oregon is a political process decided by the party in power.

The threat of gerrymandering is high. Executive Director of Common Cause Oregon Kate Titus says politicians typically draw districts behind closed doors using elaborate data.

Titus says a coalition of groups is looking to change that. Signatures are being collected for an initiative to create an independent, nonpartisan redistricting commission. Its backers have until July 2nd to collect about 150-thousand signatures. Critics of the idea say creating the commission would leave out some marginalized groups.

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