Oregon Beach News, Tuesday 6/14 – Wind Farm Hearing Wednesday In Newport, Coos County District Attorney Seeks Public’s Help In Investigation of Woman’s Murder

The latest news stories across the state of Oregon from the digital home of the Oregon coastal cities, OregonBeachMagazine.com

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Oregon Beach Weather

Wind Farm Hearing Wednesday In Newport

Federal energy representatives will be ready for the meeting Wednesday in Newport intended to gather public comments about plans to build towering wind-energy farms off the Oregon coast.

The four-hour meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at the Best Western Agate Beach hotel in Newport. It is sponsored by the Midwater Trawlers Cooperative and the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which is spearheading the wind-farm leasing process.

A graphic shows how wind turbines off the Oregon coast might get their energy to land.

A growing number of cities, ports, tribes and other interests have already passed resolutions asking that the Biden Administration’s fast-tracked process be slowed to provide more time to study the proposal’s economic and environmental impacts.

Those resolutions came in response to the announcement in March that BOEM has identified three areas in waters off the southern Oregon coast where the first leases are expected to be approved.

Operators of the Block Island wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island
and fishermen have worked out protocols for fishing near the company’s five turbines.

Those so-called “call” areas total nearly 2,200 square miles of ocean from Coos Bay south to Brookings and represent the spots where analyses show some of the steadiest and strongest winds on the planet.

The Biden administration is hoping to create 30 gigawatts of electricity-generating capacity through offshore wind by 2030. It’s already approved large projects off the coasts of Massachusetts and New York.

And while the first leases to private power developers could be auctioned off as early as next year those involved in the process caution that years of site assessments and surveys, along with technical assessments and permitting, mean the first turbines – which are likely to be situated at least 20 miles from land – won’t start turning for about a decade or so.

But with a federal process in place that could auction off the first leases as early as next year, groups up and down the coast are asking for additional time to consider total potential impacts of the plan.

“After the announcement of the current proposed call areas, we immediately began hearing from constituents within our coastal legislative districts with concerns,” seven Oregon legislators whose districts span the coast wrote in a recent letter to BOEM.

The legislative Coastal Caucus added in its letter, “While wind energy fits in the state’s goal of moving toward a more renewable future for Oregon, steps must be taken to ensure that existing ocean users and our coastal communities are prioritized.”

The Port of Toledo and the Newport City Council recently passed similar resolutions addressing the project’s speedy timeframe. The Port of Toledo and the Toledo City Council are expected to follow suit soon.

“We are not saying no to wind forever,” said Heather Mann, executive director of the Newport-based Midwater Trawlers Cooperative. “But we are saying that this isn’t the way to move forward.”

All comments made at Wednesday’s meeting will be transcribed and included in the federal register’s official record. The meeting comes less than two weeks before the June 28 deadline to weigh in on Oregon’s proposed call areas.

After fits and starts over the last 10 years, offshore wind farm development has moved into high gear along the East Coast. The first commercial scale project near Block Island in Rhode Island waters has been operational since 2016 with five turbines. Projects nearing the construction phase offshore of Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York are poised to put 15 to 30 turbines each in waters around 20 miles offshore.

In October, the Biden administration announced plans to develop large-scale wind farms along nearly the entire coastline of the United States, the first long-term strategy from the government to produce electricity from offshore turbines.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said the agency will begin to identify, demarcate and hope to eventually lease federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Maine and off the coasts of the Mid-Atlantic States, North Carolina and South Carolina, California and Oregon, to wind power developers by 2025.

The announcement came months after the federal government approved the nation’s first major commercial offshore wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and began reviewing a dozen other potential offshore wind projects along the East Coast. On the West Coast, the administration has approved opening up two areas off the shores of central and northern California for commercial wind power development.

Coos County District Attorney Seeks Public’s Help In Investigation of Woman’s Murder

The Coos Co. District Attorney is turning to the public for assistance in their investigation into the homicidal death of a 34-year old Coos Bay woman Saturday morning, June 11th. According to a news release from the DA, “We are still in need of the public’s assistance. In particular, we are still requesting that anyone who was traveling on Cape Arago Highway between the Sunset Market and the American Market (formerly known as the Lighthouse Market) between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. on Saturday June 11, 2022 to contact the Coos County Sheriff’s Office. We are especially interested in speaking with person driving in the area at the above times who have video camera footage showing their drive through the area. Even if you do not think you saw anything, we still would like to speak with you.” Amber Townsend was gunned down by a shotgun as she walked along the highway. “At this time, no suspects or persons of interest have been identified.”

Townsend was murdered Saturday morning while walking along Cape Arago Highway towards Charleston, authorities said. Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier said Townsend was shot multiple times.

There are no suspects or persons of interest at this time. This is the second murder in the past week in Coos County.

Authorities are looking for anyone with footage or information. They are especially interested in those who were driving along Cape Arago Highway between the Sunset Market and the American market between 8:15 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. Saturday. 

Those with information can call the Coos County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 396-7800

We want to keep you informed about COVID-19 in Oregon. Data are provisional and change frequently. This report covers the three-day period from June 10 to June 12, 2022. Visit our dashboard, linked below, and hover over the new cases graph to view new presumptive and confirmed case numbers reported to OHA by date.For more information, including COVID-19 data by county, visit our dashboard: http://ow.ly/HrHv50JwBl6

Screen shot of linked dashboard shows a plateau in cases, test positivity, hospitalizations and vaccinations. Please visit healthoregon.org/coronavirus for more.
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Oregon Is First State To Ban Synthetic Cannabis

Oregon will soon become the first-ever state to ban synthetic weed sales, which includes products containing lab-grown cannabinoids like delta-8.

  • Starting on July 1, Oregon will ban the sale of synthetic cannabinoids or cannabis compounds like CBN.
  • It’s the first US state to ban lab-grown weed, but many are already federally illegal.
  • Oregon officials said the lack of regulation over synthetic weed influenced their decision.

Starting on July 1, weed shoppers won’t find certain weed gummies and other products at their go-to stores, even if they’re THC-free. That’s because Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission officials say they’re concerned about the unregulated nature of these products, many of which exist in a federal legal loophole .

“We have testing for pesticides. We have testing for residual solvents from the extraction process. We don’t have any testing for any of the whole universe of chemical reagents that you could use to synthetically turn one cannabinoid into something else, or for any of the byproducts of that reaction,” Steven Crowley, the hemp and processing compliance specialist with the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC), told The Oregonian.

The federal government has banned or temporarily banned certain synthetic cannabinoids like K2 or “spice,” but there are hundreds that remain unregulated at the state level.

Scientists are lab-engineering naturally-occurring cannabinoids – All cannabinoids, the chemical compounds in weed, start as CBG (short for cannabigerol), or the “mother” cannabinoid , as researchers often call it.

When exposed to environmental factors like light or heat, CBG reacts and turns into other cannabinoids, like THC, CBD, THCV, and CBN. THC, the cannabinoid best known for getting a person “high,” but isn’t legal everywhere, is also the most commonly occurring one in the cannabis plant.

Hundreds of these cannabinoids exist but are often found in small quantities in nature. Now, scientists are engineering them to create greater potency in labs .

According to Crowley, the influx of lab-made cannabinoids is related to a surplus of CBD.

“And so, the people who had CBD on hand were looking for other ways that they could market it. People started working on different products that they could convert the CBD into. This is where you get the delta-8 THC products,” Crowley said.

If synthetic weed sellers want to keep their products on store shelves in Oregon, they’ll have to apply to the FDA’s regulation process . Wyld, which sells gummies with synthetic CBN, filed a petition to stop the ban.

By July 2023, approved synthetic weed products will only be sold at OLCC-sanctioned stores, according to the ban.

Oregon State Workers Receive Raise Early

State workers in Oregon will start receiving their 3.1% cost-of-living raises four months early and the state will pay 5% hiring and promotion bonuses, under agreements authorized by Gov. Brown this week.

Under contracts negotiated by the governor last year, state workers were set to receive a 3.1% cost-of-living raise on Dec. 1 but they will now be paid the higher rates starting Aug. 1, under amendments the Brown administration signed this week. Stateworkers also receive separate annual raises known as “step increases,” unless they have reached the top of their pay ranges.

Liz Merah, a spokesperson for the governor, said Brown agreed to the early raises in recognition of that inflation is causing steep price increases for workers and to address difficulties the some state agencies have faced filling vacant jobs. Merah said that some state agencies “have faced vacancy rates upwards of 20% as hiring has been constrained across all sectors.”

Inflation has eaten into workers’ wage gains, although it varies by industry and some workers have still come out ahead so far including the education and healthcare sector.

Oregon Author Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering Her Husband

The self-published romance novelist who was found guilty of shooting and killing her husband at the Oregon Culinary Institute back in 2018 has been sentenced to life in prison for his murder.

In late May, Nancy Crampton-Brophy – who once wrote an essay titled “How to Murder Your Husband” – was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Dan Brophy.

Dan Brophy was found dead inside the Oregon Culinary Institute on June 2, 2018. He was a chef and teacher at the institute. The jury spent two days deliberating following a nearly six-week trial.

Klamath County Shooting Death

The Klamath County Sheriff’s office continues the investigation into the shooting death of a Bonanza man over the weekend. At approximately 8:45AM on Sunday m Klamath County Sheriff’s Office deputies along with personnel from Klamath County Fire District 5 and Bonanza Ambulance Service, were dispatched to the 5900 block of Flamingo Dr in the Bly Mountain area east of Bonanza, on a report from an individual that he’d shot someone in
self-defense.

Fire personnel were first to reach the scene and began life-saving efforts on 34 year old Kyle Alan Majestic Sr., of the Bly Mountain area who succumbed to his injuries. Deputies questioned the responsible individual, who alleged that Majestic came at him swinging a dangerous weapon. The investigation is in the early stages and anyone with any information they feel can help with the case is urged to contact the Klamath County Sheriff’s office.

Oregon Country Fair Returns!

After a two year hiatus, the Oregon Country Fair returns in less than a month. Three days of live entertainment kicks off July 8th with a variety of musicians, vaudevillians, circus acts, spoken word and other acts on 18 stages.

Advance tickets for the Oregon Country Fair are $40 for Friday and Saturday and $35 for Sunday. All admission tickets are sold through TicketsWest online; no admission tickets are sold at the fair site. Children under 12 get in free with a ticketed adult.

For a full list of performers and more info, visit the Oregon Country Fair website: https://www.oregoncountryfair.org/

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