Oregon Beach News, Tuesday 6/21 – Coquille Indian Tribe Release Juvenile Chinook Into Coquille River, The Port Of Astoria Taking Steps Toward New Waterfront Master Plan

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

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Oregon Beach Weather

Coquille Indian Tribe Release Juvenile Chinook Into Coquille River In Effort To Renew Salmon Spawning

BANDON, OR – The Coquille Indian Tribe released 1,000 salmon into the Coquille River Wednesday, the first of thousands more expected to be released by the tribe and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Tribal Council member Don Garrett, Chairman Brenda Meade and Health Hampel, president of the Coquille River STEP volunteers, open an acclimation box to free 1,000 juvenile salmon in Lampa Creek near Bandon.
(Courtesy Coquille Indian Tribe)

According to the tribe, the fall Chinook run in the tribe’s namesake river was nearing extinction. The tribe partnered with ODFW to produce “pre-smolts” to be released into the river.

“This is the first of many more generations of fish that will go into their native system from Coquille Tribal lands,” said Brenda Meade, the tribe’s chairman.

Those juvenile salmon will head out to sea, and the hardiest of them will return to the Coquille River system to spawn.

“They’re on their journey, and I hope they have a safe trip and they come back to see us,” said Don Garrett, a member of the Coquille Tribal Council.

Meade looks forward to a time when local residents can resume fishing for Coquille River salmon. “We can’t be the generation that lets this go,” she said.

The Port Of Astoria Taking Steps Toward New Waterfront Master Plan

The Port Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a memorandum of understanding with Astoria Crab & Fish Co. to work toward development on Pier 1. The group is a subsidiary of Pacific Dream Seafoods, a wholesale distributor that operates a seafood processing and storage facility in Anacortes, Washington

While the exact plans for the space have yet to be solidified, Matt McGrath, the Port’s deputy director, said the agreement is intended to get the ball rolling with development on Pier 1.

“The goal is to create a facility that is a community landmark for Pier 1, for Astoria, that can be utilized by both Astoria Crab & Fish Co., local fishermen, tourists coming off the cruise lines and then locals — for coming down and enjoying some form of facility at this site, whether it be retail, food, a pier to walk on, et cetera,” Jeremy McNett, an architect for the project, said.

To kick off development, Astoria Crab & Fish is eyeing the construction of cranes along the side of the pier for unloading fishing vessels.

The group is also looking to potentially add a small-scale processing facility and a number of fishing services, such as cold storage, shower and laundry facilities and leasable space.

Following construction of the cranes, the rest could take time given the engineering, planning and permitting that needs to happen first, McNett said.

Down the road, Pier 1 could hold spaces for retail, a restaurant and community gathering.

The Port has been looking to occupy Pier 1 since log exports dried up during a U.S. trade war with China.

“This is step one — a very important step — to bring commerce to Pier 1,” Frank Spence, the president of the Port Commission, said.

Discussions with Pacific Dream Seafoods have been ongoing for over a year, McGrath said, and were done in conjunction with the development of the waterfront master plan.

The plan, a collaboration between the Port and the city, will seek to encourage redevelopment along the Columbia River between Pier 1 and the Astoria Bridge.

A large emphasis is to make the area more suitable for the community while complementing the city’s working waterfront.

“A lot of the information from the master plan and what the community has been discussing is having something on the piers, having something along the central waterfront that is not just going to appeal to just the cruise visitors or just tourists, but something that can be used by the community, as well, even when we don’t have tourists, when we don’t have cruise ships,” McGrath said.

For Will Isom, the Port’s executive director, the new agreement is a sign of progress for the agency following years of financial struggle.

Outdoor gatherings offer an extra layer of protection against COVID-19. If you or any of your guests are at high risk for serious COVID-19 illness, consider moving your gathering outdoors. If you are indoors, wearing the highest quality mask you can find offers additional protection. Open windows and turn on fans for extra airflow to improve ventilation.

 With summer arriving and many of us enjoying the warmer weather, events such as Juneteenth and Pride will bring people together.In Oregon, COVID-19 cases appear to be leveling. However these numbers are likely an undercount because many people are using at-home tests and not reporting the results. We also know many others are not getting tested.If you’re out and about, you’ll likely be exposed to COVID-19.

If you are gathering this weekend, consider moving the gathering outdoors.It’s also a good idea to consider the risk level of people you live or spend time with.If you are indoors, wearing the highest quality mask you can find offers additional protection.

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Oregon’s Minimum Wage Set To Increase July 1st

Minimum wage workers in Oregon will see an increase in pay starting July 1st.

In 2016, Oregon lawmakers created a three-tiered minimum wage. That means while many of Oregon’s minimum wage workers will see a new rate of $13.50 an hour, employees in the Portland area will get an increase to $14.75. Those are both increases of 75 cents per hour. Meanwhile, the minimum wage in rural parts of the state will jump by 50 cents to $12.50 an hour.

The Oregon Employment Department says roughly five percent of Oregon’s hourly workers earn the minimum wage.

This is the seventh and final increase that was written into the 2016 law. Next year, minimum wage increases will once again be indexed to inflation, though urban and rural areas will still have different rates.

“It’s not going to be a fixed (increase) like it has been for the last several years,” said Bob Uhlenkott, a researcher with the Oregon Employment Department. “Now it will float, based on the Consumer Price Index.”

Oregon’s rate remains among the highest minimum wages in the nation.

Effort Continues to Move Idaho/Oregon Border

The most recent leader of Oregon’s “State of Jefferson” movement, Bob Chard, has endorsed the “Greater Idaho” movement.

According to organizers with the Greater Idaho movement, which seeks to move the border and make a number of Oregon counties part of Idaho, Chard said that the effort might have a better chance of success than movements that attempt to create an entirely new state out of a part of Oregon.

Both plans would require the approval of the Oregon Legislature, but creating a new state would add two Republicans to the US Senate. Chard agreed the Democrat controlled Oregon Legislature is more likely to approve the Greater Idaho plan because it would not affect the US Senate.

Chard had been the main volunteer for the State of Jefferson movement in Oregon since he revived the movement in 2015. He gathered thousands of signatures at county fairs around southern and eastern Oregon. However, he decided to cease his efforts when he understood that California state legislators and judges had completely ignored California’s state of Jefferson movement, where more progress had been made. He said that without a path to success, the movement in Oregon is now at an impasse. No one has taken his place at the helm of the movement.

Bend Police Warn Public Of ‘Very Dangerous’ Escapee From Psych Unit 

A patient facing criminal charges in Oregon and California escaped from the psychiatric unit at St. Charles Medical Center Monday morning.

Jeremy Allbritton, 41, was last seen around 8:45 a.m. on NE Courtney Drive in Bend.

“At that time he had taken off his reddish-pink hospital scrub short-sleeved top but was still wearing his green hospital scrub bottoms,” according to Bend Police. “He was not wearing any shoes.”

Police said Allbritton faces arrest warrants – and is wanted for new crimes.

“He has recently assaulted hospital staff and should be considered dangerous,” according to police. “He was not armed at the time he left the hospital.”

Authorities described Allbritton as 6-feet tall and 220 pounds with very short or shaved brown hair and numerous tattoos.

Bend Police ask the public to report any sightings or interactions with Allbritton. — “Please do not approach Allbritton, but call 9-1-1 to report his whereabouts,” according to police. “If you have already had contact with Allbritton today (Monday, June 20, 2022) please contact non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911 so we can obtain further information from you.”

Senator Wyden Sponsoring New Gas Bill

Gas prices are at record high levels and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is sponsoring a bill to limit excess profits, stock buybacks, and big bonuses for executives. Wyden says oil companies would be allowed to reinvest profits to make their operations more efficient.

If they use profits to reward stockholders or executives they would face a surtax. Stock buybacks would be taxed 25-
percent and profits over 10 percent would be taxed 21 percent.

Wyden says oil companies would also be prohibited from reducing their profits through accounting methods.

Trolley-Ride Tours Of Historic Theater Sites In Downtown Klamath Falls

A trolley-ride tour of historic theater sites in downtown Klamath Falls will be offered on various dates through the summer.

The tour program is co-sponsored by the Klamath County Museum and the Ross Ragland Theater. The cost is $15 per person for the two-hour tour, which will be offered on the Saturday mornings of June 25, July 2, and July 9.

Space is limited to 10 people per tour. To reserve space, contact the Museum at (541) 882-1000.

Movie houses still standing include the old Pine Tree and Liberty theaters, now serving as an office or retail space.
The event will conclude with a backstage tour of the Ross Ragland Theater led by Executive Director Samantha Burris, with a discussion of the building’s earlier existence as the Esquire Theater.

Refreshments will be served during the tour. For more information, call the museum at 541-882-1000.

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