Oregon Beach News, Wednesday 5/11 – Seafood Community Converges On Coos Bay To Rally About Offshore Wind Farms, Florence Police Chief to Retire

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Oregon Beach Weather

Seafood Community Converges On Coos Bay To Rally About Offshore Wind Farms

Fishermen along Oregon’s coast converged on Coos Bay Tuesday hoping to bring awareness to their industry in the face of coming offshore wind farms.

The seafood community was joined by their families and supporters to rally at the Coos Bay Boardwalk ahead of a march down Front St. to the Coos Museum.

This is to celebrate the seafood industry and bring awareness to plans for offshore wind farming.

“A lot of these wind farms that are coming in are right in the middle of prime commercial fishing grounds,” says Justin Johnson, a Newport fisherman.

Executive Director of West Coast Seafood Processors Lori Steele says she wants wind energy done carefully and in partnership with the fishing industry.

“We need a seat at the table in order to minimize the impacts. We’re very concerned that the call areas were picked without a lot of input from the industry.”

Impacts on the fishing industry as well as ocean ecosystems are things Heather Mann, Executive Director of Midwater Trawlers Cooperative Newport, says the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has not researched enough to choose the current call areas.

“They’re inside 1,300 meters, and we had asked them to do something outside of 1,300 meters, so we’re not thrilled about it. The whole hope with this event today, the rally and then the barbeque, is just to celebrate the seafood industry, everything that we bring to Oregon. It’s thousands of jobs. It’s millions of dollars.”

Captain Retherford brought his family from Newport in a show of solidarity. “They’re way too big, and they’re way too devastating to the fisheries that we have going on on the coast. And it’s going to be pretty detrimental to a lot of the families trying to make a living on the ocean,” says Captain Mike Retherford. “We’re a family. We’re not a boat, and we’re not just an industry,” adds Kelly Retherford.

“To be overlooked in place of wind energy, without the proper steps being taken, I think is absolutely wrong, and our voices need to be heard. There’s people, there’s Oregonians, there’s fishermen, there’s families, and there’s communities that are together on this, and we want to be known.”

The call areas consist of hundreds of square miles of ocean and will be home to floating wind turbines once leases to the areas are auctioned off. They’re located off Coos Bay and Brookings, both 13.8 miles offshore.

BOEM is accepting public comment on the call areas through their website until Tuesday, June 28, 2022. https://doi.gov/pressreleases/biden-harris-administration-advances-offshore-wind-energy-leasing-atlantic-and-pacific

Florence Police Chief to Retire

The City of Florence has announced that effective this month Florence Police Chief Tom Turner will retire.  Chief Turner recently dealt with some health issues that played a role in his announcement according to Public Information Officer/Assistant City Manager Megan Messmer. 

In a release published commander John Pitcher will act as interim Chief of Police.  Commander Pitcher says he is thankful to Chief Turner for the mentorship provided over the years and is prepared for the role he will now play.  The release states that the city will be looking at the department and evaluating the needs before moving forward on a permanent decision. Pitcher was officially placed in the role on May 6th

Chief Turner retired as Lane County Sheriff in 2015.  Turner began his career with the City of Eugene in 1981.  City Manager Erin Reynolds says it was an honor to have Turner represent the city as Chief of Police and his leadership and knowledge contributed greatly to the direction the department has gone in recent years.  The City will be releasing more information in the next 30 days.

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We want to keep you informed about COVID-19 in Oregon. Data are provisional and change frequently. For more information, including COVID-19 data by county, visit our dashboard: http://ow.ly/rt6S50J4vTB

Screen shot of linked dashboard shows an increase trend in cases and test positivity. Hospitalizations show an increased trend. Vaccinations have plateaued. Please visit healthoregon.org/coronavirus for more.
Map shows Columbia, Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas, Benton, Deschutes and Malheur Co "medium"; others "low" COVID-19 Community Level as of May 5.  Low: Stay up to date w/ COVID-19 vaccines & boosters. Symptoms? Get tested. Medium: High risk for severe illness? Consider mask & precautions. Stay up to date w/ vaccine & boosters. Test if symptoms. Mask if COVID-19 symptoms, positive COVID-19 test or exposure COVID-19

The CDC‘s COVID-19 Community Levels tool, updated every week, uses multiple factors to rate the level of COVID-19 spread in your county and can help you make decisions about how to approach activities such as grocery shopping, masking, travel and more.To learn more, read our recent story about how to use regional CDC and OHA data to help make those decisions: https://covidblog.oregon.gov/how-to-use-regional-covid…/

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Secretary Of State’s Office Is Moving To Protect The Integrity Of Its Online System Where Campaign Finance Records Are Published After A Web Hosting Provider Was Hit By A Ransomware Attack

A week before Oregon’s primary election, the secretary of state’s office is moving to protect the integrity of its online system where campaign finance records are published after a web hosting provider was hit by a ransomware attack.

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s office said people inputting records into the ORESTAR state campaign finance reporting system may have been affected, and have been sent detailed instructions on how to proceed.

The Oregon Elections Division said it learned on Monday that Opus Interactive — a web hosting provider used by the campaign finance firm C&E Systems — was the victim of a ransomware attack.

“C&E’s database was compromised, which includes their client’s log-in credentials for ORESTAR accounts,” Fagan’s statement said. The Secretary of State’s office said it is requiring all 1,100 affected users to reset their passwords.

But Jef Green, owner of C&E Systems, gave a lower number of affected users, saying only about 300 clients are political committees involved in the 2022 midterm elections in Oregon.

“At least 500 of the committees don’t exist anymore,” Green said. His company offers help with all aspects of campaign compliance and reporting, and indicated the ransomware attack is more of an annoyance than anything.

“This isn’t going to affect any of our clients as far as the reporting (of campaign spending and contributions). None of the candidates are going to be affected by this because, even though we don’t have access to our fancy database to make it easy for us, we can still do everything that needs to be done manually,” he said.

While candidates for state and local elections use ORESTAR, candidates for national office like Congress use a different system.

Opus Interactive’s website was down Tuesday morning. A person who answered the phone at the company said he couldn’t comment on the ransomware attack. An online “status page” about the issue from the Portland company said “Opus Interactive and certain Opus-hosted customer virtual servers and backups were hit by a ransomware attack which encrypted the server disk files.” It added industry-leading cybersecurity and digital forensics experts have been engaged to assist in the company’s response.

Fagan’s office said it works with the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center and the FBI year-round to ensure the integrity of its systems.

As of Tuesday morning, 288,337 completed ballots have been returned out of a total of just over 2.9 million registered voters, according to unofficial ballot counts from the secretary of state.

Extra State Funding To Help Fire Agencies Prevent Late Season Layoffs

Oregon state fire agencies will have an additional $200 million dollars to fight this year’s wildfires with the passing of Oregon Senate Bill 792 in 2021.

“The state fire marshals will be able to issue grants to local communities so that fire agencies that are on the ground can hire additional help, especially at that time of season when the risk is highest,” said Pam Marsh, state representative for District 5.

According to Marsh, the state has been experiencing longer and more robust fire seasons over the last ten years, so the additional money will help the agencies have a more proactive approach this season.

“ODF will be able to hire more people on their team to make sure they are there for a longer period of time because what we’re finding is that fire season is creeping into months where we never saw fires before, especially on that back end of the year,” Marsh said.

According to Marsh, the bill also allows Oregon to partner with other states and help them combat fires as well.

“Right now we have personnel who are down in New Mexico where there has been some raging fires for a couple of weeks, providing them with some extra support at a time where we don’t have fire on the ground,” Marsh said. “What we hope is that when we do have fire on the ground we will see the same kind of mutual aid from other states.”

Oregon Department of Forestry’s goal is to have enough funds to prevent the typical September firefighter layoffs caused by the lack of money while fires can continue to rage through October.

Oregon OSHA adopts rules protecting workers against high heat and wildfire smoke

Salem – The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) announced today the adoption of rules to protect workers from the hazards of high heat and wildfire smoke. The heat rule addresses access to shade and cool water, preventive cool-down breaks, and prevention plans, information, and training. The wildfire smoke rule includes an array of exposure assessments and controls, and training and communication.

Both rules encompass initial protective measures for workers who rely on employer-provided housing, including as part of farm operations.

The rules, which take effect June 15 for heat and July 1 for wildfire smoke, are the most protective of their kind in the United States. The rules reflect the need to strengthen protections in the workplace against the extraordinary hazards of high heat and wildfire smoke while focusing on the needs of Oregon’s most vulnerable communities.

“As we enter what we expect will be another hot and dry summer, all workers, including Oregon’s hard-working agricultural and farmworkers, deserve health and safety protections from extreme heat and wildfire smoke,” said Gov. Kate Brown. “With these new rules from Oregon OSHA, I am proud that Oregon will be a national model for heat and wildfire smoke protections for all workers, regardless of income-level, occupation, or immigration status.”

Oregon OSHA – part of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) – adopted the rules, which were proposed in February. Proposal of the rules followed a development process that included worker and community stakeholder listening sessions, input and review by rule advisory committees, and input from employer and labor stakeholders. The rules build on temporary emergency requirements that were adopted in summer 2021 following several months of stakeholder and community engagement. 

The rules are part of Oregon’s larger and ongoing work – initiated by Gov. Brown in her March 2020 executive order 20-04 – to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“We know the threats posed by high heat and wildfire smoke are not going away,” said Andrew Stolfi, director of DCBS. “These rules reflect that reality, and they bolster our ability to prepare for those hazards in the workplace.”

“As we move forward with these rules, Oregon OSHA will continue to offer free training and education resources to help employers achieve compliance,”  said Renee Stapleton, acting administrator for Oregon OSHA.


Read the rules:

Crash Closes All Northbound Lanes of Interstate Bridge

Tuesday afternoon drivers attempting to head northbound on the Interstate Bridge had to wait through long delays after all northbound lanes closed due to a crash.

Traffic backup on I-5 north at Interstate Bridge.(ODOT)

The crash happened around 5 p.m. when multiple traffic agencies began sharing the closure was causing serious backups. By 6:30 p.m. all but one lane had reopened while workers continued cleanup.

OHA issues Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) for Licensed Residential Treatment Services and Supportive Housing

OHA is accepting applications for projects to acquire real property, new construction, or renovation to develop and open licensed behavioral treatment facilities. OHA is accepting applications for projects that provide community-based housing options for individuals with SPMI so they can live independently, with appropriate support services.

The goal of both RFGAs is to create substantially more capacity in Oregon’s continuum of community-based residential and housing services for people with behavioral health needs.  This will ensure that people are supported in the most appropriate, integrated settings that best meet their needs.   

The RFGA will be open through 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 29. Interested applicants can learn more about these grant opportunities on the Social Determinants of Health web page. https://www.oregon.gov/OHA/HSD/AMH/Pages/SDOH.aspx?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

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Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Asks for Public’s Help in Search For Trucker Suspect

The first real clue to come in on all the missing person cases in the area. Help Klamath Falls Oregon Sheriff Office ID this trucker. He was the last to see this woman alive and could be the key to not only solving this woman’s disappearance but a number of the hundred other women missing in PNW. IF you have any information, please call (541) 883-5130


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