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Oregon News Update – BPA Says Energy Tight Throughout State

Air National Guard honors airmen in Portland.  Read more.

Air National Guard honors airmen in Portland. Read more below.

TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2019

Energy Capacity is Tight -Bonneville Power Administration

Unseasonably cold temperatures in the state of Oregon, along with low stream flows for hydropower production, transmission import constraints and high natural gas constraints are putting pressure on the regional electricity system. BPA is taking steps to increase power supplies and reduce consumer demand to keep the federal power system operating smoothly and support regional reliability.

“It’s always a good idea to use electricity wisely, and it’s even more important when supplies are tight,” says Elliot Mainzer, BPA administrator.

As temperatures are forecast to remain unseasonably cool across much of the region through the first week of March, BPA is asking customers to reduce energy use when possible to relieve stress on the power system.

“It’s supposed to be sunny over the next three days, so we’re asking customers to open their shades on south-facing windows and use the natural warmth of the sun to help heat their home,” said Snohomish County Public Utility District spokesperson Aaron Swaney. “We’re also asking them to turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees to give their furnace a break.”

“With regional weather continuing to be colder and snowier than usual, we always appreciate efforts by energy consumers to reduce their energy usage whenever possible,” Mark Johnson, Flathead Electric Cooperative general manager.

Tips for saving energy can be found here.

As the nation’s single largest supplier of carbon-free hydroelectricity, BPA takes its responsibilities to the region very seriously and is prepared to manage through all water conditions. BPA and its federal partners are tracking the low streamflow conditions in the Columbia and Snake river basins and will continue to explore various options for meeting the power needs of customers while upholding regional environmental stewardship obligations.

March 4, 2019 – Salem, Ore. – William Blackwell Jr. thinks he is winning when he gets his walk in at Moore Park in Klamath Falls. But not only did he get his walk, but also $100,000 after stopping for something to drink and an Oregon Lottery Scratch-it.

“I walk every day at Moore Park and I stopped on the way to get a Lottery ticket,” Blackwell said. “When I stopped at the gas station, I thought I should get some tickets. I got two of the Cash Attack tickets, if I hadn’t gotten that second ticket, I wouldn’t have won.”

Blackwell said that he has won smaller amounts playing Scratch-its before from the gas station and store on Oregon Avenue, but nothing this large.

“I just put maroon carpet in my home,” he said. “The winnings are going toward me rolling out the red carpet!”

Blackwell also said he was going to help his mom and buy a better car with the money.

“This still hasn’t sunk in that I won,” he said. “All I know is I am spreading the wealth. I am going to help my mom and give the clerk who sold me the tickets a tip.”

During the 2015-17 biennium, more than $15 million in Oregon Lottery proceeds were directed to economic development, parks, education and watershed enhancement in Klamath County, where Blackwell lives and purchased the ticket.


The Oregon Lottery reminds players to always sign the back of their Lottery tickets, regardless of the game. In the event of winning a jackpot, they should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Prize winners of more than $50,000 are advised to contact the Lottery office and schedule an appointment to claim their prize.


Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned nearly $12 billion for economic development, public education, state parks, Veterans services and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org

Winter Tips Review

Winter storms and high water also mean that you can count on downed trees creating obstructions to navigation on our statewide “liquid highways.”  The Marine Board wants to remind boaters about key safety measures when the water is high and full of debris:

  • High water can impact the visibility of aids to navigation (ATONs) and other waterway markers. Please use aids with caution.
  • Scout river runs and have a float plan.  Make sure family and friends know where you’re boating and when you expect to return. 
  • Make sure all of your equipment and emergency gear is good condition.  Mechanical issues contribute to accidents and lack of communication equipment such as a VHF-marine radio, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), or even cell phone can lead to timely delays if rescue is needed.
  • Extreme caution should also be taken during launching and retrieving due to high volumes of marine debris (logs, strainers, garbage, etc.).  Boaters need to start out slow and keep an extra sharp lookout for floating and partially submerged debris to avoid damaging their boats.  Look for subtle changed in the water’s surface and the water dynamics ahead.  Be prepared to portage around log jams. 
  • Currents are also very strong, adding to the complexity of wind or tide impacts to the movement of your boat. Anchoring is particularly challenging with a strong current. Always anchor from the bow and have the rode (length of the line and chain) between 7-10 times the water depth.  More rode is required right now, so factor in a few more feet.  Pick a spot upwind, allowing for drift. When the anchor hits bottom, remember to give a solid pull to set the anchor, and then secure the line to a bow cleat. 
  • Don’t boat alone. The river conditions require extra hands and extra lookouts.
  • Dress for the water conditions, not the air temperature. The waterways are cold with fresh snow melt.  Falling overboard will cause an immediate gasp reflex and cold water shock.  It’s easy to take in water to the lungs. Wear a life jacket on the outside of your clothing.  A life jacket will help keep you warm and keep your head above the water.

“Proper prior planning” leads to a safe and enjoyable boating experience.

Find out where there are reported navigation obstructions at www.boatoregon.com.

BLM SEEKS BIDS FOR NEW OFF-RANGE PASTURES FOR WILD HORSES AND BURROS

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that it is seeking contractors for off-range pastures to provide a free-roaming environment and quality care for wild horses removed from Western public lands. The BLM will award multiple contracts that can accommodate 200 – 5,000 head of wild horses, with a four-year or nine-year renewal option. All contracts require supplemental feed for a minimum of four months to ensure that animals maintain a quality body condition throughout the dormant months.

Bids will be accepted from the following states through May 3, 2019: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas “Panhandle” (only north of Hwy 82 and 84), Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The area west of the Cascade Mountain. Range in Oregon and Washington is excluded. 

Applicants who are new to conducting business with the government must first obtain a Duns and Bradstreet number at www.dnb.com and then register at www.sam.gov/  to respond to the solicitation. No fee is involved. The solicitation describes what to submit to the BLM and where to send it. To obtain the contract solicitation:

(1) Go to www.fedconnect.net;

(2) Click on “Search Public Opportunities”;

(3) Under Search Criteria, select “Reference Number”;
(4) Enter the solicitation’s reference number “140L0119R0002;

(5) Click Search” and once the solicitation’s information appears, download the information on the right.

For assistance, please contact Kemi Ismael at (202) 912-7098 or kismael@blm.gov. Ms. Ismael can assist with general questions. A list of frequently asked questions is available at:  www.blm.gov/whb.

As of March 1, 2018, the wild horse and burro population on public lands was estimated at 82,000 animals, which is more than triple the number of animals the land can support in conjunction with other legally mandated land uses. To learn more about the wild horse or burro program, visit https://blm.gov/whb

-BLM–

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs.

PAROLE & PROBATION OFFICERS TO GRADUATE FROM OREGON PUBLIC SAFETY ACADEMY

The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) is pleased to announce the graduation of its 79th Basic Parole & Probation Officer Class on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Oregon Public Safety Academy at 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE in Salem, Oregon.  The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a reception to follow after the ceremony.  Paul Solomon, Executive Director of Sponsors Incorporated, will be the guest speaker.  All family and friends of students, supervisors, department heads and elected officials are welcome to attend.

The graduating students appreciate the family, friends and guests who make graduation an appropriate conclusion to their basic training at the Oregon Public Safety Academy.

Roster of Basic Parole and Probation Class 79 includes Southern Oregon students:

Parole & Probation Officer William Amaya

Jackson County Community Justice

Parole & Probation Officer Cody Dykstra

Klamath County Community Corrections

Parole & Probation Officer Henry Sullivan

Josephine County Community Corrections

Parole & Probation Officer Kyle Tenney

Jackson County Community Justice

 
DPSST provides training to more than 25,000 students each year throughout Oregon and at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem: certifies qualified officers at various levels from basic through executive; certifies qualified instructors; and reviews and accredits training programs throughout the state based on standards established by the Board.

REGISTRATION OPENS FOR HISTORIC CEMETERY CLEANUP DAY, SET FOR MAY 11

Oregon’s historic cemeteries are set for a spring spruce-up during Historic Cemetery Cleanup Day on May 11. The event, organized by SOLVE and the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries (OCHC), is a volunteer-led effort across the state to care for and preserve Oregon’s historic cemeteries.

Historic cemetery caretakers are encouraged to register their properties for the event on https://www.solveoregon.org/Cemetery-event-leaders.

SOLVE offers several resources to cemeteries that are registered for the event:

  • Free supplies like litter bags, vinyl gloves, safety vests and first aid kits.
  • Volunteer recruitment tools including forms, online registration and liability coverage.
  • Event flyer template.
  • Possible grants for native species to plant.
  • Advice on native plant species to plant for lower maintenance.
  • Small grants and in-kind donation forms for business that provide food and other supplies.
  • Project planning assistance.

In addition, OCHC will offer free in-person and webinar workshops on how to host a successful clean-up March 14 and 15. For details and registration visit the OCHC website at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/OCHC/Pages/index.aspx.

Oregon’s historic cemeteries are sites of great cultural value,” said Kuri Gill, historic cemeteries and grants coordinator with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). “They face many challenges including litter, over-growth of invasive species like thistle and ivy, moss covered monuments and general neglect.”

15 historic cemeteries and over 160 volunteers participated in the 2018 cleanup event. All told, volunteers collected nearly 300 pounds of trash and cleared 4,000 square feet of overgrown vegetation.

OCHC was established in 1999; its seven members coordinate the restoration and maintenance of historic cemeteries statewide and advocate for the importance of preserving Oregon’s historic burial sites.

SOLVE is a statewide, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission “to bring Oregonians together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship.” Visit solveoregon.org for more information.

MONDAY, MARCH 4, 2019

PORTLAND, Oregon – During a mobilization ceremony held at the Portland Air National Guard Base, 112 Airmen from the 142nd Fighter Wing were formally recognized as they prepare for upcoming overseas assignments in the coming weeks to support United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) and United States Central Command (CENTCOM) and other international missions. 

As part of the official party during the ceremony, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read, representing Oregon Governor Kate Brown, joined Maj. Gen. Michael Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon, and Col. Adam Sitler, 142nd Fighter Wing Commander, as they delivered remarks to recognize the Airmen, their families, and others in attendance for the event.

Traveler with measles may have exposed others at Portland International Airport, Salem

An individual contagious with measles visited Portland International Airport as well as locations in Marion County. This case is unrelated to the measles outbreak in Clark County, Wash., and unrelated to a recent report of measles in Multnomah County.

The individual, a resident of Illinois, recently spent time in countries where measles is common and has not received immunizations against the virus.

The Oregon Health Authority is working with Marion and Multnomah counties to notify individuals of their potential exposure and help them take steps to prevent exposing others should they become ill.

Most Oregonians have been vaccinated against measles and their risk is low. Risk may be higher for unvaccinated persons who may have been exposed at one of these locations during these times only:

  • Youth With a Mission, 7085 Battle Creek Road SE, Salem, Feb. 18, 7 a.m. through Feb. 22, 1 p.m.
  • Get Air Trampoline Park, 3910 Rickey St. SE, Salem, Feb. 21, 1:45-5 p.m.
  • Red Robin, 831 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem, Feb. 21, 12:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Portland International Airport: Southwest Airlines check-in area and Concourse C, Feb. 22, 12:30-5 p.m.

Who to call

Oregon public health officials urge people to avoid immediately going to a medical office, if:

  1. They are not immune AND
  2. They have been exposed AND
  3. They have symptoms

Instead, call a health care provider or urgent care center by telephone to create an entry plan to avoid exposing others in waiting rooms.

Marion County has established a call center for general questions related to this measles case. Anyone who has questions about public exposures should call 503-588-5621. The call center hours are Friday, March 1, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, March 3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Anyone with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or their county health department. For more information on measles for the public, please visit the OHA measles webpage or call the public health departments in the following counties:

About measles

Measles poses the highest risk to unvaccinated pregnant women, infants under 12 months of age, and people with weakened immune systems.

The symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

Common complications of measles include ear infection, lung infection, and diarrhea. Swelling of the brain is a rare but much more serious complication.

After someone contracts measles, illness develops in about two weeks, but people can be contagious days before they know they’re sick.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. People are contagious with measles for four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears. The virus can also linger in the air for up to two hours after someone who is infectious has left.

A person is considered immune to measles if ANY of the following apply:

  1. You were born before 1957.
  2. Your physician has diagnosed you with measles.
  3. A blood test proves that you are immune.
  4. You have been fully vaccinated against measles (one dose for children 12 months through 3 years old, two doses in anyone 4 years and older).

Elderly Financial Abuse

Elder abuse fraud continues to rise as a major consumer protection issue, with financial losses nationwide totaling $2.9 billion annually. Financial exploitation of the elderly often goes unreported because in many cases, it is someone closest to the victim who is the abuser.

The prevalence of this issue in Oregon is spurring multiple consumer protection groups to join forces and raise awareness. At Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific, reports on elder abuse fraud range from typical romance and IRS tax-scams, to more intricate schemes by caretakers or adult children duping victims into paying for construction that never occurs is or is unnecessary.

Carmel Snyder with AARP says reported financial abuse of elders is likely “just the tip of the iceberg in terms of total number of older adults who are defrauded or scammed out of their life savings.” Snyder adds, “this is especially insidious because older adults have very few opportunities to re-earn money.”

At Oregon Department of Human Services, the Adult Protective Services unit receives an increase in elder financial-abuse reports every year, according to Billie McNeely with DHS.

Statistics show the nation’s senior population will continue rising until 2030. “At this time, it is estimated there will be more people, 65 and older, than there will be children under 18,” McNeely said. “With 75% of the nation’s wealth being held by seniors, this places a large target on one of our most vulnerable populations.”

For children and family members of the elderly, it is important to watch for signs of financial abuse. If there is a caretaker in the home, BBB recommends that family members check in regularly and, when and where they can, be vigilant about their parents’ spending. The same is true for caretakers who suspect any odd behavior by family members. Warning signs include someone trying to isolate the victim from outside friends and neighbors, or someone having dubious access to a victim’s finances.

“For seniors and their families, it is critical that they watch for signs of financial fraud, neglect and abuse, and report any concerns to authorities,” said Steve Goldman, Assistant Special Agent, FBI Oregon.  

Steele confirmed that victims 60 and older represent one of the largest demographics reporting fraud to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, and that Oregon experiences a significant amount of these complaints.

NORTHWEST ENERGY SUPPLIES TIGHT, CONSUMERS ASKED TO CONSERVE ELECTRICITY

News Release from Bonneville Power Administration

Portland, Ore. – Unseasonably cold temperatures, low stream flows for hydropower production, transmission import constraints and high natural gas constraints are putting pressure on the regional electricity system. BPA is taking steps to increase power supplies and reduce consumer demand to keep the federal power system operating smoothly and support regional reliability.

“It’s always a good idea to use electricity wisely, and it’s even more important when supplies are tight,” says Elliot Mainzer, BPA administrator.

As temperatures are forecast to remain unseasonably cool across much of the region through the first week of March, BPA is asking customers to reduce energy use when possible to relieve stress on the power system.

“It’s supposed to be sunny over the next three days, so we’re asking customers to open their shades on south-facing windows and use the natural warmth of the sun to help heat their home,” said Snohomish County Public Utility District spokesperson Aaron Swaney. “We’re also asking them to turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees to give their furnace a break.”

“With regional weather continuing to be colder and snowier than usual, we always appreciate efforts by energy consumers to reduce their energy usage whenever possible,” Mark Johnson, Flathead Electric Cooperative general manager.

Tips for saving energy can be found here.

As the nation’s single largest supplier of carbon-free hydroelectricity, BPA takes its responsibilities to the region very seriously and is prepared to manage through all water conditions. BPA and its federal partners are tracking the low streamflow conditions in the Columbia and Snake river basins and will continue to explore various options for meeting the power needs of customers while upholding regional environmental stewardship obligations.

OREGON LEGISLATURE INTRODUCES THREE SCHOOL WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY SAFETY BILLS

The Oregon State Senate introduced a bill, (SB 283) that would require the Dept. of Education, and the Oregon Health Authority, to conduct a review of peer-reviewed, independently-funded scientific studies on the biological, cognitive and psychological effects of long-term exposure to microwave radiation from high powered microwave emitting wi-fi routers, laptop computers, smart boards and cordless phones used in classrooms in Oregon. In Dec. 2016 Maryland conducted a similar review. Currently Massachusetts has 7 bills in consideration relating to wireless safety issues. 

The science proving biological harm from exposure to microwave radiation is accruing at an accelerating pace. In November of 2018, a study by the National Institute of Health, National Toxicology Program, confirmed, “Clear Evidence of Cancer” from exposure to pulse modulated radio frequency microwave radiation from cell phones. Wi-fi technology utilizes the same frequency as cell phones. Many countries have eliminated or reduced exposure to radiation in their schools. No wireless device used by consumers and in classrooms was ever pre-market safety tested. In setting exposure standards the FCC ignored many thousands of studies from all branches of the military, NASA and the international science community, showing the biological effects of (so called) non-ionizing microwave radiation.

Two additional bills, introduced concurrently (SB 281) would require precautionary labeling on radiation emitting wireless devices. SB 282 addresses the effect of excessive classroom screen time and its impact on learning, cognition, memory and psychology. To date roughly 200 studies show that computers can interfere with the learning process.

DAS PUBLISHES ANNUAL MAXIMUM RENT INCREASE FOR 2019

In response to the passage of SB 608 (2019), the Oregon Department of Administrative Services today published the current annual maximum rent increase allowed in 2019. The DAS Office of Economic Analysis has calculated the percentage as 10.3%.

SB 608 requires DAS to calculate and post to its website, by September 30 of each year, the maximum annual rent increase percentage allowed by statute for the following calendar year. Because SB 608 has taken effect, it was necessary to calculate the percentage for the current calendar year. Per SB 608, OEA calculates this amount as 7% plus the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, West Region (All Items), as most recently published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The maximum allowable rent increase for the 2019 calendar year is 10.3%. DAS will calculate and post the percentage for the 2020 calendar year by Sept. 30, 2019.

Information about the maximum annual rent increase percentage, as well as the provisions of ORS 90.323 and 90.600 (statutes governing rent increases), can be found on the OEA website at the link below.  

For information on the new law, please see the full text of SB 608 at the link below. DAS does not provide legal advice regarding other provisions of SB 608.

FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 2019

Governor Brown Declares State of Emergency in Ten Counties Due to Severe Winter Storm Conditions

(Salem, OR) — Governor Brown today declared a state of emergency in ten Oregon counties due to severe winter storm conditions: Coos, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Linn, and Marion. This declaration comes at the request of local officials and is based on the recommendations of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

“As our state and local authorities continue to work hard to clear roads, reconnect power, and ensure the safety of the community, this declaration will provide additional resources and the potential for federal highway system funds in the future,” said Governor Brown. “I urge all Oregonians to follow the recommendations of local authorities, and avoid travel while ODOT crews work on the roads and restore core services.”

Governor Brown’s declaration directs OEM to coordinate the deployment of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Oregon State Police, and the Oregon National Guard to support local communities as needed. OEM will facilitate the access and use of state resources, personnel, and equipment to protect communities, property, and the environment, and aid in the recovery from heavy snow and ice accumulation, high winds, flooding, and landslides. The declaration will also enable ODOT to activate the Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program to help repair transportation systems. The state of emergency will be in effect for 30 days, unless terminated sooner by the Governor.

The Office of Emergency Management will continue to provide regular updates, which will be made available here: https://twitter.com/oregonoem.

ODOT is planning to open Oregon 138E (North Umpqua Highway) this afternoon in time for recreational users to travel from Roseburg and enjoy the snow this weekend at Diamond Lake, Crater Lake and other mountain areas. Access to snow parks may be limited.

ODOT and Oregon Department of Forestry staff are currently working with Weekly Brothers contract crews to clean up slides and remove trees that were knocked down during this week’s snowstorm. ODOT will provide an update as soon as Oregon 138E is open.

Winter road conditions are in effect. Motorists should drive with caution and expect lane closures and delays as workers continue clearing debris from the shoulders of the highway. Flaggers will provide traffic control as needed.

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