Oregon News Today – Whale Watching Season Begins

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2019

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate 4.4% for February

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in February and 4.3 percent in January. Oregon’s unemployment rate has ranged between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent since November 2016, with the low of 4.0 percent occurring in May, June, and July 2018. The U.S. unemployment rate declined to 3.8 percent in February from 4.0 percent in January.

Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment changed little in February (-500 jobs), following a revised, large gain of 12,800 jobs in January. Employment in financial activitiesgovernment, and construction continued to trend up, while transportation, warehousing and utilities decreased.

Since February 2018, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment increased by 29,500 jobs, or 1.5 percent. This growth rate was in line with the most recent nine months in which annual gains averaged 29,100 jobs. Over the past 12 months, the U.S. expanded at a slightly faster rate of 1.7 percent.

In February in our state, employment in financial activities gained 900 jobs. Over the year, financial activities has added 1,200 jobs, or 1.2 percent. Government expanded by 700 jobs in February and since February 2018, it rose by 4,700 jobs, or 1.6 percent. Construction added 600 jobs in February. Construction led all industries with over??’the-year growth of 4,600 jobs, or 4.4 percent.

Transportation, warehousing, and utilities was the only major industry experiencing a large employment decline in February. It cut 1,800 jobs for the month, following a gain of 700 in January. Despite the drop in February, the industry grew rapidly in the second half of 2018, and has been the second fastest growing industry in the past 12 months, adding 2,400 jobs, or 3.8 percent in that time.

One component of the transportation industry, couriers and messengers, has expanded rapidly since 2013. Employment jumped 56 percent over that period, and stood at 9,800 jobs in February 2019. UPS and FedEx are included in this industry, which has become more highly seasonal with employment ramping up by 4,100 jobs during October through December 2018, then declining 3,800 jobs by February.

Health of Oregon, County by CountyWashington County ranks healthiest in Oregon and Klamath County is the least healthy county in the state, according to the annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI).The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org

An easy-to-use snapshot that compares counties within states, the Rankings show that where you live influences how well and how long you live. Housing is part of the foundation for living long and well. High housing costs can force some families to live in unsafe or overcrowded housing or even into homelessness. This year’s Rankings State Reports show stark differences across and within counties in the opportunity to afford a home, especially for those with low incomes and people of color. This year’s analyses show that a lack of opportunity for a safe, secure, and affordable home is tied to poor health. 
The Rankings State Reports call attention to key drivers in health such as severe housing cost burden and its connection to other factors like children in poverty. Among Oregon’s children living in poverty, 51 percent were living in a household that spends more than half of its income on housing. High housing costs make it difficult for families to afford other essentials that contribute to good health, such as healthy food, medicine, or transportation to work or school. Looking at differences by place and race offers a more complete picture of health. In Oregon, 17 percent of households spend more than half of their income on housing costs but when we look by race—even deeper differences emerge with households headed by Black residents most burdened by severe housing costs at 34 percent compared to White resident households at 15 percent. County by county, severe housing cost burden ranges from 8 percent to 20 percent of households.

“The County Health Rankings demonstrate that where we live, work, play, learn and age matters to our health,” said Katrina Hedberg, MD, MPH, state health officer and epidemiologist at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. “This report is more confirmation that we have a lot of work to do to ensure everyone in Oregon has a chance to achieve optimal health, and that social factors such as housing, income, and education make health inconsistent across our state.”

According to the 2019 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in Oregon, starting with the most healthy, are Washington County, followed by Benton County, Hood River County, Clackamas County, and Deschutes County.The five counties in the poorest health, starting with the least healthy, are Klamath County, Jefferson County, Josephine County, Malheur County, and Lincoln County.

SINGLE VEHICLE FATAL CRASH ON HWY 99 – JACKSON COUNTY

On Monday, March 18, 2019 at approximately 12:18 A.M. Oregon State Police and emergency personnel responded to the report of a single vehicle crash on Hwy 99 near milepost 10.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 1987 Toyota pickup truck failed to negotiate a curve, went off the road, and came to rest in Birdseye Creek. 

The male driver sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.

OSP was assisted by Rogue River Fire District, Rogue River PD, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and ODOT.

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Eugene Sweigart, died the evening of March 15, 2019. Sweigart was incarcerated at Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) in Umatilla and passed away at an outside medical facility.

As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. 

Sweigart entered DOC custody on September 5, 2002, from Yamhill County with an earliest release date of May 18, 2041. Sweigart was 75 years old. Next of kin has been notified.  No other details are available at this time.

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,900 individuals who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

TRCI is a multi-custody prison in Umatilla that houses approximately 1,800 adults in custody.

PORTLAND, Ore.—On Friday, March 15, 2019, a federal jury found Dat Quoc Do, 28, of Madras, Oregon, guilty of two counts of unlawful use of a weapon for discharging a firearm during a road rage altercation on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in September 2017.

“There is simply no excuse for this sort of violence in our community. Mr. Do’s actions are very serious and could have critically injured or killed an innocent motorist,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “The jury clearly saw this case for what it is: an egregious and preventable overreaction to an otherwise ordinary event on the highway.”

“These acts are shocking.  Handguns are not video games and this is not a movie,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “By shooting towards another car, Mr. Do put lives in danger and traumatized the occupants including a child inside the vehicle.”

Do faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He will be sentenced on Monday, June 10, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon.

Southern Oregon Blood Drive

Every day, thousands of patients rely on lifesaving blood donations – patients like 5-year-old Emery, who is battling cancer. That’s why the American Red Cross is urging new and current donors to roll up a sleeve to help sustain a sufficient blood supply.

Below is more about Emery’s story as well as information about our upcoming blood drives in the area. Please let me know if you have any questions, would like to set up an interview or need additional information.Thanks in advance for your support!

Christine Welch, American Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services, RedCrossBlood.org

Blood Donation Opportunities, March 18-April 15, 2019
…Be a lifesaver: Give blood with the Red Cross this spring

(March 18, 2019) — Eligible blood donors of all blood types – especially type O – are urged to give blood through the American Red Cross now to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients this spring.

By giving blood, donors may be helping someone like 5-year-old Emery Twehues, who was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia last spring. During her intense cancer treatments, Emery has needed both blood and platelets. Cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, and certain types of chemotherapy drugs and radiation can damage the bone marrow, where red blood cells and platelets are produced.

“Emery would not be able to recover from chemotherapy without lifesaving transfusions,” said her mom, Morgan Twehues. “Every time they hang a bag of platelets or blood up on her IV pole, I wish whoever donated that could see who it’s going to. There would be no chance for her to live, taking that chemotherapy, if it weren’t for the blood products.”

In order to meet the needs of patients like Emery, the Red Cross must collect about 13,000 blood and more than 2,500 platelet donations every day.

Make an appointment to help save lives now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming Red Cross Blood Donation Opportunities- March 18-April 15

Klamath County

Chiloquin

3/19/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Chiloquin High School, 300 E Elm Street

Klamath Falls

3/18/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Refuge City Church, 2610 Shasta Way

3/20/2019: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Klamath Basin Behavioral Health, 2210 El Dorado

3/21/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., LDS – Klamath Falls Stake, Alva and McClellan Street

4/8/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cerulean Inn, 100 Main St

4/9/2019: 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Henley High School, 8245 Highway 39

4/10/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Henley High School, 8245 Highway 39

4/12/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Mazama High School, 3009 Summers Ln

How to donate blood.

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

The March 2019 mid-month stream flow forecasts for the Klamath Basin are attached and remain above normal for all forecast periods.  Even though precipitation was below normal to the north, the SWE values stayed higher compared to median due to cooler than normal temperatures.  See below graphic.  To the southeast, precipitation continued above average in early March.  All forecasts for the 50% exceedance probability went up slightly from the March 1st forecasts.

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center is calling for above normal temps for the March-April-May 3-month period and the near-term forecast is sunny and dry.  Given the weather forecast, water users may consider using the 70% exceedance forecasts.

Oregon’s public collection of more than 2,400 artworks acquired and commissioned since 1975 is now featured on a searchable website for all to view.

The State of Oregon Percent for Art Collection includes paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass, mosaics, murals, textiles and both site-specific and structurally integrated art installations by over 800 artists. A number of commissioned temporary works can also be found on the website.

The artworks, installed across the state, can be found in public buildings from La Grande to Corvallis and Medford to Portland, including on campuses of higher education at University of Oregon, Portland State University, Oregon State University, Southern Oregon University, Eastern Oregon University, Western Oregon University and Oregon Institute of Technology.

The new online interface allows Oregonians or visitors to experience the state’s art collection remotely or to plan visits to view art in person. Robust search capabilities allow tailored searches—for a teacher creating class curriculum, a student doing research or a curious member of the public.

Highlights of the collection include:

  • Two- and three-dimensional works by seminal Oregon artists including Louis Bunce, Sally Haley, Manuel Izquierdo, George Johanson, James Lavadour and Lucinda Parker.
  • Temporary artworks, including “Information Studio” (2008) by Tahni Holt, an interactive dance installation created during a month-long residency at Portland State University. The site-specific work transformed a glass enclosed meeting room at the Smith Memorial Student Union into a stage where performers followed directions via headphones to realize Holt’s choreography.
  • Integrated works like Henk Pander’s “The Road” (2006), a largescale painting of an imagined traffic accident based on the artist’s experiences riding along with various Oregon police, sheriff and fire departments. The painting was commissioned for the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.
  • Memorials, such as Lead Pencil Studio’s “OSH Patient Memorial” (2014) at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem, which respectfully commemorates more than 3,400 individuals who passed away in Oregon state institutions from 1913 to 1970. The memorial includes a building displaying the historical metal canisters that held the ashes of individuals not claimed by family members. Facing this, a columbarium wall holds newly created ceramic urns with the inscribed names and living dates of the remains represented within.
  • Recent commissions include “Lessons from a Falling Star” (2018) by Garrick Imatani, installed at the University of Oregon. This project traces the legacy of “Tomanowas” (The Willamette Meteorite), which came to Oregon via the Missoula Floods approximately 15,000 years ago. The artist worked with the Clackamas tribe (part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde), who consider “Tomanowas” a sacred object, to 3D scan the meteorite and photograph current tribe members with a 3D printed replica in response to archival images showing the meteorite as discovered. A second aluminum replica of the meteorite is suspended in the atrium of Straub Hall in front of a mural showing water levels during the Missoula Floods.

Oregon was one of the first states in the nation to pass Percent for Art legislation, setting aside no less than 1 percent of funds for the acquisition of public-facing artwork in all state building construction projects with budgets over $100,000. Since 1975, the Percent for Art program has placed high-quality, accessible and mostly permanent art in public places. Over 275 state construction projects have qualified for Percent for Art funds and more than 2,000 Oregonians have taken part in the selection of artwork for their state’s higher education campuses and government facilities. The program, managed by the Oregon Arts Commission, remains dedicated to the enhancement of public environments and the improvement of the character and quality of state buildings.

Link to State of Oregon Percent for Art Collection websitehttp://state-of-oregon-art-collection.org/final/Portal.aspx

Merkley, Wyden Announce $2.5 Million for Offshore Wind Energy ResearchThe grant will support Oregon State University’s cutting-edge research on wind energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced a major, $2.5 million grant for Oregon State University to develop monitoring systems for offshore wind turbines, advancing the renewable energy technology with cutting-edge research.

“If we want to curb climate chaos and remain an economic force in the world, we must invest in research and development for the most cutting-edge energy technology,” said Merkley, who uses his seat on the Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee to ensure these types of grant programs are funded. “I’ve climbed to the top of a wind turbine and witnessed their power—not only powering the electric grid with clean energy, but also powering local economies with jobs. This investment in research is good for our planet and good for our communities.”

“It’s time to kick the carbon habit, and that means promoting innovation in clean, renewable energy,”said Wyden. “Investments like these are exactly what’s needed to transition the United States away from the dirty energy relics of yesteryear and into the future.”

“Oregon State University is proud of its faculty research community for contributing significant scientific discovery and innovation toward a renewable energy future,” said Irem Tumer, Oregon State’s interim vice president for research. “Dr. Roberto Albertani and his team will play a key role in utilizing technological innovation to improve understanding of how offshore wind energy systems may interact with the surrounding natural environment.” 

The award is among the $6.2 million in grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy for early stage research and development projects that will reduce environmental compliance costs and environmental impacts of land-based and offshore wind energy. Technologies that reduce the impact to bats, birds and other wildlife can lead to less curtailment when wind turbines have to be shut down. 

Oregon State University will design, build, and test an autonomous monitoring system to accurately detect bird and bat collisions with offshore wind turbines. The system will combine microphones and 360-degree cameras with analysis software to detect and verify impacts.

REDMOND, Ore. – Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s (OPRD) All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Advisory Grant Subcommittee will meet to review several ATV Grant applications 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. April 2 at the Sleep Inn Event Center, located above Geno’s Italian Grill, 1857 NW 6th St., Redmond. The meeting is open to the public.

On the agenda: the subcommittee will review grant applications for ATV-related planning, development, acquisition and emergency medical projects. The subcommittee will then provide recommendations on grant funding to the OPRD director for referral to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission.

April 3 the committee will tour ATV riding areas in Central Oregon.

View a more detailed agenda online: https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/ATV/Pages/grant_apply.aspx

The ATV Grant Program provides funding statewide for ATV recreation. Grant funds come from ATV user permit sales and a percentage of gasoline tax money. More information about the state ATV program is available online: www.OregonOHV.org

The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals that need special accommodations to attend the meeting should call 541-504-1500 at least three days in advance.

MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019

Veterans Administration of Southern Oregon To Honor 50th Anniversary of Vietnam War

On March 29, at 11am-noon, The VA is recognizing Vietnam War Veterans in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. VA SORCC will be partnering with our local Eagle Point National Cemetery at 2763 Riley Rd, Eagle Point.

We will be doing a traditional wreath laying ceremony. The event will be open to Veterans, their families and the community. We will also have pins, stickers, etc. to give out to Vietnam era Veterans who attend the ceremony.

This is an opportunity for all Americans to recognize, honor, and thank our Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices during one of America’s longest wars. On this day across the Nation, Americans are uniting to thank and honor Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice!

This day was added as National Vietnam War Veterans Day, When President Trump signed into law The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017.

This commemoration recognizes all men and women who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during the U.S. involvement in Vietnam—November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975. 

Nine million Americans including VA SORCC Director Mr. Philip Dionne, served during that period, and the commemoration makes no distinction between Veterans who served in-country, in-theater or were stationed elsewhere during those 20 years.  All answered the call of duty.

The Spring Whale Watch Week event returns to the coast March 23 – 31 to celebrate the more than 20,000 Gray whales expected to migrate north past Oregon over the next few months.

Trained volunteers from the Whale Watching Spoken Here program will be stationed 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. each day at 24 sites along the coast, ready to help visitors spot the migrating mammals. A map of the volunteer-staffed sites is available on whalespoken.org.

The Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay will be open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily. Visitors to the center can enjoy interactive whale exhibits and take in the panoramic ocean views. Binoculars are provided. Rangers from Oregon State Parks will also be on hand to answer questions about the whales.

An online live stream of whale activity in Depoe Bay returns this spring too; watch it on the Oregon State Parks YouTube channel during the event.

Gray whales migrate north along the coast of the western U.S. annually during spring; they return to Alaskan waters after wintering in the warm lagoons off the coast of Baja, Mexico. Many of the Gray whales will be accompanied by their new calves, born during the winter. The first large groups of whales pass by Oregon mid-March and the migratory stream typically continues into June. 

For more information about coast parks and campgrounds, visit oregonstateparks.org.

Pacific Power offers new Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option

As part of a statewide metering upgrade designed to improve service to customers through shorter outages and hour-by-hour energy usage information, Pacific Power is providing an additional offering for customers who wish to opt out. As part of a final filing to the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Oregon on Monday, March 11, Pacific Power will now offer a commission-approved Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option to help reduce monthly fees starting March 13.

“We’ve heard from customers that the fee to opt out of a smart meter is burdensome, and we have continued to look for new options,” said Pacific Power Vice President of Regulation, Etta Lockey. “This has been a collaborative process with the PUC and the Citizens’ Utility Board, and we are pleased to offer this new option to customers.”

Smart meters wirelessly deliver hour-by-hour energy usage information to customers via their online account, eliminating the need to wait for a manual meter read and a monthly bill. While only around one percent of customers are opting out of the meter upgrade, choosing to do so adds a cost to continue manual meter reads.

The Equal Payment Option reduces opt-out fees for customers from the current $36 a month to $9 a month, by reducing the number of manual reads to three times per year ($36 per reading, spread across 12 months). It also allows customers to pay a level or equal monthly amount based on a historical average of their previous bills.

The standard opt-out plan will continue to be available as well and provides monthly manual $36 meter reads and bills based on monthly usage.

Customers must select the new option by calling 1-866-869-8520. All residential customers with non-standard meters are eligible to participate. Residential customers with net meters,

time of use meters or demand registers would not qualify because it is necessary for the company to obtain routine meter reads to bill customers under those circumstances accurately.

Pacific Power’s upgrade of 590,000 meters began in January 2018 and continues through 2019. Installs are already complete for more than two-thirds of Pacific Power customers in Oregon. An opt-out option was made available during the upgrade to customers who choose to opt-out. In August, Pacific Power removed a $137 fee covering a future replacement of a non-communicative meter with a smart meter to help address the upfront financial impact of the program. This new Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option is part of Pacific Power’s continued review of opt-out fees, to ensure costs are fair for all customers.

Additional information on smart meters, including installation updates, are available at www.pacificpower.net/smartmeter. Customers can also call 866-869-8520 for help with any question

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today released the following statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a plan to delist the gray wolf across the Lower 48 states:

“For years, I’ve heard from ranchers across our district who watched as wolf populations continue to grow, harassing and killing their livestock. This truly threatens their livelihoods. Today’s announcement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is welcome news for Oregonians and people across the West who have been waiting for action to delist the gray wolf, after the Fish and Wildlife Service said the species had recovered back in 2013. For too long, Oregon ranchers have dealt with an arbitrarily divided management strategy between the state and federal government in different parts of the state. I applaud the Trump Administration for answering their calls for action and moving forward with removing the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list so we can manage wolves locally under the collaboratively developed Oregon Wolf Plan.”

Last Congress, Representative Walden helped pass legislation through the House to formally delist the gray wolf, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife has proposed since 2013.

The Oregon Historical Society (OHS) is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the Oregon History Makers Medal. First awarded in 2009, the History Makers Medal is regarded as one of Oregon’s most prestigious honors and is presented annually by OHS to individuals and organizations that are positively shaping the history, culture, and landscape of Oregon.

The 2019 Oregon History Makers Medal recipients are:

Andy Bryant: Tech industry visionary

Andy’s nearly 40-year career at Intel includes serving as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, and his current position as Chairman of the Board. Since establishing operations in Oregon in 1974, Intel has invested more than $40 billion in the state to develop advanced high-tech manufacturing capacity. Intel’s operations in Oregon are the company’s largest concentration of facilities and talent in the world.

Gale Castillo: Path breaking business and community leader

As the co-founder and long-time president of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber (the largest Hispanic chamber in the Northwest) and the co-owner and president of Cascade Centers, Inc. (one of the country’s largest privately held companies that provide Employee Assistance Programs), Gale has earned a reputation as one of Oregon’s most eloquent and effective voices for minority business development and the economic advancement of minority communities.

Colin O’Brady: Athlete, adventurer, educator

Colin O’Brady is an adventurer and explorer who made history in December 2018 as the first person to complete an unassisted solo crossing of Antarctica. In 2016, he conquered The Explorers Grand Slam in a world record shattering 139 days. Colin summited the tallest peak on each of the seven continents including Mt. Everest and skied the last degree to the North and South Poles.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival: World-renowned Oregon theater

Founded in Ashland in 1935, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival offers annual productions from March through October each year to a total annual audience of about 400,000. The Festival welcomed its millionth visitor in 1971, its ten millionth in 2001, and its twenty millionth in 2015.

“For over a decade, the Oregon Historical Society has had the pleasure of highlighting the accomplishments of the business leaders, philanthropists, artists, and cutting-edge thinkers that have shaped our communities,” said OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. “Oregon would not be where it is today without the individuals and organizations that continue to innovate and push boundaries across every industry.”

The Oregon History Makers Medal will be presented at a dinner at the historic Montgomery Park building in Portland on Sunday, October 6, 2019. Table sponsorships and individual tickets are available; for more information, please contact Alexis Borges-Silva at 503.306.5266 or alexis.silva@ohs.org.


About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website (www.ohs.org), educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon’s history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon’s cannot be contained within a single story or point of view.

The International Visitor Program at WorldOregon (formerly World Affairs Council of Oregon) is hosting a group of officers from Indonesia looking at the topic of women in law enforcement through United States Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). 

While in the United States, this group is spending time in four states including Oregon.  In Oregon they will be spending time with our partners at the Portland Police Bureau and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. 

Today the group visited the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training’s (DPSST) Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.  While at the Academy they learned about the state’s professional certification standards and law enforcement training programs, observed various classes in session, toured the 235-acre campus, and attended the graduation of the 385th Basic Police Class.  Afterwards enjoyed lunch at the Academy while meeting with some of Oregon’s law enforcement leaders including Oregon State Police Deputy Superintendent Terri Davie, Tigard Police Chief Cathy McAlpine, and Central Point Police Chief Kris Allison.  The lunch discussion included topics such as recruitment and retention, workforce diversity, training and education programs, and many others. 

Out of the four-state visit, Oregon was the only state they visited where all city, county, state, tribal and university law enforcement officers train at the same academy with the same curriculum.

DPSST Director Eriks Gabliks said “We are honored to host our law enforcement counterparts from Indonesia and share our work and equally important learn about their organization, culture, training, challenges and emerging issues.”

For more information on WorldOregon https://www.worldoregon.org/

For more information on The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) https://eca.state.gov/ivlp


The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) operates the Oregon Public Safety Academy which spans more than 235 acres in Salem. The Academy is nationally recognized for its innovative training programs and active stakeholder involvement. Eriks Gabliks serves as the Director, and Sheriff Jason Myers of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office serves as the Chair of the Board. The department implements minimum standards established by the Board for the training and certification of more than 40,000 city, tribal, county and state law enforcement officers, corrections officers, parole and probation officers, fire service personnel, telecommunicators, emergency medical dispatchers and private security providers.

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.

MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019

Veterans Administration of Southern Oregon To Honor 50th Anniversary of Vietnam War

On March 29, at 11am-noon, The VA is recognizing Vietnam War Veterans in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. VA SORCC will be partnering with our local Eagle Point National Cemetery at 2763 Riley Rd, Eagle Point.

We will be doing a traditional wreath laying ceremony. The event will be open to Veterans, their families and the community. We will also have pins, stickers, etc. to give out to Vietnam era Veterans who attend the ceremony.

This is an opportunity for all Americans to recognize, honor, and thank our Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices during one of America’s longest wars. On this day across the Nation, Americans are uniting to thank and honor Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice!

This day was added as National Vietnam War Veterans Day, When President Trump signed into law The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017.

This commemoration recognizes all men and women who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during the U.S. involvement in Vietnam—November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975. 

Nine million Americans including VA SORCC Director Mr. Philip Dionne, served during that period, and the commemoration makes no distinction between Veterans who served in-country, in-theater or were stationed elsewhere during those 20 years.  All answered the call of duty.

A new Smokey Bear license plate is coming to Oregon on August 1, 2019! Using Ebay, Keep Oregon Green (KOG) will soon auction off low numbers SB 00002 through SB 00020.

KOG will start the bidding on Sunday, March 17, 2019 at noon with SB 00020. The next number (SB 00019) will be auctioned the following Sunday, March 24th. KOG will conduct these low number auctions each week until the last low number (SB 00002) is sold in July.

The funds generated from the auction will benefit the Keep Oregon Green Association, whose mission is to promote healthy landscapes and safe communities by educating the public of everyone’s shared responsibility to prevent human-caused wildfires. 

If you plan to bid on a low number, please keep in mind that the bidder must qualify for Oregon registration. The plate has to be issued to a passenger vehicle. You do not need to have purchased a Smokey Bear voucher to participate in this auction.

Keep Oregon Green cannot technically auction the plate itself, only the low number that appears on the plate. DMV issues the Smokey Bear plate, so any association with DMV fees, requirements, etc. are kept completely separate from this auction. The $40 surcharge or any other DMV plate-related fees are not a part of the auction amount. If winners get a low number and already have a voucher, DMV has your information and will send a letter indicating what is needed to apply and pay for the plate once they are available for purchase. DMV will also send similar letters to winners who have not pre-paid for a voucher. 

DMV is not involved in the auction, but the list of winners will be turned over to DMV and accounted for in their system. Once the auction is complete, Keep Oregon Green will provide DMV with the names, addresses, license, and vehicle information to include on the list. DMV will handle all tasks related to issuance of the plate, including sending a letter to the “winners” with the fees and application information.

To reiterate, Keep Oregon Green is not auctioning Smokey Bear plates, but rather a chance to reserve a low plate number from 00002-00020. Aside from these 19 numbers, all other plate numbers are first-come, first-served. Keep Oregon Green and DMV do not reserve any other configurations, only the 19 numbers that Keep Oregon Green has designated.

For further information about the low number auction and questions, please visit www.keeporegongreen.org.

The Spring Whale Watch Week event returns to the coast March 23 – 31 to celebrate the more than 20,000 Gray whales expected to migrate north past Oregon over the next few months.

Trained volunteers from the Whale Watching Spoken Here program will be stationed 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. each day at 24 sites along the coast, ready to help visitors spot the migrating mammals. A map of the volunteer-staffed sites is available on whalespoken.org.

The Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay will be open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily. Visitors to the center can enjoy interactive whale exhibits and take in the panoramic ocean views. Binoculars are provided. Rangers from Oregon State Parks will also be on hand to answer questions about the whales.

An online live stream of whale activity in Depoe Bay returns this spring too; watch it on the Oregon State Parks YouTube channel during the event.

Gray whales migrate north along the coast of the western U.S. annually during spring; they return to Alaskan waters after wintering in the warm lagoons off the coast of Baja, Mexico. Many of the Gray whales will be accompanied by their new calves, born during the winter. The first large groups of whales pass by Oregon mid-March and the migratory stream typically continues into June. 

For more information about coast parks and campgrounds, visit oregonstateparks.org.

Pacific Power offers new Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option

As part of a statewide metering upgrade designed to improve service to customers through shorter outages and hour-by-hour energy usage information, Pacific Power is providing an additional offering for customers who wish to opt out. As part of a final filing to the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Oregon on Monday, March 11, Pacific Power will now offer a commission-approved Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option to help reduce monthly fees starting March 13.

“We’ve heard from customers that the fee to opt out of a smart meter is burdensome, and we have continued to look for new options,” said Pacific Power Vice President of Regulation, Etta Lockey. “This has been a collaborative process with the PUC and the Citizens’ Utility Board, and we are pleased to offer this new option to customers.”

Smart meters wirelessly deliver hour-by-hour energy usage information to customers via their online account, eliminating the need to wait for a manual meter read and a monthly bill. While only around one percent of customers are opting out of the meter upgrade, choosing to do so adds a cost to continue manual meter reads.

The Equal Payment Option reduces opt-out fees for customers from the current $36 a month to $9 a month, by reducing the number of manual reads to three times per year ($36 per reading, spread across 12 months). It also allows customers to pay a level or equal monthly amount based on a historical average of their previous bills.

The standard opt-out plan will continue to be available as well and provides monthly manual $36 meter reads and bills based on monthly usage.

Customers must select the new option by calling 1-866-869-8520. All residential customers with non-standard meters are eligible to participate. Residential customers with net meters,

time of use meters or demand registers would not qualify because it is necessary for the company to obtain routine meter reads to bill customers under those circumstances accurately.

Pacific Power’s upgrade of 590,000 meters began in January 2018 and continues through 2019. Installs are already complete for more than two-thirds of Pacific Power customers in Oregon. An opt-out option was made available during the upgrade to customers who choose to opt-out. In August, Pacific Power removed a $137 fee covering a future replacement of a non-communicative meter with a smart meter to help address the upfront financial impact of the program. This new Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option is part of Pacific Power’s continued review of opt-out fees, to ensure costs are fair for all customers.

Additional information on smart meters, including installation updates, are available at www.pacificpower.net/smartmeter. Customers can also call 866-869-8520 for help with any questions

Wolves killing cattle and wildlife remain a problem in Northwest

Greg Walden statement on proposal to delist wolves across Lower 48

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today released the following statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a plan to delist the gray wolf across the Lower 48 states:

“For years, I’ve heard from ranchers across our district who watched as wolf populations continue to grow, harassing and killing their livestock. This truly threatens their livelihoods. Today’s announcement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is welcome news for Oregonians and people across the West who have been waiting for action to delist the gray wolf, after the Fish and Wildlife Service said the species had recovered back in 2013. For too long, Oregon ranchers have dealt with an arbitrarily divided management strategy between the state and federal government in different parts of the state. I applaud the Trump Administration for answering their calls for action and moving forward with removing the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list so we can manage wolves locally under the collaboratively developed Oregon Wolf Plan.”

Last Congress, Representative Walden helped pass legislation through the House to formally delist the gray wolf, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife has proposed since 2013.

The Oregon Historical Society (OHS) is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the Oregon History Makers Medal. First awarded in 2009, the History Makers Medal is regarded as one of Oregon’s most prestigious honors and is presented annually by OHS to individuals and organizations that are positively shaping the history, culture, and landscape of Oregon.

The 2019 Oregon History Makers Medal recipients are:

Andy Bryant: Tech industry visionary

Andy’s nearly 40-year career at Intel includes serving as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, and his current position as Chairman of the Board. Since establishing operations in Oregon in 1974, Intel has invested more than $40 billion in the state to develop advanced high-tech manufacturing capacity. Intel’s operations in Oregon are the company’s largest concentration of facilities and talent in the world.

Gale Castillo: Path breaking business and community leader

As the co-founder and long-time president of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber (the largest Hispanic chamber in the Northwest) and the co-owner and president of Cascade Centers, Inc. (one of the country’s largest privately held companies that provide Employee Assistance Programs), Gale has earned a reputation as one of Oregon’s most eloquent and effective voices for minority business development and the economic advancement of minority communities.

Colin O’Brady: Athlete, adventurer, educator

Colin O’Brady is an adventurer and explorer who made history in December 2018 as the first person to complete an unassisted solo crossing of Antarctica. In 2016, he conquered The Explorers Grand Slam in a world record shattering 139 days. Colin summited the tallest peak on each of the seven continents including Mt. Everest and skied the last degree to the North and South Poles.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival: World-renowned Oregon theater

Founded in Ashland in 1935, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival offers annual productions from March through October each year to a total annual audience of about 400,000. The Festival welcomed its millionth visitor in 1971, its ten millionth in 2001, and its twenty millionth in 2015.

“For over a decade, the Oregon Historical Society has had the pleasure of highlighting the accomplishments of the business leaders, philanthropists, artists, and cutting-edge thinkers that have shaped our communities,” said OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. “Oregon would not be where it is today without the individuals and organizations that continue to innovate and push boundaries across every industry.”

The Oregon History Makers Medal will be presented at a dinner at the historic Montgomery Park building in Portland on Sunday, October 6, 2019. Table sponsorships and individual tickets are available; for more information, please contact Alexis Borges-Silva at 503.306.5266 or alexis.silva@ohs.org.


About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website (www.ohs.org), educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon’s history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon’s cannot be contained within a single story or point of view.

The International Visitor Program at WorldOregon (formerly World Affairs Council of Oregon) is hosting a group of officers from Indonesia looking at the topic of women in law enforcement through United States Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). 

While in the United States, this group is spending time in four states including Oregon.  In Oregon they will be spending time with our partners at the Portland Police Bureau and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. 

Today the group visited the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training’s (DPSST) Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.  While at the Academy they learned about the state’s professional certification standards and law enforcement training programs, observed various classes in session, toured the 235-acre campus, and attended the graduation of the 385th Basic Police Class.  Afterwards enjoyed lunch at the Academy while meeting with some of Oregon’s law enforcement leaders including Oregon State Police Deputy Superintendent Terri Davie, Tigard Police Chief Cathy McAlpine, and Central Point Police Chief Kris Allison.  The lunch discussion included topics such as recruitment and retention, workforce diversity, training and education programs, and many others. 

Out of the four-state visit, Oregon was the only state they visited where all city, county, state, tribal and university law enforcement officers train at the same academy with the same curriculum.

DPSST Director Eriks Gabliks said “We are honored to host our law enforcement counterparts from Indonesia and share our work and equally important learn about their organization, culture, training, challenges and emerging issues.”

For more information on WorldOregon https://www.worldoregon.org/

For more information on The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) https://eca.state.gov/ivlp


The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) operates the Oregon Public Safety Academy which spans more than 235 acres in Salem. The Academy is nationally recognized for its innovative training programs and active stakeholder involvement. Eriks Gabliks serves as the Director, and Sheriff Jason Myers of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office serves as the Chair of the Board. The department implements minimum standards established by the Board for the training and certification of more than 40,000 city, tribal, county and state law enforcement officers, corrections officers, parole and probation officers, fire service personnel, telecommunicators, emergency medical dispatchers and private security providers.

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.

BLM Sage-Grouse Habitat Announced

WASHINGTON – Furthering the Administration’s goals of restoring trust with local communities and responsibly developing America’s natural resources while easing regulatory burdens, the Bureau of Land Management today issued Records of Decision (RODs) amending land use plans for Greater Sage-Grouse habitat management on public lands, providing special protective measures for nearly 60 million acres of sagebrush steppe. 

The decisions received bipartisan support from the governors who sought revisions to the plans that guide conservation of sagebrush steppe habitat on BLM-administered public lands in their respective states.  The goal was to better align BLM plans for managing habitat with state plans for conserving the species. 

“Months of close coordination and cooperation with state governments in Wyoming, Nevada, California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Colorado have gone into the development of today’s decisions,” said Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “The plan amendments adopted today show that listening to and working with our neighbors at the state and local levels of government is the key to long-term conservation and to ensuring the viability of local communities across the West.”  [See article: Governors welcome plan revisions]

“Collaboration is hard work, and I appreciate the efforts by our stakeholders, state agencies and the Department of Interior to craft an agreement to protect the sage grouse,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “Balancing sage grouse habitat protection and economic development requires mitigation of negative impacts. This agreement is a critical step that marks a shift away from planning toward active conservation and landscape management to protect this iconic species. Oregon’s bounty is beautiful and worth continuing to protect and fight for.” 

“Since the very beginning of this effort, all partners have maintained need to conserve the sage grouse and avoid the need to list the species as threatened or endangered,” said Brian Steed, BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs. “We also share a commitment to conservation that does not put the West’s communities at risk and which balances between regulation and access.  We believe that the better outcomes for the species under these plans will demonstrate the value of coordinating federal and state authority.”

In Oregon, changes are focused on livestock grazing within research natural areas (RNAs) in three southeastern counties – Harney, Lake and Malheur.  Livestock grazing will now be allowed on 22,000 acres in 13 RNAs that were closed to grazing under the eight BLM plans adopted in 2015.

Benchmarks, or “trigger” points, for local sage-grouse populations remain in place for BLM-managed habitat to indicate when adaptive management measures are needed to address population declines.  The amended plans also outline procedures once it is determined that a decline has been stopped and reversed. 

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.

Oregon Cannabis Commission meets by conference call March 21

What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon Cannabis Commission (OCC).

Agenda: Refresher: Robert’s Rules of Order; overview of data collection; patient survey update; previous public comment review; OCC mission statement; legislative session update; commission next steps: working within framework; statute rules and report assignments; public comment.

When: March 21, 1-4 p.m.

Where: By conference call only at 877-848-7030, access code 753428.

Background: The Oregon Cannabis Commission was established in the 2017 legislative session through HB 2198. The commission consists of the state health officer or designee and an eight-member panel appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The commission is tasked with determining a possible framework for future governance of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, steps to address research on cannabis in areas of public health policy and public safety policy, agronomic and horticultural best practices, and medical and pharmacopoeia best practices. Along with this, they advise the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with respect to the statutes governing medical and retail cannabis. For more information, please visit the commission’s website at http://www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2019

Snow Levels in Southern Oregon Breaking Records

Seven of Oregon’s snow monitoring stations broke records for snowpack level for February, but drought conditions are still declared in some parts of the state.  Every snow monitoring site in Oregon received above-average precipitation in February, with many reporting more than 200 percent of normal amount for February levels.  

Snowpack and stream flow forecasts predict adequate water supply for much of the state, though continued precipitation over the next several months will ultimately determine water supply abundance.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) released its Oregon Basin Outlook Report, which provides a current status of water supply, snowpack and forecasts as of data collected through the end of February. The report indicates that despite February being the shortest month of the year, consistent snowfall throughout the month significantly contributed to the water supply outlook across Oregon.

“Unseasonably cold temperatures and ample moisture in February were welcome signs of improvement for Oregon’s water supply and drought situations,” said Scott Oviatt, Snow Survey supervisory hydrologist.  “This report serves as a good reminder that forecasts should be used as guidance, not gospel, as conditions can and do change rapidly.”

Must Read

Rogue Valley News, Thursday 10/21 – Domestic Violence Homicide Near Ruch, Fire Season Ends Today

Renee Shaw

Rogue Valley News, Monday, 10/5 Jackson County, Phoenix, and Talent Recommend Residents To Not Clean Your Property Damaged by Fire

Renee Shaw

Rogue Valley News, Thursday 7/14 – Task Force Busts Black-Market Grow in Central Point, Southern Oregon Pilot Who Tried to Hire a Hitman to Kill Associate Sentenced to Federal Prison

Renee Shaw