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

Jackson County, and both Talent and Phoenix are currently recommending that you do not attempt to clean up your property yourself. Instead, give permission for government-paid crews to perform cleanup on your property. 

Burned properties may contain hazards such as asbestos fibers, toxic chemicals, unstable trees, and dangerous structures. Complying with state and federal hazardous waste laws is complex, and contractors completing this work must have special licenses and certifications. Lastly, insurance policies may not cover the cleanup’s full cost if not completed correctly.  

“With property owner permission, over the next few weeks, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, using EPA Strike Teams, will begin to remove household hazardous wastes from burned properties.” noted EOC Director John Vial. “This is the first step in the cleanup process, and our goal is to make this process as easy for property owners as possible and to ensure that it is completed in a comprehensive, safe, and organized fashion.”

The state has formed a Debris Management Taskforce and is currently working with local governments to develop strategies to complete the massive cleanup. Though this process takes time, there are significant benefits to individual property owners.  Getting the whole burn scar area cleaned up systematically will help maintain property values, avoid blight, and ensure compliance with state and federal laws.

If you want government to pay for removal of hazardous waste and debris from your property, you must complete a Right Of Entry form to grant permission for the removal to occur.

If a property owner chooses to remove debris themselves, they should receive clearance from local authorities, mitigate hazards, and wear an N95 mask, gloves, safety glasses, and sturdy shoes. Avoid rinsing debris or ash into storm drains. 

For general questions about debris removal, residents can call the Jackson County citizen hotline: (541) 776-7338.

Residents of Talent can contact their city at (541) 535-1566.

Residents of Phoenix can contact their city at joe.slaughter@phoenixoregon.gov.

Contractors with questions about certification of hazardous materials should call DEQ, Medford Office: (541) 776-6010. https://jacksoncountyor.org/emergency/News/News-Information/category/wildfires-in-jackson-county/jackson-county-phoenix-and-talent-recommend-residents-to-not-clean-your-property-damaged-by-fire

Today’s Headlines

Oregon reports 260 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 1 new death

The Oregon Health Authority reports today another 260 cases of COVID-19 overnight and it has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 572.

Oregon Health Authority reported 260 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today bringing the state total to 34,770. The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (1), Clackamas (16), Columbia (3), Coos (3), Deschutes (8), Douglas (4), Jackson (9), Jefferson (4), Josephine (8), Klamath (2), Lane (29), Lincoln (1), Linn (6), Malheur (14), Marion (37), Morrow (2), Multnomah (61), Polk (4), Umatilla (11), Washington (35), and Yamhill (10).

Protesting students say they aren’t going home until their demands are met, although they aren’t getting anywhere fast on the U of Oregon campus outside Johnson Hall.

On Sunday night, a group held up signs with words of: Reclaim UO.  The largest was placed on the main entrance to Johnson Hall.

Some protesters even chained themselves to the door handles. They also hung up signs with demands along with caution tape, blocking off the path at the entrance of the hall.

“People are out here making sure that a statement is being made about how there is a huge pull and want and need in the community,” says one participant. “For the University of Oregon to Disarm and Dismantle UOPD, (campus police) to divest from oil, and also to democratize the board of trustees so that it reflects the wants and needs of the students, staff, faculty.”

One of them also said the plan is to make sure the community understands the demands. The university nor campus police has no immediate response to the evening protesters.  Stay tuned.

Protesters hand out flyers and hang posters with their demands of the UofO.

The Archie Creek Fire has burned 131,542 acres and is now about 86% contained, officials said on Sunday.

There are currently 605 people assigned to the fire.  Areas within the fire perimeter are closed to the public. Only residents and fire personnel are allowed in the area.

Firefighters will continue mopping up some areas but are mostly transitioning to patrol status. The largest remaining task is removing hazard trees along Rock Creek Road, Wright Creek, and the Cool Water area to make these areas safe. As work is completed, firefighters and equipment are being released from the fire.

Smoke from California fires is keeping temperatures lower than expected on the fire, helping firefighters make progress mopping up, fire officials said. 

The McKenzie River area is now open on Highway 26 as of Friday after weeks after the terrible Holiday Farm Fire devastated the region.

There are still many hazards, so ODOT asks that drivers avoid Highway 126 unless they are residents, first responders or recovery personnel.

Trees and rocks could still fall on the road, and there is debris up to the fog line. There is no guard rail in spots so drive with extra caution.  When the change takes effect, there will be no more pilot cars leading caravans.  Drivers should expect lengthy delays during the week as work continues.

U-Pick pumpkin patches and COVID-19

One of the joys of living in Oregon is getting to visit local farms and pumpkin patches for Halloween activities. You may be wondering if these activities are safe this year. Here are some tips for staying safe at the pumpkin patch this autumn.

  • Stay home if you’re sick or come into contact with someone who’s sick.
  • Wear a mask if you can’t stay physically distant.
  • Avoid crowded activities.
  • Look for activities that you can do without being too close to others. Some farms may offer hayrides for one household at a time or a corn maze with large aisles that has clearly marked one-way traffic.

Around the state of Oregon

On Sunday, October 4, 2020 at approximately 1:45 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a vehicle crash on Interstate 5 near milepost 16.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a Peterbilt semi-truck, operated by Trevor Logan (28) of Grants Pass, was southbound when it struck a pedestrian.

Logan was not injured and is cooperating with the investigation. The pedestrian sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.  Her name will be released when it is appropriate.

Pro-Trump protesters and counter-protesters clashed Saturday in Bend at a rally and street cruise that was held in support of the president.   

Fights broke out between the two sides when someone took a Trump flag from a supporter of President Donald Trump, OPB reported. People on both sides started trading punches and someone fired mace into the crowd. The pro-Trump event, called the Trump Cruise rally, was to feature a potluck, guest speakers and a cruise through Bend, organizers told local media reporters.

Oregon’s rural areas have historically had it worst during the state’s economic downturns, with less access to investment, education and other resources that help regions ride out the bad times and build the foundation for a recovery.

The coronavirus recession is unique, though, and it’s playing out quite differently from past downturns – at least in the early stages. Job losses in southern and eastern Oregon over the past year are roughly half what they have been in the Portland area. In August, the lowest unemployment rate in Oregon wasn’t in one of the state’s prosperous urban centers but rather in tiny Wheeler County in Central Oregon, at just 4.4%.

Oregon’s job losses have been steepest on the coast and in the Portland area, where restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues that serve tourists and large crowds have shut down – or severely reduced operations – to contain the coronavirus.

The Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) will host a pair of live training sessions on the Zoom video conferencing platform in October to provide information to business taxpayers and tax professionals about the administrative rules for Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (CAT).

The first meeting is planned for noon to 2 p.m. PDT October 19.
• Meeting link: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1608045185.
• Passcode: 920761
The second meeting is planned for 9 to 11 a.m. PDT October 20.
• Meeting link: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1619858903.
• Passcode: 013983
In addition to a basic overview of the CAT, definitions of key elements of the law, and an update on the ongoing rules process, the training sessions will specifically address:
• The 35% subtraction.
• Unitary groups.
• Sourcing of commercial activity and apportionment.
• Quarterly underpayment penalty.
• COVID-19 pandemic-related relief options.
• Sales certificates.
• Motor vehicle dealer trades.
• Grocery exclusion.
• Cost inputs for farmers.

The training will also provide a review of the resources available on the CAT page of the Revenue website for business taxpayers and tax professionals.

Department representatives used input collected from stakeholders during a 12-stop tour in fall 2019 in prioritizing and writing the initial rules. A second tour provided training for business taxpayers and tax professionals in March before it was cut short by restrictions on public gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Use of the online Zoom meeting platform will allow the CAT policy team to present live in October. Participants will be able to follow along with a PowerPoint presentation. They will be able to submit questions via email to cat.help.dor@oregon.gov. The policy team will seek to answer the questions at the end of each section of the training presentation.

Stakeholders can direct questions or comments about the CAT anytime via email to cat.help.dor@oregon.gov or by calling 503-945-8005. Interested persons can also sign up for email updates on the CAT and other Revenue programs on the agency website.

To get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments, visit www.oregon.gov/dor/ or email questions.dor@oregon.gov. You can also call 800-356-4222 toll free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish) or 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon. For TTY (hearing- or speech-impaired), we accept all relay calls.

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