Willamette Valley News, Wednesday 1/11 – National Trauma Intervention Program Coming To Lane County, ODOT Seeks Feedback On Potential Impacts To Perkins Peninsula Park and Fern Ridge Wildlife Area Along Hwy 126 Widening Project

The latest news stories and stories of interest in the Willamette Valley from the digital home of Southern Oregon, from Wynne Broadcasting’s WillametteValleyMagazine.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Willamette Valley Weather

National Trauma Intervention Program Coming To Lane County

May be an image of text that says 'TP Trauma Intervention Programs Inc.'

Trauma Intervention Programs Inc. (TIP) is a national nonprofit organization working with local public safety officials in Lane County to establish a TIP Lane County Chapter.

TIP Chapter is a group of very well-trained and supervised community volunteers who are called by emergency personnel to tragic scenes to provide support to those who have been affected.

TIP Volunteers are often called to support family members after a sudden death and to support those who have experienced an unexpected crisis in their lives.

“Residents of this community who have just experienced a tragedy should not be alone in what may be the worst few hours of their lives,” according to Mandy Atkission, TIP National CEO. “Our volunteers provide support until the family members and friends of the survivor are able to be there and offer support,” she said.

Captain Doug Mozan from the Eugene Police Department is working closely with the TIP of Lane County program. “When we are able to provide care for those who are experiencing trauma in the moment, we can lessen impacts down the road, and begin healing immediately. We know from experience that people heal faster and experience less disorder from trauma when early intervention occurs. This is why we’re excited to have TIP National volunteers in our community. Currently crisis responders from CAHOOTs assist with grief support on scenes. When TIP responders join our ranks, we’ll have our CAHOOTs resources more available for in-progress crisis intervention.”

Bridget Byfield is the Program Director of the new TIP of Lane County, and she is now recruiting local residents to be TIP Volunteers. “The first step in establishing a TIP Chapter is to recruit volunteers willing to reach out and help their neighbors when tragedy strikes,” said Bridget Byfield, Program Director, TIP of Lane County.  We hope that Lane County residents will respond to our invitation to join TIP,” she said.

The TIP Volunteer Training Academy will begin Thursday, March 2nd, 2023. No experience is necessary and volunteers must pass a background check. To view the training schedule go to http://www.tiplanecounty.org  

To register, please call or email Bridget at: Phone: (503)705-2966 or Email: ridget@tiplanecounty.org“>Bridget@tiplanecounty.org

ODOT Seeks Feedback On Potential Impacts To Perkins Peninsula Park and Fern Ridge Wildlife Area Along Hwy 126 Widening Project

Oregon Department of Transportation is inviting the public to learn about potential impacts to the Perkins Peninsula Park and the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area. — OR 126: Veneta to Eugene NEPA Study

Project area map

As part of completing the environmental studies for the OR Hwy 126 Veneta to Eugene Widening Study, ODOT has evaluated the impacts to the parks in the project area and are asking for public feedback or comments.

The impacts are outlined in the 4(f) de minimis memos prepared by the project team. Please review and let us know if you have questions or comments on our findings.

The public comment period is open now until January 31, 2023 for the following areas:

ODOT says they are exploring options to improve the safety and mobility on OR 126 between Veneta and Eugene. 

This effort is part of an National Environmental Policy Act study. As part of the study, we are looking at the impacts of the recommended solutions from the 2013 Fern Ridge Corridor Plan and how to balance them with the potential benefits to the community. 

Visit the project webpage to learn more!

Man Charged With Kidnapping After Attempting To Break Into Woman’s Vehicle

A man has been arrested and is in jail after attempting to break into his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle Tuesday morning, Eugene Police Department said.

According to EPD, officers were dispatched to a report of a dispute at about 9:40 a.m. on January 10. Police said the report told them that a man, later identified as Matthew David Gault, 24, was allegedly banging on a woman’s vehicle and trying to break down the door to get inside. Police said Gault and the woman had previously been in a relationship, and Gault reportedly had threatened her the day before.

EPD said that when officers arrived, they conducted a short investigation and arrested Gault at about 10:31 a.m. As of January 10, Gault is facing charges of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree menacing, and fourth-degree assault.

Today is #WearBlueDay and we are wearing blue to bring awareness to #HumanTrafficking.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is recognized each year on January 11th. In recognition of this important day, and throughout the month of January, Blue Campaign hosts several special events and educational activities.

Blue Campaign January 11th is #WearBlueDay Save the Date

Blue Campaign’s largest initiative is #WearBlueDay on January 11th. To raise awareness of human trafficking, we invite the public to take photos of themselves, friends, family, and colleagues wearing blue clothing and share them on social media – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – along with our #WearBlueDay hashtag. Anyone can participate, all you need is a piece of blue clothing!

Follow @DHSBlueCampaign on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more information about #WearBlueDay and Campaign efforts throughout the year. Learn more from @DHSBlueCampaign: dhs.gov/blue-campaign/wearblueday

Governor Kotek Signs Three Executive Orders To Address Housing And Homelessness In Oregon

Already at work prior to her first official day as Oregon’s chief executive, Governor Tina Kotek held a press conference on Tuesday during which she signed three executive orders to address the state’s housing and homelessness crises.

The first executive order establishes a statewide goal of building 36,000 housing units per year and creates the Housing Production Advisory Council. Kotek said the council will be tasked with creating a budget and policy recommendations to reach that goal.

The governor added that the 36,000-unit goal will be an 80% increase over recent construction trends. She said meeting this goal will require collaboration between local, state, and federal partners. “The housing construction goal is ambitious because Oregonians are demanding bold solutions to address this crisis. I set this target to reflect the level of need that exists, knowing that we will not get there overnight or even in one year,” Kotek said.

Kotek said this order will take the framework of an “emergency management structure” similar to when there is a natural disaster.

“We all have to work together in a new framework if we’re going to make progress,” Kotek said. “There are good things happening on the ground today and we need more solutions, we need more urgency.”

The second executive order declares a state of emergency due to homelessness in “regions of the state that have experienced an increase in unsheltered homelessness of 50% or more from 2017 to 2022,” Kotek said, adding, “unfortunately, that includes most of the state.”

The third executive order, Kotek said, will work in tandem with the others to direct state agencies to prioritize reducing unsheltered and sheltered homelessness in the state, not only in areas under the state of emergency.

During the press conference, Kotek said in the week after the election, she met with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson to discuss how the leaders can work together.

“We need to make sure that every dollar, every resource is actually showing progress,” Kotek said.

While addressing housing and homelessness, Kotek said a key part of tackling the issue includes behavioral health — saying it will be a top priority in her budget which will be released in February.

“We have to make sure that when people are ready for services, can we connect them to services? Is the workforce there to serve them?” Kotek said — adding she’s “excited” for the new leadership at the Oregon Health Authority.

“We are going to put as much urgency into that side of the challenge as well as the housing and shelter side,” Kotek stated.

Kotek, took the oath for a 4-year term on Monday. In her inaugural address at the state Capitol in Salem, Kotek also proposed a $130 million emergency investment to help unsheltered people move off the streets.

During Tuesday’s press conference, Kotek said “we have to bring urgency to this. It’s not enough to sign executive orders. So, with that $130 million investment, I will be encouraging our legislative leaders to work with me to move those resources as soon as possible to prevent more people from becoming unhoused, to help create more transitional shelters and to provide more services to those folks who are living on the streets.”

The governor also pledged to unite Oregonians after a bitterly fought gubernatorial race — the tightest in a decade — in which Republicans sought to break the Democrats’ dominance of the state. She said she plans to visit every county in Oregon during her first year in office.

Kotek was a state representative from 2006 until 2022, when she resigned to run for governor. During her time in the Legislature, she became the longest-serving speaker in Oregon history after nine years in the role and cemented her status as a key player in state politics, earning a reputation for cutting deals and muscling bills through the state House.

Lawmakers also were sworn in on Monday. Democrats still control both chambers of the Legislature, but they lost their three-fifths supermajority in November’s election.

Flights Delayed Across the USA after FAA System Outage

The numbers from the flight-tracking site FlightAware showed more than 4,000 delays and nearly 700 flight cancellations across the US. This affected all Airlines and Airports throughout Oregon too which are slowly coming back online.

Flights are being redirected now and delay orders are lifted one by one though there could be effects and delays all day.

The disruptions come after an outage of the Notice to Air Missions system, which provides pilots with notices they need before flying.

  • The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted a ground stop that it issued Wednesday morning following an outage to a system that provides pilots with notices they need before flying.
  • Normal operations are resuming, but delays from the ground stop continue. The latest data from the flight-tracking site FlightAware shows there are more than 4,000 flight delays nationwide.
  • You can read more about what to do if your flight has been delayed here.

February is the last month Oregonians will receive increased emergency food benefits

  • February is the last month that the federal government will allow Oregon to issue pandemic emergency food benefits.
  • SNAP households will continue to receive their regular SNAP benefits after February.
  • To support people’s ability to get enough healthy food for themselves and their families, regular SNAP benefits permanently increased in October 2021 and SNAP income eligibility limits increased in 2022.

Since April 2020, most people in Oregon who receive food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have also received extra emergency food benefits each month on their electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. These emergency food benefits were provided to help people who receive SNAP get enough healthy food for themselves and their families during the COVID-19 emergency. 

February will be the final month that the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is allowed to provide these emergency food benefits. 

March 2023 will be the first month since April 2020 that most people on SNAP in Oregon will only receive their regular SNAP food benefits. 

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we have had the opportunity to provide these emergency food benefits to most SNAP households in Oregon,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “We know that many rely on these additional emergency food benefits to get enough healthy food for themselves and their families. As Oregon continues to be impacted by COVID-19, we know that without these emergency food benefits some in Oregon may experience hardship and hunger. We encourage them to contact our partners at 211, Oregon Food Bank and their local Community Action Agency for support during this difficult time.”    

Oregonians who receive SNAP are encouraged to prepare for this change in the food benefits they receive. 

Find out what your regular SNAP benefit amount is. Knowing your regular SNAP benefit can help you budget. You can check how much your regular benefits are by accessing your EBT account online at www.ebtEDGE.com or by logging into your ONE account at Benefits.oregon.gov.

Questions about your SNAP benefits can also be directed to the ONE Customer Service Center at 1-800-699-9075. The ONE Customer Service Center is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time. 

Regular SNAP benefits are added to EBT cards between the first and the ninth day of the month.

Tell ODHS if your income has decreased. A decrease in your income may mean you qualify for more SNAP benefits.

Tell ODHS if there are more people in your household. An increase to the number of people in your household may increase your SNAP food benefits.

You can report changes to your income or household in many ways: 

  • Online at: Benefits.oregon.gov
  • By mail at: ONE Customer Service Center, PO Box 14015, Salem, OR 97309
  • By fax at: 503-378-5628
  • By phone at: 1-800-699-9075 or TTY 711, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time.

Know what food supports are in your area. There are many different organizations providing food support in communities throughout Oregon:

Remember that SNAP has changed since April 2020. In addition to the temporary emergency food benefits due to COVID-19, SNAP has experienced other permanent changes that will support people’s ability to get enough healthy food for themselves and their families.

On October 1, 2021, regular SNAP food benefits were permanently increased by an average of about $36 per person, per month.

In January 2022, Oregon increased the income eligibility limit for SNAP up to 200% of the federal poverty level. This means that an individual with up to $2,265 in income per month, or a family of three with up to $3,838 in income per month, are eligible to receive SNAP food benefits. 

Why emergency food benefits are ending after February 2023

The federal government has approved emergency allotments every month since April 2020. The 2023 federal spending bill ended funding for emergency allotments. Due to this change, the federal government will no longer allow Oregon to issue emergency food benefits after February 2023. 

This means that February 2023 is the final month that ODHS is allowed to provide these emergency food benefits to people receiving SNAP in Oregon.  

These emergency food benefits have provided people in Oregon with $1.9 billion in additional money for food since April 2020. 

More information about emergency allotments is available at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/About-SNAP.aspx.

Resources to help meet basic needs

Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, families and individuals with low incomes in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance and Medicaid. Learn more at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-dhs-benefits. For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.

Grants available for historic properties and archaeology projects

The State Historic Preservation Office is offering grants for work on historic properties and for archaeology projects. The annual grants fund up to $20,000 in matching funds for preservation projects. Both grant programs support the goals of the Oregon Historic Preservation Plan.

The Preserving Oregon Grants fund preservation of historic properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Work may include non-maintenance preservation like window repair, roof work, foundation projects, plumbing, and electrical needs. Recently funded projects include preservation of the following historic properties.

  • Applegate House, Douglas County
  • Billy Webb Elks Lodge, Portland
  • Madras Municipal Airport WWII Hangar
  • Fort Stevens Guardhouse, Clatsop County
  • Santiam Pass Ski Lodge, Linn County
  • Lake Oswego Hunt
  • Rinehart Stone House, Malheur County
  • SPS 700 Steam Locomotive, Portland
  • Seaport Masonic Lodge#7, Astoria
  • The Tualatin Plains Presbyterian Church, Hillsboro
  • Wallowa History Center
  • Willamette Grange Hall, Benton County

Preserving Oregon Grants can also fund archaeology projects for significant work contributing toward identifying, preserving and/or interpreting archaeological sites. Archaeology projects by Forest Forever, Inc. and Maxville Heritage Center were funded last year. 

The Diamonds in the Rough Grants help restore or reconstruct the facades of buildings that have been heavily altered over the years. These grants return buildings to their historic appearance and potentially qualify them for historic register designation (local or national). Recent façade projects have taken place in Condon, Stayton, Spray, Albany, Eugene, and Tillamook. 

The online grant application is simple to use and includes plenty of support. Free, online grant workshops specific to these grant programs and how to use the online grant application will be offered. Visit the Oregon Heritage grants webpage to register. 

  • February 15, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. for Preserving Oregon Grants historic property projects.  
  • February 15, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. for Preserving Oregon Grants historic archaeology projects.
  • February 16, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. for Diamonds in the Rough building façade projects. 

Recorded trainings and tips are also online. To learn more about the grants and workshops visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at i.Gill@oprd.oregon.gov“>Kuri.Gill@oprd.oregon.gov or 503-986-0685.


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