Willamette Valley News, Tuesday 5/28 – Spotlight on Two Local Memorial Day Ceremonies, Bear Sighted in Eugene Area Off Bike Path Near River Road & Other Local and Statewide News…

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

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Willamette Valley Weather

Spotlight on Two Local Memorial Day Ceremonies

The Eugene Pioneer Cemetery held one of many local ceremonies in observance of Memorial Day and honoring those who have passed.

Veterans and community members gathered for a very traditional ceremony included a reading of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, acknowledging the origins of Memorial Day, which was officially established three years after the Civil War.

The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars have organized Monday’s observance since 1937. The ceremony concluded with a black powder rifle salute, an Amazing Grace performance by Lane Fire Brigade Band, and then Taps was performed.

Springfield Honors Airman Trinity Reinhart in Memorial Day Event

Springfield honored Airman Trinity Reinhart and others who have died in the line of duty in a Memorial Day ceremony at the Springfield Veterans Plaza.

The ceremony started with a F15 flyover by the 173rd Fighter Wing of the Oregon Air National Guard, and included speeches from American Legion Post #40 representatives, Lane County Commissioner David Loveall and Springfield Mayor Sean VanGordon

On September 16, 2023, while serving at an US Air Force base in northeast Colorado, Airman Reinhart of Springfield was killed in a Humvee accident just two months shy of her 20th Birthday. 1st Lt. Joshua Beerbower said, “She was truly exceptional and always willing to help others, no matter the situation – she loved what she did as a defender.”

The City of Springfield, along with its partner Willamalane, and the American Legion Post #40 in Springfield honored Airman Reinhart with a plaque dedication and tree planting near the Women Veterans Memorial at the Springfield Veterans Plaza.

Bear Sighted in Eugene Area Off Bike Path Near River Road

No photo description available.
(Photo from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website)

A bear decided to visit near the River Road area’s West Bank Bike path Monday morning. The bear, estimated to be young, was spotted at around 11:13 a.m. in a complainant’s back yard near Skip Court/Carolyn Drive. The bear was last spotted near the Owasso Bike Bridge. Oregon State Police have been notified.

This is a reminder for people in that area to be observant and keep their children and pets close. Eugene has many natural areas and parks that are home to a wide variety of wildlife. These natural areas are one of the many attractive aspects of Eugene.

Deer, squirrels, and birds live in these areas, but there may also be occasional, stray visits from cougars and other predators. Eugene has areas that are close to forested and rural areas where bears and cougars reside. People should always be respectful of the fact that all wildlife is in fact “wild” and should be given a wide berth. For more information about bears and other wildlife, please contact Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Here is a link to ODFW pages with information/tips about “Living with Wildlife” (black bears). http://www.dfw.state.or.us/…/living_with/black_bears.asp

Fire Crews Respond to West Eugene House Fire

Eugene, OR. Eugene Springfield Fire is on scene of a house fire in West Eugene.  Firefighters were notified of the fire at 4:41 PM Saturday May 25th.  Arriving to 3794 West 18th Ave 4 minutes later, Firefighters from the Bailey Hill station on E10 reported heavy smoke and fire from a back bedroom.  People and pets were able to escape the home prior to our arrival.  Crews initiated an interior search for remaining victims and to attack the fire which had already extended to the attic of the home.  The building and contents suffered extensive damage but there were no injuries reported and fire is under investigation.

UO Student Encampment Officially Ends

After nearly a month, the University of Oregon Coalition for Palestine encampment has come to an end. 

Demonstrators of the encampment, in an agreement with UO admin, had agreed upon to “voluntarily remove” the encampment by 9 p.m tonight.

The lawn between Fenton and Friendly Hall, where the encampment was previously held, was nearly cleared out, with one tent remaining. 

University of Oregon President John Karl Scholz released a 12:28 p.m. statement about the agreement reached between UO and the UO Coalition for Palestine encampment. 

Scholz said that demonstrators of the encampment have agreed to “voluntarily remove the encampment by 9:00 p.m. this evening.”

Scholz described the process as “challenging” and required “patience and good faith on the part of all parties.”

Copy of the agreement made between the University of Oregon Coalition for Palestine and UO administrators: https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/dailyemerald.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/07/0073342a-1956-11ef-a69f-dfe588dae516/664fc6c7b005f.pdf.pdf

The Daily Emerald is providing live coverage of the University of Oregon’s pro-Palestine encampment, which began on April 29 at 7 a.m. You can find all of their coverage on the encampment herehttps://www.dailyemerald.com/news/live-coverage-uo-coalition-for-palestines-encampment-officially-ends/article_5ae5afca-191d-11ef-82d5-cb9c32fb79f3.html

Lane County Animal Services and Greenhill Humane Society Volunteer orientation for livestock rescue and animal preparedness on Saturday, June 8

Lane County Animal Services is partnering with Greenhill Humane Society to host a training for people interested in learning more about preparing animals large and small for an evacuation or volunteering to support livestock transportation, feeding, and sheltering operations during emergencies.

“With wildfire season starting soon, this is a good time to help our residents refresh their understanding of evacuating with pets or livestock,” said Lane County Animal Welfare Officer Isabel Merritt. “We’re also hoping to build our volunteer list ahead of the next emergency. We rely on volunteers to help care for horses, goats, chickens and other livestock during emergency evacuations and this training will help increase the number of people ready to help.”

The training is Saturday, June 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Lane County Public Works’ Goodson Room (3040 North Delta Highway, Eugene). Map here. If you plan to attend, please send an email to Lane County Animal Services at LCAS@LaneCountyOR.gov so staff can plan accordingly. 

Topics covered will include:

  • preparing animals for evacuation
  • overview of services provided by Lane County Animal Services and Greenhill Humane Society during emergencies
  • how to help during emergencies
  • livestock shelter, transport and shelter-in-place practices
  • volunteer orientation for those wishing to assist during emergencies

Volunteers help transport animals out of evacuation zones; support animals sheltering in place in evacuation zones with food, water and welfare checks; and feed, groom and clean up after animals being sheltered with Lane County Animal Services. They may also assist with organizing donations of food, tack or other items. 

Volunteers do not need previous large animal experience, but they should be comfortable learning and being around large animals. People between the ages of 15 and 18 will need to have a guardian’s signed release before they can volunteer during an active emergency; they do not need a release to attend the training. Children under 15 cannot volunteer at this time. 

Learn more about large animal evacuation at https://bit.ly/LCLargeAnimalEvacuation

Benton County Children & Family Mental Health Program to host open house

The Benton County Children and Family Mental Health Program will host an open house on Friday, May 31 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Clients and families served by the program, state and local leaders, community partners, local media, and the public are all invited to attend. 

The celebration follows a recent move from the Children and Family Mental Health program into a new facility on 4185 SW Research Way in Corvallis. The new building will be open to the public for tours, meeting the staff, activities and prizes for the whole family, and a resource fair. The celebration also coincides with Mental Health Month celebrations in Benton County and beyond. 

“The timing is perfect since we just settled into our new space and it’s also Mental Health Awareness Month,” said Kristi Reher, Program Manager. 

Attendees will include state and local dignitaries who helped support Benton County in securing the funding needed to purchase the new building. 

“We’d like to thank the 2024 Oregon State Legislature for allocating the resources and for supporting the critical needs of Benton County., said Damien Sands, Behavioral Health Division Director. “And our Benton County Commissioners who recognized our need and helped us find a solution.” 

The Benton County Children and Family Mental Health program provides therapeutic services, including outpatient, school-based, and wraparound services for youth under age 18 with a mental health diagnosis and identifiable treatment goals.  

The new building is located on Research Way next to the Benton County Sunset and Kalapuya buildings, across the street from the local Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) building. 

For more information about the program, visit their website

### Benton County is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate based on disability in admission or access to our programs, services, activities, hiring and employment practices. This document is available in alternative formats and languages upon request. Please contact Cory Grogan at 541-745-4468 or pioinfo@bentoncountyor.gov.

Save the Date: Housing, Urban Growth and City Projects Community Open House. June 5 from 4-7 p.m.

Housing & Urban Growth Community Open House — The City of Eugene will host a community open house at the Eugene Farmer’s Market Pavilion  from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5. During the event, community members will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on community needs and priorities for housing, future urban growth, and other ongoing City projects. Different City departments will share resources and information on a wide range of topics, including renter protections; safe, healthy, and resilient buildings; community safety, and more. 

This free event includes food, prizes, and activities for all ages. Bring your friends and family, build community, and be a part of the conversation!

Lane County Firewise Grant Program open for applications

Lane County’s Firewise Grant Incentive Program is accepting applications from residents in unincorporated Lane County beginning May 31 through 4:00 p.m. on June 27, 2024.

Firewise grants provide rural property owners with funding to help complete projects that reduce the risk of wildfire, such as clearing vegetation, replacing wood shake roofing, fire-resistant landscaping materials, noncombustible exterior siding, chimney spark arrestors, and more. Up to $15,500 in grant funding is available for each qualifying property. 

Apply online at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/firewise. Paper applications are also available at the Lane County Public Works Customer Service Center (3050 North Delta Highway, Eugene). 

Firewise grants are funded through Title III of the Federal Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Program – Section 601 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. 

Housing and Community Needs Survey

2025 Consolidated Plan image

Are you familiar with the challenges of finding, maintaining, or paying for housing in the Eugene-Springfield area? Do you have insights into the local need for housing, human services and community/economic development programs? Please help identify our local housing and community needs for low- and moderate-income people by completing the short survey below.  TAKE THE SURVEY

Encuesta de viviendas y necesidades comunitarias

¿Conoces los desafíos de encontrar, mantener, o pagar los costos de vivienda en el área de Eugene-Springfield?  ¿Tienes conocimiento de la necesidad local de vivienda, servicios humanos y los programas de desarrollo de la comunidad o economía? Favor de ayudarnos identificar las necesidades de vivienda y de la comunidad local para las personas con ingresos bajos o moderados atreves esta encuesta breve.TOMA LA ENCUESTA

Survey results will help draft community needs and priorities for the Eugene-Springfield 2025-2030 Consolidated Plan for Affordable Housing and Community Development. The Consolidated Plan sets priority needs and strategies for use of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds over a five-year period. Eugene and Springfield receive funds based on formula allocation and Congressional appropriations. The two jurisdictions will receive an estimated $14 million in CDBG and HOME funds between July 1, 2025 and June 30, 2030. The process to develop the 2025-2030 Consolidated Plan is happening now. SIGN UP HERE FOR CONSOLIDATED PLAN UPDATES

CAHOOTS and HOOTS Workers Rally for Wage Increase and Other Contract Issues

It has been more than a year since White Bird Clinic and its unionized crisis workers began negotiations and they still haven’t reached an agreement on a new contract.

Support CAHOOTS and HOOTS Workers Win a Fair First Contract NOW — PETITION

Did you know the $18/hr starting wage for CAHOOTS and HOOTS workers hasn’t changed since 2018? Sign this letter of support to help CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On the Streets) and HOOTS (Helping Out Our Teens in Schools) unionized workers win their first fair union contract with White Bird Clinic.

CAHOOTS medics and crisis workers have been proudly supporting their fellow community members on the streets and in the houses, schools, businesses, shelters, hospitals and healthcare offices of every neighborhood in Eugene since 1989. CAHOOTS later expanded service into Springfield in 2015 and soon founded its sister program HOOTS in 2017. These programs provide free crisis intervention, mental health and medical aid to whoever is in need (for CAHOOTS that’s an average of 20,000+ calls a year; HOOTS provides 28 clinics in 12 high schools). 

Today, their workers need your support. Show your commitment to sustaining workers and protecting the integrity of the CAHOOTS model that has been called “the gold standard”* for alternative response models nationally. Sign here to ensure crisis workers and medics who are dedicating their lives towards helping others win a living wage. Learn more about our campaign

https://www.change.org/p/support-cahoots-and-hoots-workers-win-a-fair-first-contract-now

Oregon Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen take part in Memorial Day ceremonies around the state

– Oregon National Guard Soldiers and Airmen took part in Memorial Day services and community events around the state of Oregon on Monday, May 27, 2024, pausing to remember fallen service members who have given their lives in defense of the nation.

Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty, an Army veteran, along with her husband, Oregon Army National Guard Maj. Ian Beaty, spoke to those in attendance about their own family experiences in uniform before introducing Oregon Army National Guard Col. Russell Gibson, 82nd Troop Command Brigade Commander, who was the Keynote speaker for the Memorial Day service at the Veterans Memorial Park in Beaverton.

“I welcome any opportunity to gather with my brothers and sisters in arms, and it is truly a gift to have the opportunity to honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great nation—may their memory be a blessing,” said Gibson, during his opening remarks. “Through their selfless service, they portray the values and ideals for which this country was founded.”

Gibson, who has deployed twice to combat areas of operations, spoke about those who have been lost in recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I know that many of you have stories of loved ones, friends and fellow service members you hold in your memory and in your hearts,” he said. “I would also be remiss during this solemn day of reflection to not also recognize and honor those providing support from the home front. Those that paid the personal sacrifice for us and our nation—our Gold Star Families.”

U.S. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon 1st Congressional District) also spoke and the American Legion Post 185 Band provided patriotic music throughout the event in Beaverton. The 142nd Wing and the West Coast Ravens conducted two separate flyovers during the ceremony.

In Salem, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek and Brig. Gen. Alan Gronewold, Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard, spoke at the Oregon World War II Memorial. Both the 142nd Wing and the 173rd Fighter Wing conducted flyovers around the state as well as in SW Washington at parades, memorial services and other gatherings.

The Memorial Day holiday can be traced back to the conclusion of the Civil War. On May 5, 1868, John A. Logan, as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued General Order No. 11. This order was designated May 30, 1868, “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.”

Since 1971, Memorial Day has been observed on the last Monday of May, marking a solemn time each year to mourn those who have died while serving in the U.S. military — while reflecting on their ultimate sacrifice to our nation.

Bill Walton, Who Led the Trail Blazers to Their Only NBA Title, Passed Away Over The Weekend

Walton won two NBA championships and later enjoyed a successful career as a colorful sports broadcaster, has died, the NBA announced on Monday. He was 71. Walton died after a prolonged battle with cancer, the league said. He was surrounded by his family.

As a Hall of Fame player, he redefined the center position. His unique all-around skills made him a dominant force at UCLA and led to an NBA regular-season and Finals MVP, two NBA championships and a spot on the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams.

Blazers chair Jody Allen spoke to Walton’s leadership and tenacity that helped bring a championship to Rip City, defining “one of the most magical moments in franchise history.”

The 6-foot-11 Walton led the Blazers to the 1977 NBA championship, earning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award after averaging 18.5 points, 19 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 3.7 blocks while shooting 54.5% in a six-game series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Before his time in Portland, Walton’s all-around skills made him a dominant force at UCLA, where he led the Bruins to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1972 and 1973. During his four seasons under renowned coach John Wooden, Walton was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in each year and a three-time Player of the Year.

Fire restrictions protect Pacific Northwest communities, BLM announces

– On May 24, fire restrictions will go into effect for all Bureau of Land Management public lands throughout Oregon and Washington. BLM leaders encourage all visitors to be aware of active restrictions and closures as warmer, drier weather sets in around the Pacific Northwest. 


These fire restrictions help reduce the risk of human-caused fires. Starting May 24, the use of fireworks, exploding targets or metallic targets, steel component ammunition (core or jacket), tracer or incendiary devices, and sky lanterns will be prohibited. 


“Although we had a wet winter, we must still be careful with activities that can cause a spark,” said Anita Bilbao, BLM Oregon/Washington Associate State Director


Wet weather supports the growth of invasive grasses, which then dry out quickly in the summer months. “Everyone can help to keep our first responders, local communities, and public lands safe by following fire restrictions and practicing fire safety while out on public lands,” she continued.
 

Those who violate the prohibition may be fined up to $100,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 12 months. In addition, those found responsible for starting wildland fires on federal lands can be billed for the cost of fire suppression. 
For the complete order and more information on seasonal fire restrictions and fire closures, please see www.blm.gov/orwafire.

May is also ‘Wildfire Awareness Month’. Visit NIFC.GOV for wildfire prevention tips: https://www.nifc.gov/fire-information/fire-prevention-education-mitigation/wildfire-prevention. 

To learn more about fire careers with BLM Oregon-Washington, please see https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire/state-info/oregon-washington/careers.

This Press Release is also available on: https://www.blm.gov/press-release/fire-restrictions-protect-pacific-northwest-communities-blm-announces. 

-BLM- The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Dead Whale Floating Off Oregon Coast Has Washed Ashore North Of Nehalem Jetty

NOAA says the whale washed ashore Monday morning about a mile north of the north Nehalem Jetty, in Nehalem Bay State Park. People are being asked to stay away from the carcass so NOAA can conduct an exam of the whale.

The dead whale was first spotted floating off the Oregon coast Sunday afternoon by people who live in Manzanita.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed on Sunday that they were monitoring the situation and would examine the whale after it washes ashore.

OHA kicks off 2024 Oregon beach monitoring season

Agency shares list of monitored beaches for May-September

—The Oregon Beach Monitoring Program (OBMP) is kicking off the 2024 beach monitoring season by announcing the list of coastal recreation areas it will be keeping an eye on for bacteria during summer and early fall.

The 24 beaches on the list that the OBMP, based at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division, is publishing includes some of the most frequently visited beaches in Oregon. It also includes beaches where the program has found bacteria present, or beaches for which local partners and the public have requested monitoring due to potential pollution concerns.

The following are Oregon beaches being monitored during 2024, including beach name, and the city and county in which they are located:

Beach monitoring season runs from mid-May to mid-September. Beach advisories are only issued for beaches that are actively being monitored within this sampling window. Other beaches will be investigated for inclusion in the next beach monitoring season.

OBMP works with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to identify beaches that need monitoring based on several established criteria. These criteria include: pollution hazards present; previous beach monitoring data that identify water quality concerns; type and amount of beach use; and public input.

As part of an adaptive sampling plan, beaches and sampling locations are routinely re-evaluated to ensure available resources best protect public health. A copy of DEQ’s beach evaluation is available upon request.

For more information and current beach monitoring conditions please visit: www.healthoregon.org/beach, or contact OBMP at each.Health@odhsoha.oregon.gov“>Beach.Health@odhsoha.oregon.gov or 971-673-0400.

Settlement Reached in Oregon Foster Care Class-Action Lawsuit: Parties Agree to Transform System for Thousands of Children in its Care

Eugene, OR– Today, Governor Tina Kotek, the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Agency Director Fariborz Pakseresht, and Child Welfare Director Aprille Flint-Gerner entered into a settlement agreement with Disability Rights Oregon, A Better Childhood, Rizzo Bosworth Eraut PC, and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, attorneys representing thousands of children and young adults experiencing foster care in Oregon. This settlement agreement stemmed from a class-action lawsuit, Wyatt B. et al. v. Kotek et al., that sought to improve Oregon’s foster care system. 

The settlement agreement stipulates, in part:

  • The State will contract with a mutually agreed upon Neutral Expert to address important foster care system outcome areas including maltreatment of children; quality of appropriate placements; re-entry rates; timeliness of case planning and age-appropriate mental, physical and dental health care assessments and referrals; notification and delivery of required reports of child maltreatment; and up to two (2) additional findings by the Neutral Expert within two (2) years that are actionable under the U.S. Constitution or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
     
  • The Neutral Expert’s Initial Review shall occur by April 20, 2025 (extendable up to 90 days at request of Neutral Expert) and be followed by annual reviews assessing improvements.
     
  • The Governor shall provide support to ODHS toward its efforts to achieve outcomes by assisting ODHS’s collaboration with other state agencies and by reviewing the Initial Review and annual reviews.
     
  • The Settlement Agreement ends when the Neutral Expert determines ODHS is in substantial compliance with terms or within 10 years (whichever is sooner). If, after 10 years, the Neutral Expert determines additional time is needed, the Neutral Expert may recommend an extension of no more than two (2) years.

“This case has always been about providing children in the foster care system what they need to recover from trauma and thrive—stability, safety, and nurturing from the adults in their life,” said Jake Cornett, Executive Director and CEO of Disability Rights Oregon. “After more than five years, we’re grateful Governor Kotek and the Department of Human Services see the promise of working collectively to improve Oregon’s foster care system.”

“We are grateful for the willingness of all involved in this litigation to come together to find ways to achieve our mutual goal of improving outcomes for Oregon children and families,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht“This agreement is a testament to the progress we have made in child welfare over the past several years and allows us to focus on the important work ahead.”

“We are very pleased that this case has settled,” said Marcia Lowry, Executive Director of A Better Childhood. “We have seen that a collaborative approach to reform in other lawsuits has produced excellent results in other child welfare systems, and we hope the same will happen in Oregon. It takes both sides being committed to actual progress, measurable outcomes, and real results, which we are committed to seeing happen in Oregon.”

“This settlement gives us the opportunity to continue our efforts to transform the child welfare system by supporting and preserving families – while focusing on continuous improvements that will yield better outcomes for families we serve,” said ODHS Child Welfare Director Aprille Flint-Gerner. “We appreciate the hard work by both parties in reaching an agreement that is positive for Oregon children and families.”

Resources

### Oregon Department of Human Services(ODHS) is Oregon’s principal agency for helping Oregonians achieve well-being and independence. It provides direct services to more than 1 million Oregonians each year. These services are a key safety net for people in diverse communities across Oregon.

Disability Rights Oregon upholds the civil rights of people with disabilities to live, work, and engage in the community. Serving as Oregon’s Protection & Advocacy system since 1977, the nonprofit works to transform systems, policies, and practices to give more people the opportunity to reach their full potential.

A Better Childhood is a national nonprofit advocacy organization that uses the courts to reform dysfunctional child welfare systems around the country. 

Rizzo Bosworth Eraut PC is a litigation firm with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest. We work primarily on complex civil matters representing individuals, businesses, and insurers in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm with more than 600 lawyers representing clients based throughout the United States and around the world.

Oregon’s Birth Rate Is Among Nation’s Lowest and It Keeps Declining

Oregon has one of the lowest birth rates in the nation, according to newly released federal data from 2022.

The state had just about 9 births for each 1,000 residents. Only Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont — the latter being the lowest in the nation at 8.2 births per 1,000 residents — had fewer.

Utah was tops at 13.5. The national average was 11.0. Oregon’s schools, restaurants and factories figure to be emptier in the years ahead unless something changes in the state’s anemic migration levels or something big changes in its birth rates.

“We need people to work,” said Kanhaiya Vaidya, demographer with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis. “We need people to support the elderly, not only financially but also for care,” Vaidya said. “For child care, for elderly care, we need people — working-age people.”

Oregon’s birth rates have long been among the nation’s lowest. The continued decline is in line with trends across the country and — increasingly — around the world.

Families are waiting longer to have children and choosing to have fewer children overall, Vaidya said. He attributes that partly to women taking time to get settled into careers and partly to the cost of raising kids.“People, they want smaller families. That’s what they prefer,” Vaidya said.

Oregon women are averaging 1.4 children over their lifetimes, according to the latest state fertility rate estimates, down from 3.2 in the 1950s.

Contraception has long been reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies. That trend accelerated in the 1960s, once birth control bills became widely available.

Demographers say fertility rates of 2.1 produce a stable population size, excluding the effects of migration.

So Oregon’s low fertility rates could point to a long-term decline in the state’s population. That’s especially true because in the years since the pandemic more people have been moving out of the state than moving in.

Already, deaths outnumber births in Oregon.

There are many possible reasons why Oregon’s birth rates are particularly low, but one explanation stands out to Vaidya: “We’re an older state.”

One of the oldest states, in fact. The median Oregonian is about 17 months older than the median American. And older people aren’t likely to have many more kids, or any more at all.

Over time, fewer births might ease traffic congestion and the state’s housing crunch. But a shrinking Oregon could have serious economic and cultural implications in the generations to come.

Some economists expect at least a modest rebound in migration into Oregon. But if migration doesn’t bounce back, the state could feel the impact of low birth rates in many ways. “The (school) enrollment will go down and also college enrollment will go down. The main impact is on the labor force,” Vaidya said. “We will have fewer workers in the future.” (SOURCE)

Five companies will offer health insurance in every Oregon county next year as health insurers file 2025 rate requests for individual and small group markets

DFR logo

Oregon consumers can get a first look at requested rates for 2025 individual and small group health insurance plans, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today.

In a major win for Oregonians, Moda will become the fifth company to offer health insurance in every single county in Oregon after expanding into Benton, Linn, and Lincoln counties. Moda joins BridgeSpan, PacificSource, Providence, and Regence as health insurance companies who provide coverage in all parts of Oregon. It is the first time that five insurers have offered plans in every county.  

In the individual market, six companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average increase of 5.0 percent to 11.6 percent, for a weighted average increase of 9.3 percent. That average increase is higher than last year’s requested weighted average increase of 6.2 percent.

In the small group market, eight companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average increase of 5.7 percent to 16.3 percent, for a weighted average increase of 12.3 percent, which is higher than last year’s requested 8.1 percent average increase.

The Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to help stabilize the market and lower rates. Reinsurance lowered rates by 8.4 percent. 

See the chart for the full list of rate change requests: https://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2024-05/1073/172523/5-23-24_health-insurance-coverage.pdf

“Oregon’s health insurance market remains competitive, with five carriers planning to offer plans next year in every Oregon county, up from only one statewide plan in 2018,” said Oregon Insurance Commissioner and DCBS Director Andrew R. Stolfi. “Unfortunately, inflation – both medical and nonmedical – as well as prescription drug costs, are driving prices higher than last year. Oregonians still have a lot of options to choose from and the Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to allow them to find reasonable rates.”

Virtual public hearings about the 2025 requested health insurance rates will be held July 1 from 9 a.m. to noon. A web address to watch the public hearings will be posted at OregonHealthRates.org. At the hearings, each insurance company will provide a brief presentation about its rate increase requests, answer questions from Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) staff, and hear public comment from Oregonians. The public also can comment on the proposed rates at any time at OregonHealthRates.org through July 1.

“We look forward to putting these rate requests through a rigorous public review, and we encourage the public to join the virtual public hearings and provide feedback on their health insurance plans,” Stolfi said. “This public process not only helps keep insurance companies accountable, but it gives people the opportunity be part of the process.”

The requested rates are for plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act for small businesses and individuals who buy their own coverage rather than getting it through an employer.

Over the next two months, the division will analyze the requested rates to ensure they adequately cover Oregonians’ health care costs. DFR must review and approve rates before they are charged to policyholders.

Preliminary decisions are expected to be announced in July, and final decisions will be made in August after the public hearings and comment period ends.

### About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation protects consumers and regulates insurance, depository institutions, trust companies, securities, and consumer financial products and services. The division is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest consumer protection and business regulatory agency. Visit DFR.Oregon.gov and DCBS.Oregon.gov.

Crater Lake National Park is seeking your input on a draft accessibility self-evaluation and transition plan. Public comment on the plan is being sought through June 14

The National Park Service (NPS) is dedicated to serving all visitors to help them find meaning in the resources of the national park system and its stories. Recently, park staff embarked on a process to ensure that key park experiences are available to all visitors, regardless of race, nationality, socioeconomic status, or ability. Park staff conducted a self-evaluation of the accessibility of park facilities, services, activities, and programs. Based on these findings, staff then drafted a transition plan that identifies opportunities and critical steps for improving accessibility parkwide.

This draft accessibility self-evaluation and transition plan resulted from the work of an interdisciplinary team of NPS staff, including planning, design, and construction professionals; and interpretive, resource, visitor safety, maintenance, and accessibility specialists. The draft plan identifies key visitor experiences at the park and existing barriers to accessing these experiences for people with disabilities.

The plan provides recommendations for removing barriers at priority park areas, including specific actions, example site plans, and anticipated time frames for implementation. It also addresses park policies, practices, communication, and training needs.

The goals of the plan are as follows:

1) Document existing park barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities.
2) Provide an effective approach for upgrading facilities, services, and programs.
3) Instill a culture around creating universal access.

All recommended actions will be subject to funding, consultation with other agencies, consultation with Tribes, and compliance with federal laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. Moving forward, the National Park Service will use this plan as a guide to obtain funding and plan and implement projects that will improve accessibility throughout the park.

Your input on the draft plan will help us as we work to ensure that Crater Lake National Park is more accessible to all visitors. To review the draft plan and send online comments, click on “Document List” or “Open for Comment” on the left side of the web page. The plan will be open for comment for 37 days, from May 8, 2024, to June 14, 2024. —- https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=123216

Coastal community meetings on proposed offshore wind leases to be held

The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) will be hosting a series of community meetings along the Oregon coast related to a proposal by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to lease areas of the ocean off Oregon’s coast to explore possibilities for wind energy development.

The proposed BOEM leases would authorize companies to study the areas off Oregon’s coast for potential offshore wind energy development projects. After obtaining leases, companies would perform activities in the ocean that may include placement of scientific buoys and collection of data about seafloor conditions, ocean habitats, and wildlife.

More information on the proposed leasing actions can be found at https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/OCMP/Pages/Offshore-Wind-Energy-Leasing.aspx.

BOEM’s proposed leasing action is not a proposal to permit the construction of an offshore wind project. A BOEM decision whether to approve a Construction and Operations Plan for a wind energy facility would be subject to a separate federal consistency review by the state, after some years of additional site assessment and project design.

As part of the state’s federal consistency review authority under the Coastal Zone Management Act, DLCD’s Oregon Coastal Management Program (OCMP) staff will review the proposed BOEM actions for consistency with current, enforceable Oregon coastal zone policies. The result of this review would be either to agree with BOEM’s proposed leasing actions, agree with conditions, or object to BOEM’s proposed actions. Enforceable policies in the coastal zone are existing state and local policies that have been approved by the NOAA Office for Coastal Management for use in federal consistency reviews, consistent with national Coastal Zone Management standards.

During the community meetings, OCMP staff will provide information about the proposed activities that are being reviewed and the applicable state policies and

authorities related to a consistency review. Community members are encouraged to provide comments on the consistency review during the 45-day comment period, which ends on June 15, 2024.

The community meetings will be an opportunity to provide comments in person which will be recorded by OCMP staff. The meeting program is as follows:

• Open House 5:30 p.m.

• Presentations 6:00 p.m.

• Public Comment 6:30 p.m.

• Next Steps and Adjourn 8:00 p.m.

May 29, 2024 (Wednesday) Noon to 3:00 p.m Virtual – join information will be available on our web page .

June 3, 2024 (Monday) 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Brookings-Harbor High School

8293, 625 Pioneer Rd., Brookings, OR 97415

June 4, 2024 (Tuesday) 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunset Middle School

245 S Cammann St., Coos Bay, OR 97420

June 6, 2024 (Thursday) 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Siuslaw Middle School

2525 Oak St., Florence, OR 97439

June 7, 2024 (Friday) 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Newport High School

322 NE Eads St., Newport, OR 97365

All ages and families are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be provided.

Comments will be accepted through June 15, 2024.

Email or written comments: Please be sure to address the enforceable policies you believe are relevant in your comments. OCMP staff may review comments on proposed actions for alignment with enforceable policies and potential conditions to enhance consistency. For more information on the federal consistency review and how to comment, visit https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/OCMP/Pages/Offshore-Wind-Energy-Leasing.aspx

Online comments: Comments may be submitted online through a webform here: https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/OCMP/Pages/Federal-Consistency-Review.aspx

In-Person comments: Community members wishing to comment in person should plan to limit comments to three minutes per person. If many people wish to comment, staff may need to limit comment time further as we want to hear from as many community members as possible.

### About The Oregon Coastal Management Program Oregon is one of 34 states to have a nationally recognized Coastal Management Program established by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. The Oregon Coastal Management Program aims to protect coastal and ocean resources, and ensure livable, resilient communities on the Oregon coast. The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development is the lead agency in the coastal program network, which also includes 11 state agencies and 42 city and county governments. Financial assistance for the Oregon Coastal Management Program is provided by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, administered by the Office for Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Oregon’s statewide land use planning program – Originated in 1973 under Senate Bill 100, Oregon’s land use program protects farm and forest lands, conserves natural resources, promotes livable communities, facilitates orderly and efficient development, supports coordination among local governments, and enables community engagement.

The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) administers the program in partnership with cities and counties. The Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC), a seven-member volunteer board, guides DLCD.

The land use planning program affords Oregonians predictability in the development process and the ability to plan and invest in the long-range by allocating land for industrial, commercial, and housing development, as well as transportation, other urban services, and farm and forest lands.

Under the program, all cities and counties have adopted comprehensive plans that meet mandatory state standards. The standards are based on the 19 Statewide Planning Goals that deal with land use, development, housing, transportation, and conservation of natural resources. Technical assistance in the form of expertise and grants for local jurisdictions are key elements of the program. https://www.newsbreak.com/news/3459593684750-coastal-community-meetings-on-proposed-offshore-wind-leases-to-be-held

Nominations Open for AARP Oregon Volunteer Making Impact In Their Community

AARP Oregon has opened up nominations for its prestigious award for volunteerism. For the Andrus Award for Community Service, the organization will select a person or couple age 50 or older who performs services without pay in their communities.

Michael Schultz, state volunteer president of AARP Oregon, noted that Oregonians do a lot of volunteering. According to an AmeriCorps study from 2021, more than 970,000 volunteered, contributing an estimated $2.6 billion economic impact through their volunteer hours.

“That is a huge impact on our communities, on our economy and on the lives of Oregonians throughout the state,” he said.

The Andrus Award for Community Service is named after the founder of AARP, Doctor Ethel Percy
Andrus. Schultz noted that the nominator and the award winner will each receive $1,000 to donate to the nonprofit of their choice.

The 2023 winner of the award was Anne Bellegia, a founding member of the Ashland Senior Advisory Committee, and co-chair of the Livable Ashland Alliance. She has volunteered for many years with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Southern Oregon University.

“This was someone who had really invested a lot of energy and effort to make a positive impact on her community down in southern Oregon, and the selection committee felt that she definitely deserved this award,” Schultz noted.

The deadline for Andrus Award nominations is July 15th. —- Find your state’s deadline and participation status on the nomination form

Come to the World Beat Festival to Experience Global Cultures: Ukraine is the 2024 Featured Country

Salem Multicultural Institute is excited to celebrate Ukraine as the 27th annual World Beat Festival’s featured country. World Beat is one of Salem’s premier community traditions, offering a vibrant two-day program of international music, dance, song, theater, food, crafts, customs, rituals, and folklore. This year’s festival will begin Friday evening, June 28, and run through Sunday, June 30, at Salem’s Riverfront Park.

Kathleen Fish, Executive Director, emphasizes that this is the only festival of its kind honoring the Salem/Keizer community’s rich tapestry of cultures. “There are 107 languages spoken in our school district. The festival recognizes and explores the cultures of many of these families.”

The festivities kick off Friday, June 28, from 5 to 10 p.m. with “Friday Night at the Beat,” featuring vocal performances and fire dancing on the Main Stage. 

The festival opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, with the Children’s Parade. Kids who want to participate in the parade will assemble at the Pavilion at the North End of the park. 

Each child who attends will receive a passport at the entrance gate to collect stamps from each World Village. Village tents will feature kid-friendly cultural games and activities. This year’s activities include making cherry blossoms in the Asian Pacific Village, Pysanky (traditional egg decorating) in the European Village, Arpilleras (traditional Chilean textile art) in the Americas Village, and crafting Nguni Shields in the Africa & Middle East Village.

Adults can enjoy beverages in the beer garden while listening to live music. Boating enthusiasts can cheer on their favorite teams during the World Beat Dragon Boat Races

“We had over 25,000 guests attend last year, enjoying performances on seven stages representing more than 50 different countries and cultures. Our visitors come from all over the Northwest and even Canada,” added Fish.

Organized by the volunteer-driven Salem Multicultural Institute, the festival requires 400 volunteers annually to manage setup, stage operations, and cleanup. Volunteers contributing at least four hours receive an event T-shirt and free entry to the festival.

Admission to the festival is $10/1-day pass/adult or $15 for the weekend. Children 0-14, SNAP card holders, and Veterans are free. 

You can view a complete schedule and vendor list or sign up to volunteer atwww.worldbeatfestival.org or call (503) 581-2004. 

About the World Beat Festival: The World Beat Festival originated in the late 1990s and was conceived by two young mothers, Mona Hayes and Kathleen Fish, who wanted a space to celebrate cultural heritage. Starting with a small gathering in 1998, the festival has grown into Oregon’s largest multicultural event of its kind. www.WorldBeatFestival.org, 503-581-2004.

About the Salem Multicultural Institute (SMI): The vision of the Salem Multicultural Institute and the purpose of the World Beat Festival and World Beat Gallery are to create an environment of openness for all people. In all our activities, SMI aims to be family-friendly, economically inclusive, and culturally authentic. Visit the gallery located at 390 Liberty ST SE, Salem. www.salemmulticultural.org.

Oregon Consumer Justice Finds Colorful Way To Educate Used-Car Buyers

The Consumer Confidence Comic helps consumers get the best bang for their buck when purchasing a used car. (Oregon Consumer Justice)
The Consumer Confidence Comic helps consumers get the best bang for their buck when purchasing a used car. (Oregon Consumer Justice)

Buying a used car can be a risky proposition, but a new consumer guide can help people avoid common pitfalls.

The nonprofit Oregon Consumer Justice just released the first edition of its free resource, called the Consumer Confidence Comics. The unique guide doubles as an interactive comic book with coloring pages.

Michelle Luedtke, communications director for Oregon Consumer Justice, describes it as a fun way to learn how to ask the right questions.

“When you get promises from a dealer, where do you capture those to make sure that they’ll be part of your final contract?” Luedtke asked. “We have a checklist of different questions to ask at a dealer about purchasing a used car. You can also download as a resource on our website.”

The guide is available in English and Spanish.

Used car prices shot up during the pandemic but have come down a bit in the last year, with the average used car selling for about $31,000, according to iseecars.com.

Luedtke also recommended taking the time to read the fine print on any contracts. The guide goes through the process from start to finish.

“Whether or not you should be looking for financing beforehand, or what dealer financing looks like? What are scams that are common around purchasing a vehicle,” Luedtke outlined. “And then also, what to do if things go wrong.”

In Oregon, used car dealers have 14 days to finalize the financing, so you could drive it off the lot and then have to return it if the loan falls through. Consumers are advised not to make any changes to the car until they get a welcome letter from their lender. In 2022, Americans purchased about 39 million used vehicles. (SOURCE)

Wyden Announces Four Town Halls in Southern Oregon

Open-to-all town halls on will be May 28-29 in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties

Portland – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today announced he will hold in-person town halls in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties on May 28-29.

Heading into these four town halls, Wyden will have held 1,081 town halls throughout Oregon – including 16 so far this year — in fulfillment of his pledge to hold at least one town hall each year in each of our state’s 36 counties. The town halls in these four counties originally had been scheduled for April, but had to be postponed because of Senate votes in Washington, DC.

“I’m glad to be able to reschedule these town halls so quickly. I’ll always keep my promise of annual open-to-all town halls in each of our state’s 36 counties because it’s crucial that all Oregonians get the opportunity in their community to ask questions, offer suggestions and share ideas,” Wyden said. “As I approach my 1,100th town hall, these direct town hall discussions remain vital, and I very much look forward to the upcoming discussions with Oregonians in Josephine, Curry, Coos and Douglas counties.”

·       Josephine County, 12:45 pm, Tuesday, May 28, South Middle School gym, 350 W. Harbeck Rd., Grants Pass 

·       Curry County, 5:30 pm, Tuesday, May 28, Gold Beach Jr/Sr. High School gym, 29516 Ellensburg Ave., Gold Beach

·       Coos County, 10 am, Wednesday, May 29, North Bend High School gym, 2323 Pacific Ave., North Bend (Parking available in lot behind football stadium)

·       Douglas County, 1 pm, Wednesday, May 29, Reedsport Community Charter Jr/Sr. High School, Pacific Auditorium, Reedsport (Enter at the Pacific Auditorium entrance. Please park on Longwood Drive as school will be in session.)

State wildfire agencies prepared to respond to fire season but will need more staff in future

State wildfire leaders say they are struggling to attract more firefighters due to limited housing and low wages

The state’s top wildfire responders say they are prepared for the approaching wildfire season, but they are concerned about adding staff and resources in the future amid expectations that wildfires will increase. 

At a news conference last Wednesday, the leaders of the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Oregon State Fire Marshal and the Oregon Department of Emergency Management discussed the upcoming wildfire season, which typically begins in mid-May. They predicted a relatively average risk of wildfire through May and June, with a potentially greater risk in eastern Oregon in July and August, when drought and high wind conditions are possible.

Snowpack across Oregon is about average, and it’s been an El Niño winter and spring, which means conditions have been wetter-than-normal. Drought conditions statewide are better than last year but dry conditions persist in some parts of the state, which typically has about 2,000 wildfires a year that burn around 600,000 acres, state data shows. 

Chris Cline, interim chief of the fire protection division of the Oregon Department of Forestry, said the agency has the staff and equipment needed for the current year, but that finding and recruiting firefighters has been difficult and will continue to be a challenge in the years ahead. 

“The workforce is decreasing and shrinking, and it’s becoming very problematic,” Cline said. 

The Oregon Department of Forestry depends on more than 700 permanent and seasonal wildfire fighters, on top of the 11,000 structural firefighters who focus on protecting people, buildings and homes in towns and cities across the state. About 70% of those structural firefighters are volunteers, according to Mariana Ruiz-Temple, Oregon State Fire Marshal, and far more are needed.

“Capacity has gone down over the last 10 years and fires are increasing,” she said. “The Oregon volunteer system is truly the backbone of the Oregon fire service.” 

Cline added that incentives from the federal government for wildfire fighters, such as bonuses and higher pay, could draw those firefighters away from state and local agencies. Also, a lack of housing supply and affordable housing in parts of the state make recruitment difficult, Cline said.

Nevertheless, he added, “We have what we need right now, and we will be prepared to protect Oregonians this summer.” 

In recent years, state fire agencies have added aircraft and cameras for monitoring fires. They’ve also used state and federal grants to boost seasonal firefighter numbers and to purchase more engines, machines and equipment, while undertaking more preventative prescribed burns.

Cline said agencies are increasing the number of prescribed burns amid a recognition that they are needed to destroy ground brush and other fuel that’s been built up over the years and traditionally was burned off by lightning and tribes conducting low-intensity broadcast burns. 

“This is all trying to get (the land) health back to a more natural state,” Cline said. (SOURCE)

State holding open house meetings on community wildfire programs

SALEM, Ore. — A series of six open houses about the state’s new community wildfire risk reduction programs are scheduled June 3 through July 1 across Oregon. These events will offer opportunities to learn about new defensible space and home hardening standards, as well as the draft wildfire hazard map. 

The resource-fair style open houses are being held in the communities that have some of the greatest levels of wildfire hazard within the wildland-urban interface. Each open house will begin with a short presentation and introductions, but visitors may stop in at any point during the event to get questions answered about the draft hazard map and associated community wildfire programs. 

Representatives from multiple agencies will be present to have one-on-one or small group conversations to help people understand Oregon’s statewide wildfire programs.

  • Oregon Department of Forestry representatives will address questions on administrative rules and hazard zone assessment appeals.
  • Oregon State University representatives will address questions on wildfire hazard science, statewide data sources, and updates to the draft hazard map made over the last two years.
  • Oregon State Fire Marshal representatives will address questions regarding defensible space standards, code adoption process and implementation.
  • Building Codes Division representatives from the Department of Consumer and Business Services will address questions on home hardening construction standards, related code provisions, and implementation.
  • Division of Financial Regulation representatives from the Department of Consumer and Business Services will address questions on home insurance market and requirements of insurers under Senate Bill 82 (2023).
  • Wildfire Programs Advisory Council members will address questions on statewide policy direction for wildfire programs and council business.

Meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Redmond—Monday, June 3, Deschutes County Fairgrounds and Expo Center, South Sister Hall, 3800 SW Airport Way, Redmond, OR 97756
  • La Grande—Tuesday, June 4, Union County Fairgrounds, Mount Emily Building, 3604 N 2nd St., La Grande, OR 97850
  • Central Point—Monday, June 17, Jackson County Fairgrounds, Mace Building, 1 Peninger Rd., Central Point, OR 97502
  • Grants Pass—Thursday, June 20, Grants Pass High School, 830 NE 9th St., Grants Pass, OR 97526
  • Klamath Falls—Monday, June 24, Klamath County Event Center, Hall #2, 3531 S 6th St., Klamath Falls, OR 97603
  • The Dalles—Monday, July 1, Oregon Military Department Armory, 402 E. Scenic Dr., The Dalles, OR 97058

Find more information on ODF’s wildfire hazard webpage.

To subscribe to information related to updates on the statewide wildfire hazard map, visit the ODF website.

Background: The 2021 Legislature passed Senate Bill 762 that required the Oregon Department of Forestry to develop and maintain a comprehensive statewide map of wildfire risk that included wildland-urban interface boundaries and five fire risk classes by June 30, 2022, in collaboration with Oregon State University. After the initial version of the map was rescinded August 4, 2022, ODF and OSU began gathering feedback and incorporating it into future mapping efforts. 

The 2023 Legislature passed Senate Bill 80 that made several changes to the map including changing the name from a “risk” map to a “hazard” map, reducing the number of hazard classes from five to three, and changing the appeal and notification requirements. 

Written comment or questions about any aspect of the implementation of Senate Bill 762 and Senate Bill 80 may be submitted by email at any time to ehazardmap@odf.oregon.gov“>odf.wildfirehazardmap@odf.oregon.gov.

State Parks Day Events — Several free special events are planned June 1 to celebrate State Parks Day:

Carl G. Washburne: Hot dog BBQ noon-1 p.m. in campground B Loop, across from site 32.

Fort Stevens: Come and play disc golf 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lil’ Oozlefinch Putting Course.  Make a putt, win a special prize! Loaner discs available to use.  Giveaways and prizes for all who attend. 

Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail – Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead: Rangers and park partners will be at the Visitor Center 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with information and self-guided activities.

Jessie Honeyman: Hot dog BBQ 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the back patio of the Historic Cleawox Lodge.

L.L. Stub Stewart: The Friends of Stub Stewart State Park encourages all to come to the Community Fair at the Hilltop Day-use Area Picnic Shelter 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit the booths and tables hosted by local fire departments, state forestry agencies, and local volunteer organizations.  There will also be interpretive displays and arts and crafts activities for everyone.

Milo McIver:  Join a park ranger at the Interpretive Shelter for a Plant Identification Scavenger Hunt 10-11 a.m. Learn about the different traits of plants and how to determine which species grow within the park. Plan to spend approximately 20-30 minutes learning about edible fruits and prickly plants and then 30 minutes on the trail completing the scavenger hunt. 

Silver Falls State Park: Learn about the emerald ash borer (EAB) and its role as a threat to Oregon’s ash trees. Oregon State Parks and Oregon Department of Forestry staff will be on hand 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to share information about this destructive pest at the Discovery Table in the Stone Circle in the South Falls day-use area. 

Spring Valley Access: Easy, ½-mile guided hike exploring native plants 11 a.m. Meet at the main parking lot near 8900 Wallace Road NW, Salem, OR, 97304. 

The Cove Palisades: Festival of the Landis a free festival that celebrates the diverse history, food and culture of Central Oregon 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes Dutch oven cooking demonstrations, kids’ games and activities, petting “zoo”, mini farmers market, pollinator, wildfire, and fish displays, and more. 

Visit the stateparks.oregon.gov event calendar for a list of additional events this summer.

For camping availability, please check oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com or visit first-come-first served sites: https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=reserve.first-come

About Oregon Parks and Recreation Department – The mission of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is to provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations. The department manages 254 Oregon State Parks comprising more than 100,000 acres. Learn more at stateparks.oregon.gov.

Oregon Offers Electric Car Rebates Again – Apply Now Until June 3rd

Home

Due to high demand and limited funding, OCVRP will be open for a short time in 2024. Vehicles must be purchased or leased between April 3, 2024, to June 3, 2024, to be eligible for a rebate.

Applicants have six months from their date of purchase or lease to apply. Low- and moderate-income households can prequalify for the $5,000 Charge Ahead rebate by completing the application now at https://apps.oregon.gov/DEQ/Voucher/apply.

Open-Air Train Rides in June!
Oregon Rail Heritage Center

Saturday, June 1 and Saturday, June 29

1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm and 4:00pm

Adults: $15; Kiddos 3-12: $10; Children 2 and under ride free (on lap); Military & Seniors: $13.50

Join us for a 45-minute train ride in open air rail cars along the Willamette River in the heart of Portland. Excellent for viewing wildlife, paddleboarders and Oaks Park rides!

Open air cars are pulled by a diesel locomotive and depart from the Oregon Rail Heritage Center at 2250 SE Water Avenue in Portland, Oregon. Be sure to save a little time before or after to check out the museum.

Visit www.orhf.org/Saturday-train-rides for ticketing and more information.

LCSO Case #24-1671 – Missing Person from west Eugene

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office is looking for 39-year-old Brian John Fierke.  He last had contact with his family on March 26th, 2024.  Deputies, detectives, and Sheriff’s Search & Rescue have searched extensively for Fierke without success.   

Fierke is described as a white male adult, standing approximately 6’4” tall and weighing about 185 pounds.  Fierke has brown hair and blue eyes.  He may have brown facial hair.  

Anyone with information about Fierke’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at 541-682-4150, option 1, and reference LCSO Case #24-1671.

20240224ewextra-David-Bjorkman-Missing
May be an image of 1 person, dog and text that says 'MISSING TAMMY PITKIN, Oregon State LAST KNOWN TO BE: Albany, Oregon on 17 OCT 2022 Reported Missing 26 OCT 2022 VEHICLE LOCATED ON DEAD- END FOREST SVC ROAD OFF HWY 20, 30 mi EAST of SWEET HOME, OR, 29 OCT 2022. Physical: age 54, White female, 5'4" tall, 160 lbs, blonde hair, hazel eyes Possibly Accompanied by her 2 small dogs, Cope and Trooper white/brown dog multi smooth-haired Jack Russell terrier) 23 IFYOU HAVE TIPS OR HAVE Feb OR, TAMMY: PLEASE PHONE LINN COUNTY, OR County SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Linh 1-541-967-3911,or911 Locted'

Missing child alert — Jerrica Landin is still missing and is believed to be in danger

2023-12/973/168527/Jerrica_Landin_2.jpg

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, asks the public to help find Jerrica Landin, age 17, a child in foster care who went missing from Portland, Oregon on Aug. 21. She is believed to be in danger.

ODHS asks the public for help in the effort to find Jerrica and to contact 911 or local law enforcement if they believe they see her.

Jerrica may be in Portland or Eugene in Oregon. She may also be in Washington in Vancouver, Seattle or the Tri Cities. 

Name: Jerrica Landin
Pronouns: She/her
Date of birth: Oct. 24, 2006
Height: 5-foot-6
Weight: 130 pounds
Hair: Reddish brown
Eye color: Brown
Other identifying information: Jerrica has a tattoo of a heart on her neck below her right ear. She often dyes her hair red, pink and purple. 
Portland Police Bureau Case #23-803125
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children #1489518

Sometimes when a child is missing, they may be in significant danger and ODHS may need to locate them to assess and support their safety. As ODHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and assess their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).  This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. 

PART 2Newsweek Podcast Focusing on The Disappearance of Fauna Frey From Lane County

Here One Minute, Gone the Next —-– PART 2 – Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel joins investigative journalist Alex Rogue to speak with Here One Minute, Gone the Next about the disappearance of Fauna Frey, the growing friction between citizen investigators and law enforcement, and the lack of resources in missing persons cases. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-disappearance-of-fauna-frey-pt2-feat-sheriff/id1707094441?i=1000630100040

PART 1 – John Frey joins Newsweek to discuss exclusive details about the case of his missing daughter that until now have been unavailable to the general public.

READ MORE HERE: https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-what-happened-fauna-frey-new-clues-uncovered-1827197?fbclid=IwAR3Z3Glru5lIgqiYXbs_nA1Fj8JuCIzM11OHSVHfwIucfq2f_G5y9y5bnmQ

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Fauna Frey, call the anonymous tip line at 541-539-5638 or email FindFaunaFrey@gmail.com. — Help Find Fauna Frey #FindFaunaFrey FACEBOOK GROUP

May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'MISSING TALYNN RYLIE MERTZ, 15 Talynn was last seen in Eugene, Oregon on June 2, 2023. Talynn is 5'3"- -5'4" and 170 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. f/MissingNorthwest @MissingNW @MissingNW IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 1-800-THE-LOST Eugene Police Department: 541-682-5111'
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1109674113319848

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