Willamette Valley News, Wednesday 7/3 – Tips to Have a Safe and Happy Independence Day Weekend

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, July 3, 2024

Willamette Valley Weather

Active Weather Alerts – EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING ISSUED – NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

...EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON THURSDAY TO 11 PM PDT SUNDAY...

* WHAT...Dangerously hot conditions with temperatures 100 to 105
expected. Overnight temperatures will also be very warm and limit
chances to recover from the heat, with lows ranging from the mid
60s to low 70s.

* WHERE...Portions of northwest and west central Oregon and
southwest Washington.

* WHEN...From noon Thursday to 11 PM PDT Sunday.

* IMPACTS...Heat related illnesses increase significantly during
extreme heat events.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...There is a 25-35 percent chance that
temperatures will exceed 110 degrees on Saturday, and a 10-15
percent chance that temperatures will exceed 110 degrees Friday
and Sunday.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of
the sunshine, and check up on relatives and neighbors.

Do not leave young children and pets in unattended vehicles. Car
interiors will reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.

Take extra precautions when outside. Wear lightweight and loose
fitting clothing. Try to limit strenuous activities to early morning
or evening. Take action when you see symptoms of heat exhaustion and
heat stroke.

Those seeking relief from the heat in area rivers and lakes should
take water safety precautions. Wear a life jacket and don't venture
into the water alone.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in
shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat
should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an
emergency! Call 9 1 1.

For sheltering information and other human services, dial 2 1 1
during business hours or visit 211info.org in Oregon or wa211.org in
Washington.

Now that we are all heading into a long holiday weekend for the 4th of July, let’s be grateful and keep a few things in mind…

July 4, 2023 will be America’s 248th  Independence Day, the day Americans celebrate our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.

Here are some facts that are important to remember about America’s founding document and the day set aside for its commemoration.

The Declaration of Independence was designed for multiple audiences: the King, the colonists, and the world. It was also designed to multitask. Its goals were to rally the troops, win foreign allies, and to announce the creation of a new country. The introductory sentence states the Declaration’s main purpose, to explain the colonists’ right to revolution. In other words, “to declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” Congress had to prove the legitimacy of its cause. It had just defied the most powerful nation on Earth. It needed to motivate foreign allies to join the fight.

Preamble – These are the lines contemporary Americans know best: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.” These stirring words were designed to convince Americans to put their lives on the line for the cause. Separation from the mother country threatened their sense of security, economic stability, and identity. The preamble sought to inspire and unite them through the vision of a better life.

List of Grievances – The list of 27 complaints against King George III constitute the proof of the right to rebellion. Congress cast “the causes which impel them to separation” in universal terms for an international audience. Join our fight, reads the subtext, and you join humankind’s fight against tyranny.

Resolution of Independence – The most important and dramatic statement comes near the end: “That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.” It declares a complete break with Britain and its King and claims the powers of an independent country.

Read a Transcript: https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

Tip of The Week For July 4, 2024- Fireworks Safety

The Fourth of July means fireworks and celebration. While this year Oregon and some of our local communities haven’t been encountering very dry conditions, it is still possible that the weather during these months will be a bit dryer in some areas. This increases the potential for fire hazard. Fireworks are recognized as a celebratory activity by many, however, there are some very important safety measures to consider while using and displaying them. Here are some important tips to remember to ensure a safe holiday celebration. 

It is extremely important to know the difference between a legal consumer firework and a dangerous explosive device. Illegal items in Oregon include any firework that flies into the air, explodes or behaves in an uncontrolled or unpredicted manner. Some examples include: Firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, Roman candles, bottle rockets, or any other article of similar construction or any article containing any explosive or inflammable compound. 

Any tablets or other device containing any explosive substances or inflammable compound are also not legal in Oregon without a permit. Items such as M-80s, M-100s and blockbusters are not fireworks, they are federally banned explosives. They can cause serious injury or even death. Stay away from anything that isn’t clearly labeled with the name of the item, the manufacturer’s name and instructions for proper use.

Pets are more sensitive to loud noises and flashing lights and strong smells. It is best to leave your pest safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV turned on to soften jarring noises. If you cannot leave your pet indoors, keep them leashed and under your direct control at all times. Safeguard your pet with a collar and ID tag and possibly a microchip update with your current contact information. 

All fireworks are prohibited in all state parks and on ocean beaches.

Possession of illegal fireworks in Oregon is a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or six months in jail. If you are aware of anyone selling such devices, contact your local law enforcement agency.

Fireworks are not toys. NEVER give fireworks to young children. Close adult supervision of all fireworks activities is mandatory. Even sparklers can be unsafe if used improperly. 

Read and follow all warnings and instructions on fireworks. Be sure that people maintain a safe distance from where fireworks are ignited. Never light and throw any fireworks. Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry leaves, and flammable materials. Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned. Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a malfunction and fire dangers due to current drought conditions. Please be mindful. 

Oregon’s State Fire Marshal (OSFM) Mariana Ruiz-Temple and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) Chief of Fire Protection Doug Grafe ask people to be mindful of these conditions when celebrating the holiday. Before lighting off fireworks, they encourage people to know when and where it is allowed.

This year, some Oregon cities and counties put restrictions in place on the use of fireworks through the weekend. If using legal fireworks in communities where they’re allowed, always have a bucket of water on hand to drown spent or used fireworks, have a charged hose nearby, and never light fireworks near dry grass or areas that could catch fire easily.

“Please check with your local municipality, fire service agency, or county on the local laws where you will celebrate the holiday,” Ruiz-Temple said. “Safety of those in Oregon is not only a priority for those who live, work and visit, but for our firefighters as well. We ask that you follow all restrictions and help us in being safe and responsible this holiday weekend.”

In Oregon, it’s illegal to possess, use, or sell fireworks that fly into the air, explode, or travel more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground without a permit. The OSFM can issue permits. Bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers are illegal without a permit. Officials may seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a class B misdemeanor with a fine of $2,500 per firework. A person misusing or causing damage using fireworks can be required to pay firefighting costs and for other damage. Parents are liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.

During fire season it is illegal to use fireworks on ODF-protected lands. While enjoying the forests or outdoors here are ways you can help prevent fires:

  • Skip the campfire – it’s already hot enough
  • Use a camp stove for cooking
  • Don’t use fireworks – enjoy a community’s firework display instead
  • Stay on the roads – heat from vehicles can easily start grass on fire
  • Don’t smoke – if you do, put the butts out and dispose of them properly
  • Don’t use anything with open flame or that could cause sparks
  • Check trailer chains to ensure they don’t drag along the road

Please Help Prevent Wildfires!

Keep Oregon Green - wendel woodford

Eugene Police Department – If you have illegal fireworks at your home, there is an opportunity for you to get rid of them without getting cited!

Eugene Springfield Fire has a Fireworks App (Fireworks Alert) – https://www.eugene-or.gov/…/Fire-and-Emergency-Medical… Look for the links to “Download Fireworks Alert App”. City officials receive the information along with the geo location from where the picture was taken. Reports will not result in immediate action. Information will be gathered and analyzed to identify areas of the community to target future education and enforcement efforts.

Reporting Illegal Fireworks – Please bear in mind that it is never appropriate to call 911 for fireworks unless someone has been injured or property is actively being damaged by them. 911 is meant exclusively for reporting any immediate threat to life or property. This is one of the busiest holidays of the year for our agencies and if you call, you may experience extended hold times. Lower-level calls may take longer to get to such as noise complaints and concerns of illegal fireworks.

If you need to report a non-emergency crime like a noise complaint, suspicious person or activity, illegal fireworks, or any crimes that are not in progress please call one of the below listed business lines as appropriate:

Reporting In-Progress Illegal Fireworks • Eugene 541.682.5111, or Springfield: 541.726.3714: • Lane County unincorporated areas: 541-682-4150 – To report consumer fireworks within the Eugene city limits, call 541.682.5111.

The ban penalty is a fine not to exceed $500. It is unlawful to sell, use, light, detonate, or display any “consumer” fireworks anywhere in the city at any time. The social host ordinance in Eugene also applies to fireworks. The social host, or ordinance on unruly gatherings, holds individuals criminally responsible for hosting, organizing and allowing an unruly event or social gathering. Eugene property owners where the event is hosted will also be penalized if there are multiple violations of this ordinance at the same property. The Eugene Municipal Court has assigned a base fine of $375 for criminal violations of this ordinance. Both hosts and property owners could be civilly liable for police, fire and public works response to repeated illegal gatherings that fall under this ordinance.

Heat advisories prompt OHA warning about heat-related illness

Tips for staying cool include limiting sun exposure, wearing light clothing, knowing signs of heat stroke 

– Oregon Health Authority is encouraging people to take steps to avoid heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion as advisories predicting triple-digit temperatures go into effect this week. 

Older adults, infants and children, those who live or work outdoors, have low incomes, or who have a chronic medical condition are particularly vulnerable to the effects of extremely high temperatures. Heat-related illnesses among these groups are likely to increase as heat waves occur more often than usual – and at higher temperatures – around the state. 

OHA offers these tips to stay safe and healthy during extreme heat:  

1. Stay cool. 

  • Stay in air-conditioned places, if possible. 
  • Limit exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. when temperatures are hottest, and avoid direct sunlight. Schedule outdoor activities in the early morning and late evening. 
  • Open windows to allow fresh air to circulate if it cools off in the morning and evening hours. Close shades on south and west-facing windows during afternoon hours. 
  • Use portable electric fans to push hot air out of rooms or draw in cooler air, but don’t rely on a fan as a primary cooling device. 
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing to keep cool and protect skin from the sun. Dress infants and children similarly.  
  • Use cool compresses, misting and cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature. 
  • Avoid hot foods and heavy meals, which increase body heat. 
  • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car
  • Check on at-risk friends, family and neighbors several times a day. Heat-related illnesses can make it hard to think clearly. This means people may be in danger without realizing it. Make sure loved ones have what they need to stay cool. 

2. Stay hydrated. 

  • Regardless of your level of activity, drink plenty of fluids, even if you are not thirsty, and especially when working outside.  
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing large amounts of sugar, which can increase dehydration. Alcohol can be especially dangerous when used as a substitute for water hydration, and increases risks of alcohol-related injuries
  • Make sure your family, friends and neighbors drink enough water. 

3. Stay informed. 

  • Keep up to date on the heat risk and heat index when planning activities so you can find ways to stay cool and hydrated.  
  • Learn how to preventrecognize and treat heat-related illnesses.
  • Heat-related illness can develop in as little as 10-15 minutes. It can happen indoors and outdoors.  
  • Some heat-related illnesses can be managed at home or at urgent care. However, if you or someone you see is experiencing confusion or unconsciousness due to heat exposure, call 911. It is a medical emergency.  

Ways to stay cool without an air conditioner:

  • Air conditioners can help you stay cool, but not everyone has one. Visiting friends with an air conditioner or going to cooling centers in your community can help you stay cool. 
  • Local houses of worship and libraries may be open to the public during times of extreme heat. Splash pads and shopping centers can also be places to cool off.  
  • Water is also great for cooling you off when it’s hot. Drape yourself with a damp towel, take a cool bath or shower or take a dip in a fountain. These actions can help cool you off in a hurry and work better when it’s not humid.  
  • If you have a cooler part of the house, such as a basement, spend time there during the hottest parts of the day. 

For more information, visit OHA’s website: www.oregon.gov/heat

Air conditioners for eligible OHP members

Oregon launched new climate-related benefits as part of the state’s federally funded expansion of Oregon Health Plan (OHP) coverage, which includes health-related social needs (HRSN) services that help maintain health and well-being but are not traditionally thought of as medical services. New services include providing climate-control devices such as air conditioners, air filters, mini refrigeration units and portable power supplies to eligible OHP members. 

OHP members interested in receiving climate devices should contact their coordinated care organization (CCO) to learn more. OHP Open Card members can call 1-888-834-4304 or email HRSN@acentra.com“>ORHRSN@acentra.com. If an OHP member is not sure which plan or CCO they are in, they can call the OHA Client Services Unit at 1-800-273-0557.

OHP members who don’t qualify for HRSN climate devices can still contact their CCO to see if climate supports are available through “flexible services” (also called “health-related services”). OHP Open Card members who don’t qualify for HRSN climate devices can still contact 1-888-834-4304 or their county to learn about local programs providing climate supports this summer. For non-OHP members in Oregon, some cities and counties have similar programs with a limited supply of devices.   

Contact 211

During periods of extreme heat, counties often open cooling spaces for local communities to seek relief from high temperatures; these will be listed here, by county, based on the information shared with 211 by the shelter providers. Opening hours are based on specific counties’ and individual agencies’ criteria. 

Methods to contact 211: 

  • CALL 211 or 1-866-698-6155 or TTY: dial 711 and call 1-866-698-6155, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. 
  • TEXT your ZIP code to 898211 (TXT211), Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • EMAIL help@211info.org, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Language interpreters available by phone; text and email in Spanish and English) 

If there is a shelter that is not listed online, or information that needs to be edited, please email 211’s resource team: t@211info.org“>support@211info.org. — During times of emergency incident response, 211’s answer rate may vary

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Oregon BottleDrop – Hidden Bottle Hunt July 3-7

The Hidden Bottle Hunt begins with the announcement of the first clue at 8:00 am on Wednesday, July 3. The final clue will be issued at 8:00 am on Sunday, July 7 (or until all bottles are found, whichever occurs first).

OBRC and the BottleDrop network conduct statewide container redemption operations through a series of five operational “zones,” which we’ve used to break up the state geographically, and we’re hiding one bottle in each zone. Due to the population of Zone 1, we’ve further divided it into Zone 1E and Zone 1W, and we have hidden a bottle in each for a total of 6 hidden bottles across the state. Bottles are hidden in parks or trails that are open to the public.

What do the bottles look like?

We have taken six of our unique BottleDrop Refillable bottles – used for our Refillable beverage program – and had them specially painted by an Oregon professional. The bottles include a unique label and a metal emblem honoring Oregon’s Bottle Bill, which has produced outstanding recycling and litter-remediation outcomes for the past 53 years!

The bottles will be wrapped to prevent breakage and covered in a burlap sack to protect them from the elements while they wait for you to find them.

How do I participate?

Participation is simple! Just follow the clues and hunt for the bottles. It’s even more fun to team up and hunt with your friends and family. If you’d like to get notified by email that the clues are live each day, just sign up here.

What do I get if I find a hidden bottle?

For one, you get all the esteem and bragging rights that come with cracking the clues and being first to the bottle. Congratulations! Second, you get to keep the bottles, and they are super cool! Finally, and best of all, you get to direct a $1,000 donation to a nonprofit of your choice from our list of thousands of participating BottleDrop Give nonprofits across Oregon. Each hidden bottle includes instructions for how to contact us when you find it. Just follow those directions as soon as you find the bottle! FIND OUT MORE: https://bottledrop.com/hunt/

Introducing “When It Hits The Fan”: A New Podcast by Lane County Emergency Management

Lane County Emergency Management is excited to announce the launch of a new podcast, “When It Hits The Fan,” now available on all major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

“When It Hits The Fan” is designed to equip listeners with essential knowledge and resources to be prepared and stay safe during a disaster. Whether you’re new to emergency preparedness or a seasoned prepper, the podcast offers can help you face the future with confidence.

“Our goal with ‘When It Hits The Fan’ is to reach community members in a format that’s accessible and engaging,” said Lane County Emergency Manager Tiffany Brown. “We want to provide digestible and actionable information that people can easily incorporate into their daily lives to ensure they are prepared for any emergency. We hope to foster a culture of preparedness and resilience within our community.”

Episodes are share monthly and, so far, include:

  • “Welcome! And, what the heck is emergency management?” – An introduction to the world of emergency management.
  • “What do you mean we should be two-weeks ready?!” – Practical tips for ensuring your household is prepared for emergencies.

Listen at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/fan

About Lane County Emergency Management – Lane County Emergency Management is committed to preparing the community for emergencies and disasters through education, planning, and response coordination.

Please Don’t Drink and Drive

Please don't drink and drive free image download

Did you know that this is the holiday with the highest accident statistics in the United States of America? That this is the most dangerous holiday to be on the road? The moment that you are looking at these statistics and reasons why this is such a dangerous holiday, then you might think twice to drink and drive this year on the 4th of July.

More than 70 million Americans are expected to travel around the Fourth of July holiday, with traffic and accidents likely to spike as a result.

Americans are predicted to travel in huge numbers this Fourth of July, with nearly 71 million people expected to travel 50 or more miles as the U.S. celebrates 248 years of independence.

Based on projections from auto club AAA, the most popular mode of travel for these 71 million people will be by car, with 60.6 million people forecast to drive from June 29 to July 7.

The worst times to drive in the days up to and including July 4 are between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., according to AAA and INRIX, a transportation analytics company. The worst traffic delays in large metro areas will be on the days when many people head out of town – Wednesday, July 3 – and when they return home – Sunday, July 7.

But while the Fourth of July is a fun, summer holiday replete with fireworks, barbecues and sunshine, it can also be a dangerous time to drive, ranking among the worst holiday periods for vehicle crash fatalities between 2017 and 2021 among those analyzed, with close to 2,350 deaths during this time frame.

The National Safety Council estimates that 599 people could die on the roads this Fourth of July holiday period, defined as between 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 7.

A significant portion of such deaths may come from drunken driving. That was the case during the July 4, 2022, holiday period, when 40% of traffic fatalities involved an intoxicated driver.

The Fourth of July is America’s top beer-drinking holiday. During the holiday, beer sales top more than $1 billion each year when the holiday runs around. If beer isn’t your style, Americans spend another half-billion dollars on wine.

This excessive alcohol use was the cause of 41% of fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver, the highest among all the major holidays. 

When you are talking to everyone about their favorite holiday, then most of them will say that the 4th of July is the one holiday that they are looking forward to. This is a time where partying, drinking, and fireworks are the norms. There aren’t many people that don’t drink or party during this holiday.

And, those that aren’t drinking are driving to see the firework display all over town. This is a time for family, friends, partying, and drinking. And, the scary part is that those people that were drinking are driving around in the early hours of the morning. Drunk.

Reasons why there are so many road accidents and fatal accidents on this holiday:

Drunk driving –

This is the number one reason why there are so many road accidents and fatal accidents on Independence Day. The scary part is that this isn’t only those who were drinking and driving that is involved in a fatal accident. The innocent people are also involved in these accidents because they couldn’t avoid the accidents.

High traffic

Getting back home after the celebrations is also the reason for the high accident and death statistics. The high traffic causes people to get impatient and reckless. They just want to get back home, and they even might still have the effect of alcohol that is still in the bloodstream. They are getting irresponsible and causing a serious accident.

Independence Day

The weekend of partying, drinking and having fun. But, unfortunately, this is also the time where people are irresponsible and causing fatal accidents. Before you are considering to drive while under the influence, you should make sure that you are looking at these statistics and other information. This might just save your and your family’s lives.

Driving while impaired of alcohol or drugs is a serious risk. Apart from being irresponsible on the road, impaired driving carries serious insurance consequences. If your insurer discovers you’ve been convicted of a DUI, your car insurance rates could increase or your policy may be cancelled or non-renewed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been tracking car wreck statistics for a quarter of a century. Fourth of July almost always tops the list. Statistics gathered over the past Twenty five years reveal that, on average, nearly 50 percent of all deadly traffic crashes on July 4 are related to alcohol – although that percentage varies from year to year. Other holidays on the list include Labor Day, New Year’s, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Americans love there holidays and July 4th is no exception. We are proud of who we are and celebrate accordingly. July fourth has been one of the deadliest days you could be on the road according to the NHTSA.

We Hope You Will Drive Safe and Be Safe and Have A Safe and Happy Independence Day Weekend!

We’ll be enjoying the long holiday weekend too and will be back in the office on Monday 7/8

Happy 4th of July!

Oregon’s Missing Persons

Many times you’ll see postings without case numbers or police contact. There is rarely a nefarious reason why (the nefarious ones are pretty obvious). Usually the loved one tried to call to report their missing person and they are either refused or told to wait a day or two by people who are unaware of SB 351 and the laws that they are bound to when answering the phone. Many people don’t bother calling LE if their loved one is homeless or in transition because they believe LE won’t care. The biggest myth is the 24 hour rule.

In Oregon we don’t have those rules and an officer or person answering the phone is not allowed to decide. The law decides. We have Senate Bill 351 and it states that the police CANNOT refuse a request for any reason and they must begin working on it within 12 hours. The person making the report does not have to be related to missing person either.

Here is SB 351 written by families of the missing here in Oregon in conjunction with Oregon law enforcement officers. This should be common knowledge, please make it this way. https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/…/SB351/Introduced

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