Search Results : If We Want It

Letter to the Editor: “We can have it if we want it badly enough!”

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Feb 082016

Editorial Comment by Joanne Cvar

The 2016 election campaign is bringing media attention to health care reform, including scare tactics about the cost and viability of comprehensive universal health care.

Contrary to claims that comprehensive quality health care for everyone in the country would “break the bank,” such existing systems in Canada and Scotland spend about 40% less for universal health care coverage than we spend for our system, with better outcomes. And the Affordable Care Act currently leaves about 33 million people uninsured and many more under-insured.

Surprisingly,the cost of health care coverage for all those uninsured Americans would not raise taxes as much as the media claims. As it turns out, taxpayers already pay two-thirds of the health care dollar in the US. In addition to Medicare and Medicaid. the VA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American taxpayers, including the uninsured, pick up the tab for the benefit costs of state and federal public employees like teachers, FBI agents, firefighters and members of Congress. We also pay for the tax subsidy granted by the ACA to private health insurance, about $326 billion a year, expected to increase to $538.9 billion by 2024.

An expanded Medicare for All system in the US would result in massive savings in administrative costs. Canada and Scotland, with universal health care, pay about 16.7 cents of the health care dollar for billing and administration, while we pay about 31 cents here. We could save $400 billion annually on paperwork alone, enough to cover all of the uninsured and eliminate co-payments and deductibles for the rest of us..Without those savings, there is no way to pay for expanded coverage.

We already pay for universal health care. We just aren’t getting it. We need to counter the misinformation the media is spreading with the facts. Voters will support new taxes if they know the money will be well spent to bring health care justice to the USA at last.

It’s a great day to get vaccinated!!! “Cuz you don’t want the flu messin’ up two weeks of your life!

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Oct 112017

Those germs do get around….
Commons photo

The start of Autumn means the start of influenza season, and public health officials say now is the best time—when the number of flu cases in Oregon is still low—to get vaccinated.

While it’s difficult to forecast exactly how bad the flu season will be this year, health officials say getting a flu shot is the best way to prepare for however it shapes up.

Flu is a virus that causes mild to severe respiratory illness and can lead to hospitalization. The virus kills thousands of people in the U.S. each year. People at higher risk of severe illness or death include children, adults older than 65, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions or weak immune systems.

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The flu vaccine is the best protection against flu. It can take up to two weeks to become effective, so getting it earlier in the season is ideal. Vaccinations are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.

Ways that we can all help prevent the flu:

* Stay home and limit contact with others if you are sick, including staying home from work or school when you are sick.
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue out when you are done.
* Wash hands with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
* Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may have flu germs on them.
* Avoid getting coughed and sneezed on.

Flu vaccine is available from health care providers, local health departments and many pharmacies. To find flu vaccine clinic, visit the OHA flu prevention website at and use OHA’s flu vaccine locator tool.

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Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies and other law enforcement sweep county of wanted persons

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Oct 122010

Lincoln County law enforcement has successfully completed its 8th annual countywide sweep to arrest offenders on outstanding warrants for family violence related charges, as well as compliance checks of registered sex offenders residing in Lincoln County. The local enforcement campaign was part of the National Family Violence Apprehension Detail which involves dozens of police agencies and hundreds of law enforcement officers nationwide.

The District Attorney’s Office, Lincoln County Sheriffs Office, Lincoln City Police Department, Newport Police Department, Oregon State Police, Toledo Police Department, and Lincoln County Community Corrections conducted the Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team sweep in all areas of Lincoln County on Tuesday, October 12, 2010. The fifteen officer team made 182 registered sex offender contacts to verify compliance with registered sex offender requirements, and made 88 warrant arrest attempts. The effort of the participating officers resulted in the identification of 20 registered sex offenders who were out of compliance.

Arrest warrants will be requested for these subjects for Fail to register as a sex offender.

Sheriff Dennis Dotson stated, “The coordination and cooperation between the law enforcement agencies in Lincoln County was the principal reason for the success of this campaign. The officers involved in the sweep worked as a team and made contacts in and out of their respective jurisdictions. This effort is but one more example of our officers’, troopers’ and deputies’ commitment to making Lincoln County a safer place to live.”

(Authorized by Committee to Elect Patricia Patrick-Joling)

A message to our oldsters who want to reduce joint pain…

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May 162018

Putting their walk where their motivation is to reduce joint pain….
Courtesy photo

In the state of Oregon, 27 percent of adults 18 years and older have arthritis and suffer from chronic joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Among those 65 years and older, at least 50 percent have arthritis and suffer from chronic pain. For these residents living with arthritis and chronic pain in Newport, OR, the Newport 60+ Activity Center is providing a physical activity program, Walk With Ease, proven to reduce the pain associated with arthritis. Engagement in physical activity is one of several proven strategies to reduce arthritis symptoms.

“I also live with osteoarthritis,” says Linda Fregulia, the program’s instructor. “It was very inspiring to be able to help other people who live with arthritis improve their lives and live with less pain through this simple walking program. It was great to be able to help each other meet the everyday challenges of getting up and moving.”

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The Walk With Ease program helps people with arthritis get moving by starting at their own personal fitness level, no matter what that might be, and comfortably increasing their flexibility, strength, and endurance throughout the length of the program, enabling them to have a better quality of life. Through this one-hour class, three times per week, adults with arthritis are also able to meet the physical activity recommendations. Continue reading »

Avoiding Gift Card Fraud – FBI

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May 082018

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. This week, building a digital defense against gift card fraud.

Mother’s Day is less than a week away – so if you haven’t bought that special someone a present yet, a gift card may seem like an easy option. But easy doesn’t always mean safe.

The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend $2.5 billion on gift cards for mom this year. Over the course of an entire year, we are likely to spend tens of billions of dollars on these got-to-have-it-at-the-last-minute-gifts. But with volume comes opportunity for fraudsters.

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Here are some of the more popular ways a scam artist can turn your gift into garbage:

The fraudster steals the numbers off cards sitting on a rack in your local store. He scratches the number off the back to get the PIN and then covers it up again with easy-to-buy replacement stickers. Once he has the number and the PIN, he puts that info into a computer program that pings the retailer’s site, waiting for you to load cash onto the card. Once you do, the scammer is notified and can spend, transfer or sell the card’s value before you ever leave the store.

Fraudsters will also pose on a resale or auction site as a seller. You find an item you want to buy such as a new video game system – usually at a discount. The seller asks you to pay with gift cards. As soon as you send the number and PIN, the money is gone. Not surprisingly, the item you thought you bought never existed.

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In a twist on this, the seller has a stolen gift card and needs to launder the funds. He posts an item for sale – you pay for it with a credit card or cash. He uses the stolen gift card to buy the item and have it shipped directly to you. Guess whose name and address are listed if investigators come calling?

Finally – there’s the re-seller scam. You are either trying to sell a gift card you don’t want or buy one at a discount. You exchange numbers and payment. If you are buying the gift card, you may find out that the fraudster drained it as the transaction processed, leaving you with a zero balance. On the flip side, if he is buying a card from you – he gets the number and PIN and then stops payment on the cash coming your way.

Click here for info

Here’s how to protect yourself:

When buying in-store, don’t pick cards right off the rack. Look for ones that are sealed in packaging or stored securely behind the counter. Also check the scratch-off area on the back to look for any evidence of tampering.
If possible, only buy cards online directly from the store or restaurant.
If buying from a secondary gift card market website, check reviews and only buy from or sell to reputable dealers.
Check the gift card balance before andafter purchasing the card to verify the correct balance on the card.
The re-seller of a gift card is responsible for ensuring the correct balance is on the gift card, not the merchant whose name is listed. If you are scammed, some merchants in some situations will replace the funds. Ask, but don’t expect, for help.
When selling a gift card through an online marketplace, do not provide the buyer with the card’s PIN until the transaction is complete.
When purchasing gift cards online, be leery of auction sites selling gift cards at a discount or in bulk.

Click Here for more info!

If you have been victimized by this online scam or any other cyber fraud, be sure to also report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.govor call your local FBI office.

Newport City Council: “We don’t want forest spraying” – Hancock Timber: “State law says we can.”

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May 082018

Backpack herbicide sprayer.

Newport city councilors did a long arm’s length dance with an employee of Hancock Timber Company Monday night over whether there will be any herbicide spraying uphill from the town’s main source of drinking water – Big Creek Reservoir. There appears to be widespread agreement among the manufacturers of herbicides that spraying, aimed at giving young trees a head start against competing brush and weeds, should not be near any body of water that directly feeds local drinking water treatment plants. Yet Hancock employee Jerry Anderson re-iterated Hancock intends to use herbicides to treat the steep, clear-cut hillsides above Big Creek Reservoir. Anderson said they envision using on-the-ground workers spraying herbicides from back-pack tanks at least fifty feet from the edge of the reservoir.

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Rather tense discussions ensued, including a string of citizens who weighed in on the debate, some reminding the council that there is plenty of documentation of children being born with birth or brain damage due to exposure to herbicides and pesticides while evolving in the womb. Also there have been documented outbreaks of cancer among residents living in or near forests that were sprayed with herbicides – some of those sprays drifting out of the woods and onto and into their homes.

Councilor Wendy Engler challenged Anderson with a question as to whether herbicide spraying to eradicate competing weeds and bush is better than manually clearing them. Anderson quickly replied “They’re the same.” But he quickly added “there isn’t enough labor available to do it manually.”

City Attorney Steve Rich reminded the council that a tentative agreement between Hancock and the city presumes that Hancock has the right to spray within the watershed, based on state law, which pre-empts city ordinances. At that point a reference was made to the fact that Oregon’s forestry practices statutes are among the weakest in the country, attributable to what is frequently referred to as the timber industry’s heavy political influence in the state capital.

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Hancock’s Anderson said his company is willing to “work” with the city to move the operation forward. Councilor Engler replied that she was holding out for a no-spray option. Many residents filling up the council chambers said human health is nothing to gamble or toy with. They called on the council to fight to keep herbicide spraying away from Big Creek. City Public Works Director Tim Gross retorted that herbicide spraying is done throughout the Siletz River basin from which the city pipes a lot of water to Big Creek Reservoir. And that so far, water plant testing has shown no sign of pesticide contamination. But one woman in the audience took issue with that conclusion. She claimed that despite the finding, there is frequently found contamination at very low levels that can still be dangerous.

The council asked City Manager Spencer Nebel to negotiate with Hancock – perhaps put off any spraying for the rest of the year to give both sides time to further explore what’s at stake.

For details Click Here!

Hey Veterans! They want to thank you for your service down at the Newport Senior Center

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Apr 292018

Newport 60 + Activity Center!
Free lunch for Veterans!

Serving Those Who Served:

Free Loyalty Days Veterans Lunch at the Newport 60+ Activity Center

As a special thank you to those who served our country, on Friday, May 4, 2018, at 12:00 noon, the Newport 60+ Activity Center will be offering a free lunch in the dining room for all veterans who wish to join us. This year’s menu will feature chicken fajitas.

Volunteers will be on hand to help out where needed, but mostly just to chat with vets! Everyone involved is excited and honored for the opportunity to be serving those who served, and are looking forward to meeting our local veterans.

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Seating for this event is limited, so please RSVP to (541) 265-9617 by Tuesday, May 2nd, to reserve a spot. The 60+ Activity Center is located at 20 SE 2nd Street in Newport. Please visit our website: for a complete listing of trips, events, and classes.

Newport is one of the communities that celebrates National Loyalty Day with parades and ceremonies.

National Loyalty Day is observed annually on May 5.  This day is set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.

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First observed in 1921 as “Americanization Day”, this holiday was intended to counterbalance the celebration of Labor Day on May Day.  On July 18, 1958 it was made on official holiday by the U.S. Congress (Public Law 85-529).  President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1959 the first official observance of Loyalty Day.  This day has been recognized with an official proclamation every year, by every president, since its inception as a legal holiday in 1958.

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Sheriff Landers responds to layoffs in Mental Health Service providers:

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Apr 272018

Sheriff Curtis Landers

Response to the Layoff in Lincoln County Mental Health Services

We’re assaulted daily by headlines about the mental health crisis and the opioid crisis in this country. Lincoln County hasn’t been immune to these challenges. That’s why we, as elected leaders, have been working hard to advocate for resources that will help us respond better to our citizens in need.

It came as a disappointment to us, as it did to many in the community, that the cost of providing services dramatically exceeded the actual revenues generated for those services, leading to a funding deficit. That deficit requires the County to lay off several staff in the co-occurring disorders program, which offers treatment to people with both mental health and addictions issues. The need still exists but stable funding for providing services is a challenge.

For more info Click here!

It is important to put these cuts in context. While the co-occurring program has been scaled back, it has not been eliminated. Other programs, including addiction services, mental health crisis services (including mobile crisis) and case management to adults, adolescents, children and families, remain in place and are moving forward.

The Board of Commissioners and I embrace the concept of Stepping Up — an effort to reduce the number of people with mental illness and addictions who end up in the criminal justice system. On a typical day thirty percent of the people in our jail have a mental health diagnosis and that does not take into consideration the number of inmates with an addiction problem.

Ballot measure 21-186 is the foundation to build stability; in addition to addressing many other critical public safety needs, it provides us the dedicated resources to fund services to help those with mental illness and addictions who find themselves in the justice system. We want to keep them out of the jail and successful in the community.

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This situation, as painful as it is, also provides a teachable moment. We can no longer survive with a mental health program under the control of a single agency. We need to, and are, building a robust mental health system that involves not just the county, but Samaritan Health, law enforcement, the Siletz Tribe, private treatment providers, social service agencies, family members—in short, anyone who cares about building a safer, healthier, more caring community.

The community needs to make an investment in assuring that mentally ill people are receiving the services they need and mental health professionals are engaging clients in jail and making sure they continue with services when released. This levy is a crucial piece of the whole puzzle to prevent the revolving door in and out of the criminal justice system. With the passing of measure 21-186 we will break the cycle and improve the system.

Sheriff Curtis Landers

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Layoffs in Lincoln County Mental Health Services – County: “We’re still getting the work done for clients”

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Apr 272018

Mental Health Services

From Lincoln County Health and Human Services

Lincoln County Health and Human Services Behavioral Health to Lay-off Staff in the multi-symptom disorders and dddictions program

Lincoln County Health and Human Services will lay off staff in the multi-symptom disorders and addictions program in an effort to balance the department budget. The layoffs will be effective Friday, June 1st. The layoffs will include eight Lincoln County employee union members, 1 vacant management position that will not be replaced, and 3 part-time non-union members. Lincoln County Behavioral Health will continue to offer appropriate services as well as counseling and case management to adults, adolescents, children and families with remaining staff. Multi-symptom refers to an individual having one or more substance abuse disorders and one or more psychiatric disorders.

After hiring more staff for the program, staff did not see the expected number of clients or provide the level of client services planned for in this year’s budget.  We have paid the full cost of running the program, but the revenue was not coming in.

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“Our hearts go out to the affected staff,” said Rebecca Austen, Interim Health & Human Services Director. “These are challenging times for HHS and our staff is committed to continue serving the people of Lincoln County.”

“This is a disappointing setback,” said Commissioner Bill Hall, “but I want to assure the public that the county will continue to provide essential mental health services. As part of the Stepping Up Initiative, we are working to build stronger relationships with community providers, law enforcement and Samaritan Health Services so we have a Mental Health system with a broader base of services and resources.”

Surface Rescue

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Individuals and families may inquire and access services by calling 265-4179. Mental health counselors screen all inquiry calls. Services offered include group, family and/or individual counseling for problems addressing:

Appropriate expression of feelings, and healthy boundaries.
Coping skills.
Children with behaviors and/or emotional problems and parenting.
Medication evaluation and management.
Support and peer-building relation.
Panic and anxiety issues.

For more information contact:

Rebecca C. Austen, RN, MSN
Lincoln County Health & Human Services Interim Director
255 SW Coast Hwy., Suite 203A
Newport, OR 97365
(541) 265-0400

Surface Rescue

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Letter to the Editor: Please Vote Yes on Lincoln City’s Fire Department 21-183! – “We always show up for you – please show up for us…”

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Apr 242018

The views and opinions of submitters to “Letters to the Editor” do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of, its staff or advertisers. The positions taken in the following letter are strictly those of the submitter.


As a volunteer firefighter with North Lincoln Fire and Rescue, I humbly ask for your vote in favor of measure #21-183. We are in need of updated equipment.

Yes, you graciously voted in favor of last year’s bond measure, to hire a full time paid staff. We are grateful for that. It has provided our community with a 24/7 paramedic engine to respond to emergencies within a very quick response time, instead of having to wait for the ambulance to provide a higher level of care.

That being said, our fire department still relies heavily on it’s rapidly declining volunteer base. We are down to 23 volunteers. Volunteers, such as myself, have full time jobs and families. We pull shifts and respond from our homes at all hours of the night. We are dedicated to taking care of our community because our community needs us and has never failed us.

We are asking for your support to be able to safely respond to all calls. Our equipment is outdated (it looks good because we take care of the equipment that our taxpayers provide for us), and the repair shops are finding it ever more difficult to find parts. Our call volume is outrageous, and we want our safety to matter. I, personally, pull 48 hours a week at my fire station. On my own time, with a full time job – not to mention the extensive training that we all do to keep up our certifications. Your North Lincoln Fire-Rescue demands that it’s firefighters are up to the job. That’s how we protect our community. We show up for you, whenever you need help. Please, please, show up for us.

Samantha Konecny
NLFR Volunteer Firefighter