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And now a few words from Newport City Hall – grab a sandwich – it’s a good read….

Vaccines…they’re what keeps us all alive!

Eligible for a Vaccine?

Sign up at one of these vaccination providers:

Lincoln County Health Department (Call Center) 541.265.0621 option 2
Siletz Community Health Center (Linn-Benton County) 541.444.9636
Samaritan Health Services (Lincoln County Residents) 1.855.441.2311
Safeway Pharmacy (Newport) 541.351.4035
Bi-Mart Pharmacy (Lincoln City) 541.614.1023
Hi-School Pharmacy (Waldport) 541.563.4848
Rite-Aid Pharmacy (Newport) 541.265.8596
Fred Meyer Pharmacy (Newport) 541.574.1733
Walgreens Pharmacy (Newport) 541.574.4405

The Lincoln County Public Health website has more information and links to sign up: https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/hhs/page/covid-19-vaccination-clinicsProject Area Map

Two Projects on U.S. 101 Underway

Street improvement project begins

A project to improve travel south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge has started. The work will improve movement and connections for cars, pedestrians and bikes in South Beach. Details about the work being done are shown in the map below and listed on the project webpage. Construction is expected to be completed in 2021.

Project Area Map
What to Expect:
Increased activity and noise – Drivers should start seeing more signs and changes to how traffic moves through South Beach. There will be increased noise from construction and from equipment moving through the work zone.
Night work – Starting March 29, the construction crew will be working at night to remove the center median throughout the project area. Expect delays and construction noise from 7 P.M. to 6 A.M. daily.
New traffic pattern – Starting April 5, crews will be working during the day on the shoulder of the road. Crews will shift traffic and use the center lane to maintain flow in both directions.
Yaquina Bridge Picture
Yaquina Bay Bridge project continues
Work is underway on the Yaquina Bay Bridge to replace the cathodic protection (corrosion protection), repair damaged concrete and install seismic upgrades to retrofit the bridge. Construction is expected to take three and half years.

What to Expect:
Lane closures – There will be times during construction when single lane closures will be needed at night. Most work will de done under the bridge during the day.
Sidewalk Closure – The east sidewalk will be closed for the duration of the project.
Noise – Expect sandblasting, spray coating and other general construction noises when work is being done, both in the day and at night.

Residents or businesses in South Beach with questions or concerns, please contact:
Derrick Tokos, Newport Community Development Director, 541.574.0626.
For other questions:
Markus Schaaf, ODOT Project Manager, 541.757.4211.
Access for pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will be available and identified through or around work zones.
ODOT is an EEO/AA employer. This information can be made available in alternate format on request by calling 503.986.2600 or via the Oregon Telecommunications Relay System: 7-1-1 or email: ODOTeeo@ODOT.state.or.us.

Join the Culture Pass Program

The Newport Public Library and Oregon Coast Aquarium launched the Culture Pass program on Thursday, April 1. The Culture Pass is a program for Newport Public Library cardholders. With the help of community partners, the library supports users as they engage in local cultural experiences. Using a library card, adult cardholders in good standing can reserve a pass for free admission for a family of four. Four passes are available per month.

Funding for this program is made possible by the Franz Bakery Foundation and the Lincoln County Cultural Coalition.

For more information or to reserve a Culture Pass, please call the library at 541.265.2153 or visit https://newportoregon.gov/dept/lib/cultural_pass.asp

Funeral expenses for Covid-19 victims will be provided by FEMA

Wyden and Merkley: FEMA Will Now Provide Financial for COVID-19 Funeral Costs

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that FEMA is providing financial assistance for eligible COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020 in Oregon and nationwide.

“The COVID-19 global pandemic has left thousands of families throughout our state and country shouldering the financial burden of end-of-life care while grieving the losses of their loved ones,” Wyden said. “The critical financial support from FEMA for funeral costs hopefully will ease some of that financial burden and allow Oregonians to focus on grieving the loss of loved ones.”

“The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on communities in Oregon and across the country. The last thing families should have to worry about is how they’re going to pay for the funeral of a loved one as they grapple with the grief of sudden loss,” Merkley said. “Help is here: FEMA is opening up a new program to reimburse people for COVID-related funeral expenses. For Oregonians who have lost a loved one to COVID and incurred funeral expenses, I encourage you to apply.”

The COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number is 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585

Applications began this week with calls being accepted Monday – Friday 6 am to 6 pm Pacific time. Multilingual services are available.  Get answers to eligibility questions and more information about the application process on FEMA’s Funeral Assistance FAQ page.

Senator Dick Anderson and Representative David Gomberg review the lists…

Senator Dick Anderson, District Rep David Gomberg, Re: HB2001

Agate Beach Safety Coalition, LLC

Awareness is the First Step Of Preparedness – A Cascadia Subduction Zone event

This bill should never have been passed as a one size fits all. Certain coastal communities have population limitations due to the Environmental Surroundings & Infrastructure. Safely being able to evacuate everyone in a safe timely manner seems to have been overlooked in this Bill for certain areas?

One Example: Newport has only ONE (1) escape route to go East (Hwy 20). More than 10,000 residents would have to use Hwy 20 to evacuate from the threat of a Tsunami or Wildfire. We are presently beyond capacity to safely evacuate the current population and there are steps being taken to change Newport’s code to comply with HB2001, which would allow the packing of even more people into our already overcrowded residential areas. (Much Worse in Summer Tourist Season)

Providing more housing at the cost of endangering lives is not a Housing Shortage Solution. I’m asking for your help to amend HB2001 to have exempt conditions that take into account evacuation restrictions.

We cannot afford to have bills that make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and please share our concerns with relevant parties as we have limited email contacts.

George Dwyer
Agate Beach Safety Coalition, LLC

“Awareness is the First Step of Preparedness”

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Proper Planning or Gross Negligence

And now an update with our State Senator Dick Anderson

Wildfire relief, Mo’s, and Budgeting
We are moving into the next phase of the session with deadlines approaching for bills to have a hearing or they in effect die. There were around 4000 to start with! With all the committees that I sit on and the countless number of video hearings that we have had, coupled with floor sessions, it is welcoming to move past this process.
We were able to recently pass a budget bill for wildfire relief. This wildfire relief bill included over $700,000 specifically for wildfire recovery from the Echo Mountain Fire. This money is critical for those devastated by the fire and will help them rebuild their wells and septic systems. I am glad I was there to make sure this money was directed to our residents on the coast and not somewhere else.
The last item I want to touch on is redistrictingthe State Courts have ruled in favor of the Legislature to redraw the lines instead of Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. This means you will probably hear a lot more about the political lines of the state after we adjourn at the end of June. There will likely be a special session or two in September and October. I bring this up as I just want you to be aware. We do not want our Representatives to have portions of Portland and Eugene Metro areas in them and we want to push to have our own Congressional Representative for the Coast! I will work with my bipartisan coastal caucus for the good of the coast – north and south. They are still taking testimony, find out more information here.
Kind regards,
Honoring Mo’s – and the chowder too!
What do Paul Newman, Henry Fonda and Robert Kennedy all have in common? They all loved Mo’s chowder, of course. You’d be hard pressed to find someone in Oregon who doesn’t know about Mo’s. The restaurant is an institution, and like many, I’ve been able to call the many managers and family members friends.
One of the fun things that happens in the capitol is the privilege of voting to honor some of the greatest Oregonians. This year we have the distinction of honoring Mo’s with House Concurrent Resolution 8. This Resolution congratulates Mo’s Seafood and Chowder for 75 years of business on the Oregon coast. I will plan to speak about the restaurant and what it has meant to the region when the legislation comes over to the Senate side later in session. I think the language in the resolution tells the story of Mo and her beloved establishment well. It reads in part: “Mo’s spirit lives on in her wildly successful family-run business and the vibrant community she did so much to foster and grow. We recognize and honor Mo Niem’s lager than life personality for being the spark that lit the fire of the tourism industry on the Oregon coast.”
We need to discuss housing – for real
I serve on the Senate Housing and Development Committee this session and it has been a great chance to dig in on one of the states biggest challenges. I quickly became aware as I participated in hearings and discussed bills that we spend a lot of our time talking about subsidies and creating new programs but very little on how to actually build more homes. In short, the “development” part of the “Housing and Development” committee was not being considered. A recent Oregon housing study stated Oregon is going to need 580,000 units between now and 2040 across all regions of Oregon to meet demand. We are going to have to generate about 30,000 new units per year to do that. We are currently at 20,000 and have not hit 30,000 since 2005, before that not since the 1970’s. When you combine this with the fact we already have a back log of 125,000-150,000 units, it’s easy to see the size of the problem.
I have convened a diverse group of housing builders, developers, financiers and innovative thinkers to discuss the barriers to building and how we can take practical steps to get at the root of the problem, and not just create more window dressing in Salem. (pun intended). I’ll be sharing more in coming newsletters and this will be a long-term project of mine to generate more housing options for Oregon families.
Fraud – Scam Jam for all Oregonians
The Oregon Scam Jam presented by AARP Oregon, the Oregon Attorney General’s office and the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation will take place virtually four Fridays in April, beginning April 9, 2021. You can catch up on the past ones and keep going with the new ones. Scams across Oregon have increased in the past year, as scammers use the pandemic and natural disasters of the past year to steal millions from Oregonians.  These interactive virtual events bring together experts to highlight the types of scams across the state and then provides resources and tips that help protect consumers.
Budget Framework & Hearings Update:
Your chance to weigh in on the budget is happening really quick. You can watch the discussions online or you can testify. I will be heavily involved in budgeting this session, and we intend to work to ensure that the coast will get it’s ‘fair share’.
It is not the most exciting thing, but talking about infrastructure, broadband access, health care needs and more for the coast is always important. Even though we are one area of the state, it is safe to say all of the state uses the Coast.
Find out more about the events at the Senate Republicans Facebook Page.

It Takes a village to save a community

Volunteers help to make vaccination clinics run smoothly

“COVID Vaccine” sign posted by Medical Reserve Corps

National Volunteer Week is April 18-24 this year and what better way to celebrate than to highlight the incredible work volunteers are doing to vaccinate folks against COVID-19 right here in Oregon. 

At vaccination sites of all sizes, volunteers are showing their dedication to their communities.  

Sue Moerer enjoyed a career as a registered nurse and felt it was her duty as a retired healthcare worker to volunteer. She recently participated at a drive-through clinic in Washington County where hundreds of people were vaccinated and plans to help at the Portland International Airport vaccine clinic soon.  

Moerer said, “It is an honor to meet people from all walks of life, the appreciation I get from underserved populations is especially rewarding.” She really enjoys meeting people from diverse backgrounds. Not only does Moerer volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corps of Washington County to assist in COVID-19 vaccine clinics, she also delivers food through Meals 4 Kids, a service in the city of Portland.

Volunteers prepares syringes at vaccination clinic.

Tim Larson is the volunteer coordinator for Providence Health & Services. Larson says there are hundreds of volunteers throughout the state involved in the vaccination effort and without them, clinics such as the All4Oregon COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Site at the Oregon Convention Center would not be possible. Larson has heard from scores of people that they want to be part of the solution to end the pandemic and said, “This massive response is an inspiration. You can feel that people are dedicated to their communities and it’s a great thing to witness.”

Governor Kate Brown, pictured below, recently visited the drive-through vaccine clinic at Portland International Airport to see airport employees get their shots. Volunteers there were commended for their caring and professional service. 

Weekly COVID-19 report, continued…

The Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 Weekly Report, released today, shows a third consecutive week of surging daily cases, higher hospitalizations and higher deaths than the previous week.

  • OHA reported 3,722 new daily cases of COVID-19 during the week of Monday, April 5 through Sunday, April 11. That represents a 26% increase from the previous week.
  • New COVID-19 related hospitalizations rose to 156, up from 150 last week.
  • There were 47 reported COVID-19 related deaths, which is the highest weekly total in five weeks.
  • There were 103,928 tests for COVID-19 for the week of April 4 through April 10. The percentage of positive tests was 4.4%.
  • People 70 years of age and older have accounted for 40% of COVID-19 related hospitalizations and 76% of COVID-19 related deaths.

Today’s COVID-19 Weekly Outbreak Report shows 24 active COVID-19 outbreaks in senior living communities and congregate living settings, with three or more confirmed cases and one or more COVID-19 related deaths.

#MyORHealth horizontal rule

Dashboard displaying COVID-19 information for April 14

Oregon reports 816 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 3 new deaths

There are three new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,449, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority reported 816 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 172,206.

Vaccinations in Oregon 

Today, OHA reported that 39,326 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry. Of this total, 24,097 doses were administered on April 13 and 15,229 were administered on previous days but were entered into the vaccine registry on April 13. Cumulative daily totals can take several days to finalize.

The 7-day running average is now 38,392 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered a total of 1,215,804 doses of Pfizer, 1,052,206 doses of Moderna and 86,624 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, 945, 453 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. There are 1,492,658 who have had at least one dose.

To date,1,499,355 doses of Pfizer,1,289,900 doses of Moderna and 215,500 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been delivered to sites across Oregon.

These data are preliminary and subject to change.

OHA’s dashboards provide regularly updated vaccination data, and Oregon’s dashboard has been updated today.

Cases and deaths 

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (14), Benton (25), Clackamas (97), Clatsop (2), Columbia (13), Coos (4), Crook (2), Curry (3), Deschutes (84), Douglas (8), Grant (32), Harney (1), Hood River (8), Jackson (50), Jefferson (3), Josephine (19), Klamath (27), Lane (49), Lincoln (6), Linn (23), Malheur (2), Marion (83), Morrow (1), Multnomah (126), Polk (18), Sherman (1), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (9), Union (2), Wasco (8), Washington (86) and Yamhill (9).

Oregon’s 2,447th COVID-19 death is a 66-year-old woman in Tillamook County who tested positive on March 17 and died on April 13 at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital. She had no underlying conditions.

Oregon’s 2,448th COVID-19 death is an 88-year-old woman in Union County who tested positive on February 22 and died on March 15. Location of death is being confirmed. She had underlying conditions.

Oregon’s 2,449th COVID-19 death is a 56-year-old man in Klamath County who tested positive on March 1 and died on April 7 at Sky Lakes Medical Center. He had no underlying conditions.

Traffic Crash in Lincoln City on SE 101

4:02pm  Traffic crash in Lincoln City at 180 SE 101.  The vehicles involved were able to scramble onto a nearby parking lot.  No hazards reported.  One observer told police that the driver of one of the cars was “out of it.”  No reason given.

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