At least 19,000 Oregonians could lose government food assistance under a new federal rule finalized Thursday, December 5.
The rule will restrict states’ ability to allow certain adults to receive benefits for more than three months in a three-year period if they aren’t working or training at least 20 hours a week.
The change in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was approved despite more than 140,000 negative public comments. It is expected to affect 700,000 SNAP recipients nationally once it takes effect in April.
Oregon, like most states, has used waivers to extend benefits for longer than three months to a group of SNAP recipients known as “able-bodied adults without dependents” (ABAWD) if they live in areas with high unemployment and limited job opportunities. This group includes individuals ages 18 through 49 who don’t have disabilities, don’t have children or other dependents and are considered able to work.
In January 2020, Oregon has approved waivers for 31 counties for ABAWD work requirements, which will now expire on March 31, 2020. Federal changes to eligibility requirements for waivers will limit the areas in Oregon that meet the requirements starting April 1, 2020. As a result, this means only six counties may be eligible to receive the waiver.
“SNAP plays a critical role in addressing hunger and food insecurity,” said Fariborz Pakseresht, Department of Human Services director. “SNAP benefits assist Oregonians during difficult times to help make ends meet, in particular those working low-wage or who are between jobs. For those already facing difficult circumstances, this rule exacerbates those circumstances. It also will result in an increased burden on food banks and other community resources to fill the void.”
Areas requesting federal waivers must have unemployment rates at least 20 percent higher than the national rate but not less than 6 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates unemployment rates for people without a high school diploma or GED are often more than double average unemployment rates. Other groups that face additional obstacles when seeking steady employment include agricultural workers, veterans, former foster youth, formerly incarcerated people and rural residents with limited transportation.
Newport Chapter Volunteer Appreciation Holiday Party
Come join the Newport chapter of Surfrider Foundation for their annual Volunteer Appreciation Party on Thursday, Dec. 12 from 6:30-8:00pm. This year’s event will be at the Yaquina Bay Yacht Club, 750 SE Bay Blvd. in Newport.
The annual holiday party is a chance to recognize volunteer efforts, renew memberships, win cool raffle prizes, and socialize with the Surfrider family. Music will be provided by Steve Cook. Food and drinks are provided by Wolf Tree Brewery, Oceana Co-op, Rogue Brewery, Panini Bakery, Local Ocean, JC Market, Sorella Nye Beach, Compton Family Wines, Canyon Way, Cliffside Coffee and Sweets and more.
Community members can attend for $15, or join Surfrider for the year for $25. Admission is free for Surfrider members. The money raised will go to support Surfrider’s beach cleanups, water quality testing, and other programs to protect our ocean and beaches.
Lincoln County Workshop on Short Term Rental STR/VRD Dwellings Regulations
Lincoln County will be holding a workshop on regulations for Short Term Rental/Vacation Rental Dwellings on Thursday, December 19 at 6:00 pm in the Lincoln County Commissioners’ Room, Room 108, Lincoln County Courthouse, 225 W. Olive, Newport, Oregon. The County currently licenses and regulates STR’s and VRD’s in the unincorporated areas of the County under Chapter 4 of the Lincoln County Code. This workshop is to update interested parties on work done since the code was last amended to address concerns with certain licensed dwelling units using septic systems; provide additional information and data on short term rentals, including maps prepared by the County; examine best practices used by Oregon counties and other jurisdictions in regulating these dwellings; and hear from the public about additional problems and concerns and any other ideas about how to address those problems and concerns. Additional workshops will be held later to continue these discussions.
Catch our end-of-term workshop – for a song OCCC CHOIR TO PRESENT FINAL CONCERT DEC. 10
Most final exams aren’t necessarily the kind of thing you’d want to attend as an audience member. The final exam for the chorus students at Oregon Coast Community College, however, is a different story. At 12:10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in the Commons of OCCC’s Central County Campus in Newport, the OCCC Chorus class will perform its final concert for the fall term. The performance is free to attend.
The class has been working on the repertoire for the 11 weeks of the term and will perform under the direction of Dr. Mary Lee Scoville, music instructor. New singers are welcome every term.
The singers will be performing a variety of musical selections, including “Deck The Nutcracker Hall” from Tchaikovsky’s ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ and arranged by Greg Gilpin; a wonderful arrangement of “Dona Nobis Pacem” by Mary Lynn Lightfoot; a lively piece by Lajos Bardos, “Hey, for the Dancing!,” and “Once Upon a December” from ‘Anastasia,’ Arranged by Audrey Snyder.
Refreshments will be available at the Dec. 10 concert, and the public is invited to come celebrate with the OCCC Chorus Class. Admission is free.
OCCC’s Central County Campus is located at 400 SE College Way in Newport. ‘Catch the Wave,’ the College’s schedule of non-credit community education and small business classes for Winter Term, will be arriving at Lincoln County mailboxes by the day of the concert, and extra copies will be available at OCCC’s locations in Newport, Waldport, and Lincoln City. For more information about the College, visit oregoncoastcc.org or call 541-867-8501.