WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

 

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Washington DC is upside down in the eyes of America….

Senator’s Wyden and Merkley
Archive photo

As the Trump administration keeps working to dismantle the health care law that provides coverage for millions of Americans, Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have joined 45 of their Senate colleagues in introducing a resolution condemning that reckless effort. The senators also demanded the Department of Justice (DOJ) defend existing law in court, and halt its efforts to repeal the health care protections for millions of Americans—including 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions—in the middle of a public health emergency.

“The last thing families need while they’re fighting to stay healthy and keep the lights on amid an ongoing global pandemic is to have their health insurance ripped away,” said Merkley. “All of the Americans who get and recover from COVID-19 are going to have a brand new pre-existing condition, and the Trump administration and their allies in Congress and the states want to make sure insurance companies can use that illness to kick them off insurance. If there’s one thing this pandemic has made crystal clear, it’s that good health care matters.  We should build on the strengths of the Affordable Care Act, not scrap it and return to a time when insurance company bureaucrats rationed care to the healthy and wealthy.”

“The Trump administration’s playbook of ‘adding insult to injury’ can add another predictably cruel chapter with this bizarre scheme to yank away health care from millions of Americans during COVID-19,” Wyden said. “Walking hand-in-hand with insurance companies while turning a cold shoulder to families struggling to weather this public health crisis combines incompetence with irrationality.  As the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, I am all in with the battle to defend the Affordable Care Act’s provisions protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions.”

The resolution urges DOJ to reverse its position and instead protect the millions of people who rely on the ACA for health care coverage amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected more than 2.5 million Americans and killed more than 125,000.

Last week, the DOJ and a group of Republican Attorneys General submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to invalidate the ACA and pull the rug out from underneath the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions who depend on the law for health care coverage. If the Supreme Court agrees and overturns the ACA, 340,000 Oregonians could lose coverage, including Oregonians enrolled through Medicaid expansion and those under the of age 26 who have stayed on their parents’ health coverage.

Additionally, the 1.6 million Oregonians who have a pre-existing conditions could once again face annual or lifetime caps, medical underwriting for their insurance coverage, or denials for the care they need. Across the board, the state would lose billions of dollars in federal funds, causing significant job losses and jeopardizing the viability of Oregon’s rural and frontier hospitals. All of this would happen in the midst of a global health and economic crisis that has already impacted health providers across Oregon.

Governor Brown hints of a crackdown on the Covid-19

Governor Brown is laying it on the line – if people don’t cooperate with facemasks she’ll start shutting things down.

Gov. Kate Brown on Friday announced increased enforcement of the state’s facemasks, physical distancing and occupancy standards for businesses at the start of the three-day Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The move comes as Oregon’s number of new coronavirus cases soared Thursday to record-breaking heights for the second consecutive day with 375 cases, topping Wednesday’s 281.

Governor Brown is vowing to do what’s necessary to save lives despite those who lack sufficient respect for the urgency of the situation…

A bit of calm before the storm…

Quad-County COVID-19 Update: Eleven New Cases and Two Recoveries

(Carson City, NV)- Carson City Health and Human Services (CCHHS) is reporting eleven new positive cases and two additional recoveries of COVID-19 in the Quad-County region. This brings the total number of cases to 372, with 260 recoveries and seven deaths, 105 cases remain active.

The new cases are:
A male Lyon County resident in his 50’s with no connection to a previously reported case.
A female Carson City resident in her 60’s with no connection to a previously reported case.
A female Carson City resident in her 60’s with no connection to a previously reported case.
A male Douglas County resident in his 70’s with a connection to a previously reported case.
A male Douglas County resident in his 70’s with no connection to a previously reported case.
A female Lyon County resident in her 20’s with a connection to a previously reported case.
A male Carson City resident in his 30’s with a connection to a previously reported case.
A male Carson City resident under the age of 18 with a connection to a previously reported case.
A male Lyon County resident in his 30’s with no connection to a previously reported case.
A female Carson City resident under the age of 18 with a connection to a previously reported case.
A female Carson City resident under the age of 18 with a connection to a previously reported case.

Carson City Health and Human Services is working to identify close risk contacts to prevent further spread of the disease. Due to medical privacy requirements and to protect their identity, no further information about the cases will be released.
Gender and age break down of the cases by county as well as the cases by zip code is available at https://gethealthycarsoncity.org/novel-coronavirus-2019/. Statewide numbers can be found at the Nevada Health Response website (nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/).

In observance of Independence Day, the Quad-County COVID-19 Hotline will be closed Saturday July 4th. It will reopen Monday July 6th at 8 a.m. The phone number is (775) 283-4789.

Stay informed. For updates and more information on COVID-19 visit https://gethealthycarsoncity.org/novel-coronavirus-2019/.

Another Lincoln County Covid-19 victim succumbs to the virus…

Corona Virus

Lincoln County Reports Third Local COVID-19 Death


An 86-year-old woman is Lincoln County’s third reported local COVID-19 related death. She died July 1 at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital and had underlying medical conditions.  “As we see positive cases increase in our community and across the country, it will be more challenging than ever to protect our vulnerable people. This death is incredibly sad and we will probably see more especially in our elder population. For this reason alone, please keep 6 feet from others, wear a mask in public and wash your hands frequently” said Health Department Director, Rebecca Austen. Public Health also announced 3 new cases of COVID-19 today. This brings the current count to 327 cases.

Lincoln County has many resources that can help residents or visitors of any background and preferred language. If you experience a medical emergency call 911 immediately. For less urgent care, contact the Lincoln Community Health Center or Samaritan Health. Contact information listed below.

There are three situations where you must quarantine for 14 days. We ask that workplaces support employees who are required to quarantine and not ask them to go to work in these situations. Supports are in place for people who must isolate, and we will be reaching out to all known close contacts and confirmed cases. If you have questions about this, please contact our call center at 541-265-0621 or email LincolnCoCallCenter@co.lincoln.or.us

The three situations where people need to self-isolate and quarantine are:
* Confirmed COVID-19 test
* Close contact of positive case (within 6 feet for over 15 minutes)
* Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19. These symptoms include cough, chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pain, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new loss of sense of taste or smell. New symptoms recently announced include loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting.

Below is a description of quarantine and isolation guidelines for confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and close contacts. According to the Oregon Health Authority, testing above and beyond this guidance is neither recommended nor should it be required. That is, once a case has met criteria for discontinuation of isolation, or a contact has completed their quarantine period, they should not be required to test negative before returning to work.

Once close contacts and positive cases meet the criteria for discontinuation of quarantine and isolation, they may return to their regular lives. Additional testing is not recommended.

Lincoln County staff and partners are making calls to close contacts of confirmed cases. Some of these calls may look like they come from an unknown number. If you don’t answer, they will leave a message. Please call them back as soon as you can.
Local public and tribal health authorities will never ask for your social security number, credit card number, bank account or billing information, or immigration status. (Note: Information will not be shared with immigration authority or law enforcement. Getting tested or getting treatment for COVID-19 will not affect your ability to get permanent residency in the U.S.)

Additional details on how to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus:

If you have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case:

* Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or longer. Start a 14-day quarantine immediately. This means staying at home or in your hotel/other living arrangements. This includes staying home from work and not going out to shop for supplies.
* Someone from public health will reach out to you. Monitor your symptoms. Contact your doctor if you develop symptoms. If you need a physician, contact Samaritan or the Lincoln Community Health Center:
Samaritan Health Services – 855-543-2780.
Lincoln Community Health Center – 541-265-4947

If you aren’t sure if you have had close contact with a confirmed case:

Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or longer. If this did not happen, then you do not need to quarantine, but you may want to limit your trips outside the home. Monitor your symptoms.
Contact your doctor if you develop symptoms. If you need a physician, contact Samaritan or the Lincoln Community Health Center:

Samaritan Health Services – 855-543-2780.
Lincoln Community Health Center – 541-265-4947

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms
:

* Start a 14 day quarantine immediately. This means staying at home or in your hotel/other living arrangements. This includes staying home from work and not going out to shop for supplies.
* Contact your doctor and let them know that you have COVID-19 symptoms. If you need a physician, contact Samaritan or the Lincoln Community Health Center:
Samaritan Health Services – 855-543-2780.
Lincoln Community Health Center – 541-265-4947

If you receive a negative COVID-19 test result after being asked to quarantine:
* Continue to quarantine until your 14 days have passed. This includes staying home from work and the store.
* Continue to monitor your symptoms and contact your doctor if you develop any. If you need a physician, contact Samaritan or the Lincoln Community Health Center:
* Samaritan Health Services – 855-543-2780.
* Lincoln Community Health Center – 541-265-4947

Anyone in Lincoln County that is confirmed to have COVID-19 or that has had close contact with a confirmed case will be receiving a letter from Public Health as proof to their employer excusing their absence from work. If you have COVID-19, have been exposed, or develop symptoms you need to quarantine immediately. It is of utmost importance that Lincoln County employers and occupants quarantine at the first sign of symptoms or suspected exposure.

For more information on contact tracing, please visit https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/hhs/page/contact-tracing
For more information on quarantine and self-isolation, please visit
https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/hhs/page/quarantine-and-isolation-information

Governor Brown lowers the boom on those who don’t wear face masks in public…

Governor Kate Brown Launches July 4th Face Covering Enforcement Statewide for Restaurants, Bars, and Other Businesses

Masks must be worn in indoor and outdoor public places…

Eight counties placed on Watch List, will face restrictive measures if COVID-19 outbreaks worsen 

(Salem, OR) — In light of rising COVID-19 case counts over the month of June, including a record-high 375 cases yesterday, Governor Kate Brown today announced stepped up enforcement statewide on face covering, physical distancing, and occupancy standards in place for businesses. The effort, led by Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), will ensure restaurants, bars, and other businesses comply with COVID-related rules over the Fourth of July holiday weekend and thereafter.

She also added 8 Oregon counties to a Watch List for COVID-19: Jefferson, Lake, Lincoln, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, and Wasco. The spread of COVID-19 in these counties has risen to alarming levels in recent weeks. Analysis by the Oregon Health Authority showed alarmingly high per capita rates of case increases and community spread––cases where the infections are not attributable to a specific location or event. This community spread is a serious warning sign for health experts.

Counties on the Watch List will be monitored in the coming days while the Oregon Health Authority and local officials deploy additional capacity to control the spread of the disease. If the counties do not see a downturn quickly, restrictive measures such as business closures or tighter gathering size limits will ensue.

“I am asking Oregonians this holiday weekend to take urgent steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 by wearing face coverings, avoiding large gatherings, and physically distancing,” said Governor Kate Brown. “And state enforcement agencies will be out in force to ensure businesses are in compliance. Those businesses not complying with gathering size limits, face covering requirements, physical distancing rules, and other standards face stiff penalties.”

Staff from the OLCC, supported by OSHA field offices across the state, will be conducting spot checks and inspections all over Oregon during the holiday weekend to ensure restaurants, bars, other businesses, and their patrons are complying with state alcohol laws, OLCC rules, and the requirement to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces. The compliance effort comes after the state reached a new record of 375 new cases of COVID-19 across the state on Thursday.

For businesses that refuse to comply, OSHA and OLCC staff are empowered to take administrative action including issuing citations, fines, and Red Warning Notices if necessary. Red Warning Notices apply to businesses that appear to be in willful violation of the Governor’s executive orders or who refuse to take corrective measures. Such businesses are closed until the hazardous condition is remedied. Violation of a Red Warning Notice results in stiff penalties.

The Governor added, “We stand at a crossroads this weekend––we can either stop the spread of COVID-19, or infections and hospitalizations will rise across Oregon and I will reinstate restrictive measures in impacted counties and business sectors.”

Virus Update July 3 – Lincoln County remains a “warm” spot

Coronavirus Update nameplate

July 3, 2020

#MyORHealth horizontal rule

Oregon reports 344 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 0 new deaths; provides Watch List data

The state’s death toll from COVID-19 is unchanged from yesterday and remains at 209, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority reported 344 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 9,636.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (7), Clackamas (22), Clatsop (1), Columbia (3), Coos (1), Crook (1), Deschutes (9), Douglas (1), Jackson (9), Jefferson (5), Josephine (3), Klamath (2), Lake (1), Lane (16), Lincoln (18), Linn (2), Malheur (20), Marion (32), Morrow (10), Multnomah (59), Polk (5), Sherman (1), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (49), Union (8), Wasco (10), Washington (46), and Yamhill (1).

The Health Authority also released a table showing recent trends in cases by county between mid-June and the beginning of July.

These trends show where the COVID-19 virus is spreading at the fastest rate and which counties have the highest rates of “sporadic” transmission – i.e., cases that do not have a clear epidemiological link to other outbreaks or clusters of infections and therefore indicate that the virus is spreading uncontained in a community.

Governor Kate Brown identified eight counties that will be placed on a “Watch List” based on these data: Jefferson, Lake, Lincoln, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Wasco. State and local health officials will closely monitor the situation in these counties in coming days and prioritize additional resources to suppress the virus in these hotspot communities.

To see more case and county-level data, go to the Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 website:www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

Newport Water Plant update..

Newport Water Treatment Plant is struggling – reduce your water usage!

Update on Water Emergency July 2 at 6:00 pm

Tim Gross, Steve Stewart and Public Works Crews and various consultants are working on addressing production problems at the water filtration plant caused by the plugging of the Micro Filtration Modules. This is a summary of where we are at with the emergency:

First of all, some better news. We are catching up with storage of drinking water heading into the Fourth of July weekend for a variety a reasons as outlined below. We have notified Pacific Seafood and Bornstein’s that they may resume limited production at the fish plants effective immediately. We do not have enough water to run the surimi plant at this time. We will update this report at the end of the day on Saturday. We will be evaluate the impact of these operations on our water storage. If this causes problems with our water storage, we will ask that this activity be curtailed.

An Emergency Declaration is in effect until July 20. The City has been working with HDR and Pall Company to identify why the filters are getting plugged.  Pall Company has been onsite working with our crews to identify what is causing the filters to continually plug up. It’s substantially reducing production of water.  Meanwhile worker have used a number of deep cleaning methods to clean this filters. The cause could be chemical, biological and/or mechanical. While a number of methods have been used and temporary clearing of the filter modules has been achieved at various levels, the filters are plugging up shortly after operations resume. A variety of production changes have been implemented trying through the process of elimination to determine what is, or is not causing these problems. A Micro Filtration Module has been shipped to Pall Company in New York to do a complete analysis (chemical and mechanical) of this module in their lab on Monday. Some better news is that yesterday afternoon, Pall tried a different cleaning process of the filters. This process only lasted 3 hours  and we have had good success cleaning one of the filter banks. We have repeated this process with the other filters with the same results. While they are still plugging up after a few hours of the cleaning, this quicker cleaning process is allow us to substantially increase water production over what we have been able to produce over the last week.  In the meantime please restrict your water use.

We continue to receive treated water from Seal Rock Water District through the intertie that was installed four years ago. This was really critical for us particularly over last weekend and earlier this week and we appreciate the efforts of Seal Rock Water District and the City of Toledo for their efforts at supplement our water production. We plan on continuing this effort through the weekend.

Industrial Water customers have stopped using water for production.  Pacific Seafood, Bornstein’s and Rogue accounts for nearly half of our water production during the Pacific Whiting processing. This stoppage allowed us to recover water in storage. We have met /or talked with each of these major water users and greatly appreciate their cooperation with these efforts. The shutdown does have significant impacts to their operations and to the commercial fishermen. We have also discussed these issues with the Mid-water Trawlers Association as well. By resuming limited operations, we will reduce some of the impact that the water production limitations has had on this our seafood sector.

The City has ordered two semi-trailer sand filtration modular units that are coming from Texas and Missouri. The units are expected to arrive on Saturday with the first unit arriving at 10:00a.m. and the second unit arriving at 4:00 p.m.. In order to connect these units into the water plant, separate intakes have been designed and are now being built to get raw water from the lower reservoir to the modular water filtration units. This work has been contracted with Emery and Sons and is underway. A new electrical service to power the modular units has been built and connected to the power grid by the PUD.  The water treated through these modular units will then flow through the water plant’s charcoal filtration system (separate from the micro filtration modules) and chlorination system. The goal is to have this system connected to our system and tested over the weekend with the hope that these units are operational by Monday if everything goes as planned.

The City has received new Micro Filtration Modules from Pall Company to replace existing modules. Those modules arrived today. Since we have to take part of the plant down to install these modules, we are not proceeding with their replacement until the modular filtration units are operational. Also, we are concerned that the problem of plugging the existing filters may occur with the new filters as well. Until we know why this happening we will make a decision as to when we will install these units. We are looking forward to the lab analysis that will begin on Monday by Pall Company in New York. Pall has indicated that they could have results as early as Tuesday from their testing and analysis.

Overall, we have been able to make significant headway on increasing water storage over the past few days. Short of a major water main break or a major fire, We are feeling more optimistic that we will have sufficient water for this coming weekend to allow limited seafood production with conservation efforts.

Finally, all water that we are producing has been and will continue to meet our permit requirements for providing safe drinking water to the customers of this community. This is a standard that we will continue to meet.

I greatly appreciate the efforts of Tim Gross, Steve Stewart and the water plant crews for their time and dedication in working through this very difficult situation. They have put in many hours around the clock to keep providing safe drinking water to the community despite very difficult circumstances. The Public Works crews have been busy working with Emery and Sons to make the necessary preparations for the modular sand filters. They will be working on Friday and Saturday to connect these systems to the water plant. Also, thank you to Peggy Hawker for serving as Acting City Manager during last week. Peggy spent a good chunk of her weekend dealing with this emergency. Finally, we are grateful for the cooperation that we received from those impacted directly by the water production issues with the water treatment plant. We have had good support from all of our partners to address this emergency.

Spencer R. Nebel, City Manager, City of Newport, 541-574-0601

Covid-19 cases soar in Oregon…Governor Brown eyes pulling in the reins….

The number of new daily coronavirus cases in Oregon soared to record-breaking heights for the second consecutive day on Thursday with 375 cases, topping Wednesday’s 281.

Disclosure of the cases comes as outbreaks continue throughout central and eastern Oregon. Umatilla County, with a population of just under 78,000 residents, had the highest case count on Thursday with 88. The county in eastern Oregon averaged 40 cases per day in the last week for the second highest count in the state behind Multnomah County and just ahead of Washington County, which has 500,000 more residents.

But it appears to be getting worse.  Click here.

‘Tis the season….

Southwest and South Central Oregon – Extreme fire danger this summer…

SALEM, Ore – Fire season will officially be in effect on all Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) protected lands Monday, July 6. The North Cascade and West Oregon protection districts are the last two to declare fire season. ODF’s Southwest Oregon District was the first to declare fire season May 1.

Fire season is declared based on conditions at the local district level, with restrictions intended to help prevent human-caused wildfires. Fire season generally runs through mid-October and ends based on local conditions.

For residents within ODF’s 12 fire protection districts, the arrival of fire season means the end of unregulated outdoor debris burning, a leading cause of wildfires. While permits to burn may be issued in some areas, debris burning is generally prohibited throughout the summer due to increased wildfire risk. Violators burning without a permit will be cited and held liable for fire suppression costs.

Other public use fire restrictions are also in effect in several areas. The use of fireworks, tracer ammunition and exploding targets are illegal within ODF protection boundaries, as well as other state and federal lands. Campfires, the mowing of dry, cured grass, cutting and welding, power saw use and other spark-emitting activities are regulated at the local level, depending upon the conditions and fire danger. For example, during low fire danger, mowing may be allowed all day. However, during moderate, high and extreme fire danger mowing may be restricted to early morning or prohibited entirely until conditions improve.

ODF encourages the public to stay informed of current fire restrictions by visiting the agency’s Fire Restrictions & Closures website or calling their local ODF or protective association office. To learn more about preventing human-caused wildfires, visit Keep Oregon Green on the web at www.keeporegongreen.org.

Forest operators are required to follow fire season requirements, including providing a water supply, fire tools, spark arresters on equipment, and fire watch. Similar to fire danger restrictions for the public, operators must follow rules under the four-tiered Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) system.  

ODF protects over 16 million acres of private, county, state and federal land.

Time Marches on…and now Michael Gibbons joins others on their journey into eternity….

Michael and Judy Gibbons

Michael A. Gibbons, 1943-2020

“Somehow the artist is the mercurial figure, the messenger, the alchemist, sent to add to the benediction of human history. I pray my offerings will, in some way, contribute to the collective blessings evident in this region.”

Michael Gibbons (2007)

*******

Michael A. Gibbons, a self-described “poet with a paintbrush” whose art evoked the beauty, wonder and mystery of nature, passed away on July 2, 2020, at home in Toledo, Oregon, as a result of complications from a stroke he suffered in 2016. He was 76.

“All of us in Michael’s hometown are deeply saddened by his passing,” said Toledo Mayor Rod Cross. “We will forever cherish the rich artistic and cultural legacy he left behind.”

Michael was born in Portland, Oregon, on Dec. 18, 1943, the son of Millard and Virginia Gibbons. He was proud to be a native-born Oregonian whose ancestry was deeply rooted in the state. Family records indicate that his mother’s descendants arrived in Oregon by covered wagon in 1865 and his father’s family arrived later in the nineteenth century.

Experimenting with art as soon as he could hold a crayon, Michael began painting with oils while still in elementary school. He attended Benson Polytechnic Institute (later high school) in Portland, where he attracted the attention of the Oregon Society of Artists. At 16, he was the youngest person invited to join the society.

According to a 2014 newspaper article in which he reminisced about his education, Michael as a young student was especially inspired by the work of the French landscape painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875).

“I had to paint things that struck people like that,” Michael was quoted as saying. “I saw dawn, that silvery morning light and soft colors. They weren’t garish. It was like looking at a prayer.”

After graduation from Benson and a three-year tour in the U.S. Air Force, he worked as a designer of specialty automotive parts, reflecting a born instinct for working with his hands.

Though he was mechanically inclined, he sensed that his destiny was as an artist. At age 25, he left his job in Portland and relocated to the Oregon Coast to pursue painting full-time.

Michael’s oil paintings of the coast and surrounding areas established his reputation for depicting the natural world with deep sensitivity and reverence. He became intimately familiar with the hills, meadows, estuaries and wildlife of the Yaquina River region, with a penchant for the interplay of light and colors.

Portable field equipment, solitude and focusing on a limited geographical area helped him create deeply personal portrayals of the land he called home for more than four decades. “My most powerful work comes from where I live,” Michael said.

While Michael’s most meaningful art was created in and around the community he called home, he visited many other locations to gain additional inspiration. He painted scenes in Washington, California, Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, as well as in England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Mexico.

The ocean was a constant source of inspiration for Michael and his seascapes are among his most vital works. His painting re-creating the moment when the submersible “Alvin” discovered the hydrothermal vents off the Galapagos Islands in 1977 was given to Dr. Robert Ballard, who was a diver on that expedition. (Ballard gained worldwide fame for his discovery of the wreck of the “Titanic” in 1985.)

Michael’s work was featured in dozens of exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. “The Yaquina Traveling Exhibition: A Painted Voice for a Sacred Landscape” was featured at the LaSells Stewart Center at Oregon State University in the summer of 2019. The same exhibition is currently on display through July 31 at the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg.

Michael married Judith “Judy” Mortenson in 1988 and their partnership transcended life, love and art to become a true union of soul and spirit.

As longtime Toledo residents and civic leaders, Michael and Judy found constant inspiration in the town’s history and setting amid the naturally beautiful Yaquina River region.

“Life is an endless series of opportunities brilliantly disguised as hard work,” was one of Michael’s favorite maxims. In that spirit, he saw potential in Toledo as a place where art could flourish.

Michael’s and Judy’s tireless promotion of Toledo as a creative hub led to the creation of the Labor Day Art Walk, which in 2018 celebrated 25 years of showcasing the work of artists who depict the area’s natural beauty.

With his own hands, Michael restored the neglected complex of structures on Northeast Alder Street that became the focal point of his and Judy’s personal and professional lives, as well as that of Toledo’s unique artistic community.

“The Vicarage,” next door to St. John’s Episcopal Church, was their home and gallery, which Michael saved from dereliction in the 1980s. He also maintained a separate gallery in Tubac, Arizona, for nine years.

Michael’s studio in Toledo, where he painted, perfected and framed hundreds of his works, was built in 1887 as a Methodist church and later was used as a funeral home before he acquired it in 1992.

The two-story building that now houses the Yaquina River Museum of Art, which Michael and Judy founded in 2002, also dates from 1887.

With his fondness for machinery, Michael was proficient at painting industrial scenes, especially factories and ports. He was commissioned by Gunderson Marine in Portland to depict the company’s barges and railcar facilities.

He also painted the Georgia-Pacific containerboard mill on the Yaquina River in Toledo. His 1985 painting of the mill proved so popular that a framed print of it is given to retiring mill employees.

“Michael was fascinated by the relationship between manmade structures and nature,” said C.J. Drake, a friend of the Gibbons family who works at Georgia-Pacific. “His art depicting the works of industry pays homage to the natural environment in which they exist.”

Mayor Cross agreed. “Michael enshrined Toledo’s blue-collar culture in art,” he said.

Two of Michael’s original oil paintings, “Arnold Creek Estuary” and “Don Gray Country,” are on display in the Oregon governor’s official residence in Salem. Governor Kate Brown and First Gentleman Dan Little have been guests at the Gibbons home in Toledo.

The late Mark Hatfield, who represented Oregon in the U.S. Senate for 30 years, was among Michael’s many admirers. “This man has taken a land we all know and love and given it back to us in a form we can understand,” Senator Hatfield once said.

Michael was a signature member of the Oil Painters of America and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. He also was a member of the Allied Artists of America, the Copley Society and Christians in the Visual Arts. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Newport and the Knights of Columbus.

Michael is survived by his beloved wife, Judy; four stepchildren, Vicky Ross, Michael Ross, Randy Ross and Stephen Ross; a sister, Laurie Gibbons; a niece, nephew, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He has gone before hundreds of friends, admirers and collectors of his art from throughout the world.

Memorial services are pending and will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, Michael’s family encourages those wishing to honor his memory to consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the Yaquina River Museum of Art (YRMA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the art of the region. The museum’s address is 151 NE Alder Street, Toledo, OR 97391. www.YaquinaRiverMuseumofArt.org.

Update of Covid-19 outbreak at Avamere Rehabilitation Center in Newport

Corona Virus Update

COVID-19 Update from Avamere Rehabilitation of Newport, 835 SW 11th.

We are proactively testing staff and residents for COVID-19 in this facility. Though not required, these tests are a valuable tool in helping us prevent and slow the spread of the virus.

We are working closely with the CDC and local health departments to ensure our practices are up to date with current recommendations and information.

In response to a positive result the following measures may be enacted:

COVID-19 positive patients are moved to a unit that is separate from the rest of the facility and is staffed by a dedicated team.
COVID-19 positive staff members self-isolate per CDC guidelines.

We will work with local health officials to closely monitoring all staff and residents who may have been exposed.  All staff and residents will continue to wear provided face masks while in the building or out of their room.  We will continue to screen all employees before the start of their shift.

Please note that we inform and update the designated contact for any affected resident.

While some businesses begin to open their doors, Senior Care facilities are still under Executive Order from the Governor and the Department of Health to restrict visitation to essential individuals only.

We encourage communication with your loved one via phone or video calls.

We are committed to the health and safety of our residents, as well as keeping you informed.

Case Tracking

Residents:
Active in Building: 7
Deaths: 0

Staff:
Active: 6
Recovered: 2
Deaths: 0

Historic Testing Results:
Positive Residents 7
Positive Staff 7
Negative Residents 24
Negative Staff 51

Total Tests 171

Newport Symphony Orchestra: July 4th, 2917 Concert….

Newport Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 July 4th Concert
Broadcast Saturday at 4:00 on KNPT & KYTE

The Newport Symphony at the Ocean’s traditional Independence Day celebration continues this year on the air. You are invited to celebrate July 4th with the NSO, wherever you may be, via a very special encore broadcast of the Orchestra’s 2017 free community concert on Saturday, July 4 at 4:00pm on KNPT AM 1310 and KYTE FM 102.7. From 7:00pm-10:00pm the concert, with added photo montage of previous July 4th concerts, will be available for streaming at NewportSymphony.org.

Music Director and Conductor Adam Flatt and the NSO present a rousing concert including the popular annual salutes to the Armed Forces and members of the Newport fleet. The program makes a nod to great American musical favorites including John Williams’s “The Olympic Spirit”, a medley of Henry Mancini’s marches, Richard Rodgers’s selections from “Carousel” and “Victory at Sea,” and much more.

So, grab a barbecue and your radio this Saturday beginning at 4:00pm for a good old fashioned July 4th concert with the Newport Symphony Orchestra on KNPT AM 1310 and KYTE FM 102.7, or tune into the stream online beginning at 7:00 pm at www.newportsymphony.org.

A live performance will not take place this year in response to COVID-19 restrictions.

This concert is made possible by the generous support of Yaquina Bay Communications and Oregon Coast Bank.

Letter to the Editor from Heather Haugland….

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Freedom

With the 4th of July right around the corner, I have been thinking about freedom.  Perhaps I have been thinking about it more than usual because of the pandemic.  I do not choose to give myself the freedom to live as I did before Covid 19.  My thoughts have turned to freedom not only because of my restrictive choices for myself, but also because I cannot understand the choices many others are making.

You have the freedom to not wear a mask, but why wouldn’t you?  It’s a no brainer:  You have more protection and so do those around you.

You have the freedom to worship in a group without masks and healthy distancing, but why would you?  Aren’t most religions based on sacrifice?  Why wouldn’t you proudly sacrifice for others?

You have the freedom to visit friends and family that you are not quarantining with, but why would you?  Do you not love them enough to stay away so that you don’t risk their lives?  Especially in these times of Zoom and Skype and a dozen other face to face computer communication avenues to choose from.

Is your vanity so great that you would risk your life (possibly bring germs home to your loved ones) for a haircut?  You’re kidding.  Right? Why would you?

Freedom.

You have the freedom to make good choices.

You have the freedom to be kind to others.

You have the freedom to live responsibly.

You have the freedom to live without hate.

You have the freedom to make this world a better place.

Instead of griping about the freedoms you think are being infringed upon, embrace the abundance of freedoms that will lift all of us up.  Freedoms that are right there at your fingertips.  Freedoms that will make you glad to be alive and glad that you live in a country that supports those freedoms.

Wearing a mask isn’t a burden or a political statement:  It is common sense.  It protects you and those you love.  Exercise your right to protect your family by protecting yourself and others from Covid 19.

Heather Haugland

Lincoln City, OR

Newport’s water situation is still hangin’…but there’s hopefully progress in the making

Newport Water Treatment Plant is struggling – reduce your water usage!

Newport’s fresh water treatment plant – the one that allows us to wash dishes, cloths and flush toilets – has been on the fritz for a week, at least.  City Public Works Director Tim Gross and his crew have been trying to figure out why the treatment plant is not filtering enough water that goes to homes and businesses throughout the Newport area.  And because of that, the city has asked everyone to not water outdoors for any reason – be it lawns, car washing or boats.

Gross and his employees have been pulling their hair out because just last week everything was working fine – this week they can’t seem to fill water tanks anywhere within the city’s water distribution system.  And it also makes the fish processing plants down on the Bayfront a lot less than happy.

For some reason the water filtering system is clogging up with material that suddenly showed up a week ago which means the plant is not allowing the water through the filters and on to the distribution system that carries the water all over town.

Public Works Director Tim Gross says he and his crew have spent hours and hours trying to find out what’s clogging the filter system.  Gross got on the phone to the manufacturer and it caught them by surprise as well.  In fact a company engineer hopped a plane from their manufacturing plant in the mid-west and joined Gross and others trying to get to the bottom of it. 

A preliminary inspection only produced an over-all puzzlement of the situation.  It was suggested that the water plant’s filtration system just simply failed but the company representative said it makes no sense that the entire array of filters would fail all at the same time.  It was also pointed out by Gross that efforts to clean out the filters were only marginally successful and soon the entire filtering system was nearly non-functional again.

City workers traced water intake, processing and storage, but they kept getting nowhere. And with the 4th of July weekend coming up, the city is in very shallow water.  The Seal Rock Water District has graciously shared some of their water with Newport but there’s a limit because their plant can only serve their limited distribution system – so sharing, by necessity, is limited.

The company that built the filtration system quickly agreed that until they figure out what’s going wrong with the filtration system Newport should rent a couple of semis with sand water-filters in them – drive them out from Salt Lake City and hook them into the city’s water system temporarily.  At least the water would start flowing fast enough to get the city back on its feet.

So that’s what the first of next week looks like.  But it still remains that the original filtration system isn’t working very well.  The filters still malfunction and water output is between a third and half-capacity. 

But Gross and his crew will have sand-filtered water coming from the back of semi’s, along with other treatments probably by the middle of next week and hopefully they’ll figure out what’s going on with the regular filter system and what’s taking it down. 

To completely swap out the water filters could cost the city upwards to $250,000. The filters are supposedly still under warranty – but probably not at full value. So they’re going to keep trying to get to the bottom of the problem.

So Mr. and Mrs. Newport, until they figure this thing out, conserve, conserve, conserve.

 

Missing Newport girl found – returned home…

Twelve year old River Engle who went missing Wednesday morning just before 10am from her neighborhood at NW 56th and Gladys, Agate Beach has been found.

She is back home, safe and sound.  Her parents are very grateful for those who helpd to bring River back home.

OSU Survey: Covid-19 infection rate 3.4% among the Newport community

Corona Virus

Newport, Ore. — Preliminary results from door-to-door sampling by Oregon State University suggest that 3.4% of the Newport community had the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 on June 20-21.

The study, Team-based Rapid Assessment of Community-Level Coronavirus Epidemics, known as TRACE-COVID-19 for short, began in Corvallis the weekend of April 25-26.

In Newport, 30 two-person field teams canvased 30 neighborhoods, with 336 of the households visited, or 71%, agreeing to participate. In all, the field workers received samples from 569 people, and 13 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

“Our results indicate the virus is relatively prevalent in Newport,” said Ben Dalziel, assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and co-director of the project. “We know this because previously undiagnosed infected individuals are present in a random sample of participating households across the city. This indicates the potential for significant further spread unless strong actions are taken to reverse the course of COVID-19 in Newport.”

(more…)

More “Income Rescue” Legislation coming out of Washington DC?

Leader Schumer And Ranking Member Wyden Introduce Bold, New Legislation To Extend Expanded Unemployment Insurance & Require Program Continue Providing Benefits Until Each State’s Economic Conditions Improve

Sens. Schumer And Wyden Call For Long-Term Unemployment Insurance Support As States Grapple With Sharp Rise In COVID-19 Cases

New Proposal Would Take Politics Out Of Extending Unemployment Insurance And Protect Working Families’ Living Standards 

Washington, D.C.—Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Committee on Finance Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) today introduced the American Workforce Rescue Act, bold, new legislation that would establish “automatic stabilizers” to ensure unemployment benefits remain available for working families during periods of persistent unemployment, a priority for Senate Democrats in the next COVID-19 bill. Specifically, Leader Schumer and Ranking Member Wyden’s proposal would extend the $600 increase in weekly UI benefits, which Senate Democrats secured in the CARES Act, beyond July 31st, 2020 until a state’s three-month average total unemployment rate falls below 11%. The benefit amount then reduces by $100 for every percentage point decrease in the state’s unemployment rate, until the rate falls below 6%.

These critical, enhanced unemployment insurance benefits included in the CARES Act are set to expire at the end of July 2020.Meanwhile, more than 33 million Americans are currently receiving unemployment insurance or are still awaiting benefit approval. Over-burdened, under-resourced state and local-governments are grappling with unprecedented economic turmoil—and many Americans who returned to work have again been laid off.

While enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire in 31 days, it’s clear the unemployment crisis will not. Senators Schumer and Wyden’s legislation gives American families confidence that they will be able to draw on these vital UI benefits to pay rent and put food on the table  as long as the economic crisis continues. Expanded unemployment benefits established in earlier COVID-19 legislation remain a critical lifeline for workers and families. All Americans—particularly lower-wage workers and communities of color ravaged by COVID-19—must remain equipped with the resources needed to stay afloat during the current, pandemic-fueled economic crisis, and the recovery period to come.

Senators Schumer and Wyden’s bold, new legislation would extend critical unemployment benefits in each state based on economic conditions—not arbitrary cut-off dates established by Congress that disregard need. The American Workforce Rescue Act also extends the 13 weeks of extended benefits provided by the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program in the CARES Act until March 27, 2021, and these benefits will remain available for as long as a state’s unemployment rate is above 5.5%, with the number of weeks of benefits available increasing by 13 for each percentage point the unemployment rate increases between 5.5% and 8.5%. Additionally, the bill extends other critical unemployment benefits included in the CARES Act, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides coverage to the self-employed, gig workers, and others who are not eligible for traditional unemployment insurance, through March 2021, after which the benefits are tied to states’ unemployment levels.

Coronavirus relief must meet and reflect the country’s economic condition. Leader Schumer and Ranking Member Wyden’sAmerican Workforce Rescue Act meets this challenge.

“If we fail to renew the $600 per week increase in UI, millions of American families will have their legs cut out from underneath them at the worst possible time—in the middle of a pandemic when unemployment is higher than it’s been since the Great Depression,” said Leader Schumer. “The American Workforce Rescue Act would tie the extension of enhanced UI benefits to economic data—not politics. As the need goes down, so will the benefits. As the need goes up, so will the benefits.”

“Donald Trump has simply given up on fighting the virus and cases are surging in state after state, with many businesses closing their doors for a second time,” said Ranking Member Wyden. “In the face of exploding outbreaks and unprecedented economic pain, it would be unconscionable to allow supercharged unemployment benefits to expire in a month. Supercharged unemployment benefits need to be extended and tied to economic conditions on the ground. Workers who have been laid off twice in four months should not have to worry about whether they’ll be able to pay rent come August.”

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