WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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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)

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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.”

State of Emergency extended for two months

Gov. Kate Brown
“We must wear facemasks to speed up the demise of the Covid-19 Virus.”

Governor Kate Brown Extends COVID-19 State of Emergency for Sixty Days

“Oregon, you have a choice. What happens next is up to all of us.”  Governor Kate Brown

(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today extended her declaration of a state of emergency regarding COVID-19 for an additional 60 days, until September 4, and issued the following statement:

“When I first declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, there were 14 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon. Today, there have been over 8,600 cases, with over a quarter of those cases identified in the previous two weeks of June. While hospitalizations remain relatively low, we have seen how rapidly those numbers can climb. And, sadly, 207 Oregonians have lost their lives to this disease. Without a doubt, COVID-19 continues to pose a real and present threat to Oregonians in communities across the state, from Malheur County to Umatilla to Lincoln.

“In the months since those first cases were discovered, we have shored up our supplies of personal protective equipment, worked with counties to hire contact tracers, and––despite the failures of the federal government to supply Oregon with an equitable amount of testing materials––we have expanded our statewide testing capability. And, thanks to the tremendous sacrifices Oregonians made by staying home in the spring, we prevented 1,500 hospitalizations and over 70,000 COVID-19 infections.

“Now, we again find ourselves at a crossroads as a state. The individual choices each of us makes will decide whether Oregon either flattens the curve of new COVID-19 infections, or sees a devastating spike in cases that overwhelms our hospital capacity in the next month.

“If we all follow the advice of doctors––if you wear a face covering in public, if you wash your hands, if you cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, if you stay home when you are sick––together, we can keep our friends and loved ones healthy and safe.

“If too many Oregonians continue to ignore these precautions, we could see an exponential growth in cases, and newly reopened communities and businesses could close again. We have a chance, now, before the Fourth of July weekend, to make sure that Oregon’s COVID-19 numbers don’t follow the same skyrocketing trajectory of states like Texas or Florida or Arizona.

“Oregon, you have a choice. You can help to save lives again. What happens next is up to all of us.”

The state of emergency declaration is the legal underpinning for the executive orders the Governor has issued to keep Oregonians healthy and safe throughout this crisis, including her orders on reopening Oregon while maintaining essential health and safety protections, as well as orders around childcare, schools, and higher education operations. Extending the state of emergency declaration allows those orders to stay in effect.

Moving forward, the Governor will review and reevaluate each of her emergency orders every 60 days, to determine whether those orders should be continued, modified, or rescinded.
 

Lincoln Community Health Center welcomes new manager

J. Hubbard, LCHC

Lincoln Community Health Center welcomes new manager

(NEWPORT, OR) One of the area’s main primary care providers welcomed new management last month, when Jessica Hubbard, MPH, BSN, RN, reported for work as the program manager of the Lincoln Community Health Center (LCHC) in Newport.

     Hubbard brings both a nursing and administrative background to her role overseeing the medical services delivered at 1010 SW Coast Highway. For many years, she worked as a critical care nurse, tending to patients in intermediate care units of four Indiana hospitals. For the past three years, Hubbard worked as a stroke coordinator in Dyer, Indiana, where one of her responsibilities was assuring the facility’s accreditation as a stroke center.

     “This position (in Newport) aligns more with what I went to school for and really where my heart is,” Hubbard explained. LCHC delivers primary care services to people of all ages and income levels, including acute and preventative care. The health center is available to individuals with private insurance, those who may be under-insured, and those with no insurance at all. With a sliding fee scale based on income and insurance coverage, patients should not be concerned about their ability to pay.

     “Our goal is a healthier community. To do that, we really want to get individuals in for their primary care so we can address things that could be cropping up before it is too late,” she said. “We take everyone from babies through the elderly and we can pretty much do it all,” Hubbard added.

     The Indiana native obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Purdue University and her Masters in Public Health from the University of New England, based in Maine. She was recently inducted in Delta Omega, an honorary society for those in the public health field.

     While the job at LCHC is what drew Hubbard and her family to Newport, it was her oldest daughter’s enrollment at Oregon State University that lured them away from the Midwest.

     “We had vacationed in Oregon for many years and we had been to Newport a few times and loved it,” she said. Hubbard was joined in the move by her husband, Brendan, and her youngest daughter, a student at Newport High School.

     Leaving a larger hospital system for a community health center has been a breath of fresh air, according to Hubbard.

     “I am loving it here,” she said. “The health center is a great option for many people. We never turn individuals away based on their insurance status, citizenship, inability to pay or their lack of previous primary care. Any roadblocks that keep people from being healthy, we are going to try to break down those barriers,” Hubbard added.

     The Lincoln Community Health Center is open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and can be reached by calling 541-265-4947. Providers can deliver physical exams, diagnosis and care for chronic illnesses, immunizations, access to mental health screenings, dental vouchers, and more. In addition to the Newport location, LCHC delivers care at 4422 NE Devils Lake Boulevard in Lincoln City.

 

Only by cooperating and doing the right things can we stop the madness….

Oregon reports 181 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 3 new deaths

COVID-19 has claimed three more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 207, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 181 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 8,656.

The new cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (19), Coos (1), Deschutes (10), Jackson (5), Jefferson (12), Josephine (2), Klamath (3), Lake (2), Lane (7), Lincoln (3), Linn (4), Malheur (7), Marion (25), Multnomah (38), Polk (2), Umatilla (9), Union (10), Wasco (1), Washington (18), and Yamhill (3).

Oregon’s 205th COVID-19 death is a 74-year-old man in Marion County who tested positive on June 18 and died on June 29, in his residence. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 206th COVID-19 death is a 93-year-old man in Marion County who tested positive on June 19 and died on June 29, at Salem Hospital. He had underlying medical conditions.  

Oregon’s 207th COVID-19 death is a 66-year-old woman in Marion County who tested positive on June 12 and died on June 27, at Salem Hospital. She had underlying medical conditions.

Play smart….Stay alive…

Coronavirus Update nameplate

#MyORHealth horizontal rule

Staying safe and reducing your risk over the holiday weekend

We know people are tired of being cooped up at home and are eager to get out and enjoy the beautiful Oregon summer. However, our phased reopening is not a return to business as usual. Physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and frequent hand washing are still a regular part of our life.

COVID-19 is still in our communities, and each of us has a role to play in reducing its spread. As you prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with families, friends and loved ones, we want you to consider the risks of your holiday activities.

Tips for a safe Fourth of July

The safest choice this holiday is to celebrate at home. If you choose to celebrate in other ways, activities that take place outdoors, allow for enough room to maintain physical distancing and involve fewer people are lower risk than activities that take place indoors, don’t allow for physical distancing and involve more people. Below are some extra tips for enjoying the holiday safely:

  • Stay home if you’re sick or if you have an underlying medical condition that puts you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you host a gathering, provide hand sanitizer or give people easy access to places where they can frequently wash their hands.
  • Adjust your food offerings to avoid sharing utensils and offer individual servings. Don’t share drinks.
  • During and afterward thoroughly clean all frequently touched areas your guests have access to.
  • Wear a mask if you cannot maintain 6 feet of physical distance.

By knowing and understanding the risk of our actions and activities, we can make informed decisions that not only impact our own health but also protect the health of everyone around us.

Governor Brown lays it on the line…

Masks must be worn in indoor and outdoor public places…where people gather.

Governor Brown has laid down the gauntlet.  In so many words she’s telling all Oregonians that if they don’t become completely dedicated to controlling the Corona Virus, through smart behavior, by mid-Summer, Oregon will be devastated by the virus. She’s extending the state of emergency out to September. “It’s up to all of us,” she said.

Here’s more on the story.  Click here.

Water Emergency in Newport – Toledo and Seal Rock trying to help out……

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

CITY OF NEWPORT EXPERIENCING SEVERE WATER CRISIS WATER USE RESTRICTIONS IN EFFECT

The City of Newport needs your help! The city is experiencing a severe water crisis due to a problem at the Water Treatment Plant. It will take all of us, working together, to conserve water until a solution is found, and the Water Treatment Plant begins operating at its full capacity.

The filters at the Water Treatment Plant are plugging. City staff has been analyzing the issue along with experts from the filter manufacturer and engineers. So far, the cause of the problem has been elusive. At this time, no one knows why the filters continue to plug almost immediately after cleaning.

Last week, city staff cleaned one of the filter racks with “Iron-Out.” This is a product that removes iron from the filters. The cleaning did not produce needed results. In consultation with the engineering firm that designed the Water Treatment Plant, the city utilized an acid wash on another of the filter racks. In this instance, the cleaning initially produced significant results – in fact, this rack was able to produce more water than the other racks combined. However, it was short-lived, and soon after the cleaning, it plugged again.

The City Council authorized the purchase of replacement filters for two of the racks. The cost for these replacement filters is $250,000. These filters are expected to arrive in Newport on July 2, 2020. It will take several days to install the replacements and perform necessary testing. And, there is no guarantee that these new filters will not plug unless, and until, the source of the clogging problem can be identified.

Another step the city has taken is the rental of mobile water processing units. The plan is to have two units that will arrive in Newport later this week. The mobile units will require additional engineering to allow them to produce potable water. The order of these units is a stop-gap measure, and must be done to continue basic water production needs.

The city is also purchasing water from the Seal Rock Water District. There is an intertie between the city system and the District’s system, and the city is fortunately able to obtain some water from this source. There is a limit as the District must also provide for its own customers.

Because of the city’s Water Treatment Plant to keep up with water demand, mandatory water restrictions were enacted. These water restrictions apply to all residents and businesses. The following water uses are prohibited in the City of Newport until further notice:

  1. Use of irrigation systems for lawns, gardens, and landscaping is prohibited. Hand-watering is allowed.
  2. The outdoor washing of equipment, vehicles, pavement, or other facilities is prohibited unless required for public health or safety.
  3. The filling of pools and spas (hot tubs) is prohibited.
  4. The operation of fountains and waterfalls is prohibited.
  5. The irrigation of public lands is prohibited.
  6. The flushing of water lines and firefighting drills involving water consumption is prohibited.
  7. Hotels/motels, restaurants, gyms, and similar businesses are required to post notices regarding mandatory conservation measures. The City of Newport has prepared a flyer for hotels and motels. Contact Gloria Tucker at g.tucker@newportoregon.gov for a copy of the flyer.
  8. Commercial laundry should be consolidated and delayed to the extent possible. All residents and businesses are required to fully participate in curtailing water use pursuant to the provisions noted above.

Major water users such as fish processing plants have had to cease operation until the problem is resolved. Hotels and motels have been requested to share the city’s water restrictions with guests.

As a result of this, all residents and businesses are required to adhere to these water restrictions. As soon as there is a resolution to this problem, and the city is producing water at a reasonable rate, these restrictions will be reviewed.

Throughout this process, the city’s main goal has been to continue to provide excellent drinking water for the community. Despite the problems at the Water Treatment Plant, the water being produced is of high quality and very safe for drinking.

The City of Newport thanks its residents and businesses for working together to resolve this very serious situation.

Merkley and others getting in to high gear to tame wild Covid-19

Sen. Jeff Merkley
D-Oregon

As Coronavirus Cases Skyrocket, Sen. Merkley & Colleagues Push for NDAA Amendment to Increase National Production of Testing Supplies and Personal Protective Equipment

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, along with 24 of his Senate colleagues, is introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 (NDAA) today that would require President Trump to unlock the full authority and power of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to scale up nationwide production of the testing supplies, personal protective equipment, and medical equipment needed at the local level to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The DPA was first passed in 1950 to authorize the president to undertake actions to boost domestic manufacturing of goods in extraordinary circumstances. In 2009, Congress extended that authority to include domestic preparedness and national emergency response efforts.

“Unfortunately, the coronavirus crisis only seems to be accelerating,” said Merkley. “Even if the White House would rather just wish the pandemic away, as leaders, Congress can’t bury our heads in the sand and do nothing. We need to use every tool at our disposal—including the Defense Production Act—to make widespread testing available and make sure our frontline workers and health facilities have the supplies they need to treat our communities and protect their own health.”

Although President Trump announced months ago that he would invoke the DPA, he never followed through—despite urgent calls for action and a direct request from Senator Merkley and his colleagues. Senator Merkley previously teamed up with his colleagues to introduce the Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act, legislation to require the president to utilize all available authorities under the DPA to mobilize a federal response to the pandemic through an equitable and transparent process.

Key parts of the legislation are included in the House-passed Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solution (HEROES) Act, but the Republican majority in the Senate has refused to consider the legislation. Two weeks ago, Senator Merkley led a group of 19 lawmakers in urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the HEROES Act to the Senate floor for a debate and vote.

Senator Merkley was joined in supporting the amendment by its author, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

The NDAA is being considered on the Senate floor this week.

Two major traffic crashes in south county – Seal Rock and Yachats


Emergency responders are on scene of two major traffic crashes in south Lincoln County. One crash is on Highway 101 at milepost 162 at San Marine State Park, 2 miles north of Yachats. Southbound lane is blocked

The other crash is on Highway 101 at milepost 151, at Northwest Parkview adjacent to Seal Rock State Park. There are no injuries according to emergency responders on scene.

Sen. Merkley and others want Uncle Sam to launch war on Covid-19

As Coronavirus Cases Skyrocket, Merkley, Colleagues Push for federal intervention to Increase National Production of Testing Supplies and Personal Protective Equipment

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, along with 24 of his Senate colleagues, is introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 (NDAA) today that would require President Trump to unlock the full authority and power of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to scale up nationwide production of the testing supplies, personal protective equipment, and medical equipment needed at the local level to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The DPA was first passed in 1950 to authorize the president to undertake actions to boost domestic manufacturing of goods in extraordinary circumstances. In 2009, Congress extended that authority to include domestic preparedness and national emergency response efforts.

“Unfortunately, the coronavirus crisis only seems to be accelerating,” said Merkley. “Even if the White House would rather just wish the pandemic away, as leaders, Congress can’t bury our heads in the sand and do nothing. We need to use every tool at our disposal—including the Defense Production Act—to make widespread testing available and make sure our frontline workers and health facilities have the supplies they need to treat our communities and protect their own health.”

Although President Trump announced months ago that he would invoke the DPA, he never followed through—despite urgent calls for action and a direct request from Senator Merkley and his colleagues. Senator Merkley previously teamed up with his colleagues to introduce the Medical Supply Transparency and Delivery Act,legislation to require the president to utilize all available authorities under the DPA to mobilize a federal response to the pandemic through an equitable and transparent process.

Key parts of the legislation are included in the House-passed Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solution (HEROES) Act, but the Republican majority in the Senate has refused to consider the legislation. Two weeks ago, Senator Merkley led a group of 19 lawmakers in urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the HEROES Act to the Senate floor for a debate and vote.

The NDAA is being considered on the Senate floor this week.

Senator Merkley was joined in supporting the amendment by its author, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Fireworks…fun yet dangerous…

Fireworks courtesy Wikipedia…

Help Prevent Fires this Summer from Fireworks and Sky Lanterns

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s West Oregon District will start Fire Season and Public Use Restrictions (Regulated Use) on Monday July 6, 2020. This affects the majority of Polk, Benton, Lincoln, and southern Yamhill Counties.

The sale of legal fireworks has begun in Oregon. We would like to remind residents of the hazards that fireworks pose. The improper use of legal and illegal fireworks poses a risk to personal safety and property. Unintentional wildfires, damages to structures and property from fireworks and preventable injuries from fireworks can be avoided with planning and awareness.

With elevated risks of wildland fire throughout much of the Pacific Northwest this summer, many fire jurisdictions are concerned about responding to accidental fires caused by fireworks use. With public gatherings closed throughout both states, including public fireworks displays and community festivals and parades, fire officials are asking the public to please refrain from informal large gatherings that may involve fireworks use.

For residents who purchase legal fireworks, please consider the following:
Use only legal fireworks and use them only in areas that allow them (check with your local jurisdiction if you are unsure).
Prepare a bucket of water or keep a garden hose nearby before lighting fireworks.
Keep children and pets at a safe distance from fireworks.
Fireworks have a recommended safe distance labeled on their packages – use these recommendations.
Never re-light a dud. Wait 15 to 20 minutes, then soak unexploded fireworks in water before disposing.

For those planning to get outdoors for the Fourth of July on public lands that are still open to the public, please keep your fireworks at home. Many private landowners do not allow entry onto their lands without a permit. Possessing or using fireworks or explosives (including exploding targets), are illegal in:
National parks
National forests
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands
U.S. Fish and Wildfire properties
State-protected beaches, state parks and campgrounds

Sky lanterns, also known as wish lanterns and Chinese lanterns, consist of a paper or cloth sack suspended over a flame, usually from a candle. Such devices pose fire and safety hazards, as they have the potential to start an unintended fire, on or off the property from which they are released. These lanterns are illegal in Washington and Oregon at all times.

Please stay healthy and safe as you celebrate Independence Day.

Local Contact information:
Benton County: Oregon Department of Forestry in Philomath – (541) 929-3266
Lincoln County: Oregon Department of Forestry in Toledo – (541) 336-2273
Polk and Southern Yamhill County: Oregon Department of Forestry in Dallas – (503) 934-8146

Covid-19 resources available for Newport & Lincoln Co. residents

Corona Virus

Wide range of COVID-19 resources available for Newport, Lincoln County residents

By Steve Lundeberg, 541-737-4039, steve.lundeberg@oregonstate.edu
Source: Steve Clark, 541-737-3808, steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

This news release is available online: https://beav.es/4yN
Photos/video: https://oregonstate.box.com/v/trace-media-resources

NEWPORT, Ore. – Public health leaders in Lincoln County offer a range of resources to help community members in Newport and throughout the county address the risk of COVID-19 and reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Lincoln County Health & Human Services reminds everyone that safety begins with physical distancing, hand-washing and the use of face coverings in public spaces. The county will distribute face coverings for free today from 3 to 7 p.m. at nine locations on a drive-through basis.

Information about face coverings, public health services and COVID-19 is available by calling the county’s call center at 541-265-0621 or by emailing LINCOLNCOCALLCENTER@CO.LINCOLN.OR.US. The call center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., has Spanish speakers on staff and will also provide interpreter services for speakers of other languages.

Anyone who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, needs help getting access to testing, has been instructed to quarantine or needs assistance of any other kind, including feeling anxious or isolated, is urged to contact the call center. People suffering a mental health crisis related to COVID-19 or for any other reason are encouraged to call a counseling center recommended by the county at 866-266-0288.

“The OSU TRACE study confirmed what we have been seeing in our case investigations,” said Rebecca Austen, Lincoln County health department director. “We have families without insurance or benefits suffering significant economic hardship. Children and grandparents in families are ill. We as individuals need to buckle down and focus on what we know will prevent the spread of the virus. We as a community need to do our part and protect others by following the guidance we’ve been saying for months: Physical distance, protect others with a face covering, and keep clean by washing your hands frequently.”

Symptoms of COVID-19, in addition to fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, and loss of smell and/or taste, are now known to include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

If you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive, you should quarantine for 14 days, and get tested if symptoms develop, health officials say.

If you have tested positive, isolate for 10 days from others in your home. If you develop symptoms, isolate for 10 days after the symptoms begin and three more days after they’ve passed.

General information about the virus can be found on Lincoln County Health & Human Services’ COVID-19 web page. The county health department also has a site dedicated to public information updates.

“The results of Oregon State University’s TRACE study in Lincoln County are very concerning and suggest the need for residents to take action to halt the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Paul Cieslak, medical director for communicable diseases for the Oregon Health Authority. “If infections in Lincoln County continue to circulate at these rates, far more people risk getting sick. To prevent this, people must take the advice to wear a face covering in public, stay 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with and limit or eliminate any gatherings.

“I also remind people to answer the call if the health authority calls to let you know you may have been exposed to the virus,” Cieslak said, regarding Lincoln County’s contract tracing services.

Samaritan Health Services, which operates a hospital and multiple clinics in Newport, is offering drive-through coronavirus testing in Depoe Bay and Waldport with a clinician’s order.

Samaritan offers the following guidance to those who want or need a COVID-19 test:

If you are a Samaritan patient and have a MyChart account, do a MyChart E-Visit, which is free if you choose the visit type “Coronavirus Concerns.” A clinician will review the information you provide and order testing as needed.
If you are new to Samaritan Health Services, call 855-543-2780. Staff will assist you in creating a MyChart account so you may complete an E-Visit.
Call your primary care provider so they can assess your symptoms and order testing as needed. Do not go to your primary care provider’s clinic if you think you have coronavirus symptoms.
If you think you need to go to the hospital, call before going.
If you have life-threatening symptoms, call 911.

Questions about the Samaritan testing sites can be emailed to COVIDtest@samhealth.org.

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