Regional News Archives for 2022-08

Funding Requested To Remove Abandoned Boats

SALEM, OR -- The Department of State Lands plans to ask the Governor for stable funding to address the problem of abandoned and derelict boats on Oregon’s waterways. The DSL's Ali Ryan Hansen says the agency’s budget comes from the Common School Fund, which has spent $13 million over the last five years to remove these hazards - taking money needed for Oregon schools. She says $40 million from the state's general fund would pay to create a program for two missions, "One: removing abandoned and derelict vessels currently on Oregon waterways. And two: supporting the Department of State Lands’ ongoing work with other partners to identify what’s needed for Oregon to have an actual program to keep more boats from getting onto waterways and creating hazards."

Ryan Hansen tells KBND News abandoned and derelict boats pose a big problem in Oregon, "There are 19 known large commercial vessels of concern and hundreds of recreational vessels."

For example, the DSL is working to remove a 1920s-era ferryboat that’s sinking in Astoria. She says it’s an environmental hazard and public safety concern. But because of its condition, clean-up is complicated, "Crush the vessel in place, pull it from the water and set it on a barge, with some barriers in place to catch the debris, and then haul it away. But, it’s expensive. The initial price tag is over a million dollars."

Ryan Hansen says developing the needed long-term program will take time. The $40 million needs to be included in the Governor's 2023 budget request. But, she points out, the election could lead to a shift in state priorities. If it's included in the Governor's budget, it would still need to be approved by the Legislature in the next session. 

Sen. Wyden: Oregon Benefits From CHIPS Act

PORTLAND, OR -- President Biden signed the CHIPS Act earlier this week, to increase domestic semiconductor production. "From the time you get up in the morning, til the time you go to bed at night, you’re using chips," Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) tells KBND News. Semiconductor chips are in everything from cars, to smartphone to vacuum cleaners. Wyden believes making them in the U.S. will lower consumer costs, "If you can manufacture in the United States, you’re not subject to the same kind of cost-boosting supply chain disruptions that stem from China and around the world."

An Oregon tech company stands to gain a lot from the $52 billion bill. Wyden says Hillsboro-based Intel will get a piece of that funding for research, "The fact that they are going to be in a position to do even more in the research and development area is going to be a big boost in Oregon. In my view, it’s going to create additional economic opportunities. And then, on top of that, is the provision I wrote as Chairman of the Finance Committee, to increase domestic manufacturing."

 

U.S. Energy Secretary Visits OR Renewable Energy Sites

PORTLAND, OR -- The U.S. Energy Secretary was in Oregon Tuesday, touring renewable energy sites with several state dignitaries. Governor Kate Brown welcomed the Secretary to Daimler’s “Electric Island." It's a first of its kind public dual purpose charging station - for electric Daimler trucks and any EV. "The future of transportation in this country is electric," said Gov. Brown, "And Electric Island is a shining example of what is possible when we collaborate." Electric Island is a partnership between Daimler and PGE.

The Portland stop was one of several in Oregon for Secretary Jennifer Granholm to promote the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) ahead of the House vote, "You will get a $7,500 tax credit at the dealer, off the top, so that that reduces the cost of that electric vehicle." She says there’s also a $4,000 tax rebate on used EVs.

She pointed to three recent bills she says are bringing down the cost of electric transportation, "In the space of less than a year, you have the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, you have have the bill that was signed this morning, called the CHIPS Act, which - for all the electronics that are going into these vehicles, as well as a whole bunch of other things - making sure that we’re making the full supply chain for these technologies in America. And then, of course, the bill that came out of the Senate - that Inflation Reduction Act. 

Granholm said there has never been a more urgent time to act on Climate Change, "Last year, the United States spent $150 billion to clean up after these extreme weather events: the wildfires, here, the droughts, the incredible heat domes that have enveloped our country, the weird storms that have popped up in unusual places, because Mother Nature’s mad."

Granholm toured several other renewable energy sites in the state with Governor Brown and Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, including OSU’s wave research center.

 

Gov. Kate Brown and Sec. Jennifer Granholm tour Daimler's Electric Island in Portland.

 

Sec. Granholm speaks to dignitaries and reporters in Portland on Tuesday.

 

(L-R) Daimler Trucks President/CEO John O'Leary, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sec. Jennifer Granholm, PGE CEO Maria Pope, Gov. Kate Brown, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

 

Gov. Urges Caution Over hMPXV

PORTLAND, OR -- With 89 presumed and confirmed cases of hMPXV in Oregon, Governor Kate Brown urges everyone to take precautions against the virus commonly called “monkeypox.” But infectious disease experts say there is no need to panic. “Although we anticipate that we will see cases rise, and more cases in the near term, not to the same number of cases that we saw with COVID,” says Dr. Katie Sharff, Chief of Infectious Disease for Kaiser Permanente in Portland. 

She tells KBND News, “Although this is very debilitating and very uncomfortable for the individuals that suffer from this infection, the case fatality rate is extraordinarily low. I think there have been a handful of fatalities worldwide, and none yet reported in the US.”

However, she worries people aren’t talking openly about who is most at risk, “The majority of cases are in men who have sex with men. But within that social network, it’s a small subset; it’s men who have sex with men with multiple anonymous sexual partners.” And, there is a lot of misinformation and ignorance about how people catch the virus. Dr. Sharff says it’s spread by prolonged skin-to-skin contact; not daily activities.  

Kaiser starts vaccinating people Tuesday, but only those deemed at high risk because availability is limited. Dr. Sharff says, “In Oregon, we have received 6,800 doses.” Nationwide, there are 600,000 doses, with another 800,00 expected soon. 

Wyden Praises Inflation Reduction Act

(BEND, OR) -- Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) says the Inflation Reduction Act, now on its way to the U.S. House, will help almost every American. He points to the $20 billion included for climate-smart agriculture, "It empowers farmers to make decisions, with respect to drought mitigation, how to promote carbon sequestration - our farmers are so well positioned to sequester carbon, and that’s part of climate-smart agriculture." He says it also provides major protections for drought relief and wildfire.

Wyden is taking partial credit for provisions to lower the cost of prescriptions for Medicare recipients, saying he was one of the primary architects of that section and has worked on the issue for years, "Obviously, big pharma is going to fight this every step of the way. They’ve already announced that they’re going to fight any efforts. Our bill will now go to the House and we anticipate it will be passing. And Big Pharma is still going to try to tie it up in the courts, in the state legislatures and administrative agencies." If signed by the President, Wyden says next year, Medicare will select the first 10 drugs and begin negotiating costs, they’ll start with medications for arthritis and cancer. 

He told reporters Monday, "What’s on offer here are lower healthcare costs for seniors, lower carbon emissions, help for working families - like their premiums, beefing up the fight against wealthy tax cheats."

U.S. Senate Passes Inflation Reduction Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Senate has passed the Inflation Reduction Act along party lines, over the weekend. It still must get through the House.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) says it takes on big pharma, "By negotiating the price of Medicare drugs. It’s an absolutely first step that we need to build on in the future. We should be negotiating every single drug the way that every other developed country does. And we should be getting the best prices, not the worst."

He says it also reduces the dependency on fossil fuels, by promoting electrification. And, it addresses a tax loophole, "Where corporations like Amazon don’t pay a dime. I mean they should be paying a million times what you and I pay, instead of paying nothing. So they’ll have a 15% minimum tax; and that’s way overdue."

Republicans have said it will increase inflation and kill jobs.

State Fair Needs 400+ Workers

SALEM, OR -- The Oregon State Fair needs to bring on more than 400 people before the fair opens in Salem on August 26th. Kimberly Jacobsen says organizers know it’s a lofty goal, "We’re expecting that things could be a little bit challenging. But we have a couple things going for us, as the Oregon State Fair: It’s a fun place to work, it’s a great way to earn some extra cash in a short amount of time during the summer. Also, working for the fair helps people learn to connect with other people, learn life skills."

The state fair hosts an employment event Saturday, where managers will interview and hire people on the spot. "Some positions will have specific training. Carnival, for rides, security will require a little bit more training," says Jacobsen. 

Saturday's job fair is to hire for Admissions, Parking, Admin, Carnival, Security, and Concessions. Job seekers should bring their picture ID, along with a social security card or birth certificate / or a passport. Applicants must be 16 or older for Carnival and Concession positions and 18 or older for Carnival Ride positions.
When: August 6, 2022 – 9:00 am until all positions filled
Where: Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center Pavilion - 2330 17th Street NE Salem, OR 97301 
Bring: Picture ID, social security card or birth certificate / or a passport
Parking: Plenty of free parking – (enter from Sunnyview Road)
More information: info@oregonstatefair.org  

 

 

French Cyclist Stops In Oregon On Transcontinental Ride

PORTLAND, OR -- A peace advocate riding his solar bike from Argentina to Canada stopped in Oregon this week. David Ligouy is originally from France. But, after biking through Europe, decided to bring his solar-powered recumbent bike to the Americas to raise awareness for what he says is a connection between peace, climate change, poverty and gender equity.

He travels back roads, relying on the solar panel "roof" to power and charge a battery that assists him in pedaling the three-wheeled trike. The bike averages about 25 km/hour - or, around 15 mph. Over four years, Ligouy has biked through 26 countries; Canada will be his 27th when he arrives next week. Overall, he's gone more than 30,000 kilometers, so far - or, nearly 19,000 miles. Click HERE to learn more about Ligouy and his mission. 

Before arriving in Portland Thursday, he says firefighters helped him navigate around the Cedar Creek Fire as he rode through the mountains near Oakridge.

KBND's Heather Roberts talked to him during his Oregon visit:

 

David Ligouy sits on his solar recumbent trike in a SW Portland yard, where his hosts allowed him to camp for the night. 

Victim Killed In Old Town Stabbing

(Portland, OR)  --  Authorities say one person was killed in a stabbing yesterday morning in Portland's Old Town.  Just after 9 o'clock, police responded to Northwest 5th and Davis where they located the victim.  Despite receiving medical care, the person died at a hospital.  A suspect was taken into custody.

Two Oregon Wildfires Have Zero Containment

(La Pine, OR)  --  Firefighters are battling two wildfires in the south-central Oregon Cascades.  The Windigo Fire is about 20 miles southwest of La Pine [[ luh-PINE ]].  It has burned 12-hundred acres.  The Potter Fire has burned 85 acres in the Toketee [[ TOKE-eh-tee ]] area.  Both fires are burning in a mix of timber with heavy dead and downed trees and they have zero containment.  The Potter Fire was caused by lightning.  The cause of the Windigo Fire is being investigated.

Train Kills Pedestrian

(Salem, OR)  --  Authorities say a man walking along railroad tracks in Salem was hit and killed by a train.  Salem Police say the accident happened yesterday morning near 14th and Hines Street Southeast just after 6 a.m.  The rail crew says they sounded the horn and tried to stop the train but couldn't avoid hitting the man.  He died at the scene.  His name will be released after his family his notified. 

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Confirmed In Oregon

PORTLAND, OR -- Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHDV2) has again been confirmed in domestic rabbits in Oregon, according to Oregon's Department of Agriculture. State Veterinarian Dr. Ryan Scholz says RHDV2 is nearly 100% fatal for domestic animals, "Which is why it’s such a big deal in rabbits. If it gets into your rabbit tree, it’ll kill pretty much everything within days, if not hours." In this most recent case, 21 rabbits from a property in Multnomah County died within 72 hours.

He tells KBND News, "The strain that we have and have been dealing with also is able to infect North American wild rabbits and jackrabbits. That really worries us because of the ecological damage that this virus could do if it gets into, especially, some of the threatened or sensitive populations of wild rabbits." Dr. Scholz believes the Multnomah County rabbits likely contracted the virus from nearby wild rabbits, which can survive longer, allowing them to infect more rabbits. He suggests rabbit owners take immediate precautions, "Keeping domestic rabbits and wild or feral rabbits separate. Utilizing good bio-security: If you’re buying rabbits from someone, checking out the health of those rabbits, making sure that they haven’t lost rabbits recently; making sure you’re quarantining those new rabbits before you add them in with yours."

The last case of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease in an Oregon domestic population was 14 months ago in Deschutes County.

 

FBI To Help PPB Investigate Threats Against Officers

PORTLAND, OR -- Gun violence continues in Portland at a record-setting pace. According to the FBI, law enforcement are now being targeted in the course of investigations aimed at curbing the problem. 

Kieran Ramsey, Special Agent In Charge of the Portland Field Office, says the FBI is helping Portland Police track down threats against officers, "We understand and accept the trauma that’s involved when we have this gun violence issue on any particular incident. We also appreciate the trauma that’s involved when there is a use of force by law enforcement. But one of the problems that right now we’re seeing is the fact that police officers are being attacked in the course of responding to 911 calls. And that is just absolutely unacceptable."

Ramsey told KBND News Friday, "In the last week, we have seen officers assaulted when making arrests, we’ve seen one officer almost run over by a vehicle, another officer actually run over by a vehicle - who is, I think, being released from the hospital today, and then another officer who was nearly shot at point blank range."

Portland Police now say the agency will withhold the names of those involved in recent officer-involved shootings because of threats against officers and concerns related to doxing - when someone’s personal information is released online.

Ramsey says the FBI is helping PPB any way it can, "If we do see legitimate threats made, our intent then is to identify who is making those threats, what their capability is to carry through those threats, and if in the course we see that, we can determine whether federal jurisdiction applies with some kind of violation of a federal statute; let alone, perhaps state and local statutes."

 

Three Candidates For Governor Face Off

WELCHES, OR -- The three candidates running for Governor in Oregon faced off in their first formal debate of the general election season, Friday, hosted by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. 

Republican Christine Drazan, Democrat Tina Kotek, and Independent Betsy Johnson each insisted they are the right person to address current and future challenges. In opening statements, Drazan said, "I’m running for Governor because I believe, with single party control, that politicians have lost sight of serving everyday Oregonians. And this year is about making a change." Kotek claimed, "Oregonians deserve a strong, effective leader that can get the work done and deliver results. And that’s why I’m running for governor; to make sure we can bring people together, listen to each other’s concerns." and Johnson added, "If there was ever a clarion call for real change it’s right now. Oregonians are distrustful of the radical right and they are terrified of the progressive left."

On the homeless crisis, former House Speaker Kotek told the group she’s already working on solutions, "I have a five-point plan on my website that specifically starts off by talking about the urgency of helping people move from the streets into permanent housing. And the key to that is to make sure we have more organized street response teams."

Johnson - a former Democratic State Senator - said homelessness is tied to drug use and mental illness, "We all talk about homelessness but we have not infused a sense of urgency about it. As governor, I would convene public safety, social service experts, mental health experts."

And Drazan, aformer State House Republican Leader, called the issue non-partisan, "What we have been experiencing in Oregon right now has enabled this problem to spiral out of control. And it will only get better if Oregonians themselves, and the people who are leading in local governments and the state level are willing to look at these challenges on a person-by-person basis."

During the more than one-hour debate in Welches, candidates also covered concerns about climate change, a lack of mental health services, and the Greater Idaho Movement.

Man Arrested Following Police Standoff

(McMinnville, OR)  --  Police say a man accused of throwing mortar style fireworks and firing a gun in McMinnville on Saturday was arrested following an officer-involved shooting and brief police standoff.  Police say when officers arrived, the man fired at officers and they returned fire, but no one was struck.  Negotiators talked the man into surrendering and he was taken into custody.  No one was hurt.  Several homes were hit by gunfire.  More than 200 rounds were fired.

Sandy River Drownings

(Troutdale, OR)  --  The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office is urging river swimmers to wear lifejackets after two drownings in the Sandy River last week.  On Wednesday, a stand-up paddler drowned near Oxbow Park and on Friday a swimmer drowned near Dabney State Park.  Also last week, a family of three had to be rescued after being swept away by the current.  They were taken to a hospital for evaluation.  Free life vests are available at parks along the river and lifeguards are on duty at Glenn Otto Park in Troutdale.

Water Limit Requested

(Wilsonville, OR)  --  Residents of Wilsonville and Sherwood are being asked to limit non-essential use of water.  One of four pumps at the Willamette River Water Treatment Plant failed on Friday.  A part to repair the pump is on order, but could take a week to arrive.  Residents are asked to limit outdoor irrigation, washing cars, and other non-critical uses of water.  The pump failure doesn't affect the quality of the water.

Old Town Shooting Kills One

(Portland, OR)  --  One person is dead and two are injured following a shooting Friday night in Portland's Old Town.  The shooting happened near 5th and Northwest Couch [[ kooch ]] Street.  Police found two people wounded.  They were taken to a hospital where one person died.  A third person was taken to a hospital in a private car and has life-threatening injuries.  Police have not made any arrests.

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