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Columbia (Tri-Cities/Yakima/Pendleton) News Releases for Sat. Jun. 3 - 3:17 pm
Fri. 06/02/23
Expect delays on OR 203 (Medical Springs Highway) in Union County for paving work
ODOT: East. Ore. - 06/02/23 4:38 PM

Travelers should plan for delays of up to 20 minutes starting Monday along the Medical Springs Highway (OR 203) east of Union. ODOT contractors will be performing paving operations between milepost 0.7 near Union and milepost 11.9, with flaggers directing single-lane travel through the area. Expect extra truck traffic on the highway between the work zone and the material stockpile site near the Catherine Creek Snow Park at milepost 14.06.  The paving work should be complete by mid-June, but crews will return in a few weeks to apply a protective chip seal over the new pavement to help extend its useful life. During chip seal operation travelers can expect single lane travel controlled by pilot cars, 20-minute delays, reduced speeds, loose rock on the roadway, plus day and nighttime brooming operations. The route will be restriped later this summer. Drive with extra caution, slow down and obey flaggers and work zone signs. Check TripCheck.com for updated traffic information. 

Recognizing the 60th anniversary of Older Americans Month throughout 2023
Oregon Department of Human Services - 06/02/23 4:10 PM

(Salem, OR) — The 60th anniversary of Older Americans Month brings an opportunity all year to renew our commitment to being active participants in dismantling stereotypes about aging. 

As Gov. Tina Kotek’s proclamation of Older Americans Month says, “Oregon can work to build even better communities for our older residents by: expanding our thinking about aging, combating ageism, valuing age as an asset and emphasizing the many positive aspects of aging, inspiring older adults to push past traditional boundaries and embracing the diversity within our aging population.” Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) works to remove barriers so that older adults can access the supports they need to live their best lives – in the communities they choose and at every stage of life. 

“Discrimination of any kind is not acceptable, this includes ageism. We strive to ensure independence and choice for older adults in Oregon through services and supports that promote individual well-being and aging with dignity,” said Nakeshia Knight-Coyle, director of the ODHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities (APD). 

By the year 2034, Oregonians who are 65 and older will outnumber children under 18. Oregon is looking ahead to make Oregon an age-friendly state in which people of all ages are included, engaged in services and can thrive. APD’s programs honor an individual’s choice in addressing needs such as food insecurity through meal programs, financial instability through disability determination, crisis funds and employment programs, and provision of programs that offer people options to determine where they want to live and receive services and supports. 

Oregonians can learn about programs and resources available in their communities by reaching the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC). The ADRC of Oregon provides information and referral services as well as options counseling to help older adults and people with disabilities find long-term care supports that meet their needs. ADRC information and referral and options counseling services are free for everyone, regardless of age or income. The ADRC website features a searchable database of more than 5,000 statewide resources for things like medical care, meal sites and employment needs. The ADRC can be reached by phone at 1-855-ORE-ADRC (673-2372). To find resources on the ADRC website, visit: www.adrcoforegon.org

APD provides Oregon’s older adults with choices through a wide variety of programs such as: 

  • Oregon Project Independence (OPI), which helps people remain in their own homes by providing in-home services. In 2022, OPI helped 1,850 people to stay in their own homes.
  • Financial eligibility determination services that helped 180,000 older adults access Medicaid, Medicare premium, general assistance and SNAP benefits in 2022.
  • Medicaid Long-Term Services and Supports helps eligible individuals receive services in their own home, in a licensed community setting or a nursing facility. All services are person centered and help the individual meet their goals. In the two-year period ending June 2021, 56,268 individuals received support. 
  • Meal programs, through the Older Americans Act, provide home-delivered meals and fund congregate meal sites to support physical health and access to nutritious meals. In 2022, more than 1.2 million home-delivered meals were provided, and 310,568 meals were served at congregate meal sites to 20,614 older adults in Oregon.
  • Adult Protective Services (APS) works in the community and in licensed care facilities to keep older adults safe from abuse. In 2021, APS assisted 13,554 alleged victims of abuse.

About the Office of Aging and People with Disabilities: 

APD’s vision is to ensure Oregon’s older adults, people with disabilities and their families experience person-centered services, supports and early interventions that are innovative and help maintain independence, promote safety, wellbeing, honor choice, respect cultural preferences and uphold dignity.


Don Davis and Colby Burke receive regional community leadership awards (Photo)
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 06/02/23 3:56 PM

WALLA WALLA - Congratulations to Colby Burke and Don Davis for receiving the 2023 Southeast Washington Association of School Administrators Community Leadership award. Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith nominated Davis and Burke for this prestigious award which was presented to them Wednesday evening in Richland. Both of these outstanding community leaders have been instrumental in supporting Walla Walla High School athletics as officers on the Big Blue Boosters.

Colby serves as secretary of the Big Blue Boosters of Walla Walla. The Big Blue Boosters of Walla Walla fundraises and donates thousands of dollars annually to support Walla Walla High School athletes. Just last year, this included providing basketball shooting machines, apparel, sports equipment, photography and so much more. Davis currently serves as President of the Big Blue Boosters of Walla Walla and has been on the board for 12 years.  

The goal of Big Blue is to improve the athletic experience for Wa-Hi student-athletes and coaches. Both Davis and Burke have played key roles in organizing the Big Blue Boosters annual fundraiser the past several years so student athletes are not required to be responsible for fundraising. Colby also networks Big Blue Boosters through social media, website development and face-to-face conversations.  She volunteers to serve on the district's Outdoor Athletic and Activity Facilities Committee, which is addressing the district's aging and insufficient outdoor athletic facilities.

Don enjoys speaking publicly about the organization on his own time and can be found working at all of the Booster events. He is currently serving as chair of the district’s Outdoor Athletic & Activity Advisory Committee to find solutions to improving athletic and activity facilities throughout the district.  Thanks to these amazing community leaders for helping realize the district’s vision of Developing Washington’s Most-Sought After Graduates.

Photo L-R: Colby Burke, Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith and Don Davis. 


Attached Media Files: 2023-06/1288/163954/SEWASA_2023.jpg

Fatal Crash - HWY 199- Josephine County
Oregon State Police - 06/02/23 3:53 PM

On Thursday, June 1, 2023, at approximately 11:45 A.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a two-vehicle crash on Hwy 199, near milepost 5.5, in Josephine County.


The preliminary investigation indicated a black Ford Fusion, operated by Courtney L. Parsons (26) of Rogue River, was southbound in the fast lane. A white GMC Sierra, operated by Ervin Besler (87) of Grants Pass, failed to properly clear traffic while turning left from Robinson Rd onto northbound Hwy 199. The Fusion impacted the driver side of the GMC in a T-bone collision. 


The operator of the GMC (Besler) was declared deceased on scene. 


The operator of the Ford (Parsons) was transported by AMR to the hospital.  Two passengers in the Ford, John D. McCollum (25) of Myrtle Point and Matthew J. Balise (19) of West Springfield (MA), were also transported by AMR to the hospital.


The highway was impacted for approximately 3.5 hours while the on-scene investigation was conducted.


OSP was assisted by AMR, Rural Metro Fire, and ODOT.

Walla Walla Construction Technology Teacher Receives Surprise as Regional Teacher of the Year (Photo)
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 06/02/23 3:39 PM

By ESD 123 Communications Department

WALLA WALLA - This afternoon, Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith paid a surprise visit to the classroom of Walla Walla SEATech teacher, Mr. Eric Matson, to announce his selection by Educational Service District 123 as this year’s Regional Teacher of the Year. Mr. Matson is the Construction Technology Instruction teacher at the SEATech Skills Center. ESD 123 Director of Teaching & Learning Molly Hamaker-Teals oversees the Teacher of the Year program for the region.

She states, “Eric demonstrates a passion for Construction Trades, the success of each of his students, and their positive impact within the community.” SEATech Skills Center Director Jerry Maher spoke of his pride in Mr. Matson. “Eric is an expert in his field,” Mr. Maher said. “He collaborates with other educators in our area and across the Pacific Northwest…He has brought his years of experience in the construction industry, in manufacturing, and the private sector into his program, getting students and parents excited about possibilities in Construction Trades and beyond.”

According to Maher, Mr. Matson continuously adds to the certifications and qualifications that are available for his students to earn, connecting students with apprenticeships, work in local trades, and opportunities for post-secondary options. SEATech is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) campus located in Walla Walla that partners with and serves students from six different school districts, including College Place, Dayton, Prescott, Touchet, Waitsburg, and Walla Walla. SEATech is a branch campus of the Tri-Tech Skills Center in the Tri-Cities.

Mr. Matson is one of nine regional Teacher of the Year winners from Washington State who will go on to compete in the State competition organized by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). More information on the awards can be found at www.k12.wa.us/educator-support/awards-recognition/educator-awards/teacher-year.

Photo L-R: Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith presents the award to SEATech Instructor Eric Matson. 


Attached Media Files: 2023-06/1288/163952/Eric_Matson_ESD_123_Teacher_of_the_Year.jpg

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Study Meeting: June 6, 2023
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 06/02/23 2:11 PM

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Organization/997
Board of Directors Meeting Schedule & Information:  https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule

Wa-Hi team named 2023 Washington State Envirothon Champions; team advances to International Competition (Photo)
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 06/02/23 7:50 AM

WALLA WALLA - Congratulations to Walla Walla High School students Izzy Kirtley, Natalie Williams, Chloe Busch, Jakob Sullivan, Liam Bergevin and Turner Van Slyke for winning the Washington State Envirothon. The team will represent Washington state at the International Envirothon Competition in New Brunswick in July. Team Advisors are Andrea Renholds (parent volunteer) and Wa-Hi Science teacher. Clayton Hudiburg. Wa-Hi students competed against other regional winners from around Washington state on May 25. They were tested for both field and general knowledge in the areas of soils, wildlife, forestry and aquatic ecology. Each team also gave a 10-minute presentation on a current issue.

“Wa-Hi scored the highest in three of the five categories, which was enough to win the overall trophy,” said Hudiburg. “The opportunity these kids have is beyond words to describe, but I believe the best part of this whole experience is the reliance on teamwork throughout the entire process.”

Hudiburg said each student worked hard to learn about each of the categories, but they decided to "specialize" in just one or two. He notes this gave each of them a chance to shine throughout the competition.

“Andrea Renholds was also invaluable in her willingness to reach out to the community and arrange for a team of individuals to come in and lend their expertise during the weeks leading up to the competition,” said Hudiburg. “Representatives from Walla Walla Conservation District, Tri-State Steelheaders, Whitman College and McNary Wildlife Refuge all volunteered to help students prepare.”  

The International Competition includes teams from across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, China and Singapore. To learn more, check out the website here: https://envirothon.org/the-competition/current-competition/

Photo L-R: Walla Walla High School students Izzy Kirtley, Natalie Williams, Chloe Busch, Jakob Sullivan, Liam Bergevin, Turner Van Slyke


Attached Media Files: 2023-06/1288/163931/State_champs_envirothon.jpg

Thu. 06/01/23
Board of Forestry to meet in Sisters on June 7 and 8, with community social - Amended agenda
Oregon Dept. of Forestry - 06/01/23 4:42 PM

UPDATE — The Oregon Board of Forestry will be extending the time allotted for public comment during its June 7 meeting in Sisters, OR, due to the high volume of Oregonians who signed up to speak to the board on a variety of topics. The meeting will now start at 8 a.m. at the FivePine Lodge, South Sister Room. View the amended agenda for the meeting.

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Board of Forestry will meet in Sisters, with a public meeting and community social scheduled on Wednesday, June 7, and the public meeting reconvenes on June 8. All events are open to the public.

The public meetings will be held at FivePine Lodge, South Sister Room – 1021 Desperado Trail, Sisters, OR, 97759. The June 7 meeting begins at 8 a.m. and the June 8 meeting begins at 8 a.m. There will not be a virtual option for the community social, but the meetings will be livestreamed on the department’s YouTube channel.

The board’s business agenda includes:

  • Forest patrol assessment hearings for Jackson County
  • Forest Protection Association budgets
  • Forest Trust Land Advisory Committee testimony
  • 2023 Legislative session update
  • Fire season readiness
  • 20-Year Landscape Resiliency Strategy update
  • Forestry Program for Oregon planning work session
  • Board and agency organizational governance work session

The full agenda is available on the board’s webpage. Live testimony is available for item #1, state forester and board member comments, and item #4, Forest Protection Association budgets. Sign-up is required and instructions to provide live testimony are available online. Sign-up closes Friday, June 2 at 5 p.m. Written public testimony will also be accepted. Written comments can be submitted before or up to two weeks after the meeting day to oardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov">boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov with the appropriate agenda item included with the submission.

On June 7 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the board and department will host a community social. This informal event is open to the public for in-person attendance at the Sisters-Camp Sherman Rural Fire Department, Community Room – 301 South Elm Street, Sisters, OR, 97759. An RSVP is not required, but encouraged, as spacing and parking are limited. Please RSVP to oardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov">boardofforestry@odf.oregon.gov. 

Accommodations for people with disabilities, and special materials, services, or assistance can be arranged by calling ODF’s Public Affairs Office at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting at 503-945-7200 or by email at estryinformation@odf.oregon.gov">forestryinformation@odf.oregon.gov.

The Oregon Board of Forestry consists of seven citizens nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. Responsibilities include appointing the State Forester, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base. Read more information about the board.

Oregon State Fire Marshal issues grants to boost staffing ahead of wildfire season
Oregon State Fire Marshal - 06/01/23 3:08 PM

SALEM, Ore. – To boost the number of firefighters across Oregon ahead of wildfire season, the Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has awarded $6 million in grants to 185 local fire agencies across the state. 

The 2023 Wildfire Season Staffing Grant is in its second year. Local agencies within the Oregon structural fire service were eligible to apply for up to $35,000. The funding will allow these agencies to hire additional firefighters for the 2023 fire season. This year, small agencies, many of which depend on volunteers, were prioritized to receive funding. A list of agencies awarded funding can be found here.

“This grant is a beacon of hope for fire districts like ours, burdened by limited funding,” Mt. Angel Fire Chief Jim Trierweiler said. “It provides a lifeline, empowering us to overcome financial constraints and a shortage of volunteers. With this invaluable support, we can expand our team with skilled individuals, fortifying our mission to serve and protect our community this fire season.”

“The OSFM staffing grant has turned what has been a long-term vision and goal for McKenzie Fire and Rescue into a reality,” Chief Darren Bucich said. “Additional staffing will help us build on our ability to provide consistent alarm response, timely auto and mutual aid response, and the ability to continue to be a part of conflagrations.”

The 2022 grant was successful across the state, adding roughly 400 paid firefighters to the Oregon fire service during last summer's wildfire season. These added resources allowed agencies to attack fires and keep them small and away from communities and added capacity to respond to other calls, ultimately saving lives. Read about the successes here.

The 2023 Wildfire Season Staffing Grant is part of a multi-pronged approach to combat wildfire in Oregon. Over the last two years, the OSFM has made strategic investments to modernize the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System and help communities be better prepared for wildfire. 

This grant is part of the OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon initiative. This one-time funding was made possible through Senate Bill 762, which was signed into law in 2021.  


The OSFM’s Response Ready Oregon initiative was created to help bolster capacity and modernize wildfire response within the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS). The goal of Response Ready Oregon is to attack fires while they are small and keep them away from communities.


PUC Seeking Public Comment on Avista's Proposed Rate Increase
Oregon Public Utility Commission - 06/01/23 3:06 PM

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) is hosting a virtual public comment hearing on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at 6 p.m. PDT. The event provides customers of Avista an opportunity to comment via Zoom on the impacts of the utility’s proposed increase to natural gas rates. Customers may also submit comments in writing or by phone through June 22, 2023, to be included in staff’s opening testimony of this case.

Avista filed a request to increase rates by 7.4 percent on average over all 106,000 Oregon customers. This would impact customer rates differently depending on usage and customer type – residential, business, or industrial customers. For a residential customer in a single-family home using an average 47 therms per month, a current monthly bill is about $77.01. With Avista’s proposed increase, the average residential customer bill would increase to about $83.21 per month. For the average residential customer, this represents an increase of $6.20 a month, or an 8.06 percent increase.

Avista identifies additional capital investments, including investments to maintain and expand its natural gas distribution facilities, and the effect of high inflation levels on the company’s operational costs, including interest rates, labor, and materials as the reasons for the proposed increase. 

Avista’s general rate change request is undergoing a nearly year-long review and will be fully investigated on behalf of natural gas customers by the PUC, the Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board, the Alliance of Western Energy Consumers, Sierra Club and Climate Solutions. This public comment hearing is part of that investigation, which will conclude in December when the Commissioners rule on the request. New rates, if approved, are expected to go into effect January 1, 2024. Any rate change approved as part of this general rate change filing would be in addition to the annual adjustment made to customer rates for the actual price of natural gas for the year. The purchased gas adjustment, which can be an increase or a decrease in customer rates, would go into effect November 1, 2023.

Comment via Zoom or phone on June 7 

Interested individuals may participate in the virtual public comment hearing to provide verbal comments to the Commissioners and the Administrative Law Judge presiding over this case. 

          When: Wednesday, June 7, 2023, from 6-7 p.m. PDT 

          This meeting may go beyond the scheduled end time to allow more people to comment, so please log in before 7           p.m. PDT. 

          View the meeting agenda to access the Zoom link and phone-in details at https://bit.ly/439Je5x. 

Submit comments directly to the PUC by June 22, 2023

Comments received later are still appreciated but may not be addressed in Staff’s opening testimony in this case.

Stay Informed 

To stay informed throughout Avista’s proposed rate change process, individuals may request to be added to the distribution list to receive publicly available documents. Submit requests by email to ings@puc.oregon.gov">puc.hearings@puc.oregon.gov or by calling 503-378-6678. Please specify Docket No. UG 461 in the request.

# # # 

The PUC regulates customer rates and services of the state’s investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities, including Portland General Electric, Idaho Power, Pacific Power, Avista, Cascade Natural, and NW Natural. The PUC also regulates landline telephone providers and select water companies. The PUC’s mission is to ensure Oregonians have access to safe, reliable, and fairly priced utility services that advance state policy and promote the public interest. We use an inclusive process to evaluate differing viewpoints and visions of the public interest and arrive at balanced, well-reasoned, independent decisions supported by fact and law. For more information about the PUC, visit oregon.gov/puc             

Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation Awards Community Grants to 78 Nonprofits
Umpqua Bank - 06/01/23 2:00 PM

2023’s first cycle of grants issued as part of $20MM philanthropic commitment following transformative merger with Columbia Bank

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., (June 1, 2023)—In its first community grants cycle of 2023, the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization of Umpqua Bank, under the parent company Columbia Banking System, Inc., has awarded 78 grants to local nonprofits across its footprint totaling $417,000.

Umpqua’s community grants this cycle support nonprofit organizations across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Nevada, and are part of the Bank’s overall foundation and corporate giving program that has invested $17.4 million in communities since the foundation was formed in 2014.  

“Each of the nonprofits selected displays an exemplary service mindset and a deep commitment to improving economic prosperity for under-resourced individuals, families and small businesses,” says Randy Choy, vice president of philanthropy programs and managing director of the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation. “We’re honored to partner with them by investing in their critical work, and we look forward to supporting many more organizations in 2023 through our giving and volunteerism programs.”

This is the first of three grant cycles in 2023, and the first cycle following the close of the merger between Umpqua Bank and Columbia Bank in March of this year. Following the completion of the merger, Umpqua Bank and parent company Columbia Banking System disbursed $20 million to the charitable foundation to sustain the foundation’s historic charitable giving levels and activate millions more each year.

“The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation is central to how we will continue to show up in support of each and every community we serve,” says Umpqua Bank Chief Marketing Officer David Moore Devine. “We issued this initial $20 million disbursement to the foundation at the outset of our future together to strengthen our commitment and ensure we will continue investing in our communities with greater impact and scale in the years ahead.” 

This cycle’s recipient organizations were selected from among hundreds of applicants, with a demonstrated commitment to improving economic prosperity for under-resourced individuals, families, and small businesses in at least one of the following areas: college, career and technical readiness; financial competency; housing stability and homeownership; entrepreneurship and business expansion; small business support and financial guidance; family engagement and resiliency; vibrant and equitable neighborhoods; and technical and digital connectivity. 

Learn more, including application deadlines and guidelines for our next community grant cycles, at www.umpquabank.com/our-impact/partnerships/ 

The following recipients received grants between $5,000-10,000: 


Adelante Mujeres
Arts Council of Pendleton 
Assistance League of Klamath Basin
CASA of Douglas County
Childrens Healing Art Project, Inc.
Community LendingWorks
Connected Lane County
Corvallis Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. 
Free Geek
Girls Inc of the Pacific Northwest
Housing Northwest, Inc.
Kor Community Land Trust
Neighborhood Nonprofit Platform (No One Left Offline)
Northeast Oregon Economic Development District
Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc.
Portland Housing Center
Reach Community Development, Inc.
Reedsport Church of God
Schoolhouse Supplies, Inc.
SE Works, Inc. (BankWork$)
SMART Reading
Wallowa County Business Facilitation


Asia Pacific Cultural Center
Communities in Schools of Benton-Franklin
Communities Rise
Ellensburg Downtown Association
Habitat for Humanity International, Inc. (Seattle)
Habitat for Humanity International, Inc. (Tacoma)
Homestead Community Land Trust
Interfaith Hospital Network (Family Promise of Spokane)
Junior Achievement of Washington (Franklin County)
Junior Achievement of Washington (King and Spokane Counties)
Pizza Klatch 
SNAP Financial Services
South Sound Outreach Services
Swan Vocational Enterprises
Tacoma Urban League
United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties
United Way of Lewis County
Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
Vanessa Behan
Wing Luke Memorial Foundation
Youth Eastside Services


Boys & Girls Clubs of Contra Costa
College Track
Diablo Valley College Foundation
Financial Beginnings (California)
Friends of the Children-Los Angeles
Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank
JVS-SoCal (BankWork$)
Mission Bit
Mutual Housing California
North Marin Community Services
Opportunity Junction, Inc.
Orange County Community Housing Corp
Petaluma Ecumenical Properties
Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services
Shelter Providers of Orange County, Inc.
Stand Up for Kids
The Tower Foundation of San Jose State University
TMC Community Capital
United Way of the Bay Area
Up Valley Family Centers of NAPA County
Valley Contractors Workforce Foundation
West Enterprise Center, Inc.
Womens Empowerment
Working Solutions CDFI
Yuba Sutter Economic Development Corporation
Zero 8Hundred, Inc.


Boise Rescue Mission
Habitat For Humanity International, Inc. (North Idaho)


Arts for All Nevada
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada


About Umpqua Bank 
Umpqua Bank is a subsidiary of Columbia Banking System Inc., and a premier regional bank in the Western U.S., operating in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado. With over $50 billion of assets, Umpqua combines the resources, sophistication and expertise of a national bank with a commitment to deliver personalized service at scale. The bank consistently ranks as one of America’s Best Banks (ranked by Forbes) and supports consumers and businesses through a full suite of services, including retail and commercial banking; Small Business Administration lending; institutional and corporate banking; equipment leasing; and wealth management. The company is headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and trades under the ticker symbol COLB on the Nasdaq. Learn more at https://www.umpquabank.com.

About the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation
The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization of Umpqua Bank, recognizes the importance of building healthier, more resilient, better connected and inclusive communities throughout the eight-state footprint. It works to strengthen the communities Umpqua Bank serves by investing in organizations and initiatives that expand access to education and create economic opportunity for individuals, families and small businesses. The foundation was formed in 2014 to demonstrate Umpqua’s deep commitment to the communities it serves and has distributed more than $17 million across the bank’s footprint. 



Richland Paraprofessional Named Regional Classified Employee of the Year (Photo)
ESD 123 - 06/01/23 11:38 AM

PASCO, WA – Nannette Duncan, a paraprofessional at Richland High School, has been named Educational Service District (ESD) 123’s Regional Classified Employee of the Year for 2023. The Classified School Employee of the Year program recognizes excellence in the work of public school employees such as paraprofessionals, food service workers, secretaries, custodians, and more.

As a paraeducator working with students with special needs, Ms. Duncan says the most important part of her job is to encourage classroom inclusion and foster engagement. She works closely with her students and other teachers to build classroom environments where all students can succeed and grow, both academically and behaviorally. Her references say she goes above and beyond to help her students, from writing class notes alongside them to helping their families create steady routines at home, to stepping back to let them be independent where she can.

“She is patient, kind, and compassionate, and has a remarkable ability to connect with students on a personal level,” says Ms. Duncan’s supervisor, Richland High School Assistant Principal Erin Easton. “Her caring approach creates a supportive and nurturing environment that helps students feel safe, valued, and empowered.”

Ms. Duncan is one of nine regional Classified Employee of the Year winners from Washington State who will go on to compete in the state competition organized by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). More information on the awards can be found at https://www.k12.wa.us/educator-support/awards-recognition/educator-awards/classified-school-employee-year.  


Attached Media Files: 2023-06/1212/163905/Nannette_Duncan.jpg

Seeking comments on proposed restrictions to driving on two sections of ocean shore in Lincoln City
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 06/01/23 11:24 AM

SALEM, Ore— The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is requesting public comment on a proposed administrative rule amendment to restrict motor vehicles on two sections of the ocean shore in Lincoln City. The deadline for comments is 5 p.m. July 20, 2023.

Currently, vehicles are allowed on the ocean shore within 150 feet of NW 34th Street and NW 15th Street in Lincoln City, according to OAR 736-024-0025.

One proposed change would ban vehicles year-round at NW 34th Street in Lincoln City. The parking lot is already closed to vehicle traffic by city ordinance. 

The second proposed change would close vehicle access to the beach from on NW 15th Street May 1 to Sept. 30 or whenever conditions were unsafe. The access is already closed by city ordinance from May 26 to Sept. 5. The proposed change would also expand the area of shore open to vehicles from 150 feet to 300 feet on each side of NW 15th when access is open. 

“We’re proposing these changes in cooperation with the city as we both try to improve the quality of the beach experience and keep people and vehicles from mixing on a busy beach,” says OPRD spokesperson Chris Havel. “The tricky part is striking a balance between those concerns and easy, fair access to the tremendous gift that is the Oregon ocean shore.”

Comments may be made online at: https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/Pages/PRP-rulemaking.aspx 

At a public hearing either in person or virtually 6 p.m. July 18. For those attending virtually, register at: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_IiOD_VWVSsiVsIA6rBGA_A 

To attend in person, go to: Lincoln City Community Center, 2150 NE Oar Place, Lincoln City, OR 97367.

By email to d.publiccomment@oprd.oregon.gov">oprd.publiccomment@oprd.oregon.gov , and 

in writing to: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Attn.: Katie Gauthier, 725 Summer St NE, Suite C Salem OR 97301 

More information about this rulemaking including maps and a copy of the rule text is available on the OPRD rulemaking website: https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/Pages/PRP-rulemaking.aspx 

Individuals who require special accommodations to attend the meeting should contact Robert Ellison, at least three days in advance of a meeting by calling (971) 304-4689.


Columbia River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo)
Oregon Dept. of Corrections - 06/01/23 11:05 AM
Bobby D. Barnes
Bobby D. Barnes

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Bobby Donald Barnes, passed away the morning of June 1, 2023. Barnes was incarcerated at Columbia River Correctional Institution (CRCI) in Portland and passed away at a local hospital. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified. 

Barnes entered DOC custody on November 8, 2007, from Multnomah County, with an earliest release date of August 21, 2026. He was 68 years old. 

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of approximately 12,000 individuals who are incarcerated in 12 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

CRCI is a minimum-security prison that houses approximately 595 adults in custody who are within four years of release. Located in the largest metropolitan area of the state, this facility is focused on cognitive programming, alcohol and drug programming, work programs, and preparing for return to the community. CRCI has two alcohol and drug/cognitive restructuring alternative incarceration programs (AIP). Individuals who successfully complete this 180-day-in-prison program are released to the community for a 90-day transitional leave period. CRCI is located on a 26-acre site in northeast Portland and officially in opened in September 1990. 


Attached Media Files: Bobby D. Barnes

Grandview School District selects final three superintendent candidates
Grandview Sch. Dist. - 06/01/23 10:45 AM

The Grandview School Board has officially narrowed down their pool of candidates to fill its open superintendent position. After two nights of preliminary interviews, the board selected three final candidates – Assistant Superintendent of Burlington-Edison School District Dr. Bryan Jones, Acting Grandview Superintendent Jose Rivera and Yakima School District Deputy Superintendent Dr. Rob Darling.

Jones is currently serving as the assistant superintendent of Burlington-Edison School District. Prior to that he served as the district’s executive director of equity and learning from June 2018 to June 2019, he was the district’s direct of equity and assessment from July 2015 to June 2018, and served as principal of Lucile Umbarger K-8 School from July 2010 to June 2015. He received his Doctor of Education from the University of Washington in 2015. He has also served on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Skagit County and the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.

Rivera is currently serving as the acting superintendent of Grandview School District. Prior to that he served as the district’s assistant superintendent of teaching and learning from 2017 to 2023, the principal of McClure Elementary School from 2005 to 2017 and assistant principal of McClure Elementary School from 2004 to 2005. He is currently an Educational Doctorate Candidate and is expecting to earn his PhD in June 2023. He has also served on the board for the Extra Mile Student Center and the Yakima Valley Community Foundation.

Darling is currently serving as the deputy superintendent for the Yakima School District. Prior to that he served as the district’s assistant superintendent of teaching and learning from 2019 to 2021, he was an elementary principal in the Selah School District from 2013 to 2019 and has served as an adjunct professor for Seattle Pacific University, CityU of Seattle and Heritage University. He received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2016. He has also served on the Central Washington Equity Leadership Network and as a regional representative on the Washington Association for Bilingual Education.

The three will now move onto the final interview process, which will take place Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 6, 7 and 8. One candidate will interview each day, with Jones interviewing on Tuesday, June 6, Rivera interviewing on Wednesday, June 7 and Darling interviewing on Thursday, June 8. During the process each candidate will spend the day meeting with various groups throughout the district, they will then meet in Executive Session with the board from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. on each night respectively. There will be community meetings each night at 7 p.m. in English and 7:50 p.m. in Spanish at the District Learning Center. The community is invited to come and ask questions. The board is then expected to announce their final selection on Friday, June 9.

Employment Department Announces Weekly Benefit Amounts for Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon
Oregon Employment Department - 06/01/23 10:21 AM


June 1, 2023

Media Contact:


Employment Department Announces Weekly Benefit Amounts for Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon 

Salem, Ore. — Today, the Oregon Employment Department announced the 2023-24 minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts for Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Paid Leave Oregon. Paid Leave Oregon is new and will begin paying benefits in September.

By law, the department calculates the minimum and maximum benefit amounts once a year. These calculations are based on Oregon’s State Average Weekly Wage and are effective from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. The State Average Weekly Wage increased from $1,224.82 to $1,269.69. 

The minimum weekly benefit amount is the lowest amount the program will pay a claimant for each week they claim benefits, and the maximum benefit amount is the most the program will pay, regardless of income. 

2023-24 Unemployment Insurance and Paid Leave Oregon weekly benefit amounts


 Minimum weekly benefit amount

 Maximum weekly benefit amount

Unemployment Insurance



Paid Leave Oregon




Unemployment Insurance
Starting July 2, 2023, the minimum weekly benefit amount for new unemployment insurance claims will go from $183 to $190 per week, and the maximum weekly benefit amount will go from $783 to $813 per week. This increase only affects claims filed July 2, 2023, or later. People who file new unemployment insurance claims before July 2 will continue to receive the same benefit amount.

This is an increase of approximately 3.8%. The minimum weekly benefit amount is 15% of the State Average Weekly Wage, and the maximum is 64%. During the most recent quarter, 11.5% of recipients received the minimum weekly benefit amount, and 24.5% received the maximum. 

For Unemployment Insurance, the weekly benefit amount is usually 1.25% of what a claimant earned during their “base period,” which is roughly the first 12 of the 15 months before the date they filed their claim.

Visit unemployment.oregon.gov to use OED’s UI benefits calculator.

Paid Leave Oregon

For Paid Leave Oregon, the minimum weekly benefit amount is 5% of the State Average Weekly Wage, and the maximum is 120%. When benefits start in September, the minimum weekly benefit amount will be $63.48, and the maximum will be $1,523.63.

Paid Leave Oregon calculates weekly benefit amounts based on how much the employee earns on average in a week and how much leave they take in a week, so the amount is different for every employee. Lower wage earners will generally receive more of their usual wages than higher wage earners.

Paidleave.oregon.gov has fact sheets and guidebooks on its resources page.


Need help? 

The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken-language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503- 947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov

¿Necesita ayuda?

El Departamento de Empleo de Oregon (OED) es una agencia de igualdad de oportunidades. El OED proporciona ayuda gratuita para que usted pueda utilizar nuestros servicios. Algunos ejemplos son intérpretes de lengua de señas e idiomas hablados, materiales escritos en otros idiomas, letra grande, audio y otros formatos. Para obtener ayuda, por favor llame al 503-947-1444. Usuarios de TTY pueden llamar al 711. También puede enviar un correo electrónico a communications@employ.oregon.gov

Attached Media Files: 2023-06/930/163898/Press_Release_2023_Minimum_and_Maximum_Weekly_Benefit_Amounts_SP.pdf , 2023-06/930/163898/Press_Release_2023_Minimum_and_Maximum_Weekly_Benefit_Amounts.pdf

Public invited to dedicate new Walla Walla High School Spirit Bell and Time Capsule
Walla Walla Sch. Dist. - 06/01/23 10:01 AM

Ceremony Details
• Date: Friday, June 2, 2023
• Time: 10:50 to 11:45 a.m. (40 to 45 minute ceremony)
• Location: Walla Walla High School Spirit Bell location (north entrance of 1964 original gym)

Public invited to dedicate new Walla Walla High School Spirit Bell and Time Capsule

WALLA WALLA – It was 42 years ago when staff and students gathered at Walla Walla High School on a chilly January day to dedicate the school’s new spirit bell monument project that was designed and constructed by staff and students. During this historic ceremony in 1981, the students also tucked away a time capsule with items of the day to open sometime in the distant future.

The district invites the community to take part in the sequel to this historic event, Friday, June 2 at 10:50 a.m. on the campus of Walla Walla High School for the dedication of the next generation spirit bell monument. Participants will be installing the 1981 capsule inside the new monument in addition to a new time capsule commemorating recent years’ artifacts and memorabilia.

The original monument was replaced as part of the bond renovations. Contractors did an excellent job carefully dismantling the original spirit bell structure and rebuilt it nearby its original location, consisting of a larger time capsule chamber, new signage, and preserved items from the original high school on Park Street when it was demolished in 1976 to make way for the YMCA. Senior classes, over the last three years during construction, have been collecting memorable items of the day to put into a new time capsule to be preserved for the future. The 1981 time capsule is set to be opened at the Class of 2023 50th reunion.

Retired educator Jerry Cummins, who helped with the project in 1981, will share stories about working with the students four decades ago. The district is also reaching out to Wa-Hi Class of 1981 graduates to help put their time capsule back into the structure alongside students from the Class of 2023.


38 Oregon artists receive Career Opportunity Program grant awards from the Oregon Arts Commission and The Ford Family Foundation (Photo)
Oregon Arts Commission - 06/01/23 9:07 AM
Kelly Williams
Kelly Williams

Salem, Oregon – In the second and final round of FY2023 Career Opportunity Program grant awards, the Oregon Arts Commission and The Ford Family Foundation have awarded $124,156 to 38 artists for career development projects. The awards include $65,233 from the Oregon Arts Commission for all artistic disciplines and $58,923 in supplemental funding for 13 established visual artists through a partnership with The Ford Family Foundation’s Visual Arts Program. Individual grants range from $562 to $9,500. 

Career Opportunity grants support individual Oregon artists by enabling them to take advantage of timely opportunities that enhance their artistic careers. Most grants support the artists’ participation in residencies, exhibitions or performance opportunities.

“This grant program invests in the career growth of talented Oregon artists,” said Arts Commissioner David Harrelson, who led one of two review panels. “That support is a powerful way for artists to become better recognized and enhance their arts resumes.”

The Ford Family Foundation funds are available to established Oregon visual artists who are producing new work in the fields of contemporary art and craft. 

"The Ford Family Foundation values the research and labor of artists to further their careers through training, dedicated work time and new exhibition opportunities,” said Anne C. Kubisch, president of The Ford Family Foundation. “We're thrilled as ever to partner with the Arts Commission to help amplify these efforts.”

FY2023 Career Opportunity Program grant award recipients are:

Linda Austin, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $1,243

To support participation in a residency offered by the Ellis Beauregard Foundation in May.

Zach Banks, Pendleton

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support Banks’ attendance at the Monteux School and Music Festival, an intensive six-week summer training program for conductors and orchestra musicians, from June 18 to July 31.

Judith Baumann, Pendleton

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support an exhibition of new works, and community outreach, at the Pendleton Center for the Arts. The show, curated by Baumann, includes work by three additional artists from Idaho, New Mexico and Oklahoma, including Native Diné artist Marwin Begaye. The exhibition runs June 1-30.

Aleksandr Chernousov, Oregon City

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support post-production editing of Chernousov’s video of the immersive performance-verbatim "We Sell No Gas." The 2022 performance, staged in Portland, centers around immigrants, homelessness and finding a home.

Yoonhee Choi, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

The Ford Family Foundation $6,000

To support a collaboration with Tom Jacobs, manager at Bullseye studio, to translate Choi’s folded drawings and pulp painting into glass artwork and to frame original works for a solo exhibition at PLACE to open in the spring of 2024.

Stephanie Craig, Dayton

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

The Ford Family Foundation $6,500

To support the growth, rebirth, research and education of the Takelma Rogue River and Cow Creek Umpqua style of stick and root weaving used by Craig’s ancestors. Specifically, Craig wants to revive the flat bottom stick and root baby baskets of the Takelma and Cow Creek people.

Shelly Durica-Laiche, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $1,000

To support Durica-Laiche’s participation in a week-long collaborative with 50 artists at Frogwood 2023 in Colton from May 21 to 27. Durica-Laiche’s intention is to shift artistic practice toward fine art by working collectively and creatively with multiple mediums. 

Melanie Flood, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $1,928

The Ford Family Foundation $6,000

To support a solo exhibition of Flood’s work curated by Yaelle S. Amir that will be on display at The Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland from June 13 to Aug. 10, 2024.

Vanessa Fuller, Eugene

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support Fuller's participation in Dana Alexa’s Three6Zero dance and choreography mentorship program in New York City.

Allie Hankins, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $1,700

To support Hankins’ travel to an artist residency in Cork, Ireland.

Emeric Kennard, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $1,800

To support Kennard’s travel, lodging and production costs for participation in the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) June 3-4.

Cedar Lee, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

The Ford Family Foundation $2,000

To support Lee’s one-month artist residency at the Mauser Ecohouse in Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica, in January 2024.

Ellen Lesperance, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $1,500

The Ford Family Foundation $6,000

To support the production of artist’s first monograph, working title “Ellen Lesperance.” The monograph will be designed, published and distributed globally by Black Dog Press, London, in early 2024.

Fuchsia Lin, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support the presentation of Lin’s costume/textile work to be featured in Seattle’s Bumbershoot Art and Music Festival over Labor Day weekend. 

Charlene Liu, Eugene

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

The Ford Family Foundation $7,500

To support the creation of a Liu’s printmaking and sculptural installation project, China Palace, to be exhibited in "Another Beautiful Country: Moving Images by Chinese American Artists" from December through April 2024 at the University of Southern California Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California.

Elizabeth Magee, Eugene

Oregon Arts Commission $562

To support an exhibition of Magee’s paintings at Hanson Howard Gallery in Ashland from May 5 to 30.

Amirra Malak, Hood River

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

The Ford Family Foundation $2,500

To support Malak’s travel to Egypt to study traditional Egyptian Khayamiya appliqué techniques and support the creation of Altared Space, an immersive circular tent installation combining translucent Khayamiya tent panels and video projection of water to create a healing space and inspire water activism.

Elizabeth Malaska, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

The Ford Family Foundation $7,000

To support Malaska’s Betty Bowen Award solo exhibition at The Seattle Art Museum scheduled to run from November through April 2024.

Marianne Monson, Astoria

Oregon Arts Commission $1,000

To support Monson’s attendance at the Historical Novel Society North America Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in June. Monson will be the first Oregon women's history author to present at the annual conference.

Ben Moorad, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support Moorad’s travel to Lebanon to co-lead a summer workshop and give a talk on cross-cultural audio storytelling for artists and media practitioners, as well as the artist’s second season of a new English-language podcast featuring stories of life in Lebanon.

Brenna Murphy, Portland

The Ford Family Foundation $2,500

To support Murphy’s pair of MSHR solo exhibitions in two art spaces in Japan in May and June. MSHR is an art collective established by Brenna Murphy and Birch Cooper in 2011.

Susan Murrell, La Grande

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

The Ford Family Foundation $1,382

To support Murrell’s solo exhibition: SIFT/SHIFT. The site-specific installation will be on display at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington, this summer through fall.

Darlene Pagan, Hillsboro

Oregon Arts Commission $1,300

To support Pagan’s travel to a wildlife refuge in Windhoek, Namibia, to complete a series of creative and pedagogical essays on writing for social justice and to lay the foundation for a course that incorporates creative writing with civic engagement.

Brian Parham, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support Parham’s completion of “Elijah & the Sacred Song,” an original metal musical for children and families. Through his play, Parham hopes to encourage more Black children to play hard rock and metal music, and to create a sense of empowerment that audiences can harness to actively engage in their communities.

Alicia Rabins, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support development, rehearsals and touring of Rabins’ fresh choral-theatrical production offering a contemporary reinterpretation of tales involving women from ancient Jewish mythology. The show, to be performed by the Camas High School Choir along with Oregon-based musicians, will run from September to May 2024.

Valerie Radford Cox, Dallas

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

The Ford Family Foundation $2,500

To support Radford Cox’s travel and participation in the 41st Annual Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C., in May.

Jayanthi Raman, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support Raman’s teaching of nattuvangam, a South Indian form of rhythmic recitation, and to stage a dance performance at a week-long residency program in the U.K.

Michelle Ross, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support Ross’ site-specific painting installation at the Lazy Eye Gallery at Yucca Valley Material Lab in Yucca Valley, California, in October.

Jennifer Rowe, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support Rowe’s studies to earn a certificate from The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in Shakespearian Studies in London.

Sharon Servilio, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $1,700

To support Servilio’s first solo exhibition at a commercial gallery, “Phone Call from the Zone,” at Unit B Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland, from July 8 to 28.

Karen Silve, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

The Ford Family Foundation $7,500

To support Silve’s career growth and work on an international stage, exhibiting alongside word renowned artists in “Personal Structures,” a seven-month exhibition in parallel with “la Biennale di Venezia” in Venice. The exhibitions are presented by the European Cultural Centre.

Ariella Tai, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support Tai’s attendance at the opening of an exhibition that features an installation of Tai’s multi-channel video work titled “safehouse i” at the Pinakothek de Moderne in Munich, Germany. The exhibition will run from late November through March 2024.

Pace Taylor, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support Taylor’s participation in the Don Bachardy Fellowship at the Royal Drawing School in London from April 26 to July 1.

Sophie Traub, Cave Junction

Oregon Arts Commission $1,500

To support Traub’s participation in an artist residency at Ponderosa in Stolzenhagen, Germany, from Oct. 16 to 22. The artist will use this opportunity to focus on performance and movement practice, connect with other artists and develop new work.

Christopher Whyte, Newberg

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support the release, production and distribution costs of Whyte’s new solo percussion album with New Focus Records this summer.

Kelly Williams, Portland

The Ford Family Foundation $1,541

To support Williams’ travel to present at the International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in June. The artist will instruct a curriculum on “Intentional content in context of professional art making.”

Jennifer Wright, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support Wright’s dual large-scale live performances at the New Music Gathering annual conference/festival at Portland State University from July 22 to 24.

Takahiro Yamamoto, Portland

Oregon Arts Commission $2,000

To support Yamamoto’s first presentation of original dance performance, “NOTHINGGBEING,” at the Chocolate Factory Theater in New York City from Oct. 5 to 8.


The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, services, and special initiatives. The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Attached Media Files: Kelly Williams , Brian Parham , Susan Murrell’s “Vis Plastica,” 2022 Watercolor, vinyl, and acrylic paint on paper, colored sand 9’ x 19’ x 5’ Photo credit: Mario Gallucci , Elizabeth Magee’s “Leviathan” Oil on canvas 30” x 24” , Yoonhee Choi , Zach Banks

Wed. 05/31/23
Construction Company Operator Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Payroll Tax Evasion Scheme
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 05/31/23 4:32 PM

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland area construction company operator was sentenced to federal prison today for his role in a multiyear scheme to evade the payment of payroll and income taxes on the wages of construction workers.

Melesio Gomez-Rivera, 49, of Aloha, Oregon, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $29.9 million in restitution to the IRS.

According to court documents, Gomez-Rivera owned and operated a residential construction company called Novatos Construction. From January 2014 until December 2017, Gomez-Rivera and several other construction company owners conspired with each other and David A. Katz, 47, of Tualatin, Oregon, the operator of Check Cash Pacific, Inc., a check cashing business with locations in the Portland area and Vancouver, Washington, to defraud the United States by facilitating under-the-table cash wage payments to construction workers. Their actions, individually and collectively, impeded and obstructed the IRS’s ability to compute, assess, and collect payroll and income taxes due on the cash wages.

To carry out the scheme, Gomez-Rivera and the other company owners cashed or had other individuals cash millions of dollars in payroll checks at various locations of Katz’s check cashing business, used the cash to pay construction workers under-the-table, and filed false business and payroll tax returns. In total, the group cashed approximately $192 million in payroll checks, causing a combined employment and individual income tax loss of $68 million.

On December 2, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a five-count indictment charging Gomez-Rivera, Katz and four other individuals with conspiring with one another to defraud the United States. Katz was additionally charged with four counts of filing false currency transaction reports with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

On March 1, 2023, Gomez-Rivera became the first of the six co-conspirators to plead guilty. All others are awaiting a 10-day jury trial scheduled to begin on December 5, 2023.

This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seth D. Uram and Gavin W. Bruce of the District of Oregon are prosecuting the case.


Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Pacific Power Releases Inaugural Plan to Achieve Net Zero Emissions in Oregon by 2040
Pacific Power - 05/31/23 3:45 PM

The Clean Energy Plan also creates engagement, improves resilience and establishes community enhancement measures

PORTLAND, Ore. (May 31, 2023) – Pacific Power today released plans to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions for all electricity sold to Oregon consumers by 2040, while significantly enhancing customer and community participation in decarbonization efforts. 

The plan, filed with the Oregon Public Utility Commission, provides a roadmap for Pacific Power’s compliance with the clean energy measure (HB 2021) that Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law in 2021. Specifically, the law requires electricity providers to reduce emissions by:​ 

  • 80% below 2010-2012 baseline emissions levels by 2030; 
  • 90% below baseline emissions levels by 2035; and 
  • 100% below baseline emissions levels by 2040. 

“This plan continues our progress on the path to decarbonization,” said Matt McVee, Pacific Power’s vice president for regulatory policy and operations. “We are also working to enhance system resilience and reliability, while exploring and supporting community-based renewable energy projects.”   

Pacific Power also filed its updated integrated resource plan today, advancing its trajectory toward net-zero emissions, calling for nearly four times the company’s current wind and solar resources. The plan also continues investments in innovative emissions-free technologies, including advanced nuclear and non-emitting peaking resources that meet high-demand energy needs. 

Additionally, the company is at the forefront of driving innovation through grid development and market expansion which provides access to a diverse array of non-emitting resources throughout the West to ensure reliability and keep costs affordable for customers.  

Pacific Power’s Clean Energy Plan outlines the company’s transition to renewable and non-carbon-emitting resources in Oregon, and it ensures those milestones are achieved equitably among its customers and communities.  The plan meets Oregon’s near-term goals by limiting thermal resources that serve the state and seeking to increase Oregon’s share of non-emitting resources to serve the state’s growing energy needs. 

The plan advances the following goals: 

Engagement Opportunities. Pacific Power has developed a series of public engagement meetings in four main areas related to the Clean Energy Plan that include long-term resource planning, community benefits and impacts, Tribal Nations engagement and local distribution system planning. Interested parties can track meeting opportunities, participant input and company responses and other related material on dedicated Clean Energy Plan and Tribal Nations Engagement web pages.  

Community Benefit Indicators (CBIs). The plan lays out a series of measurements to track the company’s performance in five main areas: system and community resilience; health and community well-being; environmental impacts; energy equity; and economic impacts.  

Resilience. The plan includes two interim metrics for system resilience – one to measure efforts to reduce the frequency and duration of energy outages and another focused specifically on improving resilience for vulnerable communities.  

Community-Based Renewable Energy (CBRE).  As part of the plan, Pacific Power will pursue small-scale renewable energy projects that can be combined with microgrids, storage systems, demand response measures or other energy-related infrastructure that promotes climate resilience.  

Path to net-zero. Pacific Power is on track to meet Oregon’s requirement to achieve emissions reductions 80% below baseline levels by 2030 through existing long-term resource plans. Over the next 20 years, Pacific Power plans to add more than 9,000 megawatts of new wind generation, about 8,000 megawatts of solar and 8,000 megawatts of energy storage, along with other non-emitting resources. The Clean Energy Plan identifies gaps between Oregon’s requirements after 2030 and the company’s existing resource plan’s trajectory to reach 100% emissions reductions. To address these gaps, the plan outlines two potential paths to meet the 2040 requirement by ensuring non-emitting resources are used to meet anticipated energy demand growth in Oregon after 2030, while acknowledging that advances in technology will be needed to meet the post-2030 requirements.  

Oregon law also requires that small-scale renewable projects no larger than 20 megawatts make up 10% of the energy supply for Oregon customers by 2030.  Pacific Power expects to issue separate Requests for Proposal for utility-scale and small-scale renewable projects to fulfill this requirement. 

Pacific Power will be holding a public informational meeting on June 23 to further discuss the proposed plan with members of the commission and the public. For more information you can access the Clean Energy Plan on Pacific Power’s website. 

About Pacific Power  

Pacific Power provides safe and reliable electric service to 800,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. The company supplies customers with electricity from a diverse portfolio of generating plants including hydroelectric, thermal, wind, geothermal and solar resources. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 2 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.

Visit the National Touring Exhibition So Ready for Laughter: The Legacy of Bob Hope at the Oregon Historical Society Now Through August 18 (Photo)
Oregon Historical Society - 05/31/23 2:58 PM
Courtesy The National WWII Museum
Courtesy The National WWII Museum

Portland, OR — May 31, 2023 — Bob Hope elicited laughs across all media: through radio waves, on the stage, and on the screen, in both television and film. But none of them mattered more than the humor he injected into American camps across the globe during World War II as the Allies struggled to save the world for democracy. 

Using multimedia elements and captivating storytelling — including objects, films, rare photographs, and an interactive display — So Ready for Laughter: The Legacy of Bob Hope highlights how Hope helped lift the human spirit during one of the darkest times in American history. This national touring exhibition is on loan from The National WWII Museum and is on display at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, now through August 18, 2023.

Bob Hope came to the United States as an immigrant with his family in the early 1920s, initially working as a newsboy, butcher’s assistant, shoe salesman, and amateur boxer. Hope went on to eventually shape his art on the vaudeville stage, and by the start of World War II, he was just emerging as one of America’s most popular radio and film stars. When the nation went to war in 1941, Hollywood recognized the need for contributions and responded by entertaining troops, raising funds, and boosting morale. Hope’s work quickly took on new meaning when he took his wartime programs on the road to military camps and bases across the country, inspiring other entertainers to join him.

Exploring Hope’s major tours and travels during World War II, So Ready for Laughter features nearly fifty objects and also includes an original 11-minute documentary produced by award-winning filmmaker John Scheinfeld. Highlights include rare and unpublished photographs of Hope, wartime correspondence between Hope and servicemembers, WWII-era objects engraved to Hope, videos of his traveling wartime troupe, and Hollywood Victory Caravan programs and scrapbooks. Supported by national tour exhibit sponsor the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, So Ready for Laughter: The Legacy of Bob Hope tells the story of the entertainer’s unique place in World War II history and beyond.

The Oregon Historical Society’s museum is open seven days a week, Monday–Saturday 10am–5pm and Sunday 12pm–5pm. Admission is $10, with discounts for students, seniors, teachers, and youth. Admission is free every day for OHS members and Multnomah County residents. Learn more and plan your visit at ohs.org/visit.

About the Oregon Historical Society

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of objects, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms, educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon’s history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon’s cannot be contained within a single story or point of view. 

About the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation

The Bob Hope Legacy honors and preserves the “Spirit of Bob Hope,” underscoring his career as a world class entertainer, comedian, patriot, and humanitarian. The broader Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, which supports the Bob Hope Legacy, was established to provide for and assure the continuation of the philanthropic ideals of Bob and Dolores Hope.

About The National WWII Museum

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world — why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today — so that future generations will know the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front.

Attached Media Files: Courtesy The National WWII Museum , Courtesy The National WWII Museum

SAIF promotes Scott Clark to regional operations director for Central and Eastern Oregon (Photo)
SAIF - 05/31/23 1:57 PM
Scott Clark, regional operations director
Scott Clark, regional operations director

Scott Clark is the new regional operations director for SAIF’s Central and Eastern regions. Clark previously served as a senior safety management consultant, manager of SAIF’s safety innovation program, and technical adviser to the safety division.

“Scott’s experience in safety and health, genuine appreciation and support of our employees, and drive to continually improve how we serve our customers are just a few of the many reasons Scott is a perfect fit for this role,” said Christine Vrontakis, vice president of policyholder services at SAIF.

Clark began his new role after the retirement of Mike Elliott. Elliott retired after 30 years with SAIF.

Clark has nearly 30 years of experience in workers’ compensation. Born and raised in Maine, he graduated with a degree in occupational safety and health from Keene State College in New Hampshire. His career spans both insurance carrier and insurance agency roles. Clark has lived in Bend since 2001 and spends his free time enjoying the great outdoors of central and eastern Oregon with his wife and two sons.  

About SAIF

SAIF is Oregon's not-for-profit workers' compensation insurance company. Since 1914, we've been taking care of injured workers, helping people get back to work, and striving to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work. For more information, visit the About SAIF page on saif.com.

Attached Media Files: Scott Clark, regional operations director

Hospitals' Community Benefit Investment Increases Despite Financial Headwinds
Oregon Assn. of Hosp. and Health Systems (OAHHS) - 05/31/23 12:38 PM

Lake Oswego, Ore. – May 31, 2023 – Despite the financial havoc wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, including sharply rising costs and stagnant revenue, Oregon hospitals’ total community benefit spending grew by $225 million in 2021 to $1.97 billion, a 12.9% increase over 2020 and the largest percentage increase since 2016.

The fiscal year 2021 community benefit data, recently released by Apprise Health Insights, shows that this growth in community investments continues a trend. Since 2016, hospitals have increased spending by more than 48%, providing care for which they are not reimbursed and supporting their communities to improve health and well-being.

“We are proud of the many ways in which Oregon’s hospitals support the health and well-being of their communities,” said Becky Hultberg, OAHHS president and CEO. “Community benefit is just one way that hospitals make a difference in people’s lives, and it is help that is needed now more than ever.”

Other key findings include:

• Oregon’s hospitals are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the communities they serve. In 2021, they spent $426 million on programs to address the root causes of poverty and homelessness, prevent child abuse and support parents, promote healthy eating and physical activity, among others.

• In recent years charity care has been growing steadily despite Oregon having one of the highest percentages of residents with health insurance coverage at 95%. In 2021, hospitals provided $292 million in charity care, a 4.7% increase over 2020.

• In 2021, hospitals’ unreimbursed Medicaid costs--nearly $1 billion--made up 51% of their total community benefit spending. The state’s insurance program, the Oregon Health Plan, does not cover the full cost of caring for patients.

The report is attached. 



Founded in 1934, the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) is a mission-driven, nonprofit trade association representing Oregon’s 62 hospitals. Together, hospitals are the sixth largest private employer statewide, employing more than 70,000 employees. Committed to fostering a stronger, safer Oregon with equitable access to quality health care, OAHHS provides services to Oregon’s hospitals ensuring all are able to deliver dependable, comprehensive health care to their communities; educates government officials and the public on the state’s health landscape and works collaboratively with policymakers, community based organizations and the health care community to build consensus on and advance health care policy benefiting the state’s 4 million residents.

Attached Media Files: 2023-05/1635/163871/CommunityBenefit_FINAL_(1).pdf

Spokane Man Sentenced to 17 Years for Receipt of Child Pornography While on Federal Supervision
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 05/31/23 12:28 PM

Spokane, WA – On May 30, 2023, U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rossana Malouf Peterson sentenced Christopher Gary Carlson, 50, of Spokane, Washington, to 180 months in federal prison for Receipt of Child Pornography, followed by an additional 24 months in prison for violating a previously imposed term of supervised release. Judge Peterson also ordered Carlson to pay $24,000 in restitution to his victims and to a lifetime of federal supervision upon release from prison.

According to information disclosed in court proceedings, this was Carlson’s third time being sentenced for child pornography crimes. His first conviction was in 2007, for which he was ordered to serve 12 months and a day in a state prison. His second child pornography conviction was in 2014, for which Judge Peterson sentenced Carlson to 10 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release. Undeterred by these prior terms of incarceration, Carlson used a smartphone to download and view child pornography just a month after his recent release from federal prison. The smartphone was discovered in July 2022, when a U.S. Probation Officer conducted a home visit at Carlson’s residence. When the FBI obtained a federal warrant to search the phone, FBI agents located 198 images and 63 videos of child pornography on Carlson’s device. 

“Today’s 17-year sentence sends a powerful reminder to Mr. Carlson and others like him: Crimes that exploit the most vulnerable among us cannot, and will not, be tolerated,” stated United States Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref. “Time and again, Mr. Carlson returned to the internet to view and collect depictions of a child’s most horrific experiences. Yet, just as swiftly as Mr. Carlson collected these images and videos depicting this incredible harm, U.S. Probation and the FBI responded, preventing Mr. Carlson from victimizing hundreds if not thousands more minor children.” 

United States Attorney Waldref continued, “As a result of the seamless partnership between the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office, Mr. Carlson was again brought to justice, and our communities are safer and stronger, especially for young children. I’m especially grateful for the incredible work by Assistant United States Attorney Ann Wick. Cases such as this demonstrate AUSA Wick’s relentless dedication to pursuing justice.” 

This case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Ann T. Wick, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. 


Spokane Resident Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently Obtaining More than $360,000 in COVID-19 Relief Funding
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 05/31/23 12:27 PM

Spokane, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Marisa Beck, age 40, of Spokane, pled guilty to fraudulently obtaining more than $360,000 in COVID-19 relief funding intended for endangered small businesses.  United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke accepted Ms. Beck’s guilty plea and set sentencing for September 27, 2023, at 11 a.m., in Spokane.  This conviction is the eighth felony conviction announced by the Eastern Washington COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force, which launched in 2022.   

On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  The CARES Act provided a number of programs through which eligible small businesses could request and obtain relief funding intended to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic for small and local businesses. One such program, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), provided forgivable loans to eligible small businesses to retain jobs and maintain payroll during the pandemic.  Another program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, provided low-interest bridge funding for small businesses placed at risk during the pandemic. 

“COVID-19 relief programs quickly ran out of money due to the number of businesses that requested funding, meaning that struggling, deserving small businesses were not able to obtain critically needed funding to keep their businesses afloat during the shutdowns and disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref.  “We created the Eastern Washington COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force because it is critical to the strength and safety of our communities that we all work together to combat pandemic-related fraud and bring much-needed accountability to these programs.  The Strike Force works to ensure that limited resources are used to protect our local small businesses and the critical jobs and services that they provide for the community.” 

In February 2022, U.S. Attorney Waldref and the U.S. Attorney’s Office began working with federal law enforcement agencies to create and launch a COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force that would leverage partnerships between different agencies to aggressively investigate and prosecute fraud against COVID-19 relief programs in Eastern Washington. The Strike Force consists of agency representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General (OIG), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs OIG, General Services Administration OIG, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Energy OIG, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) OIG, Department of Labor OIG, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and others. Cases investigated and prosecuted by the Strike Force have resulted in numerous indictments and convictions, and have recovered millions of dollars in penalties and restitution for the public. 

In the plea agreement accepted by the court, and in information disclosed during court proceedings, Ms. Beck admitted to fraudulently obtaining $368,829 in PPP and EIDL funding for three purported businesses: Cyra Solar LLC, Beck N’ Call Landscape, LLC, and Value in People Consulting, LLC. Ms. Beck admitted that these entities were not eligible for CARES Act funding because Beck N’ Call Landscape and Cyra Solar were not active businesses as of February 2020, and because she submitted false and fraudulent payroll, revenue, and other information associated with the three purported businesses in order to fraudulently obtain CARES Act funding. 

“I commend the stellar investigative work on these cases performed by the Strike Force and especially in this case by VA OIG,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref.  “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to strengthen our communities by protecting our small and local businesses.” 

The charges to which Beck pled carries a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in federal prison.  The cases were investigated by the Eastern Washington COVID Fraud Strike Force, and in particular by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Spokane Resident Office, with investigative assistance and support from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Spokane Resident Agency, the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General, Western Regional Office, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigative Division, Seattle Field Office.  Assistant United States Attorneys Dan Fruchter and Tyler H.L. Tornabene are prosecuting this case on behalf of the United States.  

Case No. 2:23-cr-00055-MKD

President's Investing in America agenda to invest $10 million in restoration work in Oregon (with fact sheets)
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 05/31/23 12:26 PM

Portland, Oregon – As part of the President’s Investing in America agenda, the Bureau of Land Management will invest $10 million from the Inflation Reduction Act to increase fire resiliency and protect native vegetation on public lands in Oregon. This funding will be focused in two landscape areas called the Southwest Oregon and Southeast Oregon Sagebrush Restoration Landscape Areas.

This funding is part of the BLM’s announcement to invest $161 million in ecosystem restoration and resilience on the nation’s public lands. The work will focus on 21 “Restoration Landscapes” across 11 western states, restoring wildlife habitat and clean water on public lands and strengthening communities and local economies.

These investments follow the release of the Department’s restoration and resilience framework to leverage historic investments in climate and conservation to achieve landscape-level outcomes across the nation. The Department is implementing more than $2 billion in investments to restore our nation’s lands and waters, which in turn is helping to meet the conservation goals set through the America the Beautiful initiative. 

“From the forest watersheds of southwest Oregon to the sagebrush sea of southeast Oregon, many of our public lands are in need of significant restoration," said Barry Bushue, OR/WA BLM State Director. “Focusing on these specific landscapes is a step toward that restoration. This generational legislation will help us reduce fuels and better protect our communities and public lands from the increasing threat of wildfire. It will also help us restore habitat for declining, vital species—like the coho salmon our Tribal partners have depended on for thousands of years and the greater Sage-grouse whose status as a keystone species helps indicate healthy sagebrush habitat.”

Like many forest watersheds, over time the timberland of the Southwest Oregon Landscape Restoration Area has been greatly simplified and stream channels degraded, with fish and other aquatic life declining as a result. Restoration here will focus on the threatened Oregon Coast coho salmon, using aquatic and upland restoration projects also supporting the recovery of other fish, amphibians, birds, and plants.  Projects will build wildland urban interface forest resilience.

Conservation of habitat for greater sage-grouse is the priority for the Southeast Oregon Sagebrush Restoration landscape. Planting sagebrush, treating invasive or encroaching vegetation, promoting growth of native vegetation, and creating fuel breaks in uplands will restore habitat for hundreds of species. Restoration in the Warner sub-basin will focus on aquatic systems that the threatened Warner sucker and Lahontan cutthroat trout require. Restoring floodplains and riparian areas and improving instream habitat also enhance the value of the Warner wetlands as a migratory bird flyway.

Efforts in these restoration landscapes will improve the health of public lands that are being significantly degraded by invasive species, unprecedented wildfire events, unregulated use, and climate change. With these investments, landscapes will be better able to provide clean water, habitat for fish and wildlife, opportunities for recreation, and will be more resilient to wildfire and drought.  

Resilient public lands are critical to the BLM’s ability to manage for multiple use and sustained yield. Once-in-a-generation funding from the Inflation Reduction Act will be directed to landscapes where concentrated, strategic investment through partnership can make the most difference for communities and public resources under the BLM’s management.

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, investing in nature-based solutions, and driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States, to creating good paying jobs and building a clean energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient. The funding announced today complements the almost $11 million of funding these areas have received from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

Learn more about the BLM’s restoration landscapes at BLM’s StoryMap


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.


Attached Media Files: Fact sheet Southwest Oregon , Fact sheet Southeast Oregon

State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation meets June 15 and 16 in Burns
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 05/31/23 10:58 AM

Burns, Ore. – The State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP) will meet June 15 and 16 in-person at the Central Hotel, 171 N Broadway Ave # A, Burns, Oregon 97720, to consider nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. The SACHP meeting is open to the public. 

Thursday’s meeting agenda includes guided site visits, presentations, and a hearing of a petition for delisting a National Register property.

Friday’s meeting agenda includes hearings of three proposed nominations. 

The guided site visits on Thursday will begin at 9:00 a.m and the business meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. Friday’s business meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. Anyone may listen to the meeting and instructions on how to attend electronically will be posted on the commission web page prior to the meeting. Registration is required to speak at the meeting, and is available online at https://www.oregon.gov/oprd/OH/Pages/Commissions.aspx#SACHP 

On Thursday, the committee will review one delisting petition for the Sumpter Valley Railway, Middle Fork (John Day River) Spur, Grant County. On Friday, the committee will review three proposed nominations beginning at 9:00 a.m.: J. J. and Hazel Parker House, Portland, Multnomah County; Springfield High School, Springfield, Lane County; Cahill-Nordstrom Farm, Clatskanie vcty., Clatsop County.

For specific hearing times, refer to the online agenda: www.oregonheritage.org (click on “Commissions & Committees” at top of page and look under “State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation”).

The SACHP is a nine-member governor-appointed citizen commission with credentials in many historic preservation-related fields. 

Nominations recommended by the SACHP go to the National Park Service, which maintains the Register under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

This effort aligns with the Oregon Historic Preservation Plan goal to increase the thematic diversity of Oregon properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It also supports the goals to include more voices and increase access to Oregon heritage that are part of the Oregon Heritage Plan

The conference call is accessible to people with disabilities. Special accommodations for the meeting may be made with at least three days of advance notice by calling (503) 986-0690. 

More information about the National Register of Historic Places process is online at www.oregonheritage.org.


Corvallis Sex Offender Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Attempted Online Enticement of a Child
U.S. Attorney's Office - District of Oregon - 05/31/23 9:59 AM

PORTLAND, Ore.—On May 30, 2023, a previously convicted sex offender residing in Corvallis, Oregon was sentenced to federal prison for attempting to entice a minor online and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Thomas Anthony Lanier, 24, a resident of Corvallis, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison and a life term of supervised release.

According to court documents, in November 2019, Lanier, a convicted sex offender since he was 18, was charged in Sunnyside, Washington with second degree kidnapping and domestic violence after he tried to kidnap the one-year-old child of a woman he met online. Lanier is alleged to have grabbed the infant while the child’s mother was in the shower. When the woman ran outside and yelled for help, Lanier wrapped his arm around her neck and threated to kill her. Lanier was later released pending trial in Yakima County Superior Court.

In June 2020, Lanier met a Keizer, Oregon, woman online. Lanier pressured the woman to solicit babysitting jobs on Craigslist so he could have access to children. Lanier later expressed his desire to have sex with the woman’s 12-year-old cousin who he had seen in a photo. After these exchanges, the woman reported Lanier to law enforcement.

On July 9, 2020, at the direction of a police detective from the Salem Police Department, the woman gave Lanier the address of a house in Salem, Oregon where she claimed her minor cousin lived. The house was, in fact, vacant and owned by the City of Salem. Lanier planned to meet the woman and her cousin at the residence, purchase alcohol with them, and engage in sexual activity with both of them. When Lanier arrived at the house, he was met by law enforcement and arrested.

On July 8, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a four-count indictment charging Lanier with attempting to entice a minor online, accessing with intent to view child pornography, illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and committing a felony offense involving a minor as a registered sex offender.

On January 5, 2023, Lanier pleaded guilty to attempting to entice a minor online and illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Keizer and Salem Police Departments. It was prosecuted by Gary Y. Sussman, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.


Attached Media Files: PDF Release

Update- Statistics -Memorial Day Travel advisory (Photo)
Oregon State Police - 05/31/23 8:38 AM

Here are the statistics from OSP’s 2023 Memorial Day Weekend (Friday, May 26 to Monday, May 29, 2023)­ that occurred across Oregon.   This includes the Friday, “All Patrol Day”. Where all sworn members travel the highways to increase our patrol presence during the busy weekend.

The Oregon State Police has a wide range of programs and specialties our sworn ranks are in charge of, such as major crimes, tribal gaming, lottery security, arson, collision reconstruction, fish & wildlife, explosives, K-9, aviation, and more. OSP leadership makes it a priority that at the end of the day, all sworn to stay in tune and up to date with why the Oregon State Police was founded to keep our highways safe.

Calls for Services – 2,417  
Reported Crashes- 210 
Routine Contacts- 4,180

Total number of warnings/citations for OSP’s Fatal 5
Speed- 2,415 
Occupant Safety- 195
Lane Safety- 525 
Impaired Driving- 25 
Distracted Driving- 69 
All Other- 2,570

This Memorial Day Weekend, whether you are headed to the beach, camping, visiting family, or just commuting to work, remember highways are going to be filled with people doing the same. No matter what your plans are on this Memorial Day weekend, we can guarantee that there will be a rise in the number of cars on Oregon’s highways.

The Oregon State Police takes these historically high-traffic weekends to have what we call an “All Patrol Day”. All Patrol Day for OSP is the day that all sworn members travel the highways to increase our patrol presence during these busy weekends.

The Oregon State Police has a wide range of programs and specialties our sworn ranks are in charge of, such as major crimes, tribal gaming, lottery security, arson, collision reconstruction, fish & wildlife, explosives, K-9, aviation, and more. OSP leadership makes it a priority that at the end of the day, all sworn members need to stay in tune and up-to-date with why the Oregon State Police was founded to keep our highways safe.

OSP is one of many Law Enforcement agencies that will be out in force trying to ensure that all travelers are getting to their destination safely.  

We want everyone to be safe when they are traveling, so we suggest that you follow these simple tips.  Please, plan ahead, be prepared, and above all else be patient.

- Timing your departure can make all the difference. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination without getting frustrated when heavy traffic puts a pause on your travels.

- Know your routes and options if you come across detours or construction. OSP likes to encourage all drivers in Oregon to use the Oregon Department of Transportation www.tripcheck.com.

- Ensure your vehicle is properly equipped and in good working order to avoid maintenance emergencies

- If you are traveling with children, have something to keep them occupied. Games, snacks, and pillows for sleeping will not only keep them occupied, but they will keep your attention where it is needed, on the road.

Oregon State Troopers will be focusing on maintaining the flow of traffic as well as enforcing all traffic laws but especially the Fatal 5. These 5 major categories of driving behaviors contribute to most fatal or serious injury crashes.


If you will be one of the many traveling this weekend, remember that OSP will be out in force. 

Drive safe!

Additional Safety Messaging in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation. The month of May highlights many national transportation safety messages. The big takeaway from all the campaigns is to drive, bike, and ride thoughtfully. Watch out for fellow road users and our maintenance and construction crews. Remember to slow down and move over to give our emergency responders space to safely do their jobs.  

Attached Media Files: 2023-05/1002/163754/My_Post-1.png , Memorial Day Stats

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission to meet June 13 and 14
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 05/31/23 6:05 AM

REDMOND, Ore — The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission will convene June 13 and 14 in Redmond, Oregon for their third meeting of the year. 

On June 13, commissioners will convene a work session from 1 to 3 p.m. at Sleep Inn & Suites, 1847 NW 6th St, Redmond to learn about ocean shore driving policy and property disposition.

On June 14, commissioners will meet in executive session at 8:30 a.m. at Sleep Inn & Suites, 1847 NW 6th St, Redmond, to discuss real estate and legal issues. Executive sessions are closed to the public. A business meeting will begin at 9:45 a.m. and will be open to the public.

Anyone may attend or listen to the business meeting; instructions on how to listen will be posted on the commission web page prior to the meeting. The business meeting includes time for informal public comment related to any items not on the agenda. Registration is required to speak at the meeting if attending online, and is available online at bit.ly/registerjune2023commission. The deadline to register to speak at the meeting virtually is 5 p.m., June 12. No advance registration is required to speak in person at the meeting. Time per speaker is limited to three minutes. Please submit written public comments by 5 p.m. June 12 to is.havel@oprd.oregon.gov">chris.havel@oprd.oregon.gov

The full agenda and supporting documents are posted on the commission web page. Notable requests: 

Anyone needing special accommodations to attend the meeting should contact Denise Warburton, commission assistant, at least three days in advance: burton@oprd.oregon.gov">denise.warburton@oprd.oregon.gov or 503-779-9729. 

The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission promotes outdoor recreation and heritage by establishing policies, adopting rules and setting the budget for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The seven members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. They serve four-year terms and meet several times a year at locations across the state. 

Tue. 05/30/23
The Oregon National Guard assist Centennial High School with construction on new athletic field (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 05/30/23 2:30 PM

GRESHAM, Ore. – Over two dozen members of the Oregon Army National Guard’s 1249th Engineer Battalion concluded two weeks of community construction while providing equipment and manpower for a new athletic field and other renovations at Centennial High School, from May 15-26, 2023.

The long overdue upgrades to the old domed-style football field are part of the Army National Guard’s Innovative Readiness Training (IRT), which provides incidental benefits to local communities through infrastructure construction and maintenance improvements.

The 1249th Engineer Battalion, headquartered in Salem, Oregon, provided equipment and construction-skilled Soldiers and worked for 10 days to remove the existing soil while facilitating the ground for a new 21st-century mixed-use athletic field. The official groundbreaking took place on May 12, with several school district members, teachers and students, along with project service providers on hand.

“Here we are today, breaking ground on phase one of this project,” said Centennial School District Superintendent James Owens during remarks at the ceremony. “There will be roughly 8,500 yards of soil that will be removed, and I want to thank the Oregon Army National Guard for their support – and thanks to them, we will have the dirt removed at a minor cost to the [school] district.”

Centennial High School is one of the last schools in their region that does not have an all-weather turf field. This is the initial phase of construction that will improve the entire stadium, which includes seating and bathroom improvements to the stadium, along with seismic and safety upgrades, and finally resurfacing the track and field facilities.

“These upgrades are exciting and as many of you know, long overdue. Centennial High School field and stadium has been in need of improvements for many years,” Owens said. “The wear on the grass field during high peak sports seasons decreases the opportunity for field use purposes, such as P.E. classes, and other athletic sport uses. This is a real disadvantage to our student-athletes who have to compete against other athletes that play on turf fields.”

This is where the IRT program is vital to communities looking to make every dollar count when it comes to funding, but also looking to partner with resources that the National Guard can assist with.

"After the last few years of emergency response roles within the community, we are so grateful to also provide this type of assistance to our community,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Sagen, 1249th Engineer Battalion Commander. “These soldiers are Oregon's own and anytime we can engage with the community, work together on projects like these, and leave a lasting impact – then that's a good day."

The National Guard covered the cost of the project, with an estimated saving to the school district of more than $100,000. The Guard members are highly trained heavy equipment operators, similar to many civilian skilled jobs, and a majority of the 28 Soldiers who worked on the project serve part-time in the military, employed in construction trade fields throughout Oregon.

“Almost all of the soldiers working on this project are traditional members of the National Guard,” said Maj. Raymond Jones, 1249th Engineer Battalion (S-3) Operations Officer for the project. “They are so happy that they get to do this because this is what they signed up for, and they’re having a lot of fun just operating the heavy equipment and moving dirt around.”

To make way for the new all-weather turf, the Soldiers were responsible for removing the 8,500 cubic yards of dirt, rock, grass, and material from the infield of the track. With excavators, graders, and front-end loaders working throughout the field, as their 5-ton Medium Tactical Vehicles (MTV) were frequently being loaded, relocating the materials as the project neared completion. The material to be removed is being taken to a commercial site, less than a mile from the stadium area and will be reused.

“We have several different MOSs (Military Occupational Skill) on-site, but a majority are our “12 November’s” – that’s the heavy equipment operators, they are using a variety of vehicles that are organic to the 224th Engineer Company,” Jones said. “To this point, all our equipment has been running superbly.”

Part of the challenge is working alongside their civilian counterparts on this project, who are tackling other parts of the stadium with structural upgrades and supporting the Guardsmen.

“They have been really accommodating for the items we need to get the project done, and really – just letting us do the project,” Jones said. “One of the really neat things about this project is that this is something that is making a mark on this community, and they know they are making a difference with their efforts,” Jones said.



Story link and additional still images: https://dvidshub.net/r/dklpyo

Video B-Roll package: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/885065/oregon-national-guard-assist-with-construction-athletic-field-centennial-high-school

Released photos:

230523-Z-CH590-0128: Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 1249th Engineer Battalion work with excavators, graders and front-end loaders to relocating the over 8,500 cubic yards of soil, rocks and grass from the Centennial High School football field during their two-weeks of Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) on May 23, 2023. The project began with a formal groundbreaking event on May 12, and concluded on May 26, 2023. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230523-Z-CH590-0020: Members of the Centennial School District, teachers, students, construction contractors and other vested partners take part in the formal groundbreaking ceremony on the High School’s grass football field, Gresham, Oregon on May 12, 2023. The Oregon Army National Guard are supporting the project with Innovative Readiness Training (IRT), which provides incidental benefits to local communities through infrastructure construction and maintenance improvements. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230523-Z-CH590-0295: Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 1249th Engineer Battalion work with excavators, graders and front-end loaders to relocating the over 8,500 cubic yards of soil, rocks and grass from the Centennial High School football field during their two-weeks of Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) on May 23, 2023. The project began with a formal groundbreaking event on May 12, and concluded on May 26, 2023. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230523-Z-CH590-0155: Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 1249th Engineer Battalion work with excavators, graders and front-end loaders to load their 5-ton Medium Tactical Vehicles (MTV) as they relocate over 8,500 cubic yards of soil, rocks and from the Centennial High School football field during their two-weeks of Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) on May 23, 2023. The project began with a formal groundbreaking event on May 12, and concluded on May 26, 2023. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230523-Z-CH590-0074: Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 1249th Engineer Battalion work with excavators, graders and front-end loaders to load their 5-ton Medium Tactical Vehicles (MTV) as they relocate over 8,500 cubic yards of soil, rocks and from the Centennial High School football field during their two-weeks of Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) on May 23, 2023. The project began with a formal groundbreaking event on May 12, and concluded on May 26, 2023. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Attached Media Files: 2023-05/962/163838/230523-Z-CH590-0074.jpg , 2023-05/962/163838/230523-Z-CH590-0155.jpg , 2023-05/962/163838/230523-Z-CH590-0295.jpg , 2023-05/962/163838/230512-Z-CH590-0020.jpg , 2023-05/962/163838/230523-Z-CH590-0128.jpg

Outdoor debris burning closed as of June 1st in the Bend area
Bend Fire & Rescue - 05/30/23 2:27 PM

Outdoor debris burning closed as of June 1st in the Bend area

Bend Fire Department, in conjunction with the Central Oregon Fire Chiefs Association (COFCA), announces the date of closing of open debris burning. Starting June 1st, debris will be closed for fire season. Outdoor debris burning in the city limits of Bend is closed year-round by City of Bend Ordinance. 

Backyard fires which include warming fires, campfires and cooking fires are typically allowed year-round within the City of Bend and Rural Fire District #2 that surrounds the City, when used within the guidelines set forth in the Bend Fire Department Burning Regulations. Additional restrictions on campfires can be placed during the hottest parts of summer to help reduce the risk of fire further. Check the restrictions every time you burn by calling our burn information line at 541-322-6335. 

Burn Regulations available online at www.bendoregon.gov/burninginfo

For everyone living in Central Oregon, be sure your home has good defensible space around it to help protect your home from the threat of wildfire. More information about creating defensible space and preparing for the upcoming fire season can be found on our website at www.ownyourzonebend.org.

As a reminder to all Central Oregon residents, be advised that regulations may vary between fire protection jurisdictions.  Please contact your local, state or federal fire agency for specific requirements and closures. The local fire danger level was moved to Moderate on 5/25/23. 

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Once-In-A-Generation Funding to Restore Landscapes Across the West
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 05/30/23 1:32 PM

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, May 31, Bureau of Land Management leaders will host a press conference to announce a planned infusion of significant federal dollars for ecosystem restoration and resilience on the nation’s public lands.

The work is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s Investing in America agenda and will help address the unprecedented challenges facing our public lands, exacerbated by the climate crisis.



Tracy Stone-Manning, BLM Director

Doug Vilsack, BLM Colorado State Director

Tomer Hasson, BLM Senior Policy Advisor


WHAT: Press call announcing planned funding for federal lands restoration and resilience initiatives as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s investing in America agenda


WHEN: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 1:45 PM ET


RSVP: Credentialed members of the media interested in joining, click here at above date and time.





The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Fatal Crash- HWY 62 - Jackson County
Oregon State Police - 05/30/23 11:24 AM

On Saturday, May 27, 2023, at approximately 5:04 P.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a two vehicle crash on Hwy 62, near milepost 17, in Jackson County.


The preliminary investigation indicated a silver Subaru WRX, operated by Corey Hanley (26) of Central Point, was traveling westbound when it lost control and swerved into the eastbound lane colliding with a white Subaru Crosstrek, operated by Barbara Badger (80) of Shady Cove. 


The operator of the Subaru (Hanley) was transported to the hospital, where he was later declared deceased. 


The operator of the Crosstrek (Badger) was transported to the hospital as a precaution. 


The highway was impacted for approximately 2 hours while the on-scene investigation was conducted.


OSP was assisted by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Jackson County Fire, and ODOT.

College Place Public Schools to Offer Free Summer Meals
College Place Sch. Dist. - 05/30/23 11:00 AM

College Place Public Schools will provide summer lunch service Monday-Thursday June 26-July 27 (no service July 4) to children 18 years and younger.  All meals must be picked up by the child and consumed onsite.  Davis Elementary Service: 11:45-12:00, Sager/College Place High School: 12:00-12:15

Prepare for wildfire season by having an evacuation plan (Photo)
Oregon Department of Emergency Management - 05/30/23 10:48 AM

Salem, Ore. – May 30, 2023 – To close out Wildfire Awareness Month, the Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM) is urging everyone to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season by having an evacuation plan.

OEM has information and resources to help Oregonians plan for what to do before, during and after a wildfire to keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe. Taking simple steps to prepare today can make a big difference in being ready when an evacuation occurs.

Stay Informed

Sign up for emergency alerts to be notified when there is an evacuation. Visit ORAlert.gov to find the local alert system by city, county or zip code. People who are already registered to receive alerts should log in and confirm their contact information is updated. Also, check phone settings to ensure that wireless emergency alerts are turned on.

People should become familiar with their county emergency management website and know where to find local emergency information. Those who use social media are encouraged to follow local emergency services in their area such as the county, city, sheriff’s office and fire agency profiles.

Have a Plan

Being prepared starts with having a plan. OEM offers an evacuation checklist that can be used as a guide. Establish a communication plan with a list of important contacts and a safe place for loved ones to meet if they are separated during an emergency. Identify multiple evacuation routes from home, work or school and plan for transportation needs. Discuss the plan with loved ones, friends and neighbors and practice it so everyone knows what to do during an emergency.

People with disabilities should consider individual circumstances and specific needs when planning for evacuation, such as special equipment, transportation and service animals.

Have an evacuation plan for pets and large animals such as horses and other livestock. Prepare a pet evacuation kit in a tote bag or pet crate. Pack food, water, leashes, bedding, identification, medication and vaccination or medical records. Plan for transportation of large animals and identify sheltering options.

Make a Go-Kit

Assemble an emergency kit of essential supplies that can be grabbed in a hurry. Pack an easy-to-carry backpack or bag for each member of the household with health and safety items such as food, water, medication, flashlights, phone chargers and clothing. Visit Ready.gov or American Red Cross for recommended emergency kit items.

Evacuation Levels

Oregon follows a three-level evacuation notification system, each structured around the readiness need and threat level. Oregonians should become familiar with “Be Ready, Be Set, Go!” evacuation levels to make informed decisions when receiving evacuation notices. OEM urges people to evacuate any time they feel unsafe, as conditions can change rapidly. Individuals should always make the best decision for their safety.

• Level One (colored green on a map) means “BE READY” to evacuate. Community members should be aware of the danger in their area and stay informed. Check county, city and emergency services websites and local news for information. This is the time to pack and prepare to leave. Check with loved ones and emergency contacts. Reach out to neighbors, share information and ask for help if needed. Some people should consider leaving early if they can’t move quickly and need more time to evacuate, including older adults, families with children, people with disabilities, livestock and pet owners, and those with limited access to transportation.

• Level Two (colored yellow on a map) means “BE SET” to evacuate. This level indicates there’s significant danger in the area and community members should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. Voluntary evacuation at Level Two is recommended, especially if people need extra time or have livestock to move. Be prepared to relocate to a shelter or with family or friends outside of the affected area. Don’t wait for another evacuation notice if it doesn’t feel safe to stay.

• Level Three (colored red on a map) means “GO.” Leave immediately! This level indicates there’s extreme danger in the area and it’s unsafe to stay. Emergency services may not be available to offer further assistance to those who choose to stay. People should not stop to gather their belongings or make any efforts to protect their homes or shelter. Leave without delay.

Following an evacuation, people should not return to the area until public safety officials announce it’s safe.

Find more information and resources at Wildfire.Oregon.gov/prepare.

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Attached Media Files: 2023-05/3986/163827/Wildfire_Evacuation_Checklist_En.pdf , 2023-05/3986/163827/OEM_Evacuation_Flyer_En.png , 2023-05/3986/163827/OEM_EVAC_3Levels_English.png

Project Turnkey 2.0 Grants Additional $8M and First Tribal Award, Bringing Total Properties to 8 (Photo)
Oregon Community Foundation - 05/30/23 10:15 AM

Project Turnkey 2.0 Grants Additional $8M and First Tribal Award, Bringing Total Properties to 8

Adapting to Community Needs, Project Turnkey Converts Existing Properties into Shelter, and Transitional Housing

Portland, Ore. May 30, 2023 – Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) announced today four additional awards for Project Turnkey 2.0, the second iteration of the state-funded grant program administered by OCF which aims to increase the state’s supply of emergency and transitional housing.  One of the grantees, Klamath Tribes, is focused on providing culturally specific services to vulnerable populations.  Additional grantees, Housing Authority of Malheur and Harney Counties, Alternative Youth Activities, and Oasis Advocacy and Shelter will also create shelter and transitional housing as well as provide supportive services for their specific communities. 

In Southern Oregon the Klamath Tribes received a grant of $2,318,532 to acquire and renovate the Melita’s Hotel and RV Park in Chiloquin.  The property will be used immediately to provide housing for tribal elders and the old restaurant will be converted into a community gathering space, soup kitchen, and space for on-site services. 

“Purchasing the former Melita’s Motel property is only the beginning of a much larger effort by the Klamath Tribes to ensure all of our members have warm, dry places to sleep,” said Clayton Dumont, Klamath Tribes Chairman.  “American Indians continue to suffer the highest poverty rates among all Americans. One in four of us live below the federal poverty rate, and we know that the chance to fall into those ranks increases as we grow older. In our Klamath, Modoc, Yahooskin cultures, elders are our most important teachers. They are how we know who we are. Thus, tribal elders who are without or in danger of being without shelter will be our priority for this newly acquired tribal property. mo sepk’eec’a (Much thanks) to Oregon Community Foundation for being such good partners through the acquisition process.” 

In the long-term the Klamath Tribes envision developing the RV sites into more transitional housing creating a continuum of housing options in the area.  In rural Klamath County with limited availability of supportive services, the Klamath Tribes can provide a true housing first approach for people experiencing houselessness by offering a wide range of services including elder services, medical services, financial relief, food distribution, basic needs vouchers, financial counseling, and employment referrals.  In addition, the Klamath Tribes can provide services specifically related to tribal culture such as healing circles and sweat lodges and bring a deep understanding of the underlying and historical issues that have created the ongoing effects of generational trauma to all their services.  This grant marks the first Project Turnkey award to one of the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon.


On the eastern edge of the state, the Housing Authority of Malheur and Harney Counties (HAMHC) is also poised to increase transitional housing opportunities for rural residents.  HAMHC received a grant of $4,060,000 to acquire and renovate a 17-unit apartment building in Ontario into transitional housing for people experiencing houselessness with a focus on people who are chronically homeless, elderly individuals, households with children, and people with disabilities.


“Malheur County will finally have its first ever year-round shelter,” said Kristy Rodriguez, Executive Director of HAMHC.  “This has been a long-time goal for many service providers in our area to watch our most vulnerable populations thrive and succeed to stabilization. Malheur Turnkey will also assist us to furthering our equity lens and fulfilling our mission. We are beyond grateful for the assistance that Oregon Community Foundation has granted to us, and our local city officials that understand the mission, and are on board to assist.” 

With the property located near key amenities such as the Housing Authority itself and Oregon Human Development Corp, a community organization that provides support services for farmworkers, HAMHC will partner with Community in Action, the local Community Action Agency to provide case management and coordinate additional supportive services such as individual planning, budgeting, housing stabilization, behavioral and physical health services, peer supports, and conflict resolution and mediation.


In Curry County Oasis Advocacy and Shelter (Oasis) sought a smaller shelter option.  Oasis received a grant of $647,400 to acquire and renovate a multi-bedroom house into emergency shelter for survivors of domestic violence and medically fragile individuals.   


Oasis will partner with Brookings CORE Response (BCR), an organization that provides street response and support for people experiencing houselessness.  Together, Oasis and BCR will provide case management, counseling, safety planning, advocacy services, resiliency training, and connection with other local resources including medical care, food shares, and culturally specific services. 

“Oasis Advocacy and Shelter is very excited about partnering with Brookings CORE Response to bring a comprehensive wrap-around program to Curry County,” said Mary Pat McAlevy, Executive Director of Oasis.  “We believe this is the step in the right direction for our county as we expand our programs and support for populations we both serve.”

In nearby Coos County, another responsive project is underway under the leadership of Alternative Youth Activities (AYA), an organization that provides a holistic approach to serving at-risk and in-need youth.  AYA received a grant of $1,033,000 to acquire and renovate a wing of the Old Charleston School in Coos Bay into 9 units of shelter and temporary housing for youth and families. 


"This funding will open additional doors to provide affordable, stable housing to south coast youth and families. We can't thank Project Turnkey enough,” said Scott Cooper, AYA Executive Director. “These additional units will provide youth with a stepping stone between emergency shelter and longer-term housing as they move toward independence.”  


With referrals from a variety of community partners, including local school districts as well as other local service providers, this additional housing will provide the community with much needed options for youth.  In addition to their GED and workforce training programs, AYA will provide youth with case management, housing navigation, and access to other resources such as food, benefits, and culturally specific services. 


“Project Turnkey has always been about responding to community needs,” said Megan LoebSenior Program Officer, Economic Vitality and Housing, Oregon Community Foundation.   “The increased flexibility in this round—including property types beyond hotels and motels and a deliberate timeline—has allowed a variety of organizations to put state funding to good use and add to the local shelter capacity in a way that fits each of their communities.” 


“These new transitional homes are a manifestation of what is possible when all of us come together in service to our communities,” said Delia Hernández, Public Information Officer, Oregon Housing & Community Services. “We are most effective when everyone is being served and has their basic needs met. Sustainable progress is possible when all partners are working together with us toward the same goals and outcomes.”


Project Turnkey 2.0 aims to stand up approximately 10-12 properties as emergency shelter and transitional housing across the state.  Properties will be owned and operated by local nonprofit organizations and entities (such as cities, counties, or tribes) that will provide safe housing as well as critical support, including access to medical and social services, computers, laundry facilities, meals and more. Additional Project Turnkey 2.0 sites are expected to be announced in June 2023. 


About The Klamath Tribes


The Klamath Tribes primary mission is to “protect, preserve and enhance the spiritual, cultural and physical values and resources of the Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin Peoples by maintaining the customs of our ancestors.”  The heart of Tribal life is centered in the area of Chiloquin, Oregon and includes 12 Departments, Health Clinic, Childcare Center, Tribal Court, goos oLgi gowa Center, Research Station, and three tribal enterprises.  The Klamath Tribes’ 12 departments facilitate service delivery to multiple aspects of tribal life, including health and fitness, education, economic development, social services, cultural preservation, natural resource protection and more.  To learn more, visit https://klamathtribes.org/


About Housing Authority of Malheur and Harney Counties


The mission of the Housing Authority of Malheur & Harney Counties is to address the need for available, safe, decent, sanitary and affordable housing for extremely low and low-income residents of Malheur and Harney Counties.  To learn more, visit http://hamhc.org/.


About Community in Action 

Community in Action exists to empower low and moderate-income individuals and families of Harney and Malheur Counties.  We provide education and counseling, skills development, and access to community resources that help create self-sufficiency.  To learn more, visit https://communityinaction.info/


About Oasis Advocacy and Shelter


Headquartered in Gold Beach, Oregon, Oasis Advocacy and Shelter (Oasis) is a domestic violence/sexual assault-specialty nonprofit organization with a 30+ year record of direct supportive services for survivors in Curry County.  Oasis currently offers emergency shelter, court support, and advocacy services for survivors in general or navigating the Department of Human Services system, our Survivor Resiliency Program and the Trafficking Victims Assistance Program for undocumented immigrant survivors of labor, debt bondage, or sex trafficking.  To learn more, visit https://oasisadvocacyandshelter.org/.


About Alternative Youth Activities

AYA provides a holistic approach to in-need youth by connecting them to education, career services, social supports, and housing.  AYA is a private, non-profit, accredited, educational organization serving youth who have not been successful in the public schools through education and support services including but not limited to housing needs, nutritional support, physical and mental healthcare, harm reduction and crisis interventions.  To learn more, visit https://www.aya1.org/.


About Project Turnkey 2.0 (2022-2023) 

Based on the success of the Project Turnkey 1.0, and in the face on ongoing need for emergency shelter, on March 4, 2022, the Oregon Legislature allocated $50 million in new funding for more emergency shelters around the state for Project Turnkey 2.0.  


To learn more: Oregon Community Foundation and Oregon Housing and Community Services Poised to Launch Project Turnkey 2.0 with $50M in State Funding.  

OCF and OHCS Roles 

Oregon Community Foundation serves as the grantor and fiduciary, administering state-funded Project Turnkey 2.0 grants with guidance from a diverse statewide Advisory Committee. OCF offers support for Oregon’s housing needs along a continuum — from shelter to supportive housing to affordable housing to equitable home ownership — through a variety of tools, including research, grants, advocacy, and low-interest loans. OCF’s administration of Project Turnkey 2.0 is one example of the innovative, collaborative approaches launched to help more Oregonians find stable, affordable housing. 


Oregon Housing and Community Services provides advice and support for OCF as the State’s Housing Finance Agency. Additionally, OHCS has received resources to administer funds to the recipients of Project Turnkey 2.0 grants. This includes ongoing monitoring and oversight of these funds and the projects they support. 



In 2020 the Oregon Legislature allocated a total of $65 million for Project Turnkey (1.0), for the purpose of acquiring motels/hotels for use as safe shelter for people experiencing homelessness, at-risk of homelessness or displaced by wildfires. In less than seven months, Project Turnkey 1.0 created 19 new shelters in 13 counties, leading to a 20% increase in the state supply of shelter beds. Each property is locally owned and operated by a local nonprofit organization or entity (such as city or county).  


To learn more, please visit: https://oregoncf.org/assets/PDFs-and-Docs/PDFs/project-turnkey-report.pdf  


About Oregon Housing and Community Services 

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) provides resources for Oregonians to reduce poverty and increase access to stable housing. OHCS focuses on both housing and community services to serve Oregonians holistically across the housing continuum, including preventing and ending homelessness, assisting with utilities, providing housing stability support, financing multifamily affordable housing and encouraging homeownership. To learn more, please visit: oregon.gov/ohcs


About Oregon Community Foundation 

Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) was founded in 1973 with a big mission: to improve the lives of all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. In partnership with donors and volunteers, OCF works to strengthen communities in every county in Oregon through research, grantmaking and scholarships. In 2022, OCF distributed more than $180 million, supporting 3,500 grantees and awarding more than 3,000 scholarships. With OCF, individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds that meet the needs of diverse communities statewide. 


2023 marks OCF’s 50th anniversary. Since its founding, OCF has distributed more than $2.2 billion in community investments, including grants to 10,850 nonprofits and 53,375 scholarships to students. Individuals, families, businesses and organizations can work with OCF to create charitable funds to support causes important to them. To learn more, please visit: oregoncf.org. 


Attached Media Files: Alternative Youth Activities Rendering_Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation.pdf , Project Turnkey II_OCF_OHCS_ Joint News Release_FINAL_05 30 2023.pdf , Project-Turnkey-2.0-graphic-3-9-22.png , Klamath Tribes Project Turnkey 2.0 Property_Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation (1).JPG , Klamath Tribes Project Turnkey 2.0 Property_Courtesy of Oregon Community Foundation (2).JPG , Project Turnkey 2.0 Map-May 2023.png

Grants awarded for main street projects throughout the state
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. - 05/30/23 8:16 AM

Oregon Heritage, a division of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, awarded 27 matching grants worth nearly $5,000,000 to Oregon Main Street Network organizations across the state for building projects that encourage economic revitalization. Projects range from façade improvement to basic facilities and housing with awards ranging from $62,930-$200,000. 

The department funded applications that best conveyed the ability to stimulate private investment and local economic development, fit within the community’s long-range plan for downtown vitality, and community need. Oregon Main Street coordinator Sheri Stuart noted, “We have seen the impact of these funds the local Main Street organizations have brought to their communities on projects to date. We are excited to support this new round of projects and the potential to enhance and support downtowns across the state.”

Funded projects include:

  • Several projects will address a variety of preservation needs from window repair to electrical and plumbing including projects by Baker City Downtown, City of Reedsport, City of Maupin, Medford Downtown Association, Klamath Falls Downtown Association, Northeast Oregon Economic Development District for projects in Wallowa, Oregon Frontier Chamber of Commerce for a project in Spray, and Weston Area Development Association. 
  • Several projects were for housing increases or improvements including projects Albany Downtown Association, Independence Downtown Association, Northeast Oregon Economic Development District for a project in Enterprise, Salem Main Street Association and St. Helens Main Street Alliance.
  • Façade restoration projects by the cities of Cornelius, Maupin, North Bend and Woodburn, Friends of La Grande Main Street, Oregon Frontier Chamber of Commerce for a project in Condon, and The Dalles Main Street.  
  • Structural and roof prepare projects were approved for Albany Downtown Association, Astoria Downtown Historic District Association, Dallas Downtown Association, and McMinnville Downtown Association.
  • Projects by Harney County Opportunity Team and Pendleton Downtown Association will increase and improve lodging options. 
  • New construction will be funded in Dayton. 

The grant program was created during the 2015 legislative session, and placed with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. The legislation established a permanent fund for the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant, and provided an initial infusion of funds from the sale of lottery bonds. The legislature included the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant in the lottery bond package approved in 2021. If funded by the 2023 state legislature, there will be future grant rounds in the 24-25 biennium. The funds must be used to award grants to participating Oregon Main Street Network organizations to acquire, rehabilitate or construct buildings to facilitate community revitalization. The program also requires that at least 50 percent of the funds go to rural communities as defined in the bill. 

To learn more about the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant or the Oregon Main Street Network, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at i.gill@oprd.oregon.gov">Kuri.gill@oprd.oregon.gov or 503-986-0685. 

Attached Media Files: Award list

Mon. 05/29/23
The Oregon National Guard take part in Memorial Day ceremonies around the state (Photo)
Oregon Military Department - 05/29/23 6:00 PM

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon National Guard Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen participated in several Memorial Day community events on May 29, 2023, honoring service members who died for their country in observances around the state of Oregon.

In Beaverton, American Legion Post 124 hosted their annual Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park as Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, U.S. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, 1st Congressional District of Oregon, Mayor Lacey Beaty and Keynote speaker for the ceremony, Oregon Air National Guard Col. Todd Hofford, 142nd Wing Commander, were among the featured guest that addressed those in attendance.

“My father served our country in Korea in the Army, his service shaped my admiration and respect for those who serve and their families who stand by them,” said Gov. Kotek. “Today across our great state, across our great nation, people are gathering in remembrance of loved ones who where lost and honoring the bravery of our fallen service members.”

Prior to becoming Governor earlier this year, Kotek served as the Speaker of the House for over nine years. She recalled meeting with family members of fallen service members from Oregon, being remembered in resolution.

“Every time – I was caught-up by these life stories of young Oregonians, who went into the bigger world for their country, and never to come back. They are Oregon – and I will not forget their stories.”

Also in attendance was Larry Wittmayer, Commander of the American Legion Department of Oregon as the ceremony featured the American Legion Post 185 Band, playing music throughout the hour-long ceremony.

Speaking to those in attendance, Hofford traced the lineage of those who have died in the nation’s wars back to the founding of the country.

“More than 1,275,000 Americans have died in war and conflict since 1775,” he said, speaking to the audience during the mid-day gathering. “History has so often reminded us, Liberty is not fairly gained, nor is it easily obtained or preserved and must be continually safeguarded by each generation.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, a Howitzer Salute was performed by the Oregon Army National Guard’s Battery ‘A’ of the 2-218th Field Artillery.  

A Joint Service Honor Guard team and other Oregon Soldiers and Airmen took part in the Memorial Day Ceremony at Willamette National Cemetery in Clackamas. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden spoke to those attending, noting that “Americans always get it right…after they’ve tried everything else,” a quote attributed to Winston Churchill during WWII.

During a Memorial Day ceremony in Medford, the Oregon Army National Guard Honor Guard, conducted a flag folding ceremony for a family member of a fallen service member, held at the Memory Gardens Memorial Park. Throughout the state, the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Wing and 173rd Fighter Wing flew patriotic flyovers at ceremonies and parades in over a dozen towns and cities.



Released Photos 


230529-Z-CH590-0331: Official guest speakers at the Memorial Day ceremony in Beaverton, Oregon, stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, on May 29, 2023. (From Left to Right) Oregon Air National Guard Col. Todd Hofford, 142nd Wing Commander, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, U.S. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, 1st Congressional District of Oregon, Beaverton Major Lacey Beaty and Denise Brant, President of Blue Star Mothers of Oregon. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230529-Z-CH590-0444: Oregon Governor Tina Kotek addresses those in attendance at the Memorial Day ceremony in Beaverton, Oregon, on May 29, 2023. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in the ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Park. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230529-Z-CH590-0495: Oregon Air National Guard Col. Todd Hofford, 142nd Wing Commander delivers the keynote address to those in attendance at the Memorial Day ceremony in Beaverton, Oregon, on May 29, 2023. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in the ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Park. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230529-Z-CH590-0146: Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, talks with Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers from Battery ‘A’, 2-218th Field Artillery at the Memorial Day ceremony in Beaverton, Oregon, on May 29, 2023. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in the ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Park. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230529-Z-CH590-0577: Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers from Battery ‘A’, 2-218th Field Artillery conduct a Howitzer Salute at the conclusion of the Memorial Day ceremony in Beaverton, Oregon on May 29, 2023. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in the ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Park. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230529-Z-CH590-0104: An Oregon Air National Guard medical member, assigned to the 142nd Wing talks with visitors during the Memorial Day ceremony in Beaverton, Oregon on May 29, 2023. Oregon National Guard members and other elected officials took part in the ceremony held at the Veterans Memorial Park. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)



230529-Z-CM403-1001: An U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles from the 142nd Wing performs a flyover during the Memorial Day ceremony held at the Willamette National Cemetery, Clackamas, Ore., May 29, 2023. Oregon National Guard members participated in several Memorial Day community events around the state today, underscoring the significance of those members of the United States military that paid the ultimate sacrifice to this nation. (National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230529-Z-CM403-1002: U.S. Senator of Oregon, Ron Wyden, delivers prepared remarks during the Memorial Day ceremony held at the Willamette National Cemetery, Clackamas, Ore., May 29, 2023. Oregon National Guard members participated in several Memorial Day community events around the state today, underscoring the significance of those members of the United States military that paid the ultimate sacrifice to this nation. (National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230529-Z-CM403-1003: Joint Color-guard post the colors during the opening of Memorial Day ceremony held at the Willamette National Cemetery, Clackamas, Ore., May 29, 2023. Oregon National Guard members participated in several Memorial Day community events around the state today, underscoring the significance of those members of the United States military that paid the ultimate sacrifice to this nation. (National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230529-Z-CM403-1004: Children of the Willamette Employees & Audience lead the Pledge of Allegiance during the opening of  Memorial Day ceremony held at the Willamette National Cemetery, Clackamas, Ore., May 29, 2023. Oregon National Guard members participated in several Memorial Day community events around the state today, underscoring the significance of those members of the United States military that paid the ultimate sacrifice to this nation. (National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)


MEDFORD images:

230529-Z-ZJ128-1001: Oregon Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 3 Anthony Ives of 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment (GSAB), delivers a speech at Memory Gardens Memorial Park & Mortuary event on Memorial Day 2023 in Medford, Ore. (Army National Guard photo by Maj. W, Chris Clyne, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230529-Z-ZJ128-1002: Oregon Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Karri Davis and Pfc. Ethan Turner of the Oregon National Guard Funeral Honors Unit folds a flag for a service member's family at Memory Gardens Memorial Park & Mortuary event on Memorial Day 2023 in Medford, Ore. (Army National Guard photo by Maj. W, Chris Clyne, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230529-Z-ZJ128-1003: Oregon Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Karri Davis of the Oregon National Guard Funeral Honors Unit presents a folded flag to surviving family member Mark Simvoe at Memory Gardens Memorial Park & Mortuary event on Memorial Day 2023 in Medford, Ore. (Army National Guard photo by Maj. W, Chris Clyne, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230529-Z-ZJ128-1004: 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment (GSAB), Oregon Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook crew: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Anthony Ives, Chief Warrant Officer 2  Bau Doyle, Staf Sgt. Marcus Hickman, Staff Sgt. Skylar Leasy, and Sgt. Ryan Dowell at Memory Gardens Memorial Park & Mortuary event on Memorial Day 2023 in Medford, Ore. (Army National Guard photo by Maj. W, Chris Clyne, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

230529-Z-ZJ128-1000: An F-15 Eagles from the 173rd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air Guard fly over the CH-47 Chinook of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment (GSAB), Oregon Army National Guard at Memory Gardens Memorial Park & Mortuary event on Memorial Day 2023 in Medford, Ore. (Army National Guard photo by Maj. W, Chris Clyne, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)



Attached Media Files: 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-ZJ128-1005.JPG , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-ZJ128-1004.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-ZJ128-1003.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-ZJ128-1002.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-ZJ128-1001.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-CM403-1004.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-CM403-1003.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-CM403-1002.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-CM403-1001.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-CH590-0104.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-CH590-0577.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-CH590-0146.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-CH590-0495.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-CH590-0444_.jpg , 2023-05/962/163813/230529-Z-CH590-0331.jpg

Memorial Day Message from Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Kelly Fitzpatrick (Photo)
Ore. Department of Veterans' Affairs - 05/29/23 8:00 AM
ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick
ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick

On Memorial Day, we as a nation pause to honor and pay respects to those who gave their lives in service to this county, in service of freedom, in service of a more peaceful world. We remember their sacrifice, their valor, and their grace. 

For while we may see their sacrifices immortalized on monuments of stone, we must never forget that each of the names forever etched in granite — those known and unknown — represent a precious, valiant life. They are our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, t our spouses, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbors.

To those who mourn a loved one today, I assure that Oregon will never forget the lives lost in service to our country. We will never fail to honor your sacrifice, nor the sacrifices made by a long line of American service members. We are free, and our nation is safer because of their courage and devotion.

Memorial Day’s origins lie in the wake of the Civil War — a war for the soul of our nation, for freedom and justice for all. A war for union. A war for liberty and for the preservation of the founding ideals memorialized in the Constitution. 

Since the Civil War, nearly 6,000 Oregonians made the ultimate sacrifice in service to this nation, and today we honor them and the more than 1.2 million service members nationally who have sacrificed everything to preserve this nations democracy and the freedoms that democracy affords each of us.

It’s the greatest idea in the long history of humankind. An idea that we’re all created equal. That we’re all entitled to dignity, respect, decency, and honor. They’re not empty words, but the vital, beating heart of our nation. 

And that democracy is defended at all costs by those who serve and those we’ve lost, for democracy makes all this possible. Democracy is the soul of America.

Each of Oregon’s fallen service members had a story, and many faced challenges beyond the tribulations of war. Some were poor and some uneducated, some were privileged with college or advanced degrees. Some were working men and women with spouses and families, and some were 15- and 16-year-olds who lied about their dates of birth just to enlist and fight for what they believed to be right.

Some volunteered to serve a country that did not afford them rights or opportunities equal to those of their fellow countrymen and service members at the time of their service. Those who served before the Korean War served in segregated units, and many endured prejudice and bigotry from their own country even as they risked their lives and freedom to protect it.

Some of the courageous Oregonians who served and gave their lives in service to our country and whose memories we honor today were women — who would not even be recognized as veterans of the United States Armed Forces until the 1970s. 

Others were transgender, gay, lesbian, or queer, who grappled with the pain of giving their all to a country that did not want every part of them, that did not allow them to serve as their true, authentic selves.

We as a nation and, especially, as veterans who followed in their footsteps, owe an additional debt of gratitude to the brave soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen, Guardians and Coast Guard members who served under these policies and conditions. Their courage, selflessness, dignity, and exceptional service did much to sway public opinion and pave the way for a brighter and more inclusive future.

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and the state of Oregon, are proud to honor and recognize all who have served our country with honor and dignity. 

As we observe this Memorial Day, we also acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. For those veterans who returned home from the front lines of the Iraq War, and for the family members and loved ones of the courageous service members who did not, their wounds are fresher than most.

Oregon played a unique role in the nation’s most recent conflicts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Not since World War II had so many Oregon National Guard members been called to federal duty by order of the President. 9,268 Oregon National Guard members deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq between the years 2003 and 2011, many serving multiple year-long tours.

The names of the more than 140 Oregonian service members who lost their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are etched on the Afghan–Iraqi Freedom Memorial Wall located on the campus of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Salem. 

If you are able, I encourage you to visit this memorial site and remember the names, stories and ultimately — the sacrifices made by these Oregonians during the longest and consecutive wars of our nation’s history.

Today, ODVA and the statewide network of county and tribal Veteran Service Offices accessible in every county across Oregon serves these Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, helping them access care provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

In recent years, veteran services and benefits have expanded in many ways to provide treatment for healing and compensation for those whose lives have been irreparably altered by a disability incurred in service. To find services near you, visit our website at Oregon.gov/odva and click “Locate Services.”

This Memorial Day, I ask that you keep in the forefront of your mind the sacrifices that neither words nor the grandest gestures can repay. Express gratitude and appreciation for the brave Oregonians who willingly made these sacrifices for the idea of America — the land of the free. 

The enormity of their courage humbles and inspires us. This day reminds us to be better as individuals, as a community, and as a nation. 

As long as we remember — their sacrifices are not in vain. 

Kelly Fitzpatrick is the director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Gov. Kate Brown’s policy advisor on veterans’ issues. She is a retired U.S. Army officer. Her military awards and decorations include multiple awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Army Parachutist Badge.

Attached Media Files: ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick