Klamath Basin News, Friday, 1/20/22 – KCC and Sky Lakes Medical Center Join Together to Develop Surgical Technician Program

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Friday, January 20, 2023

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Sunny, with a high near 37. Calm wind. Overnight patchy freezing fog after 10pm. Clear, with a low around 16 and light winds.

Saturday Areas of freezing fog before 10am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 42. Light and variable wind. Overnight mostly cloudy, with a low around 23. West southwest wind 3 to 6 mph.
Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 38. North northwest wind to 11 mph. Overnight expect cloudy skies but clear with a low around 17 degrees.
Monday Sunny, with a high near 39. Clear overnight with a low around 18.
Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 43. Overnight clear with a low around 20.
Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 43

See Road Camera Views

Lake of the Woods   
Doak Mtn.   
Hiway 97 at Chemult   
Hiway 140 at  Bly       
Hiway 97 at GreenSprings Dr.            
Hiway 97 at LaPine

Today’s Headlines

The computer system and phones at Sky Lakes were temporarily down yesterday.

Sky Lakes Medical Center said in a published statement that they were still able to take care of patients admitted at the medical center and emergency room. They expected  the system to be restored quickly.

In the interim period, , patients seeking unscheduled lab services and clinic patients experienced a delay in service. The medical center says they apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

To address a growing need for skilled surgical assistants, Klamath Community College and Sky Lakes Medical Center are partnering to develop a Surgical Technician program at KCC.

With a planned launch in 2024, the program will provide surgical technologist curriculum accredited by a national organization approved by the Oregon Health Authority, intended for students who meet admission standards and pass through a rigorous selection process. In addition to core instruction in KCC classrooms, students also will have access to Sky Lakes Medical Center facilities for mentored practical experience.

Sky Lakes will provide $250,000 across a five-year agreement for initial investment and development of the program in collaboration with KCC. While a close relationship has existed between KCC’s various Health Sciences programs and Sky Lakes, this marks the first time both organizations have formally teamed up to establish a new health program at KCC. 

Surgical Technician will be the latest Health Sciences specialist field added to an already lengthy list of degree programs and certifications available through KCC. Current KCC Health Sciences associate degree programs include Registered Nurse, Laboratory Technician, Paramedicine, and Medical Records Specialist. Additional certificate programs include Phlebotomy, Certified Nursing Assistant , Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Licensed Practical Nurse, Medical Receptionist, Billing and Coding, and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

Klamath IDEA’s first IDEA Talk of 2023 will offer the story of a third-generation family business — Howard’s Meat Company — featuring Jordan Howard, the current owner, sharing the company’s history and future outlook for Klamath Falls and beyond, on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Klamath IDEA is a community initiative committed to developing a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Klamath County to strengthen existing small businesses and innovators and inspire and support the emergence of new ones. In that effort, business community-minded informative talks modeled after TED Talks are held — known as IDEA Talks — to benefit business owners and entrepreneurs.

Howard’s Meat Center was founded in 1964 by Richard “Dick” Howard and his wife, Marie. They operated the business until 1996, after which time a second generation, Mike and Cheryl Howard, took the helm. They owned and operated it until 2021, when Jordan and his wife, Cara, took over operations.

Both Mike and Jordan went away to complete their education and returned to Klamath Falls to carry on the family business. Jordan has expanded the brand family with Pop Howard’s, a marinade and seasoning company, with products available on Amazon and at PopHowards.com. His newest venture, Smokin’ H BBQ, sells hot and ready-to-eat meals from the Sixth Street location.

The IDEA talk event will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1 at Brevada Brewhouse. Food and one non-alcoholic drink ticket is included in the $20 per-person admission. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for networking and the IDEA Talk will start at 6:15 p.m.

In the hopes of funding a long sought-after bypass, the City of Klamath Falls has decided to apply once again for a federal RAISE — Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity — grant.

City Councilors unanimously approved a consent agenda item, by title only, during their meeting Tuesday, Jan. 17 which gives Public Works the ability to pursue the federal grant funding.

The East Main Bypass Project has been on the table since roughly 2004 according to the meeting agenda. In theory, the bypass would run between the intersections of Crosby Avenue and Maywood Drive, cutting across “open fields” to a terminus at East Main Street and Shasta Way. The agenda states that the details on “how the right-of-way would make its way to the city are yet to be determined.”

Kittelson and Associates, Inc. will be assisting with the grant application process, which is estimated to cost $20,000.

Items not included in the agenda were brought before council as well during the meeting.  Prior to a presentation on the Klamath Community College Apprenticeship Center project, KCC President Roberto Gutierrez made a surprise appearance to offer encouraging insights with the changes he has seen in the past 10 years.

Gutierrez said high school dropout rates in Klamath Falls were the highest in the state, with KCC’s graduation rates coming in at the lowest. He reported remarkable improvements from then to now.

Gutierrez said that “ it doesn’t happen by accident. That happens by all of us working together, by caring about this community, having common goals, common vision, and that’s how change happens.

“Employment in Klamath County has fully recovered,” declared Commissioner Derrick DeGroot this week.

During the Klamath County Board of County Commissioners weekly business meeting on Tuesday this week, DeGroot shared an email he’d received from the state economist, Josh Lehner, that stated Klamath County is outpacing other rural counties and is on par with smaller- and medium-sized metropolitan areas.

DeGroot went on to disclose that Klamath County still has a high level of poverty, but that the poverty level is also rapidly improving.

During public comments, the board heard from constituent Alan Headly who strongly advised against the county affiliating with the new political organization the Braver Angels.

Headly stated that he believes the Braver Angels leaders are socialists who are trying to infiltrate conservative areas to spread socialism. He submitted to the board a packet of emails he stated were from Braver Angels leadership which allegedly communicate these plans.

During the meeting, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office requested approval to purchase a trace detection unit for the county jail in order to combat the growing amount of contraband being snuck in.

Sheriff Chris Kaber informed the board that inmates have gotten very creative in how contraband is brought inside the jail facility.

When local entrepreneur and innovator Brian Weissmeyer saw the old baseball field in Mills Addition, he saw not just a vacant lot, but an opportunity for housing.

Weissmeyer, owner and CEO of Vioweiss Co., envisions the unused three acres as the site of a new, middle-class housing development project.

During the pandemic, the mounting need for additional housing grew rapidly, leaving Oregon 111,000 units short, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting and numerous national reports.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, Weissmeyer will be presenting his proposal to the Klamath County Board of County Commissioners, hoping to convince the board to award Vioweiss a portion of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant funding made available for projects of this type.

The housing development start-up project would consist of four homes and a development center to house the 3D printers used in creating much of the necessary materials for constructing the units.

In total, the start-up would cost around $350,000, Weissmeyer said.

Earlier this year, Weissmeyer received a portion of the funds when the company was awarded funding by the Missing Middle Housing Fund (MMHF). MMHF Co-Founder and CEO Nathan Wildfire also will be involved in the presentation for the commissioners.

The space in Mills, however, would work for 70 Vioweiss homes. Constructed from used 20- and 40-foot-long shipping containers, the units are entirely off the grid, relying solely on solar energy.

PLAY Outdoors is once again offering a daylong event featuring information booths as well as activities all promoting the outdoors this weekend.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, PLAY Outdoors is set to take over the Klamath County Fairgrounds Event Center with interactive activity or informational booths.

PLAY Outdoors began in 2010 as a coalition of local groups in Klamath Falls all with interests in the outdoors.

According to a press release, the organizations’ purpose is to introduce youth to outdoor activities with an attempt to sway them from electronic devices and other unhealthy activities while promoting family-oriented activities. While each group has its own goals and objectives, PLAY Outdoors put them aside to focus on the youth.

PLAY Outdoors is regularly scheduled the third Saturday of January every year.

The first evet was held in January 2011 with more than 820 youth and 890 adults passing through the door to visit the 30-plus events. After a record-setting year in 2015, PLAY Outdoors saw 1,800 youth and adults each.

The past three years has brought 1,250 youth and 1,100 adult attendees. The numbers for the 2017 event scaled back to 1,405 youth and 1,398 adults.

Lake Of The Woods Tops Best U.S. Ice Fishing Locations List

Lake of the Woods isn’t just near the top of a pass in Oregon’s Cascade mountain range.  It’s also at the top of a list of the best ice fishing locations in the United States.

Online fishing enthusiast website fishingbooker.com lists Lake of the Woods at the top of “The 9 Best US Ice Fishing Destinations for 2023.”

Its recent article ranking Lake of Woods as #1 notes, “Fish don’t hibernate and neither should you.”  FishingBooker says it is the world’s largest platform for booking fishing trips, and when it compiled a list of the best ice fishing destinations in the nation for this year Lake of the Woods topped the list.

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) lists ice fishing as a recreation option in its information about Lake of the Woods resort.

FishingBooker notes the Klamath County lake “spans 1000 acres” (officially listed as more than 1,100).  It wrote, “Crowned by towering forests, the lake is also blessed with a stunning view of the snow-capped Cascades. But besides the scenic setting, the lake is famous for its incredible fishing opportunities. Lake of the Woods is home to a variety of fish species, but Trout, Crappie, Perch, Salmon, and Bass are the main targets here. Yellow Perch, in particular, are eager to bite.”

In Oregon, fishing licenses are valid January 1 to December 31, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) licensing staff will answer questions at 503-947-6101.  While the State has various options for fishing licenses, its Annual Angling License costs state residents $44 and nonresidents $110.50, clarifying, “Resident is defined as a person who has resided in Oregon at least six months immediately prior to applying for a license, tag or permit.”

The USFS points out nearby Mt. McLoughlin standing almost 10,000 feet is another attraction for the resort located 40 minutes from Klamath Falls and 45 minutes from Medford, Oregon.  Lake of the Woods is listed at 4,949 feet elevation.

FishingBooker wrote that, “Besides fishing, the area boasts numerous resorts and events. Nature lovers can keep on admiring the wildlife by bird watching. Families can spend some quality time ice skating. Meanwhile, those keen on having a cup of hot beverage in a cozy armchair can check in at one of many superb accommodations.”

Its list of the 9 Best US Ice Fishing Destinations for 2023 include:

  1. Lake of the Woods, Oregon
  2. Bonaparte Lake, Washington
  3. Henry’s Lake, Idaho
  4. Sheridan Lake, South Dakota
  5. Lake of the Woods, Minnesota
  6. Boom Lake, Wisconsin
  7. Shores and Islands, Ohio
  8. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
  9. Moosehead Lake, Maine

If you are an outdoor enthusiast looking for some adventure this summer, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) might have just what you are looking for.  The local BLM Klamath Falls Field Office is looking for volunteer campground hosts for the Gerber Recreation Area.

“This location is right by the water and is a great opportunity for an adventuresome person or couple with an RV,” said Assistant Field Manager Mike Limb. “We are looking for someone who would enjoy working with the public and maintaining the campground.”

The campground host makes visitor contacts and helps with minor maintenance such as painting, cleaning restrooms, cutting weeds and restocking permits and fee envelopes.

The BLM is seeking volunteers to live on-site from mid-May through mid-October. The BLM will provide the selected hosts an RV camping spot, propane and sewer. The camp host chosen also will receive a small stipend to help cover incidental expenses.

Gerber is set on a vast plateau in the high desert about one hour’s drive east of Klamath Falls. Mountain ridges and scattered Ponderosa Pine forests add variety and texture to the area. Gerber offers opportunities for camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking, along with access to 100,000 acres of backcountry suitable for exploring, hunting, wildlife viewing and scenic OHV driving. Developed campsites are available at Gerber North and South Campgrounds. The area also offers primitive campsites, a horse camp and a day-use area as well as two boat ramps

Integral Youth Services has launched two free afterschool clubs for youths in middle and high school.

The first pilot session is beginning to wrap up now, and session two will begin Wednesday, Jan. 25.

The IYS afterschool clubs run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays for seven weeks per session. Transportation and services are available for youth who need help getting to the club, and multiple club options are available:

• Culinary Club: The Culinary Club is designed to teach students the skills necessary to become a novice chef. Students will cook and bake meals for the youth housing programs, and learn their way around a kitchen. The Culinary Club meets downtown at 1011 Main St.

• Conservation Club: The Conservation Club gets students actively engaging with the IYS Work2Learn program during the school year. Youth will get to learn workforce etiquette that can be a lead into future jobs in conservation. In this program, students will get to explore the great outdoors, learn to use tools and build job skills not taught in a normal brick and mortar classroom. The Conservation Club meets at 601 E. Main St.

These clubs have no cost to join and participate. To get registered for a class, go to integralyouthservices.org or call 541-882-2053.

The United Way of the Klamath Basin will hold its 78th annual meeting of the board and its supporters at noon Tuesday, Jan. 24 with a luncheon at the Waffle Hut on Main Street.

Admission is $10 per person and reservations are required by contacting United Way at 541-882-5558 or stopping by the office at 136 N. Third St. The public is invited.

United Way Community Campaign chairperson Jenine Stuedli will give a progress report but not a final report as several companies and individuals have not yet provided their pledge amounts, according to a press release.

Officials announced that 76% of the $507,000 campaign has been pledged. Among the meeting highlights are Juan Maldonado, general manager of Klamath Falls Toyota, will be introduced as the 2023 board president; Kristin Sayles will receive the United Way Award of Excellence for lifetime achievement; Jessica Chastain, manager of Klamath County’s IT Department, will receive the Campaign Volunteer of the Year award; Several Sprit Awards will be presented; and United Way Campaign Loaned Executives will also receive an award.

A special Community Pillars Legacy award will be presented to Washington Federal Bank for donating a major capital contribution.

The United Way of the Klamath Basin supports 16 vital local social service agencies.

Around the state of Oregon

Oregon lawmakers in both the Democratic and Republican parties named housing, homelessness and mental health as top priorities this week, as they began the 2023 legislative session on a note of relative bipartisan good will.

Whether that lasts, or dissolves into acrimony, threats and walkouts as occurred in recent sessions, will be tested as the lawmakers grapple with more divisive issues, such as gun control, drugs and abortion rights.

Convening in person without COVID-19 restrictions for the first time since the pandemic, legislators reiterated calls to boost housing construction, protect renters from eviction, increase homeless shelter capacity and expand mental health and addiction services.

In a gesture of bipartisanship, Democratic and Republican leaders in the Oregon House held a joint news conference to highlight areas of common ground.

In the face of solid Democratic control of the Legislature, Republicans in recent years have relied on delay tactics, including walkouts, to stall legislation.

Frustrated by the walkouts, Oregon voters in November overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure aiming to limit them. Measure 113 added language to the Oregon Constitution establishing that state lawmakers will be disqualified from re-election if they are absent from 10 legislative floor sessions without permission or excuse.

FBI Portland Division Offering $25,000 Reward for Information in Several Arson Investigations

PORTLAND, OREGON – FBI Portland is seeking the public’s help to identify the individual(s) responsible for arsons at three separate reproductive health centers.  

As part of a national effort to bring awareness to a series of attacks and threats targeting reproductive health service facilities across the country, the FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the suspect(s) responsible for these crimes.

Between 4:00 p.m. on July 4, 2022, and 8:00 a.m. on July 6, 2022, an arson attack and vandalism took place at the front entrance of the Mother and Child Education Center located at 1515 NE 41st Ave, Portland, Oregon. The words, “IF ABORTION AINT SAFE NEITHER RU JR” and “JANES RVVGG” were spray painted on the front of the property.

At approximately 2:30 a.m., on June 10, 2022, Gresham Police responded to an alarm at the Gresham Pregnancy Resource Center located at 104 NW 11th Street. Once on scene, law enforcement personnel found a fire inside the building. Investigators believe several Molotov cocktails were thrown through a kitchen window in order to ignite the fire. Investigators found several large bottles in the kitchen with fire accelerant confirmed on the floor. 

At approximately 10:38 p.m., on Sunday, May 8, 2022, the Keizer Police Department received 911 calls reporting someone throwing multiple Molotov cocktails at the Oregon Right to Life building located at 4335 River Road North. From nearby security footage, investigators determined the suspect retrieved an item from the trunk of their vehicle and walked towards the building. A glow could be seen on the security footage that was determined to be flames from the Molotov cocktail thrown at the building. Shortly after, the individual was observed running back to the vehicle. Investigators believe the suspect may have been driving a white sedan, possibly a 2017-2018 Hyundai Elantra.

“The FBI, and our partners, will aggressively pursue those who threaten to use, or do in fact use, violence to intimidate or influence – or to retaliate against an outcome that differs from their preferred position,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “Vandalism, arson, and threats of violence such as these should not, and cannot, be acceptable in our shared community. We are, therefore, asking the public to take a look at these photos and videos and if you recognize anything that could be helpful to our investigation, please reach out.”

These criminal acts are a violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 844(i), Destruction by Means of a Fire or Explosive, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison, and potentially, a violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 248(a)(3), Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), contact their local FBI office, or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. You may remain anonymous. 

You can view seeking information posters for other arsons and potential FACE Act violations here.

Third Dead Whale In A Week Washes Up On Oregon Coast

A baby gray whale washed up on the northern Oregon coast on Wednesday, making it the third dead whale to beach on the state’s coastline over the past week.

The 12-foot-long calf washed ashore at Fort Stevens State Park, only 100 yards (91 meters) from the site where a dead sperm whale beached over the weekend.

The baby whale appeared to be a stillborn, Michael Milstein, spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries agency, told news outlets. There were no indications that it was struck by a ship or that it died from human interaction.

Federal biologists determined that the 40-foot sperm whale that washed ashore nearby died after a ship hit it. The whale had a large gash on its side.

Westerly winds and currents may have caused the two whales to wash ashore near each other, Allyssa Casteel, who is on staff at Seaside Aquarium, told the news outlet. Gray whales are currently migrating south for the winter to their birthing and breeding grounds near Baja California.

The whales at Fort Stevens are not the only cetaceans currently decomposing on Oregon’s beaches.

On Jan. 11, a gray whale washed up on the state’s central coast near Reedsport, Jim Rice, program manager for the NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network, who examined the male, said it appeared the creature had been killed by orcas, who have been known to prey on gray whales.

An increase in the number of gray whales stranding on the west coast, from Mexico to Alaska, prompted the NOAA in 2019 to announce an “Unusual Mortality Event.” Such events are declared when animals strand unexpectedly or when there is a “significant die-off” of a population that demands an immediate response.

The ongoing NOAA investigation has identified several reasons behind the gray whale population decline, including ecological changes in the Arctic affecting the seafloor and animals the whales feed on each summer.

The gray whale population has declined by 38% from its peak in 2015 and 2016, the NOAA found, partly stemming from low birth numbers in recent years.

Oregon’s Dungeness Crab Fishermen Suffering From Short Season And Rough Weather And Low Prices

If you buy a fresh Oregon Dungeness crab from the market this weekend, you’ll pay around $7.95 a pound – half what you it cost you at this time last year.

But because of the dynamics of the industry – and the law of supply and demand – the crabber who has hundreds of thousands of dollars tied up in a boat and spent 36 hours tossed around at sea this week is being paid half — $2-3 a pound — of what he earned last year.

Marijuana Search Warrant and Arrests in Grants Pass

On January 18, 2023, the Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) executed a search warrant in the 5000 block of Tunnel Loop Road in Grants Pass, regarding an illegal indoor marijuana grow site.

During the execution of the warrant, more than 700 marijuana plants were seized and destroyed.  The property also had multiple electrical, water and solid waste code violations. These violations could result in the civil forfeiture of the property. 

Roy Kuang and Guo Xian Chen were taken into custody and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Unlawful Manufacturing of Marijuana and Unlawful Appropriation of Water.

At the time of this press release the investigation is ongoing and no further details are being released.

Arizona Woman Caught Trafficking Fentanyl and Heroin on Interstate 5 Charged in Federal Court

PORTLAND, Ore.—An Arizona woman is facing federal charges after she was caught trafficking approximately 45,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and several additional pounds of bulk heroin on Interstate 5 near Salem, Oregon.

Nancy Garcia, 47, of Yuma County, Arizona, has been charged by criminal complaint with possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl and heroin.

According to court documents, on January 16, 2023, an Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle being driven by Garcia northbound on Interstate 5 near Salem. The trooper identified Garcia as the sole occupant of the vehicle and observed that she was traveling with a statue of Santa Muerte, a saint-like figure some individuals believe offers protection in drug trafficking.

Garcia first told the trooper she was traveling to Seattle, but later said she was traveling to and planning to spend a week in Portland. The trooper lawfully searched Garcia’s vehicle and found more than 10 pounds of counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and five and half pounds of bulk heroin in a bag on the floor behind the driver’s seat. The trooper placed Garcia under arrest and transported the drugs to a law enforcement lab for further evaluation.

On January 18, 2023, Garcia made her first appearance in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Youlee Yim You. She was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

Oregon’s Nonfarm Payroll Employment Rises by 6,100 in December

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 6,100 jobs in December, following a gain of 8,200 jobs in November. The gains in December were largest in manufacturing (+2,400 jobs), construction (+1,300), and professional and business services (+1,100). The largest decline in December was in other services, which cut 500 jobs.

Oregon’s private sector added 5,600 jobs in December, reaching another all-time high of 1,694,200. This was 22,500 jobs, or 1.3%, above the pre-recession peak in February 2020.

Construction continued its rapid expansion in December. The industry added 10,200 jobs in 2022, for an annual growth rate of 9.1%. Gains were widespread throughout the industry, with all published components growing between 5.9% and 14.9% over that 12-month period. Building equipment contractors (+3,700 jobs, or 11.5%) and building finishing contractors (+2,200 jobs, or 14.9%) grew at the fastest rate.

Leisure and hospitality is still substantially below its pre-pandemic peak. But its revised gain of 1,500 jobs in November, coupled with its gain of 600 in December, kept the industry on its recent upward trajectory. Over the past 12 months it added 16,900 jobs, accounting for a quarter of Oregon’s private- sector job gains during that time.

Oregon’s unemployment rate rose to 4.5% in December, from 4.3%, as revised, in November. The unemployment rate increased 1.0 percentage point over the past five months from its recent low of 3.5% in May, June, and July. The last time Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.5% or more was in September 2021, when it was 4.5%. In contrast, the U.S. unemployment rate remained below 4% during the last three months of 2022, and it edged down from 3.6% in November to 3.5% in December.

Putting Oregon’s 4.5% December unemployment rate in a broader context: It has been relatively rare, historically, for Oregon’s unemployment rate to be below 4.5%. This occurred during the 14 months prior to December, when the rate averaged 3.9%. Also, from 2017 through 2019 the rate averaged 3.9%. But prior to late 2016, Oregon’s rate never dropped below 4.5% in any month dating back 40 years — from 1976, when comparable records began, to October 2016.

Britt Festival Announces More Performers For 2023 Season

The Britt Festival is advancing its 2023 musical performances lineup.

Today the annual music festival announced that the Good Vibes Summer Tour 2023 with California reggae band Rebelution will perform on the Britt stage August 27.  The Britt Music & Arts Festival (Britt) says that show also includes Britt favorite, Iration, plus The Expendables, Passafire, and DJ Mackle.

Britt says the 2023 performance will be Rebelution’s eighth appearance at Britt.

Britt notes that since its founding in Isla Vista, CA, “Rebelution has followed their instincts since the release of their breakout 2007 debut, Courage To Grow. In 2009, the band topped the Billboard Reggae Chart for the first of what would be five consecutive #1 records; in 2017, they garnered a GRAMMY nomination for Best Reggae Album. Rebelution’s transcendent live performances, meanwhile, have earned the group sell-out headline shows everywhere from Red Rocks to The Greek Theatre, along with festival slots at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, ACL, Glastonbury, and more.”

Rebelution is:

  • Eric Rachmany – Vocals / Guitar
  • Rory Carey – Keyboards
  • Marley D. Williams – Bass
  • Wesley Finley – Drums

Britt says, “Iration has a natural affinity for reggae and island sounds. Their love and appreciation for music spans across a wide range of styles and genres including rock, pop, R&B, and funk. Over the past 15 years, the celebrated five-piece – Micah Pueschel [Lead Vocals / Guitar], Adam Taylor [Bass], Joe Dickens [Drums], Cayson Peterson [Keyboard / Synth], and Micah Brown [Guitar / Vocals] – have perfected their distinct hybrid style of music, blending all influences together as evidenced on their seventh, and most recent, full-length album Coastin’.”

It says, “The Expendables have proven anything but in their nearly 25-year career since starting out as a spirited party band in high school covering surf-rock nuggets such as Dick Dale’s ‘Miserloo’ and ‘Wipe Out’ for birthdays and family gatherings. A quarter-century later, elementary school buddies Raul Bianchi, Adam Peterson, and Geoff Weers, along with bassist Ryan DeMars, who joined in 2000, have forged a unique original sound born in the laid-back beach life of their Santa Cruz, CA. hometown.”

Britt says, “Passafire’s single, Keepin’ On, serves as a mission statement for the veteran rock-reggae outfit as they continue to forge ahead through their second decade of reimagining the boundaries of the current rock-reggae landscape.”

It says DJ Mackle is a versatile disc jockey and music producer with a passion for delivering music and energy to the masses.

The Britt Music & Arts Festival uses its scenic hillside venue in Jacksonville, Oregon, for diverse live performances, a classical music festival and education programs for a sense of discovery and community. Since its grassroots beginnings in 1963, the non-profit organization has grown from a two-week chamber music festival to a summer-long series of concerts in a variety of genres, including a three-week orchestra season and year-round education and engagement programs.

The full 2023 Britt Presents concert season will be announced March 3rd and April 6th. Information on programs, membership and more is available at brittfest.org.

Study Ranks Oregon In Top 10 States Spending The Most On Rent

Another reason Governor Tina Kotek and the Oregon State Legislature can be embarrassed about and needs to deal with, is the fact that Oregonians are spending more of their income on rent than most other renters in the U.S., a study conducted by moving experts with Forbes Home shows.

Oregon is one of the many states across the United States where residents spend an increasingly large portion of their income on rent. According to a study conducted by moving experts with Forbes Home, Oregon ranks 9th in states where residents spend the largest percentage of their income on rent. 

Forbes Home’s complete top 10 list:

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3CK7vZ_0kJ55B0V00
The states that spend the highest percentage of income on rent. (courtesy of Forbes Home)

Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Forbes Home determined that Oregon ranked 9th in the U.S. for states where residents spend the largest percentage of their income on rent.

On average, Oregonians spend about $1,284 per month on rent, which is equal to more than 25% of their monthly income. This amount is higher than many other states in the U.S., and it has only been rising over time as rents continue to increase while incomes remain stagnant.

What makes this situation even worse is that high rental costs are not just a problem in Oregon; they are pervasive throughout the entire country. In fact, according to the same study, Hawaii had the highest disparity between rent and income, with 42% of monthly earnings going toward rent. California and New Jersey were not far behind at 28.47% and 27.50%, respectively. Clearly, this is a problem transcending state lines, but why does Oregon have it worse than most?

The answer lies in a combination of factors: rising housing costs and increasing demand for rental properties due to population growth and economical migration from other parts of the country. 

According to data from Zillow, median rents for single-family homes have steadily increased since 2011—from about $1,200 per month to nearly $1,400 today—while wages have remained largely stagnant over that same period (after adjusting for inflation). This means that despite earning more money over time, renters are paying a larger portion of their income toward rent year after year.

At the same time that housing prices are skyrocketing and wages remain stagnant, Oregon’s population is proliferating due to people migrating from other parts of the country seeking better job opportunities or a lower cost of living (which can sometimes be offset by higher rental costs). 

As more people move into the state looking for affordable housing options, competition increases significantly—driving up prices even further as landlords take advantage of increased demand—and leaving those who already live here fighting for limited space in an ever-shrinking market.

Oregon’s largest nurses union and the hospital industry are gearing up for a push — and potential fight — in the Legislature to bolster the ranks of nurses that have dwindled throughout the past three years.

COVID-19 pushed hospitals into a crisis, with nurses reaching a breaking point as the pandemic dragged on. They also faced surges of other respiratory illnesses such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. Patients paid a price, with long emergency room waits and delayed care while burned out nurses fled the field.

The state’s largest nurses union and hospital industry agree that Oregon needs more nurses but they disagree on how the state should fix the problem. The Oregon Nurses Association, which represents about 15,000 nurses, wants a bill passed this session that would establish minimum staffing standards and levels in law for each part of a hospital, including emergency care and intensive care units.

Nurse staffing is not determined by state law. Rather, nurses and nurse managers are required to work together in staffing committees on plans that establish how many nurses are needed in each part of hospitals.

The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, which represents all hospitals in the state, said staffing requirements set in state law would take a wrong one-size-fits-all approach. The group, in a statement to the Capital Chronicle, said that other solutions deserve a look, such as state funding and incentives awarded to hospitals that offer clinical training programs and state tax credits to nurse educators.

TSA Breaks Another Record Nationally In Oregon For Guns Found At Checkpoints In 2022

Transportation Security Administration officers in Oregon detected 108 firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage in 2022, with the majority of the firearms discovered at Portland International Airport’s security checkpoints.

Every one of these firearms was discovered during the routine X-ray screening of carry-on property. Nationwide last year, TSA officers found 6,542 firearms at 262 different airports.

Below is a summary of TSA firearm discoveries at Oregon airports and nationally for the past five years:

Airport20182019202020212022
PDX4964335378*
EUG857710*
MFR101451412
RDM94478
Oregon totals:76874981108*
National totals:4,2394,4323,2575,9726,542*

Note: no firearms have been discovered since 2018 at Southwest Oregon Regional Airport
* Record number of firearm discoveries.

The five U.S. airports with the most TSA firearm discoveries are Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which topped the list with 448 firearm finds. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport came in second with 385 followed by Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport with 298; Nashville International Airport with 213 and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with 196. Orlando International Airport; Denver International Airport; Austin-Bergstrom International Airport; Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Tampa International Airport round out the Top 10.

In 2022, TSA screened approximately 761 million passengers and crew at airports nationwide. TSA officers across the country discovered firearms in carry-on luggage at a rate of 8.6 firearms per million passengers screened. Stated another way, TSA detected one firearm for every 116,394 travelers screened.

The busiest airport in Oregon is PDX, where TSA officers screened approximately 7.7 million departing passengers and crew. Statistics show that travelers flying out of PDX brought firearms in carry-on luggage at a rate of around 10 firearms per million travelers screened, exceeding the national average. That equates to a firearm discovered for 99,219 travelers screened.

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