Klamath Basin News, Friday, Feb 21 – State Again Denies Jordan Pipeline Project Key Permit Citing Environmental Concerns

Broadcasting’s KFLS News/Talk 1450AM/102.5FM, BasinLife.com and The Herald & News.


Klamath Basin Weather

Sunny, with a high near 58.   Overnight, clear with a low around 29 degrees.

Sunny, with a high near 58. Calm winds.  Overnight, a few clouds with a low of 32.

A 20% of rain after 10am.  Snow level rising to 5100 feet. Partly sunny, with a high near 52.

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Sunny, with a high near 59

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Today’s Headlines

The Klamath County Public Health Air Advisory is Green until noon today.

Oregon has denied a key permit for the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas pipeline project, which would run through Malin, Oregon, citing its significant effects on the environment

The denial came in a letter just before a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission meeting on Thursday delayed a vote on the proposed natural gas pipeline and marine export terminal where regulators would have considered the project for approval.

In a letter to Canadian-owned Pembina Pipeline Corporation the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development pointed to the proposed project’s negative impact on Oregon’s coastal scenic and aesthetic resources, a variety of endangered and threatened species, critical habitat and ecosystem services, fisheries resources, commercial and recreational fishing and boating, and commercial shipping and transportation, among other sectors critical to the state as the reason for the denial.

Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development said that with its objection neither FERC nor the Army Corps of Engineers can grant a license or permit for this project unless the U.S. Secretary of Commerce overrides this objection on appeal.

The proposed 229-mile natural gas pipeline would span from Malin, Oregon to a proposed export terminal in Coos Bay. Oregon has denied all three of the primary permits that the project has sought from the state.

Ferguson Hotel Development is moving forward with plans to build another hotel in Timbermill Shores.

John Ferguson, president of Ferguson Hotel Development said they are now in the beginning development stages of an upper midscale, 78-room Hilton Hampton Inn & Suites hotel in Timbermill Shores. The first hotel by the company, a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott hotel, has not been opened to the public yet and is still in construction.

It is planned to be completed by Spring 2020. The 92-room hotel will be the first project to be completed in Timbermill Shores, which has sat vacant for years. A Department of Human Services building is planned for the area, as well as a People’s Bank location.

The FBI is looking for suspect(s) who shot up this electrical substation. Read more.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the shooting of a Mid-State Electric Cooperative Substation.

On June 1, 2019, unknown suspects using high-caliber firearms shot at a transformer and power regulators located at the “Mowich” substation. Approximately 1,000 customers lost power due to the severe damage, which is estimated at more than $400,000.

To date, no group or person has claimed responsibility.

The seeking information poster can be found on the FBI’s website at https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/shooting-of-electrical-substation.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the FBI at (541) 773-2942 in Medford or at (503) 224-4181 in Portland.

State Senator Dennis Linthicum has a new challenger in this year’s general election. Oregon Liquor Control Commissioner and General Manager of Sunriver Owners Association, Hugh Palcic, announced on Wednesday his candidacy for the Oregon State Senate.

Filing as a Democrat, Palcic sees a clear advantage for making the district’s case in Salem. Improving the regional economy, securing infrastructure projects, and developing affordable housing are all major focal points for Palcic.

The city of Klamath Falls is again offering a Senior Citizen Utility Credit for 2020. The credit in the amount of $65 is available to senior citizens who meet the following criteria: Income for a single resident $20,150 annual and for a couple, $23,000. They must be at least 60 years of age. Verification of age and income are required.

The utility account must be within the city limits and in the name of the applicant from January 1st through December 31st. The service address of the utility account must also be the principle residence of the applicant.

A desperate need exists in Klamath County for volunteers willing to help protect the rights and dignity of people living in long-term care facilities. The Oregon Long-Term Care Ombudsman program makes it possible for individuals to provide that service in a meaningful way by becoming a certified ombudsman volunteer. Only one volunteer ombudsman is currently assigned to Klamath County, leaving hundreds of senior and disabled residents in care facilities without the often essential service such volunteers can provide.

As a certified ombudsman, a volunteer is able to advocate for the needs and wants of older adults and people with disabilities living in care facilities. The mission of the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman is “to enhance the quality of life; improve the level of care; protect the individual rights and promote the dignity of each Oregon citizen residing in a long-term care facility.” Volunteers are a vital part of that mission because their duty, first and foremost, is to the resident.

In Klamath Falls alone, 449 seniors reside in long-term care facilities, which include residential care, assisted living, nursing homes, as well as memory care communities.

The top six complaints people in long-term care asked Oregon volunteer ombudsmen to address in the 2018-19 fiscal year were related to discharge and eviction; inaccurate resident care plans or failure to follow the plans; food quality, quantity, variation, choice, condiments and utensils; medication administration and organization; not being treated with dignity and respect by facility staff; and failure to respond to requests for assistance.

When long-term care facility administrators, management and staff fail to address a resident’s concerns, volunteer ombudsman provide a vital lifeline. The LTCO website emphasizes that volunteer ombudsmen “strive to remove barriers to quality care and are opponents of institutional repression wherever it exists and in whatever form it takes.”

Qualifications necessary to become a certified ombudsman include being at least 21 years old and able to pass a criminal history check. Volunteers need to possess strong observation, communication and problem solving skills. They must also be dependable and have adequate transportation to visit facilities.

Volunteer ombudsmen go through five days of training for five hours each day. Those five days are spread over two to three weeks. After going through the sessions and passing an open-book, take home test, volunteers are certified and assigned to one or more facilities.

Certified ombudsman volunteers begin their work by meeting a facility’s residents and learning about their concerns. Then, with the resident’s permission, the volunteer contacts the facility staff or other agencies to find a solution to the concern.

While Klamath County is not unique in its shortage of volunteer ombudsmen, the lack of volunteers relative to the area’s population is distinctive, according to Natascha Cronin, volunteer recruitment specialist with the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

Seven other counties are grouped into the same Long-Term Care Ombudsman district as Klamath County, and three of them — Lake, Crook and Harney counties — have no volunteer ombudsman at all, Deputy State Long Term Care Ombudsman Todd Steele reported.

Cronin is optimistic about the chances of volunteer ombudsmen numbers increasing in Klamath County though, thanks to the Oregon legislature approving an additional three deputy ombudsman positions for the state, thereby increasing the number of deputy ombudsman by 50%. Now with nine deputy ombudsmen, Oregon has been divided into nine LTCO districts instead of six, so the work is spread between more people.

To learn more about volunteering or to report a concern at a long-term care facility, call 1-800-522-2602 or visit www.oltco.org. To sign up for the training or ask questions related to becoming a certified ombudsman volunteer, call 971-600-6149 to speak with Natascha Cronin.

Using the arts as a means of addressing community need is at the heart of 36 projects awarded $205,386 by the Oregon Arts Commission’s Arts Build Communities grant program for FY2020. The Arts Build Communities program targets broad geographic impact and arts access for underserved audiences in Oregon.

Projects funded include “Anna & Abby’s Yard in Forest Grove,” an accessible playground with a culturally responsive design that supports inclusion for children with disabilities by Harper’s Playground; Cameras for Change, an Outside the Frame project offering film training and equipment access for youth experiencing homelessness in Portland; and “What I Know for Sure,” a writing/performance project featuring seniors from both the Klamath Basin Senior Citizens’ Center and EagleRidge High School in Klamath Falls.

“This program provides financial support to arts and other community-based organizations for projects that address a local community problem, issue or need through an arts-based solution,” said Arts Commission Vice Chair Jenny Green, who led the review panel. “Local citizens employ creative thinking and collective response to identify a local need and provide an arts-based solution.”

The grants also spark and leverage many other investments and resources, serving as a catalyst for greater economic and civic impact, said Green.

In recent years Arts Build Communities projects attracted more than $600,000 in additional investment, much of it representing salaries paid to artists and others as well as products and services purchased in the funded communities.

Arts Build Communities grants are made possible through a funding partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

In Southern Oregon, grants were made to:

Rogue Valley Chorale Association, Medford: $4,019

To support “Spring Sing,” three concerts performed by students for their peers to motivate them to seek out musical opportunities. Grant award funds will be support transportation, stipends for conductors and accompanists, and promotional materials.

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. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at:  www.oregonartscommission.org.

Around the state

William Gregory Douglas, 37, of Cave Junction, Oregon, pleaded guilty yesterday for threatening to shoot YouTube employees at the company’s San Bruno, California headquarters after his account was removed for violating the video-sharing platform’s terms of service.

“Threatening a mass shooting is a serious crime whether or not an individual plans to act. This is a crime that undermines Americans’ fundamental right to live and work without fear,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “We will continue to diligently respond to and prosecute criminal threats of violence to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Using social media outlets to threaten violence of any kind victimizes individuals and undermines the safety of our communities,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “The FBI remains committed to working with our state and local partners to respond quickly to threats and keep our communities free from violence and intimidation.”

According to court documents, sometime on or before August 22, 2018, YouTube removed Douglas’ video channel for violating the platform’s terms of service. In response, on August 23, 2018, Douglas posted five tweets threatening violence against YouTube employees. In one of the tweets, Douglas threatened a “bigger mass casualty” event, appearing to reference a prior shooting incident at YouTube’s headquarters in April 2018 that injured three employees.

Later, on September 8, 2018, Douglas posted a tweet stating “Hey why do you guys keep ignoring me would it be better if I leave you with no other options like your

leaving me…I’m beyond pissed…I wonder how I should deal with this frustration.” Finally, on September 17, 2018, Douglas tweeted a direct threat at one of YouTube’s senior leaders saying “…I’m coming for you today #pray.”

On October 4, 2018, a federal grand jury in Medford, Oregon returned a one-count indictment charging Douglas with cyberstalking. Later, on January 14, 2020, he was charged by criminal information with one count of making interstate communications with the intent to extort. Douglas pleaded guilty today to the latter charge.

As part of the plea agreement, Douglas has agreed to pay restitution in full to his victims as determined and ordered by the court at sentencing.

Douglas faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years’ supervised release. He will be sentenced on May 14, 2020 before U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken.

This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Judi R. Harper, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Anyone with information about real or perceived threats of violence should call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at https://tips.fbi.gov. For immediate threats to life and safety, please call 9-1-1.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our department at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

The Oregon State Police is continuing the investigation into the officer-involved shooting there in Silverton, Oregon.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that William Bluestone was in possession of a handgun at the time of the shooting.  The Silverton Officer was wearing a body worn camera and the incident was recorded.  It is unable to be released at this time as this is an open/active investigation.

The Oregon State Police and Marion County DA’s office understands the public’s desire to know immediate information when an officer is involved in a deadly use of force.  However in an effort to complete a fair and thorough investigation information needs to be withheld until after a Grand Jury can be convened to hear the facts of the case, as is Marion County District Attorneys standard practice.

No more information is available to be released at this time.

Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon announced that the DEA will direct enforcement resources to methamphetamine “transportation hubs” — areas where methamphetamine is often trafficked in bulk and then distributed across the country. While continuing to focus on stopping drugs being smuggled across the border, DEA’s Operation Crystal Shield will ramp up enforcement to block their further distribution into America’s neighborhoods.

DEA has identified eight major methamphetamine transportation hubs where these efforts will be concentrated: Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix, and St. Louis. Together, these DEA Field Divisions accounted for more than 75 percent of methamphetamine seized in the U.S. in 2019.

Methamphetamine seizures in the Pacific Northwest are continuing to rise. In 2019, DEA seizures throughout the region were an all-time high of more than 3,200 pounds. Recent seizure amounts for the region are on pace to surpass last year. “The increased volume of high grade methamphetamine flooding our Pacific Northwest neighborhoods coupled with increased overdose rates is alarming,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis.  He further added, “Operation Crystal Shield will further enhance law enforcement efforts in key distribution points throughout the Pacific Northwest linked to the identified transportation hubs in the southwest.”

Virtually all methamphetamine in the United States comes through major ports of entry along the Southwest Border and is transported by tractor trailers and personal vehicles along the nation’s highways to major transfer centers around the country. It is often found in poly-drug loads, alongside cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.

Information regarding illicit drug trafficking activities can be anonymously submitted at www.dea.gov

Bureau of Land Management will publish six draft supplemental environmental impact statements today for management of Greater Sage-Grouse habitat on public lands in seven Western states, highlighting the collaborative process undergone in 2019 to develop plans that reflected the needs of Western communities and Greater Sage Grouse habitat.

The draft statements address issues identified in an October order issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho which placed a preliminary injunction on the implementation of 2019 BLM sage-grouse plans in Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada/northeastern California and Oregon.

Suspending implementation of the 2019 plans has affected programs and projects across the BLM and in Western states from authorizations of renewable energy projects and oil and gas leases to grazing permit renewals and wildfire management.

The Oregon Historical Society (OHS) is pleased to announce the 2020 recipients of the Oregon History Makers Medal. First awarded in 2009, the History Makers Medal is one of Oregon’s most prestigious honors, and the Society presents the award annually to individuals and organizations that are positively shaping the history, culture, and landscape of Oregon.

The 2020 Oregon History Makers Medal recipients are:

Lillian Pitt: Acclaimed artist

Lillian Pitt has created a lifetime of works in a variety of media, including clay, bronze, wearable art, prints, glass, and jewelry. Born and raised on the Warm Springs reservation, with ancestors who have lived in and near the Columbia Gorge for over 10,000 years, Lillian’s emphasis is on creating contemporary fine art pieces that honor the history and legends of her people. Her works are regularly exhibited throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well as nationally and internationally.

Punit Renjen: Visionary business leader

Born and raised in India, Punit Renjen came to Oregon in 1984 on a Rotary Foundation Scholarship to Willamette University. After receiving a master’s degree in management, he began his career at Deloitte. In 2015, he became the company’s global CEO, and the first Asian born person to head one of the world’s largest professional services firms. In 2018, Punit launched WorldClass, Deloitte’s global initiative to advance education and skills for communities at risk, beginning with girls and women in India.

Dr. Geraldine Richmond: Renowned scientist and educator

Dr. Geraldine Richmond is the Presidential Chair in Science and a chemistry professor at the University of Oregon. She has served on the National Science Board since 2012, and was awarded a National Medal of Science for her fundamental research on the chemistry and physics of complex surfaces and interfaces, which is relevant to energy production and environmental remediation. Throughout her career, Dr. Richmond has worked to promote women in science around the globe.

The Greenbrier Companies: International leader in the transportation industry

What began in 1919 as a wire wheel manufacturer, founded by brothers Chester and Alvin Gunderson, has since grown into a group of companies that is one of the leading designers, manufacturers, and marketers of railroad car equipment in North America and Europe, and one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of ocean-going barges. As the fourth largest publicly traded company based in Oregon, Greenbrier also boasts over 1,100 employees in Oregon and more than 16,000 worldwide.

“For over a decade, the Oregon Historical Society has had the pleasure of highlighting the accomplishments of the business leaders, philanthropists, artists, and cutting-edge thinkers that have shaped our communities,” said OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. “Oregon would not be where it is today without the individuals and organizations that continue to innovate and push boundaries across every industry.”

The Oregon Historical Society will present the Oregon History Makers Medals at a gala celebration at the Portland Art Museum on Sunday, October 4, 2020. Table sponsorships and individual tickets are available; for more information, please contact Ally Huffman at 503.306.5226 or ally.huffman@ohs.org.

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 artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website (www.ohs.org), 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.

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