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Monday, Sept. 18, 2023
Klamath Basin Weather
Today Widespread haze with partly sunny skies and a high near 83. Light northwest wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Overngiht clear with a low around 46.
Registered Klamath County residents can expect ballots in the mail next month for the upcoming special election.
The only item on the ballot will be a measure for a tax levy to fund local museums.
Measure 18-131 asks whether county residents are willing to increase the five-year tax levy from 5-cents per $1,000 assessed property to 10-cents. The measure states that the budget for the Klamath County Museum, Baldwin Hotel and Fort Klamath Museum is not funded from the county’s general fund, and instead relies on voter-approved levies for financial support since 2011.
According to the measure summary, the museums are the county’s primary means of preservation and sharing of historical documents and artifacts.
Should residents vote to approve Measure 18-131, the estimated total revenue is $646,223 for the first fiscal year from 2024 to 2025. Expected revenue increases each of the five years with the final fiscal year 2029-30 estimated to bring in more than $3.4 million.
A news release from the county said the ballots will be mailed to registered voters Oct. 18 and must be dropped off by 8 p.m. on Nov. 7. (Herald & News)
For the 11th rendition of the Klamath Independent Film Festival, Oregon’s lone film fest that exclusively showcases Made-in-Oregon shorts and feature-length films, over 50 selected films will be presented in-person and online Sept. 22-24.
The festival has garnered a reputation as the premier Oregon-centric film fest, welcoming visitors to the Klamath Basin from across the Pacific Northwest for a multi-day celebration of Oregon’s diverse landscapes and artistic endeavors.
It features animation, documentaries, and narrative films spanning many genres and topics. Festivities commence on Friday, Sept. 22 with an opening night gala and showcase of four films similarly themed around water – a topic all too timely in the Klamath Basin following years of drought and work underway to remove four dams in the region.
Saturday, Sept. 23 will showcase selected feature-length films, followed by a Q&A with each filmmaker.
Sunday, Sept. 24 begins with a showcase of student films, including those produced by Klamath area students in an annual summer film camp coordinated by Klamath Film, and continues with shorts (films under 40-minutes in length) culminating in the KIFF2023 Awards Ceremony that evening.
A total of $5,100 in cash prizes will also be distributed across seven award categories.
This year the festival is also adding an annual career achievement in film award celebrating individuals with Oregon roots who have had a profound impact on the film industry.
Tickets for the Klamath Independent Film Festival vary from single-day passes for $25, weekend passes for $40, a Friday pass for $15, or a full festival pass for $50. There are also livestream and online access festival passes for $40, which allow access to all of the festival’s films for two weeks.
Klamath Film members receive a 50% ticket discount. For more information and to purchase tickets in advance visit www.klamathfilm.org/festival.
In less than a month thousands of people with flock to Klamath County to witness the Solar Eclipse.
Klamath County makes a great destination to see it because it’s very rural and has very little light pollution. Because it’s such a good destination and so many people are expected to show up, a state of emergency has already been announced. Having that many people in the county with limited resources means it will take longer to get necessary things, if they’re available at all.
Kelley Minty, a commissioner for Klamath County, is encouraging residents to be prepared by stocking up on necessities like gas and food before everyone arrives. She said she is excited for the county to welcome all these visitors.
There is also a reminder for residents asking for patience from them as it will be one of the busiest weekends in the county’s history.
The Solar Eclipse is set to hit Klamath County, Oregon from about 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on October 14th.
The American Red Cross is asking for everyone’s help as it faces a nationwide blood shortage including in Oregon.
During the summer months is usually when they see a decline in people donating — that’s because people tend to forget to donate during the busy summer season — but the other time of the year they see a drop is around the holidays.
Now the Red Cross is urging people to donate so this shortage doesn’t get worse. The next scheduled opportunity to donate blood in the Klamath Basin isn’t until October 25th at Klamath Union High School. However, you can get more information and make appointments to donate blood at redcrossblood.org. In order to keep the country’s blood supply stocked, it will take 13,000 donations from across the country.
The need has been dropping over the last couple of months, according to Dawn Johnson, communications manager for Red Cross Cascades Region. Johnson said that there are a few reasons blood is in short supply nationwide, including Hurricane Idalia, which slammed parts of the Florida just a couple of weeks ago.
Around the state of Oregon
Measure 114, Oregon’s gun safety law approved by voters last November, will be discussed in a Harney County Court on Monday, with a judge set to hear arguments from the Oregon Department of Justice on whether the measure fits into Oregon’s constitution.
Measure 114 requires gun purchase background checks by police who also would decide which applicants for gun-purchase permits would receive state-mandated permission to purchase firearms. The process would require gun purchase applicants to pay for an application process, which could result in a denied application after a full sets of fingerprints are filed with police.
The measure also limits the size of gun ammunition magazines to capacity of ten. This state trial comes after a July ruling from the U.S. District Court, stating that Measure 114 complies with the federal constitution recent gun regulation rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court.
The federal court’s ruling is currently being appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. A judge previously passed a temporary restraining order on the measure last winter, making it so that the law will not go into effect until that order is lifted.
Republicans Barred From 2024 Elections File Papers Anyway
State senators in Oregon with at least 10 recorded absences in the Legislature have filed candidacy papers, despite potential disqualification.
Following record-setting walkouts by Republicans in 2019, 2020, and 2021, voters in Oregon backed a constitutional amendment, known as Measure 113. It disqualifies legislators seeking reelection if they missed 10 or more legislative floor sessions without a valid excuse or permission.
%Nine Oregon Republicans with 10 absences in this year’s session have now reapplied, as well as one independent candidate.
GOP members have staged walkouts in recent years, not only in Oregon, to block Democrat bills covering a range of topics, including transgender health care, abortion, gun rights and more.
This prevented a quorum, the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly necessary to conduct the procedures of that group.
Statehouses in Tennessee and Montana have also been affected. “It is clear voters intended Measure 113 to disqualify legislators from running for reelection if they had 10 or more unexcused absences in a legislative session,” said Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade in August.
“My decision honors the voters’ intent by enforcing the measure the way it was commonly understood when Oregonians added it to our state constitution.”
The Associated Press has reported that GOP Senate leader Tim Knopp went to the election offices in Salem early on Thursday and submitted a candidate filing form for the 2024 primary election, paying the $25 fee. Sen. Dennis Linthicum and Sen. Art Robinson also filed, having both exceeded the limit on absences.
All three have said that the way the amendment is written means they are permitted to seek another term. Measure 113 states that 10 or more unexcused absences “shall disqualify the member from holding office as a Senator or Representative for the term following the election after the member’s current term is completed.”
Five Republican senators in the northwestern state are hoping to fast-track a lawsuit over the case. If successful, it could force state officials to allow them another shot at reelection. This could go all the way to the Supreme Court after lawmakers and Griffin-Valade filed a joint motion requesting the case head directly to the Oregon Supreme Court, which would move the process along more quickly.
A joint motion filed in August states: “Immediate review by the Supreme Court is the only effective way to resolve this dispute in a timely manner.” The motion was filed by Knopp, Linthicum, and Robinson, as well as Daniel Bonham and Lynn Findley. “Petitioners and other similarly situated legislators need to know whether they can file for re-election and serve if elected; the Secretary needs to know whether those legislators must be listed on the ballot (and, if so, whether they would be eligible to serve if elected); other potential candidates need to know whether incumbent legislators are running for re-election; and Oregon voters have great interest in the proper construction of a constitutional amendment that was enacted by the voters last fall,” the motion reads, as reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting. (SOURCE)
Water once again flows at the historic tubs at Tub Springs State Wayside, but now as a feature and not a source of drinking water.
Water to the historic drinking water tub was shut off in January due to water quality concerns. The Oregon Health Authority ordered the tubs closed to the public due to high turbidity. After its analysis, Oregon Health Authority changed the water’s classification from groundwater to surface water, which means it’s not fit for drinking water without additional analysis and treatment.
Changes in water quality at the springs were not a result of operations and maintenance, but are due to unknown causes. To resume potable water service would require treating the water, possibly including, but not limited to enhanced filtration and chlorination.
To maintain visitor safety, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department modified the water feature so it continues to flow but not as a drinking source. “We wanted to preserve the experience of watching water run through these historic tubs while also preserving visitor safety,” said Nathan Seable, manager for OPRD’s Valley of the Rogue Management Unit.
The wayside is located along Green Springs Highway 66 about 20 miles southeast of Ashland.
Union Leaders for Nurses at OHSU to Announce Strike Vote Results, Hold Public Rally, Today, Monday, Sept. 18th
WHAT: Oregon Nurses Association (ONA)-represented nurses from Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) will announce the results of their strike authorization vote during a public rally at Elizabeth Caruthers Park on the South Waterfront Monday, Sept. 18.
Nurses will also be available for one-on-one interviews. The rally will be livestreamed on ONA’s main Facebook page. The 3160 frontline nurses at OHSU are represented by the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) through the Association of University Registered Nurses (AURN).
WHEN: 11:30 a.m., Monday, September 18, 2023
WHERE: Elizabeth Caruthers Park (3508 S Moody Ave, Portland, OR)
WHO: Hundreds of frontline nurses at OHSU along with elected officials, community allies and supporters.
WHY: Local nurses are demanding OHSU executives reach a fair contract agreement with frontline caregivers that will retain the highly skilled and valuable nurses who work at the hospital, ensure a safe environment for patients and nurses, provide high-quality care through appropriate staffing levels and give them the opportunity to reopen negotiations if the acquisition of Legacy Health System is finalized.
Negotiations commenced December 2022 and have continued through the contract’s expiration on June 30, 2023. The nurse bargaining team declared impasse in August and the two sides have been working with a mediator during a 30-day cooling off period.
If ONA members vote to authorize a strike at OHSU, ONA’s nurse leaders will work to determine next steps, including setting potential strike dates.
If a strike is called, ONA will provide OHSU with a 10-day notice to allow OHSU executives adequate time to cease admissions and transfer patients or to reach a fair agreement with nurses and avert a work stoppage. ONA’s nurse bargaining team at OHSU continues to meet with OHSU management with a mediator.
The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest and most influential nursing organization. We are a professional association and labor union which represents more than 16,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org.
The Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service will be waiving recreation fees at most day-use sites on lands managed by the agency on Saturday, in honor of National Public Lands Day.
This annual event, which is celebrated on the fourth Saturday in September, is an opportunity for people across the country to come together and give back to the lands that give us so much.
This year marks the 30th annual National Public Lands Day where people from across the country can join together to celebrate the beauty and diversity of our public lands and to recognize the hard work of the volunteers and partners who help care for them.
Waiving fees for National Public Lands Day creates an opportunity for everyone to get outside and enjoy these special places, and to inspire them to make a difference in the world by taking care of our natural resources.
Residents and visitors of the Pacific Northwest Region are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to get outside, explore our public lands, and celebrate 30 years of care and community. Whether you enjoy hiking, fishing, camping, or just enjoying a picnic with family and friends, there is a way for everyone to enjoy celebrating National Public Lands Day. Fees will be waived for several picnic areas, boat launches, trailheads, and visitor centers.
Regular fees for camping, cabin rentals, heritage expeditions, and other permits will still apply. Participation by concession-operated sites may vary, so visitors are encouraged to check with their local Forest Service office for more information.
The Klamath National Forest is reducing the areas under emergency closure orders for the Happy Camp Complex on the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll and Scott River Ranger Districts.
The decision was made after close coordination between Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 2, local cooperators, and the Klamath National Forest.
The purpose of an emergency closure order is to provide for public safety in response to ongoing wildfire on the Happy Camp Complex. A forest closure prohibits the public from entering portions of the forest in or near the vicinity of ongoing wildfire activity. The closure order also prohibits the use of roads, trails, and developed recreation sites within the closure area.
The Bureau of Land Management is hiring various jobs in wildland fire across Oregon and Washington. Jobs will open for firefighters, dispatchers and to work at airtanker bases starting in October. This is an opportunity for a career that helps protect local communities and public lands.
The BLM manages over 16 million acres of forest and high desert throughout Oregon and Washington. This creates a complex fire program where no two days are the same. Joining the team takes employees to some of the most beautiful places in the country. The BLM is also part of a larger, collaborative wildland fire management community and partners with other local, state, and federal agencies.
Rogelio Galaviz works as an engine captain for the BLM in Lakeview, Oregon. He has been with the BLM for 15 years and is originally from Oregon. He finds a career in wildland fire fulfilling and likes that he can help his community and others during times of need. “Anyone with a passion for wildland fire and land stewardship can find a position they’ll enjoy with the BLM,” said Rogelio. “I’ve had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of wildland fire resources. I’ve worked on a helicopter rappel crew and multiple Interagency Hotshot crews. I’ve also worked with 3,000-gallon water tenders and other vehicles equipped with water tanks and pumps.”
For job announcements or to apply, visit USAJOBS.gov. The work itself will begin in the late spring or early summer of 2024.
Fire information for the Smith River Complex North in Southern Oregon
𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝗦𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟭𝟴, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟯
𝗦𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗥𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘅 𝗡𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗵 𝗤𝘂𝗶𝗰𝗸 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝘀 92,180 acres (12,460 in Oregon) 1,473 total personnel 65% containment 37 crews 11 helicopters 66 engines 8 dozers 26 water tenders 14 masticators Hose unloaded and coiled at Incident Command Post at Lake Selmac. Photo by Alaska Incident Management Team/Aubry Andreas
BLM Edson and Sixes recreation sites and campgrounds closed due to Anvil Fire
Coos Bay, Oregon – As a result of the Anvil Fire, the BLM is closing the Edson and Sixes campgrounds and recreation sites until further notice. This order is for the safety of the public and firefighter personnel.
Members of the public may not enter closed areas. All uses—including hiking, hunting and camping—are prohibited.
“This closure order is to keep the public and firefighters safe,” said Steve Lydick, Coos Bay District Manager. “The BLM continues to work closely with the fire team and county emergency managers on public safety measures resulting from the Anvil Fire.”
Flat Fire and Anvil Fire Quick Facts for 9/18/2023 Flat Fire Acres: 34,242 Containment: 75% Anvil Fire Acres: 9,023 Containment: 0% Closure orders are in place around the Flat and Anvil Fires for firefighter and public safety. Please visit Inciweb bit.ly/AnvilFireOR and bit.ly/FlatFireOR for the latest closure information.
Please call 911 to report any signs of new fires.
A list of fire restrictions and closure orders for BLM Oregon-Washington public lands are available at https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/oregon-washington/fire-restrictions. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BLMOregon.
Juniper Creek Fire Cause release; A reminder on wildfire prevention
Sisters, Ore. – Preliminary findings in the Juniper Creek Fire investigation indicate that the fire cause was consistent with target shooting. The Juniper Creek Fire started August 20, 2023, and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) contained it at 106 acres. The responsible party took several safety precautions while shooting on their property.
Nevertheless, a bullet fragment appears to have ignited the fire. With how dry the conditions were, the fuels were extremely receptive to ignition sources. As soon as the fire was noticed, it was reported to 911. “This is a great learning opportunity to show that no matter how many precautions you take, you can still accidentally start a wildfire,” said Ben Duda, Sisters Wildland Fire Supervisor.
“We’re grateful that the responsible party reacted quickly and called 911. Without that fast reporting, ODF wouldn’t have been able to catch the fire as quickly and keep it small.”
ODF wants to remind people that the risk of wildfire is still very present across the state. Even with cooler weather, the state has not experienced any season-ending changes in weather. No matter how many precautions you take, the best way to prevent wildfires is to not engage in activities that could start one.
Check local fire regulations at www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/pages/restrictions.aspx and find wildfire prevention tips at www.keeporegongreen.org. If you do find that a fire has started, do not hesitate to call 911. Quick reporting leads to quick response and helps to keep the fire small.
Administrators at the Oregon State Hospital announced that they have received ‘immediate jeopardy’ findings from a surveyor who was on site on behalf of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
State hospital administrators are taking steps to immediately address the specific findings in the report, which include making physical changes to secure transportation vehicles.The surveyor cited issues related to the secure medical transport of patients, including patients who are currently involved in the criminal justice system or are under the supervision of the state Psychiatric Security Review Board.
Under federal rules, OSH has 23 days to make approved changes to address the surveyor’s immediate jeopardy findings or be terminated from eligibility to receive federal Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement for services.
State hospital administrators will provide a corrective action plan for CMS review and approval early next week. If the plan receives preliminary approval, a surveyor will conduct another unannounced visit to review the hospital’s fidelity in implementing the corrective plan.
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