Mon. Mar 30th, 2020

SBJ.news

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A Message From Gerry Frank

At the height of the Great Depression in the 1930's, the family department store, Meier & Frank, ran a full-page ad on the back of the Sunday Oregonian. It had one word - Confidence. The following morning, hundreds of Oregonians took their savings out of local banks and brought it to Meier & Frank for safe keeping. They did this because of the trust and confidence they had in the institution since 1857. In turn, the store showed their confidence by cancelling the interest on all credit accounts and keeping the customers funds in savings as long as they needed. I couldn't help but think about that these days, with the serious troubles facing our community, state and nation. We must remain confident, innovative and take the time to look out for those who need special care and attention.

We've been through serious problems before, and because of the resilience of the American people, we have overcome the difficulties and come out a stronger nation. We will do it again. It's up to us to keep our chins up, spirits strong and continue to support each other through this challenging time.

Stay healthy and safe. Together, we will overcome this.
Gerry Frank

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These are truly unique and challenging times for our community including our business community. Having been self employed for a substantial part of my professional life I understand the impact current events around the health crisis are posing.
From my perspective at City Hall, this has been a real disaster for many of local businesses. On a personal level I miss the interaction with friends, neighbors and colleagues and have the quiet sense of dread a person my age has these days (I’m 71).
As I move around the community, I am consistently inspired by the creativity of businesses to serve us all and of government to adapt to the particular needs we face. Perhaps most notable to me has been the tremendous crisis response we’ve seen from our first responders and Salem Health. To relate everything I’ve seen done and being done would take more space than I have here.
Right now, I want to focus on the work being done in the city in cooperation with federal, state and regional partners to prepare for the immediate impacts of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” policy and closure of so many businesses, and also to highlight areas of normalcy in our economy.

We are coordinating our working with partners to ensure we have the most current information and resources to share with area businesses. The city has added a business resource page to the City’s COVID-19 information and are getting information our through the City’s Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages. Follow this information as https://www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/covid19.aspx.
To make it easier to access “to go” food options from downtown businesses, we’ve temporarily converted several downtown parking spaces to 15-minute “to go” spaces.
Building permits can be submitted on line. Construction so far has not been interrupted by the virus pandemic and is still going at a record pace reflecting the booming economy of only a few weeks ago. The city is strongly supporting construction activity in Salem and providing inspections to keep projects moving forward.
Land Use applications can also be submitted online. Pre-application conferences are being conducted remotely and standard review times continue to be met.
The city also is aware of the financial burden our businesses are facing and has made some changes to reflect this fact. Here are two examples:

  • Withdrawal of the employee payroll tax proposal was accepted by the City Council on March 23. The tax, which was set for a vote on the May Primary Ballot, is now off the ballot.
  • Through April 29, The City not shut off water service due to customers due to nonpayment to ensure that residents can wash frequently in accordance with Center for Disease Control’s recommended sanitation practices while at home.
  • Closed city libraries and beefed up the online use of ematerials.
  • I’m serving on the Governor’s Regional Recovery Team preparing to disperse federal and state funds as they become available.

Finally, I wish you all the best in these trying times and ask that you feel free anytime to contact me by phone at 503-588-6255 or email at cbennett@cityofsalem.net. I remain absolutely committed to our economic future and am actively engaged in the activities set to bring us roaring back to business when this all ends.

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SALEM POLICE DEPARTMENT STREET CRIMES UNIT SEARCH WARRANTS LEAD TO LARGE DRUG SEIZURE

News Release from Salem Police Dept.
March 30th, 2020

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, the Salem Police Department Street Crimes Unit, with the assistance of local federal partners from the FBI and DEA, served search warrants on multiple residences within the Salem area.  The search warrant service resulted in the seizure of a large amount of methamphetamine, a firearm, and US currency.
The search warrants were the result of a lengthy investigation by the Street Crimes Unit into the distribution of drugs within the Salem community.  Maria Gallegos-Mendoza, a 45-year-old Salem resident, was arrested as a result of the investigation.
During the search warrant service, approximately 31 pounds of methamphetamine and $50,000 in US currency were seized. A firearm was also seized from one of the locations.   The street value of the drug seizure is estimated to be approximately $75,000.
Gallegos-Mendoza was charged via a federal complaint on March 24th with possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

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Rogue Turns Distillery into Hand Sanitizer Production Facility
Rogue Ales & Spirits makes hand sanitizer for first responders and other essential businesses
during this time of need
Newport, Ore. (March 30, 2020) —  Rogue Spirits is producing and packaging hand sanitizer at our distillery in Newport, Oregon to donate to local emergency response and public safety officials. To date, Rogue has donated its ‘Helping Hand Hand Sanitizer’ to fire departments from Newport, Toledo, Waldport, Yachats, Depoe Bay, and Lincoln City, police services, county offices, local ambulance services and Life Flight. It is critical to keep those servicing the community safe and healthy so that they can protect the rest of the country during this public health crisis.

Rogue’s ‘Helping Hand Hand Sanitizer’ is made with 80% ethanol, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide and distilled water and packaged in 375 ml, 4 oz and 16 oz bottles. The Food and Drug Administration changed their guidelines on March 18 to give distilleries permission to start making hand sanitizer for distribution as long as they were abiding by the formula outlined by the World Health Organization. This change allowed Rogue and distilleries around the country to make hand sanitizer because of the shortage.
“There's a massive shortage of so many life-saving supplies right now and we wanted to do something to help,” adds Brian Pribyl, Head Distiller of Rogue Ales & Spirits. “As a distillery, we make alcohol every day, so a hand sanitizer was an obvious way to help. It’s been amazing to watch the entire distilling community come together during this crisis. We can't make gowns, gloves or medical equipment but we can keep a steady supply of alcohol flowing. If we can supply a hand sanitizer to the front-line of this pandemic, even if that means one less thing they have to worry about sourcing, we're calling that a win.”
“What’s really great about our hand sanitizer initiative is that it came about as an employee passion project and their dream became a reality thanks to a collaborative team effort,” adds Jack Waibel, Vice President of Production at Rogue Ales & Spirits. “Since day one we have been dedicated to giving back to our community and are so honored to be able to step up and help in this time of need.”

Rogue’s ‘Helping Hand Hand Sanitizer’ is currently available to first responders in Lincoln county and we are working to make it available throughout the nation to businesses and consumers to help reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Learn more at  Rogue.com. 

About Rogue Ales & Spirits

Rogue Ales & Spirits, the only farmer-brewer-distiller-cooper in the United States, was founded in Oregon in 1988 as one of America’s first microbreweries. Rogue has won more than 2,000 awards for taste, quality and packaging, and is available in all 50 states as well as 54 countries. Proudly rooted in Oregon soil, Rogue’s beers, spirits and sodas are made with ingredients grown on Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon. Rogue Spirits are hand-distilled on a 550-gallon still in Newport, Oregon, aged in the thick ocean air of the Yaquina Bay and bottled by hand. Since 2008, Rogue has remained committed to sharing the terroir of Oregon hops, honey, cucumbers and pumpkins one acre at a time by growing its own.

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VIDEOS, CARDS COME IN FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO ENCOURAGE STAFF, RESIDENTS AT OREGON VETERANS' HOME (VIDEO)

News Release from Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs
March 28th, 2020

While millions of Americans adjust to the new realities brought about by the unprecedented public health situation that is the coronavirus pandemic, some are reaching out to the residents of the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon to assure them they are appreciated, cared for and remembered.

Staff at the Home and Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs call it “Operation Well Wish,” and the well wishes have flooded in from all over. Many have sent letters, postcards, pictures and artwork, which are cleared by the Home’s infection prevention team before being shared with residents.

Others have sent in videos, and thanks to an article this week by the military-focused media outlet We Are The Mighty, they have come in from Virginia, Ohio, Texas, North Carolina, Hawaii and even as far as Italy. These videos are being played for residents on the Home’s closed-circuit TV channel.

Some have included their children or pets. Others have shown video footage from their favorite places in nature at their hometowns. Some have sung their favorite songs.

(Some of these videos have been cleared for public release, and are available for media to use and disseminate at the following link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1J8av68xi073H5hQsm6gaabrOrCI8AMIm)

“With the lock-down protocols that are currently in place to keep our community safe, it has been a tremendous change in the residents’ way of life,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “These men and women at our Lebanon Veterans’ Home have borne the battles to keep this nation safe and free. It’s wonderful for so many of the people that they have protected to be remembering them in this challenging time.”

One resident of the Home, Vern, a U.S. Army Korean War veteran, said he turns on the closed circuit TV channel first thing every morning.

“It is encouraging,” he said. “While this virus is going on, I think this is a very good idea!”

Lebanon Veterans’ Home Program Director Jeremy Woodall said the well wishes have been a huge boost to both residents, who have been isolated in their rooms for over two weeks as part of the facility’s infectious disease prevention protocols, and staff, who have been working tirelessly to provide excellent care.

“Seeing the smiles and songs and well wishes come in from literally around the world has lifted their spirits,” he said. “Young children, men and women, veterans and civilians… everyone has a chance share love and hope to others in this time.”

If you would like to be part of Operation Well Wish, please send your cards, letters or other materials in an unlicked envelope to ATTN: Operation Well Wish, Oregon Veterans’ Home, 600 N. 5th St., Lebanon, OR 97355. Videos may be sent to ODVAInformation@odva.state.or.us.

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Spirit Mountain Casino Extends Closure to April 9, 2020

Statement of Grand Ronde Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy and Spirit Mountain Casino General Manager Stan Dillon

The Grand Ronde Tribal Council and Spirit Mountain Gaming Inc., have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and have decided to extend the closure of Spirit Mountain Casino until April 9, 2020. This closure is a precautionary measure to help protect the Tribal community, staff, and guests as the COVID-19 outbreak escalates throughout the state, region and Country. The Tribe and Casino’s first priority is the health and safety of everyone that comes to Spirit Mountain Casino. The Casino management and Grand Ronde Tribal Council will continue to monitor the situation and will revisit this decision on a regular basis.

"We pride ourselves as being a caring community that views every individual that walks through our doors as a member of the Grand Ronde family,” General Manager Stan Dillon said. “The casino staff has done an outstanding job protecting everyone through preventive measures, but the continued growth of COVID-19 in Oregon has made this closure necessary.”

“These unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures and we all have to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy, who spent her main career in health care.

Spirit Mountain Casino opened in October 1995 and since then has been the primary funding source for Tribal governmental operations and myriad benefits to Tribal members. It also was Oregon’s No. 1 tourist destination for a time and became one of the largest employers in Yamhill and Polk counties.

Tribal Council has authorized an additional 120 hours – three weeks – of paid time off for all casino and government employees. For casino employees, the Tribe will pay their standard rate with additional consideration for tips.

The Grand Ronde Tribal Council and Spirit Mountain Gaming Inc. Board of Directors will revisit the closure as necessary.

Tribal Council approved a suspension of Spirit Mountain Gaming Inc. loan payments to the Tribe at its Wednesday, March 18, meeting, as well as a $20 million use of its line of credit to ensure account liquidity in reaction to the COVID-19

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In follow up to the attached statement on U.S. Congress’s passage of the CARES Act, the OBA wanted to offer the following information: We are awaiting the operational details out of the Small Business Administration before banks can get the money out the door. That may take a week or so, although hopefully, it comes early next week. In the meantime, here is a short summary of the substantial enhancements made to SBA loan programs:

  • Authorizes $350 billion for three months of 100% guaranteed 7(a) loans to cover payroll costs, interest on mortgage payments, rent obligations, and utilities.
  • Applies to businesses with fewer than 500 employees or those that meet SBA’s current size standards for 7(a) loans. 
  • Applies to self-employed or individual contractors too. 
  • It also applies to certain nonprofits including 501(c)(3) organizations and 501(c)(19) veterans organizations, and tribal business concerns with fewer than 500 employees. 
  • Vastly expands the universe of lenders authorized to get paycheck loans processed and into the hands of business owners as quickly as possible. This includes banks that previously have not participated in the SBA 7(a) program. 
  • Authorizes $17 billion to cover six months of payments for payroll and interest for existing SBA 7(a) borrowers. This provision provides relief on existing obligations. 
  • Establishes a new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that will provide 100% guaranteed loans to cover specific operating costs. This program has a maximum loan size for borrowers capped at the lesser of 250% of the average monthly payroll costs (with a lookback of one year or relevant period for seasonal businesses), or $10 million. It also includes a processing fee but the interest rate is capped at 4%. Additionally, a portion of any loan issued as part of the PPP, up to or equal to 8 weeks of covered expenses, may be forgiven. And Treasury is granted significant authority to work in coordination with SBA to add additional lenders to disburse funds in the PPP. 
  • The limit for the Express Loan Program (in place now) is raised from $350,000 to $1 million through December 31, 2020.  The existing Interim Final Rule titled: Express Loans, Affiliation Standards is rescinded on date of enactment. This rule detrimentally impacted rural, agricultural focused members as well as members that relied on agents. 
  • Authorizes $265 million for SBA’s Entrepreneurial Development Programs. 
  • Authorizes $10 billion for additional Emergency Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to be disbursed directly by SBA to those businesses that do not currently qualify for EIDLs. If a borrower applies for EIDL, they cannot apply for PPP due to concerns about double-dipping. These new EIDLs also include an option for a $10,000 cash advance within three days of application that does not have to be paid back even if the borrower’s application is subsequently rejected.

Linda Navarro, OBA president and CEO is happy to provide some industry-wide thoughts. Linda W. Navarro President & CEO

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Shop! It’s That Simple.
By Anthony K. Smith

No one under orders to “Stay Home, Save Lives” needs reminding how bad things are.
The gravity and the speed of the coronavirus crisis is especially felt along Oregon’s Main Streets. When NFIB, the nation’s largest small-business association, first polled its members about the virus, 23% were negatively affected, 76% were not, according to results released March 13.
What a difference 10 days makes. By the March 23 release of updated results, the numbers had flipped: 76% were negatively affected, 20% were not—yet. (77% of that 20% were expecting to be.)
We are in the midst of a whirlwind of state and federal efforts to deal with the national crisis—both the current public health crisis and the economic crisis that we will be dealing with long after the pandemic is under control.
For most Oregonian households and businesses, the pressing economic issue is cashflow. The recently passed federal legislation includes a provision to provide most Americans with direct payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. That should help families in the short-term, and congressional leaders have already signaled that there could be additional direct payments coming in the near future.
For small businesses, the legislation provides 349 billion in partially forgivable small-business loans. That “forgivable” part is especially important. With so many businesses closed, either from lack of customers or by order of the governor, many find themselves so strapped for cash that they worry about their ability to pay back a loan, even one with a low interest rate. These forgivable loans would, in effect, operate more like grants for the businesses that qualify for them.
Most operating expenses would be forgiven, including payroll and benefit costs, rent and utilities, and payments on mortgage interest. Payments that are not forgiven, like mortgage principal, would be deferred for six to 12 months.
Nearly every business will be eligible for one of these loans. If you were operating on Feb. 15, 2020, as either a small employer, sole proprietor, or independent contractor, you should be eligible. If you had previously secured an SBA disaster loan on or after Jan. 30, 2020, you will be eligible to refinance that loan into a new forgivable loan.
But where does that leave the rest of us, the non-business-owning consumers? We have a huge roll to play, also—It’s to shop.
Here are four simple things you can do to help our state, and our nation, turn the tide. Please don’t diminished their impact. A little thing done by one person might not mean much. A little thing done by millions of people makes an impact.

  1. Order something to eat. You might not be able to find everything your at-home recipes require from a grocery store right now, but many Oregon restaurants still have a full menu of dining options. And while we might not be able to sit down together for a meal, many eateries are still making deliveries or letting people pick up meals.
  1. Tip workers a little extra, if you can. Food servers and delivery drivers depend on tips, and with business down, they’re not making as much money as they did a couple of weeks ago.
  1. Shop online. You might not be able to go shopping, but lots of local stores have their own websites and will let you order by phone or online.
  1. Buy gift cards and certificates to local businesses. 

Order them now online or by phone and use them later.
Small business is no small matter. Small businesses account for 99.4% of all Oregon businesses, according to the SBA. Prior to the coronavirus, Oregon small businesses employed 852,983 Oregonians.
Will they ever do so again? That depends on all of us, each doing our small part that is part of a larger whole. Recovery from past crises, such as the Great Recession, have all begun with a march down Main Street.

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OREGON REPORTS 1 COVID-19 DEATH, 98 NEW COVID-19 CASES
News Release from Oregon Health Authority
March 27th, 2020

SBJ.news Oregon. — COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 12, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.
Oregon Health Authority also reported 98 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 414, as of 8 a.m. today. The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (10), Columbia (1), Deschutes (3), Douglas (1), Jackson (2), Klamath (1), Lane (2), Linn (2), Marion (26), Morrow (1), Multnomah (22), Polk (4), Umatilla (1), Wasco (1), Washington (18), Yamhill (4). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.
Oregon’s 12th COVID-19 death is an 82-year-old woman in Marion County. She tested positive on March 20, and died March 25 at Salem Hospital. She had underlying medical conditions.
Video linkDawn Mautner, senior health advisor at Oregon Health Authority, explains the increase in case numbers during an internal agency briefing today.
Stay informed about COVID-19:
Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Office of Emergency Management lead the state response.
United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.
Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

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Salem Business Journal Green Awards
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Food Bank Donations, press release
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Is Your Pet Your New Co-Worker?

Tips for Working at Home with Your Furkid Having your furkid as a co-worker can be an added bonus when you’re working from home. Working with your pet can be very therapeutic - helping you to better cope with the daily stressors. However, your pet + work doesn’t always equal harmony. Here are some tips on staying focused and productive while working alongside your new furry co-worker. Plan for Distractions Since you’re working from home, your pet will likely think you’re all his! From engaging in play to pawing, and whining...your pet will do his best to get your attention. Rest assured that even if your home office space is not a spot where your dog normally likes to hang out, he will be in there now that you’re in there! One way to temper his attempts to distract you is to tire him out before you start your workday. A long walk or run, an interactive game, or fetch in the backyard usually does the trick! Before you clock-in, be sure to have some entertaining (non-squeaky) toys in your workspace to keep him occupied. Kongs and lick pads work great. Another tip is to let him go outside to take a bathroom break whenever you get up to take yours, or vice versa. Also, If you can work with your pet on your lap, great! Otherwise, be sure to place your pet’s bed in the room so he can nap. Stay on Track with a Daily Routine Pets need a regular routine to keep them even keeled. Like many humans, they can get anxious if they’re not on their usual schedules. It’s very important to stick with a consistent routine, for your pet to be happy and for you to have the highest level of productivity. Make sure you both wake up at the same time each morning, and start the day with the usual morning rituals. When it’s time for you to report in for work, be sure to be at your desk and your pet situated -- ready for the day ahead! Maintain Your Willpower Don’t look now but here come those puppy dog eyes! You know what I’m referring to - that look that says, “Pleeeeease pet me now!” If you’re not careful, you’ll be down on the floor in two seconds flat, snuggling up with your furkid. Although tempting, do your best to not succumb to giving those belly rubs! Save the extra love and affection, and perhaps a quick stroll or some playtime, for a designated time like your lunch break.
No Time for Chit Chat
When you’re on the phone, or participating in a video conference, the last thing you want is your “chatty” pet chiming in. If you have a pet that likes to “chit chat’, you can introduce him to your other co-workers and clients at the start of the meeting, to keep it light and let them know he may try to participate, too. If that option is not the best, given your particular circumstances, you can always move your pet to another room during your phone calls or meetings.
Other ways to cut down on your pet’s loud chatter include putting a halt to door knocking and the doorbell ringing. If you’re expecting packages, you can place a sign on the front door stating: “Please don’t knock or ring the doorbell - leave packages at the door.” Again, bring out the entertaining toys to keep your pet distracted, especially when you need quiet surroundings.
Be sure to enjoy your time working from home with your furkid, aka the best co-worker ever!
About TripsWithPets.com:
TripsWithPets.com is the premier online pet friendly travel guide and was named Best Pet Travel Site by Consumer Reports. TripsWithPets.com provides online reservations at over 30,000 pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. When planning a trip, pet parents go to TripsWithPets.com for detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities. TripsWithPets.com also features airline & car rental pet policies, and pet friendly activities. For more information, please visit http://www.tripswithpets.com

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OREGON LEGISLATURE TO CONSIDER EMERGENCY RELIEF FUNDING FOR ARTS AND CULTURE

Salem, Ore. – In response to communication from the Oregon Cultural Trust, its Statewide Partners and arts and cultural organizations across the state, Governor Kate Brown directed the agency to explore opportunities to identify relief funding to address the devastating impact the COVID-19 health crisis is having on Oregon’s arts and cultural community.

Since the crisis began, nonprofit cultural organizations across the state have canceled thousands of performances, events and activities – including key fundraising events – and most have closed their doors to the public. As of March 24, 423 Oregon cultural organizations had already reported financial losses to-date of $8,611,881 with data still being collected from more than 1,000 organizations (Source: Americans for the Arts). Organizations in in the Portland area alone are estimating losses of $45.8 million by the end of May (Source: Regional Arts and Cultural Council).

The loss of projected earned income, lifeblood for most cultural organizations, has already resulted in significant layoffs and furloughs, with many more to come if relief doesn’t arrive soon. Many organizations are already facing bankruptcy and permanent closure.

In addition, cancellations of events and programming, as well as school closures, have adversely affected hundreds of artists and cultural workers whose livelihoods depend on income from teaching, performing and participating in cultural activities.

Following consultation with the Governor’s Office, Business Oregon and its Statewide Partners, including sister agency the Oregon Arts Commission, the Cultural Trust Board of Directors held an emergency meeting on Saturday, March 21, and unanimously voted to use up to $10 million of its $29 million permanent fund to create an emergency relief funding program.

Because the current Cultural Trust statute does not contain a provision for emergency relief funding, the program requires approval by the Oregon Legislature. A concept for consideration by the Legislature is being developed and will be presented during an anticipated special session within the next few weeks. The Cultural Trust will convene a committee of stakeholders to fully and quickly develop and implement an emergency funding program that is equitable and easy to use to expedite funding.

The Oregon Cultural Trust permanent fund was created by the Legislature to protect Oregon’s cultural organizations for future generations. That future is currently at dire risk.

The Cultural Trust Board of Directors respects and honors the commitment that thousands of Trust donors have made with their contributions to the permanent fund. It is the Board’s sincere hope that donors will respect that, at this unprecedented time in Oregon history, the funds will be used exactly as they were intended: To protect the future of Oregon culture.

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About the Oregon Cultural Trust

Created in 2001 by the Oregon Legislature, the Oregon Cultural Trust is a testament to how much Oregonians value culture. No other state provides a 100 percent tax credit to inspire cultural giving. As uniquely Oregonian as public beaches and the bottle bill, the Oregon Cultural Trust was designed as an ongoing funding engine for arts and culture across the state. Oregonians fund the Cultural Trust. We, in turn, fund the artists, potters, poets, acrobats and dreamers who define our famous quality of life.

In 2019 Oregonians gave $4.5 million to the Cultural Trust. Sixty percent of that went straight back to the field. The remaining 40 percent helped grow our permanent fund. Our three grant programs fund our five Statewide Partners, 45 County and Tribal Coalitions and 1,450+ qualified cultural nonprofits through competitive Cultural Development Grants.

More information at culturaltrust.org.

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Oregon releases health care system action plan to fight COVID-19

New projections show social distancing must be maintained to protect health care system

(March 26, 2020) The fight against the coronavirus depends on Oregon hospitals having enough beds to treat the coming surge in patients who will become seriously ill with the virus. Today, Oregon health officials and hospitals announced a joint statewide action plan to dramatically bolster the state’s ability to treat people with COVID-19 illness who need hospital care.

The plan was developed by the “Governor’s Joint Task Force for Health Care Systems Response to COVID-19,” convened by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). It includes a broad range of health systems, health care providers, human services organizations, public health and public safety agencies, insurers and other organizations needed in the battle.

The plan addresses 4 urgent actions necessary to expand the health care system’s capacity and maintain its capability as Oregon braces for a projected spike in new coronavirus cases:

  1. Procure and distribute critical medical supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers and ventilators.
  2. Optimize hospital capacity to be able to treat COVID-19 cases.
  3. Mobilize the health care workforce to respond to COVID-19.
  4. Maintain a unified, coordinated and transparent emergency response to COVID-19.

New projections of COVID-19 cases in Oregon show the state is at a critical moment in the fight against the disease. Social distancing measures could alter the trajectory of new infections, which gives Oregon’s health care system the chance to ramp up to meet the coming surge. But the state has little margin for error. A return to “business as usual” or slight differences in actual infection rates (compared to projected ones) could swamp hospitals with more coronavirus cases than they could treat.

Governor Brown said, “Hospital leaders and health officials are doing their part to find beds, secure supplies and protect health care workers. Oregonians can make a difference too: stay home and save lives. We all have a role to play in an unprecedented, unified effort across Oregon to stop the coronavirus from taking the tragic toll we’ve seen it claim elsewhere.”

State agencies, hospitals and health care providers have already begun to implement the plan.

  • The state is collecting PPE for re-distribution to facilities in need.
  • Regional hospitals have signed mutual aid agreements to shift equipment, workforce and patients from overburdened facilities to others with adequate capacity.
  • The state is working with providers to stand-up alternate care locations (such as the Oregon Medical Station), identify and develop new alternate care sites, enable ambulatory care centers to house patients and re-purpose long-term care facilities.
  • The state and hospitals are sharing hospital bed utilization data so hospitals can manage the use of beds and equipment across their region.
  • The state is developing childcare options for health care workers, so their work isn’t interrupted by school closings and family responsibilities.

OHA Director Patrick Allen said, “Oregon’s health care system began preparing for a pandemic years ago, which gave us a head start on this plan. From expanding testing to securing more ventilators for Oregon hospitals, we are united by a set of common strategies to save lives in every corner of the state.”

The latest models state health officials released today forecast the following outcomes for 3 different scenarios:

  • Return to business as usual: If Oregon lifted all the social distancing measures state leaders have instituted in recent weeks, there will be an estimated 15,000 cumulative infections by May 8th (within a range of 5,900-26,000). Approximately 1,100 people would need inpatient beds (850 AAC/250 ICU) across Oregon.
  • Maintain bans on large gatherings and indefinite school closures: There would be an estimated 6,100 cumulative infections by May 8th (within a range of 2,000-12,000) and 340 people will need inpatient beds (260 AAC/80 ICU).
  • Maintain aggressive interventions put into place on Monday, March 23rd (i.e.., Stay Home, Save Lives) with high public adherence: There will be an estimated 1,000 (within a possible range of 700-3,800) cumulative infections by May 8th. Under this scenario, hospitals would have to boost capacity by a smaller number of beds.

The models show that only aggressive interventions, like the Stay Home, Save Lives executive order Governor Brown issued on March 23rd, are predicted to decrease the number of active infections.

The models state health officials released today were prepared by the Institute for Disease Modeling. While similar to projections completed earlier by researchers at Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU), these newer models from IDM take into account the impact of community-level social distancing interventions, which were not incorporated into the OHSU study. Researchers from OHSU and other hospitals are collaborating with OHA to forecast the COVID-19 burden for their specific hospitals based on this information.

Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer at OHA, said: “These projections tell us the sacrifices Oregonians are making right now can save lives. At the same time, they paint a dark picture of what could happen. We can’t afford to drop our guard.”

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We asked for your help and, boy, did we get it.

So many of you have subscribed to Salem Reporter and some have even contributed to help sustain our reporting efforts. Just know that virtually every dollar we take in goes to the costs of gathering the news you get on our website and via these email notices.

How thankful are we?

Reporter Saphara Harrell of Salem Reporter.

Reporter Jake Thomas of Salem Reporter.

Reporter Rachel Alexander of Salem Reporter.

Editor Les Zaitz of Salem Reporter.

If you haven't pitched in to help us keep this up, please consider doing so as other news organizations in Oregon are cutting reporters or reducing hours.

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Help us today and we’ll help you in the challenging weeks and months to come. Thank you for your time.

Les Zaitz, editor

Salem Reporter

email: les@salemreporter.com

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OREGON STATE POLICE INVOLVED IN AN OFFICER-INVOLVED-SHOOTING- MARION COUNTY

News Release from Oregon State Police
March 27th, 2020 6:42 AM

On Thursday, March 26, 2020, shortly before midnight, Oregon State Police (OSP) Troopers from the Salem Area Command were involved in an officer-involved-shooting on Interstate 5 (I-5) near milepost 248, on the southbound side. The involved troopers were uninjured and the suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Per Marion County Deadly Force Protocols, the Salem Police Department (SPD) is leading the investigation in cooperation with the Marion County District Attorney’s Office. The involved troopers have been placed on paid administrative leave as is standard practice for these events.  All future media releases on this incident will be from the Salem Police Department.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has closed that portion of I-5 at the request of investigators and established a detour. The highway is expected to remain closed until approximately 9:00AM, with a detour in place. Drivers are urged to use caution and expect delays when travelling south of Salem on I-5.

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Secretary of State
Corporation Division
255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 151
Salem OR 97310
sos.oregon.gov/Business
Contact: Corporation.Division@oregon.gov

Resources for Business
Our office is working directly with businesses seeking answers and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to address some of the questions being asked, we’re providing this Frequently Asked Question sheet. Please know that there are many resources available, and local resources may differ from those offered by the state or federal government. For information about a specific program, it’s best to contact the provider of that resource directly.
Q: I have employees who have had their hours reduced or eliminated. What resources are available for them and me?
A: If you are an employer with questions about how to help your workers with a layoff or other reduction in hours, contact the Oregon Employment Department, who administers the WorkShare program. The WorkShare website is http://www.oregonworkshare.com.
Unemployment Insurance is an insurance paid through Unemployment Insurance taxes by employers. Business owners without employees who have not specifically elected to subject themselves to Unemployment Insurance taxes over the past two years are not likely to have a valid unemployment claim. However, these conditions are constantly changing and the Employment Department has modified many of their own rules to adjust Unemployment eligibility. Many people are filing a claim for unemployment in case the program is expanded at a later date. There’s no harm in filing a claim, beyond the time it takes to go through the process. The Employment Department website is http://www.oregon.gov/employ. Please note there are different tabs on their page depending on if you are a business or an individual seeking benefits.
Q: What financial assistance is available for me and/or my business?
A: The most common source of funding comes in the form of loans, but this may change with federal legislation. Even if loans aren’t desirable, there are many different types of loans out there which can be used to pay rent, utilities, payroll, and more. The US Small Business Administration offers disaster assistance in the form of SBA loans to designated states. Information about these loans is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/Index.
Additional financial resources for businesses can be found at Business Oregon, which is Oregon’s economic development agency. Their website created for businesses experiencing problems due to COVID-19 is https://www.oregon4biz.com/Coronavirus-Information/.
The Department of Human Services offers programs to assist those in need through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/About-SNAP.aspx) as well as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ASSISTANCE/CASH/Pages/index.aspx).
The Oregon Health Authority offers the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program (https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYPEOPLEFAMILIES/WIC/pages/index.aspx).
The latest information on resources for workers and business owners is available at https://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/coronavirus2020.aspx.
Q: I can’t get in touch with an agency to apply for a loan or assistance program. Who else can I ask?
A: Response times for agencies may be impacted because other businesses are seeking the same information. Many agencies are referring people to online resources, especially since resources, closures, and updates are constantly changing.
Q: My company offers a product or service the government can use. Who can I talk to about offering such services or products?
A: An excellent resource for those businesses wanting to help out by donating or selling to the government is https://oregon-coronavirus-geo.hub.arcgis.com/. That’s a page set up by the Office of Emergency Management where businesses can offer to donate or sell products by taking a survey which asks for details about products or services being offered by the business.
Q: Is my business considered “essential”? Can I be considered “essential” and continue operating?
Information about essential vs. non-essential Oregon businesses, including a quiz to help decide is at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19.
The federal government also provides guidance on essential versus non-essential online at https://www.cisa.gov/news/2020/03/19/cisa-releases-guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workers-during-covid-19 and https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19.
Q: Can I get an extension on filing my tax returns?
A: The IRS recently issued an extension for federal tax returns, and the Oregon Department of Revenue followed suit by issuing a similar extension. Federal and state tax returns for most individuals and businesses are now due by June 15. Information about this extension is available at https://www.oregon.gov/dor/Pages/COVID19.aspx.
Federal and state legislation may make new resources available to you, so watch for new information from the Small Business Administration, state agencies and Secretary of State.
Small businesses, click the button to the right to connect with a Small Business Advocate from Secretary of State.
Above all, stay healthy.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: RECORD INITIAL CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
News Release from Oregon Employment Department
March 26th, 2020 9:20 AM
During the week of March 15, the Oregon Employment Department received more than 76,500 initial claims for Unemployment Insurance benefits. During the first three days of the week of March 22, initial claims have been tracking at record levels again. This comes as a sharp increase from 4,900 initial claims filed during the week of March 8. The Employment Department is taking several measures to meet the unprecedented need for unemployment benefits, which is largely due to reduced hours and layoffs related to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Helping Oregonians
The Employment Department has been proactive in its response to an abrupt disruption in the economy by enhancing the performance and stability of our online claims system. Over the past two weeks, the agency also hired new employees, shifted existing staff working in other program areas, and trained them, doubling the number of employees working on unemployment claims. We will continue adding and training employees to process unemployment claims in the coming weeks.
Still, record levels of unemployment claims cause longer wait times, as the department works to gather and process the details factoring into each individual claimant’s eligibility and weekly benefit amount. We encourage Oregonians who have lost their jobs to file claims using our online system to lower wait times by phone. A new video from the Employment Department shows step-by-step details for filing an online claim.
The department also continues to offer job seeker and employer services, including more phone and virtual options for appropriate social distancing. We are present to help Oregonians who have experienced tremendous disruptions, while also doing our part to follow health and safety guidelines for our communities.
The Employment Department’s COVID-19 web page serves as a resource guide. It includes an overview of the Unemployment Insurance program, along with questions and answers about specific COVID-19 coronavirus-related situations and unemployment benefits. We continue to update our site with the latest information related to COVID-19 as new federal and state guidelines change or expand benefits. The Employment Department has also enacted temporary rules, adding more flexibility for unemployment benefits to help Oregonians affected by COVID-19 business closures.
Initial Claims
Of the 76,500 initial claims filed, the Employment Department has detailed information for the 22,800 claims processed during the week. The leisure and hospitality sector, which includes hotels and restaurants, saw the greatest number of initial claims for unemployment benefits (10,700). This reflects some of the early impact of public health and safety measures. Many initial claims also came from workers in health care (2,100) and retail trade (1,400).
Multnomah, Washington, and Lane counties had the largest number of processed claims during the week of March 15. The largest increases in initial claims occurred in Union and Clatsop counties. More initial claims data by industry and area can be found on the QualityInfo.org COVID-19 page.

 

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ODOT prioritizes climate change readiness, establishes Climate Office
March 25, 2020
For more information, contact Tom Fuller (Thomas.Fuller@odot.state.or.us), 503-480-5143

SALEM -- The Oregon Department of Transportation announces the establishment of a new Climate Office to respond to the challenges presented by climate change and to take active steps to reduce Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The new Climate Office will support implementation of the Governor’s Executive Order 20-04, the Oregon Transportation Commission’s Statewide Transportation Strategy for greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and support the state’s transition to a cleaner, more sustainable transportation system.
Transportation comprises nearly 40% of total GHG emissions in the state. Additionally, increasing floods, landslides, and wildfires caused by a changing climate result in significant damage to the transportation system. These events cost Oregon hundreds of millions each year and significantly impact the traveling public and our state’s economy.
“Transportation is Oregon’s largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Oregon Transportation Commission Chair Robert Van Brocklin.  “We need to make it easier for Oregonians to choose cleaner transportation alternatives, like driving electric and hybrid vehicles and using mass transit.  If a broad cross-section of our citizens make those choices, Oregonians will truly drive down carbon emissions in our state and dramatically improve air quality,” said Van Brocklin.
“Transportation agencies can and should be doing more. Under Governor Brown’s leadership, we look forward to working with our partners to reduce emissions and increase our resiliency wherever possible,” said Kris Strickler, Director of the Oregon Department of Transportation. “This new Climate Office is a critical step toward a clean, reliable, and sustainable future,” said Strickler.
Amanda Pietz will lead ODOT’s Climate Office beginning immediately. Pietz served as ODOT’s Program Implementation and Analysis Manager. The Climate Office will report to Cooper Brown, ODOT Assistant Director for Operations.

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Department hires new Assistant Director for Social Equity
March 25, 2020
For more information, contact Tom Fuller (Thomas.Fuller@odot.state.or.us), 503-480-5143

SALEM - “Empowering and supporting communities, pushing past bias, healing harm, embracing conflict, and bringing the best out of individuals and teams.” Those are just a few words used to describe a truly dynamic individual chosen to be the Oregon Department of Transportation’s first assistant director for social equity.
Nikotris Perkins joins ODOT on April 13, 2020 - coming from the research firm Ubuntu in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she served as a senior strategist. Perkins work has included:
Transforming organizational culture and beliefs on inclusion, race, and equity
Coaching business owners, consultants and startups how to talk about race with an emphasis on valuing voice
Providing consultation to youth and educational institutions on implementation of equity and inclusion strategies
“I have spent my career finding ways to engage people in ways that assist them in meeting their goals and dreams while strengthening the impact and sustainability of organizations,” said Perkins. “I am truly excited to join ODOT. This office will allow this agency to cultivate community and economic development while elevating leadership and teams to flourish in their skills and identity at work,” said Perkins.
“Unless we are intentional about something we will not do it,” said ODOT Director Kris Strickler. “I look forward to Nikotris’ ability to help us as we move with intention towards a new chapter in our agency’s history - looking with honesty and transparency at the types of decisions we make within certain communities, the makeup of our workforce, and taking a hard look and asking ourselves: do we look like the communities we serve,” said Strickler.
The Office of Social Equity’s charge is to:
Institutionalize equity, diversity, and inclusion practices in ODOT’s programs, policies, performance, and priorities
Placing an equity lens on transportation decisions within communities and in funding decisions
Developing equity and inclusion as a vital workforce skill
Ensuring that contractors, consultants and advisory structures reflect Oregon’s diversity
Ensuring equitable project and service delivery for all of Oregon’s communities with a specific focus on communities of color and other communities historically marginalized by government policies
“There is a reason I made this position as one of only four assistant directors at ODOT,” Said Director Strickler. “I place a high value on this work and its importance to ODOT’s future cannot be understated,” said Stickler.

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Department names new administrator for Operations & Delivery Division
March 25, 2020
For more information, contact Tom Fuller (thomas.fuller@odot.state.or.us), 503-480-5143

SALEM --
The Oregon Department of Transportation is excited to announce the appointment of Karen Rowe as the department’s first administrator of the Delivery & Operations Division (formerly known as the Highway Division).
Rowe, a professional engineer and graduate of California Polytechnic University, started her career working in California on transportation projects, worked in various parts of the state at Colorado Department of Transportation, and has most recently served for over 5 years as the CDOT’s Southeast Region Transportation Director. She will bring to ODOT over 25 years of transportation management, engineering, design and construction, programming, planning, and communication experience.
“Karen is a talented leader and engineer. She has the right experience and ability to ensure ODOT’s largest and most complex division continues to deliver on its critical mission while evolving to meet the urgent demands of the future,” said ODOT Assistant Director for Operations Cooper Brown. “Karen brings valuable expertise in process improvement and change management that is critical as we work to integrate and streamline our activities across the entirety of the transportation sector.”
“I look forward to building relationships with the people of ODOT and leading them through these times of change as part of the Oregon Department of Transportation team,” said  Rowe. “I was drawn to Oregon’s geographically distinct regions, communities, and various amenities. I am excited to use my passion in leadership and transportation to serve ODOT in its vision to enhance its transportation network which serves as a critical component of life and business for the benefit of the citizens of this beautiful state,” said Rowe.
Rowe will join the Department on April 20th. The position has been vacant since last fall when former division administrator Kris Strickler was named ODOT Director.

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Dear SKEF Supporters,
The last few weeks have been challenging for all of us as we have learned to adapt to new ways of managing our everyday activities. Many of us were looking forward to a week of fun activities with our families for Spring Break, that would not come to be. The reality of school closures as part of our efforts to stem the COVID-19 pandemic in our community left all of us a little bit unsure. This is an unsettling time not only for us as adults, but for our children who don’t have the same capacity for understanding why they are no longer able to go to school, see their friends or go to the playground or park to play. As partners with Salem-Keizer Public Schools we are working hard to provide resources to parents to help them navigate these changing times. While our onsite before and after-school programs have shut down at the schools we remain committed to the students of Salem-Keizer and their continued learning. We are using technology and our social media outlets; @skedfoundation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to share virtual learning opportunities each day. These Bright Ideas for Social Distance Learning from SKEF are designed to encourage children and families to continue to ask questions and explore the world around them even if they do so from their own home. Since many students left school expecting to go back after an extended planned break supplies like notebooks, crayons and pencils were left behind. We have turned to our School Supply Depot to prepare grab and go supply bags for students to get when they pick up their lunches, so they have these resources available to them at home.  While these may seem like small things to many of us, for many students and families having these items readily available provide comfort in knowing their children are able to continue their learning experience. Connections with our friends at Lifesource have allowed us to share apples with some of our families who are most in need. We will be sharing this amazing gift of fresh produce through distribution at the school lunch sites on Thursday, April 2 nd .  We are so grateful for our community partners and their caring hearts.  We are partnering with other after-school program and day care providers to provide child-care for our law enforcement and hospital personnel who are working around the clock to ensure our health and safety. It is important to keep kids active, learning and moving and we continue to look at ways to keep kids discovering the awesomeness inside of them. We invite you to join us. You can help support our efforts by visiting our website and making a one-time or ongoing donation.  We wish you health and look forward to seeing you all again soon.
Always Learning,
Kelly Carlisle

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FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS WORK TOGETHER TO ADDRESS THE IMPACT OF COVID-19

Oregon’s credit unions and banks are safe, sound, and here to serve consumers.
(March 25, 2020) — Oregon’s financial institutions stand by consumers and communities during good times and challenging times. While COVID-19 presents unprecedented challenges, it is reassuring to know that credit unions and banks have activated plans to minimize the impact of COVID-19.

The Oregon Bankers Association (OBA) and the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) are jointly sharing information to assure consumers that their financial institutions are safe, sound, and reliable.
“We are all in this together. Oregon’s financial institutions, like the communities we serve, are adapting to COVID-19 realities while continuing to meet the financial needs of our customers,” said OBA President and CEO Linda Navarro. “In addition to providing the usual suite of financial services, banks and credit unions are working closely with their customers to address any concerns they have as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Banks and credit unions are considered essential services under Governor Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” Executive Order, and continue to serve consumers.
“Oregon’s community banks and credit unions play a critical role in supporting families and businesses across our state,” said Oregon Division of Financial Regulation Administrator Andrew Stolfi. “Challenging times like this show how important it is to have community-focused financial institutions willing to step up and work with their customers and members.”
Use Digital Technology for Your Financial Transactions
While communities come together to prevent the spread of COVID-19, some financial institutions may have to temporarily close branches, limit foot traffic or limit hours.
Rest assured you can easily conduct financial transactions from your home.
“All of the modern-day advances financial institutions have made to provide technology are relevant on Main Street,” said NWCUA President and CEO Troy Stang. “Through online and mobile apps and ATMs, you have total access to your money, anywhere at any time. You can conduct most any necessary financial transactions you need to from your home.”
There is No Need to Withdraw Large Amounts of Cash
With full access to your money through digital technology, there is no reason for you to withdraw large amounts of cash from your bank or credit union.
If cash is lost or stolen, it cannot be replaced. Your cash is much safer in your bank or credit union account, where it is insured.
Deposits in banks and credit unions are generally federally insured up to $250,000, and the insurance programs are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.
“Credit union members have never lost a penny of savings at a federally insured credit union,” said Rodney Hood, Chairman, NCUA. “All deposits at federally insured credit unions are protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.”
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has also reiterated that since deposit insurance was founded in 1933, “no depositor has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds.” Today, the FDIC insures up to $250,000 per deposit per FDIC-insured bank.
FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams added, “The nation’s banking industry is responding to rapidly evolving business conditions that are unprecedented in our history,  We have encouraged the industry to work with borrowers who may be impacted by the COVID-19 virus, including offering loan modifications and payment extensions. Institutions want to assist their customers.
The banks and credit unions of Oregon protect over $103 billion in financial assets.
“We know you have a lot of concerns during the COVID-19 crisis,” said the NWCUA and OBA joint statement. “Fortunately, the safety and security of your money need not be one of them.”

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Managing your communications during a crisis (or a pandemic)
By Mary Louise VanNatta, APR, CAE
I know, I know, you’ve probably heard all you can stand about COVID-19 or coronavirus. It’s all we’ve been talking about and thinking about. Our greatest concern is for those who are out of work. In the communications/public relations arena, we are helping clients craft difficult messages to their own employees and customers.
This definitely has been a learning opportunity for businesses. As we send employees home, how many of us discovered we didn’t know how to change the voicemail on our phone system or had no plan to safely provide equipment or secure files to staff?
Especially if you’re a business owner or manager, while we’re all sheltering in place, it might be a good time to consider the following:
Do you have a written crisis communication plan? You should.
Remember a crisis can be anything from a delayed shipment to a building fire. It doesn’t have to be incredibly long and convoluted. Your plan can be a couple of pages that are easily accessible to key personnel. It needs to have the following information:

  • Who’s on the team, their roles, specialties (+ all their emergency contact information)
  • Who notifies whom and in what order
  • Contacts with local media
  • Contacts with all your stakeholders
  • Possible crisis scenarios.

Are you ready to communicate with your staff, customers, and clients?
It’s surprising how hard it is for some businesses to pull together a list of clients/customers/vendors or even sometimes the home contact information for their own staff.
Take the time to put together a contact list and keep it updated so you can quickly send information via text or email. Remember the rule: Tell employees as soon as possible. Staff needs to hear from you first.
Do you have a method to quickly reach out to the public?
Preparing a strategic message is important. When you are in a hurry to get out a message, it can lead to mistakes, poorly written or ill-timed messages. This can just add to the problem. If you take too long to get a message out, someone else will do it for you (the media, a competitor) and you will lose your chance at owning your own story. You can pre-write communications for anticipated scenarios and take the time to do it well. If you need to get information out quickly on your website or social media, you can have an unpublished website page for just this purpose. Pro-tip: Make sure you know how to log in or who is an administrator on your social media pages.
Your business’ role in communicating in a crisis situation can calm people down and help them make good decisions, it also can be a matter of life or death. Make sure you are always part of the solution.
Mary Louise VanNatta, APR, CAE, is the CEO of VanNatta PR, a public relations, event planning, and consulting firm in Salem, Oregon. PRSalem.com

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What to Know as a Young Pro
BUILDING YOUR BRAND
By Keenan J. Emery, VanNatta Public Relations

In a digital era, your personal brand has never been more important. Look at celebrities who have strong personal brands: LeBron James, Ellen Degeneres, Beyonce. Though wildly different people, they all have clear similarities that have helped them to find success. In your career, it is no different. Having a strong personal brand will help you find better jobs, draw more clients, go on more dates, etc. By doing so, you become known not just for your talent or ability, but for your values, character, and personality. So, before you begin, you need to define your brand. What is it going to be? Funny? Inspirational? What do you want to be known for, and what will make you stand out? Maybe even more importantly, what traits and characteristics already make up your personality? Don’t necessarily stretch to create a new you, but work with who you are. Do you have leadership strengths? Are you drawn toward serving others? Incorporate these into the brand that you’re building. One great way to tease out your unique traits and aptitudes is to take a personal assessment test. There are many options available such as Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, The Big Five Personality Traits, or StrengthsFinder, just to name a few. Once you have your vision identified, focus on these tactics: Social Media: If you have social media or did when you were younger, you probably posted something you regret. Or maybe your mom posted a picture of you with a bowl cut. One of the first things you should do when applying for jobs or starting your career is to do a deep scrub of all your past social media posts. Go through every post, comment, and picture and delete anything even borderline inappropriate. Potential employers, coworkers, and clients will look at your social media. Don’t let the crazy snapshots of your youth be the reason you lose out. How many political campaigns have you seen derailed because the opposition pulled up some dirt from a social media page? Don’t let this be you. Once your social media is scrubbed, make it a goal to post three times a week. Make the majority of your posts business/professional and a few more personal. This establishes you as an industry leader and a professional, and also humanizes you. Professional Development: You will learn more in your career than you would in a classroom. A great way to increase your value is through continued education. You will certainly learn much once you are working in your desired industry. However, a great way to grow your personal brand is through professional development. This can mean reading more books, watching webinars, or attending industry-related classes. If you work in a field that requires CE (continuing education), then you are already doing this. In addition, local universities typically have one-time, affordable classes that you can take. This development helps grow your brand because not only does it make you more knowledgeable and skilled, but also positions you amongst like-minded peers and helps you to build a broader network.

Keenan J. Emery is an Account Manager at VanNatta Public Relations, a PR, event planning, and consulting firm in Salem, Oregon. PRSalem.com

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Inspiring Leaders and Nonprofits
An interview with Rich Schultz
By G. Harvey Gail, MBA, President Spire Management

Each month, I feature local nonprofit leaders who make an impact in the community. Especially during this time of social isolation, we are called to help even more. Check out the end of this article for ways to assist. This month, I visited with Rich Schultz, Board Chair of the nonprofit organization, Family Building Blocks (FBB). FBB works to keep children safe and mentor parents to reduce abuse and neglect. Rich is a Senior Manager at Cherry City Metals LLC. Tell us about your nonprofit Family Building Blocks was founded in 1997 with the goal of keeping children safe and families together. Through our therapeutic Relief Nursery classrooms, therapeutic at-home visits, parent education courses, and respite care, we serve over 1,200 children and 780 families each year: ultimately breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect. Thanks to the services that Family Building Blocks provides, 99% of all children enrolled in our programs can safely remain living with their parents, and out of the foster care system. What led you to be involved in your role at your organization? I first got involved in FBB when I was in high school. My family wanted to find a local nonprofit that would allow us to anonymously give to others during the holiday season. We were quickly connected with FBB, which provided us with lists of families and their specific wants and needs over the holidays. I specifically remember that as a young man, the lists shocked me. They were made up of things that I had previously always taken for granted. Each family’s list consisted of some sort of everyday items like toilet paper, pots, and pans, or cleaning supplies. For me, it was a wake-up call for how lucky I truly was. I immediately knew that it was a cause I wanted to be more involved in. Upon returning to Salem after college, I joined FBB’s Young Leaders Council, which is made up of an incredible group of young professionals throughout the Willamette Valley. After serving as the Council Chair for a year, I was asked to join the board of directors in 2012. In 2016, I was asked to serve as Board Chair for the coming 2018-2020 term and happily accepted. What work experience, training or life events best prepared you for this role? Growing up in a local family business has allowed me to look at the nonprofit world from a very business-minded perspective. At a very young age, I was taught how to interact with an array of different individuals and solve a range of different problems that many businesses encounter. I feel like these skills, which were instilled in me by my parents, have helped me to become more patient, thoughtful and hard-working. My parents are both the most giving individuals I know, and I am incredibly thankful for all they have taught me. In your role, does anything come easy to you? What is difficult or unexpected? I feel like personal relationships have always come easily for me. I truly love being around people and love hearing their stories, and challenges. I’ve always believed that people can do some incredible things together if banded around a cause they believe in. Having those personal connections is the first piece in leading an organization in the direction that you want it to go. One unexpected part of this role was the realization of how great the need is for services. I always knew that the need was there in our area, but not until I entered this position did I realize how many children and families in our community need our wrap-around support. The services that FBB provides give families a hand up, ultimately creating a happier, healthier and more positive community. What are you looking for in future leaders in your group? I think the most important trait of a future leader is based around their true commitment to whatever cause they believe in. With our increasingly hectic lives, it becomes more and more difficult to give as much time to a cause as you’d like. But I would challenge people, especially young people, to find a cause that they are passionate about, get involved and stay committed to it. Because I guarantee that if you are able to do that, you will do more than just change the organization that you are working with, you will positively change yourself in ways that you may not know were possible. How we can help during the current health crisis? We heard from FBB Executive Director Patrice Altenhofen that they are in need of food for food boxes, take out containers for meals, diapers of all sizes, toilet paper, personal hygiene products, baby food, and formula. Chelsea’s Place at 2425 Lancaster is a drop off site. They also may need volunteer drivers so check in on their website for contact information. To learn more about Family Building Blocks you can visit www.familybuildingblocks.org. Are you a volunteer leader of a nonprofit or association? If you or someone you know would like to be featured in my column, email me at harvey@spiremanagement.com

G. Harvey Gail is President of Spire Management, an association management, event planning and consulting firm located in Salem, Oregon. www.SpireManagement.com, @HarvGail

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VIRTUAL LEADERSHIP:
The 7 Keys to Successful Virtual Meetings

By Peter Montoya, with Wade Shows

With the world deep in the throes of a global pandemic, many leaders are allowing at least a portion of their teams to work from home. But virtual leadership is a skillset most have not yet had the opportunity to study or to hone, and just ‘winging it’ could be disastrous.

One of the most important components of a work-from-home team is the virtual meeting. It can be a make-or-break aspect of your remote workforce, with everything from productivity to job satisfaction hanging in the balance. It also represents a significant investment in both time and money, so how can we better utilize it?

“We must reframe virtual meetings as moments of connectivity,” suggests Wade Shows of Crucible Coaching & Consulting, “where team members gather to create value that could not be accomplished individually.”

Facilitating successful meetings can be significantly challenging in a virtual space – with everything from the limits of technology to plain, old-fashioned distraction working against you. To combat these barriers, Shows suggests focusing on the ‘four Ps’… PeoplePreparationPractice, and Pursuance. The scope of knowledge on each of these topics is far too broad to cover in just one article, so for now let's focus on the second “P” – preparation – as this is a piece of the proverbial puzzle that is too often overlooked, or at least underestimated in terms of importance.

Here are the 7 keys to successful virtual meeting prep…

  1. Define the purposeof the meeting
    What is it, precisely, that you want to accomplish? Far too many meetings are held without a clear answer to that question – which is almost certainly a waste of time, money, and resources.
  2. Confirm the needfor the meeting
    Ask yourself if this will be a good use of everyone’s time. The purpose of a virtual meeting should be to leverage and harness group energy. If you’re only planning to deliver information, could that be accomplished via email instead?
  3. Determine the topic(s)of the meeting
    Perhaps the most ubiquitous saboteur of any meeting, online or otherwise, is having too many topics. In order to keep a meeting productive and focused, especially in a virtual framework, don’t attempt to cover too many bases. Stick with one or two key topics, and no more than two or three lighter points.
  4. Create an outlinefor the meeting
    Decide in advance what you want to cover, in what order, and what process you will use to achieve each objective. This will not only help you to stay focused and on-topic, it will also ensure the flow of information and participation is productive and meaningful.
  5. Determine the lengthof the meeting
    Be realistic about your time. If people are genuinely engaged, a meeting will almost always take longer than you think. Factor in at least 5 minutes of initial transition time at the top of your meeting, and don’t count on those minutes to be productive. Likewise, be sure to leave room for 10-15 minutes of question, comment, and clarification time at the end of the meeting.
  6. Primethe meeting
    Did you know that you can work to ensure attendee engagement before the meeting ever transpires? Priming is the key. Reach out to each attendee prior to the meeting, let them know why you want them in that virtual conference room, what you’d like them to contribute, and what it is you hope to accomplish. Assign everyone a role, in advance.
  7. Select and learn to effectively leverage your technology
    There’s nothing worse than a delay, derailment, or even cancellation of a meeting resulting from confusion surrounding a technology or platform – especially when you multiply that wasted time by your number of attendees. Whatever software you choose, assign someone to manage it, make sure that you have a thorough understanding of how it works, and ask all attendees to test their access to it in advance.

These are merely the broad strokes, of course. There are numerous tips, tricks, and best practices associated with each of these seven ‘keys’, and we’ll cover many of them in future articles. For now, this is a good starting point for anyone new to virtual meeting leadership.

The bottom line is that you must take responsibility – as a leader – not only for the outcomes of your virtual meetings, but also for their successful planning and execution. Far too many would-be leaders fail at this fundamental skill. Remember, too, that how you show up – be that facilitative and inclusive, or directive and autocratic – determines how attendees show up. Developing your mastery of planning and leading virtual meetings will not only improve team productivity and satisfaction, but set you apart as a leader.

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Physical Distancing, Not Social Distancing: A Sense of Community During Dark Times

Three weeks ago, this article was going in a different direction. It would’ve been about Bridgeway’s food truck, The Rolling Bridgeway Café, and the ways Bridgeway is involved in our community. But three weeks ago, many things were different: our favorite restaurants and shops were still bustling with loyal customers, people weren’t worried about losing jobs they’ve held for years, and “social distancing” wasn’t a phrase on everyone’s tongue. Three weeks ago, no one pictured this would be the state of our world. Now what? How do we navigate these uncharted waters? No longer is this article focused on how Bridgeway is involved in the community, it’s simply about community.

At Bridgeway, we help people recover from symptoms of mental illness and chemical dependency. One of the mantras we operate by is, “It’s the relationships that heal.” It’s true. People need people and no one can endure this life alone. But at a time when Coronavirus threatens all our livelihoods and forces us to keep physical distance between ourselves, how can these relationships heal? We’re going to have to shift our idea of conventional relationships for a while, but they can still be healing. A sense of normalcy is crucial in uncertain times like these.

At Bridgeway, we’ll continue to provide services to our community for as long as we safely can. If the Salem Saturday Market still plans to open in April, our food truck will be parked in the food court to serve people who have come to love our food. Many restaurants still allow to-go orders and are encouraging customers to buy gift cards. Schools are figuring out how to teach online so students stay on track.

All around us, even though we’ve been directed to stay physically further apart, a sense of community has woven through the world and tethered humans emotionally closer together. A quick Facebook scroll will show you how people are emerging from the woodwork to support each other. In Italy, people are singing in unison with their neighbors from their balconies. On social media, people are sharing funny and heartwarming videos about how they’re coping with self-quarantining or working from home. Many musicians, comedians, and artists are sharing their work online for free. It’s easy to feel alone, but technology reminds us that we are experiencing this crisis together. It’s bridging the gap between boundaries, knocking down borders, and revealing that what binds humanity together is much stronger than what has the capacity to tear us apart.

While this pandemic has forced us to sacrifice so much, there are things it has reminded us to grip more tightly: kindness, connection, and love. We’ll get through this together, Salem, and Bridgeway will be waiting on the other side, either to support those struggling with symptoms of mental illness and addiction, or to serve a delicious meal from our food truck.

Let’s take care of ourselves, look out for each other, and remember to find the light. Oh, and don’t forget to wash your hands.

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Stubborn Millennial Myths Dispelled
By Melody Garcia

By 2020, 50% of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials. This percentage increases to 75% in 2025. While this generation has now been in the workplace for several years, there are still some misconceptions about their work ethic and desires. It is important to understand this group of emerging leaders before the next generation enters the workforce in earnest.

The biggest misconception about Millennials, or Generation Y, is that they lack work ethic and are habitual job hoppers. The truth is that many Millennials utilize technology to work smarter, not harder. They tend to work more efficiently and, therefore, finish their work faster. In these cases, it might be beneficial to offer more flexible hours if possible.

Eighty percent of Millennials report that they would be more engaged and interested at work if they were able to learn a new skill. Before becoming frustrated with a Millennial who appears to be goofing off, talk to them about their work. Do they have enough to do? Is it challenging enough? Use this information to determine how to engage them so they do not feel the need to look for a new position. Offer training opportunities as an incentive to stay.

The weight of college debt and the lack of jobs upon graduation have many in this generation feeling the need to move into positions that increase their financial position. Offering the right combination of benefits is key to procuring and retaining top Millennial talent.

Health insurance is the one of the most important factors for Generation Y when considering a job offer. The preference of one's health plan differs from previous generations. Because finances are tight, Millennials prefer low cost, high deductible plans. Since they are generally healthy, they prefer to save money on health insurance premiums and to redirect their funds to paying off student loans.

The second biggest myth of Millennials is that they are entitled. Parents of Millennials tend to be the most involved with their children's adulthood success, for the longest period of time, than any other previous generation. Parents have been known to go so far as to intrude on the interview process. This includes coaching during the interview in person or via text, negotiating salary, and even calling the hiring manager for feedback if an offer is not extended.

While the incidence of this parental involvement is most prevalent immediately following graduation, it is counterproductive, regardless of when it occurs and, thus, perpetuates the myth of entitlement.

Millennials will be quickly moving up in leadership as Baby Boomers and the early Generation X retire. It is important to understand Millennials and how to attract, procure, develop, and retain top talent.

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Heard About Town
By Salem Business Journal Columnist David Souter

When I first decided to move my business to Salem, I kept hearing from people up in Portland that they loved doing business in Salem and that the Salem Chamber of Commerce was their favorite. My first SCC Greeters was at the new Planet Fitness in SE Salem, and I have to say it was a little overwhelming. Naomi Tillery the current Greeter’s Chair and Grayson Eames, the Vice Chair have an amazing rapport which draws everyone in with their playful banner and games. Greeter’s tends to bring in from 120 to 200 people every Friday morning at 8:30. Some people have great tag lines for their businesses, other’s have catch phrases which other’s chime in for, still other’s sing their business themes. But the great thing is everyone is having a great time, and more than that people genuinely like doing business with one another. Jackie Ellerbrock, the General Manager at the South Salem Office Depot at 2945 Liberty Road said that attending Greeter’s has had a huge positive impact on her business. In a recent Greeter’s sponsored by the Salem Business Journal and Masonry Grill celebrating the return of Showbiz, guests included Salem’s beloved Gerry Frank, our great mayor Chuck Bennett, and Gayle Caldarazzo-Doty. My experience at Greeters has been that I’ve made great contacts and networking partners. However, the revitalization of the Salem Chamber of Commerce also has a lot to do with what is going on behind the scenes. Tom Hoffert came in as the new CEO for the Chamber last year and has re-energized and re-engaged existing members in a big way according to Heidi Cowden. He also brought in Zachary Sielicky as the new Membership Coordinator 6 months ago. Zachary has increased Chamber membership by almost 10% in the last 6 months, adding over 90 new members and increasing overall Salem Chamber of Commerce membership to 1010 members. If you’ve never been to a Salem Chamber Greeter’s, and you own a local business, I would highly encourage you to check a couple meetings out and get together with Zachary. Information on locations and contact information can be found at salemchamber.org. It can have a very positive impact on your business.

Da Vinci’s Ristorante has been the jewel of Salem’s restaurant scene for years. On January 11, 2020 Da Vinci’s celebrated their 29th anniversary and we were lucky enough to have Mo Afshar, Da Vinci’s owner and founder sit down with us for a few minutes to talk about how he created and managed such an amazing, delightful, elite restaurant which has been able to stand the test of time and thrive here in Salem. Mo immigrated to the US in 1972 to attend the University of Oregon. He did several things over the next few years and even had a French restaurant in Eugene. When I ask why he didn’t do a French Restaurant here, he says 30 years ago, Salem wasn’t ready for a high-end French Restaurant.  His brother Hans, who is now the head chef at Bentley’s suggested he open a restaurant here in Salem. They partnered on Da Vinci’s at first, but later split. Mo says Da Vinci’s is one of the hardest challenges he ever faced. They struggled for years, and only survived because of dedication, hard work and because he loves people, great food and his beloved Da Vinci’s. He admits he may be a bit of a work-a-holic. Every day he gets arrives at the restaurant at 8 AM, still driving up from Eugene, where his family, children and grandchildren live. Mo attributes a lot of his success to his constant desire to keep things fresh and new. He is constantly adding new decorations, foods, wines and features. When Mo does escape the restaurant, you can find him pursuing his other two great passions, playing soccer with the college kids in Eugene, or hanging out with his family and his grandkids. Would he do it all again? He says he’s not sure, but when you see the intense love and pride he shows for this restaurant, my guess is he’d have a hard time not!

Reid Sund is the challenger for the 7th Ward City Council seat opposing incumbent Vanessa Nordyke. Reid was born in Salem and moved to San Diego for college at Point Loma Nazarene University where he majored in Accounting. He then worked as an auditor for the Federal Government achieving the CPA designation. Currently, Reid is the Director of Finance for Salem Health Hospitals & Clinics. His family has a long tradition of working for Salem Health, his mother will soon be celebrating her 40th anniversary at Salem Health. His wife and he have 3 children ages 4 (in May), 2 (in April) and the newest baby girl at 3 months. They live in South Salem and see Salem as a perfect place to raise their young family. Reid has been on the City of Salem Citizen Budget Committee for 2 years. Reid’s top 3 priorities are 1) Homelessness—What to do about sidewalks downtown, and the complex layers of this growing concern in our community. So far Reid has met with Taylor’s House, The Home (drop in center for teens) and The Arches Day Center as well as experts on the front lines learning about potential solutions. 2) Reid is a big proponent for the 3rd bridge and would like to immediately start meeting with ODOT and the Federal Highway Commission to get the project back moving. 3) Budget—He has some issues with the new employee-paid payroll tax which will also be on the May Ballot. While he is aware that the city has a fiscal imbalance in the general fund, he is concerned that the mechanism proposed cannot be guaranteed for public safety. Reid believes his biggest strengths are he is a commonsense leader, problem solver, and good at collaboration in our community.

Matt Kuerbis and Catt Sutherland like it hot. Working in Costa Rica together, they used Matt’s background as a chef to start creating and making hot sauce. In 2016 they bottled their 1st batch of Hot Sauce and started using the brand name Hoss Soss. They started by going to local farmer’s market’s here in Oregon, but they quickly realized that they wanted to be in retail. There story really is one of the power of perseverance. In 2016 they did about 2700 in total revenue, by 2017, it reached $25k and by last year they moved above $50k. How did they do it? They eventually wound up with 3 gourmet Hoss Soss’s with sauce flavors Guajillo-Roasted pepper sauce for tacos, eggs etc, Bi-Bim-based on Korean Bi-bim-bop for stir fry and as a meat marinade and Tamarind-Thai style habanero sauce. But their real grind was getting into new locations. Their first big win was getting into Roth Fresh Market’s here in Salem. Over the next couple of years they were able to get into New Seasons, Market of Choice and  Made in Oregon Stores. In the summer of 2019, they were placed in Fred Meyer’s Local Section, but that section has recently been restructured, so their future at Fred’s is currently up in the air. Every year the company does a Hoss Soss retreat to Costa Rica, this year it’s March 20-24. For information on the retreat, or more information on Hoss Soss, please visit HossSoss.com.

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OREGON REQUESTS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OPEN UP HEALTHCARE.GOV TO ALL OREGONIANS AMID COVID-19 OUTBREAK

(Salem) – Governor Kate Brown yesterday, in order to ensure all Oregonians have access to the health insurance they need during this unprecedented public health crisis, called on federal Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to open a special enrollment period for Oregonians to buy health insurance and apply for federal subsidies through HealthCare.gov. The open enrollment deadline passed on Dec. 15 and does not open again until November.

“Many Oregonians are uninsured or underinsured and now find their families’ budgets significantly tightened due to this national emergency,” Brown said in a letter to Azar. “In order to remove any potential barriers that remain, it is critical for all Oregonians to have access to a special enrollment period.”

A widespread special enrollment period would allow anyone legally present in the United States to buy a private plan and apply for a subsidy to help afford it. The governor requested that the enrollment period open as soon as possible and last at least 30 days.

Oregon needs Azar to allow the special enrollment period via HealthCare.gov because the application consumers need for federal subsidies, and Oregon’s online system for selection of plans available through HealthCare.gov, is run by the federal government. HealthCare.gov sells individual health insurance plans to Oregonians under an agreement with the state and in partnership with the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a division of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.

“The Marketplace is our state’s pathway to coverage and federal subsidies,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “Until the federal government unblocks the gate to those options for all Oregonians, the only people who can enroll now are those who just lost other coverage or had another major qualifying event.”

The governor's letter to Azar emphasized the importance of meeting the needs of income-strapped families during a national crisis.

“Your administration has stressed the value of allowing Americans to make their own coverage choices. During open enrollment last fall, a moderate-income adult might have made a rational decision to skip coverage or buy one of the extremely limited, short-term plans now available under federal rules that currently are not required to cover testing for the novel coronavirus and waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment,” Governor Brown wrote. “A national emergency has changed conditions vastly, and those Oregonians deserve a chance to get the coverage they need.”

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STATE ISSUES GRACE PERIOD ORDER FOR INSURANCE DEADLINES

March 25th, 2020 9:40 AM

Salem – The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services issued a temporary emergency order today in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. It requires all insurance companies to extend grace periods for premium payments, postpone policy cancellations and nonrenewals, and extend deadlines for reporting claims.

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused widespread business closures, job losses, and social distancing measures. This severe disruption to business in the state includes some Oregonians’ ability to make insurance premium payments, report claims, and communicate with their insurance companies.

“During this crisis, we must all do our best to help Oregonians focus on staying healthy, care for their families, and prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” said Andrew Stolfi, insurance commissioner. “Many of our insurers have already stepped up and done the right thing. This order will ensure every Oregonian who needs it has relief from these insurance policy terms, giving them a measure of security and stability.”

Insurance companies must take steps immediately to do the following until the order is no longer in effect:

  • Institute a grace period for premium payments on all insurance policies issued in the state
  • Suspend all cancellations and nonrenewals for active insurance policies
  • Extend all deadlines for consumers to report claims and communicate about claims
  • Provide consumers the ability to make premium payments and report claims while maintaining safe social distancing standards

The order is effective immediately, and will be in force through at least April 23. If necessary, the department may extend the duration of this temporary order.

If Oregonians have questions or concerns about their insurance company or agent, they can contact the department’s advocacy team at 888-877-4894 (toll free) or visit dfr.oregon.gov for more information or to file a complaint.

For insurance and financial services information related to COVID-19, visit the department’s website: https://dfr.oregon.gov/insure/health/understand/Pages/coronavirus.aspx.

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SALEM POLICE ENCOURAGES COMPLIANCE WITH GOVERNOR BROWN'S EXECUTIVE ORDER

March 23rd, 2020 3:45 PM

Keeping Salem safe is the top priority of the Salem Police Department. Our officers are already implementing safety precautions to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Regarding Governor Brown’s Executive Order, officers’ primary function will be to educate the public and ask for compliance with the list of allowed activities. We understand the hardships this order creates, but we believe that following the directions set forth in the order will help keep everyone healthy and safe.

“Our hope is people will understand the need to follow the guidance of our public health experts and maintain social distance and limit activities to the essentials. Yet, arrest or referral to the appropriate state agency is possible for those who flagrantly refuse to follow the order,” said Salem Police Chief Jerry Moore.

“While these extraordinary events may be grabbing the headlines, our regular work continues and at times takes priority. Because of the extra demands placed upon our agency, we are increasing patrol staffing and triaging activities. The reality is proactively stopping community members to educate them about social distancing may not always be the highest priority for our officers,” Moore further explained.

We want to thank our community

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Hey Oregon, we're delivering our world-class beer directly to your door! Just place your order online and we'll ship to you. No need to leave the safety of your house.

A few things to note:

Shipments should arrive within 2-3 business days.

Since we're shipping alcohol, you'll have to show ID and sign upon arrival.

Shipping is for Oregon ONLY.

We appreciate your support during these tough times. Stay strong everyone and we can't wait to see you back in our pubs soon!

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Our organization is dedicated to the preservation of a strong, vigorous economic foundation that businesses can stand on. With the unique and challenging times we face in the midst of the novel Coronavirus, we are working diligently to help route resources to our local businesses.

Chambers of Commerce across the Mid-Willamette Valley are working with staff in the Governor's office to collect information to document the economic impact in our communities from the COVID-19 virus. To best support the recovery effort we are calling on all business owners to engage in this process.

If you have any other questions about this process, please contact Chamber CEO Tom Hoffert at Tom@Salemchamber.org.

For other resources, please visit our website:  Salem Chamber COVID-19 Resource Page.

Click here to:Take this survey

 Thank you for filling out this survey, your feedback is greatly appreciated.

 

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Earlier today Governor Kate Brown released Executive Order 20-12(click for details), updating orders for individuals, businesses, public organizations and outdoors spaces.

Here are the bullet points:

All non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals are prohibited immediately, regardless of size, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained. Gatherings of members of the same residential household are permitted.

It closes and prohibits shopping at specific categories of retail businesses, for which close personal contact is difficult to avoid, such as arcades, barber shops, hair salons, gyms and fitness studios, skating rinks, theaters, and yoga studios.

It requires businesses not closed by the order to implement social distancing policies in order to remain open, and requires workplaces to implement teleworking and work-at-home options when possible.

It directs Oregonians to stay home whenever possible, while permitting activities outside the home when social distance is maintained.

It closes playgrounds, sports courts, and skate parks, among other types of outdoor recreation facilities. Those that remain open are required to strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines.

It outlines new guidelines for child care facilities, setting limits and rules on amounts of children allowed in care, and outlining that child care groups may not change participants.

Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health and subject to a Class C misdemeanor

Retail businesses closed by Executive Order 20-12 include:

Shopping: Outdoor and indoor malls and retail complexes, although individual types of businesses not subject to the measures may stay open.

Fitness: Gyms, sports and fitness centers, health clubs, and exercise studios

Grooming: Barbershops, beauty and nail salons, and non-medical wellness spas

Entertainment: Theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys, and pool halls

Read the entire news release here.

Restaurants are still permitted to offer take out, and delivery.  They are required to maintain the social distancing guidelines.

For resources to support your business if impacted by these or earlier guidelines view the various press releases shared on our website: KeizerChamber.com/News

If your questions are answered through one of those sources please send an email to Danielle Bethell, Executive Director and she will work directly with you.

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The Salem Area Mass Transit District, Cherriots, is experiencing service disruptions because of staffing shortages. Riders are encouraged to check for alerts at Cherriots.org to learn if their route has changed.

Cherriots is asking that riders stay home except for critical trips.

“We can't say it enough,” said General Manager Allan Pollock/ “We have to work together to stop the spread of disease, but it only works if everyone does their part.”

Other developments:

May service changes, which include the introduction of Sunday service, are postponed.

The Customer Service lobby and windows are now closed. Staff members are available by phone at 503-588-2877, by email at info@cherriots.org, and on our social media channels. The Keizer Transit Center lobby is also closed.

The Administrative Offices and Del Webb Operations Center are closed to visitors. Contact customer service for assistance.

Services are fare-free but riders must have a destination. Board Cherriots Local buses through the back door to give space for the drivers.

The Polk County Flex and Cherriots Shop and Ride services are suspended until further notice.

Use the online tools provided to stay in-the-know about the changes. Visit this site before every trip.

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March 19, 2020
Business Connector - Coronavirus Edition
Chamber establishes one-stop COVID-19 Resource Webpage
Businesses asked to share their story on impact of Coronavirus
Link to COVID-19 related business layoffs, closures, and unemployment insurance benefits
Join peers for Employment & Legal Webinar next Tuesday
Emergency services seeking Personal Protection Equipment
Salem Reporter offers Chamber Member discount

Chamber establishes one-stop COVID-19 Resource Webpage: https://salemchamber.org/ 
Businesses have been inundated with information and resources from numerous outlets, media and associations. The Salem Chamber has established an easy to navigate one-stop resource page specific to the COVID-19 crisis.

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STATE STREET CLOSURE STARTS MARCH 25 FOR RAILROAD REPAIRS

News Release from City of Salem
March 20th, 2020 3:00 PM

Salem, Ore. — Beginning at 7:00 am on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, State Street between 12th and 13th Streets will be temporarily closed to all through traffic. The closure will remain in effect through 12:00 pm on Saturday, March 28, 2020.

The closure is due to Union Pacific Railroad performing extensive repairs.

There will be no local access and neighboring businesses will be notified of the closure. Variable Message Sign boards providing traffic closure information to motorists will be in place on Friday, March 20, 2020.

Additional information on current road closures in the city can be found on the City of Salem website.

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OPEN LETTER TO OUR COMMUNITY FROM CHERYL

OLFE, R.N., PRESIDENT AND CEO OF SALEM HEALTH HOSPITALS AND CLINICS

March 20th, 2020 4:28 PM

An open letter to our community from Cheryl Wolfe, R.N., President and CEO of Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics

Each day, the news about the coronavirus’ impact on our community and our country is more sobering. We have entered a stark, new reality that is impacting our daily lives in ways many of us have never before experienced. Just last week, events and institutions we usually take for granted were canceled or closed. This week, cities and states around the country are asking residents to shelter in place.

Earlier this week, the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, which represents all 62 hospitals in our state, strongly advised Governor Brown to issue a statewide shelter in place. Data published this morning indicates the curve may be flattening, but this is misleading. Without adequate testing, it is impossible for us to know who has the virus; or where and for how long they’ve exposed others. As a registered nurse for 46 years, I want to assure you that sheltering at home – while extreme – is critical. There is an urgent, painful need for social distancing and half-measures will not do enough to stop the spread of this virus.

Our top priority is to provide care now and as the crisis worsens. In order to do this, we must keep our essential health care workers healthy and at work. Please help us by staying at home. While there, remember to still maintain a distance of six feet from other people, especially if you are not feeling well. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 30 seconds. These are not new tips. You have heard them before, but strict adherence will save lives.

Though this situation may be unprecedented, this is not the first time the team at Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics has provided care during adversity. We have been planning since December and the attention of every employee is laser focused on protecting the safety of our patients, employees, providers and our community at large.

Here are some of the ways we are working to meet patient needs while reducing the rate of infection.

  • Strict visitor restrictions. Please, only patients in need of care at the hospital at this time. Everyone who enters our buildings, employees and providers included, will be screened for symptoms.
  • All non-urgent, outpatient visits will move to video or telephone visits. Your provider will make a determination whether or not you need to be seen in person.
  • Non-urgent, elective surgeries are postponed for the time being.
  • For staff whose jobs allow, they are working remotely, in order to limit exposure.

I know you are looking to the medical community for guidance, for compassion and for the highest level of care. I want to reassure you the employees of Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics are here for you. We will continue to be here for our community. Even if you just have questions, call our community hotline at 503-814-1970 to speak with a health educator.

Finally, I want to encourage you to look out for yourself and others. Practice self-care by exercising and eating right. Use virtual or telephonic methods to reach out to those around you, ask them how they are doing, and tell them what you are feeling. We need each other now more than ever. Don’t be afraid to look to your friends and neighbors for support. We aren’t meant to do these things alone.

This community is strong and resilient. Things are not easy and certainly do not feel “normal.” But I’m confident that we will navigate this together and return to the lives we treasure so much here in the mid-valley.

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KARMA CONTRIBUTES TO OREGON LOTTERY RAFFLE $1 MILLION WIN

March 20, 2020 - Salem, Ore. – After Ann Charkowicz and her husband Brian saved a toddler from being hit by a car, she had a “good feeling” and purchased an Oregon Lottery Raffle ticket that won her $1 million.

The Coos Bay couple, who have been married for 36 years, were getting ready for a vacation to hunt for agates when they noticed a toddler walking into a busy street. They got the child home safely, and after the vacation Ann decided to purchase the tickets.
“I figured I did something good, something good might happen to me,” Ann said.
Ann purchased the winning $1 million jackpot ticket at the Safeway where she works in Coos Bay, on Johnson Avenue. Ann has worked for the company for 34 years.
Earlier this week, when the Raffle winning numbers were announced, she printed the numbers to post them for customers. When she looked at the printout, the winning number looked familiar. When she checked her ticket, she couldn’t believe it.
“The first thing I said to Brian was, ‘How much do we need for me to retire?’” she said. “I had a feeling I was going to win, and it came true. It was karma.”
The couple took home $680,000 after taxes and said they were going to save the money until things stabilize with the economy. She did say she may try to reduce her hours at work.
“It is crazy right now,” Brian said. “We are being extremely careful with this money.”
Officials with Safeway said currently their staff is so busy keeping up with shopping demand, that it was great to hear some good news.
“We are so thrilled for Ann!” said Jill McGinnis, director of communications and public affairs for Safeway. “Our employees work so hard, now more than ever. I can’t think of a better time for her to win. I hope that she feels a great sense of security because of this -- and has some fun too!”
The winning number was 080948. There are a total of 1801 winning tickets, with one $1 million prize, 300 prizes of $500 and 1,500 prizes of $100. For a complete list of winning numbers visit the Oregon Lottery’s Raffle website at oregonlottery.org/raffle.
Lottery officials recommend that you always sign the back of your tickets with each Oregon Lottery game you play to ensure you can claim any prize you may win. In the event of winning a jackpot, players should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Prize winners of more than $50,000 should contact the Oregon Lottery office to schedule an appointment to claim their prize.
Since the Oregon Lottery began selling tickets on April 25, 1985, it has earned more than $12 billion for economic development, public education, state parks, Veterans services and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery, visit www.oregonlottery.org

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Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division

DMV partners with law enforcement to keep Oregonians at home

March 20, 2020

SALEM – To reduce Oregonians’ need to visit a DMV office during the current public health emergency, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Driver and Motor Vehicles Division has partnered with Oregon law enforcement agencies to exercise discretion in their enforcement of driver licenses, vehicle registrations and trip permits that expire during the COVID-19 emergency declared by Governor Brown.

The Oregon State Police, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, and Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association have all agreed to support this “grace period” for enforcing expired credentials.

While DMV offices remain open, this action is intended to protect the health and safety of people who would otherwise have to visit a DMV office to take care of business, but are concerned during the current public health emergency.

“Our top priority is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and maintaining the health and safety of the public and our employees,” said ODOT Director Kris Strickler. “It’s only our strong partnership with Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police that enabled us to move in this direction,” said Strickler.

“During this current public health emergency, times are hard enough,” said OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton. “The added stress of driving without a valid license or registration is one barrier we can eliminate. Our mission is to protect, not unnecessarily penalize, Oregonians,” said Hampton.

Transactions falling within this request include the following that would expire during the COVID-19 emergency declared by Governor Brown on March 8, 2020:

* Driver license and identification cards

* Passenger vehicle registrations

* Commercial vehicle registrations

* Trip permits

* Disabled parking permits

Until the emergency is over, Oregon law enforcement agencies and associations have agreed to exercise flexibility and discretion when reviewing driver licenses, ID cards, and vehicle registrations during this time of public health emergency.

The grace period is particularly important for Oregonians in the Portland metro region and Medford whose vehicles must be inspected by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality before renewing their vehicle registration. DEQ has suspended vehicle emissions testing, so these individuals are currently unable to renew their vehicle registrations.

Most other Oregonians can renew vehicle registration through the mail or online at DMV2U.Oregon.gov. Even if your tags just expired, you can renew online and print the receipt to take in your car as proof of registration.

Other DMV services available online include:

* Update your address – if you move within Oregon, you must report your new address to DMV within 30 days.

* Report the sale of your vehicle – if you sell your vehicle, you can take an extra step against future parking tickets and towing/storage fees on that car by reporting the sale to DMV online.

* Get a trip permit if your tags are expired or license plates are lost or stolen, or if you’ve just bought a car without current plates.

* Register to vote or change your voter affiliation at the Secretary of State at sos.oregon.gov

* Visit OregonDMV.com to see the status of your local DMV office.

DMV also accepts many transactions through the mail, and phone agents (503-945-5000) help people prepare for a DMV visit, if required.

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News from the Secretary of State
2020 Census
Article I, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution requires that the federal government count the people in each state every ten years. This counting is called the census, and it is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The census is considered by many to be the foundation of our democracy. That’s because the information collected is used to determine the amount of federal funds that the State of Oregon will receive over the next 10 years for many services, including our schools. The data will also be used to determine how many congressional seats will represent Oregon over the next decade. In addition, the census triggers redistricting, which will redraw legislative districts in Oregon. As a result, incomplete information, undercounting, and nonparticipation in the census can mean that federal funds will not be distributed appropriately, which can have lasting impacts, especially on communities that are already underserved. Completing the census takes about 10 minutes and, under federal law, the information collected is confidential.
Right now, households have started receiving mailings from the U.S. Census Bureau asking them to participate in the census. For the first time, the census will be conducted primarily online, with the option to respond via phone or mail. Participating in the census really is one of our civic duties. I cannot emphasize that enough. You can learn more about what questions are and aren’t asked on the census here, and you can complete the census online here.

Oregon Buys
On February 12 a small group of employees celebrated the fact that it’s been one year since our office fully implemented the OregonBuys program. OregonBuys is the state’s new procurement system. As you can imagine, it takes a lot to run a state—from office supplies, furniture, and complex technology solutions to various professional services and even heavy equipment. In the past, there was no centralized way of tracking what different state agencies were purchasing. Through OregonBuys, the state will be able to better understand what its agencies spend their money on, which will enable us to save money by negotiating better contract terms. The system will also foster efficiency by automating certain processes and eliminating dual data entry, and it will make it easier for smaller vendors to compete for the state’s business. To date, the Secretary of State’s office—including the Oregon State Archives, Business Services Division, Corporations Division, Elections Division, and the Office of Small Business Advocacy—is the only state agency that has fully implemented the system, and that’s quite an achievement!

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Office of Small Business Assistance
On February 13, our Small Business Advocacy Team released its Annual Report for 2019. The Oregon Office of Small Business Assistance—one of the first of its kind in the nation—helps businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 100 employees by answering questions about how to navigate state government or by referring them to other supportive resources. The Annual Report shows the most common questions that Oregon small businesses have and the most common challenges that they face in complying with state and local regulation. In 2019, the Advocacy Team helped 1,075 businesses with licensing, tax, startup, and other issues. Since the office was created in 2013, it has helped over 4,300 businesses. You can view an infographic of the report here.

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Travel Oregon
Also on February 13, the Audits Division released a performance audit of Travel Oregon, also known as the Oregon Tourism Commission. Travel Oregon is a state agency that provides the public with information, resources, and trip planning tools in order to grow tourism in our state and thereby strengthen Oregon’s economy. The agency is funded by a 1.8% tax on all overnight stays at transient lodging establishments, which is paid both by Oregonians themselves and tourists who come from out-of-state. Among other things, our auditors found that Travel Oregon’s managers are paid more than the managers of other agencies that have larger budgets and more employees and that perform more critical services such as public health and safety. When asked, the agency was unable to provide detailed documentation to support those compensation decisions. To remedy these issues, the report recommends that Travel Oregon retain such documentation in the future and provide that information to the legislature as part of its annual reporting responsibilities. Travel Oregon agreed with all of the audit’s recommendations, and I thanked the agency’s employees for their candor and professionalism throughout the process. You can read the report here.

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Cost Savings
On February 19, the Audits Division released a report explaining how the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority can save millions of tax dollars. Specifically, the audit recommends that these agencies utilize a service offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury called Do Not Pay, which identifies, prevents, and recovers improper payments in federally-funded, state-administered programs such as Medicaid. For example, our auditors found that using the Do Not Pay system would help to mitigate the risk of improper payments being made on behalf of deceased individuals. The system can also identify data entry errors that might otherwise result in millions of dollars in improper payments. Due to its national recognition for performing analytics work, our Audits Division was the first in the nation to be granted access to the Do Not Pay system. I want to recognize our auditors for the tremendous work that they do on behalf of Oregonians, and I want to join them in urging other agencies to take advantage of these cost savings. You can read the report here.

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Municipal Summary Report
In addition to auditing state agencies, one of the functions of the Secretary of State’s office is to ensure that municipalities, including counties, cities, school districts, special districts, and certain public corporations, are held accountable for spending taxpayer money. The Audits Division does this by preparing an annual report summarizing statewide compliance with Municipal Audit Law. On February 27, the Audits Division released this report for fiscal year 2018. Every year, counties, public schools, and municipalities with larger annual expenditures are required to be audited by independent accountants. Of the almost 1,800 municipalities in the State of Oregon, 1,161 were expected to file a financial audit for fiscal year 2018 with our office by December 31, 2018. As of the start of this year, however, 22 had not done so. Of those municipalities that did, 385 were deemed deficient due to weaknesses in internal control, accounting errors, misstatements, or violations of the law. In turn, 285 of those municipalities have filed a plan of action to address the deficiencies, as required by law. You can read the rest of the report here.

Statewide Facility Planning Process
On March 5, the Audits Division released a report explaining that, while the Department of Administrative Services has improved its facility planning process by enhancing data collection and reporting, more can be done to ensure that the data collected regarding state-owned facilities are accurate—such as requiring independent facility condition assessments rather than asking agencies to self-report their facility needs. In turn, better documenting the criteria used to prioritize investments in state-owned facilities and making the results of that process more transparent would improve public accountability and help legislators to make more informed funding decisions. Finally, the report recommends that DAS create a statewide plan for its facility portfolio to guide future investments from a holistic perspective. Although one of the Audits Division’s functions is to let agencies know what they can be doing better, another is to let agencies know what they are doing well. I want to acknowledge DAS for their recent improvements with respect to facility investment, and to encourage them to keep up the good work! You can read the rest of the report here.

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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
On February 18, Deputy Secretary Jeff Morgan met with advocates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFPS), who were in Salem speaking with legislators. Founded in 1987, AFPS is a nationwide voluntary health organization that is dedicated to saving lives as well as bringing hope and providing resources and aid to those affected by suicide. The group raises awareness by educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention, funds scientific research to improve interventions, trains clinicians, and advocates for supportive public policies. New CDC data shows that suicide was the leading cause of death among Oregon youth in 2018, up from the second leading cause of death in 2017 and making Oregon the 11th highest state in the nation for youth suicide death rates. If you’ve been touched by suicide, you know how life-altering it can be in so many ways. I appreciate organizations like AFPS that work to spread awareness and amplify the voices of those affected by suicide.

Dairy Day at the Capitol
On February 24, I spoke at the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association Convention in Salem. Founded in 1892, the ODFA works on behalf of Oregon’s 200 licensed Grade A dairy-farming families. The association frequently appears before the Legislature to weigh in on bills relating to the environment, food safety, animal welfare, and immigration. It also collaborates with Oregon State University on its Dairy Processing extension program to promote the production of safe and high quality dairy products and to support the dairy industry in Oregon. ODFA also supports youth activities like Future Farmers of America and 4-H.

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Klamath County Chamber of Commerce
On February 25, I met with the Executive Director of the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce and a representative of the Jordan Cove LNG project, who were in Salem to share their legislative agenda with various government officials. The Klamath County Chamber of Commerce represents over 500 local businesses throughout Klamath County. The Jordan Cove LNG project is currently attempting to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline between Klamath County and the coast, as well as an LNG terminal just north of Coos Bay, where that natural gas can then be exported around the world. One of the Chamber’s highest priorities this legislative session was to urge the Department of Environmental Quality to adopt water quality regulations that are easier for the county’s residents and businesses to afford. In addition, both the Chamber and Jordan Cove support a fair and unbiased application process for the LNG pipeline, which would bring revenue and employment to Klamath County.
One of the things I remember most clearly about my time as a state legislator is the calls I received from voters and businesses within my district who were concerned about the expensive and burdensome process of dealing with state agencies. One of the things I’ve been pleased to do as your Secretary of State is to work with our Audits Division in order to ensure that our state agencies operate as efficiently as possible. I appreciated hearing from the Chamber and Jordan Cove about their priorities.

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Oregon Blue Book Essay Contest
All elementary and middle school-aged children are invited to compete in the 2021–2022 Oregon Blue Book Essay Contest. This year, the contest’s theme is “100 Years of Oregon’s State Parks,” since it was just under 100 years ago that our first state park opened to the public. Essays should answer the following question: What is your favorite Oregon State Park and why? Students are also encouraged to illustrate their essays with drawings. The winners’ essays will be included in the 2021–2022 edition of the Oregon Blue Book, and the winners will be invited to the Capitol for the official Blue Book release party and celebration in early 2021. The deadline for submitting entries is October 22, 2020. For more details, please click here.

Summit Robotics Team
On February 27, I welcomed Summit High School’s Robotics Team, Team 5468 Chaos Theory, to the Oregon State Capitol. Through this program, Summit’s students design, build, and program their own robot while developing skills in mechanical engineering, computer-aided design, electronics, and collaboration. While they were here, the team demonstrated their work in the galleria, showing us how quickly their robot could navigate obstacle courses. The team itself has won numerous awards and advanced to the national FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) Robotics Competition in Houston for the last three years. In addition, their coach, Charlotte VanValkenberg, was recently given the prestigious Woodie Flowers Award, which honors outstanding mentors in the robotics competition. Charlotte was tragically killed in an automobile accident at the start of this season. The team’s current coaches are Janette Haines and David Dallas. We are lucky to have such distinguished students representing the State of Oregon and sharing their talents with us in the Capitol. It was a fun, educational afternoon. I want to extend a special thank you to Rep. Cheri Helt, from Bend, for bringing these students by my office to visit with me.

Summit Robotics
Crook County Middle School

Crook County Middle School
Also on February 27, I hosted a group of over 30 students from Crook County Middle School in my office, where we discussed state government in general, the role of the Secretary of State’s office in particular, and what they were learning in school. While they were here, they also got to see the demonstration by Chaos Theory in the galleria.

Mid Oregon Credit Union
On March 7, I attended the Mid Oregon Credit Union’s 63rd Annual Membership meeting in Bend. Created in 1957 by a group of teachers and school employees in Prineville, the Mid Oregon Credit Union was the first credit union established in Central Oregon. Unlike banks, which are owned by shareholders who elect a paid board of directors to maximize shareholder return, credit unions are non-profit organizations that are owned by their customers, called members, and run by a volunteer board of directors that is elected from the members and by the members, which ensures lower loan rates, higher saving rates, and enhanced services. I was asked to attend the meeting in order to discuss how state government impacts the MOCU’s 35,000+ members and Central Oregon’s economy. Thank you to MOCU’s Vice President, Kyle Frick, for inviting me to attend and speak to their members.

Mid Oregon Credit Union

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
During the past couple of weeks, we have seen the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread to a degree that is alarming and that is changing our everyday lives. I want to assure you that my office is doing everything we can to protect the safety and wellness our employees while continuing to serve Oregonians. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families impacted by this virus. If you fall into one of the high-risk groups for serious illness from COVID-19 (those over 60 and those with serious chronic medical conditions), the CDC advises that you take certain steps to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease, which you can learn more about by clicking here.
As always, it is an honor to serve as your Secretary of State.
Sincerely,
Bev Clarno

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SALEM CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER WITHDRAWING EMPLOYEE PAYROLL TAX MEASURE ON MAY 2020 BALLOT

March 19th, 2020 4:00 PM

Salem, Ore. — At their Monday, March 23, 2020, the Salem City Council will consider withdrawing the employee-paid payroll tax measure from the May 2020 ballot.  The decision will come to the City Council in the form of a resolution ratifying the action.

“We don’t yet know how severe an impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our local economy,” said Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett.  “We do know it will take all of us, working together, to help local businesses, employees and residents recover.  We’re doing our part by withdrawing this ballot measure.”

Late last year, following recommendations from a citizen task force and public testimony, the Salem City Council referred an employee-paid payroll tax proposal to Salem voters at the May 19, 2020, primary election.  The employee-paid payroll tax was intended to help keep pace with our community’s growing public safety needs.

“Given the current unprecedented situation we are all experiencing, I asked that we remove the employee-paid payroll tax from the upcoming ballot,” said Salem City Council President Chris Hoy. “Despite the City’s need for additional operating revenue to keep pace with our growing population, I don’t believe that putting an additional burden on workers is the right thing to do at this time.”

The City of Salem has taken other measures to reduce the financial strain experienced by residents, businesses, and utility customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For example, the City will not shut-off water service to customers if payment cannot be made.  For more information about changes to City services and programs during this emergency, see the COVID-19 page on the City’s website at cityofsalem.net.

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The state Joint Information Center (JIC) is available to take all non-health related COVID-19 media questions in Oregon.

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has mobilized the state Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) to coordinate and support state and local response efforts.

The JIC operates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Media outlets can call 503-373-7872, during operating hours, for all non-health related COVID-19 questions.

For health-related COVID-19 questions, please contact the Oregon Health Authority Joint Information Center at 971-673-2097; orcovid19.media@dhsoha.state.or.us.

The State JIC has also established a new webpage with COVID-19 information and links to resources.

Please contact 503-373-7872.for more information.

 Oregon Department of Forestry Incident Management Team Safety Officer, Scott West, works on COVID-19 related issues, March 19 in the Emergency Coordination Center in Salem. The ECC has 18 Emergency Support Functions that coordinate with local, tribal, state and federal partners. (Oregon State Joint Information Center photo by James Sinks)

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MEDIA AVAILABILITY: MEDICAL DIRECTOR TO OFFER CLINICAL UPDATE ON COVID-19 SITUATION AT OREGON VETERANS' HOME IN LEBANON

News Release from Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs
March 19th, 2020 2:48 PMThe Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs is pleased to announce that COVID-19 testing has been completed on all 151 residents at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon. There are 14 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, and who are being cared for by dedicated staff members following established infectious disease prevention protocols and public health guidelines.

Dr. Rob Richardson, D.O., one of the medical directors at the Home, will be available by teleconference today to give media an update on the clinical status of the residents who are COVID-positive and answer questions about the care that is being provided at the Home.

When: 3:30 p.m., Thursday, March 19

Call-in Information: 866-377-3315. Participant Code: 7605314#

Dr. Richardson is a doctor of osteopathic medicine and has been in family practice for 40 years. He also works with Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital and is an assistant professor at the Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest.

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Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems Statement by OAHHS on Shelter in Place Recommendation

OREGON– Today, Becky Hultberg, President and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS), released the following statement on the need for stronger social distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. OAHHS represents Oregon’s 62 acute care hospitals and works on behalf the patients they serve to promote community health and to continue improving Oregon's innovative health care system.

"The coronavirus is dangerous because although we can't see it, the virus is in our community and it is lethal. Hospitals and health systems are preparing for a surge in COVID-19 patients and it is critical that we have the capacity to care for those patients and others who present at our facilities. Mortality is higher when the health system gets overwhelmed. We must act now to save lives.

"Absent widespread testing and the ability to isolate patients, the public health tool we must use to avoid a rising patient surge is social distancing. Yesterday, our board recommended that the Governor take the strongest possible action when it comes to social distancing measures now. We support action on the state or local level to further limit retail commerce, unnecessary travel, and adopt ‘shelter in place‘ strategies.”

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Oregon reports 13 new COVID-19 cases; state prepares Oregon Medical Station

Oregon Health Authority reported 13 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 88, as of 8:30 a.m. today, March 19. The COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Linn (2), Marion (5), Multnomah (4) and Washington (2). Oregon Health Authority reports new cases once a day on its website: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.
State prepares Oregon Medical Station
The Oregon Health Authority, together with the Oregon Military Department, is assembling the Oregon Medical Station (OMS) beginning Friday, March 19, at the Salem Fairgrounds. The OMS is a temporary mobile facility dedicated for emergency use in situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. The mobile facility will provide an alternate site for 250 patients currently in nursing home care.
The OMS is one component of Oregon’s larger emergency preparedness plan. Here is a snapshot of the facility:
It will include beds, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and equipment to support 250 patients.
It which will be staffed by members of the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon (SERV-OR) and the Oregon Disaster Medical Team (ODMT).
It will have staffing for 24/7 operations.
It will be housed in the Jackson Long building at the Salem Fairgrounds in a state-owned building.
It will use dedicated supplies that have been stored in Salem at the State and Federal Surplus Property.
Military members from the Oregon Military Department, SERV-OR and ODMT have previous joint training experience for disaster-type events. All three groups have participated in an annual exercise known as Pathfinder-Minuteman, which presents multiple scenarios where first responders have causalities in need of immediate medical treatment.
Stay informed about COVID-19:
Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response.
United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.
Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

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Temporary camping closures announced for Oregon state parks, forests, and wildlife areas

SALEM, Oregon –Three Oregon state agencies will suspend camping to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will accommodate current overnight guests through April 2. Reservations for all state park stays from April 3 to and including May 8 will be canceled and site fees refunded. Before May 8, the department will review the state park campground closure to decide whether it should be extended. The decision affects all individual and group overnight facilities: campsites, yurts, cabins, tepees, and services operated by concessionaires. The suspended service also affects reservations for group day-use areas.

The Oregon Department of Forestry maintains campgrounds in the Clatsop, Santiam, and Tillamook State Forests. Most campgrounds are currently closed for the season, and will not reopen for individual or group use. Year-round campgrounds will close starting on Monday, March 23. All day-use and campground restrooms are temporarily closed due to limited janitorial services. A reopening date for all restrooms and state forest campgrounds has not yet been determined. During this time, trails, forest roads and trailheads on state forestlands will remain open to the public.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is closing its Wildlife Areas to overnight camping effective Sunday, March 22. The closure affects both dispersed camping and established campgrounds. Several wildlife areas are also currently fully or partially closed to all visitors as part of annual seasonal closures to protect wintering wildlife. While camping will be prohibited, wildlife areas that are currently open remain open to visitors for day-use activities including wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation. See the ODFW Wildlife Area Visitor Guide for more information.

State park, forest, and wildlife area camping areas are built into relatively small areas by design. Maintaining social distance is difficult. Working with fewer staff and volunteers is becoming a reality, making it difficult to maintain proper cleaning procedures. To support the state goal of reducing transmission of COVID-19, temporary campground closures are necessary. The details of these actions—such as dates and affected programs—are under constant review and will change as new information develops.

  • Prepare for your visit with the clothing, supplies, and knowledge you need to have a safe visit.
  • If you're ill, stay home.
  • Cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue (then throw it away) or inside of your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wash regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It's up to you to practice good personal hygiene, and not every place at every park can be kept clean all the time.
  • If place is so crowded you can't maintain a healthy social distance—at least six feet—find a different place to go.

Know before you go:

  • Travel Oregon travel alerts: https://traveloregon.com/travel-alerts/.
  • State park service reductions and closures: https://bit.ly/OPRD-covid.
  • Oregon Department of Forestry: https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife: https://myodfw.com/visit-odfw-wildlife-areas
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OREGON SHERIFF'S COLLABERATING TO ENSURE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF OUR COMMUNITES ACROSS THE STATE

 Since the onset COVID-19 in Oregon, the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association (OSSA) has been coordinating an effort with our Oregon Sheriffs to share suggested practices and precautionary measures that protect the health and safety of our community members and the individuals entrusted to the care of our jails. OSSA has held conference calls with Sheriffs, Jail and Enforcement Command level leaders within Sheriff’s Offices.  During these conference calls Sheriffs and Command level leaders have discussed a wide variety of measures to protect persons in our community, individuals in our custody and our staff.

 We can assure you that your Oregon Sheriffs, Jail and Enforcement Commanders are doing their absolute best to implement appropriate protocols to address the threat of COVID-19.  We are working with our local law enforcement partners, the courts, district attorney’s offices and public defenders to implement changes to the entire criminal justice system which will help us manage this crisis.  We are also communicating with our county health departments, the Governor’s office, the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Department of Corrections and emergency management agencies to ensure that we have the most current information and are implementing the latest recommended changes.  These changes include a careful evaluation of who gets booked into our facilities to limit intakes, working to get low-risk offenders out of jail as soon as possible, a host of environmental precautions, what calls we respond to, practicing social distancing while being visible in the public, screening of staff and screening of individuals in our custody.

 OSSA will continue to keep Sheriffs, Jail and Enforcement Commanders updated on any trends, recommended practices and information from our stakeholder organizations moving forward. We are also hosting a standing weekly conference calls for Sheriffs and Command level leadership to receive updates and share information until this health crisis subsides.  We expect that information and recommendations to address this pandemic will continue to rapidly evolve, and are working diligently to remain updated and adapt.

 Your Oregon Sheriffs are committed to making our communities around the state stronger and safer. With this goal in mind Sheriffs are working diligently to ensure their Offices and personnel will be here for our communities during these unprecedented times.

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Oregon reports two more deaths in COVID-19 outbreak

10 new cases also confirmed statewide, bringing total to 75

Oregon— COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from this virus to three, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8:30 a.m. today.

The cases are a 60-year-old woman in Lane County, who died at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend on March 14, and a 71-year-old man in Washington County who died March 17 at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. The Lane County resident tested positive for the virus March 17, while the Washington County resident received a positive result on March 16. Both had underlying medical conditions.

They are among a total of 75 people in Oregon who have been confirmed to have COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. That includes 10 new cases that were confirmed statewide today in the following counties: Benton (1), Lane (2), Marion (4), Washington, (2) and Yamhill (1).

“We are saddened at the news of these additional lives lost in Oregon due to COVID-19,” said Patrick Allen, OHA director. “These deaths only strengthen our resolve to slow the spread of this disease in our communities. We are in this together.”

Washington County Health Officer Christina Baumann, M.D., M.P.H., said, “We are sad to learn of the first death in our county due to COVID-19. Our hearts go out to his family during this time. We are committed to slowing down the spread of this disease and to protecting those most vulnerable among us.”

Patrick Luedtke, M.D., M.P.H., Lane County senior public health officer, said “First and foremost, we are deeply saddened by the loss of our community member. We ask that our community members, and the greater Oregon community, show kindness and compassion for the family of the deceased at this time. We are absolutely committed to preventing future death through slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

Stay informed

Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority leads the state response.

United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.

Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

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SKEF Postpones Awesome 3000

Salem— Salem-Keizer Education Foundation has been closely monitoring the recommendations of leading health organizations in response to the developing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As community supporters, we believe our primary role and responsibility is to ensure community members are cared for during this time of uncertainty. We continue to work closely with our partners at Salem-Keizer Public Schools to ensure the safety of our student populations and their families.

May 2nd, the date of the 38th annual Awesome 3000, is fast approaching. There are still many unknowns regarding the virus and the precautionary measures that may still need to be taken in the coming weeks.  Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to postpone the 2020 Awesome 3000 until Saturday, August 1.  The event will still be held at McCulloch Stadium and will be a great celebration of community.  We look forward to having you join us then.

A big thank you to Willamette University and all our sponsors.  We could not have rescheduled without their support and flexibility.  If you have already registered your student(s) for the event, your registration will be carried forward to the new date.  Should you have questions, please contact us at info@skeducationfoundation.org.

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CURT ARTHUR

SVN’S CURT ARTHUR ACHIEVES PARTNERS CIRCLE March 5, 2020 — SVN International, one of the world’s leading commercial real estate brokerage companies, recognized Curt Arthur, SIOR, owner and Managing Director of SVN Commercial Advisors, LLC in Salem, Oregon, for obtaining Partners Circle status for 2019 at its 2020 SVN National Conference in La Quinta, CA. Partners Circle, achieved by less than 1% of advisors in the platform, is the highest level of professional achievement recognized each year by SVN. Arthur finished 2019 ranked #11 out of approximately 2,200 advisors worldwide. Curt is also recognized by SVN as both a Certified Office and Industrial Property specialist, one of two advisors in the platform with dual certifications. In addition to its' Salem office, SVN Commercial Advisors, LLC, has advisors both in Eugene and Redmond and finished 2019 with more than $80 million in closed commercial real estate transactions.

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SALEM CITY COUNCIL HOLDS EMERGENCY MEETING ON COVID-19 ISSUES

Salem, Ore. -- City of Salem will hold a joint emergency meeting of the Salem City Council, Salem Housing Authority, and Urban Renewal Agency, Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 6 p.m. You can watch the meeting live right here at City of Salem, on Comcast Cable CCTV Channel 21, or on the CCTVSalem YouTube channel. The purpose of the meeting is to consider City actions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. To provide testimony in advance of the meeting, email: citycouncil@cityofsalem.net

We encourage the public to make use of remote viewing opportunities as much as possible to reduce risks of COVID-19 transmission.

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Governor Kate Brown Announces New Statewide Actions on COVID-19

(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today announced new measures to flatten the curve of coronavirus transmission in Oregon, including new orders and guidance on social distancing, an agreement for the Portland metro hospital system to coordinate resources and increase capacity, activation of the state's Unified Command emergency response organizational structure, and a new order to prevent price gouging.

"My goal is to protect the health and safety of Oregon families. Every step we are taking is being made with community input and careful consideration of its impacts," said Governor Brown. "Each action has ripple effects across our state, both on a personal and an economic level. But we can overcome these hurdles in an Oregon Way. By working together, we are stronger, even if it’s in ways we never thought possible."

The new orders on social distancing measures, effective March 17 for at least four weeks, include:

  • A statewide cancelation of all events and gatherings larger than 25 people — exempting essential locations like workplaces, grocery stores, pharmacies, and retail stores. It's additionally recommended that Oregonians avoid gatherings of 10 people or more.
  • Restaurants, bars, and other establishments that offer food or beverages for sale are restricted to carry-out and delivery only with no on-site consumption permitted.
  • Food service at health care facilities, workplaces, and other essential facilities will continue.
  • All other businesses are urged to assess their practices, implement strong social distancing measures, and close their doors temporarily if they cannot put the new guidance in place.

"I know that while these actions will impact Oregon businesses and employees, they will help decrease the rate of infection while bringing state and federal resources up to the same speed as the spread of the virus," said Governor Brown.

The Governor's Coronavirus Economic Advisory Council will convene tomorrow to examine ways to mitigate the impacts of new social distancing measures and anything else that adversely affects Oregon's economy. The council will examine a variety of tools available, including requests to the State Legislature and the federal government.

Governor Brown also announced the formation of two command groups, one to manage our health care system’s resources and the other to manage our state resources. The metro regional COVID-19 hospital response plan will help the health care community to prepare for the expected surge of COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks — a model for a crisis care plan that can be implemented statewide. Working together, hospitals will treat COVID-19 testing resources and personal protective equipment, including gowns, masks, and gloves, as community resources, and work together to increase bed capacity.

The state’s Unified Command emergency response organizational structure, an incident management structure similar to what Oregon would activate during a major Cascadia earthquake, has also been activated. This will fully integrate the Oregon Health Authority’s public health response efforts with the Office of Emergency Management’s efforts to minimize any disruption to critical services in Oregon.

At the request of the Attorney General , Governor Brown declared an abnormal market disruption regarding essential items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper, to prevent price gouging during this public health crisis.

Tom Hoffert
CEO
Salem Area Chamber of Commerce

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GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE IN OREGON

Executive Order Reaffirms Oregon's Commitment to Reducing Statewide Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Supporting the Expansion of a Clean Energy Economy

PORTLAND, OR - Governor Kate Brown today issued an Executive Order solidifying Oregon’s commitment to fight climate change, expand clean energy technologies (clean fuels program), and invest in the protection of youth and frontline communities. It comes after years of public demand for bold climate action, years of public hearings and input, and years of rallies across the state.

This remarkable climate action will expand the already successful Clean Fuels Program, create more energy efficient clean homes and offices, and set a cap to lower the pollution that is threatening our health and environment. This executive order updates and strengthens successful climate action already in our laws.  It will make Oregon more resilient against the impacts of climate change and move us toward a sustainable and prosperous future.

“I want to thank Governor Kate Brown for listening to the thousands of voices calling for action on climate and using every tool at her disposal to protect the future of the next generation of Oregonians,” said Diana Nuñez, Executive Director at Oregon Environmental Council. “This is a bold response to an urgent need. Oregon is once again a leader taking action to reduce pollution, protect our health, and give our kids a livable future.”

A strong clean energy economy combats climate change while creating good jobs and a healthy environment. This action extends and strengthens Oregon’s successful Clean Fuels Program, which has been creating jobs and working for four years to lower pollution from fuels by making cleaner options available. The standard will lower pollution 25% by 2035.

“This is one of the strongest actions any governor has taken,” said Jana Gastellum, Deputy Director for Programs at Oregon Environmental Council. “We applaud Governor Brown’s focus on the health and well-being of people harmed by climate change, including outdoor workers. Detractors will trot out the same tired talking points, but this is meaningful action that will protect people and improve quality of life in Oregon.”

Today’s action on climate will strengthen requirements for new buildings in Oregon so that by 2030 they’ll produce as much clean energy as they use, and maximize energy efficiency. There will be huge savings on energy bills as homes and buildings use energy more efficiently and waste less -- using technologies we already use today.

Most importantly, while Oregon has targets for reducing climate pollution already in our law, they’re not being enforced. This new change updates the targets and makes lowering pollution mandatory for large polluters. Large polluters will be required to lower climate pollution levels 45% below 1990 levels by 2035, and at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

We’re taking historic and bold action in Oregon to reduce climate pollution, protect our air and water, and do our part as a state to respond to the climate emergency. We’re improving our transportation, businesses, and buildings to lower pollution over time with clean, renewable options that will save money and create jobs.

About Oregon Environmental Council:

We bring Oregonians together to protect our water, air and land with healthy solutions that work for today and for future generations. Founded in 1968 by concerned Oregonians from across the state, we are a membership-based, nonpartisan nonprofit. Follow us! @oeconline | OEConline.org

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Driver and Motor Vehicle Services

Need DMV service? Visit DMV2U.oregon.gov

March 13, 2020

SALEM – To help slow the spread of Coronavirus in Oregon, the Oregon DMV asks that customers consider using the many services available online rather than visiting a DMV office in person.

You can do these things 24/7 at DMV2U.Oregon.gov:

  • Renew registration for most vehicles – even if your tags just expired, you can renew online and print the receipt to take in your car as proof of registration.
  • Update your address – if you move within Oregon, you must report your new address to DMV within 30 days.
  • Report the sale of your vehicle – if you sell your vehicle, you can take an extra step against future parking tickets and towing/storage fees on that car by reporting the sale to DMV online.
  • Get a trip permit if your tags are expired or license plates are lost or stolen, or if you’ve just bought a car without current plates.

“We encourage people to avoid renewing their vehicle registration in field offices when nearly everyone can do it via our DMV2U website,” DMV Administrator Tom McClellan said. “Those most vulnerable to the virus – those age 60 and older or who have underlying health conditions – should especially reconsider an in-person visit to DMV at this time.”

Other less frequently used services are also available at DMV2U.

If possible, DMV also asks that customers reschedule drive tests until a later date.

Any time you need a DMV service, please first check at DMV2U.Oregon.gov to see if you can save yourself a trip to an office. You can also visit OregonDMV.com to see office hours, locations and wait times for most DMVs, and to make sure you have everything you need before your visit.

DMV also accepts many transactions through the mail, and our phone agents (503-945-5000) help people prepare for a DMV visit, if required.

If you visit DMV in person

Most of our larger offices station employees near the front door to answer questions, check paperwork, and orient customers to the lobby/counter/testing areas.  We are not turning people away who appear sick, but are preparing signage that helps educate customers about COVID-19 symptoms and preventive steps such as good hygiene.

“We are taking additional precautions with cleaning protocols and sanitation of employee/customer high-contact areas,” McClellan said. “If someone stays home from work due to illness, please don’t consider a trip to DMV as an acceptable activity. Stay home and get well, and don’t risk infecting others in public spaces like a DMV office!” said McClellan.

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Capitol Cancels Public Events Scheduled in March and
Suspends Tours, Rallies and Group Meetings Until Further Notice

Salem, Ore. – In light of the rapidly evolving situation in our state and globally with the coronavirus pandemic the Oregon State Capitol staff is taking immediate steps consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order and Legislative Leadership direction to curtail operations at the Capitol.

Effective immediately, the Capitol will curtail operations in the following ways:

  • The Cherry Blossom event scheduled for Saturday, March 21 is canceled.
  • The Spring Break Passport to Fun! March 23-27 is canceled.
  • The Oregon State Capitol Foundation Speaker Series Presentation: Kimberly Jensen and Jan Dilg "They Persisted: Oregon Women and Voting Rights 1872-1920" on March 26 will be rescheduled for a later date.
  • All building tours are canceled until further notice.
  • All rallies are canceled until further notice.
  • Group meetings scheduled in the Capitol are canceled until further notice.

The building will remain open for business. Regular building hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can inquire with the Information Kiosk during business hours at 503-986-1388.

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OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO CLOSE TEMPORARILY IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

OR – Following the most recent announcement from state and local officials surrounding large public gatherings, the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) has decided to close to the public temporarily beginning on Saturday, March 14, with an anticipated reopening of Monday, March 30. OHS has canceled or postponed all public programs through April 12, 2020 as well as canceled school tours and suspended its traveling trunk program through April 17. Library services, including research inquiries and photo and film reproductions, will also be paused during this period.

“Oregonians have long looked to the Oregon Historical Society for accurate history. It is our hope that when historians write about this unique and challenging time, they will write that lives were saved and normalcy restored because the recommendations of public health officials were taken seriously,” said Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. “To do our part to ensure that history, and in keeping with the fact that the health and well-being of our visitors, staff, and volunteers is our number one priority, we believe that this temporary closure is the right thing during these uncertain times.”

OHS management has also made plans to alleviate the burden on its staff during this period of stress. Leadership has encouraged all staff to prioritize their own health and safety, and as such has granted all staff up to five paid personal days, to be used during this public closure period, in order to allow staff to care for themselves and their loved ones.

Lessons from the past will continue to inform our community in coming weeks. While many in our community practice social distancing at home, OHS encourages visits to ohs.org/washyourhands for reliable health information and links to OHS’s digital resources, which include the digital history projects like the Oregon Encyclopedia, the Dear Oregon blogOHS Digital Collections, and free articles from our scholarly journal, the Oregon Historical Quarterly.

When the museum reopens, OHS is excited to debut a new exhibition, Nevertheless, They Persisted: Women’s Voting Rights and the 19th Amendment. One suffragist profiled in the exhibit who our community can learn from during this crisis is Esther Pohl Lovejoy; as a public health official, she helped prevent an outbreak of bubonic plague in Portland, in part by resisting xenophobic arguments that blamed Chinese Portlanders for the disease.

“Like the Oregon suffragists that made history in 1912 when they won Oregon women citizens the right to vote – after five previous failed attempts – we too will persist through this public health crisis and come out stronger,” said Tymchuk.

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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March 13, 2020

SPECIAL UPDATE: Business Connector

A statement from the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce regarding the Coronavirus

I wish to take a moment to share with you what we are doing here at the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce to respond to COVID-19. As the situation around the coronavirus continues to evolve, we are actively working to ensure the health and safety of our members, volunteers, and staff by taking necessary steps in accordance with the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control’s best practices.

We take pride in maintaining the highest standards of operating, and in response to the coronavirus, we have taken additional measures developed in consultation with local public health authorities for our members, volunteers, and staff:

  • We are following the lead of our Governor Kate Brown’s office, in restricting all non-essential gatherings, along with suspending any events and/or programs which would draw a community crowd of 250 or more individuals for an event. As a member services and community advocacy company, we are well equipped to provide the Salem business community real-time updates on the COVID-19 pandemic and showcase ways which they can be prepared for the coming days and weeks ahead. We have implemented the Governor’s mandate in to limit exposure of infection, while remaining active for our membership and the full Salem business community.
  • We encourage our members to avoid large public gatherings, following government-issued best practices.
  • A signature weekly event, our Greeters program, will be directly affected by the Governor’s position on large gatherings. Greeters events through the end of March have been canceled.
  • Regarding our Salem Chamber & Inspire Foundation events forthcoming, we will be in touch with our membership via email communication and over social media channels to keep our shareholders knowledgeable in real-time with all developments.

We are aware of the complex nature of this community discussion towards precautionary measures and preparedness. Nearly all of our businesses are or will be feeling the financial impact of a local citizenry who are being asked to limit exposure and practice social distancing. We understand the precaution is necessary, especially for those considered to be at a higher risk. Restaurants are noticing a steep decline in guests, as are our hoteliers and countless other service companies. As business owners and operators, we encourage preparation for this slowdown in commerce and the economic realities encompassing this national and global health challenge. In the coming days and weeks, the Salem Chamber will continue to work closely with the Oregon Health Authority and our local health experts to communicate information out to our membership and the entire Salem business community.

During difficult times like these, we believe in the power of community and support – both integral pieces of our Salem Chamber membership. As a society and individuals, it is our responsibility to curb expansion of the virus. The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce will continue to consult with experts and evaluate ways we can continue to support and provide safety to our members, volunteers, and staff as we approach the coming weeks of activity. Thank you for your leadership and commitment to a healthy and prosperous Salem community.

My best,
Tom Hoffert
CEO
Salem Area Chamber of Commerce