Tue. Aug 11th, 2020


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The Court Street Dairy Lunch is now open for Business!

Salem's oldest restaurant, Court Street Dairy Lunch is happy to be open for sit down dining.
Serving house made favorites since 1929 to so many loyal patrons, it has become Salem's living room.
Come see Marlene, Amber and the new kids on the block. Court Street Dairy Lunch is now run by The Court Street Foundation.
Dedicated to Culinary Students and the preservation of Salem's most historic eating establishment.  Students learn all aspects of the restaurant business from experienced mentors.
Join the fun and great food from 6am daily for all your Court Street Dairy Lunch favorites!


Chemeketa Community College Art Students Display Work in Virtual Art Gallery

COVID-19 made an in-person show impossible, so faculty, staff, and students created a virtual museum

Salem, Ore., June 8, 2020 —CHEMEKETA COMMUNITY COLLEGE has a long-standing spring tradition: The student art show.  It is an opportunity for students to share their newfound skills and gain professional experience in exhibiting artwork.  For many, the student art show at the Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery on the Salem Campus is the favorite show of the year. There is a great deal of support for the show college-wide.  Awards are given by Chemeketa’s administration team in the form of tuition reimbursement.  It is an opportunity to help and encourage artists, as well as provide them a venue to sell their pieces.

This year, the student art show is more important than ever. During this time of Covid-19 and incredible social unrest, students deserve recognition. Twelve students went through the administrative procedures to submit their work to this show. They tried something new while enduring the added stress of a country that changes daily. The 2020 student show may be the smallest one on record, but it is the most remarkable. Every artwork represents a beginning and a future for the student that moved forward with the submission process.

"I'm so glad that Chemeketa is hosting a Virtual Art Show for our students,” said Keith Russell, Chemeketa’s Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.  “The annual student art show is a highlight of our academic year for me and it is wonderful that students have this opportunity to participate despite the enormous challenges of the pandemic. I want to extend my deepest appreciation to faculty members, Deanne Beausoleil and Kay Bunnenberg Boehmer, and Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, Marie Hulett, for the extraordinary work that they've accomplished to make this unique show a reality."

The Gretchen Schuette virtual art gallery and student exhibition can be accessed by visiting the gallery’s webpage at https://www.chemeketa.edu/programs-classes/program-finder/art/gretchen-schuette-art-gallery/ and clicking on the link to the student gallery near the top of the page.




SBJ Newsroom - Salem Police Chief Jerry Moore recorded a message to the Salem community earlier this evening to address concerns by people regarding events over the last few days. Below is a transcript of the that video. The video can be found on the Salem Police Department's Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/3OwzCgC8b6g or on our social media pages.

Salem, I am Jerry Moore, your Chief of Police.  I am addressing you today during a time of turmoil like this community has rarely seen.  This community is hurting, like many others in our nation, and our job is to make you feel safe and secure.

I have lived in this community all my life and unfortunately, we are living in unprecedented times with many undesirable firsts for us. This is the first pandemic we have faced in my life, the first time the City of Salem has instituted a curfew, the first time Salem Police Officers have deployed gas in a crowd management environment in Salem.

Many things weigh heavily on me today.  The fact that we have had to respond to unlawful assemblies with force. That we have not been able to enhance the connections needed to resolve demonstrations peacefully. The fact that people feel that we are treating people unequally.

A streaming video many of you have seen has resulted in phone calls and emails decrying the words which were spoken by one of our officers.  The message we have received is a concern that we are treating people differently.  For that I tell you, I am sorry.  Sorry that there is even a thought that this department would treat some different than others.

I know the officer involved.  Like me, he has dedicated his life to this department and this community. The impact the interactions captured on the video had on our community has been discussed with the officer.  Unfortunately, he had not been fully briefed about enforcement of the curfew before he spoke with the group. Moving forward, all officers tasked with enforcement of the curfew will be properly educated before deployment.

We police behaviors and situations, not individuals. Every situation is different, but is assessed methodically: can we legally take action, what are the dangers to the public, what are the dangers to officers, what crimes are being committed, and can we safely deescalate the situation? Each event and person must be evaluated, and our responses are different based on the answers to those questions.

We are lawfully bound to weigh the severity of the crime against the level of our response. Lawfully armed individuals violating a curfew does differ in severity from people throwing bricks and bottles during an otherwise peaceful demonstration. As such our responses will vary accordingly, but without favoritism or bias.

We understand the feelings of fear that large groups of people openly carrying firearms in our city can create. Though they gather under the guise of protecting the city, that is our responsibility not theirs.

Our history has always been to assist and watch over lawful, peaceful demonstrations. We will continue to do that, be it open carry Second Amendment advocates or Black Lives Matter advocates, we just want people to obey the law and stay safe. In fact, we have recently and are currently meeting with organizers to assist them on how to meet our mutual goal of peaceful demonstration.

As I said in a previous letter, we hear you. As a learning organization that values community we are always listening and responding to needs and concerns. Thank you for your time.


Silverton Road Bridge Replacement Project Postponed

SALEM, OR – Marion County Public Works has postponed the Silverton Road Bridge Replacement Project until the spring of 2021. Marion County has received federal funds to replace the Silverton Road Bridge over the Little Pudding River. The project is located on Silverton Road between 60th Avenue and 64th Place. Construction was scheduled to begin this spring; however, due to additional impact studies that were necessary to complete the right-of-way process the project has been postponed.

Postponing the project ensures that all of the work can be completed within the Pudding River’s in-water work window, which is designated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODF&W), and within one construction season. Silverton Road will be closed during construction, and rescheduling construction for next year will allow construction to begin early enough in the year to ensure Silverton Road is reopened prior to the start of the holiday shopping season, a commitment made by Marion County to the Silverton business community.

During construction, Silverton Road will be closed to through traffic between 60th Avenue and 64th Place. The closure will start in the spring 2021 and end by Thanksgiving 2021. While Silverton Road is closed, two well-marked detour routes will be in place.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this notice or the project in general, please contact Tina Powell, Office Specialist, at (503) 588-5036 or by email at tmpowell@co.marion.or.us .


Oregon reports 65 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 2 new deaths

SBJ Newsroom — COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 159, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority reported 65 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today bringing the state total to 4,399. The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (1), Clackamas (7), Deschutes (1), Douglas (1), Hood River (6), Jackson (1), Jefferson (1), Lincoln (1), Linn (1), Marion (18), Multnomah (13), Polk (1), Umatilla (2), Wasco (2), Washington (5), Yamhill (4).

Oregon’s 158th COVID-19 death is a 68-year-old male in Clackamas County, who tested positive on May 21 and died on June 2 at Providence Portland Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 159th COVID-19 death is a 60-year-old male in Multnomah County, who tested positive on April 17 and died on May 30 at Providence Portland Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.


  • Due to data reconciliation, one case originally reported as hospitalized in the 40–49 age group was determined not to have been hospitalized.
  • One case previously reported in Josephine County was determined not to be a case; the county case count has been adjusted to reflect this.

OHA Posts Weekly Report; Now Includes Active Workplace Outbreaks

OHA today released its COVID-19 Weekly Report, which includes data about the pandemic in Oregon. This week’s report shows increased testing and a continued low percentage positive rate (1.9 percent).

Of note in today’s report is the inclusion of COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces of more than 30 employees with five or more reported cases. This is being done to keep the public fully informed about COVID-19 in the community.

The number of cases cited in a workplace outbreak will include cases among employees as well as cases among close contacts of employee cases, such as family members, customers and visitors. An active outbreak means that fewer than 28 days have passed since the onset of the most recent case. State and local health officials work intensively with workplaces to help them take steps that protect the health and safety of workers and the public.

Identification of an outbreak in a workplace does not imply a general risk either to all the employees there, or to the customers. When an outbreak is reported or discovered, public health officials investigate to determine who has been exposed and notify those persons directly. Such persons are generally quarantined for 14 days following exposure.

In the June 10 Weekly Report, past COVID-19 outbreaks – those considered closed – will be published. OHA is in the process of compiling those data.

Oregonians encouraged to “Answer the Call” to stop the spread of COVID-19

As Oregon begins to reopen, one key strategy to help stop the spread of COVID-19 is contact tracing. Contact tracers call people who may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 to provide them with guidance and support and help prevent further spread of the virus. OHA is working closely with local public and Tribal health departments on a statewide coordinated contact tracing effort.

To demystify the process of contact tracing, OHA has developed a webpage with downloadable resources, videos and social media cards. Oregonians can learn more about who will get a contact tracing call, what happens on a contact tracing call and how their privacy will be protected.

If you get a call from a contact tracer, we encourage you to answer the call. Together, we can stop the spread of COVID-19.

Go to: healthoregon.org/contacttracing or healthoregon.org/rastreodecontacto to learn more and download resources.

OHA is now including a link to the Oregon COVID-19 Daily Update in the daily news release. The Daily Update is a detailed look at COVID-19 in Oregon, including testing data, hospital capacity, and cases broken down by demographic information such as age groups, gender, race and ethnicity.

To see more case and county-level data, please visit the Oregon Health Authority website, which OHA updates once a day: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.



SBJ Newsroom - Today, SAIF declared a $100 million dividend for policyholders. It comes at a difficult time for many Oregon businesses facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

- “Oregon’s employers and their employees make dividends possible by working together to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses,” said Kerry Barnett, president and CEO. “Every business is being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and SAIF is no different. We are seeing declines in our premiums, investment returns, and overall capital. However, after careful consideration, we felt a dividend was the right thing to do to support our policyholders through this challenge.”

The dividend will be based on premium for policies whose annual term ended in 2019 and will be distributed in October. This is the eleventh year in a row SAIF has been able to offer a dividend, and the 23rd dividend in the past 30 years. More information will be available on saif.com in September.

During the pandemic, SAIF has remained open for business, serving Oregon’s employers and workers. This has included taking steps to help injured workers who faced challenges accessing care and working to reduce the financial burden on businesses.

SAIF also created the $25 million coronavirus worker safety fund, making more than 3,400 awards to businesses for expenses tied to making workplaces safer against the virus.

About SAIF

SAIF is Oregon's not-for-profit workers' compensation insurance company. For more than 100 years, we've been taking care of injured workers, helping people get back to work, and striving to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work. For more information, visit the About SAIF page on saif.com.



Oregon Hospitals to Patients: ‘Your Care Continues’

Clinicians say facilities are safe and urge patients not to delay care

SBJ Newsroom -- Today, the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) launched its “Your Care Continues” campaign to encourage Oregonians to address health needs by accessing care at their local hospitals and clinics.

The effort will use the voices of Oregon’s clinicians and other health care professionals to reassure the public that hospitals and clinics have added additional safety precautions related to COVIC-19 for patients and staff, and that avoiding needed procedures and exams can bring serious consequences.

“There is no reason to put your health at risk in other ways in an attempt to avoid catching COVID,” said Heather Wall, Chief Nursing Officer at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart at Riverbend. Hospitals have put in place several extra safety measures including temperature checks at the entrance, masks, visitor restrictions and more.

According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 48 percent of respondents said they’ve skipped or postponed medical care because of COVID-19.

“People are delaying checkups and vital care because they fear hospitals are either unsafe or overwhelmed. Neither of those things are true here in Oregon,” said Becky Hultberg, President and CEO. “We want Oregonians to continue to embrace a culture of wellness and prevention, and that means maintaining health through continued care. Small issues when ignored can become life-threatening. Oregon’s hospitals and clinics are safe, open, and ready to take care of you, with extra safety precautions.”

“Your Care Continues” messages will show the range of services Oregonians can safely access, including checkups, screenings, treatments, surgeries, specialty care, pharmacy services, telehealth options, and emergency services.


Chemeketa Urges Students Not To Take a Gap Year

As many university students struggle with the uncertainty created by COVID-19, Chemeketa offers options to keep students on track

Salem, Ore., May 29, 2020 —CHEMEKETA COMMUNITY COLLEGE reminds new Oregon high school graduates that if they had planned to go away to colleges or universities, but are now staying home due to COVID-19 concerns, that they do not need to take a gap year.  Instead, they should apply for the Oregon Promise by the fast approaching June 1, 2020 deadline and attend Chemeketa Community College remotely.  The Oregon Promise provides $1,000 to $4,005 per year (in 2020-21) for full-time students, minus a $50 co-pay per term.  For most individuals, this makes the cost of attending Chemeketa very affordable, and a fraction of the cost of attending universities.  Students can complete general education courses and transfer these units to their chosen universities once concerns over COVID-19 have subsided.

Students who wish to apply for the Oregon Promise must also apply for FAFSA and list Chemeketa Community College as one of their school choices.  For more information about financial aid and grants, students should visit: https://oregonstudentaid.gov/.

Applications are now being accepted for summer and fall terms at Chemeketa Community College.  Visit: https://www.chemeketa.edu/admission.  For questions about financial aid, call Chemeketa’s financial aid office at 503.399.5018.

For more than 50 years, Chemeketa Community College has committed itself to transforming lives and our community through exceptional learning experiences in the Mid-Willamette Valley. As the second multi-campus district in Oregon, Chemeketa serves 30,000 students annually at its Salem and Yamhill Valley campuses, as well as Brooks, Eola, Winema, Dallas, Woodburn and Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry (CCBI).

Chemeketa Community College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educational institution.


Chemeketa Wine Studies Program Continues to Shine During Pandemic

New Technology is installed in the Vineyards and New Faculty is Welcomed

SBJ Newsroom —CHEMEKETA COMMUNITY COLLEGE’S  Wine Studies Program continues to grow and evolve during the Pandemic. While students have been working from afar, the college’s 8-acre working vineyard at Chemeketa Eola has welcomed some new additions. Essential staff members working to keep the vineyard operating during this time helped install a new spore trap and weather station.  Thanks to a donation from SEDCOR, the Wine Studies program recently purchased a weather station for use in the Northwest Wine Studies Center vineyard. The Campbell Scientific station measures air temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, vapor pressure, barometric pressure, wind speed/direction, and radiation.

The system also contains a leaf wetness sensor and a soil probe, which measures soil water content, temperature, and electrical conductivity at various soil depths. Using these measurements, faculty and students can monitor water stress and irrigation needs of plants in the vineyard, as well as calculate heat units that help in predicting flowering and harvest dates, and estimate disease risks.

The weather station is a key tool in viticulture and the management of the Eola vineyard, and it will allow students to become familiar with analyzing site mesoclimate and use weather and soil data as a precision management tool. Students will also be able to follow the weather at the site in real time remotely. This is a great opportunity for Chemeketa students to learn about modern vineyard technologies which will help them to continue to produce high-quality Chemeketa Cellars' wines.  Bryan Berenguer, the Vineyard Management instructor, helped install the weather station.

A new spore trap was also installed and though it may not look very exciting, it will help students and vineyard managers monitor powdery mildew spore populations and fungicide resistance, which affects vine health and wine quality.  This project was funded in part by a generous donation from Jeanne Beck with Crawford Beck Vineyard.

Chemeketa Cellars continues to partner with Divine Distillers to donate wine to the hand sanitizer cause. In total, we will donate over 400 cases of older vintages for the distillery to turn into hand sanitizer, which is free for personal and nonprofit use and available for purchase in larger quantities for bulk use.  Along with donating the wine, Chemeketa has been helping to open all those bottles (2,400 bottles and counting – ouch!). Visit Divine Distillers at 2475 25th ST SE in Salem with your own container and they'll give you hand sanitizer for personal use at no charge.

Two programs that are available during the pandemic are:

Vineyard Management Associate of Arts Degree

Vineyard Management Instructor Bryan Berenguer holds an MSc. in Viticulture and Enology from a joint program between Montpellier SupAgro- France, Bordeaux Sciences Agro- France & Geisenheim University- Germany. Before coming to Chemeketa, he worked in vineyard management and winemaking in Europe. He also holds a WSET Level 3 in wines.

Exceptional wine comes from quality grapes. Chemeketa Community College’s vineyard management degree is an exciting opportunity to start a career in the dynamic field of viticulture, especially for those who love the outdoors. The degree is focused on effectively growing quality grapes specifically for wine and is geared to those who want to work in a vineyard or start their own vineyard. A typical salary for those employed in vineyard management is approximately $40,000 to $55,000 per year.

Winemaking Associate of Arts Degree

Winemaking Instructor Johnny Brose holds a BS in Food Science & Technology - Fermentation Science from Oregon State University. He also gained a second year certificate of Brewing Science from Berufschule, Dresden - Germany. Prior to working at Chemeketa, he brewed beer in Germany, and made wine in Australia, California, Washington, and Oregon.

Creating quality wines that reflect world class vineyards is the goal of every winemaker. The AAS in Winemaking is an opportunity to gain hands-on experience & knowledge that will jumpstart a career in the wine industry or aid in building your own winery. The degree focuses on the practical applications and science of winemaking. The salary range for a winemaker varies from state to state, in Oregon, one could expect $40,000 - $70,000.

Chemeketa’s philosophy is that all wine industry professions should have an understanding of both Viticulture and Enology. At Chemeketa Community College, students of both the vineyard management and winemaking degrees are required to take classes in each discipline.  This involves classroom learning combined with hands-on work at the Chemeketa Cellars estate vineyard and winery, where students are able to gain practical experience from vine to bottle.

For more than 50 years, Chemeketa Community College has committed itself to transforming lives and our community through exceptional learning experiences in the Mid-Willamette Valley. As the second multi-campus district in Oregon, Chemeketa serves 30,000 students annually at its Salem and Yamhill Valley campuses, as well as Brooks, Eola, Winema, Dallas, Woodburn and Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry (CCBI).

Chemeketa Community College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educational institution.



Business Oregon Issues Second Request for Proposals to Support Small Businesses Throughout Oregon in Wake of COVID-19

SBJ Newsroom — Business Oregon is releasing a new Request for Proposals for $5 million in funding as part of the state's recovery efforts for Oregon small businesses suffering in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oregon Legislature and Governor Kate Brown allocated $5 million from the state's General Fund, which is being combined with another $5 million redirected from existing programs at Business Oregon.

The total of $10 million of funding is being allocated through three Requests for Proposals (RFP) for different types of applicants. This is the second round of the three, which is open for proposals from Community Development Financial Institutions and Economic Development Districts. $5 million will go to these organizations in this round to in turn issue grants to small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. The program also encourages efforts to provide access to sole proprietors and historically disadvantaged businesses. The RFP for this round opens today and is due Monday, June 1, 2020.

The previous round of $2.5 million in funding was eligible for proposals from cities, counties, and Economic Development Districts that have existing small business COVID-relief programs or will stand up new programs to issue grants to local small businesses. Announcements will be made soon on the recipients of the first round, which closed for proposals on May 18. The remaining $2.5 million will be allocated through a final RFP in June.

To fill gaps not reached by other programs, these state funds are directed to adversely affected businesses that have been unable to receive federal CARES Act funding, including the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance program, or other federal programs for emergency pandemic funding. Businesses may use the proceeds for any business-related operating expenses, including helping businesses work to reopen in line with state guidance.


Psilocybin Therapy Initiative Turns In 133,252 Signatures, Begins Qualification Process

IP 34 hopes their current signature total is sufficient for ballot qualification, but they continue to gather signatures in case total number ends up slightly short of state requirements

Today, supporters of Initiative Petition 34, the psilocybin therapy initiative, submitted 133,252 petitions to the Secretary of State and asked they be counted. IP 34 would give Oregonians access to a therapeutic option that can help treat difficult conditions like depression and anxiety. Pioneering research from some of the country’s top medical research universities shows that psilocybin therapy can help many people find relief when other treatments have failed.

IP 34 would create a licensing and regulatory framework through the Oregon Health Authority that would allow trained practitioners to administer psilocybin therapy at specially licensed centers.

May 22nd is the first day that the Secretary of State can legally count and verify signatures gathered for the 2020 ballot. State law for 2020 requires that initiatives receive 112,020 valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Many campaigns that have gathered more than the bare minimum signatures required submit their signatures at the earliest point in the process so they can learn if they have gathered enough signatures to qualify or if more are needed.

IP 34 will continue to gather signatures while the Secretary counts their initial submission, which could take up to thirty days. All signatures gathered before July 2nd can be applied to the total count for the initiative.

“Today’s submission represents five years of development, planning, coalition building, and overall effort. In times like these, we need accessible therapeutic options that can really impact people’s lives. That is what this initiative is all about. We’re honored by the support and faith that so many Oregonians have put into this effort and we’re excited to have made this leap towards qualification,” said Sheri Eckert, one of the two chief petitioners for IP 34.

In recent years, pioneering studies from medical institutions such as John Hopkins, UCLA, and NYU, suggest that psilocybin therapy can be a revolutionary treatment for depression, anxiety and addiction for many.

“The support for our initiative has been overwhelming. We’ve been inspired by so many Oregonians who have shared their stories and their hopes for this campaign, as well as their time and effort. Despite the pandemic, or maybe because of it, we’ve seen people rally around this initiative even more than before. It’s uplifting to know that people have felt connected through this process, which a lot of people really need right now. We’re just very proud to turn in signatures today,” said Tom Eckert, co-chief petitioner for IP 34.

The coronavirus pandemic has complicated but not derailed signature gathering for the campaign. After the state shut down business operations, the campaign was forced to employ mail and online outreach to gather signatures. As counties re-opened this week, campaigners re-launched face to face signature gathering. The campaign will continue all methods of signature outreach until the Secretary has confirmed their qualification.

“The pandemic has put physical distance between so many of us, we’re doing everything we can to overcome that distance through thoughtful outreach to all potential supporters. Email, mail, street corners, and everything in between, we’ll keep gathering until we qualify and then we’ll keep campaigning until we win in November,” said Sam Chapman, Campaign Manager for IP 34.



SBJ Newsroom — COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 147, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority reported 45 new confirmed cases and three new presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today bringing the state total to 3,864. The new cases reported today are in the following counties: Clackamas (5), Clatsop (2), Curry (1), Jackson (3), Linn (2), Malheur (4), Marion (8), Multnomah (11), Polk (1), Umatilla (1), Washington (10).

Oregon’s 146th COVID-19 death is a 53-year-old man in Marion County, who tested positive on May 18 and died May 20, at Salem Hospital. He had underlying medical conditions.

Oregon’s 147th COVID-19 death is an 83-year-old man in Multnomah County, who tested positive on April 25 and died May 8, at his residence. He had underlying medical conditions.

Note: Due to data reconciliation, one presumptive case had updated information and their case status was changed to reflect the new information.

To see more case and county level data, please visit the Oregon Health Authority website, which OHA updates once a day: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

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.



SBJ Newsroom– Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is increasing recreational access in Oregon. The BLM is working with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a case-by-case basis.

Visitors should expect differing levels of services and available facilities across Oregon. Updates on affected Oregon BLM facilities can be found online at https://www.blm.gov/oregon-washington/covid-access-restrictions or by calling your local BLM office:

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. Across the state, our operational approach will be to examine each facility, function, and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance. We continue to work closely with the Department of the Interior and are following CDC guidance to ensure public and employee spaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.

The restoration of access to BLM recreation sites will be gradual and in coordination with the state of Oregon and our local partners.

“We’re all in this together. BLM districts are ensuring that we’re taking the appropriate steps to protect the health and safety of our visitors and our recreation workforce,” said Jose Linares, Acting State Director for BLM Oregon/Washington. “Although we look forward to welcoming visitors back to our developed recreation facilities, we are asking for the public’s patience during this time of transition. We can’t stress enough that everyone should continue to follow guidance from the CDC and local officials when visiting their public lands.”

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating on public lands prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health. The BLM encourages all visitors to incorporate the following outdoor recreation practices for safety and to avoid placing unnecessary strain on local communities and America’s public lands:

  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Practice physical distancing and good hygiene.Follow CDC guidance on social distancing, maintaining at least six feet between you and those outside your immediate household. Avoid touching high-traffic surfaces.
  • Stay close to home.The state is still discouraging non-essential travel; this is not the time to travel long distances to recreate. Be sure to bring enough food, water, sunscreen, etc., for the entire day so you can avoid unnecessary stops.
  • Plan ahead to avoid crowds.Consider planning day trips during off-peak visitation times, such as early in the morning or on weekdays. Avoid crowding by not spending extra time in parking lots, at trailheads, or at boat launches. Launch one boat at a time to give others enough space to launch safely. Leave at least one parking space between your vehicle and the vehicle next to you.
  • Come prepared. Visitors will likely find reduced or limited access to restrooms as the BLM begins restoring access at individual recreation sites and should bring their own soap/water/hand sanitizer and toilet paper.
  • Leave no trace. Many BLM recreation sites are also likely to have reduced or suspended trash collection services at developed recreation sites. All visitors are expected to follow Leave No Tracepractices, including packing out all items they packed in, such as toilet paper, disposable gloves and masks, and food refuse.
  • Avoid unnecessary risks. Health care workers and first responders are working hard to keep us all safe. Visitors should avoid high-risk activities that could potentially put a strain on local first responders, medical providers, and/or search and rescue teams.
  • Prevent wildfires. As the region enters the spring and summer months, the BLM asks visitors to use fire prevention practicesand reminds visitors that the use of fireworks, target shooting with exploding targets, and fire tracer or incendiary devices is prohibited on BLM-administered public lands in Oregon.
  • Be kind to others. The BLM is proud to play a role in restoring access to some of America’s backyard treasures and provide nearby communities with the opportunity to enjoy their public lands during these stressful times. We are all in this together, so please be considerate of and welcoming to other visitors from appropriate physical distances. Please be particularly kind to park staff during these challenging times and help them do their jobs by doing your part to take care of each other and our beloved outdoors.

Details and updates on operations will continue to be posted on our website, https://www.blm.gov/oregon-washington/covid-access-restrictions and social media channels. Updates about BLM operations will be posted on www.blm.gov.

Current closures are pursuant to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR): 43 CFR § 8364.1, 43 CFR § 9268.3(d)(1), and 43 CFR § 8365.1-4.

- BLM -

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.


For Immediate Release:   May 18, 2020
Contact:   Russ Dilley, Parks Coordinator
(503) 365-3120 or rdilley@co.marion.or.us

Marion County Parks Commission Meeting Notice
SALEM, OR – The Marion County Parks Commission will hold their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, May 21, 2020, at 3:00 pm. Due to concerns about COVID-19, County offices are closed to the public. This meeting will therefore be held virtually via teleconference. Those wishing to participate should contact Stephanie Rosentrater at srosentrater@co.marion.or.us or (503) 365-3178.
The agenda will include an update on the parks and parks staff as well as a roundtable with the Parks Commissioners.
The meeting is open to the public, who are welcome to attend. Visit our website to view the full agenda at: http://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Parks/parkscommission/.
For more information, contact Russ Dilley at (503) 365-3120.


Senator Ron Wyden joins SEIU members to discuss COVID-19 response
Calls on the federal government to provide PPE and essential pay for essential workers

SBJ Newsroom-- Senator Ron Wyden joined frontline workers from SEIU Local 503 and SEIU Local 49 for a digital town hall discussion of the federal government’s COVID-19 response and the impact on essential workers. Senator Wyden and Oregon SEIU members agree that the fourth federal stimulus package must center policies that protect the health, safety, and long-term economic well-being of all working people, regardless of what they look like, where they’re from, or what they do for a living. The town hall may be viewed here.

Senator Ron Wyden

“If you really care about a hero deeply, you don’t send that hero into battle unprepared. In addition to PPE and testing, we want to provide a $25,000 per person pandemic premium pay increase for all essential frontline workers that is paid on top of current salaries. For me, it’s all about workers, it’s all about healthcare costs, and it’s all about small businesses.” 

Melissa Unger, SEIU 503 Executive Director

“The next federal legislative package has to address the intertwined economic and health challenges facing working families in this national emergency and protect all workers. We can’t go back to business as usual, no matter what the Trump administration says. The workers risking their lives every day to provide us with healthcare, food, and other essential services still lack necessary personal protective equipment, sufficient sick leave, and hazard pay.”

Meg Niemi, SEIU 49 Executive Director

“The federal government’s leadership is critically important in determining how Oregon will survive and recover from this crisis. Decisions made in Washington, DC will drive what our state and local governments can do as well as the impact that will be felt by every Oregonian, especially people of color and our immigrant communities.”

Irene Hunt, Home Care Worker, Springfield, Oregon, SEIU 503 Member

“We need Congress to hold the Trump administration accountable by enacting a transparent national coordinated plan to produce, procure and provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all essential workers. And Congress must require higher pay for essential workers of at least time and a half of their current pay.”

Rhonda Morgan, Department of Human Services, Salem, Oregon, SEIU 503 Member

“We need congress to invest in public services, not big corporations, so I can continue to provide the services that people count on now more than ever. Will our federal government support funding for state and local governments, including Medicaid funding, so we can keep our jobs and our communities have access to the vital services they need?”

Renato Quintero, Janitor, Beaverton, Oregon, SEIU 49 Member

“How we clean buildings has never been seen as essential and is often the first on the cuts list. Our workforce is mostly people of color and we are being devastated by this crisis. We need Congress to step up and protect those who need it. That means we need a plan to collect race and community data about people who are affected by COVID-19 and make sure our response is targeted accordingly to help the people who are most impacted.”

Jose Avalos, Kaiser EVS worker, SEIU 49 Member

“My family was barred from receiving benefits provided by the CARES Act because my wife files taxes with an ITIN rather than a Social Security Number. It is unacceptable that immigrant communities have largely been left out of the previous bills - this must change. Legislation must provide immigrants access to testing, healthcare, and economic relief.”



SBJ Newsroom — COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 138, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

 Oregon Health Authority reported 62 new confirmed cases and two new presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. today, bringing the state total to 3,687. The new confirmed and presumptive cases are in the following counties: Benton (3), Clackamas (5), Clatsop (1), Deschutes (5), Jackson (1), Lane (1), Malheur (2), Marion (16), Multnomah (12), Umatilla (5), Union (1), Washington (10), Yamhill (2).

Oregon’s 138th COVID-19 death is a 69-year-old man in Marion County, who tested positive on May 16 and died the same day at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center. He had underlying medical conditions.

 To see more case and county level data, please visit the Oregon Health Authority website, which OHA updates once a day: www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus.

 OHA is now including the Oregon COVID-19 Daily Update in the daily news release. The Daily Update is a detailed look at COVID-19 in Oregon, including testing data, hospital capacity, and cases broken down by demographic information such as age groups, gender, race and ethnicity.

Note: A media release issued May 17, about the state’s first shipment of remdesivir, referred to clinical trials of the drug at Providence St. Vincent and Providence medical centers in Portland. More than 30 patients at those hospitals received remdesivir.



On Saturday, May 16th, 2020, deputies from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Salem man wanted in connection with the theft of multiple vehicles from the Salem/Keizer area. The arrest happened after deputies located the suspect, Shayne Rheinholdt, sleeping in a parked vehicle in the parking lot of a local hotel on Fisher Road NE, Salem.

Shayne Rheinholdt, 27, of Salem had been the subject of an investigation by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office involving the theft of several vehicles occurring over a several month period, dating back to September of 2019. During previous attempts to stop Rheinholdt, he is alleged to have fled at a high rate of sped and successfully eluded deputies on multiple occasions.

At the time Rheinholdt was taken into custody, he had outstanding warrants for his arrest for numerous charges including; 7 counts of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, 2 counts of Unlawful Possession of Heroin, 2 counts of Attempting to Elude Police, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Identity Theft, Giving False Information to Police, Recklessly Endangering, and Assault IV.

In addition to the outstanding warrants, Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies charged Rheinholdt with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle X 4, Unlawful Possession of Heroin, Possession of Burglary Tools, Attempting to Elude Police X 2, and Theft I. Following Rheinholdt's arrest, deputies coordinated with investigators from other local agencies who had also identified Rheinholdt as a suspect in additional vehicle thefts.

Sheriff Kast stated, “I appreciate the tenacity our deputies have shown in their efforts to take this suspect into custody safely. Through their willingness to work collaboratively with other local agencies, this one arrest helps bring us one step closer to the resolution of a series of vehicle thefts that have impacted numerous members of our community.”

Rheinholdt has been lodged at the Marion County Jail where he is scheduled to be arraigned today, May 18th, 2020, at 1:30 pm.


Honoring our seniors as Keizer Fest is cancelled

“I live in Keizer and unfortunately our annual Keizer "Iris" Fest has been cancelled” Scott Mills, originally from England truly understands the traditions of the US culture continues “Sadly, our world has changed, hopefully on the temporary side” Mills said with a slight smile “Events are getting cancelled right, left and center due to COVID-19. If we look positively, sometimes we must change the way we do things”.

Mills, who works for Signature Healthcare at Home decided to band together with the senior communities in Keizer that included; Emerald Point, Village at Keizer Ridge, Willamette Lutheran Retirement, The Arbor at Avamere Court, Avamere Court at Keizer and The Oaks at Sherwood Park to make a difference. “The Keizer Fest is something our seniors always look forward to especially because it is during the Iris blooming season and there is a parade! So, we decided to bring part of the festival to them.”

Mills went to Schreiners Iris Gardens and spoke with Liz, one of the owners, and after hearing the story wanted to chip in and help. On Friday, May 15th, which would have been the start of the Keizer Fest, they were able to give 700 Keizer senior residents an Iris. “Although we weren’t able to see the end result because of restrictions and social distancing, we were still aware of how many smiles we put on their faces.” Said Mills “A simple act makes such a difference.” Leah, the activities Director at Emerald Point added “After our seniors have been stuck inside for the last two months, I was one of the privileged to see their reaction” Leah to a breath “It brought tears to my eyes” 



News Release from Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office

With Lincoln County’s recent application approval for the COVID19 Phase One reopening process, the Sheriff’s Office will be increasing proactive education and enforcement efforts relating to traffic safety. Also a phased approach, these efforts are designed to increase safety for our citizens as travel increases in our county. Deputies will be primarily focusing on dangerous driving and what is known as “The Fatal Five” traffic violations- impaired drivers, speed, safety restraints, following too closely and improper lane changes.

 Deputies will be employing safety measures during their contacts to create social distancing when possible and continue the use of PPE when appropriate.

 It is anticipated with restrictions easing, businesses reopening and nicer weather ahead, we will see a substantial increase in motorists on our roadways. The Sheriff’s Office is reminding all our citizens and those passing through to please respect social distancing guidelines, obey traffic laws and travel safely so we can all stay healthy and enjoy the summer ahead.



News Release from Oregon Health Authority
May 14, 2020

What: A public meeting of the Public Health Advisory Board.

Agenda: Approve April meeting minutes; discuss COVID-19 response; discuss upcoming timelines for accountability metrics report and funding formula development; and review priorities for the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant.

When: May 21, 2-3:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Zoom meeting at https://zoom.us/j/730818593, meeting ID 730 818 593. The meeting is also available by conference call at 669-900-6833, meeting ID 730 818 593.

Oregon’s Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon’s governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan.

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters.
  • Written materials in other languages.
  • Large print.
  • Audio and other formats.

If you need help or have questions, please contact Cara Biddlecom at 971-673-2284, 711 TTY, or cara.m.biddlecom@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.



Portland, Ore. — Portland General Electric and Pacific Power are working together to spread awareness and tips to help utility customers avoid becoming a victim of scams. PGE estimates scammers have cost its customers at least $45,000 so far in 2020, and about $340,000 since 2013.

Scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to target those who are most vulnerable and who may be particularly worried about potential disruption of their service. Anyone can be a target, although they often prey on senior citizens, low-income families, non-English speakers and small business owners. With the right information, customers can learn to detect fraudulent activity.

"We don't want anyone to fall victim to this kind of fraud," said John McFarland, PGE vice president for customer solutions. "If you receive one of these calls, texts or emails don't give them any information. If you're unsure, call your utility directly to check your account status and ask about payment arrangements if you need help with your bill."

Thieves impersonating electric company employees use phone calls, texts, social media messages, emails and sometimes even knock on doors to reach potential victims. The impostors threaten to disconnect service immediately unless a payment is made within a short timeframe, usually with a prepaid credit card or even Bitcoin. These payments are not traceable and give the scammer instant access to the victim’s money.

“These scammers exploit the trust of the community at a time of uncertainty,” said William Comeau, vice president of customer experience for Pacific Power. “We have been helping our customers during this difficult time by suspending disconnections, waiving late fees and providing more flexible payment arrangements.”

PGE and Pacific Power encourage customers to be aware of these tips to protect themselves against scams:

  • When in doubt, check it out! Contact the utility company to verify account information and status if someone threatens you with immediate disconnection. Use the phone number on your monthly bill or from the utility company’s website – not a number provided by the suspected scammer.
  • During the COVID-19 crisis, PGE and Pacific Power have temporarily stopped disconnecting service for non-payment and collecting late fees and are urging customers who may be having trouble paying their monthly bills to contact their customer service representatives directly for help.
  • Even during normal business conditions, customers will never receive just a single notification with one hour or less to respond. A legitimate utility company employee will allow customers to call the office to ask questions and discuss arrangements.
  • Legitimate utility companies will never ask for payment via prepaid or pre-loaded credit card. Utility companies offer a variety of ways to pay a bill, including online or by phone. Customers should never agree to purchase and pay with a prepaid card to prevent an immediate shutoff.
  • If someone comes to the door saying they’re from your utility, ask to see the employee’s badge. A legitimate utility employee will have an official badge with their name, photo, company logo and contact information. If customers feel threatened or uncomfortable, they should not open the door. They should call 911 if at any point they are concerned about their safety.
  • Scammers rely on their victim’s uncertainty and panic over the prospect of having their power cut off to make them act without thinking the situation through. Stop, think and verify.

For more information on tactics used by scammers and how customers can protect themselves, visit PortlandGeneral.com/Scams and PacificPower.net/Scam or www.oregonenergyscams.com.

About Portland General Electric: Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon, with operations across the state. The company serves 899,000 customers with a service area population of 1.9 million Oregonians in 51 cities. PGE has 16 generation plants in five Oregon counties, and maintains and operates 14 public parks and recreation areas. For over 130 years, PGE has delivered safe, affordable and reliable energy to Oregonians. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. PGE and its 3,000 employees are working with customers to build a clean energy future. In 2019, PGE, employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated $4.7 million and volunteered 32,900 hours with more than 700 nonprofits annually across Oregon. For more information visit portlandgeneral.com/cleanvision.

About Pacific Power: Pacific Power provides electric service to more than 770,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. Our goal is to provide our customers with value for their energy dollar, and safe, reliable electricity. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 1.9 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.


Marion County Reopening Delayed for Now


On Thursday, May 14, 2020, Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority determined that Marion County’s application for a limited reopening must be deferred to a later date. While many counties across Oregon will begin reopening on May 15, others, including Marion and Polk counties, will not yet reopen. Our application will be reviewed by the state again next Wednesday, May 20.

 Meanwhile, statewide and in Marion County, some stand-alone “Main Street” retail businesses, such as furniture stores, art galleries, jewelry stores, and boutiques, can reopen on May 15 if they agree to follow safety guidelines. Additionally, childcare, summer school, camps, and youth programs can reopen with specific limitations and guidelines. To review the Governor's specific guidelines, click here.

We also want our community to know that all county parks and boat ramps will be open for day use beginning May 15 (playgrounds will remain closed).

In response to Governor Brown’s decision, Commission Chair Colm Willis shared, “My heart goes out to all of the people who have been affected by this virus, including all of the family-owned businesses and their employees who have not had a paycheck for more than two months. We will continue to do everything we can to fight the spread of COVID-19 in our community and get the people of Marion County back to work as soon as possible.”

We remain committed to working with the Governor’s office, the Oregon Health Authority, and local health and community partners. We are reviewing the information provided by the Governor’s Office and are considering all of our options in moving forward toward timely reopening.

Warmline available to connect you with support during pandemic

In response to effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our community, and the growing needs of individuals and families throughout Marion County, Health & Human Services has set up a warmline to connect those in need with resources available to support them. The warmline is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 503-576-4602.


How Business Leaders Can Bring Stability And Hope In A Time Of Uncertainty

SBJ Newsroom - Many business leaders face extreme challenges during their career, but the coronavirus pandemic is uncharted waters for all.

 Most offices and stores are closed across the U.S. to combat the spread of COVID-19. Companies still operating are mostly working remotely, and many are doing business differently to adjust to the new normal. As uncertainty continues to reign, how should leaders respond to new fiscal challenges and what guidelines should they follow?

“Companies around the world are reevaluating how they do business in order to overcome the challenge that we all face in this moment,” says Jadon Newman, CEO of Noble Capital (www.noblecapital.com), a private investment and private equity firm. “Times of crisis are when the best leaders step up, calm their workforce, believe in their capabilities, and go beyond the norm to influence changes that make a company stronger for the long haul.

“While the health and well-being of team members has to be leadership’s primary concern, it’s never been more important to find new and creative ways to meet revenue goals. Challenging times is when innovation is often born, and that starts with leaders who won’t be paralyzed by problems, but rather see them as opportunities to grow.”

Newman offers five tips to help business leaders navigate this unprecedented time:

  • Turn to your core values. A company’s core values act as a compass in stormy seas, Newman says, bringing some stability and helping maintain direction even while waves of uncertainty approach. “Your unchanging core values provide clarity amid the turbulence,” Newman says. “They serve as a framework to inform your decision-making process, especially during periods of uncertainty.”
  • Be strong and honest. “Leaders who are best prepared to get through a crisis have a good level of resiliency,” Newman says. “They have mental discipline, accept life’s insecurities and don’t panic when the storm hits. The next step is committing to transparency with employees. Share your thoughts, concerns, and encouragement, and reinforce the company values.”
  • Learn, invite new ideas, and adjust. A crisis causes leaders to re-evaluate processes and consider improvements tailored to a changing business climate. “It’s imperative to learn from the current crisis,” Newman says, “and from your data determine what your company can do differently in order to adjust. Embrace it as an exciting opportunity to innovate and be better. Solicit ideas from your most trusted people. Look at new services and products you could create. Everything from what you sell to how you deliver it might be on the table for change.”
  • Be extra resourceful. “One thing we learned during the last recession is how to be resourceful,” Newman says. “Now is the time to reorganize and refocus to achieve lean and efficient business operations. Develop a plan to reduce costs without interrupting critical business functions. Reach out to your network and external partners to leverage any resources you may have outside of the company. Empower all team members and leaders at your company to exercise a new level of responsibility.”
  • Increase, improve communication. “Communication with team members, clients and external partners is paramount,” Newman says. “And there’s no reason you can’t improve communication despite the current circumstances. Increase the use of the technology to stay in front of clients, including video conferencing, emails and even text messages when appropriate. Work with your business leadership to develop the appropriate communication plan for your business.”

“How a company overcomes major challenges determines what type of company they are,” Newman says. “As leaders step up and guide a company through, they develop deeper leadership capabilities that will last long beyond the current crisis. Likewise, their company will be stronger for it.”

 About Jadon Newman

Jadon Newman is the founder and CEO of Noble Capital (www.noblecapital.com). With a 20-year career in real estate and finance, he specializes in private lending, private equity, investment real estate and strategic venture capital.


Business Oregon Launches $10 million Grant Program for Local Communities to Support Small Businesses Throughout Oregon

SBJ Newsroom — Today Business Oregon released the latest of the state's recovery efforts for Oregon small businesses suffering in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a round of funding to stand up local small business grant programs across the state. The Oregon Legislature, in partnership with Governor Kate Brown, allocated $5 million from the state’s General Fund, which will be combined with another $5 million redirected from existing programs at Business Oregon.

 For the first round of funding, Business Oregon is issuing a request for proposals from cities, counties, and Economic Development Districts that have existing small business COVID-relief programs or will stand up new programs to issue grants to local small businesses with fewer than 25 employees, with an emphasis on sole proprietors and historically disadvantaged businesses. Many communities throughout Oregon are already providing local assistance to small businesses, and this new state funding will bolster this community-level assistance.

"The funding from Governor Brown and the state legislature lets us implement a community-driven approach to help small businesses that haven't been able to access the federal programs," said Business Oregon Interim Director Chris Cummings. "These funds are also intended to be equally accessible to all Oregonians, so we are requiring communities to target marketing of the funds to historically disadvantaged populations, provide materials in multiple languages, and prioritize underrepresented groups as grant programs are rolled out. Many Oregonians have faced systemic barriers to prosperity because of race and ethnicity, and this pandemic has magnified that inequity."


To fill gaps not reached by other programs, these state funds are directed to adversely affected businesses that have been unable to receive federal CARES Act funding, including the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance program, or other federal programs for emergency pandemic funding. Businesses may use the proceeds for any business-related operating expenses, including helping businesses work to reopen in line with the Phase 1 reopening guidance announced by Governor Brown this week.

 This announcement is for the first round of funding totaling $2.5 million, with a second round of $2.5 million coming immediately after, then a final round for the remaining $5 million will be announced at a later date. Awards for this round of funds will be based on a community program's ability to achieve the parameters, values, and goals of the program. This round is designed for communities that can get the money out quickly, requiring all funds to be expended to small businesses by June 30th, 2020.

A full description of the program details and application requirements is available here.

Proposals for this round of funding are due Monday, May 18, 2020 by 5:00 PM.



News Release from Western Oregon University

SBJ Newsroom – Western Oregon University Assistant Professor and Advisor Brooke Dolenc Nott’s compassionate and thoughtful approach to empower students has earned her international recognition.

Nott is the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding New Advisor in the Faculty Advising category from the NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising, an organization with more than 14,000 international members promoting and supporting quality academic advising in institutions of higher education. The award honors individuals making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising within higher education internationally. Nott is the first WOU faculty member to be a recipient of the New Advisor in Faculty Advising award and joins many fellow WOU faculty and staff members who have been selected for NACADA Outstanding Advisor awards in other categories. To see other prior award winners, visit NACADA Awards.

Nott will be recognized for her achievements at the annual NACADA conference in October in Puerto Rico. She earned the international award after first being named WOU Faculty Advisor of the Year last June and the Certificate of Merit of Region 8 Excellence in Advising - Faculty Advisor, NACADA in December.

Nott joined WOU’s Behavioral Sciences Division as a visiting professor in 2017. She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees from Oregon State University. Her research focuses on adolescent development, emerging adulthood and homelessness. Along with her teaching and advising responsibilities, she oversees the WOU-Talmadge Mentoring Program.

 Honored to be nominated for the award by her colleagues and students, Nott said she tries to understand how a person’s background and narrative shapes their present experiences, successes and disappointments. As an advisor, teacher and researcher, she respectfully approaches each student to learn how to guide them in their decision-making.

“Each of us brings so much of our past to our present interactions, and it’s always important for me to respect that with students - acknowledging the diversity of experience students bring with them, where they’ve come from and where they’re hoping to go,” Nott said. “It’s my expectation that students would come away being listened to and knowing I believe in them.”

 About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving almost 5,000 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with about 70% of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty.

Together we succeed.



Salem Encourages Residents to Sign Up for Community Connect and COVID-19 Self Reporting

SBJ Newsroom — On May 8, 2020, the City of Salem, through Salem Fire, launched Community Connect.  This new, web-based application focuses on better protecting residents and their property during an incident or major disaster, like the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Community Connect is a secure, easy to use platform that allows residents to self-report critical information about their household to aid first responders and emergency service personnel to respond more efficiently and effectively; ultimately resulting in better incident outcomes.

Community Connect is completely voluntary and residents decide which information they are comfortable sharing with first responders.  Residents simply create a profile and enter critical information for public safety agencies at the time of dispatch.  Data provided by resident's within Community Connect is 100% secure and is used only for the purpose of better serving the resident during the COVID-19 Pandemic and other emergency situations.

“When responding to a home in our community, we are often missing critical information that would help us respond better,” said Mike Niblock, Salem Fire Chief. “Letting us know who the best point of contact is in case of an emergency, if yourself or family members have needs that we should prepare for in advance of arriving, can really help us help you when it matters most.  Self-reporting COVID-19 symptoms is an example of how we can be better prepared to help you – and how you can help protect our first responders.”

Community Connect is now available for Salem residents to create household profiles and begin using the service.  Sign in today: https://www.communityconnect.io/info/or-salem

More About Community Connect

Community Connect is an application created by First Due and is in use in many communities across the nation.  First Due is on a mission to end first responder and citizen injuries due to a lack of information. First Due is focused on providing solutions for fire and EMS agencies and the communities they serve, all with the goal of ensuring optimal preparedness for disaster situations.



SBJ Newsroom -- Results of a new survey of Oregon health care providers strongly suggest that immunizations in the state may have dropped dramatically due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Oregon Health Authority released the survey results this week. They show that changes to immunization practices many clinics put in place in response to the pandemic, as well as concerns among parents of young children, may have caused a "sharp reduction" in routine immunization of children and adults over the last two months.

The survey results are similar to those the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. CDC researchers observed a "notable decrease in orders" for non-influenza childhood vaccines and measles vaccines since the March 13 declaration of a national emergency due to COVID-19.

The results of the OHA survey can be found on the OHA immunization website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/PREVENTIONWELLNESS/VACCINESIMMUNIZATION/Documents/Imm-COVIDsurvey.pdf.

The vaccines are funded by the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. CDC buys vaccines at a discount and distributes them to grantees including OHA and some local health departments, which in turn distribute them at no charge to private physicians’ offices and public health clinics registered as VFC providers.

Officials with the Oregon Immunization Program, based at OHA, surveyed clinics that participate in VFC on April 18 and 29 after learning of concerns about clinic experience and operation changes due to the pandemic. The survey results found that among clinics that routinely provide immunizations to infants and children:

  • 95% reported changing their immunization practices.
  • 65% reduced or limited well-child visits, with 5% cancelling all well-child visits.
  • 50% reported cancelling or rescheduling immunizations that were due for older children and adolescents.
  • 81% reported difficulty maintaining staffing.

In addition, 58% of VFC clinics indicated they had a plan for contacting families of children with missed immunizations and catching them up, while 36% reported that they were still thinking about it. In open-ended responses, clinics frequently expressed a need for assistance in getting children to return for missed immunizations.

The survey was initiated after OHA officials noticed rapid declines in Oregon VFC vaccine orders; initial drops in weekly immunizations captured by Oregon’s ALERT IIS vaccination database; and reports from health care providers that parents stopped bringing their children in to clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that providers were having difficulty maintaining clinic operations due to financial and staffing issues.

"There’s certainly been a lot of fear about COVID-19, and these survey results show us that this fear dramatically affected our ability to get children vaccinated," said Paul Cieslak, M.D., medical director for immunizations and communicable diseases at OHA. "It tells us we have a lot of work to do to get Oregon children back on schedule for getting protected from vaccine-preventable diseases."

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.


Small Business Survey Collects Information on Impacts and Challenges to Inform State’s Recovery Response

The survey was a joint effort to communicate with the small business and tourism community, so detailed information can be shared with decision-makers as policy and programs are crafted to help. The survey helped inform a new $10 million small business grant program that will be announced this afternoon, May, 8.

SBJ Newsroom — Thousands of businesses throughout the state responded to a short survey issued jointly by Business Oregon, Travel Oregon, and the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network. The survey’s goal was to better understand the impacts COVID-19 has had on the business community.

Understanding the impact that COVID-19 has had on business sectors across the state will be critical in developing policy decisions for recovery. The survey results are being shared with elected officials of the Oregon legislature, as well as members of the Governor’s Coronavirus Economic Recovery Council, and Regional Solutions Economic Recovery Teams. Information gathered through efforts like this will help guide policy decisions as Oregon officials execute plans for economic recovery and rebuilding, and move toward easing restrictions on non-essential travel and reopening affected businesses.

“While we know the impacts are enormous, we wanted to communicate with our business partners and collect information we can pair with all our data sources,” said Business Oregon Interim Director Chris Cummings. “This information will not only help us craft strategies within our relative agencies to help, but it’s also data we can share with lawmakers, community foundations, and any organization that may find it useful. We’re all in this together.”

The survey was open for two weeks in April and was shared publicly through partner lists and other networks. The survey was available in English and Spanish. There were more than 5,000 responses to the survey, which solicited information from around 19 questions from Oregon small businesses.

The survey questions focused on what impacts the business has experienced, or what business owners think they will experience in the short term. Topics included revenue impacts, employment impacts, and primary concerns of the business owners. Key takeaways include:

  • Decreased sales was the top reported impact, with 72% of responses citing lower sales, followed by decreased hours for workers, and temporary business closures.
  • Uncertainty, and the inability to plan, is the biggest challenge facing Oregon businesses during COVID-19, followed closely by a decline in sales.
  • 40% of Oregon businesses have temporarily closed during COVID-19, while another 2% permanently closed their businesses. The situation is worse in rural counties, with 45% temporarily closed and 3% permanently closed.
  • 27% of Oregon businesses have laid off employees, and 44% have decreased hours for employees.
  • 70% of businesses report they have either have closed or laid off employees, or will have to do so by July if economic conditions do not improve.
  • 28% of businesses saw revenue drop by 90% or more in April 2020 (compared to April of 2019).
  • Revenue declined more for women and minority-owned businesses.
  • Accommodation, arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors faced the largest revenue declines.
  • 50% of tourism businesses saw revenue decline by 90% or more in April.
  • Only 33% of businesses have workforces that can work remotely. Only 12% of tourism jobs can be done remotely.

“It’s hard to find words that adequately convey the severe impact that COVID-19 is having on Oregon’s tourism industry. Restaurants, wineries, breweries, hotels and other small businesses are the backbone of our industry and help make a trip to Oregon all the more memorable,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon. “As bleak as the current industry outlook is, we know that tourism supports state and local economies and will be a vital part of Oregon’s economic recovery. As an agency, we are working closely with the Governor’s office and public health officials on economic recovery plans to help our local communities through the rebuilding process. When the time is right, as an industry, we will move forward together.”

The survey was predominantly completed by small businesses with less than 10 employees. This group made up 69 percent of the responses, consistent with the share of overall businesses in Oregon, where this group makes up 74 percent of establishments. This data is also consistent with the concerns reported by Oregon’s Small Business Development Centers.

“Each day our Centers help hundreds of businesses that have suddenly seen their revenue collapse. These results show that the pain these businesses are feeling is real, and it is leading business owners to make some very difficult decisions,” said Oregon Small Business Development Center Director Mark Gregory. “It is incumbent on us as technical assistance providers to help these businesses get through these difficult times. This will be a long and challenging period of recovery following this pandemic.”

Business Oregon will announce a new grant program to be run through local communities later today. The survey helped inform the program, including focusing on sole proprietors, and those that have not been able to access federal resources such as SBA loans.

Travel Oregon also announced its COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants Program this week for tourism industry applicants, which will open for applications on May 11. Program applications may be used for general operating support with the goal of maintaining jobs. Total funding available for the program is $800,000, and final grant awards will be announced on June 3. The Grant Guidelines contain eligibility requirements, funding parameters, and application questions.


An executive summary of the survey is available here, and a slide deck with survey results can be found on Business Oregon's website here.

Contacts : Nathan Buehler, Business Oregon, 503-689-3559

Sara Morrissey, Travel Oregon, 503-440-4066

Trevor Steele, Oregon Small Business Development Centers, 541-954-0065

About Business Oregon

As the state's economic development agency, Business Oregon invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency's services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations.

About Travel Oregon

The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors' experiences by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission aims to improve Oregonians' quality of life by strengthening the economic impacts of the state's $12.8 billion* tourism industry that employs more than 117,000 Oregonians. Visit traveloregon.com to learn more. (*These numbers reflect the 2019 economy, prior to COVID-19).

About Oregon Small Business Development Centers

The Oregon Small Business Development Center Network provides advising, training, online courses and resources for businesses throughout Oregon. Its 19 conveniently-located Centers and 42



SBJ Newsroom: - May is Wildfire Awareness Month in Oregon, and federal, state and firefighting agencies are encouraging Oregonians to make sure their homes and property are protected from wildfire.

The Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal and Keep Oregon Green, in collaboration with Oregon forest protective associations, the Office of Emergency Management and federal wildland agencies, are taking this opportunity to promote defensible space around homes before fire strikes this summer. With many Oregonians spending more time at home because of statewide efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, residents can use the coming weeks to reduce risks and make their homes and communities safer.

“The roof is one of the most critical parts of the house when it comes to wildfire protection,” says Oregon State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “Embers can collect and ignite on the roof, in gutters and enter unscreened openings around the house. Non-combustible roofing material is preferred. Regardless of the construction, please keep your roofs, gutters and eaves clear of all leaves, pine needles and other flammable debris.”

To reduce the risk, fire officials suggest removing dead vegetation a minimum of 30 feet around homes and other structures. In most cases, trees and healthy plants do not need to be removed. However, trees should be pruned and grass kept short and green to keep fire on the ground and more manageable by fire crews. Maintain a five-foot fire-free area closest to the home using nonflammable landscaping material and fire resistant plants.

“Defensible space is a property’s first line of defense against wildfire,” says Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Prevention Coordinator Tom Fields. “Creating and maintaining defensible space around homes can improve your property’s likelihood of surviving a wildfire. Having defensible space also makes it safer for firefighters who may have to defend someone’s home.”

Homeowners should also consider access issues for large fire trucks. Long driveways should be at least 12 feet wide, have 10 feet of vegetation clearance from the centerline out, and about 14 feet overhead. Large vehicle turnaround areas are critical for your safety as well as firefighter safety.

Should a fire occur near a community, Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps encourages residents to be prepared if an evacuation is necessary. “Wildfires can come without warning and move quickly, so residents need to prepare now in case they have to leave their home,” Phelps said. “Make sure to put together a ‘Go Kit,’ register for emergency notification systems in your community and make a plan where your family will go and how you will stay in contact if evacuated.”

It is the homeowner’s responsibility to protect their homes by building defensible space. For more information, visit the websites for the Office of State Fire Marshal, the Office of Emergency Management, Keep Oregon Green and the Oregon Department of Forestry, or call your nearest ODF or forest protective association office.



SBJ Newsroom: Given the recent plant closures across the U.S. and some in Oregon, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) want to assure Oregonians there is no evidence that human or animal food—or food packaging is associated with the transmission of COVID-19. Food products do not need to be withdrawn or recalled from the market if someone on the farm or in the processing plant tests positive.

“The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person, such as between people who are in close contact with one another, or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes,” said Paul Cieslak, M.D., senior health adviser for OHA’s COVID-19 response. “A person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface that an infected person has touched, which is why it is so important to get in the habit of washing your hands often including before and after preparing meals, before eating and after you come home if you’ve been out.”

ODA and OHA, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are working together offering guidance to employers as they work to ensure the health and safety of their employees and the food and agricultural workforce that help keep the food supply chain strong. Workers are the backbone of this critical infrastructure.

“Our top priority is to provide as much support and guidance to our grocery stores, food banks, food processors and agriculture industry as we can to help protect their workforce and the public,” said ODA Director Alexis Taylor. “Our food safety inspectors are still on the job offering remote and in-person inspections, doing their best to keep the food supply moving and helping provide the safest food possible to all Oregonians.”

Grocery stores, food processors and distributors have been provided guidance on how to protect their workforce and consumers from COVID-19. This includes the following CDC and FDA recommendations:

  • Enforce physical distancing in lines, separate customers and employees by six feet whenever possible.
  • Implement visual cues, such as tape on the floor every six feet, to help customers keep a six-foot distance from others whenever possible.
  • Install floor markings to require customers to stand behind, until it’s time to complete the transaction.
  • Consider limiting the number of people in the store at one time; implement a maximum capacity and assign staff to manage the number of people entering.
  • Consider setting special hours for vulnerable populations, such as the elderly or immuno-compromised. Recommend allowing these populations to enter the store earliest in the day to reduce chances of exposure and ensure access to inventory.

Guidance was also provided for sanitization and employee protection to further inhibit transmission in manufacturing environments and grocery stores. Some recommendations include:

  • Do not allow symptomatic (fever of 100.4° F or greater, signs of a fever, or other symptoms) or ill employees to report for duty.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces to limit employee contact and increase frequency of cleaning and sanitizing of common touch points (door handles, touchscreens, keypads).
  • Consider altering store hours to allow for increased cleaning and re-stocking without customers present.
  • Cross-train employees and rotate staff between cashier, stocking and other duties, to limit mental fatigue      in adhering to social distancing measures.
  • Consider installing sneeze-guards at cashier stations.
  • Schedule handwashing breaks every 30-60 minutes. Employees should wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60-95 percent alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
  • Assign a relief person to step in for cashiers so they can wash their hands with soap for a full 20 seconds. Provide hand lotion so workers’ hands don’t crack.
  • Consider providing hand sanitizer at cash registers for staff and customer use in between transactions.
  • Consider only operating every other register or check-out lane to create more social distance.

Additional guidance on “What to do if you have a COVID-19 Confirmed Positive or Exposed Workers in Your Food Production, Storage, or Distribution Operations” is available from the FDA and posted on its website. https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/what-do-if-you-have-covid-19-confirmed-positive-or-exposed-workers-your-food-production-storage-or


Oregon Optometric Physicians Association launches new website

SBJ Newsroom – Oregon Optometric Physicians Association (OOPA), a statewide organization that promotes, protects and advances the professional practice of optometry, has launched a new website. The new site offers a range of new options that will provide easy access to education, advocacy, networking and more.

“Transitioning to a new, comprehensive website requires a great deal of commitment and focus,” said Lynne Olsen, director of operations, “but the result is well worth the effort.”

The site now manages memberships, virtual conferences, online education, peer-reviewed submissions, event registration and check-in, event attendee experience, a career center, news updates, member-to-member classified ads and more.

“We continually strive to enhance member experience and the robust website will provide some exciting new options,” said Nicole Rush, president.

To review the site, please visit: https://www.oregonoptometry.org/.

OOPA is a statewide organization of doctors of optometry, college of optometry faculty, optometric students and industry-related associates.

OOPA is an affiliate of the American Optometric Association (AOA).



SBJ Newsroom – With museums currently closed throughout Oregon, the Oregon Black Pioneers and the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) are excited to invite the community to “visit” its new virtual exhibit, Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years, now available on both institution’s websites at ohs.org/racingtochange and oregonblackpioneers.org. On view at the Oregon Historical Society in downtown Portland from January through June of 2018, this popular exhibit illuminates the Civil Rights Movement in Oregon, a time of cultural and social upheaval, conflict, and change.

The launch of this virtual exhibit marks nearly a decade of partnership between OHS and the Oregon Black Pioneers. Since 2011, the Oregon Historical Society has proudly hosted four exhibitions curated by the Oregon Black Pioneers, sharing the history of Oregon’s black community spanning from 1788 through the 1970s. Through their exhibitions, the Oregon Black Pioneers, a volunteer run organization, strives to educate individuals about the essential role that African Americans played in building the social, cultural, and economic base of Oregon.

Using Visiting Media TrueTour™ technology and a computer or tablet, visitors can virtually “walk” through the exhibit, experiencing all of the artifacts and interpretive panels from the original physical exhibit, as well as new digital enhancements. The virtual exhibit features short video interviews with co-Exhibit Project Leader and Oregon Black Pioneers board member Gwen Carr, providing an added perspective on the stories shared in the exhibit. Additional educational resources developed and featured on the website are specially designed to support educators and students as they explore this virtual exhibit.

While the 1960s and 1970s was a period of cultural upheaval, it was also an era of celebration, experimentation, and achievement for African Americans. Through the Civil Rights Movement, young people made their voices heard and became catalysts for change within their communities. This exhibition also shares how established, vibrant black communities held together in the face of public works funded demolition of homes and businesses, disruptive school integration measures, and other challenges.

Racing to Change addresses the challenges facing Oregon's African American community during the 1960s and 1970s and highlights the events, people, and organizations that made up the Civil Rights Movement during that era. It seeks to educate and engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds and challenge them to reflect on the current racial environment and make choices for positive change today,” said Gwen Carr.

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.

About the Oregon Black Pioneers

For over a quarter of a century, the Oregon Black Pioneers have worked to become the premier resource for Oregon’s African American culture and heritage. Our work aspires to preserve this largely unknown and rich heritage and culture through interactive collections and programs that promote scholarly research and public use. Through the development of research, oral presentations, exhibits, virtual content & website (www.oregonblackpioneers.org), educational programming, and publications, we assure this rich culture and heritage are preserved for the next generations.



VA encourages Veterans to access VA mental health support from home

SBJ Newsroom – May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Now more than ever, VA Portland Health Care System (VAPORHCS) is committed to providing high-quality mental health care while keeping Veterans safe from exposure to the coronavirus.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, VAPORHCS asks all Veterans to honor stay-at-home orders and only come to the hospital for urgent/emergent issues.  We ask that Veterans use VA’s online resources for routine or non-urgent mental health care and questions. This will help protect Veterans while enabling providers at VAPORHCS to address mental health concerns without increasing the risk of exposure for Veterans seeking care.

“Due to COVID-19 precautionary measures and out of concern for our Veterans, we are honoring current social isolation and distancing guidelines,” said Darwin Goodspeed, VAPORHCS director. “Through VA’s virtual care tools, we are able to leverage available technology to make sure that our patients and staff are as safe as possible during this time.”

VA offers Veterans a variety of at-home resources, including the following:

Telephone or Video Appointments – Veterans should maintain their existing mental health appointments and may receive care at home using VA Video Connect on their computers, smartphones, or tablets. . Veterans using VA Video Connect on their current Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile or TracPhone 4G LTE data plans will not be charged data usage for their VVC video visit.  To set up telephone or video appointments, Veterans can send their health care provider a secure message on My HealtheVet by visiting myhealth.va.gov. Veterans may also call VA Portland at 503-220-8262, option 2 to relay a message to their Primary or Specialty Care team or to make change or cancel an appointment. To learn more about VA Video Connect, visit mobile.va.gov/app/va-video-connect.

Mental Health Information and Resources – VA provides information on ways for Veterans and their families to maintain and enhance their mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak. Information about managing stress and anxiety, as well as mental health resources, are available at www.mentalhealth.va.gov/coronavirus/resources. For more details about accessing VAPORHCS Mental Health services, click HERE.

Prescription Refills and Safety – Veterans should continue taking all medications as prescribed and talk to their mental health provider if they have any concerns. Veterans may request prescription refills and order shipments of medications to their homes using My HealtheVet or the Rx Refill mobile app, which can be downloaded at mobile.va.gov/app/rx-refill. VA’s Safe Home Environment handout provides information on safely storing medications in the home. Learn more details are on the VAPORHCS Pharmacy web page.

Text Message Reminders – Veterans can use Annie’s Coronavirus Precautions protocol to send automated text messages with information about COVID-19. This application helps Veterans monitor for symptoms and can assist if they need to contact their VA facility for care. Enroll at mobile.va.gov/annie.

 Secure Messaging – With My HealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal, Veterans can send online secure messages to your VA health care team to ask them non-urgent health questions. Register at www.myhealth.va.gov.

For more information on ways for Veterans to maintain and enhance their mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit www.mentalhealth.va.gov/coronavirus.

For more information about VA’s Connected Care technologies, visit connectedcare.va.gov.


Oregon Farm Bureau Statement on OR-OSHA’s Temporary Rules for Agricultural Employers

SBJ Newsroom: Farm and ranch families care deeply about the health and wellbeing of their employees, but the new OR-OSHA rules give only 11 days' notice to make significant changes to farm infrastructure and practices. Oregon Farm Bureau is concerned that certain rules require changes in agricultural workplaces that are not attainable by farm and ranch families because there are considerable supply chain issues that make complying with these rules impossible.

The rules also reduce the amount of available housing for farm employees, including in rural areas where there are no viable alternative lodging options available. Oregon should be creating more opportunities for shelter and housing at this time, not less.

Moreover, farmers and ranchers are already under tremendous economic pressure after years of lower prices received, and now they are facing additional hardship from the pandemic. Many farms will not survive the cumulative weight of these unattainable rules, which are more burdensome than any set for other sectors of Oregon’s economy.

Click https://bit.ly/2yTdfhe to see a PDF that includes OFB’s substantive comments on the petition, the OFB agricultural employer guidance, and a quote from a toilet/sink distributor that highlights the supply chain difficulties occurring now.

See OFB’s COVID-19 resource page for farmers and ranchers: https://oregonfb.org/covid19/


Willamette Humane Society Welcomes New Talent to its Executive Leadership Team

SALEM, Ore. ─ April 24, 2020 ─ Willamette Humane Society (WHS) today announced the additions of Paul Marksbury, Operations Director, and Erin Weldon, Development and Community Engagement Director, to the shelter’s executive leadership team. With more than two decades of combined professional experience in the nonprofit sector, Marksbury and Weldon join in the shelter’s mission of establishing, maintaining, and enhancing the bond between companion animals and people of Marion and Polk counties.

Paul Marksbury, Operations Director

Marksbury joined the WHS team as Operations Director in early April 2020. In his new role, Marksbury will oversee and lead shelter operations, including animal welfare, medical and veterinary practices, and adoption and fostering programs. Marksbury brings with him more than 12 years of experience serving nonprofit organizations across the country, most recently as the Director of Operations for Lawrence Humane Society in Lawrence, Kanas. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and one of Salem’s newest residents, along with his family.

“I am excited to join Willamette Humane Society and its amazing team of staff and volunteers,” said Marksbury. “Animal sheltering is so much more than saving lives. These pets use their second chances to complete families and heal souls. This is life-changing work in so many ways, and it’s an honor to do it in this incredible community.”

Erin Weldon, Development & Community Engagement Director

After serving as an integral member of the shelter’s development department since 2017, Erin Weldon was named the shelter’s Development and Community Engagement Director in April 2020. In her elevated role, Weldon will drive strategy for the organization’s development, fundraising, and sustainability efforts, as well as guide community relations, events and outreach, and volunteer management.

Weldon commented, “I am beyond excited to move into this new position and lead our organization into a sustainable and impactful future. I’m continually inspired by the amazing community of adopters, volunteers, donors, and community members who support WHS. It’s been a privilege to get to know them over the last two years, and I look forward to deepening our connections moving forward.”

Over the past decade of her career, Weldon has championed nonprofit missions across a variety of industries, including animal welfare, human services, and education. She is an Oregon native and graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a double major in English and Mathematics.

“We are excited to welcome Paul and Erin to their new roles here at Willamette Humane Society,” said BJ Andersen, WHS Executive Director. “Each of them brings new passion, expertise, and strategy to their respective roles, further strengthening our shelter leadership team. I am honored to work beside them, and the rest of our shelter team, as we keep our organization moving forward in the mission to serve pets and people during this uncertain time and beyond.”

For more information about Willamette Humane Society, visit whs4pets.org.

Media Contact: Callie Gisler, Communications Manager Willamette Humane Society callie.gisler@whs4pets.org 503-580-2206 About Willamette Humane Society Willamette Humane Society, located in Salem, Ore., was founded in 1965 by local civic leaders to serve communities in Marion and Polk counties. The organization is dedicated to establishing, maintaining and enhancing the bond between companion animals and people. Willamette Humane Society provides essential services and programs such as adoption and sheltering, behavior and training, youth programs and a low-cost spay and neuter clinic. The shelter is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and supported by more than 60 employees and 700 volunteers. For more information about Willamette Humane Society, visit whs4pets.org.



News Release from Oregon Lottery

April 28, 2020 – Salem, Ore. – After an all-nighter helping his wife get used to night shift hours, Levi Robinette and his son decided they needed an energy drink.

When the two visited the Jackson’s Food Store in Ontario for their dose of caffeine, Robinette got a jolt of energy when he realized he won $100,000 from one of the $10 Scratch-its he had just purchased.

“I walked in to get an energy drink, and I walked out with $100,000!” he said.

Robinette said he was glad he stayed up to support his wife.

“My wife is also my manager at work, so I figured it would be in my best interest to stay up,” Robinette said. “It really was!”

He said he splurged after claiming his prize last week and bought a motorcycle, but otherwise he is saving the money.

“Normally we play Video Lottery, but with that closed, we decided that this would be fun to try,” he said. “I’m glad we did. It was fun.”

Robinette claimed his prize after making an appointment and visiting the Salem headquarters last week.

To protect the health and safety of its employees and the public, the Oregon Lottery has temporarily closed the Salem and Wilsonville Lottery offices. Officials with the Lottery continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely. If players have a winning ticket, they can fill out a claim form on the Oregon Lottery website, https://oregonlottery.org/about/claim-prizes , and then mail in the signed ticket and claim form.

Players who have winning tickets of $50,000 or more, will need to make an appointment to come to the Oregon Lottery office in Salem. Call 503-540-1000 for assistance. As always, players should be certain to sign the back of their tickets.
Since 1985, Oregon Lottery players have won more than $38 billion in prizes.

The Oregon Lottery reminds players to always sign the back of their Lottery tickets, regardless of the game. In the event of winning a jackpot, they should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Prize winners of more than $50,000 are advised to contact the Lottery office and 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, Outdoor School, state parks, Veterans services and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org



News Release from Oregon Office of Emergency Management

Posted on FlashAlert: April 24th, 2020 11:48 AM

Office of the State Fire Marshal Extends Rules Allowing for Self-Serve Gas to May 11, 2020

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is extending a temporary rule change that allows Oregon gas stations to provide self-service on a voluntary basis, in order to address shortages of workers experienced by gas retailers statewide.

The rules change was first announced on March 28 and then extended on April 11 to April 25. Today, State Fire Marshal Jim Walker extended the deadline another two weeks, through May 9.

“We want to thank Oregonians and Oregon businesses for being flexible during these challenging times,” said Walker. “As we continue to monitor this ongoing situation, we feel it is best to extend this option for an additional two weeks.”

The extension of the change will still allow station attendants to help customers while avoiding face-to-face and hand-to-hand contact. It also continues to ensure physical distancing measures are in place. Attendants will continue to sanitize station equipment and fuel nozzles and assist customers with their refueling as needed.

Self-service is not mandatory. This option allows some fueling stations to maintain their operations with fewer workers and lets Oregonians, particularly essential workers who must travel, still commute without the uncertainty of not being able to find open gas stations. Unattended self-service is permitted when a gas station owner exhausts all staffing options. Stations that do not have an attendant on duty are still required to post safety signs for physical distancing and instructions showing customers how to operate a fuel pump correctly.

This extension of the self-service rules change has not affected areas of the state that were already authorized for self-service refueling under state law.

Information about the extended rules change for self-service gasoline can be found on the OSFM website.



PORTLAND, Ore., – Pump prices continue to edge lower across the country. Only 11 states, including Oregon, still have averages of $2 a gallon or more. For the week, the national average for regular unleaded loses four cents to $1.77 a gallon. The Oregon average falls six cents to $2.41. This is tied for the fifth-largest weekly drop in the nation.

National State Local Gas Prices 4-28-20Long Description

The national average is at its lowest price since March 2016 and the Oregon average is at its lowest price since December 2016.

“AAA expects pump prices to continue to decrease into next month with the national average possibly dropping as low as $1.65 and the Oregon average falling to $2.30,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.

Some states could see minimal fluctuation at the pump in coming weeks if demand jumps as business are given the green light to re-open. However, this will not have a large impact for the majority of the nation’s drivers.

Crude oil prices plunged into negative territory last week for the first time ever but made significant gains to end the week in the positive. Meanwhile, demand for gasoline is up slightly but still down about 40 percent compared to last year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports demand at 5.3 million b/d, up from 5.1 b/d the previous week. This compares to last April’s 9.45 million b/d average. Low demand pushed gasoline stocks to increase for yet another week, this time by 1 million bbl to put total U.S. stock levels at 263 million bbl.


Pump prices are lower this week in all 50 states including Oregon. Alaska (-8 cents) and Idaho (-8 cents) have the largest weekly drops while Wisconsin (-2 cents) has the smallest. The District of Columbia (+1 cent) is the only area to show a weekly increase.

Hawaii remains the only state in the nation with an average at or above $3 a gallon.

The cheapest gas in the nation can be found in Wisconsin ($1.20) and Oklahoma ($1.37). This is the seventh week in a row that one or more states has an average below $2 a gallon. In all, 39 states are below that benchmark, same as a week ago.

Oregon is one of all 50 states and the District of Columbia with lower prices now than a month ago. The national average is 27 cents less and the Oregon average is 31 cents less than a month ago. Alaska (-55 cents) has the largest month-over-month decline. The District of Columbia (-12 cents) has the smallest.

Oregon is one of 50 states and the District of Columbia where drivers are paying less than a year ago. The national average is $1.12 less and the Oregon average is 99 cents less than a year ago. Wisconsin (-$1.64) has the largest year-over-year drop. Hawaii (-43 cents) has the smallest. In all, 33 states have pump price averages that are $1/gallon or more cheaper than a year ago, with another 13 states within a dime of reaching this mark.

A reminder that Oregonians can temporarily pump their own gas due to the coronavirus outbreak and this has been extended through May 9. Stations aren’t required to offer self-serve gas, but it is allowed in order to reduce contact that could spread COVID-19, and ensure essential workers have access to fuel during potential staffing shortages at gas stations. https://www.oregon.gov/osp/programs/sfm/Pages/Self-Service-Rules-Change-FAQs.aspx




SBJ Newsroom– Sidony O’neal, a writer and artist is the 2020 recipient of the Oregon Arts Commission’s honorary Joan Shipley Award. o’neal is one of a group of nine Oregon artists selected for the Arts Commission’s 2020 Individual Artist Fellowships. The 2020 fellowships support artists working in the visual arts; performing artists are awarded in alternating years.

The Joan Shipley Award is named for Oregon arts leader Joan Shipley, who passed away in 2011. Shipley was a collector, philanthropist and supporter of many arts and humanities organizations. In 2005, she and her husband John received an Oregon Governor’s Arts Award. Many in the arts community also counted her as a mentor and friend.

The Arts Commission’s Fellowship program is available to more than 20,000 artists who call Oregon home. Fellows are recommended by a panel of Oregon arts professionals who consider artists of outstanding talent, demonstrated ability and commitment to the creation of new work(s). The Arts Commission reviews and acts on the panel’s recommendations.

The following visual artists were awarded 2020 fellowships: Julia Bradshaw, Corvallis; Melanie Flood, Portland; Erik Geschke, Portland; Colin Ives, Eugene; Ruben Garcia Marrufo, Portland; Sidony O'neal (Shipley Fellow), Portland; Garrett Sluski, Portland; Maya Vivas, Portland; and Sarah Wertzberger, Portland.

Leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.

The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at: www.oregonartscommission.org.




News Release from Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services

Salem – The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has extended its emergency order on insurance deadlines. The order 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.

“Many of our insurers are stepping up in several ways to help their customers through this crisis. We appreciate those that are issuing auto refunds and credits, providing access to telehealth services, and waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing,” said Andrew Stolfi, insurance commissioner. “Extending the emergency order ensures Oregonians can continue to get relief from these insurance policy terms and continue to focus on staying healthy and caring for their families.”

Insurance companies must continue 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

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.

Visit the department’s COVID-19 consumer page for more insurance and financial services information. Insurance companies and professionals are encouraged to visit the COVID-19 regulated businesses page for more information about the order and other guidance issued by the department.




News Release from City of Salem

Posted on FlashAlert: April 24th, 2020 4:00 PM

Salem, Ore. — In May of this year, the resident members, Mayor, and City Council comprising the City of Salem’s Budget Committee will consider the FY 2021 Proposed Budget for the City of Salem and Urban Renewal Agency.

The combined $752 million budgets cover the period from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, and includes estimates of revenue and costs of services and capital projects. The City of Salem Budget Committee meets May 6 and May 13.  If needed, a May 20 Budget Committee meeting may be scheduled.

The proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget is the City’s financial plan to provide services to its community.  While this proposed budget has been developed and delivered during a time of uncertainty, it continues the implementation of the City Council priorities for public safety, community and urban development, library, parks and recreation, street maintenance, and water, wastewater, and stormwater utility services.

You can add your voice by providing written testimony to the Budget Committee (budgetoffice@cityofsalem.net).  The budget process concludes with a City Council public hearing and adoption in June. For more information, check out our web page on the City’s Budget.

COVID-19 Impacts on the Proposed City of Salem, Fiscal Year 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique tension between taking swift action and the need to better understand the short-term and long-term fiscal impacts to the City, as an organization, our community, its residents, and businesses.

“We know there will be fiscal impacts to the City as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, as there will be for everyone in our community - residents and businesses alike,” said City Manager Steve Powers.  “For the upcoming Fiscal Year 2021 budget, which starts July 1 of this year, we are showing generally pre-COVID 19 estimates for most revenues and expenses.  As we learn more, we’ll be briefing the Budget Committee, Council, and the community. Changes will be made that respond to needs created by the pandemic and that maintain a balanced budget.”  The FY 2021 Proposed Budget features adjusted revenues based on immediate impacts to City’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and parking revenues.

Capital Improvement Plan, FY 2021 through FY 2025

At their May 6 meeting, the Budget Committee will also hold a public hearing on the City’s Capital Improvement Plan for FY 2021 through FY 2025.  The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is a five-year forecast which identifies capital projects requiring the use of public funds over and above routine annual operating expenses along with possible future sources of funding and the projects’ timing and priority.  Capital projects include community facilities (historic structures and parks owned and maintained by the City), municipal facilities (like the airport, buildings and parking structures, information technology), transportation (streets and streetlights) and utilities (water, wastewater and stormwater facilities).  A capital project creates, improves, replaces, repairs, or permanently adds to City assets including: land, site improvements, parks, buildings, streets, bike paths, bridges, utility improvements, major equipment, computer hardware, and communication systems purchases.

Direction from City Council: 2020 Policy Agenda

Salem City Council’s 2020 Policy Agenda draws from the Council and community-defined priorities in the 2017 Strategic Plan.  Through its annual Policy Agenda, City Council agrees on its specific priorities for action in the coming year and provides direction on aligning resources towards the Strategic Plan result areas through the City’s budgeting process.

In this 2020 City Council Policy Agenda, we are continuing the Strategic Plan commitments to work toward improving the lives of those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, investing in economic health of the community and downtown, and reducing our impact on the environment.

Priorities for 2020 include completing the new Salem Police Station, improving safety for bikers and walkers, preparing together for emergencies, developing more affordable housing and provide aid to those experiencing homelessness, continuing planning Our Salem and work on the Salem Public Library seismic and safety upgrade, preparing a climate action plan, investing in safe drinking water, preparing an asset management and bonding strategy, focusing economic activity Downtown, North Downtown and in West Salem industrial area.

To view the 2020 Policy Agenda or the Strategic Plan, please visit www.cityofsalem.net/Pages/ salem-strategic-plan.aspx.

All Virtual Meeting

On May 6, 2020, the City of Salem’s Budget Committee meets at 6:00 p.m.  The meeting will be broadcast live via the City of Salem Facebook Page, @CityofSalemOR, CCTVSalem's YouTube page, or Comcast Cable Channel 21.

Salem’s Civic Center, including the City Council Chambers, is closed to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus.  Check the City's COVID-19 Information Center for all City service impacts on www.cityofsalem.net.

Public Comment and Testimony

There will be no in-person oral public comment.  Provide testimony by 3 pm or earlier the day of the meeting to make it available for consideration during the meeting.

You can submit comments on meeting agenda items by email to budgetoffice@cityofsalem.net

Priority Based Budgeting

Priority based budgeting (PBB) is a best practice in municipal government. PBB is a unique and innovative approach to budget planning which enables organizations to effectively match available resources with priorities.

In 2018, following the adoption of the City’s Strategic Plan, Salem embarked on an effort to organize all of the City’s programs and services around six broad result areas of:

Safe Community
Welcoming and Livable Community
Strong and Diverse Economy
Safe, Reliable and Efficient Infrastructure
Natural Environment Stewardship
Good Governance

Our goal is that the online PBB data be used as a reporting tool for the Budget Committee, City Council and the community showing how City funds support the City’s result areas and also as a framework for evaluating budget decisions.  Through an open data site, you can now access data on each of the City’s FY 2020 programs and services here:

Link: https://onlinepbb.net/present/Salem/

A brief tutorial will pop up when you sign into the site.  The site displays results by quartiles (All Results tab), which shows if the program is most (quartile 1), more (quartile 2), less (quartile 3), or least (quartile 4) aligned with the overall result areas.  A quartile 4, or least aligned program, does not necessarily mean it is something the City should or could stop doing.  There may be a State or Federal mandate, grant funding, a significant reliance on the City to provide service, or the program simply scored essential in only one result area.


Rich Duncan Construction Is Here For You

Rich Duncan Construction wants our community to know that we are here for you during this time of uncertainty. If you have an immediate construction need, please reach out, we are still working!
Contact Information:
Office: 503-390-4999

You Have One Day Left to Nominate Rich Duncan Construction for Best Commercial Builder in the Mid-Valley!

After being extended, the Statesman Journal's Best of the Mid-Valley Nomination round is ending tomorrow! While you still have time nominate Rich Duncan Construction for Best Commercial Builder in the Mid-Valley by clicking on the link below! Thank you for your continuing support!


Rich Duncan Construction Welcomes New Team Member

We have a new addition to the Rich Duncan Construction Family! Meet Chris Hayes, our newest project superintendent! Chris enjoys riding dirt bikes, golfing, building cars, and spending time with his family. Welcome back to the Rich Duncan family, Chris!

Subcontractor Spotlight: Northside Electric

For 50 years, Northside Electric has been a fantastic resource for commercial and residential electrical work in the mid-Willamette Valley and beyond. The team at Rich Duncan Construction has enjoyed working with Northside since we opened our doors in 2002. From value engineering to design-build projects, Northside has always exceeded Rich Duncan Construction's expectations and has become the go-to electrical contractor for many general contractors throughout Oregon. Northside Electric employs around 195 people and is highly active in the community, quietly helping many local organizations over the last half century. We are proud to be community partners with such an amazing group of people and wish them a very happy 50th anniversary.

Rich Duncan Construction Takes All Necessary Precautions to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Project superintendent, Steve Eggleston, preparing to sanitize his job site.

A 6-foot rule enforcement sign at our RTR Services job site

Superintendent, Steve Eggleston, utilizing the hand washing station at his job site, Valley Industrial Park.

A 6-foot rule enforcement sign at our Corvallis McDonalds job site.

Job site safety is of the utmost importance at Rich Duncan Construction. During this uncertain time, Rich Duncan Construction is doing everything we can to follow guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19. We always enforce the 6-foot rule on all of our job sites. We provide sanitizing equipment, masks when needed, and gloves to those working on the job site.

Job Updates: Valley Industrial Project

Rich Duncan Construction wants our community to know that we are here for you during this time of uncertainty. If you have an immediate construction need, please reach out, we are still working!
Contact Information:
Office: 503-390-4999

Things have been moving quickly over at Valley Industrial! The irrigation has been installed, drywall has been installed, and painting has begun! Valley Industrial Park is at the corner of Kuebler and Turner Road, be sure to take a look the next time you drive by!



SBJ Newsroom — As COVID-19 continues to devastate the hotel industry, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) released new data today showing that 70 percent of hotel employees have been laid off or furloughed as eight in 10 hotel rooms across the nation remain empty.

As this crisis progresses beyond what anyone could have projected, the impact to the travel industry is nine times worse than 9/11, with forecasted occupancy rates for 2020 hitting record lows worse than rates in 1933 during the Great Depression.

“With the impact to the travel industry nine times worse than September 11, the human toll of this public health crisis has been absolutely devastating for the hotel industry. For the hotel industry our priority is rehiring and retaining our hardworking employees who power our vibrant industry,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO of AHLA. “Hotels were one of the first industries affected by the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover. The CARES Act was an important first step with a lot of supportive measures for the hotel industry, but we need Congress to make important changes to the program to reflect the current economic reality and help the employees in the industries that have been impacted the most.”


Due to the dramatic downturn in travel, properties that remain open are operating with minimal staffing. On average, full-service hotels are using 14 employees, down from 50 before the crisis. Resort hotels, which often operate seasonally based on the area’s peak tourism months, averaged about 90 employees per location as recently as March 13, are down to an average of five employees per resort today.

The key findings of the report include:

Impact to travel industry 9x worse than 9/11. (Tourism Economics)

50% revenue decline (projected) for entirety of 2020 (Oxford Economics)


Eight in 10 hotel rooms are empty. (STR)

2020 is projected to be the worst year on record for hotel occupancy. (CBRE)

Forecasted occupancy rate for 2020 worse than 1933 during the Great Depression. (CBRE)

70% of hotel employees laid off or furloughed. (Oxford Economics and Hotel Effectiveness)

$2.4 billion in weekly lost wages due to the crisis (Oxford Economics and Hotel Effectiveness)

Nearly 3.9 million total hotel-supported jobs lost since the crisis began (Oxford Economics)

As travel halted in late February, the hotel industry took immediate action to work with the White House and Congress to help hotel industry employees and small business operators, which represent 61 percent of hotel properties in the U.S.

“The hotel industry is at a critical juncture. We need more resources to survive this unprecedented time,” said Rogers. “Additional funding is vital for small business owners across America, including tens of thousands of small business hoteliers, to help them keep their doors open and rehire and retain millions of employees.”



SBJ Newsroom: – In celebration of the uplifting power of art and its value to Oregonians’ quality of life, Governor Kate Brown today announced a call for nominations for the 2020 Governor’s Arts Awards. Established in 1977, the awards are held periodically as funding allows. A call for 2020 nominations is now posted on the Arts Commission website.

A partnership between the Office of the Governor and the Arts Commission, the Governor’s Arts Awards recognize and honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the arts in Oregon. Awardees will be honored during an evening Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg. Note: If social distancing prevents a public gathering, the event will be produced as a live-streamed Facebook event by Artslandia.

The 2020 Governor’s Arts Awards are funded in part by The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation with generous event support from the Chehalem Cultural Center.

“Art is a fundamental ingredient of any thriving and vibrant community,” Governor Brown said. “Art sparks connections between people, movements, and new ideas. To put it simply, art makes life better. I am thrilled to celebrate Oregon’s best artists and art supporters through the Governor’s Arts Awards.”

The Governor’s Arts Awards are open to any individual, organization or community that currently resides in or has a significant presence in Oregon and has made outstanding contributions to the arts in the state. The 148 past recipients of a Governor’s Arts Award are not eligible (see past recipients).

“The Governor’s Arts Award is the most prestigious honor an Oregon artist can receive,” said Arts Commission Chair Anne Taylor. “We are extremely grateful to Governor Brown for her commitment to formally recognizing the contribution of Oregon artists and arts supporters to our collective quality of life.”

Nominations will be reviewed by a committee comprised of a representative from the Governor’s Office, an Arts Commissioner and three to five arts leaders from across the state. They will recommend three to five awards based on the nominee’s regional, national or international recognition for his/her/their contributions; role in improving the quality of arts experiences and appreciation for the arts in Oregon; contributions to advancing the arts’ positive impact on Oregonians’ quality of life; and length of service to the arts in Oregon. Governor Brown will have final approval of award recipients.

Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26. Recipients will be notified by July 13 and must be available to participate in the Sept. 12 award ceremony (in person or virtually). The ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The last Governor’s Arts Awards were held in 2017 as part of the celebration of the Arts Commission’s 50th Anniversary.



SBJ Newsroom – The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has extended its emergency order on insurance deadlines. The order 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.

“Many of our insurers are stepping up in several ways to help their customers through this crisis. We appreciate those that are issuing auto refunds and credits, providing access to telehealth services, and waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing,” said Andrew Stolfi, insurance commissioner. “Extending the emergency order ensures Oregonians can continue to get relief from these insurance policy terms and continue to focus on staying healthy and caring for their families.”

Insurance companies must continue 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

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.

Visit the department’s COVID-19 consumer page for more insurance and financial services information. Insurance companies and professionals are encouraged to visit the COVID-19 regulated businesses page for more information about the order and other guidance issued by the department.


Stay Enlightened Salem...

To our loyal Patrons - Well, it’s been a little over a month since this global pandemic gripped our country in full force, sending us all inside and canceling all “nonessential” public life.  A month of reflection.  What does this pandemic mean for the future of our world?  What does this pandemic mean for the future of gathering to experience live storytelling?

When this all seemingly changed over night, Enlightened Theatrics was scheduled to launch camp registration, announce our 2020/2021 Season, and introduce our honored guest for this September’s Broadway to Salem Gala Fundraiser.  Our final production of the season, Election Day, was just about to begin rehearsals.  For the safety of our actors, staff, and patrons, we have placed all of this on hold.  As a professional regional theatre, we are accustomed to planning years in advance in order to maintain our patronage and have the largest impact in the community.  We do not know what the future holds or what all will change.  But, we do know that we can and must adapt to the changes because we owe it to you and to this community.

A few of the tangible efforts we have made to stay active and provide services are: 

  • On March 26th we began offering free virtual coaching for anyone who is looking to build up their audition and performance skills, while stuck at home. We are currently exploring new ways that we can provide training and professional development opportunities via online platforms. Stay tuned! 
  • On Tuesday, April 14th, with the support of Salem Health, three Enlightened Alum along with myself performed "Hear My Song" in the parking garage of Salem Hospital during staff shift change. 

Enlightened Theatrics needs your support now more than ever so that we can continue to and grow the arts experience of Salem, Oregon by producing thoughtful and relevant professional theatre, engaging Salem’s youth with performing arts education, and developing passionate theatre talent in the Willamette Valley.  Your critical support will ensure that when the time finally comes to gather again, there will be performances at Salem’s Historic Grand Theatre.  Please consider visiting our website and  make your donation today! 

Thank you all so much for being a part of our Enlightened Theatrics Family. While we aren’t able to see you face to face, here are ways you can continue to connect with us through social media via Facebook. YouTube, and Instagram.

Enlightened Theatrics was made for Salem and the story goes on.  We look forward to continuing to share life, love, and community with you all in the near future!

Vincenzo Meduri
Proud member of the Salem Theatre Network



Contact: Marie Hulett, marie.hulett@chemeketa.edu, 503.399.2530

Chemeketa Launches Diesel Tech Program

New program addresses need in the Willamette Valley

Salem, Ore., April 22, 2020 —CHEMEKETA COMMUNITY COLLEGE continues to coordinate with industry leaders to develop programs appropriate to workforce needs.  Skilled diesel technicians are in high demand in the Willamette Valley.  Chemeketa Community College is hoping to fill this need through its new Diesel Technology program.

The new associate degree program will be held at the College’s Brooks location, where students will receive hands-on training to prepare for a career as a diesel technician.

Students will learn how to repair and maintain diesel engines and component support systems for a variety of machines, including semi-trucks, boats, and agricultural equipment.

The Oregon Employment Department projects a 12% employment forecast for diesel technicians in the Mid-Willamette Valley through 2024, with an average annual salary of $45,000.

The College is accepting applications for the Fall term through July 31. Scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available. Students can apply at go.chemeketa.edu/diesel.


For more than 50 years, Chemeketa Community College has committed itself to transforming lives and our community through exceptional learning experiences in the Mid-Willamette Valley. As the second multi-campus district in Oregon, Chemeketa serves 30,000 students annually at its Salem and Yamhill Valley campuses, as well as Brooks, Eola, Winema, Dallas, Woodburn and Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry (CCBI).


Free Downloadable K-12 Educational Materials Available During COVID-19 Crises

April 21, 2020 - Many families are facing a new set of challenges with schools closed by COVID-19.  Under these circumstances, student screen media use will likely increase. For parents looking for a downloadable screen-free solution, Heron Books has the answer.

While screens are useful for learning, parents concerned about the amount of time their children spend on screens are eager for screen-free learning solutions.

To aid parents Heron Books is offering ten, free, downloadable courses covering math, grammar, geography, history and more. All course materials, including the learning guide that gives students a path to learn a subject independently, can be downloaded and printed. 

Over 800 of these courses have already been downloaded by parents and teachers worldwide with an overwhelming appreciation for having a screen-free, remote-learning option. The ten, free courses, for ages 4-12, can be downloaded at https://www.heronbooks.com/.

One parent explained, “I just went to the website and downloaded a totally free learning activity book and course for my kindergartner. You print off the course and it walks you through the steps independently and it kept my daughter engaged. Some of the lessons were 20 minutes, some of them took an hour, there are projects that take a couple of days. It's amazing and there's no app, there's no screen time involved, nothing digital. I really love it!”

Heron Books’s Vice President Sam Silver noted, “With schools closed and parents looking for ways to keep their kids learning, we wanted to help. Our courses all come with learning guides that let students study independently. We made ten of our most popular courses available for free to families everywhere, and we’ve gotten so much appreciative feedback from happy parents and students. We’re glad we can help keep students curious, learning and interested during these times.”

Available courses range from Earth 1 (Sun, Earth, Moon & Stars), to math remediation (the Math Essentials - Finding and Filling the Gaps series), to grammar basics and practice  (the Working with Grammar series), to the very popular course on dinosaurs (Animals of Long Ago).

About Heron Books

Since 1976, Heron Books has developed unique K-12 materials that foster independence, lets students study at their own rate, and focuses on helping students use what they have studied. Heron Books courses and teacher resources are used by schools, homeschoolers, and parents around the world.


PropTech - Coming Soon to a Commercial Broker Near You

By Alex Rhoten, Principal Broker 

Coldwell Banker Commercial Mountain West Real Estate

"Proptech" is a new buzzword in commercial real estate and put simply, it's the digital transformation of the property industry. The momentum is growing so fast that in 2019, more than $24.6 billion in venture capital was invested in start-up property technology companies. Here's a look at what PropTech is and what it is not, at least for now.

What is disruptive technology?

Chances are many of us have already experienced disruptive technology in one form or another. Looking at a few different sectors, by now, we are well aware of how technology disrupted the retail industry. That means technology changed the way retail works. For example, though people may still shop in stores, they may also shop online, order home delivery, price compare while in a store and download e-coupons from mobile phones for immediate use.

At work, even the office is becoming a thing of the past. Work sites are increasingly gathering places rather than work places. With all the functions available on a modern phone, there is not much need to sit at a desk in an office to conduct business. This frees us to work in the field, which is more valuable than waiting for a desk phone to ring or fax to arrive, common in the past.

I'm a big fan of new technology and one of my favorite state-of-the-art uses is facial recognition security on bank accounts and credit cards. It saves time and trouble, which I love. This is also being used in other ways, such as building security.

What is PropTech?

So what is PropTech apropos of real estate? It's a catchphrase for all the new start-up companies taking on elements of the real estate industry. It is still evolving, but imagine it as the "Uber-fication" of real estate, in that the goal is to satisfy consumer demand with digital and high tech answers, adding convenience and saving time and money.

Today, for example, we see new apps for property management, such as ManageCasa.com. Tomorrow, it may be smart cities and enhanced resource sharing (think co-working, co-living, house-swapping and crowd-funding to get a sense of what the sharing economy is all about).

Examples of PropTech companies are too many to list as there are more than 800 registered startups now targeting the real estate industry. There are even a few companies (primarily focused on residential real estate) that have passed the $1 billion mark, such as Opendoor, Homelink and Compass.

What PropTech is Not:

There are many different asset classes in commercial real estate, and there is not one PropTech answer for all.  What PropTech is not, is a one-stop shop. Instead, each new business app aims to innovate a specific area of service to clients or find a path to meet professional goals more quickly.



SBJ Newsroom: — The City of Salem is actively preparing for another algae season (May through September) in the North Santiam Watershed.  Staff are closely monitoring water in Detroit Reservoir and the North Santiam River and are ready to respond with additional treatment if cyanotoxins are detected. In addition, the City is quickly moving forward on the construction of long-term improvements to drinking water treatment and backup water supplies that will ensure safe drinking water for Salem business and residents for years to come.

In 2018, algal blooms in the North Santiam Watershed produced cyanotoxins at levels that that required the City to issue a drinking water advisory for vulnerable populations.  Cyanotoxins can pose health risks if consumed in drinking water at levels defined by the Oregon Health Authority.  Powdered activated carbon has since been added to the drinking water treatment process, as needed, to remove cyanotoxins and to keep our water safe.

The City’s long-term solution for removing cyanotoxins and ensuring safe drinking water is to add ozone as an additional treatment step. Ozone is one of the strongest disinfectants used to treat drinking water. It produces no taste or odor and no ozone remains in the water after treatment. Design of the new ozone treatment system has been completed, and construction is now underway.  The new ozone treatment system is scheduled to be completed in spring 2021.

Salem is also exploring new and expanded backup water supplies, including additional wells at the Geren Island Water Treatment Facility and improvements to the Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) System at Woodmansee Park.  This system stores drinking water for backup use in a natural underground aquifer.  Construction on these drinking water improvements will begin this year, and they are expected to be completed by 2022.

Salem’s water remains safe to drink.  The City will continue to provide updates to the community as the 2020 algae season moves forward.  Residents are encouraged to visit the City’s website at www.cityofsalem/drinking-water for additional information.

Community members who have questions can contact the City of Salem at service@cityofsalem.net  or 503-588-6311.



SBJ Newsroom -- On April 27, 2020, the Salem Housing Authority Commission, Salem Urban Renewal Agency, and Salem City Council meet at 6 p.m. in their first all-virtual meeting.

The meeting will be broadcast live via the City of Salem Facebook Page, @CityofSalemOR, CCTVSalem's YouTube page, or Comcast Cable Channel 21.  Public testimony must be provided by 5 p.m. (or earlier) on Monday, April 27, to make it available to City Council online.  Submission instructions are included below.


On Monday night, the Salem City Council will consider extending the City’s state of emergency related to the COVID-19 Pandemic through June 30, 2020.  Council will also consider construction of underground drinking water storage at Woodmansee Park, more emergency financial assistance for utility customers, a master plan to help guide future development of Battle Creek Park, a new single property urban renewal area for affordable housing, and a small grant for commercial air service at the Salem Municipal Airport.

Extending City of Salem’s Emergency Declaration

Further guidance from the State of Oregon and public health agencies about data-driven measures for considering re-opening is expected the week of May 4.  If conditions warrant, the City Council may rescind the state of emergency at an earlier date.

The City’s original emergency declaration, approved on March 17, 2020, is set to expire April 28, 2020.  The declaration prohibits all public gatherings in city rights of way and city-owned public spaces, including sidewalks and parks, and restricts public spaces to active pedestrian use. This is consistent with the March 8, 2020 State of Oregon Emergency Order which limited public gatherings, required certain businesses to temporarily close, and implemented social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The City’s emergency declaration also allows camping in unimproved areas of Wallace Marine and Cascades Gateway parks, with appropriate social distancing and provisions for personal hygiene, by temporarily suspending restrictions on public camping only in those locations.

All Virtual Meeting

Salem’s Civic Center, including the City Council Chambers, is closed to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus.  Check the City's COVID-19 Information Center for all City service impacts on www.cityofsalem.net.

Public Comment and Testimony

There will be no in-person oral public comment.  Provide testimony by 5 p.m. (or earlier) on Monday April 27 to make it available to City Council for their consideration during the meeting.

You can submit comments on City Council, Urban Renewal Agency, or Salem Housing Authority Commission meeting agenda items by email to cityrecorder@cityofsalem.net or citycouncil@cityofsalem.net. You can also submit paper copies at the mailbox outside the City Recorder's office at the Civic Center.

For social, more active

Join the live broadcast at 6 p.m. via the City of Salem Facebook Page, @CityofSalemOR, CCTVSalem's YouTube page, or Comcast Cable Channel 21.

Contact Info:

(503) 763-3459, media@cityofsalem.net

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Nearly 3 in 4 Realtors® This Week Report Sellers Haven’t Lowered Listing Prices to Attract Buyers, Suggesting Calmness and No Panic Selling by Homeowners

SBJ Newsroom – Nearly 3 in 4 Realtors® currently working with sellers this week – 74% – reported their clients haven’t reduced listing prices to attract buyers, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors®. This suggests interested home sellers are remaining calm and avoiding panic selling during the uncertain economic environment brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Consumers are mostly abiding by stay-in-shelter directives, and it appears the current decline in buyer and seller activity is only temporary, with a majority ready to hit the market in a couple of months,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The housing market faced an inventory shortage before the pandemic. Given that there are even fewer new listings during the pandemic, home sellers are taking a calm approach and appear unwilling to lower prices to attract buyers during the temporary disruptions to the economy.”

NAR’s latest Economic Pulse Flash Survey – conducted April 19-20, 2020 – asked members how the coronavirus outbreak has impacted the residential and commercial real estate markets. Several highlights include:

  • More than a quarter of Realtors®– 27% – said they were able to complete nearly all aspects of transactions while respecting social distancing. The most common technology tools used to communicate with clients are e-signatures, social media, messaging apps and virtual tours.
  • Residential tenants are facing rent payment issues, but many delayed payment requests are being accommodated. Forty-seven percent of property managers reported being able to accommodate tenants who cannot pay rent, a 6% increase from a week ago. Nearly a quarter of individual landlords – 24% – said the same, unchanged from last week.

NAR also today released its 2020 Animal House: Pets in the Home Buying and Selling Process report, which analyzes Realtor® recommendations and actions taken by home buyers and sellers to best accommodate their pets and present their homes in the best light. Several highlights include:

  • More than 4 in 10 U.S. households – 43% – would be willing to move to better accommodate their pets, demonstrating that this is a priority among consumers.
  • Almost 1 in 5 recent home buyers – 18% – said it was very important that their new neighborhood is convenient to a vet or near outdoor space for their pets.
  • A majority of Realtors®’ clients – 68% – said a community’s animal policy influenced their decision to rent or buy.

“As households in the U.S. pursue comfort, companionship, and home entertainment, animal shelters were cleared out in many cities,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “These pet adoptions could lead to future home sales as families seek to accommodate the best living spaces for their four-legged family members.”

View NAR’s 2020 Animal House: Pets in the Home Buying and Selling Process report here:


View NAR’s Economic Pulse Flash Survey full report here:


View NAR’s Weekly Housing Market Monitor here:



The Rise of Virtual Assignments

SBJ Newsroom: - The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work. Never have so many employees worked remotely – locally and abroad. As some expatriates become ‘virtual assignees,’ virtual assignments are opening up new opportunities for both employees and companies today and well beyond the end of this crisis.

 “Global work arrangements are changing fast in response to technology, generational changes, and business disruptions like a pandemic,” said Vince Cordova, Partner at Mercer. “Virtual assignments provide synergies between employees’ aspirations and business needs, while achieving lower costs, higher satisfaction, and better business continuity and can represent an effective response to an environment where more traditional mobile assignments have paused for the time being.”

Moving jobs to people is not going to replace traditional mobility, but it is one more tool in the growing arsenal that companies need to deploy their global operations. As organizations consider other forms of mobility to manage a distributed international workforce, HR teams need to understand how to implement virtual assignments successfully. This requires new HR frameworks, processes, and a new, adaptive way of thinking.

 Virtual mobility allows companies to address:

Resilience and risk management. In times of crisis, international assignees may be forced to evacuate their assignment countries at short notice. A more agile workforce that includes virtual assignees increases the resilience of organizations and help maintain business continuity.

Assignment costs. Budget constraints force companies to consider new compensation approaches (local plus and various forms of reduced packages) and introduce more segmentation in their policies. Virtual assignments can reduce costs by eliminating parts or all of the traditional assignment package.

 Dual career and family issues. These issues constitute one of the top reasons for turning down assignments. There are ways to alleviate the concerns of the spouse, but the loss of the dual income and career opportunity for the spouse cannot always be fully compensated.

 Immigration issues. There may be sufficient willingness among job candidates to fill overseas roles, but some limitations due to visas, work permit restrictions, quotas, and other legal restrictions may remain impediments to mobility.

 Widening the talent pool. Families and individuals who were not considering moving might be willing to accept a job if does not involve a relocation to a given country.

Vince Cordova and other consultants at Mercer are available to discuss these considerations and related topics. miriam.siscovick@mercer.com 



SBJ Newsroom: – The City of Salem has released a new pilot project app that is an interactive map to locate food, beverage, and short-term parking locations in the Downtown Parking District. It also features updated operational hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The ‘To Go’ mapping project was designed to support our Downtown food and beverage businesses during Governor’s order to Stay Home, Stay Healthy. The app is a simple resource to locate businesses that are offering ‘To Go’ service and our on-street 15-minute ‘To Go’ Parking options,” said Sheri Wahrgren, Downtown Revitalization Manager.

 To access the new app, Downtown visitors can go to www.cityofsalem.net.

 For general questions regarding Salem’s new ‘To Go’ app, please email rziegler@cityofsalem.net or call 503-540-2495.Si necesita ayuda para comprender esta información, por favor llame 503-588-6178.



To help slow the spread of COVID-19 Oregon restaurants closed or significantly scaled down their operations to only provide carry out. Such is the case with Two Chicks & a Rooster Catering. Their credit union helped them obtain an SBA Paycheck ProtectionDownloadable file: To help slow the spread of COVID-19 Oregon restaurants closed or significantly scaled down their operations to only provide carry out. Such is the case with Two Chicks & a Rooster Catering. Their credit union helped them obtain an SBA Paycheck Protection

Oregon Credit Unions and Other Financial Institutions Help 19,000 Businesses Obtain Billions in SBA    Paycheck Protection Program Loans

 Huge demand created a backlog in the government system, but credit unions cut through the red tape to help thousands of Oregonians continue to receive paychecks.  Every credit union in the state is leaning in to support two million Oregonians who are credit union members -- consumers who live in communities large and small, rural and urban.

SBJ Newsroom: One example of this service is the benefits thousands of businesses and their employees received because credit union employees were “all in” to navigate the backlog created by huge demand for Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Oregon Credit unions and other financial institutions were able to help nearly 19,000 small businesses receive approval for $3.8 billion before the funds were exhausted April 16.  The loans made to small businesses are forgivable and will allow them to continue to pay their staff for up to eight weeks, even if the doors to those businesses are closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Consider the work of the team at Clackamas Federal Credit Union, which helped 99 businesses obtain more than $8 million in funding.

In the words of Debra Galliano-Nolen, co-owner of the Better Homes and Gardens Realty Partners, “Along with millions of other small business owners, we found ourselves in a very scary and unusual position when the COVID-19 shutdown of our country hit.  We took immediate action when the small business stimulus package was enacted, doing our best to maneuver through the confusion and implementation problems that came with the PPP program.  We reached out to SBA and discovered that Clackamas Federal Credit Union was going to be one of the entities handling these loans.  When we contacted CFCU, we were amazed at how helpful and friendly they were, especially since our business accounts were with a big box bank at the time.”

Clackamas FCU’s team helped Better Homes and Garden Realty Partners to finalize their loan.

“We are thrilled to be able to help our small business members survive and keep their employees paid as we get through this crisis together,” said Aaron Goff, President and CEO of Clackamas Federal Credit Union. “We are a relatively small credit union, but our staff has worked night and day to help as many businesses as possible, and we stand ready to do more when Congress allocates more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.”

“As a woman owned business of a major real estate brokerage in Clackamas County, we finally feel like we’re part of a banking ’team’, a team of people that will help us with our banking needs, a team that will offer solutions, a team that cares about us.  Bye, bye Big Box Bank, hello CFCU!  We are forever grateful,” added Danielle Bade, who is Galliano-Nolen’s business partner.

In Bend, Mid Oregon Credit Union helped to secure over $5 million in PPP loans which protected 748 jobs in the first week the SBA funds were available. OnPoint Community Credit Union, based in Portland, helped 100 businesses obtain nearly $9 million in SBA funding.

The Northwest Credit Union Association is urging Congress to immediately move forward with plans to provide hundreds of millions of dollars of additional funding for the SBA PPP program.

“We are thrilled to be able to help our small business members survive and keep their employees paid as we get through this crisis together,” said Aaron Goff, President and CEO of Clackamas Federal Credit Union. “We are a relatively small credit union, but our staff has worked night and day to help as many businesses as possible, and we stand ready to do more when Congress allocates more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.”

Meanwhile, credit unions continue to find financial solutions for Oregon families, through such programs as options to skip consumer, auto, and mortgage payments, low-to-no interest emergency loans, and loan modifications to make monthly payments more affordable.

For example, more than 16,000 Main Street consumers who are OnPoint members leveraged their credit union’s offer to skip loan payments, to keep their cash on hand for other emergencies. More than 700 consumers skipped their mortgage payments for the same reason. That’s $1 million these homeowners can keep on hand at a time when they most need it.  Credit unions’ community giving DNA is a strong as ever. Shortly after COVID-19 hit Oregon, the credit union donated $100,000 to Meals on Wheels People, in order to make sure the most vulnerable populations were served warm meals in the safety of their own home. OnPoint’s staff members volunteered their time to make deliveries as well.

“OnPoint’s purpose is to build strong communities by supporting financial growth and well-being, one person at a time. We are proud to build our partnership with Meals on Wheels People to help ensure no one has to worry about their next meal throughout this difficult time,” said OnPoint’s President and CEO, Rob Stuart.

The credit union is on the front lines providing cybersecurity and fraud protection guidance to its members as well, since, unfortunately, scammers find opportunities in times of crisis. 

 These are only a few anecdotal examples of the work credit unions and their essential employees are doing to help Oregon come through COVID-19 stronger. As not-for-profit, cooperative financial services providers, credit unions do not pay stockholders on Wall Street. Their number one focus is their members. With all the worries Oregonians are shouldering, they can count on help with their finances. Their credit union has their back.



Chuck Baumann of the Oregon Lottery honors social distancing protocols while awarding Maria Salas of Medford her $50,000 jackpot.

SBJ Newsroom – The boredom of being cooped up in her Medford home during the recent stay-at-home guidelines, turned into an excellent week after Maria Salas visited her local Minute Mart. And thanks to that visit, Salas’ boredom soon became excitement as she came home with a Scratch-it worth $50,000.

“We normally play Video Lottery, and when we went to the market we saw the Scratch-its and decided to play,” she said. “The first ticket we played was the winner. I was in shock – I am still in shock.”

Instead of coming home with snacks, Salas Laris said she came home with the down payment for some property.

“I haven’t been able to sleep, I’m so excited,” she said.  “I have a down payment now, it’s great.”

Salas Laris turned the $5 Lucky Lemons Scratch-it she purchased at the Minute Mart in Medford, into $50,000, that’s a lot of lemonade! She then contacted the Oregon Lottery to claim her prize.

To protect the health and safety of its employees and the public, the Oregon Lottery has temporarily closed the Salem and Wilsonville Lottery offices. Officials with the Lottery continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely. If players have a winning ticket, they can fill out a claim form on the Oregon Lottery website, https://oregonlottery.org/about/claim-prizes, and then mail in the signed ticket and claim form.

Players who have winning tickets of $50,000 or more, will need to make an appointment to come to the Oregon Lottery office in Salem. Call 503-540-1000 for assistance. As always, players should be certain to sign the back of their tickets.

Since 1985, Oregon Lottery players have won more than $38 billion in prizes.

The Oregon Lottery reminds players to always sign the back of their Lottery tickets, regardless of the game. In the event of winning a jackpot, they should consult with a trusted financial planner or similar professional to develop a plan for their winnings. Prize winners of more than $50,000 are advised to contact the Lottery office and 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, Outdoor School, state parks, Veterans services and watershed enhancements. For more information on the Oregon Lottery visit www.oregonlottery.org


Interior Announces $28.4 Million in Payments to Western Oregon Counties

Payments support critical county services such as public safety, education, infrastructure and public health

SBJ Newsroom - U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced today the issuance of more than $28 million to 18 counties in western Oregon as a part of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act extension. The funding will go directly to the counties, supporting investments in education, infrastructure, public safety, health services and other critical expenditures made by these jurisdictions.

"We have a multiple-use and sustained yield mandate to manage public lands for the benefit of the American people,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “The Trump Administration is committed to increasing timber production to support economic growth and forest health. This program is one way we are being a good neighbor and supporting Western communities.”

“The Bureau of Land Management administers the Secure Rural Schools Program along with the U.S. Forest Service, and our two agencies manage most of the federal lands in western Oregon. We’re committed to supporting local communities in these 18 counties through this vital program, and by facilitating sustainable development of timber and other natural resources from public lands,” said William Perry Pendley, BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs. 

The Bureau of Land Management manages the SRS program in Oregon and California Railroad Revested Lands, known as the O&C Lands, in concert with the U.S. Forest Service. The O&C Lands lie in a checkerboard pattern through 18 counties of western Oregon. These lands contain more than 2.4 million acres of forests with a diversity of plant and animal species, recreation areas, mining claims, grazing lands, cultural and historical resources, scenic areas, wild and scenic rivers and wilderness. SRS payments are made to over 700 counties across the United States, including the 18 counties containing O&C Lands, according to a formula set by Congress.

“Having helped create the Secure Rural Schools program about two decades ago, and having led the House effort to fund it over the last several sessions of Congress, I’m glad it continues to provide help to our rural counties and our public schools,” said U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (OR-02). “I’ve worked closely with House Leadership and the Trump Administration to ensure that this program is fully funded. Getting these payments out the door is especially important during this pandemic. While this funding is needed, what we really need is to reform forest management policies, so we can reduce the size and severity of wildfires and produce good paying jobs and tax revenues in our forest counties. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and the Trump Administration to achieve that goal.”

“Receipt of the SRS 2019 payment to the O&C and Coos Bay Wagon Road Counties is very welcome funding for counties struggling financially with the COVID-19 national emergency”, said Douglas County Oregon Commissioner Tim Freeman. “The SRS payment also highlights the need for predictable local government funding. The Executive Director of the Association of O&C Counties, Rocky McVay, thanks Christine Jeames at the BLM National Operation Center in Denver for the quick turnaround on transferring the SRS 2019 payment to the eligible counties.”

The O&C Lands Act and Coos Bay Wagon Road CBWR Act require 50% of receipts collected from the sale of timber on O&C lands to be distributed among 18 counties in western Oregon. The payments follow a formula established by these laws, both of which authorize timber receipt-based payments to western Oregon counties, and both of which remain in effect following the expiration of the SRS and Community Self-Determination Act.



SBJ.news – Point West Credit Union today announced that Sarah Fergason has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Most recently serving as the VP Finance & Administration at Point West, Sarah currently oversees accounting and finance, human resources, and collections. The title of CFO more accurately describes Sarah’s essential role to the credit union, and she continues to help create solutions for its members.

Sarah began her career in 1997 at iQ Credit Union and transitioned to the Accounting Manager at Red Canoe Credit Union in 2006 where she handled high volume financial operations. Committed to maximizing profitability and optimizing cash flow, Sarah joined the Point West team in 2017 bringing with her an extensive background in data research & analysis, internal control & due diligence, risk analysis & management and budget management, as well as the drive to bring real change and opportunity to the underserved community.

“Sarah joined the team at a critical juncture, when intensive projects were being implemented as a springboard for long-term strategies,” stated CEO Amy Nelson.  “Her data-driven mindset, fueled by a heart for service, were, and continue to be, key success factors for our credit union. During Sarah’s interview, she underscored her desire to learn and grow with our cooperative, so in turn she could support and drive Point West to serve our most marginalized members.  We promised to keep Sarah busy on that path, and she has excelled at learning and leveraging the community development credit union model.  It is a privilege to promote Sarah to the role of Chief Financial Officer, as she continues her mission-driven work.”

Sarah leverages her strong accounting and finance background to do good for the community; she serves on the Finance Committee for The Cupcake Girls in Portland, OR. Additionally, Sarah engages in credit union regulatory and political work in both Oregon and Washington. Her ability to successfully oversee multiple departments is a testament to her work ethic and adaptability and reinforces the value she brings to the credit union.

“I am truly honored to work with the staff, members, and community of Point West. The dedication and mission to bring financial empowerment to the underserved community is inspiring and I look forward to what the future holds as we continue to expand our outreach.



SBJ Newsroom:  -  During the week of April 5 to April11, the Oregon Employment Department received 53,800 initial claims for unemployment benefits. That’s in addition to a revised total of 243,000 initial claims filed during the prior three weeks.

Helping Oregonians

The Oregon Employment Department continues to prioritize efforts that can get the most benefits to the greatest number of affected Oregonians the fastest. With the first CARES Act payments on April 10, Oregon is among the early states getting an extra $600 per week to those out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the week of March 29 to April 4, the Employment Department paid $23 million in benefits to Oregonians. During the week of April 5 to April 11, that more than quadrupled to $97 million in benefits paid. More benefits measures are on the agency’s COVID-19 page.

The Employment Department’s efforts continue with more hiring underway, and programming the unemployment benefits system for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Once ready, the PUA program will allow the self-employed, contract workers, and gig workers not already eligible to receive unemployment benefits for the first time.

The responsiveness of existing agency employees transitioning from other program areas to take claims, efforts to rapidly hire new staff, and launching new programs has resulted in getting much-needed benefits to more Oregonians in difficult times. These results come despite the agency’s reliance on a dated mainframe system to process unemployment benefits. The Employment Department will continue to examine opportunities to improve services to Oregonians, such as waiving the “waiting week” for benefits. As of now, waiving the waiting week requires thousands of hours of programming, and would delay processing record numbers of claims that are getting benefits to Oregonians who need them now.

Initial Claims

The Employment Department has detailed information for 47,700 of the initial claims processed during the week starting April 5. The leisure and hospitality sector, which includes hotels and restaurants, continued to see the greatest number of initial claims for unemployment benefits (12,300). This reflects ongoing impacts of public health and safety measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 15, there have been about 52,900 initial claims filed in the leisure and hospitality sector. Health care and social assistance (25,800) and retail trade (19,700) are other sectors with large totals of initial weekly claims in the past four weeks, but every sector has seen additional claims activity.

Multnomah (10,200), Washington (6,000), and Lane (4,600) also continued to be the counties with the largest number of claims. More initial claims data by industry and area can be found on the QualityInfo.org COVID-19 page.


First Interstate Bank Donates $25,000 to Oregon Food Bank

During COVID-19 Crisis

SBJ Newsroom: — For more than a decade, First Interstate Bank has supported and worked with Oregon Food Bank (OFB). In recent years, that support has grown to provide hundreds of thousands of meals to our neighbors in need. Amid the current COVID-19 health crisis, First Interstate and its Foundation stepped up again with a special $25,000 donation to help the OFB support those struggling with food insecurity during this challenging time.

Susannah Morgan, OFB CEO, shared just how important partnerships are during this time. “Community support is always vital to our work,” she explained. “In the face of a pandemic, the financial assistance we receive from individuals and organizations like First Interstate Bank helps us continue our work toward ending hunger for good."

OFB has seen a 30% increase in need for food services during this unprecedented situation and has already helped fund more than $400,000 in local grants to front-line Partner Agencies, ensuring access to food is still flowing. OFB is working to adapt distribution methods to ensure social distancing and CDC-recommended hygiene protocols are implemented while handling food. Efforts are also being made to ensure school-based pantries stay open.

“The mission of the OFB is one of charity, community support, kindness, and service,” said Kelly Bruggeman, Executive Director of the First Interstate Foundation. “Our core values at First Interstate align to support the good work already happening here, and we’re honored to lend a hand.”

First Interstate has also been instrumental, via its annual Neighbors Feeding Neighbors campaign, in supporting the OFB, totaling $50,000 in donations in 2018 and 2019. Launched in 2009 by the First Interstate Foundation, Neighbors Feeding Neighbors was created to focus resources on food insecurity, one of the most pressing issues facing our communities. During the third quarter of each year, the Foundation doubles its match of money and time donated by its employees to charitable organizations that provide food to neighbors in need. This year, First Interstate decided to start the Neighbors Feeding Neighbors program a quarter earlier to help our neighbors when they need it most. First Interstate plans to keep this campaign in place throughout 2020.

“Because we believe in stepping up during difficult times, First Interstate has solidified its annual commitment to once again donate 2% of our net income before taxes to nonprofits serving those in need across our footprint,” Bruggeman added.

Last year, this totaled more than $5.2 million.

To further support and provide relief to both individuals and businesses, First Interstate has created a number of programs to address multiple challenges arising in the current climate.


“We encourage clients and nonprofits to reach out to their local branch or banker for guidance on financial support tools available,” said Tawnie Nelson, First Interstate Regional President. “We’re here to help and are all in this together.”


County Commissioners Approve Additional Grant Funding for Small Businesses

 SBJ Newsroom - Today, the Marion County Board of Commissioners announced additional funding for the Small Business Grant Program for businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. The county partnered with Willamette Workforce Partnership (WWP) to receive and process applications.

On April 1, 2020, the county approved use of $200,000 in lottery funding for grants of up to $5,000 to qualifying small businesses in Marion County on a first come, first serve basis. Grant applications were accepted beginning at noon on April 9, 2020, and due no later than noon April 10, 2020.

Willamette Workforce Partnership received an overwhelming response receiving more than 1,000 requests in the 24-hour application window. In the first few minutes, WWP received enough applications to exhaust the available funds and is distributing grants to 102 businesses with average amounts of $2,000-$2,500 starting today.

In order to help as many businesses as possible, this morning the commissioners authorized an additional $800,000 in lottery funding to provide additional grants. Businesses that submitted applications, and meet eligibility requirements, will receive a $1,000 grant to meet short term needs as businesses begin to receive federal stimulus and other available business funding.

Commissioner Colm Willis, board chair, said, "Marion County is committed to helping our business community as we all navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority is to ensure the health and well-being of Marion County's residents - including the financial well-being of local businesses." He continued, "Our economic development staff will continue to provide resources and technical assistance to businesses as they weather this storm. Small businesses are the heart of our economy here in Marion County and we are proud to stand with them during this crisis."

Marion County is thankful for the collaboration with Willamette Workforce Partnership and appreciates their dedication and commitment to our business community. Businesses who qualified and under the initial first come, first serve process can expect to receive checks in the next few days. WWP and Marion County staff is continuing to process the remaining applications and will distribute funds on a rolling basis.


The Economics of the Novel Coronavirus [COVID-19] Pandemic Explained

As the coronavirus continues its march around the world, governments have turned to proven public health measures to physically disrupt the contagion.

SBJ Newsroom -- In this uncharted territory, naming the crisis a global recession adds little clarity beyond setting the expectation of negative growth. Pressing questions to include the path of the shock and recovery, whether  economies will be able to return to their pre-shock output levels and growth rates, and whether there will be any structural legacy from the coronavirus crisis.

This didn’t look good even a few weeks ago. As the virus began to spread, politicians, policymakers, and  markets, informed by the pattern of historical outbreaks, looked on while the early (and thus more effective and less costly) window for social distancing closed. Now, much further along the disease trajectory, the economic costs are much higher, and predicting the path has become nearly impossible, as multiple dimensions of the crisis are unprecedented and unknowable.

The window for social distancing — the only known approach to effectively address the disease — is short. In Hubei province, it was missed, but the rest of China was sure not to miss it. In Italy, the window was missed, and then the rest of Europe missed it too. In the U.S., still constrained by insufficient testing, the early window was also missed. As the disease proliferates, social-distancing measures will have to be enacted more broadly and for longer to achieve the same effect, choking economic activity in the process.


Another wave of infections remains a real possibility, meaning that even countries that acted relatively quickly are still at risk every time they nudge their economies back to work. Indeed, we have seen some resurgence of the virus in Singapore and Hong Kong. In that sense, history will tell if their early and aggressive responses paid off.

At present, the economic outlook for late actors looks bleak, having caught politicians, policymakers, and financial markets off guard. What happened in the last four weeks was not part of the risk calculation. Forecasts won’t help much here. For example, consensus estimates for initial unemployment claims in the U.S. were around 1.6 million this week, but the figure came in at 3.28 million — a historically unprecedented figure, about five times greater than the largest weekly increase in the global financial crisis. Notoriously unreliable at the best of times, forecasts look especially dubious now as there are simply too many unknowable aspects.


More Funding For Oregon

SBJ Newsroom: Unless Congress sends more funds to the states, the pain being felt by Oregonians will only increase. In the middle of dealing with a pandemic and an economic crash, Oregon will need to cut funding for health care, public safety, education, and services that protect the most vulnerable among us.

Only Congress has the means to contain the budget crisis about to slam Oregon and all other states. Unlike the federal government, Oregon cannot run a deficit. The state cannot spend more revenue than it collects. Recessions, however, cause revenue collection to dive. Without federal assistance, the state’s options during economic downturns are to spend reserves, cut funding to vital programs — just as more Oregonians turn to state services for help — or raise taxes.
Congress has so far failed to shore up state budgets. Tell Congress help is vital.
While the CARES Act, the most recent and largest federal relief package, includes some funding for pandemic related costs, it doesn’t provide states funding to protect essential public services. While the CARES Act contains helpful provisions, Oregon is entering what could be a bigger budget crisis than that experienced during the Great Recession.
Tell Congress: Shore up state budgets. Now.



SBJ Newsroom – The Oregon Small Business Development Centers (OSBDCN) are available to support businesses that need assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. These centers have expert advisers who are actively working with lenders and the Small Business Administration to understand the latest developments with the rapidly changing assistance programs. In addition, advisers can help businesses look at cashflow and other needs to get through this crisis. All SBDC services are currently offered virtually.

“If any business owner feels like they need help, call us, visit our website, bizcenter.org/centers to connect with their local center,” said Mark Gregory, state director of the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network. “Time is a precious commodity right now. The earlier we can help a business, the better the chances the business will survive.”
Federal programs like the Paycheck Protection Program through banks and the SBA, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL) are playing a critical role in helping businesses stay afloat. The state’s Workshare Program through the Oregon Employment Department is also helping businesses retain employees. SBDCs work with local businesses to connect them to the right resources. SBDC advisers, many of them former successful small business owners and bankers, understand both the needs and the available resources locally.
“We have never seen both a public health and economic crisis like this before. Businesses in our communities need vital assistance to make it through this difficult time. Our centers are here to help,” said Gregory. “We are hearing a lot of information about the federal assistance programs. The rollout of these programs has been challenging, and as a result processes are changing quickly. Our advisers have the latest information and resources to help.”
Business owners should visit https://bizcenter.org/centers to find their center and speak with an adviser.
Oregon’s Small Business Development Centers are the largest business assistance provider in Oregon. Centers are hosted at all 17 community colleges, Southern Oregon University and Eastern Oregon University. The Oregon SBDC Network is funded through a cooperative between the U.S. Small Business Administration, Business Oregon, and other private and public partners.
OSBDCN is hosted by Lane Community College in Eugene. Portland, Clackamas and Mt. Hood community colleges have robust SBDCs.
“We are moving our small business training online to build community and share resources, while learning together," said Tammy Marquez-Oldham, director of the PCC Small Business Development Center and Global Trade Center. "We are hopeful there are positive outcomes to be felt by small businesses while serving them virtually with advising, training, tools, strategy and access to resources and capital."
Clackamas Community College’s Small Business Development Center provides resources to help businesses start, grow or thrive. The SBDC provides classes and courses to help take a business to the next level, as well as confidential, one-on-one business counseling for free. Discounts are available for veterans. To learn more about CBI and SBDC visit www.clackamas.edu/cbi.
“One of the biggest things that can bring a community back together - and help pull Oregon out of any recession - is the success of small businesses,” Rob Campbell, SBDC director, said.


A Quarter of Realtors Report Homes Coming Under Contract Without Buyers First Visiting the Property

SBJ Newsroom – A quarter of Realtors® with clients putting contracts on homes this week had at least one do so without physically seeing the property, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors®. For those clients, the median amount of homes toured – either virtually or in person – before putting a contract on a home was just three. NAR’s 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found buyers typically looked at nine homes before placing a contract on a home.

“Expect second quarter home sales activity to slow down with the broad observance of stay-at-home orders, but sales will pick up when the economy reopens as many potential home buyers and sellers indicate they’re still in the market or will be in a couple of months” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Home prices remain stable as deals continue to happen with the growing use of new technology tools. Remarkably, 10% of Realtors® report the same level of or even more business activity now than before the economic lockdown.”
NAR’s latest Economic Pulse Flash Survey – conducted April 12-13, 2020 – asked members about how the coronavirus outbreak has impacted the residential and commercial real estate markets. Several highlights include:
A third of Realtors® – 33% – reported no closing delays. For those reporting delays, the top reasons listed included delays in financing, appraisals and home inspections.
Residential tenants are facing rent payment issues, but many delayed payment requests are being accommodated. Forty-one percent of property managers reported being able to accommodate tenants who cannot pay rent and about a quarter of individual landlords – 24% – said the same.
NAR also today released its 2020 Down Payment Expectations & Hurdles to Home Ownership report, which offers home buyer, consumer, and Realtor® perspectives on down payments and family involvement in the home buying process. Several highlights include:
Nearly a quarter of Millennials – 24% – received down payment assistance from a parent or relative.
A majority of Realtors® – 65% – said that in the last five years they’ve had clients receive down payment assistance from a parent or relative.
View NAR’s 2020 Down Payment Expectations & Hurdles to Home Ownership report here:
View NAR’s Economic Pulse Flash Survey full report here:
View NAR’s Weekly Housing Market Monitor here:
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.


Is Your Company’s Bench Deep Enough
During Difficult Times?

In the uncertain times that COVID-19 produced, business leaders were forced to face the fact that employees might not be available every day to do their jobs – either because of their own health concerns or because they were scrambling to make childcare arrangements because of school closings.
And, as the economy takes a hit, some businesses may even need to downsize, leaving the remaining workers to take on duties they are unprepared for and weren’t hired to carry out.
That’s one reason why it’s always a good idea to cross-train employees, allowing someone else to step in when circumstances necessitate it, says Bill Higgs, an authority on corporate culture and the ForbesBooks author of the Culture Code Champions: 7 Steps to Scale & Succeed in Your Business (www.culturecodechampions.com/training).
“Ultimately, you want everyone who works for you to broaden their knowledge and expand the scope of what they normally do,” says Higgs, a founder and former CEO of Mustang Engineering who recently launched the Culture Code Champions podcast.
“The result is a more efficient and productive workplace.”
In his younger days, Higgs was an Army Ranger, where the need to cross-train was inescapable.
“If you are on a critical military mission and someone goes down, another Ranger needs to take over that person’s duties,” Higgs says. “Otherwise, the mission would be scrapped.”
The average business day may not be as severely distressing as a military mission, but just as in the military, cross-training comes with benefits, he says. It prevents mistakes. It improves accuracy. It saves time. It saves money.
And each additional duty an employee can take on during uncertain times could make the difference on whether a project or order is completed on time, and whether missed deadlines leave customers unhappy, costing the business money – or even leading to it going out of business.
“Some business leaders may say they just can’t work in the time for cross-training because they and their employees are too busy,” Higgs says. “They probably are busy, but it needs to be a priority and they need to figure out a way to find the time. We’re probably seeing right now just how important it can be.”
A few suggestions he has for working cross-training in to harried schedules include: 

  • Make use of downtime. Few people are busy every minute, so take advantage of any downtime to slip in cross-training, Higgs says. “That way no one is just sitting around waiting for the next project,” he says. “At Mustang, for example, if an instrument engineer’s work slowed down, then we moved him or her over to automation or some other functional area that was related to, but slightly different from, the person’s regular job.”
  • Schedule time. “I’m skeptical when people tell me they don’t have any downtime, but let’s assume that’s so,” Higgs says. “Then I recommend you set aside time specifically dedicated to cross-training. It’s that important.” Figure out who you need to cross-train, he says, and find the areas of your business where cross-training will pay off the most.
  • Implement “lunch-and-learns.” Nearly everyone eats lunch or takes a break at mid-day, and that’s a great time to set up some lunch-and-learn times when someone in the company can teach others about what they do, Higgs says. “At Mustang, we even had vendors come in and talk about their products and services,” he says.

“An added bonus to cross-training is people who don’t normally interact are brought together and develop a better appreciation for what others do,” Higgs says. “That helps to create an even greater sense of team throughout the organization, which is especially important during difficult times like these when everyone needs to pull together.”


Future Trends in Banking and Fintech Industry
Photo source: Unsplash
Super Apps, Fast and goal-oriented development and simplified barriers for new market players are on the horizon for the Banking and Fintech sectors.
SBJ Newsroom: - Growing competition and rising customer expectations are pushing Banking and Fintech markets towards introducing interdisciplinary functionalities and focusing on fast and efficient internal operations, leading them to become more digitized in the overall process. Additionally, the growing interest in digital banking could ease market-entry for new challenger banks.

Anton Zujev, Head of Business Development at Fininbox, has elaborated on these three trends in Banking and Fintech sectors that will disrupt the industry in the near future.
The rise of banking super apps
Tech-savvy consumers are on the lookout for time-efficient solutions that would streamline their everyday tasks. With the growing number of e-wallets and other equivalents of digital fund keeping, the need for collection of payments by a single source is becoming more apparent.
The concept of a super app – a single platform that facilitates different services – is still relatively new. However, providing consumers with a solution that would seamlessly combine financial operation handling with the possibility to carry out trivial everyday tasks, such as ordering food, would attract wider audiences and could strengthen the company’s position in the market.
“Banks should be able to offer more than just banking to remain competitive,” says Mr. Zujev. “Consumers want multidisciplinary functionality: banks that are aware of this will use the opportunity to position themselves as a “one-stop-shop” solution for their clients’ needs, especially as they have the resources to do so.”
One of the biggest challenges for such an app is overcoming the mistrust barrier, as it has to convince consumers of its capability to provide secure transactions. For this reason, banks have the upper hand in the matter, as they have already established a sense of authority by handling millions of financial operations every day.
“Customers have already entrusted banks with their finances, therefore the latter can avert the complex process of building the brand’s image entirely from the ground up, unlike new players entering the market,” stated Mr. Zujev.
Fast and goal-orientated development
The rate at which new features are being developed has become just as important as coming up with new ideas in general. “Banks should not only continue innovating – they should be doing it fast, or at least faster than others, if they want to succeed,” stated Mr. Zujev.
By embracing digitalization, banks can optimize their processes to keep up with the rapidly evolving industry and growing customer needs. Therefore, it is expected that the majority of routine operations will be moved to the cloud, thus increasing the functionality, flexibility and pace of banking operations.
Additionally, cloud-native technology could enhance customer experience as digital product reduces costs for consumers as well as banks: clients will have the opportunity to pay-as-they-go, and only for the services they need, in return enabling banks to control cost expenditure.
Simplified barriers for new market players
Until now, challenger banks have been struggling to grow beyond a “glass ceiling”, as the need to upkeep security protocols to ensure data integrity has driven up costs immensely, thus forfeiting the competitive edge to traditional corporations. “Banking is not a very closed off industry, although it requires a lot of investments to establish a presence in the market,” says Mr. Zujev.
Banking SaaS will change the current industry landscape by tearing down barriers and making way for new challenger banks. Utilizing a digital banking infrastructure, such as offered by Fininbox, enables to cut costs by eliminating the need to develop complex systems from the ground up. Consequently, such an approach requires less human capital to maintain business, as a large part of responsibilities, such as innovation development and cyber security, fall onto the third party. This allows to direct resources to other areas, for example, talent acquisition, business development and marketing, thus increasing the probability of establishing and securing a place in the market.


Comment on Governor’s Framework for Reopening Oregon

Small businesses welcome the conversation, need to be included

SBJ Newsroom: April 14, 2020—Comment from Anthony Smith, Oregon state director for NFIB, the nation’s leading small-business advocacy association, on today’s announced framework for reopening Oregon’s economy.

“Small businesses welcome the start of a conversation surrounding the reopening of Oregon’s economy. In order to make informed decisions, small businesses need reliable information from their elected leaders, and they need to be included in the conversation. Every day that passes without certainty is a missed opportunity to save our homegrown Oregon businesses – and all the jobs that go along with them. 

“We need to know what the measurables are, so that businesses can be a part of the recovery solution. Without a clear light at the end of the tunnel, more and more small businesses are going to have to shut down permanently. Nobody wants to see that happen.”


Salem Area Hotels Help Out During COVID-19 Pandemic

Hotel Staff Collect & Deliver 2,500+ Bars of Soap for Care Kits

SBJ.news- Representatives from the Salem Area Lodging Association (SALA) collected and donated more than 2,500 bars of soap to assist the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) as they try to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The soap will be included in small care kits, which will be utilized by DHS frontline staff as well as families in need across the state.

Shannon Biteng, trauma informed care & resiliency program manager with DHS|OHA Occupational Health, Safety and Emergency Management reached out to Scott Snyder, president of SALA and general manager of the Grand Hotel in Salem, to ask the hotels for help. Scott contacted the SALA partners and together, they quickly rounded up and delivered the soap.

“When this request was made, it coincided with Child Abuse Prevention Month. The visits that DHS staff are making to families all over Oregon could be incredibly impactful on the welfare of a child or spouse that may become a victim of domestic abuse. This opportunity resonated with our local hoteliers and seemed like the right thing to do,” said Snyder.

 “All of us at the Oregon Department of Human Services sincerely thank the Salem Area Lodging Association for this incredible donation of thousands of soap for our dedicated frontline staff and the people we serve,” said Fariborz Pakseresht, director of the Oregon Department of Human Services. “Washing our hands often with soap and water is one of the most important steps we can take to stay healthy. It is essential that we keep each other safe from the COVID-19 virus and this donation will help us do that so we can continue to serve those who need our help,” he added.

Hotels that provided soap included the Best Western PLUS Mill Creek Inn, the Grand Hotel in Salem, Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Salem and the Residence Inn Salem.


During these challenging times, we ask for your prayerful support for those we serve and our work force - our counselors, administrators, personal agents, community health workers, and especially for our direct support professionals, who provide life-sustaining, compassionate care 24-7 to individuals who experience disabilities and fragile health.

Your Support Matters

We are pleased to announce our new partnership with PacificSource Health Plans. PacificSource and its foundation are providing critical funding to support the neighborhood-based services provided by our Community Health Workers. "The support from PacificSource is a game changer," said CCS Chief Executive Officer Josh Graves. "It allows us to expand crucial services aimed at strengthening families and communities with a prevention approach..."

We are happy to report that hundreds of our neighbors in need are receiving much needed food and supplies through Mission Benedict in Mount Angel and the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank at the Seymour Center on Portland Road. A big thank you to all the donors and volunteers who are helping to keep these essential services open and operating!

There are still plenty more families in need.

Donate Now

To donate from the above list, please drop off items to:

925 S Main St. Mount Angel, OR 97362

It is with great joy that we share that Father Charles Taaffe's chalice and paten have been found. More than a decade after Father's death, his chalice and paten set, still in its black casing, were found on Market Street in Salem. An anonymous person found and brought the set to Bob Weber, President of Blanchet Catholic School, located on Market Street.

 The CCS Life Fund has been established to sustain the Seymour Center as a collaborative collocation space for education, health and social services. This real estate pooled income fund creates income for an investor's life while leaving a legacy to strengthen families facing adversity such as housing instability, hunger or raising children with special needs.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are saddened to announce we will be rescheduling our 16th Annual St. Joseph the Worker Fundraising dinner. The dinner was initially scheduled for Sunday, May 3rd at the St. Mary Parish Center in Mt. Angel. We will announce a new date as soon as possible.

Thank you so much to our dedicated sponsors. We hope to be able to see you all soon. To sponsor or donate to St. Joseph Family Shelter, visit our website.

From all of us at Catholic Community Services, we would like to wish you all a

Blessed Easter Season!

May the blessings and grace of this Easter Season linger in your heart forever.


Helping Restaurants Build Digital Life Boats with Paycheck Protection Program

Company launches initiative to help restaurants repurpose staff for delivery during COVID-19

 SBJ Newsroom:   American engagement platform provider ShiftPixy, today announced the company’s initiative to catalyze digital infrastructure reinforcement and human capital management repurposing for multi-unit restaurant operators during the COVID-19 pandemic by leveraging the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) small business loans. As some of the hardest hit businesses by the global pandemic, restaurants across the country have been forced to furlough or lay off most, if not all, of their employees in addition to closing their dining rooms. Further, many restaurants lack the proper delivery infrastructure to adapt to the current environment. The rollout of the PPP, offering two-year, forgivable loans, has created a unique opportunity – a life boat of sorts – for restaurants to invest in repurposing their staff to better serve delivery demand, which ShiftPixy is uniquely positioned to immediately assist in implementing.


“Despite these difficult, unprecedented times, the PPP loan program offers a glimmer of hope for restaurants as these funds can offer operators the chance to rebuild their business even while their dining rooms are closed, by repurposing their dining staff as delivery drivers,” said Scott Absher, CEO and Co-founder of ShiftPixy. “At ShiftPixy, we understand the digital demands of such a drastic pivot and are committed to helping restaurants leverage their greatest asset – their staff – in a new way that avoids third-party delivery commissions that eat into their revenues.”

While third-party delivery companies face uncertainty on both employee designation and increased demand, ShiftPixy is working with restaurants across the country to deploy their current staff as delivery drivers. In addition to avoiding unnecessary commissions, restaurants can maintain better brand control and ensure a superior customer experience by repurposing staff for native delivery.

 “Tough times don’t last, tough people do, and we’re helping restaurants showcase that,” Absher concluded.



SBJ Newsroom – An Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) state forests advisory group will meet Friday, April 24 virtually via Zoom to learn about upcoming state forest planned timber harvests and activities and receive an update on the agency’s operations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The State Forests Advisory Committee will meet at 9 a.m. via the Zoom virtual meeting platform. Instructions to view or listen to the meeting will be posted along with the full meeting agenda at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Board/Pages/SFAC.aspx. The meeting’s agenda focuses on planned state forest activities for fiscal year 2021.

There will be opportunity for public comment; currently this is scheduled for the end of the meeting at approximately noon. Requests for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. Questions about accessibility or special accommodations for the meeting can be directed to the Oregon Department of Forestry at 503-945-7427.

SFAC’s role

The State Forests Advisory Committee (SFAC) includes citizens and representatives of timber, environmental and recreation groups. SFAC provides a forum to discuss issues, opportunities and concerns, and offer advice and guidance to ODF on the implementation of the Northwest Oregon State Forests Management Plan. The plan provides guidance for managing 616,000 acres within the Tillamook, Clatsop and Santiam State Forests, and several scattered state-owned forest tracts in Benton, Polk, Lincoln and Lane counties through a balanced approach to generate revenue while prioritizing environmental and social benefits.



SBJ Newsroom: - Individuals, organizations, and projects that have made outstanding contributions to preserving Oregon heritage will receive Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards.
Awards recognize action over and above the call of duty. “The award recipients represent the extraordinary efforts to preserve Oregon’s heritage,” said Beth Dehn, coordinator for the Oregon Heritage Commission. “They also serve as models for others on how to develop new ideas, approaches, and innovations.”
The recipients are:
-- Astoria YMCA Restoration Project, for excellence in façade restoration of a nearly abandoned building and honoring the building’s civic roots in reuse.
-- Black Butte Cupola Restoration Project, for a collaborative historic preservation effort between Friends of the Metolius and Deschutes National Forest to restore and preserve the 1922 look-out structure.
-- Brookside Pioneer Cemetery,* for creating a cemetery preservation plan, documenting conditions, and repairing over 121 headstones to their original upright positions.
-- Janice Dilg, scholar, public historian, and history builder who uncovers diverse voices of resistance, particularly related to Oregon’s women’s history.
-- David Ellis, for a distinguished 50-year career preserving Oregon’s archaeological, ethnohistoric, and historic resources and encouraging Tribal participation in cultural resources management.
-- Eileen Fitzsimons, for dedicated statewide work on heritage projects preserving Oregon’s history, including devotion to historic trails, the Oregon Quilt Project, and local history.
-- Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project, a grassroots Federal/State/Local partnership in public archaeology helping to rewrite the role of the Chinese diaspora and Chinese Oregonians in the history of the state.
-- Don Peting, founder of PNW Field School and central figure at UO Historic Preservation Program for 40 years who has created a ripple effect through those he has taught.
-- Racing for Change- The Eugene Story, a partnership between Oregon Black Pioneers and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History that prioritized community outreach and input to tell a local story about race relations in Eugene.
-- Phyllis Zegers, a dedicated volunteer who has researched over 3,360 unclaimed cremated remains in the custody of the Oregon State Hospital and assisted in reuniting approximately 573 urns with family members.

 *Sally Donovan Award for Historic Cemetery Preservation

The Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards are a project of Oregon Heritage, part of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. This year’s awards were planned to be presented in conjunction with the Oregon Heritage Conference on April 24, 2020. The event has been canceled in response to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Oregon Heritage is committed to honoring the hard work and accomplishments of the award winners and will announce an award event once it is confirmed.


Amtrak Teams with Transportation Partners Across the Country to #SoundTheHorn to Honor All Essential Workers

Coalition of transportation agencies join in solidarity to honor heroic workers across the country by giving two horn blasts at 3:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 16

NEW YORK – Amtrak is collaborating with transportation partners nationwide to honor all of the heroic transportation and other essential workers across the country with the #SoundTheHorn campaign - a coordinated effort to simultaneously sound vehicle horns at 3:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 16.

Partners supporting the cause throughout the country include the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, NJ TRANSIT, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the Northeast, SEPTA and the Maryland Transit Administration in the Mid-Atlantic region, MBTA in New England, Memphis Area Transit Authority in the South, Metra, PaceBus and NICTD in the Midwest and Metrolink and AC Transit on the West Coast.

As a tribute to the essential workers on the front lines of this public health crisis, including transportation workers, every Amtrak train in service across the country, and several thousand trains and buses running in service nationwide, will give two one-second horn blasts in solidarity with partner agencies. Heroic transportation workers continue to provide critical service for heroic healthcare workers, first responders, childcare workers, grocery store employees and other heroes who are performing critically essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every hero deserves to be recognized and thanked for their courage, selflessness and the help they are providing to this country during this time,” said Amtrak Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating and Commercial Officer Stephen Gardner. “We are proud to participate with our partners and ‘sound our horns’ by honoring and thanking all of the heroes across the nation who continue their essential and heroic service.”

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to recognize and thank essential employees working throughout Oregon’s transportation system,” said ODOT Director Kris Strickler. “These individuals are on the front-line, providing critical services to help us get through the COVID-19 challenges. By joining with others across the country in this campaign, we’re making our message loud and clear: ‘We couldn’t do it without you.’”

 “The San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA) and Amtrak San Joaquins staff are committed to continuing to provide essential transportation for Californians and to #SoundTheHorn on Thursday along with our regional partners,” said SJJPA Executive Director Stacey Mortensen. “While we continue to navigate this challenging environment, we understand that services like the San Joaquins continue to provide connectivity to many Californians including essential workers and others in need of alternative transportation options. We thank all the region’s transportation workers for their incredible commitment and service.”

 “We are grateful for the onboard crew and all other transit staff who come to work each day to perform essential duties," said Al Murray, chairman of the Los Angeles–San Diego–San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency, which oversees the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner service. "These people work to move essential personnel including our region's hospital workers and first responders, and we commend their tireless efforts to provide this vital public service."

"We are incredibly grateful to all of the frontline staff who continue to serve those passengers who rely on our service every day," said Managing Director of the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, Rob Padgette. "Without the vital work they do on board our trains, at stations, and in the maintenance yards, we would not be able to provide the core level of service needed for essential workers to travel within Northern California."

“AC Transit’s hero’s neither wears a cape nor costume,” said General Manager, Michael Hursh. “Instead, our hero’s suit up in personal protective equipment, each day, to ensure that the most vulnerable in our communities continue to have access to life essentials: doctors, groceries, and paychecks. We now know, our Bus Operators, Mechanics, Service Employees, and Road Supervisors are helping local healthcare workers arrive at treating facilities to battle COVID-19. We are witnessing American courage and bravery personified, so #SoundTheHorn is the least we can collectively do to honor the quiet daily heroism of transit professionals.”

“I am so thankful to the essential workers, including our own, that are dedicated during these challenging times to keep our communities functioning,” said Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “We are blowing our horns to observe their service as we help those who are helping others by getting them to work and the places they need to go. At the same time, we support the message of health and government officials to the community: If you can stay home, please do. If you need transportation for an essential function, Metrolink is here.”


Withnell Dodge Ram of Salem Achieves Specialized Ram Agriculture Truck Dealer Status to Better Serve Area Farmers

 SBJ Newsroom — Withnell Dodge Ram of Salem has completed the stringent requirements to become an official RAM Agriculture Dealership to help them better understand the specific requirements that farmers, ranchers and growers need for the trucks on their agricultural operations.

 The Ram Agriculture Dealership designation enables them to offer a specialized AgPack package to farmers and growers that provides a first ever return on their truck investment. The AgPack partner offerings are worth thousands of dollars to farm customers and lets the 38,500 Oregon farmers, ranchers and growers know the dealership understands the uniqueness of agriculture.

 Those who purchase a new Ram truck from Withnell Dodge can then access AgPack. This truck industry exclusive AgPack package includes: 

  • Special financing from AgDirect®, powered by Farm Credit®, offering flexible payment terms to match a farm’s income stream.
  • Exclusive rebates on Michelin & BF Goodrich tires – from tractors to trucks to toys, potential savings worth more than $5,000
  • 25% off MSRP on Rhino Ag Products plus a gift card valued between $100-200
  • Ram exclusive 5-10% under dealer cost direct from Dixie Chopper on their entire line of commercial mowers
  • A $1,000 seed corn or $250 soybean seed rebate from NK Seed
  • 1-year subscription to AgriEdge, valued at $5,000
  • $1,000 credit towards AgroLiquid Crop Nutrition
  • $1,000 toward a new Reinke Irrigation system and $500 towards parts on any existing Reinke system
  • Unlimited Ram exclusive discounts on many Gallagher Livestock products
  • Ram exclusive after purchase rebates up to $350 on EBY truck bodies and uplifts
  • Ram exclusive after purchase rebates up to $1,000 on EBY trailers - stock, equipment, or grain
  • Ram exclusive after purchase rebates up to $500 on EBY flatbeds and truck upfits 

Plus, all these benefits can be stacked on top of any manufacturer or dealer incentives currently being offered. To see this exclusive offer only available through a Ram Agriculture Dealership go to: https://www.ramagdealer.com/ 

To become part of this elite dealer group as a Ram Agriculture Dealership, Withnell Dodge was required to select a minimum of three team members to successfully complete an agricultural training program, created by farmers and ranchers, that has been peer reviewed for agricultural and educational correctness, and carries several industry endorsements. The agriculture specialists at Withnell Dodge include Matt McCowan, Eric Jacobson, Bo Weatherford, Tim Freer and Matt Winger. 

With the initial curriculum complete, Withnell Dodge will also now participate in continuing education that extends their knowledge of everything important to Oregon agriculture, as it happens in real time. Ongoing education, combined with what the ag specialists learned through the Ag Awareness curriculum, will allow this dealership to become an educated partner with area agriculture by pro-actively anticipating and meeting the changing demands of its family of agricultural customers. 

To learn more about the program call any of the Ram Agricultural Specialists at 503-610-2095. Or stop by and visit them at 2650 Commercial SE, Salem, Oregon or the web site at www.ramagdealer.com/ram-agpack-promo


A Salem native, Kara worked in customer service most of her life. Either as a server in local restaurants, in retail, or in office and reception settings. Having always had a passion for helping others, Kara wanted a career with a more personal connection. She left the corporate
world and daily grind for work in Home Care and managing her business, offering financial
protection plans.She feels thankful that she is able to make a living helping others, while
enjoying the freedom and flexibility of owning a debt free business.
Kara considers herself a people person and says she is motivated by peoples progress. Being a single mom she understands the struggles that many people in our community are facing, as well as the importance of teaching the next generation how to gain financial wellness.  “The more people I am able to help and the more success stories I am a part of, the more excited I am to continue sharing the program with others!”
Kara’s mission is to support and lift up her community by helping people gain financial literacy because this is something that will not only benefit our community today, but into the future as well. “My five year plan is to expose as many people as possible to the information, by building a strong team of agents with a local presence and a common goal. A goal to continue growing this organization so we can continue to financially help not only our community, but our neighbors and friends across the country as well. My colleagues and I working together to improve the lives of others while adding to the economic impact of the community.”
For more information or to schedule a consultation: Phone- 971-373-1737 or visit


Paycheck Protection Program PPP

Funder Organization: Bank funded, guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA)

Program URL: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

Type of Fund: SBA 100% Guaranteed Loan

Target Audience or Geography: United States (all areas)

Estimated Time of Arrival for Public Rollout:

  • Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
  • On Wednesday, April 3rd, 2020 SBA released interim guidance for the program: https://www.sba.gov/document/policy-guidance--ppp-interim-final-rule

Brief Program Description

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone.

Bank Lenders (see Application Submittal Process shown below) originate the PPP loan directly to the borrower and this loan is 100% guaranteed by SBA.

Borrower does not pay any fees.

Determining Loan Amount:

Step 1: Aggregate payroll costs from the last twelve months for employees whose principal place of residence is the United States.

Step 2: Subtract any compensation paid to an employee in excess of an annual salary of $100,000 and/or any amounts paid to an independent contractor or sole proprietor in excess of $100,000 per year.

Step 3: Calculate average monthly payroll costs (divide the amount from Step 2 by 12).

Step 4: Multiply the average monthly payroll costs from Step 3 by 2.5.

Step 5: Add the outstanding amount of an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020, less the amount of any “advance” under an EIDL COVID-19 loan (because the “advance” does not have to be repaid).


To Mid-Willamette Valley Small Business Owners:

SBJ Newsroom: At the request of Governor Brown’s Regional Solutions Coordinator, a group of regional economic development partners has been formed to encourage efficient information sharing with the business community as resources are developed to help mitigate financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This CORE group (Coordinated Organizations for Recovery Efforts) is composed of the regional representatives of Mid-Valley Regional solutions, Business Oregon, the Willamette Workforce Partnership, the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments, the Chemeketa Small Business Development Center and SEDCOR. We want to inform you that a new resource has now been made available to help Oregon businesses.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal Emergency Impact Disaster Loans (EIDL) to small business and nonprofits for working capital who are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties and statewide.

  • The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses.
  • The interest rate for private, non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent.

These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Potential applicants can choose from one of the two options below:

  • For those businesses that do not need extra assistance and want to go straight to the loan

application you can find it here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

  • For those businesses who need help with applying for the loan please contact us at

EIDLoan@sedcor.com. If you have specific question(s), please include them in the email for quicker turnaround. We are working to develop technical resources based on the demand for assistance.

We also encourage businesses to first contact your local banking institution as it may be offering new programs and resources to help business customers facing substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus.

Thank you and please take care,

Jody Christensen, Mid-Valley Regional Solutions

Celia Nunez, Chemeketa Small Business Development Center

Kim Parker-Llerenas, Willamette Workforce Partnership

Renata Wakeley, Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments


As communities throughout Marion and Polk counties respond to school closures and challenges related to COVID-19, meals are available for kids through local school districts. See below for information for your school district.

Cascade School District
Gervais School District
Jefferson School District
Mt. Angel School District
North Marion School District
North Santiam School District
Salem-Keizer Public Schools (Hours extended from 11a-1p)
Silver Falls School District
St. Paul School District
Woodburn School District
Central School District
Dallas School District


What You Can Do to Help Your Hungry Neighbors Today

If you are looking for a way to help your neighbors as our community responds to COVID-19, here are some things you can do. 

  • Donate to provide food to your hungry neighbors: Give Now.
  • Donate non-medical face masks for our staff and Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers. Donations can be delivered starting Monday, April 13th, to the Food Share warehouse, 1660 Salem Industrial Dr. NE, Salem, OR 97301.  A food barrel will be placed outside our main office doors to allow for proper social distancing.
  • We have had an incredible response from the community to our request for new volunteer Meals on Wheels drivers. If you are interested, please sign up now, and we’ll contact you when new training sessions are available.
  • We have temporarily suspended warehouse volunteering. We encourage you to sign up today and we will connect with you when volunteering resumes.
  • Call your local food pantry to ask if they need volunteers

Across Marion and Polk counties, the need for food assistance is increasing.

Since the start of the COVID-19 health crisis, 80% of Marion Polk Food Share’s partner food pantries have seen increases in client visits. A third of those said the increase was more than 50%. We expect the need for food assistance to grow as this crisis continues. Most food pantries in Marion and Polk counties are staying open to serve their neighbors. They are changing distribution methods to keep people safe, with adjustments like serving pre-packed food boxes, delivering to cars, serving in parking lots, and implementing other social distancing practices.

More Seniors need Meals on Wheels

New client sign-ups at Meals on Wheels are coming in at four times the regular rate.  Thankfully, more than 140 people have volunteered and attended training to be new drivers. We have been holding daily trainings, in groups of 10 or less.  Drivers are knocking on doors, making visual contact, and then leaving meals outside to minimize the risk for everyone, but they’re still delivering about 550 meals each day.



 April 10, 2020

Oregon Receives 78 Pallets of PPE from the United States Agency for International Development

SBJ Newsroom—The State of Oregon received a shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today, replenishing the state’s stockpiles of critically needed N95 masks and other PPE. Masks, face shields, gloves and other PPE are vital tools in the state's ability to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and help ensure frontline health care workers have the equipment they need to stay safe.

The shipment of 78 pallets includes N95 masks, scrubs, coveralls, and face shields. The materials will need to go through the inventory process before the state can report exact totals, but the state expects approximately 150,000 N95 masks, 2,500 scrubs pants, 2,000 scrubs tops, 250 coveralls, and nearly 67,000 face shields. The PPE distribution center in Wilsonville will ship the equipment to Oregon counties in need.

“In these unprecedented times, this large shipment of PPE will make a huge difference in Oregon’s ability to fight this outbreak. However, it’s clear that even this shipment will not be sufficient to meet the expected needs of our health care workers,” said Director of Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management Andrew Phelps. “While we continue to work with our state, federal, and private partners to procure as much PPE as we can, I urge Oregonians to continue practicing social distancing. Staying home supports first responders and frontline workers, and will ensure Oregon’s supply of PPE lasts longer.”

The PPE was procured from USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance warehouse based in Dubai. The U.S. has not utilized materials from this stockpile for a domestic emergency since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training and Department of Administrative Services will inspect and inventory the PPE. The PPE will then be allotted to counties based on population and number of active cases of COVID-19, and will be shipped out as quickly as possible. The counties will then distribute the PPE to first responders and health care workers on the front lines of treating this disease.

Due to a nationwide shortage and the vital need for PPE to keep health care workers safe, the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) is prioritizing the procurement and distribution of PPE across Oregon.



SBJ Newsroom:  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 was signed into law on March 27. The CARES Act allows payment of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). The Oregon Employment Department has started issuing these payments to eligible individuals as of April 10, 2020.

Oregonians who are already eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits and eligible for FPUC will receive two weekly payments; one for regular UI benefits, and an additional $600 payment. Individuals will be receiving FPUC benefits using the same payment method as their regular UI benefits for the week. FPUC payments will be paid for each week someone is eligible from March 29, 2020 through the week ending July 25, 2020. The $600 payments will be retroactive for those eligible for payments.

No additional action is needed to apply for or receive FPUC benefits. In order to receive the $600 benefit, an individual must have an existing Unemployment Insurance claim, continue claiming weekly benefits, and be eligible to receive benefits.

Individuals may receive FPUC if they are receiving unemployment benefits under one of the following programs:

  • Regular Unemployment Insurance;
  • Unemployment Insurance for Civilian Federal Employees (UCFE);
  • Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service Members (UCX);
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA);
  • Extended Benefits (EB);
  • Work Share Benefits, or Oregon’s Short-Time Compensation (STC) Program;
  • Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA); or the
  • Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program.

The Employment Department continues receiving guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor to implement the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program into its systems. The PUA benefits allow the self-employed, contract workers, and gig workers not already eligible to receive unemployment benefits for the first time. More information about the upcoming PUA program and all benefits associated with the CARES Act can be found on the Employment Department’s COVID-19 page.

To file an online claim for unemployment benefits, go to Oregon.gov/employ or call 1-877-FILE-4-UI. For help finding jobs and training resources, contact your local WorkSource Oregon center or go to WorkSourceOregon.org. Equal Opportunity program — auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.



This week, we at SEDCOR have been incredibly impressed (as we often are) by the willingness of our region's most unique and vital industries to work hard, get creative, and make things happen.

On Wednesday, we held our first-ever live webinar. Our audience heard from our partners from OMEP about what they are doing to guide manufacturers through these uncertain times while keeping their employees working and safe.

If you missed the webinar, you can view it here.

We also got to hear from our partners at Business Oregon and the Small Business Administration (SBA) about the work they are doing to help relieve some of the financial tensions most businesses are experiencing. Plus, we learned how manufacturers can use their current resources to produce much-needed personal protection equipment.

You can download their resources at our regularly updated COVID-19 Resource page.

We continue to hear stories about manufacturers using what the resources they have to do good. Clothing manufacturing are making protective garments, distillers are donating house-made hand sanitizer, and small businesses are making hundreds of face shields every day from rooms full of 3D printers.

But just as important as these are stories are the untold ones of our region's traded-sector businesses keeping their doors open, paying their employees, producing goods, having meetings, going to work, and working hard.

Thank you, everyone, for making our region a great place to live, work, and do business!





News Release from Marion County

Posted on FlashAlert: April 9th, 2020 1:52 PM

Salem, OR - In partnership with St. Edward’s Church in Keizer, Marion County is establishing a public donation site to gather food and household necessities for community members, as well as items for community partners that provide assistance to individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Items will be distributed directly to service providers or community members from the Health & Human Services food pantry established as the COVID-19 outbreak began.

The drive-thru site will open on Friday, April 10, 2020, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The church is located at 5303 River Road N, in Keizer. After tomorrow, donations will be accepted Mondays and Tuesdays each week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to help meet community needs.

The drive-thru process has been designed with social distancing measures for the safety of volunteers and the donating public. Please load items for donation in the back seat or trunk of your vehicle. Volunteers can then unload the items without making physical contact with drivers.

The donation site is accepting the following new, unopened, and unexpired items:

  • Food (peanut butter, tuna, canned fruit and veggies, oatmeal, pasta, spaghetti sauce, soups, rice, and beans)
  • Toilet paper
  • Diapers/pull-ups/wipes
  • Cleaning supplies (hand soap, dish soap, disinfectant spray, paper towels, garbage bags, and laundry detergent)
  • Personal items (feminine hygiene products, body soap, shampoo, and socks)
  • Pet food (dog and/or cat)
  • Packaged digital thermometers
  • Cloth masks (clean homemade cloth masks are acceptable)


SBJ Newsroom:  In response to new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cherriots is requiring all riders to wear a face mask or other facial covering before entering a bus beginning Friday, April 10. People, however, are encouraged to begin the practice immediately.

The CDC recommends that anyone leaving their homes should use face coverings such as a mask, scarf, or bandana to limit their potential exposure to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus and to prevent exposing others. Gov. Kate Brown also released a statement asking Oregonians to add wearing a homemade mask in public to the list of precautions.

Transit operators and all other Cherriots employees also will be required to wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth, beginning Friday.

“We take recommendations from the CDC, Oregon Health Authority, and the Governor seriously, which has led us to now require riders to wear face masks or other protective face coverings while riding our buses,” said General Manager Allan Pollock. “With everyone’s cooperation and compliance, we can continue to safely provide essential service to our community.”

Supervisory and security staff will monitor compliance with the face covering requirement. Riders who are not wearing a mask or facial covering, will not be allowed to board.

Other actions taken by Cherriots to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, include:

  • Provide drivers with gloves, hand-sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, masks, and face shields.
  • Employee Cleaning Teams are sanitizing vehicles during layovers at transit centers.
  • All vehicles in use are sanitized daily, including rails, stanchions, doors, grab handles, and wheel wells. The operator dash panels, steering wheel, and other touch points are being sanitized.
  • Twice daily, all buildings touch points such as door knobs, restrooms, fixtures, telephones, and chairs are being sanitized. TB Quat, which is a disinfectant that complies with OSHA's blood borne pathogen standard for disinfecting surfaces soiled with potentially infectious fluids, is added to mop water to sanitize floors.
  • Vehicles and buildings were deep cleaned this past weekend.
  • Shelter benches and touch points are being sanitized when facilities services workers stop to perform maintenance and cleaning.
  • Cherriots is enforcing a rear-door boarding and exiting only policy to put space between operators and riders.
  • At transit centers, spaces have been marked six feet apart where riders can stand while waiting for their bus.
  • Seating on buses is limited. Bus interiors have been measured and available seats are spaced for social distancing.
  • Cherriots closed the Customer Service lobby and windows. Staff members are available by telephone at 503-588-2877, by email at info@cherriots.org, and on social media channels. The Keizer Transit Center lobby is also closed.
  • The Administrative Offices and Del Webb Operations Center are closed to visitors. Staff members are available by email and telephone.
  • Staff who are working in District buildings are limited. Some tables and seating had been removed from the driver break rooms and placed in more spacious areas to allow for social distancing.

Local Comment on Yesterday’s SBET Report

NFIB calls for delaying Oregon’s news Corporate Activity Tax

SBJ Newsroom April 8, 2020—The following statement was issued by Anthony Smith, Oregon state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, following yesterday’s release of NFIB’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends report (aka the Optimism Index), which showed the largest monthly decline in the report’s 47-year history.

“We’re hoping that new federal programs, like the Paycheck Protection Program Loans, will keep small businesses afloat and their employees paid in the short-term, but we need to start looking at state-level solutions for what’s inevitably going to be a medium- and long-term cash flow problem for Oregon small businesses. An obvious choice would be to immediately delay the implementation of the new Corporate Activity Tax (CAT).

“The CAT is a brand-new tax on gross receipts, not profits. These dollars do not flow into the state’s general fund – they are dedicated to new spending programs that weren’t in place before this current public health emergency and the ensuing economic crisis. An estimated 40,000 businesses, employing hundreds of thousands of Oregonians, are subject to this new tax. If faced with paying the tax or keeping their employees on the payroll, what are these businesses supposed to do?”

About the Small Business Economic Trends (SBET)

The NFIB Research Center has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since the 4th quarter of 1973 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from NFIB’s membership. Except for this month, the report is released on the second Tuesday of each month. This survey was conducted in February 2020.

The SBET is one of the few archival data sets on small business, particularly when research questions address business operations rather than opinions. Today, it’s the largest, longest-running data set on small business economic conditions available, used by the Federal Reserve, presidential administrations, Congress, and governors and state legislatures across the nation as the gold standard measurement on the economic health of Main Street enterprises.

Click here to read yesterday’s national news release and here for a one-page history of the SBET. 

For more than 77 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.



SBJ Newsroom:  The CARES Act allocated $350B to provide business owners with relief to cover payroll, rent, mortgage and business utility expenses during this unprecedented time. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan provisioned through this bill provides 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

We're excited to share Heartland Capital is offering business owners access to lenders offering Paycheck Protection Program SBA-backed loans through our friends at Lendio. Best of all, If you use 75% of the loan for payroll expenses, it might be forgiven.

Forgiveness is equal to the sum of the following costs incurred and payments made during the 8-week period beginning on the origination date of the loan - but may be reduced proportionally should employees or wages be reduced in certain circumstances.

  • Payroll costs plus
  • Any payment of interest on a covered mortgage obligation (not including any prepayment or payment of principal on a covered mortgage obligation) plus
  • Any payment on any covered rent obligation plus
  • Any covered utility payment

Due to likely high subscriptions, it is anticipated that no more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for nonpayroll costs.

*The forgiveness amount may not exceed the principal amount of the PPP loan.

Contact Cristina VanKleek for more information at cristina.vankleek@e-hps.com or 971-239-8166.  She is your local Heartland Relationship Manager.



SBJ Newsroom. — While we cannot disclose personal medical information about any of our staff, we can confirm that members of our staff have tested positive for the Coronavirus.  We are working diligently to keep our community and our employees as safe as possible.  As we’ve heard from our public health agencies, the best way to reduce the spread of the virus is to stay home, and to practice social distancing when we must go out.   

Our City will continue to provide emergency response, public safety and other essential services, including water service to all customers. To do our part in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce opportunities for continued transmission of the virus, we’ve made changes to some of our programs and services.  Keep up to date on the latest changes on our website. 

We've also made provisions for employees to provide service to our community by working remotely where possible, and if needed, in offices with appropriate social distancing and separation. To help keep our community safe and continue sharing critical information to our community, we are re-purposing our staff and resources to essential services.

Because of the work we do, you will still see City workers in our community, providing much-needed City services. You can help keep yourself and City workers safe from COVID-19.  As a reminder, if you want to express your appreciation, please maintain the 6-foot required social distance when you do. Try a wave from a distance or a shouted "Thanks' from across the way. They'll appreciate your concern for their safety and that of their families. And you'll all be safer, too.

We are all in this together.  Please stay home, save lives.


Kickin’ Cancer (in the Donkey)

What is the best thing a woman can do to battle cancer?  Go running in the mud with dozens of enthusiastic supporters, of course.  That is exactly what Brenda Farris did at the suggestion of her brother, Baron Robison.  Along with supplements, Brenda is fighting metastatic breast cancer with diet and exercise.  She thought it would be an impressive display of her determination to beat it by participating in the Warrior Dash in Canby, OR.  She made the decision to do it in January 2018 and by May she, along with 42 other runners, wearing HOT pink t-shirts were covered in mud.  This bold, courageous plan attracted the attention of KGW’s Tracy Barry who produced a feature story for a Channel 8 news program that aired the beginning of March 2018.  (To get the link to Tracy Barry’s feature on KGW Channel 8, go to the home page of HelpTeamBrenda.com)

As Brenda was flying home to Mesa, AZ Baron realized her story, to stay alive, had actually inspired others to fight their own fight for their own reasons.  So in July 2018, Brenda and Baron formed HelpTeamBrenda, a business designed for fundraising along with promoting cancer awareness and educate people how to  ProActively  Prevent.  In Aug. 2018 Brenda returned to Oregon for a Spartan race and held a joint fundraiser for a coworker of Baron’s who was also dealing with breast cancer.  She returned again in October for another fundraiser to assist a family who had lost their father to brain cancer. In Dec.2018 HelpTeamBrenda partnered with MOD Pizza locations in Salem, Sherwood, Lake Oswego, and Milwaukie to fundraise for GoTeamMarissa that assisted Marissa Leigh in her struggle with breast cancer.

After the success of these fundraisers Baron realized it was time to create “WeAreTheSolution – United to Prevent” (WATSUP), as a Domestic Non-Profit Corporation in Oregon.  WATSUP’s mission is to: EMPOWER individuals to take control of their own bodies, so that cancer cases are significantly reduced, through ProActive Prevention.  WATSUP!’s movement is gaining speed as more people believe that there is a solution.  Their goal is to fund services that are needed, but are not being provided by other organizations.  WATSUP plans to make these “gap services” available for those combating cancer.  For example: the $500 per month Brenda spends on supplements that are not covered by her insurance.

For more inspiring stories go to Kicking-Cancer.org

Baron Robison can be reached at HelpTeamBrenda@gmail.com



Industry leaders and regulators champion workplace safety guidelines to protect public health

SBJ Newsroom – The Oregon Home Builders Association (OHBA) has partnered with the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) and the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) to develop a comprehensive list of COVID-19 jobsite safety recommendations.

The recommendations, which incorporate and build on the workplace safety recommendations issued by Gov. Kate Brown, include on-site checklists for construction workers, social distancing guidelines, and information about the importance of identifying site-specific safety captains.

“Every industry has a responsibility during this time of crisis to abide by the governor’s ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ order and deploy their own enhanced workplace safety procedures,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “We appreciate the active role the construction industry has taken in educating its workforce regarding jobsite best practices and in striving for 100 percent compliance with social distancing requirements. These efforts are critical to protecting public health and the safety of construction workers.”

In addition to developing a common set of jobsite safety recommendations, OHBA has developed a COVID-19 safety class available to contractors through Home Builders University. The class can be taken by contractors to earn continuing education credits in accordance with licensing requirements.

 The construction industry has been an active partner in sharing COVID-19 safety information and providing opportunities for construction workers to stay up to date on mitigation strategies,” said Chris Huntington, CCB’s administrator. “The construction industry’s responsiveness will go a long way toward making sure jobsites in Oregon remain safe.”

Earlier this year, OHBA and AGC partnered together to share best practices and discuss the latest COVID safety information while working proactively with CCB and OSHA. AGC has a well-established safety program and newly developed COVID-19 safety protocols and information specific to commercial construction.

Mike Salsgiver, executive director for Associated General Contractors (AGC), said his organization appreciates the partnerships.

“We have had a long-standing and positive working relationship with these agencies and OHBA,” he said, “and we recommit to making them even stronger going forward – especially during this time of sudden and substantial challenge in our industry.”

Both Oregon OSHA and CCB have published construction-specific COVID-19 response information on their websites to keep contractors up to date and ensure all workers on the jobsite follow COVID-19 safety procedures.

“I cannot imagine trying to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak without the support of these partnerships,” said Justin Wood, VP Fish Construction NW. “As president of OHBA, I appreciate the resources this partnership brings to the construction industry. The safety materials OHBA has developed helps my business continue to support affordable housing and provides a single place to get information that is unique for our residential builders.”

The OHBA has made all of its COVID-19 response resources available online at www.oregonhba.com. The resources are free to members and non-members. OHBA’s COVID-19 safety class is also available online at the Home Builders University website.

For more information about construction industry COVID-19 response measures, visit:
Oregon Home Builders Association webpage: www.oregonhba.com
Associated General Contractors webpage: http://www.agc-oregon.org
Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division webpage: www.osha.oregon.gov
Oregon Construction Contractors Board webpage: www.oregon.gov/ccb/


How To Take Fear Out Of The Workplace
By Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker

SBJ Newsroom: Fear. Uncertainty. A growing sense of panic every time the president delivers a national address about the far-reaching effects of the coronavirus.
Chatter around the workplace these days is filled with questions like: Will I get sick? Will I have a job tomorrow? Can I afford to pay my rent?
What can you do when you’re facing fear in the workplace? The good news is that you can turn to four key principles: transparency, financial discipline, trust and respect for people, and a forward-focused approachIf you want to take fear out of the workplace, consider the following steps:
Embrace transparency. “Open-book management” is the idea that everyone inside your organization will be taught to understand the numbers that drive its success. Many growing business owners can be reluctant to share the truth about the financials inside their business. But they don’t realize the kind of risks they take on by doing so. They take on the burden of keeping the business alive — solo. In many cases, CEOs and owners are forced to shut the doors of the business to the shock of their associates, who are then left to wonder if they could have done something to contribute to a different outcome.
That’s why it’s amazing what happens when you have the courage to share the news — good and bad — with your people. Treat them like adults. Get their attention directed toward what they can do to help — versus panicking. Plus, the more eyes you have on a problem, the more ideas you’ll have to solve it. It’s an automatic check-and-balance on the security of your business.
Discuss your cash position. It’s been frustrating over the past few years as we’ve watched startup companies under the guidance of universities, incubators, and even investors embrace the idea that the only way they could grow was to take on debt. Some of you may find yourselves in an over-leveraged position, but that can also be an opportunity to engage your workforce and tell them the truth about the situation. If you do find yourself in trouble, ask your associates for ideas about how they can contribute to cutting costs — and increasing cash flow to the point where you can actually cover your debt obligations. You’ll be amazed at what can happen when you teach your people the rules of the game.
Protect jobs. Attracting talent and retaining it can be tough. We don’t have a future without people. In the not-too-distant past, executives sometimes became idols when downsizing jobs became the new mantra, laying off people at a time they needed those jobs the most. Something similar could happen today. Difficult times can convince companies to resort to layoffs to survive. But it is wise to think differently. Whoever has the most talented workforce will dominate their markets as soon as 2021. The time to get your organization ready for the next upturn is today — not when it’s already arrived. By then, it may be too late.
Get ready for the upturn. As bad and as uncertain as things look today, here’s a secret: it’s actually harder to get a company ready to take advantage of an upturn than it is to prepare for a downturn. Downturns can actually be opportunities to fix things inside your business that you can’t afford to invest the time and resources in when the economy is booming. While it might seem counter-intuitive, the current down market comes as a kind of short-term relief.
It’s giving us a chance to catch up — to make investments in our people and facilities — and to prepare ourselves to capitalize on the economic uptick that we expect to hit in late-2020, early-2021. By then, our workforce should be more stable and productive — and ready to take full advantage of the available opportunities. They have every incentive to do so, because, as owners of the business, they have a true stake in the outcome.
We know how painful things are today. But there’s no reason you can’t also dare to be successful. And learning how to build a culture based on transparency, financial discipline, trust and respect for people, and a forward-focused outlook, is a great place to start removing the fear that’s pervading your workplace.


MENTOR and iCouldBe Launch Virtual Mentoring Portal

Free, secure platform provides social connection for young people, mentors during physical distancing 

SBJ newsroom – To ensure physical distancing does not mean social disconnection, MENTOR and iCouldBe launched the Virtual Mentoring Portal, a safe and monitored mentoring platform for mentors and mentees to continue their relationships while they may be separated due to COVID-19.

MENTOR has partnered with iCouldBe, one of the leading experts on virtual mentoring in the U.S. since 2000, to develop this free and supported tool. iCouldBe is a long-time national partner of MENTOR’s presenting regularly at the National Mentoring Summit and serving as an advisor on the E-Mentoring Supplement to the Elements of Effective Practice, the cornerstone publication for quality mentoring. The Virtual Mentoring Portal leverages an existing platform developed by iCouldBe to support teens with a structured, evidence-backed curriculum focused on academic success, post-secondary education, work experience, exploring future careers, and developing webs of support.

The Virtual Mentoring Portal provides two distinct options to mentoring programs (1) unstructured communications in the form of monitored email, or (2) structured communications in the form of a research-backed curriculum.  The Portal provides virtual mentoring access for existing mentees ages 13 and older, and their mentors – it has been constructed with respect to best practices, safety, and data privacy and is a direct response to the needs of youth-serving organizations nationwide while they navigate COVID-19 repercussions.

In a MENTOR survey of mentoring programs conducted in mid-March, more than 90 percent of respondents said a virtual mentoring tool would benefit them and the young people they serve.  For programs that had not yet made the transition to virtual mentoring, three of the common barriers included liability, access to a safe virtual platform, and funding for technology. The Virtual Mentoring Portal is designed to address those three key concerns. MENTOR is actively fundraising to ensure the Virtual Mentoring Portal remains a no-cost tool while organizations face extraordinary circumstances.

“In this time of physical distancing, relationships matter now more than ever to drive belonging, connection, and stability. We must ensure that physical distance does not lead to disconnection and disorientation,” said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. “Whether they are facing inconvenience or instability, young people need us to show up for them, and partnering with a long-time ally and proven expert iCouldBe to launch the Virtual Mentoring Portal provides a way for mentoring programs to support mentors and mentees in continuing to show up for each other.”

“The entire iCouldBe community was inspired to rally around our extended family of mentoring organizations when we saw they were looking for new ways to connect their mentees and mentors to avoid in-person meetings during this time of physical distancing.  My first thought was to reach out to MENTOR to collaborate on quick, scalable solutions,” said Kate Schrauth, Executive Director of iCouldBe. “MENTOR has the vision to provide real solutions in extraordinary times, the trust of the mentoring community and the relationships with the people who deliver amazing mentoring programs across the country every day. iCouldBe has the safe and monitored e-mentoring platform and online, evidence-based curriculum that we could quickly and efficiently make available to thousands of mentees and their existing mentors. Together, we are ready to do all we can to support mentees.”

At the time of launch, the Virtual Mentoring Portal saw interest from mentoring programs nationwide serving a collective 20,000 youth. Learn more about the Virtual Mentoring Portal at www.mentoring.org/VMP.



The Mid-Valley Angel Fund to fund up to four local startups. Applications due May 8.

SBJ Newsroom – The City of Salem has partnered with local community organizations to broaden the resources available for startups in Salem. Seed funding is now available for local for-profit, early-stage growth businesses with the ambition and potential to scale in a national or international market. Applications are due by Fri., May 8, 2020.

Semifinalists will be invited to pitch their ventures to the Mid-Valley Angel Fund group. Up to four local startups will be selected to receive up to $25,000. Awarded funding can be used for working capital expenses including contract services, equipment, inventory, business and technical services, business moving expenses, and memberships in business organizations.

To apply, applicants will need to create a profile on gust.com and upload the required documents including a business plan, pitch deck, videos, financial projections and/or profit and loss statements, and IP documents.

A selection committee will determine the winning startups based on criteria including: a compelling company story, founder experience, growth potential, and ability to leverage the prize package.

LAUNCH Mid-Valley is a collaborative of regional partners working together to support and promote entrepreneurial activity in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Partners include SEDCOR, the Oregon Technology and Business Center, MERIT, Business Oregon, City of Dallas, City of Independence, Marion County, Polk County, Yamhill County, McMinnville Economic Development Partnership, City of Salem, and the Chemeketa SBDC. For more information, contact Annie Gorski, Economic Development Manager, at 503-540-2480 or agorski@cityofsalem.net. Additional information can be obtained by calling 503-588-6178. Si necesita ayuda para comprender esta información, por favor llame 503-588-6178.


Truckers urge Congress to show support with action, not just words, once COVID-19 crisis is over

Changes in trucking industry policies are needed now

 SBJ Newsroom: – Thanks to America’s truck drivers and their willingness to risk infection from COVID-19, store shelves remain filled and critical supplies continue to get moved across our nation’s highways. But after this phase of the crisis is over and recovery begins, truckers will still have the same challenges with overregulation, working conditions and pay. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent a letter to Congress today, outlining issues for top priority moving forward.

“Without any sort of work-from-home option, truckers are manning the front lines of the industry as they always have done,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA President and CEO.  “They certainly welcome the public praise from all who have noticed their role in the pandemic response. But they will need more than words to stay afloat in an uncertain future.”

OOIDA is asking Congress to prioritize the following:

-- H.R. 6104, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, should be passed to address the shortage of parking for trucks. This bipartisan legislation would provide dedicated funding for projects that expand truck parking capacity.

-- Congress must support the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) efforts to modernize and improve hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. Truckers shouldn’t just get temporary relief when the nation needs their help responding to an emergency.

-- Congress must take steps to address the persistent problem of excessive detention time, which reduces driver wages, slows the movement of freight and has been linked to increased crash rates. Many drivers spend countless unpaid on-duty hours being detained due to the inefficiency of others within the supply chain.

-- Congress must repeal the overtime exemption for employee drivers in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The average truck driver works 60-70 hours per week, which is rarely, if ever, reflected in their compensation.

 -- Congress must waive the 2020 payment of the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) to provide immediate tax relief to owner-operators, many of which are struggling to keep their businesses operational during and after the crisis.

 “These aren’t necessarily the only issues in trucking that need to change to bring improvements,” added Spencer. “But memes and applause don’t pay bills or reduce the overregulation that keep them from making a living. These are things that Congress can move quickly on to help truck drivers.”

 The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 160,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973.


Spring Unveiling Arts Festival rescheduled to June 26-28, 2020

Cannon Beach, Oregon –The Cannon Beach Gallery Group has rescheduled the 20th annual Spring Unveiling Arts Festival. The new dates are June 26-28, 2020. In light of the current global health situation with COVID-19 our highest priority is the health and safety of our community and visitors to Cannon Beach. The art galleries and Cannon Beach Gallery Group’s art events are integral to making our city such a wonderful place to visit and live. We hope that you will continue to support our galleries and artists’ events scheduled this year, and we will keep you apprised of any new changes. Please visit our website and Facebook page for more information about the Spring Unveiling event. We look forward to seeing our customers, artists and visitors in the coming weeks.

About the Cannon Beach Gallery Group

The Cannon Beach Gallery Group is a non-profit business association. Cannon Beach’s gallery owners came together to create the first Spring Unveiling Arts Festival in 2001 and formalized the group in 2003. The organization was designed to evolve the Spring Unveiling Arts Festival, and to promote the arts in the unique coastal town of Cannon Beach. Today, the Cannon Beach Gallery Group consists of twelve active galleries. With the support of a grant from the city’s Tourism & Arts Commission and sponsorship from many local businesses, the group is able to deliver a prestigious program of art festivals throughout the year.

Cannon Beach Gallery Group consists of 12 members: Archimedes Gallery, Bronze Coast Gallery, Cannon Beach Gallery, DragonFire Gallery, Icefire Glassworks, Images of the West, Imprint Gallery, Jeffrey Hull Gallery, Jewelry by Sharon Amber, Modern Villa Gallery, Northwest By Northwest Gallery, and White Bird Gallery.

 For more information:  http://cbgallerygroup.com or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cbgallerygroup/


There’s only one month left for the 70 Million Jobs crowdfunding campaign, and one month left for you to get involved.

 Your support is critical—now more than ever. When you invest in 70 Million Jobs, you’re not only investing in a great business opportunity, you’re also investing in the future and freedom of thousands of deserving formerly incarcerated men and women.

Amidst the chaos of these unprecedented times, our community often suffers first, and hardest. When lay-offs occur, when life-saving health benefits are restricted, when food, housing and critical resources get harder and harder to access, our community doesn’t have a safety net to fall back on, or even a home where they can wait things out. Chances are they lacked these basic needs during the best of times. And without a job, without the means to pay for food and medicine for their families, those with records often return to behavior that will have a sad, predictable outcome.

But we’re not a non-profit: we believe that serving the needs of 70 million Americans—1 in 3 adults—represents an exceptional business opportunity, one that we alone are pursuing. Just a few weeks ago, we saw our revenue take off. We believe that when things settle down—and they will—we will be ideally positioned to leverage our unique position to continue our hyper-growth.

For these reasons, we invite you to consider investing (or adding to your investment) in 70 Million Jobs. We are dedicated to connecting our community of more than 11 million Americans with criminal records to stable jobs with the country’s largest employers, even (or perhaps, especially) during the most difficult times. Your investment will literally save lives.

As always, thank you for your support of our work. While our team, our company and our world are facing new challenges every day, we will never stop working hard to make our business and our job seekers, successful.

Richard Bronson
Founder/CEO of 70 Million Jobs


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.

Salem Business Journal Green Awards

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


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.

SUBSCRIBE – This is automatic and easy to set up. The cost is $5 a month for the first three months and then goes to $10. Virtually every dollar goes to gathering news. Subscribe HERE.

CONTRIBUTE – If you already subscribe and you have the means, donate to our operation. We’re not a charity, so there likely is no tax benefit to you. The benefit is ensuring Salem doesn’t go dark when it comes to local news. Donate HERE.

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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


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

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.


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


What to Know as a Young Pro
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


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


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.


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.


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.


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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