Category Archives: National

Lubchenco Named As Science Envoy

lubchencoBuilding on a new commitment to improved marine protection and management, the U.S. Department of State has chosen Jane Lubchenco as the first Science Envoy for the Oceans. Officials today named the fourth cohort of the U.S. Science Envoy Program, which was begun by President Obama in 2009. For the first time, one of the eminent scientists involved in the initiative has a specific focus on the world’s oceans. Lubchenco is the University Distinguished Professor of Marine Biology at Oregon State University and former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

She is an international expert on marine ecology, environmental science and climate change. “This new focus on the oceans is a strong statement by the Secretary of State and President Obama about the importance of our oceans to people around the world,” Lubchenco said. “They understand that science-based understanding, policy and management hold the key to a healthy, productive and resilient ocean, people and communities.”

Three other science envoys were also announced to focus on various nations and areas of expertise, including Geraldine Richmond, presidential chair and professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon. In this program, these “envoys” travel internationally as private citizens, but will also advise and share their insights with the White House, U.S. Department of State and the U.S. science community about science-based collaboration, innovation and economic growth. Lubchenco said her appointment builds on progress made earlier this year at the Our Ocean Conference led by Secretary of State John Kerry. Continue reading

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Filed under Corvallis, National, OSU

Toledo Graduate Seeks Help To Go On Medical Mission

Misty Kosydar at work

Misty Kosydar at work

Misty Kosydar, a graduate of Toledo Junior/Senior High School, is raising funds so that she may join a medical mission team that will perform vision-saving surgeries on 200 patients in Burma.
Kosydar currently works as an ophthalmic technician for Dr. John Haines at The Eye Center in Eugene. She has been invited to join the medical staff in December as they travel to Burma, a nation in southeast Asia also known as Myanmar.

The team plans to perform cataract surgery for individuals who otherwise would not receive treatment. Over the past 20 years, Haines and his team have performed more than 2,000 surgeries in 11 countries.
The daughter of Mike and Kristy Kosydar of Siletz, Misty Kosydar graduated from Toledo High in 2005. She continued her studies at Portland State University, with a double major in anthropology and science, and concentrations in physics and chemistry. She hopes to be accepted to medical school during the 2015 application cycle.

On her “GoFundMe” site, Kosydar writes: “Nearly 20 million people suffer from treatable blindness caused by cataract formation. I am asking for your help in order to raise funds for my travel expenses so that I may be a part of this life-changing experience.”
Any funds raised beyond her travel expenses will be donated to Haines’ Give Me Sight Foundation to help fund future medical missions. Donations may be sent directly to Kosydar at P.O. Box 76, Siletz OR 97380; or through the online account at:

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Filed under Lincoln County, National

OLCC’s Statement on Passage of Measure 91


In response to the voters’ decision to pass Measure 91, Steven Marks, Executive Director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has released the following statement:

“The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will work with other state agencies to implement Measure 91 with a great amount of accountability through a transparent and public process. Implementation of recreational marijuana in Oregon will have an emphasis on bringing Oregon’s marijuana industry into a regulated and licensed marketplace.

From now until January 2016, OLCC will be exploring many policy questions that will require extensive public and stakeholder input. As we move forward, we will focus on preventing marijuana sales to minors, protecting consumers through establishing standards and providing education, as well as supporting law enforcement in their efforts to prevent unlicensed sale and production of marijuana. Continue reading

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Filed under National, Oregon

Monthly Social Security and SSI Benefits To Increase

moneyMonthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 64 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2015, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 58 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2015.  Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2014. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA tothe increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages.  Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $118,500 from $117,000.  Of the estimated 168 million workers who will
pay Social Security taxes in 2015, about 10 million will pay higher taxes
because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2015 is available at<>.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated.  To read
more, please visit<>.

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Filed under National, Oregon, State, State Government

Test Your Smoke Alarms Before Changing The Batteries.

Smoke alarmSunday, November 2nd marks the end of Daylight Saving Time and serves as a good reminder for Oregonians to test their smoke alarms. The Office of State Fire Marshal is urging residents to test their smoke alarms before automatically changing the batteries.

“Smoke alarm technology has advanced and many now come with 10-year batteries and some are tamper-resistant,” said State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “So, I encourage residents to test their alarms before changing the battery.”

Oregon law requires ionization-only smoke alarms that are solely battery powered to come equipped with a hush feature and a 10-year battery. Because of this technology, the national slogan “Change your clock, Change your battery” may not apply to Oregon residents who have these ionization-only smoke alarms.

Other types of alarms are also being sold with either a 10-year battery or a standard-life battery.

“Ensuring you have working smoke alarms in your home is the single most important step you can take to increase your family’s safety from a home fire,” adds Walker. “Also, be sure to replace any smoke alarm that is 10 years old or older.”
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Filed under Lincoln County, National, Oregon, State

Coast Guard Says Unless They Get Orders Otherwise The Air Station Goes

Newport Fishermen’s Wives President Jennifer Shock-Stevenson delivers more than 18,000 signatures opposing the closure of the Coast Guard’s Newport helicopter facility to Congressman Kurt Schrader and Rear Admiral Richard Gromlich during an Oct. 20 town hall meeting. Schrader plans to deliver the petition to the commandant of the Coast Guard’s desk in Washington D.C. (Photo by Larry Coonrod)

Newport Fishermen’s Wives President Jennifer Shock-Stevenson delivers more than 18,000 signatures opposing the closure of the Coast Guard’s Newport helicopter facility to Congressman Kurt Schrader and Rear Admiral Richard Gromlich during an Oct. 20 town hall meeting. Schrader plans to deliver the petition to the commandant of the Coast Guard’s desk in Washington D.C. (Photo by Larry Coonrod)

By Kiera Morgan

The Port of Newport, Lincoln County Board of Commissioners and Newport City Council held a town hall meeting Monday night (10/20)  to give local and congressional representatives information on the importance of keeping helicopter air service in Lincoln County. Rear Admiral Richard Gromlich was in attendance to discuss the U.S. Coast Guard’s decision to close its Newport rescue helicopter facility. Ginny Golbrich explained the history of how the Fisherman’s Wives worked to campaign to get the helicopter in Newport because of many deaths that occurred prior.

She said the Coast Guard mission is to do search and rescue and one hour time to respond to someone in the water or stuck on the rocks is a death sentence. State Representative David Gomberg thanked the men and women of the coast guard and said they have his utmost respect for what they do. He added that somewhere along the chain of command those in Washington D.C. have lost sight of the mission and believe that saving money is more important than saving lives. Continue reading

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Filed under Lincoln County, National, Newport

Ten Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area Volunteers Honored.



Ten Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area volunteers were recently presented the President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award. The award encourages United States citizens, or lawfully admitted permanent residents, to live a life of service. The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation was established in 2003 to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our communities. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, and the Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses, recognized the efforts of Harry Olund (2,258 hours), Richard and Linda Crooks (2,050 hours each), Fae Kelley (1,907 hours), Bill and Betty Jones (1,809 hours each), Rebecca Field (1,617 hours), Tom Quayle (1,509 hours), Doug Purcell (883 hours) and Chris Burns (836 hours).

“Many of these individuals have given their time to Yaquina Head for more than a decade,” said Salem District Manager Kim Titus. “Together they have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of visitors and have assisted the Bureau of Land Management with many visitor service tasks including lighthouse tours, interpretive center operations and tide pool education.”

yaquina head

A number of additional Yaquina Head volunteers, including full time “apprentices” – volunteers who serve as rangers-in-training, were also recognized. During the past year, 39 volunteers provided 8,308 hours of service, (valued at $184,000). Continue reading

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Filed under Lincoln County, National, Newport, Oregon