Category Archives: National

15-Years of Blue Whale Tracking

Researchers on the Pacific Storm, a research vessel operated by Oregon State University, tagged blue whales near the Channel Islands of California in 2006. The work was part of a 10-year study of apex predators in the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by Craig Hayslip, courtesy of OSU Marine Mammal Institute)

Researchers on the Pacific Storm, a research vessel operated by Oregon State University, tagged blue whales near the Channel Islands of California in 2006. The work was part of a 10-year study of apex predators in the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by Craig Hayslip, courtesy of OSU Marine Mammal Institute)

A comprehensive 15-year analysis of the movements of satellite-tagged blue whales off the West Coast of the United States found that their favored feeding areas are bisected by heavily used shipping lanes, increasing the threat of injury and mortality.

The researchers note that moving the shipping lanes off Los Angeles and San Francisco to slightly different areas – at least, during summer and fall when blue whales are most abundant – could significantly decrease the probability of ships striking the whales. A similar relocation of shipping lanes in the Bay of Fundy off eastern Canada lowered the likelihood of vessels striking endangered right whales an estimated 80 percent.

Results of the study – which was supported by the Office of Naval Research, the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation, private gifts to the Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute and others – are being published this week in the journal PLOS ONE.

The analysis is the most comprehensive study of blue whales movements ever conducted. It was led by researchers at Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute, who tracked the movement of blue whales off the West Coast to identify important habitat areas and environmental correlates, and subsequently to understand the timing of their presence near major ports and shipping traffic. Continue reading

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EPA Awarding $2.1 Million to Revitalize Urban Waters

 

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $2.1 million to 37

organizations in 17 states and Puerto Rico to help protect and restore urban waters, improve water quality, and support community revitalization and other local priorities. The funding is through EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Urban waters include canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans in urbanized areas.

“People, buildings, and businesses are all concentrated in urban areas, making it even more important to protect waterways from pollution.” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “These communities will receive grants, allowing them to help turn these waterways into centerpieces of urban renewal, spurring economic development and job creation.”

EPA is awarding grants ranging from $40,000 to $60,000 for projects taking place in areas that align with the 18 designated Urban Waters Federal Partnership locations. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership is made up of 13 federal agencies working to reconnect urban communities with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts. All funded projects work to advance environmental justice in their communities and focus on one of the following three categories: community greening and green infrastructure, communities and water quality data, and integration of water quality and community development in planning.

Many urban waterways have been polluted for years by sewage, runoff from city streets, and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance economic, educational, recreational and social opportunities in nearby communities. By reconnecting communities to their local urban waters, EPA will help communities to actively participate in restoring urban waters while improving their neighborhoods.

Information on EPA’s Urban Waters program: http://www2.epa.gov/urbanwaters

Information on the Urban Waters Federal Partnership: http://www.urbanwaters.gov/

 

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Filed under National, Oregon, State

Vandalism on University Of Oregon Campus

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University of Oregon campus police are conducting an investigation along with the Eugene Police Department into new crimes involving spray paint, swastikas on campus property and mailboxes within a close proximity of a Jewish Fraternity at the University of Oregon. A four foot swastika had been painted on a carpet in an office at the University Friday Morning. Black paint was also used to spray all over a flat screen computer monitor and a computer in an office. The vandalism was done in the Erb Memorial Union Building in the basement which is home to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Queer Alliance. Julie Brown spokeswoman for the university said the swastika was discovered about 1am by a custodian who found the door unlocked. “There was no sign of break-in or forced entry, she said. The student government will replace the alliance’s computer and monitor and the student union will replace the carpet. Campus police took away the evidence, leaving a giant hole in the gray-brown carpet where the swastika was painted.

 

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Filed under Eugene, National, Oregon, Schools

Oregon’s Timber Report June 2014

Lincoln County Forests

In 2013, Oregon’s timber harvest rose to 4.2 billion board feet, marking four consecutive years of increase from the recession low of 2.72 billion board feet in 2009. “This was the first harvest above four billion board feet in seven years,” said ODF principal economist Brandon Kaetzel, “and represents a 12 percent increase over the 2012 harvest of 3.75 billion board feet.” Approximately 49 percent, or 30.2 million acres, of Oregon is forested. Federal forestlands account for 60 percent of these forestlands, industrial forestlands for 19 percent, family forestland owners own 15 percent, state-owned forests comprise three percent, and all other forestland owners (counties, Tribal, etc.), three percent. Timber harvest increases can be attributed to a strong export market for Oregon logs in 2013, coupled with a domestic market recovery, particularly in housing. Whether this trend will continue for the 2014 harvest is uncertain due to housing forecasts being revised to lower numbers and a sudden cool-down in the export market that occurred during the second quarter of 2014.

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Thousands of taxpayers across Oregon have tax refund money awaiting them – all they need to do is cash a check.

usa seasonal jobs wagesThe Oregon Department of Revenue has mailed letters to taxpayers in possession of refund checks that haven’t been cashed as a reminder to redeem these checks prior to October.

“Annually, Revenue sends notices of outstanding refund checks to the taxpayer’s last known address,” explained Jan Hunt, Revenue’s Budget and Finance Manager. ” The goal is to ensure each taxpayer gets their money.”

Checks are considered void after two years and are then sent to the Department of State Lands. If a letter is received, cash the check immediately.

If the check has been lost or was never received, the taxpayer should sign the notification letter and return it to Revenue to have the check reissued. Last year, Oregon taxpayers were notified of $1,850,779 in refund checks that hadn’t been cashed.

This year, 1,000-2,000 notification letters were mailed. Hunt said the most common reasons for not cashing a refund check are misplacement of the check or having an incorrect mailing address on file with Revenue. She said taxpayers should notify Revenue of any address changes to ensure receipt of all tax-related correspondence. Visit www dot Oregon dot gov slash dor to get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments; or call 1-800-356-4222

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Smokey Bear, the Ad Council and the National Association of State Foresters have teamed up with Disney to raise fire prevention awareness encouraging people to take the proper steps when putting their campfire out

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The anticipation is mounting as movie-goers await the newest Disney adventure, “Planes: Fire and Rescue.” The new movie will hit theatres July 18, and captures the essence of wildland firefighting and will remind all audiences of the devastation fire brings.

Smokey Bear, the Ad Council and the National Association of State Foresters have teamed up with Disney to raise fire prevention awareness encouraging people to take the proper steps when putting their campfire out. The 2014 fire season is already proving to be a challenge. Drought conditions persist throughout the region and fire danger has already begun reaching record highs during these early summer months. Fire officials throughout Oregon are reminding everyone to be extra vigilant throughout the remainder of the summer. By practicing simple fire prevention measures, human-caused fires can be prevented.

If you want to have a campfire, check and see if campfires are allowed where you will be staying. If so, build the fire in a safe area free of vegetation and away from overhanging limbs. The best place for a campfire is in a well-maintained campground complete with established fire pits. Have a bucket of water and shovel nearby at all times. Never leave a campfire unattended and put the fire out before going to bed or leaving the site.

Keep your vehicle on gravel or paved roads free of vegetation. Never leave your car or truck idling along the side of the road over dry grass. When traveling on forest roads, carry a shovel and a gallon of water or charged fire extinguisher.

 

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NW Natural Gas and Energy Trust Of Oregon Provide New Cost Saving Tools

NW NATURAL

 

 

 

A new Energy Analyzer tool is being provided by Northwest Natural Gas. The online Energy Analyzer is easy to use and customers simply go to the website’s Energy Analyzer page, log in, and then begin answering questions about their energy use. Then they will receive a wide range of suggestions to improve the efficiency of their home based on how much time and skill they have for energy projects; how much money they care to invest; and how much energy they’d like to save. Options could include turning down the temperature on the water heater to upgrading a heating system and/or adding insulation.

There are dozens of steps in between to match time, budget and interests. Customers can choose how much sweat equity, skill and money they want to invest, as well as how much energy and money they want to save. Energy Trust of Oregon partnered with NW Natural to make the tool possible.

Cory Beck, NW Natural Communications & Internet Services manager. “Customers are paying less for natural gas than they did 10 years ago. But they can save even more money and energy when they take steps to improve the efficiency of their home, said Beck.

The Energy Analyzer also helps customers compare the amount of energy they use to similar homes in the area. If they are using more than their neighbors, they can learn some easy ways to cut use and save money. Users can also sign up to receive ongoing emails to remind them to finish the energy-saving projects they’ve self-selected. Customers who try out the Energy Analyzer between July 14 and September 5 will automatically be entered into a contest to win a tank-less water heater. Visit NW natural dot com

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Filed under Lincoln County, National, Oregon

The Three Tillamook Cheese Vintage Cheese Loaf Microbuses Found

 

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Police have found the three bright orange Vintage VW Tillamook cheese microbuses that were stolen over the weekend. Police say the restored Volkswagen minibuses, worth $100,000 each, vanished early Saturday from the Hampton Inn parking lot between 12:30 and 6:30am. The minibuses were secured on a trailer pulled by a Ford F-350 pickup that was also painted orange. Police say it appears that somebody drove off with the entire rig. The truck and trailer were found engulfed in flames around 12:30 am Sunday, 50 miles east in the foothill community of Jamestown. Police officers executed a search warrant in the town of Copperopolis at 8:30 p.m. Monday night, at a storage unit and found the vans undamaged.
The bright orange VW buses, truck and trailer were on a tour in Manteca promoting the Tillamook County Creamery Association’s dairy products, when they were taken.

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The Oregon Coast Aquarium Recieves National Recognition

Aquarium entrance.The Oregon Coast Aquarium once again received national recognition last week when a popular travel magazine ranked the Newport-based attraction as one of the top aquariums in the nation. The Aquarium was acknowledged along with 11 other facilities, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Georgia Aquarium, in Destinations Travel Magazine dot com’s list of the 12 best aquariums in the nation. The feature appeared online in the magazine’s July edition. The cover story notes the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s focus on the marine life native to the Pacific Northwest, and efforts the nonprofit dedicates to education, conservation and animal rehabilitation. The aquarium is thrilled to represent the Northwest among the collection of well-respected Aquariums recognized across the nation, said Carrie Lewis, President and CEO of the aquarium. The article is one of several national level acknowledgments the Aquarium has enjoyed over the past year.

 
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is open every day this summer from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. For more information and to buy tickets visit aquarium.oOregonCoastAquariumrg or call (541) 867-FISH.

 

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Filed under Lincoln County, National, Newport, Oregon

Military veterans account for nearly a quarter of Oregon’s suicides

Military veterans account for nearly a quarter of Oregon’s suicides, even though veterans make up less than 10 percent of the state’s population.
That’s according to a report by the Oregon Health Authority that analyzed data from the state’s Violent Death Reporting System from 2008 to 2012.
The suicides covered all age groups, including veterans of long-ended wars. The largest segment of suicide victims was men over the age of 55. For veterans under 45, the report says suicide is the leading cause of death.
Suicide victims often struggled with a variety of contributing issues, from mental health problems to alcohol abuse to relationship struggles, the report noted.
The highest rates of veteran suicide occurred outside the Portland area. If you or someone you know is a veteran and is in crisis, call the veteran’s crisis line: 1-877-273-(TALK) 8255

 

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The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

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