Category Archives: Oregon

Weyerheauser And Plum Creek Timber Merge

By Crystal Pecanha

Weyerhaeuser logoTwo leaders in the timber, land and forest product industry, Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek, have made a proposal to shareholders to merge and create an estimated $23 billion company with the Weyerhaeuser name. According to a press release from Weyerhaeuser, together, they possess more than 13 million acres of very profitable timberland. Rick R. Holley is the chief executive officer for Plum Creek and future non-executive chairman of Weyerhaeuser’s board, which will be expanded to 13 directors. Holley states that, “With an extraordinary set of combined assets and the proven value creation records of both Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek, the combined company will offer a compelling opportunity for shareholders.”

Plum creekHolley also said that he looks forward to building this new company with Doyle R. Simons, President and CEO of Weyerhaeuser. The two organizations claim to have unparalleled expertise in timber, land and manufacturing and that the integration of these two industry leaders will be a winning combination with the largest private ownership of timberland in the U.S., recognized commitment to sustainable resource management, and a unique ability to capitalize on the housing recovery, among other strengths. Simons says they’ve also drawn from the best talent in each company to select the right leaders to take best practices from both companies and achieve their targets, serve their customers, and drive shareholder value over the long term. Shareholders from both companies must approve the merger, which is expected to close in early 2016.

1 Comment

Filed under Lincoln County, Oregon

Pacific Power Offers More Help For HEAT Oregon

Pacific Power logoHelping your neighbors and their families stay warm just got easier. Pacific Power will match every dollar you donate to HEAT Oregon with $2 more. “Despite recent economic recovery, 147,300 low income Oregon households pay more than half their income for rent, 25 percent more than before the recession. This leaves little for other basic needs, such as energy costs. These folks often need a hand to get through what are still lean times,” said Ruth Scott, executive director of HEAT Oregon. . “Pacific Power’s support of HEAT Oregon has been invaluable since HEAT Oregon began its work; bringing resources, volunteers and a love of the mission to the partnership.”

Last year, Pacific Power’s donations helped 1,571 households in need throughout Oregon including 1,730 children, 673 seniors and 530 people with disabilities. This year, Pacific Power’s 2-for-1 match will continue up to $144,000. Pacific Power customers who receive their bills by mail will find it includes a HEAT Oregon contribution envelope. Customers who pay their bills electronically can send a check or enroll in the fixed donation program online. This program allows customers to donate any dollar amount, starting at $1 per month, which is then incorporated into their monthly bill. Fixed donations will also be matched 2-for-1 by Pacific Power. To enroll in the fixed donation program call Pacific Power toll-free at 1-888-221-7070. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Lincoln City, Lincoln County, Oregon

ODA: Crab Advisory Issued For Domoic Acid

Story by the Oregon Department of Agriculture

Oregon-Department-of-Agriculture1The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announce an advisory for all recreationally caught crab taken between Cape Arago, south of Coos Bay, and the California border. All crabs recreationally harvested should be Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlifeeviscerated prior to eating due to high levels of domoic acid in the viscera, also referred to as “butter” or guts. This includes crab harvested in the bays and estuaries, and in the open ocean, off docks, piers and jetties. Crab meat is not typically affected by this level of toxin.
Crab harvested recreationally from Cape Arago north to the Columbia River do not fall under this advisory, although it is recommended that crab always be eviscerated prior to eating them. Evisceration includes removal and discard of the internal organs and gills.

Harvesting of mussels remains closed from the mouth of the Yachats River in Lincoln County to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes mussels on all beaches, rocks, jetties and bay entrances in this section of the coast.

Meanwhile, all razor clamming remains closed along the entire Oregon coast because of elevated levels of domoic acid.

Coastal scallops are not affected by these closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten. The consumption of whole recreationally caught scallops is not recommended.

Recreational mussel harvesting is open from the Columbia River south to the mouth of the Yachats River.

Recreational harvesting of bay clams remains open along the entire coast.

Commercial shellfish products remain safe for consumers.

Domoic acid or Amnesic Shellfish toxin can cause minor to severe illness and even death. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe cases can result in memory loss and death. Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and originate in the ocean. Toxins cannot be removed by cooking, freezing or any other treatment. ODA will continue to test for toxins in the coming weeks. Removal of the advisory requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.

For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page at:

Leave a comment

Filed under ODA - Oregon Department of Agriculture, ODFW, Oregon

Health Insurance Shopping Season Underway

Story by Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services

HealthCareDotGovAs of Nov. 1, Oregonians can sign up, renew, or change their health insurance plans at

Open enrollment begins Nov. 1 and goes through Jan. 31, 2016. It is the time of the year to change plans and, for those who do not have insurance, to buy a plan and avoid a potential penalty on 2016 taxes.

“Even if you already have insurance, take some time during open enrollment to look at all of your options through the marketplace,” said Patrick Allen, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). “Prices and plans – as well as your health needs – may have changed considerably. You also may qualify for financial help.” According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, last year, consumers who shopped and switched plans saved nearly $400.

Financial help is available for many people if they enroll through Depending on their income, they may qualify for tax credits to help pay their monthly premium and assistance with out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and co-pays. Of the approximately 107,000 Oregonians who enrolled through for 2015, more than 77,000 received a premium tax credit averaging $199 per month. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Oregon

AAA: New Hands-free Technologies Pose Hidden Dangers for Drivers

AAA 27 Seconds GraphicSurprising Research Finds that Mental Distractions Can Persist 27 Seconds after Completing a Task.

27 seconds: that’s how long potentially unsafe mental distractions can persist after a driver dials, changes music or sends a text using voice commands on a voice-activated system, according to surprising new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The results raise new and unexpected concerns regarding the use of phones and vehicle information systems while driving.

Find details, graphics and photos online or in the attached news release.  B-roll video is also available.

Say you’re using your hands-free car infotainment system or smart phone to dial a call or change music when you’re stopped at a red light. The light turns green and you start driving again. The mental distractions can linger as long as 27 seconds, enough time for you to travel the length of three football fields when moving at just 25 mph. During this time, drivers can miss stop signs, pedestrians, bicyclists and other vehicles while the mind is refocusing on driving. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Oregon

Sea Stars Making A Comeback

sea starsIn 2014, the Pacific Coast of North America was hit by a mysterious epidemic that wiped out millions of sea stars, marking the largest marine animal disease event in recorded history. The disease caused these organisms to physically waste-away — hence its name; sea star wasting disease. Looming questions researchers are trying to answer include: Do environmental conditions trigger the disease? Will sea stars recover? Will other environmental stressors, such as ocean acidification, impact sea star recovery?

Working to help answer these questions is Jenna Sullivan, a PhD student at Oregon State University in Dr. Bruce Menge’s lab. Her research is integral to understanding population-level impacts resulting from sea star wasting disease and in helping understand another major marine issue — ocean acidification.  ODFW’s Marine Reserves Program is helping to support Jenna’s research.

Jenna’s research includes working in and around the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve. “The support provided by the Marine Reserves Program is integral to my continued ocean acidification research,” she explains. We are only in the infancy of understanding the impacts that changing ocean conditions—such as lower pH levels—have on marine organisms. Meanwhile, Jenna’s work is giving us a glimpse of how sea star populations are currently doing. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Central Coast, Lincoln County, Oregon, OSU

OEM Rolls Out Program Focused on Tsunami Awareness for Coast Hospitality Industry

Tsunami_Safe_LogoThe Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is officially rolling out “Tsunami Safe: Hospitality Begins with Safety,” a free program that focuses on tsunami awareness in the hospitality industry along the Oreg on Coast. The program officially begins today, Monday, Oct. 19.

Tsunami Safe is designed to increase tsunami awareness by educating all levels of employees in the hospitality industry, informing overnight visitors to the Oregon Coast of the risk, and increasing disaster preparedness throughout the hospitality industry along the coast, said OEM Geologic Hazards Awareness Coordinator Karen Parmelee.

“Facilities that participate in the program will be at the forefront of providing safety for guests,” Parmelee said.

Ann Chapatte, who is the manager of the Overlook Motel in Lincoln City, said personal experiences have helped her see the value of the Tsunami Safe project. Chapatte was managing her hotel when the distant tsunami from Japan hit the Oregon Coast in 2011 after the Tohuku earthquake and tsunami. She was also personally affected by a major earthquake.

“We are right on the beach, I watched visitors sit on the beach to wait for and watch the tsunami,” explained Chapatte. “I personally lost everything in an earthquake, I take natural disasters seriously!” Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Emergency Preparedness, Oregon