Senator Merkley makes final campaign swing through Bend

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Oct 312014
 
Sen. Jeff Merkley D-Oregon Bend Democratic HQ

Sen. Jeff Merkley
D-Oregon
Bend Democratic HQ

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley continued to assail his GOP challenger Monica Wehby Friday night, praising Oregon voters for figuring out that Wehby was taking orders from the Koch Brothers for all her campaign points. Merkley, at Democratic Headquarters on NE 3rd in Bend, said that after the Koch Brothers watched their candidate recite their conservative agenda, and have it rejected in the polls, they decided to stop wasting money and left the state – but only for a while. “Now they’re back” said Merkley. “But their money is showing up under a new PAC banner.”

Merkley also claimed that Wehby has been inconsistent in her avowed support for a woman’s right to choose. Merkley remarked that Wehby stated on the campaign trail that her favorite Supreme Court Justice is Justice Antonin Scalia. Merkley said Justice Scalia has been loudly outspoken on the Court saying the case that gave women the right to choose, Roe v. Wade, should be overturned.

Merkley chided Wehby’s allegiance to the national GOP political agenda which opposes giving college students lower interest rates on their education loans. GOP senators, he says, used the filibuster to kill the bill that would have given students a lower interest rate. He said the GOP marches to the orders of the big banks, not the pleas from struggling American families and their college bound children who are graduating with such huge debt they can’t afford to buy a car or a home, which further puts a drag on the American economy.

merkley bend 10

Merkley said the filibuster has been used by republicans nearly 300 times in the senate, many of which have stalled efforts to pass bills that would give the American middle class a break. Instead the GOP favors sending American manufacturing jobs overseas while American workers fall farther and farther behind.

After speaking to Oregonians in 50 towns throughout the state, Senator Merkley will wrap up his “Jobs & Opportunity Tour” with an Election-eve rally at AFL-CIO headquarters in Portland. Merkley launched his statewide tour on October 24 to share his commitment to create more jobs and more opportunities for Oregon’s middle class families, and to urge Oregonians to cast their ballots. Merkley mentioned several times during his Bend visit that it’s critical that citizens cast their votes. “Don’t leave them on your kitchen counter,” he said, “get them to a ballot box!”

Portland Hospital closely monitoring suspected Ebola patient

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Oct 312014
 
Ebola Virus Wiki Commons photo

Ebola Virus
Wiki Commons photo

Word got out pretty quickly today that a Portland hospital is watching and monitoring a possible Ebola patient. Governor Kitzhaber issued this statement on the situation this afternoon.

“State and local public health officials are monitoring the situation and keeping me informed. Local health departments, hospitals, health care providers and first responders have been working together to ensure the state is prepared. Earlier this week, health officials and I outlined protocols for just this type of situation. The protocols are intended to both protect the health and safety of Oregonians and to get people the care they need. I appreciate the commitment from the health care community to get this individual appropriate care. We will keep Oregonians informed as we know more.”

Late this afternoon medical officials said the patient is isolated and poses no danger to the public.

When Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake hits the coast, what will it mean to Bend?

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Oct 312014
 
When the "big one" hits the coast:  Coast 9, Valley 7, Bend 5 on Richter

When the “big one” hits the coast: Coast 9, Valley 7, Bend 5 on Richter

A presentation was given this week at Bend’s Tower Theater where geologists, emergency preparedness officials and the Red Cross convened to talk with a packed audience about the eminent earthquake the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon Coast will create – WHEN it happens. One panelist characterized the situation as an earthquake that is 9 months pregnant.

When the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake hits the Oregon Coast it will trigger a catastrophic earthquake (9+ Richter) inland for about twenty miles, a strong earthquake (7+ Richter) throughout the Willamette Valley and a moderate earthquake (5 Richter) in the Bend region.

There will be total devastation on the coast – bridges gone, roads impassable, older buildings flattened, even new ones horribly damaged including hospitals, police and fire stations, homes and businesses. Add a huge tsunami on top of that and you’ll have to add many, many deaths.

In the Willamette Valley, the quake will cause severe to moderate damage. Ground liquifaction will be widespread, causing cinderblock construction to fall flat. Wood frame structures will be moderately damaged and least damaged will be steel fabricated buildings.

Here in Bend, there will be minor to moderate damage. But a 5 Richter can still cause some nasty problems like fires from natural gas breaks and damage to buildings erected prior to 1980. And there is a lot of them.

As far as recovery goes, the coast will take literally years to rebuild itself. Electricity will take three weeks to six months to restore. Police and fire stations, two months to three years. Hospitals 18 months to 3 years. Water and sewer systems 1-3 years. And their coast line is likely to fall up to 9 feet. Areas of Newport, Waldport, Seaside and others will be permanently lost to the ocean.

In the Willamette Valley, Electricity will take one to three months to restore, police and fire facilities two to four months, top highways up to a year, hospitals up to a year and a half and water and sewer facilities a month to a full year..

Here in the Bend area, it’ll take six months to a year to restore major highways to 60% capacity. Some bridges may have been weakened and will need re-inforcing. Major highways should be back to 90% capacity in a year to three years. Electricity should be back up within three days to three weeks. Sewer and water should be restored within 24 hours. The Redmond Airport should be back to 60% capacity in one to three days, to 90% within a year to three years.

As for Highway 97, it will become THE primary north-south highway in Oregon. I-5 will be a mess. Only short stretches are expected to be driveable. The airport at Redmond will become THE Oregon airport since Portland PDX will be in shambles. That will make the Redmond Airport as a major airlift command area for rescue and air transport to points west.

Presenters told the Tower Theater audience that Bend will be a very busy place and that many refugees from the coast and the valley may wind up here. Handling that service load will be quite difficult but the effort will have to be made.

They said Oregon will be embarking on a multi-billion dollar road, port, airport, bridge and major building re-enforcement campaign along the coast and in the valley over the next ten years and beyond. Where all that funding will come from isn’t known but we’re told “they’re working on it.”

Since there will be devastation along the coast, and major damage to the Portland area, tens of thousands trauma patients from the hardest hit areas will be transferred to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend and to trauma centers around the Pacific Northwest, if not into California, Nevada and Idaho.

Goods and services will arrive in Bend and work their way into the valley and along the coast. The National Guard and U.S. Military are expected to devote considerable resources to the disaster – certainly in the reconstruction of vital roads, highways, bridges and medical facilities. And FEMA will be orchestrating much of it, strategically based at the Redmond Airport.

Bend area residents must overcome the challenge of losing power for a few days, fuel shortages, delayed deliveries of groceries to local stores and prescription drugs to pharmacies. The officials suggested that you have have a gallon of water a day for each person in your family. And you might stock up with some of your neighbors in mind if they haven’t done so for themselves.

Officials say there are three critical elements required to successfully cope with the earthquake here in Bend. Be informed. Make a plan. Build a survival kit. Ingredients in a survival kit will vary by household but there are basic elements. The kits should last a family for at least two weeks. The Red Cross has information on all of that by checking their website by clicking here.

OR 140 Closed mileport 14

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Oct 312014
 

From ODOT:
2:20pm
OR140(E) open to one lane of traffic controlled by flaggers at milepost 14 following crash.

Bend mother stabbed by son – son commits suicide

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Oct 312014
 
Bend Police

Bend Police

Bend Police are investigating the stabbing of a Bend woman by her son, who later committed suicide.

Police say it all started Wednesday night when Seth Roberts, 23, called 9-1-1 to say that a woman at 20316 Donkey Sled Road was unconscious and not breathing.

Arriving paramedics found Roberts’ mother lying on the front yard with a serious knife wound that was bleeding from her chest.

Police contacted Seth Roberts, the victim’s son who was standing outside the home. Police say Roberts became uncooperative, turned, and fled back inside the house. Moments later police heard a single gunshot coming from inside the home.

Bend Fire Rescue personnel managed to quickly evacuate Roberts’ mother and transport her to St. Charles Medical Center.

Meanwhile, Central Oregon Emergency Response Team members amassed outside the house. After several unsuccessful attempts to contact Roberts, the CERT team entered the home. Inside, they found Roberts dead on the floor from what police say appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Roberts’ mother, Susan Stafford, 60, remains under treatment at St. Charles Medical Center.

Rep. Greg Walden getting heat from his own party…

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Oct 312014
 
Rep. Greg Walden R-Eastern Oregon

Rep. Greg Walden
R-Eastern Oregon
Oregonian photo

Sometimes when those who win, or in this case believe they’re going to win, they turn away from the other side they’re fighting to start throwing punches at their own team.

Such might be the case with Oregon Representative Greg Walden who is being criticized by some of his fellow Republican members of the House.

The story is in the Oregonian. Click here.

As you reset your clocks this weekend – Replace your smoke alarm batteries!!

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Oct 302014
 
Check the battery this weekend!

Check the battery this weekend!

From the Oregon State Fire Marshall

Sunday, 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.”

To test your alarm properly we recommend you:
1) Push the test button to be sure the battery is working.
2) When replacing batteries, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct battery to use.
3) Always retest alarms after installing new batteries
4) Replace any alarm that fails to operate after installing a new battery.
5) Inspect your alarms to determine if they are 10 years old or older, and replace any smoke alarm 10 years old or older. Look for a date on the back of the alarm. If there is no date, your alarm is more than 10 years old and should be replaced.
6) Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on regularly cleaning your alarms of dust and cobwebs.

Working smoke alarms provide a critical early warning to a fire, allowing you vital minutes to escape, which increase your chances of survival. Additional safety tips:
* Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, in each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area.
* Never disconnect or remove batteries from smoke alarms for other uses.
* Use the smoke alarm’s hush feature to silence nuisance alarms.
* Make a home fire escape plan and practice it with family members.

For more smoke alarm and fire safety information, contact your local fire department or visit
http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/Pages/CommEd_SA_Program.aspx#Information_for_the_Public

Those ballots are already pouring in across Oregon…

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Oct 292014
 
Ballots are coming in strong and steady... Oregonian photo

Ballots are coming in strong and steady…
Oregonian photo

Interest in the current off-year general election is running at about the same as it was in 2010, even though races for Governor and U.S. Senator have turned into shoe-ins for the two incumbents. But there are a number of other issues that are also prompting more Oregonians to vote.

Here’s the story in the Oregonian. Click here.