Regional News

Oregon Arts Commission

Revealing critical trends about school-based arts classes and profiles of model programs.  The Oregon Arts Commission (OAC) has released two groundbreaking publications shedding light on the status of arts education in Oregon.  The first, Access to Arts Education in Oregon Schools II, is a research-based report by Sarah K. Collins, a Lead Researcher at the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC).  Using existing school data collected by the Oregon Department of Education, the report provides state aggregate data about in-school access to stand-alone arts classes.  When data from the 2009-10 school year was compared with the 2010-11 school year, Oregon showed a 1% decrease in overall access to arts education through school-based classes.  This statistic is the result of 75 schools who did not offer any arts classes in the previous year adding at least one arts class and 82 schools that used to provide arts instruction removing classes so that they no longer had any arts coursework.  This trend indicates a lack of stability in arts-based programming in schools.  The second publication, Connections: Arts Learning in Oregon, is a companion piece to the first, highlighting outstanding programs that contribute to a holistic arts education beyond school-based coursework.  Organizations like Portland Taiko, Oregon Ballet Theatre and Portland Opera take arts learning into schools around the state, adding richness to school-based programs and frequently providing access for students who might not otherwise experience the arts.  Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Jackson Elementary School and Wordstock provide support for teachers and parents who want to include more arts instruction in classrooms. And Wallowa Valley Music Alliance and Oregon Children's Theatre, located in opposite corners of the state, both provide tools to help students launch successful careers in the arts and beyond.  Both publications are available on the Arts Commission's website:

Extreme Fire Danger
"We can't afford to have a careless fire now," says Tom Fields of the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).  "We haven't had a reprieve from the hot, dry weather for several weeks," the fire prevention coordinator said, "and with vegetation as dry as it is, it won't take much to get a fire going." Fire activity across the Pacific Northwest has also depleted firefighting resources, leaving wildland firefighting agencies thin should a large fire break out.  He noted that fire patrols across the state have been seeing an increasing number of illegal campfires that, when left to smolder, could lead to a major wildfire.  To date in 2012, not counting the numerous campfires engine crews have put out during patrols, 30 illegal campfires have burned close to six acres and cost over $25,000 to suppress.  "That's roughly the size of six football fields: all because campfires are being left to burn in precarious areas," he said.  Open fires, including campfires, are prohibited on all lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, about 16 million acres of private, county, state and Bureau of Land Management (west of the Cascades) forestland. Campfires may be allowed in some designated areas and travelers should check with their local forestry or protection association office for details.  When campfires are allowed, they should be put completely out before leaving the campsite. To do so, drown the fire with an abundance of water, stir and separate the hot coals, and drown again until all of the heat has been removed.  Fields adds that even if campfires are allowed this is not a good time to have one.  For more information on campfire safety and preventing human-caused fires, visit

Oregon's jobless rate
Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.9 percent in August and 8.7 percent in July. Meanwhile, the U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in August and 8.3 percent in July.

Bicycle accident
Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into Monday morning's collision that seriously injured a 23-year old man riding a bicycle after he was struck by a vehicle along Highway 138W just east of Elkton.  According to Lieutenant Doug Ladd, on September 17, 2012 at approximately 9:45 a.m. DIO LEE PADDOCK, age 23, from Elkton, was riding a small BMX style bicycle eastbound along Highway 138W near milepost 1 when he was struck from behind by the right front corner of a Nissan Xterra sport utility vehicle driven JOHN R. WICKS, age 64, from Florence. Sun and shade may have been a factor affecting the driver's visibility of the bicyclist in an area where the roadway has narrow shoulders.  PADDOCK was transported by air ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend with serious injuries. He was not wearing a helmet.

Mt. Thielsen rescue
A 58-year old Eugene male had to be rescued by helicopter from high atop Mt. Thielsen in eastern Douglas Co., Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, after he received serious injuries during a fall.  Michael Hawley was flown to a hospital in Medford with a broken arm, broken leg and head lacerations.  He was near the summit of the mountain when he fell.

OHRC Advisory Committee to meet in Alsea
The Oregon Hatchery Research Center Advisory Committee will meet Sept. 17 from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Oregon Hatchery Research Center, 2418 E. Fall Creek Rd. Alsea.  The agenda includes discussion of several current and proposed research projects, and other business relating to the operations of the OHRC.  The OHRC is a cooperative research project between the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State University. The OHRC’s mission is to develop an understanding of the mechanisms that may create differences between hatchery and wild fish and devise ways to reduce and manage the differences so that hatcheries can be used responsibly in the conservation and use of Oregon’s native fish.  The OHRC Advisory Committee advises the Senior Scientist on activities and functions related to the operation and maintenance of the OHRC. The meeting is open to the public and an opportunity for public comment is scheduled. Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials at all ODFW public meetings. Individuals needing these types of accommodations may call the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. For more information about the OHRC visit ODFW’s web site or contact Ryan Couture, Facility Manager at 541-487-5510.

Committee for Family Forestlands
The Committee for Family Forestlands is scheduled to meet at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, September 17, 2012 at the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) headquarters in Salem, 2600 State Street - Operations Building D, Santiam meeting room.  The Committee provides information to the Oregon Board of Forestry and the State Forester on ways to improve the vitality of Oregon's family-owned forestlands.  Agenda:  The proposed agenda for the meeting includes House Bill 2165 - conditions under which written plans are required for forest operations, as well as Eastern Oregon forests, an update on ODF's "Private Forests" program including riparian rule analysis, a fire season update, and ramifications of the Malheur Lumber Mill closure.  Thirteen positions - seven voting members and six seats in non-voting roles - form the committee. Voting members include family forest owners, an environmental community representative, a representative of Oregon's forest products industry and a citizen-at-large representing the public. Representatives of the Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State University, Oregon Small Woodlands Association, forestry-related industry associations and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute serve in a non-voting capacity.  Members of the public are invited to attend and participate in the meeting. The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. 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 503-945-7502.  Additional information about the Committee for Family Forestlands is available on ODF's web site,

Moving for work in Oregon
The annual job changes report in Oregon between July 2011 and July 2012, continues to show a trend of Oregonians moving to the large metropolitan communities in the state to find work.  The report from the Oregon Employment Dept. shows "no growth or losing jobs" in Coos County, while Curry County enjoyed "up to 2% growth."  The Portland Metro area is one of five counties showing "2% or more growth."  The other four counties are located in the central (Jefferson), and eastern portions (Wheeler, Morrow, Union) of the state.  Seventeen counties, including Clatsop and Tillamook on the Coast, show "no growth or losing jobs."

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