Oregon's labor force participation rate, the share of the population 16 years old and over that is employed or unemployed, was 63.4 percent in 2012. Oregon's participation rate has fallen from its peak in the late 1990s to its lowest level since the late 1970s, mirroring the national trend in participation.
Coast Guard Sector Columbia River responded to five recent suspected hoax distress calls made from April 28 - June 1, 2013 near Portland, Ore. and Longview, Wash. Sector Columbia River launched a total of two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews from Air Station Astoria and three 25-foot response boat crews from Station Portland in response to the calls, searching for more than seven hours and costing taxpayers an estimated $50,000.
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) today testified to a key U.S. House panel about the importance of passing two bills she introduced earlier this year to assist coastal communities with tsunami debris cleanup efforts. The hearing before the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs signals that the legislation is likely to move forward this year. Bonamici has broad bipartisan support for the bills, which are both cosponsored by senior Republican and Democratic members of the committee.
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Work crews will be doing further geologic explorations beginning Monday, June 17th as part of the project to replace the aging Irving Avenue and 19th Street Bridge in Astoria. A drilling crew and rig will be working on Irving Avenue collecting test borings for approximately three days. Motorists should expect a one-lane closure during daytime hours where the work is taking place. Traffic control, including flaggers, will be set up on site to direct traffic.
The board heard a presentation on the county Public Works Department's roadside vegetation management program and how the department makes decisions about whether or not to use a herbicide spray or mechanical means to remove weeds. Public Works Director Ed Wegner and consultant John Van Staveren of Pacific Habitat Services Inc. described how the policy, first adopted in 2006, guides the department in balancing mowing and spraying to control roadside weeds
The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries is ready to offer local residents and visitors a clear picture of what to expect in the event of either a near shore or distant earthquake that would generate tsunami waves. The state agency has developed city specific evacuation route maps for the North Oregon Coast that shows which areas are likely to be above water if a tsunami were to impact Seaside, Gearhart, Cannon Beach, Warrenton, or Astoria.
The Clatso County Commission board held public hearings on the 2013-14 fiscal year Clatsop County budget and budgets for the 4-H and Extension Service District, Road District No. 1, Rural Law Enforcement District and Westport Sewer Service District. No public testimony was offered.
The board heard a presentation from Peter Ovington of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries on the agency's new tsunami evacuation maps. The maps, developed with new data on the destructive earthquake-generated ocean waves, show areas of the county subject to potential flooding by tsunamis originating both locally and in distant locations
A groundbreaking new law aimed at protecting donors from bogus charities gives the Attorney General valuable new tools to prevent nonprofit abuse and protect donors. House Bill 2060 eliminates the state income tax deduction for donors who give money to charities that fail to spend at least 30 percent of their donations on their charitable mission.
Northwest Natural Gas Company, dba NW Natural (NYSE:NWN), will issue an Interstate Storage credit to its Oregon customers on their June bills.
The credit is for approximately $8.5 million and will equate to about $9.18 for the average residential customer in Oregon or nearly $44 for the average commercial customer.
Hands-free technologies might make it easier for drivers to text, talk on the phone, or even use Facebook while they drive, but new findings from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety show dangerous mental distractions exist even when drivers keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. This is the most comprehensive study of its kind to look at the mental distraction of drivers.
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