October 20: earthquake preparedness in Oregon, and around the world
Early fall 2016
Read about the earthquake drill on October 20, and entrepreneurs and community leaders.
Dear friends,

Nonprofit community organization leaders at United Way
Nonprofit organization community leaders at United Way
I know that you've noticed the impact of campaigns on daily life - from TV ads and news stories in print and broadcast media to conversations at the grocery store and coffee shop.  I'm involved in a campaign here in Oregon, running for re-election.  My newsletters are intended to keep constituents up-to-date on my legislative work, which continues throughout the year.   If you'd like more information about the campaign, please visit my campaign website.

Working on legislative issues

In the last couple of months, not including the committee week in Salem, I've had lots of individual meetings as well as briefings with larger groups.  Housing Alliance brought together local  organizations Square One Villages, ShelterCare, Sponsors, Food for Lane County, NEDCO, and county and city agencies to review the housing crisis, the shortage of affordable permanent housing and temporary shelter, and the relationship persons with disabilities or who need stabilization, or treatment for mental health or addictions.

Another briefing focused on Wix: a publicly owned, carrier-neutral, high speed on-ramp to the internet, available to any provider, serving the community at large.  Right now it's rolling out in downtown. Thanks, EWEB, City of Eugene, LCOG, Technology Association of Oregon, and others. We talked about internet marketplace competition, co-working spaces, and traded sector companies. Some of these big ideas take patience. As a City Councilor I worked on getting telecom and internet to be treated as an essential utility, and voters approved a charter amendment in 2000 allowing EWEB to provide advanced telecommunications services in addition to water and power.  Like highways are infrastructure for moving people and things, the internet is infrastructure for moving data. Classified as essential utilities, completing water and power infrastructure was critical for the 20th century; the internet is now critical for the 21st.

Local state reps and senators joined United Way for their annual legislative meeting with community organizations, including a couple dozen local nonprofit organizations working to improve health, fight hunger, provide youth and adult treatment, and find affordable housing for Lane County residents.

Visiting OSU food science labs
Visiting food science labs
at OSU
Lean on Pete set visit
Oregonian working
on crew for movie
Lean on Pete
Coastal Caucus port tour
Coos Bay harbor tour

RAIN is the Regional Accelerator Innovation Network helping entrepreneurs ramp up from an idea to a business, increasing employment and economic activity in Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis, Florence, Lincoln City, and other communities in Lane,  Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties. RAIN works with high-growth traded sector startups -- companies producing things they sell in other places.  Sen. Beyer, Rep. Barnhart, other state and local officials and I heard from the founders of Bee Certain, The Curriculum Project, Animosa, and NemaMetrix.

I spent a couple of days hearing about jobs and economy at the Oregon Coast Economic Summit and had a tour at Port of Coos Bay.  While in Portland for a series of meetings I stopped in to see Oregonians at work on the movie "Lean on Pete."  That day, they were filming on location at a nonprofit facility in downtown Portland that provides shelter, a dining hall, job training, recovery and other services.  I also spent a few hours with OSU faculty and administrators learning about several proposed building projects, and the Food Science and Technology program, including a quick trip through the creamery and brewery, to see the wine-making and testing equipment.    

I'm also working with several constituents on ideas that may be presented as a bill to be considered in the next legislative session: licensing lactation consultants who provide services to new mothers, and oversight of prescription medications prescribed for older or fragile adults in long-term care; drug interactions and risk of falls are of particular concern.
Adjusting the state budget between sessions

With a multi-billion dollar budget for the entirety of state government, and all the boards and commissions and local programs it funds, there are bound to be adjustments between the time the legislative session adjourns and the next session begins.  E-Board is the Emergency Board, a group of senators and representatives appointed to process a limited range of budget-related actions while the legislature is not in session.  E-Board authorizes technical adjustments and spending grant money that has been received since the biennial budget was adopted.  Examples: to work on the Coos Bay Estuary management plan; or federal money to purchase firefighting training equipment such as tools, pumps, fire shelters, and mobile car fire training trailers.  

Grants: E-Board also approves agency requests to apply for grants.  In the September meeting we approved submitting ten grant proposals to fund projects such as prescription drug overdose prevention, a database to log Oregon's historic properties, and positive train control.  Another would establish "Registered Apprenticeship," a work-based training model that allows workers to earn a salary while they learn the skills employers demand in a variety of occupations. Local agencies, including Workforce Development Boards and nonprofit organizations, will partner with Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), Department of Human Services, Employment Department, Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) and public universities and community colleges.

Reports: The E-Board also receives reports that are required by law or have been requested by the legislature.  Last month we received reports on topics such as prison inmate population projections and bed capacity, nursing staff at state veterans' homes, and lead testing in schools. One report outlined a plan to look into accommodating ATV or other vehicle types on public roads in certain limited circumstances, depending on local situation and need (for example, a farmer traveling across a low-volume public road to get from one field to another).  Another report summarized the 2016 fire season: humans caused 573 fires (90% of all fires), and most fires are stopped at 10 acres or less, primarily with aviation attack. The burning of debris is prohibited during fire season, yet nearly half of the 104 fires caused by debris burning take place during this period.  Contact my office if you'd like information about any of these and other reports. 
Direction Service: marking a milestone and honoring founders

At an Open House this summer, the Direction Service Executive Director, Aimee Walsh, recognized the path forged by Dick Zeller and Marshall Peter: "Together, they have created a place where all children can thrive, can grow, and, regardless of circumstance, have a pathway to stability and happiness." Aimee spoke to the crowd gathered for the Open House at the new home for Direction in the Gateway area.  "Direction Service was founded in 1976 with a singular purpose: To help children with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live full and healthy lives. In this way, Direction Service took upon itself the considerable task of building an organization that would bridge communities and whose impact would span generations." Direction Service is linking more than 700 families to over 130 different programs and services.
Train derailment at UP rail yard

On a Sunday afternoon 13 train cars derailed while going at a slow speed in the UP rail yard near Roosevelt and Garfield. I went to see clean-up work and check up on emergency response planning, preparation, and how it worked for a real event. Just 24 hours later, there was little left to see and clean up was mostly done. I was pleased to hear about the immediate action from city and county partners -- "all hands on deck" -- and about the quick and smooth communication lines between the public agencies, first responders, and the railroad.  We're fortunate that this team comes together without "turf issues" and first priority to protect the public.  There was no leak of hazardous materials.  Most of the cars were empty, a grain car was righted and sent on its way within a day, and first responders stayed on site to be sure all appropriate care was taken to minimize risk and reduce danger for the neighborhood.
10:20 on 10/20

The Great Shakeout: Duck, Cover and Hold On on Thursday Oct. 20

The annual earthquake preparedness drill is held around the world every year on the third Thursday of October. In 2015, approximately 600,000 people in Oregon participated. Register to participate at www.shakeout.org/oregon. Oregon's Office of Emergency Management says:
DROP. Get on the ground since the shaking will make it difficult to walk and keep moving objects from hitting/hurting you.
COVER. Get under cover of a sturdy table or desk and use one arm to cover your head to keep falling materials from hitting/hurting you.
HOLD ON to a table leg to keep the cover object from moving away from you and to steady yourself. 

Two Weeks Ready

EWEB emergency water bottle
The Oregon Office of Emergency  Management (OEM) recommends having enough food, water and other supplies to keep you and your family self-sufficient for two weeks. This lessens the strain on emergency responders who need to focus limited resources on injured and other vulnerable populations immediately following a disaster. OEM advises that a "large earthquake and tsunami will leave much of the area's transportation routes destroyed.  ... Many of the standard preparedness kit items such as flashlights, gloves, hand-crank radios, trash bags and a first-aid kit are already included in a 72-hour kit. Food and water are priorities.  See 2 weeks ready

"Plan for one gallon of water per person/pet per day. If you are a family of three, four or more members, that's a lot of water! You need to think about how to store it, where to put it, and making sure it's accessible when you need it. Consider large (5-gallon or more) containers, supplemented with smaller containers and what you have stored in ice cube trays and your water heater. Collapsible water containers and water purifiers are also an option..."

For tips on food, shutting off utilities, planning evacuation routes and meeting places, and more, see the resource guide prepared by American Red Cross, Cascades Region.   Also see Facebook. 
Nancy Nathanson, State Representative | 541-343-2206 | rep.nancynathanson@state.or.us
Representative Nancy Nathanson, PO Box 41895, Eugene, OR 97404
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