September 2016 Update

Deborah Boone


Dear Friends:

This has been an incredibly busy and challenging summer, and difficult in many ways.   Two of my immediate family members have been undergoing cancer treatment, and I’ve been leading the all-important family medical support network.  During one six-week period, there were daily trips to Portland for medical treatments.   This situation has been disappointing, as no one want’s their loved-ones to suffer sickness and pain, but also enlightening, because medical issues arise in all families.  Among other important lessons, this experience has highlighted the importance of Oregon’s role in cancer research and treatment.

OSHU Knight Cancer Institute is now an international cancer research and personalized cancer treatment center.  Top physicians and researchers are coming to Oregon to be a part of this tremendous life-saving effort.  This summer I was able to participate in a behind-the-scenes tour of the Knight Cancer Institute, and heard good news about strides they are making in the treatment of leukemia, colon, breast, prostate and other cancers.  Since beginning the Knight Cancer Challenge in 2013, more than $1 billion has been raised for this cause.   The Oregon Legislature approved $200 million in bonding to build the OHSU cancer treatment infrastructure as part of the Challenge.  Their first project is the Columbia Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Astoria, a cooperative effort between the Knight Cancer Institute and Columbia Memorial, they now offer Chemotherapy, Imaging, Pharmacy and other services for cancer patients, and will soon have radiation therapy as well.  

I also toured the North Coast Life Flight Air Station at the Astoria Airport, which covers the coastal area from Tillamook to South Bend, Washington transporting trauma victims to medical care.  The helicopter based in Astoria is instrument-rated, so it can fly in low visibilities conditions.   These types of medical facilities are vital to livability in the north coast region.

Traffic on our roads and highways has been especially bad this summer, the weather was so beautiful that more visitors than ever flocked to the coast, jamming the roadways.   One of the priorities of the coming legislative session will a comprehensive transportation package.  While we can’t constrict the number of cars on the road, we can work on improving road conditions and traffic flow patterns where needed.

The past few months have been packed with community celebrations, like county fairs and parades, and I’ve enjoyed participating in events ranging from the June Dairy Parade and County Fair in Tillamook to the 50 year anniversary of the Astoria Megler Bridge and Astoria Regatta, with so many wonderful events in between.   It is always nice to catch up with friends and neighbors and meet new people in our rural areas.

Garibaldi Days Celebration
Garibaldi Days Celebration

As Vice Chair of the House Veterans and Emergency Preparation Committee, I was delighted to attend the annual Tillamook and Clatsop County’s Veteran’s Stand Down at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds.  More veterans than ever attended this event to sign up for services ranging from educational opportunities to help finding local employment.  I feel we owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans and hope that all Oregonians will vote “YES” in November on Ballot Measure 96 which would dedicate 1.5% of Oregon Lottery proceeds to provide services to Oregon’s veterans.

In August the 5th annual Coast Caucus Economic Summit was held in North Bend.  This two-day conference included local, state and federal elected leaders, and was incredibly informative.  A series of panels addressed strategies for improving the economics in rural coastal areas. It was nice to hear from experts that in many ways, we are on the right track, and that Oregon is setting a standard of excellence.  However, transportation dominated much of the discussion and its importance in protecting tourism, emergency preparedness and efficiently moving people through our communities.  I’ve also been able to attend meetings of the Sunset Empire Transit District, and the Northwest Area Commission on Transportation this summer.  Senator Betsy Johnson is serving on the bi-partisan 14-member legislative committee working on a transportation package, and says there will be a series of meetings around the state to gather more information about transportation issues.


Sen Roblan and Rep Boone
Sen Roblan and Rep Boone at Coastal Caucus Economic Summit