March 23 2017 Legislative Update

Deborah Boone

Greetings from Salem!

This week the House unanimously approved HB 2100 which provides that US Highway 20 from Newport to the Idaho state line shall be known as the Oregon Medal of Honor Highway.  We were honored to have Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Robert Maxwell present during the vote.  96-year old Maxwell, of Bend, is the nation’s oldest living Medal of Honor recipient and the only Medal of Honor recipient living in Oregon.   Maxwell’s citation for the award describes his valor during intense combat in September of 1944 near Besancon, France where Maxwell threw himself on a live enemy hand grenade saving his comrades in arms and facilitating maintenance of vital military communications.  26 recipients of the Medal of Honor have resided in, live in or were laid to rest in 11 cities and communities across Oregon.  This designation comes at no cost to taxpayers, Oregon Veterans have volunteered to pay for the highway signage honoring these heroes to be installed along the Highway 20.  HB 2100 now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Robert Maxwell Medal of Honor Recipient
Robert Maxwell (Center) Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

At our weekly Coastal Caucus meeting we heard from Shelby Walker, Director of the Oregon Sea Grant Program.  Sea Grant is one of the coastal programs that the President Trump has singled out for elimination within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The budget proposal calls for a 17 percent reduction to NOAA, which funds research on ocean conditions, weather patterns, climate change and other aspects of earth science.   Walker says currently Oregon Sea Grant receives about half of their $5 million budget from NOAA, with another $1.2 million in matching funds from OSU tied directly to the NOAA funding.  Oregon Sea Grant’s research has included how ocean acidification impacts shellfish, how to improve tsunami evacuation procedures, and potential effects of rising sea level.  The program has also worked with the fishing industry to improve direct-to-consumer sales, provides marine science training for coastal educators, and works with local governments on a variety of issues.   Coastal Caucus members assured Walker that they recognize the value that Oregon Sea Grant provides, and would be working with her, OSU and Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to encourage ongoing financial support for the program.

The Clatsop Economic Development Resources (CEDR) awards were held Wednesday night, and recognized some outstanding businesses on the north coast.   Kevin Leahy, the CEDR Executive Director says the Small Business Entrepreneurship award went to The Wine Shack & Provisions 124.  Ruth Swenson & Hillcrest Inn received the Outstanding Customer Service Award.   The Visionary Award was won by the Astoria Coffee House & Bistro/Cargo/Carruthers.  The Small Business Service to the Community was won by Kathleen Deland Peterson of KP Graphics.  The Technological Advancement award winner is Gustafson Logging.   The Large Business Service to the Community award winner is Coaster Construction. The Job Creation award winner is the Pelican Pub and Brewery. The Economic Development award was presented to Martin Hospitality and finally, the Large Business Entrepreneurship award winner is LECKTRO, which is the only company to win a CEDR award twice. Business creation, innovation and expansion are critical to the economic health of our communities, so I am gratified to see the work of Kevin Leahy and the Clatsop Economic Development Resources. My congratulations to all the Clatsop County businesses that received recognition during the 2017 CEDR awards.

Congratulations go out to the Seaside Seagulls, the 4A Boys Basketball State Champions!  Led by 2016 Player of the Year Jackson Januik, the Seagulls had the top 4A team ranking from the beginning of the season, and won their first-ever basketball title.  House District 32 is a basketball powerhouse, with the Banks Braves finishing 4th at state, and the Tillamook Cheesemakers finishing 5th.  Jackson Januik of Seaside, Dalton Renne of Banks, and Ian Collette of Tillamook were named to the Tournament First Team, and Chase Januik and Attikin Babb both of Seaside received Second Team honors.

In the Girls 4A Basketball Championship Tournament, there was another strong showing from the District, with Banks finishing in 2nd place, and Seaside ending their best season ever with a tournament win to claim 3rd.   Named to the First Team were Maddi Utti of Seaside and Anna Klein and Aspen Slifka from Banks.  Sydney Gregg, another Banks stand-out was named to the Second Tournament Team.

Seaside Seagulls 2017 State Champions
Seaside Seagulls 2017 4A State Champions