Rural Northwest ​Oregon Capitol Updates Vol 20

Senator Suzanne Weber

Rural Northwest ​Oregon Capitol Updates Vol 20

Dear Neighbors and Friends,

We are well into the 82nd Legislative Session and there will be a change in the way things are done here at the capitol soon. With deadlines looming, it is becoming increasingly important that members of the public attend committee meetings. This session has produced so many important and consequential bills that it is difficult for any one person to keep track of them all. Through testimony in public hearings, citizens are able to provide valuable information and experiences to better inform the legislature, allowing us legislators to better serve them.

Local Matters

Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood, & Wine Festival

Crab Fest

The Astoria Warrenton Chamber pulled together another very successful Crab, Seafood, and Wine Festival! If you missed this year, don’t worry they will be back at it again next year. The festival utilizes over 40 local contractors and vendors and with more than 360 volunteer shifts to pull this festival off, it truly is a community driven event to be proud of.  

The preliminary numbers show that well over 8000 people attended and nearly every hotel room and campground in the area was filled. Along with lodging, many festival goers spend time enjoying local shops and restaurants as well. The economic impact is easily over $2 million from this festival alone.  

Be sure to check out the Chamber website for all the major events going on on the North Coast. 

Tongue Point Job Corps Bring Your Kid to Work Day


Tongue Point Job Corps (TPJCC) participated in the Bring Your Kid to Work Day on April 27th.  They had 23 children of staff come and spend the day with their parents and grandparents. Each youth received a gift bag with TPJCC swag, games and snacks. The youth got to visit all twelve trades and the trades had trade related activities for them to try. For example the youth welded a garden ornament frog in welding, made a bird house or step stool in carpentry, played operation and took out staples in medical assisting. At the end of the day they had the choice to play dodgeball in the gym with students or make a tie dye t-shirt.

All had a good time and learned about Job Corps and what their parent or grandparent does all day at work.

I applaud Tongue Point Job Corps Center for their work with students and am so pleased to see them sharing the joys of teaching with their children and grandchildren. 

To learn more about this great option for educating our youth ages 16 to 24 years of age follow this link:  

Sunset Empire Transportation District Services Disrupted


I am extremely concerned and frustrated about the situation surrounding the Sunset Empire Transportation District suspension of services.  I, along with my staff, are working hard to get answers. 

I am deeply concerned for those employed by the district, those who rely on the bus service for work,  and our elderly and disabled riders who depend on the service to get to medical appointments.

I was able to secure a meeting with Governor Kotek this morning and bring her up to speed on the crisis Clatsop County residents are facing without access to transportation.  Even just today there were 60 scheduled ride appointments for medical services.  I didn’t have to convince the Governor of our hardship, she agrees this is indeed a service that must be restored.  She will be getting back to me today with any options she has found to help Sunset Empire Transportation District restore services.

Toilet Paper Factories Closing In Oregon Will Have Local Impacts

Toilet Paper

Cascades Inc., The owner of two toilet paper factories in Columbia County, is planning to close one of the factories and reduce production at the other. The Scappoose plant will lay off 88 employees starting from July 28, while the St. Helens factory will shut down one of its two production lines, with the number of affected jobs yet to be determined. The closures will affect the local economy, as the factories are significant sources of employment and revenue for the surrounding communities. Cascades Inc. claims that the decision to consolidate operations is to improve overall efficiency. 

The company expects the closures to cost between $20 million and $25 million, including severance payments, and has offered to relocate some employees to other locations. You can read more about the closures here.

Rare Sand Feature Atop Cape Kiwanda Wows Oregon Coast Geologists


Unusual sand formations have recently emerged at the shoreline along the Oregon coast, likely resulting from a combination of high winds, waves, and the composition of the sand in the area. These formations, which have attracted the attention of visitors and photographers due to their unique shapes and patterns, are a temporary occurrence that is subject to change as weather patterns and tides shift.

Geologists have identified wind and water as the primary natural forces behind the formation of these shapes. While visitors are welcome to observe and appreciate this rare phenomena, it is important that they also respect the natural environment and avoid causing any disturbance or damage to the shoreline. You can read more about the unique formations here.

Nighttime Visibility for Safety


Intersections, roadway departures, and vulnerable road user safety are all areas where nighttime conditions pose an additional dimension of risk. Shockingly, the fatality rate on American highways at night is three times higher than during the day. Though urban locations tend to have streetlights near public areas, such as schools, parks, and transit stations, it's important to consider additional safety measures that can be implemented, especially in rural areas where street lighting can be costly.

To address this issue, the Federal Highway Administration is organizing an Innovation Exchange Webinar that will bring together subject matter experts to discuss effective solutions for improving nighttime safety. The webinar will feature experts from the FHWA, local agencies, and the National Park Service, who will share their insights and experiences on the matter, with a specific focus on purposefully dark settings.

If you have questions about this upcoming webinar, you are able to contact Karyn Vandervoort with FHWA’s Office of Federal Lands Highway at

To join the webinar:
Join ZoomGov Meeting
Meeting ID:  161 162 7430
Passcode:  889904
Thursday, May 18, 2023 | 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET
No registration required.

Forestry Team FNRL State Convention 


Last weekend, the FNRL Team of Tillamook High School, led by their advisor Lori Loeffler, made me incredibly proud with their remarkable performance at the FNRL State convention. FNRL, a Career Technical Student Organization, focuses on Natural Resources Education and helps its members achieve Premier Leadership, Personal Growth, and Career Success. It is partly funded by the Oregon Department of Education and supports forestry and natural resource programs, similar to other organizations like FFA, FBLA, and DECA. FNRL provides both leadership training for students and professional development for staff. You can learn more about FNRL and what they do here

From The District

From The District with SW State Senator


Please listen here on SoundCloud or view the episode here on YouTube.


Stay Connected! 

Don’t forget to follow me on my social media pages! That is one of the best ways to keep up with what I am up to. I post regular updates and commentary about local and statewide issues. Below you will find several links. Feel free to follow me on whichever platform you prefer.

Oregon Legislative Information System

Both committee hearings and floor proceedings are available to watch online. You can track bills and be notified when a hearing is scheduled. I recommend spending some time learning about it by visiting Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS). Links to the instructional videos for each of the "How To" lines below are included in the attachments.

We are here for YOU!

As per usual our floor schedule is beyond our control.  But we will make time for you. Please email or call and my staff will get you on my calendar. My staff and I are here to help you! If you have a problem, question or comment, please feel free to email me at or

I do ask you to PLEASE include your phone number and your address. This allows me to call you to follow up or ask any questions I might have. Your address lets me know that you’re a constituent. I get thousands of emails every week, but I always make sure that constituents get top priority. If you’d prefer, you can also call us at 503.300.4493.

If you’d like to visit me in Salem, you’re always welcome to come by! If you drop by without an appointment, I’ll do my best to meet with you, but to ensure that I don’t have any other commitments, please call or email first for an appointment. That way I can make sure to give you my undivided attention.

Thank you so much for this opportunity to be your State Senator. It truly is the honor of my life, and I look forward to being your voice in the Senate for the next four years!​

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1716  District Phone: 503-300-4493
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-405, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Sen​
Website:  ​​