KWSO News for 4/13/20

Warm Springs Prevention and KWSO gave out more than 200 bags of easter treats to Warm Springs Families in place of the annual easter egg hunt last Friday.  Most bags had 35-40 plastic eggs with treats and other items like a deck of cards plus 2020 census swag and information about making facemasks, card game instructions, stickers and how to complete your 2020 census. It was all given out in a KWSO shopping bag.  20 bags were distributed at the Simnasho 509J Meal Site – while other families were asked to “drive through the KWSO Parking Lot.”   Families were encouraged to stay home for Easter and to enjoy the day with their household in a safe way.

TODAY is the last chance for people to give input on a federal government draft plan to manage Columbia and Snake River dams. In the plan, managers addressed the controversial fate of the four lower Snake River dams. They want the dams to stay in place. To follow social distancing, federal officials canceled in-person public comment meetings and instead scheduled six teleconferences. That’s angered groups who say in-person meetings are important. Amy Grondin [GRAUN-din] is a commercial fisherman in Port Townsend, Washington. She says at the last teleconference, her telephone line disconnected three times – her husband was never able to make a public comment. “GRONDIN: “It’s not just me. It’s not just fishermen. I think everybody deserves a fair shake, and I don’t think any of us are getting it with this short comment period.” Conservation groups say the Trump administration is pushing policies through while social distancing keeps people from attending in-person meetings. For this process, people could also provide comments online or by mail.

The Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, will provide an extra $30 million dollars for both April and May. SNAP households should see extra benefits starting Friday and new members on April 29. KLCC’s Melorie Begay has more. “The temporary boost in funding comes at a time when unemployment applications have skyrocketed across the state. Department of Human Services Director Fariborz Pakseresht say the COVID-19 pandemic has left Oregonians facing unprecedented economic instability, and food insecurity. Eligible households will see additional funds on their EBT cards or other ways they regularly receive benefits. However, those already receiving the maximum SNAP allotment will not get additional funds.”

Oregon is banning all out of state residents from recreational hunting and fishing. It’s yet another fallout from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. KLCC’s Chris Lehman reports: “Sitting by yourself on the bank of a river with a line in the water may be the epitome of social distancing. But wildlife managers say there have been too many cases of people coming to Oregon to hunt and fish, and in the process, taking up resources in rural communities. So the state is closing off all recreational hunting and fishing to non-residents for the length of the declared public health emergency. ODFW says hunting and fishing will remain open for Oregonians, but the agency urges people to find locations close to home. In Washington, the state has put all recreational hunting and fishing on hold until at least May 4. I’m Chris Lehman reporting.”

School districts across the country are joining a movement to support graduating seniors by turning on their athletic field lights at 8:20 in the evening. That time is known as 20:20 on the 24-hour clock, and is meant to honor the class of 2020. Because of the coronavirus, this year’s 12th-graders are missing out on many rites of passage, including prom, spring sports, theater performances and graduation ceremonies. Mark Henderson is the athletic director at Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis, which will turn on its football stadium lights once a week through the rest of the school year. “Mark Henderson: “It’s a pretty dark time for a lot of people, especially these seniors. If we can brighten up the sky a little bit, shine a little light, and let them know that we care about them, and that they’ve got people that are supporting them and in their corner, hopefully that makes them feel a little bit better.” Many states, including Oregon [and Washington], have canceled all in-person learning for the remainder of the academic year.

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