KWSO News for Tue., Jun. 21, 2022

In Warm Springs, the Pi-Ume-Sha Powwow will not take place this year, but the Pi-Ume-Sha Health fair is taking place tomorrow starting at 9am at the Community Center as well as an Equine Therapy session at Elmer Quinn Park. They will have the Veteran’s Parade this Saturday starting at 11am to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War and to honor all veterans. Yesterday The Warm Springs Tribal Council by motion took action to recognize Friday June 24, 2022 as a holiday in observance of the Treaty of 1855 for all Tribal employees. Employees will receive admin leave for compensation for this day. All essential employees will continue with their regular work schedules.

In Warm Springs the COVID-19 report shows that June 7th samples from the WS Agency lagoon show a strong concentration of COVID in the lagoon sample. There was no sample from Sunnyside. Health officials still recommend to take safety precautions while out in public spaces. Wear masks in heavily populated areas and continue to sanitize frequently. You can get home test kits at Emergency management during the week during normal business hours and at fire and safety after hours and on the weekends. If you do test positive they ask that you report a positive test to the Health & Wellness Center.

Starting July 1st, minimum wage workers in Oregon will see an increase in pay. KLCC’s Chris Lehman reports: “In 2016, Oregon lawmakers created a three-tiered minimum wage. That means while many of Oregon’s minimum wage workers will see a new rate of $13.50 an hour, employees in the Portland area will get an increase to $14.75. Those are both increases of 75 cents per hour. Meanwhile, the minimum wage in rural parts of the state will jump by 50 cents to $12.50 an hour.  This is the seventh and final increase that was written into the 2016 law. Next year, minimum wage increases will once again be indexed to inflation, though urban and rural areas will still have different rates. The Oregon Employment Department says roughly five percent of Oregon’s hourly workers earn the minimum wage. Oregon’s rate remains among the highest in the nation. I’m Chris Lehman reporting.” In Warm Springs the Tribes observe the federal minimum wage however there is effort being made to increase that amount for workers.  Yesterday – Tribal Council’s agenda included a presentation about a revised Salary Administration Chart.

The Klamath Basin has been plagued by drought and a lack of water for years. As OPB reports, Last year the region faced one of the worst droughts on record and this year Gov. Kate Brown declared a drought emergency in Klamath County for the third year in a row. The Yurok Tribe in Northern California reported that salmon numbers are faring better this year over last years numbers. The Klamath Tribes say federal agencies are not doing enough to protect endangered fish, and therefore have sued the federal government over the C’waam and Koptu, also known as the Lost River and short nose suckers. These fish are considered important subsistence and heritage fish for the tribes. Some Southern Oregon ranchers and farmers have been contemplating their future as a lack of water continues to plague the region.