Wednesday, October 28, 2020

COVID, Climate and 2020

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Courser claims ag abandoned by Schrader

The suddenly-tight race in the fertile U.S. 5th District could hinge on Oregon family farms and rural communities slammed by pandemic and wildfire, claimed the challenger to a six-term incumbent who has severed his official ties to agriculture.

Courser braces Schrader over law and order stand

Mounting the biggest challenge ever to an entrenched incumbent, Congressional candidate Amy Ryan Courser this week drew a stark battle line between her and six-term representative Kurt Schrader over law enforcement in the U.S. Fifth District.

Lincoln County discusses waiver of fees retroactively for wildfire victims

Lincoln County government met Monday to discuss possibly waiving construction fees for victims of the Echo Mountain Complex Wildfire and may do so retroactively to Sept. 8. 

Newport K9 team discovers commercial quantity of meth

Newport Police Officer Hayden Randall and his partner, K9 Nero, were responsible for discovering a commercial quantity of methamphetamine during a routine traffic violation...

NWS issues freeze warning for North, Central Oregon Coast

National Weather Service Portland issued a freeze warning Sunday night for the North and Central Oregon Coasts for 1-10 a.m. Monday.

Redemption Thrift theft in Taft

Former Lincoln City Mayor Don Williams took to Facebook Saturday with a video that shows a man making off with charity funds from his Redemption Thrift store in Taft.

Enough with the COVID doom and gloom

I just this minute have had enough of the doom and gloom COVID narrative.

Homepage team behind Fox 12 wildfire coverage

Where do Portland TV stations get their breaking news? Often, it turns out, from Lincoln City Homepage!
00:04:44

Volunteers raise spirits, hope amid wildfire ashes

A spirited volunteer cleanup effort is underway in Otis as workers sift through the rubble of destroyed homes left behind by the Echo Mountain Complex Wildfire.

Dick Anderson has lots of help funding his campaign

This past Wednesday, the Lincoln City News Guard ran a huge campaign ad for Dick Anderson and three other conservative candidates.

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Evacuations in effect for Lincoln City

A level 3 evacuation is in effect for all of Lincoln City from 40th street north. Level 3 means go now.

MYSTERY SOLVED! D.B. Cooper was my friend

He was the soldier who became a skyjacker, the skyjacker who became a priest, and the priest who lived and died in Depoe Bay. He was D.B. Cooper, the most famous fugitive on earth, and he was my friend.

Fire strikes historic Otis Cafe on Independence Day

North Lincoln Fire Rescue units swarmed the Otis Cafe shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday to combat a fully involved fire at the iconic restaurant.

Highway 101 hole prompts ODOT to call in geologists

Oregon Department of Transportation officials have called in geologists Thursday to take core samples of a hole on southbound Highway 101 in Otis.

Lincoln City wildfires update

Lincoln City government issued an update Thursday on wildfires north of the city, saying all evacuation orders are still in effect and residents are not allowed in the area.

An evacuated Lincoln City sits dark and intact

Lincoln City Police were active Wednesday night and were patrolling with spotlights in a town evacuated and once again without power.

2020

2020 has been a strange year, globally, nationally and personally — and it isn’t over yet.

My wife Diane and I have been travelling across the country with our dog Nick, in our small 25’, dual-battery, solar panel travel trailer for the last three months.  I’ve been following the news, listening to political views and seeing way too many political ads in the 20 plus states travelled so far. I’ve seen firsthand how people try to cope with COVID-19 state to state with the over eight million cases and nearly 220,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

Listening to what people (family and strangers) felt about the Black Lives Matter movement, the protests in Portland, Climate Change and police reform, let’s just say it wasn’t exactly the road trip “Vacation” the Griswold family took.

CLIMATE

As I write this, I’m sitting in Arizona. It’s 102 degrees in Phoenix, which just tied its record for most days at or above 100 degrees within a calendar year. The National Weather Service in Phoenix recorded a triple digit record for 145 days of 100-plus degree weather.

In the southeast from the Carolinas to Florida, coastal cities are expecting flooding under sunny skies from King Tides with the full supermoon, and the gulf states are preparing for more hurricanes and tropical storms.  Twenty-five systems have reached tropical storm strength or greater so far. The record is 28 named storms set in 2005. That record will most likely be broken this year.

California is still dealing with its worst wildfire season on record, with more than 4.1 million acres burned — more than twice the previous record set in 2018.  Most evenings here in Arizona we see the brownish red clouds from these fires, and now fires are erupting in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.

Lincoln City Fire

Then of course, there are the images from Lincoln County local news, Portland news, texts, email updates and calls regarding the deaths and devastation in the Pacific Northwest wildfires.  It was difficult to see the news accounts and hear of the loss and fear our friends and family experienced in Oregon and our long-time coastal community.  Ours hearts and prayers go out to all of you.

What is really sad, is most of what happened was predictable, and in some cases controllable or preventable.  I’m not saying any one individual or agency is accountable or to blame.  In fact, I’m saying the opposite.

We all need to take some responsibility for not seeing what has been right in front of our eyes for decades; Human influenced climate change has been happening since the dawn of the industrial age, civil rights and racism disparity is real in our country and pandemics would occur.

So, what can we do and how can we start?

CHANGE

Earth Day

Right now, our weather is extreme — unfortunately likely to be more extreme in years to come — but the trend in time can be slowed down.  It’s going to take generations (see my Earth Day article from April 2020) and hopefully, slowly reversed.

We need to change, learn to accept the facts, prepare your environment, know your evacuation routes and sit down with your family and neighbors to talk about what we could plan as a community.

It’s not going to be easy and right now in a time of sorrow, loss, despair and depression, both with the stress of COVID-19 and financial concerns, we may want to take small steps for now and begin with awareness.  Become an informed individual, family and community.

Now honestly and I’ve said this in classes I teach, “I’d rather be in Oregon, in a rural community than any other place.” Why? Because even though we have severe storms occasionally, that can include a rare tornado and even extreme snow or a rain, we’ve weathered them all and began to prepare for the worst.

We’re not in tornado alley like the Midwest, suffer huge blizzards and Atlantic storms found in the northeast, have hurricanes as in southeast and Gulf Coast or suffer the extreme heat in the southwest.  Well at least for now.

We have increasing wildfire, earthquake, and on the coast, tsunami threats.  Knowing this we can prepare and plan to minimize these threats.

Coastal communities — especially in Lincoln County — are building and making change. We have removed and or re-enforced essential structures for fire and police, rebuilt better hospitals and campuses, and moved schools throughout the county in preparation for earthquakes and tsunami.

Now we need to address a threat some did not fully understand or appreciate significantly in many parts of Pacific northwest, especially on the coast, Wildland fire.

What can we do as we rebuild to become a safer and more prepared community?  First, rethink wildfire, as yet another natural event.  Work with city and county planners for better evacuation roads as we rebuild and build in the future.  Become a FIREWISE community; Firewise USA® is a voluntary program that provides a framework to help neighbors get organized, find direction, and take action to increase the ignition resistance of their homes and community.  We have great resources and examples of this program throughout the Oregon and the United States. –NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION AGENCY

There is one thing you can do right now before November 3rd.  VOTE!  Vote for candidates who support the science, research, preparation and education.  Politicians who support funding for public community programs like Firewise and protect our natural environment.  Individuals who believe in the science to fight COVID-19 and reduce the influences of Climate Change.

Finally, thanks to all the First Responders, community members, charity organizations, firefighters from various states and countless individuals who came to our towns to courageously fight these fires and are assisting in the recovery efforts.  Many of these friends and associates lost their homes while fighting these fires.  Thank you all!

Become informed, be prepared, stay strong & be safe!

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Jim Kusz
Jim Kusz
Oregon Coast Community College, Disaster Preparedness Educator

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Congratulations on your road trip.
    My opinion about climate, is humans have and are having an effect, however,
    without everyone, in every country on board, we’d be spinning our wheels.
    Maybe it makes people feel better to try, but in actuality without global
    cooperation, forcing people, or investing(printing) vast amount of money is going to hurt our economy, the Paris climate accord..gave India a free pass,at least that’s the way I remember it, subsidized by what’s the name of that sucker nation?
    Right, now I remember.
    People lose sight of what climate is, it is not weather, climate is determined by
    generations of data gathering, and goes back before we gathered data, many
    severe events occured a hundred or more years ago, I think many of the wildfires were caused by humans, humans with poor infrastructure, ie power lines, people being careless or reckless with fireworks, campfires. I don’t think
    lightning caused any fires this time around.

  2. I’m guessing your 25 foot travel trailer treks across the country on solar power. What? It doesn’t. Then you are leaving a huge gas guzzling footprint. I guess someone other than you needs to “address the threat” of climate change.

  3. Thanks again Capt Kusz for all your education here before you hit the road. When our neighborhood hit Level 2 evacuation, we just threw the go-bags in the car and left. “This is why we have them.”

  4. Thanks again as well Capt Kusz. I was about to check the knuckle dragging Neanderthal box until you suggested “a candidate who supports the science”.
    Curious, where can I too get a pompous ass degree?

  5. I really expected to get eviscerated and trolled. May be they’re under that bridge.
    Is that the candidate that supports “truth over facts?” I didn’t know there was a difference.
    Yes- vote for the future of this great nation, we will get the results we deserve,
    what that means to one, may not be the same thing it means to another, if
    we fall for lockdowns, green deals and foreign sellouts, we will deserve what
    happens. I have plans for a victory, or a loss,I hope we survive.

  6. Kevin, I agree with you. You raise some excellent points in your first post which never seem to dawn on the Prius folks. China and India are the worst. I’m surprised DWG didn’t surface to bloviate. I heard he can’t get service from Biden’s basement.

  7. PG, let me get this straight. Captain Kusz curriculum included teaching you to place a bag in your car when you leave town. And just in case you forget, he named these bags…”GO Bags”. I’m guessing that’s because you put them in your car when you “go”. I’m also guessing “thats why we have them” was on the final…You couldn’t make this stuff up.

  8. Well, then I’m surprised Plague D, thanks, I try to keep things civil,
    but we can be passionate about our opinions.
    Of course, power has to come from SOMEWHERE, I have a hobby-
    entomology, and there are a lot of inquisitive and informed persons discussing
    different topics there.
    One new and amazing topic recently has been the FACT that most Amazon
    returns end up in landfills- look it up people and find out the ugly truth, which
    also seems to be a fact, supported by investigative journalism.
    My “go” bags- my suv filled with camping gear 24/7/365, grab the pistol and
    I’m good to go.

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Newport K9 team discovers commercial quantity of meth

Newport Police Officer Hayden Randall and his partner, K9 Nero, were responsible for discovering a commercial quantity of methamphetamine during a routine traffic violation...

Redemption Thrift theft in Taft

Former Lincoln City Mayor Don Williams took to Facebook Saturday with a video that shows a man making off with charity funds from his Redemption Thrift store in Taft.

Courser braces Schrader over law and order stand

Mounting the biggest challenge ever to an entrenched incumbent, Congressional candidate Amy Ryan Courser this week drew a stark battle line between her and six-term representative Kurt Schrader over law enforcement in the U.S. Fifth District.

MYSTERY SOLVED! D.B. Cooper was my friend

He was the soldier who became a skyjacker, the skyjacker who became a priest, and the priest who lived and died in Depoe Bay. He was D.B. Cooper, the most famous fugitive on earth, and he was my friend.

Lincoln County discusses waiver of fees retroactively for wildfire victims

Lincoln County government met Monday to discuss possibly waiving construction fees for victims of the Echo Mountain Complex Wildfire and may do so retroactively to Sept. 8. 

Courser claims ag abandoned by Schrader

The suddenly-tight race in the fertile U.S. 5th District could hinge on Oregon family farms and rural communities slammed by pandemic and wildfire, claimed the challenger to a six-term incumbent who has severed his official ties to agriculture.

Enough with the COVID doom and gloom

I just this minute have had enough of the doom and gloom COVID narrative.

NWS issues freeze warning for North, Central Oregon Coast

National Weather Service Portland issued a freeze warning Sunday night for the North and Central Oregon Coasts for 1-10 a.m. Monday.

Dick Anderson has lots of help funding his campaign

This past Wednesday, the Lincoln City News Guard ran a huge campaign ad for Dick Anderson and three other conservative candidates.