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Former Rep. Vic Gilliam of Silverton dies
A Republican lawmaker who served for a decade in
the Oregon Legislature before resigning in 2017 for
health reasons has died, the GOP leadership said
Victor “Vic” Gilliam, of Silverton, was 66 years old
and had Lou Gehrig’s disease. He had continued serv-
ing even when the disease slurred his speech and
caused him to walk in the Oregon State Capitol with a
“Never one to back down from a challenge, Vic had a
heart for service and was dedicated to all Oregonians.
His famous smile and good-nature earned him friends
across the state,” said Senate Republican Leader Fred
Girod, of Stayton.
In November 2015, Gilliam announced that he re-
ceived a preliminary diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis, or ALS.
The year before, he had participated in the ice buck-
et challenge, aimed at raising donations to fund re-
search into ALS, with his friend Rep. Brian Clem, a
Democrat from Salem. A video shows the two on a
bench on the Oregon State Capitol grounds getting
buckets of ice and ice water poured over them as they
pretended to hold a meeting.
Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, said Gil-
liam "was spectacular when he was giving a speech
and could always make people laugh.
“He had a special sensitivity for the most valuable
Oregonians, seniors and children,” Courtney said.
“You could tell that he took the legislative process seri-
ously and felt it was a high honor to be a public ser-
Gilliam was appointed to the House in January
2007 and was elected ﬁve times before resigning in
Rep. Vic Gilliam laughs while speaking on the House
floor of the Oregon State Capitol Monday July 8,
2013. STATESMAN JOURNAL FILE
Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
The Elsinore Theatre, seen her on Feb. 21, 2019, remains a historic landmark in downtown Salem.
MICHAELA ROMÁN / STATESMAN JOURNAL
by lack of guidelines
Marion County moves
into phase 2 of reopening
Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
Like many entertainment venues in Oregon, the
Palace Theatre in Silverton closed days before Gov.
Kate Brown’s executive order in March.
Now that movie theaters and indoor entertainment
venues can reopen as Marion County moves into
phase 2 on Friday, Palace Theatre co-owner Stu Ras-
mussen isn’t sure what to do.
The only movie venue in Silverton is tentatively
scheduled to reopen July 15, but between the lack of
new movies being released, the rise in COVID-19 in-
fections in the county and the guidelines for reopen-
ing being unclear, Rasmussen isn’t sure what to do
and what will happen when it does.
“We face many more challenges being open than
being closed,” Rasmussen said.
Brown announced Wednesday that Marion and
Polk counties would move to phase 2 beginning Fri-
day, citing a decrease in hospitalizations from CO-
VID-19 in the counties.
With the move into the next phase, movie theaters
like the Palace Theatre, Salem’s Elsinore Theatre and
Salem Cinema will be able to open for the ﬁrst time in
three months, as will swimming pools, bowling alleys
and arcades, and restaurants and bars can stay open
But with that reopening allowed, live entertain-
ment venues are still concerned about how and when
they should reopen.
The Elsinore Theatre has its ﬁrst scheduled event
since the shutdown for October, but the venue has
been hesitant of when to schedule live events as ques-
tions linger about how they will be allowed to operate.
“To ﬁre the machine up again and to get that going,
it’s a risk,” Elsinore Theatre Executive Director Tom
Fohn said. “What should we be risking it on? That’s a
question I get to answer. It’s hard.”
Marion and Polk counties entered the ﬁrst phase of
reopening May 22, which allowed restaurants to open
for limited indoor seating and personal services like
On their entry into phase 2, however, people will be
See THEATERS, Page 2
Oregon advocates celebrate
victory after DACA decision
After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that
the Trump Administration acted illegally when it end-
ed the Deferral Action Childhood Arrival program,
known as DACA, advocates and educators in Oregon
lauded the decision as a victory.
But they warned more action is needed to protect
DACA recipients and those living undocumented in
the United States.
The decision, which has been looming for months
since it was argued before the Supreme Court in No-
vember, is expected to impact more than 700,000 re-
cipients that currently beneﬁt from DACA, including
Oregon educators, students and their families.
About 11,000 people in Oregon are DACA recipi-
The decision made Thursday means DACA stands
— for now.
Those immigrants are able to retain their protec-
tion from deportation and their authorization to work
in the United States.
So-called “Dreamers” have been in limbo since
President Donald Trump announced his intent to ter-
minate the program in 2017.
Hundreds of thousands of people brought to the
United States as children have used the program to
have their deportations deferred and to work legally
in the U.S. since former President Barack Obama cre-
ated DACA through an executive order in 2012.
See DACA, Page 3A
Vol. 139, No. 27
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Three months after it was authorized under a fed-
eral relief package, unemployment beneﬁts for about
70,000 self-employed people in Oregon remain un-
processed,, Oregon Employment Department Acting
Director David Gerstenfeld said Wednesday.
That’s out of 97,000 people who have applied for
“We know that these numbers are frustrating, dis-
couraging and frightening,” Gerstenfeld said.
He said the state has paid beneﬁts to about 17,000
people in that category out of 24,000 who have had
their claims addressed by the department.
Gerstenfeld said that those who
qualify will eventually get the beneﬁts
they are due and encouraged them to
“When we process them, they will
be able to get retroactive beneﬁts,” he
said. “It’s easier on our end if they
Gerstenfeld don’t stop doing that each week.”
Oregon has received 486,700 initial
unemployment claims since March 15
and has paid out $1.7 billion in beneﬁts, according to
data from the department, but about one-ﬁfth of
those were self-employed or gig workers who were
never before eligible for beneﬁts.
Under the CARES Act, which was signed into law
in March, gig workers and the self-employed are eli-
gible for the ﬁrst time to receive unemployment at a
$600 per week rate as businesses were shut down
due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gerstenfeld said the department has been moving
a number of its more experienced claims handlers
from processing regular claims to the self-employed
and gig worker category.
He said the Oregon National Guard has supplied
about 15 people to handle claims, and it has focused
them on calling people in those categories to work
their way through claims.
“They have been focused on the ... program for
reaching out to people who had submitted applica-
tions and some information was missing,” he said.
Gerstenfeld said the department is adding 60
more people to handle those claims for self-em-
ployed and gig workers in the next week and con-
tinues to add more.
Those beneﬁts are set to expire July 25.
“You would have thought that the federal govern-
ment would have sunk some money into employ-
ment departments into getting temporary workers
because they’re not able to process claims,” said Kev-
in Furey, a professor of economics at Chemeketa
Gerstenfeld said every time the department has
come up with new ways for people to contact the de-
partment to process their claims – such as additional
phone lines and email – it has been quickly over-
He said since the department launched an initia-
tive to process the backlog of regular claims, called
Project Focus 100, two weeks ago, it has addressed
99% of those claims.
“We know that there are still some people waiting
for regular unemployment beneﬁts,” Gerstenfeld
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“We know that these numbers are
frustrating, discouraging and
Oregon Employment Department Acting Director