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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23, 2021 | SILVERTONAPPEAL.COM
PART OF THE USA TODAY NETWORK
We’re learning who’s still getting sick
One thing in common:
They’re not vaccinated
Elizabeth Weise and Aleszu Bajak
Oregon Health Authority director Patrick Allen re-
cently described a tale of two pandemics.
“One is a pandemic that is dying out among people
who are vaccinated. And the other is a pandemic that
is raging as ﬁercely as ever among people who are un-
vaccinated,” he said.
According to the state’s most recent monthly re-
port, 98% of Oregon’s 16,097 COVID-19 cases and 91%
of the 126 deaths reported in May involved individuals
who were unvaccinated.
In Minnesota, the HealthPartners system has seen
a “precipitous decline” in COVID-19 hospitalizations,
says Dr. Mark Sannes, an infectious disease physician
and senior medical director for the system, which op-
erates nine hospitals and more than 55 clinics. But
now, nearly every admitted patient he does see is un-
“Less than 1% of our hospitalized COVID patients
are vaccinated,” he said.
In Ohio, at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical
Center, only 2% of the COVID-19 patients admitted in
the last month were vaccinated, said Dr. Robert Salata,
the hospital’s physician-in-chief.
And at Sanford Health, which runs 44 medical cen-
ters and more than 200 clinics across the Dakotas,
Minnesota and Iowa, less than 5% of the 1,456 patients
admitted with COVID-19 so far this year were fully vac-
cinated, said spokesperson Angela Dejene.
See COVID-19, Page 2A
COVID-19 vaccines are drawn from a vial at the
Oregon State Fairgrounds. BRIAN HAYES/STATESMAN
Dianne Lugo Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
The Willamette Queen sternwheeler cruises along the Willamette River in April. Owners Richard and
Barbara Chesbrough are asking $750,000 for the boat and business, Sternwheeler Excursions.
What’s next for the
Capi Lynn Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
Richard and Barbara Chesbrough, the
couple who brought history and nostalgia
to Riverfront Park, are ready to retire.
They’re selling the 87-foot sternwheeler
they’ve owned and managed for 22 years,
nearly all of it in Salem.
The Willamette Queen is not oﬃcially
listed anywhere. They tried that pre-pan-
demic with what claimed to be the largest
boat and yacht brokerage in the world, and
it failed to yield any prospects.
They had a potential local buyer on the
hook before that, but the deal fell through.
Since then there’s been interest from
residents of Independence and Newberg,
causing some to worry an out-of-town buy-
er will whisk the Willamette Queen away.
“Part of it’s emotional, people just love
that boat,” Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett told
the Statesman Journal. “It’s a landmark.
We need to keep it.”
The Chesbroughs would prefer it stay
here, too, moored at the city’s dock in the
city’s beloved downtown park. They’ve had
a sometimes-rocky relationship with city
and U.S. Coast Guard oﬃcials but endeared
themselves to the community by providing
a unique venue to celebrate birthdays, wed-
dings, anniversaries, graduations, class re-
unions and other special occasions.
“It’s been a labor of love,” Barbara said.
“We’ve put everything into it.”
They’re asking $750,000 for the boat and
business, Sternwheeler Excursions, and
both come with a slew of extras.
The last time the Willamette Queen was
out of the water for inspection and repairs, in
2019, Richard said it appraised at $800,000.
While not desperate to sell, they’re eager
to travel and spend more time with family
while they still can. He’s 80 and she’s 75, and
they have 10 children, 17 grandchildren and
nine great-grandchildren between them.
Merging two lives
Richard is a licensed captain and pilots
the boat. Barbara oversees the business and
runs the kitchen.
They bought the Willamette Queen to-
gether in 1998, although it’s in her name only.
He had a background in boats, having
grown up sailing on Cape Cod with his father,
but their bank oﬀered a better rate for a
female business owner.
See QUEEN, Page 3A
Nearly four in 10 Oregonians strongly or somewhat
agree with statements that reﬂect core arguments of
white nationalist and other far-right groups, accord-
ing to a new statewide survey.
DHM Research and the Oregon Values and Beliefs
Center, both independent nonpartisan organiza-
tions, surveyed 603 Oregon residents in a 15-minute
online questionnaire Jan. 8-13. They estimate the
margin of error is between 2.4% and 4.0%. To recruit
respondents, DHM used a professionally maintained
panel. They also set demographic quotas and weight-
ed data by area of the state, gender, age, and educa-
tion to ensure a representative sample of Orego-
Survey results indicated that, when compared to a
DHM Research panel in 2018, fewer Oregonians be-
lieved in protecting and preserving the country’s
More agreed that America “must protect and pre-
serve its white European heritage.”
Speciﬁcally, when posed similar questions in
2018, 92% of those surveyed agreed with protecting
and preserving America’s multicultural heritage. In
2021, that agreement had lowered to 86% of respon-
dents. In 2018, 31% believed that America had to pro-
tect or preserve its White European heritage, com-
pared with 40% in 2021.
It’s a “disturbing” revelation, said Lindsay Schu-
biner, a program director at Western States Center,
the progressive nonproﬁt organization that commis-
sioned the research.
She said the four in 10 represent a growing pop-
ulation in the state that is vulnerable to messages
commonly used by white nationalists like the ones
posed in the survey including, “America must protect
and preserve its white European heritage” and
“White people in America face discrimination and
unfair treatment on the basis of their race.”
“These numbers show that they’re certainly not
the majority, but I think this data does give insight
into the size of the population that white nationalists
may be able to appeal to or potentially recruit from,”
Growing support raises concerns
Open support for white nationalism and paramili-
tary groups remains low according to the survey, but
about one in 10 Oregonians do support the causes.
That support has risen from 6% in July 2020 to 11% in
See SURVEY, Page 3A
Human composting legalized under bill signed by Brown
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed a bill passed by
the Legislature legalizing human composting.
Brown signed House Bill 2574 on Tuesday, which
will legalize what’s also known as natural organic re-
duction, KOIN-TV reported. It also clariﬁes rules sur-
rounding alkaline hydrolysis, known as aqua crema-
tion. The law goes into eﬀect July 1, 2022.
Rep. Pam Marsh, from in Southern Jackson Coun-
ty, who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Brian Clem,
said she decided to sponsor the bill because her con-
stituents are interested in alternative after-death op-
“My colleagues could see as well that in addition to
providing families with a choice, it also is a business
opportunity,” she said.
Elizabeth Fournier, owner of Cornerstone Funeral
Services in Boring, Oregon, and author of a green
burial guidebook, provides “green” and eco-friendly
after-death services, and has given clients the option
of natural organic reduction since it was legalized in
Vol. 140, No. 27
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Washington state in 2020.
Fournier takes bodies to Herland Forest in Wahkia-
cus, Washington. It’s a natural burial cemetery about
100 miles east of Portland.
In 2020, Fournier witnessed her ﬁrst natural orga-
nic reduction and said seeing the process for herself
made her more comfortable in talking to her clients
about that option.
Marsh said the state plans to have its rules in place
for natural organic reduction facilities by 2022.