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Wildﬁre smoke could impact lakes, scientists say
Reno Gazette Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
The eﬀects of the West’s increasingly frequent and
sizeable wildﬁres and accompanying smoke plumes
could have negative impacts on mountain lakes
throughout the country, according to scientists study-
ing the topic.
“Wildﬁre can modify ecosystems hundreds of miles
away from locations that are burning, and the impacts
from smoke remain well after the smoke disappears,”
said University of Nevada, Reno post-doctoral re-
searcher Facundo Scordo, one of several researchers
across the nation studying the issue.
“We want to understand how ﬁres in one region
connect across the continent,” said Sudeep Chandra,
associate professor at UNR and director of the Global
Water Center and Castle Lake Environmental Re-
search Program. “People are interconnected, whether
in the northeastern United States or the West. We are
all going to be impacted by the ﬁres here or in Australia
or in the rainforest.”
After California’s 2013 Rim Fire, which burned more
than 257,000 acres, UC Davis researcher Steve Sadro
started questioning the “telekinetic eﬀect of smoke.
The smoke ﬂume from the Rim Fire went straight up to
Sadro also began noticing the pervasiveness of
“It wasn’t just one ﬁre. There were multiple ﬁres.
The smoke was around persistently for weeks and
weeks,” he said.
He is partnering with scientists from UNR, Ohio and
New York to study the impacts of wildﬁre smoke emis-
sions on aquatic ecosystems.
Sadro and his team have 25 sites they are measur-
ing, from Oregon’s Crate Lake in the North to Sequoia
National Park in the South.
One of those lakes is 100-foot-deep Castle Lake, just
west of Mt. Shasta. In 2018, a thick cloud of wildﬁre
smoke from six major wildﬁres descended on Castle
Lake, causing smoke and ash to linger at the site for
nearly two months.
In its 64th year of monitoring, Castle Lake oﬀers
scientists the longest consecutive series of data for
mountain lakes in North and South America. Scien-
tists have sensors in the lake, measuring anything they
can – light, plankton, ﬁsh. Some sensors monitor in-
formation every minute – others monitor data every
week or month.
When technicians at the lake had a hard time
breathing due to the heavy smoke and ash brought
about by the 2018 ﬁres, Scordo and the other scientists
wondered, “If that happens to people, what happens to
What they found was that the smoke and ash plume
reduced the amount of light reaching the lake. Since
the ﬁres were burning during the summer, they were
impacting the lake’s most critical season in terms of
productivity, according to Scordo.
See SMOKE, Page 2A
The Covanta Marion facility in Brook s. DAVID DAVIS
AND KELLY JORDAN / STATESMAN JOURNAL
Paint, oil, plastic.
What is Covanta
Carly Blue Myers of Silverton puts together a charcuterie board and other items, part of the activities invol
ved in her event catering business, The Blue Pomegranate. GEOFF PARKS/SPECIAL FOR THE STATESMAN JOURNAL
Salem Statesman Journal
Silverton caterer brings the
world to her customers
Special to Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
Carly Blue Myers has drawn from a world of ﬁrst-
hand cultural and culinary experiences in making the
transition from restaurant employee to self-employed
After being downsized from a local restaurant due
to the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided in November
to leverage her extensive travels around the world and
immersion into other countries’ food customs to start
her own business, The Blue Pomegranate Catering.
Explaining those experiences, she starts out her
unorthodox life story in a matter-of-fact way: “Well, I
was born in Sacramento, then moved to Kenya.”
Myers, now 27, was whisked to that rural African
country as an infant, courtesy of her father’s job as a
church missionary. With that ﬁrst overseas living ex-
perience, which lasted two years, a peripatetic travel
schedule of new countries, cultures and food experi-
Sudan, Dubai, England and, later in her life, Mex-
ico, Peru, Cambodia, Austria and Turkey welcomed
with their diverse and complex customs, leaving her
with a deep appreciation of the foods of each region.
“Turkey is where my food inﬂuences mostly are,
and that’s why I call my business The Blue Pomegran-
ate, partly for my name and then partly for the fact
that the pomegranate is so much a staple of Middle
Eastern food,” she said.
Myers was working at Gather in downtown Silver-
ton when they closed in March 2020 and she was left
to contemplate a challenging future.
“I kind of pooled all of the things I love, from travel
to cooking, but hospitality is my favorite thing to do; it
makes me the happiest to have people in my home,”
she said. She set up a few dinner nights for friends,
neighbors and acquaintances to gather and enjoy
each others’ company — and her hospitality.
Later, those people told her, “You know, we would
pay to have this done for us.”
“And it’s really just what I was doing, but for free,”
Myers said. “So I came up with the idea for my busi-
ness last November, wrote out a business plan, got
certiﬁed (as a caterer) and launched it in May.”
See CATERER, Page 2A
State fair tickets and concerts on sale
Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
Tickets for the 2021 Oregon State Fair are now on
Event oﬃcials made the announcement in an email
with the headline: “At long last, we can make it oﬃcial:
The state fair, which was canceled last year be-
cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, will return Aug. 27
through Sept. 6 with the theme: “Fun Makes A
Tickets for admission, carnival rides, concerts, the
fair lift and a wine-tasting event will be available for
Pre-sale for admission, which ends Aug. 26 accord-
ing to the fair website, are $6 for an adult, $5 for a child
6 and older, $1 for a senior 65 and older, and free for
children 5 and younger.
Ticket prices are not listed online for the concert
series, which will feature nine shows:
h Friday, Aug. 27: Chicago
h Saturday, Aug. 28: Seether
h Monday, Aug. 30: Jon Pardi
h Tuesday, Aug. 31: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo
h Wednesday, Sept. 1: Zach Williams
h Thursday, Sept. 2: Flo Rida
h Friday, Sept. 3: Granger Smith, featuring Earl
h Saturday, Sept. 4: Collective Soul
h Monday, Sept. 6: Ezra Ray Hart with Mark
McGrath of Sugar Ray, Kevin Griﬃn of Better than Ez-
ra, and Emerson Hart of Tonic
Contact reporter Capi Lynn at clynn@Statesman-
Journal.com or 503-399-6710.
Vol. 140, No. 29
Online at SilvertonAppeal.com
News updates: h Breaking news h Get updates from
the Silverton area
Photos: h Photo galleries
Serving the Silverton
Area Since 1880
A Unique Edition of
the Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
Four tons of HVAC ﬁlters from Air Filters
Northwest in Portland. Eighty-ﬁve tons of toner
waste from ECycle Solutions, an electronics recycler
in Ontario, Canada. A hundred and ﬁfty tons of oily
solids from Waste Management in Portland.
Marion County garbage haulers are required to
take trash to Covanta Marion. Their fees, as well as
the revenue from generating electricity, paid oﬀ the
bonds Marion County issued to build the facility in
But the municipal waste incinerator in Brooks
burns more than just the county’s garbage.
Documents the Statesman Journal obtained
through a public records request show that Marion
County also has allowed Covanta to dispose of indus-
trial waste, some containing plastic, which is trucked
in from all over the western U.S. and Canada.
The incinerator has been taking industrial waste
since the facility opened, and it’s allowed under its
state pollution permits. But county oﬃcials have
never explicitly disclosed what materials are being
incinerated, or where they come from.
Neighbors and environmental groups have said
for years the public doesn’t know enough about what
Covanta is burning and what is coming out of its
That concern intensiﬁed in 2016 when the county
amended its contract with Covanta to allow it to
truck in 25,000 tons per year of medical waste, con-
taining plastic, from out of state and Canada. Plastics
can create dioxins, particulate matter and other
harmful pollutants when burned
County oﬃcials call the shipments of industrial
waste “supplemental waste,” which they deﬁne as
non-medical waste that requires special handling.
This waste makes up about 3% of what is burned
each year at Covanta.
Waste burned in recent years has included poly-
urethane foam peanuts, paint, rubber and pharma-
ceutical waste, according to the documents the
Statesman Journal reviewed.
That waste came from companies including
American Petroleum, Boeing, Epson, Fujiﬁlm, Hew-
lett-Packard and Xerox, and from environmental dis-
posal services including Clean Harbors, Sonoco Re-
cycling and Whitecap Environmental. Those compa-
nies are located outside Marion County.
Covanta spokesman James Regan said processing
supplemental waste with plastic, as well as munici-
pal waste that also could include plastic, does not im-
pact the facility’s ability to comply with its air pollu-
“In fact, there has always been unrecyclable plas-
tic material in the waste stream and the facility has
been able to safely process that material for energy
But health and environmental activists said they
were alarmed by the information the Statesman
“It makes the Willamette Valley a dumping ground
for other people’s waste products,” said Lisa Arkin,
executive director of Eugene-based Beyond Toxics,
See BURNS, Page 2A