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About Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 11, 2021)
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11, 2021
Continued from Page 1A
more than 35 employees; provide a
Youth Employment Certiﬁcate from the
Bureau of Labor and Industries; pro-
vide documentation the youth worked
between May 1 and Sept. 30; and allow
a representative of Willamette Work-
force Partnership to visit the work-
Bethell said the idea came from
Brenda Frketich, owner of Kirsch Fam-
ily Farms in St. Paul, and was based on
a similar program Linn County admin-
isters. Bethell said Linn County has
done its program for over a decade and
hasn’t exhausted the money it has set
aside in any given year.
Bethell said Marion County's pro-
gram isn’t aimed directly at the agricul-
ture sector and is for businesses of all
Nationally, employment among
teens is at near-record low levels.
In 2020, 30.8% of teens were em-
ployed. In 2000, 51.7% of youth in the
United States were employed, accord-
ing to data from the U.S. Bureau of La-
bor Statistics. In 1948, the number was
Also, Latino teens (25.8%), Black
teens (25.1%) and Asian teens (14.3%)
were less likely to be employed than
white teens (33.4%), according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to the Pew paper, fewer
young people work in entry-level jobs
such as sales clerks or oﬃce assis-
tants. Possible reasons could include
more schools ending later in June and
starting before Labor Day, and
schools requiring volunteer commu-
nity service to graduate.
In the latest numbers, from May
2021, 32.4% of youth age 16-19 were
employed, a slight improvement over
2020’s overall numbers.
The money Marion County is using
for the program comes from video lot-
tery proceeds designated for econom-
Bethell said the money will essen-
tially be used to reimburse a portion
of the wages the company pays.
Each employee’s wages are capped
at 1,000 hours of work in the May
through September period.
“It’s an opportunity for businesses
to shorten one burden that they may
experience in the employment market
and speciﬁcally focus on youth,” Be-
Bill Poehler covers Marion County
for the Statesman Journal. Contact
Crews with Hoffman-Skanska work on the new $2 billion remodel of the roof
using salvaged wood product from Freres Lumber Co. at Portland International
PHOTOS BY BRIAN HAYES/STATESMAN JOURNAL
Continued from Page 1A
Marion County commissioners Colm Willis and Danielle Bethell speak to
community members about a proposal to remove the Scotts Mills dam. ABIGAIL
DOLLINS / STATESMAN JOURNAL
Continued from Page 1A
risks to health increase for everyone
when the AQI passes 201, and the air is
hazardous when the AQI reaches 301.
Air quality in Salem during last year’s
Labor Day ﬁres exceeded 400 on the AQI
scale, and in Bend passed 500. Last year,
Oregon OSHA released recommenda-
tions, but no rules, on keeping workers
safe from wildﬁre smoke. Many farm-
workers continued working, often with
Jamie Pang South, the environmental
health program director at the Oregon
Environmental Council, said the rules
are a good start, but don’t go far enough.
She said worker advocates also sought
the creation of a buddy system, the sus-
pension of work quotas and extra man-
datory breaks for workers during high
“They’re a little bit disappointing, and
they will also need strong enforcement,”
Pang South said, while giving credit to
OSHA and emphasizing the rules are a
positive step and “a baseline for more
Some positive components of the
rules include their limited application to
wildland ﬁreﬁghting and other emer-
gency response activities, and the avail-
ability of KN-95 masks when the AQI
passes 101, she said.
“Our state has been at the center of
the climate crisis this summer, and
that’s shattered any illusion that the Pa-
ciﬁc Northwest is safe, and as a result,
OSHA’s willingness to inch forward on
these things show that there is an exi-
gent environmental crisis happening
that oﬃcials must respond to protect the
health of people,” Pang South said.
Jenny Dresler, a lobbyist for the Ore-
gon Farm Bureau, a growers’ associa-
tion, said she would have preferred tem-
porary smoke rules more similar to the
temporary rules the state of Washington
released in July, but appreciates that
mandatory, ﬁt-tested respirators are not
required under Oregon’s rules until the
AQI reaches 500. She also hopes OSHA
will make information and training ma-
terials readily available, she said.
Washington’s temporary smoke rules
include providing respirators for volun-
tary use when the AQI reaches 151 and
allowing workers rest breaks where the
air is ﬁltered.
At the federal level, OSHA lacks rules
to protect workers from smoke, and Cali-
fornia is the only state with permanent
rules to protect workers from smoke.
They include requiring employers to
provide respirators for voluntary use
when the AQI exceeds 151, and ﬁt-test-
ed respirators for mandatory use when
the AQI reaches 500.
OSHA said the temporary smoke
rules also apply to labor housing,
Making sure housing
is not too hot
The temporary heat protection rules
for labor housing center on employers
trying to keep the temperature down in
housing units, providing access to in-
door or outdoor cooling areas, and en-
suring occupants have a way to contact
The rules also require employers to
put a thermometer in each housing
unit and prominently display informa-
tion on heat risks in housing.
Dresler described the temporary
heat rules for labor housing as clear
and achievable and said the agricultur-
al employers she has met with already
employ some of these practices.
“They’re really reasonable and can
be applied pretty easily,” Dresler said.
“They provide clear directions to em-
ployers and a clear regulatory scheme
for employees to understand what the
requirements are in housing.”
Employers must aim to keep the
temperature in housing units below 78
degrees Fahrenheit through air condi-
tioners or evaporative coolers and/or
protecting windows from direct sun-
light and making fans available at no
cost to workers.
If employers cannot keep the tem-
perature below 78 degrees in rooms
where people sleep, they must provide
cooling areas for when the heat index
outside the units passes 80 degrees.
Employers must accomplish this by
giving people constant access to cool-
ing rooms, and/or creating outdoor
rest areas with shade, seating, and wa-
ter misters, cooling vests, or cooling
Employees are also supposed to be
protected from discrimination and re-
taliation when exercising the rights in
these rules or making a complaint, the
rules note, but worker advocates worry
there still may be enforcement issues.
Dora Totoian covers farmworkers
through Report for America, a program
that aims to support local journalism
and democracy by reporting on under-
covered issues and communities.
You can reach her at dtotoian@
to locations around the world.
Owned and operated by the Port of
Portland, a quasi-governmental agen-
cy, the airport has become the 30th
busiest in the United States.
To more eﬃciently move those mil-
lions of people, the airport undertook
an expansion in 2017, with plans in-
cluding a new concourse, a new ticket-
ing area and a major expansion of the
When completed, the pre-security
area will be widened 150 feet to the
west to add about 175,000 square feet,
nearly doubling it to about 360,000
The stores below the roof will be
built to resemble Portland neighbor-
hoods, complete with doughnut
To give travelers the feel they are in
the Paciﬁc Northwest, the designers
opted to build as much as possible out
of locally-sourced wood. A project that
big requires a lot of it.
“The concept behind the roof is that
you’re in the forest, that you have the
light ﬁltering down through the trees,
and you’re obviously walking under-
neath wood,” Simonds said.
"I don’t think people are going to
step oﬀ an airplane and say, ‘It feels
like I’m in a forest,' but it’s one of those
things in your surroundings that you’ll
just feel – similar to lighting. When
you bring natural light in, people step
oﬀ a plane and think, ‘This is so nice.’”
The roof is designed to appear like
rolling waves to simulate the current
of rivers and oceans in Oregon, and
decorative elements underneath will
be made of more wood, including
planters for trees on the ﬂoor.
Giving destruction new life
The Beachie Creek Fire, ﬁrst detect-
ed Aug. 16 in the Opal Creek Wilder-
ness, spread rapidly due to a high wind
event Sept. 7, growing to over 130,000
acres in one night.
The ﬁre killed ﬁve people, ravaged
193,573 acres and destroyed about 500
When it tore through communities
in the Santiam Canyon, Freres Lum-
ber’s Mass Ply mill and other manu-
facturing facilities in Lyons were in the
“We had ﬁres still going on our
properties next to the mill site,” said
Tyler Freres, vice president of sales for
the family-owned business.
The wood product manufacturing
business was shut down for three
weeks. Though its facilities were rela-
tively unscathed, the private timber
land the company owns around the
Santiam Canyon was heavily impacted.
Freres said about 5,700 of the com-
pany’s 17,000 privately-owned acres of
timber were damaged in the Beachie
But the ﬂames moved so fast that
when it killed the trees, the wood wasn’t
Since the wildﬁre, Freres Lumber has
been salvaging wood from its private
acreage and wildﬁre-damaged trees
from other sources and turning them
into usable products.
“So far, we have yet to see a real
structural or even a visual aspect that’s
been aﬀected by the ﬁres for the wood
that we’re processing,” Freres said. “Of
the ﬁber that we’re pulling in that sal-
vage wood, it’s all good usable ﬁber.”
Freres said the company has already
replanted more than 500,000 seedlings
in the salvage logged areas.
A large part of the wood products be-
ing processed at Freres’ Mass Ply Panel
facility on the edge of Lyons has been
going to Portland International Airport
Building a roof, then
putting it in place
Smoke rises over the Bruler Fire burning south of Detroit Lake. Temporary rules
going into effect next week address worker safety during smoky conditions.
PROVIDED BY U.S. FOREST SERVICE
The new roof is going to be gigantic.
It’s being built 13 feet up on 23 acres
of concrete poured speciﬁcally for the
construction on the northwest portion
of the airﬁeld. The entire roof will be
constructed in pieces.
Over the span of three nights in the
spring of 2022, each piece will be moved
a few thousand feet to the terminal by a
transporter designed to move subma-
rines and installed 55 feet in the air at
times there will be no one below.
“It really keeps the terminal operat-
ing,” said Katrina Day, construction
manager for contractor Hoﬀman Skan-
ska, explaining that building the roof in
place would have required the terminal
to be shut down for safety.
Zip-O-Log Mills of Eugene is supply-
ing the beams for the project and Freres
is supplying the MPP panels, a structur-
al veneer-based mass-timber product.
The Y-shaped steel supports for the
roof at the terminal are being dug 160
feet into the ground, as opposed to the
normal 90 feet, and the entire roof is de-
signed to sway 24 inches in any direc-
tion in case of an earthquake.
“It’s all being designed so that when,
not if, but when we get the big Cascadia
event, that this thing rides it out and
this region still has an airport,” said
Brad Harrison, senior manager of con-
struction service for the Port of Port-
Freres said the family company will
supply about 800,000 board feet of
MPP for the roof, the equivalent of
79,000 cubic feet of wood or about 30
acres of mature timber.
Each panel is warped by carpenters
onsite to ﬁt the waves in the roof over
the beams, but still ﬁt precisely next to
each other like a jigsaw puzzle.
The company started delivering pan-
els in April and will continue multiple
deliveries each week through June
2022. Much of the wood ceiling won’t be
visible during construction as it will be
covered with acoustic panels.
Once the new wood roof is in place,
the current one will be removed and
more construction will take place below.
Salvage logging a
Salvage logging after a wildﬁre is a
On public lands, it often draws a
ﬁght, such as when the Oregon Depart-
ment of Forestry put forth in 2020 a
controversial plan to log about 20% of
the more than 15,000 acres of state-
owned timber land burnt in the wild-
Environmental groups like Sierra
Forest Legacy argue salvage logging
increases ﬁre risk, unnecessarily dis-
rupts wildlife and can lead to in-
On private lands, the state requires
notiﬁcation, reforestation, wetland
protections and that salvagers follow
ﬁre prevention and suppression meth-
Salvage logging allows private com-
panies like Freres, which took an esti-
mated $24 million hit due to the wild-
ﬁres, to recoup as much as possible.
All of the wood Freres is currently
processing is salvaged.
“To me, it’s really interesting and a
somewhat complex concept because
wildﬁre is devastating,” Simonds said.
“It’s devastating to the people, the
communities, the land owners and the
“It’s nice to have something to do on
the back side because it does mean the
landowners still have a way to beneﬁt
and ﬁnd sustenance and survivability
for the companies and families.”
The Portland International Airport
terminal will reopen by 2023, though
further phases of construction will
continue through 2025
The thousands of people each day
who pass under it may not know the
circumstances of the wood, but they
will still be protected by it when the
Oregon skies are pouring rain, produc-
ing something good from tragedy.
“That’s the silver lining, when you
get down to it,” Freres said.
Bill Poehler covers Marion County
for the Statesman Journal. Contact