Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, July 22, 2022, Page 3, Image 3

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    Friday, July 22, 2022 3
Driver saves pilot after helicopter hits tractor
Capital Press
The first moment Logan
Schneider realized some-
thing wasn’t right was when
tree branches and leaves in
front of him began shaking
Schneider was driving his
dad’s trac-
tor through
his brother’s
sweet cherry
orchard near
Wash., lis-
Wal- Schneider
try song in noise-canceling
headphones, when the leaves
started shuddering.
Then he heard thumping
behind him.
Schneider turned around
to see a helicopter hit
high-voltage power lines,
then careen downward, its
rotor blades hurling toward
There was no time to
move, Schneider says.
The helicopter smashed
into the tractor, its nose land-
ing against Schneider’s back
and pinning him against the
steering wheel. He doesn’t
Orondo Firefighters Association
A young man was working in a cherry orchard in Washington state when a helicopter
crashed into his tractor. The tractor operator survived and saved the pilot’s life.
remember feeling pain in
that moment, as adrenaline
coursed through his body.
Pushing off the steering
wheel, he managed to wrig-
gle free and get away from
the tractor, avoiding the heli-
copter’s blades.
Then, Schneider recalls,
he heard the pilot screaming:
“Somebody, help me!
The young man rushed
back toward the tangled
equipment, now ablaze.
“I really wasn’t thinking.
I just knew I had to get him
out,” said Schneider.
The young farmer recalls
that, approaching the heli-
copter, he felt intense heat on
his skin and breathed in the
overpowering smell of fuel.
The pilot, Schneider says,
was hanging upside down,
struggling to unbuckle his
seatbelt with a broken arm.
The young man unclasped
the pilot and pulled him out.
As the two walked away
from the fire, Schneider says
the pilot kept saying “thank
you,” “you saved my life”
and “I’m sorry.”
The teen called 911 and
recalls that first responders
arrived within 10 minutes.
Orondo Firefighters Asso-
ciation reports it responded
to the incident, near Tur-
tle Rock four miles south of
Orondo, at 9:20 a.m. July 6.
At first, firefighters strug-
gled to access the wreckage,
hindered by the high-voltage
power lines the helicopter
had struck. Once the power
lines were de-energized, the
association says its team
extinguished the fire. The
firefighters were joined by
first responders from Ballard
Ambulance and the Douglas
County Sheriff’s Office.
Soon, Schneider and the
pilot — named Cory John-
son, according to a public
records official at Douglas
County Sheriff’s Office —
were lying in the back of an
ambulance headed to Central
Washington Hospital.
Schneider had second-de-
gree burns on his arm, and
as he later learned, will need
physical therapy for mus-
cle damage to his back. The
teenager recalls that John-
son looked worse, lying in
the ambulance with a bro-
ken arm and burns across his
chest and back.
Central Washington Hos-
pital did not respond to a
request for comment on
Johnson’s condition.
It’s unclear why the crash
happened. The Federal Avi-
ation Administration says
it’s investigating, and offi-
cials are inspecting the Hiller
UH-12E helicopter.
According to the FAA, in
2021, there were 114 civil
helicopter accidents out
of about 3 million annual
flight hours across the U.S.
— about 3.9 accidents per
100,000 flight hours.
Schneider said he feels
fortunate that both he and
Johnson lived.
“Somebody was watching
and protecting me,” he said.
“God definitely saved me.”
Amazed by Schneider’s
luck, friends and family
members urged him to try
his luck a little further and
play the lottery. The teenager
bought his first lottery ticket
and won $2.
In spite of the life-threat-
ening helicopter incident,
Schneider, who graduated
from Eastmont High School
last year, remains steadfast
in his desire to become a
pilot. The young man plans
to start flight school at Big
Bend Community College
in Moses Lake, Wash., in
“I want to explore, see
places in the world,” he said.
“I still want to be a pilot.”
California truckers panic after Supreme Court declines to review AB 5 case
State law changed
most truckers into
employees, not
Capital Press
A recent U.S. Supreme
Court decision not to review
a case regarding worker clas-
sifications could force up to
70,000 of California’s truck
owner-operators off the road,
a trucking organization said.
poured on the fire that is our
ongoing supply chain cri-
sis,” the California Truck-
ing Association said of the
Supreme Court’s decision.
The decision could affect
agricultural exporters and
others who rely on trucks.
The conflict is over a 2019
California law called Assem-
bly Bill 5, or AB 5, which
makes it more difficult for
businesses to treat workers
as independent contractors
rather than employees.
AB 5 codified a stringent
three-pronged “ABC test” to
determine whether workers
are independent contractors.
The issue matters to busi-
nesses because employ-
ees are entitled to overtime
pay, benefits and the min-
imum wage, making them
more expensive than inde-
pendent contractors. Cali-
fornia’s trucking industry
has long relied heavily on an
“owner-operator” gig econ-
omy model with independent
contractors who own their
“It’s more expensive
to have employees versus
work with owner-operators,”
Matt Schrap, CEO of Har-
bor Trucking Association,
told agricultural exporters at a
recent conference.
The trucking industry
has fought to be exempt
from California’s ABC test.
Truckers argue that AB
5 should not be applica-
ble to truckers because fed-
eral regulations governing
the industry under the Fed-
eral Aviation Administration
Authorization Act of 1994
pre-empt the ABC test.
The California Trucking
Association and other groups
Farm Supply/EO Media Group File
California truckers are concerned about the U.S. Su-
preme Court’s decision not to review a case regarding
worker classification, which the industry claims could
take 70,000 truckers off the road.
say the law created a uniform
nationwide standard so truck-
ing companies wouldn’t have
to comply with a patchwork
of state laws.
Initially, a federal judge
in San Diego agreed with the
trucking association that AB
5 was pre-empted by federal
law. The judge issued a pre-
liminary injunction, which
temporarily preserved the sta-
tus quo.
Then, April last year, the
9th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals reversed that rul-
ing. The court concluded that
AB 5 is a “generally applica-
ble labor law” that applies to
truck drivers.
Truckers then turned to the
Supreme Court. Last August,
the California Trucking Asso-
ciation filed for a writ of cer-
tiorari with the Supreme
Court, requesting the high
court weigh in on whether the
federal law pre-empts AB 5.
On June 30, the Supreme
Court, without comment,
denied the California Truck-
ing Association’s petition,
meaning the 9th Circuit’s rul-
ing stands.
From June 30, truck own-
er-operators had seven days
to get in compliance with
AB 5 or “cease longstand-
ing independent businesses,”
according to the trucking
“In addition to the direct
70,000 owner-operators who
have seven days to cease
longstanding independent
businesses, the impact of tak-
ing tens of thousands of truck
drivers off the road will have
on an already fragile supply
chain, increasing costs and
worsening runaway infla-
tion,” wrote the association.
The high court’s decision
was welcomed by California
attorney general’s office.
“We’re pleased with the
court’s decision to reject this
challenge to AB 5’s applica-
tion to the motor carrier indus-
try,” said a spokesperson. “At
the California Department of
Justice, we’ll continue to do
our part to defend laws that
are designed to protect work-
ers and ensure fair labor and
business practices.”
Washington cap-and-trade
cost estimates increased
Capital Press
A Washington Depart-
ment of Ecology consultant
projects that cap-and-trade
auctions next year will be
more costly for fuel suppli-
ers and manufacturers than
originally expected.
Vivid Economics predicts
that allowances will go for at
least $41 each, nearly dou-
ble the $22.78 state agencies
estimated in 2021.
An allowance will grant
the right to emit 1 ton of car-
bon dioxide. High auction
prices will increase business
costs while raising more
money for state-funded cli-
mate-reduction programs.
Allowances could aver-
age $58 or $68 in 2023
under two other scenar-
ios analyzed by Vivid. The
firm did not project cap-and-
trade’s impact on gasoline
and diesel prices.
The state in 2021 esti-
mated auctions would raise
$441 million in govern-
ment revenue the first year.
The figure has not yet been
updated based on Vivid’s
forecast, Ecology spokes-
man Andrew Wineke said
NERA Economic Con-
sulting, hired by the West-
ern States Petroleum Asso-
ciation, estimated Ecology’s
rules will increase gas prices
by 56 cents a gallon and die-
sel by 64 cents in 2024.
Ecology maintains that its
proposal will increase pump
prices by less than 1%.
and global events, such as
COVID and Russia’s inva-
sion of Ukraine, drive fuel
prices, Wineke said. “Reg-
ulations play a very minor
role in the price people pay
at the pump,” he said.
Whatever the additional
cost, fuel suppliers prob-
ably will pass them along
to Washington motorists,
Washington Research Coun-
cil economist Kriss Sjoblom
said Tuesday.
The world market sets
fuel prices and suppliers
aren’t limited to serving
Washington, he said. The
auctions also will be another
reason for pump prices to
fluctuate, he said.
“Because there is uncer-
tainty about what allowance
prices will be, it probably
adds a bit to the volatility of
gas prices,” Sjoblom said.
The Legislature in 2021
passed cap-and-trade, the
centerpiece of Gov. Jay Ins-
lee’s climate agenda. To
carry out the law, Ecology
has proposed 138 pages of
Auctions are at the heart
of the rules. Beginning next
year, large carbon-emitters
will bid for allowances. The
number of allowances auc-
tioned off will decline each
Allowances are expected
to become increasingly
expensive as the state moves
closer to its goal of cutting
emissions by 45% by 2030
and 95% by 2050.
State agencies in 2021
projected the cost of alli-
ances based on California’s
experience, which has been
holding cap-and-trade auc-
tions since 2014. For many
years, allowances were
going for near the minimum
price, though they have been
rising recently, according to
the U.S. Energy Information
Vivid warned allowance
prices were uncertain. Many
factors will influence prices,
including how fast drivers
convert to electric vehicles,
reducing demand from fuel
suppliers for allowances.
Merging Washington’s
cap-and-trade auctions with
those jointly held by Califor-
nia and Quebec also would
hold down allowance prices,
according to Vivid.
Presumably, a bigger
pool of allowances will hold
down bids. Ecology will
start looking at linking up
with California and Quebec
once it’s finalized Washing-
ton’s cap-and-trade rules.
Food Northwest, a trade
association of food proces-
sors, says cap-and-trade will
increase the cost of making
food in Washington.
If Ecology doesn’t hold
down allowance costs, food
makers may move to Idaho,
the association said in com-
ments sent to Ecology.
Before you see the fruits
of your labor, there’s the
humble beginning.
Every new producer has to start somewhere. And it’s
far from easy. We help give young, beginning and small
farmers and ranchers a leg up with special financing
options, educational opportunities, and hands-on,
strategic advice to help you get started.
So if you’re ready to start cultivating your dream, give us
a call. We’d be happy to help.
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