Illinois Valley news. (Cave City, Oregon) 1937-current, April 30, 2003, Page 9, Image 9

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Illinois Valley News, Cave Junction, OR Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Page 9
136 South Redwood Hwy. 592-5255
Current Ramcell customers
FREE upgrades, phones & promos!
Free phone with charger - Free activation
Affordable packages to suit you
No roaming charges - 10 states
TRAIL BLAZERS LIVE UP TO NAME - Members of the Trail
Blazers, supervised by Josephine County Sheriff’s Office,
perform many types of community service work in lieu of jail
time. The group cleared nearly two of three acres between
Lorna Byrne Middle School and the track off Old Stage Road
recently. Their work, supplemented with efforts this week by
members of the Illinois Valley High School track team, is de-
signed to establish an outdoor, Nature-based environment
for many types of educational activities, and to make the
wooded area accessible and safe. (Photo by Britt Fairchild)
DEQ, EPA take aim at diesel emissions
Trivia Time
by Walter Branch
Agencies plan reductions because of announced health hazards
Air quality officials from
the Oregon Dept. of Environ-
mental Quality (DEQ) an-
nounced the recent U.S. Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency
(EPA) proposal to curb emis-
sions for non-road diesel en-
gines is a step in the right di-
And it coincides with a
variety of efforts DEQ is mak-
ing to reduce harmful emis-
sions caused by diesel engines
throughout Oregon.
EPA’s proposal calls for a
significant reduction in emis-
sions from new non-road die-
sel engines used in construc-
tion, agricultural and indus-
trial equipment.
New emission rules would
go into effect beginning with
2008 model year engines and
be fully phased in by 2014.
According to a report is-
sued last year from two na-
tional air pollution control
organizations, more than 100
premature deaths a year in
Oregon are caused by air pol-
lution from non-road diesel-
powered equipment and ma-
chinery. Non-road equipment
includes everything from trac-
tors, backhoes, road graders
and pavers to pile drivers,
bulldozers and cranes.
These vehicles and pieces
of equipment produce more
fine particulates than all the
nation’s diesel-powered cars,
trucks and buses combined,
according to the report from
the State & Territorial Air
Pollution Program Adminis-
trators and Association of Lo-
cal Air Pollution Control Offi-
Diesel engines contribute
to elevated levels of ozone
and fine particulate matter that
scientists have linked to heart
and respiratory illnesses,
asthma and premature death.
These engines affect not only
the workers who operate them
but also persons living near
construction sites and agricul-
tural fields.
In Oregon, approximately
2,400 asthma attacks a year
and 20,600 work loss days are
triggered by exposure to non-
road diesel engines, adding up
to $879 million a year in eco-
nomic effect.
To date, several different
types of fleets in different
parts of the state have agreed
to install clean diesel technol-
ogy on some of their vehicles,
including Beaverton School
District, Rogue Disposal in
Medford, and CSU Trucking
in Arlington.
Diesel particulates have
been identified by numerous
international, federal and state
agencies as being toxic air
In addition to these efforts
to reduce exposure to diesel
DEQ is developing a state-
wide Air Toxics Program
aimed at reducing releases of
other harmful air pollutants
not addressed by EPA’s non-
road diesel proposal and other
federal air quality regulations.
Legislators continuing PERS struggles
Two recent bills are aimed
at dealing with the Public Em-
ployees Retirement System
(PERS), which has emerged
this year as a major financial
The House PERS Com-
mittee has passed House Bill
2020, the successor system for
the current PERS, to the
House Floor with a do-pass
recommendation. The bill es-
tablishes a defined contribu-
tion retirement plan for all
public employees hired on or
after July 1, 2003. House Bill
2020 affects only new hires,
although Tier 1 and Tier 2
members may move into the
new system if they choose to
do so.
“I believe this is a fair,
affordable and sustainable
retirement plan for our public
employees,” said the commit-
tee chairman, House Majority
Leader Tim Knopp (R-
Bend). “The new system has
defined costs, and will ensure
that our state and our public
employers do not end up in
the same situation they are in
as a result of PERS.”
The new retirement plan,
dubbed the “Fair Retirement
Plan,” will allow an employer
match of up to 6 percent of
salary for general service and
7.15 percent for police and
fire, and allows the member to
contribute up to the amount
allowed by federal law. Em-
ployers would contribute a 3
percent base regardless of em-
ployee contributions. House
Bill 2020 prohibits employer
“pick-up” of the employee
contributions which have
compounded the problem in
the current system.
House Bill 2020 sets up a
system that will be adminis-
tered by the Oregon Invest-
ment Council and will offer
nine different investment op-
tions to accommodate em-
ployees. Similar to other pro-
posed plans, Knopp will offer
a separate bill regarding police
and fire disability.
“The retirement system
we currently have for our pub-
lic employees is not sustain-
able,” said Knopp. “The new
system, while being more gen-
erous than some, looks more
like the 401(k) type of retire-
ment found in the private sec-
tor. By implementing this
type of system, we will be
able to gain back some of the
credibility we’ve lost as a re-
sult of employees retiring at
over 100 percent of their final
average salary.”
Rep. Dennis Richardson
(R-Central Point) presented
the plan to the House PERS
Committee. “The Fair Retire-
ment Plan provides attractive,
affordable and flexible retire-
ment benefits to public em-
ployees at a reasonable cost to
Oregon taxpayers,” he said.
House Bill 2003, which
restructures the crediting and
reserving policy for the Public
Employee Retirement System,
has passed out of the House
PERS Committee with strong
bi-partisan support.
House Bill 2003 maintains
the accrued benefits public
employees have earned to
date, but works to slow the
growth of the accounts to
make up for the over-crediting
of accounts in the past. The
over-crediting occurred in the
1990s when the PERS Board
credited accounts as high as
20 percent when required to
credit the accounts 8 percent.
“House Bill 2003 will cor-
rect mistakes that were made
in the ‘90s without removing
money from our retirees’ and
our current public employees’
accounts,” said Knopp. “With
a growing number of public
employees retiring with bene-
fits more than 100 percent of
their ending salary, and the
potential for employees to
retire at 200 percent of salary
in the future, we must fix this
problem to regain credibility
with the taxpayers of Ore-
gon. House Bill 2003 repre-
sents a significant step in
PERS reform which is the top
priority of this Legislature.”
Specifically, HB 2003
provides that Tier 1 regular
accounts will receive no in-
vestment earnings until the
deficit reserve is eliminated,
and that those accounts may
not be credited with any earn-
ings that would result in an-
other deficit. The bill would
move the 6 percent employee
contribution that is picked up
by a majority of PERS em-
ployers into a separate, transi-
tion account.
The 2 percent COLAs for
retirees who left after 1999,
when member accounts were
over-credited by 8.7 percent,
will be suspended until that
amount is recovered.
The bill saves $677.6 mil-
lion for 2003-2005.
Support the merchants who advertise in the ‘Noose’
1. Who was the final
survivor of Hitler's inner circle
until August 17, 1987?
2. What city did Tru-
man Capote see as "a dia-
mond iceberg floating in river-
3. What U.S. state did
James Michener go on and
on about for 868 pages in a
1988 novel?
4. What Muppet said:
"Never eat more than you can
5. W hat movie
showed Brooke Shields re-
ceiving her first screen kiss?
6. What percent of
the popular vote did George
Bush receive in the 1988
7. Which star of "The
Witches of Eastwick" lost her
original part to Cher?
8. Who claimed that
he made up quotes for
Ronald Reagan because the
president "had almost nothing
to say"?
9. What city's World's
Fair had "Energy" for its
10. Who was the last
surviving star of the movie
"The Wizard of Oz"?
Trivia Time Answers
1. Rudolf Hess; 2.
New York City; 3. Alaska; 4.
Miss Piggy; 5. "The Blue La-
goon"; 6. 54; 7. Susan Saran-
don; 8. Larry Speakes; 9.
Knoxville's; 10. Ray Bolger
(c) 2003 DBR Media, Inc.
IVHS Grad Night fund-raiser
Saturday, May 3
See page 8
For Cinco de Mayo
Fajita Meat - $2.59 lb. (pork or beef)
Corona Beer - $5.49 (six pack)
**********May Events: 7-10 p.m.**********
*Friday, May 2
Route 66
Country Dance Band
Dinner special
Enchilada Dinner - $7.95
*Saturday, May 3 - ‘Rapp Brush’ - Folk/Country
*Friday, May 9 - Artwalk - 3 Daves and a Chaser
Sheriff Dave Daniel sings ‘Hippie Music’
*Friday & Saturday - May 15 and 16
‘IMBAS’ returns
*Thursdays - UBA-Star open mic with Jake Thompson
*DINNERS SERVED* Thursday, Friday & Saturday - 5 p.m.
Prepared by Chef Michael Smith