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About The Record-courier. (Haines, Baker County, Oregon) 1932-2016 | View Entire Issue (May 26, 2016)
THURSDAY, MAY 26,2016
Merkley Prioritizes Rural
Economic Opportunities in
Agriculture Spending Bill
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Bill will promote affordable housing, forest health, and energy effi
ciency and includes funding increases for food banks
Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, the top Democrat on the Senate Ap
propriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, announced today that in
cluded in the Senate Agriculture Appropriations bill are key
American Legion Auxiliary Baker City Unit #41 distributed 2,500
provisions to boost rural affordable housing, energy efficiency, and
last year. The ladies will sit, stand and walk for hours
forest health, among other economic priorities for rural America.
Merkley also announced a large funding increase for food banks for throughout Baker City. The Baker City Unit has been a part of
this community since 1934 and has served as ambassadors of
the second year in a row.
“Rural communities across the nation are struggling to create middle the Poppy Program for 82 years! .
class jobs and keep their economies afloat,” said Merkley. “This bill
Today the ladies range in age from 52 to 86 years young and
delivers key wins for rural communities by helping create jobs, keep can be found outside different stores throughout May. They also
ing people in their homes, and investing in agriculture.”
attend events in the summer, bringing awareness that veterans
Key elements of the legislation that passed the Senate Appropriations
and their families are in need year-round. They also sell Window
Committee today include:
Poppy Cards to business' that support our nations veterans.
Rural Energy Savings Program: $8 million for the Rural Energy Sav
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the gentleman
ings Program, a program that Merkley created to allow rural home
owners and business owners to obtain low-cost loans for energy for his generous $100.00 donation last year for a single poppy.
efficiency renovations. This funding will support approximately $60 Thank you so much everyone, young and older, no matter how
much the donation, for your continued support of our Armed
million in loans to complete renovations that will help conserve en
ergy, lower emissions, and save consumers money on their energy
Forces who gave their last full measure by sacrificing their lives
for us at home.
Rural Affordable Housing: The bill includes several provisions to
The red poppy has become a nationally-recognized symbol of
address properties across the country that are in danger of leaving the sacrifice worn by Americans since post-WWI to honor those who
low-income housing program, depriving rural communities of afford served and died for our country in all wars, reminding Americans
able housing. The bill allows nonprofits who take over management
of the sacrifices made by our veterans to protect our freedom.
of these properties to recover management expenses and earn a small
100% of the donations collected directly support the needs of vet
return on their investment the same way the current for-profit owners
do. It also includes an $116 million finding increase to support re erans, current military and their families.
habilitating low-income housing and facilitate transfers of ownership
to keep housing in the program, and a new $1 million technical assis
tance pilot program to help nonprofits and housing authorities facili
tate transfers. The bill also directs the Department to engage
affordable housing advocates, project owners, tenants, arid others to
find acceptable and effective long term solutions that will retain proj
ects in the affordable rural housing program.
Forest Health: In an effort to provide additional tools and resources
to help manage our forests, reduce the threat of wildfires, and restore
healthy forest ecosystems, the bill directs the USDA to study and re
port back on the feasibility of new financing mechanisms that could
leverage private dollars for forest health restoration projects.
Food Banks: An additional $5 million for the Emergency Food As
sistance Program designed to help food banks with storage and dis
tribution. Combined with last year’s increase, the program has seen a
20% increase in funding under Senator Merkley’s leadership.
Sustainable Agriculture: The bill increases funding by $2.3 million,
to $27 million, for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Educa
tion (SARE) program. SARE is the only USDA research program fo The Mayor giving the Poppy Proclamation to American Legion
cused solely on sustainable agriculture practices and farmer-driven Auxiliary and the VFW Auxiliary.
research. The program has helped develop innovative farm practices
ranging from no-till farming to pest and weed management to sup
porting pollinators. Oregon’s large organic agriculture sector benefits
significantly from the program.
Agricultural Research: The bill increases funding for the overall
♦ The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed protecting
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) by $25 million (to America’s freedom following publication of the wartime poem, "In
$375 million). AFRI is thé nation’s largest peer-reviewed competitive
Flanders Fields," written by Lt. Col. John McCrae, MD while serv
grant program for agricultural sciences and funds agriculture research
ing on the front in World War I to honor soldiers killed battle.
on topics including plant health and agriculture production practices,
♦ The popularity of the red poppy as a memorial flower to those
food safety, and agriculture economics.
Minority and Veteran Farmers: Maintains $10 million in mandatory who sacrificed their livesjn war began in November of 1918 when
Moina (pronounced 1 mow-E-na) ' “
ftihditiganda3dsj$3 million in discretionary funding fofotitreacfrand h Miss
1 was so moved by
Col. McCrae's poem that she bought a bouquet of poppies on im
assistance for minority and veteran farmers and ranchers. The bill also
directs an additional $5 million in new funding to veterans outreach
pulse - all that New York City's Wanamaker's Department Store
activities in the Office of the Secretary for Veterans Affairs, as well had - and handed them to businessmen meeting at the New York
as funding for the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas
YMCA where she worked. She asked them to wear the poppy as
(ATTRA) Armed to Farm program.
a tribute to the fallen. World War I was over, but America's sons
The bill was voted out of committee today on a bipartisan vote. The
would rest forever ‘in Flanders' Fields.’ Later, she would spear
next steps would be for the bill to be sent to the Senate floor for a full
Senate vote, and eventually to be merged with a counterpart bill from head a campaign that would result in the adoption of the poppy
the U.S. House of Representatives in order to be passed by both as the national symbol of sacrifice. In 1923, the poppy became
the official flower of The American Legion Family in memory of
houses and signed into law.
the soldiers who fought on the battlefields during WWI.
♦ Over 2,500 veterans hand-craft the flowers with assistance
from unpaid volunteers. The veterans not only earn a small wage,
which helps to supplement their incomes and makes them feel
You are invited to have breakfast with the Speaker of the Oregon
more self-sufficient, but the physical and mental activity provides
House, Rep. Tina Kotek, and her host, Rep. Cliff Bentz, at the
many therapeutic benefits for the veteran.
Srinridge Inn, Baker City, in the Sunridge Room, on Friday, June 3,
♦ Poppies are not sold by volunteers - they are "distributed",
from 7-8:30 a.m. (PDT).
with requests that a person receiving the poppy make a donation
This is an informal opportunity to discuss local and statewide issues
to the Poppy fund to support the Auxiliary’s veteran outreach pro
with one of the four most influential people in the Oregon legislature.
Rep. Bentz will moderate.
Breakfast With The Speaker
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This is a no-host breakfast meeting. Please RSVP if you will want
breakfast and arrangements will be made to have it available for you.
The estimated cost of the breakfast is $15 each.
If you are not having breakfast, the meeting is free.
Rep. Cliff Bentz is specifically inviting people who are involved in
government, in one way or another, but anyone who wants to attend
is welcome. It is not often that we have the opportunity to share our
thinking with the leaders of the Oregon Legislature. Speaker Kotek,
at Rep. Cliff Bentz’s invitation, is taking two and one-half days to
tour this area. Let’s do our best to show our appreciation for her
interest in our part of Oregon.
Mental Health and Dev Disability Committee
The Baker County Mental Health and Developmental Disability
Advisory Committee/Local Alcohol and Drug Planning Committee
will be meeting on May 31, 2016 starting at 12:00 p.m. at the
Community Connection meeting room located at 2810 Cedar St. in
Baker City. The committee will be discussing the Total Health
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You Wfeak rt.We fix it.
Governor to Speak at Eastern Oregon
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100 "D" Street
North Powder, OR 97867
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Oregon Governor Kate Brown will attend and speak at EOU's Com
mencement Ceremony Saturday, June 11. The outdoor event begins
at 10 a.m. at Community Stadium at 6th St. and “G” Ave.
“We’re thrilled that Governor Brown has accepted our invitation to
speak at Commencement,” said Tim Seydel, vice president for Uni
versity Advancement. “This is a great opportunity for her to visit east
ern Oregon and connect with our students, faculty and staff.”
No tickets are necessary and seating is available on a first-come,
first-served basis. Free parking is available for the day in all campus
lots, excluding reserved spaces. Guests should arrive early and bring
sunscreen, water and a hat or umbrella.
The event will be streamed live at livestream.com/eou. Additional
details and schedules are available at www.eou.edu/commencement.
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The next Baker County
Museum Commission meet
ing will be on June 9,2016 at
1 p.m. at 2480 Grove Street
in Baker City.
(pronounced Raven) Whiting
and Poppy Chairman Trudy
Ingraham (also Grandma).
Below, the poppy wreath that
Trudy made for last year's
event, Hundreds of poppies
Our Poppy Girl with the Baker I
City Mayor Kim Mosier.