Friday, September 18, 2020
News & Notes
FEMA provides disaster relief assistance for wildfire & storm victims
   Oregonians affected by the wildfires and Labor Day wind storm can register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
   This disaster assistance program may be able to provide grants for temporary housing and home repairs.
   There are also low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
   Visit the DisasterAssistance.gov website for more information or dial 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 (for people with speech and hearing disabilities).
   The Small Business Administration (SBA) also has low-interest disaster loans available for homeowners, renters, and businesses.
   More information is available at the SBA website or by calling the agency (1-800-659-2955).
   The Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland also has information about rebuilding and construction on its website, along with ways to help.
Washington County steps in to help four-legged friends & neighbors
   As wildfire evacuation orders expanded last week across the state of Oregon, Washington County's staff sprung into action to make the Westside Commons available to those evacuees who gallop, trot, or oink.
   Thanks to Fairgrounds Manager Leah Perkins-Hagele, the Washington County Sheriff Posse, and volunteers, the former Fairgrounds became a temporary shelter to nearly 300 animals - horses, donkeys, llamas, chickens, pigs, sheep, and more.
   Perkins-Hagele said there were some animals that had been injured in their evacuations and others that were pregnant, so local veterinarians stepped in to provide medical care at no cost, and 4-H volunteers helped make sure the animals were fed and cared for during their stay.
   One animal owner spoke to KATU about her experiences and her appreciation of those involved with the efforts at the Westside Commons.
   To hear her story, click here.
   To see a longer video of a tour of the operations with Perkins-Hagele, click here.
Interstate Bridge repair is back on & closures start this weekend
Interstate Bridge
   The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will start the replacement of the I-5 Interstate Bridge trunnion at midnight tonight by closing the northbound span for nine days.
   "This project needs to get done within the window of our Coast Guard permit and while the river level remains low," said Rian Windsheimer, ODOT manager for the Portland area.
   ODOT postponed the project recently to give wildfire evacuees and emergency crews the ability to travel more freely.
    Tonight's closure will allow repair crews the time and space they need to replace major components of the lift mechanism on the 1917 span.
   To learn more, visit ODOT's website for this project.
Odds & Ends
  • Happy infrastructure Week to everyone who helps keep things moving.

  • The City of Beaverton is looking for volunteers to serve on its boards and commissions. There are a number of opportunities for varied interests, including the arts, bicycles, city budgeting, community involvement, diversity, human rights, land use, libraries, social services, traffic, and urban renewal. Click here to learn more.

  • The City of Tigard is seeking concept planning volunteers to serve on its Community Advisory Council for River Terrace 2.0. Click here for more information.

  • For those wanting to help others impacted by the wildfires, the City of Tualatin has a list of resources at the bottom of this web page - click here and scroll to the bottom.

  • Governor Brown’s office in partnership with the Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board has allocated $10 Million from the federal CARES Act to purchase masks and gloves for small businesses. Click here to learn more.

  • WEA wants to extend a big THANK YOU to all of our first responders, who are members (TVF&R, City of Hillsboro, City of Forest Grove, Washington County, and Clackamas County), along with PGE, NW Natural, public works crews, and all those who have helped and worked incredibly long hours to serve the public during this wildfire crisis. You are appreciated!

  • To those who celebrate it, happy Rosh Hashanah! May this be a beautiful beginning for all of us.

  • Finally, to end on a warm and fuzzy note, the Oregon Zoo needs your help in naming its baby red panda. Take a look at "Dub the cub." Photo credit goes to Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.
Events coming up
Th. 9/24 at 8:00 a.m. a virtual forum with Economist Josh Lehner. To register

Wed. 10/14 at 7:30 a.m. The Transportation Committee will meet virtually.

To see more of the WEA calendar, please visit the WEA website.