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Intro to Ice Fishing class

With the suite of new community education classes coming to Lake County by way of the Education Service District’s Mentor Program, their inclusion of Introduction to Ice Fishing Classes proved one of the opportunities that looked most unique.

To be led by local Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Fish Biologist Dave Banks, he brings an enthusiasm to the pastime. “It’s more than just drilling a hole and freezing in the cold,” he said.

Moving to Lake County in 2010, he came from Salt Lake City, Utah where ice fishing is a somewhat popular activity. Under fishing restrictions, he said they enjoyed year round opportunities to drop a line.

“In Oregon, they just don’t tend to do it,” Banks said. The lake and reservoirs in Lake County are open year round and he has made regular trips through the winters to ice fish when conditions allow. “It’s really cool and gives you something to do in the winter,” he said. “I like it because you’re not limited to the shore and you are really trying to outthink the fish.

“There is some risk going on the ice,” he said. “The goal of the class is to give tools to evaluate whether you can. A fish isn’t worth drowning over.”

He plans to lead the class over six different categories: limnology as the study of lakes, ice safety, fish biology, gear to take, strategies and equipment care.


Walden introduces bill to stop the trillion dollar coin

In response to the growing interest surrounding the possibility of the U.S. Treasury skirting the upcoming debt ceiling debate by minting a trillion dollar platinum coin, Rep. Greg Walden took to the House with an idea of his own. On Monday, Jan. 7, he announced plans to introduce a bill to stop that proposal to pay the federal government’s bills.

Sometime in February or March, Congress will reach its borrowing limit and default on the bills that are left to pay. A political row ensued over the issue last year with the Obama administration allowing an increase of the debt ceiling while ceding eventual decreases in government spending. As the issue again became apparent in the wake of the ‘fiscal cliff’ debates at the end of last year, Obama declared “one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up.” Said during his first weekly address of 2013, he tried to stop any impending Congressional fight that might ensue.

With those remarks, economists and lawmakers have tried finding a way around another possible lowering of America’s credit standings. One such idea that has gained a level of traction is the minting of a trillion dollar coin or coins, allowed under legislation that lets the treasury produce commemorative coins. The sum would be place in the Federal Reserve to pay off the climbing debt and gradually be repaid by the government with Federal Reserve Notes.

The idea has put the backs up on a number of fiscal conservatives like Walden, who has long pushed for a reduce of government spending.


Hunters must report hunts or face penalty fee

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife followed up on a new policy instituted in 2010 that required hunters to report their harvests by a set deadline.

At that time, ODFW relied on hunters to provide this information on a voluntary basis, but, in light of insufficient results, hunters that purchased 2012 deer and elk tags must report their hunt results by Jan. 31, or else face a $25 penalty when they purchase a 2014 hunting license.

Deadlines are Jan. 31 for all 2012 big game and turkey hunts that ended by Dec. 31, 2012, or April 15 for all 2012 hunts that ended between Jan. 1 and March 31.

The penalty does not take effect until the purchase of 2014 licenses, because 2013 licenses go on sale before the reporting deadlines, a press release said.

The initial effort saw an increase in voluntary reporting, but wildlife biologist Craig Foster said that the policy still hasn’t seen sufficient participation.

In the initial year of voluntary reporting, there was an estimated 14 percent participation, Foster said, and estimated the current participation at about 37 percent, statewide.

“To make this work, we need 85 percent participation rate,” Foster said. “The reason we’re doing this is to save the department money.”

The primary reason for the policy, he said, is to cut back on administrative costs for ODFW officials who call tag holders to confirm their hunts. Foster said the annual costs, statewide, for this component is $85,000.

The savings could be utilized for other management elements, such as habitat and guzzler work, Foster said.

The data collected from reported hunts is also vital for determining tag counts for future hunting seasons.

“When I don’t have good harvest data, I get very conservative on tags,” Foster said. “Calling an 800 number is way cheaper than us calling you.”


Town approves Geothermal right-of-way resolution

Lakeview’s Town Council advanced progress on the geothermal heating project by way of unanimously approving Resolution No. 842, which addressed right-of-ways for the underground piping.

Town Mgr. Ray Simms said that the resolution was a requirement by the project’s financier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The resolution, in short, provides official certification to the USDA stating that all of the required right-of-ways have been acquired for the project’s construction, he said.

The rights-of-way includes, as stated in the resolution, easements and permits from private land owners and public entities for access to Lake District Hospital as well as Lake County School District No. 7 schools.

The route for the system’s piping commences at the geothermal well on the property of Jere Barry, located south of town, and proceeds north alongside Hwy 395, under permit by the Oregon Department of Transportation, and then heads west on Kadrmas Road, by way of a Lake County Road Department permit.


LDH receives $10,000 donation

Lake Health District received a $10,000 donation from the family of Sam Farr, assigned with a stipulation that Dr. Timothy Gallagher oversee its use.

The board discussed the donation during their monthly board meeting held on Thursday, Jan. 10.

The board also discussed the first five months of financials related to the district, with CFO Ken Landau indicating positive data on both revenue and expense management. Anticipated expenses include equipment for the new pulmonary rehabilitation unit, vascular surgical equipment and a new telephone system.

CEO Charlie Tveit noted that this latter expense addresses a system installed 15 years ago that has become technologically outdated.

Director of Nursing Teresa Squires provided an overview of safety-related topics, including data on falls in acute and long-term care. A major focus of the district is to minimize such occurrences and thereby maximize patient safety, Tveit said. In her report, Squires noted there had not been any falls in the acute care unit over a 60-day period.

Squires noted a variety of gradients related to falls, as not all incidents necessarily result in an injury.

“It’s one thing to track them,” Tveit said. “It’s another to figure out how to change our behaviors so we don’t have them.”

In some instances, there are near-misses versus full-on falls. In the case of the former, an example provided were some chairs recently replaced in the admitting room that had a tendency to trip individuals up due to their leg placement. Though full falls did not occur, it was viewed as a potential safety hazard to the extent that new straight-legged chairs replaced the problematic ones, Tveit said.

Compliance officer Patti Baker provided an overview of varied quality of service topics, which included a look at a hospital comparative report inclusive of hospitals in John Day and Burns.

In some cases, numbers were not available for certain services, such as timely heart attack care, due to so few cases.

Additional discussion included continued talks of collaborative efforts between Lake District, Modoc and Cedarville hospitals. During the CEO report, Tveit discussed recent meetings with the aforementioned facilities’ CEOs and their respective board members.




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