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Seattle/Western Wash. News Releases for Fri. Jun. 18 - 9:20 pm
Fri. 06/18/21
Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation Awards Community Grants to 120 Nonprofits
Umpqua Bank - 06/18/21 10:53 AM

Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: UMPQ) announced today that the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation has awarded 120 community grants to local nonprofits across its five-state footprint totaling $423.5K. The grants represent the first of three funding cycles in 2021.

Nonprofits were selected from hundreds of applicants who demonstrated a strong commitment to serving their communities, particularly those focused on reaching low-to-moderate income or under-resourced populations in one of the following eight categories: family engagement and resiliency; financial competency; housing stability and home ownership; college, career or technical readiness; entrepreneurship and business expansion; vibrant and equitable neighborhoods; technical and digital connectivity; and small business support and financial guidance.

“With local community-focused nonprofits, we are able to work together for better,” shared Randy Choy, vice president of community giving & nonprofit partnerships and managing director of the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation. “Their grassroots efforts are key to post-pandemic recovery, and we’re honored to support their work.”

Umpqua Bank, through the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, continues to evolve its community giving strategy and community grants program to reflect a deeper commitment to improving economic prosperity, especially for under-resourced individuals, families, and small businesses. The foundation invests in nonprofit organizations, communities, and leaders to support direct-service programming that incorporates a diversity, equity, and inclusion focus.

The community grants are part of an overall foundation and corporate giving program that has invested more than $12 million since the foundation was formed in 2014. The next deadline for community grant applications is Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Learn more at www.UmpquaBank.com/Community.

For a full list of the nonprofit grant recipients by state, visit https://www.umpquabank.com/blog/umpqua-bank-charitable-foundation-awards-community-grants-to-120-nonprofits/.

Attached Media Files: 2021-06/6798/145968/Medium-umpqua_primary-vertical-logo_CMYK_BLACK.jpg

Thu. 06/17/21
PeaceHealth infection prevention leader earns national recognition (Photo)
PeaceHealth - 06/17/21 2:23 PM

PeaceHealth Director of Infection Prevention Catherine Kroll has been named a national recipient of the Catholic Health Association’s Tomorrow’s Leaders award for 2021.

The national award honors dedicated, high-performing individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing the mission of Catholic healthcare. Catherine was recognized during CHA’s virtual Catholic Health Assembly in June.

In a year when infection prevention has never been more important, Catherine has been invaluable in leading practices across PeaceHealth ensuring the safety of patients, caregivers and communities, with an unwavering dedication to community collaboration and safeguarding the most vulnerable.

In her more than seven years at PeaceHealth, she has been a highly impactful leader driving successful initiatives across the health system to prevent healthcare-associated infections. She consistently goes above and beyond to uphold PeaceHealth’s mission as a collaborative, always positive, servant leader with the natural ability to forge partnerships inside and outside the organization.

Prior to joining PeaceHealth, Catherine served in various public health roles at the local, state and national levels. She is passionate about community service and is actively involved in the Southwest Washington community. She was also recently honored with the 2020 Senior Heroes Award for her dedication to patient safety for seniors in Clark County, as well and Boy Scouts of America Cascade Pacific Council’s Distinguished Citizen Award.

For more information about the CHA, visit www.chausa.org.

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 1,200 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission. Visit us online at peacehealth.org.

Attached Media Files: 2021-06/5173/145887/Catherine_Kroll.jpg

Media Advisory: Virtual Press Event on Public Safety and Burned Area Fire Closures from the 2020 Fire Season
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 06/17/21 11:59 AM

Portland, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will have burned area fire closures this summer due to the 2020 fire season because of public safety concerns. As more people continue to get outside, the BLM wants the public to be aware of the current closures and the safety reasons behind these closures.

Media are invited to participate in a virtual press event with BLM OR/WA recreation and safety specialists who will provide information about the remaining burned area fire closures and the effects on recreation.

What:              Public Safety and Burned Area Fire Closures from the 2020 Fire Season

Where:            Virtual via Zoom      

Date:               June 23, 2021                      

Time:              9 AM to 10 AM PST            

Who:               Maya Fuller, BLM OR/WA Recreation Specialist and Randall Rishe, BLM OR/WA Safety Specialist

RSVP REQUIRED: Please RSVP by close of business on MONDAY, JUNE 21. Please provide your name and affiliated media organization to Morgan Rubanow, BLM Public Affairs Specialist: ubanow@blm.gov">mrubanow@blm.gov. A link to the event and additional details will be provided.




This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people.?The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

A Father's Day Financial Checklist for New Dads
Northwest Credit Union Assn. - 06/17/21 9:13 AM

SeaTac, Washington (June 17, 2021) — You’ve dreamed of being a dad and now the day is here.

Although you’re sleep deprived and navigating the new world of parenting, you’re probably also thinking about money and how to plan for the short- and long-term milestones of raising a child.

The Northwest Credit Union Association has eight tips to keep your finances on track:

  1. Revise your household budget.

In 2017, the USDA updated its Expenditures on Children by Families report and found that the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is $233,610 for a middle-income family (married with two kids) — around $12,980 per year. Adjusting for inflation and cost of living adjustments, that figure now hovers around $284,750. Broken down, it’s about $1,300 per month. Take a deep breath and realize that planning ahead with a revised budget will help you afford new expenses, such as diapers, baby food, childcare, clothing, and medical care.

  1. Reduce expenses.

Chances are you spent money on things you won’t have time for once you become a parent. Cancel unused magazine subscriptions and cut down on unnecessary TV or streaming services. Analyze your grocery lists and pump-up meal planning to avoid food waste. Shop thrift stores for baby clothing and other necessities — often you’ll find new items with the price tags still attached.

  1. Invest in good insurance.

Now that you have a dependent, good insurance is a must: health, life, and disability. Depending on the policy, life insurance can allow you to save for long-term events, such as tuition, paying off the mortgage or a wedding. Disability insurance can help if one or both parents become disabled due to illness or injury. Your employer may offer disability insurance, so be sure to check that it will be enough to pay for essential expenses, such as mortgage, childcare, household expenses, and other debt for a reasonable time period.

  1. Build up your emergency fund.

As everyone learned during the COVID-19 crisis, it pays to have a financial cushion. Try to have six to 12 months of living expenses saved up in case you change jobs or lose income. This safety net provides security while you’re job-hunting or if the family has to live on one parent’s salary.



  1. Start saving for college now.

The old saying goes, there’s no time like the present, and it’s especially true when saving for long-term expenses like college. Secure your child’s academic future by opening a College Savings 529 account with your credit union. Money invested in a 529 account can be invested and grow tax-free and each parent (or grandparent) can contribute up to $15,000 per year. You also don’t have to pay taxes on withdrawals if used for education purposes.

  1. Automate your monthly bills.
    Your mind is awhirl with all the details of having an infant, plus you’re just plain tired. Setting up automatic loan and bill payments can take the pressure off one household duty and ensure everything is paid on time, saving you a hassle in potential missed payments and credit card interest rate increases. 
  2. Ask financial experts for advice.
    Take advantage of the financial planning services offered by your credit union. You can schedule meetings to learn more about home buying, credit scores, retirement savings, and more. There are also online tools and calculators for home budget analyses, debt consolidation, equity loans, savings goals, and mortgage qualifiers.
  3. Update your will and estate planning documents.
    It’s no fun to think about writing a will, but you want to make sure your child is provided for, no matter what. A will allows you to choose a guardian for your child in case of an untimely death of both parents. Update your beneficiary designations to include your child as a second beneficiary of your investments and life insurance policies.

Congratulations to all the first-time parents. Contact your credit union to learn more about budgeting tools, financial education opportunities, savings programs, and affordable credit options.






Attached Media Files: Infographic , News Release

2021 Commercial Halibut Season Is Set to Open
NOAA Fisheries - 06/17/21 6:47 AM
Crew sorts halibut catch.
Crew sorts halibut catch.

The first 3-day commercial halibut fishing season of 2021 in federal waters off the West Coast begins next week. It starts on Tuesday, June 22 at 8 a.m. and ends on Thursday, June 24 at 6 p.m. NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement will be conducting patrols throughout the season along with our partners. 

Patrols will focus on ensuring compliance with the rules and regulations governing commercial halibut fishing. These include:

  • Proper marking of fishing gear
  • Permitting and vessel documentation
  • Minimum size and possession restrictions

All setline or skate marker buoys carried on board or used by any U.S. vessel for halibut fishing must be marked with either the vessel’s state license number or registration number. The markings must be in legible characters at least 4 inches high and one-half inch wide in a contrasting color visible above the water.

Learn more about commercial halibut fishing regulations

Our partners in these patrols include:

  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police
  • Oregon State Police
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Protecting Seabirds

In addition to the rules and regulations above, groundfish long-line vessels are now required to deploy seabird avoidance gear when fishing for Pacific halibut. This regulation only applies to vessels landing groundfish along with halibut. Streamer lines are the most common form of seabird avoidance gear and are used to prevent bird attacks on baited hooks.

Learn more about seabird regulations

Properly Releasing Halibut

Halibut that are not retained must be released outboard of the roller and returned to the water with a minimum of injury using one of these three methods:

  • Straightening the hook 
  • Cutting the gangion near the hook
  • Removing the hook with a gaff by carefully twisting it from the halibut

These safe release measures promote the survival of released halibut and help to support a sustainable fishery.


Attached Media Files: Crew sorts halibut catch.

Wed. 06/16/21
Seattle-Based Express Credit Union to Expand Financial Opportunities to Hispanic Community
Northwest Credit Union Assn. - 06/16/21 3:37 PM

Newsdesks, Express Credit Union has asked us to share the news with you, steps they're taking to expand services and financial opportunities to the Hispanic Community. Part of that includes obtaining Juntos Avanzamos ("Together We Advance") designation. The organization that approves credit unions for this designation, Inclusiv, provides resources to connect underserved communities with financial services. Learn more here: https://www.inclusiv.org/about-us/  Express Credit Union's news  release is attached.

Contact information for the credit union is below.

Attached Media Files: News Release

Lower Snake River Dams provided crucial energy and reserves in winter 2021 (Photo)
Bonneville Power Administration - 06/16/21 12:08 PM
Lower Snake River Dams maximum generation
Lower Snake River Dams maximum generation

Portland, Oregon – From December to March and particularly during the deep freeze of early 2021, the four dams on the lower Snake River were once again winter workhorses, according to a recent assessment by the Bonneville Power Administration. These four facilities not only provided important real-time electricity and critical power reserves, they also picked up slack when there was an equipment failure at Chief Joseph Dam – one of the largest dams in the Columbia River power system.

“Year after year, the Pacific Northwest can count on service from these projects in the winter when electricity consumption is highest,” said BPA Administrator John Hairston. “As we feel the impacts of climate change and the region builds more intermittent energy resources like wind and solar, we’re seeing more evidence that these dispatchable hydroelectric facilities are vital to public safety and electric reliability for the region.”

This recent assessment by BPA provides a clearer picture of how each dam performed during the storm. While federal agencies operate the 31 dams of the Federal Columbia River Power System as whole, this more granular data is helpful for power planners who are evaluating the potential impacts of climate change, including extreme-cold weather scenarios, and how the federal system can respond.

As Northwest residents turned up thermostats to keep warm and businesses maintained operations during the February storm, the four dams on the lower Snake River revved up on numerous occasions to meet the demand. In addition to generating more than 1,700 MW of electricity at times this winter, these facilities also accounted for important back-up reserves BPA could use to pick up slack when other hydro units experienced unplanned outages.

These reserves played an important role during the winter storm that battered parts of the Pacific Northwest in February. During that storm, technical issues at Chief Joseph Dam on the upper Columbia River impacted generation at the facility. Some of the electricity production and reserve requirements were transferred to the four lower Snake River dams, which are equipped to provide valuable operational agility and flexibility. Operators were able to bring the lower Snake River dams’ energy production down to zero at night when power demand dropped, and then quickly ramped their production up during the day.

“Knowing we can rely on these facilities for steady energy production under normal circumstances should bring great comfort and confidence to residents of the Pacific Northwest,” said Kieran Connolly, BPA Power Services vice president of Generation Asset Management. “Being able to rely on their operational flexibility during extreme weather truly demonstrates the value they provide to the region.”

The attached chart shows the flexibility of the hydroelectric plants on the lower Snake River during January and February, each plant at times eclipsed 400 MW of production, with some providing more than 500 MW of electricity. It is important to note that hydropower is more flexible and can ramp up and down more quickly than even the most flexible natural gas plants. On an average annual basis, the plants on the lower Snake River provide about 1,000 average megawatts of electricity, which is about the average annual consumption of the City of Seattle.

About BPA

The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale, carbon-free hydropower from 31 federal dams in the Columbia River Basin. It also markets the output of the region’s only nuclear plant. BPA delivers this power to more than 140 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA also owns and operates more than 15,000 circuit miles of high-voltage power lines and 261 substations, and provides transmission service to more than 300 customers. In all, BPA provides nearly a third of the power generated in the Northwest. To mitigate the impacts of the federal dams, BPA implements a fish and wildlife program that includes working with its partners to make the federal dams safer for fish passage. It also pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain safe, affordable, reliable electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov  

Attached Media Files: Lower Snake River Dams maximum generation , Lower Snake River Dams net generation