Friday, April 06, 2012

Astoria Police Respond To Gunshot Wound. An Investigation Is Ongoing

Astoria Regional Dispatch Reports:
On April 5, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Astoria Police responded to a residence in the 900 block of Franklin to a report of a gunshot victim. When they arrived they found a seriously injured 35 year old female who had sustained a gunshot wound to the head. Indications are that the wound was self inflicted. Medix and Astoria Fire personnel provided aid to the victim who was transported to Columbia Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Astoria Police were initially assisted by the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police. The Clatsop County District Attorney’s office provided a medical legal investigator to assist in the investigation as well. While the cause of death is a gunshot wound the manner of death will be determined through a complete investigation.

Astoria Police will not be releasing the name of the deceased to allow for the notification of relatives.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

TransCanada Shifting Focus Of Alaska Gas Pipeline To Develop Potential For LNG Export

Sutherland LNG Law
Posted: April 5, 2012

An official for TransCanada told the Associated Press (carried via the Anchorage Daily News) that the company would like to shift the focus of its proposed natural gas pipeline to carry North Slope gas to an LNG liquefaction facility in southern Alaska, instead of transporting the gas into Canada. Under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, the change in the project is subject to approval by Alaska state officials.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

National Health Survey Ranks Clatsop County 11th Out Of 33 Counties In Oregon

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Clatsop County has moved up in the rankings of a nationwide survey of health indicators released earlier this week.

The study, a joint project of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, compiled data on lifespan, health care access, smoking and obesity rates and other factors for every county across the United States, and ranked the counties within each state.

Clatsop County earned an overall ranking of 11th out of the 33 Oregon counties listed in the study (Gillam, Sherman and Wheeler counties were not included) in health outcomes, which measured deaths before age 75, low birthweight infants and percentage of residents who report poor physical and mental health. That compares with a ranking of 19th in the first 2010 study and 17th in last year’s survey.

To Margo Lalich, Clatsop County Public Health Department director, the Wisconsin survey is simply one of many sources of data her office uses to gauge the community’s well-being and prioritize health initiatives.

“We have all the silo data – when we put it together, we begin to see what impacts what, and what story it’s trying to tell us,” she said.

While its health outcomes score improved, Clatsop County’s ranking dipped two places, to 17th, for health factors, which measure behaviors such as smoking and drinking as well as access to health care, poverty and education levels.

“What this tells us is that in spite of the risk factors, the initiatives and interventions we are adopting locally are having a positive impact on health outcomes,” Lalich said.

According to the survey, 22 percent of county residents smoke versus 18 percent statewide, but the local obesity rate matched the state average of 26 percent, and excessive drinking was slightly less than the state’s 16 percent. The local rate of uninsured residents totals 21 percent of the population, versus 19 percent for Oregon, while the rate of preventable hospital stays is 36 percent higher than the statewide average.

The complete survey can be viewed at

Local demographics can influence health statistics – Clatsop County’s rural setting, older-than-average population and reliance on service-industry jobs all impact health outcomes – but a key focus of the Public Health Department is determining how these widely varying factors affect citizens’ health.

“We can’t just look at whether you have a doctor to go to – we need to consider all the determinants of health: individual lifestyle factors, social and community networks, living and working conditions as well as socio-economic, cultural and ecological conditions,” Lalich said. “Understanding what the social and cultural norms are of a community is critical when developing initiatives to decrease risk and improve outcomes.”

The county is conducting a Comprehensive Community Health Assessment due to be completed later this month. Sponsored by the county Commission on Children and Families and undertaken in partnership with the Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences, the study will provide even more detailed data than the Wisconsin study, and further illuminate how various risk factors impact health.

Public Health has received additional resources to support some of its traditional services, including a $10,000 state grant for a breast-feeding promotional campaign.

“We are collaborating more with other organizations,” said Steven Blakesley, Clatsop County Health Promotion Specialist. “We have a very active Community Health Action Response Team comprised of community leaders and volunteers from many different organizations. Our focus areas are chronic disease self-management, food insecurities, increasing physical activities and worksite wellness.”

Clatsop County itself has an employee-driven wellness program, funded by its health insurance carrier, which promotes healthy habits. Subsidized pool passes, a Weight Watchers program, fitness walk contests – even an initiative to promote healthy break-room snacks – have all been launched, and the county is promoting the idea to other local entities.

Released by:Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 338-3622

Lower Columbia River(Astoria Included) To Get Three Regional Response Vessels Reports:

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River's Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC) has approved a $2.7 million Port Security Grant Program project to purchase three Regional Response Vessels with firefighting capability for the lower Columbia River.

The acquisition of these vessels is the culmination of a two-year project to identify marine firefighting vulnerabilities in the Columbia River system and address them through federal grant programs.

Astoria will receive a 35-foot vessel that will be operated by the Astoria Fire Department. The other two boats, 35-feet and 45-feet, will be based in the Vancouver, Wash., port area. Both Astoria and Vancouver port authorities have committed their organizations to maintain and sustain the response vessels for the benefit of the entire river system. Additionally, the new boats will help the Coast Guard in patrolling the ports and responding quickly to a variety of threats. The vessels are expected to be in place by early 2013.

The AMSC includes key maritime stakeholders from Oregon, Washington and Idaho established by Congress to assist the Coast Guard Captain of the Port in ensuring safe and secure marine transportation and commerce. Committee actions are undertaken on behalf of the USCG and the general public, rather than any private entity or individual.

"This funding decision reflects our belief that safety and security are shared responsibilities, and that we can best protect the vital economic engine of the Columbia River system when the private sector and local, state and federal government work together," said Coast Guard Captain Bruce Jones, Captain of the Port for Sector Columbia River. "I applaud our port partners for their comprehensive approach to managing risk and wisely spending scarce grant funds in support of our mutual goals."

The AMSC also approved a $1.9 million Port Security Grant for a vessel tracking system focused on the Columbia and Snake River system. This system will integrate with and extend the vessel tracking system already in place between the mouth of the Columbia River and the Portland/Vancouver area, upriver to Lewiston, Idaho. Until now, lack of resources and challenging topography have severely limited vessel traffic reporting in this area. The Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, and all entities having an interest in river commerce or incident response will benefit from a greater awareness of where ships, tugs and barges are at any given moment.

April 3, 2012

The Garden Of Surging Waves. Does It Deserve A Vote By The Citizens Of Astoria

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Southern LNG Withdraws FERC Application - No Long-Term Supply

Posted: April 3, 2012
Sutherland -

Southern LNG has withdrawn its application to FERC to reactivate, expand and lease its truck loading facilities at the Elba Island LNG import terminal. According to the filing submitted late last week, available in the FERC eLibrary under Docket No. CP10-477, Southern LNG stated that Southeast LNG, the company developing the LNG truck distribution project, has been unable to secure long-term LNG supply and will not go forward with the project. The Savannah Morning News provides additional coverage.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Indonesia Expects Agreement Soon To Divert 90% Of LNG Destined For Sempra's Coast Azul Terminal

Sutherland - LNG Law

Posted: April 2,
An official with BPMigas, Indonesia's LNG upstream regulator, said that he
expects his agency will sign an agreement this month or next that will allow BP
to divert up to 90% of LNG cargos originally destined for Sempra's Energia
Costa Azul LNG import facility
in Mexico. According to Platts LNG
[subscription required], the agreement will include a commitment that
Indonesia will compensate Sempra for each cargo diverted.