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Emergency response coordination professionals were honored last week for keeping the nation’s communities safe and secure. Oregon Governor Tina Kotek proclaimed April 14 - 20 as Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in the state and encouraged all Oregonians to join in the observance.

Oregon has 43 standalone 911 centers known as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) that serve as the first and single point of contact for people seeking immediate relief during an emergency. Nearly 800 dedicated telecommunicators across the state answer at least 2 million emergency calls annually for law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services. These 911 professionals respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment, and render life-saving assistance during intense personal crises and community-wide disasters.

Bridges

Crews from HP Civil should be starting next week on a $2 million project to repair the Blue River & Fish Hole bridges. Their first task will be setting up both bridges for single-lane use for a project expected to be completed in just under five months.

ODOT says they have a robust work zone safety budget with more of a law enforcement presence around work areas this year.

People can expect single-lane closures, with flaggers helping direct traffic, construction noise, and delays. Pedestrians, including those with disabilities, will have access through or around work zones. ​During construction, traffic will be controlled by temporary signals while crews remove and replace concrete and upgrade guardrails between Milepost 40.18 and 40.7.

Earth Day

Oregon youths were front and center at a rally at the White House this week in observance of Earth Day. They were part of a court case known as Juliana v. United States that has been going on for nearly a decade. They demanded President Biden let their case go to trial.

Demonstrators from several generations came to support the 21 youth plaintiffs of Juliana v. United States, who allege federal actions causing climate change violate their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property. The nine-year-old case is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Last month, 30 members of Congress filed a “friend of the court” brief calling for the case to move forward.

During the rally, Isaac Vergun of Beaverton, Ore., was one of several plaintiffs who wore a symbolic gag. “We keep fighting because this case represents not just our voices as plaintiffs but the collective cry of an entire generation demanding accountability on climate change,” Vergun said. He joined the suit as a plaintiff in 2015 at age 13. The day of the rally was his 22nd birthday.

 

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