Local help available during Medicare open enrollment
POLK COUNTY — Every October, open enrollment begins for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. Medicare plans and coverage for prescription drugs change each year.
This makes it important for Oregonians who are enrolled in Medicare to evaluate their plan options and make changes during open enrollment.
Open enrollment for the 2022 Medicare plan year is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2021.
The Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program with the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is available to help Oregonians understand their Medicare options and benefits, provide enrollment guidance, and answer any questions related to Medicare benefits.
“Medicare is a critical benefit for older adults and people with disabilities and navigating the options available can be confusing,” said Jane-Ellen Weidanz, ODHS Long Term Services and Supports Administrator. “SHIBA is here to help Oregonians make the right choice for them.”
Local SHIBA counselors are available to help and can be found by visiting SHIBA.Oregon.gov or calling (800) 722-4134 (toll-free).
To accommodate COVID-19 safety precautions, SHIBA counselors are providing telephone and limited in-person support.
SHIBA’s 2022 Oregon Guide to Medicare Insurance Plans is expected to be available on SHIBA.Oregon.gov on or about Oct. 15.
Life jacket loaner program ends
SALEM — With cold weather and colder water, Salem Fire is ending the life jacket loaner program for the season at Wallace Marine Park.
For those that are still enjoying the water please ensure you are wearing the appropriate safety equipment. Salem Fire reminds everyone that cold water can be extremely dangerous and to always watch children around the water.
Salem Fire will resume our lifejacket program in the spring when it is safe to do so.
OFB hires new government affairs director
SALEM — Oregon Farm Bureau welcomes a new member to its team, Lauren Smith, who will be serve as OFB director of government affairs.
Smith is an attorney who worked as the public policy counsel at Oregon Water Resources Congress for five years, followed by serving as the natural resources legislative affairs manager at the Association of Oregon Counties.
“After spending most of my career working in natural resources, I am so excited to join the Oregon Farm Bureau family,” Smith said. “I consider it an honor to do what I can to protect what makes Oregon such an amazing place to live, specifically our diverse farming, ranching, and forestry operations, and I look forward to working alongside the rest of the OFB team.”
Smith earned a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University and is a graduate of Willamette Law School.
Earlier in her career, she worked as legislative director for state Senator Jason Atkinson.
“Lauren brings a breadth and depth on many issues important to Farm Bureau members and has great experience and relationships in the Oregon public policy arena. We are excited to welcome her to the OFB team,” said Dave Dillon, OFB EVP.
Adams named Heritage museum director
INDEPENDENCE — Natascha Adams, a longtime community volunteer, was named director of the Heritage Museum in Independence. She has a masters degree in museum studies and is a member of the Independence Planning Commission.
Dallas releases water quality report
DALLAS — The city of Dallas Engineering and Environmental Services Department has released the 2020 Water Quality Report. A copy of the report will be mailed in every customer’s utility bill. It is available on line at https://www.dallasor.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1128/2018-Water-Quality-Brochure?bidId=, and posted at City Hall, the Dallas Library, and the Dallas Aquatic Center.
If you have any questions about the 2020 report, or would like to request a copy, please contact the City of Dallas at 503.831.3559.
City receives Pacific Power Foundation grant
DALLAS — The Pacific Power Foundation has awarded the city of Dallas a grant in the amount of $2,500 to assist in the development of the Dallas Business Inventory project.
Specifically, “this grant will support the work underway on the Dallas Business Inventory Project, which kicked off this summer and will continue through the end of the year,” said Charlie Mitchell, the Economic and Community Development Director for the City of Dallas and the project’s manager. “We have partnered with the Institute for Policy Research and
Engagement (IPRE) at the University of Oregon to assist in this project. We aim to ultimately address the shortcomings that were demonstrated in 2020 with the rollout of various COVID relief packages and our collective inability to effectively disseminate timely information to the entire business community.”
The project aims to build a comprehensive business inventory for use in the future to better identify and communicate with local businesses, especially with regard to critical funding and other business assistance resources that may be available.
A local project team comprised of Dallas business leaders has been assembled to help guide the project.
The Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce is a key project partner and will assist the City of Dallas with the project.
“We are pleased to support the City of Dallas with this donation from our Foundation,” said Diana Knous, Pacific Power Regional Business Manager. “The Pacific Power Foundation is committed to strengthening the vitality of our communities through such grants.”