Veterans Career Fair coming in August
ASTORIA — Lower Columbia Human Resource Management Association is taking a break from its training sessions until September, but plans a Veterans Career Fair on Aug. 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Fort George Brewery Lovell Showroom, 1483 Duane Street, Astoria. Two local decorated veterans, Staff Sgt. Matt Zedwick and Col. Dean Perez will kick off the event. For more information or to reserve a table, call 503-338-9154 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no charge to vendors or attendees.
In the meantime, the association advises that on July 1 Oregon’s minimum wage went up, with the Legislature placing Clatsop County in the “standard” group where the wage rose from $9.75 and hour to $10.25 an hour, a 5 percent hike, with no exceptions.
Here are some related questions and answers:
Q. May I pay my workers a training wage below the minimum wage?
A. No. Unlike federal law, Oregon law requires that employees receive at least minimum wage during all stages of employment. This includes any period of on-the-job training.
Q. May I count an employee’s tips against the minimum wage?
A. No. Oregon law does not allow for tip credits.
Q. If I hire a minor (a person under the age of 18 year), do I need to pay them the minimum wage?
A. Yes. Oregon law does not make a distinction between adults and minors when it comes to the payment of the minimum wage.
Q. As a business, do I need to provide notice to my employees about the new minimum wage?
A. Yes. Oregon law requires that every workplace have a poster displayed in a location frequented by employees that explains the new minimum wage. Find it at http://tinyurl.com/ybfjnyn3.
Columbia counties record low jobless rates
ASTORIA and LONG BEACH — Clatsop County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.5 percent in May, according to figures from the Oregon Employment Department. This was 1.3 percent lower than in May 2016, slightly lower than the state rate (3.6 percent) and nearly 1 percent lower than the U.S. rate (4.3 percent). Some regional economists have argued the region has reached peak employment, meaning that everyone who wants a job either has one or can find one without difficulty.
Pacific County May jobless rate was 6.9 percent. Washington does not seasonally adjust county rates. Although Pacific County remains one of 11 of the state’s 39 counties with a jobless rate above 6 percent, May’s rate was the lowest in any month in the past 10 years and ties 2006 for the best jobs picture in May. May 1990 was the last time the county’s unemployment rate was lower in that month at the early start of tourist season.
Washington’s overall unemployment rate dropped from 4.6 to 4.5 percent in May.
Dermatology expert practicing here
ASTORIA — Todd Williams, MS, FNP-BC, is a dermatology-trained nurse practitioner who began taking appointments on July 6 at Silver Falls Dermatology, 503-741-3412.
Williams joins Ladessa Christensen, NP-C, at the clinic’s Astoria location, 2120 Exchange Street, Suite 202.
As a dermatology-trained nurse practitioner, Williams has been specifically trained to diagnose and treat conditions of the skin, hair and nails. He attended Darton College for his associates of science, nursing degree, Albany State University for a bachelors of science in nursing, and Albany State University for a masters of science-nursing.
In August, Silver Falls Dermatology will open a new office in Seaside to meet increasing community demand for dermatology services. Christensen will see patients at both locations, providing a full complement of care.
They accept all insurance plans, including Medicaid. Silver Falls Dermatology was founded by board-certified dermatologist John Young, MD, FAAD, in 2006 and has grown to 17 locations in Oregon, Washington and New Mexico.
Seaside nurses approve new 2-year contract
SEASIDE — Nurses at Providence Seaside Hospital voted unanimously in June to approve a new two-year contract with the hospital which could reduce expensive ambulance trips for patients and puts more experienced nurses in charge of patients’ care, the Oregon Nurses Association announced.
ONA represents 83 registered nurses at Providence Seaside Hospital and more than 14,000 nurses throughout the state.
The new contract will help more patients receive local treatment by creating a cross-training task force which will establish guidelines to allow nurses to move between multiple departments, according to an ONA press release. After passing specialized training determined by the task force, nurses will be able to move from one hospital department to another to respond to unexpected events like early labor or serious accidents. Currently, Providence Seaside Hospital transports some patients to Portland-area facilities when the hospital does not have enough staff in a department to accept or treat new patients.
Nurses also successfully advocated to improve experience requirements for charge nurses. Charge nurses at Providence coordinate multiple nurses’ work in addition to providing direct patient care.
The new contract runs through Nov. 30, 2018.
Meredith Lodging growing fast
SEASIDE — Meredith Lodging of Lincoln City has been recognized as one of the 50 fastest-growing private businesses in Oregon and Southwest Washington in Portland Business Journal’s annual survey.
A local, family-owned vacation rental company, Meredith Lodging said in a press release it has the largest collection of quality vacation rental homes of any company on the Central and North Oregon Coast, with boutique home collections on the beach and in Sunriver. It was the only Oregon Coast company in any industry to make the list. It has offices in Seaside, Lincoln City, Neskowin and Pacific City and Seaside.
The company plans to continue to invest in staff through raising wages beyond its current $15 an hour starting wage and investing in technology, professional training and innovative business practices.
More information about Meredith Lodging is available at www.meredithlodging.com.
CMH emergency service reaffirmed
ASTORIA — On June 21, the Oregon Health Authority reaffirmed the high quality of emergency services at Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) and re-designated the hospital as a Level IV trauma center.
As a Level IV trauma center, CMH is a vital link that a severely injured person requires. Its role is to make sure the injured person is breathing and stable before transporting them to a designated Level I or II trauma center.
“Trauma designation distinguishes CMH from other hospitals because it means we provide comprehensive trauma services that meet state and national clinical excellence standards. It ensures the immediate availability of surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician specialists, nurses, ancillary services, and resuscitation life-support for the care of trauma patients in our community twenty-four hours a day, every day,” said Trece Gurrad, CMH’s vice president of patient care services.
Severely injured patients throughout the Columbia-Pacific region are transported to CMH for treatment and stabilization as CMH is the only trauma-designated hospital. The next closest trauma centers are in Tillamook and Longview, Washington.
In 2016, CMH’s emergency medicine team focused on getting patients from the emergency department to the operating room faster. After seeing several patients who had been injured in the same way at Fort Stevens State Park, they also worked with the park to improve signage in these hazardous areas.
Wauna Mill donates $20K for Westport park
WESTPORT — Georgia-Pacific Wauna Mill in June contributed $20,000 to the Clatsop County Parks Department for use toward the creation of a playground at the new Westport County Park.
In 2015, Georgia-Pacific donated 27 acres of property to Clatsop County to be used towards the creation of a park to benefit Westport residents.
“We are very excited to be able to contribute towards a new playground at the Westport County Park,” Wauna Mill Public Affairs Manager Kristi Ward said. “Our vision when we donated the property was for a great park that all Westport residents could enjoy, so it is fulfilling to know that the kids in the community will have a safe place to be active and play.”
According to the Clatskanie School District there are more than 60 school-age children residing in the Westport area, but for at least the past 10 years there has been no access to a public playground in the Westport community. The closest playground is 11 miles away in Clatskanie.
In addition, the Clatsop County Parks Department plans to have a public information meeting sometime this summer in Westport.
to review the playground plans and receive input from Westport residents.
The playground is envisioned as part of an ambitious improvement project at the former G-P property that includes a new boat ramp and paved parking lot, public restrooms and fishing dock/tie-up. The county is working to begin the permitting process and secure funding for the project through the Oregon State Marine Board.
Hampton Inn honored by rating site
ASTORIA — Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Astoria, 201 39th Street, has received a 2017 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award.
To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.
“It is an honor to be recognized with a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award,” said Sameer Sharma, general manager of Hampton Inn & Suites in Astoria. “We are proud of our team, and we are thankful for the guests who have taken the time to review our property with excellent ratings.”