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European strain of P. ramorum found in Curry County fir trees

Plant pathologists with Oregon State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service are concerned that a European strain of Phytophthora ramorum, the pathogen that causes sudden oak death, is infecting fir trees in Curry County, Oregon.

According to a study published in the journal Plant Disease, the European strain is more aggressive than the North American version, and is capable of infecting Douglas fir and grand fir trees in the forest — and that's exactly what's happening. The researchers haven't observed any fir trees killed by sudden oak death yet. They are attempting to isolate and eradicate the new strain.

Oregon senators question warrantless ICE arrest

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both Oregon Democrats, demanded an explanation after plainclothes agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) entered a Portland home and arrested a man on suspicion of being in the country illegally. The agents did not have a warrant.

The man, identified as Carlos Bolanos, was later released. A coworker posted video of the incident to Facebook, where it has been viewed more than 1.1 million times. The incident was forwarded for internal review by ICE and the Department of Homeland Security's office of Inspector General. Read more

Bill seeks to clarify seasonal worker health care mandate

Last Wednesday (October 4), a bipartisan group of legislators including U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D–Oregon) introduced a bill to clarify the definition of seasonal workers as it applies to the Affordable Care Act and its related employer mandates.

House Resolution 3956 is known as the Simplifying Technical Aspects Regarding Seasonality (STARS) Act. It would define a "seasonal employee" as a worker who is employed on a seasonal basis for six months or less during the calendar year.

Currently, different definitions of "seasonal" are used when determining whether a business is a small or large employer under the law, and when determining which employees must be offered health insurance. The STARS bill would adopt a consistent definition of the term and apply it to all aspects of the law. Of note, the bill does not affect seasonal definitions used in temporary worker programs, just the ACA.

AmericanHort is circulating a letter of support for the bill, and the Oregon Association of Nurseries intends to sign on to the letter. "Employers need clarity so they fully understand the implications of their headcount and can plan and manage their business accordingly," OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said.

Register today for First Aid and Adult CPR training classes

The OAN First Aid and Adult CPR training classes will be held over the next five months.

Successful completion results in certification that is good for two years. Each class runs from 8 a.m.–noon. Classes are offered in Hillsboro, Wilsonville, and McMinnville. Some are taught in English and others in Spanish. Check the OAN website for specific dates and locations. The cost is $40 for new and renewing certifications. Register and pay at, or call Kristen Urban at 503-582-2011 or » Register today!

Trump administration lists conditions for Dreamer deal

On Sunday, the Trump administration sent Congress a list of conditions that must be met before it will agree to provide legal status to people known as Dreamers, who are undocumented and were brought to the United States as children.

With this latest announcement, that promise has clear strings attached. They include construction of a border wall, stronger border security, the hiring of 10,000 new immigration agents, denial of federal grants to cities that don't agree to act as immigration enforcement surrogates, a mandate for businesses to use the E-Verify program, and enforcement to stop people from bringing their extended family members to the United States.

Need help with your safety program?

A great safety program is crucial to ensure your workplace is safe. OAN members have access to our online library of 150 safety and health related handouts and posters. Downloads include attitude and awareness, confined spaces, fire safety and emergency response, hazard communication, lifting and moving material, safety posters, and personal protection. Each document is offered in both English and Spanish. Visit the safety page to browse the safety handouts (Members only).

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