On Sept. 19, Oregon Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner announced a 15 cent per hour increase in Oregon's minimum wage to $7.95 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2008. This increase will take Oregon's current rate to $7.95 an hour, making Oregon's minimum wage rate the fourth highest in the country. Washington is expected to announce an increase to more than $8 an hour, and California and Massachusetts are raising their minimums to $8 an hour. Oregon's minimum wage has risen every year since 2002, when voters approved a measure increasing the wage and imposing an annual wage adjustment based on inflation. The federal minimum wage increased from $5.15 to $5.85 an hour earlier this year.
Ten tips for safety when dealing with common flammable and combustible liquids
Fire Danger of
Flammable & Combustible Liquids (English)
Peligro de incendio
ocasionado por líquidos
inflamables y combustibles (Espanol)
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OAN regrets to report the passing of two of our members.
Hilma Christina Beatrice Ekstrom, 89, died Saturday, Sept. 29, in Gresham. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Powell Valley Covenant Church, 1335 S.E. 282nd Ave., Gresham. A visitation will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, and from 8:30 a.m. to noon Friday, Oct. 5, at Gresham Memorial Chapel, 257 S.E. Roberts Ave.
Mrs. Ekstrom was the wife of Carl Ekstrom, the OAN's oldest Pioneer. You may view her obituary at theoutlookonline.com.
Memorial contributions can be made to Powell Valley Covenant Church.
A memorial service was held for Dave Hash, of Hash Tree Company, on September 25, 2007 at Church of the Nazarene in Princeton, Idaho. Cards or questions may be sent to Hash Tree Company, 1199 Bear Creek Road, Princeton, ID 83857. Memorial contributions can be made to the Potlatch Ambulance Fund, P.O. Box 63, Potlatch, ID 83855 or Idaho Nursery Scholarship Fund, Attn: Ann Bates, P.O. Box 2065, Idaho Falls, ID 83403.
Nancy Hash and the Team at Hash Tree Company would like to thank everyone for the phone calls, flowers and thoughts during Dave’s illness and recent passing. Your kindness was very much appreciated.
As part of the effort to increase public awareness of the need for comprehensive immigration reform, the OAN worked with reporter Joe Smith of KGW Newschannel 8 on a story focused on the nursery industry's workforce concerns. OAN members Pete Brentano and Kevin Klupenger were interviewed, along with Executive Director John Aguirre. The piece stressed that "without immigration reform, it will cause the industry to lose more ground...literally."
» For the latest on this issue, visit the OAN's labor/immigration page
If you require potential employees to undergo a rigorous background investigation, you will be glad to hear about a recent decision in a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case. A well-written release and hold harmless clause will protect an employer against federal claims arising from the employment recruitment process. Employers should consider using such agreements when conducting extensive background investigations before hiring prospective employees. Be sure the release is clear and unambiguous. Consider the candidates education and business experience. Be sure the release is signed in a non-coercive atmosphere. Include a written warning, in bold capital letters, "TO READ CAREFULLY AND TO SEEK COMPETENT LEGAL ADVICE IF NECESSARY."
To further inspire the gardening public to buy from OAN members, Oregon’s Retail Nursery Guide is being expanded in 2008 to include a listing of members selling plants or hard goods direct to consumers via mail order and/or internet sales. As with the listing of retail nurseries and garden centers, the mail order/internet sales listing is FREE in 2008! Letters will be mailed to members designated as mail order/internet sales the week of Oct. 8. If you have questions, please contact Trish Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-682-5089).
The 48th Annual Meeting of the Western Region International Plant Propagators’ Society (IPPS) will be held in Oregon this year at the new Salem Conference Center in Salem October 17 – 20. The “jungle out there” theme is infused through sessions on palms, bamboos and ”zone challenged” plants. Mark Krautmann of Heritage Seedlings and chairman of the OAN Natural Resources Committee is keynote speaker, discussing the status of propagation in these dynamic times. Other distinguished speakers include John Elsley, director of horticulture for Klehm’s Beaver Creek and Songsparrow Nurseries, Sean Hogan of Cistus Design, Ned Jaquith of Bamboo Garden Nursery, Dr. Tim Peters of Raintree Tropical, Sam Drahn (Bailey Nurseries), Jim Booman (Booman Floral), Jim Ekstrom (Ekstrom Nursery), Walter Suttle (Monrovia Nursery), and David Beattie, Penn. State emeritus professor. Session topics will cover seedling production, mechanization, plant breeding, sustainable horticulture practices, new plants and “Nuggets of Knowledge.” The event offers a great lineup of tours. Visit http://www.ipps.org/WesternNA/ for details.
On September 20th, 46 Acer palmatum Emperor and Butterfly were stolen from a Multnomah County nursery. Although there were several theft prevention devices on-site, thieves cut through a fence to gain access to the nursery yard. The total value of the stolen trees is estimated at $1500. The OAN’s Emerald Alert is a web-based theft reporting system. Members can use the online form to report any nursery-related thefts to the OAN office. That information is then e-mailed to other Emerald Alert subscribers. Our intent is that by working together, we can catch the thieves and stop them in their tracks. Sign up to receive automatic Emerald Alerts or to report a theft by filling out the forms linked below. You will not receive alerts unless you opt in to the program by signing up:
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has now checked about 18,000 gypsy moth traps around the state. Nine detections have been made in 2007, six in an area of Shady Cove, north of Medford in Jackson County, and single detections south of Eugene, south of Grants Pass and in Wasco, Sherman County. There were no detections in either Bend or St. Helens, both the focus of gypsy moth eradication projects this spring. The ODA’s goal is to prevent economic and environmental losses in Oregon due to expanding gypsy moth populations. For more information, contact Kathleen Johnson at (503) 986-4662 or Bruce Pokarney at (503) 986-4559.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is looking for volunteer nurseries to participate in a pilot program designed to reduce the impact of P. ramorum. With sales of Oregon nursery products fast approaching a billion dollars, and most of that in plant material leaving the state, it is imperative that P. ramorum does not become an industry-wide problem. ODA received a grant from the US Department of Agriculture for more than $265,000 to fund a Grower Assisted Inspection Program (GAIP), which is designed to empower nurseries to do their own inspections and adopt management practices that lessen the likelihood of finding P. ramorum in the nursery. Volunteer nurseries will work with the ODA to develop a plan for prevention and treatment if the fungus should be found.
The good news is the number of P. ramorum positives detected at Oregon nurseries dropped significantly from 2006. This year, only two small nurseries – neither of which ships outside the Pacific Northwest – were found positive, a decline from 13 in 2006. "The Oregon nursery industry has done an outstanding job working with ODA to reduce the possibility of spreading P. ramorum. GAIP is one more example of strong proactive measures by ODA and the industry to prevent the movement of P. ramorum," said John Aguirre.
Quick detection and eradication has kept Oregon’s nursery industry from being disrupted, but the current system of inspection may be hard to sustain over a long period of time. GAIP will provide a much-needed alternative. Contact Gary McAninch at (503) 986-4785 for more information.
OAN Safety Committee Chairperson, Jeanette Hubbard, would like to invite you to an Open House on Wednesday, Oct. 17 between 2 and 4 pm at the OAN in Wilsonville. Members are invited to review the accomplishments of the Safety Committee and give input on their most pressing safety needs. Refreshments of course! Please RSVP online here. Contact Krista Jeli at email@example.com if you have concerns or questions.
IRS/SSA is offering a free webinar covering filing W-2s electronically, verifying employee SSN's online and more. Dates and times include Oct. 10, 9:30 -11:30 am, Oct. 25, 1:00 - 3:00 pm, and Nov. 29, 9:30 - 11:30 am. To register, send an e-mail to StakeholderEducation@irs.gov with "ET Webinar" and the date you wish to attend in the subject line. Include your name, company name and phone number. They will send you an e-mail confirming your registration, and include the toll-free conference dial-in number and the participant access code for both the phone and web portions of the seminar.
Oregon OSHA invites employers and workers to energize their workplace safety and health programs at the 17th annual Southern Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Conference, Oct. 17 and 18 at the Smullin Center, 2825 East Barnett Road in Medford. The registration fee for all sessions is $120. Any single day is $80 and a single morning or afternoon workshop is $50. Four professional development workshops are being offered Oct. 19; attend one three-hour workshop for $50 or the full day for $95. Exhibition space will highlight products and services from more than 20 safety and health vendors and organizations.
» For more information, visit www.orosha.org/conferences or call (503) 378-3272.
Prescription drugs are vital to preventing and treating illness and helping to avoid more costly medical problems. Three factors that impact the cost of medications: increase in use, increase in price and change in the types of drugs used. You can help lower drug costs by asking your doctor if it is safe for you to take the generic equivalent of the brand name drug. Check with your pharmacist to see if generic equivalents are available. If a generic drug is not available, check the formulary list available on the web to see if your prescription will qualify for the formulary co-pay. If the drug your doctor has prescribed is not on the list, ask if one of the formulary drugs could be used.
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