Oasis gift program

Oasis Shelter Home is hosting its Christmas gift program by which people take a tag from one of the trees at participating businesses, purchase the item listed on the tag and return the unwrapped gift to the business.

The gifts are then distributed to those in need.

Tree locations in Brookings include Quality Fast Lube, Superfly, Grocery Outlet, Harbrook Jewelers, the Bell and Whistle Coffee House, Woof’s Dog Bakery and U.S. Cellular. In Gold Beach, trees are at Rachel’s Coffee House, Rogue Credit Union, Umpqua Bank, Woof’s Dog Bakery and Sunset Pizza; and in Port Orford at Tasty Kate’s.

Gift purchases are not limited to the item listed on the tag, and those who would rather have Oasis Shelter representatives purchase gifts on their behalf can make arrangements by calling 541-425-5238.

The deadline to return gifts to participating businesses is Dec. 15.

Good Sam lauded

Good Samaritan Society’s Curry Village on Park Avenue in Brookings was rated by U.S. News & World Report as a “high performing facility,” based on its ratings of more than 15,000 nursing homes nationwide.

U.S. News uses data from a rating system created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but while CMS bases its rating on health inspections, U.S. News bases its overall ratings on staffing.

Good Samaritan Society in Brookings opened in July 1969 as The Curry Good Samaritan Center after land was donated to build at the top of the hill overlooking town. It is the only skilled nursing center in Curry County.

The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society is the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of long-term care and senior services. The society was founded in 1922 and owns more than 240 long-term healthcare centers and retirement living centers.

The society’s mission is to share God’s love in word and deed by providing shelter and services to older persons and others in need, believing that “in Christ’s Love, Everyone is Someone.”

Christmas tree maps

The Bureau of Land Management and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has updated its maps for those looking for Christmas trees and have added them to the online navigation app Avenza Maps.

The map is provided with Christmas tree permits and serves as a “go/no go” style map to inform them where they can both legally and safely harvest Christmas trees. The map includes multiple important updates across Southwest Oregon, including safety precautions and information regarding the Sudden Oak Death quarantine area.

Avenza Maps can be used as a navigation tool, even in areas without cell service, Forest Service officials said. And QR codes have been made to easy the downloading. The QR codes and other information on the Christmas tree permit program can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/rogue-siskiyou/maps-pubs.

Housing survey

The Oregon Housing and Community Services is soliciting comment about planning and ways to invest resources for the statewide Housing Plan.

The plan will outline the extent of Oregon’s housing problem and what can be done to address it. OHCS has promised the Housing Stability Council and other stakeholders that the plan will be responsive to the needs of the state.

To view the plan, visit https://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/pages/oshp.aspx.

Comments on the draft housing plan can be placed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OregonStatewideHousingPlan​​. The comment period closes Dec. 19.

‘Instant Family’

The movie ‘Instant Family’ will be shown at 2 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Redwood Theater in Brookings, with the first 70 people admitted free, courtesy of Advanced Health, a organization that helps those enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan obtain quality medical care.

The film is about a couple that takes in a small child as a foster child, but ends up with a brood of kids on its hands.

It’s geared toward those interested in becoming foster families — there is a severe shortage of them in Curry County. An information session and question-and-answer period will follow the showing.

New guidelines will provide better benefits for foster families, including an increase in stipends and assistance with childcare expenses.

Nature restored

The Wilderness Land Trust has purchased a 60-acre mining claim adjacent to the Little Chetco River, the last remaining private inholding in the 180,000-acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness.

This Southwest Oregon wilderness contains the headwaters of three national Wild and Scenic rivers: the Chetco, North Fork Smith and Illinois, which provide clean, clear water and critical habitat for salmon and steelhead. The World Wildlife Fund has labeled this land as one of the most botanically diverse areas in North America, land trust officials said this week.

“Our acquisition eliminates forever the threat from a tourist mining operation and the potential removal of thousands of tons of river gravel that would have directly impacted critical spawning beds and water quality of the Chetco River drainage,” the trust announced. “After we finish restoring this land to its natural state, we will transfer the property to the U.S. Forest Service to become a part of the the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.”

Meat recalled

JBS Tolleson Inc. is recalling more than 5.1 million pounds of raw beef that might be tainted with salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced earlier this week.

The recalled beef was produced and packaged between July 26 and Sept. 7, and distributed nationwide under the brands of Kroger, Laura’s Lean and JBS generic. The USDA is concerned that consumers might unknowingly have beef stored in freezers after purchasing it earlier this fall.

The recall is an expansion of an october recall in October for the same reason. The amount of beef products that has been recalled now exceeds more than 12 million pounds.

The recalled beef is linked to an outbreak of salmonella that, as of Nov. 15, caused 246 people to become sick in 25 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No deaths have been reported, but 56 people have been hospitalized.

“FSIS is continuing to investigate illnesses associated with this widespread outbreak, and additional product from other companies may also be recalled,” the recall notice said.

Consumers should discard or return any recalled beef.

Symptoms of salmonella usually begin within 12 to 72 hours of consuming contaminated food. These can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever that last between four and seven days. Most people recover on their own, but those who experience persistent diarrhea may need to be hospitalized.

Hearing delayed

The Oregon departments of fish and wildlife and forestry have been unable to make site visits to various riparian areas in Brookings, thus delaying the public hearing to establish a riparian ordinance in the city’s Land Development Code.

The hearing, originally slated for Dec. 10, will now be held Jan. 14 at city hall.

Brookings’ Planning Commission held an initial public hearing about the proposed ordinance to amend the code and add a chapter to be consistent with the state Administrative Rules and Planning Goal No. 5.

The commission recommended approving the ordinance and recommended city staff work with the state agencies to investigate questions raised about certain riparian areas, including those that bear fish — the key determinant of the city’s “riparian corridors.”

Material related to the proposed ordinance can be obtained online at www.brookings.or.us or in person at city hall on Elk Drive.