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The Alsea Community Effort (ACE), recently purchased a new community-use ladder. With the generous assistance of Alsea Christian Fellowship and Jeni's Place, and grants from both the 2020 OSU Folk Club/Thrift Store, and 2020 Benton County United Way COVID-19 Fund, ACE recently purchased a new community-use ladder.


The ladder was acquired with the assistance of Spaeth Lumber of Corvallis, who facilitated gathering all additional pieces. These include automatic levelers and an upper end brace, making this a true "Safety Ladder".


The ladder was assembled at the Bummer Creek Outdoor Center maintenance facilities, and christened the "Alsea Community Elevator".... or "ACE ladder" for short. 


Thanks again to all those who helped make this possible. This truly was an Alsea Community Effort.


How to Stay Safe

Winter weather brings its own challenges to areas of the country that see temperatures dip and snow and ice occur. The American Red Cross has steps you should take to stay safe should winter weather threaten your community.

Take immediate precautions if you hear these words on the news:

  • Winter Storm WARNING: Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours.

  • Blizzard WARNING: Sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 miles per hour or greater, plus considerable falling or blowing snow reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile, expected to prevail for three hours or longer.

  • WIND CHILL Temperature: How cold people and animals feel when outside. As wind increases, heat is carried away from your body at a faster rate, driving down your body temperature and making you feel much colder. The wind chill temperature is not the actual temperature but rather how wind and cold feel on exposed skin.

  • Winter Storm WATCH: Winter storm conditions possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. Review your winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.



  • Assemble an emergency preparedness kit. Full details here.

  • Protect pipes from freezing.

  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out. Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide an extra layer of insulation to keep cold air out.

  • Make sure you have enough heating fuel on hand. Conserve fuel. Winter storms can last for several days, placing great demand on electric, gas, and other fuel distribution systems (fuel oil, propane, etc.).

  • Stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. If you feel too warm, remove layers to avoid sweating; if you feel chilled, add layers.

  • Check on relatives, neighbors and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone.



If you must go outside, protect yourself from winter storm hazards:

  • Wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens or gloves and a hat will prevent the loss of body heat.

  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from severely cold air. Avoid taking deep breaths; minimize talking.

  • Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.

  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses much of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly away from the body.

  • Stretch before you go out. If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. This will reduce your chances of muscle injury.

  • Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a vehicle, or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and the hard labor may cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia.

  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks. Slips and falls occur frequently in winter weather, resulting in painful and sometimes disabling injuries.

  • If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation if possible. About 70 percent of winter deaths related to ice and snow occur in automobiles



Stay off the road if possible during severe weather. If you must drive in winter weather, follow these tips:

  • Keep in your vehicle:

    • A windshield scraper and small broom. A small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats. Matches in a waterproof container. A brightly colored (preferably red) cloth to tie to the antenna

    • An emergency supply kit, including warm clothing.

  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full so you can leave right away in an emergency and to keep the fuel line from freezing.

  • Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road.

  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.

  • Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.

  • Don’t pass snow plows.

  • Ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.

  • If you become stranded:

    • Stay in the vehicle and wait for help. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards (91 meters). You can quickly become disoriented and confused in blowing snow.

    • Display a trouble sign to indicate you need help. Hang a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and raise the hood after snow stops falling.

    • Run the engine occasionally to keep warm. Turn on the engine for about 10 minutes each hour (or five minutes every half hour). Running the engine for only short periods reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and conserves fuel. Use the heater while the engine is running. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and slightly open a downwind window for ventilation.

    • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.




People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at







Valley Voice Contributor

At the October 15, 2020 Alsea Community Effort meeting held in the community room of the library a quorum of board members addressed several old business and new business items.  During the old business portion of the meeting, Randy Hart, the lead person in the Alsea Emergency Preparedness Council, presented updates to the unmet needs surrounding the continued efforts to strengthen Alsea Valley’s emergency response planning.   It was especially poignant in light of what has happened in the past several months of wildfires and the ongoing dealings with COVID-19. 

The overriding issue is the severely limited numbers of community volunteers participating in establishing and maintaining key elements of the plan.  Basically we just do not have enough committed residents working on this critical project. 

So this is a request for fellow residents (and those outside the Alsea Valley wanting to participate) to take a look at getting involved.  Let’s come together and create a stronger preparedness system and make this happen so that the next time we have an emergency the system(s) are in place with the needed volunteers.  There is much work to do.   Please contact Randy Hart and/or the ACE board members to let us know you are interested and willing to help.  We can arrange teleconferencing meetings, trainings, etc. to work around the C-19 thing.   

The second item for discussion was Alsea Community Effort’s need to fill two vacant positions on the board.  The organization’s required number is seven. In years past, the full board, along with community leaders and volunteers, worked together to accomplish tasks and meet goals that led to the success of many community projects.  We are seeking community members who are interested in helping create a stronger, more vibrant community development action plan which compliments ACE’s vision and mission for Alsea.

This year has been full of challenges for our residents and our board members, forcing us to scale back in project/program development and implementation.  November and December of 2020 will present us all with more uncertainty so right now the existing ACE board members are looking at ways to engage community members to elicit new ideas for Alsea.  We are also committed to revisiting previous ideas that may have been good but were not pursued due to limited access to resources and volunteer participation. 

 Please consider how you may be able to be part of the strengthening of the Alsea community.  ACE, being a 501(c)(3) non-profit can be the driving force behind new and exciting projects/programs for the Alsea Valley. 

Thank you for your time and commitment to the continuing existence of the community of the Alsea Valley.

Naomi Shadwick, Acting ACE President

Eva Riedlecker-Wolfe, Secretary

Barbara Trask, Treasurer

Eddy Provost, Board Member

Allison Blount, Board Member


Heading back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Sending students back to school this year will be different due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Some schools will reopen, some will remain closed. Some students may return to the classroom. Others may use virtual online learning methods or a combination of online and in-person courses.

Whatever your student’s situation, the American Red Cross offers the following safety information based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):


  • Don’t leave it up to the teachers and staff. Teach your children healthy behaviors at home and about what changes to expect at school this year.

  • Check your child each morning for signs of illness. If your child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they should not go to school.

  • Make sure your child does not have a sore throat or other signs of illness, like a cough, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting or body aches.

  • If your child has had close contact to a COVID-19 case, they should not go to school.

  • Make sure your child is up-to-date with all recommended vaccines, including for flu. 

  • Review and practice proper hand washing techniques at home.

  • Develop daily routines for before and after school—for example, things to pack for school in the morning (like hand sanitizer and an additional cloth face covering) and things to do when you return home (like washing hands immediately and washing worn cloth face coverings.

  • Advise children to:

    • Wash and sanitize their hands more often.

    • Keep physical distance from other students.

    • Wear a cloth face covering.

    • Avoid sharing objects with other students, including water bottles, devices, writing instruments and books.



  • Make sure your contact information is up-to-date at school, including emergency contacts authorized to pick up your student from school.

  • Be familiar with your school’s plan for how they will communicate with families when a positive case or exposure to someone with COVID-19 is identified and ensure student privacy is upheld.

  • Plan for possible school closures or periods of quarantine. You may need to consider the feasibility of teleworking, taking leave from work, or identifying someone who can supervise your child in the event of school building closures or quarantine.



  • Have multiple cloth face coverings for each child so you can wash them and have back-ups ready.

  • Label your child’s cloth face covering clearly with permanent marker so they aren’t confused with someone else’s.

  • Have your student practice putting the cloth face covering on and taking it off without touching the cloth.

  • If you have a young child, help them get comfortable with wearing a cloth face covering and seeing others in face covers.

  • Consider providing your child with a container (e.g., labeled resealable bag) to bring to school to store their cloth face coverings when not wearing it (e.g., when eating).



  • Create a schedule with your student and try to stick with it.

  • Find a space in your home free of distractions, noise and clutter for learning and doing homework. It should be well lit.

  • Try to attend school activities and meetings with COVID precautions. They may be offered virtually.

  • Identify opportunities for your child to connect with peers and be social—either virtually or in person, while maintaining physical distance.

  • If your child participates in school meal programs, identify how your school district plans to make meals available to students who are learning virtually at home.

  • If your child receives speech, occupational or physical therapy or other related services from the school, ask your school how these services will continue during virtual at-home learning.