Obama Care; Ocean Noise; New Teachers

Coast Radio News
Local News

26 August 2013

Obama Care Here to Stay?

Despite efforts by the opposition, the Affordable Health Care Act… commonly called Obama Care… is really here to stay.  Congressman Peter DeFazio says it’s gained widespread acceptance.

Peter DeFazio – “There are parts that, you know, people are already taking for granted.  Basically, for Seniors, over 65, nothing changes except they get free preventative care.   For other people the major changes are when you get sick the insurance company can’t take away your policy any more, which they used to do, it’s called rescission which has been outlawed.”

Oregon is far ahead of many other states in implementing changes originally approved two years ago.  That implementation has been ongoing despite repeated efforts by Republicans to overturn it.

Peter DeFazio – “We’ve spent a lot of time in the House repealing all or part of it 40 times which never goes any where in the Senate so it’s a bit of a waste.”

Oregonians can begin enrolling in approved health plans on October 1st with full implementation of the government mandated health insurance programs coming January 1st.

New Teachers in Mapleton

Three new teachers are walking the halls at Mapleton Schools this week in preparation for resumption of classes next week.  Peter Marshall will take over the reins of the high school and middle school science classes in replacement of Brian Buhl who took a position with South Lane School District in Cottage Grove.

When Eddie Mielke left for Siuslaw, he left an opening in the language arts and social studies classes that will be filled by Angela Schroeder.

Mandy Werner will take over for long time primary teacher Cecelia Barrett… Werner, a newlywed, may be more recognizable to many in the Mapleton area under her maiden name of Hendrickson.

Mapleton Superintendent Jodi O’Mara said one other new-but-not-quite-new employee is Maria McEldowney… the district’s Business Manager.  She took over the position May 1st when Debbie Peterson retired.

Ocean Noise Studied

For more than a year scientists with Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport monitored an underwater microphone… called a hydrophone… that was placed in 50-meters of water about three miles off Yaquina Head.

What they discovered, says Joe Haxel, was a “robust” and “varied” collection of sounds.  Haxel, an OSU doctoral student, said they recorded the expected sounds… like waves crashing on nearby beaches, commercial and recreational vessels passing overhead, and the sounds of Blue Whales.

What was missing though, were sounds of Gray Whales.

Joe Haxel – “Gray whales are, on their migration, usually moving with calves.  They’re trying to keep pretty silent.  You know if they’re making a lot of sounds they’re kind of calling in predators.  I found it kind of remarkable they were doing a visual survey from Yaquina Head and they had whale tracks going almost directly over the mooring.”

Even though commercial crabbers worked in the area of the hydrophone for most the year-long study, Haxel says the most noise came from the surf breaking on the beach.

The noise study is aimed at helping researchers determine the impact that noise from things like electrical generation wave buoys will have on wildlife.