New EV Stations in Florence; Senators Push Back Against BPA Selloff; AARP Warns of Tax Scammers

New EV Stations in Florence

Yesterday was the unveiling of a new Electric Vehicle Charging station in Florence.  Just before the noon hour Craig Sanders with the River House Inn and Old Towne Inn was joined by Rick and Julie Durst of Durst Energy and members of Central Lincoln PUD to officially open the 8 new charging stations funded in part by the Tesla Company and tax incentives.  Julie Durst says that Florence became a destination charging station in part because it fit the new demographic of the Car Maker.  The less expensive 3 series Tesla was on display as well as the S model sedan.  Durst says it is a great tool for business.

“This is used as a marketing tool for Tesla and for hotels and restaurants so you come use their facility and charge up.”

Durst Energy is contracted by Tesla to install these charging stations around the U.S.  Craig Sanders says this was a five year process, in part because the Tesla company’s higher priced vehicles did not fit the demographic for Tesla, but not that the new model is priced in the mid 30’s it became an attractive spot for the auto maker.  Sanders was enthusiastic about the new opportunity.

“We’ve got three Tesla charging stations at this motel and a clipper creek generic charger and we have three Tesla charging stations at the Old Towne Inn and a Clipper Creek generic charger and today it the first day they have actually been used.”

The charging stations are currently in service at no charge for motel guests and the general public.  It costs about $4.50 cents to charge the vehicles.

Senators Push Back Against BPA Selloff

Earlier this week in a bi-partisan effort Oregon’s senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden along with a group of colleagues urged federal officials not to auction off assets of the Bonneville Power Administration.  A move, according to Central Lincoln PUD spokesperson Chris Chandler, that would have a lot of negative impact for the people of Oregon.

“If it were to be sold it would no doubt be sold to a for profit entity that would then need to pay interest and will also pay it’s investors dividend and that’s not something that happens now with a publicly owned system.”

Chandler say this would mean rising utility cost for Oregon customers but it also has far reaching effects.  The power rates that customers pay now go to help fund many other worthy causes in the state.

“Power rates that we pay right now support flood control, navigation, irrigation, water supply, wildlife enhancement, recreation, and (incomprehensible) control at multi locations where the dams are.  They’re not just for generating power.

The proposal to sell of the transmission lines is slated for the 2019 budget.  Chandler says she does not see that happening this year, but it is something that comes up during budget negotiations.  This is not the first time Senator Wyden has fought against such a proposal.


AARP Warns of Tax Scammers

As the tax deadline approaches, AARP’s Fraud Watch Network and AARP Oregon are joining in efforts to help Oregon taxpayers avoid criminal imposters who aim to defraud them.  The problem is serious, with the Federal Trade Commission reporting that tax fraud ranked second in 2017 in types of identity theft reported, as over 82,000 reports were made last year.  But a new poll from AARP, which surveyed 1,005 Americans by phone, reveals that people may have a false sense of security, as three-fifths (62 percent) report they’re either extremely confident or very confident in their ability to detect fraud.  The poll reports though that many people are not prepared for the aggressive tactics use by scammers and 1 in 4 people across the U.S. have been contacted by phony IRS representatives.  Beginning April 6th the AARP will release a podcast online that can help consumers with fraudulent attacks.  You can go to for more information.