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Jun-28-2012 22:00printcomments

Governor's Press Conference Addresses Tsunami Debris on Oregon Beaches

Kitzhaber's press conference was widely attended and the news is moving around the world, however he is concerned with reaching residents here.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.
Photo and video by Jerry Freeman, Salem-News.com

(SALEM) - Oregon's Governor John Kitzhaber held a special press conference today to discuss the Supreme Court decision regarding President Obama's national healthcare package, and also to address the extremely unique and unprecedented problem of debris from Japan's deadly tsunami arriving on Oregon's shores.

So far, a mostly intact dock ripped away from the Fukushima prefecture coast, has made the 5000 mile trip from Japan, and biologists are warning that debris from Japan's tsunami actually carries the threat of an invasive species.

Oregon's Governor has a plan that help help the public deal with debris from Japan if they see it; if items with Japanese writing or other identifiable characteristics are spotted, just dial 211. It's the new hotline that Gov. Kitzhaber announced at today's news conference.

Starting Friday, those who call the hotline during business hours, will be greeted by a live staffer and when they aren't in, the caller can leave a message on a voice recorder and their teams will respond .

Kitzhaber's press conference was widely attended and the news is moving around the world, however he is concerned with reaching residents here.

"I just want to make sure that Oregonians understand that we are on top of this," the Governor said, adding that the hotline allows the public to help keep Oregon's beaches clean, which they are well known for, and to return any missing, recovered property to its rightful owners in Japan.

Oregon National Guard Brig. Gen. Mike Caldwell is the interim director of the state's Office of Emergency Management. This office will be in charge of coordinating the response and cleanup efforts which involve several state agencies.

Watch the entire press conference with John Kitzhaber and other Oregon officials, recorded today by Salem-News.com's Jerry Freeman:



Jerry Freeman is part of a new generation of dedicated news photographers who entered the Internet news industry as a second career. He shares in common with many people who fulfilled their life dream of becoming a visual journalist. Joining the Navy at an early age, and the Oregon Army Guard a few years later, Jerry has a wide range of life experiences. He describes himself as “a truck driver with a new found passion to bear witness to the world’s events.”

Teaming up with Salem-News.com he embarked on a new career as a video news photographer and reporter. Jerry's quick exhibition of natural talent and ability to shoot breaking news led to his becoming a published member of the Salem-News.com team.




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