Outage Map & Status

If you are without power, please call us at 541-484-1151.

General Outage Information

On any given day, electric utilities experience small power outages across their service areas. For example, a tree in the line, a vehicle crash into a pole, or even a squirrel on a transformer can affect a single home or small pockets of members in a specific area. As such, when you look at our outage map, regardless of time of day, you might see outages appearing on the map and in the table to the right of the map, even if there are no “large-scale” outages. Our outage map displays real-time activities that are occurring, 24-7-365.

Lane Electric’s mission is to provide members with safe, reliable electric service – day and night. Despite our best efforts, severe weather and unusual circumstances can wreak havoc and cause a power outage that can last for hours or days. For more information, please review our Power Outage Tips.

Lane Electric also communicates outage information to the following media outlets:

Television: KMTR-16, KEZI-9, KVAL-13, FOX
Radio: KLCC (89.7), KUGN (590AM), KZEL (96.1), KKNX (84), KPNW (1120AM), KNND (1400AM), KMGE (94.5), KKNU (93), KRVM (91.9)
Newspaper: Cottage Grove Sentinel, The Creswell Chronicle, Fern Ridge Review, Highway 58 Herald, McKenzie River Reflections, Oakridge Dead Mountain Echo, The Register-Guard

Planned Power Outages

Every so often planned power outages are necessary because of needed repairs or upgrades to our system. These dramatically reduce the likelihood of unexpected outages in the future and help improve reliability. We know outages are very inconvenient and we try to minimize the number of them we have each year. We appreciate your understanding and patience with us.

Members in affected areas should receive a call about upcoming outages. We also plan to send a reminder call closer to the actual outage. Please call our office if you feel you need to update your contact information.

For all members using medical equipment requiring electrical power, you will need to make provisions for these power outages.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is BPA/Bonneville Power Administration?

Bonneville Power Administration, also referred to as BPA, provides the transmission lines to Lane Electric’s distribution lines. Lane Electric purchases wholesale power from BPA; they market wholesale electrical power from 31 federal hydroelectric projects in the Northwest, one non-federal nuclear plant and several small non-federal power plants. They operate and maintain about three-fourths of the high-voltage transmission in their service territory. BPA’s territory includes Idaho, Oregon, Washington, western Montana and small parts of eastern Montana, California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

2. Why is this outage necessary?

BPA operates and owns one of the nation’s largest high voltage systems. Created in 1937, major construction of their high voltage transmission system happened between 1940-1960. Fast forward a few years, this is an aging system that we depend on for reliable service. Without proper maintenance of their equipment, Lane Electric customers could experience unplanned outages with unknown durations. When BPA’s system is more reliable, ours is too!

3. Why during the night?

Lane Electric and BPA work together to try and find a time that is least disruptive. We know this is not necessarily convenient for everyone, as we are a diverse community, but we do our best to balance the impacts of a planned outage. Crews will be working during the night, hoping this is least disruptive to our members when most people are asleep.

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Arm failure due to rot. image of power poles.

Pole Rotten

Pole Rot

rotten base of power bole

Worn Hardware

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Latest Updates:

Carousel, Press Releases

Wildfire Preparedness is a Community Effort

 

The first official day of summer is here, which also means wildfire season is upon us. While we can’t control a wildfire, we can be ready for one. From tree trimming to moving lines underground, Lane Electric works year-round to help prepare for and prevent wildfires. Staying wildfire ready is a community effort so, we are asking Lane County residents to join us.

We’ve just launched new online and printable resources to help our region prepare.

 

 

 

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – June 2022

Maintaining Healthy & Safe Communities

Debi WilsonDear Co-op Community Members:

It’s hard to believe we’re only weeks away from the official start of summer. While spring brought an usually wet and chilly April, it wasn’t enough to change the reality that nearly 90% of Oregon is experiencing drought conditions. As I mentioned last month, that’s a topic on the minds of Lane Electric and other rural electric cooperatives around the state as we approach wildfire season.

We’re taking important steps to mitigate wildfire danger, including trimming and clearing brush, improving system resiliency and testing public safety power shutoff functionality. These efforts are important to maintain the health and safety of our communities.

To be successful, we need your support.

In the coming weeks, we will share more about steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of wildfires and protect your family and property. We look forward to partnering with you on this joint effort.

Speaking of prioritizing safety and preparedness, I’m excited to share that Lane Electric Cooperative recently was recognized for an exemplary safety record by the Northwest Public Power Association. Following a review of safety records, Lane Electric was recognized along with Columbia River PUD, Missoula Electric Cooperative and McMinnville Water & Light. We pride ourselves on prioritizing the health and wellness of our employees and will continue to look for ways to improve what we do. The same is true for being stewards of environmental health.

Hydropower

As an organization that relies on hydropower to deliver sustainable, cost-efficient electricity to our members, maintaining the functionality of dams on the Snake River and throughout the Pacific Northwest is an important issue. Today, 90% of our power supply comes from hydropower, with no other dependable, sustainable options. While wind and solar hold wonderful promise, they simply can’t power our grid alone.

As conversations around the future of the lower Snake River dams heat up at state and national levels, it’s important that elected officials understand the critical role the power generated by these dams play in the health of our rural communities and beyond. To make our voices heard, Lane Electric and more than 100 utility organizations across seven states have joined Northwest RiverPartners to help individuals and elected officials in the Northwest realize clean energy potential using hydroelectricity as the cornerstone.

You’ll soon hear more about the role you can play to help elevate awareness around the power of hydro.

Sincerely,
Debi Wilson

Carousel, Inside Ruralite

Sewing the Fabric of a Community

The Pine Needlers Quilt Group brings the community together and gives back during the Lowell Quilt Show

Story and photos by Craig Reed

Members of Pine Needlers Quilt Group display the queen-size quilt that will be raffled off at the Lowell Quilt Show. From left are Diane Stephens, Joyce Weaver, Chris Daniels, Lisa Bee Wilson and Virginia Galvin. Photo by Craig Reed

Creative designs and myriad colors are displayed on quilt after quilt.

About 125 of the beautiful, homemade, fabric creations are expected to grace the Lowell High School gym during the Lowell Quilt Show Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, July 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The 18th annual quilt show is coordinated by Pine Needlers Quilt Group. This year’s show, titled “Windows of Hope,” will feature entries from quilters throughout Lane County.

There is no admission fee. A $5 fee per quilt entry helps with operating expenses for the show.

“I’m thrilled that this little group has pulled this show off year after year,” says Lisa Bee-Wilson, a charter member of Pine Needlers and lead organizer for the quilt show. “Each year, the show has been more professional and lovely. You can’t make this event without a team, so it’s cool that the group’s members have maintained their enthusiasm and drive for the show.”

Lisa says the show is a wonderful way to show off the unique art form. Each quilter incorporates different designs and colors into their creations.

Members of Pine Needlers Quilt Group gather to work on quilting projects and plan for the upcoming Lowell Quilt Show. From left are Joyce Weaver, Chris Daniels, Diane Stephens and Lisa Bee-Wilson.

The centerpiece this year will be a queen-size quilt that features black-and-white blocks of different designs. Members of Pine Needlers each created several blocks before assembling them into the quilt.

That quilt will be the Pine Needlers’ annual raffle prize. Members are selling tickets.

“The raffle quilt is a culmination of all of our talents,” says Joyce Weaver. “We’re a very eclectic group, but very supportive of each other. A unifying factor is creating the raffle quilt together to support the community. It’s been wonderfully received.”

In recent years, the quilt raffle has raised $3,000 to $4,000. The group has made donations to Lowell Fire Department, the town’s library, Lowell Grange, the local food bank, Lowell Fall Creek Education Fund and local schools to buy student supplies.

“Quilt raffles are a great way to make money for projects in the community,” says quilter Chris Daniels.

Lisa says she enjoys supporting the community, and it is easy to do through quilting—an activity she loves.

Virginia Galvin works on her latest quilting projects with fellow members of Pine Needlers Quilt Group.

Lisa initiated both Pine Needlers and the quilt show. She moved to the Lowell area in 2003. When she attended the town’s annual Blackberry Jam Festival that year, she thought a quilt show would be a nice addition to that weekend event in late July.

She had attended other quilt shows and saw them as an opportunity to highlight another type of art for the community.

Lisa attended a festival meeting, and there was no hesitation in giving her the go-ahead to organize a show.

Because there was no local quilters’ group and she was new to the area, Lisa recruited help from Teri Harter, a longtime quilter from Fall Creek who knew other quilters.

The two organized the first Lowell Quilt Show in 2005. It featured close to 100 quilts.

“That first show was held in the Lowell Grange Hall,” Lisa says. “The response was great. The community seemed to love it. We decided to continue with the show.”

The Pine Needlers group then formed, and the 12 to 20 members have organized the show since.

Most members are in their 60s and 70s, although the group is trying to attract younger members. They are eager to share their quilting expertise.

“Making quilts is a challenge, but the women in this group share,” Joyce says. “If you come in and say, ‘I need borders,’ you get opinions from everyone. They give you ideas. They share fabrics. You learn from each other.”

The show eventually outgrew Grange Hall and was moved to the Lundy Middle School gym and then to the high school gym. In 2020, because of COVID-19 restrictions, the show was a one-day, drive-thru event with the quilts on display in the Lowell Library parking lot.

Joyce works on her latest quilting projects with fellow members of Pine Needlers Quilt Group.

“We felt the community really needed to see some color and positivity,” Lisa says. “It was beautiful with the sun coming through the quilts. We got a really good reception.”

The show returned to the high school gym last year.

The Lowell Quilt Show is only for the display of quilts. There is no professional judging.

“It’s not so much a competition, but rather a display of a quilter’s talent and skills and creative expression,” Joyce says. “It’s interesting to see the impact of quilts and how they move people.”

While most of the quilts will be display only, a few will be available for sale.

Those interested in entering a quilt in this year’s show can visit the Blackberry Jam Quilt Show website for an entry form. The entry deadline is June 30.

News

2022 Annual Meeting

 

On May 19, just two days after our 83rd anniversary, Lane Electric welcomed cooperative members both in-person and virtually for our 2022 annual meeting.

The packed agenda included announcing election results, a financial health overview, operational update and report of priorities for the year, and the celebration of this year’s scholarship, youth tour, and member of the year winners.

Election Results

The Lane Electric Board of Trustees welcomes newly elected directors Joy Olgyay, Central District, and Krissi M. Martes, Row River District.

Two bylaw amendments also passed. The first allows for the annual meeting to be held in May, June, or July. The second permits the board appointment of nominating committee members to better coincide with monthly board meetings. You can review Lane Electric’s current bylaws here.

Financial Report

Lane Electric ended 2021 with almost $3 million in margins and a 45.4% equity ratio. That represents the percent of total assets owned by you, our members, and is within the established range the board has designated as a measure of financial health. Keeping the ratio at or above 40% allows the Co-op to carry on with routine business such as system improvements, capital credit retirements, and provides an important cushion against extreme weather events.

We are also pleased to share we have collected a FEMA reimbursement of $3,728,450 for the 2019 snowstorm. Additionally, Lane Electric was awarded a $26 million from FEMA in support of the recovery and rebuilding of the areas destroyed by the Holiday Farm Fire. To date we have received fire-related reimbursements totaling more than more than $689,000.

There’s also more than $25 million in FEMA grant applications awaiting approval, bringing the total grants awarded and pending to $51,482,000.

Operational Updates and Priorities

Lane Electric Cooperative was recently recognized for our exemplary safety record by the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA). Following a review of safety records, Lane Electric was recognized along with Columbia River PUD, Missoula Electric Cooperative, and McMinnville Water & Light.

Cooperative priorities for the coming months were also shared. They include:

  • The launch of an operational wildfire mitigation plan. Additionally, Lane Electric will also soon roll out a communications effort to help members better prepare for the upcoming fire season.
  • Discussions around future power supply needs and relationship with the Bonneville Power Administration.
  • Continued efforts to improve system resiliency, including seeking funding to underground lines.

Scholarship Winners

For more than 20 years, Lane Electric has provided scholarships to members-at-large, as well as graduating high school seniors. These scholarships help our community members grow and contribute through the pursuit of new careers and opportunities. This year’s winners are:

  • Andrew Wiley – Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Lucas Dassonville – Oregon State University
  • Maggie Harrison – Oregon State University
  • Melony Burnett – University of Oregon

Additionally, Lane Electric named Anna Riedmann the 2022 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Tour representative. She will join more than 1,000 high school juniors and seniors from around the country for a life changing trip to Washington, D.C. this June.

Larry Erickson Member of the Year Award

The “Blue River Bottle Boys,” Pete Petty, Monty Wilson, and Walter Wilson were recognized for their efforts to support community organizations recovering from the Holiday Farm Fire. What started as volunteering to clean campsites and pick up trash evolved into a way to rebuild their community. To date, their Dime at a Time recycling project has raised $50,000. Learn more about the Bottle Boys here.

Carousel, Inside Ruralite

Unicorn Ranch

Lorane nonprofit provides therapeutic services to kids and horses

Story and photos by Craig Reed

Matilda Brannon sits on Fuego as they wait for instructions during a riding lesson at the Lorane Unicorn Ranch. Matilda, 10, is in her third year of riding at the ranch.

Smiles light up the faces of young riders sitting astride their mounts.

The four-legged animals—ranging from small ponies to big horses—probably enjoy the time also.

They calmly give the kids rides—sometimes at a walk and sometimes at a trot—across the arena at the Unicorn Ranch in Lorane.

Walking or jogging along with each animal and rider is a volunteer “sidewalker” who provides safety and encouragement for both the two- and four-legged participants.

The hour-long riding session is under the guidance of Katarina Cernozubov-Digman, ranch owner and director of the ranch’s nonprofit program that provides therapeutic services for kids and animals.

Katarina, who has a doctorate in psychology, has offered the program on her Lorane property since 1990.

Now 80, she is small and lean in stature, but strong of voice and full of energy. Katarina walks among the horses and riders, giving instructions and encouragement. When it is time to trot, she quickens her pace, encouraging horses and riders to transition from walking to trotting.

“It’s incredibly meaningful for me to do this work,” Katarina says. “It gives meaning to my life. It’s very rewarding to see the progress in the kids, in their families and in the horses to where they’re all feeling confident.

Katarina Cernozubov Digman, owner of Unicorn Ranch, works with rider Mandala Surasky and horse Taffy during a riding lesson at the ranch. Katarina and the ranch provide therapeutic services for people and horses.

“It’s not just the horses and the people, but nature is incredibly healing. We’ve tried to create a place here with a natural world that can have a calming effect.”

Scientific data shows humans and animals can develop special relationships that are psychologically and physically therapeutic for both.

Some of the kids in the riding program are shy or dealing with health or family issues. The ponies and horses they ride can help them learn skills to deal with problems.

The kids are shown and told if they can develop a relationship with an animal, they can do the same with people, young and old.

Many of the ponies and horses in the program have had their own issues. They have been rescued from abusive situations or donated because owners don’t have or take the time to work with them.

Like the kids, these animals need a calming, comforting hand—first from Katarina for an extended time to get them settled, then eventually from the young riders who learn how to groom a horse before saddling up and riding.

The ranch also has dogs that give the kids another friend or two, and chickens and ducks roam the grounds. The ranch is designated a wildlife sanctuary by the National Wildlife Federation.

In the past, Katarina has worked with up to 30 kids in the program, but now has only 12 who ride once or twice a week.

Coral Hagerwaite rides Dolly, and Kristin Brannon is the sidewalker providing encouragement to riders and horses.

In addition to riding, the kids participate in exercises and activities aimed at improving confidence, coordination, concentration, accepting both winning and losing, setting goals and following up on them, not giving up and always trying one’s best.

Matilda Brannon, 10, is in her third year in the program. She rides Fuego, a big horse.

“I know Fuego is my friend,” Matilda says quietly. “He’s not going to be rude to me.”

Sister Scarlett Brannon, 7, says she loves to hug Leah, a pony. Mandala Surasky says Taffy, a horse, comforts her and cheers her up when she is feeling blue.

“She’s there for me, and I’m there for her,” Mandala says. Coral Hagerwaite says Dolly, a horse, somehow knows “we are friends. She understands me.”

There is no set fee for the kids to be in the program. Their parents or guardians pay what they can or volunteer their time at the ranch.

While the kids are riding, having lunch, and in positive group settings, the adults can be sidewalkers, clean horse stalls, fix fencing or do other maintenance jobs that pop up around the property.

In addition to the kids riding at the ranch—either in the arena or on trails—Katarina reaches out to seniors in assisted living and nursing facilities. Those folks can visit the ranch and its animals. Beethoven, a pony, and service dogs also make trips to the care homes.

Encounters between seniors and the animals are a highlight for the people, Katarina says, noting the dogs and pony love the attention.

Katarina and her therapeutic riding center have been recognized and honored several times, receiving awards from the Department of Health, the Department of Justice, the United Way, and a First Lady Award and commendation from the U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Katarina was born in Yugoslavia. She developed an early interest in horses, listening to her grandparents tell stories about the horse-and-buggy days in Europe.

She came to the United States in 1968 and taught psychology classes at the University of Hawaii for 20 years. While there, she got her first horse—an animal that was “too crazy” for the polo fields, according to its former polo riding owner.

Katarina was told if she could calm the horse, she could have it. In time, she did. The two became the team that started the therapeutic program for kids and animals in Hawaii before Katarina moved to the Lorane ranch in 1990.

“If children don’t feel good about themselves, I will help, and a big animal like a horse will help,” Katarina says. “Horses can help bring positive changes to a kid.”

Carousel, Inside Ruralite

2022 Lane Electric Board Candidates

Central District

Barry T. Zalac headshotBarry T. Zalac

Occupation: Civil and Environmental Engineer.

Educational Background: MS Civil and Environmental Engineering, BS Civil Engineering, AS Mathematics.

Civic and Public Affairs: Public presentation of engineering projects. Here I brought the residents and business people up to speed on a project either in design or about to construct. Out of these presentations, I would quite often get valuable ideas to incorporate into the project. I very much value these kind of meetings. I have also functioned as the conduit to the media and have appeared on television and radio. I believe that I will take these experiences into my new task as your director.

Candidate Statement: I grew up in rural Michigan and by college time I couldn’t pay the fees for the University of Michigan so off I went to California where the tuitions were dirt cheap at that time. I received a great education that carried all through my career. As an Engineer in California, I learned a great deal about working with other agencies, particularly Pacific Gas and Electric. I was on the ground right after the Loma Prieta quake in San Francisco. I evaluated houses and businesses for occupancy. This function utilized my Engineering skills but more importantly, it honed my ability to work with the general public. Following that experience, I attended an ATC-20 earthquake seminar (Applied Technology Council) for the inspection of damaged buildings. Ultimately, I became the director for building post-earthquake evaluations for all of California. This experience taught me teamwork as well as leadership skills. This role as well as my design work helped me to work as a team with subordinate staff. I had a full-time staff of up to 33 engineers and technicians. I also led the student internship program employing around 20 college students every summer, and I was in the field overseeing my staff and their staff over a 4 county area in Northern California. I further teach 2-day seminars on ATC-20 to groups of Engineers and Technicians. Earthquake awareness is growing in Oregon, and this will be an asset in my back pocket. I feel very strongly about this opportunity to serve as your Director, and I ask for your vote. Over the next 3 years, I will spend time earning your trust.


Joy Olgyay

Joy Olgyay headshotOccupation: Retired (2007). Now hay farmer.

Educational Background: MBA, Finance

Civic and Public Affairs: Budget Committee, LCOG, AARP Tax Aide, Ambassador, Eugene Chamber of Commerce, President, Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco.

Candidate Statement: If you elect me to represent you, I will make sure that LEC is working for its members, both individuals, and businesses. And I want to make sure LEC can meet its long-term financial challenges.

This means reconciling two perspectives. Does LEC understand the needs of its members? Can LEC achieve all the goals set out by its members? And can LEC pay for all this, while also paying attention to the daily stream of challenges: emergency response, wildfires, ice storms, sourcing energy?

Putting these two perspectives together is among the most important functions of the board. I have done this before, having had over 30 years of experience in finance. I worked as a corporate banker, strategic planner, economist, and educator. I have been a member of LEC for over 20 years. I am retired and live on my small hay farm.

Last year I audited LEC board meetings. Afterward, I noted to a board member that these meetings didn’t report on the membership, their concerns, issues, etc. I was told that going forward the board would include the membership as an agenda item. We can all do better when we solicit feedback.

It is important to have a shared vision for what LEC should do. Together we can make this vision a reality.


Row River District

Krissi M. Martes headshotKrissi M. Martes (Kris)

Occupation: Retired Police Sergeant.

Educational Background: Bachelor’s Degree from Portland State University.

Civic and Public Affairs: Former State Director for the Law Enforcement Torch Run– Special Olympics. Retired Law Enforcement Officer – 29 years of service. As a police officer, I worked a variety of assignments – Patrol, Violent Crimes, Background Investigations, Bomb Squad, Bike Patrol, Crowd Control Team, and Campus Sergeant.

Candidate Statement: My family has been within the Lane Electric
Boundaries for the past several years. Over the years, we and/or our friends and neighbors have been impacted by the windstorms, snowfall, and the recent fires. Throughout each event, Lane Electric Cooperative has been responsive to providing updated information to calling out personnel. As a retired public servant, I admire and want to be part of a cooperative that recognizes the importance of working with and for the community they serve.

Manager's Message

Manager’s Message – May 2022

Debi Wilson

Mark Your Calendars: Two Important Dates

Dear Co-op Community Members:

Mark your calendars! May 7 is Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, and May 19 is Lane Electric’s annual meeting. These dates are important to Lane Electric employees and members. This is our opportunity to work together as a team.

On National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, community members across the United States and Canada are encouraged to come together and take action to raise awareness and reduce the risks of wildfires. Wildfires have severely impacted the West Coast and, more specifically, our members. Our hope at Lane Electric is to work together as a team to reduce the risk of devastation in our community.

Our region is still experiencing drought. Lane Electric has been working diligently to maintain our system, and we want our members to partner with us to help keep our communities safe. You can help protect your part of the community by removing hazards within the Home Ignition Zone. This is the 5-foot zone around your residence. Some quick ideas are:

  • Replace wood chips with gravel
  • Clear needles, leaves, and debris from gutters, roofs, porches and decks
  • Keep woodpiles at least 30 feet from buildings
  • Mow and hydrate lawns

For more ways you can protect your home and your community from loss and tragedy visit www.nfpa.org.

LEC Annual Meeting

The other important date is our annual meeting on Thursday, May 19, at 4:30 p.m. We will host a hybrid meeting, both virtual and in-person. Members can register online for a Zoom link or attend in-person. Refreshments will be provided for those attending in person.

Soon, you will receive your official invitation and voting ballot in the mail. Your packet will also include information about how to register for this year’s meeting.

During the meeting, you will meet your directors, hear important messages and learn about cooperative happenings from your board president, me and our legal counsel. You will learn about the financial condition of Lane Electric and future plans.

This meeting with our members is important to me and our board of directors. As your general manager, I want to personally invite you to this year’s annual meeting. I look forward to finally being able to connect with many of you in person after missing out the past two years. Please mark your calendars for these two important dates and help make a difference in our community.

Sincerely,
Debi Wilson

Inside Ruralite, News

Lane Electric Meter Audit April 2022

Dear Member:

As part of Lane Electric Cooperative’s commitment to providing reliable electric service, we have instituted an annual inspection of our metering installations. On a rotating basis, we inspect approximately one third of our electric meters each year. If you received a letter, the electric meter serving your home may be inspected.

Chapman Metering personnel will be performing inspections in the McKenzie, Cottage Grove, Dorena, Creswell, Fox Hollow, and S. Willamette service areas beginning in April 2022 and continuing through the end of the year. Please provide the meter audit representatives six (6) feet for social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inspectors will be looking at a variety of items including:

  • Verifying meter information
  • An overall inspection to confirm that our facilities comply with the Oregon Public Utilities
    Commission (OPUC) and the National Electric Safety Code (NESC)
  • An inspection of the meter to ensure there are no hazards

If you have locked or electric gates, dogs or other animals that need to be considered, please let us know so we can make proper arrangements before the inspectors arrive.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact us at 541.484.1151.

Thank you in advance for your help and cooperation with this process.

Regards,

Audra Haines
Supervisor, Data Management

Inside Ruralite, News

Rate increase begins May 1, 2022

Dear member,

Bills generated on or after May 1, 2022, will see a $1.50 increase in the Basic Charge. This change will impact all rate classes. The Board of Directors concluded this adjustment is necessary due to forecasted increases in the cost of goods and services used in our daily operations. Additionally, an increase in the Basic Charge (a fixed cost) will provide more financial predictability for members. A change to kWh charges can have a more significant impact to our members during extreme changes in the weather.

Effective May 1, 2022, the rate schedule for typical residential service, compared to 2021, is below:

We understand the economic challenges our members face and will continue working to control costs by operating safely and efficiently to provide the most reliable electric service possible. For more information about financial assistance options, please contact us at 541.484.1151. To qualify, household income must be at or below 60 percent of Oregon’s median income.

Thank you for your membership with Lane Electric Cooperative and we appreciate your understanding.

Sincerely,

Debi Wilson

General Manager

Carousel, Inside Ruralite

Stringing Together

Beadworking couple create a craft business

Story and photo by Craig Reed

Bud and Cecelia Heykamp, owners of Baker Bay Bead Co., sell beads locally and internationally.

Bone, glass, metal, shell and stone.

Those are five types of materials used to make beads, some of them being made for centuries. They were used as money and in trading, and were important in decorating clothing.

When Deek Heykamp became interested in Native American fancy dancing 40 years ago while a Boy Scout, beads found their way into the home of his parents, Bud and Cecelia Heykamp.

Initially, collecting beads was a hobby for the family. Deek used them in making his own regalia—the distinctive clothing and ornaments he wore during formal dances.

With the help of Native Americans, Deek made two feather bustles and leather leggings, each decorated with colorful beads.

“We helped with getting beads for our son, for the Scouts, for the native programs and then it got away from us,” Bud says.

Beads were a hobby for several years. It became a business for Bud and Cecelia in 1985 when they started Baker Bay Bead Co., working out of their home near Baker Bay Park in the Dorena area.

For a couple of years, both worked two jobs: Bud at the Bohemia lumber mill until quitting in 1987 and Cecelia for the South Lane School District until 1992.

There are now thousands of colorful beads hanging on display or in clear tubes in their retail store on the other side of the wall from their home kitchen.

The store is stocked with accessories, such as needles, thread, clasps and buckskin, that are used to decorate clothing, jewelry and ornaments.

On the walls above the cases are several examples of beaded work, including colorful breastplates Bud made.

“Those are for display so people can see what can be done with the beads,” he says.

In a room behind the retail store are rows and shelves with packaged beads and accessories that are available through mail and online ordering.

Bud and Cecelia have both become historians of beads. They have a chart that documents the history of beads going back 30,000 years. They own a Corinthian Venetian bead that dates to 300 to 600 B.C. They have a strand of Roman beads dated from 200 B.C. to 100 A.D.

“There are books in which you can research the age of beads,” Bud says, noting beads maintain their characteristics despite aging.

“Explorers traded beads with Indians for supplies during their journeys,” Cecelia says. “Francis Drake left a lot of beads along his travels.”

Bud says the heyday for older beads has “somewhat diminished,” but the market for present-day beads is strong. The Heykamps buy beads made in the Czech Republic or Japan from importers.

“Those are the only two places that make quality beads, and those are the only ones that we sell,” Bud says. “We buy graded, perfect beads of the right size. We don’t carry seconds.”

Through the years, Baker Bay Bead Co. has sold beads to customers across the United States and in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands.

“We’re rather small in the whole bead business so it surprises us how much business we get,” Cecelia says. “But our overhead isn’t much since we work out of our home.”

“We ship all over the world,” Bud adds. “That sounds crazy for a little business on the side of a hill.”

Until five years ago, when Bud had back surgery, the Heykamps traveled to 25 to 40 Native American powwows and mountain men festivals annually, mainly in the West. They set up a booth to display beads, accessories, and some of Bud’s beadwork. Cecelia says during the COVID-19 pandemic, online orders increased.

“People were stuck at home doing beadwork,” she says.

Cecelia says glass beads are the most popular. Shell beads are made from a variety of shells, with abalone the most popular, she adds. The best bone beads are made from water buffalo. Metal beads are primarily made from brass and nickel and may be gold or silver plated. Stone beads are from a variety of rock types, mainly from Asia.

Bud and Cecelia, both 80, say they continue to enjoy the bead business and the work that goes into it. They have been married for 60 years and enjoy working together. They first met as teenagers while picking strawberries in a field near Bellingham, Washington. They went to two different high schools, began dating after their graduations, and then married.

Baker Bay Bead Co. has a staff of seven part-time employees, so the Heykamps are able to get away when needed. But the couple doesn’t have any retirement plans.

“One of these days maybe we’re going to retire,” Bud says. “But what the hell would we do if we retire? We’d have to come up with new hobbies, and maybe it’s too late for that. With the two of us working together, we get a lot done so we stay busy.”