210317-nrr-biz-osha-01

My Coffee and Blac-N-Bleu Bistro, both on Northwest Garden Valley Boulevard in Roseburg, are the subjects of complaints recently filed with the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration involving alleged violations of COVID-19 safety regulations.

Two restaurants located next to each other in a Roseburg strip mall are the subjects of complaints filed with the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration, alleging the businesses were not following COVID-19 safety regulations.

Blac-N-Bleu Bistro and My Coffee are both located at 1700 NW Garden Valley Blvd. Blac-N-Bleu is alleged to have allowed indoor dining and drinking during a period when that was prohibited, said Aaron Corvin, a spokesman for Oregon OSHA. That complaint was received March 9, he said.

Douglas County is currently in an extreme risk category for COVID-19, and restaurants are only allowed to serve customers through take-out or outdoor dining options.

The complaint involving My Coffee alleges that customers and employees were not wearing masks and not enforcing mask and social distance requirements, Corvin said. That complaint was received Feb. 9.

Neither restaurant could be reached for comment Tuesday.

Corvin said the vast majority of complaints are handled by simply working with the business owner, and few result in formal enforcement actions or citations. Statewide, out of more than 20,000 complaints OSHA has received, less than 100 have resulted in citations, he said.

In Douglas County, out of more than 700 complaints received, only one — against Casey’s Restaurant in Roseburg — has led to a citation, Corvin said.

“Generally, our approach has involved education and enforcement,” he said. “When we receive a COVID-19 complaint alleging an on-the-job hazard, we engage the employer about it. If we can get things straightened out from the get-go, then we will do that.

“However, if employers refuse to engage with us — or if they openly defy workplace health and safety standards — then the likelihood of an inspection markedly increases.”

Blac-N-Bleu has already made some changes following the complaint. The restaurant has set up outdoor seating for its customers and is only offering that or take-out service, according to its Facebook page.

A sign on the front door Monday listed eight workplace outbreaks in Douglas County, and said in part: “Not one case listed is from a restaurant, bar or gym. Our businesses are being attacked for trying to run just like everyone else. This needs to stop! We have the same rights!...What is not fair is restaurants, bars and gyms are having to sacrifice their businesses, but other businesses are allowed to stay open. This is discrimination and is against our constitutional rights. There is a double standard here that needs to be addressed…”

Fans of Blac-N-Bleu came to the defense of the restaurant, posting their comments on its Facebook page. Several people also criticized whomever notified OSHA about the potential infractions.

Here is a sampling of the more than three dozen comments posted to the site:

“Open or closed we have tried to support your business! ... Please do what you need to do. I hear getting a liquor license back is a tough process!” Kiten Grensky

“Such a great staff! I’m so glad you are making a statement. My work has been closed down for one year today. I support what you are doing. Keep moving forward.” Todd Boyd

“GOD people, if you are worried about eating out, then stay home!” Debbie Duxbury Horton

“Just leave us alone!” Ron McGuire

Corvin said there has been a recent uptick in enforcement activity involving restaurants, including some saying they’re going to openly disregard the COVID-19 requirements.

“If you do that you’re getting on our radar,” he said. “And we have a track record of inspections and issuing citations for that.”

He pointed to two restaurants in Florence that recently received more than $36,000 in fines combined for reportedly allowing indoor dining in violation of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Casey’s Restaurant has also continued to serve customers indoors in violation of the COVID-19 restrictions. OSHA has issued more than $14,000 in fines to the restaurant, which is appealing them.

“Relative to normal times, we’ve seen a pretty high number of willful violations during the pandemic,” Corvin said.

Scott Carroll can be reached at scarroll@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4204. Or follow him on Twitter @scottcarroll15.

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(48) comments

mworden

I appreciate that Mike has posted the businesses that have received this funding and how much they received. There's nothing shameful about this info and there's nothing wrong with posting it. After all, it's public information. The money was made available to keep workers employed during the pandemic.

Most folks don't want anyone to get all up in their business. They don't want other people to details about their finances. That's normal. But this isn't personal finances; this is public money and the public has a right to know. We have the right to know if they actually used the money to keep their workforce employed during the covid crisis. That's how the money was intended to be used. In time, I hope there will be an accounting and that info will be made available to the public.

The thing about Douglas County elected officials collecting tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of PPP money and the people opposing efforts to contain the virus also collecting big bucks ... i really had trouble finding the proper phrase to describe what I think about that, so I'll just say [censored].

I'm sure you all get my drift.

FormerDemocrat

Mike, I am disgusted that you would call out individual citizens and use PPP data as a means to attack certain Douglas County businesses, inflict economic harm and discredit their motives for trying to keep their businesses open. These businesses applied for and received a potentially forgivable loan being offered to 1000s and 1000s of US businesses as a critical economic safety net during an unprecedented pandemic and economic lockdown. These businesses must prove that the funds were used for the purpose of maintaining jobs and operational stability or it will have to be paid back. Those funds have been used to help Douglas County residents support their families and community. They have been used for wages, payroll taxes and health benefits. Those funds have paid for PPE and all the other necessary modifications required to keep people safe and working. Those funds helped with mortgage and rent payments for private homeowners as well as commercial building owner/investors. Those funds paid for insurance and utilities. Those funds have trickled through to stabilize local, state and federal tax revenues which support education and critical public services.

Shame on you and anyone else who is purporting that this is “free” money and any business that received it cannot possibly be struggling financially. None of us know enough about any of these businesses to make such an absurd assertion. You also fail to acknowledge any concept of time in your allegations. Much of these funds were received months ago, before anyone could fully understand the extent of the pandemic or how the shutdowns, mandates and rules would play out over 12+ months’ time.

Mike

Please point to where I said PPP was "free" money to any business. You can't because I never said that. I too believe PPP money was beneficial for many companies exactly for the reasons you stated. However, there are MANY, MANY other businesses that were unaffected by coronavirus restrictions and some businesses that actually benefited from coronavirus restrictions. I personally know a couple of those business owners who bought new trucks and are building a vacation home with the PPP money (coronavirus jackpot) they received.

Your mention of timing is interesting. 97 of the 1,206 Douglas County businesses that received PPP funds in the first half of 2020 have since applied again and received even more PPP money in January of 2021. A good example listed as a Citizens for Tyranny business supporter is Victory Builders, Inc. whose owner Bonnie Pappas received $175,595 on April 11, 2020 and received another $203,425 on January 27, 2021 to support the 19 employees they claimed.

FormerDemocrat

Lovely, you call out yet another citizen and business when your admonition of Citizens Against Tyranny for calling out 2 DC citizens is one of your primary complaints against them. Just a wee bit of hypocrisy there. I just don’t think we need your examples that serve very little purpose other than to badmouth some of the very businesses and citizens who go to work everyday to help support their families, other local businesses and the community in general. What is your motivation for being such a troll? Are you just that self-righteous or do you just enjoy the attention? I’d love to know if you have a FB page or Twitter where we could really hash this out, on a more even playing field.

Also, you didn’t use the word “free”, but another commenter did within the same dialogue stream. Your words suggest that these folks received money that was neither needed or deserved, so that’s kind of the same thing.

Mike

Let me get this straight. You are comparing my posting of information about a business that is available to everyone who has access to the internet to that same business that signed on to support a group which publicly shames old ladies in blood for something they didn't do and pressures elected officials to support their cause or face recall. Not exactly what I call an apples to apples comparison.

FormerDemocrat

IMO, both Mike and Citizens "Against" Tyranny are wrong in calling out private citizens in an attempt to discredit or casue harm. CAT never got any traction and lost support because most sane people did not agree with their tactics.

Cheriwashere

Thank you Mike for the info and common sense...seems to be lacking in roseburg..these are prime examples of how stupid should hurt.. just enough so you know how stupid you are.. if we all wore masks for a couple of months this virus would die out...but no...selfish humans we are surrounded by...at this point in the game if you refuse to follow the cdc mandates, instructions, suggestions etc...then you are a completely selfish human and deserve to get the virus.. in a bad way...my son has it my dil has it, I've lost 5 of my people to this god forsaken covid and enough is enough

Country Craftsman

Did i hear someone say the oregon supreme court upheld browns lock down.

They are wrong the law states it must be put to a vote. Courts supreme or other can not right laws only interrupt and enforce. That does not make their decision correct. Most of the judges setting on that bench were nominated by none other than kate brown.

NJ

Ya know, there's just nothing quite like learning, it's a life-long process. For example: "To address the COVID-19 pandemic, ... Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency citing ORS 401.165 as support for her action. That statute allows the governor to declare a state of emergency “after determining that an emergency has occurred or is imminent.” “Emergency” is defined as “a human-created or natural event or circumstance that causes or threatens widespread loss of life, injury to person or property, human suffering or financial loss, including but not limited to … disease.” Declaring a state of emergency gives the governor authority to exercise certain powers and take certain actions, including “all police powers vested in the state by the Oregon Constitution.”

source: https://www.osbar.org/public/legalinfo/COVID-19MaskandSocialDistancingMandates.html

Julieanna

Eating inside a restaurant (mask off to eat) is different from shopping at Target & other such stores with a mask on all the time there. OSHA is for protection, not oppression. Science has clout. Freedom comes with responsibility - & thinking of others as well as self.

Other countries (esp. Asian countries & e.g. New Zealand) have cooperated ("sheep" someone wrote) and as a result, have solved most of the problem of covid. Such countries are pretty much back to normalcy.

Isn't it time to stop interpreting cooperation with others, based on scientific evidence, as some entity "taking away your freedom"?! Freedom isn't free - true freedom comes with the "price tag" of responsibility and - insightful and respectful cooperation. And it feels good to be this considerate!

Sparks

Great comments!!

melrosereader

SIGH1

gcarter520

We have reached the day when it is up to government to tell us how to act, how to live and how to protect ourselves. If a person is afraid or at high risk of contracting covid-19 then don't eat out or go to restaurants that have indoor dining. If wearing a mask is important then do so. We have lost sight of personal responsibility. OSHA is being used as enforcement for the mandates because fining people is unconstitutional because the mandates being imposed are unconstitutional after 30 days because they must be voted on by our state legislators after 30 days. If the employees are uncomfortable working under these conditions then they are free to quit. I am pretty sure if the restaurants were following the imposed guidelines they wouldn't be needed anyway. Live how you see best and respect others choices to do the same. That is what makes freedom beautiful.

Mike

If businesses apply and receive large sums of PPP money from the government they disagree with, then one of the prerequisites should be they have to follow the rules stated by that government. Otherwise don't take the money.

It's pretty hard to support businesses that disagree with the rules after they have taken the money.

smb

Totally spot on Mike. There is a serious ethical issue of raging against the same government saying it's tyrannical but be willing to take the funds offered. About the same issue. Those funds are to help offset lost revenues...guess the point was also "lost" on some of our local business leaders.

Sparks

ABSOLUTELY!

Country Craftsman

You are spot on throughout your entire comment.

THANK YOU

Julieanna

I don't respect others' choices if they put others at risk. Freedom comes with responsibility. Guidelines from the Gov't when backed by Science - a beautiful thing.

Country Craftsman

Backed by science.

Science does not say close businesses.

And science said the world was flat and the sun revolved around the earth.

So stop believing everything they say. And by the way not all science agrees.

Mike

The owners of Blac-n-Bleu and My Coffee are both board members of Citizens for Tyranny. Both are among the 7 of 10 Citizens for Tyranny board members that received federal Paycheck Protection Program money totaling $328,016. In case you forgot, Citizens for Tyranny is that 100 strong group of Douglas County Businesses that publicly shames old ladies in blood and coerces elected officials to pledge their support or risk recall from their elected positions. Below are the list of board members and how much PPP money each business owner received.

PPP----------POSITION-----PERSON---------------------BUSINESS

$27,755----Chairman----Aimee Jones---------------Blended Main St Eatery

$83,000----Vice Chair---Todd & Kristen Koens----Blac-n-Bleu Bistro

$7,135------Vice Chair---Brandi & Leo Voepel-----Pacific Fitness

---------------Vice Chair---Sean Klope------------------Old Sportsman Riddle

----------------Secretary---Corinna Long ---------------Blended Main St Eatery

$39,376-----Secretary---Savannah Underwood---My Coffee & Wine Exp

$39,500-----Secretary---Jasmine Guyer--------------Bobby Geyer Const

$123,600---Member----Lance & Laurie Mounts---Casey's Restaurant

----------------Member----Brett & Mendi Parrett----Events Non-Profit Advo

----------------Member----Rudy Luna--------------------Swing From the Vines

$7,650-------Member----Terry Brock------------------Body Shop Total Fitness

==========

$328,016

Richard Saunders

Thank you, Mike for exposing this.

Country Craftsman

If they did receive those numbers it still does not make it right for the government to decide who is essential and who is not. And how who knows what their actual losses are. We must open up and stop this fear mongering.

Country Craftsman

ENOUGH STOP BEING CONTROLLED BY FEAR. THEY ARE SCARING YOU AND YOUR LETTING THEM.

Other states are opening up. But no oregon can't because there is a worse thing than covid and thats fear. The hospitals are not over taken by it and no thats not because of kate brown is closing business or her stupid mask rules. RISE UP AND SAY NO!! BE FREE AGAIN. And if you are scared stay home and lock your door. Let people who want to enjoy life enjoy it. No matter what many seem to believe we all must die and all be damned if i want to do it being controlled from fear.

sectorstar

The thing is though most businesses here AREN'T closing but still portray themselves as a "struggling business" which is quite the contrary from the info Mike has dug up. It seems most of them are better off financially than they were pre covid despite everything going on. But if your so macho and intimidating feel free to go gun tooting off to Salem to "rise up" and let us know how that works out for ya.

FedUp

Sheep will be sheep and nothing will ever change them!!!!!

sectorstar

But I don't see you changing anything?

Tammy Maxwell

Amen!!!!!!! There is no True Science behind this Scam- Demic anyways! Wake up People!!!! It is a common flu, Do your own research

sectorstar

"Not one case listed is from a restraunt, bar, or gym". They must be getting their information from scientist Chris Boice who claims the same facts when factual information from the county can't trace most of the sources of cases here to be able to make such claims with great certainty.

FedUp

More people equals larger chance of exposure. Where do you think you have a greater chance of exposure at a crowded non socially distanced Costco and Fred Meyer or a capacity limited, controlled socially distanced Restaurant?

Wretched722

We have reached herd immunity - stop being so silly!

sectorstar

Please list your sources and facts where you can support your claim, oh wait you can't! It's a shame the NR staff won't ban people like you for spreading false information.

Marine Vet

Just because after a years worth of solid info on this virus & they willingly choose to be Ignorant & have No concern for Any other Human living in this area. I will Not ever eat there. Your inability to Understand Science is No defense against it.

Country Craftsman

Who cares if you eat there. If your so scared you stay home and lock your door quite trying to control others because your scared.

Mike

Country Craftsman, do you observe speed limits while driving? Do you wear your seat belt while driving? Do you wait in line at the Post Office? Do you pay your taxes? If you do any of these things that allows others to control your life, it must be because you are scared and a coward.

FedUp

I guess you don't understand that LAWS voted on by citizens or elected legislatures are different than RULES set by Governor. It's not rocket science!!!! And the comparison to standing in line anywhere is ridiculous. It's craziness that it is perfectly acceptable to walk past people in the grocery store and stand next to somebody in the produce aisle, but sitting in a restaurant at a CONTROLLED 6ft. is somehow more unsafe.

Mike

In case you haven't been following it closely, the Governor's "rules" were upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court. And by the way, you aren't supposed to stand next to someone in the produce department, you are supposed to always maintain 6 feet of separation.l

Country Craftsman

Your funny!

Of course i brake the law while driving. If you have a drivers license you brake the law. Maybe forget your blinker maybe drive 70 in a 65 zone. Get real! And of course i dont wear a seat belt every time i drive a car. If you chose to be controlled like a puppet please feel free to do so thats called freedom if that is your choice to live under their constant control.

st paddy

craftsman i think you are the one that's trying to control others by keeping us at home so you can spread your disease to those not wanting to get sick and maybe die. quit trying to pretend we live in normal times. the more you run around maskless the longer it's going to take to get back to normal.

FedUp

So it's perfectly okay for everyone to have to conform to what you want people to do, but when someone wants you to do something that you don't find acceptable, like stay home if you don't feel safe, then its a problem for you!!!! Do you take off your mask to drink the Koolaid or sip it under the mask with straw?

Country Craftsman

First off i do wear a mask simply out of respect for the business i enter for one reason only. I do it so that business does not get fined from browns jack booted thugs getting aroused by fining good people.

Country Craftsman

I am saying the ones who are concerned or scared need to isolate not the 95 percent that want and need to live their life as they see fit. At this point16 states have come to this conclusion.

Mike

I’m not seeing the double standard the owners claim. Blac-n-Bleu Bistro owners Todd & Kristen Koens received $83,000 of federal Paycheck Protection Program money. And My Coffee owner Savannah Underwood received $39,376 of PPP money according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Furthermore, what isn’t mentioned in the article is both the Koens and Savannah Underwood are board members of Citizens for Tyranny (below link), the Douglas County Business Group that publicly shames old ladies in blood and coerces elected officials to pledge their support or face recall.

https://www.facebook.com/citizensagainsttyranny.DouglasCounty.OR/photos/108016997920199

Why does the News-Review keep claiming Casey’s Restaurant was fined over $14,000 by OSHA. Per the below link, the citation was for $5,000. Is it because Casey's owners claimed the fine was $14,000 so they could get more donations on their GoFundMe page?

https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=1474727.015

The News-Review also fails to mention Casey’s owners Lance & Laurie Mounts received $123,600 in PPP money, and also fails to mention Lance & Laurie Mounts are ALSO Citizens for Tyranny board members.

https://projects.propublica.org/coronavirus/bailouts/loans/mounts-enterprises-llc-1758927204

garyd

is this PPP money something they were to share with their employees and if so what was it based on ????

Mike

The amount of PPP money each business owner received is based on the number of employees claimed and the amount of money the owners claimed to have paid their employees on their application to receive the PPP money. Essentially, hospitals got more than restaurants because medical workers make more money than waitresses. PPP money was to be used by business owners to keep their employees working and not laid off. To those businesses unaffected by coronavirus, it was just free, non-taxable money to the owners, who quite possibly also received a $1,200 and $600 stimulus payment in addition.

The government is now investigating literally thousands of PPP fraud cases ranging from overstating employee numbers to laying off workers after accepting PPP money, to stacking, which is multiple businesses with the same business address each receiving separate PPP funds.

Noteworthy is that one of the four Businesses all with the same business address related to Senator Dallas Heard is listed with the business name of “DallasHeard” on the PPP application (below link). It is identified on the PPP application as a sole proprietorship with one employee and yet was awarded $42,165 in PPP money. That is an unusually high award for a one employee in a landscaping business. Definitely more than allocated to healthcare workers. The average is $9,600 per employee. How Senator Heard qualified for so much money should be explained.

https://projects.propublica.org/coronavirus/bailouts/loans/dallasheard-7503117105

FedUp

The fact that you are using probublica for any supposed factual information speaks for itself!!!

Mike

The source of my data is the U.S. Treasury department. Propublica provides the same information but in an easier to understand format.

CitizenJoe

One citation out of over 700 complaints is not exactly what jack-booted stormtroopers do. I'd consider it a very warm and fuzzy approach.

From the Grammar Police (TM): "...criticized whomever notified OSHA about the potential infractions," should read, "...criticized whoever notified OSHA about the potential infractions." Had the sentence stopped at "whomever" it would have been correct; but since this "who" committed a verb, then "who" is a subject.

NJ

[lol]... Ah yes, and let's not even get into the use of the word "myself".

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