Newspaper Archive of
Hells Canyon Journal
Halfway, Oregon
August 15, 2012     Hells Canyon Journal
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August 15, 2012

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Page 8 Hells Canyon Journal August 15, 2012 Charlie Greenman's Story Continued: One Year After Surgery by Sherrie Kvamme of the Hells Canyon Journal A year ago last month, Charlie Greenman, along with his big brother, Walker, and his parents, Sarah and Jack of Dallas, Texas, enjoyed and shared in the delights of spending a little bit of the summer at Grandma and Grandpa's farm in Eagle Val- ley. Grandma and Grandpa are Obbie and Connie Atkinson, who live on New Bridge Road. The days last summer were sweet and wonderful with celebrating Charlie's first birthday and the many delightful adventures that accompany a visit to the farm. At the same time, those days were tinged with con- cern. At the end of the visit, Charlie and his parents would return to Dallas so Charlie could have a very- much-needed surgery for his craniosynostosis (when two skull plates fuse prematurely prior to birth). Walker, Grandma and Grandpa stayed at the farm, later trav- eling to Texas. To grasp the extent and enormity of Charlie's sur- gery, it might be helpful to know that approximately 12 hours after he was born, Charlie began to have sei- zures, and an MRI revealed he had suffered two in-utero strokes, grade four. Charlie was also diagnosed with craniosynostosis, which had to be  corrected surgically. The procedure to correct the problem involved exposing Charlie's baby skull from ear to ear, skillfully chipping the skull into tiny pieces, and then rebuilding the plates. Charlie's brain would now have room to grow, and the spacers placed in between the plates will dissolve by THE GREENMAN FAMILY the time Charlie is six years old, which is about the time that children's plates start to fuse naturally. The surgery took about six hours. "Handing my baby to a nurse, two assistants and four surgeons and watching them leave with him was horrible ... I am so glad I was with Jack," breathed Sarah. "But then each hour it was easier. We had a special number we could dial and talk to a lovely nurse, who kept us well-in- formed. We felt so cared for as well in knowing how Charlie was doing. His sur- gery was textbook, and the surgeons did a wonderful job." "We weren't sure what to expect following the surgery and as the year unfolded," noted Jack. "We thought he might be crawling by now, maybe walking a little or say- ing some words. But he Oregon Wildfire,Update tained. Ten Mile Complex The 14,036-acre Ten Mile Complex includes the Ten Mile Fire and Banana Lake Fire. Ten Mile is on the very southern border of Oregon, three miles northeast of McDermitt, Nevada. Crews have faced several logistical challenges, but the complex was listed as 70 percent con- tained on Monday. Fort Complex The Fort Complex, located on the Oregon border 10 miles northwest of Happy Camp, California, has grown to 1,787 acres. It consists of the Goff Fire, Hello/Fruit Fire, and the Lick Fire in the Klamath National Forest and Rogue River-Siskiyou National For- est. It was listed as threaten- ing 95 structures and only 10 percent contained, with large snags and steep terrain hin- dering fire fighting efforts. Buckhead Complex The Buckhead Complex located two miles north of Westfir includes the Buckhead and Evangeline Fires and several smaller fires. The complex had burned 185 acres of under- story litter from manzanita, madrone, and poison oak. Crews were facing several safety hazards, including roll- ing rocks, steep slopes, and bees. The Buckhead Complex was 25 percent contained. As of Monday, August 13, there were five major wild- fires/complexes burning in Oregon. All of them are in the southern portion of the state and all were caused by light- ening. Holloway Fire By far the largest in Or- egon, the Holloway Fire ac- tually started 25 miles out- side of Denio, Nevada and has burned across the state line into Oregon. Holloway has burned a total of 366,771 acres so far; 150,521 acres in Nevada and 185,631 acres in Oregon on BLM's Burns and Vale districts. The fire is burning brush and sage- brush. Holloway was listed as being 48 percent con- tained, with growth poten- tial extreme. Public lands west of U.S. 95 between Whitehorse road and the Nevada state line are closed. Barry Point Fire The Barry Point Fire started August 7, 24 miles southwest ofLakeview. It had burned 26,722 acres of tim- ber and was threatening 201 structures. Group torching, short range spotting and pockets of high intensity fire behavior have been a prob- lem. Level 1 and 2 evacua tion notices have been given to some residences, particu- larly around the community of Westside. Barry Point was listed as being 25 percent con- Photo by Sherrie Kvamme - Sarah and Jack with Charlie (on Sarah's lap) and Walker. doesn't. There were things we had hoped for that haven't happened, but we aren't about expectations. It's im- portant to note that the sur- gery is totally separate from his developmental issues. The actual surgery was a suc- cess." "This year, Charlie has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and they play a bigger role in our lives right now than the surgery. The cool thing about the sur- gery is that it was performed to fix the problem, and it did. These things are separate. We can give him tools that help him to navigate and work with the palsy; to awaken his body," explained Sarah. Jack explained how the doctor arrived at Charlie's seizure diagnosis. "We hadn't recognized the seizure activity. It was subtle until it is explained, and then we could see it. Charlie is on some excellent medication, and we now see a huge change in his ability to learn and retain information. The gaps in learning, for ex- ample, aren't happening. It was activity that the lay- man would not recognize but the doctor did, and the im- provements since we started the medication are signifi- cant. The speed at which he can now see something hap- pen and repeat it, mimic sounds and motion; he is trying things out and re- sponding," added Jack. The Greenmans are learn- ing American Sign Language, and Charlie is doing well with his learning. One of the ma- jor places affected by the stroke was Charlie's lan- guage center, and it's quite damaged so there needs to be a way of communicating un- til the time that he does have speaking language. Sarah said, "He wants words, and we are giving him signs. For example, if we are feeding him or singing or playing, he can now commu- nicate with words what he likes or does not like. He can sign and recognize quite a few signs now!" "We'll have our one year check-up when we get home. He is in therapy four out of five days a week. Some of those days are two therapies per day. He is very tolerant of it but he's been having therapy since he was seven weeks old so he knows what the score is. It's what we do. And I think he is missing his therapists while we are here! He looks around like 'Where are my ladies and my fun people?' " laughed Sarah. Charlie has a new pediat- ric neurologist who has guided them to a myriad of pediatric specialists, includ- ing a physical therapist, oc- cupational therapist, speech therapist, a specialized self- help program, and Charlie is signed up for aqua therapy and equestrian therapy. Sa- rah laughed as she paralleled their daily schedule to that of a college student's. "And Walker has his own friends and schedule to par- ticipate in. He starts school soon after we get home and he loves that!" she added. Four-year-old Walker likes to read books to his brother. He likes trains, and he is sure that Charlie likes train books too. Walker likes to hang out with his brother, he likes to wrestle with him and laugh and share secrets. Jack noted, "There are studies that identify that kids like Charlie with older sib- lings actually advance a little better," and the brother's next actions demonstrated that very fact as the boys sat cuddled in their dad's lap, talking to each other, ani- mating, mimicking and laughing. Walker's pre-school starts soon after the Greenmans get back to Dal- las. He loves school and learn- ing and the activities. When asked about favor- ite books, Walker said, "I like books about trains and I like to ride trains, too!" Charlie needs hands work- ing with, and on, his body - working to reach his full po- tential, and there needs to be an ear listening to the mus- culature of his mouth and vocal structure helping him communicate what he wants, desires and feels. There are two people who live with him who are trained to focus on those key needs. Charlie's Mommy is an expert in the area of physical therapy and his Daddy is a speech teacher. Charlie lives with people who not only love him dearly, but can work with him every single day. It's been a busy year for the Greenman family, and while here in Eagle Valley they have been hunting bugs and wading in irrigation ditches, reading on Grandma's front porch, visit- ing with friends and sharing times good times together. Walker has helped his Pa Obbie dig some ditches and do some house repairs, played with Grandma Happy and gone on adventures. Jack re- cently had work in Seattle and brought his mother back with him to add to the family circle. "It's been a wonderful visit," said Sarah. It takes a village indeed... a village of friends and fam- ily who celebrate the suc- cesses and cheer the possi- bilities of successes yet to come. Fire Prevention Public Use Restrictions in Effect on Wallowa- Whitman National Forest Due to increasing fire danger and for public safety, Acting Wallowa- Whitman National Forest Supervisor, Kevin Mar- tin, announced on Mon- day that public-use re- strictions on the use of campfires, smoking, and motorized travel will go into effect at 00:01 a.m. on Monday, August 13, 2012. "As we approach this time of hot and dry weather conditions, re- strictions are necessary to minimize the potential for large wildfires," said Bret Ruby, Fire Management Officer. The public-use restric- tions prohibit building, maintaining, tending or using a fire, campfire, and wood stove and briquette fires outside of the desig- nated recreation sites listed below. Liquefied and bottle gas stoves and heat- ers may be used for cook- ing and heating. Smoking is  allowed within enclosed vehicles, buildings, developed rec- reation sites, or while stopped in an area at least three-feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material. Under the restrictions, motorized travel off devel- oped Forest roads and trails is not allowed, except for the purpose of going to and from a campsite located within 300 feet of the adjacent open de- veloped road. Motorized travel on segments of road where access is blocked by gate, barricade, log, boulder or earthen berm is also pro- hibited. A regulated closure on pri- vate land protected by Or- egon Department of Forestry in northeast Oregon is also in effect. These prevention mea- sures help reduce the risk of human-caused fires during extremely dry conditions. Public awareness of the fire danger and cooperation are essential to a safe fire sea- son. Complete information on ODF's regulated closure is available on the web at: fire.shtml#Forest_Restrictions _Closures or at their nearest office. The public use restrictions for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest allow the use of campfires within the Eagle Cap Wilderness and in that portion of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area lo- cated on the sections of the Nez Perce National Forest in Idaho, administered by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Standard restrictions do not allow campfires within one-quarter mile of the fol- lowing lakes: Bear (north), Blue, Chimney, Dollar, Eagle Lake, Frazier, Little Frazier, Glacier, Hobo, Ice, Jewett, Laverty, Maxwell, Mirror, Moccasin, Prospect, Steam- boat, Sunshine, Swamp, Tombstone, Traverse and Upper. Public fire use restrictions in the Snake River corridor, within the Hells Canyon Na- tional Recreation Area, re- main consistent with infor- mation printed on river per- mits: Open campfires are pro- hibited yearlong. Firepans are required to contain cooking fires year round. The use of charcoal briquettes in firepans is al- lowed. Use of wood for fuel is prohibited from July 1 through September 15. All ashes and other fire residue must be packed out. The Snake River corridor is defined as the area one- quarter mile either side (Or- egon/Idaho) of the Snake River extending from the Hells Canyon Dam down- stream 71.5 miles to the Oregon-Washington bor- der. Violation of these pro- hibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organiza- tion, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. These restrictions will remain in effect until For- est and weather conditior/s reduce the risk of wildfire. Neighboring Forests may have different fire use re- strictions in effect, please check with the District Office in the area that you wish to visit. For more information on restrictions applicable to the area, people are asked to check with local Forest Service offices. Baker City, 541-523-6391, Enterprise, 541-426-4978, La Grande, 541-963-7186, Halfway, 541- 742- 7511, Blue Moun- tain Interagency Dispatch Center 541-963-7171 or check alerts and notices on the Forest website www.fs. whitman. Oregon Department &Forestry Responds to Hot, Dry Weather Effective at 1:00 a.m. Au- gust 14, 2012 the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) added additional regu- lations to the Regulated Use Closure for lands within the Northeast Oregon District. The Regulated Use Closure affects private, state, county, municipal and tribal lands in seven counties: Union, Baker, Wallowa, Umatilla and small portions of Malheur, Morrow and Grant Counties. The Regulated Use Closure is in- tended to protect natural re- sources and public health and safety. According to Mark Jacques, Unit Forester in La Grande, "Persistent hot dry weather for the last several weeks has raised the fire dan- ger to near historic levels, this weather pattern is expected to continue, with the possibility of thunderstorms later in the week." He added, "Numerous fires in the region have dimin- ished available resources to respond to fire starts." The Regulated Use Clo- sure includes these activities: Open fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal fires, cooking and warming fires, except at designated lo- cations. Designated locations within the Regulated Use Clo- sure area can be found at the following State Parks: Emi- graht Springs, Ukiah Dale, Catherine Creek, Hilgard Junction, Red Bridge, Wallowa Lake, Minam and Unity Lake. Make sure campfires in these designated locations are DEAD OUT before leaving. Debris burning is pro- hibited, including the use of burn barrels. Non-industrial chain saw use is prohibited. Smoking is prohibited while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water or at a cleared area. Use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all terrain vehicles (ATVs), is prohibited except on im- proved roads, except for the commercial culture and har- vest of agricultural crops. Cutting, grinding and welding is prohibited be- tween the hours of 10:00 am. and 8:00 p.m. Cutting, grind- ing and welding of metal is permitted at all other hours, if conducted in a cleared area and if a water supply is present, unless specifically waived by the State Forester. Mowing of dried and cured grass with power driven equipment is prohibited. Use of fireworks is pro- hibited. The useofexplodingtar- gets is prohibited. Any electric fence control- ler in use shall be: 1) Listed by a nationally recognized test- ing laboratory or be certified by the Department of Con- sumer and Business Services; and 2 ) Operated in compli- ance with manufacturer's in- structions. The Regulated Use Closure for private forest lands is de- signed to help fire managers reduce the threat of human caused fires during hot and dry periods. While many fires on forestland are ignited by lightning, a significant num- ber of wildfires each year are caused by human activities. Preventing fire starts from human activities reduces im- pacts to our natural resources, enhances our public safety and preserves the natural beauty of northeast Oregon. when traveling from pri- vate land onto federal land, land use restrictions change. Please check restrictions be- fore conducting activities in the outdoors. More information for fire danger in Northeast Oregon can be found at http:// For more complete information on ODF Restrictions, contact a local Oregon Department of Forestry office: Baker City Sub-Unit (541-523-5831). To report a fire, call Blue Mountain Interagency Dis- patch, 541-963-7171, or call 9-1-1.