Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Effective Nov. 19, The Dalles Social Security office will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — a reduction of 30 minutes each weekday. In addition, beginning Jan. 2, the office will close to the public at noon every Wednesday.
While agency employees will continue to work their regular hours, this shorter public window will allow them to complete face-to-face interviews and process claims work without incurring the cost of overtime. The significantly reduced funding provided by Congress under the continuing resolution for the first six months of the fiscal year makes it impossible for the agency to provide the overtime needed to handle service to the public as it has done in the past.
Most Social Security services do not require a visit to a local office. Many services, including applying for retirement, disability or Medicare benefits, signing up for direct deposit, replacing a Medicare card, obtaining a proof of income letter or submitting a change of address or telephone number are conveniently available at www.socialsecurity.gov or by calling 800-772-1213.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the TTY number, 800-325-0778. Many online services also are available in Spanish at www.segurosocial.gov.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge