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Separate Behavioral Health Facilities
Would be required for each county

Democrats in Oregon have now introduced legislation that will significantly increase costs of operating jails in each of Oregon's 36 counties. The exact cost is not yet known.

HB 3310 would require each county to have a facility jointly managed by sheriff and community mental health director to house and treat individuals with behavioral health disorders or intellectual or developmental disabilities who are in custody of county sheriff pending trial.

The bill is sponsored only by Representative Paul Evans (D-Monmouth)and is currently in the House Committee On Judiciary.

The bill contains the following details:
--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-04-14 14:47:10Last Update: 2021-04-14 20:09:30



Democrats Look to Overturn Fairness Principles in Workplace
Pass ‘Guilty Until Proven Innocent’ Legislation

Senate Democrats charged forward with a plan to bulldoze principles of due process in the workplace.

SB 483 will create a presumption of guilt for employers accused of retaliation. The law would completely change accepted procedures of fairness.

SB 483 is sponsored by Senator Kathleen Taylor (D-Portland).

Discrimination and retaliation in the workplace have been illegal for decades. The existing ‘innocent until proven guilty’ system already allows employees to get justice if they have been wronged, evidenced by a 10-fold increase in OSHA complaints in the last year. SB 483 will presume that all employers are guilty of discrimination or retaliation even when the allegations are dubious, or the employee has filed an anonymous complaint. This would create a presumption when an employee alleges retaliation when they don’t get the shifts they want.

“This bill opens up employers to a wide variety of spurious allegations from employees and activist lawyers,” Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) said. “This would send struggling businesses’ legal expenses through the roof at the same time they are trying to recover from a year of devastating lockdowns. Let me be clear, discrimination or retaliation in the workplace is unacceptable. The remedy for it is not to rewrite the rules of due process.”

Senate Democrats passed SB 483 along party lines. It now heads to the House of Representatives where they will have an opportunity to correct this terrible legislation.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-04-14 14:28:42Last Update: 2021-04-14 14:47:10



Pseudoephed Bill Clears Committee
Currently, it requires a visit to your doctor

A proposal, HB 2648, from Representative Bill Post (R-Keizer) to allow the sale of pseudoephedrine products without a prescription passed out of the House Committee on Health Care this week.

This is the third time that Rep. Post has attempted to remove an unnecessary barrier for Oregonians to lower their health care costs when purchasing pseudoephedrine products. Products such as Sudafed will still be restricted to people who are at least 18 years of age with a valid ID under the proposal.

The impact on health care consumers’ wallets could be significant. Currently, purchasing a pseudoephedrine product requires a visit to your doctor to receive a prescription, which comes with an expensive bill.

“With health care costs skyrocketing, this simple bill to reduce the cost of a common cold medicine should be a no-brainer,” said Rep. Post. “We shouldn’t be asking people to jump through very expensive hoops by visiting a doctor to obtain a prescription to common cold medicine, especially when Oregon is the ONLY state requiring a prescription.”

HB 2648 passed out of the House Committee on Health Care with bipartisan support.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-14 13:28:29Last Update: 2021-04-14 13:34:07



Decades of Forest Mismanagement Marked
“The federal government needs to have some skin in the game”

The Oregon Senate has approved SJM 3, a memorial calling on the federal government to reimburse property owners for property damage that resulted from a fire that started on mismanaged federal forestlands. The memorial urges Congress to establish a program to give property owners this redress.

The federal government manages 60% of Oregon’s forestland. These federal lands are burning more land at a greater frequency. From 2000 to 2019, 15 of the 16 megafires in Oregon started on federally managed lands. In the last decade, 86% of burned forestland acres have been federal land. United States Forest Service Lands burn at nearly five times the rate of private and state lands.

Under state law, if a spark from your barbeque started a fire on your property and spread to federal land, you would be on the hook for the cost of the damage to federal land. If the fire starts on mismanaged federal forestland and destroys your property, there is no requirement for the federal government to compensate private landowners for damages. SJM 3 brings accountability to the federal government who currently has no incentive to manage forests in a way that will decrease wildfire.

“This legislation recognizes that the federal government’s mismanagement of Oregon forestland has set the conditions for catastrophic wildfires,” Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) and author of the legislation said. “Republicans have been fighting for responsible management of our forests for decades. Unfortunately, this legislative effort comes after people have died and beautiful forests have been destroyed because of mismanagement. We must turn our focus to prevention. Without active forest management, catastrophic fires will continue to happen.”

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

In 2020, wildfires in Oregon burned more than 1.2 million acres. The impact on communities across the state was devastating. More than 5,000 homes and commercial structures were destroyed. The 2020 wildfires threatened lives, businesses, homes, displaced thousands of Oregonians, and blanketed the state in dangerously high smoke levels.

In 2020 alone, the cost to fight the fires was at least $354 million. The total cost was even higher. FEMA has estimated that the cost of wildfire/wind damage, response, and debris removal is about $1.15 billion. As of January, Oregon has only received $32.2 million in FEMA Individual Assistance payments to Oregonians.

“The federal government needs to have some skin in the game when it comes to managing our forests responsibly. Oregonians also need to have redress when bad management takes their homes, property, and livelihoods,” Girod added. “I urge Congress to provide and fund an expedient and efficient system to fully reimburse state and local government property owners and especially private property owners for the damage that results from wildfires that start on federal land,” Girod added.

SJM 3 passed the Senate on a 29-1 vote and now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-14 12:43:19Last Update: 2021-04-14 12:52:58



Former Marine Board Director Weighs in on Board Changes
Describes wakeboarding issue as “longstanding hot potato”

As reported in the Northwest Observer, opponents of wakeboarding have put up a bill to change the makeup of the Oregon State Marine Board, and it was suggested that the proposed changes to the board were being made in order to tip the scales on the wakeboarding issue.

If you can't get the legislature to pass the bill clamping down on wakeboarding, change the makeup of the board and have the board do it.

I am Paul Donheffner, and I served as Director of the State Marine Board from 1984 to 2010, so I have more than a little experience working with the members of the Marine Board. HB 2695 is a radical and unnecessary makeover of the Board, which will have negative consequences for years to come.

The reason for this bill appears to be a nexus with HB 2555 and wakeboarding, which is a longstanding hot potato. In a desire to ban wakeboarding on the Willamette River, advocates want to dismantle and re-design the Marine Board to achieve their goals. This is not the right answer. The Board makes decisions based on the statutes created by the Legislature. If the Legislature has a better prescription for wakeboarding, it should set that in law rather than destroying the Board over this one issue.

Re-making the Board using identity politics and labels will not enhance the Board, but instead divide the Board into interest group camps and members who feel an obligation to represent their identity point of view rather than a broader public interest.

Board members serve as citizen volunteers, giving many hours of often thankless work for only mileage and per diem. Board members are vetted by the Governor's office and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. Under this bill as few as two members would actually be boaters, which is just plain wrong.

It is a mistake to exclude persons who might want to serve on the Board because they don't check a certain box. Or because that box is already filled. In addition, if you go down the rabbit hole of identity labels, then this bill fails to check off other groups with a stake. There is nobody representing law enforcement or search and rescue, representing guides or charter boats, representing active water sports, representing marine dealers or tourism, representing local governments, and so on.

And the Division of State Lands and DEQ do not need to serve ex-officio on the Board. Why not ODFW? OSP? State Parks? This quickly gets very unwieldy and political influence sets in. It is not a good model for a volunteer citizen board.

The Legislature should tackle wakeboard policy, but leave identity politics out of the Marine Board. Please vote NO on HB-2695.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-14 11:23:10Last Update: 2021-04-14 12:22:10



State Marine Board Reconfiguration Motives Revealed
Spoiler alert: It’s about wakeboarding

Currently, the Oregon State Marine Board is comprised of five volunteer members who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Members serve a four-year term and may apply for a second term of service. Members represent different geographic regions of the state and different boating activities. Board members are also recreational boat owners of motorized, non-motorized or both types of watercraft.

Beneath the surface, and unknown to most Oregonians is a raging battle over a stretch of the Willamette River known as Newberg Pool. The battle is over wakeboarding. On one side are boaters who appreciate the deep, wide section of the river and it's use as a great spot for wakeboarding. On the other side are homeowners, concerned about erosion and paddle-wielding, radical environmentalists who won't stand for any vessel propelled by fossil fuels on their river.

For the last few legislative sessions, the wakeboarders have been surviving all attempts to legislate them out of existence. For instance, in the 2018 short session, HB 4099 was introduced to prohibit person from operating motorboat with wake-enhancing device between river mile 30 and river mile 50 on Willamette River and requiring person to operate wakeboard boat at slow, no-wake speed between river mile 30 and river mile 50 on Willamette River. It was later amended to merely set up a task force to study the issue, but even that version died in committee.

This session, HB 2725, introduced by Representative Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie), which provides that maximum loading weight of motorboat must be less than 4,000 pounds to obtain towed watersports motorboat certificate, authorizes State Marine Board to conduct study related to increasing prescribed maximum loading weight, and provides that person shall carry towed watersports endorsement if engaged in any towed watersports within Newberg Pool Congested Zone.

Now, desperate environmentalists are looking to HB 2695, introduced by Representative Witt to remake the Oregon State Marine Board. The five-member Marine Board will be replaced by a ten member board, with eight voting members, as follows:

A board of this makeup has fewer boaters who might be expected to be sympathetic to wakeboarders and more members who come from communities -- or could be picked by the Governor -- who are not sympathetic to wakeboarders. this bill is widely seen as a move to give environmentalists more control over the river, and put recreational boaters in their place.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-14 09:26:27Last Update: 2021-04-14 09:27:52



Fleeing Saudi Defendant Used Oregon Public Defense Funds
Defendant paid high bail with cashier’s check from Saudi government

On August 19, 2016, teenager Fallon Smart was struck by a recklessly speeding gold Lexus owned by Abdulrahman Noorah, a student from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia attending Portland Community College. Fallon died at the scene in her mother’s arms.

Noorah was arraigned at Multnomah County Court on charges including Manslaughter in the First Degree. A bail deposit of $100,000 was paid by the Saudi government and Noorah was released under court-ordered terms including an ankle monitor and participation in a police supervision program. Predictably, Noorah fled the United States before trial, aided by the government of Saudi Arabia—a country that does not extradite. Fallon Smart’s family now has no hope of her killer being brought to justice.

Recently uncovered documents paint an even more disturbing picture of the case, including Noorah’s use of over $32,000 in public defense funds meant for Oregon citizens who cannot afford an attorney—and who certainly do not have a foreign government bailing them out of jail. Noorah’s private attorney, Ginger Mooney of Hood River, appears to have been hired by Saudi Arabia as well, as she had been in several other cases involving Saudi defendants who were aided to escape justice and return home.

When Noorah was bailed out of jail, Mooney paid with a $100,000 cashier’s check from the Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia, representing a 10% deposit on the full security amount of $1 million. Astonishingly, the bail paperwork that Noorah and Mooney filled out did not properly identify Saudi Arabia as the “person posting bail.” Instead, a “self-bail” box was checked, certifying that Noorah had paid his own bail.

Mooney then took the paperwork over to Multnomah court where “self-bail” was written twice on Noorah’s release agreement. This allowed the Saudi government to avoid the $900,000 bill when Noorah fled. Instead, the bill went to Noorah at his former Portland address, years after his flight from justice back to Saudi Arabia.

Even worse, it is now known that taxpayer money was used to pay Noorah’s case expenses through Oregon’s Office of Public Defense Services (OPDS), an agency which provides legal representation and other defense services for those who financially qualify. Before he fled, Mooney submitted a sworn affidavit to the Multnomah court certifying that Noorah was “financially eligible” for some expenses to be paid by OPDS. Let that sink in: Despite easily paying the $100,000 bail (and guaranteeing $900,000 more), Mooney claimed that Noorah’s case qualified for public funds.

Mooney’s request was approved by the Multnomah court, and OPDS was eventually billed $32,326.14. When Eric Deitrick, General Counsel of OPDS, was locating information relevant to my most recent public records request, he was surprised to see that public funds from his agency were used in Noorah’s case (and for at least one more of Mooney’s Saudi student defendants). Deitrick told me that this was “problematic,” and said, “Our public defense funds need to go to people who genuinely need those funds. I have no reason to believe the defendants in these cases did, particularly given the ease at which they posted bail.”

Seth Smart, Fallon’s father, is even more disturbed by this newly uncovered information. “The Saudi government can post $100,000 in bail money, but Ms. Mooney uses $33,000 of tax payer dollars to cover expenses in her client’s defense? One word: disgusting.” Smart continued. “As I find out more information about Ginger Mooney and her actions as legal counsel to my daughter’s killer I become more deeply appalled. It seems no matter what aspect of her actions are dug into, it always gets dirtier.”


--Stephanie Volin

Post Date: 2021-04-13 16:07:02Last Update: 2021-04-13 15:58:23



Youth Suicide Measure Passes House
Rep. Noble leads Republican caucus to help youth

The Oregon House of Representatives passed a bill to address the alarming rise in suicidal ideation among children. Representative Ron Noble (R-McMinnville,) chief sponsor of the bill, was joined by nearly all of his Republican colleagues as co-sponsors.

The proposal would encourage mental health care providers who believe a minor is at risk of attempting suicide to disclose relevant information to a parent, guardian or other individuals who can help take necessary safety measures.

“We need to address the current mental health challenges that our young kids are facing,” said Rep. Noble. “Data has shown that the pandemic’s effects on children and youth coincides with a startling rise in mental health problems, including the increase of suicidal ideation among those between 10 and 17 years old. This bill will empower mental health professionals to rely on their experience and expertise to enlist support of a young person’s family and loved ones who can help before it’s too late.”

HB 3139 was passed with bipartisan support in the House.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-13 15:46:22Last Update: 2021-04-13 17:49:05



Another Leftist Riot in Portland
Has become a common occurance in Portland

On April 12, 2021, a little after 8:30 p.m., crowds gathered near the Penumbra Kelly Building in Portland, Oregon and began throwing objects at police.

The crowd assembled elsewhere and marched to the building. Portland Police officers acted in self-defense and in defense of property first by creating a visible barrier indicating the property was closed. A line of yellow tape, commonly used to close areas for security purposes, was strung across the southern driveway entrances to the property.

The crowd ignored and removed the tape. People threw glass bottles, frozen water bottles, rocks, ball bearings and other objects, and shot fireworks in the direction of police and the building.

Police issued verbal warnings, directing people to stay off the closed Penumbra Kelly Building property, and to remain on sidewalks. Force warnings were given, warning participants in the violent activity that they may be subject to dispersal, including munitions and may be subject to arrest.

The group grew to approximately 200 people, most acting aggressively toward police. The rioters blocked East Burnside to all traffic. Violent leftists from the crowd came onto the closed city property and attempted to set a dumpster on fire using an unknown accelerant.

Many in the crowd persisted throwing projectiles as described. Some continued lighting a fire on the east side of the building, adding wood and other flammable material to it. The violent leftists broke out windows on the front side of the building and there were repeated attempts to breach the front doors of the building. Agitators in the crowd continued to throw concrete, bricks and other objects at officers.

At about 10:20 p.m., officers began moving the crowd away from the Penumbra Kelly building and west on East Burnside.

Neighbors and bystanders called to report thefts from area yards. People in the crowd were stealing rocks and landscaping bricks and other property to use as weapons against police.

All the while, people continued throwing the rocks, bricks, concrete and other dangerous projectiles. Due to the continued coordinated violent, tumultuous conduct by so many in the crowd, which created the risk of public alarm, incident commanders declared an unlawful assembly. The conduct of the crowd did not improve, and incident command declared a riot.

Police purposely disengaged to allow people to begin acting lawfully and peacefully.

The Penumbra Kelly building is owned by the City of Portland and is utilized by offices from city bureaus, including the Office of Community and Civic Life and the Portland Police, as well as Multnomah County Sheriff?s Office. Dozens of calls for police service waited, some for hours, as officers from across the city responded to restore order in the North Tabor neighborhood, where the building sits.

Officers reported significant damage to the exterior of the building, including many broken windows, graffiti and broken light fixtures. Leftist rioters damaged police vehicles with thrown objects and metal devices designed to puncture tires. Officers reported suspects in the crowd fired ball bearings from wrist rockets at them. Many leftist rioters still continued to throw all manner of projectiles, including rocks, pieces of concrete, bricks, bottles and fireworks. Some attempted to burglarize the building by breaching the front doors.

There was no indication that anyone in the crowd attempted to stop the violence that led to the riot. Instead, most of those present actively participated or encouraged the criminal activity.

Police did not make any arrests during this incident, but investigations following the riot last night may lead to arrests. The crime of Riot is a felony in Oregon.

Prior to the riot, police issued numerous warnings, including force warnings, and direction for the crowd to act lawfully. During the riot police issued directions to disperse and continued force warnings. Portland Police utilized impact munitions, oleoresin capsicum (OC), and other control against resistance. No CS gas was used.

While this was happening, other rioters cut through city fences and damaged Portland Police vehicles.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-04-13 14:33:23Last Update: 2021-04-13 15:24:51



Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Raises Questions
CDC and FDA issue joint statement

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has asked all of the state’s vaccine providers to immediately stop administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, per the announcement from the U.S. CDC and FDA.

As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S.

CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.

FDA will review and investigate these cases. Until that process is complete, the FDA is recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine in part to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.

The FDA claims to take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-04-13 12:48:24Last Update: 2021-04-13 13:49:30



Analysis: Fagan BLM Tweet Out-of-Bounds
Cringeworthy tweet on a recent mistaken police shooting

Back when Dennis Richardson was running for Secretary of State, he stressed the non-partisan and non-political nature of the office. He was quoted as saying “If I’m secretary of state, you won’t be able to tell if I’m Republican or Democrat” and in the opinion of many people, he did run the office that way. According to some, that was a key to his being elected. Voters don't want a partisan in the state's chief elections officer.

Enter Shemia Fagan.

As details are still unfolding regarding what appears to be a very unfortunate mistake by a police officer in Minnesota, Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan (D-Portland) has posted a tweet -- as Oregon Secretary of State, not as herself -- politicizing the issue.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, including -- maybe even especially -- Secretary Fagan, but it's disappointing to see partisan opinion peddled under the banner of the Office of the Secretary of State.

It's as if she can't help herself from playing politics using a police officer -- who to all appears to have just made a mistake -- from a state halfway across the country.

Fagan is well-known as a political animal. First elected to the Oregon House in 2012, she served two terms until being recruited to run a primary race against then-State Senator Rod Monroe. From her State Senate seat, she ran a public-employee-union-funded campaign against fellow Senator Kin Thatcher.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-12 20:24:21Last Update: 2021-04-13 15:43:29



Kate Brown’s Cannabis Equity Board
Equity oversight of marijuana?

Democrats in Oregon now want to have oversight of marijuana and want to spend money as they see fit through a "Cannabis Equity Fund".

HB 3112 is a bill currently in the Oregon legislature that is sponsored by Representative Ricki Ruiz (D-Portland), Representative Julie Fahey (D-Eugene), Representative Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas), Representative Mark Meek (D-Gladstone), Representative Karin Power (D-Portland), Senator Lew Frederick (D-Portland), and Senator Kayse Jama (D-Portland).

HB 3112, if passed, would establish a Cannabis Equity Board within the office of Governor Kate Brown in order to provide "equity" oversight of cannabis industry in Oregon.

The bill contains the following proposals: The Oregon Judicial Department has expressed concern about the legislation via testimony.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-04-12 19:02:53Last Update: 2021-04-12 22:29:57



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