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Portland Traffic Deaths Rise
“Vision Zero” plan may not be working

In 2016 the City of Portland created the Zero Vision Traffic Plan to reduce traffic fatalities. At the time, Commissioner Steven Novick said “Other cities across the nation have implemented their own Vision Zero Act Plans and have seen a reduction in traffic deaths.” New York was the earliest adoption and experienced a 22% reduction in three years. Portland’s goal was to eliminate deaths and serious injuries for all who share Portland streets by 2025.

The project started with a survey asking 895 people their top three road safety tips. Eighty-five percent supported using automated cameras to ticket people who run red lights, and 71 percent supported automated cameras to ticket people who speed.

For a few years it improved hitting a low of 34 in 2018. Then it creeped up to 50, then 59 setting a new record in 2020. Now, five years into the project, they are on the verge of setting a record for the most traffic deaths ever. On Thanksgiving eve, deaths reach 61 passing the record of 2020.

Portland has spent more than $120 million on the Zero Vision Traffic Plan that hasn’t changed even the most dangerous streets identified in the Plan. Six speed safety cameras were installed on the most dangerous streets and added street lighting at high crash crossings.

They installed city trucks with side guards that are risks to pedestrians. Speed limits were reduced citywide and enforced with speed cameras. With the lowering of speed limits, in July they added how to resolve a citation in five languages on the Vision Zero website.

An education campaign called ‘Struck’ launched a Vision Zero dashboard with an interactive map and videos. To ensure safe driving is on the mind of Portlanders, free Vision Zero pins, stickers, brochures and fliers are available.

The Vision Zero Task Force was dissolved on January 25, 2021, that oversaw the implementation. Does that mean the project is on auto-pilot? In June, Portland Bureau of Transportation announced $80 million towards a $185 million plan to transform 82nd Avenue, one of many high-risk areas. What of the other high-risk areas?

According to the Portland Traffic Fatality Tracker, only two of the 61 accidents this year took place on 82nd Avenue compared to six on Marine Drive or four on Powell.

It’s clear that five years has not produced any progress to eliminate fatalities. Another challenge lurks when ODOT implements tolling moving more traffic onto now busy streets where pedestrians and bikers travel.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-11-29 15:27:16Last Update: 2021-11-29 16:00:29



Car Repair Shops Now Must File Bond with DMV
It may become harder to be a mechanic in Oregon

The 2021 Oregon Legislature passed a law to create some financial stipulations for disputes over payment for car repairs under House Bill 2311. The new law will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Car owners don’t need to do anything, but automobile repair businesses need to prepare.

Under current Oregon law, if an auto repair business does not receive payment for repairs to a vehicle, it has the right to apply for a possessory lien through DMV and to sell the vehicle to recover its costs. This “mechanic’s lien” is based on Oregon Revised Statute 87.152.

Under HB 2311, as of Jan. 1, 2022, auto mechanics must first have a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of $20,000 filed with DMV before they can apply for a mechanic’s lien.

The chief sponsor of HB 2311 was Representative Paul Evans (D-Monmouth).

As of Jan. 1, DMV will not accept mechanic’s lien applications without the bond or letter on file first unless the claimant also: Those required to file a surety bond or letter of credit must certify to DMV every year, in writing, that the bond or letter remains in effect.

If you are a mechanic or own an independent auto repair shop and need more information about filing a mechanic’s lien from DMV, please call DMV Customer Assistance at 503-945-5000 or 503-299-9999 in the Portland Metro Area.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-11-29 10:15:22Last Update: 2021-11-29 10:29:45



TriMet Ridership Hit Hard by COVID-19, Crime
Tranist may have a diminished role in the new normal

Since March of 2020, COVID-19 has been impacting TriMet ridership, and since late May of 2020 riots have added their impact. Even if COVID-19 were to have a minimized impact as an active outbreak, patterns of work-at-home and a lingering comfort in social distancing for some are likely to continue, and these will impact ridership.

When the stay-at-home order was announced by Governor Brown in March 2020, the first social distancing restrictions were put in place and many people began working from home. Weekly TriMet ridership dropped from February levels by around 60% by the end of March 2020. Ridership has continued to stay well below 2019’s numbers throughout the rest of the year, impacted not only by the initial surge of the pandemic, but by the dramatic rise in the state’s positive COVID cases in November and December, the wildfire smoke in September and our Steel Bridge MAX Improvements project in August 2020.

TriMet has required employees and riders to wear face coverings on board since May 2020. They have distributed more than 3.7 million disposable masks since May 2020.

According to TriMet, "From the start of the pandemic, TriMet quickly made changes to help keep our riders and employees safe. While we had cleaned our vehicles to some degree nightly, in March we began disinfecting all buses, MAX trains, WES trains and LIFT paratransit vehicles every night. We hired more than 150 people to help with the elevated cleaning efforts and purchased equipment such as electrostatic sprayers and fogging machines to help us do this more effectively and efficiently."




--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-11-28 14:55:43Last Update: 2021-11-28 15:29:59



Holiday Gas Prices Remain High
Democrat policies add to national and international woes

According to AAA/Oregon, Thanksgiving travelers will find gas prices holding relatively steady this week. Averages in 43 states including Oregon have changed by three cents or less. Lower crude oil prices are helping to put downward pressure on pump prices. For the week, the national average for regular slips a penny to $3.40 a gallon. The Oregon average remains at $3.78.

The Oregon average is the highest it’s ever been for Thanksgiving. The national average is the highest for the holiday since 2012. The expensive gas prices won’t keep people from traveling over Thanksgiving. AAA projects 53.4 million Americans including 746,000 Oregonians will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, up 13% from 2020. About 90% will drive to their destinations.

After adopting notorious gas-price-raising policies, President Biden has announced that the U.S. and other countries would release strategic crude oil reserves in an effort to increase supply and put downward pressure on gas prices. The U.S. will release 50 million barrels and will be joined by China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

Under Governors Kulongoski and Brown, Oregon lawmakers have also created policies that have contributed to higher fuel prices. Greenhouse gas emissions were regulated in 2009 and the low carbon fuel standard was implemented in 2015.

Crude oil prices moved lower in the last week, partly in anticipation of the release. For the first time since Oct. 11, crude oil prices have fallen below $80 per barrel and have remained in the mid-to upper $70 range for the last week. Fears of slowing economic activity in the U.S. and Europe due to a resurgence of COVID-19, along with the release of stockpiled oil are driving the lower prices.

“Falling crude oil prices normally translates into cheaper pump prices for drivers because the price of crude oil accounts for 50% to 60% of what consumers pay at the pumps,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “However, until global oil production ramps back up to pre-pandemic levels, the dip in crude prices may only be temporary.”

Here in the U.S. about 5% of the nation’s refineries shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic as people stayed home. And the cartel OPEC+ has not significantly boosted production. The result has been tight supplies and high prices as demand has climbed back up to pre-pandemic levels but production has not.

For the second week in a row, California continues to set new record high prices for gasoline. Today’s average is $4.705. Monday’s average was $4.706 and Sunday’s was $4.704. California’s previous record high price was $4.671 in October 2012. Severe rainstorms in Northern California impacted oil refineries in the area, leading to reduced production which has created supply issues.

The cheapest gas in the nation is in Oklahoma ($2.97) and Texas ($3.00) and. For the 46th week in a row, no state has an average below $2 a gallon.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-11-27 14:29:24Last Update: 2021-11-27 14:59:20



How to End a Mask Mandate
She’s done it before. She can do it again.

On June 25, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 21-15 which ended masking, distancing and capacity limits. It cites "declining rates of COVID-19" and "widespread availability and adoption of safe and effective vaccines." According to the Governor's order:

Throughout this pandemic, I have followed science and data and the advice of doctors and health experts to guide my decisions. Right now, in Oregon, we are quickly approaching the point where 70 percent of Oregon's adult population will have received at least a first dose of vaccine. We are also seeing declining rates of Covid-19, driven by the widespread availability and adoption of safe and effective vaccines. As a result of these developments, I find that statewide restrictions to control the spread of Covid-19 will no longer be necessary at the end of this month. Accordingly, this Executive Order provides that, not later than June 30, the executive orders that required health and safety restrictions to keep Oregon safe for the past year shall be lifted. This includes the complete rescission of Executive Order 20-66, the successor of my original "Stay Home, Save Lives" and "Safe and Strong Oregon" orders, which contains the authorities for the county risk level framework, statewide mask mandate, and business and other sector capacity and physical distancing restrictions, among other pandemic-related restrictions.

She concludes by ending the "mask mandate...capacity limits and physical distancing requirements."

To be clear, in this new phase of our response, statutory emergency authorities will be used at the state level for the limited purpose of resilience and recovery, not to impose or renew statewide pandemic restrictions.

For the reasons described above, I find that it is no longer necessary or advisable for me to use my emergency authorities to impose mandatory public health restrictions, such as statewide mask mandates or state-mandated capacity limits and physical distancing requirements for gatherings, businesses, and other sectors.

In seeming contradiction to that order, the Oregon Health Authority made its own “rule” on July 27, 2021, with Kate Brown giving a verbal pronouncement for everyone to mask up, ““Wearing a mask should give you confidence that you are not infecting others,” said Governor Brown. “Masks are also our best bet at keeping our schools and businesses open.”

Many Oregon parents will not forget the trauma done to their children, their families, their businesses, their lost ability to recreate, to socialize, to get health care as they’ve come to realize that the governor never had a right under ORS 401.165(5) to close down all of Oregon -- including the Pacific Ocean -- since her first of many executive orders that closed down the lives of Oregonians and business owners and employees starting in March 2020.

Some say that the Oregon emergency law that Kate Brown cited in March 2020 noted the governor never had the legal authority to shut down every square inch of Oregon including the Pacific Ocean per ORS 401.165 (5):

“Any proclamation of a state of emergency must specify the geographical area covered by the proclamation. Such area shall be no larger than necessary to effectively respond to the emergency.

Governor Brown has not issued another executive order since June 25, 2021 and her executive orders issued since March 2020 are now numbering up into the 40+ range. With so many Oregonians having obeyed her orders previously many have wondered now, if perhaps the governor now prefers just giving verbal commands and that her administrative state apparatus government agencies such as Oregon Health Authority would then carry out her orders.

A poll showed Governor Brown to be the 47th most popular governor in the United States of America.

Many in Oregon agree with that sentiment, want to go back to living and to having a very Merry Christmas.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-11-26 15:34:28Last Update: 2021-11-29 01:10:20



Christmas Tree Cutting Permits Available
Kids, go ahead and try this at home. It may be your only chance at logging.

Christmas tree permits for the Mt. Hood National Forest are now available to purchase at local vendors and online through Recreation.gov where one may purchase a permit, download cutting area maps, and find tree cutting tips. Permits are $5 per tree with a limit of 5 permits per household. Recreation.gov charges an additional $2.50 service fee per order.

Finding and cutting a Christmas tree is a long-standing tradition and a way to spend time with family and friends on national forest lands. When following regulations and guidelines, Christmas tree cutting can also improve forest health in dense stands of small-diameter trees.

Tree cutting is prohibited along Highways 26, 35, and 216, in Wilderness, in the Bull Run Watershed and The Dalles Watershed, fire closure areas, Camp Baldwin, and other areas closed to public entry.

Forest offices remain closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Christmas tree permits are available in person for $5 at many local businesses.

Winter weather in the forest can change rapidly. Most forest roads are not maintained for winter driving. Forest staff recommend bringing traction devices and a shovel, extra food, drinking water, winter clothing, blankets, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. Don’t forget a tool for cutting the tree and a rope or cord to secure it to vehicles. Tree cutting and travel may take longer than anticipated, so let a friend or family member know where you’re going, get an early start, and leave the woods well before dark.

Photo by Taylor Friehl on Unsplash


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-11-26 15:21:32Last Update: 2021-11-26 15:34:28



Oregon Energy Policy Flashback
Fracking is banned in Oregon

Almost two and a half years ago, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law HB 2632, a ban on hydraulic fracturing -- known as "fracking." The bill, passed largely on party lines and when gas prices were just a little over $2.50 per gallon, was widely regarded as a symbolic measure.

Prior to the ban in Oregon, hydraulic fracturing required a permit and was regulated by the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Department of Environmental Quality, and the Water Resources Department. Oregon has few petroleum resources, so fracking is not commonly used in Oregon.

introduced by Representatives Julie Fahey (D-Eugene), Ken Helm (D-Beaverton) and Senator James Manning, Jr. (D-Eugene), the bill was a response to the transient uproar in the media over fracking.

At the time Meredith Connolly Oregon State Director of Climate Solutions called the bill "a straightforward bill that reflects Oregon’s priorities to combat climate change and wean our economy off fossil fuels. The devastating impacts of fracturing on numerous communities around the country further demonstrates the foolhardiness of expanding fractured gas exploration and production."

That kind of hyperbolic talk is no longer popular.

According to Brian Doherty, on behalf of the Western States Petroleum Association, "The facts are hydraulic fracturing has been demonstrated, across multiple state and federal jurisdictions, to be a safe and effective technology that can be used to increase the recovery of hydrocarbons and deliver significant benefits, without adverse environmental effects.

Contrary to persistent, unsubstantiated claims, hydraulic fracturing has been safely used for over 60 years, has not contaminated drinking water, does not use excessive amounts of water, and is comprehensively regulated in Oregon."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-11-25 18:39:26Last Update: 2021-11-25 19:27:20



County Leaders Disappointed with Kate Brown
Issue statement on prison sentencing decision

Polk County Public Safety Leaders, which include the County Commissioners, as well as the County District Attorney, and Sheriff, have issued a statement regarding Governor Kate Brown's recent decision to essentially pardon 75 violent offenders due to their juvenile status.

The letter, which expresses deep dismay, can be read here:

As elected Commissioners and public safety leaders in Polk County, we are expressing our deep disappointment and dismay with Governor Brown’s decision to use her clemency authority to unilaterally change the prison sentences of 75 individuals throughout Oregon. As has been reported, these are individuals serving adult sentences for violent crimes committed when they were between the ages of 15 to 17 years old.

Four of the 75 were convicted in Polk County. Among the crimes committed by these four are murder, forcible rape, and sexual abuse against children as young as 10. Clearly, these sentences have been reserved for the rarest of cases and imposed against the most extremely violent offenders.

We are also appalled at the breathtaking lack of regard for the rights of crime victims evident in the process surrounding the Governor’s decision. No victims or their families were consulted or even warned that blanket commutations were going to be issued by the Governor. Instead, District Attorneys and many victims found out from the media. The Governor’s Office’s ensuing attempts at back peddling and blaming others for their missteps has been unconvincing at best. To not recognize and take responsibility for the trauma this decision created for crime victims throughout Oregon is simply unacceptable.

Polk County has long supported the value of redemptive juvenile justice. Generations of County Commissioners, District Attorneys, Sheriffs, and Juvenile Department Officers have advocated through budgets, programs, and individual decisions for juvenile offenders to receive a second chance. This includes juveniles that have committed property offenses, drug offenses, and even person crimes. Alternative programs such as probation, diversion, sanction courts, and treatment opportunities have been the hallmark of Polk County’s commitment to reformative juvenile justice.

It has always been understood, however, in the most extremely violent cases, adult length sentences are appropriate for accountability and community safety. The cases on the list from Polk County are there because the facts of the case and the individual circumstances were carefully weighed before going forward. The Governor’s order does none of that. Rather, it abandons the practices of past Oregon governors in applying the extraordinary power of executive clemency in rarest of cases and applies it in a broad brush manner that Oregonians should find very unsettling. We urge the Governor to reconsider her decision.



Oregon Court Denies Partisanship in Redistricting Plan
Testimony was limited, because Covid

In light of the Oregon Supreme Court's dismissal of Sheehan v. Oregon Legislative Assembly which questioned the legality of Oregon's legislative districts, Legislative leaders from both parties sounded off on the decision. The Court opinion said, in part,

With respect to the Sheehan petition, the Court explained that the facts alleged by petitioners -- particularly, that the SB 882 reapportionment plan used many of the same district boundaries as exist in current law, and that oral public testimony had been subject to certain limitations -- were insufficient to permit a conclusion that the Legislative Assembly had created the entire statewide reapportionment plan for a partisan or otherwise improper purpose.

Oregon House Republican Leader and rumored Gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan (R-Canby) claimed that the Congressional redistricting map upheld protects incumbents. She used the occasion to call for moving the redistricting process out of the legislature. “This gerrymandered congressional redistricting map is an incumbent protection plan that Democrats desperately fought to keep. Rather than serve the interests of Oregonians, they have served themselves. This is why we need an independent redistricting commission to take this job away from politicians.”

Oregon House Speaker and Gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek (D-Portland) and Oregon House Democratic Leader Barbara Smith Warner (D-Portland) praised the court's decisions calling the maps ‘fair, legal, and constitutional,’ as a special five-judge panel dismissed a petition against the legislatively adopted congressional maps enacted by SB 881 during a September special session. This follows a Monday decision by the Oregon Supreme Court to dismiss two petitions challenging the reapportionment of Oregon's legislative districts enacted by SB 882.

In response to these dismissals, Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and Oregon House Democratic Leader Barbara Smith Warner issued the following joint statement: “These decisions affirm that the Legislature passed maps that are fair, legal, and constitutional. It was a tremendous challenge to complete this Constitutional duty in a very condensed timeline, and we appreciate the legislators who worked to get the job done for the people of Oregon.”

Insiders note that Democrats may need some extra help this cycle, due to what many perceive is failure of Democratic policy on a national and state levels.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-11-24 17:01:01Last Update: 2021-11-24 17:42:32



Man Evades Police Driving Stolen Backhoe
Told deputies he was lost

Clackamas County Sheriff deputies stopped a man driving a stolen backhoe after the suspect was spotted driving it on the wrong side of the road.

Shortly after midnight on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, an Oregon State Police trooper reported spotting a backhoe driving in the area of I-205 and Hwy. 213 in Clackamas County. The trooper initiated a traffic stop. However, the backhoe turned up the wrong way on the on-ramp from Hwy. 213; by the time the trooper looped back around, the backhoe had disappeared.

Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Patrol deputies began searching for the backhoe. Around 12:40 a.m., a resident reported seeing the backhoe near Holly Lane and Redland Road.

A CCSO deputy spotted the backhoe shortly after 1 a.m., driving on S. Fischers Mill Road. The backhoe was straddling the double yellow line at times, driving on the wrong side of the road, at speeds estimated at 10-20 mph.

The deputy initiated a traffic stop just west of Hattan Road. Because the backhoe had refused to stop for OSP troopers earlier that night, the deputy called for backup.

The suspect driver was identified as Mitchell Ray Johnston, 39, of Aloha. His driver's license was felony revoked. He initially told deputies he was "lost," but soon admitted he'd stolen the backhoe from a lot at 141st and TV Highway in Beaverton.

Johnston had driven the backhoe nearly 30 miles from its original location -- on a slow-moving route from TV Highway to Highway 217 to I-5 to I-205 -- before being spotted by the state trooper.

The owners of the backhoe responded to the scene to retrieve their stolen construction equipment.

Mitchell Johnston was arrested on charges including Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Driving While Suspended. His bail was set at $50,000.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-11-23 21:15:27Last Update: 2021-11-23 21:30:05



Analysis: Salem Climate Action Plan Part of a Larger Agenda
The SCAP will begin by banning any new natural gas hookups

The Salem Climate Action Plan, SCAP, recently adopted by Salem City Council -- including councilor Vanessa Nordyke -- was a generation in the making. The groundwork began shortly after a 1995 Presidential Executive Order called for adopting Agenda 21, now Agenda 2030, to be implemented in every Federal, State, County and City including Salem. Salem Futures under mayor Mike Swaim quickly followed. Only a few noticed the United Nations flag flying at City Hall and even fewer understood Salem was under UN rule.

Twenty two years before that the Oregon Legislature had adopted SB 100, the most restrictive land use laws in the nation. Few were aware that someday SB 100 would cause an imbalance between supply and demand so great that fewer than 50% of Oregonians would be able to buy a home. The average Salem citizen was equally unaware of Agenda 21 as City staff were groomed for Smart Growth and Going Green. Salem’s new Department of Sustainable Development under the direction of Vicki Harden Woods created a home and legitimized new prescriptive solutions for claimed environmental anomalies in all divisions of City government.

The City found eager co-sponsors within the business community. Day long conventions with workshops were an opportunity for community leaders to be seen showing their compassion for the planet. Group think was alive and well. The one day affairs were a hit, heavily attended -- at taxpayer expense -- planned and executed by over two dozen public officials whose full time jobs no longer were concerned with public safety, just in shrinking everyone’s carbon footprint. Chief among many of the practices called unsustainable was the need to stop anthropogenic global warming. If not, it was claimed, we only had a few years left before we would all go up in a cloud of blue steam.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claimed CO2 was a greenhouse gas and that our output of CO2 must be greatly diminished. To do that we would have to find substitutes for fossil fuels. Community leaders, uninformed and concerned with face saving, knew Salem’s economy would falter without abundant and affordable energy. Some say they were silent then and unfortunately still are. In the 1990’s Earth’s CO2 level went from 280 ppm to 420 ppm primarily due to volcanic activity. The IPCC funded 102 computer models showing Earth’s Global Average Steady Temperature, GAST, would rise quickly and uncontrollably starting around the year 2000. The premise for that prediction was that the rise in CO2 correlates to a rise in GAST. Except it didn’t happen.

It's becoming clear that there is no correlation between CO2 levels and GAST. After being caught in a coverup of their failure the IPCC continued their work opaquely. They insisted that 97% of the world’s scientists believed global warming was caused by humans. Recently, the founder of the Weather Channel was interviewed by a CNN anchor that looks like the fictional George Costanza of Seinfeld fame. He explained that science is not done by consensus and that those scientists are all paid to arrive at a predetermined conclusion. Salem became a United Nations International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives city in 2019. The bankruptcy of 100+ ICLEI cities in the 1990’s was a lesson ignored by bureaucrats and eagerly overlooked by Salem leaders as was the bankruptcy of Spain occurring between 2004-2008 when they adopted a green jobs economy.

The SCAP will begin by banning any new natural gas hookups. Switching to 100% electric energy is the stated goal. Electricity is generated outside the Salem UGB but natural gas is combusted inside the UGB. The SCAP doesn’t concern itself with emissions beyond its ‘city walls’. The SCAP claims stable pricing for electricity while hoping no one knows legislative mandates will double the cost to consumers, adjusted for and added to inflation, from 2013 to 2033.

The US Green Building Council has developed a set of standards called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which they claim provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED Silver requirements will be mandated for all new construction. The LEED program was shown to be a failure in a study conducted on its 10th anniversary in 2006 by Henry Gifford. Gifford studied the 500 LEED buildings in existence and found they had 29% greater energy use than their counterparts of equal size and function in similar climates.

The SCAP bases its action Scenarios I & II on temperature projections modeled after the failed, unsuccessfully covered up and disgraced IPCC claims from 2009 depicted in the previous graph. Climate change is blamed for wildfires in areas where forestry best practices have been abandoned and even blamed for causing ice storms. It even evokes fears over earthquakes to justify climate remedies. As dozens of new coal fired electric generating facilities are being built in China and India, Salem attempts to influence global temperatures from an insignificant pinpoint on the world map with economy killing measures that are symbolic only.

Racial equity is to be enhanced by the SCAP. Consumerism is attacked and a list of SCAP preferred vendors will help lead intimidation and virtue signaling. Tracking progress toward artificial goals will encourage neighbor to neighbor shaming. NW Natural Gas lost all gains in future business in Salem. They offered three different remediations for their emissions, but to no avail. Still they embrace the SCAP, believing being bullied by a City Council comprised of only one man capable of starting and running a business is a sensible way to negotiate the terms of what will be a slow and painful surrender.


--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2021-11-22 16:38:10Last Update: 2021-11-22 18:42:14



Oregon Redistricting Upheld
May predetermine election results for the next decade

The Oregon Supreme Court has announced that the legal challenges of recent redistricting decisions have been dismissed and that the newly created district boundaries will be upheld. Two different challenges were dismissed.

Super-minority Republicans in the state have expressed dissatisfaction with the results, after House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) reneged on a deal made with the Republicans earlier in the year, which would have allowed equal representation on the Redistricting Committee.

House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) released the following statement in response to the court decision to deny petitions against the legislative redistricting map passed by House and Senate Democrats on party lines.

“This court decision approves a legislative redistricting map that predetermines election results for the next decade. Democrats have significantly reduced competition by picking which party will represent most House or Senate districts. That’s not a real choice for Oregonians. That’s gerrymandering.”



Democrats have also weighed in on the decision:

“I am pleased that the Oregon Supreme Court has found that the Legislature’s redistricting maps meet all legal standards,” said Senator Kathleen Taylor (D-Portland), who served as chair of the Senate Redistricting Committee. “The Senate Redistricting Committee worked tirelessly to gather input from Oregonians across the state and use the 2020 Census data to create fair districts, all under an incredibly compressed timeline. The Legislative Assembly has once again succeeded in delivering on its constitutional duty of redistricting.”

“Today’s decision shows that Senate Democrats get things done, and that the Oregon Legislature takes its responsibilities very seriously,” said Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego). “I commend the tireless efforts of Senator Taylor, the redistricting committee members, and all of my colleagues who made significant contributions to get their constituents involved in the process.”

The legislative redistricting plan will take effect on January 1, 2022.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-11-22 13:48:18Last Update: 2021-11-22 16:38:10



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