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Oregon Republican Party State Central Committee Meeting
Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 7:30 am
Including election of a new Vice-Chair
Marion Post 661 VFW
630 Hood Street, NE
Salem, Oregon



OREGON FREEDOM RALLY
Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 12:00 pm
Oregon's premiere annual event for grassroots conservatives sponsored by Oregon Liberty Alliance and others. Featuring Dinesh D'Souze, Elisha Krauss, Scott Rasmussen and Isabel Brown. Lunch included at $65 per person, under 16 are free. Doors open at 11am to network with exhibitors. Register at: www.OregonFreedomRally.com
Wingspan Event & Conference Center, 801 NE 34th Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97124



DALLAS Community-wide ONE Service
Sunday, June 5, 2022 at 10:30 am
ONE Community joined together for a community wide Worship Service. Fellowship and coffee at 10:30, Service at 11am.
Dallas High School Football Stadium



Fight for Freedom Event
Friday, June 10, 2022 at 6:00 pm
Training on survival and emergency medicine by XSA International Krisanne Hall 2-Day Constitutional Training Friday 6-10pm, Saturday 8am-11pm, Sunday 8am-2pm Tickets: $30 www.peoplesrightsoregon5.com/fight-for-freedom-event
Deschutes County Fairgrounds



Fight for Freedom Event
Friday, June 10, 2022 at 6:00 pm
Training on survival and emergency medicine by XSA International Krisanne Hall 2-Day Constitutional Training Friday 6-10pm, Saturday 8am-11pm, Sunday 8am-2pm Tickets: $30 https://www.peoplesrightsoregon5.com/fight-for-freedom-event
Deschutes County Fairgrounds



Fight for Freedom Event
Friday, June 10, 2022 at 6:00 pm
Training on survival and emergency medicine by XSA International
Krisanne Hall 2-Day Constitutional Training

Friday 6-10pm, Saturday 8am-11pm, Sunday 8am-2pm

Tickets: $30

https://www.peoplesrightsoregon5.com/fight-for-freedom-event
Deschutes County Fairgrounds



World Athletics Championships
Friday, July 15, 2022 at 8:00 am
The World Athletics Championships are coming to Eugene this summer (July 15-24 2022), the first time in history that the championships will be held in the United States. This mega-sporting event will showcase the best track and field athletes in the world. The event will bring 2,000 athletes from more than 200 nations, all competing for 49 gold medals. About 20,000 to 25,000 attendees are expected per session, with most days hosting two sessions (both morning and afternoon).
Eugene



Gathering of Eagles/Rally Around the Flag
Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 10:00 am
Watch for details, sign up for Oregon Liberty Coalition (OLC) alerts and information. orlibertycoalition@gmail.com
Ames Ranch, Turner, Oregon



Oregon General Election
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at 8:00 pm
Statewide


View All Calendar Events


Constitution Party Seeks Nominees
Party can nominate candidates as late as August 30

The Constitution Party of Oregon has announced that it is not too late to run for political office as a nominee of the Constitution Party. According to a release, if you hold constitutional values and would like to make a difference, you may still seek nomination with their party.

Recently, three new candidates have stepped forward with a desire to run for governor of Oregon. They will announce which of these three will be their nominee after their next regular meeting on May 21

The party's nominating committee will be active and can nominate candidates for the general election, for an office at any level, as late as August 30, 2022.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is October 18.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-20 16:36:34Last Update: 2022-05-20 16:50:41



Take Aways from the June 2022 Forecast
Why the boom in tax revenue?

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis issued the June 2022 Economic and Revenue Forecast this week. Every party leader had something to say, good, bad or indifferent. Their words hold little value for an individual that has watched their taxes wildly spent.

The forecast is divided into three headings. The first is titled “Cyclical Economic Recovery Complete, Structural Labor Challenges Remain.”

What does that mean to the working class? There are plenty of jobs available, which means jobs is not a factor in the rise in homelessness.

It also covers agricultural workers and the counties that will be hit the hardest when HB 4002 limits work hours on farms.

The second forecast is the unprecedented revenue boom that has left us with unprecedented balances in the current biennium, followed by a record kicker in 2023-25. The 2021 tax year had a record 70% increase at $1.2 billion after the kicker returns.

But what isn’t being talked about is why the boom in tax revenue.

There was a difference of 8.6% higher taxable income than actual income. A high number of tax filers cashed in a wide range of assets in 2021 to get through the pandemic. This created taxable income that wasn’t related to a growth in the economy.

It is also an indicator of how desperate people became. It was 600% more than those cashing in during the housing boom or the tech boom with over $16 billion in realized capital gains. The forecast for next biennium won’t have those taxable assets and shows no growth, and may decline after the kicker.

Another false boom is the increase around $500 million in Corporate Excise Taxes (CAT). It pads the revenue but what is it doing to businesses and purchasers? The forecast also suggests the markets will slow down projecting about $25 billion less from CAT than the original estimate.

The forecast is already anticipating the 2023 legislature will skim off 2% from the kicker in a phony budget adjustment they have done the last two budget sessions. But they also project a 5% kicker above the adjustment amounting to $3.033 billion. The corporate kicker, which now goes to schools is projected at $931 million.

“Thanks to the Kicker, Oregonians will get some of their taxes back and with it, a much-needed break from the increasing burden of inflation,” Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) said. “The Kicker continues to act as a check against the Democrat’s continuous urge to blow out the spending. Now, more than ever, it's essential to protect the Kicker. Too much spending got us into this inflation mess, it’s not going to get us out. As of now, we have extra money, but our economists are predicting an economic downturn soon. We must budget wisely for the future.”

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 summary, the forecast cautions that inflationary booms usually don’t end well if it is entrenched in the economy. Employment could loose 97,000 jobs and the general fund could have a $2.6 billion hit below the baseline.

Governor Brown mentioned sizable reserves. Perhaps she meant to say forecasted reserves. This biennium the reserves are at 10% of the general fund and projected to climb to 17.7% this year and 18.7% by close of the biennium. If unused, the forecast is for reserves to reach 25% in the 2029-31 biennium.

It seems the March 2022 forecast was too optimistic. The June forecast for the 2023-25 biennium shows a total decline of $1,991 million change from the March 2022 forecast. Personal income taxes declined $2,093 million but corporate taxes show a gain.

Senate President Peter Courtney issued this statement. “Oregon clearly has one tough economy. Our forecast is up for the eighth time in a row. We have to be careful. Experts are seeing storm clouds on the horizon. Oregon has done a good job saving. We’ll keep moving forward.”

What does “forward” look like? Many states are cutting taxes so all may benefit and reduce the inflation impact. What Oregon’s legislature does will depend on voters.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-20 08:05:53Last Update: 2022-05-20 08:39:01



Analysis: School Bond Measures Go Down
The result of lockdowns, poor performance and progressive ideology?

Across the state, parents, property owners and taxpayers delivered an important message to progressive school administrators and non-responsive school boards with the only voice they have left -- their pocketbook. Results are still preliminary but 9 of 12 school district tax-bonds are positioned to fail. That's a huge 75 percent fail rate.

Beyond school lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, discussions with parents and taxpayers revealed several reasons for the negative votes. Many parents of school children cited concerns about the relentless integration of progressive ideology and disregard for parental rights, inputs, consultation, notification or requests for any modulation or compromise. It remains to be seen if the state-level establishment under the leadership of Colt Gill will take notice.

Critical Race Theory was often cited, but Social Emotional Learning was mentioned as another progressive fad now being forced on children through public schools. In SEL ideology, the State, via government school systems, usurps parental and familial roles to teach children what “they” consider appropriate value systems, judgement, emotional skills, motivation and other subjective psychological factors determined to be needed. The state school system both defines the problem and delivers ongoing non-solutions -- with billions of taxpayer dollars and no end-point.

DistrictAmountPass?County
North Bend 13$22,695,000NoCoos
Crook County$66,000,000NoCrook
South Umpqua 19$20,900,000NoDouglas
Roseburg Public Schools$154,000,000NoDouglas
Days Creek 15$4,000,000NoDouglas
Lebanon Community Schools$20,000,000NoLinn
Gervais 1$31,000,000NoMarion
Dallas 2$28,000,000YesPolk
Beaverton 48J$723,000,000YesWashington
Morrow 1$138,000,000NoMorrow
La Grande 1$4,845,000YesUnion
Amity 4J$29,400,000NoYamhill/Polk


Parents will soon begin to hear, “There is a mental health crisis in our children.” with a host of appropriate scary statistics. Of course, this will involve hiring lots of social workers, psychologists, councilors, invasive family, personal and sex questionnaires and lots more of your tax-payer dollars.

Parents also ask and wondered why public schools are so sex-obsessed and why they have become the self-appointed enablers for non-traditional sex preferences and lifestyles – to the point of coaching in some cases. They also do not see a need for Comprehensive Sex Education beginning in kindergarten with continued grooming yearly through high school. Florida just passed measures to prevent this but Oregon has been the national petri dish for progressive inculcation using public schools for years and installed this 13 years ago.

People showed up at school board meetings, town-halls and lit-up social media in rural Lebanon to express concern about placing a no-notice school-based health clinic in the high-school. A free county-run public-health clinic is less than 500 yards from the school. These parents and taxpayers do not want to indoctrinate children and fund a socialized medicine/birth control clinic in their school. The progressive superintendent suggested they were going to put it in anyway and the public could not stop it. This is the same superintendent who wanted $10 million to repair a $1 million pool as part of the $20 million bond proposal. The Lebanon school superintendent is retirement eligible but up for a contract renewal Thursday night. Many parents feel he is out-of-touch and are praying for a better fit for their traditional values community – the superintendent lives in Salem. They are hoping their school board will, maybe just once, stand-up for their traditional values.

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

The issue of superintendent hiring and firing is now critically important. In Newberg, Albany, and other school districts, school boards dismissed superintendents who did not comport with community values, undermined school board policies and continually placed progressive ideology above academic instruction. This was an essential last-ditch mechanism for school boards to dismiss non-responsive superintendents and preserve academic and community values.

Oregon’s progressive legislature immediately responded in the February special session driving through the progressive party-line SB 1521 -- the brain child of Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), which was quickly signed into law by outgoing Governor Kate Brown. This bill made it impossible to fire a superintendent for cause – despite what the hiring contract may say. Technically, you can fire the superintendent but it will not take effect until 12 months after the termination date. Many suggest this is what tyranny looks like – thwart the voice of parents, the people and neuter school boards to keep progressive superintendents and the Department of Education ideological agendas moving forward using public schools as the vehicle. Citizens in districts voting down bond measures now have power to engage in their school district. Citizens committees can be developed to oversee and vet every requested or desired project. Demand full project planning documents to evaluate and protect taxpayers on tax bond financing and ensure project sensibilities.

School boards should band together and vote to sequester funds from the school budget to hire their own researchers, lawyers, communication experts and others to support their due diligence on critical matters and not be dependent on what they are provided by Superintendents and state agencies two days before they are supposed to vote on it. Put off any vote until the subject matter review is completed to their satisfaction.

Citizens are slowing having their rights eroded and finances drained by the ever-encroaching, authoritarian leviathan that is government. Whether it is public schools, city council or any of the other 15-20 local taxing agencies, enough will never be enough, and the only power individual citizens have to limit government and get it to respond is the power of NO. On Tuesday, voters for most school tax-bonds cut through the vague proposals, threats and disinformation and used their power of NO. Hopefully, schools will listen and respond – we’ll see.


--Clarke Vesper

Post Date: 2022-05-20 06:14:56Last Update: 2022-05-19 20:00:02



Reproductive Health and Access to Care
Oregon has no major types of abortion restrictions

When you hear the words “reproductive health”, you may quickly realize that it is just another attempt by leftist revisionists to redefine words, in the name of political correctness. Many Americans are not so easily blind-sided, however, and recognize "reproductive health for being mostly "abortion".

The proposed decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade will take federal government out of state decisions on abortion.

Oregon legislative House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) announced the formation of the Reproductive Health and Access to Care Work Group. It seems not to protect “reproductive health” but to make recommendations on abortion legislation for the 2023 session.

Recommendations may include policy, administrative, and budget proposals to protect, strengthen, and expand equitable access to all forms of reproductive care, gender-affirming care, and quality of care.

Rayfield commented, “It was truly inspiring this past weekend to see thousands of Oregonians take to the streets to protest ongoing attacks against reproductive freedom. Time and again, Oregonians have clearly affirmed their support for making abortion and other care safe and accessible to all. While other states roll back protections and attempt to criminalize health care access, this collaborative process with providers, clinics and elected leaders will make sure Oregon is prepared to support access to care in this changing landscape. We can’t be complacent.”

“This is an ‘all-hands on deck’ moment,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said. “Oregon can and must continue to be a leader for reproductive justice. I pledge to work alongside our elected champions and community partners to help keep Oregon a safe and welcoming place for anyone from anywhere who seeks access to abortion care.”

Many Americans would argue that abortion is not “reproductive” anything let alone justice. This play on words is a false narrative intended to distract those getting the abortions from thinking about how they are actually taking a human life.

Oregon’s abortion rate is around 12 per 1,000 women. Oregon has no major types of abortion restrictions, such as a waiting period, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions often found in other states.

The opposite is true with 29 abortion facilities providing publicly funded abortions. The Clinic for Abortion & Reproductive Excellence specializes in late term, third trimester abortions offered to Oregonians.

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

When Oregon passed SB 193 in 1969, it was very limited to a physical or mental handicapped baby, conceived by rape, or if the life of the mother was at risk.

In 1983 the bill was repealed allowing unrestricted abortions, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned. In 2017, HB 3391, sponsored by Representative Julie Fahey (D-Eugene) passing on party lines, forced insurers to cover abortions and provided public funding making abortion free in Oregon.

To inquire about serving on the work group, you can contact them via email.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-19 17:32:37Last Update: 2022-05-19 19:10:58



ODOT Studies Hydrogen Fuel Cells
There is interest in locally and renewably produced hydrogen

The Oregon Department of Transportation Climate Office has announced the release of a 50 page Hydrogen Pathway Study, in an effort to understand and prepare Oregon for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles over the next 15 years.

The agency identifies five takeaways from the study: According to ODOT, the goal of this Study is to inform future efforts in Oregon by providing an overview of current hydrogen activities in the light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty transportation sectors today, the requirements and estimated capital costs of building out a hydrogen fueling station network to meet state goals, and recommendations that Oregon might consider to support an evolving hydrogen market going forward.

As in the earlier TEINA study, upstream hydrogen production and delivery, though a critical consideration in developing an overall hydrogen strategy, is not addressed in this study. The Oregon Department of Energy is currently conducting a parallel study, due to the state legislature by September 2022, of the benefits and barriers to the production and consumption of renewable hydrogen in Oregon.

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

This Study found a supportive policy landscape in Oregon, where hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles are recognized in state goals, clean vehicle rebates and clean fuels credit programs. There is broad stakeholder interest in locally and renewably produced hydrogen. There is also growing fleet and utility interest in opportunities and potential solutions offered by both hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicles. Among other activities in Oregon, this Study describes the hydrogen-related efforts of TriMet -- the Portland area transit system, Eugene Water & Electric Board, and Daimler Trucks North America.

Fleet operators seem to be coalescing around a common interest in finding zero-emission solutions to the more challenging on-road mobility use cases, including longer transit bus routes, fleets with continuous 24/7 operations, and long-haul trucking. Where battery technology today can quite easily solve most mobility needs, these challenging scenarios are causing fleets to investigate potential hydrogen fuel cell solutions.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-19 13:19:39Last Update: 2022-05-17 18:22:39



Oregon State Police Host Event for Child Safety Day
A reminder to continue efforts to find missing children

In recognition of Oregon’s missing children and adults, the Oregon State Police (OSP) are holding a Child Safety Event on May 25 at the Oregon State Capitol Park. The Oregon State Police Criminal Detectives, the Warm Springs Tribal Police Chief, and the Forensic Anthropologist will be on hand from 11am to 2pm to shine a light on child safety and Oregon’s missing children and adults in recognition of National Missing Children’s Day.

OSP will have information on Oregon’s Missing Children, Oregon’s statewide school safety tip line, information on how to keep your children safe, pick up your free child identification kit. This is how people can help.

The National Missing Children’s Day (May 25) was proclaimed by former President Ronald Reagan in 1983, in memory of Etan Patz, a 6- year-old boy who disappeared from a New York City street corner on May 25, 1979.

Unfortunately, each year, the need to highlight this important day only grows.

National Missing Children’s Day is dedicated to encouraging parents, guardians, caregivers, and others concerned with the well- being of children to make all children’s safety a priority.

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

It is important to acknowledge those indigenous children and adults who are currently missing, in hopes of shining a brighter light onto the anguish all families endure when a loved one is unaccounted for or endangered.

The commemoration serves as a reminder to continue our efforts to reunite all missing children with their families and an occasion to honor those dedicated to the cause of resolving the unresolved.

Hope is symbolized in the blue flower of the Forget-Me-Not as a commitment and promise to keep searching.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-19 10:27:22Last Update: 2022-05-19 15:50:16



Revenue Forecast: Kicker will Kick
“The Kicker acts as a check against the Democrat’s urge to blow out the spending”

As part of their quarterly economic forecast, Oregon’s economists project that Oregon budgets will have big surpluses, much of which will be returned to taxpayers, because of the Kicker law, based on how much in taxes they paid in.

Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) said, “Oregon clearly has one tough economy. Our forecast is up for the eighth time in a row. We have to be careful. Experts are seeing storm clouds on the horizon. Oregon has done a good job saving. We’ll keep moving forward.”

“Thanks to the Kicker, Oregonians will get some of their taxes back and with it, a much-needed break from the increasing burden of inflation,” Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) said. “The Kicker continues to act as a check against the Democrat’s continuous urge to blow out the spending. Now, more than ever, it's essential to protect the Kicker. Too much spending got us into this inflation mess, it’s not going to get us out.

Knopp warned, “As of now, we have extra money, but our economists are predicting an economic downturn soon. We must budget wisely for the future.”

Governor Kate Brown said, “Today’s revenue forecast indicates that we are continuing to see strength in Oregon’s economy as we round the curve to recovery from the pandemic. Strong state revenues, coupled with an unemployment rate that is back down to pre-pandemic levels, should be welcome news for Oregonians.”

“However,” she continued, “I know that not all Oregonians are feeling these positive effects, especially given rising costs of living. The good news is that the continued strength in the economy will allow the legislature to look at additional one-time investments in the coming budget cycle—like those we’ve recently made in housing, behavioral health, and child care—to further spur growth and support working families, so that all Oregonians see and feel the benefits of our economic bounce back.

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

Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) said “I’m pleased by the continued strength of Oregon’s economy. Two months ago, we used a boost in additional revenue to make critical one-time investments in all corners of the state to address housing affordability and homelessness, keep our kids in school, support working families dealing with increased living costs, and much more to move Oregon forward. We have continued to navigate unprecedented times and lead the state in a responsible, measured way.

Rayfield continued, “While this is welcome news, we must continue planning for the future. Thanks to years of prudent budget management, Oregon has historic reserves and is in a great position to maintain services in future budget cycles. And while many of our highest earners continue to do well, I recognize the continued challenges many Oregonians face because of ongoing inflation and believe we need to address the growing wealth divide.

“Our work will continue to focus on supporting Oregonians who are struggling and building an economy that works for all working families and small businesses,” Rayfield concluded.

Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) said, “Oregon is an economic powerhouse - leading the nation on the road to recovery. With this strong forecast we will continue to save for a rainy day and invest in families working to pay for rent, paying for prescription drug costs and childcare.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-18 11:20:17Last Update: 2022-05-18 11:37:15



Governor Brown Urges Oregonians to be Prepared for Fire Season
“We are asking all Oregonians to do their part”

Governor Kate Brown today provided an update on the state’s ongoing interagency work to prepare for wildfire season across Oregon. She was joined by State Forester Cal Mukumoto, Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Chief Mike Shaw, Oregon State Deputy Fire Marshal Travis Medema, Adjutant General Michael Stencel, Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps, and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Deputy Director Leah Feldon.

“All signs point to a difficult 2022 fire season that will challenge our firefighting teams and the capacity of our response systems,” said Governor Brown. “The good news is that Oregon has one of the best wildfire response systems in the country. We continue to lead the nation in this space, improving even further as investments from SB 762 have already allowed us to add both seasonal firefighter capacity to our ranks and additional aviation assets.

Federal officials are reporting snowpack levels above normal.

“Today we are asking all Oregonians to do their part in order to prevent and prepare for wildfires. Being prepared can truly mean the difference between life and death. It is also one of the best ways you can help our frontline firefighters do their jobs. Make a plan with your family, stay informed, and get 2 Weeks Ready. And please, be smart and be careful when you’re enjoying our outdoors. You can help prevent tragic loss.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-18 07:40:25Last Update: 2022-05-17 17:45:42



Clackamas County Fails to Report Vote Counts
“I am deeply concerned about the delay”

Despite assurances that a printing defect on some of the ballots that does not allow them to be scanned would not delay counting for the primary election, Clackamas County has yet to release results. Clackamas County is reporting that of 306,231 ballots sent, 65,646 have been returned, or 21.4%, which is in line with similar counties.

In a press release at nearly 10:00pm on election night, Shemia Fagan began damage control and deflection.

"As Oregon's chief election officer -- and a Clackamas County voter -- I am deeply concerned about the delay in reporting from Clackamas County Elections tonight. While I am confident that the process they are following is secure, transparent and the results will be accurate, the county's reporting delays tonight are unacceptable. Voters have done their jobs, and now it's time for Clackamas County Elections to do theirs.

"In recent days, my office and other counties have offered extra personnel to help with timely reporting. We eagerly await a response from county elections officials on how we can aid in the timely processing of results. I am disappointed that we have not seen more urgency from elections officials in Clackamas County."

Secretary Fagan has made a point of combatting misinformation in the face of increased election scrutiny.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-18 07:20:03Last Update: 2022-05-18 07:47:46



Electric Vehicle Stations Coming to State Parks
“I can think of no better way to commemorate 100 years of state park service”

Electric vehicle charging is coming to the Oregon State Park system. Starting this summer and over the next year, Level 2 EV chargers will be installed in selected state parks as part of a pilot project created by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the nonprofit Adopt a Charger. The agreement between OPRD and AAC allows fundraising and donations to cover the installation of the chargers and includes an option for the electricity costs to be sponsored by a donor for up to three years.

Legislation passed in 2021, HB 2290 and sponsored by State Representative Marty Wilde (D-Eugene), directs OPRD to allow planning and installation of public EV charging stations in parking spaces at state parks. The OPRD and AAC agreement reflects the intent and direction outlined in the legislation.

Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer and automotive technology company, is working with AAC to donate the installation design, construction costs and EV chargers as part of its Rivian Waypoints charging network. Rivian Waypoints can provide up to 25 miles of range every hour of charging and are equipped with a J1772 plug, making them compatible with every electric vehicle on the market. In addition, Entec Polymers has offered to sponsor the cost of electricity through its partnership with AAC for a limited time.

“Beyond helping reduce global and local pollution, including greenhouse gasses, state parks need to be accessible to everyone,” said Lisa Sumption, OPRD Director. “Looking ahead, electric vehicles will become more and more common, and rather than wait for someone else to fill all the charging gaps, we want to do our part.”

“I can think of no better way to commemorate 100 years of state park service in 2022 than to set up us up to serve people even better for the next hundred, and am grateful to the donors for making it happen,” Sumption added.

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

“The AAC goal is to introduce zero emission tourism in Oregon, and inspire visitors of all ages to consider the impact of their decisions on the environment,” said Kitty Adams Hoksbergen, executive director of AAC. “I am grateful to everyone at OPRD for proactively planning and offering EV charging at state parks, and to Rivian for their generosity in making it happen. Thanks to Entec for sponsoring the electrical usage so EV motorists can charge their vehicles fee-free during the pilot.”

“OPRD’s commitment to service is a principle we share and look forward to contributing to in this pilot,” said Trent Warnke, Senior Director of Energy and Charging Solutions at Rivian. “For Rivian, electrifying adventure is something we’re inspired to do thoughtfully, especially when working off the beaten path.”

"Giving back to the community is embedded in Entec Polymers’ DNA, and sustainability has always been a large part of what we do and who we are," said Steve Tomaszewski, Senior Vice President & General Manager. "Partnering with Adopt a Charger and Rivian to support EV charging stations at Oregon State Parks allows us to advance the electrification of transportation and to make a difference in the communities that we serve."

The tentative list of the pilot project sites: This list may change as the project progresses, according to the agency.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-18 06:28:01Last Update: 2022-05-17 12:40:25



Skarlatos to Face Hoyle in Vacant 4th Congressional District
Democrat Peter DeFazio is retiring after decades in office

Oregon National Guard Veteran, Alek Skarlatos released the following statement following his primary victory in Oregon’s 4th Congressional District.

“As a political outsider, I am thankful to be selected as the Republican nominee for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District. It’s clear Washington is broken, Joe Biden’s liberal policies are not working, and we need solutions to reduce inflation, lower gas prices, and lower the cost of healthcare while improving access for rural Oregon,” said Oregon National Guard Veteran Alek Skarlatos. “Oregon’s 4th Congressional District is the poorest district in the state, it’s clear the status quo is not working, and now more than ever, we need fresh ideas and new solutions that will help middle-class families in our state.”

The 4th Congressional District, newly formed after the decennial redistricting process, is 33.8% Democractic, 25.5% Republican and 33.7% non-affiliated.

 Skarlatos is a former Oregon National Guardsman, who served in Afghanistan. In 2015, while traveling on a train bound for Paris, Alek, along with four others, jumped into action to stop an Islamic Terrorist who tried to open fire on a passenger train. His heroism earned him several awards and medals around the world including, the United States' Soldier’s Medal.

After serving as a National Guardsman for 5 years, Alek left military service in November 2017. Upon completing his service, Alek voiced his inspiring experience by authoring 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of A Terrorist, A Train, and Three American Heroes describing the events that led up to the attack on the train ride to Paris from Amsterdam. He worked with legendary director Clint Eastwood on the film 15:17 to Paris that portrayed the harrowing attack in which Alek starred as himself.

Alek’s experience stretches beyond the military. With a strong belief in service to his community, Alek has toured the country encouraging others to take control of their lives and the importance of duty to the community. Alek stays active by advocating for responsible forest management in Oregon. He lives in Roseburg where he spends his free time hiking and exploring all that Oregon has to offer.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-17 20:22:39Last Update: 2022-05-17 19:07:30



Oregon Primary 2022
Projected Results


Democrat for Governor
David Beem
Julian Bell
Wilson R Bright
George L Carrillo
Michael Cross
Ifeanyichukwu C Diru
Peter W Hall
Tina Kotek
Keisha Lanell Merchant
Tobias Read
Patrick E Starnes
Dave W Stauffer
John Sweeney
Michael Trimble
Genevieve Wilson H
Republican for Governor
Raymond Baldwin
Bridget Barton
Court Boice
David A Burch
Reed Christensen
Christine Drazan
Jessica Gomez
Nick Hess
Tim McCloud
Kerry McQuisten
Brandon C Merritt
Bud Pierce
John G Presco
Stan Pulliam
Amber R Richardson
Bill Sizemore
Stefan G Strek (Stregoi)
Marc Thielman
Bob Tiernan
Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries
Aaron R Baca
Brent T Barker
Cheri Helt
Chris Henry
Casey M Kulla
Robert Neuman
Christina E Stephenson
Judge of the Court of Appeals, Position 3
Vance Day
Darleen Ortega
Democrat for US Senator
William E Barlow III
Brent Thompson
Ron Wyden
Republican for US Senator
Jason Beebe
Christopher C Christensen
Robert M Fleming
Darin Harbick
Sam Palmer
Jo Rae Perkins
Ibra A Taher
Democrat for Congress, 1st District
Suzanne Bonamici
Scott Phillips
Christian Robertson
Republican for Congress, 1st District
Christopher A Mann
Armidia (Army) Murray
Democrat for Congress, 2nd District
Adam Prine
Joe Yetter
Republican for Congress, 2nd District
Cliff S Bentz
Mark Cavener
Katherine M Gallant
Democrat for Congress, 3rd District
Earl Blumenauer
Jonathan E Polhemus
Republican for Congress, 3rd District
Joanna Harbour
Democrat for Congress, 4th District
Sami Al-Abdrabbuh
Doyle E Canning
Val Hoyle
Andrew Kalloch
Steve William Laible
Jake Matthews
John S Selker
G Tommy Smith
Republican for Congress, 4th District
Alek Skarlatos
Democrat for Congress, 5th District
Jamie McLeod-Skinner
Kurt Schrader
Republican for Congress, 5th District
Lori Chavez-DeRemer
Jimmy Crumpacker
John Di Paola
Madison Oatman
Laurel L Roses
Democrat for Congress, 6th District
Teresa Alonso Leon
Ricky Barajas
Carrick Flynn
Greg Goodwin
Kathleen Harder
Cody Reynolds
Andrea Salinas
Loretta Smith
Matt West
Republican for Congress, 6th District
Jim Bunn
Mike Erickson
Ron Noble
Angela Plowhead
David Russ
Amy L Ryan Courser
Nathan A Sandvig

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-17 20:01:43Last Update: 2022-05-20 08:45:47



Homeless Outreach Seeks Donated Items
Give “HOAP” at the Hygiene Drive this Friday.

The Northwest Human Service's Homeless Outreach and Advocacy Project (HOAP) team members are in dire need of hygiene products to support the unsheltered people who were lost everything after a recent flood at Wallace Marine Park. Community members are invited to give “HOAP” to those who have little by donating hygiene products at East Salem Rotary’s club meeting this Friday, May 20, or bringing them to the HOAP Day Center Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Strategic Partnerships Manager and East Salem Rotary member, Kristin Kuenz-Barber said, "Our outreach team and our HOAP team are incredibly short-staffed right now and they are just focused on keeping people clean, clothed, and de-escalated so they often don't even think to ask me or share with me what their needs are."

The HOAP program provides a hand up by giving homeless individuals the resources, support, and skills they need to transition to stable and healthier lifestyles. Examples of hygiene supplies they supply for unsheltered neighbors include travel-sized:

“Please know that I recognize this is a long shot -- but we don't plan for these things to happen and there is so much need right now. In addition to the environmental issues, the camp in that area has experienced several deaths in the last few months; so, on top of the trauma people already have - now they have grief and a sense of hopelessness to add to their list of challenges,” added Kristin.

Rotarians are problem-solvers. Together, we apply our professional experience and personal commitment to tackling our communities’ most persistent problems, finding new, effective ways to enhance health, stability, and prosperity across the globe. The East Salem Rotary Foundation has already contributed $500 to kick-start the Fast and Furious Hygiene Supply Drive, and HOAPs you can help too by donating.

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The East Salem Rotary meeting is held at 12:00 p.m. at the Seymour Family Resource Center located 3745 Portland Rd NE, Salem. The HOAP Day Center is located at 694 Church St NE, Salem and the Drop-In Center Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

For more information or questions regarding hygiene needs: Email Kristin Kuenz-Barber at kkuenz-barber@nwhumanservices.org

For more information or questions regarding the East Salem Rotary: Email Maureen Casey at Maureen Casey MCasey@ccswv.org


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-17 19:07:30Last Update: 2022-05-17 19:24:49



Secretary Fagan Anticipates “A Smooth Process”
“We expect a smooth process at elections offices around the state."

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan said that she expects a smooth process at elections offices around the state. In Clackamas County, where a printing error could complicate reporting, Secretary Fagan along with senior staff visited the County's election office to observe the ballot correction process.

"Oregon is the gold standard for secure, modern and transparent elections," Secretary Fagan said. "I hope every Oregonian has the opportunity to turn in their ballot today. We expect a smooth process at elections offices around the state."

The Oregon Elections Division has been in contact with county elections divisions across the state during the voting period, providing support as needed.

Secretary Fagan, along with Deputy Elections Director Luke Belant and Chief Legal and Risk Counsel P.K. Runkles-Pearson, visited Clackamas County Elections today to observe the ballot correction process. A printing error by the vendor Clackamas County used to print ballots resulted in a large number of ballots with unreadable barcodes, and county elections officials are consulting with the Oregon Elections Division to correct those ballots in a fair and transparent process.

"After consulting with Clackamas County to help them set up their process, it was reassuring to watch it in action," Secretary Fagan said. "We are confident they will report accurate results."

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Clackamas County may be slower to report results on Election Day as a result of the printing error. However, the county has indicated it will certify the results within the statutory deadline.

The Secretary of State expects Oregon to once again have high voter turnout. If past trends hold, turnout will likely be in the low 30 percent range. Out of all the states that have already held primaries in 2022, Oregon will likely end up with the second highest voter turnout. Those states are Texas (17.7%), Indiana (14%), Ohio (20.64%), Nebraska (33.29%) and W. Virginia (22.84%).

Election results will begin reporting after 8 PM tonight on the Secretary of State's Website


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-17 12:59:20Last Update: 2022-05-17 13:19:39



USPS Mail Collection Box Stolen in Portland, Oregon
Replacement ballots available upon request

The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently informed the Multnomah County Elections Division that a USPS blue mail collection box was stolen on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. The USPS box was located at S.E. Reed College Place and S.E. Woodstock Boulevard in Southeast Portland’s Eastmoreland neighborhood.

The Postal Service confirmed all mail was removed from the box on May 4, 2022 at 11:35 AM. Any voter who used this USPS mail collection box to mail their ballot on May 4, after that time, should immediately contact Multnomah County Elections at 503-988-VOTE (8683) to check the status of their ballot.

Any Multnomah County voter whose ballot was not received at the Elections office may still request a replacement ballot.

You can also contact Multnomah County Elections at 503-988-VOTE (8683) to request a replacement ballot. Multnomah County Elections has offered extended hours leading up to the election.

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Multnomah County voters can also sign up to track their ballot online. The Track Your Ballot service lets voters know when their ballot has been sent, received and accepted by the Elections Division.

At least one voter, who used the Eastmoreland mailbox that was reported stolen, alerted the County after they didn’t hear from Track Your Ballot one week after they dropped the ballot there. Elections staff confirmed the ballot had not reached the Elections Division and issued a replacement ballot.

The Elections Division has alerted the Secretary of State’s Office. This is a developing story.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-17 09:59:54Last Update: 2022-05-17 10:27:05



Republicans Scramble on Feminine Hygiene Products
Who is pulling the strings In the tampon war?

While the last several Oregon legislative sessions have seen an avalanche of agenda-driven bills, not many have gotten the attention of HB 3294. This bill, passed in 2021, required free tampons and sanitary pads in every student bathroom in every school. Including the bathrooms of kindergarten boys.

The products would be available, with no limit, to anyone using any student bathroom. Every single Republican House Rep voted in favor of this bill. Even Representative Greg Smith (R-Heppner) who was not present for the vote on the floor, approved the bill in committee.

When gubernatorial candidate Bridget Barton produced a campaign ad criticizing then House Rep (and candidate for Governor) Christine Drazan, for voting in favor of the bill, Drazan responded with an email blast on May 13th 2022 saying;

“Let me give you the facts, because there’s no confusion there. I voted alongside every other Republican in the State House to provide underprivileged girls with feminine products. A warped and radical progressive agenda–spearheaded by Kate Brown and Tina Kotek–then turned around and put feminine products into boys’ bathrooms.”

And, in an email to a constituent who complained to House Rep David Brock Smith about his vote supporting this bill, Smith responded:

"The bill requires feminine hygiene products in two restrooms in public schools. It passed the House unanimously and for good reason. One, it does not mandate them to boys restrooms, that would be silly. (Don’t believe everything you read on the internet). School districts (local control) decide which bathrooms they are placed, to which I could imagine would be the girls locker room bathroom and another girls bathroom within the school. If there is only one bathroom in the school, then they are there but I don’t know of any schools with one bathroom."

Two, there are a number of families that struggle to provide meals for their children, let alone feminine hygiene products. As a grandfather I would hope you would understand (even if you don’t have granddaughters) that a child’s lack of access to feminine hygiene products for whatever reason, should not be a barrier to education, sports or just a basic quality of life in our public school system.

Both statements have factual issues.

The fact is, the original version of the bill only made these products available in girl’s bath rooms. “Each public education provider shall ensure that both tampons and sanitary pads are available at no cost to students through dispensers located in at least two female student bathrooms of every public school building.”

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However, the bill was amended to include all bathrooms and David Brock Smith voted to approve those amendments. In fact, during the hearing on the bill, in the House Education Committee on which Brock Smith was a member, the very first person to testify was House Rep Ricki Ruiz, a Democrat sponsor of the bill who called for the removal of gender language and stated that “not all people who menstruate are women.” Brock Smith was sitting in the committee at the time.

Subsequent testimony constantly referred not to “women” or “girls” or “females” but to “people who menstrurate.” One of the few references to “women” was from a representative of the National Organization of Women who stated in her testimony, “Menstrual inequity is simply another means to control women and limit their access to all possibilities and opportunities”

After being confronted with the language of the amended bill that Brock Smith twice voted for, Brock Smith responded:

It turns out I was mistaken. For that matter, my entire caucus was mistaken. The language was amended to require all restrooms and not two. This was not caught by the house republican members or our Republican staff. My apologies to you and others. There will be a bill from our caucus to fix this in the ‘23 session. I and others would not have voted for the legislation if we would have known, even though it would have passed anyway because the democrats don’t need our votes to pass legislation. Hopefully we will be changing that this November. Again, my apologies.

Brock Smith and other Republicans sat in the committee where the bill was heard. Every single Republican member of that committee then voted to amend the bill to put tampons in the bathrooms of little boys. No one asked a question or voiced an objection. Then every single Republican, except the “excused” Greg Smith, voted for it again on the House floor. But not before it made another stop in the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

In that committee, the bill, now containing the language Smith and Christine Drazan claim to object to, was heard again. And then passed to the full House for a vote. Christine Drazan sat on that committee and approved the bill with the mandates for free tampons in kindergarten boy’s bathrooms.

The bill then went to the Senate where even Democrat Betsy Johnson voted no. To the surprise of very few, Republican Senator Tim Knopp, who is now the Senate Republican Leader, voted yes.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-16 08:22:18Last Update: 2022-05-16 12:17:24



Drought Declared for Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties
State agencies will coordinate and prioritize assistance

Oregon's Governor Kate Brown has declared a drought in Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties through Executive Order 22-08, and directed state agencies to coordinate and prioritize assistance to the region.

"Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties are facing historic challenges from drought conditions that are creating hardships for the people, farms, ranches, communities, and ecosystems of the region. I am committed to doing everything possible to make state resources available to provide immediate relief and assistance to water users throughout Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties," said Governor Brown.

She went on, calling for big government solutions, "Moving forward, we must look for long-term solutions to the underlying issue causing drought in Oregon counties: there is too little water to go around, and as the climate changes we are experiencing hotter, drier summers. As we brace for another record-breaking drought year, collaborating with our federal partners will also be critical as we work towards locally supported, long-term solutions."

As of May 9, the snow-water equivalent in Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties was significantly lower than during a normal water year, and forecasted water conditions are not expected to improve.

Drought, severe weather conditions, and the upcoming fire season pose significant threats to the local economy, agriculture and livestock, natural resources, and recreation in Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties.

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The Governor's drought declaration unlocks a number of drought-related emergency tools for water users, including assistance to local water users. Drought declarations also allow the Water Resources Department to expedite review processes and reduce fee schedules. Declarations are intended to be short-term emergency authorizations to address water supply challenges. More information is available on the Oregon Drought Watch website.

As state and local officials coordinate with federal partners, conditions will be closely monitored by the state’s natural resource and public safety agencies, including the Oregon Water Resources Department and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Drought declarations typically go through a three-part process before securing a state drought declaration from the Governor.

The Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler County Commissions first declared a drought emergency due to low snowpack, low precipitation, low streamflows and warmer than normal temperature, and a state drought declaration was requested.

State officials subsequently met, and the Oregon Drought Readiness Council ultimately recommended that the Governor issue a drought declaration to provide critical resources to confront current water conditions and future climatic forecasts.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-15 09:03:32Last Update: 2022-05-15 14:51:51



Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge Recreation Enhancement and Conservation Act
Keeping the people out of public lands

In 1982, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries created the term shinrin-yoku, which translates to “forest bathing” or “absorbing the forest atmosphere.” The practice encourages people to simply spend time in nature — no actual bathing required.

It’s a low impact immersing your senses in the sights and sounds of nature without the physical impact of running. A remake of stop and smell the roses.

To accommodate your nature experience, on May 6, US Representative Earl Blumenauer-introduced H.R. 7665, Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge Recreation Enhancement and Conservation Act. The bill will protect 350,000 acres of new National Recreation Area increasing protected lands tenfold from the 2009 bill, significantly expanding the area for your pleasure of “forest bathing.”

The new recreational area butts up to the Warm Springs reservation east of Mount Hood.

It forms a tribal co-management system, first in the nation, and the incorporation of traditional ecological knowledge in land management decisions through Indian Treaty Resources Emphasis Zones. Treaty rights for the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation include rights—particularly around food gathering—that have been harmed by past actions on the Forest, including Wilderness designations.

Additionally, 7,500 acres are added of Wilderness working around Hood River County five irrigation districts that have water rights on Mount Hood. Oregon Wild was hoping for 30,000 acres and to express their dissatisfaction they rallied a phone campaign to Blumenauer’s office.

Steve Pedery, conservation director of Oregon Wild, believes the additional national recreation area puts the Pacific Crest Trail at risk, and does not prioritize recreation over timber sales by expanding cutting in watersheds and scenic areas.

The expansion of 7,500 acres of new wilderness should be the bigger concern. This designation requires the land remain unspoiled, roadless, and limited to non-motorized non-invasive recreation. The 92 miles of Wild & Scenic Rivers added to the bill basically follows the same rules.

Nearly two percent of Oregon’s 110,994 miles of river are designated as wild & scenic – adding to 1,916.7 miles.

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Road closures in these areas have made it more difficult to fight fires will increase risks, and we are now headed into wildfire season.

The bill requires a wildfire risk assessment for the Mount Hood National Forest, the Columbia River Gorge, and any private, state, or tribal land adjacent to those areas. It creates a comprehensive, coordinated, multi-jurisdictional plan to improve safe, equitable, and ecologically sustainable access to Mt. Hood and the Gorge.

Blumenauer suggests that these plans will prioritize reliable and user-friendly transportation and transit options including recreational access and emergency personnel access.

The devastating fire in the Gorge in 2017 made it clear that this region is at high risk for wildfires. The bill attempts to protect this area from wildfires by proposing a modern approach to mitigate fire risk through prescribed burns and other ecologically sound treatment practices.

Anti-forestry groups have pressured the Biden Administration to ban logging on National Forest System lands under the guise of protecting “old and mature forests” even though there are no universally or scientifically-accepted definitions of what “old” or “mature” trees are.

This policy along with Blumenauer’s bill, and the drought is a prescription for less “forest bathing” and more wildfires that no one is taking seriously.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-14 11:03:31Last Update: 2022-05-14 11:19:45



Vance Day, the Rule of Law and the American Dream
His Opponent, Darleen Ortega, Thinks the American Dream Is a “Nightmare”

With the May 17 primary deadline fast approaching, the insurgent candidacy of Vance Day, candidate for Oregon Court of Appeals Position 3, is on the march, gathering both votes and momentum.

Weeks ago, Day announced his campaign on the Lars Larson Show, saying:

“Our Constitution made a promise to us as Oregonians that we would do justice, that we would respect others, that we would live in a diverse community and not have a government that bullied us. As a former circuit court judge, I know how to work within the judiciary to bring about change. I’m asking for your vote, and I want to say thank you for getting involved in making Oregon a great state again.”

Day, a sixth-generation Oregonian and descendent of Oregon Trail pioneers, is well-known to Oregonians, having served as the head of the Oregon Republican party and as a Circuit Court Judge in Marion County. Day is also well-known to Oregon’s Christian community, having been recruited by the board of the Christian men’s mega-ministry Promise Keepers to help rebuild the organization. Day started as Chief Operating Officer and was eventually elevated to serve as President.

Day began his campaign with a pledge to visit each of Oregon’s 36 counties. When asked why it was so important to him to visit all of Oregon’s 36 counties, Day said, “It allows me to listen. The position I’m running for, Oregon Court of Appeals Position 3, is a statewide position, and I care about the opinions of every Oregonian in every county.”

According to Day's supporters, there are legs to his platform: All three of these stem from Day’s “strict constructionist” views, which Day describes this way: “Like the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Strict constructionists like me believe that judges should be faithful to the Constitution and laws as written and apply them. If elected, I will be the only strict constructionist on the Court of Appeals — and that the Court of Appeals desperately needs a diversity of opinion.”

Although the race for Position 3 is nonpartisan, Day was offered the endorsement of the Oregon Republican Party, though he had to decline this offer to comply with Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct.

Not everyone is happy about Day’s candidacy, however. Sarah Iannarone, the 2020 Antifa candidate for Mayor of Portland, took to Twitter to urge people, “do NOT vote Vance Day – he is openly neo-Nazi, affiliated with the Promise Keepers, Proud Boys, etc. Tell your friends to vote Darleen Ortega.” Iannarone doesn’t seem to care that Promise Keepers and Proud Boys are as different as cheese and chalk or that her other allegations against Day, which stemmed from partisan outrage over his views about same-sex marriage, were discredited long ago.

As former Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell noted at the time, “Vance Day [was] targeted for prosecution, and I think persecution, for his Christian faith—simply because he chose not to perform a same-sex marriage. In Oregon, it’s permissible for judges to do it [perform marriages], but not required. He quietly declined to do one. And I think that series of criminal charges, of bar complaints, and persecution by the Oregon Attorney General’s office and others have all stemmed from that.”

Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee asked the obvious question: “Is There a Vendetta Against Judge Vance Day’s Religious Beliefs?” Huckabee then invited Vance Day on his television program to discuss what Huckabee termed Day’s “Political Persecution.”

Day’s opponent in the nonpartisan race is Darleen Ortega, who has already served on the Court of Appeals for 19 years, 10 years longer than any other judge on this Court. Ortega ascended to the bench in what’s become an Oregon tradition. Court of Appeals judges step down before the end of their terms to bypass the electorate and allow the governor to appoint their successor. This is intended to give the Governor’s hand-picked appointees a considerable electoral advantage since they are now listed as the “incumbent” even though they never stood for election. Vance Day has already committed not to play this game, pledging to serve his full term as judge.

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In her time on the bench, Ortega “has focused on issues of juvenile dependency and on efforts to address the structural inequities that affect operation of the legal system.” Ortega is “a frequent speaker on topics related to equity, privilege, combatting structural and internalized racism and oppression, and learning to recognize and value the perspectives of people at the margins.” She is a co-founder of OneGeorgeFox, an alumni organization of George Fox University supporting LGBTQ+ students.

During the past week, Vance Day has condemned the potentially illegal targeting of Supreme Court Justices and their familyies by mobs of protesters at the private homes as they deliberate a verdict in a case that may lead to the overturning of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision on Abortion, according to a leaked opinion draft from last week. Day has challenged his opponent Ortega to do the same, however no such condemnation appears forthcoming as of the publishing of this story.

So this rare competitive race for Appeals Court Judge offers Oregonian voters a clear set of contrasting choices: Vance Day, the candidate who sees equality under the law as critical to the American Dream, or Darleen Ortega, who rejects the very idea of the American Dream.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-14 08:41:10Last Update: 2022-05-14 16:22:18



Washington County Commissioners Make Statement on Supreme Court Leak
More virtue signalling for leftist causes

The Washington County Oregon Board of Commissioners issued a statement on the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion. The statement reads as follows:

"We are deeply troubled and concerned by a recently released draft opinion of the Supreme Court proposing to overturn Roe v. Wade. No matter where you stand in your beliefs on the subject, the right at an abortion in most circumstances has been consistently upheld by the United States Supreme Court for almost 50 years."

"Since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, those opposed to abortion, have sought ways to diminish the power of the law. The Hyde Amendment in 1980 restricted the use of federal funds for abortion, unless to save a woman’s life, and later actions have opened the door for more state control in regulating and restricting access."

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"These actions have been to the detriment of people who cannot afford the luxury of travel to more receptive states. The proposed rollback to Roe v. Wade will have unequal impact to Americans based on their income and based on their race. The safety and livelihoods of many will be at risk, and our underserved populations will feel the impact most acutely."

"If the Supreme Court moves forward with this draft opinion, it behooves us to be concerned about encroachment of our individual rights to govern our bodies and destinies. As the public health agency for the County, we encourage the U.S. Congress to take appropriate legislative action to uphold our constitutional right and not overturn a law that has been upheld in our country for close to 50 years."

Signed, Commissioner Roy Rogers' name and signature does not appear on the statement, indicating that he seems to have not participated in the virtue signalling along with the other 4 commissioners, perhaps wisely so. Rogers is know to be the more conservative commissioner of the county.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-13 18:54:17Last Update: 2022-05-13 19:15:05



Prepare for Outages in Oregon
What backup power will be available

If you live in northwest Oregon, you’re probably thinking the state is surely water-logged. While Portland is having the wettest spring on record, portions of northwest and northeast Oregon are near or above average, but central, southeast, and southwest Oregon are below average.

Seasonal snowpack was below normal for all but the far-northern Cascades in the vicinity of Mt. Hood. As of early April, several snow monitoring stations in south-central and southeast Oregon had recorded complete melt-out for the season.

Oregon’s Governor Brown has already declared a drought in Crook, Gilliam, Harney, Jackson, Jefferson, Klamath, and Morrow counties.

Additional counties are likely to request drought declarations.

Oregon’s forecast is getting hotter and drier, leading to more wildfires, which can happen suddenly and grow quickly.

Portland General Electric (PGE) sent out notices for consumers to prepare their households for outages for “wildfire season.” PGE says, “If extreme weather hits, we may turn off the power as a last-resort safety measure, which could last several hours or multiple days.”

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports a steady 163 percent increase every year in wildfire activity.

NFPA launched Outthink Wildfire to solve the wildfire problem with five tenets for all levels of government to follow.

They suggest the public understand its role and take action in reducing wildfire risk making homes more resistant to ignition from wildfire embers and flames, fire departments must be prepared to respond safely and effectively to wildfires, and government must increase resources for vegetative fuel management on public lands.

Even if there were no wildfires, there is still a chance for blackouts.

The passage of SB 1044 didn’t help. It encoding into law the requirement that nine out of 10 new car sales be electric by 2035. Will utilities be able to increase the grid to keep up with the demand?

When Representative Pam Marsh (D-Ashland) sponsored HB 2021 in 2021, there were numerous experts that warned of the likelihood of rolling blackouts related to supply and stability.

It passed with the presumption that it allows for use of other sources in unstable periods. As other sources are forced out of business via the standards, what backup will be available to stabilize electric power?

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The City of Forest Grove is using state funding to pay residents $500 to install a charging station if they own an electric vehicle. The rebate will be available to all prior and future purchases for residential and commercial chargers.

Currently there are 269 electric vehicles registered within its coverage area using 12 public charging stations operated by Forest Grove Light & Power.

Quarterly usage has increase from 484 kilowatts to 4,665 kilowatts in one year.

PGE’s notice to be prepared in case an outage occurs includes staying updated online or on email lists with utilities for alerts.

Make an outage kit and gather what is needed to keep your family and pets fed and hydrated.

Have a plan for household needs and how you’ll care for a family member with a medical condition or your animals, especially if you rely on an electric pump for your water well. And we should now add if you have an electric car. Plan ahead to where you can relocate -- friend, family member or to a shelter.

If in the path of a wildfire, know the evacuation route if needed (see your county's evacuation guide). Create a line of defense around your home.

Whether it is the weather, wildfire complications or overuse, the main responsibility of government is the safety of Oregonians.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-12 13:27:23Last Update: 2022-05-12 13:52:06



Apply to be a member of the OLCC’s Rule Advisory Committees
Help update the framework for regulating the Alcohol and Cannabis Industries

Are you interested in helping the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission to draft rules and policies? The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) is looking to broaden and diversify it's pool of prospective Advisory Committee participants.

They are collecting information from interested individuals and industry representatives to lend their expertise to OLCC Advisory Committees.

Throughout the course of the year, the Commission will being holding multiple Advisory Committees to implement legislative policies and update rules. Committee members aid in rule and policy making, help set programmatic direction, and serve as subject matter experts.

The Commission will use the collected information to construct committees based on qualifications and interests.

The agency’s goal is to identify stakeholders with varied perspectives, backgrounds, and expertise to participate in agency Advisory Committees. Applicants should recognize that this is a professional commitment when considering to apply. This is an open and rolling application process.

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Prospective participants will be notified by the OLCC if they have been selected to take part in an Advisory Committee.

They need participants for the Alcohol Advisory Committee and the Cannabis Advisory Committee.

This is an open and rolling application process, although applications received by May 31, 2022 will receive priority consideration.

For more information, please contact the OLCC.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-12 09:10:26Last Update: 2022-05-12 17:44:49



Embattled Newberg School District Selects New Superintendent
The last two years have been difficult for many public schools

At the May 10, 2022 meeting, the Newberg School District Board of Directors announced their selection of Stephen Phillips to be the next Superintendent of Newberg Public Schools. Dr. Phillips will start in the role as soon as possible after working out contract details.

The Board selected Dr. Phillips after three rounds of interviews with candidates, a day of meeting with staff, students, and community here in Newberg, a site visit, and reference checks.

Dr. Phillips served most recently as Superintendent of Jewell School District in Seaside, Oregon. An educator for 24 years, many of those as an administrator, Dr. Phillips previously served as the Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Human Resources, and Technology for the Beaverton School District and the Superintendent of Malheur Education Service District in Vale, Oregon.

The Newberg/Dundee Strong newsletter summed up citizen questioning of Mr. Phillips. “Steve fielded the questions with solid, straightforward, clear answers. He also handled himself very well ‘under fire’ when some hardball questions were thrown his way. Steve demonstrated wisdom, an ability to communicate effectively, and his previous experience -- both his acknowledged successes and mistakes -- would serve him well to bring the Newberg schools back to a focus on the students' academic preparedness. He said more than once that his philosophy of asking "what is best for the students?" guides his decisions. He was also clear that he has high expectations for all students as well as for the faculty and staff’s performance”.

The last two years have been difficult for many public schools. In 2021-22 over 10 million students left for private schools or home schooling nationally. Parents concerns have been both with curriculum and classroom environment. In the Newberg Dundee District citizen concerns produced a majority of school board members in the 2020 election who decided that the classrooms and curriculums should be free of politics. When they met opposition from then Superintendent Joe Morelock in implementing the decision he was dismissed. Some councilors who further resisted school board policies are on leave.

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Advocates for politicized classroom environments and similarly politicized content in the curriculum sought to recall two of the School Board members. The Recall Election failed, retaining the Board members but only by a 4% margin. Shortly after the Recall election failed school board member Inez Perez resigned. That left a void filled by new board member Raquel Peregrino de Brito, a Brazilian immigrant now U.S. citizen.

The struggle is typical of the divide across America. At its heart are parents’ rights. Perhaps the most visible of the political fallout from this sharp divide was the Virginia Governor and Lt. Governor races. There, the outcome produced come from behind wins for candidates supporting parents rights over opponents that advocate for the states first claim on the child’s upbringing.

While Newberg/Dundee Strong has navigated this phase of the struggle it is clear that the matter is far from settled. It is doubtful there are few if any colleges graduating future educators that aren’t taught the state has first claim on a child’s development per socialist John Dewey. Competition to public schools grows with higher enrollment in private schools and more home schooling each year. Parents strong preference for choice cuts across all demographic barriers. Teacher unions, the state’s most powerful, are surveying the battlefield for fall back positions. Parents’ calls for vouchers has resulted in committee work at the Oregon legislature. That work may continue the trend toward healthy competition in providing K-12 education.


--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2022-05-11 20:33:17Last Update: 2022-05-11 21:18:03



Analysis: The Public School Rescue Plan
Restoring the Education System will Require the Right Governor

Editor's note: Marc Thielman is the former Superintendent of the Alsea School District which stayed open K-12 during the COVID Lockdowns with zero cases of COVID traced back to the classroom as a source. His school board put the masking decision back to the parents, sparking multiple districts to follow suit. He is a Republican candidate for governor. This article is reprinted with his permission.

As Oregon’s schools slide further into activist training centers, taxpayers need to understand the gravity of their choice for governor, who controls the entire public school system. There is a path to navigate out of this dangerous decline, but it will require voter commitment to rescue our schools and the souls of our children.

Many Oregonians are unaware that our Governor is the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. This means the Governor has plenary power to dictate the values, purpose, and direction of all of Oregon’s public schools. Unlike most other states, Oregon’s Governor has power to “rule by decree” in setting these priorities with no taxpayer input.

The Oregon Governor’s Power Over the Education System

The Governor maintains control by appointing a Deputy Superintendent and all State Board of Education members, thus creating a tight circle of aligned ideologues. If the deputy or a state board member attempts to speak out, question, or oppose a directive of the Governor they risk being summarily dismissed and replaced with a more compliant person. Under the current structure, checks and balances are nonexistent.

The current Governor’s leadership has led to the implementation of divisive ideologies based on race and social justice, such as critical race theory (CRT), the complete removal of any requirement for students to demonstrate proficiency of standards in order to graduate, the declaration of math as “racist,” the requirement for “menstrual justice” placing feminine products in all boys’ bathrooms, among many other unpopular policy initiatives.

The superintendents leading these districts strive to demonstrate how enlightened, compliant, and woke they are in hopes of advancing their careers by pleasing the powerful in Salem and the Oregon Department of Education. Thus, from the governor to the deputy superintendent to the board members to the district superintendents, adherence to political agendas can quickly supersede the will of the taxpayers funding this public education system.

Students and Parents are Losing

The stakeholders who lose in this top-down rulership are not only the students, but the parents. Instead of being steeped in polarizing political agendas, most parents want their students to become proficient at reading, writing, and math, as well as develop strong character and resiliency skills that will be needed when they move out on their own and enter the world of work.

Parents who speak out in support of academic achievement before equity indoctrination are marginalized and called “terrorists.” Many school boards in our state have discontinued inviting parents to meetings, disallowed public comment at school board meetings, and engaged only with like-minded parents, advocates, and “allies."

The outcome of this broken system built on ideological cronyism has been a massive erosion of public confidence in our public schools. Portland Public Schools is seeing unprecedented drops in enrollment with more expected in the coming year. Parents are pulling their students from the taxpayer funded public system and finding other options for their children; this should be a warning that the most important stakeholders are not happy. They’ve endured closed schools which they paid for with their tax dollars and arbitrary, incessantly changing “rules” for them and their children to abide by in order to access services. Parents and students are fed up.

In a normal market situation, when customers leave and business declines, leadership must adjust or prepare to lose market share and eventually die. Instead, the ideologues in the public school system have advanced their top-down insanity by adopting the “menstrual equity” agenda which places feminine products in boy’s bathrooms, confusing students and clogging toilets! This latest expensive addition to the grooming of Oregon’s children is shifting students’ attention from learning to divisive political agendas.

The Rescue Plan


1. Restore Critical Thinking, Not Conformity

The root of our problem is that our schools have become training centers, not learning centers. Currently, “collective conformity” rewards students for compliance to the narrative in our “equity”-focused schools. Students are trained and groomed instead of taught to think. We must reclaim critical thinking and Socratic questioning if we are to allow each fresh mind to truly learn. Our public schools need real leadership to restore them to their primary purpose of teaching students how to think and not what to think. The training model has been carefully molded over a series of years and is going to take strategy and fortitude to restore.

As the only Governor candidate having served successfully as a public-school superintendent, I understand the many agencies and agendas assaulting our public schools at a granular level. I plan to take full ownership for the state of our public schools and work tirelessly to uproot the embedded indoctrination. If we want to save our public schools, we must shift back to learning from training. Our young Oregonians minds and futures are at stake.

2. Ban Divisive Ideological Curriculums

I have been an educator for 28 years, and in my career as a school superintendent, as soon as the ideological curriculums started being adopted, I watched as other districts struggled with an uptick in student conflict, division, and mental health issues. For this reason, I never implemented these curriculums in my school, and refused the financial incentives attached to related programs. I stood between these narratives and my students.

On Day One in office as Governor, I will ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory and its “renamed” cousins, Anti-Racist curriculum, comprehensive sex education (CSE), and the anxiety-provoking social emotional learning (SEL), all currently imposed by the Oregon Department of Education.

It’s not just the curriculums that need to be removed. Teachers, counselors, and school workers will each need to be evaluated on merit in order to reboot our schools as true learning centers. Those who have become activists will be given an opportunity to return to teaching solid academics or an

opportunity to find a new job. Parent’s voices will once again be honored as they assess the academic focus of their student’s teachers and I will provide a parent hotline to assist in this process.

Since the wrong things have been emphasized over education, it’s time to recussitate our academic standards.

3. Demand a “Report Card” on All Schools

On Day One as Governor, I will demand a “report card” on all schools. Every district will have 60 days to report on academic standards and the state of their schools. To balance the veracity of this self-reporting, parents will also be invited into a separate evaluative process.

Parents will identify their district, rate their satisfaction with their schools, and rate their comfort level with the curriculums being taught to their children. They will be asked to rate their children’s teachers and curriculums and whether their school supports and honors the values they teach in their homes.

This type of outreach will be useful for creating a check and balance that will help to give parents a direct voice in their child’s education and steer their school district back toward focusing on parent and family values and academic standards and achievement. Each district will receive their data and the sum of all districts will combine to provide statewide data regarding parent confidence in our public schools. This information will direct the focus for learning and family support engagement moving forward. Data driven decision-making is a must if our Public School System is to be responsive to student and parent needs.

4. Refocus on Competence and the Constitution

With division and hostility in our schools at an all-time high, it is imperative we return to academic excellence and the unifying standards of reading, writing, arithmetic, science, electives, and trades. Teaching these core skills produce students who are capable and confident and who become productive members of society.

To restore unity around our common framework and emphasize the importance of civics, I will require the teaching of our federal and state Constitutions in every high school. Additionally, to support the Second Amendment of our Constitution, I will require gun safety courses to produce a healthy and respectful relationship with firearms.

5. Restore Respect and Empowerment for Parents

I have advocated for parent’s rights throughout my educational career. When the government shut down schools and parents had no recourse, I kept my school open to ensure their students could learn. When the government mandated masks, I helped my parents of students with disabilities apply for a mask exemption, to the absolute ire of Kate Brown. When students in my district were being harmed by masks, I brought forth the findings of the CDC and our school board put the masking decision back to the parents. Six other districts followed, and the mask mandate was subsequently lifted in Oregon. Parents everywhere rejoiced that their kids could safely enjoy in-person learning unfettered.

Since time immemorial, parents are the sole experts on their children and deserve to be respected, invited into their child’s education, and be given a platform to communicate with educators.

Finally, I will empower parents to find the educational pathway that best fits their child’s unique needs. I am the Chief Petitioner in the School Choice Constitutional Amendment which allows taxpayer funding to follow the student in their educational journey, so parents can choose public, private, parochial, virtual, or homeschool without government interference. You can imagine why this is considered a “dangerous” initiative to ideologues wanting to own and groom your children. But school choice will actually incentivize competition and improve outcomes.

This upcoming election is more than a primary, but a referendum on our current educational leadership. There is only one candidate in the Republican field with the proven track record of taking on these dangerous forces and winning. As Oregon’s next Governor, I will restore the sanctity of public education in Oregon.


--Marc Thielman

Post Date: 2022-05-11 11:03:48Last Update: 2022-05-11 14:17:16



Oregon Gas Price News Disturbing for Many
New record highs after the price of oil jumped above $110 per barrel

According to AAA Oregon, the national and Oregon averages skyrocket to new record highs after the price of oil jumped above $110 per barrel last week. Drivers are paying more to fill up in 49 states including Oregon.

For the week, the national average for regular soars 17 cents to $4.37 a gallon. The Oregon average jumps 16 cents to $4.85.

The national and Oregon averages are both at new record highs, eclipsing the record highs set in March.

“The cost of crude oil accounts for more than half of what we pay at the pumps, so higher crude oil prices translate into more expensive gas and diesel. Unfortunately, these high pump prices are not likely to ease anytime soon,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.

On average, about 53% of what we pay for in a gallon of gasoline is for the price of crude oil,12% is refining, 21% distribution and marketing, and 15% are taxes, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

About 3% of oil, and a total of 8% of oil and refined products used in the U.S. last year came from Russia, while about 25% of Europe’s oil is imported from Russia. The U.S. is the largest oil producer in the world. Other top producers are Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Demand for gasoline in the U.S. is up slightly, from 8.74 million b/d to 8.86 million b/d. Total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2.2 million bbl to 228.6 million bbl last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Increasing gas demand and rising oil prices have pushed pump prices higher. Pump prices will likely face upward pressure as oil prices remain above $100 per barrel.

Quick stats

Oregon is one of 49 states and the District of Columbia where prices have risen in the last week, and 44 states and D.C. have double-digit increases. Indiana (+28 cents) has the largest weekly jump. Nevada (+3 cents) has the smallest weekly gain. Utah (-1 cent) is the only state in the nation with a weekly decline.

California ($5.84) is the most expensive state in the nation and is one of three states with an average above $5 a gallon. There are 44 states and the District of Columbia with an average at or above $4 a gallon.

The cheapest gas in the nation is in Georgia ($3.90) and Missouri ($3.93). This week no states have averages below $3 a gallon, same as a week ago. For the 70th week in a row, no state has an average below $2 a gallon.

Oregon is one of 48 states and the District of Columbia with higher prices now than a month ago. The national average is 26 cents more and the Oregon average is 15 cents more than a month ago. This is the 32nd-largest monthly jump in the nation. Utah (-1 cent) and Nevada (-1/10th of a cent) are the only states with monthly declines.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have higher prices now than a year ago. Every state and D.C. have a current average that’s a dollar or more higher than a year ago. The national average is $1.41 more and the Oregon average is $1.51 more than a year ago. This is the 12th-largest yearly increase in the nation. California (+$1.74) has the biggest yearly increase. Colorado (+$1.09) has the smallest year-over-year increase.

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West Coast

The West Coast region continues to have the most expensive pump prices in the nation with all seven states in the top 10. This is typical for the West Coast as this region tends to consistently have fairly tight supplies, consuming about as much gasoline as is produced.

California is the most expensive state for the 68th week in a row with Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska rounding out the top six. Arizona is ninth. Oregon is fifth for the fourth week in a row.

All seven states have week-over-week increases. Oregon (+16 cents) has the largest weekly increase in the region. Hawaii (+3 cents) and Nevada (+3 cents) have the region’s smallest weekly increases.

The refinery utilization rate on the West Coast rose slightly from 79.1% to 79.6% for the week ending April 29. The rate has ranged between about 76% and 90% in the last year.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased from 30.52 million bbl to 30.76 million bbl.

Oil market dynamics

Crude oil prices rose last week after the European Union announced a proposal to ban Russian oil imports within six months, while refined product imports would be prohibited by the end of 2022. The price increases occurred despite continuing COVID lockdowns in China weighing down crude demand and EIA reporting that total domestic crude inventories increased by 1.3 million bbl to 415.7 million bbl, which is approximately 14 percent lower than the storage level at the end of April 2021. Since supply remains tight and the market remains highly volatile, crude prices will likely continue to fluctuate this week, potentially pushing pump prices higher.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $1.51 to settle at $109.77. At Monday’s formal trading session, WTI fell $6.68 to close at $103.09. Today crude is trading around $100, compared to $102 a week ago. Crude prices are about $38 more than a year ago.

Diesel

For the week, the national average soars 18 cents to $5.55 a gallon. This is a record high. Oregon’s average jumps 13 cents to $5.60. This is also a record high. A year ago the national average for diesel was $3.12 and the Oregon average was $3.28.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-10 17:23:18Last Update: 2022-05-10 20:25:02



Cyber Attack Prompts Security Response
“No systems related to elections administration have been compromised”

The progressive accounting firm C&E Systems has apparently been hacked. According to Jef Green with C&E Systems, "One of the cloud companies that we utilize was hacked but is expected to be back online within the next 24 hours and there was no sensitive data on the servers, except for some candidate Orestar profiles, all of which have been reset. The data that we lost access to is the same income/expense data that has already been reported to Orestar."

Green also said, "Some of client’s donation pages where down for a day but most also have ActBlue or another third party provider. Our C&E pages should be up and running tomorrow as well. We had to do some manual data entry into Orestar, but the client committees are not being affected."

C&E Systems manages campaign finance reporting for many progressive candidates including Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and Oregon Governor Kate Brown, among many others.

C&E Systems is hosted on Opus Interactive, which posted a statement on their web page.

Opus Interactive and certain Opus-hosted customer virtual servers and backups were hit by a ransomware attack which encrypted the server disk files. Industry-leading cybersecurity and digital forensics experts have been engaged to assist in our response to the incident. Our team is continuing to work towards resolution. No further information at this time.

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has released a statement, saying, "The Oregon Secretary of State has not been hacked. No sensitive data on our systems has been exposed. No systems related to elections administration have been compromised."

The Oregon Elections Division learned on Monday that Opus Interactive -- a web hosting provider used by the campaign finance firm C&E Systems -- was the victim of a ransomware attack. C&E's database was compromised, which includes their client's log-in credentials for Orestar accounts. As a result, the Secretary of State's Office is proactively working to protect system integrity and requiring all users to reset their passwords.

“None of our systems have been compromised," said Chris Molin, Oregon Secretary of State Information Systems Division Director. "Out of an abundance of caution, we are taking steps to protect isolated users impacted by the attack, and communicating proactively about the issue to prevent confusion.”

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All affected Orestar users — 1,100 people — will receive a notification and have been sent detailed instructions on how to proceed.

Secretary Fagan concluded, "The Oregon Secretary of State takes cybersecurity extremely seriously. We work with CISA, EI-ISAC, and the FBI year-round to ensure the integrity of our systems."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-10 07:26:24Last Update: 2022-05-10 14:43:25



Majority Leader Julie Fahey Denounces Supreme Court Opinion
Democrat slams draft opinion proposing overturning Roe v Wade

In a statement slamming the leaked draft of a proposed US Supreme Court opinion in which Roe v. Wade would be overturned, Oregon House Democratic Leader Julie Fahey (D-West Eugene/Junction City) has released following statement:

“This draft opinion by the Supreme Court goes against nearly 50 years of legal precedent. All Americans should have the freedom to decide if and when they have children, based on what’s best for them and their family’s circumstances. Access to abortion shouldn’t depend on who you are or where you live.”

Were the draft to be the basis for a decision by the High Court, access to abortion would remain unchanged in Oregon. Abortion access would be legal and free throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Legal scholars -- including those who support a right to abortion -- have spent the last 50 years regretting the dubious legal arguments which are the foundation of Roe v. Wade. Were the High Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, each state would have the freedom to create its own policies on abortion.

Representative Fahey continued, “That’s why, after the election of Donald Trump, Oregon Democrats took action and passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act in 2017. I was proud to be a chief sponsor of RHEA, which codified the right to an abortion in state law and made the full range of reproductive health care more affordable and accessible for all Oregonians. And this year, in preparation for the possibility of a post-Roe America, the legislature established the Oregon Reproductive Health Equity Fund, a $15 million dollar investment in abortion access which will expand provider capacity across the state and support those seeking abortion care in Oregon.”

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Critics of this policy have questioned the wisdom and fiscal prudence of Oregon taxpayers funding abortions for out-of-state persons.

Representative Fahey admitted the lack of urgency the draft presents to Oregonians, saying, “To be clear, abortion is still legal, and in Oregon we will continue to be committed to reproductive freedom -- no matter what decision the Supreme Court makes. I now call on Congress to join Oregon and codify Roe v Wade into federal law. As elected leaders we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to protect this fundamental right.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-10 07:23:25Last Update: 2022-05-09 19:26:24



Oregon Right to Life Offices Damaged in Attack
Another example of extreme left-wing violence?

In the late evening on Sunday, May 8, the offices of Oregon Right to Life were attacked. An individual used incendiary devices, one of which exploded and caught the building on fire. Apparently, they had done so after trying to break into the building.

The office was vacant at the time, and no one was harmed. Fire and police departments responded quickly, minimizing damage to the building. The agencies are actively investigating the incident.

The attack comes shortly after the recent news of the Supreme Court opinion draft leak regarding the Roe v Wade decision possibly being overturned.

Lois Anderson, Oregon Right to Life executive director, expressed, “Understandably, our team is shaken up by this attack. We are committed to taking proper precautions to protect the safety of our staff as we move forward.” She added, “We are thankful for the quick action of our first responders committed to maintaining a safe environment to operate in this community.”

Oregon Right to Life has had long-standing opposition to the use of force, intimidation, and violence by any person pursuing pro-life activities.

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They state that their commitment to the well-being of all human life requires that they respect the inherent value and dignity of all people.

Just as they condemn abortion and euthanasia, they also oppose private acts that take human life, inflict bodily harm, or destroy another’s property. They say that no board member, officer, employee, or chapter officer may participate in any illegal or harmful act against another person or property in pursuing pro-life activity.

Oregon Right to Life will not knowingly do business with any organization or business which endorses violence in any way toward pro-abortion persons or businesses.

Oregon Right to Life was founded in 1970 and is an affiliate of National Right to Life Committee, America’s oldest and largest national pro-life organization.

This is an active investigation, the Keizer Police are asking anyone knows any information on this case to contact them.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-09 12:30:31Last Update: 2022-05-09 19:42:16



Washington County Transportation Tax to Increase
Get ready to pay more for transportation projects

The Washington County Oregon Transportation Development Tax (TDT) rates will increase by 3.901%, effective July 1, 2022.

Once the increase takes effect, the Washington County Transportation Development Tax rate for a single-family detached home, for example, will be $9,998 – an increase of $375 more than the 2021-22 rate of $9,623.

The Washington County Transportation Development Tax is based on the average estimated traffic generated by new development of that type and is paid by developers to fund transportation projects including road improvements, sidewalks, bike lanes and transit upgrades such as bus shelters.

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TDT rates are adjusted annually based on a five-year rolling average of road construction, labor and right-of-way costs.

The rate increase was approved April 19 by the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Washington County code calls for the Board to act on the Washington County Transportation Development Tax adjustments annually before May 1.

Kathryn Harrington is the Chair of the Washington County Commissioners.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-09 12:25:15Last Update: 2022-05-09 18:58:45



Kerry McQuisten Endorsed by Trump Senior Advisor David Bossie
“Oregonians need real leadership”

Oregon Republican gubernatorial candidate Kerry McQuisten has announced that her candidacy has been officially endorsed by David Bossie. Bossie is the senior advisor to former President Trump, Deputy Campaign Manager for the Trump 2016 Campaign, producer of the newly released film “Rigged,” and President of Citizens United.

Bossie tweeted out the endorsement on May 3: “I’m proud to endorse Kerry McQuisten for Oregon Governor. Kerry is a Trump supporting principled conservative who will fight every day to Make Oregon Great Again. Oregonians need real leadership and common sense reforms from a political outsider who will always put Oregon first.”

McQuisten says, “We have four decades of leftist destruction to reverse. Oregon is upside down in every area due to failed management and infringement on our freedoms. Whether the issue is stopping this culture of crime that has been deliberately created here, or handing the power back to parents when it comes to our kids’ educations, I look forward to bringing back the Oregon we all once loved.”

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McQuisten has also been endorsed by Steve Yates, President of Radio Free Asia under the Trump administration, Dr. Kelli Ward, who serves as Chair of the Arizona Republican Party, former Oregon State Representative Greg Barreto, Utah State Representative Ken Ivory who founded the American Lands Council, dozens of businesses around the state, and hundreds of individuals and elected officials from all corners of Oregon.

She has also received gubernatorial endorsements from the Eastern Oregon Mining Association, Oregonians for Medical Freedom, and Restore Oregon NOW.

If elected, McQuisten, who is the mayor of Baker City, a seventh generation Oregonian, and a business owner, would become Oregon’s first female Republican governor, and the first governor from eastern Oregon since the 1950s. She would also be Oregon’s first Republican governor in four decades.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-09 10:01:28Last Update: 2022-05-09 10:14:04



Metro Area Homeless Counts are in
A recent survey found that rents for Portland residents have climbed 40 percent

Leaders from the three Portland-area Metro counties for the first time jointly released numbers from their federally required counts of people experiencing homelessness. In the first full regional snapshot of homelessness since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 6,633 people were counted as experiencing homelessness on the night of Jan. 26, 2022.

Of those 6,633 people counted, 3,611 were experiencing unsheltered homelessness. An additional 2,222 people were counted in shelters, with 800 more in transitional housing.

The results, which will be reported to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, also make clear that people of color continue to face disproportionate rates of homelessness. In Multnomah County, for example, people of color made up almost 40 percent of everyone counted this year.

Because of federal rules, the Count does not include thousands of people who did not have a home of their own on the night of Jan. 26 but were “doubled up,” staying with friends or family. Culturally specific providers tell us that people of color are more likely to experience homelessness this way and are underrepresented in the Count as a result.

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The outcome of the Count does not directly affect funding levels, but conducting the tally helps ensure our communities remain eligible for federal funding for housing and homelessness services. (Those funds are separate from federal COVID-19 funding.)

As a one-night snapshot, the federally structured Count also isn’t designed to reveal how many people move in and out of homelessness over the course of a year, either losing their housing or gaining it back with support services.

The extent of homelessness in the community isn’t static, and the number of people experiencing homelessness who need services over the course of a year is much larger than any one-night number.

The results this year speak to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic continues to present serious challenges for vulnerable community members -- sharply affecting service providers and leaving unsheltered homelessness far more visible in the tri-county region.

And just as they did before the pandemic, people living with fixed incomes and/or disabling conditions also continue to bear the brunt of the region’s housing crisis. In fact, even during the pandemic, rents and home prices in the Portland-area have continued to grow at one the nation’s fastest paces.

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A recent survey by Redfin, as reported by local media, found that rents for Portland residents have climbed roughly 40 percent since March 2021. Experts say much of the increase is due state and local government policies on housing.

The region also continues to see significant numbers of people counted as experiencing chronic homelessness. That means they have at least one disabling condition -- a mental health condition, addiction disorder, chronic illness or physical disability — and have been homeless for at least a year.

Overall, the three counties tallied 3,674 people who met that definition.

Chronic homelessness is the primary focus of extensive new regional funding, through the voter-approved Supportive Housing Services Measure, that finally became available for programs in July 2021, mere months before the Count.

Since then, the three Metro-area counties have been investing those funds, along with other new local, state, and federal resources, into hundreds of additional shelter beds, street outreach teams, and supportive housing placements. Metro, the regional government that distributes the funds, has posted a dashboard showing that growing impact.

Local governments have also invested substantial federal relief funds into rent assistance programs to prevent what could have been a tidal wave of new homelessness, while also using federal funds to increase shelter and hygiene services, through programs like the Safe Rest Villages and others.

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Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington shares, “Our response solutions have increased, yet there is much more to do. Homelessness should never be necessary in our region. We have seen the impact from increasing shelter options and expanded housing resources to support our most vulnerable community members.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-08 17:47:10Last Update: 2022-05-08 18:12:07



Ghost Guns in Oregon
Oregon AG at Odds with Governor

On April 6, 2022, Oregon Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, wrote a Guest Opinion for The Oregonian on ‘ghost guns.’ She implored legislators to close the ‘ghost gun’ loophole in gun-safety laws. Her opinion piece was prompted when the agents from the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, working with Salem police, raided a home with 63 ‘ghost guns’ and 200 counterfeit M30 oxycontin pills, believed to be made with fentanyl.

Rosenblum blames the legislature for not acting on bills she proposed in 2019, 2021 and SB 1577 in 2022 that would ban manufacturing of any firearm that cannot be detected by a metal detector. She is committed to bring the bill back in 2023. In the meantime, Rosenblum has joined Oregon in a lawsuit seeking federal actions to restrict ghost gun manufacturing.

There is no doubt that ghost guns may be an attractive choice for criminal elements. Here is the rub. It was federal agents that discovered the suspect had enlisted drug addicts to buy guns for him paying them with counterfeit pills.

Governor Brown has made every attempt to keep federal agents out of Oregon, away from courthouses and access to information. In 2018 Rosenblum joined Governor Brown in a successful lawsuit to void two federal laws requiring states to aid immigration authorities – meaning local police don’t help ICE agents when suspects are released from jail or hold them for ICE.

Governor Brown has released around 1,000 prisoners, not to the liking of some District Attorneys. Lane County District Attorney Patricia Perlow, Linn County District Attorney Doug Marteeny and four family members of homicide victims filed suit to stop early release of more than 70 people who committed crimes as juveniles, including murder.

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Recent news reported Brown granted clemency to a convict serving life without parole in the 1994 cold-blooded murder of a teenager.

When SB 819 passed in 2021, to allow reconsideration of a conviction, there were many questions on flooding the courts with criminal cases and not just cases due to a change in the law.

The U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been looking for “Buy Build Shoot” kits, which have been classified as firearms by the Biden Administration. They are being blamed for a violent interstate crime wave. Last year they traced 15 murders to these kits in California. In California, ghost guns made up about 41% of guns recovered in the Los Angeles area in 2020. Rosenblum says, in Oregon, police have reported cases in which students have been found with ghost guns or ghost gun components.

How many ghost guns are being sold on the black market that any law would not touch? It all leads back to who is buying them and why.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-08 10:35:22Last Update: 2022-05-08 18:08:33



Real ID Deadline Only One Year Away
Don’t wait until you book a flight

The Real ID deadline is only one year away. Oregonians may want to get it done as soon as possible, if planning on interstate travel.

Starting May 3, 2023, you will need more than a standard Oregon driver license or ID card at airport security checkpoints to board a flight within the U.S. You will need a Real ID-compliant driver license or ID card, or a passport or other federally acceptable ID.

The Transportation Security Administration has a full list of identity documents it will accept for air travel.

If there is even a tiny chance you will need to travel by air in the future, don’t wait until 2023 to make sure your ID is ready to fly. What if you get a sudden wedding invitation? Or the sad news of a funeral?

“A year may sound like a long time, but it isn’t when it comes to issuing secure identification such as driver licenses, ID cards and passports,” DMV Administrator Amy Joyce said. “It can take weeks to gather the documents you need to qualify for a type of ID that the TSA will accept at airports.”

DMV offices in Oregon and across the country are busy, and the U.S. Department of State has a backlog for passport applications and renewals. As the Real ID deadline approaches, DMVs and the State Department will get busier. So beat the rush – get the Oregon Real ID option or a passport now.

Is your license or ID card expiring in the next 12 months?

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You can renew your Oregon license or ID card up to 12 months before your expiration date. If you need to renew in the next 12 months anyway, why not do it early and add the Real ID option? That would save you a second trip to DMV or the wait for a passport.

Real ID is optional in Oregon because you may already have a passport, passport card, military ID or other credential for air travel. But if you want the Real ID option on your Oregon driver license or ID card, don’t wait until you book a flight.

How do I get the Real ID option in Oregon? “You may already have the ID you need for air travel,” Joyce said. “But if you don’t, please act now – get or renew your passport, or add the Real ID option to your Oregon license or ID card. Oregon DMV offices are already very busy, but they will get busier in 2023 because of Real ID.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-07 11:50:57Last Update: 2022-05-07 12:27:58



Clackamas County Ballots Have Printing Defect
“We have procedures to competently and correctly respond with this situation”

The office of the Clackamas County Clerk is reporting that some ballots printed for the May 17, 2022 Primary Election have barcodes that are blurred. According to a press release, this was a printing issue with an external printer who has printed ballots for Clackamas County for more than 10 years with no issues. This defect in the printed ballot causes the affected ballots to be rejected by the county’s automated ballot processing equipment. The ballots with the defect are validly cast votes, and will be tallied.

The Clerk's office says that the defective bar codes do not identify voters nor do they relate in any way to voter’s selections on candidates or measures. They are a code that identifies the “ballot style” so that the equipment can tally the votes in the correct elections.

A certain number of ballots that are received in every election are damaged in handling, in the mail, or while in the possession of the voters due to beverage spills and similar accidents. There is a routine process for handling those ballots. The original ballots themselves are retained. At least two election workers of different political affiliations transfer the votes to a machine-readable duplicate ballot. The workers must agree that the votes cast on the original ballot have been correctly transferred to the “duplicate” ballot to be read by the machine. The duplicate ballot is then included in the batch to be processed in place of the damaged ballot. The damaged ballot is retained.

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According to the release, while there are damaged ballots and ballots marked in a fashion that they are not machine-readable in virtually every election, the incidents are ordinarily very small. Preliminary batch runs for the current election lead the County Clerk to believe that the numbers for this election are higher than usual and that additional time and effort will be necessary. The entire process of ballot duplication for the machine-unreadable ballots will be witnessed by election observers, but, the level of activity will be higher than they have seen in the past. Observable colored lanyards identify the political affiliation of election workers and are worn at all times so that observers can be sure that correct process is being used.

According to County Clerk Sherry Hall, “It is our objective to count every validly cast vote in this election and every election. Our voters are entitled to expect nothing less. We have plans and procedures in place to competently and correctly respond with this situation and many others. Fortunately, recent legislative and regulatory changes allowed my staff to identify this problem early in the election and have provided additional time to deal with it. It is simply a matter of staffing up and scaling up a process that has been vetted and is already in use. While legislative changes will delay final election results, that delay is due to the shift from a close of polls at 8 PM on Election Day cutoff for receipt of ballots to an Election Day postmark cutoff for ballots. We simply will not have them all to count at 8 PM on Election Day. The delay is not caused by the need to duplicate ballots that are not machine-readable in their original form. There is no better election staff than the one we have here in Clackamas County and we expect to meet all deadlines for the release of tallies and certification of results in spite of the increase in workload.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-07 08:51:08Last Update: 2022-05-07 09:10:09



Eugene School District May Ban Legal Firearm Carry
The Oregon Legislature made this possible

The Eugene 4j School District school board is planning, at their May 18th meeting, to prohibit Concealed Handgun License holding parents from being anywhere on their property. The Oregon Legislature made this possible in the 2021 Session with SB 554. Second amendment advocates pressured Christine Drazan to walk out on the session, but she failed to do that, and the bill passed without Republican support in either chamber.

If they adopt this policy parents and friends will be forbidden from picking up or dropping off their children or attending any school function anywhere on school controlled property if they are in legal possession of self defense firearms.

The official summary for SB 554 reads, in part:

Authorizes board of public university, Oregon Health and Science University, community college or school district to adopt policy providing that affirmative defense for concealed handgun licensees possessing firearms on school grounds does not apply. Provides that in prosecution for possession of firearm on school grounds subject to policy, within Capitol, or within passenger terminal of certain airports, concealed handgun licensee affirmative defense is not complete defense but results in Class A misdemeanor conviction punishable by 364 days' imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:00pm on Wednesday, May 18 and interested persons may address the board. The address is:

200 N. Monroe Street
Eugene, Oregon 97402 [ map it]

The agenda item is listed as:

XII.1. Consider Revisions to Board Policies GBA – Equal Employment Opportunity; IGBB – Talented and Gifted Program; JFCJ – Weapons in Schools and adoption of Board Policy KGBB – Firearms Prohibited (10 minutes) Presenter: Christine Nesbit, General Counsel


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-06 15:47:23Last Update: 2022-05-06 17:32:56



Oregon Health Education Advisory Panel to be Approved
Parents want change for 2022-2023

Parents in Oregon are uniting against public school curriculums that teach sexual identity. They are discovering that blindly trusting the state to educate their kids is not limited to the three Rs (reading, writing, and 'rithmetic)

When COVID hit and kids were taught virtually from home, parents also learned how they were misled. The blinders were taken off of critical race theory (CRT), sexual identity and comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).

In total defiance of parents, the 2022 Oregon Legislature passed SB 1521 introduced by the Senate Interim Committee on Education, which is chaired by Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland). The measure reduces the value of parents’ voices at school board meetings by giving the school district superintendent unfettered power over the school board where parents should have a voice.

This is playing out in real life. Recently parents discovered at the Molalla School Board meeting that a transgender is sharing the girl’s locker room without parents and the boards knowledge. Parents have filed a legal complaint.

Parents have reason to assuming their school board will function as parents wish and in the best interest of their children.

ORS 332.072 states “the legal status of school districts as corporate bodies, and the district school board is authorized to transact all business coming within the jurisdiction of the district and to sue and be sued. Pursuant to law, district school boards have control of the district schools and are responsible for educating children residing in the district.” This statute was not changed by SB 1521 that may add conflict between school boards and school superintendents.

The Oregon State Board of Education mission is to provide leadership and vision for Oregon’s public schools and districts by enacting equitable policies and promoting educational practices that lead directly to the educational and life success of every student.

The board sets educational policies and standards for Oregon's 197 public school districts, and 20 educational service districts. All of these agencies have separate governing bodies responsible for transacting business within their jurisdiction. This relegation to limit local school boards to “business” with a top-down approach on curriculum is creating the conflict between superintendents, school boards, and parents.

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The State Board is made up of seven members appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate. Currently the 5th Congressional District position is taking applications. Those interested should contact the State Board Administrator for further information.

The State Board of Education is in the process of forming an advisory panel that will work to revise the Health Education and Sexuality Education Standards and Performance Indicators.

Parents have an opportunity to give their voice on the 2022-2023 Health Education Advisory Panel for approval by the State Board of Education.

Membership on this panel will require participation in approximately four to six meetings and conventions over the 2022-2023 school year.

Ideally, ODE would like to have panel members that are health educators or curriculum directors who are familiar with and use the standards regularly, or content specialists from the public health field and community-based health programs.

However, others are welcome to apply, especially if they are familiar with the standards and the educational process. Application deadline has been extended to May 9.

It is advisable for every parent to subscribe to the State Board of Education updates.

SB 1521 allows the school superintendent to follow the State Board of Education policy suggestions without approval from the local school board. That will require a more diligent look at what the State Board of Education is advising superintendents.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-05 11:17:56Last Update: 2022-05-05 20:14:09



Postmark Rule will Impact Elections
Any ballot postmarked by Election Day is considered on time

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has released a new Public Service Announcement to educate voters about the postmark rule. This is the second PSA the Secretary has released as part of the Trusted Info 2022 campaign. The new PSA is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Somali.

“Our best tool in the fight against false information is true information,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “We are committed to reaching Oregon voters early and often so the first thing they hear about Oregon elections is the truth.”

A new law in Oregon known as the "postmark rule" says that any ballot postmarked by Election Day is considered on time even if it arrives at elections offices up to seven days after the election. Voters may be able to put their ballots in the mail as late as Election Day if their mail is collected by USPS and postmarked that day.

The new law will mean that the total number of votes cast in the election may increase in the days following Election Day. These are not "late" votes. Every vote tallied by elections officials will have been cast on time.

The new law could mean that very close contests will not be decided on election night. According to Secretary Fagan, even if the results come in a little slower, they will be accurate.

The State Legislature passed the HB 3291 -- the postmark rule -- into law in 2021.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-04 12:54:55Last Update: 2022-05-04 13:04:54



Analysis: Answering the Call
Free Oregon members have donated over $130k to fund 16 law suits

Adversity has a way of creating historical figures and the COVID outbreak has produced at least one person who will leave his mark. Ben Edtl established Free Oregon after mandates shut down his businesses and left him with nothing. In 2018 he took over a struggling coffee roastery facing bankruptcy. By 2020 he had turned it around to profitability and bought three additional cafes.

Then COVID hit and two weeks to flatten the curve was extended. Edtl refused to wear a mask or require that of employees. He wouldn’t put up mandated warning signs. He lost staff and was cancelled on social media. He was pressured to put up BLM flags and was doxed. With his business down 90% he lost his investment. The police were no help when revenge vandalism occurred. His wholesale accounts left him. He laid it all at the feet of government overreach. He made a going out of business video that got 40k hits on Instagram. He asked God for help.

In an appearance before the Yamhill County Republican Party, Edtl said he “checked in”. He wasn’t political, just valued freedom highly. He realized it is up to us to manage our government. Free Oregon puts on weekly townhalls that get 3k views. 20k Oregonians are now in Free Oregon. They have ongoing lawsuits to stop the Governors’ mandates. Politicians talked but few acted on their words. Those that did had difficulties of their own. Currently, Free Oregon has 16 lawsuits in various phases. The left has responded in some cases by switching judges. Free Oregon adjusts to that. Edtl sees Oregonians go from fighting to winning.

West coast governors formed a pact to act in unison on vaccine and mask mandates. It was the first collective action by states since the Civil War. Ironically individuals were forced to show proof of vaccination to enter certain establishments but weren’t required to show I.D. to vote. Edtl is now keenly interested in politics and elections integrity. He is running for State Senate to take on the Democrat Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner. Edtl lives in Tualatin, Washington County. A Free Oregon member, Tim Sippel, asked the Washington County Elections Office for the May 2021test ballot data. They refused. The District Attorney’s office awarded Sippel the databases after nearly a year of court battles. The State Attorney General then sued Sippel to prevent the transfer of the data. Ben and Free Oregon got involved to bring in civil rights attorney, Sephen Joncus to support Sippel in receiving test ballot data. Ben asks: ”What are they trying to hide?”

Led by Edtl, Free Oregon has encouraged over 40,000 letters to the Oregon Health Authority to mock mask mandates. That agency is relatively new having begun in 2016. Already it has a $29 billion annual budget. Pat Allen is the controversial head of OHA and a Kate Brown surrogate. 25% of the members of Free Oregon are Democrats. They have expanded their area of interest to include addiction, mental illness and homelessness.

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Free Oregon members have donated over $100,000 to fund 16 law suits. It will take at least $160k more to finish them. They get some help from Alliance Defense Fund, founded in 1994 to protect religious freedom. The Citizens Union, New York based organization striving for transparency and accountability in government helps in some Federal cases.

As an anti-establishment candidate for State Senate, Edtl is challenging both Democrats and Republicans on their handling of Covid, education, crime and homelessness. He earned endorsements by Oregon Firearms Federations, Parents’ Rights in Education, Oregonians for Medical Freedom and more.


--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2022-05-04 12:30:07Last Update: 2022-05-04 15:47:23



Three Names Added to Oregon Memorial Wall
Oregon honors 192 fallen law enforcement officers since the 1860’s

The State of Oregon remembered and honored 192 fallen law enforcement officers, and the families they left behind, during a memorial ceremony on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 1 PM. The event took place outdoors, at the state memorial which is located at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.

The names of three fallen Oregon law enforcement officers were added to the state memorial and honored at this year's ceremony; S. Allen Burdic of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, EOW 3/11/21; John R. Burright of the Oregon State Police, EOW 5/4/21; and Carl L. Frazier of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, EOW 10/9/1979.

The Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial Ceremony is a significant event that the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) is proud to host each year in partnership with the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, and Oregon's various statewide law enforcement associations.

The memorial honors 192 fallen Oregon law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since the 1860s.

This includes officers from city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies who have served as law enforcement officers, corrections officers, and parole and probation officers.

The Oregon memorial is held the week ahead of National Police Week events in Washington, D.C. so that family members and co-workers can attend both memorial ceremonies. More than 21,000 officers who have died in the line of duty are honored on the national memorial

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Background on the names being added to the Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in 2022:

On March 11, 2021 Deputy Sheriff S. Allen Burdic died as the result of complications of gunshot wound. In the early morning hours of August 12th, 1980, Deputy Burdic responded to a shooting at a tavern in Myrtle Creek. As Deputy Burdic checked the area he located the suspect parked in a gravel turn-out near I-5. The subject opened fire on Deputy Burdic, shooting him twice. The man then stole Deputy Burdic’s Patrol vehicle and ran over his legs as he fled. One of the shots injured Deputy Burdic’s spine, causing him to suffer partial paralysis. He medically retired in 1982 as a result of the incident and continued to receive medical care until passing away as a result of complications of the wounds. The subject who shot him was sentenced to 40 years in prison for attempted murder, first-degree assault, felon in possession of a firearm, and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Deputy Burdic had served the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for one year at the time of the incident and had previously served with the Canyonville Police Department for three years. He is survived by his wife and son.

On May 4, 2021 Sergeant John Burright succumbed to injuries sustained on September 4th, 2001, when he struck by a vehicle near mile marker 243 on I-5 near Albany. Senior Trooper Maria Mignano and Police Officer Jason Hoerauf, of the Albany Police Department, were killed in the same incident while all three were assisting a family whose van had broken down. Officer Hoerauf was on a ride-along with his mentor, Sergeant Burright, when the two stopped to assist the van. Trooper Mignano responded to the scene to back them up. While the three officers were standing on the right side of the van, which was parked on the right shoulder, a pickup truck suddenly swerved across a lane of traffic. The pickup struck the right rear of Trooper Mignano's patrol car, traveled along the other two vehicles, and struck all three officers. The driver of the vehicle was driving on a suspended license at the time and had fallen asleep while driving. Trooper Mignano and Officer Hoerauf succumbed to their injuries at the scene. Sergeant Burright was flown to a local hospital in extremely critical condition. He suffered critical injuries that caused him to medically retire in early 2002. He remained under continuous medical care until succumbing to complications of his injuries on May 4th, 2021. In December 2001, the man plead guilty to criminally negligent homicide and was sentenced to two days in jail and three years of probation as part of a plea bargain. Sergeant Burright had served with the Oregon State Police for 14 years. He is survived by his wife and three sons.

On October 9, 1979 Sergeant Carl L. Frazier suffered a fatal heart attack while removing a large crop of marijuana from the bottom of a canyon that had been discovered and reported by hunters. The steep canyon hampered rescue efforts and Sergeant Frazier had to be winched up to the roadway so that he could be transported to the hospital. Sergeant Frazier succumbed to the heart attack 8 days later. Sergeant Frazier was with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at the time of his death and previously served 15 years as a police officer with the Riverside, California police department. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-04 10:15:46Last Update: 2022-05-04 14:51:09



Riots in Portland Following News of Supreme Court Leak
Some property damage caused during marches, one arrest made

On the evening of Tuesday, May 3, 2022, a group gathered in the downtown area of Portland, Oregon and marched at various times. During the marches, some participants committed acts of vandalism, including graffiti and broken windows that damaged government buildings, coffee shops, and others.

Some burning material and incendiary devices were thrown at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, but it's unknown if any damage was caused.

An image of a smashed up Starbucks store was shared by the PPB, with graffiti declaing "MY BODY, MY PROPERTY", seemingly indicating that the violence was in response to the recent news of the leaked opinion draft of the Supreme Court concerning the Roe v Wade decision possibly being overturned.

The Portland Police says there are no known injuries at this time.

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One arrest was made. Luke S. Anderson, 31, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center of charges of Reckless Burning and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree.

Portland Police did not release a booking photo of Anderson.

Democrats in the Oregon legislature (also sponsored by Republican Ron Noble of McMinnville) passed HB 3273 into law in 2021, prohibiting law enforcement agencies from releasing booking photos, except under special circumstances.

PPB Officers are assessing the scope of the damage and investigating the crimes committed.

If anyone has information, including witness statements, photos, video, or other evidence, please e-mail the Portland Police and reference case number 22-117206.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-04 09:53:53Last Update: 2022-05-04 10:16:52



Oregon Right to Life Gives Statement on Supreme Court Leak
“Oregonians do not support the extreme abortion policies in our current law”

On May 2, 2022, Politico released a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The opinion, labeled as the Opinion of the Court and written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, would overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Oregon Right to Life is an organization founded in 1970 that advocates for the most vulnerable human beings whose right to life is denied or abridged under current law.

According to their website, they work to reestablish protection for all innocent human life "from conception to natural death".

ORTL gave a statement on the recent news of the leaked opinion draft in the Supreme Court signalling the overturning of the Roe v Wade decision.

“We are encouraged that the Supreme Court appears to be moving to return the issue of abortion to the people of the United States and their duly elected officials,” said Oregon Right to Life executive director, Lois Anderson. She continued, “We must keep in mind that this is a draft opinion. While it might indicate the direction of the Court, it does not guarantee the outcome.”

If the final decision remains consistent with the leaked draft, authority over abortion policy will return to the citizens and their elected officials.

“Polling consistently shows that the majority of Oregonians do not support the extreme abortion policies in our current law.,” said Anderson. “We welcome the opportunity to craft legislation that reflects Oregon values, supports women, and protects innocent life. The pro-life movement supports women during and after pregnancy. We will continue to do so.”

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According to their position statement on abortion, Oregon Right to Life believes in the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death. They believe that an abortion ends the life of a genetically distinct, growing human being. They oppose abortion at any point of gestation.

They believe that in rare cases, a mother may have a life threatening condition in which medical procedures intended to treat the condition of the mother may result in the unintended death of her preborn baby. At the same time, ORTL recognizes that in most cases, modern medical practice has and will continue to increase the ability to save both the life of the mother and the baby.

Many Oregon leftists are feeling angry, terrified, hopeless, and incredibly frustrated, according to Governor Kate Brown.

The controversial Governor says those are valid feelings and access to abortion is a fundamental right.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-03 15:23:51Last Update: 2022-05-03 15:59:42



Lebanon Proposes $10 Million Dollar Pool Tax
Price Tag Shocks the Conscience

A $10 million dollar tax proposal for swimming pool renovations is being floated by Lebanon school administrators and aquatic district personnel -- just as Lebanon taxpayers are drowning in debt. Many residents are shocked, scratching their heads, suggesting such a large tax bond for pool repairs makes no sense. To put this in perspective, Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida built their giant water-park Typhoon Lagoon for $20 million dollars. It has water slides, walkways, fake mountains and backdrops, wave tanks, tube canals and much more.

The proposal seems outrageous to many citizens and shocks the public conscience on many levels. First, the pool and building were likely built for less than $1 million back in the 1970s. Even with today’s inflation adjusted dollars the pool and building could be entirely torn-down, dug-out and replaced with a larger fancier brand-new pool and building, twice the size with numerous additional amenities for under $3.4 million. Not being specific for how $10 million would be spent has people suspecting hidden-agendas. They’ve been through similar bait-and-switches with the superintendent on other issues.

Next, this pool is the only reason for a Lebanon aquatic district tax. Every property owner in the Lebanon school district pays a tax just for this pool as part of their yearly tax bill. People also pay user-fees every time they use the pool. The public was promised the aquatic district tax and user-fees were for pool maintenance, upkeep and repair. These taxes and fees have accumulated millions of dollars. Citizens tracking the issue want to know what happened. Many suggest it is a management and planning failure to simply defer maintenance, not sequester needed funds, then declare a crisis and shift the cost to taxpayers. Financial foresight and budget allocation is a school superintendents primary responsibility and especially disturbing in this case, since the current superintendent’s previous position was director of district maintenance.

The taxpaying public does not feel school administrators or aquatic district personnel are being strait with them. Justifications for spending $10 million on the pool are vague, non-specific and there are no fully developed project documents. Some justifications include, “the pipes below the pool are corroded and could collapse anytime -- shutting the pool down”, “The boiler is old and must be replaced – it could go tomorrow or 5 years, who knows.” Pool contractors have countered that there are actually only a couple drain pipes under pools. They are replaced like pipes under a city street. A new top-end boiler can be purchased for less than $250-400 thousand. What exactly is $10 million for? From a practical perspective there are approximately 30,000 people in the Lebanon School District, probably less than 1000 use the pool. These are also the same taxpayers and citizens who were shut out of the pool for almost 2 years -- plenty of time to get repairs and boiler replacements accomplished.

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Terrible management, drowning in red-tape and over-priced contractors should not be thrown a life-preserver by Lebanon taxpayers. The school and aquatic district are apparently struggling to manage and keep up with maintenance and repairs. More importantly, Lebanon high school ranks at the bottom, 228th out of 262 high schools in Oregon in academic performance, 77% of Lebanon’s 11th graders cannot do grade-level science and math. The drop-out rate is approaching 30%. The public has been speaking out that the top priority of the superintendent, school administrators and some board members must be a laser-focus on getting standards for Lebanon schools back to some semblance of academic acceptability – not swimming pools, socialized medicine clinics, and unwanted progressive curricula.

The Lebanon pool is a great community asset and should not go away. However, many citizens think it should be removed from school and aquatic district control because of ineffective financial management and planning failures. Many would like to see it become a Lebanon community fitness asset – free to taxpayers and their families who pay for it. The pool would remain in place with continued use by the high-school swim team as usual. A public field-house with an indoor track and fitness equipment could be built in the open-ground beside the swimming pool, which would also be part of a Lebanon community fitness center, free of burdensome bureaucratic school district rules, restrictions and shut-downs and available to citizens year-round. Pool repairs and a beautiful steel-frame fitness center could be accomplished for much less than the $10 million request for basic pool repairs. Voters in Lebanon may want to save $10 million and send district administrators back to the drawing board.


--Clarke Vesper

Post Date: 2022-05-03 09:47:41Last Update: 2022-05-03 16:26:12



Gresham Fire Chief Resigns
Blames City Manager Falls for toxic work environment

City of Gresham Fire Department Chief Mitch Snyder has submitted his resignation on April 13, effective as of May 6. In compliance with a public records request made by The Gresham Outlook, a copy of Chief Snyder’s resignation letter has been released.

The City of Gresham says they support employees raising good faith concerns about the workplace and actively works to examine them when made, but they disagree with the concerns raised in Chief Snyder’s letter regarding the budget and City Leadership.

The City stated that "While Gresham as a whole has experienced budgetary challenges over the past few years, we have sought to work openly and collaboratively as an organization in order to build understanding and create equitable solutions across the City."

However, Snyder has indicated that unprofessional conduct by the City Manager's Office, serious budget concerns that remain unaddressed, and toxic scapegoating as reasons he is resigning from an organization he could "no longer in good conscience be a part of."

In the resignation letter written to the Gresham City Council, made available by The Gresham Outlook through a public records request, Snyder seemed to point blame at Deputy City Manager Corey Falls.

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Chief Snyder will serve his last day as Friday, May 6. Scott Lewis will serve as interim chief.

"It has become clear to me ... that Deputy Falls does not, in fact, value those leadership aspects," Snyder wrote in his letter. "Instead he prefers an organizational structure that allows him to flex his authority while at the same time deflecting criticism to make deficiencies in the City Manager's Office appear to be the responsibility and fault of others around him."

The Gresham Police Chief also recently resigned.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-02 14:40:15Last Update: 2022-05-02 17:11:37



Translation Advisory Council Members Sought
Will help to guide the translations of the state voters’ pamphlet

Oregon's Secretary of State will begin recruiting for a new Translation Advisory Council to guide the translation of the state voters’ pamphlet and voters’ pamphlets in Oregon counties.

Oregon House Bill 3021 passed in 2021 and requires the Secretary of State to produce translated versions of voters’ pamphlets and created the Translation Advisory Council to help guide that work.

"Every Oregonian deserves the opportunity to participate in civic life in our State,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “The Translation Advisory Council is a great opportunity to help shape a critical part of that work, and to begin removing barriers to voting for people who speak languages other than English.”

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To be a member of the Translation Advisory Council, a person must be qualified to be an Oregon voter, have civic service and lived experience in a community served by translated voters’ pamphlets or be proficient in English and one of the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Mien, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, or Vietnamese.

Applications to the council can be submitted online.

Interested applicants should apply no later than 5:00 pm on June 1, 2022.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-02 11:26:36Last Update: 2022-05-02 17:06:44



A Look at School Tax Bond Measures
Do lockdowns, poor performance, justify $863 million in new taxes

Children lost a full academic-year from almost 2-years in lock-down, forced to wear masks, get vaccinated or leave school – evidence is emerging this was mostly a ruse. Parents lost jobs to stay home with kids or because employers shut-down. Progressive school superintendents and school boards pressed forward with controversial curriculum and issues, dismissing and disregarding input and pleas for change or compromise from concerned parents and disenfranchised taxpayers.

Against this back-drop of shutdowns, dismal academic performance, disregard for parents and taxpayers, skyrocketing inflation, and a pending economic depression -- eight Oregon school districts decided now would be a perfect time to ask taxpayers for more than $863 million in new taxes. The timing and optics of hitting property owners with $863 million in new taxes could not be more tone-deaf according to many citizens.

District parents, property owners and taxpayers certainly want the best for every student whose only option is public school but these new taxes have nothing to do with students or academics – they’re about contractors, money and facilities. Many feel this is not the year to ask citizens, especially property owners, to pay higher taxes just as they are paying an extra $250 month for gas and an extra $150 a month for groceries. After all, education and political operatives get two elections cycles a year, each November and May to trot-out tax bond measures. Voters in this May’s election should consider the following before voting to increase their tax burden even more for another 20-30 years.

Vague Justifications

If you review local bond measures the talking points are similar. The same subjective, non-quantifiable buzz-words are parroted, “this money is to make safety and security improvements, improve HVAC systems, make Americans with Disabilities Act updates (a 1990 law)” and generic statements such as, “to make site improvements, repairs and upgrades, build a new building, remodel rooms”. Project Managers suggest that when asking for $20, $30, $100 million dollars there are sound business management protocols.

Some say there should be exact project scope statements for every individual project with cost-analytics, Gantt charts, engineering designs, materials lists -- to the last nail, parts and equipment costs, subcontractor and labor cost, cost-overrun, forecasts and much more. This must be available to taxpayers, contractors, consultants, school boards and other evaluators -- to review, input and mark-up, perhaps years in advance. Asking for such huge sums of money without exact scope or justification is fiscal malpractice and a management failure. School districts and others get away with this year-after-year. This year, voters would be wise to make districts go back to the drawing-board and quantify, objectify and justify every project in detail – every dollar spent is quantifiable. Tax asks would likely come back cut in half or maybe not at all.

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“Free” Federal Money

Congress passed three COVID relief bills. These bills transferred $5.3 trillion from taxpayer pockets to mostly progressive social and welfare programs. Oregon school districts alone received $1.65 billion from the American Rescue Plan and 3 allotments from Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds. Allotments from 3 Governors Emergency Education Relief funds brought in another $60 million. There was $30 million for distance learning, $28 million for charter and private schools, $27 million for migrant students and $7 million for teaching English. There is more to be allocated through 2025.

These COVID relief funds are “free” money, not part of yearly school budgets -- money from the sky. COVID funds were earmarked broadly for COVID related concerns such as, improving safety and security, upgrading HVAC systems and equipment, making site improvements. In short, what almost every district put in their tax bond requests. Since money is fungible, account swaps could easily allow for roof repairs, remodels and other items not specifically earmarked.

For example, the Lebanon School District wants $20 million dollars from taxpayers but got $14 million in free COVID relief money. This money would pay for everything they ask for. Beaverton school district wants $173 million for their tax bond and received nearly $100 million in free money -- that’s a large bite out of what the district asked for. Before adding to their tax burden for another 20-30 years, taxpayers should be asking, “Where did all that money go?” This money was for safety and facility upgrades, not backfilling retirement accounts, bonuses and hiring staff. This could be scandalous -- every penny of school COVID fund money must be publicly accounted for.

Ethical Considerations

Tax bonds are publicly presented as trivial. Typical statements include, “only a 7-cent levy”, “only $1.13 per 1000 assessed value”, “only $29 extra a month.” A lot is left out. There may be 10-15 local taxing agencies in every tax jurisdiction saying the same thing year-after-year. Taxpayers and school parents from Linn County discovered that, according to the Tax Foundation, Linn County pays the highest property tax as a percentage in Oregon and Lebanon pays the highest rate of cities in the county. A property with a $175,000 assessed value paid $3700 this year but $4200 next year if bonds are approved. Keep in mind, assessors raise property values the maximum legal 3 percent each year, so this $175,000 house will be worth $306,000 or more in 20 years and the tax will then be $7344 yearly – if no new measures are passed--not likely. Exact project expensing and full public disclosure of any future tax burden should be the law.

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The public often opposes additional school tax bonds as well as the integration of progressive social programs in their schools. Understandably, many citizens are incensed when the general public’s school district website, graphic designers, consultants and others use these public assets as lobbing tools for information, disinformation and messaging -- outlining only the “pro-yes” point-of-view and omitting opposing views. Those with opposing views (which exceeds those in favor in a failed bond) must build their own websites, pay their own way. Using Lebanon again, as the example, the district website informs and advocates their viewpoint. The school district just spent as much as $30,000 of all the taxpayer’s money to send out glossy mailers to district residents lobbing only their position for passage of a $20 million bond -- $10 million to repair a $1 million dollar swimming pool. This is the second mailer. This is manipulative. District websites should post all sides on the publicly owned district website. Equal funding and the same mailing lists at school rates should also be provided for mailers and flyers representing all sides in the community.

People pushing tax bonds will highlight their district will get an extra $X-million dollars from the state that will go to another district if the tax bond does not pass. This is not exactly true. This money comes from the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching Program. This money is just more taxpayer’s money held by OSCIM, then dangled like bait to incentivize local school districts to raise taxes on property owners. OSCIM money for districts actually increases each year if not used.

Education is changing. Parents are abandoning progressive, union controlled monolithic public-school systems in favor of small independent neighborhood schools, circa 1950, charter schools, private schools, Christian schools, online learning and homeschooling where they have a choice, a voice and control over their children’s education. Money needs to follow students not government facilities. Taxpayers should also be wary of being on the hook for 20-30 years for upkeep and maintenance of abandoned, empty school buildings. Progressive school administrators continually suggest such taxes are an “investment” in our communities. Informed citizens know investments return money to investors -- this is just more taxing and spending.

The only way citizens can ever reign-in an organized, self-serving, out-of-control government is to cut off the money supply until they listen.


--Clarke Vesper

Post Date: 2022-05-02 08:36:49Last Update: 2022-05-02 09:42:16



OR 224 Now Open After Nearly Two Years of Closure
Had been closed due to Labor Day 2020 wildfires

Oregon Highway 224 above Estacada re-opened Sunday May 1st, after crews completed the final cleanup needed to make the road safe after the Labor Day 2020 wildfires.

Also, the U.S. Forest Service opened the Hole in the Wall and Moore Creek boat access day sites and Big Eddy day use site. All other Forest Service recreation facilities in the Clackamas River Corridor will remain closed at least through the remainder of 2022.

“These communities experienced real hardships as a result of the massive wildfires of 2020,” said Rian Windsheimer, ODOT Portland area manager. ”Today, ODOT and our partners are pleased to celebrate the reopening of this road, but much more forest recovery work still lies ahead of us.”

Recovery work in the corridor will continue after the road opens.

This summer, visitors will encounter road closures of up to 20 minutes at varying locations, seven days a week, and will see trucks loaded with debris, rock scaling work and asphalt being repaired.

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The Forest Service, ODOT, Portland General Electric and other partners have been joined by private contractors in preparing the road for its re-opening. The extent of the wildfire damage was staggering, keeping 18 miles of OR 224 closed for 20 months.

The work involved: Work is underway to re-seed with native plants to reduce weeds.

Patching of OR 224 potholes will continue this spring with paving of the damaged sections this summer when the weather warms up.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-01 21:07:44Last Update: 2022-05-01 21:20:50



Stolen Ambulance Results in a Chase
OSP troopers and emergency personnel responded

It was quite a sight to see Oregon State Police (OSP) cars chasing an erratic driven ambulance down Interstate 5 on Friday, April 29, 2022 at approximately 7:31 PM. OSP troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single vehicle crash on Interstate 5 near milepost 273 in Marion County.

OSP reports that upon arriving at the crash scene, the operator of the crashed vehicle, identified as Noor Mohammad Baheej (30) of Winnetka, California, attempted to flee.

The driver returned and stole the Woodburn ambulance that was on scene. Baheej drove north on Interstate 5 into Portland where he continued to elude police. OSP attempted to pin the ambulance but Baheej rammed a patrol vehicle, struck a building and was able to continue to elude troopers.

The ambulance was again located on Interstate 5 southbound near milepost 295. The driver stopped the ambulance and attempted entry into another vehicle on the highway. OSP troopers were then able to take Baheej into custody without further incident.

Baheej displayed multiple signs of impairment and after investigation was charged with DUII-Alcohol (BAC .21), UUMV, Attempt to Elude, Reckless Driving and Failure to Perform Duties of Driver.

Federal data shows Oregon has the worst drug addiction rate in the country and last for access to treatment.

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The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health said about 12% of Oregonians aged 12 and older said they had an alcohol problem, up from 7% in 2019.

Combined, they gave Oregon the second worst overall addiction rate nationwide, with nearly one in five teens and adults reporting a problem with drugs or alcohol.

Could it be that Oregon’s treatment problem starts with an easy access problem?


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-04-30 16:01:42Last Update: 2022-04-30 16:07:43



Election Integrity Outshines at Dorchester
Out of 19 filed Republican candidates for governor, nine were present

Ballots will be mailed out this week for the May 17th Oregon Primary election. The Secretary of State sent out notices warning that misinformation about the election will be a crime they will prosecute against. Is it for your protection, or theirs? It seems like Oregonians aren’t impressed with big names or big names supporting candidates. Democrat and Republican establishments are fighting the same battle for non-affiliated votes.

Started 57 years ago, the Dorchester Conference is the oldest political conference in the United States and a showcase for Oregon's conservative elites.

However, it was originally started at the Dorchester House in Lincoln City where moderate Republicans would talk about repairing the party. It deliberately excluded “far right-wingers.”

The unique difference in the Dorchester debate from others is that the audiences takes a straw poll to pick a favorite candidate.

Out of 19 filed Republican candidates for governor, nine were on the ballot and there were 223 participants, Marc Thielman received an astounding 61%. Thielman may have put a target on his back. In 2018 Greg Wooldridge won over the favored Representative Knute Buehler that brought out big donors. Thielman’s advantage is voters are listening to their messaging like never before, and there are 19 Republican candidates looking for support.

Election Integrity and Oregonians for Fair Elections gave a training event in conjunction with the Dorchester conference as a separate event. They did their own straw poll during the event and Marc Thielman received 43 out of 48 votes, and Joe Rae Perkins received 34 out of 45 votes.

About 62 attended the training on being an election observer, making a records request, and heard reports from counties pursuing election integrity work.

In attendance was the person whom built the Oregon’s Centralized Voter Registration (OCVR) Database for the Secretary of State’s website and was allowed to speak on his work.

OCVR is a top-down system that maintains detailed registration and voting history information. Digital images of full voter registration cards are incorporated into the system for signature verification, and a public portal allows online checking of voter registration status.

The OCVR is working towards modeling after Washington State, which has same day voter registration, and internet voting that allows a person to print their ballot on a home computer and mail it.

Oregon allows the handicapped to vote on the internet with a specific pre- registration for that system. Some counties are experimenting allowing citizens overseas to vote by internet.

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Legislative authorized Administrative Rules have allowed specific voting exemptions without further approval. However, printing on a home computer will eliminate paper with a watermark or heat-sensitive element as proof of an authentic ballot and prevent it from being photocopied.

Don Powers spoke on what the Multnomah County team has discovered in analyzing voting data. The data is showing something called shuffle. That’s where extra or possibly manipulated ballots are entered throughout the process a little at a time avoiding big jumps that draw attention. However, it creates a smooth steady increase as ballots are counted instead of the normal little jumps back and forth. From their work, other states are finding similar results.

As teams put in public requests, two counties were unable to provide the requested information who lost their voting data and they did not make a backup. Being out of compliance is a violation of both U.S. and Oregon laws.

The Democrat conference is to begin April 29 to May 1. The 11th annual Oregon Summit of the Democratic Party of Oregon will be held at Sunriver Resort in Deschutes County. The Democrats have 15 candidates for governor.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-04-30 11:33:32Last Update: 2022-05-02 16:18:35



Analysis: Fiscal Responsibility in McMinnville
Perhaps his successor will have a proper perspective on keeping the steel mill competitive.

McMinnville City government is feeling the financial pinch from years of living off reserves. Those years were mostly years of above average prosperity when reserves are expected to grow but policies have been to expand social programs instead and not stress fiscal restraint. Those years coincide with the arrival of City Manager Jeff Towery and a compliant elected City government.

McMinnville sought to implement a 9% total increase in power rates through McMinnville Water and Power, controlled by the City since 1889. The City owns the sewage treatment plant and sought increases there as well. At Monday nights’ City Council meeting the final decision on rate increases resulted in a 3% increase in electrical fees charged to industrial consumers and a 1% increase in the sewage franchise fee.

The largest customer for electricity and water is Cascade Rolling Mills. They were in a group of industries enticed by McMinnville Industry Promotions, MIP, a group of area businesses formed in 1953 which were successful in recruiting the steel mill in 1969. McMinnville Water & Light were part of the MIP and key to negotiations that brought the mill to McMinnville.

When confronted with a 3% increase in usage and another 6% increase in franchise fees Cascade (and McMinnville Water and Light) said that would result in a lawsuit. The City, with Manager Towery negotiating, ended up at 3% increase in electrical fees charged to industrial consumers and no franchise fee. The City Council approved that increase. Cascade Rolling Mills employs over 400 in high paying jobs.

Cascade, owned by Schnitzer Steel, competes in the commodity market for construction steel with prices subject to global supply and demand forces. Cascade must have controlled costs to remain viable. They have been a generous benefactor to McMinnville, home to their 400+ employees. The Citys’ initial starting point attempted to gain a 12% increase from Cascade (6% usage plus 6% franchise fee). That showed little appreciation for sharing in the financial viability of McMinnvilles’ largest primary industry. Perhaps it revealed some economic illiteracy in the City bureaucracy.

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Jeff Towery has negotiated an employment contract that concludes in 2024. Perhaps his successor will have a proper economic perspective on McMinnvilles’ reliance on keeping the steel mill competitive.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-29 15:51:42Last Update: 2022-04-29 16:06:10



Jonathan Sandau named ODA Assistant Director
“He successfully led the implementation of new programs, projects, and legislative work”

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced that Alexis Taylor, Director, ODA, has appointed Jonathan Sandau as Assistant Director effective May 1. Most recently, Sandau served as a special assistant to the director focusing on the legislature, budget development, and strategic planning.

“Jonathan is a forward-thinking leader who has been responsible for many successes through the COVID-19 pandemic, various natural disasters, multiple legislative and special sessions,” said Taylor. “He successfully led the implementation of new programs, projects, and legislative work that kept our agricultural sector strong through a multitude of challenges over the past two years. His experience, relationships, and knowledge of agriculture and public policy will continue to serve ODA and the people it serves today and into the future."

Sandau joined ODA in early 2020, just weeks before the COVID-19 restrictions began.

Sandau led a statewide effort to provide farmworkers and the agricultural community with personal protective equipment (PPE) to promote health and keep agricultural businesses running in Oregon during the lockdowns.

Sandau helped secure $50 million in emergency and state federal funds for Oregon's farmers and ranchers.

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Most recently, he helped guide the creation of the Oregon Disaster Assistance Program (ODAP), providing nearly $40 million in relief for those affected by Oregon’s natural disasters in 2021.

As Assistant Director, Sandau will primarily be responsible for leading the agency’s legislative and external affairs work. He previously worked for the Oregon Farm Bureau, Congressman Kurt Schrader, and Governor John Kitzhaber.

Sandau’s family has a farm in Marion County, Oregon.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-29 13:27:02Last Update: 2022-04-29 13:36:36



Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Project
Informing voters on how candidates stand on issues

Some voters are just discovering the Oregon Abagail Adams (OAA) Voter Project website. However, it has been functioning since 2011 providing voters with extensive information on how to take our civic duty seriously. The goal of this nonpartisan group is to equip voters with information on how candidates stand on issues through a questionnaire process.

The website features current candidates and candidate comparison guides. What makes the questionnaire unique for state legislative offices is that many questions are based on actual bills in recent legislative sessions. For incumbents running that don’t submit the questionnaire, their voting record is posted for comparison.

The past two years have been an eye-opener for many Oregonians, watching Portland plundered and burned. Our liberty depends on everyone being engaged as civic responsible citizens. Nothing reflects the political climate more than the number of candidates running in the Primary Election.

This Primary is a prime example of the unrest of Oregonians.

The governor’s race stands out with 37 known candidates, more than doubled from 2018 and triple from 2014.

Of those 37, 19 are on a Republican comparison guide, 15 are on a Democrat comparison guide, plus an Independent, Constitution and Nonaffiliate candidate.

Compare that with 10 Republicans, three Democrats and two Independent candidates in the 2018 election.

Some interesting takeaways comparing those responding. Six Republican candidates responded showing major differences in how they would reduce state government. Three supported moving more authority to local control. Two republicans would reduce the number of state programs and one would reduce government employees. There is some disagreement including areas of forest products, an Oregon owned bank, Governor’s emergency powers, and who should be the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Five Democrat candidates responded and not all completely agree with the party’s direction.

Two candidates said they would reverse Governor Brown’s equity agenda back to the Constitutional equality standard. Not all support more firearm restrictions, electric vehicle rebates, removing hydro-dams, prohibiting mineral mining, or tolling.

The U.S. Senate and House have always been highly contested races, there are vacant seats making that even more so. This election, Peter DeFazio leaves District 4 vacant and there are eight Democrat candidates competing to run against Alek Scariatos on the Republican ticket.

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To add to the furry, the newly carved out U.S. District 6 is a challenge for both parties with seven Republican and nine Democrats competing for a chance at the new Congressional seat.

The three responding disagree on domestic terrorism, right to bear arms, federal access to criminal records, and raising Medicare age.

Among the four Republicans responding to the U.S. Senate Comparison Guide, they disagreed on development of 5G, cyber security, wilderness areas, domestic terrorism, federal funding of child care, and privatizing social security.

The one competitive nonpartisan statewide race to be determined May 17 is the Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner.

Seven candidates are competing and three responded illustrating a wide range of differences.

Candidates running for the Oregon State Legislature includes responses and voting records for 80 candidates to help voters make informed decisions.

Below the state candidate listing, the website lists candidates running for judge and District Attorney. At the bottom are listings for County Commissioner for counties that responded.

The OAA website is also a helpful resource. You will find ways to get involved, a personal get-out-the-vote campaign ideas, and tutorial training in several areas, information on being a precinct committee person, and history of county and state election processes including a Party Platform comparison.

What happens when we stop watching over government? That answer is what OAA wants to help avoid.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-04-29 08:59:14Last Update: 2022-04-29 09:56:15



Wasco County Seeking Volunteers
Serve on the Public Transportation Advisory Committee

Wasco County Oregon seeks applicants to serve on the Public Transportation Advisory Committee. The Committee advises County Commissioners and Public Transportation providers such as The Link Public Transit. The advisory committee considers how transportation funds should be spent and provides the governing body with information about their community’s special transportation needs, particularly related to how projects will benefit seniors and persons with disabilities.

The Advisory Committee strives to represent all members of the community but is particularly focused on those with greater transportation needs such as those who are older, low-income, living in small communities (e.g., in South County), living with a disability, or other user groups who may rely on public transportation.

The County invites applicants who represent these communities either through their lived experience, work, volunteer activities and so on to see appointment.

Interested persons can click here to download an application or contact Kathy Clark to request an application be mailed or emailed.

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The Committee position is voluntary with a two-year term.

Meetings are held quarterly, or approximately four times per year. Meetings are typically held in person at the Transit Center in The Dalles, but zoom options are available for Committee members to use.

Applications will be accepted through May 19, 2022.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-28 20:43:52Last Update: 2022-04-28 21:02:41



2022 Mushroom Harvesting Permits Now Available
No permit up to one gallon in Oregon, five in Washington

It’s that time of year again for mushroom picking. As we head out to the Forest, many species of friendly fungi rest on the forest floor, ready for harvesting. If you know where to look, and what to look for, mushrooms are available to pick for personal consumption within the daily legal limits: one gallon in Oregon and five gallons in Washington.

No permit or payment is required to harvest, possess, or transport up to these legal limits, provided the mushrooms are not sold or traded but enjoyed by the picker.

The 2022 Mushroom Guide is available in three different languages on the Forest’s website and includes important rules and helpful tips regarding harvesting mushrooms off National Forest lands.

Those seeking to harvest mushrooms beyond the legal limit, or for commercial purposes, will first need to obtain a commercial permit.

Permit sales began on April 25, 2022. Commercial pickers who plan to camp in the National Forest will also need an industrial camping permit. Please contact the nearest National Forest office to discuss your permit needs.

To help care for the land while picking mushrooms:

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Be aware that some forest roads may not accessible due to mud and snow. Traveling on wet mountain roads and terrain can be dangerous. Contact the nearest District Office for up-to-date information on road conditions and current closures.

To improve your personal safety in the woods, please plan ahead, pack the “Ten Essentials,” and travel with others. Also be sure to tell a friend or family member where you are going. Stick to your plan and let them know when you will confirm your safe return.

Keep in mind that many wild mushroom varieties are poisonous. When in doubt, leave it out!

It is the responsibility of the picker to properly identify a mushroom and determine whether it is edible. There are many guidebooks available to assist with identification. The local library, county agricultural extension office, and local mycological society are good sources of information.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-28 20:12:14Last Update: 2022-04-28 20:37:18



Governor Commutes Sentence of Aggravated Murderer
“The Governor is making a habit of releasing violent criminals back into Marion County”

Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson and Sheriff Joe Kast have issued a public safety notice about the Governor’s release of a man serving a life sentence for aggravated murder.

“As with many others, the facts of this case are outrageous and brutal,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “The Governor continues to let violent criminals out of prison, and Democrats in the majority remain silent. The only time they have taken a position was to kill Senate Republicans’ legislation to check the Governor’s overreaching authority to stop releases like this one.”

Nikki Thrasher was murdered by recently released Kyle Headquist in 1995. He convinced her into driving to a remote location in Douglas County where he proceed to execute her.

Over the objections of Douglas County DA, Richard Wesenburg, the Governor decided to release Headquist to live in Marion County. In addition to the life sentence for murder, he was also serving 80 months for robbery and kidnapping.

“The Governor is making a habit of releasing violent criminals back into Marion County,” said Senator Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer). “The families of Headquist’s victims were promised by our justice system that this man would be in prison for life. But the Governor has single-handedly reneged on that promise. This week is Crime Victims Rights’ Week. I cannot think of a worse way to honor those who have been impacted by crime than releasing their offenders from prison. These decisions are dangerous, and the legislature must respond to this overreach by passing common-sense oversite reforms. No one person should have all this power.”

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Majority Democrats continue to ignore Oregonians' concerns over rising violent crime caused by defunding police and continue to make it more difficult for police officers to protect Oregonians. As DA Clarkson and Sherrif Kast mentioned in their public safety notice, this decision makes the jobs of Oregon’s dedicated public safety officials more dangerous and difficult.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-27 12:04:54Last Update: 2022-04-27 12:09:01



Police Capture Mystery Pig in Portland
PPB looking for owner

On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, just after midnight, a Portland East Precinct Officer was driving near the area of Southeast Division Street and Southeast 138th Avenue when she observed traffic slowing in front of her and appearing to drive around something in the road.

As she approached, the officer saw that the object was actually a pig standing in the eastbound travel lanes of Southeast Division Street.

Other officers came to assist and animal control was called. Officers worked to contain their new pig friend and keep him safe from passing vehicles. They also wanted to make sure the pig did not further interfere with motorists and cause a serious crash.

While keeping this human perimeter, there were a few short foot pursuits, and officers tried to establish a rapport.

In an effort to keep the pig calm and contained, an officer arrived with snacks, including Goldfish crackers and cookies (he was not a fan of nacho cheese Doritos).

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Fortunately, staff from the On Call Community Rescue for Animals (located in Oregon City) arrived and after several tense attempts, all seven humans were able to safely coral one small pig into a crate.

At this time, the pig remains known as John Doe, though many other creative names were suggested including one after a famous actor whose last name is Bacon.

Portland Police would like anyone who knows the identity of John Doe's owner to call the shelter directly.

Jokes and comments may now commence.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-27 06:46:11Last Update: 2022-04-26 20:18:34



Metro to Hire More Women and People of Color
White males need not apply?

A new agreement amongst Portland area government agencies and labor unions makes a move toward hiring more women and people of color on construction projects around the region.

On March 17, Metro officially signed the Regional Workforce Equity Agreement which accelerates the hiring of women and people of color construction careers across the Portland region.

As one of the nation’s first multi-jurisdictional workforce agreements, it covers specified projects undertaken by Metro, Multnomah County and the City of Portland over the next five years. For Metro, all capital projects of more than $5 million will be subject to the terms of the agreement.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury has signed the agreement. The City of Portland is expected to approve it later this month. The agreement is structured so that other agencies can sign on in the future.

“This is about keeping our promise as a council to advance racial equity and promote economic empowerment in our region,” says Juan Carlos González, Metro Councilor for District 4.

Workforce agreements are legally binding contracts that set standards for wages, benefits and safety protections for workers. For project owners, they are a tool to control costs and prevent workers from striking.

Metro says it is an opportunity to address historical wrongs.

They cite that in 2021, nearly 88% of people employed in construction were white, and less than 4% were women in non-office jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We began with equity.” says Sebrina Owens-Wilson, regional impact manager at Metro, describing how Metro’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team set out to negotiate the agreement.

Although contract negotiations are typically closed, says Owens-Wilson, “we created an equity advisory table that included workforce development partners, pre-apprenticeship programs and minority contractors’ associations to advise the public owners on what we needed to be getting from this agreement.”

Maurice Rahming, president of O’Neill Construction, served on the equity advisory table. “We identified opportunities and barriers and came up with solutions for this crisis we’re facing. We needed to make sure that women and people of color get the opportunity to fill those higher-paid construction jobs.”

The agreement implements hiring targets that ramp up over five years. Eventually, 14% of work hours at every jobsite will have to be performed by women, 25% by people of color and 20% by apprentices.

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“The agreement is transformational,” says Twauna Hennessee, community outreach representative at Northwest Carpenters Union. “People who may have been left sitting on the bench can now go to work because of these diversity targets. It will give women and people of color a chance to build wealth for their families for generations to come.”

Willy Myers, executive secretary treasurer of the Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council, says, “We need to achieve true reflection of the communities we are working in, then to maintain that diversity those jobsites will need to be safe from hate and harassment.”

The workforce equity agreement requires that everyone on a jobsite participate in anti- harassment or respectful workplace training.

The agreement also includes protections for BIPOC and women-owned smaller firms who already have a diverse workforce. Mark Matthews, president of open shop firm Pacificmark Construction, says under the agreement, he can use his own workforce and is not required to hire through union hiring halls. “It levels the playing field.”

On March 30, Metro issued a request for proposals to renovate or replace the operations and maintenance facility at Blue Lake Regional Park. The project will be the first to be governed by the Regional Workforce Equity Agreement.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-25 12:04:33Last Update: 2022-04-25 12:39:08



Who Might Be Out of Politics After This Cycle?
If they lose, they sit for two years

This political cycle has seen a good level of speculative office seeking -- by both outsiders and insiders -- fueled no doubt in part by redistricting and the creation of a new 6th Congressional District.

Many of these changes will force current office holders to risk their incumbency to seek other office. Article 2, Section 10 of The Oregon Constitution says:

Lucrative offices. holding other offices forbidden. No person holding a lucrative office, or appointment under the United States, or under this State, shall be eligible to a seat in the Legislative Assembly; nor shall any person hold more than one lucrative office at the same time, except as in this Constition [sic] expressly permitted.

If an officeholder is in mid-term for a seat that has a term longer than two years, they can run for another office and keep their current seat. For instance, the term of Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read (D-Beaverton) isn't up for re-election until the 2024 cycle, so if he loses his bid for governor -- either in the primary or the general -- he can keep his job as Treasurer.

The Gubernatorial race will surely bench some.

Former House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) is running for Oregon Governor and most insiders say that despite several negatives and general dissatisfaction with the Democrat left, her support from government employee unions is likely to give her the upper hand over State Treasurer Tobias Read and a few other minor candidates.

Former State Representative and House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) has already resigned from her House Seat to run for Governor. Experts like her chances. Despite a crowded field, she has recent, high-profile elected office experience and that sets her apart from the pack a bit. She has some negatives and is not popular with the Republican base, but her lobby connections have placed her in the lead for fundraising among Republican Gubernatorial hopefuls.

State Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) is running as an independent for Oregon Governor. She has already resigned her seat in the Oregon Senate to run for Governor, but at age 71 she may not have had a long political career left, especially with the leftward movement in the State Senate.

Observers like Johnson's chances, despite her entry into the race as a politically unaffiliated candidate. Waning resources in government employee unions and the prediction of an anti-blue wave may be just what she needs to move to Mahonia Hall. Her $5 million campaign war chest won't be depleted by a primary battle, so she'll be well-funded in the general election.

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Over the last decade, Oregon gained population and so, during redistricting, a new Congressional District was created. This, of course, creates an instant vacancy and -- as might be expected -- the hopefuls lined up. The new district was created to include Yamhill and Polk Counties, the more denser populated parts of Marion County including Salem and a slice going up to Portland containing just enough Democrats so that the ruling party in Oregon can hold on to more power.

State Representative Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego) entered a controversial battlefield when during the 2021 First Special Session she accepted the position as Co-Chair of the House Special Committee On Congressional Redistricting. Readers will remember that then House Speaker Tina Kotek reneged on a deal made with Republicans and stacked the committee in favor of Democrats. Representative and Co-Chair Salinas made the wound further insulting by drawing herself into the sprawling northernmost tip of the new, vacant district and then filing to run for it.

State Representative Ron Noble (R-McMinnville) will be leaving his legislative seat in order to run for the 6th Congressional district. the former McMinnville police chief is running on a law-and-order platform, despite some weak votes on law enforcement.

The loss of experience at the level of elected officials isn't permanent and may not even be a loss. Lack of statewide officeholders among Republicans has meant that they haven't had much of a credible bench and the movement of these elected officials has the effect of giving broader name recognition and perhaps a political future if they can use the two year rest to build relationships.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-25 10:38:29Last Update: 2022-04-25 13:14:19



Catalytic Converter Theft and Shooting in Eugene
Police seeking home and in-car surveillance video in case

On April 23 at 4:50 a.m. Eugene Police officers responded to a neighborhood in the 2500 block of Lakeview Drive after reports of catalytic converter thefts in progress and then shots fired.

One resident reported going outside to confront the two or three male suspects, who then started to flee the area in a white minivan-type vehicle.

The resident got in his vehicle and began to follow the suspects but heard multiple gunshots coming from the van and stopped. EPD officers arrived and found shell casings during their search.

Just before 3 a.m., April 24, a resident in the 4300 block of Goodpasture Loop heard a vehicle alarm going off and then startled individuals near the vehicle, who took off in a white mini-van.

Due to the details of the previous day’s call, and the possible presence of a firearm, Eugene Police officers flooded the area.

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A sergeant located a white mini-van and began to follow it. He momentarily lost sight of it around N. Delta Road, near some new apartments, but then spotted the occupied van in a back parking lot.

Additional police units were brought in for a high-risk stop due to the possible presence of firearms and three suspects were taken into custody without incident.

There is an ongoing investigation into the thefts and shooting.

Eugene Police is seeking any relevant tips or home surveillance as well as any in-vehicle video from drivers out and about in these areas during the times of the thefts or shooting that may be helpful in this case. Please call Detective Rick Lowe, 541-682-5573, and reference case 22-06300.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-24 18:08:51Last Update: 2022-04-24 18:17:03



Washington County Emergency Rental Assistance to End
Socialist policies have worsened the housing crisis

Beginning Friday, May 6th, Community Action in Washington County Oregon will cease taking applications for its Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program to ensure that it can meet obligations for applications currently in the pipeline.

The purpose of the ERA program has been to help stabilize households unable to pay rent and utilities due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Washington County estimates that nearly all the $29 million in federal emergency rental assistance allocated to Community Action has been requested by community members, and the program will be fully committed in the coming weeks, meaning the anticipated dollar requests in the application pipeline will reach the threshold of what is available.

All applications from eligible households who apply by end of day May 6, including current pending applications, will be processed.

To-date, Community Action has paid out $16 million in local emergency rental assistance to more than 2,100 renters impacted by the government lockdowns and restrictions.

Another $13 million is available to service received applications.

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Another $41 million from the State of Oregon’s ERA program has also been spent. 53% of all households served by Community Action are from communities of color. 70% of the households served had incomes below 30% median family income (or incomes below $29,000 for a family of four) highlighting the impact on people most vulnerably housed.

“The fact is, the need for emergency rental assistance is far greater than the amount of federal funding available for the program at this time,” said Washington County Chair, Kathryn Harrington. “Despite having these programs, renters are still at risk of losing their homes and we are concerned about the many renters who may potentially experience the trauma of eviction.”

Community Action may, on its own, reopen its application portal as funds from other sources become available, however, at this time the larger sources of federal assistance are fully committed through the Community Action pathways.

This is a concern beyond Washington County, especially after June 30th when the statewide eviction protections end.

Washington County continues to encourage landlords to contact Home Forward, the administrators of the State’s Landlord Guarantee Program, which will remain in place until the summer of 2023 or until funds are fully obligated, whichever comes first.

Landlords may reach out to explore options under that program via phone at (503) 802-8532, by e-mail, or through the Landlord Guarantee Program website.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-24 17:38:53Last Update: 2022-04-24 18:01:05



TriMet Desperate For Bus Drivers
$7,500 hiring bonuses

Starting April 22, all newly hired bus operators at TriMet will earn $25.24 per hour to start and be eligible to receive a $7,500 hiring bonus. That’s a $4,000 bonus increase.

TriMet must hire more than 300 operators to bring staffing levels back to where they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recent incentives have resulted in some applications coming in, but it hasn’t been enough to reverse the most severe staffing shortage in agency history.

The new starting pay is a nearly $4 increase on top of the $4 salary upgrade TriMet made last fall.

All operators receive regular, guaranteed pay raises according to our Working and Wage Agreement with Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) 757.

Under the agreement, bus operators reach the top rate of $33.65 per hour with their 35th month of employment, guaranteeing a base pay of at least $68,000 before any overtime.

TriMet relies on people.

Applicants need not have experience driving a large vehicle like a bus.They offer a fully paid, seven-week training course thast will teach you how to drive a bus the "TriMet way".

During training, new operators work 40-hour weeks at the $25.24 starting rate.

In addition to classroom and field instruction, operators have the opportunity to earn their Commercial Driver License (CDL) certification during the training period.

TriMet starts new training classes about every three weeks and has space for up to 26 new operators per class. All new operators must successfully complete TriMet’s training program before heading out on the road on their own.

TriMet bus operators receive a package of benefits, which includes low- to no-cost health, life and disability insurance, paid vacation and sick time, and a retirement account with a guaranteed employer contribution.

All new employees have access to: TriMet bus operators have the option to pursue full- or part-time schedules of at least 25 hours per week.

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While they do not require driving experience, applicants must be able to provide: In addition, candidates must successfully complete the following steps before being considered for a conditional employment offer: TriMet is regulated by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and must follow federal rules, regulations and mandates to remain in good standing and be eligible for federal funding for projects and initiatives that support mass transportation and the public transportation system for the Portland metro region.

TriMet is challenged by the current conditions in the labor market.

In January, they reduced bus service by about 9% as a direct result of the operator shortage. That’s on top of the 10% service cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lack of operators to this degree brings into question TriMet's service expansion in the future.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-24 16:25:34Last Update: 2022-04-24 17:10:33



Explosive Device Thrown Under RV in Portland
One female adult was inside, she was unhurt

Portland Police Arson investigators are asking for public assistance investigating an arson explosion that damaged an occupied recreational vehicle in the Sunderland Neighborhood.

On Monday, April 18, 2022 at 4:47a.m., Portland Fire and Rescue (PF&R) was dispatched to a report of an RV on fire on Northeast 33rd Avenue south of Northeast Sunderland Avenue.

Firefighters arrived and discovered that community members had put out the fire with fire extinguishers.

They learned that an explosive device had caused the damage.

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They notified Arson Investigators from PF&R and Portland Police, who responded to the scene. Preliminary information suggests that a suspect or suspects in a large yellow box truck, possibly a moving-style rental truck, drove by and threw or rolled an explosive device under the RV.

At the time of the explosion, one female adult was inside. She was unhurt.

PPB and PF&R are requesting any information, witness accounts, video, or photos that would assist with the investigation.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-23 23:15:08Last Update: 2022-04-23 23:28:32



Eugene College Party Prompts Police Response
Underaged drinkers, college-aged individuals and middle-aged parents

At 11:09 a.m. on April 23, Eugene Police started receiving calls about a very large party, reported to have been going since 10 a.m. on 16th Avenue between Patterson and Hilyard.

An estimated 500 to 1,000 people were reported to be blocking the entire roadway, spreading into the travel lanes and spreading onto neighboring properties.

In attendance were underaged drinkers, college-aged individuals and middle-aged parents.

Police were called to respond and had glass bottles and canned food thrown at them. EPD units ended up having to push the crowd out when hails to disperse failed.

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“Something like this is a complete embarrassment for the people who engaged in that party,” said Chief Chris Skinner. “We all understand the excitement Spring brings but these irresponsible individuals, including parents and their college-aged children should be ashamed. What they did was force our operations to go into what is termed ‘priority calls.’ This means that much of the rest of the community has to have their individual calls for service placed on hold while we deal with people who are not able to self-regulate or observe our community’s standards of behavior. I commend our officers for showing tremendous restraint. The attempted assault on our police officers is inexcusable.”

The hub appears it may have been some three-story apartments.

The party was dispersed by about 1:16 p.m. without any arrests. The Mobile Response Teams remained in the area for some time after.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-23 09:28:28Last Update: 2022-04-23 17:58:52



Transportation Bills Intended to Impose Tolling
The idea of tolling is not popular in Oregon

Oregon bills HB 3055 and HB 3065 were introduced in the Oregon legislature in 2021, with the likely intent of opening the way to allow the government to toll particular roads in Oregon.

The Kate Brown administration has been attempting to find and collect revenue in as many ways and places that it can, so the ability to toll would allow the government a way to manage transportation even more than it currently does.

Critics say that the imposition of tolls would disproportionately impact low-income families and communities.

HB 3065 died in the Joint Committee On Transportation. The Chief Sponsor of that bill was Democrat gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek, whose recently resigned her position as Speaker of the House.

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The history of tolling bans highlights the mistrust of the practice, yet out of touch Oregon Democrats on the supermajority have neglected to acknowledge the distaste of the people for it.

As the internal combustion engine became widespread at the beginning of the last century, the first law providing federal aid to states for construction and maintenance of roads was enacted in 1916. HR 7617 from the 64th Congress was passed out of the newly-minted House Committee on Roads with no restrictions on federal money being used for toll roads.

But during the debate on the floor of the House Representative John Farr (R-PA) offered an amendment to the bill, appending a restriction at the end of the appropriation which said, “Provided, That no portion of this appropriation shall be used in the construction, improvement, maintenance, or repair of any toll road.”

HB 3055 was signed into Oregon law on July 27th, 2021. It was introduced at the request of Representative Susan McLain (D-Hillsboro) and Senator Lee Beyer (D-Eugene).


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-22 11:26:20Last Update: 2022-04-22 21:08:00



Late Season Snow Delays Campground Openings
Preseason maintenance and hazard tree felling in campgrounds hampered

Recent late season storm cycles brought much needed snow to the Deschutes National Forest’s upper elevations and other locations in Oregon.

However, the heavy snowfall has also impacted the ability to conduct annual preseason safety inspections, maintenance and repairs and hazard tree removal within the campgrounds.

Traditionally, a number of campgrounds in the Crane Prairie and Wickiup Reservoir areas open in time to coincide with the start of the annual fishing season.

While fishing season opens Friday, April 22, snow impacts have prevented the campground concessionaire from completing critical hazard tree removal work and maintenance at these facilities.

Campgrounds within these areas are tentatively rescheduled to open April 29, providing favorable weather returns this week. Hazard tree removal, inspections and repairs are conducted for visitor safety.

Much of the Crescent Ranger District remains under snow. Forest Service staff are working to clear snow from the Sunset Cove Boat Ramp and Day Use area in order to provide fishing access to Odell Lake.

For visitors looking for an early season camping trip, the four year-round campgrounds in the Metolius Basin, Allen Springs, Camp Sherman, Pine Rest and Lower Bridge Campgrounds are open on the Sisters Ranger District.

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During the spring and early summer recreation season, the Forest Service reminds visitors that it’s extremely important to “Know Before You Go.”

This means confirming that your destination is open for use, checking to see if routes of travel are open and reviewing predicted weather forecasts.

Forest Service roads are not plowed or maintained during winter conditions.

You can visit the Deschutes National Forest website to check on the operational status of the recreation sites. For the most recent information on opening dates for the Cascade Lakes Highway and Paulina Lake Road visit Deschutes County’s website.


--Sabrina-Marie Fisher

Post Date: 2022-04-22 11:01:47Last Update: 2022-04-22 11:14:53



Deadline for Party Affiliation Changes is Approaching
Check yours and let your friends know to check theirs, too.

The May Election is just around the corner and that means closed primaries. Don’t get caught off guard, check your voter registration on the Secretary of State's website. Make sure to check your party affiliation and address. The deadline to make changes is April 26.

Secretary Fagan is asking voters to "help reduce voter confusion by sharing the closed primaries video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, or TikTok. People like you, armed with accurate information from a trusted source, are our best line of defense against false election information."

The Elections Divison has created a new page on their site with straightforward information on voting in Oregon, answers to frequently asked questions and details about how Oregon protects election integrity.

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has sent out a notice reminding people that "Every year, we hear from voters who are confused about Oregon’s closed primaries. So we made a quick video to help explain things."




--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-21 09:40:47Last Update: 2022-04-21 09:52:14



Prison Intakes Plummet in Oregon
At least one way to prevent further crimes is to have potential perpetrators incarcerated

As the COVID outbreak winds down, one part of the wreckage that needs to be cleaned up is the ability of the criminal justice system to effectively address crime. The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission is reporting that on a statewide basis, prison intakes are down for all categories.

While crime rates continue to soar, and riots in Portland have resurfaced, prison intakes have lagged and insiders are publicly asking what impact this has on the continued impact of crime in the state of Oregon. As the population grows and crime increases, at least one way to prevent further crimes is to have potential perpetrators incarcerated.

The commission presents four categories of intakes, all of which declined: Under Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Department of Corrections Director Colette Peters, prison beds have declined. Several prisons were scheduled to be shut down and in the end, only the facility at Mill Creek was shuttered.

​Mill Creek Correctional Facility was a minimum-security prison located five miles southeast of Salem. The facility was a minimum-security work camp providing labor to the Oregon Department of Corrections, other state and local agencies, and private industries throughout the Willamette Valley. MCCF officially closed on June 30, 2021 as part of Governor Brown's sentencing reform efforts.

The department has custody of adults sentenced to prison for more than 12 months, housing approximately 12,000 adults in 12 state prisons throughout the state. DOC is recognized nationally among correctional agencies for providing individuals with the cognitive, education, and job skills needed to become productive citizens when they transition back to their communities.

The Oregon Constitution was amended in November 1996 to say, "Laws for the punishment of crimes shall be founded on these principles: protection of society, personal responsibility, accountability for one’s actions and reformation."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-21 05:46:33Last Update: 2022-04-21 06:04:01



TriMet to Add Articulated Busses
Service begins in September 2022

Bus operators with TriMet will learn from TriMet bus trainers about the differences in operating a 60-foot articulated FX bus compared to our standard 40-foot buses—and doing it safely in a dynamic environment. They’ll be trained on how to operate the front door ramp and other mobility device features, learn how to line up the bus at station areas, and be educated on safe interactions with vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians in the busy Division Street corridor.

Trainers will also instruct operators on other unique features of the articulated bus, which bends in the middle. They’ll learn how to turn corners safely and operate the buses’ three doors for all-door boarding.

You won’t be able to get on the FX buses just yet. Riders need to wait until the new high capacity FX 2-Division service opens in September 2022. Overhead signs on the front of the buses will let people know they’re not picking up riders.

TriMet will have up to four FX training buses traveling along the FX 2-Division route each day. The route runs between Union Station in Downtown Portland and Gresham Central Transit Center. Buses will travel across Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, and along the Division Street corridor, making brief stops at stations to simulate picking up riders. The new buses are longer, but not wider, than our standard buses.

“The on-street training is an exciting milestone in the Division Transit Project that will bring better, more efficient bus service to the corridor,” said TriMet Chief Operating Officer Bonnie Todd. “We do ask people driving, walking and biking around these articulated buses to give our operators some patience and room as they get used to the bigger buses. Please be aware and give them a little more space, like you would around trucks, as our operators learn how to make turns and other maneuvers safely in these longer buses.”

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TriMet will initially train approximately 180 bus operators for FX 2-Division service, and more over time. Training for the start of FX 2-Division service is expected to last through August 2022 and will become a permanent part of TriMet’s bus operator training curriculum.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-20 20:02:08Last Update: 2022-04-20 20:29:46



Democrat Leaders Seek to Address Public Defender Shortage
Three Branch Workgroup will focus on short-term and long-term solutions

In response to the ongoing shortage of public defenders in the state, leaders of Oregon’s legislative, executive and judicial branches will convene a workgroup to develop short-term and long-term solutions to reform the state’s public defense and public safety systems.

As a new spate of riots erupts in Portland, a Three Branch Workgroup, co-chaired by Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) and Representative Paul Evans (D-Monmouth), will analyze management, financial and structural challenges facing the Office of Public Defense Services, and make recommendations for comprehensive reform.

“This is an emergency,” House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) said. “Oregonians are languishing in jail without access to legal representation, while public defenders have long been underpaid and overworked. The system is broken and lacks the opportunity for effective legislative oversight. This workgroup plan will ensure all three branches of government are working together to make meaningful and long overdue structural reforms so that we can keep our communities safe and ensure that all Oregonians have access to legal representation.”

In February, legislative leaders allocated $12.8 million to OPDS to increase hiring of criminal defense attorneys to address the growing number of criminal defendants without legal counsel. OPDS, which maintains the statewide public defense system, is housed in the judicial branch and managed by the nine-member Public Defense Services Commission.

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“There’s no denying that Oregon is going through a public defense crisis,” Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) said. “The Legislature delivered important relief last session, but there’s more work to be done. We cannot afford any delays in justice. This is an attempt to take a run at the issue from all sides.”

One former legislator took another tack, "One way to reduce the workload of public defenders is to reduce crime."

“For far too long, the scales have been tipped against public defenders, making it difficult to ensure a fair and just public defense system,” Governor Kate Brown said. “I share the Chief Justice’s sense of urgency in coming together to collaboratively address both short- and long-term solutions, and I am pleased that this workgroup will take on this issue. Together, we will work to ensure our public defense system is fair, just, and ensures every Oregonian can exercise their constitutional right to legal representation.”

“I am grateful for the three-branch commitment to find long-lasting solutions to the longstanding challenges faced by our criminal justice system and those who work in and are served by it,” Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters said. “With the necessary urgency and a concerted, sustained effort, I know that we can strengthen that system and make it more just.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-19 22:04:52Last Update: 2022-04-24 18:06:22



OHSU Warned of Racial Discrimination for Quotas
Lawsuit threatened over hiring of “underrepresented minorities”

The Austin, Texas based Project on Fair Representation, a not-for-profit legal defense foundation that believes that racial and ethnic classifications and preferences are unconstitutional, unfair, and harmful, sent a letter warning the Oregon Health & Science University, under president Danny Jacobs, that its new “30-30-30 plan” violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because it creates a racially discriminatory admissions program and imposes an illegal racial quota.

Boyden Gray & Associates, a Washington, DC-based law firm, is providing counsel to POFR and drafted the letter to OHSU, signed by founding partner and former White House counsel C. Boyden Gray.

OHSU’s 30-30-30 plan is an educational, hiring, and admissions program developed “to help the state address the current health care workforce shortage and health care inequities that were exacerbated by COVID-19 and its disproportionate impact on underserved communities.” While POFR recognizes that this is a worthy endeavor, OHSU has also stated, going forward, it will ensure that at least 30% of its learners identify as underrepresented minorities.

As the letter explains, such racial balancing is blatantly unconstitutional. Not only is the plan’s quota system “facially invalid” under binding Supreme Court precedent, but its stated purposes are also improper. According to the OHSU website, the 30-30-30 plan is designed to “allow [OHSU] to train health care providers who better represent the racial and ethnic diversity of Oregonians, and who are prepared to provide high-quality, culturally competent care.”

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As the letter explains, “The notion that the quality or cultural competence of medical care is somehow dependent on whether the caregiver is the ‘right’ race or not is nothing short of bigotry. There is nothing less inclusive or ‘culturally competent’ than the implication that what matters is a caregiver’s race, rather than his or her ability to listen, learn, and treat others with respect, dignity, and skill.”

The letter ends with a somber description of the state of affairs at OHSU.

The bottom line is this: the 30-30-30 program will not hold up in court no matter how it is described or defended. And, because OHSU receives federal funding, it could be liable not only for constitutional violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, but also under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Act of 1866.15 Under the Civil Rights Act of 1866, moreover, individuals at OHSU responsible for enacting and enforcing this racially discriminatory policy can be held personally liable as well.16 Such liability can include both compensatory and punitive damages.17 And unlike employment discrimination cases under Title VII, liability under the Civil Rights Act of 1866 has no cap.

Edward Blum, the president of POFR stated, “The 30-30-30 program will not hold up in court. Quotas that aim to achieve racial percentage outcomes violate our nation’s civil rights laws and the U.S. Constitution.”

Blum added, “It is our hope that OHSU will end the use of racial classifications and percentage quotas. Legal challenges are very likely, and, as our counsel’s letter notes, individuals at OHSU responsible for enacting and enforcing this racially discriminatory policy may be held personally liable.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-19 11:59:08Last Update: 2022-04-19 13:16:28



Stacy Jepson Named Interim Beaverton Police Chief
Jepson is raising three sons, with her wife, Megan

Stacy Jepson has been named as Beaverton’s Interim Police Chief.

She will begin her assignment effective Jun. 6, 2022.

Chief Jepson comes to the city by way of the Eugene Police Department where she has served as their Deputy Chief since April 2019. Before that, she spent 21 years serving the Hillsboro Police Department holding the ranks of police officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant, and commander of the patrol division.

“With more than 26 years of policing experience, including exceptional leadership within our surrounding communities, we are fortunate to have such a qualified leader joining the city,” said City Manager Jenny Haruyama. “I have every confidence that Chief Jepson’s experience within the region and knowledge of our area will greatly benefit staff and our community.”

Jepson has a background in working at the regional level and has been on the Tri-Met transit police team.

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Chief Jepson currently lives in Washington County where she is raising her three sons, with her wife, Megan.

“It is an absolute honor and unique responsibility to serve as the Interim Chief of Police for the City of Beaverton,” said Chief Stacy Jepson. “I have spent much of my career policing in this area and working closely with the Beaverton Police Department. They are amongst the finest law enforcement professionals and I couldn’t be more excited to have this opportunity to serve as their next chief. I look forward to joining the city’s leadership team and learning how to best serve the needs of the city, the police department, and the entire Beaverton community.”

Earlier this year, Beaverton Police Chief Ronda Groshong announced her retirement, effective May 2, 2022. Efforts are currently underway to assess long-term recruitment approaches.

The Beaverton Police Department has a $39 million budget and supports nearly 200 employees. The department logs roughly 90,000 annual calls for service.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-18 16:56:05Last Update: 2022-04-18 17:14:54



More Rioting in Portland
What are they protesting now?

A violent group caused significant damage in North Portland, including broken windows, graffiti, and an arson fire at North Precinct.

On Saturday, April 16, 2022 at about 8:00p.m. a group gathered in Peninsula Park, 700 North Rosa Parks Way. About 9:00p.m., members of the group began to march.

Some suspects vandalized a coffee shop in the 6000 block of Northeast Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, including breaking windows and launching explosive devices at the building.

A bank in the 5700 block of Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was defaced with graffiti. Another bank, also in the 5700 block of Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, had its windows broken.

Three bus shelters were damaged.

The group made its way to Portland Police North Precinct, where one or more suspects started an arson fire in a dumpster.

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Officers responded and tried to put out the flames with fire extinguishers, but were unsuccessful. Portland Fire and Rescue responded to fully extinguish the flames. Numerous street signs were also scrawled with graffiti.

No arrests were immediately made, but the investigation is continuing. If anyone has information about these crimes, including photos, video, or suspect information, please contact the police.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-17 10:40:21Last Update: 2022-04-17 17:10:31



GOP Gubernatorial Hopefuls Court Cash
The cash race is tight. Wait until the ballots come in.

Led by former Houser Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) largely on the backs of business lobby interests, Republicans in a crowded Gubernatorial field compete for cash. Of 18 filed candidates, ten have raised over $100,000, including late entrant Lake Oswego Business Consultant and Attorney Bob Tiernan, who has lept into second place ahead of Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam, self-employed editor and publisher Bridget Barton, West Salem Oncologist Bud Pierce and Southern Oregon technology executive Jessica Gomez.

Drazan has spent more raw dollars than any other candidate. Jessica Gomez has spent the largest proportion of her cash among the leaders.

The fundraising field thins after that. Baker City Mayor Kerry McQuisten and Alsea School District Superintendent Marc Thielman -- both favorites of the generally more conservative GOP base -- lag behind the field in fundraising. Two others have dropped out of the race, Jim Huggins and Reed Christensen, and a few more have no or very little money reported raised in their PACs.

Nearly all -- with the exception of Barton -- have spent over half their cash so far. This shouldn't be surprising in a race this crowded, but whoever wins will have to face the public employee union backed Democrat as well as the well-funded campaign of State Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) who is running as an independent, and need not fund a primary challenge. Johnson has reported raising over $6.4 million with just under $6 million in the bank.

The cash spent and cash on hand -- the two combined equals money raised -- doesn't always tell the whole story. For instance, West Salem physician Bud Pierce is expected to self-fund his own campaign and may transfer money in an "as needed" basis. Bill Sizemore certainly has some sources of income that he can tap into.

Campaign cash is very important in a statewide race such as this where a candidate may have a popular message, but inability to communicate with voters may hold them back.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-17 10:07:31Last Update: 2022-04-17 10:59:31



Oregon Schools Adopt Gender Identity in Sports
Public concern dismissed

The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) Handbook, Executive Board Policy 40, Gender Identity Participation, developed in consultation with the Oregon Department of Education is in direct conflict with Title IX.

OSAA Executive Board may have consulted with ODE, but there is no public input at their meetings.

These rights conflict with Title IX, a congressional act passed in 1972 to defend women’s rights in educational institutions.

Now the Salem-Keizer Public Schools adopted a series of administrative policies based on Policy 40 that may be coming to other school districts.

It focuses on transgender student rights. The policy addresses: 1) using the bathroom/locker room of choosing; 2) playing on gendered sports teams of their choosing; 3) All school libraries to have trans-affirming literature; 4) Schools will provide students with and assist them in providing detailed transition plans, and the unsupportive parents will not be allowed to know; 5) The plan also describes how to respond to staff that don’t use the right pronouns or support of the student’s transition plan.

Salem-Keizer adopted the following administrative rules:

FAC-P022 Accessible Facilities for Students and Staff of all Genders Scope: Students, staff, and district visitors shall be provided access to gender-specific facilities at school consistent with their gender identity. Access to private facilities based on privacy, safety, or other concerns will also be made available to the extent possible.

INS-A040 Transgender, Nonbinary, and Gender Nonconforming Student To change the outcome for our trans students, the District must apply an equity lens to all relevant policies, programs, and practices so that all trans students in our district are receiving the same degree of comprehensive care and education of other Salem-Keizer students.

INS-P038 Protecting Transgender Student Privacy Scope: This procedure outlines the steps that district staff should take in order to protect the privacy of a student when they wish to affirm their identity at school as two-spirit, transgender, nonbinary, or another gender nonconforming identity.

INS-P039 LGBTQ+ Affirming Education Scope: This procedure outlines how district staff and teachers, program associates, and administrators will create an inclusive and encouraging environment for students of all genders and sexualities.

">INS-P040 Accessible Athletics for Transgender, Nonbinary, and Gender Nonconforming Students Scope: This procedure outlines how athletics will be accessible to all students, including transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming students.

The school board is failing to recognize the biological physical difference between male and female allowing physically developed males to compete in female competitive sports.

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

According to the new rules, every student who participates in OSAA (Oregon School Activities Association) team athletics will be considered for eligibility on the team that most aligns with their gender identity, regardless of whether the student has undergone any medical gender-affirming treatment.

If a school wants to be competitive, over time female students will be pushed out by a team of more muscular transgender athletes. Where is the equity they so highly value?

The Salem-Keizer School Board references the OSAA Handbook, Executive Board Policy 40. Larry Ramirez, Director of Salem-Keizer High School Education, serves on the OSAA Board. The Salem-Keizer School Board adopted these policies on February 15, 2022, but there appears to be no agenda item or public comment recorded to verify that parents knew these policies were being considered. Salem-Keizer School Board has not responded.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-04-16 12:34:40Last Update: 2022-04-16 13:11:08



Oregon Secretary of State to Fight Misinformation
The Trusted Info 2022 Campaign includes public service announcements

According to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, "False election information is a growing problem in Oregon and around the country." She has launched a new initiative to -- in her words -- “prebunk” false information by "getting accurate information in front of voters before they are exposed to misinformation."

“Our best tool in the fight against false information is true information,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “We are committed to reaching Oregon voters early and often so the first thing they hear about Oregon elections is the truth.” Fagan has been under fire for politicizing the office of the Secretary of State and for failing to provide statutorily required voter information in a timely manner following redistricting.

Trusted Info 2022 is part of a national effort led by the National Association of Secretaries of State. In Oregon, the campaign will include:

1. Public service announcements done in partnership with Happylucky, a Portland-based design firm. These include animated videos, radio spots, and graphics for print and social media in the five commonly spoken languages in Oregon.

The first public service announcement on closed primaries has been produced. The second public service announcement on the postmark rule will be available by April 26, the day before ballots are mailed.



2. Updates to Oregonvotes.gov, focusing on providing plain language information on how elections in Oregon work and debunking common myths. This information is included in a new Election Information section on the website.

3. Social media campaign designed to reach voters with accurate information in easy to understand and easy to share formats. You can find follow this campaign on the Election Division’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Funding for the project was provided by the Legislature as part of an election modernization fund, repurposed in the 2022 legislative session.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-16 09:33:54Last Update: 2022-04-16 10:00:04



Tax Day Looms Large After a Decade of Democrat Tax Increases
Cost of living continues to rise in Oregon

Tax day has become more and more ominous over the last decade, thanks to tax increases passed by the Oregon Democrats.

Earlier this week, inflation reached a four-decade high as prices soared 8.5% on top of Oregon’s extremely high cost of living.

Reports show that Americans will pay $5,200 more this year on things they bought last year because of inflation. Yet, in the last few years, Oregon Democrats have passed massive tax increases – introduced dozens more – and continue to increase the state’s spending.

“The dial has moved one way, and it is making Oregon unaffordable for working families and undermining jobs,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “Inflation is compounding the pain of these tax-and-spend strategies. The majority in Salem has continued to scheme up ways to take Oregonians’ money. Democrats are not satisfied. They have their eye on Oregonians’ Kicker refund and their mortgage interest deduction. This avid desire to take Oregonains’ money is not sustainable.”

In the past few years, Democrats in Salem have pushed through hundreds of millions in new taxes on tobacco, gasoline, health care premiums, small businesses, and a sales tax on businesses operating in Oregon.

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

These new taxes, coupled with overreaching regulation, continue to prop up a bloated government bureaucracy that has shown little in the way of results for Oregonians.

Oregon still has one of the worse homelessness problems in the country.

Mental health and addiction treatment are abysmal.

Government-run schools continue to lower standards and fail to teach kids the basics to be ready for the workforce.

If states are the laboratories of democracy, Portland is the petri dish of damaging tax policy. Just in the last decade, Portland has passed new tax after new tax, with little to show for it: “If history is any guide, Portland liberals will attempt to export these expensive policies to the rest of the state,” Knopp said. “Republicans will introduce meaningful tax relief for consideration in the next legislative session – to make Oregon more affordable and to make our businesses more competitive.”


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-15 19:47:28Last Update: 2022-04-15 19:58:49



Legislative Committee on Gambling Formed
Will provide comprehensive review of gambling

Legislative leaders today announced the formation of a Joint Committee on Gambling Regulation to review the existing policies and structures that regulate state-sanctioned gambling, and take a comprehensive look at the future of the industry in Oregon.

The committee will be tasked with reviewing the existing regulatory and oversight structures for the Oregon Racing Commission and Oregon State Lottery.

“The scope of legal gambling has expanded and changed in major ways in recent years,” House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) said. “Americans spent more money on gambling in 2021 than in any previous year. We must be mindful of the wide-ranging impacts of this growing industry, including on sovereign Tribal governments and Oregonians struggling with addiction. This is an important time to study how other states are approaching this new era, understand opportunities and risks, and ensure we have the right regulatory framework in place as gaming technology evolves.”

“It's been 26 years since we last took a real look at gambling in the state,” said Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem), referring to the 1996 Governor’s Task Force on Gaming. “We want to know what is and isn't working. We've given the individuals on this committee a big job. Gambling has a huge impact on our state. I appreciate them for stepping up to the task.”

The committee will analyze and produce a report on the existing gambling regulatory structure in the state, the legislature’s role in approving expansion or new policies for gambling, the relationship between tribal gaming and state gaming, existing treatment and recovery resources, developments in gambling technology, and more.

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

The committee will follow up with recommendations on how the state can strengthen gambling regulations to protect vulnerable Oregonians, clarify the legislature's role in gambling oversight, support economic development and public services, improve coordination with tribal governmental gambling, and enhance funding and programs for addiction prevention and treatment.

The following legislators will be appointed to the joint committee:


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-15 10:49:07Last Update: 2022-04-16 09:33:54



Elliott State Forest Converted to Research
Less timber, fewer jobs, less money for schools. Oh, and get ready to see it burn

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed SB 1546, the Elliott State Forest Bill, at the Department of State Lands. The Governor was joined by fellow State Land Board members Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and State Treasurer Tobias Read, along with legislative leaders and members of the Elliott State Research Forest Advisory Committee.

The Elliott State Forest is a 91,000 acre forest located in Coos and Douglas Counties in the central Oregon Coast Range. It was established in 1930 as Oregon's first state forest and is overseen by the State Land Board and managed by the Department of State Lands as a Common School Fund land asset.

John Charles with the Cascade Policy Institute noted that "in 1995, when DSL released its first Asset Management Plan, the ESF was given an estimated value of $850 million. Since annual timber growth on the Elliott has exceeded harvest levels every year since then, it’s plausible that the forest today is worth more than $1 billion." He chided the bookkeeping that the sale is based on. "So instead of benefiting from timber harvest receipts generated from the ESF, they are making payments to Wall Street bondholders."

According to Governor Brown, "SB 1546 will implement the State Land Board’s vision to keep the Elliott State Forest in public ownership and preserve it for future generations for conservation, economic growth, recreation, education, and forest research. Since 2017, the Department of State Lands has worked with Oregon State University, the Legislature, Tribal representatives, and a diverse group of Oregon stakeholders in a far-reaching collaboration to develop the plan to transform the Elliott into a state research forest."

Article VIII of the Oregon Constitution defines the Common School Fund -- which the Elliott State Forest contributes to -- and requires that its revenues go to schools:

Section 2. Common School Fund. (1) The sources of the Common School Fund are:

(e) The proceeds of the five hundred thousand acres of land to which this state is entitled under the Act of September 4, 1841 (5 Stat. 455).

(2) All revenues derived from the sources mentioned in subsection (1) of this section shall become a part of the Common School Fund. The State Land Board may expend moneys in the Common School Fund to carry out its powers and duties under subsection (2) of section 5 of this Article.

The bill decouples the Elliott State Research Forest from Common School Forest Lands and eliminates direction to the State Forester to manage, control, and protect the Elliott State Forest Lands. It creates the Elliott State Research Forest Authority to administer Elliott State Research Forest. As one former lawmaker put it, "it ceases to become a source of revenue for schools and becomes an unwanted toy for Oregon State University and the behest of environmentalists."

In committee testimony, Associated Oregon Loggers Forest Policy Manager Amanda Asher made clear that "As the Elliott State Forest sits idling, it continues to become denser with fuels, more overgrown with unhealthy and competing vegetation and further away from its potential as a sustainable and productive resource." She continued, "the Elliott will be continuing to add significantly to its fuel loading under the proposed management by Oregon State University. AOL is concerned at the lack of management that is proposed for the Forest given the productivity of the asset and by setting such a low threshold, the University has reduced its ability to do certain research."

AOL is not the only ones pointing to the fire threat. According to Co-Director of the Oregon Timber Unity PAC Angelita Sanchez, the Elliott is a "is another tinderbox waiting to explode. It poses a serious threat to adjacent communities."

“Together, we have found a way to sustain the Common School Fund and keep the Elliott State Forest public, all while protecting the Elliott's diverse habitats, guaranteeing long-term public access to the lands, and keeping a door open for economic opportunity for the South Coast,” said Governor Brown. “The Elliott State Forest will have a lasting legacy as a research forest that will contribute so much to the development of knowledge around forestry and environmental stewardship.”

“The formation of the Elliott State Research Forest shows that Oregonians can come together, work around a common vision, disagree passionately about details, but still find a way to compromise and reach an outcome that represents a real win,” said Treasurer Read. “When we step outside of our silos, we can do big things here in Oregon.”

Read has long been a supporter of the Elliott transformation. Cascade Policy Institute's John Charles has a different take. "The original concept, as put forward by Treasurer Read in 2017, was that OSU would own and manage the Elliott State Research Forest. But after three years of due diligence, OSU announced it would not assume ownership, due to the financial risk. Also, the ESF has lost money in 7 out of the last 9 years."

Charles continued, "These two facts should make you very skeptical about the promise of financial viability. As legislators, you need to know who will backstop this program if expenses exceed revenues. I’ve heard advisory committee members say that the new entity will not be coming to the legislature every two years for operating subsidies. But if taxpayers don’t bail it out, who will?"


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-15 09:33:12Last Update: 2022-04-15 10:21:38



Scott Hill Resigns as McMinnville Mayor
It’s the latest in a string of resignations

McMinnville Mayor Scott Hill announced his decision to resign effective May 24th and move out of state. He was elected City Councilor in 2005. He was appointed Mayor in early 2016 and elected to that office in November of 2016 and again in 2020.

It is likely Councilor Amy Drabkin will finish out Hill’s year. The position requires a mayor be elected in the November 2022 general election. Mayor Hill is the latest in a string of recent resignations among elected officials in Yamhill County.

Two Newberg City Council positions were vacated with the early departures of Critical Race Theory activist Bryce Coefield in January and Julia Martinez Plancarte in March. After the effort to Recall Newberg School Board members Brian Shannon and Dave Brown failed in 2021, Inez Perez resigned from the Newberg School Board. Hopefuls for City Council Districts 1 & 4 will be on the November ballot. Councilor Elise Yarnell Hollamon is running for HD 23 against Republican incumbent Anna Scharf. If she’s successful, more turnover on Newberg City Council would occur.

McMinnville City Councilor Sal Peralta announced his intention to run for County Clerk in two years. Peralta is active in politics beyond the McMinnville city limits, heading the Independent Party of Oregon, once a growing factor now in the shadow of the large block of Non-Affiliated Voters.

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

All the real and potential resignations are from officials who have pursued a progressive agenda. They have championed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion while embracing Environmental, Social, Governance policies to fight climate change. They have championed vaccine and mask mandates and lockdowns. They have endorsed the Recall efforts against the conservative school board members and County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer. The last of the recall efforts failed three weeks ago. Of Yamhill County’s 23 precincts, only four voted in favor of the recall. All four were in McMinnville and are the voting demographic Mayor Hill most relied on.

Both Mayor Hill and Councilor Peralta were endorsed by former McMinnville police chief, now retiring State Representative Ron Noble (R-McMinnville). Noble is seeking the nomination of the Republican Party for Congressional District 6 in the May primary. Noble voted for issuing drivers licenses to illegal immigrants in 2018. According to some experts, with those drivers licenses came voter registration. While disqualified from voting in Federal elections, those new voters can and do vote in local elections. Many live in the four precincts that voted to recall Commissioner Berschauer. Many of those were first time voters.

McMinnville has experienced budget difficulties under Hill and five year City Manager Jeff Towery. Goals to address homelessness have not borne fruit. Police struggle to retain an adequate force. The McMinnville rural fire district will join in creating a new layer of administration that will increase the portion of property taxes for rural fire protection from $1.23 per thousand valuation to $2.00, a mere 62% increase in taxes. Jumps in the cost of water, sewer and electricity for citizens are being debated. A new mayor in McMinnville will have his or her work cut out for them.


--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2022-04-14 21:55:03Last Update: 2022-04-14 22:33:12



COVID and Venom
What to believe about COVID-19?

Editor's note: This article was poorly sourced and has been retracted. If you'd like a copy of the article, contact us at editor@northwestobserver.com
--

Post Date: 2022-04-14 10:17:51Last Update: 2022-04-15 10:49:07



Concerned About Rising Crime? How Did They Vote?
A look at crime votes of Legislators running for Congress and Governor

As crime rates increase both locally and nationally, one of the major focuses this election season will be how elected officials voted on legislation having to do with law enforcement. In the summer of 2020, in the wake of the death of George Floyd, there was tremendous pressure in the Oregon Legislature to move legislation that placed increased scrutiny and legislation on police, with little regard to its impact on crime or police morale.

Those who were in the legislature during the first special session held in June of 2020 cast votes on a variety of these legislative proposals.

Three gubernatorial candidates were in the Legislature at the time. Of course, Tina Kotek (D-Portland) was the House Speaker at the time and she not only voted for all of these proposals, but sponsored them as well. Her counterpart in the House across the aisle, Representative Christine Drazan (R-Canby) also voted for each proposal. Independent candidate for Governor Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) withstood the pressure better, voting no on two of the proposals and being excused from another for a 50% yes rating.

Two of the candidates in the newly created 6th Congressional District voted on this legislation also. Interestingly, former McMinnville Police Chief and State Representative Ron Noble (R-McMinnville) did not, as they say, "back the blue," voting for each piece of legislation and was a co-sponsor of many. Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego) not only voted for each piece of legislation, she sponsored all but one.

BillChristine Drazan
Tina Kotek
Betsy Johnson
Andrea Salinas
Ron Noble
Summary
HB 4205YY*EYYRequires police officer or reserve officer to intervene to prevent or stop another officer engaged in certain misconduct
HB 4201YY*YY*Y*Establishes Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform
HB 4203YY*YY*Y*Provides that peace officer may not use force that impedes normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure on throat or neck, unless peace officer may use deadly physical force.
HB 4207YY*YY*Y*Directs Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to establish public statewide online database of suspensions and revocations of certifications of police officers.
HB 4208YY*NY*Y*Prohibits law enforcement agencies from using tear gas for purposes of crowd control except in circumstances constituting riot.
HB 4210YY*NY*YRepeals driving privilege suspension and eliminates imposition of driving privilege restrictions for failure to pay fine.
HB 4301YY*YY*YProvides that peace officer or corrections officer may not use force that impedes normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure on throat or neck except in specified circumstances.
*Bill Sponsor


During the session, it was hard to find a dissenting voice. Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson gave testimony that offered some resistence. "While the speed at which these measures were crafted and this special session is moving quickly, there are pieces of these measures that may have unintended consequences. We would ask, that if unintended consequences are discovered, we be allowed to suggest adjustments to policy in future sessions."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-14 06:04:34Last Update: 2022-04-14 03:40:04



Study Finds Tax Burden Greater on Forest Sector Than on Other Oregon Businesses
Oregon is not business friendly

The Oregon Forest & Industries Council have released a groundbreaking report from national accounting firm Ernst & Young detailing the total tax burden on the private forest sector in Oregon.

Presented to the Government Issues Committee of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce this morning, the report’s primary finding concludes the Oregon forest sector pays more than one-and-a-half times more on average than other Oregon businesses.

“By looking at a variety of publicly available tax and economic data sources for fiscal year 2019, we concluded the tax burden on Oregon’s forest industry is greater than other Oregon industries, including the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, and is one-and-a-half times greater than the overall total Oregon business tax burden,” said Caroline Sallee, project lead on the report and Senior Manager with Ernst & Young LLP’s Quantitative Economics and Statistics Group.

Ernst & Young’s report is the first time a comprehensive analysis has looked at the aggregate forest industry tax burden and comes at a time when the Oregon Legislature is considering legislation that would further increase taxes on the sector.

“Our intuition told us this had to be the worst possible time to further increase taxes on businesses, and on the forest sector in particular,” said Todd Payne, Chairman of the Oregon Forest & Industries Council’s Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer for Seneca Family of Companies. “We’ve just suffered the worst wildfire season in history – private forestland owners lost over 400,000 acres in the Labor Day fires and we are actively working to restore and replant those lands at significant costs. Many of our rural communities are suffering multiple extreme hardships as they struggle to rebuild post-fire while the global pandemic and business shutdowns are taking enormous tolls. This report unequivocally concludes our sector already pays more than its fair share in taxes and it vindicated our sense that additional tax increases are motivated more by philosophical differences about forest management than they are by any sense of tax equity.”

The report calculated the total tax burden by aggregating all taxes paid by the sector, including property taxes, income taxes, small tract forestland taxes, corporate income and excise taxes, fire assessments and privilege taxes.

All told, in 2019 the forest sector contributed over $142 million to state tax coffers.

“Given the report’s findings, we now know that legislation under consideration in the 2021 legislative session would effectively double the total taxes currently paid by the forest sector,” said Adrian Miller, Chair of the Oregon Forest & Industries Council’s Tax Committee and Director of Public Affairs for Rayonier. “That would increase the forest sector’s effective aggregate tax rate to nearly three times more than other Oregon businesses pay. At a time when the latest state revenue forecast indicates the Legislature has nearly $800 million more to work with this session than it originally thought and has billions of dollars in reserves, doubling the tax burden on the forest sector seems unnecessary.”

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

As the number one softwood lumber and plywood producer in the nation, Oregon’s forest sector is one of the state’s cornerstone industries and serves as the economic backbone for many rural counties.

Lane County, where the report was unveiled, combined with neighboring Douglas county are often considered the wood basket of the United States as the two counties together encompass over a quarter of the state’s annual timber harvest.

Over 80 percent of this timber is harvested from privately owned forestlands.

“When the Chamber was first made aware of this study, we were thrilled at the opportunity to bring the project lead in front of our Government Issues Committee,” said Vonnie Mikkelsen, President and CEO of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. “In Lane County alone, the forest sector provides over 7,000 jobs that pay, on average, 130 percent of the county annual wage. Eighty-five percent of Lane county is forested, and we are home to nearly 30 primary wood products manufacturing facilities. This study is the first time we’ve seen information like this put together and underscores that the health of the forest sector has a direct bearing on our local economies.”

Ernst & Young was commissioned by the Oregon Forest & Industries Council to complete the report at the end of 2020, after reviewing prior work done by the firm.

Oregon Business and Industry commissioned Ernst & Young in 2020 to quantify the impact of recently enacted state tax programs on the total tax burden borne by Oregon businesses. That report concluded in the past few years, the Oregon Legislature has increased the tax burden on businesses by 41 percent.

“We never before had reason to commission an exercise like this until we saw legislation introduced that attempted to change the forest tax program in Oregon,” said Miller. “We felt to have a reasonable conversation about that we needed to first establish a baseline for what the sector currently contributes to state taxes. We selected Ernst & Young from among several leading regional and national economics firms largely because of the experience they – and Ms. Sallee, in particular – had in analyzing the impact of diverse state and local taxation programs on businesses, both in Oregon and across the United States.”


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-13 10:54:14Last Update: 2022-04-13 18:30:30



Linn County Urges Forest Management Changes
“We don’t need grants, we need chainsaws”

Linn County Commissioners Roger Nyquist, Sherrie Sprenger and Will Tucker have now told representatives of the Willamette National Forest that they have major concerns that unless the U.S. Forest Service makes major policy changes when it comes to timber harvesting, forest floor fuel loads and firefighting priorities, western Oregon will likely experience more massive fires in coming years.

Willamette National Forest Supervisors Dave Warnack and Deputy Supervisor Duane Bishop provided the commissioners with information about plans for fire recovery, fire preparedness and opening public access.

Warnack said the Willamette National Forest will receive $78 million to be used for fire recovery programs on 200,000 acres that burned in 2020 and 2021. He said that federal funds often must be spent within a one- to three-year time period, but this money does not come with those strings attached.

He said key goals are public safety/access, infrastructure repair, reforestation; restoration, natural resource surveys, and cultural resource surveys.

“We want to work closely with our partners to understand your needs,” Warnack said. “We are asking for your help and participation. We have an open mind about what that would look like.”

Board Chair Nyquist said he has not been happy with the Forest Service for a long time. He said that in the 1970s, there were 64 mills in Linn County and now there are very few.

“Housing was affordable and now it’s not,” Nyquist said. “People weren’t fearing forest fires and now they have real concerns.”

He believes increasing wildfire issues can be traced to the late 1980s when timber sales were reduced significantly due to the Northern Spotted Owl being listing as a threatened or endangered species. He said forests grow about 2.7% per year and if timber sales do not meet or exceed that, the amount of standing fuels and on the ground increases significantly and creates a huge fire threat that worsens every succeeding year.

Nyquist said while the federal funding is welcome,“We don’t need grants, we need chainsaws.”

Warnack said the new U.S. Forest Service chief came from California and is well versed in the escalation of massive wildfires.

“He understands the impact of wildfires on both resources and communities,” Warnack said. “He believes in staying out front of wildfires by reducing fuels through thinning.”

Warnack said the plan is to identify places where major fires could be stopped before they ever occur by hardening processes, such as timber reduction, etc. That process is already occurring on the Sweet Home Ranger District under the direction of Ranger Nikki Swanson.

Commissioner Sprenger said that in 2008 and 2009, when she was a State Representative, she viewed several timber stewardship projects and while they looked “very pretty, like a park” they produced very few logs for local mills.

“We need a whole lot more harvesting,” Sprenger said.

Commissioner Tucker was especially concerned about access to overhead aircraft — planes and helicopters.

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

“We have lost planes, helicopters,” Tucker said. “What have we added?”

Bishop said that planes tend to be more effective on flatland fires and that air assets are distributed on a national level and vary as fire season moves by region.

He also questioned the Forest Services policies concerning fighting fires in wilderness areas. He said fire- fighters need to be able to use chainsaws and other equipment to contain or put out fires before they become massive like the 400,000 acre fire that engulfed the Santiam Canyon on Labor Day 2020.

Bishop said the Forest Service has a 98% forest fire containment rating and until recent years, the largest fire in Oregon was less than 50,000 acres.

He said that weather patterns are changing and fire season that used to be four to six weeks long, may now stretch out to four or five months.

“That 2% is the issue,” Commissioner Sprenger said. “I implore your agency to change its policies to be more aggressive in fighting fires and increasing timber harvesting and fuels reduction.”

Commissioner Nyquist encouraged the Forest Service to operate more like the McDonald-Dunn Forest in Benton County.

“It is one of my favorites places on earth,” Nyquist said. “Why can’t we do that? Balance timber production and harvesting, reduce fire risk and provide public access?”

Bishop said the Forest Service is governed by the North-west Forest Plan which was enacted in 1994 under then President Bill Clinton.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-13 09:35:04Last Update: 2022-04-13 16:04:22



Clackamas County Board Establishes Housing Priorities
Lifting people out of homelessness, expanding access to affordable housing, and maximizing service impacts

The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, under the direction of Chair Tootie Smith, has prioritized focusing on housing and sheltering in Clackamas County for several years, as evidenced by the overarching Performance Clackamas strategic plan, the many programs and services that Clackamas County offers in this area, and continual actions to fund such services.

The document outlines 13 values that the county and its service providers should strive for when providing related services. These are grouped in three categories: providing lasting and effective programs and services; creating equitable housing solutions and housing access; and providing robust community engagement opportunities.

Last April, the board approved a similar values document on Proposed Transportation Funding Solutions for the Interstate System in the Portland Metropolitan Area. That document has been referenced many times in public settings since its inception, as it clearly articulates the board’s values and explicitly states their belief that tolling or congestion pricing on I-205 will have a disproportionate and detrimental effect on Clackamas residents, businesses, and visitors.

Clackamas County keenly focuses on the well-being of all our families and communities. Continual investments made in affordable housing and sheltering, and providing supportive services to those in need, are key to keeping our communities safe, healthy and prosperous.

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

Lifting people out of homelessness, expanding access to affordable housing, and maximizing service impacts are critical to an overarching goal of the Board of County Commissioners: to alleviate poverty and ensure the safety, health, and security of our residents. Clackamas County has identified the following values to guide housing-related programs.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-12 15:47:27Last Update: 2022-04-12 16:35:43



USFS Hiring Multiple Positions on Oregon Coast
Full time and seasonal

Applications are being accepted for multiple permanent positions supporting recreation programs on the Oregon Coast.

Positions range from entry-level jobs helping manage off-highway vehicle recreation at the Oregon Dunes and Sand Lake recreation areas to supervisory positions overseeing trails and recreation programs for the Hebo and Central Coast ranger districts.

Due to a large number of recreation positions to be filled throughout the Forest Service simultaneously, many similar positions from other locations are lumped into a small number of job announcements on USAJobs.gov.

Applicants interested in the positions listed on the employment page are encouraged to reach out to the local point of contact listed to learn more about the position.

To apply, applicants will need to identify the job announcement that matches the job series and grade of the target position listed on the employment page.

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After Human Resources does their initial screening, applicants will be asked to select the locations and tour of duty (full time or seasonal) they would like to be considered for.

Applicants interested in the jobs on the Siuslaw National Forest, will need to note the location identified (Reedsport or Hebo, OR) and select that during the application process. A financial relocation incentive may be offered; government housing is not available.

The application window is April 6 – 19, 2022, yet may close earlier if the national target number of applications is met. Job seekers are encouraged to apply early.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-11 18:20:20Last Update: 2022-04-11 18:32:28



Washington County Advisory Council on Racial Equity
Advancing equity, diversity and inclusion

On Tuesday, April 5, the Washington County Board of Commissioners established the Advisory Council on Racial Equity (ACRE), a new advisory Council to the Board and department directors.

The formation of the Council, as called for in the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) resolution of February 2020, is intended to support the advancement of equity, diversity and inclusion best practices and outcomes.

In four planning meetings held in partnership with the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (OEICE), the ACRE Charter was co-created by diverse Washington County community leaders with supposed deep equity expertise.

These partners include representatives from the following organizations: As stated in the charter, the purpose of ACRE is threefold: Maria Caballero Rubio, Executive Director of Centro Cultural, shared her optimism for continued advancement of equity and inclusion by the County and ACRE. “Having participated in the Leading with Race research project by the Coalition of Communities of Color in 2016-2018, and conducted forums to get community input for the Equity Resolution, I am very excited that the County is moving forward. Thank you to Chair Harrington for moving this along.”

Another community partner, Wajdi Said representing Muslim Educational Trust, emphasized the importance of the Council’s work.

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It has been stated that their next steps include recruitment of members for the Advisory Council on Racial Equity and then Board approval of the membership roster in June, prior to the first ACRE meeting scheduled for July.

Members will supposedly include a mix of representatives of community-based organizations and at-large community members, representing racial equity expertise, as well as geographic and demographic diversity.

The County has launched it's recruitment for this advisory Council and encourages all who are interested to apply. Applications can be located on the Boards and Commissions web page. For more information you can email the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-10 11:13:57Last Update: 2022-04-10 21:59:11



Leftist Activists Influencing Oregon Politicians
Reimagine Oregon wants to defund the police

According to their website, Reimagine Oregon are a group of Black-led organizations, Black individual activists and protest organizers who advocate for radical political goals.

They claim on their website that in 2020 they developed a two-year plan to begin dismantling systemic racism in Oregon.

They also want to defund and vilify the police and reduce prosecution of violent criminals.

The gas-lighting about systemic racism will likely continue to be used, however,they were instrumental in influencing the destructive policies that Portland, Multnomah and some neighboring jurisdictions have implemented which have led to increases in crime.

According to their website, they have a number of elected politicians who have agreed to push their agenda items aggressively. Among those politicaians are Governor Kate Brown, Tina Kotek, Representative Julie Fahey (D-Eugene), Representative Karin Power (D-Portland), Representative Akasha Lawrence Spence (D-Portland), Representative Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas), Senator Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego), Senator Lew Frederick (D-Portland), Senator James Manning (D-Eugene), Senator Elizabeth Steiner-Hayward (D-Portland), Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), and Shemia Fagan, Oregon's Secretary of State.

It seems some county commissioners have also pledged support, such as Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas and Commissioner Sonya Fischer.

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Although apparently Savas has requested that they update their website, and so far receiving no response from them to do so.

Clackamas County Commissioners voted on March 29th 3-1 to withdraw any support. Commissioner Sonya Fischer maintained her support of the radical group by voting no.

Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington and Commissioner Pam Treece have pledged support as well. You can see them participating, along with Oregon Governor Kate Brown, in the 2020 Reimagine Oregon Press Conference.

"It's disconcerting that some Commissioners give little thought to lending the credibility of their titles and offices to groups who actively work against the public interest," said Mark Johnson, who is running for Clackamas County Commissioner to replace Paul Savas. "Even a cursory look at Reimagine Oregon reveals it is closely linked to the madness of Portland's '2020 Summer of Love.' The desire to vilify and cripple law enforcement is central to their stated mission. I don't understand why retaining any affiliation with this organization was even a debate."


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-10 08:31:54Last Update: 2022-04-10 13:11:24



Oregon to Host Track and Field Championships
The world’s most prestigious track and field event for first time in the U.S.

“In 100 days, Oregon will welcome the world as we host the World Athletics Championships for the first time ever in the United States. We are excited, and we are ready," said Oregon Governor Kate Brown on the upcoming international event.

“This extraordinary event will bring thousands upon thousands of global visitors to our state, giving Oregon an incredible opportunity to showcase our amazing small businesses and hospitality industry, world famous food scene, and beautiful outdoors.

“I look forward to welcoming Team USA and the many athletes, coaches, and fans who will flock to our state for Oregon22. Here in Oregon, we have a rich history in track and field -- the sport is ingrained in our culture and hearts, making it even more special that we get to host the championships for the first time on U.S. soil this summer.

“I encourage all Oregonians to join me in celebrating this official countdown to Oregon22, and join us as we get ready to welcome the world and celebrate the talent and diversity of this remarkable sport.”

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The 18th edition of the World Athletics Championships will be held at the reimagined Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, and will be delivered in partnership with Oregon22 LLC and USA Track & Field. It is the first time the competition will take place in the United States, with 2,000 world-renowned athletes from over 200 nations expected to compete July 15-24, 2022. An estimated 200,000 spectators from across the globe are expected to visit Oregon for this prestigious event.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-09 13:17:00Last Update: 2022-04-09 13:26:15



Gresham Offering Jobs to Homeless
Taking a creative approach to recruiting challenges

Gresham, Oregon is in the midst of hiring for seasonal Public Utility Worker positions that support Gresham’s Operations Center.

However, with over thirty positions to fill and given the state of the current labor market, the City has struggled to get applicants.

In an attempt to overcome these challenges, the City is taking a creative approach to support recruiting efforts.

Members of Gresham’s Homeless Services Team will be taking copies of applications with them and helping those they encounter to apply for the open seasonal public utility worker positions.

“Gresham’s Homeless Services Team connects people experiencing homelessness with the resources they need including employment,” said Community Services Manager Jessica Harper. “Some of our staff have lived experience with homelessness and for them, getting a reliable, well-paying job was one of the main things that propelled them off the streets and into stable housing. I am excited that these seasonal Public Utility Worker positions may offer that same opportunity to someone experiencing homelessness in Gresham today.”

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The Gresham Homeless Services Team consists of three specialists who interact with approximately fifteen to twenty people every day.

The team says it is intentional about connecting people with the resources they need whether it be shelter or employment opportunities. They say they are proud of the teams for continuously finding innovative solutions that benefit the entire community.
--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-08 22:12:09Last Update: 2022-04-08 22:32:29



Portland Police Surveillance Tactics Scrutinized
37 different surveillance technologies but few policies to guide their use

The City of Portland has concluded an audit of Portland Police intelligence gathering both generally and during the 2020 protests. Chief Chuck Lovell leads the bureau.

According to the report, "A wave of Black Lives Matter protests swept through Portland in the summer and fall of 2020. Police encountered protesters exercising their right to free speech and others vandalizing property and committing arson. The dynamic conditions of the protests presented a challenge for police to enforce laws while safeguarding people’s civil rights.

The audit has two parts. The first reviewed whether police working the protests and criminal intelligence officers gathered and maintained information about protesters in a way that protected their civil rights. The second part focused on how the police used surveillance technology, both during protests and more generally. Among other things, the audit found that the Portland Police Bureau provided no guidance for officers at protests about what information they could collect and that the Criminal Intelligence Unit did not limit access to its reports and kept them past their retention schedule.

The 23 page report recounts that

"The [Portland Police] Bureau had 37 different surveillance technologies but few policies and procedures to guide their use. We found that officers used social media extensively without direction for appropriate use. Our review of video taken from the Bureau’s airplane did not record images that could be used to identify people or vehicles, a finding that may help alleviate protesters’ fears of the Air Support Unit.

Intelligence gathering and surveillance is by its nature secretive, but the Bureau should adopt policies to guide officers tasked with collecting it. The policies should set boundaries for acceptable activity and help ease the public’s fear of the Bureau’s use of intelligence-gathering and surveillance, the collection of which is to make Portland a safer and more secure place to live.

The Oregon Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union panned the Portland Police in a statement in which they described the report as "damning." "Such indiscriminate, warrantless surveillance chills free speech, erodes trust between community and government, and creates alarming opportunities for abuse. That is why, under Oregon law, the police are prohibited from collecting and maintaining information on anyone’s political views or activities outside of a criminal investigation. PPB’s broad and highly intrusive surveillance of protesters in 2020 is a blatant violation of this law."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-07 17:33:23Last Update: 2022-04-07 20:02:55



Mandating Electric
Oregon discouraging carbon emissions

Last week, Washington State Governor Inslee signed a bill requiring all vehicles sold in 2030 and after are to be electric.

California Governor Newscom signed an executive order on September 23, 2020, requiring new cars and passenger trucks sold by 2035 must be zero-emission vehicles.

In 2019, Oregon Senator Lee Beyer (D-Springfield) and Representative Jeff Reardon (D-Happy Valley) sponsored and passed SB 1044 requiring that nine out of 10 new car sales be electric by 2035 and half of registered vehicles.

The goal for electric vehicles was 50,000 in 2020, 250,000 in 2025, 1.1 million in 2030 and 2.5 million by 2035 – basically 100%. Behind schedule, at the end of 2020 there were 32,000 registered zero emission vehicles.

ODOT likes to blame not reaching the first goal on cheap gas they say causes people to hold onto their vehicles longer.

ODOT’s Climate Action Plan, issued in July 2021, adopted modifications to 120,000 electric vehicles by end of 2027, missing the 2025 legislative goal.

Most electricity is produced using coal, natural gas, or hydropower.

Cascade Policy Institute reports even with the stringent policies mandating various levels of carbon-free electricity, those policies can’t actually be implemented for several reasons.

The most obvious is that the power sources are unstable and the physics of the grid requires that electricity supply and demand be in equilibrium at all times Getting people to purchase electric vehicles may take more trust in the stability of the supply of electricity.

When HB 2021 passed in 2021 that moved the target date from 2025 to 2030, it also set goals for electricity providers to reduce emissions 80% by 2030, 90% by 2035 and 100% by 2040.

There were numerous experts that warned of the likelihood of rolling blackouts related to supply and stability. HB 2021 even allows for use of other sources in unstable periods, which means legislators know the possibility exists.

Hydropower along with natural gas is Oregon’s back-up to supply stability. Still Oregon refuses to classify hydropower as renewable even though the U.S. Energy Information Administration considers it a renewable source.

Oregon is ranked fourth in the nation using renewable energy with hydropower, and sixteen without hydropower.

Biden’s solution for high gas prices is just buy an electric car. They are trying to sell electric cars as an answer to pollution.

But there is more to electric cars than the fuel. Where do you think the materials come from to make the batteries and what happens to them afterwards?

A single Tesla battery weighs 1,000 pounds and requires extracting and processing around 500,000 pounds of mineral ore materials to manufacture. Imagine the huge trenches it will leave behind to meet the supply demand. The life span may be significant, but the majority are not rechargeable.

Disposing of a toxic large battery is something you never hear about. How many restricted landfills and dumps will dot our landscapes? Once a battery starts to degrade in landfills, they can contaminate the topsoil, groundwater, and air.

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When the chemical seeping happens, it can risk entering the human supply chain. Conservationist and environmentalist concerned with fossil fuels need another look at the bigger picture.

On the drawing table is a 1-million-mile car battery, which will drastically reduce the amount of waste in a Tesla. Currently, the best performing Tesla has a single-charge range of around 370 miles and a lifespan of 300-500,000 miles. Even with Tesla’s recycling program, they admit there are parts of the battery that is too costly to recycle. And about 8% cannot be recycled. That’s 80 out of 1,000 pounds that is still headed to the landfill.

Even if we are all given electric cars, the Treehuggers want to also measure carbon emissions from all of the consumed energy used in the processes to produce and construct a building.

It didn’t go unnoticed by Representative Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis). He sponsored and the Governor signed HB 4139 to establish a pilot program for greenhouse gas reduction that assesses the greenhouse gas emission from concrete, asphalt paving mixtures, steel products, and other products identified by ODOT, and conduct a life cycle assessment and strategies for reducing emissions.

Oregon Department of Transportation meetings on how to spend infrastructure funds brought out those advocating for no more highways. Is that where we are headed with zero-emissions?


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-04-07 15:31:00Last Update: 2022-04-07 17:03:56



Former ORP National Committeewoman Chris Barreto Endorses McQuisten
Kerry McQuisten is a seventh generation Oregonian

Oregon Republican gubernatorial candidate, Kerry McQuisten, has been given an official endorsement by Chris Barreto, former Oregon Republican Party (ORP) National Committeewoman.

Barreto and her husband, Greg, founded Barreto Manufacturing, Inc. in Keizer Oregon, later relocating the company to LaGrande.

A mother of eight, Barreto was an RNC delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention from Oregon. She was a delegate for Donald Trump, and served on the Rules Committee of the convention in July 2016 where she successfully helped defend his nomination. She also served on the Credentials Committee at the 2012 RNC Convention.

Barreto says, “I solidly endorse Kerry McQuisten for governor of Oregon. The governor’s office is an executive-level position, and we need Kerry’s management ability in that seat if Oregon is to be represented effectively on a national scale. She’s a real conservative, and I’ve seen her advocate for parents’ rights, including homeschooling, and our Second Amendment rights. She was raised on a cattle ranch with mining and timber; her heart is there. With this endorsement, I’m asking Oregon voters to unite behind her in the primary so that we have the strongest candidate in the general election.”

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McQuisten received endorsements from the Eastern Oregon Mining Association, Oregonians for Medical Freedom, and Restore Oregon NOW.

McQuisten has also been endorsed by Dr. Kelli Ward, who serves as Chair of the Arizona Republican Party, Union County’s constitutional sheriff Cody Bowen, Utah State Representative Ken Ivory who founded the American Lands Council, and dozens of businesses around the state.

If elected, McQuisten, who is the mayor of Baker City, a seventh generation Oregonian, and a business owner, would become Oregon’s first female Republican governor, and the first governor from eastern Oregon since the 1950s. She would also be Oregon’s first Republican governor in four decades.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-06 18:21:23Last Update: 2022-04-06 18:34:13



Clackamas County and Senate Districts
The impact of gerrymandering can be seen here

Clackamas County boasts ten percent of Oregon’s population. According to the design of our representative democracy, Clackamas County should have ten percent of the thirty Oregon Senate seats, but the people of Clackamas County do not have that distinction. Instead, there are eight Oregon Senate Districts that touch Clackamas County. Most of them are a finger touch with a minimal Clackamas County population.

Only one Oregon Senate District is fully within the boundaries of Clackamas County. That is Senate District 20 which is currently served by Senator Bill Kennemer of Canby.

One other Oregon Senate District has a significant Clackamas County population. That is Senate District 26 which stretches from The Dalles in Wasco County, through and including all of Hood River County, into Multnomah County and the communities of Corbett and Springdale. The Senate District 26 population of these three counties amounts to about 50,000 people.

Senate District 26 also includes the Villages of Mount Hood, the Cities of Sandy, Estacada and Canby, the communities of Boring, Beavercreek, Eagle Creek and Mulino which are all in Clackamas County. The Clackamas County population in Senate District 26 approaches 90,000 people. 65% of the population of Senate District 26 are Clackamas County residents.

Gerrymandering has taken its toll over the years, and now Clackamas County is facing its worst fate. If the Clackamas County voters do not intervene, Clackamas County will not be represented by a Clackamas County Senator in District 26.

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Of the four, there is only one candidate who lives in Clackamas County. The fact is, gerrymandering has kept Clackamas County from receiving its due in Salem. Over the past 30 years, there has never been three Clackamas County residing Senators. It has been over a dozen years since there were two. As a result, all of the communities of Senate District 26 and other areas of Clackamas County have been under represented. Clackamas County’s voice has been muted on many issues.

2022 can be the first time Clackamas County has two Oregon Senators who live in Clackamas County and care about Clackamas County issues. Oregon Senate Candidate Steve Bates lives in Boring. 70% of the population of Senate District 26 lives within 35 miles of Bates’ Boring home. Bates is the only candidate who is centrally located to serve all of the people of the District.


--Les Poole

Post Date: 2022-04-05 13:19:06Last Update: 2022-04-05 15:15:44



Analysis: Republican Homeless Student Initiative Fails
Billions are available for student homelessness and others

On March 3, SB 1539 relating to homeless youth in Oregon schools, sponsored by Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) died quietly and was laid to rest on a strait party line vote. All nine republicans voted yes and 18 democrats voted no. The vote sent a clear message to Senate Republicans -- inculcating socialist ideology using public schools is the purview of progressive Democrats -- stay out. Some saw this as a rare case of Democrats saving Republicans from themselves.

The summary of SB 1539, “Establishes a pilot program to provide funding to school districts for purposes of increasing access to schools by homeless students and improving academic achievement of homeless students. Directs Department of Education to award grants to school districts participating in pilot program from Statewide Education initiatives Account.” The bill’s intent was to identify 7 out of 222 public school districts in Oregon with a “significant population” of homeless students, as determined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C 11434a(2), those districts would receive funding to track, support and enable academic success of homeless students. The funding would come from realignments of Oregon’s corporate sales tax.

SB 1539 had the political tax-and-spend trifecta: children, education and homelessness. According to Senator Knopp, “The state has just not done a good job in supporting homeless youth.” However, had Senate republicans gone to school on student homelessness, they would have uncovered multiple layers and $100s of billions in taxpayer funded programs widely available and targeted directly at homeless students, schools, unaccompanied minors and families.

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No need for pilot programs, federal subgrants exist to do just what Senator Knopp proposed. Further, The Mckinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act established program offices in all 50 states and Puerto Rico to manage and ensure every school district throughout the nation has at least one taxpayer funded McKinney-Vento homeless educational liaison. Depending on a district’s size there could be several. According to the National Center for Homeless Education, a McKinney-Vento homeless liaison’s job includes the following: A definition of homeless children and unaccompanied minors is defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act as children from 5 to 24 years old who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The Act itself does not objectively define the terms, fixed, regular or adequate; therefore, broad subjective assessments can be created locally as needed.

With billions of dollars at stake, district liaisons, school district administrators and 1000s of federally funded homeless and migrant organizations are incentivized to define student homelessness as broadly as possible. For example, if parents move to a new job and children stay with relatives to finish a school year (or beyond) they could be defined as homeless. A family living in a motorhome while their house is under construction can be considered homeless. Children living in trailer parks, transitional housing or staying with relatives or friends for a variety of reasons can be defined as homeless.

According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness Oregon in 2020, had about 14,000 persons experiencing homelessness in one point-in-time count but the same site lists 24,000 homeless students. Keep in mind, these numbers are separate. For example, best-available data from 2017-18, shows Clackamas County had 287 total homeless persons but 1147 homeless students, Morrow County lists 0 homeless persons but 112 homeless students, Linn County had 180 homeless persons but 1024 homeless students.

If new data ever gets published, expect homeless student numbers to explode. Why? Around 80 percent of homeless children are classified as “doubled-up” meaning, “living with another family or a sponsor.” This category represents 100s of thousands of unaccompanied minors and families entering the country illegally. They are transported by Health and Human Services to sponsors and federally funded private agencies for placement throughout the country. Once enrolled, no questions asked, they enter the system and years of taxpayer financial support begins.

Keep in mind, numbers were before the Biden administration opened the border and data reporting stopped, ostensibly due to Covid. Texas may indicate what’s coming, going from 111,117 designated homeless students in 2016-17 doubling to 221,305 in 2017-18. A 107 percent increase in one year – and this data is 4 years old. Homeless student numbers for Texas alone might be over 500,000 by the end of 2022 with relative increases in every school district around the country. How will taxpayers pay for this?

The 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan—Homeless Children and Youth act allocated $800 million specifically for homeless students. Oregon received $7.4 million which was distributed to local public school districts. Additionally, there were three rounds of funding for schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief act ESSER I, ESSER II, and ESSER III each with homeless set-asides. Oregon received approximately $1.63 billion from the three ESSER rounds – money falling from the sky for Oregon school districts.

Simultaneously, there were 3 rounds of Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds GEER I, GEER II, GEER III totaling another $60 million for Oregon schools -- fund distribution was based on criteria set by Governors. An additional $30 million dollars was provided to Oregon for Comprehensive Distance Learning with another $28 million dollars in Educational Assistance to Non-public Schools. Oregon’s migrant student allotment was $27 million just for migrant student education with $7 million more for English teaching. Most Americans and many others also received money from each Covid funding round totaling $3200.00 for every adult and $2500.00 for every child. A family with 4 children, including homeless families, received $16,400.00 in “free” money – enough for a down payment on a house.

Every homeless student, at-risk family, unaccompanied minor, and migrant family is also automatically entitled to Title I federal benefits. Title I programs provide additional $10 of billions annually for low-income students, minorities, disabled, delinquent, at-risk youth and others. Title I programs automatically enroll recipients into other taxpayer funded programs such as HUD housing assistance, food stamps, USDA school feeding programs, welfare benefits, medical, dental, mental health care and much more. This money is all totally separate from the additional billions in property tax money Oregon homeowners pay annually to fund public schools.

Evidence is mounting, that using COVID as a pretext, progressive politicians and teacher’s unions -- coordinating with the CDC, Department of Education, Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies likely exacerbated student homelessness and created at-risk families by shutting schools, closing business, forcing parents out of work and opening the southern border. Following destabilization, their solution was a staggering redistribution of wealth, totaling over $5.3 trillion dollars, which moved income from taxpayer pockets to progressive social and welfare programs. Informed conservatives, parent’s rights groups and education analysts suggest this is part of Obama and Biden administration initiatives to, “fundamentally transform America” toward progressive socialist ideology. Children and schools are a primary lever and point-of-entry for this transformative inculcation and to federalize public education.

Oregon senate republicans would be relieved to know, that had they looked, there are billions in taxpayer dollars for Oregon’s homeless students, migrant students and others. No need to readjust Oregon’s corporate sales tax for 7 school districts. Actually, there is enough money available to send every legitimate homeless student in Oregon to the Exeter Academy, Harvard University’s prep school and the top-rated private boarding school in the nation. Hopefully, future Senate republicans will vote unanimously, not for liberal tax and spend schemes, but to uphold conservative principles, traditional values, free-markets and fiscal responsibility.


--Clarke Vesper

Post Date: 2022-04-05 10:55:06Last Update: 2022-04-05 14:46:41



Oregon Gubernatorial Candidate Kerry McQuisten Meets With Eric Trump
Election integrity and voter apathy were discussed

Oregon Republican gubernatorial candidate, Kerry McQuisten, met with Eric Trump on Friday in Keizer, Oregon.

During the meeting, the two discussed election integrity combined with the dynamics of voter apathy in Oregon, and some specifics of McQuisten’s campaign.

“I think people had almost given up on Oregon on a national level,” says McQuisten, “but this election is bringing fresh attention to our state.”

Solomon Yue, the Oregon Republican Party’s National Committeeman, also had a meeting with Eric Trump regarding the potential of a much-anticipated rally with President Trump in Oregon.

McQuisten notes, “The first thing Eric did was cross the room and give Mr. Yue a hug. This tells me that Oregon hasn’t been forgotten or written off. The past two years have shown us that our red-state governors have been the lions at the gate together, pushing back against this federal march into socialism. I look forward to joining them.”

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Though the meeting had been arranged well in advance, McQuisten kept it off her campaign calendar for security reasons, with Eric Trump’s attendance at the Reawaken Tour also kept under wraps for the same purpose. He later went on stage as the keynote speaker for that event.

“Eric told the crowd that though he and his family didn’t need the abuse, they would never stop fighting. He expressed love for our country. He stressed the need for sincere, solid elected officials,” McQuisten said. “I’ve seen for myself that we aren’t in a Democrat versus Republican fight. This is good versus evil, and a fight to save America one state at a time.”

Last month, McQuisten was enthusiastically endorsed by President Trump’s first lady of election integrity, Dr. Kelli Ward, who serves as Chair of the Arizona Republican Party.

If elected, McQuisten, who is the mayor of Baker City, a seventh generation Oregonian, and a business owner, would become Oregon’s first female Republican governor, and the first governor from eastern Oregon since the 1950s. She would also be Oregon’s first Republican governor in four decades.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-04 11:26:20Last Update: 2022-04-04 13:01:39



Business Group Seeks to Undo Climate Rules
Brown retaliated by imposing regulations on state agencies

The battle over climate regulations continues. The latest skirmish is a petition which has been filed by Oregon Business and Industry -- a statewide business lobbying organization that describes itself as "the largest and most effective statewide business advocacy group in Oregon" -- with the Oregon Court of Appeals to request judicial review of environmental rules crafted at the Department of Environmental Quality.

The petition for review of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program 2021 Rulemaking is a response to Governor Kate Brown's executive order requiring state agencies to adhere to strict climate regulations. This order, in turn, was given as a response to a Republican walk out during the 2020 Session over SB 1530, which was sweeping climate legislation.

The rules were adopted during aspecial meeting of the Environmental Quality Commission, the Governor's appointed board that oversees the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

According to the petition, "The CPP Rules aim to reduce statewide greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions by 90 percent by 2050. To achieve that sweeping objective, the CPP Rules primarily target suppliers of natural gas, gasoline, diesel and other covered liquid and gas fuels. Among other things, the CPP Rules set, and make fuel suppliers responsible for meeting, a total statewide limit (which declines annually) on GHG emissions. In other words, the CPP Rules hold fuel suppliers directly accountable for the GHG emissions from covered fuels used by all Oregonians. The CPP Rules were designed to limit the availability of covered fuels and thereby make it too expensive to combust those same fuels in Oregon, or in certain cases, to prohibit manufacturing facilities from using specific fuels. But because business and consumer use of these fuels is central to Oregon’s economy, the CPP Rules will have a profound and unprecedented impact on everyday life in Oregon. "

When the legislature failed to pass the legislation because of the Republican walk out, Governor Brown retaliated by imposing regulations on state agencies.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-03 14:04:07Last Update: 2022-04-03 16:12:34



Judge Tells Environmentalists to Back Off
Says no to closing 176,000 acres

From the plush office in Portland, environmental nonprofits Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), the Audubon Society of Portland, and Defenders of Wildlife, are trying to dictate land management in Eastern Oregon.

It’s no wonder residents of eight Eastern Oregon counties have voted to join the “Greater Idaho” movement. Their goal is to break lose of this Metro run state, and be recognized that their livelihood is needed to sustain Metro.

ONDA attorney, Mac Lacy, has made his career with his eyes on eastern Oregon’s public lands, wilderness and imperiled species. Recently his aim is protecting Oregon’s vast sagebrush landscape for the sage grouse.

Representing ONDA, Lacy’s latest effort is to chase ranchers from rangeland by filing a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against grazing on 13 Oregon pastures.

The case is against BLM and Cahill Ranches to accelerate a 2015 Oregon Greater Sage- Grose Record of Decision/Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment (ARPMA), a conservation plan for Research Natural Areas (RNAs) that prohibits grazing in 13 pastures to allow for research on the sage grouse.

That plan identified 15 pastures to be closed to grazing for research with a two-year notice. Two have been vacated, and it calls for 39 miles of fencing. ARPMA was developed during the Obama administration then dropped from a revised version enacted by the Trump administration. However, a federal court reinstated it in 2019, which the environmental groups are pursuing.

U.S. District Judge Michael Simon released an opinion and order on March 29 saying the environmental plaintiffs haven’t shown that turning cattle out on the pastures will cause irreparable harm to sage grouse or to rangeland research.

ONDA and Attorney Lacy didn’t stop at the 13 pastures in the conservation plan.

Judge Simon’s opinion states, “Moreover, closure of the four pastures containing RNAs set for grazing in April would enjoin grazing on significant portions of land not designated as an RNA by the 2015 ARMPA. Because fencing has not yet been installed, Plaintiffs propose that the Court order Defendants to close the entire pastures that contain the key RNAs. The total acreage of the key RNAs 21,779 acres. The total acreage of the pastures containing the RNAs is 197,867 acres. Thus, Plaintiffs ask the Court to close 176,088 acres of pasture not designated as key RNAs under the 2015 ARMPA.”

Ranchers are asking, what is more detrimental to the sage grouse, co- habitat with cattle or fences?

The BLM attorney argued that it must follow bureaucratic processes before halting grazing and building the necessary fences to keep cattle out. Fences aren’t an environmentally friendly way to close pastures and it impacts wildlife and plant species so BLM is studying alternative methods. BLM has not identified any data that would be lost or not collected if the closures don’t happen on schedule. So why is ONDA so impatient?

US Agricultural Research Service rangeland scientists David Ganskopp (now retired) and Chad Boyd studied cattle grazing patterns on sagebrush communities. They found that cattle first preferred to graze on perennial grass growing between sagebrush plants where the sage- grouse nest and feed. They concluded that ranchers could preserve grouse habitat by monitoring grass available.

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The livestock industry is the best suited for eastern Oregon’s rough land and weather conditions. It’s where most of Oregon’s cattle are raised with and estimated production value of $493 million, ranked as Oregon’s second highest agricultural commodity. Ranchers have united to form Oregon Country Beef cooperative to emphasize stewardship of the land that enables them to brand their beef as a specialized “natural” commodity. Limiting pasture land will have consequences.

Why did Lacy and ONDA file the injunction when they knew they were exceeding the ARMPA?

This is a tactic in search of a liberal judge, and they weren’t counting on Judge Simon calling them out. Inflation could be worse if our food supply is threatened. Judicial races do make a difference.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-04-03 10:15:55Last Update: 2022-04-03 14:52:18



Oregon is Open to Kill Non-residents
First-In-The-Nation

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Medical Board have now settled a lawsuit by ceasing to require terminally ill people to be state residents in order to obtain deadly medication to end their own lives.

Oregon is the first state to drop the residency requirement.

Dr. Nicholas Gideonse, Portland physician represented by Compassion and Choices, a non-profit that advocates for physician-assisted suicide, filed the lawsuit last October contending that restricting the right to die by state lines violated Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act and the U.S. Constitution.

Gideonse’s suit was against the governor, attorney general, Multnomah County’s district attorney and state health officials. The attorney claimed the requirement was both discriminatory and profoundly unfair to dying patients at a critical time in their life. “In no other way is my practice restricted to Oregon residents,” Gideonse said. His statement specifically mentioned impeding quality care for Washington patients that are terminally ill.

Washington State legalized assisted suicide on March 5, 2009, called the Death with Dignity Act that is similar to Oregon’s law. It allows a terminally ill patient to request a lethal prescription from their doctor if they have less than six months to live.

While Washington has a law, providers in the southwestern part of the state are religiously affiliated facilities that prohibit it.

California has also passed an assisted suicide law in 2016.

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Nine states have legalized physician-assisted suicide including Oregon, California, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Vermont plus DC. Montana requires a court ruling.

Still, Oregon Right to Life advocates voiced concern that there is a dangerously short physician-patient relationship that would provide protection against predatory practices providing no accountability on life and death issues.

Oregon could become an assisted suicide tourism destination.

OHA records indicate some 2,159 people have died from prescription lethal drugs under the law since it took effect in 1997. Advocates want to press other states to also drop their residency requirements.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-04-01 09:53:47Last Update: 2022-04-01 10:13:15



Andrea Bell Appointed as Director of Housing and Community Services
The agency budget is a massive $2.3 billion

Governor Kate Brown has announced that she has appointed Andrea Bell as the Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services, effective April 1. In this role, Bell will lead the agency responsible for state housing supports, financing, and coordination across the housing continuum. The agency budget is a massive $2.3 billion for the current biennium.

“I’m thrilled to name Andrea Bell as Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services,” said Governor Brown. “In her role as Acting Director, Andrea and I worked together to successfully make the case for OHCS to receive $16 million from U.S. Treasury, bringing additional rental assistance resources to Oregon families and helping ensure thousands of Oregon’s most vulnerable residents could remain stably housed. She has consistently demonstrated the leadership and collaboration skills necessary to expand affordable housing in Oregon, strengthen tenant protections, help people experiencing homelessness find homes, and address the racial disparities that have existed in housing policy in this country for far too long. Oregon is incredibly fortunate to have such an impactful leader at such a critical moment.”

“I was humbled when Gov. Brown called me to say that she was appointing me to lead OHCS,” said Bell. “I’m driven by the belief that all Oregonians deserve safe, stable and affordable housing and I feel fortunate to be in a position to guide a talented and dedicated team to advance this work across the housing continuum during such critical times. Housing continues to be a vital determinant of health for all Oregonians, and our work continues.”

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Director Bell began serving as Acting Director in February when OHCS’s former Executive Director was appointed by the Biden Administration to be the Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator for Region 10. Bell joined OHCS in April 2019 as the Assistant Director of Homeless Services and became Director of Housing Stabilization in 2020 where she led the implementation of a wide range of homeless services, energy and weatherization assistance, rental assistance programs and policy initiatives.

Bell has held pivotal leadership positions in the public sector at critical junctures. Previously, she served as the Housing Director within an Arizona Medicaid health plan administration, where she directed the operations and expansion of state-funded Permanent Supportive Housing programs, as well as deployed sustainable solutions to end homelessness and align funding and policy at the intersection of health and housing. During her tenure, she spearheaded the state’s first tax credit project using Housing Trust Fund resources and led the Governor’s Housing and Health initiative aimed to provide long-term housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-03-31 15:46:41Last Update: 2022-03-31 15:54:06



Fagan Attacks Right Wing Violence
Politicians in search of a problem

In yet another sign the office of Secretary of State is being politicized by Secretary of State Shemia Fagan (D-Portland), the Audits Division has released an advisory report breathlessly entitled Oregon Can Do More to Mitigate the Alarming Risk of Domestic Terrorism and Violent Extremist Attacks

Though the announcement of the report says that "over the past decade, Oregon witnessed the sixth-highest number of domestic violent extremism incidents in the nation," the report contains a timeline of events that have nothing to do with Oregon, including the standoff at Ruby Ridge, the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing, and a shooting in a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina in which nine people are killed.

“Oregon must be an inclusive place where everyone is and feels safe.” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “The rise in domestic terrorism is an immediate threat to Oregonians and we cannot simply wait for the next incident to occur. We can and must take immediate steps to prevent individuals at risk from being radicalized and becoming violent.”

In a comical cover-up, the report describes the BLM and Antifa violence that raged in Portland as "Portland saw a high number of protests during the summer months of 2020. During one clash between ideologically opposed groups, a far-left extremist shot and killed a member of the opposing group," as if the violence was driven by both left and right wing extremists.

The report accounted the entry into the Oregon Capitol during the 2021 session. It said, "Far-right protesters breach the Oregon State Capitol. Multiple people are arrested, and a state legislator later found to have let them in is expelled from office." That legislator, Mike Nearman responded, saying "People entering a public building during a legislative session is hardly on par with trapping police officers in a building and attempting to set the building on fire, as Antifa did in Portland in 2020." He continued, "We have so many problems in Oregon. Right wing domestic Terrorism doesn't seem to be at the top of the list."

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The report claims that Oregon is one of only 16 states that does not have any legislation defining or criminalizing domestic terrorism or domestic violent extremism at the state level.

The report calls out what it claims is the impact of the "escalation in violence," saying "Ultimately, Oregonians continue to be at risk from the trauma caused by these incidents, which can have lingering effects and may have a greater impact on communities already suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic or racial injustice. This continued trauma can impede the ability of individuals and communities to succeed, thrive, and enjoy their economic, social, and cultural rights."

The report even admits that it falls short of what is expected from the Audits Division, saying "While today’s report is not technically an audit under government auditing standards, it has undergone the same quality assurance process as an audit from the Oregon Audits Division. Issuing an advisory report allowed for a timelier project to recognize the impact on state agencies and other involved entities as other emergency events were being addressed." For some, such a report is nothing more than a taxpayer funded political operation.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-03-30 18:49:01Last Update: 2022-03-30 20:39:26



Sex Worker Rights Act – Initiative 51
Oregon’s liberal reputation has attracted sex workers advocates

Mariah Grant, advocacy director for the Sex Workers Project (SWP) at the Urban Justice Center, a New York City based law clinic has instituted the Decrim Work Campaign in Oregon from her New York office.

“By decriminalizing sex work," Grant explained. "Oregon will become the first state to fully respect the rights, dignity, and safety of sex workers.”

The New York SWP invested $1.2 million to expand beyond New York into Oregon.

That donation came from Aaron Boonshoft, a Portland resident, according to Willamette Week.

Representative Rob Nosse (D-Portland) sponsored HB 3088 in 2021 at the request of the SWP.

They used Oregon’s liberal legislature as a test case.

After HB 3088 failed to pass, a Sex Workers Human Rights Commission was formed in Portland on July 15, 2021. Rep. Nosse co- chaired with Executive Director/co-founder of SWOP Behind Bars and Board member of SWOP, Alex Andrews of Florida.

Others on the committee from Oregon are: Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, and Elle Stanger, a certified sex educator (CSE). Others represent Nevada, New York and California.

The Committee’s report clearly indicates sex workers is not limited to traditional prostitution. Attempting to fit into the equity agenda, racial disparities, LGBTQ people of color, LGBTQ immigrants, and transgender people are the focus of many adverse activities.

Alex Andrew, a Florida resident and board member of Sex Workers Outreach Project USA (SWOP-USA) is a left-of-center activist organization which supports the decriminalization of prostitution and other forms of “sex work.” The organization is based in Berkeley, California.

The organization has expanded, adding chapters nationwide. In 2004, SWOP tried to pass Measure Q in Berkley making enforcement of all prostitution laws the lowest priority of Berkeley’s police department. Opponent said prostitution is not a "victimless crime" -- it victimizes the community, local women harassed by johns and escort agencies, as well as the entrapment of the sex workers.

SWOP isn’t just about work recognition of prostitutes.

The SWOP website mission statement says SWOP is committed to the safety, autonomy, and human rights of people in the sex trade, and stands in solidarity with the many social justice movements intersectional to our own, including but not limited to Black Lives Matter, disability rights, drug and immigration reform, gender equality and the LGBTQ movement, and the rights of the working class.

Chapters are required to promote local LGBTIQQ Pride, and Transgender Day of Remembrance. Oregon doesn’t have a chapter, which is another indication of out-of-state forces trying to influence Oregon.

Aaron Boonshoft, a philanthropist funding SWP and son of wealthy Ohio commodities trader Oscar Boonshoft, launched Compassionate Action Team in 2020 to advocate for human rights. In November 2021 he filed Oregon Initiative 42, the “Sex Worker Rights Act.” After comments were received, Initiative 42 was withdrawn and refiled as Initiative 51 for the November 8, 2022 ballot.

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Some of the revisions have to do with clearly stating to voters what the measure does, such as the work constitutes a contract between “sex workers” and sex buyers as binding. Other comments claimed it violated the single- subject rule by making changes to numerous statues that are unrelated such as child custody matters.

The 67-page Initiative 51 states under Findings and Policy, “It is the policy of the State of Oregon that sex workers are entitled to their human rights, and consensual, adult behavior that does not cause harm should not be criminalized.” It attempts to differentiate sex workers from unlawful activities of sex trafficking, sex abuse or sex involving a minor.

They want their privacy rights while still wanting equal labor rights. They suggest their tax contributions will be convincing to voters.

Initiative 51 does not address all the concerns that were expressed. It now awaits a certified ballot title and approval to circulate. Then they have until July 8 to collect 112,020 verified signatures.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-03-30 17:16:33Last Update: 2022-03-30 17:43:12



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