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Governor Brown Begins Opening Up Recreation
Get your fishing pole and your hiking boots! Bring your own toilet paper, though.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown today announced the limited opening of some state parks, outdoor recreation facilities, and areas across Oregon for day use effective today, May 5.

With a note of caution, Governor Brown said, "As we begin to slowly open up recreation sites, state parks, and ski areas, it is critical we ensure the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and the public. And that begins with each of us taking personal responsibility to be good stewards of our parks, and each other."

Reopening outdoor recreation areas will be a phased approach as it becomes safe for some communities and recreational providers to do so, and will change the way that Oregonians visit some familiar sites. Columbia River Gorge parks and recreation areas, as well as coastal areas that are not yet ready to welcome visitors back, will remain closed for now, while the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department coordinates with local jurisdictions and partners in Washington to determine the appropriate timing for reopening.

Guidelines for responsible outdoor recreation include: Governor Brown has been under intense pressure for her heavy-handed, continual closure of the state, despite signs that the epidemic is on the wane.

Critics have also pointed out that, while there is a shortage of residential style toilet paper, due to people spending more time at home, there is a surplus of the industrial style of toilet paper -- of the kind found on larger rolls used by the industrial dispensers -- typically found at public institutions like parks.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-05-05 16:41:37Last Update: 2020-05-06 06:42:35



Brown Issues Specific Criteria
A response to pressure to reopen the state.

In what some observers see as a response to the mounting pressure from Oregonians to open the state, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued some very specific "prerequisites" for "enter[ing] phase one of Reopening Oregon."

The document, released to Oregon counties, outlines seven prerequisites must be met before a county or region can enter phase one of Reopening Oregon. These prerequisites include:
  1. Declining prevalence of COVID-19
  2. Minimum Testing Regimen, including being able to administer COVID-19 testing at a rate of 30 per 10,000 people per week.
  3. Contact Tracing System, including a minimum of 15 contact tracers for every 100,000 people and the county must be prepared to contact trace 95% of all new cases within 24 hours.
  4. Isolation Facilities including hotel rooms available for people who test positive for COVID-19 and who cannot self-isolate.
  5. Finalized Statewide Sector Guidelines.
  6. Sufficient Health Care Capacity which means that the region must be able to accommodate a 20% increase in suspected or confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations compared to the number of suspected or confirmed COVID19 hospitalizations in the region at the time Executive Order No. 20-22 was issued.
  7. Sufficient PPE Supply.

Health Regions are defined as such:


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-05-03 16:42:18Last Update: 2020-05-03 16:43:46



Meme of the Week
You need to yuk it up every now and then.




--Northwest Observer Comedy Staff

Post Date: 2020-05-02 18:51:42Last Update: 2020-08-08 12:30:40



Defiant Protestors Fill Capitol Steps
Oregon Governor Kate Brown begins to lose the "consent of the governed"

Well over one thousand protesters filled the steps and streets at the Oregon Capitol in Salem yesterday as people cried out for re-opening the state. One protester said, "We can't go on like this. I know lives are at stake, but if we continue to stay shut down, lives will be at stake from a different cause." Very few protesters were observed wearing masks.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-05-02 17:11:09Last Update: 2020-05-03 17:11:30



Northwest Observer Serial Collections
Go get a fresh cup of coffee and start clicking



The Northwest Observer is committed to bringing you in-depth news about what is really going on around you, not just the if-it-bleeds-it-leads click bait. If you have a tip or a suggestion for a series, please contact us at editor@northwestobserver.com. We're proud of the work that we've done.

A Fed Up Oregonian A multi-part series which is a reprint of a letter from a desperate gun owner and her thoughts on the current proposals in the legislature. (February 2021)

2021 Tax Legislation A multi-part series exploring tax measures before the Oregon Legislature during the 2021 session (February 2021)

2020 Ballot Measures A multi-part series exploring all four statewide ballot measures for the November 2020 election (October 2020)

Candidate Comparison A multi-part series based on the work of the Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Education Project (September 2020)

Voter Fraud A multi-part series exploring voter fraud and the Oregon vote-by-mail system. (August 2020)

Tone Deaf A multi-part series recounting how the party in power is thwarting the will of the people. (August 2020)

School Reopening A multi-part series analyzing the latest version of the school re-opening guidelines and the prospects of schools re-opening in the Fall. (July 2020)

The State Budget A multi-part series on the budget for the State of Oregon and where possible efficiencies can be found. (June 2020)


--Editor

Post Date: 2020-05-01 00:00:00Last Update: 2021-02-26 19:37:37



Collection of Northwest Observer Articles on Civics
Study up. There will be a test.



The Northwest Observer is committed to civics education. In addition to providing historical and breaking news, we pride ourselves on providing relevant articles on civics. Indeed, civics is the framework needed to properly understand and provide context to the news we provide. You can browse through a chronological presentation of civics articles, or look them up by topic interest, here.
--Editor

Post Date: 2020-05-01 00:00:00Last Update: 2021-02-12 21:59:04



Collection of Northwest Observer Articles on History
You need to know this stuff.



The Northwest Observer loves history. In addition to providing civics education and breaking news, we pride ourselves on providing interesting articles on the history of the region -- especially how it impacts the legal and political situation today. Indeed, history provides the context needed to properly understand the news we provide.

You can browse through a chronological presentation of history articles, or look them up by topic interest, here.

A History of Minimum Wage in Oregon
Land Use Laws
Oregon's Beach Use Laws

--Editor

Post Date: 2020-05-01 00:00:00Last Update: 2020-10-14 20:55:16



Meme of the Week
Meme is as meme does.




--Northwest Observer Comedy Staff

Post Date: 2020-04-29 20:48:24Last Update: 2020-08-08 12:29:01



Opinion: The Fox Guarding the Henhouse
President Trump: "Fake news"

One of the problems with the media, is that in addition to holding the means of communication (they get to say what they want, when they want to, in the way they want to), but they also hold the rule book for what constitutes responsible journalism. When confronted with accusations of bias, they flip open the rule book and push back with rules made up on the fly to justify their agenda-driven behavior at any given moment. Don't believe me? Just step over here to the website for the Grey Lady, the New York Times, where you will find the handbook for ethical journalism.

I'm glad that such a handbook exists, but it has no place being owned, managed and warehoused on the website of the New York Times. It should inspire the same outrage that people have when incumbent elected officials enact weak ethical rules for themselves. Or when union teachers sit in rubber rooms -- collecting a paycheck -- because the organization that represents them doesn't want them touched.

Bias in the media matters. Watch this clip. It's only 43 seconds long.



Pretty outrageous stuff. Can you see anyone in the current legacy media asking such a similar softball question of President Trump? Press interactions with President Trump look more like this kind of badgering, that's more directed as cutting into his credibility than getting at facts:



I could multiply examples. They're easy to find. Information is important. We're not getting it from the legacy media.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-04-28 20:27:25Last Update: 2020-04-26 20:28:09



Gov. Brown Opens Medical Services
Effective May 1, elective and non-urgent procedures are allowed.

Amidst mounting pressure that she open the State of Oregon to economic activity, Governor Brown has issued an executive order permitting elective and non-urgent medical procedures, starting May 1.The order reads "On or after May 1, 2020, elective and non-urgent procedures across all care settings that utilize PPE are allowed, but only to the extent they comply with guidance or administrative rules issued by the Oregon Health Authority."

In the same executive order, the Governor extended her guidelines for visitors to medical facilities, saying "I continue my delegation of authority to the Oregon Health Authority to provide guidance, which may be revised from time to time, regarding limitations and screening requirements for visitors to hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers, based on best practices, to ensure the safety of patients and health care workers, and to slow the spread of COVID-19."

The Governor has claimed the authority to regulate this activity under the Oregon law that describes public health emergencies, claiming that her order "is a public health law, as defined in ORS 431A.005, and may be enforced as permitted under ORS 431A.010. Additionally, any person found to be in violation of this Executive Order is subject to the penalties described in ORS 401.990."

You can read the text of this law here.
--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-04-28 07:48:32



Fagan Rakes in Government Union Cash
State Senator Shemia Fagan has been receiving lots and lots of cash from government unions

Government employee unions have been giving quite a bit of cash lately to Secretary of State candidate and current State Senator, Shemia Fagan (D-Portland). She's received a donation of $32,000 from the Oregon Education Association, the largest teachers' union in the state on April 17, as well as a donation of the exact same amount ($32,000? Maybe they have a matching gift program) from Citizens Action for Political Education, a political arm of SEIU, one of the largest public employee unions in the state.

Fagan has raised over $175,000.00 so far and has about $100,000.00 on hand.

Fagan entered the race after former House Majority Leader and State Rep. Jennifer Williamson (D-Portland) left the race amid a cloud of allegations that she used campaign funds for lavish travel. Her political future is uncertain.

One reason political experts are so interested in the Secretary of State's race this cycle is that whomever is elected will create the district maps in the redistricting process, if the Legislature fails to complete the redistricting process.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-04-27 09:39:40Last Update: 2020-04-27 09:39:49



Senator Fred Girod Elected Minority Leader
He replaces Senator Herman Baertschiger, who is stepping down.

State Senator Fred Girod (R-Lyons) was elected to be the next Senate Minority Leader in the Oregon Legislature, replacing Herman Baertschiger (R-Grants Pass) who has stepped down from that role to run for Josephine County Commissioner. Baertschiger will be best known for his leadership during the legislative walk-out over Cap and Tax and other controversial pieces of legislation being pushed by the Democrats.

Oregon House Minority Leader, Christine Drazan said, "I have enjoyed working together on issues our constituents care deeply about. Senator Girod brings his years of experience in the Oregon Legislature to his new role as Senate Republican Leader and I look forward to partnering with him for the benefit of all Oregonians."

Senate Majority Leader, Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) Congratulated Senator Girod on his new role, saying "I have served with Senator Girod in the Senate for 12 years and I appreciate his good humor and commitment to public service. I know he will be a great leader for the Senate Republican caucus. I look forward to working with him in this new capacity."

Senate Republicans look to make gains in the November elections. They are currently in a super-minority holding 12 seats out of 30.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-04-26 21:55:25Last Update: 2020-04-26 21:57:10



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