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Let’s Not Forget About Science
What is the end game to the shutdown?

February 28 was Oregon’s first case of COVID-19, and Governor Kate Brown issued a state of emergency on March 8 and a stay-at-home executive order on March 23. Since then, her restrictions and extensions are in lock-step with the left, and she claims they are based on the “best science.”

In the August issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the CDC reports, “There is limited evidence for [masks] effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure. Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

Still in August Governor Brown expanded mask requirements to all common spaces where six feet distancing can’t be maintained, ignoring the “best science.”

President Trump tweets September 8, 2020 that the D’s will end their COVID-19 state lock downs the day after election day. “The shutdowns are ridiculous and only being done to hurt the economy prior to the most important election perhaps in our history.”

Did President Trump foresee Governor Brown’s decision to extend her COVID-19 state of emergency through election day November 3rd? She stated, “Now, six months after this crisis began, we have made progress. Together, we have slowed the spread of this disease. Oregon has one of the lowest mortality rates in the country. But, as students across Oregon begin a school year far different than any other before, it is clear that, at current COVID-19 levels, it will not be safe in much of the state for children to return to in-classroom instruction for months to come.” Is this really necessary? COVID-19 may not be the worse consequences of not opening schools. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released guidelines emphasizing that students get back to the classroom for the sake of their own emotional well-being.

In May the governor said. “Make no mistake, physical distancing will remain part of our daily lives until we have security of a vaccine or a treatment for the disease.” But, now that nine bio-pharmaceutical companies have announced a vaccine by the end of October, and treatments with HCQ and steroids are showing good results, the governor is silent on the need for a vaccine.

How will Governor Brown respond to the New York Times reporting that 90% of the COVID-19 PCR tests that come back positive are clinically insignificant because the people who report positive are not likely to be contagious. Because of the number of amplification cycles during testing will eventually detect such minute specks that it isn’t active or significant.

Governor Brown has followed the game plan of the left each step of the way. Now that they are back-tracking, why isn’t she? Where will she go from here?

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-09-10 09:00:53

Staffer to House Speaker Arrested at Riot
Kristina Narayan was charged with interfering with a peace officer

Portland Police have arrested the Legislative Director for House Speaker Tina Kotek during riots this weekend. Kristina Narayan (D-Portland), 29 was arrested this weekend for interfering with a peace officer -- a class A misdemeanor, along with 58 other rioters. She was released the same day on her own recognizance.

Narayan, who has worked for Speaker Kotek for over four years, according to her Linkedin Profile, describes her position thus: "I synthesize complex ideas into clear work products, policies, and build consensus to help pass legislation."

Narayan may have been lucky to have been arrested by the Portland Police. Since it was the Portland Police, Narayan will likely benefit from the "catch-and-rlease" policy of Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt who has specifically said he would "presumptively decline to charge cases," including interfering with a police officer. If Narayan were to have been arrested by deputized State Police, or federal officers, she could have been subject to federal charges.

Democrats in the legislature have been more focused on putting restrictions on police than bringing the months-old riots to an end.

The story made national headlines on Fox News in the Washington Free Beacon, again making Oregon famous in an infamous way.

Oddly, to our knowledge, the Northwest Observer is the only local or regional news organization that has covered this story.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-09-09 18:11:03Last Update: 2020-09-09 19:01:10

Candidate Comparison: Merkley vs. Perkins
Two-term incumbent faces Republican challenger

Editor's note: Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Education Project equips voters with information on how candidates stand on issues through a questionnaire process featured in comparison guides.

Candidate for U.S. Senate Jo Rae Perkins is running against incumbent Jeff Merkley. When you look at what is happening in Portland spreading to other parts of the state, change is what voters are looking for. Perkins’ view of the Portland scene is she is incensed over the weeks of nightly protests that have turned violent. She livestreamed praising law enforcement and thinks little of Merkley’s decrying of federal officer’s actions.

Senator Merkley accuses Trump of fueling chaos in Portland and proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act bill to limit the use of federal law enforcement against violent protesters in cities like Portland. It would restrict federal agents’ jurisdiction to federal property and streets surrounding Federal buildings or property, require wearing identification clearly visible when working crowd control, and prohibit unmarked vehicles. President Trump repeatedly says, “Democrats are sticking up for the violence. These are anarchists in Portland that have moved into the state. Any time they’re ready I’ll send in help.”

Perkins’ longtime belief is that the federal government needs to be dramatically reduced in scope. She’s insistent that both the state and federal governments have been overreaching during the current pandemic. She opposes the use of masks saying she has done lots of research and distrust experts and official death statistics. Rightfully so since this week CDC reduced the death count for deaths solely due to COVID-19 from 161,392 to 9,683.

Merkley was one of nine Democrats that signed a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper over the Pentagon's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. They wrote their concerned citing news reports about COVID-19 cases among U.S. troops “the Department is still not properly prioritizing the health and well-being of our service members." Then accused them of insufficient response. The assistant secretary responded accusing the Democrat senators of using "inaccurate media reports that have been discredited, to unfairly portray the Department while we are in the middle of the COVID-19 fight." Merkley also said he wanted to ban middle seats on airlines, “these airlines are only flying because we’re subsidizing them.”

Government arrogance or overreach? Who has their focus on We The People?

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-09-09 13:52:25Last Update: 2020-09-07 13:19:46

Oregon Prisons Evacuated Due to Fires
Inmates relocated to OSP facility

The Oregon Department of Corrections has evacuated all employees and adults in custody (AICs) from Oregon State Correctional Institution, Santiam Correctional Institution and Mill Creek Correctional Institution in response to the Beachie Creek and Lionshead fires. The department notified the public shortly after the decision was being implemented.

In order to maintain safety and security during the evacuations, we were not able to officially notify you earlier in the process. These three Salem institutions are in the path of the fire and the Department of Corrections (DOC) worked closely with the Oregon State Police and State Fire Marshall to carry out the evacuations. With little notice, DOC’s organized labor bargaining units fully cooperated with management and each other to secure the safety of our AICs. We are grateful for their honorable dedication to our unique public safety mission.

To be clear, inmatess from these institutions are not being released from custody—rather, they have been moved to other DOC institutions. At this point, we don’t know how long these moves will remain in place. OSCI has 774 inmatess, SCI has 363, and MCCF has 257.

In addition to our institutions, many DOC employees and their families are evacuating from their homes, and their focus needs to be on the safety of loved ones.

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-08 13:01:00Last Update: 2020-09-08 18:46:50

Multiple Evacuations in Oregon Due to Spreading Fires
Labor Day windstorm creates dire situation

This a developing story.

Evacuations across Oregon are prompted after an late summer weather event has brought high winds into the mix, complicating fire fighting efforts in multiple regions of Oregon.

Marion, Lincoln, and Lane County have issued evacuation orders to many residents.

Significant fires include:

Star Mountain

French Creek Fire

Mt. Hood Meadows

Mosier Creek

Santiam Canyon

Grizzly Creek

White River


Beachie Creek

Many other wild fires are not listed here as of yet.

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-08 12:08:02Last Update: 2020-09-08 13:01:00

Black Lives Matter in the Classroom
Look the other way.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) sets out national demands for education in a new racial justice curriculum using the 1619 Project in their “guiding principles.” The National Education Association has endorsed including the principles. However, President Trump is attempting to stop the 1619 Project by denying funds to schools teaching it. The revisionist history plan was created by Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary, Nicole Hannah Jones. It was promoted by the NY Times Magazine drawing the attention of activist educators, even though it isn’t history. The project claims America was founded in 1619 when the first slaves arrived in Virginia, and the colonies were established to preserve slavery.

In 2019 Oregon Legislature passed HB 2023 requiring curricula for history, geography, economics, and civics include contributions from every minority group by 2024. Did they foresee the social agenda and violence we see today?

Four bullet points head the BLM Week of Action National Demands flyer that should concern us all:

Each year since the initiation in Seattle in 2016, they have added more schools, more states, thousands of educators, and lesson plans about structural racism, black history, and anti-racist movements for a national organization. Now they are adding:

“The over-policing, out of control suspensions, and expulsions must be brought to an immediate end. To rebuild our structures, we will focus our resources on restorative justice-the organic appointment of

community leaders; mediation and processing; and equitable perspectives on rehabilitation. Ending zero tolerance and focusing our schools around restorative justice will honor an autonomous voice and vision for students, staff and faculty.”

Encouraging people to condemn racism is not what is being taught. By bringing BLM into the classroom, educators are actively allowing the most radically divisive movement in modern American history to warp the minds of students.

The plan of the 1619 Project is to first teach this false history. Then they incite young people to destroy history. Through the COVID-19 shutdown, young people were encouraged to participate in taking down statutes and remove them from history so history can be rewritten. If they can do that enough across the country, they can infiltrate from within and introduce a new constitution.

If we look at what is happening in Portland and around the state, it doesn’t say much for BLM’s ability to control themselves and a lot about their agenda. We are getting a glimpse into the kind of students that schools will release on society with no sense of consequences or accountability.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-09-08 09:42:00

NRC Issues Safety Report for Reactor
Oregon company has a needed energy solution

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a final safety evaluation report for NuScale’s small modular reactor (SMR) design. This meets the agency’s original 42-month technical review schedule and demonstrates the NRC’s commitment to timely licensing of safe technologies for new, advanced reactors. The NRC is preparing a rulemaking to certify the design.

NuScale applied on Dec. 31, 2016, for certification of the company’s SMR design for use in the United States; the NRC accepted the design for review in March 2017. The design uses natural “passive” processes such as convection and gravity in its operating systems and safety features to produce approximately 600 megawatts of electricity. The SMR’s 12 modules, each producing 50 megawatts, are all submerged in a safety-related pool built below ground level. The NRC concludes the design’s passive features will ensure the nuclear power plant would shut down safely and remain safe under emergency conditions, if necessary.

NuScale has indicated it will apply in 2022 for a standard design approval of a 60-megawatt per-module version of the design. That version will require additional NRC review.

Neither a standard design approval nor a design certification grant permission to build or operate a reactor. Full certification, if granted by the Commission following the staff’s recommendation, allows a utility to reference the design when applying for a combined license to build and operate a nuclear power plant.

The majority investor in NuScale is Fluor Corporation, a global engineering, procurement, and construction company with a 60-year history in commercial nuclear power. NuScale is headquartered in Portland and has offices in Corvallis and elsewhere. The first plant is expected to be built in the Boise, ID area.

With increased demands for energy, as well as pressure for greener, renewable sources, nuclear energy shows great promise in the face of rolling blackouts in California.

More information about the NuScale design review can be found on the NRC’s website.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-09-07 17:30:48Last Update: 2020-09-07 18:03:19

Fire in Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Area
Small fire now but high winds are a concern

Mt. Hood Meadows public safety has reported a small fire at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Area, about 0.25 mile east of the Shooting Star chair lift in the Heather Canyon drainage. There is an engine crew and hand crew already responding to the fire, supported by a helicopter dropping water. Additional crews are on their way to the fire. The fire is estimated to be around 2-acres as of midday.

To protect public safety and facilitate firefighters reaching the fire, the Timberline Trail is closed between Timberline Lodge and Cloud Cap. The Elk Meadow Trailhead and Sahalie Falls Trailhead have also been closed. Travelers in that area are asked to drive extra carefully and be aware of fire vehicles and the possibility of smoke.

There are east winds forecasted and a Red Flag Warning in effect across the region through Wednesday evening, which means there is an increased chance of fire activity. Campfires are currently prohibited across the Mt. Hood National Forest.

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-07 17:08:30Last Update: 2020-09-07 17:30:48

Tax Wars in Metro
The result of economic chickens coming home to roost

A bold new commercial, directed at defeating the transportation ballot measure in the Metro region is ready for screens throughout the tri-cojnty area. Stop the Metro Wage Tax is the group mounting a campaign against Measure 26-218, dubbed "Get Moving 2020" which is expected to raise over $5 billion per year as a permanent payroll tax of 0.75%.

It's clear that COVID-19 is both a health and an economic crisis for our community. Many families and local businesses are struggling just to stay afloat – with record job losses, layoffs and shrinking paychecks.

In the face of the sharpest economic downturn in state history, Metro is proposing a brand new tax, forcing local businesses to choose between protecting their worker’s paychecks and keeping their businesses afloat. Metro’s proposal will divide our community by imposing a new tax on wages, threatening local non-profits and businesses at precisely the worst time.

In the last three elections alone, Metro has raised $3.6 billion in taxes. Those measures were supported by many in the business community, including the Portland Business Alliance, who worked to pass new taxes that would create affordable housing, expand green space, and improve homeless services. Many think this is the wrong tax at the worst possible time.

Much of the money goes to light rail, which has seen consistent ridership declines, year over year. Look for this commercial on a screen near you.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-09-07 15:38:53Last Update: 2020-09-07 16:30:11

Judicial Department Aims to Ensure Racial Justice
And coronavirus makes white supremacy worse in Oregon apparently

The State of Oregon Judicial Department released a statement when the Portland riots were just beginning. They suggest it was to address the death of George Floyd, and to ensure the public they would have an aim to ensure "racial justice" in Oregon.

But isn't justice best served without regard to wealth, power, skin color or other status?

"We write to address the death of George Floyd–a tragedy that has been repeated too often. At the time of Mr. Floyd’s death, our nation already was reeling from the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and many others before them.Those deaths have had a tremendous impact on all of us, but especially on our colleagues, family, and friends from communities of color, who experienced them on a very personal level.

We acknowledge the pain, trauma, anger, and frustration that has resulted from the tragedy of the recent week and that has been felt by the Black community and other communities of color.We understand that many in the judicial branch and throughout the legal community are struggling to process what is happening and trying to figure out what to do.We may wonder if the very core of what we do, as arbiters of justice and officers of the court, is being called into question.

As members of the judicial branch, we are cautious –always careful not to prejudge situations.But we cannot ignore the risks that African Americans, Blacks, and other people of color face as each day dawns.The urgency for action has long been upon us, but the immediacy of the need is even more apparent today.We must ensure that the lives of African Americans, Blacks, and people of color are valued and respected and that the color of peoples’ skin does not affect their rights to justice or the treatment they are afforded by our system of justice.

In facing up to that responsibility, we must recognize that we, in Oregon, are subject to the same prejudices as others throughout this country.Oregon entered statehood steeped in racial discrimination, and it is still with us –from Black exclusion laws in the 1800s, to the common presence of the KKK in the 1900s, to the effects of redlining that continue today.Communities of color throughout this state, in both urban and rural settings, continue to experience inequality that has only been compounded by the coronavirus.

Our courts are an integral part of the justice system and have an essential role to play in ensuring justice for all.We must stand firm against racism and oppression.We must be intentional in our efforts to move in a different direction.We must examine our individual thoughts and beliefs, as well as our professional approaches, processes, and environments to address the impact of our own biases.

We must examine, a new ,what we are doing, or failing to do, to root out conscious and unconscious bias in our legal system."

The full letter can be seen here

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-07 07:44:58Last Update: 2020-09-07 08:38:40

Brown Declines to Call Out Antifa
Instead, blames white supremacy

Wikipedia defines psychological projection as a "defense mechanism in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others." In a bizarre moment, Oregon Governor Kate Brown seemingly heaps all the Antifa and Black Lives Matter violence on white supremacists.

During a press conference that touched on the recent statement signed by Democrats denouncing violence and specifying white supremacy, Governor Brown was asked by a reporter why she failed to call out Antifa for their role in the violence. The Governor answered:

Brown: "My goal, my vision for a future Oregon is to build a better Oregon where everyone can thrive and that means eradicating racism. My understanding of these organizations is that they are built on hate and I think it make it really difficult for us to build what Dr. King would call "a beloved community."

Reporter: Would you plan to address issues with Antifa, as well?

Brown: "We will continue to work with the community to make sure that folks understand that our goal here is to stop the violence directed toward property, stop the arson and obviously stop the person to person violence that is happening, yeah."

Surely, no thinking person supports white supremacy. Most people could not name a white supremacist, nor could they name a white supremacist organization. Some people might accuse an organization of being a white supremacist organization, but could not name anything they have done to attempt to advance the cause of white supremacy. In a state where there is so much to be fixed, from support for foster children, to wildfires, to unfunded PERS liability -- not to mention Antifa and Black Lives Matter violence in Portland and COVID-19 shutdowns, Governor Brown has identified white supremacy as a major problem in Oregon.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-09-06 10:46:34Last Update: 2020-09-06 11:36:07

Exit Strategy for Riots
The feds don’t mess around

Ever since Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced what many are calling his "catch and release" policy, rioters in Portland have operated with clear guidelines regarding what they would and would not be prosecuted for. Knowledge of this works in favor of the rioters, who know what they can get away with.

By issuing the statement, Schmidt put police in a less-than-optimal position in which they could not count on prosecutors to attach any consequences to rioters' misbehavior. Many people were arrested multiple times, for serious crimes and immediately released. Observers feared that this was creating conditions in which mob violence could thrive and flourish. It did.

Elected officials such as Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D-Portland) and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D-Portland) have wanted to be sympathetic to the rioters, yet, after more than three months wanted to see the violence end. Schmidt's actions created an impasse.

In a move that has only recently become public, is has been discovered that State Troopers have been deputized as federal Marshals which gives them the authority to arrest rioters for federal crimes. Additionally, rioters have begun being charged with the crime of "civil disorder" which is a federal crime. This combination may mean the end of "catch and release" for rioters.

The end game may be that federal charges stack up against the worst of the rioters and as the consequences stack up, the resolve to riot wanes.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-09-05 19:47:27

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