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Arson or Climate Change?
The truth will eventually come out

Oregon rescue teams are looking for 22 missing people after the fires have wiped out five towns. News outlets report that fires are not being set, but don’t you find it strange that these “climate change” fires stop at the Canadian border? How does this message help the general public to be attentive to their surroundings?

Facebook said Saturday it would take down erroneous posts claiming anti-fascist activists have been maliciously sparking wildfires in Oregon and other Western states. This determination came after Douglas County Sheriff’s Office warned social media about jumping to faulty conclusions and spreading false rumors. Is there justification to this restriction to freedom of speech?

On September 14 the Scarsdale Antifa tweeted “We and other chapters of Antifa around Oregon have collaborated to ignite fires around the state to draw attention to the climate emergency.”

Also, on September 14, Catherine Herridge posted that according to and internal email @DHSgov obtained by @CBSNews, former Acting Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, Brian Murphy, wrote colleagues on July 25 that the Portland violence was not “opportunistic” but “organized.” He writes, “We can’t say any longer that this violent situation is opportunistic. Additionally, we have overwhelmingly(sic) intelligence regarding the ideologies driving individuals toward violence…why the violence has continued. A core set of Threat actors are organized and show up night after night, and share common TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures)…Threat actors who are motivated by Anarchists or ANTIFA (or a combination of both) ideologies to carry out acts of violence against State, Local and Federal authorities.”

The number of arson investigations and arrests are shedding some light on the truth. There have been over 50 arson arrests in the last month in Oregon alone documented by Andy Ngo, reporter. He also points to Mike Schmidt, Multnomah DA, isn’t prosecuting Portland rioters. On August 14, DA Schmidt posted a tweet promoting an interview with his “buddy,” a militant antifa activist. His friend is part of the campaign by communist Angela Davis to defund police, abolish prisons and demand reparations.

While arrests continue, Governor Brown stays firm in blaming “climate change” and claims no responsibility for even the already determined set fires. Shouldn’t she at least warn that arson is a class A felony with big fines and years in prison? It will be telling to see how those arrested will be prosecuted.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-09-15 18:54:26

Judge Orders Secretary of State to Publish ORP Statement
The court noted that the party had completed uploading prior to 5 pm

The Oregon Republican Party released the statement below following today’s ruling by the Marion County Circuit Court ordering the Secretary of State to include the Oregon Republican Party statement in the 2020 general election voters’ pamphlet, which is sent to every household in Oregon prior to receiving their ballots:

“I was very pleased to see that Judge Channing Bennett had fully reviewed all of the materials submitted by both sides and carefully considered our arguments before making his ruling,” said Kevin Mannix, attorney for the Oregon Republican Party in this case.

Mannix argued successfully that public policy, pursuant to ORS 247.005, supports allowing of the publishing of the voters’ pamphlet statement in this case so that voters have full access to information prior to casting their ballot.

“I appreciate that the court noted that the party had completed uploading the voter pamphlet statement prior to 5 pm and that the timing of the credit card payment processing was at issue,” stated Oregon Republican Party Chairman Bill Currier.

“We are pleased that today’s decision by the court will allow voters to compare the statements of the Republican Party with the Democrat Party side by side,” said Currier. “Being able to review each party’s principles and values before voting is clearly in the best interests of Oregon’s voters.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-09-14 13:37:39Last Update: 2020-09-14 15:38:30

Brown Called Out for Lack of Forest Management
House Republicans Leader Calls out Governor for Lack of Forest Management and Partisanship

House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) released the following statement on the aggressive partisanship from Govemor Kate Brown on the ongoing fires ravaging our state:

"I am deeply disappointed in the aggressive partisanship of our Governor in this time of incredible loss and devastation. But I won't let her claims go without setting the record straight. The Governor's recent comments on Face the Nation are intended to distract from her 29-year failed record on forest management.

Oregon's governor not only lacks the interest, let alone policy chops, needed to lead a state whose land mass is more than 50% forest, she cannot resist taking on the role of partisan-in-chief to the detriment of all Oregonians.

Even in the midst of incredible heroism and community-wide tragedy, Oregon's Governor, Kate Brown, cannot take off her partisan-colored glasses. In one of the worst fire events in our state's history, Oregon's Governor gets herself on national television and goes political.

Her partisanship in a time of tragedy, sacrifice and bravery is shameful, misleading, and manipulative.

The recommendations of the governor's short-lived Wildfire Council prioritized more political, yet less-effective, recommendations to move her environmental agenda instead of protecting Oregonians. Fuel reduction treatments are the most effective solution to reduce the threat of fires.

Instead the Governor continues to cater to an extreme agenda that would all but eliminate healthy and sustainable management of Oregon's forests, while she takes offline the essential diesel fueled firefighting equipment that saved countless homes and lives.

The Governor has issued dozens of executive orders in recent months, yet none of them addressed the need to sustainably manage Oregon' s forests to prioritize forest health and public safety. This is what failed leadership looks like. Entire communities have been reduced to ashes and Oregon's governor refuses to unify our state to rebuild and recover together, preferring partisan jabs over old-fashioned leadership.

In the Same way Kate Brown has failed to provide employment benefits to desperate Oregonians, failed to bring a peaceful end to the riots in Portland and now has failed in her sacred duty to lead toward unity through tragedy, Governor Brown has repeatedly chosen the path of partisanship and division.

Kate Brown has no excuse for the dangerous state Of Oregon's forests after 29 years in elected office. The difficult days ahead demand leadership not partisanship. Now is the time to come together to serve Oregonians, restore hope and rebuild our communities."

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-09-14 13:30:32Last Update: 2020-09-14 13:37:39

Covid Testing on Hold in Oregon
OSPHL closed due to terrible air quality in the lab

Wildfires and hazardous air conditions have affected COVID-19 testing in Oregon. Over the past several days statewide testing numbers appear to have dipped. This is a lagging data point as tests are often reported several days after specimen collection. However, due to widespread hazardous conditions, people seeking testing may have declined. OHA will continue to monitor the situation.

The Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL) is closed today Monday, Sept. 14, due to indoor air quality which is too hazardous to safely use appropriate air safety equipment including hoods. No specimens will be accepted or tested. Specimens already received at OSPHL are being held at appropriate temperatures pending testing. OSPHL will reopen as soon as air safety standards can be met.

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-14 10:58:52Last Update: 2020-09-14 14:05:10

Molotov Cocktail Used to Start Fire in Portland
Suspect arrested twice in less than 12 hours

A suspect arrested last evening for starting a brush fire was arrested again after he started 6 more small fires.

On Monday, September 14, 2020 at 3:37a.m., East Precinct officers were dispatched with Portland Fire and Rescue to a report of multiple fires burning along the west side of the I-205 freeway. Portland Fire and Rescue extinguished three of them while passing community members put out the other three. All were caught early. No one was injured and no structures were burnt. Officers located Domingo Lopez, Junior walking along the shoulder and arrested him. They seized a lighter as evidence.

Lopez was transported to a hospital on a Police Officer Hold for a mental health evaluation. He was issued citations for 6 additional counts of Reckless Burning.

A suspect was arrested after using a Molotov Cocktail to start a small brush fire.

On Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 4:35p.m., East Precinct officers were dispatched to assist Portland Fire and Rescue with a brush fire in the 9600 block of East Burnside Street. Officers saw that a section of grass along the I-205 freeway was burning. Firefighters extinguished the fire. No one was injured and no structures were damaged.

About an hour later, East officers were flagged down by a witness who pointed out the suspect in a nearby tent. Officers arrested the suspect, who confirmed he lit the fire with the device.

Officers seized a plastic bottle with a wick as evidence (photos).

Officers booked Domingo Lopez Jr., 45, into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of Reckless Burning and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree. Arson investigators are also doing follow-up to see if other charges are warranted.

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-14 10:48:50Last Update: 2020-09-14 10:58:52

Many Fires Caused by Arson
Climate Change or Coordinated Effort?

Governor Kate Brown appeared on “Face The Nation” Sunday morning claiming the wildfires are a wake-up call and she intends to do everything in her power to tackle climate change. As she went through a list of devastated areas and her humanity visits, she took every effort to blame decades of mismanagement of forest and the failure to tackle climate change. “We need to do both. And we can,” she said.

President Trump agreed saying, “it is about forest management and other things.” His administration is closely coordinating with local leaders with 200,000 people working on it. He tweeted in 2018 that “billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

What Governor Brown neglected to mention is she has done nothing since 2018 to improve forest management. So, in a last-ditch effort, the Oregon Fire Marshal, Jim Walker, resigns after being put on leave. Was that an attempt by Governor Brown to shift the focus off of her?

Also lacking in her report are the numerous reports of arson. Multnomah County Sheriff responded Saturday to a brush fire in Corbett when neighbors called in hearing pops and saw six foot flames in the forest. Using a shovel and water they were able to put it out. Deputies found fireworks. Deputies are conducting high visibility patrols in rural Multnomah County.

Another individual reported hearing fireworks and looking out saw a random car fire bomb and a giant flash engulfed the neighbor’s house in flames. They were terrified for their house.

Sammy Scott was arrested in Oregon City for arson, probation violation and possessing body armor on Friday.

An Oregon City female resident also reported a man walking across her property with matches in his hand. She made him walk to the street at gun point and lay down until the police arrived.

Deputies reported another man arrested west of Eugene on arson allegations in a wildfire.

Chief Peterson said a middle-aged man with tattoos was spotted lighting two fires at Oregon State Park near the dam. The chief said “several good Samaritans extinguished the fire prior to our arrival.” He asked the public to be on the lookout for a man with a black German Shepherd driving a green Ford or Chevy SUV.

Anita Esquivel, 37, was arrested for starting fires on Highway 101 on Friday near the Oregon/California border. The number of fires was not released.

Michael Bakkela, 41, was arrested Friday charged with arson in connection with southern Oregon fires.

Jeffrey Alan Acord, 31, arrested for starting a fire on 167 recorded his own arrest on Facebook after calling in the fire. He had a prior arrest in Seattle in 2014 during a race riot for a concealed weapon without a permit and illegal fireworks.

U.S. Forest Service reports 14 confirmed intentional set fire spots all started between 1:00 am and 5:00 am Saturday morning. Climate change or coordinated effort? Why is Governor Brown trying to shift the evidence? We can be sure it will come up in the 2021 Legislative Session.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-09-14 08:34:24

Clackamas County Receives Report of Antifa Activity
Heard of staged gas cans and chainsaws to cut telephone poles

As conspiracy theories swirl around about the causes of fires in Oregon, they are quickly countered by media and government organizations denying that Antifa has anything to do with causing the fires. Though proving a negative is hard to do, the word keeps going out that "there is nothing to see here -- move on."

During an emergency meeting of the Clackamas County Commission, commissioners discussed adding a curfew to their emergency ordinance and sought testimony from law enforcement. Since the Sheriff was not available, Captain Jeff Smith provided testimony, which sparked a discussion of whether to call in the National Guard.

Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Captain Jeff Smith: There are lots of confirmed reports of looting, mostly in the outlying areas, Estacada, Colton, Mollala, Sandy mostly in the outlying areas, lots of looting has been taking place burglaries and whatnot. There's reports of -- and this is not specific to an area -- but all over the county both outlying and even closer to the town, of people of extremist groups staging gas cans for later destruction and equally concerning is there are reports of people from other extremist groups -- it's not confirmed Antifa, but suspected Antifa -- this is more specific to the Estacada area -- reports and sightings of people armed with chainsaws and the goal was to fall telephone poles in hopes of starting further fires.

Commissioner Sonya Fischer: I'm not sure I understand when you say staging gas cans? Could you give a little more information about that?

Captain Smith: Specifically, staging full gas cans in sort of concealed type areas to later be used by themselves or by other members of their groups to initiate the starting of further fires.

Commission Chair Jim Bernard: This is some media thing. It hasn't been confirmed.

Captain Smith: No, that part has not. But the Antifa part, there have been reliable sightings and reports, not confirmed, but it's pretty specific, being armed with chainsaws, falling telephone polls in the hopes of starting further fires, and the looting and burglary in the outlying areas all over Clackamas County is definitely confirmed.

Commissioner Fischer: If this is happening, is there coordination with any other state or federal law enforcement in regards to these acts to increase resources? Is that necessary?

Captain Smith: I can't confirm any coordination with any federal law enforcement sources because I think most of them have been deployed in downtown Portland, but I can tell you that here in our Sheriff's [Emergency Operations Center] we have a member of the State Police in our section with us.

Commissioner Paul Savas: After hearing that from Captain Smith, I'm inclined [Chair] Jim [Bernard], we've got to make an appeal to the Governor to call in the National Guard. That's critical information. That's very unsettling. There's not enough law enforcement resources in the Sheriffs department to handle all that. I'm fine with the countywide curfew now, more than I was 15 minutes ago. We can't allow a deliberate attack on property and people's lives and just somehow leave the National Guard out there sitting at home waiting for the call.

Chair Bernard: I'd be happy to call the Governor.

Commissioner Fischer: Can I just ask a clarifying question, because I want to make sure that we aren't over-exaggerating the situation. I think law enforcement has the the best handle on when we would need to call in reinforcements or call in the National Guard, so could you give us some insight on that?

Captain Smith: I'm here speaking on behalf of the Sheriff, but IO would not want to decide on his behalf, so I'd prefer that he weigh in on that call to the Governor specifically. I'd hate to make that call on his behalf.

Commissioner Fischer: So I would suggest that we hold off on that call to the Governor. We want to make sure it's a real ask, if we're going to ask it and we make sure we have confirmation from the Sheriff that we need that. Or maybe we just say that we are concerned and we want you to know and that we want the National Guard on standby if necessary.

Commissioner Martha Schrader: So, I guess my question is how do we confirm that this is Antifa? You said that you've got it from reliable sources. You haven't captured anybody. What's a real solid way to confirm this, because I think that's the tipping point. And right now, we've been thinking they're just rumors, but now we're hearing maybe not.

Captain Smith: I know this came from a Sergeant on the street, but I don't know who his informants are at this time.

Commissioner Schrader: OK, but we'll really have to know that for sure, because we don't want to have another layer of panic out there.

Commissioner Fischer: The issue and I'm tied in -- I'm sure we all are -- with our connections in the outlying areas of Clackamas County but it's not only "is this Antifa?" but it's people's perception that there's a threat, so we have very strong members of our community that believe in protection of life, property and we could have some unrest, which we need to be measuring the pulse of that in our community, so it's beyond a specific group.

This is a video of the transcribed portion of the meeting. The first speaker is Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Captain Jeff Smith.

The entire, unedited video is up on YouTube.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-09-13 19:03:47Last Update: 2020-09-13 21:23:39

License Suspended For Not Wearing Facemasks
Rogue Jet Boat Adventures suspended by OLCC

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has issued an Order of Immediate License Suspension to the licensee of Rogue Jet Boat Adventures in Jackson County for violating public health social distancing and face covering requirements. The business, which holds Limited On-Premises and Off-Premises sales licenses is NOT allowed to sell or serve alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption or sell any alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption.

On September 4, 2020, at the request of the Jackson County Sheriff’s marine patrol, the OLCC responded to and monitored an organized event being held in Central Point on property adjacent to the Rogue River. The location being used for the event was under the control of Rogue Jet Boat Adventures, but the event itself was organized by a third party, Jefferson State Outfitters.

The event organizers told the OLCC they capped attendance at the event, by limiting sales to 200 tickets, but promoted on social media that more people could show up to attend. OLCC compliance staff observed that there were more than 200 people in attendance, and that they were not wearing face coverings or social distancing. Alcohol servers, under the control of Rogue Jet Boat Adventures, also were not wearing face coverings or maintaining social distancing requirements.

The licensee was cited for not following OHA’s Statewide Mask, Face Shield and Face Covering Guidance.

This is the third immediate suspension the OLCC has issued to alcohol licensees for failure to comply with face covering or social distancing requirements. In August, 2020 the OLCC issued immediate suspensions to Jammin’ Salmon in Rogue River, and the Coos Bay Speedway. Those two immediate suspensions remain in effect.

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-13 14:22:34Last Update: 2020-09-13 19:48:50

Curbside Marijuana Now in Oregon
OLCC approves new rules

At its regular monthly meeting on September 11, 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved permanent rules allowing licensed recreational marijuana retailers to continue curbside delivery transactions, and increased the marijuana flower purchase amount for OMMP cardholders and caregivers. The Commission also approved ten marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.

Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic started, the OLCC approved temporary rules designed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The change encouraged social distancing by allowing licensed marijuana retailers to conduct limited transactions outside but close to their physical location. Under the permanent rule licensed retailers can continue to take orders and deliver product to a person outside the store and within 150 feet of the retailer’s licensed premises.

The Commission believes this has proven to be an effective approach to limiting interactions and exposure to COVID. Although this rule is being made permanent due to the pandemic, commission staff will revisit this rule at a later date.

Commissioners also approved continuing the daily purchase limits for OMMP cardholders and caregivers that were approved in temporary rule on March 22, 2020. OMMP cardholders and caregivers will continue to be able to purchase up to 24 ounces per day and no more than 32 ounces per month.

The permanent rules take effect September 18, 2020.

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-13 14:10:06Last Update: 2020-09-13 14:22:34

All States Are Real ID Compliant
Need to renew your driver’s license?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that after more than 15 years since Congress passed the Real ID Act, all 50 states are now in full compliance issuing these cards, with most states becoming compliant in the last four years. To date, the 50 states have issued more than 105 million Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, representing 38 percent of all driver’s licenses and identification card holders.

Postponed to October 1, 2021, full enforcement of Real ID will take effect at all federally regulated airports, federal facilities, and nuclear power plants. Passed by Congress in 2005 following a 9/11 Commission recommendation, the Real ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, like the Transportation Security Administration, from accepting licenses and identification cards for official purposes from states that do not meet the standards.

Do you need a Real ID? Oregon DMV has an information brochure, or an interactive decision helper to make that determination. A Real ID is not needed for driving, proving age, receiving public benefits, or voting.

Getting a Real ID requires in-person with identification documents, Social Security number, proof of address, plus an additional $30 Real ID fee. If you’re driver’s license is coming up for renewal, you may be required to go in-person to renew. However, since Governor Brown issued an emergency over COVID-19, the Oregon DMV has operated by appointment only. A driver’s license renewal in April was given an October appointment. That’s a five month wait.

The Department of Transportation has partnered with Oregon law enforcement agencies to exercise discretion in their enforcement of driver licenses, vehicle registrations and trip permits that expire during the COVID-19 emergency. On July 7, Governor Kate Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1601, which creates a moratorium on citations for certain DMV-related activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent reduction of DMV services effective between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

But, if you only need identification to travel, a Passport or Passport Card might be a better option. Airport security changes October 1, 2021, will require TSA travelers by air to present a Real ID compliant form of identification to pass airport security. A good option is a Passport card. It’s cheaper than a full passport book ($65 vs. $145 - and if you already have a passport, the card is only $30). You can apply at one of the over 75 acceptance centers in Oregon, the requirements are similar to that of an Oregon Real ID (proof of citizenship – like a birth certificate, passport photo, photocopy of your driver license), and it only takes about four to six weeks to receive.

If you need to renew your Oregon driver’s license or vehicle registration that takes an office visit, there are no alternatives but to get on the list for an appointment. The question lurks, how fast will they catch up after Oregon opens.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-09-13 07:39:19Last Update: 2020-09-13 19:19:02

Sheriffs Deputy Suspended for Talking About Antifa
Sheriff Roberts has placed the deputy on leave

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office has released the following statement:

On the evening of Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office was made aware of "inappropriate statements" made by one of our Patrol deputies while he was on-duty and in uniform.

Clackamas County is currently in a state of emergency due to several wildfires in our county. It appears the deputy was aware he made these comments while on video. At the time of the comments, the deputy was tasked with ensuring that residents knew of the wildfire hazards while he was patrolling the area.

This deputy has been placed on administrative leave while our Professional Standards Unit investigates this potential violation of policy.

The video is being shared extensively and can be seen here

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-12 12:21:46Last Update: 2020-09-12 13:35:12

Oregon Prisoners Protesting Wildfire Response Conditions
Occured at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution

On September 11 at around 10:00 p.m., male adults in custody (AICs) at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution (DRCI) left their housing units to protest emergency conditions put in place by the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) in response to state wildfires. Approximately 200 male AICs refused to follow direction and return to their housing units from the yard. All but 12 AICs returned to their housing units by 2:00 a.m. on September 12. DOC’s Crisis Negotiation Team was deployed, and no force was used to clear the yard. The remaining 12 AICs were placed in special housing and transferred to another institution. No employee or AICs required medical treatment.

There are two facilities on-site at DRCI – one minimum security and one medium security. As of September 10, the DRCI AICs were being housed in the medium facility and needed to be transferred to the minimum facility to accommodate the multi-custody level evacuees from Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF). Before this move, the minimum facility was vacant.

At this time, the men do not have access to traditional phones because the minimum facility had not been in use since 2016 and phones could not be set up with such short notice. DOC employees had been working to provide the men in the minimum facility with phone calls via employee work phones. DRCI is collaborating with our AIC telephone provider to install ten new AIC phones in this facility. Because the CCCF AICs were moved into the active facility, they have access to phones, video calls, and tablets.

The protesting AICs demanded changes to emergency operations, citing the poor air quality from wildfires, temporary lack of access to phones, and other disruptions caused by the CCCF evacuation. DRCI employees will continue to communicate with AICs as the state battles historic wildfires across Oregon. An ongoing investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the incident.

Deer Ridge Correctional Institution (DRCI) is located four miles east of Madras in central Oregon. DRCI is a multi-custody prison that currently houses 947 minimum-custody incarcerated adults. DRCI provides a range of correctional programs and services including education and trades programs, mental health treatment, cognitive and parenting programs, and institution work crews. Construction began in October 2005 with the first minimum-security adults in custody (AICs) arriving in September 2007. DRCI is the largest minimum-custody facility in the state and Oregon’s fourteenth prison.

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-12 12:07:53Last Update: 2020-09-12 12:21:46

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