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Meme of the Week
This is not a joke. This is from their website

--Northwest Observer Meme Team

Post Date: 2020-09-22 17:19:50

Republican Senator Concerned About Student Success in Oregon
Oregon is failing children that are not in school

A Republican senator in Oregon is expressing concern about the Oregon Department of Education's failure to get Oregon students back in schhol and back to learning.

Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls) claims the arbitrary COVID-19 education standards enacted by Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will impair access and harm students’ success.

Some rural Oregon communities will be reopening schools for in-person instruction for 3rd grade and younger children, excluding older students.

“What is the difference between a 3rd grade student and a 4th, 5th or 6th grade student?” asked Senator Linthicum. “After all, each grade level will interact with their teachers and other students and, one could argue, older children have a decidedly better capacity for exercising more caution and care about their environment. Governor Brown and OHA will be the ones responsible for denying education access for those most vulnerable, and they are ruining the chances of success for those who are excluded.”

Senator Linthicum continued, “The arbitrary decision regarding one grade level verses another cannot be justified. Why are some students given opportunity to learn in-person when they live in specific geographic locations, but not others? This is a capricious policy.

“According to the CDC, COVID-19 poses low risks to school-aged children and teachers, therefore getting students in school must be a priority. The governor has failed to open in-person public education for all Oregon students, and is making it harder to seek alternatives through online charter schools and private school education. These education opportunities are critical to Oregon’s future and it is shameful to see our children’s education politicized.”

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-22 16:09:23Last Update: 2020-09-22 16:37:27

Candidate Comparison: Witt vs. Stout
District 31 is mostly Columbia County

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 House District 31 Brian Stout is challenging incumbent Brad Witt, his 9th run to represent Columbia and portions of Multnomah and Washington Counties.

Three major issues to Oregon voters are the economy, safety and education. Witt voted to increase taxes and fees including the corporate gross receipts tax, voted for a natural gas investment recovery fee, and to reduce the kicker. He voted against cap and trade, but supported a prohibition on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas exploration and production. Stout said he would vote no on these issues and says as a business owner he “defends small businesses from unreasonable regulations and taxes.”

Witt voted to require employers to notify employees of ICE investigations, and prevent courts from asking immigration status and notifying ICE. He supported the bill to request Congress de-nuclearize the U.S. Stout said he would vote no and supports the work of ICE. He says, “we should enforce constitutional laws before forcing sanctuary status laws.”

In the area of education, Witt voted to include in all curriculum’s contributions from every minority group such as immigrants, LGBTQ, disabled and women. He voted for mandated vaccination with no exceptions and ban those from schools that don’t comply. Stout said he would vote against forced vaccinations and would vote against curriculum mandates to include minority group contributions.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-09-22 15:06:24Last Update: 2020-09-21 09:24:09

Drazan Calls Out Governor
“This lawsuit would not be necessary if the Governor would treat businesses fairly”

In the wake of alawsuit filed by several Oregon businesses shuttered by order of the Governor, House Republican leader Christine Drazan has commented on the lawsuit. “The governor has exercised her authority without moderation or consideration. While the governor has the authority to protect public health, Oregonians have the right to demand equal treatment and compensation for their losses.

“Oregonians do not owe the governor their livelihoods, as she continues to move the goalposts in the fight against COVID-19. It’s past time for accountability.

“The governor has issued arbitrary, at times contradictory, standards for different communities and groups, handpicking winners and losers for who will be protected from devastating economic impacts, and who will bear the brunt of her orders. If she will not operate with an even-hand toward all Oregonians, then the citizens of Oregon will exercise their authority to call her to account.

“This lawsuit would not be necessary and could still be averted if the Governor would treat all businesses fairly.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-09-22 12:06:00Last Update: 2020-09-22 12:13:26

ODOT Cracks Down on Political Signs
Mostly impacts Republicans

The Oregon Department of Transportation has issued a press release describing the requirement for a variance for any sign that is greater than 12 square feet and is visible from a state highway. Most political field signs are 32 square feet. The rules were posted recently on the ODOT website. Persons, including political campaigns, who wish to place signs greater than 12 feet can apply to ODOT for a temporary variance.

Though the rules have been in place for years, they haven't been enforced, or have only been enforced on a "complaint driven" basis. According to ODOT,
ODOT's sign program is located in the Salem ODOT offices, and has some level of responsibility for controlling all signs that are visible to state highways throughout Oregon. Their response to temporary sign placement is generally “complaint” driven. In an effort to stem a majority of complaints, ODOT often issues a press release around election time, to help answer questions and to provide information for those who are placing signs. ODOT's release was in response to citizen complaints the department has been receiving recently. One legislator said he suspects that the group Progressive Yamhill is responsible for the bulk of the complaints.

The temporary sign process was changed by the Legislature in May of 2007, in response to the Oregon Supreme Court decision in December of 2006 that held that the Oregon Motorist Information Act (ORS 377.700 through 377.844 & 377.992) was unconstitutional in its permitting requirements. Since that time, the sign program has increased the time a temporary sign is allowed to remain in place from 90 days to 120 days in response to citizen concerns about signs for seasonal businesses. Also changed was the restriction only allowing a variance for size, or time. The OAR now allows a sign owner to request a variance for both, the larger size, and extended posting time, for the same sign. Other than those two changes, the ORS and OAR have remained largely unchanged since they were implemented in 2007.

Stepped up enforcement of these regulations is thought to impact Republicans more than Democrats, because Republicans are more popular in rural areas that are good locations for large political signs.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-09-22 08:34:29Last Update: 2020-09-22 10:56:01

Kate Brown Again Getting Sued By Oregon Small Businesses
Three Oregon small business have filed the notice

Oregon's governor Kate Brown's administration is finding itself to be the target of yet another lawsuit put forth by small business who were mandated to shut their doors during the extent of the ongoing COVID-19 lock-down in Oregon.

A bowling alley, a salon, and Bullwinkle’s Fun Center in Wilsonville have filed the demand letter.

"Although many other types of businesses were permitted to remain open, subject to social distancing guidelines, those businesses specified categorically … were closed summarily with no opportunity to illustrate how they could safely operate under similar conditions imposed on other types of business enterprises."

“What’s happened here is the governor has basically destroyed property for the purpose of furthering the policy behind the executive order,” says Portland attorney John DiLorenzo, “Property doesn’t have to be tangible.”

Numerous types of small business are listed in the notice of the class action suit.

“There’s a whole constituency that hasn’t been helped at all,” he said. “That’s the small business people.”

"We do wish to point out that whereas you have taken care to provide some level of financial compensation to many affected Oregonians, you have failed to do so for the small business community which we consider to be the backbone of our state's economy. Dilorenzo continues, suggesting the state put forth a compensation plan “if you are of a mind to attempt to address this issue without resort to litigation.”

DiLorenzo states that the same law that allows Kate Brown to declare an emergency also provides for compensation. The quoted statute is found here

John DiLorenzo is the high-profile Portland Oregon Attorney who led the recent timber lawsuit against the State of Oregon for the amount of $1 billion dollars.

See a related article.

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-21 17:26:16Last Update: 2020-09-22 12:29:46

Brown Vetoes Spending
Hopes that funds are re-appropriated for fire relief and other priorities

As announced last week, Governor Kate Brown has issued vetoes of several line-item appropriations in order to preserve funding for the state's ongoing emergency wildfire response efforts and maintain a balanced budget.

Combined, the vetoes will preserve over $65 million, improving the state’s ending balance to total $164.3 million in general funds and $16.7 million in lottery funds. In order to expedite an immediate relief package by the Legislature’s Emergency Board, the Governor has also requested that legislators reserve at least $150 million in the state’s emergency fund for upcoming requests relating to the fires.

"When it became apparent that COVID-19 disproportionately affected Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Tribal communities in Oregon, the Legislature and I worked together to steer Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars to those communities," said Governor Brown. "Now, we must work together to help Oregonians who have lost everything from these fires.”

"Until we understand the total impacts and costs, we must help Oregonians while being judicious with our funds," added Governor Brown. "In light of the current wildfires state of emergency, which occurred after the adjournment of the Second Special Session, I am exercising my veto authority to ensure that state agencies fighting wildfires have necessary resources for responding to this emergency."

Under Article V, section 15a of the Oregon Constitution, the Governor is granted the “power to veto single items in appropriation bills . . . without thereby affecting any other provision of such bill.” Both SB 5723 and HB 4304 are appropriation bills.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-09-21 14:37:13Last Update: 2020-09-21 14:56:25

“Stand Your Ground” Rally Held
Event is a combined Gathering of Eagles and Rally ‘Round the Flag

Walking into the Curtright hanger, the floor-to-ceiling U.S. Flag takes your breath away. It covers the entire airplane door. The other three sides are glassed out with floor to ceiling windows that outlines crosses, which Ames Curtright was passionate about. Fog hung in the valley below, and we were all thankful it wasn’t smoke after a week of wildfires. About 150 people gathered to be educated on issues and encouraged to be active in the upcoming election. One attendee said it went beyond sharing knowledge, it created ‘understanding.’

After the Invocation by Rev. Matthew Price, Oregon Gospel Ministries, the event started with John Tamny, Freedomworks D.C. and editor of RealClear Markets, speaking on how the coronavirus didn’t cause a crisis, but it was politicians who caused a panic. He pointed out that we need free people doing business to learn how the virus spreads. Instead they use numbers, which is dangerous because the next time they will just use different numbers.

The first featured speaker was Trevor Loudon, author on U.S. politics and featured in his documentary “Enemy Within.” With his distinguished accent, he made points on national security, or lack thereof when it comes to politicians, for which he said that Oregon’s delegation couldn’t pass a background check. He covered key points from his Documentary making the country ungovernable to take it down, and how President Trump is realigning the U.S. economy.

The underlying thread was aimed at getting out the vote, which was capitalized on by Richard Burke, Western Liberty Network and Jeff Kropf, Oregon Capital Watch Foundation, tag-teaming on developing a personal campaign. They emphasized helping people that were burned out of their homes to find a place to vote. Kropf said a poll he was involve with shows that Democrat women are the most moved by the early release of criminals, stressing that defunding police is part of the security issue.

The afternoon started with the Ames Curtright Stand Your Ground Award presented to Mike Pihl representing Timber Unity.

Federal and State Panels each responded to the most urgent question of forest management and controlling fires. Alek Skarlatos, running against Peter DeFazio contrasted his stance of harvesting forest salvage to DeFazio’s recent vote against salvage in forests. Jo Rae Perkins, running against Jeff Merkley, wants to get back to the full authority of the Constitution giving ownership of lands to the states, except for what is specific in the Constitution a clear contrast to Merkley.

On the State Panel, Kim Thatcher running for Secretary of State, and Jeff Gudman running for Treasurer, both had similar strategies for forest management as the Treasurer and Secretary of State serve two positions with the Governor on the Oregon Land Board.

Anna Kasachev and Amelia Salvador, running for representatives, were quizzed on how to reach minority voters and how to reach the younger generations. Kasachev explained that her community was new to the political scene so as the adults learn they are including the youth. Salvador said economy is her field and believed more should be done for businesses, especially small business owner.

The event was capped off with Jessie Jane Duff, Retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant and Trump Campaign spokes person for Women and Veterans, led us in some modified gunnery drills. She made it clear that Trump was interested in Oregon because it shows the best contrast with Trump’s policies.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-09-21 14:30:06Last Update: 2020-09-21 14:37:13

Department Of Justice Identifies Portland As Jurisdiction Permitting Violence
The troubled city may lose federal funding alongside Seattle and NYC

The U.S. Department of Justice today identified the following three jurisdictions that have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities: New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington. The Department of Justice is continuing to work to identify jurisdictions that meet the criteria set out in the President’s Memorandum and will periodically update the list of selected jurisdictions as required therein.

The list was published on DOJ’s website today in response to President Trump’s memorandum of September 2, 2020, entitled “Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients That Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities.”

“When state and local leaders impede their own law enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to peacefully assemble and protest,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.

“We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance. It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens.”

Criteria for evaluating each city is below:

Whether a jurisdiction forbids the police force from intervening to restore order amid widespread or sustained violence or destruction. Whether a jurisdiction has withdrawn law enforcement protection from a geographical area or structure that law enforcement officers are lawfully entitled to access but have been officially prevented from accessing or permitted to access only in exceptional circumstances, except when law enforcement officers are briefly withheld as a tactical decision intended to resolve safely and expeditiously a specific and ongoing unlawful incident posing an imminent threat to the safety of individuals or law enforcement officers. Whether a jurisdiction disempowers or defunds police departments.

Whether a jurisdiction unreasonably refuses to accept offers of law enforcement assistance from the Federal Government. Any other related factors the Attorney General deems appropriate.

New York City

Shootings in New York City have been on the rise since looting and protests began on or about May 28, 2020. For July 2020, shootings increased from 88 to 244, an increase of 177% over July 2019. In August 2020, shootings increased from 91 to 242, a 166% increase over August 2019.

While the city faced increased unrest, gun violence, and property damage, the New York City Council cut $1 billion from NYPD’s FY21 budget. The budget resulted in the cancellation of the new police recruiting class, cuts to overtime spending, and the transfer of certain police functions, including school safety, out of the NYPD.

Meanwhile, the Manhattan and Brooklyn District Attorneys have declined to prosecute charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly arising from the protests, and the District Attorneys in Queens and the Bronx have declined to prosecute other protest-related charges. Both Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have forcefully rejected federal law enforcement support.

Portland, Oregon

This month, Portland marked 100 consecutive nights of protests marred by vandalism, chaos, and even killing. Those bent on violence regularly started fires, threw projectiles at law enforcement officers, and destroyed property. Numerous law enforcement officers, among others, suffered injury.

Shootings increased by more than 140% in June and July 2020 compared to the same period last year. In the midst of this violence, the Portland City Council cut $15 million from the police bureau, eliminating 84 positions. Crucially, the cuts included the Gun Violence Reduction Team, which investigates shootings, and several positions from the police team that responds to emergency incidents.

In August, Portland Mayor Wheeler sent a letter to President Trump expressly rejecting the Administration’s offer of federal law enforcement to stop the violent protests.

Seattle, Washington

For nearly a month, starting in June, the City of Seattle permitted anarchists and activists to seize six square blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, naming their new enclave the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) and then the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” (CHOP). Law enforcement and fire fighters were precluded from entering the territory. The Seattle Police Department was ordered to abandon their precinct within the CHOP. Person-related crime in the CHOP increased 525% from the same period of time in the same area the year before, including by Mayor Durkan’s own count “two additional homicides, 6 additional robberies, and 16 additional aggravated assaults (to include 2 additional non-fatal shootings).”

The CHOP was allowed to stand for nearly a month, during which time two teenagers were shot and killed in the zone. The Seattle City Council, Mayor Durkan, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee publicly rejected federal involvement in law enforcement activities within the city of Seattle.

--Sabrina-Marie Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-21 13:40:15Last Update: 2020-09-21 18:19:16

Opinion: Dark Origins of Carbon Trading
You know who those scientists are

The idea of a carbon exchange was the invention of Enron Corporation. They chose Oregon as the place to try it because of the political climate here, spelled Neil Goldschmidt. They bought PGE to facilitate the plan. Soon the south building of the gray twins down by the river was filled with computers needed for the massive data management. Then the financial house of cards that Enron was built on came tumbling down.

Then, Enron went broke, with top company officials facing prison time. But they left behind a legacy of corporate execs on the board of Associated Oregon Industries (AOI) and others. AOI went from a market corporation group to a cartel corporation driven group. John Ledger took them green to satisfy the new political climate. That was the beginning of the end to that once proud group.

All those computers in that gray building down by the river went to Chicago where Al Gore planned to establish his Chicago carbon exchange. Things were going good for the former vice-president until climate-gate happened. The U.N.’s International Panel on Climate Change, IPCC had over 100 computer models all fail miserably in their claims of drastic increases in Earth’s temperature. Scientists at the IPCC tried to save face but were caught cheating on climate data and their house of cards came tumbling down.

You know who those scientists are. They’re part of the 97% who are in consensuses about humans causing global warming. Funny how they’re all living off government grants. Former Vice-President Al Gore had to abandon his plans in Chicago and soon after the computers in Chicago were obsolete. By then several governments around the world had knock-off carbon plans with varying degrees of failure. The most notable of those was Spain. They went all in on a green energy economy and ended up bankrupt with 25% unemployment 10 years later. The human suffering left in its wake is still very apparent.

Tom Steyer and his stable of local politicians still think Oregon is ripe for Cap and Trade. The lessons of history are there for those able to learn.

--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2020-09-21 09:27:00Last Update: 2020-09-21 09:44:10

Opinion: Each Student Should Get Their Share of the State School Fund.
Think of it as a money-back guarantee

Editor's note: The following was submitted as testimony to the Oregon Legislature Senate Committee on Education by Dr. Eric Fruits who has been a long-time academic advisor and contributing analyst for the Cascade Policy Institute. His economic analysis has been widely cited and has been published in The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also an adjunct professor of economics at Portland State University.

Dear Chair Dembrow, Vice Chair Thomsen, and Committee Members:

Today, you will hear testimony from Reimagine Oregon. Among their “Policy Demands” is increased funding for charter schools. Cascade Policy Institute agrees. But, you can do even more to advance equity and foster excellence in education. It doesn’t require new taxes. It doesn’t require new spending. And, it doesn’t require a sprawling bureaucracy. Put simply, Oregon must flip its education funding model. Instead of funneling money through its dysfunctional public school system, the state should support students directly by providing each student their share of the State School Fund.

I have four kids: a fifth grader, a high schooler, and two in college. My sister is a fifth grade public school teacher, my wife is Kindergarten educational assistant at Portland Public Schools, and I teach part time at Portland State University. Based on firsthand and secondhand experience, the way we deliver education in Oregon is a mess. We’ve been rejiggering and “reforming” education for decades. For years, we’ve layered tax increase on top of tax increase “for the kids.” Yet, we have the third worst high school graduation rate and are ranked in the bottom half of states for college readiness. The state’s pandemic response will make these measures even worse.

My fifth grader in Portland Public Schools just got his daily COVID-19 class schedule, and there’s a lot of alone time. On a typical day, he meets with his classroom teacher over Zoom for 75 minutes over the 6.25 hour day. There’s a half-hour “morning meeting,” 30 minutes to review language arts and social studies, and 15 minutes to discuss math.

Nearly three-quarters of the time he’s “in school” he’s actually watching videos posted by his teacher or working on his own.

Over and over, Governor Kate Brown and our school boards remind us, “We’re all in this together.” But, if you talk to parents and kids, many feel like they’re all on their own. On their own to find space for kids to work. On their own to buy the laptops, printers, webcams, microphones, and headphones to support “online learning.” On their own to pay their broadband providers to supply enough bandwidth to support multiple people video conferencing at the same time. On their own to balance their jobs or job hunts with the school’s Zoom-on, Zoom-off daily schedule.

When the pandemic hit, thousands of parents tried to enroll their children in online charter schools that had a long history of effective distance learning. Some of you were in the room (virtually) when, in June, the Oregon Education Association lobbied against lifting the enrollment cap for online charters. The union argued even a modest lifting of the cap would take money away from public school districts. To them, our kids are just numbers fed into a formula that funds the system. Rather than working with existing money, they are demanding even more spending on the public school system.

On average, Oregon school districts receive about $10,500 per student (ADMr) from the State School Fund. If students aren’t getting adequate instruction from their public schools, they should get that money back to receive instruction elsewhere. States like Oklahoma and South Carolina have already taken advantage of similar ideas by reallocating much of their federal stimulus dollars directly to families to help them adapt to this school year.

Think of it as a money-back guarantee. If the public school isn’t working for your kids or your family, you should have a right to take that money and spend it somewhere that does. Public school districts will benefit from reduced enrollment and can achieve smaller class sizes without increasing the number of teachers on the public payroll and adding to the growing PERS crisis. Because many public school districts have local funding that does not depend on enrollment numbers, reduced enrollment will actually increase per student spending in their districts.

Direct funding of students reduces inequities in school systems because it allows all students to have access to education alternatives. Almost 60% of public charter school students in the U.S. are Black or Hispanic. Imagine what these families could do with as much as $10,500 per student to spend on educational expenses. If equity is the goal, school choice through direct funding is the surest and quickest path.

If your local grocery store doesn’t re-open or can’t keep its shelves stocked, families can take their money elsewhere. In contrast, under our current public education system, families pay income taxes and property taxes to fund schools that aren’t fully open and don’t deliver. On top of that, families have to spend their own money on equipment and supplies to support their kids’ distance learning. Many workers have had to quit their jobs or put off their search for work so they can stay home while their children distance-learn. If we’re all in this together, who’s looking out for them?

Senators, this is your chance to shine. Flip the funding of education in Oregon. Give the money to the students and you will be stunned by their success. It’s not just about equity. It’s about equity and excellence.

Respectfully submitted by

Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

--Dr. Eric Fruits

Post Date: 2020-09-21 08:35:31Last Update: 2020-09-21 08:56:16

Free Masks, Gloves For Oregon Small Businesses
This may be preferrable to government lockdowns

Governor Brown announced a new program to provide masks and gloves to small business in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor, in partnership with the Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board, allocated $10 million from the federal CARES Act funding for the purchase of protective supplies. The state of Oregon is fulfilling orders at no charge until resources are depleted.

“We want our businesses to be able to operate in the safest manner possible right now so that we can get out of this health crisis, and get them back to full operations,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “Our small businesses are the hardest hit, so we want to help them get the tools they need at no cost to them.”

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are headquartered in Oregon with principal operations in Oregon are eligible. Business Oregon — the state’s economic development agency — and the Department of Administrative Services are collaborating to create the order and distribution process. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees will receive a box of 200 gloves and 100 masks, with larger businesses receiving up to 500 masks and 800 gloves. For now, businesses are limited to one order, with additional orders possible at a later date depending on availability

In addition to the small business program, the Early Learning Division (ELD) is providing supplies such as gloves, disinfecting wipes, masks and more to child care providers around the state as part of the effort. The Governor set aside $1.3 million from the federal Governor’s Education Emergency Relief Fund to purchase supplies for this critical service. Child care providers have been operating under emergency conditions since March and are following increased safety and health guidelines. Child care providers approved by ELD to operate Emergency Child Care are eligible to order supplies and will need a license/provider number to do so.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, child care providers have been doing critical work to support families and other businesses in Oregon,” said ELD Director Miriam Calderon, “These items will help providers continue operating with a focus on safety for children, parents and their staff.”

The order form is online and is now accepting orders. Businesses and child care providers can access the form here:

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-09-20 13:16:00Last Update: 2020-09-20 13:40:15

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