“Media outlets are entitled to their opinion, and so are we.”
The Oregon Republican Party released the following statement in response to the premature declarations by Democrat politicians and many media organizations that the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election has been decided:
“The Presidential election is not resolved,” said Oregon Republican Party Chairman Bill Currier. “We live under the rule of law, not the rule of the news media or big tech companies that have censored Republicans and promoted grossly inaccurate opinion polls for months that declared this election over before a single vote was cast.”
“Media outlets are entitled to their opinion, and so are we. However, only state election officials may administer and certify elections, and judges can rule on the merits of the cases being brought. Al Gore got 37 days to resolve an election in one state 20 years ago. There are significant and troubling irregularities being investigated and cases filed in half a dozen states. Certainly, voters deserve the same opportunity for these cases to be heard and adjudicated and recounts in hotly contested states to be completed. No state’s vote results should be decided by illegal votes from ineligible or dead voters, faulty voting machines, suspicious voter turnout well over 100%, mathematically-impossible vote tallies of large batches of ballots, or by ballots received after the election deadlines had passed.”
“Americans deserve to have every legal vote counted, and every illegal vote thrown out. When you cannot even effectively observe, much less investigate very suspicious ballot processing and vote counting results, and when numerous court filings have yet to be heard, and recounts have not even started, it is obvious that this will take time. The same elected officials and media outlets who continuously counseled patience and calm as ballots were being tabulated should continue to do so without bias or political favor to either candidate or party as these cases are resolved, and votes are re-tabulated. Arguments for a Constitutional case with massive implications in Pennsylvania are only just being offered in front of the Supreme Court today.”
“We’ve witnessed during the past four years a constant barrage of false news stories and media narratives, from fake Russian collusion investigations, phony dossiers, anonymously sourced manufactured controversies, coverups of scandalous conduct by President Trump’s opponent, and a hyper-partisan impeachment that was endlessly promoted despite lacking a reasonable basis in fact. When taken together with the censorship of the President, the months of spinning riots, looting, and arson as peaceful protest, and the intentionally inaccurate political polling in swing states, it is time for the media to exercise greater humility and take its own advice to exercise patience as facts continue to unfold. Is it any wonder why Republicans and the millions of non-Republican Trump supporters have a deep mistrust of media declarations regarding this election?”
“We would also like to remind local media that there are several very close races in Oregon in which ballots are still being counted and the outcome is yet to be finalized. Several media outlets have already declared these races over despite this fact. This certainly doesn’t look fair and is very disrespectful of Oregon voters. It is just as important to count every legal vote in our state as it is anywhere else.”
The race between incumbent State Senator Denyc Boles (R-Salem) and Deb Patterson (D_Salem) has not been resolved. There are also still different possible outcomes in House Districts 31 and 52.
“We continue to stand with President Trump and with the rule of law,” said Currier. “One thing is for sure, mobs of Biden voters in the streets will neither hold sway over our court system nor over the integrity of our election recounts. The more than 70 million voters who cast their ballots for the President and other Republicans up and down the ballot deserve a fair election.”
Oregon OSHA has adopted a temporary rule that combats the spread of coronavirus in all workplaces by requiring employers to carry out a comprehensive set of risk-reducing measures.
The rule will take effect Nov. 16, with certain parts phased in, and is expected to remain in effect until May 4, 2021. It is a continuation of the guidance produced by the Oregon Health Authority and enforced in the workplace by Oregon OSHA, including physical distancing, use of face coverings, and sanitation.
The rule is intended to further improve the current structure for reducing risks in the workplace by requiring several measures many employers have voluntarily implemented. For example, it requires employers to notify employees of a workplace infection and provide training to workers on how to reduce risks. Likewise, employers must formally assess the risk of exposure, develop infection control plans, and address indoor air quality within their current capability.
“We believe compliance with this rule will help reduce the serious threat to workers posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “It does so by establishing a clear, practical, and consistent set of measures for employers.”
Those measures – along with more requirements for exceptionally high-risk jobs, such as direct patient care – are part of Oregon OSHA’s ongoing enforcement and educational efforts to help protect workers from the coronavirus disease.
Beginning in late June, the process to develop the temporary rule included more than a dozen virtual forums dealing with specific issues and industries before the first of four stakeholder review drafts was even developed. And each subsequent draft incorporated changes resulting from Oregon OSHA’s discussion with a large number of employer and worker representatives, as well as feedback from the public at large.
Adoption of the temporary rule brings the requirements within the existing rulemaking authority of the Oregon Safe Employment Act. The law governs workplace safety and health in Oregon, including protections for a worker’s right to raise on-the-job health and safety concerns free from retaliation.
In the weeks ahead, Oregon OSHA will provide educational resources to help employers and workers understand and apply the requirements. Already, the division offers consultation services that provide no-cost assistance with safety and health programs and technical staff who help employers understand requirements. The COVID-19 Hazards Poster – provided by the division and required by the temporary rule to be posted – is now available in both English and Spanish. And the division is providing a user-friendly overview table of the temporary rule, summarizing the requirements and how they apply, and showing the effective dates of the phased-in provisions.
Oregon OSHA encourages a careful reading of the temporary rule which includes an appendix that contains provisions for specific industries and workplace activities. The temporary rule’s requirements include:
Employers must ensure six-foot distancing between all people in the workplace through design of work activities and workflow, unless it can be shown it is not feasible for some activities.
Masks, face covering, or face shields
Employers must ensure that all individuals – including employees, part-time workers and customers – at the workplace, or other establishment under the employer’s control, wear a mask, face covering, or face shield in line with the Oregon Health Authority’s statewide guidance.
Employers must provide masks, face coverings, or face shields for employees free of cost.
If an employee chooses to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering – even when it is not required – the employer must allow them to do so.
When employees are transported in a vehicle for work-related purposes, regardless of the travel distance or duration, all people inside the vehicle must wear a mask, face covering, or face shield. This requirement does not apply when all people in the vehicle are members of the same household.
Employers must maximize the effectiveness of existing ventilation systems, maintain and replace air filters, and clean intake ports providing fresh or outdoor air. The temporary rule does not require employers to purchase or install new ventilation systems.
Exposure risk assessment
Employers must conduct a risk assessment – a process that must involve participation and feedback from employees – to gauge potential employee exposure to COVID-19, including addressing specific questions about how to minimize such exposure.
Infection control plan
Employers must develop an infection control plan addressing several elements, including when workers must use personal protective equipment and a description of specific hazard controls.
Information and training
Employers must provide information and training to workers about the relevant topics related to COVID-19. They must do so in a manner and language understood by workers.
Notification, testing, medical removal
Employers must notify affected workers within 24 hours of a work-related COVID-19 infection.
Employers must cooperate with public health officials if testing within the workplace is necessary.
If an employee must quarantine or isolate, the employer must follow proper work reassignment and return-to-work steps.
The rule requires more measures for exceptionally high-risk jobs. Such jobs include direct patient care or decontamination work; aerosol-generating or postmortem procedures; and first-responder activities. The additional measures include:
Detailed infection control training and planning
Sanitation procedures for routine cleaning and disinfection
Robust use of personal protective equipment
Operation of existing ventilation systems according to national standards
Use of barriers, partitions, and airborne infection isolation rooms
Screening and triaging for symptoms of COVID-19
Following adoption of its temporary COVID-19 rule for all workplaces, Oregon OSHA continues to pursue permanent rulemaking that would provide a structure for responding to potential future disease outbreaks.
As perhaps a sign that the era of unlimited yes votes on taxation measures in the metro Portland area might be waning, Metro voters have rejected Measure 26-218 by 57% to 42% -- a margin of 15% -- in a decisive statement that people in the region are starting to understand that first, the luster is gone from light rail and other related costly transportation initiatives and second, that if you tax employers, this gets passed on to employees and there is a limit to the amount of taxation people will tolerate.
Most of the local media supported the tax. For instance, Oregon Public Broadcasting, usually seen as a cheerleader for bigger government reported on the loss, but not the vote count, percent or margins. While reporting large corporate backers of the no vote, Stop the Metro Wage Tax, they largely failed to report that much of the support for the yes campaign were businesses that stood to gain from the funded transportation projects.
In a tax that would have fallen squarely on the working people of the Metro region, $4 Billion in spending was anticipated -- much of it on light rail, which is quickly becoming unpopular in the region.
The large donor list for Get Moving PAC reads like a "Who's Who" of big government supporters, labor interests and contracting companies, hoping to get in on projects.
On Friday there were two separate demonstrations around the State Capitol in Salem. The City of Salem sent out an advisory to businesses of suspected unusual activity planned for Saturday, November 7, 2020 in or near Salem's downtown. According to sources, there was a high likelihood of vandalism and property damage. Police and the City urged residents and businesses in downtown to take precautions.
On Saturday, one rally of around 200 started at the Capitol at approximately 12:00pm including supporters of President Donald Trump to pray during a rally to protest against President-elect Joe Biden.
A second rally started at Pringle Park in Salem at approximately 5:00pm An impromptu march started in the area of Church and Trade Streets blocking traffic. Salem Police asked the group to disperse and leave the area and to get onto the sidewalk and off the streets.
By 5:40pm Court Street in front of the Capitol was entirely blocked. Having little success, a traffic advisory was sent out asking drivers to avoid the area. It took until 8pm to lift the safety advisory for downtown businesses and the community and clear traffic flow.
"Community safety is a top priority," said Steve Powers, Salem City Manager. "We notified our public as soon as we learned of the possible threats and made direct contact with downtown businesses. Our police department increased police officers for Saturday and activated our special teams."
The City does not believe the groups are affiliated with any of our known community organizers. As a result, four people were arrested by the State Police during these rallies.
2:00pm - Nathan Arnett (29) of Molalla – Assault IV and Unlawful use of OC (pepper spray)
4:37pm - Jeffrey Mustin (37) of Eugene– Assault IV and Unlawful possession of firearm
5:00pm - Ryan Swanzey (32) of Portland– Disorderly Conduct and Offensive Littering
6:00pm - Jesse Baughman (22) of Salem – Disorderly Conduct and Interfering with Police
Oregon State Police is aware of other criminal behavior during the night and will continue to investigate those reports.
The Oregon Health Authority reported more grim news. "Today's cases are the highest number reported on a single day since the start of the pandemic in Oregon. The high number is a stark reminder of the need for the new measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 announced yesterday by Governor Kate Brown." While the Oregon Health Authority breathlessly reports a record number of cases, it glosses over the fact that we recently set a new record -- for number of tests administered in one day -- 7,745 on October 29 eclipsing the previous record of July 13 when there were 7,697 test administered.
For a state that has among the lowest case rate and death rate, the official rhetoric would make you think that the state was in the grips of a fatal pandemic. Despite reporting every death that has multiple contributing factors as a COVID-19 caused death -- 12 out of 13 of the most recent deaths had contributing factors -- the chances of an Oregonian of dying of COVID-19 are infinitesimally small. In fact, all metrics are stable: Hospitalizations, hospital capacity, deaths -- you name it.
There may be several reasons for the rise in reported cases.
More tests are being administered, therefore more cases are being identified.
Tests are being administered to people more likely to have the disease, therefore more cases are being identified.
The disease is spreading more rapidly, therefore the rise in cases reflects the spread of the disease.
One final point: One of the factors aiding the spread of COVID-19 is the fact that it can be spread by asymptomatic carriers. Let that sink in. We've crippled our economy and deprived our youth of education for a disease that's so deadly that it can be spread by people who don't even know they have it.
Restaurants are not a significant source of outbreaks
On Friday November 6th, Gov. Kate Brown announced a COVID-19 two-week pause for Marion and four other Oregon counties. The order sets limits on indoor gatherings including restaurants, recreation, and household social gatherings.
The recent rise in case counts is concerning to the Marion County commissioners and local public health leaders; however, Marion County believes that data should drive decision making meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. The Marion County Commissioners have released a statement pointing out the following data.
Marion County COVID-19 data indicates:
Restaurants are not a significant source of outbreaks in Marion County. Cases in restaurants have typically been among staff who socialize together while at work or outside of work.
Most of the spread of COVID-19 is occurring in larger private social gatherings and households. Putting additional burdens on businesses will not prevent these private gatherings from happening and has the potential to increase private social gatherings.
We understand Salem Hospital has sufficient capacity to care for COVID-19 and other patients. Marion County has not seen high levels of Covid-related emergency department visits or hospitalizations. This is a metric that the county has met even as case counts have increased.
Marion County supports actions tailored to individual communities based on local data including limiting opportunities for exposure to our loved ones in long term care facilities.
Commissioner Colm Willis, chair, said, "Marion County is in the middle of recovering from devastating wildfires. Much of the work associated with wildfire recovery must be done in person. We have maintained appropriate COVID-19 protocols including physical distancing, mask wearing, and temperature screening at meetings and public events."
Marion County continues to support data driven protocols such as:
Increased testing in Marion County that will enable us to make informed decisions on how we can stem the spread of this disease.
Rapid tests with same day results should be promoted as widely as possible. This way those who test positive can immediately quarantine rather than risk spreading the virus while they are waiting for results.
Commissioner Kevin Cameron reminds us, "As we approach the holiday season it's important to remember we all have a part to play to keep our community healthy. We encourage everyone to wear face coverings, wash hands frequently, stay home if you are sick, and practice physical distancing when you're around people not from your household. Working together we can help keep Marion County safe, strong, and thriving."
Sadly, extensive mandates are increasingly exacting a heavy toll on Oregon businesses.
Governor Kate Brown has announced new measures pausing social activities to help stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 in counties where community transmission is on the rise. These pause measures will be in effect for two weeks, from Nov. 11 through Nov. 25, for Malheur, Marion, Multnomah, Jackson, and Umatilla Counties. Based on increasing statewide case counts, as well as increased sporadic case rates in these five counties, the new public health measures to reduce spread are an effort to save lives in Oregon.
Five additional counties––Washington, Baker, Union, Clackamas, and Linn––are close to the COVID-19 thresholds that would necessitate adding them to the Two-Week Pause. The Oregon Health Authority will examine their COVID-19 metrics on Monday to determine if those counties qualify.
“It is alarming that recent high case rates are not linked to any specific outbreaks, but rather reflective of sporadic community spread,” said Governor Brown. “We are seeing in real time how this virus can quickly snowball out of control. This Two-Week Pause is a series of measures and recommendations intended to curb human contact — both through reducing the amount of people we interact with, and the frequency of those encounters. We must stop this virus from spreading. We must preserve our hospital capacity. And we must save lives.”
The Two-Week Pause measures include:
Urging all businesses to mandate work from home to the greatest extent possible.
Pausing long-term care facility visits that take place indoors to protect staff and residents.
Reducing maximum restaurant capacity to 50 people (including customers and staff) for indoor dining, with a maximum party size of six.
Continuing to encourage outdoor dining and take out.
Reducing the maximum capacity of other indoor activities to 50 people (includes gyms, fitness organizations/studios, bowling alleys, ice rinks, indoor sports, pools, and museums).
Limiting social gatherings to your household, or no more than six people if the gathering includes those from outside your household, reducing the frequency of those social gatherings (significantly in a two-week period), and keeping the same six people in your social gathering circle.
Governor Brown added: “I am also calling on Congress to pass another COVID-19 relief package immediately when they return to DC—including another $600 weekly benefit in enhanced Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation—due to the increase of COVID-19 cases and the need for rollbacks both here in Oregon and nationwide.”
The Two-Week Pause is being instituted in counties with a case rate above 200 per 100,000 people over a two-week period, or more than 60 cases over a two-week period for counties with less than 30,000 people. These measures replace the County Watch List process that Governor Brown instituted in July.
Leftist groups may continue destruction no matter the election results
Multiple rallies starting at noon around the Capitol mall area and could potentially draw a large number of participants that might affect traffic in the area. No street closures have been issued for this event.
The City of Salem has been alerted to credible information of unusual activity planned for Saturday, November 7, 2020, in or near Salem's downtown.
According to these sources, there is a high likelihood of vandalism and property damage. Police and the City are urging residents and businesses in our downtown to take precautions. The City manager has assigned additional police and activated special teams starting tomorrow.
The City does not believe the groups who are planning to come to Salem are affiliated with any of known community organizers.
The City will continue to post meaningful updates to its website and through the Salem Police Department Twitter account.
Canby city councilor has a message for you, and for the President.
Editor's note: this video contains graphic language. Viewer discretion is advised
Sarah Spoon is engaged in a tight re-election race for Canby City Council. Just a few percentage points separate the candidates. As of Friday, Clackamas County still has ballots to count due to some equipment malfunctions, so the race is too tight to call, but as of this writing, she is in second place in a race that seats the top four finishers -- which would put her back on the council.
Citizens of Canby may have second thoughts after seeing this video, where she is seen delivering a profane message for the president.
Chip seals, culvert replacements, asphalt overlays and more
From repairing a bridge in Canyon City to improving storm drainage in Yachats, the Small City Allotments program will continue helping communities all across the state improve their transportation systems. More than $5.2 million for this award cycle will fund 54 projects in this Keep Oregon Moving program, part of the historic HB 2017 funding package.
Three cities – Wood Village, Prescott and Yamhill – are receiving funds through this program for the first time. Wood Village is adding a solar-powered rapid flashing beacon pedestrian crossing; Prescott will make multiple city street improvements; and Yamhill is upgrading W. First Street.
ODOT Director Kris Strickler notified the League of Oregon Cities last week of the awards, adding that cost savings from the previous awards resulted in $243,378 in additional funds available for this round.
The next steps will be for ODOT and recipients to enter into agreements for each project, a task assumed by ODOT’s Statewide Investments Management staff.
The Oregon College Savings Plan announces the opening of the Diversity in Leadership Scholarship for underrepresented and diverse Oregon high school graduates pursuing higher education in the state. Awards may be used to attend a range of Oregon institutions, including apprenticeships, trade schools, community colleges, colleges or universities. Applications opened Sunday, November 1, 2020 with a deadline of Monday, March 1, 2021, for the following academic year.
The scholarship is being administered through the Oregon Community Foundation’s (OCF) scholarship program—one of the largest of its kind in the country. There will be two new recipients each year, with awardees receiving $10,000 for their freshman year and $5,000 for each of the next three years of full-time enrollment, or until completion of degree (whichever comes earlier). When fully rolled out, the program is anticipated to fund $50,000 in scholarships each year to a class of eight students.
“In a time of economic stress and inequity, Treasury’s ‘Diversity in Leadership Scholarship’ acknowledges the need for higher education to be more accessible and inclusive to all,” said Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read. “We see this scholarship as a vital investment in Oregon’s future, making it easier for students typically underrepresented in higher education institutions to pursue their dreams.”
“This scholarship allows the Oregon College Savings Plan to advance our commitment to sparking change and encouraging diversity,” said Michael Parker, Executive Director for the Oregon Treasury Savings Network. “As more graduating seniors are considering staying closer to home because of stretched financial resources and COVID, we want to remove financial obstacles for regional students from all backgrounds, and increase access to a quality and affordable education right here in Oregon.”
Students that meet eligibility criteria will be given the opportunity to share their personal statements and background during the application process. Additionally, scholarship recipients interested in a career in public policy, public finance, or a related field will be offered an interview for Oregon State Treasury’s Straub Fellowship during their junior and senior years.
To apply for the scholarship or to find more information, please visit OCF’s website.
On November 5, 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission issued an Order of Immediate License Suspension to the licensee of “Seven Nightclub” in Bend for violating public health social distancing and face covering requirements, as required under the Governor’s Executive Orders. The licensee had been reprimanded this past summer for not following social distancing and face covering requirements.
OLCC enforcement staff acted after receiving information from Deschutes County Health Services that a patron who visited the establishment several times tested positive for COVID-19. The patron reported to health officials that it was “well known” that Seven Nightclub was not enforcing social distancing and facemask requirements.
The business, which holds a Full On-Premises sales licenses is NOT allowed to sell or serve alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption effective immediately.
On October 30, 2020, after receiving the information provided by Deschutes County Health Services, an OLCC inspector called the licensee to explain that a positive COVID test had been linked to their establishment. The inspector suggested, and the licensee accepted the offer to come to the premises to check the licensee’s operations to make sure it was operating compliantly.
On October 30, 2020, at approximately 8:00 pm an inspector arrived at Seven Nightclub to discover patrons who were clustered at the bar, and not social distancing or wearing facemasks. The bar manager relayed that she was not aware of all of the rules and asked for assistance. The inspector provided some initial guidance and promised to return the following day before the business opened to review the Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) guidance for bars and restaurants.
On October 31, 2020, prior to Seven Nightclub opening, an OLCC Inspector met with the bar manager and employees providing and reviewing with them copies of OHA Phase Two Re-opening Guidance for Restaurant and Bars and OHA Statewide Mask, Face Shield, Face Covering Guidance. The inspector walked through the premises with the manager discussing possible layout modifications to create social distancing and reminding the manager about the requirements to sanitize “touch points” after one party of people leaves an occupied area before another party occupies the space. Additionally, the inspector asked the manager to ensure that the bar staff would monitor the number of people entering the establishment.
Later that evening, the inspector returned to discover that patrons were not social distancing or wearing face masks. The inspector also noted that none of the sanitization requirements or physical modifications that had been discussed earlier that day had been implemented. The inspector contacted the manager who acknowledged the lack of control over their patrons.
OLCC Inspectors began working with the licensee this past July when an inspector twice two verbal warnings for not social distancing or wearing face masks. Separately, Deschutes County Health Services has issued several warnings to the licensee in regards to these issues, including most recently on October 30, 2020.
In response to these issues, on November 5, 2020, the OLCC issued the operator of Seven Restaurant and Nightclub an order of immediate suspension for failing to follow OHA’s face covering and reopening guidance for restaurants and bars.
The licensee of record is Se7en Group Inc.
The OLCC investigation is continuing and the licensee faces the possibility of additional charges not related to the immediate suspension. The licensee is entitled to an administrative hearing to challenge the OLCC’s actions. The business may continue to serve food for takeout or delivery, but is NOT allowed to sell any alcoholic beverages.