What is the most pressing issue facing Oregon today?
Transportation infrastructure
Big government
Northwest Observer
Subscribe for Free Email Updates
Search Articles

On this day, February 5, 1846,The first Pacific Coast newspaper, Oregon Spectator, was published.

Post an Event

The Oregon Constitution
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at 7:00 pm
First of a three part series presented by former State Representative Mike Nearman studying the Oregon Constitution.
The River Church 4675 Portland Rd NE Salem

The Oregon Constitution
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Second of a three part series presented by former State Representative Mike Nearman studying the Oregon Constitution.
The River Church 4675 Portland Rd NE Salem

The Oregon Constitution
Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Third of a three part series presented by former State Representative Mike Nearman studying the Oregon Constitution.
The River Church 4675 Portland Rd NE Salem

We Are Stronger Together
Monday, March 27, 2023 at 10:00 am
Oregon's Natural Resources & Industries (ONRI) is sponsoring the rally to meet legislators and influencers to bring light on legislation affecting natural resource industries, their families, and their communities. https://onri.us/events
Rally at the State Capitol, Salem.

View All Calendar Events

Kate Brown Wants Her Racial Justice Council Made Law
Implies content of character not as important as skin color

In a move that seems rather Orwellian, Governor Kate Brown has now detailed her support for House Bill 2167 , which will codify into state law the Racial Justice Council (RJC).

Kate Brown convened the controversial Racial Justice Council last summer. Members of Oregon’s Black, Indigenous, Native American, Tribal, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, and communities of color from across the state were used to create the Council.

HB 2167 is meant to continue this council beyond the Governor's tenure.

HB 2167 claims to end racism in Oregon for good through:

"Government intervention is critical to disrupting and dismantling systemic bias and structural racism. Only then will we be able to redistribute the power, influence, opportunities, and distribution of resources in order to achieve a racially just Oregon. " said Governor Kate Brown.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-02-28 14:59:12Last Update: 2021-02-28 15:28:49

Disqualifying a Judge
Is the process more important than justice?

As a former Assistant District Attorney, you would think that Representative Marty Wilde (D-Eugene) would have more respect for the Oregon Constitution and the 14th Amendment or for the 17 rural districts affected by his introduction of HB 2998. This bill provides that a party or prosecuting attorney may not move to disqualify a judge in a judicial district with three or fewer circuit court judges.

The bill sets up an inequitable justice system for 17 rural Circuit Courts by prohibiting a “fair and impartial trial or hearing” by not allowing disqualifying a judge in the 17 rural Circuit Courts. For those circuits with more than three judges, when a judge is compromised in conducting a “fair and impartial trial,” it may “apply to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to send a judge to try the cause, matter or proceeding.” Why shouldn’t the rural Circuit Courts have the same rights and option?

The Oregon Constitution, Article I, Section 20. “Equality of privileges and immunities of citizens. No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges, or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.” Article IV, Section 23, “The Legislative Assembly, shall not pass special or local laws, in any of the following enumerated cases, that is to say: — Regulating the jurisdiction, and duties of justices of the peace, and of constables; For the punishment of Crimes, and Misdemeanors; Regulating the practice in Courts of Justice; Providing for changing the venue in civil, and Criminal cases.”



Then there's the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, “No State shall make or enforce any Law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Is the process more important than justice? Courts denied this right: Baker, Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Crook, Curry, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jefferson, Lake, Lincoln, Malheur, Polk, Tillamook, Union, and Wasco.

Hearing is scheduled for March 2 in the House Committee on Judiciary at 1:00pm.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-02-28 09:39:19Last Update: 2021-02-27 17:41:01

A Fed Up Oregonian on Guns
“Politicians seem to want to release the real criminals from jail”

Editor's note: this is the third in a multi-part series which is a reprint of a letter from a desperate gun owner and her thoughts on the current proposals in the legislature.

I listened as an individual claimed that getting a CHL was about as easy as getting a library card. Registering to vote may be easier than getting a library card but this is not the case when it comes to getting a firearm and then your CHL, especially in today's climate. Proponents of SB 554 are not speaking from experience they are speaking from ignorance. Every time you purchase a firearm you have to go through a background check, that means paperwork and finger prints every time, even if you happened to purchase a firearm the week prior. You then wait for that background check to come back, sometimes weeks. To get your CHL you must prove that you have taken a safety course, most gun owners will pay over $100 dollars or more for a full day at the range which includes a firearms safety course.

Don't forget you also have to pay for your firearm and ammunition as well as your CHL (unlike a library card). To get your CHL, which you may need in order to carry your firearm in some cities (this is also an assault on our liberties) you need to make an appointment with the Sheriffs office which can also take a few months. Once you are called in for your appointment at the sheriff's office you again are fingerprinted, have to fill out paper work, answer questions, and get photographed. I have never went through anything similar to this to get a library card which I will admit is harder to do than registering to vote. Raising the fee for a CHL is only going to impact those who are experiencing financial hardship and who may live in high crime areas where the police are often already overwhelmed, those are the citizens who need your advocacy not objection to be allowed to exercise their second amendment right freely.

Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese even mentioned that the response time of officers can be up to 30 minutes in some situations, when seconds matter and the police are minutes away, ask yourself if it were you and your family would you want to be armed? With the unchecked and almost politically encouraged lawless violence, attacks and even murders that have taken place in the streets and neighborhoods of Portland by members of "Antifa" and BLM, with the calls to defund our police while releasing criminals from jail and politicians advocating for additional rights for felons, politicians now have the audacity to try and limit where we can carry our firearms.

Politicians seem to want to release the real criminals from jail or just ignore their criminal behavior, while instead focusing on law abiding citizens and removing our rights to carry our firearms so that special interest groups can "feel safe". What about the rights of Oregonians who want to actually BE safe and protect themselves and their families by exercising their second amendment? Citizens are at risk for attacks while out in public spaces, demanding that they give up their right to defend themselves and put their firearms in the car where they can then be stolen by a criminal is absolute ignorance. These laws will not protect our communities from criminals who are already intent on committing an illegal act, and from the looks of it that is not the true intent of the proposed SB 554 and others like it.

It makes no sense to talk about school violence and the dangers that lurk in these places while removing a teachers, a parents or a school resource officers ability to defend themselves against those coming into these spaces intent on committing criminal acts. By removing or limiting School Resource Officers and the ability of citizens to arm themselves in any setting is opening them up for violent criminal attacks. You are expecting individuals to wait around for police while the only people who have a firearm are criminals. Since police are responding to crimes as they are in progress it is up to citizens to protect themselves, add into that equation the fact that police have no obligation to protect citizens -- I would say that is even more of a reason to not restrict our second amendment rights -- more than has already been done.



The senior council at an anti-gun group gave testimony on Monday in support of this bill. While listening to her speak I interpreted her testimony to insinuate that we as a society are less safe because of citizens who have a CHL, though FBI reports, such as the one released in 2018 titled "Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2016-2017", have shown that CHL holders have helped to end active shooter events and "likely saved many lives," a claim that she called "laughable". She also made a statement to the effect that individuals with a CHL will not be turned into felons if they simply "turned around" and go put their firearm in the car if they encounter a sign indicating firearms are not allowed in a certain area.

These type of statements show just how out of touch with the reality the proponents of this bill really are, they would rather a law abiding citizen be forced to leave their firearms in a vehicle that could then be targeted by thieves and subsequently turn into an actual crime. During her testimony she made another comment to the effect that there is a dangerous gap between the people and those passing the laws, I would have to agree with her on this point and this is exactly why I believe this bill and others like it should not pass.

I along with many other Oregonians you heard from on Monday believe that public safety decisions should be made by the citizens it impacts and not by the special interest groups who hide behind anti-gun lobbyists, politics and legislation. Your promise is to the people, not just special interest groups who use political influence, and bullying to obtain the outcome they desire. The belittling, gaslighting and divisive rhetoric needs to stop just as the consideration for Senator Ginny Burdick's SB 554 needs to be stopped in its tracks.

To be continued...

--A Fed Up Oregonian

Post Date: 2021-02-28 07:40:16Last Update: 2021-03-01 09:50:48

Yet Another Destructive Protest in Portland
Trump tried to address the lawlessness

Arrests were made during a destructive protest in the Pearl District Neighborhood Saturday evening.

On Saturday, February 27, 2021 at about 9:00p.m., a group began marching from The Fields Park at 1099 Northwest Overton Street. During the march, which lasted over two hours, some individuals spray painted buildings and broke windows.

When destructive acts began, officers responded. The Portland Police Bureau began giving advisements to the group over loudspeaker, "To those marching in the Pearl District: Officers have observed and community members have reported members of this group have damaged buildings in the Pearl District. Immediately stop participating in criminal behavior including damaging property. Failure to adhere to this order may subject perpetrators to detention, citation, arrest, or use of crowd control agents, including, but not limited to, tear gas and/or impact weapons. Immediately stop participating in criminal activity."

While tear gas use is currently restricted, state law requires that warning be given.

Police response was constrained by multiple shooting incidents happening across the city, limiting the officers available to address the criminal behavior in the protest.

Still, officers responded to the criminal behavior and made two arrests. Items that could be used as weapons were seized, including a large bat.

Windows were broken at a grocery store, restaurant, bank, shipping business, and multiple coffee shops.

Arrested were: The adult was issued a criminal citation and released (due to current COVID-19 restrictions for booking at the Multnomah County Detention Center).

The investigation continues and future arrests are possible. If anyone has any information about those vandalizing property, please report it to the police.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-02-28 04:56:16Last Update: 2021-02-28 05:08:26

PPB Criminalist Arrested for DUII
McIntyre was on duty

On Friday, February 26, 2021, at about 12:22 a.m., Portland Police arrested Portland Police Criminalist Bradley McIntyre for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII).

McIntyre was on duty when he responded to a shooting call near Northeast 66th Avenue and Northeast Thompson Street. Criminalists respond to such calls to document and collect evidence.

While McIntyre was at the scene, a supervisor became concerned by McIntyre's behavior and asked him to sit down in the passenger seat of his assigned vehicle. Moments later, McIntyre was seen driving away in that vehicle. A patrol officer pulled behind McIntyre's vehicle shortly after, near Northeast 61st Avenue and Northeast Thompson Street. McIntyre pulled over and he was subsequently taken into custody and processed for DUII.

McIntyre, at 23-year veteran, was cited to appear in court. McIntyre will be on paid administrative leave.

Separate from criminal proceedings, an internal administrative investigation will be conducted by the Police Bureau's internal review process and ultimately will be presented to the Police Review Board, which is comprised of community members and Police Bureau members. Their findings will then be given to the Chief of Police.

"Driving under the influence is a serious offense," said Chief Chuck Lovell. "The public holds police to a higher standard, which we must always strive to meet and hold ourselves accountable. This matter will be subject to thorough administrative and criminal investigations."

The Portland Police Bureau say they will not comment further on this personnel matter to ensure an objective internal investigation is conducted, and to protect public employees' privacy interests.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-02-27 18:04:26Last Update: 2021-02-27 18:09:58

A Long History of Climate Change
Choose your sources wisely.

How long has the Climate been Changing? For over 450,000 years of measurements at least.

Gordon Fulks PhD. is an astrophysicist who has assembled some data that is useful in today’s discussions of climate change. Sometimes the best place to start is at the beginning. Best studies determine that the Universe is 11 billion years old and that Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Earth was covered with ice until volcanic activity began to melt the ice over 4.5 million years ago. Temperatures at Vostok, Antarctica over 450,000 years determined from ice core samples, Russian Zone.

By 450,000 B.C. melting ice gave Earth an atmosphere, the source of a changing climate. Ice core samples obtained by Russian scientists in Eastern Antarctica from holes drilled 13,000 feet deep give insights into past climate conditions. The Ice Ages repeat in patterns spaced roughly 100,000 years apart. The interim warm periods let the sun help volcanoes to melt more ice which resulted in more atmosphere and more land area. A study of topography and geology shows those cycles have caused ice to retreat from land and for ocean levels to rise since time immemorial.

The graph above is a look at the most recent Ice Age followed by the Holocene Climate Optimum with its six warming periods that have characterized temperature ranges experienced for the past 10,000 years. Right now is a great time to be a human as evidenced by steady increases in world population.

The last 13,000 years of Earth’s temperatures derived from the Greenland ice core samples Human life began during the ice age. The graph above highlights the time when conditions favoring human activity began near 8000 B.C. and continue to this day. The graph shows us we are not in danger of a warming planet. We are in the range of cooler Holocene temperatures. The rise that initiated the Modern warming period, nicknamed the “Hockey Stick”, is barely discernable at the furthest right end of the graph. A projection from the first graph which is based on ice core samples from the thickest ice in Antarctica indicates we are trending into a time of cooling that is less favorable to human activity.

The “Hockey Stick” was misrepresented by alarmist Michael Mann. For political effect Mann deliberately did not put the Hockey Stick into historical context. The historical context is best understood in the previous graph. All of this data has been provided by International Scientific Teams whose work preceded the disgraced but unfortunately prominent United Nations International Panel on Climate Change, UN/IPCC. We only know what our sources teach us. Choose your sources wisely.

--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2021-02-27 09:55:12Last Update: 2021-02-26 18:53:50

Do More Requirements Mean Smarter Kids?
Or an attack on homeschooling

Cloaked in HB 2868 on accelerated college credit program, Representative Paul Evans (D-Monmouth) buried a hit on virtual schools and homeschooling.

High schools offer accelerated courses to give students the opportunity to earn college credit in an “accelerated learning” program. Accelerated learning courses are typically taught on a high school campus by a high school teacher. These programs are categorized as either: HB 2868 exempts the dual credit programs and career and technical education courses, so it is focused on Assessment Based Learning Credit. Completing the course doesn’t automatically give a student college credits. The student must pass a college level exam. Oregon College Board offers testing both in-school and at-home.

HB 2868 requires teachers of accelerated college credit program to complete or have equivalent of a minimum of 27 quarter hours of graduate level course work relevant to the course. It applies to teachers of courses that are provided to:
(A) Students of the school district, including students of public charter schools; and
(B) Students who otherwise are taught by a parent, legal guardian or private teacher as provided in ORS 339.030.

Besides prohibiting homeschooled students from receiving Accelerated Credits, it is unclear whether it prohibits students from challenging Advanced Placement tests for college credits. If it doesn’t affect AP testing, the bill has no purpose.

The 2017-19 Oregon Accelerated College Credit Program Grant provides funding to Oregon public school districts, Oregon Education Service Districts, regional consortiums, and Oregon public postsecondary institutions to encourage, support, and facilitate accelerated learning options in regions of Oregon with the highest need. Preference is given to those regions with high poverty rates and large underrepresented student populations, and schools that received less than a $350,000 allocation for the High School College and Career Readiness Act of 2016.

This bill takes a big step backward, discouraging students with initiative and natural aptitude to advance themselves, especially through homeschooling or virtual schools.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-02-27 09:23:06Last Update: 2021-02-25 18:34:00

Is the House Speaker Protecting Her Staff?
What problem is being fixed?

It's not quite as bad as tobacco industry lobbyists pushing legislation to get their product to be declared a vegetable for the purposes of school lunches, but it's certainly smacks of using power to get things fixed.

The story starts this summer when Kristina Narayan, the Legislative Director for the Office of House Speaker Tina Kotek was arrested for interfering with a peace officer during the Portland riots. Like many other leftist rioters this summer, she was booked, released and never charged by Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, who has a reputation for "catch-and-release" for leftist protestors.

Few details are known about the arrest of Narayan, other than it is known that she was arrested for "interfering with a peace officer" that night.

Now comes HB 3164 which is a redefinition of of the crime of interfering with a peace officer, which begs the question, "What problem is being fixed?" Is there a problem with the law, or is there a problem with the behavior of the Legislative Director for the House Speaker?

HB 3164 purports to be at the request of American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon -- it's a common practice to identify the party requesting the bill, if it's not the sponsor -- but one can't help but wonder why they would request it from the Speaker, herself.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-02-27 09:02:16Last Update: 2021-02-25 17:38:24

A Fed Up Oregonian on Guns
“This is a God given right that should never be up for debate.”

Editor's note: this is the second in a multi-part series which is a reprint of a letter from a desperate gun owner and her thoughts on the current proposals in the legislature.

I heard during the testimony on Monday that tax payers are paying approximately 81 Billion dollars to local government, that's incredible. Is it not more prudent that tax payers, and NOT public officials and special interests groups, be the ones making the decisions for the people? We the people should be making the decisions and you should be there to uphold them. Laws are only followed by those who choose to follow them, you are attempting to restrict and subsequently disarm responsible gun owners who chose to protect themselves and those around them. Throughout the testimony you could hear the "Us vs. Them" typical rhetoric coming from proponents of SB 554 while those in opposition clearly wanted to be heard, understood, and allowed their freedoms and constitutional rights.

The disconnect and divide in our country is becoming a weapon itself. One woman in support of the bill stated that "our laws communicate our values", but this bill does not communicate the values of Oregonians, this bill and others like it impede our rights and disregard our values of family, freedom, liberty, safety and bodily sovereignty. Another woman in favor of SB 554 made a statement that "Our Democracy does not work at gun point", and she is right -- but not in the way I believe she intended. This country was founded on the basic God given rights of our citizens, and that includes the ability to bear arms and protect ourselves and our families from violence and tyranny- at any time and in any place. No one knows when or where they may need to utilize this right but thank God we have it. Unfortunately, we are watching as one political party is holding the other at political gun point in an attempt to prove their moral superiority over the other and slowly erode our constitutional rights in the name of "safety". It seems as though proponents of SB 554 think they deserve their own definition of safety. If the Capitol buildings and schools mentioned so frequently in the proponents arguments, are as dangerous places as they would have us believe, isn't that even more reason to allow citizens their second amendment right in these places? Criminals do not abide by, they are not deterred by, and they do not care about laws, recidivism rates explain that very clearly. This bill will not do anything but cause undue burden and subsequent harm on law abiding owners of firearms.

While listening to the testimony on Monday I was upset to hear more of the biased rhetoric used as an excuse to systematically legislate away our second amendment rights. I am a small statured woman and I do NOT feel safe knowing that anyone or any agency believes they have the authority to tell me when or where I can defend myself. I am also extremely insulted when I hear proponents of this bill insinuate that CHL holders are inexperienced or part of some extremist group, where does this false claim come from? I won't even glorify it by calling it "information". We are law abiding Oregonians who are not fooled by what this bill really is, another attempt to slowly erode away our second amendment rights. The proponents of this bill did nothing more than slander millions of American citizens in an attempt to intimidate, bully and restrict our second amendment rights.

This is not any politicians or special interest groups right to take away. My right to defend myself in any space at any time is not someone else's to make. I heard one proponent mention there are "non-lethal" ways of self defense, and though that may be true, at 5ft tall and 100lbs -- my use of force when it comes to an attacker larger than me is going to be much higher than someone of a larger stature. I do not want to get close to an attacker or go hands on in any way, that puts me at risk for being grabbed, attacked or worse. I believe this bill also restricts the use of pepper spray and tasers, why do you want a defenseless population and yet advocate to grant more rights to criminals? As one of the other brave opponents of this outrageous bill mentioned, her daughters ability to draw her firearm when faced with a stalker possibly saved her life and could have also prevented a separate attack the mother experienced if she would have had her firearm.



Others gave testimony and mentioned how simply drawing their firearm deterred an attacker. If more individuals were armed in more places, violent crimes would go down and not up, most crimes are crimes of opportunity, and I DO believe criminals would have less opportunity and think twice before committing crimes in areas -or against individuals who are visibly carrying or may be carrying a firearm. Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran gave testimony and stated that she feels vulnerable because of "Anti-democratic extremism" and stated that public officials are the ones who should be making decisions about controlling what happens in public buildings, implying that they should have the right to deny citizens the option of expressing their second amendment rights in those places. To me this is another nod to just how out of touch and self serving Oregon politicians have become. Another gentleman named "Wessinger" I believe, stated that "armed protesters attacked a "journalist" and "counter protesters", he and other proponents of SB 554 would have you believe that conservative CHL carriers are the aggressors. "Wessinger" made no mention of the actual attacks being committed by members of Antifa and BLM that were carried out on anyone who did not comply with their fascist dictates, dared to film them or opposed their violence and destruction, including attacking police. Just ask Ted Wheeler. Portland and other cities have been under siege by far left extremist groups who are emboldened by individuals like this and yet they claim SB 554 is needed to ensure our safety. Wake up Oregon.

A self described member of "Antifa" lay in wait this summer and murdered a man in the streets of Portland because he was recognized as a conservative while other members of "Antifa" celebrated the death of the murdered man in the streets (yes this disgusting act is on video). "Antifa", members of BLM and the mainstream media push the false narrative that the murdered man was a "white supremacist", a "Racist" and "white nationalist" due to his conservative values, somehow I suppose it allowed them to look at this loss of life as justifiable, or somehow less tragic. I have watched endless live streams of the unspeakable violence taking place in our streets, I listen as members "Antifa" and members of BLM tell officers and citizens to go "Kill Yourself", they make awful threats against them and their families and follow through on unspeakable mob violence. If the tables were turned I can't help but think of how Oregon politicians would address these actions. I should remind you that we have not seen near the level of violence from conservatives as we have from these far left extremist groups, and the racist rhetoric coming from the far left is far more damaging to our democracy than allowing law abiding citizens into "safe zones" with firearms.

The outright terrorism that took place and is taking place in the streets of Portland and across our country in 2020 and into this year has been largely ignored, while law abiding citizens have fallen victim to the violence in our streets and the slanderous violent rhetoric spewing from the mouths of politicians. The bias is becoming clear and appears to be the motive for this anti-second amendment legislation. It seems as though politicians are asking for protection from the citizens, not protection for the citizens. Giving local governments the discretion to restrict our rights clearly opens them up to the pressure and bullying from radical groups seeking to dissolve our second amendment rights all together. We have already started to see the dissolution of our first amendment under the rise of cancel culture, this is a very slippery slope and it must not be allowed to go any further.

Randy Tucker, the Legislative affairs manager for METRO, where my uncle worked under Tri-Met's authority for many years and I volunteered as a park naturalist, made a statement during his testimony regarding how METRO would like to increase their authority when it comes to enforcing anti-gun legislation, and that METRO is opposed to any laws that takes away their rights to enforce those laws against tax paying Oregonians. I believe that if someone would have been on the MAX on May 26th, 2017 with a CHL the fatal stabbing that took the lives of two men and severely impacted another could have been prevented. Portland has become a dangerous place, and with legislation like this politicians are attempting to make it more dangerous for law abiding citizens. Guns and knives do not kill people, criminals with the intent to to do great harm kill people and we deserve the means to protect ourselves from such unspeakable violence.

Politicians and special interests groups want to make laws that give them more control over Oregonians constitutional rights, and they clearly do not want to leave these decisions up to the people whom the laws actually impact. We are not being heard and instead are forced out of the peoples Capitol and into virtual meetings that are ran through as quickly as possibly and handled without care. As I listened on Monday I heard brave citizens get "accidentally" muted by those hosting the meeting, interrupted by others, and heard many that seemed confused as to when it was their turn to speak, names were rattled though quickly, and many who signed up were not heard all all. Yet the second hearing for testimony was canceled and hundreds who waited to speak were told to send in written testimony that may not even be read. Are you reading this? Have you even made it this far?

This is not a system set up for the people and by the people, this is a system set up to pursue political agendas. While HUNDREDS of brave Oregonians spoke out against this bill on a Monday morning I only heard a handful of special interest groups and local agencies support this bill, all spewing the same bias and illogical rhetoric. I made the statement before, people fear what they don't know and it's clear that the majority of those involved in supporting this unconstitutional legislation do not have experience with firearms. It's also clear they have a political bias against the very large community of Oregonians and Americans who value their second amendment right. This is not a partisan issue, no matter how desperately some may try to turn it into one. This is a God given right that should never be up for debate.

To be continued...

--A Fed Up Oregonian

Post Date: 2021-02-27 07:39:09Last Update: 2021-02-28 11:13:35

Analysis: Democrats Calling the Kettle Black
It's hard not to cringe

In a press release, Oregon Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) chided Oregon Senate Republicans and Senator Brian Boquist (I-Dallas), saying that they have "walked out on their responsibility to serve their constituents when they refused to show up to work for [the] floor session." Senator Wagner himself has been a no-show, when the Lake Oswego School Board -- which he chaired at the time -- failed to take action against students who racially attacked a student of color.

Senator Wagner continued, “Senate Republicans continue to sabotage Oregon’s democracy and undermine the will of voters. They have abdicated the oaths of office many of them took just weeks ago. They continue to accept pay, benefits and daily expenses from Oregon taxpayers all while completely obstructing the business before the Legislature -- the people’s work.

It's hard not to cringe at the sound of Democrats trying to call out Republicans for using procedure to stop policy when much of the Democrat agenda has been passed with emergency clauses so as to prevent the people from exercising their constitutional right to do a referendum, tax bills that have been declared by Legislative Counsel to not be taxes, so as to avoid the three-fifths super-majority requirement, and chamber rules that allow anonymous bills.

Senate Republicans -- and Senator Boquist -- are just using Article IV, Section 12 of the Oregon Constitution as a perfectly legal procedural tactic to defend their agenda. Just like the Democrats.

--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-02-26 18:53:50

Eloisa Miller Named Corporation Division Director
Her career emphasis has been on equity related issues

Oregon’s Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has named Eloisa Miller the Corporation Division director.

Miller joins the Secretary of State’s office after four years as Governor Kate Brown’s economic and business equity manager, advising on and implementing statewide contracting policies and practices to expand access and opportunities for small businesses.

“It is an honor to join the Secretary of State’s office and lead the talented group of individuals within the Corporation Division who are helping support Oregon businesses and build economic prosperity in every corner of our state,” Miller said. “I look forward to continue building a division that is providing business owners equitable access to critical resources to start, sustain, and thrive.”

Miller’s professional background includes policy making, leading statewide initiatives, local and rural community engagement, economic development, and advocacy for Oregon businesses. She has served on the Governor’s Racial Justice Council, as co-chair of the council’s Economic Opportunity Committee, and Governor’s Minority Contractors Taskforce.

“We are so pleased to have Eloisa joining the team within the Secretary of State’s office,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “She brings years of incredible experience and I know will be able to hit the ground running.”

Miller takes over the division from Ruth Miles, who left the agency in early February.

The Corporation Division within the Secretary of State’s office oversees business registration, UCC filings, notaries, as well as the Office of Small Business Assistance.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-02-26 16:35:38Last Update: 2021-02-26 20:14:21

Senate Republicans Roll Out Education Reform Agenda
As students struggle with school closures, bills would return educational opportunity

While schools across Oregon struggle to teach our students effectively, Senate Republicans have introduced school reform measures aimed at better serving students and families. These reforms would return educational opportunities to Oregon families. The package would assist in the recovery from failed distance learning and give more options for students to reach their full academic potential.

The bills range from giving families financial assistance for summer tutoring, increasing supporting families who chose alternative schooling and giving public schools consistent funding.

“No child should be trapped in schools that don’t meet their needs,” Senate Republican Leader, Fred Girod (R-Lyons) said. “There is no reason that our schools should still be closed. The science is clear: it is safe. We cannot wait any longer. Both the Biden Administration and the Center for Disease Control say it is safe for schools to reopen. The Governor has failed to act, now it is up to the legislature to act boldly for our students.”

“More and more families are realizing that they don’t have as much control over their education as they thought they did,” said Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River), Vice-Chair of the Senate Education Committee. “School closures have them looking for viable alternatives. That’s what Senate Republicans are here to give them.”

“A zip code or school boundary should never determine a kid’s future,” Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls) said. “We must give students and families the educational freedom they deserve. These reforms will unlock our kids' full potential.”

The failures of Oregon’s school system are well documented: The impacts of school closures have also been well documented: “Too many families are feeling hopeless about schools being closed and the destructive impacts it has had on their kids’ futures,” Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) added. “Our students are the next generation of leaders, innovators, business owners, and change-makers. We are doing them a disservice by not giving them real control over their education.”

“Our K-12 students are counting on us,” Senator Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) added. “We must also bring down the cost of college and ensure that old regulations and a poor-performing public education system don’t hold back our students.”

“Our kids must be our top priority. The Legislature has sent more money to our public schools than ever, but we’ve not seen evidence that standards are being met to educate our kids well,” Senator Lynn Findley, Assistant Republican Leader (R-Vale) said. “It’s time for real reforms and real school choice. These measures will provide the opportunities and skills our kids need for their future.”

Bills in the education package include:

SB 462 (Girod) would establish a tax credit for college students trying to pay off their student loans.
SB 506 (Thatcher) reforms archaic licensing regulations that make it more difficult for Oregonians to get into good-paying trade jobs without a high school diploma.
SB 445 (Knopp) would establish a consistent and sufficient investment formula for public schools.
SB 504 (Thatcher) gives tuition and fee relief to the natural children of foster parents for service to our foster system.
SB 513 (Girod, Findley) would lay the groundwork for healthy democratic participation by requiring schools to proficiently teach civics.
SB 516 (Girod, Findley, Knopp, Thatcher) gives students and families control over their education by establishing a school voucher program.
SB 657 (Linthicum) increases the percentage of students who may enroll in virtual public schools.
SB 658 (Linthicum) establishes an education savings account program to give families tools to invest in their children's futures.
SB 659 (Linthicum) would codify the principle that a ZIP code should not determine a child's future by allowing them to attend any public school in the state.
SB 693 (Thatcher), known as the Education Equity Emergency Act, would create the Oregon Empowerment Scholarship Program to give students financial assistance and choices in their education.
SB 788 (Girod) establishes financial assistance for families who chose to home school.
Senator Chuck Thomsen (Hood River) has introduced the ‘Education Equity Act,’ which will give low-income and middle-class families financial aid in paying for summer tutoring to make up for lost learning due to ongoing school closures.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-02-26 16:24:16

Read More Articles