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On this day, November 26, 2010, US federal agents in a sting operation arrested Mohamed Osman Mohamud (19), a Somali-born teenager, just as he tried blowing up a van he believed was loaded with explosives at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.




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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 8:00 am
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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 8:00 am
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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Friday, December 9, 2022 at 8:00 am
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82nd Session of the Oregon Legislature Begins
Monday, January 9, 2023 at 8:00 am
The 2023 Session of the Oregon Legislature begins. Legislators are sworn in and bills are introduced.
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Illegal Firearms Recovered in Attempted Murder
Suspect is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that 32-year-old Cole Miller is charged with the attempted murder and assault of a person that happened last month in the Hazelwood neighborhood. As part of this investigation, law enforcement recovered multiple firearms, including five AR-15 rifles and a ghost gun. Ironically, this is happening as the legislature considers more restrictions on firearms, which opponents say will leave only the criminals with guns.

Miller is charged with one count of attempted murder in the second degree with a firearm, one count of assault in the first degree with a firearm, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm with a firearm enhancement and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon with a firearm.

This investigation started when Portland Police responded to a shooting on February 1, 2021 in the 10500 block of East Burnside Street. When they arrived, they located a person shot inside a vehicle.

According to court documents, the shooting victim said, “in case I die, I want someone to know that it was Cole Miller who shot me.” During the investigation, law enforcement learned that Miller and the shooting victim are known to each other and have been involved in a dispute.

On March 10, 2021, Portland Police received information about a disturbance involving a firearm at a convenience store at Southeast 42nd Avenue and Southeast Woodstock Street. The store employee reported a disturbance involving someone who tried to microwave food inside the business, which is against their policy. During the incident, the suspect allegedly pointed a gun at the employee. A description of the vehicle and suspect were provided to Portland Police.

Hours later, Portland Police responded to the 3700 block of Southeast 42nd Avenue to conduct a welfare check involving a vehicle and suspicious activity involving the driver. When police arrived, they identified the vehicle as being the same car involved in the incident at the convenience store.

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Police identified the driver of the car to be Miller, according to court documents. Miller was later identified as the suspect in the convenience store disturbance.

During a search of Miller’s vehicle, police recovered five AR-15 rifles, a Glock 17 handgun, two Glock 43 handguns, a ghost-gun resembling a Glock 19 and a loaded .45 caliber handgun.

According to court records, Miller is a convicted felon and therefore prohibited from being in possession of a firearm.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-13 17:44:43Last Update: 2021-03-13 17:54:03



Leftist Violence Continues in Portland
Pearl District destruction during “peaceful march”

Police Officers in Portland, Oregon detained a group of about 100 in a march that devolved into property destruction in the Pearl District.

On Friday, March 12, 2021 at about 9:00pm, a group began marching in the street, blocking vehicular traffic, from Jamison Park, 810 Northwest 11th Avenue. They were advised by loudspeaker that the street was open to vehicular traffic, but the crowd continued to march in the street.

At about 9:15pm, at Northwest 15th Avenue and Northwest Overton Street, some in the crowd began breaking windows. Officers moved in to address the criminal behavior. They created a perimeter around the group on Northwest Marshall Street between Northwest 13th Avenue and Northwest 14th Avenue.

The group was advised that they were being detained for investigation of crimes, they were not free to leave, and they should comply with officers' lawful orders. Failure to comply may result in arrest or force being used against them to include, but not limited to, crowd control agents, impact weapons, or tear gas. Legal observers, press, and anyone who was medically fragile or anyone who needs immediate medical attention were invited to leave the enclosed area if they wished. Those that were being detained were identified and photographed, as part of a criminal investigation, before being released. Some refused to comply and locked arms together in an effort to interfere with the investigation. Officers escorted them away and they were arrested. A suspect in the earlier window vandalism was arrested and charged.

Officers discovered numerous items left behind by people inside the perimeter, including a crowbar, hammers, bear spray, slugging weapon with rocks, high impact slingshot, and knives.

As the event unfolded, groups formed on the outside and physically challenged officers.

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Some threw rocks and full cans of beer at officers. Officers deployed some OC (pepper) spray and one impact munition. Arrests were made, including two suspects carrying firearms, wearing body armor and helmets.

Thirteen people were charged with crimes: The investigation is continuing and additional charges are possible.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-03-13 12:28:11Last Update: 2021-03-13 16:31:00



Alonso Leon Wants Extra Protections for Foreign Nationals
Oregon legislator herself was formerly “undocumented”

As the Oregon 2021 legislative session rolls on, and still with the public banned from accessing the state's Capitol building, laws are being made inside that building which will certainly affect all of the people of Oregon. One such bill which is currently making it's way through committee is HB 3265.

The bill seems to have a number of stipulations within it which would further protect any foreign nationals if they are taken into custody by local United States law enforcement. HB 3265, whose Chief Sponsor is Teresa Alonso Leon(D) Woodburn, seems to be extra accommodating to anyone not a United States citizen.

The following is a summarized list of what the bill is intended to do: And, as the supermajority Democrat Oregon legislature often does with the attachment of the Emergency Clause, the law will be declared effective immediately upon it's passage.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-03-12 17:41:39Last Update: 2021-03-12 19:42:30



Governor Releases Plan to Open Schools
Enforcement? Expect it to be tepid

After releasing her executive order requiring schools to at least partially reopen, the Governor touted her achievements in a press conference today.

In the press conference, she declined to commit to enforcing her order by saying she would be “flexible” with school districts that don’t meet the timeline.

Many school boards failed to reopen schools after the Governor kicked that responsibility to them in December. Now, she is letting them define what ‘reopening’ is. Some have indicated they will skip academic classes altogether and simply hold study halls or other elective courses.

“After keeping the vast majority of Oregon students locked out of their classrooms for a year, the Governor should hold off on crowning herself as the champion for Oregon students,” Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) said. “Too many kids have lost an entire year of education. She should not fail them again by not enforcing her own order. Teachers are vaccinated and cases continue to decline. Students should return to the classroom.”

Jennifer Noonan, a mom of 4 and a social work student, has been fighting for nearly a year for schools to reopen. She represents families whose needs aren’t being met by current government school policy:

“The Governor’s hybrid loophole doesn’t work for working families like mine,” Noonan said. “As a mom and a student, I go to school and work on the weekends to lift my family out of poverty. I can't afford to continue to be a part-time teacher also.

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“This is a social justice issue. The Governor should mandate that all schools open for full, in person, 5-days-per-week instruction for families who need it. Science says we can do this safely.

It's what is best for our kids, low-income families like mine, and our communities of color.” Earlier this week, the Governor and Democrat lawmakers released a proposal for summer enrichment programs. A week before, Senator Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River), Vice-Chair of the Senate Education Committee, announced a similar plan.

“After losing a year of education, our students need options to get caught up,” Senator Thomsen said. “As lawmakers, we need to hold the Governor accountable and ensure she delivers on her promises to Oregon students.

“So far, she has been light on details. Much of this money will be going to brand new programs. Her administration has only months to implement them. Are teachers unions going to willingly staff these programs? Where does the money go if all of it is not spent?

“These are the questions Oregonians deserve answers to if the Governor expects them to believe her promises.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-12 17:40:55Last Update: 2021-03-12 17:46:29



Regulation of Private Schools to be Debated
The independence of Private Schools is at Risk

Many years ago, voluntary private school registration was administered by the Oregon Dept. of Education so that student teaching could take place in registered private schools and teachers in private schools could maintain their licenses. That licensing rule was eliminated in 2009. Then Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction, Suzan Castillo, asked the Oregon legislature to repeal the voluntary private school registration laws to reduce workload and expenditures, and because it did not align with ODE goals. In 2011, the Oregon legislature repealed voluntary private school registration by adopting SB 26.

Currently, there is no law on the books requiring private schools to register with Oregon Department of Education. For Oregon’s Christian schools, that independence allows us to provide a faith-based curriculum in line with our families’ values and beliefs and free from state oversight. But that independence is at risk this session.

The Senate Committee on Education, under the chairmanship of Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) has introduced a bill, SB 223, that would require private schools to register with the state or risk their students’ ability to participate in interscholastic activities -- athletics, music, debate, etc. SB 223 uses students as leverage to force private schools, including Christian schools, to register and conform to State Board of Education criteria. According to some, it threatens religious freedom and parent choice and undermines the goal of private education. It also adds layers of bureaucracy and costs to the day-to-day management of private schools with little to no benefit to the families that are enrolled.

According to some, the underlying goal of SB 223 is to promote the safety and well-being of students. Fortunately, that’s the goal of private schools as well. In 2019, legislation was passed to ensure that students are safe, rendering this bill unnecessary. Following the global pandemic, our students should be given the opportunity to reengage with their peers, not prevented from participating in the extracurricular activities that they enjoy.

SB 223 is up for a public hearing in the Senate Committee On Education on March 17 at 3:15pm.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-12 09:01:52Last Update: 2021-03-11 14:25:11



Agency Impacts on Small Business Looked At
Most agencies merely “check the box”

State Agency impacts on small businesses in rulemaking HB2334 When the legislature passes new laws, they often then need to pass that law onto an appropriate state agency who then writes administrative rules for how the new law actually works. For example, in 2017, Oregon became the first state in the nation to impose a bike tax on the purchase of new bikes over $200 with the passage of HB 2017. Rules pertaining to the implementation, collection or expenditure of the new tax would need administrative rules written and the Department of Transportation was tasked with writing those rules.

During the last year, various state agencies took drastic measures in writing temporary and permanent administrative rules under the umbrella of public health and safety. Often these rules were written with little consideration of the impact to private businesses that would be affected by the administrative rules. This despite a current law that requires them to do so. ORS 183.336 – Cost of compliance effect on small businesses. The ORS states that the statement of cost of compliance effect on small businesses must include:

(a)An estimate of the number of small businesses subject to the proposed rule and identification of the types of businesses and industries with small businesses subject to the proposed rule;
(b)A brief description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping and other administrative activities required for compliance with the proposed rule, including costs of professional services;
(c)An identification of equipment, supplies, labor and increased administration required for compliance with the proposed rule; and
(d)A description of the manner in which the agency proposing the rule involved small businesses in the development of the rule.

HB 2334 would help reinforce the original goal by making sure that agencies actually consider the economic consequences of either temporary or permanent rules at the time the rule is being developed. During testimony, Samantha Bayer, with Oregon Farm Bureau stated that “Unfortunately, instead of earnestly undertaking the small business impacts analysis and mitigating the impacts of costly administrative rules on Oregon’s small businesses, most agencies have chosen to treat the analysis as merely a cursory “check the box” step in passing administrative rules”. She also addressed this last year which has been filled with temporary rules stating that “Under current law, agencies are not required to undertake the small business impacts analysis for temporary rules, which can last up to 180 days and subsequently be made permanent”.

Agricultural workers were also hit with their own set of changed administrative rules and some of them were very costly. Sanitation facilities went from 1 for every 20 workers to 1 for every 10. So, field sanitation units for a farm had to double almost overnight. The average cost is around $5,000 per unit. They were also required to be completely disinfected three times a day adding cleaning and labor costs onto the farm operator.

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The bill is sponsored by Representative Bonham (R-The Dalles) who is himself a small business owner. He owns Maupin’s Stoves and Spas in Maupin, OR. During his introduction of the bill to the committee, he reminded them that he is a small business owner, and that this bill hits close to home.

He told the committee that “what we are really hoping for, is for small business to be considered with any rulemaking change that could have a direct fiscal impact on small business and then consideration of what measures or what threshold of business could be considered to potentially remove that that undue burden on small business”.

The bill has until March 18th to be scheduled for a work session in order to move forward.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-03-12 08:39:23Last Update: 2021-03-12 08:59:55



Extending Voter Rolls
“Never leave a voter behind”

National news since the November election has been consume with voter fraud scenarios. One of the documented ways is ‘ballot harvesting’ where ballots are delivered to voters that have moved or died, illegally filled out, and submitted for count. HB 2681 capitalizes on this activity to increase the number of stray ballots available for fraudulent submission.

Representative Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) is chief sponsor of HB 2681, which extends the registration of an elector indefinitely preventing removal due to an elector not voting or updating the elector’s registration. It effectively removes Oregon voter roll maintenance and creates the inability to effectively prepare for an accurate election. It is impossible to know who are electors, which opens elections to higher risk for corruption.

The bill states: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the registration of an elector may not be considered inactive due to an elector not voting or updating the elector’s registration for any period of time.”

People register at local colleges and universities that never have their voter record updated from their dorms. Apartment dwellers have numerous ballots delivered to them from all the previous residents. People move out of state and seldom notify the elections office of a move, unless they register to vote from a new address. You would think that with ‘motor voter” registration that addresses would be updated by virtue of driver’s license renewals or lack thereof.

Oregon allows 10 years of inactivity before moving a voter to inactive and remove them from the voter rolls. The National Voter Registration Act only suggests four years before removal. We are way beyond that requirement at 10 years. This bill would remove this safeguard altogether and allow old registrations to pile up, available for harvesting.

The names that do get removed, through notification, each county clerk is required to report to the Secretary of State identifying each voter and reason for moving the name to inactive status during. That is after the county clerk mails a notice to each elector informing them that their registration is now inactive and the reasons. A notice is sent before both the first primary election and the first general election immediately following the inactive date. There is no privacy written in the bill to protect voter status, or the names submitted to the Secretary of State.

Delivering notices increases costs of elections, facilitates voter fraud, discloses protected voter status, and prevents the county clerk to do voter list maintenance.

People move on the average of every four years. Younger people move more often. That adds up quickly.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-03-12 08:31:56Last Update: 2021-03-12 08:39:23



Walkout Fine Proposed for Senate
Needs a chamber vote

In a sign that they fear another disruption to their agenda -- possibly the spate of firearms regulations pending in both chambers -- Senate Democrats have introduced a proposal to amend Senate Chamber Rules to allow the Senate President to fine state senators who are not excused from a Senate Floor Session and choose not to attend, walking out on Oregonians and abandoning their oaths of office. The amount of the proposed fine – $151 – is equal to the per diem payment that legislators receive for expenses of working in Salem for the session.

“Walking out on Oregonians is unacceptable and it’s an affront to democracy. Even worse, when Senate Republicans walk out, they continue to accept a paycheck and compensation for their daily expenses,” said Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego). “Oregonians aren’t paid when they don’t show up for work. It is unprofessional to walk out on the job and unethical to accept daily expenses when you didn’t show up for work – and stopped others from doing their jobs. Voters in Oregon expect senators to be held accountable when they refuse to show up and do the work that Oregonians sent them to Salem to do. When lawmakers take their oath of office, they swear to uphold the constitution and do the people's work.”

Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) went on the offensive in response:

“As Republicans, we believe rules should be applied fairly. This rule change doesn’t go far enough. No senator should be receiving their per diem when the public is shut out of the democratic process and their Capitol.

“The Democrats think that just because they control the schedule, they can walk out whenever they want. By scheduling minimal floor sessions, they have held up the people’s work for weeks now. We have important work to do this session, but it is being held up by the Democrats. Oregonians deserve better than these performative gestures to appease radicals in their own party.”

“Each of us was elected to serve our constituents and all Oregonians. The centerpiece of legislative service is showing up on the Senate Floor to do the people’s work,” said Senator Wagner. “State Senators receive daily -- taxpayer-funded -- pay for fulfilling this basic responsibility. If they are unwilling to fulfill that responsibility, they should not receive that pay.”

The change to Senate Rule 3.10 proposed today will need to be taken up for a vote of the chamber in order to be in effect.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-11 13:02:01Last Update: 2021-03-11 14:01:52



Ranked-Choice Voting
All in one election and very confusing to the electors

Senators Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), Jeff Golden (D-Ashland), and Representative Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) want to revamp our election system with a ranked-choice method of election. SB 791 describes the ranked-choice voting as counting first and multiple choices for federal and state elections, and non-home charter counties effective January 1, 2023.

“Ranked-choice voting” is a complicated method of casting and tabulating votes in which a ballot provides the elector the option to rank the candidates in order of choice. In summary, this method gives a voter first and second choice so if the first choice is eliminated by receiving the fewest votes, the voters second choice becomes their vote. Consequently, it gives that voter two votes or an additional chance to change the initial outcome. In contrast, the person voting for the top candidate cannot double their vote to solidify their preferred candidate. As each round of elimination is completed, fewer and fewer voters will be counted in the final tally as all their choices get eliminated. Oregon Constitution, Article II, Section 1. Elections free. “All elections shall be free and equal.” How “equal” is it to eliminate voters?

Janice Dysinger with Oregonians for Fair Elections, says: “Rank Choice voting makes it very difficult to see the winner by simply tallying the votes. Instead, every vote has an alternate vote depending on the overall tally. It requires some gymnastics inside the tabulator. In fact, a special tabulator software is required. In the past you would have had one set of winners followed by a runoff election if there was a two-part election. This tries to do it all in one election and is very confusing to the electors. It will disrupt confidence in the election process.”

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Senator Jeff Golden (D-Ashland) introduced SB 343, a county version of ranked-choice voting, which only applies to county elections. Some jurisdictions have adopted ranked-choice voting but none have implemented the process. The bill also provides for funding for the Secretary of State to provide compatible computers, voting machines and vote tally systems, which SB 791 does not.

It would change campaigning. You have candidates who are competing not just for a first-place position, but also working to be somebody's second- or third-choice candidate. One election may save election costs, but the system is more vulnerable to fraud and errors in each round of recount. Election reform starts with integrity in our election system.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-03-11 09:11:15Last Update: 2021-03-11 09:32:16



Clean Diesel Engine Taxes
If it can’t be banned, it can be taxed to death

In 2019, HB 2007 was introduced by Representatives Tina Kotek (D-Portland), Karin Power (D-Milwaukie), Rob Nosse (D-Portland), Senators Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), Lew Frederick (D-Portland) and Kathleen Taylor (D-Milwaukie). It was an extensive bill aimed at eliminating diesel vehicles that pollute the air by producing carbon throughout the state.

At the time, the environmental groups came out strongly in support of the legislation. However, in an effort to reach bipartisan support, the bill was reshaped to focus on phasing out older diesel engines in the Portland Metro area ONLY. The compromise included retrofit and replacement of older on-road engines in heavy traffic areas, like the Portland area, while exempting agricultural trucks, log trucks and small truck fleets.

Two years later HB 2007 seems to have resurfaced as HB 2674. Again introduced by Representative Nosse (D-Portland). It appeared as a one page bill directing the Department of Environmental Quality to study the impacts of engine emissions on the environment and provide results of the study in a report to interim committees of Legislative Assembly no later than September 15, 2022. However, all that changed with the proposed -1 amendments also submitted by Representative Nosse.

The 48-page amendment to the original one page House bill, changes the intent of the bill from study of an issue to a mandated solution. The new intent is in the title of the amendments, the “Clean Diesel Engine Taxes.” The amendments propose the following: The compromise in HB 2007 narrowed the scope of the legislation to just the following: The initial meeting of the taskforce was to take place in the fall of 2019 and make recommendations to the legislature no later than September 2020. The taskforce would be repealed as of December 31, 2020. The taskforce held four meetings and at the final one on August 28, 2020, they reviewed a proposed timeline for how to implement the intent of HB 2007.

Sep. 2020 File Rules with Secretary of State and begin public comment period
Oct. 2020 Public Hearing
Dec. 2020 DEQ Staff Report to Environmental Quality Commission
Jan. 2021 Environmental Quality Commission Action – The final Administrative rule was filed and effective January 21, 2021
Q1 – 2021 Outreach and Develop Program Materials
Q2 – 2021 Open Grant Program
Q2 – 2021 Review Applications and Award Funding

Although HB 2674 was filed before legislative session began, it was not filed on behalf of the Supporting Businesses in Reducing Diesel Emissions Task Force. In written testimony, Erin Hansell-Heideman a Morrow and Gilliam Co. Wheat Farmer and President of the Morrow County Wheat Growers agreed stating “I know that the year-long Diesel Task Force considered many of these taxes and chose not to proceed”. So, it is unclear who the driving force is behind this legislation, and why it was introduced now when HB 2007 is only in the outreach portion of the timeline and the grant program itself is not targeted to begin until Q2 of this year.

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What is known is HB 2674 has drawn the attention of some of the same people that helped mitigate HB 2007 in 2019. On March 3rd, the bill was scheduled for a hearing in the House Energy and Environment Committee. However, it was never heard due to other bills that were scheduled for a work session that same day. The hearing had over 100 people submit testimony, and it was overwhelmingly in opposition to the bill. In written testimony Agelita Sanches, with Timber Unity reminded the committee that “This is a direct attack on farmers and loggers. Many of whom you exempted just a short time ago”. However, Jenny Dressler, on behalf of Oregon Farm Bureau Federation summed it up best in her written testimony when she said “OFBF opposes the proposed -1 amendments, which would levy countless new taxes on rural businesses—farmers, ranchers, and small woodland owners—in order to fund diesel engine replacement and retrofit in the densest areas of the state. Rural communities aren’t responsible for Portland’s air quality, but the -1 amendments to HB 2674 puts that responsibility squarely (and inappropriately) on our members’ shoulders. The proposed -1 amendments taxes our tires, our farm equipment, our trucks, and the dyed diesel used in off-road equipment to grow food and fiber.”

As Legislative session moves towards the March 19th deadline when bills must be scheduled for a work session so that they may be moved out of committee to their chamber floors by April 13th, it will be interesting to see if HB 2674 receives an actual hearing, a work session, or is again amended and morphs into something different.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-03-11 09:05:31Last Update: 2021-03-11 09:32:49



What Does COVID-19 Have to Do With Mink?
Is this prohibition in the name of public health?

If SB 832, has been introduced by Senator Prozanski (D-Eugene) on behalf of Animal Wellness Action and Center for a Humane Economy. The Animal Wellness Action based in Washington D.C. and the Center for Human Economy headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland both have similar mission statements around preventing cruelty to animals by promoting, enacting and enforcing good public policies and encouraging corporations to honor their duties to social responsibility.

If SB 832 is passed into law, all mink farms in Oregon could close by the end of the year. According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, there are 11 state-permitted mink farms in Oregon -- eight in Marion county, one in Linn and two in Clatsop. If adopted into law, Oregon would lead the nation by being the first state to adopt a prohibition on mink farming.

The legislation mandates that mink farm owners not operate unless they have tested negative for COVID-19 within previous 10 days and directs the State Department of Agriculture to establish and implement contact tracing for mink farm workers. However, even if the farm workers remain continuously COVID negative the operation of the farm would only continue until the Oregon Health Authority determines the soonest feasible date for implementing prohibition all together.

More than 85% of pelts used in the world’s fur trade come from small, family-run farms. There are an estimated 275 mink farms in the US covering 23 states. Wisconsin is the leading mink-producing state with over $2.9M in pelts produced in 2019 out of the total $59M produced US wide. Oregon is the 4th largest producer in the US. Today’s farm-raised mink are among the world’s best cared-for livestock and are nationally regulated. In addition, mink farmers voluntarily adhere to stricter codes of animal husbandry than many other species farmers.

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So why are the mink farms being target for extinction in Oregon? The bill does not state why, but rather appears to tie the mink and mink farmers to COVID-19 disease transmission. The bill may also be looking to legally address the elimination of mink farms after an experience in Denmark last fall where a COVID-19 mutation appeared in a mink farm. In response to that mutation, Denmark ordered farms to exterminate the entire mink population of the Country -- a total of 17 million minks. However, the legality of such an order is now being questioned and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has apologized for the killing calling it a “regrettable mistake” and admitting the government may not have had the legal jurisdiction to kill so many animals. Passing SB 832 would circumvent any legalities of ordering the elimination of the mink and the mink farms.

However, the Centers for Disease Control says, “At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.” The CDC did note that people spread the COVID-19 virus to mink, and that mink can spread the virus to other mink. However, “the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low”.

With such a small portion of the total global market, some might say that eliminating mink farming in Oregon will only affect a few farms and with go a long way to protect those in the state. Marc Kaufman, a fur merchant in New York City whose family has been in the business since 1870 would agree with that line of thinking. He states in an NBC News report on December 1,2020 that there is no reason for his industry to worry. “With furs, if it’s not made one place, it’s made some place else. Demand is there and need for the product is there. If Copenhagen doesn’t farm the skins, Russia will. If Russia doesn’t, China will. Either way there is gonna be a supply because there is demand.”

However, with no concrete evidence that mink farms or specifically Oregon mink farms are contributors to COVID-19 transmission, it begs to question if the requestors of the bill are asking for this prohibition in the name of public health, or is it an excuse to legally eliminate an industry that has been under fire by animal activist groups for years?

SB 832 has not been scheduled for a hearing so these questions may all be answered during the public heearing.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-03-11 08:55:40Last Update: 2021-03-11 09:05:31



River Wars
Keyboard warriors zoom into Capitol committee hearings

Tuesday night in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on several bills, including HB 2734 that would create a new “excise tax” of 5% on purchase of wake boats, equipment, storage and transportation. HB 2725 would in effect ban all motor sports on the “Newberg Pool” of the river which after the Oregon State Marine Board banned wake surfing on most of the rest of the river, would effectively ban it on the entire river.

In the hearing, the panel of proponents included one Senator, one Representative and as an “expert” a homeowner on the river. Each was given as much time as they needed while over 75 people were waiting to testify for or against -- most were against. One homeowner in fact took over 20 minutes to go through her slide show. When Representative Jami Cate (R-Lebanon) pointed that she doesn’t live on the portion of the river that currently allows wake surfing -- she lives on a banned portion -- she was not allowed to elaborate on why that was important.

Then, after the panel, no opponent panel was called on, it was on to public testimony. The Chair, Brad Witt, ended the hearing leaving over 35 people hanging. They decided to voice their opinions anyway as the meeting quickly spiraled out of control -- including one person from Willamette Riverkeepers who testified with his middle finger. The chair tried to get it back but instead ordered the committee staff to shut it down.

One citizen filed a complaint.

I would like to formally complain about the rude aggressive behavior of the scientific presenter from the Willamette Riverkeeper Travis Williams (see attached photos) who made threatening and disgusting gestures and mouthed profanity on screen during my statement to the Committee.

I would ask that he be sanctioned and not allowed to appear at future public gatherings on this topic, as it appears he poses an on going risk for harassment to these opposing his views.

This is indicative of how the super-majority Democrats are running committees in this “virtual” setting. There are increasing compliants of limited time for opponents, limited testimony, limited hearings and a generally chaotic environment.




--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-10 18:43:11Last Update: 2021-03-10 19:14:05



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