Only two bills in the would address COVID-19’s impact on education
Of more than 100 bills in the House Committee on Education, legislation from Rep. Owens and Rep. Alonso León is one of only two bills related to COVID-19’s negative impact on K-12 education.
Despite the enormous disruption COVID-19 has had on Oregon’s education system, only two bills in the House Committee on Education address the negative effects of COVID-19 on students.
Representative Mark Owens (R-Crane) and Representative Teresa Alonso León (D- Woodburn) are chief sponsors of HB 2962, which would direct a formal evaluation of students’ education needs resulting from COVID-19 closures, a step towards identifying how students can recover from gaps in learning.
“It is critical we identify and address the serious gap in education our students have experienced during the last 12 months because of COVID-19 and government-mandated stay-at-home orders,” said Rep. Owens, who also serves as a member of the Crane School Board. “There is much more we should be doing as lawmakers to address this critical issue for Oregon students, and it is great to see the bipartisan support for this proposal that will hopefully lead to others.”
“We should not be hiding from the truth that virtual learning has seriously harmed our kids’ educational development,” added House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby.) “After Oregon’s education officials announced plans to abandon standardized testing that would measure learning gaps, we need proposals like this more than ever.”
Negative academic effects from distance learning still have not been adequately measured in Oregon, and plans to do so have been delayed.
Even 2020 high school graduation rates are misleading since the Oregon Department of Education drastically altered its graduation standards. As recently as 2017, Oregon had the second-worst graduation rate in the country. The full impact of virtual learning on graduation rates is still not clear.
Miguel Cardona, the Secretary of Education selected by President Joe Biden, affirmed the need for evaluations nationwide when saying that student data obtained from standardized tests is important to help education officials create policy and target resources where they are most needed. “We have to make sure we laser-focused on addressing inequities that have existed for years. … Every bit of data helps,” added Cardona during a legislative conference.
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Oregon remains the second to last state for reopened schools according to a tracker from Burbio, a website that aggregates school government, library and community event information and consists of more than 80,000 K-12 school calendars from all fifty states.
Numerous studies have been conducted which indicate a correlation between native mental health impacts for children due to closed schools:
“Beginning in April 2020 the proportion of children’s mental health-related ED visits among all pediatric ED visits increased and remained elevated through October. Compared with 2019, the proportion of mental health-related visits for children aged 5-11 and 12-17 years increased 24 percent and 31 percent respectively.” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 13, 2020.
Additionally, most states in the country have been reopening after a variety of studies point to safe conditions that would allow willing students to attend school in-person with minimal COVID-19 risks:
The CDC guidance, under President Biden, recommends that schools can reopen with successfully implemented mitigation strategies.
“Our data indicate that schools can reopen safely if they develop and adhere to specific SARS-CoV-2 prevention policies.” – American Academy of Pediatrics, January 6, 2021.
“…we see no indication that in-person school reopenings have increased COVID-19 hospitalizations in the counties below 36-44 new COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 per week. Neither the levels nor the trends change in any direction when schools open in [counties below 36-44 new COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 per week], even as far as 6 weeks after schools reopened. In fact, we often see precise estimates suggesting declines in hospitalizations in these low-baseline COVID-19 counties…” – National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice (REACH), Tulane University, January 4, 2021.
HB 3350 is a second bill that addresses COVID-19’s impact on education.
The Co-Chairs of the Oregon Legislature's Joint Committee on Ways and Means, Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D-Beaverton), and Representative Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) – released their 2021-23 Budget Framework. The document serves as a starting point for the 2021-23 budget cycle.
Joint Ways and Means Co-Chairs have schedule hearing dates on the 2021-23 budget framework. What stands out for taxpayers is the increase of $780 million for new programs and services. That means an increased budget of $780 million every biennium in the future plus cost-of-living increases and growth in those programs. Very few new programs are ever terminated and give credence to the term “big government.” The Budget Framework shows that these new programs ($780 million) are funded in 2021-23 by one-time funding from the American Rescue Plan Act Funds, which is expected to be $2.6 billion. The framework reserves $520 million for the 2023-25 biennium out of those federal funds, but that doesn’t cover the cost of the new programs. And where does the funding come from in future biennium’s?
The five dates and times for Ways and Means budget hearings are by congressional districts.
District 1 - Wednesday, April 14, 5:30-7:30 pm
District 2 - Saturday, April 17, 1:00-3:00 pm
District 3 - Wednesday, April 21, 5:30-7:30 pm
District 4 - Thursday, April 22, 5:30-7:30 pm
District 5 - Saturday, April 24, 1:00-3:00 pm
What is curious about these times is that Joint Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittees have been meeting on budgets since January. One committee will have held 26 hearings. Multiplied by seven committees, all trying to squeeze and expand their programs into current levels. Now they are told to cut one percent more to meet budgetary goals. How do all these hearings and testimonies get incorporated and resolved into the Ways and Means two-hour District meetings?
What is even more curious about the budget is the moving numbers. The initial 2021-23 Ways and Means Co-Chair Principles shows a current service level for 2021-23 to be short $1,741,500,000 General Funds, but new numbers have brought that down to $606,700,000 in the March Budget Framework. The Co-Chair target requirement is to bring that number to zero. With the addition of $520 million American Rescue Plan Act Funds and cuts of 1% to each budget they have initially meant their goal. However, the door is still open for the BIPOC caucus for resources needed to advance racial equity initiatives in Oregon. Their needs will influence the final development of the final 2021-23 budget. Each committee is asked to review their budgets for more than the 1% cuts to fund their special needs.
This all hinges on the American Rescue Plan Act sending $2.6 billion our way. What if it doesn’t?
In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 2005. It created the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program to provide partially or fully compensated time away from work. Starting January 1, 2022, eligible employees who worked at least 90 days for an employer can apply with the state for 12 weeks of paid leave per year for qualifying family, medical, or safe leave, and up to 14 weeks for certain pregnancy-related leave.
HB 2005 applies to employers with 25 or more employees in Oregon. Employers and employees will contribute to the leave fund through payroll deductions beginning January 1, 2022. Employers will make 40% of the required contributions to the plan and employees will pay 60%. The required contribution will be no greater than 1% of the employee wages with a cap of $132,900 per year. The State of Oregon Employment Department will determine the exact percentage of contribution. The Oregon Employment Department will also manage the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance plan.
However, before the program even takes effect, Representative Karin Power (D-Milwaukie) introduced HB 2474. This bill would modify the Oregon Family Leave Act. It changes the current leave laws and lowers the employer eligibility to those with only 1 employee from the old threshold of 25 and takes employee eligibility for leave from 90 days to 30 days and covers part-time workers. Current OFLA rules apply to workers that average 25 hours a week for 180 days. OFLA is not paid time off. Rather, it is unpaid time off for up to 12 weeks with the guarantee that your job will be held by your employer. In addition HB 2474 also expands the definition of leave to include time off for caring for a child when their school or child care provider is closed by order of public official for public health emergency which is not covered under current OFLA rules. While OFLA is not paid time off, it is a guarantee that your job will be held by your employer.
It could be speculated that the proposed changes to OFLA are a test to see if the soon to roll out Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance plan could be modified to include employers with only 1 employee. After all, when HB 2005 was introduced it was proposed as:
“Employer” means any person that employs one or more employees working anywhere in this state, a political subdivision of this state or any county, city, district, authority, public corporation or entity, or any instrumentality of a county, city, district, authority, public corporation or entity, organized and existing under law or charter.
HB 2474 was scheduled for a work session on March 31, but Representative Power indicated to the committee that interested parties were still working on coming to consensus on proposed amendments. The next schedule work session for the bill is April 5.
“...Nor excessive fines imposed” Article I, Section 16, Oregon Const.
Today, April 2nd, is the last day to submit testimony, particularly needed from impacted business owners, to OSHA opposing their proposed rule changes. OSHA agency staff are not elected officials, yet are trying to change COVID-19 temporary workplace rules, like masks and social distancing, as permanent rules that inherently create a double-fine situation for Oregon small businesses who are already struggling to survive in this state. Another business store closure was one of the original Dari Mart stores, located in Eugene.
Until today, there were 44 family owned and operated stores from Albany to Cottage Grove. These small, neighborhood stores employed more than 500 people. However, today, Dari Mart announced, via Facebook that it was closing one of its stores. They posted: The Dari Mart store located at 1785 W 18th will be closing its doors for good at 8PM this evening. This is a sad day, as this is one of the original stores. The city of Eugene and State of Oregon are making it increasingly difficult to run a business. Minimum wages have increased over $4.75 and hour, which we could support, except the State put on the backs of businesses a Corporate Activity Tax and the City of Eugene, an employment tax. This location cannot sustain those additional costs of doing business.
Unfortunately, Dari Mart is not alone. Many businesses are facing tough decisions and the Oregon Legislature, run by a super majority that is known for passing legislation that hurts, not helps, small businesses, alongside State Agencies and local governments that are not doing much to help businesses out.
Having double-fine threats from both the Oregon Health Authority and OSHA is a way for those running our state to double-dip with fines and further drain our small business owners and their families, placing more at risk of poverty and placing countless more out of work.
Just days ago, OSHA announced that they had fined Kevista Coffee in Bend $27,470, three times the minimum penalty for stated violations. Struggling business owners Krista and Kevin Lauinger said they chose to re-open the coffee shop even though they were aware that it went against workplace health requirements, as they were desperate to save their business. The huge fine quote, "reflects the need to ensure a more appropriate deterrent effect..." states the OSHA release. It appears as though they are trying to make an example out of these owners as they up the fines to even higher amounts than previously placed on other establishments.
In February, OSHA fined Florence based Firehouse Restaurant $18,150 for violations of standards, twice the minimum penalty for such violations, again, to quote "ensure a more appropriate deterrent effect" toward other businesses in Oregon.
These exorbitant punitive damages, slapped on local businesses for simply trying to operate viably, despite research clearly showing that asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 is not an issue.
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A new peer reviewed paper, led by lead author Dr. Henry Ealy, titled, "COVID-19: Restoring Public Trust During A Global Health Crisis," reiterates what others, including what Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that asymptomatic spread of a virus does not drive pandemics. The published paper outlines this critical research that mainstream media continues to ignore:
Asymptomatic transmission is the basis for public health policies regarding masking and social distancing.
Wuhan Participant Study - 9,898,828 enrolled participants were tested using qualitative COVID RT-qPCR testing. Only 300 possible asymptomatic carrier candidates were identified. Of the 300 possible asymptomatic carriers, all were tested using live cell culture to determine if their PCR samples could produce replication-competent virus. All 300 live cell cultures were negative for being able to produce replication-competent virus, indicating that none of the 300 people identified as potential asymptomatic carriers from the 9,898,828 people tested were infectious. Therefore 0.00% of COVID transmissions were asymptomatic.
Asymptomatic transmission is widely assumed globally but has never been definitively proven based upon the five medical gold-standards of empirical evidence for the evaluation of infectious disease discussed in the position paper.
So what about the economic pandemic evolving here in Oregon around growing poverty, a burgeoning homelessness population and countless cases of business closure and increased rates of suicide? It seems as though those metrics don't fit in with the current narrative or agenda that is being played out by Governor Kate Brown and her state agencies, despite Oregon not having the same drastic COVID-19 impact as other states have seen, yet imposing some of the most draconian and tyrannical lockdown measures and school closures with moving goal posts and changing county risk-level threshold categories with NO stated end in site. Have we all become prisoners of Governor Kate Brown’s no-end-in-sight reopening plan?
As the Oregon Legislature continues to do its work this session, there are more bills being considered that could be the next policy that pushes even more businesses to leave the state and relocate or shutter their doors.
If the Democrat Supermajority doesn’t switch course and focus on saving, not dissolving more of our small business owners, it’s up to the Republican Senators to deny quorum, as many slated controversial and hindering bills otherwise will likely pass.
It begs the question: does the Democrat Supermajority ultimately want to help or hurt Oregonians with policy this legislative session, and will they abandon their radical and special interest agenda to step up into supporting the majority of the population that lives and works in Oregon? Only time, and their actions, will tell.
For another opportunity, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, which is the parent agency of OSHA will accept testimony on its budget and performance -- including the performance of OSHA -- on Monday April 12 at 8:00am. This is a virtual hearing and in order to provide testimony, you must register first
“We need to have people who can serve as role models”
Representative Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas) has submitted an amendment to HB 2942, which she co-sponsored with Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland). The bill allows individuals convicted of drug dealing and sex crimes to be licensed or registered by Teacher Standards and Practices Commission allowing them to teach in K-12 schools. It further opens the door for convicted criminals to work and volunteer in K-12 educational settings.
HB 2942 removes existing prohibitions on who can be employed as an educator and work with other people’s children. Those prohibitions identify many crimes including those that have been prohibited by the proximity of schools to limit the exposure of students to that environment and influence. The prohibitions include unlawful manufacturing of controlled substances (including methamphetamine, cocaine, etc.) within 1000 feet of a school, and the delivery of those same drugs within 1000 feet of a school, as well as prostitution. This bill does not deal with possession of drugs -- this bill essentially says that a drug dealer may ultimately become a teacher.
The bill takes the decision away from the Teacher, Standards, and Practices Commission and puts it in the hands of individual school districts by creating an arbitrary standard. This says to parents that the very best people we can put in front of your children are convicted drug dealers, manufactures and prostitutes, which does not help school districts attract and retain the very best teachers to serve our children.
Testimony that supports putting school children at risk said such things as, “we believe in restorative justice and the ability of individuals to transform their lives,” and “in order to break the school to prison pipeline, we need to have people who can relate to them and serve as role models.”
The Oregon School Boards Association said they support HB 2942 because “Oregon is in the midst of reforming a criminal justice system that has, deliberately or otherwise, had the effect of removing a disproportionate number of people of color from the school community.”
However, many parents expressed opposition to using their children as test cases to whether a convicted criminal is truly rehabilitated. Instead of letting the bill fade away as a bad idea, Representative Bynum doubles down with an amendment that puts the burden on the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission to assess the rehabilitation mentality of a criminal applicant and authorizes them to refuse to issue a license or register a convicted person.
The first Dari Mart store opened in 1965 by Gladys and Howard Gibson. The couple had owned and operated Lochmead Farms in Junction City since 1941, and the store was a way to get their farm fresh milk direct to customers. Three generations later, about 20 Gibson/Straube family members still work with the Dari Mart and Lochmead Farm companies.
Until today, there were 44 family owned and operated stores from Albany to Cottage Grove. These small, neighborhood stores employed more than 500 people. However, today, Dai Mart announced, via Facebook that it was closing one of its stores. They posted:
The Dari Mart store located at 1785 W 18th will be closing it's doors for good at 8PM this evening. This is a sad day, as this is one of the original stores. The city of Eugene and State of Oregon are making it increasingly difficult to run a business. Minimum wages have increased over $4.75 and hour, which we could support, except the State put on the backs of businesses a Corporate Activity Tax and the City of Eugene, an employment tax. This location cannot sustain those additional costs of doing business. Please support the stores nearest this location at:
835 W 28th Ave and 2920 W 11th Ave. A big thank you to all of the loyal customers of that store. We appreciate you.
Unfortunately, Dairi Mart is not alone. Many businesses are facing tough decisions and the Oregon Legislature, State Agencies and local governments are not doing much to help them out. For some it is the impacts created by the Oregon Legislature by implementation of mandatory minimum wage increases, paid sick time or the Corporate Activity Tax.
In 2019, Senator James Manning (D-Eugene) stood on the floor of the Oregon Senate and said, regarding businesses, “Let’em leave. Someone else’ll come in” referencing the Corporate Activity Tax. His prediction is partially coming true, businesses are leaving. In May of 2019 Stimson Lumber announced that it would lay off 60 people at its Forest Grove mill (40% of the workforce) and move some of its operations to Idaho and Montana siting the Corporate Activity Tax. Stimson Lumber has operated in Oregon since 1933. "I do not need to be hit with a 2×4 in the face to see that Oregon is an urban state and rural Oregon is a place for urbanites to recreate," said CEO Andrew Miller in an interview with Willamette Week in 2019. He continued, "Investment capital and jobs are mobile. I see the smoke. I do not need to wait for the fire. It is time to adapt to a changing environment by moving on."
As the Oregon Legislature continues to do its work, there are more bills being considered that could be the next mandate that forces more businesses to leave Oregon.
“This is the kind of focused work that Oregonians need”
In a partial sign that the Oregon Legislature remains committed to doing what is constitutionally required for the current session, leaders in the Oregon House have announced that the 2019-2021 rebalanced budget bills will be moved forward -- starting immediately -- to prioritize relief for Oregonians.
Republicans will also vote to expedite this funding for communities by waiving the requirement to read the budget bills in full.
The announcement followed a statement made earlier this week by House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby,) who said Republicans are committed to passing 2021-2023 budget bills as efficiently as possible as well.
“This is a great, bipartisan action for Oregon to provide relief through the 2019-2021 budget, sending communities additional dollars to mitigate wildfire impacts, support unsheltered individuals, provide education enrichment opportunities and more,” stated House Republican Leader Drazan about the rebalanced budget bills. “This is the kind of focused work that Oregonians need from us right now, and we will continue to find ways to collaborate on priority issues like a balanced budget.”
Democrats have been intent on marching controversial legislation to the front of the line.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony in support of SB 666, transparency legislation that would allow public notice of government union contract negotiations.
Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls), the chief sponsor of SB 666, released the following statement:
“The public deserves to know how their tax dollars are being negotiated. This is a simple issue of transparency. The more information the public has about how their tax dollars are being spent, the better.
“The Oregon Institute of Technology and faculty and administration have failed to come to a new labor agreement for over a year. Taxpayers have no idea why the two parties cannot agree because current law doesn’t require these negotiations to be made public.
“Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Taxpayers should know if their tax dollars are being held hostage. OIT is an important part of our economy in Klamath Falls. We need to make sure their important work continues and simple transparency can aid in ensuring that happens.”
Why Oregonians need their second amendment freedoms
A heavy set far left extremist dressed in what Antifa calls “Black-Bloc -- used as an intimidation tactic -- could be seen waiting for motorists in the street. He held a cigarette in his left hand and a police style asp-baton in his right. As a large blue pickup truck with an American Flag made its way down the street the individual in Black-Bloc quickly whips out his baton, he is wearing a bullet proof vest and appears to be carrying a firearm on his left side. A megaphone slung over his right shoulder, he watches as two violent members of his group rush the approaching blue truck and began attacking the vehicle, as the driver attempts to get away the attackers rip a large flag from the bed of his truck, and what sounds like breaking glass can be heard in the background. As the far left mob continue their attack the driver speeds up to escape his frenzied attackers but they continue to pursue him on foot. In the chaos one of the extremist tries to block the driver and the driver is forced to slam on his breaks to avoid hitting the person, he then quickly navigates his truck to safety.
The mob is relentless and chases after the truck throwing objects and screaming in hysterical delight as they encourage each other to attack. False claims from local news outlets have claimed that the motorist "plowed through the crowd”-though the video clearly shows multiple vehicles being rushed and surrounded during Sundays attacks with weapons at the ready. That is exactly what happened to the driver of this vehicle, he was surrounded, attacked and attempting to escape the violence of far left extremists.
Ironically the target of Sunday's far left hate was aimed at fellow Oregonians who were part of a freedom rally celebrating the very freedoms these individuals are quick to invoke while they engage in their terror campaigns against citizens, neighborhoods, businesses, police and yes, even Ted Wheeler. The American flag is somehow offensive to the far left who love to abuse the freedoms defended for them by the countless men and women that our great American flag represents. Far left extremist have a habit of showing up with the intent to engage in violence anytime a gathering takes place that was not approved by them, or does not fall in line with their anti-American extremist agenda. These far left extremist engage in mob violence and embody fascism while hiding behind the acronym ANTIFA. The hypocrisy doesn’t stop there, this far left group accuses anyone who dare oppose them, or will not comply with their fascist dictates to be a Nazi, a white supremist -- white or not -- a racist and most ironically, a fascist.
Lets quickly go over what a fascist is: A fascist is characterized by dictatorial power and individual(s) who try to control others in a forceful and unfair way, expecting unquestioned obedience through intimidation. Fascists like “ANTIFA” forcibly suppress opposition and demand a strong regimentation of society and of the economy, fascist have been known to call what they were doing a form of revolution, and as you would expect they will often never admit they themselves are actual fascists. Hiding behind the acronym “ANTIFA” which they claim stands for “Anti-Fascist”, these violent far left extremist engage in overt and covert fascist tactics which take place daily on the streets of Portland, Oregon and across America. Fascist like so called “ANTIFA” use and condone violence when attacking individuals that they view as “other”, they co-opt movements and are engaged in racist and hateful tactics. Keep in mind the recent tensions between members of BLM and Antifa who both seem to hide behind acronyms insisting they are the “good guy” while committing unspeakable acts of violence. These far left anti-American extremist groups have co-opted a movement and used it as a shield while spewing hate and propaganda against the Americans they see as opposition.
Antifa and other far left extremists have taken over neighborhoods and streets while demanding that tax paying citizens come out of their homes and that diners stop eating and come and join them in the streets. If homeowners or diners refuse, they risk intimidation and/or attack, if a citizen is caught in the cross fire of one of these vicious mob gatherings the far left extremist will demand that innocent bystander leave the area under threats of violence, and often times they will brutally attack. No one is safe from the mayhem that the far left has unleashed on our society, we have witnessed motorists dragged from vehicles and beaten unconscious in our streets, and sadly as we have seen they will even commit murder on a busy sidewalk in a busy downtown area, like what happened to Aaron Jay Danielson in Portland, Oregon this summer.
Far left extremists have been committing lawless acts and countless violent crimes, including murder in full view of witnesses for far too long. They commit these unspeakable acts with almost no intervention from law enforcement due to destructive polices from politicians like Kate Brown. They are brazen and many know that Democrat run cities will not hold them accountable, why else would they commit these criminal acts in full view of law enforcement while recording their own lawlessness, afterwards they will celebrate. When these far left terrorist took over the streets of Salem and began attacking motorist on Sunday many pro-freedom Oregonians surely feared for their safety, if not their lives. Many of them may have hoped that nearby law enforcement would intervene swiftly, unfortunately multiple motorists would be violently attacked and their vehicles badly damaged before OSP, SPD and SWAT finally intervened.
When you read our next article regarding the 55 year old man who was forced to draw his firearm for protection, you will further understand why now more than ever, Oregonians need their second amendment freedoms in all places and at all times.
PT News Journalist and live streamer, The Black Conservative Preacher -- also known as BCP -- from Portland, joined fellow hard working Oregonians who drove from Sandy to our state Capitol in Salem on Sunday to exercise their first amendment right of Free Speech and to peaceably assemble. Men, women, children and senior citizens caravanned to Salem in an effort to celebrate freedom and express their frustration with being shut out of our state capitol while unconstitutional legislation is forced through without a vote of the people. Those who made the trip were met by a violent mob of far left extremist who could be seen on video waiting with large rocks and other weapons for vehicles to approach. Passing motorist were even fired upon with paint ball guns.
According to a statement made by The Black Conservative Preacher, motorists including veterans and individuals not associated with the rally were violently attacked by an estimated “200-300 Antifa” on Sunday afternoon. This was not a gathering where two groups in opposition of one another met up, this was a gathering of violent far left extremists flying their red and black flag while attacking motorists on an American street if those motorists dared to fly the American flag.
In watching the 1:27 video you can see what looks like members of the militant terrorist group ISIS wearing all black. Many are in tactical gear armed with weapons and wearing bullet proof vests, aggressively blocking streets and violently attacking motorists. The ISIS like mob came armed with a variety of weapons including what appeared to be firearms, they were clearly ready to instigate violence and had been preparing to do so for over a month, according to a post made on a far left Facebook Page.
In action and in tactics this group largely resembles ISIS though you may be surprised to learn they are not, the majority of them are violent far left extremists, “Antifa”, and other far left sympathizers. Holding true to their historic violent nature, their purpose was to interrupt this peaceful demonstration and to do so with extreme violence, they dawned helmets and carried make shift shields with their gas masks at the ready. They came ready to attack and were armed with large rocks, wooden poles, paintball guns, bats, skate boards, law enforcement style asp batons, bear mace, and anything else they could get their hands on, including paint, which they threw on cars. During the violent attacks the mob plunged a large tree branch through the passenger side windshield of a small red truck where a female passenger was sitting. The violent mob was relentless, attacking vehicles, ripping private property from the beds of passing motorists trucks, kicking and punching at vehicles, threatening countless individuals and blocking traffic. They terrorized motorists and even attempted to blind them by pointing lasers into the eyes of drivers as they operated their vehicles, a crime that Anthony Villandea, 18 was arrested for on 5 counts.
With clear disregard for human life, the far left attackers lobbed rocks through the windows of passing motorists vehicles, at one point shattering the drivers side window of the small red truck which sent glass flying into the cab and the faces of the driver and his passenger.
The violent mob could clearly be seen waiting for motorists to approach as they blocked traffic and threw objects, seemingly unchecked by local law enforcement in the area for some time. With all of the violence and chaos instigated by far left-extremist on Sunday, it is shocking that only 4 arrests were made, of those arrested were; William Lloyd Isham, 34 who is facing charges of interfering with a Police Officer, Nathan McFarland, 33 is facing charges of disorderly conduct in the second degree, and Andrew Alan Foy, 34 is facing charges of disorderly conduct in the second degree.
Though crimes such as Reckless Endangerment ORS 163.195, Menacing ORS 163.190, Unlawful use of teargas/mace ORS 163.212, and many other crimes were committed on Sunday, the most profound were the Hate and Bias crimes committed by far left extremists against motorists for their race, gender and perceived religious beliefs and national origin. Far left extremists and their supporters are not quiet about their distain for White males, Christianity, the American Flag or America. Watching the videos one can clearly see that each individual attacked on Sunday meets all or part of the above criteria. One well known far left sympathizer and suspected ANTIFA affiliate made a recorded video statement while talking to “The Black Conservative Preacher” (you will learn more about BCP in a separate article) stated that the only reason he was talking to BCP was because BCP was “black” and referred to the white individuals standing next to The Black Conservative Preacher as “Trash” . It was not lost on BCP that he was being judged by the color of his skin instead of the content of his character or value as a human being. The hypocrisy and racism of the far left is undeniable and Sundays crimes should be evaluated as the hate crimes that they really are. In a follow up article you will hear more about the attacks that took place on Sunday March 28th 2021.
Of note the last few years have brought much change to our state due to rural forest fires and riots on the streets of Portland. We see an exodus form our state on one side and a migration of homeless encampments everywhere. None of us want anyone out on the streets. Still, we need to operate our government. How does this affect our election process?
Towns have burned down from our forest fires. Businesses contend with COVID-19 operational restrictions. People have lost or changed jobs. We learned a new term: ‘essential' work. Second amendment law infringements motivate people to move away. Things are different in Oregon.
The Transition Project on Irving currently has 381 active voters and 1,802 inactive voters registered when I checked with Multnomah County Elections officer, Eric Sample. The people registered to vote at this address get some services here such as their mail. I question if we should be saying these are permanent residences and never require their address to be updated as HB 2681 would change, Currently, anyone would need to vote or update their address within the 10 years. If they don’t vote for 10 years, that might be an indication that they are living somewhere else. HB 2681 would remove any requirement to vote or update the address.
I also understand from Eric Sample that he estimated somewhere between a few hundred and a thousand people were registered at the elections office. He said it was difficult to look up by address without checking specific voter, although their office was able to check the other address for me.
Portland has acquired some motels in the area to house homeless folks. There are a number of other homeless facilities in just Multnomah County. God bless all the people who made this happen to bring some comfort and protection to our neighbors. These facilities are not permanent residences. They are temporary facilities by design.
Representative Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) has introduced HB 2681, which reads “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.”
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The Election Assistance Commission suggests as well as Oregon used to require a voter to vote in 2 consecutive federal elections or be removed from the voter rolls. Secretary Richardson moved to have that change to 10 years. With our homeless population on the rise, fires destroying whole towns, and changing demographics we should not go to ‘never update’ the voter rolls but instead tighten, go back to the four year Supreme Court sanctioned time frame, if we want our population to be accurately represented in the vote. If our goal is to have accurate voter lists.
Most states require proof of residency. We do not. HB 2681 will weaken our voter rolls. Our voter rolls will become bloated and cost tax payers more money to deliver ballots to people who no longer live here. Just plain old dirty voter rolls.
When voters loose confidence in the election they stop voting. We must build confidence in our election process and that starts with clean voter rolls.
The House Rules Committee will have a work session on this bill and consider amendments on Thursday April 1 at 1:00pm. No fooling.
Waiting in the wings for a work session is HB 2991, introduced by Barbara Smith Warner (D-Portland), seemingly a spokesperson for BIPOC. The bill requires the Legislative Policy and Research Office to prepare an estimated racial and ethnic impact statement, if requested by a member or committee of the Legislature to determine the effect on “traditionally marginalized groups.” If a negative impact is estimated, the bill cannot be moved to the floor of either chamber.
For many years, bills were required to have a fiscal impact statement -- what the cost was expected to be for state government -- and a revenue impact statement if either were applicable. Recently, bills are required to have an Open Government Impact Statement. Perhaps we're seeing the mushrooming of different kinds of "statements" that need to follow bills around. One can imagine a "Carbon Footprint" statement, but let's not say that too loudly.
What might seem to be beneficial for the “traditionally marginalized groups”, could have grave unforeseen consequences. These groups are defined as:
(b) Persons with disabilities
(c) Blacks or African-Americans
(d) Hispanic or Latinx persons
(e) Asians or Pacific Islanders
(f) American Indians, or
(g) Alaska Natives
The statement is to be “impartial, simple and understandable” including the “methodologies and assumptions used in preparing the estimate.” But then it violates its own “impartial” requirement by “including a description of any consultation with community-based organizations or persons with expertise in the impact of implicit or inherent bias on traditionally marginalized groups.” Where is the impartiality when only the marginalized communities are consulted?
To further restrict the bills being introduced, the committee must consider ways to eliminate or mitigate the estimated negative impact on any “traditionally marginalized groups,” and must be resolved for a positive impact before it can be moved to the floor for a vote. Why not make this a resolution for everyone?
These statements would be very time consuming to document a subjective guess that has no basis in fact, and make it look impartial with an underlying assumption that all bills will be partial to the “traditionally marginalized” with a blind eye to equity. At what point does it become "reverse discrimination?" When there is an overwhelming benefit or handout to the 'underprivileged' ‘underserved’ to such an extent that it affects every law, then socialism has taken control. Oregon's population is 85.06% white. So, the under-represent is 15% of the total population. How much does the 85% have to give through taxes, jobs, opportunities, businesses before it violates the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. which says: “No State make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privilege or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Public policy covers everyone equally and when you start naming a group, it is no longer equality.
As much as BIPOC wants to equalize social and economic circumstances, the more they dig a hole right back into a class society that is kept by government. When the free market is manipulated with estimates aimed at a specific group, the results are never economically sound.