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Linfield University and Stable Higher Education
President Davis is standing his ground

Linfield University is a small college located in McMinnville. big changes at a small University.

Miles Davis has been president of Linfield University since 2018. Enrollment at the University is up 40% since he took the helm. A black man from humble beginnings with no Ivy League credentials, he has offered buyouts to 13 professors in liberal-arts programs with shrinking enrollments. Most of the over 4600 institutions of higher learning in the U.S. are bleeding money. Quietly going broke would be a more direct way of stating their condition.

Students keep funding the economically unsound higher education system with ever larger government backed loans many hope they won’t have to repay. Miles Davis is trying to get out ahead of the unstable economic problem by returning to education that prepares students to make a living in a free market world in addition to gaining a well-rounded education. He is also concerned that “schools are failing to encourage open-mindedness”, with professors “coming into academia believing their narrow minded perspective is right.”

Linfield Trustees prepared to finalize a change to their governance that would give nursing and business programs equal representation to liberal-arts on Linfield’s board. Two thirds of Linfield’s graduates come from its nursing and business programs. A Jewish liberal-arts professor was the faculty representative designated by opposing viewpoints. Going beyond arguments concerned with a proper response to declining enrollments in liberal-arts, he cited past claims of sexual harassment against trustees on the board to discredit their decisions to elevate nursing and business representation on the board.

Miles Davis fought back claiming the professor was unfairly hurting the University for personal reasons. The professor was fired by his dean, provost and legal counsel not the board of trustees. 2000 professors nationwide have signed a letter in defense of this “whistleblower”. Claims of restricted free speech and threats to faculty governance are lead arguments in their May 17th announcement of an investigation into the firing. President Davis is standing his ground claiming change is necessary and not without challenges.

--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2021-05-26 11:46:45Last Update: 2021-05-26 12:01:18

Review: Climate Change: A Convenient Truth
So, in which group are you?

Finally, a book on climate that anyone can understand. If you master the forty-eight short chapters in this little book you will be well on your way to understanding the basics of climate change: Man’s part and Nature’s. This is a book that needs to be read more than once and then shared with your friends. Careful reading should convince you that even a majority can be wrong.

A lot has been written about global warming/climate change, especially in the last couple of years. We have been led to believe that if we do not take immediate, expensive and decisive action the world as we know it will come to a dramatic end.

But, is it true? Where is the evidence that man is the cause of this warming? Can we do anything about it, or do we just let nature have its way?

No-one can dispute the fact that the earth is warming. It has continued to warm since the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago. At one time North Idaho was buried under a mile of ice.

But what is the evidence that man is the chief cause of this warming, or that we can stop a further increase in temperature simply by ending our use of all fossil fuels, (coal, oil, natural gas etc.)? This book was written for you. It is time that you had a chance to know the truth. The mainstream media wants to convince you that we are headed for a catastrophe if we simply do nothing. Twelve years ago we were told we only had ten years left, yet those ten years have come and gone without any change in our climate.

There are three types of people who consider climate change.
  1. The first is the government paid scientists and those associated with them who will not be convinced no matter what is said, because if they had to admit they were wrong it would end their employment.
  2. The second are those who only watch television, never pick up a book and really do not want to know the truth until their house goes dark and it is too late to do anything about it.
  3. The third group includes a large number of people who have received much conflicting information and still do not know the truth, yet they seek to understand it.
So, in which group are you? This book was written for the third group. It is written so you can understand climate change and how it affects you. You have to understand that the program of the first group has to do with a lot more than just climate. You can have no effect on them unless you know the truth.

There were some great principles in the founding of America, which allowed us to use our coal, oil and natural gas to make America the greatest nation in the world -- a nation that was ready and able to help other peoples when they had dire needs from floods, earthquakes, fires, and other calamities. If the program of the Green New Deal becomes the law of the land we may never be able to help the needy again.

The book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-26 11:12:33Last Update: 2021-05-26 11:20:23

Vaccine Passports: Legal Action Taken
“This guidance puts Oregon at odds with the CDC, the White House, and nearly every other state in the country”

Oregon once again made national headlines last week for being the first state in the union to move forward with a vaccine verification system for its residents.

The May 18 Interim Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals, from the Oregon Health Authority, reads “a business, employer or faith institution that has a policy requesting and checking for proof of vaccination and requests and reviews proof of vaccination may permit fully vaccinated individuals with proof of vaccination to go without a mask, face covering or face shield, and does not need to enforce physical distancing requirements for such individuals”.

The Freedom Foundation quickly released a statement, condemning the guidance and compelling the governor to rescind the order.

“The Freedom Foundation was the first to sue Gov. Brown over her mask mandates last year and we’re prepared to fight her in court over this ludicrous vaccine passport, as well.

Today, The Freedom Foundation began making good on its promise to challenge Governor Kate Brown’s implementation of “vaccine passports” in Oregon.

A demand letter sent to Governor Brown and the Oregon Health Authority argues that the guidance violates the right to be free from compelled speech and association guaranteed by the First Amendment, the right to informational privacy guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, and the right to equal protection of the law, also guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.

The letter gives the Governor three options – rescind the order entirely, provide Oregonians data to justify why the guidance is necessary, or expect the matter to be resolved in court.

“The fact that the Governor has not yet rescinded the order is laughable,” said Jason Dudash, Oregon Director of the Freedom Foundation.

Dudash continued, “This guidance puts Oregon’s Coronavirus response at odds with the CDC, the White House, and nearly every other state in the country, save our equally tyrannical governor to the north, Jay Inslee. Assuredly this is not because our Governor has a brilliant mind for public health policy; rather it’s because everyone else can recognize the glaring flaws and significant constitutional issues that exist in implementing a policy such as this”.

“At every step through this pandemic, Gov. Brown has showcased her disdain and her distrust of Oregonians. She needs to recognize that Oregonians from every walk of life have made immense sacrifices over the last year to get through the pandemic, and she should trust that we will continue to do the work to get to the finish line without the need for her regressive policymaking”.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-26 10:08:30Last Update: 2021-05-26 11:32:35

Republicans Demand End to Vaccine Passports
“We request that you end vaccine passport immediately”

In a letter to Governor Kate Brown Oregon House Republicans are requesting that the Governor end the vaccine passport system that is nominally in place in Oregon. Anecdotally, compliance with the decree -- at least in terms of retail establishments actually checking for proof of vaccination status -- has been spotty.

The letter describes policies in both Washington and California -- both of which are less strict than Oregon's and then goes on to make the case for Oregon:

Unlike Washington and California, Oregon’s response to the announcement from the White House and the CDC puts pressure on businesses and exposes front-line workers to confrontation. Patrons are required to either display proof of vaccination as a passport or continue to wear masks regardless of their vaccine or immunity status. Both options for businesses contradict CDC guidelines.

At the beginning of the pandemic Oregon committed to aligning regulations with Washington and California. We should not become an outlier now. We are reaching the end of the pandemic and should be lifting mandates, not adding new ones.

The letter concludes with the request that the Governor "end this vaccine passport/verification system immediately."

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-25 16:03:39Last Update: 2021-05-26 08:27:18

Senate Republicans Push for Tax Relief for Disabled Veterans
Democrats vote down the proposal

In an attempt to help disabled veterans and their families with the cost of housing, Senate Republicans attempted to force a vote on SB 348, a bill that would give disabled veterans property tax relief.

In 2019, a large bipartisan group of 26 Senators sponsored SB 500, a bill that would have enacted the same framework to reduce veterans' property taxes. The bill passed unanimously out of the Senate, where it died in the House of Representatives.

“The Senate has previously shown our commitment to making housing more affordable for veterans,” Senator Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River), who made the motion to withdraw the bill from committee on the Senate floor, said. “More bold action is needed to get this policy across the finish line. I was proud to have supported this bill.”

“We must find creative ways to get down the cost of housing for everyone, but especially veterans,” Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) said. “The Senate had an opportunity to recognize the sacrifices that veterans make for our freedom in a very tangible way today. I am disappointed Democrats turned down that opportunity.”

Democrats voted in lockstep to defeat the move. The bill will remain in the Finance and Revenue committee, where thus far it has not been scheduled for a public hearing by the Democrat committee chair, Senator Ginny Burdick (D-Portland).

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-25 12:43:08

Crater Lake Bill Signed by Governor
“This is something all Oregonians can take pride in”

In 1902 President Theodore Roosevelt set aside territory in south central Oregon to create Crater Lake National Park on May 22nd. This year, 119 years later, Crater Lake National Park gets its own official day in Oregon. State Representative E. Werner Reschke (R-Klamath Falls) introduced HB 3162 and teamed up with State Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville) to build a coalition of supporting legislators to shepherd the bill to passage.

“We were able to get support from urban legislators and rural legislators, Democrats and Republicans, Senators and Representatives to join us in designating May 22nd as Crater Lake National Park Day in Oregon,” said Representative Reschke. “Crater Lake National Park is Oregon’s only national park. It is a special place; it needed its own special day.”

Located in Klamath County, Crater Lake was formed by an eruption on Mount Mazama 7,700 years ago. Local Native Americans witnessed the collapse of Mount Mazama and kept the event alive in their legends. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and 9th deepest in the world. 750,000 people a year, from around the world visit Crater Lake National Park on an annual basis.

“Crater Lake National Park is renown for its pristine, deep blue water, and the amazing 360- degree bowl that majestically surrounds the lake. Crater Lake National Park is truly a national treasure located in Klamath County Oregon. We need to celebrate Oregon’s only national park and now we have a day to do just that. This is something all Oregonians can take pride in,” said Rep. Reschke.

Governor Brown signed HB 3162 into law on May 21, 2021.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-25 09:37:11Last Update: 2021-05-25 09:56:59

Complaint Filed Against Former Yamhill County Counsel
He and others used Yamhill County government to circumvent land use law.

On May 24th a complaint was filed with the Oregon State Bar against Yamhill County Chief Counsel Timothy “Todd” Sadlo. The Oregon State Bar Association is the disciplinary agency for lawyers in Oregon.

Yamhill County began to acquire property and started construction on a recreational trail in rural Yamhill County. Several residents objected and the Land Use Board of Appeals denied the County's request for variances.

The complaint was filed on behalf of farmers who have been plaintiffs in five actions against the County before the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals over a three year period. The County, with Sadlo as counsel, has lost those actions every time. The complaint alleges illegal activity that stemmed from County Counsel ignoring Land Use Board of Appeals directives while in remand.

Recently requested public records show Sadlo’s actions were a deliberate part of a strategy involving others inside and outside of Yamhill County government to circumvent land use law. His role in the matter has the County potentially liable for millions of dollars in grant money obtained through ODOT under false pretenses. A June 2020 email from ODOT warned the County its actions may have negative consequences. He could also be charged with violating ORS 294.100 which deals with government officials who willfully and wantonly squander public funds. That carries a high level of proof and a much higher penalty of personal financial liability.

Sadlo was named applicant for a pedestrian pathway on an abandoned rail right-of-way by the 2012 Board of Commissioners. The Commissioners acted on an official but false report that said farmers had no objection to the Trail. The Trail was to be a recreational facility inserted into exclusive farm use zoning. Under Oregon’s Land Use Law the pathway, named Yamhelas-Westsider Trail, would be a non-conforming use. To operate the non-conforming recreational pathway the County would need to obtain a Conditional Use Permit before proceeding. To receive such a permit the County would first have to pass an Agriculture Impact Study showing no substantial harm to farming practices.

The County failed to pass such a Study but proceeded to buy the abandoned right of way and begin construction of a bridge substantial enough to carry light rail. A change to the Board of Commissioners brought the improper actions to light and now Sadlo and other County staff complicit in the matter are likely to be held accountable. Improper actions also involved two past commissioners and one current commissioner who will face the voters in 2022.

--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2021-05-25 07:15:36Last Update: 2021-05-25 09:37:11

Land Use in Yamhill County
Is the system working?

The Department of Land Conservation and Development is responsible for land use policy in Oregon. Part of their mission is to balance 19 different goals intertwined with land use. Three of their many goals are the preservation of farmland, provide for housing and provide for commercial growth. Yamhill County has need for all three.

Agriculture built this county and is still the number one industry. Population growth has used up most of the inventory of buildable residential sites within the Urban Growth Boundaries of Yamhill County’s cities and towns.

Urban Growth Boundaries, used to reign in urban sprawl and define areas of buildable land, were established near 45 years ago. Since then they have expanded about 20% while the population has doubled. Originally land use planning was to have a 20 year supply of residential land in inventory. Oregon has not kept pace with that goal, putting a strain on housing and artificially increasing the price of an average home.

Yamhill County has many second and third generation residents, but will future generations find a home and job here, or will they have to move away.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2021-05-24 18:38:05Last Update: 2021-05-24 18:55:03

Senator Heard Votes ‘Yes’
Only bills intended to restore freedom

Senator Dallas Heard (R-Roseburg) released the following statement:

“Today we as Senate Republicans pulled to the floor SB 867 which would have required public schools return to full-time and in-person classroom instruction during the 2021-2022 school year. For the first time this entire session I was able to vote yes on a measure.

Only bills intended to restore the freedoms stolen from our citizens during the past 14 months should be passing the Senate floor until the people of Oregon have been restored to their rightful place in the State Capitol building. Our children's education has suffered a great and lasting impact due to the reckless decisions made by Kate Brown and her supporters within the Democrat elected power base. If we, as Oregonians, hope to continue to be a prosperous and blessed people, we must restore our children to their rightful place in the classroom.

I am calling on the free people of Oregon to demand that their elected House and Senate members legislatively strip Kate Brown of her emergency powers that she has repeatedly used in an abusive, discriminatory, and tyrannical manner by passing SR 2.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-24 18:33:07Last Update: 2021-05-24 18:38:05

Segregation Returns to Oregon
If you’re not vaccinated, get ready to be a part of the “out” group

Today Governor Brown announced that “Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will be revising health and safety protocols for businesses in Lower Risk counties to allow for the option of creating vaccinated sections. Before this latest move of the goal posts, the following applied to the Low Risk categories:

Eating and Drinking Establishments: Indoor Recreational and Fitness Businesses (gyms, indoor K-12 sports and indoor recreation activities) Indoor & Outdoor Entertainment Establishments (aquariums, movie theaters, museums, concerts) Retail Stores / Indoor and Outdoor Shopping Centers / Malls Faith Institutions The change announced by Brown states that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is updating the guidance for Lower Risk counties allowing the option for vaccinated sections for businesses, venues, and faith institutions. This means that: The press release also says that the Portland Trail Blazers drove the conversation to promote the changes. They will “be the first indoor sports venue in Oregon to welcome fans back to vaccinated sections this week” Governor Brown stated. The Portland Trail Blazers appear to be going against the recent movement by professional athletes and sports teams who have been speaking out against discrimination and lack of equity. The adoption of segregated seating sections may very well end up be discriminating and take the equity discussion in the opposite direction intended.

The Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities are one of the lowest vaccinated groups in Oregon, according to OHA data. Approximately 23% compared to the white population at 38% and the total population of almost 51%. Does this mean that the Moda Center will not only segregate vaccinated from unvaccinated, but inadvertently also separate Oregonians by race?

--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-05-24 13:52:54Last Update: 2021-05-24 14:10:54

Senate Republicans Vote to Get Kids Back in School
Democrats kill bill along party lines, continuing the Governor’s power to lock kids out of the classroom

Senate Republicans have attempted to pass SB 867, a bill that would reopen schools for full-time, in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year.

According to data, Governor Brown’s arbitrary COVID-19 metrics are putting Oregon third-worst in the country on school re-openings. Barely 1/3rd of Oregon schools are in “On-Site” instruction while the majority are in hybrid.

“Kids deserve to be in the classroom,” Senator Dick Anderson, chief sponsor of the legislation, said. “It’s past time to give students a guarantee that they will get a real education next year. This past year and a half has devastated learning for our kids and wreaked havoc for parents trying to make ends meet. This bill was about making a promise to Oregon students that their education matters.”

Recent scientific studies have shown that kids hospitalized for COVID have been overcounted, further quelling fears about COVID-19 in schools. Just over a week ago, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten came out in support of getting American students back into the classroom for full-time instruction:

"Given current circumstances, nothing should stand in the way of fully reopening our public schools this fall and keeping them open,” Weingarten said in a speech. "The United States will not be fully back until we are fully back in school. And my union is all in.”

“The evidence is overwhelming that schools are safe, but Democrats believe the science is different here in Oregon. Other states have returned kids to the classroom, but our students and families are still struggling with a Governor that doesn’t listen and an education system that isn't required to meet their needs,” Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) said.

Republicans have advocated to fully fund and fully reopen K-12 schools with school districts’ recommended budget of $9.6 billion. Senate Republicans have also put forward a robust education reform agenda this session that would have given kids and parents more control over their education. Democrats have blocked all but one of them.

SB 867 was blocked from consideration by Democrats along party lines, leaving in limbo another year of education for Oregon students.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-24 12:14:28Last Update: 2021-05-24 12:48:02

Let’s Make Slavery Illegal in Oregon
We may have become too sensitive

Senator James Manning Jr (D-Eugene), Senator Lew Frederick (D-Portland), and Senator Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) would like us to believe that Oregon was and is a slave state by what is written in the Oregon Constitution, Article I, Section 34. This is what that section reads on the Secretary of State’s website:

Section 34. Slavery or involuntary servitude. There shall be neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude in the State, otherwise than as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. -- [Added to Bill of Rights as unnumbered section by vote of the people at time of adoption of the Oregon Constitution in accordance with section 4 of Article XVIII thereof]

These legislators have introduced SJR 10, which proposes to amend Section 34 “to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude in all circumstances.” There proposed revision would read: Sec. 34. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this state. Deleting: [the State, otherwise than as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted].

Perhaps they didn’t see the reference to Article XVIII, Section 4, which references and repeats the same wording referring to Article I, Sec. 34. In 1925, Oregon voters repealed the constitutional provisions relating to the exclusion of African-Americans. However, the language relating to race remained in the Oregon Constitution. In 2002, SJR. 7, 2001, the voters passed Ballot Measure 14 removing historical race references. At that time, Section 34 did not trigger any connection between slavery as a race identification for the incarcerated.

We may have become too sensitive to now suggest actual circumstances would tie race together with slavery in the context of Section 34. Removing "otherwise than as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” was not meant to imply the incarcerated were slaves any more than anyone else. Prisons employ the incarcerated, whether voluntary or involuntary servitude, to maintain the facilities, clean our highways, make our license plate, among other things. If we remove the “involuntary” from chore assignment and discipline assignment, we have gutted the rehabilitation framework to incorporate them back into society.

If this bill is put to the voters, and we ignorantly pass it, how many people will the state need to employ, at taxpayer’s expense, to do the work that prisoners now do?

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-05-24 11:52:34Last Update: 2021-05-24 12:14:28

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