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OSP Will Enforce Mask Wearing at State Fair
Required both indoors and outdoors

Many Oregonians have recently began to question whether the State Fair would happen at all this year, or if Governor Brown would try to shut the event down citing Coronavirus safety measures. Many people are eager to ditch the government restrictions and return to normal living after a year and a half of restrictions, lock-downs and canceled events.

It seems that the 2021 Oregon State Fair will happen, and the Oregon State Police will provide law enforcement services during the 11-day event. They apparently will also be carrying out Kate Brown's recent orders that everyone must wear a mask, both indoors and outdoors, regardless of vaccination status.

The Oregon State Police has a temporary command center at the fair, which includes a dispatch console. This command center gives OSP Troopers the ability to quickly facilitate remedies to a wide variety of incidents that can come up at the State Fair. The Oregon State Fair starts this Friday and runs through September 6, 2021.

An OSP Trooper will be stationed at each entrance greeting every visitor who comes to the fair.

They also will be encouraging parents to utilize the “if lost” bracelets that the fair provides. Parents or guardians will be asked to write their cell phone number on the inside of a bright yellow “if lost” bracelet and place it on their child’s wrist. If the child is separated, Troopers can easily reunite the child by calling the cell phone. It is beneficial; to have a same-day photograph of your child should they become separated from adult supervision. A height display will be positioned at each pedestrian entrance, which provides the appropriate backdrop, if needed, for law enforcement. By taking these safety precautions, OSP says Troopers will have the needed information to quickly reunite families.

OSP says Troopers are always looking for fair patrons to be vigilant with their surroundings.

“We ask anyone who witnesses criminal or disruptive activities to quickly report any incidents by calling OSP at *OSP from a mobile or 503-375-3555,” encourages Lt. Zohner.

The Oregon State Police says that masks will be required to be worn by all guests ages 5 and up, exhibitors, employees, and volunteers while on the Oregon State Fairgrounds, in both indoor and outdoor locations.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-08-26 18:48:47Last Update: 2021-08-26 19:12:46

Building Back Basics in Education
“I do a lot of public record

Jeanette Schade is becoming a national recognized name for what she is doing to restore the Oregon education system. Her journey started when she ran for Beaverton School Board, but as soon as she started campaigning against critical race theory (CRT) and comprehensive sexual education the union came out against her. She counts her loss as a blessing because she can more effectively campaign for better education without the restraints of a school board position. However, she is not totally convinced she lost and is looking into anomalies in the election.

School boards across the state are buying into critical race theory motivated her to organize a PAC, Build Back Basics in Education. When the Beaverton School Board scheduled a CRT retreat, she knew it was time for action. Opposed to the board’s direction coupled with not listening to parents, when the school board again shut out parents from the August 30 meeting, Schade took it as a challenge. She has scheduled a Beaverton Parent/Community School Board Meeting and Rally at the same time at the district office starting at 5:30 pm with an American Flag wave. It will be livestreamed on YouTube and parents are invited to bring their comments and be heard.

Schade says the agenda will include: “two naturopathic Doctors: Robin Sielaff and Julie Glass who will talk on masks and vaccines regarding kids. Two lawyers: Paul Janzen and Bob Snee will talk on the mandates and what to do. The rest will come from parents and community members who will get 3 minutes to speak on a topic regarding schools that they so choose.” She is also encouraging people to write the school board.

Schade says, “I talk to people all over the state almost daily as they email or call me. Most of what I do is local in the tri-county area. I do a lot of public record's requests to see what the district is doing and how they are spending taxpayer dollars. I also speak at various groups who invite me, and I talk about how CRT is in our schools and how to combat it.” She is also a scheduled speaker at the Western Liberty Network annual conference in February, 2022.

“What’s happening in this district is happening statewide,” and she hopes to get parents activated.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-08-25 18:34:09Last Update: 2021-08-26 09:36:21

Kicker Gonna Kick
“It’s clear that Democrats raided $15 million from the Kicker for no good reason. ”

The Office of Economic Analysis has presented the quarterly revenue forecast, which is the final forecast for the fiscal biennium. It confirmed that Oregon taxpayers will receive a $1.9 billion Kicker -- the largest kicker in the history of the kicker. The money will be returned to taxpayers in the form of a tax credit on the next state tax filing.

The median taxpayer can expect to receive a credit of $420, while the average is estimated to be $850.The corporate Kicker will send an additional $850 million to K-12 schools. The state budget will also have an ending fund balance of $699 million.

The strong revenue growth seen during the 2019-21 biennium put a cap on a decade of unprecedented expansion in Oregon’s General Fund revenues. Over the past decade, General Fund revenues have almost doubled from around $12 billion per year to around $24 billion. Over the decade as a whole, kicker payments amounted to $2.6 billion, reducing cumulative General Fund resources by 2.6 percent. Last biennium, kicker payments took away half of the General Fund growth. Looking forward, the current $1.9 billion kicker reduces 2021-23 revenues as well.

Senate GOP Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) issued a statement that said, “It’s clear that Democrats raided $15 million from the Kicker for no good reason. Unprecedented deficit stimulus spending by the federal government and Oregonians stepping up to support businesses during the Governor’s shutdowns has given the state excess money.

“The legislature now has money to invest in COVID and wildfire response and recovery and preparing for upcoming unknown expenses in the next biennium. Most importantly, our kids need to be in school full-time to get caught up after a year of learning loss. This money can help our kids recover.”

House Republican Leader Christine Drazan took a dim view of Oregon's progress. “Despite a budget that has doubled in ten years, the state is worse off today for our students’ education, housing prices, and the safety of our communities. State agencies have fumbled distribution of unemployment checks and rent assistance to those in desperate need. The state has struggled to protect foster kids. The cost of higher education is a barrier for students and families.

“The spending spree of the last decade has not solved Oregonians’ problems. Billions in new taxes did not make things better and the state can’t continue to operate this way. The lowest hospital bed per capita, bottom of the nation graduation rates, deteriorating safety for communities, and persistent homelessness are unacceptable.

“While it is great for the state that we have an increase in tax revenues, it is not the same thing as real progress for Oregonians.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-08-25 10:49:54Last Update: 2021-08-25 12:38:51

Clatsop County Commissioner Sends Letter to Governor Brown
Expresses concern over vaccine mandates

A Commissioner from Clatsop County Oregon has now sent Governor Kate Brown a letter expressing concern, in response to the recent vaccine mandate announcement.

The letter can be read here:

Dear Governor Brown,

As a member of the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners, I respectfully request the State of Oregon consider the impacts of vaccination mandates on rural schools, volunteer fire agencies and other vaccine mandated sectors.

For Clatsop County I am particularly concerned for the support staff, custodians, bus drivers and teachers’ aides that serve as the foundation for our K-12 schools.

In rural Oregon, vaccine hesitancy is real and many hard-working Oregonians will be required to choose between the vaccine and their personal freedom (and, thus, job). As you can imagine, many will choose personal freedom.

It is important that even during a pandemic, government is respectful of individual rights and freedoms.

We need to be sensitive to the legacy current decisions will have on the longstanding relationship between the government and citizens.

Maintaining public trust and confidence is a hallmark to local governance – vaccine mandates will forever change this trust balance – and not in a positive manner.

After eighteen long months of responding to the pandemic, we have learned many things, including the efficacy of masks, social distancing, personal hygiene and staying home when sick. While the vaccine is a valuable tool that Clatsop County will continue to advocate for and dispense, it is not without skeptics in our community.

I ask that you allow schools, hospitals, rural fire agencies and others to make local decisions on whether and how mandates are structured, communicated and implemented.

Our response to COVID-19 cannot be a one size fits all – local control, local values and local decisions are the path forward.

As we anticipate the inevitable COVID surges, lets continue to work together to educate, vaccinate, test and support those most in need, but simultaneously allow local agencies and industries to be the final decision-maker as to the specifics of their local response/approach.

Mandates had their time and place in the early stages of the pandemic; let’s make the transition to the more typical and desirable approach of local community-based decision- making and accountability based on an underlying respect and acknowledgement of personal rights and freedom.

Thanks for your consideration.


Courtney Bangs

Clatsop County Commissioner, District 4

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-08-24 22:57:09Last Update: 2021-08-27 20:32:36

Unemployment in Oregon Drops
With online shopping growing, the transportation industry has exploded

According to the Oregon Employment Department, Oregon's unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% in July from 5.6% in June. July was the 15th consecutive monthly decline in Oregon's unemployment rate. The reduction in the unemployment rate accelerated over the past two months with a 0.2 percentage point drop in June followed by a 0.4 point drop in July. These improvements followed slow declines of 0.1 point per month in each of the first five months of 2021.

Oregon's July unemployment rate declined dramatically from its high of 13.2% in April 2020, at the peak of the last recession, to 5.2% in July. However, the state's unemployment rate is still moderately above the period of record low rates in the years prior to the pandemic. During January 2017 through March 2020, Oregon's unemployment rate was fairly steady, averaging 3.9%.

For the past several years, Oregon's unemployment rate generally has closely tracked the U.S. unemployment rate. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.4% in July from 5.9% in June.

Government job gains in July were concentrated in local government — in contrast with federal government and state government which both experienced their normal seasonal pattern in July. Throughout the economic recovery of the past year, local government averaged more than 20,000 jobs below its pre-recession level of about 230,000. But in July, seasonally adjusted employment shot upward by 12,800 jobs. Likely factors in the stronger July pattern this year include schools not laying off the typical numbers of employees for the summer and cities and counties ramping up employment closer to pre-pandemic levels.

Leisure and hospitality expanded rapidly in July, adding 7,100 jobs. Despite this gain, it still accounts for the bulk of Oregon's jobs not recovered since early 2020, with 44,500 jobs left to recover to reach the prior peak month of February 2020. The industry has regained 60% of jobs lost early in the pandemic.

Transportation, warehousing, and utilities declined by 2,500 jobs in July. This loss may reflect a change in the seasonal pattern of the industry over the past two years. With online shopping and delivery rapidly growing, the industry has exploded over the last few years. It ramped up by 12,500 jobs between April and December of last year, which was about double the industry's seasonal hiring a few years prior. Despite the recent hiccup in July, the industry is still 5,100 jobs above its July 2019 total of 70,400 jobs.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-08-24 15:52:25

Emergency SNAP Benefits to Continue in Oregon
402,000 SNAP households will receive $65 million in extra food benefits

In a news release, the Oregon Department of Human Services announced that most Oregonians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits -- previously known as "food stamps" -- will receive emergency allotments in September.

The federal government has approved emergency allotments every month since March 2020. This gives SNAP recipients additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In September, approximately 402,000 SNAP households will receive approximately $65 million in extra food benefits in addition to their regular SNAP benefits.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to provide emergency benefits to most SNAP households in Oregon,” said Dan Haun, director of the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Self-Sufficiency Program. “We also know that many Oregonians are still struggling to meet their basic needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we encourage them to contact our partners at 211 and the Oregon Food Bank for support during this difficult time.”

Emergency allotments will be available on Sept. 11 for current SNAP households. New SNAP households will receive the emergency allotments Sept. 30 or Oct. 2.

SNAP recipients do not have to take any action to receive these supplemental benefits as they will be issued directly on their EBT cards.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-08-24 14:59:09Last Update: 2021-08-24 15:52:25

Kate Brown Demands Masks Worn Outside
Homeless are exempt

Governor Kate Brown has announced new statewide outdoor mask requirements to help stop the spread of the Delta variant.

Effective Friday, August 27, masks will be required in most public outdoor settings, including large outdoor events, where physical distancing is not possible, and regardless of vaccination status.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) also strongly recommends masking for outdoor gatherings at private residences when individuals from different households do not consistently maintain physical distance.

“The Delta variant is spreading fast and wide, throwing our state into a level of crisis we have not yet seen in the pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations are at a record high,” said Governor Brown. “Masks are a quick and simple tool we can immediately deploy to protect ourselves and our families, and quickly help stop further spread of COVID-19.

“The Delta variant is much more contagious than previous variants we’ve seen, and it has dramatically increased the amount of virus in our communities. Masks have proven to be effective at bringing case counts down, and are a necessary measure right now, even in some outdoor settings, to help fight COVID and protect one another.”

Under the Governor’s direction, the OHA rule will require masks for all individuals — regardless of vaccination status — in outdoor settings in which individuals from different households are unable to consistently maintain physical distance.

The rule does apply to fleeting encounters, such as two individuals walking by one another on a trail or in a park. While the rule does not apply to outdoor gatherings at private residences, masks are strongly recommended in those settings when individuals from different households do not consistently maintain physical distance.

“It is much easier for people with the Delta variant, compared to people who were sick last year, to infect others around them,” said State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger. “This is because they have one thousand times more virus in their nose – which means that those around them are much more likely to get sick because this variant behaves so differently. We are starting to see instances where cases are clustering around events, like outdoor music festivals, that happen outdoors. Wearing masks in crowded settings – even outdoors – will help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The rule aligns with the exceptions outlined in the recent statewide indoor mask requirements, and does not apply to: The OHA rule will go into effect this Friday, August 27, however Oregonians are strongly encouraged to immediately start wearing masks outdoors, as outlined above.

Governor Brown continued, “The combination of vaccines and masks is the most powerful way we can fight this latest surge of COVID-19 and save lives. Vaccination continues to be the best way you can protect yourself and your family from the Delta variant, and the most effective way we can help our exhausted nurses and doctors, who are working around the clock to treat Oregonians sick with COVID in our ICUs — the majority of which are unvaccinated individuals. With the full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine this week, we have additional reassurance that the vaccines are safe and effective.”

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-08-24 13:43:43Last Update: 2021-08-24 16:59:49

Public Comment Sought on Redistricting
“The Delta variant has changed everything.”

Every 10 years, the Oregon Legislature redraws the legislative and Congressional districts. Based on -- in their words -- growing hospitalization rates across the state due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) today announced that the upcoming public hearings of the House and Senate Redistricting Committees will be moved to a virtual format.

“While the committees had hoped to visit communities across Oregon in person, the recent surge in COVID-19 cases has made this increasingly risky to public health. More Oregonians are now in our hospitals, intensive care units, or on ventilators than ever before in this pandemic. Our hospitals, healthcare workers, and frontline staff are overwhelmed. The Delta variant has changed everything.

“After consulting with infectious disease doctors, public health experts, and the bipartisan chairs and vice-chair of the House and Senate Redistricting committees, we have decided to move September’s redistricting public hearings to a virtual format. This will ensure a safe, transparent process where Oregonians from every community can make their voice heard and provide input on Oregon’s next set of legislative and congressional maps.”

House Redistricting Committee Co-Chair Shelly Boshart Davis (R-Albany) responded to the announcement with the following statement and what it means for the process moving forward. “It’s unfortunate that we can no longer meet with Oregonians in-person to hear their ideas and concerns regarding redistricting. Losing the opportunity for face-to-face interactions certainly has downsides.

"However," continued Boshart Davis, "I encourage everyone who was planning to attend to sign up for these virtual hearings and to share with your friends and neighbors. Your comments made on the record will have the same weight and importance for legislators as we continue this process. I look forward to working with my fellow co-chair and committee members to maximize the opportunities for individuals to testify so that we don’t lose any voices by switching to an online platform.”

The new schedule for the September Redistricting Public Hearings can be found below. Meetings will be held virtually and organized to hear from residents of each current congressional district. Oregonians can participate by signing up for video or phone testimony, uploading written testimony, or by submitting a map for consideration by September 7.

Wednesday, September 8
8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Residents of Congressional District 1
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Residents of Congressional District 2
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Residents of Congressional District 3
Thursday, September 9
8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Residents of Congressional District 4
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Residents of Congressional District 5
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Residents of Congressional District 1
Friday, September 10
8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Residents of Congressional District 2
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Residents of Congressional District 3
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Residents of Congressional District 4
Monday, September 13
8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Residents of Congressional District 5
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Statewide: open to residents of any district
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Statewide: open to residents of any district

You can find your congressional district on the Legislative website, by entering your address in the top-right corner and clicking the “Congress” tab.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-08-23 13:25:56Last Update: 2021-08-23 14:46:51

Non-Partisan Tim Harrold Announces for Governor
“It has taken a very long time for our state government to step up and do something.”

From the wine-tasting town of Dundee, just down highway 99-W from Newberg, comes Tim Harrold, a candidate for Governor who underscores and celebrates the fact that he is not affiliated with any political party and has no political experience. He's not shy about policy though, and he's not afraid to get specific.

He's open about how big-dollar transportation policy intersects with housing policy. "I really need help understanding this one. They want to spend $1.3 billion on a cap over I-5 in Portland [near the Rose Quarter] to, well, let Governor Brown explain it..."I began those conversations because I wanted to ensure that this project is part of addressing and not repeating the historic wrongs caused by the displacement of countless Black families, and the resulting generational damage that occurred. And I also did it because I truly believe that there was a win-win opportunity"

"So we're going to build an expensive cap on an over-crowded freeway, which will bring in new and expensive housing units to the neighborhood, which will cause upgraded development of the surrounding neighborhood, driving up the prices and more than likely gentrify the area."

Harrold is unhappy with Portland's response to crime, specifically the riots. "District Attorney Mike Schmidt has not been prosecuting extremist rioters because of political pressure. That is prohibited by the Oregon Constitution and he needs to be held accountable for not doing his job. He has violated his oath of office as set by the Oregon Constitution and he needs to be replaced. Law Enforcement needs to be empowered to do their job. I support Law Enforcement and understand the complexities of the social issues. But what happened this weekend is not what we are talking about when it comes to social issues."

For a non-politician, he's got a good grasp of the deeper nuances of how policy and legislation works. "In January of 2019 Governor Brown ordered a study of wildfire management after a bad 2018 fire season that burned 897,000 acres. In November of 2019, the study was released to the Governor. It was a 110-page document that outlined how Oregon could better mitigate wildfires and be better prepared. But instead of prioritizing any work around wildfire management state government did nothing with the study. As a result, in 2020 and 2021 combined to date we have 1,750,000+ acres burned, 6490+ structures burned, 342+ vehicles burned, 82+ people injured and 11 deaths. Not to mention the pets, livestock and treasured belongings you can't replace that were destroyed.

I have read SB 762 and believe it's a step in the right direction to address wildfires in Oregon. What troubles me is it has taken a very long time for our state government to step up and do something.

Harrold will have an uphill battle in a system built by the parties for the parties.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-08-23 11:25:34

Upheaval at the Newberg School Board
The left’s outrage proves these signs are politically motivated

About a year ago a group of citizens formed Newberg Dundee Strong and with it a political action committee, COPS (Community Oriented Public Servants). The group recruited and supported three candidates for Newberg School Board.

The campaign leading up to the May 2021 election produced two winners: Trevor Dehart and Renee Powell. Their election changed the complexion of the board. Parents of children in the school district began complaining that political signs were appearing in classrooms and were offended. Their complaints fell on deaf ears to leftist principals.

After hearing this news the school board was motivated to bring a vote to ban political signs -- notably pride flags and BLM flags -- and apparel worn by staff in the district. Word of this incoming vote caused over 500 citizens to write letters to the board and over 90 people signed up to speak at the online board meeting. The ban passed 4-3 during the August 10th school board meeting.

A firestorm in Oregon and even on a national level has erupted. Some supporters of the board's action say that if you don't agree with the left they will stop at nothing to destroy you and that the same radical left that trashed political signs during the election and claimed racism are trying to get board members fired from their jobs and removed from their positions.

The sole purpose of banning political signs was to remove politics from school, elevate education, and make it a place that is inclusive to everyone. BLM and pride flags represent a segment of the population and are offensive to many people, thus making schools non-inclusive. The left's outrage at this ban proves these signs are politically motivated. They promote inclusivity to all, so why would making school safe for everyone be bad? Students' first amendment rights to express themselves via the clothing they wear still stands and is encouraged.

There was a large BLM and Pride rally in Newberg last Friday where supporters held and waved their signs to support this movement. The public square is the appropriate place for this and should stay out of our schools.

--Robyn Wheatley

Post Date: 2021-08-22 12:39:16Last Update: 2021-08-22 15:03:25

Schrader Calls for Infrastructure, Despite Inflation Fears
Stimulus may be inflationary

Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR), along with eight other Democrat Congressional Representatives, has released the following statement to reiterate his position and call for an immediate vote on the Senate-passed Bipartisan Infrastructure bill:

“The Senate overwhelmingly voted to invest $1 trillion to modernize our nation’s aging infrastructure for the 21st century and the House must also deliver for the American people,” Rep. Schrader said. “The ambiguity of the reconciliation process would leave the bipartisan infrastructure package in limbo and lead to possible failure. Families in Oregon and throughout the country simply cannot afford to miss out on the largest effort in a century to rebuild our crumbling transportation and water systems and make transformative investments, like ensuring universal access to affordable high-speed broadband and strengthening energy resiliency.

“The House must pass the bipartisan infrastructure package without delay. Waiting any longer risks losing the creation of good-paying union jobs, growing and supporting businesses and keeping our country competitive in the world market.”

A white paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research points out that -- at least with actual infrastructure projects -- any short-term stimulus effect is offset by the short-term impact of re-allocation of construction resources, as well as negative impacts on traffic flow caused by construction. The report also emphasizes that the economy is generally trending favorably, as government policies on COVID-19 caused pent-up demand and government-induced stimulus may be inflationary.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-08-22 11:44:15Last Update: 2021-08-22 11:59:59

Salem Keizer School Board Meeting Controversy
“It’s disgusting how you let these white people in without masks”

Comments made during public testimony given at an August 10th Salem-Keizer School Board meeting have sparked controversy in Oregon, and have now led to the school board's August 24th work session meeting to be cancelled. Some observers are noting that this type of division and racism witnessed at the August 10th meeting seems to run rampant in the public school system, supported by the spread of policies such as Critical Race Theory in the class room.

"It’s disgusting how you let these white people in without masks", was heard by one student giving public testimony, and she did not shy away from or try to apologize for the racist statement. Students who seem to be supportive of her statement even gave applause at the end of her short speech, which is seen at the beginning of this video.

The full video of the August 10th, 2021 Salem-Keizer School Board meeting can be seen here.

The Salem-Keizer School Board is chaired by Osvaldo Avila and Ashley Carson Cottingham is the vice chair.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-08-21 13:36:12Last Update: 2021-08-22 12:39:16

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