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|Friday, December 9, 2022 at 8:00 am|
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|Monday, January 9, 2023 at 8:00 am|
|The 2023 Session of the Oregon Legislature begins. Legislators are sworn in and bills are introduced.|
|Oregon Capitol, Salem|
Elected leaders seem incompetent
The Portland Police Bureau's Enhanced Community Safety Team (ECST) has reported
there were nine shootings over the course of 16 hours, beginning just after noon on August 31, 2021, through the early morning hours of September 1, 2021.
Two of the shootings resulted in people being seriously injured and one shooting involved a service animal being killed.
On August 31, 2021, at 12:12 p.m., officers responded to the Springwater Trail near the 9400 Block of Southeast Cooper after shots were heard. Officers located multiple cartridge casings in the area of a homeless encampment at this location. (Case #2021-242431)
On August 31, 2021, at 5:49 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 5000 Block of NE 101st Ave on a report of a shooting. (Case #2021-242647)
On August 31, 2021 at 7:40 p.m., officers were dispatched to a shooting in the 1700 Block of Southeast 122nd Avenue, involving an injured dog. Officers located crime scene which consisted of multiple cartridge casings. Officers located an intended victim and a service dog, which succumbed to gunfire related injuries. This investigation has been assigned to ECST. (Case #2021-242798)
On August 31, 2021, at 9:07 p.m. Officers were dispatched to a report of a male shot in the area of Northeast 13th Avenue and Northeast Multnomah Street. Officers located a victim suffering from a gunshot wound and provided immediate trauma care. The victim was transported to an area hospital with a serious injury. This investigation has been assigned to ECST. (Case #2021-242875)
On August 31, 2021 at 9:10 p.m., officers responded to the report of a shooting in the 2000 Block North Lombard Street. Officers located a victim with damage to vehicle caused by gunfire. Witnesses report that the victim and suspect in this case had no interaction and that suspect discharged firearm into the victim's vehicle and fled the area. (Case #2021-242880)
On August 31, 2021, at 9:40 p.m., there was a report of a disturbance which ended with a shooting in the area of the 1900 Block SE 122nd Avenue. (Case #2021-242906)
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On August 31, 2021, at 11:08 p.m., officers were dispatched to a shots fired call in the area of North Portsmouth Avenue and North Willis Blvd. Officers contacted several individuals, one who reported being in physical confrontation with a group. A firearm was displayed during the confrontation and the victim ran off when shots were fired. (Case #2021-242960)
On September 1, 2021, at 1:05 a.m., officers were dispatched to a report of a shooting with a victim injured in the 6200 Block of Northeast Columbia Blvd. Officers arrived and found a male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Officers provided immediate trauma care and the victim was transported to an area hospital with critical injuries. This investigation has also been assigned to ECST. (Case #2021-243035)
On September 1, 2021, at 4:25 a.m., officers were called to Southeast 74th Ave/ Southeast Reedway Street on a report of shots in the area. Officers located a crime scene consisting of more than 20 cartridge casings, an unoccupied vehicle, and an area residence which had been stuck by gunfire.(Case #2021-243106)
The Portland Police Bureau has stated that these incidents required significant numbers of officers, sergeants, detectives, and criminalists to investigate, and drained resources on East and North Precincts.
|Post Date: 2021-09-02 12:35:51||Last Update: 2021-09-02 15:49:59|
But things took an interesting turn in the Newberg School District
When the Newberg School Board voted to remove controversial political symbols from their classrooms they probably expected some resistance. They almost surely got more than they planned for.
The school board voted to remove political symbols like BLM and “gay pride” flags so that teachers and students could concentrate on school subjects. But the school board voted to remove all political flags and symbols -- although there have been no reports of any “Proud Boy” or “III%” flags ever making an appearance in Newberg schools.
The response from liberals was swift, organized and personal. Not only were marches organized, and large signs posted against the decision but such liberal icons as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez joined in condemnation of the school board
The ACLU threatened a lawsuit
and the Newberg City Council voted to censure them.
But the opponents of the school board’s decision didn’t stop there. They set out to personally destroy the people who voted to remove political propaganda from the classroom. They demanded that the offending school board members be fired from their day jobs. A Facebook group called “Equity ForNewberg” (sic) pushed to have the artwork of one school board member removed from a local business. Then they placed school board member Dave Brown in their sights.
Dave Brown serves on the Newberg School Board, but works as a coach in the Canby Schools. The “Equity ForNewberg” page asked people to contact the Canby School District and complain about Brown saying in a post, “Canby School District has strong pro-equity polices that Dave Brown is undermining in the Newberg School District.”
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But things took an interesting turn when it was learned that one of the people involved in the Facebook group attacking the Newberg School Board members was Autumn Foster. Foster is the “communications director” for… the Canby School District.
Dave Brown’s working relationship with the Canby Schools has nothing to do with his role as school board member in Newberg and there have been no reports that we could find that he has ever acted in any way that would call into question his professionalism or commitment to his job as a coach. So Foster’s involvement in this attack on another Canby employee because she disagrees with his decision to remove extremist political symbols from classrooms is startling. It must also cause the Canby School Board members to wonder how she would use her job to undermine decisions they might make.
But Foster’s politics are not a secret in Canby. During the Trump Administration Foster placed a post on a Facebook page referring to Trump with the following: “F
. This. Racist. Piece. Of. Sh
.” For some, the battle over control of public schools has crossed not only geographical lines, but the lines of decency.
|Post Date: 2021-09-01 20:49:34||Last Update: 2021-09-02 15:57:01|
Oregon State Senate will consider on September 22
Governor Kate Brown has now submitted a list of state board and commission appointments
to the Oregon Senate for confirmation.
“State board and commission members bring a diversity of backgrounds and life experiences to provide valuable insight into a wide range of issues facing state government," said Governor Brown. "Our policies, programs, and initiatives are stronger when diverse perspectives have been at the table helping to craft them. I appreciate the willingness of all these nominees to help us build a safer, stronger, and more just and equitable Oregon for all."
Included on the list are nominees for positions such as Public Employees Retirement Board, Board of Trustees for Oregon State University, State Marine Board, Teacher Standards and Practices Commission and more.
The Senate Rules Committee is scheduled to consider the nominations on September 22.
|Post Date: 2021-09-01 17:19:38||Last Update: 2021-09-01 17:37:04|
“It is clear the Republican Party cares little about the rule of law”
Oregon House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner (D-Portland) made a strongly-worded statement following last night’s passage of SB 8
, a Texas law that bans abortion after six weeks.
Smith Warner said, “Oregon is the only state with no limits whatsoever on abortion, because abortion is health care. What is happening in Texas with SB 8
is critical to every Oregonian, because an assault on reproductive rights anywhere is an assault on reproductive rights everywhere.
“Across the country, we are seeing attacks on basic human rights and our democracy. From banning books in schools to Jim Crow era voting laws and attempts to overthrow democratically elected governments here in Oregon and in D.C., we are up against anti-democratic forces who will stop at nothing to implement their radical, white nationalist, misogynist agenda.
As the science confirms more and more about the early stages of life, some insiders see the US Supreme Court possibly preparing to overturn the landmark case which legalized abortion. Smith Warner continued, “Despite Roe v. Wade
being settled law for almost 50 years, we continue to see ongoing attacks by the Republican Party to end abortion care. These bans disproportionately harm low-income, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities and other marginalized groups who lack the resources to seek care outside the state.
“It is clear the Republican Party cares little about the rule of law, having pushed through three illegitimate Supreme Court Justices who share their radical beliefs. The Court’s failure to uphold Constitutional precedent is a clear, present and dangerous sign of what is to come. We must act now or face even more dire consequences.
|Post Date: 2021-09-01 16:52:23||Last Update: 2021-09-01 17:02:03|
Two judges to the Multnomah County Circuit Court
Governor Kate Brown has announced
that she will appoint two judges to positions on the Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Governor Brown will appoint Jenna Plank to a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Leslie Roberts and will appoint Chanpone Sinlapasai to a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Angel Lopez. Both appointments are effective immediately.
“Judges on the Multnomah County Circuit Court handle a wide variety of cases, many of them complex, and serve an increasingly diverse population,” said Governor Brown. “Jenna Plank and Chanpone Sinlapasai have the experience, work ethic, and compassion to hit the ground running, and to help the court work through its caseload fairly and efficiently."
Jenna Plank earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Portland in 2001 and obtained her law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2005. After graduating from law school, Plank started serving as a prosecutor in the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office, where she has served her entire legal career. She currently supervises the misdemeanor unit. Plank also served on the Oregon State Bar Uniform Criminal Jury Instructions Committee and works with mock trial instruction and moot court competitions.
Chanpone Sinlapasai emigrated from Laos to the United States as a refugee at the age of four. She went to college in California. After law school, she worked at the Immigrant Refugee Community Organization and then as an anti-trafficking and domestic violence attorney. She later became a partner at Marandas Sinlapasai Garcia, and currently practices federal immigration law. Sinlapasai has served on several anti-trafficking task forces, the Mexican Consulate Protection Team, the Immigrant Refugee Community Organization Advisory Board, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Citizens Academy. She also is the past chairwoman of the Oregon Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs.
|Post Date: 2021-08-31 17:54:38||Last Update: 2021-08-31 18:04:06|
Will she run for governor? Or Congress?
Editor's note: This is the first of a multipart series on Tina Kotek – her past and her future – as well as where her political ambitions might take her
Democrat candidates are keeping their declarations under wraps. One person we are sure to see run for a major office is Tina Kotek. She has made several distinct moves to position a run. The most significant is her compromise with state unions on benefits to maintain her close alliance with union leadership.
Raised in Pennsylvania, Tina Kotek forged her political career while working on her Masters in International Studies at the University of Washington in the mid-1990s. She began work to win domestic partnership benefits for faculty and students. Upon graduation, Kotek began her public service career as a policy advocate for the Oregon Food Bank, and went on to serve as the policy director for Children First for Oregon before running for office.
Tina Kotek's first run for office in 2004 was unsuccessful in the 43rd House District. Switching to the 44th House District in 2006, she won with little opposition. In 2011, Kotek was chosen as the House Democrat Caucus leader, and when Democrats won the majority in 2012, she made national news as the first out Lesbian Speaker of the House in the nation, which she has retained ever since.
As Speaker, she has played a key role in Governor Brown's "equity" agenda to not just further her own agenda, but to lower the standards making it easier for minorities. In a press release January 4, 2021, she claims "Oregon was founded as an anti-Black "white utopia" -- from red-lining to forced displacement for "economic development" Black families were literally robbed of wealth." To tear down this "white utopia" she helped to sponsor SJM 4, urging Congress to enact legislation to begin process of implementing reparations for African Americans based on slavery and discrimination.
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In that same statement, as Speaker for the leadership of House Democrats, she set out steps to confront Oregons racist past by following the lead of BIPOC leaders. She proposes giving them dedicated space to launch a special legislative committee to propose reforms to the overall legislative structure that will encourage more diverse representation in prioritizing their needs with an equity lens applied to both policy and budget decisions
After Governor John Kitzhaber resigned in February 2015, elevating Kate Brown to the governorship, Kotek was named by The Oregonian as a possible successor to Brown as Oregon Secretary of State. Through a spokeswoman, Kotek denied interest in the job. But, she is now at that crossroads. Will she run for governor? Or will she run for Congress?
|Post Date: 2021-08-31 17:40:57||Last Update: 2021-09-03 16:12:13|
“The people of Columbia County have had enough!”
The Columbia County Sheriff
has released a statement in response to Governor Kate Brown's recent demands that everyone, everywhere in the State of Oregon must wear a mask both inside and outside of buildings, regardless of Covid-19 vaccination status, and mandatory vaccination requirements for employment:
Governor Kate Brown,
I write to you today on behalf of the citizens of Columbia County in hopes of opening a dialogue. As Sheriff, it is my responsibility to provide for the peace and safety of those in Columbia County. I believe it is in the best interest of Columbia County, and all other counties throughout Oregon, to retain local control over decisions affecting the public health and safety and to protect the individual choice of those we represent.
The people of Columbia County want our county back. The citizens have endured "two weeks to flatten the curve", unemployment and the loss of several of our small businesses over the last year and a half and we have had enough!
You have once again initiated what many consider to be an unconstitutional mandate by requiring our children and citizens to wear masks and by requiring vaccinations for state employees, healthcare workers and teaching staff. We have had enough of your overreaching mandates and bullying threats. In short, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office will not be enforcing vaccination requirements or mask mandates.
The citizens of Columbia County will choose to wear a mask or choose not to wear a mask. We will choose to get vaccinated or choose not to get vaccinated. But we will do so as individuals with free will over our own bodies. And I, as Sheriff, will fight for and support the residents of Columbia County in this endeavor.
As Sheriff of Columbia County, I took an oath to uphold the constitution and to stand up and defend the people of this beautiful county we call home. I, and the other elected leaders in Columbia County, have the right to do what is in the best interest for our community. Let us do so. We demand local control be placed where it works best, in the hands of the individual citizens and the local officials who represent Columbia County.
Brian Pixley, Sheriff
|Post Date: 2021-08-30 09:58:49||Last Update: 2021-08-30 10:36:01|
Sheriff Travis Ash says he will uphold the Constitution
The Baker County Sheriff's Office
has released a statement in response to the recent statewide mandate form Governor Kate Brown that everyone must wear a mask in Oregon, both indoors and outdoors, regardless of Covid-19 vaccination status:
In light of recent questions I have received, I am reaching out to affirm that my stance on mask and vaccine mandates has not changed since the beginning of the pandemic. The Baker County Sheriff's Office has not and will not be enforcing mask or vaccine mandates. We are not responsible for enforcement of Oregon Health Authority rules.
Over the course of the pandemic, lapses in leadership at the state and national level have resulted in a certain level of distrust. I am in favor of local control, science, and common sense. We saw the benefits of local control last year when many of our small school districts were able to return to in person learning and extra-curricular activities (without negative health consequences) much sooner than larger counterparts.
As everyone knows, we are experiencing a surge in Covid-19 related sickness. This spike in cases and hospitalizations is supported by real-time local data. I believe our county health department and county physician have our best interests at heart in making recommendations and providing guidance for our community. These are our own local experts who are a reliable source of information as we make our individual health decisions.
I know that many people in our country have a very strong opinion about vaccinations, masks, the pandemic, and unfortunately, the politics of it all. As sheriff I represent everyone, and I hate to see how residents are being divided over these issues. I believe that in spite of our differing viewpoints we all want what is best for our community. We breathe the same air. We visit the same stores. Our children go to the same schools. We are still in this together. I ask that we don't attack those whose decisions may be different than ours, and to please take responsibility for staying home when you are sick. Real people around the world and in our own community have lost loved ones or are experiencing long-term health effects. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.
I am proud of the Baker County Sheriff's Office staff and their commitment to providing for the peace and safety of those in Baker County during these trying times. As your sheriff, I will uphold my oath to support the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of Oregon. I have and will continue to serve our community with unwavering dedication, honesty, fairness and integrity.
Bake County Sheriff Travis Ash
A good number of Oregon sheriffs have now issued similar statements on the matter.
|Post Date: 2021-08-29 12:10:48||Last Update: 2021-08-30 08:38:59|
“Our State government has been weaponized”
he Fire Chief of Aurora Fire District
in Aurora, Oregon has released a statement in response to Governor Kate Brown's recent demands that everyone in Oregon should wear face coverings, both indoors and outdoors, regardless of Covid vaccination status:
Staff, Volunteers and citizens,
I have been in the fire service for 28 years and have been so fortunate over my career that words
cannot express. Over the past 28 years, I have experienced outbreaks, fires, storms, death,
destruction, perseverance, and resilience. The fire service is a great occupation that has come
at great sacrifice to myself and to my family, but the rewards of helping others in need has been
the opportunity of a lifetime.
We have all dealt with many challenges over the past few years, whether it be fires, pandemic or
ice storms. Luckily, for us in the fire service, we are always up to the challenge and we always
come out on top. Today, however, is different.
Governor Kate Brown has announced that first
line responders will now be required to receive a “vaccine.” Previously it was announced that
those of us who chose not to get the vaccine would have the option to test. This option has now
been taken away.
During the pandemic, first responders were hailed as heroes. We were the first ones to deal with
patients that were suffering from issues, whether COVID or other illness or injury. We have gone
from being heroes to now becoming too dangerous to employ without a “vaccine.”
This mandate is un-American, as our State government has been weaponized to the point where
people are afraid to take a stand. I will no longer sit silently on the sideline and watch this
happen. I love my job, I love the fire service, and more importantly, I love the people that I work
with and serve. I am required to enforce this mandate by October 18th, 2021 or when the
“vaccine” receives full authorization.
I will not abide by the Governor's mandate. Additionally, I will not enforce this mandate on any
member of this fire district. In the old America, we used to have choices. Frankly, I do not
recognize the country that I live in right now.
I recently sent out a survey to the staff and volunteers of our District. You need to be aware that
25% of the members of the Aurora Fire District have informed me that they will quit if forced to
receive a “vaccine.” This survey was sent out while we still had the option to test. Now that the
option to test is gone, I have reason to believe 25% of our personnel quitting is dramatically
underestimated. Within these numbers, we are faced with the potential of nearly half of the
career staff leaving. A decrease in membership to our already short handed cadre of staff and
volunteers will have devastating results and will negatively impact our ability to respond. These
staff and volunteer responders that will quit are the same ones that have been safely responding
to emergencies throughout the duration of this pandemic.
Before you begin thinking I am a conspiracy theorist, or an anti vaxxer, please consider the
following. I support my vaccinated and unvaccinated members equally. The “vaccine” is not the
issue. Please take out the word “vaccination” and insert any other medical procedure or
medication. These choices are better left between an individual and their physician.
We have policies and procedures in place that have kept our members and our public safe from
COVID for the past 18 months. We have responded to many COVID patients and have never
experienced an outbreak among our personnel. We have never had any of our personnel pass
COVID throughout the District. We know how to keep ourselves and the public safe, we have
been doing it for years. The Governor's new mandate will make our residents less safe. If she is
so worried about the lack of responders now, I'll stand by and see what happens with this
ridiculous and intrusive requirement.
I have asked the Aurora Fire District Board of Directors to stand up for medical freedom, and to
stand up for America. I have asked the Aurora Fire District Board of Directors to support me and
my decision. I want to continue working for the Aurora Fire District, but I have had it with the
shifting goal posts and government overreach. I will NEVER force a member of this fire district to
inject themselves with anything that they do not want.
I will never quit advocating for my people and for what is right. What is happening is wrong, and I
will not enforce it. Should the Aurora Board of Directors choose, they would need to terminate me
from my employment as your Fire Chief before I would enforce this intrusive requirement.
Joshua L. Williams
|Post Date: 2021-08-28 07:20:42||Last Update: 2022-01-01 18:12:45|
“My deputies will not be treating people like criminals if they choose to not wear a mask”
The Tillamook County Sheriff's Office
has released a statement indicating they will not be enforcing Oregon Governor Kate Brown's recent demands that everyone in the State of Oregon should wear a mask both indoors and outdoors, regardless of Covid vaccination status:
To whom it may concern,
With the recent surge in Covid hospitalizations, I have been receiving inquires from the media and public regarding enforcement of the Governor’s mask mandate. The simple answer to that question is that the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing any mask mandate. I could easily fall back on the adage that we just don’t have the personnel to accomplish this daunting task - which is true - but that would not represent the entirety of the reason for my decision.
The fact is, I don’t believe it is the role of the Sheriff’s Office to enforce what is essentially an Oregon Health Authority directive, not a criminal one. TCSO is not the enforcement arm for OHA and my deputies will not be treating people like criminals if they choose to not wear a mask.
I believe that there is a certain amount of personal responsibility that each of us has and lately seems to be forgotten. If you are not feeling well, whether you suspect its Covid, the flu, the common cold or any other communicable disease, please contact your healthcare provider and consider staying home. Please, don’t go to work, shopping or to a function or event when you are sick. This is what I hope people were doing before Covid, and what we will do after. If you are concerned that an event or activity could potentially be a “spreader” event, then don’t attend it.
A simple remedy for the customer who finds themselves in a business that is making a choice different to their own beliefs in a way that makes them uncomfortable is to simply leave and not frequent that business any longer. If a customer is not complying with the wishes of a business, a representative from that business can ask the customer to comply or leave the premises. If the customer doesn’t comply with that request, then the business should contact law enforcement.
While we will not be enforcing the mask mandate, we will be enforcing crimes such as Harassment and Trespass. If a customer in a business located within the county refuses to leave an establishment after being asked to do so, or there is a physical altercation with another person, Deputies will respond and investigate as they do for other suspected criminal activity.
I hope this clears up any questions regarding this issue. Please stay safe.
Tillamook County Sheriff
|Post Date: 2021-08-27 19:53:51||Last Update: 2021-08-28 03:17:05|
Over 50 campaign finance violations reveal a disturbing level of defiance of disclosure laws
Lindsay Berschauer, Vice-Chair of the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners, filed two separate complaints with the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division today detailing over 50 campaign finance violations associated with the ‘Save Yamhill County’ and ‘Recall Lindsay Berschauer’ political action committees. Among the violations were a failure to declare ‘Save Yamhill County’ as the main political action committee conducting the recall effort against Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer, over 50 documented failures to lawfully report campaign contributions and expenditures in both PACs, and a failure to report expenditures associated with the campaign’s media outreach.
The complaints were filed by Eric Winters, a seasoned election law attorney, who represents Mrs. Berschauer. The complaints detailed long lists of violations with fines as high as $250 for a single violation.
“It’s disturbing to discover that Save Yamhill County
has not followed Oregon campaign finance laws since they initiated the recall effort”, said Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer. “Attempting to hide campaign activity violates public trust and should alarm their contributors, whose donations will now be paying off fines. The public deserves to know the truth about this group’s unlawful actions and its attempt to overturn an election.”
The purpose of Oregon's campaign finance disclosure laws is to provide the public with accurate and timely information about election-related activities. When properly followed, these rules of disclosure also help inform voters of the activities undertaken on behalf of candidates, political committees and petition committees by those who provide financial or related in-kind support to them. Timely and accurate disclosure of campaign finance activities operates to safeguard public trust and discourage corruption. The campaign finance disclosure rules help voters keep track of what is happening, when it occurs and who is supporting specific campaigns -- in short, they help tell the stories of Oregon's political campaigns through the mandatory reporting of the related activities of political actors.
The continuing series of unreported and misreported campaign finance disclosure violations by Save Yamhill County
and Recall Lindsay Berschauer
may make county voters wonder how truthful this effort will be over the next couple months. What is clear is that the funding sources and activities of the recall campaign and associated PACs have been largely and illegally concealed from the public and merit a thorough investigation by Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and the Elections Division.
|Post Date: 2021-08-27 15:10:56||Last Update: 2021-08-27 15:13:43|
Violations will be considered a Class C Civil infraction
On August 24, 2021, the Washington County Board of Commissioners
unanimously agreed to enact a new rule authorizing County Health and Human Services staff to enforce Oregon’s statewide mask mandates.
The County Board went on to blame the Delta variant and the un-vaccinated in their statement
“The evidence is clear and compelling. Our community is in a dire situation and the Board has taken decisive action to ensure that all Washington County residents are protected from exposure to COVID-19 in public settings. The good news is that we have two powerful tools to fight the Delta variant surge. Mask wearing and vaccinations are absolutely the best ways to protect one another—especially our children and those with underlying health conditions that prevent them from getting the vaccine. We must all act with urgency to save lives and eliminate needless suffering,” said Washington County Board of Commissioners Chair Kathryn Harrington
Violations will be considered a Class C Civil infraction, with a maximum fine of $500 per day for businesses.
After the first complaint, a business will receive a phone call and email explaining the mask guidance; after the second complaint the business receives a letter and email.
If the County receives a third complaint staff will visit the business to verify the complaint. If the business is found to be in violation of the mandate, the County will forward the complaints and documentation to Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (OR-OHSA).
If the county receives a fourth complaint, Health and Human Services staff will issue a citation and impose fines.
|Post Date: 2021-08-26 22:13:51||Last Update: 2021-08-26 22:38:38|
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