What topic needs to be discussed most in the upcoming Governor's race?
Second Amendment
Transportation
Education
Abortion/life issues
COVID response
Northwest Observer
Subscribe for Free Email Updates
Name:
Email:
Search Articles
       
Small Town Meets Big City Politics
Spoon is being criticized for her vulgar videos

The City of Canby has been home to its share of controversy, much of it centering on certain City Council members.

Until very recently the council was split between three conservatives and three liberals. Now with the resignation of one of the conservative council members because of an out of state move, there is an empty seat that will be filled by someone chosen by the majority liberals on the council. This has some Canby residents very concerned that the seat may be filled by someone who does not reflect the small town values cherished by so many Canby residents.

Two of the council liberals, Chris Bangs and Sarah Spoon, have engaged in tactics considered extreme enough that Canby residents are running a recall campaign against both of them.

Bangs is a high school teacher in Canby whose acerbic comments about Christians, and anger directed at supporters of medical freedom have been key features in City Council meetings.

Spoon is being criticized for her vulgar videos attacking President Trump and a “music” video she loaded to YouTube filled with degrading sexual innuendos.

Now another video has been uploaded by Spoon that has some Canby residents questioning whether Spoon should be involved in determining who will join the council and make policy for the city.

Warning, this video is not for everyone.




--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-10-01 10:53:26Last Update: 2021-10-01 11:41:45



Climate Protection Program
It will impact every energy user in Oregon.

In March of 2020, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-04 requiring state agencies to meet specific goals – setting a standard for a 45% reduction from 1990 greenhouse gas emission levels by 2035 and an 80% reduction by 2050.

After more than a year of draft rulemaking by the Department of Environmental Quality, under the direction of Richard Whitman, the DEQ appears to think that Oregonians across the state agree on the need to respond to climate change. That’s the result of zoom meetings orchestrated agendas that limited oral comments to two minutes due to the high level of interest. However, there is still no consensus on exactly what that response should be.

DEQ contracted with ICF to conduct a study to assess different greenhouse gas emissions reduction program designs through specialized economic and emissions modeling to analyze potential effects. There is nothing scientific about this study that justifies the need for reduced greenhouse emissions or the impact a program would have in Oregon, the U.S. or worldwide. All the scenarios presented directs more regulation towards natural gas utilities and non-natural gas fuel suppliers. An overarching finding is that greenhouse gas emission reductions will most significantly impact the transportation sector, and significant changes are expected across all of the regulated sectors.

Transportation affects every aspect of our lives and the biggest impact on the economy. There has been no calculation of the true costs of the DEQ’s Climate Protection Program, which will impact every energy user in Oregon.

Some key principles that are lacking in the program: Comments on the DEQ rulemaking can be emailed by October 4, 2021, by 4 pm.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-09-29 20:59:50Last Update: 2021-09-29 21:25:07



Mask Lawsuit Dismissed after Months
“Is Oregon a state of rule-making or law-making?”

The Oregon Court of Appeals has dismissed a case brought against the Oregon Health Authority, under the direction of Pat Allen, requiring face masks. Essentially, the court decided on technical grounds that they lack jurisdiction. According to the court:

Petitioners bring this rule-review proceeding under ORS 183.400, seeking to have an Oregon Health Authority document, entitled "Statewide Mask, Face Shield, Face Covering Guidance," invalidated. OHA contends that the court lacks jurisdiction over this matter for two reasons: (1) because the challenged guidance is not an administrative rule under ORS 183.340(9), but part of an executive order, and thus excluded from review; and (2) because the guidance in the challenged document has been superseded by subsequent guidance, so the proceeding is moot. Held: Assuming without deciding that the guidance at issue is an administrative rule, it was superseded by subsequently promulgated temporary administrative rules. Consequently, under case law, the proceeding was moot.”

The suit, Chester Mooney v. State of Oregon was brought to the court with the assistance of the Freedom Foundation, a local civil rights organization.

“In a reasonable world, it would not take 14 months to decide a case both parties define as an emergency,” said Jason Dudash, Oregon director of the Freedom Foundation. “This case was not dismissed on the merits. In fact, the court agreed with us that there was and is ‘no indication’ the original mask mandate was filed properly. However, they conveniently waited over a year to come to that conclusion.”

“More worrisome is the reason the case was dismissed,” Dudash continued. “As the court states, ‘the guidance has been superseded on multiple occasions by subsequent guidance, and now, administrative rules. As it stands, mask requirements are now governed by several administrative rules’.”

Dudash asked, “Is Oregon a state of rule-making or law-making? This decision demonstrates that Governor Brown impeded on the constitutional rights of Oregonians, but she will sadly face no consequences,” concluded Dudash.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-29 19:32:41Last Update: 2021-09-29 20:46:00



Gov. Brown Encourages Pfizer Booster
"Everyone who is eligible for a booster will get one”

Governor Kate Brown provided an update on the current state of COVID-19 and the state's plan for delivering booster shots in a press conference, joined by Oregon Health Authority Public Health Director Rachael Banks, Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Tom Jeanne, and Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill.

"The good news is that, while we still have a long way to go, it appears things are slowly getting better," said Governor Brown. "And every day there is renewed hope as we see more people getting vaccinated, progress on vaccines for our 5-11 year-olds, and now, the beginning of boosters for some of our most vulnerable.

"Everyone who is eligible for a booster will get one. For those who have received the Moderna or Johnson and Johnson vaccine, I ask for your patience as we wait for further data and guidance from the federal government. For those who received the Pfizer vaccine but are not yet eligible for a booster, please know that you are still well protected from COVID-19. Boosters offer an extra layer of protection -- and that is important for individuals at higher risk of exposure or illness -- but you are still fully vaccinated with the two doses."

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shared their recommendations for the first large group of Americans who are eligible for booster shots. The Western States Scientific Safety Workgroup followed with their recommendations, which align with the federal guidance, and which Oregon will be following.

These groups of Oregonians who received the Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago are now eligible and recommended to receive a booster shot: Additionally, the following group of Oregonians ages 18-64 who received the Pfizer vaccine may receive a booster after 6 months:
--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-29 19:24:05



Lori Chavez-DeRemer Reaffirms Commitment to Run in 5th Congressional District
Ready to take on the socialist agenda of high crime and inflation

On the heels of the passage of the new Oregon congressional maps, Oregon Republican Congressional Candidate, Lori Chavez-DeRemer, released the following statement:

"Last night, Oregon became the first state in the country to enact new congressional maps that will determine our political representation in Washington D.C. over the next decade. When announced two months ago that I would be running in the5s congressional district, there was uncertainty where the district lines would be drawn but that changed yesterday when the redistricting process was finalized.

"Barring any legal outcomes from the courts, I reaffirm my commitment to running in Oregon's 5 congressional district that stretches from the suburbs of Happy Valley, down to rural Clackamas and Marion Counties, and finally to parts of Central Oregon.

"In just ten weeks, we have built a strong grassroots movement and campaign organization ready to take on the Biden/Pelosi socialist agenda of high crime and inflation. I look forward to traveling up and down this new 5 congressional district over the next year and representing these communities as Oregon's next Congresswoman.

The new 5th Congressional District -- which some are calling "gerrymandered" -- stretches from the heart of Portland all the way to Bend. In an earlier statement, Chavez-DeRemer said, “Speaker Kotek has politicized the redistricting process, reneging on her agreement with Leader Drazan for a balanced and fair approach to better serve Oregon. The proposed map is blatantly gerrymandered and denies representation of our diverse communities. The Speaker’s actions are plainly undemocratic.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-28 21:30:47Last Update: 2021-09-29 09:54:16



Shemia Fagan Congratulates Legislature
For completing their work to pass redistricting

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan today congratulated the Oregon Legislature for completing their work to pass redistricting for Oregon.

“Congratulations to the Oregon Legislature for completing their Constitutional responsibility of redistricting of Oregon’s Congressional and Legislative districts.,” said Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “With leadership and persistence, they came together and got this done for the people of Oregon.”

Secretary Fagan also noted that her office was prepared to begin redistricting. "I'm extremely proud of the work my team did to prepare, in case the Legislature missed today’s deadline," said Secretary Fagan. “We’ve been working for months, reaching out to hundreds of community and civic organizations, culturally-based groups and others to lay the groundwork for a transparent public process. We also did a tremendous amount of work to set up our People’s Commission, infrastructure for public hearings and testimony, and an Oregonian-centered redistricting process.”

“I’m especially proud of the work we did to prepare the People’s Commission that would have reflected our growing population: Black, Indigenous, Latinx, people of color, rural, suburban, urban -- all those who call our beloved Oregon home. I want to thank the Oregonians from every corner of our state for stepping up to serve their neighbors. We will continue to engage these civic-minded Oregonians in the years to come."

760: Oregonians applied to be on the People’s Commission
145: People’s Commission applications from District 1
151: People’s Commission applications from District 2
125: People’s Commission applications from District 3
142: People’s Commission applications from District 4
188: People’s Commission applications from District 5
265: Organizations who received outreach from Kathy Wai, Redistricting Administrator
4: Languages other than English for which outreach materials were translated: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Russian



--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-28 20:36:45Last Update: 2021-09-28 21:29:42



Medical Freedom Group Sues Governor Brown
The mandate violates the employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements

Free Oregon, Inc. has filed a lawsuit on behalf of several plaintiffs against the State of Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority for a temporary stay on the state’s vaccine mandate on health workers, first responders, teachers and government employees. The suit also names Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen.

Free Oregon is demanding that the State follow federal law and Oregon law and make the vaccine treatment for COVID-19 optional. According to Free Oregon, the vaccine mandate described in Rule OAR 333-019-1010 is a false choice to hundreds of thousands of Oregonians to either undergo an experimental medical procedure or lose their jobs, livelihoods and, in some cases, retirement benefits. The Oregon Attorney General argues this is not a mandate.

According to Free Oregon, the mandate violates the employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements of thousands of Oregonians that work at hospitals and government agencies, including public school districts and that obtaining a vaccine, mRNA treatment or other injection of unknown foreign objects into one’s body is a permanent treatment that will last beyond the expiration of this administrative rule. Under ORS 431.180 every Oregonian has the right to select their own medical provider and treatment to fight against the Covid-19 virus if infected.

None of our Plaintiffs have been given the option by their employers to decline vaccination. Many of them have been denied exemptions that violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and their only recourse is legal remedy.

Molly Valdez is one example. She is an 18-year-old medical receptionist at Oregon Eye Specialists. Her employer required her to get vaccinated. But Molly already had Covid-19 and had natural antibodies. Her doctor specifically told her that she should not get the vaccination because it would negatively affect her. She turned in her medical exemption and it was promptly denied. She was then forced to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to maintain employment. Soon after getting the vaccine, she felt tingling in her left foot and leg. Additionally, she had paralysis on the left side of her face. She promptly went to the emergency room, where she was told she had a migraine. The next morning the right side of her face and body started to tingle. While the symptoms in her face have subsided, the issues involving her body have not. She was required to purchase a cane so she can walk. This once perfectly healthy, vibrant 18-year-old has apparently suffered permanent nerve damage and now requires a walker to move.

Free Oregon and its Plaintiffs represent thousands of nurses, healthcare workers, teachers, firefighters, paramedics, police officers, state executive branch employees, correctional institution members and more. If this mandate is not terminated, it is our assessment that hundreds of thousands of Oregonians will have their rights violated, experience the loss of their employment and have their lives further devastated. If hospitals, doctors offices and emergency responders have a drastic reduction in workforce between October 1 and October 18, the innocent public will suffer the avoidable consequences.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-28 19:46:33Last Update: 2021-09-28 21:30:47



Motion to Censure Kotek Fails
“This House cannot function”

In a gesture of frustration, House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) made a motion to censure Representative Tina Kotek (D-Portland) for disorderly behavior on the House Floor related to Representative Kotek’s decision to break her word to fellow lawmakers in order to force partisan redistricting maps through the legislative body.

Leader Drazan included the following reasons for the motion during her floor remarks:

“With the events of this past week when she chose to cheat Oregonians and breach an agreement, Tina Kotek has exhibited disorderly conduct and must be censured by this body.

I would assert that those with power demand our highest standards and greatest commitment to accountability.

The inability of the Speaker of the House to keep her word, or conduct her affairs in the execution of her duties at the highest ethical standards affects our ability as a body to function.

If we cannot trust Tina Kotek’s word, if we cannot trust that what she says is true in her capacity as Speaker of the House, if she is allowed to reap the benefits of an agreement without the obligations it imposes, this House cannot function. She has impacted the ability of this body to operate as a fair law-making body.

Today I willingly face political reprisals and urge this body to exercise the power given to us to hold our members accountable for their conduct when it has grave and far reaching impacts.

We cannot silence the voices of the minority when they are inconvenient to the majority.”

The motion failed with all present House Democrats voting to defend Representative Kotek’s decision to break her promise to Republicans and Oregonians in order to pass gerrymandered redistricting maps.

Tina Kotek is essentially a lame duck, having to give up her House seat and Speakership in order to run for Governor. It is unknown if this incident will impact Republicans willingness to make deals with Democrats and future Democratic leaders.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-27 17:40:56Last Update: 2021-09-27 19:46:33



Redistricting Bill Passes Legislature
“Political gerrymandering in Oregon is illegal”

As a hopeful Secretary of State Shemia Fagan most certainly noted, the Oregon House passed what has been touted as highly-partisan redistricting maps with the minimum 31 votes needed to pass and just hours before the court-imposed deadline. House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) blasted the plan, which passed over her "no" vote. “These partisan maps are a wake-up call for Oregonians. They know Democrats had to cheat to get these maps across the floor.

The passage marks a black mark for Oregon House Speaker -- and now gubernatorial candidate -- Tina Kotek, who was all too happy to get concessions from Republicans to provide quorum and stop requiring bills to be read in their entirety only to renege on he promise to give Republicans equal representation on the redistricting committee.

Drazan continued, "Democrats in Oregon have passed rigged political maps that will guarantee super-sized majorities in the legislature and immediate control of more than 80 percent of Oregon’s congressional seats. They should be ashamed that they have gerrymandered Oregonians out of their shot at fair elections for the next decade.

"This is by no means over. The illegal congressional map adopted today, clearly drawn for partisan benefit, will not survive legal challenge. Political gerrymandering in Oregon is illegal and drawing congressional lines to ensure 5 out of 6 seats for your party long-term is gerrymandering.

Representative E. Werner Reschke (R-Klamath Falls) said, "I have no doubt that these maps could have been even worse if they went to the Secretary of State. That’s why this process has failed the people."

After the vote, the bill had to return to the Oregon Senate where the Senate concurred in House amendments which, according to Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) "seek to cement Democrat dominance in Oregon for the next decade."

The Senate vote was 18-6, with all Republicans voting no. The plan now goes to the Governor for her signature.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-27 17:16:11Last Update: 2021-09-27 17:40:56



Oregon Democrat Tobias Read Announces Run for Governor
Believes Covid vaccines should be required for kids to go to school

Via a video posted on YouTube, Democrat Tobias Read has announced that he will be running for the position of Oregon's next Governor in the 2022 election.

He is the second high-profile Oregon Democrat to do so, alongside Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland). Tobais Read is the current Treasurer of the State of Oregon. He was elected to that position in 2016, following 5 years of being in the House Legislature.

In the announcement video, Read expresses his worries over not being allowed to inject his children with COVID-19 vaccine and tells viewers that he would like to implement even more vaccine mandates on employees and customers of businesses in Oregon if he is elected.

"I'm tired of adults who think their version of freedom allows them to endanger children. No one has the right to put our kids and thousands of others at risk." To date, only 504 children 19 and younger have been hospitalized because of COVID-19, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Read says. "COVID-19 vaccines should be required for all children to go to school"

He then explains how, as Oregon State Treasurer, he has been responsible for growing Oregon's economy. This may seem to be a questionable accomplishment to many observers, as many businesses in the state have suffered recently, and the sector that has seen the most growth is in government workers. Economic critics don't consider this to be the wisest way to grow a state's economy.

Read claims in the video that he helped to implement full day kindergarten for Oregon children, and that he wants universal Pre-K education administered to Oregon children. He says he would like to see the Oregon school year extended, a move that many parents in Oregon might find disruptive and who simply want to see the schools function normally again, and with some accountability.

Is the promise of extending the school year just an indication that he would like to see unionized teachers get paid more to do less?

"We have to stop lurching from one crisis to the next, and invest in our future." says Read. Governmental critics would point out that invest means to spend the people's money. He intends to "fight climate change" with that public money. But he claims this would only be after getting the Covid virus under control, and that regular testing and masking are not enough.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2021-09-27 16:23:38Last Update: 2021-09-27 17:16:11



Burglar Threatens PPB Officers with Sword and Axe
Officers used less lethal foam-tip projectiles

On Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 4:43p.m., North Precinct officers were dispatched to a report of a Premise Check at a house in the 00 block of Northeast Farragut Street. Neighbors were reporting a suspect trying to open doors and windows of a house while carrying a sword and a knife.

When officers arrived, they saw the suspect inside the house. When the suspect saw officers outside he became combative, charging out the back towards officers on the perimeter while carrying a sword. An officer fired a less lethal foam-tip projectile, which was partially effective and helped the officers maintain a distance. But the suspect continued to threaten the officers with the long blade. He also threw the axe and knives, but officers were able to remain at a safe distance. An officer deployed another foam round, which changed the suspect's demeanor.

Officers were able to utilize de-escalation skills, develop rapport, and convince the suspect to drop his weapons and surrender. Ultimately, he was found in possession of 15 weapons, including a sword, axe, several knives, and a slingshot. He was transported to a hospital for an evaluation.

The residents of the home were not there at the time, and no one was injured.

After he was released from the hospital, Chance T. Haylett, 20, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of Burglary in the First Degree, Criminal Trespass in the First Degree, Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-09-26 14:27:37Last Update: 2021-09-27 00:47:45



I-84 to Close for Bike/Ped Bridge Construction
It will also serve as an important link for Portland’s Green Loop

After over a year of construction to build the bridge's foundations, the Portland Bureau of Transportation's Congressman Earl Blumenauer Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge is ready for the next phase of its installation.

The approximately 450,000 lb. and 400-foot-long bridge will be lifted and rolled into place over Sullivan's Gulch the weekend of Oct. 8. The bridge will then be attached to a temporary tower between the I-84 freeway and railroad tracks. Following the initial bridge placement, crews will connect the bridge to the north landing as part of the final phase of construction. When complete, the Blumenauer Bridge will connect pedestrians and people biking on NE 7th Avenue between two of Portland's fastest growing neighborhoods-- Lloyd and the Central Eastside -- and beyond. In the future it will also serve as an important link for Portland's Green Loop.

Both eastbound and westbound I-84 will be closed around the clock from 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8 to 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11.

People driving should expect delays and use alternate routes or ways of getting around, such as walking, biking, or taking transit.

Here are the closure details:

I-84 eastbound
All I-84 eastbound lanes will close from I-5 to Cesar Chavez Boulevard, including:

I-84 westbound
All I-84 westbound lanes will close at I-205 including: For real time traffic information during the closure, go to TripCheck.com. This work is weather dependent and the schedule may change.

When it opens in Summer 2022, the bridge will be seismically resilient and serve as a backup route for emergency vehicles over I-84 in the event of an earthquake. In addition to the bridge, the project includes two new public plazas and landings on the north and south sides of the bridge.

Funding for the project comes from the Oregon Convention Center Urban Renewal Area and from Transportation System Development Charges, which are fees paid by development to mitigate the impact of new users of the transportation system. Other funding sources include a commitment from the nonprofit transportation management association Go Lloyd and the Central Eastside Industrial Council. The estimated construction cost is $13.7 million.




--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-26 12:30:11Last Update: 2021-09-26 12:59:04



Read More Articles