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Student Athletes Used to Virtue Signal
Now fans are required to share their private medical information

“Beginning this week, all visitors to Portland Public Schools Campuses will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours. This applies to sporting events, both indoor and outdoor. The procedures were created under state guidelines as best practices to keep students and staff safe from COVID-19”. This is the statement on the Ida B Wells Site (formerly Wilson HS) website. It is also echoed on other PPS websites such as Roosevelt High School and Lincoln High School.

Student athletes had their entire previous football season condensed into a short Spring season in 2021 at the height of COVID without this requirement. Then in September they returned to the gridiron, the pitch and the gyms under somewhat normal rules. However, for some reason this week the rules changed. Now fans are required to share their private medical information in order to watch and cheer on these hard-working student athletes. Why?

The broad-brush statement of, “the procedures were created under state guidelines as best practices to keep students and staff safe from COVID-19” seems to provide cover and anonymity to the actual decision makers. When following the links in one PPS school statement where it says that it was “created under state guidelines”, it redirects readers to a document created by PPS “Visitors to PPS School Campuses COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures”. No names as to who made the decision, who voted on it, etc.

Within the “PPS School Campuses COVID-19 SOP, it states that “these operating procedures have been developed in alignment with the “Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 School Year”. This is the most current version of the Oregon Department of Education Ready Schools, Safe Learners document. that document has been in place since September and has not changed. PPS made the proof of vaccination status decision this week based on no changes to this document.

Fall sports have been happening throughout the PPS region since late August/early September and just now some unknown group within PPS has decided that vaccine passports and personal medical information is a requirement to attend high school sporting events.

What is evident is this decision was not tied to the “Ready School, Safe learners Resiliency”. This action was not the result of an Executive Order by Governor Brown. It was not an Emergency Administrative Rule issued by the Oregon Department of Education. It was also not a voted on by the PPS board. The PPS Board held a Regular Board meeting on October 21 but the agenda did not include a discussion or a vote about vaccine status for spectators. The PPS policy committee met on October 19. Again, no committee or board action was taken to make this a PPS wide mandate or a public policy decision. It is completely unclear as to who made the decision to put the procedure in place and what authority that person has to make such a decision.

Statewide tax dollars pay for Oregon public education and local taxpayer bonds often pay for school facilities including athletic facilities. PPS has NO legal authority to shut parents and the public out of supporting their student athletes based on a requirement to show private medical information.

Ironically, this segregationist tactic flies in the face of other PPS actions. Last year PPS renamed Wilson High School to Ida B Wells because Woodrow Wilson was seen as a racist due to segregation actions taken while he was in office. Today’s segregation is not as “black and white” as American’s past. It has taken on a new form that has nothing to do with skin color or race or religion, and everything to do with your private medical information. “Show me your papers” is the modern-day version of segregation.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-10-26 11:11:02Last Update: 2021-10-27 22:48:33



Local Farmer Announces for YamCo Commission
“I’m excited at the opportunity to contribute to our county”

Kit Johnston, a Yamhill County farmer and businessman has announced his candidacy for Yamhill County Commissioner. The position currently filled by Casey Kulla will have a new commissioner in 2023. Commissioner Kulla has filed to run for Governor on the Democratic ticket. Article II, Section 10 of the Oregon Constitution says that "No person holding a lucrative office, or appointment under the United States, or under this State, shall be eligible to a seat in the Legislative Assembly, nor shall any person hold more than one lucrative office at the same time, except as in this Constition [sic] expressly permitted."

Johnston is a fifth generation Oregonian who grew up in St. Paul, Newberg, and Dayton. He's been a farmer in Yamhill County for over 25 years. Johnston is also a businessperson, entrepreneur, and father, raising two daughters with his wife Caralee.

Yamhill County has mostly good problems associated with healthy economic growth requiring solid management experience at the Board of Commissioners. Johnston’s track record of success in business and his commitment to livability for future generations caused supporters to ask him to seek this office.

“I'm excited at the opportunity to contribute to our county. The way things have been going in recent years, I believe that now is the time I can give back to my community in a positive and productive way. With my diverse background in business and farming, I have the mindset and work ethic to be a good addition to the Board of Commissioners."

He can be found on Facebook at @KitforYamhill


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-10-26 11:05:27Last Update: 2021-10-27 10:45:34



Human Trafficking in Oregon?
Massage parlor raided in Grants Pass

An ongoing Grants Pass Police Department (GPPD) investigation involving commercial sexual solicitation at a local massage parlor resulted in several arrests during a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement operation.

The operation was a cooperative effort between GPPD Detectives, the Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET) and the Rogue Area Drug Enforcement team (RADE). Human trafficking concerns were further developed during this ongoing criminal investigation at the Silk Road Massage parlor located on the 1500 block of NE Seventh Street in Grants Pass.

Arrested during the raid was Wei Zhang, 58 of Grants Pass, charged with promoting prostitution. Kul Assavaphoom, 41 also of Grants pass was cited and released for prostitution. During the raid a customer, Yhang Zhao, 52 was found with a US Marshal warrant out of Virginia and was lodged in the Josephine County Jail. The business was owned by Min Zhang, 48 of Grants Pass.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department says they greatly value community partnerships and they would like to thank the Women’s Crisis Support Team in Grants Pass who assisted with victim advocacy.

SOCET is a joint inter-agency task force that started in June of 2020 to combat child exploitation and human trafficking. The task force consists of investigators from Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO), Medford Police Department (MPD), GPPD, Oregon State Police (OSP), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and prosecutors from our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Jackson and Josephine County.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-10-25 13:12:01Last Update: 2021-10-25 13:19:39



At Least 19 Shootings in Portland Over the Weekend
PPB are investigating

Portland Police Enhanced Community Safety Team (ECST) is tracking nineteen (19) total verified shootings beginning Friday October 22nd through the early morning of Sunday October 24th. At least 95 cartridge casings have been recovered connected to these incidents. Several injuries, several arrests, and the recovery of several firearms occurred.

Friday 10/22 12:39a.m. - East Precinct officers responded to a shooting at Northeast 162nd Avenue and Northeast Halsey Street. Reports of a male firing a handgun. Officers located a male matching the description of the suspect, detained him, and recovered a 10mm pistol concealed on his person (photo). Officers discovered a crime scene consisting of several cartridge casings. No known victims however this is an ongoing investigation. Nathan D. Isenberg, 18, of Portland was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) on charges of Discharging a Firearm in the City Limits (x5) and Unlawful Possession of a Loaded Firearm in Public (City Code) and Reckless Endangering. Case #21-295060

Friday 10/22 at 1:52a.m. – Central Precinct officers responded to a shots call in the area of Southwest Bertha Boulevard and Southwest 26th Avenue. Officers arrived and located a crime scene consisting of numerous cartridge casings. No known injuries. Need video and tips. ECST following up. Case #21-295105

Friday 10/22 at 2:00a.m. – East Precinct officers responded to 2600 block of Southeast 168th Avenue on the report of an occupied building struck by gunfire. No injuries. Related shots call not found. Need tips. Ongoing investigation. Case #21-295356

Friday 10/22 at 7:22a.m. – East Precinct officers responded to a shots fired call in the 7900 block of Southeast Powell Boulevard. Officers located numerous casings and believe a vehicle may have been struck, but left the scene prior to the arrival of officers. No known victims. Need video and tips. ECST following up. Case #21-295272

Friday 10/22 at 2:41p.m. – East Precinct officers responded to a disturbance with shots fired call in the 100 block of Southeast 97th Avenue. Officers arrived and located a crime scene. No known injuries and this incident is an ongoing investigation. Case #21-295634

Friday 10/22 @ 8:48p.m. – East Precinct officers responded to Southeast 162nd Avenue and Southeast Division Street on the report of a shooting. Officers arrived and located a crime scene which consisted of numerous cartridge casings and an occupied vehicle struck multiple times by gunfire. The occupant of the vehicle was not injured and investigators do not believe that they were the intended target of this shooting. Ongoing investigation. Need video and tips. Case #21-295915

Friday 10/22 at 10:55p.m. – East Precinct officers responded to 3300 Block of Northeast 82nd Avenue on the report of a shooting. Officers responded an located a crime scene consisting of several cartridge casings. No known injuries. Ongoing investigation. Need tips and video. Case #21-296017

Saturday 10/23 at 12:00a.m. – North Precinct officers responded to a drive by shooting in the 3800 Block of North Haight Avenue. Officers located a crime scene consisting of numerous cartridge casings two unoccupied vehicles and an occupied home struck by gunfire. No known injuries. Ongoing investigation. Need tips and video. Case #21-296143

Saturday 10/23 at 2:43a.m. – Central Precinct officers heard shots fired in the area of Southwest 5th Avenue and Southwest Harvey Milk Street. Officers located a crime scene consisting of numerous cartridge casings. A short time later a shooting victim arrived via private vehicle at an area hospital suffering from a serious, but non-life threatening injury. Officers determined that the male was injured as a result of this shooting. Ongoing investigation. Need tips and video. Case #21-296178

Saturday 10/23 at 2:47a.m. – East Precinct officers responded to the area of Southeast 122nd Avenue and Southeast Stark Street on the report of a disturbance and shooting. Officers arrived and located a crime scene consisting of numerous cartridge casings. No known injuries. Ongoing investigation. Need tips and video. Case #21-296183

Saturday 10/23 at 3:29a.m. – East Precinct officers on scene at the shooting at Southeast 122nd Avenue and Southeast Stark Street heard numerous shots fired to the west of them. Officers responded to the area of Southeast 119th Avenue and, after speaking to witnesses, were able to determine someone was firing shots from what was described as a white SUV (possibly a Toyota 4Runner). No known injuries. Need tips and video. #21-296209

Saturday 10/23 at7:46p.m. – North Precinct officers responded to shots fired in the 200 block of Northeast Ivy Street. Officers located a crime scene consisting of several cartridge casings. No known injuries. Need tips and video. Case # 21-296957

Saturday 10/23 at 9:25p.m. – North Precinct officers responded to the 1800 block of North Willis Boulevard on a report of a shooting. Officers spoke to witnesses who provided information leading them to believe a shooting occurred at this location, however the individuals involved had left the area prior to the arrival of officers. There were no known injuries and this is an ongoing investigation. Case #21-297043

Sunday 10/24 at 12:39a.m. – East Precinct officers responded to the area of Southeast 153rd Avenue and Southeast Stark Street on the report of a shooting. Officers located a crime scene and determined that a neighborhood resident confronted a suspected car prowler who fired at least one shot when challenged. The suspect ran off prior to the arrival of officers and was not located. No injuries. Ongoing investigation and tips/video needed. #21-297229

Sunday 10/24 at 1:38a.m. – North Precinct officers responded to the 400 block of Northeast Columbia Boulevard on the report of a shooting. Officers located a crime scene and one area business was struck by gunfire (photo). Initial information suggests this incident was an exchange of gunfire between the occupants of at least two vehicles. No known injuries. Ongoing investigation. Need tips and video. Case # 21-297220

Sunday 10/24 at 2:10a.m. – East Precinct officers were on scene at an unrelated call when they heard shots fired in the area of Southeast 157th Avenue and East Burnside Street. A vehicle was observed leaving the area at a high rate of speed. Officers were able to conduct a stop on the vehicle at Southeast 182nd Avenue and Southeast Division Street where they contacted the occupants. A subsequent investigation resulted in the recovery of a semi-automatic pistol (photo) and the arrest of two of the occupants. Julian Guarneros, 18, of Gresham was booked into MCDC for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Loaded Firearm in Public (city code), Discharging a Firearm in the City (city code), Reckless Endangering, Reckless Driving, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Driving while Suspended or Revoked-Misdemeanor. Max Anderson, 22, of Anaheim, California, was booked into MCDC for Unlawful Possession of a Loaded Firearm in Public (city code), Unlawful Possession of Firearms, Reckless Endangering. No known injuries. Case # 21-297236

Sunday 10/24 at 2:53a.m. – East Precinct officers responded to a shooting in the 12100 block of Southeast Bush Street. Officers arrived and located several cartridge casings and an occupied residence struck by gunfire. No injuries. Ongoing investigation. Tips and video needed. Case #21-297256

Sunday 10/24 at 3:07a.m. – East Precinct officers responded to Portland Adventist hospital on the report of an individual who self-transported with a non-life threatening gunshot wound. The individual was not cooperative and it is unknown where the victim was injured by gunfire. Ongoing investigation. Need tips. Case # 21-297264

Sunday 10/24 at 6:25a.m. – Double murder 300 block of Northwest 6th Avenue (see other press release).

These shootings are being actively investigated by the ECST and Homicide Detectives. Witnesses or individuals with information are encouraged to contact the police.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2021-10-25 12:59:48Last Update: 2021-10-25 13:06:00



We Spend a Lot on Homelessness. How Are We Doing?
Though the data is certainly had to collect, some more exact numbers would be more useful

The 2021 Session was Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek's chance to take a stab at homelessness, which she did with HB 2006. It was a bold step, not only in terms of spending, but in terms of imposing policy on cities and counties.

HB 2004 from the 2021 Session was the funding part. It allocated over $46 million to Housing and Community Services Department to award grants and provide technical assistance for emergency shelters and appropriated funds to Department Administrative Services to distribute to cities and counties to develop navigation centers. The measure appropriates a total of $47.0 million toward homelessness, but only $29 million will be used for actual sheltering of homeless people. The rest -- about 30% -- is for "navigation centers," which are "low-barrier emergency shelters open seven days per week with the purpose of connecting homeless individuals and families with health services, permanent housing, and public benefits."

The spending breaks down like this: The fact that virtually everyone has compassion for someone living on the streets makes accountability difficult. Nonetheless, and despite the fact that policymakers deliberately make the numbers elusive, both the human cost at stake and the enormous dollar amounts being spent make accountability imperative.

The study sidesteps the actual number:

Nationally, Hawaii, California, and Oregon had the highest rates of individuals experiencing homelessness, with 50 or more individuals experiencing homelessness per 10,000 individuals. According to HUD’s 2018 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report, Oregon is one of four states in which more than half (61 percent) of all people experiencing homelessness were found in unsheltered locations.

Though the data is certainly hard to collect, some more exact numbers would be more useful. 50 per 10,000 is 0.5%, so that means that 21,500 of Oregon's 4.3 million residents are "homeless," but that's maybe not what people think of when they think of homeless. Of these, 61% or a little over 13,000 are "unsheltered." Divide the $46 million by this and you add another $3,500 per person to the wave of cash being spent on the homeless.

Even many of the stingiest taxpayers would pay whatever it takes to truly rescue any number of homeless people, but one can't help but wonder if the money actually helps desperate human beings, or goes to sustain a bureaucracy.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-10-24 14:24:26Last Update: 2021-10-25 15:10:30



No Vax, No Vino?
“I heard Oregon is requiring vaccine passports, is this true?”

Recently Oregon Department of Agriculture released their 2021 Oregon Ag statistics for the 2020 growing season. Included in that are the top agricultural commodities. Oregon wine grapes ranked #8 at $157,900,000 as estimated by the Oregon Wine Board. What this does not take into consideration is all the peripheral industries that also benefit and contribute to the economic engine of Oregon’s wine industry. People come to Oregon from all over US and the world to enjoy the wine but then also spend money at local restaurants, hotels, rental car companies, gas station, etc. The spending power of the Oregon wine industry is much broader than the raw numbers in the report.

However, a new question looms over Oregon wineries and Oregon agritourism. Could the segregation of the COVID vaccinated vs. unvaccinated have an effect on the tourism Industry? It appears that some local wineries are not waiting for the State to follow other progressive locations such as LA and NY. They are taking the chance that mandating vaccine passports for entry on their own will be seen as a positive step for their business, employees and customers.

A few of the Oregon wineries that have taken these steps are: Many out of state tourists are coming from states that have no vaccine mandates in place. So, in an effort to warn potential travelers, Travel Oregon has proactively addressed the issue on their web site stating,

“I heard Oregon is requiring vaccine passports, is this true? No. Though, some businesses or attractions may ask to see proof of your vaccination status...If showing your vaccine card makes you uncomfortable, please have a backup plan ready”.

Realistically, however, how many non-vaccinated travelers wishing to visit Oregon would be willing to have a back up plan ready and what exactly is that? A negative at home COVID test done in a hotel room 72 hours prior to going wine tasting? If the visitor is here for 10 days, do they test multiple times or make sure that they have a detailed plan for which days they want to visit vax passport wineries vs. non-vax requirement wineries? Or do they just choose to take their tourism dollars to another state?

The good news is that Oregon has so many wineries, large and small. Many of which are open for business and do not require visitors to share private medical information. A few of those are: As Governor Brown continues to push the COVID vaccine mandate for state workers, and the Federal Government works through how to enforce the Presidents statement that every business in the US with 100 or more employees will require vaccinations, it will undoubtedly lead to more people acquiring a vaccine passport whether they want to or not. However, for those that value their medical freedom and medical privacy they may need to adjust expectations on their ability to enjoy Oregon’s beautiful wine country.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-10-24 10:14:27Last Update: 2021-10-24 14:12:33



Are Taxes Driving Business Out of Oregon?
“Our tax policies are driving away Oregon’s businesses and job creators.”

Due to recently passed new taxes and increases of existing taxes, at both the state and local levels, a stunning number of Oregon businesses are now giving serious consideration to leaving Oregon according to findings from a survey of nearly 500 business CPAs and local chamber of commerce leaders.

The survey, sponsored by Oregon Business & Industry and conducted in the spring and summer of 2021, shows the roster of new local and statewide taxes imposed in Oregon over the last three years have created a negative perception of the cumulative impact of these taxes on business owners and employers. As a result, most report that they have clients or members who are considering leaving the Portland region – or the state altogether, while others are considering pulling back on future Oregon investments, including restricting new hiring.

“The results of this survey should give state lawmakers and local elected leaders pause,” said OBI President and CEO Angela Wilhelms. “Our tax policies, especially recent new taxes and local tax increases, are driving away Oregon’s businesses and job creators.”

Key survey findings include:

“Taxes in Oregon at both the statewide and local levels are negatively impacting our business communities,” Wilhelms said. “These Oregon employers, the backbone of our economy, see recent tax increases as harmful to their ability to grow, hire, compete and succeed; and they are now clearly beginning to vote with their feet.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-10-23 10:26:10Last Update: 2021-10-23 10:14:27



How Columbia County Spends Tax Dollars
Highlighting a county government’s expenditures

Property taxes pay for a number of critical services. These include public safety (law enforcement, fire and emergency services), parks, schools, public transportation, public defense, elections, community justice, and a host of other important municipal services. As an example, the Northwest Observer presents the following information about how Columbia County Oregon spends the taxes collected from businesses and homeowners:

Columbia County will collect $86,053,943 in taxes from both businesses and private landowners this year. But the majority of that amount doesn’t stay in county coffers – only 9.64 percent, or roughly $8.3 million, goes into the county’s general fund. An additional 3.95 percent, or $3.4 million, goes to the Jail Operation Fund from the local option levy approved by county voters.

General fund dollars largely pay for county law enforcement and public safety, including Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, jail operations, and the district attorney’s office. The remainder pays for general county administration, including the assessor’s office, land development services, juvenile services, and the county commission. More than 85 percent of property tax funds collected are distributed to local schools, cities, and special districts, such as those that manage 911 services or soil and water conservation, to name a few.

Here’s the breakdown: TOTAL: $86,053,943

There was one new voter-approved local option levy for the Rainier Cemetery District. Those with properties within that district will see a line item of $.05 per thousand of assessed value on their tax statement.

Another local option levy to note is that of the Scappoose Rural Fire Department. Voters within this district approved an increase of $.75 to the district. This brings their rate from $1.24 per thousand of assessed value to $1.99 per thousand of assessed value.

Columbia County has 91 tax code areas that are comprised of various combinations of taxing districts that serve that area. Therefore, where your property is located dictates the rate and type of taxes you pay. City dwellers can often pay more than rural property owners because of local taxes that go to parks, libraries, or local voter-approved bonds, among other benefits.

On the top left of your property tax statement is your code number. To see the exact charges for your specific code, go to the county Assessor’s webpage at columbiacountyor.gov and open the 2021-22 Summary of Assessment & Tax Roll. The document contains a list of all agencies in the county that receive the taxes.

The vast majority of taxes – 46 percent – goes towards education, including five school districts, one educational service district, and Portland Community College.

Fire districts receive more than 19 percent of the total. These districts cover the entire county, from Vernonia to Clatskanie to Scappoose.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2021-10-23 10:12:39Last Update: 2021-10-23 12:34:41



Beaverton School District Under Fire
A formal complaint has been submitted to the Beaverton School Board

School districts and boards are being targeted by CEI, Center for Equity & Inclusion, promoting equity and inclusion, another name for Critical Race Theory that markets their services to train and control the content and decisions once contracted. The contracts allow unelected personnel to make local decisions avoiding public input. Multnomah Education Service District, and Gresham-Barlow and Beaverton School Boards have contracted with CEI.

Beaverton parents are not happy with CRT being the approach to Equity and Inclusion, and how contracting was left to Pat McCreery, the Equity and Inclusion Administrator for Beaverton School District and his selection of CEI. McCreery seemed not to have given due diligence to other offers before committing to CEI. In a public record request, two emails McCreery sent shows an illegal commitment.

He wrote district executive members – Don Grotting, Mike Scofield and David Williams on November 15, 2020, trying to avoid a Request for Proposal, regarding the legal/ethical obligations and limitations in terms of engaging with CEI for such a large contract. He suggested the use of Student Investment Account funds or use staff PD/tuition reimbursement funds to cover costs. The same day McCreery wrote CEI on avoiding a RFP process required for contracts over $50,000 -- not to mention the contracting process -- is required prior to committing to a vendor.

Where is the impartial treatment? He suggested spreading costs over fiscal years allowing parts of the partnership written into the Student Investment Account using classroom funds. Split or not, it should be a concern to spend $384,660, billing up to $420 per hour for a single CEI staff member, to do equity training on a criterion that hasn’t been vetted nor had any best practices been applied. Even the board’s vice chair, Becky Tymchuk, said regarding Critical Race Theory, “how can we have data if we’ve not tried it yet,” admitting there is no evidence this Critical Race Theory based approach will address student achievement and disciplinary gaps. The kids are effectively being used as an experiment.

Jeff Myers, life resident and parent in Beaverton, filed a formal complaint to the Beaverton School Board, and a report filed with the Secretary of State Audits Division. They have directed the issue to an outside auditing firm that has worked with the Beaverton School District in the past. He says district and board members are always polite even though public comments against the lens of CRT and antiracism movement far outnumber 10:1 comment in support. In an email from Pat McCreery to Don Grotting he sums up their defiance against the well of the people: "Amid my concern over the feedback we're getting, I kept reminding myself that this feedback "noise" is a reminder that we're doing good work..." At board meetings they try to quiet the opposition by telling parents such things as, "Just as there are people like you against our Antiracism approach, there are people voicing their support who I also must listen to." The people in support McCreery revealed in an email as people offering their services, such as a lawyer, Beaverton Human Rights Commission, community advocate and Oregon Center for Education Equity. He pits them against hundreds of parents.

Myers told the Northwest Observer what motivates him is his son. “He's seeing fights and outbursts nearly every day. They took all the soap dispensers out of the boys' bathrooms, in the midst of a pandemic no less, because they can't control the students and refuse to discipline them in the name of "equity". They point to a TikTok challenge to steal stuff from school and make a video of it. And somehow getting rid of Student Resource Officers, who are the only people left in schools who can intervene to help kids from getting hurt, is part of the "solution".

Myers says, “The truly sad part about what the Beaverton School District is doing is that none of this new, radicalized version of Equity and Inclusion is proven to address any of the current and historical gaps in student outcomes we have in K-12 education.”

He challenges others, “My eyes were opened when I started reading what Critical Race Theory was about, and I began to see what the Beaverton School Board was doing and began asking questions, gathering data and setting up meetings. The board’s admission that there is no evidence supporting this radical direction is key to getting the district to take guidance from the board. The challenge is, how can we help more people see what school boards are doing?”


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-10-22 15:57:19Last Update: 2021-10-23 10:08:18



Senator Tim Knopp Elected Republican Leader
“Republicans have an opportunity to showcase our ideas as an alternative to failed Democratic leadership”

Senator Fred Girod (R-Lyons) has voluntarily stepped down as Republican Leader for health reasons. The caucus elected Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) as the new Republican leader. The rest of the leadership team remained unchanged.

Newly-elected Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp released the following statement:

“I want to thank Senator Girod for his leadership over the last year and a half. He has been a strong conservative champion for Oregon Republicans. He will be missed in leadership, but he is doing what he believes is best for his health, and I support him. Republicans have a great opportunity to showcase our ideas and vision as a viable alternative to decades of failed Democratic leadership in Oregon. I look forward to serving this caucus to do just that.”

Senator Knopp is widely regarded as a moderate Republican. The Senate Republican caucus has been divided for the last few session. Two of its former members now caucus as independents -- Senators Brian Boquist (I-Dallas) and Art Robinson (R-Cave Junction).

Senator Knopp was a member of the Oregon House from 1998 to 2005 and was House Republican Leader in 2003. He was elected to the Oregon Senate in 2012. He represents Senate District 27 which is the Bend area.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-10-22 10:21:14Last Update: 2021-10-22 12:07:32



Technical Error Prompts State to Count Additional COVID Deaths
550 deaths will be added in coming weeks

Over the coming weeks, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will begin reporting approximately 550 deaths among people who died with COVID-19 but whose deaths only became recently known to state epidemiologists due to a technical computer error. Most of these deaths occurred between May 2021 and August 2021.

The deaths will be reviewed during the data reconciliation process over the next month. People who have died and meet the COVID-19 death definition based on death certificates will reported on the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 dashboards and its daily COVID-19 media releases. As a result, daily reported COVID-19-related deaths will be higher than usual until the backlog is resolved. Details of all deaths will be listed in OHA’s daily COVID-19 media release, which is published weekdays.

OHA’s reporting of COVID-19 deaths involves reconciling death records to case records, which is done manually. OHA has been working to automate the process but that has led to periodic backlogs, such as what is being reported today.

“We are taking steps to ensure that our reporting is comprehensive and transparent,” said OHA Director Patrick Allen. “We deeply regret the pain this disclosure may cause.”

The additional deaths will affect Oregon’s national standing in COVID-19 death rates. Presently, Oregon has the 6th lowest death rate in the nation. The newly reported deaths are expected to push Oregon’s death rate past one or two other states. However, Oregon’s death rate will remain well below the national average and the fatality rates of most other states.

State health officials estimate that if Oregon’s death rate matched the national average, another 4,000 or more Oregonians would have died from COVID-19.

Death is a lagging indicator and generally follows a surge in cases. In addition, there is often a delay in reporting as OHA epidemiologists review death certificates.

OHA expects that reported deaths may continue to be high even as daily case counts decrease.

The newly enhanced COVID-19 Case Severity dashboard visualizes the time lag between when case onset and dates of death.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2021-10-21 20:26:26Last Update: 2021-10-21 20:44:21



Analysis: Deciding With Whom You Associate
Even Oath Keepers have the right to freedom of association

Every Individual of the age of consent has the authority and right to decide for himself or herself whether to associate or not to associate.

In his majority opinion for the Supreme Court case of the NAACP v. Alabama (1958), Justice John Marshall Harlan II wrote, “It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the ‘liberty’ assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech.”

The court ruled that the individual members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have the right to associate together free from the undue interference of the state. The members of the NAACP have a right to expressive association, which refers to the right of people to associate together for expressive political purposes. Unfortunately, today, the Biden Administration and others in the US Government are undermining and attacking the right to the freedom of association.

Their ultimate goal is to purge their ranks and society overall from what they deem as right-wing militia groups when in reality they are trying to silence the debate and dissent of their political adversaries.

The Oath Keepers are now in the sights of the feds because some of their members entered the US Capitol on January 6th in the so-called insurrection. Even though the organization was already under the scrutiny of the feds, their investigations have immensely intensified with the new administration, which is making difficulties for members of the Oath Keepers who currently serve in law enforcement.

There was a recent hit piece released by the taxpayer-funded Oregon Public Broadcasting titled, Dozens of Oregon law enforcement officers have been members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia.” In the article, they do their best to impugn the reputation of several police officers because of their membership and association with the Oath Keepers organization without taking into consideration that these officers have the right to associate or not associate with whomever they choose.

OPB took data that was illegally hacked from the Oath Keepers databases and crossed referenced it against public records, social media, and state law enforcement certification information for verification. They soon found out that there were dozens of current law enforcement officers who are members of the organization all across the US. Some of those officers are serving the public here in the state of Oregon. Remember, the name of this group is Oath Keepers, so it would only be reasonable to think that some of their members might be cops who are currently on the beat because cops have rights too.

Most citizens want the police to be dedicated to their oath, so it should not matter that they would belong to a group that celebrates fidelity to duty. Loyalty to the US Constitution seems to be a quality missing in government. Many could very well claim that today’s politicians are oath breakers not oath keepers, so it is refreshing to see such patriotism in people assigned to uphold the laws of our country.

The Oath Keeper’s website states:

“Oath Keepers is a nonpartisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” That oath, mandated by Article VI of the Constitution itself, is to the Constitution, not to the politicians, and Oath Keepers declare that they will not obey unconstitutional orders, such as orders to disarm the American people, to conduct warrantless searches, or to detain Americans as “enemy combatants” in violation of their ancient right to jury trial.”

OPB also makes the mistake of labeling the Oath Keepers as an antigovernment, anti-immigrant extremist group, which could not be further from the truth as an organization. Public Broadcasting is a known tool of the establishment, so their reporting is an extension of the government's McCarthy-style witch-hunt against anyone opposed to the Marxist reset.

Most members of Oath Keepers believe in a constitutionally limited government that delivers maximum liberty and minimal authority. It is what oath-keeping is all about. Many members support legal immigration, but they are opposed to the government allowing illegal aliens to violate US immigration laws.

The organization is fervently opposed to communism, fascism, white supremacy, or racial superiority. There are members of Oath Keepers who are first-generation immigrants who have faithfully served this country, there are members of many different ethnicities involved with the group and the one common denominator between these people is their belief in the American way. There are no disqualifications for membership based on race, or sex meaning they do not discriminate based on a person’s immutable qualities. Those beliefs are not extreme.

What is extreme? Those who are promoting open borders, big government with unchecked powers, and the elimination of the US Constitution because of the belief that it is inherently racist. During the Oregon 2021 Legislative Session, Representative Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas) and Senator James Manning, Jr. (D-Eugene) introduced HB 2936, which states “membership or participation in hate groups, racial supremacist organizations or militant groups erodes public trust in law enforcement officers and community safety.”

Signed by Governor Kate Brown, the new law HB 2936 is another way the Oregon legislators can virtue signal to the “woke” while simultaneously restricting the voices of anyone who disagrees with their agenda. Moreover, it helps them purge the ranks of the police of people who have other beliefs.

The problem with HB 2936 arises with a basic question.

Who gets to make the decision on which groups are hate groups, or are racial supremacist organizations, or even which group is militant? It is a lot of power for any one person or group of people and with the ever-changing contemporary meanings of words with definitions so broad and so vague, the courts could label anything and everything as hateful or racist.

Is a shooting club militant? Is the NAACP a racial supremacist organization? Are the Girl Scouts a hate group? Who gets to decide? What about government officials who belong, donate, and sponsor Antifa, Black Lives Matter, or even the Communist Party? Some would say that all three organizations are hate groups yet their members make up a good portion of the base of the Democratic Party.

Another problem arises from the new authority that the legislators created in HB 2936. The law may violate the Oregon and US Constitutions. Article 1, Section 8 of the Oregon State Constitution states that "No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever; but every person shall be responsible for the abuse of this right."

HB 2936 restrains free expression of opinion, it restricts the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject and it makes someone else responsible for deciding if speech and association with others is a crime. It is a clear violation of the rights of people serving in law enforcement.

Every organization is going to have good and bad members and the law should not judge a group by the actions and words of others. The government should punish people who commit crimes, but the government should never deny a right to one individual based on the actions of another individual, or groups of individuals. The law has to make a judgment based on the merits and actions of the individual no matter how extreme their beliefs are or whom they associate with, and before anyone makes that judgment they had better remember even Jesus associated with lepers, prostitutes, and thieves.

Editor's note: The author, Rob Taylor is a radio show host on www.KWRO.com in Coos County Oregon and you can hear his podcasts at www.RobTaylorReport.com. Rob has never been a member of the Oath Keepers and he does not belong to any political party.


--Rob Taylor

Post Date: 2021-10-21 07:13:52Last Update: 2021-10-21 09:57:19



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