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On this day, November 29, 1928, Paul Simon (d.2003), later Senator of Illinois, was born in Eugene.

Also on this day, November 29, 2012, Rebecca Jeanette Rubin, a 39-year-old Canadian citizen and environmental radical, turned herself in to the FBI at border in Blaine, Washington. She was part of a cell in Eugene, Oregon, known as the Family, and was sought for setting fires at a Vail ski resort and a lumber mill in Medford, Oregon.




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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 8:00 am
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82nd Session of the Oregon Legislature Begins
Monday, January 9, 2023 at 8:00 am
The 2023 Session of the Oregon Legislature begins. Legislators are sworn in and bills are introduced.
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Legionnaires’ Disease Reported In Washington County
Murrayhill-area residents put on alert

Washington County Public Health is investigating six cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the Murrayhill area of Beaverton. The cases were reported within the last week in people who live within two miles of Murray Boulevard and Scholls Ferry Road. The people range in age from late 40s to early 80s; four have been hospitalized.

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by the Legionella bacteria that is found naturally in the environment and grows best in warm conditions. Common sources include hot tubs, hot water tanks, large air conditioning and plumbing systems, fountains and water bodies.

The county has not identified the source of the cluster and is alerting the public so people in the area can be proactive in identifying cases quickly and get treatment.

“People with Legionnaires’ disease may have flu-like symptoms including fever, tiredness, muscle aches and headaches, that often progress to coughing and shortness of breath. Nausea, diarrhea and confusion are also possible symptoms,” said Dr. Christina Baumann, Washington County health officer. “If you live in or frequent the affected area and experience these symptoms, please contact your health provider right away so they can determine if you have Legionnaires and provide treatment.”

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The disease, which got its name from a 1976 outbreak at an American Legion convention, can be successfully treated with antibiotics. While most people make a full recovery, many need to be hospitalized. One in 10 people with the disease will die.

People are generally infected with the disease by breathing in droplets from a contaminated water source.

Most people with healthy immune systems will not get Legionnaires’ disease, even after breathing in the bacteria. Older adults, those who smoke, and those who already have lung disease or a compromised immune system are at higher risk and more likely to become seriously ill.

Washington County Public Health is interviewing people diagnosed with the disease and employees of local businesses and housing complexes to try and determine if there is a common point of exposure. Public Health is also working with Oregon Health Authority and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to collect samples and perform testing to link the cases to each other and to possible exposure sources.

Because the bacteria are so common in the environment, these investigations are difficult and time consuming. Washington County will provide updates as more information becomes available.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2021-10-28 19:17:36Last Update: 2021-10-28 19:35:07



Congressional Candidate Comments on Illegal Immigration
“President Trump’s policies were working”

A recent report revealed that illegal immigration arrests have dropped to their lowest level in over a decade, which is a direct result of President Joe Biden’s open border immigration policy. Congressional Candidate Alek Skarlatos had this to say about the report.

“Once Democrats took control of Washington, Joe Biden paused on deporting illegal immigrants, now illegal immigration arrests have dropped to a record low and every town in America, including communities in Oregon, are border towns,” said former Oregon National Guard soldier Alek Skarlatos. “President Trump’s policies were working and this report is more proof that we need leaders like myself, who will stand with him in building a wall along our Mexican border and deporting those who illegally enter our country.”

The Washington Post reports that “Immigration arrests in the interior of the United States fell in fiscal 2021 to the lowest level in more than a decade — roughly half the annual totals recorded during the Trump administration, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement data obtained by The Washington Post. Officers working for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) made about 72,000 administrative arrests during the fiscal year that ended in September, down from 104,000 during the 2020 fiscal year and an average of 148,000 annually from 2017 through 2019. ERO administrative arrest data is considered one of the best gauges of ICE activity because interior enforcement is entirely under the agency’s control, unlike deportations and other metrics that rise and fall with migration trends at the Mexico border. ICE arrests in the interior plunged after President Biden took office and set new limits on immigration enforcement, including a 100-day “pause” on most deportations.”

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Skarlatos is a former Oregon National Guardsman, who served in Afghanistan and a candidate for Oregon's 4th Congressional District, running as a Republican against incumbent Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield). In 2015, while traveling on a train bound for Paris, Skarlatos, along with four others, jumped into action to stop an Islamic Terrorist who tried to open fire on a passenger train. His heroism earned him several awards and medals around the world including, the United States' Soldier’s Medal.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-10-27 12:38:10Last Update: 2021-10-27 22:47:23



Portland Public School Board Meeting Adjourns in 29 Seconds
Board Files Out Before the Unmasked Masses

After Chair Michelle De Pass sternly warned the crowd, they had two minutes to put masks on or she would suspend the board meeting and the board would leave and reconvene virtually in another room. But then 29 seconds into the meeting, DePass “adjourned” the meeting, and the PPS board members fled the in-person board meeting. One audience member commented the chair must be a product of Common Core Math learning.

The media including KGW valiantly tries to keep the spin going by describing maskless participants as that they “tried to refuse” to wear masks. They didn’t try, they simply walked in past security folks mask free. Later inside when mask free participants were approached to again wear masks, they politely said “no” and security politely went away.

The security folks at the Portland Public School District board meeting have always been friendly and non-threatening at board meetings. At least one participant said that security knows there is no mask law and that is the reason the school board did not call for the police.

The crowd found it humorous that a slender person dressed all in black Antifa type wannabe young person with their arms held high crossed in a X shape seemingly pretend he/she was keeping back the large crowd of patriots as though he/she was protecting the board members filing out who were in no danger from the maskless crowd who had started calling out “there is no mask law.”

Time and time again across all forms of communication, whether verbally or in written form, to the many and various state government agencies, the administrative state government agents, and the governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, none, to date, will address the fact that there is no mask law.

Mask rules, guidance, policy, requirements, mandates, orders, and suggestions are not law, and -- according to some -- they in fact violate law, thus they are moot and thus the fact that no person in the state of Oregon has ever been arrested for not wearing a mask.

The fiction created by Kate Brown and her administrative state continues to fall apart.


--Margo Logan

Post Date: 2021-10-27 10:45:34Last Update: 2021-10-27 22:47:57



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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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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:

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“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.

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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".

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

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



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