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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
Legislative Committee hearings
Oregon Capitol



Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 8:00 am
Legislative Committee hearings
Oregon Capitol



Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Friday, December 9, 2022 at 8:00 am
Legislative Committee hearings
Oregon Capitol



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.
Oregon Capitol, Salem


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School Choice Initiative Launched
The initiative was quietly filed late this summer

As school districts become more and more responsive to public employee unions and they system becomes less and less accountable -- while at the same time it becomes more and more expensive -- a group of citizens is taking independent steps to return focus on students. Education Freedom for Oregon is proposing a ballot measure to write school choice into the Oregon Constitution.

The education establishment has been feeling what has been a decades-long decline in the effectiveness of the Oregon public school system. Many feel that the COVID-19 outbreak was not handled very well as distance learning failed to meet the needs to many students and the exodus from the public school system escalated.

Parents' frustration with public schools rose to a fever pitch when earlier this year the legislature passed SB 744 which prohibits State Board of Education from requiring for high school diploma that student show proficiency in any academic content area if a student successfully completed credit requirements. This concept was so negatively regarded that there were no sponsors for the bill -- it was introduced as a committee measure and introduced by the Senate Committee on Education, chaired by Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland).

Led by Chief Petitioner Marc Thielman, the school choice initiative was quietly filed late this summer and quickly met the requirements to get a title from the Attorney General. That process is being completed now, and the group expects to be gathering the approximately 150,000 signatures from Oregon registered voters needed to put it on the ballot in November 2024.

Thielman -- who is also running for Governor -- has been a superintendent and principal since 2005. He became the Superintendent for Alsea for the opportunity to run a preschool through 12th grade, an open-enrollment school district, founded on a business model designed to meet the needs of all students.

According to the website, Thielman "stood up for the families and students in his district and safely kept his schools open while most of the Oregon schools were closed for Covid. By keeping his schools open, he saved hundreds of students and families from unnecessary hardship and poor mental health outcomes, including youth suicide."

To find out more or to get involved, see Education Freedom for Oregon's website.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-12-16 18:41:43Last Update: 2021-12-16 21:12:38



Dr. Cyrus Javadi Announces Legislative Campaign
Will run for Oregon’s House District 32

Dr. Cyrus Javadi has announced his intention to run for State Representative in House District 32 (ranging from Neskowin to Astoria on the North Coast) as a Republican in the May 2022 Primary.

"The divide between the right and the left is growing so large," said Dr. Javadi. "As a small business owner and dentist who loves this community, I still believe we can find common sense solutions without abandoning our values. That's where most of the people in our coastal communities are at and it's what they want from their leaders."

Dr. Javadi runs a dental practice in Tillamook. A father of five, he and his wife moved to Tillamook 10 years ago because of their love for the small town feel, clean air, and sense of community found on the North Oregon Coast.

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"I've never been a politician and I never saw myself running for office, but believe it's time for people to step up and to sacrifice for this state and this great country if we want to have a better tomorrow," continued Dr. Javadi.

House District 32 is currently represented by Rep. Suzanne Weber (R-Tillamook) who recently announced she is running for Senate District 16.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-12-16 12:41:32Last Update: 2021-12-16 13:55:08



Republicans Comment on Second Special Session
Failure persists at Department of Housing

Oregon House Republican Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville) released a statement regarding the conclusion of the second special session of 2021.

“This unnecessary special session was called because of yet another state agency failure,” said Leader Breese-Iverson. “Democrat state leaders have not addressed the numerous errors and mistakes at OHCS that are hurting Oregonians. This is a complete failure of leadership. House Republicans urge significant changes to these agencies under Democrat control. We call on the Governor to dramatically increase oversight to ensure this money gets to real people in need.”

“The additional legislation passed during this special session finally holds the state accountable to two promises we made earlier this year: action against illegal drug cartels in Southern Oregon and drought relief for farmers,” added Leader Breese-Iverson. “It’s unfair to Oregonians that this money was withheld for months. Democrats are more interested in chasing headlines with a special session, and as a result people continue to suffer while they wait.”

Observers are insisting that the legislation from Democrats prolongs drastic government disruption in rental housing to give more time and money to the ailing Oregon Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS). For months the agency failed to distribute timely relief to renters and property owners, promising improvements that never came despite millions of dollars from the Legislature.

Additional bills were passed and were supported by House Republicans. Included were belated support for law enforcement to combat drug cartels operating illegal cannabis grow sites in Southern Oregon and long-awaited drought relief for farmers.

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State Representative Christine Drazan (R-Canby) also renewed her call for accountability and new leadership at the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS) in the wake of the agency’s repeated failures to manage the state’s emergency rental assistance program. Representative Drazan again stressed the need for accountability after the Legislature voted to extend the program without a clear plan for addressing the issues that have plagued its rollout.

“Oregonians across the state are frustrated with how the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department has managed this program, and they should be,” said Representative Drazan. “Thousands of vulnerable renters have been left hanging in the balance while they wait for this agency to get its act together. Oregonians deserve accountability for this agency’s repeated failures. I once again urge Governor Brown to make a change in leadership at OHCS and to take concrete steps to finally get this program on track.”

Representative Drazan previously called on Governor Brown to replace OHCS Director Margaret Salazar on Friday, in advance of today’s special session.

“I will not vote to extend a program that has let down so many people without a change in leadership at OHCS, a clear plan for addressing these failures immediately, and a commitment from this Legislature to exercise proper oversight by ensuring that Oregonians have access to a functioning agency. It’s long past time for us to step in and right this ship,” concluded Representative Drazan.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-12-15 19:40:45Last Update: 2021-12-15 19:52:38



ODA to Establish Disaster Relief Fund
Oregon Legislature passes bill in special session

During the 2021 second special session, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 892 that directs the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) to establish a disaster assistance program.

The Legislature awarded $40 million to this new, one-of-a-kind program to help mitigate economic losses farmers and ranchers sustained because of the compounding natural disasters in 2021, including the ice storm, heat dome, and drought.

“I commend the Oregon Legislature and Governor Kate Brown for their firm support of SB 892,” said Alexis Taylor, Director, ODA. “Over the last two years, Oregon has experienced one natural disaster after another, with the pandemic on top of all of that. I have heard from so many Oregon farmers and ranchers who are concerned how they will make it through next year. The funds provided by SB 892 will keep many operations afloat until the USDA develops its federal disaster program that is expected to be announced by mid-2022. All of us at ODA will work as fast as we can to develop an application and distribution process to get these dollars to those in need.”

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USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack visited damaged berry farms in the Willamette Valley in August 2021, shortly after the heat dome event that brought temperatures of 117 degrees. During his visit, he and Oregon Governor Kate Brown heard from local farmers and ranchers about the limitation and delay in federal disaster delivery. SB 892 allows ODA to contract with regional lenders to provide localized access to disaster assistance. The intent is to meet the unique needs of Oregon producers, for whom disaster assistance has not typically worked for.

SB 892 gives ODA the authority to contract with lending institutions to administer the disaster assistance program locally.

The Legislature designed the loan program to act as a bridge loan or direct assistance while the upcoming federal program is developed. ODA says they intend to begin the implementation process immediately to serve Oregon’s agricultural community.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-12-15 16:00:01Last Update: 2021-12-15 16:18:15



Will Omicron Variant be a Christmas Spoiler?
“This may be good in terms of getting people immune”

The Oregon Health Authority claims three Omicron variant cases have been detected in Oregon on December 13. Two were residents of Washington County and one from Multnomah County that were fully vaccinated. OHA’s epidemiologist, Dr. Dean Sidelinger’s answer for the concerned public is to get fully vaccinated.

They just recently figured out how to split the flu test from the COVID-19 tests and by some speedy discovery they can already track the omicron variant. They apparently already have a test for omicron and that the current vaccine and boosters will work on it. That’s some class action speed of developmental science.

Omicron was discovered in South Africa. The South African doctor who first spotted omicron variant says cases are mild. ER Dr. Omar Hamada, former U.S. Army Special Forces lieutenant colonel told Capitol Report, “If the infectivity is greater, but the virulence or severity is less, this may be actually something good in terms of getting people immune to it without necessarily having to depend on a vaccine that’s not incredibly effective.”

Pfizer executive Ralf Rene Reinert claims their work on new versions of their vaccine concluded that the original shot provides good protection. On the other front, Moderna will submit an omicron variant booster for authorization in March.

The World Health Organization says the omicron variant has a number of mutations that suggests an increased risk of reinfection. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said “clearly the virus does appear to be transmitting efficiently.” Is he saying as they hoped it would?

The symptoms for omicron are the same as being recorded for the vaccines – heart related complications, heart failure, blood clots, weakness and pain. People passing away from the vaccine that were attributed to the delta variant will now be recorded as an omicron death within the seven-day window of being vaccinated.

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President Biden is taking the cautious route by not issuing vaccine mandates after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Biden administration’s attempt to overturn a hold on the mandate.

Respiratory viruses mutate and usually mutate into something more benign. It could be a good thing to get it and achieve natural immunity. There is no reason for mandates when there are effective easy remedies.

Oregon Health and Science University reported that Thanksgiving did not create a wave of infections and hospital cases are on the decline. There is no indication the omicron variant should interfere with Christmas plans, but will Governor Brown see something in her scientific tea leaves that will frighten her?


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-12-14 19:15:04Last Update: 2021-12-14 19:22:45



Metro Council Approves New District Boundaries
Metro serves Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties

The Metro Council approved a new district map that balances the constituencies of elected leaders in the wake of the 2020 Census.

The map keeps the same rough outline of Metro Council districts: District 1 in east Multnomah County, Boring and parts of Happy Valley; District 2 in north-central Clackamas County and parts of Southwest Portland; District 3 in urban Washington County south of the Tualatin Valley Highway; District 4 in urban Washington County north of TV Highway and Canyon Road; District 5 in Portland north of US 26 and I-84 including the inside of the downtown freeway loop; and District 6 in Portland south of US 26, I-405 and I-84.

Here’s what changed from the old map:

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The districts take effect immediately. With the district boundaries set, the council will now focus on filling the vacancy in District 6.

Applications for that vacancy are now being accepted.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-12-14 19:05:22Last Update: 2021-12-14 19:16:49



Northwest Oregon Housing Authority Board Seeks Applicants
Volunteer opportunity in northwest Oregon

Clatsop County has announced that applicants are being sought for an open seat on the Northwest Oregon Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

The Northwest Oregon Housing Authority owns and manages housing for low- and moderate-income people and administers various federal housing assistance programs in Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties.

The board normally meets once a month, the location rotates among the counties.

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The open seat is for a four-year term representing Clatsop County.

To apply, go to the online sign-up form here or contact the Clatsop County Manager’s Office at 800 Exchange St., Suite 410, Astoria OR 97103, (503) 325-1000.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-12-14 18:31:50Last Update: 2021-12-14 18:50:10



Senator Heard Protests Masks at Oregon Capitol
Republican calls out Kate Brown, is escorted from Senate gallery

The State Senator for Oregon Senate District 1 and Oregon Republican Party Chairman, Dallas Heard (R-Roseburg) was removed from the floor of the Oregon State Legislature during a Special Session floor meeting, declining to wear a facial mask in civil protest.

He told Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) that he would not comply with the order to wear a mask, and he would also not leave the voting floor, as he was elected to represent the people of his district in the matter.

The Senate President then ordered the Senate Sergeant of Arms to escort Heard from the voting floor. Heard accompanied the Sergeant of Arms without incident.

"Simply put I am just exercising the rights of the free people of Oregon," Senator Heard said.

Heard continued,"I think it's very interesting that our very own Governor who has put our children and the people of Oregon under these mandates and was recently photographed many time in fact, not wearing a mask at a crowded indoor event. This has gone on far enough!"



"You know you don't have a mask on, you're supposed to have a mask on," said a visibly shaken Senator Courtney. "So why don't you get up and tell us what you want, then I'm going to ask you to leave the floor."


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-12-13 20:26:01Last Update: 2021-12-13 21:32:45



Analysis:What Happens when the Legislature Gets Bored
Remember when nooses were the current scandal?

The Northwest Observer doesn't cover national news, such as the race crime hoax the likes of which actor Jussie Smolett was recently convicted of. There are plenty of national media sources and a quick internet search will get one up to date if they haven't heard the story. As one pundit describes it the left's demand for racism exceeds the supply.

It took an FBI investigation to confirm that the "noose" used as a door pull on the garage occupied by NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not a hate crime. But for a while, noose season was in full swing.

Over here in Oregon where we have a one-party government, they seem to have solved every other problem that it seems that they have to turn to fake problems to keep themselves busy.

Speaking of nooses, SB 398, introduced by Senator James Manning, Jr. and passed into law during the 2021 regular session created the crime of intimidation by display of a noose. The law goes into effect in a couple of weeks on January 1, 2022.

It will be interesting to see if any new "noose" crimes are prosecuted and -- as ugly and insensitive as trying to intimidate someone by displaying a noose would be -- to see if the courts would actually uphold this law in the face of the First Amendment and Article 1, Section 8 of the Oregon Constitution.

In the meantime, we can all be proud of the fact that soon, the state of Oregon will be a noose free zone.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-12-13 20:12:15Last Update: 2021-12-13 21:33:22



$170 Million in Federal Emergency Rent Assistance
Oregon wants to spend more on unpaid rent

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and Local Program Administrators (LPAs) still continue to process applications for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP).

As of Dec. 8, OHCS and LPAs have paid $170.2 million in federal emergency rental assistance to 24,705 applicants, up from $157.5 million and 23,155 applicants from the previous week. OERAP is ranked 6th in the nation nation for housing assistance, in the percentage of ERA funds paid out and obligated, as tracked by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

OHCS is partnered with Public Partnerships LLC (PPL) on the project. Currently, 150 PPL staff are processing applications with a focus on applications outside the 60-/90-day safe harbor period. In the past week, PPL processed close to 850 applications, exceeding their 500-application target. This is in addition to the applications paid out by Community Action Agencies working across the state to finish paying out ERA 1 funds. To date, OHCS and LPAs have: About 22,470 applications are in the review process. The 60-/90-day window of protection begins when a tenant shows proof they applied for the program. However, this data is not currently available.

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As proxy, OHCS is tracking when a tenant completes an OERAP application and the number of applicants who have not been paid outside of the 60-day window (90 days in Multnomah County and unincorporated areas of Washington County). Applications outside the 60-/90-day window are being moved from the LPA in their county to PPL.

Multnomah County is not included in this as a comparison because they have a 90-day window. Their average processing time is 75 days. On average, PPL processed applications within an estimated 57 days from when they received the application.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-12-13 14:46:11Last Update: 2021-12-13 21:11:15



George Appointed to House District 25
Joins House Republican Caucus

Last week Commissioners from Marion, Yamhill and Washington Counties selected Jessica George to represent House District 25. On Monday, she was sworn in as a member of the Legislature.

“The House Republican Caucus welcomes Jessica George to the Legislature and looks forward to the contributions she will bring, starting with this week’s special session,” said House Republican Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville).

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“There were some fantastic candidates running for this position and I am extremely honored to be selected as the new State Representative for House District 25,” said Representative Jessica George (R-St. Paul). “A big thank you to former Representative Bill Post for representing this district for the past seven years. I’m very excited to step into this roll and serve my communities.”

Representative George is a former legislative staff member for former senators Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) and Larry George (R-Sherwood). She now works as a project manager for the George Packing Company located in Newberg.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-12-13 11:00:44Last Update: 2021-12-13 15:10:59



The Politics Behind the Western States’ Scientific Workgroup
Are we really doing science here, or do we just like to use the word?

It has been over a year since Governor Kate Brown announced her pick of Oregon doctors to serve on the Western States’ Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. The group was formed to do an “independent review on the safety and efficacy of any vaccine approved by the FDA for distribution.” Governor Brown said, “The independent review conducted by this panel of doctors, scientists, and health experts will ensure that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone...[and] to guide the review of any vaccine approved by the FDA.”

The panel of Democrat western states governors and the driving force behind its formation is political. They didn't trust President Trump administration's FDA to perform an expert review for approval of the vaccine. Even though the FDA is staffed with experts, the western states governors made it a political showing to protest President Trump. The Workgroup doesn’t do anything more than read the FDA filing from pharmaceuticals to determine if they are believable. They do not test, examine or investigate content of the vaccines. They have no data to make a judgement, so how scientific is their review? it's a show that is cheated out of an ending.

Governor Brown writes, “these top health experts will review any vaccine that receives federal approval and verify its safety before California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada will make the vaccine available to the public.” “The workgroup will conduct a review of available data to ensure safety and effectiveness.” What is the available data? How is the effectiveness determined without outside testing?

Even though the workgroup is completely unnecessary to have another layer of approval on top of the FDA approval, the western states seem to have created the workgroup to support each other in rolling out mandates that are unconstitutional. The more they test the constitution, they create a precedent in people’s minds that convinces them they are legal.

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In addition to the Western States’ Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, the Oregon Health Authority formed a Vaccine Advisory Committee––a decision-making group that worked with OHA to co-created a vaccine distribution plan that prioritizes communities most affected by COVID-19 and those impacted by past and current health inequities. It guides community engagement strategies to build trust and increase confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. However, transparency hasn’t been forthcoming.

It's only recently that CDC has posted the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines that the manufactures reported. The statistics on possible side effects is still hidden from the public. CDC does list possible side effects including myocarditis and pericarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle and outer lining, in adolescents and young adults as being higher after getting the second dose.

OHA filed, December 11, 2021, a hearing on January 24, 2022, for two proposed rules. One exempts health care staff from vaccine mandates if they have had COVID-19 or for religious reasons. The second proposed rule requires wearing face coverings in health care settings. Instructions on how to participate are on the filing.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-12-13 10:02:45Last Update: 2021-12-12 10:18:02



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