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On this day, June 16, 1873, President Grant signed an executive order that permitted Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce to live in the Wallowa Valley, Oregon, to perpetuity.

Also on this day, June 16, 1877, The Nez Perce War began in the northwestern US. The First Squadron of the First Regiment, the oldest cavalry unit in the US, fought the Apaches and the Nez Perces.




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Juneteenth
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 12:00 am
Juneteenth
Celebrated on the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when in the wake of the American Civil War, Major General Gordon Granger ordered the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas.



Lincoln County Fair
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.thelincolncountyfair.com
July 4-6
Lincoln County Fairgrounds



Independence Day
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 11:59 pm
Independence Day
USA



Marion County Fair
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.marion.or.us/CS/Fair
July 11-14
Oregon State Fair & Expo Center



Jackson County Fair
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 8:00 am
TheExpo.com
July 16-21
Jackson County Fairgrounds - The Expo



Columbia County Fair
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 8:00 am
columbiacountyfairgrounds.com
July 17-21
Columbia County Fairgrounds



Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.linncountyfair.com/
July 18-20
Linn County Expo Center



Washington County Fair
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.bigfairfun.com/
July 19-28
Washington County Fairgrounds - Westside Commons



Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.cooscountyfair.com
July 23-27
Coos County Fairgrounds



Curry County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.eventcenteronthebeach.com
July 24-27
Curry County Fairgrounds - Event Center on the Beach



Hood River County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.hoodriverfairgrounds.com
July 24-27
Hood River County Fairgrounds



Jefferson County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.jcfair.fun
July 24-27
Jefferson County Fair Complex



Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.atthefair.com
July 24-28
Lane Events Center



Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://clatsopcofair.com/
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo



Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.malheurcountyfair.com
July 30 - August 3
Malheur County Fairgrounds - Desert Sage Event Center



Benton County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
bceventcentercorvallis.net
July 31 - August 3, 2024
Benton County Event Center & Fairgrounds



Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://expo.deschutes.org/
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center



Union County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.unioncountyfair.org
July 31 - August 3
Union County Fairgrounds



Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.co.yamhill.or.us/fair
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds



Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.klamathcountyfair.com/
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair



Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://co.wallowa.or.us/community-services/county-fair/
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds



Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.bakerfair.com
August 4-9
Baker County Fairgrounds



Harney County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.harneyfairgrounds.com
August 4-9
Harney County Fairgrounds



Sherman County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.shermancountyfairfun.com
August 19-24
Sherman County Fairgrounds



Crook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.crookcountyfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Crook County Fairgrounds



Douglas County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.douglasfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex



Grant County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.grantcountyoregon.net
August 7-10
Grant County Fairgrounds



Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.josephinecountyfairgrounds.com/
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center



Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.polk.or.us/fair
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds



Tillamook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.tillamookfair.com
August 7-10
Tillamook County Fairgrounds



Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.umatillacountyfair.net
August 7-10
Umatilla County Fairgrounds



Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.wheelercountyoregon.com/fair-board
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds



Clackamas County Fair
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at 8:00 am
clackamascountyfair.com
August 13-17
Clackamas County Event Center



Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.morrow.or.us/fair
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds



Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.wascocountyfair.com
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds



Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
http://www.co.gilliam.or.us/government/fairgrounds
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds



Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.lakecountyor.org/government/fair_grounds.php
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds



Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.oregonstateexpo.org
August 31 - September 9
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center



Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla
Saturday, September 7, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla 5pm-9pm
Albany, OR


View All Calendar Events


A Look at School Tax Bond Measures
Do lockdowns, poor performance, justify $863 million in new taxes

Children lost a full academic-year from almost 2-years in lock-down, forced to wear masks, get vaccinated or leave school – evidence is emerging this was mostly a ruse. Parents lost jobs to stay home with kids or because employers shut-down. Progressive school superintendents and school boards pressed forward with controversial curriculum and issues, dismissing and disregarding input and pleas for change or compromise from concerned parents and disenfranchised taxpayers.

Against this back-drop of shutdowns, dismal academic performance, disregard for parents and taxpayers, skyrocketing inflation, and a pending economic depression -- eight Oregon school districts decided now would be a perfect time to ask taxpayers for more than $863 million in new taxes. The timing and optics of hitting property owners with $863 million in new taxes could not be more tone-deaf according to many citizens.

District parents, property owners and taxpayers certainly want the best for every student whose only option is public school but these new taxes have nothing to do with students or academics – they’re about contractors, money and facilities. Many feel this is not the year to ask citizens, especially property owners, to pay higher taxes just as they are paying an extra $250 month for gas and an extra $150 a month for groceries. After all, education and political operatives get two elections cycles a year, each November and May to trot-out tax bond measures. Voters in this May’s election should consider the following before voting to increase their tax burden even more for another 20-30 years.

Vague Justifications

If you review local bond measures the talking points are similar. The same subjective, non-quantifiable buzz-words are parroted, “this money is to make safety and security improvements, improve HVAC systems, make Americans with Disabilities Act updates (a 1990 law)” and generic statements such as, “to make site improvements, repairs and upgrades, build a new building, remodel rooms”. Project Managers suggest that when asking for $20, $30, $100 million dollars there are sound business management protocols.

Some say there should be exact project scope statements for every individual project with cost-analytics, Gantt charts, engineering designs, materials lists -- to the last nail, parts and equipment costs, subcontractor and labor cost, cost-overrun, forecasts and much more. This must be available to taxpayers, contractors, consultants, school boards and other evaluators -- to review, input and mark-up, perhaps years in advance. Asking for such huge sums of money without exact scope or justification is fiscal malpractice and a management failure. School districts and others get away with this year-after-year. This year, voters would be wise to make districts go back to the drawing-board and quantify, objectify and justify every project in detail – every dollar spent is quantifiable. Tax asks would likely come back cut in half or maybe not at all.

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

“Free” Federal Money

Congress passed three COVID relief bills. These bills transferred $5.3 trillion from taxpayer pockets to mostly progressive social and welfare programs. Oregon school districts alone received $1.65 billion from the American Rescue Plan and 3 allotments from Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds. Allotments from 3 Governors Emergency Education Relief funds brought in another $60 million. There was $30 million for distance learning, $28 million for charter and private schools, $27 million for migrant students and $7 million for teaching English. There is more to be allocated through 2025.

These COVID relief funds are “free” money, not part of yearly school budgets -- money from the sky. COVID funds were earmarked broadly for COVID related concerns such as, improving safety and security, upgrading HVAC systems and equipment, making site improvements. In short, what almost every district put in their tax bond requests. Since money is fungible, account swaps could easily allow for roof repairs, remodels and other items not specifically earmarked.

For example, the Lebanon School District wants $20 million dollars from taxpayers but got $14 million in free COVID relief money. This money would pay for everything they ask for. Beaverton school district wants $173 million for their tax bond and received nearly $100 million in free money -- that’s a large bite out of what the district asked for. Before adding to their tax burden for another 20-30 years, taxpayers should be asking, “Where did all that money go?” This money was for safety and facility upgrades, not backfilling retirement accounts, bonuses and hiring staff. This could be scandalous -- every penny of school COVID fund money must be publicly accounted for.

Ethical Considerations

Tax bonds are publicly presented as trivial. Typical statements include, “only a 7-cent levy”, “only $1.13 per 1000 assessed value”, “only $29 extra a month.” A lot is left out. There may be 10-15 local taxing agencies in every tax jurisdiction saying the same thing year-after-year. Taxpayers and school parents from Linn County discovered that, according to the Tax Foundation, Linn County pays the highest property tax as a percentage in Oregon and Lebanon pays the highest rate of cities in the county. A property with a $175,000 assessed value paid $3700 this year but $4200 next year if bonds are approved. Keep in mind, assessors raise property values the maximum legal 3 percent each year, so this $175,000 house will be worth $306,000 or more in 20 years and the tax will then be $7344 yearly – if no new measures are passed--not likely. Exact project expensing and full public disclosure of any future tax burden should be the law.

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

The public often opposes additional school tax bonds as well as the integration of progressive social programs in their schools. Understandably, many citizens are incensed when the general public’s school district website, graphic designers, consultants and others use these public assets as lobbing tools for information, disinformation and messaging -- outlining only the “pro-yes” point-of-view and omitting opposing views. Those with opposing views (which exceeds those in favor in a failed bond) must build their own websites, pay their own way. Using Lebanon again, as the example, the district website informs and advocates their viewpoint. The school district just spent as much as $30,000 of all the taxpayer’s money to send out glossy mailers to district residents lobbing only their position for passage of a $20 million bond -- $10 million to repair a $1 million dollar swimming pool. This is the second mailer. This is manipulative. District websites should post all sides on the publicly owned district website. Equal funding and the same mailing lists at school rates should also be provided for mailers and flyers representing all sides in the community.

People pushing tax bonds will highlight their district will get an extra $X-million dollars from the state that will go to another district if the tax bond does not pass. This is not exactly true. This money comes from the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching Program. This money is just more taxpayer’s money held by OSCIM, then dangled like bait to incentivize local school districts to raise taxes on property owners. OSCIM money for districts actually increases each year if not used.

Education is changing. Parents are abandoning progressive, union controlled monolithic public-school systems in favor of small independent neighborhood schools, circa 1950, charter schools, private schools, Christian schools, online learning and homeschooling where they have a choice, a voice and control over their children’s education. Money needs to follow students not government facilities. Taxpayers should also be wary of being on the hook for 20-30 years for upkeep and maintenance of abandoned, empty school buildings. Progressive school administrators continually suggest such taxes are an “investment” in our communities. Informed citizens know investments return money to investors -- this is just more taxing and spending.

The only way citizens can ever reign-in an organized, self-serving, out-of-control government is to cut off the money supply until they listen.


--Clarke Vesper

Post Date: 2022-05-02 08:36:49Last Update: 2022-05-02 09:42:16



OR 224 Now Open After Nearly Two Years of Closure
Had been closed due to Labor Day 2020 wildfires

Oregon Highway 224 above Estacada re-opened Sunday May 1st, after crews completed the final cleanup needed to make the road safe after the Labor Day 2020 wildfires.

Also, the U.S. Forest Service opened the Hole in the Wall and Moore Creek boat access day sites and Big Eddy day use site. All other Forest Service recreation facilities in the Clackamas River Corridor will remain closed at least through the remainder of 2022.

“These communities experienced real hardships as a result of the massive wildfires of 2020,” said Rian Windsheimer, ODOT Portland area manager. ”Today, ODOT and our partners are pleased to celebrate the reopening of this road, but much more forest recovery work still lies ahead of us.”

Recovery work in the corridor will continue after the road opens.

This summer, visitors will encounter road closures of up to 20 minutes at varying locations, seven days a week, and will see trucks loaded with debris, rock scaling work and asphalt being repaired.

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

The Forest Service, ODOT, Portland General Electric and other partners have been joined by private contractors in preparing the road for its re-opening. The extent of the wildfire damage was staggering, keeping 18 miles of OR 224 closed for 20 months.

The work involved: Work is underway to re-seed with native plants to reduce weeds.

Patching of OR 224 potholes will continue this spring with paving of the damaged sections this summer when the weather warms up.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-01 21:07:44Last Update: 2022-05-01 21:20:50



Stolen Ambulance Results in a Chase
OSP troopers and emergency personnel responded

It was quite a sight to see Oregon State Police (OSP) cars chasing an erratic driven ambulance down Interstate 5 on Friday, April 29, 2022 at approximately 7:31 PM. OSP troopers and emergency personnel responded to a single vehicle crash on Interstate 5 near milepost 273 in Marion County.

OSP reports that upon arriving at the crash scene, the operator of the crashed vehicle, identified as Noor Mohammad Baheej (30) of Winnetka, California, attempted to flee.

The driver returned and stole the Woodburn ambulance that was on scene. Baheej drove north on Interstate 5 into Portland where he continued to elude police. OSP attempted to pin the ambulance but Baheej rammed a patrol vehicle, struck a building and was able to continue to elude troopers.

The ambulance was again located on Interstate 5 southbound near milepost 295. The driver stopped the ambulance and attempted entry into another vehicle on the highway. OSP troopers were then able to take Baheej into custody without further incident.

Baheej displayed multiple signs of impairment and after investigation was charged with DUII-Alcohol (BAC .21), UUMV, Attempt to Elude, Reckless Driving and Failure to Perform Duties of Driver.

Federal data shows Oregon has the worst drug addiction rate in the country and last for access to treatment.

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

The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health said about 12% of Oregonians aged 12 and older said they had an alcohol problem, up from 7% in 2019.

Combined, they gave Oregon the second worst overall addiction rate nationwide, with nearly one in five teens and adults reporting a problem with drugs or alcohol.

Could it be that Oregon’s treatment problem starts with an easy access problem?


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-04-30 16:01:42Last Update: 2022-04-30 16:07:43



Election Integrity Outshines at Dorchester
Out of 19 filed Republican candidates for governor, nine were present

Ballots will be mailed out this week for the May 17th Oregon Primary election. The Secretary of State sent out notices warning that misinformation about the election will be a crime they will prosecute against. Is it for your protection, or theirs? It seems like Oregonians aren’t impressed with big names or big names supporting candidates. Democrat and Republican establishments are fighting the same battle for non-affiliated votes.

Started 57 years ago, the Dorchester Conference is the oldest political conference in the United States and a showcase for Oregon's conservative elites.

However, it was originally started at the Dorchester House in Lincoln City where moderate Republicans would talk about repairing the party. It deliberately excluded “far right-wingers.”

The unique difference in the Dorchester debate from others is that the audiences takes a straw poll to pick a favorite candidate.

Out of 19 filed Republican candidates for governor, nine were on the ballot and there were 223 participants, Marc Thielman received an astounding 61%. Thielman may have put a target on his back. In 2018 Greg Wooldridge won over the favored Representative Knute Buehler that brought out big donors. Thielman’s advantage is voters are listening to their messaging like never before, and there are 19 Republican candidates looking for support.

Election Integrity and Oregonians for Fair Elections gave a training event in conjunction with the Dorchester conference as a separate event. They did their own straw poll during the event and Marc Thielman received 43 out of 48 votes, and Joe Rae Perkins received 34 out of 45 votes.

About 62 attended the training on being an election observer, making a records request, and heard reports from counties pursuing election integrity work.

In attendance was the person whom built the Oregon’s Centralized Voter Registration (OCVR) Database for the Secretary of State’s website and was allowed to speak on his work.

OCVR is a top-down system that maintains detailed registration and voting history information. Digital images of full voter registration cards are incorporated into the system for signature verification, and a public portal allows online checking of voter registration status.

The OCVR is working towards modeling after Washington State, which has same day voter registration, and internet voting that allows a person to print their ballot on a home computer and mail it.

Oregon allows the handicapped to vote on the internet with a specific pre- registration for that system. Some counties are experimenting allowing citizens overseas to vote by internet.

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

Legislative authorized Administrative Rules have allowed specific voting exemptions without further approval. However, printing on a home computer will eliminate paper with a watermark or heat-sensitive element as proof of an authentic ballot and prevent it from being photocopied.

Don Powers spoke on what the Multnomah County team has discovered in analyzing voting data. The data is showing something called shuffle. That’s where extra or possibly manipulated ballots are entered throughout the process a little at a time avoiding big jumps that draw attention. However, it creates a smooth steady increase as ballots are counted instead of the normal little jumps back and forth. From their work, other states are finding similar results.

As teams put in public requests, two counties were unable to provide the requested information who lost their voting data and they did not make a backup. Being out of compliance is a violation of both U.S. and Oregon laws.

The Democrat conference is to begin April 29 to May 1. The 11th annual Oregon Summit of the Democratic Party of Oregon will be held at Sunriver Resort in Deschutes County. The Democrats have 15 candidates for governor.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-04-30 11:33:32Last Update: 2022-05-02 16:18:35



Analysis: Fiscal Responsibility in McMinnville
Perhaps his successor will have a proper perspective on keeping the steel mill competitive.

McMinnville City government is feeling the financial pinch from years of living off reserves. Those years were mostly years of above average prosperity when reserves are expected to grow but policies have been to expand social programs instead and not stress fiscal restraint. Those years coincide with the arrival of City Manager Jeff Towery and a compliant elected City government.

McMinnville sought to implement a 9% total increase in power rates through McMinnville Water and Power, controlled by the City since 1889. The City owns the sewage treatment plant and sought increases there as well. At Monday nights’ City Council meeting the final decision on rate increases resulted in a 3% increase in electrical fees charged to industrial consumers and a 1% increase in the sewage franchise fee.

The largest customer for electricity and water is Cascade Rolling Mills. They were in a group of industries enticed by McMinnville Industry Promotions, MIP, a group of area businesses formed in 1953 which were successful in recruiting the steel mill in 1969. McMinnville Water & Light were part of the MIP and key to negotiations that brought the mill to McMinnville.

When confronted with a 3% increase in usage and another 6% increase in franchise fees Cascade (and McMinnville Water and Light) said that would result in a lawsuit. The City, with Manager Towery negotiating, ended up at 3% increase in electrical fees charged to industrial consumers and no franchise fee. The City Council approved that increase. Cascade Rolling Mills employs over 400 in high paying jobs.

Cascade, owned by Schnitzer Steel, competes in the commodity market for construction steel with prices subject to global supply and demand forces. Cascade must have controlled costs to remain viable. They have been a generous benefactor to McMinnville, home to their 400+ employees. The Citys’ initial starting point attempted to gain a 12% increase from Cascade (6% usage plus 6% franchise fee). That showed little appreciation for sharing in the financial viability of McMinnvilles’ largest primary industry. Perhaps it revealed some economic illiteracy in the City bureaucracy.

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

Jeff Towery has negotiated an employment contract that concludes in 2024. Perhaps his successor will have a proper economic perspective on McMinnvilles’ reliance on keeping the steel mill competitive.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-29 15:51:42Last Update: 2022-04-29 16:06:10



Jonathan Sandau named ODA Assistant Director
“He successfully led the implementation of new programs, projects, and legislative work”

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced that Alexis Taylor, Director, ODA, has appointed Jonathan Sandau as Assistant Director effective May 1. Most recently, Sandau served as a special assistant to the director focusing on the legislature, budget development, and strategic planning.

“Jonathan is a forward-thinking leader who has been responsible for many successes through the COVID-19 pandemic, various natural disasters, multiple legislative and special sessions,” said Taylor. “He successfully led the implementation of new programs, projects, and legislative work that kept our agricultural sector strong through a multitude of challenges over the past two years. His experience, relationships, and knowledge of agriculture and public policy will continue to serve ODA and the people it serves today and into the future."

Sandau joined ODA in early 2020, just weeks before the COVID-19 restrictions began.

Sandau led a statewide effort to provide farmworkers and the agricultural community with personal protective equipment (PPE) to promote health and keep agricultural businesses running in Oregon during the lockdowns.

Sandau helped secure $50 million in emergency and state federal funds for Oregon's farmers and ranchers.

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

Most recently, he helped guide the creation of the Oregon Disaster Assistance Program (ODAP), providing nearly $40 million in relief for those affected by Oregon’s natural disasters in 2021.

As Assistant Director, Sandau will primarily be responsible for leading the agency’s legislative and external affairs work. He previously worked for the Oregon Farm Bureau, Congressman Kurt Schrader, and Governor John Kitzhaber.

Sandau’s family has a farm in Marion County, Oregon.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-29 13:27:02Last Update: 2022-04-29 13:36:36



Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Project
Informing voters on how candidates stand on issues

Some voters are just discovering the Oregon Abagail Adams (OAA) Voter Project website. However, it has been functioning since 2011 providing voters with extensive information on how to take our civic duty seriously. The goal of this nonpartisan group is to equip voters with information on how candidates stand on issues through a questionnaire process.

The website features current candidates and candidate comparison guides. What makes the questionnaire unique for state legislative offices is that many questions are based on actual bills in recent legislative sessions. For incumbents running that don’t submit the questionnaire, their voting record is posted for comparison.

The past two years have been an eye-opener for many Oregonians, watching Portland plundered and burned. Our liberty depends on everyone being engaged as civic responsible citizens. Nothing reflects the political climate more than the number of candidates running in the Primary Election.

This Primary is a prime example of the unrest of Oregonians.

The governor’s race stands out with 37 known candidates, more than doubled from 2018 and triple from 2014.

Of those 37, 19 are on a Republican comparison guide, 15 are on a Democrat comparison guide, plus an Independent, Constitution and Nonaffiliate candidate.

Compare that with 10 Republicans, three Democrats and two Independent candidates in the 2018 election.

Some interesting takeaways comparing those responding. Six Republican candidates responded showing major differences in how they would reduce state government. Three supported moving more authority to local control. Two republicans would reduce the number of state programs and one would reduce government employees. There is some disagreement including areas of forest products, an Oregon owned bank, Governor’s emergency powers, and who should be the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Five Democrat candidates responded and not all completely agree with the party’s direction.

Two candidates said they would reverse Governor Brown’s equity agenda back to the Constitutional equality standard. Not all support more firearm restrictions, electric vehicle rebates, removing hydro-dams, prohibiting mineral mining, or tolling.

The U.S. Senate and House have always been highly contested races, there are vacant seats making that even more so. This election, Peter DeFazio leaves District 4 vacant and there are eight Democrat candidates competing to run against Alek Scariatos on the Republican ticket.

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To add to the furry, the newly carved out U.S. District 6 is a challenge for both parties with seven Republican and nine Democrats competing for a chance at the new Congressional seat.

The three responding disagree on domestic terrorism, right to bear arms, federal access to criminal records, and raising Medicare age.

Among the four Republicans responding to the U.S. Senate Comparison Guide, they disagreed on development of 5G, cyber security, wilderness areas, domestic terrorism, federal funding of child care, and privatizing social security.

The one competitive nonpartisan statewide race to be determined May 17 is the Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner.

Seven candidates are competing and three responded illustrating a wide range of differences.

Candidates running for the Oregon State Legislature includes responses and voting records for 80 candidates to help voters make informed decisions.

Below the state candidate listing, the website lists candidates running for judge and District Attorney. At the bottom are listings for County Commissioner for counties that responded.

The OAA website is also a helpful resource. You will find ways to get involved, a personal get-out-the-vote campaign ideas, and tutorial training in several areas, information on being a precinct committee person, and history of county and state election processes including a Party Platform comparison.

What happens when we stop watching over government? That answer is what OAA wants to help avoid.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-04-29 08:59:14Last Update: 2022-04-29 09:56:15



Wasco County Seeking Volunteers
Serve on the Public Transportation Advisory Committee

Wasco County Oregon seeks applicants to serve on the Public Transportation Advisory Committee. The Committee advises County Commissioners and Public Transportation providers such as The Link Public Transit. The advisory committee considers how transportation funds should be spent and provides the governing body with information about their community’s special transportation needs, particularly related to how projects will benefit seniors and persons with disabilities.

The Advisory Committee strives to represent all members of the community but is particularly focused on those with greater transportation needs such as those who are older, low-income, living in small communities (e.g., in South County), living with a disability, or other user groups who may rely on public transportation.

The County invites applicants who represent these communities either through their lived experience, work, volunteer activities and so on to see appointment.

Interested persons can click here to download an application or contact Kathy Clark to request an application be mailed or emailed.

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

The Committee position is voluntary with a two-year term.

Meetings are held quarterly, or approximately four times per year. Meetings are typically held in person at the Transit Center in The Dalles, but zoom options are available for Committee members to use.

Applications will be accepted through May 19, 2022.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-28 20:43:52Last Update: 2022-04-28 21:02:41



2022 Mushroom Harvesting Permits Now Available
No permit up to one gallon in Oregon, five in Washington

It’s that time of year again for mushroom picking. As we head out to the Forest, many species of friendly fungi rest on the forest floor, ready for harvesting. If you know where to look, and what to look for, mushrooms are available to pick for personal consumption within the daily legal limits: one gallon in Oregon and five gallons in Washington.

No permit or payment is required to harvest, possess, or transport up to these legal limits, provided the mushrooms are not sold or traded but enjoyed by the picker.

The 2022 Mushroom Guide is available in three different languages on the Forest’s website and includes important rules and helpful tips regarding harvesting mushrooms off National Forest lands.

Those seeking to harvest mushrooms beyond the legal limit, or for commercial purposes, will first need to obtain a commercial permit.

Permit sales began on April 25, 2022. Commercial pickers who plan to camp in the National Forest will also need an industrial camping permit. Please contact the nearest National Forest office to discuss your permit needs.

To help care for the land while picking mushrooms:

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Be aware that some forest roads may not accessible due to mud and snow. Traveling on wet mountain roads and terrain can be dangerous. Contact the nearest District Office for up-to-date information on road conditions and current closures.

To improve your personal safety in the woods, please plan ahead, pack the “Ten Essentials,” and travel with others. Also be sure to tell a friend or family member where you are going. Stick to your plan and let them know when you will confirm your safe return.

Keep in mind that many wild mushroom varieties are poisonous. When in doubt, leave it out!

It is the responsibility of the picker to properly identify a mushroom and determine whether it is edible. There are many guidebooks available to assist with identification. The local library, county agricultural extension office, and local mycological society are good sources of information.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-28 20:12:14Last Update: 2022-04-28 20:37:18



Governor Commutes Sentence of Aggravated Murderer
“The Governor is making a habit of releasing violent criminals back into Marion County”

Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson and Sheriff Joe Kast have issued a public safety notice about the Governor’s release of a man serving a life sentence for aggravated murder.

“As with many others, the facts of this case are outrageous and brutal,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “The Governor continues to let violent criminals out of prison, and Democrats in the majority remain silent. The only time they have taken a position was to kill Senate Republicans’ legislation to check the Governor’s overreaching authority to stop releases like this one.”

Nikki Thrasher was murdered by recently released Kyle Headquist in 1995. He convinced her into driving to a remote location in Douglas County where he proceed to execute her.

Over the objections of Douglas County DA, Richard Wesenburg, the Governor decided to release Headquist to live in Marion County. In addition to the life sentence for murder, he was also serving 80 months for robbery and kidnapping.

“The Governor is making a habit of releasing violent criminals back into Marion County,” said Senator Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer). “The families of Headquist’s victims were promised by our justice system that this man would be in prison for life. But the Governor has single-handedly reneged on that promise. This week is Crime Victims Rights’ Week. I cannot think of a worse way to honor those who have been impacted by crime than releasing their offenders from prison. These decisions are dangerous, and the legislature must respond to this overreach by passing common-sense oversite reforms. No one person should have all this power.”

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Majority Democrats continue to ignore Oregonians' concerns over rising violent crime caused by defunding police and continue to make it more difficult for police officers to protect Oregonians. As DA Clarkson and Sherrif Kast mentioned in their public safety notice, this decision makes the jobs of Oregon’s dedicated public safety officials more dangerous and difficult.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-27 12:04:54Last Update: 2022-04-27 12:09:01



Police Capture Mystery Pig in Portland
PPB looking for owner

On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, just after midnight, a Portland East Precinct Officer was driving near the area of Southeast Division Street and Southeast 138th Avenue when she observed traffic slowing in front of her and appearing to drive around something in the road.

As she approached, the officer saw that the object was actually a pig standing in the eastbound travel lanes of Southeast Division Street.

Other officers came to assist and animal control was called. Officers worked to contain their new pig friend and keep him safe from passing vehicles. They also wanted to make sure the pig did not further interfere with motorists and cause a serious crash.

While keeping this human perimeter, there were a few short foot pursuits, and officers tried to establish a rapport.

In an effort to keep the pig calm and contained, an officer arrived with snacks, including Goldfish crackers and cookies (he was not a fan of nacho cheese Doritos).

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Fortunately, staff from the On Call Community Rescue for Animals (located in Oregon City) arrived and after several tense attempts, all seven humans were able to safely coral one small pig into a crate.

At this time, the pig remains known as John Doe, though many other creative names were suggested including one after a famous actor whose last name is Bacon.

Portland Police would like anyone who knows the identity of John Doe's owner to call the shelter directly.

Jokes and comments may now commence.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-27 06:46:11Last Update: 2022-04-26 20:18:34



Metro to Hire More Women and People of Color
White males need not apply?

A new agreement amongst Portland area government agencies and labor unions makes a move toward hiring more women and people of color on construction projects around the region.

On March 17, Metro officially signed the Regional Workforce Equity Agreement which accelerates the hiring of women and people of color construction careers across the Portland region.

As one of the nation’s first multi-jurisdictional workforce agreements, it covers specified projects undertaken by Metro, Multnomah County and the City of Portland over the next five years. For Metro, all capital projects of more than $5 million will be subject to the terms of the agreement.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury has signed the agreement. The City of Portland is expected to approve it later this month. The agreement is structured so that other agencies can sign on in the future.

“This is about keeping our promise as a council to advance racial equity and promote economic empowerment in our region,” says Juan Carlos González, Metro Councilor for District 4.

Workforce agreements are legally binding contracts that set standards for wages, benefits and safety protections for workers. For project owners, they are a tool to control costs and prevent workers from striking.

Metro says it is an opportunity to address historical wrongs.

They cite that in 2021, nearly 88% of people employed in construction were white, and less than 4% were women in non-office jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We began with equity.” says Sebrina Owens-Wilson, regional impact manager at Metro, describing how Metro’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team set out to negotiate the agreement.

Although contract negotiations are typically closed, says Owens-Wilson, “we created an equity advisory table that included workforce development partners, pre-apprenticeship programs and minority contractors’ associations to advise the public owners on what we needed to be getting from this agreement.”

Maurice Rahming, president of O’Neill Construction, served on the equity advisory table. “We identified opportunities and barriers and came up with solutions for this crisis we’re facing. We needed to make sure that women and people of color get the opportunity to fill those higher-paid construction jobs.”

The agreement implements hiring targets that ramp up over five years. Eventually, 14% of work hours at every jobsite will have to be performed by women, 25% by people of color and 20% by apprentices.

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“The agreement is transformational,” says Twauna Hennessee, community outreach representative at Northwest Carpenters Union. “People who may have been left sitting on the bench can now go to work because of these diversity targets. It will give women and people of color a chance to build wealth for their families for generations to come.”

Willy Myers, executive secretary treasurer of the Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council, says, “We need to achieve true reflection of the communities we are working in, then to maintain that diversity those jobsites will need to be safe from hate and harassment.”

The workforce equity agreement requires that everyone on a jobsite participate in anti- harassment or respectful workplace training.

The agreement also includes protections for BIPOC and women-owned smaller firms who already have a diverse workforce. Mark Matthews, president of open shop firm Pacificmark Construction, says under the agreement, he can use his own workforce and is not required to hire through union hiring halls. “It levels the playing field.”

On March 30, Metro issued a request for proposals to renovate or replace the operations and maintenance facility at Blue Lake Regional Park. The project will be the first to be governed by the Regional Workforce Equity Agreement.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-04-25 12:04:33Last Update: 2022-04-25 12:39:08



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