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On this day, June 18, 1938, the current Oregon Capitol was completed at a cost of $2.5 million. The Rotunda is 166 feet tall.

Also on this day, June 18, 1846, the Oregon Treaty with Great Britain was ratified by the Senate by a vote of 41-14. The mainland border was set at the 49th parallel, the original U.S. proposal, with navigation rights on the Columbia River granted to British subjects living in the area.

Post an Event

Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 12:00 am
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.

Make Oregon Great Again
Saturday, June 22, 2024 at 9:30 am
Our mission is to encourage all voters across Oregon to get involved in the 2024 election. Speaking is Mike Lindell, Joe Hoft, Mark Mackay, Donna Kreitzberg, Sarah Phillips, John Lott, Dave Duquette, Andy Pollack.
Jackson County Fairgrounds

Depot Day - Celebrating Cane Berries
Saturday, June 29, 2024 at 9:00 am
Cane berries are an important crop in Marion County both currently and historically. Marionberries were named for Marion County. Come celebrate Cane Berries with Brooks Historical Society. A FREE event with Berry themed games, Pie baking contest, Pie eating contest, and Bumper Crop Betty and Master Gardeners will be there. Marionberry cobbler will be available to purchase. While there visit some of the other 13 museums on site.

Brooks Historical Society Powerland Heritage Park 3995 Brooklake Road, Brooks Oregon 97303

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

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

Marion County Fair
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 11-14
Oregon State Fair & Expo Center

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

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

Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 18-20
Linn County Expo Center

Washington County Fair
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 19-28
Washington County Fairgrounds - Westside Commons

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

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

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

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

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

Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo

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

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

Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center

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

Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds

Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair

Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center

Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds

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

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

Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds

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

Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds

Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds

Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds

Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds

Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
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

Free Family fishing Events June 4-5
In Estacada, Eugene, Hebo, Forest Grove, Toledo, Silverton, Klamath Falls

Not only is fishing free in Oregon the weekend of June 4-5, ODFW and partners will bring all the gear you need to try it, too!

With state COVID restrictions lifted, traditional Family Fishing events are back this year to coincide with Free Fishing Weekend the first weekend in June. At these events, ODFW staff, volunteers and partners provide all the fishing equipment (reels, rods, tackle, bait) and help teach new anglers how to rig their line, cast a rod, land a fish and identify their catch in ponds specially stocked for the weekend.

Saturday June 4 Sunday, June 5 Fishing is free in Oregon the first weekend in June on Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5. Everyone can fish, clam and crab for free in Oregon those two days.

No fishing/shellfish licenses or tags (including a Combined Angling Tag or Columbia River Basin Endorsement or Two-Rod Validation) are required those two days for either Oregon residents or nonresidents. It's also free to park and camp at Oregon State Parks on Saturday, June 4.

All other fishing regulations apply including closures, bag limits and size restrictions. See the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for rules and remember to check for any in season regulation changes, especially for salmon and steelhead fishing, at https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-29 13:54:08Last Update: 2022-05-29 15:36:31

Volunteer Opportunities in Clackamas County
An opportunity to serve on the Parks and Recreation District and Budget Committee

Clackamas County Commissioners are seeking interested residents to serve on county Advisory Boards and Commissions (ABCs). These ABCs offer residents the opportunity to become very involved in specific activities and the goals of Clackamas County.

Individuals interested in this opportunity can apply online or via a paper form that can be obtained from the Public & Government Affairs Department by calling 503-655-8751 or in person at the Public Services Building at 2051 Kaen Road in Oregon City.

New Advisory Boards and Commissions openings currently include:

The North Clackamas Parks & Recreation District – Milwaukie Center Community Advisory Board

The board has one opening, which carries a three-year term. The board is the primary policy advisor regarding the activities and operations of the Milwaukie Community Center, and also addresses the needs of older adults and people with disabilities in the area. Duties include addressing the programs and facilities of the Milwaukie Community Center concentrating on the needs, and desires of the senior citizens and others within NCPRD boundaries. Board members must either live or work within the NCPRD boundaries.

The Milwaukie Community Center is a North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD) facility. The board meets on the second Friday of each month at the Milwaukie Community Center. The deadline for applications is June 30, 2022. For more information, please contact the Milwaukie Center Supervisor, Marty Hanley at 503-794-8058.



Committee for Clackamas County Budget

This committee has an opening for two positions, which carry a three-year term. Both committee positions expire on 6/30/2025. The committee meets quarterly to review and discuss budget-related matters. The committee also holds a series of meetings in May and/or June to review and approve the county budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The county operates on a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year. Applicants for the position must be residents of the county. In order to have balance and diversity of membership representation in terms of geographic area, gender, and experience, commissioners seek volunteers from all backgrounds and areas of the county.

The application deadline is June 10, 2022. You can email the county for more information.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-29 13:33:20Last Update: 2022-05-29 13:49:11

Analysis: Salmon and Science
Conclusions and causes fly off the page. Data is slim or threadbare.

The word "Science" is quickly becoming a junk term. What should be the result of careful study and peer-reviewed scrutiny and the very basis for policy, is now nothing more than colorfully packaged ideology nearly always with a pre-determined solution that often drives radical policy or foolish government spending. In times of huge gains in productivity, it's easy to overlook bad policy.

Possibly the best example of this is the supposed "decline" of salmon. Real data exists. Science is possible, but actual science might get in the way of highly impactful dam removal or massive government spending.

For instance, an OPB report on the failure of hatcheries and the supposed decline in salmon over the decades contains many personal stories and bleak reports but few facts and no actual presentation of data.

The hatcheries were supposed to stop the decline of salmon. They haven’t. The numbers of each of the six salmon species native to the Columbia basin have dropped to a fraction of what they once were, and 13 distinct populations are now considered threatened or endangered. Nearly 250 million young salmon, most of them from hatcheries, head to the ocean each year — roughly three times as many as before any dams were built. But the return rate today is less than one-fifth of what it was decades ago. Out of the million salmon eggs fertilized at Carson, only a few thousand will survive their journey to the ocean and return upriver as adults, where they can provide food and income for fishermen or give birth to a new generation.

OPB offers no data to back up their dire reports. There are no counts, no numbers, no trend data. Just alarming reports and bleak predictions. They even admit that there are more salmon. Data be damned -- they have police objectives to achieve.

"Each passing year of poor returns worsens the outlook for salmon. While salmon runs fluctuate from year to year and this year’s returns have been higher than those of the past few years, human-caused climate change continues to warm the ocean and rivers, and the failure to improve salmon survival rates has left the region’s tribes facing a future without either wild or hatchery fish. Federal scientists project that salmon survival will decline by as much as 90% over the next 40 years."

How much higher? It would be nice to see some numbers, or maybe a chart of fish counts over time.

Johanna Chao Kreilick is the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which -- just by virtue of their name -- should be expected to produce science. Their report on Climate Hot Map: Global Warming Effects Around the World falls short on science. The data is available. Fish counts have been collected on the Columbia river since the early 1960s. Yet, these supposedly scientific papers have little data. Only hyperbole and dire predictions.

Human activities such as dam building, logging, pollution, and overfishing have already depressed salmon populations in the Northwest to historically low levels. Many salmon species are classified as threatened or endangered. Salmon populations in the Columbia River system are down more than 90 percent, and most wild Pacific salmon are either extinct or imperiled in more than half the range they once occupied in the Northwest and California. Climate change imposes stresses on salmon throughout their lifecycle."

The data in the chart below is simple. The conclusions are clear and obvious. There is no need for complex analysis. Fish counts at Bonneville dam fluctuate over the decades, but there is no negative trend. In fact, the total quantity of fish seems to have increased around the turn of the century. Is there no scientist that can recognize this? Conclusions and causes fly off the page. Data is slim or threadbare. It's frightening to think that this is how policy gets made. Again, the data is available to do the science.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-29 12:07:56Last Update: 2022-05-29 13:54:08

Oregon DMV Closing Offices
Staff shortages are forcing the agency to reduce business hours and close offices

Staff shortages at Oregon DMV offices are forcing the agency to temporarily reduce business hours at 10 of its 60 field offices and temporarily close six smaller offices.

“As we enter DMV’s busiest time of year with a severe staff shortage, we recommend going online to DMV2U more than ever,” DMV Administrator Amy Joyce said. “Every time you need a DMV service, see if you can get it done online. We’ve added over two dozen services in the past three years.”

Some services, like adding the Real ID option to your license, must be done in person. Before you go to DMV, it is recommended to make sure your local office is open by checking online first.

Temporary office closures

Starting May 31, DMV will temporarily close these offices so that remaining staff can reinforce larger nearby offices: Reduced business hours

As of May 31, these will be the business hours for the following offices: “We’re preparing for the busiest time of year for DMV by temporarily redeploying staff to fewer offices,” Joyce said. “Lately we’ve been closing offices – without notice – across the state when we don’t have enough staff that day. We need to stabilize the staffing so customers can know ahead of time which offices are open. As we recruit and train new employees, we will work to reopen offices and restore full business hours, and that will take several months at least.”



Drive tests in particular are in high demand in the summer as many teens get a license for the first time. Drive test appointments fill up fast at DMV, so please consider an approved Oregon testing company. It costs more than a drive test at DMV, but you likely will get an appointment sooner – and maybe on an evening or weekend.

DMV keeps a list of approved third-party test providers.

DMV Job openings in your area

“DMV has been experiencing the same shortage of applicants for job openings as other employers statewide and nationwide,” Joyce said. “The people working at your local DMV live in your community – and could use your help.”

Apply for a job at ODOT online - select "Department of Transportation" under the Company menu.

“In the meantime, please be kind and patient to your local DMV staff – they are your neighbors, friends and maybe even family.”

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-28 13:01:25Last Update: 2022-05-28 18:02:02

Health Justice or Harming Children?
The suicide death rate among children continues to climb

In 2017, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 2673 -- sponsored by Representatives Rob Nosse, Mitch Greenlick, and Jennifer Williamson and Senator Laurie Monnes-Anderson -- the first stand-alone Transgender Justice Law. The Bill has spawned a number of policies which put children at risk. At that time, 0.7% of teens nationwide from age 13 to 17 identified as transgender. That rate is now estimated at 1.8%. In Oregon, the number of children identifying as transgender is 0.65% or approximately 3,650 children according to experts.

With 560,900 students in 197 public school districts in Oregon, there is a concerted effort by legislators and State bureaucrats to push this transgender ideology on the other 557,350 children in the name of Health Education.

HB 2673 instructs the State Board of Education to adopt health education standards that require kindergartners and first-graders be taught to "recognize that there are many ways to express gender" and to "provide examples of how friends and family influence how people think they should act on the basis of their gender.

In the second-grade, they are taught to "recognize differences and similarities of how individuals identify regarding gender" and how to "communicate respectfully with and about people of all gender identities, gender expressions and sexual orientations."

In the third-grade, they are expected to be able to "define sexual orientation," as well as "recognize differences and similarities of how individuals identify regarding gender or sexual orientation."

One recent poll found that two-thirds of voters said it was inappropriate for schools to discuss gender identity with K-3 students.

The State says these children have a right to choose and they need this information. However, we don't allow children to choose to drink alcohol, own firearms, smoke pot, drive cars, vote or participate in any other life changing decisions, because they're not mature enough.

According to many experts, if they're not mature enough for those activities, they are not mature enough to sort through sexual issues at an age where they either, don't know what sex is yet or they are older and confused about everything. This is why the age of consent is eighteen years of age.

There is plenty of evidence of immature teens and young adults regretting their choice. By that time, depending on the procedure, it's too late for reversal and many attempt or commit suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people according to the CDC, with LGBTQ youth being four times more likely to seriously consider suicide, to make a plan for suicide or to attempt suicide than their peers.

In 2021, there was 534 suicides between 10 to 14 year-olds and a staggering 5,954 suicides between 15 to 24 year-olds nationwide according to the National Institutes for Health. Experts estimates that at least one LGBTQ youth between the ages of 13–24 attempts suicide every 45 seconds in the U.S.

For some, however, the State ignores the psychological damage they cause to children and continues to push this dangerous ideology through the recently released "Menstrual Dignity for Students Toolkit." This directive requires public schools to put feminine hygiene products in every student bathroom, including the boys' bathrooms.



The State's definition of “Student bathroom," means a bathroom that is accessible by students, designated as a bathroom for females and a bathroom designated for males, including a gender-neutral bathroom for children as young as six years of age. Included in the toolkit is this line from page 20, Instructions to Staff: "Avoid talking about menstruation as only a “girl” or “woman” thing. Not all people who menstruate are girls, and not all girls menstruate."

For many, that statement written by the Department of Education is not only false, but undermines the majority of parents who teach their children the truth, that there are only two genders. It raises the question of whether both the legislature and governor are responsible for protecting children from predatory groomers in the school system and they are failing beyond comprehension.

--Davis Lowrey

Post Date: 2022-05-27 06:46:27Last Update: 2022-05-26 22:07:56

Several ODOT Advisory Committees Meeting in June
ODOT says they are building a transportation system based on equity.

Ten advisory committees holding public meetings for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) in June are listed below. These advisory committees meetings will cover DUII, tolling, equity, rail, other topics. There may be other committees meeting during the month.

You can find information about these and all other advisory committee meetings on the state's public meeting transparency website. Sort by "transportation" to focus on ODOT meetings or enter the committee's name.

Click on the link for each meeting to get agenda details:



Meetings are open to everyone.

Accommodations will be provided to people with disabilities, and materials can be provided in alternate formats. To request an accommodation, please visit the public meetings website and sort by meeting name to find the contact information for your particular meeting. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can call statewide relay at 7-1-1.

ODOT says they are building a transportation system based on equity.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-27 05:07:14Last Update: 2022-05-26 18:52:00

Governor Brown Breaks Another Promise
This kind of cronyism and inside-tracking is of great concern to many in the public

Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently did two astonishing things: she broke the promise she made to the public ensuring transparency in the judicial appointment process, while simultaneously making her 100th judicial selection. The press release she issued memorializing both achievements also praised herself for the diversity of her appointments, which is expanded upon below.

First and foremost, Brown’s broken vow of transparency is too important to be overlooked. The promise came in September 2019, in the wake of her shocking appointment of her general counsel Misha Isaak to the Court of Appeals, without giving notice of the vacancy to any others who would seek to apply.

That was entirely outside of the usual process that the office typically followed to fill a court vacancy. Brown’s decision to install the apparently underqualified Isaak into such an important position smacked of cronyism and ruffled feathers in the legal community.

When the dust settled after the fiasco, Brown pledged to announce all judicial vacancies and “standardize” the appointment process. But now she has broken even that vague promise: Brown’s 100th judicial selection, Jacqueline Alarcón, was made without any announcement of a vacancy needing to be filled—in this case, the retirement of Judge Jerry Hodson from Multnomah County District Court, effective June 30th. Governor Brown’s office and the Oregon Judicial Department have failed to produce a copy of that retirement letter, so it is not known when it was submitted.

Whatever day it was tendered, Brown then made a conscious decision to keep the vacancy secret, and rather than call for a fresh pool of applicants, Brown instead chose from the dusty pile of sixteen résumés leftover from the last Multnomah court opening. That begs the question: is this the best that Multnomah can do?

The answer is, no, it is not the best that Oregon’s busiest court can do. Which brings us to those diversity statistics.

On their face, the 100 judges that Brown selected over her two terms -- 75% white, 25% persons of color, and 50/50 female/male -- line up fairly well with the races, ethnicities, and genders of Oregon’s actual population -- meaning that the state’s judiciary more or less accurately and proportionally reflects the actual public it serves. Such visibility and representation are vital to the judicial branch.

However, that 25% representation for POC came mostly in the last six months, after a dismal four year stretch -- as though Brown suddenly realized that her commitment to diversity on the bench was evidently an empty promise, and she needed to hastily make up the difference.

Perhaps more telling than that mad, eleventh hour dash is another statistic not promoted in her press release: Nearly half of Brown’s judicial appointments belong to -- or used to belong to -- Oregon Women Lawyers, an organization of which Governor Brown was a founding member, and of which incoming Judge Jacqueline Alarcón was the most recent president, her term ending just last month.

According to its website, OWLS as they are known, has around 1,200 members, and while their mission is clearly stated, they are exceptionally light on details about their activities or how they achieve their goals—beyond getting themselves appointed to the bench.



More importantly, there are more than 15,000 licensed attorneys in Oregon, all of whom are eligible for judicial appointment, and OWLS comprise only 8% of them. Meaning that OWLS, no matter how good or noble the work they purportedly do, are vastly overrepresented in Oregon’s judiciary.

It is therefore reasonable to conclude that being an OWL is the single most important factor in Brown’s selection process. And that’s cronyism.

Given that OWLS are such a significant network of attorneys and judges, and given that OWLS are supported by some of Portland’s toniest law firms, it is also reasonable to conclude that some people who end up in court may have greater “access to justice” through the OWLS’ grid than others.

This kind of cronyism and inside-tracking is of great concern to many in the public, no matter what their affiliation.

--Stephanie Volin

Post Date: 2022-05-26 11:43:25Last Update: 2022-05-26 11:45:19

Quarantine Established in Malheur County for Avian Flu
The regional quarantine is required by federal and international rules

On May 23, the United State Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) confirmed a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Idaho along the Oregon border. Therefore, USDA has implemented a regional quarantine that extends into Malheur County.

For your convenience, ODA provides an online map of HPAI outbreak and quarantine areas in Oregon. People may enter their address to determine whether they are included in the quarantine area.

Due to federal and international disease control requirements, after a confirmed case, a regional quarantine for all avian species and vehicle traffic involved with avian species (under authority of ORS 596.402) must be issued for an area extending a minimum of 10 kilometers around the infected property.

The regional quarantine is required by federal and international rules. This is to ensure the control of HPAI and prevent the potential spread of the disease beyond the quarantined area.



In addition, the regional quarantine will prevent the movement of poultry from within this quarantine area for a period sufficient to allow state and federal officials to conduct surveillance within the quarantine area to ensure no additional cases of HPAI exist.

To view the emergency rules 603-011-5001 filed please visit the Oregon Secretary of State online.

Organizers of events involving birds must immediately inform the Oregon State Veterinarian, Dr. Ryan Scholz 1-800-347-7028 of any scheduled events. Additionally, they should share the news with the event exhibitors and vendors.

For more information about HPAI please visit ODA Avian Influenza online.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-26 09:47:53Last Update: 2022-05-26 10:01:22

Demand for Gas Increases Despite Record High Price
Skyrocketing pump prices won’t put brakes on Memorial Day Travel

GAas prices have either remained flat or risen every day in the last month, setting multiple new record highs. But demand for gasoline in the U.S. has increased to 9 million barrels a day, which is typical for this time of year. For the week, the national average for regular jumps eight cents to $4.60 a gallon according to AAA Oregon. The Oregon average jumps 10 cents to $5.16.

All 50 states have averages above $4 a gallon and six states, including Oregon, have averages above $5. California remains the only state with an average above $6. The national and Oregon averages continue to set new record highs almost daily, eclipsing the recent record highs set in March.

The Memorial Day holiday weekend will be a busy one, despite the soaring gas prices. AAA predicts 39.2 million people (11.8% of the population) will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend. This is an increase of 8.3% over 2021, bringing travel volumes almost in line with those in 2017.

In the Pacific Region, Region (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA), 6.7 million people (12.5% of the population) are expected to travel, an 8.1% increase compared to 2021. About 530,000 Oregonians will travel over the long weekend.

While 89% of Memorial Day travelers will drive to their destinations, air travel continues to rebound, up 25% over last year, the second-largest increase since 2010. Gas prices will be the most expensive ever for the holiday.

“Gasoline is more than a dollar per gallon higher now than it was on February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine. That sent shock waves through the global oil market and crude prices have remained significantly elevated ever since,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “Even with record high pump prices, demand for gas is rising as more drivers hit the road, despite the pain they’re feeling at the pumps.”

Higher crude oil prices result in higher pump prices since oil is the main ingredient in gasoline and diesel. On average, about 53% of what we pay for in a gallon of gasoline is for the price of crude oil,12% is refining, 21% distribution and marketing, and 15% are taxes, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Crude oil prices remain elevated due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia is one of the top three oil producers in the world, behind the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, and about 25% of Europe’s oil is imported from Russia. Tight global oil supplies made worse by the lack of product coming out of Russia have put upward pressure on crude prices. A year ago, crude was around $66 per barrel compared to $110 today.

Demand for gasoline in the U.S. rose from 8.7 million b/d to 9 million b/d. Total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 4.8 million bbl to 220.2 million bbl last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Tighter supply and increased demand have pushed pump prices higher. This supply/demand dynamic and volatile crude prices will keep upward pressure on pump prices.



Meanwhile, the switch to the more expensive summer blend of gasoline, which usually adds seven to ten cents per gallon depending on the market, is happening now. This switchover should be complete nationwide by early June. This summer blend switch is an annual event. It is unrelated to the Biden Administration’s announcement a few weeks ago to allow the higher ethanol E15 gas blend to remain on sale throughout the summer until September.

Pump prices are higher in all 50 states week-over-week. The District of Columbia (-1 cent) is the only area with a weekly decline. Alaska (+19 cents) has the largest weekly jump. New Mexico (+2 cents) has the smallest weekly gain.

California ($6.07) is the most expensive state in the nation and is the only state to ever have an average above $6 a gallon. There are six states, including Oregon, with averages at or above $5. Every other state and D.C. has an average at or above $4 a gallon.

The cheapest gas in the nation is in Oklahoma ($4.07) and Kansas ($4.07). This week no states have averages below $3 a gallon, same as a week ago. For the 72nd week in a row, no state has an average below $2 a gallon.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have higher prices now than a month ago. The national average is 48 cents more and the Oregon average is 50 cents more than a month ago. This is the 24th-largest monthly jump in the nation. New York (+70 cents) has the largest monthly gain. Utah (+9 cents) has the smallest.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have higher prices now than a year ago. Every state and D.C. have a current average that’s a dollar or more higher than a year ago. The national average is $1.56 more and the Oregon average is $1.76 more than a year ago. This is the ninth-largest yearly increase in the nation. Alaska (+$1.91) has the biggest yearly increase. Colorado (+$1.06) has the smallest year-over-year increase.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-26 07:52:15Last Update: 2022-05-25 20:23:27

Oregon House Democrats Call for Further Firearm Restrictions
“We ran for office to solve big problems”

In a statement that some regard as "too soon" and smacking of political opportunism following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, resulting in the murder of 19 children and two adults, Representatives Dacia Grayber (D-Tigard), Rachel Prusak (D-West Linn), Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego), Barbara Smith Warner (D-Portland), Ricki Ruiz (D-Gresham) and Lisa Reynolds (D-Portland) released a statement in favor of increased firearm restrictions.

“There is no making sense of such a senseless and preventable act -- there is only anguish. The trauma the victims' families and community in Uvalde now face is only too familiar, just 10 days after the racially motivated mass murder in Buffalo, NY. This is the second deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook, and as a predominantly Latino community, yesterday’s massacre is particularly frightening for the many Latino parents who see schools as a place of hope and a safe place to learn for their children.

“We ran for office to solve big problems and make life better for our constituents -- and that includes taking on the gun lobby and politicians that place profits and political power over children’s lives.”

Oregon Firearms Federation Director Kevin Starrett responded “The shrill and opportunistic bleatings of leftists in response to the Texas murders is truly appalling. Once again the liberals who vilified the police, and whose reprehensible behavior got police removed from schools in Oregon cities, are wallowing in the blood of the lost innocent.

Starrett continued, “The hypocrites who work in our legislature, who are now calling for more restrictions on the law abiding, have locked down their own work place, surrounded themselves with armed guards and installed metal detectors to protect themselves and the lobbyists who fund them. But our schools remain unprotected, soft targets for people whose mental illness Oregon political hacks refuse to address."



The House Democrats' statement added, “In Oregon, we’ve passed legislation that requires background checks, prohibits guns on public school grounds, makes extreme risk protection orders available, and ensures the secure storage of firearms. We are committed to taking bold action during the next legislative session in 2023 to further prevent these types of tragedies from happening.

“The epidemic of gun violence we face is unique to this country. As of 2020, firearms became the leading cause of death for American children and teenagers, and as of today, more than 300,000 children have experienced gun violence at school since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. This public health crisis is the result of years of irresponsible inaction and recklessly lax gun laws that allowed yesterday’s shooter to legally purchase two AR-style rifles just days before the attack, it’s why children across the country practice active shooter drills when they should be focused on learning, and it’s why communities across our nation are terrorized by gun violence.

“For this reason, we desperately need and urge Congress to waive the filibuster and take action before another child is killed. There are sensible gun laws, supported by a majority of Americans, that Congress can pass quickly, including reinstating a ban on assault-style weapons or limiting high-capacity magazines. The Senate can immediately pass H.R. 8 to address background check requirements.

"Now more than ever, we need action, not prayers and platitudes,” the statement concluded.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-26 06:05:26Last Update: 2022-05-25 19:43:05

New School Choice Initiatives Filed
One allows parents to set up a School Choice Account

Advocates of school choice are taking a new run at amending the Oregon Constitution to provide for open enrollment and school choice. Proposed for the November 2024 ballot are two initiatives.

Initiative petition #5 would allow any child to attend any public school in which space is available and is called the Open Enrollment Amendment. Should a school have more applicants than space, it would be required to conduct an “Equitable Lottery” which means a process that must give each participating child an equal chance of selection.

Initiative petition #6 is called the School Choice Amendment and allows parents to set up a School Choice Account which is funded by 80% of the state education dollars intended for the student, which would then be controlled by the parent for educational purposes.

According to Donna Kreitzberg of Education Freedom for Oregon, "We are bringing School Choice to Oregon to give parents a voice in the education of their children and so that parents have equal access to Oregon's education dollars. Oregon's education dollars are meant to educate ALL of Oregon's K-12 students, not just those in public school. By using our School Choice measures parents will have the constitutionally protected right to choose the schooling for their children, whether that is in traditional public school, public charter school, private school or homeschool. We would love the public's help to gather our needed 2000 sponsorship signatures for each measure so that these amendments will be on the Nov 2024 ballot. Together we can ensure that all Oregon's K-12 students have the opportunity for a great education."

Many Oregon residents have become disillusioned with the performance of public schools and school choice backers see the current climate as an opportunity to make changes in how education is funded and where a child can attend school.

An initiative proposal sponsored by Marc Thielman was rejected in January this year based on advice from Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. That initiative had a similar proposal requiring education dollars to be controlled by parents. It was rejected because it changed multiple parts of the Oregon Constitution, which is not allowed under the "single subject" rule.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-25 15:26:33Last Update: 2022-05-25 20:33:50

Legislators Attend White House Meeting for Expanding Abortion
Expanding Abortion Access in Preparation for Post-Roe U.S.

As the United States Supreme Court moves closer to overturning legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade and states across the country may enact new restrictions on abortion, Oregon House Majority Leader Julie Fahey (D-Eugene) and Representative Andrea Valderrama (D-Portland) met with White House officials and state legislators from California, Washington, Illinois, Maryland, New York and Connecticut to discuss preparations and legislation to protect and expand abortion access.

“In Oregon, years of strong Democratic majorities in both chambers and Democratic governors have given us a head start on passing some of the strongest abortion access laws in the country–laws that have already served as a model for other states,” Majority Leader Fahey said. “As we prepare to be a bulwark for abortion access when Roe falls, communicating and coordinating with other states working to expand reproductive health care is critical.”

In 2017 Oregon Democrats passed HB 3391, increasing abortion access. The law, which was chief sponsored by Majority Leader Fahey, who at the time was a first-term legislator, codified the right to an abortion in state law, and required health insurance plans to cover a full range of services at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. It also prohibited discrimination in coverage or delivery of care based on gender, sexual orientation, race, disability or immigration status.

In preparation for an influx of people seeking abortion care, Oregon Democrats passed HB 5202 which established the Reproductive Health Equity Fund, a $15 million investment to expand provider network capacity and address urgent patient needs for abortion funds and practical support -- like travel and lodging.



“Despite the progress we’ve made, we know the impact of overturning Roe will be felt largely by Black, Latinx, Indigenous, people of color and LGBTQ+ communities, low-income individuals and families, people with disabilities, rural areas, among other communities who face structural racism and discrimination,” Rep. Valderrama said. “This $15 million is critical and will address longstanding health disparities and ensure resources are available to those who may be impacted by the loss of federal abortion protections.”

Oregon Democrats also recently announced the formation of the Reproductive Health and Access to Care Work Group of providers, clinics, community organizations, and legislators that will focus on making recommendations for the 2023 legislative session and beyond. Recommendations may include policy, administrative, and budget proposals to protect, strengthen, and expand equitable access to all forms of reproductive care, gender-affirming care, and quality of care.

Eastern Oregonians who rely on Boise and Meridian as the closest health centers could see an up to 35% decrease in access to care when Idaho bans abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, Oregon could experience a potential 234% increase in people traveling to the state, depending upon the bans that go into effect, creating added barriers for people seeking abortion care locally.

In addition to legislators across the country, several officials from the Biden-Harris administration were in attendance today, including Jennifer Klein, DAP and Director of the White House Gender Policy Council; Julie Rodriguez, DAP and Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; and Morgan Mohr of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-25 09:52:14Last Update: 2022-05-25 10:02:16

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