What will the 2024 presidential ballot look like?
Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden
Donald Trump vs. some Democrat other than Joe Biden
Some Republican other than Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden
Some Republican other than Donald Trump vs. some Democrat other than Joe Biden
Northwest Observer
Subscribe for Free Email Updates
Name:
Email:
Search Articles
       






On this day, May 19, 2011, doctors in Oregon announced that electrodes implanted on the spinal cord of Rob Summers (25) had reactivated nerve circuits and allowed him to consciously move body parts that had been paralyzed following a 2006 hit and run accident.

Also on this day, May 19, 2014, a federal judge threw out Oregon's same-sex marriage ban, which was enacted into the Oregon Constitution by a vote of the people.




Post an Event


KSLM Coffee Klatch, Jeff Kropf M.C.
Monday, May 20, 2024 at 6:00 pm
All Welcome. Political Theme Discussions, Candidates, Legislators, Local speakers Come early to order food and mingle. Additional info announced on Jeff's KSLM show week-days, 6-7am.
Spark's Brewing Company, 1252 23rd ST. NE, Salem



Election Integrity Symposium
Friday, May 24, 2024 at 1:00 pm
1-5:30, $25 adm. Speakers include Phil Izon from Alaska Ranked-Choice voting Education Association, Mark Cook from Colorado IT witness on Tim Sipple case, and Dr. Frank on how to use data to approach clerks. Washington County will give a report on finding dead voters. And others to give information on how to approach counties for in-person voting.
Keizer Civic Center, Keizer Oregon



Multnomah County Fair
Saturday, May 25, 2024 at 9:00 am
Multnomah County Fair
Oaks Amusement Park



Memorial Day
Monday, May 27, 2024 at 11:00 am
Memorial Day
A federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who died while serving.



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


Masking of Overdoses in Oregon
Decriminalizing drugs has failed and overdoses are skyrocketing

Ballot Measure 110 was the hot topic in Oregon’s House Committee on Behavior Health last week. In 2020, voters were convinced to decriminalize drugs and encourage self-help instead of incarceration, the first in the nation. Then Governor Brown and the Oregon Health Authority took health decisions away from Oregonians by mandating masks and vaccinations in the name of the supposed Coronavirus pandemic.

It seems that neither strategy is working out. Testimony from state officials admitted that decriminalizing drugs has failed and overdoses are skyrocketing while appropriated funds remain unspent. According to the Oregon Health Authority, $40 million has been spent and $265 million remains unspent. The Health Justice Recovery Alliance reported that hundreds of providers, which screen for needs, offer case management, treatment, housing and other services are waiting for funds to service 9,200 active methadone patients receiving opioid treatment from providers.

Oregon’s behavioral health director, Steve Allen, was playing the waiting game insisting it has strong potential, but the committee wasn’t buying it, especially with Representative Lily Morgan (R-Grants Pass). Her community in Oregon House District 3 has seen 700% increase in overdoses and a 120% increase in deaths.

Oregon went from 280 Opioid deaths in 2019 to 472 in 2020 to 607 in 2021, and 2022 is exceeding 20% higher every month than last year.

Allen also took a whipping from Secretary of State Shemia Fagan claiming the change of policy was to improve lives and improve communities, and instead problems with drug addictions have gotten worse.

From the hearing materials, one thing is evident – there wasn’t one report on the treatment of individuals. Every report was on handling funds. What results are taxpayers getting for their money?

Dr. Reginald Richardson, Executive Director of the Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission (ADPC) reported that Oregon is in the top 10 states for misuse of drugs, being number one in methamphetamine and Rx pain drugs, and dead last in 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

Developing subcommittees has been slow and it seems non-productive. ADPC is working on a pilot with Salem-Keizer School District.

Is it a coincident that overdose deaths have increased over 60% over the course of the pandemic? Even kids depression rates have doubled since the onset of the pandemic, and kids have more PTSD, higher rates of anxiety, more gender confusion, and higher rates of suicide.

Returning to a social environment has seen these kids acting out through bullying, more violence, with less discipline. Oregon is also in the lowest group of states for care available to students, and the care that is available often leads them down a dark path.

Are we looking at the source for solutions or masking the problem with money? Voters and parents need to seriously consider what kind of solution will bring permanent results.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-06-05 08:32:33Last Update: 2022-06-05 09:09:09



Center for Gender Diverse Individuals and Women Opens in Medford
A combined effort between ODHS, Jackson County, others

The Collaborative, a center for transformation and collaboration in service of women and gender diverse individuals, opened its doors in Medford, Oregon this past month. It is a combined effort between the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Child Welfare Division and Self Sufficiency Programs, Jackson County Community Justice (JCCJ) and The Pathfinder Network (TPN). These three agencies will now be housed together with the effort.

"It is inspiring to see the missions of all three agencies coming together to cultivate such a needed, intentional and innovative impact in this community. I am so proud of The Collaborative," says Leticia Longoria-Navarro, Executive Director of the Pathfinder Network.

The Collaborative says that it's vision is to co-create holistic pathways to integrated and responsive services and supports. Efforts will focus on: The Collaborative focused on redesigning the center to foster a safe space for women and "gender diverse individuals".

ODHS states that the voices of individuals who would use the space led the redesign. Former and current participants describe the environment as "safe".

"The Collaborative is a great example of how we are putting the Child Welfare Division Vision for Transformation into action by creating a space where children and families are supported holistically across systems," says Kimberlee Whitney, Child Welfare District Manager. "Thank you to our partners within ODHS, Pathfinder Network and Jackson County for making this effort come to life."

Team members from all three agencies will support participants in their engagement with parole and probation and ODHS through a trauma, gender and culturally responsive approach and provide peer support in a safe space created to provide services and support.

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

Individuals are welcomed in by team members into the "living room" and are connected to staff in the building to assess their needs, connect them to resources, make referrals to other community resources, sign them up for group services and events at the center and provide on the spot peer support.

The Collaborative says they are a one stop shop for services that are working toward eliminating the barriers of access to services by working to stabilize families during stressful times. The goal is to see better outcomes by providing evidence-based support and services.

"By putting people first, the outcomes will follow. We know that relationships, connections and focusing on strengths lead to people being successful,” says Eric Guyer, Director of Jackson County Community Justice. “To do this work in partnership with professionals with lived experience is truly innovative.”

About the ODHS Child Welfare Division

The Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division is committed to transforming itself to better support the individual needs of families and to best serve Oregon’s children and young people.

You can report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233). This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

About Jackson County Community Justice

Jackson County Community Justice says their mission is to enhance community safety by creating lasting behavior change in individuals on community supervision. The Parole and Probation Officers in the Gender-Responsive Unit use practices and programs designed to change criminal beliefs and behaviors.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-04 10:19:06Last Update: 2022-06-04 11:09:59



Kennemer Denounces Advancement of Tolling on I-205
“Tolls are a regressive tax on poor and working members of our communities”

After the June 3rd Emergency Board hearing at the Oregon Legislature, Senator Bill Kennemer (R-Oregon City) decried the party-line vote where the Emergency Board approved $333 million in new bonding debt to pay for I-205 improvements. The plan relies heavily on paying for the bonds with freeway tolls, to which over 70 percent of Oregonians are opposed.

Senator Kennemer expressed deep concern that the vote ignores the reality that the costs of commuting to work, school, and household errands are breaking family budgets.

“I have consistently opposed tolling because it targets my constituents around Interstate 205,” Kennemer stated. “A majority of Clackamas residents have to drive out of the county for work and to access health care. To ask them to shoulder the burden of this plan’s costs is patently unfair. Freeway tolls are a regressive tax on poor and working members of our communities.” Kennemer noted that if he were serving as an E-board member, he would have voted to oppose bond funding backed by freeway toll revenues.

Kennemer also expressed concern that the legislature and ODOT have failed to have meaningful conversations about other options to build freeway infrastructure and looking to other funding sources besides the unpopular tolling plan.

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

“It’s shocking that we would have this vote in the summer, when we’re not in session, and when the public and the media were generally unaware that such a huge budget expenditure would pass without a full vote of the legislature,” said Kennemer. “We should not be charging ahead to raise taxes on working-class Oregonians who drive at a time when gas prices are at record-high with no signs of coming down any time soon. To approve more bonded debt while interest rates are skyrocketing and a recession is looming – it’s simply irresponsible governance.”

Kennemer said he will continue to support voters having the opportunity to vote on freeway tolls, and appreciates that at the federal level of government.

Even US Senator Ron Wyden has publicly stated that freeway tolls are unfair to working Oregonians.

“We need to have transportation infrastructure that works, but our solutions must be fair and affordable. We can and must do better,” stated Kennemer.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-06-03 16:48:00Last Update: 2022-06-04 11:18:13



Analysis: Are School Boards Targeting Children?
It’s not hard to recognize that this is a policy for future massacres

As a result of the passage of SB 554, schools in Oregon now have the authority to prevent licensed adults from being anywhere on their property while armed.

In the wake of the Texas school murders, more and more school districts are implementing this policy or are considering it, and the full court press by the media is rattling formerly pro-gun candidates.

While the details of the Texas murders are ever “evolving” most reports now agree that there was no police officer on the scene when the killer arrived, he entered through an unlocked door, and when the police did respond they waited between 40 minutes and one hour to make entry into the room where the killer had barricaded himself with his victims.

What no reports we have seen have mentioned, is that Texas has in place, the very rule that Oregon School Boards are attempting to enact here. Adults with concealed handgun licenses are banned from being armed in Texas elementary schools.

So, while for whatever reason police did not act quickly and neutralize the killer, no one inside the school could have lawfully had the means to take action themselves.

It's not hard to recognize that this is a policy for future massacres. Especially at a time when liberals in Oregon are making every effort to make sure that even what little police protection a school might have, is eliminated. In Portland, the public schools have removed school resource officers so that students could feel more comfortable.

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

One school board member, Julia Brim-Edwards, in an effort to justify this policy pointed out “that in the absence of SROs, PPS is spending millions on school safety improvements, like installing more cameras, hiring more campus safety associates, and installing automatic door locks in schools.” The events in Texas demonstrate the pointlessness of those feeble and purely symbolic efforts. And so children die.

The Portland schools are now working on a ban of armed CHL holders on their property. According to school board member Julia Brim-Edwards, “There’s been an accidental discharge of a weapon somebody brought onto campus, not in a threatening way, but in a purse and just going off” What Brim Edwards did not say was the person whose gun “went off” was not a CHL holder and was charged with a felony along with other charges and there were apparently no witnesses to the gun “just going off”

KGW TV reported “Director of Risk Management for PPS Joe Crelier said he thought prohibiting responsible CHL holders from carrying on campuses would leave schools defenseless. He said he was especially worried about this since there are no School Resource Officers on PPS campuses. “Without any perception of armed defense, what is stopping someone who is evil or out of their mind?

This is not complicated. Under no circumstances can the police be expected to be everywhere all the time. Even schools that have resource officers can’t expect them to cover every inch of every school at every moment. And, as we have learned, the arrival of police to a murderous event does not guarantee that they will take timely action. None of this is debatable.

So, the efforts of school boards across the state to assure unimpeded access to our schools by killers is nothing short of criminal.

School boards, and their importance, have long been overlooked by many voters and even activists. But what is becoming clear is that the decisions and policies of school boards are not only critical, they could well be deadly.

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

Meanwhile, with wall to wall media propaganda, the most vocally pro-gun candidate for governor is starting to fold. Unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson has been the strongest advocate for gun rights in spite of her long affiliation with the Democrat Party. But now she is beginning to parrot the talking points of the left. KGW TV reports Johnson as saying:

"As governor, I will support and enforce stronger background checks for gun purchases and raising the age to purchase certain firearms from eighteen to twenty-one. These are both practical ideas to help keep guns away from people who could be a danger to themselves or others.”

One of the left’s most prominent supporters of restrictions on the Second Amendment, former House Rep. Jennifer Williamson, has testified that 95% of background check delays are in error. And we see over and over that criminals often pass background checks. Given how long many “delays” are, even “delays” are really denials. So it is hard to imagine what Johnson means by “stronger background checks.”

Criminal acts will always be exploited at election time. Each new restriction will fail and be a call for more restrictions. But the real losers will always be the people who are legally denied the ability to protect themselves and others by the dictates of those who work behind metal detectors and a phalanx of State Police guarding them.

Editor's note: Kevin Starrett is the Executive Director of Oregon Firearms Federation


--Kevin Starrett

Post Date: 2022-06-03 08:58:29Last Update: 2022-06-03 09:41:49



Horse Herpes in Oregon
EHV-1 virus is highly contagious and spreads via aerosolized secretions

A horse from Clackamas County recently tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1). After exhibiting neurologic symptoms, the owners called a private veterinarian to examine the animal and collect a sample for testing. The horse was later humanely euthanized.

A California Laboratory confirmed EHV-1 on May 31. EHV-1 is a reportable disease, and veterinarians are legally responsible for immediately reporting all suspected cases to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA).

The horse owner reports the animal recently traveled to the 2022 State Oregon High School Equestrian (OHSET) Teams Championship. OHSET was held at the First Interstate Bank Expo Center in Redmond, Oregon, from May 12-15.

A second horse from the same ranch who also traveled to OHSET is doing well, recovering from initial respiratory symptoms. However, an ODA District Veterinarian placed a quarantine on the farm following state and national guidelines.

The ODA State Veterinarian is working with OHSET to evaluate the potential exposure risk at the state event, and event coordinators are working to contact exhibitors. All horse owners who believe that their horse may have been exposed to EHV-1 should monitor their animal’s temperature twice daily and call their veterinarian if they see any symptoms.

The EHV-1 virus is highly contagious and spreads via aerosolized secretions from infected coughing horses, direct and indirect contact with nasal secretions, and fetal fluids. EHV-1 typically has an incubation period of 2-10 days. Respiratory shedding of the virus generally occurs for 7-10 days but may persist longer in infected horses.

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

Following basic biosecurity practices is an essential factor in reducing the risk of exposure to all contagious equine diseases. Basic biosecurity measures to follow to decrease potential disease spread at equine events include: You can find more information about Equine Herpesvirus online.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-03 08:51:16Last Update: 2022-06-03 09:42:20



Tort Reform Adjustments
Oregon removed the distinction between economic and non-economic damages

Tort reform has been a long-debated subject, and one the Oregon legislature seems to avoid. Tort law is based on the principle of fault or negligence requiring the party at fault to pay compensation. Tort reform is legislation that limits the amount a plaintiff can recover in compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.

Legislation attempted to cap non-economic damages in 1987 leading to the Supreme Court ruling making it unconstitutional in 1999 and again in 2013.

They determined that non-economic damages as a question of fact that must be decided by a jury and the legislature may not interfere with a jury’s assessment.

However, in 2016, the Oregon Supreme Court reversed its previous ruling finding that, in most instances, legislation can constitutionally impose caps, eliminating a blanket ban. However, there are exceptions.

It stipulated that if the cap is a “paltry sum” in comparison to the award decided upon by the jury, the cap no longer applies. Oregon has capped non-economic damages in wrongful death cases at $500,000, and that also applies to medical malpractice.

Under ORS 30.273, the Office of the State Court Administrator (OSCA) calculates and posts the annual adjustment to the liability limitations under the Oregon Tort Claims Act. Effective July 1, 2022 OSCA adopted the new “paltry sum” for state and local public bodies for personal injury, death, and property damage or destruction.

Tort claims table of liability limits shows an increase of 74.4 percent over the past ten years.

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

How these awards got so large is in the passing of SB 311 in 2009 when they removed the distinction between economic and non-economic damages.

It made major increases to the Oregon Tort Claims Act (OTCA) from $200,000 to $1.5 million for state entities: Oregon Health Science University (OHSU), the State Accident Insurance Fund (SAIF) and the Oregon Utility Notification Center. It increased the per claim damage limit to $500,000 for all other public entities; increased the per occurrence damage limits under the Oregon Tort Claims Act from $500,000 to $3 million for the state entities and to $1 million for all other public entities; increased that per claim limit by $100,000 per year and the per occurrence limits by $200,000 per year until 2015; increased the per claim limits for all other government entities by $33,333 per year until 2015, and the per occurrence limits by $66,666 per year; increases all property damage limits from $50,000 per claim to $100,000 per claim and $500,000 per occurrence; and provided the amounts to adjust based on the Portland-Salem OR-WA Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers up to three percent each year.

SB 311 also created a Tort Claims Task Force to revisit the issue of tort liability of public bodies to convene in 2014. It would appear that has never happened. Perhaps the Office of the State Court Administrator (OSCA) created in 1971 is filling that function. OSCA oversees Oregon's statewide, state-funded court system. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is the administrative head of the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD), and appoints the State Court Administrator who serves as OJD's chief administrative officer. Nancy Cozine was appointed in 2018 after making an impactful presentation before the legislature on Oregon’s public defense system.

In 2022, SB 1584 passed with bipartisan support to exempt compensation for wrongful convictions from the Oregon Tort Claims Act and award a yearly amount of $65,000, and while on parole or post- prison supervision or required to register as a sex offender awarded $25,000 yearly. Oregon was one of only 13 states that were not compensating for wrongful conviction.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-06-03 07:52:36Last Update: 2022-06-03 08:21:56



Emergency Management Offers Tips
Three levels. Be ready. Be set. Go now.

To close out Wildfire Awareness Month, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management is offering simple actions and resources Oregonians can take to stay safe during wildfire season. This includes evacuation best practices and encouraging everyone to know Oregon’s three-level evacuation system: BE READY. BE SET. GO NOW!

“With impacts ranging from the tragic loss of lives, homes and businesses, to safely evacuating when threatened by wildfire, to poor air quality caused by smoke, as well as road and trail closures—most Oregonians are all too familiar with our state’s steady increase in wildfire activity over the past decade,” said OEM Director Andrew Phelps. “Wildfire Awareness Month is a time when state agencies and partners come together to ensure the public has access to resources to prepare for wildfires while supporting those still recovering from previous events. Our shared goal is to help Oregonians plan so they know what to do before, during and after a wildfire and take actions to keep themselves and their communities safe. Evacuation readiness is a key component to staying safe when wildfires strike.”

Oregon’s evacuation notification system is structured around the readiness need and threat level, broken down into three tiers. Level One, coded green, means BE READY to evacuate. Older adults, families with children, people with disabilities, livestock and pet owners, and those with limited access to transportation should consider evacuating at Level One. This is also a good time to check with neighbors and share information. Oregonians should be aware of fire risk in their area, stay informed, and actively take steps to prepare themselves to reduce their risk from wildfire, including:

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

Level Two, coded yellow, means BE SET to evacuate. There is significant danger in the area and people should be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Voluntary evacuation at Level Two is recommended, especially if people need extra time or have livestock. Individuals should: Level Three, coded red, means GO NOW – Leave Immediately! Level three indicates there is extreme danger in the area and remaining threatens the safety of individuals as well as emergency responders, who may not be available to help those who choose to stay. Do not stop to gather belongings or protect the home. Now is the time to act: OEM urges Oregonians to evacuate any time they feel unsafe, as conditions can change rapidly. Individuals should always make the best decision for their safety. Following an evacuation, people should not return to the area until public safety officials announce it is safe.

“OEM is supporting our local partners in providing equitable and accessible information to help everyone do their part to proactively address existing vulnerabilities and take actions to reduce risk,” said Phelps. “We encourage all Oregonians to connect with their local community. Knowing what to do when receiving an evacuation notification will help individuals and communities stay safe when faced with the threat of wildfire or other disaster.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-06-01 19:52:24Last Update: 2022-06-02 12:58:29



Corvallis Police Department to Pilot Crisis Training
One of three law enforcement agencies nationwide

The Corvallis, Oregon Police Department was selected as one of three law enforcement agencies nationwide to pilot a new crisis training program being developed by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The intensive, 40-hour training program is designed to prepare police officers in their response to people experiencing crises related to behavioral health conditions, as well as intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Crisis Response and Intervention Training (CRIT) course took place in Corvallis at the end of May and involved law enforcement staff from the Corvallis Police Department, Albany Police Department, and the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Local agencies have been training on crisis response techniques for many years, but this new program represents a supposed more inclusive approach to issues like substance abuse and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Our goal here is to give officers a better understanding and recognition of mental health and disability awareness crisis communications, and to equip them with the latest de-escalation tools that they can take back to their agencies,” said Trevor Anderson, a police officer in CPD’s Community Livability Unit who helped coordinate the training. “We also want to connect law enforcement staff with resources in the community. It’s important for officers to understand that they are not an island, and there are local resources they can call on during a crisis response.”

The curriculum focused on topics such as mental health, trauma and post-traumatic stress, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders. Each module featured trainers and subject matter experts who shared the latest evolving thinking on each of these complex topics. Throughout the five-day training course, instructors and researchers encouraged attendees to provide feedback on the content and practical applicability of the training course.

“There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t have an opportunity to use these tools and techniques,” said Benton County Sheriff’s Deputy Colin Tominey, shortly after participating in a roleplay scenario that featured a series of interactions with an adult with autism.

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 city says the training also highlighted the opportunity to make meaningful improvements to the limited array of crisis resources in Corvallis and Benton County — something Tominey says he understands all too well.

“In law enforcement, we have two choices when responding to a person experiencing a crisis: take them to the hospital if they are sick or a danger to themselves, or take them to jail if they are committing a crime,” Tominey explained. “We need additional resources, like a drop-in crisis center and support programs, to give us that viable third option.”

The training course was developed by researchers from the University of Cincinnati and facilitated by Policy Research Associates, a consulting firm focused on behavioral health issues.

Key local partners included The Arc of Benton County as well as the Benton County Health Department. Moving forward, the instructors will refine the curriculum using data and feedback gathered in Corvallis and the other two pilot sites (Pittsburgh and Rapid City, South Dakota).

The eventual goal is to offer the training nationwide so that law enforcement agencies around the country can benefit from the latest approach to this critical topic.

“Bringing this new training opportunity to Corvallis was an incredible achievement,” said Corvallis Police Chief Nick Hurley. “We are excited to grow this program and help roll it out around the nation.”


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-01 16:56:05Last Update: 2022-06-01 20:20:32



2022 Oregon Gas Price News
The latest news on local, regional, and national gas and fuel prices for Oregonians

According to AAA Oregon, a dip in in gasoline demand provided drivers with a bit of stability at the pump, with gas prices showing smaller increases on the week. But the break could be brief. Crude oil prices have climbed above $116 per barrel due to fears of further global supply constraints caused by a European Union (EU) ban on Russian oil exports.

Domestic gas demand may rise again as drivers fuel up for the summer travel season, which began this Memorial Day weekend. For the week, the national average for regular edges up two cents to $4.62 a gallon. The Oregon average adds a nickel to $5.22. These are both at record highs.

“So far, the pent-up desire to travel as we emerge from the pandemic outweighs record high pump prices for many consumers,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “However, a recent survey by AAA reveals that 67% of drivers say they would change their driving habits if gas hit $4.50 a gallon. That number rises to 75% at $5 a gallon. The Oregon average has already surpassed $5, so it remains to be seen if people will change their summer travel plans.”

All 50 states have averages above $4 a gallon and seven 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.

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.

AAA Oregon states that 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. A year ago, crude was around $67 per barrel compared to $116 today.

Demand for gasoline in the U.S. dipped from 9 million b/d to 8.8 million b/d, approximately 700,000 b/d lower than a year ago. Total domestic gasoline stocks also decreased by 500,000 bbl to 219.7 million bbl last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The softening of gas demand helped minimize price increases ahead of Memorial Day. However, gas demand may spike this week after drivers took to the roads for the holiday. According to AAA Oregon, pump price increases might be limited if demand slows again following the holiday weekend.

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.

Quick stats

Oregon is one of 36 states with higher prices week-over-week. Wisconsin (+11 cents) has the largest weekly increase. Texas (-3 cents) has the largest weekly decrease.

California ($6.17) is the most expensive state in the nation and is the only state to ever have an average above $6 a gallon. There are seven states, including Oregon, with averages at or above $5. Every other state and D.C. have averages at or above $4 a gallon.

The cheapest gas in the nation is in Kansas ($4.13) and Georgia ($4.14). This week no states have averages below $3 a gallon, same as a week ago. For the 73rd 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 44 cents more and the Oregon average is 53 cents more than a month ago. This is the 13th-largest monthly jump in the nation. New York (+60 cents) has the largest monthly gain. Hawaii (+18 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 $1.58 more and the Oregon average is $1.79 more than a year ago. This is the sixth-largest yearly increase in the nation. California (+$1.96) has the biggest yearly increase. Colorado (+$1.16) has the smallest year-over-year increase.

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

West Coast

The West Coast region continues to have the most expensive pump prices in the nation with all seven states in the top 10. This is typical for the West Coast as this region tends to consistently have fairly tight supplies, consuming about as much gasoline as is produced.

Price on 5/31/22 California is the most expensive state for the 71st week in a row with Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska rounding out the top six. Arizona is eighth. Oregon rises to fifth after spending one week at sixth.

Like most other states, all seven states in the West Coast region have week-over-week increases. California (+10 cents) has the largest weekly increase in the region. Alaska (+2 cents) has the region’s smallest weekly increase.

The refinery utilization rate on the West Coast fell from 85.4% to 83.0% for the week ending May 20. The rate has ranged between about 76% and 90% in the last year.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region rose from 30.05 million bbl to 30.47 million bbl.

Oil market dynamics

Crude prices rallied at the end of last week following news that the EU was seeking unanimous support of all 27 member countries to impose a ban on Russian oil later this year. Yesterday, EU leaders announced they will ban 90 percent of Russian oil imports by the end of 2022.

Crude prices also increased last week after EIA reported that domestic crude supply decreased by 1 million bbl to 419.8 million bbl. The current level is approximately 13.3 percent lower than during the third week of May 2021. Crude prices could rise again this week if EIA’s next report shows total domestic supply remains tight.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased 98 cents to settle at $115.07. U.S. markets were closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. Today crude is trading around $117, compared to $110 a week ago. Crude prices are about $48 more than a year ago.

Diesel

For the week, the national average loses three cents to $5.52 a gallon. Oregon’s average rises four cents to $5.72. This is a record high. A year ago the national average for diesel was $3.19 and the Oregon average was $3.35.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-31 18:44:10Last Update: 2022-05-31 19:15:29



Constitution Party Removes Contenders
Paul Romero and Michael Stettler will not be considered as nominees

The Constitution Party of Oregon has removed Paul Romero from consideration as a gubernatorial candidate and Michael Stettler as a US Senate candidate.

According to a release from a Constitution Party Secretary Roger Shipman, "Written evidence that clearly implicates long-time gubernatorial candidate Paul Romero of collusion with Michael Stettler, who was running for US Senate, to entrap the voting members of the Constitution Party of Oregon during their duly convened nominating convention, which took place May 21 in Springfield, Oregon, has caused quite a stir and confirmed rumors of a hostile takeover of the party. This evidence comes in the form of an email from someone who calls himself Engineer Greg, who also attempted to subvert the law by encouraging party members to "ignore the bylaws," a crime under Oregon statutes."

The release continues, "Mr. Romero did also illegally attempt to coerce, both by intimidation and inducements, one of the voters, as well as his opponent, while at the convention. Mr. Romero is known for such. His online forums include both veiled and open threats and hostility to those who question him. He has also blocked commentary by those who disagree with him, a thing not only disallowed for a public personage, but something for which President Trump himself was censured when he shut down hostile criticism on his Twitter feed."

The Constitution Party, in a 8-4 vote, officially removed both Mr. Romero and Mr. Stettler from consideration as our nominees.

Their nomination process continues, according to ORS and Party bylaws, and they expect to have elected a candidate for governor by the end of this week.

According to Barker, "Those desiring to run for office should be aware that the Party has always and continues to act in accordance with Oregon law and its bylaws, and that those allow us to make nominations for offices at all levels up until August 30."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-31 09:39:20Last Update: 2022-05-31 10:55:39



Secretary of State Releases Audit of K-12 Education
Graduates are more likely to have jobs, less likely to be incarcerated, and on public assistance

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has released an audit on K-12 education which identifies five key risks that, according to the report, "could undermine K-12 system improvement as the state implements the 2019 Student Success Act, Oregon’s fourth major K-12 improvement effort since the 1990s."

The five risks identified by the report are:

Risk #1: Performance Monitoring and Support: Performance monitoring is crucial to school improvement. State leaders and policymakers must work with ODE to ensure monitoring of district performance and state support when needed to promote success.

Risk #2: Transparency on Results and Challenges: To foster accountability and timely adjustments, leaders and policymakers must require thorough reporting of school improvement results and challenges.

Risk #3: Spending Scrutiny and Guidance: Leaders and policymakers should support ODE in providing more analysis of school district spending, helping districts focus spending on student support and offset rising costs.

Risk #4: Clear, Enforceable District Standards: Oregon’s Division 22 standards for K-12 schools lack clarity and enforceability, allowing low performance to persist. To increase accountability for state funds and student success, leaders and policymakers must balance local control of school districts with reasonable, enforceable standards.

Risk #5: Governance and Funding Stability: Reforming education is a complex, long-term effort, requiring leaders and policymakers to set clear goals and foster a long-term focus. A large number of separate programs, unrealistic timelines, and frequent changes in funding priorities and leadership can undermine reform efforts.

In a stinging indictment, the report clearly identified recent high-level strategic policy failures in Oregon K-12 education. According to the report:

In 1991, the Legislature passed the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century, a major overhaul whose most direct school improvement provisions were CIM and CAM — certificates of initial and advanced mastery — intended to drive classroom rigor. They were never required for graduation, despite significant investments of time and resources, and the Legislature abolished them in 2007.

In 2011, the Legislature created an Oregon Education Investment Board to oversee a unified education system from early childhood through post-secondary education. The board developed strategic initiatives to spur improvement and required districts to sign “achievement compacts” as part of the budgeting process. By 2015, the investment board and the achievement compacts were gone, and by 2017 many of the initial programs established by the strategic initiatives and network grants were changed, eliminated, or replaced, with limited analysis of lessons learned.

The Legislature replaced the investment board with a Chief Education Office under the Governor and charged it with building a unified education system, a major undertaking. In 2015, the Legislature set a June 2019 sunset date for the office, and most of its functions related to strategic investment and educator training were transferred to ODE.

The report acknowledged the gravity of the recent spending authorized by the legislature. "The Student Success Act provides an extra $1 billion of tax money a year for early childhood education and K-12 school improvement. It requires the Oregon Department of Education to track district performance and work with districts to improve, building on other recent state and federal initiatives and bringing the state the closest it has been to meeting the funding recommendations of the Quality Education Model. Oregon’s previous three major K-12 improvement efforts were all abandoned, underscoring the importance of addressing risks early on."

It's axiomatic that education is important, but the report underscored the importance of graduation, saying "High school graduation is a critical milestone for students. Research indicates graduates are more likely to have jobs, less likely to be incarcerated, and less likely to rely on public assistance than students who drop out. They are also less likely to have problems with drugs and more likely to live long, healthy lives."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-31 09:36:48Last Update: 2022-05-31 10:59:10



Woke Memorial Day Messaging from ODVA Director
“We owe an additional debt of gratitude to those who were quietly transgender, gay, lesbian or queer”

Memorial Day is a day when the United States pauses to remember those service members who died while in service to the US to preserve and defend individual freedoms.

Since the Civil War, almost 6,000 Oregonians have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the United States. On Memorial Day, they are honored along with more than 1.2 million service members who have given their lives nationwide.

Ceremonies have been traditionally held at the Oregon World War II Memorial in Salem until Covid restrictions halted this practice in recent years.

Kelly Fitzpatrick is the director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Governor Kate Brown’s policy advisor on veterans’ issues. She was appointed by Governor Kate Brown in 2018. She has now released a statement in observance of Memorial Day 2022, and she included some "woke" messaging that is not surprising to many observers.

“Every service member had a story", Fitzpatrick said. "Many faced additional challenges beyond the common trials and tribulations of war."

She continued, “Some of the courageous Oregonians who served and gave their lives in service to our country and whose memories we honor today were women who would not even be recognized as veterans of the United States Armed Forces until the 1970s. Others were quietly transgender, gay, lesbian or queer, who grappled with the pain of giving their all to a country that did not want every part of them, that did not allow them to serve openly as their true, authentic selves.”

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

Fitzpatrick then explains that an additional debt of gratitude is owed to LGBT veterans.

“We as a nation, owe an additional debt of gratitude to the brave soldiers, sailors, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard members who served under these policies and conditions," Fitzpatrick added. "Their courage, selflessness, dignity and exceptional service did much to sway public opinion and pave the way for a brighter and more inclusive future.”

Some observers can't help but point out the messaging is a bit tone def to many Americans, with many suggesting that America has been one of the most progressive nations in world history in regards to individual human rights, and that gaslighting such as this coming from Oregon's Director of Veteran Affairs is meant to just stir the pot and cause division amongst people. A more unifying message would not need to suggest such terrible oppression of an extreme minority of people, when it wasn't actually the case.

On Memorial Day, we should honor the unique loss and pain of each and every one of the 6,000 Oregonians and their families, but out of touch "woke" messaging does little for honoring those who have served.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-30 09:48:32Last Update: 2022-05-30 11:27:30



Read More Articles