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
Search Articles

Post an Event

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

Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 12:00 pm
ALL ABOARD THE LINN COUNTY TRUMP TRAIN! Tail gate BBQ / Guest Speakers / Meet and Greet This is a non-partisan event. All Trump Supporters are welcome THE RIDE STARTS approximately 1:30PM ROUTE: to be determined Presented with local sponsorship by Linn County Conservative Alliance Trump, patriot, Americana, caps,flags, t-shirts and other merchandise available on-site. Profits support conservative and traditional values candidates. https://indd.adobe.com/view/902ce3bb-72b5-4f03-9c74-b71fcdbb6aad
Location: Linn County Fair / Expo parking lot. 3700 Knox Butte Road E. Albany, OR 97322

Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 12:00 pm
ALL ABOARD THE LINN COUNTY TRUMP TRAIN! Tail gate BBQ / Guest Speakers / Meet and Greet This is a non-partisan event. All Trump Supporters are welcome THE RIDE STARTS approximately 1:30PM ROUTE: to be determined Presented with local sponsorship by Linn County Conservative Alliance Trump, patriot, Americana, caps,flags, t-shirts and other merchandise available on-site. Profits support conservative and traditional values candidates. https://indd.adobe.com/view/902ce3bb-72b5-4f03-9c74-b71fcdbb6aad
Location: Linn County Fair / Expo parking lot. 3700 Knox Butte Road E. Albany, OR 97322

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

A Look at the 3rd Congressional District Race
Joanna Harbour is fighting a giant

Editor's note: Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Education Project equips voters with information on how candidates stand on issues through a questionnaire process featured in comparison guides.

Candidate Joanna Harbour is making her second run against incumbent Earl Blumenauer for U.S. Congressional District 3. In a very Democrat district, Blumenauer covers his bases with two websites, one significantly more “radical” than the other, labeled “Earl Radically Effective Blumenauer.” Harbour garnered about one-third the votes that Blumenauer received in 2020 matching the percentage of register Republican voters to Democrat. Since then, this Portland district lost 108,145 voters – 23% were Democrat, 19% Republican and 0.09% Nonaffiliate. Nonaffiliates make up 33% of total voters – not the highest bracket for registered voters, but could pose a threat. Harbour testified at the Redistricting Hearing in defense of rural portions of District 3 being significantly out number and unfair to them.

Congressman Blumenauer is an original co-sponsor and co-author of the Green New Deal. He has authored and supported many policies that could accomplish Green New Deal goals and, since its introduction, has been working to make the Green New Deal vision a reality, including fighting to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, increase wilderness lands and supporting Agenda 2030.

Harbour does not support the Green New Deal or Agenda 2030 and further says we need energy independence, to balance the budget, get out of debt, bring down inflation, prioritize water to our farmers and ranchers, and fix our supply lines.

Harbour wants to end the practice of “let it burn” forest management that has allowed forest fires to go unchecked threatening the lives of our citizens, their livestock and land, and to open up the national forest land to logging and other practices that reduce the risk of forest fires while maintaining the forest for everyone to enjoy for generations to come. Her vision is to bring back Oregon’s forests to local control.

When you look at what is happening in Portland spreading to other parts of the state, security is what voters are looking for. Harbour says crime and homelessness should be resolved at a local level, but she would help to bring federal funding and other resources to curb criminal activity. She received a 69% rating from Oregon Firearms Federation and 92% by NRA. She supports border security to prevent illegal aliens, illegal drugs, and sex and human trafficking from entering the U.S. Her position on border security is to immediately return those who cross illegally to their country of origin. She supports requiring proof that immigration laws are being enforced before considering amnesty laws. “There are several steps that would need to be completed before citizenship is an option.”

Congressman Blumenauer released a statement against border security measures and says a wall is not necessary, and fights for amnesty in the DACA program. He sees security through the lens of partnering with those who serve the global community. His answer to violence is universal background checks, banning high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, and allow health care providers to discuss gun ownership with patients. He thinks illegal drugs should be legalize by developing a legislative framework that accounts for the inevitable transition of marijuana policy that is already well under way.

Harbour said, “I am running to bring common sense and actual citizen representation back to this district.” An advocate for the Second Amendment, term limits, Right-to-Life, religious freedom, and a supporter of the Constitution makes her a clear contrast to incumbent Blumenauer.

Blumenauer is a strong advocate for human rights and democracy (verses a republic). He views gun violence as a crisis that threatens the well-being and peace of mind of urban and rural communities that needs addressing. He has regularly led the charge to close down the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Blumenauer co-chairs a Congressional Neuroscience Caucus to build awareness of the intrinsic role brain research plays in understanding ourselves and our society, and promote changes in federal policies to support neuroscience research. Is that code for mind control?

Harbour advocates for medical freedom, school choice with money following the student, resources for mental illness and drug addictions causing homelessness. She also believes congress should have the same retirement and health coverages as private citizens. She wants to make the tax cuts permanent.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-10 06:08:57Last Update: 2022-09-09 12:55:17

A Look at Oregon’s BOLI Commissioner Race
Democrat Christina Stephenson faces Republican Cheri Helt in a non-partisan race

Editor's note: Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Education Project equips voters with information on how candidates stand on issues through a questionnaire process featured in comparison guides.

The race for Commissioner of Bureau of Labor and Industries is in default mode. If one of the seven candidates running in the Primary would have received over 50 percent of the votes, the race would be over. Since none received the required 50 percent, the top two candidates are now in a run-off in the General Election. The office ensures lawful and fair practices in employment and housing, develops trade skills training and handles complaints on unfair practices and safety. Christina Stephenson, a civil rights attorney, is competing against Cheri Helt, a restaurant business owner in the run-off race.

Stephenson received her Bachelor’s degree in International Politics from American University where she was a facilitator in the Office of Community Action and Social Justice. She moved from California in 2011 to get her Doctoral degree and Public Interest Certificate from University of Oregon School of Law. She joined with Robert Meyer to open Meyer Stephenson law firm. She is a board member of the Multnomah County Commission on Economic Dignity.

As an attorney Stephenson has worked with people of all types all across the state to help them enforce their civil rights. Stephenson worked with the Oregon AFL-CIO union in passing Oregon's Workplace Fairness Act, which imposed sweeping new requirements on Oregon employers in response to the #MeToo movement, and outlawed non-disclosure and non-competing agreements. As Commissioner, she says she knows that businesses that don't play by the rules shouldn't have a competitive advantage and will “invest in the technical assistance Oregon businesses need to stay compliant with Oregon laws.”

Stephenson has also advocated and testified for the Equal Pay Act in Oregon, bereavement leave to be added to the Oregon Family Leave Act, whistleblower protections under state law, and elevate apprenticeships to be a key part of our transition to a climate-resilient economy. Stephenson promises to “ensure that BOLI's actions align with our climate goals. This includes reducing waste, making climate-sensitive procurement decisions, and investing in sustainable infrastructure.”

Stephenson’s focus on discrimination has made her an advocate for LGBTQ workers facing challenges, including not being allowed to use the restroom that aligns with their gender, being harassed or fired because of gender identity or sexual orientation, and not being addressed by the correct name or pronouns. She says, “Your employer should never discriminate against you because of your gender or sexual identity, and it is illegal if they do. As Labor Commissioner, [I] will protect queer and trans workers by helping LGBTQ workers know their rights; enforcing non-discrimination laws; and making sure that employers follow the rules.”

Cheri Helt is co-owner with husband Steve of Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails Restaurant and Bistro 28. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Michigan State University. She served on the Bend-LaPine School Board for nine years and State Representative for two years. She says, “I bring 18 years of firsthand knowledge of the impacts rules and regulations have on employees and employers. Oregon needs balanced policies and systems we can count on.” She decided to run after experiencing the strains of the COVID-19 pandemic on her small business and losing a third of their workers. “I’m really excited about the issues the office works on, creating more job opportunities and increasing career and technical training to build a good future for Oregon,” Helt said in an interview.

Cheri and Steve Helt walk their talk. As Representative, she voted for family medical leave, and now they support 60 employees with 100% employer-paid health benefits and generous retirement benefits. She knows how policies affect businesses. When it comes to leadership and policy, Helt considers herself a public servant, not an active partisan. She rejects the rigid left-right extremes that too often define politics today and believes the best solutions are found when people come together and find common ground.

Since Helt’s leaving office, she has remained involved in legislative issues around housing, education and supported a pilot for homeless youth. Helt’s platform is to lead the fight an be a trusted ally of Oregon working families. She states she will “vigorously defend workers’ civil rights and right to receive fair pay for their hard work, and partner with employers, employees and homebuilders to create more affordable workforce housing,” which she sought solutions for in the legislature. She would like to “strengthen and expand access to apprenticeship programs,” and “position Oregon’s workforce and small businesses to propel a growing and sustainable Oregon economy that benefits all workers.”

The new Commissioner will face challenging changes in employment as more workers have moved to work from home, which is largely unregulated. There will no doubt be more cases between religious business owners and what LGBTQ view as their equal rights among other controversial issues. The two candidates have two different perspectives to address issues, which makes the race unpredictable.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-09 11:03:28Last Update: 2022-09-09 11:16:52

Oregon Approves Measure 110 Funding in All Counties
Gubernatorial Candidates differ on resolution

Many Oregon voters feel deceived for voting in Measure 91 to legalize recreational use of marijuana in 2014 convinced it would eliminate or reduce criminal activities and sales of illegal drugs. To put a band-aid on the rising convictions for possession, voters passed Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act, on November 3, 2020. The law was designed to open up more money for treatment while decriminalizing possession of some small amounts of drugs.

Those found in possession will get a citation and could face a $100 fine. While people caught with small amounts of these drugs can complete a health assessment to avoid paying the fine by calling the Addiction Recovery Center Hotline. The vote meant law enforcement officers in Oregon could no longer arrest someone for possession of small amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone, and other drugs.

Measure 110, required the Oregon Health Authority to establish at least one Behavioral Health Resource Network in each Oregon county. Senate Bill 755, passed in 2021, defined these county cooperative networks as BHRNs. The Oversight and Accountability Council has approved the final county, Jackson County, for drug treatment and recovery services funding. In total, the council has approved 44 BHRNs in Oregon's 36 counties, and some counties are served by more than one network.

"Oregon has, for far too long, ranked near the bottom of states in providing services to help people suffering from addiction, even while having some of the highest addiction rates,” said the council's tri-chair Ron Williams in a statement to KATU.

Measure 110 redirected millions of dollars in tax revenue from the state's legal marijuana industry to treatment. The Act’s grant program funded $264 million for BHRN addiction recovery centers. Top award went to Multnomah County for more than $58 million, more than $20 million went to Washington County, and more than $14 million to Clackamas County.



Drug treatment is a priority issue for all the governor candidates claiming they can bring Oregon from near bottom ranking.

Tina Kotek defends her time as Majority Leader, “When someone is ready to seek help for a mental health concern or substance use, that help should be easy to find and available – no matter where you live or what you can afford.” She claims to have invested nearly $500 million to expand access to mental health care, and $25 million in emergency funds to improve behavioral health services.

Did she not know that in 2019 the National Institute on Drug Abuse established clinical research centers in networks around the country to improve opioid addiction treatment and address gaps in accessing high-quality care. Each center worked with five or more communities with organizations in justice settings and service providers. Oregon was granted one of the centers.

In 2020, there were 247 treatment facilities in Oregon, and 8 percent are paid through Medicaid and Medicare. Others will be paid by private or state health insurance, federally-funded military insurance, and Indian Health Service. Other facilities provide treatment on a sliding scale.

Betsy Johnson says, “I believe the state of Oregon should declare a state of emergency to address our crisis of addiction and mental health. We need to rebuild partnerships with all of our county health departments and provide staffing and resources for both inpatient and outpatient care. We need to demand that counties provide a greater focus on short-term shelter with access to life-saving services while longer-term solutions are ramping up.”

Christine Drazan says she will “maintain and expand investments in addiction and mental health supports and services, including providing reimbursement rates that protect and expand access.” But she goes a step further and promises to work to repeal Measure 110, which decriminalized hard drugs like methamphetamine and heroin.

Now with 44 new state BHRN centers, should the state throw more tax dollars at the problem, declare an emergency, or eliminate the source?

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-09-08 11:13:23Last Update: 2022-09-08 13:49:56

Portland Raises Parking Rates for Event District
It’s less expensive to pay for a round-trip fare on public transit

The Portland Bureau of Transportation, in partnership with Lloyd area businesses and residents, will begin implementing new rates for on-street parking during large-scale events to encourage public transit and biking, and reduce congestion and pollution in the Lloyd Event District.

Starting Friday, Sept. 9, on-street parking will cost $3 an hour, up from $1 an hour, with meter hours operating until 10 p.m. The new rate will be in effect all day, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., this Friday through Sunday. The all-day rate will be in effect on three other days through the end of the year. On 24 other days, it will be in effect only from 5 to 10 p.m.

The new rate is expected to relieve pressure on people who live or work in the Lloyd and Rose Quarter area, reducing traffic, and making it easier for residents and other visitors to find on-street parking.​

According to PBOT, when people attend conventions and pro sports games in the busy neighborhood, it's less expensive for them to drive and park their cars in public, on-street parking spaces than it is to pay the $5 for a round-trip fare on public transit. This creates severe parking shortages, as parking occupancy jumps from about 30 percent normally to more than 90 percent during event days. With nine out of 10 spaces occupied, people drive in circles in the area to find parking, driving while distracted and creating congestion and delays for bus service and local residents and businesses.

The event district for the Lloyd area was approved by City Council in April. It allows PBOT to charge $3 an hour during the 90 events a year that draw more than 10,000 visitors, mostly during evening hours. On-street parking will be affected at the 1,250 spaces in the area, where parking has historically been free or $1 an hour.



Event parking districts using higher meter rates and extended hours of enforcement have been successful in managing parking impacts to event areas in other cities and in Southwest Portland near Providence Park Stadium.

The district implements several policies passed by the city council over many years. In 2018, council passed an ordinance for the Performance Based Parking Management Manual, which outlines how and where to establish Event Parking Districts. It is consistent with the report and recommendations by the Pricing Options for Equitable Mobility Task Force, which were accepted by council last year.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-08 06:44:05Last Update: 2022-09-07 15:00:04

Lori Kuechler appointed to Oregon House District 52
A politically active community member

Lori Kuechler has been appointed to the Oregon House by Clackamas, Hood River and Multnomah county commissioners. Her predecessor, Anna Williams (D-Hood River) was one of three legislators who complained of the low salaries paid to Oregon House Members. Williams will become the executive director of Oregon’s System of Care Advisory Council, which has a pay range listed from $7,814 - $12,087 per month -- far exceeding her legislative pay.

Oregon law requires that a legislative vacancy be filled by county commissioners representing the district in which the vacancy exists. House District 52 includes voters in Clackamas, Hood River and Multnomah counties. Finalists were selected by the local Democratic Party, as deemed by state law.

According to her biography on LinkedIn, Kuechler describes herself:

I am a freelance, contract grant consultant and writer, a college professor of the Liberal Arts, a published writer, and experienced fundraising and development professional. I am skilled in fundraising narrative and marketing content; grant writing and grant management; nonprofit sustainability consultation; nonprofit funding prospect research and cultivation; and adjunct teaching in higher education, with a special focus on the academic and personal support of first-generation college students. I am a politically active community member with a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Kuechler will be sworn in and will serve in the upcoming 2023 Legislative Session.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-08 06:23:21

OHA Shifts COVID-19 Reporting
The changes do not mean the pandemic is over

The Oregon Health Authority has announced changes to its reporting of COVID-19 data and provided an update on the new bivalent COVID-19 boosters. State health officials also gave an update on monkeypox in Oregon, including new demographic data and recommendations for monkeypox vaccines.

OHA Director Patrick Allen said COVID-19 data reporting is changing next week, with the COVID-19 Data Update moving to a weekly schedule and other data moving to a monthly cycle. "Shifting our reporting to match where we are in the pandemic will also allow us to free up resources that can be used for responding to other public health events that are equally important," Allen said.

Dean Sidelinger, M.D. MSEd, health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA, said the state has recorded fewer COVID-19-related cases and hospitalizations, but still has high levels of circulation based on wastewater and testing results.

Sidelinger encouraged all eligible Oregonians to get a newly approved COVID-19 booster as soon as they can. "As we head into fall, as more of us spend time indoors, the updated booster will be the best way to protect ourselves and those around us from severe illness and hospitalization caused by the predominant BA.5 and BA.4 COVID-19 subvariants," he said.



Sidelinger also said OHA has counted 179 presumptive and confirmed cases of monkeypox as of today. He said Oregon has distributed, or is in the process of distributing, more than 40,080 doses of the Jynneos vaccine and 263 courses of the investigational antiviral drug known as tecovirimat — or TPOXX — since June 20. He encouraged people to talk to their providers about testing if they have symptoms of monkeypox. Providers should test their patients for the virus, even if it's only suspected, based on a patient's symptoms, he said.

New dashboard focuses on cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status The new dashboard will display information previously available in the Breakthrough Case Report and will highlight trends in cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status over time. Data are available at state and county levels. The updated dashboard aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) COVID-19 hospitalizations by vaccination status dashboard.

According to the OHA new dashboard data demonstrate that COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at protecting people from developing severe illness, being hospitalized and dying. COVID-19 vaccines are widely available and free to everyone in Oregon.

The new dashboard will replace the monthly Breakthrough Case Report, which will no longer be updated. The dashboard will be published for the first time on Sept. 8 and published on the second Wednesday of the month.

The changes do not mean the pandemic is over. OHA will continue to monitor and report cases, deaths, hospitalizations, variants, vaccination and booster rates and other developments. These monitoring efforts include analyzing wastewater samples across the state to track COVID-19 spread.

--Ritch Hanneman

Post Date: 2022-09-07 18:47:03Last Update: 2022-09-07 19:30:03

Auditors Issue a Clean Opinion of Oregon's Financial Statements
"This is one way we're working to build trust with Oregonians"

The Audits Division of the Oregon Secretary of State's Office has released the annual Keeping Oregon Accountable report. The report summarizes the results of the Oregon Audits Division's two largest annual audits: the audit of Oregon's financial statements, otherwise known as the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, and a compliance audit of the state's administration of federal programs, otherwise known as the Statewide Single Audit.

"Auditors from my office poured over the numbers to make sure state resources are properly accounted for," said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. "This is one way we're working to build trust with Oregonians."

The division audited 18 federal programs at 11 agencies and issued 29 findings and recommendations. Auditors issues a clean opinion of 16 of the audited federal programs, while issuing a qualified opinion for two programs, suggesting improvements to the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance programs. Additionally, auditors questioned whether $10,031,362 in expenditures were appropriately paid with federal funds.

Auditors also issued a clean opinion of the state's financial statements for fiscal year 2021, identifying $1.7 billion in accounting errors, all of which were identified as unintentional. Accounting errors refer to transactions that were incorrectly categorized. The money identified here was still used for appropriate state government purposes. Auditors proposed steps agencies can take to correct those errors.



The Secretary of State Audits Division annually audits the State of Oregon's financial statements and compliance with federal program requirements. The federal government requires these audits for the financial assistance Oregon receives annually. These audits determine whether amounts reported in Oregon's financial statements are materially correct and adequately supported; evaluate the state's administration of major federal programs for compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations; conclude on whether the Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards is fairly presented in relation to the state's financial statements; and review accounting and compliance control procedures.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-07 12:10:31

OHA Reporting Sexual Orientation Data for Monkeypox
It will support data justice in communities most affected by health disparities

The Oregon Health Authority has begun publishing monthly reports of monkeypox case data by sexual orientation or gender identity, and by expanded categories of race and ethnicity. According to the OHA, publication of the data, in consultation with OHA's Equity and Inclusion Division, will help the agency better understand the diversity of the people living in Oregon, which will help it identify and address health disparities and support data justice in communities most affected by health disparities.

The monkeypox outbreak is the first communicable disease outbreak for which OHA is publicly reporting sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI) data, and data from expanded race and ethnicity categories found in REALD, or race and ethnicity, language or disability. The data will be reported each month on OHA's monkeypox (hMPXV) website.

"OHA has established a strategic goal to achieve health equity by 2030," said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA. "A critical component to meeting this goal is ensuring meaningful access to services for everyone in Oregon, regardless of their race, ethnicity, language, disability, or sexual orientation and gender identity. The REALD and SOGI data will help guide OHA and its partners in an equitable response to the monkeypox outbreak."

In 2021, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 3159, which charged OHA with drafting and adding SOGI questions to the current data collection standards in OHA Oregon Administrative Rules, building a data collection system for both REALD and SOGI, and developing and implementing reporting requirements.



In 2018, OHA's Equity and Inclusion Division convened a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data Collection Committee. The group consists of internal and external stakeholders who interact with the LGBTQ+ community and health systems, many of whom identify as LGBTQ+ themselves.

The Oregon Legislature passed HB 3159 in 2021, charging OHA with drafting and adding SOGI questions to the current data collection standards in OHA Oregon Administrative Rules, building a data collection system for both REALD and SOGI and developing and implementing reporting requirements. The SOGI Data Collection Committee draft data collection standards have been implemented in Oregon's public health communicable disease data collection system known as Orpheus.

OHA and local public health partners have been collecting SOGI information from people diagnosed with monkeypox since the start of the outbreak in Oregon.

While the narrative of monkeypox in the United States has centered on cisgender gay men as the population most affected by the virus, this narrative does not reflect the full spectrum of people who have been affected by monkeypox. The SOGI will help illuminate the experiences of people with other gender identities and sexual orientations in the Oregon outbreak of monkeypox, Sidelinger said.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-07 12:01:08Last Update: 2022-09-07 12:43:36

Democrats Take Credit for Fiscal State
“Thanks to the fiscally responsible decisions, we are well positioned”

As the state released its quarterly economic forecast, and despite massive infusions of federal dollars for COVID relief as well as enormous federal borrowing to buoy a fragile economy and stave off economic downturn, Governor Brown took credit for whatever positive was in the economic forecast.

“Thanks to the fiscally responsible decisions the State of Oregon has made over the last several years, we are well positioned with significant reserves to weather any economic challenges that lie ahead. Now, we must continue to make investments to benefit Oregon’s working families, so that all Oregonians can feel the benefits of our strong economic recovery.

“With rising costs of living continuing to impact Oregon families and businesses, the Legislature can, in the budget for the next biennium, build on the investments we made in the last session -- particularly in housing, workforce development, behavioral health, and child care. “And, thanks to the work of Oregon’s congressional delegation and the Biden-Harris administration to pass the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can continue to invest federal dollars to lower costs and create jobs for working families.”

“Oregon’s economy is still strong. Oregon Senate Democrats’ investments in housing, education and childcare are showing results. The market is stabilizing and our budgets continue to reflect our success. We are driving down costs for everyday Oregonians and providing investments and opportunity for every community around the state," said Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego). "The responsible and fiscally smart leadership of Oregon Democrats have left us with the largest budget reserves in Oregon state history,” failing to recognize the impact of massive federal spending. Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) took a more sobering line. “Our economists say Oregon is doing well. Not all Oregonians feel the same way. We should invest in our communities carefully… and stay on our toes. If there is a downturn, Oregon will be ready.”

Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) issued a rosy statement. “The Oregon economy continues to be fundamentally strong. Hiring has increased, our unemployment rate is near its lowest level on record, and we hold record reserves following years of sound fiscal management by Democratic leadership. After a session in which we made critical one-time investments in all corners of the state, we’ll keep prioritizing the issues Oregonians care most about like housing, behavioral health support, abortion access and more.”

House Majority Leader Julie Fahey (D-Eugene) used the occasion to take a swipe at Oregon producers. “Today’s revenue forecast demonstrates steady growth in our economy and shows why we must continue to invest in working and low-income Oregonians, as well as small businesses, which make up 99.4% of all businesses in the state. When corporations and the wealthiest of Americans are raking in the largest profit margins since the 1950s and have received generous tax break handouts, it’s past time we build an economy that works for everyone -- not just those at the top. [[ADS_SLUG4]] “That means focusing our investments on driving down cost of living, addressing the ongoing affordable housing crisis, creating stronger schools, improving our childcare infrastructure, and supporting small businesses. These investments will help all Oregonians prosper, not just now but in the years to come. Because we know that when everyone has economic opportunity and the resources they need to thrive, we are all stronger and better for it.”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-07 11:40:44Last Update: 2022-09-07 18:37:01

Transportation Commission to Meet on Tolling
Commenters providing testimony for the first time will be given priority

The Oregon Transportation Commission will meet Thursday, Sept. 13, at 9:00am in the Gail Achterman Conference Room of the Transportation Building, 355 Capitol Street N.E., in Salem. A remote option for participating in the meeting is available.

Items on the agenda include: You can join the meeting in-person, join via YouTube Livestream: www.youtube.com/c/OregonDOT (closed captioning provided), or listen only by phone at 1-346-248-7799 or 1-669-900-6833 — Webinar ID: 829 7831 6786

According to ODOT, members of the public are asked to submit written comment in advance of the Sept. 13 meeting and sign up for real-time virtual oral public comment. To sign up, please complete the comment form and RSVP by Friday, Sept. 9 at 3 p.m. The form is available on our website at www.oregon.gov/odot/Get-involved/Pages/OTC_Main.aspx.



ODOT reminds participants that participation will be limited to one representative per organization. Additionally, commenters (and organizations) who are providing oral testimony to the OTC for the first time will be given priority for the limited available testimony spots.

To submit written testimony or comment electronically, please use the submission form on the OTC website by Friday, Sept. 9 at 3 p.m. to guarantee inclusion in the meeting packet. Comments not included in the meeting packet will be shared with commissioners after the meeting. Email written comments to OTCAdmin@odot.oregon.gov

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-06 13:14:23Last Update: 2022-09-06 13:28:05

Fires Rage in Eastern Oregon
Fire is burning 22,000 acres in Wallowa County

Governor Kate Brown has invoked the Emergency Conflagration Act in response to the Double Creek Fire burning near the community of Imnaha and the Sturgill Fire burning south of the community of Lostine -- both in Wallowa County. This declaration allows the Office of the State Fire Marshal to take unified command today. The fires are estimated to be 10,000 and 12,000 acres respectively in size, and the Wallowa County Sheriff's Office has issued Level 3, Level 2, and Level 1 evacuation orders for homes near the fires.

"The Double Creek Fire grew rapidly overnight, requiring additional resources to battle the fire and support the state's response. The Sturgill Fire grew rapidly and has the potential for further growth in the coming days, which requires additional resources to support response efforts," said Governor Brown. "With many fires actively burning across the state and several weeks of peak fire season ahead of us, I am urging all Oregonians to be prepared. Please continue to follow local and statewide fire prevention regulations and share what you know with others. Every fire we prevent helps keep our communities and firefighters safe, and our natural resources protected."

In accordance with ORS 476.510-476.610, Governor Brown determined that a threat to life, safety, and property exists due to the fire, and the threat exceeds the firefighting capabilities of local firefighting personnel and equipment. The Governor's declaration cleared the way for the State Fire Marshal to mobilize firefighters and equipment to assist local resources battling the fire and further support a coordinated response.

Currently, local mutual aid and federal resources are on scene working to slow the fire's progress. An OSFM Incident Management Team will be briefed and will assume unified command today with federal partners. OSFM will bring in four additional task forces through the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System from Lane, Clatsop, Washington, and Yamhill Counties to assist in the response.

With forecasted winds and multiple lightning-caused fires already burning near communities in Oregon, OSFM will remain vigilant with response efforts. An OSFM Incident Management Team is already mobilized and will remain in place to assume unified command of the Sturgill Fire. OSFM will assess response needs with the forecasted weather and fire conditions and bring in additional task forces through the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System as needed.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-06 12:46:08Last Update: 2022-09-06 13:14:23

Hoyle Called Out for Tax Increases
Her decision to tax hospitals and nursing homes hurts seniors

In 2013, Val Hoyle voted to raise taxes on hospitals and nursing homes. According to a press release from the Alec Skarlatos Campaign, "Val Hoyle failed to realize that these costs would be passed to seniors and families across Oregon, and today the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs has steadily increased, with prices expected to rise again in 2023." Skarlatos is running against Hoyle to replace Peter DeFazio in Congressional District 2 in Southern Oregon.

“It was shortsighted for Val Hoyle to raise taxes on Oregon’s hospitals and nursing homes because now these costs have been passed along through higher healthcare costs to seniors and families across Oregon,” said Oregon National Guard Veteran Alek Skarlatos. “I’m running for Congress to offer fresh ideas and new solutions, and it starts by lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, which Joe Biden, Val Hoyle, and the Democrats who run Washington have failed to accomplish.”

On May 14, 2013, Val Hoyle voted for HB 2216 that would extend the sunset on a collection of hospital assessment.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-06 11:53:41Last Update: 2022-09-06 16:29:19

Read More Articles