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We Are Stronger Together
Monday, March 27, 2023 at 10:00 am
Oregon's Natural Resources & Industries (ONRI) is sponsoring the rally to meet legislators and influencers to bring light on legislation affecting natural resource industries, their families, and their communities. https://onri.us/events
Rally at the State Capitol, Salem.



Oregon Republican Party Freedom Banquet
Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at 6:00 pm
Hosted by ORP Chairman Justin Hwang
Keynote Speaker NRA First VP Willes K. Lee
Special Musical Guest, Nashville’s Stokes Nielson
Tickets: Dinner $75 - VIP Tickets $100
Call 503-931-1756 for table sponsorship info.
Ticket Sales end on March 23, 2023
Click for tickets
Embassy Suites Portland Airport



Ways and Means Hearing
Saturday, April 8, 2023 at 10:00 am
Public hearings on the budget. Members of the public will have the opportunity to testify at each of the hearings regarding their perspectives and priorities around the state budget. To testify, members of the public will be able to access sign up links on the Ways and Means Committee's webpage on OLIS.oregonlegislature.gov
Portland Community College - PAC Auditorium, Sylvania Campus 12000 SW 49th Ave, Portland, OR 97219



Ways and Means Hearing
Friday, April 14, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Public hearings on the budget. Members of the public will have the opportunity to testify at each of the hearings regarding their perspectives and priorities around the state budget. To testify, members of the public will be able to access sign up links on the Ways and Means Committee's webpage on OLIS.oregonlegislature.gov
Newport Performing Arts Center 777 W Olive St, Newport, OR 97365



Active Shooter Response Training
Friday, April 14, 2023 at 6:00 pm
TNT Martial Arts--- Friday April 14, 2023 from 6pm-9pm. $10
SIGN UP HERE
Pre-Registration is mandatory, class slots are LIMITED, and in the interest of safety and security, you’ll be expected to provide your identification that matches the registration name, upon entering the training facility.
TNT Martial Arts 1982 NE 25th Ave. Suite 15. Hillsboro, Oregon 97124



NW Food Show
Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 10:00 am
Showcase your foodservice industry solutions to buyers and influencers across the Northwestern U.S. and beyond. Exhibiting at the Northwest Foodservice Show is a cost effective way to meet with hundreds of industry decision makers face-to-face and grow your business. Space is limited, so book now!

SELL FACE-TO-FACE

• Generate high-quality leads by sampling and/or demonstrating your products in person

• Answer questions and give tailored pitches to a diverse group of attendees over two days

• Create new connections with buyers and build on existing relationships across the Northwest

WHO ATTENDS?

• 75% of attendees are key decision makers and have purchasing authority

• 47% of attendees have an alcohol license

• Nearly half of attendees are experiencing the Show for the first time

INDUSTRY SEGMENTS IN ATTENDANCE

• 36% Restaurant / Café

• 10% Bar / Tavern

• 10% Catering

• 10% Broker

• 7% Institutions: Universities, Schools, Hospitals, Corrections

• 5% Food Carts / Mobile

• 22% Other Foodservice

The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) is the leading business association for the foodservice and lodging industry in Oregon. A not-for-profit trade organization, ORLA represents over 3,000 member units and advocates for over 10,000 foodservice locations and over 2,400 lodging establishments in Oregon.

Contact
Marla McColly - mmcolly@oregonrla.org to register for a booth today!
Portland Expo Center - Hall D - 2060 N Marine Dr, Portland, OR • April 16 –17, 2023 • Sunday, April 16: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday, April 17: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.



Ways and Means Hearing
Friday, April 21, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Public hearings on the budget. Members of the public will have the opportunity to testify at each of the hearings regarding their perspectives and priorities around the state budget. To testify, members of the public will be able to access sign up links on the Ways and Means Committee's webpage on OLIS.oregonlegislature.gov
Umpqua Community College 1140 Umpqua College Rd, Roseburg, OR 9747



Ways and Means Hearing
Friday, April 28, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Public hearings on the budget. Members of the public will have the opportunity to testify at each of the hearings regarding their perspectives and priorities around the state budget. To testify, members of the public will be able to access sign up links on the Ways and Means Committee's webpage on OLIS.oregonlegislature.gov
Four Rivers Cultural Center 676 SW 5th Ave, Ontario, OR 97914 Note: Ontario, Oregon is in the Mountain Time Zone



Lincoln County Fair
Friday, June 30, 2023 at 5:00 pm
June 30-July 2 Lincoln County Fair
Lincoln County Commons 633 NE 3rd St, Newport, OR



St Paul Rodeo
Friday, June 30, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Small town fun, big time rodeo! JUNE 30 - JULY 4, 2023

St Paul Rodeo website
4174 Malo Avenue NE, Saint Paul, OR, United States, Oregon



Marion County Fair
Thursday, July 6, 2023 at 5:00 pm
The Marion County Fair
July 6-9
Oregon State Fair and Exposition Center 2330 17th ST NE Salem, OR 97301



Washington County Fair
Friday, July 21, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Washington County Fair

FREE ADMISSION

Washington County Fair
JULY 21 - 30
Westside Commons 801 NE 34th Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97124



Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at 5:00 pm
The Coos County Fair
July 25-29
Coos County Fairgrounds 770 4th St, Myrtle Point, OR 97458



Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at 5:00 pm
The Clatsop County Fair
August 1st-5th
Clatsop County Fair and Expo Center 92937 Walluski Loop, Astoria, OR 97103



Oregon Jamboree Music Festival
Friday, August 4, 2023 at 5:00 pm
The Oregon Jamboree is the Northwest’s premier country music festival. Nestled in the foothills of the scenic Cascade Mountains, the Oregon Jamboree is held on 20+ acre park-like setting that includes the historic Weddle Covered Bridge. The Jamboree offers a full festival atmosphere in the main venue and a more intimate concert experience on the second stage. In addition to featured headline entertainment, this event hosts RV and tent camping, merchandise vendors, food booths, beer & wine gardens, and a variety of other attractions.

Sweet Home, Oregon



Douglas County Fair
Wednesday, August 9, 2023 at 8:00 am
Douglas County Fair AUGUST 9 - 12
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex 2110 SW Frear Street Roseburg, OR 97471



Crook County Fair
Wednesday, August 9, 2023 at 1:00 pm
Crook County Fair
AUGUST 9 - 12
Crook County Fairgrounds Prineville, Oregon



Oregon State Fair
Friday, August 25, 2023 at 1:00 pm
Oregon State Fair
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center 2330 17th St NE, Salem, OR 97301



Pendleton Round-Up
Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 5:00 pm
The world famous Pendleton Round-Up
Pendleton Round-Up Grounds 1205 SW Court Ave, Pendleton, OR 97801


View All Calendar Events


Analysis: The Appointment of Senator Brock Smith
Shemia Fagan concluded that the candidates would have another qualification criteria

Representative David Brock Smith of Port Orford was appointed to his Oregon State Senate seat in Senate District 1 on Wednesday, January 11th at the Roseburg Courthouse. David Brock Smith’s ascent to the seat started on December 16th when Dallas Heard endorsed Smith as successor to his seat.

Members of the Oregon Republican Party had known that Dallas Heard was not planning on running for another term as Senator since March 9, 2022 when Heard stepped down from his position as ORP chair, but there had been no announcement of his intent to resign from the Senate until December 15th. His resignation became effective on January 1st.

The Senator’s two weeks notice during the holiday season gave the Republican Parties of Coos, Curry and Douglas Counties very little time to recruit, vet and promote candidates needed for a competitive special election. In late December the Special Election was scheduled for January 7th, with only a 13 day notice before the election date. This short notice of the meeting date caused the Douglas County Republican Party concern that a mandatory 14 day notice was not met and could allow the Special Election to be nullified.

Within the special election process, the Precinct Committee-person’s of the Republican Party, instead of the general population of voters, were entitled to vote. Each PCPs’ vote represents about 250 constituents within their precinct.

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The Douglas County Republican Party Executive Board managed to activate 5 candidates for the Special Election; Tim Allen, Tom Dole, Doug Mendenhall, Richard Vander Velden, and Todd Vaughn. Curry County had two candidates, David Brock Smith and a Mr. Avery who immediately stepped-down to endorse David Brock Smith. Coos County had no candidates.

The Special Election met in Coquille on January 7th. The meeting opened with an announcement that there was a possible change of the rules to qualify candidates. The Secretary of State, Shemia Fagan, had concluded that because SD1 was redistricted since Senator Heard took office, the candidates would have another qualification criteria added, not only would the candidates have to live within the current SD1 boundaries, by Fagan’s opinion they now needed to live in both the new and old SD1 boundaries. That new restriction would eliminate two of the Douglas County Candidates, Todd Vaughn and Richard Vander Velden.

The voting PCP’s were told that the Legislative Counsel did not agree with the Secretary of State’s interpretation of the Oregon Revised Statutes’ criteria for conducting the election. The PCP’s were instructed at the beginning of the meeting, that even if the two candidates who had been affected by the district boundary change were elected, they might be eliminated when the controversy between the Legislative Counsel and Fagan was settled. Many of the PCP’s present at the election reacted with suspicion that something nefarious was happening behind the scenes.

Before the PCP’s could vote for their choice of nominees, they must vote on how many nominees they will present to the Commissioners of the three counties. According to ORS 171.051(3), the failure of presenting the County Commissioners with the required minimum of three nominees would result in a failure of the Special Election and the choice of the next State Senator would then default to Governor Tina Kotek. With that to consider, many PCP’s changed their intended vote of presenting 3 nominees and instead voted to present 5 nominees. Todd’s and Richard’s precarious position as being subject to a possible elimination by Secretary of State Fagan may have influenced some PCP’s not to vote for them. The candidates then gave their speeches, were asked several written questions solicited from the PCP’s and the ballots were handed out and eventually tallied.

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In order of the highest number of votes, the winning nominees presented to the County Commissioners were: David Brock Smith at 16890.87, Tim Allen at 13385.82, Richard Vander Velden at 9975.45, Todd Vaughn at 8615.39 and Tomas Dole at 8508.38. When the Douglas County vote was separated out from the three counties, Tim Allen was in a decisive lead at 9715.87 over the next contender, David Brock Smith at 8030.29. Since the Douglas County Commissioners wielded 73.58 % of the vote by population, Tim Allen seemed to have the edge.

On January 11th, the County Commissioners met at the Douglas County Courthouse to appoint the nominee of their choice at the Senate District Meeting. The meeting was recorded on video on the Douglas County website.

At the Senate District Meeting the first order of business was to decide the controversy between the Legislative Counsel and Secretary of State, Fagan. Commissioner Tim Freeman and County Clerk Dan Loomis referred to the Oregon Constitution and ORS to support the Secretary of States’ position to eliminated Richard Vander Velden and Todd Vaughn. The Oregon Constitution Article IV 3(2)(c) and Section 6(6)(8)ORS 171.068(2) and ORS 171.060(1) were cited to determine if residency requirements were met.

Freeman also cited an email sent by the Secretary of State two days earlier on January 9 at 4:39 pm. The way Tim Freeman read the email, it relied on ORS 171.106, but that statute is not listed within ORS Chapter 171 on the Oregon Legislature’s website. Commissioner Tim Freeman referred to the conflicting decisions between the Legislative Counsel and Secretary of State Fagan as “what seemed to be contrary, really was not.” The Legislative Counsel had added two caveats that allowed for the qualification of the candidates under certain conditions. Commissioner Chris Boice motioned to “strike the two disqualified candidates from the slate and only hear from the 3 candidates who meet all three qualifications.” The motion passed unanimously.

The three remaining nominees gave five minute speeches and answered questions from the nine Commissioners. The Commissioners then voted unanimously for David Brock Smith.

Near the end of the proceeding, Tim Freeman did apologize for the confusion caused by the Secretary of State Fagan at both the Special Election and the Senate District Meeting. Tim Freeman stated that if they had not had the five nominees, the two nominees who were eliminated would have qualified under one of the caveats provided by the Legislative Counsel.

At the end of this Senate District Meeting, Tim Freeman stated that in the last 8 years, the Douglas County Commissioners have appointed 4 legislative positions, and 1 of each of the following; a clerk, a surveyor, an assessor, a treasurer and a commissioner for a total of nine positions. By the time the Commissioners appoint the vacant House of Representatives seat left by David Brock Smith, it will be 5 legislative seats and a total of 10 elective positions.

Resignation from elected positions can be timed to allow the election of a replacement through the general election, or the timing can result in the need for a special election. If endorsements, special elections and appointments are used as a political strategy to bypass an election by the people, it results in the disenfranchisement of other candidates and the voters.


--Terry Noonkester

Post Date: 2023-01-18 08:51:57Last Update: 2023-01-18 09:43:15



House Republican Leader Announces 2023 Caucus Priorities
“This is not the Oregon I was raised in, know, and love”

During a joint press conference with Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) and Majority Leader Julie Fahey (D-Eugene), House Republican Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville) announced the 2023 House Republican Legislative Priorities.

Leader Breese-Iverson began by highlighting the current status of our state.

“It is no secret that Oregon is at a crossroad. Despite record funding for our public education system, we continue to rank near the bottom of the national average… Oregon farmers and ranchers produce over 13 percent of our Gross Domestic Product, and even though we continue to hear about food uncertainty for many Oregonians, these producers continue to be sent a message that their farms and ranches are not valued in our state. This is not the Oregon I was raised in, know, and love,” according to Leader Breese-Iverson’s remarks as prepared.

The Republican Leader identified four key priorities for the 2023 Legislative Session: “Although there are no shortage of issues to address, we are ready to get to work. Oregonians deserve nothing less,” according to Leader Breese-Iverson’s remarks as prepared.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2023-01-18 06:41:14Last Update: 2023-01-17 19:51:57



Bend-La Pine Schools to Lodge Students on Field Trips According to Gender Identity
“A parent’s only recourse is to remove their child from the activity”

On January 10, the Bend-LaPine School District, under the direction of Dr. Steve Cook, passed an Administrative Regulation regarding lodging arrangements for overnight field trips basing placement on gender identity.

Gender balance of staff / chaperones is highly encouraged on all excursions. For an overnight trip or camp, Bend-La Pine Schools shall assure that staff, chaperones and students are assigned to rooms or cabins that correspond to their gender identity. Staff shall determine placement of students, staff and chaperones based on the need for appropriate supervision and shall take into consideration the safety, security and wellbeing of all gender-conforming and nonconforming persons.

Supervisors(s) must have knowledge that students will not be permitted to leave the field trip group during the trip unless they are released to their parent/guardian.

One parent, who declined to be identified, summarized the policy as "students will be placed in cabins on overnight field trips (outdoor school etc.) according to their gender identity. This essentially means biological girls and boys will be "assigned" into cabins with members of the opposite sex and vice versa and a parent's only recourse as I understand it, is to remove their child from the activity. These assessments and placements will be made by staff (not parents)."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2023-01-17 06:11:49Last Update: 2023-01-16 15:49:16



State to Review Gold Mine Plan
It is a Technical Review Team meeting on a proposed gold mine in Malheur County

State agencies will meet by teleconference on February 2 on a proposed chemical process gold mine in Malheur County. Calico Resources has submitted a letter of intent to start mining for gold.

Oregon's Chemical Mining Rules apply to this project because cyanide is proposed for processing the gold. The processed tailings will be placed in a tailings disposal facility. This facility must be lined, capped and designed to avoid any discharge to groundwater or surface waters. The impoundment will be capped and sealed upon completion. The overall project is being designed to avoid any discharge to surface or ground waters.

Under state law, The Department of Geology and Mineral Industries' (DOGAMI) manages the consolidated application process for chemical mining permits. DOGAMI mission is to provide earth science information and regulation to make Oregon safe and prosperous.

Permitting agencies involved in the consolidated application process include DOGAMI, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Water Resources Department. Depending on specific details related to mine construction and operation, permits from the Department of State Lands or the Oregon Health Authority may also be required. Other federal, state, or local regulations are also required, including local land use permitting

The Technical Review Team will meet by teleconference on Thursday, February 2, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to noon PST. The public and media can listen to the meetings by joining the Zoom Meeting online, or by phone.

The Technical Review Team is an inter-disciplinary team of state agencies that reviews information and concerns related to a proposed mine during all phases of the application process, and ultimately develops consolidated permit conditions that conform to Oregon regulations.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2023-01-16 06:09:05Last Update: 2023-01-15 11:03:05



Oregon Campaign Contributions Under Investigation
FTX crypto scam builds

Oregon became familiar with the FTX crypto scam when a $500,000 contribution was made to Governor Tina Kotek’s campaign made in the name of the cryptocurrency startup Prime Trust based in Nevada. However, Epoch Times is reporting that Prime Trust was allegedly used as a “pass-through,” with the funds actually coming from Nishad Singh, former director of engineering at FTX, the now bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange run by Sam Bankman-Fried. The U.S. Department of Justice has charged Bankman-Fried with making millions of dollars in donations in other people’s names using cash from customers’ accounts at FTX.

As part of a widening investigation into Bankman-Fried and Singh, federal prosecutors are now looking into campaign donations to the Democratic Party of Oregon (DPO). But, Kotek’s contributions was peanuts compared to the $14 million that Democrat Carrick Flynn, running for the new 6th Congressional District, received from Prime Trust. It was later revealed that the funds were from Bankman-Fried ($13 million) and Singh ($1 million).

Epoch Times reports six opposing candidates for the 6th Congressional District released a joint statement in April decrying the move. Flynn reportedly received more than twice the outside spending of any other congressional candidate in the nation during the 2022 primary, due primarily to Bankman-Fried’s donation.

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan launched an investigation in November, after the election, to determine whether contributions were made under a false name by Singh, and whether the DPO broke a state law accepting political donations under a false name. Secretary Fagan refuses to release responses, and says they are trying to determine whether Singh misled members of the DPO when the donation was made, whether someone within the DPO posted the contribution fraudulently, or whether it was an honest mistake. Making a campaign contribution under a false name is a felony.

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Epoch Times reports that DPO denied any wrongdoing, “Based upon documentation received from our bank, the DPO reasonably believed that this contribution was, in fact, from Prime Trust LLC,” wrote DPO executive director Brad Martin in a recent statement.

Flynn is also reported to receive “dark-money” from the Guarding Against Pandemics group, run by Sam Bankman-Fried’s brother Gabe Bankman-Fried, which obscures its donors. According to a transcript of a May 14 interview, Flynn told Vox that he’s never met or talked with Sam but is friendly with Gabe Bankman-Fried. Flynn speculated that the support was based on their shared interest in preventing pandemics and the “effective altruism,” a philosophical and social movement to help “all humans, animals and people who are not born yet.”

Despite the unprecedented support, Flynn was defeated in the primary race by Democrat Andrea Salinas who went on to victory in the general election, becoming the first to represent Oregon’s new 6th district.

The bill to reform campaign contributions has again been Introduced by Speak Rayfield and other under HB 2003. However, it only applies to state candidates, but it would limit the governor’s campaign from accepting more than $30,000 in aggregate from a political party multicandidate committee.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2023-01-15 06:48:28Last Update: 2023-01-15 10:09:05



Oregon Detective Receives National Recognition
Matt Brassfield receives his third honor by NCFI

Receiving top honors for his work as a digital forensic examiner is Matt Brassfield, a tenured detective with the Salem Police Criminal Investigations Section.

On January 4, the US Secret Service’s National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI) recognized Detective Matt Brassfield for being one of the nation’s top 50 examiners in the field of digital forensics in 2022. The veteran detective ranked 47th from amongst more than 1,500 participating examiners all across the country. The field of digital forensics involves the recovery and investigation of material found on a variety of digital devices, such as small digital storage container, mobile phones and records, computers, and network storage systems.

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“The use of digital technology in the commission of crimes continues to grow,” said Deputy Chief Jake Burke who oversees the Investigations Division. “Detective Brassfield’s skill and knowledge in the field of forensics is essential to the successful prosecution and closure of numerous persons and property crimes. We are very proud he is being recognized for his work and expertise.”

Brassfield, who has worked in the field of computer forensics for six years, was previously honored by NCFI in 2019 and 2020.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2023-01-14 16:41:16Last Update: 2023-01-14 22:15:58



Secretary Fagan Announces 2023 Protect Our Democracy Agenda
Calls on Legislators to Lead

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has sent a letter to state legislators announcing her 2023 legislative agenda: the Protect Our Democracy agenda.

“Today I am sending you my 2023 Protect Our Democracy agenda, which calls for targeted investments in how we run elections to ensure that they remain free, fair and secure,” Secretary Fagan wrote in the letter. “As you weigh your choices and decide which priorities to focus on, please remember that without investments in our elections, we will not have the necessary public trust to address the challenges that Oregonians face today. This agenda is not in competition with other priorities. It is foundational to them.”

The Protect our Democracy Agenda includes five areas of focus where we can build on Oregon’s history as a pro-democracy state. They include:
  1. Investing in free, fair and secure elections
  2. Expanding access to our democracy
  3. Election security
  4. Successfully implementing campaign finance reform
  5. Updates to election laws
“The rising tide of anti-democracy forces in our country erodes trust and threatens our freedoms,” Secretary Fagan wrote. “Thanks to our track record of pro-democracy policy, Oregon is uniquely positioned to show the rest of the country a better way forward.”

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Chair of Oregonians for Free and Fair Elections Janice Dysinger sees the problems as coming from elsewhere. "It is easy to vote in Oregon," she said. "It is also an unprotected system and anyone willing to say that they are a citizen and of age can register here from anywhere in the world. No proof, no ID is necessary according to the instructions for the federal postcard application."

According to Dysinger, "the more phantom voters we get here the easier it is to manipulate the vote count. That has been a tactic in other states for manipulating the vote. We find out about these problems and ask questions and we are the bad guys according to Secretary Fagan. Checking the signatures is the only security we have in our election. The Election Observation process has been compromised. Also Ballot Harvesting is legal, unmonitored ballot boxes are not all collected at the close of election day, late arriving ballots without postmarks, and allowing voters to stay on the voter roll indefinitely even though they don't vote."

Secretary Fagan continued, "The 2023 Legislative Session convenes during a time of significant risks for American democracy, with states passing laws that restrict the right to vote or allow partisan interference in elections, falling public trust in democracy, and the continued threat of violent actions like the January 6 insurrection. Despite these headwinds, data show trust and participation in Oregon remains high."

"The 2023 Protect Our Democracy Agenda will ensure that remains a leader by ensuring that our elections remain free and fair," according to Fagan.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2023-01-13 04:22:54Last Update: 2023-01-13 04:26:00



DEQ Laboratory to Prioritize Locations for Air Quality Collection
Additional monitors mean more wide-ranging air quality data collection during wildfire season

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality under the direction of interim director Leah Feldon has launched a public survey to help its Air Quality Monitoring Team determine and prioritize 20 locations for new SensORs to measure air quality from wildfire smoke across the state. SensORs, which were first developed by DEQ’s Laboratory in 2019, are lower-cost monitors that collect timely particulate matter 2.5 data and display it over DEQ’s Air Quality Index.

Currently, DEQ has more than 70 PM2.5 monitoring locations across Oregon. As a result of the devastating fires in 2020, the 2021 state legislature passed SB 762 , which provides funding for 20 more SensORs to be deployed in regions with few to no monitors.

While DEQ has compiled a list of proposed areas, it would like public input to refine and prioritize it before starting the process of determining specific sites.

The list of proposed locations is based on the following: There are sections of the survey that allow participants to suggest areas of the state that are not on the proposed list. DEQ’s Air Quality Monitoring team is open to ideas.

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“In the past, we have used a complex formula of criteria, including meteorology, topography, emission sources and availability of infrastructure to determine air quality monitoring locations,” said Lori Pillsbury, administrator for DEQ’s Laboratory and Environmental Assessment Division. “Those continue to be important elements for the final locations. However, we recognize it’s also important to consult with those who know our state best – the people living in the various regions. We are eager to hear where they believe SensORs should go next for the most comprehensive data collection.”

Particulate Matter is a mix of tiny particles and liquid droplets found in air. Sources include wildfires, automobiles, woodstoves and more. PM2.5 measures 2.5 microns in diameter and smaller (As a comparison, the average strand of human hair is 70 microns in diameter). When inhaled, it can lodge deep in the lungs and remain there a long time, aggravating asthma, heart disease and other respiratory and heart conditions. Understanding high levels of PM 2.5 means state agencies can focus more resources, such as wildfire and smoke preparation materials and smoke management community response plans and grant recipients, toward those areas.

You can always check current air quality conditions on DEQ’s Air Quality Index or by downloading the free OregonAIR app, which is available for smartphones.

Those interested in participating are invited to interact through the DEQ Website. Responses will be accepted through Feb. 1, 2023.

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission -- which oversees the DEQ -- will meet Jan. 19, 2023, for a regular meeting. Item G, scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m., will be a discussion of proposed candidates and the vote by the full commission on finalists for the DEQ Director position and next steps for the recruitment process.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2023-01-12 13:19:20



David Brock Smith Appointed to State Senate Seat
Will fill vacancy left by retiring Dallas Heard

Coos, Curry, and Douglas County Commissioners met in a joint session to fill the vacancy in Senate District 1 created by the resignation of Dallas Heard (R-Roseburg). The commissioners voted unanimously to appoint State Representative David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford).

“I am humbled to be chosen to replace my friend and colleague Dallas Heard in the Oregon State Senate with this unanimous vote by the County Commissioners of our three counties,” said Representative Brock Smith. “I was honored by the overwhelming support of the Precinct Committee Person’s during Saturday’s Nomination Convention and I want to thank each and every one of them for their affirmation my work for them in the Oregon Legislature. I also want to thank Representative Osborne, Representative Goodwin, Representative Wright, Senator Anderson and so many other legislative colleagues, industry professionals and community leaders for their support and encouragement in moving forward in this process.”

Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) said, “On behalf of the entire Senate Republican Caucus, I want to extend a warm welcome to Senator-Designate David Brock Smith. We have full confidence that you will represent Senate District 1 well and look forward to adding your knowledge and experience to our Caucus.”

Senator-Designate Brock Smith has served in the House since 2017.

Representative Brock Smith has served in the Oregon House of Representatives since 2017, covering Curry and portions of Coos, Douglas and Josephine Counties. He has been an Assistant Leader in the House Republican Caucus and a champion for our natural resource industries and their economies.

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“The 82nd Legislative Session began on Monday and there is a lot of work to be done for our rural district,” said Rep. Brock Smith. “We have incredibly experienced and dedicated Sheriffs, County Commissioners, Police Chiefs, Mayors, School Board Members and Community Leaders in Douglas, Coos and Curry Counties. I look forward to working with them and my Senate and House colleagues to continue to bring our rural conservative values to Salem for our residents, their communities and the businesses that support them.”

Details about his swearing-in are to be announced.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2023-01-12 13:09:08Last Update: 2023-01-12 13:19:20



Oregon to Receive Millions from Feds for Broadband
Audit Finds State Needs More Assistance to Take Full Advantage

An audit of the Oregon Broadband Office released by Secretary of State Shemia Fagan found the office will likely be prepared to receive and facilitate upcoming federal infrastructure grant awards. However, the office will require more assistance, and federal funding specifically earmarked for broadband grant administration, to ensure Oregon receives all the available grant money and disburses it to communities with the most critical needs first.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get all Oregonians online,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “Access to affordable, high-speed broadband is a necessity. Without it, kids will struggle in school, adults will be disadvantaged in their careers, small businesses cannot reach their customers and communities will fall behind. I am calling on the Oregon Broadband Office to fully implement the findings of this audit to ensure federal money is used equitably in a way that serves disadvantaged communities first.”

As part of the new federal infrastructure bill which passed in 2021, Oregon may receive between $400 million and $1 billion over the course of the next several years to broaden access to broadband throughout the state and ensure all people of Oregon have access to this digital lifeline. This funding will largely come in the form of grants to be administered through the Oregon Broadband Office.

Auditors found the Oregon Broadband Office will need to focus additional efforts in the areas of strategic planning; documenting and distributing its processes, policies, and procedures, timelines, roadmaps, and milestones to its stakeholders to ensure transparency; and be more aggressive in removing barriers to broadband implementation.

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Auditors also note opportunities for the office to effectively monitor and improve broadband programs to close the known broadband gap. The office should pursue collaborative and unique ways of closing the digital divide through continued stakeholder engagement and by establishing dedicated funding for equitable broadband implementation in Oregon. The audit was critical of the office because they have "not yet established a diversity, equity, and inclusion plan, or assigned responsibility for this effort, even though underrepresented communities are most adversely affected by a lack of broadband access."

The audit focused on the Oregon Broadband Office’s 14 statutory requirements set in action by HB 2173 passed in 2019. The auditors made 10 recommendations in total addressed to the Oregon Broadband Office, with the assistance of the Oregon Business Development Department, and the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2023-01-11 11:14:55Last Update: 2023-01-11 11:32:03



Incandescent Light Bulbs Are Now Illegal
CRI fluorescent lamp manufacturing banned

Power outages have already plagued the new year. Western Oregon and Washington are recovering from high tides and strong winds create monster waves leading to fatal crashes, power outages and flooded homes. More than 22,000 homes were reported without electricity from Portland to south Salem, and another 46,000 homes lacked power in the Astoria, Tillamook and Coos Bay areas.

When lights came on January 1, 2023, many were illegally using and holding fast to the old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs that we grew up with. The US Department of Energy has ruled that the old light bulbs use too much electricity.

In Biden’s effort to save the planet, he violates his own “pro-choice” health policy by avoiding the dangers claiming consumers will save hundreds of dollars a year by making the mandatory transition to LEDs. Biden can’t be totally blamed for this intrusive policy. It is connected to the law that dates back to the George W. Bush administration, who promoted and signed a law that mandated energy efficiency in virtually all household appliances.

Surprisingly, Oregon is behind other states. It had not passed restrictions on using incandescent light bulbs or high-CRI (color rendering index) linear fluorescent lamps. Oregon banned the sale of high-CRI fluorescent lamps with a manufacture date after January 1, 2023. CRI determines how accurately a light source portrays color. EISA excluded high CRI linear fluorescent lamps that has allowed states to push for the more energy efficient LEDs. Fluorescent lights can give people headaches and sometimes the flickering can affect nerves.

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The French health authority warned that the increased amount of blue light in LED lighting can damage the eye’s retina and disturb biological and sleep rhythms. They claim there is also a link to age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss among people over 50, causing damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina that’s needed for sharp central vision.

The French study was confirmed by an American study by Morehouse School of Medicine professor and chief scientific research officer Gianluca Tosini. He also added that some exposure to blue light in the middle of the day may have beneficial effects in that it increases alertness. A Columbia University professor of ophthalmic sciences, Janet Sparrow said that the exposure compounds with age and early evidence suggests that the light sensitivity may lead to unhealthy optical responses over the long term.

They seem to agree that protective eye wear would reduce exposure and use of only low-risk LED devices be available to consumers. That must be what they consider pro-choice when it comes to light bulbs.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2023-01-11 10:21:21Last Update: 2023-01-11 12:24:37



House Republican Caucus Sends Bi-Partisan Letter to Governor Kotek
Partisan divide is of no benefit to Oregonians

The Oregon House Republican Caucus made it clear to Governor Tina Kotek that they are ready to work in a bi-partisan way for the benefit of all Oregonians. Following the Governor’s inaugural ceremony, making her the 39th Governor of Oregon, the lawmakers addressed the deep partisan divide across the state in a letter.

“As exemplified by a trying campaign for both the Executive and Legislative branches, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans provides no benefit to the constituents that elected us,” said the House Republican Caucus. “The constituencies that our Caucus represent highlight the best that Oregon has to offer. Indeed, our Caucus provides valuable, real-world insight to a variety of policy debates, and by working together, we can solve the most pressing needs facing our State.”

The letter highlighted five urgent areas that both parties agree need urgent attention. The Oregon House Republicans said, “we agree that housing, homelessness, and a lack of economic opportunity continue to plague Oregon. Our goal is to expand housing opportunities by cutting regulatory red tape, promoting small business engagement and job growth, and working towards a sound, economically feasible solution to rising housing costs and affordability.”

Second, they identified the need for a responsible fiscal policy to help alleviate the rising costs that have far exceeded growth in wages. Oregon has experienced a year-over-year inflation rate of 8.1% and the Republican Caucus is committed to promoting proposals which reduce the overall economic burden on families, including a temporary reduction in income tax and a coinciding reduction in overall government spending. These incremental changes are a modest, simple way to provide everyday Oregonians with economic aid while larger, structural reforms can be debated by the Assembly.

Third, the caucus emphasized public safety through law enforcement and cease using them as pawns in political discourse. “While we are committed to developing policies which improve policing and community trust, we should also recognize that the men and women in law enforcement provide valuable and necessary protection and are selfless in their pursuit of serving their community.”

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Accentuating the Governor’s pre-inauguration tour of the state, they concur that all branches of government understand and appreciate that the laws enacted in Salem go far beyond the metropolitan areas. They write that “Oregon’s rural communities provide vital resources for our state and over-burdensome regulations negatively impact those who provide our state’s most critical commodities.”

Lastly, they called for agreement on policies which provide opportunity and government expenditures which benefit all, not just a chosen few. “To do so will require increased accountability to spending proposals and policymaking,” the Caucus said. “Oregon must position itself to allocate scarce resources and funding to the greatest benefit. This means continuing to monitor government waste and re-allocating monies for health care, education, agriculture, and housing.”

It is the Republican Caucus’ desire that policies empower parents to choose which school their children should attend irrespective of location or finances, reducing the regulation and opportunity cost for entrepreneurs to start businesses, and providing sound investment strategies to existing government programs to maximize efficiency and reliability.

The 2023 Legislative Session begins on Tuesday, January 17th.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2023-01-09 18:47:03Last Update: 2023-01-10 12:03:09



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