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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


Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council Holds Initial Meeting
The Council will develop recommendations to leverage artificial intelligence

Oregon Governor Kotek delivered remarks at the first meeting of the State Government Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council, established by the Governor’s Executive Order 23-26. Governor Kotek created the State Government Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council in response to the growing role that generative artificial intelligence is playing in society.

“Artificial intelligence is a rapidly evolving landscape which the state must be well-prepared for,” Governor Kotek said. “The Council will conduct important work in identifying how the state can mitigate risk and center equity in this new technological frontier. As such, a fundamental priority of my office was developing a council that included a diversity of voices, perspectives, and backgrounds. I look forward to reviewing the recommendations they will bring to my desk.”

The Council will provide a recommended action plan framework to the Governor’s Office no later than six months from the date of its first convening, and a final recommended action plan no later than 12 months from its first convening.

The council is to recommend policy changes in order for the Governor to promote state employee awareness of artificial intelligence (AI) with information needed for their decision making. That the state has clear usage policies for the use of AI tools protecting personally identifiable information and other sensitive information. The recommended action plan is to include concrete executive actions, policies, and investments needed to leverage artificial intelligence while honoring transparency, privacy, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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

The executive order 23-26 articulates a council membership requirement list that is anything but diverse, equitable and inclusion. The requirements are not aimed at being bi-partisan, and the scale of justice is overweighted on the left.

A full list of members on the Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council: Meetings of the State Government Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council are open to the public. Public comment may be made during the meeting. For more information on the Council’s meetings and charge, click here.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-03-19 16:01:43Last Update: 2024-03-19 17:28:07



ORP Selects New RNC Representation
Dan Mason will be the new National Committeeman

On Saturday, March 16th, the Oregon Republican Party Central Committee voted to select new representation to the RNC national party. The convention to do so was held in Coos Bay.

Longtime Committeeman Solomon Yue will be departing in his role, with Dan Mason of Washington County to be the new Committeeman.

"It's humbling to be elected by the ORP Central Committee to represent the 720,000 registered republicans in Oregon at the RNC and ORP executive team", said Mason. "Its important we have credible and competent candidates to compete with democrats up and down the ballot. They have proven over and over again, democrats in power don't have a monopoly on solutions, otherwise Oregonians would not be struggling in so many areas of life. I'm excited to build support for our team in a presidential year and beyond."

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

Tracy Honl of Clatsop County was re-elected as the National Committeewoman.

"I’m so grateful for the trust and support that the Oregon Republican Party has placed in me to continue to serve as its National Committeewoman", said Honl. "We’re moving in the right direction to make the ORP stronger than ever before. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work once again with my friend and Oregon’s new National Committeeman Dan Mason on party building activities that helps us elect Republicans here in Oregon and at the national level - including Donald J. Trump for President this November."

Next, on May 25th, the Oregon Republican Party Central Committee will meet at the Oregon State Fairgrounds to select delegates to the Republican National Convention in July. Any Republican PCPS (Precinct-Committee-Persons) in Oregon who are interested in applying must complete and submit the application available on the convention webpage.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2024-03-17 15:36:47Last Update: 2024-03-17 19:52:43



New Life For School Choice Initiatives
Education Freedom, a series on “Why School Choice”

Editors note: This is the first in a five-part series on School Choice Initiatives aimed for the November 2024 election ballot.

The Oregon leadership doesn’t think voters are motivated to pass the school choice initiative and stopped the school choice bill, HB 4161 after its first hearing. But their pursuit of SB 1583 may have put new life into school choice initiatives IP 5 and IP 6. It passed through the Senate and was headed for a floor vote in the House at the close of the session. SB 1583 blocked school boards and parents from having any kind of standards for choosing materials used in public schools, claiming it would be discriminatory to someone.

Education Freedom for Oregon, a 501c4 organization, was started to ensure every Oregon student has access to education options. ”Let Them Learn” is their Oregon campaign to leave limits behind and let our kids learn by passing the School Choice Amendment, IP 5, and Open Enrollment Amendment, IP 6, to the Oregon Constitution.

Donna Kreitzberg, one of the sponsors of IP5 and IP6, says the two amendments were crafted with the input of parents, grandparents, teachers, students, legislators, constitutional attorneys, and school choice think tanks and policy advocates from about 20 states.

The Amendments were created with protections in mind. Kreitzberg says, “Nothing in the Act may ever limit the independence or autonomy of any person or entity receiving or using distributions into education savings accounts created under the Act to provide education to students nor make the actions of such person or entitles the actions of this state. Neither the government, the Department of Education, State Board of Education, nor any state agency (or nonprofit organization contracting with any state agency) may regulate the education programs, curricula, teaching qualifications or admission policies of any person or entity receiving or using distributions under the Act.“

Kreitzberg refers to IP5 and IP6 as not just being about students needing the opportunity to learn in different school settings. Teachers also need the opportunity to teach in different school settings. She says, “We have wonderful teachers with stellar qualifications who are stifled or frustrated and not able to teach in the manner they think is in the best interests of their students. They are not getting the fulfillment that they had hoped when they chose teaching as a profession. With school choice, teachers will be valued more because they will have more opportunities to choose an environment that works better for them or even start a school of their own!”

School lock downs, leaving kids at home without social interaction brought on a whole new challenge for teachers. Now classrooms are becoming a war zone. In Salem-Keizer School District, a first grader threw a chair at the teacher cutting her head. One school psychologist said there is no respect for teachers and fights are more prevalent.

This is the case at the Tigard-Tualatin schools where the superintendent is being forced to resign over lack of management. When teachers testified before the board about the violence, some beaten by and received injuries from students, the board was dismissive saying the teachers were “insensitive” causing the teachers to walk out of the board meeting. One parent reports his son dropped out because he couldn’t stand the violence and they were fortunate to get him into another high school to finish and graduate.

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

Petitioners have until July 4, 2024 to gather signatures with a goal of about 170,000 more signatures for each measure to have more than necessary and to show strong support among Oregonians. Kreitzberg says, “There are plenty of folks who want to sign, it is a matter of reaching them. We have been limited because we are a grassroots group working on a small budget. We have wonderful volunteers giving it their all and would love more folks to help.”

For more information, Education Freedom for Oregon website has information about the petitions, events on gathering signatures, and print and mail petitions.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-03-17 15:28:41Last Update: 2024-03-24 02:32:30



Oregon Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council to Meet
AI must honor DEI, according to State of Oregon

The Oregon State Government Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. The meeting will take place remotely via the internet on Microsoft Teams and is open to the public. The agenda and handouts will be posted on the Council’s website.

What: Meeting of the State Government Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council When: Tuesday, March 19, 2024, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Where: Microsoft Teams click here to join the meeting Who: State Government Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council

The State Government Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council is established by Governor Kotek’s Executive Order 23-26, Establishing a State Government Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council.

The purpose of the Council is to recommend an action plan to guide awareness education, and usage of artificial intelligence in state government that aligns with the State’s policies, goals, and values and supports public servants to deliver customer service more efficiently and effectively.

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 state says that the recommended action plan shall include concrete executive actions, policies, and investments needed to leverage artificial intelligence while honoring transparency, privacy, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Meetings of the State Government Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council are open to the public. Public comment may be made during the meeting. Sign-up for public comment is required as spots are limited. Sign-up closes Friday, March 15 at noon. Written comment will also be accepted. Written comment can be submitted by mail to the Council Support Office, 550 Airport Rd SE Suite C, Salem, OR 97301 or online.

Accommodations can be arranged for persons with disabilities, and alternate formats of printed material are available upon request. Please contact Enterprise Information Services at 503-378-3175 at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting to request accommodations. Closed captioning is included on the Microsoft Teams meeting.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2024-03-17 11:10:19Last Update: 2024-03-17 12:06:06



Oregon National Guard Looking to Boost Enrollment
Increased bonuses are highest levels in recent memory

According to the Oregon Air National Guard and the 173rd Fighter Wing, the National Guard Bureau has now increased bonuses to the highest levels in recent memory for certain career fields to help alleviate recruiting and retention shortfalls. The new bonus structure took effect the first of March 2024.

Master Sgt. Jesse Olhiser, the 173rd Fighter Wing Retention Office Manager, explains that the highest bonus is $90,000 for a fully-qualified reenlistment in the munitions or fuels career fields—paid over five years—an annual recurring payment of $18,000.

“Never in eight-plus years of doing this have I seen anything even close to this,” Olhiser says. “These are by-far the largest bonuses I’ve seen.”

As of March 1, 2024 the National Guard Bureau has increased Air National Guard bonuses to the highest levels in recent memory for certain career fields to help alleviate recruiting and retention shortfalls.

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

Other bonuses include $50,000 for a new enlistee headed off to basic training or bonuses in differing amounts for cross-trainee’s or for those interested in other critical career fields.

He adds that these rates are temporary, saying, “We are not sure when it will end; no guarantee it will extend even to the end of the Fiscal Year.”

He encourages those who want to take advantage of the program to contact a recruiter a soon as possible.

Olhiser explains that the program is to help bolster recruiting numbers following years of lower than desired numbers. He adds that hopefully this may help alleviate potential shortages in the near future.

Some basic qualifications include taking the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, have a high school diploma or equivalent—although high school students in their senior year can enlist—be drug-free and have no criminal record.

Prospective enlistees will undergo screening arranged by a recruiter to determine fitness for duty.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2024-03-15 14:43:14Last Update: 2024-03-15 17:31:57



Oregon’s Final Presidential Primary Ballot Released
“Oregonians are voters”

Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade released the final list of candidates to appear on the 2024 Democratic and Republican Presidential Primary today for Oregon’s primary election on May 21st.

Democratic CandidatesRepublican Candidates
Joseph BidenDonald Trump
Marianne Williamson


ORS 249.078 (1)(a) states that a Secretary of State may place the name of a candidate on a major party Presidential primary ballot if the Secretary, in their “sole discretion, has determined that the candidate’s candidacy is generally advocated or is recognized in national news media.” Candidates may also access the ballot by nominating petition as provided in ORS 249.078 (1)(b).

Oregon law allows major parties to decide whether to hold “open” or “closed” primaries. In this year’s May Primary, both the Democratic and Republican parties will hold “closed” primaries — meaning that a voter must be registered with that party by April 30th to participate in its primary election. Oregonians can register to vote or change their party registration at OregonVotes.gov.

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“Oregonians are voters,” said Secretary Griffin-Valade. “In 2022 we had the highest voter turnout in the county. We have been trailblazers in creating modern and secure elections through our vote-by-mail system, which we’ve operated for more than 20 years without a single instance of widespread voter fraud. We are taking every precaution to ensure the 2024 elections will be no different.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-03-13 14:26:20Last Update: 2024-03-13 14:33:47



Oregon Hosts Western Governors Association Decarbonization Workshop
Workshop explores both natural and technological strategies for carbon reduction, utilization, and storage

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek delivered opening remarks at the fourth and final workshop of the Western Governors’ Association’s (WGA) Decarbonizing the West Initiative, hosted by the State of Oregon.

In Governor Kotek’s opening remarks, she states, “Oregon has long been a national leader in establishing strong climate policies. Under my leadership as Speaker, we passed very bold climate policies to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2035.”

What actually happened is in 2020, Governor Brown issued Executive Order 20-04, which added a 2035 interim goal to achieve greenhouse gas levels that are 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2035. It also updated greenhouse gas levels for 2050 to be at least 80 percent below 1990 levels. In 2023, as part of the Climate Action Roadmap to 2030, the Oregon Climate Action Commission recommended a package of GHG goal updates. However, there is no evidence that these goals were “passed into law” by the legislature with public hearings. The proposed updates included: The Governor continues her remarks saying, “These policies are an important step forward, but only if they are implemented well, and equitably across the state to benefit our communities, and especially our underserved rural and frontier communities.” Was her use of “rural” separate from “frontier” communities a deliberate implication of wealth disparities for the underserved?

Governor Kotek says transformative, transitional work is already underway. The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association’s PNWHG Hub was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of the nation’s cleanest energy hubs in the nation. Spanning across Oregon, Washington and Montana, it will leverage clean power and innovative technology to accelerate the production of clean hydrogen energy.

Mean while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is being pushed by nonprofits to remove dams. US Geological Survey considers hydro dams as renewable energy, but all forms of energy needs equipment that isn’t classified as “green.” Dams, however, have the highest electric generation capacity of all U.S. power plants. Four dams are scheduled for removal on the Oregon/California boarder to benefit the Coho Salmon. Seven dams in the Willamette Valley are on the list to close its hydro power but not removed because they are flood control structures. Governor Kotek has in mind to replace it with 1500 acres of solar energy. How is she spending Oregon’s share of $7 billion in federal funding on “green” hydrogen?

To listen to the Governor’s remarks, click here.

Decarbonizing the West is the 2024 WGA Chair initiative of Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon. The initiative examines how decarbonization strategies and technologies, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies, direct air capture (DAC), and natural sequestration, can position western states at the forefront of innovation and reduce the effects of carbon emissions on the environment. Carbon capture and storage involves capturing carbon dioxide at emission sources, such as power stations, then transporting and storing it underground.

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The webinar included exploration of regulatory framework to managing risks in accessing large-scale, permanent carbon storage that is necessary to support the growth of the carbon capture industry. Geologic carbon storage for long-term storage of carbon has liability challenges that may be prohibitive to project development. The development and operation of geologic storage facilities carries technical risks, such as potential leakage and induced seismicity, which in turn may present regulatory, legal, economic, and social challenges.

Of the two methods of carbon sequestration, geologic and biologic, the WGA is focused more on geologic even though biologic carbon sequestration can be accelerated through natural methods of land use and agricultural practices. Geological sequestration refers to capturing CO2 from factories, then compressed and transported for storage underground in depleted oil and gas reservoirs, saline formations, or deep, coal beds unsuitable for mining. Storage has risks and leakage is deadly. Each method has some drawback and storage costs along with cost of energy to sequestrator carbon should turn the research towards natural processes.

Geological sequestration from factories are mostly in metropolitan and suburbs that are highly populated. Governor Kotek’s reference to “rural and frontier communities” is not for their equitable benefit. What gets sequestrated from cities will most likely get transported to “rural and frontier communities” where there is land for storage plants. To say that storage plants are a benefit comes with all the risks. It can be fatal if the injected gas leaks out due to structural faults in the geological formation. This is because carbon dioxide is denser than air and settles near the ground. Once the leak is stopped it could still take a day to dissipate.

An initiative report will be released at the conclusion of the initiative in summer 2024.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-03-13 11:14:59Last Update: 2024-03-13 02:06:18



Oregon Democrats Vote Unanimously for Offshore Wind Energy
Notice of Intent for Coos/Curry Offshore Project Open for Feedback

A
s Oregon’s sine die conversations celebrate taking baby steps towards recriminalizing illicit drugs, taxing still-housed Oregonians more to improve shelters for Oregon’s homeless, as well as passing a measure to ‘end unlimited campaign contributions' for the relatively small donors (opening wide the door for large PAC donations to eclipse voters’ financial support), a partisan battle blew right by mainstream media’s watchful eye: Offshore Wind Energy.

HB 4080 was introduced by Representatives David Gomberg and Dacia Grayber.

After four failed attempts by House Republicans to refer HB 4080, including its -1 Amendment back to a committee -- any committee- removing it from the floor, the measure was passed by all House Democrats on March 5th assisted by two Republican Reps, Greg Smith (R-Heppner) and Mark Owens (R-Crane), both from Eastern Oregon who also voted YES, leaving a minority vote of only 21 Republican Reps to oppose the controversial “green energy” bill.

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Despite offshore wind power’s misinformation and challenges to produce a positive ROI, rendering it as what some say more of a money pit than an intelligent investment, was summarily ignored by all Senate Democrats, as they passed the measure 17 vs. 11 two days later.

With HB 4080 now on Gov. Kotek’s desk, Oregonians can still comment on the Federal Register’s Ocean Energy Management Bureau (BOEM) notice page:

Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for Commercial Wind Leasing and Site Assessment Activities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Oregon

All comments must be received by BOEM no later than 8:59 pm PDT on Friday, March 15, 2024.

CONTACT: Lisa Gilbane, BOEM Pacific Region Office of Environment, 760 Paseo Camarillo, Suite 102, Camarillo, California 93010, (805) 384–6387 or lisa.gilbane@boem.gov.


--Kyle Sharpe

Post Date: 2024-03-11 19:59:22Last Update: 2024-03-18 22:43:13



DeSpain Criticizes Hoyle Vote on Illegal Immigrants
“Val Hoyle can’t bring herself to support preventing the certain next tragedy.”

regon Fourth Congressional District Candidate Monique DeSpain criticized Congresswoman Val Hoyle’s (D-Eugene) disturbing no vote recently on H.R. 7511, the Laken Riley Act, a bipartisan bill supported by 37 Democrats that would have required Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to arrest illegal migrants who commit crimes in the United States.

“Val Hoyle’s vote against the Laken Riley Act is another example of how out of touch career politicians are with our communities and our core American values. While voters across Oregon’s 4th Congressional District are reeling from concerns about rising crime and law enforcement that is continuing to be handcuffed by failed Democrat policies, Val Hoyle, once again, chooses to prioritize criminals over innocent victims like Laken Riley and so many others like her,” said Monique DeSpain.

“Laken was a young college coed who went for a jog in her community only to be murdered by an illegal immigrant who had multiple encounters with ICE, and domestic law enforcement, in Laken’s community, with no consequences," DeSpain continued. "Laken’s murderer should have never been in the country to commit this heinous act, and he certainly should not have remained for one minute longer after he committed a previous crime in the U.S. Instead, Laken’s parents are devastated, a community mourns and is gripped in fear, and Val Hoyle can’t bring herself to support preventing the certain next tragedy.”

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“This is another example of how the dysfunction of Washington DC is perpetuated by career politicians like Val Hoyle. Let’s remember that this is the same Val Hoyle who thinks it’s a good idea to house illegal migrants in our national parks and public lands and who refuses to condemn the national security emergency created by President Biden at our southern border,” said DeSpain. “Unfortunately, Val Hoyle’s refusal to do the right thing and pass the right laws to ensure the safety of everyday citizens in our communities exposes her true priority -- serving her radical special interest masters in Washington D.C. instead.”

“It is time for new leadership that puts the welfare and safety of our citizens first. This is why I am asking voters to deploy me to Congress. The difference between Val Hoyle and I is crystal clear; I will put crime victims first and always have the backs of first responders and law enforcement so they can do the job they need to do to keep us safe. Having served our country for 30 years in the Air Force, nothing is more important to me than the safety of our nation, communities, and families,” DeSpain added.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-03-11 13:47:00Last Update: 2024-03-11 14:45:00



Housing Model Ordinance Bill Passes
“The housing shortage was created over time by policies that have handcuffed cities, overregulated builders, and stifled development”

The Oregon Senate has passed SB 1564, a bill allowing cities who do not have the bandwidth to create and administer their own model ordinance codes to adopt a code created by DLCD that is aligned with that city’s population. It was carried by Senator Dick Anderson (R-Lincoln City), who introduced the measure.

“We need to build more homes of all types -- and quickly -- to alleviate the severe housing shortage that exists in nearly every corner of Oregon. The Legislature can help these efforts by embracing bold solutions rather than the failed policies that have handcuffed cities, overregulated builders, and stifled development for decades,” said Senator Anderson, vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Housing and Development. “My hope is SB 1564 will give rural communities a necessary tool in their toolbox to free them from their housing gridlock and build more homes for Oregonians.”

SB 1564 directs the Department of Land Conservation and Development to create 3 model ordinances that provide clear and objective standards for the development of various housing types. The model ordinances are to be targeted towards cities with different population sizes, ranging from populations of less than 2,500, to populations of more than 25,000. DLCD is to develop these model ordinances by January 1, 2026.

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The measure appropriates $550,000 General Fund to DLCD for adoption of the model ordinances. Projected costs under this measure include contracting for work on model codes, community engagement, and legal expenses.

One citizen, David Brown of Salem offered testimony to the Senate Committee On Housing and Development. "The severe housing shortage that exists in Oregon today was created over time by status-quo policies that have handcuffed cities, overregulated builders, and stifled development. The reforms in this bill will free up land to invest in housing of all types in all communities, not just Portland, and not just for low-income."

The bill now heads to Governor Kotek for her signature.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-03-07 13:39:17Last Update: 2024-03-07 15:20:35



Legislative Republicans Criticize Habitat Plan
“The plan is heavy on conservation and light on economic viability”

The Senate and House Republican Caucuses have sent a letter to Governor Tina Kotek urging for the immediate reconsideration of ODF’s proposed Habitat Conservation Plan. According to a press release from the House and Senate Caucuses, this controversial 70-year logging scale back has already had negative consequences on businesses and concern has only been heightened after the closure of multiple sawmills in the last two months. As written, the HCP desperately lacks a balance between sound forest management policy and conservation goals of the State. The letter reads as follows:

The letter is critical of the current state of the HCP. "While ODF has previously signaled its intent to balance conservation goals while maintaining current harvest levels, the newest projections released on December 13, 2023, visibly show a dramatic increase in conservation acres and a major decrease in timber harvest levels below what was promised. ODF advertised this HCP as a conservation plan with harvest certainty of about 250 mmbf (board feet) annually. The new projections show that timber harvest will be down between 168-185 mmbf annually. Obviously, this 70-year plan is heavy on conservation and light on economic viability which is not in alignment with Greatest Permanent Value."

The letter tied timber production to several issues which have been looming as themes during recent legislative sessions.

The caucuses were quick to point out how timber production is related to housing -- one of Governor Kotek's pet issues. "On average, about 240-250 million board feet of timber have been harvested from Oregon’s western state forests over the last 5-10 years. 64% of the revenue from state harvests goes back to the counties and smaller “taxing districts” within them – an average of nearly $68 million each year during the last decade. For reference, 250 million board feet of timber is equivalent to 32,500 average-size homes -- almost the number of homes Governor Kotek wants produced annually. 250mmbf also creates or retains 2,750 jobs per the Oregon Forests Resources Institute."

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"Not only will counties lose critical funding but mill closures and mass job losses will continue to cause a ripple effect through Oregon’s rural communities contributing to more homelessness, drug addiction, and the need for public services. Communities surrounded by forests -- especially unmanaged forests – need fire departments to protect them from forest fires. Fire Departments relying on timber harvest revenue to operate will suffer or be forced to close. This leaves our vulnerable communities defenseless."

The letter continued, "Additionally, we are very concerned with our water and air quality, especially during fire season. This HCP will leave much of our state forests without management; 70 years of fuel accumulation increases the risk of fire and fire severity. Forest fire smoke already fills our air every year and the debris, ash, and mud destroy waterways. The cleanest groundwater comes from our forests before, during, and after forest operations. Children are choking on smoke during sporting events while the elderly hide inside their homes to survive our fire seasons. The unintended consequences of this HCP will increase the potential for more catastrophic forest fires, smoke, and poor water quality."

Oregon’s Department of Forestry has added approximately 100,000 acres of conservation above what is required for the HCP. (Northern Spotted Owl habitat is shown in ODF’s graph but does not include the Marbled Murrelet, Red Tree Vole, or Coho Salmon habitat that are also being set aside)

The letter concluded, "We understand your priorities as Governor include homelessness, affordable housing, drug addiction, and forest fires. The HCP will exacerbate these issues. Alternatively, opening our forests to proper and sustainable management would help mitigate these issues and provide the necessary renewable wood products and building materials to address our housing crisis."

"ODF will be in the same situation as the Trust Land Counties regarding the loss of timber harvest revenue. Taxpayers will be asked to foot the bill while mills close, logging companies auction off their equipment, our constituents lose their jobs, county services are strained, schools close, 4-H programs are canceled, libraries are closed, and emergency services are compromised."

The Oregon Board of Forestry will make a final decision on whether to adopt the HCP at a meeting this Thursday.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-03-07 12:46:28Last Update: 2024-03-07 13:39:17



Housing Bills Pass Both Chambers
“Oregonians are struggling under the pressure of an increasingly unaffordable housing market”

Housing supply was bound to be a major issue of the current legislative session and it has found its final form in two Senate Bills. John Tapogna of the Oregon Business Council summed up the problem, "the high cost of housing is contributing to workforce shortages in underbuilt communities across the state and is a key driver of the state’s slowing population growth."

SB 1537 requires the Department of Land Conservation and Development and the Department of Consumer and Business Services to jointly establish and administer the Housing Accountability and Production Office. SB 1530 appropriates money to various agencies for various programs.

Governor Kotek has been driving housing policy for over a decade, previously as House Speaker. In response to the passage of SB 1537 and SB 1530, Governor Tina Kotek issued the following statement:

“Oregonians are struggling under the pressure of an increasingly unaffordable housing market. After hearing this concern directly from Oregonians from across our state last year, I knew we had to make major progress on our housing crisis during this year’s legislative session. I want to thank legislators for meeting the urgency of this moment and providing much-needed funding that will boost housing production throughout the state.

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Brad Bennington of the Builders Association Southern Oregon identified some of the causes. "It's been a long time coming but Oregon's housing crises is here and it's real, said Bennington. "Not in my back yard and overzealous no growth policies have crippled our housing industry to bring us to the point where we are 500,000 homes short of meeting current demand. We need reform and we need it now." Governor Kotek continued, “These bills offer a menu of tools that will provide the support needed to ease our housing crisis and help all our communities thrive. I believe this package will make meaningful progress in fixing our housing shortage while also preserving our land use system and ensuring strong environmental protections. But this is not the finish line. We have more work ahead to solve our housing and homelessness crises – and I will keep pushing for more because the need is so great. Oregonians are counting on us to deliver.”

"The House of Representatives passed SB 1537 by a 48-8 vote and passed SB 1537 by a 51-6 vote. Both bills passed the Senate last week. Additional projects from the Emergency Housing Stabilization and Production Package are funded through HB 4134, which the House will vote on Tuesday. That bill would then need to be approved by the Senate."

In total, the Emergency Housing Stabilization and Production Package provides a $376 million state investment in addressing the housing crisis.

"SB 1537 isn't perfect but it's a start that needs to be made if Oregon's chronic housing shortage is ever going to be addressed," said Bennington. In testimony to the Senate Committee On Housing and Development he said, "Oregonians deserve the opportunity to be able to purchase a home that is safe, sustainable and affordable but they need your help to make that possible."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-03-06 21:49:15Last Update: 2024-03-06 22:30:19



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