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St. Paul Rodeo
Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 9:00 am
Hundreds of community volunteers work shoulder to shoulder for months each year to put this traditional show together, and we welcome the world to St. Paul for five days filled with color, action, excitement, and something for everyone. So, head on out to St. Paul for a fun-filled experience during our 86th annual 4th of July rodeo celebration of the American cowboy and our western lifestyle!

www.stpaulrodeo.com

Mark your calendars now and join the fun at the 86 th Annual St. Paul Rodeo June 30, July 1,2,3, & 4, 2022.
St. Paul, OR



2022 Lincoln County Fair
Friday, July 1, 2022 at 10:00 am
FREE ADMISSION * July 1-3 * Newport, Oregon

Join Us for an Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration!
Details & event calendar: www.thelincolncountyfair.com
1211 SE Bay Blvd Newport, OR 97365



Marion County Fair
Friday, July 8, 2022 at 10:00 am
2022 Marion County Fair July 8-10, 2022 Friday: 10am – 11pm Saturday: 10am – 11pm Sunday: 10am – 6pm
Oregon State Fairgrounds 2330 17th ST NE Salem, OR 97301



Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 14, 2022 at 10:00 am
Linn County Fair July 14 - 16 2022
Linn County Expo Center 3700 Knox Butte RD E Albany, OR 97322



World Athletics Championships
Friday, July 15, 2022 at 8:00 am
The World Athletics Championships are coming to Eugene this summer (July 15-24 2022), the first time in history that the championships will be held in the United States. This mega-sporting event will showcase the best track and field athletes in the world. The event will bring 2,000 athletes from more than 200 nations, all competing for 49 gold medals. About 20,000 to 25,000 attendees are expected per session, with most days hosting two sessions (both morning and afternoon).
Eugene



Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 11:00 am
Lane County Fair JULY 20 - 24, 2022 11:00am - 11:00pm
Lane Events Center 796 W 13th Ave, Eugene, OR 97402



Coos County Fair& Rodeo
Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at 8:00 am
Coos County Fair and Rodeo July 26 - 30, 2022
Coos County Fairgrounds 770 4th St, Myrtle Point, OR 97458



Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at 10:00 am
Malheur County Fair August 2-6th
Desert Sage Events Center 795 N.W. Ninth St. Ontario, OR 97914



Union County Fair
Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at 10:00 am
Union County Fair August 3-6th 2022
3604 N 2nd St, La Grande, OR 97850



Yamhill County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at 7:11 pm
Fair and Rodeo August 3-6, 7 am - 11 pm. Wed. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; Thur. Jo Dee Messina; Fri. Shenandoah; Sat. Night Ranger Kids rides Adults $12 Kids $6 Exhibits; Demolition Derby Saturday 168th Annual; Oregon's oldest Fair
Yamhill County Fairgrounds



Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 7, 2022 at 10:00 am
Baker County Fair August 7 - August 13
Baker County Fairgrounds 2600 East Street Baker City, OR 97814



Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 10:00 am
Umatilla County Fair Aug. 10th-13th, 2022
1705 E. Airport Rd. PO Box 94 Hermiston, OR 97838



CLACKAMAS COUNTY FAIR & RODEO
Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at 10:00 am
CLACKAMAS COUNTY FAIR & RODEO August 16-20, 2022 10am - 10pm
Clackamas County Events Center 694 NE 4th Ave. Canby, OR 97013



Oregon State Fair
Friday, August 26, 2022 at 10:00 am
Which part of the Oregon State Fair are you most excited for? We'll keep adding to the fun all summer long!
Salem, Or



Oregon General Election
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at 8:00 pm
Statewide


View All Calendar Events


Secretary Fagan Completes Transit Redistricting
Directs Districts to Focus on Equity and Accessibility

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan announced the adoption of new mass transit maps today, completing the transit district redistricting process that occurs after each new census.

"Transit boards give the public a voice in how buses, trains and other transportation services operate in their communities," said Secretary Fagan. "The transit redistricting process takes place only once every 10 years and requires a great deal of cooperation. I want to thank Oregon's three mass transit districts for their partnership in this process, particularly their work to meet the public engagement requirements and diversity, equity, and inclusion values required by my office."

New districts maps are available on the Secretary of State's website.

ORS 267.090​  requires the Secretary of State to establish the process for creating and approving revised Mass Transit Redistricting Maps. These maps are redrawn every 10 years following the census. There are currently three Mass Transit Districts in Oregon: TriMet, Cherriots, and Lane Transit District. Members of the districts are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. 

In order to comply with ORS 267.090, the Secretary of State adopted 165-008-0150 Mass Transit District Reapportionment Process. This rule outlines the process mass transit districts must use for drawing new districts following the census. 


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-06-28 17:45:18Last Update: 2022-06-28 18:09:28



Coastwide Late Berry Crop Leads to Problem Bears
Bear season opens August 1 statewide

A late salmonberry crop means hungry black bears are a problem for many of Oregon's coastal communities.

Salmonberries are typically ripe in May but the extended cool, wet spring on the Oregon coast slowed or disrupted that process. In many areas, the berries still have not ripened, and in some areas the pollination seems to have failed resulting in few berries available. Thimbleberries are behind schedule on the north coast although if forecasted clear weather occurs there may be hope for the upcoming huckleberry and blackberry crops.

Hungry bears, determined to eat are digging into residences' garbage, bird feeders, BBQ grills, pet food, chicken and livestock feed and in some instances, killing livestock. Bears attracted to humans for food can become a safety concern when they attempt to break into homes or approach people.

ODFW wildlife biologists coastwide have their hands full with bear complaints.

They say the best remedy is prevention and urge coastal residents to secure food, garbage, and recycling.

Help keep bears wild by following these BearWise tips: Use bearproof garbage cans if they are available from local waste management or keep garbage and recycling secure until collection day. Electric fencing is also an effective deterrent.

A bear habituated to human foods and other attractants may become extremely aggressive defending those food sources and pose a threat to human safety. When prevention measures fail to deter these bears, they are humanely euthanized, and the meat donated to charities.

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Securing attractants around your property is vital to keeping Oregon's bears safe and where they belong—in the wild.

Those who would like to help can purchase black bear tags at sporting goods stores. Bear season opens August 1 statewide.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-06-28 17:27:40Last Update: 2022-06-28 17:45:18



Mostly Peaceful March Turns Destructive Again
Portland Police Bureau is asking for assistance

On Sunday, June 26, 2022, at 8:12p.m., Central Precinct officers responded to a group of people marching through Southeast Portland, near the areas of Southeast Belmont Street and Southeast Hawthorne Street. The march was a splinter group of a larger, mostly peaceful "demonstration" which took place within Laurelhurst Park.

Officers were made aware of vandalism by this group of marchers to local businesses in the area. When officers responded, the crowd began throwing projectiles at officers, including commercial-grade fireworks, paint balloons and large rocks. Officers were able to recover a commercial-grade firework which did not seem to successfully detonate along the march route.

At one point during the event, Central Precinct officers attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle which had been observed to be involved in the march, impeding traffic along major roads.

During the traffic stop, a group rushed toward officers, throwing fireworks and rocks at them and their vehicles. One rock made contact with a patrol vehicle, shattering the windshield.

Based on the limited number of officers available citywide and the fact that police response to emergency calls for service was being significantly impacted, officers left the area and continued to monitor the situation.

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PPB says that individuals who engage in violent activity or property destruction will be investigated and are subject to arrest and prosecution.

Arrests do not always happen. PPB will continue to conduct follow-up investigations, supposedly make arrests, and forward cases to the Multnomah County District Attorney for prosecution.

The Portland Police Bureau is asking businesses and community members who have surveillance cameras to review footage to see if they captured any evidence that may assist with the investigations. If anyone has useful footage, they're asked to e-mail PPB and reference case number 22-170640.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2022-06-27 20:15:59Last Update: 2022-06-27 20:26:38



Portland Leftists Cause Destruction Over Abortion Roadblocks
PPB did not have resources to intervene

A destructive group of leftist "protesters" caused damage to numerous businesses during a march through the Hollywood District in Portland, Oregon. On Saturday, June 25, 2022 at about 10:00p.m., a group of over 60 people marched out of Grant Park, Northeast 33rd Avenue and U.S. Grant Place. Participants, most dressed in all black, began breaking windows and scrawling graffiti.

Officers were monitoring the crowd, but did not have resources to intervene. At the time of this event, there was an injury shooting and a stabbing in East Precinct, and a felony assault in Central Precinct. Additionally, a community festival in North Precinct was underway, an impromptu "dance party" drew approximately 1000 people to Irving Park, and they held a march and blocked traffic. There were also calls about speed racers doing stunts in various parts of Portland.

The group supposedly left the area by 10:45p.m. Since then Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers have been taking reports of the damage. They have confirmed that several banks and coffee shops had broken windows.

A van belonging to Portland Public Schools was damaged, broken windows and tagged with paint.

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A pregnancy resource center was also vandalized.

PPB says that officers are working to contact affected business owners and assist with arrangements to secure the buildings. Efforts are already underway to get graffiti removed.

Individuals who engage in violent activity or property destruction will be investigated and are subject to arrest and prosecution. PPB says that does not always happen in the moment. PPB says they will continue to conduct follow-up investigations, make arrests, and forward cases to the Multnomah County District Attorney for prosecution if DA Mike Schmidt will do so. Schmidt has neglected to prosecute many such cases. PPB says that just because arrests are not made at the scene does not mean that people are not being charged with crimes later.

The Portland Police Bureau is asking businesses and community members who have surveillance cameras to review footage to see if they captured any evidence that may assist with the investigations. The bulk of the damage took place between 10:06p.m. and 10:40p.m. If anyone has useful footage, they're asked to e-mail them to the police. crimetips@portlandoregon.gov and reference case number 22-169901.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2022-06-26 09:04:34Last Update: 2022-06-26 09:43:04



Oregon Democrats Respond to Pro-Life News
Legislators release fury over abortion roadblocks

Anticipating the overturn of Roe v. Wade, in May Oregon House Majority Leader Julie Fahey (D-West Eugene) and Representative Andrea Valderrama (D-East Portland) met with White House officials and state legislators from California, Washington, Illinois, Maryland, New York and Connecticut to discuss preparations and legislation to protect and expand abortion access.

Now their worst fears are materializing as some states across the country are proposing to ban abortion. Democrat legislators were falling all over themselves rushing to issue statements. Without exception, they all expressed an outrage at this decision to put the power in states to save innocent lives.

Representative Fahey stated: “We are prepared for this moment in Oregon because for the last decade, Oregonians have elected Democratic majorities to our Legislature. During my first term in 2017, I was proud to chief sponsor the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA), one of the strongest abortion access laws in the country. RHEA codified the right to an abortion in state law and made the full range of reproductive health care services more affordable and accessible for all Oregonians. And this year we’ve taken even more action to close existing gaps, expand provider capacity and support for patients traveling to the state for care.”

House Speaker Dan Rayfield offered his conflicting statement after voting to mandate vaccinations. “This decision takes away the ability of Americans to control their own bodies and lives, and turns that power over to politicians. All individuals should have the right to make the most personal and private decisions that affect their lives, their health, and their families.”

Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) stated that “Pro-Choice states like Oregon are now the last line of defense to protect abortion and reproductive health care rights. It’s more important than ever to elect leaders that will protect abortion and reproductive health care. Our Democratic majority is the dividing line.”

Senator Akasha Lawrence Spence (D-Portland) said “The impact of overturning Roe will be felt largely by Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people, youth of color under 25, disabled people, immigrants, people living with low incomes, and people in rural areas— communities who have long faced barriers to abortion access due to systemic barriers and discrimination.”

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As part of a statement for the BIPOC Caucus (Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color), Co-Vice Chair Representative Andrea Valderrama (D-Portland) said, “With over 530 abortion restrictions introduced in states this year, fighting to make abortion care accessible to our most directly impacted pregnant people in Oregon and in neighboring states with active bans is a critical step towards dismantling systems of white supremacy and patriarchy.”

Representative Travis Nelson (D-Portland) declared that “At a time when the Black maternal mortality rate is nearly three times higher than the general population, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court is placing their extreme agenda over the lives of communities who already face systemic barriers to critical and essential care.”

Senate President Pro Tempore James Manning (D-Eugene) must have forgot his push for people to vaccinate when he stated, “Abortion bans disproportionately harm Black, Latino, Indigenous, and other people of color. We must continue to develop Oregon’s reproductive health care infrastructure and build on Oregon’s legacy of abortion access to ensure every Oregonian controls their body and their future.”

Senator Kayse Jama (D-Portland) stated, “Not only does this action set our nation back almost 50 years, from abortion to voting rights to gun control to the criminal justice system, this far-right Court has made it increasingly clear that the rights once thought fundamental to our Democracy are merely an illusory set of freedoms that can be removed by the stroke of a pen.”

Senator Deb Patterson (D-Salem), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Care said, “I remember how terrifying it was for women to seek abortions before Roe v. Wade. We cannot go back.”

Democrat governor candidate, Tina Kotek, also conflicted her actions in the legislature supporting mandatory vaccines by her statement, “Our right to control our own bodies and futures has been gutted. I’m furious. I’m deeply concerned for women around the country.”

Unaffilated candidate Betsy Johnson stated, “I am pro-choice. This is a bedrock issue for me, and frankly, for Oregon. A fundamental right.”

Republican governor candidate Christine Drazan then pointed out that “Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, Oregon will continue to have among the most extreme abortion laws in the country and around the world. As governor, I will stand up for life by vetoing legislation designed to push Oregon further outside the mainstream.”


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-06-26 06:43:34Last Update: 2022-06-25 17:19:47



New Funding for “Community-Focused Attorneys”
“Revamping how we respond to safety”

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt has announced the Multnomah County Commission approved funding for a new pilot program comprised of two attorneys, a victim advocate, and a legal assistant in the 2023 fiscal year.

Multnomah County says that the proposal, called the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office Access Attorney Program (MAAP), is a values-driven program centering equity, safety, and accountability through local partnerships and on-the-ground community engagement. They say that it seeks to address two key issues: public safety and community trust.

“Revamping how we respond to safety by moving away from a punishment paradigm to care-based supports for individual and community health is my vision of community safety. This proposal can be one tool to help support that shift. And as a local policy maker, I will work in collaboration with community partners to ensure that these types of advancements don’t repeat and maintain historic and current harms from the legal system,” Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal stated.

Instead of operating out of police precincts like other neighborhood prosecution programs, MAAP attorneys will co-locate with community-based organizations.

The MAAP pilot will target two key regions in Multnomah County.

Multnomah County states that the ability to co-locate will hinge upon agreements between participating organizations and the DAs office. They say they want to ensure adequate equity and cultural competency training for attorneys prior to setting foot in a community space along with shared values, goals, and performance metrics.

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“MAAP will take attorneys out of the courthouse and put them into the community to help address local safety issues driven by local priorities, incorporating non-carceral solutions such as diversion programs, treatment, and restorative justice where possible, while pursuing accountability for high volume systems users. Putting our prosecutors out in the field also means reducing barriers to the system which often discourages disenfranchised communities from reporting crime in the first place.” DA Mike Schmidt stated.

“Community prosecutors get to know neighborhood residents. They attend community meetings, give presentations at schools and civic group meetings, encourage involvement and—most importantly—listen to what the community needs and then work collaboratively to find solutions.” Congressman Earl Blumenauer, representing Oregon’s 3rd congressional district stated.

MAAP attorneys would be tasked with attending and hosting community events, canvassing neighbors and businesses, and managing caseloads specific to the discrete area they serve.

These attorneys would also "work to lower barriers to success for justice-involved individuals" by delivering access to expungement, fine, and fee reduction to the communities most impacted.

MAAP is an expansion of the existing Strategic Prosecution and Services Unit within the DAs office, which focuses on “high volume systems users” for whom traditional criminal interventions repeatedly fail and who might benefit from a continuum of services and treatment to change their behavior and become contributing members of society.

“We need to completely reimagine how to keep our communities safe. Legal system partners inside communities that don’t rely on hyper-criminalization and instead lead with community engagement and supports to resolve legal system impacts can help fuel that connection. We welcome these types of efforts and will ensure that they make our communities truly safe and healthy,” Unite Oregon’s Executive Director Khanh Le stated.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2022-06-26 06:01:06Last Update: 2022-06-25 16:19:11



Government Schools Sexualizing Children
An attack on public education

The biggest question facing parents this summer is not whether or not to homeschool, but how to make it happen. It has taken Democrat leadership sixteen years to establish a curriculum around pornography that is causing extreme dislike. It started with the passing of the 2007 Oregon Equality Act making it illegal to discriminate based specifically on the term “sexual orientation.”

Also in 2007, HB 2843 was passed making it a misdemeanor to lure a minor with sexually explicit material to address crimes of pornography predictors. The bill included an “affirmative defense” when the sexually explicit material was furnished, or the viewing was permitted, solely for the purpose of sex education, art education or psychological treatment and was furnished or permitted by the child′s parent or legal guardian, by an educator or treatment provider or by another person acting on behalf of the parent, legal guardian, educator or treatment provider. Little did they know how this would be used in 2022.

Two years later, in 2009, Oregon passed the Human Sexuality Education Law (ORS 336.455), which requires that each school district provide age-appropriate human sexuality education courses in all public elementary and secondary schools. This law also states that information is to be medically accurate, promote abstinence and mutually monogamous relationships and encourage family communication and involvement to help students learn to make responsible decisions.

This later became a step toward student autonomy preventing parent access and the right to know.

HB 4077 (ORS 339.366) was passed in 2012 as the Healthy Teens Relationships Act mandating each school district adopt a policy addressing teen dating violence.

Building on that law, in 2015, SB 856, the Child Sex Abuse Prevention (Erin’s) Law passed, which requires school districts to adopt a child sexual abuse prevention instructional program to help students, teachers and parents in recognizing child abuse (OAR 581-022-1440). These two laws were later used in developing the Comprehensive Sexual Education Act to require recognition of a child’s sexuality of choice as affirmation of their identity.

In 2017, HB 2845 passed on party lines that directed the State Board of Education to adopt ethnic studies standards into existing social studies standards for K-12 with the intent of teaching more robust historical narratives that includes the histories, contributions, and perspectives of traditionally marginalized communities.

The passage of HB 2845 opened the door in 2019 to what Colt Gill, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, called the next step. HB 2023, carried by Senator Sara Gelser Blouin (D-Corvallis/Albany), directed the State Board of Education to ensure that content standards for history, geography, economics, and civics include instruction on the histories, contributions, and perspectives of individuals who are Native American; of African, Asian, Pacific Island, Chicano, Latino or Middle Eastern descent; women; immigrants or refugees; lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; or have disabilities by school year 2024, but allows instruction prior to the required date. The focus of discussion was on bullying and feeling unsafe of minorities, growing diversity and the equity lens. “Traditionally marginalized communities” took on a new definition mandating classroom instruction on homosexuals, lesbians and transgenders throughout all school subjects that is instigating a pushback.

HB 2023 passed despite testimony from Dr. Bruce Gilley, President of Oregon Association of Scholars warning against politicizing and contributing to the decay of public education. John Oakley Beahrs, retired psychiatry professor stated HB 2023 mandated coercive indoctrination into identity politics under the false guise of liberal education. It “replaces actual history with indoctrination that grossly alters it, and coercively mandates instructing in but one viewpoint – one that’s favored in today’s Oregon, but neither universal nor necessarily in the public interest. In other words, LGBTQ figures are featured because of their sexual preference and gender identity, not their relation to the subject being taught. Because the subject matter is part of every subject, the law implies parents cannot opt their children out.”

A turn of events in 2021, HB 3041 separated the definitions of gender identity and sexual orientation, and adds “gender identity” to all laws referencing sexual orientation amending the 2007 Oregon Equality Act making it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity along with sexual orientation. The bill didn’t get attention outside of LGBTQ activists claiming the law needed clarification to also give gender identity the same protections against discrimination.

Senator Sara Gelser Blouin (D- Corvallis/Albany) defended that bill, “The only thing that this bill does is eliminate an ambiguity and recognize how far we’ve come in terms of really recognizing the importance of identifying gender identity.” It gave way to a sensitivity of being called by a preferred pronoun. Courts have ruled against such requirements.

The stage was set when the State Board of Education in 2016, approved the Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) creating standards by combining the Human Sexuality Education Law (2009), the Healthy Teen Relationship Act (2012), the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Law (2015), and taking advantage of other laws. It requires replacing the model of abstinence-only education, failing to recognize a belief system forcing an opt-out method as the only option. However, in order to graduate, the student is still expected to know sexual education. The Board claims “the standards do not promote sexuality or impose a set of values, but they do admit they empower students to recognize, communicate, and advocate for their own health and boundaries.”

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Whether we are at this point by design or ignorance, parents are protesting over the position their elected representatives have put them in.

Conrad Woodall, a forensic psychologist takes the position that adults in schools may be taking advantage of vulnerable minors by teaching them pornography. He points out that the instructions in the classroom are identical to molesters pre-grooming, taking away the innocence of the child.

Woodall says he has statistical evidence that teachers and coaches are molesting students, stating that one molestation case that involved 73 student victims. There seem to be cases in which law enforcement may not prosecute them, so they just move to another school.

Kristin Stevens from Oregon City was recently on Fox News talking about finding 187 pornography books in school libraries. They range from teaching how to masturbate to performing gay sex acts. Some have been banned in other states. She did a FOIA request on who put the books in the library and who paid for them. The response was, “no record.”

The Education Action Committee in Tualatin says the truth about Comprehensive Sex Education is a secret. Parents aren’t permitted to see what their children are seeing in school without their knowledge. They’d be surprised that 10-year-olds can check out books such as one titled "Perfectly Normal" that illustrates group masturbation.

Suzanne Gallagher, Parents’ Rights in Education, confirmed a parent’s experience that in Oregon, if you object to a school talking to your child about their sexual identity, the school can report you to child services and they will remove your child from your home because you aren’t affirming their identity. If you remove them from school, they will still report you. The only recourse is to kidnap your child and flee the state.

Young students seem to be traumatized when told they can change their sex.

Where are public schools getting off track?

Oregon schools are required to teach sexual identity education and provides counseling over confusion. American Government was established to be neutral, but Oregon’s education system is anything but neutral or fact based. School board elections are in May 2023.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-06-25 12:55:32Last Update: 2022-06-25 13:50:16



Eugene Riot Prompts Multiple-Agency Response
Non-emergencies were placed on hold or not responded to

On June 24, Eugene Police began receiving reports of a group publicizing on social media for people to come to a “Night of Rage” in the wake of an opinion by the Supreme Court of the United States, Dobbs v. Jackson (related to Roe v. Wade). The group’s stated meeting point was Dove Medical Center, 487 E. 11th Avenue, for around 10 p.m..

Due to the potential for property damage toward a business located in Eugene, as well as the general safety and security of the other businesses and residents downtown, Eugene Police monitored the situation.

Around 9:21 p.m. people began arrived to the area wearing all black clothing with masks and hoods. Many also had backpacks that appeared to contain unknown objects. The crowd started growing and moved toward the medical building. Eugene Police’s Mobile Response Team arrived in the area to block the building using its vehicles and officers to surround the building.

The crowd continued to grow and began blocking E. 11th Avenue by standing in the roadway. Some people were observed picking up rocks and several began putting on gas masks. One female had a chemical pump sprayer and she was pumping it up. Additional EPD Patrol resources were then called in.

An officer used a public address system to admonish the group of more than 75 people that they were committing disorderly conduct and were subject to arrest. This had no effect on the crowd and they advanced closer to officers.

Unknown people in the crowd threw smoke bombs at officers along with several filled water bottles. EPD’s Crisis Negotiation Team eventually used their sound truck, which has an LRAD system on their truck, to provide louder volumes to the admonishments so those could be hear over the crowd noise.

Those who remained in the roadway were subject to arrest. The crowd did not comply.

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After the first arrest, the crowd became extremely loud and verbally hostile toward the officers and tried to get through the line.

At this point, EPD called in additional resources including Springfield Police Department and Department of Homeland Security.

The incident forced EPD’s operations to go into what is termed ‘priority calls,’ where much of the rest of the community’s individual calls for service, if they are not immediate life-safety emergencies, to be placed on hold or not responded to. Springfield Police provided mutual aid for priority one calls. At one point, the crowd moved to the roadway at Ferry Street Bridge, which is an essential route for medical and fire personnel to local hospitals. Blocking it creates a dangerous life and safety issue for all residents and visitors to Eugene. Eugene Police provided more admonishments and arrests were made, with people fighting with officers and not complying with lawful orders, leading to inert pepperballs (pepper balls with no chemical munitions) being deployed in a few cases at people’s feet and legs. At that point the crowd size decreased.

Some officers suffered minor injuries during the event, which lasted about five hours.

Arrestsinclude: The incident is referred to by EPD as Case 22-09584.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2022-06-25 11:01:46Last Update: 2022-06-25 11:28:50



Oregon Democrats Want Expanded Abortion and “Gender-Affirming Care”
Oregon already does not have any major restrictions

The West Coast States have once again united in a dogma that abortion is reproductive freedom. In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s finalizing their decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, governors of California, Oregon and Washington issued a Multi-State Commitment to defend access to reproductive health care, including abortion and contraceptives, and committed to protecting patients and doctors against efforts by other states to enforce their abortion bans in our states.

Governor Kate Brown commented, “Abortion is health care, and no matter who you are or where you come from, Oregon doesn’t turn away anyone seeking health care. Period. Let me be clear: You cannot ban abortion, you can only ban safe abortions — and this disgraceful Supreme Court decision will undoubtedly put many people’s lives at risk, in addition to stripping away a constitutional right that disproportionately affects women and has been settled law for most of our lifetimes.” She goes on to claim “the fight is not over.”

Oregon House Democrats want to make sure Oregonians know there are strong pro-choice leaders in the Legislature and the Oregon Governor’s office. They are now touting the strongest abortion access laws in the country and have issued a statement titled Fact Sheet: Actions to expand abortion access in Oregon.

The first mentioned fact is that Oregon does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions—such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions—often found in other states.

That’s right parents, your daughter can obtain an abortion and your medical insurance could pay for it without your knowledge.

Now that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, they want Oregonians to know they are committed to further expand access to cover a potential 234% increase in people traveling to the state. A jump from the 9.5% that OHA reports.

What does that mean for Oregon taxpayers? In 2022, Oregon Democrats establish the Reproductive Health Equity Fund, a $15 million bill to expand provider network capacity and address urgent patient care for abortion and practical needs, like travel and lodging, in preparation for an increase of people seeking abortions.

Planned Parenthood promoted the Reproductive Health Equity Fund and has leased medical office space in Ontario, Oregon, on the border of Idaho, to capitalize on Idaho passing a restriction on abortions.

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The number of abortions reported in Oregon in 2020 and 2021 were the lowest of any years that OHA has tracked.

The abortion rate has been declining for decades. In the early 1990s they were at 24,000 and by 2011, they dropped to an estimated 14,000 induced abortions performed each year.

Now, the annual number is less than half of that. Preliminary data from 2021 shows about 6,577 abortions were carried out last year.

But with the predicted increase from outside the state, mostly from Idaho, the annual rate will again more than double at around 15,400.

The new movement in Portland, Stop Having Kids, failed to read the CDC report which details that both births and abortions decreased during the coronavirus pandemic. The abortion rate is certainly more than a religious concern. The birth rate to have a sustainable population is 2.1 per woman. In the U.S. that has dropped to 1.6, the lowest rate on record.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-06-24 16:11:26Last Update: 2022-06-24 17:03:57



Deschutes-Ochoco Resource Advisory Committee Seeks Members
Members will review proposed land management projects and funding

The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland are seeking nominees to fill vacancies on the 15-member Deschutes-Ochoco Resource Advisory Committee (RAC).

RACs are chartered under the Secure Rural Schools & Community Self Determination Act, which was recently extended until 2023. This extension authorizes “Title II” payments for protection, restoration and enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat, and other natural resource objectives on Federal land and adjacent non-Federal lands.

The Forest Service seeks committee members committed to collaboratively working with other interests for the benefit of National Forest System lands. RAC members review proposed projects on or adjacent to national forest lands in Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson, Klamath, Grant, Wheeler and Harney Counties. The RAC then makes recommendations to the Forest Service on which projects should be funded.

Committee members are nominated by the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland and are approved by the Secretary of Agriculture. Members serve a four-year term without compensation, with a time commitment of one or two one-day meetings per year, and travel expenses may be reimbursed.

The makeup of the advisory committee is diverse, with representation from industry, environmental groups, elected officials, forest-user groups, and the public at large.

The Act encourages the representation of minorities, women, and people with disabilities. Members must reside within the state in which the RAC is located, and, preferably, within the RAC boundary. The committee consists of 15 members and each member is assigned to one of three categories:

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To be considered for nomination, interested participants should submit the required AD-755 application form, available on the Deschutes National Forest’s website. Letters of support may be added to the application package but are not required. Nominees will be evaluated based on their education, training and experience working within the interest area they represent.

Consideration is also made for their knowledge of the geographic area covered by the RAC, demonstrated commitment to collaborative resource decision-making, and contribution to the balance and diversity of the RAC. Applications are accepted year-round, but to be considered for placement in the next year, applications are requested by September 1, 2022.

For more information you can visit the Deschutes National Forest’s website or email the Deschutes National Forest’s Partnership Program Manager, Alex Enn.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2022-06-23 15:02:22Last Update: 2022-06-23 15:21:07



TriMet Operator Shortage Forces Reduced Service Levels
Who wants to drive bus in Portland?

TriMet is now adjusting service on 10 bus lines this fall as they reduce service levels based on available workforce. This comes amid the largest operator shortage in their agency's history. Most of the affected lines currently see low ridership anyways.

TriMet is now saying that they took an approach with an eye on preserving service in areas with high concentrations of people with low-incomes and communities of color.

This additional reduced service will take affect starting on September 18, 2022. TriMet hopes to begin adding back the service hours in 2023 if they can get the operator ranks to increase.

“We would much rather be expanding our transit service. But by reducing our service levels, we increase our schedule reliability so riders experience fewer canceled or late buses,” said TriMet General Manager Sam Desue, Jr. “While rebounding from this historic operator shortage will take some time, TriMet is committed to hiring scores of new operators to meet the needs of our community.”

Beginning with the fall service change in September, TriMet will shift, reduce or cancel some service, with a focus on low ridership lines and times. TriMet will also be making some slight adjustments with the TriMet FX (Frequent Express) bus service launching on Sept. 18. The new service along Division Street will supposedly give riders a faster and more convenient way to travel between Gresham and Downtown Portland.

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Buses on the FX 2-Division line will run every 12 minutes for the majority of the day with only a couple of buses added during commuting hours. The Line 2 is being replaced by the FX 2-Division and the Line 10-Harold St route will still change.

TriMet says they will not be able to add buses during the weekdays as they had once planned.

TriMet released the following statement:

"The trickle-down effects of our operator shortage can cause frustration despite our best efforts. In short: it’s been a challenge to hire and train enough operators to replace those lost to retirement and attrition. And we’re not alone. Because our operator shortage is part of a larger trend affecting transit agencies and industries nationwide, we’ve taken unprecedented actions to recruit and retain the talented workforce on which our riders rely. We’ve bumped up the starting pay to $25.24, boosted our hiring bonus to $7,500 and begun looking outside state lines to bring in new operators. When we do grow our operator ranks and start adding back service, we want to make sure we are serving the needs of our community. With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way people travel, TriMet has launched Forward Together, a comprehensive service analysis and community engagement effort to determine a better bus system."




--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-22 12:23:58Last Update: 2022-06-22 15:50:33



Oregon Mandates New Child Care Rates
Provider reimbursements to increase with new law

Child care reimbursement rates are increasing for providers caring for children of families who receive support with child care expenses through the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS).

ODHS pays child care providers for child care provided to families receiving child care assistance through the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs.

The new child care reimbursement rates are effective June 1, 2022 and increasing due to the passage of House Bill 4005 of the 2022 Oregon State Legislative Session.

HB 4005 was passed at the request of Representative Karin Power, a Democrat from Portland. It passed through the super-majority Democrat legislature in Oregon by declaration of an emergency.

Representative Power has since said that she will not run again for her position at the state legislature, citing too low of pay.

The average monthly reimbursement rates for full-time care are increasing by: “For many families the cost of child care can be a barrier to meeting their goals and entering and staying in the workforce,” said Claire Seguin, deputy director of the ODHS Self-Sufficiency Programs. “These reimbursement rate increases will ensure families have equal access to quality child care.”

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“As our child care system continues to struggle with staffing shortages and lack of child care supply, this is an important first step to ensure our child care providers are paid a fair wage,” said Oregon Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee. “I appreciate the Legislature’s investment in our system.”

Actual child care reimbursement rates vary depending on provider type, child age and what community the provider is in.

A complete list of reimbursement rates can be found online.

ERDC helps eligible families pay for work-related child care expenses, including registration and enrollment fees. ERDC is a subsidy program, which means some families, depending on their income, may be required to pay a copay.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-21 11:47:11Last Update: 2022-06-21 20:20:09



6-Month-Old Babies Can Now Receive Covid Vaccines
Is this an objective decison, or political?

Oregon’s Governor Brown released a statement on the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup’s unanimous decision to affirm the federal process that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid vaccines are supposedly safe and effective for children as young as 6 months old.

Governor Brown stated, “This is a long-awaited moment for so many families. With today’s review by leading doctors, pediatricians, and health experts, Oregon parents and children can be confident in the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for children as young as 6 months old. It is completely normal for parents and kids to have questions about vaccines––I urge you to reach out to your family doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist and get your questions answered today.”

On Friday, June 17, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of the Moderna two-dose vaccine series and the Pfizer three-dose vaccine series are now available to children as young as 6 months old, and the CDC affirmed that decision on Saturday. The Workgroup reviewed safety and efficacy data for the vaccines and affirmed the federal decisions also on Saturday.

The Oregon Health Authority will inform health care providers that vaccinations for children as young as 6 months old can begin in Oregon as soon as Monday.

The Workgroup concluded that the benefits of completing either vaccine series outweigh any known or likely risks.

Immunization can be expected to reduce the numbers of COVID-19- related serious illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths in young children while facilitating their participation in normal educational, social and recreational activities.

The Workgroup provided its confirmation to the Governors of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, who assembled the panel of experts passed off as scientists. Expert opinion, while it may be useful, is what philosophers call “appeal to authority,” and not "appeal to science".

Indeed, when controversial policy decisions are at stake, hand-picked experts may be assembled to achieve the desired result. That process is politics, not science.

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The science that they want shoved under the rug is in plain sight for those looking. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) data for 5- to 11-year-olds indicates that 117 kids were killed as a result of taking the covid vaccine.

CDC says the COVID-19 vaccine is “safe and effective,” and that “severe reactions are rare.” Is that actually true?

One of the world’s top pathologists and chief pathologist at the University of Heidelberg, Dr. Peter Schirmacher, performed autopsies on 40 people who died within two weeks of receiving the vaccine. Risking his reputation and threats on his family, he reported that a minimum of 30% to 40% died from the vaccine.

German scientists have verified his study with an even higher percentage.

The FDA approved the vaccine anyway, even after Pfizer reports that trials were stopped because the animals kept dying. It certainly should give parents pause before enlisting their children to a trial vaccine.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-06-20 08:26:08Last Update: 2022-06-20 08:49:01



ODF Updates Seasonal Climate Forecast
La Nina may weaken this summer but continue through the year

Oregon Department of Forestry Lead Meteorologist Pete Parsons has released the current Seasonal Climate Forecast which documents the El Niño Southern Oscillation and its impacts on Oregon. Parsons notes that this forecast is not associated with NOAA’s CPC nor the official CPC “Three-Month Outlooks.”




--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-06-19 11:29:54Last Update: 2022-06-19 18:52:01



Oregon Task Force Busts Black-Market Marijuana Grow
12,000 plants seized in Jackson County

Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team (IMET) detectives along with Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies served a search warrant on a marijuana grow site in rural Eagle Point at 6:45 on Thursday, June 16. The property, located on the 1500 block of Old Dry Creek Road in Eagle Point, contained approximately 12,287 illegal cannabis plants in 32 greenhouses, and 3,000 lbs. of processed black-market marijuana. On the property seven workers were detained, interviewed, and released.

This case was the result of a month-long investigation of an illegal/black market marijuana grow site. There was no licensing for any type of cannabis growing, handling, or processing at this location.

The primary suspect has been identified. Investigators from the Oregon State Police Southwest Region Drug Enforcement Section team, Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team (JMET) from Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, and Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE) assisted with the operation.

In addition to the criminal investigation, Jackson County Code Enforcement and Oregon Water Resources Department District 13 Watermasters responded to the scene to conduct independent investigations.

Each agency identified multiple violations that will be addressed by enforcing penalties and fines.

Code Enforcement issued citations totaling $67,000 for unapproved greenhouse structures, unapproved marijuana production, and unpermitted electrical installations.

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Watermasters observed a complex array of water infrastructure. While the property does have water rights conveyed through the Medford Irrigation District canal, well water use for the irrigation of a commercial crop was observed. The well use is not part of the water right.

The unauthorized use of water from the well is subject to both civil and criminal penalties.

While regulatory agencies investigate permitted cannabis operations, IMET is focusing on the black-market marijuana trade in the Rogue Valley. IMET is a multi-agency task force funded by a grant from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. The task force includes personnel from JCSO, Medford Police Department, and the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.

Investigations are open and ongoing with detectives working additional leads. No further information is currently available for release.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-18 13:14:47Last Update: 2022-06-18 14:46:21



DEQ Increases Port of Morrow Fine to $2.1 Million
For additional nitrate violations in Eastern Oregon

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued a revised penalty to the Port of Morrow for additional violations involving overapplication of wastewater containing nitrogen to agricultural fields in the Lower Umatilla Basin, an area with longstanding groundwater contamination. DEQ issued the original penalty in January. The additional violations increase the fine by $800,000, from $1.3 million to $2.1 million.

The Port of Morrow is one of many sources contributing to nitrate contamination in northern Morrow and Umatilla counties—an area known as the Lower Umatilla Basin Groundwater Management Area. The primary source of contamination in the area (about 70%) is from fertilizer use on irrigated farmland, according to the LUBGWMA Action Plan. Additional contributors are dairy and cattle farms (about 20%), food processing facilities like the Port of Morrow that reuse wastewater to irrigate fields (about 5%), and residential septic systems and other sources (about 5%).

The Port of Morrow collects wastewater from food processors, storage facilities and data centers in its industrial park outside Boardman. The port has a DEQ water quality permit that allows it to use the nitrogen-rich wastewater for irrigation on nearby farms, but the permit includes limits on how much nitrogen can be applied to the farmland and how much nitrate and moisture can be present in soil prior to applications.

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The amended notice cites the port for additional occurrences of applying wastewater containing nitrogen to fields that already had too much existing nitrate or moisture in the soil. Having too much nitrate or moisture in the soil when applying wastewater increases the likelihood of nitrates flowing down into the groundwater rather than remaining in the soil for crops to use.

The port documented additional violations to DEQ in its annual report and in email and phone reports of non-compliance. The additional violations occurred between November 2020 to February 2021 and November 2021 to February 2022.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-06-17 09:58:43Last Update: 2022-06-17 11:29:54



State Historic Preservation Office to Hold Virtual Meetings
Includes museums, governments, cemeteries, archaeology, archives, historic trails, and other heritage-related interests

As part of its mission, the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office in partnership with the public and their partners has created a statewide historic preservation plan to identify what is special about Oregon and how best to preserve it for future generations. The plan addresses identifying and preserving historic places, collections, and traditional practices, educating the public about the State’s history, and building support for the organizations that curate our state’s cultural legacy.

This summer and fall the Oregon SHPO is asking Oregonians how Oregon’s heritage is special to them in a series of 90-minute virtual public meetings. Meetings will focus on a region or topic, but all are welcome to attend one or more of the events. At the regional meetings participants will identify what issues matter most, how to best preserve the state’s history, and what government agencies, cultural institutions, and each Oregonian can do.

Topic-based meetings will discuss how the heritage community can better address diversity, equity, and inclusion in cultural resource programs, disaster preparedness and response, and planning for cultural resources in development and infrastructure projects. The meetings will be held Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, June through September by Zoom video and teleconference. Meeting details will be published on the project website. The information from the meetings will be used to create the 2024-2029 Oregon Historic Preservation Plan that will be published in early 2024.

Meeting dates are:

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Those interested in or associated with local historic preservation efforts, museums, governments, cemeteries, archaeology, archives, historic trails, and other heritage-related interests are encouraged to attend.

Oregon Heritage, a Division of Oregon State Parks, includes the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. The Oregon SHPO locally administers National Park Service programs created by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, including the identification and designation of historic properties and archaeological sites; tax and grant programs; and the Certified Local Government Program, a partnership program between local jurisdictions and the state and federal government. The SHPO office is funded in part through a grant from NPS. The SHPO also coordinates closely with Oregon Heritage programs, including the Oregon Heritage Commission and Main Street program, Cemetery Commission, and various grant and technical assistance programs. See the current 2018-2023 Oregon Historic Preservation Plan.




--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-06-16 08:41:35Last Update: 2022-06-16 09:58:43



Mining Permit Sought in Malheur County
DOGAMI’s mission is to provide regulation to make Oregon safe and prosperous.

Calico Resources USA Corporation is proposing to construct an underground gold mine and an indoor processing facility on a site in Malheur County about 22 miles south-southeast of Vale. The site includes both private and public lands managed by the US Bureau of Land Management.

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, under the direction of Dr. Ruarri Day-Stirrat, 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.

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Oregon law provides environmental performance standards that guide agencies' reviews. The intent is to minimize environmental damage through use of best available, practicable, and necessary technology and provide protection measures that are consistent with polices of the permitting agencies.

A wildlife protection plan will be required to ensure no overall loss of wildlife habitat and to meet the State requirement of an objective of zero wildlife mortality.

If the application is considered complete by the reviewing agencies, DOGAMI will issue a Notice to Proceed, beginning the State permitting process. State agencies will then prepare draft permits for public input, followed by the development of final permits.

The permitting process provides multiple opportunities for the public and interested stakeholders to participate in reviewing and commenting on Calico's application and the consolidated permit requirements.

The Technical Review Team -- composed of various state agencies -- will meet by teleconference on Thursday June 30, 2022 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. PST. The public and media can listen to the meetings by joining the Zoom Meeting online, or by phone. For further information, contact the DOGAMI Albany office at (541) 967-2083 or email: information.grassymtn@dogami.oregon.gov.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-06-16 08:01:42Last Update: 2022-06-16 08:41:35



New Rules for Oregon Health Care Providers
Mandatory interpreting services to begin in July

New rules in Oregon that go into effect on July 1st will mandate health care providers reimbursed with public funds to work with credentialed health care interpreters qualified or certified by Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

The rules drafted by OHA reflect changes in the requirement for health care interpreting services in Oregon that were made by the state Legislature’s passage of HB 2359 during the 2021 session.

HB 2359 was chiefly sponsored by Representative Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego), Representative Ricki Ruiz (D-Portland), and Senator Lew Frederick (D-Portland).

These new rules mandate that people for whom English is a second language (those with limited English proficiency) or who use sign language can access more health care.

In addition to requiring publicly reimbursed health care providers to work with a qualified or certified health care interpreter listed on OHA’s 900-plus-member central registry, the law outlines recordkeeping requirements for health care providers and interpreting service companies when they work with a health care interpreter. Among the requirements are that they document the interpreter’s name, central registry number and language interpreted.

The law also requires health care providers to supply appropriate personal protective equipment, or PPE, at no cost to a health care interpreter for onsite interpreting services. And it directs OHA to develop policies and processes to improve the quality, consistency, availability and affordability of training, and qualification and certification standards, for health care interpreters, as well as accuracy and usability of the OHA central registry.

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In addition, OHA – and state boards that license and certify health care professionals – must develop rules to enforce the new requirements for health care interpreting services.

“We are pleased we received participation and input from community partners and pleased that this legislation strengthens and supports language interpretation services in Oregon,” said Leann Johnson, director of the Equity and Inclusion Division at OHA.

One of the organizations OHA is partnering with to eliminate barriers that prevent access to health care interpreter services is Pueblo Unido PDX. The Portland-based nonprofit connects individuals with a vulnerable immigration status in the Pacific Northwest with legal, social and Indigenous language interpretation services.

“Pueblo Unido PDX and the Collective of Indigenous Interpreters of Oregon (CIIO) are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with OHA to identify and address barriers to healthcare interpreter credentialing for Indigenous language interpreters,” said Cam Coval, executive director of Pueblo Unido PDX.

He said OHA’s Equity and Inclusion Division staff actively listened to feedback from Pueblo Unido and CIIO and “did not hesitate to implement our suggested changes, including eliminating the background check requirement and creating an exception to the GED or educational equivalency requirement for health care interpreters.”

House Bill 2359 allows some exceptions for health care providers in working with a health care interpreter, including that: For more information about HB 2359, OHA’s central registry or health care interpreter services, visit the Health Care Interpreter Program website.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-15 17:32:59Last Update: 2022-06-15 17:59:23



Corvallis Adopts $242 Million Budget for Fiscal Year 2023
The City is not immune from inflation-driven cost increases

The Corvallis City Council has now voted to approve an annual budget totaling $242,677,700 for Fiscal Year 2023. Council’s action was the final step in the City’s annual budget process, which began in May with a series of Budget Commission meetings and included deliberations, analysis, and public input.

The new budget goes into effect on July 1, when the City of Corvallis begins its new fiscal year.

The new budget takes a cautious approach to City finances, following a tumultuous year that saw the COVID-19 restrictions lead to inflation concerns and supply shortages that impacted all sectors of the economy. As a full-service municipality, the City is not immune from inflation-driven cost increases.

The FY 2023 budget includes relatively few new full-time employees across the organization. Four new positions were created in the Public Works Department to expand infrastructure maintenance, and one existing position at the Library was augmented to create a new Spanish Outreach Coordinator position.

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Requests from various departments to fund seven (7) additional staff positions were not approved due to concerns about ongoing personnel costs.

“We’re entering a new fiscal year with more uncertainty on the horizon,” said City Manager Mark Shepard. “As careful stewards of community resources, it is our obligation to adopt a balanced budget that keeps costs contained as much as possible. As always, we will continually strive to find new resources to continue delivering the many high-quality services that the Corvallis community expects.”


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-13 22:57:53Last Update: 2022-06-14 08:37:21



Amendment to Oregon Tolling Policy Ready for Public Review
Guidance for tolling if the state decides to use it for more revenue

The public is invited to review a draft amendment to the Oregon Highway Plan that will guide the state in using tolling as a way to raise funds for transportation system improvements. The comment period is open until August 1st.

An informational webinar about the draft amendment is scheduled for June 30, and a public hearing will be held on July 20 at 1 p.m. Information on how to access these events will be posted on the website when details are available.

What is it?

The Oregon Highway Plan has an existing policy section on tolling. This draft policy amendment proposes an update to that section, which is "Goal No. 6: Tolling." The draft amendment is intended to modernize the state’s pricing and tolling policy. It defines terms, such as congestion pricing, and it offers guidance for the use of revenue and setting rates (but it does not set rates). It also provides the Oregon Transportation Commission with clearer direction for decision making. There are 15 policies in the draft amendment, each with actions to guide implementing the policy.

Note: This amendment is not about whether or not the state should toll roads; instead, it provides guidance for doing so if the state decides to use tolling.

Public input will inform potential revisions to the plan amendment. ODOT says that their goal is to have a final version ready for adoption later this year. If you would like to comment, please review the draft amendment. You may also want to attend the webinar and hearing scheduled for later.

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An online comment card on the website will be available soon to submit comments. You can also send an email with comments.

Background

The Oregon Highway Plan is the state’s primary highway guide, establishing a 20-year vision and strategic framework for Oregon’s road system. The current plan was approved by the commission in 1999 and has been modified numerous times, including in 2012 to add the current section on tolling.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-13 16:56:22Last Update: 2022-06-13 17:15:53



Washington County Centered on Racial Equity
Should government base decisions on skin color?

Washington County Oregon has begun a multi-year process for re-envisioning the county’s program of Community Participation Organizations (CPOs) and the Committee for Community Involvement (CCI). The process received direction from the Board of County Commissioners in December 2021.

The CPOs and CCI have served as public involvement venues for the county since the 1970s in support of Goal 1 Citizen Involvement under Oregon’s land use planning system. The county now says that the program’s mission has expanded.

“We hear loud and clear the desire for greater programmatic support from the volunteers serving within the CPOs and CCI. We also know that the traditional pathways for the community to engage with their county government can feel more like obstacles. Our ongoing equity work involves building truly accessible platforms and pathways so that we include all voices in our community engagement programs, especially those who have been the least included over time,” said Chief Officer of Equity and Inclusion Latricia Tillman.

The county quotes a Boston University study published in 2018 found that civic engagement structures have historically amplified the voices of those who are “older, male, longtime residents, voters in local elections, and homeowners” and may bias policy discussions in favor of an unrepresentative group of individuals. Washington County has now indicated that they would consider racial equity policies in order to intentionally change this.

“This re-envisioning process will help us align the Community Engagement program with Washington County’s growing and diverse population. By working with the community to establish the foundation and shape of this process now, we can make the current Community Engagement Program even more welcoming to everyone in our Washington County community. We also seek to better align the Community Engagement program with the work to revise the organization’s decades-old community strategic plan,” said Board of County Commissioners Chair Kathryn Harrington.

In presenting the proposed scope of re-envisioning work for the Community Engagement program, county staff identified four work areas: According to Washington County, the next steps for the process will include developing a project team that consists of internal and external partners, conducting further demographic analysis of current CPO boundaries and creating a project plan and timeline for the process.

More information will be available soon. In the meantime, a brief overview of the process for re-envisioning can be found on the Washington County webpage.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-12 09:32:50Last Update: 2022-06-15 11:07:36



Oregon State Treasury Completes Bond Sales
Oregon State Lottery, General Obligation and Housing Single-Family Mortgage Program

Affordable housing, drinking water improvements, schools, and earthquake readiness are just a few of the projects that will be funded thanks to Oregon State Treasury's recent $418 million General Obligation (GO) bond sale on behalf of the state. The recovery of Lottery sales permitted a long-awaited sale of $218 million bonds for the state's Lottery Program, which will fund a variety of projects including park improvements, building renovations and veteran housing programs. Lasty, an $85 million bond sale for the Oregon Housing Single-Family Mortgage Program will provide support for existing and newly originated Mortgage Loans.

"Bonds are an effective tool that we use to support critical capital projects and invest in Oregon," said Treasurer Tobias Read. "Bond funded projects encourage economic development, enhance sustainability, address critical needs including better access to education, housing and services for wellness and preserve our environment. Our strong stewardship of financial resources permits us to invest in building stronger and healthier communities for Oregonians over the long-run, and that is good for everyone."

Treasury's Debt Management team wrapped up the spring general obligation bond sale in the middle of May after securing low-cost financing in a volatile market environment. The sale includes approximately $200 million in tax-exempt general obligation bond proceeds for approximately twenty-one projects from ten different state government entities. Projects include capital improvements at the Oregon School for the Deaf, improvements to Salem's drinking water system, renovations and accessibility improvements to judicial buildings and the state capitol, and upgrades to various information systems. Additionally, $66 million will fund grant program bonds for implementing seismic upgrades for school districts and emergency services buildings.

Another $175 million of taxable Sustainability Bonds will fund affordable and permanent supportive housing throughout the state, including new home construction and housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness. This was the sixth issuance of sustainability bonds by Oregon Treasury with proceeds dedicated to affordable housing.

The Lottery Bond transaction was priced on April 12, 2022 and was officially closed on May 10, 2022. The sale included approximately $94 million in tax-exempt bonds and $124 million in taxable bonds. The projects funded included upgrades to the Eugene Family YMCA facility, Sherwood Pedestrian/Bike Bridge, Gradin Community Sports Park and various building renovations.

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"The market continues to evolve as the pandemic wanes. With the rise in interest rates as the Federal Reserve seeks to curb inflation, Treasury staff must remain diligent to ensure that the state maintains its high credit profile and broaden its investor outreach to achieve favorable financing results," said Jacqueline Knights, Director of Debt Management at Oregon State Treasury. "Despite record withdrawal of funds from the municipal market, the State's bonds saw significant investor demand, which translates to better pricing – even under volatile market conditions."

In advance of the spring bond sales, Oregon Treasury received updated General Obligation bond ratings from Standard and Poor's, Fitch Ratings, and Moody's Investors Services. In reports published by the three firms, Oregon maintained its respective AA+/AA+/Aa1 ratings along with a stable outlook – a welcome confirmation of the state's fiscal management. Additionally, the State's Lottery Program received a confirmation of stability from Moody's Investors Services and Standard and Poor's, with ratings of Aa2/AAA respectively. Lastly, Oregon Housing and Community Services Department received a rating of Aa2 for the Single-Family Mortgage Revenue Bonds. Moody's also maintains the Aa2 ratings on all outstanding long-term parity debt issued under the Mortgage Revenue Bond Indenture with a stable rating outlook.

The Single-Family Mortgage Bonds transaction was priced on April 5, 2022 and was officially closed on April 27,2022. The sale included approximately $78 million in tax-exempt bonds and $7 million taxable bonds. The proceeds will be used to refund outstanding Oregon Housing and Community Services Department Mortgage Revenue bonds leading to a decrease in department costs. They will also be used to purchase mortgage loans that provide financing for existing, or newly constructed single-family residences.

Treasury has been active in issuing debt for developers who create affordable housing statewide as well as non-profits such as health care institutions. For the calendar year to date, Treasury has worked with our Oregon Housing partners and developers to close fifteen deals totaling $256 million for affordable housing projects across the State.

New Projects Funded by Recently-Sold State Lottery Bonds
SeriesProject Agency/GranteeProject SummaryEstimated Bond Proceeds
2022 ADept of Admin. ServicesCenter for Hope and Safety Hope Plaza$7,500,000
2022 A Dept of Admin. ServicesGradin Community Sports Park2,000,000
2022 A Dept of Admin. ServicesOregon Coast Aquarium Indoor Gallery Improvements5,000,000
2022 ADept of Admin. ServicesParrott Creek Child & Family Services Building Renovation3,500,000
2022 A Dept of Admin. ServicesPhoenix Government and Public Safety Center13,600,000
2022 A Dept of Admin. ServicesPort of Cascade Locks Business Park Expansion2,400,000
2022 A Dept of Admin. ServicesJefferson County Health and Wellness Center5,400,000
2022 A Business OregonCounty Fair Capital Improvements5,000,000
2022 A Dept of Transportation Sherwood Pedestrian/Bike Bridge4,000,000
2022 ADept of Veteran AffairsYMCA Veterans' Affordable Housing 6,000,000
2022 A Parks & Recreation Dept.Main Street Revitalization Grant Program5,000,000
2022 A Water Resources Dept.Deschutes Basin Board of Control Piping10,000,000
2022 AWater Resources Dept.Wallowa Lake Dam Rehabilitation14,000,000
2022 A Water Resources Dept. Water Development Projects15,000,000
2022 A Water Resources Dept.Big Creek Dams Replacement 4,000,000
2022A Total $102,400,000
2022 BDept of Admin. ServicesEugene Family YMCA Facility$15,000,000
2022 B Business OregonLevee Grant Program15,000,000
2022 B Business OregonBrownfields Redevelopment Fund10,000,000
2022 BBusiness OregonSpecial Public Works Fund50,000,000
2022 BHousing & Comm. ServicesWildfire Affordable Housing Supply & Land Acquisition25,000,000
2022B Total $115,000,000
TOTAL $217,400,000


New Projects Funded by Recently-Sold State GO Bonds
SeriesProject AgencyProject NameAmount of Bond Proceeds
2022 Series ADept. of Administrative ServicesExecutive Building Interior & Seismic Renovations$16,000,000
2022 Series ADept. of Administrative ServicesNorth Valley Complex Infrastructure Upgrades/Tenant Improvement30,000,000
2022 Series ADept. of Administrative ServicesPortland State Office Building Improvements3,500,000
2022 Series ADept. of RevenueElectronic Valuation Information System (ELVIS)2,000,000
2022 Series AOregon Military DepartmentResiliency Grant Fund5,000,000
2022 Series AOregon State PoliceCentral Point Office Expansion23,772,889
2022 Series AOregon Youth AuthorityCamp Riverbend Dorm Renovation1,500,000
2022 Series AOregon Youth AuthorityControl Room Renovations895,000
2022 Series AOregon Youth AuthorityJJIS IT System Modernization4,756,531
2022 Series AOregon Youth AuthorityMacLaren Infirmary and Pharmacy Renovation & Expansion979,000
2022 Series AOregon Youth AuthorityMacLaren West Cottages Renovations4,937,800
2022 Series AOregon Youth AuthorityRogue Valley Facility Improvements2,443,900
2022 Series AOregon Youth AuthorityTillamook Dorm Renovation2,000,000
2022 Series AOregon Health AuthorityOSH Salem Well Water Treatment Facility2,395,650
2022 Series ADept. of EducationOregon School for the Deaf ADA Restrooms1,024,625
2022 Series ADept. of EducationOregon School for the Deaf Fire Alarm System Replacement3,091,923
2022 Series ADept. of EducationOregon School for the Deaf Windows Upgrade1,383,452
2022 Series AOregon Parks & Recreation DepartmentState Parks Capital Improvement and Renewal25,000,000
2022 Series ADept. of Fish and WildlifeCapital Improvement and Renewal5,000,000
2022 Series AOregon Liquor Control CommissionLiquor Warehouse Land & Building52,537,265
2022 Series AOregon Liquor Control CommissionLiquor Warehouse Management IT System8,500,000
2022 Series BOregon Housing and Community Services DepartmentLIFT/Permanent Supportive Housing Programs175,000,000
TOTAL $371,718,035
2022 Series COregon Business Development DepartmentSeismic Rehabilitation Grants – Schools55,000,000
2022 Series COregon Business Development DepartmentSeismic Rehabilitation Grants – Emergency Services Buildings20,825,000
TOTAL $75,825,000
TOTAL $447,543,035


New Projects Funded by Recently-Sold Conduit Revenue Bonds
SeriesProject AgencyProject NameAmount of Bond Proceeds
2022AHousing & Community Services Dept.Fremont Manor Apartments$5,400,000
2022BHousing & Community Services Dept.Kentonwood Dimensions Apartments4,037,000
2022CHousing & Community Services Dept.Stillwater Crossing Apartments3,900,000
2022DHousing & Community Services Dept.The Canopy Apartments at Powell36,500,000
2022EHousing & Community Services Dept.Garden Grove Apartments6,330,000
2022FHousing & Community Services Dept.Aloha Family Housing Project16,680,000
2022GHousing & Community Services Dept.Nueva Esperanza Apartments26,359,717
2022HHousing & Community Services Dept.Good Shepherd Village31,425,000
2022IHousing & Community Services Dept.Oregon 4 Apartment Projects23,895,104
2022JHousing & Community Services Dept.Minnesota Place Apartments Project12,987,074
2022KHousing & Community Services Dept.Moorehouse Apartments Project7,870,000
2022LHousing & Community Services Dept.Tigard Senior Housing13,890,000
2022MHousing & Community Services Dept.148th Apartments15,500,000
2022OHousing & Community Services Dept.Shore Pines at Munsel Creek Apartments14,302,000
2022QHousing & Community Services Dept.Maple Apartments37,000,000
TOTAL $256,075,895


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-06-11 09:08:15Last Update: 2022-06-11 09:45:47



Putting Safety Resource Officers Back in Oregon Schools
“Making sure that kids will remain a protected class”

Salem parents are fighting back against the removal of Safety Resource Officers (SRO) from public schools. Dustin Caldwell, self-employed entrepreneur, father of four, has started a petition. "Put School Resource Officers Back In Our Schools" can be signed online.

“I am just making sure that kids will remain a protected class," said Caldwell. "I want to make sure all children are safe and sound while in our public school system.”

Linda Farrington, a concerned citizen who is helping to promote the campaign says, “last spring many people conflated national concerns about officers in schools that were not true for Salem-Keizer School District officers. Prior to removing officers, Salem-Keizer assessment team was nationally acclaimed, working across many disciplines to coordinate care and work together to de-escalate issues at schools. There was no school to prison pipeline. No evidence of disproportionate arrests per police data—the school district didn’t even keep any data.”

Now, safety is a big issue all year and has only become worse. Teachers are leaving because they don’t feel safe. Kids depression rates have doubled since the onset of the Covid restrictions, and students have more PTSD, higher rates of anxiety, more gender confusion, and higher rates of suicide.

Going back into a social environment is more of a challenge than many suspected as kids acted out bullying, more violence, with less discipline and no SRO available for control.

This new environment has left the more vulnerable to seek acceptance for safety from groups that ploy with identity that leads to confusion and more violence. Oregon is in the lowest group of states for care available to students, and the care that is available often leads them down a dark path. With the lack of concern for the mental health of our students, SROs are needed more than ever.

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Caldwell states, “The district made a political decision to remove officers from our schools and in doing so sacrificed the safety of our youth. We have to hold our public officials accountable for their actions and when it comes to the safety of our kids we have to act fast and hard. I encourage taxpayers and parents to email the district and let their voices be heard.”

The Oregon Department of Education, State Board of Education will hold its meeting on June 16 at 9 AM, by video conference livestream.

The Board will only accept written public comments for this meeting, but claims they will consider all public comments. Submit written comments or testimony by email or by physical mail addressed to: Clearly label the subject line as: “Public comment” or “Testimony” and include the topic. Example: “Public Comment: School Safety.”

All written public comment will be posted to Boardbook, where you can view the agenda and materials.

Let the Oregon State Board know of your concerns over student safety for the state, and contact your local school board and superintendent.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-06-10 09:40:57Last Update: 2022-06-10 10:40:29



Multnomah County Roads Littered with Human Poop
Perennial pooper still tossing bags of human waste along East County roads

New neighbors are moving in next door on Corbett’s S.E. Curtis Drive, and Lisa Kinney is worried.

She is fairly sure the new arrivals haven’t yet been warned to watch out for the poop-filled shopping bags that appear along their road from time to time, placed every few feet, along the fog line. Even though County health officials are able to scoop up many, others get snatched by passing dogs or smashed by passing cars.

It’s happened for nearly five years now. Sometimes it’s like clockwork, with the bags dropped regularly on Sunday nights. Other times, months might go by, and then six or seven bags will appear, on Curtis Drive or some other east County road. Kinney wishes the perpetrator would reach out for help. It’s a plea County health officials share.

“I think they are in a situation where maybe we could help them,” Kinney said. “I don’t imagine someone who has a bathroom would do something like this.”

Multnomah County Code Enforcement is seeking the public’s help identifying whoever is responsible for disposing of the bags, filled with human poop and kitty litter, along rural roads like Kinney’s near Troutdale, Springdale and Corbett.

The bags, often plastic shopping bags from Wal-Mart or Dollar Tree, have been dumped at nearly 500 sites since late 2018, usually during early morning hours, primarily along the following stretches of road: ​Multnomah County Code Enforcement handles illegal dumping in unincorporated areas of Multnomah County. A majority of illegal dumps are large household garbage. But over the past five years, Enforcement Officer Dave Thomson has picked up hundreds of bags of human waste dumped on local roadways.

Enforcement Officer Dave Thomson has worked long and late hours trying to stop someone disposing of human waste along County roads.

Some bags have remained intact, but some have been ripped open and splattered by passing cars, with poop left to wash into the drainage ditch. And that’s a problem: Human feces can carry diseases, and when that poop washes into drainage ditches, it can contaminate waterways where people spend time.

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

Thomson does his best to recover bags promptly, but doody duty competes with his many other roles.

“I have a million other functions,” he said.

According to the county, on any given day Thomson might inspect a business that fails to adhere to clean air laws, investigate illegal dumping of a couch and fridge, levy fines for illegal livestock in the City of Portland or for a junk car in Maywood Park, chase down any of the County’s 3,000 facilities that might fail to renew their licenses, or post a closure notice to a business that refuses to cooperate with Public Health.

“Your eyes would glaze if you knew everything on my plate. That’s why I can’t afford to spend my time scooping up poop,” he said. “There’s nothing in my job description that requires me to clean up human poop, but it's such an unsanitary thing. The community doesn’t deserve this.”

Thomson urges whoever is dumping the poop to either stop or to reach out for help.

“We want to understand why the person might be doing this,” Thomson said. “Perhaps this person doesn’t have a bathroom or another way of disposing of their waste. We’re not interested in punishment. We want to help them get the support they need.”

If you spot someone in the act of illegal dumping, Thomson asks that you don’t try and stop the person. Instead, get a license plate number and vehicle description, and dial 9-1-1.

If you spot these bags or any other illegally disposed materials in unincorporated Multnomah County, call Environmental Health at 503-988-3464 or email them.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-09 18:01:44Last Update: 2022-06-09 18:23:30



USS Oregon Officially Commissioned
The third U.S. Navy ship launched to bear the name Oregon

Oregon is honored with a third commissioned ship. This one is a nuclear-powered attack submarine named USS Oregon. On May 28, the Navy commissioned the fast-attack submarine USS Oregon (SSN 793) in a traditional ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut.

USS Oregon is the third U.S. Navy ship launched to bear the name Oregon, but first in more than a century. The first was named after the Oregon Territory before Oregon became a state. It was a brigantine in service from 1841-1845 and served in explorations.

The second was an Indiana-class battleship commissioned in 1896 and ultimately decommissioned for the final time in 1919. She served as a vessel and later as an Indiana-class battleship. The Oregon served in the Spanish-American War and helped destroy the famous fleet of Spanish Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete.

Oregon again presents her flag in a Memorial Day event as the USS Oregon. It was the first commissioning ceremony in three years due to COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings.

The submarine Oregon was previously christened in a traditional ceremony at General Dynamics Corp.’s Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Connecticut, on Oct. 5, 2019.

The commissioning ceremonies of the USS Vermont and USS Delaware were also delayed and will be held retroactively.

“Oregonians are deeply honored that the 20th Virginia-class submarine will bear the name of our state,” said Governor Kate Brown in her keynote speech.

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Commanding officer of USS Oregon, Commander Lacy Lodmell said, “The passion, grit and enthusiasm of Oregon’s crew has carried the ship to sea and were vital to the completion of construction and testing. This is without a doubt the finest crew I have ever had the pleasure to serve with.”

Dana L. Richardson, the wife of former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson of Corvallis, is the ship sponsor.

During the commissioning event, Dana Richardson gave the crew the traditional order to “man our ship and bring her to life,” after which Oregon’s sailors ceremonially ran aboard the submarine.

The commissioning is just in time as news creeps out that we are in need of national defense along our shores.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-06-08 09:42:46Last Update: 2022-06-08 09:58:58



$15.9 Million Project Aims to Reduce Portland-Area Congestion
“Variable Message” sign to be installed on area freeways

New technology to help traffic flow smoother is coming to several busy sections of Interstate 5, Interstate 84 and U.S 26 in the next several years in the Portland area. The $15.9 million effort is one of eight projects selected for the 2024-2027 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program's "Enhance" funding. Projects in this category are aimed at improving safety and reducing congestion on some of Oregon's busiest roadways.

Critics have voiced concerns that the money would be better spent on road improvements and that messaging technology often creates more congestion than it resolves.

In Portland, traffic management systems will be added to I-5 between Southwest Capitol Highway and OR 217, I-84 westbound between Troutdale and Interstate 205, and U.S. 26 westbound from Sylvan to Cornelius Pass Road. These systems include variable advisory speed signs, advanced directional signage and more.

Reducing congestion - and greenhouse gas emissions - is a goal in ODOT's 2021-2023 Strategic Action Plan. See a drone video of traffic congestion on I-205. Learn more about traffic management systems, known as Intelligent Transportation Systems or ITS, and the work involved in this video.

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The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program is the state's regular project identification and funding program. Last year, the Oregon Transportation Commission allocated $65 million for the "Enhance" part of the 2024-2027 STIP, which will fund a total of $2.2 billion in projects. The commission required several factors to be considered in selecting projects, including those that improve safety, support multimodal accessibility, are equitable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The commission also required at least 30 percent of the projects selected to be located outside of a Metropolitan Planning Organization boundary, recognizing the need to serve highway users in non-urban areas.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-06-08 09:37:47Last Update: 2022-06-08 09:58:03



ODA Lifts Bird Quarantine in Lane County
A highly pathogenic avian influenza was detected in a backyard flock

The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a request by Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Alexis Taylor to lift a regional quarantine in Lane County. ODA first executed the quarantine on May 17 after confirming highly pathogenic avian influenza in a backyard flock. HPAI is an infectious and deadly disease in birds.

Due to federal and international disease control requirements, after a confirmed case of HPAI in a poultry flock, a regional quarantine for all avian species and vehicle traffic involved with avian species (under the authority of (ORS 596.402) must be issued for an area extending a minimum of 10 kilometers around the infected property. The purpose of the quarantine is to prevent the movement of poultry from within the affected area giving state and federal officials time to conduct surveillance to ensure no additional cases of HPAI exist. The quarantine also applies to importing all birds from states where a state or federal quarantine is in place.

To be eligible for a quarantine release, the USDA required ODA to complete two rounds of surveillance in the affected area, with a minimum of 14 days between, starting after the completion of the humane euthanasia and disposal of the infected birds. ODA completed the work in 20 days following strict biosecurity practices. Biosecurity is a set of practices designed to reduce the risk of spreading disease from sick birds and birds carrying the virus to healthy ones.

If you have domesticated backyard birds such as poultry, please increase your biosecurity and keep your birds separated from wild birds, especially waterfowl. The risk of HPAI to human health is low, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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If you have poultry that appears sick or has died of respiratory or neurological disease, please call 503-986-4711 (Alt Phone: 1-800-347-7028) or email AHHotline@oda.oregon.gov.

If you see sick or dead wild birds, do not collect, or handle them but report the incident directly to ODFW at 866-968-2600 or Wildlife.Health@odfw.oregon.gov.

For more information about HPAI, please visit ODA's Avian Influenza web pages.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-06-08 09:26:12Last Update: 2022-06-08 09:37:47



Kate Brown Appoints Judges to Douglas County
Judge Marshall and Judge Burge are retiring

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has announced that she will appoint Steve Hoddle and Robert Johnson to the Douglas County Circuit Court. Hoddle will fill Position 2, replacing Judge William Marshall, and Johnson will fill Position 4, replacing Judge Frances Burge.

Brown congratulated Judge Marshall and Judge Burge on their planned retirements, and thanked them for their service. Hoddle and Johnson’s appointments are effective immediately.

Last month, Hoddle and Johnson each won a majority of votes in their judicial elections in Douglas County. The Governor’s appointments will allow both to begin their judicial service before the start of their elected terms on the Douglas County bench.

“Steve Hoddle and Robert Johnson have earned the support of Douglas County voters to become the newest judges on the trial court bench,” said Governor Brown. “I look forward to seeing how both of these skilled lawyers use their experience to serve the people of Douglas County, while continuing to build on the strength of our justice system.”

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Hoddle has been a prosecutor with the Douglas County District Attorney’s office since 2008 and, for 15 months before that, was a deputy district attorney for the Coos County District Attorney’s office. He grew up in Sherwood and is a graduate of Oregon State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 2002, and Willamette University College of Law, where he obtained his law degree in 2006.

Johnson was raised in Oregon and, after attending Umpqua Community College, graduated from Portland State University with his bachelor’s degree in 2011. He obtained his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2014. After law school, Johnson served as a law clerk with the Douglas County Circuit Court before starting as an attorney at Douglas County Law in Roseburg in 2016. Since 2018, he has been an attorney at the law firm of Dole Coalwell, where he is currently a partner. Johnson is also a board member of the Umpqua Community College Foundation, the Douglas County Parks Advisory Board, and CASA of Douglas County, and a member of the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-07 18:26:32Last Update: 2022-06-07 18:35:33



Red Flag Law in Oregon
More gun laws will not stop the illegal use of weapons

The law is nicknamed “Red Flag Law” for when a person exhibits a ‘red flag’ or other indicator that they may be a harm to themselves, or others. They can be reported to quickly remove a weapon from somebody who is at risk.

In the wake of shootings, Mr. Biden used his address to reassure the nation urging congress to pass a national red flag gun law. In his speech, he says, “According to new data just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, guns are the No. 1 killer of children in the United States of America.” Searching for confirmation, CDC’s site says, “Injury is the leading cause of death for children and adults between the ages of 1 and 45.” No separations for guns, but despite what Biden said, it is not firearms that is the most danger to children. Accidents, overdosing and suicide are the top major causes.

The latest data CDC sites is 2020. Oregon ranks in the second to lowest out of five categories for firearm deaths and 16 th in the nations based on population. Oregon statistics reveal that 13 out of 100,000 were from firearms. To put it in perspective, the leading cause of death in Oregon is cancer followed by heart disease and third is accidents. At number seven is 27 out of 100,000 died of Covid-19, 19 out of 100,000 overdosed, and 4 out of 100,000 were homicide victims. Suicide is ninth in causes of death. Firearms is not listed in the top 10 causes of death.

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum put out a statement reminding Oregonians that in 2017 the extreme risk protection order (ERPO) was passed by a narrow margin.

"Many of us are asking how we can better keep Oregonians safe and keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people. While there is still a lot of work to do, Oregon has made significant gains to strengthen our gun safety laws…. the “Extreme Risk Protection Order” or “Red Flag Law,” allowing courts to take weapons away from people who are at risk as a danger to themselves or others. It is my hope that all Oregonians know about these laws so we can get guns and other weapons away from people who shouldn’t have them."



Oregon’s Red Flag law limits who can make a request to a concerned family member, household member, or law enforcement officer. It involves asking the court for an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), which will remove a weapon, or a concealed handgun license, from an individual who is at risk for suicide or is a danger to others. An Order also prevents the person from buying additional guns for a one-year period.

The court must hold a hearing typically the same day or within 24- hours. The person who requests the petition must appear in person or by video at the hearing. If the person who is at risk requests a hearing, then the court must hold an additional hearing within 21 days. If the judge agrees, all weapons and concealed handgun permits must be surrendered within 24-hours of issuing the Order. The court must hold a hearing typically the same day or within 24-hours. The person who requests the petition must appear in person or by video at the hearing.

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If the person who is at risk requests a hearing, then the court must hold an additional hearing within 21 days, and the Order is usually effective for one year.

Thirteen states have adopted forms of red flag laws. Provisions vary by state on matters such as who can initiate the process, if a warrant is required, what factors are considered for the firearms to be removed from possession, how long the guns are restricted, and the process by which the individual may regain access to the guns. The length of time that guns are restricted under these extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) depends on the circumstances and can usually be extended.

States with red flag laws are claiming a reduction in suicides (by firearms). In 2013 guns were used in Oregon suicides twice as often as poison, the second most popular method. The rate of suicide has not changed per population, but last year, non-medical drugs were listed as the highest impact on suicide.

What opponents of red flag laws fear is the “foot-in-the-door.” Oregon’s law is restrictive, but as Rosenblum says, “there is still a lot of work to do.” Governor Brown is famous for saying, “we can do better.”

What does that really mean? More gun laws will not stop the illegal use of weapons.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-06-06 23:42:14Last Update: 2022-06-08 09:01:41



Hillsboro Committee Votes to Raise Pay for City Council
They want to attract a “diverse set of candidates”

The Hillsboro City Council will consider a recommendation from the Hillsboro Budget Committee’s non-Council members to increase monthly service stipends for the Mayor, Council President, and other Councilors.

Public members of the Budget Committee members discussed the stipends during the Fiscal Year 2022-23 Budget meetings. The remaining Budget Committee members unanimously recommended the following changes: If approved by the Council, the Budget Committee’s recommendation to increase the stipends would take effect on June 24, 2022, the first day of the first pay period in 2022-2023.

Stipend Recommendation Basis

Serving on the Hillsboro City Council includes City Council meetings, and committee meetings, as well as periodic meetings with staff. Meetings with constituents and attending community events is also expected of those elected to represent the city.

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According to the city, the Budget Committee’s recommendation to increase the stipends in 2022 is based on factors that include: The City of Hillsboro has now stated that increased stipends will likely create greater opportunities for a more diverse set of people to seek and hold local elected office.

Monthly stipends for the Mayor and Council members are set by resolution and require a Council vote for any adjustment. To avoid conflicts of interest and voting on increases for their respective positions, the Council members will need to vote on whether to approve the recommended service stipend adjustments in two separate resolutions.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-06-05 10:16:03Last Update: 2022-06-05 10:43:07



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Donna Bleiler

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the ODHS Child Welfare Division

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

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

About Jackson County Community Justice

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


--Bruce Armstrong

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Staff Reports

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Kevin Starrett

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Bruce Armstrong

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Donna Bleiler

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



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

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

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

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

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

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


--Staff Reports

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Bruce Armstrong

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

AAA Oregon states that crude oil prices remain elevated due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is one of the top three oil producers in the world, behind the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, and about 25% of Europe’s oil is imported from Russia. A year ago, crude was around $67 per barrel compared to $116 today.

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

Meanwhile, the switch to the more expensive summer blend of gasoline, which usually adds seven to ten cents per gallon depending on the market, is happening now. This switchover should be complete nationwide by early June. This summer blend switch is an annual event.

Quick stats

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

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

The cheapest gas in the nation is in Kansas ($4.13) and Georgia ($4.14). This week no states have averages below $3 a gallon, same as a week ago. For the 73rd week in a row, no state has an average below $2 a gallon.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have higher prices now than a month ago. The national average is 44 cents more and the Oregon average is 53 cents more than a month ago. This is the 13th-largest monthly jump in the nation. New York (+60 cents) has the largest monthly gain. Hawaii (+18 cents) has the smallest.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have higher prices now than a year ago. Every state and D.C. have a current average that’s a dollar or more higher than a year ago. The national average is $1.58 more and the Oregon average is $1.79 more than a year ago. This is the sixth-largest yearly increase in the nation. California (+$1.96) has the biggest yearly increase. Colorado (+$1.16) has the smallest year-over-year increase.

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West Coast

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

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

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

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

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

Oil market dynamics

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

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

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

Diesel

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


--Staff Reports

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Staff Reports

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



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

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

The five risks identified by the report are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Staff Reports

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Bruce Armstrong

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



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

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

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

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

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

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


--Staff Reports

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



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

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

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

New Advisory Boards and Commissions openings currently include:

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

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

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

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Committee for Clackamas County Budget

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

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


--Bruce Armstrong

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Staff Reports

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



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

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

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

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

Temporary office closures

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

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

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

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

DMV Job openings in your area

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

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

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


--Bruce Armstrong

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Davis Lowrey

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



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

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

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

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

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Meetings are open to everyone.

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

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


--Bruce Armstrong

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Stephanie Volin

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Bruce Armstrong

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Staff Reports

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Staff Reports

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Staff Reports

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


--Staff Reports

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



Kate Brown’s 100th Judicial Appointment
Jacqueline Alarcón to Fill New Multnomah County Judicial Vacancy

With now 100 judicial appointments, Oregon's controversial Governor Kate Brown has stated that she appoints judges who she believes represent the diversity of backgrounds and life experiences of Oregon’s people and communities. However, some critics are left wondering if her motives are political.

Oregon's Governor Kate Brown has now announced that she intends to appoint attorney Jacqueline L. Alarcón to a vacancy created by the planned retirement of Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Jerry Hodson.

This marks the 100th judicial appointment that Governor Brown has made to Oregon’s courts during her time in office. Judge Hodson will retire on June 30.

The Presiding Judge of Multnomah County previously informed Governor Brown that the judge appointed to this vacancy would be assigned to the Multnomah County Circuit Court’s Family Law Department. The Governor selected Alarcón from a list. Alarcón’s appointment is effective July 1, 2022.

“Jackie Alarcón’s professional and lived experiences, paired with her commitment to lifting up the underserved in our community, make her an ideal addition to the Multnomah County family law bench,” Governor Brown said.

Alarcón was born in Los Angeles and was raised in El Salvador until high school. She earned both her bachelor’s degree and her law degree from Willamette University.

She began her legal career practicing family law with the Hohbach Law Firm, and then joined the Yates Family Law Firm, where she is currently a partner.

Alarcón was also a pro tem judge in Washington and Multnomah County Circuit Courts. Alarcón is the president of the Multnomah Bar Association and president of Oregon Women Lawyers. She is a board member of Basic Rights Oregon and Familias en Acción, and is associated with Latino Network.

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The appointment of Alarcón marks Governor Brown’s 100th judicial appointment during her time in office. Under current law, the Oregon Governor is charged with appointing judges to fill judicial vacancies when they occur.

Those judges then stand for election at the next regularly scheduled general election.

Governor Brown believes that these judges should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.

Of the 100 judicial appointments Governor Brown has made to Oregon courts (judges on the state trial, appellate, and tax courts): Kate Brown claims that this collectivist mentality somehow brings a "deep understanding of the needs of, and inequities that persist within, our criminal justice and legal systems."


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-24 20:08:31Last Update: 2022-05-24 20:37:22



Health Care Rates to Rise
The requested rates are for plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act

Oregon consumers can get a first look at requested rates for 2023 individual and small group health insurance plans, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has announced. The agency is directed by Andrew Stolfi.

In the individual market, six companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average 2.3 percent to 12.6 percent increase, for a weighted average increase of 6.7 percent. In the small group market, nine companies submitted rate change requests ranging from an average 0 percent to 11.6 percent increase, for a weighted average increase of 6.9 percent. Our initial review has found that insurers have identified inflation, medical trend, and enrollment changes as factors in the proposed increases.

Oregonians will also see an uptick in premiums due to the expiration of temporary enhanced subsidies for on exchange individual market plans. The additional premium support has helped to lower monthly premiums by an average of 46 percent since enactment in 2021. Under the enhanced subsidy structure, people between 151 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level can get a bronze plan for as low as $1 per month, with other plans varying in costs. The loss of subsidies will equate to an approximate $11.9 million increase every month for Oregonians.

Health insurance companies submitted rate requests to the department’s Division of Financial Regulation on May 16. The requested rates are for plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act for small businesses and individuals who buy their own coverage rather than getting it through an employer. Every county has at least four companies available for people to buy insurance on the individual market.

Over the next two months, the division will analyze the requested rates to ensure they adequately cover Oregonians’ health care costs. The division must review and approve rates before they are charged to policyholders.

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“Oregon continues to have a strong and competitive insurance marketplace, with four carriers offering plans statewide and Oregonians in most our counties having five or six companies to choose from, ” said Insurance Commissioner and DCBS Director Andrew Stolfi. “The Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to allow Oregonians to find reasonable rates.”

The Oregon Reinsurance Program continues to help stabilize the market and lower rates. Reinsurance lowered rates by 6 percent for the fifth straight year.

Virtual public hearings about the 2023 health insurance rates will be held July 27-28. A web address to watch the public hearings will be posted at oregonhealthrates.org At the hearings, each insurance company will provide a brief presentation about its rate requests, answer questions from the division, and hear public comment from Oregonians.

“We look forward to a thorough public review of these filings as we work to establish next year’s health insurance rates.” Stolfi said. “We encourage all Oregonians to join us for the virtual public hearings and provide feedback on their health insurance plans.”

Oregonians are encouraged to comment on rate change requests during the public comment period, which opens later this month and runs through July 7. The public can submit comments at oregonhealthrates.org and during the public rate hearings.

Preliminary decisions are expected to be announced in early July, and final decisions will be made in early August after public hearings and comment periods end.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-23 17:41:58Last Update: 2022-05-23 20:24:43



Two Vacancies on Bend City Council
Councilors will appoint people to fill vacant seats for the remainder of the year

Bend City Councilors declared two Council vacancies at their May 18 meeting, triggering a selection process that is open to community members interested in being appointed to the Bend City Council for the remainder of this year.

In separate announcements, Mayor Sally Russell and Councilor Rita Schenkelberg publicized that they both were resigning and that the May 18 Council meeting would be their final meeting.

During the May 18 meeting, Councilors appointed Mayor Pro-Tem Gena Goodman-Campbell as the new Mayor. Councilors then chose Anthony Broadman to serve as the new Mayor Pro-Tem. Goodman-Campbell will complete Russell’s Mayoral term (Council Position 7) which expires the end of 2022.

The move into the seat of Mayor created one vacancy for Goodman-Campbell’s seat, (Council Position 5), which also expires in 2022. The other vacancy is for Schenkelberg’s seat, (Council Position 4).

Both appointees will serve on the Council for the rest of 2022. Both Council positions will be on the ballot for the general election in November, at which time both seats need to be filled by election.

The appointees will serve on the Council until the newly elected Councilors take office on January 4, 2023.

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The person elected by voters into Schenkelberg’s seat will serve out the remaining two years of Schenkelberg’s term instead of a typical four-year term.

Community members interested in being appointed can apply online between May 19 and June 1.

Appointees must be registered to vote in Oregon and must have resided in the city continuously during the twelve months immediately preceding the appointment.

If more than 10 people apply for the vacancies, a subcommittee of councilors (Anthony Broadman, Melanie Kebler and Megan Perkins) will convene to review the applications and suggest candidates for interviews. If fewer than 10 people apply, the whole Council will interview all applicants. Councilors will hold special public meetings in early June to conduct interviews.

The City’s Charter says a vacancy in the council shall be filled within 30 days by appointment by the council but if the council does not fill the vacancy by an appointment within 30 days, then the vacancy gets filled at the next election, which would be in November.

For more detail, section 21 of the Bend Charter and section 9 of the City Council Rules explain the requirements associated with the process to fill vacancies.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-23 09:03:33Last Update: 2022-05-23 09:32:56



Clackamas County Gives Update on Flawed Ballots
County Administrator Gary Schmidt appointed Deputy Elections Administrator

Clackamas County has given an update on the situation regarding the flawed ballots that were printed for the recent primary election.

Clackamas County says they are committed to ensuring every vote is counted and to build public trust through transparency.

At the direction of the Board of County Commissioners, the county says they are establishing systems to ensure the County Elections Office counts every vote by the state certification deadline of June 13 or earlier. This is in response to thousands of flawed barcodes on ballots that require duplication and a higher than expected voter turnout.

On May 20, 2022, Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall appointed Clackamas County Administrator Gary Schmidt as Deputy Elections Administrator.

The county says that this appointment will streamline deploying county resources to support the election and ensure transparent information is available to residents and candidates.

According to the county, here is how the county is taking charge to complete the May 2022 primary election:

Established Elections Support Center Clackamas County says they are grateful for the assistance from the Secretary of State’s office to support ballot-processing efforts.

Additional counties are also offering support and Clackamas says they will accept that help. They will provide more details as they become available.

Currently, the county is processing ballots daily from 7 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. There is capacity for 80 people to work each shift.

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The following is an update from Clackamas County of the ballot processing efforts as of May 21, 2022:

How many people are working today to process ballots?

May 21, we had about 50 people total.

How many ballots have been processed?

As of May 20, - 31,979 ballots have been processed. 4,637 ballots were processed on May 20 alone.

How many ballots have been received?

The most recent reported number is 113,448.

What work is happening in the ballot processing rooms today?

Today people continue to open ballots, separate them by ballot type and scan ballots and verification of any discrepancies such as write-ins. We are preparing to continue duplicating after we open more ballots. Duplicating work could begin Monday if not earlier.

When will the county have a timeline for when all votes are counted?

We expect to announce a timeline Monday.

When will results be updated?

Results are updated every day by 8 p.m. As part of the county’s new support of the election, we will strive to ensure clear and transparent totals of how many ballots have been processed and received each day.

Clackamas County is currently building a new website to provide this information. The County Clerk’s office will also post unofficial results nightly.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-22 08:51:00Last Update: 2022-05-22 13:15:52



Knopp Hopes for Senate Gains
“Every major issue, from homelessness to the cost of living, should be laid at the feet of Democrats”

After last night's primary election, Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) is excited to move towards the general election with 15 Republican candidates that he hopes will help win a majority in the Oregon Senate.

“Oregonians are fed up with Democrats’ reckless tax and spend policies that driven up the cost of living and inflation,” Knopp said. “They are tired of out-of-control crime that is making their neighborhoods more dangerous. Oregonians deserve better than the last 10 years of far-left extreme policies that have put Oregon on the wrong track. They desperately want balance.”

Every major issue, from homelessness to the cost of living, should be laid at the feet of Democrats. They have controlled the Legislature, Governor’s office, and state agencies which collectively created havoc and heartache for Oregonians and small businesses across the state.

“Our Republican candidates will challenge the ideas and policies of Democrats in November by casting a new vision for Oregon. We plan on being competitive everywhere and winning a majority in the Senate,” Knopp continued.

With redistricting this past fall, there are 16 seats up for election in the Oregon Senate this year. Senate Republicans fielded 15 candidates in seats from Portland to Medford in 2022.

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“We are looking forward to a vigorous debate over the summer and the fall on where the direction of Oregon is going. We believe the vast majority of Oregonians will see it is time for new leadership and balance in Salem,” Knopp concluded.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-21 06:04:38Last Update: 2022-05-21 10:43:22



Constitution Party Seeks Nominees
Party can nominate candidates as late as August 30

The Constitution Party of Oregon has announced that it is not too late to run for political office as a nominee of the Constitution Party. According to a release, if you hold constitutional values and would like to make a difference, you may still seek nomination with their party.

Recently, three new candidates have stepped forward with a desire to run for governor of Oregon. They will announce which of these three will be their nominee after their next regular meeting on May 21

The party's nominating committee will be active and can nominate candidates for the general election, for an office at any level, as late as August 30, 2022.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is October 18.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-20 16:36:34Last Update: 2022-05-20 16:50:41



Take Aways from the June 2022 Forecast
Why the boom in tax revenue?

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis issued the June 2022 Economic and Revenue Forecast this week. Every party leader had something to say, good, bad or indifferent. Their words hold little value for an individual that has watched their taxes wildly spent.

The forecast is divided into three headings. The first is titled “Cyclical Economic Recovery Complete, Structural Labor Challenges Remain.”

What does that mean to the working class? There are plenty of jobs available, which means jobs is not a factor in the rise in homelessness.

It also covers agricultural workers and the counties that will be hit the hardest when HB 4002 limits work hours on farms.

The second forecast is the unprecedented revenue boom that has left us with unprecedented balances in the current biennium, followed by a record kicker in 2023-25. The 2021 tax year had a record 70% increase at $1.2 billion after the kicker returns.

But what isn’t being talked about is why the boom in tax revenue.

There was a difference of 8.6% higher taxable income than actual income. A high number of tax filers cashed in a wide range of assets in 2021 to get through the pandemic. This created taxable income that wasn’t related to a growth in the economy.

It is also an indicator of how desperate people became. It was 600% more than those cashing in during the housing boom or the tech boom with over $16 billion in realized capital gains. The forecast for next biennium won’t have those taxable assets and shows no growth, and may decline after the kicker.

Another false boom is the increase around $500 million in Corporate Excise Taxes (CAT). It pads the revenue but what is it doing to businesses and purchasers? The forecast also suggests the markets will slow down projecting about $25 billion less from CAT than the original estimate.

The forecast is already anticipating the 2023 legislature will skim off 2% from the kicker in a phony budget adjustment they have done the last two budget sessions. But they also project a 5% kicker above the adjustment amounting to $3.033 billion. The corporate kicker, which now goes to schools is projected at $931 million.

“Thanks to the Kicker, Oregonians will get some of their taxes back and with it, a much-needed break from the increasing burden of inflation,” Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) said. “The Kicker continues to act as a check against the Democrat’s continuous urge to blow out the spending. Now, more than ever, it's essential to protect the Kicker. Too much spending got us into this inflation mess, it’s not going to get us out. As of now, we have extra money, but our economists are predicting an economic downturn soon. We must budget wisely for the future.”

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In summary, the forecast cautions that inflationary booms usually don’t end well if it is entrenched in the economy. Employment could loose 97,000 jobs and the general fund could have a $2.6 billion hit below the baseline.

Governor Brown mentioned sizable reserves. Perhaps she meant to say forecasted reserves. This biennium the reserves are at 10% of the general fund and projected to climb to 17.7% this year and 18.7% by close of the biennium. If unused, the forecast is for reserves to reach 25% in the 2029-31 biennium.

It seems the March 2022 forecast was too optimistic. The June forecast for the 2023-25 biennium shows a total decline of $1,991 million change from the March 2022 forecast. Personal income taxes declined $2,093 million but corporate taxes show a gain.

Senate President Peter Courtney issued this statement. “Oregon clearly has one tough economy. Our forecast is up for the eighth time in a row. We have to be careful. Experts are seeing storm clouds on the horizon. Oregon has done a good job saving. We’ll keep moving forward.”

What does “forward” look like? Many states are cutting taxes so all may benefit and reduce the inflation impact. What Oregon’s legislature does will depend on voters.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-20 08:05:53Last Update: 2022-05-20 08:39:01



Analysis: School Bond Measures Go Down
The result of lockdowns, poor performance and progressive ideology?

Across the state, parents, property owners and taxpayers delivered an important message to progressive school administrators and non-responsive school boards with the only voice they have left -- their pocketbook. Results are still preliminary but 9 of 12 school district tax-bonds are positioned to fail. That's a huge 75 percent fail rate.

Beyond school lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, discussions with parents and taxpayers revealed several reasons for the negative votes. Many parents of school children cited concerns about the relentless integration of progressive ideology and disregard for parental rights, inputs, consultation, notification or requests for any modulation or compromise. It remains to be seen if the state-level establishment under the leadership of Colt Gill will take notice.

Critical Race Theory was often cited, but Social Emotional Learning was mentioned as another progressive fad now being forced on children through public schools. In SEL ideology, the State, via government school systems, usurps parental and familial roles to teach children what “they” consider appropriate value systems, judgement, emotional skills, motivation and other subjective psychological factors determined to be needed. The state school system both defines the problem and delivers ongoing non-solutions -- with billions of taxpayer dollars and no end-point.

DistrictAmountPass?County
North Bend 13$22,695,000NoCoos
Crook County$66,000,000NoCrook
South Umpqua 19$20,900,000NoDouglas
Roseburg Public Schools$154,000,000NoDouglas
Days Creek 15$4,000,000NoDouglas
Lebanon Community Schools$20,000,000NoLinn
Gervais 1$31,000,000NoMarion
Dallas 2$28,000,000YesPolk
Beaverton 48J$723,000,000YesWashington
Morrow 1$138,000,000NoMorrow
La Grande 1$4,845,000YesUnion
Amity 4J$29,400,000NoYamhill/Polk


Parents will soon begin to hear, “There is a mental health crisis in our children.” with a host of appropriate scary statistics. Of course, this will involve hiring lots of social workers, psychologists, councilors, invasive family, personal and sex questionnaires and lots more of your tax-payer dollars.

Parents also ask and wondered why public schools are so sex-obsessed and why they have become the self-appointed enablers for non-traditional sex preferences and lifestyles – to the point of coaching in some cases. They also do not see a need for Comprehensive Sex Education beginning in kindergarten with continued grooming yearly through high school. Florida just passed measures to prevent this but Oregon has been the national petri dish for progressive inculcation using public schools for years and installed this 13 years ago.

People showed up at school board meetings, town-halls and lit-up social media in rural Lebanon to express concern about placing a no-notice school-based health clinic in the high-school. A free county-run public-health clinic is less than 500 yards from the school. These parents and taxpayers do not want to indoctrinate children and fund a socialized medicine/birth control clinic in their school. The progressive superintendent suggested they were going to put it in anyway and the public could not stop it. This is the same superintendent who wanted $10 million to repair a $1 million pool as part of the $20 million bond proposal. The Lebanon school superintendent is retirement eligible but up for a contract renewal Thursday night. Many parents feel he is out-of-touch and are praying for a better fit for their traditional values community – the superintendent lives in Salem. They are hoping their school board will, maybe just once, stand-up for their traditional values.

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The issue of superintendent hiring and firing is now critically important. In Newberg, Albany, and other school districts, school boards dismissed superintendents who did not comport with community values, undermined school board policies and continually placed progressive ideology above academic instruction. This was an essential last-ditch mechanism for school boards to dismiss non-responsive superintendents and preserve academic and community values.

Oregon’s progressive legislature immediately responded in the February special session driving through the progressive party-line SB 1521 -- the brain child of Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), which was quickly signed into law by outgoing Governor Kate Brown. This bill made it impossible to fire a superintendent for cause – despite what the hiring contract may say. Technically, you can fire the superintendent but it will not take effect until 12 months after the termination date. Many suggest this is what tyranny looks like – thwart the voice of parents, the people and neuter school boards to keep progressive superintendents and the Department of Education ideological agendas moving forward using public schools as the vehicle. Citizens in districts voting down bond measures now have power to engage in their school district. Citizens committees can be developed to oversee and vet every requested or desired project. Demand full project planning documents to evaluate and protect taxpayers on tax bond financing and ensure project sensibilities.

School boards should band together and vote to sequester funds from the school budget to hire their own researchers, lawyers, communication experts and others to support their due diligence on critical matters and not be dependent on what they are provided by Superintendents and state agencies two days before they are supposed to vote on it. Put off any vote until the subject matter review is completed to their satisfaction.

Citizens are slowing having their rights eroded and finances drained by the ever-encroaching, authoritarian leviathan that is government. Whether it is public schools, city council or any of the other 15-20 local taxing agencies, enough will never be enough, and the only power individual citizens have to limit government and get it to respond is the power of NO. On Tuesday, voters for most school tax-bonds cut through the vague proposals, threats and disinformation and used their power of NO. Hopefully, schools will listen and respond – we’ll see.


--Clarke Vesper

Post Date: 2022-05-20 06:14:56Last Update: 2022-05-19 20:00:02



Reproductive Health and Access to Care
Oregon has no major types of abortion restrictions

When you hear the words “reproductive health”, you may quickly realize that it is just another attempt by leftist revisionists to redefine words, in the name of political correctness. Many Americans are not so easily blind-sided, however, and recognize "reproductive health for being mostly "abortion".

The proposed decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade will take federal government out of state decisions on abortion.

Oregon legislative House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) announced the formation of the Reproductive Health and Access to Care Work Group. It seems not to protect “reproductive health” but to make recommendations on abortion legislation for the 2023 session.

Recommendations may include policy, administrative, and budget proposals to protect, strengthen, and expand equitable access to all forms of reproductive care, gender-affirming care, and quality of care.

Rayfield commented, “It was truly inspiring this past weekend to see thousands of Oregonians take to the streets to protest ongoing attacks against reproductive freedom. Time and again, Oregonians have clearly affirmed their support for making abortion and other care safe and accessible to all. While other states roll back protections and attempt to criminalize health care access, this collaborative process with providers, clinics and elected leaders will make sure Oregon is prepared to support access to care in this changing landscape. We can’t be complacent.”

“This is an ‘all-hands on deck’ moment,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said. “Oregon can and must continue to be a leader for reproductive justice. I pledge to work alongside our elected champions and community partners to help keep Oregon a safe and welcoming place for anyone from anywhere who seeks access to abortion care.”

Many Americans would argue that abortion is not “reproductive” anything let alone justice. This play on words is a false narrative intended to distract those getting the abortions from thinking about how they are actually taking a human life.

Oregon’s abortion rate is around 12 per 1,000 women. Oregon has no major types of abortion restrictions, such as a waiting period, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions often found in other states.

The opposite is true with 29 abortion facilities providing publicly funded abortions. The Clinic for Abortion & Reproductive Excellence specializes in late term, third trimester abortions offered to Oregonians.

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When Oregon passed SB 193 in 1969, it was very limited to a physical or mental handicapped baby, conceived by rape, or if the life of the mother was at risk.

In 1983 the bill was repealed allowing unrestricted abortions, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned. In 2017, HB 3391, sponsored by Representative Julie Fahey (D-Eugene) passing on party lines, forced insurers to cover abortions and provided public funding making abortion free in Oregon.

To inquire about serving on the work group, you can contact them via email.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-19 17:32:37Last Update: 2022-05-19 19:10:58



ODOT Studies Hydrogen Fuel Cells
There is interest in locally and renewably produced hydrogen

The Oregon Department of Transportation Climate Office has announced the release of a 50 page Hydrogen Pathway Study, in an effort to understand and prepare Oregon for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles over the next 15 years.

The agency identifies five takeaways from the study: According to ODOT, the goal of this Study is to inform future efforts in Oregon by providing an overview of current hydrogen activities in the light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty transportation sectors today, the requirements and estimated capital costs of building out a hydrogen fueling station network to meet state goals, and recommendations that Oregon might consider to support an evolving hydrogen market going forward.

As in the earlier TEINA study, upstream hydrogen production and delivery, though a critical consideration in developing an overall hydrogen strategy, is not addressed in this study. The Oregon Department of Energy is currently conducting a parallel study, due to the state legislature by September 2022, of the benefits and barriers to the production and consumption of renewable hydrogen in Oregon.

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This Study found a supportive policy landscape in Oregon, where hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles are recognized in state goals, clean vehicle rebates and clean fuels credit programs. There is broad stakeholder interest in locally and renewably produced hydrogen. There is also growing fleet and utility interest in opportunities and potential solutions offered by both hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicles. Among other activities in Oregon, this Study describes the hydrogen-related efforts of TriMet -- the Portland area transit system, Eugene Water & Electric Board, and Daimler Trucks North America.

Fleet operators seem to be coalescing around a common interest in finding zero-emission solutions to the more challenging on-road mobility use cases, including longer transit bus routes, fleets with continuous 24/7 operations, and long-haul trucking. Where battery technology today can quite easily solve most mobility needs, these challenging scenarios are causing fleets to investigate potential hydrogen fuel cell solutions.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-19 13:19:39Last Update: 2022-05-17 18:22:39



Oregon State Police Host Event for Child Safety Day
A reminder to continue efforts to find missing children

In recognition of Oregon’s missing children and adults, the Oregon State Police (OSP) are holding a Child Safety Event on May 25 at the Oregon State Capitol Park. The Oregon State Police Criminal Detectives, the Warm Springs Tribal Police Chief, and the Forensic Anthropologist will be on hand from 11am to 2pm to shine a light on child safety and Oregon’s missing children and adults in recognition of National Missing Children’s Day.

OSP will have information on Oregon’s Missing Children, Oregon’s statewide school safety tip line, information on how to keep your children safe, pick up your free child identification kit. This is how people can help.

The National Missing Children’s Day (May 25) was proclaimed by former President Ronald Reagan in 1983, in memory of Etan Patz, a 6- year-old boy who disappeared from a New York City street corner on May 25, 1979.

Unfortunately, each year, the need to highlight this important day only grows.

National Missing Children’s Day is dedicated to encouraging parents, guardians, caregivers, and others concerned with the well- being of children to make all children’s safety a priority.

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It is important to acknowledge those indigenous children and adults who are currently missing, in hopes of shining a brighter light onto the anguish all families endure when a loved one is unaccounted for or endangered.

The commemoration serves as a reminder to continue our efforts to reunite all missing children with their families and an occasion to honor those dedicated to the cause of resolving the unresolved.

Hope is symbolized in the blue flower of the Forget-Me-Not as a commitment and promise to keep searching.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-19 10:27:22Last Update: 2022-05-19 15:50:16



Revenue Forecast: Kicker will Kick
“The Kicker acts as a check against the Democrat’s urge to blow out the spending”

As part of their quarterly economic forecast, Oregon’s economists project that Oregon budgets will have big surpluses, much of which will be returned to taxpayers, because of the Kicker law, based on how much in taxes they paid in.

Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) said, “Oregon clearly has one tough economy. Our forecast is up for the eighth time in a row. We have to be careful. Experts are seeing storm clouds on the horizon. Oregon has done a good job saving. We’ll keep moving forward.”

“Thanks to the Kicker, Oregonians will get some of their taxes back and with it, a much-needed break from the increasing burden of inflation,” Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) said. “The Kicker continues to act as a check against the Democrat’s continuous urge to blow out the spending. Now, more than ever, it's essential to protect the Kicker. Too much spending got us into this inflation mess, it’s not going to get us out.

Knopp warned, “As of now, we have extra money, but our economists are predicting an economic downturn soon. We must budget wisely for the future.”

Governor Kate Brown said, “Today’s revenue forecast indicates that we are continuing to see strength in Oregon’s economy as we round the curve to recovery from the pandemic. Strong state revenues, coupled with an unemployment rate that is back down to pre-pandemic levels, should be welcome news for Oregonians.”

“However,” she continued, “I know that not all Oregonians are feeling these positive effects, especially given rising costs of living. The good news is that the continued strength in the economy will allow the legislature to look at additional one-time investments in the coming budget cycle—like those we’ve recently made in housing, behavioral health, and child care—to further spur growth and support working families, so that all Oregonians see and feel the benefits of our economic bounce back.

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Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) said “I’m pleased by the continued strength of Oregon’s economy. Two months ago, we used a boost in additional revenue to make critical one-time investments in all corners of the state to address housing affordability and homelessness, keep our kids in school, support working families dealing with increased living costs, and much more to move Oregon forward. We have continued to navigate unprecedented times and lead the state in a responsible, measured way.

Rayfield continued, “While this is welcome news, we must continue planning for the future. Thanks to years of prudent budget management, Oregon has historic reserves and is in a great position to maintain services in future budget cycles. And while many of our highest earners continue to do well, I recognize the continued challenges many Oregonians face because of ongoing inflation and believe we need to address the growing wealth divide.

“Our work will continue to focus on supporting Oregonians who are struggling and building an economy that works for all working families and small businesses,” Rayfield concluded.

Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) said, “Oregon is an economic powerhouse - leading the nation on the road to recovery. With this strong forecast we will continue to save for a rainy day and invest in families working to pay for rent, paying for prescription drug costs and childcare.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-18 11:20:17Last Update: 2022-05-18 11:37:15



Governor Brown Urges Oregonians to be Prepared for Fire Season
“We are asking all Oregonians to do their part”

Governor Kate Brown today provided an update on the state’s ongoing interagency work to prepare for wildfire season across Oregon. She was joined by State Forester Cal Mukumoto, Oregon Department of Forestry Fire Chief Mike Shaw, Oregon State Deputy Fire Marshal Travis Medema, Adjutant General Michael Stencel, Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps, and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Deputy Director Leah Feldon.

“All signs point to a difficult 2022 fire season that will challenge our firefighting teams and the capacity of our response systems,” said Governor Brown. “The good news is that Oregon has one of the best wildfire response systems in the country. We continue to lead the nation in this space, improving even further as investments from SB 762 have already allowed us to add both seasonal firefighter capacity to our ranks and additional aviation assets.

Federal officials are reporting snowpack levels above normal.

“Today we are asking all Oregonians to do their part in order to prevent and prepare for wildfires. Being prepared can truly mean the difference between life and death. It is also one of the best ways you can help our frontline firefighters do their jobs. Make a plan with your family, stay informed, and get 2 Weeks Ready. And please, be smart and be careful when you’re enjoying our outdoors. You can help prevent tragic loss.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-18 07:40:25Last Update: 2022-05-17 17:45:42



Clackamas County Fails to Report Vote Counts
“I am deeply concerned about the delay”

Despite assurances that a printing defect on some of the ballots that does not allow them to be scanned would not delay counting for the primary election, Clackamas County has yet to release results. Clackamas County is reporting that of 306,231 ballots sent, 65,646 have been returned, or 21.4%, which is in line with similar counties.

In a press release at nearly 10:00pm on election night, Shemia Fagan began damage control and deflection.

"As Oregon's chief election officer -- and a Clackamas County voter -- I am deeply concerned about the delay in reporting from Clackamas County Elections tonight. While I am confident that the process they are following is secure, transparent and the results will be accurate, the county's reporting delays tonight are unacceptable. Voters have done their jobs, and now it's time for Clackamas County Elections to do theirs.

"In recent days, my office and other counties have offered extra personnel to help with timely reporting. We eagerly await a response from county elections officials on how we can aid in the timely processing of results. I am disappointed that we have not seen more urgency from elections officials in Clackamas County."

Secretary Fagan has made a point of combatting misinformation in the face of increased election scrutiny.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-18 07:20:03Last Update: 2022-05-18 07:47:46



Electric Vehicle Stations Coming to State Parks
“I can think of no better way to commemorate 100 years of state park service”

Electric vehicle charging is coming to the Oregon State Park system. Starting this summer and over the next year, Level 2 EV chargers will be installed in selected state parks as part of a pilot project created by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the nonprofit Adopt a Charger. The agreement between OPRD and AAC allows fundraising and donations to cover the installation of the chargers and includes an option for the electricity costs to be sponsored by a donor for up to three years.

Legislation passed in 2021, HB 2290 and sponsored by State Representative Marty Wilde (D-Eugene), directs OPRD to allow planning and installation of public EV charging stations in parking spaces at state parks. The OPRD and AAC agreement reflects the intent and direction outlined in the legislation.

Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer and automotive technology company, is working with AAC to donate the installation design, construction costs and EV chargers as part of its Rivian Waypoints charging network. Rivian Waypoints can provide up to 25 miles of range every hour of charging and are equipped with a J1772 plug, making them compatible with every electric vehicle on the market. In addition, Entec Polymers has offered to sponsor the cost of electricity through its partnership with AAC for a limited time.

“Beyond helping reduce global and local pollution, including greenhouse gasses, state parks need to be accessible to everyone,” said Lisa Sumption, OPRD Director. “Looking ahead, electric vehicles will become more and more common, and rather than wait for someone else to fill all the charging gaps, we want to do our part.”

“I can think of no better way to commemorate 100 years of state park service in 2022 than to set up us up to serve people even better for the next hundred, and am grateful to the donors for making it happen,” Sumption added.

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“The AAC goal is to introduce zero emission tourism in Oregon, and inspire visitors of all ages to consider the impact of their decisions on the environment,” said Kitty Adams Hoksbergen, executive director of AAC. “I am grateful to everyone at OPRD for proactively planning and offering EV charging at state parks, and to Rivian for their generosity in making it happen. Thanks to Entec for sponsoring the electrical usage so EV motorists can charge their vehicles fee-free during the pilot.”

“OPRD’s commitment to service is a principle we share and look forward to contributing to in this pilot,” said Trent Warnke, Senior Director of Energy and Charging Solutions at Rivian. “For Rivian, electrifying adventure is something we’re inspired to do thoughtfully, especially when working off the beaten path.”

"Giving back to the community is embedded in Entec Polymers’ DNA, and sustainability has always been a large part of what we do and who we are," said Steve Tomaszewski, Senior Vice President & General Manager. "Partnering with Adopt a Charger and Rivian to support EV charging stations at Oregon State Parks allows us to advance the electrification of transportation and to make a difference in the communities that we serve."

The tentative list of the pilot project sites: This list may change as the project progresses, according to the agency.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-18 06:28:01Last Update: 2022-05-17 12:40:25



Skarlatos to Face Hoyle in Vacant 4th Congressional District
Democrat Peter DeFazio is retiring after decades in office

Oregon National Guard Veteran, Alek Skarlatos released the following statement following his primary victory in Oregon’s 4th Congressional District.

“As a political outsider, I am thankful to be selected as the Republican nominee for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District. It’s clear Washington is broken, Joe Biden’s liberal policies are not working, and we need solutions to reduce inflation, lower gas prices, and lower the cost of healthcare while improving access for rural Oregon,” said Oregon National Guard Veteran Alek Skarlatos. “Oregon’s 4th Congressional District is the poorest district in the state, it’s clear the status quo is not working, and now more than ever, we need fresh ideas and new solutions that will help middle-class families in our state.”

The 4th Congressional District, newly formed after the decennial redistricting process, is 33.8% Democractic, 25.5% Republican and 33.7% non-affiliated.

 Skarlatos is a former Oregon National Guardsman, who served in Afghanistan. In 2015, while traveling on a train bound for Paris, Alek, along with four others, jumped into action to stop an Islamic Terrorist who tried to open fire on a passenger train. His heroism earned him several awards and medals around the world including, the United States' Soldier’s Medal.

After serving as a National Guardsman for 5 years, Alek left military service in November 2017. Upon completing his service, Alek voiced his inspiring experience by authoring 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of A Terrorist, A Train, and Three American Heroes describing the events that led up to the attack on the train ride to Paris from Amsterdam. He worked with legendary director Clint Eastwood on the film 15:17 to Paris that portrayed the harrowing attack in which Alek starred as himself.

Alek’s experience stretches beyond the military. With a strong belief in service to his community, Alek has toured the country encouraging others to take control of their lives and the importance of duty to the community. Alek stays active by advocating for responsible forest management in Oregon. He lives in Roseburg where he spends his free time hiking and exploring all that Oregon has to offer.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-17 20:22:39Last Update: 2022-05-17 19:07:30



Oregon Primary 2022
Projected Results


Democrat for Governor
David Beem
Julian Bell
Wilson R Bright
George L Carrillo
Michael Cross
Ifeanyichukwu C Diru
Peter W Hall
Tina Kotek
Keisha Lanell Merchant
Tobias Read
Patrick E Starnes
Dave W Stauffer
John Sweeney
Michael Trimble
Genevieve Wilson H
Republican for Governor
Raymond Baldwin
Bridget Barton
Court Boice
David A Burch
Reed Christensen
Christine Drazan
Jessica Gomez
Nick Hess
Tim McCloud
Kerry McQuisten
Brandon C Merritt
Bud Pierce
John G Presco
Stan Pulliam
Amber R Richardson
Bill Sizemore
Stefan G Strek (Stregoi)
Marc Thielman
Bob Tiernan
Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries
Aaron R Baca
Brent T Barker
Cheri Helt
Chris Henry
Casey M Kulla
Robert Neuman
Christina E Stephenson
Judge of the Court of Appeals, Position 3
Vance Day
Darleen Ortega
Democrat for US Senator
William E Barlow III
Brent Thompson
Ron Wyden
Republican for US Senator
Jason Beebe
Christopher C Christensen
Robert M Fleming
Darin Harbick
Sam Palmer
Jo Rae Perkins
Ibra A Taher
Democrat for Congress, 1st District
Suzanne Bonamici
Scott Phillips
Christian Robertson
Republican for Congress, 1st District
Christopher A Mann
Armidia (Army) Murray
Democrat for Congress, 2nd District
Adam Prine
Joe Yetter
Republican for Congress, 2nd District
Cliff S Bentz
Mark Cavener
Katherine M Gallant
Democrat for Congress, 3rd District
Earl Blumenauer
Jonathan E Polhemus
Republican for Congress, 3rd District
Joanna Harbour
Democrat for Congress, 4th District
Sami Al-Abdrabbuh
Doyle E Canning
Val Hoyle
Andrew Kalloch
Steve William Laible
Jake Matthews
John S Selker
G Tommy Smith
Republican for Congress, 4th District
Alek Skarlatos
Democrat for Congress, 5th District
Jamie McLeod-Skinner
Kurt Schrader
Republican for Congress, 5th District
Lori Chavez-DeRemer
Jimmy Crumpacker
John Di Paola
Madison Oatman
Laurel L Roses
Democrat for Congress, 6th District
Teresa Alonso Leon
Ricky Barajas
Carrick Flynn
Greg Goodwin
Kathleen Harder
Cody Reynolds
Andrea Salinas
Loretta Smith
Matt West
Republican for Congress, 6th District
Jim Bunn
Mike Erickson
Ron Noble
Angela Plowhead
David Russ
Amy L Ryan Courser
Nathan A Sandvig

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-17 20:01:43Last Update: 2022-05-20 08:45:47



Homeless Outreach Seeks Donated Items
Give “HOAP” at the Hygiene Drive this Friday.

The Northwest Human Service's Homeless Outreach and Advocacy Project (HOAP) team members are in dire need of hygiene products to support the unsheltered people who were lost everything after a recent flood at Wallace Marine Park. Community members are invited to give “HOAP” to those who have little by donating hygiene products at East Salem Rotary’s club meeting this Friday, May 20, or bringing them to the HOAP Day Center Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Strategic Partnerships Manager and East Salem Rotary member, Kristin Kuenz-Barber said, "Our outreach team and our HOAP team are incredibly short-staffed right now and they are just focused on keeping people clean, clothed, and de-escalated so they often don't even think to ask me or share with me what their needs are."

The HOAP program provides a hand up by giving homeless individuals the resources, support, and skills they need to transition to stable and healthier lifestyles. Examples of hygiene supplies they supply for unsheltered neighbors include travel-sized:

“Please know that I recognize this is a long shot -- but we don't plan for these things to happen and there is so much need right now. In addition to the environmental issues, the camp in that area has experienced several deaths in the last few months; so, on top of the trauma people already have - now they have grief and a sense of hopelessness to add to their list of challenges,” added Kristin.

Rotarians are problem-solvers. Together, we apply our professional experience and personal commitment to tackling our communities’ most persistent problems, finding new, effective ways to enhance health, stability, and prosperity across the globe. The East Salem Rotary Foundation has already contributed $500 to kick-start the Fast and Furious Hygiene Supply Drive, and HOAPs you can help too by donating.

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The East Salem Rotary meeting is held at 12:00 p.m. at the Seymour Family Resource Center located 3745 Portland Rd NE, Salem. The HOAP Day Center is located at 694 Church St NE, Salem and the Drop-In Center Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

For more information or questions regarding hygiene needs: Email Kristin Kuenz-Barber at kkuenz-barber@nwhumanservices.org

For more information or questions regarding the East Salem Rotary: Email Maureen Casey at Maureen Casey MCasey@ccswv.org


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-17 19:07:30Last Update: 2022-05-17 19:24:49



Secretary Fagan Anticipates “A Smooth Process”
“We expect a smooth process at elections offices around the state."

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan said that she expects a smooth process at elections offices around the state. In Clackamas County, where a printing error could complicate reporting, Secretary Fagan along with senior staff visited the County's election office to observe the ballot correction process.

"Oregon is the gold standard for secure, modern and transparent elections," Secretary Fagan said. "I hope every Oregonian has the opportunity to turn in their ballot today. We expect a smooth process at elections offices around the state."

The Oregon Elections Division has been in contact with county elections divisions across the state during the voting period, providing support as needed.

Secretary Fagan, along with Deputy Elections Director Luke Belant and Chief Legal and Risk Counsel P.K. Runkles-Pearson, visited Clackamas County Elections today to observe the ballot correction process. A printing error by the vendor Clackamas County used to print ballots resulted in a large number of ballots with unreadable barcodes, and county elections officials are consulting with the Oregon Elections Division to correct those ballots in a fair and transparent process.

"After consulting with Clackamas County to help them set up their process, it was reassuring to watch it in action," Secretary Fagan said. "We are confident they will report accurate results."

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Clackamas County may be slower to report results on Election Day as a result of the printing error. However, the county has indicated it will certify the results within the statutory deadline.

The Secretary of State expects Oregon to once again have high voter turnout. If past trends hold, turnout will likely be in the low 30 percent range. Out of all the states that have already held primaries in 2022, Oregon will likely end up with the second highest voter turnout. Those states are Texas (17.7%), Indiana (14%), Ohio (20.64%), Nebraska (33.29%) and W. Virginia (22.84%).

Election results will begin reporting after 8 PM tonight on the Secretary of State's Website


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-17 12:59:20Last Update: 2022-05-17 13:19:39



USPS Mail Collection Box Stolen in Portland, Oregon
Replacement ballots available upon request

The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently informed the Multnomah County Elections Division that a USPS blue mail collection box was stolen on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. The USPS box was located at S.E. Reed College Place and S.E. Woodstock Boulevard in Southeast Portland’s Eastmoreland neighborhood.

The Postal Service confirmed all mail was removed from the box on May 4, 2022 at 11:35 AM. Any voter who used this USPS mail collection box to mail their ballot on May 4, after that time, should immediately contact Multnomah County Elections at 503-988-VOTE (8683) to check the status of their ballot.

Any Multnomah County voter whose ballot was not received at the Elections office may still request a replacement ballot.

You can also contact Multnomah County Elections at 503-988-VOTE (8683) to request a replacement ballot. Multnomah County Elections has offered extended hours leading up to the election.

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Multnomah County voters can also sign up to track their ballot online. The Track Your Ballot service lets voters know when their ballot has been sent, received and accepted by the Elections Division.

At least one voter, who used the Eastmoreland mailbox that was reported stolen, alerted the County after they didn’t hear from Track Your Ballot one week after they dropped the ballot there. Elections staff confirmed the ballot had not reached the Elections Division and issued a replacement ballot.

The Elections Division has alerted the Secretary of State’s Office. This is a developing story.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-17 09:59:54Last Update: 2022-05-17 10:27:05



Republicans Scramble on Feminine Hygiene Products
Who is pulling the strings In the tampon war?

While the last several Oregon legislative sessions have seen an avalanche of agenda-driven bills, not many have gotten the attention of HB 3294. This bill, passed in 2021, required free tampons and sanitary pads in every student bathroom in every school. Including the bathrooms of kindergarten boys.

The products would be available, with no limit, to anyone using any student bathroom. Every single Republican House Rep voted in favor of this bill. Even Representative Greg Smith (R-Heppner) who was not present for the vote on the floor, approved the bill in committee.

When gubernatorial candidate Bridget Barton produced a campaign ad criticizing then House Rep (and candidate for Governor) Christine Drazan, for voting in favor of the bill, Drazan responded with an email blast on May 13th 2022 saying;

“Let me give you the facts, because there’s no confusion there. I voted alongside every other Republican in the State House to provide underprivileged girls with feminine products. A warped and radical progressive agenda–spearheaded by Kate Brown and Tina Kotek–then turned around and put feminine products into boys’ bathrooms.”

And, in an email to a constituent who complained to House Rep David Brock Smith about his vote supporting this bill, Smith responded:

"The bill requires feminine hygiene products in two restrooms in public schools. It passed the House unanimously and for good reason. One, it does not mandate them to boys restrooms, that would be silly. (Don’t believe everything you read on the internet). School districts (local control) decide which bathrooms they are placed, to which I could imagine would be the girls locker room bathroom and another girls bathroom within the school. If there is only one bathroom in the school, then they are there but I don’t know of any schools with one bathroom."

Two, there are a number of families that struggle to provide meals for their children, let alone feminine hygiene products. As a grandfather I would hope you would understand (even if you don’t have granddaughters) that a child’s lack of access to feminine hygiene products for whatever reason, should not be a barrier to education, sports or just a basic quality of life in our public school system.

Both statements have factual issues.

The fact is, the original version of the bill only made these products available in girl’s bath rooms. “Each public education provider shall ensure that both tampons and sanitary pads are available at no cost to students through dispensers located in at least two female student bathrooms of every public school building.”

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However, the bill was amended to include all bathrooms and David Brock Smith voted to approve those amendments. In fact, during the hearing on the bill, in the House Education Committee on which Brock Smith was a member, the very first person to testify was House Rep Ricki Ruiz, a Democrat sponsor of the bill who called for the removal of gender language and stated that “not all people who menstruate are women.” Brock Smith was sitting in the committee at the time.

Subsequent testimony constantly referred not to “women” or “girls” or “females” but to “people who menstrurate.” One of the few references to “women” was from a representative of the National Organization of Women who stated in her testimony, “Menstrual inequity is simply another means to control women and limit their access to all possibilities and opportunities”

After being confronted with the language of the amended bill that Brock Smith twice voted for, Brock Smith responded:

It turns out I was mistaken. For that matter, my entire caucus was mistaken. The language was amended to require all restrooms and not two. This was not caught by the house republican members or our Republican staff. My apologies to you and others. There will be a bill from our caucus to fix this in the ‘23 session. I and others would not have voted for the legislation if we would have known, even though it would have passed anyway because the democrats don’t need our votes to pass legislation. Hopefully we will be changing that this November. Again, my apologies.

Brock Smith and other Republicans sat in the committee where the bill was heard. Every single Republican member of that committee then voted to amend the bill to put tampons in the bathrooms of little boys. No one asked a question or voiced an objection. Then every single Republican, except the “excused” Greg Smith, voted for it again on the House floor. But not before it made another stop in the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

In that committee, the bill, now containing the language Smith and Christine Drazan claim to object to, was heard again. And then passed to the full House for a vote. Christine Drazan sat on that committee and approved the bill with the mandates for free tampons in kindergarten boy’s bathrooms.

The bill then went to the Senate where even Democrat Betsy Johnson voted no. To the surprise of very few, Republican Senator Tim Knopp, who is now the Senate Republican Leader, voted yes.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-16 08:22:18Last Update: 2022-05-16 12:17:24



Drought Declared for Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties
State agencies will coordinate and prioritize assistance

Oregon's Governor Kate Brown has declared a drought in Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties through Executive Order 22-08, and directed state agencies to coordinate and prioritize assistance to the region.

"Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties are facing historic challenges from drought conditions that are creating hardships for the people, farms, ranches, communities, and ecosystems of the region. I am committed to doing everything possible to make state resources available to provide immediate relief and assistance to water users throughout Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties," said Governor Brown.

She went on, calling for big government solutions, "Moving forward, we must look for long-term solutions to the underlying issue causing drought in Oregon counties: there is too little water to go around, and as the climate changes we are experiencing hotter, drier summers. As we brace for another record-breaking drought year, collaborating with our federal partners will also be critical as we work towards locally supported, long-term solutions."

As of May 9, the snow-water equivalent in Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties was significantly lower than during a normal water year, and forecasted water conditions are not expected to improve.

Drought, severe weather conditions, and the upcoming fire season pose significant threats to the local economy, agriculture and livestock, natural resources, and recreation in Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties.

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The Governor's drought declaration unlocks a number of drought-related emergency tools for water users, including assistance to local water users. Drought declarations also allow the Water Resources Department to expedite review processes and reduce fee schedules. Declarations are intended to be short-term emergency authorizations to address water supply challenges. More information is available on the Oregon Drought Watch website.

As state and local officials coordinate with federal partners, conditions will be closely monitored by the state’s natural resource and public safety agencies, including the Oregon Water Resources Department and the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Drought declarations typically go through a three-part process before securing a state drought declaration from the Governor.

The Baker, Douglas, Wallowa, and Wheeler County Commissions first declared a drought emergency due to low snowpack, low precipitation, low streamflows and warmer than normal temperature, and a state drought declaration was requested.

State officials subsequently met, and the Oregon Drought Readiness Council ultimately recommended that the Governor issue a drought declaration to provide critical resources to confront current water conditions and future climatic forecasts.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-15 09:03:32Last Update: 2022-05-15 14:51:51



Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge Recreation Enhancement and Conservation Act
Keeping the people out of public lands

In 1982, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries created the term shinrin-yoku, which translates to “forest bathing” or “absorbing the forest atmosphere.” The practice encourages people to simply spend time in nature — no actual bathing required.

It’s a low impact immersing your senses in the sights and sounds of nature without the physical impact of running. A remake of stop and smell the roses.

To accommodate your nature experience, on May 6, US Representative Earl Blumenauer-introduced H.R. 7665, Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge Recreation Enhancement and Conservation Act. The bill will protect 350,000 acres of new National Recreation Area increasing protected lands tenfold from the 2009 bill, significantly expanding the area for your pleasure of “forest bathing.”

The new recreational area butts up to the Warm Springs reservation east of Mount Hood.

It forms a tribal co-management system, first in the nation, and the incorporation of traditional ecological knowledge in land management decisions through Indian Treaty Resources Emphasis Zones. Treaty rights for the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation include rights—particularly around food gathering—that have been harmed by past actions on the Forest, including Wilderness designations.

Additionally, 7,500 acres are added of Wilderness working around Hood River County five irrigation districts that have water rights on Mount Hood. Oregon Wild was hoping for 30,000 acres and to express their dissatisfaction they rallied a phone campaign to Blumenauer’s office.

Steve Pedery, conservation director of Oregon Wild, believes the additional national recreation area puts the Pacific Crest Trail at risk, and does not prioritize recreation over timber sales by expanding cutting in watersheds and scenic areas.

The expansion of 7,500 acres of new wilderness should be the bigger concern. This designation requires the land remain unspoiled, roadless, and limited to non-motorized non-invasive recreation. The 92 miles of Wild & Scenic Rivers added to the bill basically follows the same rules.

Nearly two percent of Oregon’s 110,994 miles of river are designated as wild & scenic – adding to 1,916.7 miles.

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Road closures in these areas have made it more difficult to fight fires will increase risks, and we are now headed into wildfire season.

The bill requires a wildfire risk assessment for the Mount Hood National Forest, the Columbia River Gorge, and any private, state, or tribal land adjacent to those areas. It creates a comprehensive, coordinated, multi-jurisdictional plan to improve safe, equitable, and ecologically sustainable access to Mt. Hood and the Gorge.

Blumenauer suggests that these plans will prioritize reliable and user-friendly transportation and transit options including recreational access and emergency personnel access.

The devastating fire in the Gorge in 2017 made it clear that this region is at high risk for wildfires. The bill attempts to protect this area from wildfires by proposing a modern approach to mitigate fire risk through prescribed burns and other ecologically sound treatment practices.

Anti-forestry groups have pressured the Biden Administration to ban logging on National Forest System lands under the guise of protecting “old and mature forests” even though there are no universally or scientifically-accepted definitions of what “old” or “mature” trees are.

This policy along with Blumenauer’s bill, and the drought is a prescription for less “forest bathing” and more wildfires that no one is taking seriously.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-14 11:03:31Last Update: 2022-05-14 11:19:45



Vance Day, the Rule of Law and the American Dream
His Opponent, Darleen Ortega, Thinks the American Dream Is a “Nightmare”

With the May 17 primary deadline fast approaching, the insurgent candidacy of Vance Day, candidate for Oregon Court of Appeals Position 3, is on the march, gathering both votes and momentum.

Weeks ago, Day announced his campaign on the Lars Larson Show, saying:

“Our Constitution made a promise to us as Oregonians that we would do justice, that we would respect others, that we would live in a diverse community and not have a government that bullied us. As a former circuit court judge, I know how to work within the judiciary to bring about change. I’m asking for your vote, and I want to say thank you for getting involved in making Oregon a great state again.”

Day, a sixth-generation Oregonian and descendent of Oregon Trail pioneers, is well-known to Oregonians, having served as the head of the Oregon Republican party and as a Circuit Court Judge in Marion County. Day is also well-known to Oregon’s Christian community, having been recruited by the board of the Christian men’s mega-ministry Promise Keepers to help rebuild the organization. Day started as Chief Operating Officer and was eventually elevated to serve as President.

Day began his campaign with a pledge to visit each of Oregon’s 36 counties. When asked why it was so important to him to visit all of Oregon’s 36 counties, Day said, “It allows me to listen. The position I’m running for, Oregon Court of Appeals Position 3, is a statewide position, and I care about the opinions of every Oregonian in every county.”

According to Day's supporters, there are legs to his platform: All three of these stem from Day’s “strict constructionist” views, which Day describes this way: “Like the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Strict constructionists like me believe that judges should be faithful to the Constitution and laws as written and apply them. If elected, I will be the only strict constructionist on the Court of Appeals — and that the Court of Appeals desperately needs a diversity of opinion.”

Although the race for Position 3 is nonpartisan, Day was offered the endorsement of the Oregon Republican Party, though he had to decline this offer to comply with Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct.

Not everyone is happy about Day’s candidacy, however. Sarah Iannarone, the 2020 Antifa candidate for Mayor of Portland, took to Twitter to urge people, “do NOT vote Vance Day – he is openly neo-Nazi, affiliated with the Promise Keepers, Proud Boys, etc. Tell your friends to vote Darleen Ortega.” Iannarone doesn’t seem to care that Promise Keepers and Proud Boys are as different as cheese and chalk or that her other allegations against Day, which stemmed from partisan outrage over his views about same-sex marriage, were discredited long ago.

As former Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell noted at the time, “Vance Day [was] targeted for prosecution, and I think persecution, for his Christian faith—simply because he chose not to perform a same-sex marriage. In Oregon, it’s permissible for judges to do it [perform marriages], but not required. He quietly declined to do one. And I think that series of criminal charges, of bar complaints, and persecution by the Oregon Attorney General’s office and others have all stemmed from that.”

Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee asked the obvious question: “Is There a Vendetta Against Judge Vance Day’s Religious Beliefs?” Huckabee then invited Vance Day on his television program to discuss what Huckabee termed Day’s “Political Persecution.”

Day’s opponent in the nonpartisan race is Darleen Ortega, who has already served on the Court of Appeals for 19 years, 10 years longer than any other judge on this Court. Ortega ascended to the bench in what’s become an Oregon tradition. Court of Appeals judges step down before the end of their terms to bypass the electorate and allow the governor to appoint their successor. This is intended to give the Governor’s hand-picked appointees a considerable electoral advantage since they are now listed as the “incumbent” even though they never stood for election. Vance Day has already committed not to play this game, pledging to serve his full term as judge.

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In her time on the bench, Ortega “has focused on issues of juvenile dependency and on efforts to address the structural inequities that affect operation of the legal system.” Ortega is “a frequent speaker on topics related to equity, privilege, combatting structural and internalized racism and oppression, and learning to recognize and value the perspectives of people at the margins.” She is a co-founder of OneGeorgeFox, an alumni organization of George Fox University supporting LGBTQ+ students.

During the past week, Vance Day has condemned the potentially illegal targeting of Supreme Court Justices and their familyies by mobs of protesters at the private homes as they deliberate a verdict in a case that may lead to the overturning of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision on Abortion, according to a leaked opinion draft from last week. Day has challenged his opponent Ortega to do the same, however no such condemnation appears forthcoming as of the publishing of this story.

So this rare competitive race for Appeals Court Judge offers Oregonian voters a clear set of contrasting choices: Vance Day, the candidate who sees equality under the law as critical to the American Dream, or Darleen Ortega, who rejects the very idea of the American Dream.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-14 08:41:10Last Update: 2022-05-14 16:22:18



Washington County Commissioners Make Statement on Supreme Court Leak
More virtue signalling for leftist causes

The Washington County Oregon Board of Commissioners issued a statement on the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion. The statement reads as follows:

"We are deeply troubled and concerned by a recently released draft opinion of the Supreme Court proposing to overturn Roe v. Wade. No matter where you stand in your beliefs on the subject, the right at an abortion in most circumstances has been consistently upheld by the United States Supreme Court for almost 50 years."

"Since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, those opposed to abortion, have sought ways to diminish the power of the law. The Hyde Amendment in 1980 restricted the use of federal funds for abortion, unless to save a woman’s life, and later actions have opened the door for more state control in regulating and restricting access."

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"These actions have been to the detriment of people who cannot afford the luxury of travel to more receptive states. The proposed rollback to Roe v. Wade will have unequal impact to Americans based on their income and based on their race. The safety and livelihoods of many will be at risk, and our underserved populations will feel the impact most acutely."

"If the Supreme Court moves forward with this draft opinion, it behooves us to be concerned about encroachment of our individual rights to govern our bodies and destinies. As the public health agency for the County, we encourage the U.S. Congress to take appropriate legislative action to uphold our constitutional right and not overturn a law that has been upheld in our country for close to 50 years."

Signed, Commissioner Roy Rogers' name and signature does not appear on the statement, indicating that he seems to have not participated in the virtue signalling along with the other 4 commissioners, perhaps wisely so. Rogers is know to be the more conservative commissioner of the county.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-13 18:54:17Last Update: 2022-05-13 19:15:05



Prepare for Outages in Oregon
What backup power will be available

If you live in northwest Oregon, you’re probably thinking the state is surely water-logged. While Portland is having the wettest spring on record, portions of northwest and northeast Oregon are near or above average, but central, southeast, and southwest Oregon are below average.

Seasonal snowpack was below normal for all but the far-northern Cascades in the vicinity of Mt. Hood. As of early April, several snow monitoring stations in south-central and southeast Oregon had recorded complete melt-out for the season.

Oregon’s Governor Brown has already declared a drought in Crook, Gilliam, Harney, Jackson, Jefferson, Klamath, and Morrow counties.

Additional counties are likely to request drought declarations.

Oregon’s forecast is getting hotter and drier, leading to more wildfires, which can happen suddenly and grow quickly.

Portland General Electric (PGE) sent out notices for consumers to prepare their households for outages for “wildfire season.” PGE says, “If extreme weather hits, we may turn off the power as a last-resort safety measure, which could last several hours or multiple days.”

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports a steady 163 percent increase every year in wildfire activity.

NFPA launched Outthink Wildfire to solve the wildfire problem with five tenets for all levels of government to follow.

They suggest the public understand its role and take action in reducing wildfire risk making homes more resistant to ignition from wildfire embers and flames, fire departments must be prepared to respond safely and effectively to wildfires, and government must increase resources for vegetative fuel management on public lands.

Even if there were no wildfires, there is still a chance for blackouts.

The passage of SB 1044 didn’t help. It encoding into law the requirement that nine out of 10 new car sales be electric by 2035. Will utilities be able to increase the grid to keep up with the demand?

When Representative Pam Marsh (D-Ashland) sponsored HB 2021 in 2021, there were numerous experts that warned of the likelihood of rolling blackouts related to supply and stability.

It passed with the presumption that it allows for use of other sources in unstable periods. As other sources are forced out of business via the standards, what backup will be available to stabilize electric power?

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The City of Forest Grove is using state funding to pay residents $500 to install a charging station if they own an electric vehicle. The rebate will be available to all prior and future purchases for residential and commercial chargers.

Currently there are 269 electric vehicles registered within its coverage area using 12 public charging stations operated by Forest Grove Light & Power.

Quarterly usage has increase from 484 kilowatts to 4,665 kilowatts in one year.

PGE’s notice to be prepared in case an outage occurs includes staying updated online or on email lists with utilities for alerts.

Make an outage kit and gather what is needed to keep your family and pets fed and hydrated.

Have a plan for household needs and how you’ll care for a family member with a medical condition or your animals, especially if you rely on an electric pump for your water well. And we should now add if you have an electric car. Plan ahead to where you can relocate -- friend, family member or to a shelter.

If in the path of a wildfire, know the evacuation route if needed (see your county's evacuation guide). Create a line of defense around your home.

Whether it is the weather, wildfire complications or overuse, the main responsibility of government is the safety of Oregonians.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-12 13:27:23Last Update: 2022-05-12 13:52:06



Apply to be a member of the OLCC’s Rule Advisory Committees
Help update the framework for regulating the Alcohol and Cannabis Industries

Are you interested in helping the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission to draft rules and policies? The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) is looking to broaden and diversify it's pool of prospective Advisory Committee participants.

They are collecting information from interested individuals and industry representatives to lend their expertise to OLCC Advisory Committees.

Throughout the course of the year, the Commission will being holding multiple Advisory Committees to implement legislative policies and update rules. Committee members aid in rule and policy making, help set programmatic direction, and serve as subject matter experts.

The Commission will use the collected information to construct committees based on qualifications and interests.

The agency’s goal is to identify stakeholders with varied perspectives, backgrounds, and expertise to participate in agency Advisory Committees. Applicants should recognize that this is a professional commitment when considering to apply. This is an open and rolling application process.

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Prospective participants will be notified by the OLCC if they have been selected to take part in an Advisory Committee.

They need participants for the Alcohol Advisory Committee and the Cannabis Advisory Committee.

This is an open and rolling application process, although applications received by May 31, 2022 will receive priority consideration.

For more information, please contact the OLCC.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-12 09:10:26Last Update: 2022-05-12 17:44:49



Embattled Newberg School District Selects New Superintendent
The last two years have been difficult for many public schools

At the May 10, 2022 meeting, the Newberg School District Board of Directors announced their selection of Stephen Phillips to be the next Superintendent of Newberg Public Schools. Dr. Phillips will start in the role as soon as possible after working out contract details.

The Board selected Dr. Phillips after three rounds of interviews with candidates, a day of meeting with staff, students, and community here in Newberg, a site visit, and reference checks.

Dr. Phillips served most recently as Superintendent of Jewell School District in Seaside, Oregon. An educator for 24 years, many of those as an administrator, Dr. Phillips previously served as the Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Human Resources, and Technology for the Beaverton School District and the Superintendent of Malheur Education Service District in Vale, Oregon.

The Newberg/Dundee Strong newsletter summed up citizen questioning of Mr. Phillips. “Steve fielded the questions with solid, straightforward, clear answers. He also handled himself very well ‘under fire’ when some hardball questions were thrown his way. Steve demonstrated wisdom, an ability to communicate effectively, and his previous experience -- both his acknowledged successes and mistakes -- would serve him well to bring the Newberg schools back to a focus on the students' academic preparedness. He said more than once that his philosophy of asking "what is best for the students?" guides his decisions. He was also clear that he has high expectations for all students as well as for the faculty and staff’s performance”.

The last two years have been difficult for many public schools. In 2021-22 over 10 million students left for private schools or home schooling nationally. Parents concerns have been both with curriculum and classroom environment. In the Newberg Dundee District citizen concerns produced a majority of school board members in the 2020 election who decided that the classrooms and curriculums should be free of politics. When they met opposition from then Superintendent Joe Morelock in implementing the decision he was dismissed. Some councilors who further resisted school board policies are on leave.

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Advocates for politicized classroom environments and similarly politicized content in the curriculum sought to recall two of the School Board members. The Recall Election failed, retaining the Board members but only by a 4% margin. Shortly after the Recall election failed school board member Inez Perez resigned. That left a void filled by new board member Raquel Peregrino de Brito, a Brazilian immigrant now U.S. citizen.

The struggle is typical of the divide across America. At its heart are parents’ rights. Perhaps the most visible of the political fallout from this sharp divide was the Virginia Governor and Lt. Governor races. There, the outcome produced come from behind wins for candidates supporting parents rights over opponents that advocate for the states first claim on the child’s upbringing.

While Newberg/Dundee Strong has navigated this phase of the struggle it is clear that the matter is far from settled. It is doubtful there are few if any colleges graduating future educators that aren’t taught the state has first claim on a child’s development per socialist John Dewey. Competition to public schools grows with higher enrollment in private schools and more home schooling each year. Parents strong preference for choice cuts across all demographic barriers. Teacher unions, the state’s most powerful, are surveying the battlefield for fall back positions. Parents’ calls for vouchers has resulted in committee work at the Oregon legislature. That work may continue the trend toward healthy competition in providing K-12 education.


--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2022-05-11 20:33:17Last Update: 2022-05-11 21:18:03



Analysis: The Public School Rescue Plan
Restoring the Education System will Require the Right Governor

Editor's note: Marc Thielman is the former Superintendent of the Alsea School District which stayed open K-12 during the COVID Lockdowns with zero cases of COVID traced back to the classroom as a source. His school board put the masking decision back to the parents, sparking multiple districts to follow suit. He is a Republican candidate for governor. This article is reprinted with his permission.

As Oregon’s schools slide further into activist training centers, taxpayers need to understand the gravity of their choice for governor, who controls the entire public school system. There is a path to navigate out of this dangerous decline, but it will require voter commitment to rescue our schools and the souls of our children.

Many Oregonians are unaware that our Governor is the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. This means the Governor has plenary power to dictate the values, purpose, and direction of all of Oregon’s public schools. Unlike most other states, Oregon’s Governor has power to “rule by decree” in setting these priorities with no taxpayer input.

The Oregon Governor’s Power Over the Education System

The Governor maintains control by appointing a Deputy Superintendent and all State Board of Education members, thus creating a tight circle of aligned ideologues. If the deputy or a state board member attempts to speak out, question, or oppose a directive of the Governor they risk being summarily dismissed and replaced with a more compliant person. Under the current structure, checks and balances are nonexistent.

The current Governor’s leadership has led to the implementation of divisive ideologies based on race and social justice, such as critical race theory (CRT), the complete removal of any requirement for students to demonstrate proficiency of standards in order to graduate, the declaration of math as “racist,” the requirement for “menstrual justice” placing feminine products in all boys’ bathrooms, among many other unpopular policy initiatives.

The superintendents leading these districts strive to demonstrate how enlightened, compliant, and woke they are in hopes of advancing their careers by pleasing the powerful in Salem and the Oregon Department of Education. Thus, from the governor to the deputy superintendent to the board members to the district superintendents, adherence to political agendas can quickly supersede the will of the taxpayers funding this public education system.

Students and Parents are Losing

The stakeholders who lose in this top-down rulership are not only the students, but the parents. Instead of being steeped in polarizing political agendas, most parents want their students to become proficient at reading, writing, and math, as well as develop strong character and resiliency skills that will be needed when they move out on their own and enter the world of work.

Parents who speak out in support of academic achievement before equity indoctrination are marginalized and called “terrorists.” Many school boards in our state have discontinued inviting parents to meetings, disallowed public comment at school board meetings, and engaged only with like-minded parents, advocates, and “allies."

The outcome of this broken system built on ideological cronyism has been a massive erosion of public confidence in our public schools. Portland Public Schools is seeing unprecedented drops in enrollment with more expected in the coming year. Parents are pulling their students from the taxpayer funded public system and finding other options for their children; this should be a warning that the most important stakeholders are not happy. They’ve endured closed schools which they paid for with their tax dollars and arbitrary, incessantly changing “rules” for them and their children to abide by in order to access services. Parents and students are fed up.

In a normal market situation, when customers leave and business declines, leadership must adjust or prepare to lose market share and eventually die. Instead, the ideologues in the public school system have advanced their top-down insanity by adopting the “menstrual equity” agenda which places feminine products in boy’s bathrooms, confusing students and clogging toilets! This latest expensive addition to the grooming of Oregon’s children is shifting students’ attention from learning to divisive political agendas.

The Rescue Plan


1. Restore Critical Thinking, Not Conformity

The root of our problem is that our schools have become training centers, not learning centers. Currently, “collective conformity” rewards students for compliance to the narrative in our “equity”-focused schools. Students are trained and groomed instead of taught to think. We must reclaim critical thinking and Socratic questioning if we are to allow each fresh mind to truly learn. Our public schools need real leadership to restore them to their primary purpose of teaching students how to think and not what to think. The training model has been carefully molded over a series of years and is going to take strategy and fortitude to restore.

As the only Governor candidate having served successfully as a public-school superintendent, I understand the many agencies and agendas assaulting our public schools at a granular level. I plan to take full ownership for the state of our public schools and work tirelessly to uproot the embedded indoctrination. If we want to save our public schools, we must shift back to learning from training. Our young Oregonians minds and futures are at stake.

2. Ban Divisive Ideological Curriculums

I have been an educator for 28 years, and in my career as a school superintendent, as soon as the ideological curriculums started being adopted, I watched as other districts struggled with an uptick in student conflict, division, and mental health issues. For this reason, I never implemented these curriculums in my school, and refused the financial incentives attached to related programs. I stood between these narratives and my students.

On Day One in office as Governor, I will ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory and its “renamed” cousins, Anti-Racist curriculum, comprehensive sex education (CSE), and the anxiety-provoking social emotional learning (SEL), all currently imposed by the Oregon Department of Education.

It’s not just the curriculums that need to be removed. Teachers, counselors, and school workers will each need to be evaluated on merit in order to reboot our schools as true learning centers. Those who have become activists will be given an opportunity to return to teaching solid academics or an

opportunity to find a new job. Parent’s voices will once again be honored as they assess the academic focus of their student’s teachers and I will provide a parent hotline to assist in this process.

Since the wrong things have been emphasized over education, it’s time to recussitate our academic standards.

3. Demand a “Report Card” on All Schools

On Day One as Governor, I will demand a “report card” on all schools. Every district will have 60 days to report on academic standards and the state of their schools. To balance the veracity of this self-reporting, parents will also be invited into a separate evaluative process.

Parents will identify their district, rate their satisfaction with their schools, and rate their comfort level with the curriculums being taught to their children. They will be asked to rate their children’s teachers and curriculums and whether their school supports and honors the values they teach in their homes.

This type of outreach will be useful for creating a check and balance that will help to give parents a direct voice in their child’s education and steer their school district back toward focusing on parent and family values and academic standards and achievement. Each district will receive their data and the sum of all districts will combine to provide statewide data regarding parent confidence in our public schools. This information will direct the focus for learning and family support engagement moving forward. Data driven decision-making is a must if our Public School System is to be responsive to student and parent needs.

4. Refocus on Competence and the Constitution

With division and hostility in our schools at an all-time high, it is imperative we return to academic excellence and the unifying standards of reading, writing, arithmetic, science, electives, and trades. Teaching these core skills produce students who are capable and confident and who become productive members of society.

To restore unity around our common framework and emphasize the importance of civics, I will require the teaching of our federal and state Constitutions in every high school. Additionally, to support the Second Amendment of our Constitution, I will require gun safety courses to produce a healthy and respectful relationship with firearms.

5. Restore Respect and Empowerment for Parents

I have advocated for parent’s rights throughout my educational career. When the government shut down schools and parents had no recourse, I kept my school open to ensure their students could learn. When the government mandated masks, I helped my parents of students with disabilities apply for a mask exemption, to the absolute ire of Kate Brown. When students in my district were being harmed by masks, I brought forth the findings of the CDC and our school board put the masking decision back to the parents. Six other districts followed, and the mask mandate was subsequently lifted in Oregon. Parents everywhere rejoiced that their kids could safely enjoy in-person learning unfettered.

Since time immemorial, parents are the sole experts on their children and deserve to be respected, invited into their child’s education, and be given a platform to communicate with educators.

Finally, I will empower parents to find the educational pathway that best fits their child’s unique needs. I am the Chief Petitioner in the School Choice Constitutional Amendment which allows taxpayer funding to follow the student in their educational journey, so parents can choose public, private, parochial, virtual, or homeschool without government interference. You can imagine why this is considered a “dangerous” initiative to ideologues wanting to own and groom your children. But school choice will actually incentivize competition and improve outcomes.

This upcoming election is more than a primary, but a referendum on our current educational leadership. There is only one candidate in the Republican field with the proven track record of taking on these dangerous forces and winning. As Oregon’s next Governor, I will restore the sanctity of public education in Oregon.


--Marc Thielman

Post Date: 2022-05-11 11:03:48Last Update: 2022-05-11 14:17:16



Oregon Gas Price News Disturbing for Many
New record highs after the price of oil jumped above $110 per barrel

According to AAA Oregon, the national and Oregon averages skyrocket to new record highs after the price of oil jumped above $110 per barrel last week. Drivers are paying more to fill up in 49 states including Oregon.

For the week, the national average for regular soars 17 cents to $4.37 a gallon. The Oregon average jumps 16 cents to $4.85.

The national and Oregon averages are both at new record highs, eclipsing the record highs set in March.

“The cost of crude oil accounts for more than half of what we pay at the pumps, so higher crude oil prices translate into more expensive gas and diesel. Unfortunately, these high pump prices are not likely to ease anytime soon,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.

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

About 3% of oil, and a total of 8% of oil and refined products used in the U.S. last year came from Russia, while about 25% of Europe’s oil is imported from Russia. The U.S. is the largest oil producer in the world. Other top producers are Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Demand for gasoline in the U.S. is up slightly, from 8.74 million b/d to 8.86 million b/d. Total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 2.2 million bbl to 228.6 million bbl last week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Increasing gas demand and rising oil prices have pushed pump prices higher. Pump prices will likely face upward pressure as oil prices remain above $100 per barrel.

Quick stats

Oregon is one of 49 states and the District of Columbia where prices have risen in the last week, and 44 states and D.C. have double-digit increases. Indiana (+28 cents) has the largest weekly jump. Nevada (+3 cents) has the smallest weekly gain. Utah (-1 cent) is the only state in the nation with a weekly decline.

California ($5.84) is the most expensive state in the nation and is one of three states with an average above $5 a gallon. There are 44 states and the District of Columbia with an average at or above $4 a gallon.

The cheapest gas in the nation is in Georgia ($3.90) and Missouri ($3.93). This week no states have averages below $3 a gallon, same as a week ago. For the 70th week in a row, no state has an average below $2 a gallon.

Oregon is one of 48 states and the District of Columbia with higher prices now than a month ago. The national average is 26 cents more and the Oregon average is 15 cents more than a month ago. This is the 32nd-largest monthly jump in the nation. Utah (-1 cent) and Nevada (-1/10th of a cent) are the only states with monthly declines.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have higher prices now than a year ago. Every state and D.C. have a current average that’s a dollar or more higher than a year ago. The national average is $1.41 more and the Oregon average is $1.51 more than a year ago. This is the 12th-largest yearly increase in the nation. California (+$1.74) has the biggest yearly increase. Colorado (+$1.09) has the smallest year-over-year increase.

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West Coast

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

California is the most expensive state for the 68th week in a row with Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska rounding out the top six. Arizona is ninth. Oregon is fifth for the fourth week in a row.

All seven states have week-over-week increases. Oregon (+16 cents) has the largest weekly increase in the region. Hawaii (+3 cents) and Nevada (+3 cents) have the region’s smallest weekly increases.

The refinery utilization rate on the West Coast rose slightly from 79.1% to 79.6% for the week ending April 29. The rate has ranged between about 76% and 90% in the last year.

According to EIA’s latest weekly report, total gas stocks in the region increased from 30.52 million bbl to 30.76 million bbl.

Oil market dynamics

Crude oil prices rose last week after the European Union announced a proposal to ban Russian oil imports within six months, while refined product imports would be prohibited by the end of 2022. The price increases occurred despite continuing COVID lockdowns in China weighing down crude demand and EIA reporting that total domestic crude inventories increased by 1.3 million bbl to 415.7 million bbl, which is approximately 14 percent lower than the storage level at the end of April 2021. Since supply remains tight and the market remains highly volatile, crude prices will likely continue to fluctuate this week, potentially pushing pump prices higher.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by $1.51 to settle at $109.77. At Monday’s formal trading session, WTI fell $6.68 to close at $103.09. Today crude is trading around $100, compared to $102 a week ago. Crude prices are about $38 more than a year ago.

Diesel

For the week, the national average soars 18 cents to $5.55 a gallon. This is a record high. Oregon’s average jumps 13 cents to $5.60. This is also a record high. A year ago the national average for diesel was $3.12 and the Oregon average was $3.28.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-10 17:23:18Last Update: 2022-05-10 20:25:02



Cyber Attack Prompts Security Response
“No systems related to elections administration have been compromised”

The progressive accounting firm C&E Systems has apparently been hacked. According to Jef Green with C&E Systems, "One of the cloud companies that we utilize was hacked but is expected to be back online within the next 24 hours and there was no sensitive data on the servers, except for some candidate Orestar profiles, all of which have been reset. The data that we lost access to is the same income/expense data that has already been reported to Orestar."

Green also said, "Some of client’s donation pages where down for a day but most also have ActBlue or another third party provider. Our C&E pages should be up and running tomorrow as well. We had to do some manual data entry into Orestar, but the client committees are not being affected."

C&E Systems manages campaign finance reporting for many progressive candidates including Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and Oregon Governor Kate Brown, among many others.

C&E Systems is hosted on Opus Interactive, which posted a statement on their web page.

Opus Interactive and certain Opus-hosted customer virtual servers and backups were hit by a ransomware attack which encrypted the server disk files. Industry-leading cybersecurity and digital forensics experts have been engaged to assist in our response to the incident. Our team is continuing to work towards resolution. No further information at this time.

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has released a statement, saying, "The Oregon Secretary of State has not been hacked. No sensitive data on our systems has been exposed. No systems related to elections administration have been compromised."

The Oregon Elections Division learned on Monday that Opus Interactive -- a web hosting provider used by the campaign finance firm C&E Systems -- was the victim of a ransomware attack. C&E's database was compromised, which includes their client's log-in credentials for Orestar accounts. As a result, the Secretary of State's Office is proactively working to protect system integrity and requiring all users to reset their passwords.

“None of our systems have been compromised," said Chris Molin, Oregon Secretary of State Information Systems Division Director. "Out of an abundance of caution, we are taking steps to protect isolated users impacted by the attack, and communicating proactively about the issue to prevent confusion.”

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All affected Orestar users — 1,100 people — will receive a notification and have been sent detailed instructions on how to proceed.

Secretary Fagan concluded, "The Oregon Secretary of State takes cybersecurity extremely seriously. We work with CISA, EI-ISAC, and the FBI year-round to ensure the integrity of our systems."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-10 07:26:24Last Update: 2022-05-10 14:43:25



Majority Leader Julie Fahey Denounces Supreme Court Opinion
Democrat slams draft opinion proposing overturning Roe v Wade

In a statement slamming the leaked draft of a proposed US Supreme Court opinion in which Roe v. Wade would be overturned, Oregon House Democratic Leader Julie Fahey (D-West Eugene/Junction City) has released following statement:

“This draft opinion by the Supreme Court goes against nearly 50 years of legal precedent. All Americans should have the freedom to decide if and when they have children, based on what’s best for them and their family’s circumstances. Access to abortion shouldn’t depend on who you are or where you live.”

Were the draft to be the basis for a decision by the High Court, access to abortion would remain unchanged in Oregon. Abortion access would be legal and free throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Legal scholars -- including those who support a right to abortion -- have spent the last 50 years regretting the dubious legal arguments which are the foundation of Roe v. Wade. Were the High Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, each state would have the freedom to create its own policies on abortion.

Representative Fahey continued, “That’s why, after the election of Donald Trump, Oregon Democrats took action and passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act in 2017. I was proud to be a chief sponsor of RHEA, which codified the right to an abortion in state law and made the full range of reproductive health care more affordable and accessible for all Oregonians. And this year, in preparation for the possibility of a post-Roe America, the legislature established the Oregon Reproductive Health Equity Fund, a $15 million dollar investment in abortion access which will expand provider capacity across the state and support those seeking abortion care in Oregon.”

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Critics of this policy have questioned the wisdom and fiscal prudence of Oregon taxpayers funding abortions for out-of-state persons.

Representative Fahey admitted the lack of urgency the draft presents to Oregonians, saying, “To be clear, abortion is still legal, and in Oregon we will continue to be committed to reproductive freedom -- no matter what decision the Supreme Court makes. I now call on Congress to join Oregon and codify Roe v Wade into federal law. As elected leaders we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to protect this fundamental right.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-10 07:23:25Last Update: 2022-05-09 19:26:24



Oregon Right to Life Offices Damaged in Attack
Another example of extreme left-wing violence?

In the late evening on Sunday, May 8, the offices of Oregon Right to Life were attacked. An individual used incendiary devices, one of which exploded and caught the building on fire. Apparently, they had done so after trying to break into the building.

The office was vacant at the time, and no one was harmed. Fire and police departments responded quickly, minimizing damage to the building. The agencies are actively investigating the incident.

The attack comes shortly after the recent news of the Supreme Court opinion draft leak regarding the Roe v Wade decision possibly being overturned.

Lois Anderson, Oregon Right to Life executive director, expressed, “Understandably, our team is shaken up by this attack. We are committed to taking proper precautions to protect the safety of our staff as we move forward.” She added, “We are thankful for the quick action of our first responders committed to maintaining a safe environment to operate in this community.”

Oregon Right to Life has had long-standing opposition to the use of force, intimidation, and violence by any person pursuing pro-life activities.

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They state that their commitment to the well-being of all human life requires that they respect the inherent value and dignity of all people.

Just as they condemn abortion and euthanasia, they also oppose private acts that take human life, inflict bodily harm, or destroy another’s property. They say that no board member, officer, employee, or chapter officer may participate in any illegal or harmful act against another person or property in pursuing pro-life activity.

Oregon Right to Life will not knowingly do business with any organization or business which endorses violence in any way toward pro-abortion persons or businesses.

Oregon Right to Life was founded in 1970 and is an affiliate of National Right to Life Committee, America’s oldest and largest national pro-life organization.

This is an active investigation, the Keizer Police are asking anyone knows any information on this case to contact them.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-09 12:30:31Last Update: 2022-05-09 19:42:16



Washington County Transportation Tax to Increase
Get ready to pay more for transportation projects

The Washington County Oregon Transportation Development Tax (TDT) rates will increase by 3.901%, effective July 1, 2022.

Once the increase takes effect, the Washington County Transportation Development Tax rate for a single-family detached home, for example, will be $9,998 – an increase of $375 more than the 2021-22 rate of $9,623.

The Washington County Transportation Development Tax is based on the average estimated traffic generated by new development of that type and is paid by developers to fund transportation projects including road improvements, sidewalks, bike lanes and transit upgrades such as bus shelters.

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TDT rates are adjusted annually based on a five-year rolling average of road construction, labor and right-of-way costs.

The rate increase was approved April 19 by the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Washington County code calls for the Board to act on the Washington County Transportation Development Tax adjustments annually before May 1.

Kathryn Harrington is the Chair of the Washington County Commissioners.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-09 12:25:15Last Update: 2022-05-09 18:58:45



Kerry McQuisten Endorsed by Trump Senior Advisor David Bossie
“Oregonians need real leadership”

Oregon Republican gubernatorial candidate Kerry McQuisten has announced that her candidacy has been officially endorsed by David Bossie. Bossie is the senior advisor to former President Trump, Deputy Campaign Manager for the Trump 2016 Campaign, producer of the newly released film “Rigged,” and President of Citizens United.

Bossie tweeted out the endorsement on May 3: “I’m proud to endorse Kerry McQuisten for Oregon Governor. Kerry is a Trump supporting principled conservative who will fight every day to Make Oregon Great Again. Oregonians need real leadership and common sense reforms from a political outsider who will always put Oregon first.”

McQuisten says, “We have four decades of leftist destruction to reverse. Oregon is upside down in every area due to failed management and infringement on our freedoms. Whether the issue is stopping this culture of crime that has been deliberately created here, or handing the power back to parents when it comes to our kids’ educations, I look forward to bringing back the Oregon we all once loved.”

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McQuisten has also been endorsed by Steve Yates, President of Radio Free Asia under the Trump administration, Dr. Kelli Ward, who serves as Chair of the Arizona Republican Party, former Oregon State Representative Greg Barreto, Utah State Representative Ken Ivory who founded the American Lands Council, dozens of businesses around the state, and hundreds of individuals and elected officials from all corners of Oregon.

She has also received gubernatorial endorsements from the Eastern Oregon Mining Association, Oregonians for Medical Freedom, and Restore Oregon NOW.

If elected, McQuisten, who is the mayor of Baker City, a seventh generation Oregonian, and a business owner, would become Oregon’s first female Republican governor, and the first governor from eastern Oregon since the 1950s. She would also be Oregon’s first Republican governor in four decades.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-09 10:01:28Last Update: 2022-05-09 10:14:04



Metro Area Homeless Counts are in
A recent survey found that rents for Portland residents have climbed 40 percent

Leaders from the three Portland-area Metro counties for the first time jointly released numbers from their federally required counts of people experiencing homelessness. In the first full regional snapshot of homelessness since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 6,633 people were counted as experiencing homelessness on the night of Jan. 26, 2022.

Of those 6,633 people counted, 3,611 were experiencing unsheltered homelessness. An additional 2,222 people were counted in shelters, with 800 more in transitional housing.

The results, which will be reported to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, also make clear that people of color continue to face disproportionate rates of homelessness. In Multnomah County, for example, people of color made up almost 40 percent of everyone counted this year.

Because of federal rules, the Count does not include thousands of people who did not have a home of their own on the night of Jan. 26 but were “doubled up,” staying with friends or family. Culturally specific providers tell us that people of color are more likely to experience homelessness this way and are underrepresented in the Count as a result.

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The outcome of the Count does not directly affect funding levels, but conducting the tally helps ensure our communities remain eligible for federal funding for housing and homelessness services. (Those funds are separate from federal COVID-19 funding.)

As a one-night snapshot, the federally structured Count also isn’t designed to reveal how many people move in and out of homelessness over the course of a year, either losing their housing or gaining it back with support services.

The extent of homelessness in the community isn’t static, and the number of people experiencing homelessness who need services over the course of a year is much larger than any one-night number.

The results this year speak to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic continues to present serious challenges for vulnerable community members -- sharply affecting service providers and leaving unsheltered homelessness far more visible in the tri-county region.

And just as they did before the pandemic, people living with fixed incomes and/or disabling conditions also continue to bear the brunt of the region’s housing crisis. In fact, even during the pandemic, rents and home prices in the Portland-area have continued to grow at one the nation’s fastest paces.

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A recent survey by Redfin, as reported by local media, found that rents for Portland residents have climbed roughly 40 percent since March 2021. Experts say much of the increase is due state and local government policies on housing.

The region also continues to see significant numbers of people counted as experiencing chronic homelessness. That means they have at least one disabling condition -- a mental health condition, addiction disorder, chronic illness or physical disability — and have been homeless for at least a year.

Overall, the three counties tallied 3,674 people who met that definition.

Chronic homelessness is the primary focus of extensive new regional funding, through the voter-approved Supportive Housing Services Measure, that finally became available for programs in July 2021, mere months before the Count.

Since then, the three Metro-area counties have been investing those funds, along with other new local, state, and federal resources, into hundreds of additional shelter beds, street outreach teams, and supportive housing placements. Metro, the regional government that distributes the funds, has posted a dashboard showing that growing impact.

Local governments have also invested substantial federal relief funds into rent assistance programs to prevent what could have been a tidal wave of new homelessness, while also using federal funds to increase shelter and hygiene services, through programs like the Safe Rest Villages and others.

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Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington shares, “Our response solutions have increased, yet there is much more to do. Homelessness should never be necessary in our region. We have seen the impact from increasing shelter options and expanded housing resources to support our most vulnerable community members.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-08 17:47:10Last Update: 2022-05-08 18:12:07



Ghost Guns in Oregon
Oregon AG at Odds with Governor

On April 6, 2022, Oregon Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, wrote a Guest Opinion for The Oregonian on ‘ghost guns.’ She implored legislators to close the ‘ghost gun’ loophole in gun-safety laws. Her opinion piece was prompted when the agents from the U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, working with Salem police, raided a home with 63 ‘ghost guns’ and 200 counterfeit M30 oxycontin pills, believed to be made with fentanyl.

Rosenblum blames the legislature for not acting on bills she proposed in 2019, 2021 and SB 1577 in 2022 that would ban manufacturing of any firearm that cannot be detected by a metal detector. She is committed to bring the bill back in 2023. In the meantime, Rosenblum has joined Oregon in a lawsuit seeking federal actions to restrict ghost gun manufacturing.

There is no doubt that ghost guns may be an attractive choice for criminal elements. Here is the rub. It was federal agents that discovered the suspect had enlisted drug addicts to buy guns for him paying them with counterfeit pills.

Governor Brown has made every attempt to keep federal agents out of Oregon, away from courthouses and access to information. In 2018 Rosenblum joined Governor Brown in a successful lawsuit to void two federal laws requiring states to aid immigration authorities – meaning local police don’t help ICE agents when suspects are released from jail or hold them for ICE.

Governor Brown has released around 1,000 prisoners, not to the liking of some District Attorneys. Lane County District Attorney Patricia Perlow, Linn County District Attorney Doug Marteeny and four family members of homicide victims filed suit to stop early release of more than 70 people who committed crimes as juveniles, including murder.

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Recent news reported Brown granted clemency to a convict serving life without parole in the 1994 cold-blooded murder of a teenager.

When SB 819 passed in 2021, to allow reconsideration of a conviction, there were many questions on flooding the courts with criminal cases and not just cases due to a change in the law.

The U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have been looking for “Buy Build Shoot” kits, which have been classified as firearms by the Biden Administration. They are being blamed for a violent interstate crime wave. Last year they traced 15 murders to these kits in California. In California, ghost guns made up about 41% of guns recovered in the Los Angeles area in 2020. Rosenblum says, in Oregon, police have reported cases in which students have been found with ghost guns or ghost gun components.

How many ghost guns are being sold on the black market that any law would not touch? It all leads back to who is buying them and why.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-08 10:35:22Last Update: 2022-05-08 18:08:33



Real ID Deadline Only One Year Away
Don’t wait until you book a flight

The Real ID deadline is only one year away. Oregonians may want to get it done as soon as possible, if planning on interstate travel.

Starting May 3, 2023, you will need more than a standard Oregon driver license or ID card at airport security checkpoints to board a flight within the U.S. You will need a Real ID-compliant driver license or ID card, or a passport or other federally acceptable ID.

The Transportation Security Administration has a full list of identity documents it will accept for air travel.

If there is even a tiny chance you will need to travel by air in the future, don’t wait until 2023 to make sure your ID is ready to fly. What if you get a sudden wedding invitation? Or the sad news of a funeral?

“A year may sound like a long time, but it isn’t when it comes to issuing secure identification such as driver licenses, ID cards and passports,” DMV Administrator Amy Joyce said. “It can take weeks to gather the documents you need to qualify for a type of ID that the TSA will accept at airports.”

DMV offices in Oregon and across the country are busy, and the U.S. Department of State has a backlog for passport applications and renewals. As the Real ID deadline approaches, DMVs and the State Department will get busier. So beat the rush – get the Oregon Real ID option or a passport now.

Is your license or ID card expiring in the next 12 months?

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You can renew your Oregon license or ID card up to 12 months before your expiration date. If you need to renew in the next 12 months anyway, why not do it early and add the Real ID option? That would save you a second trip to DMV or the wait for a passport.

Real ID is optional in Oregon because you may already have a passport, passport card, military ID or other credential for air travel. But if you want the Real ID option on your Oregon driver license or ID card, don’t wait until you book a flight.

How do I get the Real ID option in Oregon? “You may already have the ID you need for air travel,” Joyce said. “But if you don’t, please act now – get or renew your passport, or add the Real ID option to your Oregon license or ID card. Oregon DMV offices are already very busy, but they will get busier in 2023 because of Real ID.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-07 11:50:57Last Update: 2022-05-07 12:27:58



Clackamas County Ballots Have Printing Defect
“We have procedures to competently and correctly respond with this situation”

The office of the Clackamas County Clerk is reporting that some ballots printed for the May 17, 2022 Primary Election have barcodes that are blurred. According to a press release, this was a printing issue with an external printer who has printed ballots for Clackamas County for more than 10 years with no issues. This defect in the printed ballot causes the affected ballots to be rejected by the county’s automated ballot processing equipment. The ballots with the defect are validly cast votes, and will be tallied.

The Clerk's office says that the defective bar codes do not identify voters nor do they relate in any way to voter’s selections on candidates or measures. They are a code that identifies the “ballot style” so that the equipment can tally the votes in the correct elections.

A certain number of ballots that are received in every election are damaged in handling, in the mail, or while in the possession of the voters due to beverage spills and similar accidents. There is a routine process for handling those ballots. The original ballots themselves are retained. At least two election workers of different political affiliations transfer the votes to a machine-readable duplicate ballot. The workers must agree that the votes cast on the original ballot have been correctly transferred to the “duplicate” ballot to be read by the machine. The duplicate ballot is then included in the batch to be processed in place of the damaged ballot. The damaged ballot is retained.

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According to the release, while there are damaged ballots and ballots marked in a fashion that they are not machine-readable in virtually every election, the incidents are ordinarily very small. Preliminary batch runs for the current election lead the County Clerk to believe that the numbers for this election are higher than usual and that additional time and effort will be necessary. The entire process of ballot duplication for the machine-unreadable ballots will be witnessed by election observers, but, the level of activity will be higher than they have seen in the past. Observable colored lanyards identify the political affiliation of election workers and are worn at all times so that observers can be sure that correct process is being used.

According to County Clerk Sherry Hall, “It is our objective to count every validly cast vote in this election and every election. Our voters are entitled to expect nothing less. We have plans and procedures in place to competently and correctly respond with this situation and many others. Fortunately, recent legislative and regulatory changes allowed my staff to identify this problem early in the election and have provided additional time to deal with it. It is simply a matter of staffing up and scaling up a process that has been vetted and is already in use. While legislative changes will delay final election results, that delay is due to the shift from a close of polls at 8 PM on Election Day cutoff for receipt of ballots to an Election Day postmark cutoff for ballots. We simply will not have them all to count at 8 PM on Election Day. The delay is not caused by the need to duplicate ballots that are not machine-readable in their original form. There is no better election staff than the one we have here in Clackamas County and we expect to meet all deadlines for the release of tallies and certification of results in spite of the increase in workload.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-07 08:51:08Last Update: 2022-05-07 09:10:09



Eugene School District May Ban Legal Firearm Carry
The Oregon Legislature made this possible

The Eugene 4j School District school board is planning, at their May 18th meeting, to prohibit Concealed Handgun License holding parents from being anywhere on their property. The Oregon Legislature made this possible in the 2021 Session with SB 554. Second amendment advocates pressured Christine Drazan to walk out on the session, but she failed to do that, and the bill passed without Republican support in either chamber.

If they adopt this policy parents and friends will be forbidden from picking up or dropping off their children or attending any school function anywhere on school controlled property if they are in legal possession of self defense firearms.

The official summary for SB 554 reads, in part:

Authorizes board of public university, Oregon Health and Science University, community college or school district to adopt policy providing that affirmative defense for concealed handgun licensees possessing firearms on school grounds does not apply. Provides that in prosecution for possession of firearm on school grounds subject to policy, within Capitol, or within passenger terminal of certain airports, concealed handgun licensee affirmative defense is not complete defense but results in Class A misdemeanor conviction punishable by 364 days' imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:00pm on Wednesday, May 18 and interested persons may address the board. The address is:

200 N. Monroe Street
Eugene, Oregon 97402 [ map it]

The agenda item is listed as:

XII.1. Consider Revisions to Board Policies GBA – Equal Employment Opportunity; IGBB – Talented and Gifted Program; JFCJ – Weapons in Schools and adoption of Board Policy KGBB – Firearms Prohibited (10 minutes) Presenter: Christine Nesbit, General Counsel


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-06 15:47:23Last Update: 2022-05-06 17:32:56



Oregon Health Education Advisory Panel to be Approved
Parents want change for 2022-2023

Parents in Oregon are uniting against public school curriculums that teach sexual identity. They are discovering that blindly trusting the state to educate their kids is not limited to the three Rs (reading, writing, and 'rithmetic)

When COVID hit and kids were taught virtually from home, parents also learned how they were misled. The blinders were taken off of critical race theory (CRT), sexual identity and comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).

In total defiance of parents, the 2022 Oregon Legislature passed SB 1521 introduced by the Senate Interim Committee on Education, which is chaired by Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland). The measure reduces the value of parents’ voices at school board meetings by giving the school district superintendent unfettered power over the school board where parents should have a voice.

This is playing out in real life. Recently parents discovered at the Molalla School Board meeting that a transgender is sharing the girl’s locker room without parents and the boards knowledge. Parents have filed a legal complaint.

Parents have reason to assuming their school board will function as parents wish and in the best interest of their children.

ORS 332.072 states “the legal status of school districts as corporate bodies, and the district school board is authorized to transact all business coming within the jurisdiction of the district and to sue and be sued. Pursuant to law, district school boards have control of the district schools and are responsible for educating children residing in the district.” This statute was not changed by SB 1521 that may add conflict between school boards and school superintendents.

The Oregon State Board of Education mission is to provide leadership and vision for Oregon’s public schools and districts by enacting equitable policies and promoting educational practices that lead directly to the educational and life success of every student.

The board sets educational policies and standards for Oregon's 197 public school districts, and 20 educational service districts. All of these agencies have separate governing bodies responsible for transacting business within their jurisdiction. This relegation to limit local school boards to “business” with a top-down approach on curriculum is creating the conflict between superintendents, school boards, and parents.

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The State Board is made up of seven members appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate. Currently the 5th Congressional District position is taking applications. Those interested should contact the State Board Administrator for further information.

The State Board of Education is in the process of forming an advisory panel that will work to revise the Health Education and Sexuality Education Standards and Performance Indicators.

Parents have an opportunity to give their voice on the 2022-2023 Health Education Advisory Panel for approval by the State Board of Education.

Membership on this panel will require participation in approximately four to six meetings and conventions over the 2022-2023 school year.

Ideally, ODE would like to have panel members that are health educators or curriculum directors who are familiar with and use the standards regularly, or content specialists from the public health field and community-based health programs.

However, others are welcome to apply, especially if they are familiar with the standards and the educational process. Application deadline has been extended to May 9.

It is advisable for every parent to subscribe to the State Board of Education updates.

SB 1521 allows the school superintendent to follow the State Board of Education policy suggestions without approval from the local school board. That will require a more diligent look at what the State Board of Education is advising superintendents.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-05-05 11:17:56Last Update: 2022-05-05 20:14:09



Postmark Rule will Impact Elections
Any ballot postmarked by Election Day is considered on time

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has released a new Public Service Announcement to educate voters about the postmark rule. This is the second PSA the Secretary has released as part of the Trusted Info 2022 campaign. The new PSA is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Somali.

“Our best tool in the fight against false information is true information,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “We are committed to reaching Oregon voters early and often so the first thing they hear about Oregon elections is the truth.”

A new law in Oregon known as the "postmark rule" says that any ballot postmarked by Election Day is considered on time even if it arrives at elections offices up to seven days after the election. Voters may be able to put their ballots in the mail as late as Election Day if their mail is collected by USPS and postmarked that day.

The new law will mean that the total number of votes cast in the election may increase in the days following Election Day. These are not "late" votes. Every vote tallied by elections officials will have been cast on time.

The new law could mean that very close contests will not be decided on election night. According to Secretary Fagan, even if the results come in a little slower, they will be accurate.

The State Legislature passed the HB 3291 -- the postmark rule -- into law in 2021.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-04 12:54:55Last Update: 2022-05-04 13:04:54



Analysis: Answering the Call
Free Oregon members have donated over $130k to fund 16 law suits

Adversity has a way of creating historical figures and the COVID outbreak has produced at least one person who will leave his mark. Ben Edtl established Free Oregon after mandates shut down his businesses and left him with nothing. In 2018 he took over a struggling coffee roastery facing bankruptcy. By 2020 he had turned it around to profitability and bought three additional cafes.

Then COVID hit and two weeks to flatten the curve was extended. Edtl refused to wear a mask or require that of employees. He wouldn’t put up mandated warning signs. He lost staff and was cancelled on social media. He was pressured to put up BLM flags and was doxed. With his business down 90% he lost his investment. The police were no help when revenge vandalism occurred. His wholesale accounts left him. He laid it all at the feet of government overreach. He made a going out of business video that got 40k hits on Instagram. He asked God for help.

In an appearance before the Yamhill County Republican Party, Edtl said he “checked in”. He wasn’t political, just valued freedom highly. He realized it is up to us to manage our government. Free Oregon puts on weekly townhalls that get 3k views. 20k Oregonians are now in Free Oregon. They have ongoing lawsuits to stop the Governors’ mandates. Politicians talked but few acted on their words. Those that did had difficulties of their own. Currently, Free Oregon has 16 lawsuits in various phases. The left has responded in some cases by switching judges. Free Oregon adjusts to that. Edtl sees Oregonians go from fighting to winning.

West coast governors formed a pact to act in unison on vaccine and mask mandates. It was the first collective action by states since the Civil War. Ironically individuals were forced to show proof of vaccination to enter certain establishments but weren’t required to show I.D. to vote. Edtl is now keenly interested in politics and elections integrity. He is running for State Senate to take on the Democrat Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner. Edtl lives in Tualatin, Washington County. A Free Oregon member, Tim Sippel, asked the Washington County Elections Office for the May 2021test ballot data. They refused. The District Attorney’s office awarded Sippel the databases after nearly a year of court battles. The State Attorney General then sued Sippel to prevent the transfer of the data. Ben and Free Oregon got involved to bring in civil rights attorney, Sephen Joncus to support Sippel in receiving test ballot data. Ben asks: ”What are they trying to hide?”

Led by Edtl, Free Oregon has encouraged over 40,000 letters to the Oregon Health Authority to mock mask mandates. That agency is relatively new having begun in 2016. Already it has a $29 billion annual budget. Pat Allen is the controversial head of OHA and a Kate Brown surrogate. 25% of the members of Free Oregon are Democrats. They have expanded their area of interest to include addiction, mental illness and homelessness.

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Free Oregon members have donated over $100,000 to fund 16 law suits. It will take at least $160k more to finish them. They get some help from Alliance Defense Fund, founded in 1994 to protect religious freedom. The Citizens Union, New York based organization striving for transparency and accountability in government helps in some Federal cases.

As an anti-establishment candidate for State Senate, Edtl is challenging both Democrats and Republicans on their handling of Covid, education, crime and homelessness. He earned endorsements by Oregon Firearms Federations, Parents’ Rights in Education, Oregonians for Medical Freedom and more.


--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2022-05-04 12:30:07Last Update: 2022-05-04 15:47:23



Three Names Added to Oregon Memorial Wall
Oregon honors 192 fallen law enforcement officers since the 1860’s

The State of Oregon remembered and honored 192 fallen law enforcement officers, and the families they left behind, during a memorial ceremony on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 1 PM. The event took place outdoors, at the state memorial which is located at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.

The names of three fallen Oregon law enforcement officers were added to the state memorial and honored at this year's ceremony; S. Allen Burdic of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, EOW 3/11/21; John R. Burright of the Oregon State Police, EOW 5/4/21; and Carl L. Frazier of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, EOW 10/9/1979.

The Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial Ceremony is a significant event that the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) is proud to host each year in partnership with the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, and Oregon's various statewide law enforcement associations.

The memorial honors 192 fallen Oregon law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since the 1860s.

This includes officers from city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies who have served as law enforcement officers, corrections officers, and parole and probation officers.

The Oregon memorial is held the week ahead of National Police Week events in Washington, D.C. so that family members and co-workers can attend both memorial ceremonies. More than 21,000 officers who have died in the line of duty are honored on the national memorial

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Background on the names being added to the Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in 2022:

On March 11, 2021 Deputy Sheriff S. Allen Burdic died as the result of complications of gunshot wound. In the early morning hours of August 12th, 1980, Deputy Burdic responded to a shooting at a tavern in Myrtle Creek. As Deputy Burdic checked the area he located the suspect parked in a gravel turn-out near I-5. The subject opened fire on Deputy Burdic, shooting him twice. The man then stole Deputy Burdic’s Patrol vehicle and ran over his legs as he fled. One of the shots injured Deputy Burdic’s spine, causing him to suffer partial paralysis. He medically retired in 1982 as a result of the incident and continued to receive medical care until passing away as a result of complications of the wounds. The subject who shot him was sentenced to 40 years in prison for attempted murder, first-degree assault, felon in possession of a firearm, and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Deputy Burdic had served the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for one year at the time of the incident and had previously served with the Canyonville Police Department for three years. He is survived by his wife and son.

On May 4, 2021 Sergeant John Burright succumbed to injuries sustained on September 4th, 2001, when he struck by a vehicle near mile marker 243 on I-5 near Albany. Senior Trooper Maria Mignano and Police Officer Jason Hoerauf, of the Albany Police Department, were killed in the same incident while all three were assisting a family whose van had broken down. Officer Hoerauf was on a ride-along with his mentor, Sergeant Burright, when the two stopped to assist the van. Trooper Mignano responded to the scene to back them up. While the three officers were standing on the right side of the van, which was parked on the right shoulder, a pickup truck suddenly swerved across a lane of traffic. The pickup struck the right rear of Trooper Mignano's patrol car, traveled along the other two vehicles, and struck all three officers. The driver of the vehicle was driving on a suspended license at the time and had fallen asleep while driving. Trooper Mignano and Officer Hoerauf succumbed to their injuries at the scene. Sergeant Burright was flown to a local hospital in extremely critical condition. He suffered critical injuries that caused him to medically retire in early 2002. He remained under continuous medical care until succumbing to complications of his injuries on May 4th, 2021. In December 2001, the man plead guilty to criminally negligent homicide and was sentenced to two days in jail and three years of probation as part of a plea bargain. Sergeant Burright had served with the Oregon State Police for 14 years. He is survived by his wife and three sons.

On October 9, 1979 Sergeant Carl L. Frazier suffered a fatal heart attack while removing a large crop of marijuana from the bottom of a canyon that had been discovered and reported by hunters. The steep canyon hampered rescue efforts and Sergeant Frazier had to be winched up to the roadway so that he could be transported to the hospital. Sergeant Frazier succumbed to the heart attack 8 days later. Sergeant Frazier was with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office at the time of his death and previously served 15 years as a police officer with the Riverside, California police department. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-04 10:15:46Last Update: 2022-05-04 14:51:09



Riots in Portland Following News of Supreme Court Leak
Some property damage caused during marches, one arrest made

On the evening of Tuesday, May 3, 2022, a group gathered in the downtown area of Portland, Oregon and marched at various times. During the marches, some participants committed acts of vandalism, including graffiti and broken windows that damaged government buildings, coffee shops, and others.

Some burning material and incendiary devices were thrown at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, but it's unknown if any damage was caused.

An image of a smashed up Starbucks store was shared by the PPB, with graffiti declaing "MY BODY, MY PROPERTY", seemingly indicating that the violence was in response to the recent news of the leaked opinion draft of the Supreme Court concerning the Roe v Wade decision possibly being overturned.

The Portland Police says there are no known injuries at this time.

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

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

One arrest was made. Luke S. Anderson, 31, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center of charges of Reckless Burning and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree.

Portland Police did not release a booking photo of Anderson.

Democrats in the Oregon legislature (also sponsored by Republican Ron Noble of McMinnville) passed HB 3273 into law in 2021, prohibiting law enforcement agencies from releasing booking photos, except under special circumstances.

PPB Officers are assessing the scope of the damage and investigating the crimes committed.

If anyone has information, including witness statements, photos, video, or other evidence, please e-mail the Portland Police and reference case number 22-117206.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-04 09:53:53Last Update: 2022-05-04 10:16:52



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