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On this day, August 8, 1971, the Enchanted Forest Theme park in Turner opened. It enchanted 75 people on its first day.



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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



Tillamook County Fair
Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 10:00 am
www.tillamookfair.com August 10-13 PignFord races, pari-mutual horse racing, destruction derby, nightly entertainment included in entry fee.
4603 Third St, Tillamook, Oregon 97141



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



Washington County GOP Reagan Dinner
Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 6:00 pm
Tickets for Reagan Dinner 2022 in Hillsboro September 17th, now on sale at www.washco.gop, featuring former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.



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


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People, Not Politicians Files Redistricting Measure
The new initiative petition is similar to IP 57, which failed to make the ballot

People Not Politicians filed Initiative Petition 16 for the November 2022 General Election ballot to reform Oregon’s redistricting process through the creation of an independent citizens’ redistricting commission. If the effort is successful in gathering 149,360 signatures, it will appear on the 2022 ballot, and will toss out whatever the legislative process produces in favor of new maps drawn by the commission.

“An overwhelming majority of Oregonians support the creation of an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw Oregon’s state and congressional maps and put people, not politicians, in charge of this process,” said Norman Turrill, chair of People Not Politicians and Chief Petitioner of the new initiative petition. “If the legislature fails to act this session, we are prepared with an initiative petition to bring forth the fair and transparent reform Oregonians want for our state.”

At its simplest, IP 16 would introduce mid-decade redistricting reform to change the way Oregon’s voting districts are drawn by creating an independent citizen’s redistricting commission comprised of Oregon voters, rather than politicians. The commission process would begin immediately following the 2022 general election for a complete redistricting of the state legislative and congressional districts in time for elections in 2024.

The new initiative petition is similar to IP 57 filed by People Not Politicians for the November 2020 ballot. That effort was nearly successful after a federal judge last year found the coalition exercised “reasonable diligence” in attempting to qualify for the ballot with over 64,000 signatures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum appealed, and the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the district court decision. This court case is continuing in the federal district court.

In 2001, with the legislature under Republican control, a walkout was staged by Democrats to prevent a legislative redistricting plan and the task fell to Democrat Secretary of State Bill Bradbury to essentially produce the maps that we have today.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-22 11:53:34Last Update: 2021-04-22 10:37:01



Capitol Harassment Victim Speaks
Observers have noted the disparity in treatment

In a letter to Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) State Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville) has asked that Representative Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie) be suspended from all committees he sits on with her. She has identified herself as the victim in this case.

"During the Conduct Committee’s hearing on Friday, the independent investigator recommended Representative Witt be removed as Chair from the House Ag and Natural Resource Committee and that a no contact order be issued. I felt betrayed when arguments were made to oppose the recommendation to remove Representative Witt as Chair. In thinking of the interactions that would be required of us, I knew the restrictions would not be enough to ensure my safety from his inappropriate advances. I am thankful for the action that was announced today to correct that decision and appoint a new Chair for the time being."

During the preliminary hearing on the case in the House Committee on Conduct, State Representative Tawna Sanchez (D-Portland) said that she saw the removal of Representative Witt from his Chair seemed punitive, "Were we not in pandemic mode and not online, I might think differently of it, but we are. We are online for all these meetings. I can appreciate that removing someone from their Chairship does feel a little bit punitive." Representative Witt was the Chair of the House Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources, but he has lately been removed by the Speaker. He still sits on the committee.

Representative Breese-Iverson sees it differently. In her letter, she says,

"It will be impossible to enforce a no contact order while we serve on the same committees. Representative Tawna Sanchez argued during the hearing that because committees are virtual, it should not be a problem for a victim to interact with their harasser. I strongly disagree. A hostile work environment is made worse in a virtual world. To fully comply with the “no contact” order of the Conduct Committee, you must immediately temporarily remove him from all committees that we serve on together."

The work done by the House Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources is critical to the advancement of the Democrat agenda, and Representative Witt's situation presents a challenge for the advancement of legislation, especially in light of the House closure

Observers have noted the disparity in treatment between the Witt case and the cases of Representatives Hernandez and Nearman who are seen as adversaries to the Speaker.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-22 10:25:39Last Update: 2021-04-20 13:55:50



If You Tax It, They Will Build
“Ah, the usual stench of discriminatory inclusion of wealth spreading to societal have-nots”

After a hearing held a month ago, a work session is now scheduled on Representative Rob Nosse’s bill, HB 2972. It calls for a study on how property values influence and constrains tax assessments that are creating shortfalls. As with most studies, a solution is on the table for a two-rate taxation system that shifts taxation towards land and taxes structures separately. The buzz word for this session comes into play -- a more equitable taxation, economic justice, affordable housing and ecological sustainability that skirts around the constitution and Measure 5 and 50 -- property tax regulations passed in the 90s.

The theory is that vacant lots remain vacant because of their low property tax and if land were taxed separately, the land tax could be increased to encourage development. Whether taxed separately or together, when adding a structure, the tax will increase. Maybe not as much under the two-tax rate system because it’s already high, but they will both end at the same amount unless the intent is to increase property land taxes more than the reduction on structures, which appears to be the intent.

Modeled after the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in China, land value increments created by regulatory changes, population growth and economic development should belong to the public. Since China’s higher levels of government provide minimal resources, land leasing fees became the main source of local and urbanization revenue. The principle as described for the proposed two-rate taxation system goes to what is in the public interest should be taxed less and what is not desirable should be taxed more.

It is understandable that government looks for stability and want to prevent a roller-coaster economy. Landowners also experience the same economic impact. Economic instability due to poor policy management can't be fixed by aggressive property taxation.

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

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

The actual reason for the introduction HB 2972 is found in the bill:

(2) “(c) An examination of comparative economic incentive effects on classes of land use in selected local urban and rural jurisdictions. (d) An examination of comparative economic incentive effects on property in selected jurisdictions currently utilizing rural enterprise zone tax incentives. (e) An evaluation of tax burden relief measures that might accompany land value taxation, including a homestead exemption and property tax deferral for homeowners who are financially overburdened."

One testimony creatively described it like this: “Ah, the usual stench of discriminatory inclusion of wealth spreading to societal "have-nots," has wafted once again, into the nostrils of those who have, justly and honorably accumulated wealth by; working hard, saving and investing money, providing services and or inventions to advance civilization, must now experience; forcible confiscation of their wealth, justly and honorably accumulated, to be shared with the huddled masses; for whatever reason, have yet to become prosperous on their own volition and or initiative.”

Since the passage of voter approved Measures 5 and 50, the Oregon property tax system has been massaged and manipulated by law makers until it has eroded local control and undermined the ability of cities to maintain a healthy mix of revenues. Will a progressive two-rate tax system benefit counties or the state?


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-04-22 07:50:37Last Update: 2021-04-22 07:51:41



More Info Revealed on YamCo Trail
Staff and commissioners pressed on, despite losses

Rogue Commissioners and Yamhill County Staff spent many years and millions of dollars attempting to build a bike path on an abandoned rail line.

The latest in the saga of the illegal Yamhelas-Westsider Trail involves the public disclosure of 37 emails between various County staff, Commissioner Casey Kulla, Oregon Department of Transportation officials, watchdog Oregon Department of Justice officials, several leaders of Friends of the Yamhelas-Westsider Trail, plus former Commissioners Primozich and Olson. The public records requested emails hit the inbox of Yamhill County Commissioners late Wednesday, April 21st. The emails are all very damning, if not incriminating.

To review, the project was declared illegal with four remands by the Land Use Board of Appeals. Later, LUBA issued a Stay of Construction and finally awarded attorney’s fees to the plaintiff costing the culpable County over $47,000. The Department of Justice issued a warning against improper actions, but they were ignored. County Counsel Todd Sadlo, loser every time he paraded before LUBA, took on the role of dragging out the process while others plotted various end runs. Commissioner Kulla played the role of propaganda minister making up stories for hundreds of cycling enthusiasts, KOIN television reporter Hannah Lambert, the local paper, County staff, ODOT and the Chehalem Parks and Recreation Department. He was aided in fabricating stories by grants coordinator Carrie Martin. Ms. Martin put a happy face on failures to perform so that grantor ODOT would relax their demands and indulge County incompetence. She reworked the numbers when necessary to derail actions detrimental to the conspirators cause.

ODOT, for their part was very lenient, only becoming more insistent after millions had been spent outside the scope of the grants. The County Administrator, Ken Huffer, acted as cheerleader encouraging his staff’s endeavors. Citizen action was most enthusiastic from Phil Higgins, Wayne Weibke and Steve Wick all backed by the ever-present wallet of Ken Wright. Realizing they were likely doomed, Commissioner Kulla plotted a desperate attempt to acquire the cycling Trailhead property.

That involved an attack on the family business of Steve Belt, a long-time respected businessman in the area. Action by Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer put a necessary pause to those shenanigans. But the staff followed Kulla’s lead unquestioningly, revealing the fatal weakness that exists in staff leadership. Emails between staff members show they truly believe their talking points and rationalize the legal ruling against them as, well, as illegal.

An investigation of staff by disaffected parties outside of Yamhill County government is needed.


--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2021-04-21 18:23:15Last Update: 2021-04-22 10:07:33



Prison Inmates Play Lawyer
Oregon State Bar refuses to investigate -- or protect the public

In March 2020, two complaints were filed with the Oregon State Bar’s Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee alleging outrageous criminal conduct by a pair of inmates in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections. The two unrelated complaints alleged that the inmates were performing legal work, without a license, and in violation of Oregon law, punishable by fine or imprisonment under ORS 9.990.

Each of the two complaints was submitted by a government official with direct knowledge of the situation. The disturbing details of the complaints—and the credibility of the officials who filed them -- did not stop the Oregon State Bar from refusing to do even a basic investigation, and summarily dismissing the complaints.

The first complaint was against inmate Robert Jerome Byers, a violent rapist who injected his victim with methamphetamine and who will die in jail before his release date in 2083. The complaint alleges that Byers assisted other inmates “with their [legal] filings, specifically small claims, for a fee.” This is the kind of standard jailhouse lawyering that commonly happens in every prison.

But alarmingly, Byers had graduated by last March to far more predatory behavior: According to the complaint, Byer sought “to establish himself as the legal guardian of other inmates” by claiming that he had witnessed “abuse of individuals” that Byers had himself decided were “vulnerable or disabled.” These guardianships seem to have been designed by Byers to gain control over his fellow inmates’ prison funds.

The complaint against Byers was submitted by Morrow and Umatilla County Circuit Court Trial Court Administrator Roy Blaine, who brought it to the Bar’s attention after receiving a handwritten letter from Byers requesting copies of court forms for guardianships and “restraining orders” to be imposed upon “vulnerable or disabled” people. “I felt, based on paperwork received in several cases, that all were prepared by Mr. Byers’” Mr. Blaine told me. “[The Bar] did not feel it warranted further action.”

But most would agree with Mr. Blaine: that a violent rapist like Robert Jerome Byers, convicted for drugging his victim into submission, should not be permitted to do legal work for fellow inmates, particularly by becoming the legal guardian of vulnerable people and gaining access to their prison funds.

The Oregon State Bar, however, disagreed. Their summary dismissal of Mr. Blaine’s complaint, without conducting any investigation whatsoever, was memorialized by letter from the Bar’s Deputy General Counsel, Nik Chourey, thanking Mr. Blaine for his “interest in Oregon consumer protection.”

The second of the two egregious Unlicensed Practice of Law complaints the Bar ignored was against Joshua Vincent Walsh, a convicted burglar eligible for release from the Oregon State Penitentiary as early as March, 2022. The complaint, filed by Oregon Department of Justice Investigator Debra Seeck, alleges that Walsh may have accepted payment from other inmates for his help in filing up to 31 copies of his own lawsuit—one for which he received $27,000 in state settlement funds.

Ms. Seeck stated, that as of March 2020, two of the 31 clones of Walsh’s lawsuit that had been filed in the courts—under the names of inmates Chris Hoffman and Blake Humphers—had already settled. “The vast majority” of the other suits, Ms. Seeck said, were awaiting summary judgment or trial in the circuit courts.

Ms. Seeck told the Bar that she had “listened to Walsh’s recorded phone calls,” including a conversation between Walsh and his father about the Hoffman and Humphers suits, in which Walsh described the compensation he expected from his fellow inmates for his unlawful legal work. Walsh stated:

“Chris [Hoffman] got out about eight months ago and I gave him $500. He settled out, two of my friends, one got $18,000 and then Christopher, my one friend, we don't know what he got. He won't answer his phone. And so, he's not going to have the money until a couple weeks from now, probably about a week. Here's the thing. I have this number for him. You know how it would be for getting a large sum of money. He might not get around to giving me my cut. Would you give him a call and ask him if he is okay and why he's not answering his phone? He's supposed to pay back that $500 and then I'm supposed to get a third and it will be anywhere from $6,000 to $15,000.”

Ms. Seeck also alerted the Bar that Walsh’s trust account was being monitored for “any large sums of money transferred” to him, and that officials were “taking other actions to thwart further ‘counseling’ by Walsh.” Acting officially as a DOJ Investigator, Ms. Seeck explicitly stated, “We are asking for help from the Oregon Bar to investigate the actions of Joshua Walsh for his Unlawful Practice of Law.”

The Oregon State Bar’s Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee is a committee of twenty lawyers and judges whose sole duty is to investigate such reports of individuals, like Walsh, illegally acting as attorneys in Oregon. The Bar is required under ORS 9.164 to “investigate any alleged violation” of those laws.

Most would agree with Ms. Seeck that a convicted felon operating an illegal scheme to file multiple copies of a lawsuit under the names of other inmates should not be permitted to continue doing so. After the Bar refused to investigate, and summarily dismissed the complaint against Walsh, the Bar’s attorney Nik Chourey also thanked Ms. Seeck for her “interest in Oregon consumer protection.” Only time will tell how much this blizzard of copied-and-pasted lawsuits may end up costing the State of Oregon, but generally, basic math suggests that 31 lawsuits x $27,000 settlements = $837,000.

Basic logic tells us that the Oregon State Bar is beyond negligent in failing to perform what Oregon law defines as is its most basic function: that of a state regulatory agency obligated by law to protect the public—including those who are incarcerated—from the harm inflicted by illegal and unlicensed practice of law, and the financial fraud and victimization that it enables.

A search of the e-court registry shows that to date, no injunctive or criminal proceedings have been brought against Robert Byers or Joshua Walsh for the conduct reported by officials from the Oregon Judicial Department and the Department of Justice. If the Oregon State Bar is derelict enough to ignore such shocking complaints by such credible sources, then the Oregon State Bar cannot be trusted to protect you and me—and should not be in the business of regulation.

And there is absolutely no need to thank them for their lack of interest in Oregon consumer protection.




--Stephanie Volin

Post Date: 2021-04-21 17:37:56Last Update: 2021-04-21 18:23:15



Gun Battles in the Legislature
The temperature is hot among the grassroots

In case you haven't been paying attention, let's bring you up to speed. So far, SB 554 is to be combined with HB 2510 to create one bill that would restrict Concealed Handgun License holders from carrying in public buildings, including the Capitol and commercial airports as well as mandate some safe storage policies. Both bills survived mostly intact -- with a few fixes and changes around the edges. One of the major changes is that there are no longer any felonies defined in the bill, which is good, but hardly and adequate consolation prize to people who are passionate about their gun rights.

When SB 554 passed the Senate, the Republican caucus was split over whether to walk out on the bill and deny a quorum. Six of the 12 caucus members walked out, that wasn't enough to deny quorum, so the bill passed, though it was valiantly fought on the floor. All Republicans in attendance voted against the bill.

Firearms advocates -- feeling betrayed -- launched a recall campaign against Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons). Analysts see an uphill battle, for several reasons. COVID-19 restrictions make signature gathering tough. And Girod is fairly popular in his district. Other recent recalls have failed to even get on the ballot. Even if it gets on the ballot, the voters of his district have to decide that his "no" vote and vigorous objection on the floor wasn't enough.

The bill then moved over to the House where it sat on the desk of House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) for a week, which is unusual. Insiders surmise that she was working on the combination and securing Senate support for the firearm storage restrictions contained in HB 2510. It's now being heard in the House Committee on Rules, where the combined bill is expected to emerge.

It's an understatement to say that the temperature is hot among the grassroots. Understandably, they see walkouts as effective and the political price paid for doing so is slim or non-existent. When SB 554 was heard in committee in the end of February, the end of the session in late June seemed far off and a prolonged walkout seemed difficult. As the end of the session gets closer, these options get easier.

Legislators who are being asked to walk out -- and being chided for not doing so -- have pushed back noting that while it's useful and appropriate to fight legislation during the session, if one party has control, leverage and options are limited. They've called for Second Amendment activists to engage more in elections. Even a few seats could make a difference on this kind of legislation.

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

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

The combined bill is not helpful. CHL holders protect themselves and others when police are unavailable. Opponents of these concepts correctly point out that these policies will create an opportunity to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens, though in the amended bill it will no longer make them felons. Not to minimize this, but these concepts are about making it less convenient to carry. They don't take away your right to bear arms -- well, mostly.

Ironically, as Second Amendment activists celebrated the six Senators who "walked out" on the day that SB 554 had a vote on the Senate floor, that "walkout" was symbolic and everyone was back the next day with the bill passed and on to the House.

For further irony, in the 2017 session, SB 719, was introduced by Senator Brian Boquist (R-Dallas). On the heels of the tragic suicide of his step-son, he authored a bill to allow, what many claim is a law without sufficient due-process protections, allowing a police officer or someone close to the person -- a jilted ex-girlfriend comes to mind -- to present a case to a judge, in which the subject is not invited to defend themselves, and upon a favorable ruling, requires the police to seize all firearms from the subject. And just like that, your ex-girlfriend or ex-wife has cancelled hunting season for you.

The compound irony is that Senator Boquist is now one of the celebrated Senators who staged a symbolic one-day walkout, while SB 554 passed.

The level of seriousness between SB 554 combined with HB 2510 and SB 719 is huge. Losing hunting season because your ex-girlfriend complains to a judge is bad enough. When they decide that you should no longer have guns, all it takes is one corrupt police officer and one corrupt judge in possession of the Oregon Firearms Federation mailing list, and you have a legal gun seizure program.

If Senator Girod is worthy of a recall, after voting no on SB 554 and fighting it on the floor, why does Senator Boquist get a pass on SB 719?

Senator Boquist was re-elected in November for another four-year term against tepid opposition. Maybe voters have short memories. Maybe Senator Girod is hoping for the same. The lesson: If Second Amendment activists want better policy, they need to play harder in elections.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-21 17:30:24Last Update: 2021-04-21 17:37:56



DMV Fails to Gain Ground
Secretary of State Audits Division doesn’t have it on the radar

The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles is still closed to walk-up customers, despite nearly every transaction-type system in Oregon being allowed to function with safety measures in place.

The Secretary of State's Audit Division is responsible for performing audits of State Agencies, including ODOT and the DMV, but we just elected Shemia Fagan to that office on the backs of massive financial support from public employee unions and a pledge not to do "gotcha" audits on State Agencies, which to me means that she isn't going to put pressure on them to perform. So, maybe it is a little bit of a left/right issue.

The Secretary of State's Audit Plan doesn't list the DMV as an entity that will be looked at.

According to one Capitol insider who declined to be identified, "We just spent $90 million dollars on a software system for the DMV so they could perform better. One way or another, they need to do better."

According to their website,

DMV office visits are by appointment only.

The DMV has not released a public plan to return to normal services


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-21 13:55:50Last Update: 2021-04-21 10:05:15



Democrats Drop Education Standards
Flee from accountability at all costs

As if it weren't bad enough that the Oregon Department of Education was denied a waiver for testing by the Biden administration, At a loss for how to actually improve education in Oregon, Democrats have finally resolved to do something concrete: Burn down the entire system. Today Senate Democrats voted in lockstep to scrap graduation requirements for the next two school years and order a study to give them cover to do away with them permanently.

Empirical data has shown that school closures have done significant damage to student’s learning. Evidence from Vermont, a state with one of the highest graduation rates in the country, shows that proficiency-based education promotes equity and the learning of valuable skills for students.

SB 744 would cover up the damage of school closures and hurt kid’s future potential. One suspects that the Democrat’s position is that if they hold our students to no standard, that a diploma will mean more and our students will be better served.

“Democrats figure that the best way to cover up their responsibility for decades of public education system failures is to trash all traditional standards of learning,” Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) said. “This bill tries to pull a fast one on Oregonians by allowing Democrats to claim victory for improving our education system. The reality is that this bill will artificially inflate graduation rates at the cost to our students’ futures.”

In order to avoid blowback, no Democrat was willing to put their name as a sponsor of the bill, though it was introduced by the Senate Committee on Education, which is chaired by Michael Dembrow. SB 744 would do away with all essential learning skill requirements and ban the State Board of Education from requiring students to show any competency in any academic content area.

“Republicans are the party of educational opportunity,” Girod continued. “Rather than scrap standards for learning, Republicans have introduced several measures to allow students to choose the education that best fits their learning needs. Democrats would prefer to trap our kids in a failing system that doesn’t demand anything from them than do the hard work to reform education and set our kids up for future success.”

A recent analysis by Policy Analysis for California Education found that second graders were 26% behind where they would have been absent school closures in their ability to read aloud. Third graders were 33% behind. Another study shows that kids are lagging in reading and writing.

Recent polling shows that 71% of voters nationwide back school choice. 65% support getting a portion of their tax dollars back to help families afford other options if public schools don’t reopen for full-time in-person instruction. A recent report from the University of Arkansas established that the more school choice, the better students do academically.

SB 744 passed over bipartisan opposition and now heads to the House for further consideration.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-21 13:24:48Last Update: 2021-04-21 13:34:37



COVID-19 Diagnosis Shutters Oregon House
Source is not known

The Oregon Legislature learned that an individual who was present at the Capitol has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Potential exposure may have occurred on the floor of the Oregon House of Representatives on April 15.

Human resources for the branch is notifying all individuals who appear to have had close contact with the individual.

The House adjourned this morning until Monday, April 26 at 11am. Committee work, which is being done remotely, will continue as planned.

Anyone who shows symptoms should be tested and quarantine. Legislators and staff who are known to have had close contact with the individual who tested positive have been notified and encouraged to quarantine and get tested. Facilities staff will fumigate the House chamber and wings and continue to diligently, thoroughly and regularly clean the Capitol in line with the CDC’s guidance on environmental cleaning and disinfection.

The priority for the session continues to be to keep people safe and do the people’s work.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-20 11:41:24Last Update: 2021-04-20 11:56:45



Protection for Preexisting Conditions Passes Senate
“This is about treating all Oregonian’s health plans equally”

The Oregon Senate passed SB 699 today with overwhelming bipartisan support. Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) authored the legislation and carried it on the Senate floor.

SB 699 would prohibit grandfathered health insurance plans from imposing a preexisting condition exclusion. Under current law, health plans that are older than 2010, are exempt from certain requirements and can refuse coverage to those with preexisting conditions.

“This bill is about treating all Oregonian’s health plans equally,” Senator Knopp said. “Some people’s health coverage is operating under a different set of rules than most Oregonians. We should protect Oregonians with preexisting conditions, regardless of how old their plan is.”

SB 699 now heads to the House of Representatives for further consideration.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-19 11:49:53



Telepharmacy Coming to Oregon
Would increase access to health care for rural Oregonians

Oregon is the only state west of Texas that doesn’t allow the practice of telepharamacy. Senator Bill Hansell’s SB 629 allows the practice in Oregon and expands access to pharmaceutical services to rural, elderly, and disabled Oregonians.

In small cities that cannot support a full-time pharmacist, many residents must travel considerable distances to pick up their prescriptions or depend on others to pick them up for them. This can cause many to either go without their needed medication or have their treatment delayed. SB 629 would allow a pharmacist to consult over electronic means with pharmacy techs to fill prescriptions and communicate with patients.

“The pandemic has made us realize that many services we depend on can be provided online or over the phone,” said Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena), chief sponsor of the bill. “We can leverage these tools to expand access to health care for rural, elderly, and disabled Oregonians. This is a chance for Oregon to evolve in our delivery of health care.”

SB 629 passed on a 29-1 vote and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-19 11:39:03Last Update: 2021-04-19 11:49:53



Hostile Crowd Attacks Portland Police
Another attempt to burn down police precinct

On Saturday, April 17th, at about 10:00p.m., a group of about 70 people formed in front of Portland Police East Precinct, 737 Southeast 106th Avenue. The group began moving into the street, blocking traffic. Many in the group wore helmets, body armor, and had heavy backpacks, which was consistent with the characteristics of those intent on criminal behavior.

Some individuals began to roll two large dumpsters from a nearby school into the street toward the precinct. Because dumpsters have been used many times as vessels to start fires, the Unified Command of Portland Police Bureau and Portland Fire & Rescue determined it was likely that this group's intent was the same.

East Precinct is part of the city's critical public safety infrastructure and a working precinct 24 hours a day.

The crowd was warned by loudspeaker not to restrict access to the precinct, not to start fires, or block traffic. Despite the warnings, one dumpster was pushed up close to the front door and the other near the garage door.

Due to the criminal activity and clear intent to block access to the precinct, the group was advised by loudspeaker that it had become an unlawful assembly and they were directed to leave to the north. They did not comply so officers moved in and the group moved away as instructed. The officers discovered that one of the dumpsters smelled of smoke but had not caught fire. A collapsible baton and some other gear was dropped when they ran away.

The City of Portland and downtown businesses are totaling up the most recent damage from rioting, arson, theft, and vandalism. Reports are being compiled and there is no cost estimate, but it appears to be significant damage.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-04-18 10:45:05Last Update: 2021-04-18 12:11:40



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