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On this day, March 23, 1806, Explorers Lewis and Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, left Fort Clatsop, Oregon, and began their journey back East. Alsop on this day, March 23, 1998, two river rafters were killed on the Illinois River at the section known as the "Green Wall" after a weekend rainfall and snowmelt doubled the river's volume.

Also on this day, March 23, 2015, Gary Ross Dahl, creator of the 1975 pet rock fad, died at his home in southern Oregon.

Post an Event

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

• 47% of attendees have an alcohol license

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


• 36% Restaurant / Café

• 10% Bar / Tavern

• 10% Catering

• 10% Broker

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

• 5% Food Carts / Mobile

• 22% Other Foodservice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Sweet Home, Oregon

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

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

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

Pendleton Round-Up
Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 5:00 pm
The world famous Pendleton Round-Up is back & stronger than ever. We're excited to see all of our friends, family, & fans back together again for the 113th Pendleton Round-Up!
Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Ticket Office and Gift Shop: 1330 SW Court Ave, Pendleton, OR 97801 Pendleton Round-Up Grounds: 1205 SW Court Ave, Pendleton, OR 97801 Happy Canyon Arena/Goldie's Bar: 1601 Westgate, Pendleton, OR 97801 Pendleton Round-Up & Happy Canyon Hall of Fame Museum: 1114 SW Court Ave, Pendleton OR 97801

View All Calendar Events

Workers’ Comp Changes May Hurt Oregon Businesses
More so in underprivileged communities

Oregon House Democrats are reveling over passing HB 4086, which will modernize outdated language that excludes Oregon families from worker's compensation benefits.

The bill will also ensure that workers are protected against retaliation for pursing compensation claims, regardless of the size of their employer.

The bill sponsor, Representative Karin Power (D-Milwaukie) said, “We need to build an economy that works for working families, not just big corporations. Workers deserve protection from retaliation and certainty that they and their families will be supported if they are injured or killed on the job. Our laws should reflect how Oregon families look today, and that’s especially important for essential supports like workers’ compensation.”

In 2020, 53 Oregonians lost their lives as the result of an on-the-job injury or exposure.

HB 4086 updates the current workers’ compensation death benefits language to ensure that it applies to surviving family members regardless of whether they are legally married and where family members live.

What Representative Power leaves out is that the changes to the law, removes the exclusion for employers that have less than six employees and subjects small employers to not just the newly crafted retaliation law, but the entire ORS chapter 656 – Workers’ Compensation.

It subjects them to hiring and tenure or any term or condition of employment, which they were previously excluded from unless specifically stated.

When Representative Power says “Our laws should reflect how Oregon families look today,” she is saying the definition of “beneficiary” now includes aliens. The change removes the exclusion for those who do not reside within the United States at the time of the accident, other than a parent, a spouse or children, unless a treaty provides otherwise.

She also neglected to state that their definition of “family” has become all inclusive.



The bill defines who is a “dependent” to include domestic partner, parents of a domestic partner, grandchildren of a domestic partner, and siblings or step-siblings of a domestic partner. But it doesn’t stop there.

It includes any friend that may be treated as a family member, “Any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with a worker is the equivalent of a family relationship.” Oregon has worked hard to reduce worker’ comp rates for small business. These changes will have an adverse effect on small businesses, and more so in underprivileged communities.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-02-20 07:56:43Last Update: 2022-02-20 08:27:46

“Fatal Five” Will Be Focus of State Police
Leading causes of serious injury and fatal crashes

Oregon State Police Patrol Troopers will be conducting a high visibility saturation patrol focusing on Interstate 5, Interstate 205 and Interstate 84.

This saturation will be focusing on what OSP refers to as the “Fatal Five”: Speeding, Occupant Safety, Lane Safety, Impaired Driving, and Distracted Driving.

Governor Brown proposed a $20 million cut to the Oregon State Police budget in 2019-21, however, most of that was restored in the legislative adopted budget.

They report top budget drivers are loss of revenue due to COVID-19 causing relocation of staff and holding trooper positions vacant, and infrastructure needs.

The 2021-23 budget allocated 30.4% ($205,654,278) employing 410 troopers.

A far cry from 1980 when 624 troopers cruised our highways. SB 211 passed in 2021, ORS 181A.015 establishes 15 troopers per 100 thousand citizens with incremental increases beginning in this biennium, with the ratio achieved by 2030, which would employ 726 troopers.

Starting on February 18, 2022, and running through Monday, February 21, 2022, the Oregon State Police Patrol Troopers from Salem, Albany, Springfield, Roseburg, Grants Pass, Central Point, Portland, Pendleton, La Grande, and Ontario area commands are conducting the high visibility saturation patrol focusing on the “Fatal Five.” These 5 driving behaviors are the leading causes of serious injury and fatal crashes.

This is what OSP pushed out via our social media platforms: However, the media might like some statistics around what impact this might have on these bad driving behaviors in Oregon. Oregon Patrol Troopers are 100% committed to making Oregon’s highways safer, but these low patrol staffing numbers, begs the question, what impact could OSP Patrol have with more Troopers on the road?

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-02-19 18:43:13Last Update: 2022-02-19 18:59:20

Kate Brown Appoints District Attorney to Crook County
Hathorn will replace Judge Wade Whiting

Oregon's Governor Kate Brown has announced that she has appointed Kari Hathorn as the District Attorney of Crook County.

Hathorn will fill a vacancy created by Judge Wade Whiting’s recent appointment to the Circuit Court for Jefferson and Crook Counties. Hathorn’s appointment is effective immediately.

“I admire Kari Hathorn’s strong work ethic and dedication to public service,” Governor Brown said. “As a former prosecutor for many years, Kari brings a wealth of experience, and has earned the support of community partners in Crook County.”

Hathorn was born in Reedsport and moved to Eugene to attend college.



She received her associate’s degree from Lane Community College in 1999, her bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in 2001, and her law degree from the University of Oregon in 2004. Immediately following law school, Hathorn moved to Washington and worked for the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office from 2005 to 2006, and the Whatcom County Prosecutor’s Office from 2006 to 2010. Then, from 2010 to 2019, she worked as a Deputy District Attorney in the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office. Since 2019, she has been an associate attorney at The Steele Law Firm, where she handles plaintiff-side personal injury and fraud cases, as well as general civil litigation cases. Hathorn also currently serves as a pro tem judge for the City of Bend Municipal Court.

During her 15 years as a prosecutor, Hathorn worked with law enforcement, the courts, and community partners. While at the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office, she was assigned to the office in the Domestic Violence Deferred Sentencing program, where she redrafted the program requirements and eligibility criteria. She also represented the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office in mental health court, in drug court, and at the domestic violence council. Additionally, Hathorn serves on the MADD Oregon State Advisory Board.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-02-19 16:52:17Last Update: 2022-02-19 18:27:14

Gubernatorial Clemency Oversight Bill Remains in Committee
“This bill would have given Oregonians a voice in public safety”

Using the parliamentary procedure of a motion to withdraw a bill from a committee, Oregon Senate Republicans have forced a vote on Senate Joint Resolution 202, which if passed would appear on the November 2022 ballot. The proposed resolution is sponsored by Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend).

SJR 202 would ask voters to amend Oregon’s Constitution to require their democratically elected representatives in the Senate to approve or reject any effort by the Governor to let criminals out of prison. Oregon is only one of three states in the country to have no oversite of these powers.

The move comes days after a new public opinion poll showed that Oregonians are increasingly concerned about rising crime. Only 27% responded that they favored the Governor’s recent commutations and pardons.

“Portland’s crime problems are creeping into Clackamas County and it is making our communities more dangerous,” Senator Bill Kennemer (R-Oregon City) said. “This is a common-sense reform that should have been debated and voted on. After the last few years of extreme government overreach, Oregonians deserve oversite and accountability. This bill would have given Oregonians a voice in public safety. I am profoundly disappointed that this important piece of legislation did not pass.”



The motion to withdraw from committee failed, with six yes votes and three Republicans absent or excused. All 18 Senate Democrats voted to keep the bill in the Judiciary committee, where it now resides. It is not expected to get a hearing.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-02-18 12:51:05Last Update: 2022-02-18 13:48:30

Oregon Republicans Want Common Sense Reforms
“Oregonians deserve to feel safe in their homes”

Safe neighborhoods are a top priority for Oregonians after years of Democrats’ failed leadership on public safety.

Senate and House Republicans have responded this session by introducing several proposals to tackle crime and improve safety for individuals, families, and businesses.

These proposals did not receive meaningful bipartisan support from Democrats who instead are pushing an agenda that includes letting more criminals out of prison early.

To respond to the needs of Oregonians, Republicans in both chambers pulled public safety reform bills from committee directly to the floor for a vote.

The actions are supportive of Oregonians’ concerns. In a recent public opinion poll, sixty-two percent believe the state’s political leadership is too soft on crime.

SJR 202 – Gives Oregonians a chance to vote on Legislative oversight of the Governor’s power to let criminals out of prison early.

Oregon is currently one of only three states in the nation with no oversight on the Governor’s power for early release of criminals. SJR 202, if passed by voters, would require Oregonians’ elected representatives in the Senate to approve any commutation or pardon.

HB 4135 – Closes a legal loophole exploited by drug traffickers allowing them to continue dealing substantial quantities of illicit drugs in neighborhoods and to children.

Current law requires officers to be able to show who the drugs were being sold to. This requires a witness to the act of drugs exchanging hands, making it easy for these drug traffickers to avoid arrest and prosecution, allowing them to continue operating.



“Oregonians deserve to feel safe in their homes, but right now, they don’t because of the Governor’s unlimited power to let criminals out of prison,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “Democrats are pursuing a soft on crime agenda that makes Oregon more dangerous and victims more vulnerable. Oregonians are tired of this kind of overreach. Republicans are standing up for accountability, oversight, and public safety.”

“Following a historic year of violence in Oregon and failed leadership from Democrat leaders, people want the simple assurance of safety,” said House Republican Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville). “Republicans heard their message loud and clear and pushed for several proposals to protect communities. Legislation to keep Oregonians safe should have bipartisan support. Instead, Democrats voted down these proposals and pushed ideas to let convicted criminals vote from prison and make it harder for law enforcement to stop destructive riots.”

The motion to debate SJR 202 failed along party lines, with all Democrats voting against it.

SJR 202 will remain dead in the Senate Judiciary Committee until Democrats decide to speak out against the Governor’s abuse of power.

HB 4135 failed on a near party line vote. Republicans plan to reintroduce the proposal for the 2023 legislative session.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-02-18 06:45:28Last Update: 2022-02-17 12:23:03

Washington State Poised to Tax Exported Fuel
Some analysts say this is retaliation for Oregon moving to toll roads

The Washington State Legislature is considering passage of SB 5974 which would add $0.06 per gallon to the cost of a gallon of gas in Oregon. 90 percent of Oregon's gas comes from refineries in Washington State. Oregon does not have any refineries.

This effectively means that the maximum MVFT imposed on fuel exported from the state would be $0.06 per gallon. However, the portion of the exported fuel that is destined for a state with a MFVT rate higher than Washington would receive a full credit and would not be subject to the $0.06 per gallon MVFT exported fuel rate.

Representative Shelly Boshart Davis (R-Albany) and Representative David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford) testified during the Washington State Legislature’s House Transportation Committee.

The two Oregon legislators spoke in opposition to an “exported fuel tax” proposal from Washington Democrats to levy a new tax on 90 percent of Oregon’s transportation fuel.

“This is an offensive proposal that would force Oregonians to pay for Washington’s infrastructure projects,” said Rep. Boshart Davis. “I cannot stand by and watch as the hardworking people of Oregon are hit with an unfair and unjust tax with zero representation. Oregon has its own infrastructure needs, we should not and will not pay for Washington’s.”



“This effort really highlights poor policymaking in Washington,” added Rep. Brock Smith. “The Washington Legislature set goals and approved transportation projects they couldn’t afford. Instead of doing a better job with writing public policy, they’re going to ask my residents to pay for their roads when they have never nor will ever use them.”

Some analysts have seen this move by Washington state as retaliation for Oregon moving to toll roads that Washington residents use -- Interstates 5 and 205. The revenue from these tolls is not planned to be used to reduce congestion on these roads.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-02-18 06:33:25Last Update: 2022-02-17 21:51:05

Oregon Senate Approves Legislation to Strike Reference to “Aliens”
Seek to replace “alien” with “noncitzen” in Oregon State Law

The Oregon Senate approved SB 1560 by a vote of 24 to 1. State Senator Lynn Findley (R-Vale) was the lone dissenting vote. This bill revises existing state law and directs state agencies to refer to individuals who are not citizens or nationals of the United States using “noncitizen” instead of “alien,” despite the fact that the term is used in federal law.

“Referring to immigrants and refugees as ‘aliens’ is an outdated, dehumanizing practice that stems from xenophobia and allows individuals to express bigotry without using overt racist language,” said Senator Kayse Jama, (D-Portland), “As a former refugee, who was once classified as an ‘alien,’ I am proud that Oregon Legislature considers updating its laws to reflect our values. I hope that more states follow.”

“When we hear words like, ‘you don’t belong here’ or ‘go back to where you are from,’ the word ‘alien’ aligns with those views,” said Senator Deb Patterson, (D-Salem), “My children, both people of color, and immigrants themselves, have heard those words. Some of you may have heard those words, too. I am certain that some of our constituents have.”

As the state faces a myriad of problems -- homelessness, labor shortages, COVID regulations and the corresponding damage to the economy -- Democrats seem determined to focus on race as the paramount issue of our day. Voters may disagree in November.

According to a press release put out by Senator Jama's office, SB 1560 does not make any substantive change to existing law and will not impact one’s eligibility for federal benefits or programs that are available to a person who meets the definition of “alien” under state or federal law. SB 1560 now moves to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.

According to the Legislative Fiscal Office, "while this individual measure has a “Minimal” fiscal impact, an agency may incur a net fiscal impact greater than minimal depending on the cumulative impact of all measures enacted into law that affect the agency."

Senator Jama represents Senate District 24, which is East Portland and North Clackamas and serves as the chair of the Senate Committee On Housing and Development, and the Legislature’s Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus. He was the first former refugee, Muslim, and Somali-American to serve in the Oregon State Senate. Before his appointment, Sen. Jama was a prominent community organizer and Executive Director of Unite Oregon.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-02-17 15:59:47Last Update: 2022-02-17 18:16:25

Survey Finds Oregonians Feel Less Safe
Survey highlights Oregonian’s concern with their safety and proposed reform legislation

A survey commissioned by the Oregon District Attorneys Association found that 55% of Oregonians feel less safe in their communities than they did two years ago and 58% feel the State is headed in the wrong direction when it comes to the issues of public safety and protecting the public from crime.

The survey explores decisions from Oregon's leadership that directly affect public safety. Specifically Oregonians' shared strong opinions on pending and recent proposals before the Legislature including pre-trial release, early release of violent offenders, mandatory minimum sentencing and victim notification.

"The survey data reflects exactly what our elected District Attorneys hear in our communities across the State every day, from Oregon City to Salem to Medford and Pendleton. The general public is concerned about their safety and the policies coming out of the State Legislature and from the Governor," said ODAA President and Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson.

The survey found that 61.8% of Oregonians believe that Oregon's political leadership, including the Governor and Legislature has been "too soft" on crime and overwhelmingly support increased resources for police and prosecutors.

On specific policy proposals, the survey found 64% of Oregonians oppose releasing people the same day when arrested for property crimes and almost 89% oppose same day release for those arrested for domestic violence and assault crimes. 56% of Oregonians oppose the Governor granting early release for prisoners serving sentences for murder and other violent crimes they committed as teenagers and 68% support mandatory minimum prison sentences for adults convicted of murder and violent crimes.



The survey also found that Oregonians overwhelmingly support protecting the rights of crime victims with 82% backing investments in victim notification and 71% supporting taxpayer dollars to ensure victims have notice and opportunity to provide input before offenders are released pre-trial.

The statewide survey, conducted by Nelson Research, was commissioned January 4, 2022 and included 500 likely voters with a margin of error of 4.38%.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-02-17 09:20:05Last Update: 2022-02-17 09:54:19

Iconic Elk Statue Will Return To Downtown Portland
Damaged by leftist riots in 2020

Downtown Portland feels a little lonely without Portland’s unofficial mascot: the bronze elk that watched over Main Street for 120 years. Now it's coming back, and observers are hoping that leftist extremists don't ruin that again.

Two years after removing the statue due to damage sustained during violent protests, the City of Portland is preparing to bring it back. The elk is expected to reappear in late 2022 or early 2023 with a new base, a dedicated bike lane and an improved bus lane.

“Few pieces in our rich public art collection are as beloved by Portlanders as the elk,” said City Commissioner Carmen Rubio, who is Portland’s Arts Commissioner and liaison to the City Arts Program. “Portlanders have told us they want the elk back as soon as possible, and I’m thrilled that we’re finally taking concrete steps to return it this year.”

The Thompson Elk Fountain circa 1905, several years after it was commissioned by former Mayor David P. Thompson.

Built in 1900, the Thompson Elk Fountain was named for its benefactor: David P. Thompson, who served as Portland’s mayor from 1879 to 1882. A founding director of the Oregon Humane Society, Thompson wanted to pay homage to wildlife that once roamed the city.

The hulking elk, sculpted by Roland Hinton Perry, stands 9 feet tall and weighs 3,000 pounds. The granite base and water-spouting fountain were designed and built by H.G. Wright.

Perched between Lonsdale and Chapman squares, the elk split Main Street smack-dab down the middle, requiring cars to veer left or right as they passed – and prompting passersby to gawk. The statue has been an object of endearment, a gathering place and a hub for activism over the years.

The elk’s antlers were damaged by protestors during the leftist Occupy Movement of 2011. Nine years later, downtown Portland became a focal point for nightly violent protests. Protestors lit several fires in the fountain’s troughs and destroyed portions of the granite. The elk was damaged as well.

To protect the statue, the City’s nonprofit arts partner removed it on July 2, 2020. The Regional Arts & Culture Council has stored the elk safely and fully restored it with funding from the City’s arts insurance policy.

City officials went to great lengths to preserve the base and fountain, too. The Water and Parks & Recreation bureaus teamed up to salvage as much stone as possible and cover the site in gravel.

But the historic fountain will be difficult to rebuild. A team of City experts is exploring options to replace it with a smaller base that would no longer operate as a fountain. This idea reflects the consideration of possible further damage from violent leftist protests which happen frequently in Portland in recent years.



Now, the elk begins its trek back home – more of a shuffle than a gallop. Just as the statue sits at the crossroads of downtown, it also sits at the crossroads of city programs and processes. And despite being a Portland icon, the elk has to be vetted just like anybody else.

“I am beyond thrilled that the Portland elk is returning to Main Street, and I am grateful to the many City employees who have helped the elk along its way. Our Portland elk also gives the City an opportunity to experience the permitting process firsthand," said City Commissioner Dan Ryan, who is co-leading a Citywide initiative to improve permitting processes. "Permitting makes our infrastructure safe, responsible and sustainable — it’s also vital to ensure our processes are efficient, from affordable housing to our arts infrastructure. Welcome back to the elk!”

This week, the City Arts Program kicks off the process by applying for a retroactive permit to dismantle the statue and base. Required due to a historic resource designation, the process is known as a “demolition delay”, in other words, the City is officially recognizing a demolition that took place on a timeline.

By approving the application, the Bureau of Development Services will effectively remove the statue’s historic resource designation. A formal decision is expected in June, following a required 120-day waiting period.

While this process is underway, the City’s “elk team” will continue refining their proposal for the statue’s homecoming. They are committed to returning the statue to Main Street, though the exact placement could be adjusted.

Once the “demolition delay” is approved and site plans are finalized, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will apply for a permit to install a new base for the statue. Community members will have the opportunity to comment during the design review process.

The Transportation team anticipates installing the base, improving the bus lane to better accommodate TriMet buses, and adding a bike lane to connect cyclists from the Hawthorne Bridge to the upcoming Southwest Fourth Avenue Improvement Project. Construction could begin as early as this fall, depending on when the design is approved by the City’s Design Commission.

“It’s fitting that the elk – an important piece of Portland’s past – will help improve our transportation system for the future,” said Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty, who oversees PBOT. “This project will be a big win for bus commuters, cyclists and, of course, the elk.”

The elk declined to comment. Asked whether he is looking forward to a homecoming celebration, he maintained the stoic gaze that has charmed Portlanders since 1900.

--Sabrina-Marie Fisher

Post Date: 2022-02-17 09:01:39Last Update: 2022-02-17 11:07:06

Republicans Object to Bill to Give OHA More Power
“We should be reestablishing checks and balances between the executive and legislative branches”

Senate Democrats have passed SB 1529 that would give the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Director the power to determine a health care emergency, a power previously only held by the Governor.

Republicans voiced concern on the floor about the dangers of giving an unaccountable, unelected bureaucrat ambiguous power.

Democrats stated that the purpose of the bill was to make it easier to deploy volunteer medical workers to respond to strained health care facilities, but it is unclear why the Public Health Director needs emergency powers to do this.

“After two years of overreach from the OHA, we should be reestablishing checks and balances between the executive and legislative branches, not continue to defer to unelected bureaucrats,” said Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls), member Senate Health Care Committee. “We should be restoring trust in our public health institutions, but this bill will only deepen mistrust. Everyone supports the idea of making it easier to get hospitals the help they need, but that shouldn’t require giving unelected bureaucrats emergency power.”

By striking a single line, the bill would allow the hospitals to get the help they need but also give Oregonians certainty that the OHA is not being granted more ambiguous power.



Senator Linthicum and other Republicans spoke about how this is an opportunity for the two parties to work in a bipartisan manner to find a compromise. Democrats chose to ignore those concerns and voted in lockstep to pass it along party lines.

a href='https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2022R1/Measures/Overview/SB1529'>SB 1529 will now be considered by the House.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-02-17 06:27:33Last Update: 2022-02-16 16:54:10

Oregon Senate Moves on Emergency Response
More power for the OHA, as well as other sundry fixes

The Oregon Senate has approved SB 1529 on a vote of 18 to 7. According to the Senate Democrat Caucus, this bill streamlines emergency management practices and improves agency response to public health emergencies. “In case of a public health emergency, Oregonians deserve a clear, coordinated response from our state’s leadership,” said Senator Deb Patterson (D-Salem), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Care. “Currently, we rely on the Governor to declare a public health emergency to deploy licensed health care volunteers to respond in times of crisis. SB 1529 will allow for the Oregon Health Authority to provide an immediate, direct response by activating health care volunteers during emergency situations.”

According to Oregon Citizens' Lobby, SB 1529 allows an unelected Director of the Oregon Health Authority to declare a health care emergency that impacts the economy of the state to make an impactful declaration for the entire state.

In addition to providing more authority for the Oregon Health Authority during a medical emergency, the bill also removes a provision in Oregon law that would allow a pharmacist or pharmacy technician to scan a driver’s license or ID card when dispensing pseudoephedrine.

In 2019, the legislature passed HB 2185 which imposed a number of requirements on Pharmacy Benefit Managers -- essentially middle-men between health insurers, pharmacies and drug manufacturers -- operating in the state, including prohibiting the requirement that prescriptions be filled via mail order pharmacy and limiting the retroactive denial or reduction of claims. SB 1529 makes those requirements apply to all drug contracts.

“We have a duty to best prepare Oregon for future public health emergencies” said Senator James Manning (D-Eugene), who Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness. “We are deeply grateful for the dedicated, licensed health care providers that are willing to volunteer to protect their communities in times of crisis. Senate Bill 1529 will provide coverage for volunteers if they are injured while serving our state. This measure will allow Oregon to be more responsive, save lives and better support our frontline health care volunteers.”

SB 1529 also allows the Oregon Health Authority to declare a health care emergency and to deploy SERV-OR volunteers. The State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon is a database of health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, Emergency Medical Technicians, behavioral health providers, respiratory therapists and others who serve in response to emergencies.

SB 1529 now goes to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-02-16 12:45:32

Mask Choice Rally Set for Friday
"At this point, going on three years, it is abuse”

A Salem group is planning a rally for mask choice at Salem-Keizer school district student services center on Friday, February 18 at 10:00am.

Salem Keizer We Stand Together is a nonpartisan group of citizens striving to encourage community engagement and advocate for parent’s rights, educational transparency, equal opportunity, academic excellence, and school choice for every student.

According to the group's chair, Linda Farrington, "We want our schools to offer an excellent education, free of opinions and progressive ideologies, because they are training the next generation. There are many important issues facing us today. But how our children think and the way they approach the world is the most important issue we have. It is the ideology that is at the root of everything else that happens. Children are our future and the perspective that is taught to them will affect every single one of us tomorrow.

Especially since vaccinations are readily available for those who are vulnerable to covid infection, Salem Keizer We Stand Together is advocating for parents to have the right to choose what is best for their children. Masking should be a choice - not a mandate! Parents know better than the government what their children need.

"Schools are only taking into account one side of the mask issue and appear to be completely ignoring the harms that are taking place in terms of increased mental health problems, increasing suicides, lack of communication, isolation, lost learning, lost recognition of social cues, and delayed speech and language development, hurting children with special needs, autistic children, and those for whom English is a second language, the most." Farrington continued. "Once the Governor decided to make the mask mandate permanent I think parents realized that nothing was going to change unless they got involved. Last week we had a rally for mask choice with over 200 community members attending. We decided to do it again this Friday because masking is harming children in so many ways with little measurable benefit. We couldn’t stand by and let them continue abusing children this way.”

For Farrington, the issue is serious. "At this point, going on three years, it is abuse. We know that children rarely get sick from COVID and even more rarely pass it on. Although many have tried to find evidence that masking children decreases the incidence of covid infection, close examination finds the claims are not substantiated. Although the CDC continues to recommend masking in school, the World Health Organization guidelines do not routinely recommend masks for children ages 6 to 11 because of the “potential impact of wearing a mask on learning and psychosocial development.” Masking children ages 5 and younger is not recommended because this age group is at low risk of illness, because masks are not “in the overall interest of the child,” and because many children are unable to wear masks properly. The WHO also explicitly counsels against masking children during physical activities, including running and jumping at the playground, so as not to compromise breathing.

In Oregon, the arbitrary rules about when it is or isn't ok to mask are inconsistent thereby pointing to a political issue underlying the mandates, not a medical one. All the emphasis on masks takes away from real mitigation efforts that could help the community like hand washing, taking extra vitamins, preventing obesity, and early at home treatment to stop the over inflammation of COVID infection that sends people to the hospital.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-02-16 09:39:21Last Update: 2022-02-16 18:36:00

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