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Save Our State Rally
Saturday, October 8, 2022 at 12:00 pm
2022 Midterm Candidate Rally
Front Steps of the Oregon Capitol



Polk County Conservative Candidate Potluck & Forum
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at 5:30 pm
Please join us to hear from candidates & enjoy fellowship & networking with like-minded friends. Invited candidates include city council, mayor, legislative, governor, & congressional races. Coffee, lemonade, and water provided; please bring a dish to share. 3215 Independence Hwy, Independence OR Questions? Please contact Kathy Freeborn Hadley @ 503.559.5901 or kathyfree17@gmail.com
3215 Independence Hwy, Independence OR Questions? Please contact Kathy Freeborn Hadley @ 503.559.5901 or kathyfree17@gmail.com



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Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 11:59 pm
This is the deadline to register to vote for the November election.
https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/pages/registration.aspx?lang=en



Oregon General Election
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at 8:00 pm
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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 8:00 am
Legislative Committee hearings
Oregon Capitol



Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 8:00 am
Legislative Committee hearings
Oregon Capitol



Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Friday, December 9, 2022 at 8:00 am
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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.

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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



Oregon Right to Life Gives Statement on Supreme Court Leak
“Oregonians do not support the extreme abortion policies in our current law”

On May 2, 2022, Politico released a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The opinion, labeled as the Opinion of the Court and written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, would overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Oregon Right to Life is an organization founded in 1970 that advocates for the most vulnerable human beings whose right to life is denied or abridged under current law.

According to their website, they work to reestablish protection for all innocent human life "from conception to natural death".

ORTL gave a statement on the recent news of the leaked opinion draft in the Supreme Court signalling the overturning of the Roe v Wade decision.

“We are encouraged that the Supreme Court appears to be moving to return the issue of abortion to the people of the United States and their duly elected officials,” said Oregon Right to Life executive director, Lois Anderson. She continued, “We must keep in mind that this is a draft opinion. While it might indicate the direction of the Court, it does not guarantee the outcome.”

If the final decision remains consistent with the leaked draft, authority over abortion policy will return to the citizens and their elected officials.

“Polling consistently shows that the majority of Oregonians do not support the extreme abortion policies in our current law.,” said Anderson. “We welcome the opportunity to craft legislation that reflects Oregon values, supports women, and protects innocent life. The pro-life movement supports women during and after pregnancy. We will continue to do so.”

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According to their position statement on abortion, Oregon Right to Life believes in the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death. They believe that an abortion ends the life of a genetically distinct, growing human being. They oppose abortion at any point of gestation.

They believe that in rare cases, a mother may have a life threatening condition in which medical procedures intended to treat the condition of the mother may result in the unintended death of her preborn baby. At the same time, ORTL recognizes that in most cases, modern medical practice has and will continue to increase the ability to save both the life of the mother and the baby.

Many Oregon leftists are feeling angry, terrified, hopeless, and incredibly frustrated, according to Governor Kate Brown.

The controversial Governor says those are valid feelings and access to abortion is a fundamental right.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-03 15:23:51Last Update: 2022-05-03 15:59:42



Lebanon Proposes $10 Million Dollar Pool Tax
Price Tag Shocks the Conscience

A $10 million dollar tax proposal for swimming pool renovations is being floated by Lebanon school administrators and aquatic district personnel -- just as Lebanon taxpayers are drowning in debt. Many residents are shocked, scratching their heads, suggesting such a large tax bond for pool repairs makes no sense. To put this in perspective, Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida built their giant water-park Typhoon Lagoon for $20 million dollars. It has water slides, walkways, fake mountains and backdrops, wave tanks, tube canals and much more.

The proposal seems outrageous to many citizens and shocks the public conscience on many levels. First, the pool and building were likely built for less than $1 million back in the 1970s. Even with today’s inflation adjusted dollars the pool and building could be entirely torn-down, dug-out and replaced with a larger fancier brand-new pool and building, twice the size with numerous additional amenities for under $3.4 million. Not being specific for how $10 million would be spent has people suspecting hidden-agendas. They’ve been through similar bait-and-switches with the superintendent on other issues.

Next, this pool is the only reason for a Lebanon aquatic district tax. Every property owner in the Lebanon school district pays a tax just for this pool as part of their yearly tax bill. People also pay user-fees every time they use the pool. The public was promised the aquatic district tax and user-fees were for pool maintenance, upkeep and repair. These taxes and fees have accumulated millions of dollars. Citizens tracking the issue want to know what happened. Many suggest it is a management and planning failure to simply defer maintenance, not sequester needed funds, then declare a crisis and shift the cost to taxpayers. Financial foresight and budget allocation is a school superintendents primary responsibility and especially disturbing in this case, since the current superintendent’s previous position was director of district maintenance.

The taxpaying public does not feel school administrators or aquatic district personnel are being strait with them. Justifications for spending $10 million on the pool are vague, non-specific and there are no fully developed project documents. Some justifications include, “the pipes below the pool are corroded and could collapse anytime -- shutting the pool down”, “The boiler is old and must be replaced – it could go tomorrow or 5 years, who knows.” Pool contractors have countered that there are actually only a couple drain pipes under pools. They are replaced like pipes under a city street. A new top-end boiler can be purchased for less than $250-400 thousand. What exactly is $10 million for? From a practical perspective there are approximately 30,000 people in the Lebanon School District, probably less than 1000 use the pool. These are also the same taxpayers and citizens who were shut out of the pool for almost 2 years -- plenty of time to get repairs and boiler replacements accomplished.

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Terrible management, drowning in red-tape and over-priced contractors should not be thrown a life-preserver by Lebanon taxpayers. The school and aquatic district are apparently struggling to manage and keep up with maintenance and repairs. More importantly, Lebanon high school ranks at the bottom, 228th out of 262 high schools in Oregon in academic performance, 77% of Lebanon’s 11th graders cannot do grade-level science and math. The drop-out rate is approaching 30%. The public has been speaking out that the top priority of the superintendent, school administrators and some board members must be a laser-focus on getting standards for Lebanon schools back to some semblance of academic acceptability – not swimming pools, socialized medicine clinics, and unwanted progressive curricula.

The Lebanon pool is a great community asset and should not go away. However, many citizens think it should be removed from school and aquatic district control because of ineffective financial management and planning failures. Many would like to see it become a Lebanon community fitness asset – free to taxpayers and their families who pay for it. The pool would remain in place with continued use by the high-school swim team as usual. A public field-house with an indoor track and fitness equipment could be built in the open-ground beside the swimming pool, which would also be part of a Lebanon community fitness center, free of burdensome bureaucratic school district rules, restrictions and shut-downs and available to citizens year-round. Pool repairs and a beautiful steel-frame fitness center could be accomplished for much less than the $10 million request for basic pool repairs. Voters in Lebanon may want to save $10 million and send district administrators back to the drawing board.


--Clarke Vesper

Post Date: 2022-05-03 09:47:41Last Update: 2022-05-03 16:26:12



Gresham Fire Chief Resigns
Blames City Manager Falls for toxic work environment

City of Gresham Fire Department Chief Mitch Snyder has submitted his resignation on April 13, effective as of May 6. In compliance with a public records request made by The Gresham Outlook, a copy of Chief Snyder’s resignation letter has been released.

The City of Gresham says they support employees raising good faith concerns about the workplace and actively works to examine them when made, but they disagree with the concerns raised in Chief Snyder’s letter regarding the budget and City Leadership.

The City stated that "While Gresham as a whole has experienced budgetary challenges over the past few years, we have sought to work openly and collaboratively as an organization in order to build understanding and create equitable solutions across the City."

However, Snyder has indicated that unprofessional conduct by the City Manager's Office, serious budget concerns that remain unaddressed, and toxic scapegoating as reasons he is resigning from an organization he could "no longer in good conscience be a part of."

In the resignation letter written to the Gresham City Council, made available by The Gresham Outlook through a public records request, Snyder seemed to point blame at Deputy City Manager Corey Falls.

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Chief Snyder will serve his last day as Friday, May 6. Scott Lewis will serve as interim chief.

"It has become clear to me ... that Deputy Falls does not, in fact, value those leadership aspects," Snyder wrote in his letter. "Instead he prefers an organizational structure that allows him to flex his authority while at the same time deflecting criticism to make deficiencies in the City Manager's Office appear to be the responsibility and fault of others around him."

The Gresham Police Chief also recently resigned.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-02 14:40:15Last Update: 2022-05-02 17:11:37



Translation Advisory Council Members Sought
Will help to guide the translations of the state voters’ pamphlet

Oregon's Secretary of State will begin recruiting for a new Translation Advisory Council to guide the translation of the state voters’ pamphlet and voters’ pamphlets in Oregon counties.

Oregon House Bill 3021 passed in 2021 and requires the Secretary of State to produce translated versions of voters’ pamphlets and created the Translation Advisory Council to help guide that work.

"Every Oregonian deserves the opportunity to participate in civic life in our State,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “The Translation Advisory Council is a great opportunity to help shape a critical part of that work, and to begin removing barriers to voting for people who speak languages other than English.”

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To be a member of the Translation Advisory Council, a person must be qualified to be an Oregon voter, have civic service and lived experience in a community served by translated voters’ pamphlets or be proficient in English and one of the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Mien, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, or Vietnamese.

Applications to the council can be submitted online.

Interested applicants should apply no later than 5:00 pm on June 1, 2022.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-05-02 11:26:36Last Update: 2022-05-02 17:06:44



A Look at School Tax Bond Measures
Do lockdowns, poor performance, justify $863 million in new taxes

Children lost a full academic-year from almost 2-years in lock-down, forced to wear masks, get vaccinated or leave school – evidence is emerging this was mostly a ruse. Parents lost jobs to stay home with kids or because employers shut-down. Progressive school superintendents and school boards pressed forward with controversial curriculum and issues, dismissing and disregarding input and pleas for change or compromise from concerned parents and disenfranchised taxpayers.

Against this back-drop of shutdowns, dismal academic performance, disregard for parents and taxpayers, skyrocketing inflation, and a pending economic depression -- eight Oregon school districts decided now would be a perfect time to ask taxpayers for more than $863 million in new taxes. The timing and optics of hitting property owners with $863 million in new taxes could not be more tone-deaf according to many citizens.

District parents, property owners and taxpayers certainly want the best for every student whose only option is public school but these new taxes have nothing to do with students or academics – they’re about contractors, money and facilities. Many feel this is not the year to ask citizens, especially property owners, to pay higher taxes just as they are paying an extra $250 month for gas and an extra $150 a month for groceries. After all, education and political operatives get two elections cycles a year, each November and May to trot-out tax bond measures. Voters in this May’s election should consider the following before voting to increase their tax burden even more for another 20-30 years.

Vague Justifications

If you review local bond measures the talking points are similar. The same subjective, non-quantifiable buzz-words are parroted, “this money is to make safety and security improvements, improve HVAC systems, make Americans with Disabilities Act updates (a 1990 law)” and generic statements such as, “to make site improvements, repairs and upgrades, build a new building, remodel rooms”. Project Managers suggest that when asking for $20, $30, $100 million dollars there are sound business management protocols.

Some say there should be exact project scope statements for every individual project with cost-analytics, Gantt charts, engineering designs, materials lists -- to the last nail, parts and equipment costs, subcontractor and labor cost, cost-overrun, forecasts and much more. This must be available to taxpayers, contractors, consultants, school boards and other evaluators -- to review, input and mark-up, perhaps years in advance. Asking for such huge sums of money without exact scope or justification is fiscal malpractice and a management failure. School districts and others get away with this year-after-year. This year, voters would be wise to make districts go back to the drawing-board and quantify, objectify and justify every project in detail – every dollar spent is quantifiable. Tax asks would likely come back cut in half or maybe not at all.

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“Free” Federal Money

Congress passed three COVID relief bills. These bills transferred $5.3 trillion from taxpayer pockets to mostly progressive social and welfare programs. Oregon school districts alone received $1.65 billion from the American Rescue Plan and 3 allotments from Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds. Allotments from 3 Governors Emergency Education Relief funds brought in another $60 million. There was $30 million for distance learning, $28 million for charter and private schools, $27 million for migrant students and $7 million for teaching English. There is more to be allocated through 2025.

These COVID relief funds are “free” money, not part of yearly school budgets -- money from the sky. COVID funds were earmarked broadly for COVID related concerns such as, improving safety and security, upgrading HVAC systems and equipment, making site improvements. In short, what almost every district put in their tax bond requests. Since money is fungible, account swaps could easily allow for roof repairs, remodels and other items not specifically earmarked.

For example, the Lebanon School District wants $20 million dollars from taxpayers but got $14 million in free COVID relief money. This money would pay for everything they ask for. Beaverton school district wants $173 million for their tax bond and received nearly $100 million in free money -- that’s a large bite out of what the district asked for. Before adding to their tax burden for another 20-30 years, taxpayers should be asking, “Where did all that money go?” This money was for safety and facility upgrades, not backfilling retirement accounts, bonuses and hiring staff. This could be scandalous -- every penny of school COVID fund money must be publicly accounted for.

Ethical Considerations

Tax bonds are publicly presented as trivial. Typical statements include, “only a 7-cent levy”, “only $1.13 per 1000 assessed value”, “only $29 extra a month.” A lot is left out. There may be 10-15 local taxing agencies in every tax jurisdiction saying the same thing year-after-year. Taxpayers and school parents from Linn County discovered that, according to the Tax Foundation, Linn County pays the highest property tax as a percentage in Oregon and Lebanon pays the highest rate of cities in the county. A property with a $175,000 assessed value paid $3700 this year but $4200 next year if bonds are approved. Keep in mind, assessors raise property values the maximum legal 3 percent each year, so this $175,000 house will be worth $306,000 or more in 20 years and the tax will then be $7344 yearly – if no new measures are passed--not likely. Exact project expensing and full public disclosure of any future tax burden should be the law.

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 public often opposes additional school tax bonds as well as the integration of progressive social programs in their schools. Understandably, many citizens are incensed when the general public’s school district website, graphic designers, consultants and others use these public assets as lobbing tools for information, disinformation and messaging -- outlining only the “pro-yes” point-of-view and omitting opposing views. Those with opposing views (which exceeds those in favor in a failed bond) must build their own websites, pay their own way. Using Lebanon again, as the example, the district website informs and advocates their viewpoint. The school district just spent as much as $30,000 of all the taxpayer’s money to send out glossy mailers to district residents lobbing only their position for passage of a $20 million bond -- $10 million to repair a $1 million dollar swimming pool. This is the second mailer. This is manipulative. District websites should post all sides on the publicly owned district website. Equal funding and the same mailing lists at school rates should also be provided for mailers and flyers representing all sides in the community.

People pushing tax bonds will highlight their district will get an extra $X-million dollars from the state that will go to another district if the tax bond does not pass. This is not exactly true. This money comes from the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching Program. This money is just more taxpayer’s money held by OSCIM, then dangled like bait to incentivize local school districts to raise taxes on property owners. OSCIM money for districts actually increases each year if not used.

Education is changing. Parents are abandoning progressive, union controlled monolithic public-school systems in favor of small independent neighborhood schools, circa 1950, charter schools, private schools, Christian schools, online learning and homeschooling where they have a choice, a voice and control over their children’s education. Money needs to follow students not government facilities. Taxpayers should also be wary of being on the hook for 20-30 years for upkeep and maintenance of abandoned, empty school buildings. Progressive school administrators continually suggest such taxes are an “investment” in our communities. Informed citizens know investments return money to investors -- this is just more taxing and spending.

The only way citizens can ever reign-in an organized, self-serving, out-of-control government is to cut off the money supply until they listen.


--Clarke Vesper

Post Date: 2022-05-02 08:36:49Last Update: 2022-05-02 09:42:16



OR 224 Now Open After Nearly Two Years of Closure
Had been closed due to Labor Day 2020 wildfires

Oregon Highway 224 above Estacada re-opened Sunday May 1st, after crews completed the final cleanup needed to make the road safe after the Labor Day 2020 wildfires.

Also, the U.S. Forest Service opened the Hole in the Wall and Moore Creek boat access day sites and Big Eddy day use site. All other Forest Service recreation facilities in the Clackamas River Corridor will remain closed at least through the remainder of 2022.

“These communities experienced real hardships as a result of the massive wildfires of 2020,” said Rian Windsheimer, ODOT Portland area manager. ”Today, ODOT and our partners are pleased to celebrate the reopening of this road, but much more forest recovery work still lies ahead of us.”

Recovery work in the corridor will continue after the road opens.

This summer, visitors will encounter road closures of up to 20 minutes at varying locations, seven days a week, and will see trucks loaded with debris, rock scaling work and asphalt being repaired.

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 Forest Service, ODOT, Portland General Electric and other partners have been joined by private contractors in preparing the road for its re-opening. The extent of the wildfire damage was staggering, keeping 18 miles of OR 224 closed for 20 months.

The work involved: Work is underway to re-seed with native plants to reduce weeds.

Patching of OR 224 potholes will continue this spring with paving of the damaged sections this summer when the weather warms up.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2022-05-01 21:07:44Last Update: 2022-05-01 21:20:50



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