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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

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Kulla Charged with Ethics Violation
Alleged he used county resources for private lobbying

An Oregon Government Ethics Commission complaint was filed today against Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla alleging that he used county resources for personal, financial gain in his new role as lobbyist for the activist group Oregon Wild.

The complaint shows how Kulla registered on November 29, 2022 as a lobbyist using his county email, office and phone number. The use of resources that are paid for by the public is prohibited for personal, financial gain by a public official. The complaint also alleges that Commissioner Kulla received the paid gig because he’s a commissioner.

Oregon Wild’s website features Casey Kulla under the Staff directory and lists him as the “State Forest Policy Coordinator”. It also refers to his position as a county commissioner as being in the past, despite the fact that Kulla is still an active, paid commissioner until December 31, 2022.

Kulla is no stranger to controversy, unseating an incumbent commissioner in 2018 by convincing the majority of voters that he represented the Yamhill County farming community and shared their values. Once in office, he defied the farming community and orchestrated the reckless push for the Yamhelas Westsider Trail. The YWT was a controversial and illegal bicycle/pedestrian path that cut through active farmland and violated the property rights of numerous farmers. After a lengthy legal battle, the farmers prevailed against the county and Commissioners Mary Starrett and Lindsay Berschauer voted to withdraw the trail’s land use application in 2021.

Commissioner Kulla earned a reputation as the lone Progressive on the Board of Commissioners, regularly voting against Starrett and Berschauer on big issues like protecting the Second Amendment with a county SASO (Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance) and pushing back against the Governor’s restrictive and punitive COVID emergency orders. He also openly supported the progressive recall attempt of Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer, his colleague, for her vote to end the Yamhelas Trail project. Not only did Commissioner Berschauer prevail in the recall election, she received more votes of support than in the May 2020 Primary election when she won outright.

Yamhill County voters replaced Kulla with Kit Johnston in the November 2022 election. Kit is a businessman and farmer who opposed the Yamhelas Westsider Trail and shares the traditional agricultural values that have historically defined Yamhill County.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-11-30 17:13:54

Monmouth-Independence Launch Trolley Service
Ride the trolley for free

After five years of analyzing, planning and a feasibility study, adjoining cities of Monmouth and Independence saw results by the arrival of the first of the three Trolleys to their community. The project is scheduled to begin service early in 2023 as a pilot project. Representative Paul Evans (D-Monmouth) provided $3 million in American Rescue Plan grant funds through the state budget to support the local transit service that will link downtown Independence, downtown Monmouth and the Western Oregon University campus. The plan is to start operating with transit fares and then find long-term funding to keep ridership free.

The trolley is intended to be fun for all ages. It will be a novelty attracting tourists, visitors, and locals. Planners modeled the pilot after the King Street Trolley in Alexandria, VA, that operates in the historic district, providing mobility for visitors, as well as supporting business. Other trolleys have revitalized downtowns playing a significant role in promoting community identity and economic development, while keeping the traditional urban values alive. That is the hope for Monmouth and Independence.



Community surveys found favorable support for the trolley service over other options. Eventually, the vision is that the trolleys will become a daily transit service for people living in the cities of Independence and Monmouth. This new service will be managed and operated by Cherriots and will link CARTS (Chemeketa Area Regional Transit System) with the Cherriots system in Salem.

The pilot will operate for two years to provide evidence of long-term viability of the service. The trolleys will be a hybrid gas-electric vehicle with plans to move to a 100 percent battery electric vehicle in the future. Two vehicles will operate each service day with a third to serve as a spare and used as rotation. The main route will travel along Main Street in Monmouth, and Monmouth Street in Independence with three trips per hour. The City of Monmouth has a complete schedule on their webpage. It is also possible to make reservations for off-route pickups and drop-offs if it is within 0.75 miles of the main route.

There is some discussion to have special trips for events. Might want to put one of the Independence City events in Riverview Park on your schedule and ride the trolley for free and see your tax-dollars at work.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-11-30 00:08:20Last Update: 2022-11-30 20:06:46

State Contracts to be Studied for Diversity
BBC Research does not appear to have any blacks or Hispanics

The Department of Administrative Services alongside commissioned BBC Research & Consulting, will be hosting six stakeholder engagement sessions in early December to provide information about Oregon’s disparity study, to seek feedback and be available for questions. These meetings will provide information about the project team, the purpose of the study, the project approach, and how business owners and stakeholders can participate directly in the study. The project team will also answer any questions attendees have regarding the study. In addition, attendees will have an opportunity to share any comments or insights about working with the state. This feedback will be integrated into the analysis and report.

BBC Research itself, does not appear to have any blacks or Hispanics among its own directors or employees.

The disparity study, which will examine contracting by state government agencies. The study will seek information about businesses that are owned by people of color, women and service-disabled veterans. The project team will assess whether there are disparities between contracts and procurements awarded and the availability of those types of businesses for the work requested. The study will also assess marketplace conditions for businesses owned by people of color, women and service-disabled veterans throughout Oregon to determine whether any barriers make it more difficult for those businesses to compete for or perform state work.

Public Comment Zoom Meetings
December 6, 11:30 a.m.
December 6, 5:30 p.m.
December 7, 11:30 a.m.
December 7, 5:30 p.m.
December 8, 11:30 a.m.
December 8, 5:30 p.m.
Stakeholder engagement sessions will take place in early December, with two sessions a day over the course of three days. Public participation and feedback are crucial to a successful study, please join any of the following sessions:

“We highly encourage anyone interested in state contracting or procurement to participate in these engagement sessions,” said Christopher D. Wilson, Disparity Study Manager. “We hope to hear about all experiences, your insights will help the state better encourage the participation of small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, person of color-owned businesses, and woman-owned businesses in state work.”

The disparity study began in October 2022, and the project team expects to submit a draft report to the state in June 2023 and a final report in August 2023.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-11-25 06:28:05Last Update: 2022-11-26 09:34:04

Google Settles with Oregon
Google uses the personal data it collects to target ads

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, along with 39 other state attorney generals, announced a historic $391.5 million settlement with Google over its location tracking practices. The settlement, which was led by Oregon AG Rosenblum and Nebraska AG Doug Peterson, is the largest attorney general-led consumer privacy settlement ever. Because of Oregon’s leadership role in the bipartisan investigation and settlement, Oregon will receive $14,800,563.

The settlement outlined that Google misled its users into thinking they had turned off location tracking in their account settings, when, in fact, Google continued to collect their location information. In addition to the multimillion-dollar settlement, as part of the negotiations, Google has agreed to significantly improve its location tracking disclosures and user controls starting in 2023.

“For years Google has prioritized profit over their users’ privacy,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “They have been crafty and deceptive. Consumers thought they had turned off their location tracking features on Google, but the company continued to secretly record their movements and use that information for advertisers.”

Location data is a key part of Google’s digital advertising business. Google uses the personal and behavioral data it collects to build detailed user profiles and target ads. In fact, location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects. Even a limited amount of location data can expose a person’s identity and routines and can be used to infer personal details. Specifically, Google confused its users about the extent to which they could limit Google’s location tracking by adjusting their account and device settings

The attorneys general opened the Google investigation following a 2018 Associated Press article that revealed Google “records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.” The article focused on two Google account settings: Location History and Web & App Activity. Location History is “off” unless a user turns on the setting, but Web & App Activity, a separate account setting, is automatically “on” when users set up a Google account, including all Android users.

“Consumer privacy is one of my office’s top priorities. That’s why it’s so important to me that Oregon played a key role in this settlement. Until we have comprehensive privacy laws, companies will continue to compile large amounts of our personal data for marketing purposes with few controls,” continued AG Rosenblum.

The settlement requires Google to be more transparent about its practices. In particular, Google must:
  1. Show additional information to users whenever they turn a location-related account setting “on” or “off”;
  2. Make key information about location tracking unavoidable for users (i.e., not hidden); and
  3. Give users detailed information about the types of location data Google collects and how it’s used at an enhanced “Location Technologies” webpage.
In 2019, Attorney General Rosenblum formed the Oregon Consumer Privacy Task Force to answer the growing calls for legislation that would give consumers more control over their online privacy and require businesses to adhere to basic standards when handling personal information. The task force has now grown into more than 150 participants from a variety of perspectives.

The task force will introduce comprehensive consumer data privacy legislation in the upcoming 2023 legislative session. If the bill is successful, consumers will have more control over their personal data. They will have the right to know what personal information a company is collecting, to whom or where their data was disclosed, and they will receive a copy of all the data a company has about them. Companies would also need to correct inaccuracies in personal data or delete their information. In addition, the task force plans to introduce companion legislation to create a state registry of data brokers, companies that often operate under the radar but make billions selling personal consumer data.

Blocking Google from collecting personal data may spoil their artificial intelligence robot called LaMDA (Language Model for Dialog Applications). This is the product for which Google has been collecting personal information and habits. Google has been in the news as to whether this AI robot is sentient having thoughts and feelings, and they have fired those claiming it possess those self-aware algorithms.

Elon Musk said in a speech at the 2017 National Governors Association, “Robots will be able to do everything better than us. I have exposure to the most cutting-edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned by it.”

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-11-25 06:24:37Last Update: 2022-11-24 21:15:24

Beware of Black Friday and Cyber Monday Scams
“The biggest shopping days of the year are also packed with scams”

Thanksgiving week Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum reminded us that the biggest shopping days of the year are also packed with scams. Black Friday and Cyber Monday and the holidays draw millions of buyers every year looking to score deals, compete for hot products, and cross names off their shopping lists. She says, be ready – and safe!

“With all these deals, unfortunately, fraudsters are also looking to cash in,” said Rosenblum. “Let’s not give scammers any gifts, credit card information, or new identities this year,” said AG Rosenblum. “Before you open your wallet, review this list carefully to ensure you can shop confidently and make the most of all the great holiday deals. Be sure to review our ten practical tips as well!”

1. Non-delivery scam

If a deal seems too good to be true on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, it probably is. When making online purchases, you should always receive an order confirmation with a tracking number. But in this scam, you won’t. And surprise, surprise, the package never arrives. When you attempt to contact the seller for help, you learn they have disappeared.

2. Gift card scam

In this scam, an online store will ask that you pay using a gift card. If this happens, it should raise big red flags. Gift cards are often utilized by cybercriminals to steal your money because these types of purchases cannot be tracked, and it is impossible to get your money back.

Treat gift cards like cash, never giving out your gift card number or PIN, and using them only with the issuing merchant. For example, you’d use a Target gift card at a Target store or Target.com.

3. Fake order scam

Phishing is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but modern-day phishing attacks have become more sophisticated. In the fake order scam, con artists will send cryptic text messages or unsolicited emails to notify you of a "problem" with your online order.

But you never ordered anything! They want you to click the link in the phishing email, which leads to a website asking for your banking credentials or other sensitive information, which they can use to commit other frauds.

These emails are designed to appear like they came from a legitimate sender, like Amazon or Walmart. Please look out for these and don’t fall for them!

4. Fake delivery scam

Phishing attacks go a step further in this scheme, as criminals will send fake delivery notifications by text or email. Usually, these notifications are disguised to be from FedEx, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service.

Just like the fake order phishing scam, you’ll be invited to click a link to accept your delivery, where they’ll steal your personally identifying information.



5. Fake website scam

Cybercriminals are setting up imitation websites of popular online stores. These copycat websites look exactly like the official retailer, and the untrained eyes of an average consumer can easily fall for the trap.

If you have unsuspectingly made an online purchase from a fake retail website, criminals may have stolen your credit card information and other personal details, and you should contact your credit card and/or bank immediately.

To avoid falling victim to one or more of these scams on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, review these 10 practical tips to help you watch your wallet, shop wisely, and protect your personal information online.

If you have fallen victim, be sure to report it to the Oregon Department of Justice online at www.oregonconsumer.gov or by phone at 1-877-877-9392.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-11-24 13:59:51Last Update: 2022-11-24 16:11:12

Kate Brown Grants Pardon for Marijuana Offenders
More than $14,000,000 in fines and fees will be forgiven

Governor Kate Brown has announced a pardon for prior Oregon offenses of simple possession of marijuana, an act that will impact an estimated 45,000 individuals across the state and forgive more than $14,000,000 in associated fines and fees. The pardon will remove 47,144 convictions for possession of a small amount of marijuana from individual records, eliminating barriers for thousands of people seeking employment, housing, and educational opportunities who have otherwise been ineligible.

The pardon applies to electronically available Oregon convictions for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana, in pre-2016 cases in which the person was 21 years of age or older, where this was the only charge, and where there were no victims. This pardon does not apply to any other offense related to marijuana or other controlled substances. More information can be found here.

“No one deserves to be forever saddled with the impacts of a conviction for simple possession of marijuana -- a crime that is no longer on the books in Oregon,” said Governor Brown. “Oregonians should never face housing insecurity, employment barriers, and educational obstacles as a result of doing something that is now completely legal, and has been for years. My pardon will remove these hardships. And while Oregonians use marijuana at similar rates, Black and Latina/o/x people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.

“We are a state, and a nation, of second chances. Today, I am taking steps to right the wrongs of a flawed, inequitable, and outdated criminal justice system in Oregon when it comes to personal marijuana possession. For the estimated 45,000 individuals who are receiving a pardon for prior state convictions of marijuana possession, this action will help relieve the collateral consequences arising from these convictions.”



Following the Governor’s pardon, the Oregon Judicial Department will ensure that all court records associated with these pardoned offenses are sealed, as required by law

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-11-24 11:07:59

Lawsuit Filed over Measure 114 Gun Restrictions
Kate Brown and Ellen Rosenblum named

A lawsuit has been filed by Oregon Firearms Federation, Sherman County Sheriff Brad Lohrey and firearms dealer Adam Johnson against Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum seeking to have Measure 114 declared unconstitutional.

According to the complaint, filed in the Pendleton Division of US District Court, "Millions of law-abiding Americans own firearms equipped with magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. There is nothing unusual or novel about this technology. Many of the nation’s best-selling handguns and rifles come standard with magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds—and firearms equipped with such magazines are safely possessed by law-abiding citizens in the vast majority of States. The reason for the popularity of these magazines is that in a confrontation with a violent attacker, having enough ammunition can be the difference between life and death."

The case was immediately moved to the Portland Division under Judge Karen Immergut. Immergut is a Democrat appointed by Donald Trump. The court acted with unusual speed on Thanksgiving Day by scheduling oral arguments for Dec 2nd.

According to the complaint, Measure 114 violates a litany of constitutional provisions. Oregon Firearms Federation Executive Director Kevin Starrett pointed out, that "In spite of the fact that there are still uncounted ballots, Oregon’s Secretary of State has declared that the ban on new gun sales, and the outlawing of standard capacity magazines, goes into effect on December 8th.

"This came as a shock not only to gun owners, and gun stores but to the State Police and Sheriffs who have been saddled with implementing this nightmare with no direction, no funding, and no resources . And that’s exactly how it was intended," according to Starrett, who is seeking donations to help with mounting legal costs.

"We know the state has said they will vigorously defend this measure and work to shut down gun stores as quickly as possible. And as you know, virtually every firearms related legal challenge has been lengthy, expensive, and wrought with setbacks.

Starrett continued, "The courts were more than happy to uphold orders that closed schools and crippled small businesses during COVID."

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-11-24 06:24:08Last Update: 2022-11-24 20:37:10

Double Homicide Inspires Legislative Concept
Pardons for prior marijuana possession

Senator Janeen Sollman (D-Hillsboro) speaks out regarding the double homicide in Washington County on November 16. The suspect, Carlos Jimenez-Vargas, is believed to have killed his wife and her sister, Gabriela Jimenez and Lenin Hernandez-Rosas, then shot himself. He was previously arrested six weeks earlier and charged with fourth-degree assault, strangulation, second-degree invasion of personal privacy, luring a minor, unlawful use of a weapon and menacing. Senator Sollman, board member of the Washington County Family Justice Center, is using this tragedy to expand pretrial release assessments to include crimes of domestic violence and personal violence, such as strangulation.

“As someone that grew up in a home where domestic violence was present,” she said. “I know that domestic violence is about negative, and often violent control. Early in the 2023 legislative session, I will be looking at how different courts address these issues in order to help prevent tragedies like this from occurring and will be working with all advocates interested in working on this issue.”

Meanwhile, Oregon Governor Kate Brown grants another round of pardons for prior marijuana possession that will impact an estimated 45,000 individuals across the state and forgive more than $14,000,000 in associated fines and fees. The pardon will remove 47,144 convictions for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana, in pre-2016 cases in which the person was 21 years of age or older, where this was the only charge, and where there were no victims. This pardon does not apply to any other offense related to marijuana or other controlled substances. It eliminates barriers for thousands of people seeking employment, housing, and educational opportunities who have otherwise been ineligible

Governor Brown said, “We are a state, and a nation, of second chances. Today, I am taking steps to right the wrongs of a flawed, inequitable, and outdated criminal justice system in Oregon when it comes to personal marijuana possession. For the estimated 45,000 individuals who are receiving a pardon for prior state convictions of marijuana possession, this action will help relieve the collateral consequences arising from these convictions.”



Following the Governor’s pardon, the Oregon Judicial Department will ensure that all court records associated with these pardoned offenses are sealed, removing housing insecurity, employment barriers, and educational obstacles.

This follows the release of 953 convicted felons earlier this year that included more than 70 people who committed crimes as juveniles including murder. There were a lot of questions in a lawsuit about the constitutional and statutory rights of victims. However, the courts sided with Governor Brown.

Oregon has set a precedent passing laws that protect rehabilitation of inmates. So it shouldn’t be a surprise when courts seem to side with predators rights. Can Senator Sollman bring back constitutional and statutory rights in the way courts look at victims?

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-11-23 16:48:12Last Update: 2022-11-23 20:24:08

Knopp Hopes for a Bipartisan Session
Democrats appear on track to lose their supermajority

Oregon Senate Democrats met at Salishan Resort to choose their nominee for Senate President. The choice of Senator Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) to replace the retiring Peter Courtney -- known for his commitment to the institution and bipartisan solutions -- suggests a new direction.

“Oregonians are facing a number of crises that require action from the Oregon Legislature," said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend). "With close results in several key Senate elections, and the end of the supermajority, voters indicated they want their elected officials to work together in a bipartisan fashion now more than ever."

"I am disappointed that Democrats first step in preparation for the 2023 Session is to designate a new nominee for Senate President without seeking any input from Republicans. Senator Wagner has shown he is untrustworthy, deeply partisan, and doesn’t have the necessary skills to run the Senate in a bipartisan fashion. There are no votes in the Senate Republican caucus for Senator Wagner."

If Democrats are intent on uniting Oregon to fix our problems, Republicans are all in. If Democrats want to run a progressive agenda to pay back their supporters, they can expect total opposition.”

While certification will not occur until December, Democrats appear on track to lose their supermajority and hold their Senate majority by a small margin. The combined total margins in Senate District 3 and Senate District 20 are approximately 2,850 votes.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-11-23 15:13:41Last Update: 2022-11-23 20:19:59

NW Natural is Still a Viable Energy Option
"Innovative efforts that actually reduces carbon emissions"

Despite the attacks by Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown, and Governor-Elect Tina Kotek on natural gas suppliers, NW Natural Gas continues to prove they are a viable carbon neutral option. Representative Khanh Pham (D-Portland), co-sponsored HB 2021 (2021), said the bill “builds on existing energy policy to ensure Oregon’s electricity is generated from clean energy and carbon-free resources like solar and wind energy by 2040.” Her testimony neglected to mention it halts growth in natural gas usage.

HB 2021 implants into law a requirement for retail electricity providers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity sold to Oregon consumers to 80% below baseline emissions levels by 2030, 90% below baseline emissions levels by 2035, and 100% below baseline emissions levels by 2040.

Oregon government has not made it clear to Oregonians that not all electricity is carbon neutral. It takes coal, or oil or natural gas to produce electricity. In a study by Charles Frank, Brookings Institution, he made a comparison of baseline net cost of five options to replace coal. The net cost per KWH for Wind is 5.64 cents, Solar is 18.74 cents, Hydro is -.33 cents, Nuclear is 1.04 cents, and Gas CC is -3.18 cents. What the carbon neutral proponents want you to pay is an additional 21.92 cents per KWH for solar electricity, and for wind an increase of 8.82 cents per KWH.

The benefits of reducing carbon emissions do not appear to be cost effective for higher priced options. According to Frank's report, the cost of reduced emission benefits are: Wind is 4.77 cents, Solar is 5.11 cents, Hydro is 4.83 cents, Nuclear is 5.16 cents and Gas CC is 3.46 cents. Frank answers the question of why the costs per KWH of wind and solar are much higher, and the benefits not much different, than the other three low-carbon alternatives. Costs are higher due to cost to build a wind or solar plant, they operate at full capacity only about 15 percent of the time, and output is highly variable. Frank estimates that it takes at least 7.3 solar plants and 4.3 wind plants to produce the same amount of power as one Hydro or nuclear or coal or gas-fired plant. He suggests that renewable incentives that favor wind and solar are very expensive and inefficient way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.



Last year Northwest Natural presented Vision 2050: Destination Zero, an in-depth report that shows multiple scenarios for how NW Natural can achieve carbon neutrality, a low-carbon energy future in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This report analyzes potential scenarios in which NW Natural could achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 for the energy services they provide to 2.5 million residents.

Emerging new technologies can play a role in decarbonizing non-renewable gas supplies through the direct capture of carbon dioxide at the point of combustion. These emissions can be sequestered or utilized, giving rise to the category of carbon capture, utilization, and storage.

NW Natural has market-ready technology in the pilot phase of deployment designed for natural gas utilities. They are piloting the CarbinX unit, manufactured by the Canadian-based CleanO2 firm, which draws a fraction of the flue gas from natural gas-fired appliances and mixes that gas with potassium hydroxide to produce potassium carbonate. The initial model is expected to capture 20% of the CO2 in the flue stream and eventually rise to 100% in 2030. The CarbinX device is best suited for larger facilities like indoor aquatic and recreation centers or hotels with on-site laundry, places that use relatively stable amounts of natural gas.

NW Natural is also partnering with Modern Electron on another pilot project to turn methane into clean hydrogen and solid carbon to go live in early 2023. All these innovative efforts that actually reduces carbon emissions, unlike HB 2021, have fallen on deaf ears with the Oregon legislature's majority party.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-11-22 06:54:19Last Update: 2022-11-21 22:27:48

Oregon Declares Another Emergency
U.S. Senate declares emergency is over

The Biden Administration is fighting back against Senate Republican along with 13 Democrats who voted to put an end to the notion that COVID is still an emergency. Senate Joint Resolution 63 is intended to put an end to a national emergency declared by the President on March 13, 2020. Senator Roger Marshall, a physician from Kansas, forced the issue onto the Senate floor, but Joe Biden says he needs an “emergency” to fund things like student loan forgiveness.

Now that Nancy Pelosi is out of the picture, this vote may get enough bipartisan support to put a bill on the president's desk. However, Joe Biden says he will veto it, saying the bill would end the national emergency "abruptly and prematurely."

Governor Kate Brown is desperately trying to keep the crisis mentality going in Oregon to test out the newly passed authority given to the Oregon Health Authority. The shortage of nursing and professional staff created during the COVID emergency is having a lingering effect. Many were forced to quit because they refused to take a vaccine that is now being suspended or banned in India, Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Latvia. In the U.S., a year ago, twelve state governors signed legislation restricting COVID-19 vaccine mandates.



Still Governor Brown continues to tell healthcare workers they can’t help with the shortage of nurses if they choose to not vaccinate or qualify for an exemption. SB 1529 carried by Senator Deb Patterson (D-Salem), passed on partisan lines against overwhelming opposition concerned with the unfettered powers given to the Health Authority whenever an emergency is declared or to declare an emergency with the governor’s approval. SB 1529 allows the Public Health Director to direct and deploy State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon (SERV-OR), a database of healthcare professionals volunteering their services including those licensed in other states that can practice in Oregon upon declaration of an emergency.

The Governor’s executive order will give hospitals additional flexibility to staff beds for children, allow them to draw on a pool of medical volunteer nurses and doctors from other states (SERV-OR), and take other steps to provide care to pediatric patients. One may ask what the emergency really is since SERV-OR data base includes 5,150 Oregon licensed professionals that could fill in without an emergency. There is an additional 224 with dual license in Oregon and another state, and 75 out-of-state license holders.

There is no vaccine for RSV, so why does Governor Brown and OHA continue to block Oregonian professionals that aren’t vaccinated in the light of national bi-partisan support declaring the emergency is over?

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-11-21 08:30:31Last Update: 2022-11-21 19:55:37

Multnomah County Forecasts More Budget Deficit
“We are more likely to have a recession than not”

The Multnomah County Budget Office delivered an update to its five-year budget outlook Tuesday, Nov. 15, projecting a growing gap between revenues and expenses in the most recent General Fund forecast.

The five-year forecast is meant to help the Board of County Commissioners assess the long-term financial implications and stability of both current and proposed policies and programs. The forecast anticipates a deficit of $2.6 million for fiscal year 2024, which starts July 1, 2023, and lasts through June 30, 2024. The deficit is expected to grow to $15.4 million by FY 2028.

Business income tax and property tax collections are steady, said Jeff Renfro, the County’s economist. But they may be offset by factors including personnel cost increases in light of new labor agreements, growing recession risks and continued uncertainty over inflation.

“I will just say now I think we are more likely to have a recession than not,” Renfro said. “And we are incorporating that into some of our assumptions.”

Additionally, one-time-only funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, which spent taxpayer dollars a series of poverty, homelessness and public health programs during the pandemic, is set to expire. The fiscal impact of continuing those programs would surely add costs.

While the most recent data shows that inflation may be cooling down, Renfro said, the Federal Reserve may keep interest rates higher for longer than initially planned to ensure inflation eases. Each month that passes with higher interest rates increases the risk of recession, Renfro said.

Moving forward, Renfro said, he is expecting more pressure from inflation and rising personnel costs. Reduced profits would reduce County tax revenues.

In FY 2023, Renfro said, the County could see its business income tax revenue down 12% from the previous year.

The contradiction, Renfro said, is that household incomes continue to rise. Households have more savings than in the past. That means households are able to continue driving consumption, which is good for the economy.

Inflation and the increase in interest rates have also reduced housing affordability, which affects lower-income households the hardest. The decrease in housing affordability will be exacerbated by interest rate increases in the medium term, as the slowdown in housing construction will make the housing shortage worse. Data from the Budget Office’s new Data Library, created by College to County intern Pari Magphanthang, confirmed these already existing, stark disparities.

Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, a Democrat who served two terms as an Oregon legislator said rising interest rates underscore the need for “mitigating those disproportionate impacts through Congressional action like rental assistance or child supports or construction loans.”



Airport travel rebounds, but uncertainty remains on downtown business trends.

The restrictions of the covid pandemic devastated domestic air travel at Portland International Airport.

But even as air travel has been slow to recover, motor vehicle rental tax collections have returned to normal. That’s because rental car prices are higher. Motor tax revenue also has rebounded to normal levels.

“My assumption going forward is that, as the supply chain issues and the higher price issues start to unwind, we will continue to get kind of incremental growth in traffic through Portland International Airport,” Renfro said.

Renfro noted a surprising uncertainty in the downtown Portland commercial market. Many spaces, especially downtown, remain under lease despite not being occupied on a consistent basis. It’s unknown what will happen to the commercial real estate market as more of those leases expire.

Based on the structure of the County’s property tax system, Renfro said, risk to the County’s ledger from the commercial real estate market is somewhat limited. But property taxes account for 60% of the County’s revenues, so even a small change will have some effect.

On Dec. 9, the Budget Office will release its annual budget manual and guidance to help departments prepare their FY 2024 budgets. Then, on Feb. 13, 2023, the departments will submit their budgets to the Budget Office. On Feb. 24, the Budget Office will post those program offers online.

The Budget Office will also deliver two more budget forecasts: one in March 2023 and one in May. On April 27, the Chair’s Office will release its proposed budget, with adoption scheduled for June 18.

--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2022-11-20 08:05:41Last Update: 2022-11-20 09:02:20

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