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On this day, July 22, 2020, protesters broke into the Portland Police Association building, set it on fire and started dumpster fires late today, as demonstrations that have been taking place since the death of George Floyd intensified for another night. Navy veteran Christopher David (53), a peaceful protester, was hit with a baton five times by one of the militarized federal agents deployed by President Donald Trump. Another officer, wearing green military camouflage, a helmet and gas mask, sprayed David full in the face with what appears to be pepper gas. Video of the incident went viral. Federal authorities had assembled a force of 114 federal officers to protect US government buildings in Portland, in response to ongoing protests, unrest and violence there, as part of a mission dubbed "Operation Diligent Valor".




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Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.linncountyfair.com/
July 18-20
Linn County Expo Center



Washington County Fair
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.bigfairfun.com/
July 19-28
Washington County Fairgrounds - Westside Commons



Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.cooscountyfair.com
July 23-27
Coos County Fairgrounds



Curry County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.eventcenteronthebeach.com
July 24-27
Curry County Fairgrounds - Event Center on the Beach



Hood River County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.hoodriverfairgrounds.com
July 24-27
Hood River County Fairgrounds



Jefferson County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.jcfair.fun
July 24-27
Jefferson County Fair Complex



Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.atthefair.com
July 24-28
Lane Events Center



TRUMP TRAIN RALLY
Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 12:00 pm
ALL ABOARD THE LINN COUNTY TRUMP TRAIN! Tail gate BBQ / Guest Speakers / Meet and Greet This is a non-partisan event. All Trump Supporters are welcome THE RIDE STARTS approximately 1:30PM ROUTE: to be determined Presented with local sponsorship by Linn County Conservative Alliance Trump, patriot, Americana, caps,flags, t-shirts and other merchandise available on-site. Profits support conservative and traditional values candidates. https://indd.adobe.com/view/902ce3bb-72b5-4f03-9c74-b71fcdbb6aad
Location: Linn County Fair / Expo parking lot. 3700 Knox Butte Road E. Albany, OR 97322



TRUMP TRAIN RALLY
Sunday, July 28, 2024 at 12:00 pm
ALL ABOARD THE LINN COUNTY TRUMP TRAIN! Tail gate BBQ / Guest Speakers / Meet and Greet This is a non-partisan event. All Trump Supporters are welcome THE RIDE STARTS approximately 1:30PM ROUTE: to be determined Presented with local sponsorship by Linn County Conservative Alliance Trump, patriot, Americana, caps,flags, t-shirts and other merchandise available on-site. Profits support conservative and traditional values candidates. https://indd.adobe.com/view/902ce3bb-72b5-4f03-9c74-b71fcdbb6aad
Location: Linn County Fair / Expo parking lot. 3700 Knox Butte Road E. Albany, OR 97322



Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://clatsopcofair.com/
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo



Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.malheurcountyfair.com
July 30 - August 3
Malheur County Fairgrounds - Desert Sage Event Center



Benton County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
bceventcentercorvallis.net
July 31 - August 3, 2024
Benton County Event Center & Fairgrounds



Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://expo.deschutes.org/
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center



Union County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.unioncountyfair.org
July 31 - August 3
Union County Fairgrounds



Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.co.yamhill.or.us/fair
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds



Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.klamathcountyfair.com/
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair



Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://co.wallowa.or.us/community-services/county-fair/
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds



Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.bakerfair.com
August 4-9
Baker County Fairgrounds



Harney County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.harneyfairgrounds.com
August 4-9
Harney County Fairgrounds



Sherman County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.shermancountyfairfun.com
August 19-24
Sherman County Fairgrounds



Crook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.crookcountyfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Crook County Fairgrounds



Douglas County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.douglasfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex



Grant County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.grantcountyoregon.net
August 7-10
Grant County Fairgrounds



Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.josephinecountyfairgrounds.com/
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center



Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.polk.or.us/fair
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds



Tillamook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.tillamookfair.com
August 7-10
Tillamook County Fairgrounds



Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.umatillacountyfair.net
August 7-10
Umatilla County Fairgrounds



Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.wheelercountyoregon.com/fair-board
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds



Clackamas County Fair
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at 8:00 am
clackamascountyfair.com
August 13-17
Clackamas County Event Center



Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.morrow.or.us/fair
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds



Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.wascocountyfair.com
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds



Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
http://www.co.gilliam.or.us/government/fairgrounds
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds



Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.lakecountyor.org/government/fair_grounds.php
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds



Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.oregonstateexpo.org
August 31 - September 9
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center



Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla
Saturday, September 7, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla 5pm-9pm
Albany, OR


View All Calendar Events


Transportation Committee Statewide Tour Begins June 4
The public is invited to testify at each of the 12 stops

In March, public pushback caused Governor Tina Kotek to tell ODOT to halt tolling plans until January 2026. The Joint Committee on Transportation to the rescue with a plan to appease public opinion, they scheduled 12 meetings throughout the state. They announced that Portland Community College will be the venue for the first meeting of the Transportation Safety and Sustainability Outreach Tour.

"Safe, sustainable, multimodal transportation systems are of critical importance to local, regional, and even international travel and commerce between urban and rural communities," said Rep. Susan McLain (D-Hillsboro, Forest Grove and Cornelius), co-chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation. “We’re working to ensure that all communities, all families, and all businesses are provided with choices that are safe, resilient, and sufficient to meet transportation needs.”

Sen. Chris Gorsek (D-Troutdale), co-chairs of the Joint Committee said, "Each stop on this tour is going to give us a greater perspective of the transportation needs in Oregon and how best to tackle the structural challenges we are facing."

The first public hearing will be held on June 4 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Portland Community College Cascade Campus Moriarty Auditorium at 705 N. Killingsworth Street. It will also be available via livestream. Members of the public interested in testifying can register in person starting 30 minutes before the meeting begins. The committee will also hear remote testimony if time permits, if registered, and written testimony can be submitted via email to JCT.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov.

Preceding the meeting, members of the committee will take a guided trip of transportation facilities in the Portland metro area at noon, and hold a roundtable discussion at 2:30 p.m., which will help them understand the transportation needs of that region through the expertise and lived experience of local partners and officials. A full agenda of the day with registration information.

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The objective of the tour is to gain perspectives and gather information to inform legislators as they develop a plan in the 2025 session to maintain critical infrastructure, complete work on major projects, and guarantee the safety and diversity of transportation systems across the state.

Tour locations and dates (venues to be announced later): The committee is vice-chaired by Sen. Brian Boquist (R - rural Polk and Yamhill counties) and Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis (R - Albany, Millersburg, and Tangent). The full membership of the committee can be viewed on olis.oregonlegislature.gov.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-26 14:47:12Last Update: 2024-05-26 16:59:48



Oregon Association of Scholars Look at Costs of Widespread DEI Bureaucracy
Cutting DEI could salvage Oregon’s education system

The Oregon Association of Scholars, an affiliate of the National Association of Scholars, released Issue Brief 13 examining the costs and reach of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) bureaucracies at the three largest public universities in Oregon.

The brief reports that public universities, Oregon State (OSU), Portland State (PSU), and University of Oregon (UO), in 2020 were spending an average of $1.7 million per year in annual costs for salary and benefits for DEI Vice Presidents and an average of 19 full-time staff for each DEI office. The DEI offices for all three universities expanded their investment to a shocking $7,255,758. This has contributed to nearly $3,000 increase in tuition costs for the same period. The brief asks “the question of what the universities, the students, potential employers, and the people of Oregon are getting out of these large investments and the concomitant hyper-intense institutional focus.”

A Heritage Foundation study measured an average of 4.6 exclusive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) personnel are at major public state universities for every 100 faculty members. The study reported that DEI staff and departments urge students to embrace radical leftwing ideologies, including that people should be treated differently due to their race. The study showed DEI bureaucracies are better understood as an academic version of a political commissariat that articulates and enforces an ideological orthodoxy on campus.

In a U.S. Supreme Court landmark decision in Muldrow v. City of St. Louis, the ruling chipped away at all DEI-based discrimination. The orthodoxy tends to make many groups of people feel unwelcome, promotes division, and encourages conformity rather than diversity on various social and political issues. Lawyers tried to argue that there is ‘good discrimination’ and ‘bad discrimination’, that white people should be purposely disadvantaged to pave the way for diversity. The lawyers stated that the court's decision will complicate DEI programs and limit their ability to discriminate against white men.

The financial costs are substantial and on their own raise questions of the utility and necessity of the DEI apparatuses, particularly with the high and continually growing costs of college. There are also questions and issues far beyond the financial costs that should cause the public and the universities to seriously consider a need to down-size or eliminate the DEI bureaucracies and its framework. Heritage analysts found that student surveys exposed the worse campus climates they have measured.

The brief states, “As the costs of college tuition continue to grow, mostly unabated, any expense that is not essential to the operation of a university, whether as a research institution or teaching students to develop knowledge and skills in their areas of study, should be heavily scrutinized. The cost of these DEI leviathans is far greater than the financial one. The loss of public trust in institutions, while difficult to quantify, is very real and the bean-counting style fixation on the distribution of identity characteristics in what should be serious institutions of inquiry and scholarship only further erodes public confidence. The level of influence of DEI dogmatism and its champions raises the serious question of if the universities themselves have wandered from the legislatively defined purposes for which they were established.”

The public university system does not exist to pursue partisan political goals or whatever mission a university may wish to adopt. “Our universities, which are supposed to serve as strongholds of rational inquiry, the unapologetic pursuit of truth, and the abrogation of fads, appear to have thrown caution and evidentiary standards to the wind as they repurposed hitherto world-class institutions in furtherance of the dogmas of “Critical Social Justice”.”

There are laws that set their overall mission and goals and the fundamental shift in direction made by DEI ideology does not align with their defined purpose. The brief states that the ideological framework that underlies DEI flows out of Neo-Marxist doctrine of Critical Race Theory (CRT), which is being pushed into K-12 schools, and fundamentally at odds with traditional civil rights discourse and the enlightenment-based ethos which is supposed to be at the heart of the university. It is not possible for a university to simultaneously embrace a framework that calls for fundamental changes to our social and political systems and remain aligned with the goal of creating an educated citizenry that can support responsible roles in a democratic society.

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Additionally the brief states, there is no solid evidentiary basis that DEI implemented at the lowest level through training produces positive results. Some research has shown that they have the opposite effect of what they are advertised to do and actually increase prejudices and social tensions. A fundamental change in institutional direction at a university should be based on firmly established evidence, not untested ideological fads. Oregonian’s have a deep connection to our public universities and these institutions should honor that by returning to their core mission.

The brief concludes that these are public universities which receive taxpayer funding from the people of Oregon while claiming to serve broad, non-sectarian, interests. Alas, it is difficult to see these agendas as anything but serving narrow political ends through the implementation of unevidenced practices.

Universities tend to drive the agenda for public schools in preparation for higher education. The Heritage Foundation’s Education Freedom Report Card reported waste in the growth of non-teaching staff, particularly “chief diversity officers.” In public schools, Oregon employs 0.76 teachers for every non-teacher.

The Oregon Business Industry brief reported that Oregon funds education at an above-average level, yet student test scores are among the nation's worst." In the above average funding that doesn't account for the added CAT tax, businesses invest heavily in education and want their tax dollars spent effectively. "The disconnect between educational funding and performance is a competitive double-whammy for the state. Raising taxes on businesses substantially has eroded Oregon’s competitiveness. A continued failure to parlay this additional revenue into educational quality will erode its competitiveness further, and businesses will respond by avoiding or leaving Oregon. This will cost the state jobs, tax revenue and prosperity."

Teacher salaries are also above average, still teacher unions blame low academic results on underpaid teachers. Bending to union demands awarding above average pay raises has put school districts in the awkward position of needing deep cuts. Cutting DEI at all levels could go a long way to salvaging Oregon’s education system and benefit the economy.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-25 17:29:50Last Update: 2024-05-26 15:24:34



142ND Wing to Conduct Memorial Day Flyovers
In honor of great men and women who gave their all

The 142nd Wing out of Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Oregon will conduct Memorial Day flyovers for ceremonies at locations throughout northwest Oregon and southwest Washington.

The 142nd Wing Base employs 1,500 Airmen who provide an economic impact of nearly $500 million to the region. The 142nd Wing defends our homeland with F-15 Eagle fighter jets, guarding the Pacific Northwest skies from northern California to the Canadian border through their Aerospace Control Alert mission as part of Air Combat Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Their mission is to provide unequaled, mission-ready units to sustain combat aerospace superiority and peacetime tasking any time, any place in service to our nation, state and community.

“We support the Memorial Day flyovers to honor the great men and women who have given their all in defense of this great nation,” said Lt. Col. Brad Young, 142nd Wing instructor pilot and 142nd Operations Support Squadron Commander. “We hope that conducting the requested flyovers from community organizations is additive to their ceremonies commemorating those who have lost their lives in service to this nation.”

The F-15 Eagle fighter jets are scheduled to conduct flyovers at the following community locations at, or around, the designated times on Monday, 27 May: All passes will be approximately 1,000 feet above ground level and about 400 mph airspeed. Flights could be canceled or times changed due to inclement weather or operational contingencies.

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The 142nd Wing F-15 in-flight Gopro footage from 8 May 2020's hospital flyovers in support of essential workers.

Photo Caption: Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagles, assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing prepare for an afternoon training mission as part of dissimilar aircraft combat training (DACT) on Aug. 13, 2019, at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore. The Oregon Airmen are training with U.S. Navy F-18F Super Hornet from VFA-41 squadron, based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., during two-weeks of DACT exercises. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)


--Dollie Banner

Post Date: 2024-05-24 14:36:28Last Update: 2024-05-24 15:33:47



Oregon Laws Reflected in Gun Cases
SB 554 stole your ability for self-defense

Oregon District 2 Representative Cliff Bentz is the only Oregon legislator to vote "nay" on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to temporarily halt enforcement of its new rule re-defining who is considered to be "engaged in the business” of dealing firearms under federal law.

"The new ATF rule states that individuals are engaged in firearms-related business requiring licensure if the ATF determines they are acting 'predominantly to earn a profit'.” The old rules allowed private individuals to loan firearms to friends and family members or to sell their firearms to individuals without necessarily having to transact through a licensed firearms dealer.

Pro-gun states (not Oregon) argued the new rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). They contend that it goes beyond the executive branch agency’s authorization from Congress to set regulations.

The federal government argued that it derived the authority using the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) in June 2022. They say the definition includes firearms-related business as activity where the intent is to earn a profit. If “intent” is all that is required, then ATF can determine anything they want it to mean. The court will hear further arguments on June 2.

In the meantime, a county in Arizona is being sued over its plans to impose $1,000 fines on victims of crimes when their stolen firearm is used in a crime, and they fail to report it fast enough to authorities.

These two cases are wrapped up in Oregon’s SB 554 passed in 2021. This law levies fines for failure to report a stolen gun with a serial number – you can be held responsible for any crime committed with guns that have been stolen from you, and your liability when you lawfully transfer a firearm is exponentially higher. In addition, under this law, you need to keep any gun you are not carrying locked up and useless, your rights to allow a minor to use one of your firearms are now extremely restricted and complicated by conflicting language, and you may no longer carry a firearm with a concealed handgun license in the Portland Airport Terminal, in the state capitol building and the grounds of any school that chooses to make its property off limits. There remains ongoing debate over contradicting language within the bill and what proponents said it would do.

SB 554 was passed during antifa and black lives matter riots, which clearly was not about “lawful self-defense.” When legislators embellished local communities with six million federal dollars through the bribery of Tina Kotek, Republican lawmakers caved and locked up their firearms and told you to do the same. Voters can't depend on courts to correct poor voting choices or that courts will protect second amendment rights.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-24 12:57:42Last Update: 2024-05-24 15:44:47



Clean Vehicle Rebate Program Opens Waiting List
The program receives at least $12 million a year

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, under the direction of Leah Feldon, has announced it has opened a waiting list for the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program. Applicants who purchase or lease eligible vehicles through June 3, 2024, still have up to six months from the date of that purchase or lease to apply for state rebates. However, high demand and limited funding mean approved applicants are now placed on a waiting list to receive rebates in early spring 2025.

Electric vehicles purchased or leased before April 3, 2024, or on or after June 4, 2024, do not qualify for state rebates, but may still qualify for federal tax credits. They will not be placed on a waiting list for rebates at a later date.

DEQ offers two rebates. Oregon residents, businesses, non-profits and government agencies may apply for one or both of the following: “The good news is we are seeing more people than ever accessing the program, especially for our Charge Ahead Rebate for low- and moderate-income households," said DEQ Transportation Strategies Section Manager Rachel Sakata. "The overwhelming response to the electric vehicle rebate program shows a strong desire among those living in Oregon to embrace cleaner transportation, highlighting the need for continued and expanded support. We acknowledge the brief open window and being placed on the waiting list for next spring are problems for many who want to make the transition from a gas to an electric vehicle now. We are working with our state, local and federal partners to find ways to continue to support this critical work.”

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The Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program receives at least $12 million a year, or 45% of the state’s Vehicle Privilege Tax. It is part of the state's overall transportation climate plan.

Several state agencies and public electric utilities offer savings on EV purchases or charging infrastructure. The Go Electric Oregon website lists available incentives and provides helpful information for potential electric vehicle buyers and lessees.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-05-23 15:30:35Last Update: 2024-05-23 15:48:26



Will Governor Kotek Throw Small Farms Under the Bus?
Small garden farms are closing over required water permits

The attack on small farms first came to light when Sarah King’s small dairy ran foul of Oregon Department of Agriculture’s reinterpretation of confined animal feeding operations. Oregon has a special permitting process that typically applies to housing hundreds and even thousands of animals, as mismanaging water can have a serious impact on the local environment. For years, the state did not interpret these regulations as applying to small farms like Sarah’s. But now Oregon wants to regulate small farms like large commercial dairies.

The Institute for Justice reported that the change in interpretation to the law came from large commercial dairies insisting that small dairies somehow have a “competitive advantage” over big ones—that is, that they don’t have to install expensive infrastructure to manage waste. IJ is supporting four small farmers in a lawsuit in Sarah King v. Oregon Department of Agriculture filed on January 24, 2024, to save small dairy farms from large commercial farm requirements.

As the lawsuit plays out, the COFA is on hold while trying to work out a solution. In the meantime, they take aim at small garden farmers that supply farmers markets and neighbors with fresh produce. You would think they learned from COFA that consequences make the Governor look bad, or maybe it was Kotek’s idea to expand the target.

The news started to spread when 24 farmers in District 2, covering Southern Willamette Valley, received letters. Now District 1 is receiving the same letter requiring them to file for a commercial water permit. These small farms cannot produce gardens without water, which means the state is shutting them down despite their refusal to acknowledge it.

Oregon has slowly been changing from a small business state to a large commercial controlled state. While the legislature bends over backward towards diversity and equity for minorities, it now appears to be a front for grooming them for large commercial jobs since small business opportunities are drying up in over regulation.

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Mike McCord, head of Northwest Water District said, “officials use aerial photography, complaints from neighbors, and in-the-field observation to find potential violations. New funding in 2021 allowed the state to hire more staff for enforcement.” Was this funding intended to be used against hard working Oregonians while illegal cartel operations are stealing lots of water?

Illegal cartel operations ran the stream dry in the small town of Williams drying up wells. Oregon produces 1,200 pounds of legal cannabis per year. Cannabis is the most water-intensive crop grown in Oregon, so why aren't illegal operations their target? A formula derived from canvassing numerous cannabis cultivators suggests that one gallon of water per day is needed to produce one pound of cured cannabis flower buds. An average one-eighth acre, 100 pounds of plants, would use 24,000 gallons per growing season.

It comes down to water rights. For a water permit, there is no small amount permit for garden farms. Permits are geared towards large commercial operations. A ground permit for water is over $3,000, plus a costly study proving sufficient water levels even though most are using wells.

Oregon is 35 in rain precipitation and 27 in population use so there shouldn’t be the shortage, but Oregon hasn’t done a study to know what the best practices should be. Under the proposed new rules, the state requires the applicant to provide the proof that “groundwater levels are stable enough in their area to support a new permit, meaning if an applicant is unable to provide enough data on whether groundwater levels in the area are stable, the application will likely get denied.” This changes a five-year policy of automatically permitting even if data is uncertain, to a default ‘no’ if water levels are not proved to be sufficient.

These studies are beyond the financial ability for small farmers with a couple of animals or a half-acre garden even if water levels are known to be more than sufficient. Big corporations can easily self-certify with their experts, ultimately creating a monopoly by wiping out small and mid-size farms.

Greg Kupillas, hydrogeologist at Oregon Ground Water Association, a trade group representing commercial scale water users said, “the rules will stunt economic development.” Is it productive to give environmental groups control? If Governor Kotek cared about small farmers, why does she not change the course of the proposed rules?


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-23 11:44:16Last Update: 2024-05-23 16:06:34



Ranked-Choice Voting Measure Hits Title Bump
Supreme Court requires title change

Oregon Legislative Referral 403 (HB 2004)is a referral to voters to consider Ranked-Choice Voting at the upcoming November 2024 General Election. The petitioner, James Sasinowski, challenged the ballot title, asserting non-compliance with requirements set out in ORS 250.035(2). LR 403 would amend ORS chapter 254 to require ranked choice voting for certain elections and would permit local governments to adopt ranked-choice voting in their elections.

The ballot title for LR 403 was prepared by a joint legislative committee and filed with the Secretary of State. Sasinowski challenged all parts of the ballot title, arguing that the word "majority" was used inaccurately and without proper context. He contended that "majority of votes" suggests that a candidate has received the majority of total votes cast, but in operation, ranked-choice voting can produce a winner who does not receive that type of "majority" vote.

The Oregon Supreme Court, in docket case S070879, agreed with Sasinowski in part. The court found that the caption of the ballot title for LR 403 did not reasonably identify the subject matter of the measure and required modification. The court also agreed that the "yes" result statement in the ballot title for LR 403 did not substantially comply with ORS 250.035(2)(b) and required modification. However, the court disagreed with the petitioner that the "no" result statement and the summary in the ballot title for LR 403 required modification. The court concluded that the caption and "yes" result statement in the joint legislative committee’s ballot title for LR 403 required modification and referred the ballot title to the Attorney General for modification.

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Judge Garrett summarizes how ranked-choice voting will work. “As defined in LR 403, ranked-choice voting would permit—but not require—a voter to rank on their ballot multiple candidates and write-in candidates, in order of the voter’s preference. Each cast ballot would be counted as one vote for each voter’s “highest-ranked active candidate.” Ballots then would be tallied in rounds; if an active candidate were to receive a majority of votes cast in the first round, then that candidate would be elected (or nominated, as applicable). Id. § 4(2)(a), (b)(A). But, if no active candidate were to amass a majority of votes, then (1) the candidate with the fewest votes would be defeated (and so no longer would be an active candidate); (2) the votes that had been counted for that defeated candidate would be “transferred to each ballot’s next highest-ranked active candidate”; and (3) a new round of tallying would begin. Id. § 4(2)(b)(B). That same process would continue until an active candidate amassed a majority of votes in a final round of tallying. Id.”

The question of what “majority” means is the majority of votes counted for active candidates in the final round of tallying, as opposed to the majority of total votes cast. In each round of tabulation some voters won't receive equal voting rights eliminating their second, third, etc. votes from being counted. The more candidates that run for a seat, the more likely a second or third choice candidate could win.

“Round” means an instance of the sequence of voting tabulation. This goes directly back to the case of Washington County vs. Tim Sippel in which Washington County was joined by Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, and the Secretary of State Shemia Fagan to prevent the release of the voting SQL zip files saying the public has no interest or need to know. The SQL files are the tests run on the machine's tabulation prior to the elections to see that the machines are operating correctly. It takes data from various tables it has access to, and it can manipulate that data to come up with an answer according to its protocol.

The 2024 legislature took it in their hands to remove public certification tests on voting machines in SB 1538, which went into effect March 27, 2024. The Gartner evaluation stated the system was not qualified to meet the standards to be used for the 2024 election, but here we are, voting on LR 403 with no way to test or challenge a system completely dependent on computer tabulators. The voters need answers and a voting system that works fairly and not a run around to avoid transparency.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-22 15:07:31Last Update: 2024-05-22 19:32:55



Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness... and Decline
The declining test scores are only the canary in the coal mine

Editor's note: This is the third of a multi-part series on the role of DEI in the decline of public education

Previous parts in this series described the systems in place to hold back excellence. The result of all this is crystal clear: workers and students will lower their effort levels to match those at the lowest level. Teachers and employers will adjust their grading and performance reviews to hide differences -- first to satisfy the ideologues, and then to hide the declining output.

It gets worse. The instruction doesn’t just decline as student effort declines, which would happen naturally -- why should a teacher break themselves trying to get performance out of students who are just not motivated? But there are now many teachers who are products of the college indoctrination mentioned above, who are motivated to pass on their poisonous ideology by teaching that the country is systemically racist and corrupt, and that the youth must join and support them in tearing it down. They instruct that there is no need to work or act responsibly because the system is rigged and they will fail anyway, and since all of the younger generation will probably die of climate change within their lifetimes, there really isn’t any reason to do anything but destroy everything. This indoctrination takes the place of instruction in the sciences, languages and arts that was previously practiced.

Again this is only a subset of teachers. But they exist, they are teaching, and this poisoning of the dreams and the self-worth of the youth is the most vile thing I have seen in my life.

It gets even worse. The equality demanded does not just apply to performance. It also applies to behavior.

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In previous times, students who were disruptive were removed from the classroom so as to not interfere with the learning of the rest. They were put in more controlled environments as either detention or instruction with a higher teacher to student ratio and more control of behavior. If they were found to be a physical danger to others they were suspended or expelled. Now, these corrective measures are not allowed if there is any appearance that they are affecting one identifiable group of students more than other groups, particularly when that group is identifiable by race.

So students have learned that if they can claim racial discrimination they can not only demand grades above what they have objectively earned, they can get away with any level of destructive behavior because if there is any indication that a school is punishing, detaining, suspending or expelling members of one race more than others, lawsuits will follow and compliant judges await to award damages. These damages flow to the parents of the destructive student, awarding the very parental failure that created the problem and incentivizing other parents and students to act destructively in order to reap monetary reward.

The tools available to those who would practice this destructive plunder are intentionally increased. In the most recent years, gender identification has joined race as a class which can be discriminated against. The Portland (Oregon) Public Schools bargaining agreement reached after the one-month teachers’ strike of November 2023 requires school officials to consider a disruptive student's race, gender identity, and sexual orientation when crafting that student's disciplinary plan. That plan "must take into consideration the impact of issues related to the student's trauma, race, gender identity/presentation, sexual orientation...and restorative justice as appropriate for the student." Restorative justice calls for the aggressor and the victim to be both treated as victims, virtually eliminating consequences.

The new disciplinary policy also eliminates mandatory suspensions for students who threaten or harm others—now, those students may only be removed from their classroom, not from school altogether.

So now all a kid has to do is claim minority status on the basis of gender ideology, and they cannot be punished or excluded no matter what. They can choose not to work and can engage in any behavior whatsoever, without consequence.

Kids will be kids, and they will take advantage of this. Not all of them, but enough to ruin it for the others.

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The result is that not only have students learned that extra effort will not be rewarded with better grades and low effort will not be met with failing grades, and not only have their minds been poisoned with an apocalyptic ideology, they have learned that they will get away with previously inexcusable behavior from swearing at teachers to destroying property and up to and including actual physical violence. So they yell, swear, turn over furniture and destroy the learning environment for the other students who do want to learn and for the teachers who just want to teach. The teachers become weary of trying to control kids in their classes when they know their efforts will not be followed by corrective measures by the administration, and slowly accept the chaos as the new norm or leave the teaching profession.

The declining test scores are only the canary in the coal mine.


--Bill Dewey

Post Date: 2024-05-22 12:44:52Last Update: 2024-05-22 19:32:03



Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness... and Decline
“They charge any opposition with racism or discrimination”

Editor's note: This is the second of a multi-part series on the role of DEI in the decline of public education

The ideology alluded to in part one of this series doesn’t accept actual diversity in student achievement. For many reasons originating from their own experiences and resulting emotional states, there are those who don’t just feel it is unfair that some will not do as well as others, they in fact feel deeply emotionally troubled that there are differences in outcomes, standards of living and quality of life.

For most of human history these people had no way to rectify their discomfort and had to simply live with it. But that changed with the civil rights laws of the 1960’s. These laws were indeed benevolent in their intent, aiming to right the wrongs which had been perpetrated on minority communities, particularly African-Americans. Though slavery had been abolished five generations earlier, discrimination based on race had continued in some parts of the U.S. and Americans had decided it was time to ensure this came to an end everywhere. The civil rights laws of the 1960’s intended to guarantee everyone an equal opportunity regardless of race, creed, color or sex.

If they had only had this effect, all would have been well.

Unfortunately there were those who saw this as an opportunity to leverage the law to further their personal ideology. They saw that they could use these laws to not only guarantee equal opportunity, but to force equal outcomes, thus assuaging their personal emotional needs. They would claim that wherever differences appeared in workers’ pay, it was not due to differences in performance of the worker but was rather evidence of discrimination. They would claim that where there were differences in workers’ performance reviews it was not due to differences in performance, but discrimination. And wherever there were differences in students’ grades, this had to be discrimination.

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For a time, they failed when evidence was presented that the pay or the grades were in fact based on objective evidence of differences in effort and performance. But rather than accept that, they set about changing the people who were making those determinations, whether they were employers or teachers. They also set about changing who the judges were who would ultimately decide the inevitable court cases. They first took over the universities and law schools, carefully recruiting like-minded individuals and placing them in positions to indoctrinate impressionable young adults by instructing that the world is only just when everyone enjoys success, regardless of any difference in ability or effort.

These young adults became employers, teachers and judges decades later. They also became parents. This is where we find ourselves today. Though they are a subset of people, their views a minority, they have a presence in both the community as parents and within school administration and staff. They also now have the law on their side, which they continue to change to more quickly serve their ideology anywhere that voters are either apathetic or ideologically aligned with them.

Opposing them is very difficult as they charge any opposition with racism and/or discrimination, which immediately brings about feelings of guilt and can even win in court with scant evidence of any actual discrimination, due to judges whose interpretation of the law and its intent is compromised by their own personal ideology.

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The way this manifests in schools is that students who would have previously failed must be given passing grades. More insidiously, those who previously excelled must be prevented from doing so because their success also creates a contrast. There is actually a movement to eliminate ‘talented and gifted’ school programs. This defies common sense; we all benefit from having the inventors and leaders of tomorrow turbo-charged by being challenged to their potential. But the emotional needs of the ideologues is stronger than their logic: this benefit to all can only be allowed if it occurs within a system where everyone benefits equally at every stage and in every place. That being impossible because people will always be different, excelling will simply not be allowed.

With these systems in place, the desire to work harder and excel is squashed. Why work harder when everyone will get the same grade, and the same pay?


--Bill Dewey

Post Date: 2024-05-20 20:37:16Last Update: 2024-05-19 13:22:05



US Supreme Court Puts Oregon’s Teacher Hiring Practices in Question
Diversity-preferred job postings must end

US Supreme Court rules 9-0 in Muldrow v. City of St. Louis in a landmark decision that undercut all DEI-based discrimination, putting a wedge in the progressive’s agenda. The US Supreme Court ruled that a St. Louis police sergeant can sue over a job transfer she claims was discriminatory lays the foundation for legal action against employers who push discrimination against white people in job hiring, work assignment and promotion. Those “diversity-preferred” job postings, the practice of passing over whites for promotions, discriminatory job transfers, pushing unfair diversity trainings, etc., all of these are now legally actionable.

Lawyers tried to argue that there is ‘good discrimination’ and ‘bad discrimination’, that white people should be purposely disadvantaged to pave the way for diversity. The lawyers claimed that this case will complicate DEI programs and limit their ability to discriminate against white men.

The Supreme Court overruled these claims, re-asserting that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. The court also established a ‘low standard’ for bringing discrimination cases. The victim need not suffer ‘actual harm,’ only show “some harm” under the terms of their employment, and that harm need not be “material, substantial or serious.” The decision makes it much easier for workers to sue over discriminatory practices.

Oregon's efforts to diversify its teaching workforce date back to 1991 with passage of the Minority Teacher Act, renamed the Educator Equity Act in 2015. In 2013, the number of minority teachers, including administrators, employed by school and education service districts would be approximately proportionate to the number of minority students enrolled in the state's schools was added. According to the 2019 Educator Equity Report, in the 2018-2019 school year, over 38 percent of Oregon's K-12 students were considered ethnically diverse, while only 10 percent of its teachers were.

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HB 4031, passed in 2022, adds state goals to match diverse Department of Education employees with the percentage of diverse students. To accomplish these goals, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission awards scholarships of $10,000 to culturally and linguistically diverse teacher candidates to use at approved educator preparation providers. The state's educator preparation providers are instructed to train on CRT and sexual orientation.

The equity agenda of state leadership is stifling the education process and dumbing down students in their effort to push an unfair diversity agenda that is now legally actionable. This is a big win for equality.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-20 11:29:36Last Update: 2024-05-20 01:59:51



Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness... and Decline
Government waste compounded by the schools being a monopoly

Editor's note: This is the first of a multi-part series on the role of DEI in the decline of public education

Education has been on the decline in the U.S. for some decades now. School districts and teachers unions demand ever more cash even while academic scores continue to decline.

There are two main causes. The smaller of the two is simple economics; government waste compounded by the schools being a monopoly. It’s simply human nature to be less careful with someone else’s money than with your own, so there will naturally be inefficiency in schools as there is throughout government because it runs on OPM – other peoples’ money. There will also be fraud when public treasury funds are available to plunderers and those lacking a moral compass will take advantage whenever they can. Moreover, the fact that the neighborhood public school is a monopoly -- the only choice for many families, allows it to slack off on performance while retaining the guarantee of continued funding.

If this were the only cause, the correction would not be so daunting. External forces made up of the community of taxpayers and parents naturally applies pressure for performance, and within the schools are teachers who knew they were going into a line of work that would not make them rich and they did so anyway because they love kids and love to teach. These pressures can to a degree counteract the greed and carelessness of some administration and union leaders.

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The larger cause is much harder to correct as it has been carefully planned and placed and isn’t made up of just a few people whose actions are more easily discovered, but is rather an ideology that has infected the minds of millions, including members of both the community and the school apparatus -- unions, administrators and even some teachers. The discussion of this ideology is for another time and place. Here we will focus only on its effect on schools.

In addition to the inefficiency and the carelessness, this ideology creates an additional pressure to directly lower performance. Further, this pressure comes from all sides. Thankfully from a minority of those on all sides but it is very difficult to counteract because it is constructed to appear benevolent. Those opposing it are made to feel guilt, a powerful human emotion. So it has continued to spread.

Throughout human history, educators have been keenly aware that students come to them with a spectrum of abilities and desires. Some are voracious learners who excel while demanding ever more challenge. Most are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, doing what is assigned but lacking focus as they try to find and define where their strengths and interests lie. Then there are those who want to learn but struggle with various barriers from cognitive issues such as dyslexia to emotional factors, and finally there are those with more serious issues who cannot be convinced to care about their own future or well-being and are not able to put forth any effort.

Educators have developed systems to meet each type of learner with a program designed to address their particular place and learning style, with the goal of providing the greatest overall benefit to all students. The fast learners are challenged, keeping them focused and on a path toward being the inventors and leaders of tomorrow. The average are assisted with identifying their strengths and encouraged to find their focus and passion. Those with disabilities are provided the specialized assistance to help them overcome their barriers and to feel the beauty of the satisfaction of achievement.

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Those who do not wish to learn are helped as much as possible, but correcting their mental-emotional state, which took years to form in dysfunctional and even sometimes abusive households, is a truly monumental task and requires a skill set quite outside the realm of what educators do. It moves into the realm of the psychologist. Schools do in fact employ psychologists, but correcting issues which took years to form would similarly take years to resolve, is so time consuming that it would require a 1x1 ratio of psychologists to students with issues, and doing so while the pressures of the home continue to exacerbate the issue is simply not possible.

As nice as the thought is that we can “fix” these kids, it’s simply not possible. The best a school psychologist can do is to help the child feel some self-worth and somehow convince the child to focus on the long-term. But as the area of the brain responsible for this type of thinking does not fully form until sometime in the 20’s, the psychologist faces a truly daunting task.

So, inherent in the system is the understanding that there will always be some A students, some C students and some F students. This is the nature of the human race and cannot be altered with anything less than a massive investment of resources that no one is willing or able to make.


--Bill Dewey

Post Date: 2024-05-19 20:33:55Last Update: 2024-05-19 13:21:43



House Republican Leader Helfrich Calls for Public Hearing on Ballot Mishandling
Secretary of State remains silent over ballot delays

Oregon House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich (R-Hood River) is calling for the Secretary of State to appear before the Rules Committee for a hearing on May 31 to answer questions about the chain of custody issues surrounding the return of completed ballots.

Earlier this week, county clerks and the Secretary of State (SOS) engaged with the US Postal Service to determine why the USPS held up completed, mail-in ballots instead of turning them into the elections offices. Despite multiple inquiries, the SOS has failed to answer precisely how many ballots were affected, how many counties were affected, and what election officials are doing to prevent the problem from happening in the future.

“Oregonians deserve to have full faith and trust in our elections system, and it is the Secretary of State’s job to establish and maintain that faith and trust,” said Helfrich. “However, as of this writing, the Secretary of State’s office has yet to share precise details of both the problems that occurred and the planned remedy. The people of Oregon deserve answers in full view of the public to these fundamental questions.”

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The following letter was sent to House Democrat leadership.

Dear Speaker Fahey and Chair Bowman:

As Vice-Chair of the House Rules Committee, I am requesting that you invite the Oregon Secretary of State to the committee hearing on Friday, May 31, 2024. In light of the recent issues arising over completed ballots not being delivered to county elections offices by the United States Postal Service, I feel it is necessary to hear directly from the Secretary of State.

Oregonians deserve to have full faith and trust in our elections system, and it is the Secretary of State’s job to establish and maintain that faith and trust. Even today, as I write this letter, the Secretary of State is using the hashtag #TrustedInfo2024 on social media. However, as of this writing, the Secretary of State’s office has yet to share any details or plan to prevent these same delays in the November general election. How can we trust their silence?

In a recent Oregon Public Broadcasting article, Molly Woon, the state’s elections director said “In no uncertain terms, they [USPS representatives] have said, ‘We will fix this. This should not be happening.’ We continue to have complete faith in the vote-by-mail system.” I look forward to hearing how the SOS and USPS will fix this. Unless I hear a specific plan to prevent similar delays, I find it hard to blindly have the same “complete faith” in the vote-by-mail system. At a bare minimum, we wish to hear answers to the following questions:

I look forward to receiving an update from the Secretary of State during a House Rules Committee hearing.

Sincerely, Jeff Helfrich
House Republican Leader


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-17 16:50:52Last Update: 2024-05-19 13:26:01



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