Community Leaders and Concerned Citizens Meet to Discuss Wildfire Smoke

Community Leaders and Concerned Citizens Meet to Discuss Wildfire Smoke

Southern Oregon concerned citizens, small business owners, and local leaders discuss the impact of wildfire smoke on public health and on our economy

Year after year, people in the West are suffering from the effects of catastrophic wildfires and the smoke that comes with it. People end up having to wear masks, stay inside, and events are canceled. As a life-long Oregonian, I know summers weren’t like this in the past.  For those who say this is “the new normal,” I say “baloney.”

This spring, I helped secure some of the most significant reforms to federal forest policy in over a decade, including a fix to make sure the Forest Service doesn’t have to rob forest prevention accounts to pay for firefighting costs.

Now, we have an opportunity to do even more. I worked to secure additional changes in the Farm Bill that passed the House recently, such as:

  • Harvesting the burned dead trees (where appropriate) after a fire and using the proceeds to plant a new forest for the next generation;
  • Expediting response to insect and disease infestation, watershed protection, hazardous fuels reduction, and forest restoration; and
  • Streamlining collaborative projects in the forests.

While the Senate failed to include these provisions in their version of the Farm Bill, it’s not too late for them to agree to all or some of these common-sense reforms in the final package. We especially need help from east coast Senators who ignore our problems all too often.

To read more about my efforts to improve forest management to prevent catastrophic wildfires, please click here.

Concerned citizens pass smoke solutions to Congressman Walden

 Southern Oregon citizens fed up with the smoke have formed a committee and U.S. Congressman Greg Walden was in town to listen.

The group, representing a wide range of industries including logging, tourism, and real estate shared their ideas and concerns with the Congressman.

Click here to read more from KOBI 5 TV.

Walden Announces Hearing to Examine Health Impact of Wildfire Smoke

As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I announced a hearing in September to look at the horrible health consequences of the smoke from these catastrophic wildfires. Click here to view my announcement. 

Southern Oregon shouldn’t suffer from some of the worst air quality in the world. People should not have to wear masks to go outside, or to breathe inside their own homes. Families shouldn’t feel like they are “hostages” in their own homes, as a mother from Medford recently described how her family is coping with hazardous air quality yet again this summer. Yet we are living through all of that as Oregonians, and the consequences are serious.

In an effort to build support across the country for the changes in forest management and firefighting that are needed, I will use my position as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee to examine the air quality impacts of wildfire smoke. This hearing will call attention to the negative effects wildfires have on our airsheds, environment, and the health of our communities.

We will also address the underlying causes of these unnaturally catastrophic wildfires, and the need to reduce the fuels that have built up in our forests for decades. Recent studies have shown that active management of fire fuels can reduce the size and intensity of wildfires by up to 70 percent and the carbon emissions of wildfires by up to 85 percent. That is something we can all get behind. Who wants to live through more summers with smoke suffocating our communities?

To read more about our upcoming hearing, please click here.

Greg Walden Announces Hearing To Examine Air Quality Impacts Of Wildfire Smoke

During a meeting with local business owners and community leaders in Medford today, Representative Greg Walden (R — Hood River) announced that the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing to examine the air quality impacts of wildfire smoke. 

Click here to read more from Klamath Falls News.

Walden Hears from Klamath County Veterans, Gives Update on Increased Help from Congress

It is always an honor to sit down with those who have worn our nation’s uniform. In Klamath Falls, I met with a group of veterans to discuss how we can make sure they are receiving the care and support they’ve earned and deserve from the VA.  Last year alone, my office helped 578 Second District veterans with issues regarding disability pay, benefits, and health care.

The House also provided historic funding for the VA to ensure they have the resources they need to boost mental health, opioid addiction, and suicide prevention programs. And we’ve secured landmark reforms through the VA MISSION Act, which strengthens the VA and improves care for our veterans. Importantly, this law includes a provision I authored to bring medical scribes into the VA system. In the private health care sector medical scribes take the notes while the medical provider remains focused on the patient. It has resulted in a 59% increase in the number of patients doctors can see per hour in the private sector, and we want to bring that success to our veterans and the VA system.

Thank you to the veterans who joined the roundtable in Klamath Falls for taking the time to meet with me, and for your service to our country.

At a meeting organized by the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, we discussed the positive impacts the tax cuts and regulatory reductions are having on small businesses. Having owned and operated a business from more than 20 years in our district, I know firsthand what it’s like to comply with government regulations, pay taxes, and grow jobs.

As with other meetings, this one quickly focused on the horrible impacts of smoke from the wildfires.

 

Walden talks poor air quality, extreme wildfire season during latest visit

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., went right into air quality talks during his latest stop in Klamath Falls, saying that current levels are “probably worse than Beijing.”

“You can’t even go outside,” said Walden, who had also just come from a meeting with business leaders in Medford.

Click here to read more from the Herald & News.

Ranchers Meet in Lakeview to Discuss Upcoming Farm Bill and Regulatory Reform

Lake County farmers, ranchers, and community leaders discussed grazing, forestry and firefighting issues, among other topics during a meeting in Lakeview. 

The groundbreaking last month of the $320 million Redrock Biofuels facility means we’ll have a market for the woody biomass from the surrounding forests.  And with the change in the law allowing for 20-year stewardship contracts, biomass users will have an increased level of supply certainty. This and other changes we’re working on will help grow jobs in our rural communities, provide alternative fuel and energy sources, and clean up the woods.

On the ranching front, we have much more work ahead to make needed reforms to the Equal Access to Justice Act to bring transparency and reduce frivolous lawsuits that impact our way of life in the West. We’re also working on federal management plans — from one end of this giant district to the other — to make sure ranchers have access to grazing allotments.

Medical Providers, Law Enforcement Gather in Bend to Discuss Combating the Opioid Crisis with FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.

Thank you to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb (to my left at head of table) for joining me in Bend for a roundtable discussion with local law enforcement and medical providers to discuss efforts to combat the opioid crisis. We need an all-hands-on-deck approach to win this fight.

Combating the opioid crisis that is killing 115 Americans every day is going to require a full-team effort from all of us. That’s why I brought FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to Bend to meet with local law enforcement officers and medical providers to hear firsthand how Oregonians are working together to stem the tide and save lives.

In June, the House passed my legislation — the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act — to advance treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention, protect our communities, and bolster our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl. This bipartisan legislation passed the House by a vote of 396-14, and represents the largest Congressional effort to address a single drug crisis in history.

But our efforts do not stop there. Recently, I pressed the nation’s top opioid makers about their potential role in the crisis. I will continue listening to and working with those most involved in our communities to find solutions to end this scourge.

To read more about the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, please click here.

Walden holds Bend roundtable on opioid epidemic

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., held a roundtable Tuesday morning in Bend with law enforcement and medical professionals to discuss the opioid abuse crisis and ways to tackle the problem.

Doctors from Mosaic Medical expressed an interest in expanding prescription drug “take-back” programs across the state, drawing nods of agreement from Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson and Bend Police Chief Jim Porter.

Click here to read more from News Channel 21.

FDA Commissioner Talks Food Safety with Farmers in Central Oregon

Following our opioid roundtable in Bend, I organized an on-the-farm tour and discussion with Commissioner Gottlieb and local farmers to discuss the FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Having grown up on a cherry orchard in The Dalles, I learned the importance of food safety and good farm practices at an early age. When central Oregon brewers ran into Washington, D.C. bureaucrats a few years back regarding feeding spent grains to cows, I got involved and helped solve the problem.  As a result, the spent grain from beer making provides healthy feed for cows which in turn provides beef products to local restaurants.

FDA chief reassures Oregon growers over FSMA concerns

Oregon fresh produce growers got some reassuring words from U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb during a stop Tuesday near Bend, Ore.

Implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act has loomed over the fresh produce industry since the law was signed by former President Barack Obama more than seven years ago.

Click here to read more from the Capital Press.

Top Department of Interior Water Official Visits Central Oregon Canals

Alan Mikkelsen (center-right in green hat) visits central Oregon irrigation projects.

Last week, I brought the top water official with the Department of the Interior to central Oregon to get a firsthand look at the innovative water projects in central Oregon and to hear from local irrigators. We visited several sites in the Bend area, including a newly piped project that saves water for fish while providing a new recreation path for walkers and bikers.  Alan Mikkelsen is a familiar face on the ground in Oregon as we work together on challenging water issues in both the Klamath and the Deschutes basins. I appreciate his engagement on matters of such importance to our communities.

Irrigators in central Oregon are leaders in creative and collaborative solutions that ensure water for farms, fish, and spotted frogs. Central Oregon’s canal piping projects help our local irrigators conserve water and protect fish and wildlife.

Federal Officials Tour Bend Canal Piping Project

The canal piping project near Bends’ Brookswood neighborhood is now in the beautification stage. Federal officials toured the site Wednesday, along with representatives from the Central Oregon Irrigation District. 

COID has finished piping a 3,000-linear foot section of its main canal, in a joint three-month project with the Department of Reclamation. Parks and Recreation will soon develop biking and recreational trails in the area. During Wednesday’s tour, Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Department of the Interior Senior Advisor Alan Mikkelsen learned about the project and the effort to conserve water. “From fish and frogs to farmers and recreators, it all comes together right here in these types of projects,” said Walden. 

Click here to read more from KBND Radio.

That’s all for this update. Remember, you can always keep in touch with me via emailFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District

August 13, 2018 Daily Clips

TOP STORIES

 

Guest: Oregon wheat and the work toward world peace

Sen. Jeff Merkley and GOP Leader Mike McLane

Oregon’s bountiful agriculture is no secret. As a cornerstone of our economy, Oregon’s farmers and food producers have developed a growing international reputation as an innovative food capital. However, what many people do not know is that Oregon’s agriculture is also a significant contributor to our country’s ability to alleviate humanitarian suffering and lay the foundation for “winning the peace” around the world.

 

Oregon Governor Moves to Lean Democratic

Cook Political report

There have been two polls released that show the race well within the margin of error. The contest may not be tied, but both parties acknowledge that private polling points to a close race and that Brown’s job approval numbers are upside down.

 

Oregon’s Hard Road for a Moderate Republican

The Atlantic

Knute Buehler, a rare GOP moderate, thinks he can knock off Kate Brown, Oregon’s not-so-popular Democratic governor. But the Trump winds could make it a hard year for ticket splitting in a blue state.

 

Short slate of hot-button issues on Nov. ballot

Bend Bulletin

Abortion, immigration, taxes and housing are the hot-button issues that will go before voters as ballot measures in the Nov. 6 general election.

 

Oregon lawmakers to hire outside lawyer for sexual harassment case

The Oregonian

A committee of lawmakers is planning to meet Monday morning in Salem, to hire an outside lawyer to respond to Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian’s complaint that legislative leaders covered up a culture of sexual harassment in the Capitol.

 

ELECTIONS & POLITICS

 

Anti-abortion rally at the Oregon State Capitol held Saturday

Statesman Journal

More than a dozen Oregonians attended a Justice 4 Life rally at the Oregon State Capitol Saturday in support of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The rally in Salem was part of a series of rallies around the country hosted by Students for Life of America, a youth organization dedicated to abolishing abortion in their lifetime. The organization, which considers themselves a “post-Roe organization,” also provides education on abortion and promotes student leadership at a local and national level. Rallies around the nation were either organized by a regional coordinator or student leaders.

 

Democratic Nominee Christy Inskip Launches Campaign For Oregon House District 7

OPB

Legislative candidate Christy Inskip launched her campaign for Oregon’s 7th District today. KLCC’s Alec Cowan caught up with the Democratic nominee to hear more about her campaign.

 

WILDFIRES

 

The 5 hottest Julys in Southern Oregon have happened since 2013, fueling wildfires

Statesman Journal

Oregon Rep. Carl Wilson (R-Grants Pass) said legislative action has to be taken to reduce excess fuels that dry out and create tinderbox conditions. “I’ve been a member of the fire caucus in the Oregon legislature and we’ve talked about a lot of the things that need to happen, but ultimately almost everything points to the U.S. Congress,” Wilson told the Statesman Journal last week. “The Oregon delegation has to be the adults in the room and get us toward doing something about the excess fuels that cause these fires – that’s where the action is.”

 

THINNING WORK BY LOGGING, FOREST SERVICE CREWS HELPS FIGHT FIRES

KEZI

State Representative Gary Leif visited the South Umpqua fires recently and said crews there told him it made a difference on the Snowshoe Fire as well. “That was because in May they did these prescribed burns,” Leif said. “Any time that you can get rid of the fuel and the undergrowth, or cut the fuel out, as in thinning practices, you’re going to basically create fire resiliency.”

 

For-Profit Firefighters Find  Business In An  At-Risk Oregon Community

Oregon Public Broadcasting

In Josephine County, Rural/Metro is the largest of two for-profit fire departments serving a geographic area more than twice the size of Portland. When wildland fire threatens homes covered by private crews, they’re out there risking their lives right alongside public agencies and the contractors they bring in. But without recognition through state law, Turnbull said this cooperation happens informally, almost “on the sly.”

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Tolling Twist: Oregon Might Toll All Portland Area Freeways

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon transportation officials confirmed Thursday that they will abide by a committee’s recommendation and not immediately pursue tolling on Interstates 5 and 205 from the Washington border. But they will consider imposing tolls on all Portland-area freeways.

 

HOUSING

 

Gov. Brown touts housing investments during Eugene visit

Register-Guard

Knute Buehler, the Republican gubernatorial nominee, said in a statement Friday that homelessness has worsened under Brown’s leadership and reiterated his own plan to provide 8,000 more shelter beds statewide, provide $50 million in rental assistance and fast-track construction of 20,000 more housing units.

 

EDUCATION

 

Portland’s new school estimates push $1 billion and everyone is asking why

Portland Tribune

The math just isn’t adding up. In recently released materials, Portland Public Schools administrators now say they are nearly $200 million short on the projects they proposed to voters just a year ago. The district says it would need closer to $980 million to rebuild Madison, Lincoln and Benson Polytechnic high schools, as well as other upgrades. The district — which has seen massive leadership change in the year since it asked voters for $790 million — still doesn’t have a clear answer on why the projects are coming in so much more expensive than it calculated. Harry Esteve, the district spokesperson, said he couldn’t clarify the current estimates of the Madison and Benson Tech projects before Monday.

 

Problems at Peavy: Faulty timber panels raise stakes for promising new Oregon market

The Oregonian

The Peavy problem comes after years of efforts by state officials to promote a technology they view as an economic engine for rural Oregon. The state’s timber employment has fallen 62 percent since its 1980s heyday, from about 80,000 to 30,000.  In 2015, the state deemed the development of cross-laminated timber buildings “essential” to the state’s economic interests.

 

OSU-Cascades wants to produce as much energy as it uses

Bend Bulletin

Having an entire college campus produce as much energy as it uses may sound like a Herculean task, but engineers and design experts at Oregon State University-Cascades have a detailed plan of how to meet that goal. The university is calling its plan Net Zero, and it will affect every construction project on the OSU-Cascades campus, as well as the school’s current buildings.

 

JOBS & ECONOMY

 

Big data: Amazon’s footprint expands in Eastern Oregon

East Oregonian

Though the tech giant has been firmly planted in the area since 2010, it was a while before anyone said the name “Amazon” out loud. The electronic commerce enterprise operates several data centers at the ports of Umatilla and Morrow under the name Vadata, Inc., and is constructing others in Umatilla County. But it has been mum on most of the details of its operations in the area, even as its footprint continues to expand.

 

OPINION

Oregon’s confidential disciplining of teachers needs sunshine

Register-Guard

Parents and their children have a keen interest in the conduct of educators in the public school system, but finding out about rule violations or other misconduct by teachers and administrators can be difficult if not impossible given Oregon’s public records laws.

 

Editorial: Examining the ebb tide in initiatives

Corvallis Gazette-Times

And, truth be told, many of the more complicated matters that used to be presented as ballot measures should be the province of legislators, who have the time and resources to more carefully examine complex issues during their sessions in Salem. But there’s a flip side to that: If the Legislature fails to act on the vital questions facing Oregon, this current ebb tide in statewide ballot measures likely will be short-lived.

 

Editorial: Bottle Bill rate increase paying dividends

Daily Astorian

So whether you return your cans and bottles yourself, donate them to a charity or give them to a neighbor kid looking to make a few bucks, the daily effect of the bottle bill is what you don’t see — litter and waste in our state.

 

 

The Myth of the Moderate Democrat

In my lifetime, there actually used to be some conservative Democrat legislators down south that voted with Republicans.  Now, the news media mouthpieces talk about moderate Democrats in congress.  There is no such person.  It is a myth.  Glance through the American Conservative Union ratings and see if you find a “moderate” Democrathttp://acuratings.conservative.org/acu-federal-legislative-ratings/?year1=2017&chamber=11&state1=0&sortable=1  Unfortunately, there are plenty of moderate and even liberal Republicans.  It is discouraging but we can never give up.  Our freedom and liberty is too important!

 

LOSER: Fortunately, most voters in the USA do not have a favorable view toward Socialism: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2018/08/08/total-loser-all-the-candidates-socialist-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-endorsed-in-ye-n2507842

 

WINNER: We must continue to elect Republicans who support the TRUMP agenda of a strong economy, a strong military, stronger border enforcement and protection of religious liberty:  https://www.breitbart.com/2018-elections/2018/08/08/donald-trump-5-for-5-midterm-special-elections-9152053/

 

TRUMP will continue to undo the horrible OBAMA legacy: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/05/12 and continue to expose the Democrat’s agenda: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/08/03

 

I lived in Venezuela for two years.  Socialism does NOT work: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/07/05

 

We have an election coming up in November…we can’t afford to be complacent.  Contact your local Republican party and volunteer! http://ucrcc.org/

 

Republicans Make America Great Again!

 

Americans for Liberty PAC

Upholding the Constitution in the Tradition of our Founding Fathers

Executive Director Lanny Hildebrandt

1615 4th Street

La Grande, OR  97850

(541) 963-7930

Record High Jobs, Low Unemployment, Doom Trump

Record High Jobs, Low Unemployment, Doom Trump

(2018-08-03) — The Commerce Department reported today that more Americans than ever went to work in July, and that unemployment hit an historic low. The latest jobs report virtually dooms President Trump’s Republicans in the 2018 mid-term elections, because Trump’s son, Donald Jr., met with Russians, his former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, bought an ostrich coat, and the president won’t apologize to CNN reporter Jim Acosta for calling the news media “the enemy of the people.”

The Federal Reserve this week upgraded its assessment of the economy from “solid” to “strong”, which means time’s running out for Trump-backed GOP candidates to explain why First Lady Melania isn’t always with her husband, and why his daughter, Ivanka, sometimes disagrees with her father.

Hispanic unemployment also hit a new record low, and Black joblessness remains near its new historic bottom, signaling that Republican candidates must distance themselves from Trump because everything the president has done so far constitutes impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The disastrous jobs report comes on the heels of the Commerce Department’s foreboding announcement last week that GDP growth hit a four-year high, at 4.1 percent.

Minutes after the latest report, worried political consultants gathered behind closed doors inside the beltway to strategize how to rescue the GOP by engaging voters, who now have less time to watch political talkshows because they’re at work.

July 31, 2018 Daily Clips

TOP STORIES

 

Oregon public employee gets first refund of union fees after Janus ruling

Oregonian/OregonLive

“Nearman’s refund represents the first of what should ultimately be hundreds of millions of dollars or even more returned to public employees for union fees seized from them in violation of the First Amendment,” Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, said in a news release.

 

Supreme Court ruling affects ODFW union case

The Bend Bulletin

Debora Nearman, an employee of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, said in her lawsuit filed in April in federal court that the state’s practice of forcing her to pay fees to fund union activity violated her First Amendment freedoms. She said the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, opposes her political and religious views and even led a campaign against her husband when he ran as a Republican candidate for the state Legislature. Melissa Unger, executive director of SEIU Local 503 in Oregon, said the union chose to settle Nearman’s lawsuit rather than go through a costly and time-consuming legal battle. “The settlement we entered into last week was about being the best stewards of our members’ dues money as possible, period,” Unger said in a statement.

 

New trade group emerges as lobbying voice for Oregon manufacturers

Portland Business Journal

Manufacturers have a new voice in the state capitol. On Monday, the trade group Oregon Manufacturers and Commerce launched. The group will lobby on behalf of Oregon’s manufacturers on issues including business climate, tax policy and workforce development. “We look forward to working with industry leaders from across the state to advance the economic opportunities created by a diverse and strong manufacturing industry,” Jillions said, in the news release. “We will build coalitions that influence and advance the future of commerce with innovative approaches to advocacy.”

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Oregon joins lawsuit over 3-D printed guns

East Oregonian

Oregon is joining a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State to prevent a Texas company from posting designs for guns that can be made on 3-D printers. Assembling your own gun is legal, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, provided you don’t sell it. Nonetheless, the growing phenomenon of “ghost guns” — so called because they do not have serial numbers that can be traced by the government — presents public safety concerns, detractors say. “What kind of world are we living in where a criminal, terrorist or anybody with access to the internet and a 3-D printer can build a gun?” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum in a written statement Monday. “Once these tutorials to build 3-D guns are unblocked, there is no turning back.”

 

After spending $7M, OHA suspends effort to simplify providers’ administrative burden

Portland Business Journal

“As we’ve been developing the program, it really turned out to be more complex than the Legislature envisioned and hard to find a way to do this that makes it more efficient for everybody,” said Jeremy Vandehey, OHA’s health and policy analytics director. “We can alleviate the burden for some organizations, but it causes work flow changes for others that adds to the burden. We haven’t been able to find a way to design the program that appeases everybody.”

 

Supreme Court rejects government motion in ‘climate kids’ case

The Register-Guard

Plaintiffs in the case include 21 youths ages 11 to 22. Six of the plaintiffs are Eugene residents. Also listed as a plaintiff is climate scientist James Hanson, who represents “future generations” in the case. The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights are being violated by a government that has known about the dangers of climate change for decades but nonetheless promotes fossil fuel production while failing to protect the nation’s natural resources. The suit seeks a court order that requires the government to make a plan that works to drastically and quickly reduce carbon dioxide emissions that climate scientists say cause global warming.

 

CAMPAIGNS & INITIATIVES

 

Capitol roundup: Money and other matters in Salem and D.C.

The Bend Bulletin

Gov. Kate Brown and Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, the Republican nominee for governor, together have reported more than $11 million in fundraising. The rate of fundraising in past governor elections puts them on course to eclipse the record $17.7 million raised during the 2010 governor campaign narrowly won by John Kitzhaber over Republican Chris Dudley. Adjusted for inflation, Brown and Buehler would have to spend $20.4 million to match the 2010 spending levels.

 

Tolling initiative refiled as IP 10

Portland Tribune

State Rep. Julie Parrish, the architect of Oregon Measure 101 in January, has joined as a chief sponsor of a 2020 initiative to require voter approval for tolls on existing roadways, bridges or freeways. Parrish, R-West Linn, said she wanted to be involved in the initiative because the proposed toll lanes would impact her constituents in House District 37. I-5 runs through the part of her district located in Tualatin, and I-205 leads to communities she represents in West Linn and Lake Oswego.

 

Retailer tax to appear on Portland ballots

Oregonian/OregonLive

If adopted, the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Initiative, officially called PDX 04, would levy a 1 percent tax on all Portland sales by businesses with at least $1 billion in annual revenue and $500,000 in sales within city limits. Groceries and medicine would be exempt from the tax. Public opinion about PDX 04 is unclear because no polling data has been released, but Portland voters are typically a tax-friendly electorate. Multnomah County was one of only two counties to vote yes on Measure 97, the statewide retailer tax that appeared on 2016 ballots.

 

McLeod-Skinner challenges Walden to Eastern Oregon debate

East Oregonian

As documented on a video posted to McLeod-Skinner’s campaign Facebook page, the Terrebonne Democrat strode up to the cream-colored convertible Walden was riding in during the Chief Joseph Days Parade in Joseph Saturday and shook his hand. “I would like to challenge you to at least three debates within the district,” she said. “I will debate you in every single county if you like.” Walden seemed to answer to affirmatively. “I look forward to debating you,” he said. “We’ll figure out a schedule that works.”

 

ICE

 

ICE union asks Portland mayor for police protection

Oregonian/OregonLive

Attorney Sean Riddell, legal representative for the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, sent a letter to the mayor’s office Monday requesting a meeting with Wheeler to discuss the hands-off approach Portland police took to the OccupyICEPDX protest. Riddell wrote in the letter that Wheeler’s decision created “a zone of terror and lawlessness” and resulted in threats of physical violence and harassment toward ICE employees.

 

HIGHER EDUCATION

 

OSU changing three building names to promote inclusivity

The Register-Guard

OSU’s Benton Hall will become Community Hall, honoring local residents who raised funds to start the college in 1860s and 1870s; Benton Annex, the university’s women center, will become the Hattie Redmond Women and Gender Center, after an African-American suffragette who lived in Portland in the early 20th century; and Avery Lodge will be renamed Champinefu Lodge, borrowing a word signifying “at the place of the blue elderberry” from the dialect of the local native Kalapuya Tribe.

 

HOUSING

 

Housing market looks headed for slowdown

The Bend Bulletin

The U.S. housing market — particularly in cutthroat areas like Seattle, Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas — appears to be headed for the broadest slowdown in years. Buyers are getting squeezed by rising mortgage rates and by prices climbing about twice as fast as incomes, and there’s only so far they can stretch. “This could be the very beginning of a turning point,” said Robert Shiller, a Nobel Prize-winning economist who is famed for warning of the dot-com and housing bubbles, in an interview. He stressed that he isn’t ready to make that call yet.

 

BUSINESS

 

Worker shortage delays building projects

Portland Tribune

The Bureau of Development Services is on track to issue a record level of permits this year. But as construction activity has accelerated in recent years, BDS has been hampered by a shortage of employees. Despite having more employees than ever, dozens of critical positions are currently vacant, including permit processors, plan reviewers, and residential and commercial building inspectors. The same is true in other construction-related city bureaus that must also review and approve permit applications, including the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Portland Water Bureau.

 

DRUG PRICING

 

​Meet the rebate, the new villain of high drug prices

Portland Business Journal

An increasingly popular culprit in the debate over high drug prices is the pharmaceutical rebate, the after-the-fact discounts that form the heart of the nation’s arcane — many would say broken — market for prescription drugs. Now, a growing chorus wants to get rid of them, or at least change the way they are applied after drug companies have already set their prices. Rebates, critics say, have pushed up the list price of brand-name drugs, which consumers are increasingly responsible for paying. Insurers generally get to keep the rebates without passing them along to their members.

 

WILDFIRES

 

Kalmiopsis on fire again, in the same place

Mail Tribune

Two of the biggest fires in history to strike Southern Oregon — the Biscuit and Chetco Bar — are both hindering and helping efforts to snuff out the Klondike fire in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. “They are using some of the old lines from the Chetco as well as the Biscuit fire,” said Katy O’Hara, public information officer for the Klondike and Natchez fires. In the years since the Biscuit fire, light vegetation that is extremely flammable has sprouted, providing abundant fuel for the Klondike, which doubled in size last week to its current 15,915 acres.

 

Taylor Creek fire closes areas along Rogue River; more evacuations ordered

Mail Tribune

The Taylor Creek fire burning near Grants Pass grew to almost 25,000 acres Monday, prompting more evacuation orders and the closure of federal lands and recreation areas along the Rogue River north of the fire. Shortly before 2:30 p.m. Monday, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office ordered more Level 3 “Go” evacuations, due to planned firefighting operations, including backburns, for the Taylor Creek fire.

 

Forest Service Chief Talks Need For New Fire Management, Fuel Treatments

Oregon Public Broadcasting

As EarthFix reported, the Forest Service still suppresses nearly all fires, decades after recognizing the danger in that practice. Wildland fire agencies currently spend millions fighting relatively low-risk fires that could actually help protect communities if allowed to burn a bigger footprint. Researchers within the Forest Service are trying to push wildland fire management toward more data-driven decisions that consider the long-term tradeoffs of fire suppression. Asked what she’s doing to implement that throughout the agency, Christiansen said she was trying to build more acumen for risk management and reset the agency’s thinking.

 

LOCAL

 

Deschutes sheriff’s office faces possible class action suit

The Bend Bulletin

“There exists sufficient evidence to assert that the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and Deschutes County has a history of discriminating against veterans and disabled veterans,” wrote Portland attorney Sean Riddell. According to a lawsuit he filed in Deschutes County Circuit Court, Dozier needed approval from his two immediate supervisors, who refused to give it to him and later refused to give him an explanation of how his veterans preference was applied to their decision.

 

Salem sidewalk camping ban to be considered once again

Statesman Journal

A controversial proposal to ban camping or storing personal items on Salem sidewalks during daytime hours is back on the table. A city task force studying homeless issues also is considering recommending that groups providing free meals to the homeless get a permit, stamp their organization’s name on all to-go packaging, and be responsible for cleaning up that packaging if it’s left around town.

 

OPINION

 

My View: Don’t lock out alternatives to Dems, GOP

Independent Party Secretary Sal Peralta

The editorial made statements intended to trivialize both Starnes and our party to justify his exclusion from this year’s governor debates. IPO has 120,000 members — 100,000 more than the next largest party. We have more than 100 members who are elected local officeholders, and our membership is still growing faster than either the Democratic or Republican parties.

 

McKeown an ‘effective representative’

Coos Bay World Link

Rep. McKeown’s work on HB 2017 brought to our District 9 over $40 million to replace the Scottsburg bridge, plus funds to build and maintain roads and bridges ($15.3 per year for 10 years) and to improve public transit ($11.3 per year for 10 years). Caddy McKeown has proven leadership qualities that make her a powerful and compelling advocate for all of us. Please join me to reelect Caddy McKeown as Representative for House District 9.

Midterm Elections

The Republicans must retain control of the US House of Representatives and pick up seats in the US Senate in the upcoming mid-term election!  Don’t let the Democrats fool you.  They have nothing left besides name calling and public agitation.  They have no winning arguments.  The Democrats can only try to obscure the issues and resort to calling us mean racists because we want strong immigration laws, we want to keep our second amendment rights and we seek to uphold the US Constitution and traditional American values.  Republican voters must not play their game.  We must hold to our values and stand up for what we believe in.  Opposition will be fierce but we must stand our ground. President TRUMP has exposed the Liberals in the Democrat Party, Hollywood, Institutions of Higher Education and the Mainstream Media as the radical leftists and anarchists they truly are. These people are the New Democrat Socialist party of the far left.

 

Here is the new face of the Democrat Party (satire video): https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2018/07/26/ocasiocortez-crtv-video-n2503436

 

Here is an example of an amazing Republican US House candidate running to replace a Democrat in New Hampshire that will most likely win:   https://www.edwardsfornh.com/ Browse through his web site.  He is a man of good character.  This man is just one example of the courageous men and women seeking to uphold our traditional American values by running for Congress.

 

Remember our previous President saying this? https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/03/01 New scandals keep emerging every day.  How about the political appointees at the Obama DOJ and FBI trying to rig the election for HiLIARy?  The Democrats must not get control of our government again.

 

Americans for Liberty PAC

Upholding the Constitution in the Tradition of our Founding Fathers

Executive Director Lanny Hildebrandt

1615 4th Street

La Grande, OR  97850

(541) 963-7930

WINNING

Why TRUMP supporters never get tired of winning! J https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2018/07/26/why-we-never-get-tired-of-winning-and-never-trumpers-never-get-tired-of-losing-n2503154

 

TRUMP is restoring the intent of the original framers of the US Constitution here: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/07/14 and here: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/07/09 and here: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/06/28

 

The NEW DEMOCRAT SOCIALIST PARTY (a.k.a. Venezuela) is coming to a town near you: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/07/05

 

Lanny Hildebrandt MBA CPA

Hildebrandt & Company PC

Certified Public Accountants

1615 Fourth Street

La Grande OR  97850

Telephone: (541) 963-7930

Fax: (541) 963-7750

Email: hilde@eoni.com

 

Daily Clips

TOP STORY

 

Man firing into Toronto cafes shoots 14 people, killing 2

The Associated Press

A man walked along a Toronto street firing a handgun into restaurants and cafes, shooting 14 people and killing two before dying after an exchange of gunfire with police. Police Chief Mark Saunders did not rule out terrorism as a motive, though officials did not immediately identify the attacker, other than to say he was 29 years old.

 

OREGON GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Oregon State Senator Who Was Harassed Gives Ideas On How To Improve Policies

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Gelser told the task force this week she never anticipated how difficult it would be to go public with allegations against Kruse. Gelser accused Kruse of touching her breasts and placing his hand on her thigh under a dais last year. Her accusations prompted a high-profile sexual misconduct investigation that revealed Kruse had a pattern of “engaging in unwelcome physical contact toward females in the workplace.” Kruse resigned amid pressure. “I did not anticipate what it would feel like to turn on the radio to hear my name associated with the word ‘breast,’” Gelser said. Gelser, a Democrat, described physical threats left on her voicemail and people who talked to her about the incident while she was shopping for groceries. People openly commented she was, “too fat or too ugly or too whatever to have experienced this behavior.”

 

NATIONAL POLITICS

 

Some conservatives are fuming that Baker is too far left

The Boston Globe

The progressive laws starkly illustrate how Baker is increasingly at odds not just with the conservative national GOP, but also the base of his party in Massachusetts, which remains fiercely loyal to President Trump. “He has completely thumbed his nose at the Republican platform. He’s not even a Republican at this point. He has lost the base, and he has lost a lot of conservative independents,” said Daxland, president of the Massachusetts Republican Assembly, a statewide conservative GOP group.

 

CAMPAIGNS

 

GOP, Independent candidates make case to publishers

East Oregonian

GOP nominee Knute Buehler, a state representative and orthopedic surgeon from Bend, and Independent Party of Oregon nominee Patrick Starnes, a cabinet maker from Brownsville, spoke briefly at the annual convention of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Incumbent Gov. Kate Brown, the Democratic nominee, did not attend. Brown initially declined the invitation because she planned to go to a National Governors’ Association conference in Santa Fe, N.M. But, Brown instead stayed in Oregon to oversee emergency response to major wildfires, according to a spokesman for her campaign.

 

IPO works to recruit third party members

East Oregonian

About a month after winning the Pacific Green nomination for governor, Alex DiBlasi withdrew from the race, registered as a member of the Independent Party of Oregon and endorsed IPO nominee Patrick Starnes. Starnes, a Brownsville cabinetmaker, and DiBlasi, a Portland social worker, hope the step will be the first among thousands of other members of small third parties to join the IPO. Their union could help them have influence in state politics as part of a major party, Starnes said. “We need all hands on deck to go against these corporate-backed Republican and Democratic candidates who each have at least a million or two million in the war chest, both of them,” DiBlasi said.

 

ICE

 

As Occupation Outside Portland ICE Building Persists, Locals Feel an Impact

Willamette Week

On Friday around 10 a.m., the street outside of the ICE building at 4310 Southwest Macadam Ave., in South Waterfront was blocked off by Department of Homeland Security officers, as it regularly has been during the occupation. A looped recording of a demonstrator shouting, “Quit blocking the road, you’re hurting local businesses,” blared on repeat for at least an hour.

A man powerwashing the sidewalk in front of a neighboring apartment complex exclaimed, “That voice is in my head now!”

 

Food cart owners: ICE protesters led us to close our doors

Portland Tribune

The couple said they, their 21-year-old daughter, and customers have been harassed by protesters outside the ICE facility in Southwest Portland for over five weeks. Their last day of business was Friday. The daily worry wasn’t worth it anymore, Scott said, adding that they plan to sell their cart for a lot less than what they bought it for. “We’re willing to take a loss to move forward,” he said. The tension between the food cart and the protesters, according to Scott, started after a protester got on a megaphone and accused his daughter and a customer of laughing at the protesters and “making a mockery.” “And boom, away it went,” Scott said. “We were on the No. 1 hit list from that point on.”

 

EDUCATION

 

Former English Language Learners completing high school at higher rates than state average

Statesman Journal

English Learner Programs are intended to prepare students who don’t speak English as a first language with “the language and academic skills necessary to access and achieve success in college and multiple career pathways,” state officials said. A recent report released by the Oregon Department of Education shows 83 percent of students who qualified for English language services prior to 2016-17 completed high school. This completer rate refers to students earning a regular, modified, extended or adult high school diploma or completing a GED within five years of entering high school. That is more than the five-year graduation rate for students accessing the services in 2016-17, which was 63 percent. It is also greater the statewide average for all students, which was 79 percent.

 

HOUSING

 

Lane County housing market continues historic rise as buyers feel the squeeze

The Register-Guard

Lane County’s housing market told the same story in June that it has told for several years now: record sale prices, brisk sale paces and bare-bones inventory. The sellers market continued in earnest last month, with new listings and pending sales each hitting more than 10-year highs for the month of June, according to a monthly report by Portland-based Regional Multiple Listing Service.

 

A Plan to Increase Number of Homes Allowed in Portland’s Single-Family Neighborhoods Delayed

Willamette Week

A vote to increase the number of homes in Portland’s single-family neighborhoods has been delayed until next year. The Planning and Sustainability Commission has been deliberating on changes that could allow two houses where one is currently allowed as well as double the number of backyard cottages and other accessory dwelling units allowed. For advocates of development, the “residential infill project,” as it’s called, is the next big step toward increasing a shortage of supply of housing in Portland. For critics, there’s a fear the proposal will increase the number of demolitions and utterly change neighborhoods for the worse.

 

Oregon weighs record bond for housing as real estate prices jump

Herald and News

The Oregon agency that runs Portland’s zoo is behind the biggest bond measure in the state’s history to build homes. For humans. Metro, a municipal entity known for running the Oregon Zoo and natural areas around Portland, is asking voters in November whether they want to borrow $653 million to build and renovate housing for people priced out of the booming local real estate market. The move would expand the purview of Metro, which was created in 1978 to oversee the zoo, as well as land use, transportation and waste management in three counties.

 

For housing promise to black Portlanders, city mulls millions more in debt

Oregonian/OregonLive

The idea: begin the complex process of redrawing an urban renewal area’s boundary so housing and economic development bureaus can spend another $67 million by taking on debt. If they do that, city officials say they can “produce the units promised” by a housing plan the City Council approved in 2015, records show. The City Council has already dedicated $52 million to implement the plan to help people stay in or move back to Portland’s traditionally black north and northeast neighborhoods. Progress has been slow. A report issued earlier this year by the plan’s housing oversight board showed very few families have benefited from it. At the time, Mayor Ted Wheeler called a down payment subsidy offered under it an “abject failure.” He said the city is “way off the mark” from meeting its goals. Officials now say they need more money to make good on promises to black families.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Is the Willamette Valley’s proposed intermodal facility on the right track?

Capital Press

To help agricultural shippers in the Willamette Valley avoid Portland’s traffic problems, Oregon lawmakers authorized spending $25 million for a Mid-Willamette Intermodal Facility as part of a broader transportation package. The facility would allow containers of agricultural freight to be loaded from trucks onto trains, which would transport straw, hay, seeds, grains, potatoes, wood products and other commodities that are commonly exported from the state. Those containers would then bypass Portand’s jammed freeways on the way to major shipping terminals in Seattle and Tacoma, where they could be loaded onto ships bound for Asian ports.

 

WILDFIRES

 

Substation Fire 92 percent contained, most evacuations lifted

Oregonian/OregonLive

The Substation fire, which burned up thousands of acres southeast of the Dalles, is 92 percent contained. The fire perimeter has also been reduced from 80,000 to 78,425 acres after more accurate mapping was used, fire officials announced on Facebook Monday morning. Little fire activity was seen Sunday, but some areas along Eightmile Canyon and the Deschutes River are still smoldering as the hot, dry weather continues, officials said. All evacuation areas in Sherman and Wasco counties were reduced to level one (get ready) Sunday morning.

 

Gov. Brown, state senators seek emergency aid for wheat farmers

Fox 12

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and state senators Friday asked for emergency aid for farmers affected by a deadly wildfire burning east of The Dalles. The more than 70,000-acre fire is burning through wheat, grass and brush, causing “untold damage” to Oregon’s farmers, the letter says. “This type of fire has not been seen in decades,” the letter said, noting that wheat, a top commodity in Oregon, is valued at nearly $186 million. “It is with urgency we write to request that the Department of Agriculture provide any emergency assistance possible.”

 

LOST VALLEY FARM

 

Drugs, gambling, secret loans: Feds move to take control of Oregon megadairy

Statesman Journal

The Justice Department is overseeing te Velde’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which he filed April 26 to stall a bank foreclosure sale of his cattle. Since then, te Velde admitted he continued to use methamphetamine and gamble at a California casino once or twice a week, U.S. Trustee Tracy Hope Davis wrote in a July 13 motion. Davis asked a judge to either appoint a separate trustee to manage the dairy’s finances and operations on behalf of creditors, or to dismiss the bankruptcy case. “Debtor’s admitted conduct constitutes gross mismanagement,” she wrote. “It is clearly in the best interests of the debtor’s estate and its creditors to take management control out of the hands of current management and appoint an independent trustee who will comply with the fiduciary duties mandated by the bankruptcy code.”

 

LOCAL

 

Manzanita property owner challenges $1.8 million in vacation rental fines with a federal lawsuit

The Daily Astorian

A property owner hit with $1.8 million in vacation rental fines has filed a federal lawsuit against Manzanita claiming the city’s enforcement is unconstitutional. Sandra Petersen, a co-trustee of the Kingwood Trust, which owns the home on Edmund Lane, was fined by the city in October for operating a vacation rental without a license and for not paying the lodging tax. Petersen, who lives in Washington state, said the city notified her of the citations in one document, nearly two years after the first alleged violation in January 2015. “When I got the letter, I was in total shock,” she said. “It was very unexpected. I had no idea that I was disobeying any ordinances.”

 

Clark County Sheriff Deputy Fired After Wearing A Proud Boys Sweatshirt

Willamette Week

Deputy Erin Willey was placed on administrative leave after The Columbian showed the Clark County Sheriff’s Office the photograph.  Her sweatshirt featured a stick of lipstick, a switchblade and the letters “PBG” – which stand for Proud Boy’s Girl. She was fired on Tuesday. “Law enforcement officers are peacekeepers whose core mission is to protect and safeguard the community,” Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins told The Columbian. “My expectation is that my employees do not engage in activities or associations that undermine or diminish our role as peacekeepers.”

 

Portlanders getting utility discounts aren’t doing what they promised

Portland Tribune

A spot check by city auditors found half the Portland residents who pledged to manage stormwater on-site to get utility discounts aren’t doing what they promised. An audit released Friday by the Portland City Auditor noted that eight of 15 residents enjoying Clean River Rewards discounts had not disconnected their downspouts as promised, or were diverting water from their property onto the street, contrary to the goals of the discount program. The program to reward residents for managing their own stormwater causes a $1.70 monthly rate increase for other residents to pay for the discounts, auditors noted.

 

OPINION

 

State should refuse water quality certificate to remove Boyle Dam

Senator Dennis Linthicum

I stand alongside the majority of taxpayers and citizens in firm opposition to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s approval of a water quality certification request for the J. C. Boyle Dam removal project. These dams provide environmentally beneficial functions by creating a series of reservoirs which diminish turbidity and improve downstream water quality. These reservoirs are giant settling ponds for particulate matter, including erosional debris, dead algae, cobble-sized sediment pebbles, and valley-fill alluvium.

 

For health care reform version 2.0, a few guiding principles: Editorial

The Oregonian Editorial Board

But while policymakers should keep pushing hard for innovation and cost efficiencies, they should keep the unrealized goals of CCO 1.0 front and center in building the next generation. They should also temper their ambitions with respect for the fine line that separates thinking big from tackling too much.

 

Guest column: State should show discretion about day care complaints

The Bend Bulletin

How can our community and the state of Oregon best serve children and families? And how can we also support child care providers? Child care providers who are often working for substandard wages, who have opened up their homes to care for young children because they care about “being strong for all working families”? Who also have to consider the best interests of their own families? Publishing unsubstantiated and invalid complaints simply does not serve children, families, providers or our community.

 

City Schools launch new effort to hike attendance through web-based program

Herald and News

No matter how much our district spends to hire and train the best teachers, to update the curriculum, or to improve instruction, none of it is meaningful if students are not in class. Good attendance is the foundation for good performance. The research couldn’t be more compelling: A student’s attendance record is second only to grades as the best indicator of later academic performance. Among early learners, attendance is especially critical – only about 17 percent of chronically absent kindergartners and first graders scored proficient in reading in the third grade, according to a 2013 UCLA study. To increase success for each student the Klamath Falls City Schools district is launching a new initiative aimed at getting every student to class, every day. Attendance has always been a priority at our schools, but beginning this fall families will notice the district is putting new resources to work.