Gun Control — Of What Nightmares Are Made

Special Stupid memeAlthough filed prior to the beginning of the 2021 session and slowly making its way through the process, SB 554 got the boost it needed to quick passage by the two shooting incidents in Atlanta, GA and Boulder, CO. "I, like so many Oregonians, have been distressed by the tragedy of gun violence and the rise of extremism," lamented Portland Democrat Senator Ginny Burdick, one of the three Senate chief sponsors. With more joy and hope, she declared, "I am proud we passed Senate Bill 554 today. It will make our schools and public buildings safer for our students and all Oregonians."

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Senators Walk to Protest Governor's Tyranny

Denial of quorumGestures, while rarely accomplishing anything substantive, are usually fun to watch. They may also go a long way, much like music, to soothe a savage breast. Eleven Senate Republicans and Independent Sen. Brian Boquist surprised Senate President Peter Courtney and the majority party by absenting themselves from Thursday's morning floor session. Because the sole order of business was the introduction of new bills, little damage resulted from the denial of quorum.

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Time to Replant

WildfireThrough next Wednesday, 23 December, Oregon's Department of Forestry is seeking public comment regarding its plan (PDF) to begin restoring Santiam State Forest lands harmed by the Beachie Creek fire. During most of September this year, three complex fires ravaged the Cascade foothills: Riverside in the north; Beachie Creek in the middle, and Lionshead to the east. The Lionshead and Beachie Creek complexes eventually merged while the Riverside came close. In all, around a million acres burned, claiming five lives and leveling the Santiam Canyon towns of Idanha, Detroit, and Gates, along with significant portions of Mill City, Lyons, and Mehama.

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Selma Pierce Dies in Pedestrian Accident

Selma PierceDark had just fallen minutes after 5:00 pm, Tuesday, 1 December, as police responded to a call regarding an incident involving a pedestrian and vehicle. Dr. Selma Pierce (DMD), 66, was struck and killed by a Chevrolet SUV while walking along Doaks Ferry Rd., NW, near Hidden Valley Dr., NW. According to police reports, the area is dark and has sidewalk improvement on only the east side of Doaks Ferry. Although police are unsure about which side of the road Ms. Pierce was using, officers stated that she was in the roadway when struck.

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"Would You Like Your Receipt?"

Voter pamphet coverPerhaps he should have said, "No". After all, the primary purpose of the receipt in commerce is to serve as a proof of purchase/transaction. And who hasn't experienced a delay, whether caused by a "slow" internet connection or server-side script, in receiving the secondary confirmation of the transaction (always confirmed at checkout, right?) from the online merchant? Only with government would one find such a reversal of purpose and of course, in the favor of the bureaucracy.

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UNhealthy Hype

UPDATE — 29 November 2020:  Since when has it ever made sense to double down on your present course of action when events are going badly for you and prospects for a turnaround appear dim? Over the past three weeks, going back to just after the election and including nearly two weeks under the regime of restrictions considered the strictest in the nation, Oregon's daily case count has gone nearly vertical, surpassing 1,200/day on average for the week of 16-22 November. It seems that each day brings an ever-higher record number of new cases. And the fear porn shifts into high gear. As well it should; after all, the restrictions were supposed to slow or even stop the surge. Instead, we're seeing it accelerate. By itself the surge in cases should end, once and for all time, any delusion that lockdowns are effective.

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In Memoriam: State Rep. Vic Gilliam

Rep. Vic Gilliam
Rep. Gilliam reacts to testimony during a committee hearing

Lou Gehrig's disease, medically known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, has claimed the life of former Marion County Republican legislator Vic Gilliam. He was just shy of his 67th birthday. The debilitating disease had forced an end to his legislative career in 2017 after completing five terms in the Oregon House. He had announced the diagnosis at the beginning of the legislative session in 2015, but managed to complete the session and gain re-election in 2016. The commissioners of Clackamas and Marion counties appointed Silverton mayor Rick Lewis to succeed him.

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Shutdown Struck Down

UPDATE — 23 May 2020:  The Oregon Supreme Court this afternoon issued an Alternative Writ of Mandamus to Judge Shirtcliff of Oregon's Eighth Circuit. The writ orders him either to vacate his order issued on Monday, 18 May for a preliminary injunction against the governor or to show cause by additional briefing as to why he should not. The justices set a deadline of 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, 26 May. Should the judge respond in the latter manner, the Court gave the governor until Thursday, 28 May to respond with her brief and plaintiffs and intervenors until Tuesday, 2 June. The Court will then consider whether or not to vacate the injunction. Based on the quick action in this instance, the decision could come by the end of that week.

Whatever the Supreme Court decides, however, will not end the issue. This present legal wrangling is over a preliminary injunction issued to stop enforcement of the Executive Orders while the lawsuit proceeded to trial. Whether or not the injunction is upheld, the trial will still move forward.

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Going to School

Danielle BethellSatya ChandragiriMarty Heyen
Marion County Republicans Danielle Bethell and Satya Chandragiri will join incumbent Marty Heyen on the Salem-Keizer School Board in July

Marion County Republicans swept to victory in the Salem-Keizer School District special election Tuesday night, returning Zone 2 incumbent Marty Heyen for a second term, and electing Danielle Bethell in Zone 6 and Dr. Satya Chandragiri in Zone 4. Mrs. Bethell ousted three-term incumbent Chuck Lee in what was perhaps the biggest surprise of the election. Dr. Chandragiri won the contest for the opening created by the retirement of Jim Green after two terms.

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Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Rep BolesRep Drazan

Four Republicans on the House Committee on Health Care are standing tall following their votes opposing the passage of HB 3063 in committee on Thursday, 14 March. The controversial bill, per its official summary, "Removes ability of parent to decline required immunizations on behalf of child for reason other than child's indicated medical diagnosis."

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