Oregon's a buncha communists!

According to Fortune magazine, Umpqua Bank of Portland is the 13th best place to work.

What's their major reason?

"Employees at this community bank (with 147 branches and its own coffee blend) get 40 hours of paid time each year to volunteer in the community."

Imagine that, a company paying its employees to improve their community. Now, what if we (the state of Oregon, maybe) gave a tax break to companies who made something like this available? Maybe make the amount of money relative to the amount of (paid) hours employees put into their community?

Do you think the revenue lost would be counteracted by community improvement (and involvement!) on such a grass-roots level?

Larson complaint dismissed by Oregon Bar

Lars "little-Limbaugh" Larson has been foiled in his efforts to resurrect a 30 year-old scandal and connect Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski to the sordid affair.

Earlier this year, Larson charged that Gov. Kulongoski knew about allegations that Neil Goldschmidt had sexually abused a teenaged girl in the 1970's. Larson complained to the Oregon State Bar, trying to get the Governor disbarred. Larson appealed the Bar's first rejection of his contention, which concluded that Larson has produced no new corroborating evidence beyond the accusations of Goldschmidt's former speechwriter, Fred Leonhardt. Without such evidence, it is, essentially, Kulongoski's word against Leonhardt's. One wonders what would happen to the Republican Party if all of Bob Packwood's friends were similarly called to account for what they knew way back when!

This story has never been about justice for the woman, who has repeatedly asked that the story be dropped and she be able to continue her life in peace. Goldschmidt apologized to her and paid for years of therapy for her long ago. This is a sorry attempt by Larson to use the ages-old scandal to try to loosen the grip of the Democratic Party on the Governor's office. It speaks well of the Democrats that this is apparently the only thing Larson can find to rant about.
  • Current Mood
    cheerful cheerful

Here we go again!

Just four days before Oregon would join the ranks of those states allowing domestic partnership rights, a Federal judge has put a stay on the law going into effect.

At issue is the statistical method used by the Secretary of State's office to calculate the number of valid signatures on petitions handed in by opponents of the law. The Office ruled in October that there were not enough signatures turned in to hold a referendum on the measure, which was enacted into law by the legislature. Under Oregon's system, any measure enacted by the legislature may be brought to referendum if enough signatures are collected. The Office determined that the petition was some 116 signatures short. The group bringing the case says the method used for determining the number of valid signatures is flawed and lead to valid signatures being uncounted.

A hearing has been set for February.

Haven't we dealt with this enough?
  • Current Mood
    disappointed disappointed

Special Screening

For those near the Corvallis area, I'm passing on this announcement from Paul Turner, owner of the Darkside Cinema :

SPECIAL EVENT: Monday, December 17th at 7:30 pm.
Corvallis, Oregon ER physician and filmmaker Dr. Paul Hochfeld is in the process of making an important documentary about the underlying pathology of our health care system. Whereas this year's semi-documentary SICKO made you laugh and cry, Dr. Hochfeld's film, OUR AILING HEALTH CARE (55 min.), moves beyond making our country's medical nightmare an entertainment piece and into a systematic examination of the systems and financial perversities that compromise the wellness of everyone in this nation. In a series of interviews with local and national physicians, the documentary highlights the elements of the problem which need to be addressed in our search for a "solution."

Shot across the country with many people of differing specialties and political insight, OUR AILING HEALTH CARE is a concise examination of how this country has been led down a path of high profits for some and bankruptcy for almost anyone else who has the misfortune of getting sick. To the extent that the focus of our system is on making money (profits) more than on making people healthy, it actually represents a threat to the overall health of our society.

Monday, December 17th at 7:30pm, we will be screening this film at the Darkside Cinema for FREE. In return for free admission, we ask that you stay after the film for a discussion with filmmaker Dr. Hochfeld and Paul Turner, owner of the Darkside. We are looking for input and opinions as this film moves into the last stages of production before release.

Darkside Cinema
215 SW 4th
Corvallis, OR 97333
Darkside Cinema website
(parking is usually a problem - get there early)
  • Current Mood
    impressed impressed

(no subject)

I know many people object to being drug tested, but how do you feel about the ability of the government (or contractors to the government) being able to, without permission, drug test entire population groups?

Currently, OSU says they can, and are, testing neighborhoods by taking samples of sewage. This information they can possibly give to law enforcement(who says they are very interested, big surprise) to allow them to concentrate their actions in specific neighborhoods.

news article

To me, basically I feel that there should be more community responsibility, but this does come into dangerous territory concerning individual rights of search and seizure, perhaps. For instance, if this works great, will they someday be able to test the sewage of an individual house? I'm all for new ways to prevent drug use, but I worry when those could possibly infringe on personal freedoms. To what extent is sewage leaving the house public property?

By precedent, the police can already use heat monitoring devices to detect heat lamps used in marijuana growth, and they can use vision enhancing devices if it's pointed in a publicly viewable window. I don't know off the top of my head, but I imagine they probably can use noise enhancing devices too, since it technically only picks up vibrations on the outside of the house.

Do the benefits outweigh the possibility of bad precedent here?

(no subject)


We're making world news!

"Oregon on Wednesday joined a growing list of states prepared to offer gay couples at least some of the benefits of marriage.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed legislation creating ``domestic partnerships'' for gays and lesbians in the state starting Jan. 1. He also signed a bill that outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation, effective the same date. "

The second part sort of surprised me though. This means discrimination based on sexual orientation was legal before this? At any rate, I'm glad to see Oregon in the lead on such matters.
Old Glory

First high school in Northwest geared to Muslim students to open

First high school in Northwest geared to Muslim students to open
4/22/2007, 11:30 a.m. PDT
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Mounting pressures from Muslim parents in the region have prompted the Muslim Educational Trust to open the new coeducational Oregon Islamic Academy - the first high school in the Northwest geared to Muslim students.

Syed Ahmad was one of those parents. He told Wajdi Said, the trust's executive director, that he moved his family from Texas to Oregon for work and they lived in Tigard to be close to the Muslim Educational Trust's prekindergarten to eighth grade Islamic School. But he told Wajdi that he'd take his family back to Texas to attend an Islamic high school unless one opened here.

The academy's mission is "to shape the minds and hearts of its students according to the teachings of the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)," the parenthetical phrase an abbreviation for "Praise Be Unto Him."

Read Full Story:

Same Sex Union Bill: Round Two.

News Story

Bills that would create civil unions and ban discrimination based on sexual orientation were formally introduced today in Salem.

One of the bills would establish a Vermont-style civil unions system in Oregon.

That would allow same-sex couples some of the legal protections and rights given to opposite-sex married couples.

A similar, though not identical, bill passed the Oregon Senate in the 2005 session, but stalled in the Oregon House, then under Republican control.

Democrats now control both chambers and the governor's office.

Political Cooperation!

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - A day after plans to bankroll a rainy day fund were left for dead on the floor of the Oregon House, Republican and Democratic leaders announced a surprise resurrection of the proposal.

The agreement followed marathon negotiations between party leaders that lasted all day Wednesday, and comes just 24 hours after House Republicans and Democrats deadlocked over competing versions of a one-time plan to divert $275 million in corporate kicker funds and stash the money away for future hard times.

This year's legislative session began with grand promises of bipartisanship from both parties, but that goodwill appeared to melt away earlier this week, when the parties defeated each other's plans on straight party-line votes, despite being not that far apart on the details.

But Wednesday's sweeping agreement sent a far different message, tackling one of the most divisive fiscal issues facing this year's lawmakers - a revenue-raising measure that needed votes from both sides in order to move through the House.