Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

Oregonians for Food and Shelter Legislative Update
Friday, April 17, 2009
WEEK 14:     The pace in committees picked up this week as the first of several deadlines was today.   April 17 is the date by which a bill must have had a hearing and at least be scheduled for a work session in the chamber of origin.   That means by 5:00 P.M. we will at least know which bills will no longer be given consideration under the normal hearings process.   However, inactive bills with the correct relating clause sometimes do find a way to be resurrected as the vehicle for being stuffed with other legislative language as the end of session draws near.   So with over 2,700 measures having been filed to date, we will be able to put a few more bills on the inactive watch list.    Here is an update on a few of the high priority bills that saw some recent action. 
Senate Bill 570:   This combines all the various metal theft and scrap metal business issues into one bill.   SB-570, sponsored by 89 of 90 legislators, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with a "Do-Pass" to the Senate floor.   Although the bill includes several new records requirements, the main change will be to eliminate cash sales.  This is one of the main motives of metal thieves who are trading stolen products for quick drug money.  The new law requires that payment for scrap metal cannot be given sooner than three business days after the sale and must be delivered by a mailed check to the seller's street address.   OFS supports.   Passage is expected without much opposition.   
House Bill 2999:    This is Rep. Clem's bill to extend the sunset on PURS to 2016 and change reporting location for non-urban uses from water basin to watershed.   The bill had it's first delay on the way to the House floor when ODOT wanted amendments to allow them to report pesticide usage along rights-of-ways by some linear measurement, such as start and start mileposts or GPS locations.   Once that was done, a second snag surfaced when Legislative Fiscal Office (LFO) told ODA that the bill still had a $1.9 million price tag, since HB-2999 did not clarify that the program would not be operational during the next biennium.   So the work session to move the bill to the House floor was carried over until 8:00 A.M. on April 21.    OFS supports making the changing and then putting the program on hold for a biennium.               
Senate Bill 637:    This is the school IPM bill brokered by Senator Bonamici.   OFS greatly appreciates the openness of the Senator and her staff in dealing with a number of significant concerns in the original bill language.  The dash-5 amendments make a number of good changes such as simplifying the lists of pesticides allowed for use and warning signs to be posted by the school.   The definition of school IPM is one we can live with and does require any application to be done by a licensed applicator.   While OFS does not support making this an unfunded mandate on private schools, it is not a deal-breaker for us as those who do represent non-public schools did NOT voice objection to being included.   The bill is scheduled for a work session in the Senate Education and General Government Committee on April 20 at 3:00 P.M.   OFS will support the passage of SB-637.
Joint Ways & Means Public Hearings Planned in Eight Cities Across Oregon:
Budget Information Now Available at http://www.oregonbudget.gov

The Oregon Legislature's Joint Committee on Ways and Means (the budget writers) will be holding public hearings across the state to take public input on the proposed state budget reductions.  Lists of proposed cuts can be found at: http://www.leg.state.or.us/comm/lfo/home.htm
Members of the committee have indicated that public response to the proposed cuts will be vital to their decision-making process.  They need to hear from natural resources; we know other sectors' advocates will be out in force.
While there are several programs important to agriculture and forestry on the chopping block, our organizations have highlighted essential programs our members can focus on during the budget hearings:
·   OSU Statewides (Extension, Agriculture Experiment Stations & Forest Research Lab) As we understand the situation, the Extension, Experiment Station and Forest Research Lab budgets are in danger of disproportionate and serious cuts.
·   Oregon Department Forestry Fire Program Cuts to this program will shift more burden and cost to landowners.  The State must retain their 50% funding agreement.
·   Wildlife Services The state's share of this program is on the chopping block.
·   Water Resources Department This agency has potentially a third of its staff on the proposed cut list.  Oregon needs to manage this essential resource and look to the future in developing new water supplies.
·   Pesticide Analytical Response Center Brings science to pesticide complaints and investigations.
It is imperative you arrive early, so you have the opportunity to fully participate.  Be prepared to provide PERSONAL experiences and explain WHY these programs are important to you and your farms, ranches and forests.  Your involvement can make a difference; without it the State's limited resources will be shifted to other programs.
There is also talk of a stop in Klamath Falls on the way to Jackson County.  Rather than a formal public hearing legislators will "fan out" across Klamath Falls and talk to people around town.  This is a great opportunity to speak with legislators who would not normally visit Klamath Falls.  As many of the details are still being finalized, please visit the following link for more information www.oregonbudget.gov  
Currently this Klamath Falls "meet and greet" is scheduled for April 30th from 12:00 to 2:00 PM.

The schedule is as follows:

Monday, April 20
Lincoln City Cultural Center
540 NE Hwy 101
Lincoln City
5:30 to 8 p.m.
Tuesday, April 21
Portland Community College -Cascade Campus 
Moriority Building Auditorium
705 N Killingsworth ST
6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 23

Oregon State Capitol
Hearing Room F
900 Court Street NE
5:30 to 8 p.m.
(Including Hood River via video link) 
Saturday, April 25

Pendleton National Guard Armory
2100 NW 56th DR
10 a.m. to noon
Saturday, April 25
Treasure Valley Community College
650 College BLVD
3 to 5 p.m. (Mountain Time)
Wednesday, April 29

Central Oregon Community College
Cascades Hall, Room 117
5:30 to 8 p.m. 
Thursday, April 30
Southern Oregon University
Rogue River Room, Stevenson Union
1250 Siskiyou BLVD
5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Friday, May 1

University of Oregon
Prince Lucien Campbell Hall (PLC 180)
1415 Kincaid ST
1 to 4 p.m.
The Climate Isn't Right for State Emissions Cap:
by The Oregonian Editorial Board
Thursday April 16, 2009
However, legislators should pass bill to prepare for a federal cap and deep reductions in emissions linked to global warming

It is clear now that placing a hard state cap on greenhouse gas emissions anytime soon would be a painful fit for Oregon, isolating the state and further squeezing its constricted economy.
Most of the state's top elected officials, including Gov. Ted Kulongoski, now seem to accept that Oregon should keep moving forward on emission reductions, but not run too far, too fast, out in front of U.S. climate policy.
That's why it is imperative that Senate Bill 80, the still-evolving bill at the center of the climate change debate in Salem, be very clear about what it demands of Oregon utilities and other major greenhouse gas emitters, industrial and residential ratepayers and government regulators over the next few years.
As it is now written, the bill is not clear enough. The utilities and large industrial users of electricity point to language in the proposal that plausibly can be read as requiring utilities to meet state emission-reduction targets adopted last session -- targets more ambitious than those in neighboring states.
Oregon can't do it. Not soon. Not alone. It can and should be a climate change leader, but not at any cost, and not by rushing to put on the nation's tightest cap.
That said, there is much to like in Senate Bill 80, and an opportunity in this bill and others before the Legislature to keep Oregon in the forefront of climate change policy and green energy development. It is imperative, as SB80 would require, that state agencies overseeing utilities, air quality and transportation determine whether, and how, this state can achieve its ambitious emission goals.
As it stands, Oregon doesn't know what it would take -- what it would cost -- to reduce emissions below 1990 levels. Portland General Electric claimed recently that it would have to spend $12.6 billion, increase its electric rates by 120 percent and fire up a new nuclear power plant. That may be wildly overstated, as critics claim, but who's to say?  The point is Oregon has not yet answered the biggest questions about its climate policy.
That's what the best elements of SB80 would accomplish. The Public Utility Commission would determine what it would take for utilities to meet state goals. The Department of Transportation would report on reducing vehicle emissions. The Department of Environmental Quality would analyze other emissions and plan reduction strategies.

All this is worth doing for two reasons. One, it would give Oregon and its policymakers critical information they don't have now. Oregon has a powerful energy portfolio standard driving renewable energy development, and it has leaders and a citizenry determined to respond to climate change.
But it lacks real, hard information about its choices and their costs.
The second reason legislators should pass SB80 is that it would prepare Oregon for the national hard cap on emissions that is coming, sooner or later. It might be this year, it might be next, but the United States is going to pass legislation and join the community of nations responding to climate change. When that happens, Oregon should know its options -- and costs -- and be ready to operate under a federal cap. 
Oregon is right where it should be on climate policy and green development. It is home to more than 60 new solar ventures and is a national leader in wind development. It is a center of knowledge and research into energy-efficient green buildings.
Oregon should keep leading in these areas. Legislators should clarify SB80 and pass bills setting performance standards for new power plants, strengthening building codes and encouraging more solar projects and electric car development. All these steps taken together are not as dramatic or far-reaching as a hard state cap on emissions. But they fit the times, and the challenges, in Oregon.
USDA Pesticide Recordkeeping Requirements for Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP's):
This recordkeeping requirement applies to Private Pesticides Applicators.  The 1990 Farm Bill requires private certified pesticide applicators to keep records of all applications of federal restricted use pesticides.  USDA Agricultural Marketing Service carries out the provisions of the Federal recordkeeping requirements.  USDA-authorized representatives or authorized state representatives have access to this information for compliance monitoring.  
ODA has entered into a Cooperative Agreement to inspect (65) Private Pesticides applicators records for compliance (October 1, 2008 -September 30, 2009).  The certified applicators scheduled for inspection are parties that have purchased RUP pesticide products within the last two years. ODA notified the (65) certified applicators of the pending inspections March 2009.  Inspections will be scheduled between now and September 30, 2009
Failure to maintain required record information may subject a certified applicator to a fine of not more than $650.00 for the first offense. 
USDA regulations require that private pesticide applicators keep the following records of their restricted-use pesticide applications:
  • The brand or product name and the EPA registration number of the restricted-use pesticide applied.
  • The total amount of pesticide formulation applied.
  • The size of the area treated.
  • The crop, commodity, stored product, or site of application.
  • The location of the area treated.
  • The date (month, day and year) treated.
  • The licensed applicator's name and license number.
These records must be maintained for at least 2 years.
EPA Hosts Summit on Growing Bedbug Nightmare:
Tuesday , April 14, 2009
Associated Press
The federal government is waking up to what has become a growing nightmare in many parts of the country - a bedbug outbreak. The tiny reddish-brown insects, last seen in great numbers prior to World War II, are on the rebound. They have infested college dormitories, hospital wings, homeless shelters and swanky hotels from New York City to Chicago to Washington.

They live in the crevices and folds of mattresses, sofas and sheets. Then, most often before dawn, they emerge to feed on human blood.

Faced with rising numbers of complaints to city information lines and increasingly frustrated landlords, hotel chains and housing authorities, the Environmental Protection Agency is hosting its first-ever bedbug summit on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The venue - the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel in Arlington - has had no reported bedbug problems, according to a popular online registry, so at least conference participants will be sleeping tight.

"The problem seems to be increasing and it could definitely be worse in densely populated areas like cities, although it can be a problem for anyone," said Lois Rossi, director of the registration division in the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs.

One of the problems, according to researchers and the pesticide industry, is that there are few chemicals on the market approved for use on mattresses that are effective at reducing bedbug numbers.

The EPA, out of concern for the environment and the effects on public health, has pulled many of the chemicals that were most effective in eradicating the bugs from the U.S. over the last 50 years - such as DDT - off of shelves.

Increasing international travel has also increased the chances for the bugs to hitchhike from developing countries which never eradicated them completely.
"This is a worldwide resurgence," said Dini Miller, an entomologist and bedbug expert at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, who until 2001 only saw bedbugs on microscope slides dating from the 1950s. Now she gets calls several times a day from people who are often at their wits' end dealing with the problem.

"I can't tell you how many people have spent the night in their bath tubs because they are so freaked out by bedbugs," Miller said. "I get these people over the phone that have lost their marbles."

Bedbugs are not known to transmit any diseases. But people have had an allergic reaction to their bites. The insects release an anticoagulant to get blood flowing, and they also excrete a numbing agent so their bites don't often stir a victim's slumber.

Those often hardest hit are the urban poor, Miller said. These are people who cannot afford to throw out all their belongings or take the sanitation measures necessary to rid them of the problem.
Because the registration of new pesticides takes so long, one thing the EPA could do is to approve some pesticides for emergency use, Miller said.

The pesticide industry will be pushing for federal funding for research into alternative solutions, such as heating, freezing or steaming the bugs out of bedrooms.

"We need to have better tools," said Greg Baumann, a senior scientist at the National Pest Management Association. "We need EPA to consider all the options for us."
On the Net:
Harvard School of Public Health: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/bedbugs/

University of Kentucky Insect Advice: http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef636.asp
Eugene Jury Convicts Anti-pesticide Demonstrator: 
By Karen McCowan
The Register-Guard
Posted to Web: Thursday, Apr 16, 2009 11:43AM
Appeared in print: Friday, Apr 17, 2009, page A5
A University of Oregon student twice Tasered by police during his May 30 arrest at a downtown Eugene anti-­pesticide rally was convicted late Thursday on mis­demeanor charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

A jury of four men and two women took about three hours to unanimously convict Ian Van Ornum, 19, after hearing more than two days of testimony.
None of the panel looked at the tall, red-headed student as they filed back into the courtroom shortly after 5:30 p.m. As Lane County Circuit Judge Jack Billings had instructed, there was no audible reaction from more than 20 people who had stayed at the courthouse past its 5 p.m. closing time to await the verdict.

Among them were three police officers involved in Van Ornum's arrest. They swiftly left the courtroom without comment, as did Lane County Deputy District Attorney Bob Lane, who prosecuted the case. Eugene police spokeswoman Melinda Kletzok said the department would have no comment until after Van Ornum's sentencing, which Billings set for April 24.

Van Ornum said afterward that he was surprised by the verdict. He said he hadn't yet "had time to process" the news.

His father, Bruce Van Ornum, said he was stunned by the outcome after sitting in the courtroom throughout the trial and seeing everything the jurors watched.

"I don't see how this is possible," said the elder Van Ornum, a Minnesota financial adviser.

Van Ornum's attorneys declined comment.

The misdemeanor offenses of which Van Ornum was convicted carry possible fines and jail terms, but sometimes result in only probation and community service.

In closing arguments, Lane had urged the jury to convict Van Ornum, citing testimony from police officers and others that the student had disrupted traffic by squirting water from a plastic garden sprayer while dressed in a mock hazardous materials suit, then resisted police efforts to arrest him. Even if Van Ornum did nothing to deserve arrest, the prosecutor said, "a street corner is not the forum for taking action on a violation of police policy."

Defense attorney Laura Fine told jurors in her summary that her client had not disrupted traffic and had simply exercised his right to defend himself against unreasonable force by Eugene police officers. She cited evidence - including images on the Taser stun gun's video camera - that conflicted with arresting officer Sgt. Bill Solesbee's account of how and when the midday confrontation unfolded. And she re­iterated allegations that officers violated the city's Taser policy that day.

Fine said police arrested Van Ornum "not because of what he did, but because of who they thought he was" based on incorrect information provided to Solesbee by federal Department of Homeland Security officer Tom Keedy, who phoned from the event.

"The agent told him he was monitoring an event by The Pitchfork Rebellion and that they had stormed the federal courthouse in March," she said. "They thought he was The Pitchfork Rebellion."
Keedy had testified Tuesday that he began monitoring the Oregon-based anti-pesticide group after hearing its leader advocate nonviolent revolution during a March 2008 speech outside the U.S. Courthouse. The agent acknowledged in court that the May 30 event had been organized by UO students, not The Pitchfork Rebellion.

The case has had other far-reaching implications. The Eugene City Council has considered whether to expand the city police auditor's powers to include the right to inquire about officer misconduct even while a criminal case against the person who made the complaint is pending - a direct response to the Van Ornum case. Earlier, county prosecutors had said Eugene police could conduct an internal investigation of the Van Ornum arrest, but could not interview the officers involved until Van Ornum's trial ended.

In his closing argument, Lane challenged Van Ornum's contention that he didn't try to resist arrest.

If that was true, he asked jurors, why did two officers have so much trouble getting handcuffs on both wrists of the student? And why did even defense witnesses incorrectly testify that they saw police use a Taser on Van Ornum while he was still standing up?

"The reason is, he was struggling, pulling away, flailing around - not because he was being Tased, but because he was resisting arrest," Lane said. Police video shows that police used the Taser on Van Ornum when they had him lying down on the sidewalk.

Lane told the jury that its task did not involve interpreting a gray area. "The two sides here are diametrically opposed," he said. "Your verdict will answer for people what happened here."

Van Ornum took the stand in his own defense Thursday.

He disputed Solesbee's testimony about their initial encounter moments before his arrest. The sergeant on Tuesday described being summoned to the scene by Keedy and arriving at Broadway and Willamette Street to see Van Ornum obstructing traffic by walking back and forth in a crosswalk.
But Van Ornum denied obstructing traffic. He said he simply used all four crosswalks to "walk a square" around the intersection, spraying flower planters at each corner with water from a pump-style container painted with a skull and crossbones.
The student, who came to the UO from Minnesota, said he lingered in the street only when the uniformed Solesbee stopped his unmarked police vehicle in the intersection and gestured for him to come up to his open window. He said the sergeant's "demeanor toward me right away was angry, negative," and that "the first thing he said when I walked up was 'Get out of the street or I'll have you arrested.'"

Van Ornum called that statement "confusing and ironic" since "he brought me back into the street when I was almost to the sidewalk."

Van Ornum said he told Solesbee: "Officer, I don't believe you can have me arrested because I'm not doing anything wrong."

Under questioning from Fine, Van Ornum acknowledged that he also falsely told the sergeant, "You can't arrest me because I'm 17 years old," as Solesbee had testified. Van Ornum said he did so because Solesbee seemed angry from the very beginning and was acting "mean."

Van Ornum said he responded by "acting smart back."

He also disputed Solesbee's testimony that he also had told the sergeant, "Do you want to be sprayed with poison?"

He said he'd given Solesbee the same "spiel" he'd given passing pedestrians in the street-theater effort to engage them in the demonstration's topic.

"I don't remember exactly what I said," he said. "But it was not 'Do you want to be sprayed with poison?' It was something around the lines of, 'Do you know that the Oregon Department of Transportation is poisoning our community by their plans to increase the amount of their sprays? Do you want to continue to be poisoned?'"

Van Ornum also denied resisting arrest, saying he was simply reacting when one officer suddenly grabbed him from behind and wrenched his right arm painfully behind his back, while another gripped his left arm, and forced him across the street away from others at the demonstration. He said he put a leg out to try to protect himself as the officers pushed him against a post because his arms were not free to brace himself and he wanted to protect his head.

The student also described how he felt when and after Eugene police officer Judd Warden twice stunned him with the Taser's electrical charge.
"It was the worst pain I ever felt," he said, adding that even after officers placed him in a police car and drove him to City Hall, "I was very disoriented. My muscles were still quivering ... This was my fifth concussion, and I was feeling very spacey, very discombobulated."

Under questioning by Lane, Van Ornum acknowledged that his concussion diagnosis by an emergency room physician and several days later by a UO health center doctor was based on his own report of symptoms such as headaches and difficulty retrieving words. He also acknowledged telling one of the doctors that he was there partly to "document" his injuries.

Billings earlier denied a request by Lane to introduce into evidence Van Ornum's notice of intent to sue the city over his injuries.
Senator Merkley Opens Regional Office in Salem: 
Jeff Merkley
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley has opened an office in Salem.
The office is at 495 State ST., Suite 330. The telephone number is (503) 362-8102.
The field office will cover Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Lincoln and Tillamook counties.
The field representative is Katie Gauthier, who has worked as policy and communications director for Oregonians for Health Security and as the outreach director for the Oregon House Democratic Office.
Gauthier, a native Oregonian and resident of Salem for the past 10 years, has a master's degree in public policy from the University of Oregon and a bachelor's degree from Eastern Oregon University.
Please contact us with any questions or comments:
Terry Witt, Exeuctive Director          503-569-3300 or terry@ofsonline.org
Paulette Pyle, Grass Roots Director 503-559-1279 or paulette@ofsonline.org
Sandi Schukar, Office Manager      503-370-8092 or sandi@ofsonline.org
Terry, Paulette & Sandi
Home Contact


              Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

             Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2009, All Rights Reserved