Oregonians for Food and
Shelter legislative update 6/6/09
This week marks week 21 of the current
Have a wonderful weekend.
Paulette, Terry & Sandi
OFS Legislative Report for the Week of June 1
- 5, 2009
WEEK 21: The Democrat
leadership is working at warp speed to shut down the '09
legislative session by June 30. In other words, they
have their minds made up on key issues like taxes and
climate change. Both could be extraordinarily expensive
to OFS members and all businesses in general. Please
know the natural resource and business lobby are working
well together in an attempt to insure that
reasonableness rules the day. Only time will tell if
the "good guys" win, lose or draw. Pesticides, Taxes
and Employer Gag Bill are the three topics you will find
of interest today.
PESTICIDES: The two pesticide
specific bills that OFS had responsibility for this
session are in the final stages of passage. HB
2999-B (PURS) has passed both chambers of the
legislature, but still needs to return back to the House
for concurrence to address the Senate amendment further
extending the sunset from 2016 to 2019.
SB 637-B (IPM in schools) is awaiting a
vote on the House floor but has been carried over on the
House calendar daily since last Friday. We fully expect
the bill to pass the House next week. It too will need
to return to its chamber of origin, the Senate, for
concurrence. The House added an amendment to clarify
that janitors and kitchen staff did not need a pesticide
applicator's license to clean toilets or disinfect food
prep surfaces!!! OFS staff does not see any impediments
to its passage as well.
TAXES: This has become the $20
billion gorilla in the room. Many of us believe that
the Democrats have decided "the public just doesn't know
how much they will appreciate the tax increases" so
they're going ahead with plans to increase them.
Somehow they believe Oregonians don't really understand
the economics when they say "no" to taxes. Some
Democrats have the attitude that the public will
ultimately thank them for knowing what is really in
their "best" interest! Boy, are they in for a
surprise! However, if you do not want your taxes
increased, please have a discussion with your
legislator. The business lobby under the leadership of
Associated Oregon Industries are doing all they can to
stop the tax madness.
EMPLOYER GAG BILL: We have
received many questions about SB 519.
This bill is AFL-CIO sponsored and will dictate that
Oregon employers will not be able to discuss
political matters or religion in the work place. We
don't know how many of you discuss "religion", but we do
know that discussions on "political matters" do take
place from time to time. With some clever use of
embedding definitions within definitions, the term
"political matters" also covers "the decision to join,
or not join, support or not support any lawful
constituent group or activity" - and then defines
"constituent group" to include "labor organizations."
Put it all together and an employer will be prohibited
from discussing union membership with his/her
employees. Please see the review Associated Oregon
Industries has shared with us, "ACTION ALERT:
SB-519 Will Undermine Employer Ability to Talk to
Employees" found elsewhere in this newsletter.
THE LABEL IS THE LAW!
States issue fines for pesticide
violations on onions
Mitch Lies, Capital Press
The Oregon and Idaho departments of agriculture
have issued 10 fines totaling nearly $200,000 for
pesticide violations on onions during the 2008
Officials in the two states said all the fines
were for improper or erroneous application of two
chemicals - Furadan and Basagran - that are not
labeled for use on onions.
Two of the growers, in Malheur County in Oregon,
were penalized two years ago for similar
The fines for off-label applications of Furadan
and Basagran in Oregon range from $10,000 to
$70,000. The $70,000 fine is the largest civil
penalty ever issued by the department for an
The Oregon growers have 10 days to appeal the
Stemming from the same investigation, the Idaho
Department of Agriculture fined two Idaho growers,
a field consultant, a chemical supplier and an
applicator for pesticide infractions involving
Basagran and Furadan.
The Idaho fines ranged from $500 to $6,000.
The highest fine the Idaho Department of
Agriculture can issue is $3,000 per infraction.
In Idaho, field consultant Boyd Peterson of
Payette was fined $3,000 for recommending a grower
apply Basagran off-label to onions. Grower Darin
Walker of Weiser was fined $6,000 for applying
Basagran off-label to onions. Grower Rick Michael
of Weiser was fined $6,000 also for applying
Basagran off-label to onions.
Farmers Supply Cooperative of Weiser was fined
$3,000 for distributing Basagran for use on
onions. And James Jennings was fined $500 for a
faulty aerial application after Furadan being
applied to alfalfa drifted onto an adjacent onion
The Oregon Department of Agriculture, meanwhile,
used new authority granted it by the 2007
Legislature in fining the Oregon growers $10,000
per violation. The department must determine a
violation was willful and negligent to issue the
$10,000 maximum fine.
The previous maximum fine in Oregon was $1,000 for
a first violation and $2,000 for a repeat
The Oregon growers were fined the maximum in all
Kris Yano of Ontario, Ore., was fined $70,000 for
seven cases of allegedly misusing the herbicide
Basagran. Brent Wagstaff of WBH Farms in Nyssa,
Ore., was hit with $60,000 in fines, including
$10,000 for allegedly misusing Furadan and $50,000
for five incidents of allegedly applying Basagran
Froerer Farms of Nyssa was fined $30,000 for three
cases of allegedly misusing Basagran. Craig
Crawford and David Navarrete, both of Ontario,
both were issued a $10,000 penalty - Crawford for
allegedly misusing Basagran, and Navarrete for
allegedly misusing Furadan.
Crawford and Froerer Farms were fined in 2007 for
off-label application of Furadan to onions.
ODA tested 86 samples of soil, weeds, onion
foliage and bulbs from 60 fields in uncovering the
18 positive tests. The investigations were
initiated based on a tip.
The Oregon and Idaho penalties come two years
after a sweeping investigation in 2006 uncovered
evidence that more than a dozen Oregon growers and
several Idaho growers misused Furadan on onions.
Sixteen Malheur County growers were fined a total
of $112,000 in 2007 for off-label applications
stemming from the 2006 investigation.
Also resulting from the 2006 investigation, Land
View Inc., an Ontario, Ore., pesticide dealer, was
fined $89,910 for selling Furadan to an unlicensed
applicator 81 times over a 30-month period.
Following those incidents, the Oregon agriculture
industry asked the state Legislature to grant the
Oregon Department of Agriculture authority to
increase the dollar amount it can fine growers for
off-label pesticide application.
Lynn Jensen, Oregon State University Malheur
County Extension onion specialist, said the vast
majority of onion growers in the area are
"extremely disappointed" over the recent
"The onion industry is very concerned about these
practices," he said. "The honest people pay for
the dishonest ones. ... That's what happened with
the Furadan case (in 2006) is the honest people
are having to pay to prove they're honest."
Jensen said onion shippers are considering
imposing mandatory testing on all Malheur County
onions at growers' expense to ensure no illegal
materials are present.
Jensen suspects growers used the broad spectrum,
systemic insecticide Furadan for thrips control.
Furadan contains carbofuran, which the
Environmental Protection Agency is phasing out.
Thrips vector the potentially devastating iris
yellow spot virus.
Several alternatives are available to control the
pest, Jensen said. But the alternatives require
multiple applications - typically once every seven
to 10 days for eight to 10 weeks.
"With Furadan, you don't have to be in there as
frequently to get the job done. It's cheaper for
them," Jensen said.
In the case of Basagran, which growers use to
control yellow nutsedge, few options exist, Jensen
The weed has mushroomed in recent years and now is
a major pest in the area.
Growers gain some control using fumigants in the
fall and coming back with Dual Magnum and Outlook
in the growing season, he said.
"But if a field gets bad, you just have to take it
out of onion production," Jensen said.
Onions from fields with positive soil or foliage
tests were embargoed and prohibited from entering
commercial channels until tests confirmed they
contained no pesticide residue.
Growers plowed out two fields with bulbs that
tested positive for the pesticides.
"We'll be having close surveillance in the area
(this year)," Mitchell said.
"We cannot allow this practice to continue. I'm
surprised it happened a second time," he said.
Action Alert: SB-519 Will
Undermine Employer Ability to Talk to Employees.
Information from Associated Oregon Industries (AOI)
SB 519 Will Undermine Employer
Ability To Talk To Employees - Unless You Help Convince
Seven Senators Today To Vote NO On SB 519!
In the next two days, the Oregon Senate is expected to
vote on SB 519. While we initially
defeated this legislation a month ago, the labor unions
have since prevailed on several senators to approve the
SB 519 is a union-sponsored bill designed
to hinder the ability of employers to inform employees of
its perspective on union organization.
In its current form, SB 519 undermines an
employer from requiring attendance at an organization's
meetings concerning the employer's opinions on "religious
or political matters." It does so by creating an unlawful
employment action against an employer who makes an adverse
employment action against an employee who refuses to
attend the mandatory meeting or take part in an employer's
"communication." SB 519's prohibition
also extends to the employer's use of mandatory meetings
or communications to inform workers of the organization's
perspective on union organization; an employer right
allowed under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) for
more than seventy years.
AOI opposes the bill for the following reasons:
- SB 519 is an unconstitutional
infringement on federal labor law, which
guarantees the right of employers to communicate freely
with employees on labor matters.
- SB 519 is an unconstitutional
infringement of employer free speech rights by
curtailing an employer's political speech.
- SB 519 creates a new protected
class of workers - workers who refuse to attend
mandatory meetings. These employees will now have a
cause of action against employers if they are ever laid
off or their employment is terminated for cause.
- SB 519 is entirely one-sided,
totally favoring unions. It tilts the workplace
communications balance far in favor of organized labor.
- SB 519 levies punitive
penalties, including triple damages and "all
appropriate relief," which is far in excess of federal
unlawful labor practice penalties.
- SB 519 will curtail critical
employer communications on issues vital to the
survival of the business.
- Faith-based private companies
will face undue hardship and would not be able to
compel meetings regarding the company's mission, etc.
- Oregon would be the
only state in the nation that burdens employers with
such a law!
Wildlife Services Letter sent to Senate President
Peter Courtney and House Speaker Dave Hunt from Oregon
Cattlemen and other agricultural organizations:
May 28, 2009
Senate President Peter Courtney Speaker of the House
900 Court St. NE, S-201 900 Court St.
Salem, OR 97301 Salem, OR 97301
Dear Speaker Hunt and President Courtney;
Natural resource industries have grave concerns about
the funding level of USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services. We
are certainly conscious of the current budget concerns;
however, this program is vitally important to
agricultural producers who are not only an economic
force in Oregon but also provide food and habitat to
over 70% of the state's wildlife.
Predator depredation is a growing problem and will only
be intensified with the migration of the gray wolf into
Oregon. The Department of Fish and Wildlife
anticipated increased wolf conflict in eastern Oregon
and requested additional funding to address wolf
depredation in the Governor's budget.
The benefits of Wildlife Services exceed costs by ratios
ranging from 3:1 up to 27:1. When Wildlife Services
prevents natural resource losses, they are increasing
natural resource revenues that ripple through the local
economies. This should be a serious consideration
during difficult economic times.
In the Ways & Means Co-Chairs' Budget there is a
devastating cut for Wildlife Services between the Oregon
Department of Agriculture (ODA) budget (from $455,000 to
$120,000) and the Oregon Department of Fish &Wildlife
(ODF&W) budget (from $240,000 to $120,000); however, the
overall budget cuts for both agencies is only 18%.
Please fund Wildlife Services at no more than an 18%
total cut. We are asking for $553,500 (full funding
$675,000 X 18% cut) to be split equally between ODA and
ODF&W, $276,750 each.
We believe that Wildlife Services is a great investment
for agriculture, for natural resources, and for Oregon's
economy. Simply put, we need the assistance of
Wildlife Services today more than ever.
Oregon Cattlemen's Association
Douglas County Livestock Association
Oregon Farm Bureau
Klamath County Cattlemen's Association
Oregonians for Food and Shelter
Umatilla County Cattlemen's Association
Oregon Sheep Growers Association
Wallowa County Stockgrowers' Association
Water for Life
Harney County Stockgrowers' Association
Oregon Wheat Growers League
Grant County Stockgrowers' Association
cc: Senator Ferriolli, Senator Margaret Carter, Senator
Betsy Johnson, Senator Walker, Representative Bruce
Hanna, Representative Peter Buckley, Representative
Nancy Nathanson, and Representative Bob Jenson
Government Accounting Office report to Congress
Genetically Modified Crops Get the Vatican's
New Scientist, June 4, 2009
'Pope Benedict XVI's scientists have given their
genetically modified crops as a possible solution to
world hunger and
THE Vatican seldom approves of scientists meddling with
creation. So the decision of the Pontifical Academy of
back oft-demonised genetically modified crops as an
answer to world
hunger and poverty may come as a surprise.
GM crops were heartily endorsed at a week-long seminar
held by the
academy in mid-May. Participants agreed that the crops
safety and security, better health and environmental
That verdict is not shared by the International
Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for
global UN-backed think tank that last year rejected GM
as a solution
Some say the seminar excluded dissenters within the
church who fear
that GM technology allows multinationals to control
the expense of the poor. But participants deny bias:
concluded that regulations are too strict, so only big
afford to get GM crops approved, whereas non-profit
that want to help the poor cannot.
Read all the anti's comments and feel free to leave your
own at end.
ODA Events and Opportunities - 2009 Specialty Crop
Oregon Department of Agriculture is pleased to
announce that it is now accepting project proposals
for the 2009 specialty crop grant program.
We encourage projects that address the following
Market development and access
Product and varietal development
Innovation and productivity
Food safety and traceability
Certification and producer outreach
Applicants should submit 1-2 page concept papers
that provide a problem statement, goals and
objectives of the project, project description,
measurable outcomes and attach a detailed
Deadline: Concept papers are due by 5:00
pm on June 29, 2009.
$25,000 - $100,000 projects for a duration of up
to two years.
Matching funds, either cash or in-kind are
Multi-state, multi-commodity or sector
collaboration is encouraged and given
Projects cannot provide benefit
to only a single organization, company or
individual. They must seek to provide benefit
to the industry as a whole.
Administrative costs and purchases of equipment
For the purposes of this program, specialty
crops are defined as commonly recognized fruits,
vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and nursery
crops (including floriculture and
horticulture). See a complete list of eligible
crops under the grant program at the USDA
specialty crop block grant Website at:
Additionally, you may call the Agricultural
Development and Marketing Division at (503)
872-6600 or check our Website at http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/ADMD
for further information.
American Capitalism gone with a whimper
27.04.2009 Source: Pravda.Ru URL:
It must be said, that like the breaking of a great
dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening
with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a
passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I
True, the situation has been well prepared on and
off for the past century, especially the past twenty
years. The initial testing grounds was conducted
upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But
we Russians would not just roll over and give up our
freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money
Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.
Those lessons were taken and used to properly
prepare the American populace for the surrender of
their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their
elites and betters.
First, the population was dumbed down through a
politicized and substandard education system based
on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans
know more about their favorite TV dramas then the
drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They
care more for their "right" to choke down a
McDonalds burger or a Burger King burger than for
their constitutional rights. Then they turn around
and lecture us about our rights and about our
"democracy". Pride blind the foolish.
Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their
churches, all tens of thousands of different
"branches and denominations" were for the most part
little more then Sunday circuses and their
televangelists and top protestant mega preachers
were more then happy to sell out their souls and
flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo
Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may
complain, but when explained that they would be on
the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick
to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even
our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously
liberalized in America.
The final collapse has come with the election of
Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has
been truly impressive. His spending and money
printing has been a record setting, not just in
America's short history but in the world. If this
keeps up for more then another year, and there is no
sign that it will not, America at best will resemble
the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.
These past two weeks have been the most breath
taking of all. First came the announcement of a
planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax
system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll
their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of
billions of dollars. These make our Russian
oligarchs look little more then ordinary street
thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat
our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we
These men, of course, are not an elected panel but
made up of appointees picked from the very financial
oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging
themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one
bailout after another. They are also usurping the
rights, duties and powers of the American congress
(parliament). Again, congress has put up little more
then a whimper to their masters.
Then came Barack Obama's command that GM's (General
Motor) president step down from leadership of his
company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land
of "pure" free markets, the American president now
has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs
and we can assume other employees of private
companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the
centurion commands his minions.
So it should be no surprise, that the American
president has followed this up with a "bold" move of
declaring that he and another group of unelected,
chosen stooges will now redesign the entire
automotive industry and will even be the guarantee
of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the
chance, they would happily try and redesign it for
the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin,
less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK's
Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only
leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we
suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror
show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians,
so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the
folly of their own pride.
Again, the American public has taken this with
barely a whimper...but a "freeman" whimper.
So, should it be any surprise to discover that the
Democratically controlled Congress of America is
working on passing a new regulation that would give
the American Treasury department the power to set
"fair" maximum salaries, evaluate performance and
control how private companies give out pay raises
and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert
basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the
modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well
as that of the general West, homosexuality is not
only not a looked down upon life choice, but is
often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist
enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that
this only affects companies that receive government
monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical
extreme, this would include any company or industry
that has ever received a tax break or incentive.
The Russian owners of American companies and
industries should look thoughtfully at this and the
option of closing their facilities down and fleeing
the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other
words, divest while there is still value left.
The proud American will go down into his slavery
with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming
to the world, how free he really is. The world will
Public Employees Retirement System burden to double
From the Salem Statesman-Journal
May 30, 2009
By Dennis Thompson, Jr.
Pension contributions, now 12% of payroll, likely will
rise to 25% even as governments cut back
The economic downturn will cause pension costs to double
in coming years for employers participating in the
Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, consultants
for the agency said Friday.
State agencies, local government, school districts and
other public entities likely will be required to pay an
average 25 percent of their total payroll in pension
contributions to PERS by the biennium that begins in
July 2013, according to an economic projection by the
Portland firm Mercer.
By comparison, the average pension contribution for the
2009-11 biennium is set at 12 percent of payroll.
Please contact us with any questions or comments:
HAVE A TERRIFIC WEEKEND
Terry, Paulette & Sandi