Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current, August 05, 2020, Page 3, Image 3

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Oregonians question proposed state budget cuts
Connor Radnovich
Salem Statesman Journal
Dozens of Oregonians voiced con-
cerns about proposed state funding cuts
during three days of committee hear-
ings last week, the public’s first oppor-
tunity to respond to a budget plan that
eliminates $387 million in spending
across state agencies.
Needing to rebalance the budget af-
ter the coronavirus pandemic disrupted
the state’s economy, slashing expected
tax revenue, lawmakers decided to prio-
ritize K-12 education funding while rec-
onciling a $1.2 billion hole.
Despite deciding to dip into the
state’s emergency Education Stability
Fund to the tune of $400 million, the
proposed cuts remain extensive.
A special session of the Oregon Leg-
islature is expected to convene within
the first two weeks of August. Lawmak-
ers previously returned to the Capitol
for a three-day special session in late
June to implement police accountabil-
ity measures and respond to the coro-
navirus pandemic.
An outline for the budget was re-
leased July 16 after months of deliber-
ation by the three co-chairs of the Legis-
lature’s budget-writing Ways and
Means Committee.
The largest chunks of the proposed
cuts came from within the Department
of Human Services and the Oregon
Health Authority. Most
notably, two prisons —
Shutter Creek Correc-
North Bend and Warner
Creek Correctional Facil-
ity in Lakeview — were
proposed to close over
the next two bienniums.
The public described to lawmakers
how major cuts would impact the fam-
ilies of those who work in state agencies
and the surrounding community, but
even relatively smaller cuts received
passionate feedback.
Budget cuts affect Oregon families
Rep. Dan Rayfield, D-Corvallis, one of
the Ways and Means co-chairs, ac-
knowledged that each proposed cut im-
pacts someone in the state on a personal
When the co-chairs were looking for
where to cut spending, Rayfield said the
conversations were, in large part, a “this
or that” debate, with priority given to
those areas they believe will best help
Oregon recover from the current reces-
“Public input on the budgets is criti-
cal, especially when you’re looking at
cuts of this magnitude,” Rayfield said.
“From where you sit, different people
are going to feel differently about every
single cut.“
Beyond proposed cuts to existing
programs, many vacant positions are
expected to be held open and new state
initiatives slated to begin this biennium
could be delayed.
One such initiative is an anti-poach-
ing program the Legislature committed
$1.3 million toward in 2019. The Oregon
Department of Fish and Wildlife was to
use the money to increase enforcement
of poaching laws.
When it passed, the law earned the
support of hunting and conservation or-
ganizations — a rarity for wildlife man-
agement legislation.
Humane Voters Oregon and the Ore-
gon Hunters Association both submit-
ted testimony to the Ways and Means
Natural Resources subcommittee on
Wednesday requesting the program re-
main funded.
Al Elkins of the Oregon Hunters As-
sociation testified that these cuts —
along with reductions within Oregon
State Police — would put vulnerable
wildlife in “crisis.”
“Enforcement of Oregon’s wildlife
laws is taking a big hit with these pro-
posed cuts,” Elkins said.
County fairs seek assistance
In the General Government subcom-
mittee, county fair board members from
across the state — including from Mar-
ion County — urged lawmakers not to
cut $1 million in state funding.
They said the money is still desper-
ately needed, despite the fact that coun-
ty fairs statewide have been canceled
this year due to the pandemic.
The money is used to offset produc-
tion costs that were already incurred in
the months of planning for the fair, pay
bills through the end of the year that
other revenue sources would normally
cover and keep the organizations sur-
viving long enough to hold a fair in 2021.
In addition to county fairs being can-
celed, other events that normally take
place at the fairgrounds were canceled
or postponed, further hurting the fair-
ground financially. At least nine coun-
ties are still holding some kind of 4H or
FFA event, some virtually.
The Oregon Fairs Association testi-
fied that the return on investment of $1
million is extremely high due to the edu-
cational nature of fairs for local youth
and support the fair and fairgrounds
provide to the surrounding community.
Furthermore, county fairs could be at
risk of not returning in 2021 if state
funding disappears.
The fair association’s president Bart
Noll and executive director Patrick
Sieng wrote: “The damage of cutting $1
million from the county fairs budget
may seem small, but in reality may very
well have the effect of permanently
closing fairs for rural counties.”
Reporter Connor Radnovich covers
the Oregon Legislature and state gov-
ernment. Contact him at cradnov- or 503-
399-6864, or follow him on Twitter at
Sticky, whose rescue story went viral
in the fall of 2018, wears a tracker
device on his collar so his humans can
locate him when he escapes their
Silverton home.
Continued from Page 1A
ciary of the foundation. The family
eventually adopted the dog, and Hawley
has since written a book about her tran-
sition into the family. (Just like he did
when they adopted Sadie, a border col-
lie-black Lab mix.)
Two of the books in the “Sticky the
Kitty” trilogy have been voted best chil-
dren’s books in annual reader polls at, an on-line workshop/cri-
tique group. A fourth book titled “A Very
Sticky Christmas” is in the works.
The books have been shipped to 22
countries around the world, and Hawley
said they’ve been used in schools in Ke-
nya and Pakistan to teach children Eng-
The first one was translated into
Spanish by students in Pennsylvania.
Their class planned to deliver books do-
nated by Hawley to orphanages in the
Dominican Republic, but their trip was
canceled in the wake of the pandemic.
The Spanish version of “Sticky the Kitty:
A Sticky Situation” is available on the
book website.
He never imagined he’d become a
children’s book author and doubts it will
ever be profitable, although he can al-
ways dream. He donates 10 percent of
the proceeds to the foundation, and the
rest covers expenses.
“It’s turned into a super fun hobby
that pays for itself,” Hawley said.
He’s expanded beyond the Sticky se-
ries while sticking to the theme of posi-
tive messages. His son’s artwork in-
spired “You Can Be Anything,” and the
daughter of a Grammy Award-winning
Chuck Hawley poses with his new kitten, Sticky on Oct. 22, 2018 in Silverton. Hawley found Sticky glued to the side of the
road and took him in. STATESMAN JOURNAL FILE
musician inspired “Laila Brave and How
She Crushed the Maybes.”
It’s a long story how Hawley connect-
ed with Everlast, aka Erik Schrody, a
singer, rapper, songwriter and former
front-man for the 1990s hip-hop group
House of Pain. In a nutshell, he sent the
Sticky books to the musician’s daugh-
ters, Laila and Sadie, after learning on
Instagram that the always-smiling Laila
had cystic fibrosis.
He wrote a note saying that since one
of his Sticky books already had a char-
acter named Sadie, he’d name a charac-
ter after Laila in a future book.
Hawley kept his promise, and all pro-
ceeds of “Laila Brave” are earmarked for
the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
After corresponding with Schrody
via email, Hawley features a Q&A with
the father-daughter in his most recent
“Sticky’s Good Stuff ” newsletter. (To
sign up for the free newsletter, send an
Hawley never expected he’d hear
from moms who say the Laila book’s
lesson, overcoming fears by finding
courage to face them, has resonated
with their daughters.
He also never expected to land on the
big screen.
Through conversations with a pro-
duction company about a possible reali-
ty TV show and maybe even a Hallmark
movie, they were cast for a scene near
the end of the film “Hidden Orchard
Mysteries: The Case of the Air B&B Rob-
It’s a film about two teens who inves-
tigate a mysterious robbery in their
community and recently was released
on DVD. The scene was filmed in the
kitchen of Hawley’s home.
Search IMDb, the Internet Movie
Database, and you’ll find their credits.
Sticky is listed among the cast as the
“adorable neighborhood cat.”
Hawley and his wife play Sticky’s dad
and mom. They even have a couple of
Capi Lynn is the Statesman Journal’s
news columnist. Her column “Forward
This” taps into the heart of the Salem-
Keizer community — its people, history
and issues. Contact her at 503-399-6710
or and
follow her on Twitter @CapiLynn and
Facebook @CapiLynnSJ.
Salem Area
Continued from Page 1A
stenfeld told reporters on Wednesday
that “tens of thousands” of Oregonians
who have applied for unemployment
benefits are still stuck in a bureaucratic
process called adjudication.
Simply put, that’s when the agency
has to take extra measures to validate
claims for unemployment benefits.
“We don’t have an exact count,” Ger-
stenfeld said of the number of people
whose claims are still in adjudication.
“We know that it’s in the tens of thou-
The Employment Department, which
has distributed billions in unemploy-
ment benefits to thousands of Orego-
nians since the pandemic started grab-
bing a hold of the economy in mid-
March, wants to hire more adjudicators
to address the backlog.
The agency started with 80 adjudica-
tors pre-pandemic, and now has 210,
Gerstenfeld said. The goal is to hire
more than 300 adjudicators, but the
agency is looking at contracting out for
those workers or having other types of
employees to do that work to speed up
the process.
Right now, it is expected to take peo-
ple 12 to 14 weeks to get their claims re-
solved through adjudication — that’s
about four times as long as the federal
standard of 21 days.
“Oregon and many other states his-
torically have not met that target even
during normal times,” Gerstenfeld said.
“And a lot of that is due to the pretty in-
tensive amount of work even to do the
adjudication process and the historical
under-funding from the federal govern-
ment for administering the unemploy-
ment insurance programs.”
Gerstenfeld said that the pandemic
“just magnified the problem overnight
and exponentially.”
Claire Withycombe is a reporter at
the Statesman Journal. Contact her at,
503-910-3821 or follow on Twitter
Member SIPC
Michael Wooters
Garry Falor CFP ®
South | 503-362-5439
West | 503-588-5426
Caitlin Davis CFP ®
Chip Hutchings
West | 503-585-1464
Lancaster | 503-585-4689
Jeff Davis
Tim Sparks
Mission | 503-363-0445
Commercial | 503-370-6159
Tyson Wooters
South | 503-362-5439
Keizer Area
Mario Montiel
Keizer | 503-393-8166
Surrounding Area
Bridgette Justis
Kelly Denney
Sublimity | 503-769-3180
Dallas | 503-623-2146
Tim Yount
David Eder
Silverton | 503-873-2454
Stayton | 503-769-4902