Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current, February 16, 2022, Page 3, Image 3

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Bill could change when police can pull you over
Virginia Barreda
Salem Statesman Journal | USA TODAY NETWORK
Oregon legislators are considering a
bill that would require a law enforce-
ment officer to tell a driver they can re-
fuse a search during a traffic stop and
would prohibit them from pulling
someone over based solely on a mi-
nor infraction such as a broken tail-
Senate Bill 1510 takes portions of
House Bill 2002, which died in the
2021 legislative session, and makes
reforms to how drivers interact with
law enforcement, as well as to parole
and probation conditions.
If it becomes law, the bill would no
longer allow officers to pull drivers
over because of one broken head-
light, tail brake light or license plate
light. Officers would still be able to
ticket drivers for those equipment vi-
olations if the stop was initially made
for another unsafe driving violation.
Additionally, officers would have
to ask for consent to search a vehicle
and get that consent in writing or au-
dio or video recording.
Advocacy groups such as Trans-
forming Justice Coalition and Next
Up Action Fund say unnecessary in-
teractions with police, such as stops
for minor traffic violations, dispro-
portionately affect persons of color.
The goal is to reduce interactions that
could escalate to violence.
A New York Times investigation
from 2021 determined police over the
prior five years had killed more than
400 drivers or passengers nation-
wide who were not wielding a gun or a
knife, or under pursuit for a violent
But some law enforcement officials
and district attorneys argue the pro-
posed Oregon law will make roads less
Advocate and member of the Trans-
forming Justice Coalition Babak Zol-
faghari-Azar said many Oregonians,
especially Black, Indigenous, Latino
and other persons of color feel unsafe,
in part due to “unnecessary” interac-
tions with police.
Fears surrounding stops
During an informational hearing on
the bill last week, Zolfaghari-Azar said
he’s been stopped by police more than 15
times throughout his life.
His first time was at 17 when he was
taken to Washington County jail on sus-
picion of furnishing alcohol to minors,
which was later dropped to a traffic vio-
lation and fine in court.
In his early 20s, he was placed in
handcuffs and his car was “illegally
searched” after he said police lied about
him running a red light.
“There were no public safety threats
in any of these stops, Zolfaghari-Azar
said. “Multiple times, police said in
court — and of course a judge took their
word over mine — that I didn’t signal be-
fore turning or didn’t stop all the way at a
red light before turning, using that lie as
an excuse to violate my freedom, ask me
questions unrelated to the stop, and
leave me with experiences that have re-
shaped my life.”
Kate Suisman, a coalitions manager
and attorney with Northwest Workers’
Justice Project, an organization that pro-
vides legal representation to low-wage
workers, said many of the organization’s
immigrant clients constantly deal with
racism and fear of deportation, and some
have been deported for non-violent of-
fenses without opportunity for diversion.
Suisman said the organization sup-
ports the bill because it would reduce the
chances of interactions between police
and individuals like their clients for non-
violent offenses.
“We have seen the traumatic effects of
deportation too many times,” she wrote in
a testimony presented in support of the
Concerns about impact on safety
Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson,
who spoke on behalf of the Oregon State
Police Officers Association and Oregon
Association of Chiefs of Police, said pro-
hibiting officers from making traffic stops
for defective headlights and taillights
would still create a safety hazard for mo-
The impacts on visibility are exacerbat-
ed on unlit rural highways, Oregon State
Police Officers Association president
Joshua Wetzel added.
“One headlight not working could be
likened to covering one eye 55 miles per
hour or faster. Add in weather factors such
as fog, rain or snow and this makes for a
dangerous situation,” Wetzel said.
In written testimony, leaders from the
Oregon District Attorneys Association
said the bill would exacerbate uncertainty
in Oregon over the search and seizure law,
which has already been in flux over the
past few years.
Oregon Supreme Court and Oregon
Court of Appeals decisions have impact-
ed the ability of officers to interact with
people during stops, conduct inven-
tories, and largely eliminated the mobile
vehicle exception to the warrant require-
ment, the statement said.
“Introducing additional uncertainty
into the consent analysis could lead to
the suppression of otherwise lawfully
obtained evidence,” the statement said.
Bill details
Here are other changes proposed in
the bill:
h Changes to parole and probation
conditions, such as aligning supervision
conditions with state, not federal, drug
h Requires parole and probation offi-
cers to get additional training for certifi-
cation and continuing education, such as
trauma-informed care, culturally-specific
services and de-escalation tactics.
h Directs the Department of Correc-
tions to adopt rules concerning supervi-
sion reporting standards, such as when
an officer can visit a person at their work-
h Appropriates money from general
fund to Oregon Criminal Justice Commis-
sion for distribution to Northwest Health
Foundation Fund II for Justice reinvest-
ment programs.
Virginia Barreda is the breaking news
and public safety reporter for the States-
man Journal. She can be reached at 503-
at Fol-
low her on Twitter at @vbarreda2.
Fuel tank farm has potential for largest spill in US history
Tracy Loew
Salem Statesman Journal | USA TODAY NETWORK
A “ticking time bomb” sits along-
side the Willamette River in Portland,
state Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Port-
land, says.
In the city’s urban core, 630 fuel
tanks with a combined capacity of 350
million gallons stretch along six miles
of the river, on unstable soil. Most are
more than 50 years old, some more
than 100.
In the event of a Cascadia subduc-
tion zone earthquake, many of those
tanks would spill onto the ground,
slide into the river or explode.
Scientists say there’s a 37% chance
of a magnitude 8 or 9 Cascadia sub-
duction zone earthquake happening in
the next 50 years.
The tanks are a disaster waiting to
happen, one that would rival Japan’s
Fukushima nuclear disaster or the
Deepwater Horizon oil spill, multiple
OT bill
Continued from Page 1A
four minutes the gravity of this problem,
but what I would draw your attention to
is the 107+ submitted testimonies on the
record tonight from people who do this
job day in and day out, who can illus-
trate for you what this work is like and
the impacts of our overtime exclusion
on farmworkers and their families.”
Several farmworkers spoke about
their experience in the industry and
plead with lawmakers to support HB
Miguel Nieves spoke about working
on Oregon farms for 33 years without re-
ceiving overtime. The most he has re-
ceived has been a soda, he said.
“We do not have vacations. We do not
have benefits. We are just tools for em-
ployers,” he said. “They look at us with
contempt but because of us there is food
for your children on the table. Overtime
would help us give our family a better
Angelica Ortiz has worked on farms
since 2012. She said farmworkers re-
ceive no vacations, no benefits and can-
not afford to take days off with the high
costs of living in the state. Companies
earn a lot of money but pay minimum
wage because they view workers as
cheap labor, she said.
“They call us essential workers but
we have no right to overtime pay,” Ortiz
added. “It is unjust that owners do not
want to invest in their workers. I urge
you to vote to approve overtime for
Advancing overtime protections to
farmworkers would honor humanity
and eliminate the gap between the rec-
ognition that farmworkers are essential
and wages, labor laws and benefit pro-
grams, Susannah Morgan, CEO of the
Oregon Food Bank said.
“Oregon Food Bank’s mission is to
eliminate hunger and its root causes.
We believe in an Oregon where everyone
is welcome and has the opportunity to
thrive,” Morgan said, explaining the or-
ganization’s support for HB 4002. “We
know that, due to a host of institutional
and systemic challenges, immigrant
government agencies have warned.
Dembrow hopes to avert that disas-
He is sponsoring a bill that would
require the 10 private companies that
own the tanks to submit reports on
their seismic vulnerability to the state,
and to implement seismic risk imple-
mentation plans.
“We know that this facility was built
on unstable soil, soil that will liquefy
in a major seismic event. We know that
such an event would present an imme-
diate danger to the community and
first responders who would be called
into the area to contain the damages,”
Dembrow said.
“We know that millions of gallons of
fuel could wind up in the Willamette
and then the Columbia rivers. We
know that the state will not have the
fuel it will need to recover from the ca-
tastrophe,” he said.
Potential for unprecedented
and refugee Oregonians face dispropor-
tionate food insecurity in our communi-
ties, double the rate of people born in-
side the United States.”
Farmer worries
Dozens of farm owners testified
against the bill, warning that passage of
the bill without amendments would
bring ruin to Oregon’s agricultural in-
“This is not a threat, this is a reality. A
cap will be placed so that farmers can
continue to farm and operate,” said an
emotional Tiffany Monroe, a fifth-gen-
eration farmer who started her own
farm in Junction City in 2020.
Passing a bill of this magnitude
would devastate smaller farms, many
said. Several referred to themselves as
“price takers” not “price makers,” un-
able to set their own prices for their
crops. Even if market prices are down
for their harvest, their workers and oth-
er costs remain the same.
“I will not be able to afford the time
and a half for my pickers,” Anne Krahm-
er-Steinkamp, a sixth-generation farm-
er in Oregon, said. The added costs
would force her farm to switch to more
mechanical harvesting rather than
handpicking, she warned.
The agricultural business is unique,
farmers said. The amendment proposed
by Boshart Davis acknowledges that,
they said.
“Agriculture is seasonal, and our
work schedules are dictated by weather
conditions and the tight time frames we
work in. As a result, farmworkers rely on
working extra hours during these peak
seasons to offset when there is not as
much work or when the weather makes
it impossible to work. Allowing a per-
manent peak season accommodation
gives workers a chance to get the extra
wages they need during busy times and
gives family farms a chance at survival,”
Lesley Tamura, a fourth-generation
pear grower from Hood River County,
Bobbi Harrold, a dairy farmer from
Lane County and vice president of the
Orgon Dairy Farmers Association,
voiced her opposition to the current
form of HB 4002.
The tank farm, called the Critical
Energy Infrastructure Hub, stores
90% of Oregon’s gasoline and diesel,
and all of the jet fuel used at Portland
International Airport.
Most of it was built before scientists
realized the Cascadia subduction zone
could produce a large earthquake.
Increasingly alarming reports about
the hub have been coming out for a
decade, but state officials say they
have no authority to force private com-
panies to move or strengthen their fa-
“To be clear: What would start as a
potential rupture or collapse and fuel
spillage would almost certainly rapid-
ly ignite into a toxic fireball and flame
front that would eviscerate anything
and everyone in its path,” said Rep. Da-
cia Grayber, D-Tigard, a firefighter who
also is sponsoring the bill.
“The fuel-pushed fire would then be
She is a fourth-generation dairy
farmer and her life is dictated by cows,
she said.
“Calves aren’t born on a 9-5 sched-
ule and cows only seem to get out
when you’re sleeping, at church or at a
party,” Harrold said. “Livestock opera-
tions don’t always follow neat, predict-
able cycles. Recognizing the unique
nature of caring for livestock to include
these considerations would go a long
way to making this proposal workable
for farms like mine.”
Farmers cannot afford a year-round
40-hour overtime threshold and being
unable to absorb the cost of overtime
wages, owners will be forced to cut
work hours, mechanize or switch to
less labor-intensive crops, they said.
Next steps
Dozens of others were unable to tes-
tify during the public hearing. Hun-
dreds of people have submitted writ-
ten testimony.
Pressure is on for lawmakers to
reach a consensus as a lawsuit filed by
two Oregon farmworkers and the Ma-
no a Mano Family Center against the
Bureau of Labor and Industry alleging
the state is currently illegally prevent-
ing farmworkers from getting overtime
is likely to move forward.
“Rule-making should start poten-
tially even before the end of this
month,” said Holvey on Tuesday.
“That’s a serious proposition and one
that has great risks, I believe, for both
BOLI commissioner Val Hoyle has
the authority to move to a 40-hour
threshold after rulemaking but does
not have the authority or ability to offer
any kind of wage support during a
transition, said Rep. Andrea Salinas,
D-Lake Oswego.
HB 4002 provides the “certainty” of
a timeframe and some supports that
would help ease the burden, Salinas
Dianne Lugo is a reporter at the
Statesman Journal covering equity
and social justice. You can reach her at, 503-
936-4811 or on Twitter @DianneLugo.
blanketed in heavy, carcinogen-laden
smoke that would coat anything
downwind. Not only the fuel itself, but
the chemicals of combustion would
seep into our waters and soils and cre-
ate contamination that would take
decades to address,” Grayber said.
A report estimated the cost of po-
tential fuel releases to be between
$359 million and $2.6 billion.
The report was prepared for Port-
land and Multnomah County by ECO-
Northwest, Salus Resilience and En-
during Econometrics.
It estimates 150 different types of
materials are stored in the tanks.
“An oil spill on the scale of the po-
tential releases at the CEI Hub is un-
precedented,” its authors wrote.
Tracy Loew is a reporter at the
Statesman Journal. She can be
at, 503-
Continued from Page 1A
sues,” Corrah said. “Our best advice
to survivors, if they were exposed to
wildfire smoke and believe they have
a medical issue from it, please con-
tact your doctor for advice.”
Corrah said FEMA requires medi-
cal bills and receipts, information
about health insurance or an affidavit
stating they have no insurance, a
physician statement concerning the
medical issue, a treatment plan and a
statement that the condition was
For more information, contact
FEMA at 1-800-621-3362.
Bill Poehler covers Marion County
for the Statesman Journal. Contact
him at bpoehler@statesmanjour- or
Niagara County Park was heavily
impacted by the Labor Day wildfires.
The previously forested park saw
every tree killed by the flames. It will
take years to reopen it. ZACH URNESS /
Clean up crews with the EPA check
homes affected by the wildfires for
hazardous materials on Tuesday, Oct.
27, 2020 in Gates, Oregon. ABIGAIL