East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, April 04, 2017, Page Page 9A, Image 9

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017
PETITION: ‘This program
literally saved my life’
Continued from 1A
increased public safety and
decreased public cost by
reducing drug related crimes
and breaking the cycle of
Michelle DeBord, who
spent three years in drug court
before graduating from the
program in September 2016,
said the program changed her
always there to say, ‘You can
do this,’” DeBord said. “It’s a
team that helps you get from
one step to the next.”
DeBord, 39, was addicted
to heroin following the death
of her husband when she
entered drug court. She had
previously cycled through 13
other inpatient centers, and
her two oldest children were
adopted out to her parents.
Since then, she has two
years clean and will graduate
from college later this year.
“This program literally
saved my life,” she told Rep.
Smith during Monday’s
meeting, which also included
three drug and alcohol rehab
counselors who previously
worked with drug court.
“I, today, am living a very
productive and beautiful life.”
Smith, who serves as vice
co-chair of the Joint Ways and
Means Committee in Salem,
said he has close personal
constituents who completed
drug court. The program is
vital for many Oregonians, he
added, and budget woes have
forced Umatilla County into
an awkward position.
Smith emphasized that
money will be spent one
way or another on drug and
alcohol offenders — the
question is whether that will
come in the form of programs
like drug court, or sentencing
more people to prison.
“Community corrections
and drug court need to be a
priority for us,” Smith said.
“Let me do everything I can
to advocate for this work.”
Drug court advocates
will hold a similar meeting
Thursday with Sen. Bill
Hansell (R-Athena). At the
local level, DeBord said she
plans to set up a booth during
Pendleton’s Earth Day March
for Science on April 22,
where she will have copies of
their petition available. The
petition can also be found at
will hold its next meeting
Tuesday, April 11 at noon
in room 114 of the Umatilla
Immediately following the
meeting, McHenry said the
council’s Justice Reinvest-
ment Subcommittee will
be discussing next steps for
current drug court clients,
including other options for
“We’re definitely trying to
do the very best we can for
those clients,” McHenry said.
DeBord said she is trying
to get as many people affected
by drug court as possible to
attend that meeting. The key,
she said, is putting a human
face to the program.
“I think the humanity
piece is the most important
part of this,” DeBord said. “I
need to share that wisdom.
I need to get that story out
Contact George Plaven at
or 541-966-0825.
East Oregonian
Page 9A
BMCC: Two other facilities will open this fall
Continued from 1A
Jerry McMichael readied
the industrial system tech-
nology lab where classes
will start Tuesday evening.
He happily grinned at the
machinery situated at the
center of the large room.
The equipment will allow
students to study a variety
of systems (pneumatic,
electrical, pumps, motors
and others) and become
familiar with such things
as rotameters, flow control,
electromechanical relays,
hydraulics, flow control and
on and on. Students will
come away with the ability
to take care of a variety of
industrial systems. Before
this new building, instruc-
tors took special suitcases
packed with equipment into
classrooms at Riverside
High School.
“It’s nice to have a
home,” McMichael said.
projects are also speeding
full-tilt toward their finish
lines. The college’s new
Precision Irrigated Agri-
culture Center is rising in
Hermiston on Oregon State
Station property. The main
building at the FARM
(Facility for Agricultural
Resource Management) on
the Pendleton campus is
getting a major makeover
with the addition of second-
story classrooms to allow
a new veterinary assistant
program. Both facilities will
open this fall.
Construction proceeded
despite a couple of frus-
trating challenges. Early on
in Boardman, a waterline
burst near Olsen Road
and caused about one
million gallons to flood the
Workforce Training Center
site. The deluge damaged
footings and required the
removal of rebar. Nasty
stretches of winter weather
hampered construction at all
sites, but the fallout has been
“We’re a little behind
because of the crazy winter
weather,” White-Zollman
said. “But all things
considered, despite Mother
Nature’s havoc, we’re doing
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
The finishing touches are still being applied to BMCC’s new Workforce Training
Center as classes begin Monday in Boardman.
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
Construction continues on the FARM (Facility for Ag-
ricultural Resource Management) building Monday
on the BMCC campus in Pendleton.
really well. By the end of
this calendar year, all proj-
ects will be done.”
She credits project
manager Frew Development
and general contractors
McCormack Construction,
in Boardman, and Wellens
Farwell, in Hermiston and
The projects are on
budget, too, she said.
Despite a hike in the price
of steel, “we do have some
savings that are going back
into bond contingency.”
committee consisting of
members from all around
Umatilla and Morrow
Counties meets quarterly to
review progress.
improvements include reno-
vations to the front entryway
at the Milton-Freewater
Center and upgrades to
heating and cooling, elec-
trical and other systems
on the Pendleton campus.
The work means emptying
out Morrow Hall for the
Tammie Parker, BMCC’s
vice president of adminis-
trative services, deals with
a lot of those logistics. She
said the work will displace
75 staff members who
will work in “every avail-
able nook and cranny on
campus.” The service center
will set up shop in a module
in the theater parking lot, for
example. The GED/college
prep program will move to
the art gallery.
This summer, the college
will also improve emer-
gency access to the campus,
widening and partially
paving a gravel road that
stretches from Westgate,
past the BMCC softball field
to the main parking lot.
Parker tore away from
planning talk to revel in the
completion of the first bond
“The building turned
out way beyond my expec-
tations,” she said. “It’s a
beautiful building with a lot
of energy efficiencies.”
White-Zollman took a
moment for gratitude. As
someone who presented
bond information to a multi-
tude of community groups
across the two counties
during two bond campaigns,
she feels it deep.
“We are so appreciative
that our community (in the
wider sense) has allowed us
the opportunity to construct
these buildings and enhance
our programs,” she said. “It
shows that our community
values this college and
values education. It’s really
a beautiful thing.”
Contact Kathy Aney at
or call 541-966-0810.
DRIVING: Two bills are being proposed about distracted driving
Continued from 1A
Capital Bureau
Sen. Kathleen Taylor, chairwoman of the Workforce
Committee, and Legislative Analyst Debra Maryan-
ov review paperwork before a hearing on predictive
scheduling Monday at the Oregon Capitol in Salem.
SCHEDULE: Employers often schedule
employees with less than 24 hours’ notice
Continued from 1A
the change but are still
concerned about meeting
the requirements, especially
in industries dependent on
weather or deliveries such as
construction or nurseries.
Employers said they’re
also concerned with a
provision that would give
employees the right to
request a schedule change
and make retaliation against
the employee an unlawful
employment practice.
The language in the bill
could open businesses up
to frivolous lawsuits when
bosses deny such requests,
said Betsy Earls, a lobbyist
for Associated Oregon Indus-
tries and the Oregon Retail
Lobbyists with public
employers urged lawmakers
to give an exemption for
collective bargaining agree-
ments, as the City of Seattle
did in its similar ordinance,
because the agreements spell
out the process for schedule
changes and could conflict
with the law.
The requirements would
apply only to retail, hospi-
tality and food services
establishments with 25 or
more employees in Oregon.
If passed, the so-called
legislation would be the first
statewide law of its kind
in the nation. Only local
jurisdictions, such as San
Francisco and Seattle, have
passed comparable policies.
Similar legislation stalled in
the Oregon Legislature in
Not all employers oppose
the bill. A representative from
the New Seasons grocery
chain spoke in support of the
proposed regulations.
“We know from firsthand
experience that when workers
have fair and predictable
scheduling, families thrive
and businesses succeed,”
said Sarah Joannides, social
responsibility director at
New Seasons. Joannides said
many customers shop at the
chain because of the way the
company treats its employees.
Several employees in the
service industry also spoke
about how they have strug-
gled when they haven’t been
able to know their schedule
in advance. One man said he
was given 15 minutes’ notice
that he would be required to
work a double shift.
Sen. Michael Dembrow,
this year’s legislation after
convening a work group on
predictive scheduling last
Several members from
the business community
boycotted the work group
meetings because they said
they felt attempts to regulate
and tax businesses in Oregon
have become increasingly
overreaching and anti-busi-
ness. At the time, they pointed
to Ballot Measure 97, which
sought to tax certain large
corporations on sales. Voters
defeated the measure over-
whelmingly in November.
show that employers often
schedule employees with less
than 24 hours’ notice, Mary
King, a labor economist and
professor at Portland State
University, testified in late
February. King and two
researchers from the Univer-
sity of Oregon completed
a report on their research
earlier this year. With such
short notice, some employees
cannot find child care, make
doctor’s appointments, work
second jobs or attend school,
she said.
“We’re making sure the
reality of what can happen
is in plain view for others,”
Moulton said.
The display is part of
the Oregon Department of
Transportation’s Distracted
Driving Awareness month.
The display, which features
a photo of Therwhanger
and a timeline of her trip
from Long Creek to the time
of her accident, will be at
Hermiston High School on
Tuesday, and will then move
to Salem, where it will sit on
the steps of the Capitol.
Moulton will travel to
Salem to talk to legislators
about distracted driving
laws. Two bills are being
proposed for this session:
House Bill 2597, which
will ban the use of any
mobile electronic devices
while driving, and not just
communication devices. It
also proposes increasing
the maximum fine for
distracted driving from
$500 to $2,000, but first-
time offenders may be able
to waive the fee by taking
a distracted driver educa-
tion course. Senate Bill 2
proposes harsher convic-
tions for distracted driving,
including classifying it as a
Class A Misdemeanor and
increasing the maximum
penalty for a first-time
offender to $6,250, up to
a year in prison or both.
Under the proposed bill,
more than three convictions
of distracted driving in 10
years could be classified as
a felony.
The display will then be
taken around the state and
used for various purposes,
including Driver’s Education
“This will be used to
show students, ‘This is what
one minute of taking your
eyes off the road can do,’”
Moulton said.
Moulton said the most
difficult part of the display
is the visual reminder of her
daughter’s decision to use
her phone — and the price
she, and those who love her,
are paying.
“I know it’s not politically
correct,” she said. “It breaks
my heart, but this is 100
percent her fault. Her deci-
sion is what took her from
Most of the students
who walked by the display
at lunch didn’t know Ther-
whanger, but looked at the
car with disbelief.
“What happened to that
car?” A freshman boy gasped
as he walked by. He looked
at the map showing Ther-
whanger’s route. He shook
his head. “I know exactly
where that is,” he said.
Most students who
stopped by the display said
they don’t use their phones
while driving to text — but
many acknowledged they’ll
use it to play music.
John Hogan, a sopho-
more, spent several minutes
looking at the display in
“I was in a wreck too —
due to speeding,” he said.
On his way to Boardman
last year, he hit a patch of ice
while driving at a high speed.
He walked around the
display and looked at the
damaged car.
“My wreck wasn’t that
bad,” he said with a rueful
laugh. “I was lucky. It was
a Subaru. It saved me pretty
Hogan, like many of the
other students who stopped
to look at the car, said he
pulls over when he uses his
phone, even to play music.
Moulton said for a lot
of the students passing by,
it’s hard to take the display
seriously — but she hopes
it’ll encourage them to think
twice before taking out their
phones while driving.
“There’s not any text so
important that this should be
the end result,” she said.
Ramakrishnan at 541-564-
4534 or jramakrishnan@
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