East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, June 13, 2019, Page A8, Image 8

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East Oregonian
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Climate: Air horns can’t stall action on climate bill
Continued from Page A1
the hearing room and over-
fl ow room, dressed in their
well-worn pants, boots and
suspenders. They appar-
ently didn’t feel heard in the
brief, 20-minute hearing,
so they took to their trucks.
For an hour and a half after
the hearing they performed
an auditory assault on law-
makers, driving around the
building blowing their loud
airhorns to make sure law-
makers they were literally
Under the cap-and-trade
program, a 52 million met-
ric-ton cap will be placed
over 80% of the state’s
emissions. It would regu-
late nearly all sectors of the
economy, excluding agricul-
ture and forestry. Entities
regulated by the cap, which
are emitting at least 25,000
metric tons of greenhouse
gasses per year, will have
to buy allowances from the
state for each ton over the
If companies overesti-
mate their need, they can
sell those allowances on a
marketplace linked to Cali-
fornia and Quebec, Canada.
If they don’t buy enough,
they can likewise purchase
some on the marketplace.
The state will make
fewer allowances available
over time, a mechanism
intended to force industry to
undertake conversions that
reduce emissions. The tar-
gets are a 45% decline from
1990’s level by 2035 and an
80% decline by 2050.
It’s a wildly progressive
proposal. Oregon’s plan is in
part based on California, but
Oregon’s economy is much
smaller. The hope is to show
other states that such a plan
can work in smaller and
more rural states.
cans have been staunchly
against the idea, saying it
will decimate the rural way
of life, where people work
in mills and factories that
would be hurt by cap and
trade. They drive longer
distances, making the esti-
mated 16 cent-per-gallon
increase in gas costs more
signifi cant.
To that end, Republicans
made a last-ditch effort to
change the bill with amend-
ments drafted by industry
and one that would remove
the emergency clause. Both
those proposals failed on
party-line votes, as they
did the day before in the
Ways and Means Natural
Resources Subcommittee.
Despite the Democratic
unity in the bicameral com-
mittee, all Democrats aren’t
lining up in support. Rep.
David Gomberg, D-Cen-
tral Coast, said Oregon once
had an environmental leg-
acy due to things like bottle
deposit and public beaches,
but it’s lost that legacy over
the years. The new policy is
a chance to regain that repu-
tation, but it will come at a
cost, he said.
“I am concerned about
my farmers, I am concerned
about my dairies, I am con-
cerned about my fi shermen,”
Gomberg said. “I am partic-
ularly concerned about my
good men and women that
work in the large mills in my
small towns.”
With 38 of the House’s
60 members, Democrats can
allow some of their own to
dissent, whether it’s because
of a rural constituency or
otherwise. In the Senate, the
numbers are less forgiving.
Democrats need 16 of
their 18 members to sup-
port the bill, and Johnson is
already a no. Last week, it
came out that several others
were uncommitted, includ-
ing Sen. Arnie Roblan,
D-Coos Bay.
Roblan gave a “cour-
tesy” yes vote to get the bill
out of committee Wednes-
day, but said he is concerned
about how the gasoline price
increase will hurt rural
“I reserve the right to be
a no on the fl oor, because
I really have some other
issues and conversations
that I need to have before
I feel really comfortable,”
he said.
However, moving the bill
out of committee is a strong
sign that leaders of the cap-
and-trade movement have
secured the votes to get fi nal
legislative approval.
emerged of trouble ahead
with a political threat to the
already passed business tax
designated to boost school
Robert Freres of Freres
Lumber on Wednesday
made a $1 million contri-
bution to a political action
committee leading the
effort to send business tax
to voters.
Freres is part of Oregon
Manufacturers and Com-
merce, an industry trade
association led by busi-
ness lobbyist Shaun Jillions.
Over the past couple weeks,
Jillions has been active in
trying to get Senate Demo-
crats to reject the cap-and-
trade plan. Jillions has said
he would consider backing
down from referring the
business tax in exchange for
a deal to kill or weaken cap
and trade.
Asked if the donation
indicated there would be no
such deal, he said, “That’s a
fair assessment.”
Reporter Aubrey Wieber:
com or 503-575-1251. Wie-
ber is a reporter for Salem
Reporter who works for the
Oregon Capital Bureau, a
collaboration of EO Media
Group, the Pamplin Media
Group, and Salem Reporter.
Judge: First CTUIR member to pass Oregon bar
Continued from Page A1
Also under Johnson’s
guidance, the Umatilla
tribal court was one of the
fi rst tribes to participate in
a pilot program to prosecute
non-Indians for domestic
violence against Indians on
the reservation. When the
Violence Against Women
Act was reauthorized in
2013, it included new pro-
visions addressing violence
against Native women by
restoring tribal jurisdiction
over non-Native perpetra-
tors of domestic violence
that occurred on tribal land.
In 2014, the CTUIR was
one of only three tribes ini-
tially allowed to participate
in the program. Domestic
violence is the only crime
for which non-Indians cur-
rently can be prosecuted,
though the court does pre-
side over civil cases involv-
ing non-Indians.
Johnson, whose Indian
name is Gray Wolf,
described his judicial style
in the courtroom as “casual.”
“I like to inject some
humor to relieve stress,
because it’s pretty stressful
for a lot of people,” he said.
“I like to think that I am fair,
but not a pushover. I listen
pretty well.”
His courtroom is small
and similar in appearance
to non-tribal courtrooms.
He sits at the bench back-
dropped by three fl ags:
CTUIR, Oregon and the
United States. His docket is
crowded as he presides over
everything from criminal
cases to juvenile cases, traf-
fi c infractions or contract
Tribal Judge Dave Gal-
laher described Johnson’s
courtroom demeanor.
“He’s imposing, but very
courteous and respectful,”
Gallaher said. “He garners a
lot of respect.”
Johnson said he knows
many of the people who
come into his courtroom.
Unlike non-Indian judges,
he considers tribal culture
in meting out punishment to
defendants and litigants.
Many of the codes are
similar to federal laws, such
as the vehicle code.
“We can and do con-
sider customs and traditions
of the Tribe,” he said. “It’s
important to us to honor and
abide our elders’ traditions.
That’s how we stay Indian.”
CTUIR members have
treaty hunting and fi shing
rights, but if they break the
tribal fi sh and wildlife code
(for example hunting from
a vehicle or using commer-
cial fi shing gear in certain
areas), they are sanctioned.
If the crime is bad enough,
the person can even lose the
right to hunt or fi sh.
“We are the only court
that can suspend treaty
hunting and fi shing rights
as a punishment,” Johnson
said. “I don’t like doing it,
but I’ve done it a few times.”
thoughts of the courtroom to
don his robe for the swear-
ing-in ceremony. He walked
the 100-or-so yards from
his offi ce to the building’s
drum-shaped central area.
The ceremony was a sim-
ple affair. Two tribal elders
had died this week, and
in keeping with tradition,
the event stayed low-key
without much pomp or the
usual cake celebration
Johnson raised his right
hand and swore the oath.
“I, William D. Johnson,
do solemnly swear that I
will support the Constitu-
tion and laws of the Uma-
tilla Indian Reservation,
and the Constitution of the
United States and that I will
faithfully and impartially
discharge the duties of chief
judge of the Tribal Court
of the Confederated Tribes,
respecting and honoring the
tribal customs and traditions
of the people of the Cayuse,
Umatilla and Walla Walla
Watching from the cir-
cular sidelines with col-
leagues, family and friends
was Johnson’s son. Matthew
Johnson, a CTUIR attor-
ney in his own right, wore
a serious expression as he
listened to his father swear
the oath and thank his men-
tors, colleagues, family and
Afterward, Matt grinned
when asked about growing
up with a judge for a dad.
“It comes very naturally
to him,” he said. “I was defi -
nitely on the receiving end
of many lectures growing
Looking back from
the passage of years, he
acknowledged his father’s
skillfulness at rendering
Council: Pendleton City Council sets
rules for buying current fi re station
Continued from Page A1
and offer more amenities that
have an attractive design and
inviting appeal.”
Through the letter, the city
also said it was open to a pub-
lic-private partnership that
includes “regulatory and per-
mitting assistance,” “offsite
infrastructure,” and “fi nan-
cial resources.”
The council’s selection
will get the 31,272-square-
foot property, which includes
the fi re station, a small park-
ing lot, and two houses the
city rents out.
Although the city could be
compensated for the build-
ing, it doesn’t know its exact
worth: City Manager Robb
Corbett said the building
hasn’t received an offi cial
The city plans to lead a
pre-submission tour of the
fi re station property to inter-
ested parties on July 11 and
set an Aug. 7 deadline for all
Community Development
Director Tim Simons said the
council could select a project
from the entirety of the sub-
missions or whittle it down to
a handful of fi nalists.
City Manager Robb Cor-
bett said he’s already received
interest in the property from a
few nonprofi ts, which drew a
question from Councilor Paul
Chalmers about whether they
were even going to consider
Adding that he didn’t have
“heartburn either way,” he
said many of the discussions
around the urban renewal
district, which encompasses
the property, have revolved
around ways to grow prop-
erty tax revenue. If a non-
profi t acquired the property,
it could obtain tax-exempt
“Why would you wanna
encourage (a nonprofi t) who
is a 501©(3) to come together
with this plan, (and) expend
the energy and effort, if it’s
not even going to be a consid-
eration?” he said.
Councilor Dale Primmer
countered that he doesn’t
want the proposals limited by
the council’s imagination.
Corbett said city staff
would make some revisions
to the request for proposal let-
ter and then release it to the
“I think the citizens will
hold our feet to the fi re that
we get the very best out of
this that we possibly can,”
Councilor Carole Innes said.
“As they should.”
“He is a very fair and
tolerant person,” Matt said.
“He does his best to take
all the relevant factors into
The CTUIR Board of
Trustees passed a resolution
on April 29 to reappoint the
chief judge.
Johnson said his fourth
term will likely be his last,
though he won’t say for sure.
“I love what I do,” he
said. “It’s for my own tribe.
I can’t imagine not doing it.”
Contributed photo by Umatilla County Fire District
Firefi ghters battle a fi re near railroad tracks northeast of
Hermiston on Wednesday afternoon.
Fire: Hermiston brush fi re
kicks off 2019 fi re season
Continued from Page A1
that develop,” according to
the Weather Service, “will
likely spread rapidly.”
The Weather Service
also advised against outdoor
During fi re season, people
can do their part by follow-
ing rules for controlled burns
and campfi res, keeping their
clearing fl ammable brush
from around structures and
not being careless with fi re
hazards, such as cigarettes
and fi reworks.
Fire season is also smoke
season. On Wednesday Sen-
ators Jeff Merkley and Ron
Wyden introduced a pack-
age of four bills to help
communities deal with the
heavy wildfi re smoke that
has clouded Oregon skies in
recent summers.
The Smoke-Ready Com-
munities Act would make
grants available for schools,
public buildings and vul-
nerable households to make
upgrades to “smoke-proof”
their buildings and better fi l-
ter smoke from indoor air.
Other provisions in the bill
include requiring farms to
provide respiratory protec-
tion to farmworkers exposed
to hazardous air conditions
and authorize the Small Busi-
ness Administration to pro-
vide fi nancial relief to busi-
nesses that lose revenue due to
wildfi re smoke.
“Last August in the Rogue
Valley, I looked up at a sun
that was neon pink through
the thick haze of smoke from
wildfi res,” Merkley said in
a statement about the need
for the bill. “Business own-
ers and organizations told
me how the smoke caused
lost reservations, canceled
shows, and even irreparable
damage at a furniture store
after the fabrics absorbed the
smoke smell. Folks told me
about respiratory problems
even indoors because HVAC
systems weren’t equipped to
handle the level of pollution
they were experiencing.”
SAIF, Oregon’s not-for-
profi t workers’ compensation
insurance company, recom-
mends that businesses have
plans in place for evacuations
during fi res, but also for pro-
tecting employees or send-
ing them home when smoke
pushes air quality to hazard-
ous levels.
The Department of Envi-
ronmental Quality now has
an OregonAir app for mobile
phones to easily check its
air quality index, which can
also be found online at http://
oraqi.deq.state.or.us. When
air reaches unhealthy lev-
els, homes and businesses
should clean HVAC fi l-
ters, set air conditioners
to recirculate air in build-
ings and vehicles, keep win-
dows and doors closed, and
keep people indoors as much
as possible.
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