Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current | View Entire Issue (March 29, 2017)
Wallowa County Chieftain
March 29, 2017
Senate passes bill to raise smoking age to 21
By PARIS ACHEN
SALEM — The Oregon
Senate Thursday passed a bill
to raise the smoking age to
21. If the House concurs, Or-
egon would become the third
state in the nation to prohibit
the sale of tobacco to people
younger than 21.
“The is pure and simple
a public health bill,” said
the bill’s chief sponsor, Sen.
Elizabeth Steiner Hayward,
The bill passed 18-to-9,
with all Democrats and two
Republicans, Sens. Jackie
Winters of Salem, and Sen.
Bill Hansell of Athena, vot-
ing in favor. Winters and
Democrat swing vote Sen.
Betsy Johnson of Scappoose
changed their votes. A Re-
publican, Rep. Rich Vial of
Scholls, co-sponsored with
Steiner-Hayward. Both law-
makers have said they lost
loved ones to tobacco-related
Sen. Alan Olson, R-Canby,
argued the bill looked like the
work of a “nanny state.”
“I appall smoking,” Olson
said. But the senator said he
felt people have the right to
make that choice for them-
Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R-John
Day, said people who are old
enough to serve in the mili-
tary ought to be able to decide
whether they want to smoke.
He said the law change would
create a new illicit market for
people between the ages of 19
Steiner Hayward, who is
a family physician, retorted
that states have prohibited
people younger than 21 from
drinking alcohol and that al-
cohol is less addictive than
Recent research, including
some from the U.S. Surgeon
General’s Office, shows that
brains under age 26 are more
susceptible to addiction.
The legislation would im-
pose first-time civil penalties
of $50 for clerks and $500 for
managers who sell to minors.
“We made a conscious de-
cision not have criminal pen-
alties because we know that
tobacco companies tend to
target low-income communi-
ties who can least afford it,”
Steiner Hayward said.
Taking 18- to 20-year-olds
out of the legal market would
result in an estimated loss in
tobacco tax revenue of $1.6
million every two years, ac-
cording to a projection by the
Legislative Revenue Office.
An increase in the tobacco
tax proposed by Gov. Kate
Brown could offset some that
In 2015, Hawaii became
the first state in the nation to
raise the smoking age to 21.
California followed suit last
year. An additional 210 cities
and counties, including New
York City and Boston, have
Irrigators criticize $100 water rights fee proposal
Proposal to require
devices also draws
By Mateusz Perkowski
SALEM — A proposed $100 an-
nual fee on all Oregon water rights
has met with criticism from irrigators
who say it would contribute to already
mounting financial burdens.
Farmers overwhelmingly testified
against House Bill 2706, which aims
to raise money for water management,
during a March 22 hearing before the
House Committee on Energy and En-
Members of the Klamath Water
Users Association, for example, are
already paying steep costs to comply
with the Endangered Species Act and
engage in water rights adjudication in
the region, said Dave Jensen, a farmer
and representative of the group.
“Would $100 break a bunch of
farmers out there? Probably not, but
there is always the straw that broke the
camel’s back,” Jensen said.
For irrigators with multiple water
rights, the bill would cap total fees at
$1,000 a year, while municipalities
could pay up to $2,500 a year.
The money raised would pay for
EO Media Group
A linear irrigation system operates in a corn field in Oregon’s Willamette
Valley. A bill under consideration in the Legislature would impose an
annual $100 fee for each of Oregon’s nearly 89,000 water rights.
the administrative, technical and field
duties performed by the Oregon Water
Resources Department, which over-
sees 89,000 water rights in the state.
The bill would effectively impose
a discriminatory tax on irrigators and
other water users, said Curtis Martin,
a rancher and chair of the Oregon Cat-
tlemen’s Association’s water resources
“There is no additional service
being delivered to the users of the re-
source,” Martin said.
Opponents also argue that electric-
ity costs have continued rising, adding
to the cost of pumping water, and irri-
gators would have to pay the manage-
ment fee even if they didn’t fully use
their water rights.
“When they shut you off, you still
have to pay that bill,” said Tom Mal-
lams, a rancher and Klamath County
House Bill 2705, a companion pro-
posal requiring the installation of wa-
ter measurement devices at irrigation
diversions, also drew objections from
irrigators at the hearing.
Complying with the requirement
would be expensive and the Oregon
Water Resources Department doesn’t
have enough staff to analyze the
new information anyway, said John
O’Keeffe, president of the Oregon
“Additional data for the sake of
data does not solve any problem,”
It would be more realistic to ensure
that watermasters — who can already
order water measurements when nec-
essary — are properly equipped to do
their jobs, he said.
Installing water measurement de-
vices also isn’t practical for farmers
who rely on flood irrigation and di-
vert water directly from streams onto
fields, according to opponents.
Some opponents also questioned
the fairness and wisdom of exempting
domestic well users from the bill.
“If you’re going to manage water,
I don’t know how you’re going to do
that without looking at private wells,”
said Irene Gilbert of La Grande, Ore.
Water conservation groups argued
that a new funding source is needed
because OWRD’s cost of administer-
ing water rights is largely borne by
The private interests who primarily
benefit from the system, meanwhile,
only pay a one-time application fee to
establish water rights, said Kimberley
Priestley, senior policy analyst with
WaterWatch of Oregon.
“This is the public’s water. The
public is currently paying through the
general fund for the management of its
water,” said Priestley.
An annual management fee has al-
ready been identified as a stable source
of funding by the Oregon Water Re-
sources Commission, which oversees
OWRD, she said.
As for measurement devices, the
requirement is needed because “what
gets measured gets managed,” Priest-
Proponents claim that only 20 per-
cent of Oregon’s water rights holders
currently measure and report their
usage, since this is a requirement for
irrigation districts, governments and
those with rights issued since 1993.
Despite recognition by the Oregon
Water Resources Commission as a key
management tool, there has been lim-
ited progress in expanding water mea-
surement, according to bill supporters.
“We can no longer afford to put our
heads in the sand and pretend water
management issues will just go away,”
said Joe Furia, general counsel for the
Freshwater Trust nonprofit.
The committee’s chair, Ken Helm,
D-Beaverton, said the bills were “con-
versation starters” and would likely
change in response to input from a
“broad stakeholder group” he’s con-
vened, which includes agriculture and
BARGAINS OF THE MONTH ®
While supplies last.
1-Cu.-Ft. Potting Mix
L 462 572 B65
* $2 mail-in rebate. Limit 2 rebates.
Customer responsible for taxes and fees.
M-F 8AM-6PM • SAT 8AM-5PM • SUN 9AM-3PM
W ALLOWA COUNTY
1st - 30th
Your Generous Donations
are deeply appreciated!
And a Big thanks to Our Volunteers!
In 2016, Wallowa County Humane Society spent
over $23,000 in our community for animal care!
• 295 local puts ruciuvud $10 off coupons on spays/nuuturs at local vuts.
• Ovur 60 dogs and cats wuru adoptud to nuw foruvur homus.
• 11 dogs and 1 cat wuru ru-unitud with thuir ownurs.
• Many low-incomu familius and suniors ruciuvud financial assitancu to spay/ nuutur puts.
• Our voluntuurs fosturud 69 cats and dogs.
Additional thanks to: Double Arrow Veterinary Clinic, Enterprise Animal Hospital, Red
Barn Veterinary Clinic, Mt. Joseph Family Foods, Wallowa County Grain Growers,
KWVR radio, Wallowa County Chieftain, Copper Creek Mercantile, Up Town Art, R’s
Consignment & More, Wallowa Food City, The Dollar Stretcher, Safeway, Wallowa
County Sheriffs Office, Enterprise Police Department, Lear's Restaurant, The Stubborn
Mule, Joseph Hardware, Mary Edwards, and many others locally and from outside our
area who have donated time, money, and assistance.
WCHS IS COMMITTED TO THE WELL-BEING OF COMPANION ANIMALS,
WORKING WITH THE COMMUNITY TO BETTER THE LIVES OF ALL.
Signs & Symptoms
• Deterioration of work performance • Problems in concentration
• Missing deadlines and important activities • Frequently borrowing money
• Gambling to escape boredom, pain or loneliness
• Lying to loved ones about gambling • Trying to win back money lost
YOUR SUPPORT ALSO HELPS WITH OUR TRAP-NEUTER-RELEASE PROGRAM TO
REDUCE THE FERAL CAT OVERPOPULATION IN OUR COUNTY; AND TO ASSIST LOW-
INCOME AND SENIOR CITIZENS WITH VETERINARY CARE.
WCHS is an ALL volunteer NON-PROFIT 501(C)3 ORGANIZATION.
Please VISIT our INFORMATION CENTER at 104 North River Street in Enterprise, OR
( Thurs-Sat 11am-2PM)
DONATIONS may be sent to WCHS, PO BOX 565, Enterprise, OR, 97828,
or thru PAYPAL on our website:
If you or someone you care about is experiencing a gambling problem,
HELP IS AVAILABLE It's Free – It's Confidential – It Works.
Call today: Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness
Visit our website to see pets for adoptions, schedule of events,
and meet our Board Members!
541-426-4524 • Or 1-877-My-Limit (24 hour Helpline)
207 SW 1st, Enterprise, OR 97828