Baker City herald. (Baker City, Or.) 1990-current, July 19, 2022, Page 5, Image 5

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County in Washington considers mandates for COVID
SEATTLE (AP) — COVID-19 levels remain
high this summer in Washington’s most popu-
lous county — which includes Seattle.
Increasingly involving the highly transmis-
sible omicron BA.5 variant and BA.4, cases are
higher than the peak of last year’s delta wave,
according to Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for
Public Health — Seattle & King County.
And those case numbers are an undercount
because many people are using rapid at-home
tests, which are rarely included in official num-
bers, KUOW reported.
Duchin said Thursday, July 14 that hospital-
izations in King County have increased three-
fold since April. Duchin said as a result there
are active discussions about mandates.
“We are actively considering if, and when,
additional mandates may be needed. And I’m
really encouraging everyone now, to please, let’s
make sure we’ve done all we can on a voluntary
basis before we have to go there,” Duchin said
during a press briefing.
He said mandates have their place when
short-term immediate improvement is needed.
Murder conviction
overturned after
Black jurors excluded
Oregon Court of Appeals has
overturned the 2018 murder
conviction of a Portland man
after finding that prosecutors
dismissed two men from the
jury pool because they were
The jury, which had no
Black members, found Dar-
ian L. McWoods, a Black man,
guilty of murder by abuse in
the death of his 15-month-old
daughter, Kamaya Flores, in
Multnomah County Circuit
Court, The Oregonian/Ore-
gonLive reported.
In the ruling released
Wednesday, July 13, Presid-
ing Judge Josephine Mooney
found that Multnomah
County Senior Deputy Dis-
trict Attorney Amanda Nadell
offered race-neutral reasons to
strike both prospective jurors,
but those arguments were only
a “pretext.”
Mooney wrote that the state
did not seek to strike similarly
situated jurors who were not
“Racial discrimination in
the selection of jurors is harm-
ful,” Mooney wrote.
McWoods’ defense attorney
Josephine Townsend chal-
lenged both dismissals under
the “Batson” rule, referring to
a 1986 U.S. Supreme Court
decision prohibiting the ex-
clusion of prospective jurors
based on their race.
In a statement, Multnomah
County District Attorney’s
Office spokesperson Elisa-
beth Shepard said the Court
of Appeals opinion would be
used “to further educate and
inform our role in the admin-
istration of justice.”
“We are committed to the
ongoing pursuit of a safer,
more equitable system,” she
Unless the Oregon Depart-
ment of Justice appeals the
overturned conviction to the
state Supreme Court, the case
will return to Circuit Court,
where it could be retried or
McWood, who maintained
his innocence throughout
the trial, is serving a life sen-
tence with the possibility of
parole after 25 years. Prose-
cutors accused him of killing
his daughter by a methadone
overdose, saying he was a drug
user who sometimes mixed
his drugs into kid-friendly
drinks such as Capri Sun.
Townsend suggested the
drugs could have been left in
a shared bedroom by another
family member.
“I know that my client is
really looking forward to a
retrial, and I’m really hoping
that we get the right results,”
she said.
He remains in custody at
the Eastern Oregon Correc-
tional Institute in Pendleton.
Penalty cut for Oregon
bakers who refused to
serve lesbian couple
state of Oregon has slashed
the financial penalties it as-
signed a baker who refused
to bake a wedding cake for
a lesbian couple almost 10
years ago.
In compliance with a state
appeals court ruling earlier
this year, State Labor Com-
missioner Val Hoyle said
Tuesday, July 12 that the Bu-
reau of Labor and Industries
is ordering Aaron Klein to
pay $30,000 damages instead
of a $135,000 fine issued in
2015, Oregon Public Broad-
casting reported.
Laurel and Rachel Bow-
man-Cryer filed a complaint
against Sweet Cakes by Me-
lissa owners Melissa and
Aaron Klein in 2013, saying
the bakery refused to bake
them a wedding cake.
The Oregon Court of Ap-
peals twice upheld a ruling
by the state civil rights divi-
sion that found that an Ore-
gon bakery illegally discrimi-
nated against the couple.
The court in January
found the Oregon Bureau of
Labor and Industries did not
exhibit religious neutrality in
issuing the fine and returned
the case to the civil rights di-
vision to reassess it.
The damages were
scrapped in 2018, when the
U.S. Supreme Court ruled
in favor of a Colorado baker
who had also been fined for
refusing service to a same-
sex couple on religious
grounds. Justices there found
Colorado’s penalty had
shown bias against the bak-
er’s religion.
They ordered the Oregon
Court of Appeals to take a
fresh look at the Sweet Cakes
Applying the new stan-
dards set by the Supreme
Court, Oregon appellate
judges found reason to be-
lieve the steep penalty
demonstrated bias. While
the court found the state had
a right to penalize Klein for
illegal discrimination, it also
concluded that the agency
had “at least subtly” strayed
from its legal requirement
to be neutral in regard to his
As a result, the Oregon
Court of Appeals directed
the bureau, now led by
Hoyle, to take another look
at the penalty.
“Per the direction of the
Court of Appeals, we have
recalibrated the damages
awarded to complainants to
fall squarely within the range
of such awards in previous
BOLI public accommoda-
tions cases, given the record
established in this case,”
Hoyle said in a statement
Tuesday. “
This award is based on
the violation of law, the re-
cord in the proceeding, and
is consistent with BOLI case
Hoyle’s order only
awarded damages based on
the decision to refuse ser-
vice. It awards Rachel Bow-
man-Cryer $20,000 and her
wife, Laurel Bowman-Cryer,
$10,000 “for emotional,
mental, and physical suffer-
ing resulting from the denial
of service.”
The Kleins have left Or-
egon, and business records
indicate they have reopened
their business in Montana.
• Lumber
• Plywood
• Building Materials
• Hardware
• Paint
• Plumbing
• Electrical
And much more!
ers, improving indoor air quality and ventila-
tion, and wearing high quality masks can help
reduce risks.
Duchin said with the potential for lasting
symptoms, known as long COVID, it’s worth
preventing even mild infections.
More than 86% of people five and older have
completed their initial vaccine series in King
County. However, just over half have gotten a
booster Earlier this week the White House re-
sponse team urgently called on everyone 50 and
older to get a booster if they haven’t yet in 2022.
Oregon’s next governor will have
a major say in abortion rights
Oregon Public Broadcasting
SALEM — Across the
country, the U.S. Supreme
Court’s decision to overturn
the constitutional right to an
abortion has reshaped con-
tests for governor, raising the
stakes for a role that could
serve as the last line of de-
fense in protecting a pregnant
person’s right to choose.
But in Oregon, after Roe
v. Wade was overturned, ad-
vocates and politicians hailed
the state as a sanctuary for
those seeking access to an
abortion. Oregon has some
of the strongest protections
in the country and politicians
promised it would continue
to be a safe haven for those
who come from more restric-
tive states.
Those on the front line of
the battle to retain access to
abortion warn, however, that
Oregon is not immune to the
political shifts that caused the
downfall of Roe v. Wade.
“There is absolutely a sense
of complacency in our state
that the fact that abortion is
legal and it will remain legal,”
said Grayson Dempsey, who
has worked in the reproduc-
tive rights arena for years.
“It would be silly to think
five hours to the east they
are passing laws to imprison
abortion doctors and passing
bans at six weeks, and we’re
totally fine because we have
this state line.”
This November is expected
to be a red wave year across
the country, and Oregon’s
next governor could have a
consequential influence on
the future of abortion care in
the state. Of the three major
candidates, two favor unre-
stricted access to abortion.
One, the Republican, called
Oregon’s current abortion
laws “among the most ex-
treme in the country.”
Depending on which
woman wins the job, future
conversations about abor-
tion rights — and other pri-
vacy-related issues — could
look very different in the
Abortion, and related
It’s not simply a matter of
whether a candidate is for
or against access to abortion
The next governor will be
instrumental in determin-
ing how much state money
is invested in reproductive
health care. The governor
holds the power to both pro-
pose and veto budgets, which
in Oregon have often carved
out money for reproductive
rights. Gov. Kate Brown, who
cannot run again due to term
limits, has also been support-
ive of using taxpayer dollars,
part of a $15 million health
equity fund, to help people
from other states get an abor-
tion in Oregon.
Former state Sen. Betsy
Johnson, who is running as
an unaffiliated candidate,
With summer
here, there is
lots of traveling.
Be safe &
have fun!
Kristyna Wentz-Graff/Oregon Public Broadcasting, File
Chloe Latuvnik, 13, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, right, chants with her mothers, Joy and Marianne Latu-
vnik-Morin, left and center, as they attend a rally in downtown Portland to protest the U.S. Supreme
Court overturning of Roe v. Wade, Friday, June 24, 2022.
has a long record of support-
ing abortion access. Still, she
does not support using Ore-
gon tax dollars to help people
from other states access an
“Oregon tax dollars should
be spent on Oregonians,” said
Johnson, a former chair of
the legislative budget-writing
The Republican candidate
for governor, former House
Minority Leader Christine
Drazan, said she opposes us-
ing state money to help peo-
ple access an abortion, no
matter if it’s a resident of Ore-
gon or another state.
Former House Speaker
Tina Kotek, the Democratic
contender, said she supports
continuing the current policy
of using Oregon state funds
to help people from more re-
strictive states access an abor-
tion here. Kotek said Oregon
has long been a leader in the
reproductive rights arena and
she would further that legacy.
The governor also sets the
tone on topics such as abor-
After justices officially
struck down Roe v. Wade,
Gov. Brown announced she
was creating a “West Coast
offense” with the governors of
Washington and California.
The idea: to make the Demo-
crat-controlled West Coast a
safe haven for people in other
states seeking an abortion.
Brown has also made it
clear, as some other states
move to criminalize abor-
tions, that she will not direct
state law enforcement to help
extradite any individual who
comes to Oregon to receive
an abortion.
In 2017, Oregon lawmak-
ers codified the right to ac-
cess an abortion into state
law. Like any law, it could be
undone, changed or chipped
away at by adding barriers
that limit access.
Christel Allen, executive
director with ProChoice Ore-
gon, said advocates are always
working behind the scenes to
stop efforts to restrict access.
“I think folks might not
recognize the amount of vig-
ilance that organizations and
advocates have been working
on for the past 45 years,” Al-
len said. “We have a dozen
abortion bans introduced ev-
ery (legislative) session.”
Most never receive a legis-
lative hearing.
“That’s because we have
(Democratic) majorities, and
it’s been a moment since we
have had a Republican or
anti-choice governor,” Allen
More fights to come
When Lois Anderson, ex-
ecutive director of Oregon
Right to Life, heard the U.S.
Supreme Court ruling, her
reaction was one of joy, she
told OPB’s “Think Out Loud.”
Anderson said her group
is working on a bill for the
2023 legislative session to ban
abortions later in pregnancy.
And, she noted, “There is
no right to abortion in the
On this point, too, the
three candidates could chart
vastly different paths. Both
Kotek and Johnson said they
support the idea of enshrin-
ing the right to access an
abortion in the state consti-
OPB asked Drazan
whether she would support
a constitutional effort to en-
shrine the right to abortion
and other civil rights. She de-
clined to answer and instead
offered a statement from her
spokesperson: “Our cam-
paign is focused on address-
ing high gas prices, homeless-
ness, crime, and our failing
schools. Christine has never
shied away from her pro-life
values and her affirmation of
marriage equality is well es-
Drazan’s statement makes
sense politically. For Re-
publicans, it’s politically
smarter to focus on the ar-
ray of other pressing issues
on which Democrats might
seem more vulnerable to vot-
ers: the economy, a spike in
gas prices, public safety and
But for Democrats, it’s ad-
vantageous to argue civil lib-
erties are on the ballot and
to mobilize voters who fear
more rights being rolled back.
John Horvick, with the
polling firm DHM Research,
said surveys generally show
abortion rights continue to
rank lower on the scale of im-
portance to voters than some
of the economic issues. After
a major news event, such as
the SCOTUS decision, there
is some fluctuation in voter
concerns, but it’s often fleet-
ing, Horvick said.
After justices officially
struck down Roe v. Wade,
Oregon politicians tweeted
and sent out press releases.
There were large, but lim-
ited, public protests. Some-
one hurled a Molotov cocktail
at the Oregon Right to Life
But overall, the debate over
personal freedom in the hotly
contested governor’s race has
remained relatively muted.
With about four months to
go before the election, how-
ever, that could change. De-
spite what stance they take,
both sides agree the Supreme
Court ruling was just one
step in an ongoing battle.
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3205 10th Street
Baker City
Mon-Fri 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday 8 am - 5 pm
Closed Sun
In Los Angeles County, county health Direc-
tor Barbara Ferrer said Thursday that residents
face a return to a broad indoor mask mandate
on July 29 if current trends in hospital admis-
sions continue.
“But over the long-term we really do need
people to understand that we need both our
business community, our leadership in the
community, and our community members to
take the steps that they need to take to protect
themselves and one another,” Duchin said.
Staying current with vaccinations and boost-
2390 Broadway, Baker City
2122 10th • Baker City • 541-523-6008