The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, August 07, 2019, Page A4, Image 4

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    A4
OPINION
Blue Mountain Eagle
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Judge’s
decision
should be
reconsidered
A
Clackamas County
judge has opened a
gaping loophole in
Oregon’s Public Records
Law, and the state Court of
Appeals needs to slam it
shut, posthaste.
That seems the likely
result, fortunately, because
Judge Henry C. Breit-
haupt’s recent oral ruling —
he hasn’t submitted a writ-
ten version — contradicts
not only the spirit of that
1973 law but also decades of
all-but-universal interpreta-
tions of it, including by pub-
lic offi cials who are required
to comply with the law.
The gist of Breithaupt’s
ruling is that records cre-
ated by local government
offi cials — city councilors,
county commissioners and
school board members, for
instance — are not subject to
public disclosure under the
law unless the records are
“owned, used or retained”
by a public body such as
a city, county or school
district.
If Breithaupt’s interpreta-
tion were allowed to become
legal precedent, it could
potentially allow public offi -
cials from cities, counties,
school districts and other
entities across the state to
deprive citizens of access to
all manner of documents that
the law clearly intends for
them to be able to see.
For example, if a city
councilor writes something
related to city business but
doesn’t make a copy avail-
able to the city itself, under
Breithaupt’s concept that
document would not be a
public record.
This is such an obvi-
ous perversion of the Pub-
lic Records Law’s purpose
— the law defi nes a public
record as “any writing that
contains information relating
to the conduct of the public’s
business” — that it seems
unlikely a higher court
would agree with Breithaupt.
The problem, as it were,
seems to lie with a clause in
the law that defi nes public
bodies, which are subject to
the law, as “every state offi -
cer” but then lists “every
county and city governing
body (and) school district”
but does not, as in the case
of state government, specifi -
cally list every public offi cer
at the city, county and school
district level.
This is the sort of minor
oversight that can be easily
remedied by the Legislature
tweaking the language.
But it hardly justifi es
reversing decades of prec-
edent that makes it abun-
dantly clear that records cre-
ated by elected or appointed
public offi cials, whether they
work for the state or a city,
county or school district, are
indeed public records wher-
ever the records happen to
be kept.
Duane Bosworth, an attor-
ney who has represented
media organizations across
the state on public records
and meetings issue and has
advised other EO Media
Group papers in the past,
told The Oregonian that Bre-
ithaupt’s ruling should be
appealed “because it is a bad
precedent.”
Oregon’s public records
advocate, Ginger McCall,
agrees. She told The Orego-
nian that Breithaupt’s opin-
ion differs from how she
interprets the law, an inter-
pretation she said she shares
with the state archivist, attor-
ney general’s offi ce and oth-
ers. “Everybody,” in fact, is
how McCall put it.
Except, it seems, one
judge.
FARMER’S FATE
Ice cubes instead of Tide Pods?
ou’ve been doing your
freezer also — but freezing your
laundry all wrong!” my dirty jeans?
mom gushed.
When I got home that night
“I know!” I readily agreed,
(in between loads of laundry), I
thinking about the stacks of laun-
turned to that bastion of knowl-
dry still on the couch from
edge we refer to as the
yesterday. I’d taken the
internet to see if people
opportunity of a broken
really do freeze jeans. Sure
skid plate on my swather
enough, there are articles
to sneak home and wash
out there instructing people
some laundry. It had
to the proper way to freeze
made it to the folded stage
their jeans to clean them
before I got the green light
and keep them from smell-
Brianna
to return to my swather.
ing. One article reported
Walker
Which basically meant my
that our denim starts to
couch was still covered in
smell because there is bac-
stacks of laundry.
teria that sloughs off of our skin
“Yes, I am doing it all wrong. I as we wear the jeans — that bac-
need to add a housekeeper to the
teria is then what is causing the
payroll.”
odor.
She laughed, “Don’t we all?
I looked at my basket of jeans
But I just fi nished reading an arti- I was carrying to the washing
cle entitled ‘Don’t make these
machine. A very odorous bas-
laundry mistakes,’ and I had to
ket of jeans, I might add. I pulled
call so you can stop making them
the top pair off and gave it a once
too!”
over before tossing it into the
“OK?” I bit, “What am I doing empty drum. Dark spots marred
wrong?”
the denim on both thighs. We
“Well, for starters, you need
had sheared sheep, and the smell
to stop putting your jeans in the
of lanolin was still potent. Even
freezer.”
darker spots crusted down the
“Um... say what?” I said, sure
outside leg. I laughed aloud as I
the tractor cab must be causing
repeated the article’s cause of the
interference.
odor from our jeans, “bacteria that
“Yep, this article says that
sloughs off our skin ... causing our
freezing jeans doesn’t actually kill jeans to smell.” I am pretty sure
the bacteria and that you should
those odors were from bacteria —
go back to washing. I just wanted
but not from my skin. I couldn’t
to save you some space in your
imagine putting that smell into my
freezer!”
freezer next to the Häagen-Dazs.
We both laughed. I couldn’t
The article encouraged put-
imagine putting my jeans in the
ting our jeans in a canvas bag
freezer. I know refrigerators
as “a way to protect your jeans
and freezers store some unusual
from whatever else is in your
things at times. A friend and I
freezer while still allowing oxy-
were recently joking about look-
gen so your jeans can breathe, as
ing twice before you grab a snack opposed to a Ziploc plastic bag.”
from our respective fridges.
I grabbed out a small toddler
Shelves of plant hormones, lab-
pair of jeans and started the neces-
oratory grade auxins and cytoki-
sary yet often gross task of pocket
nins, shrimp food, frozen crickets, checking. A washer, pieces of
as well as antibiotics and bot-
snake grass, the remnants of what
tles of frozen colostrum. I used to
appeared to have been a fl ower,
always store my extra fi lm in the
lots of hay leaves and a hand-
‘Y
ful of cat food. The outside was
covered in — well I’m not really
sure, and I don’t know if I even
want to know. I throw the pair in
and wiped my hands down the
front of my own jeans. I can’t
imagine putting those jeans in the
freezer and being worried about
protecting them from the freezer
— pretty sure the contamination
would work in reverse.
The article concluded with “I
am a huge proponent of the no
wash, stick in the freezer method.
But one other trick is that you
can give jeans this really beauti-
ful sheen if you put baby oil on
your legs fi rst before putting them
on. The oil will be absorbed by
the denim, and create a beautiful
sheen.”
I picked up a pair of my hus-
band’s jeans from the basket. I
emptied the pockets, and looked
at a big stain down one whole leg
from when a hydraulic line had
blown, and both knees were dis-
colored from kneeling in dirt and
hay. The author was defi nitely
correct there, the oil does absorb
into the denim — which will
probably create a beautiful sheen
when it mixes with the lanolin and
cat food crumbs from the rest of
the jeans as they agitate together
in the wash.
I will never be as “cool” as
people who toss their jeans in the
freezer.
My jeans may fade and shrink
over the years because of my
insistence on washing them —
sometimes even in hot water
to help remove the day’s often-
stinky traces — but in the cold
winter months, while the “cool”
people are wearing non-faded,
non-shrunk, freezer-burned
denim, I will relish slipping into
my favorite, faded, hot, fresh-
from-the-dryer jeans.
Brianna Walker occasionally
writes about the Farmer’s Fate
for the Blue Mountain Eagle.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Prairie City
plagued by
‘accumulating junk
and debris’
To the Editor:
Prairie City is plagued by resi-
dents who disrespect their neigh-
bors, neighboring property val-
ues and the town in general by
strewing their property with accu-
mulating junk and debris, made
worse by outright contemptuous
neglect in managing vegetation
overgrowth.
As a behavior model it has
socially degenerative conse-
quences not different from that
of urban graffi ti — scientifi cally
shown to worsen exponentially
the longer it goes un-countered.
“Un-countered” is the current sta-
tus, argued on the basis that reg-
ulatory enforcement is proce-
durally costly with a net loss to
our town. Prairie City Ordinance
8.05, drafted to correspond with
state and county equivalents, does
authorize (even mandate) remedial
action against the offenders. Yet,
the burden of enforcement is rele-
gated to the city.
I’m anxious to have opinions
of others on how might be coun-
tered such pathologically anti-so-
cial behavior that is costing the
responsible citizenry fi nancially
and in livability.
Storie Mooser
Prairie City
WHERE TO WRITE
GRANT COUNTY
• Grant County Courthouse — 201
S. Humbolt St., Suite 280, Canyon City
97820. Phone: 541-575-0059. Fax: 541-
575-2248.
• Canyon City — P.O. Box 276, Canyon
City 97820. Phone: 541-575-0509.
Fax: 541-575-0515. Email: tocc1862@
centurylink.net.
• Dayville — P.O. Box 321, Dayville 97825.
Blue Mountain
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• John Day — 450 E. Main St, John Day,
97845. Phone: 541-575-0028. Fax: 541-
575-1721. Email: cityjd@centurytel.net.
• Long Creek — P.O. Box 489, Long Creek
97856. Phone: 541-421-3601. Fax: 541-
421-3075. Email: info@cityofl ongcreek.
com.
• Monument — P.O. Box 426, Monument
97864. Phone and fax: 541-934-2025.
Email: cityofmonument@centurytel.net.
• Mt. Vernon — P.O. Box 647, Mt. Vernon
97865. Phone: 541-932-4688. Fax: 541-
932-4222. Email: cmtv@ortelco.net.
• Prairie City — P.O. Box 370, Prairie City
97869. Phone: 541-820-3605. Fax: 820-
3566. Email: pchall@ortelco.net.
• Seneca — P.O. Box 208, Seneca 97873.
Phone and fax: 541-542-2161. Email:
Grant County’s Weekly Newspaper
Publisher............ ......................................Chris Rush, crush@eomediagroup.com
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SALEM
• Gov. Kate Brown, D — 254 State
Capitol, Salem 97310. Phone: 503-
378-3111. Fax: 503-378-6827. Website:
governor.state.or.us/governor.html.
• Oregon Legislature — State Capitol,
Salem, 97310. Phone: (503) 986-1180.
Website: leg.state.or.us (includes Oregon
Constitution and Oregon Revised
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send address changes to:
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