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About The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 2012)
The INDEPENDENT, February 1, 2012
Where to Find Them
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Suite 585
Portland OR 97232
223 Dirksen Senate Ofc. Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510-0001
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley
One World Trade Center
121 SW Salmon St., Suite 1250
Portland, OR 97204
313 Hart Senate Ofc. Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3753
U.S. Representative David - Wu
(Dem) OR District 1 ace
620 SW Main, Suite e 606
Portland, OR 97205
– n lecti
d e Ofc. Bldg.
ne ti House
s un DC 20515
R en 202-225-0855
Senator Betsy Johnson
(Dem) Senate District 16
PO Box R,
Scappoose, OR 97056
900 Court St. NE, S-314
Salem, OR 97301
Representative Brad Witt
(Dem) House District. 31
21740 Lindberg Road,
Clatskanie, OR 97016
900 Court St. NE, H-373
Salem, OR 97301
(Dem) House District 32
PO Box 926
Cannon Beach, OR 97110
900 Court St. NE, H-375
Salem, OR 97301
To the Editor:
We have recently come into
possession of emails and cor-
respondence definitely not in-
tended for the general public.
Guess what? We are going to
share them with you. There ap-
pears to be a lot of missing
data but we are still looking.
As you are most likely
aware, the old CHD (Columbia
Health District) board, consist-
ing of Jay Tappan, Gary Heidi,
Diane Husten, Lisa Galovich
and Laura Tomanka have
joined with County Commis-
sioners Tony Hyde, Earl Fisher
and Henry Heimuller to bam-
boozle you out of millions of
dollars of tax money which
should have been refunded to
the special district taxpayers
after the passage of measure
5-209 and, if not under that
measure, than under the disso-
Please make a note of this
email address: nohospitaltax.
info. Everything we are about
to tell you can be proven if you
log on to this website. The site
should contain all this informa-
tion by February 1.
First, back in 2009, Jana
Fussell of the Certificate of
Need department in Salem
cautioned the board and their
attorneys that it would not be
prudent to develop the Millard
Road property until a Certifi-
cate of Need (CoN) was ob-
tained from the state. They
were denied permits by the
county land use department for
site preparation. They were
also cautioned by one of their
consultant firms that this devel-
opment would not be advis-
able. They did so anyway – to
the tune of over 1.5 million dol-
lars. They were encouraged to
proceed with the land develop-
ment by one of their attorneys,
Peter Soloff, who thus far has
collected over $350,000 in at-
torney fees from your taxes.
His advise to the board was
that Ms. Fussell’s suggestion
was just a “matter of seman-
Second, although the com-
missioners denied meeting be-
hind closed doors with the CHD
in order to vanquish all the
money and property before the
newly elected CHD took office
in July 2011, reference is con-
tinually made to meetings with
the commissioners and their
county counsel, Sarah Hanson
Tyson. Contrary to what we
were told by the commission-
ers of their not having made up
their minds about transferring
public health to the county, they
were working to do so way
back in March 2011.
Now over $500,000 of your
tax dollars have been trans-
ferred to a private foundation
which is overseen by the same
group of people who took your
money in the first place. They
have a new leader in Dan Gar-
rison who has also been hired
by the county to do accounting
for them. This just does not
look good no matter what kind
of spin they try to put on it.
The balance of the money
remaining from the nearly one
million dollars, which was still in
place after measure 5-209, has
been transferred to the county
Now they are using those funds
to pay for an attorney to fight
Please see page 14
Policy on Letters
The INDEPENDENT will
not publish letters with per-
sonal attacks on private citi-
zens. Preference will be giv-
en to brief letters, 300 words
All letters must be signed
and include a verifiable ad-
dress or phone number.
By Representative Brad Witt
Oregon District 31
I’m sure this newsletter could be filled
with stories about the weather in District
31: wind, snow and rain and plenty of it!
The same was occurring in Salem as the
Legislature met for three days of hearings.
More than 4 inches of rain fell here in two
days. Consequently, some of the inmates
at the state prison were filling and placing
sandbags to protect a number of state of-
fice buildings, particularly those with un-
derground parking facilities. The Capitol is safe, but some build-
ings border Mill Creek, which was close to overflowing its banks.
Never a dull moment…
And never a dull moment in my Veterans Affairs Committee!
We listened to testimony on four Legislative Concepts (LCs),
which is our description for legislation in draft form. The Commit-
tee approved these Concepts and they will now become bills for
consideration by the whole body in February. Here, briefly, is an
overview of what they would accomplish:
LC 4 – This will become a Memorial to Congress urging them
to add Chiropractic care to the Federal “All Veterans Act.”
LC 194 – Directs the Oregon State Lottery Commission to es-
tablish lottery games to benefit veterans’ education and econom-
ic development, and continuously appropriates money to Dept. of
Veterans’ Affairs for education training and job creation.
LC 195 – Requires Commissioner of Bureau of Labor and In-
dustries to inform Director of Veterans’ Affairs when a veteran has
filed a civil rights complaint. (Codifies current practice)
LC 204 – Requires certain professional licensing agencies to
accept applicant’s military training or experience as substitute for
education or experience requirement for licensure. This is a com-
panion to HB 275, passed last session, that allows some training
and experience to qualify for community college credit.
Bills Taking Effect January 1, 2012. A lot of new laws went into
effect with the New Year. This is not a complete list by any means,
but there may be a few things here that will interest you and/or af-
fect you or someone you know:
HB 3207 – Requires public employers to interview each veter-
an who applies for a civil service position, and who has obtained
through military education or experience, skills that substantially
relate to the civil service position.
SB 275 – Requires Board of Education of Community College
District to develop standards for community college credit for ed-
ucation/training obtained in the Armed Services.
HB 2694 – Allows the court to extend the eviction time beyond
30 days for the elderly and disabled upon proof of need.
SB 292 – Free Means Free! Prohibits imposing financial obli-
gation on consumer who accepts free offer unless offer complies
with disclosure and billing information requirements.
SB 487 – Protects consumers from becoming trapped in cost-
ly cyclical automatic contract renewals.
HB 2463 – Requires computer technicians and photo proces-
sors to report evidence of child pornography.
HB 3075 – Requires the installation of ignition interlock device
as a condition of diversion agreement.
HB 3085 – Requires health care facility to report the presence
of a controlled substance in the blood of a patient who was oper-
ating a vehicle involved in an accident.
SB 433 – Expands eligibility for medical assistance for low-in-
come and uninsured women diagnosed with breast or cervical
Finally, I want you to know that my colleagues and I are focus-
ing on the upcoming Session in February, particularly with refer-
ence to balancing the budget, spurring job creation and expand-
ing access to capital for Oregon’s small businesses.
Many middle class Oregonians are still suffering because of
this recession. In addition to the hardships of unemployment,
they’re struggling with foreclosure and are worried about cuts to
services they count on. We know that we must protect education
by preventing further teacher layoffs, increased class sizes and
shortened school years.
We need to provide homeowners the protection that they de-
serve by enacting foreclosure reforms and increased oversight of
insurance companies. With this in mind, I have introduced a bill to
assist those who are facing foreclosure.
I look forward to working for you and with you in this upcoming
session, and welcome any and all comments and concerns at any
time. Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter.