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Boot the pseudo deciders aka "TROIKA" out

Vote for candidates -   

Elizabeth Furse for County Commission, District #4

elizabethfurse.com

Allen Amabisca for County Chair

allenamabisca.com

Re-Elect Greg Malinowki to County Commission

Greg Malinowski

- Intel tax abatements

- The Knight fix - Brother can you spare...

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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Sneaker Politics

Kitzhaber and legislators got rolled by Nike. 

More

 


"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.


The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  


 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column


Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

Steve Duin Schools get the blame 

School Reform/slate.com 



    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org



ahomeoftheirown.com/  

    Connecting the dots between homelessness, hunger & health care disparities in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

Heath Care Disparities: 

•    Adults in Oregon without insurance represent 22.3% of the state’s population compared to 19.7% of the nation.  In Washington County approximately 


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

 

Boot the psuedo deciders aka "TROIKA" out

Vote for -

Elizabeth Furse for County Commission, District #4

elizabethfurse.com

Allen Amabisca for County Chair

allenamabisca.com

Re-Elect Greg Malinowki to County Commission

 Greg Malinowski

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha


Sign the online petition on Intel emissions in link below:  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Rediscovering Government

Is the US #1? 

 

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman 

krugmanonline.com 

 

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 

    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

   Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 



"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?'

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" 

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921)

 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11


"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”  

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."

- Abraham Lincoln

 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."

- Edmund Burke 

 

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”

- Jonathan Swift

 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."

- Garrison Keillor

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Tuesday
Mar252014

URBAN/RURAL RESERVES - A DECONSTRUCTION

     In 1973 Governor Tom McCall pointed his finger at the "shameless threat to our environment and to the whole quality of life - unfettered despoiling of the land" [by uncontrolled] suburbanization and secondhome development.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: 

     There is a natural tendency for partisans on both sides of an issue to create competing narratives of legislative action.  HB 4078, the so-called land use “grand bargain” generated such competing narratives in two op ed columns in the UnOregonian. 

     As senior policy analyst for WC CAN who followed the debate on HB 4078 closely in the Puzzle Palace I’m including both interpretations with my comments.  As is often the case advocates on both sides live within their own spin zone. 

     But in my humble opinion "some spin zones" are better than others.  Decide for yourself.  Here's my previous blog posts on this issue: 

By Jason Miner 

     The future of Oregon land use planning is in your hands. But some are trying to deny that future.  

     Over the past two months, the Legislature crafted a rural reserves compromise in Washington County that protects thousands of acres of farmland that were wrongly slated for development.  Places like Helvetia will be protected for your lifetime.

     Farmers in those areas can securely make investments in land and equipment and be confident that speculators won’t undermine them.

     Meanwhile, the region’s cities have a clear map for their future, and taxpayers can be assured that land inside the urban growth boundary will be efficiently used before unnecessarily expanding expensive infrastructure.

     But there was a serious cost to this deal.  The Legislature stepped into a role it should never have to fill, bailing out a local government that willfully broke simple rules.  Let’s be clear: This was brought about by local government failure.

     RAD:  Having attended all of the hearings on HB 4078 the legislators who crafted the “grand bargain” made it clear this wasn’t a precedent for more intrusion into local decisions.  The unique timing of the Court of Appeals ruling and the legislature being in session made this possible.  This is not likely to happen again.  

     In the hearing where HB 4078 moved from a bad expedited land use bill to something far more complex, everyone was caught off guard espeically the lobbyists on both sides in the hearing room.  I've never seen anything so bizarre in my time in the Puzzle Palace.  

     Quite simply, Washington County overreached in the reserves process, designating high-quality farmland for sprawl by creating its own unjustifiable rules. It got caught by local citizens and by the Oregon Court of Appeals. The court condemned the use of “pseudo factors” in designating land for rural reserves.

     Washington County ignored Oregonians’ long-held beliefs that farmland and urban land stand in balance. It ignored the input of local farmers and residents. It ignored the law that created the reserves process.  And so the Legislature brokered a compromise that saved the rural reserves.

     Now old opponents of planning are arguing it is a reason to undermine the entire program. They are arguing that farmland needs no real protection, that development should be unrestrained, and that your right to participate can be left by the roadside in favor of expediency. Do not let them win.

     Oregon’s land use program is designed to uphold core values that Oregonians have held for decades: economic development alongside meaningful protections of farms, forests and natural areas. The program is working. Our agricultural industry sets records and earns international praise almost every year. Our cities and towns are growing faster than the national average while sprawling less.

     The program has changed dramatically over the past 40 years, and in 2013 legislation was passed to streamline urban growth boundary decisions for smaller cities, including those in rural Oregon.  What happened with the reserves isn’t evidence of a broken land use system. It’s evidence of broken actions by local governments that ignored the law and got caught, and of a Legislature that acted to save a rural reserves process it created.

     RAD:  1000 Friends joined Metro during the “grand bargain” process to support streamlining the hearings process.  Some of those ideas are part of HB 4078.  They focus on speeding up the hearing process not running rough shod over citizen involvement guaranteed in Goal 1 of Senate Bill 100.  

     This is not a pass for local governments that ignore the law. And it shouldn’t be an excuse to deny Oregonians the right to participate in shaping the future of their communities.

     Oregonians themselves must determine the precedent set today, not legislators. Be assured those hoping to thwart the land use balance will argue for further legislative action. But citizens created Oregon’s land use program. Oregon’s future belongs to all of us, and so should the way we plan for it.

Jason Miner is executive director of 1000 Friends of Oregon

 

 

By Jeff Bachrach

     The Oregon Legislature unanimously passed the historic land-use grand bargain bill because it was widely viewed that the state’s celebrated growth management system had broken down due to regulatory overload.

     RAD:  Regulations didn’t fail, they saved us from a closed-door decision-making process in Washington County which jiggered the facts and marginalized citizen involvement.  This was a “political” failure not land use system failure!  

     In the public hearings and work sessions on the “grand bargain” nobody claimed the system had broken down – that line was reserved for public consumption during the debate on the final bill by those who are hostile to land use planning despite unanimous YES votes in favor of HB 4078. 

    There is nothing wrong with the state's aspirational land-use goals and the need to reconcile them with a growing population and changing economy.  The problem is that the labyrinth of state laws and Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) rules adopted over the years results in endless squabbles over technical details and protracted litigation that do little to create well-planned communities.  

     RAD:  Again, as stated by Jason Miner the process has been streamlined in the past and was tweaked in HB 4078.  Saving Helvetia and other farm land is not a mere “technical detail” but central to Senate Bill 100’s vision to prevent urban sprawl we see in LA, the Bay Area and Seattle.  

     As they say, the devil is in the details. 

     Mr. Bachrach can own his opinion but he doesn’t own the facts. 

     1000 Friends of Oregon disagrees. In a recent opinion piece, the organization’s executive director, Jason Miner, argues “the program is working.” The grand bargain, he writes, “was brought about by local government failure.” 

     The grand bargain came about as a result of a February ruling by the Oregon Court of Appeals that reversed Metro's urban-rural reserves decision.  Metro and the three counties and numerous cities it serves had spent five contentious years - plus about three more counting appellate reviews - creating a 50-year growth management map for the region. 

     The reserves map would have preserved 267,000 acres as rural reserves untouchable for development for 50 years, and limited all UGB expansions to 28,000 acres of urban reserves for the next 50 years. To provide perspective, utilizing all 28,000 acres of urban reserves would be an 11 percent increase in the supply of developable land to accommodate a projected 80 percent increase in population.

     1000 Friends should have championed Metro’s reserves decision as a grand victory for their core message of farmland preservation and tight urban growth boundaries.  But 1000 Friends and 19 other disgruntled parties filed appeals.  Not surprisingly, considering the scope of the reserves decision and volume of regulations governing the process, the court issued a 126-page opinion that tossed out the map and told Metro and the local governments to start over.

     RAD:  Again, the facts of how Washington County violated the rules are certified in the Appeals Court’s ruling.  When 1000 Friends, Save Helvetia and 18 other parties exercised an expensive right to challenge the process it’s not just because some people are “disgruntled.”  It’s because the Board of Commissioners led by Chair Tom Brian and his successor Andy Duyck steam rolled Metro using "pseudo" fact claims and ignored citizen concerns.  

     Mr. Miner of 1000 Friends insists that “what happened with the reserves isn’t evidence of a broken land use system.” Rather, he blames it on Washington County for “designating high-quality farmland for sprawl.”

     But that’s hardly a fair characterization of what happened.  Because of the large amount of high value farmland in Washington County, as measured by soil type not actual productivity, designating a 50-year supply of potentially developable land meant that some high-value farmland had to end up as part of the urban reserves.  About half of the urban reserves are located on soils qualifying as high value.

     RAD:  Again, Mr. Bachrach is trying to re-litigate post-facto the Appeals Court ruling in the court of public opinion.  One should ask what his motivation might be?  Well, he is a project manager for Newland Real Estate Group, which is the lead developer in the South Hillsboro expansion area.

     Mr. Bachrach has a right to defend his self-interests but he doesn’t have the right to imply he and his real estate clients are neutral parties in this debate.  As was clear from the hearings on HB 4078 there will be less developable land in Washington County than in Clackamas County.

     Could that be the real issue which rankles the development interests even though Cooper Mountain and South Hillsboro were saved for development?


     Moreover, the decision was not Washington County’s alone.  The reserves map was approved in 2011 by all three county commissions, unanimously adopted by Metro and unanimously affirmed by LCDC.  

     Ultimately, the reserves decision was doomed by the daunting complexity of the process and the numerous parties taking legal aim at it. Blaming its collapse on Washington County is like blaming the Titanic on the sailor who saw the iceberg.    

     RAD:  Again Mr. Bachrach can own his spin but he can’t own the facts as the Court of Appeals clearly found!  The Titanic analogy fits what Chairs Brian and Duyck did not a lowly staffer in Washington County.  There ran into an iceberg called the Court of Appeals! 

     Facing the economic and political consequences of having the Portland region with no approved  growth-management map or an expanded UGB for another five or 10 years, the Legislature decided to act. It took the matter away from Metro and the courts. It disregarded land-use laws and imposed a new urban-rural reserves map and urban growth boundary for the Portland region.

     RAD:  Again, Bachrach typical of a lawyer without a case ignores the facts and reinvents history.  HB 4078 only focused on the errors of Washington County, it left the Appeal’s Court judgment relative to Multnomah and Clackamas County in place. 

     It did not disregard land-use laws quite the contrary it preserved them!  The new map preserved much of what had been done minus the egregious land-use swapping engaged in by Brian and Duyck in their failed attempt to silence engaged citizens.   

     Cities throughout the state have already proclaimed their expectation that the Legislature will give them the same kind of extra-legal land-use deal the Portland region got.

     RAD:  Mr. Bachrach may be right on this point if one believes the rhetoric coming from the House and Senate when HB 4078 was passed. But his clairvoyance may be more political sour grapes coming from Oregon’s powerful development community. 

     But rest assured Mr. Bachrach and his well-healed friends will not be the only voices in the Puzzle Palace come 2015! 

     While many legislators were clear that passage of the bill is an acknowledgement that the statewide land-use system is broken and systemic repair is needed, that will not be easily accomplished.  The fact that the grand bargain happened is not enough to shake the faith of 1000 Friends and others who believe that the land-use system should be preserved essentially as it was handed down 40 years ago. 

     RAD:  Right on Mr. Bachrach!  Again yours will not be the only voice in the committee hearings come 2015…   

     The challenge ahead for Oregon is whether it can reclaim its mantle as a progressive national leader in land-use planning by developing a new and different kind of growth management system - one that reflects the values and goals that informed the original planning program, but is not captive to relentless regulatory schemes that do not result in good planning and policy-based outcomes.  

     RAD:  My oh my – “relentless regulatory schemes…”  It’s regulations and Senate Bill 100 that stopped developers and their local political minions in their tracks.  Some would love it if developers like banks were “too big to fail” and too big to regulate.  So far, Oregon is not for sale!  Tom McCall’s legacy prevails!  

     If the Legislature is not up to the task, it may be forced to become a surrogate land-use decision-maker, brokering mini grand bargains for cities and counties around the state that are unable to plan and grow under Oregon’s current planning regime.

     RAD:  Oregon’s current land use system is the only thing stopping economic pressure from turning rural farm and timberland into instant suburbs.  What captures the core of the two sides in this debate is a line from the Paul Newman movie, Cool Hand Luke, “what we have here is a failure to communicate.”  

     "Plan and grow" depends on one’s perspective.  Do we want Oregon to replicate suburban sprawl like we see in Washington or California or do we envision "smart growth" which balances urban, suburban, rural towns vis a vis open spaces?   It depends on how one imagines Oregon!  

Jeff Bachrach represents and serves as a project manager for Newland Real Estate Group, which is the lead developer in the South Hillsboro expansion area.

Tuesday
Mar252014

MEMO TO KITZ - RESIGN!

 


Tuesday
Mar252014

IT'S ALL ABOUT TRUST

     The county commission debate March 19th at the Hillsboro main library featured Andy Duyck and Allen Amabisca running for the chair position and Bob Terry and Elizabeth Furse running for District 4. 

     It was a fairly sedate affair for most of the two hours as each candidate answered written questions submitted by the audience.  Each candidate pretty much stuck to their talking points. 

     The two incumbents, Duyck and Terry emphasized their experience as incumbents while Amabisca and Furse focused on the importance of citizen involvement. 

     As the evening wore on it became clear that the differences between the incumbents and the challengers was the most fundamental issue in any election campaign – “who do you trust?” 

     Duyck and Terry defended their records in getting Washington County through the Great Recession by focusing on their business friendly strategy to traded sector corporations like Nike and Intel. 

     Amabisca and Furse countered that we’ve been too oriented to big box business and losing sight of helping small business, the farming economy and diversifying our local economy. 

     At one point in the evening Chair Duyck defended his view of the county’s mission to provide basic services such as public safety and transportation. Terry echoed that message. 

     Amabisca and Furse took a broader view of the county’s mission while agreeing that basic services must be provided to local residents that also include libraries and public health.  

     But here’s where the great divide between the two incumbents and their challengers emerges.  Amabisca and Furse are willing to engage county citizens in a bigger vision of our future. 

     As a homeless advocate I’ve seen how frayed our safety net has become.  Duyck said that funding for social services is mostly state funds.  It’s actually federal pass through money.  

     But the problems don’t stop there.  Our schools are underfunded and overcrowded.  Vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan will require help to integrate back into civilian life. 

     Duyck and Terry are clearly unwilling to address these issues through the general fund budget and have been silent about going to voters for a social services levy to help the most vulnerable among us.

     Amabisca and Furse by contrast are willing to think outside the box while bringing citizens into the conversation about what the mission of the county ought to be in challenging times.  

     Furse concluded the Q&A session by talking about her work with Native American tribes in the Northwest.  She noted how tribal people think in the long term - 50 year cycles.  Duyck and Terry are the "fixers" thinking only about the now.  

     Duyck and Terry offer more of the same with the caveat that the buck stops with them aka the "deciders" not an engaged citizenry.  By contrast Amabsica and Furse want to engage citizens throughout the decision-making process not merely as a rubber stamp of the commission’s agenda. 

     The difference between the incumbents and the challengers was clearest when Chair Duyck was asked what, if anything he would do differently, in light of the urban/rural reserves decision? 

     At first he said “nothing” but then added he’d eliminate the appeals process via LCDC, LUBA and the courts and go straight to the legislature. This stunning comment was strongly countered by Furse who defended the Appeals court’s role. 

     Chair Duyck’s comment betrays a shocking indifference to our checks and balances system.  It also implies a willingness to derail Oregon’s land use planning system by fast tracking decisions to the legislature.  

     This underscores the essential difference between Duyck and Terry and Amabisca and Furse.  The incumbents are in effect saying “trust us.”  Their challengers are saying “trust the process” based on citizen involvement and due process of law.  

     The battle over rural and urban reserves came down to the Oregon Court of Appeals telling the current board you wasted 4 years by using “pseudo” facts to justify a plan that did not stand judicial review and required a legislative bail out.  

     Chair Duyck is apparently willing to play Russian roulette the next time. 

     The question before voters is do you trust the folks who got us into this legal and political quagmire or new leaders who are willing to engage citizens of the county to think outside the box as we face the challenges of the 21st century?   

     Elections do make a difference!  

Wednesday
Mar192014

AMABISCA FOR COUNTY CHAIR

     I attended a house party Tuesday night in the Grove for county chair candidate Allen Amabisca.  It was a small group of 7 people so we got to talk to Allen extensively about his vision of Washington County and our concerns.  I was very impressed by Allen. 

     He listened to us all and was very thoughtful in his responses.  After 4 years of the Duyck machine, Allen will be a breath of fresh air.  He has a balanced view of what needs to be done and most importantly to me he will not be in the hip pocket of any interest groups. 

     Given his management background, Amabisca will bring good management skills to county government not "let's make a deal" decision-making.  Transparency not "good old boy" politics will be the norm.  Citizen involvement not "behind the scenes deals" will be the rule. 

     Vote for change, not more of the same

     As an example of currying the favor of special interest groups, earlier this week the board continued to cut a transportation development tax passed by the voters in '08.  Looking at who's giving money to Duyck and Terry it's clear "the fix" is in from development interests! 

     So who is going cover the gap in road construction funding? 

     If you want to know more about Allen and his campaign go to his website I've posted on my blog.

     He's got my vote! 

allenamabisca.com


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Boot the "TROIKA" out, vote for Allen Amabisca for County Chair

Tuesday
Mar182014

WHAT TOXIC CHEMICALS LURK IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?  

To our leaders,

     Two things arrived in my email today: The announcement that Clarendon School will be reopened to service about 120 young children next year as an early learning center.  And a magazine article published in The Atlantic  entitled "The Toxins that Threaten our Brains" reporting on a "silent pandemic" of neurotoxins damaging the brains of unborn children.

     As reported in The Oregonian, the Clarendon building would be the first of three regional early learner centers Portland Public Schools is hoping to create for younger students, district officials on Monday told the school board.  "These are targeted for high-impact, high-need areas and populations," said Harriet Adair, the district's executive director of schools and operations support. Adair also said district officials were carefully choosing where they expand the centers.

     We support early childhood education initiatives.  But we are concerned that our leaders do not fully consider or mitigate the environmental impact of persistent neurotoxins on these same "high impact, high-need areas and populations."

     In the 2008 study, The Smokestack Effect, Clarendon School, along with Roosevelt HS, was ranked in the bottom 1% in the nation, two of Oregon's most at risk schools, for the proximity to large metal manufacturing facilities and the subsequent exposure to manganese, a neurotoxin linked with Parkinson's disease in workers with high exposure.  It was this same study, and the same risk of manganese, that spurred the community activism in 2009 that brought ESCO Steel and its neighbors to work together to reduce toxic emissions through a Good Neighbor Agreement.

     As reported in The Atlantic:

     "Dr. David Bellinger, Philippe Grandjean both Harvard researchers, and Philip Landrigan, pediatrician and dean for global health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan brought concerns about chemical exposure and brain health to a heightened pitch when they announced that a "silent pandemic" of toxins has been damaging the brains of unborn children. The experts named 12 chemicals-substances {including manganese, lead, and arsenic} that they believed to be causing not just lower IQs but ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. 

     "By age two, almost all of the billions of brain cells that you will ever have are in their places. Except in the hippocampus and one or two other tiny regions, the brain does not grow new brain cells throughout your life. When brain cells die, they are gone. So its initial months of formation, when the brain is most vulnerable, are critical."  "During these sensitive life stages," Grandjean and Landrigan write, exposure "can cause permanent brain injury at low levels that would have little or no adverse effect in an adult."


     Neighbors for Clean Air has long argued that the environmental injustice of industrial air pollution in our state is the fact all impetus for change is borne squarely on the shoulders of the community to self advocate and self-acutualize solutions in a widely unbalanced power and resource paradigm.

     Sadly, unlike the relatively affluent Northwest Neighborhood schools, nothing has been done to mitigate the problem of industrial air toxics around Clarendon or any of the North Portland schools since the 2008 study was released.  We applaud investment in proven education models, but it is time to start addressing the systemic environmental challenges for these high-need neighborhoods as well.

     In 2013, we worked with state legislators to introduce two very mild solutions to provide a pathway for industry to voluntarily consider air emissions reductions.  These failed against unrelenting industry opposition.  It is time for us to come back to the table as the evidence mounts that industrial emissions in Oregon pose a real and compelling public health threat to the people who live in close proximity, and that is made all the more urgent by the inherent equity issue as the most vulnerable populations bare a disproportionate burden due to the lack of information and resources to mitigate the exposures.

Neighbors for Clean Air looks forward to working with Oregon leaders to realize real changes in 2015.

Kind regards,

Mary Peveto

                              

                                            VISIT OUR NEW WEBSITE:  www.whatsinourair.org

 

    

EDITOR'S NOTE: 

     Clarendon School is not alone!  In Washington County children who live around Hillsboro airport are exposed to lead toxins from general aviation air which runs on lead based fuels.  And this is in addition to the exposure from unknown toxins in the area coming from Intel's 5 fabs which are surrounded by neighborhoods in Hillsboro, Aloha and Beaverton.

     As WC CAN's legislative advocate in the Puzzle Palace I'm working with NCA,  Representative Mitch Greenlick and Senator Michael Dembrow to form an interim legislative committee to focus on the public health hazards from toxic air and water emissions around Oregon. The goal is to have a comprehensive bill on this issue ready for the 2015 legislative session.  

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