Commentary: “Contact Tracers” Will Be Fanning Out In Counties Authorized To Re-Open. BIG Brother Is Alive And Well In The Age Of Coronavirus.

Re-opening under Governor Brown’s plan has tradeoffs, including the deployment of a small army of Orwellian “contact tracers” who will gather information about you.

Consider that once collected, the information will likely be subject to retention for a number of years under Oregon Public Records Laws.

How this information might be used, stored, or available beyond the prevention of disease is yet to be fully answered, and Civil libertarians and the Courts are sure to become involved.

Donald Planning Commission and City Council To Hold Public Hearings on Proposed 297 Unit “Agrihood” Development.

Donald will grow substantially and lose its status as a quiet rural community if a proposal by GRC Landholdings LLC to annex and develop a proposed large “Agrihood Community” is approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council.

The proposed development would annex approximately 61 acres of productive farmland into the Donald City Limits to create a 299 lot Planned Unit Development composed of 297 single-family homes with public open space parks, walking paths, a community center with limited commercial space, and site for future apartments and townhomes. If approved, only time will tell whether or not the development will be a viable and affordable project, or just more suburbanization with social engineering thrown in.

The proposal requires a zone Change from Marion County UT – Urban Transition to City of Donald R7 and RM Residential Zones.

The Donald Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 6:45pm, and the City Council will hold a public hearing on the matter on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 6:45pm. Both hearings will be held at Donald City Hall. Based upon the meeting schedule, it appears that the proposal is being fast tracked without sufficient allowance for the appeal periods permitted by Oregon land use laws.

The public may submit written testimony concerning the proposal to the City, and at both public hearings.

A copy of the public notice may be viewed here: 164457

United States Ranked As Best Prepared Country In The World To Handle A Pandemic.

There seems to be a lot of finger-pointing lately by politicians trying to assign blame in all directions for the handling of the pandemic and our preparedness.  Unfortunately, it feeds public fear and uncertainty.

Without minimizing the seriousness of the situation here in the country, people need to know that the United States was ranked as the best-prepared country in the world to handle a pandemic in late 2019 by the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

An international panel of experts from 13 countries evaluated research by more than 100 researchers who spent a year collecting and validating publicly available data.  From that data the Global Health Security Index was developed, and while no country is fully prepared to handle all threats, the United States ranked first in a list of 195 countries.

See the map and full study here.

Add Ons To The Coronavirus Aid Bill Continue To Stall Action In The Senate.

As the national emergency continues, politicians are busily adding unrelated items to the Coronavirus bill and refusing to vote for it unless they are included.  Here’s a partial list:

· Expansive new tax credits for solar and wind energy.
· New emissions standards for airlines and requirement of full offset by 2025.
· Increased collective bargaining and carve outs for unions.
· Required same-day voter registration and early voting.
· A bailout for the U.S. Postal Service, for the union pension fund, and for student loans
· Retirement plans for community newspaper employees.
· Requiring publication of corporate pay statistics by race and race statistics for all corporate boards.
· A requirement for companies receiving assistance to pay a $15/minimum wage.
· $1 billion “Cash For Clunkers”-style program where government buys planes from airlines.
· $1.5 million to study climate change mitigation efforts in civil aviation and aerospace industries.
· New OSHA requirements on hospitals.
· $1 billion to build on program expanded by President Obama that provides discounted phone service for low-income consumers, aka the “Obama phone.”

There’s more coming to light this evening:

  • Pay off $10,000 in student debt per person.
  • Requires federal agencies to explain to Congress how they are increasing their usage of “minority banks.”
  • An automatic extension of nonimmigrant visas and restrict colleges from providing information about citizenship status.
  • $35 million to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Squabbling Senators Fail To Pass Coronavirus Relief Bill For America Again Today.

A second floor vote today in the U.S. Senate on the coronavirus relief bill has failed again as politicians continue to squabble while Americans suffer.  Both sides are fighting over seemingly unrelated add-ons to the bill.

If you are interested in contacting Oregon’s Senators with your thoughts, use the links below.

Ron Wyden  Contact

Jeff Merkley  Contact

How Much TP Do You Need? This Calculator Will Help.

The great toilet paper scare of 2020 is still upon us, as shoppers are frantically snapping up any stray roll that appears in the stores.

This simple online calculator provides a rational way of figuring out how many rolls of the previous stuff you should have on hand.

Please think about buying only what you need and sharing the supply with others.