Sherman County eNews #47


Happy Birthday, Oregon!

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

  1. Love and Optimism

  2. Oregon Statehood Day, Feb. 14

  3. From the Desk of Sen. Bill Hansell: Sex Trafficking & Human Trafficking

  4. Congressman Walden’s Update on Affordable Health Insurance

  5. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

1. Love and Optimism

Valentine heartFor most of us, the greatest source of happiness in life is to love and be loved. Today, let’s talk about why love and optimism go hand in hand.

Think of the strongly optimistic people you know. Have you noticed the depth and scope of their relationships? Optimists are great lovers! They love many things passionately – nature, sports, music, art, gardening – you name it.

But most of all, they love people. They respond to children and old folks with enthusiasm. They are deeply connected to their families. They are usually involved in doing something to help people in trouble. In fact, they reach out to others all the time, giving the gift of their attention and interest, and they have a wonderful way of making the people they are talking to feel valued and important.

And let’s admit it.  It is more fun to work with optimists! They seem to make the hours go faster. They see possibilities everywhere, and they add a vital buoyancy to the work environment.

Their ability to admire and enjoy others is a powerful force that helps account for their optimism and keeps their positive outlook alive. Because of all the loving energy they put forth, they have a lot of love coming back at them, too. In tough times, they find themselves in the center of a supportive network that helps them make it through the rough spots.

There’s no question about it. Loving relationships nurture optimism, and optimism helps us become more loving. And remember this: love really is not a noun. It’s a verb and therefore requires action to become real. ~ The Pacific Institute

2. Oregon Statehood Day, Feb. 14

ORStateFlagIssues far from Oregon shaped affairs along the Pacific Coast in the 1850s. Sectional tensions heightened during the bumbling presidencies of Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan. The Compromise of 1850 gained a little time, but its concessions satisfied neither proslavery extremists in the South nor abolitionists in the North. The nation was on its course to the Civil War. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, enraged slaveowners as it swept across the country in a powerful indictment of the “peculiar institution.” Formation of the Republican Party in 1854, troubles in “Bleeding Kansas” in 1856, the Dred Scott decision in 1857, and John Brown’s raid on the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry in 1859 confirmed the divisions and tensions. The Republicans had drawn the line–no further expansion of slavery. They nominated John C. Fremont, a popular western explorer, for the presidency. Although Fremont lost, within four years their candidate, Abraham Lincoln, was headed to Washington, D.C., as the 16th president. Passions were high. Then came secession and war.

Three parties vied for political control in Oregon. The Democrats were an odd lot, including northerners opposed to slavery and southern diehards who supported an institution barred by the Organic Act of 1848. The Whigs held political patronage in the early 1850s but watched their party disintegrate nationally. The Know-Nothings were opposed to the political clique that had managed territorial government in Salem. These divisions confirmed the heavy hold of old persuasions and attitudes–the intellectual baggage carried by emigrants.

Without enabling legislation from Congress, Oregonians voted in June 1857 to hold a constitutional convention. The delegates assembled in Salem during the summer and drafted a governing document. It was modeled on those of Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan. The constitution limited public debt and placed tight controls on banks and corporations. An agricultural people, the convention delegates argued, had little use for frivolous expenditures or unnecessary institutions. In the fall voters faced three questions. Did they approve the constitution? They voted yes. Did they want slavery? They voted 7,727 no and 2,645 yes. Did they want freed African-Americans to live in Oregon? They voted eight to one against permitting their residency.

The actions in 1857 were predictable. Oregonians hungered for control of their own government and an end to the patronage appointments produced by shifting administrations in Washington, D.C. They also affirmed they did not want slavery in Oregon. The question of driving free African-Americans from the new state revealed resoundingly racist attitudes. They did not see freed slaves, Indians, or women standing equally before the law. In this Oregonians differed little from Thomas Jefferson. Architect of the Declaration of Independence and its gracefully worded affirmations of natural rights, Jefferson was a slave-owner all his adult life. He could not rise to the noble philosophy of personal freedom he articulated in the 1770s. Oregonians in 1857 appeared to have drunk from the same well.

In June, 1858, residents of the territory elected officials as defined by their new constitution. For months the fate of Oregon statehood floated on shifting political coalitions distrustful of changing the fragile balance of power in Congress. It was known Oregon would be a free state, yet its newly elected senators–Joseph Lane and Delazon Smith–were proslavery Democrats. Finally Congress acted and on February 14, 1859, President Buchanan signed the bill. Oregon joined the federal union. ~ Oregon Blue Book

3. From the Desk of Sen. Bill Hansell: Sex Trafficking & Human Trafficking

Oregon.Flat.poleThe day before session began, I was honored to sit down with Kaitlin Bolduc, investigative news reporter for KPTV Fox 12 Oregon, and three of my colleagues to discuss three bills I have sponsored to address sex/human trafficking in our state. My Legislative Director, Branden, did a social media write up that I wanted to share with all of you.  His post is as follows:

Four State Senator’s sat down with Kaitlin Bolduc, reporter from KPTV FOX 12 Oregon, for an interview about what they are doing to combat Sex Trafficking and Human Trafficking in the state.

This is a subject I have been working on for about 10 months. The Human trafficking crisis has reached an epidemic level in much of the developed world and Oregon is not beyond its reach. In Oregon alone, the Human Trafficking Hotline received 300 calls in 2016. This was in regards to 72 different human trafficking cases and as such amounted to approximately 646 different victims.

It is estimated that there are 20.9 million trafficking victims throughout the world. Victims have been identified in all 50 states. Of the female victims, the FBI reports that the average age at which they became victims is between 12 and 14 years of age.

Three of the five bills introduced this session I am working on. Hopefully all five of them pass. The three I am working on are: SB 369 (Sponsored by Sen. Bill Hansell) Empowers bartenders in the state that work at Live Entertainment Venues to report if underage workers / sex trafficking is occurring at the venue. SB 370 (Sponsored by Sen. Bill Hansell) Prompts the Department of Justice to conduct a study on the insidious nature of trafficking if it happens in locations outside of Oregon. And SB 375 (Sponsored Sen. Bill Hansell) allows for the postings of signs and posters in Oregon Rest Area Bathrooms which have the Trafficking Hotline number on them.

Sex Trafficking and Human / Labor Trafficking is an epidemic that must be stopped. It is a terrible practice and truly a horror that is in every city nationwide.

Most sex trafficking occurs at Rest Stops along the highway, and the worst rest stop in Oregon (in fact on the whole West Coast) is the one right outside Wilsonville, on I-5.


Call the Police and seek help for the people you see, the people you might know, or even for you if you are a victim of trafficking.

You can call 1-888-373-7888; or TEXT “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733. The phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and available in over 200 languages.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve and represent you in the Oregon Senate.


Senator Bill Hansell

4. Congressman Walden’s Update on Affordable Health Insurance

American flag2WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, provided an update on the committee’s health care work at a news conference today with members of the House Republican conference. Walden spoke of providing Oregonians with access to affordable health insurance, and providing states like Oregon with flexibility to innovate when it comes to their individual health care systems.

“I’ve heard from farmers, and ranchers, and small business people about what’s happened to their premiums and how they didn’t get to keep their plan, how they didn’t get to keep their doctor. We’ve met with states and we’ve met with governors across the country over the last couple of weeks, who understand that this is not sustainable,” Walden said.  “You’re going to see us move forward in the Energy and Commerce Committee looking at reforms. Looking at a better way to provide help to those most in need in our states in the Medicaid population. And to allow states to innovate.

Our state of Oregon has had quite a bit of innovation over the years. We have the CCOs in place that have brought better health care outcomes at lower costs.  There are great ideas out there in our states, but right now they have to come back and beg permission from the federal bureaucrats to be able to do anything innovative. We want to give states flexibility and we want to give people better health care. We’re going to accomplish both in legislation we’ll be marking up in the near future.”

In recent weeks, the committee held hearings looking beyond Obamacare. The Oversight subcommittee examined Medicaid expansion, and Health subcommittee examined commonsense reforms to modernize Medicaid and insurance reforms to deliver relief to patients.

5. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do 

bird.owl.limbOregon Blue Book

Oregon Almanac

Mid-Columbia Economic Development District

Putting up the flag 

Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers 

Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts in Oregon

Disposal of 200 million pounds of cull onions challenge growers

High Country News 

Salish Blue: ‘Wheat-like grain’ that regrows annually could help limit farm soil erosion

Ancient wheat relative Kernza resists diseases and pests without gene manipulation

Demon Coal

The West’s coal giant is going down 

Why these librarians are protesting Trump’s executive orders (funding, sanctuary)

National Weather Service, Pendleton, Oregon

Book: Little Kids and Their Big Dogs

Oregon lawmaker to push bills outlawing businesses, unions with state contracts from making political donations

Walden bill would soften law used in Hammond case (Oregon)