Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy Earth Day!

How does Oregon compare to other states in term of eco-friendliness?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 2:05 PM

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Happy Earth Day! In honor of Mother Earth, WalletHub determined that Oregon is the 3rd most eco-friendly state in the country for 2017. Not only is Oregon the 3rd most eco-friendly state in the union, Oregon is first in percentage of energy consumption from renewable resources. Hydroelectric power provides nearly two-thirds of electricity generated in the state. Oregon is also 5th in the nation for LEED-Certified Buildings per capita, 6th in gasoline consumption (Oregon uses many alternative fuels), 7th in soil quality, 8th in percentage of recycled municipal waste, and 13th in both air quality and energy consumption per capita. How will you be celebrating Earth Day? What will you be doing to keep Oregon one of the greenest states in the country?
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Weekend weather planning: Weather Update for 4/21-4/23

Before planning your weekend, check out the weather.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 4:33 PM

Partly sunny skies in Bend on April 20, 2017. - LEIGHA THRELKELD
  • Leigha Threlkeld
  • Partly sunny skies in Bend on April 20, 2017.
Light April showers are in no short supply this year. Though this week has seen rain several times, the weekend will boast only a slight chance of showers, according to the National Weather Service.

Friday will be partly cloudy with temperatures around 61 degrees.

Saturday will be partly sunny with a high around 62 degrees, and a slight chance of rain.

Sunday will be slightly cooler with a high of 56, and a slight chance of rain that day as well.

Enjoy the sun, but don't forget your umbrella!
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Monday, April 17, 2017

Sen. Ron Wyden Holds Friendly Bend Town Hall

Answers questions on North Korea, Syria and of course, those tax returns

Posted By on Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 8:15 PM

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Speaking to a welcoming crowd at Summit High School, Sen. Ron Wyden addressed several hundred constituents Monday evening– a town hall noticeably smaller and more subdued than Rep. Greg Walden's last week.

Wyden's answers were received warmly and with a round of applause with one attendee evening apologizing for the noticeably smaller turnout. Still, Wyden praised the recent civic engagement he has seen and commented that recent turnouts have been "Unlike he has ever seen in his decades on Capitol Hill."

Questions ranged from protecting public lands, to the Syrian missile attack, health care and to President Trump's refusal to release his taxes. "For a president, releasing tax returns, is the lowest ethical bar," said Wyden, "...I will insist that this president, like the others, actually clear it."He later stated that perhaps the resistance stemmed from a comment made by Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr. implying that Russians made up a large section of their Trump Corp's assets and that perhaps releasing tax returns would showcase those investors, and therefore ties with Russia.

On Syria, Wyden said he agreed with Trump's decision to engage in a missile strike and felt that as a president, he had the power to make those decisions – without congress. Though he commented,"One strike is not a long term policy." Wyden was clear that any further involvement in the Syrian civil war must be approved by congress. "My hope is this administration will see the idea of a sensible, long-term foreign policy is to use all the tools in the toolbox." 

When asked about North Korea and if the Joints Chiefs of Staff could overrule Trump, Wyden's outlook seem optimistic noting recent weekend events that saw tensions relieving – namely the failed missile test and Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R McMaster stating his doubts regarding a strike against the closed off country.

With federal lands, he pledged his support in fending off the selling public lands in Oregon, noting it was a mistake that could not be undone. He explained his decision in confirming Rep. Ryan Zinke as secretary of the interior, saying he believed he was genuine and a good fit for the role – regardless of policy differences.

Circling back to Russia, Wyden repeated his enthusiasm for the publics interest in politics and stated, "As your guy in Washington....I will not let this [Russian interference] get swept under the rug."

Wyden will continue his tour east of the Cascades in the following days.







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Friday, April 14, 2017

Weekend Show Preview: "An Evening With" Diego’s Umbrella

Posted By on Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 5:19 PM

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We’re fortunate to have a wide array of shows to chose from this weekend. For the synth-pop inclined, The New Pornographers play tonight at the Midtown Ballroom. Prefer jazz? Check out Ravi Coltrane Quintet at Riverhouse on the Deschutes tonight at 6:30.

While Easter Sunday may not be the most ideal night for booty shaking, there are few good excuses for missing Diego’s Umbrella when they come through town. The San Fransicso ambassadors of Gypsy-pirate-polka have become a Bend favorite. The boys from Diego’s Umbrella put on memorable performances that often include drummer Jake Wood strapping on the “Party Drum” and venturing out into the audience.

Prepare to get rowdy and sweat off all of those Cadbury eggs you feasted on throughout the day. Dance to the "Hava Nagila", the tradition Israeli folk song the band learned for a Jewish wedding a few years back and have integrated into their set list due to popular demand. People who’ve been following the band for years will get the chance to check out songs from their latest album, Edjka.


Diego’s Umbrella
Sunday, April 16, 8pm
Volcanic Theatre Pub
70 SW Century Dr.
$10
bendticket.com
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Scenes from Greg Walden's Town Hall

Amid a rowdy crowd demanding answers, Walden keeps his cool

Posted By on Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 5:05 PM

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Scenes from Thursday's Town hall where Sen. Greg Walden took questions from an often irate and rowdy crowd. Questions ranged from the 1st Amendment to the failed repeal efforts of the Affordable Care Act, gun safety, transportation and the gas tax single payer insurance plans and more. Check out our photos and snippets of our favorite scenes below.

*Disclaimer* Video footage at times is shaky.



PHOTO BY MAGDALENA BOKOWA
  • Photo by Magdalena Bokowa
PHOTO BY MAGDALENA BOKOWA
  • Photo by Magdalena Bokowa











PHOTO BY MAGDALENA BOKOWA
  • Photo by Magdalena Bokowa
PHOTO BY MAGDALENA BOKOWA
  • Photo by Magdalena Bokowa












PHOTO BY MAGDALENA BOKOWA
  • Photo by Magdalena Bokowa



PHOTO BY MAGDALENA BOKOWA
  • Photo by Magdalena Bokowa
PHOTO BY MAGDALENA BOKOWA
  • Photo by Magdalena Bokowa
PHOTO BY MAGDALENA BOKOWA
  • Photo by Magdalena Bokowa

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Abortions and Vasectomies May Soon Be Covered by Oregon Insurance Plans

Posted By on Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 1:45 PM



The Reproductive Heath Equity Act (House Bill 3391) gained steam Friday, Apr.14 when it was passed from the Oregon House Healthcare Committee to the Joint Ways and Means Committee. The bill aims to remove financial barriers for reproductive health and would require all insurance plans to cover the entire spectrum of family planning services, including, abortions and vasectomies. A patient would not have to pay a deductible or copay for these services.

"Working families are under so much strain today and often have a hard time making ends meet," said Andrea Paluso, Executive Director for Family Forward Oregon. "Families in Oregon need support like paid time off from work to care for loved ones and access to affordable child care. It is also critical that they have access to affordable, essential reproductive health care, which this bill guarantees. We are thrilled that the House Healthcare Committee has advanced this urgent remedy."

The bill  is sponsored by 21 State Representatives and 10 State Senators. The bill was developed over the past two years by the Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon with input from community leaders around Oregon and legislators.







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Picks on the Radio: What's in the Source this week 4/13

Posted By on Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 11:56 AM

Want another way to find out what's happening in Central Oregon each week?

We're starting a new segment with our friends at 92.9 FM, in which we tell you a little bit about what's in the Source this week, and give you a listen to some of our musical picks. Enjoy! 


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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Plan your weekend: Weather Update for 4/14-4/16

Before planning your weekend, check out the weather.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 1:11 PM

A walker braves the wind in Farewell Bend park, Thursday. - LEIGHA THRELKELD
  • Leigha Threlkeld
  • A walker braves the wind in Farewell Bend park, Thursday.
What are your weekend plans? Whether you are headed up to the mountain to enjoy spring skiing, or hitting the trails with your four-legged friend, check out the National Weather Service's weekend forecast for Central Oregon.

Friday will be cloudy with highs around 47 degrees, with chances of snow before 11am and possible rain and snow showers for the rest of the day.

Saturday is expected to be mostly sunny, highs around 53 degrees.

Sunday will be partly sunny, with highs also in the mid-50s.

Enjoy this spring weekend!
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Easter Events 2017

From egg hunts to services, here is your Easter event lineup

Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 9:23 AM

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Beat the Bunny 5K & Easter Egg Hunt

Enjoy an easter egg hunt, live music, face
painting, pony rides, hay rides, petting zoo and
food vendors. Enjoy a 5K trail course by beating
the bunny for a chance to win a 100% grass fed
beef package. April 15, 9am-3pm. DD Ranch,
3836 NE Smith Rock Way. $15 adv., $20 event.

Crooked River Easter Egg Hunt

Join the Crooked River Community for an easter egg
hunt with special prizes. Starts promptly at 1am
with prizes for each age group. Ages 0-12. April
15, 10-11am. Dick Chandler Ball Field, corner of
SW Chinook Dr. and SW Commercial Loop Rd.

Crux Easter Brunch

With a sweet and savory brunch menu, 500 eggs will be filled
with fun surprises, so bring the kids and your
own basket for a fun Easter day. April 16. Crux
Fermentation Project, 50 SW Division St.


Easter Brunch

Come out to Easter Brunch at the Range Restaurant and Bar with
family and friends, Enjoy several farm-to-table
ranch-inspired menu items with panoramic
views of the Cascades. April 16, 9am-3pm.
Brasada’s Range Restaurant & Bar, 16986 SW
Brasada Ranch Rd. 866.845.1415. $46 Adults,
$26 Children.


Black Butte Easter Brunch & Egg

Hunt Join us for our annual Easter Brunch
starting at 9:30am. The Easter Egg Hunt takes
place on the Lodge lawn. Ages 0-7+ Please bring
a basket to collect eggs. Gold eggs are turned in
to the Easter bunny for special prizes! April 16,
9:30am. Black Butte Ranch, 13899 Bishops Cap.

Brasada Ranch Easter Brunch

The whole family is invited out for a seasonal,
ranch-inspired menu will feature fresh fruits and
vegetables, omelet bar, several cast iron dishes,
locally sourced meat and much more. Stay longer
and enjoy lawn games and Easter egg hunts
around the Ranch. April 16, 9am. Brasada’s Range
Restaurant & Bar, 16986 SW Brasada
Ranch Rd. $46 adults, $26 children.


Pronghorn Easter Brunch

Hop on down for our special Easter Brunch! Chef Kevin
Linde has created a fantastic feast and Mr. Peter
Rabbit will lead an Easter Egg Hunt at 12:30 pm
and 2:30 pm. Reservations required. Seatings
start at 11:30 am. April 16, 11:30am-3:30pm.
Pronghorn Resort, 65600 Pronghorn Club Dr.
541-693-5300. $52pp, $19 kids 6 – 12.


McMenamins Easter Brunch Buffet

Spend Easter with friends and family while
you enjoy a hearty buffet featuring all-natural
ham, bakery offerings, a variety of salads, fruit,
egg dishes and desserts. April 16, 9am-3pm.
McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 NW
Bond St. 541-382-5174. $19 kids, $31 adults.
Reservations required.


Sunriver Resort Easter Brunch

Buffet Enjoy a fabulous Easter Brunch at
Carson’s American Kitchen showcasing all of
the traditional favorites! April 16, 8am. Sunriver
Resort, 17600 Center Dr. $45 adult, $22 child.
Free for under 5.


Easter Egg Hunt


Bend Elks Lodgehost an easter egg hunt for
kids of all ages. April 16, 9-11am. Juniper Park,
800 NE Sixth St. Free.


Easter Egg Hunt — Just for Dogs


A fun event just for our canine friends. Designed
to allow pups of all skill levels the opportunity
to hunt for some great treats and prizes. All
proceeds benefit BSNP’s HOPE Pet Food Bank.
April 16, 1-3pm. Bend Pet Express Eastside, 420
Windy Knolls Dr. 541.385.5298. $3-5.

Easter Family Yoga Workshop

A special Egg-tactic scavenger hunt and obstacle
course filled with yoga and mindfulness. Join
Deven Sisler and teachers-in-training for a
vibrant, fun, relaxing class. All ages. April 16,
1:30-2:30pm. Namaspa Yoga Studio, 1135 NW
Galveston Ave. $12 adv., $15.

Easter Floral Design

Create a one-ofa-kind Easter arrangement
with Pincushion Protea
from Kula, Maui, bright tulips, fragrant stock
and other seasonal spring flowers! Happy hour
specials will be in full effect. April 15, 2:30-4pm.
Sip Wine Bar, 1366 NW Galveston Ave. $55.

Easter Sunrise Service at Pilot Butte

Join in the celebration by attending a
nondenominational sunrise gathering atop Pilot
Butte at 6:00 am. The event begins with singing
and a brief Easter message shared by Pete Kelley,
Lead Pastor (Local) at Antioch Church. April
16, 6-6:30am. Pilot Butte State Park, Pilot Butte
State Park.


Full Throttle Java Egg-Cellent Easter

Giving away-Hydroflasks, sweatshirts,
tshirts, gift cards and free drinks. For every drink
purchased on Easter Sunday receive one plastic
easter egg containing a piece of candy or a prize.
April 16, 7am-3pm. Full Throttle Java, 255 SW
5th Street.


Holy Week and PASCHA

Last week of Christ’s life is celebrated as Holy Week.
Each day is designated as “Great and Holy”, with special
services every day begining with the resurrection
of Lazurus, Palm Sunday, through the instituion
of the Last Supper, Lamentations of the Crucifixtion
and finally the Glorious PASCHA. Through
April 14, 6-8pm, Through April 14, 2-4pm,
Through April 14, 3-4:30pm, Through April 14,
11am-1pm and 11pm-2am and Through April
14, 1-2:30pm. Orthodox Christian Church (of St.
Jacob), 1900 NE Division St., Suite 109. 541-668-
7682. Free.


Kendall Toyota Easter Egg Hunt

3rd annual easter egg hunt featuring prizes for finding
the golden egg. Hunt begins at 11am sharp.
April 15. Kendall Toyota of Bend, 61430 S Hwy 97.
Prime Rib Dinner Night Sundays, 5-9pm.
Pronghorn Resort, 65600 Pronghorn Club Dr.
541-693-5300. $35.

Riverhouse on the Deschutes Easter

Brunch Celebrate Easter with two brunch
options that guarantee a memorable Sunday: a
buffet in the convention center and a plated meal
in Currents. The day will also include a fun-forthe-
whole-family Easter egg hunt held in the
Cascade Garden at 11 am and 1 pm. The Easter
Bunny will also be on hand for family photo
opportunities. April 16. Riverhouse on the Deschutes,
3075 N Hwy 97. $45 adults, $39 seniors,
$19 kids. Ages 4-12; Under 4 eat free.


Underwater Egg Hunt & Rubber

Duck Races Easter-themed aquatic fun such
as underwater egg diving and rubber duck races.
Dive for weighted egg eggs for prizes. Spaces is
limited, reservations required. April 15,
9-11am. SHARC, 57250 Overlook Rd. 541-585-
3147. $10-15.


Sisters Community Easter Egg

Hunt Join the Sisters community to find 6,000
hidden eggs plus special prize eggs for each
age division. Easter Bunny will be present! Ages
0-11. April 16, 1-2pm. Creekside Park, Hwy 20
and E Jefferson St.


Soul Brunch with DJ Sorski DJ Sorski


DJ Sorski spins classic vinyl funk & soul while folks enjoy
a special brunch menu featuring Huevos Rancheros
and breakfast tacos with a special drink
menu. No reservations required, a la carte. April
16, 9am-3pm. Spork, 937 NW Newport Ave.


Storytime: EGG

Egg is a graphic novel for preschoolers about
four eggs, one big surprise,
and an unlikely friendship. Grab your child
and hear this perfect holiday story. April 15,
10:30-11:30am. Roundabout Books, 900 Northwest
Mount Washington Drive, #110.


Sunriver Easter Egg Hunt

Search for eggs hidden all around the lodge plus there will
be a petting zoo, bounce houses, face painting
and more! We’ll also have a BOGO Easter Special
at the Bear Factory. Build your own stuffed
animal at the Bear Factory and when you purchase
one outfit for your special friend, you get
a second one free! Ages 0-12. April 16, 9:30am.
Sunriver Resort, 17600 Center Dr. $12.


Redmond Community Easter Egg


Hunt Join Triumph Fitness for a Kid’s 1000 egg
Easter Egg hunt on Saturday, April 15th at 9am
at Quince City Park! FREE pictures with the EASTER
BUNNY for you and your kiddos! April 15,
9am. Quince City Park, 1001 NW Quince Ave.


Westside Easter Hunt

The annual 10,000 Egg Easter Egg Hunt for the kids with
church services performed before/after each
event. The family photo booth will be open before
and after each service! April 15, 6pm and April
16, 12:30pm. Westside Church, 2051 NW Shevlin
Park Rd.


Wildhorse Easter Egg Hunt

10,000 eggs with two egg hunts, bring the kids for a
carnival themed festival featuring bounce house,
carnival games, glitter tattoos and a special
appearance by Mr. Easter Bunny. April 15,
11am-3pm. Wildhorse Harley-Davidson, 63028
Sherman Rd.







 


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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

This just in: Rep. Greg Walden announces a Bend town hall

Posted By on Tue, Apr 4, 2017 at 6:03 PM

Rep. Walden's Bend town hall is one of a handful the Oregon Congressman will hold this month in his district. - GREG WALDEN
  • Greg Walden
  • Rep. Walden's Bend town hall is one of a handful the Oregon Congressman will hold this month in his district.
Been wondering when Rep. Greg Walden will be holding a town hall near you?

Wait no more: The Oregon Congressman's office just released his town hall schedule. Here's where you can catch him next week:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wasco County Town Hall Meeting
11:00a.m. - 12:00p.m. PDT
Fort Dalles Readiness Center Assembly Hall, 402 E Scenic Drive, The Dalles 97058

Hood River County Town Hall Meeting
3:00p.m. - 4:00p.m. PDT
Hood River Middle School Auditorium, 1602 May Street, Hood River 97031

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Crook County Town Hall Meeting
8:30a.m. - 9:30a.m. PDT
Crook County High School Auditorium, 1100 SE Lynn Blvd, Prineville 97754

Deschutes County Town Hall Meeting
5:00p.m. - 6:00p.m. PDT
Mountain View High School Main Gym, 2755 NE 27th Street, Bend 97701

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jackson County Town Hall Meeting
7:30a.m. - 8:30a.m. PDT
North Medford High School Performing Arts Auditorium, 1900 N Keene Way Drive, Medford 97504

Josephine County Town Hall Meeting
10:30a.m. - 11:30a.m. PDT
Grants Pass High School Performing Arts Center, 830 NE 9th Street, Grants Pass 97526

According to Walden's office, residents of the 2nd Congressional District can also sign up for telephone town hall meetings through Walden’s website, walden.house.gov.
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Friday, March 31, 2017

FEELING THE HEAT: Knopp & Whisnant Get Grilled at Town Hall in Bend

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 6:47 PM

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Accusations of stalling, supporting corporate interest and yielding to big tobacco ended today's town hall hosted by republicans, Sen. Tim Knopp and State Rep. Gene Whisnant. The hour-long Bend session, started off rather uneventfully as Sen. Knopp illustrated his involvement in attempting to solve the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) crisis. "We need to do something," he said as pointed to three large graphs that illustrated the $22 billion PERS deficit. “I'm trying."


Whisnant and Knopp touched on the Oregon state legislature's 1.8 billion dollar budget deficit with Whisnant stating "Most of that was from one-time mismanagement of your funds." Both Senators came short of saying they were completely against raising taxes to cover the deficit or instilling any new long-term solutions since they deemed the shortfall to be caused by one-off situations — not by a shortage of revenue stream.


Knopp said, "If you're going to raise revenue, you gotta have a sustainable spending plan to make sure you're not going to keep raising taxes, raising taxes, raising taxes. There are also those that want to raise corporate taxes, but we need to address the structural issues that are getting out of control. Solving structural problems."


He also warned "Raises in taxes, will cause people to leave the area."


The state of our roads were a hot button topic, with constituents pressing for movement on the matter after a particularly long and hard winter. Whisnant said "We're ready to negotiate," acknowledging the need for bipartisan support to support Oregon's ailing infrastructure. Knopp agreed, touting the economy as a reason to better our roads.


Both republicans said they had tried working on a transportation package but had faced obstacles. Knopp commented that the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) needed a significant boost to their gas tax in order to pave and maintain roads. He mentioned Bend voting against a gas tax last year. He said "Without adding any new projects, they [ODOT] need a 41 cents a gallon [increase]. For all the projects people want it's $1 a gallon. And what they are trying to get the package to is 11 cents a gallon. So my question to you is: would you vote for any of those for a transportation package?" A murmur of quiet agreement came from the crowd.


Previously, Whisnant had commentated on the inefficiency of the gas-tax model citing the increase of electric and hybrid vehicles. "They pay less for gas taxes because they are more efficient," he said — noting that these newer vehicles still use the same infrastructure but are paying less into the system due to their efficiency. Members of the crowd were visibly confused as he explained his thought process which he acknowledged could get him in trouble if not explained correctly. "They are putting the same weight [on the system]," he said. "So the systems all screwed up now because it's reliant on a gas tax model."


The crowd went back on forth, touching again on PERS, the minimum wage and the bonding package for OSU-Cascades. Things then became heated when Penny, a Bend resident asked what both men would do regarding tobacco in Deschutes county being still the leading cause of death. She asked if both men supported the the proposed Tobacco 21 law — which would raise the minimum age of selling Tobacco to 21.


She commented: "In 2016, 50 percent of 11th graders in Deschutes County report getting tobacco from a friend 18 or over... What's your plan to address these issues, to restrict tobacco use, especially E-cigarettes?”


Knopp refuted the claim stating that it was his belief that kids mostly smoked because their parents smoked. He noted the ease of accessibility to cigarettes if a parent smoked in the house. Penny however countered by stating that his beliefs went against proven data. “In fact,” she said, “in the past five years, Oregon has the highest rate of retailers selling to minors...Deschutes County is spending approximately 50 million per year to counter tobacco related health issues."

When Knopp said that he didn't really have any "particular plans or thoughts" regarding the matter, Penny asked,


"Is this because you take money from big tobacco?"


The conversation quickly sidelined with Knopp, visibly taken aback, stating “Really?” and then “no.”


An unidentified man summed up the agitated crowd and stated that the two men were hesitant towards committing to any real movement on any bill in the legislature. He observed that although there had been a lot of questions on different issues “all the crowd had heard were excuses ranging from “Well, I'm not on that committee' or “That's the Oregon Land Board that needs to make that decision,” to “the courts have sort of boxed us in so we can't do anything about that.”


He then asked, “So before we leave today, I want to give you to give the opportunity to tell us, what is it....that you're doing? Why should we be sending you back each time?” The crowd erupted in loud applause.


Knopp calmly explained that the two could of spent “the whole hour telling you about all the bills we've introduced and supported — that we're trying to get passed but we decided we wanted to hear from you guys.”


Whisnant visibly upset, countered, “Did you know you can go online and see every vote I've ever made? You can go online and look at every bill I've introduced? Have you taken the time and effort to do that?”


The man said he had, but Whisnant continued, “And you ask me that question? Go online and do your homework before you ask a question like that! I could spend the rest of the day sitting here and telling you what I've done, for going on 14 years, but you come here and throw a question like that without knowing the background, and just want to make the TV!”


After taking several more (calmer) questions from the crowd, the town hall adjourned with most of the crowd thanking the two men for their work. It remains to be seen what they will accomplish in the next 100 days in legislature.










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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wyden, Blumenauer announce "Path to Marijuana Reform" legislation

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 12:30 PM

click image The Oregon legislators supporting the cannabis industry—long vilified—say legalization and regulation of marijuana is an issue of state's rights. Still, they say the federal government needs revenue—and this is one way to get it. - JULIE MAC
  • Julie Mac
  • The Oregon legislators supporting the cannabis industry—long vilified—say legalization and regulation of marijuana is an issue of state's rights. Still, they say the federal government needs revenue—and this is one way to get it.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Earl Blumenauer announced three new pieces of legislation this morning, intended to be a "path for responsible federal legalization and regulation of the marijuana industry." The Path to Marijuana Reform legislation includes three bills, including: 

- The Small Business Tax Equity Act, intended to repeal the tax penalties on marijuana businesses that prevent them from claiming tax credits and deductions. According to Wyden's office, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is a cosponsor of Wyden's Senate bill. Meanwhile, Rep. Carlos Curbelo, (R-FL), is sponsoring a companion bill in the U.S. House.

- The Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act, intended to remove criminal penalties and asset forfeiture for businesses and individuals who are complying with state laws. The Act would also pave the way for cannabis businesses to gain access to banking, bankruptcy protection and other benefits. The Act would also include an expungement process for certain marijuana violations, and would allow veterans access to state-legal medical marijuana, and protect Native tribes from federal punishment.

- The Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, meant to de-schedule, tax and regulate marijuana. The Act would impose a federal excise tax on marijuana products, much like what is currently done for alcohol and tobacco. In a conference call today,  Blumenauer explained that the tax would be increased "gradually and thoughtfully," finding a "sweet spot" that would add a revenue stream for the federal government.

"The federal government is looking for revenue," Wyden said, and the bills would be an "opportunity to generate revenue from businesses that are legal."

It's not yet clear how much in federal taxes would be added to state and local taxes imposed on cannabis, which—along with strict and changing regulations—local cannabis activists say unfairly target the cannabis industry. But Wyden noted today that the federal rate would be calibrated based on the sales price, and adjust to price changes.
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