This week and the start of 2022 has me appreciating the little things that we often take for granted: a warm home, transportation that functions like it's supposed to and the health of myself, my family and the staff at the Source Weekly. The year has come in with a fresh round of snowstorms, airline delays and plenty of COVID headaches (figurative, in my case) to boot—and as it all swirls around us, seeing the most basic of needs met is something for which to be grateful.
This week's issue includes Jack Harvel's feature story on the illegal marijuana grows popping up around Oregon, and what it all means. Jared Rasic kicks off 2022 with a look forward at the movies he's most excited to see, and Jim Anderson is back in the Natural World with more words of wisdom from his years tending and learning about the creatures around us. If you're able to curl up by a cozy fire while you read all of that and more, I hope you'll take a moment to truly savor the simplicity of these things falling into place. As we round the corner on two years of this pandemic, may these little things sustain us....
America is looking straight into the eyes of a tornado-style political year in 2022, and an even bigger one in 2024. How did democracies in the past handle situations where deeply divisive personalities on the political scene were disruptive to peace and good order?
Ancient democracies like Athens and Rome practiced preventative medicine. Their legal systems required that populist demagogues interested in personal rule be sidelined from political activity. Those excitable personalities were actually required to leave their native soil for a number of years until they could remember how to act like good citizens. A famous case of ostracism/exile was Marcius Coriolanus in Rome.
The practice was so important to ancient democracies that even the best leaders who stumbled badly just once were affected. For example, Moses in ancient democratic Israel was excused from the Promised Land when he alienated God and civil society near the end of the Exodus journey in the wilderness.
Modern America did a similar thing in the early West. Sheriffs "warned out" disruptive criminals, advising them to leave town and territory or face more severe consequences.
Even monarchies like that of Queen Elizabeth I understood the need for wild political figures to be reined-in, or, actually, reined-out. When Sir Walter Raleigh got too rambunctious on British soil, the Queen essentially exiled him to explore the New World.
Measure 109, the Psilocybin Services Act, was adopted by voters in Nov of 2020. It will begin implementation in January 2023, following a two-year development period which is well underway. Please note: it is not limited to medicinal use (the article states "legalized medicinal psilocybin"). Psilocybin does show efficacy in relieving a wide variety of mental health conditions, however, no diagnosis of a medical or mental health condition is required in order to receive psilocybin services.
For those interested in the PSA, a public educational event will be held at the Deschutes County Library, Downtown, on Jan. 19, 6 to 7:00 pm: deschuteslibrary.org/calendar/event/64540
—Kathryn L. Tucker, JD (on the campaign staff to enact Measure 109)
I'm writing to encourage your readers to consider Patrick Starnes for the next governor of Oregon. In 2018 Starnes ran for governor on a platform emphasizing campaign finance reform, which is essential to getting anything done in Congress. His lobbying efforts resulted in the Oregon legislature putting Measure 107 on the ballot, an amendment to the Constitution authorizing the establishment of campaign finance limits (it passed with 78% voter approval), and though Speaker Kotek failed to get those limits codified, the Constitutional authority to do so is now in place. If Starnes is elected, he will ensure that the job gets finished. He practices what he preaches, refusing to accept campaign donations from PACs and corporations. A cabinetmaker by trade, Patrick has a decades-long history of being elected to government agencies; as a school board member he worked to improve the quality of education for our kids, and as Director of a Soil and Conservation District he worked with diverse elements to craft environmental policies that result in economic and environmental benefits. He has a demonstrated ability to work across party lines and find solutions. His platform, emphasizing campaign finance reform, universal health care, homelessness, wildfire response and recovery, and solutions to climate change, is available on his website, and there are several in-depth interviews in the "In the News" section. Patrick is committed to Oregon, and familiar with issues that affect both urban and rural Oregonians. Please visit his website to learn more.
There is no "fair or equitable" way to criminalize people experiencing houselessness. He mentioned enforcement around things that don't focus on their housing status, but doesn't seem to realize that people experiencing houselessness are disproportionately affected by basically every law.
What policies are they fighting for? He also mentioned Twitter so I looked at their feed and their website where I can't find a policy anywhere. The single action they have is to contact City Council to tell them to move people, but move them where? Shelter doesn't work for everyone and nobody should be forced into one just so people don't have to see them anymore.
They don't talk to law enforcement or service providers, but they claim to fight for fair and equitable policy. Do they meet often? What do they talk about? What are their goals? What does success look like for them? They also claim to care about the safety of housed and unhoused people, but everything they put into the world is negative toward people experiencing houselessness. Their name is misleading.
—Mandee Seeley via bendsource.com
Enjoyed the year in review. It is highly disturbing that Cliff Bentz fails to vote in his constituents' best interests. It's even more distressing to note that he believes the election was stolen. Not sure how a person so disconnected from reality gets elected, and I'm pretty sure he will have the job as long as he wants it. Meanwhile, I do hope the Source's views of Betsy Johnson are more accurate than mine. If you like Joe Manchin, by all means vote for Johnson.
—Logan Currie via bendsource.com
Letter of the Week:
Our jury is still out on who we'll endorse for governor, Logan, but we'll keep you posted to help us all make sound choices during election season! Thanks for your comment and come on by for your gift card to Palate.