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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 78,308

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Judge Sides With Gov. Kate Brown's Administration on Public Records Lawsuit

The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that the Portland law firm Davis Wright Tremaine cannot get a look until after the Nov. 6 election at the draft 2019 legislation it sought.

In a lawsuit filed in September in Marion County Circuit Court, Greg Chaimov, a DWT lawyer, explained he and his firm had routinely requested drafts of legislation state agencies submitted pre-session in order to keep clients posted on what laws might be changing. (Disclosure: DWT represents WW in certain matters; however, WW is not involved in this case.)

This year, however, the state took a different position than it had in the past, rejecting the firm's request for such information. The state said in court filings that that the draft legislation was covered by attorney-client privilege, and therefore exempt from the Oregon public records law.

Chaimov, who formerly served as the legislative counsel, the Legislature's attorney, disagreed with that assertion.

Read more: https://www.wweek.com/news/state/2018/10/28/judge-sides-with-gov-kate-browns-administration-on-public-records-lawsuit/

The Agency That Monitors Portland Parolees Is Riven by Allegations of Racism

The Multnomah County Department of Community Justice plays an often overlooked but crucial role in Portland's criminal justice system.

The agency employs more than 500 workers, with an annual budget of $106 million, to supervise people who have been released from jail or prison. It also runs the county's juvenile detention center.

The department touts itself as a national leader in progressive approaches to parole and probation.

But WW has learned that employees who work with the Change Center, a division of DCJ that runs programs for high-risk offenders, describe their office as a racist and dysfunctional shop.

Read more: https://www.wweek.com/news/courts/2018/10/24/the-agency-that-monitors-portland-parolees-is-riven-by-allegations-of-racism/

Michael Bloomberg Gives Biggest Individual Contribution in Oregon Political History

Nike co-founder Phil Knight's gotten a lot of ink for his extraordinary support of state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend) in the current governor's race. Knight has given Buehler $2.5 million directly and also given at least $1 million to the Republican Governors' Association, which has given $2.46 million to Buehler.

But late Friday, the Vote No on 103 campaign, which opposes a ban on grocery taxes, disclosed a $1.5 million check from Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor and founder of the media company that bears his name.

Bloomberg , a major funder of public health initiatives around the country, is the leading supporter of taxes on sweetened sodas and other sugary drinks. Such taxes have passed in Seattle, San Francisco and Oakland—but a proposed tax in Multnomah County has stalled, despite years of effort and lots of Bloomberg's money.

It appears that Measure 103, backed by the grocery industry, would prohibit the imposition of a soda tax at the local or state level, a likely reason for Bloomberg to oppose it.

Read more: https://www.wweek.com/news/2018/10/28/michael-bloomberg-gives-biggest-individual-contribution-in-oregon-political-history/

$800 million wine, beer, sin tax to slam small business

The Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Health Authority are seeking to raise $830 million in new sin taxes next year by paying higher taxes for their cigarettes, beer, and wine. The tax would be be massive hit to consumers pocketbook and would seriously hurt local grocers — hurting smaller family owned grocers worse than bigger grocery chains. Oregon’s famous wine industry would also be hit. Even worse, the colossal sin tax may not work as detailed in our 2018 report, Sin taxes hurt everyone but the user.

The OHA’s draft 2019-21 budget, a 2,050-page document reported by Willamette Week, shows that the state may increase sin taxes to cover the state’s rising Medicaid costs.

The budget document suggests raising the tax on cigarettes by 150 percent, from $1.33 to $3.33 per pack, which would put Oregon’s cigarette tax on a par with Washington’s and bring in an additional $300 million annually.

The draft budget notes that Oregon’s beer and wine taxes haven’t even kept up with inflation. The state hasn’t increased taxes on beer in four decades and wine in 32 years.

Read more: http://oregonbusinessreport.com/2018/10/830-million-wine-beer-sin-tax-slams-small-business/

Suspended Judge Vance Day: Counters idea he's 'a homophobic, angry...religious nut'

More than three years ago, Vance Day remembers watching a national TV news program from his rural South Salem home and seeing his name slide across the ticker at the bottom of the screen.

He called out to his wife: “Ohhh, I think we’ve got trouble here.”

The nation had just come to know Day as the Oregon judge who refused to marry same-sex couples.

And so began Day’s whirlwind. He soon found himself in the center of the debate over gay rights vs. religious freedom. The Oregon Supreme Court suspended him without pay for three years, an extraordinary rebuke for a state jurist. He faced criminal charges for allegedly allowing a known felon he befriended to handle guns.

Read more: https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/10/post_300.html

Natalie Portman speaks at Austin rally for MJ Hegar

Actress Natalie Portman spoke at a rally for U.S. House candidate Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar (D) on Thursday morning in North Austin before going block-walking with her.

“She is someone who has served our country so valiantly already, and is now stepping up to lead us in a government way” Portman said of Hegar. “I think she really cares about making it better for her community, for her state and for our country as a whole, and we’re lucky to have people like her stepping forward.”

Portman also spoke about why she came from California to support Hegar.

“What happens here is going to affect my children in California; we are all interconnected. The policies that are going to be decided from our House of Representatives are going to affect the entire country, so I feel that I have a stake here,” Portman said. “We are all interconnected. We are all neighbors.”

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20181025/natalie-portman-speaks-at-austin-rally-for-mj-hegar

Round Rock school district faces $6 million lawsuit over locked-out girl

The family of a girl locked out of a Round Rock elementary school during recess when she was 4 has filed a class action federal lawsuit against the Round Rock school district seeking $6 million in damages.

Her name and her parents’ names were not provided in a news conference the family’s lawyer, Terry Gorman of Austin, had Friday on a path leading to Old Town Elementary School, where the incident happened Sept. 11, 2017.

In a statement, the district said it was aware of the claim but had not received the suit.

“The safety and welfare of our students is our absolute utmost priority and these are the types of situations we do everything in our power to prevent,” the statement said. “In this particular situation a student was accidentally left outside for a period of approximately three minutes by a substitute teacher as the class was returning from recess. The district took appropriate disciplinary action against the substitute, and that substitute has not and will not be working for the district again.”


The girl’s family is seeking $1 million in damages to pay for the child’s mental and emotional issues and $5 million in punitive damages, Gorman said.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20181026/round-rock-school-district-faces-6-million-lawsuit-over-locked-out-girl

Apparent blackface at Alamo City Comic Con causes stir online

SAN ANTONIO -- The host of a costume contest at Alamo City Comic Con sparked online outrage after he appeared Saturday in an outfit that looked to be a character in blackface.

Emcee Travis Lara was dressed as the fictional pop star character Powerline from the 1995 Disney animated film, "A Goofy Movie."

While an anthropomorphic character, Powerline is shown in the cartoon as dark-skinned compared to other characters. Tevin Campbell, who is African American, provides the singing voice for Powerline, who had no other lines in the movie.

A Facebook post late Saturday showed a photo of Travis Lara in the costume with the caption: "And for the next year in a row Alamo City Comicon goes down in flames ... seriously this was the host of this year's cosplay contest.

Read more: https://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/article/Apparent-blackface-at-Alamo-City-Comic-Con-causes-13343318.php#item-85307-tbla-5

After ICE detained this migrant in Texas, her C-section scar ripped open and she was denied surgery

By Hannah Wiley, Texas Tribune

After ICE detained this migrant in Texas, her C-section scar ripped open and she was denied surgery for 4 months

In the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers where she was held, Luz became known as la llorona — the one who cries.

Luz, who asked to be identified only by her first name to protect her from an abusive husband in Honduras if she’s deported, said she was in emotional and physical pain for the five months she was in federal detention. First, she was separated from her 15-year-old son under the U.S. government’s short-lived “zero-tolerance” policy after fleeing what she described as 17 years of physical and emotional abuse — including death threats — from her husband and illegally crossing the Rio Grande on May 16.

They were quickly apprehended by Border Patrol agents near McAllen and requested asylum; Luz was sent to the Port Isabel Detention Center while her son was shipped to a San Antonio migrant youth shelter. Luz said she left her six other children in the care of her mother and other relatives in Honduras; her lawyer said she hoped to gain asylum and bring them to the United States to join her.

Then, within a week of arriving at Port Isabel, Luz said her umbilical hernia and Cesarean section scar — the aftermath of delivering her seventh child in March 2017 — ripped open.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/10/26/migrant-mother-denied-surgery-scar-ice-detention/

Texas principal on leave after Facebook comment saying immigrants make U.S. 'a dirty country'

A Lufkin principal was placed on administrative leave after he was thought to have made a comment on Facebook describing the U.S. as "looking like Mexico and South America" with citizens "doomed to have a dirty country."

William Dugat had been Lufkin Middle School's eighth-grade principal, according to the school's website.

"We do not support or condone his actions or comments," Lufkin ISD spokeswoman Sheila Adams told the Lufkin Daily News.

On Thursday, a women posted a photograph of herself with Beto O'Rourke, who was making a campaign stop in the East Texas town.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas/2018/10/28/texas-principal-leave-after-facebook-comment-saying-immigrants-make-us-dirty-country
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