Trump’s New Plan for Opioid Epidemic

President Donald Trump unveiled his plan for fighting the nation’s opioid epidemic today. Parts of the plan have already received plenty of criticism, specifically a proposal for the death penalty to be applied to drug traffickers.

First Lady Melania Trump introduced the President in New Hampshire, a state then candidate Trump described as a “drug infested den,” but it was here that Trump announced his new plan.

The president’s initiative is getting the most attention for its crackdown on drug traffickers.
“If we don’t get tough on the drug dealers we are wasting our time,” said Trump, “and that toughness includes the death penalty.”

Trump also repeated his demand for a wall on the US/Mexican border, saying it will stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.

The White House is also taking aim at the health care industry and looking to stop the over-prescription of powerful and addictive painkillers. The White House’s goal is to reduce opioid prescriptions by a third within three years.

Trump invited Jim and Jeanne Moser to share the story of their sun, who died after battling an addiction that started with a prescription painkiller.

“He got hooked on it and had to go to the street eventually and found fentanyl,” said Jeanne Moser.
Trump’s plan also called for expanding the access to treatment for those already struggling with addiction.

The latest figured from 2016 show that opioids killed more than 42,000 people in the U.S.

To help counter this Trump is also declaring the need for a nationwide public relations effort to convince Americans, particularly children, to not start using drugs.

The White House announced a new website,, that warns of the dangers of opioids, including fentanyl. Trump also called for broadcasting “great commercials” during “the right shows” that demonstrate to children “how bad” drugs are.

Supper Club: Reflecting on the Recent Legislative Session

Several bills were passed during the fast and furious, short legislative session that was just completed in Salem, Oregon.

For this week’s Supper Club, Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel sat down with State Senator Tim Knopp and Representative Gene Whisnant to talk about the bills they were able to push through and some that will continue to be debated in 2019.

Thanks to Senator Knopp and Representative Whisnant for joining us.

A special thanks to our Supper Club sponsor, SELCO Community Credit Union, for giving us the time and resources to talk about the issues that impact our region every Tuesday night on Central Oregon Daily.

New Gun Sale Policies Challenged by Oregon Man

Oregon Man Becomes First In Country to File Lawsuit Against Large Retailers Over Raising of Minimum Age

A 20-year-old Oregon man filed age discrimination lawsuits against Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods on Monday, claiming that the retailers refused to sell him rifles because he was under 21.

Tyler Watson, of Gold Hill, Oregon claims in both lawsuits that the stores discriminated against his age by refusing the sales.

In the complaint filed against Walmart in Josephine County, Watson claims Walmart “has committed illegal age discrimination” according to Oregon state law. In a similar complaint filed against Dick’s in Jackson County, Watson claims he was refused the sale of a .22 rifle.

On Feb. 28, both retailers issued a press release stating that they would no longer sell firearms to people under 21. Those announcements came two weeks after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida where 17 students and faculty were gunned down by a former student who legally purchased the rifle used in the shooting.

Both lawsuits are seeking punitive damages, as well as attorney fees.

OSU-Cascades Gets Green Light for Expansion

State Legislature Approves Funding for OSU-Cascades on Final Day of Short Session

in the closing minutes of the 2018 short legislative session on Saturday, the Oregon House and Senate approved a budget which included $39 million in bonds for OSU-Cascades.
The bonds will be instrumental in moving forward with a second academic building on the Bend campus.
Retiring Representative Gene Whisnant from Sunriver officially presented the measure in the House as his last act in the legislature.
Governor Kate Brown says she will sign it into law.

Here is a statement released by OSU-Cascades officials on Sunday afternoon:

“Oregon State University’s campus in Bend is a step closer to meeting the needs of its growing student enrollment following the Oregon Legislature on Saturday approving $39 million in state-backed bonds for OSU-Cascades’ second academic building.

The facility will serve STEAM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

“We are very grateful for the support of Governor Brown, Speaker Kotek, Senator Knopp, Representative Rayfield and many legislators for the continued expansion of higher education programming in Central Oregon,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “We are also grateful to the many generous donors whose gifts of over $9 million helped match this state funding.”

“Funding for this academic building will allow us to serve our mission in Oregon, and especially in Central Oregon, where there are no other four-year university options closer than three hours,” said Ray.

The legislature approved $9.5 million in state bonding in the 2017 session in part to support site preparation of undeveloped campus property where the new academic building will be constructed.

At the time, OSU officials pledged to seek additional state funding for the building in the 2018 legislative session. Over the past months, Central Oregon community, business and economic leaders, advocates with the Beaver Caucus, and undergraduate students traveled to Salem to support funding for increasing campus capacity in what is the fastest growing region in Oregon.

“We anticipate construction to begin in summer 2019, following remediation of portions of the pumice mine and landfill that adjoin our campus,” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson. “This new academic building will house classrooms and laboratories and be ready for students in fall 2021.””

Deschutes Bridge Bill Dies in Salem

Bill That Would Have Banned Any New Footbridge Across Deschutes River Will Not Be Considered

As the legislative session winds down in Salem on Saturday, it appears a bill that could have banned any new footbridges across the Deschutes River in the Bend area will not make it to a vote before the House and Senate.

On Friday, State Senate President Peter Courtney told Central Oregon Daily would not make it out of committee during this session.
For decades, the Bend Park and Recreation District has wanted to connect the Deschutes River Trail all the way from Tumalo to Sunriver, and a footbridge just south of Bend city limits could have been the final piece of that puzzle, but the proposal had fierce opponents and supporters on both sides of the issue.
The proposed bridge was part of a bond measure approved by Bend voters in 2012, and has been discussed since 2004, but the construction of the foot and bike bridge has been halted since it requires an exemption from the state.

A law passed in 1996 established that segment of the Deschutes River south of Bend as a scenic waterway and bans construction, like the bridge, in that area.
Last month, community leaders from Deachutes County traveled to Salem to testify before a committee about House BIll 4029 (which eventually became 4029A). Bend Park and Rec and Bend City Council reps opposed the bill, while groups like Coalition for the Deschutes and Oregon Wild were in favor of the bill.
With Friday’s developments in Salem, it looks like the battle over a proposed footbridge across the Deschutes River will not have a resolution anytime soon.

Bend Police Dept. is Hiring

New Recruitment Video Released

The City of Bend Police Department is currently hiring, and, like every other organization and business in Central Oregon, recruiters face a lot of challenges in the hiring process because of the disparity between the cost of living and wages.

Recruiters have to sell the Bend lifestyle and the philosophy of the department to give them an edge.
With that in mind, Bend Police released a recruitment video called “Balance of Bend.”
Special shout-out to Michelle Haynes Alvarado and the folks at Wahoo Films who produced the film.

Carpenter’s Run for Governor

Bend businessman Sam Carpenter is one of seven Republicans trying to become the first Republican to win an Oregon governor’s race in 30 years. Carpenter is one of two republicans from the east side of the Cascades, who is taking on the incumbent democrat, current governor Kate Brown

Right now Governor Kate Brown and Knute Buehler are the clear front-runners in the governor’s race if you are measuring strictly by the millions of dollars both candidates have raised so far for this race. However, Carpenter points to a poll taken in December that shows he would fare slightly better than Buehler in a head-to-head race with Brown.

Carpenter says he has laid the groundwork by meeting people all over the state and will now turn to the challenging task of catching up in the fundraising efforts, but added that money is not always the deciding factor. President Donald Trump spent the least amount of money of any of his primary and general election challenges and still went on to win the White House.

Supper Club: From Farm to Table

There is a growing movement to make it easier to get locally-grown food from Central Oregon farms to your table. For this week’s Supper Club, Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel sat down with a local farmer, an executive chef, and a woman whose organization works to make locally-grown food more accessible.

Thanks to Elizabeth Weigand, owner at Agricultural Connections, Megan, co-owner at Boundless Farmstead, and Brian Kerr, executive chef at Deschutes Brewery and Public House for joining us.

A special thanks to our Supper Club sponsors, Selco Community Credit Union, for giving us the time and resources to talk about the issues that impact our region every Tuesday night on Central Oregon Daily.

Supper Club: The State of Our Schools

Recent nationwide studies have ranked Oregon near the bottom of the country when it comes to education spending and test scores so for this week’s Supper Club, Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel sat down with a Bend-La Pine school board member, the president of Central Oregon Community College and the vice president of OSU-Cascades for a closer look at the state of our schools.

Thanks to Rebecca Johnson, Shirley Metcalf and Cheri Helt for joining us. A special thanks to our Supper Club sponsors, Selco Community Credit Union, for giving us the time and resources to talk about the issues that impact our region every Tuesday night on Central Oregon Daily.