Water Line Break; Ballots Due; Levy Option; ICE Arrests Up

Water Line Break on Kingwood

A water line break yesterday morning caused some minor flooding in the street.  The leak was discovered just north of Ninth Street on Kingwood.  Public Works crews were called out repair the leak and had fixed the problem by early afternoon.  Service was briefly interrupted and the city posted on its Facebook page that some residents may experience brownish water after the system was flushed, but that the water was safe for consumption.

Ballot Deadline Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the deadline for returning your ballots.  If you have not mailed in your ballot the only option at this point is to drop it in an approved location.  Official ballots must be signed by and additionally you must also sign the outside of the envelope in order for your votes to be counted.  Ballots can be taken to the box located at the justice center on 9th street and must be turned in no later than 8 pm tomorrow evening.

Levy Option Renewal

An important measure on the ballot is whether or not to renew the option levy for schools.  With several educational budget cuts initiated by the Oregon legislature the money to maintain school programs is essential.  The bond allows for specific monies to be distributed directly to the schools by passing any bureaucratic paperwork or wrangling.  Andy Grzekowiak Siuslaw School Superintendent.

“There’s no pass through on this, there’s no bureaucracy.  It’s straight in to the schools and so it goes out to kid services.”

Grzekowiak says the option levy will provide about 1 million dollars locally for Siuslaw Schools to help fund programs that in part focus on life skills and job skills that many schools have been forced to cut.

“This measure allows the community to have control and bring back some of those programs that are truly needed for the community.”

He says with budget cuts the schools will still be running way below the necessary amount to fully fund all programs but they will be able to maintain the schedule for the entire school year.

Immigration Arrests Up Despite Sanctuary Status

As U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests become increasingly visible in Oregon, many wonder what it actually means to be a sanctuary state. Earlier this year, Governor Kate Brown signed an executive order forbidding state agencies from helping immigration officials find undocumented immigrants, designating Oregon a sanctuary state. But that hasn’t stopped arrests, which have become more visible in large part because of cell phone videos and social media. John Schlosser, a criminal defense attorney in Portland who has many undocumented clients, says he appreciates Brown’s move, as well as similar designations at the local level. But he isn’t convinced it’s anything more than P-R.

“These are more aspirational issues than actual ability to do things. The fact that we have a sanctuary city doesn’t mean that we get to, like, kick ICE outside the gates of the city wall. That’s not how it works.”

Schlosser says he’s had clients targeted outside the courthouse in Portland. He says the current administration’s immigration policy has been far less predictable than that of former President Barack Obama, which targeted people who had committed a felony or misdemeanor. President Donald Trump has vowed to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities and states.