Friday, Jan. 14, 2022
News & Notes
Oregon has two new female senators thanks in part to Washington County
   The Washington County Board of Commissioners has been part of appointing two state senators today.
   Rachel Armitage from Warren was appointed to become the Senator of District 16.
   District 16, known as the district of former Senator Betsy Johnson, covers parts of Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill counties.
   Armitage is a former legislative assistant, who currently works at Reed College, while pursuing her master's degree.
   To finish the day, Washington County's Board of Commissioners appointed Janeen Sollman as Senator of District 15 (formerly Chuck Riley's district).
   The Board made the appointment after hearing testimony from several people, asking questions, and hearing from all three candidates, which included Sollman, Hillsboro City Councilor Anthony Martin, and Lamar Wise.
   Sollman has been a state representative since 2017 and previously served on the Hillsboro School Board.
WEA Board welcomes two new directors
   Providence St. Vincent's Jennifer Burrows and Beaverton City Councilor Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg have joined the WEA Board of Directors.
   Burrows is the chief executive for Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Oregon West division.
   She leads a staff of approximately 3,500 employees, who provide hospital and health care services in Oregon and Washington.
   Burrows has worked her way through the ranks at St. Vincent over the course of seven years, starting as the chief nursing officer.
   Councilor Hartmeier-Prigg was elected to the Beaverton City Council last year.
   Her election was part of the city’s new voter-approved charter, which included expanding the Beaverton City Council to seven members.
   She previously served as the chair of Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District's Board of Directors.
   Councilor Hartmeier-Prigg is a former attorney now working in the software industry.
   To learn more about the WEA Board of Directors, visit the WEA website.
Some "State of the City" addresses are on the virtual calendar
   The cities of Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, and Hillsboro have set the dates for "State of the City" addresses.
   Many cities have been waiting to see how things shape up with the latest wave of COVID-19, while others are going ahead with setting a virtual stage.
   The City of Hillsboro will broadcast its "State of the City" live on Facebook later this month on Thursday, January 27 at 6pm.
   Like good Westside friends, Forest Grove and Cornelius will join forces again and are planning to keep their same calendar pattern (the Monday after Presidents Day) by providing their addresses virtually on Monday, February 28.
   Beaverton will host their event about a month later on March 29 at 12pm.
OHSU forecasts Omicron to peak by the end of the month, Oregonians' behavior helps
   The latest forecast from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) shows Oregon will hit its peak with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 around January 28, with a predicted 1,650 people expected to be hospitalized with the virus.
   OHSU reports Oregonians' behavior of avoiding indoor gatherings, masking up, and refraining from trips to normally busy establishments is helping to curb what could've been a much higher volume of COVID-19 patients.
   Lead data scientist Peter Graven, Ph.D. at OHSU said, “If Oregonians can stick with these measures for another few weeks, it will help hospitals ensure we have the capacity to deliver timely medical care to all Oregonians who need it.”
   People are encouraged to keep up the good measures.
   If behaviors had not changed, OHSU predicts the number of those needing a hospital bed would have increased by almost another 500 people.
   To see the latest forecast, visit OHSU's website.
Could hemp play a key role with COVID-19?
   Oregon State University researchers have found compounds in the hemp plant could prevent COVID-19 infections.
   The scientist found a pair of cannabinoid acids are able to bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and block it from possibly infecting people.
   “These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and in many hemp extracts,” lead researcher Richard van Breemen said. “They are not controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and have a good safety profile in humans. And our research showed the hemp compounds were equally effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2, including variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351, first detected in South Africa.”
   To hear more, turn to KGW's Maggie Vespa's interview with van Breemen.
Odds & Ends
  • The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts is expected to open in March. To read more about the upcoming opening, check out this article in Pamplin Media.

  • The City of Wilsonville will be hosting a meeting regarding the planning of Frog Pond East and South. It's on Tuesday, January 18 at 6pm.To learn more, visit the Wilsonville website.

  • Washington County is hosting an online open house for the Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP). The County is looking at the next funding cycle for the program, which is for 2023-2028. To read more, visit the open house.

  • With the holiday weekend, there are some activities in the Portland region happening in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For a list of ideas, please visit the Hands on Greater Portland website.
Events coming up
Mon. 1/17 - WEA laptops will be closed in honor of MLK Day.

Wed. 1/19 at 7:30 a.m. - A members event - the annual WEA Virtual Legislative Reception. All members are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Teresa Dunham.

Wed. 1/19 at 12:00 p.m. - The Land Use & Housing Committee will meet virtually with the Transportation Committee. The joint meeting will be with the DLCD (Department of Land Conservation and Development) about the Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking. All members are welcome to attend. For more information, contact KC Reinhart.

Wed. 1/26 at 7:30 a.m. - The WEA Board of Directors will meet virtually.

Th. 1/27 at 6:00 p.m. - Mayor Steve Callaway and the Hillsboro City Council will be hosting the "State of the City" address on Facebook live.

Wed. 2/9 at 7:30 a.m. - The Transportation Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Gail Greenman.

Th. 2/10 at 7:30 a.m. - The Government Relations Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Gail Greenman.