Friday, November 13, 2020
fall leaves on a branch hanging down
News & Notes
Governor issues a statewide freeze to curb Covid-19 spread
   Oregon Governor Kate Brown today outlined new restrictions on activities and gatherings.
   Earlier this week Washington and Clackamas counties were put on a pause, along with Multnomah County.
   The state is seeing a record number of COVID-19 cases, and health care officials have started to limit elective procedures to make room for COVID-19 and emergency room patients in their hospitals.
   OHSU Dr. Esther Choo became emotional during the press conference as she talked about the need for Oregonians to stay at home, so medical providers can stay safe, save lives, and preserve PPE (personal protective equipment).
   Choo said, "Many of you cheered and rang bells and put up signs calling us heroes, and we're so grateful for that. Right now we're asking you to be our heroes and listen to our call for help again."
   This new statewide freeze will go into affect on Wednesday (Nov. 18) and will last through December 2.
   Health officials warned some counties will stay on the freeze longer - Multnomah County is on a four week freeze.
   Here is a list of restrictions for the freeze:
  • Limiting social gatherings (indoors and outdoors) to no more than six people, total, from no more than two households;
  • Limiting faith based organizations to a maximum of 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors;
  • Limiting restaurants and bars to take-out only;
  • Closing gyms and fitness organizations;
  • Closing indoor recreational facilities, museums, indoor entertainment activities, indoor pools, and sports courts;
  • Closing outdoor recreational facilities, zoos, gardens, aquariums, outdoor entertainment activities, and outdoor pools;
  • Limiting grocery stores and pharmacies to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pick-up;
  • Limiting retail stores and retail malls (indoor and outdoor) to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pick-up;
  • Closing venues (that host or facilitate indoor or outdoor events);
  • Requiring all businesses to mandate work-from-home to the greatest extent possible and closing offices to the public;
  • Prohibiting indoor visiting in long-term care facilities.

   The Governor also issued a travel advisory, along with the other two west coast governors from California and Washington.
   For more information, please turn to the Governor's website.
Elections will bring changing faces in Westside places
Star with a check mark_ saying _The vote is in__
   Last week's elections will bring one obvious change - more women will be holding elected office.
   The election also brought the defeat of Metro's Get Moving 2020 transportation measure.
  Two charter amendments passed for Washington County - one establishes a salary commission to look at county commissioners salaries, and the other would allow the Board of Commissioners to consider land use ordinances regardless of the time of year.
   The City of North Plains will have a $.03 gas tax added at their pumps, and the City of Sherwood will be allowing recreational marijuana facilities.
   Also passing were the statewide measures, amending the constitution to limit political contributions; a vaping tax; the medical administering of Psilocybin (a form of mushrooms); and the decriminalizing of small possessions of drugs and providing addiction services.
   Election results have not yet been certified, but to see a list of candidates who won, please turn to the Secretary of State's links for Washington County and Clackamas County.
SW Corridor project to take a pause
   With the defeat of Metro's Get Moving 2020 ballot measure, TriMet will put a pause on the SW Corridor project.
   In a statement, TriMet said, "Over the next few months, we will work to conclude the Final Environmental Impact Statement and temporarily shut down the project while we explore a path forward. We will have advanced the project to a point where it could be efficiently restarted at a future date, when resources become available."
   The SW Corridor has been in the planning phases for more than 10 years.
   It includes an anticipated light rail line that would run from the south waterfront area in Portland through Tigard to Bridgeport at the north end of Tualatin, and it would offer a transportation alternative to ease congestion on I-5 and 99W.
   To learn more, turn to the SW Corridor's website.
Transportation Committee gets update on Highway 217
   WEA's Transportation Committee heard from ODOT's Matt Freitag this week, who shared the planning for improvements to Highway 217.
   Frietag spoke about the creation of a frontage road between Allen Boulevard and Denny Road on the southbound side of the highway, similar to the road that runs alongside the northbound section between Beaverton Hillsdale Highway and Canyon Road.
   An Auxiliary lane will be created on the southbound side running from Beaverton Hillsdale Highway to 99W in Tigard.
   It will also add an auxiliary lane on the northbound side from 99W to Scholls Ferry.
   The upcoming improvements will also widen the Hall Boulevard overpass in Beaverton to make more room for bicycle and pedestrian traffic, and the Hall Boulevard overpass in Tigard near Pfaffle Street will be completely replaced.
   ODOT will be hosting an online open house starting next week, and WEA will share the link in its next newsletter, but for now, turn to ODOT's website for more information.
The who, what, & how of attending a WEA committee meeting
   With the transition to virtual events over the last eight months, WEA wants to share how members can attend committee meetings.

   1) All WEA members are welcome to attend the committee meetings for Transportation, Land Use & Housing, and Government Relations.
   2) Anyone can attend the organization's virtual forums.
   3) In an effort to keep these meetings and events secure, WEA emails a registration link only to those on specific committee lists. Any WEA member can be on these lists.
   4) The registrations go through another human filter to be approved.
   5) Once approved, an email is sent out with the Zoom log in details.
   6) There is also a waiting room for these committee meetings as another level of security.

   WEA has taken these precautions after learning how some organizations have had their meetings hacked.
   Committee meetings are not recorded, but virtual forums are and shared on the organization's YouTube channel.
   If you have any questions, please contact Teresa Dunham or KC Reinhart.
Odds & Ends
  • University of Oregon Economist Tim Duy released his September economic indicators last week. Click here to see his report.

  • Metro is looking for volunteers for its parks and nature bond oversight committee. The application period to be on the committee has been extended to Monday, November 23. To learn more, click here.

  • And one last thought, today is World Kindness Day. Below is a kindness challenge Tigard High School is giving its staff and students. It looks like a great idea, especially during these difficult times.
Events coming up
Wed. 11/18 at 12:00 p.m. The Land Use & Housing Committee will meet virtually. Contact KC Reinhart for more information.

Th. 11/19 at 8:00 a.m. WEA will host a virtual forum with economist Josh Lehner about the state's latest quarterly economic and revenue forecast, which will be released the day before. To register

Th. 11/26 Happy Thanksgiving!

Wed. 12/9 at 7:30 a.m. The Transportation Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome. Contact Teresa Dunham for more information.

Th. 12/10 The Government Relations Committee (GRC) will meet virtually at 7:30 a.m. to talk about the upcoming legislative session. All members are welcome. Contact Pam Treece for more information.

To see more of the WEA calendar, please visit the WEA website.