Biden discusses abortion access options with Dem governors

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has held a virtual meeting with Democratic governors as he considers next steps on abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week.

During their session on Friday, the governors suggested expanding access to abortion using federal facilities such as Veterans Affairs hospitals, or working with Native American tribes who have a level of sovereignty over their own land.

Biden says his administration is “looking at all the alternatives.”

He described the court decision as “tragic” and warned that women could be arrested while crossing state lines to get an abortion.

Sen. Wyden vows to fight for access to abortion during Bend visit

A week after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling overturning Roe vs. Wade, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden dropped by Bend’s Planned Parenthood to talk with staff and rally supporters.

“Let’s be clear about why we’re here and that is there is a clear and present danger to women. And we are going to stay at it until women all over America can take back control of their own bodies,” the senator said to the cheers of the crowd.

The court’s ruling returns the decision on abortion to the states, the procedure will remain legal in Oregon.

The senior senator, a Democrat, laid out the next steps that he hopes Congress will work toward.

RELATED: ‘Rise Up For Our Rights’ march in Bend on heels of Supreme Court ruling

RELATED: Biden discusses abortion access options with Dem governors

Steps like ensuring the FDA does not restrict the drugs used in medication abortions and protecting people’s data when searching for information on abortion services or using period tracker apps.

He took questions from the press and some from the audience.

Amy Sabbadini of Bend asked the senator, “How can women who are having a very difficult pregnancy, whose lives are in danger, get protection immediately in the interim?”

Wyden answered in part to ensure organizations like Planned Parenthood are adequately funded.

“And then we want to protect the helpers, because what I’m worried about is that all kinds of judgements, this is a crime for helping,” said Wyden.

Alison Lynch-Miller, a retired OBGYN who shares in Wyden’s worry, asked the senator what she as a provider should do to ensure her legal and physical safety.

“There isn’t an answer right now, and you deserve an answer because you’re stepping up and want to help,’ Wyden going on to add, “Message sent, you want to help, it’s my job to get you the legal protection you need to help.”

When asked after the event about the impact of the court’s decision Lynch-Miller said, “I’m very disappointed, to be perfectly honest, with the government not having a plan about this. They knew it was coming and there’s no action plan by the democratically elected Democratic government. And like are they just hanging our little (expletive) out to dry? Do they not care about the women who are young and getting pregnant, about the providers?” 

The uncertainty around the court ending federal protection of abortion has raised questions for providers and sent those seeking services scrambling.

“It’s not uncommon for us to have patients that are driving 4 to 5 hours get to their appointment,” said Joanna Dennis-Cook the health center manager at Bend’s Planned Parenthood. 

The Guttmacher Instittute, a sexual and reproductive health rights organization, says there could be 234% increase in patients to the the Bend location, many coming from beyond Oregon’s borders.

“We’ve seen patients as far away as Texas because the clinics close to them are way too far out,” added Dennis-Cook.

Several dozen people filed in to the conference room to hear the senator on Saturday afternoon and stenciled above a door was the phrase ‘never give up’, a mantra held by those on both sides of abortion issue.

“We’re going to fix this, we’re going to write this into black letter law,” Wyden told the crowd.

▶️ ‘Rise Up For Our Rights’ march in Bend on heels of Supreme Court ruling

Hundreds of people were taking part Friday in the “Rise Up For Our Rights” march in downtown Bend. Protesters were marching for reproductive rights, transgender rights and gay marriage.

“We are out here today to protest in favor of abortion right and in favor of health care access,” said event organizer Jace Bracelin.

The march started at 4 p.m. at Harmon Park and headed toward the Deschutes County Courthouse.

“This is like a protest for human rights specifically with Roe vs Wade being overturned and personally I just believe in fundamental human rights and I feel like I should have, like reproductive freedom,” said protest attendee Kylie Myers.

The group listened to several different speakers including Bend-La Pine School Board Member Janet Sarai Llerandi Gonzalez.

“So I am not here to bring you a message on unity and solidarity,” Gonzalez said. “I am telling you to go to the streets and Fu** Sh** Up!”

Abortion rights were not the only thing the protestors were in support of.

“That precedent not being there anymore sets up a lot of other cases to be repealed or altered, which could significantly impact people ability to people having gay sex, getting gay marriages, getting contraception’s and of course what we are hear today for, getting abortions,” Bracelin said.

The march comes one week after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, leaving it to states to decide their abortion laws.

“I hope that we raise attention to our government so they actually act to provide fundamental rights that they took away,” said Myers.

Some 26 states are expected to have some level of abortion restrictions. Oregon is not one of them.

RELATED: Same-sex couples updating legal status after abortion ruling

RELATED: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, allowing states to ban abortion

 

 

 

▶️ La Pine gets $36 million for septic, water system improvements

La Pine will receive $17.7 million in loans and grants from the Department of Agriculture. The money will go toward improvements in septic systems for folks in the Cagle and Glenwood Acres subdivisions.

The goal of the project is to prevent the cross contamination of people’s drinking water wells.

“People have lived here for a long time and anytime the city can assist them in increasing the quality of their life you know and not at their expense because the city is paying all this so I mean it’s a good thing,” said La Pine Mayor Dan Richer.

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The overall cost of the work is $36 million. It includes additional work on the city’s water system.

Richer said the work could start later this summer.

Sen. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced the funding.

▶️ Drink beer to plant a tree? Sunriver Brewing partners for good cause

It’s an idea that started in smoke. Now, beer enthusiasts can help plant trees.

“After the devastating fires that went on in Oregon over the Labor Day time period a couple years ago, we knew we had to do something,” said Ryan Duley, the Director of Marketing for Sunriver Brewing.

Oregon Parks Forever, and many others, felt the same.

“Sitting in the smoke two summers ago and thinking ‘oh this is awful,’” said Seth Miller, the Executive Director for Oregon Parks Forever.

That’s when Miller got an idea.

“Knowing the public land managers were already struggling to keep up with their budgets so I thought how can we help?” Miller said.

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By drinking beer, of course, for the “You Buy One, We Plant One” initiative.

“So $1 for every 6-pack of either our beer, Stoller wine, Portland Cider cans, and now Fort George cans,” Duley said.

From July through August, that dollar plants a tree.

The full list of wineries and breweries participating are:

  • Stoller Wine Group
  • Fort George Brewery
  • Portland Cider Company
  • Sunriver Brewing

“To be clear, this is not like putting sod in,” Miller said “It takes a while for the seedlings to grow and for the trees to then mature. So this is really something that we’re doing for our children.”

“The first year did great,” Duley said “We were able to raise our $25,000. It was our target goal $25,000 which plants 25,000 trees.”

According to Sunriver Brewery, they anticipate another 25,000 trees this year.

Pine Tree

The program has planted more than half a million trees since they started the promotion last year.

Oregon Parks Forever hopes to hit their goal of one million trees planted to start patching up the damage of the fire season.

“And so rather than reacting to fires as we did in the past, we’re trying to get ahead of it this year,” Miller said.

“But I think that as a collective we really know that it was devastating and we really want to do something good for giving back,” Duley said.

Oregon Parks Forever planted 128,000 trees last year in Oregon State Parks, 214,000 trees in Oregon Department of Forestry lands, 65,000 trees in Marion County, and 146,000 trees in Josephine County.

Each brewery will have a cling or sign near their beer for “You Buy One, We Plant One.”

Same-sex couples updating legal status after abortion ruling

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Supreme Court’s decision eliminating the constitutional right to abortion is causing anxiety for people in same-sex marriages, particularly those with children.

The decision last week overturning Roe v. Wade didn’t directly affect the 2015 ruling that paved the way for gay marriage. But lawyers say now they’re getting questions from same-sex couples worried about the legal status of their marriages and keeping their children.

Alabama lawyer Sydney Duncan has received dozens of emails and calls in just a few days.

Justice Clarence Thomas has called on colleagues to reconsider cases that allowed same-sex marriage, gay sex and contraception.

RELATED: Washington governor prohibits State Patrol from aiding abortion investigations

Abortion, women’s rights grow as priorities: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new poll finds a growing percentage of Americans calling out abortion or women’s rights as priorities for the government in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, especially among Democrats and those who support abortion access.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll finds 22% of U.S. adults name abortion or women’s rights in an open-ended question as one of five problems they want the government to work on.

That’s nearly tripled since December.

The poll, which included interviews conducted before and after the Supreme Court’s ruling, finds prioritization of the issues grew sharply following the decision.

RELATED: Most, including Dems, say nation on wrong track: AP-NORC poll

Shifting abortion laws cause confusion for patients, clinics

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The evolving legal landscape around abortion access is causing confusion for providers and patients across the country after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

In Florida, a new law banning abortions after 15 weeks went into effect Friday, after a judge said he would sign an order next week temporarily blocking it.

Patients in Kentucky who were forced to cancel appointments with abortion providers this week are now scrambling to reschedule after a court there blocked the state’s restrictions.

Elsewhere, clinics are reporting an influx of new patients from out of state, overwhelming providers and leading heath centers to tailor procedures to the legality of abortion in a person’s home state.

 

Washington governor prohibits State Patrol from aiding abortion investigations

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a directive instructing the Washington State Patrol to not cooperate with out-of-state abortion investigations.

The order, which was finalized Thursday, was first announced by Inslee at a news conference outside the Capitol last weekend, one day after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Under the directive, the state patrol must not cooperate with most subpoenas, search warrants or court orders from states with laws that ban or significantly restrict abortion access.

Any request received by the patrol must be reviewed and processed in conjunction with the attorney general’s office and the governor’s attorney.

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List of 4th of July events in Central Oregon

Here are just some of the Fourth of July events planned around Central Oregon for the weekend and on Monday.

Bend

Pet Parade

  • Monday; Gather at 9:00 a.m., Parade starts at 10:00 a.m.
  • The new route begins at Harmon Park and ends at Drake Park

Deschutes Historical Museum Free Day

  • Monday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
  • From the museum website: “Explore the halls of the Reid School building discovering the stories of Deschutes County and more. Write on a chalkboard, peruse use the old Bend Bulletins, and learn about Bend’s first car, a 1907 Holsman.”
Pilot Butte Fireworks
  • Monday, 10:00 p.m.

Redmond

4th of July parade

Old Fashioned 4th of July

  • Monday, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • High Desert Sports Complex, 1859 NE Maple
Fireworks
  • Monday, 10:00 p.m.
  • Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center

Prineville

Splash & Dash

  • Fundraiser for Crook County High School Track & Field
  • Monday, 8:00 a.m. 
  • Registration

4th of July Parade

  • Monday, 10:00 a.m.
  • 4th Street from Deer to Elm

Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration 

Fireworks

  • Monday at dusk, launched from viewpoint at Ochoco Wayside Park

Sunriver

La Pine

Fireworks

  • Monday, 10:00 p.m. 
  • Held in meadow west of Highway 97, 3rd Street & Walker

Madras

4th of July Celebration

  • Parade begins at 10 a.m.; Runs west on B Street then south on 6th Street
  • Celebration at Sahalee Park with flag raising & opening ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Runs until 3:00 p.m.

Fireworks

  • Monday, 10:00 p.m.
  • Launched from Madras High School

Sisters

Rumble on the Runway

  • Monday, 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Sisters Eagle Airport, 15820 Barclay Drive
    • 6:30 am Aircraft Arrival
    • 7:00 Pancake Breakfast $10.00 donation requested
    • 7:45 Airlink, Leading Edge Arrival
    • 8:00 Run/Walk & Drag race Car/Plane
    • 9:00 Flag Presentation
    • 9:30 Gyro Tom
    • 10:00 Great Rubber Chicken Fling
    • 10:30 2nd Flag Presentation – Skydive Awesome
    • 10:45 50/50 Drawing – must be present to win!
    • 11:00 After the Raffle Drawing, Drag Races!

▶️ Bend’s 1st roundabout with protected bike lane now open

What is being touted as Bend’s first bicycle-protected roundabout opened Thursday evening. And the completion of the project is likely to be a relief to businesses in the construction zone.

The roundabout at SE Wilson Avenue and SE 9th Street opened just before 6:00 p.m.

The city says this roundabout operates like other single-lane roundabouts in the city. But it is the first with a protected bike lane. That lane is located between the sidewalk and the vehicle lane.

The city says the protected lane is designed to make cyclists slow down before crossing into vehicular traffic. Bicyclists can use either the protected lane or the vehicle lane.

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While most of the rules of using this roundabout remain the same as other roundabouts, there are a couple of new things to know.

Drivers

  • Yield to vehicles in the roundabout and stay in the center of the lane when exiting.
  • Yield to emergency vehicles and safely pull off to the side.
  • Move counter-clockwise and signal your path.
  • Yield to pedestrians and bikes in crosswalks.

Bicyclists

When using the vehicle lane:

  • Merge with traffic.
  • Yield to vehicles in the roundabout and stay in the center of the lane until exiting.
  • Yield to emergency vehicles and safely pull off to the side.
  • Move counter-clockwise and signal your path.
  • Yield to pedestrians and bikes in crosswalks.

When using the bike lane:

  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Slow down before crossing traffic
  • Make eye contact with both cyclists and drivers before crossing

Pedestrians

  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way
  • Make eye contact with both cyclists and drivers before crossing

“We are excited to open this one-of-a-kind, bike-protected roundabout as a pilot project,” said Engineering and Infrastructure Planning Director Ryan Oster in a statement. “This highlights the progress we are making at delivering a safer multi-modal transportation system. We look forward to analyzing how well it works to make similar bike-protected improvements for future transportation projects.” 

Construction has been frustrating for businesses in the area. Several told Central Oregon Daily News earlier this month that they’ve seen declines in foot traffic and some loss of revenue. 

Landscaping work on the roundabout will continue into early July.

Drivers can expect another big roundabout project in the area in the coming months. One is being built six blocks to the east at SE 15th Street and Wilson Ave.

Watch our report from September 2021 below about why Bend always considers roundabouts

▶️ New interactive Oregon wildfire risk map launches

Oregon has launched a new statewide, interactive map to determine the risk level for wildfires. And you can even narrow it down to your neighborhood.

The Oregon Explorer Wildfire Risk Map is a project of the Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon State University. 

The Oregon Fire Chiefs Association says the tool can identify regions at highest risk for wildfire. That will allow prevention, preparedness and response efforts to be better concentrated where they need to be.

Areas in red are considered extreme risk. Orange is high risk and yellow is moderate risk. Light green and dark green are low risk and no risk, respectively.

Oregon wildfire risk map

“It’s incredibly exciting to see Oregon taking major steps in the right direction in preventing catastrophic wildfire,” Bend Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief of Operations Bill Boos said in a statement.” “After the past two fire seasons, the need to modernize the way we prepare for, and fight wildfire was tragically evident.”

In addition to an overall look at wildfire risk areas in the state, the map has a feature that allows the user to input a specific address or latitude and longitude.

A big question to be answered for home and property owners is will insurance companies increase rates due to this?

“They’ve already been doing risk mapping. Now it’s out in the public,” Boos said. “Now the public can see oh these are the areas of concern. And so it’s actually a win for everybody and it’s working together.”

The map was created after passage of Senate Bill 762 in 2021.

RELATED: Deschutes County issues public use restrictions to reduce fire risk

Defensible space regulations

The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office says the map may also be used to identify homes and properties that could be subject to future defensible space regulations.

The development of the Oregon Defensible Space Code, which was part of SB 762, is still underway and is expected to be completed by December.

The fire marshal’s office says the code “may apply to properties that meet two requirements. First, the home or property must be in the wildland-urban interface and at high or extreme risk on the Oregon Wildfire Risk Map.”

Approximately 5% of properties in Oregon may fall under the new code, the fire marshal’s office said.

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