KWSO News for Tue., Jan. 5, 2021

The Warm Springs COVID-19 local response team recommended that the Tribal Workforce remain at 50% with essential workers continuing to report, with other worker schedules to be determined by GM’s and Directors through January 11, 2021.   Tribal Council concurred yesterday also endorsing the suggestion that the community continue to stay at home with exceptions for trips to stores, post office, doctor appointments or for other essential purposes.

Gov. Kate Brown is calling for vaccinating Oregonians faster.i The Oregonian/OregonLive reports state officials have received nearly 200,000 vaccine doses but have administered only about a quarter, a rate that places Oregon among the slowest performing states nationwide. Brown directed the Oregon Health Authority to administer 12,000 vaccinations per day by two weeks from now, saying she wants the authority to partner widely to get it accomplished.

Three statewide officeholders took the oath of office in Oregon yesterday. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is starting her third term and Treasurer Tobias Read is starting his second term. Both are Democrats. Another Democrat, Shemia [shuh-MEE-uh] Fagan, took the oath as Oregon Secretary of State for the first time. She was sworn in during a private ceremony on the steps of her former elementary school in Dufur.  Fagan’s victory means Democrats once again hold every statewide office in Oregon. One of her first tasks will be to hire a new elections director. The previous director, Steve Trout, was fired abruptly following the November 2020 election.

Acknowledging Oregon’s history of racism, Democratic leaders in the state House pledged Monday to open paths for more diverse representation in the Legislature and its leadership. It comes as Rep. Janelle Bynum, who is Black and represents Portland’s eastern suburbs, announced Monday that she’s dropping her bid to become House speaker. Bynum said on Twitter that she looks forward to the day when she can be elected to lead the House. Leaders of the Democratic-controlled House credited Bynum for confronting racism. They made several pledges toward more inclusiveness, such as including House members of color in Democratic caucus leadership.

Washington, Oregon, more than two dozen tribes, and cultural groups from the Northwest are suing the federal government to stop the sale of the National Archives building in Seattle, a plan that would force the relocation of millions of invaluable historical records to California and Missouri.   The government is planning to sell the vast warehouse under a law aimed at unloading excess federal property, but the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Monday says the building is anything but “excess.” It contains irreplaceable documents dating to the 1840s and is used all the time for research about everything from tribal history to Japanese internment during World War II and fur seal hunts on remote Alaskan islands.    The records would be moved to National Archives facilities in Kansas City and in Riverside, California.