Tag: Oregon

Actions will tell, but Patrick Allen — head of Oregon Health Authority — issued kind of a remarkable statement yesterday.

While health equity is a stated value of our agency, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how far short we are from eliminating health inequity in this state. A crisis has a tendency to expose your weaknesses and areas where systems are inadequate, and this pandemic has been no exception. The broad impacts of the coronavirus have fallen especially hard on Black and African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Native American, and Latino, Latina, and Latinx people, in the U.S., and here in Oregon. A centuries-long history of racism and oppression have led to the very health conditions that exacerbate the impacts of COVID-19. And we at OHA were, frankly, too slow to recognize that threat and act on it. For that, I’m truly sorry.

Animals Live: An Open Letter To The Oregon Zoo

My new Posted Today page tells me that it was on May 30, 2018, that I sharply criticized the Oregon Zoo for only publicly caring about animals dying when they are marquee animals. Its first line: “Animals die.”

Animals also live, which is why my current point of contention with the zoo is its seeming focus only on certain animals in the public communications during its coronavirus shutdown.

Most zoo visitors likely have a favorite animal or exhibit. I get there are only so many hours in the day, especially with staff reductions and other challenges, but I honestly do not see a valid argument against simply having someone make the rounds to give us updates.

There are six exhibit areas (PDF) at the zoo. At one per day, the zoo could give an update from every exhibit in less than one week. Just walk the route. It doesn’t have to be an entire Facebook Live event; you have a YouTube channel.

Consider this a request from a dues-paying member who until March made a visit each and every week, on behalf of all the other supporters of the zoo, members and non-members alike, who have been waiting three months to hear about their favorites.

The woman running the Oregon group stoking false fears of voter registration shenanigans also says she believes the Secretary of State is paying the Facebook and Twitter’s fact-checkers who keep shutting down her campaign.

Interesting point at the end of this opbmusic piece about the plight of Oregon’s music venues during a pandemic: when venues can re-open, there could be more emphasis on prime slots for local musicians.

My big takeaway from The Oregonian‘s comprehensive guide to safety during reopening is that I don’t think anywhere near enough has been done to prepare people for how complicated this is going to be. There’s also not anywhere near enough in the way of the state requiring people to wear masks in different situations.

With cases already spiking in Deschutes County and officials pleading with Oregonians (ahem, Portlanders) to stay close to home for Memorial Day weekend, perhaps the most we can hope for is that people heed advice about keeping gatherings small and segregated (by family group); polling suggests Democrats are more likely than Republicans to do so — the latter arguing that “the worst of the coronavirus is behind us or that the virus was never a threat”.

This past weekend, reporters from Willamette Week, Eugene Weekly, and The Source Weekly teamed up to fan out across Oregon to counties that began to open back up and report on what they found.

The scenes we observed across Oregon were a preview of what Portland can expect as soon as next month. But two days before election day, they also served as an experiment in democracy. Each citizen had to weigh personal freedom against civic responsibility. They had to decide how much risk they were willing to accept for themselves and their neighbors in order to enjoy food and company.

ProPublica’s new tracker for states as they start to reopen uses “metrics derived from a set of guidelines published by the White House for states to achieve before loosening restrictions”. By this data, Oregon meets four of the five criteria (positive tests per 100K people, percentage of tests that are positive, ICU bed availability, and hospital visits for flu-like illness) and isn’t far behind on the fifth (tests per 100K people per day).

Newberg had an interesting idea to help both residents and businesses: credit towards your municipal utilities bill when you patronize local companies.

Link Log Roundup for May 17, 2020

In this edition: Obama and leadership, Oregon aid money debate, early-opening drive-ins, and the context of history.

Link Log Roundup for May 15, 2020

In this edition: a decline in distancing, hot spots, strange new worlds, an inability to focus, mixed messages, concentration fatigue, Marion County, race and immobility, making or breaking cities, and a Grubhub scam.

Early last month I wondered how Multnomah County was approaching social distancing measures when it comes to ballot opening for this month’s primary election. All I got back from them was a statement saying they were following CDC guidance. OPB News managed to get much more detail. It looks like the usual tables of up to four people of mixed party affiliations now are tables of two, sitting at the tables’ ends, keeping them six feet apart.

Link Log Roundup for May 14, 2020

In this edition: autism and actual masking, dining with mannequins, genetic drift, ousting Burr, cats and coronavirus, a new giraffe, black churches, reopening Oregon, COVID-19 and the brain, Oregon restaurants, the post-pandemic commute, bicycles, disability claims, the sage grouse, lockdowns and history, “Obamagate”, walking a trail, test failures, the privilege of escape, Multnomah County, the last Blockbuster, public shaming, and an invasion of goats.

It’s weird that The Oregonian writes that the Oregon Zoo introduced Kiden, their new giraffe, to the public on Monday, given that the zoo is closed and their video of Kiden didn’t get posted until Wednesday, but mostly I wonder where they even have the room for a third giraffe, especially if they’re hoping that Kiden mates with Buttercup. Is there more indoor space at the giraffe exhibit than the part with the public-facing viewing window? My second-level concern is that now I need to learn to tell three giraffes apart, and it was only like last year, I think, that I finally learned how to distinguish Buttercup from Desi.