The Last Post of the Year

Levi & Mommy
Levi & Mommy after a soccer game in September.

And, upon us, finally, is the last night of the year. I have never been more thankful for a year to end. 2012 started out okay, but quickly eroded into an emotional roller-coaster of a year.

  • A friend was scared she had a dangerous form of cancer
  • Then she found out she didn’t
  • A friend’s close family member died
  • Another got pregnant
  • My husband found out he had a cyst in his head
  • Then we found out it was fluid filled and likely benign
  • My nephew couldn’t breathe and got really sick
  • Then he got 6 operations and is now a smiley chipper baby with a tracheostomy
  • Work got needed relief that plummeted into micro managing hell
  • Someone had a baby
  • Someone else had a baby
  • Someone else got pregnant and is carrying baby to full term
  • Friends lost their jobs
  • Friends couldn’t find jobs
  • A friend got a really cool job
  • Someone got divorced, continues to fight with their partner, is looking to separate from their spouse
  • Someone celebrated a 10 YEAR togetherness anniversary
  • Someone finally got married after being together over 10 years
  • Someone bought a house, a dream house
  • Then the porch caught on fire
  • Which forced them to a needed vacation and upon return a more or less fixed porch
  • Another family member got injured
  • Another family member was hospitalized
  • People died
  • People lived

And now, the year is ending. In my 34 years on this earth, I do not recall such a chaotic year. Maybe we can really claim that we survived the misnomer of a Mayan Apocalypse. So much chaos propelling us into a constant state of stress. Stress is bad for our health – where is our balance? I just want to write about this drama and ponder it to learn from it and then move on! I want to stop putting out fires and live in the planful Quadrant II where we can plan for and make our dreams come true.

This year, I am putting to bed the “postaday2012”. Stubbornly, I will resume in 2013 with a post-a-day, knowing I would rather do a post-a-week of quality ponderings. But, I also know I do better when I write every damned day, so stubbornly I will go.

2013 has to be awesome, and I am declaring it so. No matter what happens, it is going to be an awesome year! If I have to psyche myself up to believe that the worst will be the best – I will force this damned-able positive attitude on everyone and everything. Enough of 2012. Enough of 2007. Onward  we go for another five (or more) years of finding balance in the chaos.

Here’s to hoping for positive change. Here’s to toasting a new era of calm, patience, compassion. Here’s to a shift in our paradigms where we let individual freedoms ring free and true while supporting our world-wide community needs.

Here’s to a brand spankin’ new year.

Happy New Year.

Keeping Up with the Jones’

Generally, when we consider the phrase “Keeping up with the Jones” we consider monetary accomplishments. Do we have the right car? Are we wearing the right clothes? Do we have the right house? And, we compare that to our neighbor. Sometimes “neighbor” is a colleague, an actual neighbor, or a family member. The “Jones” is simply a person with whom we compare ourselves to in order to measure our status and quantify our self-worth.

Okay, but what if we measure ourselves in other ways. Such as presuming to act like a better person or take care of something or someone better than the proverbial Jones? How often does that get discussed? How often to we consider how harmful that level of comparison is?

I have a few thoughts around this subject and it stemmed from a few incidents observed from afar and acted upon by someone close to me. First, I think of this comparing and how detrimental it is to our own psyches. And, then, I consider the ten commandments — thy shall not covet thy neighbor’s things. Again, the latter reinforces the prominent view of “Keeping Up with the Jones'”. We shouldn’t covet their cars, house, finery. But, I really do think there is an underlying element that forces us to look inside and simply not compare – even our actions – to our neighbors.

By compare, I make that loose. In this piece, I am going to be judging the actions of another while condoning how they have judged others. I want this to be recognized up front to highlight the fine line in which I am hoping to initiate a discussion on our proper decorum, how we set examples for each other, and how we can live in a more compassionate world.

So, the incident. Someone close to me has a child who need special attention in order to properly care for him. This individual was caring for her child in a public place. In this place, she witnessed another mother remain engrossed in a minor task, thereby ignoring her own child. This other mother’s child, while the mother’s back was turned, fell, hard on a hard surface whilst completing a task that was not recommended. So, the kiddo was doing something she shouldn’t have been. The mother wasn’t watching the kiddo. The mother was window shopping or browsing for something, focused only on herself and not her child. This person close to me, publicly, chided this mother for her carelessness and blamed the mother  entirely, for the child falling and presumably hurting herself.

Should the mother have been paying closer attention to her child? Probably. But, this individual close to me should not have chided this mother so. She was not the mother. She only saw, from a distance, and only got a fragment of the story. I’ve acted in a protective manner before for my own son, but with his recent behavior at school, I am being served my own slice of humble pie. It doesn’t take long for the tables to turn. I really wanted this individual close to me to go to a place of compassion for the other mother instead of a place of judgement.

This individual has done it a second time, publicly questioning all other parents and how they care for their own children after being given a compliment by a health care professional on the care of her own. That’s great that she’s able to keep her own child healthy and clean – but to question the motives and intent of parents who don’t (seem to) – I find it far-reaching and shallow. I am ashamed of this individual. I cannot believe this individual is close to me and would decry other parents and their presumed inability to take care of their own children without first seeking their stories. This individual is not seeking first to understand, rather seeking first to self-congratulate and then judge.

And, now, she’s pissed at me because I told her so. I told her I was judging her both publicly (wrong on my part… but it was reactionary public to public forum) and privately. And, I tried to tell her why. She’s not open to criticism. She rarely is. She’s not open to hearing for growth. She rarely is. And, all that makes me sad.

This individual used to think much more compassionately and lovingly than she demonstrates now. She used to force me to think of the other, and that’s changed. And, now I worry for her. I am worried that she’ll get her just desserts and it won’t be pretty. Sure, she has to walk her own path, but I’d like to believe that we’re in this together somehow and should be able to support each other along the way. It’s never easy when someone calls us out on our own bullshit, so how do we individually handle it?

Apparently, I don’t handle it well at all. All in an effort to lamely work more compassionately so our children can live in a more compassionate, understanding world, where measuring ourselves against another’s success or failure isn’t even a part of the discussion.

When the Best Isn’t Good Enough

Levi's Lego Dinosaur
Levi shows off his just-put-together Lego Dinosaur Christmas present.

It all sounded like gibberish. We sat there for an hour, asking barely four questions, and all I heard was gibberish. Afterwards, Peter commented that it sounded like a recitation of academic training… all talk, no substance. I did hear a few points: 1) Levi is borderline AD(H)D, 2) He scores low in “Executive Function” which could lend itself to the spiraled outbursts we’ve met with his school about, and 3) we could consider occupational therapy to give us coping techniques for these impulse control issues.

We sat there for an hour. This was our third (3 of 3) appointment. The last of the two parent visits that sandwiched the Levi observation where he was tested. Peter and I heard the words that were spoken to us, but we were hardly able to make sense of them. Levi is a bright kid who has struggles with spacial motor skills and impulse control. After an hour of reciting and rehashing the outcomes of the testing, I think this is what we were supposed to learn. I was able to recap three-fourths of the way into the appointment which was followed by more recitations… and when my clarifying question, which in summary is really: Are we making a mountain of a molehill? But I worded something to the extent of – given how boys develop normally and what we expect them to learn over the course of a lifetime, is this something to be worried about or are systems not set up to deal with average boy behavior? This query was answered with, “We’re running out of time. If you have more questions, we should schedule a follow-up appointment.”

Some history: The Wonders of Wang & Levi Behavior.

Nothing has persuaded me that my assessment is incorrect. My assessment is that we are putting boys (kids, really) in a system that sets them up for failure. The assessment noted how Levi was focused on the things he wanted to do but not on the things he didn’t. So, if he didn’t want to remember something, he scored poorly on it. It was clear, while we observed, that he didn’t see the point of the exercise. He wasn’t told he was being tested. For all he rationalized, it could have been a series of games. Now, we find out he scored poorly on short-term memory and some motor skills of drawing shapes. He didn’t draw his triangle correctly – at all, but got the Union Jack pretty close to spot on. I know adults who couldn’t get the Union Jack to line up, and if they weren’t paying attention, they wouldn’t have been able to get the triangle. The point, as it was explained to us, is that he doesn’t focus when he’s supposed to be focusing.

I’ve done a lot of self-help book reading this last year. In part to get a better understanding of myself and those around me. In part, too, to get some ideas on how to do things like best manage my time. What we were being told, then, is that Levi doesn’t want to focus in Quadrant II. He wants to play in Quadrant I (urgent but not important) or III (not important and not urgent). Regardless, it’s the fun stuff. Other books I’ve read encourage, without specifically stating, that we should all work in a variation of Quadrant III – play to your strengths so it’s all fun. (If it’s your job, though, it’d probably be Quadrant II (important, but not urgent). So, my other question is: why aren’t schools set up to play to kids strengths?

I queried – the actions that have brought us here have happened at school. The answer I received was that we should be mitigating these things at home. But, the problem is, when Levi plays with friends or is at home – he doesn’t hit. He has only hit other kids at school. I’m perplexed on how I was to plan for this situation, when he knows he is not supposed to hit and we have no real option for role-playing when we didn’t know this situation would happen.

Naturally, my mother wasn’t home when I called her after we got home. But, she did call me back an hour later. She asked me, “Is the place you’re going – is it the best?” I answered, “Yes.” Because it is. It gets rave reviews. A friend is taking her child there and loves the entire center. The behaviorist recommended it. The pediatrician acknowledged it’s very good. So, why wouldn’t the best be good enough?

Because sometimes the best, reflected my mother, sometimes the best isn’t looking out for your own best interests rather their own. She recapped with a story of a local rehabilitation facility that, while touted as the best, was only interested in rote mechanics before they let patients go. It didn’t matter if the patients were fully rehabilitated – or not. As long as the check boxes were checked, they were let go.

So, my mother astutely recommended we look for not the best. She has encouraged we look for a real human who is interested in listening to our stories. A real human. A real human who can listen and is more focused on the goal of patient healing rather than furnishing an office or having a great lifestyle (which this young doctor told us, in appointment one, was one of the perks of his job).

Yes, mom, sometimes the best really isn’t good enough. I have a message out to the pediatrician. Maybe he has some recommendations of “not the best.”

Best Practices

I guess not everyone was fortunate enough to have focused leaders early in their career. Here are some best practices I’ve taken for granted.

  • The “customer” is always right.
    • It’s important to loosely define “customer”
    • Customers are (this is not an exhaustive list):
      • Employees,
      • Clients,
      • Buyers,
      • Donors,
      • Volunteers,
      • Bosses, or
      • Contractors.
    • Always assume every encounter is with a customer because you don’t want to be wrong at the wrong moment.
  • Follow the chain of command
    • Have a gripe with a co-worker? Don’t go over their head.
    • Always go first to the person with whom you have a complaint
  • Mind your Ps & Qs
    • I still don’t know what the P or Q stands for but the gist is – have good manners because
    • You attract more flies to honey than vinegar, and in this case
      • Everyone with whom you interact is a fly, and you want more flies on your side.
  • Praise publicly
  • Admonish privately
  • Smile, it releases endorphins
  • Be consistent with your moral values
  • Give yourself an out
    • Every work situation can be stressful… so where are your sacred places to keep yourself in check?

More to add later. What are some “best practices” you’ve found?

Weekend Free Write

Saturday

Tomorrow, my husband and I will have been married 6 years. Last year, I was thrilled because it finally seemed like we had re-grown to like each other. This year, we’ve weathered the 2012 storm of ups and downs.

We still have jobs, though both of our jobs are consumed in toxic vibes. Peter’s head is stable! Yes, the fluid-filled-cyst isn’t doing anything. Levi has not been in the ER for months (knock on wood now). The insurance debacles were cleared up. We have food on the table, can pay for our bills. So, surely, all in all, it’s been okay year. Though the tumultuous roller-coaster, I hope is coming to an end.

Between us, things have been fine. This year, most people I know have been faced with enormous ups and downs. My sister, who’s infant son had to have several surgeries before his 9th month. My friends who all found out they were gloriously expecting their first or second born children. My friends and us who have had terrible health scares that caused much angst for weeks and then quietly resolved themselves through testing and rechecking.

In hoping that the emotional roller coaster is stabilizing, for hopefully another few years, what should the focus of 2013 be? Well, we can assume (6 days out) that the Mayan calendar was wrong, and we’ll be ushering in 2013. If 2012 was as chaotic for others (Sandy, shootings, etc.) then perhaps 2013 will be the ying to the yang, and we’ll even out.

That’s basically what happened after other emotional events have occurred in my life, most recently the passing of my sister. In 2007, it was another roller coaster year – marriage, birth, death.

Monday

It’s 9:00 pm. I’ve got a rerun of Burn Notice playing in the DVD player. We have been borrowing them from the library. My brain is having a hard time writing. I miss the free-flowing words that cascaded out during 2011 when I really did the one-a-day challenge. I am still struggling with quality versus quantity and accepting the balance there. Writing in the blog is a way to hold myself accountable, and I get to choose the designs and redecorate at a whim… but divulging all those thoughts I generally hold inside… that’s the hard part. And, when I reiterate a days events, it often just sounds trite. So, what’s the angle? Yes, I want to explain the challenges balancing, but I go through the same challenges – sometimes – with little result. So, why continue to write about deemed failures? That’s not the positive uplift I want either. 

A note about the tragedies that have occurred lately. We had a shooting in a local mall here, last week Tuesday. Then, the week ended with nearly an entire class of kindergartners being massacred by a sick young man from the area. That’s all I know, really, about the incidents. Both involved men with mental health issues. Both were tragic. And the latter has blasted my Facebook and twitter feeds decrying the horrors, calling for stricter (unspecified) gun control laws, and some alluding to the need for more mental health resources. I’ve seen a few posts that have indicated we are doing a disservice to all those who will follow these young men by naming them. That is, part of what they are doing is calling for attention with higher body counts to replace the attention they haven’t received in life. So, the media goes crazy, trying to scoop the story, and reinforces this bad behavior.

So, what I want to know is – can we take an extended moment of silence for the tragic loss of so many lives. And, then, can we please stop talking about it. It sucks balls when someone dies. And it sucks more balls when someone close to you dies. It can take years before you can talk about that person again without getting teary eyed recalling the affect they had on your life. But, it’s Christmas. It’s time to consider rebirth and a new year. Perhaps we can consider a year where we support each other to the point of no massacres in malls or classrooms.

A New Theme

I bought it. After years of maintaining this blog under varying forms… I bought the theme. Starting in MySpace, migrating to Blogger, and finally to WordPress… after experimenting with free theme after free theme… I’ve finally come upon one that I like, that works… that I want to stay. So, I bought it.

I hope it proves a worthwhile purchase.

Just Quit

Airport Visit
Peter, Michelle, Betsy, and Levi pose after an impromptu visit at PDX.

Michigan has become the 24th “Right to Work” state. Admittedly, I only know a little about the concept. What I see, though, seems more like a “Right to Work Under the Man’s Rules” instead of our own.

It seems as if unions, fair pay, fair working conditions, and fair standards are being rolled back. It seems as if we are seeing further fighting of “us” against “them”. The workers against management in another draw, and this time management is winning.

So, I wonder what would happen if all these workers just quit. What would happen if the police force ceded their “right to work” and stopped patrolling traffic accidents and people who’ve gone off the edge? What would happen if nurses ceded their “right to work” and stopped mending wounds, healing the sick, and comforting the dying? What would happen if the miners ceded their “right to work” and stopped digging for {clean} coal? What would happen if bus drivers ceded their “right to work” and stopped driving buses and trains? What would happen if fire fighters ceded their “right to work” and stopped rescuing cats and homes from perilous accidents?

What would happen if geographers mapped out the top 1% for every city and all these workers stopped working for them?

I want to know what it will take for people to realize their own power. We do the work. Yes, I have aspirations of being the mastermind of some interesting organization, but what I hope I realize and continue to realize is that we all need each other.

A friend noted, once, that she believes there is a job for everyone out there. There are people interested in running hotels, feeding people (rich and poor), tending to the sick and dying, fixing the environment, cleaning up our waste, planting and growing things… it takes all kinds to make our world run, so why do we divvy up “importance” of jobs by how much paper one pushes or by how many people are below a person?

When will we realize our power? When will we realize our power is not within Wall Street or faulty aspirations of becoming über rich? When will we realize our power lies within. We need to seize it. Stand up for it, and not take this anymore.

I have a right to work. I have a right to organize. I have a right to state my opinions. And, you have a right to walk away. Now, let’s all walk together and make this world the place we want it to be.

We want safe schools and neighborhoods for our kids where they can learn how to fend for themselves in controlled environments. We want places where they can breathe clean air, have safe healthy food to eat, and access to safe, stable, and affordable housing. We want our children to realize their potential so they can be all that they can be… and if we do want those things, we have to pave the way for them. It starts now. It started yesterday. It started 100 years ago.

It is time to quit second guessing. It is time to quit playing second fiddle to pipe dreams of non-existence. It is time to stand up for what we know is right.

We deserve better. Our children deserve better. Our future deserves better.

Our time is now.

The Arrogant Little Pissant

You know who it is. This person is younger than you. This person has complex, yet little life experience to draw from. This person thinks they know everything.

I was this person 15 years ago. Some might argue that I’m still that person, though the verbal validation I receive indicates otherwise.

Today, this person began my day by demanding why something wasn’t the way she deemed. It wasn’t her version of correct.

  1. “Correct” was never defined to me.
  2. It wasn’t explicit in the piece with which we were working.
  3. It wasn’t clear on the data source.
  4. It wasn’t defined on the data source.
  5. No questions were asked, to me, on how to make it correct.
  6. It wasn’t caught in the numerous final proofs we received and reviewed.
  7. She booked a vacation in the midst of the process.
  8. There was no accountability to her role.

In her demanding to know why something wasn’t correct, she was blaming. I inferred she was blaming me because I was the last person to lay hands on this project.

I am coming from two days of being sick from the stomach flu, after a weekend. So, I’ve been out of work for four days. My first encounter back to work is this arrogant little pissant demanding to know why I’ve ruined her career. 

I said, “Are you playing the blame game? Because if so, take it someplace else.”

She stormed off.

This person is 11 years younger than me.

I understand now, a decade later why people gave me certain looks when I was in my 20s. If I had known the life experience I would gain from 25-30 on top of the already complex life experience I had already gained in the first two decades of my life, I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me.

I suppose I was coming off the immortality of my teens, the confusion of not knowing what my calling is, the uncomfortableness of being unable to find my place in life when so many had said I should know what I was going to do. All this coupled with being bright, learned, and ambitious. I understood many best practices and had a good value system. So, I could recognize fraud when it was said to be employed but wasn’t. I had a drive for  perfection and the desire to learn under the tutelage of experts. But, those experts were (still are!) in short supply. I kept working for one underpaid entrepreneur after another. Sure, there is an elegance in figuring things out as you go — but the brilliance of the human race is that we should build on the shoulders of giants. We do ourselves a disservice when we fail to find or capitalize on those giants’ energy. All that frustration and knowledge came up against my immaturity and certainly made me an arrogant little pissant.

Time tempered my fire and fueled more understanding. Sorrow strengthened my compassion, and I learned. Life helped me reinforce my strengths of deliberation and being able to look at the big picture which has subsided my desire to be that arrogant little pissant. I try to be the first to admit I made a mistake, but I will make sure it’s mine first. (Credit due, where credit is due. It goes both ways.) I always knew and recognized my elders were wise. But, my desire to learn from them has increased with age. I have more respect for the necessity of inter-generational exchanges.

I suppose my mother, along with those life experiences, was the respected person in my life who helped me temper the arrogant pissant in me. My quandary this morning was that I wanted to be able to tell this girl what she needed to do. Yet, I recognized she would not listen as something has changed over the months and her respect for me has been lost. I don’t really care if I ever receive that respect back, as I received much validation just today that I have been steady in my own goals in being professional. I was hoping a new colleague could provide the leadership that this young one needs, but the fire in which she’s been thrown hasn’t lent itself to that.

The fact is we do work in a toxic environment and being graceful is something we all struggle with. So, I set my boundary, and she obeyed, and now I write. I tried not to let the instance rile me up to much so that I could get through the next necessary tasks, as life doesn’t stop and it certainly keeps going.

But, I want feedback. What do you do when you meet an immature young adult who thinks they know everything? How do you deal with the arrogant pissants in your life?

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Sunday Free Write

Levi's Rainbow
Levi and his class painted rainbows recently. Levi’s art has improved so much over last year.

When I was in high school, taking Creative Writing, we would do free writes, for two minutes, at the beginning of every class. Mrs. Gress posted a question on the board and we had to spend two minutes, without stopping, and just write. One of my favorite topics involved what type of tattoo you would get. Not, if you’d get a tattoo, but if you were forced into a tattoo what would you get. I chose a rose, on my ankle. When I finally got my first (and only) tattoo, it was a rose, on my left shoulder-blade.

But, the idea behind the writing was the butt-to-chair mentality  Just do it. Don’t over think it. Let the words spill out across the page. In modern times, it’s let the words spill out across the screen.

Okay, that was good for maybe a minute of writing. I had to walk away, start the tea, put the laundry in the dryer, and well – anything to get warm.

It’s December 2nd. Naturally, it’s raining. The large rainclouds have bathed the entire Pacific Northwest in green. It’s actually surprising that we’ve had as much sun (two mornings in a row!) as we’ve had.

Now I have tea, to warm my hands.

I have nothing that seems significant to write (see the 15 minute post about why). So, instead, I will lament on these silly old computers I keep using for personal and work. This laptop, for example, is likely 5 years old. The CD Player doesn’t recognize discs, so I can’t upgrade the software, which has been getting buggy. The hard drive has had a few check-error messages — but unfortunately, I can’t afford my dream (13″ Macbook Pro, post 2009). I long for the day when my phone and my personal computing device will talk to each other in a way that things made by the same manufacturer should.

Tomorrow, the work week begins again. There were some things I should have done two weeks ago but ran out of time. Now, I’m running out of time to secure these things. I have difficulty asking for help. I’m not sure why. Partly, everyone else is busy. Partly, I forget and work on certain priorities. Then, over the weekend, I’m reminded of these other things. I am dissatisfied with work — not the organization’s goals, rather my pay scale and my job title. I want $10,000 per year more than what I make. Yet, I don’t have a good understanding of what the powers that be would expect. When I hear about other salaries and responsibilities, I reasonably know that what I am asking isn’t unreasonable – but I lack the confidence to … ask.

Holidays are coming up. This year, we’re doing a name exchange with the cousins. The cousins being my nieces and nephews. Levi drew his cousin Owen’s name. We have the gifts purchased. Now we need to wrap and send. I have a book for my mother that I need to send off. And, lastly, just figuring out what we’ll get Levi and each other. I’d like my husband to get an iPhone. However, we don’t have the ready funds and I’m not ready to hear him complain about an “over priced piece of junk” even though we both know he covets it.

And, here we go. Over 550 words. I shall close. Hopefully this re-pattern of writing will get the more thought-provoking phrases rolling.

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One Mom’s {Post} Election Day Endorsements

Voting, Oregon Style
In Oregon, we have vote-by-mail. That means, instead of going to the polls, we go to drop boxes to deliver our ballots. We’ve just changed the type of lines we wait in – in addition to increasing voter turnout!

Oh goodness! I did not get this out in time… but, I wanted to post anyway. This year, let’s do a little exercise together. Below, you’ll find a link to a spreadsheet I created to map the organizations I follow and thier respective endorsements. In this blog post, you’ll find who and what I’m voting for and why. I won’t be addressing some things like the judges up for election, but I hope to hit the important highlights.

President

I voted for Barack Obama.

Senator

Oregon has no open senate seats this election.

House Representative

I voted for Earl Blumenauer.

Secretary of State

I voted for Kate Brown.

State Treasurer

I voted for Ted Wheeler.

State Attorney General

I voted for Ellen Rosenblum.

State Senator

I voted for Chip Shields.

State Representative

I voted for Tina Kotek.

Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries

I voted for Brad Avakian.

City Mayor

I voted for Jefferson Smith.

Council Seat

I voted for Amanda Fritz.

The Measures

77 – Amends Constitution: Governor may declare “catastrophic disaster” (defined); requires legislation session; authorizes suspending specified constitutional spending restrictions

I voted no because I don’t believe in unnecessary legislation. I have not seen persuasive arguments for creating a law for something the governor can and does do anyway.

78 – Amends Constitution: Changes constitutional language describing governmental system of separation of powers; makes grammatical and spelling changes.

I believe in good grammar, and as such voted yes on this measure.

79 – Amends Constitution: Prohibits real estate transfer taxes, fees, and other assessments except those operative on December 31, 2009.

Why December 2009, you might wonder? Because the citizens of Oregon already passed the document/real estate transfer fee. Much of this funding (about $15 per sale of a house)  goes to support affordable housing. The Community Alliance of Tenants has endorsed a “No” vote. I am voting No on this measure.

80 – Allows personal marijuana  help cultivation/use without license; commission to regulate commercial marijuana cultivation/sale.

While I have some questions about how the regulation will pan out, such as what sort of repercussions there are for people if they can’t prove where they got there product, I am voting yes for this measure. Oregon is known as a green state for many. It’s green in many diverse ways. In keeping in line with unnecessary legislation, making legal what many do only makes sense. Regulation means: JOBS. So, I am voting yes on measure 80 to make legal an Oregon pastime and create legal jobs.

81 – Prohibits commercial non-tribal fishing with gillnets in Oregon “inland waters,” allows use of seine nets

I voted no, because this measure doesn’t include all-areas. So, some states would still be allowed to use nets, unfairly discriminating against Oregon fishermen. For this to be a sustainable measure for fish, it’d have to be a multi-stakeholder measure — more than one state making strides.

82 – Amends Constitution: Authorizes establishment of privately-owned casinos; mandates percentage of revenues payable to dedicated state fund & 83 – Authorizes privately-owned Wood Village casino; mandates percentage of revenues payable to dedicated state fund

I voted no on both these measures.

  1. I believe we should minimize access to gambling.
  2. I’m okay with Native Americans having the only access to allow gambling. We did entire nations of people a huge disservice, and I think it’s okay that we take penance for our sins by allowing them income for our vanities.
  3. When destinations are created, you create more traffic, trash, and other unstainable measures.

84 – Phases out existing inheritance taxes on large estates, and all taxes on intra-family property transfers

I voted no. We need income for services.

And, here’s to hoping for a more timely note next year!