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News
Hanlin endorsed sanctuary repeal as matter of principle

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said he endorsed a letter in support of a measure that would repeal Oregon’s 31-year-old sanctuary law as a matter of fundamental principle.

In an email to The News-Review Tuesday, Hanlin said “Creating sanctuary areas (hideouts) is an obstruction of justice. We should not create a sanctuary for illegal immigrants to flee to which provides them a greater opportunity to avoid complying with the law and the legal process.”

Hanlin said the concept of a sanctuary county or state is in direct conflict with the judicial system and his ability to provide fair and impartial law enforcement.

“By creating sanctuaries, the public’s safety is potentially compromised because those protected by the sanctuary status are exempted from complying with immigration laws, thereby weakening respect for and possibly encouraging disregard for other laws. Furthermore, we should not support sanctuary for one illegal class or activity if we aren’t willing to for everyone else,” Hanlin wrote.

Oregon’s sanctuary law, which was passed in 1987, made the state the first to enact restrictions on what local and state law enforcement agencies could do to assist federal immigration agents. As written, the law states no Oregon law enforcement agency will use public money or personnel to arrest people whose only crime is being in the country illegally.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement keep records of jurisdictions that have enacted policies which limit cooperation with ICE.

In a report from 2017, Douglas County is on the list because it “will not honor ICE detainer without court order or warrant.”

Jackson, Marion, Deschutes, Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties are also on the list.

If the measure, known as Measure 105, passes in November, Hanlin said he doesn’t see it having any effect on Douglas County.

When asked if the area has an issue with illegal immigrants taking refuge, Hanlin said there are plenty of opportunities for criminals to avoid apprehension by hiding in the county’s public lands.

He said Douglas County doesn’t have the same issues with illegal immigrants that other counties face, but added that there is always potential.

“For example, over the past several years we have experienced numerous large scale illegal marijuana growing operations that were controlled by and operated by illegal immigrants. The question isn’t whether Douglas County has the funding to enforce illegal immigration, that is not our mission, but rather allowing us the ability to work with our federal partners who do have the funding to enforce immigration laws,” Hanlin wrote.

Critics of the measure have said it will lead to racial profiling.

Hanlin said biased policing isn’t tolerated in the sheriff’s office and that deputies “serve and protect everyone fairly and impartially regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability, age, religion or socio-economic status.”


Local_biz
Linen Services picks up where Ken's left off

Less than a month after Ken’s Dry Cleaning closed its doors, a new banner was thrown over the old sign and Linen Services Dry Cleaning was born.

Business owners Jodi and Mike Fassler opened the doors on Monday Aug. 20 at 470 NE Garden Valley Boulevard and are “finding their groove,” said Mike Fassler. The couple is leasing the space from the previous owners with the intent to purchase at some point in the near future.

“We’ve been able to retain a few employees and I am relying heavily on them,” Mike Fassler said. “They’ve been doing it for so long, they know all the tricks.”

The Fasslers, who also own a medical laundry business, knew they would be a good fit for running a dry cleaners.

“We are the only dry cleaners in town, so we hope people will be patient with us as we are learning the business,” Jodi Fassler said. “We haven’t ever done retail. It’s always been commercial.”

The commercial business began small when Mike Fassler took over for a friend in 2011 who was doing small loads for local doctors offices and hair salons. Within nine months, the business was processing over 3,500 pounds of clothes per day. Now, it washes about 6,000 pounds per day from businesses like CHI Mercy Medical Center to local hair salons.

“We didn’t want the business to stay closed for too long because this is the only dry cleaners in town,” Jodi Fassler said. “People need a place to go. We didn’t want them going out of town and wanted to keep the business local.”

Mike Fassler said he grew up in Roseburg, and Ken’s Dry Cleaners was open the entire time. He said there are customers who come in today who’ve been coming in as part of their routine for 40 years.

“I think for the next 10 years, people will still call it Ken’s,” Mike Fassler said. “I have to remind myself not to call it Ken’s.”

According to former owner Ken Glass, Ken’s was the last dry cleaners south of Eugene and north of Grants Pass.

Glass opened the business in 1956 with his wife, Jessie. They also owned other dry cleaning businesses in Eugene, Medford and Salem. Those businesses closed one by one, until the Roseburg location was all that was left.

“Like everything else, you run out of steam,” but eventually things become harder to sustain, Glass said. “(Most) don’t know what it’s like to be almost 90.”

According to Glass, the need for a dry cleaners has declined with the loosening of business dress codes, but Glass and the Fasslers still saw a need.

“I was wondering if it was a dying game,” Mike Fassler said. “We’re not going to be able to recruit any professional into the area if we say we can’t offer this service or that service.”

Both of the Fasslers said they want to first maintain and potentially improve on the standard set by the Glass family, but right now they need patience from their customers as they try to get up to speed while maintaining their standards.


Elections
Five more file for transit district board

Five additional candidates have filed to run for seats on the Douglas County Transportation District Board.

There are now 16 candidates for seven positions on the newly formed board, which will manage state transportation grants and determine how they’re spent on programs like U-Trans and Dial-A-Ride. The work was formerly done by Douglas County government, but the district will operate independently of the county. Interviews with candidates who filed earlier ran in the Aug. 18 and Aug. 23 editions of The News-Review.

Douglas County Republican Party Chairman Fred Dayton filed just before the deadline Tuesday afternoon. Also filing in the last few days are John Ficker, Sheri Moothart and William Schmidt of Roseburg and Roy Spurgeon of Winchester.

Dayton is a retired real estate consultant and developer who said he felt 46 years experience serving on various city commissions and local boards would be beneficial. Dayton served on the budget committee for the Roseburg Urban Sanitary Authority during the time when it was forming, and said that has given him experience in how to put together a new district.

He said the district will first have to determine how much money it has to spend, and where that should be spent. It might want to appoint a budget committee and determine the degree to which staff should be hired to carry out the district’s responsibilities.

“That’s where I think I could help with this. I don’t have any lofty goals for dramatic expansion of our transportation capability. I just think we need to look at what the budget’s going to be and how we get maximum utilization of those dollars,” Dayton said.

Ficker spent 40 years working in the freight transportation field, including working as a sales manager for the Southern Pacific railroad company and a transportation manager for Weyerhaeuser. He served as President of the National Industrial Transportation League and vice chairman of the Transportation Advisory Commitee for the city of Queen Creek, Arizona.

Ficker retired to Douglas County a few months ago, but previously lived in Oregon and was appointed by former Gov. Vic Atiyeh to serve on a committee looking at short line railroads. Ficker said his focus on the district board would be ensuring that the district consider the movement of goods, not just the movement of people, as part of its transportation planning.

He said working on getting more buses, more taxis, or Uber or Lyft services are all good things, but that shouldn’t be the district’s entire focus.

“Those are important things, don’t get me wrong, but you also have to have the ability for a manufacturer or a distributor to have good commercial access for their facilities. If you don’t, they won’t locate here,” he said.

Spurgeon is a retired college instructor who has served on the county’s Special Transportation Advisory Committee since 2005.

He’s been involved with transportation planning at many of the colleges and universities at which he’s worked. Spurgeon taught at Chemeketa Community College near Salem, and at colleges in Oregon, Arizona, Washington, Virginia, Kansas and the Navajo nation. Spurgeon started out teaching English and writing and then moved into training educators. At Chemeketa, he trained bus drivers on how to train other bus drivers in their fields of expertise.

Spurgeon said he would like the district to focus on getting transportation to people who have difficulty getting where they need to go, either because they are disabled or elderly or because they live in rural areas and can’t drive to the doctor or to go shopping.

“I think this is a critical time to have people looking at the issues and putting that money where it can do the most good in the long run,” Spurgeon said.

Mootheart has been in the busing industry since 2001, working as both a bus driver and a trainer of other bus drivers. She’s worked for First Student, the company that buses Roseburg High School students, for the past year. She also works as a bus driver and trainer for the Glide School District and previously worked as a bus driver and trainer for the Durham School District and as a residential staff member at the Wolf Creek Job Corps.

Mootheart said her focus would be to increase U-Trans bus services.

“I’m hoping just to spread the U-Trans throughout more of Douglas County, more than just central county where it is now, make it more accessible to our seniors and our young people needing to go to college,” she said.

She said it’s important to provide young people with access to the transportation they need to get to their classes at Umpqua Community College or the Woolley Center.

Mootheart said she’s glad so many people are running for the transportation district board.

Schmidt did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday. According to his filing form he is retired from working for the Oregon state government, and has been a member of local and state boards dealing with transportation, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. He’s also a past board member of Court Appointed Special Advocates.


Court
Brian Brush's 88-year sentence for murder affirmed by appeals court

A Washington State Appeals Court on Tuesday affirmed an 88-year prison sentence for Brian Brush, the former Douglas County businessman who was convicted of murder after gunning down his girlfriend in Long Beach, Washington, nine years ago.

Brush was initially found guilty of first-degree murder in 2011 and sentenced the following year.

When Pacific County Superior Court Judge Michael Sullivan imposed the sentence of 1,060 months on Brush in 2011, he told Brush, “You deserve every single day.”

Brush’s standard sentence would have been between 25 to 29 years in prison, but the court imposed an “exceptional sentence” because of aggravated domestic violence offenses that were part of an ongoing pattern of psychological abuse over a prolonged period of time.

Brush had stalked and harassed his estranged girlfriend, 45-year-old Lisa Bonney, prior to shooting her four times with a shotgun in front of hundreds of witnesses.

Brush appealed his sentence, arguing that jury instructions provided an improper definition of “prolonged period of time.”

The case made its way to the state’s Supreme Court, which ruled in 2015 that the trial court had to sentence Brush within the standard sentencing guidelines or prove in a new trial that Brush had engaged in a prolonged pattern of abuse.

In 2016, Brush was convicted of aggravated domestic violence by the trial court, and given the same sentence from four years earlier.

Brush appealed his sentence again, leading to Tuesday’s decision.

On July 25, 2009, Brush took a hammer to Bonney’s car and later told police that she had assaulted him. Officers arrested Bonney and took her to jail. The following day, Brush recanted his statement and said the assault never occurred, according to court documents.

Over the next month, Brush appeared to be following Bonney. On Aug. 16, 2009, Bonney and her daughter went to the beach. As the pair walked along the edge of the road, they heard Brush’s truck accelerate behind them. Bonney’s daughter Elizabeth testified in court that she thought they would either be hit by the truck or some other altercation would ensure.

Elizabeth Bonney and her mother ran to a nearby parking lot and hid, both shaken up and crying.

When they returned to their home, Brush had left Lisa Bonney voicemails saying: “If you don’t answer I’m sure that your work would love to see naked pictures posted on the front door. Like, I’m sure these people would love to see it, if you’re not going to talk to me.”

On Sept. 11, 2009, Brush and Bonney had been discussing financial issues over text and agreed to meet in person. When they met at a crowded beach they began to argue, and as the argument escalated Brush grabbed a shotgun from his truck and shot Bonney four times from a close distance. The last shot was to her head at a distance of 3 to 4 feet.

Three police officers were walking nearby and witnessed the shooting.

That same year Brush was also facing an FBI investigation related to his financial dealings as the owner of North River Boats in Green, with which he is no longer associated.

Prior to becoming a business owner, he was a police officer in Medford.