TRI CITY — Students at Tri City Elementary School were rolling around on the school’s lawn Wednesday afternoon after a quick lesson from the Tri City Fire Department on stop, droll and roll.
The quick lesson was part of a larger safety presentation from the fire department.
Fourth grader Shayla Carnes helped her mother, firefighter Kayla Ray, with the presentation.
“It’s cool,” Shayla said, adding that her favorite part was “showing all the tools.”
The tools included fire hooks, axes and forcible entry tools.
Jonathan Campos said seeing all the tools was his favorite part as well, including seeing the fire suit worn by Amanda Stacy.
“I like how you can go without burning yourself when you run into a fire,” Jonathan said.
In total, Ray said the suit and tools used by firefighters weigh about 65 pounds.
Ray also explained what to do in case of a fire — stay calm, stay low, get outside — and encouraged the students to go home and discuss a meeting spot with their families.
“I enjoy working with the kids,” Ray said, who got help from both her children in the presentation. Her son, Joseph, dressed up as Sparky the Fire Dog and gave high fives to the students.
Stacy wore the fire suit throughout the presentation, and showed students where to monitor the oxygen level and how to call out for help. Stacy got down on her hands and knees to show how she would enter a burning building, and look for survivors.
Ray advised the students to stay near a wall, preferably under a window, if they couldn’t get out on their own during a fire, so they would be easier to find.
Each grade level got a 30-minute presentation on fire safety and some of the equipment used by firefighters.
Douglas Fire Protective Association hosted a fire presentation at the school on Monday, to teach about wildfires and safety.
SALEM — Republican lawmakers voted with majority Democrats in the Oregon House of Representatives to take the historic step of expelling a Republican member who let violent, far-right protesters into the state Capitol on Dec. 21.
Legislators said on the House floor that this could be the most important vote they ever cast. They then proceeded Thursday night to expel an unapologetic Rep. Mike Nearman with a 59-1 vote, marking the first time a member has been expelled by the House in its 160-year history. The only vote against the resolution for expulsion was Nearman’s own.
Rep. Paul Holvey, a Democrat who chaired a committee that earlier Thursday unanimously recommended Nearman’s expulsion, reminded lawmakers of the events of Dec. 21, which were an eerie foreshadowing of the much more serious Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
“On the morning of Dec. 21st, a couple hundred protesters — some of them heavily armed and wearing body armor — arrived at the Capitol for a protest, with the intent to illegally enter and presumably occupy the building and interrupt the proceedings of the Oregon Legislature,” Holvey said. “Staff and legislators were terrified. We can only speculate what would have happened if they were able to get all the way in.”
Nearman said he let the protesters in because he believes the Capitol, which has been closed to the public to protect against spread of the coronavirus, should have been open. The assault happened during a peak of the pandemic.
But even Republicans, who are often bitterly opposed to Democratic initiatives on climate change and some other bills, said the crowd outside the Capitol that day was not made up of constituents who wanted to peacefully engage in the democratic process.
Some were carrying guns. Some shouted false QAnon conspiracy theories about Democrats kidnapping babies. They carried American flags, banners for former President Donald Trump and a sign calling for the arrest of Democratic Gov. Kate Brown. They broke windows and assaulted journalists.
“Nobody should have opened the door to the people who were here that day,” said Rep. Daniel Bonham, a Republican and a member Holvey’s special committee.
The final straw for Republican House members came on June 4, when video emerged showing Nearman choreographing how he would let protesters into the Capitol a few days before it actually happened. For his fellow lawmakers, that was proof it was a premeditated act, which Nearman acknowledged. All 22 of his fellow House Republicans wrote him on Monday, strongly recommending he resign.
As lawmakers gathered to decide Nearman’s fate, a few dozen people waving American flags and one carrying a sign saying “I am Mike Nearman” gathered outside the Capitol. One repeatedly kicked a metal door, sending booms through a marble hallway of the building.
Nearman was seen on security video opening a door to protesters on Dec. 21 as lawmakers met in emergency session to deal with economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Protesters barged into the building, which was closed to the public because of coronavirus safety protocols, got into shoving matches with police and sprayed officers with bear spray.
“It’s impossible to overstate the seriousness of the reason we are here today,” Holvey said during the committee hearing. “Rep. Nearman enabled armed, violent protesters to enter the Capitol, breaching the security of the Capitol, which was officially closed to the public, and also endangered the authorized staff and legislators inside the building.”
Hundreds of people provided written testimony to the House Special Committee On December 21, 2020, which was composed of three Democrats and three Republicans.
Some who testified excoriated Nearman as a seditionist. Others praised him for letting people into the Capitol, saying residents should be allowed to attend even though hearings are livestreamed on video.
“Mike Nearman’s behavior ... was abhorrent and anti-democratic,” David Alba said. “Furthermore, by aiding and supporting extremists, he has placed people’s lives in danger. He should be removed from office and he is not fit to represent my district.”
But Nearman’s supporters said they elected him and the House should not expel him. One supporter suggested the 22 GOP lawmakers who asked him to resign should be voted out of office.
“May your Republican constituents take no mercy on you,” Casey Ocupe said in written testimony.
House Speaker Tina Kotek credited riot police, who finally pushed out the Dec. 21 protesters, with preventing a full-scale assault.
Nearman also faces two misdemeanor criminal charges and has said he will seek a trial by jury.
Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky
Volunteers are already beginning to plan for the Nov. 11 Veterans Day Parade and Dec. 18 Wreaths Across America wreath-laying.
Grand marshals for this year’s parade will be veterans who served in the global war on terrorism over the past 20 years, since the 9/11 attacks of 2001.
The theme for this year’s Veterans Day Parade will be “20 Years of Commitment ... Honoring Those Who Have Served in Our Nation’s Longest War.”
Volunteers are being sought and applications are being taken for this year’s parade. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m., Oct. 29. For more information or to volunteer, call 503-504-8198.
The local wreath-laying effort is part of the nationwide Wreaths Across America event, in which 2,500 wreath-laying ceremonies are coordinated on the same day in November in all 50 states. In 2020, more than 1.7 million veterans’ wreaths were placed at national cemeteries.
Each wreath is handmade from live balsam brush grown in Maine. The wreaths are shipped by professional truck drivers who donate their time and equipment. Volunteers place the wreaths on individual graves.
Carol Hunt, an organizer with Roseburg’s chapter of Wreaths Across America, said the plan is to have schoolchildren help lay out the wreaths, and she hopes local classes will volunteer to participate.
The event will begin with a short ceremony at 9 a.m. Dec. 18.
Organizers have set an ambitious goal this year.
“We have 6,500 graves at Roseburg National Cemetery and our goal is to get a wreath on every grave,” Hunt said.
Anyone interested in helping out with the wreath laying can contact Hunt at 503-504-8198.
Donations can be made of $15 to sponsor a wreath and assist the local Military Honors by the Pipes, a nonprofit organization that provides a highland bagpiper for funeral services and ceremonies involving military honors. The organization provides pipers to honor more than 1,000 Oregon veterans each year at no cost to the families.
Wreaths can be sponsored online at wreathsacrossamerica.org/OR0035P, or by a check in the mail to Wreaths Across America with OR0035P indicated on the check and ORRNCR for Roseburg. Checks can be mailed to Military Honors by the Pipes, Attn: Wreaths Account”, P.O. Box 1203, Roseburg, OR 97470.