On Monday afternoon, rookie state representative Chip Shields stepped forward with a last-minute resolution. A representative for North and Northeast Portland, Shields introduced House Joint Memorial 38--a legislative act that urges President Bush to devise some sort of plan to pull troops from Iraq. The resolution mirrors a similar bill in US Congress, which was co-introduced by Dennis Kucinich. The federal resolution, "The Homeward Bound Act," demands that Bush announce plans for troop withdrawals no later than the end of 2005, with the generous timetable that troops would begin returning to American soil by October 1, 2006.
At a press conference on Monday morning, Shields was joined by Rep. Paul Holvey (D-Eugene), whose son is a member of the army and has served in Iraq. State Senator Avel Gordly (D-Portland) was in attendance as well, and said her legislative aide also has a son serving with the military in the Middle East. Almost 1,800 Americans have died in combat since US troops first invaded in 2003. Oregon has suffered disproportionate losses, with about one in every 200 Oregon guardsmen serving in Iraq being killed in the line of duty--triple the national average. And lest we forget, an estimated 20,000 Iraqis have also been killed. PB
At one time in Portland--five years ago, to be exact--eco-activist Tre Arrow captured the city's imagination. For 11 days, he perched on a tiny ledge outside the US Forest Service offices, protesting logging practices in nearby national forests. He was the news story. His celebrity status grew to an extent that the Green Party even ran him as a candidate for US Congress.
But those were the glory days: On Monday, Arrow's extradition hearings began in Vancouver, B.C.--and only a dozen people showed up in support.
Arrow has been accused of setting fire to logging trucks at the controversial Eagle Creek logging site, and dump trucks at Ross Island Sand & Gravel. His alleged co-conspirators have confessed to the crimes and fingered him as the ringleader. Arrow disappeared two years ago, only to be arrested for shoplifting a year ago in Canada. If convicted for arson, he is facing a life sentence in Oregon. A decision is expected later this week. PB