Hill to Hall Jan. 9-15

‘Shithole’ comment sparks backlash

President Donald Trump allegedly asked bipartisan congressional leaders in a closed-door meeting on Thursday “why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” The comment, first reported by The Washington Post, supposedly referred to immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.  

The remark fuels tensions within Congress over the still-unresolved legislative concerns regarding “Dreamers,” those who are in the country through DACA. It also comes after Trump recently revised residency permits for displaced peoples from Haiti and El Salvador.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency alarms with false missile warning

An emergency warning in Hawaii declaring, “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL” terrified citizens on Jan. 13. The warning was a false alarm. An employee pressed a wrong button and delivered the message to mobile devices across the islands.

Offshore drilling halt sought

On Jan. 9, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke extended an offer to halt plans to open drilling off the shores of Florida due to its dependence on tourism. Oregon and at least eight other states now seek the same exemption. Governor Kate Brown’s office announced on Jan. 12 that Secretary Zinke will reconsider the move to allow drilling off Oregon’s coast.

Blumenauer a no-show for Trump SOTU

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), an outspoken critic of Trump, announced on Jan. 5 he will not attend Trump’s first State of the Union address, opting instead to meet with constituents.

Water shut-offs are ‘child abuse’

Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman said in early January at a Portland City Council meeting that shutting off water service to homes with children was “child abuse.” This has resulted in corrective procedures, according to the Oregonian. After a back and forth between Saltzman and current Water Bureau Commissioner Nick Fish, policy changes are in the works to better protect families.


Central City 2035 Plan gets another push, 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18.

Portland City Council will convene on Thursday for a four-hour session to work through a series of amendments and action items regarding the ambitious Central City 2035 Plan. The council will address numerous individual changes to city codes in the upcoming week, including transportation and scenic views. Attendees can sign up for a two-minute speaking slot.