REP. BARNHART'S EVENTS:
of Commerce Meeting
Rep. Barnhart will give a review of the 2011 Legislative Session and then talk about 2012 and beyond.
November 10th: Brownsville
8 a.m. at the Community Room, City Hall, 255 North Main St
Open to the Public!
Grab a cup of coffee (no host) and share your thoughts and questions with Rep. Barnhart
If you can, please RSVP. We would like to give the restaurants and coffee shop a little notice, so that they can accommodate all attendees. To RSVP email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541-607-9207.
November 7th: Coburg
7 a.m. at Chief's Restaurant,
91115 N Willamette St, Coburg
November 14th: Walterville
7 a.m. at Aunt Dings Family Restaurant, 39297 McKenzie Hwy, Springfield
November 15th: Creswell
7 a.m. at Creswell Coffee, 116 Melton Road, Creswell
Rep. Barnhart visits Crawfordsville Head Start
OTHER COMMUNITY EVENTS:
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
October 29th: Creswell and Eugene
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Creswell Chamber of Commerce
285 East Oregon Ave
Creswell, OR 97426
Lane Community College
Center for Meeting and Learning
Front of Building 19
4000 East 30th Ave
Eugene, OR 97405
There is also a permanent drop off location in Albany:
Albany Police Department
1117 Jackson St. SE Albany, Or 97322
Visit the National Take Back Initiative site for more information.
Alzheimer's Town Hall
The State Plan for Alzheimer's Disease in Oregon (SPADO) Task Force is hosting a telephone town hall to get input on creating a plan to address the escalating public health crisis caused by the growing number of individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. See their flyer here.
November 10th: By Phone
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 pm
To participate you have to RSVP (They call you)
To RSVP click here or call Jon Bartholomew at 503-416-0202
Are you signed up for the Emergency Notification System in your area?
Lane and Linn-Benton county governments have developed notification systems to alert citizens of regional emergencies. Sign up and get information through your cell phone about missing children, incidents involving hazardous materials, and natural disasters.To read more and to sign-up visit: Lane or Linn-Benton.
Last month my wife and I traveled to China as part of an Oregon Legislature trade delegation. We went with 11 other legislators and several joined us for short portions of the trip. Also joining us were the spouses of most of the legislators, one husband and wife business team, several business people traveling without a companion, and one son of a legislator who came with his father. Other than a couple of side trips like a visit to the terra cotta warriors, the Great Wall, and a couple of museums, the trip was business, education, and “diplomatic” in nature.
Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point) has been organizing annual trips like this for eight years. I was scheduled to go two years ago but had to cancel at the last minute (bicycles and geese do not mix –ask me later- the story is funny unless it happened to you). China is the greatest power house in economic development now and probably for years to come. Among other things, its strategy includes keeping the value of its currency, the Yuan, low to allow it to sell into world markets at low prices. To keep the Yuan low compared to the US Dollar, China has to neutralize the Dollars it takes in (buy US Treasury debt) or invest those Dollars overseas. We want China to invest in Oregon factories, send their students to Oregon universities and colleges (at full out-of-state tuition) and use our ports, railroads and trucking systems for its exports to the United States. All these activities produce jobs and economic development in Oregon that we desperately need right now.
Before we left for China, I thought that Oregon had some special relationship with the Chinese Government, partly because of our “Sister State” relationship with Fujian Province and partly because of Rep. Richardson’s work. Wrong. At our first stop we attended a “reverse investment” convention where all the displays and meetings were put on by those, like Oregon, that are trying to attract investment from China. Over one hundred countries attended that meeting, and several others we attended later. I learned that China has a huge annual budget to bring government leaders to China for just this sort of meeting. While we were in China, the government there paid our expenses along with thousands of other government officials, business people and their travel companions from all over the world to help us become familiar with Chinese business and government leaders. I am astounded at the scale of that work. When you are a country of over a billion people and have an economic growth rate of 9% in a very bad year, you can afford to put a Yuan or two into finding and pursuing investments worldwide.
Probably the most astounding thing about the trip was to see up close how fast China is growing economically. The cities we visited were all multiples of the size of Oregon in population. The smallest was around ten million people, the largest about 40 million people. Imagine one city as populous as all of California combined!
China is a land of contradictions. I could not open my Facebook account because China censors the internet. Yet individual entrepreneurs are getting rich and factory workers (finally) are demanding higher wages and better working conditions and time off. Many working families, some literally from the peasant villages, are buying condominiums in fifty story buildings that seem to grow overnight. Near the end of our trip, we traveled by the bullet train from Beijing to the port city of Tianjin, about the distance from Portland to Eugene, in 25 minutes. On the way, we passed a new city which had over 60 very tall construction cranes in use (I lost track at about 60), mostly building those tall and thin apartment buildings.
Along the way we met with more than one hundred business and government leaders to discuss economic development especially our interest in Chinese investment in Oregon. As one would do in such a meeting we did not mention the unfair trade practices that China perpetrates on the rest of the world (see the recent news stories about solar panels as one small example) but rather the mutual advantages of appropriate trade and investment.
We were kept moving fairly fast, visiting six cities in slightly more than two weeks. Despite the fifteen course banquets the provincial governments or cities like to put on, I lost weight. On several days we were on the go from early morning until after midnight traveling between cities, seeing mammoth projects like the Three Gorges Dam, and sitting in meetings with business and civic leaders wherever we went.
For me personally the best meetings were with university and high school students most of whom were interested in studying in the United States. US colleges and universities have very high reputations in China and are considered plum resume material. The few students we met spoke very good to reasonably good English and seemed uncritically interested in what we could tell them about study abroad.
I do not see China becoming a tourist destination any time soon, at least not the big cities we visited. Their reputation for dense air pollution seemed well-earned. The roads are very crowded and traffic jams are routine. I think our trip was worthwhile. We met a number of people who could help with Oregon development. I came home with some ideas about how our educational institutions and businesses could develop further relationships with this very fast growing country and with a new understanding of both the age of China, starting with Bronze Age development thousands of years ago, and its newness as a worldwide economic powerhouse. Since the disastrous Cultural Revolution of Mao to today, China has compressed a hundred years of economic development into a couple of decades. This massive country is one we must consider in all our development plans and as we strive to put our people back to work.
The Forbidden City,
The Emperor's Palace in Beijing