Trillium Ribbon Cutting

administrator, 10/07/2015 10:33 pm

Trillium is doing great things in Linn County! On Monday, Sen. Gelser and I had the opportunity to celebrate the grand opening of the new 16-bed building which will house the Secure Adolescent Inpatient Program (SAIP) at the Children’s Farm Home. This is a great modern and safe facility for kids to receive treatment, and two more 16-bed units are yet to be built!

Olson files for re-election

administrator, 09/22/2015 5:15 pm

Rep. Andy Olson has filed for re-election to a seventh term as the state representative from House District 15, according to a press release today from his office.

Olson, who retired after 29 years with the Oregon State Police, was first elected in 2004.

“I truly enjoy representing the Albany area. It’s been a privilege to serve this constituency the past ten-plus years, and I am extremely thankful for the continued support,” said Olson in the release. “While I was able to accomplish many goals during the 2015 Legislative session, there is still much work to be done.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Editorial: Juvenile use of marijuana prompts worry

administrator, 09/22/2015 4:58 pm

Even though it had moments when it veered close to invoking the spirit of that camp movie classic “Reefer Madness,” we think state Rep. Andy Olson and other Linn County officials raised some important issues during their Thursday night meeting on marijuana.

Olson and other officials are concerned that marijuana use among juveniles may increase now that recreational use of pot is legal in Oregon in the wake of Measure 91.

That’s a legitimate concern, especially as evidence begins to mount that the drug has outsized effects on developing brains. A 2014 story from NPR reported on a growing number of studies concluding that regular marijuana use (defined as once a month or so) changes the structure of the teenage brain, specifically in areas dealing with memory and problem solving. (As efforts to legalize marijuana gain steam throughout the nation, this is an area that could benefit from additional study, not to mention federal research dollars.)

A recent federal study found that 60 percent of high school seniors believed that marijuana is safe, and 23 percent said they’ve used marijuana in the last month — more than those who used alcohol or smoked cigarettes.

Of course, Measure 91 doesn’t make it legal for minors to smoke marijuana; in fact, the measure made it clear that legalization applied only to adults. But the question remains: Will the growth of recreational pot use in Oregon make it easier for teenagers to access weed?

Click here to read the entire editorial.

Forum tackles pot’s effect on youth

administrator, 09/22/2015 4:57 pm

During a forum on marijuana, West Albany High School principal Susie Orsborn said there’s a problem of kids coming to school high on pot.

“I call it the ‘I-don’t-care drug,’” she said, adding that it causes students to be apathetic about grades, their families and friends.

About 40 people attended the town hall meeting at the Flinn Block Hall in Albany on Thursday, which was organized by State Rep. Andy Olson and included a panel of law enforcement leaders, politicians and educators.

Much of the event centered on marijuana’s impact on youth.

Panel members stressed talking with children about marijuana, and that there was counseling available for teens with pot habits.

Oregon leads the nation in high school dropout rate and Olson worried about teens having more access to marijuana.

Linn County Juvenile Department Director Torri Lynn told the crowd that there were 80 youth referrals for marijuana possession last year, but he expected that figure to increase.

More than half of the youth referred for pot were between the ages of 13 and 15, Lynn added.

According to a handout at the event, youth who use pot regularly face a lower intelligence, double the risk of depression, increased suicidal thoughts and mental disorders.

Albany Police Department Sgt. Robert Hayes and Linn County Sheriff Bruce Riley worried about new methods of using marijuana, such as edibles. Riley cautioned that some edibles are being marketed toward youth.

Hayes said edibles can be extremely potent. One cookie could be the equivalent of 6 servings.

Click here to read the entire article.

Editorial: Food stamp reform bill makes sense

administrator, 07/14/2015 12:14 pm

As citizens and lawmakers alike continue to take stock of the 2015 legislative session, which ended last week, it’s not unusual to run across legislation that didn’t attract much controversy or news coverage at the time but likely still represents a step forward.

Into that broad category add House Bill 2392. Albany Rep. Andy Olson was one of the primary sponsors of the bill, which involves the Oregon Trail EBT cards used mostly to provide food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps, in other words.

The amended version of the bill, which passed both houses of the Legislature by wide margins and now awaits the signature of Gov. Kate Brown, comes into play any time an Oregon Trail recipient reports that a card has been lost or stolen. Under the terms of the amended bill, any replacement card issued must display the name of the individual to whom the card is issued.

This seems like a small bit of business, and in fact, the bill that passed the Legislature is watered down somewhat from the original intent, which was to require printed names on all Oregon Trial cards.

But even the watered-down version seems likely to have a real impact on cutting down on Oregon Trail card fraud and abuse.

Click here to read the entire article

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