Oregon Partnership Fundraiser Major Success

April 30, 2010

Oregon Partnership’s annual fundraising gala April 16th proved to be a total success in more ways than one.

 “A Night at the Museum” at the Portland Art Museum drew a record crowd and grossed more dollars than last year. 

Honorary chairs, Major General Mark Graham and Carol Graham, told of the compelling story of their sons and the importance of suicide prevention.  And in his remarks, Gen. Graham praised OP for its work with returning soldiers and veterans.

OP President/CEO Judy Cushing announced the startup of a 24-7 military helpline where soldiers, veterans and their families can call for mental and emotional health services, assistance, and access.

Thanks to all OP supporters and volunteers for their help and generosity.

Click here to view photos from Night at the Museum.


GPS Technology Used to Study Addicts

April 27, 2010

 From Join Together….

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) researchers are studying whether additional clues to the environmental factors associated with addiction can be uncovered by tracking addicts’ whereabouts through GPS technology, CNET News reported April 21.

Researcher David Epstein and colleagues are studying Baltimore heroin addicts in methadone maintenance treatment, and so far have tracked the daily activities of two of the subjects. Using a GPS provided to the addict to track motion and then a PDA on which the individual can periodically record feelings, stressors and drug use behaviors, the team found that one addict used drugs mostly on the relatively rare occasions when he was in impoverished areas of the city.

Looking ahead to the potential implications of this research, Epstein said, “You can have an intervention that on-the-spot warns people about where they are going based on data about neighborhoods in general and their behavior specifically.”

Epstein believes that another advantage of the technology lies in the ability to obtain more accurate details of real-time behavior by addicts — data that become skewed when they are collected many days after the fact through addicts’ self-reporting.

Epstein presented details of the research at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers.

Oregon Partnership’s Annual Gala!

April 14, 2010
FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2010 – Portland Art Museum – 5:30PM

Reception/Silent Auction – Full Course Dinner
Oral Auction/Entertainment

Honorary chairs Major General Mark and Carol Graham
Click here to read their story

 For tickets…call 503-244-5211

Oregon Partnership Calls for Tougher Liquor Regulations

April 9, 2010

No one wants another tragedy similar to what happened to Jessica Blanck and Krissy Shaddix.

The two 21-year-olds were killed in 2007 by a drunk driver who had been served at a Gresham bar with a reputation for serving inebriated patrons.

This incident and others like it could have been prevented. With the help of legislative and community leadership and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the time is now to impose stronger measures to prevent more deaths on our streets and highways.

The rules in our state on serving intoxicated patrons are unworkable, inefficient and nearly impossible to enforce. And the explosion of new liquor licenses in the past several years is wrought with danger.

In Oregon, a server can’t be cited unless he or she “knowingly” allows a visibly intoxicated person to consume more alcohol. This means that the OLCC must prove that a server actually observed the person, knew he was drunk and served him anyway. Legally proving that is often impossible.

No bar should be serving multishot drinks that equal more than a double. Requiring bars to serve in standard drink sizes or equivalents would help prevent over-pouring. And yes, there should be stricter limits on the number of drinks served per customer.

Ten years ago, Oregon put a lid on the number of liquor licenses issued by the OLCC. But no more. And for the past 10 years, the number of licenses has grown by between 400 and 500 annually. That’s not keeping up with population growth. That’s speeding past it.

The OLCC’s legislatively approved budget currently provides for only 42 inspectors for some 12,000 licensees. That’s one inspector for every 285 establishments and a recipe for massive noncompliance. And that doesn’t count the hundreds of special events and festivals that inspectors must also deal with on a weekly basis. More OLCC inspectors are needed now.

Applicants with horrendous records of compliance and safety seem to be securing licenses almost at will. Our state should impose tougher standards for any business with the crucial responsibility of serving alcohol and, like other states, set the licensing fee to reflect the serious responsibility that comes with securing a license.

It’s also time to consider allowing cities and counties to pass their own ordinances to control the number of licensees and to place reasonable restrictions on hours of alcohol service.

The current laws do not adequately protect the safety of Oregonians, nor do they protect businesses. While most liquor licensees are responsible, they must compete with those who aren’t. When there is no effective law against serving unlimited amounts of alcohol to patrons, responsible licensees may lose customers to another bar that allows them to drink as much as they want. All too many times, those drinks are cheap — courting disaster on the road.

Having a liquor license should be a privilege that comes with restrictions that are regularly enforced and a responsibility not to over-serve.

Alcohol is a product that should be served with great care. As we have learned again and again, our lives depend on it.

Judy Cushing is president and CEO of Oregon Partnership.