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New laws went into effect at start of New Year

We have left 2013 behind, and your King City Police Department looks forward to another productive year in 2014.

As our community has grown this past year with many new residents making King City their home, our crime calls for service have not experienced significant increases from 2012. This would indicate that King City remains a safe place to retire or to raise a family.

The police department will continue to provide a high quality of service and follow our mission statement of prevention, maintenance of quality of life and enforcement.

Thank you, King City, for your continued support.

Information on new laws

On Jan. 1, several new laws went into effect, and I have listed several that may impact King City residents.

-- Oregon minimum wage increases to $9.10 per hour;

-- Texting while driving or talking on a cell phone is subject to a maximum fine of $250 for the first offense and $500 for repeat offenses;

-- You can be cited and fined for "unlawful tethering" of a dog if you use a leash that is not a "reasonable length" for a period longer than 10 hours in 24 hours;

-- Landlords cannot turn away a rental applicant solely on the basis of whether he or she receives federal Section 8 vouchers;

-- The law allows a person who has been sexually abused and who has an objectively reasonable fear for his or her physical safety to petition a circuit court for a restraining order against the alleged abuser if the respondent is at least 18 years and the respondent is not already subject to a restraining order;

-- It is a violation to smoke in a vehicle while a person under the age of 18 years is in the vehicle (enforceable as a "secondary" offense).

House Bill 3460 (medical marijuana dispensaries)

There has been much discussion on the subject of marijuana dispensaries within the state of Oregon. The Legislature has approved the creation of medical marijuana dispensaries and has directed the Oregon Health Authority to create rules governing the operation of marijuana dispensaries.

The Oregon Health Authority is to establish a registration system for medical marijuana facilities that permits the transfer of marijuana from registered medical marijuana cardholders, primary caretakers or marijuana grow sites to medical marijuana facilities and from medical marijuana facilities to holders of medical marijuana cards or designated caretakers of holders of medical marijuana cards.

In addition, the OHA is to develop rules that govern the actual operation of the dispensaries.

The marijuana issue will continue to be a subject of great interest as the debate continues. I would suggest that you follow how the 2014 Legislature addresses the continuing marijuana question.

You be the judge (or you have to be kidding)

We all know that being a parent and raising children is a difficult endeavor. However, in this case, one wonders whether there should be background checks for parents. Imagine a mother identified by her fluorescent pink hair who takes her one 1-month-old child on a shopping trip to a mall. After completing her shopping, she misplaces the child. Only later do the police receive a report of a "pink-haired" woman driving her car with a baby in a carrier on top of the car.

As it turns out, this lapse of memory was fueled by the beer and marijuana that she shared with her boyfriend prior to embarking on the shopping escapade.

The police responded to the woman's residence, recovered the baby (the child was unharmed) and arrested the "pink-haired" mother for child endangerment and possession of marijuana. Not sure what happened to the boyfriend. The entire episode makes you wonder!

So until next time, be good, be neighborly and be safe.