CRESWELL – The spirit of July 4 returns to Creswell next weekend as both the Chamber and City ramp up to provide family-friendly events, including airplane rides, the traditional fireworks display and citywide contests.
There will be plenty to do, but not at TJ’s Restaurant.
Owner Tom Nelson has since squashed any plans for the day on his property, after he caught wind of events on his site that he was not privy to.
Nelson, who has owned TJ’s for 35 years, was dismayed when he read the article in last week’s Chronicle recapping the City Council’s decision to serve alcohol in the parking lot of his restaurant for an extremist political event on July 4. The event, which has been promoted by paramilitary, anti-government extremists, lists TJ’s as its staging area.
He did not know about any of these plans or permits, he said, and has since pulled the permits filed for the event. Further, Nelson is closing down his restaurant entirely from July 4-6.
“There will be no beer, no license, no anything … there will be no organized event of any kind in the TJ’s parking lot, and the police are going to enforce that,” Nelson said.
The liquor licence and a special events application were pursued by Bob Jensen, who is in the process of buying 49% of the restaurant from Nelson. Jensen is not affiliated with Nelson Restaurant Corporation, the licensee name in which the alcohol application form was applied under, Nelson said.
“TJ’s is not represented by Robert Jensen,” he said. Jensen declined comment.
City manager Michelle Amberg said Tuesday no new permits have been filed for July 4 events.
Despite Nelson’s decision to shut it down on his property, the event is still be promoted online, including a propagandist video posted to YouTube on June 17 stating that participants are going to “bring the Fourth of July back to the people of Creswell from the clutches of the evil virus from China” and reap “victory from the mask invaders.”
A poster circulating online by Creswell resident Julie Bivens, who helped organize the “We the People Parade” in 2020, advertises a list of guest speakers, including a Sherwood resident who was identified as being at the Jan. 6 insurrection attack of the Nation’s Capitol Building. Other guest speakers listed also include Ben Edtl, Heather Ruger, Jeanette Schade, Quincy and Jamee Franklin and David Jacques.
2019 CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO
A young holiday-goer enjoys the atmosphere during the Fourth of July Celebration in Creswell.
David Medina, in an Oregon Public Broadcasting report, was identified as having been at the insurrection and at the Dec. 21 efforts to storm the state’s Capitol building.
Tigard resident Edtl lost in a 2020 city council race, under the platform that he would “stand up to the radical left leadership using anti-racism and Covid fear propaganda to justify the overt oppression of taxpayers.”
Heather Ruger said she will be speaking at the event about “cancel culture and how to survive a doxxing.” Ruger is the president of Turning Point USA, a nonprofit with a focus on conservative students. Its aim is to “play offense with a sense of urgency to win America’s culture war.”
Bivens and Edtl did not respond to The Chronicle. Medina could not be reached.
Lane County Sheriff Scott Denham said that is monitoring the activity online and is speaking to people of interest.
Emma Routley contributed to this report.