State Library eClips
* In a first, Oregon State Fair to feature marijuana plants
* Boaters beware: Low water levels increase risks
* Will the new federal overtime rule affect you?
* Hiring begins for about 400 Oregon State Fair jobs
* Oregon Legislature hires top researcher
* $220.8 million price tag put on Elliott State Forest
* Mysteries surround death of man at Salem prison
* Behind bars: Willamette class goes to prison
* State: ACA benefits hospitals, but rates rising
* New plan helps disabled save without penalty
* Bottom line: Rain fills the lake
* Educators embrace school gardens as multidisciplinary teaching tool
* Oracle’s ethics face court scrutiny
* Endangered species initiative qualifies for ballot
* Milwaukie delegation backs state trails grant
* Washington County bike-ped projects await state aid
* Outdoor School initiative qualifies for ballot
* State sends landfill expansion decision back to the county
* Editorial: Improving Oregon roads and bridges just got tougher — Opinion
* Hospital profits soar under ACA
* More health insurers expected to return to Central Oregon in 2017
* Where firefighters aren’t paid to fight
* Traces of Valley Fever fungus found in Central Oregon
* Two arrested in alleged real estate and mortgage fraud
* Oregon Upgrades From ‘F’ To ‘B’ For Transparent Health Care Costs
* Politics Of Trade: The Northwest’s Complicated Relationship To The TPP
* Oregon Comes Up With A Pricetag For Its Forest For Sale
* Salmon Reintroduction
* Cities pan county’s bid to change zoning of ag land
* Oregon farmer challenging order to confine hogs
* Historic bridge near the Ashland Plaza will be reinforced, ODOT says
* Cities around West turn to local action to block oil trains
* Eagle numbers soar while murrelets mope
* Editorial: As fire season comes, its time for self defense — Opinion
* ODFW Reports Great Whale Sightings, Crabbing on Oregon Coast
* Oregon hospitals’ profit is way up– Blog
* Oregon health insurers reconsider fleeing rural Oregon– Blog
* Oregon hospitals rosy financials good news for some, concerning to others– Blog
* Tourism and Oregon’s Economy– Blog
* Rural Oregon’s Potential Labor Force– Blog
* Oregon’s State Fair Will Have Pot Plants This Year
* New restrictions on Oregon flood plain development
IN A FIRST, OREGON STATE FAIR TO FEATURE MARIJUANA PLANTS (Portland Oregonian)
The Oregon State Fair celebrates oddities like the “curviest vegetable” and the “most misshapen fruit.” Fairgoers can marvel over award-winning onions and pumpkins and snap photos of the top pig and llama.
This year, the state fair is adding a new attraction: prize-winning marijuana plants.
BOATERS BEWARE: LOW WATER LEVELS INCREASE RISKS (Portland Oregonian)
Warm weather is finally here: On Thursday and Friday, temperatures will reach into the 90s making for perfect conditions to go boating.
WILL THE NEW FEDERAL OVERTIME RULE AFFECT YOU? (Portland Oregonian)
Are you a salaried employee who makes less than $47,476 a year? If so, your pay structure may change Dec. 1. That’s when the new federal overtime rule goes into effect, which updates the threshold at which salaried “white collar” employees are eligible for overtime from $23,660 to $47,476.
HIRING BEGINS FOR ABOUT 400 OREGON STATE FAIR JOBS (Salem Statesman Journal)
The Oregon State Fair is now accepting applications for about 400 jobs, including admissions, parking, food stand and janitorial positions, for the 2016 season.
OREGON LEGISLATURE HIRES TOP RESEARCHER (Salem Statesman Journal)
Christopher Reinhart has been hired as the first director of a new legislative agency in Oregon, the Office of Legislative Policy and Research. He currently is chief attorney at the Connecticut General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Research.
$220.8 MILLION PRICE TAG PUT ON ELLIOTT STATE FOREST (Salem Statesman Journal)
Oregon has put a $220.8 million price tag on the Elliott State Forest.
That’s much less than the $300 million to $400 million value estimated in August, when the State Land Board decided to sell the 82,500-acre property near Coos Bay.
MYSTERIES SURROUND DEATH OF MAN AT SALEM PRISON (Salem Statesman Journal)
A 27-year-old Salem man is one of nearly 20 inmates who died unexpectedly in Oregon state prisons since 2015.
James Emerson Howland III, died July 18 after being found unresponsive in his cell at the Oregon State Penitentiary.
BEHIND BARS: WILLAMETTE CLASS GOES TO PRISON (Salem Statesman Journal)
A politics class at Willamette University spent every other Monday this spring in the Oregon State Penitentiary.
They worked with inmates on such topics as clemency, juvenile rights and prison condition during the spring semester “Reforming Criminal Justice” politics class taught by professor Melissa Michaux.
STATE: ACA BENEFITS HOSPITALS, BUT RATES RISING (Salem Statesman Journal)
Even while personal health care plans in Oregon get more expensive, hospitals statewide are showing bumps in financial health and revenue.
A report released this week by the Oregon Health Authority shows that in 2015, the same year state regulators announced a notable gap between what insurers collected and what they spent on claims, a statewide compilation of 60 out of 62 of Oregon community hospitals showed record increases in net incomes and large operating margins.
NEW PLAN HELPS DISABLED SAVE WITHOUT PENALTY (Salem Statesman Journal)
Individuals with disabilities and their families will no longer have to live in poverty or limit their savings to receive state and federal benefits.
The Oregon 529 Savings Board announced Monday that the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan will launch by the end of 2016.
BOTTOM LINE: RAIN FILLS THE LAKE (Salem Statesman Journal)
While there’s plenty of engagement with the issue, problems emerging from a comparative dearth of water in Detroit Lake draw few answers.
The engagement was clear July 20 at Gates Fire Hall, when more than 150 people turned out to the discuss consequences of low water levels.
EDUCATORS EMBRACE SCHOOL GARDENS AS MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEACHING TOOL (Eugene Register-Guard)
Gardening is, for many, a passion to be indulged in on weeknights and weekends a solace from the day-to-day work world.
But for 11 schoolteachers this past week, gardening was something to study up on with the goal of creating some lesson plans and passing their new knowledge on to their future students.
ORACLE’S ETHICS FACE COURT SCRUTINY (Portland Tribune)
Oracle billed the state of Oregon for millions of dollars on the Cover Oregon project even after the software giant secretly determined its own poor work had already cost the state millions, a state lawyer said Monday.
ENDANGERED SPECIES INITIATIVE QUALIFIES FOR BALLOT (Portland Tribune)
An initiative petition that seeks to prohibit the sale of items made from 10 endangered species has qualified for the November general election ballot.
The IP 68 campaign turned in 151,544 signatures, and 113,121 were found valid, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
MILWAUKIE DELEGATION BACKS STATE TRAILS GRANT (Portland Tribune)
Led by mayor, supporters say Kronberg Park link is vital.
A delegation led by Mayor Mark Gamba came to Salem to ensure a state grant for completion of a multiuse trail through Robert Kronberg Nature Park in Milwaukie.
WASHINGTON COUNTY BIKE-PED PROJECTS AWAIT STATE AID (Portland Tribune)
Connect Oregon money would complete two trails.
State bond proceeds, awaiting action by the Oregon Transportation Commission, will enable the completion of two long-awaited pedestrian/bicycle corridors in Washington County.
OUTDOOR SCHOOL INITIATIVE QUALIFIES FOR BALLOT (Portland Tribune)
An initiative petition to fund a statewide outdoor education program with Oregon Lottery revenue has qualified for the November general election ballot.
STATE SENDS LANDFILL EXPANSION DECISION BACK TO THE COUNTY (Portland Tribune)
Texas-based Waste Managements efforts to expand Riverbend Landfill, the primary repository for not only most of Yamhill County’s garbage but much of the Portland metropolitan area, took another hit recently thanks to a ruling by a state agency.
EDITORIAL: IMPROVING OREGON ROADS AND BRIDGES JUST GOT TOUGHER — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)
Politicians on all sides agree that the states roads and bridges need money badly. But getting it never was going to be easy, and a recent move by the state will make it harder to get approval from the Legislature.
HOSPITAL PROFITS SOAR UNDER ACA (Bend Bulletin)
-Drop in uninsured leads to lower demand for charity care and bad debt-
Oregon hospitals, including those in the St. Charles Health System, enjoyed a banner year in 2015 as the Affordable Care Act drove down the number of uninsured patients and boosted hospital profits to their highest levels in more than a decade.
-State is promising reasonable rates on policies-
Bend residents might have more than two health insurance carriers to choose from next year after all.
Currently, Health Net Health Plan of Oregon and PacificSource Health Plans have agreed to sell 2017 individual policies those people buy for themselves or family members in Deschutes County. State regulators announced Wednesday four other carriers have expressed interest in expanding the number of counties they sell those policies in.
WHERE FIREFIGHTERS AREN’T PAID TO FIGHT (Bend Bulletin)
-Recent house fire has Juniper Acres residents turning to neighbors for help-
When a fire engine and an ambulance pull up in front of a burning house, most people would assume firefighters are about to take on the blaze.
But for Kelley and Roy Duval, who live 25 miles southwest of Prineville in the 5,000 acre, off-grid community of Juniper Acres, this wasnt the case. Residents in Juniper Acres dont pay fire taxes, and the Duvals house, which caught fire after midnight last week, is located outside of the Crook County Fire Protection District.
TRACES OF VALLEY FEVER FUNGUS FOUND IN CENTRAL OREGON (Bend Bulletin)
-Efforts to grow fungus from soil sample would confirm local infection risk-
Public health officials have thought for decades the coccidioides fungus that causes Valley Fever was found only in the Southwest. The vast majority of cases have been diagnosed in residents of Arizona, California or neighboring states, or in individuals who had recently traveled to those regions. Then, in 2014, the confirmation of three cases of Valley Fever acquired in Washington state launched a search for the fungus throughout the Pacific Northwest.
TWO ARRESTED IN ALLEGED REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE FRAUD (Bend Bulletin)
-More than $5 million in property in Deschutes County allegedly involved in one case-
Two people allegedly involved in real estate fraud in Central Oregon are facing several felony counts after a monthslong investigation by the Deschutes County District Attorneys Office and other agencies.
Mark Franklin Broeg, 59, was arrested after a Deschutes County grand jury indicted him on a number of felony charges including racketeering, mortgage fraud and other theft-related charges, according to a news release Wednesday from the county DAs office.
OREGON UPGRADES FROM ‘F’ TO ‘B’ FOR TRANSPARENT HEALTH CARE COSTS (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
Oregon’s rating for transparency in its health care system has gone up substantially this year, according to one trade group.
The reason: Last year, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill to publicize pricing information.
POLITICS OF TRADE: THE NORTHWEST’S COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP TO THE TPP (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
Oregon and Washington are home to a long list of large and small companies that rely on international trade from Nike and Boeing to the huge wheat farms east of the Cascades.
So its not surprising that Pacific Northwest members of Congress traditionally support and promote trade agreements that benefit the regions powerhouse export economy.
OREGON COMES UP WITH A PRICETAG FOR ITS FOREST FOR SALE (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
The State of Oregon has come up with a pricetag for a forest in Southern Oregon that it wants to sell.
The Elliott State Forest is worth $221 million, according to the Oregon Department of State Lands. That figure is based on a review process that included appraisals by three independent firms.
SALMON REINTRODUCTION (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
After almost a hundred years, salmon have returned to the upper Malheur River. Fisheries program manager Erica Maltz and Tribal Coucil Chairperson Charlotte Rodrique explain what this means for the Burns Paiute Tribe.
CITIES PAN COUNTY’S BID TO CHANGE ZONING OF AG LAND (Capital Press)
Clackamas County’s bid to review the status of three land parcels now set aside for agriculture is a concern to farm groups, and the cities that would have to service new development aren’t hot for the idea either.
Charlotte Lehan, a former county commissioner, former Wilsonville mayor and now member of the city council, said it would be very difficult and very expensive for the city to provide water and sewer to new development south of the Willamette River.
OREGON FARMER CHALLENGING ORDER TO CONFINE HOGS (Capital Press)
A pig breeder is challenging the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s order to build a confinement facility for his hogs, arguing it would hurt their health.
Luther Clevenger and his wife, Julie, raise Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs and other livestock on their 15-acre property near Aumsville, Ore., which has experienced water drainage problems during heavy winter rains.
HISTORIC BRIDGE NEAR THE ASHLAND PLAZA WILL BE REINFORCED, ODOT SAYS (Medford Mail Tribune)
The Ashland Main Street Bridge is in good shape, but after some tests Tuesday, the Oregon Department of Transportation said its going to get some steel reinforcement rods to stretch out its life.
The bridge, a 105-year-old, two-lane, arched span over Ashland Creek on Highway 99 near the Ashland Plaza, was built of concrete and rests on gravel and bedrock.
CITIES AROUND WEST TURN TO LOCAL ACTION TO BLOCK OIL TRAINS (Medford Mail Tribune)
As crude oil trains began rolling through its downtown a few years ago, Spokane was among the first cities to pass a resolution calling for stronger federal safety regulations.
But when a mile-long train derailed in the scenic Columbia River Gorge along the Oregon-Washington border last month after earlier passing through this major railroad hub in eastern Washington some city leaders said they couldn’t wait for tougher federal protections.
EAGLE NUMBERS SOAR WHILE MURRELETS MOPE (Daily Astorian)
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is proposing to take one bird species off Washingtons list of endangered and threatened species and upgrade the status of another to endangered.
Wildlife officials say marbled murrelets small seabirds native to coastal Oregon and Washington and other states in the West are doing worse now in Washington than when they were first listed by Washingtons Fish and Wildlife Commission in 1993. Bald eagles, however, have made a huge comeback and are on track to hit strong population numbers in the years to come.
EDITORIAL: AS FIRE SEASON COMES, ITS TIME FOR SELF DEFENSE — OPINION (Daily Astorian)
The driest place in the U.S. that’s what the Pacific Northwest is between now and, typically, sometime in September. Even here in this normally damp coastal zone where we measure seasonal rainfall in feet rather than inches, this means residents need to manage property with an eye to fire safety.
ODFW REPORTS GREAT WHALE SIGHTINGS, CRABBING ON OREGON COAST (Oregon Coast Beach Connection)
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife ODFW just released its weekly report on outdoor recreation and animals around the state, with some especially good news for the ocean beaches. Crabbing is quite good in most spots and your chances of spotting whales are great.
OREGON HOSPITALS’ PROFIT IS WAY UP— BLOG (Oregon Business Journal)
Oregon hospitals are rolling in dough, according to newly released financial statements for 2015.
Net hospital income in Oregon increased $367 million, or nearly 54 percent. Operating margins increased to 7 percent, up from 5.2 percent the year before.
OREGON HEALTH INSURERS RECONSIDER FLEEING RURAL OREGON— BLOG (Oregon Business Journal)
Stung by losses, Oregon health insurers planned to exit much of rural Oregon next year and stop selling policies to people who buy their own insurance.
Now it looks like a handful of carriers have reconsidered their decisions to withdraw.
OREGON HOSPITALS ROSY FINANCIALS GOOD NEWS FOR SOME, CONCERNING TO OTHERS— BLOG (Oregon Business Journal)
The reason hospital profit margins are up is the same reason their charity care and bad debt are down: More people have insurance, and theyre using it.
Two years ago, after the Medicaid expansion, 975,000 Oregonians were in the program. Today, almost 1.1 million are. Medicaid accounts for about 20 percent of hospitals overall payer mix, up from less than 10 percent in 2013.
TOURISM AND OREGON’S ECONOMY— BLOG (Oregon Office of Economic Analysis)
-Earlier this month Mark and I had the opportunity to discuss tourism and its impact on the Oregon economy to the Transient Lodging Tax Workgroup, setup following the passage of HB 4146 which raised the statewide lodging tax. Our slides are below. However first I wanted to provide a few summarizing thoughts.-
Travel and tourism has been booming in recent years. Nationally the share of consumer spending spent on travel and tourism really has never been higher. Hotel occupancy across the country is at or near record highs. Hotels also have more pricing power today given the strong demand even as new hotel construction picks up.
RURAL OREGON’S POTENTIAL LABOR FORCE— BLOG (Oregon Office of Economic Analysis)
In our offices Rural Oregon report we mention that much of the discussion focuses on data and trends that are backward looking. They indicate how many jobs were lost in the 1980s or how old the typical resident is and the like. While these statistics help describe the current lay of the land, they do not necessarily tell us what tomorrow may bring. To be sure, many of the more forward-looking indicators are also less bright in much of rural Oregon than in urban Oregon, but not all hope is lost. In fact, if anything, some of pessimism about rural Oregon today may be a bit overdone. The reason? Demographics. Yes, thats right, demographics.
OREGON’S STATE FAIR WILL HAVE POT PLANTS THIS YEAR (Willamette Week)
The motto of this year’s Oregon State Fair is “Here Comes the Fun.”
This could be pointing to the Milk Chug-A-Lug or the Art of Non-Shaving contest.
NEW RESTRICTIONS ON OREGON FLOOD PLAIN DEVELOPMENT (High Country News)
-Some see the changes as reform of a troubled program, and others as an example of bureaucratic overreach.-
Last winter, Oregon survived a nightmare of flooding. A state of emergency was declared for 13 counties across Oregon, and heavy rains in Portlands downtown Pearl District submerged cars under brown water tainted with sewage. Towns were evacuated as rivers swelled. The deluge softened the ground, causing landslides and sinkholes. Two people died and the total damages amounted to $25 million.
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