* New corporate tax report could add heat to debate over November ballot measure
* 6 Oregon berries that go beyond Marions
* It’s blackberry season: We go beyond marionberries with an Oregon-grown taste test
* Oregon gets $85 million in VW emissions settlement
* The high cost of government transparency in Oregon — Opinion
* When women and mothers serve as lawmakers — Guest Opinion
* Oregon wins $4.9 million to help a handful of low-performing schools improve
* Lawmaker’s actions questioned by Portland police officer
* Franklin Graham meets with embattled Oregon judge
* Opinions differ on SCOTUS corruption ruling
* New cameras keep electronic eye on Western wildfires
* Oregon gets $85 million from VW scandal payout
* Attorneys press Oregon VW cases as carmaker proposes emission scandal settlement
* Central Oregon job growth to lead the state
* Ruling on Virginia governor could have ripple in Oregon
* Editorial: Dont be starry-eyed about the BETC — Opinion
* Student Debt & New Gun Owner
* Brown Not Ready To Take Stance On Business Tax Measure
* 3 Things To Know About Oregon’s High School Funding Initiative
* Think Tank Says Oregon Corporations’ Share Of Tax Burden Is Declining
* Oregon juniper loan program off to slow start, but backers remain hopeful
* Oregon countys GMO ban ruling appealed
* Appeals court: Washington must fix salmon-blocking culverts
* EOU looks to Umatilla County as it works to increase enrollment
* Cascadia aftermath and Umatilla County
* Our view: Fire season arrives in Eastern Oregon — Opinion
* Harney County keeps judge who blocked refuge occupiers
* Medical care is 1st defense against toxic stress — Guest Opinion
* New fire-season regs take effect Thursday
* Boat managers recommend no motor ban on Chetco River
* Our View: No more delay on derelict properties — Opinion
* Digs will uncover history of Indian war on coast
* New health director takes the reins
* Coos Bay prepares for disaster
* We can’t experiment with wastewater — Guest Opinion
* NOAA reminding people not to touch or pick up seal pups
* Water district moves to close road over dam
* Maritime weigh-in rule dispute appears resolved
* Editorial: Time to allow pot to join real world — Opinion
* Editorial: Fire season gets rolling in Oregon — Opinion
* Merkley talks fire costs
* Is school water safe?
* Unemployment rate drops to 7.6 percent
* Five-year population change in Eastern Oregon
* Secretary of the Interior Jewell designates newest national natural landmark
* Forest group considers project planning
* Logging mishap leaves 1 dead
* Cougar appears at fairgrounds
* Spring Chinook fishing opens Saturday on Wallowa River
* Town hall aims to boost tourism in Douglas County
* State irrigation program receives national conservation award
* Prime Working Age Oregon Males– Blog
* Washington Residents Wish They Still Had State Liquor Stores
* The Strawberry Defined Oregon. But Is It Going Away?
* A Maltese Company Wants Overseas Players to Buy Millions of Oregon Lottery Tickets
* Breaking From Custom, One Small Oregon Farm Pays Pickers by the Hour
* Strawberry Shorthand: A Field Guide to Oregon and California Strawberries
* More than 5,300 U.S. water systems violated lead-testing rules last year
NEW CORPORATE TAX REPORT COULD ADD HEAT TO DEBATE OVER NOVEMBER BALLOT MEASURE (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/06/new_corporate_tax_report_could.html#incart_river_home
The share of Oregon income taxes paid by corporations has declined dramatically over the last four decades, from 18.5 percent in 1975 to 6.7 percent today, according to a report released this week by a Portland think tank that advocates for progressive tax policies.
“Corporate income tax contributions have declined to such an extent that the Oregon Lottery now brings in more revenue,” the Oregon Center for Public Policy wrote in the report.
6 OREGON BERRIES THAT GO BEYOND MARIONS (Portland Oregonian)
We visited Josh Alsberg of Rubinette Produce Market, who introduced us to six varieties of cane berries. Caneberries — or brambleberries — are typically perennial fruits that grow on thorny vines. They are composed of juicy “drupelettes,” which are the tiny nodules that cluster together to make an explosion when you bit in to the berries.
IT’S BLACKBERRY SEASON: WE GO BEYOND MARIONBERRIES WITH AN OREGON-GROWN TASTE TEST (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/food/2016/06/its_blackberry_season_we_go_be.html#incart_river_home
The marionberry ushers Oregonians into summer — a berry as tart and juicy as the days are long and hot.
The dark purple blackberry is for Oregon, by Oregon. Created at Oregon State University, it bears the name of its birthplace — Marion County — and is so delicate, the harvest lasts only about three weeks toward the end of June. That makes it hard for anyone outside of the Pacific Northwest to get their hands on the sweet fruit.
OREGON GETS $85 MILLION IN VW EMISSIONS SETTLEMENT (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2016/06/oregon_gets_85_million_in_vw_e.html#incart_river_home
Oregon will receive more than $85 million as part of state and federal settlements with Volkswagen, the automaker at the center of emissions fraud lawsuits across the country.
About $68 million will help establish a special fund aimed at reducing diesel emissions in Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced at a news conference Tuesday in Portland.
THE HIGH COST OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY IN OREGON — OPINION (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/06/the_high_cost_of_government_tr.html#incart_river_home
Last year, The Oregonian/OregonLive requested an electronic database of property recorded into evidence by the Portland Police Bureau. The estimated cost of making those public records public?
It was a bit out of our price range.
WHEN WOMEN AND MOTHERS SERVE AS LAWMAKERS — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/06/when_women_and_mothers_serve_a.html#incart_river_index
When I met with my boss years ago to plan my maternity leave, he spoke admiringly of a woman who returned to her job two weeks after childbirth. I had no clear maternity-related benefits in that position, and our family needed my income. I went back to work after just six weeks. My baby, unfortunately, was unable to switch between nursing and bottle-feeding, so when I returned to work, my newborn stopped nursing. It was heartbreaking.
OREGON WINS $4.9 MILLION TO HELP A HANDFUL OF LOW-PERFORMING SCHOOLS IMPROVE (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2016/06/oregon_wins_49_million_to_help.html#incart_river_index
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Oregon $4.9 million to help a handful of schools with persistently low student achievement to improve.
Roughly nine schools will be chosen in January to receive the money over the course of about four years, said Tim Boyd, director of district and school effectiveness. Only those who were put on a list of “priority” and “focus” schools based on poor performance in 2011 and 2012 are eligible to apply, he said.
LAWMAKER’S ACTIONS QUESTIONED BY PORTLAND POLICE OFFICER (Salem Statesman Journal) http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2016/06/28/lawmakers-actions-questioned-portland-police-officer/86431436/
A Portland police officer accuses Rep. Jodi Hack, R-Salem, of possibly overstepping ethical boundaries for legislators when she confronted him about traffic tickets issued to her son. Hack, who faces re-election for the first time in November, denied the allegations.
Officer Laurent Bonczijk ticketed Hack’s 22-year-old son, Reece Hack on Jan. 9 after he was involved in a crash on I-5 northbound in Portland, just south of the Marquam Bridge.
FRANKLIN GRAHAM MEETS WITH EMBATTLED OREGON JUDGE (Salem Statesman Journal) http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2016/06/28/franklin-graham-meets-embattled-oregon-judge/86488414/
Evangelist Franklin Graham met on Tuesday with Marion County Circuit Judge Vance Day, who has been implicated by the state judicial ethics commission in a series of ethical transgressions.
Day has denied the allegations against him. His case currently awaits scheduling for oral arguments before the Oregon Supreme Court, which hands down judicial sanctions _________________________________________
OPINIONS DIFFER ON SCOTUS CORRUPTION RULING (Salem Statesman Journal) http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2016/06/28/opinions-differ-scotus-corruption-ruling/86473282/
A ruling by the United States Supreme Court on Monday is expected to affect how United States attorneys offices prosecute state officials for public corruption.
Closer to home, it is unknown whether the high court’s opinion will have any bearing on an investigation by Oregon’s U.S. Attorney into alleged acts by former Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, that led to the fourth-term governor’s resignation in February 2015.
NEW CAMERAS KEEP ELECTRONIC EYE ON WESTERN WILDFIRES (Salem Statesman Journal) http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2016/06/29/new-cameras-keep-electronic-eye-western-wildfires/86507094/
As the summer wildfire season heats up in the West, a growing network of online cameras installed on forested mountaintops is changing the way crews fight fires by allowing early detection that triggers quicker, cheaper and more tactical suppression.
The network of roughly 20 high-definition cameras being installed around the Lake Tahoe region can pan, tilt and zoom into fires. They can rotate 360 degrees. And the cameras even have night vision to supplement human lookouts that only work during daylight hours.
OREGON GETS $85 MILLION FROM VW SCANDAL PAYOUT (Salem Statesman Journal) http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2016/06/28/oregon-gets-85-million-vw-scandal-payout/86494596/
Volkswagen is planning to pay $85 million to Oregon as part of a massive fraud settlement, $17 million of which will go to the Oregon Department of Justice consumer fraud protection account to cover the legal expense of future fraud investigations.
According to Kristina Edmunson, a spokesperson with the Oregon Department of Justice, 13,015 Oregonians who bought, leased or sold the vehicles in question will benefit from the other $68 million portion of the settlements. They will get at least $5,100 each, plus either a buy-back option or a modification to their current car’s emission control system.
ATTORNEYS PRESS OREGON VW CASES AS CARMAKER PROPOSES EMISSION SCANDAL SETTLEMENT (Portland Tribune) http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/312961-191696-attorneys-press-oregon-vw-cases-as-carmaker-proposes-emission-scandal-settlement
Lake Oswego attorney Tim Quenelle is waiting for the legal dust to settle before he celebrates if you can call it that Tuesday’s announcement by Volkswagen of America of its proposed $10 billion settlement in the German automaker’s diesel-emission scandal.
“I am impressed with Volkswagen’s ability to fess up and try to bring peace to the valley as quickly as they did,” says Quenelle, co-counsel on more than three dozen state and federal lawsuits brought by VW owners across Oregon who purchased the affected diesel models.
CENTRAL OREGON JOB GROWTH TO LEAD THE STATE (Bend Bulletin)
Employment in Central Oregon has grown quickly over the last couple of years, and that trend is expected to continue over the next eight years, according to projections from the Oregon Employment Department.
Based on regional forecasts across the state, Central Oregon will see the highest percentage of employment growth, 16 percent, from 2014 to 2024.
RULING ON VIRGINIA GOVERNOR COULD HAVE RIPPLE IN OREGON (Bend Bulletin)
-Experts say prosecutors face a narrowed scope in influence-peddling cases like the one involving John Kitzhaber-
In the wake of a unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate a corruption conviction against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, legal experts say federal prosecutors in Oregon face a narrowed scope in influence-peddling cases like the one involving John Kitzhaber.
EDITORIAL: DONT BE STARRY-EYED ABOUT THE BETC — OPINION (Bend Bulletin) http://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/4464770-151/editorial-dont-be-starry-eyed-about-the-betc
Oregons Department of Energy has come in for plenty of well-deserved criticism in recent years, most notably because of its mishandling of its Business Energy Tax Credit program. The problems were so bad the Legislature finally killed the program in 2014.
But BETC is not the only source of the departments woes.
STUDENT DEBT & NEW GUN OWNER (Oregon Public Broadcasting) http://www.opb.org/radio/programs/thinkoutloud/segment/new-police-chief-student-debt-mobile-home-life/
Forty-two million Americans owe $1.3 trillion in student debt. We hear the story of Jackie Krowen, a Portland nurse who wishes she hadnt, as she put it, ruined her life with school. We also talk to Lance Williams, a reporter whose new story looks into the effects of student loan debt.
We asked our listeners for stories from people who had just bought a gun for the first time. Today we hear from a woman who lives in North Portland and just bought a gun for self-protection.
BROWN NOT READY TO TAKE STANCE ON BUSINESS TAX MEASURE (Oregon Public Broadcasting) http://www.opb.org/news/series/election-2016/kate-brown-no-position-business-tax-measure-ip28/
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Tuesday that she will be taking a stance on a ballot measure that would raise taxes on businesses, but she’s not yet ready to do so.
The initiative, currently referred to as IP-28, has qualified for the November ballot. It would raise taxes on businesses with sales that exceed $25 million dollars, generating a projected $3 billion dollars per year in tax revenue.
3 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT OREGON’S HIGH SCHOOL FUNDING INITIATIVE (Oregon Public Broadcasting) http://www.opb.org/news/series/election-2016/ip65-oregon-high-school-funding/
Initiative Petition 65 would direct about $800 annually to each Oregon high school student, aimed at addressing the state’s poor graduation rate and gaps in workforce.
Supporters say IP 65 aims to better engage and prepare teenagers to finish high school and set them on a successful course after they get high school diplomas. The initiative has three priorities: expand college credit offerings, offer more career-technical opportunities, and implement dropout prevention strategies to keep high schoolers from falling through the cracks.
THINK TANK SAYS OREGON CORPORATIONS’ SHARE OF TAX BURDEN IS DECLINING (Northwest Public Radio) http://nwpr.org/post/think-tank-says-oregon-corporations-share-tax-burden-declining
Oregon corporations are paying a smaller portion of the state’s income and property taxes. That’s according to a newly released report from the left-leaning Oregon Center for Public Policy.
Policy analyst Tyler Mac Innis says corporations pay less today than they did 40 years ago.
OREGON JUNIPER LOAN PROGRAM OFF TO SLOW START, BUT BACKERS REMAIN HOPEFUL (Capital Press) http://www.capitalpress.com/Timber/20160628/oregon-juniper-loan-program-off-to-slow-start-but-backers-remain-hopeful
A state loan program intended to jump start the Western juniper market has had only one applicant so far, and people in the industry say it remains stalled in a situation where good intentions and strong demand for juniper lumber arent matched by log supply and mill infrastructure.
Business Oregon, the state agency in charge of an $800,000 juniper fund approved by the 2015 state Legislature, recently tweaked the details of its loan program in an effort to provide better terms and spur more interest.
OREGON COUNTYS GMO BAN RULING APPEALED (Capital Press) http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20160628/oregon-countys-gmo-ban-ruling-appealed
A ruling striking down the ban on genetically engineered crops in Josephine County, Ore., is being appealed by supporters of the ordinance.
The prohibition was passed by voters in 2014 but overturned in May by Josephine County Circuit Court Judge Pat Wolke, who held that state law clearly pre-empted local regulations of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
APPEALS COURT: WASHINGTON MUST FIX SALMON-BLOCKING CULVERTS (Capital Press) http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20160628/appeals-court-washington-must-fix-salmon-blocking-culverts
In a case that could have big implications for dams and other development in the Northwest, a federal appeals court panel said Monday that Native American tribes have a right not only to fish for salmon, but for there to be salmon to catch a ruling that affirms the duty of the United States to protect the habitat of the prized fish under treaties dating back more than 150 years.
EOU LOOKS TO UMATILLA COUNTY AS IT WORKS TO INCREASE ENROLLMENT (East Oregonian) http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/local-news/20160628/eou-looks-to-umatilla-county-as-it-works-to-increase-enrollment
Eastern Oregon University has struggled to find its footing over the past decade, but President Tom Insko said the university now has their feet beneath them and is heading in the right direction.
I like where Eastern is positioned, he said. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but thats OK.
CASCADIA AFTERMATH AND UMATILLA COUNTY (East Oregonian) http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/local-news/20160628/cascadia-aftermath-and-umatilla-county
When the big one hits Oregon, Hermiston residents will be facing weeks without electricity followed by a wave of up to 100,000 refugees from the west side of the state.
The implications are pretty tremendous for us, Eastern Oregon Telecom CEO Joe Franell told Hermiston Chamber of Commerce members at Tuesdays Business to Business luncheon.
OUR VIEW: FIRE SEASON ARRIVES IN EASTERN OREGON — OPINION (East Oregonian) http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/editorials/20160628/our-view-fire-season-arrives-in-eastern-oregon
Fire season officially kicked off Tuesday in Eastern Oregon.
It has already been a brutal start to the season elsewhere across the West: Two people were killed in California wildfires that have burned about 100,000 acres. Other dangerous and destructive fires have flared up in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Montana and Utah.
HARNEY COUNTY KEEPS JUDGE WHO BLOCKED REFUGE OCCUPIERS (Argus Observer) http://www.argusobserver.com/news/harney-county-keeps-judge-who-blocked-refuge-occupiers/article_2827d4e4-3df9-11e6-ad82-d37ae3a32a1b.html
Residents of a remote county in eastern Oregon where an armed group seized a federal wildlife refuge have voted overwhelmingly to keep in office a top local official who had denied the occupiers access to a county building.
MEDICAL CARE IS 1ST DEFENSE AGAINST TOXIC STRESS — GUEST OPINION (Argus Observer) http://www.argusobserver.com/opinion/medical-care-is-st-defense-against-toxic-stress/article_c14d7202-3d4d-11e6-a215-eb5a5f7ce9b7.html
Children dont choose to have asthma or depression, to be obese, hyperactive or abused. But they frequently develop these health problems, and many others, when they are raised in environments with chronic levels of stress.
Doctors in training in St. Louis are learning about the toxic effects of stress on children, and the grim health statistics for adults who experienced traumatic childhood events.
NEW FIRE-SEASON REGS TAKE EFFECT THURSDAY (Medford Mail Tribune) http://www.mailtribune.com/news/20160628/new-fire-season-regs-take-effect-thursday
New fire-season regulations will go into effect Thursday on Oregon Department of Forestry lands in Jackson and Josephine counties because of hot and dry weather.
Campfires will be allowed only in designated campgrounds. Motorized vehicles will be allowed only on improved roads, and smoking while traveling will be allowed only in enclosed vehicles on improved roads, according to a news release from ODF.
BOAT MANAGERS RECOMMEND NO MOTOR BAN ON CHETCO RIVER (Medford Mail Tribune) http://www.mailtribune.com/news/20160628/boat-managers-recommend-no-motor-ban-on-chetco-river
State boating managers have recommended against banning motors on a 10-mile stretch of the Chetco River, calling it an “over-reaching measure” to settle conflicts between boat and bank anglers during the river’s winter steelhead season.
A staff report recommends that the Oregon State Marine Board reject the motor ban petition on driftboats because there is no justification for a motor ban based on safety, congestion or property-rights concerns.
OUR VIEW: NO MORE DELAY ON DERELICT PROPERTIES — OPINION (Medford Mail Tribune) http://www.mailtribune.com/opinion/20160629/our-view-no-more-delay-on-derelict-properties
It was good to hear a local banker say his industry supports the city’s efforts to clean up abandoned houses that are blighting neighborhoods, but the City Council should not be dissuaded from getting tough with negligent banks over concerns about how a proposed ordinance defines “ownership.”
DIGS WILL UNCOVER HISTORY OF INDIAN WAR ON COAST (Medford Mail Tribune)
On Feb. 22, 1856, dozens of pioneers were killed when the Rogue River Indian War that had been raging in the Rogue Valley spread to the Oregon Coast.
On that day, the Tututni Indians launched coordinated attacks on pioneer settlements between Port Orford and the California border. The violence of the attack and the actions that followed affected everyone from a recent German immigrant family to an African-American settler to American Indians.
NEW HEALTH DIRECTOR TAKES THE REINS (Herald and News) http://www.heraldandnews.com/news/local_news/community/new-health-director-takes-the-reins/article_81d2cf08-788c-5973-8ac4-d700229849cb.html
-New health director takes the reins-
Courtney Vanbragt will be the new Klamath County public health director starting July 1, replacing Marilynn Sutherland who is retiring after serving for 16 years as director.
Vanbragt has worked as the Klamath County Health Department program manager for 10 months, has a Bachelor of Science in health studies, a masters in international health and a minor in biology.
COOS BAY PREPARES FOR DISASTER (The World) http://theworldlink.com/news/local/coos-bay-prepares-for-disaster/article_d5759cbc-75ab-59fd-be62-0c3c63ba6489.html
-North Bend, Bandon, and Coos Bay talk about emergency plans-
The cities of North Bend and Coos Bay recently purchased emergency supplies in case of a disaster. Though this isn’t new for North Bend, it is the first year that Coos Bay has chosen to prepare.
WE CAN’T EXPERIMENT WITH WASTEWATER — GUEST OPINION (The World) http://theworldlink.com/news/opinion/local/we-can-t-experiment-with-wastewater/article_aef6ca34-c9b2-5858-8a5c-18af8cf334cc.html
As individuals we make decisions every day, and we face the consequences of those decisions. As elected officials, our decisions have lasting consequences not only on us as individuals but on all of the citizens we serve.
The Coos Bay City Council’s move towards privatizing our publicly owned wastewater facility has many consequences which will cost our community dearly for years to come, if accepted as the final plan.
NOAA REMINDING PEOPLE NOT TO TOUCH OR PICK UP SEAL PUPS (The World) http://theworldlink.com/news/state-and-regional/noaa-reminding-people-not-to-touch-or-pick-up-seal/article_e6d79f0a-7902-5026-8585-a291ea157b9a.html
As harbor seals are being born in the Pacific Northwest, marine mammal advocates up and down the West Coast are urging people not to touch or pick up pups that come up on beaches and shorelines to rest.
At least five times this season, well-meaning people have illegally picked up seal pups in Oregon and Washington thinking they were abandoned or needed help, but that interference ultimately resulted in two deaths, said Michael Milstein, a spokesman with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries.
WATER DISTRICT MOVES TO CLOSE ROAD OVER DAM (Daily Astorian) http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20160628/water-district-moves-to-close-road-over-dam
The Skipanon Water Control District will barricade a gravel road over the Eighth Street Dam to reduce liability while hoping to close the dam by the end of 2018.
Within several days, drivers will encounter a barrier made of two concrete blocks joined by a chain and padlock, along with reflective signage to warn them off.
MARITIME WEIGH-IN RULE DISPUTE APPEARS RESOLVED (Daily Astorian) http://www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20160628/maritime-weigh-in-rule-dispute-appears-resolved
The possibility of slowdowns again plaguing West Coast seaports was averted when ocean carriers agreed this month to accept combined cargo-container weights from marine terminals instead of requiring them from exporters.
The Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association, a U.S.-based association of 19 major ocean carriers, announced its decision at the Agriculture Transportation Coalitions annual meeting in Long Beach.
EDITORIAL: TIME TO ALLOW POT TO JOIN REAL WORLD — OPINION (Daily Astorian) http://www.dailyastorian.com/editorials/20160628/editorial-time-to-allow-pot-to-join-real-world
-Federal regulations are less and less tenable-
Legal marijuana is big business in the Pacific Northwest, quickly achieving a scale that belies its continuing image as a commodity coaxed into life by aging hippies and Millennial stoners. In fact, 21st century marijuana has about as much in common with its cottage-industry antecedents as Napa Valley vineyards have with French villagers stomping grapes.
EDITORIAL: FIRE SEASON GETS ROLLING IN OREGON — OPINION (Albany Democrat Herald) http://democratherald.com/news/opinion/editorial/editorial-fire-season-gets-rolling-in-oregon/article_8d66d7f2-c882-5b55-bf6d-3032e8b14659.html
Here’s something to think about as you stand in line at the fireworks stand this year:
Just as the Independence Day holiday has rolled around again, so has fire season in Oregon.
MERKLEY TALKS FIRE COSTS (Baker City Herald) http://www.bakercityherald.com/news/4462091-151/merkley-talks-fire-costs
Before fielding questions from an audience of about 50 during his town hall Saturday at Haines Elementary School, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., talked about his efforts to change how the country pays to fight wildfires.
Merkley said the U.S. Forest Service has had to halt other projects, including work designed to reduce the risk of fires, because firefighting had depleted the agencys budget.
IS SCHOOL WATER SAFE? (Blue Mountain Eagle) http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160628/is-school-water-safe
Local schools are testing their water taps for lead, joining a scramble of other Oregon districts who are doing the same.
Schools are hurrying to test in the wake of large amounts of lead found in the Flint, Michigan, city water supply and, more recently, in Portland public schools.
Federal law does not require schools test for lead. Although the Oregon Board of Education is working on a new rule, current Oregon law only requires schools with their own water supply to test.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS TO 7.6 PERCENT (Blue Mountain Eagle) http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160628/unemployment-rate-drops-to-76-percent
Grant County experienced its lowest unemployment rate for the month of May this year since 2007.
The seasonally adjusted rate fell from 8.8 percent in May of 2015 to 7.6 percent in May of 2016, according to an economic indicators report released by the Oregon Employment Department Tuesday.
FIVE-YEAR POPULATION CHANGE IN EASTERN OREGON (Blue Mountain Eagle) http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/Local_News/20160628/five-year-population-change-in-eastern-oregon
There are two components of population change: natural increase and net migration. Natural increase is the number of births in an area minus the number of deaths. And net migration is the number of people who moved into an area minus the number of people who moved out. Both of these components varied widely across Eastern Oregon counties from 2010 to 2015, resulting in stark differences in population change.
SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR JEWELL DESIGNATES NEWEST NATIONAL NATURAL LANDMARK (LaGrande Observer)
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has designated the nations newest national natural landmark Mount Howard-East Peak National Natural Landmark in Northeastern Oregon.
The site is an example of Montane Grasslands.
Mount Howard-East Peak National Natural Landmark is the 598th national natural landmark.
FOREST GROUP CONSIDERS PROJECT PLANNING (LaGrande Observer)
High up Big Canyon Road outside of Minam, members of the Wallowa-Whitman Forest Collaborative gazed into the Eagle Cap Wilderness. From where the group ate lunch they could see clear evidence of wildfire, timber harvest and a ponderosa pine plantation. Once grazed by livestock, the allotment is long overdue for an updated environmental analysis.
LOGGING MISHAP LEAVES 1 DEAD (LaGrande Observer)
-Patrick Corley, died Friday in a logging accident outside of Cove, according to UCSO-
A Pendleton man was killed Friday in a logging accident outside of Cove, according to Union County Sheriffs Sgt. Nick Pallis.
COUGAR APPEARS AT FAIRGROUNDS (LaGrande Observer)
A cougar was spotted Monday morning at the Union County Fairgrounds.
The cougar was seen running south from the main stage at the fairgrounds around 8:45 a.m. The individual who saw the cougar took a video of it.
SPRING CHINOOK FISHING OPENS SATURDAY ON WALLOWA RIVER (LaGrande Observer) http://www.lagrandeobserver.com/news/4461777-151/spring-chinook-fishing-opens-saturday-on-wallowa-river
A significant upturn in the forecasted run to the Lostine River prompted ODFW to open the Wallowa River Saturday for hatchery spring Chinook fishing. Anglers will be able to fish salmon from the deadline at the lower end of Minam State Park upstream to the mouth of the Lostine River.
TOWN HALL AIMS TO BOOST TOURISM IN DOUGLAS COUNTY (Douglas County News-Review) http://www.nrtoday.com/business/local_biz/town-hall-aims-to-boost-tourism-in-douglas-county/article_2c9edf22-3d5e-11e6-a3ac-8f53a8d9a9e2.html
To share their priorities and better understand the role of travel and tourism in Oregon, community leaders from around Douglas County gathered together at the Public Safety Center in Roseburg for a town hall meeting on Monday afternoon.
Travel Oregon is hosting these meetings around the state to seek input regarding the most effective ways to enhance the economic impact of the tourism industry.
STATE IRRIGATION PROGRAM RECEIVES NATIONAL CONSERVATION AWARD (Wallowa.com) http://www.wallowa.com/local_news/20160628/state-irrigation-program-receives-national-conservation-award
Energy Trust of Oregon and Farmers Conservation Alliance FCA recently announced that their Irrigation Modernization Program received the 2016 State Leadership in Clean Energy Award given by the Clean Energy States Alliance CESA.
The national award recognizes the coordinated and comprehensive approach developed by Energy Trust and FCA to help irrigation districts and the farmers they serve develop modern irrigation systems that can save billions of gallons of water annually.
PRIME WORKING AGE OREGON MALES– BLOG (Oregon Office of Economic Analysis) https://oregoneconomicanalysis.com/2016/06/28/prime-working-age-oregon-males/
The Oregon economy is nearing full employment, a milestone not seen since 2000. According to our offices Total Employment Gap, the one remaining part that is not fully healed is the participation gap.
WASHINGTON RESIDENTS WISH THEY STILL HAD STATE LIQUOR STORES (Willamette Week) http://www.wweek.com/news/2016/06/28/new-study-shows-washington-residents-wish-they-still-had-state-liquor-stores/
-As Oregon continues to mull privatizing liquor sales, a new study shows the experience to the north has been rocky.-
Since Washington voters approved the privatization the sale of hard liquor in 2011, the Oregon grocery industry, with help from national liquor interests, has pushed to do the same.
In 2014, proponents of privatization failed to qualify for the ballot, despite spending $2.5 million. Earlier this year, they pulled the plug on a second attempt, after spending $1 million.
THE STRAWBERRY DEFINED OREGON. BUT IS IT GOING AWAY? (Willamette Week) http://www.wweek.com/news/2016/06/28/the-strawberry-defined-oregon-but-is-it-going-away/
-The Oregon strawberry may get squished by sturdier competition from California.-
Maria Gonzalez grasped the stem of a ripe Puget Crimson strawberry under a steady drizzle of June rain. With her thumb and forefinger, she pinched the stalk above the strawberry’s cap, breaking the stem.
It was the third week of Oregon’s 2016 strawberry harvesta 20-week window that started in mid-May and will trickle into October.
A MALTESE COMPANY WANTS OVERSEAS PLAYERS TO BUY MILLIONS OF OREGON LOTTERY TICKETS (Willamette Week) http://www.wweek.com/news/2016/06/28/a-maltese-company-wants-overseas-players-to-buy-millions-of-oregon-lottery-tickets/
-The controversial idea may have helped doom former lottery chief Jack Roberts.-
Playing the Oregon Lottery? You may soon face new competitionfrom ticket buyers around the globe.
On June 27, the Lottery Commission considered a pitch from the Lotter, a Malta-based website that sells lottery tickets from all over the world. The Lotter wants two rule changes that would allow overseas players to buy as many Oregon Lottery tickets as they want without leaving their home countries.
BREAKING FROM CUSTOM, ONE SMALL OREGON FARM PAYS PICKERS BY THE HOUR (Willamette Week) http://www.wweek.com/news/2016/06/29/breaking-from-custom-one-small-oregon-farm-pays-pickers-by-the-hour/
-“It can be done,” says farmer Javier Lara. “We’re an example.”-
Add this to the many pressures facing the Oregon strawberry: a growing clamor to stabilize wages for migrant workers whose sweat brings Americans their food.
Unlike a lot of fruits and even other berries, strawberries must be handpicked, which makes labor one of the biggest costs of doing business for farmers.
STRAWBERRY SHORTHAND: A FIELD GUIDE TO OREGON AND CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRIES (Willamette Week) http://www.wweek.com/news/2016/06/28/strawberry-shorthand-a-field-guide-to-oregon-and-california-strawberries/
-How do Oregon’s top strawberries compare with California’s varieties?-
The strawberries Oregon grows are the nation’s reddest, sweetest and most fragile. Horticulture professors at Washington State University track annual strawberry plant sales in the Pacific Northwest. Here are the five most popular varieties grown in Oregon.
MORE THAN 5,300 U.S. WATER SYSTEMS VIOLATED LEAD-TESTING RULES LAST YEAR (Washington Post) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/06/28/more-than-5000-u-s-water-systems-violated-lead-testing-rules-last-year/?tid=sm_fb
If you think Flint, Mich., is the only place in the United States threatened by lead-contaminated water, think again.
The beleaguered city continues to grapple with the fallout of a drinking-water crisis that exposed its residents — including 9,000 children 6 and younger — to a toxic substance that can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems and other serious health issues. But while Flint might be an extreme example, a report released Tuesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council details how many other communities around the country are failing to adequately ensure that their water supplies remain free of lead.
NRDC Report can be found at: