February 8, 2016 eClips Weekend Edition

State Library eClips
* Lawmakers want action on Oregon’s rampant chronic absenteeism
* Manhattan crane collapse: Oregon regulators often lean on construction crews to monitor crane safety
* Report: More Oregonians finishing community college while non-residents boost universities
* Former Oregon DHS worker gets 2 years in prison, must repay $130K for welfare benefits theft
* Portland pollution hotspot ID’ed five months before regulators acted
* Lawsuit claims real-estate agent tricked woman, 82, into signing off on home sale
* Moda’s precipitous financial decline set stage for state supervision
* Do Oregonians really want housing that’s affordable? — Guest Opinion
* Housing crisis: Renter protection bill drops relocation costs, retaliation change
* Minimum wage plan clears first legislative hurdle
* PERS early retirement as second-career launching pad — Opinion
* Portland Public Schools tests air quality in Cleveland High, four other SE Portland schools
* 12 key questions and answers about Portland’s air pollution hotspot
* Militia group backs down, billboards go up in support of law enforcement as fifth week of Oregon standoff comes to an end
* Keeping the Delta nonstop to Tokyo matters to Oregon’s economy — Opinion
* Steve Duin: The alarm over air toxins in southeast Portland
* Oregon may again crack down on predatory towing
* Missing in action at the Oregon Capitol — Opinion
* Editorial board: Gov. Kate Brown — Guest Opinion
* Oregon gas prices dip below $2
* Judge orders US agency to pay Yakama Nation for cleanup
* What happened Friday in the Oregon Legislature
* Mohawk High School reaches out to Grande Ronde tribes in hopes of keeping Indians mascot
* Oregon lawmakers hear details of tax increase that could help pay for 2021 Eugene track and field event
* Urban condescension amplifies rural protest — Guest Opinion
* Motor voter gets rolling — Opinion
* Large-scale subsidy for solar power advances in Legislature
* Portland wants Legislature to allow inclusionary zoning, but progressive economist says it won’t help with housing crisis
* Audit will dig into energy department record keeping
* County Chair, DA ask Oregon Department of Justice to investigate Sheriff
* Ban on local GMO ordinances challenged in Legislature
* No funding for the future
* Little China world
* Study shows Portland jobs outpacing national trend
* Senators weigh in on retirement savings
* Historic facelift
* Lawsuits over spotted frog worry farmers
* Oregon works through Medicaid application backlog
* Oregon lawmakers piecing together affordable housing plan
* Paulina Lake lodge sues ODFW over flooding
* Social media, online news key in refuge cases
* Few minimum wage jobs in Deschutes County
* Editorial: The delinquents of the Oregon Secretary of State — Opinion
* Editorial: Start pedaling for the Crooked bikeway — Opinion
* Editorial: Another bad turn by the Legislature — Opinion
* NW Tribes Seek To Restore Columbia River Salmon Runs
* Occupiers Not Listed In Indictment Could Face Charges
* Portland Heavy Metals Emissions Linked To Glass Facility
* Could The New Klamath Dam Removal Plan Kick-Start The Stalled Water Deals?
* Dams, Caucuses And Harassment: The Week’s Top Political Developments
* Finicum Funeral, News Roundtable & Earthquake Warning
* Motor Voter Law Brings Ballots To Thousands More Oregonians
* Oregon bill would increase scrutiny of wetland conversions
* Its time for Western politicians to speak up — Opinion
* Poverty Promoters taking over rural West — Guest Opinion
* Three-tier wage plan set for Senate vote
* House signals support of subsidy for large solar projects
* Hermiston second-fastest growing district in the state
* Thompson: Renewable energy has benefited Eastern Oregon — Guest Opinion
* Plan aims to end fire borrowing
* State line can complicate mental health patients treatment options
* Board president weighs in on squaw debate
* Records must be up to date this month
* Fisher queen: Cricket helps biologists understand impacts of logging on habitat
* Crater Lake eyes plan for plant invaders
* Explosive extract
* Our View: Coal phase-out bill gives lawmakers a choice — Opinion
* Columnist for a Day: Living on shaky ground — Guest Opinion
* Explaining graduation rates
* Klamath Chamber, businesses concerned by wage hike
* Gas odor came from one of two local firms
* Bentz chooses the wrong target — Guest Opinion
* Predator control protects livestock, curb diseases — Guest Opinion
* Bastendorff family gets ODOT’s attention over flood damage
* A message lost amid tragic drama — Opinion
* A look at restoring wild salmon runs on the Columbia River
* Elder abuse: It could be your mom, dad, friend
* Most county high schools see growth in graduates
* Oregon wants its marijuana tax now
* Corps to alter Foster Reservoir fill to conduct fish studies
* Editorial: Legislature should lend a hand to locked-out workers — Opinion
* More buyers, but few houses for sale
* Senate committee OKs modified minimum wage bill
* Drifting Away From Drought
* Editorial: Legislature needs to slow down — Opinion
* High Schools see rise in overall graduation rates
* OUR VIEW: Lawmakers should back proposal, Education is the best investment — Opinion
* Polallie Cooper thinning project draws passion from groups
* MAILS and Marijuana: Legislators right to work to stamp out a bad, old regulation — Opinion
* Douglas County grads share why they came back to live, work
* Timber Report: Wood products business off to a slow start in 2016
* The Oregon Department of Justice Agrees to Investigate Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton
* “Should I Get Tested for Arsenic or Cadmium?”A Doctor Responds — Blog
* State orders halt to sale of pesticide used on cannabis plants
* New report says the West Coast could cut its oil use in half by 2030
* Who’s to blame for Portland’s soaring home prices?
* Oregon refuge takeover sheds light on hard times for rural economy
* On the Klamath, a surprising win for river advocates
* Stopping the Cycle: Medical Teams Target Adverse Childhood Experiences — Guest Opinion
* Buehler Wants to Let Pharmacists Directly Prescribe Anti-Overdose Drug
* Keny-Guyer and Stark Renew Push for General Assistance for Homeless
* CCOs Divided Over Certainty For Getting New Contracts
* Unemployment numbers declining across the country, including Oregon

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LAWMAKERS WANT ACTION ON OREGON’S RAMPANT CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon needs a comprehensive plan to reduce the state’s high rate of chronic absenteeism, lawmakers on the House Education Committee decided this week.
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MANHATTAN CRANE COLLAPSE: OREGON REGULATORS OFTEN LEAN ON CONSTRUCTION CREWS TO MONITOR CRANE SAFETY (Portland Oregonian)

One person was killed in lower Manhattan Friday morning and three more wounded when a construction crane collapsed into nearby buildings and parked vehicles.
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REPORT: MORE OREGONIANS FINISHING COMMUNITY COLLEGE WHILE NON-RESIDENTS BOOST UNIVERSITIES (Portland Oregonian)

Out-of-state residents accounted for nearly one-third of the degrees and certificates awarded at Oregon’s seven public universities during the 2014-15 school year, according to new figures released by a state agency Friday.
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FORMER OREGON DHS WORKER GETS 2 YEARS IN PRISON, MUST REPAY $130K FOR WELFARE BENEFITS THEFT (Portland Oregonian)

A former Oregon Department of Human Services employee must repay the agency more than $130,000 and serve one year and nine months in prison for stealing thousands of dollars in welfare benefits over a five-year span.
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PORTLAND POLLUTION HOTSPOT ID’ED FIVE MONTHS BEFORE REGULATORS ACTED (Portland Oregonian)

The U.S. Forest Service researchers had a plan: Collect moss from trees around Portland, study whether it was a living air pollution indicator, then publish their results in a scientific journal.

But after completing their analysis of moss samples from nearly 350 spots citywide, they found something alarming so alarming they felt compelled to notify environmental regulators right away.
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LAWSUIT CLAIMS REAL-ESTATE AGENT TRICKED WOMAN, 82, INTO SIGNING OFF ON HOME SALE (Portland Oregonian)

An 82-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit asking a jury to block the sale of her beloved Northeast Portland house, claiming a real-estate agent tricked her into signing papers to sell her home in one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods.
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MODA’S PRECIPITOUS FINANCIAL DECLINE SET STAGE FOR STATE SUPERVISION (Portland Oregonian)

Portland insurer Moda Health Plans, beset with tens of thousands of sick, expensive customers, ate through at least $100 million in capital reserves in 2015.

By year’s end, the state’s third-largest insurer had just $21 million in capital, far below what regulators considered acceptable, setting the stage for the state’s bombshell “supervision” order that gives regulators final say over all major financial decisions at Moda.
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DO OREGONIANS REALLY WANT HOUSING THAT’S AFFORDABLE? — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

House Speaker Tina Kotek had the attention of 1,300 elected and business leaders during December’s Oregon Leadership Summit. She could have marched through any number of pressing issues from high school dropout rates to minimum wages to pension legacies.
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HOUSING CRISIS: RENTER PROTECTION BILL DROPS RELOCATION COSTS, RETALIATION CHANGE (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon lawmakers are whittling down relief proposals aimed at tenants struggling with rising rents amid the state’s escalating housing crisis keeping 90-day notices for rent increases and evictions but dropping plans to make landlords pay relocation costs.
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MINIMUM WAGE PLAN CLEARS FIRST LEGISLATIVE HURDLE (Portland Oregonian)

Senate Democrats’ minimum wage plan cleared its first legislative hurdle Friday when a committee swiftly sent it to the floor for a vote of the full chamber.
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PERS EARLY RETIREMENT AS SECOND-CAREER LAUNCHING PAD — OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem, testified Monday in support of a bill that would treat more than 2,000 workers at Oregon State Hospital like police officers for pension purposes, which means they’d be able to retire several years early and collect enhanced PERS payments.
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PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS TESTS AIR QUALITY IN CLEVELAND HIGH, FOUR OTHER SE PORTLAND SCHOOLS (Portland Oregonian)

After Wednesday’s surprise announcement that unsafe levels of cadmium and arsenic were circulating in the air of inner Southeast Portland, Portland Public Schools ran air quality tests all day Friday in five of its schools to test for contaminants.
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12 KEY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT PORTLAND’S AIR POLLUTION HOTSPOT (Portland Oregonian)

State environmental regulators said this week they believe a SE Portland glass manufacturer was responsible for unsafe levels of cadmium and arsenic found in air testing nearby. The company has since announced it voluntarily suspended use of the metals.
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MILITIA GROUP BACKS DOWN, BILLBOARDS GO UP IN SUPPORT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AS FIFTH WEEK OF OREGON STANDOFF COMES TO AN END (Portland Oregonian)

Negotiations with the last four occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Oregon continued Friday as a militia’s weekend plan to escort them out was canceled.
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KEEPING THE DELTA NONSTOP TO TOKYO MATTERS TO OREGON’S ECONOMY — OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

The Oregon economy could experience light turbulence this year as Japan decides new access levels at its Tokyo airports and Delta, the only airline to offer a nonstop flight from Portland to Tokyo, threatens to pull out altogether.
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STEVE DUIN: THE ALARM OVER AIR TOXINS IN SOUTHEAST PORTLAND (Portland Oregonian)

When inventive U.S. Forest Service researchers discovered frightening concentrations of arsenic and cadmium in moss samples from two Portland neighborhoods last May, they wasted no time alerting the state Department of Environmental Quality
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OREGON MAY AGAIN CRACK DOWN ON PREDATORY TOWING (Salem Statesman Journal)

The Oregon Legislature will again consider cracking down on private property impound tows, also known as patrol towing or the more inflammatory predatory towing.
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MISSING IN ACTION AT THE OREGON CAPITOL — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

Shame on the Republicans in the Oregon Legislature.

Even more shame on the Democrats, the majority party in the Legislature.

And perhaps the most shame lies with the rest of us Oregonians for letting the 2016 Legislature get away with a week of shenanigans.
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EDITORIAL BOARD: GOV. KATE BROWN — GUEST OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

-Video Clip-

Governor Kate Brown meets with the editorial board Feb 4.
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OREGON GAS PRICES DIP BELOW $2 (Salem Statesman Journal)

Oregon drivers can expect to see an unfamiliar price at the gas pump this month for the first time almost in seven years, the statewide average cost of a gallon of gas dipped below $2.
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JUDGE ORDERS US AGENCY TO PAY YAKAMA NATION FOR CLEANUP (Salem Statesman Journal)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been ordered to pay the Yakama Nation for costs related to cleaning up a contaminated island in Washington’s Columbia River.

The Yakama Nation sued the Corps in 2014, arguing that tribal members weren’t compensated for helping plan the cleanup of Bradford Island, reported The Yakima Herald.
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WHAT HAPPENED FRIDAY IN THE OREGON LEGISLATURE (Salem Statesman Journal)

Oregon’s short legislative session began Feb. 1. Here is a review of what happened Friday and is scheduled for Monday.
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MOHAWK HIGH SCHOOL REACHES OUT TO GRANDE RONDE TRIBES IN HOPES OF KEEPING INDIANS MASCOT (Eugene Register-Guard)

Officials at one Lane County high school are optimistic a recent change in state rules may let them keep the schools long-held Native American mascot name and image after all.
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OREGON LAWMAKERS HEAR DETAILS OF TAX INCREASE THAT COULD HELP PAY FOR 2021 EUGENE TRACK AND FIELD EVENT (Eugene Register-Guard)

A proposal to double the states lodging tax drew praise from the hotel industry and some pointed questions from lawmakers at an initial public hearing Friday.
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URBAN CONDESCENSION AMPLIFIES RURAL PROTEST — GUEST OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard)

The land, including all the natural sources of wealth, is the heritage of the people, and should not be monopolized for speculative purposes, and alien ownership of the land should be prohibited.
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MOTOR VOTER GETS ROLLING — OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard)

Although its still early, data for the first few weeks of the states motor voter program are showing its having an effect.
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LARGE-SCALE SUBSIDY FOR SOLAR POWER ADVANCES IN LEGISLATURE (Portland Tribune)

House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle signaled their support this week for a bill that would encourage large solar projects in Oregon.

The House Committee On Energy and Environment voted unanimously on Thursday to send the bill to the budget writing Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

House Bill 4037 would create a state subsidy of half a cent per kilowatt hour of energy generated from qualified projects. The subsidy would last five years.
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PORTLAND WANTS LEGISLATURE TO ALLOW INCLUSIONARY ZONING, BUT PROGRESSIVE ECONOMIST SAYS IT WON’T HELP WITH HOUSING CRISIS (Portland Tribune)

Portland city officials and affordable housing advocates are mounting another push to get the Legislature to allow inclusionary zoning in Oregon. That would enable Portland and other cities to require developers to build some affordable units when they build larger apartment complexes.

But on the eve of a pivotal committee vote in Salem, an influential economist is questioning whether such inclusionary zoning is worthwhile.
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AUDIT WILL DIG INTO ENERGY DEPARTMENT RECORD KEEPING (Portland Tribune)

The Oregon Secretary of States office plans to investigate whether poor record keeping at the state Department of Energy could have hidden fraud in the controversial business energy tax credit program.
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COUNTY CHAIR, DA ASK OREGON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO INVESTIGATE SHERIFF (Portland Tribune)

A letter from Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and District Attorney Rod Underhill asks the Oregon Department of Justice to review several accusations against county Sheriff Dan Staton.
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BAN ON LOCAL GMO ORDINANCES CHALLENGED IN LEGISLATURE (Portland Tribune)

Farmers overwhelmingly testified against a recent proposal before Oregon lawmakers that would reverse the states ability to pre-empt local government restrictions on seeds.
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NO FUNDING FOR THE FUTURE (Portland Tribune)

-Lack of transportation projects becomes real cost for businesses-

In the last two years, Portland freight company Jet Expedited Transport has been forced to add 45 minutes to its scheduled Portland routes.
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LITTLE CHINA WORLD (Portland Tribune)

-Oregonians are being encouraged to do business with China, despite the short term slowdown in their economy-

It was a tumultuous end to 2015 with the stock market and the GDP coming out lower than expectations, said Kellie Holloway, Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service.
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STUDY SHOWS PORTLAND JOBS OUTPACING NATIONAL TREND (Portland Tribune)

The Portland area just missed the top 10 U.S. cities for actual job growth compared to expected job creation. In a study just released by recruiting software company CareerBuilder and subsidiary Economic Modeling Specialists International, Portland ranks 12th among the 150 metropolitan areas included.
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SENATORS WEIGH IN ON RETIREMENT SAVINGS (Portland Tribune)

Merkley proposes national plan similar to federal account; Wyden backs tax-law changes.

Oregons U.S. senators are weighing in on private-sector workers lack of savings for retirement and access to plans at their workplace.
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HISTORIC FACELIFT (Portland Tribune)

Towering above the Oregon Historical Society are massive tromp loeil paintings depicting scenes from the states past.
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LAWSUITS OVER SPOTTED FROG WORRY FARMERS (Bend Bulletin)

-Jefferson County growers fear the loss of irrigation water-

The farm fields in Jefferson County are quiet this time of year, the irrigation ditches dry, the crops dormant and the tractors, combines and balers parked in barns until spring.

Even so, farmers are busy calculating their costs for the spring planting season, and this year theyre factoring in a little bit of fear.

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OREGON WORKS THROUGH MEDICAID APPLICATION BACKLOG (Bend Bulletin)

-Public launch of website delayed-

The Oregon Health Authority has delayed launching a new public website that promises to give first-time Medicaid applicants instant feedback on eligibility and enroll them.
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OREGON LAWMAKERS PIECING TOGETHER AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN (Bend Bulletin)

-Bend City Council supports efforts in Salem to remove ban on inclusionary zoning-

State lawmakers are close to agreeing on the pieces to an affordable housing puzzle theyd like to solve this session. Now theyll spending the coming week trying to agree how to put it together.

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PAULINA LAKE LODGE SUES ODFW OVER FLOODING (Bend Bulletin)

-Resort owners seek over $150,000 in damages-

The owners of Paulina Lake Lodge have filed a lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, saying a fish screen maintained by the agency triggered destructive flooding in winter 2015.

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SOCIAL MEDIA, ONLINE NEWS KEY IN REFUGE CASES (Bend Bulletin)

-With Malheur occupied, FBI investigation focused on Internet-

In building a case against Ammon Bundy and other accused occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, the FBI relied upon social media and news reports.

The headquarters remains occupied so rather than search the compound for evidence, FBI investigators scoured the Internet, according to an affidavit.

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FEW MINIMUM WAGE JOBS IN DESCHUTES COUNTY (Bend Bulletin)

Out of Oregons 36 counties, Deschutes County has the fifth-lowest percentage of workers who make the states minimum wage of $9.25 per hour, according to a recent report from the Oregon Employment Department.

While a relatively low percentage of earners making minimum wage would seem to be a positive sign for the countys economy, Regional Economist Damon Runberg said the reality is more complicated.

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EDITORIAL: THE DELINQUENTS OF THE OREGON SECRETARY OF STATE — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

The Oregon Secretary of States Office has a list that no municipality or local government should be on: The delinquents.

Local governments, special districts and councils of governments are required to file audits or an equivalent to ensure taxpayer money goes where its supposed to go. When they dont file the required paperwork, they go on the delinquent list. But the Secretary of States Office needs to get serious about following up on the delinquents.

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EDITORIAL: START PEDALING FOR THE CROOKED BIKEWAY — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

Crook County is trying to turn some of its natural beauty into a tourist destination. The effort deserves support.

The plan is to get a stretch of Crooked River Highway designated a bikeway. Its the stretch of road out from Prineville along the Crooked River to the Prineville Reservoir. Its a beautiful twisty road with views of the river and its canyon. Its a nice place for a bike ride.

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EDITORIAL: ANOTHER BAD TURN BY THE LEGISLATURE — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

The new bad legislative proposal for the states minimum wage looks like an old bad proposal.

Gov. Kate Brown proposed a two-tiered minimum wage for Oregon. She wanted a $13.50 state minimum wage by 2022 and a $15.52 wage for Portland. She has proposed a compromise to bring those down a bit.

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NW TRIBES SEEK TO RESTORE COLUMBIA RIVER SALMON RUNS (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Some Northwest Indian tribes in the next 20 years want to achieve a long-held dream: restoring wild salmon runs above the giant Grand Coulee Dam.

The construction of Grand Coulee in the 1930s blocked salmon runs that historically ran into the millions of fish each year, killing what had been a way of life for Indian tribes in the region.
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OCCUPIERS NOT LISTED IN INDICTMENT COULD FACE CHARGES (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

A federal indictment released Thursday charges with conspiracy sixteen people involved with the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. But it doesnt include dozens of people who were also part of the occupation. Many of them have scattered across the U.S., changed phone numbers or gone silent on social media.
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PORTLAND HEAVY METALS EMISSIONS LINKED TO GLASS FACILITY (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

A glass facility in Southeast Portland has suspended the use of cadmium and arsenic in its operations after testing found unhealthy levels of those metals in the air nearby.

On Wednesday, state health and environmental officials warned of unhealthy levels of both metals detected in the air around SE 22nd and SE Powell Boulevard in Portland.
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COULD THE NEW KLAMATH DAM REMOVAL PLAN KICK-START THE STALLED WATER DEALS? (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

In December, Congress adjourned without passing legislation to ratify a trio of agreements meant to end the long-standing water wars in the Klamath Basin. This essentially killed the deal, which was arrived at through years of painstaking negotiations between farmers, ranchers, tribes and other groups.
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DAMS, CAUCUSES AND HARASSMENT: THE WEEK’S TOP POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

The week in politics was dominated by reports from the Iowa caucuses, the first step in selecting delegates to the major party conventions. New Hampshire will hold a primary next Tuesday.
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FINICUM FUNERAL, NEWS ROUNDTABLE & EARTHQUAKE WARNING (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Doug Badger, Mariann Hyland, and Jeff Mapes muse over some of the big stories of the week.

John Vidale, Network Director at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, tells us about a system that will send an early alert in the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.
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MOTOR VOTER LAW BRINGS BALLOTS TO THOUSANDS MORE OREGONIANS (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Oregons motor voter law is registering new voters at eight times the old rate, according to data released Thursday. This years new law automatically registers Oregonians as voters when they obtain or renew a drivers license.

Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins says the state added more than 4,300 people to the voter rolls in the laws first week. She says previously, Oregon added about 2,000 a month.
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OREGON BILL WOULD INCREASE SCRUTINY OF WETLAND CONVERSIONS (Capital Press)

-Wetland conversions of farms would be subject to local government approval under a proposed bill in Oregon.-

Oregon farms shouldnt be converted to wetlands unless county governments agree they wont disrupt nearby agricultural operations, according to growers who support a bill before the Legislature.

Wetlands are currently allowed in Oregon farm zones, but Senate Bill 1517 would require local governments to first determine they wont significantly change local farm practices, drive up costs or alter agricultural land use patterns.

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ITS TIME FOR WESTERN POLITICIANS TO SPEAK UP — OPINION (Capital Press)

-Western politicians need to protect the rural West from from being turned into a playland for the rich.-

The silence is deafening. In Oregon, Washington and California the governors and most members of the congressional delegations have been silent on the crisis created by the piss-poor management of federal lands in the West.

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POVERTY PROMOTERS TAKING OVER RURAL WEST — GUEST OPINION (Capital Press)

-Environmental groups are imposing poverty on the rural West by cutting off economic development.-

The West and the industries that created our communities have been under assault for over 30 years. The federal land that historically made them prosperous has been managed under the influence of environmental and conservation Poverty Promoters for enough years to make no mistake in the results of their agenda poverty.

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THREE-TIER WAGE PLAN SET FOR SENATE VOTE (East Oregonian)

-A bill to set a three-tier minimum wage for Oregon goes to the Senate next week.-

A bill to set three different minimum wage rates in the state is headed to the Senate floor next week.

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HOUSE SIGNALS SUPPORT OF SUBSIDY FOR LARGE SOLAR PROJECTS (East Oregonian)

-The House Committee On Energy and Environment voted unanimously on Thursday to send the bill to the budget writing Joint Committee on Ways and Means.-

House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle signaled their support this week for a bill that would encourage large solar projects in Oregon.

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HERMISTON SECOND-FASTEST GROWING DISTRICT IN THE STATE (East Oregonian)

-Hermiston School District is one of the fastest-growing districts in the state.-

Hermiston School District is the second-fastest growing school district in the state of Oregon, according to a report by the Oregon Department of Education

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THOMPSON: RENEWABLE ENERGY HAS BENEFITED EASTERN OREGON — GUEST OPINION (East Oregonian)

Oregonians east of the Cascades have long enjoyed a unique way of life that is blessed with wide open places that allow for farming and other business while preserving our natural environment and great outdoors.

This is possible in part due to Oregon leading the way in renewable energy that creates jobs, keeps power bills low, and helps preserve our environment and climate.

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PLAN AIMS TO END FIRE BORROWING (Argus Observer)

Two Western senators have proposed a change to federal wildfire funding they say could end a cycle of borrowing to battle catastrophic blazes.

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, in a meeting at The Argus Observer office Friday, touted a bipartisan amendment he and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, presented to the U.S. Senate Tuesday.

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STATE LINE CAN COMPLICATE MENTAL HEALTH PATIENTS TREATMENT OPTIONS (Argus Observer)

When it comes to treating people in the middle of a mental health crisis, the goal is the same: getting patients out of crisis. But getting there can become complicated when patients live in a border community like Ontario.
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BOARD PRESIDENT WEIGHS IN ON SQUAW DEBATE (Argus Observer)

As president of the Oregon Geographic Names Board, I would like to clarify some points regarding the County Courts recent discussion on replacing names containing the word squaw.

The OGNB is affiliated with the Oregon Historical Society and makes recommendations on Oregon proposals to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names

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RECORDS MUST BE UP TO DATE THIS MONTH (Argus Observer)

The Oregon Health Authority is reminding parents to make sure their childrens immunization records are up to date in time for School Exclusion Day Feb. 17.

According to the health authoritys website, children will not be able to attend school or child care starting that day if their records show missing immunizations.

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FISHER QUEEN: CRICKET HELPS BIOLOGISTS UNDERSTAND IMPACTS OF LOGGING ON HABITAT (Medford Mail Tribune)

Dave Clayton straddles a live trap with a slim, medieval-like iron cage attached to the end, ready for the five minutes of chaos that both the wildlife biologist and his rare, wild and feisty quarry know all too well together.

Inside is F-03, a Pacific fisher whose unshakable taste for poultry has put her in Clayton’s trap a dozen times since 2011.
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CRATER LAKE EYES PLAN FOR PLANT INVADERS (Medford Mail Tribune)

Among the 182,000 visitors who roll through the gates to Crater Lake National Park are a handful of not-so-welcomed bullies that stick around, to Jen Beck’s chagrin.

Klamath weed, bullthistle, spotted napweed and even Canada thistle are some of the invasive plant species that have found their way into the park, often on the boots or bumpers of unwitting park visitors who deposit seeds or spores along roadways.
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EXPLOSIVE EXTRACT (Medford Mail Tribune)

Homemade hash oil has gained more notoriety for headline-grabbing explosions than for its soaring popularity among cannabis connoisseurs.

In January alone, three Medford homes caught on fire after gases used in making hash oil exploded, injuring five.
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OUR VIEW: COAL PHASE-OUT BILL GIVES LAWMAKERS A CHOICE — OPINION (Medford Mail Tribune)

Clean-energy advocates have long argued that coal-fired power plants should be phased out, and public opinion is increasingly on their side. Now a coalition of Oregon’s two largest power companies and environmental groups has settled on a plan to eliminate coal power from the state’s energy grid by 2030 and produce half the state’s electricity from clean, renewable sources by 2040.
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COLUMNIST FOR A DAY: LIVING ON SHAKY GROUND — GUEST OPINION (Medford Mail Tribune)

Regarding the coming big one the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake we in southwest Oregon have been misled by the news cycle tendency to focus on Portland and the Willamette Valley.

Yes, Western Oregon has a 9.0 or larger earthquake every 500 to 600 years. Yes, the Pacific Northwest had a 9-plus magnitude quake in 1700, so the next great quake is 100 or more years away; but southwest Oregon is 75 years overdue for the next great subduction zone earthquake.
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EXPLAINING GRADUATION RATES (Herald and News)

Graduation rates can be confusing.

Local schools, districts and the state measure more than just the group of students who finish with a high school diploma in four years time. They also look at those who took five years and those earning something other than a regular diploma, such as a modified diploma or GED

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KLAMATH CHAMBER, BUSINESSES CONCERNED BY WAGE HIKE (Herald and News)

Workers at David’s Brawny Burger in Klamath Falls bustled about at the diner late Friday morning preparing for the lunch rush.

Employees at the small business start out working for the state’s $9.25 minimum wage, said owner David Scrogham, and work up to higher wages as they progress.

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GAS ODOR CAME FROM ONE OF TWO LOCAL FIRMS (Herald and News)

The strong propane-like odor that permeated Klamath Falls Thursday afternoon came from one of two local industrial sites, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality and the city fire department.
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BENTZ CHOOSES THE WRONG TARGET — GUEST OPINION (Herald and News)

-He uses demagoguery to try to make his point-

As a former resident of eastern Klamath County and current resident of rural western Oregon, Im aware that many rural Oregonians have grievances against federal land management, as Andrew Bentz relates in his commentary.

Those concerns are real and worthy of greater attention and respect in the Eugene-to-Portland corridor of our state. They must not be forgotten in the smoke of conflict around the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation.

_________________________________________

PREDATOR CONTROL PROTECTS LIVESTOCK, CURB DISEASES — GUEST OPINION (Herald and News)

Historically, the Klamath Countys wildlife specialist position was funded by the Klamath Countys general fund along with some funding from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and United States Department of Agriculture.

Prior to 2012, many ranchers, sportsmen and wildlife enthusiasts had been asked to attend the annual Klamath County budget meetings in support for continued wildlife services.

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BASTENDORFF FAMILY GETS ODOT’S ATTENTION OVER FLOOD DAMAGE (The World)

It’s taken 10 years to arrive at a remedy to the problem.

But the culvert-caused flood damage Ken Bastendorff prognosticated would happen to his family’s property has finally gotten the attention of the Oregon Department of Transportation.

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A MESSAGE LOST AMID TRAGIC DRAMA — OPINION (The World)

Their venture couldnt have ended much worse.

Ammon Bundy and 10 of his cohorts are now jailed and facing federal indictments following occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier last month. Another of their group is dead, killed by federal agents who say he was going for a gun. No matter what authorities say Robert LaVoy Finicum is now a martyr for the cause.
_________________________________________

A LOOK AT RESTORING WILD SALMON RUNS ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER (The World)

The hope of restoring wild salmon runs above the giant Grant Coulee Dam would take a step closer to reality if the decision is made to proceed with an initial study on the issue.

Salmon runs on the upper Columbia River and its tributaries were blocked by Grand Coulee Dam, which was built in the 1930s, and by Chief Joseph Dam, which was built downstream in the 1950s. Both were built without fish ladders and killed a 10,000-year-old Native American fishery.
_________________________________________

ELDER ABUSE: IT COULD BE YOUR MOM, DAD, FRIEND (Daily Astorian)

-Law enforcement and social service workers face major hurdles with elder abuse cases that are not often seen in other crimes.-

An elderly woman with dementia in a Lake Oswego assisted-living facility had no idea her only living relative, a niece in Seaside, was stealing $350,000 from her.

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MOST COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS SEE GROWTH IN GRADUATES (Daily Astorian)

-Graduation rates showed gains in most districts, but male students struggled, according to a recent state report.-

Astoria High School recorded an 8 percent gain in graduation last year, according to data from the Oregon Department of Education released last week.

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OREGON WANTS ITS MARIJUANA TAX NOW (Daily Astorian)

A temporary 25-percent tax is now in effect for all recreational marijuana products sold at medical marijuana dispensaries through December 31, 2016. The tax is applied to the retail price of the recreational products. Dispensaries must list the retail price and total tax separately on customer receipts.
_________________________________________

CORPS TO ALTER FOSTER RESERVOIR FILL TO CONDUCT FISH STUDIES (Albany Democrat Herald)

For the third year, Foster Reservoir will refill on a different schedule than in years past to conduct fish passage research.

The corps usually refills the reservoir from Feb. 1 to May 10, but this spring will maintain it at an elevation of 613 feet above sea level through April 15, and then refill to 635 feet about 2 feet below the usual summer elevation by the beginning of May.

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EDITORIAL: LEGISLATURE SHOULD LEND A HAND TO LOCKED-OUT WORKERS — OPINION (Albany Democrat Herald)

As weve noted in recent editorials, although partisan squabbling still attracts headlines at the Oregon Legislature, its not at all unusual to see legislators from opposite sides of aisles teaming up to address issues of specific interest to constituents.

The latest example comes courtesy of Albany Rep. Andy Olson, a Republican, and Corvallis Rep. Dan Rayfield, a Democrat. The two are among the chief sponsors of a measure, House Bill 4086, that would extend unemployment benefits for up to an additional six months for workers who have been locked out.

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MORE BUYERS, BUT FEW HOUSES FOR SALE (Corvallis Gazette-Times)

Mid-Willamette Valley residents looking to sell their homes soon are in for some great news thanks to a recovering economy, plenty of potential buyers, low interest rates and limited inventory, according to real estate experts.
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SENATE COMMITTEE OKS MODIFIED MINIMUM WAGE BILL (Corvallis Gazette-Times)

On a 3-2 vote Friday afternoon, the Senate Committee on Workforce and General Government approved a three-tiered minimum wage proposal that will now go to the Senate floor.

Gov. Kate Brown had requested the Legislature approve a minimum wage of $13.50 per hour for areas outside of Portland and $15.50 for the Portland metro area.

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DRIFTING AWAY FROM DROUGHT (Baker City Herald)

-With Snowpack Above Average, Farmers and Irrigation Officials Optimistic About Water Supply-

Blizzards keep blocking Chris Heffernans driveway.

Hes happy about this.

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EDITORIAL: LEGISLATURE NEEDS TO SLOW DOWN — OPINION (The Dalles Chronicle)

This week the Wasco County Commission and Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, rightfully voiced protests about the Oregon Legislature using the 35-day session in 2016 to push through major policy issues that have not been fully vetted.

On Monday, Feb. 1, the first day of session, there were first readings on 105 bills in the Senate and the hearings process on these measures will have to be completed next week. The same scenario is playing out in the House.

_________________________________________

HIGH SCHOOLS SEE RISE IN OVERALL GRADUATION RATES (LaGrande Observer)

The quest for perfection is not always elusive. For proof, look no further than Imbler, Joseph, Powder Valley and Wallowa high schools.

The four high schools all had 100 percent graduation rates for 2014-15, according to statistics released by the Oregon Department of Education.

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OUR VIEW: LAWMAKERS SHOULD BACK PROPOSAL, EDUCATION IS THE BEST INVESTMENT — OPINION (LaGrande Observer)

It was called the Servicemens Readjustment Act of 1944 and, arguably, it proved to be one of the wisest educational programs created by lawmakers in the United States.

Informally dubbed the GI Bill, the program was instituted toward the end of World War II and was designed to offer returning veterans a wide range of benefits including tuition and living expense payments for those who attended college.

_________________________________________

POLALLIE COOPER THINNING PROJECT DRAWS PASSION FROM GROUPS (Hood River News)

-Forest Service schedules public meeting Wednesday-

The U.S. Forest Service is planning a nearly 3,000-acre forest thinning project on the north slope of Mount Hood, drawing more than a thousand written comments from Oregon environmental advocates and local biking groups.
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MAILS AND MARIJUANA: LEGISLATORS RIGHT TO WORK TO STAMP OUT A BAD, OLD REGULATION — OPINION (Hood River News)

Great acronym, great move: the Marijuana Advertising in Legal States MAILS Act has made its legislative debut, courtesy of Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and their state counterparts, Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici. This week the lawmakers introduced MAILS, a bill that would allow publications in Oregon and other states where marijuana is legal to mail their publications containing written advertising for the product without fear of federal prosecution.
_________________________________________

DOUGLAS COUNTY GRADS SHARE WHY THEY CAME BACK TO LIVE, WORK (Douglas County News-Review)

Largely in an attempt to appeal to those averse to moving to rural areas, Roseburg Forest Products decided to move its headquarters to Springfield. However, there are many Douglas County residents who have stayed, who have moved back here or who just plain moved to the county to make a living. They see the area as a great community to live, work and raise children.
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TIMBER REPORT: WOOD PRODUCTS BUSINESS OFF TO A SLOW START IN 2016 (Douglas County News-Review)

The wood products business is lackluster. Yet, unsold inventories in Portland reached an 11-year low. This could foreshadow increased housing starts.

A brief explanation of lumber versus log board feet is included. Recent trends of lumber, home construction and housing markets, are compared to 2009 and 2005.

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THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AGREES TO INVESTIGATE MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF DAN STATON (Willamette Week)

-Agency will act at the request of County Chairwoman Deborah Kafoury and District Attorney Rod Underhill.-

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has agreed to investigate Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton, according to a letter sent to the state by County Chairwoman Deborah Kafoury.

In a letter today, Kafoury and Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill formally requested that DOJ investigate and noted that Rosenblum had agreed to take on the job.

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“SHOULD I GET TESTED FOR ARSENIC OR CADMIUM?”A DOCTOR RESPONDS — BLOG (Portland Mercury)

A lot of people who live, work, or send their children to school near SE Powell and 22nd, where elevated levels of arsenic and cadmium have been found, are rightfully concerned and wonder if they should get themselves and/or their children tested. In Dirk’s post from last night, the Oregon Health Authority didn’t see the urgency of getting tested right away, but many parents and residents would rather feel safe than sorry.
_________________________________________

STATE ORDERS HALT TO SALE OF PESTICIDE USED ON CANNABIS PLANTS (KTVZ Bend)

-Taken off shelves; growers asked to stop using Guardian-

The Oregon Department of Agriculture said Friday it has ordered a halt of sale and the removal of the pesticide product Guardian, which is labeled for use on ornamental, food, and feed crops for mite control but also used by cannabis growers.
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NEW REPORT SAYS THE WEST COAST COULD CUT ITS OIL USE IN HALF BY 2030 (Christian Science Monitor)

-The report indicates that it won’t take much for the West Coast to reduce its current oil consumption even more.-

When it comes to purchasing and promoting electric cars and clean energy, the West Coast stands apart.

California leads the nation in policies encouraging electric-car adoption, and Washington and Oregon aren’t far behind.

In fact, those three states may be poised to reduce their use of fossil fuels dramatically in coming years.
_________________________________________

WHO’S TO BLAME FOR PORTLAND’S SOARING HOME PRICES? (CNN)

Everyone wants to move to Portland, Oregon. But the more popular it gets, the less affordable it becomes.

Portland has a lot to offer: Drive 90 minutes west, you’re at the beach. Head the other way, and there’s a snow-capped mountain. It’s got a thriving food and wine scene, a burgeoning tech sector and the weather is temperate.
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OREGON REFUGE TAKEOVER SHEDS LIGHT ON HARD TIMES FOR RURAL ECONOMY (Seattle Times)

-It took the seizure of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by anti-government activists to get national media attention to this ailing corner of Oregon. But the economic story of ailing small towns in the Northwest has nothing to do with Ammon Bundys ideology.-

For native Westerners, coverage by the elite East Coast media of the so-called occupation at an Oregon wildlife refuge has produced a bounty of embarrassments and outrages.
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ON THE KLAMATH, A SURPRISING WIN FOR RIVER ADVOCATES (High Country News)

-Dam removals on the Oregon-California border move forward without water deals for irrigators.-

Earlier this week, the Department of the Interior announced that four dams on the Klamath River would come down. The dam removals signal a win for environmentalists, sportsmen, and tribes, but they also come without an accompanying set of water agreements, which Congress failed to enact late last year.
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STOPPING THE CYCLE: MEDICAL TEAMS TARGET ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES — GUEST OPINION (The Lund Report)

R.J. Gillespie, M.D., and his team are working with parents at The Childrens Clinic to interrupt the cycle of adverse childhood experiences. Health System Transformation HST makes this project possible and makes preventive and lifelong health priorities, by doing things differently and promoting local innovation.
_________________________________________

BUEHLER WANTS TO LET PHARMACISTS DIRECTLY PRESCRIBE ANTI-OVERDOSE DRUG (The Lund Report)

-Building on a bill from 2015 that gives pharmacists the ability to dispense birth control without a doctors prescription, HB 4124 allows them to bypass physicians when selling Naloxone, which is used to reverse the effects of an opiate or narcotic overdose, including from heroin and prescription drugs like Vicodin and Oxycontin.-

Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, is promoting a bill that would give pharmacists the ability to quickly dispense a life-saving drug for use in opiate overdoses without the prescription of one of his fellow physicians.
_________________________________________

KENY-GUYER AND STARK RENEW PUSH FOR GENERAL ASSISTANCE FOR HOMELESS (The Lund Report)

-A large number of homeless individuals have severe disabilities that make them eligible for federal support, but their conditions can deteriorate as they navigate the bureaucracy. HB 4042 would provide state funding to get these people into housing while the Department of Human Services helps them get approved federally.-

The House Human Services Committee is making a bipartisan push to restore a general assistance program that will put up state funds to provide housing for people who are homeless and disabled while they await federal assistance.
_________________________________________

CCOS DIVIDED OVER CERTAINTY FOR GETTING NEW CONTRACTS (The Lund Report)

-Sen. Bates wants to give CCOs greater assurance that the state is making a long-term investment in the organizations. His bill would prevent the Oregon Health Authority from refusing to renew contracts with CCOs that are doing well. But CareOregon argued that the state must not let CCOs coast as they administer the Oregon Health Plan, and guaranteeing a contract removes incentives for good performance.-

Sen. Alan Bates, D-Ashland, unveiled his latest version of a bill that would give clearer guidelines to the Oregon Health Authority as it works out new five-year contracts for the states coordinated care organizations.
_________________________________________

UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS DECLINING ACROSS THE COUNTRY, INCLUDING OREGON (KTVL)

According to the Federal Government, unemployment numbers are declining across the country. The Oregon Employment Department said that the number is also low for southern Oregon due to the new businesses coming to the area.

“It has been trending down here as well. We are not as low as the national rate the US rate was estimated at 4.9 percent and that’s the lowest the US has seen since November 2007,” said Guy Tauer, Regional Economist for the Oregon Employment Department.
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February 8, 2016 eClips

* Oregon standoff Day 38: What you need to know Monday
* Homelessness: Portland’s Great Depression Hoovervilles vs. ‘Hales-villes’ photos
* State agency caused Paulina Lake flood, lawsuit alleges
* Republicans require full reading of bills to slow Oregon legislature
* Mohawk High School reaches out to Grande Ronde tribes in hopes of keeping Indians mascot
* Hazelnut boom showing up on edge of Eugene
* Debate over minimum wage picks up steam
* Extend open enrollment — Opinion
* Global Warming Commission chairman seeks to merge voluntary group with embattled state energy agency
* Editorial: The delinquents of the Oregon Secretary of State — Opinion
* Lawsuits over spotted frog worry farmers
* Oregon Refuge Occupation Enters Day 38: 6 Things To Know
* Oregon Historical Photo: Thomas Condon Lecturing On The Beach
* High snowpack but reservoir storage is low
* Audit indicates college boards hay purchase was not a violation
* Editorial: Klamath deal lives in spite of Walden — Opinion
* Editorial: Sea lions do their worst — Opinion
* New record set for fall chinook redds in Snake River
____________________

OREGON STANDOFF DAY 38: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW MONDAY (Portland Oregonian)

As we enter Day 38 of the standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, here are the latest developments:

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HOMELESSNESS: PORTLAND’S GREAT DEPRESSION HOOVERVILLES VS. ‘HALES-VILLES’ PHOTOS (Portland Oregonian)

Mayor Charlie Hales’ decision to tolerate homeless camps popping up along the waterfront, in public parks and on busy downtown sidewalks isn’t winning him any popularity contests.

But the debate over what to do with unwelcome homeless habitats in Portland has been kicking up political dust storms since the Great Depression.

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STATE AGENCY CAUSED PAULINA LAKE FLOOD, LAWSUIT ALLEGES (Portland Oregonian)

The owners of a lodge along Paulina Lake in central Oregon have filed a lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, saying an agency-maintained fish screen triggered destructive flooding.

The Bulletin reports that the owners of Paulina Lake Lodge are seeking $150,000 from the state agency, plus interest.

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REPUBLICANS REQUIRE FULL READING OF BILLS TO SLOW OREGON LEGISLATURE (Salem Statesman Journal)

Lawmaking in the Oregon Legislature begins and ends with the rap of a gavel.

Rap a bill is called to the floor of the Oregon Senate or House, debated and voted upon. Rap and then it’s on to the next bill.

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MOHAWK HIGH SCHOOL REACHES OUT TO GRANDE RONDE TRIBES IN HOPES OF KEEPING INDIANS MASCOT (Eugene Register-Guard)

Officials at one Lane County high school are optimistic a recent change in state rules may let them keep the school’s long-held Native American mascot name and image after all.

The Marcola School District is one of 14 in Oregon that was slated to drop its Indian mascot name and imagery by 2017 after the state Board of Education ruled in 2012 that all schools with such mascots must do away with them.

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HAZELNUT BOOM SHOWING UP ON EDGE OF EUGENE (Eugene Register-Guard)

Row after row of young hazelnut trees stand in the Perrott family’s fields between Eugene and Coburg, transforming the landscape with an orchard that expands each year.

Planted in stages during the past three years, the orchard comprises 17,000 trees on nearly 80 acres along Coburg Road north of the McKenzie River. The height of the hazelnut trees ranges from 10 feet for the first planted trees to 34-inch saplings put in the ground just last month.

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DEBATE OVER MINIMUM WAGE PICKS UP STEAM (Eugene Register-Guard)

The minimum wage debate gained momentum at the Legislature when a handful of senators narrowly favored a newly proposed bill to raise wages in a three-tiered approached aimed at pleasing Oregon’s wide spectrum of urban and rural areas.

Although nothing is set in stone yet, Friday’s decision was the first step forward on an issue that grew more contentious as the week progressed, rife with fiery exchanges between unions, businesses, local governments and partisan lawmakers that antagonized efforts to lock down a compromise at the Legislature in lieu of more aggressive proposals for the November ballot.

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EXTEND OPEN ENROLLMENT — OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard)

Conducting an experiment is of little use without a plan to monitor the results. Oregon has been experimenting with open enrollment, allowing students to attend public school in any district that will accept them since 2012, but no one really knows what the consequences have been. The open enrollment law sunsets next year, and the Legislature should extend it with orders that the state Department of Education study the results.

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GLOBAL WARMING COMMISSION CHAIRMAN SEEKS TO MERGE VOLUNTARY GROUP WITH EMBATTLED STATE ENERGY AGENCY (Portland Tribune)

With highly publicized problems in its energy tax credit and loan programs, including ongoing state and federal criminal investigations into the tax credits, the Oregon Department of Energy might not seem like the type of entity with which other government bodies would want to associate.

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EDITORIAL: THE DELINQUENTS OF THE OREGON SECRETARY OF STATE — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

The Oregon Secretary of State’s Office has a list that no municipality or local government should be on: The delinquents.

Local governments, special districts and councils of governments are required to file audits or an equivalent to ensure taxpayer money goes where it’s supposed to go. When they don’t file the required paperwork, they go on the delinquent list. But the Secretary of State’s Office needs to get serious about following up on the delinquents.

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LAWSUITS OVER SPOTTED FROG WORRY FARMERS (Bend Bulletin)

-Jefferson County growers fear the loss of irrigation water-

The farm fields in Jefferson County are quiet this time of year, the irrigation ditches dry, the crops dormant and the tractors, combines and balers parked in barns until spring.

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OREGON REFUGE OCCUPATION ENTERS DAY 38: 6 THINGS TO KNOW (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Nearly 40 days into the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon, both sides appear to be wearing thin on patience. In a series of videos released Sunday one of the remaining militants inside the refuge called on federal authorities to leave the state and people to take up arms and join their cause. “The feds, if you’re watching this, p off. Do your job. Get the hell out of Oregon, get the hell out of all of the states,” David Fry said.

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OREGON HISTORICAL PHOTO: THOMAS CONDON LECTURING ON THE BEACH (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Thomas Condon found his calling as a home missionary in 1852, but when he moved to The Dalles in 1862 he was able to cultivate his passions: geology and paleontology. The surrounding area, including what is now the John Day Fossil Beds, provided a wealth of significant geologic finds. Condon was also a natural teacher and gave well-regarded public lectures on Oregon’s ancient history.

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HIGH SNOWPACK BUT RESERVOIR STORAGE IS LOW (Argus Observer)

What a difference a year makes; the water outlook this year, is completely different than last year.

Portions of southeastern Oregon are experiencing the highest snowpack levels due to above-normal precipitation that fell as snow throughout January, according to a report from the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Oregon.
_________________________________________

AUDIT INDICATES COLLEGE BOARDS HAY PURCHASE WAS NOT A VIOLATION (Argus Observer)

When board member Roger Findley accused board Chairman Mark Wettstein and President Dana Young of breaking policy during Treasure Valley Community College’s January meeting, it raised some questions about board policy.

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EDITORIAL: KLAMATH DEAL LIVES IN SPITE OF WALDEN — OPINION (Daily Astorian)

-Moving the Klamath River deal forward is essential.-

While compromise is a dirty word with Republicans in Congress, it is essential in the West, where water intersects with agriculture, fish and hydroelectricity. The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement of 2010 was one of the most historic water compromises of this century. But it languished in Congress for five years.

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EDITORIAL: SEA LIONS DO THEIR WORST — OPINION (Daily Astorian)

No free rein to marine mammals while fish populations struggle.

The states of Washington and Oregon are likely to phase out the catch-and-release fishery for white sturgeon in the Lower Columbia River, the latest blow to a recreational activity that has spiraled sharply downward this decade.

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NEW RECORD SET FOR FALL CHINOOK REDDS IN SNAKE RIVER (Daily Astorian)

-New data released by the Nez Perce Tribe shows that fall chinook returning to the Snake River have set a new record for the third straight year-

New data released by the Nez Perce Tribe shows that fall chinook returning to the Snake River have set a new record for the third straight year.


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February 5, 2016 eClips

State Library eClips

* State Sheriff’s Association: No support for illegal actions, threats of violence
* Oregon college savings tax break increases
* Oregon says it can’t tell if IBM met job requirements for state subsidy
* No coal. 50 percent renewables. What does the Legislature’s big energy bill really mean?
* Oregon’s dramatic switch: 99.7 percent of kindergartners in full-day classes
* Oregon school enrollment up by nearly 6,000, biggest growth in a decade
* Oregon regulators suspected SE Portland polluter months before telling public
* Oregonians using federal health care website to enroll jumps 30 percent
* Senate Democrats shift course, calling for three minimum wage rates
* Gun sales loophole: Hearing brings searing words from mass shooting relatives
* Oregon’s ‘motor voter’ law boosts voting rolls by 4,300
* It’s not too late for Klamath not Congress to manage its water — Opinion
* Nonstop flight to Asia critical to region’s economy — Guest Opinion
* Public pension grasping continues, even during short legislative session — Opinion
* Minimum wage changes? Talks among lawmakers still in flux
* Should Oregon’s local governments get to ban GMO crops?
* Gov. Brown: Motor Voter makes Oregon ‘leader’
* Family of Charleston shooting victims testifies on guns
* Legislature seeks to close gun sales loophole
* Bill helping to line up $25 million state subsidy for Eugene 2021 track event is due for Friday hearing in Legislature
* Plan to demolish dams moves ahead
* Three minimum wages back on the table
* Oregon seed pre-emption law challenged in Legislature
* New, three-tiered minimum wage plan considered in Salem
* Report: Bend-La Pine now fifth-largest district in Oregon
* Alternative sentencing for parents will come to Deschutes County
* Editorial: Grant state authority for federal forests — Opinion
* Editorial: Local input should matter on Ochoco plan — Opinion
* Northwest Volunteers Want To Help Restore Malheur Refuge
* US Added 151,000 Jobs In January, Unemployment Down To 4.9 Percent
* Political Impasse Could Lead To Lengthy Floor Sessions In Salem
* Lawmakers Consider Closing Background Check ‘Loophole’
* A Divided Burns Looks Toward Healing
* Health Officials Find Heavy Metals In Southeast Portland Air
* Coal By Wire, Motor Voter & Valhalla
* Washington State Lawmakers Want To Fight Fire With Fire More Often
* Oregon seed pre-emption law challenged in Legislature
* Three-tiered minimum wage back on the table
* FBIs hands-off strategy in Malheur follows lessons learned
* Senators press FCC head on bogus equipment fees
* GMO tensions return to Ore. Legislature
* Oregon schools receive top marks for sex education
* Man talks on weathering volatile economy
* Our View: Action on state foster care long overdue — Opinion
* Road crews preparing for higher speeds on Hwy. 97
* Klamath near, or above normal for water year
* Two bills renewed by Whitsett in legislative session
* More security right call for the federal refuges — Opinion
* No free rides for those who took over refuge — Opinion
* County lawsuit speaks to state land policies — Opinion
* Bill will nix Postal Service ban on pot ads
* Holidays buoy employment rates in NW Oregon
* Writers Notebook: A tale of two sheriffs — Opinion
* House bill addresses ATI lockout
* Editorial: Legislation on foster care deserves support — Opinion
* Lead presence extremely unlikely here
* The high cost of debt
* Baker grad rate rising
* Senators introduce wildfire funding amendment
* Wasco County unhappy with short session
* Commentary: Setting the record straight about wolves, ranching — Guest Opinion
* MY VOICE: Eastern Oregon must unshackle — Guest Opinion
* Hermiston principal sees room for improvement in graduation rates
* Employment stays level in HR County
* Despite lower graduation rates, some Douglas County schools stay hopeful
* Douglas to join Linn County lawsuit against state
* OED releases new minimum wage report
* Oregon’s Congressional Delegation Introduces Bill to Allow Weed Ads in the U.S. Mail
* Lawmakers Seek Childrens Taxing District
* Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton Says He Welcomes State Investigation
* Portland Economist Warns Against Trading Inclusionary Zoning for UGB Expansion
* Air at SE Portland schools to be tested after toxins detected
* Coast guard chopper funded: senate approval keeps helicopter in Newport

____________________

STATE SHERIFF’S ASSOCIATION: NO SUPPORT FOR ILLEGAL ACTIONS, THREATS OF VIOLENCE (Portland Oregonian)

The Oregon State Sheriff’s Association released a statement Friday morning that opposes the views of the occupiers of a federal wildlife refuge outside of Burns.

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OREGON COLLEGE SAVINGS TAX BREAK INCREASES (Portland Oregonian)

The state tax subtraction for contributions to the Oregon College Savings Plan or MFS Oregon 529 Plan increases in 2016 to $2,310 for a single taxpayer and $4,620 for couples filing jointly, the Oregon State Treasurer’s office confirmed.

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OREGON SAYS IT CAN’T TELL IF IBM MET JOB REQUIREMENTS FOR STATE SUBSIDY (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon gave IBM $100,000. IBM promised more than 1,500 jobs.

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NO COAL. 50 PERCENT RENEWABLES. WHAT DOES THE LEGISLATURE’S BIG ENERGY BILL REALLY MEAN? (Portland Oregonian)

Lawmakers held their second, crowded public hearing Thursday to consider a complex bill that would restructure Oregon’s electricity supply in pursuit of significant reductions in the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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OREGON’S DRAMATIC SWITCH: 99.7 PERCENT OF KINDERGARTNERS IN FULL-DAY CLASSES (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon’s conversion from half-day to full-day kindergarten was startlingly fast and complete, with 99.7 percent of the state’s 5- and 6-year-olds currently enrolled in full-day classes, the state reported Thursday.

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OREGON SCHOOL ENROLLMENT UP BY NEARLY 6,000, BIGGEST GROWTH IN A DECADE (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon schools enrolled 5,550 more students this year than last, marking the biggest enrollment growth since 2005, the state reported Thursday.

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OREGON REGULATORS SUSPECTED SE PORTLAND POLLUTER MONTHS BEFORE TELLING PUBLIC (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon environmental regulators have suspected for months that unsafe levels of cadmium and arsenic air pollution in inner Southeast Portland may have been connected to a glass manufacturer there.

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OREGONIANS USING FEDERAL HEALTH CARE WEBSITE TO ENROLL JUMPS 30 PERCENT (Portland Oregonian)

Open enrollment has ended with a 30 percent spike in the number of Oregonians signing up for health insurance on the federal website.

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SENATE DEMOCRATS SHIFT COURSE, CALLING FOR THREE MINIMUM WAGE RATES (Portland Oregonian)

Abruptly changing course on the legislative session’s signature issue, Senate Democrats put forth a minimum wage plan Thursday that offers smaller raises to rural Oregonians while edging rates in Portland closer to $15.

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GUN SALES LOOPHOLE: HEARING BRINGS SEARING WORDS FROM MASS SHOOTING RELATIVES (Portland Oregonian)

House Democrats held an emotional hearing Thursday on legislation that would ban default gun sales when background checks take longer than three days.

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OREGON’S ‘MOTOR VOTER’ LAW BOOSTS VOTING ROLLS BY 4,300 (Portland Oregonian)

Gov. Kate Brown and Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins say more than 4,300 Oregonians have been registered to vote under a unique new Oregon law that’s been dubbed “motor voter.”

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IT’S NOT TOO LATE FOR KLAMATH NOT CONGRESS TO MANAGE ITS WATER — OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

The crushing defeat in Congress of a decade-long collaborative effort in the Klamath Basin to resolve water scarcity issues may not hold.

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NONSTOP FLIGHT TO ASIA CRITICAL TO REGION’S ECONOMY — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

Prior to Delta inaugurating nonstop air service to Tokyo in March of 1987, there were few cultural or business ties to Japan and the broader Asia markets.

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PUBLIC PENSION GRASPING CONTINUES, EVEN DURING SHORT LEGISLATIVE SESSION — OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

The unfunded obligations of Oregon’s public pension system have exploded once again, reaching about $20 billion as of late last year.

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MINIMUM WAGE CHANGES? TALKS AMONG LAWMAKERS STILL IN FLUX (Portland Oregonian)

High-level talks over raising the minimum wage took a turn Thursday, putting the fate of Gov. Kate Brown’s plan into question.

Senate Democrats called off a potential vote on Brown’s proposal scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Her plan would raise wages to $14.50 in the Portland area and $13.25 statewide by 2022.

_________________________________________

SHOULD OREGON’S LOCAL GOVERNMENTS GET TO BAN GMO CROPS? (Salem Statesman Journal)

The battle over genetically engineered crops has returned to the Legislature.

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GOV. BROWN: MOTOR VOTER MAKES OREGON ‘LEADER’ (Salem Statesman Journal)

More than 4,600 Oregonians were registered to vote in the first month of the Oregon Motor Voter program. Data released Thursday from the Elections Division of the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office put the final tally at 4,348 voters registered between Jan. 4 and Feb. 2.

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FAMILY OF CHARLESTON SHOOTING VICTIMS TESTIFIES ON GUNS (Salem Statesman Journal)

Family members of shooting death victims testified Thursday in support of a bill that would end what some call a loophole in the gun purchasing system.

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LEGISLATURE SEEKS TO CLOSE GUN SALES LOOPHOLE (Salem Statesman Journal)

Dylann Roof is accused of shooting and killing nine people during a prayer service at a Charleston, South Carolina, church last year.

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BILL HELPING TO LINE UP $25 MILLION STATE SUBSIDY FOR EUGENE 2021 TRACK EVENT IS DUE FOR FRIDAY HEARING IN LEGISLATURE (Eugene Register-Guard)

Travel Oregon, the states small tourism marketing agency best known for its scenic TV and online ads, might soon be responsible for making an unprecedented decision on a $25 million state subsidy for the 2021 world track and field championships in Eugene.

Advocates for the Eugene track event want lawmakers to double the statewide lodging tax on hotel and campsite stays to produce the money for the subsidy.

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PLAN TO DEMOLISH DAMS MOVES AHEAD (Eugene Register-Guard)

Federal officials and the states of California and Oregon will press forward with plans to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River, seeking to resolve years of dispute over the watershed despite resistance from Congress, an official of California Gov. Jerry Browns administration said Tuesday.

We will move ahead as a group and start the process, California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird told lawmakers at a committee hearing.

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THREE MINIMUM WAGES BACK ON THE TABLE (Portland Tribune)

The Senate Workforce and General Government Committee set to vote on plan that would hike minimum to $14.50 in Portland by 2022. –

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OREGON SEED PRE-EMPTION LAW CHALLENGED IN LEGISLATURE (Portland Tribune)

Farmers overwhelmingly testified against a recent proposal before Oregon lawmakers that would reverse the states ability to pre-empt local government restrictions on seed.

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NEW, THREE-TIERED MINIMUM WAGE PLAN CONSIDERED IN SALEM (Bend Bulletin)

-Proposal would set Deschutes at $13.50 by 2023, Crook, Jefferson and other rural counties get $12.50-

A new minimum wage proposal that emerged Thursday and could pass a Senate committee today would split the state into three regions, each with separate rates for workers based on costs associated with living in those counties.

The proposal comes as the Legislature tries to stave off two ballot measures that would raise the minimum wage faster and to a higher rate statewide.

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REPORT: BEND-LA PINE NOW FIFTH-LARGEST DISTRICT IN OREGON (Bend Bulletin)

-It gains 395 students over last year and moves up from 6th place-

Bend-La Pine Schools is officially the states fifth-largest school district, according to enrollment figures for 2015-16 released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Education.

The district gained 395 students over last school year. With 17,517 students, the district now ranks behind districts in Portland, Salem-Keizer, Beaverton and Hillsboro.

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ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING FOR PARENTS WILL COME TO DESCHUTES COUNTY (Bend Bulletin)

This year Deschutes County will be one of five Oregon counties to try a 10-year pilot program that provides intensive supervision to a subset of criminal offenders: parents.

The Family Sentencing Alternative Pilot Program, outlined in a bill passed by the Legislature last year, will give offenders who are parents or legal guardians of minors the chance to be supervised locally instead of going to prison.

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EDITORIAL: GRANT STATE AUTHORITY FOR FEDERAL FORESTS — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

After every round of wildfire in the federal forest comes a new round of reforms aimed at doing something about it.

But the wildfires are winning.

You can see it in the smoke and fires every summer.

The U.S. Forest Service burns up more and more every year in its firefighting budget. In 1995, it was 16 percent of its budget. Its likely to be more than half this year.

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EDITORIAL: LOCAL INPUT SHOULD MATTER ON OCHOCO PLAN — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

We hope the decision-makers in Washington are listening to the people of Crook County about the proposed recreation area for the Ochoco National Forest.

The Prineville City Council opposed it.

The Crook County Commission opposed it.

Shouldn’t it matter what local governments think?

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NORTHWEST VOLUNTEERS WANT TO HELP RESTORE MALHEUR REFUGE (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Oregon conservation groups say volunteers are lining up to help reverse damage done to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during the ongoing occupation.

At the end of January, the Oregon Natural Desert Association put out a call for volunteers interested in doing environmental restoration at the refuge after the occupation is over. In just a week, more than 600 people from all over the Northwest have signed up.

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US ADDED 151,000 JOBS IN JANUARY, UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN TO 4.9 PERCENT (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in January, a slowdown from recent months but still a sign of a solid job market. Employers raised pay, more people felt confident enough to look for work and the unemployment rate dipped to 4.9 percent, its lowest level since 2008.

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POLITICAL IMPASSE COULD LEAD TO LENGTHY FLOOR SESSIONS IN SALEM (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

A political showdown at the Oregon Capitol could result in some very long floor sessions this month. At the heart of the debate is a clause in the state constitution that dates back to 1859.

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LAWMAKERS CONSIDER CLOSING BACKGROUND CHECK ‘LOOPHOLE’ (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would close what some activists call a loophole in the states criminal background check law. It allows gun sales to go through if a background check isn’t completed by the end of the next business day.

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A DIVIDED BURNS LOOKS TOWARD HEALING (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Sally Hendry set out down the highway on a 28-degree morning with an armful of thick orange ribbons meant to symbolize unity. Trudging through the snow, the retired social worker wrapped one of the ribbons around a utility pole.

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HEALTH OFFICIALS FIND HEAVY METALS IN SOUTHEAST PORTLAND AIR (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Oregon health officials are warning of unhealthy levels of heavy metals in Southeast Portland’s air. They found high levels of cadmium and arsenic at a monitoring station near SE Powell Boulevard and SE 22nd Avenue.

David Monro with the state Department of Environmental Quality said his agency has been studying the correlation between metals in the air and metals found in moss.

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COAL BY WIRE, MOTOR VOTER & VALHALLA (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Representatives Jessica Vega Pederson and Cliff Bentz talk about the Oregon Energy Bill HB 4036, which would would eliminate the use of coal energy by Oregon’s two biggest utilities by 2035.

We talk to Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins about how the implementation of the states automatic voter registration law which began January 1 is going.

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WASHINGTON STATE LAWMAKERS WANT TO FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE MORE OFTEN (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

A few short months from now, federal and state foresters around the West will purposely set controlled burns to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires later. This is a regular practice in Oregon, Idaho and California, but much less common in Washington state.

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OREGON SEED PRE-EMPTION LAW CHALLENGED IN LEGISLATURE (Capital Press)

-Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland, has proposed a House Bill 4041, which would effectively reverse Oregon’s pre-emption statute.-

Oregon lawmakers heard a clear message from farmers who oppose local government restrictions what seeds they can use.

The Oregon Legislature pre-empted such local regulation of seed at a time when several counties were contemplating bans against genetically modified crops in 2013.

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THREE-TIERED MINIMUM WAGE BACK ON THE TABLE (East Oregonian)

-The Senate Workforce and General Government Committee is expected to vote on minimum wage Friday.-

Legislators have returned to a proposal that would set three minimum wage rates in the state based on median income and cost of living.

The proposal by Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, would hike wages to $14.75 in the Portland metro area, $12.50 in rural and coastal areas with struggling economies and $13.50 in the rest of the state by 2022.

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FBI’S HANDS-OFF STRATEGY IN MALHEUR FOLLOWS LESSONS LEARNED (East Oregonian)

Federal officials have allowed the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge to drag on for more than a month as part of a strategy learned from past standoffs in Texas and Idaho that ended in bloodshed and spurred more government mistrust, experts say.

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SENATORS PRESS FCC HEAD ON BOGUS EQUIPMENT FEES (East Oregonian)

-Bad billing tops consumer complaints about TV, Internet services.-

Oregon’s U.S. senators joined four of their colleagues Wednesday in pressing Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler about companies charging consumers for equipment they do not use.

Consumers of Internet and TV service complain more about billing than another other problem, according to a statement from the office of Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden

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GMO TENSIONS RETURN TO ORE. LEGISLATURE (Argus Observer)

Tension between growers of genetically engineered crops and non-genetically engineered crops is back before the Oregon Legislature this session with House Bill 4122.

The issue of state or local regulation between genetically engineered and non-genetically engineered does not appear to be an issue in Malheur County, Bill Buhrig, Oregon State University Extension agent said.

 

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OREGON SCHOOLS RECEIVE TOP MARKS FOR SEX EDUCATION (Argus Observer)

Oregon has received a perfect score on The Population Institutes 2015 report card on reproductive health and rights for its comprehensive sex education program.

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MAN TALKS ON WEATHERING VOLATILE ECONOMY (Argus Observer)

There is an economic reset going on across the world, and while farmers can position themselves to be successful, there are a lot of challenges they need to keep their eyes on.

David Kohl, professor emeritus of agriculture and applied economics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, gave a talk about what to expect in the upcoming years to Idaho and Malheur County Onion Growers at their annual meeting Tuesday at Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario.

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OUR VIEW: ACTION ON STATE FOSTER CARE LONG OVERDUE — OPINION (Medford Mail Tribune)

While the concern over trying to consider complex legislation in the short 35-day session in Salem is well founded, there is one major fix that simply can’t wait another year: cleaning up Oregon’s scandal-plagued foster care system.

Senate Bill 1515, which already cleared the Senate Human Services Committee on a unanimous vote Wednesday, would require the state to issue public reports of confirmed abuse and neglect once every quarter.

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ROAD CREWS PREPARING FOR HIGHER SPEEDS ON HWY. 97 (Herald and News)

Local road crews are preparing for an increase in the speed limit on Highway 97 and will start installing new road signs next week.

The speed limit on a number of highways throughout Eastern Oregon will be increasingly slightly starting March 1. Highway 97 north of Klamath Falls will go from 55 mph to 65 mph 60 mph for trucks.

The change was approved by state legislators through House Bill 3402, which was passed last summer.

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KLAMATH NEAR, OR ABOVE NORMAL FOR WATER YEAR (Herald and News)

Water conditions in Klamath County are holding steady at near or above average.

Ryan Sandler, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Medford, said since the water year began Oct. 1 the Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport has received 6.79 inches of precipitation. Normal is 6.63 inches, making precipitation for the month about 2 percent above average.

The whole county is near or above normal for the water year, Sandler said.

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TWO BILLS RENEWED BY WHITSETT IN LEGISLATIVE SESSION (Herald and News)

In the 2016 legislative session, which started Monday, Rep. Gail Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, is renewing two bills that didn’t make it to the House floor last year.

Whitsett said she has reintroduced a government transparency bill, now called House Bill 4138. Whitsett said if passed, the bill will allow the states legislative body to request an independent council to investigate wrongdoing in the Oregon executive branch.

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MORE SECURITY RIGHT CALL FOR THE FEDERAL REFUGES — OPINION (Herald and News)

Its no surprise that federal refuges in the West are getting increased security. Its happening to all six in the local area, which are getting 24-7 security upgrades in light of the events at the Malheur National Refuge, which was taken over by armed occupiers.

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NO FREE RIDES FOR THOSE WHO TOOK OVER REFUGE — OPINION (Herald and News)

Though the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation may have the look of something that’s winding down, its effects will be felt for a long time.

Being over wont come soon, even if the four remaining occupants at the Burns-area refuge are gone by the time you read today’s newspaper. They have been trying to negotiate with authorities to be able to leave without charges of being arrested.

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COUNTY LAWSUIT SPEAKS TO STATE LAND POLICIES — OPINION (The World)

It says something about the state of frustration in rural Oregon that Linn County commissioners would see fit to drag the state of Oregon into court over management of the state’s forest trust lands.

The commissioners have said they intend to file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Linn County and 14 other Oregon counties, including Benton, that contain state forest lands.

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BILL WILL NIX POSTAL SERVICE BAN ON POT ADS (Daily Astorian)

-Members of Oregon’s congressional delegation are taking the battle over pot ads shipped through the U.S. Postal Service to Congress.-

Legislators acted after Long Beach postmaster threatened.

Four members of Oregon’s congressional delegation, including Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, introduced a bill Thursday to rescind the U.S. Postal Services ban on pot ads.

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HOLIDAYS BUOY EMPLOYMENT RATES IN NW OREGON (Daily Astorian)

-Employment rates increased during December, according to the Oregon Employment Department.-

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates fell amid the holiday rush late last year, according to releases Tuesday by the Oregon Employment Department.

Clatsop County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December was 5.3 percent, down one-fifth of a percent from November. and three-quarters of a percent from a year ago. Clatsop County had the ninth-lowest unemployment rate of any county in Oregon.

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WRITERS NOTEBOOK: A TALE OF TWO SHERIFFS — OPINION (Daily Astorian)

-When a sheriff encourages lawbreakers, we’re in trouble.-

When a tough guy loses his composure, it startles us. That happened last week at the FBI press conference following the arrest of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupiers.

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HOUSE BILL ADDRESSES ATI LOCKOUT (Albany Democrat Herald)

An Oregon House of Representatives committee will hold a public hearing on Friday regarding a bill that extends unemployment benefits for up to an additional six months for workers who have been locked out such as at ATI Albany Operations, the former Oremet plant.

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EDITORIAL: LEGISLATION ON FOSTER CARE DESERVES SUPPORT — OPINION (Albany Democrat Herald)

We’ve heard plenty in the last few weeks about the partisan bickering going on in this legislative session, and its a lock that well hear plenty more.

But even though it doesn’t always grab the headlines, its still worth remembering that many of the bills that will emerge from this short session will do so with broad support from both sides of the political aisle.

This weeks case in point: Senate Bill 1515, from mid-valley Sen. Sara Gelser, which passed the Senates human services committee Wednesday on a unanimous vote.

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LEAD PRESENCE EXTREMELY UNLIKELY HERE (Corvallis Gazette-Times)

Residents of Flint, Michigan, have been living with a horrific water situation since April of 2014, when the city hooked up its water system to the Flint River. The corrosive Flint River water caused lead from aging pipes to leach into the water supply, causing extremely elevated levels of lead.

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THE HIGH COST OF DEBT (Ashland Daily Tidings)

-Report on Oregon’s student loan debt ‘crisis’ includes survey of SOU, RCC students-

The numbers are as frightening as a haunted house and the testimonials more depressing than the evening news, but arguably the most provocative page in a joint report issued last week by Alliance for a Just Society and Oregon Action is the cover.

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BAKER GRAD RATE RISING (Baker City Herald)

Though outpacing the state average, Baker County and North Powder schools followed the trend of most others by increasing their graduation rates in 2015.

Baker High School posted a rate of 85 percent of its students graduating in four years. Thats compared with a 74 percent rate statewide.

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SENATORS INTRODUCE WILDFIRE FUNDING AMENDMENT (Blue Mountain Eagle)

-Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, have called for an end to “fire-borrowing” in an amendment to the Senate’s energy bill.-

Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden is once again working with Idaho Republican Mike Crapo on legislation to fix wildfire funding.

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WASCO COUNTY UNHAPPY WITH SHORT SESSION (The Dalles Chronicle)

Wasco County Commission Chair Rod Runyon went to Salem Monday to testify during the first day of the Legislature short session and was not happy with what he saw.

Previously, the Legislature only met during odd years but in 2010 Measure 71 passed with 68 percent of Oregon voters supporting a 35-day session during even years.

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COMMENTARY: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ABOUT WOLVES, RANCHING — GUEST OPINION (The Dalles Chronicle)

It is a FACT wolves are predators and brutal ones at that. Are they terrorists? Do they terrorize?

We can argue the adjective, noun or the verb, but there is no denying that wolves are vicious killers.

Do wolves just follow their instincts preying on whatever target is easy and handylike a bunch of cattle? Yep, they sure do.

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MY VOICE: EASTERN OREGON MUST UNSHACKLE — GUEST OPINION (LaGrande Observer)

The West and the industries that created our communities have been under assault for more than 30 years. The federal land that historically made them prosperous has been managed under the influence of environmental and conservation poverty promoters for enough years to make no mistake in the results of their agenda: poverty.

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HERMISTON PRINCIPAL SEES ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT IN GRADUATION RATES (Hermiston Herald)

-Hermiston School District had 69 percent of its class of 2015 graduate on time with a regular diploma.-

Hermiston School Districts graduation rates for 2014-15 were a slight improvement over the year before, but new Hermiston High School principal Tom Spoo is determined to push them much higher in the future.

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EMPLOYMENT STAYS LEVEL IN HR COUNTY (Hood River News)

Though Hood River County in December fell to fourth best in the state in unemployment rates, jobs have stayed roughly the same.

#According to a report by regional economist Dallas Fridley, Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was essentially unchanged in December, falling by 0.1 percentage point to 4.6 percent.

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DESPITE LOWER GRADUATION RATES, SOME DOUGLAS COUNTY SCHOOLS STAY HOPEFUL (Douglas County News-Review)

Douglas County’s graduation rates continue to fall farther and farther behind the states rate, which already sits 10 percentage points lower than the national rate for the 2014-2015 school year, according to the Oregon Department of Education.

County rates decreased nearly 7 percent over the last 3 years while state rates increased by more than 7 percent during that same time. As a county, Douglas County ranked the fourth worst in the state at 63.73 percent, better than only Jefferson, Coos and Crook counties.

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DOUGLAS TO JOIN LINN COUNTY LAWSUIT AGAINST STATE (Douglas County News-Review)

Douglas County will join a Linn County lawsuit that demands the state manage timber on Forest Trust Lands for the benefit of the county governments that formerly owned the lands.

Linn County announced last month its plans to file a class action suit against the state, saying the state has breached its contract with the counties to harvest timber on those lands and give the money to the counties.

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OED RELEASES NEW MINIMUM WAGE REPORT (Douglas County News-Review)

Gov. Kate Browns recent proposals to increase the statewide minimum wage, currently at $9.25, have been met with mixed reviews. Now, the Oregon Employment Department has put together a new report on Oregon’s minimum wage to show how it compares nationwide and how its impact differs within the state.

Low wage employment makes up different shares of jobs in different counties in Oregon, so therefore the impact of the increase in minimum wage would vary depending by location, said Nick Beleiciks, the states employment economist.

 

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OREGON’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION INTRODUCES BILL TO ALLOW WEED ADS IN THE U.S. MAIL (Willamette Week)

-It’s called the Marijuana Advertising in Legal States MAILS Act.-

The tussle over mailing marijuana ads is headed to Congress.

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LAWMAKERS SEEK CHILDREN’S TAXING DISTRICT (Willamette Week)

– The bill would allow the city to seek to make the Portland Children’s Levy a permanent tax.-

The 2016 ballot will be loaded with new tax measures. The legislative session that started Feb. 1 includes a bill that could add another tax: a permanent taxing district for children.

Oregon already has special taxing districts to fund libraries, transit and ports.

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MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF DAN STATON SAYS HE WELCOMES STATE INVESTIGATION (Willamette Week)

– Staton denies breaking the law by gathering information about members of a citizen committee.-

Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton this evening echoed a call earlier today from County Chairwoman Deborah Kafoury for the Oregon Department of Justice to investigate Staton’s actions.

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PORTLAND ECONOMIST WARNS AGAINST TRADING INCLUSIONARY ZONING FOR UGB EXPANSION (Willamette Week)

– The potential trade hasn’t gotten any press but in the planning and housing world, it’s a huge deal.-

In the feverishly-paced 35-day legislative session that began Feb. 1, few issues are more important to lawmakers than doing something to address Portland’s shortage of affordable housing.

One of the solutions lawmakers are mulling is a blockbuster trade: an expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary in exchange for inclusionary zoning.

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AIR AT SE PORTLAND SCHOOLS TO BE TESTED AFTER TOXINS DETECTED (KGW)

High levels of cadmium and arsenic have been detected in Southeast Portland, in the area of 22nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality.

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COAST GUARD CHOPPER FUNDED: SENATE APPROVAL KEEPS HELICOPTER IN NEWPORT (The News Guard)

Working together to prevent the closure of lifesaving air facilities in Newport, Oregon and in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden D-OR, Jeff Merkley D-OR, Tim Scott R-SC and Lindsey Graham R-SC today applauded inclusion of language in the final Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 that now heads to the President for signature.

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February 4, 2016 eClips

State Library eClips

* Oregon standoff Day 34: What you need to know Thursday
* Oregon Secretary of State joins the crowd investigating Energy Department tax credits
* Oregon agriculture agency challenges judge’s pesticide ruling
* Your child vaccinated? Exclusion day is coming up Feb. 17
* Authorities investigating potential health risks of exposure to air pollutants found in SE Portland
* Foster care scandal: Bill requiring public reports on abuse clears Senate panel
* Oregon’s first Syrian refugee family meets with Kate Brown
* Sen. Jackie Winters recovering from heart surgery
* Security beefed up at national wildlife refuges in 3 states
* Immunizations for students to be done before Feb. 17
* Oregon farm regulators, judge disagree on pesticide finding
* University of Oregon students rally against proposed 4.7 percent tuition increase
* Malheur occupation costing state, local law enforcement $100,000 a week, Oregon Congressman Blumenauer says
* Lawyers representing Eugene motorcyclist kicked by Oregon State Police trooper in excessive-force case seek more than $343,000 in fees, expenses from the state
* Extra officers sent to 3 wildlife refuges in the region as the armed occupation continues at a sister refuge
* Prison officials say a 54-year-old inmate serving a life sentence died unexpectedly in the facility’s infirmary in Salem
* Lane County commmissioners agree to help fund lawsuit against BLM Western Oregon management plan
* Malheurs other occupiers — Opinion
* Big step for the Klamath — Opinion
* Aid in dying should be an option for patients — Guest Opinion
* Bill would let more pot businesses get financial services
* Blumenauer wants feds to reimburse Harney County for costs of refuge takeover
* State Department of Energy failed to keep records
* New plan aims to bring youth suicides to zero in Oregon
* Oregon considers expanding access to weight-loss surgery for Medicaid patients
* Drinking water with lunch lowers obesity in kids
* Sisters area wedding site denied by appeals court
* Minimum wage hike could wind up in court
* Oregon Wilds reputation factor in opposition to Ochoco plan
* Recreation area plan stirs local debate
* State warns of Moda-related scams
* Editorial: Don’t create unfair minimum wage law — Opinion
* Editorial: Background check bill should not make things worse — Opinion
* Klamath Dams, PPS Boundary Changes, ‘Cryptomaster Behemoth’ & Designing Right 2 Dream Too
* Crypto-What? 5 Things You Should Know About Oregon’s Newly Anointed Arachnid
* Conservationists Sue Federal Wolf-Killing Program In Oregon
* Onion growers happier with final FDA safety rules
* Entrepreneurs flock to Oregon cannabis conference
* Bill would let more pot businesses get financial services
* Task force recommended for recurring drought
* Local CEO wants to study idea of median wage
* Our View: Dam removal pact offers hope for Klamath Basin — Opinion
* Audit will investigate potential fraud in energy tax credits
* Marine experts seek answers in death of humpback whale
* Editorial: Management by lawsuit is a blunt instrument — Opinion
* County lawsuit hampers state forestry collaborative efforts, Salmon rep says
* Editorial: Linn County bets on a minimum-wage gambit — Opinion
* Editorial: Republican legislative gambit likely to backfire — Opinion
* An Oregon constitutional snag for governor’s minimum wage plan?
* Environmental groups sue to stop federal killings of wolves in Oregon

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OREGON STANDOFF DAY 34: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THURSDAY (Portland Oregonian)

As we enter Day 33 of the standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, here are the latest developments.

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OREGON SECRETARY OF STATE JOINS THE CROWD INVESTIGATING ENERGY DEPARTMENT TAX CREDITS (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins is launching an investigation to determine if there are cases of fraud or wrongdoing by applicants for the state’s controversial Business Energy Tax Credit.

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OREGON AGRICULTURE AGENCY CHALLENGES JUDGE’S PESTICIDE RULING (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon farm regulators have proposed overruling an administrative judge’s findings that the emergency suspension of an aerial pesticide applicator’s license was unwarranted.

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YOUR CHILD VACCINATED? EXCLUSION DAY IS COMING UP FEB. 17 (Portland Oregonian)

Multnomah County warned 9,500 parents this week that their children are missing vaccinations, representing about 8 percent of those who are required to be immunized or have an exemption.

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AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATING POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS OF EXPOSURE TO AIR POLLUTANTS FOUND IN SE PORTLAND (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon authorities are investigating the potential health risks of exposure to high amounts of cadmium and arsenic found in the air in Southeast Portland.

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FOSTER CARE SCANDAL: BILL REQUIRING PUBLIC REPORTS ON ABUSE CLEARS SENATE PANEL (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon’s foster care officials would have to produce public reports listing confirmed findings of abuse and neglect every three months under proposed legislation that emerged from a Senate panel Wednesday.

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OREGON’S FIRST SYRIAN REFUGEE FAMILY MEETS WITH KATE BROWN (Portland Oregonian)

After 23 governors announced they would not allow Syrians to resettle in their states, Oregon’s Gov. Kate Brown tweeted that “clearly” Oregon would continue to accept refugees.

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SEN. JACKIE WINTERS RECOVERING FROM HEART SURGERY (Salem Statesman Journal)

Sen. Jackie Winters, R-Salem, had major heart surgery in January and has not abandoned hope of returning to the short legislative session.

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SECURITY BEEFED UP AT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES IN 3 STATES (Salem Statesman Journal)

Additional security officers have been sent to national wildlife refuges in southern Oregon, northern California and Nevada amid the ongoing armed occupation of a sister refuge in southeastern Oregon that has caused tensions in the region and is showing no sign of ending soon.

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IMMUNIZATIONS FOR STUDENTS TO BE DONE BEFORE FEB. 17 (Salem Statesman Journal)

Parents must provide schools and child care facilities with children’s vaccine records before Feb. 17, which is School Exclusion Day.

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OREGON FARM REGULATORS, JUDGE DISAGREE ON PESTICIDE FINDING (Salem Statesman Journal)

Oregon farm regulators have proposed overruling an administrative judge’s findings that the emergency suspension of an aerial pesticide applicator’s license was unwarranted.

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UNIVERSITY OF OREGON STUDENTS RALLY AGAINST PROPOSED 4.7 PERCENT TUITION INCREASE (Eugene Register-Guard)

University of Oregon students gave a chilly response to a 4.7 percent tuition increase proposed for next fall, rallying in front of the Johnson Hall administration building Wednesday before a tense, hourlong meeting in which they accused top school officials of undermining their education.

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MALHEUR OCCUPATION COSTING STATE, LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT $100,000 A WEEK, OREGON CONGRESSMAN BLUMENAUER SAYS (Eugene Register-Guard)

-The lawmaker introduces legislation to require the U.S. government to pick up the costs and permit it to seek compensation from the occupiers-

The Malheur occupation has cost local and state law enforcement about $100,000 a week, and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer wants the occupiers to pick up the tab.

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LAWYERS REPRESENTING EUGENE MOTORCYCLIST KICKED BY OREGON STATE POLICE TROOPER IN EXCESSIVE-FORCE CASE SEEK MORE THAN $343,000 IN FEES, EXPENSES FROM THE STATE (Eugene Register-Guard)

The state could end up paying more than $500,000 to a Eugene motorcyclist and his attorneys in a federal civil rights case in which a high-ranking Oregon State Police trooper crashed his unmarked car into the mans motorcycle and then kicked him in the chest.

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EXTRA OFFICERS SENT TO 3 WILDLIFE REFUGES IN THE REGION AS THE ARMED OCCUPATION CONTINUES AT A SISTER REFUGE (Eugene Register-Guard)

Additional security officers have been sent to national wildlife refuges in southern Oregon, northern California and Nevada amid the ongoing armed occupation of a sister refuge in southeastern Oregon that has caused tensions in the region and is showing no sign of ending soon.

Four occupiers remain holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge south of Burns, saying they will not leave without assurances they won’t be arrested.

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PRISON OFFICIALS SAY A 54-YEAR-OLD INMATE SERVING A LIFE SENTENCE DIED UNEXPECTEDLY IN THE FACILITY’S INFIRMARY IN SALEM (Eugene Register-Guard)

Prison officials say a 54-year-old inmate serving a life sentence died unexpectedly in the facility’s infirmary in Salem.

Oregon State Penitentiary officials said Wednesday in a news release that Ronald Ruffin died just after 4 p.m. Tuesday.

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LANE COUNTY COMMMISSIONERS AGREE TO HELP FUND LAWSUIT AGAINST BLM WESTERN OREGON MANAGEMENT PLAN (Eugene Register-Guard)

Lane County government will pay $84,000 to join an expected multicounty lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management over the BLMs long-awaited new logging plan for Western Oregon.

The Association of O&C Counties, expecting that BLMs final plan will allow much less logging than counties want, intends to file a lawsuit alleging the BLM plan violates the O&C Act of 1937, said Lane County Commissioner Faye Stewart, who is vice president of the counties association.

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MALHEURS OTHER OCCUPIERS — OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard)

When the Bundy brothers and their band of self-appointed liberators of public lands took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge more than a month ago, its headquarters and ancillary buildings were unoccupied. But it would be mistaken to assume that the takeover has had no effect on the operations of the refuge, and every day the holdouts remain increases the danger of lasting harm. Just one example: One of the most important projects in the entire wildlife refuge system, the removal of invasive carp in Malheur Lake, could be set back by years.

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BIG STEP FOR THE KLAMATH — OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard)

Six weeks ago, it looked as though a decade of negotiations on a water management plan for the Klamath River had led to nothing. Rep. Greg Walden, the Republican who represents the Oregon portion of the Klamath basin in the U.S. House, had introduced a bill to implement an agreement accepted by farmers, government agencies, environmental groups and most of the basins Native American tribes, but it did not include a provision for the removal of four dams from the river.

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AID IN DYING SHOULD BE AN OPTION FOR PATIENTS — GUEST OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard)

Dying in America in the 21st century is a complex matter. As a society, we dont think or talk much about end-of-life issues. Our life expectancies are increasing. Medical technology allows us to survive with chronic diseases. These factors have combined to make our deaths a medical condition, rather than a natural one.

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BILL WOULD LET MORE POT BUSINESSES GET FINANCIAL SERVICES (Portland Tribune)

-State and federal laws hold banks and credit unions criminally liable for providing services to legal pot enterprises. –

While voters have legalized marijuana in Oregon, state and federal laws still largely restrict banks and credit unions from providing financial services to pot-related businesses.

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BLUMENAUER WANTS FEDS TO REIMBURSE HARNEY COUNTY FOR COSTS OF REFUGE TAKEOVER (Portland Tribune)

-FBI cuts off cell phone service for four remaining militants –

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer said Wednesday that he planned legislation to have the federal government reimburse Harney County for its costs dealing with the four-week takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

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STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY FAILED TO KEEP RECORDS (Portland Tribune)

The Oregon Secretary of State’s office plans to investigate whether poor record keeping at the state Department of Energy could have hidden fraud in the controversial business energy tax credit program.

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NEW PLAN AIMS TO BRING YOUTH SUICIDES TO ZERO IN OREGON (Bend Bulletin)

-Aims to improve continuity of care, education on warning signs-

Before Dr. Kristi Nix’s brother killed himself, he saw his primary care doctor. He went to the emergency room. He called a crisis hotline.

He did all those things, said Nix, a pediatrician with High Lakes Health Care in Bend. The disconnect was he did all those things at various times but it never really came together in a coordinated effort and there wasn’t anybody following up with that.

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OREGON CONSIDERS EXPANDING ACCESS TO WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY FOR MEDICAID PATIENTS (Bend Bulletin)

-Question remains about additional cost to state-

Carrying around Daniel Wenzels excess body weight feels like the equivalent of eight 25-pound bags of dog food.

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DRINKING WATER WITH LUNCH LOWERS OBESITY IN KIDS (Bend Bulletin)

-Access to water part of Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act-

The presence of watercoolers in school cafeterias is linked to lower rates of overweight and obese kids, according to a study conducted in New York City public schools.

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SISTERS AREA WEDDING SITE DENIED BY APPEALS COURT (Bend Bulletin)

-Couple will appeal to Oregon Supreme Court-

The Oregon Court of Appeals has dealt another blow to a Sisters-area couple who for the past several years have tried to gain approval for wedding ceremonies on their property.

The state appellate court issued a decision Wednesday agreeing with a Oregon State Land Use Board of Appeals ruling last year. LUBA reversed a Deschutes County decision allowing the weddings to be held at a private park on the 216-acre property.

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MINIMUM WAGE HIKE COULD WIND UP IN COURT (Bend Bulletin)

As Democratic lawmakers tried this week to create a tide of support for Gov. Kate Browns plan to gradually raise the minimum wage by $4 an hour statewide, the proposals opponents brought in a new wave of threats.

A nonpartisan legislative attorney informed lawmakers during a hearing Tuesday they could face court challenges if they decided to increase the rate, to $13.25 an hour statewide by 2022, without giving local governments money to pay workers higher salaries.

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OREGON WILDS REPUTATION FACTOR IN OPPOSITION TO OCHOCO PLAN (Bend Bulletin)

-Crook County residents recall groups past and not fondly-

Oregon Wilds proposal to declare 300,000 acres of Ochoco National Forest land as a national recreation area has been widely opposed by the residents and officials of Crook County for the land use restrictions that many say such a designation could lead to.

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RECREATION AREA PLAN STIRS LOCAL DEBATE (Bend Bulletin)

-Local support plays a pivotal role in proposals for wilderness-

When it comes to potential new wilderness areas, local support can be crucial to swaying lawmakers. And lawmakers are who decide whether to introduce legislation creating a wilderness.

So far, Oregon Wilds plan for a 312,000-acre national recreation area mainly in the Ochoco National Forest the Ochoco Mountains National Recreation Area has encountered opposition from local leaders. The plan includes 26,000 acres of new wilderness.

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STATE WARNS OF MODA-RELATED SCAMS (Bend Bulletin)

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services is warning Oregonians of potential scams in which callers pretend to be able to help those who have Moda health insurance policies.

The department last week suspended Modas ability to sell new policies because of the company’s financial trouble

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EDITORIAL: DON’T CREATE UNFAIR MINIMUM WAGE LAW — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

Here’s another reason why Gov. Kate Browns plan to jack up Oregon’s minimum wage is a bad idea: Local governments would not have to comply with the law.

That’s right. Businesses don’t get a pass. But local governments city and county governments could decide they don’t want to do it.

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EDITORIAL: BACKGROUND CHECK BILL SHOULD NOT MAKE THINGS WORSE — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

Oregon has a problem with its background checks for firearms. It needs a fix that doesnt make things worse.

The state sometimes effectively approves a gun sale when the sale should have been blocked. Its been called the Charleston loophole.

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KLAMATH DAMS, PPS BOUNDARY CHANGES, ‘CRYPTOMASTER BEHEMOTH’ & DESIGNING RIGHT 2 DREAM TOO (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Sacramento Bee reporter Ryan Sabalow fills us in on a new plan to remove dams along the Klamath River, and what that means for the Klamath Basin restoration agreements that many observers thought were dead.

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CRYPTO-WHAT? 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT OREGON’S NEWLY ANOINTED ARACHNID (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Late last month, a new species of Daddy Longlegs joined the ranks of Oregon arachnids known to the scientific world. Dubbed Cryptomaster behemoth by the scientists who discovered it, the beast boasts large, crushing pedipalps and a broad, amber abdomen.

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CONSERVATIONISTS SUE FEDERAL WOLF-KILLING PROGRAM IN OREGON (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Conservationists filed a federal lawsuit in Oregon on Wednesday that challenges the authority of a federal government program to kill wolves in the state.

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ONION GROWERS HAPPIER WITH FINAL FDA SAFETY RULES (Capital Press)

-The FDA’s final produce safety rule will cause some headaches for onion growers but it’s much better than the agency’s initial proposal, Idaho and Oregon onion growers were told Jan. 2 during their annual joint meeting.-

There is some good news but a few headaches associated with the FDAs final produce safety rule, Idaho and Oregon onion growers were told Feb. 2 during their annual joint meeting.

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ENTREPRENEURS FLOCK TO OREGON CANNABIS CONFERENCE (Capital Press)

-Speakers at a cannabis conference in Portland say the industry should model itself after the organic food movement’s growth and quality.-

A speaker at the Cannabis Collaborative Conference said the fast-growing industry has an entrepreneurial model to emulate in the organic food movement.

As big as natural food industry has grown, this new cannabis industry stands to make it small by comparison, said Tom Burns, who oversaw the success of Yogi Tea in Eugene, Ore., beginning in the 1970s.

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BILL WOULD LET MORE POT BUSINESSES GET FINANCIAL SERVICES (East Oregonian)

-An emergency bill by Rep. Tobias Read would remove criminal liability for providing financial services to marijuana businesses in Oregon.-

While voters have legalized marijuana in Oregon, state and federal laws still largely restrict banks and credit unions from providing financial services to pot-related businesses.

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TASK FORCE RECOMMENDED FOR RECURRING DROUGHT (East Oregonian)

-An Oregon legislative committee has approved the creation of a task force on drought.-

Despite generous amounts of snow and rain this winter, Eastern Oregon is expected to continue experiencing drought in 2016 based on low soil moisture levels.

In light of this prediction from the National Weather Service, the states water regulators want to set up a Task Force on Drought Emergency Response to find tools for alleviating drought impacts.

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LOCAL CEO WANTS TO STUDY IDEA OF MEDIAN WAGE (Medford Mail Tribune)

Jessica Gomez has no problem with the minimum wage going up. She just thinks there is a better way to boost income for lower-tier workers than what the Legislature is considering or union-backed ballot measures offer.

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OUR VIEW: DAM REMOVAL PACT OFFERS HOPE FOR KLAMATH BASIN — OPINION (Medford Mail Tribune)

A new push to remove four dams on the Klamath River could salvage a water-sharing agreement between Indian tribes and irrigators that expired when Congress failed to act by the end of 2015. The effort by Oregon, California and federal energy regulators could result in removing the dams, but reviving the irrigation portion of the deal would still require congressional action.

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AUDIT WILL INVESTIGATE POTENTIAL FRAUD IN ENERGY TAX CREDITS (Daily Astorian)

-Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins said the agency will hire a contractor with forensic audit experience to conduct the inquiry-

The Oregon Secretary of States office plans to investigate whether poor record keeping at the state Department of Energy could have hidden fraud in the controversial business energy tax credit program.

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MARINE EXPERTS SEEK ANSWERS IN DEATH OF HUMPBACK WHALE (Daily Astorian)

-A whale washed up Sunday evening on the beach in Seaside.-

The dead 24-foot humpback whale that washed ashore on the north end of Seasides beach Sunday caused quite a stir.

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EDITORIAL: MANAGEMENT BY LAWSUIT IS A BLUNT INSTRUMENT — OPINION (Daily Astorian)

-The federal hatcheries, along with others operated by the states, are mainly responsible for maintaining salmon runs now that the river system is dammed.-

A pending lawsuit by an environmental group is the latest challenge to federal salmon and steelhead hatcheries on the Columbia River, a decades-old system that has also faced some congressional scrutiny in recent years. Although salmon propagation practices do merit ongoing re-examination, defunding these Mitchell Act hatcheries would be a serious mistake.

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COUNTY LAWSUIT HAMPERS STATE FORESTRY COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS, SALMON REP SAYS (Albany Democrat Herald)

Linn County’s decision to sue the Oregon Department of Forestry for breach of contract based on reduced timber harvest payments is a really polarizing act between certain counties and timber companies to maximize revenues and logging production, said Bob Van Dyk, Oregon & California Policy Director with the Wild Salmon Center.

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EDITORIAL: LINN COUNTY BETS ON A MINIMUM-WAGE GAMBIT — OPINION (Albany Democrat Herald)

Linn County Commissioner Roger Nyquist raised some eyebrows in the Capitol on Tuesday, when he testified against a proposal to raise Oregon’s minimum wage.

The minimum-wage proposal is one of the spotlight issues during this years session of the Oregon Legislature, and so it was no surprise that the Tuesday hearing packed participants into a committee room in Salem.

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EDITORIAL: REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE GAMBIT LIKELY TO BACKFIRE — OPINION (Corvallis Gazette-Times)

As you might have heard, Republicans in the Oregon Legislature have complained that their Democratic colleagues on the other side of the aisle have packed the agenda of the five-week session with a variety of far-reaching policy bills.

The Republicans have a point.

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AN OREGON CONSTITUTIONAL SNAG FOR GOVERNOR’S MINIMUM WAGE PLAN? (KATU)

Gov. Kate Brown’s minimum wage proposal may have just hit a snag.

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ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS SUE TO STOP FEDERAL KILLINGS OF WOLVES IN OREGON (Reuters)

Environmentalists sued a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday in a bid to block federal agents from carrying out targeted killings of gray wolves in Oregon, as debates simmers over protections afforded the animals in the wild.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 4, 2016 eClips

February 3, 2016 eClips

State Library eClips
* Utilities, environmentalists join forces to push anti-coal plan at Oregon Legislature
* Klamath Basin: Revived water pact could see aging dams taken down
* Kate Brown’s minimum wage proposal gets first hearing
* Oregon lawmakers consider proposal to sell medical pot at recreational stores
* Oregon doesn’t need to revisit its minimum wage — Opinion
* Reasonable resolution to tribal-mascot debate — Guest Opinion
* Oregon Senate takes up bill to test sexual assault kits
* Corporate tax hike would not be passed along to consumers — Guest Opinion
* Oregon standoff Day 33: What you need to know Wednesday
* Obscure part of Oregon Constitution presents hiccup for minimum wage bill
* Legislature seeks to close gun sales loophole
* Public health advocates, retailers clash on tobacco bill
* Bill to move Oregon off coal power gets hearing
* Businesses balk at Oregon governors minimum-wage plan
* Time to move along — Opinion
* Commission grills utilities on coal deal
* Lawmakers propose tweaks to marijuana law
* Coalition seeks to raise legal tobacco age
* State sets up Web tool to calculate kicker refund
* Dems’ low-carbon plan throws roadblock at GOP transportation funding plan
* Snow depths looking solid west of Bend
* Utilities continue push to back off coal and promote renewables
* Lots of lessons for kids in hunting classes
* Push for a Redmond to Phoenix flight heats up
* Tree Farm development west of Bend moves forward
* Editorial: Legislature should pursue Knopps PERS reforms — Opinion
* Owyhee, Moda In Trouble, Talking Business & Noah Strycker
* Oregons water outlook is good for now, but not a sure thing
* Weatherman: Warmer, wetter spring and summer ahead
* Wildlife refuge employees ready to return to work
* Oregon farm regulators overrule judge on pesticide finding
* Rancher finds himself in middle of standoff
* Legislators work on competing energy bills
* Wolf legislation slated for Thursday hearing
* Langston: The surprising history of controversial Malheur refuge — Guest Opinion
* Lawmakers consider tweaks to pot laws
* Rep. fights increase in 1st speech
* BLM proposes closing up to 164 miles of roads in Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
* Since You Asked: Moda isn’t the first arena namesake to hit hard times
* Breidenthal’s Hood River claims don’t jibe with commissioners there
* Our View: Lift the ban on inclusionary zoning — Opinion
* Brown’s revised wage proposal criticized at first hearing
* Deal boosts effort to remove 4 Klamath River dams
* Coos County joins Linn County’s planned class action lawsuit against state
* LUBA gives approval for Pacific Gales project
* All’s not fair in love and politics — Opinion
* A vision for a new economic identity — Opinion
* Coos County, BLM continue to battle Bastendorff Beach issues
* Coalition seeks to raise legal tobacco age to 21
* States set Columbia River spring Chinook seasons
* Editorial: Time to speak up for commercial fishing — Opinion
* Editorial: This would remove tools for suicide — Opinion
* Nyquist: Wage hike would increase costs
* Editorial: Boosting minimum wage is a mistake — Opinion
* Editorial: Legislature won’t be the only test for Brown — Opinion
* As I See It: Stop playing budget games with Oregon’s future — Guest Opinion
* As We See It: BLM misses the mark on Rainbow Ridge — Guest Opinion
* Editorial: Politics cast shadow over session — Opinion
* Legislature eyes Cap and Trade
* Your Guide to the 2016 Oregon Legislature

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UTILITIES, ENVIRONMENTALISTS JOIN FORCES TO PUSH ANTI-COAL PLAN AT OREGON LEGISLATURE (Portland Oregonian)

The Legislature held its first public hearing Tuesday on a far-reaching bill that aims to rid Oregon of electricity from coal-fired plants by 2030 and require utilities to serve half their customers’ demand with renewable energy by 2040.

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KLAMATH BASIN: REVIVED WATER PACT COULD SEE AGING DAMS TAKEN DOWN (Portland Oregonian)

A moribund push to remove a series of dams in the Klamath Basin has returned to life under a new deal announced Tuesday between California, Oregon, PacifiCorp and the federal government.

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KATE BROWN’S MINIMUM WAGE PROPOSAL GETS FIRST HEARING (Portland Oregonian)

Powerful left-leaning groups lined up behind Gov. Kate Brown’s new minimum wage plan Tuesday, tepidly offering support for $14.50 in Portland and $13.25 statewide.

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OREGON LAWMAKERS CONSIDER PROPOSAL TO SELL MEDICAL POT AT RECREATIONAL STORES (Portland Oregonian)

Recreational cannabis retailers would be able to sell tax-free medical marijuana to patients under a bill being considered by Oregon lawmakers.

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OREGON DOESN’T NEED TO REVISIT ITS MINIMUM WAGE — OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

The Oregon Legislature joined the minimum-wage debate in earnest this week, taking public testimony on a proposal negotiated by Gov. Kate Brown that would, lawmakers hope, head off a pair of dramatic initiative petitions.

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REASONABLE RESOLUTION TO TRIBAL-MASCOT DEBATE — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

I am Reyn Leno, and I’m proud to be an Indian who fought for this country as a warrior in Vietnam.

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OREGON SENATE TAKES UP BILL TO TEST SEXUAL ASSAULT KITS (Portland Oregonian)

A Senate panel Tuesday held the first hearing on a bill to make police follow through with testing sexual assault kits.

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CORPORATE TAX HIKE WOULD NOT BE PASSED ALONG TO CONSUMERS — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

Oregonians deserve accurate information when it comes to public policy proposals that would have far-reaching consequences. So it was disappointing to read The Oregonian’s recent editorial disparaging Initiative Petition 28, a proposal to raise corporate income taxes.

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OREGON STANDOFF DAY 33: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WEDNESDAY (Portland Oregonian)

As we enter Day 33 of the standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, here are the latest developments.

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OBSCURE PART OF OREGON CONSTITUTION PRESENTS HICCUP FOR MINIMUM WAGE BILL (Salem Statesman Journal)

A little-known section of the Oregon Constitution became a thorn in the side of legislators working to raise the minimum wage Tuesday.

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LEGISLATURE SEEKS TO CLOSE GUN SALES LOOPHOLE (Salem Statesman Journal)

Dylann Roof is accused of shooting killing nine people during a prayer service at a Charleston, South Carolina, church last year.

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PUBLIC HEALTH ADVOCATES, RETAILERS CLASH ON TOBACCO BILL (Salem Statesman Journal)

Public health advocates and tobacco retailers clashed Tuesday at the Oregon State Capitol, as they gave testimony on a bill that would require tobacco and e-cigarette product retailers to be licensed by the state.

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BILL TO MOVE OREGON OFF COAL POWER GETS HEARING (Salem Statesman Journal)

State utility regulators have serious concerns about a proposal to transition Oregon off coal power, legislators learned at a hearing on the bill Tuesday.

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BUSINESSES BALK AT OREGON GOVERNORS MINIMUM-WAGE PLAN (Eugene Register-Guard)

Democratic Gov. Kate Browns minimum-wage proposal drew maximum heat from businesses and some local governments at an initial public hearing Tuesday.

Oregon farmers argued that the wage increase would put them at a disadvantage with their competitors in other states. Restaurant owners pushed to allow a lower wage for workers who also receive tips. And some local government leaders said the additional costs could be an unconstitutional unfunded mandate from the state.

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TIME TO MOVE ALONG — OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard)

After last weeks shooting death of Robert LaVoy Finicum, one of the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, social and mainstream media sites lit up with rumors, speculations and allegations.

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COMMISSION GRILLS UTILITIES ON COAL DEAL (Portland Tribune)

Oregon’s two largest utilities presented the case for legislation to phase out coal energy during a special meeting of the Oregon Public Utility Commission Friday.

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LAWMAKERS PROPOSE TWEAKS TO MARIJUANA LAW (Portland Tribune)

-Removing a two-year residency requirement to start a marijuana business is one of the proposed changes.-

Representatives from the marijuana industry came out in droves Tuesday to speak out on legislation to hone the states infant marijuana laws.

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COALITION SEEKS TO RAISE LEGAL TOBACCO AGE (Portland Tribune)

-Legislation that would have increased the age to buy tobacco to 21 stalled in committee in 2015. –

A coalition of 20 health organizations has launched a campaign to combat a sobering trend: About seven kids every day become new smokers in Oregon.

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STATE SETS UP WEB TOOL TO CALCULATE KICKER REFUND (Portland Tribune)

Want to take your state tax kicker on your 2015 income tax returns? Oregon’s Department of Revenue is setting up a website to help people figure out how to collect their tax credit.

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DEMS’ LOW-CARBON PLAN THROWS ROADBLOCK AT GOP TRANSPORTATION FUNDING PLAN (Portland Tribune)

Democratic leaders in the Oregon House have blocked a $340 million transportation funding bill introduced by a Wilsonville Republican.

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SNOW DEPTHS LOOKING SOLID WEST OF BEND (Bend Bulletin)

Before strapping on their snowshoes to head into the forest near Wanoga Sno-park on Tuesday, Kurt Moffitt and Gabby Coughlin with the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service had a good idea what they’d find.

Theres a lot more snow on the ground than there was last year.

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UTILITIES CONTINUE PUSH TO BACK OFF COAL AND PROMOTE RENEWABLES (Bend Bulletin)

-Watchdog: Would proposal actually cut carbon?-

Oregon’s utility watchdog continued its push for answers on whether a proposal to alter the source of most of the states electric supply would increase rates and actually cut carbon as intended.

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LOTS OF LESSONS FOR KIDS IN HUNTING CLASSES (Bend Bulletin)

-Hunter education classes start this month-

Mikayla Lewis torched her hunting boots at the end of a recent elk hunt. She lit the match and they went up in flames. My daughter is 19 years old and, we calculated, has been hunting for 10 years since she passed hunter education.

Her boots have been a symbol of much pain.

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PUSH FOR A REDMOND TO PHOENIX FLIGHT HEATS UP (Bend Bulletin)

-Air service could take off this summer-

A daily nonstop flight from Redmond to Phoenix could be a reality as soon as June, but not without money from the Central Oregon community.

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TREE FARM DEVELOPMENT WEST OF BEND MOVES FORWARD (Bend Bulletin)

-An appeal will be dropped as opposing sides reach an agreement-

A 50-homesite development next to Shevlin Park is expected to move forward with construction this year after an agreement was reached this week between developers and Central Oregon LandWatch.

Most of the 533-acre site will remain as open space and have a trail system connecting to the park.

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EDITORIAL: LEGISLATURE SHOULD PURSUE KNOPPS PERS REFORMS — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

Some say Oregon’s state employee retirement system, called PERS, is nothing to worry about.

The health of the states pension system routinely gets ranked highly when you compare it to other pension systems. An article a few months ago in The Wall Street Journal compared the resources each state has to pay its future retirement benefits. Oregon came in fifth.

So why do some in Oregon like State Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, keep trying to get peoples attention about PERS?

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OWYHEE, MODA IN TROUBLE, TALKING BUSINESS & NOAH STRYCKER (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

OPBs senior political reporter Jeff Mapes tells us what hes been hearing about the chances for an Owyhee wilderness area or national monument.

We talk with Patrick Allen with the states consumer and business services department about how the troubles at Moda Health are likely to affect Oregonians.

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OREGON’S WATER OUTLOOK IS GOOD FOR NOW, BUT NOT A SURE THING (Capital Press)

-The snow draping Oregon’s mountain ranges is a welcome sign, but it doesn’t mean the drought is over.-

Oregon’s snowpack looks good as February unfolds, but the hydrologist who tracks it says anything can happen in the next couple months.

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WEATHERMAN: WARMER, WETTER SPRING AND SUMMER AHEAD (Capital Press)

-Art Douglas of Creighton University and a fixture at the Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum, predicts warmer and wetter weather for the region in the coming months.-

Pacific Northwest farmers will see warmer and wetter weather in the months ahead, meteorologist Art Douglas predicts.

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WILDLIFE REFUGE EMPLOYEES READY TO RETURN TO WORK (Capital Press)

-A spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said agency employees are anxious to get back to work at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.-

As an occupation drags on, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees dont know what theyll find when they return to work at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

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OREGON FARM REGULATORS OVERRULE JUDGE ON PESTICIDE FINDING (Capital Press)

-A dispute between Oregon farm regulators and a pesticide applicator may be headed for the Oregon Court of Appeals.-

Oregon farm regulators have proposed overruling an administrative judges findings that the emergency suspension of an aerial pesticide applicators license was unwarranted

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RANCHER FINDS HIMSELF IN MIDDLE OF STANDOFF (Capital Press)

-Kurt Spencer, whose Frenchglen, Ore., ranch is just a half-hour drive south of the refuge headquarters and whose property borders refuge land, said the stop at the first checkpoint was scary.-

Rancher Kurt Spencer had a close encounter with the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation situation on Jan. 28.

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LEGISLATORS WORK ON COMPETING ENERGY BILLS (East Oregonian)

-Lawmakers who support the bills said they expect to pass them out of committee and on to the budget writing Joint Committee on Ways and Means by next week.

Oregon lawmakers held the first hearings Tuesday on two major bills to increase limits on carbon emissions.

Legislative committees have not finished taking testimony on the bills. But lawmakers who support the bills said they expect to pass them out of committee and on to the budget writing Joint Committee on Ways and Means by next week.

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WOLF LEGISLATION SLATED FOR THURSDAY HEARING (East Oregonian)

-A bill that would ratify the recent decision to delist wolves in Eastern Oregon is headed for a public hearing Thursday in Salem.-

A bill that would ratify the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commissions decision to remove gray wolves from the state endangered species list is up for debate in Salem.

Sen. Bill Hansell, R-Athena, and Rep. Greg Barreto, R-Cove, initially submitted slightly different versions of the bill in both the House and Senate, asking for the legislature to back up last falls controversial wolf delisting.

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LANGSTON: THE SURPRISING HISTORY OF CONTROVERSIAL MALHEUR REFUGE — GUEST OPINION (East Oregonian)

National wildlife refuges such as the one at Malheur near Burns have importance far beyond the current furor over who manages our public lands. Such refuges are becoming increasingly critical habitat for migratory birds because 95 percent of the wetlands along the Pacific Flyway have already been lost to development.

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LAWMAKERS CONSIDER TWEAKS TO POT LAWS (East Oregonian)

-Lawmakers have proposed several changes to the state’s marijuana laws.-

Representatives from the marijuana industry came out in droves Tuesday to speak out on legislation to hone the states infant marijuana laws

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REP. FIGHTS INCREASE IN 1ST SPEECH (Argus Observer)

Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, used his first speech in the opening session in the Oregon House Monday to address the issue of a proposed hike in the minimum wage.

A bill introduced in the Legislature would increase the minimum wage, which is $9.25 an hour, to $13.50 an hour by 2019 for most of the state, with a larger increase in the Portland metro area.

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BLM PROPOSES CLOSING UP TO 164 MILES OF ROADS IN CASCADE-SISKIYOU NATIONAL MONUMENT (Medford Mail Tribune)

-Jackson County commissioners voice concerns-

Jackson County commissioners are voicing concerns about a U.S. Bureau of Land Management proposal to close 164 miles of logging roads in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument east of Ashland.

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SINCE YOU ASKED: MODA ISN’T THE FIRST ARENA NAMESAKE TO HIT HARD TIMES (Medford Mail Tribune)

I saw on the news last week that Moda Health Plans is being required by the Oregon Insurance Division to raise capital or reduce its operations. Isn’t this the same company that spent millions to rename the Rose Garden just a couple of years ago?

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BREIDENTHAL’S HOOD RIVER CLAIMS DON’T JIBE WITH COMMISSIONERS THERE (Medford Mail Tribune)

-4 out of 5 Hood River commissioners say they don’t recall meeting him-

Jackson County Commissioner Doug Breidenthals claim that he met with local commissioners after a conference in June 2014 isnt backed up by four of the five commissioners in Hood River County.

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OUR VIEW: LIFT THE BAN ON INCLUSIONARY ZONING — OPINION (Medford Mail Tribune)

It’s no secret that many families in Jackson County are struggling financially, and one of the biggest hurdles they face is finding housing they can afford. A bill before the 2016 Legislature would allow but not require cities to enact “inclusionary zoning” laws to help address that. Oregon is one of only two states that bans cities from enacting such laws, and the ban should end.

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BROWN’S REVISED WAGE PROPOSAL CRITICIZED AT FIRST HEARING (The World)

Oregon lawmakers on Tuesday held their first public hearing on Gov. Kate Brown’s scaled-back minimum wage proposal, and it immediately ran into criticism.

Legislators met at the Capitol in a room packed with union officials, business people, residents, local government leaders and others wanting to weigh in on whether Oregon’s $9.25 hourly minimum wage should be increased, by how much and where, and over what period of time.

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DEAL BOOSTS EFFORT TO REMOVE 4 KLAMATH RIVER DAMS (The World)

An agreement by California, Oregon and the federal government on Tuesday boosted efforts to remove four dams in the Pacific Northwest despite opposition in Congress.

Officials from those two states and the federal government committed in the deal to pressing ahead on plans to remove the four hydroelectric dams on the lower Klamath River, which runs through Oregon to California.

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COOS COUNTY JOINS LINN COUNTY’S PLANNED CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST STATE (The World)

Linn County’s planned class action lawsuit against the state of Oregon for the mismanagement of Oregon Trust Forest Lands has added Coos County to its potential list of plaintiffs.

Coos County commissioners met with Linn County Board Chair Roger Nyquist last week during executive session to discuss the merits of the case as well as the costs to Coos County.

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LUBA GIVES APPROVAL FOR PACIFIC GALES PROJECT (The World)

The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals gave the proposed Pacific Gales golf course the final go-ahead last week when LUBA ruled against an appeal to the project by the Oregon Coast Alliance.

ORCA had appealed Curry County’s approval of the proposed design for the clubhouse at the golf course north of Port Orford.

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ALL’S NOT FAIR IN LOVE AND POLITICS — OPINION (The World)

The 2016 state legislative session opened yesterday, and boy, is the agenda packed.

If you believe the schedule for this short 35-day session, lawmakers will tackle issues such as: raising the state’s minimum wage, increasing corporate taxes, privatizing the state’s liquor monopoly, phasing out coal power for renewable, overhauling the state’s foster-care system, regulating housing rents, refining the new marijuana laws and strengthening background-check requirements recently imposed on firearm purchases.

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A VISION FOR A NEW ECONOMIC IDENTITY — OPINION (The World)

If you asked a broad cross section of Americans how they identified certain of these United States economically, you’d probably get pretty consistent answers.

Washington state aerospace and high tech. Alaska oil. California agriculture and high tech and Hollywood. Wyoming mining and ranching. Idaho agriculture, especially potatoes, although that’s somewhat stereotypical.

Anyway you get the idea. If you’d asked someone the same question about Oregon a generation ago, they’d most likely say timber.

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COOS COUNTY, BLM CONTINUE TO BATTLE BASTENDORFF BEACH ISSUES (The World)

Slowly, but surely progress is being made at Bastendorff Beach.

But that doesn’t mean county or Bureau of Land Management officials can take their feet off the pedal to push for greater changes to the camping situation otherwise the current predicament could easily spiral out of control again.

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COALITION SEEKS TO RAISE LEGAL TOBACCO AGE TO 21 (Daily Astorian)

-A campaign to raise Oregon’s legal age to buy tobacco was launched Tuesday after a bill last year stalled in committee.-

A coalition of 20 health organizations has launched a campaign to combat a sobering trend: About seven kids every day become new smokers in Oregon.

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STATES SET COLUMBIA RIVER SPRING CHINOOK SEASONS (Daily Astorian)

-Season based on forecast of returning spring salmon-

Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington state have set spring Chinook salmon seasons for the Columbia River.

The recreational springer season on the Columbia from the river mouth upstream to Bonneville Dam will be open from March 1 through April 9, with two days off during that period to allow for potential commercial fishing periods.

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EDITORIAL: TIME TO SPEAK UP FOR COMMERCIAL FISHING — OPINION (Daily Astorian)

-The forecast for the important spring Chinook run is about 300,000 to the rivers mouth-

Last week included one of the signature events on the Pacific Northwests annual calendar: the setting of spring fishing seasons on the Columbia River.

The forecast for the important spring Chinook run is about 300,000 to the rivers mouth, about 28 percent fewer than last year but more than the 10-year average of 285,000.

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EDITORIAL: THIS WOULD REMOVE TOOLS FOR SUICIDE — OPINION (Daily Astorian)

-Removing firearms from suicidal people would be a step forward-

Suicide and guns go together. So do suicide and prescription drugs.

A researcher at the University of Washington took that relationship and developed a concept that might lead to a breakthrough in Olympia. The online news outlet Crosscut reported Friday that gun lobbyists joined suicide prevention advocates in supporting a bill aimed at inhibiting guns and prescription drugs availability to suicidal people

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NYQUIST: WAGE HIKE WOULD INCREASE COSTS (Albany Democrat Herald)

Linn County Commissioner Roger Nyquist today plans to tell a Senate committee reviewing a proposed minimum wage hike, Its ironic under the guise of reducing poverty, government and special interest groups are proposing legislation that will increase grocery prices statewide.

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EDITORIAL: BOOSTING MINIMUM WAGE IS A MISTAKE — OPINION (Albany Democrat Herald)

Let us elaborate on a point we’ve made in passing in recent editorials: Raising Oregons minimum wage, already the second-highest in the nation, is a bad idea. Its bad public policy that runs the risk of devastating local governments and small businesses across Oregon.

So, of course, it seems to be a virtual lock to pass the Legislature in the short session that got underway on Monday in Salem.

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EDITORIAL: LEGISLATURE WON’T BE THE ONLY TEST FOR BROWN — OPINION (Albany Democrat Herald)

Gov. Kate Brown did outstanding work during last years legislative session, when she unexpectedly assumed the states top office after the resignation of John Kitzhaber.

As you probably recall, that happened in the early days of the 2015 session, and one of the very real possibilities in those days was that the session would go off the rails.

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AS I SEE IT: STOP PLAYING BUDGET GAMES WITH OREGON’S FUTURE — GUEST OPINION (Corvallis Gazette-Times)

For the past 25 years the Oregon Legislature has routinely defunded education and public safety. Coincidentally, the growth of social service programs has exploded, growing 250 percent, since 2003. These programs are better funded due to the massive federal matching dollars appropriated at a rate of nearly 6 to 1.

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AS WE SEE IT: BLM MISSES THE MARK ON RAINBOW RIDGE — GUEST OPINION (Corvallis Gazette-Times)

The Rainbow Ridge Timber Sale is located in the Marys Peak Resource Area of the Salem District of the Bureau of Land Management BLM. Twice in the last few years Nov. 4, 2012 and Sept. 28, 2015 the Corvallis Gazette-Times has featured this timber sale as its lead story of the day: first when reporting on a public tour of Rainbow Ridge that we participated in, and second when reporting on a protest by opponents of the timber sale.

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EDITORIAL: POLITICS CAST SHADOW OVER SESSION — OPINION (Corvallis Gazette-Times)

A couple of notable political events took place on Monday: First, of course, Iowa voters participated in their states first-in-the-nation political caucus, and in doing so, kicked the presidential race into high gear.

Closer to home, in Salem, legislators from across Oregon gathered to kick off the Legislatures short session, scheduled for a five-week run.

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LEGISLATURE EYES CAP AND TRADE (Oregon Business Report)

In the upcoming 2016 Short Session, legislators will debate a controversial cap and trade bill, labeled the Healthy Climate Act. In short, the bill proposes to raise billions in new revenue on the backs of unsuspecting businesses and consumers.

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YOUR GUIDE TO THE 2016 OREGON LEGISLATURE (Willamette Week)

On Jan. 14, an Oregon House committee met in Salem for a public hearing because Rep. Vic Gilliam R-Silverton wanted to name the Newfoundland the state dog.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 3, 2016 eClips

February 2, 2016 eClips

State Library eClips
* With knives out, Oregon Legislature sets off on 35-day sprint
* Legislature should extend school-choice law — Opinion
* ‘Monster’ new species of Daddy Longlegs discovered in Oregon
* Oregon tax fight: Top Democrat proposes ‘peaceful solution
* Manager at women’s prison on job after prostitution-related conviction
* Oregon standoff Day 32: What you need to know Tuesday
* Oregon standoff: Opposing demonstrations divide Harney County locals
* Blame lack of incentives, not land-use system, for housing crisis — Guest Opinion
* Legislature eyes ‘peaceful resolution’ to corporate tax battle
* Monday at the Oregon Legislature, and a look ahead
* Oregon may ban sky lanterns
* Manager at women’s prison on job after prostitution arrest
* Amid housing crisis, Legislature searches for answers
* A late start, and an acrimonious one — Opinion
* Prozanski abandons controversial gun bill
* Local economy should continue to improve in 2016, panel of experts says
* Housing legislation has dismal prospects
* My View: What Oregon voters know, care about — Guest Opinion
* My View: Close loophole in mental health law — Guest Opinion
* My view: Together we can solve housing crisis — Guest Opinion
* State bill would allow higher court fees for courthouse construction
* State lawmakers take aim at housing woes
* Restoration planned for Deep Creek in Ochocos
* Senate Democrats unveil new corporate tax proposal
* Oregon lawmakers spar over what short session is and isn’t
* A tense Burns starts asking, what now?
* Ideas and division on 4 issues in Salem
* City, county governments reject Oregon Wild proposal
* Editorial: Legislatures quick march into the unknown — Opinion
* Editorial: Don’t relinquish making budget choices — Opinion
* Editorial: WaterWatch has a valid point about the Deschutes — Opinion
* Editorial: Make audio recordings of grand juries — Opinion
* Editorial: Don’t set judge salaries by autopilot — Opinion
* Deschutes may record grand jury testimony
* Hospital Charity Care In Oregon Dropping Precipitously
* Local precipitation stays ahead of the game
* As Oregon grad rates go up, Eastern Oregon’s decline
* Graduation rate leaves out some non-traditional students
* Pendleton City Council to consider turning airport into support center
* Morrow County DA moved to disqualify judge in infant manslaughter case
* Weston company pays for environmental failure
* House Democrats block transportation funding bill
* Our view: Big issues in short session — Opinion
* A. Bentz: Eastern Oregon must unshackle from poverty promoters — Guest Opinion
* Rosenfeld: Imperfect solutions can make elections more fair — Guest Opinion
* In session
* Company says its committed to removal of invasive bentgrass
* Wage hike wont kill expansion — Guest Opinion
* Lets strive for one positive consequence — Opinion
* Rogue snowpack is heavy heading into critical month
* Medford School District’s graduation rate jumps
* Our View: Potential ballot measures driving the session — Opinion
* Guest Opinion: Legislative issues are cause for concern in 2016 session — Guest Opinion
* Graduation rates reflect Klamath Promise efforts
* Grad rates: a mixed bag
* City numbers drop due to many factors
* No free rides for those who took over refuge — Opinion
* Oregon listed among states as recovered from the recession
* Omnibus housing bill unlikely to pass this session
* Senator proposes corporate tax alternative
* Brown revises wage proposal downward
* PUC question utilities about renewable power plan
* Oregon lawmakers battle the ballot
* Editorial: Raise trial court judges salaries — Opinion
* Editorial: Oregon lights a fire under coal power — Opinion
* Editorial: Rural Oregon seeks voice in Salem — Opinion
* Government keeps West going — Guest Opinion
* Think Too Much: Legislators set priorities for session — Opinion
* Editorial: Words make a difference in standoff — Opinion
* Truck driver killed by car parked a mile short of designated chain up zone with wider shoulder
* OSP: Let us see video — Opinion
* An unfortunate result in Harney — Opinion
* Grant available for museums, cemeteries, historic properties
* Report hunt results by Jan. 31
* Huffman hopes two bills take flight — Opinion
* Drop in students prompts closure
* OUR VIEW: Lawmakers should back proposal — Opinion
* CASA Volunteer Manager Susan Baldwin: Leading by example
* I-84 improvements coming this year
* Another Voice: Rep. Mark Johnson looks to February session — Guest Opinion
* Oregon’s governor looks to energize startups, entrepreneurs
* As Oregon session starts, key lawmaker introduces $1B alternative to massive corporate tax
* Report: DOJ Should Track Its Monitoring of Pot Legalization

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WITH KNIVES OUT, OREGON LEGISLATURE SETS OFF ON 35-DAY SPRINT (Portland Oregonian)

The daggers were drawn within minutes.

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LEGISLATURE SHOULD EXTEND SCHOOL-CHOICE LAW — OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

Oregonians who’d like their lawmakers to support bipartisan policies and their public schools to accommodate the wishes of students and their families should follow Senate Bill 1566, which would remove the sunset date on the state’s “open enrollment” law.

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‘MONSTER’ NEW SPECIES OF DADDY LONGLEGS DISCOVERED IN OREGON (Portland Oregonian)

Scientists have apparently discovered a new species of Daddy Longlegs that belong to an arachnid group known for being comparatively huge.

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OREGON TAX FIGHT: TOP DEMOCRAT PROPOSES ‘PEACEFUL SOLUTION (Portland Oregonian)

The leader of the Oregon Senate’s revenue committee introduced a longshot compromise Monday on a corporate tax measure speeding toward the November ballot.

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MANAGER AT WOMEN’S PRISON ON JOB AFTER PROSTITUTION-RELATED CONVICTION (Portland Oregonian)

The Oregon Department of Corrections is allowing an employee who works with inmates at Oregon’s only prison for women to remain on the job after a recent conviction for soliciting a prostitute.

Nathan Cantlin, 41, the inmate work program coordinator at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, was arrested Dec. 8 as part of a prostitution sting by the Tigard Police at a local hotel.

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OREGON STANDOFF DAY 32: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TUESDAY (Portland Oregonian)

As we enter Day 32 of the standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, here are the latest developments.

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OREGON STANDOFF: OPPOSING DEMONSTRATIONS DIVIDE HARNEY COUNTY LOCALS (Portland Oregonian)

he dividing line over a monthlong armed standoff in this rural Oregon community deepened Monday.

Hundreds of people converged on the county courthouse lawn to send a singular message to the remaining occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and their supporters: Go home.

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BLAME LACK OF INCENTIVES, NOT LAND-USE SYSTEM, FOR HOUSING CRISIS — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

The recent opinion piece by Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, makes many good points about the economic causes and effects of the current affordable housing crisis. However, blaming Oregon’s land-use planning system for being part of the cause is a misdiagnosis of the problem.

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LEGISLATURE EYES ‘PEACEFUL RESOLUTION’ TO CORPORATE TAX BATTLE (Salem Statesman Journal)

Sen. Mark Hass proposed an alternative to the looming ballot measure battle over corporate taxes, which could prove costly and politically damaging.

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MONDAY AT THE OREGON LEGISLATURE, AND A LOOK AHEAD (Salem Statesman Journal)

The Oregon Legislature is meeting in it’s short session this month.

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OREGON MAY BAN SKY LANTERNS (Salem Statesman Journal)

Oregon may move to ban sky lanterns those glowing paper balloons carried aloft by the heat of an open flame.

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MANAGER AT WOMEN’S PRISON ON JOB AFTER PROSTITUTION ARREST (Salem Statesman Journal)

The Oregon Department of Corrections is allowing a man convicted on prostitution charges to remain an employee at the state’s only prison for women.

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AMID HOUSING CRISIS, LEGISLATURE SEARCHES FOR ANSWERS (Salem Statesman Journal)

A package of bills meant to bolster affordable housing programs are moving forward in the Legislature. The bills had public hearings Monday, the first day of the 2016 legislative session.

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A LATE START, AND AN ACRIMONIOUS ONE — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

The 2016 session of the Oregon Legislature got off to a late start on Monday.

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PROZANSKI ABANDONS CONTROVERSIAL GUN BILL (Eugene Register-Guard)

Sen. Floyd Prozanski, a Eugene Democrat, on Monday abandoned a controversial gun bill he had introduced, citing a lack of time to adequately craft the policy in the 35-day legislative session.

The unusual step came before the bill, Senate Bill 1551, even received a public hearing in the Capitol. But the long-shot proposal already had angered gun advocates and GOP lawmakers.

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LOCAL ECONOMY SHOULD CONTINUE TO IMPROVE IN 2016, PANEL OF EXPERTS SAYS (Eugene Register-Guard)

Worries are mounting about global economic troubles and a stock market slide derailing the nations recovery from the Great Recession, even plunging it back into a recession.

The Register-Guard Board of Economists isn’t buying the doom and gloom for 2016.

According to the economists, Brian Rooney, John Mitchell, Tom Potiowsky, Bill Conerly, and Ed Whitelaw, the Oregon and Lane County economies should keep improving in 2016, extending for a sixth consecutive year the recovery from the Great Recession.

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HOUSING LEGISLATION HAS DISMAL PROSPECTS (Portland Tribune)

-Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick says the plan is too ambitious for the Legislature’s 35-day session.-

An omnibus bill to address the states affordable housing crisis is unlikely to pass during the Legislatures 35-day session that began Monday, according the Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland.

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MY VIEW: WHAT OREGON VOTERS KNOW, CARE ABOUT — GUEST OPINION (Portland Tribune)

Did you hear the starting pistol fire on Jan. 1? Were off to the races: Election Year 2016. Oregonians will face a number of potentially divisive issues including raising the corporate minimum tax, raising the minimum wage, rolling back climate change legislation, and raising the gas tax. We are entering a year that Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, describes as possibly being our Armageddon.

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MY VIEW: CLOSE LOOPHOLE IN MENTAL HEALTH LAW — GUEST OPINION (Portland Tribune)

A recent Harris survey has confirmed what we already knew: We are in the midst of a mental health crisis. The survey found that nearly half of Americans think they have, or once have had, a mental health condition, yet fewer than 38 percent have received treatment.

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MY VIEW: TOGETHER WE CAN SOLVE HOUSING CRISIS — GUEST OPINION (Portland Tribune)

The idea expressed in Jeff Coles Tap land trusts to create affordable housing My View, Jan. 11 Tribune is a good one. Unfortunately, major constitutional issues make this worthy strategy very challenging. Still, ideas like this must remain on the table as we explore the use of other tools to address whats now become a crisis issue.

Too many hard-working families in our region are treading water and barely making ends meet due to the growing cost of housing.

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STATE BILL WOULD ALLOW HIGHER COURT FEES FOR COURTHOUSE CONSTRUCTION (Bend Bulletin)

-Bill would have little impact on Jefferson County, at least now-

State legislators heard testimony Monday on a proposed bill that would allow higher fees on some citations and court filings to fund the construction of new courthouses and the renovation of existing ones.

The hearing by the House Committee on Judiciary came on the first day of the Oregon Legislatures short session, which runs through the first week of March.

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STATE LAWMAKERS TAKE AIM AT HOUSING WOES (Bend Bulletin)

-Bills would allow cities to require affordable housing, protect tenants-

Lawmakers debuted the pieces of the game plan they plan to use over the coming month to create affordable housing during a pair of hearings Monday, the first day of the legislative session.

Now they’ve got to put the pieces together, and what became clear during four hours of testimony is the path forward isn’t clear.

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RESTORATION PLANNED FOR DEEP CREEK IN OCHOCOS (Bend Bulletin)

-Goals include improved trout, frog habitat-

A restoration project planned for a creek in the Ochocos would help keep its waters cool and improve habitat for fish and frogs.

Deep Creek, like other streams in the Ochoco National Forest, used to fan out and seasonally cover meadow flood plains.

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SENATE DEMOCRATS UNVEIL NEW CORPORATE TAX PROPOSAL (Bend Bulletin)

Oregon lawmakers flocked to the Capitol on Monday to begin whats already being considered the busiest short session to-date.

The next 35 days will be a whirlwind of proposed budget tweaks, closing loopholes in existing laws and a wide spectrum of massive policy changes that could fundamentally impact Oregonians daily lives.

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OREGON LAWMAKERS SPAR OVER WHAT SHORT SESSION IS AND ISN’T (Bend Bulletin)

There’s a set of lawmakers who believe whats going to happen in the Capitol during a five-week legislative blitz starting Monday is against the will of the voters who six years ago gave the Legislature the power to meet every year.

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A TENSE BURNS STARTS ASKING, WHAT NOW? (Bend Bulletin)

-Tension, talk of land management changes continue-

For now things are still far from normal in Harney County. And how they will be once the occupation is over is unknown.

The county courthouse is a prime example. Outside the building in Burns this past week, FBI agents, Oregon State Police troopers and sheriffs deputies from around the state have stood watch day and night. The agents, troopers and deputies are likely to be there even after the occupation, until tension in the rural county settles.

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IDEAS AND DIVISION ON 4 ISSUES IN SALEM (Bend Bulletin)

-Democrats, Republicans set to spar over minimum wage hike, taxes, housing and environment-

Republicans and Democrats in Salem agree on one thing: the next five weeks will be filled with big-ticket bills. And that’s about all they can agree on.

The 2016 session appears set to be as divisive as the six-month 2015 session.

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CITY, COUNTY GOVERNMENTS REJECT OREGON WILD PROPOSAL (Bend Bulletin)

-Area groups vow to fight the proposed designation-

After Prineville citizens spoke out this week at a City Council meeting against proposed new wilderness and recreation areas in the Ochoco National Forest, their elected representatives on the council followed suit with a unanimous vote to oppose Oregon Wilds proposal.

The vote puts the council in good company.

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EDITORIAL: LEGISLATURES QUICK MARCH INTO THE UNKNOWN — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature seem to think a majority is a terrible thing to waste. But in their hurry to do a flurry of business easily passed by the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, will they have enough time to adequately vet the bills?

Consider House Bill 4036.

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EDITORIAL: DON’T RELINQUISH MAKING BUDGET CHOICES — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

No matter how you look at it, Oregon spends less on K-12 education than average in the country. The sponsors of Senate Joint Resolution 204 would like to change that and improve state spending on public safety while theyre at it.

While the idea is undoubtedly good, the way Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, and others would get there is not.

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EDITORIAL: WATERWATCH HAS A VALID POINT ABOUT THE DESCHUTES — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

In the matter of the lawsuit filed by WaterWatch of Oregon over the Oregon spotted frog, WaterWatch has a point.

We dont agree with the lawsuit or think a lawsuit is a good strategy for improving the river.

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EDITORIAL: MAKE AUDIO RECORDINGS OF GRAND JURIES — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel argues Oregon should join most other states and make recordings of grand juries. We agree.

Grand juries dont decide if someone is guilty of a crime. They decide if someone should be charged with a crime.

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EDITORIAL: DON’T SET JUDGE SALARIES BY AUTOPILOT — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

Oregon’s judges are underpaid. They have been for years, and a recent round of salary increases narrowed the gap but did not close it.

Now Supreme Court Justice Thomas Balmer and the Oregon Circuit Court Judges Association are backing a plan that would not only require substantial raises but also assure that judges never fall behind their peers again.

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DESCHUTES MAY RECORD GRAND JURY TESTIMONY (Bend Bulletin)

-Recordings could be a check on prosecutorial power-

An effort to elucidate how felony criminal charges are brought in Oregon by requiring courts to electronically record grand jury proceedings is back in Salem.

Come October, Deschutes County could be one of three Oregon counties required to record the confidential presentation of evidence and testimony that occurs when grand juries convene.

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HOSPITAL CHARITY CARE IN OREGON DROPPING PRECIPITOUSLY (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Oregon’s hospitals have had a great couple of years.

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LOCAL PRECIPITATION STAYS AHEAD OF THE GAME (East Oregonian)

-Snowpack and precipitation remain above normal around Pendleton, but drier conditions loom.-

Eastern Oregon is still ahead of the curve on rain and snow after a slightly wetter-than-usual January.

The Pendleton area received 1.51 inches of precipitation last month, and is about .35 inches above normal for the water year dating back to October. Snowpack is 119 percent of average in the Umatilla, Walla Walla and Willow basins, compared to a measly 46 percent a year ago.

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AS OREGON GRAD RATES GO UP, EASTERN OREGON’S DECLINE (East Oregonian)

-The Oregon Department of Education released every district’s 2014-2015 graduation rates.-

Graduation rates for 2014-2015 released by the Oregon Department of Education this week are a mix of good news and bad news for local districts.

The good news: Eight of Umatilla and Morrow county’s 12 school districts are above the state average and two more are equal to it.

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GRADUATION RATE LEAVES OUT SOME NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENTS (East Oregonian)

-Chevelle Gregerson persevered through two pregnancies and the death of a sibling to graduate from high school after six years.-

When the Oregon Department of Education releases high school graduation rates each January, the numbers spark a conversation about the quality of education across the state.

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PENDLETON CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER TURNING AIRPORT INTO SUPPORT CENTER (East Oregonian)

-Redmond’s airport is only designated disaster response center in Oregon.-

When the big one hits, Steve Chrisman wants the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport prepared to help.

On Tuesday, the Pendleton City Council will consider a recommendation by the airport director to pursue the designation of the airport as an official Disaster Emergency Response and Support Center.

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MORROW COUNTY DA MOVED TO DISQUALIFY JUDGE IN INFANT MANSLAUGHTER CASE (East Oregonian)

-State and defense also agree to hold settlement talks in Travis Martin case.-

Morrow County District Attorney Justin Nelson is seeking to disqualify Circuit Judge Eva Temple from presiding over the infant manslaughter case of Travis Martin.

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WESTON COMPANY PAYS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL FAILURE (East Oregonian)

-J & J Snack Foods Handhelds Corp. failed to monitor storm water discharge for iron and chromium for two years.-

A Weston company paid a $7,341 penalty for not monitoring storm water discharge for two years.

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HOUSE DEMOCRATS BLOCK TRANSPORTATION FUNDING BILL (East Oregonian)

-State Rep. John Davis, R-Wilsonville, persued the bill dispite decision by House and Senate leaders to put off transportation until 2017.-

Democratic leaders in the Oregon House have blocked a $340 million transportation funding bill introduced by a Wilsonville Republican.

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OUR VIEW: BIG ISSUES IN SHORT SESSION — OPINION (East Oregonian)

Oregon’s third short session kicks off Monday, and it will be an important one for the state.

It will also be just 35 days long, by voter mandate, so the important work that needs to get done will be under the gun right from the start. So, too, will be the entire concept of the short session.

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BENTZ: EASTERN OREGON MUST UNSHACKLE FROM POVERTY PROMOTERS — GUEST OPINION (East Oregonian)

The West and the industries that created our communities have been under assault for more than 30 years. The federal land that historically made them prosperous has been managed under the influence of environmental and conservation poverty promoters for enough years to make no mistake in the results of their agenda: poverty.

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ROSENFELD: IMPERFECT SOLUTIONS CAN MAKE ELECTIONS MORE FAIR — GUEST OPINION (East Oregonian)

Im grateful to the East Oregonian for spotlighting the vexing and profound problem of big money in our political system Our view: Long shadow of Citizens United hangs over elections, Jan. 26. In my opinion, the editorial correctly highlights just how serious of a problem it is for our democracy when a small number of large donors are able to exert more influence over our political process _________________________________________

IN SESSION (Argus Observer)

-Bentz outlines goals for Oregon Legislature-

Stopping a proposed minimum wage hike is at the top of state Rep. Cliff Bentz’s agenda for the approximately month-long Oregon legislative session that starts Monday.

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COMPANY SAYS ITS COMMITTED TO REMOVAL OF INVASIVE BENTGRASS (Argus Observer)

The Scotts Co. will be here for the long haul to work on controlling or eradicating genetically engineered creeping bentgrass.

That is the message the company’s representatives shared at a meeting Thursday at Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario.

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WAGE HIKE WONT KILL EXPANSION — GUEST OPINION (Argus Observer)

-Increasing wages wound ability to keep doors open-

Regarding Councilor Charlotte Fugates op-ed piece published Jan. 26:

While we support efforts to #CarveUsOut of any excessive and sudden wage hike and sincerely appreciate her thoughts, we at the Treasure Valley Childrens Relief Nursery must make a correction.

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LETS STRIVE FOR ONE POSITIVE CONSEQUENCE — OPINION (Argus Observer)

In the aftermath of Robert LaVoy Finicums death and the arrest of several people tied to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, weve heard one constant refrain.

Every action has a consequence.

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ROGUE SNOWPACK IS HEAVY HEADING INTO CRITICAL MONTH (Medford Mail Tribune)

-Water content is far above average heading into critical month-

The Rogue River Basin’s snowpack is well above average and is in good shape to anchor a potentially healthy water year that could help wash away southwest Oregon’s drought status.

The federal Natural Resources Conservation Service today listed the snowpack in the Rogue and Umpqua basins at 128 percent of average, but the key value the amount of water stored in that snowpack was listed at 138 percent of average.

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MEDFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT’S GRADUATION RATE JUMPS (Medford Mail Tribune)

Boosted in part by intervening earlier with students who have fallen behind, Medford School District posted nearly a 10 percent increase in its graduation rate in 2015 over the previous year.

The district’s overall graduation rate for its four high schools was 74.95 percent, up from 65.2 percent in 2014.

Oregon’s high school graduation rate also came in at the highest it has been since the state began its current method of tracking students seven years ago, according to data released today by the Oregon Department of Education _________________________________________

OUR VIEW: POTENTIAL BALLOT MEASURES DRIVING THE SESSION — OPINION (Medford Mail Tribune)

Oregon lawmakers who will convene the 2016 session this week are already bickering over how much business they should tackle in the 35 days the session may last under state law.

Minority Republicans are blasting the Democrats, who control both chambers, for pushing major legislation they say is better suited to the longer 2017 session. Republicans argue the short session, approved by voters in 2010, was intended to make adjustments to the budget that couldn’t wait a year and to address other emergencies, such fixing flaws in previously passed bills.

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GUEST OPINION: LEGISLATIVE ISSUES ARE CAUSE FOR CONCERN IN 2016 SESSION — GUEST OPINION (Medford Mail Tribune)

As the state representative for House District 55, which includes Crook County and portions of Jackson, Klamath, Lake and Deschutes counties, issues relating to rural Oregon are critical to me.

After seeing the bills that were introduced and made public on Jan. 22, I have serious concerns about this upcoming legislative session. Instead of using this short five-week session as intended for budgetary adjustments and needed fixes to recent legislation the majority party is seeking to enact fundamental changes to our state like a massive increase in the minimum wage and a new carbon tax.

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GRADUATION RATES REFLECT KLAMATH PROMISE EFFORTS (Herald and News)

Graduation rates are on the rise.

Oregon, the Klamath County School District and the Klamath Falls City Schools all saw an increase in four-year graduation rates for 2015. The Oregon Department of Education released the annual numbers on Thursday.

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GRAD RATES: A MIXED BAG (Herald and News)

The Klamath County School District saw positive numbers in the 2015 high school graduation rates, released by the Oregon Department of Education Thursday.

A higher percentage of students district-wide graduated in 2015 than in 2014, and the district exceeded the states average grad rate.

In 2014, the district-wide graduation rate was 68.4 percent. It rose seven percentage points to 75.8 percent in 2015. The 75.8 percent rate also exceeded the Oregon 2015 average: 73.8 percent.

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CITY NUMBERS DROP DUE TO MANY FACTORS (Herald and News)

-Strategies to improve in place-

While statewide graduation rates rose by 2 percent overall, Klamath Falls City Schools rates for 2014-15 fell from 2013-14 levels, according to the Oregon Department of Education.

The ODE reported the rates for freshman who completed high school in four years in the district at 71.72 percent for 2014-15 compared to 79.47 percent in 2013-14.

“It’s always disappointing when you don’t have the numbers you want to see,” said Paul Hillyer, superintendent of Klamath Falls City Schools. “It just causes you to reevaluate and improve.”

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NO FREE RIDES FOR THOSE WHO TOOK OVER REFUGE — OPINION (Herald and News)

Though the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation may have the look of something that’s winding down, its effects will be felt for a long time.

Being over wont come soon, even if the four remaining occupants at the Burns-area refuge are gone by the time you read today’s newspaper. They have been trying to negotiate with authorities to be able to leave without charges of being arrested.

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OREGON LISTED AMONG STATES AS RECOVERED FROM THE RECESSION (Herald and News)

Employment in the U.S. hit bottom near the beginning of 2010. Since then weve had almost six years of steady job growth.

Its been a lot steadier in some states than in others, though. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released state-by-state job numbers for December on Tuesday, and that seemed like a good opportunity to assess which states have been having a good recovery and which have not.

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OMNIBUS HOUSING BILL UNLIKELY TO PASS THIS SESSION (Daily Astorian)

An omnibus bill to address the states affordable housing crisis is unlikely to pass during the Legislatures 35-day session that began Monday, according the Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland.

There really is a crisis out there, Burdick said. People are being thrown out of their apartments.

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SENATOR PROPOSES CORPORATE TAX ALTERNATIVE (Daily Astorian)

-Senate wants to avoid corporate tax ballot fight, but proposal has little support among House leadership-

A lawmaker from Beaverton Monday introduced a proposal to cut income taxes for many low- and middle-income Oregonians and levy a new tax on corporations

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BROWN REVISES WAGE PROPOSAL DOWNWARD (Daily Astorian)

-Some complained previous plan was ‘financially irresponsible’-

Gov. Kate Browns minimum wage proposal apparently was unpopular enough that the governor revised it Friday.

Browns plan now sets lower minimums than the original and begins boosting wages to $9.75 six months earlier, starting in July.

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PUC QUESTION UTILITIES ABOUT RENEWABLE POWER PLAN (Daily Astorian)

-Commissioners pressed utility representatives to explain whether the deal would impact the operations of their coal plants in other states, and how the companies would maintain a reliable power supply.-

Oregons two largest utilities presented the case for legislation to phase out coal energy for their customers in the state, during a special meeting of the Oregon Public Utility Commission Friday.

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OREGON LAWMAKERS BATTLE THE BALLOT (Daily Astorian)

-Those ballot proposals are also some of Oregon’s biggest political issues for 2016-

The 2016 legislative session officially kicks off Monday, but don’t be fooled by the mere 35-day length. Multiple proposals are in the pipeline that would have sweeping effects on Oregonians.

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EDITORIAL: RAISE TRIAL COURT JUDGES SALARIES — OPINION (Daily Astorian)

-Oregon’s compensation of its judges is shameful-

Nearly last in U.S., Oregon is pushing away good candidates

Of the many differences between Oregon and our neighbor Washington, the gap in judicial salaries is the most puzzling and galling. The three judges in the Clatsop County Courthouse have salaries of about $124,000 per year. Cross the river and Pacific County judges earn about $156,000.

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EDITORIAL: OREGON LIGHTS A FIRE UNDER COAL POWER — OPINION (Daily Astorian)

-The age of coal is over.-

Most Oregonians get it: The age of coal is over. Nations, states and companies that dont immediately begin a serious transition to non-coal electricity will face a steep upward curve in costs, which will be passed along to consumers and future generations.

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EDITORIAL: RURAL OREGON SEEKS VOICE IN SALEM — OPINION (Albany Democrat Herald)

The Oregon Legislature begins its short 2016 session today, and one of the intriguing themes that might be worth watching over the next five weeks focuses on the split between urban and rural communities.

State leaders agree that the economic recovery has not provided equal uplift to all parts of Oregon. In fact, rural communities are at constant risk of falling behind their urban counterparts economically.

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GOVERNMENT KEEPS WEST GOING — GUEST OPINION (Albany Democrat Herald)

-Government keeps rural West-

The 187,000 acres on which sits the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge never belonged to the state of Oregon, much less the band of cowboy exhibitionists who’d taken it over. This and other federal lands were acquired through conquest over, purchases from or treaties with Mexico, Russia, Spain, England, France and Native Americans.

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THINK TOO MUCH: LEGISLATORS SET PRIORITIES FOR SESSION — OPINION (Albany Democrat Herald)

As much as we like to take issue with the actions, or inaction, of the Oregon Legislature, its worth remembering that the body still is made up of citizens, people who have chosen to put their own lives on hold for the duration because they think they can help make the state better.

Its obviously a big commitment and its not lessened in the slightest by the fact that this years session, which lasts just five weeks, is shorter than the ones held in odd-numbered years.

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EDITORIAL: WORDS MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN STANDOFF — OPINION (Albany Democrat Herald)

Kids, remember when we told you to be careful about what you posted on the Internet because it might come back later to haunt you?

For the latest example, look no further than the legal charges filed against the people who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for the last three weeks.

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TRUCK DRIVER KILLED BY CAR PARKED A MILE SHORT OF DESIGNATED CHAIN UP ZONE WITH WIDER SHOULDER (Baker City Herald)

-ODOT issued press release Jan. 19 urging truck drivers to use the zones, which have wider paved shoulders and overhead lights-

A Washington man died Sunday morning along ice-coated Interstate 84 near North Powder when he was hit by an out-of-control vehicle while he was putting chains on his commercial truck, Oregon State Police said.

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OSP: LET US SEE VIDEO — OPINION (Baker City Herald)

We the public know more about the fatal shooting of Robert LaVoy Finicum by Oregon State Police troopers because the FBI on Thursday released a video, taken by aircraft, of the Tuesday incident.

But we dont know as much as we could.

Or, more to the point, as much as we should.

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AN UNFORTUNATE RESULT IN HARNEY — OPINION (Baker City Herald)

Some of the issues raised during the illegal occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge this month are important.

But none was worth a persons life.

The occupiers committed no crimes for which death is an appropriate outcome.

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GRANT AVAILABLE FOR MUSEUMS, CEMETERIES, HISTORIC PROPERTIES (Blue Mountain Eagle)

-The State Historic Preservation Office is offering grants for work on historic properties and for archaelogy projects.-

The state of Oregon is offering several grant opportunities to assist cemeteries, museums, archaeology projects and other historic locations with necessary work and improvements.

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REPORT HUNT RESULTS BY JAN. 31 (Blue Mountain Eagle)

-The deadline for reporting hunting results is Jan. 31.-

Updated to include correct phone number, 1-866-947-6339.

Hunters who bought 2015 big game or turkey tags need to report their hunt results by Sunday, Jan. 31, for most tags.

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HUFFMAN HOPES TWO BILLS TAKE FLIGHT — OPINION (The Dalles Chronicle)

Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, has made headlines in recent weeks for being the chief sponsor of a bill to stop citizens from weaponizing drones, which is also prohibited for law enforcement agencies.

#The debate on House Bill 4066 begins Monday, when the 78th Oregon Legislative Assembly convenes for the 2016 session of about 35 days.

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DROP IN STUDENTS PROMPTS CLOSURE (LaGrande Observer)

Citing declining enrollment numbers, the Oregon Dental School College of Dental Sciences announced it is shutting down the La Grande branch in March 2017, according to a news release.

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OUR VIEW: LAWMAKERS SHOULD BACK PROPOSAL — OPINION (LaGrande Observer)

As political strife expands in this year of elections, it is always interesting and surprising to learn of a plan by a politician designed to actually do something with long-term, positive consequences for our nation.

The plan in question originates from President Barack Obama and will comprise of his intention to ask Congress for a lot of money to help students across the country learn computer science skills that will organize them to be successful in a rapidly changing economy.

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CASA VOLUNTEER MANAGER SUSAN BALDWIN: LEADING BY EXAMPLE (Hood River News)

-Next training starts Feb. 16-

Ask Susan Baldwin, Columbia Gorge CASA volunteer manager, about her volunteers and the children they serve, and shell start to tear up.

I really love what I do, she said. It is such an honor to work for the people I work with. I get a little emotional talking about this, because its the best group of folks ever, just ever.

People who volunteer to advocate for kids I couldnt work for a better bunch of folks. And thats really what I feel. I work for them they dont work for me.

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I-84 IMPROVEMENTS COMING THIS YEAR (Hood River News)

Construction starts in January on many projects between Troutdale and The Dalles. The Oregon Department of Transportation is working on Interstate 84 between Troutdale and The Dalles over 2016 to build a trail and improve safety and maintain the freeway with paving, bridge repair, median barrier replacement, and rockfall mitigation projects.

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ANOTHER VOICE: REP. MARK JOHNSON LOOKS TO FEBRUARY SESSION — GUEST OPINION (Hood River News)

On Feb. 1, the 2016 February session will officially begin. You may recall that annual sessions were approved by the voters in 2010 and the even-year sessions were limited to 35 days and intended to give the legislature an opportunity to make needed budget adjustments and to consider minor policy needs. Each legislator is limited to introducing just two bills, with just a little more than one week to pass your bills out of committee.

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OREGON’S GOVERNOR LOOKS TO ENERGIZE STARTUPS, ENTREPRENEURS (Oregon Business Journal)

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has established a group that could lend a bigger voice to the state’s small businesses.

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AS OREGON SESSION STARTS, KEY LAWMAKER INTRODUCES $1B ALTERNATIVE TO MASSIVE CORPORATE TAX (Oregon Business Journal)

Seeking to find a middle ground, Sen. Mark Hass on Monday unveiled an alternative to a proposed tax on large corporations.

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REPORT: DOJ SHOULD TRACK ITS MONITORING OF POT LEGALIZATION (ABC News)

The Government Accountability Office says the Justice Department needs to better document how it’s tracking the effect of marijuana legalization in the states.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 2, 2016 eClips

February 1, 2016 eClips Weekend Edition

State Library eClips
* Utilities throw weight behind plan to eliminate coal and increase renewables
* Oregon gun loophole: Bill would ban default sales for slow background checks
* Minimum wage deal: Kate Brown now wants $14.50 for Portland
* Intel secures air quality permit, two years after fluoride gaffe derailed it
* Oregon State Police detective wasn’t alone in bungling Pedersen-Grigsby case
* State board votes to revoke former police chief’s certification for life
* David Sarasohn: As the Legislature meets, a ballot showdown looms — Opinion
* 3 Oregonians infected with Zika virus but U.S. threat slight
* Oregon standoff: Bundy occupation leaves scars behind
* Oregon biologists won’t condone end to catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon in lower Columbia River
* Oregon’s snowpack shows huge improvement from year ago
* Guns, taxes, energy top long list for Oregon Legislature
* Zika virus not a threat to Oregon, public health official says
* Memo to Oregon Legislature: Walk the talk — Opinion
* Opening my ears to Mark O. Hatfield — Opinion
* Lottery set-aside fund would benefit vets — Guest Opinion
* Representatives McLane and Hack meet with Editorial Board — Opinion
* Sen. Ted Ferrioli’s priorities for the February legislative session — Opinion
* ODFW driver, who spilled salmon on McKenzie Highway, guilty of DUII; claims he has rare condition where his body brews alcohol
* Gov. Kate Brown scales back her minimum wage proposal
* A busy 35 days for the Legislature — Opinion
* Welcome, but insufficient — Opinion
* Sen. Wyden: As election looms, college affordability comes to the forefront
* Upper Molalla River designated an Oregon Scenic Waterway
* Judge agrees refuge occupation leaders, others must stay in jail
* A new kind of freedom
* Graduation rates up in East Multnomah County schools
* PERS investment earnings fall short of assumed target
* Irrigation district cancels stock run
* Oregon lawmakers spar over what short session is and isn’t
* Record numbers visit Crater Lake
* Ammon And Ryan Bundy Denied Bail
* Low Oil Prices Hurting Northwest Oil Terminals
* Burns Protests, Legislative Kick Off, Carl Wolfson & Pot Task Force
* News Roundtable: January 29, History Of Public Land, Portland Arts Forum, Mailbag
* Harney County Occupiers Speak, Burns Update, Affordable Housing & Portland Audit
* Spectacular Drone Video Shows Oregon Sinkhole
* Four holdouts remain at wildlife refuge
* Josephine County mom, infant tested for Zika
* As We See It: Here’s hoping legislators work for the good of the entire state — Opinion
* Linn County Commission calls governor’s minimum wage proposal unconstitutional, dangerous
* Series of Harbor sinkholes close highway, could cost millions to repair
* Things to know: Oregon lawmakers battle the ballot
* Pacific Islanders Hope Oregon Lawmakers Restore Health Benefits
* Oregon Lawmakers To Kick Off 2016 Session
* Ransacked Oregon refuge: Sign of disdain toward Americas rangers?
* Is Burns, Ore., getting back to normal?
* Oregon death is latest flashpoint for militias, feds
* As tension spread beyond the Oregon refuge, the feds moved on Bundy’s — Blog
* Oregon Town Torn Apart by Protest at Wildlife Refuge
* States, Cities Tackle Housing Crisis for Low, Moderate Income Families
* Were the grunts that get stuck behind’: The final holdouts of the Oregon occupation
* Killing of an Oregon wildlife refuge occupier has re-energized protesters
* Why the University of Oregon turned to neighboring states for students
* OREGON STANDOFF – Refuge employees itching to take stock of damage
* Moda’s Financial Downfall Began Months Ago
* Dannenhoffers Allegation of Profiteering at CCO Shows Problems with Secrecy and Public Money
* Nosse Wants Law to Track Biosimilar Drugs Without Restricting Access
* 138,862 people in Oregon signed up for coverage through HealthCare.gov
* Health Leaders Look Beyond 2016 Session to Fulfill Policy Goals
* Diversion Contract Called into Question
* Refurbished Public Health Advisory Board Tackles Public Health Modernization, will help identify how to distribute money

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UTILITIES THROW WEIGHT BEHIND PLAN TO ELIMINATE COAL AND INCREASE RENEWABLES (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon’s two biggest electric utilities told state regulators Friday that their compromise plan to eliminate coal-fired electricity and meet half their customers’ demand with renewable energy would be affordable, technically feasible and vastly preferable to ballot measures that environmental groups are proposing for next November.
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OREGON GUN LOOPHOLE: BILL WOULD BAN DEFAULT SALES FOR SLOW BACKGROUND CHECKS (Portland Oregonian)

Months after hinting they wouldn’t move major gun bills in response to Oregon’s deadliest mass shooting, Oregon Democrats are lining up behind a pair of proposals meant to keep firearms from dangerous people.
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MINIMUM WAGE DEAL: KATE BROWN NOW WANTS $14.50 FOR PORTLAND (Portland Oregonian)

Reaching for a last-minute deal before lawmakers return to work next week, Gov. Kate Brown released a revised minimum wage plan Friday that scales back proposed increases but offers workers a raise as soon as this summer.
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INTEL SECURES AIR QUALITY PERMIT, TWO YEARS AFTER FLUORIDE GAFFE DERAILED IT (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon regulators granted Intel an air quality permit for its Washington County manufacturing operations last week, a permit sidetracked in the fall of 2013 over revelations the chipmaker had been emitting fluoride for 25 years without disclosing it.
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OREGON STATE POLICE DETECTIVE WASN’T ALONE IN BUNGLING PEDERSEN-GRIGSBY CASE (Portland Oregonian)

Detective Dave Steele was the brunt of a running joke inside his Oregon State Police squad room. He dropped into the office so rarely that his colleagues scrawled “Dave sightings” on a white board and added hash marks to note his appearances.
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STATE BOARD VOTES TO REVOKE FORMER POLICE CHIEF’S CERTIFICATION FOR LIFE (Portland Oregonian)

A state board has voted to revoke Paul Rubenstein’s police certification, but officials say the former Cornelius police chief plans to fight the decision.
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DAVID SARASOHN: AS THE LEGISLATURE MEETS, A BALLOT SHOWDOWN LOOMS — OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

Last week Oregon produced a dramatic lesson, relevant not only where it happened, but clear across the state: If you keep saying you’re ready for a violent showdown, you just might get it.
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3 OREGONIANS INFECTED WITH ZIKA VIRUS BUT U.S. THREAT SLIGHT (Portland Oregonian)

Three Oregonians are among 31 cases of Zika virus reported in the United States, but experts say the risk of a large outbreak here is slight.

All of the cases are travel-related, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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OREGON STANDOFF: BUNDY OCCUPATION LEAVES SCARS BEHIND (Portland Oregonian)

As Ammon Bundy was driven out of Harney County Tuesday night in handcuffs, he left behind wounds that won’t easily heal.

His group damaged the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, taken over Jan. 2. The headquarters compound will be a crime scene for a week or more once all the protesters are gone. Then, displaced federal workers will return, going building by building, room by room, to assess the damage.
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OREGON BIOLOGISTS WON’T CONDONE END TO CATCH-AND-RELEASE FISHING FOR STURGEON IN LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon biologists won’t support Washington’s effort to end catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon in the lower Columbia River.

Tucker Jones, Columbia River program manager for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the department won’t address the issue unless asked at the Feb. 12 Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Tigard.
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OREGON’S SNOWPACK SHOWS HUGE IMPROVEMENT FROM YEAR AGO (Salem Statesman Journal)

What a difference a year makes.

At this time last year, ski areas were closed or struggling to stay open, ski shops were losing money and hydrologists were predicting doom for the coming summer due to a historically low snowpack in Oregons mountains.
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GUNS, TAXES, ENERGY TOP LONG LIST FOR OREGON LEGISLATURE (Salem Statesman Journal)

The Oregon Legislature has laid out an ambitious agenda for its 35-day session that begins Monday.

In the third short, even-year session, lawmakers plan to tackle such weighty issues as arresting climate change, raising the minimum wage, tightening gun ownership, doubling the lodging tax and increasing housing affordability.
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ZIKA VIRUS NOT A THREAT TO OREGON, PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIAL SAYS (Salem Statesman Journal)

While people should take precautions, Oregonians have little reason to be concerned about the Zika virus, a state public health official said Friday.
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MEMO TO OREGON LEGISLATURE: WALK THE TALK — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

A continued culture of corruption first established under Governor Kitzhaber … plagues the Governors office today.

So says a press release issued last week by the Oregon Senate Republicans.
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OPENING MY EARS TO MARK O. HATFIELD — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

Oregon Sen. Mark O. Hatfield prohibited his staff from speaking ill of another senator. Criticism was restricted to differences on public policy.
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LOTTERY SET-ASIDE FUND WOULD BENEFIT VETS — GUEST OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

Oregonians serving with the 116th Air Control Squadron recently received a warm, well-deserved welcome from family, friends, and neighbors at a demobilization ceremony at Camp Withycombe. Even as we celebrate their homecoming, we should take a moment to reflect upon the ongoing challenges our veterans face upon return.
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REPRESENTATIVES MCLANE AND HACK MEET WITH EDITORIAL BOARD — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

-Video Clip-
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SEN. TED FERRIOLI’S PRIORITIES FOR THE FEBRUARY LEGISLATIVE SESSION — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

-Video Clip-
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ODFW DRIVER, WHO SPILLED SALMON ON MCKENZIE HIGHWAY, GUILTY OF DUII; CLAIMS HE HAS RARE CONDITION WHERE HIS BODY BREWS ALCOHOL (Eugene Register-Guard)

The state fish and wildlife truck driver who crashed his load of 11,000 juvenile salmon on the McKenzie Highway more than a year ago has been found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol that he says was brewed inside his own body.
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GOV. KATE BROWN SCALES BACK HER MINIMUM WAGE PROPOSAL (Eugene Register-Guard)

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown on Friday scaled back her multiyear minimum wage increase proposal after talking this week with labor and business groups and state lawmakers.
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A BUSY 35 DAYS FOR THE LEGISLATURE — OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard)

Voters amended the Oregon Constitution six years ago to require annual legislative sessions, and the new calendar has evolved quickly. The 35-day sessions in even-numbered years were expected to be codas to the 160-day odd-year sessions lawmakers would fine-tune the budget, deal with a few unanticipated problems and go home.
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WELCOME, BUT INSUFFICIENT — OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard)

Graduation rates at Oregon public high schools rose to a statewide average of 74 percent last year, up 2 percent from the year before. At that pace, Oregon will achieve its goal of a 100 percent graduation rate by the time today’s kindergartners finish high school in 2027, just two years behind the states self-imposed goal. The pace of improvement must be sustained.
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SEN. WYDEN: AS ELECTION LOOMS, COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY COMES TO THE FOREFRONT (Eugene Register-Guard)

This will be the year of higher education in Congress, and that’s good news for the University of Oregon and its students, says Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

In a presidential election year, a more-alert-than-usual public means lawmakers may have to face the issue of college affordability.
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UPPER MOLALLA RIVER DESIGNATED AN OREGON SCENIC WATERWAY (Portland Tribune)

Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order Wednesday declaring a stretch of the upper Molalla River an Oregon Scenic Waterway.

A portion of the river above Glen Avon Bridge was chosen as it meets the Scenic Waterways Act criteria for outstanding scenic, fish, wildlife, geological, botanical, cultural, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

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JUDGE AGREES REFUGE OCCUPATION LEADERS, OTHERS MUST STAY IN JAIL (Portland Tribune)

A federal judge on Friday said five of the militants who occupied Malheur National Wildife Refuge were unsafe to release, including leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy.

Two others were granted release in the detention hearing, but prosecutors intend to appeal. Hearings for two others will be held next week, while one prominent figure, self-styled member of the media Peter Santilli, will receive a determination by Monday.
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A NEW KIND OF FREEDOM (Portland Tribune)

For inmates at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility’s medium security prison in Wilsonville, a new television channel in the facility which screens images of waves rolling in from the ocean, mountains flanked by drifting clouds, the night sky and more has gone a long way toward making incarceration more bearable.
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GRADUATION RATES UP IN EAST MULTNOMAH COUNTY SCHOOLS (Portland Tribune)

Four of the five comprehensive high schools in East Multnomah County improved their graduation rates in 2015, while besting the state average rate, according to new Oregon Department of Education statistics.
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PERS INVESTMENT EARNINGS FALL SHORT OF ASSUMED TARGET (Portland Tribune)

Despite modest gains in 2015, gap will raise public payroll costs in 2017-19.

Earnings on Oregon’s public-pension investments did relatively well in 2015 despite turbulent financial markets, but the pension systems board was told Friday that the 2.1 percent gain was far short of its 7.75 percent assumed rate of return.
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IRRIGATION DISTRICT CANCELS STOCK RUN (Bend Bulletin)

-Deschutes River water levels to blame for cancellation-

The Arnold Irrigation District had to cancel a stock run this week amid concerns about low water levels in the Deschutes River.
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OREGON LAWMAKERS SPAR OVER WHAT SHORT SESSION IS AND ISN’T (Bend Bulletin)

There’s a set of lawmakers who believe whats going to happen in the Capitol during a five-week legislative blitz starting Monday is against the will of the voters who six years ago gave the Legislature the power to meet every year.

Its tantamount to an abuse of power, House Republican Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, repeated during a bipartisan news event last week.
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RECORD NUMBERS VISIT CRATER LAKE (Bend Bulletin)

Crater Lake National Park saw more visitors in 2015 than in any year since the park began closely tracking visitors 25 years ago.
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AMMON AND RYAN BUNDY DENIED BAIL (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

A judge at the federal courthouse in Portland Friday denied bail to five of the militants arrested near Burns earlier this week in connection with the armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
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LOW OIL PRICES HURTING NORTHWEST OIL TERMINALS (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

With plans for new oil terminals still pending throughout the Pacific Northwest, low oil prices are hampering operations at existing crude-by-rail operations in the region.

Five different projects to transfer crude from trains to ships have been proposed in Washington, including what would be the nations largest oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver.
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BURNS PROTESTS, LEGISLATIVE KICK OFF, CARL WOLFSON & POT TASK FORCE (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

There are two protests in Burns today each taking different sides. Well get an update from OPBs Amanda Peacher.

We talk with OPBs capitol correspondent Chris Lehman about what to expect from the short legislative session in Oregon that starts today.

The legislature set up a panel to propose loosening restrictions on medical cannabis research. Well talk to Dr. Robert Hitzemann, a member of that panel.
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NEWS ROUNDTABLE: JANUARY 29, HISTORY OF PUBLIC LAND, PORTLAND ARTS FORUM, MAILBAG (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

We talk with political scientist Phil Brick about how the Malheur occupation fits into the history of conflicts over public lands in the west.
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HARNEY COUNTY OCCUPIERS SPEAK, BURNS UPDATE, AFFORDABLE HOUSING & PORTLAND AUDIT (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

We then turn to a discussion with Jon Chandler, CEO of the Oregon Homebuilders Association about the role of builders in affordable housing.
_________________________________________

SPECTACULAR DRONE VIDEO SHOWS OREGON SINKHOLE (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

The gargantuan sinkhole that opened up near the Oregon coast this week is ready for its close-up and YouTuber Kyle Rice otherwise known as kyle0440 delivered.

On its Facebook page, the Oregon Department of Transportation shared spectacular drone footage of the sinkhole and slide in Curry County shot by Rice.
_________________________________________

FOUR HOLDOUTS REMAIN AT WILDLIFE REFUGE (Capital Press)

-During one early morning video posted by a man identified as David Fry, the armed occupiers express concerns about nearby aircraft.-

Four people occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge held their position Saturday and posted live videos that reveal their hyper-vigilance against federal officials who they fear may try to move them out to end the month-long standoff.

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JOSEPHINE COUNTY MOM, INFANT TESTED FOR ZIKA (Medford Mail Tribune)

-Local officials say mosquitoes that transmit the virus don’t live here-

A woman and infant daughter in Josephine County are being tested for the Zika virus, officials in that county announced Thursday.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta is conducting the tests and should have results within the next three weeks, said Josephine County Public Health Director Diane Hoover.
_________________________________________

AS WE SEE IT: HERE’S HOPING LEGISLATORS WORK FOR THE GOOD OF THE ENTIRE STATE — OPINION (Douglas County News-Review)

During the short session of the Oregon Legislature, which begins Monday, wed like to see the House and the Senate, which represent the entire state, in fact, represent the entire state, including and especially, rural Oregon.

Rather than propose a legislative agenda with this writing, we have a few thoughts about how legislation should be enacted.
_________________________________________

LINN COUNTY COMMISSION CALLS GOVERNOR’S MINIMUM WAGE PROPOSAL UNCONSTITUTIONAL, DANGEROUS (KVAL)

Governor Kate Brown on Friday revised her proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage.

But the Linn County Commissioners contend the wage increase would be bad for the state’s economy – and may run afoul of the state constitution.

“It would be a mess,” Commission Chair Roger Nyquist said. “That’s not a situation we want.”
_________________________________________

SERIES OF HARBOR SINKHOLES CLOSE HIGHWAY, COULD COST MILLIONS TO REPAIR (KVAL)

Massive sinkholes are taking over Harbor, Ore. and US 101 has been shut down at milepost 358, affecting several businesses and traffic.

At 80 feet wide and about 50 feet deep, there’s a lot of work to be done.
_________________________________________

THINGS TO KNOW: OREGON LAWMAKERS BATTLE THE BALLOT (KTVZ Bend)

-From minimum wage to corporate taxes and renewable energy, lawmakers – or voters – may decide-

Monday marks the official kick-off to this year’s legislative session, but don’t be fooled by its speedy 35-day length – it’s already packed with multiple proposals that would have sweeping effects on Oregonians’ daily lives.

The Republican minority has been especially vocal about concerns there isn’t enough time to solve big issues this year. While many Democrats agree, they say a number of ballot measures proposed for November are forcing them to act.
_________________________________________

PACIFIC ISLANDERS HOPE OREGON LAWMAKERS RESTORE HEALTH BENEFITS (KUOW)

People from three Pacific island nations have the right to live and work in the United States, thanks to a unique 1986 treaty. But a separate Congressional action 20 years ago means that they are not eligible for Medicaid — even those who become taxpayers.

Many have settled in Oregon, where lawmakers will consider a bill in February that would require the state to subsidize medical care for people from these nations.
_________________________________________

OREGON LAWMAKERS TO KICK OFF 2016 SESSION (KUOW)

Oregon lawmakers return to the state Capitol Monday for a whirlwind legislative session. Legislators are expected to debate topics such as the minimum wage, corporate taxes, and gun control.

But that doesn’t mean any of those issues are necessarily going to pass.
_________________________________________

RANSACKED OREGON REFUGE: SIGN OF DISDAIN TOWARD AMERICAS RANGERS? (Christian Science Monitor)

-A public backlash against the Malheur occupiers also suggests American sympathy for those who work for the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Fish and Wildlife Department.-

A video showing a trash-strewn dormitory at the Malheur Federal Wildlife Refuge suggests in part a panicked escape as federal authorities cracked down on an armed occupation by anti-government activists in eastern Oregon.
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IS BURNS, ORE., GETTING BACK TO NORMAL? (Christian Science Monitor)

-After the armed militia standoff ended in one death last week, Burns residents see a long path back to ‘normal.’-

After the armed militia standoff ended in gunfire last week, the people of Burns, Oregon just want to everything to get back to normal.

We just want to go back to the way we were, Barbara Ormond, a small business owner in downtown Burns, told the Chicago Tribune. We want everyone to leave us alone.
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OREGON DEATH IS LATEST FLASHPOINT FOR MILITIAS, FEDS (The Hill)

The killing of Robert LaVoy Finecum in Oregon is the latest flashpoint between anti-government militia groups and the federal government.

Finecum, a spokesman for militants who have occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for the past four weeks, was shot and killed at a traffic stop after FBI agents stopped he and other members of the group traveling to a meeting.
_________________________________________

AS TENSION SPREAD BEYOND THE OREGON REFUGE, THE FEDS MOVED ON BUNDY’S — BLOG (Idaho Statesman)

Ryan Bundy hammered and sawed on a veranda next to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge visitor center on Jan. 23, preparing to hang a sign.

He was preparing for what was essentially a reality television event that he and the others occupying the refuge planned to stage at 4 p.m. that Saturday for the media who had massed during the occupation that began three weeks before. He was hurrying to get ready for a gathering at 2 p.m. of ranchers the occupiers had invited to tear up their federal grazing permits in a show of defiance.

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STATES, CITIES TACKLE HOUSING CRISIS FOR LOW, MODERATE INCOME FAMILIES (Stateline)

In Roseau, Minnesota, there are good-paying jobs at the Polaris snowmobile factory. But a dearth of moderately priced housing means there are few places for the company’s managers and engineers to live.

Without more affordable housing, Polaris will have trouble growing in this northern Minnesota city of 2,600. The company wont disappear, said Todd Peterson, a community development coordinator in Roseau, but it cannot add new jobs without more housing, and is likely to expand elsewhere.
_________________________________________

WERE THE GRUNTS THAT GET STUCK BEHIND’: THE FINAL HOLDOUTS OF THE OREGON OCCUPATION (Washington Post)

The couple clutches each other beneath an overcast sky, swaying back and forth to the strains of Stainds Tangled Up in You, which blares through the open door of a truck. They’re wearing work boots and camouflage clothes and surrounded by packages of bottled water and other supplies. An American flag hangs limp in the still, chilly air.
_________________________________________

KILLING OF AN OREGON WILDLIFE REFUGE OCCUPIER HAS RE-ENERGIZED PROTESTERS (Washington Post)

BJ Soper has never supported the nearly month-long occupation of a national wildlife refuge by armed anti-government activists. He sympathized with their frustrations about the federal government, but he thought calm negotiation was a better strategy.
_________________________________________

WHY THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON TURNED TO NEIGHBORING STATES FOR STUDENTS (Washington Post)

Oregon’s flagship university boasts a well-heeled athletic program that has made it one of the most recognizable brands in college sports. Yet that has not shielded the University of Oregon from challenges facing many other public universities: a shrinking pipeline of local high school students and dwindling state appropriations.
_________________________________________

OREGON STANDOFF – REFUGE EMPLOYEES ITCHING TO TAKE STOCK OF DAMAGE (eenews.net)

As the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge winds down, employees who manage its 188,000 acres of marshes, lakes, alkali flats and rolling sagebrush hills are eager to return to the office.

With FBI agents surrounding the four militants who remain holed up at refuge headquarters, blocking their supplies, it’s likely only a matter of hours or days before the nearly monthlong occupation against federal land ownership comes to a close.

Refuge staff will soon assess the damage.
_________________________________________

MODAS FINANCIAL DOWNFALL BEGAN MONTHS AGO (The Lund Report)

-Now the partnership between OHSU and Moda could be at stake.-

Moda Healths spiral downward began long before the Oregon Insurance Division stepped into the picture earlier this week. The insurer actually started showing signs of distress last summer with mounting claims and few dollars to pay providers.
_________________________________________

DANNENHOFFERS ALLEGATION OF PROFITEERING AT CCO SHOWS PROBLEMS WITH SECRECY AND PUBLIC MONEY (The Lund Report)

-In his lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Eugene, Roseburg pediatrician and former Architrave CEO Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer alleges the Architrave board voted to delay correcting overpayments to physicians — a vote made in secret because CCOs are exempt from public meetings laws.-

A lawsuit waged against an operator of Medicaid services for one of the states coordinated care organizations has produced damning allegations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud that were made in part because of the secret environment that state policymakers have created for the CCOs to manage care for people on the Oregon Health Plan.
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NOSSE WANTS LAW TO TRACK BIOSIMILAR DRUGS WITHOUT RESTRICTING ACCESS (The Lund Report)

-An ongoing controversy over generic equivalents to complex biological drugs is resurfacing in the 2016 session, as patient advocacy groups and drug companies try again to require pharmacists to take extra steps to notify prescribers of a substitution when they dispense something other than a brand-name biological drug.-

Rep. Rob Nosse, D-Portland, is bringing back a bill that requires pharmacists to give extra notification to medication prescribers when the pharmacist dispenses a cheaper, biosimilar equivalent to a brand-name biological drug.
_________________________________________

138,862 PEOPLE IN OREGON SIGNED UP FOR COVERAGE THROUGH HEALTHCARE.GOV (The Lund Report)

With less than one week remaining before the final enrollment deadline on January 31, about 8.9 million consumers have already signed-up for health coverage through the HealthCare.gov platform or had their coverage automatically renewed, including 138,862 in Oregon.
_________________________________________

HEALTH LEADERS LOOK BEYOND 2016 SESSION TO FULFILL POLICY GOALS (The Lund Report)

-A group of four Democrats and one Republican discussed their policy ideas in Portland on Wednesday, but aside from a few modest proposals for the upcoming February session, goals from single-payer to improved consumer product safety and better Medicaid regulations may wait until 2017 and beyond.-

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton, said shed go after funding for a loan repayment program for medical providers in the 2016 session, while other legislators dialed down expectations for this year and directed their goals to the future at an Oregon Health Forum event Wednesday morning in Portland attended by more than 160 health professionals. .
_________________________________________

DIVERSION CONTRACT CALLED INTO QUESTION (The Lund Report)

-Reliant Behavioral Health was awarded the new contract without a competitive bidding process.-

A multi-million contract awarded to Reliant Behavioral Health by the Department of Human Services is being called into question after the agency did not seek competitive bids.

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REFURBISHED PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY BOARD TACKLES PUBLIC HEALTH MODERNIZATION, WILL HELP IDENTIFY HOW TO DISTRIBUTE MONEY (The Lund Report)

Dubbed PHAB 2.0, a beefier, governor-appointed Public Health Advisory Board met for the first time Friday since the passage of HB 3100, the legislation that bulked it up with broader scope as a subcommittee to the Oregon Health Policy Board OHPB that can require public health authorities to access their current ability to implement foundational capabilities and programs and then tackle the job of helping them modernize.
_________________________________________

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February 1, 2016 eClips

* Oregon standoff Day 31: What you need to know Monday
* Funding decrease threatens adult foster homes
* Homeless inmates surveyed on housing needs
* Legislators, welcome to the whole Salem — Opinion
* ODFW driver, who spilled salmon on McKenzie Highway, guilty of DUII; claims he has rare condition where his body ‘brews’ alcohol
* Oregon’s Snowpack Shows Huge Improvement From Year Ago
* 5 Things To Know As The Malheur Occupation Enters Day 31
* For More Than A Million Food Stamp Recipients, The Clock Is Now Ticking
* Why Some Still Can’t Find Jobs As The Economy Nears ‘Full Employment’
* Oregon Historical Photo: Celebrating Oregon’s Statehood
* Editorial: Oregon lights a fire under coal power — Opinion
* Editorial: Raise trial court judges’ salaries — Opinion
* Guns, taxes, wages top long list for Oregon Legislature
* Lawmakers Convene in Salem Today
* Nation’s First Drive-Thru Recreational Marijuana Shop Opens This Spring
____________________
OREGON STANDOFF DAY 31: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW MONDAY (Portland Oregonian)

As we enter Day 31 of the standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, here are the latest developments:

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FUNDING DECREASE THREATENS ADULT FOSTER HOMES (Salem Statesman Journal)

Mentally ill residents of adult foster homes across Oregon are at risk of being displaced as providers face steep rate cuts.

The cuts, negotiated by the Oregon Health Authority and SEIU 503, were necessary to keep the program sustainable, officials said. The new rates became effective Jan. 1.

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HOMELESS INMATES SURVEYED ON HOUSING NEEDS (Salem Statesman Journal)

Standing outside his cell door, Giuliana Morice had to practically shout to ask John Spradley what caused him to be homeless before his incarceration.

Morice was one of five women who spent Friday interviewing all 376 inmates at the Marion County jail who were willing to be surveyed as part of the 2016 Homeless Count.

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LEGISLATORS, WELCOME TO THE WHOLE SALEM — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

Dear Oregon Legislators:

Welcome back to Salem for your 2016 session. We in Salem are proud and appreciative of being the capital of Oregon.

That is why we ask you to spend time outside the state Capitol, getting to know your host community. “Salem” is much more than an Oregon synonym for “state government.” It is a microcosm of Oregon.

_________________________________________
ODFW DRIVER, WHO SPILLED SALMON ON MCKENZIE HIGHWAY, GUILTY OF DUII; CLAIMS HE HAS RARE CONDITION WHERE HIS BODY ‘BREWS’ ALCOHOL (Eugene Register-Guard)

The state fish and wildlife truck driver who crashed his load of 11,000 juvenile salmon on the McKenzie Highway more than a year ago has been found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol that he says was brewed inside his own body.

Ray C. Lewis, 45, of Umpqua swears he was not drinking on the day of the accident, when blood tests performed at the hospital showed he had a 0.29 percent blood alcohol content.

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OREGON’S SNOWPACK SHOWS HUGE IMPROVEMENT FROM YEAR AGO (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

What a difference a year makes.

At this time last year, ski areas were closed or struggling to stay open, ski shops were losing money and hydrologists were predicting doom for the coming summer due to a historically low snowpack in Oregon’s mountains.

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5 THINGS TO KNOW AS THE MALHEUR OCCUPATION ENTERS DAY 31 (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

The armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon, is entering its second month today. Only four militants remain inside the refuge and as many as 11 have been arrested and charged in connection with the occupation. An armed protest is expected to take place in Harney County later today.

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FOR MORE THAN A MILLION FOOD STAMP RECIPIENTS, THE CLOCK IS NOW TICKING (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

One month down, two to go.

For unemployed adults in 22 states, that’s how long they can count on help with the grocery bills: Starting this January, they have three months to find a job or lose their food assistance.

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WHY SOME STILL CAN’T FIND JOBS AS THE ECONOMY NEARS ‘FULL EMPLOYMENT’ (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

“Full employment” is a phrase economists use to explain how the job market recovers from a recession. We’ll be hearing this phrase a lot as the Labor Department releases the latest jobs data on Friday. It’s expected to show that employers added even more workers in January.

But the phrase doesn’t tell the full story for millions of Americans either still out of work or who are looking for something better than part-time work.

_________________________________________
OREGON HISTORICAL PHOTO: CELEBRATING OREGON’S STATEHOOD (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

For thousands of years, native tribes thrived in what became known as Oregon Country. Then mountain men and fur trappers came for adventure and wealth, followed by waves of Euro-American pioneers who brought their hopes and prejudices to the Willamette Valley’s agricultural lands.

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EDITORIAL: OREGON LIGHTS A FIRE UNDER COAL POWER — OPINION (Daily Astorian)

-The age of coal is over.-

Most Oregonians get it: The age of coal is over. Nations, states and companies that don’t immediately begin a serious transition to non-coal electricity will face a steep upward curve in costs, which will be passed along to consumers and future generations.

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EDITORIAL: RAISE TRIAL COURT JUDGES’ SALARIES — OPINION (Daily Astorian)

-Oregon’s compensation of its judges is shameful-

Nearly last in U.S., Oregon is pushing away good candidates

Of the many differences between Oregon and our neighbor Washington, the gap in judicial salaries is the most puzzling and galling. The three judges in the Clatsop County Courthouse have salaries of about $124,000 per year. Cross the river and Pacific County judges earn about $156,000.

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GUNS, TAXES, WAGES TOP LONG LIST FOR OREGON LEGISLATURE (KGW)

The Oregon Legislature has laid out an ambitious agenda for its 35-day session that begins Monday.

In the third short, even-year session, lawmakers plan to tackle such weighty issues as arresting climate change, raising the minimum wage, tightening gun ownership, doubling the lodging tax and increasing housing affordability.

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LAWMAKERS CONVENE IN SALEM TODAY (mycentraloregon.com)

Minimum wage is a top priority for Oregon lawmakers as the legislative session begins today.

Hearings are scheduled this week to discuss Gov. Kate Brown’s latest proposal to increase the minimum wage over the next six years to $14.50 in the Portland area and $13.25 in the rest of the state. The governor previously proposed minimum wages of $15.52 for Portland and $13.50 for the rest of the state by 2022.

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AN UNWANTED CIRCUS DESCENDS, AND AN OREGON TOWN STRIVES TO STAY KIND (New York Times)

Remote Western towns, in midwinter’s grip, definitely have some romance to them. But this one has become a circus tent: A giddy but tense crush of humanity has descended here in rural eastern Oregon, benefiting businesses and swamping them, filling bars, and making motel rooms unattainable amid a bizarre tide of guns, police, reporters and ideologues quoting at length from the United States Constitution.

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NATION’S FIRST DRIVE-THRU RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA SHOP OPENS THIS SPRING (Time Magazine)

-It opens 4/20, with fast food-style convenience.-

Recreational marijuana is now legal in Oregon, and some of its residents apparently can’t get the stuff fast and conveniently enough. In Gold Beach, down by the California border on the Pacific, however, a cannabis dispensary is opening that doesn’t require you to leave your car.


 

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January 29, 2015 eClips

State Library eClips
* Law cited against Oregon occupation was created to corral Civil War secessionists
* Oregon proposes new rules for medical marijuana production
* Oregon standoff Day 28: What you need to know Friday
* Kate Brown’s minimum-wage proposal is reckless — Guest Opinion
* Kate Brown weighing changes to minimum wage plan
* Landslide, sinkhole close down US 101 in southern Oregon coast
* Despite scathing report, Judge Vance Day will fight for job at state Supreme Court hearing
* ‘Portlandia’ no longer? Oregon’s young migrants come with high-tech skills
* State forces tight controls on Moda, citing insurer’s weakened financial condition
* Flu cases ramping up, Providence enacts restrictions
* Raise the state lodging tax, help fund world track championship — Opinion
* Graduation rates: Schools break down secrets for success
* Kate Brown approves new scenic waterways in Oregon
* Oregon graduation rate increases
* Conviction overturned in Salem fatal crash
* Secretary of State discusses Oregon Motor Voter program — Opinion
* Veneta-Florence stretch of Highway 126 to be renamed in memory of longtime ODOT engineer Bill Tebeau
* Hoyle seeks political donation timeout in Oregon secretary of state race
* State officials take control of Portland insurer Moda Health
* Our opinion: Next on the governor’s list: a compromise on tax — Opinion
* Oracle gets help pushing state to settle
* Moda pulling out of individual market in Oregon
* Only homeless in shelters included in annual count
* More students may be sent home for missing vaccines
* Rural broadband workshop coming to Bend
* Irrigation district cancels stock run
* Editorial: Don’t celebrate Oregon graduation rates yet — Opinion
* Editorial: Small improvements for Oregon transparency — Opinion
* Washington, Oregon Considering No Sturgeon Fishing On Lower Columbia
* Timeline: How We Got To Now In Harney County
* An Armed Occupation in Eastern Oregon
* Next Chapter In Klamath Dams Saga Opens In California
* Hospital System Says Flu Season Has Started
* Oregon showdown further polarizes federal land debate
* Land management issues remain — Opinion
* Higher minimum wages would hurt rural parts of the West — Opinion
* Foreign worker visas in need of revision — Guest Opinion
* Oregon heads for ballot brawl over tax increase
* Oregon showdown further polarizes federal land debate
* Utilities say coal transition plan would save over proposed ballot measures
* Spring chinook season set on Columbia River
* Canyonlands plan causes pest concerns
* Ontario sees significant jump
* Replacing the I-5 viaduct would come at a steep price
* SOU will pay most of the costs of $2.5 million settlement
* Our View: Graduation rates: Now the hard work begins — Opinion
* Birds play role in sucker numbers
* Isaacson leaving behind historic judgeship
* Does anyone besides PacifiCorp have a plan? — Opinion
* Future murky for Powers sewage solution
* Editorial: Governor launches a smart initiative — Opinion
* Editorial: Landslides happen — Opinion
* Editorial: More work remains on graduation rates — Opinion
* Linn County challenges governor’s plan to raise minimum wage
* Editorial: Short session earns ire of Republicans — Opinion
* REPORT: STEM+ Trends in Oregon– Blog
* Linn County Commissioners Urge Gov. Kate Brown to Abandon Minimum Wage Hike Effort
* Revenge of the tiger trout: Scientists go after tui chub in Oregon lake
* Where was the FBI during the armed standoff in Oregon? Out of sight, but listening and watching
* How the government is charging Ammon Bundy and his self-styled Oregon militia members — Opinion
* 3 Arrests In Oregon As More Militants Leave Wildlife Refuge
* Militants In Oregon Occupation Ask Supporters To Join The Cause
* Oregon Occupation: Where Do Things Stand After More Arrests?
* Oregon Arrests: Feds Intercepted Occupation Leaders as Part of Plan: Official
* The Government Must Prosecute the Oregon Protestors — Opinion
* In Oregon siege, troubling signs of a movement on the offensive
* Oregon standoff has left residents of rugged, isolated town deeply divided

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LAW CITED AGAINST OREGON OCCUPATION WAS CREATED TO CORRAL CIVIL WAR SECESSIONISTS (Portland Oregonian)

The 154-year-old law under which Ammon Bundy and others were arrested this week was created to deal with a nation torn apart by war.

But it made sense for the armed occupiers who holed up at Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to be charged under the Civil-War era statute, experts say, because like the Confederates, the occupiers rejected federal power.
_________________________________________

OREGON PROPOSES NEW RULES FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PRODUCTION (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon’s medical marijuana advocates say the state’s proposed rules for production impose expensive and unnecessary burdens on growers and will ultimately harm patients who rely on the drug to cope with a wide range of health problems.
_________________________________________

OREGON STANDOFF DAY 28: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FRIDAY (Portland Oregonian)

As we enter Day 28 of the standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, here are the latest developments:
_________________________________________

KATE BROWN’S MINIMUM-WAGE PROPOSAL IS RECKLESS — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

“A Reckless Wager.”

A “gamble with people’s futures.”

Causing “harm to the very people they are supposed to help.”
_________________________________________

KATE BROWN WEIGHING CHANGES TO MINIMUM WAGE PLAN (Portland Oregonian)

Gov. Kate Brown met with business and union leaders Thursday to discuss changing her minimum wage proposal, hoping to reach a last-minute compromise before the legislative session starts Monday.
_________________________________________

LANDSLIDE, SINKHOLE CLOSE DOWN US 101 IN SOUTHERN OREGON COAST (Portland Oregonian)

Holy Harbor.

A landslide and a sinkhole closed down U.S. 101 entirely in Harbor, just south of Brookings along the southern coast of Oregon Thursday.
_________________________________________

DESPITE SCATHING REPORT, JUDGE VANCE DAY WILL FIGHT FOR JOB AT STATE SUPREME COURT HEARING (Portland Oregonian)

A timeline has been set in motion for Marion County Circuit Judge Vance Day to fight to keep his judicial seat, despite a blistering report from a state commission recommending that the Oregon Supreme Court remove him from the bench.
_________________________________________

‘PORTLANDIA’ NO LONGER? OREGON’S YOUNG MIGRANTS COME WITH HIGH-TECH SKILLS (Portland Oregonian)

The place where young people go to retire? Maybe not.

A new study of migrants moving into Oregon from other states shows an unusually high number of them are young and that they tend to be well educated, especially in technical fields.
_________________________________________

STATE FORCES TIGHT CONTROLS ON MODA, CITING INSURER’S WEAKENED FINANCIAL CONDITION (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon regulators on Wednesday forced tight new state controls on struggling Portland health insurer Moda Health Plans, citing the company’s ongoing financial losses and depleted capital reserves.
_________________________________________

FLU CASES RAMPING UP, PROVIDENCE ENACTS RESTRICTIONS (Portland Oregonian)

Flu season may be ramping up in Oregon.

Providence Health & Services announced restrictions Thursday to try to keep infected visitors out of the hospital. The measures follow a spike in cases.
_________________________________________

RAISE THE STATE LODGING TAX, HELP FUND WORLD TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP — OPINION (Portland Oregonian)

With debates looming over environmental regulation, the minimum wage, housing affordability and even the proper use of short, even-year legislative sessions, opportunities for bipartisanship may prove rare for state lawmakers next month. They should seize those that do occur, beginning with a proposal to double the state’s 1 percent lodging tax.
_________________________________________

GRADUATION RATES: SCHOOLS BREAK DOWN SECRETS FOR SUCCESS (Portland Oregonian)

What does it take to get reluctant teens to buckle down and graduate?

High schools that showed remarkable success rely on common approaches including building strong relationships, setting high expectations and promoting active learning while adding their own distinct flourishes, their leaders say.
_________________________________________

KATE BROWN APPROVES NEW SCENIC WATERWAYS IN OREGON (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced the designation of two new state scenic waterways Wednesday, bolstering protection for the resources that surround the bodies of water.
_________________________________________

OREGON GRADUATION RATE INCREASES (Salem Statesman Journal)

The states high school graduation rate increased by 2 percentage points, with 74 percent of students in the class of 2015 graduating in four years, according to numbers released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Education.
_________________________________________

CONVICTION OVERTURNED IN SALEM FATAL CRASH (Salem Statesman Journal)

The Oregon Court of Appeals has overturned convictions for Sophia Downing, who in 2010 drove her car into a crowd of pedestrians near Chemeketa Community College, killing two people and injuring a third.
_________________________________________

SECRETARY OF STATE DISCUSSES OREGON MOTOR VOTER PROGRAM — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

-Video Clip-
_________________________________________

VENETA-FLORENCE STRETCH OF HIGHWAY 126 TO BE RENAMED IN MEMORY OF LONGTIME ODOT ENGINEER BILL TEBEAU (Eugene Register-Guard)

-Signs have gone up; dedication ceremony is Friday-

New highway signage was visible Thursday as state Department of Transportation officials prepare to name the portion of Highway 126 between Veneta and Florence in honor of longtime ODOT engineer William Bill Tebeau.
_________________________________________

HOYLE SEEKS POLITICAL DONATION TIMEOUT IN OREGON SECRETARY OF STATE RACE (Eugene Register-Guard)

State Rep. Val Hoyle, the Eugene Democrat who is running for Oregon secretary of state, on Thursday requested that her Democratic rivals in the race Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and state Sen. Richard Devlin of Tualatin agree to stop fundraising during the upcoming February legislative session.
_________________________________________

STATE OFFICIALS TAKE CONTROL OF PORTLAND INSURER MODA HEALTH (Portland Tribune)

-Regulators taking steps to curb consumers’ exposure to Moda Health’s poor finances.-

State officials are moving in to take partial control of Portland-based health insurer Moda Health, citing financial struggles and risk to consumers.

Moda’s finances have gotten so bad that officials will block the firm from selling or renewing policies and are moving to shift about 67,000 members to other insurers. The company has seven days to raise capital or it could face further restrictions.
_________________________________________

OUR OPINION: NEXT ON THE GOVERNOR’S LIST: A COMPROMISE ON TAX — OPINION (Portland Tribune)

When it comes to the proposed gross receipts tax in Oregon, this states residents and particularly their elected leaders have a choice. They can quickly agree on a reasonable plan to raise much-needed money for schools, or they can arm themselves for a grisly ballot battle in November.
_________________________________________

ORACLE GETS HELP PUSHING STATE TO SETTLE (Portland Tribune)

Oracle America, the ill-fated Cover Oregon project contractor, is so heavily invested in media portrayals of its legal battle with the state that it has been sharing filings and other materials with a law professor who’s frequently quoted in the media. The company even assigned one of its lawyers to meet with him over coffee last November to make its case.
_________________________________________

MODA PULLING OUT OF INDIVIDUAL MARKET IN OREGON (Bend Bulletin)

-Existing 2016 customers will need to switch policies-

More than 60,000 Oregonians enrolled in Moda Healths individual insurance policies for 2016 including more than 8,000 in Deschutes County will need to choose new insurance carriers, as the company announced Thursday it is pulling out of the individual markets in Oregon and Alaska.

Moda’s announcement came after Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services issued an order of immediate supervision to the embattled health insurance carrier due to concerns over its dire financial state. The order prohibits the company from selling new policies or renewing current ones until it can produce a viable business plan

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ONLY HOMELESS IN SHELTERS INCLUDED IN ANNUAL COUNT (Bend Bulletin)

-Change in how homeless are tallied in Central Oregon-

Central Oregon’s annual count of homeless people changed significantly this year.

Thursday , only homeless people staying in designated shelters or housing programs were counted. The agencies doing the counting didn’t seek out people living on the street, like they have for the past decade.

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MORE STUDENTS MAY BE SENT HOME FOR MISSING VACCINES (Bend Bulletin)

-This years exclusion day is Feb. 17-

More students could be sent home from school next month for missing vaccines because of new legislation that made some exemptions invalid.

Oregon’s exclusion day is Feb. 17, when children missing required vaccines or valid exemptions will be sent home from school. They will not be allowed to return until they get the required vaccines or an exemption.

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RURAL BROADBAND WORKSHOP COMING TO BEND (Bend Bulletin)

-Oregon Rural Development Council to host event on lack of Internet access in rural areas-

As Internet access continues to transform from a luxury to a necessity, rural communities, which often lack high-speed Internet, are getting left behind. Beginning on Tuesday, Bend will host the Making Rural Communities Better with Broadband workshop, a two-day event designed to help Oregon’s rural communities address this issue.
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IRRIGATION DISTRICT CANCELS STOCK RUN (Bend Bulletin)

-Deschutes River water levels to blame for cancellation-

The Arnold Irrigation District had to cancel a stock run this week amid concerns about low water levels in the Deschutes River.

Irrigation districts divert water for short periods during non-irrigation season months so patrons can fill ponds for livestock.

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EDITORIAL: DON’T CELEBRATE OREGON GRADUATION RATES YET — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

Don’t break into your happy dance just yet. While Oregon’s high school graduation rate did go up last year, its still certain to be near the bottom of the national pack.

Moreover, if the current rate of increase is sustained, we wont reach the laudable 100 percent graduation rate until around 2029, well past the 2025 goal set by former Gov. John Kitzhaber.

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EDITORIAL: SMALL IMPROVEMENTS FOR OREGON TRANSPARENCY — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

Starting Monday, Oregon lawmakers will consider several measures aimed at keeping citizens better informed about how the state does business. Among them is one that would end the practice of amending legislation without providing information about who is doing the amending.

As things now stand, the names of a bills sponsors and co-sponsors are printed at the top of each new piece of proposed legislation. That information stays with the bill as it makes its trip through the Legislature.

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WASHINGTON, OREGON CONSIDERING NO STURGEON FISHING ON LOWER COLUMBIA (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife officials are debating whether to close the only Columbia River sturgeon fishery below Bonneville Dam to protect the fish until the population rebounds.
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TIMELINE: HOW WE GOT TO NOW IN HARNEY COUNTY (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Click to follow stories using OPB widget _________________________________________

AN ARMED OCCUPATION IN EASTERN OREGON (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

The latest news and updates about the armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon.
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NEXT CHAPTER IN KLAMATH DAMS SAGA OPENS IN CALIFORNIA (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

California is beginning its analysis of how three Klamath River hydroelectric dams are affecting water quality.

The state is in the middle of a series of scoping meetings, providing the public its first official chance to weigh in since the Klamath Basin Water Agreements fell apart at the end of December.
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HOSPITAL SYSTEM SAYS FLU SEASON HAS STARTED (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Providence Health is putting restrictions on visitors at eight Portland area hospitals after an increase in flu activity.

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OREGON SHOWDOWN FURTHER POLARIZES FEDERAL LAND DEBATE (Capital Press)

The showdown between federal agents and armed militants in Southeast Oregon will likely further polarize the public over the management of federal lands, experts say.

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LAND MANAGEMENT ISSUES REMAIN — OPINION (Capital Press)

-The standoff is over, but the anger and frustration of many farmers, ranchers and lumbermen in Harney County and throughout the West remains.-

Federal and state officials effectively altered the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Tuesday, arresting eight protesters and killing a ninth in a shootout.
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HIGHER MINIMUM WAGES WOULD HURT RURAL PARTS OF THE WEST — OPINION (Capital Press)

-Efforts to increase the minimum wage don’t take into account supply and demand.-

A busload of Eastern Oregon farmers and business owners recently rode 400 miles across the state to the Capitol in Salem to plead with the Legislature not to cripple their businesses.

Lawmakers have been debating proposals to raise the minimum wage in Oregon. As is the case in several other states, pressure is being put on them to raise the minimum wage. In the West, initiatives are planned in several states to vote on increasing the minimum wage

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FOREIGN WORKER VISAS IN NEED OF REVISION — GUEST OPINION (Capital Press)

The H2-A visa program must be revised by Congress if farmers are to continue.

People are needed to keep a farm running. From repair tasks to driving machinery and checking crops there’s no shortage of work to be done.

Seems simple, right? But farm work is real labor. Its not easy.

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OREGON HEADS FOR BALLOT BRAWL OVER TAX INCREASE (East Oregonian)

-The state’s political and business leaders and a union-backed group don’t sound like compromise is in the cards as hefty corporate tax increase heads toward ballot.-

When a proposed statewide $15-an-hour minimum wage measure gave businesses heartburn, Gov. Kate Brown intervened to float a compromise plan earlier this month.

In contrast, Brown has stayed squarely on the sidelines when it comes to an initiative aimed for the November ballot that is arousing just as much opposition: A $2.6 billion annual tax increase on many large corporations.

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OREGON SHOWDOWN FURTHER POLARIZES FEDERAL LAND DEBATE (East Oregonian)

The showdown between federal agents and armed militants in Southeast Oregon will likely further polarize the public over the management of federal lands, experts say.

For some, the recent killing of an armed protester and arrests of several others will buttress the view they were extremist militants with unrealistic goals.

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UTILITIES SAY COAL TRANSITION PLAN WOULD SAVE OVER PROPOSED BALLOT MEASURES (East Oregonian)

-Pacific Power’s analysis of the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan shows the bill would save $600 million over a proposed ballot measure.-

The Oregon Public Utility Commission will hold a special meeting Friday in Salem to discuss a major proposal that would phase out coal from the states two largest electric utilities.

House Bill 4036, or the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan, would also require Pacific Power and Portland General Electric double their renewable energy mandate by 2040. The companies would stop using coal to serve Oregon customers by 2030.

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SPRING CHINOOK SEASON SET ON COLUMBIA RIVER (East Oregonian)

-The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife has set spring chinook fishing seasons on the Columbia River.-

Spring chinook fishing season is set on the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington.

Anglers will be able to keep salmon from March 16 through May 6 on the river above Bonneville Dam. Fishery managers expect a recreational harvest of about 900 fish.

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CANYONLANDS PLAN CAUSES PEST CONCERNS (Argus Observer)

-Mosquitoes suspected of carrying Zika virus are here-

Members of the Malheur County Vector Control District are concerned about impacts to district activities by a possible national monument or wilderness designation in the county and are looking at reducing the districts size.

They discussed their concerns with the Malheur County Court Wednesday.

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ONTARIO SEES SIGNIFICANT JUMP (Argus Observer)

The Oregon Department of Education released its new graduation rate today, showing a 2 percent increase in the states rate.

Seventy-four percent of students in the class of 2015 graduated high school in four years, according to a news release from the Oregon Department of Education.

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REPLACING THE I-5 VIADUCT WOULD COME AT A STEEP PRICE (Medford Mail Tribune)

-Tunneling, rerouting, reinforcing all come at a steep price-

More than $1 billion would be needed to replace the earthquake-challenged Interstate 5 viaduct with a ground-level freeway.

According to preliminary findings in an ongoing $4 million study by the Oregon Transportation Commission, the most popular and expensive idea is to go underground and get rid of the span that crosses Bear Creek and divides east and west Medford.
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SOU WILL PAY MOST OF THE COSTS OF $2.5 MILLION SETTLEMENT (Medford Mail Tribune)

-State: Construction workers weren’t paid enough-

Southern Oregon University and Texas-based American Campus Communities will each pay a share of a $2.5 million settlement after the state determined they had not paid workers enough for the construction of two new residence halls and a dining hall.
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OUR VIEW: GRADUATION RATES: NOW THE HARD WORK BEGINS — OPINION (Medford Mail Tribune)

The Medford School District’s success in boosting graduation rates across the board is certainly good news. It’s also just a start.

Oregon schools in general and Medford’s in particular have reported substandard percentages of students receiving diplomas for some years now. The state’s graduation rate was fourth worst in the nation in 2014.
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BIRDS PLAY ROLE IN SUCKER NUMBERS (Herald and News)

Results from a six-year study indicate bird predation could play a larger role than previously thought in regulating sucker populations at Clear Lake Reservoir.

The reservoir is part of the Clear Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Northern California. Lost River and shortnose sucker populations were monitored for the study between 2009 and 2014.

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ISAACSON LEAVING BEHIND HISTORIC JUDGESHIP (Herald and News)

A three-decade career behind the bench is ending today in Klamath County Circuit Court, though not entirely.

Judge Rodger Isaacson may be stepping down from the position he has held since 1985, but he is far from hanging up his robes.

Isaacson said he will continue working as an alternate judge for courts throughout Oregon during the next five years to satisfy state retirement guidelines.
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DOES ANYONE BESIDES PACIFICORP HAVE A PLAN? — OPINION (Herald and News)

So whats the plan now for Upper Klamath Basin irrigators?

PacifiCorp wants to remove the four Klamath River dams it owns that have been the focus of much of the effort to resolve the Basins water issues. The dams, more than 50 years old, are up for relicensing and would require expensive renovation to meet modern standards.

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FUTURE MURKY FOR POWERS SEWAGE SOLUTION (The World)

The future of the City of Powers sewage treatment system is as clear as the wastewater flowing into it.

The city has been directed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to reduce the quantity of “I and I” in the water. That’s infiltration and inflow, or the dilution of sewage by water, often in the form of rain, which can push sewage treatment volume past the capacity a plant can treat.

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EDITORIAL: GOVERNOR LAUNCHES A SMART INITIATIVE — OPINION (Daily Astorian)

-Could a public-private partnership in state education strategy happen?-

Classroom teachers will gain professional support

The Chalkboard Project is Oregon’s research and development arm for K-12 education. For 12 years, this organization created and funded by Oregon’s most prominent foundations has run trial programs in public schools and measured results.

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EDITORIAL: LANDSLIDES HAPPEN — OPINION (Daily Astorian)

If we cant prevent them, we must mitigate the outcome

This winters heavy rain 5 inches in some places last Thursday is weighing down the ground, lubricating old faults and causing landslides. Its a problem that impacts individual property owners, developers, communities and planning departments.
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EDITORIAL: MORE WORK REMAINS ON GRADUATION RATES — OPINION (Albany Democrat Herald)

Were under no illusions that the high school graduation rate is the only yardstick by which to measure our public schools.

But its not a bad place to start, especially in a state like Oregon, which has:

First, written into statute that its goal is to ensure that by the year 2025, every adult Oregonian will have either a high school diploma or its equivalent, and;

Second, consistently run near the back of the national pack in high school graduation rates.
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LINN COUNTY CHALLENGES GOVERNOR’S PLAN TO RAISE MINIMUM WAGE (Corvallis Gazette-Times)

Governor Kate Brown’s plan to raise Oregon’s minimum wage to as much as $15.52 per hour is unconstitutional, the Linn County Board of Commissioners charged Wednesday in a letter sent to the governor and members of the Oregon Legislature.

Board chairman Roger Nyquist said Article XI, Section 15 of the Oregon Constitution prohibits the state from imposing mandates without providing funding to implement them.
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EDITORIAL: SHORT SESSION EARNS IRE OF REPUBLICANS — OPINION (Corvallis Gazette-Times)

If you pay any attention at all to the Oregon Legislature, youre going to hear plenty of complaining over the next month or so from Republicans about how the Democratic majority is abusing the original intent of the short five-week legislative sessions that convene in even-numbered years.
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REPORT: STEM+ TRENDS IN OREGON— BLOG (Oregon Office of Economic Analysis)

Migration is fundamental to Oregon’s economy and is woven into the fabric of our state. Our offices new report focuses on net migration among young college graduates and the types of degrees they hold.
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LINN COUNTY COMMISSIONERS URGE GOV. KATE BROWN TO ABANDON MINIMUM WAGE HIKE EFFORT (Willamette Week)

-They say it will cost Linn County $2.25 million a year that the county doesn’t have.-

Linn County’s three-member board of commissioners wrote today to Gov. Kate Brown, asking her to scrap her ambitious plan to increase Oregon’s minimum wage.

The three commissioners, Roger Nyquist, John Lindsey and William Tucker, say the governor’s proposal violates the Oregon Constitution’s prohibition of unfunded legislative mandates and, perhaps more importantly, would cost Linn County $2.25 million a year that the county doesn’t have.

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REVENGE OF THE TIGER TROUT: SCIENTISTS GO AFTER TUI CHUB IN OREGON LAKE (Christian Science Monitor)

-A single tui chub minnow has been found in Oregon’s Diamond Lake, but state Fish and Wildlife officials are preparing to send an army of up to 25,000 tiger trout after it.-

It almost seems like an unfair contest an army of up to 25,000 tiger trout against a single minnow.

For Oregon Fish and Wildlife officials, however, the swift response reflects lessons learned at a cost of $5.6 million, Mark Freeman reported for the Mail Tribune.
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WHERE WAS THE FBI DURING THE ARMED STANDOFF IN OREGON? OUT OF SIGHT, BUT LISTENING AND WATCHING (Los Angeles Times)

As the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon dragged on for most of January, local law enforcement was spread thin and federal agents were nowhere to be seen.

Behind the quiet facade, however, the FBI was running surveillance on the occupation and recording the activists public statements, mostly drawn from media reports and the activists’ use of social media, while FBI agents encouraged locals to report their experiences with the new strangers in town.
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HOW THE GOVERNMENT IS CHARGING AMMON BUNDY AND HIS SELF-STYLED OREGON MILITIA MEMBERS — OPINION (Los Angeles Times)

On an icy highway in rural Oregon on Tuesday afternoon, occupier and protest leader Ammon Bundy finally found the government confrontation that some fear he craved. But rather than a perilous frontal assault on the occupied federal building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, FBI agents and the Oregon State Police opted for a cautious strategy.
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3 ARRESTS IN OREGON AS MORE MILITANTS LEAVE WILDLIFE REFUGE (National Public Radio)

In a sign the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge may be winding down, the FBI announced late Wednesday that eight people had left the compound. Five were released and three arrested.
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MILITANTS IN OREGON OCCUPATION ASK SUPPORTERS TO JOIN THE CAUSE (National Public Radio)

To find out what other militias and patriot groups are saying about the occupation, Steve Inskeep talks to Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center which tracks extremist groups in the U.S.
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OREGON OCCUPATION: WHERE DO THINGS STAND AFTER MORE ARRESTS? (NBC News)

With the arrest of three more protesters holed up at a federal wildlife sanctuary in Oregon, the anti-government demonstration appears to have lost its momentum.

The armed occupation turned violent Tuesday when authorities arrested the ringleaders of the protest, brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, during a traffic stop.
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OREGON ARRESTS: FEDS INTERCEPTED OCCUPATION LEADERS AS PART OF PLAN: OFFICIAL (NBC News)

Authorities seeking to end a nearly month-long protest at an Oregon wildlife refuge realized there was only one way to bring the drama to a close: Arrest the leadership.
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4 PROTESTERS REMAIN AT OREGON WILDLIFE REFUGE (New York Times)

As their jailed leader pleaded with them on Thursday to give up peacefully, a dwindling handful of anti-government protesters continued to occupy a wildlife refuge in Oregon. They were negotiating with the F.B.I. over terms for them to end a standoff that has lasted nearly four weeks and captured international attention.
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THE GOVERNMENT MUST PROSECUTE THE OREGON PROTESTORS — OPINION (Time Magazine)

-There must be a price for reckless and unlawful behavior-

With the arrests of the leaders of the occupation of Malheur National Refuge Tuesday, the federal government finally began to enforce the rule of law.
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IN OREGON SIEGE, TROUBLING SIGNS OF A MOVEMENT ON THE OFFENSIVE (Washington Post)

The siege at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in central Oregon has always been different from the others.

It is not like Ruby Ridge in 1992 or Waco in 1993, where federal and local law enforcement authorities battled militants on their private land.
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OREGON STANDOFF HAS LEFT RESIDENTS OF RUGGED, ISOLATED TOWN DEEPLY DIVIDED (Washington Post)

In this tiny town in the middle of eastern Oregon’s wide-open desert plains, the painful wounds of an armed occupation winding down on a nearby wildlife refuge are not likely to soon heal.
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Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January 29, 2015 eClips

January 28, 2016 eClips

State Library eClips
* Finally, Oregon graduation rate rises
* Oregon standoff Day 27: What you need to know Thursday
* Kate Brown on Oregon standoff: ‘Everyone was hoping to avoid bloodshed’
* Developers abandon plans to build a new power plant in Troutdale
* Tech deals produce homegrown Oregon investment capital
* Columbia River spring chinook salmon seasons set for 2016
* Jefferson High graduation rates soar: here’s what’s working for students
* Relief, but no joy, in Burns — Opinion
* Editorial Board: House speaker Tina Kotek — Opinion
* Ammon Bundy urges protesters to leave refuge
* What does it mean to be a judge? — Opinion
* Gov. Kate Brown previews legislative session
* Oregon Gov. Kate Brown designates Chetco, Molalla rivers as scenic waterways
* State data: Most Lane County school districts see bump in high school graduation rates
* Let this be the end — Opinion
* Oregon heads for ballot brawl over tax increase
* Governor must seek a compromise on proposed gross receipts tax — Opinion
* Task force recommends state-funded pot research institute
* Officials applaud refuge enforcement, but claim no credit
* Jefferson leads upswing in Portland’s graduation rate increases
* Oracle gets help pushing state to settle
* Keeping trees healthy after winter storms
* Pacific Power says coal deal won’t hurt its customers
* Oregon high-school graduation rate inches up
* Pharmacists start doling birth control without prescriptions
* Justice requires greater transparency for grand juries — Guest Opinion
* Bowman Dam law needs follow through — Opinion
* OSU-Cascades buys pumice mine property
* More good needs for OSU-Cascades — Opinion
* Oregon Officials Praise Arrests, Hope For Quick End To Burns Occupation
* Oregon Legislative Leaders Seek New Bill Tightening State’s Gun Laws
* Oregon begins wolf plan review accompanied by lawsuit and legislation
* Owyhee Canyonlands wilderness proposal unresolved
* Authorities surround nature preserve after arrests, shooting
* Wildfire plan seen as biggest land policy change in decades
* Task force recommends state-funded pot research institute
* Officials applaud enforcement action, but take no credit
* Local school districts win matching state grants for bond proposals
* Dark days — Opinion
* Suicide attempt
* Insufficient marijuana labs may cause bottleneck
* Putting Pier 2 to the test
* Oregon LNG may seek state permits again
* Salvage logging is welcome — Opinion
* Oregon Governor Says Harney County Will Need Time To Heal
* Health Leaders Look Beyond 2016 Session to Fulfill Policy Goals
* Opioid Abuse Prevention Headlines OMA Priorities

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FINALLY, OREGON GRADUATION RATE RISES (Portland Oregonian)

Oregon’s high school graduation rate rose 2 percentage points in 2015, marking its first substantial improvement after five years of stagnation, the state reported Thursday.
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OREGON STANDOFF DAY 27: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THURSDAY (Portland Oregonian)

As we enter Day 27 of the standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, here are the latest developments:
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KATE BROWN ON OREGON STANDOFF: ‘EVERYONE WAS HOPING TO AVOID BLOODSHED’ (Portland Oregonian)

Amid a swirl of reports that armed militants might end their occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge after 26 days, Gov. Kate Brown remained wary late Wednesday about declaring victory too soon.
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DEVELOPERS ABANDON PLANS TO BUILD A NEW POWER PLANT IN TROUTDALE (Portland Oregonian)

Backers of a proposed power plant near the Troutdale airport have withdrawn their siting application with state regulators and abandoned their plans, a victory for environmental and other groups that had opposed the plant.
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TECH DEALS PRODUCE HOMEGROWN OREGON INVESTMENT CAPITAL (Portland Oregonian)

A flurry of high-profile deals for prominent Portland technology companies has injected fresh capital into the city’s tech ecosystem and created new funding opportunities for the next generation of Oregon startups.
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COLUMBIA RIVER SPRING CHINOOK SALMON SEASONS SET FOR 2016 (Portland Oregonian)

Spring chinook anglers on the lower Columbia River will have until April 9 to tag hatchery salmon below Bonneville Dam.
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JEFFERSON HIGH GRADUATION RATES SOAR: HERE’S WHAT’S WORKING FOR STUDENTS (Portland Oregonian)

Roughly 80 percent of seniors at Jefferson High graduated on-time last year, a marked increase in achievement that follows an overhaul of the school’s model in recent years.
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RELIEF, BUT NO JOY, IN BURNS — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

There is no joy in the death of one protester and the arrest of eight others who were among the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for more than three weeks. But there is a sense of relief.
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EDITORIAL BOARD: HOUSE SPEAKER TINA KOTEK — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek meets with the Statesman Journal editorial board at the Statesman Journal in downtown Salem on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.
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AMMON BUNDY URGES PROTESTERS TO LEAVE REFUGE (Salem Statesman Journal)

Oregon militia leader Ammon Bundy is urging his followers at a wildlife refuge near Burns, Ore., to leave, according to a statement released by his attorney.
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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A JUDGE? — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal)

What does it mean to be a court judge in Oregon? The future of Marion County Circuit Judge Vance Day hinges on that basic question.
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GOV. KATE BROWN PREVIEWS LEGISLATIVE SESSION (Salem Statesman Journal)

-Video Clip-
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OREGON GOV. KATE BROWN DESIGNATES CHETCO, MOLALLA RIVERS AS SCENIC WATERWAYS (Eugene Register-Guard)

Gov. Kate Brown has signed an executive order giving new scenic waterway designations to portions of the Molalla and Chetco rivers.

The Molalla, which is an undammed tributary of the Willamette River, and the Chetco, in Southwest Oregon, are the first new designations since 1988. The designations also include adjacent land within a quarter mile of the both river sections.

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STATE DATA: MOST LANE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS SEE BUMP IN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATES (Eugene Register-Guard)

-But statewide rate is still among lowest in country-

For the second year in a row, a higher percentage of students in the Eugene-Springfield area graduated from high school within four years, newly released state data show.
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LET THIS BE THE END — OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard)

Law enforcement agencies overriding goal in their response to the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has been to avoid bloodshed.
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OREGON HEADS FOR BALLOT BRAWL OVER TAX INCREASE (Portland Tribune)

When a proposed statewide $15-an-hour minimum wage measure gave businesses heartburn, Gov. Kate Brown intervened to float a compromise plan earlier this month.
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GOVERNOR MUST SEEK A COMPROMISE ON PROPOSED GROSS RECEIPTS TAX — OPINION (Portland Tribune)

When it comes to the proposed gross receipts tax in Oregon, this states residents and particularly their elected leaders have a choice. They can quickly agree on a reasonable plan to raise much-needed money for schools, or they can arm themselves for a grisly ballot battle in November.
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TASK FORCE RECOMMENDS STATE-FUNDED POT RESEARCH INSTITUTE (Portland Tribune)

Institute would award grants to research the medical effects of cannabis.

A task force created by the Legislature is unanimously recommending that the state fund an independent institute to research the medical benefits of marijuana.
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OFFICIALS APPLAUD REFUGE ENFORCEMENT, BUT CLAIM NO CREDIT (Portland Tribune)

Oregon public officials are commending the FBI and other law enforcement for arresting protesters occupying a federal wildlife refuge in Harney County, but stopped short of crediting their pleas to the Obama administration for prompting Tuesdays action.
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JEFFERSON LEADS UPSWING IN PORTLAND’S GRADUATION RATE INCREASES (Portland Tribune)

Jefferson High School in North Portland has raised its four-year graduation rate up to 80 percent, a whopping 14 percentage point gain in the past year.
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ORACLE GETS HELP PUSHING STATE TO SETTLE (Portland Tribune)

Oracle America, the ill-fated Cover Oregon project contractor, is so heavily invested in media portrayals of its legal battle with the state that it has been sharing filings and other materials with a law professor who’s frequently quoted in the media. The company even assigned one of its lawyers to meet with him over coffee last November to make its case.
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KEEPING TREES HEALTHY AFTER WINTER STORMS (Portland Tribune)

Trees benefit our lives in so many ways improving air quality, enhancing architecture, providing habitat for birds and wildlife, cleaning storm water and even reducing energy costs but often we don’t stop to appreciate them as much as we should.
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PACIFIC POWER SAYS COAL DEAL WON’T HURT ITS CUSTOMERS (Portland Tribune)

Pacific Power projected Thursday that a deal negotiated with environmental groups to phase out the use of coal power and mandate more renewables would raise its electric rates by less than 1 percent a year between now and 2030.
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OREGON HIGH-SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE INCHES UP (Bend Bulletin)

-Central Oregon school districts see little change in rate-

For all the talk around improving high school graduation rates, numbers released today by the Oregon Department of Education show the state and local schools still have a long way to go.

Oregon’s graduation rate ticked up in 2014-15 about 2 percentage points to 73.8 percent over the previous school year, a far cry from the states goal of achieving a 100 percent graduation rate by 2025.

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PHARMACISTS START DOLING BIRTH CONTROL WITHOUT PRESCRIPTIONS (Bend Bulletin)

-Safeway, Costco adopting practice faster than other chains-

As of last week, just over 200 pharmacists in Oregon had completed the training necessary to dispense birth control without doctors prescriptions a small fraction of the states roughly 7,000 pharmacists.

A new Oregon law allowed pharmacists to begin dispensing birth control without prescriptions on Jan. 1, but many are still in the process of taking Oregon State Universitys five-hour online training and the required exam that certifies them to do so.

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JUSTICE REQUIRES GREATER TRANSPARENCY FOR GRAND JURIES — GUEST OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

When it comes to who is charged with serious crimes in Deschutes County and all of Oregon, the best that a prosecutor can tell the public is, Trust me. Our secretive grand jury process is antiquated and out of step with most of the rest of the country. A fresh dose of sunshine and transparency are needed.

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BOWMAN DAM LAW NEEDS FOLLOW THROUGH — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

When the so-called Bowman Dam bill passed Congress in 2014, there was bipartisan cheering from Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, and Rep. Greg Walden, a Republican. The city of Prineville was happy. WaterWatch, an environmental group, was pleased. Fly fishermen and irrigation districts were, too.

But now more than a year after the law went into effect, the things it was supposed to fix arent quite fixed.

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OSU-CASCADES BUYS PUMICE MINE PROPERTY (Bend Bulletin)

-Timing of campus expansion will hinge on enrollment growth-

OSU-Cascades has purchased a 46-acre pumice mine for the expansion of its new campus in southwest Bend.
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MORE GOOD NEEDS FOR OSU-CASCADES — OPINION (Bend Bulletin)

Its official. Oregon State University-Cascades has purchased a 46-acre piece of land adjacent to the 10 acres its currently developing. And before it begins work on the old pumice mine site, it will have done enough planning, with enough public involvement, that should keep all but the most devoted campus opponents happy.
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OREGON OFFICIALS PRAISE ARRESTS, HOPE FOR QUICK END TO BURNS OCCUPATION (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Oregon’s elected officials on Wednesday praised the arrests of the leaders of the militant occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge while expressing hope that the armed takeover will soon be over.
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OREGON LEGISLATIVE LEADERS SEEK NEW BILL TIGHTENING STATE’S GUN LAWS (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

In the wake of last Octobers mass shootings at Umpqua Community College, the Oregon Legislature will have another fight over gun laws in the new session that starts next week.
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OREGON BEGINS WOLF PLAN REVIEW ACCOMPANIED BY LAWSUIT AND LEGISLATION (Capital Press)

Oregons wildlife officials begin a required review of the states controversial wolf management plan with three months of stakeholder meetings starting in February, followed by a revision, draft and final adoption process expected to last into October.
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OWYHEE CANYONLANDS WILDERNESS PROPOSAL UNRESOLVED (Capital Press)

-The wildlife refuge standoff may have been broken, but another divisive issue remains unsettled in Southeast Oregon.-

The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge may have been broken, but a divisive wilderness proposal remains unresolved in Southeast Oregon.

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AUTHORITIES SURROUND NATURE PRESERVE AFTER ARRESTS, SHOOTING (Capital Press)

-Small group of protesters remaining in refuge now face true standoff.-

The Oregon nature preserve being occupied by an armed anti-government group was surrounded by law-enforcement agents Wednesday, a day after one of the occupiers was killed by officers during a traffic stop and eight others, including group leader Ammon Bundy, were arrested.

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WILDFIRE PLAN SEEN AS BIGGEST LAND POLICY CHANGE IN DECADES (Capital Press)

-The order includes plans to fight cheatgrass and restoration work for burned sagebrush areas, and $67 million is being spent to rehabilitate the burned area in southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon.-

A year after Interior Secretary Sally Jewell shifted the national approach to fighting wildfires across a wide swath of sagebrush country in the West, her strategy is turning out to be one of the most significant federal land policy changes in some 80 years, public land experts, outdoor enthusiasts and scientists say.

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OFFICIALS APPLAUD ENFORCEMENT ACTION, BUT TAKE NO CREDIT (East Oregonian)

-The governor and members of Oregon’s congressional delegation had urged action against protesters occupying a Harney County wildlife refuge, but stopped short of crediting those pleas for Tuesday’s arrests.-

Oregon public officials are commending the FBI and other law enforcement for arresting protesters occupying a federal wildlife refuge in Harney County, but stopped short of crediting their pleas to the Obama administration for prompting Tuesdays action.

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LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS WIN MATCHING STATE GRANTS FOR BOND PROPOSALS (East Oregonian)

-$4 million grants contingent on passing bonds in May-

Three Umatilla County school districts got some extra help in their bond campaigns.

The state Department of Education awarded grants to 16 school districts as a part of the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching Program, including the Echo, Athena-Weston and Milton-Freewater Unified districts.

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DARK DAYS — OPINION (East Oregonian)

January 26, 2016, will rank among the darkest days in modern Eastern Oregon history. And that darkness is far from over.

One man was killed, eight others were arrested, and tension has been ratcheted up once again at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns.

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SUICIDE ATTEMPT (Argus Observer)

-Risk survey: 20 percent of high schoolers considered it-

A survey in Idaho reveals that about 20 percent of all high school students have seriously considered attempting suicide.

That was some of the information found from a survey completed by 1,760 students in 48 public high schools across Idaho during the spring of 2015.

Ed. Note: Story also contains Oregon data.
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INSUFFICIENT MARIJUANA LABS MAY CAUSE BOTTLENECK (Daily Astorian)

-There are currently no labs licensed to test recreational marijuana in Oregon, which may create a bottleneck in the state’s regulatory system for the recently-legalized crop.-

Oregon has no shortage of people willing to grow and sell marijuana under its regulatory system for the recently-legalized crop.

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PUTTING PIER 2 TO THE TEST (Daily Astorian)

-State bridge inspectors are trying to help the Port of Astoria see what exactly is holding up Pier 2.-

Gene Leon and Erick Cain, part of a bridge inspection team with the state Department of Transportation, bobbed up and down Tuesday on the incoming tide in a dingy below the western edge of the Port of Astorias Pier 2

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OREGON LNG MAY SEEK STATE PERMITS AGAIN (Daily Astorian)

-Department of State Lands hears concerns from energy companys foes-

Within the next few weeks, Oregon LNG may submit new permit applications to the Department of State Lands to build a liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline on Warrentons Skipanon Peninsula, Bill Ryan, the departments assistant director, said Tuesday evening at a public meeting in Astoria.

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SALVAGE LOGGING IS WELCOME — OPINION (Baker City Herald)

We were pleased to hear the staccato rasp of chain saws echoing across the canyons east of the Dooley Mountain Highway on Monday morning.

The sound of the saws was punctuated by the occasional thump of a fire-blackened tree crashing onto the snow.

Barely five months ago the Cornet/Windy Ridge fire raced through these publicly owned forests of ponderosa pine and fir on the way to becoming the biggest blaze, at 104,000 acres, in the countys history.
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OREGON GOVERNOR SAYS HARNEY COUNTY WILL NEED TIME TO HEAL (KUOW)

As law enforcement increases its activity surrounding the occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon Governor Kate Brown said her primary concern continues to be the safety of Oregon residents.
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IN OREGON, THIS IS LESS THE END THAN IT IS THE BEGINNING (New York Times)

Why would the F.B.I. even want to come in here and risk bloodshed? Jason Patrick, one of the armed protesters occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, wondered aloud to me a week and a half ago, as we stood smoking in the snow, watching the daily flow of trucks carrying volunteers and supplies into the compound. Over a marsh with some birds in it? I dont see it.
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HEALTH LEADERS LOOK BEYOND 2016 SESSION TO FULFILL POLICY GOALS (The Lund Report)

-A group of four Democrats and one Republican discussed their policy ideas in Portland on Wednesday, but aside from a few modest proposals for the upcoming February session, goals from single-payer to improved consumer product safety and better Medicaid regulations may wait until 2017 and beyond.-

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton, said shed go after funding for a loan repayment program for medical providers in the 2016 session, while other legislators dialed down expectations for this year and directed their goals to the future at an Oregon Health Forum event Wednesday morning in Portland attended by more than 160 health professionals.
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OPIOID ABUSE PREVENTION HEADLINES OMA PRIORITIES (The Lund Report)

-CEO Bryan Boehringer is working with a statewide coalition to reduce opioid abuse, while Rep. Knute Buehler is introducing legislation next month.-

Theres never been a more challenging time to deal with opioid abuse since Oregon leads the nation in nonmedical use of these morphine-based drugs. During the first half of 2015, practitioners wrote more than 1.4 million prescriptions for hydrocodone and oxycodone, according to the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, while a preliminary analysis found opiates were involved in 109 deaths in Multnomah County in 2014, with about half involving prescription opiates.
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