State Library eClips
* EPA says federal study of Washington coal-export project inadequate
* Gov. Brown asks to expand groundwater studies following Oregonian investigation
* Oregon needs Courtney, others to create a grand bargain — Guest Opinion
* Hardy Myers, the gentleman statesman Opinion — Guest Opinion
* Oregon’s death penalty: True justice costs money — Guest Opinion
* Most Willamette River boaters have agreed to comply with eviction notices, state agency says
* Oregon revises marijuana rules after industry backlash
* State plans to revoke license of troubled Eastern Oregon youth program
* National Guard inaction exposes communities to lead
* Has your family visited a toxic armory?
* Did secret phone call jeopardize solar fraud prosecution?
* National monument fight comes to Cascade-Siskiyou in southern Oregon
* Portland heeds EPA’s guidance to reduce lead in water
* Obama should honor on-the-ground solutions in Oregon’s wildest places — Opinion
* 5 facts you should know about distracted driving
* Oregon wines nab top spots on Wine Spectator list
* University students face food insecurity
* Salem company fined $26,525 for illegal waste discharge
* Funding for fish, wildlife is complicated — Opinion
* Tales of family and tradition at the Christmas tree farm
* Oregon health officials change marijuana testing rules, intending to end shortages
* UO trustees worry that flat state funding, increased costs could lead to large tuition increases
* Finding shelter in Lane County — Opinion
* Respect for the law — Opinion
* Portland takes steps to reduce lead in drinking water
* Contracting with the government
* Controversial Inclusionary Housing proposal heading to City Council
* Portland’s Toxic Graveyard For World War II Ships
* Oregon measure calls for proof of citizenship to vote
* Seattle energy consultant seeks dismissal of Oregon charges
* Agencies detail plans for big transmission line
* Central Oregon continues strong economic growth
* Editorial: ODOT should not dodge examination of conflict of interest — Opinion
* Erik Lukens column: Time to talk property taxes, school funding and local control — Opinion
* Editorial: Legislature, don’t kick the can — Opinion
* Editorial: ODFW should not seek special carve-outs — Opinion
* Commentary: Get past stale debates on charter schools — Guest Opinion
* Oregon Universities Try ‘Instant’ Admissions To Land High School Seniors
* Washington Agencies Preempt Potentially Pesky Pork Problems
* Oregon Releases Plan To Confront ‘Chronic Absenteeism’ In School
* Oregon To Create Murrelet Protection Plan For State, Private Lands
* Weed, predator funding on chopping block at ODA
* Analyst: Export market key to growth of Oregon microbreweries
* Our view: The hole in Browns budget — Opinion
* Wheat growers face challenges ahead
* Council approves recreational pot dispensaries
* Rare, Bizarre Glowing Creatures Strand on Oregon Coast Beaches
* Oregon Launches Plan to End New HIV Infections in State
* Could this be Oregon’s next big wind farm?
* Housing state of emergency
* Oregon Audit Finds IT Vulnerabilities Remain
* Atkins Reflects On 22-Month Stint As Oregon Secretary Of State
* State Still Mulling Federal Waivers for Better Healthcare Even as Trump Presidency Looms
* Brown Budget Closes Junction City Psychiatric Hospital, Hikes Sin Taxes
EPA SAYS FEDERAL STUDY OF WASHINGTON COAL-EXPORT PROJECT INADEQUATE (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2016/12/epa_says_federal_study_of_wash.html
The Environmental Protection Agency has criticized as inadequate a draft study the Army Corps of Engineers did on a proposed coal-export project in Washington state.
The corps’ draft environmental review is flawed because it fails to take a hard look at potential environmental impacts, such as air quality, rail traffic and climate change, EPA wrote to the corps in a letter Tuesday.
GOV. BROWN ASKS TO EXPAND GROUNDWATER STUDIES FOLLOWING OREGONIAN INVESTIGATION (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2016/12/gov_kate_brown_asks_to_expand.html#incart_river_index
Gov. Kate Brown’s recommended budget includes money for a new team of researchers to study underground water sources in Oregon.
If approved, the additional $1.8 million requested for the study means the state would effectively double its capacity to perform groundwater research, adding a second team of people to review the resource every five years.
OREGON NEEDS COURTNEY, OTHERS TO CREATE A GRAND BARGAIN — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/12/oregon_needs_courtney_others_t.html#incart_river_index
Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney is a veteran politician with a passion for history. A year ago, the Democrat predicted that a brewing fight between business and public employee unions would become Oregon’s political Antietam, the Civil War’s bloodiest day.
Then, opposing campaigns — for what would become Measure 97 — unleashed more than $40 million in ads on television and social media. It became the biggest ballot measure fight in the history of the Pacific Northwest.
HARDY MYERS, THE GENTLEMAN STATESMAN OPINION — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/12/hardy_meyers_the_gentleman_sta.html#incart_river_home
The loss of Hardy Myers leaves Oregon minus one of the best public servants we have had.
In 1975, I had the pleasure of serving my first two terms on the Oregon House Revenue Committee with him and it was the beginning of a special friendship.
OREGON’S DEATH PENALTY: TRUE JUSTICE COSTS MONEY — GUEST OPINION (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/12/oregons_death_penalty_true_jus.html#incart_river_home
In its November 20th editorial, The Oregonian devoured hook, line, and sinker, two more studies churned out by academics and legal experts who think they know what’s best for the public.
The “study,” undertaken last fall, claimed seeking the death penalty costs a lot of money.
MOST WILLAMETTE RIVER BOATERS HAVE AGREED TO COMPLY WITH EVICTION NOTICES, STATE AGENCY SAYS (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/12/most_willamette_river_boaters.html
Oregon’s Department of State Lands says it plans to continue keeping boaters from squatting long term on state-owned waterways in 2017 after an administrative law judge recently ruled the agency can legally evict them and tow away their boats if they refuse to move.
OREGON REVISES MARIJUANA RULES AFTER INDUSTRY BACKLASH (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/marijuana/index.ssf/2016/12/oregon_revises_marijuana_rules.html#incart_river_index
Oregon on Friday issued temporary new rules aimed at easing what marijuana producers and processors say is a major backlog that has brought parts of the industry to a standstill, left store shelves empty and prompted some companies to lay off workers.
STATE PLANS TO REVOKE LICENSE OF TROUBLED EASTERN OREGON YOUTH PROGRAM (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/12/state_plans_to_revoke_license.html#incart_river_index
A troubled residential program allowed to remain open when an Oregon child welfare official reversed abuse and neglect findings this fall may have to close after all.
The Oregon Department of Human Services on Friday threatened the license of Eastern Oregon Academy, near Burns, over instances of sex abuse by a female staffer, the failure to report a youth who’d been left in the wilderness for two hours and poor supervision.
NATIONAL GUARD INACTION EXPOSES COMMUNITIES TO LEAD (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/page/visitors_soldiers_children_exposed_to_lead_dust_in_armories.html#incart_big-photo
In a former Montana National Guard armory where more than 20 workers got sick, lead-laced dust bunnies the size of tangerines clogged the ventilation system.
In two Oregon armories where parents unwittingly let infants crawl, the neurotoxin blanketed floors at levels as high as 10 times the federal safety standard.
HAS YOUR FAMILY VISITED A TOXIC ARMORY? (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2016/12/national_guard_armories_events.html#incart_river_index
Because the National Guard consists of part-time soldiers, its armories often sit idle.
To help pay for their upkeep, the Guard has long rented out rooms or whole buildings for community events and private parties.
DID SECRET PHONE CALL JEOPARDIZE SOLAR FRAUD PROSECUTION? (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2016/12/defense_alleges_prosecutorial.html#incart_river_index
State and federal law enforcement agents hoped for a confession.
But Seattle energy consultant Martin Shain wasn’t playing ball.
Agents from the Oregon Department of Justice and the FBI investigating an Oregon solar power project last September persuaded another player in the case to telephone Shain in hopes he would incriminate himself.
NATIONAL MONUMENT FIGHT COMES TO CASCADE-SISKIYOU IN SOUTHERN OREGON (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2016/12/national_monument_fight_comes.html#incart_river_index
Southern Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou is an unlikely place to fight over a national monument. It is, after all, already a national monument.
But since ecologists recommended a massive 65,000-acre expansion – in effect doubling the size of the federal monument – Cascade-Siskiyou has quietly become an important battleground in the nationwide debate over federal lands.
PORTLAND HEEDS EPA’S GUIDANCE TO REDUCE LEAD IN WATER (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/12/portland_heeds_epas_guidance_i.html#incart_river_index
Under pressure to reduce lead in drinking water, the Portland Water Bureau on Friday agreed to increase pH levels and evaluate the effectiveness of related programs.
Now it’s up to state regulators to sign off.
OBAMA SHOULD HONOR ON-THE-GROUND SOLUTIONS IN OREGON’S WILDEST PLACES — OPINION (Portland Oregonian) http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/12/obama_should_honor_on-the-grou.html#incart_river_index
Two separate fights to protect two extraordinary patches of Oregon have in recent months escalated as President Barack Obama’s term comes to a close. That’s because he could, by the authority Congress granted to him in a far less populous time, singularly issue sweeping protections to the Owyhee Canyonlands in southeastern Oregon and the Cascade-Siskiyou Mountains in southwestern Oregon and northern California.
5 FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DISTRACTED DRIVING (Salem Statesman Journal) http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2016/12/03/5-facts-you-should-know-distracted-driving/94736958/
The sheriff’s deputy in the passenger seat read a series of numbers aloud, and I punched them into my phone calculator with one hand on the steering wheel as I drove through the parking lot.
My rear tire crunched over a traffic cone, and I failed to brake at the basket of plastic balls thrown in front of the SUV. It was bad really bad. After a parallel parking nightmare, one of the deputies joked, “Well, you left one cone standing.”
OREGON WINES NAB TOP SPOTS ON WINE SPECTATOR LIST (Salem Statesman Journal) http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2016/12/02/oregon-wines-nab-top-spots-wine-spectator-list/94818666/
Two of the top three wines of the year, as ranked by Wine Spectator magazine, come from Willamette Valley wineries.
Domaine Serene’s Dundee Hills Evenstad Reserve 2014 Chardonnay ranked second on Wine Spectator’s yearly Top 100 list; Beaux Frres 2014 Pinot Noir followed as the third best of 2016.
UNIVERSITY STUDENTS FACE FOOD INSECURITY (Salem Statesman Journal) http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/education/2016/12/02/university-students-face-food-insecurity/93963562/
Imagine having to decide between paying for a course textbook or your next meal.
Situations like that are becoming more common for students in higher education.
“I had a student come in … who hadn’t seen vegetables for three years,” said Grecia Garcia, who helps oversee the Chemeketa Community College pantry.
SALEM COMPANY FINED $26,525 FOR ILLEGAL WASTE DISCHARGE (Salem Statesman Journal) http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2016/12/02/salem-company-fined-illegal-waste-discharge/94816492/
Oregon environmental regulators have fined a South Salem rock products company $26,525 for discharging industrial wastewater slurry without a permit.
Bella Pietra Marble and Granite cuts and grinds granite, marble and stone at its facility at 3780 Boone Road SE.
FUNDING FOR FISH, WILDLIFE IS COMPLICATED — OPINION (Salem Statesman Journal) http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/opinion/2016/12/02/funding-fish-wildlife-complicated/94747512/
A task force charged with finding ways to help the state protect Oregon’s fish and wildlife has come up with a couple of novel funding mechanisms that don’t automatically pass the cost on to hunters and anglers. The concept is sound given that hunters and fishing enthusiasts aren’t the only ones using the state’s lands and waters, and have been bearing the brunt of the cost for some time.
TALES OF FAMILY AND TRADITION AT THE CHRISTMAS TREE FARM (Eugene Register-Guard) http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/35052825-75/tales-of-family-and-tradition-at-the-christmas-tree-farm.html.csp#
-Hundreds head out Saturday to Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm to pick their perfect evergreen-
Any old Christmas tree wasn’t going to satisfy Stella Carlton.
I want a big one the 6-year-old squealed, tugging her moms sleeve in an ocean of fir trees at the Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm.
OREGON HEALTH OFFICIALS CHANGE MARIJUANA TESTING RULES, INTENDING TO END SHORTAGES (Eugene Register-Guard) http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/35050782-75/oregon-health-officials-change-marijuana-testing-rules-intending-to-end-shortages.html.csp
Responding to reports of rising marijuana prices, product shortages and processors laying off employees, Oregon health officials Friday eased pesticide and other testing requirements for pot.
Processors and growers had complained that strict testing rules for medical and recreational marijuana imposed by the state on Oct. 1 had created a backlog at testing labs, which led to pot product shortages at dispensaries.
UO TRUSTEES WORRY THAT FLAT STATE FUNDING, INCREASED COSTS COULD LEAD TO LARGE TUITION INCREASES (Eugene Register-Guard) http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/35051511-75/uo-trustees-worry-that-flat-state-funding-increased-costs-could-lead-to-large-tuition-increases.html.csp#
University of Oregon students may return to the bad old days of whopping tuition increases next year if the figures in the governors proposed state budget dont change.
Gov. Kate Brown plans to give the states public universities a flat $667 million for the next two-year budget cycle. If thats the final figure, tuition increases are likely to exceed 5 percent, according to discussion at the UO Board of Trustees meeting in Portland on Friday.
FINDING SHELTER IN LANE COUNTY — OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard) http://registerguard.com/rg/opinion/35044013-78/finding-shelter-in-lane-county.html.csp
The statistics in a new report were bad enough: 21,340 students in Oregon public schools were homeless in the last school year; 1,929 pre-kindergarten students were homeless; 524 students about one out of every 10 in the Bethel School District were homeless, 900 students in the Eugene School District, about one in 20, were homeless; 480 students in the Springfield School District were homeless, also about one out of 20.
RESPECT FOR THE LAW — OPINION (Eugene Register-Guard) http://registerguard.com/rg/opinion/35046828-78/respect-for-the-law.html.csp
Like long snappers on football teams, state attorneys general don’t attract a lot of attention unless they make a big mistake.
Three-term Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers, who died Tuesday at 77, didn’t attract a lot of attention for all the right reasons. He was a quiet and consistent enforcer of justice after a similarly distinguished stint in the Oregon Legislature.
PORTLAND TAKES STEPS TO REDUCE LEAD IN DRINKING WATER (Portland Tribune) http://pamplinmedia.com/pt/9-news/334967-214827-portland-takes-steps-to-reduce-lead-in-drinking-water
Corrosive water can cause lead to leach out of ordinary household pipes and plumbing fixtures and into drinking water, so one way to reduce lead exposure across a city is to change the pH of its water by adding chemicals.
The Portland Water Bureau is taking immediate steps to reduce the amount of lead in the water at taps across the Portland metro area.
CONTRACTING WITH THE GOVERNMENT (Portland Tribune) http://pamplinmedia.com/but/239-news/334866-214125-contracting-with-the-government
At the close of 2016, the COBID team will have participated in more than 100 outreach events.
Without fail, the main question we hear from attendees is, “Why should I get certified?” Closely followed by concern that their firm is not in the construction business and, therefore, minimal opportunities exist. In addition, there is the widespread belief that working with the government is cumbersome, difficult, and not worth the effort.
CONTROVERSIAL INCLUSIONARY HOUSING PROPOSAL HEADING TO CITY COUNCIL (Portland Tribune) http://pamplinmedia.com/pt/9-news/334970-214836-controversial-inclusionary-housing-proposal-heading-to-city-council
The proposal, which became possible after the 2016 Oregon Legislature lifted the statewide ban on Inclusionary Housing, would require residential developers to include affordable units in multi-family projects with more than 20 units. It includes incentives intended to offset the revenue that would be lost by the lower-priced units.
PORTLAND’S TOXIC GRAVEYARD FOR WORLD WAR II SHIPS (Portland Tribune) http://pamplinmedia.com/sl/334834-214678-portlands-toxic-graveyard-for-world-war-ii-ships
-Zidell business boomed by recycling scrap metal from surplus Navy vessels, but left PCB and other contamination in the Willamette River-
Paul Fishman spots a rusty chunk of metal jutting out of the riverbank on Portland’s South Waterfront.
“Ah-ha” he said. “Here’s a piece of a ship’s hull.”
OREGON MEASURE CALLS FOR PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP TO VOTE (Bend Bulletin)
-Voting rights groups say such laws suppress voting-
With concerns that are based on fear, rather than proof, that voter fraud exists in Oregon, a conservative duo is proposing a solution: put a clause in the state constitution that requires all voters to prove they’re U.S. citizens before they can vote.
SEATTLE ENERGY CONSULTANT SEEKS DISMISSAL OF OREGON CHARGES (Bend Bulletin) http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/4874224-151/seattle-energy-consultant-seeks-dismissal-of-oregon-charges
A Seattle energy consultant accused of forgery in connection with a major Oregon solar power project is seeking to have the charges dismissed, arguing that the state committed prosecutorial misconduct and that the statute of limitations for bringing an indictment had expired.
AGENCIES DETAIL PLANS FOR BIG TRANSMISSION LINE (Bend Bulletin) http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/4868333-151/agencies-detail-plans-for-big-transmission-line
-Project could stretch across five Oregon counties-
A proposed 300-mile long, $1 billion transmission line in Eastern Oregon has attracted a lot of scrutiny, including some from at least one resident and a conservation group in Bend.
CENTRAL OREGON CONTINUES STRONG ECONOMIC GROWTH (Bend Bulletin) http://www.bendbulletin.com/business/4861144-151/central-oregon-continues-strong-economic-growth
Central Oregon’s economy is still growing rapidly, with no immediate reasons for concern, according to the most recent quarter of data from the Central Oregon Business Index.
The index rose from a revised 137.5 in the second quarter to 141 in the third, the largest single-quarter increase since first quarter 2015.
EDITORIAL: ODOT SHOULD NOT DODGE EXAMINATION OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST — OPINION (Bend Bulletin) http://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/4864975-151/editorial-odot-should-not-dodge-examination-of-conflict#
The state of Oregon is having an extraordinarily difficult time completing a management review of the Oregon Department of Transportation. The latest wrinkle? As things now stand, the New York company hired to do the audit may not look at how well the department avoids conflicts of interest when awarding project contracts.
ERIK LUKENS COLUMN: TIME TO TALK PROPERTY TAXES, SCHOOL FUNDING AND LOCAL CONTROL — OPINION (Bend Bulletin) http://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/4864730-151/erik-lukens-column-time-to-talk-property-taxes
-Tax measures did what they were supposed to, but there are trade-offs-
Oregon’s public schools receive the bulk of their funding from the state. So when Measure 97 fizzled this fall, school officials who’d been salivating over the prospect of a $3 billion annual boost in state tax revenue were left to contemplate a very different future. Oregon now faces a $1.8 billion budget shortfall for the next biennium. To make matters worse, school districts will wrestle with soaring contributions to the states public pension system. Bend-La Pines pension bill will jump by $4.5 million in 2017.
EDITORIAL: LEGISLATURE, DON’T KICK THE CAN — OPINION (Bend Bulletin) http://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/4867937-151/editorial-legislature-dont-kick-the-can
Oregon politicians have been talking about the ultimate can kick: Gambling with borrowed money to reduce the states $22 billion unfunded liability in its pension system for public employees.
Its a misguided idea, and the states Legislative Fiscal Office spelled out why this week.
EDITORIAL: ODFW SHOULD NOT SEEK SPECIAL CARVE-OUTS — OPINION (Bend Bulletin) http://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/4867918-151/editorial-odfw-should-not-seek-special-carve-outs
Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife says it needs money. To that end, a task force is poised to recommend that the 2017 Legislature raise taxes to keep the agency on reasonably sound financial footing.
While ODFW can find ways to spend more money, the proposed surcharges on personal income taxes and beverage containers at the wholesale level are not the best way to provide it. ODFW should not get special tax carve-outs.
COMMENTARY: GET PAST STALE DEBATES ON CHARTER SCHOOLS — GUEST OPINION (Bend Bulletin) http://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/4864399-151/commentary-get-past-stale-debates-on-charter-schools
You’re an enemy of American public schools
You’re an enemy of poor American children
Welcome to our national debate such as it is over charter schools, which received a shot in the arm last week after President-elect Donald Trump nominated Michigan charter-school activist Betsy DeVos for secretary of education. In predictably lockstep fashion, DeVos critics warned that charter schools are harming American public education; meanwhile, her champions said charters improve schooling for Americas least privileged kids.
OREGON UNIVERSITIES TRY ‘INSTANT’ ADMISSIONS TO LAND HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS (Oregon Public Broadcasting) http://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-college-admissions-instant/
Seniors at Portland’s Cleveland High School were packed into the counseling center on a recent November day. Some were at computers filling out college applications. Others were waiting to hear an admissions officer from Portland State University call out their names.
WASHINGTON AGENCIES PREEMPT POTENTIALLY PESKY PORK PROBLEMS (Oregon Public Broadcasting) http://www.opb.org/news/article/washington-feral-pig-hotline/
Feral pigs are a problem in 39 U.S. states and the Northwest is not immune. Thats why officials from four Washington agencies issued a reminder to residents last week to be on the lookout.
So, far this year, there have been only 11 reports of feral pigs in Washington state. That number is up, but Justin Bush said that’s because the states Invasive Species Council is trying to raise awareness. He said if Washington were to become a permanent home for feral pigs, they’d do really well.
OREGON RELEASES PLAN TO CONFRONT ‘CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM’ IN SCHOOL (Oregon Public Broadcasting) http://www.opb.org/news/article/chronic-absent-school-oregon-plan/
The underlying problem seems obvious: teachers cant teach the kids who dont show up.
Officials are trying to get a handle on chronic absenteeism, one of Oregons biggest problems with its schools.
State officials have released a Chronic Absenteeism Report in response to a law Oregon passed earlier this year, though the push to address chronic absenteeism in the state goes back even before that.
OREGON TO CREATE MURRELET PROTECTION PLAN FOR STATE, PRIVATE LANDS (Oregon Public Broadcasting) http://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-to-create-murrelet-protection-plan-for-state-private-lands-/
A threatened sea bird that relies on coastal old growth forests to nest will be getting further protections in Oregon. This week, the Board of Forestry agreed to join with other state agencies to create a plan to conserve marbled murrelet habitat on state and private lands.
WEED, PREDATOR FUNDING ON CHOPPING BLOCK AT ODA (Capital Press) http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20161202/weed-predator-funding-on-chopping-block-at-oda
Funding for weed biocontrol and predator control is on the chopping block at the Oregon Department of Agriculture as the state prepares for a budget shortfall.
The agency plans to eliminate state funding for USDAs Wildlife Services program, which kills coyotes and other predators that prey on livestock. The move would save more than $460,000.
ANALYST: EXPORT MARKET KEY TO GROWTH OF OREGON MICROBREWERIES (Capital Press) http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20161202/analyst-export-market-key-to-growth-of-oregon-microbreweries
Van Havig, co-owner of Gigantic Brewing Co. on the citys hipster-heavy east side, has an app on his phone that provides instantly updated currency exchange rates. The company, formed by Havig and Ben Love five years ago, sells 5 to 7 percent of its beer outside the country, primarily to Canada but a bit to Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The strong U.S. dollar makes Gigantic something of an expensive choice overseas.
OUR VIEW: THE HOLE IN BROWNS BUDGET — OPINION (East Oregonian) http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/editorials/20161202/our-view-the-hole-in-browns-budget
There is a gaping hole in Gov. Kate Browns proposed budget, released last Thursday. Browns financial road map for Oregon has nothing to say about the Public Employees Retirement System PERS and its burgeoning costs to local governments and school districts.
To propose a financial plan for Oregon and omit PERS is a bit like offering a battle strategy and leaving out ammunition costs.
WHEAT GROWERS FACE CHALLENGES AHEAD (Argus Observer) http://www.argusobserver.com/news/wheat-growers-face-challenges-ahead/article_abd2ee80-b8bc-11e6-a822-13c80c1681c1.html
Malheur County members of Oregon Wheat Growers League met Thursday for their annual meeting, with a new leader at the helm.
Ted Buhrig, a Vale area farmer, led the meeting, having succeeded Dana Tuckness, as county president for the Wheat Growers League.
COUNCIL APPROVES RECREATIONAL POT DISPENSARIES (Medford Mail Tribune) http://www.mailtribune.com/news/20161201/council-approves-recreational-pot-dispensaries
The Medford City Council has approved changes to zoning laws allowing the sale of recreational marijuana within city limits.
The council voted unanimously Thursday night with six members in favor to allow permits for Oregon Liquor Control Commission-licensed marijuana dispensaries in commercial areas zoned community commercial, “regional commercial” and “heavy commercial.”
RARE, BIZARRE GLOWING CREATURES STRAND ON OREGON COAST BEACHES (Oregon Coast Beach Connection) http://www.beachconnection.net/news/glowcr120216_401.php
Imagine a giant glowing worm-like creature, some 60 feet long and emitting a bright green-blue. But it’s harmless, and reportedly soft as a boa. Most photos by Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium.
This is a relative of the truly bizarre and rarely-seen creature that has suddenly washed up along the Oregon coast. It’s called a pyrosome, and the ones found here are less than a foot. They are actually massive colonies of cloned creatures related to a kind of jellyfish called a salp.
OREGON LAUNCHES PLAN TO END NEW HIV INFECTIONS IN STATE (Salem News) http://www.salem-news.com/articles/december012016/oregon-end-hiv.php
Oregon today launched an initiative that will end new HIV infections in the state, building on decades of foundational work to introduce a new five-year plan focused on testing, prevention and treatment.
The initiative, called End HIV Oregon, envisions a state in which all new HIV infections are eliminated and where all people living with HIV have access to high-quality care, free from stigma and discrimination.
COULD THIS BE OREGON’S NEXT BIG WIND FARM? (Oregon Business Journal) http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2016/12/02/could-this-be-oregons-next-big-wind-farm.html
A big wind farm proposed for Eastern Oregon now has the permit it needs to go forward from the states Energy Facility Siting Council.
That doesn’t guarantee that the 399-megawatt Saddle Butte project, in both Morrow and Gilliam counties, will be built. Proposed projects, even permitted ones, regularly linger or even vanish, and a wind farm approaching Saddle Butte’s scale hasnt been completed in Oregon in more than four years.
HOUSING STATE OF EMERGENCY (NW Labor Press) https://nwlaborpress.org/2016/12/housing-state-of-emergency/
In Portland, City Council declared a housing state of emergency Sept. 7 for the second year in a row. The emergency is real, and worsening rapidly.
Portland home prices are now out of range for most working people. The median sale price is $385,000, having risen at or above 10 percent annually for the last five years.
OREGON AUDIT FINDS IT VULNERABILITIES REMAIN (Government Technology) http://www.govtech.com/security/Oregon-Audit-Finds-IT-Vulnerabilities-Remain.html
An audit by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office finds vulnerabilities in the systems of 13 state agencies, but an executive order from the Governor assigns more authority over security to the CIO’s office.
ATKINS REFLECTS ON 22-MONTH STINT AS OREGON SECRETARY OF STATE (NW News Network) http://nwnewsnetwork.org/post/atkins-reflects-22-month-stint-oregon-secretary-state
Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins said she was “taken aback” by the amount of misinformation that surrounded Oregon’s recent election process. In a speech at Salem City Club, Atkins said even her own Facebook friends were sharing bad information.
STATE STILL MULLING FEDERAL WAIVERS FOR BETTER HEALTHCARE EVEN AS TRUMP PRESIDENCY LOOMS (The Lund Report) https://www.thelundreport.org/content/state-still-mulling-federal-waivers-better-healthcare-even-trump-presidency-looms
An Oregon Health Authority representative said submitted waivers are often concluded in the last hours of a presidential administration, adding hope that Oregon may get its giant Medicaid waiver and continue the work of the coordinated care organizations.
BROWN BUDGET CLOSES JUNCTION CITY PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, HIKES SIN TAXES (The Lund Report) https://www.thelundreport.org/content/brown-budget-closes-junction-city-psychiatric-hospital-hikes-sin-taxes
The newly elected governors 2017-2019 budget increases the hospital assessment tax and restores an insurance tax to offset a $1 billion reduction in federal funding to Medicaid. Oregon Project Independence would lose funding, and the General Assistance Program for the homeless would end Gov. Kate Brown boldly called on Oregon to cover all children living in Oregon, regardless of immigration status.
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