Lawmakers Converge In Salem, And Climate Activists Are Waiting

Nov 18, 2019
Dirk VanderHart/OPB

Oregon lawmakers meeting in Salem on Monday were met by a phalanx of climate advocates, bent on forcing action in 2020 on a policy to regulate the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The governors of Oregon and Washington joined forces Monday to show a unified commitment to replacing the Interstate 5 bridge. 

Democratic Govs. Kate Brown, of Oregon, and Jay Inslee, of Washington, met in Vancouver to announce the first formal steps to develop a finance plan and reevaluate previous studies of replacing the bridge.

They are allocating $44 million to the initial effort of what could eventually be a multibillion dollar bridge replacement project.


The talk of health insurance continues to heat up along with the presidential campaign.  And a poll taken earlier this year in Oregon appears to add momentum to some kind of a single-payer system, like Medicare. 

The poll from last summer showed 75% of Oregonians favoring a single-payer system, even among people who like their current health insurance.  The poll generated some excitement at the group Health Care for All Oregon

House lawmakers have introduced a temporary funding measure to thwart another government shutdown, with hopes to move the legislation to the Senate and the president's desk before federal agencies run out of money at midnight on Thursday.

The legislative measure, known as a continuing resolution, or CR, will fund the government through Dec. 20. This would mark the second continuing resolution to take effect since the fiscal year began Oct. 1.

Jes Burns/OPB

It’s a clear autumn afternoon and the piercing clang of metal on metal rang out across Mill-Mar Ranch. Rancher Ted Birdseye was in a good mood.

“I thought you said you’d be done, Doug!” he yelled jokingly to contractor Doug Carpenter.

Carpenter was just a few hours into what’s expected to be a two-week job.

The Oregon Court of Appeals has blocked the temporary ban on flavored cannabis vaping products.

Last month, the court issued a stay on Gov. Kate Brown’s ban on flavored tobacco vaping products. Now the court has blocked the ban on flavored vaping products that contain cannabis.

Jesse Bontecou with the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association said he’s encouraged.

“We want every decision regulating our industry to be evidentiary based and scientifically based," said Bontecou.

Ben Adler/Capital Public Radio

When California moved its primary election up from June to March, backers hoped the nation’s biggest state would have more sway in nominating presidential candidates. But so far, the jury’s still out. 

Compared to the state party’s spring convention in San Francisco, this one was kind of a snoozer. Instead of rival crowds trying to out-shout each other, the chants were sporadic.

And in their individual interviews during a Univision town hall, the candidates didn’t focus much on California. 

Roseburg Forest Products Announces Additional Layoffs

Nov 18, 2019

Roseburg Forest Products announced Friday it will be laying off 30 employees at its plant in the Douglas County, Oregon, town of Dillard. These layoffs follow an earlier round of about 90 layoffs in August at the same plant.  

The company’s communications director, Rebecca Taylor, said all but one of the 30 employees affected in this most recent layoff received job offers at one of Roseburg’s other plants — two additional plants in Dillard and two in nearby Riddle.  

Oregon’s population increased by more than 40,000 people over the last year — or 1%, according to an estimate out Friday from Portland State University’s Population Research Center.

Since 2010, the state has added more than 400,000 residents.

Still, this year has seen slower growth than in the recent past. Last year, Oregon’s population increased by 54,200 people. The year before that, the population grew by 64,750.

After California wine industry mogul Hugh Reimers illegally destroyed at least 140 acres of forest, meadow and stream in part to make way for new vineyards sometime last winter, according to a report from state investigators, state officials ordered the Krasilsa Pacific Farms manager to repair and mitigate the

Updated on November 18 at 4:30 p.m. ET

The House impeachment inquiry begins its second week of public hearings with the Intelligence Committee scheduled to hear testimony from nine more witnesses over three days.

schauhi via pixabay

Pacific Gas and Electric may shut off power again to customers in the Sierra Foothills, North Valley and North Bay this week because of possible fire weather. 

The utility said in a statement Sunday that its teams are monitoring the forecast, which currently predicts high winds for Wednesday, Nov. 20.

“At present, projections reflect a possible weather event similar to previous PSPS [public safety power shutoff] events that impacted about 180,000 customers,” PG&E said.

What We Learned From The 1st Week Of Impeachment Hearings

Nov 16, 2019

The first week of Trump impeachment inquiry hearings is in the books.

If you were paying attention to the thousands of pages of closed-door testimonies, you would recognize some of the details that emerged.

But there were some new and important wrinkles from the public hearings with acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor; George Kent, a top State Department official with oversight of Ukraine affairs; and Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who described a plot to oust her led by President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Hemp farming exploded after the 2018 Farm Bill passed last December. The bill decriminalized the plant at the federal level, opening the door for many U.S. farmers to grow and sell hemp.

Over the past year, licensed hemp acreage increased more than 445%, according to the advocacy and research group Vote Hemp. More than 510,000 acres of hemp were licensed in 2019, versus about 112,000 acres in 2018.

Oregon is not very good at recycling, and it’s getting worse, according to a new report. Overall recycling rates in the state have steadily declined for the last several years, even as the amount of waste generated per person in the state has grown.

Federal energy regulators released the final environmental impact findings Friday for the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline.

This is the last major permitting document that will be published before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission makes a final decision on the southern Oregon project.

For the third year running, Oregon leaders say they’ll take a crack at regulating the state’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. But with the month-long legislative session set to begin Feb. 3, just what those regulations will look like is still anybody’s guess.

What does seem clear: Any proposal will be less strict than one that failed dramatically earlier this year.

What’s On Tap At This Weekend’s California Democratic Convention

Nov 15, 2019
Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

Like Comic-Con for progressive political nerds and consultants, the California Democratic Party’s biannual convention — one of the year’s largest gathering of like-minded partisans — will kick off in Long Beach this weekend with an estimated 5,000 attendees. 

Some will be coming to snap selfies with presidential candidates, although for all the predictions of this state’s enhanced role in the selecting the party’s nominee, neither of the frontrunner White House challengers will be there.


The Internet was supposed to be a powerful force for good and democracy in the world.  And it certainly opened up the world in new ways... until it didn't. 

A few big players rule the Web, Google and Amazon among them.  Ramesh Srinivasan, who teaches information studies and design media arts at UCLA, sees a future with further democratization, and a lessening of inequality. 

He describes the vision in his book Beyond the Valley: How Innovators around the World are Overcoming Inequality and Creating the Technologies of Tomorrow

The Commonheart is an 8-piece soul band from Pittsburgh. Stocked with fantastic instrumentalists and vocalists at every spot, the band flows seamlessly through rock, soul, r&b, gospel and more on their latest album Pressure.