Politics & Government

Politics & Government

Tiffany Eckert / KLCC

Oregon Democrat Peter DeFazio has won a 15th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He arrived at a Democratic watch party at Cozmic Pizza in downtown Eugene Tuesday night to a throng of supporters.

Representative DeFazio reflected on the mid-term election and his opponent, Art Robinson.

Election Results

Nov 4, 2014

UPDATE: 9:01 am

All five incumbents have won re-election including:

Won: U.S. House District 1 (D) Suzanne Bonamici

Won: U.S. House District 2 (R) Greg Walden

Won: U.S. House District 3 (D) Earl Blumenauer

Won: U.S. House District 4 (D) Peter DeFazio

Won: U.S. House District 5 (D) Kurt Schrader

Larry Rich has defeated Mike Baker for Mayor of Roseburg.

Oregon General Election Unofficial Results

Karen Richards

What do Voodoo Doughnuts, the U of O duck, and  Oregon’s Secretary of State have in common? They were all on campus today (Monday) encouraging students to vote.

Dozens of students dropped their ballots in the box at U of O’s Erb Memorial Union at the event. Many stopped to talk to Scott Coltrane, the university’s interim president, and Kate Brown, Oregon’s Secretary of State. Brown says turnout is slightly behind where it was four years ago, but she’s confident the final numbers will at least equal that election:

Lane County

Lane County Commissioners Sid Leiken and Jay Bozievich released a statement Friday afternoon in response to the Oregon State Bar clearing a former administrator of criminal conduct.

The commissioners say Liane Inkster, formerly Liane Richardson, violated county policy by selling more leave time than was allowed and that she lied about it. Inkster was fired last year.

Lane County

Liane Richardson, who was fired as Lane County Administrator last year, has been cleared of criminal conduct by the Oregon State Bar. The Bar's conclusions point to knowledge and approval of her actions on the part of two County commissioners.

Richardson, who now goes by Inkster, was fired from her job as Lane County Administrator after it was revealed that she had been converting leave time to take home pay in order to boost her paycheck.

John Rosman / OPB

Next week, voters in Oregon will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana. In rural southwest Oregon growers are divided by ballot Measure 91. Some see benefits to a new legal market. Others fear their way life is about to change. It’s the first story in our new series, Cannabis Country, a look inside Southwest Oregon’s pot economy.

In the hills that surround cities like Medford and Roseburg cannabis is a cottage industry. Thousands have signed up to grow the plant under the protection of the state’s medical marijuana program. In October, they cut the valuable flowers.

Liam Moriarty / JPR

Oregon’s Third Senate District – which comprises southern Jackson County including most of Medford – is one of several key districts where the outcome of the race could overturn Democratic control of the narrowly-divided state Senate. JPR's Liam Moriarty looks at the re-match between incumbent Democrat Alan Bates and Republican challenger, Dave Dotterrer.

Lane County 911 Center To Hire More Employees

Oct 30, 2014
eugene-or.gov

The Central Lane County 911 Communications Center is experiencing a high turnover rate. The emergency call center is in the process of hiring new employees. KLCC’s Corinne Boyer has more.

Working at a 911 call center is a strenuous job. Program manager Rob Poirier says finding people to fill the positions can be difficult. Potential employees need to be able to multitask. Because the center is open every day, candidates must understand they are needed throughout the year and on holidays.

dpo.org

Terry Thompson, one of three Lincoln County commissioners, seeks a fourth four-year term.  He faces a challenge this November from Lincoln City Mayor Dick Anderson.

KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher spoke with both candidates

Ashley Ahearn / Earthfix

When people vote, the environment is not always at the top of their minds.
But behind the scenes, the environment is a big part of this year’s election.
Environmental groups have emerged as some of the top spenders in elections in the Northwest - thanks to the help of California Billionaire, Tom Steyer.

 It’s about 8AM. I’m in Bellingham about to go mall walking.

Doug Ericksen: "Hey are you Ashley? Alright let’s roll. We’re on the clock."

Senator Doug Ericksen gently coaxes his aging father, Len, on his morning walk around the Bellis Fair Mall.

If you ever doubted the importance of your vote, a would-be Lane Electric director may change your mind.

Lynn Bowers didn’t win her bid to be one of seven directors Monday night at Lane Electric’s annual meeting. She wasn’t even one of the top two vote-getters. 

Lane Electric is a cooperative serving a rural area around Eugene-Springfield. Six candidates vied for Central District director.  Bowers picks up the story:

Bowers: “The top two were Nathan Philips, 257 votes, and Ingrid Kessler at 256.”

A one-vote difference.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Two northwestern states are considering whether to follow Washington’s lead and legalize recreational marijuana. Oregon and Alaska will each take up the question on Nov. 4, and both ballot measures reflect lessons learned in Washington.

There are plenty of different approaches to legalizing recreational marijuana, but for starters, there are basically two options on the menu: Colorado and Washington. So which one is more appealing to our neighbor states?

Newport News Times

Newport citizens will choose between two candidates for this years' mayoral race. Incumbent Sandra Roumagoux has been at the job for two years. She's being challenged by Dean Sawyer, who is currently the Emergency Management Planner for the Siletz Tribe.

Sawyer previously worked for more than 30 years as a Sergeant in the Newport Police Department. He is a current city councilor. Saywer wants to increase citizen participation in government by holding more open town hall meetings where people can ask questions.

www.ci.florence.or.us

After the November election, the city of Florence may have a new mayor and turnover in three of the four city council seats.

Nola Xavier has been mayor of Florence two years. Before that, she was a city councilor for eight years. She wants to serve another term in order to complete several ongoing projects:

Xavier: "We're in the process of hiring a new city manager. We need a new police chief. We've been working with an interim in both of those positions for quite some time."

Mjpresson Wikimedia

A ballot measure in Sisters asks voters to decide if medical marijuana dispensaries should be allowed to operate within city limits.

Earlier in the year, the Sisters City Council adopted a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. Sisters wasn't ready to welcome licensed medical pot shops. Now, the 1,200 or so registered voters in the small tourist town will decide on Measure 9-101. It would amend the municipal code and allow dispensaries.

McKibben Womack is president of the Sisters City Council. He hears the pros and cons of medical marijuana from constituents.

Lincoln County Commission  Chairman Terry Thompson was adamant Tuesday the Coast Guard Air Station helicopter operations slated to be moved to North Bend are not going to leave Newport. 

Thompson emerged from a joint meeting with Newport City and Port officials and said:

(Thompson) "We're going to keep pushing.  They're going to take that helicopter out of our hands over our cold dead bodies.  It isn’t going to happen."

Newport Public Library

Lincoln County libraries are hoping voters will say “yes” to ballot Measure 21-156. The measure asks the Library District to renew the levy that’s been funding the county’s five public libraries since the mid-90s.

Measure 21-156 asks county voters living outside of Lincoln City, Newport, Toledo and Yachats to renew the levy taxing nine cents on every 1,000 dollars of property value. These voters make up the Lincoln County Library District. The tax allows residents throughout the county access to the library. Ted Smith, the director at Newport Public Library explains:

The Lane County Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved a local tax on marijuana. The ordinance passed 4 to 1 after only one person spoke at a public hearing.
 

USGS

Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District is a Republican stronghold. The GOP has held the seat since early 1981, and that likely won’t change this November.
This year’s Democratic challenger is hoping to make inroads by positioning herself as a moderate alternative on issues such as the economy and natural resources.

cityofroseburg.org

The City of Roseburg has two candidates on the ballot for mayor this year. Incumbent Larry Rich has served 8 terms as mayor. He is being challenged by Transportation Planning Manager, Mike Baker.

Larry Rich works as the Assistant Principle at Roseburg High School. He’s proud of infrastructure projects he’s worked on including the Highway 138 Corridor and Waterfront Improvements. Rich describes himself as the same person regardless if there is an election going on.

Newport News Times

The public has a chance to give comment and hear from elected officials, Monday, regarding the imminent closure of the U.S. Coast Guard Air Facility in Newport. The closure would remove the rescue helicopter stationed there. Air rescue efforts would be directed to stations in Astoria or North Bend; both are about an hour flight away from Newport. Friday, it was announced Rear Admiral Richard Gromlich will be attending Monday’s meeting. Newport Mayor Sandra Roumagoux says the community has been torn apart from the announcement especially with crab season just around the corner.

Karen Richards

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler held a roundtable in Eugene today to discuss retirement savings issues.

At the meeting on LCC's downtown campus, Senator Wyden and Treasurer Wheeler heard from a couple dozen students, retirees, and professionals. They were looking for ideas to help shape an Oregon plan for retirement security.

Wyden said the days of working for the same company for decades, and retiring with a healthy pension, have gone the way of black and white TV:

John Stark / KLCC

Incumbent Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio and his Republican challenger Art Robinson traded barbs Wednesday night in a debate at the University of Oregon Law School in Eugene. They were joined by Green Party candidate Michael Bielstein discussing topics including funding for rural counties, liquefied natural gas terminals, oil trains, climate change and education.

Stephanie Yao Long / The Oregonian

The behavior of Oregon's First Lady provoked the sharpest exchanges during a gubernatorial debate in Portland Tuesday night on KGW television. Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber declared that he would freeze out his fiancé from any policy-making roles in the near-term.

OPB News

U-S Senator Jeff Merkley and his Republican challenger Monica Wehby went head-to-head Tuesday on Medford TV station KOBI. In their only scheduled debate, both candidates sought to portray the other as extreme and out of touch with everyday Oregonians, while positioning themselves as champions of working people. 

Rachael McDonald

After outcry from neighbors of Buford Park and Mount Pisgah, Lane County has canceled large events at Emerald Meadows for 2015. Meanwhile it's gathering public input on how to manage such gatherings at County parks in the future.

Oregon's November election features a governor's race and a couple of hotly-debated measures. In order to cast a ballot, voters must register by Tuesday.

Lane County Clerk Cheryl Betschart says there are several ways to register to vote by Tuesday:

Betschart: "You can go online at Oregonvotes.gov. That is available for those that have a driver's license, an Oregon i.d. card, or a permit.  And that can be done from the convenience of your home at a computer and that can happen all the way up to 11:59 p.m."

Wikimedia Commons

Eugene is among many cities and counties in Oregon considering a tax on recreational marijuana. The City Council wants to hear from the public before the November Election.

Mjpresson Wikimedia

The Lane County Board of Commissioners voted 4 to 1 Tuesday to move forward with a local tax on recreational marijuana. The tax would be conditional on Oregon voters approving Measure 91, which would legalize recreational pot.  Commissioner Pete Sorenson was the only no vote. The board had been considering taxing medical marijuana as well but decided not to do so.

The board will hold public hearing on the proposed ordinance at its regular meeting next Tuesday.

www.newslincolncounty.com

The Port of Newport plans to expand, yet an important safety service is scheduled to be eliminated. Newport's Coast Guard air facility, including its rescue helicopter station, is slated to close at the end of November.

Once the Newport facility closes, the closest rescue helicopters will be in North Bend, 60 minutes away by air. Captain Todd Trimpert is Commander at the North Bend station. He says the government is under pressure to allocate their resources more effectively:

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