Politics & Government

Politics & Government

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh Dead At Age 91

Jul 21, 2014
Photo from the Pacific University archives

Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh has died. The 91-year-old passed away Sunday evening at Portland's Providence St. Vincent Medical Center of complications from renal failure. Atiyeh served two terms as governor from 1979 until 1987. He became one of Oregon's most respected Republican political figures and relished his role as an elder statesman. But he still kept a hand in politics.


January 10, 1983. Two months after winning re-election in one of the most lopsided gubernatorial races in Oregon history...

Lane County

Lane County residents might be tempted to call in sick to work Monday to get to two important public hearings. Both of them have to do with Eugene's proposed sick leave ordinance. The public is invited to comment on three Lane County ordinances put forward in reaction to Eugene's efforts. The first exempts the county from Eugene's ordinance. The second exempts other cities in Lane County. The third actually prohibits municipalities from passing labor laws.

Oregon Governor's Race: The First Debate

Jul 19, 2014
Michael Clapp/OPB.

The first gubernatorial debate of the 2014 general election between incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican State Representative Dennis Richardson took place July 18, 2014 at the Salem Convention Center. It was sponsored by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.

Rachel McDonald

The latest design for a proposed new Eugene City Hall was unveiled Monday at  a City Council work session by Rowell Brokaw Architects of Eugene and the Miller Hall Partnership of Seattle. The building would be constructed on the site of the existing city hall, closed nearly two years ago. John Rowell, a principal architect in the Eugene firm, and Project Manager Kaarin Knudson discuss the new municipal center.

Jes Burns

The effort to save historic civic stadium in Eugene continues. Yesterday (Wednesday) supporters were given an extension to raise money to renovate the dilapidated ball park.

The Eugene City Council voted 5 to 4 to extend the fundraising deadline from September 5th to December 1st. Earlier in the year, the city of Eugene won a bid to purchase the site for 4.5 million dollars. That selection was contingent upon the success of groups like “friends of civic stadium” to raise      $3 million dollars *and find an entity to operate the facility. So far they’ve raised about $200,000.

tallasiandude / Flickr

Eugene is looking to follow in the footsteps of Portland and Seattle with a sick leave ordinance. It would require employers to provide paid sick time to their workers within city limits. This endeavor has been welcomed by many low-wage workers and their advocates and met with dismay by many employers. The Lane County Board of Commissioners is trying to sideline the effort.


State Representative Phil Barnhart serves Oregon House District 11 in Salem.  A Democrat, he's been in Salem since 2001.  His constituents are in Central Lane and Linn counties, including parts of Eugene and Springfield.  Barnhart is hosting three issue town halls in Eugene this summer.  They deal respectively with pathways to prosperity, education funding and global warming and jobs:

Pathways to Prosperity: "Growing Middle Class Jobs" (with Sec. of  State Kate Brown, Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy) Monday, July 21, 6:00-7:30 p.m., Eugene Public Library.

City of Eugene

Tuesday, the Lane County Board of Commissioners moved to stymie the City of Eugene's sick leave ordinance before it's passed. It's unclear what effect the county's actions will have.

The County Board proposed three ordinances in reaction to Eugene's proposed sick leave-- one would exempt county employees from the city's rule. Another would exempt other cities in the county from it, and a third forbids other cities in Lane County from making similar rules. The vote was 4 to 0, with Commissioner Sorenson absent.

Rachael McDonald

Lane County may throw a wrench in the City of Eugene's efforts to pass a sick leave ordinance.

The Board of County Commissioners Tuesday  moved forward on their own ordinance that exempts Lane County from the city's sick leave. It may also exempt any business outside Eugene and restrict the ability of other cities in Lane County from passing similar sick leave rules. Board Chair Pat Farr says there are a lot of unanswered questions about how the city's ordinance would affect county government and private businesses outside Eugene.

Springfield Public Schools

Garry Weber will step down on July 31 after serving on the Springfield public schools board for 15 years. Weber says he feels it’s time to step down from the position and open it to a parent of a current student in the school system.

The Springfield board of education is now seeking someone to fill the position. Applicants do not need to live in a certain area of Springfield to qualify. The board will appoint a new member to serve out the remainder of the current term which expires June 2015.

U.S Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon blasted republicans in congress today (Thursday) for passing legislation that will mandate drilling off U.S. coasts and public lands.

As a Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, DeFazio criticized the party line vote to approve H.R. 4899, saying it is the same proposal that passed last year and the year before that and the year before that.

Lane County

Faye Stewart and Jay Bozievich will not face run-off elections this fall. The Lane County Elections office finished re-counting votes in the West and East Lane County Commissioner races from May.

Elections officials in Lane County are re-tallying votes from the May primary. Both East Lane and West Lane County Commissioner races were so close that the Secretary of State said recounts are necessary.

No more browsing at the Eugene Public Library on Sunday mornings.

Beginning July 6th, the library is cutting Sunday hours. It will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. It currently opens at 10:00 a.m.

This is one of the ways the City of Eugene is trying to save money and have a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Under the new budget, the Bethel Branch will remain open, Sheldon will stay open for one year while options for funding are explored, and the downtown library will be open three fewer hours on Sundays.

Douglas County Commissioner Resigns

Jun 11, 2014

Douglas county commissioner Doug Robertson announced his resignation Wednesday, June 11th.

KQEN reports Robertson has had the job since January 1981. He spent years focused on timber management issues and their effects on counties in Oregon. He was the president of the association of O&C Counties and said he felt the time spent visiting Washington took away from his regular work as a county commissioner.

Robertson also acknowledged the timber issue is not yet solved and knows the timing is not perfect for making an exit.

copyright, 2014 KLCC

Lane County Elections will have to conduct a recount in *two commissioner races. That's the latest from the Oregon Secretary of State who Tuesday said the East Lane County seat race was close enough to trigger an automatic recount. Now, it's been found the West Lane race also requires one.
Lane County spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis:

Lane County

The Lane County Elections Office announced Tuesday that the East Lane County Commissioner's race will require a recount.  

Incumbent Commissioner Faye Stewart faced three challengers in the May Primary.  Fifty-percent plus one vote is required to be elected.  But under Oregon law, an automatic recount is triggered if election results are too close.  

Lane County Spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis said it was initially unclear if Stewart's margin of 50-percent plus eight was enough to avoid an automatic recount.  The county sought clarification.  

Robert Lawton

Monroe will begin the planning stages of a new stormwater master plan thanks to a loan from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Monroe's sewer system overflows periodically after heavy rains. Sometimes this sends untreated sewage into the Long Tom River that flows into the Willamette. A new planning loan from the Oregon DEQ allows Monroe officials to begin investigating ways to improve the system and solve the problem.

Jay Bozievich and Faye Stewart were not defeated by opponents in the May Primary. They were elected to another 4-year term on the Lane County Board of Commissioners, according to final election results released Friday.

Bozievich beat Dawn Lesley by 75 votes in the West Lane race, so there won't be a run-off in November.

Stewart won the East Lane race over four opponents, avoiding a runoff against top challenger Kevin Matthews by just seven votes.


Members of the University of Oregon student government are hoping to push back on a federal policy from the 1980s that prevents gay men from donating blood. They will vote on a resolution Wednesday evening.

The resolution condemns US Federal policy that does not allow gay men to donate blood. The policy came about in the early years of the HIV epidemic. But U of O student Robert Morus says it violates the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policy. He says the resolution would implement changes in campus blood drives so students become aware of how the regulation discriminates.


Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio spoke out Friday about the problems plaguing the Veterans Administration, including struggles in his home state.

Desmond O'Boyle

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden participated in a ceremony Thursday (today) in Springfield highlighting the expansion of a new EmX bus stop. The Senator also talked about the importance of increasing access to public transportation, and cutting emissions as well.

Wyden: “It’s clear to me that we need the Executive Branch playing offense on this issue and to put in motion the steps that really only Congress can work with Executive on and that is the challenge of dealing with climate change when you have to bring in India, China, and so many of the developing nations.”

At the urging of the community's young people, the Eugene City Council is considering an ordinance that would make its carbon emission reduction goals mandatory instead of voluntary. The council voted Tuesday to hold a public hearing July 21st on the Climate Recovery Proposal. It would call on the community to cut fossil fuel use in half by 2030 compared to 2010 levels. City Councilor Alan Zelenka spoke in support of the ordinance.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The Washington legislature is trending a bit younger these day. Nine of the 147 members are under-34 year olds. These millennials are breaking some stereotypes about their generation. At the same time they’re trying to encourage other more disengaged millennials to get involved. They’re also finding some generational common ground across party lines.

It’s not every day the four youngest members of the Washington legislature gather in one place. So, as they sat down recently for an interview, an official legislative photographer snapped photos.


A commission recommends Springfield City Councilors should be paid.  KLCC’s  Claude Offenbacher reports the question may go to voters in November.

The Springfield Planning Commission, acting as the Committee for Citizen Involvement, has concluded paying stipends to City Councilors to be justified. The proposal would be to pay 500 dollars to the Mayor and 300 dollars to Councilors monthly. Some Councilors and city staff had prompted a study by the Commission, which then considered the request, taking an Oregon-wide perspective…

Recorded on: May 23rd, 2014

Air Date: May 26th, 2014

Place-making expert and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Vice President Carol Coletta will speak about talent, opportunity and place—three key components to any thriving community.

Updated Primary Results Released

May 23, 2014

Friday, Lane County released updated results for Tuesday’s primary election.

The numbers show incumbent Jay Bozievich ahead of Dawn Lesley by just 85 votes for the West Lane County Commissioner position.

For East Lane County, incumbent Faye Stewart has just over half the votes with 50.1 percent. His closest challenger, Kevin Matthews has about 35 percent.

The Pleasant Hill school bond appears to be passing by 14 votes in favor.

Cedric Hayden

A first time candidate won the race to represent District 7 in the Oregon House of Representatives. Cedric Hayden of Fall Creek beat former Cottage Grove Mayor Gary Williams in the Republican primary. District 7 includes parts of Lane and Douglas Counties. No Democrat ran in the primary.

Hayden is not new to politics. His father Cedric Lee Hayden is a former Oregon legislator.  Hayden contributed to his own campaign and did a lot of fundraising and canvassing voters door-to-door. He says his priority is to bring jobs to the region.

Candidates for two seats on the Board of Lane County Commissioners and supporters of the Pleasant Hill school levy will be in limbo for a couple of days. The Lane County Elections office is sorting through the last ballots cast in the Primary Election. The office will not release an updated vote count until late Friday.

If you think your vote doesn’t count, think again. It's too close to call in the West Lane County Commissioners race. Unofficial results posted at midnight Tuesday show incumbent Jay Bozievich ahead of challenger Dawn Lesley by just 45 votes.

It's still too close to call in the race for West Lane County Commissioner. The latest results have incumbent Jay Bozevich ahead of challenger Dawn Lesley by just 45 votes.  At this point Bozievich has 50.04 percent of votes cast.

Incumbent Faye Stewart seems to be holding onto his East Lane County Commissioner seat. He's ahead of challenger Kevin Matthews with 50.25 percent of votes.