Politics & Government

Politics & Government

greencleaningproducts.com

New guidelines in Oregon are designed to direct state agencies to purchase fewer toxic products. Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordan approved the new guidelines Wednesday. Some examples are; using owls to control rats instead of poison, or buying less toxic cleaning products. The changes were prompted by Governor John Kitzhaber in 2012 as part of an effort to increase the number of people and plant friendly products state agencies use. Department of Administrative Services Spokesman Mathew Shelby says what makes Oregon unique is its size.

Rachael McDonald

Springfield is slowing down its efforts to expand its Urban Growth Boundary. The city has proposed designating more areas for industrial development. Residents along Seavey Loop Road near Mt. Pisgah have voiced opposition to plans to develop along College View, which parallels Interstate 5. Springfield spokesman Niel Laudati says the City Council decided Monday to make the effort more collaborative with neighbors.

Rachael McDonald

The Lane County Board of Commissioners heard 2 hours of public testimony Tuesday, much of it opposing a lifting a moratorium on spraying herbicides on county roads. The board will form a task force to look at the issue.

Lane County Commissioners adopted the no spray policy in 2008.
Mary Gabriel is a doctor at Peacehealth. She urged the board not to go back to roadside spraying.

Corinne Boyer

The Eugene City Council pressed the pause button Monday night on taking down City Hall. 

Meeting Date: September 5th, 2014

Air Date: September 8th, 2014

A successful petition drive has placed the Open Primary/Top Two election system on Oregon’s November ballot. The statutory measure will be listed on the ballot as “Changes general election nomination processes: provides for single primary ballot listing candidates; top two advance.”

lanecounty.org

Lane County's new Poverty and Homeless Board recently met for the first time. The 17 member panel is charged with finding solutions to persistent homeless problems.

Last year Lane County Board of Commissioners formed the board following the removal of two homeless camps in Eugene. The board consists of elected officials, community leaders, and a formerly homeless person. Lane County Human Services spokeswoman Pearl Wolfe is excited for the diversity of board members.

Desmond O'Boyle

The Republican nominee for Oregon’s U.S. Senate seat, Doctor Monica Wehby, stopped by a campaign kick-starter rally Friday. About 25 supporters applauded as the challenger arrived in a small office near downtown Eugene. Wehby is running against incumbent Democrat Jeff Merkley. Wehby’s campaign is focusing their strategy on the State’s failed Cover Oregon health exchange. Wehby says the biggest problem with the health exchange was it was overreaching. She favors a free market “patient-centered” approach that includes more collaboration with doctors.

Corinne Boyer

Senator Jeff Merkley rallied his Democratic base at the opening of his campaign office in Eugene Thursday. He's framing the election as grass roots versus special interests.

Merkley is being challenged by Republican Monica Wehby, a doctor from Portland.

Merkley says Lane County is critical in his campaign for a second term in the U.S. Senate. He says out-of-state money has been funneled toward his opponent.

Corinne Boyer

The first 16-foot cedar slat was removed from the condemned Eugene City Hall Wednesday. City leaders held a ceremony marking the beginning of deconstruction of the 50-year old building. Construction of a new City Hall is slated to begin in 2015.

Mayor Kitty Piercy was flanked by sign-holding protestors as she addressed the small assembly.

Piercy: "And I just might say, how could you celebrate a milestone in the civic history of our community without controversy. It's part of who we are as a participatory community."

A study released by an Oregon State University sociologist says policy will determine the economic impact of legal marijuana. A recently published report is being cited by policymakers crafting marijuana legislation in Oregon.

Oregon voters will decide in November whether to legalize recreational marijuana production and use. OSU researcher Seth Crawford says the price for the average consumer will determine if someone chooses to buy pot legally.

Crawford: "They are much more likely to stay in that grey market if the prices are very high on the legal market."

Kerry Arndt / Congressman DeFazio's office

Congressman Peter DeFazio is home in Oregon this month. He's in the midst of 19 town hall meetings as he travels his district. KLCC caught up with the Springfield Democrat at his Eugene office.

I asked him about legislation to increase logging on Oregon's O & C lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM. DeFazio's bill was passed by the House a year ago. Senator Ron Wyden introduced his own bill that's a little different from DeFazio's.

Police reports show at least one of the four Ethiopian athletes who went missing after the World Junior Championships in Eugene last month planned to seek asylum. We checked in with an immigration lawyer to find out their chances of success.

Oregon Representative Peter Defazio is continuing a string of town hall meetings this week with stops Lane, Douglass, and Linn Counties.  

The US House is adjourned for summer break and that means lawmakers all over the country are back in their Districts meeting with constituents.  Oregon District 4 Representative Peter DeFazio is holding nine town hall meetings this week.  The stops include Roseburg on Tuesday; Lebanon, Albany and Corvallis on Wednesday; and Florence and Veneta on Thursday.

The 15 Ounce Pound by Joseph Pietri

Aug 15, 2014

KLCC's Tripp Sommer speaks with Joseph Pietri, author of "The 15-Ounce Pound:Big Pharma's Plan to Patent Pot".

The city of Coos Bay voted 6 to 1 last week to enforce an existing ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits.

www.oregonlive.com

Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler, the state’s banker, was in Eugene Tuesday.  In his first full term, the 51-year-old Democrat leads the bipartisan Retirement Savings Task Force studying how to improve retirement savings options for Oregonians.  Before presiding over the first in a statewide series of conversations on the topic, Wheeler stopped by the KLCC studios and spoke with KLCC's Claude Offenbacher.

Corvallis Gazette-Times

Benton County is unsure how to manage an 18 mile railroad corridor it purchased late last year. The County is seeking public comment on the best use of land that extends from Monroe to just south of Corvallis.

Rachael McDonald

Residents near Mount Pisgah are opposed to a plan by the City of Springfield to increase its Urban Growth Boundary. The group "No Industrial Pisgah" is meeting with two state lawmakers this week to find out if there's a way to prevent the UGB expansion.

Lane County

Lane County is trying to be more open to the public by providing free access to emails and to meeting rooms.

Members of the public and the media can now go to the County Administrator's office and log-in to a computer terminal to read emails between the County Commissioners and the Administrator. The terminal displays messages in an email group collected when constituents contact their commissioners from the Lane County website. County Administrator Steve Mokrohisky says these emails have been available by request, for a fee, in the past.

Walidah Imarisha

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. We celebrate it at a time when Oregon's population is not quite two-percent African-American.  A Portland State University professor is criss-crossing the state asking this provocative question: Why aren't there more blacks in Oregon?

It was a bittersweet commemoration as a packed auditorium listened to the Northwest Freedom Singers and heard Portland State University professor Walidah Imarisha says that in the 1840's, Oregon became the only U.S. territory with a racial exclusion law:

University of Oregon

Even though a new Eugene City Hall is now in preliminary design phase, some Eugenians still have reservations.  Among these is architect Jerry Diethelm. Although having no direct involvement with the project, he thinks the proposed city hall is the wrong building in the wrong place.  He’s asked how his city hall vision differs from that of the City Council.  On July 18, John Rowell of Rowell-Brokaw architects, a principal designer of the new Eugene City Hall, was on KLCC discussing his firm’s plans.  That interview can be heard below this story.

sworegonarchitect

Betty Taylor, at age 88, is the senior member in age and service on the Eugene City Council.  She’s represented the City’s Ward 2 since 1997. Of the Council’s eight members,  she’s the only one advocating retention and remodeling of the current City Hall, even as the Council seems to have moved on by approving design work on a new building.       Tuesday, KLCC’s Claude Offenbacher asked her why she remains the lone holdout:

Taylor: “I agree that it’s already out of the barn, but I still think it was the wrong decision, and that’s what I’ll say if I’m asked.”

tallasiandude / Flickr

The Eugene City Council has joined Seattle, Portland and San Francisco in approving a mandatory sick leave law. The ordinance passed Monday on a 5-3 vote.

What's Up With The Whit?

Jul 28, 2014

Recorded on: 7/25 2014

Air Date: 7/28 2014

For many years, the Whiteaker neighborhood was perceived as Eugene’s poorest, most dangerous, and funkiest. But during the past five years, a dynamic growth spurt has brought new breweries, wineries, restaurants, and other businesses to in The Whit. The dizzying pace of change in the neighborhood means new challenges for those who live and work there; they face parking, noise, and other issues related to all the increased activity.

Groups Gather To Show Support For Young Immigrants

Jul 27, 2014
Photo courtesy of the Oregon AFL-CIO.

Some Oregonians are concerned for the thousands of children crossing the southern U.S. border from Central America. Last week, a small group gathered in Portland to express concerns holding up signs welcoming the young immigrants.

Dave Fidanque is member of Oregon's American Civil Liberties Union. He describes a class action lawsuit filed earlier this month in Seattle.

Desmond O'Boyle

An overwhelming number of people attended the Eugene City Council's public comment hearing Monday night. Citizens packed Harris Hall to voice their concerns, support, or opposition to the proposed sick leave ordinance.

About 60 people commented on the proposed sick leave ordinance. Lindy Moore heads the Emerald Executive Association and opposes the ordinance.

Rachael McDonald

The Lane County Board of Commissioners has made the unprecedented move of barring cities in the county from passing laws that impact employment. The vote Monday morning is meant to pre-empt the City of Eugene's efforts to pass a sick leave ordinance.

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.

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