Politics & Government

Politics & Government

Panoramio.com

Legislation was introduced last week to improve water management on the Crooked River near Prineville.  Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley spoke Friday about the bill.

Merkley: "You know how we say here in the West: Whiskey, that's for drinking, and water, that's for fighting."

Recorded on: Friday, November 22, 2013
Air date: Monday, November 25, 2013

Merkley Unveils 'Manufacturing Jobs For America' Package

Nov 22, 2013
Desmond O'Boyle

Manufacturing is not as abundant as it once was in Oregon, but it accounts for 29% of the Gross State Product. Senator Jeff Merkley is part of a coalition of 21 lawmakers drafting legislation to boost the sector.

Senator Merkley visited Johnson Crushers International near Springfield, Friday, to promote the "Manufacturing Jobs for America" package. It includes two bills. One focuses on technical educational training and the other emphasizes grants to expand energy efficiency. Merkley says it's important to nurture domestic job growth.

wikepedia

North Lincoln County's Fire and Rescue publicist was listening to KLCC Friday morning. Jim Kusz was moved by the Kennedy assassination remembrances  on "Here and Now". He called to tell his story of being a third-grader in Chicago on a class trip to the circus.

A lawyer who lost his job with Lane County has been awarded attorney's fees after winning a public records lawsuit. Lane County Circuit Judge Jody Mooney ruled today Wednesday that the county must pay Marc Kardell $14 thousand.

Marc Kardell was successful in October in a suit against Lane County. Judge Mooney found the county violated state public records laws by delaying it's response to Kardell's request by 3 months. Kardell spoke outside the courthouse following the judge's decision to award attorney's fees.

Oregon Historical Society

An effort to honor a former Oregon governor is shifting into second gear.  This week, organizers are beginning to collect signatures to get an initiative establishing Tom McCall Day on the November 2014 ballot.

Tom McCall was governor from 1967 to 1975 and during that time, chalked up an impressive record as a champion of the environment.  

Rachael McDonald

Friday, November 15, 2013
Air date: Monday, November 18, 2013

Debate over the definitions of prescribed uses of the O&C forestlands has been going on since the late 1980s. Despite years of discussion, agreement about how much relative weight should be given each use remains unsettled. The debate has recently flared anew as revenues from O&C timber harvests shrink and Congressional programs to replace those revenues have proved unreliable, insufficient, and likely soon-to-be nonexistent.

Bend Sewer System To Get Overhauled

Nov 18, 2013

The city of Bend is currently in the planning stages for a new sewer system. This new infrastructure is being set up with help from the community.

Lincoln County

An Oregon district attorney, who's internationally recognized for his work to curtail methamphetamine manufacturing, is leaving his job.

City Club of Eugene: GMO's - State or Local Control?

Nov 11, 2013

Recorded on Friday, November 8, 2013

Airing on Monday, November 11, 2013

Farmers and consumers don’t always see eye-to-eye when it comes to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Two viewpoints on the business and politics of 21st-century Lane County agriculture are on tap for the City Club of Eugene on November 8.

courtesy of Moms Demand Action

The decision to lift a firearms ban in Oregon’s St. Helens School District near Portland has some moms unhappy. 

The newly-elected school board decided to reverse its decision to ban firearms on campus for teachers who have Concealed Handgun Licenses. The ban was implemented by the previous board last March. Sarah Finger McDonald is a spokeswoman for the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action, a gun control advocacy group. She says the District was vague about its intentions to lift the ban.

City of Eugene

Eugene budget planners are trying to find a long-term solution to recurring financial shortfalls. Last spring city voters rejected a proposed fee to pay for services. The city faced a $5.2 million dollar budget shortfall. Currently it's tapping into reserves to fund libraries, recreation and other services.

Ken Beeson is a citizen member of the Budget Committee. He says over the past 5 years the city has reduced its general fund by about 24 million dollars.

Angela Kellner

College students and business leaders joined Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley Friday in calling on congress to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. On Thursday the senate passed the Employment Anti-Discrimination Act.  It passed by a 2-to-1 margin with 10 Republicans joining Democrats. Senator Merkley helped pass Oregon's workplace protection law in 2007 when he was speaker of the Oregon House. He says not all states offer the same employment protections for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or trans-gendered.

wikepedia

Voters in Corvallis Tuesday approved a 5-year property tax levy to fund city services including the library, pool, senior center, public safety and social service organizations.

The levy will raise more than 3 million dollars per year. The measure passed narrowly with 52 percent of voters in favor. Measure 2-86 will charge property owners about 82 cents for 1000 dollar assessed value.

Julie Manning is Mayor of Corvallis. She is grateful to voters for approving the levy.

City of Springfield

Springfield has hired a new Chief of Police. Medford Deputy Police Chief Tim Doney will start his new job  in December.

47-year-old Doney has been with Medford PD for 25 years.  The chief position had 50 applicants and Doney was chosen from 4 finalists. Springfield City Manager Gino Grimaldi says Doney's extensive experience was a big factor.

Grimaldi: "You look for 2 things. His experience as an officer is one. The other thing you look for is experience. Leadership and leadership potential."

Voters in three Oregon counties have rejected property tax increases to fund public safety and jails. The levies in Curry, Polk, and Columbia counties would have made up for cuts to federal timber aid.

Voters in Curry County on Oregon’s south coast soundly defeated their safety levy.
That leaves the county 2 million dollars short of funding next year for the jail and six deputies. Commissioner David Itzen says the county may try one last time to pass a safety levy next May.

Austin Jenkins

A record twenty-two million dollars in opposition spending appears to have paid off for grocery, seed and pesticide makers. Washington voters  Tuesday night were rejecting a ballot measure to require GMO-labeling of foods. Opponents declared victory.

The music at the Yes on 522 party in Seattle’s Pioneer Square was upbeat. But the speeches were of the more subdued variety. Trudy Bialic of PCC Natural Markets is a campaign spokesperson. She addressed the crowd after early returns showed the measure down by nearly double digits.

Lane Community College

Lane Community College has lost a promoter.

Larry Romine, long time board member, writer and teacher, died October 25th, at the age of 83. 

Larry Romine was a reporter for the Register-Guard back in 1960's, the heyday of the daily paper. He taught journalism at LCC and the University of Oregon.  Larry served two terms on the Lane Board of Education. His friend and colleague Pat Albright filled the board position from District 5 when Larry retired.

Rancher Eyes Oregon Governor's Race

Nov 5, 2013
Chris Lehman

Conventional wisdom in Salem is that Governor John Kitzhaber will run for re-election next year. But that’s not a given. The 66-year-old Democrat has repeatedly said he’s not made up his mind. That's left potential Republican candidates wondering what the governor’s race will look like next year. There’s one candidate who has entered the fray that you may not have heard of. He says everything he needs to know, he learned in the fields of central Oregon. He even wrote a song about it.

Voters across Oregon have until 8pm Tuesday evening to turn in their ballots.  Overall, it's been a rather uneventful general election, with mostly small communities voting on local measures.  

But next year, things are sure to be different.  Not only will Congressional seats be up for grabs, several high-stakes issues are making their way to the ballot.

albanyvisitors.com

The city of Albany has been coping with more people panhandling lately-- but the number of people who are homeless there remains steady.

In 2006, Albany closed a homeless camp in one of its parks. Since then, homeless advocates have been meeting annually to discuss services for those who are in need.

Marilyn Smith is spokeswoman for the City of Albany. She says they're hoping more members of the general public will attend Wednesday's summit.

The Unsettled Future of Eugene’s Multiple Unit Property Tax Exemption: A Debate

The City of Eugene’s controversial multiple unit property tax exemption (MUPTE) program has been under a lot of scrutiny in recent years.

The City of Eugene has used MUPTE to enable re-development of     underutilized areas in our downtown. Now, neighborhood activist Paul Conte has produced a ballot initiative that would repeal this program.  So we ask the question: Should we retain MUPTE as a tool to enable downtown re-development, or should we eliminate it?

Beginning Friday, more than 800,000 Oregonians receiving SNAP, or food benefits, will see a reduction in their monthly stipend.  The change is the result of an expiring federal stimulus program put in place during the recession.  

How much food can you buy with ten dollars?  A loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, a bag of carrots, a couple apples, maybe some off-brand pretzels… not much more.  But it enough to provide a person a meal a day for about a week.  

Jes Burns

Lane County  officials remind voters this election to only use ballot drop boxes that are open. 

Three groups of Lane County residents are casting ballots in the general election – those in the Springfield and Junction City School Districts and residents in the River Road Park and Recreation District.  Correspondingly, only drop boxes in Junction City, Springfield and at the River Road Park office are open.   

City of Eugene

Monday night, the Eugene City Council approved two locations for homeless people to pitch their tents. Although the city has some work to do first, volunteer organizations say they are ready to go.

The council voted 6 to 2 to allow campsites on Chambers Street at Northwest Expressway and Roosevelt Boulevard near Garfield. Michael Wisth is with the City of Eugene.

Wisth: "We have no set timeline but we are trying to work quickly to roll out a template for agreements with any group that will be managing the site."

New Police And Fire Station Before Albany Voters

Oct 29, 2013
City of Albany

Elected officials in Albany say the city needs two new public safety facilities, but they don't have $20 million to pay for them.  Officials are hoping voters will authorize the city to borrow the money. 

Mayor Sharon Konopa says for many years, Albany officials have realized their downtown fire station needs to be replaced.  

Konopa: "And also, we have needed to expand our existing police station."

The Science of Forest Management and Conservation

Oct 28, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm

Air Date: October 28, 2013

Guest Speakers: Professor Jerry F. Franklin, University of Washington; and Professor K. Norman Johnson, Oregon State University

Roughly half of Oregon’s 61 million acres of land area is forest land. The federal government owns about 60 percent of the forests, the state owns about 3 percent, Native American tribes about 2 percent, and private citizens the remaining 35 percent.

Governor Barbara Roberts On Up The Capitol Steps

Oct 28, 2013

Former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts speaks on her new book, Up the Capitol Steps: A Women's March to the Governorship. She tells us the story of her rise to power, beginning as a school board member, to Secretary of State, to Oregon's first female Governor.

Her talk was recorded at the University of Oregon on October 23, 2013. It was sponsored by the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics.

US House Approves Small Port Dredging

Oct 24, 2013
City of Coos Bay

The US House of Representative has passed legislation that would provide harbor maintenance for small ports along Oregon’s coast.  A lack of federal funds has led to a major backlog on dredging and maintenance projects, threatening the economy of several cities.

Representative Peter DeFazio is one of 47 co-sponsors of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013.  He spoke on the House floor Wednesday.

Lincoln County

As politics in Washington, DC have become increasingly partisan and dysfunctional, one county in Oregon could potentially move the opposite direction.   

On Election Day, November 5th, residents of Lincoln County will decide whether to change the way they elect their county commissioners.  

Currently commissioners in Lincoln County run partisan races – meaning they declare their candidacy as a Republican, Democrat or another political party.  If challenged within that party, they go through primary elections, and then move to the general ballot.

Pages