Politics & Government

Politics & Government
5:41 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Financial Aid To Help Four Oregon Counties After February Ice Storm

Credit Angela Kellner

Financial assistance is now available to repair utilities and roads in four Oregon counties after February's ice storm. 

It's been two months since the ice storm hit the Willamette Valley. But residents and businesses are still paying the price. Recently, federal aid became available for Benton, Lane, Linn, and Lincoln counties after President Obama declared the storm a disaster on April 4th.

Oregon's Office of Emergency Management, or O.E.M., announced the Public Assistant Grant Program to help repair property and rebuild infrastructure.

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Budget
3:43 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Tax Day Protestors Urge Elected Officials To Fight Climate Change, Not War

Kelsey Juliana speaks Tuesday in front of the Eugene post office.
Credit Karen Richards

Tuesday, several local activist groups rallied in front of Eugene’s downtown post office to call on Congress to redirect the country’s tax dollars.

The theme of this year’s tax day gathering was “Fight Climate Change, Not War.” As local taxpayers mailed their returns to the IRS, leaders of social and environmental groups took turns speaking and singing. They asked the government to spend less on defense and allocate more for the environment.

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Politics & Government
1:53 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

HUD Announces Millions In Funding For Homeless Projects

Catholic Community Services' McKenzie Transitions Program received $575,836 from HUD for homeless projects.
Credit Catholic Community Services

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $21 million to support homeless projects in Oregon. The money will be spread across 118 programs this year. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert spoke to one of the agencies providing critical housing and services to families in Lane County.

Catholic Community Services in Eugene is a basic needs provider. They sponsor McKenzie Transitions, which helps people take long term steps to move out of poverty. Tom Mulhern is Executive Director. He describes what the nearly $600,000 in HUD funding will do.  

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Lane County
11:48 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Lane County To Consider Resisting National Defense Authorization Act

Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich has concerns about the constitutionality of provision of the NDAA.
Credit Lane County

This week, the Board of Lane County Commissioners could vote to refuse to cooperate with a federal law. The board Tuesday will hold a public hearing and discussion of concerns about renewing the National Defense Authorization Act.

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Homeless Issues
2:38 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Eugene Withdraws Rest-Stop Near Science Factory

The illegal camping site called Whoville was shut down last week.
Credit Karen Richards

The Eugene City Council voted today [Wednesday] to withdraw a proposed rest-stop location for homeless people near the Science Factory and Cuthbert Amphitheater. Last Friday, Eugene police shut down an illegal homeless camp near downtown called Whoville.  

City Councilor Chris Pryor made the move to withdraw the rest-stop because it's problematic for the Science Factory, Nearby Nature and a car-camping program. Councilor George Brown bemoaned the fact that Whoville was closed before another site was made available for its residents.

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City of Eugene
2:35 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Eugene Considers City-Wide Sick Leave Ordinance

Credit City of Eugene

The city of Eugene is considering a sick leave ordinance modeled after one recently passed in Portland. They discussed it at their meeting Wednesday. Not all councilors think it’s a good idea.

Councilor Mike Clark says a citywide sick leave ordinance would be great in an ideal world but…

Clark: "My concern here revolves around the fact that this will cost, in the real world, this will cost our community hundreds and hundreds of jobs."

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Medical Marijuana
7:26 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Newport City Councils Votes To Delay Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Newport City Councilors have voted to place a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries.  Earlier this year, state lawmakers agreed to allow cities to regulate dispensaries and enact temporary moratorium in order to prepare.     

At a meeting Monday night, Councilors heard from local residents opposing any delay.  Carla Williams is trying to open a dispensary in Newport to help people like her son.

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Medical Marijuana
11:46 am
Tue April 8, 2014

More Cities Decide On Medical Pot Bans

Credit Mjpresson Wikimedia

Newport has joined the list of Oregon cities placing a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. Springfield has decided against a ban and Creswell may enact a moratorium.

At their Monday meeting, Creswell City Councilors voted in favor of a year-long moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. 4 of the 6 current council members were present and the vote was 3 to 1 to enact a ban. The council will vote again on the ban April 21st--City Administrator Michelle Amberg says Creswell requires 2 readings of an ordinance before it's passed.

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Politics & Government
4:08 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Oregon Senator Speaks Out On Hobby Lobby Case

Senator Jeff Merkley flanked by BRING employees and Eugene/Springfield area women's health advocates.
Credit Tiffany Eckert

Last week, the US Supreme Court heard “Hobby Lobby vs Sebelius.” The case could allow for-profit companies to deny health insurance coverage to women for birth control and other services if-- the CEO has a moral objection. Today, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, business owners and women’s health advocates called on the land’s highest court to protect women’s health care.

Nearly fifty years ago, a landmark Supreme Court case ended state bans on access to birth control, ruling it was protected in the Constitution as a “right to privacy.”

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Infrastructure
3:15 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Coos Bay Library Is Sinking

Credit The City of Coos Bay

The Coos Bay Library is slowly sinking. Tuesday, the City Council heard presentations from firms hired to evaluate the structural integrity of the building.

Like many buildings in downtown Coos Bay, the library was built using pilings on soft "bay mud." After years of adding books and a new addition in 1998, signs of settling are evident. The City contracted with two consulting firms to perform geotechnical and structural investigations on the library. Coos Bay Mayor Crystal Shoji says the pilings holding the building up are half as tall as they need to be.

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