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State of the Union
7:46 am
Wed January 29, 2014

DeFazio Responds To President's State of The Union

Credit http://defazio.house.gov/

4th District Congressman Peter DeFazio praised President Obama for his focus on the need for jobs in his state of the union address. The Springfield Democrat agrees these jobs can come from investments in transportation infrastructure. And, DeFazio says Oregonians who are unemployed need their extended benefits.

Peter DeFazio: "I agree that it’s time for Congress to renew unemployment insurance for Oregonians and Americans who want to work but can't find a job. There are 5 unemployed Oregonians chasing every job in our state."

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Shellfish
7:28 am
Wed January 29, 2014

As China's Shellfish Import Ban Drags On Northwest Chefs (re)Learn How To Cook A Geoduck

A geoduck crudo prepared by chef Michael Gifford.
Credit Ashley Ahearn

It’s been almost two months since China banned all shellfish imports from most of the west coast after finding high levels of arsenic in a sample from Washington.
The move has hit Washington hard. Particularly the geoduck clam industry.
These long-necked oddities are a delicacy in China… but here in the Northwest, not so much. That might be changing. Ashley Ahearn headed to one of Seattle’s hottest restaurants to find out how one chef is whetting appetites for this local clam.

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Eugene 4J
3:56 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Eugene 4J Budget Predicted To Be Tight

Last (Monday) night, the Eugene 4J budget committee presented projections for next year. Although the situation has improved, the school district will have to make compromises.

The overall reaction to the early school budget forecast has been positive. Eugene 4J spokesperson Kerry Delf:

"We are looking forward to a year next year that is much less of a financial challenge than this year and some past years have been."

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Employment
11:46 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Unemployment Rate Drops Slightly in Lane And Douglas Counties

Lane and Douglas County saw some improvement in their jobless rates last month.  In Lane unemployment dropped to 6.9 percent while Douglas County dropped to 10 percent.

Brian Rooney is a regional Labor Economist with the State Employment Department. He says December saw modest job growth, mainly in the service industry.

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Homeless Issues
9:00 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Eugene Considers Expanding Homeless Rest-Stops, Restricting Fireworks

Eugene Police have put up a fence around Whoville with openings to enter and exit.
Credit Desmond O'Boyle

Eugene City Councilors Monday proposed extending the sunset date on the rest-stop ordinance until October 31, 2014. This will require a public hearing.

Councilor Claire Syrett says she'd like the city to add a third rest-stop for homeless people at 8th and Mill or another location near downtown. Residents of Whoville, a homeless camp at West Broadway and Hilyard in Eugene have been told they'll have to leave that site. Last Friday, police erected a fence with openings around the lot. Michael Adams was among those who testified to council.

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Environment
8:27 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Scientists Say Stop Worrying About Fukushima Radioactivity In West Coast Fish

It’s been almost 3 years since the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. Hundreds of millions of gallons of radioactive water were released from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Fish there have been contaminated and some Japanese fisheries are still closed due to ongoing leaks. That’s made many people nervous about eating fish caught on this side of the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a gray Sunday morning at the Ballard farmer’s market in Seattle.

[Market sound “Hey Charlie. You got your seahawks gear on.”]

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Columbia River Crossing
7:22 am
Tue January 28, 2014

The Hour Of Decision Is Near For The Columbia River Crossing

Interstate 5 spans the Columbia River between Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington.
Credit Colin Fogarty

Time is running short for Oregon lawmakers to take the lead in building a new I-5 bridge across the Columbia River. That's according to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. This week the Democrat issued an ultimatum to lawmakers to act before the end of the 2014 session in March. Otherwise he'll shut the project down. The warning is just the latest twist in the decade-long effort to break ground on the mega-project.

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Oregon Humanities Center
6:00 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Craig Childs, Apocalyptic Planet

The Oregon Humanities Center presents speaker Craig Childs, author of Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Everending Earth, and a regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition. He talks with Eric Alan about beginnings and endings, and why Iowa was the most extreme landscape of extinction he found.

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Politics & Government
3:00 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Trade Agreement Protesters Deliver Message to Wyden

Rally signs show opposition to new trade agreement.
Credit Tiffany Eckert

At a small rally at the Federal Courthouse in Eugene today (Monday), community activists and union representatives held signs in protest of the new trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (or T-P-P.) KLCC's Tiffany Eckert reports.

As the group sang re-worked verses of the popular Bob Dylan protest song, a delegation prepared to hand deliver about 55 letters to Senator Ron Wyden.

Shelley Pineo-Jensen is with Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network. She criticized Wyden for not taking a stronger position  on the TPP.

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College Textbooks
11:26 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Textbooks Are Too Expensive For College Students

OSPIRG Monday released a national survey on textbook costs.
Credit Rachael McDonald

College textbooks are too expensive and many students can't afford them. The Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group released a national survey Monday on textbook costs and alternatives.

Lane Community College Student Body President Paul Zito says he has only bought 4 textbooks in the 3 years he's been a student. He takes a normal course-load but he can't afford the books. Instead Zito looks for the information himself.

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