Liam Moriarty

Reporter for Jefferson Public Radio

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wrapped up his weekend tour of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon on Sunday.

Among others, he met with a pro-monument group of conservationists, landowners and local elected officials, and with Oregon governor Kate Brown.

Over the past century, fossil-fuel powered automobiles have become the default transportation mode across the industrialized world, impacting everything from patterns of land use to foreign policy.

And while the dominance of cars has certainly had beneficial effects, it’s also taken a heavy toll in pollution, resource consumption and a range of social and public health ills.

A recent report from the University of California Davis envisions a future in which how we get around each day becomes cleaner, faster, greener .. and cheaper by combining three emerging technologies.

About 200 people gathered in Ashland on Saturday night to celebrate the life of a hometown boy who died trying to protect a pair of women from anti-Muslim abuse in Portland.

America’s energy future is often cast as a battle that pits fossil fuels such as coal and gas against wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. But in the Pacific Northwest, we've already slashed greenhouse gas emissions -- and saved big bucks -- with a clean energy source that often doesn't even get mentioned in policy debates.

The federal government has fined more than 750 hospitals across the country for scoring in the bottom 25 percent on measures of patient safety. Hospital-acquired infections, blood clots, falls and bedsores are among the avoidable injuries to patients included in the annual ranking by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The program is meant to prod hospitals to improve patient safety. But hospital officials say the rating system doesn’t paint an accurate picture of patient care.

Progress has been made in recent years in decreasing homelessness, especially among veterans. But the spiraling cost of housing still leaves many people with few affordable options.

Now, inspired by the success of similar projects in the Pacific Northwest, a group in Medford is  building a tiny-house village that offers hope of breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness. 

The recent election saw California and three other states join Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska in legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Four more states voted for medical cannabis, as well.

But the burgeoning cannabis industry has relied on an Obama Administration policy of tolerating state laws that regulate a drug that’s still federally illegal. With a new administration taking over in Washington DC, what does this mean for legal pot?

A bit of covert political sleight of hand has made a pair of legislative races in south central Oregon the focus of attention this election season. JPR’s Liam Moriarty sorts out who’s who in the oddest of this year’s legislative races.

The race for the Third Senate District in southern Oregon was triggered by the sudden death in August of Dr. Alan Bates. Bates, a Democrat, was widely respected, especially for his work on health care issues.

Now, Democrat Tonia Moro – an attorney -- and Republican Alan DeBoer -- an auto-dealer -- are each making the case that they are the best choice to succeed Bates in a race that has implications for the balance of power in Salem.

These days, we openly discuss a lot of things that used to be considered too delicate for polite company: sex, money, childbirth …  If there’s one taboo left, it’s the subject of death. Recently, JPR’s Liam Moriarty attended a social gathering held specifically to talk about the end of life. 

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