Liam Moriarty

Reporter for Jefferson Public Radio
John Rosman / OPB

As legalization of marijuana has spread, so have fears of large corporate ownership of the emerging cannabis industry. The sponsors of legalization initiatives have sought to prevent “Big Marijuana” from getting monopoly control and driving out small growers.

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich stopped in southern Oregon on his campaign swing through the state Thursday.

The Ohio governor touted his economic record in that state and said he offers an alternative to the negativity of the race so far. 

One of the things that makes the upcoming Oregon primary unusual is the fact that, for the first time, the state has three designated major parties on the ballot.

Let’s look at what the Independent Party of Oregon brings to this election.

This has been – to put it mildly – an unusual presidential election season. And for the first time in many years, Oregon’s May 17th primary could actually make a difference in the outcome at both major party nominating conventions.

But now that the primary is suddenly relevant, a lot of people find themselves confused about how the process works.

Let’s sort it out, shall we?

The downtown economy of Ashland is heavily dependent on the tourists who flock to see the Oregon Shakespeare Festival or who come to hike, bike, ski, fish and boat the area’s mountains and waterways.

Last year, complaints from merchants, residents and visitors about aggressive panhandling and uncivil behavior by some homeless people reached a fever pitch.

Now, city officials are looking for fresh ideas to head off a new season of unpleasantness.

Each year, authorities in Medford and Jackson County stage as many as a dozen sweep operation along the Bear Creek Greenway, ousting homeless campers and often confiscating their belongings. Within days, many of the campers are back, usually because they simply have nowhere else to go.

Now, a proposal that builds on successful projects around the Northwest is gaining momentum in the Rogue Valley.

Normally, if you do a job, you expect to be properly paid for it. But many workers aren’t given the compensation they’re legally due. One study estimated more than a quarter of low-wage workers were paid less than the legal minimum wage. Another found nearly 90 percent of fast food employees weren’t paid what they were entitled to.

Now, workers’ advocates and Democratic lawmakers in Oregon are pushing to crack down on what they call wage theft.

After nearly 20 years in a legal gray zone, medical marijuana in California is being brought under regulation. But clandestine pot cultivation continues. Illegal grows on public land are especially notorious for causing a range of environmental problems. Now, there's new research that zeroes in on the toll these trespass grows take on threatened wildlife.

The cost of fighting wildfires has skyrocketed over the last 30 years. At the same time, close to two million acres of wildland have been developed each year.

One of the major drivers of that expense is protecting lives and property in fire-prone areas where people didn’t used to live.

Conventional wisdom says forests in the West are overstocked and need to be thinned to prevent “catastrophic” wildfires. But some researchers say focusing on reducing fuels downplays a greater and growing driver of wildfire: climate change.

Pages