JOURNEY WEST:
A Memoir of Journalist and Politics

by Stephen Hartgen
Here's the personal story of what brought the well-known editor, publisher and state legislator west from Maine to Idaho, and what he found and has done here. A well-written account for anyone interested in Idaho, journalism or politics.
JOURNEY WEST: A memoir of journalism and politics, by Stephen Hartgen; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, available here or through Amazon.com (softcover)

 
 

Apr 23 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Will Army take Idaho helicopters away? (Boise Statesman)
Medicaid enrollment shooting up in state (Boise Statesman)
Obama touring Oso (Lewiston Tribune)
Whitman auditor grilled on bond rating (Lewiston Tribune)
Looking at 1st District House race (Lewiston Tribune)
Couple of court losses for Syringa’s owner (Moscow News)
Renovations okayed at Moscow schools (Moscow News)
Nampa schools change benefits plans (Nampa Press Tribune)
New research building dedicated at INL (Pocatello Journal)
Storms and power outages in southeast Idaho (Pocatello Journal)
Sewer fees rising at Kimberly (TF Times News)
Looking ahead to a season of fire fighting (TF Times News)

Corvallis superintendent in line at Salem (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Water main breakage flood at Corvallis (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Obama visits Oso site (Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal)
Same sex marriage in Oregon court (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard)
County careful on hotel backing (Eugene Register Guard)
Klamath County sets pot shop moratorium (KF Herald & News)
Mixed indicators on Jackson gang activity (Medford Tribune)
Designing new schools at Pendleton (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Events center gets governmental OK (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Split opinions on banning GMOs (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Cover Oregon budget considered (Portland Oregonian)
ODOT won’t seek oil train information (Portland Oregonian)
Marion County quits accepting some batteries (Salem Statesman Journal)
Salem school may reduce class sizes (Salem Statesman Journal)

Obama visits Oso (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic)
Oso-area ban on construction considered (Seattle Times, Everett Herald)
Sequim school construction bond fails (Port Angeles News)
Forest considers timber harvest balance (Port Angeles News)
King transit proposition fails (Seattle Times)
Bertha fix costs rising (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune)
Spokane voters OK one library issue, fail another (Spokane Spokesman)
State works on medical insurance rules (Spokane Spokesman)
Tacoma parks bond passes (Tacoma News Tribune)
Clark charter adjusted by board (Vancouver Columbian)
Standard train cars bad for oil transport (Vancouver Columbian)
High birth defect rates at Yakima (Yakima Herald Republic)
Perception of high crime at Yakima (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Apr 22 2014

Downtown Boise, fate unknown

frazier DAVID
FRAZIER

 
Boise
Guardian

The GUARDIAN has been doing some preliminary inquiries regarding the fate of downtown Boise after the Central District urban renewal project expires in 2017.

As it sits currently, no one can offer us a definitive answer to questions of ownership, management, and responsibility for certain Capital City Development Corp. properties.

For instance, CCDC owns 8th Street. It was vacated by the Ada County Highway District and is no longer a public street. It is privately owned from store front to store front between Bannock and Main. Despite that “parking lot” status, Boise parking Nazis continue to issue tickets at meters and enforce the private parking hours as though they were passed by the city council.

No one seems to know exactly who will own the Grove Plaza and the fountain area after CCDC’s district expires. Under current law it appears they are not allowed to expend funds outside a district and if a district no longer exists, who will own the real estate?

We have heard talk of splitting the Grove Plaza ownership among the Auditorium District, the Grove Hotel, and the Gardner Company in order to control access for protest groups that could offend guests at any of the venues. We strongly oppose that move because the area was purchased and improved with public funds and should remain public.

While some folks are enthralled with “private/public partnerships,” we urge caution with the deals. Developers like Gardner sound like great visionary planners when they include public transit centers and open spaces in their plans, but another view would see the taxpayers providing structure foundations and restricted access to public areas.

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Apr 22 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Improving crime rates at Canyon County (Boise Statesman)
Steve Antone dies (Boise Statesman, TF Times News)
Dredge miners blast EPA on rules (Lewiston Tribune)
Bond ratings stopped for Whitman County (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Nampa mayor reviews downtown construction (Nampa Press Tribune)
Updating the ag-gag lawsuit (Pocatello Journal)
Judge wants Google to ID email writer (TF Times News)
Little recycling, but uptick, in area recycling (TF Times News)
TF planning commission membership reviewed )TF Times News)

Corvallis reviewing OSU parking plan (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Whole Foods may take site (Eugene Register Guard)
Veterans health clinic groundbreaking (Eugene Register Guard)
Reviewing solar energy in Oregon (KL Health & News)
Phoenix I-5 work held off (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Lithia moving from downtown to edge of town (Medford Tribune)
DEQ dredging rules draw protests (Medford Tribune)
Oregon long-term insurance rates rise (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Tight Portland-area rental market (Portland Oregonian)
Criticism of state forest land sale (Portland Oregonian)
Group files in court to defend marriage provision (Salem Statesman Journal)
Marion Commissioner Milner retires (Salem Statesman Journal)

Obama coming to Oso (Seattle Times, Everett Herald)
Everett changes port renewal plans (Everett Herald)
More teacher molestation claims at Kennewick (Kennewick Herald)
Wahkiakum county takes over riverside park (Longview News)
Dungeness flooding a concern (Port Angeles News)
Representative Kilmer at Port Angeles (Port Angeles News)
Bertha inactive for narly a year to come (Seattle Times)
Special election voting day in Washington (Seattle Times)
How much surgery room does Spokane need? (Spokane Spokesman)
Pierce Transit may spend $450k on PR (Tacoma News Tribune)
Medical provider needs at Yakima area (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Apr 21 2014

An Idaho original

carlson CHRIS
CARLSON

 
Carlson
Chronicles

His name was Rollie Bruning, though some called him “RJ” as his by-line in print was always R.J. Bruning. Thought about him the other day when I took our grandchildren to Wallace to visit the old train depot. On our way there we walked past the store front office of what used to be The North Idaho Press.

My first journalism job was a brief stint at the paper during the late summer of 1968. The paper’s owner, Wallace mining magnate, Harry F. Magnuson, had hired Jay Shelledy to run the paper for two weeks as Bruning had suffered a heart attack. Shelledy, already doing a summer stint with The Spokesman-Review, subcontracted the job to me and gave me a two-day crash course in journalism.

When I showed up on a Monday morning there sat Bruning as if chained to his desk and his trusty old typewriter, cigarette dangling from his mouth. Be damned if he was going to let some snot-nosed kid run his paper for a couple of weeks. He convinced me though to stick around for the two weeks and help out. I learned quite a bit from him.

He was a classic Idaho original – opinionated but well-read, boisterous but with an ability to tell great stories, and a wonderful, infectious laugh. He could handle his whiskey and loved to play poker. Like Harry Magnuson, he was a rock-ribbed Republican, when Shoshone County was the most Democratic county in the state. (There was one precinct in Mullan that Andrus routinely carried 100 to one.)

He also was an outspoken supporter of Governor Don Samuelson. Wallace, and Kellogg, then was totally dependent on mining. Bruning was well-versed on the Mining Law of 1872, and on all aspects of the industry itself. During the 1970 gubernatorial election, he often criticized Andrus for his opposition to Asarco’s proposed molybdenum mine in the White Clouds.

So, I was somewhat surprised when in late 1974 Andrus told me to put out a press release announcing that Bruning was joining the gubernatorial staff as a special assistant and an unofficial envoy to the business community. In a politically astute move, Andrus recognized that RJ was the perfect ambassador to Idaho’s business community and to the various clubs they belonged to – the Rotarians, the Kiwanis, the Lions, the Elks. Wherever two or three business folks gathered, one would find RJ in their midst, and he must have spoken to every club in the state.

When Andrus became Interior Secretary, almost all the Idaho Mafia he took along was under the age of 35, except RJ. Though in his 60s, his vast knowledge of mining and his good relations with the industry, made him indispensable. Besides, he had gray hair and whiskers. Andrus installed RJ as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy and Minerals – a move well received. Continue Reading »

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Apr 21 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Canyon Fair ousted from Simplot Stadium (Nampa Press Tribune)
Idaho water situation improves (Nampa Press Tribune)
Idaho: nation’s highest payday loan rates (Nampa Press Tribune)
Poachers digging deep into game (TF Times News)

Reviewing Republican U.S. Senate race (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Big expansion by Eugene Urgent Care (Eugene Register Guard)
Farmers in conflict over GMOs (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Jackson budget funds libraries (Ashland Tidings)
Looks like more rain in the spring (Medford Tribune)
Salem Health pushes to demolish building (Salem Statesman Journal)
Long-term health insurance costs rise (Salem Statesman Journal)

Oso mudslide cases tax revenue loss (Everett Herald)
Everett schools hope for bonds (Everett Herald)
Haven Energy promises strong safety at terminal (Longview News)
Replacing Neah Bay pier (Port Angeles News)
Debate rises over Seattle $15 minimum wage (Seattle Times)
More work on Spokane-Cheney road (Spokane Spokesman)
Debate over ‘culminating projects’ for high school (Spokane Spokesman)
When Obama visits Oso (Tacoma News Tribune)
Cutting trash costs with lower frequency (Tacoma News Tribune)
Clark sees more cases of identity theft (Vancouver Columbian)
Starting repairs on Wanpum Dam (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Apr 20 2014

Uncertainty chills our economy

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

The number one thing keeping our national economy – and thus all lesser economies – from growing as quickly as conditions would otherwise dictate – is the monumentally constipated and completely ineffective U.S. Congress. And you can take that to the bank.

Geoff Colvin, Fortune senior editor-at-large, has been talking to CEOs and economists. While hearing the usual bitching about regulations and taxes, the dialogue this time has been far overshadowed by one thing: uncertainty. In terms easily understood by economic dolts like me, the issue could be framed this way: “What the Hell’s going to happen tomorrow?”

Regulations and taxes have always been topics of discussion when people making large business decisions gather over their martinis. It used to be, no matter what changes and challenges there were in those two areas, business adjusted and life went on.

BUT – uncertainty has become the largest impediment to business – large and small. For example, the new healthcare law – regardless of what you think about it – is law. Republicans have vowed to repeal it. They can’t. But, as they keep trying, if you’ve got 50 to 100,000 employees in your business, how do you adjust your future planning? For what? Taken another step, if Republicans ever posed a serious legal challenge to the ACA, how long would Democrats tie the whole thing up in court? And to what outcome?

Then, there’s the “fiscal cliff.” With no congressional action to the contrary, there are those huge mandatory cuts in federal spending. Sequestration. Crippling cuts and possible tax increases to offset some of them. Despite how you feel personally about all that, remember the current crop of ideologues, naysayers and the ignorant will still control what Congress does – or doesn’t do. Wanna bet your farm on the outcome? Neither does General Motors. Or your neighborhood grocer.

Then, there’s the Federal Reserve. Its governing body holds the outlook that things economic are “more uncertain than they has been in the last 20 years” so no major actions have been taken. You get any sense of corporate direction out of that?

Life has always been a crap shoot. That’s just life. So, is all this something new? Yep, it is. Normally, as the government moved, changes it fostered affecting marketplace conditions could be anticipated and planned for. You knew what was coming and could adjust. Not now. Polarization in Congress has badly crippled oversight of federal agencies and their regulation-writing and enforcement. Congressional action that was supposed to happen last week – last month – or next month – has ceased. No new-from-the-ground-up federal budget for several decades is likely to be matched by no new-from-the-ground-up federal budgets for the next several years. Contracts expected by the private sector are still sitting on some bureaucrat’s desk. New programs languish in the congressional swamp because there are still no decisions on old ones.

And on and on and on and on. Continue Reading »

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Apr 20 2014

In this week’s Briefings

car dragged
 
Marion County Sheriff’s Office last weekend responded to the 2900 block of Wintel Road SE because Kyle Randall, age 24 was knocking on doors and asking residents for a place to sleep. After arriving deputies noticed a plume of smoke in the distance that turned out to be a car fire. When they went to investigate the fire they located the burned out carcass of the vehicle Randall had been driving. So after interviewing Randall and evaluating the scene deputies believe the following occurred. At around 5 a.m. Mr. Randall was driving east on Wintell Road when he drove through a stop sign and ran into a passing train. The train hooked his vehicle and drug him approximately 300 feet. Randall came to a rest, exited his vehicle and then sought out shelter from nearby residents. Randall was not injured in the crash, he was however arrested for DUII and taken to the Marion County Jail. At the jail his blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. (Photo/Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

 
Political news is ramping up in this week’s editions of the Briefings, along with a range of other activities, from recovery at Oso (and plans for President Obama’s visit there) to the odd case pictured above of a car crashing into a train in Oregon, dragged 300 feet – after which the driver walked away apparently without a scratch.

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Apr 20 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Reviewing supt public instruction race (Boise Statesman)
Recovering after the Oso landslide (Boise Statesman)
Major changes possible for Canyon shelter (Nampa Press Tribune)
Looking at criminal case mediation (TF Times News)
Reviewing secretary of state candidates (TF Times News)

Little rule guidance on measuring pot (Eugene Register Guard)
More energy than expected in geothermal field (KF Herald & News)
Reviewing GMOs (Medford Tribune)
Where the Columbian Crossing $ went (Portland Oregonian)
Looking ahead to same-sex marriage ruling (Portland Oregonian)
Taxpayers funding battery recycling (Salem Statesman Journal)

New gun range planned near Sultan (Everett Herald)
Web crowdfunding on Oso mudslide (Seattle Times)
Puget Sound oil traffic on rise (Seattle Times, Yakima Herald Republic)
Spokane neighborhood considers renewal (Spokane Spokesman)
Previewing Obama visit to Oso (Spokane Spokesman)
Jails part of the Medicaid picture (Tacoma News Tribune)
Which parts of Vancouver have higher crime (Vancouver Columbian)
Big pay increase for city attorneys (Vancouver Columbian)

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Apr 19 2014

Supremely intense

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Idaho

Idaho these days may be more likely to have a truly competitive contest for its Supreme Court than for its major partisan offices – a complete reversal from a generation ago.

It had a competitive race in 2008 won by Joel Horton, and in 2010 won by Roger Burdick. The challenger in both of those, John Bradbury, now is in a competitive 2nd district judgeship race. The 2008 Horton race, which he won by a sliver – 50.1% – was the closest Idaho Supreme Court race since at least the 1940s.

Horton is up for re-election this year, and this time the challenger is a well-known and long-time Boise attorney, Breck Seiniger. Mostly, these Supreme Court races have been calm and magisterial, even when they’ve sometimes featured energetic personalities. But this one has become a knock-down, and even drawn other candidates into the fray.

Seiniger has unleashed several blasts in the direction of the court, but this one (posted on his campaign web site) aimed directly at Horton got the most response: “Since Justice Horton has chosen to make impartiality an issue in this race, let me share with you Greg Obendorf’s story. In 2008, Idaho Supreme Court Justice Joel Horton was in another very tight race for re-election. . . . During this time, the Idaho Supreme Court deliberated on an appeal filed by J.R. Simplot, Co. to overturn a Canyon County jury’s $2,435,906 verdict in favor of a group of Idaho farmers, including Mr. Obendorf, and against Simplot.

“While the Obendorf case was under deliberation Justice Horton appointed one of Simplot’s in-house attorneys as his political treasurer. After doing so, not only did Justice Horton fully participate in the Idaho Supreme Court deliberations on this case, he wrote the opinion which resulted in all of the damages awarded by the jury were taken away, and the case being sent back for re-trial. Justice Horton’s opinion in favor of Simplot was issued on May 1, 2008 and Justice Horton was re-elected on May 20, 2008.” (He placed his supporting information online at www.seinigerforisc.com/simplot). Continue Reading »

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Apr 19 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

New Albertsons CEO talks corporate plans (Boise Statesman)
Lewiston kindergartners heading to Clarkston? (Lewiston Tribune)
Moscow preparing for road construction (Moscow News)
Feds, state at standoff on Hanford cleanup (Moscow News)
New UI president settling in (Moscow News)
More cops for Nampa schools (Idaho Press Tribune)
Poachers a heavy load on Idaho wildlife (Idaho Press Tribune)
Busy Pocatello Cr Rd area land for sale (Pocatello Journal)
New Sandpoint stadium design set (Sandpoint Bee)
Bonner assessor candidate has $448k federal tax liens (Sandpoint Bee)
Earthquakes around Challis (TF Times News)
But $18m grant for Friedman airport (TF Times News)

UO Foundation asked to avoid fossil fuels (Eugene Register Guard)
Whole Foods considering Eugene site (Eugene Register Guard)
Klamath water deal signed (Medford Tribune, KF Herald & News)
Charter cable conversion draws critics (Medford Tribune)
Kenton will lead EOU (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Public has questions on events center (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Expansion at Boardman Cheese plant (Pendleton East Oregonian)
WA state blasts Hanford cleanup plan (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Draining Portland water due to yuck factor (Portland Oregonian)
Water shortage at Crater Lake? (Salem Statesman Journal)

More Oso mudslide answers wanted (Everett Herald, Longview News)
State may ease on fish pollution rules (Everett Herald)
Hanford cleanup plans roundly blasted (Kennewick Herald)
Allegations of abuse at Woodland school (Longview News)
WA may lost No Child school waiver (Seattle Times)
Sandpoint plans solar paving project (Spokane Spokesman)
Sterling-Umpqua merger is complete (Spokane Spokesman)
Iconic Vancouver Steakburger closes (Vancouver Columbian)
Newhouse leads in 4th district money (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Apr 18 2014

Idaho and the 17th

malloy CHUCK
MALLOY

 
In Idaho

The Idaho Republican Party endorses repeal of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, which allows election of U.S. senators by popular vote – and not the Legislature.

I say get ‘er done, because it makes no difference. Election by the people and the Legislature would produce the same results in this Republican state. Idaho has not had a Democrat in the U.S. Senate since Frank Church and, since Democrats are so inept, I doubt if I will see another Democrat in the Senate in my lifetime.

So what kind of U.S. Senators would we get if they were elected by the Legislature? We’d have Mike Crapo, for sure. He was a former president pro tem of the Idaho Senate and a member of the House of Representatives before moving to the Senate. Who would fill the second slot? Why, it would be Jim Risch – a former Senate pro tem, majority leader, lieutenant governor and governor.

Both would be slam dunks in the Legislature.
In the past, Idaho has had Jim McClure, Steve Symms, Larry Craig and Dirk Kempthorne. They, too, would be easy choices for the Legislature.

So why bother with the formalities? Election to the U.S. Senate in Idaho would be like electing a pope, or appointing a Supreme Court justice. It would be for life – or until the senator decided to quit. Or, in the case of Craig … you get the point.

The argument for keeping the 17th Amendment is that election by the people produce a better and more accountable government. In most cases, and probably most states, that’s probably true. But, not in the Gem State. Idaho Republicans have no problem force-feeding repeal down the throats of the rest of the nation, and they damn well expect their elected officials to support that part of the GOP platform.
Elected officials, naturally, are reluctant to take away voting rights from the people. But I have no such problem since the electorate automatically votes the Republican ticket anyway.

Think of the time and money that could be saved if the Legislature elected U.S. senators. Crapo and Risch would not have to spend any time kissing up to big-money lobbyists and padding their campaign accounts. They wouldn’t have to worry about doing annoying little things like holding town hall meetings, or spending millions of dollars on advertising. The only people they would need to talk to are the Republican leaders of the Legislature. Get them on your side, and the rest will follow like sheep.

Repeal of the 17th Amendment would be one way to remove the influence of money in politics. It would be kind of nice knowing that we didn’t have a U.S. Senate that was bought and paid for by lobbyists.

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Apr 18 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Coroner yard sign draws attention, criticism (Boise Statesman)
Board revises guns on campus rules (Lewiston Tribune)
Idaho could get more med school space (Moscow News)
W Washington U needs minorities, president says (Moscow News)
Closed ‘for remodel’ store a problem (Nampa Press Tribune)
Gas & oil auction pulls $1.1 m (Nanpa Press Tribune)
Kuna considers school levy (Nampa Press Tribune)
ISU museum in National Geographic (Pocatello Journal)
Bonner County may see megaloads (Sandpoint Bee)
Idaho militia looking for recruits (TF Times News)

Klamath water agreement signs today (KF Herald & News)
Considering Klamath public safety funds (KF Herald & News)
Preparing for drought in Ashland (Ashland Tidings)
Construction around I-5, Phoenix (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Audit on welfare urges job emphasis (Salem Statesman Journal, Pendleton East Oregonian)
Big increase in oil trains in Oregon (Portland Oregonian)
Marion County ends immigrant jail holds (Salem Statesman Journal)

Meeting reviewing Oso mudslide (Everett Herald)
Inslee visits Olympic tribes (Port Angeles News)
Ride service petitions stall on signatures (Seattle Times)
Western Washington U enthic comment (Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian)
Release of CRC spending records (Vancouver Columbian)
Zoning debate over pot production (Yakima Herald Republic)
Yakima downtown design seeking ideas (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Apr 17 2014

A candidate quietude

oregon
RANDY STAPILUS / Washington

The Washington official candidate filing week is now exactly one month away. From there, candidates in races contested by more than two people will have three months to try to pull into the win or place slots so they can advance to November.

Usually, by this time, the ruckus is clearly audible.
The general quiet we’re seeing right now may relate, in addition to the absence of statewide and federal senatorial candidates, to the point that only but so many contests will feature more than two serious candidates. Only for that relatively small number of races will the August primary really matter, other than as a kind of distant early polling.

As matters sit the primary shouldn’t be notably decisive on the U.S. House level. Of course, there aren’t likely to be many serious contests there anyway even come November. But even in the 1st district, widely perceived as the most competitive, there’s unlikely to be more than one serious challenger in the field.

The major exception may be in the 4th U.S. House district, which not coincidently is the one where a retirement (that of Republican Doc Hastings) is opening the seat. The 4th will very likely remain Republican in November, but the name of the Republican nominee is far from settled, and so is the field. Of interest: Will this be a case where two Republicans face each other in November? (There’s a good chance, however, there will be enough Democratic votes in the primary to at least secure a second-place slot for the general.)

Among candidates, that may be far and away the most interesting result to watch in Washington on primary day. A handful of legislative races could work the same way, where one party or the other draws just enough strong contenders to throw the primary result into doubt. But that’ll likely be only a few.

The top-two system has its advantages, and it may wind up making the general election more interesting than otherwise.

For the primary, maybe not so much.

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Apr 17 2014

On the front pages

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Tuition increases cut at UI, BSU (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
WA transport commission visits Palous (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Moscow works out play field funding (Moscow News)
Tulalip state senator visits WSU (Moscow News)
Library square funding still discussed (Nampa Press Tribune)
Nampa school district faces employee suit (Nampa Press Tribune)
Fair board looks at 20/26 location plan (Nampa Press Tribune)
Employees sue Chubbuck WalMart for various (Pocatello Journal)
Prescribed burns at Pandhandle forests (Sandpoint Bee)
Sandpoint considers stimulus for jobs (Sandpoint Bee)
Magic Valley veterans form new political party (TF Times News)
No SAT cost for many Idaho students (TF Times News)

Corvallis looks at plan code updates (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Water deal signing on Friday (KF Herald & News)
Klamath commission debate held (KF Herald & News)
Klamath public safety funding considered (KF Herald & News)
Gun debate in Ashland (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Port dispensaries banned in Jacksonville (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Wildfire risk high at Ashland (Medford Tribune)
All Umatilla cities ban pot stores (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Cover Oregon not Oracle’s fault, it says (Portland Oregonian, Pendleton East Oregonian)
Inadequate oversight alleged in welfare (Portland Oregonian)
Polk’s pot dispensary closes, county order (Salem Statesman Journal)

Reviving Oso-area, Darrington economy (Everett Herald)
Linking pot business, movies (Port Angeles News)
Future of buried landfill considered (Port Angeles News)
WA Medicaid rolls increasing fast (Seattle Times)
Help with Oso mudslide (Seattle Times)
New Seattle police chief chosen (Seattle Times)
Legislator Shea supports Nevada rancher (Spokane Spokesman)
CdA tribe offers poker, provoking state (Spokane Spokesman)
Gig Harbor mayor dismisses administrator (Tacoma News Tribune)
Audit of CRC wonders about $17m (Vancouver Columbian)
Pot vending machines in state? (Vancouver Columbian)
Cantwell on oil terminal concerns (Vancouver Columbian)
More discussion of WSU med school (Yaking Herald Republic)

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Apr 16 2014

Balukoff’s guns

malloy CHUCK
MALLOY

 
In Idaho

Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff acknowledges that he hangs out mostly with his fellow Democrats. If he spent time in rural communities, and coffee shops not named Starbucks, he would know better than to take on the National Rifle Association – the sacred cow of special interests in Idaho.

Balukoff may well be correct about the NRA’s candidate survey being full of loaded questions, but he shouldn’t be surprised about that. The NRA is a defender of gun rights and many Idahoans love the organization because of that.

For a lot of Idahoans, the three most important issues in an election are: Guns, guns and guns. Rep. Raul Labrador’s town hall meetings often take on the flavor of an NRA convention. Of course, Balukoff would be the last person you’d see at a Labrador town hall meeting.
The NRA endorsement is the prized pig of any election season in Idaho. Even those who don’t get the NRA endorsement will talk about their avid support of the Second Amendment. But almost nobody takes on the NRA – except for Cecil Andrus, and Balukoff rightfully acknowledges is no Cecil Andrus.

According to a story by the Statesman’s Dan Popkey, Balukoff was advised by his campaign manager to stay silent on the NRA. So instead of following that advice, he issued a press release saying, “Special interests gave us Idaho’s guns on campus law.”

So under Popkey’s byline, Balukoff committed political suicide in the front page of the Idaho Statesman. How stupid can you get?

Balukoff ought to know the legislative chambers are full of people who think that universities, school classrooms, the streets and public places would be a lot safer if people who knew how and when to use guns were allowed to carry them. These lawmakers don’t need the NRA to tell them how to vote on gun issues.

If Balukoff was trying to do an impersonation of Andrus, who took on the gun lobby almost 30 years ago, it was a poor effort. Andrus is about the only person who could get away with calling NRA leaders “gun nuts.” Continue Reading »

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Pike Place's plans for a new waterfront entrance.

 

THE OREGON POLITICAL
FIELD GUIDE 2014

The Field Guide is the reference for the year on Oregon politics - the people, the districts, the votes, the issues. Compiled by a long-time Northwest political writer and a Salem Statesman-Journal political reporter.
OREGON POLITICAL FIELD GUIDE 2014, by Randy Stapilus and Hannah Hoffman; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, available right here or through Amazon.com (softcover)

 
 
THE IDAHO POLITICAL
FIELD GUIDE 2014

by Randy Stapilus and Marty Trillhaase is the reference for the year on Idaho Politics - the people, the districts, the votes, the issues. Written by two of Idaho's most veteran politcal observers.
IDAHO POLITICAL FIELD GUIDE 2014, by Randy Stapilus and Marty Trillhaase; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, available right here or through Amazon.com (softcover)

 
 
NEW EDITIONS is the story of the Northwest's 226 general-circulation newspapers and how they're dealing with the day of the Internet. New Editions tells you where your newspaper is headed.
New Editions: The Northwest's Newspapers as They Were, Are and Will Be. Steve Bagwell and Randy Stapilus; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 324 pages. Softcover. (e-book ahead). $16.95.
See the NEW EDITIONS page.

How many copies?

 
without compromise
WITHOUT COMPROMISE is the story of the Idaho State Police, from barely-functioning motor vehicles and hardly-there roads to computer and biotechnology. Kelly Kast has spent years researching the history and interviewing scores of current and former state police, and has emerged with a detailed and engrossing story of Idaho.
WITHOUT COMPROMISE page.

 

Diamondfield
How many copies?
The Old West saw few murder trials more spectacular or misunderstood than of "Diamondfield" Jack Davis. After years of brushes with the noose, Davis was pardoned - though many continued to believe him guilty. Max Black has spent years researching the Diamondfield saga and found startling new evidence never before uncovered - including the weapon and one of the bullets involved in the crime, and important documents - and now sets out the definitive story. Here too is Black's story - how he found key elements, presumed lost forever, of a fabulous Old West story.
See the DIAMONDFIELD page for more.
 

Medimont Reflections Chris Carlson's Medimont Reflections is a followup on his biography of former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus. This one expands the view, bringing in Carlson's take on Idaho politics, the Northwest energy planning council, environmental issues and much more. The Idaho Statesman: "a pull-back-the-curtain account of his 40 years as a player in public life in Idaho." Available here: $15.95 plus shipping.
See the Medimont Reflections page  
 
Idaho 100 NOW IN KINDLE
 
Idaho 100, about the 100 most influential people ever in Idaho, by Randy Stapilus and Martin Peterson is now available. This is the book about to become the talk of the state - who really made Idaho the way it is? NOW AN E-BOOK AVAILABLE THROUGH KINDLE for just $2.99. Or, only $15.95 plus shipping.
 

Idaho 100 by Randy Stapilus and Martin Peterson. Order the Kindle at Amazon.com. For the print edition, order here or at Amazon.


 

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    Monday mornings on KLIX-AM

    watergates

    ORDER IT HERE or on Amazon.com

    More about this book by Randy Stapilus

    Water rights and water wars: They’re not just a western movie any more. The Water Gates reviews water supplies, uses and rights to use water in all 50 states.242 pages, available from Ridenbaugh Press, $15.95

    intermediary

    ORDER IT HERE or on Amazon.com

    More about this book by Lin Tull Cannell

    At a time when Americans were only exploring what are now western states, William Craig tried to broker peace between native Nez Perces and newcomers from the East. 15 years in the making, this is one of the most dramatic stories of early Northwest history. 242 pages, available from Ridenbaugh Press, $15.95

    Upstream

    ORDER HERE or Amazon.com

    The Snake River Basin Adjudication is one of the largest water adjudications the United States has ever seen, and it may be the most successful. Here's how it happened, from the pages of the SRBA Digest, for 16 years the independent source.

    Paradox Politics

    ORDER HERE or Amazon.com

    After 21 years, a 2nd edition. If you're interested in Idaho politics and never read the original, now's the time. If you've read the original, here's view from now.


    Governing Idaho:
    Politics, People and Power

    by James Weatherby
    and Randy Stapilus
    Caxton Press
    order here

    Outlaw Tales
    of Idaho

    by Randy Stapilus
    Globe-Pequot Press
    order here

    It Happened in Idaho
    by Randy Stapilus
    Globe-Pequot Press
    order here

    Camping Idaho
    by Randy Stapilus
    Globe-Pequot Press
    order here