Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: February 14, 2008”

Northern adjudication forges on

They probably did the right thing, but even though the policy is clearly right - water rights in the Idaho Panhandle ought to be adjudicated - the execution is likely to be a problem. Usually is when you've got large-scale revolt on your hands, as seems to be happening.

As Idaho moves toward conclusion of the massive Snake River Basin Adjudication - which ought to be called one of the most successful water law actions this country has ever had - the state has started toward a legal adjudication of water in the northern part of the state, the main region untouched by the SRBA. But fears have been stirred, along with regional resentments, and in recent months county officials have pressed for reversal of the law setting up the North Idaho Adjudication, which has been scheduled to get underway . . . oh, around now. The reaction has been strong enough to get regional legislators to call for a slowdown, and the state water resources department to put on the brakes.

And that has looked like the direction of things, except that today the Senate Resources & Environment Committee has decided otherwise - to proceed with the adjudications (apart from one small basin at the far northern tip of the state).

The key lever: Water users in Washington state taking legal action to protect as much of their water rights as possible. Senator Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls: "The problem is that the Washington people are already looking at that as their aquifer. And, in fact, they got a little panicky when we started on this adjudication path and began their own adjudication path to protect themselves as they search for the same water that we have."

Hammond's point was sound, and evidently enough to convince quite a few legislators. Will it be enough to defuse a rebellion, one that could turn political this year?


Those who have heard the radio shows of Lars Larson (solidly to the right) and Thom Hartmann (equally so to the left) may get the stunned reaction of Lynn at Oregon Media Insiders to this bit of news. From a post we just caught:

Remember Shawn Taylor, Lars Larson's longtime producer who got fired the Friday before Christmas? Someone reported in that thread that she got hired on to be EP of Thom Hartmann's nationwide Air America show. I pinged Shawn and she said that it is indeed true.
And I have to say: That is the most hilarious thing I've heard this week.

Talk from an AG contender

John Kroger

John Kroger

No particular thoughts yet on how the Democratic primary for attorney general will come out (that being of significance since there are no Republicans yet in the race). But some interesting reading about one of the candidates is newly available.

John Kroger, a law professor at Lewis & Clark Law School, has a limited pedigree in Oregon politics but a longer and more interesting in various other areas in and around the law. (His AG opponent is state Representative Greg Macpherson, D-Lake Oswego.) He worked on a fairly high level in New York and Washington, and has some soundly-grounded things to say.

Loaded Orygun has just run a three-part series based on an interview with Kroger, then followed that with an endorsement. Not a bad place for a good overview of what Kroger is about; he seems to be a blunt-spoken guy.

An example in quote in which he reviews the new increase-the-sentences crime proposal from Kevin Mannix: "If you want to tackle crime in Oregon - and I do - the way is not to throw a first property crime defendant in jail for three years, which is incredibly expensive and in most cases counterproductive. When you're talking about a third offense, OK - prison time is appropriate. But when you've got someone on a first offense, almost all of those people are committing crimes because of substance abuse problems. You want to get them on probation and get them into drug treatment. And that's how you reduce the crime rate. I just know that, factually. And that's why I think this measure is just incredibly reckless. I'd love to see it disappear."