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Posts published in “Day: June 4, 2012”

Klamath too

While more of the county-budget-nightmare attention has been focused on the southwestern counties - Josephine, Coos, Jackson, Curry - there's another fierce storm broiling to their east in Klamath County.

A rundown in the Sunday Herald and News calls it a "perfect storm," and this one almost seems to fit the overused description.

Let's see: We can start with the personnel issues, like sexual harassment claims against a former treasurer; accusation of a former assessor that he sent e-mails variously racist and including porn; a state review of the mental health agency (and resignation of its head). Three legal actions by whistleblowers. The end of federal timber payments (which is what's bedeviling the counties to the west). And a review by the state finding the county's bookkeeping in a “general state of disarray.”

Time, maybe, for some soul-searching - not least on the part of the voters.

In the Briefings this week

Tobacco seized from prison inmates in Idaho. (Photo/Idaho Department of Corrections)

Last week, Washington state's initiative requiring a legislative supermajority to pass tax and fee increases was struck down by a court. Former New York and Miami school chief Rudy Crew was named to head Oregon's education reorganization efforts. Ada County has denied a major property tax exemption for the Idaho Youth Ranch.

An Oregon state audit looked into the overally financial condition of the state's 36 counties, finding most of them in acceptable shape but several (mainly in the southwest) serious troubled. Idaho's first wildfires of the season have cropped up. King County is taking a closer look at the sports arena plan proposed by the county executive and Seattle's mayor. Washington has set up I-5 from Canada to Vancouver for electric car recharges. Multnomah County has set its new annual budget.

A Boise State University study said that global warming could impair the region's aquifers. Representative Peter DeFazio is asking White House help to look into gas prices on the West Coast. A federal sea lion policy allowing for killing of sea lions is allowed to stand.

All this and a lot more in this week's Briefings. For more, write us at