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Posts published in “Day: January 18, 2014”

Playing politics, flipping sides


Last week's discussion among legislators about bringing back legislation moving toward background checks for gun buyers seemed a little oddly-positioned. It was legislation that failed – decisively, not reach floor votes – last year; nothing much has happened since to change many attitudes toward it; and this short session is intended mainly for tightly-focused items that need resolution right away. Background checks might seem more logically revisited after the net election, which could rejigger the political calculus.

Republicans quickly jumped to the argument that the revival of this legislation in the election year session might be specifically politically oriented – even down to specific seats.

Of all seats Oregon Senate Democrats see as top targets, two jump out: the Hillsboro-area seat held by Republican Bruce Starr, and the Corvallis/Albany seat held by Republican Betsy Close. In both cases, Democrats have a registration advantage, and probably have already an advantage for taking over one of those seats (Close's; no Democrat has filed for the Hillsoboro seat, yet). The thinking is that putting Starr and Close on the spot on the backgrounding bill will give Democrats an advantageous issue heading toward November.

If so (we won't prejudge the motivations here), there's a significant side-comment here. The presumption has been that outside of central urban areas, gun legislation was mostly a political winner on the anti-legislation side. These two districts at stake are not central urban districts. Hillsboro is the substantial community in the Portland metro area farthest from Portland and until now most receptive to Republicans and conservatives. The Albany/Corvallis district has two midsized cities but is located out in the farm country.

Does the politics of this suggest that the politics of guns is changing a bit?

The desire named street car

From the Boise Guardian web site, based in Boise.

Thousands of tax dollars later, Team Dave’s desire named street car has resurfaced.

This time around instead of hiring a PR outfit to create public support for Mayor Dave Bieter’s dream of a “downtown circulator,” city officials are aiming for a Jan. 29 meeting to seek “input” on what type of circulator in the downtown area is desired… not presuming no street car is desired, based on past surveys.

The GUARDIAN can only echo years and years of reports, studies, surveys, and studies. Give us a damn bus system and quit wasting our money! People wanting a streetcar make as much sense as those who hailed the runaway bus driver as a hero–before coppers filed charges against him for whacking trees and nearly wiping out the Idaho Power building.

Hint: the city is unlikely to get streetcar permission from ACHD if they can’t get the hockey pucks installed to monitor parking meters.

What Made the Front Page


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)

Little change in NW fish plan (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune)
Nezperce schools asked to change Indian mascots (Lewiston Tribune)
Idaho school budgets rank low (Moscow News)
Oil and can development on Canyon land (Nampa Press Tribune)
Monsanto growing wheat at Filer (TF Times News)
Boise hospitals ordered to respond to data requests (TF Times News)

OSU pay info battle goes on (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Some skiing ongoing in Oregon (Eugene Register Guard)
Store concerns about new liquor law (Hermiston Herald)
No major Hermiston airport upgrades (Hermiston Herald)
Still no Upper Klamath water agreement (KF Herald & News)
Ashland considers business license change for pot (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
State tests mercury in Rogue River (Medford Tribune)
Milton Freewater wants well review (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Gun background check moves in Senate (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman-Journal)
Tri-Met still rewarding executives (Portland Oregonian)
Ron Tonkin, car dealer, dies (Portland Oregonian)
Schedule set for PERS challenge (Salem Statesman Journal)
Marijuana hearing features critics (Salem Statesman-Journal)

Bikini barista in court (Everett Herald)
Areva wins Hanford contract (Kennewick Herald)
3 Rivers snags outdoor store (Longview News)
Child porn victims want damages (Seattle Times)
Two legislative seats filled (Tacoma News Tribune)
GMO battles resume at statehous (Vancouver Columbian)
Yakima prosecutor won't run again (Yakima Herald Republic)
Yakima city fills council seat (Yakima Herald Republic)
Yakamas may get fill legal control on land (Yakima Herald Republic)