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Posts published in February 2014

On 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)

Hotels interested in downtown Boise builds (Boise Statesman)
Smaller turnout at Hampton jazz fest (Moscow News)
Taliban and Bergdahl exchange (Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune)
Rain rising in southern Idaho (Nampa Press Tribune)

Oregon tries cutting vaccine waivers (Portland Oregonian, Corvallis Gazette Times)
Gay marriage backers get signatures (Ashland Tidings)
Medford teachers back in school (Medford Tribune)
Rogue whitewater instruction offered (Medford Tribune)
State lottery numbers up (Medford Tribune)
Increasing medical costs at jails (Salem Statesman Journal)

Hastings tenure in reviiew (Kennewick Herald)
Bar cost for alcohol might go up (Tacoma News Tribune, Yakima Herald Republic, Kennewick Herald, Longview News)
Longview Tennant landfill may close (Longview News)
Vaccinations in Oregon (Longview News)
New PA port director named (Port Angeles News)
Legislature considers supplement budget (Port Angeles News)
Seattle growing faster than suburbs (Seattle Times)
Does Clark County excessively fine felons? (Vancouver Columbian)

In the end, no gag

idaho RANDY

Backers of the CAFO anti-videoing legislation - “ag-gag” - have already lost the war, even if the legislation passes.

Especially if it passes.

Senate Bill 1337, which has passed the Senate, bars a person who “without the facility owner's express consent or pursuant to judicial process or statutory authorization, makes audio or video recordings of the conduct of an agricultural production facility's operations.” More specifically, it's intended to ban (though various existing laws already theoretically do) the videotaping of what happens to livestock in concentrated animal feeding operations. This is significant in Idaho, home to some very large CAFO operations in the Magic Valley and southwest. The new bill would punish violators with up to a year in jail or a $5,000 fine; critics note that's the same as the state penalty for animal abuse.

Similar legislation has been proposed, most often failing to pass, in more than a dozen states; a Utah law is being challenged in the courts.

The Idaho bill was specifically prompted by a video shot in 2012 at Bettencourt Dairy at Hansen, showing workers beating on livestock. Last week another video shot at an Idaho CAFO, which added animal sexual abuse to the mix, was released. Both have had many, many views, and they've gone viral on social media.

We can't know if the videos alone would have generated massive international attention. We do know the videos, combined with legislation to ban shooting more of them, has sent interest in the subject sky high, in news reports nationally and overseas. The story is irresistible: An attempt to keep the lid on what people have already seen. But memories aren't so easily erased. Nor is the technology, which keeps moving in the direction of disclosure, as privacy advocates regularly remind us.

Among other responses to the bill are petitions, some inside Idaho, some by national animal advocacy groups. Petitions usually do little by themselves, but they can assist organization efforts, and they keep the subject visible. Not only smaller and relatively hard-core groups like Mercy for Animals, which released the Bettencourt videos, are involved in this, but also larger and better-funded groups like the Humane Society of the United States. The subject of CAFO livestock has gone mainstream.

If you doubt that, watch the latest series offering from Netflix: The satirical but pointed “Farmed and Dangerous.” (The initial plot hook involves an exploding cow.) Once issues like this get into cultural discussion, national regulation and legislation may, in time, follow. It's in the spotlight now.

The Magic Valley has benefited recently from arrival of a number of food processors who came there largely because of the easy supply of dairy products. Don't be surprised if boycotts of some of them start – and lead to business responses. To see this playing out, Google the Wiese Brothers Farms in Wisconsin, and read about the videos and other reports that led a frozen pizza company to cut all ties with them.

Nor is that all. If SB 1337 is signed into law (as seems likely), watch for this: An activist who deliberately violates it, shooting more video intending to get caught – and insisting on a very public trial that could draw more national and international attention, kicking in the cycle all over again.

The problem for livestock operations is not insoluble. The simplest out is to improve and closely monitor operations, then throw open the doors for public viewing. Some CAFO advocates have argued that much of what's been shown on the videos has been unusual aberrations, that most livestock is treated better before slaughter than the videos suggest; an open door policy would be the one practical way to prove it. Some of what inevitably happens in the best of meat processing businesses is of course difficult for many people to stomach, but the operators could fairly argue that if you want your meat at the supermarket, this is how it has to get there. Since most people do want their steaks and burgers, the argument might settle down, on at least higher ground than it occupies now.

Legislation has its uses. But CAFOs here have among other things a PR problem, and these kinds of laws seldom are much help with that.

On the front pages


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 Crane's treasury investments (Boise Statesman)
Idaho as anti-gay, or not (Boise Statesman)
More rain still needed (Nampa Press Tribune)
Hixon bill to push hospital transparency (Nampa Press Tribune)
Guns on campus v nuclear research (Nampa Press Tribune)
Tribes and team mascots (Pocatello Journal, Sandpoint Bee)
Rangen water call hit region (TF Times News)

Many Chinese studentes coming to UO (Eugene Register Guard)
Klamath Union HS renovation, maybe (KF Herald & News)
Medford teacher strike concludes (KF Herald & News)
Limited inspections on OR oil trains (Portland Oregonian)

Boeing's deals with the state (Everett Herald)
UW says race enters into death penalty (Kennewick Herald)
Hastings record at Hanford (Kennewick Herald)
Reviewing plans for methanol plants (Longview News)
Students at UW subsidizing sports (Seattle Times)
Reviewing coal traffic in WA (Spokane Spokesman)
Battle over minimum wage in WA (Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian)
C-TRAN may move to electronic fares (Vancouver Columbian)
Many disable people don't have services (Seattle Times, Yakima Herald Republic)

On the front pages


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)

Plan for two new downtown condos (Boise Statesman)
Trus Joist tech office shuts at Boise (Boise Statesman)
ID House passes wolf control fund (Boise Statesman, TF Times News)
Tribes criticize Indian-related mascots (Lewiston Tribune)
Cantwell visits Pullman on pulse crops (Lewiston Tribune)
ID Commerce wants new business incentives (Nampa Press Tribune, Lewiston Tribune, Sandpoint Bee)
Land battle continues at Lochsa (Moscow News)
Nampa considers vicious dog cases (Nampa Press Tribune)
Local zoners oppose new zoning bill (Nampa Press Tribune)
High avalanche danger (Sandpoint Bee)

Coos community enhance man draws comments (Coos Bay World)
No-vaccine school exclusion day hits (Coos Bay World)
KF considers synthetic playing field (KF Herald & News)
Medford teacher strike comes to an end (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Battle over medical pot at Phoenix (Ashland Tidings)
Legialative session reaches last two weeks (Portland Oregonian)
At port, $70K for no work (Portland Oregonian)
Douglas oks natural gas pipeline (Roseburg News Review)
No state defense on same-sex marriage provision (Roseburg News Review)

Debate over growing pot on Puget Island (Longview News)
Clark County workers may be allowed to carry guns (Longview News)
Mayoral reversal on police discipline (Seattle Times)
Sears closing Seattle south-downtown location (Seattle Times)
Heavy snowpack falling into place (Tacoma News Tribune)
36K+ enroll in health care at Clark County (Vancouver Columbian)
Inslee in DC, meets with Obama (Vancouver Columbian)
Toppenish school district pays $6.9m in accident (Yakima Herald Republic)
Toppenish may shut off some sewer service (Yakima Herald Republic)

Idaho’s lawyer retirement fund

rainey BARRETT


I gotta admit. Writing a think piece or two a week can be tough when you hit a dry spell. “Writer’s block” it’s called. Just nothing in the tank. But every so often, inspiration comes along like a lighting strike. BOOM! Such a “loud” inspiration struck the other day - easy enough for even that Palin woman to put it together. Well, almost.

Idaho’s attorney general has been trying to make the case with legislative budget types for a larger legal staff. Eight years he’s been scratching on that door without success. Of course, what success can you have when your hard-to-focus governor passes the idea off wittily by telling the media “We don’t need more money for lawyers. We need fewer Idahoans suing the state.” Butch always was a “big concept” guy.

Last three years, Gem State paymasters - read “taxpayers” - have coughed up $18 million for outside attorneys to help the state’s understaffed staff. $18 million! Downtown legal beagles charge $125 $400 an hour for their help. A.G. Wasden bills his staff lawyer’s work about $54 an hour. As I said, even that Palin woman could subtract a smaller number from a large one and - with help - see the problem. But - alas! She’d be wrong. Again.

Here’s the problem. The 105 people on the third floor of the Idaho Statehouse euphemistically called “legislators.” If you replaced that number with about the bottom 10% of any local high school graduating class, you’d solve the issue. Because “the issues” are outright stupid bills written, passed and sent to various governors. Session after session after session. Year after year after year. And they are SIGNED! Over and over and over.

Case in point. A state senator named Vick has put one of these “ain’t-got-a-chance-in-court” bills in committee. It would charge any Idaho cop who tried to enforce any as-yet unwritten federal gun law with a crime. If the guv signs it into law, which legal meter starts running? The $54 an hour in the A.G.’s office or the $400 an hour downtown? You guess.

Case in point: At a speed to make Carl Lewis proud, the folks on the third floor are ramming through a bill allowing concealed carry of guns on Idaho college campuses. On public record already: no college president wants it - no police chief wants it - most students don’t want it. Teens, alcohol, drugs and concealed 9mm’s. What could possibly go wrong? This one will be in court before the first shot’s fired.

Case in point: Another Senator - Thayne by name - has put this little gem up for consideration. If the current POTUS somehow declares war on another nation - which he can’t - Idaho and all who live there would be exempt. Wouldn’t have to fight. Just ignore the war. Now, even I know only Congress can declare a war. But nobody told Thayne - er - Sen. Thayne. Or George Bush, for that matter. So if a majority of the other 104 upstairs sent this bowl of idiocy down to the governor - and he forgot his one constitutional law class of 50 years ago and signed it - whose legal meter starts on this one? And at what per-hour cost? With what outcome?

Terrible case(s) in point. Ol’ Rep. Luker and his two ALEC-written pieces of guaranteed court time that would allow Idahoans not do business with gay or homosexual citizens - or others who “offended” someone’s “religious sensibilities” - to refuse service regardless of the 1964 Civil Rights Act or other laws. Say, a gay man was robbed but a Pentecostal-believing sheriff refused to do anything based on his “sincerely held religious belief” that the gay man’s “lifestyle” was an affront to the sheriff’s way of life. Can’t you just see the worms struggling to get out of the can on that one? Do we hire the $54 an hour Deputy A.G. or does Idaho government turn to the $400 an hour private folk downtown? Again, to what end? It’s a loser. Mr. Luker has withdrawn his paperwork while he “thinks” about it. Prediction? It’ll come back in some form. This year or next. Bet the farm on it. (more…)

Why no defense

ridenbaugh Northwest

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said on February 20 she would not try to defend in court the state's constitutional provision barring same-sex marriage. Here's her explanation.

Good morning. As many Oregonians are aware, four couples have brought suit against the state, asking a federal court to find that Oregon’s ban on marriage by couples of the same sex violates the right of equality enshrined in the United States Constitution. I am named as a defendant in the lawsuits, along with the Governor, and it falls on my office to appear on behalf of the state before the court and answer the couples’ claims.

Usually — though not always — my office defends the state in litigation. As Attorney General, I have sworn an oath to uphold our state’s constitution. The lawyers in my office have sworn the same oath. The oath we took also requires us to uphold the Constitution of the United States – which is the supreme law of our land. Of course, we all take these oaths very seriously.

So it is after much careful study and consideration that I stand before you today to announce that the Oregon Department of Justice will not defend the prohibition in our state's constitution against marriages between people of the same sex. A document called an “answer” filed with the court earlier this morning informed Judge McShane of our decision. Copies are available for you.

Because our office also represents the people of Oregon, a brief explanation is in order.

The Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution gives people the right to be treated equally by their government, unless there is a good reason for unequal treatment. That is, any time the government establishes different sets of rules or laws for different sets of people, there must at least be what the law calls a “rational basis” for those differences.

The law in this area is developing and it is now clear that there is no rational basis for Oregon to refuse to honor the commitments made by same-sex couples in the same way it honors the commitments of opposite-sex couples. Marriage is the way that loving couples become family to each other and to their extended families, and there is no good reason to exclude same-sex couples from marriage in Oregon, or from having their marriages recognized here.

Because we cannot identify a valid reason for the state to prevent the couples who have filed these lawsuits from marrying in Oregon, we find ourselves unable to stand before federal Judge McShane to defend the state’s prohibition against marriages between two men or two women.

We will be explaining our legal reasoning to Judge McShane as this case proceeds. Those of you who are interested will be more than welcome to review our pleadings as they are filed. Legal papers that are due by April will fully address our analysis and that of the other parties in the two cases that are now consolidated.

Thank you.

On the front pages


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)

Big story in the region today: Oregon's attorney general not defending the state's constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage.

Candidates for supt public instruction (Boise Statesman)
Labrador on religion and marriage (Lewiston Tribune)
New district judgeship at Lewiston (Lewiston Tribune)
More gay activists arrested at Statehouse (Moscow News)
Caldwell parents consider common core (Nampa Press Tribune)
New rescue mission at Nampa (Nampa Press Tribune)
Legislation on court interest rates moves (Sandpoint Bee)
details released on Gooding school superintendent (TF Times News)
More issues on canyon jump plan (TF Times News)

KF medical pot shop will open (KF Herald & News)
May election will feature 911 tax (KF Herald & News)
AG not defending gay marriage provision (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, Pendleton East Oregonian, Ashland Tidings)
More on Medford school strike (Medford Tribune)
Sprout Springs ski area closed (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Court kills Metro land plan (Portland Oregonian)
Real estate vacancies at Salem drop (Salem Statesman Journal)
Bill may help Hynix site renewal (Eugene Register Guard)

Death in jail leads to lawsuit (Everett Herald)
New Snohomish exec on state of county (Everett Herald)
Ferry design could save fuel (Everett Herald)
Storms helping water supply, flood? (Longview News, Port Angeles News)
Columbia County may re-try jail levy (Longview News)
Schools consider obesity issue (Seattle Times)
New Tacoma Amtrak station considered (Tacoma News Tribune)
Clark County may let workers carry guns (Vancouver Columbian)

On the front pages


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)

Top story of the day in:
ID - Death of 'religious freedom' bills
OR - Rain and snow pack
WA - State adjust pot rules, revenue

'Religious freedom' bills killed (Boise Statesman)
Nampa library project finds efficiencies (Nampa Press Tribune)
Gayle Manufacturing re-bases to Nampa (Nampa Press Tribune)
State investigates Oneida prosecutor (Pocatello Journal)
Blackfoot and core standards (Pocatello Journal)
Ex-Simplot Aberdeen workers retrain (Pocatello Journal)
Snedden joins race for House 1A (Sandpoint Bee)
Sandpoint council adds Fragoso (Sandpoint Bee)
More dairy video released (TF Times News)
Avalanche risk growing (TF Times News)

More rain, some snow (Corvallis Gazette Times)
OSU students won't divest on fossil fuels (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Benton DA supports OSU non-release of pay data (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Record earnings for Lithia (Medford Tribune)
Still no teacher strike settlement (Medford Tribune)
Fair manager at KF resigns (KF Herald & News)
KF K-Mart will shut down (KF Herald & News)
May ballot will feature county charter (KF Herald & News)
Ashland still reviews gun options (KF Herald & News)
Phoenix considers pot store ban (Ashland Tidings)
Google may bring ultra-fast fiber to PDX (Portland Oregonian)
Review of school strike avoidance (Portland Oregonian)
Commission candidate blasts anti-strike charges (Roseburg News Review)
Maybe no local pot store bans (Roseburg News Review)
Secretary state website hacked (Salem Statesman Journal)
Marion County tries restricting med pot sales (Salem Statesman Journal)

Snowpack accumulating (Everett Herald, Kennewick Herald)
Hanford cleanup cost estimate $113 billion (Kennewick Herald)
Longview downtown renewal stalls (Longview News)
Rainier schools close over water leak (Longview News)
State reduces pot farm numbers, size, but revenue up (Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Longview News)
Murray visits vet clinic expansion (Port Angeles News)
Longer hours for PA city hall (Port Angeles News)
Some city contractors must use apprentices (Port Angeles News)
Big salmon run expected (Vancouver Columbian)
Legislative status overview (Vancouver Columbian)
Sheriffs deputy labor battle at arbitration (Yakima Herald Republic)

The importance of predictability

carlson CHRIS


If you have ever wondered why so many business leaders say they cannot trust units of government, whether local, state or federal, to keep their word and deliver the sine qua non of heavy investment - a safe, secure, predictable business environment, look no further than Bonner County in north Idaho.

The County is currently in court with a high-end developer of upscale hangar-homes, which contain living quarters and private planes or helicopters, on property adjacent to the Sandpoint Airport. Called SilverWing at Sandpoint, the project developers have a legitimate beef with the county that falls under the umbrella of government providing a predictable business development environment.

While SilverWing is a client of my daughter Serena’s strategic communications business, as one who started and built a small business of my own, and as a taxpayer, this being jerked around by a governmental entity is the kind of inconsistent behavior that also truly angers me.

Like any prudent developer, SilverWing did their due diligence and acquired all the required permits from both the city of Sandpoint and Bonner County before building a model home, laying out the streets and putting in the required infrastructure for water, electricity and sewage.

Altogether the owners spent over $5 million developing the site, which may very well be the last of its kind in the United States because the Federal Aviation Administration has decided to adopt a policy recommending against such developments at public airports. The FAA however, well aware of SilverWing, in effect grandfathered it in prior to the adoption of this policy.

So what’s the problem? For reasons hard to fathom, the Bonner County Commission reversed field and has effectively placed a cloud over further sales of these ever-increasingly valuable hangar home-sites by publicly speculating that they might not grant homeowners access to the main runway from the development.

Of course, if the County persists in this stance, it would also be blocking missionary and backcountry high-performance plane builder Quest its access to the main runway because Quest uses SilverWing’s taxi­way and runway access.

Thus far, Bonner County has spent in excess of $1 million taxpayer dollars trying to defend this indefensible mid-stream shift. SilverWing understandably is trying to protect their investment but has made it clear that they would welcome a negotiated settlement that allows them to remove the cloud the county has placed over their project and to proceed. Thus far, Bonner County, through its high priced California law firm, has rebuffed any overtures, despite having so far lost every motion they’ve made for summary judgment or any other legal maneuvering.

SilverWing, for its part, is utilizing the legal services of Boise-based Givens Pursley. When depositions are held, SilverWing sends one attorney, but Bonner County’s team can and often does consist of five or more attorneys and county employees. I’m sure the California attorneys are enjoying cutting the fat hog they think they see in their government contract with Bonner County.

Here’s a prediction though from a non-lawyer, though: The county is holding a losing hand and, when it comes time to pay the piper, the cash-strapped county may be facing bankruptcy if it has no insurance that will cover it in case it loses.

Someone, somewhere in that Bonner County courthouse better start reining in the county’s spendy ways and better start thinking through some “what-if” scenarios.

A little common sense should lead all parties to the conference table and a negotiated settlement fair to all. In the meantime, the next time you hear some businessman say one can’t trust any level of government to keep its word, recount to them this classic example being perpetrated in Bonner County.

On the front pages


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)

Big story of the day in:
ID - State Senate votes for guns on campus
OR - Water levels
WA - Big snowfall in Cascades

Otter directs ISP to investigate CCA (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
Oregon minimum wage draws workers (Boise Statesman)
Hatcheries targeted by lawsuits (Boise Statesman)
ID Senate votes for college campus guns (TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal)
Lewiston High upgrade considered (Lewiston Tribune)
Whitman County lost ballots (Moscow News)
Moscow won't write legislature on gay ordinance (Moscow News)
Nampa Development Corporation board dissolved (Nampa Press Tribune)
Growth in house sales high (Nampa Press Tribune)
Variance approved for Pocatello mosque (Pocatello Journal)
Fired coach keeps teaching certificate (Pocatello Journal)
Eric Anderson won't run for House again (Sandpoint Bee)
Crapo advises legislature on rules amendment (Sandpoint Bee)
Idaho high on Obamacare enrollment (TF Times News)
Protesters at Filer's city council (TF Times News)

Witham Oaks battle continues (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Cover Oregon site partly open (Corvallis Gazette Times)
OSU hosts bee-pesticide quarrel (Corvallis Gazette Times)
OR Senate would ban local pot bans (Salem Statesman Journal, Corvallis Gazette Times)
Rob Patridge runs for Klamath DA (KF Herald & News)
Still low water in Southern Oregon (KF Herald & News, Ashland Tidings)
Ashland enhanced water connection (Ashland Tidings)
Medford teachers strike, still (Medfor Tribune)
Some water levels rise (Medford Tribune)
St. Anthony Hospotal to be torn down (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Stanfield considers public safety fee (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Portland averts teacher strike (Portland Oregonian)
Bill on class action finances (Portland Oregonian)
Long-range Metro planning map released (Portland Oregonian)

Everett gets 777X wing project (Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald)
Employees at Denney juvenile center sue (Everett Herald)
Sea stars being wiped out (Everett Herald)
URS whistleblower dismissed (Kennewick Herald)
Cowlitz, Weyerhaeuser made land deal (Longview News)
School superintendent at Kelso quits (Longview News)
New port exec director negotiations (Port Angeles News)
Wildlife concerns about dock plan (Port Angeles News)
Big snowfall in Cascades (Seattle Times, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic)
Adjunct professors may unionize (Seattle Times)
Help for immigrants at colleges, to gov (Spokane Spokesman, Vancouver Columbian)
ID Senate oks campus gun bill (Spokane Spokesman)
Lawmakers on medical, recreation pot markets (Tacoma News Tribune)

Reflecting on headlines

carlson CHRIS


Every so often there are a series of news items and headlines that inevitably bring forth from the memory bank an appropriate “Andrusism” - an expression of Cece’s that encapsulated and often simplified while educating one about the particular situation.

Example #1: Cece would often say “when you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.” University of Idaho vice president for government affairs and communications, Chris Murray, should reacquaint himself with this one. First, one suspects he inadvisably counseled the University’s next president, Dr. Chuck Staben, to grant his first introduction to a broader Idaho audience through a lengthy telephone interview with the Boise-based Idaho Statesman.

One would think he would have granted that honor to a newspaper in the University’s back yard, like the Moscow-Pullman Daily News or the Lewiston Tribune, but no, it’s the Statesman. If one read the transcript of the ensuing interview, the error was further compounded by not adequately preparing Dr. Staben to provide a more nuanced answer to the obvious question that would be coming on Idaho’s use of the expression “Idaho’s flagship university.”

It would have been easy to duck the entire interview by simply saying “Idaho currently is represented by President Don Burnett. I don’t take over until March 1st."

The University, not having learned its lesson, then announces it is kicking off its year-long 125th in Boise. The Tribune again twits the University for this blindness to taking care of one’s home base first which elicits a long, loud largely irrelevant and personal vent by Mr. Murray against the Tribune.

Andrus has another expression Murray should heed: “Don’t get in a p________ contest with folks that buy ink by the barrel.”

Until then, "Mr. Burnett speaks for the university.”

Example #2. Andrus called it his “no surprises” rule. If you worked for him and there was bad news coming you’d better let him know before he read it in the newspaper. Theresa Luna, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna’s sister, recently testified before the Legislature’s JFAC and in the course of her testimony revealed that the State might have to come up with another $14.5 million to pay some educational vendors because reimbursement from the Feds was not forthcoming.

Why do I think this came as a surprise to Governor Butch Otter? And why hasn’t Butch fired her? And could this issue waiting to explode have had anything to do with the SPI’s sudden decision not to run for re-election? (more…)

On the front pages


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)

State spending $30 million a year on private attorneys (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
Boise may get a bike share (Boise Statesman)
Plenty of truck driving jobs (Lewiston Tribune)
Latah county candidates emerge (Moscow News)
Whitman County approves levy (Moscow News)
Agriculture education bill progresses (Nampa Press Trobune)
Snowpack in Idaho improving (Pocatello Journal)
Planning for memorial field (Sandpoint Bee)
More discussion on possible Canyon jump (TF Times News)
Wolf control bill discussed (TF Times News)
Filer still investigating dog shooting (TF Times News)

More debate over Klamath sheriff budget (KF Herald & News)
Jeld-Wen gets new president (KF Herald & News)
Mount Ashland getting more snow (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Medford Jazz Festival renamed (Ashland Tidings)
Portland preparing for teacher strike (Medford Tribune)
Blue Mountain psych center may get inmate use (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Merkley at Umatilla town hall meeting (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Hermiston looks for new city manager (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Legislature becoming more partisann (Portland Oregonian)
heav wind downs trees and power for 10,000 (Portland Oregonian)
Arts commission may shift organization (Salem Statesman Journal)
Still some drought around Oregon (Salem Statesman Journal)

Bill would allow ads in state parks (Everett Herald)
Out of state bidding for work on ferries? (Everett Herald)
Ferry riders may use electronic toll pay (Everett Herald)
New plant might be built at Hanford (Kennewick Herald)
Political impact of Inslee on death penalty? (Longview News)
Rain and winds expected this week (Vancouver Columbian, Longivew News)
Plans to restore the 3 Crabs area (Post Angeles News)
Top salaries for aides to Seattle mayor (Seattle Times)
Exploring offshore wind power generation (Seattle Times)
Spokane city may drop opposition to casino (Spokane Spokesman)
Gay rights backers at Idaho statehouse (Spokane Spokesman)
No flooding, but drought threat diminishes (Tacoma News Tribune)
Longview waterfront gets new backer (Vancouver Columbian)
Maybe heavy snow at Snoqualmie (Yakima Herald Republic)
Dream Act measure may pass legislature (Yakima Herald Republic)