Archive for June, 2014

Jun 30 2014

An Arkansas lesson

Published by under Malloy

malloy CHUCK
MALLOY

 
In Idaho

Years ago, I bumped into my old boss on an elevator – former Arkansas Congressman Ed Bethune – and he was gushing about how nice it would be to live in Idaho, where Republicans receive such enthusiastic support.

At the time, he never saw such a level of support in Arkansas. Democrats held the kind of stronghold in Arkansas that Republicans have held for so long in Idaho. Bethune, who served three terms in the House of Representatives, was one of the few Republicans who managed to win elections in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.

It’s no mystery why Democrats were so strong in Arkansas. Gov. Bill Clinton was the pride and joy of the Democratic Party and Hillary, as the first lady, was a rising star. Arguably, the most popular political figure at that time was then-Sen. David Pryor, who also was a former governor. Bethune decided to challenge Pryor for the Senate in 1984, and Pryor won convincingly.

At the time, Democrats seemed to have a dynasty that wouldn’t quit. Today, Arkansas is almost as red as Idaho. Republicans hold all four House seats, one Senate seat and majorities in both chambers of the Legislature. Arkansas also has voted consistently for Republicans in recent presidential elections.

So can Idaho turn from a Republican state to a Democratic state? It’s far too early to take that leap, but there may be at least slight movement in that direction – and especially if Idaho Republicans continue to stumble over themselves. Back in the day, Arkansas Democrats were a pretty arrogant bunch and they took elections for granted. Democratic candidates always talked the conservative game, but their voting records didn’t match their rhetoric. So over time, Republicans became the party of choice in Arkansas. The pattern for Idaho Republicans is much the same. They’re arrogant and tend to take elections for granted. And in the eyes of some, policy records of the likes of Gov. Butch Otter and Rep. Mike Simpson don’t live up to their conservative campaign themes.

A sea change in Idaho wouldn’t be easy for Idaho Democrats. For one thing, Democrats will never out-conservative the GOP in the Gem State. But Democrats could make headway talking about how Idaho’s leadership formula has led to Idaho being near last in education and first in low wages – issues that Sen. Russ Fulcher raised during his narrow loss to Otter in the governor’s race. Continue Reading »

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Jun 30 2014

In the briefings

Published by under Briefings

guard training

 
Two Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers with Golf Troop, 141st Brigade Support Battalion, guard an entry control point at the 2-218th Field Artillery Battalion compound at Yakima Training Site, Wash., June 21. Several Oregon Army National Guard units converged on the training site for their two-week annual training cycle. (Photo/Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).

 

The federal section is busy this week with congressional action. That may reflect the upcoming congressional recess (over the July 4 period), when congressional news usually slows. Many members of Congress will be back in their home states and district in the coming week, up through July 7 or so.

Next week may be a little quieter, given the long (and Friday-driven) weekend this week for the 4th.

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Jun 30 2014

On the front pages

Published by under First Take

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 Idaho laws take effect July 1 (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Trbune)
Fish and Game studies trout, pelican predation (Boise Statesman)
School budgets can be hard to read (Nampa Press Tribune)
Major Murtaugh pipeline being moved (TF Times News)

Safety questions at skateboard parks (Eugene Register Guard)
Ashland talks pot dispensaries, again (Ashland Tidings)
School at Talent will avoid pesticides (Ashland Tidings)
Teachings saying classes still too large (Medford Tribune)
State consider dental care expansion (Salem Statesman Journal)

Considering market share in mental health (Everett Herald)
Supply shortages for retail pot (Everett Herald)
UW and WSU battle over medical ed (Kennewick Herald)
Sea star wasting disease studied (Longview News)
Sounds Transit wants 25 acres in Bellevue (Seattle Times)
Liquor law change two years on, mixed report (Seattle Times, Yakima Herald Republic)
Washington state looks at escalator rules (Tacoma News Tribune)
Adoptees get more birth record access (Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian)

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Jun 29 2014

When Republicans collapse

Published by under Idaho,Idaho column

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Idaho

Several weeks ago Marc Johnson, who has been a Boise consultant, press secretary and journalist, wrote a piece of a blog post that has been sticking in my mind these last couple of weeks. It may stick in yours.

The key sentence in it says this: “The near total history of Democratic success in Idaho, dating back to at least Frank Church’s first election in 1956, has its foundation in Republican mistakes.”

He went on to cite a few examples, but many more are available. Let’s recap, starting with Church, the highly capable campaigner who likely would not have won his first Senate race in 1956 but for the weaknesses of incumbent Republican Herman Welker. Welker had been Senator Joe McCarthy’s closest Senate ally, and McCarthy was by 1956 in national disgrace. Coupled with that, Idahoans were seeing Welker had some kind of serious but unacknowledged physical problem that was causing him to behave erratically; it was widely assumed to be alcoholism but was in fact a brain tumor, which killed him not long after the election.

In 1960, Democrat Ralph Harding was able to beat Republican Representative Hamer Budge after Budge had become too enamored of his committee assignments and lost track of his district.

A decade later, Democrat Cecil Andrus thinly beat incumbent Republican Governor Don Samuelson after a long series of small but embarrassing glitches and an overall weak governorship.

In 1984, it took a string of felony convictions to narrowly remove Republican Representative George Hansen in favor of Democrat Richard Stallings.

In 1990, Republican legislators pushed too far for the state’s preference (at the time at least) on abortion legislation, and Democrats did uncommonly well that year, the last time to date that’s been true. That also happened to be the last time Republicans were as internally divided as they are now, though the emotions didn’t run nearly so hot then. Continue Reading »

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Jun 29 2014

On the front pages

Published by under First Take

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)

Early efforts on natural gas (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune)
Bardenays deals with health care law (Boise Statesman)
Competition heavy for DOE cleanup contracts (IF Post Register)
UI, LCSC dealing with guns on campus (Lewiston Tribune)
Gardner works on smaller Nampa library (Nampa Press Tribune)
Nampa schools at risk for another financial mess (Nampa Press Tribune)
Should kids under 12 be in big game drawing? (Pocatello Journal)
Drones may help with potato research (Pocatello Journal)
Will drones help with firefighting? (TF Times News)

Bilingual proficiency encouraged in OR (Eugene Register Guard)
UO plans improving scholarship with clusters (Eugene Register Guard)
River suction mining may not stay legal (Medford Tribune)
Conflicts over sex harassment reporting law (Medford Tribune)
What if a quake hit LNG operations at Coos? (Portland Oregonian)
Federal money uncertain for coast cleaning (Salem Statesman Journal)

WA still struggling with money for schools (Everett Herald)
Same sex partnerships become marriages (Vancouver Columbian, Kennewick Herald, Longview News)
Pot may be scarce in some WA stores (Longview News)
Liquor still not cheaper after two private years (Seattle Times)
Researching sea star wasting disease (Seattle Times)
State isn’t properly regulating escalators (Tacoma News Tribune)
Gorge Commission makes pitch for money (Vancouver Columbian)

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Jun 29 2014

Going to extremes

oregon
RANDY STAPILUS / Washington

Washington State University’s weather center has delivered one of its periodic reports on weather changes (much of it is in the Weather section in this issue) and this one, like many of them in recent years, has become compelling reading.
There’s this for example:

“In a span of three years, Washingtonians have experienced both extremes of spring weather. In 2011, the state lived through one of the coolest early growing seasons on record, only to see one of the warmest in recent memory in 2014.”

The state has been whipsawed over the last few years and even in the most recent season. It went from unseasonably warm weather at the beginning of spring to cool and wet, quickly – and the landslide at Oso on the Stillaguamish River may have been attributable in part to just that change.

And then there was this:

“A major heat wave at the end of April caused the high temperature at Long Beach to rise from 58 degrees on April 28 to 88 degrees on April 30. The sweltering reading shattered the previous April record by 12 degrees and marked the warmest temperature since September 2012.

“On May 1, the heat spread eastward and Seattle spiked to 89 degrees. However, a return to onshore flow allowed the daily high to decrease to a more seasonable 69 degrees on May 2.”

Makes you wonder what’s ahead for this year’s summer.

And over the span of the next few years, because these whipsaws have been becoming more pronounced with time.

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Jun 28 2014

What they use on the farm

Published by under Oregon,Oregon column

oregon
RANDY STAPILUS / Oregon

The chemistry of farming is becoming an unexpectedly heated subject of discussion which is about to go deeply political.

The issue of genetic modification has already gone political, of course, notably in Jackson and Josephine Counties, where voters chose to ban those substances. (The vote was advisory only in Josephine, since state law didn’t allow a by-county change anywhere but Jackson.)

That issue going statewide, with either legislative or ballot issue action almost surely just around the bend.

Then there’s the matter of pesticides, which have been popping up in headlines around the state more and more.

You’ll note in this issue, for example, the Department of Agriculture is taking additional steps to protect bees and other pollinators from exposure to specific pesticide products following multiple incidents of bee deaths this summer. In adopting a temporary rule, ODA is prohibiting the use of pesticide products containing the active ingredients dinotefuran and imidacloprid on linden trees or other species of Tilia.

Then there were the reports out of Eugene contending that trees which were treated with certain types of chemicals (mainly with the idea of protection against pests) sprayed on to trees could do harm to bee populations in the areas where the trees were replanted.

What seems to be changing about some of this, and is taking the issue more directly political, is the distribution element. Some groups of people long have been critics of various types of chemicals or bioengineering, but those complaints were not likely to become a big political deal as long as the people (and plants, and animals) affected by them were only those already inside a system of mutual agreement – contracting partners of some type. When wind can blow the substances elsewhere, making non-participants unwitting and unwilling participants, a totally new legal element has been introduced.

A new set of standards will be needed to cope with this. It may be coming soon.

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Jun 28 2014

On the front pages

Published by under First Take

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)

Minnick pursues tax cases over land donation (Boise Statesman)
Simpson backs keeping Dubois sheep station (IF Post Register)
State transportation holds off 80 mph speeds (IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Pocatello Journal)
Payette forest rescinds gold mine permit (Lewiston Tribune)
Vaccination exemption rate high in Whitman County (Moscow News)
Backgrounding Idaho’s concealed carry law (Moscow News)
Colleges change rules on textbook purchases (Nampa Press Tribune)
Results unchanged in same sex bias Pocatello ballot (Pocatello Journal)
Water resources sets plan for Rangen water call (TF Times News)
Reviewing noxious weed control in Magic Valley (TF Times News)

ODOT tries dodging I-5 trouble at Drain (Eugene Register Guard)
Groundbreaking on Eugene veteran center (Eugene Register Guard)
Shutoff notices issued to some in Klamath (KF Herald & News)
Mercury possible in Applegate Lake fish (Ashland Tidings)
Kitzhaber at Pendleton round table (Pendleton E Oregonian)
ConAgra Lamb Weston expands at Boardman (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Attack on secretary state web site from Asia (Portland Oregonian)
PERS court battle continues (Salem Statesman Journal)

ConAgra expands Boardman plant, fries line (Kennewick Herald)
Columbia Reach center opens at Richland (Kennewick Herald)
Army may cut 16,000 at Lewis-McChord (Longview News)
WA adoptees get more access to birth records (Seattle Times)
Bee specialists hopeful of rebound (Seattle Times)
Tacoma Narrows bridge toll rises again (Tacoma News Tribune)
SW Washington rail still below normal (Vancouver Columbian)
Derailment of rail tank carrying asphalt (Vancouver Columbian)
Union Gap pays nearly $1m to former employee (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Jun 27 2014

On the front pages

Published by under First Take

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 mental health crisis operation in IF (IF Post Register, Pocatello Journal)
Engineering firm Fluor opens IF office (IF Post Register)
Lewiston urban renewal cuts back on projects (Lewiston Tribune)
Idaho GOP has just Peterson left (Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal)
Will McCleary lead to state fund cuts to counties? (Moscow News)
UI students, not security, will have guns (Moscow News)
Idahoans are heavy wine drinkers (Nampa Press Tribune)
Neighbors blast property owner’s junk (Nampa Press Tribune)
Light foot militia meets at TF (TF Times News)

Counties go after tax non-payers (Eugene Register Guard)
Eugene school chief departure a suprises some (Eugene Register Guard)
KF merger on public safety services possible (KF Herald & News)
New BBQ place in Ashland (Ashland Tidings)
Medford still reviews penalties for dog owners (Medford Tribune)
Fed regulators respond to senators on oil trains (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Morrow County Courthouse gets dome back (Pendleton E Oregonian)
OR secretary state site hacked from Asia? (Portland Oregonian)
Petitions for legal pot initiative placed (Portland Oregonian)
Bee die-off leads to pesticide bans (Salem Statesman Journal)

Pot sales tax sets up in Black Diamond (Everett Herald)
Half-million donated for ridge trail effort (Kennewick Herald)
Drinking water study approved at Longview (Longview News)
WA high court reviews SeaTac minimum wage rule (Longview News)
Russell Investments sold to British firm (Seattle Times)
Salaries holding even in Spokane schools (Spokane Spokesman)
Lewis-McChord may face troop reductions (Tacoma News Tribune)
Court will decide rights in psychiatric boarding (Tacoma News Tribune)
Diminishing car thefts in Yakima area (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Jun 26 2014

Family values

Published by under Carlson

carlson CHRIS
CARLSON

 
Carlson
Chronicles

A steadily growing trend in political television advertising is the appearance of a candidate’s mother, spouse, daughter, son or his entire immediate family, all testifying to what a good person the candidate is. And yes, almost always it is a male candidate running these family testimonials.

Even the family dog can get drawn into the net. A few years back in the neighboring Fifth congressional district (Spokane), Congressman George Nethercutt prominently featured the family dog in his television commercials.

It used to be that just a picture of the candidate’s family would appear in a print ad or a brochure. Such pictures were designed to help the voter identify with the candidate. “See, I’m a normal person with a spouse, kids, pets, an old beater of a car, a mortgage and bills, just like you,” the ad would imply. Therefore vote for me because I know your challenges and I can feel your pain (As Bill Clinton famously said).

Such family testimonials must work at some level because media consultants would not be utilizing them if polling didn’t tell them that many voters accept such ads at face value. This is a classic case of myth-making overcoming reality.

It is also a classic case of a political aspirant using loved ones as props to feed the candidate’s ego and ambition. Often it is unseemly and demeaning, especially when the long-suffering spouse is asked to stand behind her man despite his blatant infidelity and is expected to look into the camera and testify that she still loves her spouse and please give them a zone of privacy to work through their difficulty.

Most of us recoil at such maudlin scenes and instinctively feel sorry for the spouse being asked to endure the public humiliation. Deep down most of us know also there is no such entity as a normal person nor a normal family nor a normal marriage.

We know that every marriage has its challenges. Couples have to work through these challenges together if they are to keep growing together. To pretend that maintaining the appearance of a normal family is somehow proof that if one can manage a fmaily they can manage a state is patently absurd.

Families and relationships are dynamic entities full of divegent, ever-changing personalities, and truth be told, most families have their dysfunctional aspects.

One thing we do know for sure is a spouse knows our weaknesses better than anyone else. We also know that it is just plain wrong for one spouse to expect the other to sacrifice their self-esteem, goals and ambitions on the altar of the other’s ambitions.

The smartest move I ever made was to marry my wife. On June 12th we will celebrate 44 years of marriage. We met when I was teaching at Kootenai High School and she was in Nursing school at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane. The daughter of a hard-working, sometimes hard drinking north Idaho gyppo logger, she is one of nine children. Continue Reading »

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Jun 26 2014

On the front pages

Published by under First Take

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)

Boise launches children’s bike trail (Boise Statesman)
DOE shows master plan for INL waste cleanup (IF Post Register)
Sheep station at Dubois loses federal funding (IF Post Register)
Campus gun law draws varied responses (Moscow News)
Moscow teachers, districts still stuck on contract (Moscow News)
Latah economic development group wants expansion (Moscow News)
Nampa library repurposesd for veterans (Nampa Press Tribune)
Ag-gag ruling expected soon (Nampa Press Tribune)
No inquiry into Bergdahl issues yet (Lewiston Tribune, Nampa Press Tribune)
Raving committee sessions in GOP fight (TF Times News)
Hailey tries to refocus on tourism (TF Times News)

Corvallis still mulls railroad right of way (Corvallis Gazette)
Eugene schools chief leaves after next year (Eugene Register Guard)
Chemicals on some trees may be killing bees (Eugene Register Guard)
Portland lawyer key in Scotus cell phone decision (Portland Oregonian)
State buys 357 acres on coast (Salem Statesman Journal)
PGE seeks to build solar power plant near Salem (Salem Statesman Journal)

Sliding is continuing along Stillaguamish (Everett Herald)
Property condemned for new Snohomish courthouse (Everett Herald)
New Delta High School sees groundbreaking (Kennewick Herald)
Wanapum Dam cracks to be repaired this year (Kennewick Herald)
Longview business mixes coffee, pot (Longview News)
Peninsula involved in orca study (Seattle Times, Post Angeles News)
Boeing execs explain recent cutbacks (Seattle Times)
New Seattle police chief O’Toole, union talk (Seattle Times)
Pot retailers to open July 8; supplied? (Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune)
Amtrak, old rail station bumping heads? (Tacoma News Tribune)
Killing hoof rot infected elk (Vancouver Columbian)

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Jun 25 2014

Maybe June was great for Labrador

Published by under Peterson

peterson MARTIN
PETERSON
 

The consensus seems to be that June was a disaster for first district Congressman Raul Labrador. First he presided over what most people are saying was the worst and least productive Republic state convention in Idaho’s history. Then he ran for House Majority Leader and appears to have been soundly trounced.

If his long-range plans call for building a career as an influential member of Congress, or for running for higher office, then the month was largely a disaster. But what if his long-range plans have goals unrelated to remaining in elective office?

The truth is, Labrador hasn’t seemed to be strongly driven by the need to deliver measurable results to his district, other than occasionally jumping on the bandwagon in support of legislation being sponsored by other members of Idaho’s delegation. Certainly not the way that former senators Jim McClure, Frank Church and Larry Craig were driven to address constituent needs. Nor the way that his second district counterpart Mike Simpson has been able to focus on strengthening the Idaho National Laboratory or trying to address issues related to wilderness.

Rather, most of his focus has been on pushing for a Congress that is philosophically true to the most conservative political dogma of the day. And he has been unflinching in this, with few exceptions. So unflinching that it has endeared him to many of the most conservative elements of our country. This unbending support of the far right philosophy and his natural ability to communicate in a calm and pleasant way has made him a favorite of the media.

Given all of this, why might June have been a great month for him? As chair of the state Republican convention, he was able to effectively work with the tea party group to keep the “regular” Republicans from controlling any element of the convention and actually keeping the delegations from two of Idaho’s largest counties, Ada and Bannock, from being seated. He was also able to assist in bringing far right standard bearers Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee to address the convention. While the convention accomplished absolutely nothing, the party gave no ground to those representing centrist Republican thought, even though tea party challengers were defeated by centrists in all but one statewide primary race.

The race for House Majority Leader was also an opportunity for Labrador to demonstrate that he is true to the interests of the far right. He was unafraid to take on the existing House leadership, along with most of the rest of the House, to voice his concerns about the need for the party and the House to shift much farther to the right, even though it likely further marginalized him as an effective House member.

So, given all of that, how does Labrador come out a winner?

He comes out a winner if, at some point, he contemplates leaving elective office and pursuing a career more financially lucrative than being either a Congressman or an Idaho immigration attorney. Former Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina followed this course, leaving his $174,000 a year Senate seat and becoming head of the Heritage Foundation earning over $1 million a year. According to reports filed with the IRS, leaders of seven prominent conservative groups average salaries well in excess of $500,000 a year. Continue Reading »

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Jun 25 2014

On the front pages

Published by under First Take

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)

Indian poker hinges on chance or skill (Boise Statesman)
Most Idahoans are OK with state’s roads (IF Post Register)
Who’s in charge at the Idaho GOP? (Lewiston Tribune)
WA pot must be kept from minors (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Palouse farm tracts increase in value (Moscow News)
UI prepares for guns on campus (Moscow News)
Nampa elementary school building becomes church (Nampa Press Tribune)
St Luke’s contests loss of property tax exemption (Nampa Press Tribune)
Budgets come to Nampa city council (Nampa Press Tribune)
Shifts in state workforce training after Chobani (TF Times News)
Questions about new 80 mph speeds on interstates (TF Times News)
Ag-gag critics may try using drones (TF Times News)

Criticism of planned Eugene sick leave policy (Eugene Register Guard)
UO accused of unfairness toward ousted players (Eugene Register Guard)
Eugene garbage rates may rise (Eugene Register Guard)
Debate over ATV use on state park land (KF Herald & News)
Klamath faces public safety vote (KF Herald & News)
SOU book store sold to Barnes & Noble (Ashland Tidings)
Jackson Co has limited pot restrictions (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Construction market grows around Medford (Medford Tribune)
Illegal forest harvesters at work (Medford Tribune)
Hermiston gets new city manager (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Some Round-Up events will be broadcast (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Washington prepares for pot sales (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Some Cover Oregon execs paid not to leave (Portland Oregonian)
More bee deaths reported in Oregon (Salem Statesman Journal)

Cannabis may be sold from food truck (Everett Herald)
Burlington Northern reports 10 oil trains/week (Everett Herald, Vancouver Columbian)
110 goats chomp overgrowth near mall (Everett Herald)
Kennewick waterfront hires architect (Kennewick Herald)
Culture of vit plant on safety a concern (Kennewick Herald)
Washington readies for pot sales (Vancouver Columbian, Kennewick Herald, Longview News)
Traffic lights change on Longview’s W Main (Longview News)
Movie released on dam-less Elwha River (Port Angeles News)
Seattle City Light seeks refund on PR effort (Seattle Times)
Port of Seattle raising minimum wage (Seatttle Times)
McMorris Rodgers takes on ex-im bank (Spokane Spokesman)
Avista branch looks into natural gas (Spokane Spokesman)
Questions about Tacoma gun turn-in (Tacoma News Tribune)
Clark Co economy still growing (Vancouver Columbian)
Survey says Hanford workers fear blowing whistle (Yakima Herald Republic)
Aftermath of the Cottonwood 2 fire (Yakma Herald Republic)

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Jun 24 2014

This pork is a hog

Published by under Rainey

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

For many, many a moon, it’s been hard to say anything positive about our miscreants in congress. Especially those in the Grand Old Party of “NO.” About the time you think they’ve reached the bottom, one of ‘em digs a little deeper and any thoughts of saying something positive about recalcitrant elephants are immediately dashed.

But one fella – Idaho’s Second Congressional District part-time dentist – has acquitted himself with more positive job performance than a majority of others in the herd. Mike Simpson can be honestly castigated for making a number of wrong-headed votes in the name of Republican “unity” – a phrase rapidly becoming inappropriate for anything GOP. He’s gone along with his leadership on some things unnecessarily partisan. Still, on the whole – as far as his folks at home are concerned – he’s been quite helpful.

But now, he finds himself doing something for the sake of some of those same home folk that may be politically smart but it’s also politically abhorrent to a lot of us – and maybe even him – because it’s wasteful of our tax dollars and is little more than pork wrapped in the old American flag.

The brass hats in the Pentagon maze have been trying for years to thin out our inventory of obsolete, costly and no-longer-effective weapons systems. Things change. We move on. Technology keeps getting better. We can kill more people with less. And, sometimes, we can even kill them one-at-a-time from 5,000 miles away – if everything operates properly. So, some of the deadly toys we bought many moons ago should be retired or recycled.

But – when the folks on Capitol Hill – the ones who think holding elective office is a tenured “career” regardless of performance – hear such talk, there’s an immediate reaction of sphincter puckering and a rush to head off any loss of defense spending in the home district. One of the leaders in this embarrassment of pork preservation has been the Speaker himself. The Army has been telling Congress for years it doesn’t want any more copies of certain models of current tanks – wants to stop building ‘em – and it wants a particular company to stop refurbishing the ones damaged on current battlefields. Stop, already!

Ah, but the company that does all that tank rebuilding is where? Where? All together now – OHIO! And that district is represented in Congress by whom? All together now – SPEAKER BOEHNER! And in his mind, we’ll never have enough tanks – especially not enough rebuilt tanks – until Hell freezes over. It’s called “pork,” boys and girls. P-O-R-K!

So, what about Mike Simpson? Well, he’s now caught up in something very similar. He’s “going to the mat” to save a flying weapons system the U.S. Air Force doesn’t want anymore – the A-10 Thunderbolt. Or, as it’s more informally known, the “Warthog.” The “Hog” first flew in about 1976. It’s been called an “airborne tank” because it can take a lot of punishment and keep on flying. It’s a twinjet craft used in close support of combat troops for strafing, rocket launching and putting a lot of hurt on those threatening our people. It’s been a great airplane and the most effective aerial weapons carrier for such work. Continue Reading »

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Jun 24 2014

On the front pages

Published by under First Take

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)

Micron’s quarterly report shows improvement (Boise Statesman)
Public opinion says Idaho roads are okay (Lewiston Tribune)
Noise on the Snake River near Lewiston (Lewiston Tribune)
Moscow changes its groundwater efforts (Moscow News)
Candidate Silver thinks Crane should be fired (Moscow News)
New Canyon County admin building opens (Nampa Press Tribune)
Lanes shift along I-84 in Nampa area (Nampa Press Tribune)
Nampa city begins annual budget work (Nampa Press Tribune)
Republicans still at odds on organization (Pocatello Journal, Sandpoint Bee)

Three UO basketball players banned (Eugene Register Guard)
Eugene limits fireworks a little more (Eugene Register Guard)
High fire risk in southern Oregon (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Unemployment rate falls in Jackson County (Ashland Tidings)
Wolf fund used mainly for prevention (Ashland Tidings)
Burglary rates rise at Medford (Medford Tribune)
Lack of law enforcement at Josephine hurts (Medford Tribune)
Milton-Freewater gun club approved (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Pendleton schools will increase Indian offerings (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Legal challenge filed in PERS case (Salem Statesman Journal)

Snohomish takes another look at slides (Everett Herald)
Governor discusses safety at Hanford cleanup (Kennewick Herald)
Major shootout near Rainier (Longview News)
Longview looks at using Cowlitz River water (Longview News)
Hoof diseased elk mught be killed (Longview News)
Seattle Council proposes preschool options (Seattle Times)
Long-ago planted trees now being harvested (Spokane Spokesman)
Pot businesses concerned about transport (Vancouver Columbian)

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Introducing one of Ridenbaugh Press' latest authors, Nathalie Hardy - introducing her new book, Raising the Hardy Boys.

 

 
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Through the Waters: An Oral History of the Snake River Basin Adjudication. edited by the Idaho State Bar Water Law Section and Randy Stapilus; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 300 pages. Softcover. $16.95.
See the THROUGH THE WATERS page.


 
Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh died on July 20, 2014; he was widely praised for steady leadership in difficult years. In this book, writer Scott Jorgensen talks with Atiyeh, traces his background and recounts some of what he had to say – and others said about him. “He was a good man ... In many ways, Vic Atiyeh was more than a man – he was a link to a past that I could barely even imagine.”
Conversations with Atiyeh. by W. Scott Jorgensen; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 140 pages. Softcover. $14.95.
The CONVERSATIONS WITH ATIYEH page.

Atiyeh
 
"Salvation through public service and the purging of awful sights seen during 1500 Vietnam War helicopter rescue missions before an untimely death, as told by a devoted brother, leaves a reader pondering life's unfairness. A haunting read." Chris Carlson, Medimont Reflections. ". . . a vivid picture of his brother Jerry’s time as a Medivac pilot in Vietnam and contrasts it with the reality of the political system . . . through the lens of a blue-collar, working man made good." Mike Kennedy.
One Flaming Hour: A memoir of Jerry Blackbird. by Mike Blackbird; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 220 pages. Softcover. $15.95.
See the ONE FLAMING HOUR page.


 
Back in Print! Frank Church was one of the leading figures in Idaho history, and one of the most important U.S. senators of the last century. From wilderness to Vietnam to investigating the CIA, Church led on a host of difficult issues. This, the one serious biography of Church originally published in 1994, is back in print by Ridenbaugh Press.
Fighting the Odds: The Life of Senator Frank Church. LeRoy Ashby and Rod Gramer; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 800 pages. Softcover. $24.95.
See the FIGHTING THE ODDS page.


 
JOURNEY WEST

by Stephen Hartgen
The personal story of the well-known editor, publisher and state legislator's travel west from Maine to Idaho. 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, here or at Amazon.com (softcover)

 

 

NEW EDITIONS is the story of the Northwest's 226 general-circulation newspapers and 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?

 
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)

 
 
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