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Posts published in June 2014

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)

CEOs of ID public tradeds saw raises in 2012 (Boise Statesman)
Idaho guardsmen reflect on Iraq situation (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register)
Democrats hold harmonious convention (Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal)
Chaney gears up for House 10B race (Nampa Press Tribune)
Nampa seeking a branch of Boise Co-op (Nampa Press Tribune)
Harkness Hotel opening at McCammon (Pocatello Journal)

New Eugene math instruction criticized (Eugene Register Guard)
New Klamath library branch opened (KF Herald & News)
Reviewing the work of corrections officers (Portland Oregonian)
Most state employee performance reviews not done (Salem Statesman Journal)
Attempts to build Minto Park still delayed (Salem Statesman Journal)

Snohomish Council splits on expanded air terminal (Everett Herald)
PUD leaders paid more than $60k (Longview News)
State initiative focuses on class size (Longview News)
Washington's national parks face budget crunch (Seattle Times)
Uncertainty as pot stores plan openings (Spokane Spokesman)
Pierce County home values rise nearly 10% (Tacoma News Tribune)
Pettit Oil collapse leaves customers chilled (Tacoma News Tribune)
School recesses cut back (Yakima Herald Republic)

Putting the convention in its place

idaho RANDY

The Idaho Republican convention's closing hours in Moscow last weekend were so unusual and so conflicted that they've taken on a character of their own – a poison pill of sorts for Idaho's dominant political party, an event so embarrassing that, in some views, it might cost the party control of state offices.

Let's step back just a bit.

Will the chaos convention in and of itself change much in Idaho politics? Probably not. Even amid all the headlines, most Idaho voters likely are only vaguely aware that a convention was held, and far fewer could explain to you just what happened there. So what if they failed to elect (in the normal way at least) a chair or adopt a platform? Outside of people really active in Idaho politics, who would notice? When's the last time either of those things elicited a lot of discussion two weeks after the event?

Short term, the party has a mess in front of it – disagreement even about whether it has a chair and officers in place. Meetings last week didn't seem to go much better than the convention did. Some of that may be resolved in the next few weeks in meetings various party people are trying to set up; or those efforts could collapse as well.

Still, as a one-shot event, this and the botched convention was not a big deal in the broad reach of Idaho politics. It will pass.

That doesn't mean it's insignificant.

It (and the ongoing conflict) could turn off some party workers and volunteers who, out of anger or disgust, won't be going out there and working the way they usually do. That could hurt the party in the case of races which are otherwise close.

But there's also something bigger. (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)

Fight over AF Magnida fertilizer plant (Boise Statesman)
Idaho unemployment rate dropping (IF Post Register, Pocatello Journal)
Who's in charge at the Idaho GOP? (IF Post Register, Pocatello Journal, Sandpoint Bee)
Nafziger's menswear in Nampa closing (Nampa Press Tribune)
Concerns about funding Pocatello connector (Pocatello Journal)
Hall Mountain mining dispute continues (Sandpoint Bee)
Democratic convention going smoothly (TF Times News)

Oregon suspends sprayer license over bees (Eugene Register Guard)
Eugene limiting fireworks (Eugene Register Guard)
Bryant fire near Bonanza still growing (KF Herald & News)
Kalamth Co gets $803k in PILT money (KF Herald & News)
SOU gets interim president (Ashland Tidings)
Jackson Co schools limiting transfers (Ashland Tidings)
Fire risks creeping earlier in year (Ashland Tidings)
Multnomah gun ordinance will be tested (Portland Oregonian)
Still more bee die-offs reported (Salem Statesman Journal)
Mental health funds approach at issue (Salem Statesman Journal)

Oso Highway 530 re-opened to 2-way traffic (Everett Herald)
Local college graduations (Kennewick Herald, Longview News)
Schools chief Banda may leave for California (Seattle Times)
Pot bakers must follow safe food regulations (Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune)
Spokane proposes taxes for Riverfront upgrade (Spokane Spokesman)

Quote of the day

ridenbaugh Northwest

Grant Loebs, chair of the Twin Falls County Republicans, speaking of his state party leadership in the wake of a rule committee meeting at which incumbent Barry Peterson was deemed to have been re-elected as chair (which Loebs said he was not):

“It’s kind of a tin-horn dictator type coup. And the question is what do you do when somebody stages a coup and has the office and changes the locks and has their hands on the bank account and the computer systems, how do you get them out of there? In this country, we don’t do it through violence, so we have to work through all the processes that are available to us.”

UPDATE Here's a response (not to the above quote, but to also-critical comments from former Idaho Republican Chair Trent Clark, who said that Peterson has lost his chairmanship and should surrender keys and related materials. The reply comes from Maria Nate of Madison County, a rules committee member:

"I am sickened by this discussion of 'absolute power corrupting absolutely' being attributed to the liberty wing of the party which is fighting the ABSOLUTE CORRUPTION of the establishment. Governor Otter is upset that he didn't get his choice of chair in 2008 and goes on a tirade to win at all costs, even if that means burning down the party. Otter has instructed his people to choke the party by not contributing to it, he meddled in precinct committee elections and attempted to manipulate the delegates of Ada County. Mr. Clark, the corruption lies at the feet of the governor. I am proud to belong to a group of individuals that have decided to take a stand against such corruption. We will be silent no longer."

She should be careful about suggesting that because words like "liberty" are sprinkled through its rhetoric, that her side and its advocates are any less susceptible to power grabbing. (One might revisit the history of Russian Bolsheviks in 1917 to reinforce the point.)

An Idaho gem

carlson CHRIS


Somewhere down the road a future Idaho governor is going to take a page from a President’s Book of Plays, and is going to create, maybe even endow, an annual award to an Idaho writer, artist, composer, or outstanding college teacher.

Let’s call it the “Gem” Award, and attach a cash component of say $100,000. Ask the Idaho Humanities Council (The Council has established a similar award, but no money) to submit three names to the Governor.

Yes, Idaho already has the “Esto Perpetua” award that goes annually to the person or organization that during the previous year has best promoted Idaho heritage. It is awarded by the Idaho State Historical Society. While prestigious it too carries no monetary award.

My nominee for the First Gem Award would hands down be Idaho’s State Historian, and one of the state’s finest writers, Keith Petersen. Born in Vancouver, Washington in 1951 and a graduate of Washington State University, Keith has immersed himself in Idaho history like no other Idahoan.

His ability to relate fascinating details and place them in a meaningful context is superb. It is also the product of meticulous research and an innate curiousity that asks “what else was going on then that could have impacted this event or shaped people’s perceptions?”

Did you know that Father DeSmet, one of the first Jesuit missionaries to come to Idaho and the inspiration behind the state’s oldest structure, the Cataldo Mission, was a confident of Northwest road builder John Mullan? Mullan first came west in 1853 as part of a Pacific Railroad survey expedition headed by Washington Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens, who “negotiated” (read dictated) the famous treaty of 1855 the effects of which we are still living with today.

If you did not know those facts then read Keith’s most recent endeavor, a biography of Captain John Mullan, who engineered the Mullan Road that started at Fort Walla Walla and ended up at Fort Benton in Montana on the Missouri River. Much of Interstate 90 today follows the road that he mapped and engineered over 150 years ago. Even if one is not a reader of history or biographies, this book is well worth one’s time.

The book is entitled John Mullan: The Tumultuous Life of a Western Road Builder and is published by WSU Press.

Keith begins the book with Captain Mullan’s delivery of a speech in New York City in 1863 at the height of his fame for his explorations, mapping and road building in the west. Mullan is actually the warm up act at the speech forum but drones on and on for a couple hours.

Keith portrays this as the apogee, the high point of Mullan’s story, for at age 36 it is bascially all downhill for the intrepid but ambitious Mullan from there to the end of his life. While Mullan displayed incredible discipline in his younger years, was a diligent and obedient student while mastering the intricacies of engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and clearly an exceptional leader of his map-making and road building crews he appears to have had a classic fatal flaw. (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)

St. Luke's-Saltzer fight continues (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
Labrador loses run for majority leader (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune)
Democrats prepare for their convention (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register)
IF Odyssey school charter may be revoked (IF Post Register)
New possible airfield near Palouse (Moscow News)
Balukoff suggests 'Otter fatigue' (Moscow News)
Caldwell moves 4th of July fireworks (Nampa Press Tribune)
Dairy worker sentenced on cruelty charges (Nampa Press Tribune)
Republican worker: Otter key to a resolution (Pocatello Journal)
Concerns over Hall Mountain Mine (Sandpoint Bee)
TF drive-in plans summer reopen (TF Times News)
Reviewing Idaho's natural gas industry (TF Times News)

Panel advises against Washington Park sale (Corvallis Gazette)
Recount shows Lane incumbents still win (Eugene Register Guard)
Oregon looks into bee die-off (Eugene Register Guard)
OR-7 and pups central in timber legal case (KF Herald & News)
New busing zones set for Henley School (KF Herald & News)
Ashland adopting pot dispensary rules (Ashland Tidings)
Fire burns part of table rock area (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Fire burns close to Heppner (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Umatilla goes to Hermiston ambulance (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Wheat production down diminished this year (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Umpqua College seeks new health building (Roseburg News Review)
Support grows for mental health court (Roseburg News Review)
Gun regulation group forms (Salem Statesman Journal)

Another Boeing labor dispute, over 2 workers (Everett Herald)
Longview PUD considers rules on pot (Longview News)
Fake distress calls costly for Coast Guard (Port Angeles News)
Spokane animal shelter moves, grows (Spokane Spokesman)
Martinac shipbuilder in loan default (Tacoma News Tribune)
Inslee backs state minimum wage increase (Vancouver Columbian)
Pot stores look to open in July (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)

Labrador faces majority leader vote (Boise Statesman)
Lewiston to dispose of old library building (Lewiston Tribune)
Sheriff in Latah wants raises for deputies (Moscow News)
Idaho Democrats look to calm convention (Moscow News)
Washington's Didier giving away guns (Moscow News)
CWI plans for next academic year (Nampa Press Tribune)
New businesses setting near College of Idaho (Nampa Press Tribune)
Safety officers armed at ISU (Pocatello Journal)
Lawsuit on Bannock vote alleges corruption (Pocatello Journal)
Agreement that GOP convention was chaos (Sandpoint Bee)
Nonprofit Wasden chairs saw embezzlement (TF Times News)
Small donations may lead to shortened fireworks (TF Times News)
TF urban renewal sells key building (TF Times News)

College sends Benton Center bond to voters (Corvallis Gazette)
Farmers battle rail to bike trail (Eugene Register Guard)
Eugene moves on citywide sick leave rule (Eugene Register Guard)
Water shutoffs start around Klamath (KF Herald & News)
About 50 arrests in food stamp fraud (KF Herald & News)
Ashland council rejects open carry ban (Ashland Tidings)
Conviction thrown out over illegal stop (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Districts limiting student transfers (Medford Tribune)
Reports of wolves attacking livestock (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Umatilla pays massive prisoner med bill (Pendleton E Oregonian)

Snohomish explores Oso buyouts (Everett Herald)
Lynnwood opens its first farmers market (Everett Herald)
Council at Everett raises city taxes (Everett Herald)
Gas prices continue to rise (Longview News)
Fireworks plant near Tenino explores, kills 1 (Longview News)
Amazon releases 3D Fire phone (Seattle Times, Longview News)
Farmers market looks at medicinal pot (Port Angeles News)
Port Angeles downtown group may shed one (Port Angeles News)
Concerns about quakes, underground Seattle reservoirs (Seattle Times)
TSA sets flight pre-check at Spokane (Spokane Spokesman)
Didier campaign giving away guns (Tacoma News Tribune)
Debate planned for District 4 GOP candidates (Yakima Herald Republic)

Independents choose primary candidates

harris ROBERT


After a long caucus meeting last night, the Independent Party of Oregon announced the first round of candidates who will appear on it’s primary ballot this summer.

The IPO received requests from 62 candidates to be included in it’s primary election and approved 18 to appear on it’s primary ballot. Prospective candidates included Republicans, Democrats, IPO members, non affiliated candidates and Libertarians. Some had already received their party nominations and some had not. The IPO had candidates applying for County Commission races, State races, and Federal races.

The featured primary race will be for Governor between Republican Dennis Richardson and Democrat John Kitzhaber. Other hotly contested races that will appear on the ballot include Senate Districts 3, 13 and 15, where an Independent cross nomination could make a difference in a close November general election.

In two races, IPO candidates Chuck Lee (HD-25) and Drew Kaza (SD-16) won’t face any primary opposition so their nomination will set up one on one general election races against a single major party candidate. In HD-25 presumptive Independent candidate Chuck Lee will face very conservative Republican Bill Post and in SD-16 presumptive Independent candidate Drew Kaza will face Democrat Betsy Johnson.

The IPO will continue to review pending applications and more candidates are expected to join the approved list by the end of the week. Once approved, the IPO intends to publish it’s own voters guide and send it to all 100,000 members.

Presidents on the res

trahant MARK


The Associated Press, MSNBC and other news media are sticking to the story that Obama is only the fourth president to visit a reservation. I say at least seven, more likely eight.

So one by one here goes the documentary evidence (for those who care).

President Chester Arthur's visit to Wind River, Wyoming, 1883. Picture from Frank Jay Haynes collection, Smithsonian. The trip was on horse back and included a senator and the Secretary of War. (I love the umbrellas in the picture above.)

The second visit is President Warren Harding’s trip to Alaska in 1923. The first port of call was Metlakatla. (As Stephen Conn points out: Any presidential visit before the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act would be a visit to Indian Country.)

Third. President Calvin Coolidge’s visit to South Dakota.

A trivia question: How many US Presidents have been photographed wearing headdresses? (It went badly for Coolidge.) Answer: At least one, Jimmy Carter.

Fourth. Franklin Roosevelt visited at least three reservations, only once speaking on Indian Affairs. He traveled to Quinault in Washington state, Blackfeet, Montana, and Cherokee, North Carolina. (He was also photographed with a chief in North Dakota.)

Here is a film from the Montana trip. (The meeting was in Glacier National Park, but he traveled from the town now called East Glacier.) (more…)