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Posts published in June 2014

On the front pages

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)

Colleges find new gun rule expensive (Boise Statesman, TF Times News)
Boise shoots for 1,000 downtown residences (Boise Statesman)
Many bergdahl issues remain (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Lewiston Tribune)
IF has low crime, more on east side (IF Post Register)
Preparing for upcoming fire season (IF Post Register)
Both parties conventions at Moscow (Lewiston Tribune)
Another school levy expected at Wilder (Nampa Press Tribune)
Lots of new houses in Middleton (Nampa Press Tribune)
Hate groups dropping in number (Pocatello Journal)
Westwood Mall hanging in despite troubles (Pocatello Journal)
Slowdown seen in Filer recall effort (TF Times News)

Looking at sheltered workshops (Eugene Register Guard)
State may pay Cover Oregon official legal bills (KF Herald & News)
Much praise for hero in Seattle shooting (KF Herald & News)
Water issues on Bear Creek (Medford Tribune)
In Oregon, nonpartisan primaries ahead? (Portland Oregonian)
World War II memorial dedicated at Salem (Salem Statesman Journal)

Everett Boeing production may slow with 777X (Everett Herald)
Bears prevalent in Ilwaco area (Longview News)
Revenue shortfall at Longview shelter (Longview News)
Keeping track of pot strains (Olympian)
Flood plain permit might have stopped Oso building (Seattle Times)
Looking back on SPU shooting (Seattle Times)
Puyallu tribe election complicated by Dillam death (Tacoma News Tribune)
Marijuana banking questions remain (Vancouver Columbian)
Clark County mulls fireworks rules (Vancouver Columbian)
Armed adinistrators at Toppenish schools (Yakima Herald Republic)
Farm worker advocate Tomas Villaneuva dies (Yakima Herald Republic)

Rarely so simple

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Idaho

We hate unresolved questions. And we hate not knowing for sure what to think about something. Good? Bad? We want to know where to slot it.

The Bergdahl case probably will gnaw at a lot of people for quite a while. We aren't completely sure what to make of him, or what we should have done – or should do now – about him. War, messy and unpredictable beast it is, has a way of producing irritating loose ends like Bergdahl.

Go back a year, and what did we know? That U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, whose home town was Hailey, had been held by the Taliban for four years. On June 20 last year, Idaho's congressional delegation issued a joint statement on the possibility of a prisoner exchange: “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Bowe Bergdahl and his family. His safe return has always been of the utmost importance to us, and his well-being is something we raise with senior administration officials whenever possible.”

Why would the delegation have said anything much different than that “his safe return had always been of the utmost importance to us”? He and his family were, among other things, United States citizens and constituents.

Such quotes have been a constant from the beginning. In July 2009: “With the Pentagon now confirming his identity, we add our thoughts and prayers with others for his reunion with family, friends and Army colleagues. Private Bergdahl represents Idaho and his nation courageously.”

On April 8 this year, Senator Mike Crapo, in an interview with KBOI-TV, reported on a trip to Afghanistan: “And with every one of those meetings at highest levels, I raised the issue of Bowe Bergdahl. I'm pleased to report that not only had they heard of him, they were co-ordinating among themselves. It is a priority for them.” But he also suggested, based on what he'd heard, the idea of extracting him forcibly, rather than negotiating a release, was not realistic.

These recitations aren't gotchas; to the contrary, they're what most people would expect any congressional delegation to say. That's true even with this: Reports that Bergdahl may have walked away from his post, may have deserted, have surfaced and flown around the Internet for a long time. (“May” is a key word here: This is a subject hotly debated, not yet resolved.) Anyone who has followed the Bergdahl case even peripherally has not been surprised to see them surface again now. (more…)

On the front pages

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)

Battle over Canyon Co fair continues (Boise Statesman)
Seattle shooting blocked by student (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Bergdahl getting support in Hailey (IF Post Register)
Nuclear controls going more digital (IF Post Register)
Looking ahead to state party conventions (Moscow News)
Pocatello gay initiatve vote challenged (Pocatello Journal)
Revived semi-pro baseball team sells out (Pocatello Journal)
New sign code adopted for Sandpoint (Sandpoint Bee)
Snake River coating caused by algae bloom (TF Times News)

Hatchery salmon numbers to be reduced (Coos Bay World)
Former Waremart store may be call center (Eugene Register Guard)
Lane primary election winners certified (Eugene Register Guard)
Klamath sheriff gets armored vehicle (KF Herald & News)
Reviewing possible library district (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Tuition frozen for Oregon undergrads (Ashland Tidings)
Seattle shooter stopped by student (Medford Tribune)
Umatilla tribe buys back 400 tracts (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Umatilla forest plan under review (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Salem area graduations (Salem Statesman Journal)

Follow about the SPU shooting incident (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Kennewick Herald, Longview News, Olympian)
School security enhanced in area (Everett Herald)
Woodland detective sues chief on sexual harassment (Langview News)
Half of people say justice system unfair (Olympian)
Pharmacy service firm cuts at Liberty Lake (Spokane Spokesman)
More battles on oil trains at Vancouver (Vancouver Columbian)

On the front pages

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)

Hailey copes with Bergdahl debate (Boise Statesman)
INL program stems from waste deal (IF Post Register)
Shootings at Seattle school (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Whitman Co responds to financial audit (Moscow News)
Turning trains quieter at Caldwell? (Nampa Press Tribune)
Debate over four-day school agency plan (Nampa Press Tribune)
Bergdahl debate continues (TF Times News, Pocatello Journal)
Snake River sludge may be algae bloom (TF Times News)
Wildfire in wilderness expands (TF Times News)

Piercy letter quests UO harassment issue (Eugene Register Guard)
Springfield getting Hobby Lobby (Eugene Register Guard)
Klamath, Lake on new child welfare plan (KF Herald & News)
Phoenix shop quits pot dispensary (Ashland Tidings)
Seattle shooting leaves one dead (Medford Mail)
PGE building new natural gas plant (Pandleton E Oregonian)
Possible pay raise at Chemeketa College (Salem Statesman Journal)

Shooting at Seattle university (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Kennewick Herald, Olympian, Longview News)
Insurance parity in same-sex marriage required (Kennewick Herald, Olympian)
Disagreements on Bergdahl exchange (Spokane Spokesman)
Feds may change anti-gang fund rules (Yakima Herald Republic)

Why Richardson can’t win

harris ROBERT
HARRIS

 
Oregon
Outpost

In poll after poll, Oregon voters identify the economy and jobs as the most important issues to Oregon voters. And Dennis Richardson’s supporters are adamant that we should focus on his ability to handle the State budget and Kitzhaber’s fiscal failures and incompetence.

Meanwhile Democrats want to focus voters’ attention on Richardson’s positions that are more conservative than those held by a majority of Oregonians. Mainly:

1. Guns. While most Oregonians do believe in the personal right to keep and bear arms, most don’t advocate arming school teachers as Richardson does. In most people’s book that moves him along the second amendment supporter scale from a gun rights position, to the gun nut fringe.

2. Gay rights. Not just anti gay marriage. Richardson was an adamant opponent of even civil unions. And he has stated his belief that singling out “preferential” treatment of gays is wrong because it’s based on ones behavior. Clearly putting him in the camp of people who believe being gay is a choice. Michelle Bachmann territory.

3. Abortion. Richardson is an adamant opponent of a woman’s right to chose.

Richardson supporters argue that our biggest problems are economic. Taxes and spending. That Richardson’s positions on guns, gays, and gestation are irrelevant, and that his opponents are really missing the big picture. His ability to manage our State government. They are wrong.

Two counter points.

First. We all know very well that in the general election, the “Three G’s” are going to be used to get out the Republican base and churn up their inner outrage dial against Kitzhaber and Democrats in general, thus admitting that the three G’s are a potent and important issue for many. You can’t have it both ways. Don’t ask me to ignore the man behind the curtain while taking your supporters on a private tour behind that curtain and treating it like a conservative voting booth where who knows what kind of promises are being made. Now, if Richardson will publicly disavow any interest in these issues, and state that he will entertain no law, statute, bill, discussion or policy regarding these issues, I’d start to take his candidacy seriously.

Second. What if there was a very economically sound Democrat running who also believed that everyone should be required to compost and do curbside recycling. That only smart guns should be allowed in Oregon, and that people should all be required to give blood once a month. None of these positions could ever be adopted by our State legislature, but I bet centrists and independents –and even many Democrats – would all have a pretty hard time voting for that person, regardless of our confidence in their ability to handle the Oregon economy and government budgeting. (more…)

On the front pages

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)

Hailey cancels Bergdahl celebration (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal, Moscow News)
ACHD ends bike lane experiment (Boise Statesman)
Winmill dismisses anti-NSA lawsuit (IF Post Register)
Two prisoners from NICI escape (Lewiston Tribune)
Palouse short on physician help (Moscow News)
Man buys Hwy 95 eyesore south of Moscow (Moscow News)
Canyon Commissioner won't be charged for rant (Nampa Press Tribune)
Ridgeview High build Pricier than expected (Nampa Press Tribune)
U-2 spy plane flying at Pocatello airport (Pocatello Journal)
Bingham County reorganizes GOP (Pocatello Journal)
Idaho wants full 9th circuit marrige review (TF Times News)

Wolf OR-7 definitely has pups (Medford Tribune, KF Herald & News, Ashland Tidings)
KF Coordinated Care leader goes to Salem (KF Herald & News)
Last SkyWest plane leaves Klamath (KF Herald & News)
Supreme Court doesn't block OR marriage (Portland Oregonian, Medford Tribune)
Pot dispensaries in Gold Hill prepare (Medford Tribune)
Higher fees set for Umatilla County (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Pendleton council passes budget (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Reviewing Oregon and Common Core (Portland Oregonian)
Liquor privatizing advocates pull ballot issue (Salem Statesman Journal)
Salem students graduate (Salem Statesman Journal)

Some top county officials get raises (Everett Herald)
Debate over release of oil transport report (Everett Herald, Vancuver Columbian)
Long-time Olympia pharmacy closes (Olympian)
New rule for liquor and restaurants (Olympian)
Possible garbage rate rise in Port Angeles (Port Angeles News)
Seattle City Light chief gets big raise (Seattle Times)
Minimum wage advocates look at more cities (Seattle Times)
Big convention growth plans in Seattle (Seattle Times)
Hailey cancels Bergdahl celebration (Spokane Spokesman)
Supreme Court challenger, disbarment (Tacoma News Tribune)
New Columbian bridge option discussed (Vancouver Columbian)

An old-line newsman

frazier DAVID
FRAZIER

 
Boise
Guardian

The 150th anniversary of what we affectionately call the “Daily Paper” (IDAHO STATESMAN) prompted a former colleague to recall the day nearly 50 years ago when he came to work at the old 6th and Bannock office location. Ralph Nichols covered Canyon County news.

By Ralph Nichols

Sandor S. Klein Jr. – Sandy – was a newsman’s newsman, a legendary figure in the history of Idaho journalism. A five-foot seven-inch, cigar-chomping, violin-playing Hungarian Jew with a gravelly voice, whose crew cut was thinning by the time he became managing editor of The Idaho Statesman in Boise, he was a caricature from “The Front Page” come to life.

Sandy had covered boxing for a New York City newspaper, been a World War II correspondent aboard U.S. Navy ships, served as a United Press International bureau chief in Boise, and while covering the Idaho Legislature one session was granted unprecedented personal privilege to propose from the floor to Sen. Edith Miller, who said yes.

He expected his reporters to work hard and demanded initiative, accuracy and fairness. Boise still belonged to its only daily newspaper, and he reacted angrily on those few occasions when is reporters were scooped by the city’s growing television-news presence. Sandy also was a strong booster of Boise’s then-fledgling arts community.

But none of these things did I know about Sandy in the beginning, only that he published a personal take on local events in “Editor’s Notebook,” which appeared weekly on the Sunday editorial page – a feature I had read frequently since taking my first college journalism course for its vignettes that conveyed the image of reporters as the first to know the news.

Walking into the Idaho Statesman newsroom shortly before four o’clock that May 30, 47 years ago I would come to realize only a decade later, was my crossing of a great divide from which there would be no return. Although I had always been a news junkie, becoming a newspaper reporter was not part of the course charted for my future in the spring of 1967.

On the front pages

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)

Who is Bergdahl today? (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune)
Bike lanes may be ended (Boise Statesman)
Teton Geotourism Center at Driggs opens in August (IF Post Register)
Business software installations not taxes (IF Post Register)
Seattle minimum wage impacts (Lewiston Tribune)
Murray works on airport improvements (Moscow News)
Moscow teachers, district at odds (Moscow News)
Layoffs by Chobani at Twin Falls (TF Times News, Nampa Press Tribune)
Kuna school board member may be recalled (Nampa Press Tribune)
Pocatellan Sayer runs for state GOP chair (Pocatello Journal)
Al Barrus, Cassia prosecutors, quits (TF Times News)

Steelhead navigation hit by hatcheries (Pendleton E Oregonian, Corvallis Gazette)
College would buy Corvallis park (Corvallis Gazette)
No Eugene Celebration even this year (Eugene Register Guard)
Lane-Eugene land exchange backed (Eugene Register Guard)
Cosmos Creations at Junction City may expand (Eugene Register Guard)
Bealls Department Store will open, 25 jobs (KF Herald & News)
SkyWest departing Klamath (KF Herald & News)
U.S. Senate hears of Klammath water deal (KF Herald & News)
Medford teacher contract not yet signed (Medford Tribune)
Oregon National Guard prepares to deploy (Medford Tribune)
Big Ashland vote key to GMO ban (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Many Cover Oregon enrollees must re-enroll (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Delayed vote on Portland street fee (Portland Oregonian)
Marion County revenue rising (Salem Statesman Journal)

Talks on Kimberly-Clark mill sale continue (Everett Herald)
Educating people on the facts of new pot law (Everett Herald)
Natural preserve zoning approved (Kennewick Herald)
Murray on jet biofuels funds (Kennewick Herald)
Lawsuit on federal pot law preemption (Tacoma News Tribune, Yakima Herald Republic, Longview News)
Wyoming's Mead urges coal exports (Longview News)
A closer look at strains of pot (Seattle Times)
Mayor Murray contributor gets Seattle contract (Seattle Times)
UW student propose cost plans (Seattle Times)
Concerns about Bergdahl (Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian)
Barnes named new Clark commissioner (Vancouver Columbian)
Vancouver opposing oil terminal plan (Vancouver Columbian)
Yakima plaza plan vote set for 2015 (Yakima Herald Republic)

Failure to inform

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

The media’s outburst of sustained patriotism and flag-waving over the Bowe Bergdahl story in recent days seems symptomatic of that same media’s oft-repeated failure to report stories rather than announce events. Now, after the first 48 hours, nearly all of them have run the other way in a "rush to judgment".

Bergdahl, of course, is the Idaho soldier released by the Taliban in Afghanistan a few days ago. For 48 hours, the media was ecstatic and breathlessly related lots of fluff without much substance. Rather than go back to the original reporting on file to flesh out details of his capture five years ago, the kids slathered viewers and readers with gooey gossip severely lacking in fact. Chasing crumbs on the floor while leaving the loaf on the table, seems to me.

Bergdahl may ride in a parade or two around Idaho. But there’s also reason to believe he could wind up in prison or, at the very least, be charged with desertion, given time-served as a prisoner-of-war and dishonorably discharged. Some of the things said by his parents at hastily called bi-coastal media events, could do their son more harm than good. To wit: his father’s decision to learn the Afghan language, comment about hardships caused Afghans by America and the war while growing a big, bushy beard like real male Afghans.

Then add some of the comments from soldiers who risked their own lives to find Bergdahl in the early days after his disappearance, the death of several soldiers on that detail and reports Bergdahl simply loaded up a canteen with water and walked off into the countryside - without his rifle - and you’ve got far less a wonderful story and more of another tragedy of war. And desertion.

The Bergdahl story is far from over. But, if the media had been doing any professional job at all, these details and a lot more could have been reported right at the top along with what was known about his release. The story wasn’t so much about his negotiated freedom as it was about how he was captured in the first place. The story has bookends. And - sadly - both were simply not included in all the reportorial B.S.

There was a time newspapers adequately reported these kinds of things. Lots of detail massaged by editors and proofreaders. Then radio came along. Radio wasn’t designed for long, fully-reported stories. You got the gist of things, then sought a newspaper for details. Then TV hit the scene. Facts gave way to pictures and pictures drove the coverage. TV newscasts had to have “graphics - pictures - movement - action.” Radio gave you the immediacy, TV showed you what happened (sometimes) and newspapers had the details. Now - not so much.

When Ronny Reagan’s Federal Communications appointees deleted all requirements for local radio news, we information seekers took a hit. When they knocked down barriers to same-market-ownership and cross-ownership of competing media, we were hit again. With the advent of the I-net, we turned to electronic data to satisfy our need for detail. That didn’t last long. Between reduced hours of staffing and interminable repetition, even the I-net - with rare exception - has succumbed to “flash-and-dash” coverage.

With brevity, understanding a story can be difficult. Today’s media kids - in all types of media - are being told to “write down.” In newspapers, a few paragraphs al la “Huffington Post.” In radio, standing network protocol is no more than 30 seconds! TV “packages” are supposed to be less than two minutes. With pictures. (more…)

Some unsolicited advice to A.J.

carlson CHRIS
CARLSON

 
Carlson
Chronicles

Democratic gubernatorial nominee A. J. Bulakoff has a slim opportunity to connect with Idaho voters and make the case that he has the ability and skills necessary to lead Idaho forward into the future.

In C.L. “Butch” Otter, voters clearly see a tired and aging Republican governor who has done nothing to merit a third term , who has been around 40 years and one who plays fast and loose with facts that damn him for gutting public education and starving state government.

So here is some unsolicited advice to A. J.

First, restoring adequate funding for public education is your number one issue, but deliver the message with passion and conviction once in awhile. A.J. clearly is not a politician. He is a successful businessman but voters have yet to hear the conviction in his voice that tells them he will figure out how to work with a still dominant Republican Legislature to improve funding when many voted for the original cuts.

Secondly, he has to focus on positive messages that people can unite around such as moves to expand the economic pie. Stay away from the divisive, polarizing social messages. The election is about Idaho’s future and whether its children will be eqipped to compete with the rest of the world. It is not about revisiting the abortion issue or gay marriage. The Supreme Court and other courts have ruled on those issues. The law is the law.

Republicans are so adept at getting Democrats off the “we’re better for the economy, education and environment” message by hitting them with “wrong” stances on social issues. Democrats have to make the Republicans respond to their messages and quit letting the R’s take them off message.

That’s not to say that A.J. should not weave key elements of some of the fundamental civil rights issues Democrats have always been in the forefront on because he should. Democrats are fundamentally corrrect on the immigration reform issue and many of Idaho’s farmers are far more in agreement with the Democratic position that will help Idaho farmers legally obtain needed field workers rather than the draconian Republican approach. (more…)

On the front pages

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)

Anger over conditions of Bergdahl release (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal)
Ada Republican winner favor Otter (Boise Statesman)
House value in Ada rose 15 percent in 2013 (Boise Statesman)
IF may try automated garbage pickup (IF Post Register)
Higher ed presidents get pay raises (Lewiston Tribune)
Latah planned development, traffic issues (Moscow News)
Caldwell may get recreation facility (Nampa Press Tribune)
Idaho effect of federal carbon cut order (Nampa Press Tribune)

Seattle sets $15 minimum wage (Eugene Register Guard, Medford Tribune)
Many citations by Eugene's 'party patrol' (Eugene Register Guard)
Emissions must drop in OR nearly half (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Medford Tribune, Pendleton E Oregonian)
Klamath irrigators pursue more water (KF Herald & News)
Farmers market to start at Klamath soon (KF Herald & News)
Ashland still works on pot regs (Ashland Tidings)
Avalon Bar & Grill at Talent closes (Ashland Tidings)
State of Jefferson more a California thing (Medford Tribune)
On pay for classified staff at Medford SD (Medford Tribune)
Visits may be canceled at Pendleton prison (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Poll: Oregon evenly split on gas pumping (Portland Oregonian)
State Arts Commission considers leader (Salem Statesman Journal)
May was one of warmest recorded (Salem Statesman Journal)

NLRB backs machinist-Boeing deal (Everett Herald)
debate over build bans in slide areas (Everett Herald)
Debate over Berghdahl release deal (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Kennewick Herald)
Federal emissions requirements hit WA (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Kennewick Herald, Olympia)
Reynolds metal cleanup cost may be $344m (Longview News)
Rainier climbers nearly all identified (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
Seattle sets $15 minimum wage (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune)
Public at meeting blasts oil terminal (Vancouver Columbian)

A Bergdahl controversy

frazier DAVID
FRAZIER

 
Boise
Guardian

Just about anyone has to feel good about the release of Hailey’s Bowe Bergdahl.

The young soldier was captive of the Taliban in Afghanistan for nearly five years and the subject of countless prayers, yellow ribbons, and pleas from his parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl.

However, his release and eventual return to what we assume will be civilian life will be the subject of strong debates among those who question the circumstances of his capture. “Hero or villain?” will be the question as the national media join the discussion.

The delicate issue for the military and Obama is ride the wave of euphoria about the release and deflect questions of HOW Bowe was captured — without his weapon. It will be an interesting story to follow.

U.S. Senator James Risch is on the senate intelligence committee and he indicated during an interview with the legacy media that President Obama and his administration had breached a deal with congress to give 30 days warning before any prisoners would be released from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba.

Bergdahl was traded for five enemy combatants and administration officials say secrecy was needed to save the soldier.

Then there is the issue of negotiating for freedom — in essence paying a ransom. It has long been USA policy to stand tough and not negotiate for fear of encouraging other kidnappings.

Bob Bergdahl has talked about son Bowe’s quest to “help the people of Afghanistan,” but he carefully avoided using the term “fighting.” The articulate parent held a press conference at Gowen Field Sunday, but answered no questions. His massive beard is a concession to the Afghan culture and he revealed he had also learned the language as well.

While it would be nice for Bowe to return to the adoration of all Americans, we suspect the homecoming may be somewhat muted, despite the good photo-op for a big July Fourth Parade. We still have a month to go for the parade scenario to work out.

Former TWA pilot B. Christian Zimmerman of Cascade was held hostage in Lebanon by Muslim Terrorists aboard flight 847 in June 1985. His release was timed to get him home in time for a July Fourth parade down Cascade’s Main Street. He is now an ordained Lutheran minister preaching in Ontario.