Writings and observations

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 library changes may be ahead (Boise Statesman)
Southern Idaho fires growing fast (Boise Statesman, TF Times News)
Commercial gas producers push ahead at Payette (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
Phone scam imitates IRS (IF Post Register)
Problems come from Lewiston’s Internet outage (Lewiston Tribune)
Republican Party fight hits courtroom (Pocatello Journal)
Pocatello water, sewer rates rise (Pocatello Journal)
Magic Reservoir will shut off early (TF Times News)
Fire prevention methods to be discussed (TF Times News)

Springfield mill leveled by fire (Eugene Register Guard)
OIT basketball coach leaves in two years (KF Herald & News)
Fires grow, declared an emergency (KF Herald & News)
A look behind recent food stamp fraud (KF Herald & News)
Jackson library district raises taxes (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Battle over closed pot dispensary (Ashland Tidings)
Gas plant at Arlington will double capacity (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Looking at KF food stamp fraud (Portland Oregonian)
Massive cuts in Microsoft work force (Portland Oregonian)
The case of Casey Runyan and his rap sheet (Salem Statesman Journal)

Supreme Court: gun owner not liable for child shooting (Bremerton Sun)
Boat launch approved for Point No Point (Bremerton Sun)
Big wildlifes at large in eastern WA (Spokane Spokesman, Everett Herald, Kennewick Herald, Longview News)
Reviewing Snohomish County executive race (Everett Herald)
Just 8.65% in WA are medically uninsured (Kennewick Herald)
Pot shops searching for supply (Longview News)
Good grow season for lavender at peninsula (Port Angeles News)
Clallam Commission candidates at debate (Port Angeles News)
Massive cuts at Microsoft (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune)
Clark job offer relating to charter? (Vancouver Columbian)

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First Take

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Washington

Microsoft stock jumped a couple of percentage points (some of that reflected in our stock listing this week) after the formal announcement of what had been teased for some weeks: Employee cuts, massive cuts, not just the largest round of cuts in the company’s history but more than three times as large as any before. In the Puget Sound alone, 1,351 jobs will be going away, though that’s less than a tenth of the overall. More than one out of eight Microsoft employees will lose their jobs.

A lot of them, it is true, will come from Nokia, the comm device company it recent absorbed. Even so, a lot of MS jobs will be gone.

Financial analysts were quick to call it good. The Motley fool said the corporation “trims some fat.” Others said it was a sign that the company is becoming leaner, more agile, likely to move in different directions and leave behind some non-productive older ones. And on top of that, it shows the new CEO Satya Nadella is taking charge. Really. (Heck of a way to demonstrate that you’re really, truly, the big cheese.)

A number of analysts argued that the Puget Sounds could gain, by bringing so many talented people on the market, freed up to create new businesses of their own. Although: Doesn’t that seem to run counter to the fat-trimming narrative?

We’ve seen this kind of argument and reaction in any number of businesses over the years. It’s not that these arguments are totally illegitimate; Microsoft has gone steadily over the years, with few cutbacks or layoffs, and that can be a recipe for building in some deadwood over time.

But 14% of the company’s employees? At a time when the company was reporting strong profits?

Nadella surely did want to make a dramatic statement, and he succeeded in that. But cuts of that size tend to more meataxe than surgical in character, and the company is likely to lose a good deal of key talent. As for the Puget Sound, there’ll be recovery and many of the ousted employees doubtless will move on to new areas of productivity; but in the short term at least this isn’t good news for the area, and the longer term is speculative.

As, on reflection, may be Microsoft’s.

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Washington Washington column

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)

Balukoff offers to match campaign donations (Boise Statesman)
Smoke in Idaho’s skies from wildfires (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News)
Bergdahl status report: inquiry underway (Boise Statesman)
Simpson pushes potatoes for food program (IF Post Register)
Simpson, others help keep Dubois station open (IF Post Register)
Flooding in some parts of Rexburg (IF Post Register)
Heavy work for Washington fire fighters (Lewiston Tribune)
Cut lines interrupts net, phones in Lewiston (Lewiston Tribune)
Wheat crops looking good in this weather (Lewiston Tribune)
Heavy fires around the west (Moscow News)
WA state ballots available soon (Moscow News)
Pocatello road equipment at other cities (Pocatello Journal)

Wildfires roar on in Oregon, Northwest (KF Herald & News)
Considering partnership of SOU, Oregon Tech (KF Herald & News)
Fundraising deadline Dec 1 for civic stadium (Eugene Register Guard)
Ashland downtown kiosk will remain (Ashland Tidings)
SOU provost will retire (Ashland Tidings)
Medford still owns land under apartments (Medford Tribune)
Pendleton considers recovery center property (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Big fire near Heppner (Pendleton E Oregonian)
More Oregonians living in impoverished areas (Portland Oregonian)
ODOT manager files guilty plea on theft (Salem Statesman Journal)

Horseshoe Lake will be tested for norovirus (Bremerton Sun)
South Kitsap schools finances improving (Bremerton Sun)
Study shows foot ferry usage still large (Bremerton Sun)
Issues over Liias’ two jobs for Senate and city (Everett Herald)
Arlington code going after drugs, panhandling (Everett Herald)
US House okays banking for pot businesses (Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Olympian)
Inslee polling shows weak support (Olympian)
Obama will visit Seattle next week (Seattle Times)
Seattle home prices shooting high again (Seattle Times)
House seat in District 4 draws contest (Spokane Spokesman)
Big layoffs expected at Microsoft (Tacoma News Tribune)
Mass emergency declared over WA fires (Tacoma News Tribune)
Washington jobless rate falls again (Vancouver Columbian)
Oil shipping backer Tesoro funds GOP candidates (Vancouver Columbian)
Clark College may expand into Gorge (Vancouver Columbian)

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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)

Warren Jones plans return from SLC hospital July 25 (Boise Statesman)
Big growing fire at Garden Valley (Boise Statesman)
Future of Dubois sheep station unclear (IF Post Register)
Nez Perce County runs out of transport funds (Lewiston Tribune)
Background check initiative does will in poll (Lewiston Tribune)
Pullman plans expansion work on fire station (Moscow News)
CWI board okays guns policy for campuses (Nampa Press Tribune)
Motion Industries moves from Boise to Caldwell (Nampa Press Tribune)
Massive Preacher fire still growing (TF Times News)
Labrador raises most cash among ID congressionals (TF Times News)

Cascades fire still roaring (Eugene Register Guard)
Swastika graffiti near UO Jewish fraternity (Eugene Register Guard)
Moccasin Hill fire hit fast and hard (KF Herald & News)
More timber production in OR than since 2006 (KF Herald & News)
First step at Ashland toward ending pot ban (Ashland Tidings)
Heat persisting in southern Oregon (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Police linking string of arsons at Medford (Medford Tribune)
Transportation funding running dry (Pendleton E Oregonian)
More regs sought for oil rail transport (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Hurrcane Creek fire in Wallowas (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Oregon saw job loss in June (Portland Oregonian)
Top-two primary ballot issue qualifies (Salem Statesman Journal)

Everest College, seeking buyer, still has classes (Bremerton Sun)
Pot businesses start delivery service (Bremerton Sun)
Reviewing Kitsap prosecutors race (Bremerton Sun)
Boeing releases plan for 777X interior (Everett Herald)
Longview police want to add to force (Longview News)
Tickets from school traffic cams rose in 2013 (Longview News)
Kelso approves rules for addict shelters (Longview News)
Repair needs cited for Thurston bridges (Olympian)
Olympic peninsula opens first pot shop (Port Angeles News)
Major construction on I-90 will big big-impact (Seattle Times)
Chopp opposed by socialist candidate (Seattle Times)
Spokane commission candidate in review (Spokane Spokesman)
Tacoma charter amendments set for ballot (Tacoma News Tribune)
Fires roaring in central WA (Yakima Herald Republic)
Reviewing Yakima sheriff’s race (Yakima Herald Republic)
Yakima council may slice utility tax (Yakima Herald Republic)

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First Take

malloy CHUCK
MALLOY

 
In Idaho

Congress is doing a great job, and this is not a joke. Sure, there’s a lot of gridlock in Washington and on many issues, Congress can’t seem to agree on the color of the sky, let alone reach agreement on anything of substance.

But when it comes to diabetes awareness, and appropriating funds to cover research and prevention programs, it’s a different story. Funding for diabetes research, which was about $320 million in 1997, is now in the billions of dollars.

Support of this nature is significant to me, because I’ve had diabetes for more than 15 years and have experienced many of the complications. If we do nothing, it’s projected that one in three people will have diabetes by 2050. For a society, that is unacceptable.

None of this is lost on the members of Congress – specifically, three of the four members of Idaho’s congressional delegation. Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and Rep. Mike Simpson clearly “get it” on this issue. They are not working alone; 345 House members and 42 senators are members of diabetes caucuses. They have a deep understanding of the issue and the role Congress can play in fighting this disease.

“I’m no fan of federal spending, or creating a bigger government, but there is an appropriate role when it comes to certain expenditures,” Risch said. The National Institute of Health is one of those areas in which government does have a proper funding role.

“I’m a big fan of the NIH,” Risch said. “They perform miracles – arresting cancer on kids who are living normal and productive lives. Twenty-five years ago, or even 20 years ago, they were destined to die at an early age.”

He notes that similar progress has been made in helping people better manage diabetes. He only wishes that Congress could do more.

“One thing that stuns me is the fact we can’t do a lot of the things we’d like to do because of the waste and the expansion of the federal government,” Risch said. “If we’d get things right, we could do substantially better work for the NIH, and I’m certainly a person who would like to do that.”

Crapo works in areas of prevention. He is a leading sponsor of legislation that directs the Congressional Budget Office to determine how prevention can result in cost savings. For instance, he said, encouraging involvement in weight-loss programs for older Americans could save Medicare more than $7 billion. He has worked to encourage more fresh fruits and vegetables in schools and has been involved with prevention programs for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, where diabetes is especially prevalent.

These are small, but significant, steps. Crapo notes that the costs go beyond dollars and cents.

“The personal costs are higher,” he said. “Americans can lose their vision, face amputation and suffer damage of their internal organs such as their kidneys and their heart if high blood sugar levels are left untreated.”

Simpson, a former dentist, has seen diabetes up close in his professional and personal life.
“I know firsthand how this disease can affect the lives of not only the person suffering from diabetes but the diabetic’s family members as well,” he said. “I have been a strong advocate for adequate funding to facilitate the Institute’s efforts to better understand diabetes and eventually find a cure.  In addition, as a former healthcare provider, I recognize the important role that proper education, prevention and treatment play for people suffering from diabetes.”

Attitudes in Congress help the efforts from the American Diabetes Association and other education networks that promote diabetes research and prevention.

“We are fortunate to have the diabetes caucuses as a partner in the effort to stop the diabetes epidemic,” said Andrea Bruno, executive director of the ADA’s Portland office, which also covers part of Idaho. “The caucuses and their members, including Sens. Crapo and Risch and Congressman Simpson, play an invaluable role in elevating the needs of the diabetes community among their fellow colleagues.”
Maybe a few lessons can be learned here. If Congress can put aside partisan politics and work successfully to take on one of the best health issues of our times, imagine how this spirit of cooperation could work on everything else.

We can only hope.

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Malloy

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)

Andrus recovering from lung tumor operation (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune)
Bergdahl not yet seen parents (Boise Statesman, TF Times News)
New emergency dispatch center planned for Ada (Boise Statesman)
Nez Perce-Clearwater forest plan released (Lewiston Tribune)
Possible roundabouts in Asotin road plans (Lewiston Tribune)
Asotin County considers possible new sheriffs (Lewiston Tribune)
Moscow budget proposed for next year (Moscow News)
New mayor Nathan Leigh chosen at Parma (Nampa Press Tribune)
Caldwell I-84 work lacks funds until 2019 (Nampa Press Tribune)
Heavy wildfires in southern Idaho (Boise Statesman, Pocatello Journal)
Reconstruction plans for downtown Twin Falls (TF Times News)

Fires spreading around region (Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, KF Herald & News, Pendleton E Oregonian)
Drawings of a new Eugene city hall shown (Eugene Register Guard)
Gradual change to Oregon place names (KF Herald & News)
Possible record high temp at Medford (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Ashland looks at film permit fees (Ashland Tidings)
Background on oil train shipping (Portland Oregonian)
OR, WA lead in traffic death declines (Portland Oregonian)
Many state voter profiles are in error (Salem Statesman Journal)

Tulalips using federal domestic violence program (Everett Herald)
High temperatures continuing (Spokane Spokesman, Kennewick Herald)
Moses Lake will house Mitsibishi test site (Kennewick Herald)
Many workplaces still critical of pot (Longview News)
Former St. John hospital leader dies (Longview News)
Reviewing Clallam air quality (Port Angeles News)
Reviewing Airbus v Boeing (Seattle Times)
County treasurer race turns on finance experience (Spokane Spokesman)
Vancouver maneuvers on oil trains (Vancouver Columbian)
Columbia Land Trust restoring 9,000 acres (Vancouver Columbian)
Campaigns for Yakima Co clerk (Yakima Herald Republic)
State seeks local funds for ’13 firefighting (Yakima Herald Republic)

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First Take

carlson CHRIS
CARLSON

 
Carlson
Chronicles

Think of it this way: without a John V. Evans there never would have been an Interior Secretary named Cecil D. Andrus.

Why? Because Cece never would have left Idaho and given up the governor’s chair to a Republican Lieutenant Governor, especially one named Vernon Ravenscroft.

Idaho’s 27th governor passed away last week at the age of 89. Most of the media accounts dutifully noted the former Mayor and State Senator from Malad, who had defeated Ravenscroft in the 1974 general election, did a solid job in the governorship. He was twice re-elected in his own right and his ten years in the governorship is the third longest service of any Idaho governor.

Some noted that this fine record, however, has been forgotten because Evans had the misfortune of being the meat between the two fine slices of bread represented by Cece’s first stint as governor (1971-1977) and his return engagement (1987-1995).

In death though, Evans received some of his overdue “due.” Most newspapers around the state did note some of his major accomplishments, for example, during tougher economic times than Andrus experienced he maintained strong support for public education by slashing state spending elsewhere and having the courage to support some reasonable tax increase.

He also along with then Attorney General and now Supreme Court Justice Jim Jones, negotiated the precedent setting agreement with Idaho Power which established minimum stream flows on the Snake River for power generation and required the basin-wide adjudication of Snake River water rights.

Evans further marshalled all the state resources one could muster to assist the Silver Valley when it suffered the devastating loss of 2200 jobs when the Bunker Hill Mine and Smelter in Kellogg shut down. Evans was one of those rare public office holders who truly cared about people and the daily challenges most must meet.

He considerably expanded the “Capital for A Day” program which Cece had initiated in 1973.

Under the Andrus model it was just Cece and I walking Main Street of a county seat. Usually we stopped by the Main Street Drug, the busiest looking café, the local super market, a gas station or two—we’d even walk into a bar or two.

Then we’d speak to a local Kiwanis Club or Rotary at noon. In the afternoon we’d drop by the local newspaper and the local radio station to report on what we’d heard from their friends and neighbors. If it was a weekly we’d meet with the publisher. If it was a daily we’d meet with their ed board and Boise Statehouse reporter.

Evans began the practice of taking selected state agency directors and added the component of a town hall meeting to the format. It is the Evans model that current Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter adopted.

Idahoans should be grateful to Evans for his political wisdom in recognizing that in 1970 he should drop out of the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination because he would not be able to defeat Andrus. In not challenging Andrus he solidified a relationship that made it possible for Andrus to accept President-elect Carter’s offer to become Interior secretary.

And in 1974, after Evans won the Democratic nomination to be Cece’s second in command, it was easy for them to form a joint Andrus/Evans ticket and for Andrus to pour thousands of dollars of advertising into Evans’ campaign to ensure Evans’ victory.

Andrus detested State Rep. Vern Ravenscroft, from Tuttle, who Evans defeated. Why? Because Vernon had switched parties and left good folks like Joe Carter, from Corral, holding notes they never would receive repayment for. He felt Vern was ethically challenged and subsequent events proved him correct.

When Andrus launched his comeback campaign in 1985, it forced Evans to go after the Senate seat held by Steve Symms. Truth be told, Evans would much rather have been running for a thirds full term as governor, but he knew Cece stood in the way. Once again, he recognized that he could not defeat Cece and that for the good of the Democratic party, to which he was always intensely loyal, he should take on Symms.

For the only time in his career, he lost an election, largely over his tenacious opposition to Right to Work laws in Idaho.

It takes an exceptionally good man, well in tune with himself, and a realistic judge of the external political world, to put ego aside and to recognize not only what was good for himself, but also good for the best interests of Idaho. John V. Evans was just such a man. All Idahoans, and indeed the entire nation owe him a deep derb of gratitude for making it possible for Cece to be Interior Secretary.

Rest in peace, my friend.

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Carlson

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)

More foothills trails planned for Boise (Boise Statesman)
Plans for more fuel-efficient Lewiston police (Lewiston Tribune)
Will Congress object to closure of shee station? (TF Times News)

Ashland was end its moratorium on pot shops (Ashland Tidings)
Oregon observing Washington’s pot experience (Salem Statesman Journal)
Salem gradually redevelops Boise site (Salem Statesman Journal)
Reviewing BLM, Bundy situation and Oregon (Portland Oregonian)

Pastors sue Marysville on sex offender program (Everett Herald)
Lightning may add to central WA fires (Kennewick Herald)
Olympic peninsula growth slows (Port Angeles News)
Objections to failing grades for schools (Port Angeles News)
Japan aircraft maker builds Moses Lake test center (Seattle Times)
Spokane may cut speeds on U.S 2 (Spokane Spokesman)
District 6 Senate race may be expensive (Spokane Spokesman)
New research projects ahead at WSU (Spokane Spokesman)
Big Naches fire burns (Yakima Herald Republic)

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First Take

holmes at store
 
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes joined other major I-502 sponsors at noon Tuesday at the opening of Cannabis City, the first of Seattle’s allotted 21 retail marijuana stores to open. Holmes became the fourth person to make a purchase at Cannabis City – two packages of two grams each of “OG Pearl.”
“Just over three years ago I stood with Alison Holcomb in Seattle’s Central Public Library to announce the launch of what became Initiative 502, to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for adult recreational use,” Holmes said. “Now I’m honored to stand with Alison again at the opening of the very first I-502 store in Seattle, Cannabis City.” Holcomb was the architect of the I-502 campaign while Holmes was a prime sponsor. (Photo/Office of the Seattle City Attorney)

 

Summer has finally arrived, in some force, with hotter temperatures than up to now – and hotter in most places than normal for this point in July. With the outbreak of mid-sized wildfires around the region, there’s some concern growing about fire risk and about water supplies.

The big Washington story was, of course, the opening of several state-legalized pot shops; Oregon and Idaho saw less dominant stories in the week after Independence Day.

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Briefings

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)

Speaker Bedke may be challenged this year (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Lewiston Tribune)
Lewiston cops write most speeding tickets in area (Lewiston Tribune)
Low prices for potatoes this season (Pocatello Journal)
Panhandle mental health options few (Sandpoint Bee)
Burley airport falling short of standards (TF Times News)
Police find new ways to work with mentally ill (TF Times News)
Fish & Game Commission opposing White Clouds monument (TF Times News)

Drought moving wild horses to private land (KF Herald & News)
Medford councilor Karen Blair dies (Medford Tribune)
Recent Jackson Co marriage license 12% same-sex (Medford Tribune)
Many abandoned homes taken over by squatters (Portland Oregonian)
New Salem school superintendent settles in (Salem Statesman Journal)

Bremerton emergency levy on ballot yet again (Bremerton Sun)
Sockeye coming back to Skokomish River (Bremerton Sun)
Two towns seek to treat waste water (Everett Herald)
Entiat fire burns more than 20,000 acres (Seattle Times)
Studying Airbus and its moves on Boeing (Seattle Times)
A look at the 5th US House race (Spokane Spokesman)
A look at the 10th US House primary (Tacoma News Tribune)
Clark County affirms – no pot production (Vancouver Columbian)
Grays Harbor considers oil train shipping (Vancouver Columbian)
A look at the 4th US House contest (Yakima Herald Republic)
DEA looks at medical pot users with guns (Yakima Herald Republic)

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First Take