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Posts published in “Day: August 31, 2014”

Hatfield? McCall? U’Ren?

idaho RANDY

Maybe states should do this every so often: Consider the people whose visages grace the statuary at the U.S. Capitol, and whether there might be better choices.

Oregon is doing that now, by way of a panel selected by the governor (see the Culture section), reconsidering whether the state's two representatives at the nation's capitol ought to be John McLaughlin annd Jason Lee.

McLoughlin seems a logical enough choice, even he was in Oregon as head of the British-based Hudson's Bay Company; he eventually helped Americans organize the area and has been called the “Father of Oregon.”
Lee, though, was a missionary who played a significant but not decisive role in the early development of Oregon. Even a century ago better choices could be made.

If Lee is to be replaced – and let's say the betting might reasonably run that way – who should take his spot?

Right now, the inside track may go to Mark Hatfield, the former governor and senator who served as a Republican but for many years has been pointed out by people in both major parties as an exemplar of Oregonian public service. His relatively recent death would make him a sentimental favorite too.
A couple of other choices, at least, might also get some consideration.

Probably Oregon's best-known political figure of the last few generations, even more than Hatfield, is Tom McCall, the flamboyant governor more controversial in his own time than many people remember now, but can fairly be pointed out as an innovator and true leader. Some of what people think they recall about McCall doesn't hold up perfectly to scrunity – he had less, for example, to do with the state's bottle bill than many now would suspect – but what he stood for matches up well with the way Oregon likes to present itself.

Or you could back a little further, to early in the 20th century, and seize on a man who never held a major public office but changed the state's politics and political outlook more than many who did.

William U'Ren was a legislator, but he did his major work as an activist, pushing through the initiative and referendum (often called the “Oregon system”) and a list of other reforms.

Oregon has some good choices for the capitol, if it chooses to make them.

Facts not fashion

rainey BARRETT


Story placement is always a bugaboo for print journalists. Sometimes the rule is the most important story of the day goes at the top. Other times, the editor reaches for one that will “grab” readers because it’s cute or funny or sensational. But my latest experience in lousy headline juxtaposition came the other day with these two. Side by side. Both treated equally.



Now I suppose the value - importance, if you will - found in those two items depends on how you look at world events. Personally, I find stories of cataclysms and threats to our worldly existence a tad more of interest than the color of Mr. Obama’s sartorial selection of the day. Apparently not so for the editors of The Huffington Post and nearly all other national media.

I checked seven national news sites after finding the breathless reviewers comments about that suit. All had similar stories: one had three! Only two mentioned “Doctor K’s” rather mind-numbing remarks.

Henry always has had a flair for being quotable if not just a bit over-the-top. In this instance, it’s hard not to agree with him. Look at a Congress where order has already crumbled into chaos and stupefying inaction. Check out Vladimir Putin’s barefaced international lies denying invasion of another country while his military does just that. At the moment, the civilized world is absolutely flummoxed about the merciless killing machine known as ISIS or ISIL and what to do about the mindless slaughter being perpetrated on thousands and thousands of innocent people.

If these world order-defying items don’t hit home, there’s always the climate change that’s redesigning and eliminating parts of the earth as we stand flatfooted and take no meaningful steps to reverse it. Or, the many longstanding racial injustices leaving young, dead bodies on the streets and thousands of innocent people in jail.

There’s the outright racial hatred of our duly elected President and the piling on of blame for anything and everything never exhibited with any other President in our nation’s history. Add some of the most ignorant and dangerous people elected to public office with no thought of the responsibilities they’ve sworn to undertake. They make a mockery of the very Constitution a lot of ‘em have never read but use repeatedly as a verbal dressing gown.

“Doctor K” was also referring to the widening disparity of economic well-being in this and other countries. Disparity brought about by self-indulgent thieves with billions of dollars at their disposal to buy whatever elected officeholder is necessary at the moment to gather more power and privilege. You can add to that category the sell-outs in public office who feel their own employment - and their own bank accounts - are more important than the honest conduct of the business they were elected to perform. (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)

Long-term maintenance of wilderness difficult (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune, Lewiston Tribune)
String of Boise tech startups sold off (Boise Statesman)
Will Tea Party turn in GOP in November? (Boise Statesman)
Feds examine troubled Idaho contractor Optum (IF Post Register)
Idaho considers for-profit college accreditation (Nampa Press Tribune)

Taxpayers on hook for EWEB redevelopment (Eugene Register Guard)
Birds dying in Tule Lake botulism outbreak (KF Herald & News)
Students and teachers face new tests (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal)
How will cops cope with pot-infused driving? (Portland Oregonian)
Efforts start to preserve Devil's Staircase (Salem Statesman Journal)

Getting an accurate rider count on ferries (Bremerton Sun)
New housing development at Spyglass Hill (Bremerton Sun)
Everett port director chosen on Tuesday (Everett Herald)
WA schools preparing for common core (Longview News)
State House staff lose unfair firing suit (Longview News)
Tough work saving wilderness chalet (Post Angeles News)
Olympic Peninsula news get poor federal ratings (Port Angeles News)
On the Supreme Court-Legislature school fund battle (Seattle Times, Yakima Herald Republic)
Inland NW hot summer may be a harbinger (Spokane Spokesman)
Law enforcement splits on gun initiatives (Tacoma News Tribune)
Complexity in measuring THC in pot (Vancouver Columbian)
Grant County apple crop growing rapidly (Yakima Herald Republic)