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Posts published in September 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)

Boise School races favor incumbents, Cronin (Boise Statesman)
Nez Perce Co approved budget (Lewiston Tribune)
Luna's proposed budget raise his largest ever (Nampa Press Tribune, Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Nampa gun ordinance headed for rewrite (Nampa Press Tribune)
Caldwell urban agency settled on King's plan (Nampa Press Tribune)
Instuctor at ISU shoots himself accidently (Pocatello Journal)
TF city insurers reject storm claims (TF Times News)

State forestry rebalancing logging rules (Corvallis Gazette)
Corvallis city considers housing, new manager (Corvallis Gazette)
Regional study ties warming to people (Eugene Register Guard)
Bucket Brigate monument may return (KF Herald & News)
Harry & David bought by NY florist (Medford Tribune)
Atkinson family lodge threatened by fires (Medford Tribune)
Farm fields burning in wildfires (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Pendleton prison lockdown lasted 5 days (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Former hospital being demolished (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Propane operators wants Portland terminal (Portland Oregonian)
OHSU gets $25 million grant on HIV vaccine (Portland Oregonian)

Rules on signs reconsidered in Kitsap (Bremerton Sun)
Everett port may hire director from inside (Everett Herald)
Drive-through bikini coffee/brothel operators pleads guilty (Everett Herald)
No more rental help available at Cowlitz (Longview News)
Traffic cameras on again at Longview (Longview News)
Protests interrupt trains at Everett (Vancouver Columbian, Olympian)
Clallam commissioners cap jail costs (Port Angeles News)
Bottom-dwelling fish recovering well (Seattle Times)
First WA charter school at Seattle opens (Seattle Times)
More metered parking headed to Tacoma (Tacoma News Tribune)
Legislators will be considering pot again (Vancouver Columbian)
Concerns on prices for E WA pears (Yakina Herald Republic)

Running against Elvis

malloy CHUCK

In Idaho

People in Meridian don’t attend city council meetings and only 10 percent of school district voters bothered to cast ballots in the last bond election. But when Congressman Raul Labrador comes in for a town hall meeting, a standing-room-only crowd waits for him at city hall – which poses a big problem for State Rep. Shirley Ringo of Moscow, Labrador’s Democratic opponent for the 1st District congressional seat.

She is running against a political rock star.
He’s a Puerto Rican version of John F. Kennedy. He has a quick wit and his humor often is self-depreciating, which is a big hit with the audience. He asks the crowd not to boo questions they might not like, “but if you don’t like my answer, then you can boo me – as long as it’s with love and kindness.”

He talks about President Obama being an ideologue and gives praise to former President Clinton for being a “pragmatic politician” who was smart enough to take credit for Republican accomplishments – such as creating a government surplus. He has charts illustrating how the nation is heading down the tubes if it doesn’t get spending under control and warns that Social Security for him (at 46) and people younger will not look the same as it does today. Changes need to be made.

Not all his criticism is directed at Obama and liberal Democrats. Republicans, he says, will go nowhere unless they do a better job identifying what they are for – rather than what they are against.

Labrador doesn’t always let facts get in the way of good political rhetoric. One questioner asked why he has not cosponsored legislation that would help revive the U.S. Postal Service. He said the postal employees helped create the mess by signing off on a retirement plan that would help employees not even born yet. Actually, it was Congress that created the plan in 2006, bringing the Postal Service to the brink of bankruptcy.

But his explanation sounded good and his analysis of the federal deficit, and other issues, made sense. He promises to continue to “fight for less government, less spending, more accountability and … to fight for the people of Idaho.” (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)

Looking ahead at wilderness (Boise Statesman)
Measuring intelligence of bears at WSU (Lewiston Tribune)
Looking at Owyhee canyonlands (Nampa Press Tribune)
Otter's race complicated by Tea Party (Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News)
Pine Bowl alley closes down (Pocatello Journal)
Lots of new school principals in Magic Valley (TF Times News)

Eugene rehab center expands (Eugene Register Guard)
Mushroom harvest notably popular this year (KF Herald & News)
School safety program funded (KF Herald & News)
Prospect fire roars near Medford (Medford Tribune)
Southern Oregon summer heat hit records (Medford Tribune)
Boardman will consider funding fire station (Pendleton E Oregonian)
More felonies reported in Umatilla County (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Math, reading scored dampened by absenteeism (Portland Oregonian)
Richardson fields quries on campaign finance (Salem Statesman Journal)

Legislature, court battle again over schools (Everett Herald)
Gun measures divide WA law enforcement (Vancouver Columbian, Olympian)
Neah Bay gets large dock project (Port Angeles News)
Olympic Peninsula gets more health plans (Port Angeles News)
Rural docs scramble for newly insured (Seattle Times)
Schools dealing with Common Core (Tacoma News Tribune)

In the briefings


The Washington State Department of Natural Resources opened a new trail for mountain bikes August 30, in Tiger Mountain State Forest in eastern King County. The addition of the 2.5-mile-long Off-the-Grid Trail increases the forest’s mountain bike trail system to approximately 15 miles. (photo/Washington Department of Natural Resources)


In this coming week, Monday is Labor Day, and after that – the general election campaign season gets underway in earnest. Some political ads have been airing up to this point, but the number will increase greatly in the next few weeks. Only about six weeks remain, after all, until ballots begin to hit the mail.

In Idaho, the Snake River Basin Adjudication has been one of the most significant legal-economic-environmental developments in Idaho over the last quarter-century, though it has proceeded quietly, mostly, over the last decade or so. Last week, a milestone: The signing of the final, or unified, decree. Look for coverage in the View and Legal sections.

Jim Risch could lose

carlson CHRIS


Most voters start to pay attention to November elections after Labor Day. Here’s a gut guess that by mid-October Jim Risch will recognize that many voters have figured out he’s done nothing but vote no on everything, has been “mailing it in,” and is taking re-election for granted.

In addition, with virtually no television advertising, voters will have learned Risch has a worthy opponent who, if elected, will work for the people of Idaho. Yes, a perfect storm and a lucky break may have to happen to put Boise attorney Nels Mitchell in position to pull off the upset, but it could happen.

One key will be the phenomenal success Mitchell’s social media strategist, Morgan Hill, will enjoy. He convincingly can demonstrate his strategy is well on its way to penetrating homes of all voters who have computers.

Hill’s credentials are impeccable. Some credit him with the succcessful repeal of the “Luna Laws” because of his skill at using the Facebook connections of teachers and administrators to get out the repeal message. Republicans, with all their money, have nothing to match it.

Nels Mitchell is also demonstrating an ability to adapt as he campaigns. Initially, he talked only about Risch’s negatives. Now he skillfully weaves in a personal narrative that is starting to resonate.

And Risch is reacting. Mitchell has hit Risch hard in a newspaper ad that he will be a “working senator,” as opposed to the “coasting senator” Risch is. In an August appearance on a southeast Idaho radio station the friendly interviewer repeated a half dozen times how hard Risch is working for the people of Idaho.

It just ain’t so, but as Risch knows, you repeat the Big Lie often enough most people will believe it. However, in his case recent polling still shows his automatic re-elect to be well below the 50% number. For whatever reason, a lot of voters have doubts.

Mitchell’s challenge is to let voters know there is a worthy opponent without having virtually any money to build his name identification in the traditional way. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has from the very beginning written Mitchell off. This has led the traditional Labor PACS to follow suit and not contribute either. The advantage is Mitchell will arrive in D.C. beholden virtually to no one other than the people who elected him.

Since Mitchell, from his first day, also said he would only serve one term he will not have to spend time dialing for dollars begging special interest groups to contribute. (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)

Wilderness opposition in north Idaho (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune, Lewiston Tribune)
WA legislature sues on school funding (Moscow News)
Students often missing fare less well (Moscow News)
Feds may tighten railroad right of way rules (Nampa Press Tribune)
Staying out of jail on probation expensive (Nampa Press Tribune)
Wind energy looking for trained workers (TF Times News)
Twin Falls schools try new reading teaching (TF Times News)

UO trying for re-emphasis around genetics (Eugene Register Guard)
More Medford utility bills goes unpaid (Medford Tribune)
Concordia law school accreditation issues (Portland Oregonian)
Reviewing wilderness in Oregon (Portland Oregonian)

On-line retailers at Kitsap doing well (Bremerton Sun)
State trooper disciplined after collision (Everett Herald)
WA legislature sues on school funding (Vancouver Columbian, Kennewick Herald, Longview News)
Hanford clears two more tanks of waste (Kennewick Herald)
Drones banned from Olympic National Park (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
Deep splits on gun initiatives (Port Angeles News)
Government considered as job maker (Spokane Spokesman)