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Posts published in “Day: January 15, 2015”

A different SOS

idaho RANDY

State of the State addresses, in almost any state, usually follow a standard pattern. They start by recounting some of the challenges and advances faced by the jurisdiction, move on through one topic area after another, often somewhere around a half dozen, offering suggestions here and there, and wrapping up with a story or a few lines meant to be uplifting.

The SOS speeches in Washington and Idaho followed the usual pattern.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s combination inaugural-state of the state (much of which appears later in this edition), did not. Except for the last uplifting piece, it threw out the template entirely.
Instead, he focused on one bigger-picture topic: How community is undermined by inequality. There were no budget figures. There were no legislative proposals.

At least not specifically. The autobiographical elements in it seemed there to form a frame more than anything else; this wasn’t a meander through memories. (He only addressed two discrete aspects of his life, and with a glancing nod to some of the more recent headlines from last year.) His point was larger than Oregon but he kept coming back to, referring to, Oregon as he talked. As unconventional as it was, Kitzhaber clearly meant this as a state of the state speech, but one to be used in an unusual way.

The governor has legislative proposals, and a budget, coming, but in truth he didn’t need a speech to introduce those; most probably are already either in public conversation or can be reasonably guessed at. The point of this speech seemed to be its prospective use as a lodestar, as a direction he thought the legislature should take, a rough test against which legislation ought to be considered (not least, presumably, when it hits his desk).

It was meant to chart a direction, which is what state of states are intended to do.

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)

West Ada schools try for $96m school bond (Boise Statesman)
'Add the Words' legislation introduced (Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune)
State advises schools to seek fed help on broadband (Lewiston Tribune)
CWI expansion in Otter budget plans (Nampa Press Tribune)
Caldwell urban renewal considers housing (Nampa Press Tribune)
Bell Marsh Creek Road closed by county (Pocatello Journal)
Small earthquakes around Challis and Montpelier (Pocatello Journal)
Planning underway for 2 TF elementary schools (TF Times News)

Columbia Bank corporate branding may be rejected by city (Astorian)
1st voter-elected Warrenton mayor takes office (Astorian)
Eugene fines for Uber ride now top $118k (Eugene Register Guard)
Eugene considers new taxes for library (Eugene Register Guard)
Klamath development code under review (KF Herald & News)
Survey finds new kindergartners less prepared (Medford Tribune)
More police action with Aryan gang (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Local legislators go to work on budget (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Legislators will consider a bunch of pot bills (Portland Oregonian)

Scrambling for Seattle football game ferry (Bremerton Sun)
Inslee goes after WA's high property crime rate (Yakima Herald Republic, Bremerton Sun, Longview News)
Everett port in heavy-cargo upgrade (Everett Herald)
Liquor board may change rules on city alchol impact areas (Olympian)
Casinos on Peninsula untroubled by new state rules (Port Angeles News)
More illegal homeless camping seen around region (Seattle Times)
King County changes drug use in allergic reactions (Seattle Times)
Complaints about delays at ports rise (Spokane Spokesman)
Spokane gun club loses tax benefits (Spokane Spokesman)
Tacoma group dislikes Pierce County office plan (Tacoma News Tribune)
Inslee could fill South Prairie city council seat (Tacoma News Tribune)
Herrera Beutler counter Clark censure move (Vancouver Columbian)
Judge rules that dairy polluted groundwater (Yakima Herald Republic)