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Posts published in “Day: April 27, 2015”



The bitterness was already there on the side of the anti-government Oath Keepers group, but it started to grow last week as well on the part of . . . the anti-Oath Keepers.
The scene was Grants Pass and Medford, at the Sugar Pine Mine near Merlin, where the Bureau of Land Management has been held at bay from enforcing its normal rules (requiring the filing of a plan of operations) by armed people associated with the Oath Keepers. On Thursday, the Medford BLM office closed out of concern about confrontations with employees.

The Medford Mail Tribune on April 24 reported that “Grants Pass sporting-goods salesman Dave Strahan was one of several protesters who said the sudden appearance of dozens of armed outsiders was fostering a reputation many community members have worked hard to avoid.”

Hard work indeed. Josephine County has been one of the counties in southwest Oregon hit by the loss of federal timber funds, and responded by refusing to increase local taxes to compensate – even though that has meant extreme cuts in law enforcement (layoffs of most of the sheriff’s department, for example) among other things.

Strahan remarked that “Over the last few years, I've gotten more and more questions from my customers about the safety of coming to Josephine County to recreate.”
Hardly any law enforcement . . . groups of angry and heavily armed ex-military wandering around . . . what could go wrong here?

Business in Josephine County may have to do some more belt-tightening of its own.

In the Briefings

bear creek

Jeremiah Griffin scouts the Bear Creek site, in a greenway in the Rogue Valley, for any trash as crews prepare the are for landscaping. (photo/Oregon Department of Transportation)

Has a Clive Bundy situation arrived in southern Oregon? Maybe not quite yet, and if things defuse, maybe not at all. But plenty of people in the area are concerned about the real possibility.

So the Washington Legislature in fact is coming back, this Wednesday, having been unable to resolve the budget in regular session. Don’t expect this round to take just a few days.

Will Governor Otter call a special session this week? That remains as unclear today as it did a week ago, though prospects may be considered to diminish with time.

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)

What the state will do with new road work funds (Boise Statesman, TF Times News)
Caldwell starts widening 21st avenue (Nampa Press Tribune)

Competition for Medford school board seat (Medford Tribune)
Oregon continues to consider speed limits (Portland Oregonian)

Ballingham airport may see quiet summer (Bellingham Herald)
Legislature prepares for return (Vancouver Columbian, Bellingham Herald, Bremerton Sun, Olympian)
Allen supports bill on species trafficking (Seattle Times)
Vancouver waterfront could generate revenue (Vancouver Columbian)
Water quality, permits mean conflicts (Yakima Herald Republic)