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)

Tony Doerr wins Pullitzer for novel (Boise Statesman, TF Times News)
Downtown site okayed for IF fire station (IF Post Register)
Major renovations planned at Lewiston high school (Lewiston Tribune)
Latah commissioners ask special session on child support (Moscow News)
Pocatello-Chubbuck fire move ahead on merger (Pocatello Journal)
Jerome okays new rendering plant (TF Times News)

Unease in Springfield on home for mentally ill (Eugene Register Guard)
Smoke from Siberia fires drift to northwest (Medford Tribune)
Umatilla sheriff contracts help county budget (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Last court challenge to Oregon gay marriage fails (Portland Oregonian)

Mt Baker ski area ends poor season (Bellinghan Herald)
School districts protesting budget (Everett Herald)
Highway 522 work hits fish habitat (Everett Herald)
Looking further into Auditor Kelley background (Kennewick Herald, Olympian)
Report says Richland needs more day care (Kennewick Herald)
Wildfire smoke fom Siberia spreads to Northwest (Longview News)
Inslee signs teen cardiac arrest bill (Longview News)
State treasurer urges income tax passage (Longview News)
Homeless count finds decrease in numbers (Olympian)
Seattle Times gets Pulitzer for Oso reportage (Seattle Times)
Bill goes after left-lane slow drivers (Spokane Spokesman)
Tacoma Amtrak station gets approval (Tacoma News Tribune)
Possible overtime session in the works (Vancouver Columbian)
Judge blasts conduct of county clerk (Yakima Herald Republic)

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First Take

seaweed
 

Sugar kelp, or Saccharina latissima, is native to Puget Sound. The University of Washington will be working with the Bainbridge Island-based Puget Sound Restoration Fund to see whether growing seaweed could help combat ocean acidification in Puget Sound waters. (photo/Mego Huang, University of Washington)

 
The Washington Legislature is nearing the constitutional end of its regular session, with a lot of business concluded but the big question – what to do about state budget and revenue – still hanging in the balance between the House and Senate.

Spring finally arrived in a big way around Oregon last week – almost everywhere. The cover picture this week shows one of the exceptional areas (in the Wallowa Mountains) but across much of the state sun and warmer temperatures, into the upper 60s, tended to prevail.

Hanging in the balance last week and surely one of the top topics of the week to come: Will Governor Otter call a special session to pass a bill blocked in the House earlier this month, which would give Idaho access to national child support collection organizations? Prospects for passage in the House remained unclear last week, as did Otter’s plans.

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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)

Idaho homeowners facing lots of termites, etc (Boise Statesman)
Latah Republicans talk about deadbeat dads (Lewiston Tribune)
Nampa plans development around Idaho Center (Nampa Press Tribune)
Ybarra gained respect during session (TF Times News)

New food hall planned for 5yh street market (Eugene Register Guard)
Annexation bill held after Medford concerns (Medford Tribune)
Some optimism develops about more university funding (Medford Tribune)
Democrats pressed by gun-ignited recall plans (Salem Statesman Journal)

Kitsap schools hope for $25 million in federal funds (Bremerton Sun)
MicroGreen Ploymers shuts down at Arlington (Everett Herald)
Lake Stevens considers another elementary school (Everett Herald)
Base teacher pay generally static (Kennewick Herald)
Cost cutting ahead at Lewis-McChord (Olympian)
Inslee signs geologic mapping bill (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
A poor ski season in Washington state (Seattle Times)
Yakima firm plans to generate biomass energy (Yakima Herald Republic)

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First Take

harris ROBERT
HARRIS

 
Oregon
Outpost

Three recall efforts against Oregon State Legislators were announced this week. The recall was prompted by the Legislators’ support of SB 941 which requires background checks for all private gun sales in Oregon.

A Hillsboro man, Benjamin Busch, claimed to have submitted recall petitions against Rep. Susan McLain (D-HD 29-Hillsboro) and Sen. Chuck Riley (D-SD-15- Hillsboro). While The Riley recall petition was filed April 14th, 2015, as of April 17th, 2015, no recall petition had been filed against McLain. And in a direct challenge to the Democratic Leadership, a Gun shop owner from Junction City filed a recall petition against House Majority Leader Rep. Val Hoyle (D-HD-14-Eugene) on April 14th, 2015.

Rep. Hoyle is thought to be a target partially due to her courting the support of gun owners- or courting them to not support her opponent- in the 2014 general election. Her support of background checks could have been considered a betrayal.

The Washington County organizers of the recall for Sen. Riley also raised Senator Riley’s support for a more robust modification of Gain Share than is supported in Washington County. Riley’s position on Gain Share modification has raised the ire of the business community in his District and the Gun bill opponents believe their recall effort against Riley could receive financial and political aid from the Washington County Business community.

Short Takes:

Gun enthusiasts successfully recalled two state legislators in Colorado after Colorado had adopted a law requiring background checks and limiting the size of gun magazines.

According to a 2013 Pew Research Poll, 81% of all Americans support background checks for all gun sales.

Rep. McLain’s House District is part of Sen Riley’s Senate District. Riley’s position on Gain Share makes him more vulnerable than Rep. McLain. The fact that there is no recall petition against McLain yet could be an indication that the petitioners may be focusing their efforts on Riley hoping to raise funds from the business community in their recall efforts. And, remember Riley won the 2014 election for his seat by a mere 221 votes out of almost 40,000 cast while McLain won her district easily.

The other clue that Riley is a prime target for recall is the initial petition for recall named a local resident as Treasurer of the recall committee. Today an amended filing named Carol Russell as Treasurer. Russell, in spite of some serious allegations of civil (and possible criminal) fraud, is still a go to Treasurer for many Republican candidates and committees, and is also the Treasurer for the Hoyle recall committee.

Recall supporters will have to get almost 6,000 signatures of voters in their respective districts to force a recall vote for Riley, and almost 3,000 signatures to force a recall for Hoyle or McLain. While that may make Hoyle or McLain the easier target, paying for signatures is the smallest cost associated with a recall. The recall election is however, expensive.

The Oregon Constitution states that if a legislator is recalled, the office is vacant, and it’s filled in the manner provided by law. So if a recall suceeds the seat is considered vacant and the County’s Democratic Party would nominate three Democrats, forwards them to their County Commission, and the Commission would select one of the three. THe Washington County Commission is dominated by business conservatives. And the Lane County Commission also isn’t a hotbed of the tea party. So, it’s really unlikely the pro firearm rights petitioners are going to get their wish even if they are successful with the recall. They are unlikely to get a more gun friendly legislator. So the ultimate result won’t be a change in policy. It will just be more taxpayer expense to have what amounts to a gun enthusiast desire to punish a couple of legislators.

The real potential benefit in all this mess would be for Washington County government and the City of Hillsboro. Sen. Riley is the rare Democrat in Washington County who doubts the fairness or wisdom of Gain Share. It’s almost a sure thing that if Riley is recalled, at least one of the three candidates the Washington County Democrats name as his replacement (Most likely all three) would be a big supporter of retaining as much Gain Share money for the local governments as possible. (Think Tobias Read, type). And the Washington County Commission is sure to select the candidate who has the “best” position on Gain Share. Even if that candidate wanted to ban gun sales all together.

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Harris

bookworks
 
About Books and Publishing

A column for BookWorks by Randy Stapilus.

A while back I worked with a writer who had written a good memoir, but it was riddled with issues about words he didn’t write.

This wasn’t plagiarism. He wanted to quote from popular songs that related to his story. The lyrics would have helped his narrative. But I told him he either had to get written permission to use the lyrics, or drop them. The permissions process proved cumbersome, and soon the lyrics were out.

I’ve advised writers to cut all sorts of material that wasn’t theirs from their manuscripts. In each case they intended to acknowledge the original sources, but that wasn’t enough: They needed to get written permission. Before you consider sending your book out to the world, think carefully about anything in it you didn’t write yourself, or get specific permission to use that material.

Earlier this year, working with a traditional publisher, I submitted pictures, with a variety of ownership backgrounds, for a book. Two of those photos were taken by friends who encouraged me through Facebook communication to use their photos in the book. I cut and pasted that dialogue, but by the publisher’s legal standards that wasn’t enough: The publisher required signatures from the photographers on their in-house permission forms (which I then obtained) before the pictures could be used.

This is not a matter of ethics: It’s a matter of protecting yourself legally. The Internet makes cutting and pasting easy, but it makes exposure of copying simple as well.

Some people make a living from finding copies of words or pictures reproduced without permission. Certain law firms in recent years have made a specialty of patrolling the web looking for duplicates of copyrighted material (often from newspapers and magazines), and filing or threatening to file lawsuits when they find them. You don’t want to be on the expensive receiving end of that action.

Your best defense: Stick to publishing that which you produce yourself.

This doesn’t mean you can’t reference (delete) what other people say. You simply have to be cautious about it.

Short quotes, a sentence or so in length, usually are not a problem, though reproducing even a single lyric line of a popular song can be a problem. Any recent copyrighted picture, without some indication permission, can be an issue.

Remember that copyright doesn’t have to be registered to be legally effective. My original copyright to these words, for example, became effective the moment I typed them on my computer.

The good news is that lots of online material now requires no permission at all.

Many online publishers (Wikipedia is one) release their materials under a “creative commons” license, which allows users to share and copy the original, sometimes with a requirement that it be attributed. For the most part, what is on Wikipedia, images as well as text, is available this way. Specific permissions for pictures and some other materials are hyper-linked to each one.

Creative Commons has grown into something of an international movement; its site at creativecommons.org is extensive. It is even developing its own software, such as The List, which it describes as “a new mobile app that allows anyone to create and share a list of wanted images, and allows users to respond by taking pictures and sharing them in a global archive, all licensed” under creative commons.

More open still are works in the public domain, a broad area that includes many public documents, old documents that existed before copyright or have fallen out of copyright. Anything published in the United States before 1923 is out of copyright and in the public domain. Wikipedia keeps a list of works that fall into the public domain by year; it compiled a long list for 2014.

The Wikipedia roster of sources for public domain images is massive, including its own collection of about 25 million images but also much more besides.

A great trove of free images, more than 50 million by one estimate, became available last year for online publishers with the Getty Images collection, which allows online users access as long as they attach a footnote referencing back to Getty.

Goodreads also has an impressive collection of public domain books, in a range of formats. And still more materials can be found on an Electronic Frontier Foundation web page about copyright law. It lists places where public domain works can be found, from the New York Times public domain archives (the paper itself is copyrighted, of course) to Project Gutenberg.

I probably should have told that author who wanted to use song lyrics that he had plenty of options. He just had to stay away from music lyrics and do a little more digging.

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books BookWorks

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)

Debate continues over Canyon County jail (Boise Statesman)
Anxiety arises over common core tests (Lewiston Tribune)
Reviewing history of balanced budget amendments (IF Post Register)
More recordings of encounters with police (Pocatello Journal)
Magic Valley wants ‘manufacturing community’ status (TF Times News)

Drought map for Oregon expands (Eugene Register Guard)
Reviewing Merkley’s run in the Senate (Portland Oregonian)
Reviewing Maclaren Youth Prison (Salem Statesman Journal)

More hazard area maps after Oso slides (Longview News)
Looking at Auditor Kelley’s history (Seattle Times)
Renton Boeing plant gets ready for big production (Seattle Times)
Other cases somewhat like Auditor Kelley’s (Tacoma News Tribune)
Looking at oil train rail safety record (Vancouver Columbian)
Washington approaches end of legislative session (Vancouver Columbian)
Tribes seek child placement background checks (Yakima Herald Republic)

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First Take

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Idaho

The 2015 Idaho legislative session emerged more productive than its recent predecessors.

Public schools came out better this session than in a long time. A down payment was made on road repair and maintenance (though only about a third of what is thought to be needed). The legislature may not have “added the words”, but it can’t be said to have not heard the arguments on it: Hearings lasted for days after the bill was introduced, both moves sought by advocates for years and this time backed by House leadership. And Senate leaders didn’t get the praise they earned for inviting and courteously attending to an opening ceremony from a regional Hindu leader. There were some high spots in policy too (career ladder and anti-bullying legislation come to mind).

These things happened, however, in a context. You could pick it up in the steady stream of quotes, many internationally viral, such as:

“They (slave owners) weren’t terrible rotten horrible people. . . . And that’s how I see gay people.” Representative Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins, March 25.

“We already have 105 inspector generals [legislators] in this building. . . .I don’t think we need to add more to it. We’re talking about spending $350,000 a year. From what I’ve seen from government agencies, that would just be a beginning. They seem to grow out of control in no time at all. I don’t see where this is going to do anything. I agree there is problems. People do things they aren’t supposed to do.” Representative Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, February 26.

“We’re a nation under God, one nation under God. So when you take Christian prayer out of school, as long as it’s a generic prayer and it’s not specific to any denomination, because our freedom of religion thing was to deal with different denominations, not whether we’re Christian or not.” Shepherd, March 20.

“This bill aims to put in writing the rights of parents to be the primary decision makers for their children. Parents’ rights are given to us by God. We are not saying the state is granting these rights. We are simply putting it in writing in our code that this is the case … and we acknowledge the rights that parents have.” Senator Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene, on her bill allowing parents to pull children from any school activity which “impairs the parents’ firmly held beliefs, values or principles.”

“They have a caste system, they worship cows.’ Senator Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, March 2.

“Hindu is a false faith with false gods.” Senator Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, March 3.

Barbieri: “You mentioned the risk of colonoscopy , can that be done by drugs?”
Dr. Julie Madsen: “It cannot be done by drugs. It can, however, be done remotely where you swallow a pill and this pill has a little camera, and it makes its way through your intestines and those images are uploaded to a doctor who’s often thousands of miles away, who then interprets that.”
Barbieri: “Can this same procedure then be done in a pregnancy? Swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is?” Representative Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, February 23.

(About rejecting the bill that could cost the state funds from enforcing child support) 4/10
“We didn’t want to give up our sovereignty. We have $42 million coming to the state – it wasn’t worth risking our sovereignty to me.” Representative Don Cheatham, R-Post Falls, April 10..

“My whole concern is potential federal overreach. In North Idaho we have the water litigation going. I just am in fear that something could be impacted if it became an endangered species.” Cheatham, January 19, about a proposal to designate the giant salamander as state amphibian.

“They were ugly. They were slimy. And they were creepy.” Representative Ken Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, January 10.

And a non-quote:

(crickets) – Representative Shannon McMillan, R-Silverton, declining to explain her votes against state budget bills, including not only six of seven pieces of the public school budget but also home-district state operations such as State Hospital North at Cottonwood and the North Idaho Correctional Institution at Cottonwood.

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Idaho Idaho 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)

Pollution grows in Boise valley (Boise Statesman)
Caldwell’s old Kit RV plant now Omega RB plant (Boise Statesman)
Moscow takes another look at industrial plan (Moscow News)
NNU board will look again at layoffs (Nampa Press Tribune)
More parents opt out of common core testing (Nampa Press Tribune)
Idaho ranks high nationally in health enrollment (Nampa Press Tribune)

Former UO archivist dismissal ‘humiliating’ (Eugene Register Guard)
More parents opt out of common core tests (Eugene Register Guard)
Jackson Co officials getting raises (Medford Tribune)
Planning responses for spills of oil tankers (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Brown says she’s settling in as governor (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal, Pendleton E Oregonian)
Portland man sues robocallers, $1500 a call (Portland Oregonian)
Wyden defnds fast track on trade deal (Salem Statesman Journal)

Area teachers will go on strike (Seattle Times, Bellingham Herald)
Nooksack River area has hit drought (Bellingham Herald)
Nooksack casino at Deming could close (Bellingham Herald)
Massive accidents released 13m bees (Everett Herald, Yakima Herald Republic, Longview News)
Coastal Community, Prime Pacific banks merge (Everett Herald)
Inslee signs law on geologist hazards maps (Everett Herald)
Inslee grows drought emergency area (Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Olympian, Longview News)
Reviewing auditor Kelley’s history (Olympian)
Washington resident uneasy about Alaska oil arrival (Seattle Times)
Spokane diocese returns accused man to ministry (Spokane Spokesman)

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First Take



 
Training with MAF at Deadwood, Holdout, Idaho City and Weatherby Airstrips.

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Idaho

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)

Issues in the Nampa school district contests (Boise Statesman)
Child support funding still in balance (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune)
WA auditor says he’s not guilty in fed charges (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
UI president Staben releases plan for growth (Moscow News)
WWAMI may see underhaul with med school changes (Moscow News)
Otter vetoed cannabis extract oil bill (Nampa Press Tribune)
Twin Falls police chief search stopped for now (TF Times News)

Adjusting plans for improved Astoria boatyard (Astorian)
Eugene gets world track meet for 2021 (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard)
Interim school superintendent at Springfield (Eugene Register Guard)
Police chief of Junction city may sue city (Eugene Register Guard)
Modoc officials support Klamath water agreement (KF Herald & News)
Debate over Klamath sheriff’s budget continues (KF Herald & News)
Medford okays beehives in city limits (Medford Tribune)
Pendleton ponders what to do with drone bucks (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Mine claimant asks Oath Keepers to step down (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Portland businesses consider religion effects (Portland Oregonian)
President named for Western Oregon U (Salem Statesman Journal)

Auditor Kelley faces major charges (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Bremerton Sun, Olympian, Longview News)
Sockeye return to Elwha river (Bremerton Sun)
Warnings issues about more whooping cough (Everett Herald)
Feds approve flushing of Lake Sacajawea (Longview News)
Insurers have given bad birth control information (Seattle Times)
Clark farm land may become industrial (Vancouver Columbian)

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First Take