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Posts published in “Briefings”

In the Briefings this week

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JEWELL AT SENATE: Interior Secretary-designate Sally Jewell speaks before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in Washington. The committee, which includes Washington Senate Maria Cantwell, was holding a hearing on her confirmation. (image/Office of Senator Cantwell)

 

In Washington, couple of seemingly counter headlines, about an unemployment rate that remains the same, but overall improvement (albeit modest) in the state economic picture. The two are reconciled to some degree by the additional statistic that the overall number of jobs rose during January, meaning that the rate reflected more people in the labor force.

In Idaho, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee last week drafted a public school budget that seems likely to gain clearance (since there was not a lot of dissension surrounding it). Odds are that will translate to a relatively quick legislative session, possibly ending by the close of this month.

This week’s Briefings

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Concrete is poured on the Highway 520 pontoon bridge east of Seattle by Department of Transportation crews. (photo/Washington Department of Transportation)
 

Washington: Financial bill introduction cutoffs are imposed at the statehouse, which means session tensions are about to ratchet upward. That and the fact that not a lot of time remains before the constitutional session cutoff arrives. Notably likely: Little immediate fallout from the Supreme Court decision on supermajorities and tax bills; the split legislature provides a brake on that and on the idea of a constitutional amendment to allow for it.

Oregon: Approval in the Oregon House of key financing for the Columbia Crossing bridge project was hot enough material that Governor John Kitzhaber sent a press release about out from his meeting his D.C. He may have been hoping that presages success on the more difficult project he has set for himself this session – PERS reforms.

Idaho: The University of Idaho's president for the last four and a half years, Duane Nellis, appeared headed to a university job in Texas by week's end. That apparently will set up another year-long national search for the next UI president (who, based in recent history, might last at the institution as much as three to four times as long).

In the Briefings

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DERELICT A 30' non-motorized boat was removed from the ocean shore near Horsfall Beach north of Coos Bay February 21. Contractor Johnson Rock of Coos Bay transported it to Les Sanitation in Coos Bay. Removing the debris cost the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department $2,500. (photo/Oregon Parks & Recreation Department)

 

Legislative action was prominent in all three states last week - and likely will be again this week, in the three Northwest Briefings.

Meanwhile, winter continues apace, in this case driving an old board ashore on the south-central Oregon coast.

This week in the Briefings

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Sea lion hazing crew on the Willamette. (Photo/Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife)

As Oregon's legislature prepares to join the other Northwest two in action, weather eased up - became a little less wintry. The economy continued on a steady if uneasy course.

From the Idaho Digest: A new comprehensive study of records compiled by the Boone and Crockett Club concludes that big game harvest has reduced the size of horns and antlers of trophy male big game species over time. Why? (Read ahead ...)

This week in the briefings

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SINKING BOATS: The Department of Ecology and the U.S. Coast Guard worked with Ballard Diving and Salvage to contain a small amount of oil released in Hylebos Waterway after two vessels moored at Mason Marine  near Tacoma. (photo/Department of Ecology)

 

The Washington and Idaho legislative sessions moved a little gingerly last week, as Washington legislators introduced (but in most cases have yet to much consider) a mass of bills, while Idaho's were focused more on administrative rules and education budgets.

Oregon's lawmakers convene next week, but they're already floating a bunch of ideas likely to stir things up in Salem.

In this week’s Briefings

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Newly installed Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick visits Portland Fire & Rescue at SW 12th and Columbia in Portland, the site of a recent rescue. (photo/from Commissioner Novick, Facebook)

The legislatures move on (well, Oregon's is in sort of recess, but loads of bills are posted and are being reviewed), and they'll be a big deal this week.

And winter continues to bear down hard.

From this week’s Briefings

Boise street
The Idaho Historical Society is launching celebration of the Idaho Territorial Sesquicentennial – 150 years since the formation of Idaho Territory (the first major land mass with the name of Idaho), in 1863. This street scene from Boise in 1866 is one of several free photos available for download.

 

Little noted in current news, but - this is the year of Idaho's territorial sesquicentennial; it marked the first real designation of a substantial land mass as "Idaho."

Last week was a quiet week, but the political storms are just beginning to brew as legislatures in Washington, Oregon and Idaho get ready to gear back up into action.

Briefing pic of the week

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TREES ON US 2: Falling trees laden with heavy snow and ice create hazardous conditions on US 2. (Photo/Washington Department of Transportation)

 
This week's front cover from the Washington Weekly Briefing. It seemed timely, as snow is actually falling outside where we are (just south of Washington).