Writings and observations

guard training

 
Two Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers with Golf Troop, 141st Brigade Support Battalion, guard an entry control point at the 2-218th Field Artillery Battalion compound at Yakima Training Site, Wash., June 21. Several Oregon Army National Guard units converged on the training site for their two-week annual training cycle. (Photo/Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).

 

The federal section is busy this week with congressional action. That may reflect the upcoming congressional recess (over the July 4 period), when congressional news usually slows. Many members of Congress will be back in their home states and district in the coming week, up through July 7 or so.

Next week may be a little quieter, given the long (and Friday-driven) weekend this week for the 4th.

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yakima fest
Yakima last weekend held its first Blues and Brews Bash on North Front Street.

 
A little more emphasis this week on economic news, which is looking up a bit: The jobs picture is improving a little (the percentage rate stayed about the same in Washington, but the number of jobs is up, and the jobless rate fell in Idaho) and, as an indicator, state tax revenues are coming in higher than expected.

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moose
 
On June 10 Fish and Game conservation officers and biologists responded to reports of a moose wandering around a southeast Boise neighborhood. The yearling female moose was spotted in various locations including Warm Springs Golf Course. Because the moose had been slowly moving closer to town, Southwest Regional Wildlife Manager Craig White made the decision to tranquilize it, and relocate it. The moose was taken out of the city and moved to a more remote location off Highway 21. (image/Department of Fish & Game)

 

Politics continued to pour in last week, polling in Oregon (Senate and governor) and the Republican convention in Idaho – a remarkable convention that broke up in rancor without electing leadership or passing a platform or resolutions. it drew a good deal of attention, some of it national since the honorary chair, Representative Raul Labrador, is also running for House majority leader.

A somewhat quieter week on the Washington side.

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obama bergdahl

Standing in the White House Rose Garden the afternoon of May 31, President Barack Obama spoke about the recovery of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl — an American soldier who spent nearly five years in captivity during the war in Afghanistan. Standing with Sgt. Bergdahl’s parents, Bob and Jani, from Hailey, the President said that “while Bowe was gone, he was never forgotten.”. (image capture/White House)

 
After the crush of the primary election and its immediate aftermath, things quieted down a bit and ease off with the passage of Memorial Day and the (de facto) arrival of summer.

But there was news. The release of long-term POW Bowe Bergdahl made regional news at the end of the week. In Oregon and Idaho, the parties pulled themselves together (as much as they could) as work begins for the general election. And the last stages of prep begins for the summer recreation season.

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Seattle bike
 
How an intersection might look on the future Waterfront depicts the connections between bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles.. (image/Seattle Department of Transportation).

 

Elections, of course, dominated news coverage last week in Oregon and Idaho, as a U.S. Senate contest provided some of the big headlines in the former, and a battle of two slates within the Idaho Republican Party offered drama in the latter.

Washington, just a week away from its candidate filing period and still in a relatively quiet political moment, saw less dramatic headlines. A series of noteworthy studies, however, were released around the state shining fresh spotlights on a range of topics. See more about all of this in the Oregon, Idaho and Washington Briefings, out this morning.

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Carlton fire
 
A fire broke out late on May 11 at the Scott Paul winery in Carlton. The cause was determined to be accidental. The building and some of its fixtures were scorched, but no wine apparently was damaged. (Photo/courtesy McMinnville Fire Department)

 

Elections dominate matters this week. Candidate filing closed last week in Washington, and the rose of congressional, legislative and judicial candidates – 350 of them – are in the Washington edition.

Oregon and Idaho have primary elections this week, so this edition wraps up the end of the campaigns for that stage. And, in Idaho, there’s a look at the gone-viral Idaho Republican governor’s debate.

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murray minimum wage
 
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today announced the details of a broadly-supported plan to raise Seattle’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, the highest of any major city in the nation. (Photo/Office of Mayor Murray.

 
Seattle’s move toward adopting a $15 minimum wage may have been the big news in the region last week, marking the adoption of a high wage in a major jurisdiction – in a state that already has the highest state minimum wage in the country. Expect aftershocks from that to ripple along in coming weeks.

Primary election day (or, in Oregon, mail-in deadlines) are fast approaching, and political campaigns in Oregon and Idaho are heating up. In Idaho, both incumbent and challenger in the governor’s race have gotten plenty vocal. And debates are continuing there this week.

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Obama at Oso 
President Obama looks out an airplane window at the effects of the mudslide at Oso. He also stopped nearby and met with officials and survivors of the incident.

 
The Oso mudslide saw a few more big developments last week, but it appears likely to be generating fewer large news headlines from this point.

Meantime, political activity began picking up in Oregon and Idaho (candidate filing deadlines are still ahead in Washington), and campaign ads began hitting the airwaves in some force.

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car dragged
 
Marion County Sheriff’s Office last weekend responded to the 2900 block of Wintel Road SE because Kyle Randall, age 24 was knocking on doors and asking residents for a place to sleep. After arriving deputies noticed a plume of smoke in the distance that turned out to be a car fire. When they went to investigate the fire they located the burned out carcass of the vehicle Randall had been driving. So after interviewing Randall and evaluating the scene deputies believe the following occurred. At around 5 a.m. Mr. Randall was driving east on Wintell Road when he drove through a stop sign and ran into a passing train. The train hooked his vehicle and drug him approximately 300 feet. Randall came to a rest, exited his vehicle and then sought out shelter from nearby residents. Randall was not injured in the crash, he was however arrested for DUII and taken to the Marion County Jail. At the jail his blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. (Photo/Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

 
Political news is ramping up in this week’s editions of the Briefings, along with a range of other activities, from recovery at Oso (and plans for President Obama’s visit there) to the odd case pictured above of a car crashing into a train in Oregon, dragged 300 feet – after which the driver walked away apparently without a scratch.

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Oregon

 
IN THE OREGON WEEKLY BRIEFING The 173rd Fighter Wing will conduct night flying operations April 14-17, 2014, between approximately 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Night flying is one part of the course curriculum for F-15 student pilots at Kingsley Field. “Night flying is a critical skill which our students need to learn to be effective war fighters,” said Col. Jeremy Baenen, 173rd Fighter Wing commander. “We understand the disruption to the community during night flying weeks, but we try our best to minimize the noise impact.” The community will most likely hear the jets during take-offs and approaches to and from Kingsley Field. Most of the training will occur in military operating airspace east of Lakeview.” (Photo/Oregon Military Department)

 
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