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Apr 13 2015

On the front pages

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)

Questions over how many Idaho wolves there are (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
Defendants with mental health issues have spiked (Lewiston Tribune)
Idaho Legislature adjourns for year (Moscow News)
Preparations back on for canyon jump (TF Times News)

Neighbors dislike rehab center idea at Ashland (Medford Tribune)
Senators help dedicate Oregon Cave monument (Medford Tribune)
Gas prices will be lower this summer (Portland Oregonian)
Several perimenter breaches noted at PDX (Portland Oregonian)
Subdivision development fee possible at Salem (Salem Statesman Journal)

Local incentives for pot sales may be coming (Bellingham Herald)
Housing market becomes much hotter (Bremerton Sun)
Boeing has plane supply issues at Everett (Everett Herald)
Lead-stren gun ranges still get federal contracts (Seattle Times)
Interstate widening resumes at Snoqualmie (Spokane Spokesman)
Food trucks setting down at Coeur d’Alene (Spokane Spokesman)
Kindergartens pressed for space (Vancouver Columbian)
Yakima admins wary of cost of smaller classes (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Apr 12 2015

The highway difference

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Oregon

Road trips, and the amount of time they take, may mark the single area of great difference between the Oregon east of the Cascades and the Oregon to the west.

West of the Cascades, there’s little interest in raising speed limits, and for good reason. Traffic is heavier, especially in the metro areas but to a sometimes surprising degree away from them as well. Roads have lots of points of entry and exit. Many roads are fairly narrow and twisty. Even Highway 101, the great coastal highway located well away from the metro areas, is often packed with traffic, and even where it’s not it is hilly, winds around – little of it seems to run in a straight line – and has lots of roads branching out, since it is only major route through the region. Driving times often are determined less by the number of miles involved, than by the number of vehicles and turns.

Eastern Oregon is like a whole different road system. Some of it runs through mountains, true, but even most of those roads are far less twisty than across the Cascades. Traffic is relatively light (even, in relative terms, on I-84 east of The Dalles). Most highways are remarkably straight, and most are wide, well built-out roads, and many of them have limited access.
Driving east of the Cascades is not like driving to the west.

A couple of pieces of legislation, offered by lawmakers from eastern Oregon (Ontario and Cove), show some awareness of that. The states all around Oregon have higher speed limits on their freeways, and on many rural highways as well. While you can make a solid case for lower limits in the Willamette Valley and environs, it’s a different story in the long runs between, say, John Day and Lakeview, or Arlington and Pendleton. There, the greater danger in keeping things slow would seem to be road weariness from drives extending too many hours.

The Oregon legislature has a pretty good track record of taking road trips in bringing issues to far reaches of the state. Before dismissing these two new bills, as so many others have been over the years, western lawmakers might do well to roll a few miles on those long-long stretches.

And reconsider.

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Apr 12 2015

On the front pages

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)

New options for Boise downtown (Boise Statesman)
A look back at the legislative session (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune, Pocatello Journal)
Woodgrain Millwork expands in Nampa (Nampa Press Tribune)
Nampa police not getting requested pay raises (Nampa Press Tribune)
City uncertain about AG probe of finances (Pocatello Journal)

Oregon pot industry prepares to open (Eugene Register Guard)
Aerial herbicide rules still debated at Salem (Eugene Register Guard)
Reviewing a study on growth at Klamath County (KF Herald & News)
VA staffing lacks persist at Oregon facility (Medford Tribune)
What to do about pot edibles? (Portland Oregonian)
Democrats dominating legislative session (Portland Oregonian)

State budget realigns park spending (Bremerton Sun)
Gangs at Everett drawing in younger children (Everett Herald)
Oregon debates over sentencing law changes (Longview News)
Lead in guns threatening health of cops (Seattle Times)
UW looking into color blindness cure (Seattle Times)
Spokane schools will oust unvaccinated students (Spokane Spokesman)
many government text messages disappear (Tacoma News Tribune)

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Apr 11 2015

The claimants of Chief Joseph

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Idaho

When I started to cover the Idaho Legislature decades ago, the Idaho Statesman had a picture poster on its Statehouse office wall that dominated above everything else there. It was a picture of Chief Joseph, of the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce. It was there in a place of pride for decades, and no one ever seemed to question that it was rightly there.

A lot of Idahoans, including many who take the history of Idaho seriously, claim the legacy of Chief Joseph. It’s not hard to understand, considering the man’s fame, his vigorous history of leadership, eloquence and many other admirable qualities.

This comes up because Oregon has been considering replacing its two statues of notable historical figures (John McLoughlin and Jason Lee) now in place at the U.S. Capitol at the National Statuary Hall. (Idaho’s choices, George Shoup and William E. Borah, might also merit reconsideration.) A study commission considered alternative choices, and it picked Chief Joseph along with suffragette Abigail Scott Duniway. The legislature now is deciding whether to give its approval.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter followed up last week, writing to Oregon legislators that “Chief Joseph’s story and legacy in the Northwest is indeed historically notable. But a close examination of history may indicate a more significant historical tie to Idaho than any other state in our region.”

Chief Joseph was a northwesterner, but pinning him down to any one state may be too difficult.

He had Oregon roots, born and raised and lived as a young man in what is now the Wallowa country of northeastern Oregon, around the Oregon city of Joseph, which was named for him. While “treaty” Nez Perce concentrated in north-central Idaho by the early 1860s, Joseph generally stayed with the “non-treaty” tribal members in the Wallowas for more than another decade. To the end of his days he considered that Oregon country his home, and for decades of forced residence in Idaho and elsewhere, he never quit trying to return.

But his Idaho connection was significant too. Joseph probably spent substantial time over the years in the Idaho side of the Nez Perce reservation, though he was based in Idaho relatively briefly. It was then, however, when he emerged as a leader of the Nez Perce who made their spectacular escape to Canada, pursued and periodically embattled by the U.S. Army. That event crossed hundreds of miles in Idaho, then into Wyoming and Montana, where the army finally cornered them and forced them to surrender. Montana was where Joseph was said to have delivered (though in fact he probably never did) his much-quoted message that, “I will fight no more forever.” Continue Reading »

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Apr 11 2015

On the front pages

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)

Legislature prepares to adjourn (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune)
Boise councilman proposees obesity rule change (Boise Statesman)
Live racing will continue at Les Bois (Boise Statesman)
BYU-I president departs (IF Post Register)
Madison school district decides to administer ISAT (IF Post Register)
Washington sees $10m shortfall for wildlife (Lewiston Tribune)
Anti-bully law effective on July 1 (Moscow News)
Washington state has Palouse water concerns (Moscow News)
Moscow bus system might lose federal money (Moscow News)
Debate continues on NNU’s Oord layoff (Nampa Press Tribune)
JFAC’s Cameron says he might not run again (TF Times News)

School board releases emails on superintendent (Eugene Register Guard)
Arlie developer faces bankruptcy issues (Eugene Register Guard)
Lower Klamath wetland running out of water (KF Herald & News)
Property owner gets $200k in dog barking case (Medford Tribune)
Magazine case defendants still soliciting? (Medford Tribune)
Trap failure kills about 400 steelhead (Medford Tribune)
Local lawmaker proposes raising speed limits (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Umatilla sets medical pot locations (Pendleton E Oregonian)
New degree-driven university funding plan (Portland Oregonian)
New vaccine bill generates more debate (Portland Oregonian)
Brown signs $7b schools budget (Salem Statesman Journal)

Cantwell moving on oil train bills (Bellingham Herald)
State House passes new medical pot bill (Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Bellingham Herald, Olympian, Longview News)
Kitsap crisis center to open July 2016 (Bremerton Sun)
Scientists find ‘warm blob’ in north Pacific (Seattle Times)
Budgeting for drought relief draws much debate (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Apr 10 2015

Going Independent

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

‘Tis silly season once again. Well, we used to call it that. Now, given the burgeoning crop of intellectually vacant, politically unknowing and governmentally deficient rabbits wanting to be Commander-In-Chief – without knowing what the job entails – it probably should be renamed “Threat To The Republic” season.

The first two “out-there-hares” to escape the hutch probably won’t finish near the top about 15 months from now when Republicans convene. One wants to bomb Iran back to parking lot status while denying global warming; the other is a serial plagiarizer who wants to eliminate half the federal government and deny foreign aid to any country for any reason.

A lady “hare” about to take the plunge blames liberals for California’s massive water problems. And global warming. Her various “positions” make it abundantly clear why – while seeking to promote women to upper management several years ago – a major company tossed her out of that upper level for continued incompetence. A fellow traveler – a former brain surgeon, no less – believes prison makes you gay – sees no difference between gay Americans and people practicing bestiality and being a pedophile – believes “the Affordable Care Act is the worst social idea in this country since slavery.”

Others of equally detached “thought” are whizzing around looking for a pet billionaire or two to pick up the tab for their assuredly abortive presidential candidacies. It’s an uncommonly unqualified field of some 18 or so seeking nothing more than to raise their profiles for subsequent speech, book and video sales post 2016, ala Newt and Santorum.

Looking to reality beyond these characters, Pew Research Center has been sampling again. Overall result is that more than 39% of us are moving away from the two parties and into “Independent” status. Highest level in more than 79 years of research. Asked which party they might “tilt” to a bit, a third said “Democrat” and about 20% said Republican.”

But here’s the meaty part. In the last year, negative impressions of government have displaced the economy atop Gallup’s continuing monthly polling of what we believe the most important national problem to be. For the first time in it’s lengthy history, Gallup found positive feelings for the two major parties has dropped below 40%. “Independent” continues to rise.

The single most important factor feeding the growing voter independency is young people. Under age 34, 48% consider themselves independents. At the same time, trend lines for older, white Americans have flattened. Bad news for the GOP. Other survey data shows more young folks are moving away from Republican leanings. Democrats get a bit of a bump but “Independent” twice as much. Republicans flat.

When pushed by Gallup questioners to pick one of the two established parties, those under age 34 go Democrat 51% – Republican 35%.

More bad GOP news. Those parts of the population growing most quickly – Hispanics, Asian-Americans, the non-religious and those with college degrees – vote far more Democrat than others. For Republicans, the core group of white, silent generation and white evangelical Protestants is in numerical decline.

While we have a couple of independent U.S. Senators, most most states don’t recognize Independent as a legitimate group – able to field candidates and register voters. So the “tilt” factor is still important for the two parties we do have. But that’s changing. Oregon has recognized Independent with party status. Other states are moving in that direction. It may take a decade or two but it looks like momentum is there for a national third party in all respects. Continue Reading »

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Apr 10 2015

On the front pages

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)

Still struggling with gas tax at legislature (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News)
Little progress in VA wait times (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register)
Community outcry airses over NNU prof’s dismissal (Nampa Press Tribune)
Contractor picked for Canyon jail expansion (Nampa Press Tribune)

New Hilton groundbreaking set for June (Eugene Register Guard)
Property owners battle Lane Transit on purchase (Eugene Register Guard)
State will decide on tuition hike at OIT (KF Herald & News)
Medford wants accounting from Travel Medford (Medford Tribune)
Shortfall found at state Fish & Wildlife (Medford Tribune)
Bill would make district vaccine rates public (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Hayes role in housing plan disputed (Portland Oregonian)
Snowpack in state remains light (Portland Oregonian)
Chief Joseph’s Oregon role discussed (Salem Statesman Journal)

Large grant allows Puget Sound acidification study (Bremerton Sun)
Legislative transportation negotiations continue (Bremerton Sun)
Crime rate in Longview fell last year (Longview News)
Legislators split over competing budget plans (Seattle Times)
Many more town houses crop up in Seattle (Seattle Times)
House approves funds for new Columbia bridge (Vancouver Columbian)
Legislators consider more mental health beds (Vancouver Columbian)

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Apr 09 2015

Free speech on city social media

frazier DAVID
FRAZIER

 
Boise
Guardian

Mike Murphy isn’t a quiet kinda guy. He will let you know how he feels right off the bat, just like he did on a Boise Police Facebook page a couple of years ago when he was critical of a copper.

The issue — which dealt with Murphy’s treatment as a taxi driver — is mostly forgotten, but his unfriendly comments got him blocked by BPD. He was also blocked from the Mayor’s site when he was critical of Hizzoner. None of the comments were profane, libelous, or slander…just critical. Murphy is now a BSU student.

Murphy recently shared an account of a series of events in HONOLULU where the argument was made that in these days of social media and digital communication, a PUBLIC page like Facebook or Twitter is common communication and subject to the First Amendment protection of free speech. In short, Facebook is little different than standing on the corner or attending a council meeting and voicing one’s opinion. Note: this discussion regards government operated sites, not private sites like the GUARDIAN or personal pages.

The GUARDIAN talked with Chief Bill Bones who talked with Murphy and City legal staff regarding free speech. Bones subsequently has instructed that EVERYONE who was ever blocked from commenting be reinstated on the PD Facebook pages. Legal tells us they have, “ensured all departments (including the mayor’s office) are up to speed on the issue.”

Both Murphy and Bones offered essentially the same quote about each other: “He seems like a very decent person and it’s good to have a public forum conducted in a civil manner.”

The GUARDIAN checked with other agencies and found a surprisingly tolerant attitude regarding website comments. Idaho State Police tell us only a couple of people have been banned for “inappropriate” postings (such as a photo of a child in a lewd conduct case). Meridian coppers have encouraged a “lively discourse” as long as there are no threats or other illegal conduct such as slander and libel. Ada County follows the same guidelines.

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Apr 09 2015

On the front pages

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)

Highway funding bill still moving around (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune)
Crapo takes hest on federal lands vote (IF Post Register)
Lewiston Port plans layoffs after container loss (Lewiston Tribune)
Pullman moves to make parks ADA compliant (Moscow News)
Army vets still see long wait for VA health (Nampa Press Tribune)
Deer Flat management plan signed (Nampa Press Tribune)
AG investigating Pocatello city finances (Pocatello Journal)

Eugene school chief applying for Roseburg job (Eugene Register Guard)
Medford police found justified in shooting (Medford Tribune)
Feds consider re-listing spotted owl as endangered (Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune)
Pendleton ag research may lose federal money (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Hayes role in state policy had Kitzhaber OK (Pendleton E Oregonian)
State schools leader Saxton will quit in June (Portland Oregonian)
Long delays still there for VA patients (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal)

Swinomish sue BNSF on oil rail issues (Bellingham Herald)
WA snowpack running a fifth of normal (Bellingham Herald)
Seattle help for addicts, prostitutes has worked (Bellingham Herald)
Harrison hospital whistleblower gets $1.38m (Bremerton Sun)
Long wait times still persist at VA (Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Bremerton Sun, Kennewick Herald, Olympian, Longview News)
Heroin use extending more to teens (Everett Herald)
Detailed Oso landslide map approved at legislature (Everett Herald)
Pasco starts school superintendent hunt (Kennewick Herald)
Mental illness focus of legislators’ plan (Olympian)
Inslee rejects pay part of GOP budget (Olympian)
House passes gun notification bill (Spokane Spokesman)
Cantwell urges new rules on oil transport (Vancouver Columbian)

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Apr 08 2015

Keeping it in the pants

by under Bond.

Bond DAVID
BOND

 
Rant

Collectively, we American homeowners and business owners owe the banksters about $13.2 trillion in debt. This includes the $10 trillion owed by people living in single-family homes.

This, in a banking system that charges 7 percent compound interest on money it pays no interest on. Since we cannot divide by zero, let’s pretend the banksters are paying 1 percent to the U.S. Fed. That’s a 700 percent mark-up.

Would you tolerate such a mark-up on a refrigerator, or a new truck or snow-machine? Of course not. But those of us locked into mortgages just have to buck it up.

And if the banksters drive your neighbour out of his home because of a lost job in this Great Recovery, watch these criminals drive your own property value down.

The banksters don’t shovel the walks of these empty houses. They won’t mow the lawns. They will not shovel the rooftops. They will let the pipes freeze to blow out in late winter. Their repossessed houses stink.

Truth be told, I’d rather have a couple of gang-bangers living next door to me than a Wells Fargo- or Chase Manhattan-owned house. At least the crankers shovel their sidewalks, even if it’s at 3 a.m. with the boom-box pounding. Continue Reading »

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Apr 08 2015

On the front pages

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)

Crapo vote on federal land offloading examined (Boise Statesman)
Highway funding bill clears Idaho Senate (Nanpa Press Tribune, Lewiston Tribune)
Lewiston port traffic stalls (Lewiston Tribune)
Profiling once-blasted Rep. Chaney (Nampa Press Tribune)
Ethanol plant permissions hit slowdown (Nampa Press Tribune)
Moore back as regional emergency dispatch chief (TF Times News)
Legislators okay some liquor license expansion (TF Times News)

Astoria holds off dog park plans (Astorian)
more criticism of state’s new school tests (Eugene Register Guard)
OR House backs terminal experimental drug use (Eugene Register Guard, Medford Tribune)
Planning Vietnam memorial wall at Central Point (Medford Tribune)
Judge says union violated free speech (Medford Tribune)
Pendleton changes rules on statute decoration (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Departure of Portland port shipper significant (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Feds look at spotted owl enfangered listing (Pendleton E Oregonian)
More on the Hayes role in Kitzhaber administration (Portland Oregonian)
UO public records policy criticized (Portland Oregonian)
Death of former Senate leader Brady Adams (Portland Oregonian)
Debate over proposed ethics legislation (Salem Statesman Journal)

Bellis Fair wage case gives workers $1.3m win (Bellingham Herald)
Tax raise proposed for Ferndale parks (Bellingham Herald)
Kitsap Transit buys three more buses (Bremerton Sun)
Snohomish cities rethinking disaster planning (Everett Herald)
Spotted owl may return as endangered species (Olympian, Longview News)
3 baseball fields may be removed at Longview (Longview News)
Not all tribes comply with gun background checks (Olympian)
Possible boating ban near golf open (Tacoma News Tribune)
No child changes planned nationally with WA impact (Bellingham Herald, Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Tribune, Olympian)

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Apr 07 2015

The inevitability of Hillary?

carlson CHRIS
CARLSON

 
Carlson
Chronicles

Most any day now Hillary Clinton is expected to announce her candidacy for the presidency. It appears she is going to be nominated as the Democratic standard bearer almost by acclamation. Fully 2/3’s of self-identified Democrats say she should be their nominee – a simply astounding lead for any one any time who aspired for an open seat presidential nomination.

Virtually every potential Republican has two mantras in their campaign speeches: why they are the true conservative and why they can beat Hillary Clinton. The media is positively salivating at the prospect. Her every move is scrutinized, not just her every e-mail (Those that were not purged from her personal PC server, that is).

They know the Republican party has a storehouse of materials researched, vetted and prioritized which they will start rolling out long before they have selected their nominee. It will be a string of invective, innuendo and distortion unlike anyone has ever seen. To their surprise it won’t change many minds.

I have a theory that many voters have already made up their minds about whether there should be a return to the White House of the Billy and Hillary Show. Yes, no matter how one wants to spin it, that decision is going to be influenced for many by the thought, for good or for ill, that coming along to the White House with Hillary would be “First Spouse” Billy.

All they are waiting for, before making up their minds, is to see whether Republicans will be smart enough to nominate a reasonable, competent alternative.

I haven’t seen or analyzed any polls on this subject – I’m just going with the old gut check here, but, for the sake of argument, indulge me for a moment.

First, most men voters, especially white men, are not enamored of Mrs. Clinton. The reasons vary, but it basically is a “not that woman at this time and this place.”

Thus, it is safe to say that Hillary arriving at the White House will depend on her “sisters” delivering close to a 2/3’s majority for her, and that’s where the Hillary juggernaut will stumble, and ultimately be stopped. My guess is she will at best win the women vote nationwide by a 53% to 47% margin.

Her sisters will let her down not because they reject that it is a woman’s turn, nor that it is Hillary’s turn. Nor that she isn’t qualified or because they have concerns about Slick Willie. Continue Reading »

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Apr 07 2015

On the front pages

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)

Otter vetoes instant racing repeal bill (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune, TF Times News, Pocatello Journal)
St. Luke’s battle over Jefferson St closing (Boise Statesman)
Raises okayed for Idaho Falls Power people (IF Post Register)
Bonneville, Bingham link for economic development (IF Post Register, Pocatello Journal)
Biggest Lewiston port container operator departing (Lewiston Tribune)
WA Senate approves budget proposal (Lewiston Tribune)
Nampa holds off decision on old library (Nampa Press Tribune)
Otter signs anti-bullying bill (TF Times News, Pocatello Journal)

State Senate education bill passes (Eugene Register Guard, Pendleton E Oregonian)
Republicans criticize ethics plan (Eugene Register Guard)
Rules about tent tiedowns in city on hold (Eugene Register Guard)
Drought declared for Klamath, other counties (Medford Tribune, KF Herald & News)
Oregon Tech confronts possible revenue shortfall (KF Herald & News)
Klamath pot dispensary rules in review (KF Herald & News)
Medford schools get debated textbook (Medford Tribune)
Legislature moves restrictions on gun sales (Medford Tribune)
Farmers urge legislation on power line impact (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Legislature considers Oregon fracking ban (Salem Statesman Journal)

Senate releases budget plan (Bremerton Sun, Olympian, Longview News)
Looking at Common Core testing in Washington (Everett Herald, Bellingham Herald, Bremerton Sun)
Arlington polymer firm abruptly closes (Everett Herald)
Yakima area drought worsening (Seattle Times, Yakima Herald Republic, Kennewick Herald)
KapStone talks could yet resume (Longview News)
Woodland allows recreational pot grow business (Longview News)
Seattle home prices rise 18% in last year (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune)
Daily snow record set in Spokane (Spokane Spokesman)
Spokane mayor pushes council decision on salary (Spokane Spokesman)
Oregon bill would drop I-5 HOV lane (Vancouver Columbian)
Councilor Smith at Vancouver won’t run again (Vancouver Columbian)
Union Gap plans city center developments (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Apr 06 2015

Love and leftovers

strickland MICHAEL
STRICKLAND

 
Literacy

Anyone interested in the world generally can’t help being interested in young adult culture – in the music, the bands, the books, the fashions, and the way in which the young adult community develops its own language. – Margaret Mahy

Romantic and bittersweet, Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay captures one girl’s experience with family, friends, and love. I first met Sarah at an author signing at The Cabin in Boise. After perusing her work, I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in some of the books I saw.

In this debut novel in verse, Marcie is dragged to New Hampshire for the summer and soon realizes that her mom has no plans for them to return to Marcie’s father in Idaho. As Marcie starts at a new school, without her ragtag group of friends called the Leftovers, a new romance heats up, but she struggles to understand what love really means.

Tregay, who I lives in Eagle, Idaho — “with my husband, two Boston Terriers, and an appaloosa named Mr. Pots” (according to her website) — effectively captures the angsty life of a 16-year-old. Booklist said “after her father leaves her mother for a 27-year-old man, Marcie and her depressed mom move from Idaho to a family summer home in New Hampshire.”

The protagonist falls for J. D., a boy who is an irresistible cross between Prince Harry (his hair) and David Beckham (his abs), writes reviewer Ann Kelley. Only problem: Linus, her emo-rocker boyfriend 2,000 miles away. Seven months later, Marcie moves back to Idaho with her father, confesses to Linus, and has to deal with the fallout. Marcie funnels her pain into writing poetry— “there is no three strikes / when it comes to dating. / One heartbreak and that’s it.”—and her poems, which vary in form, are what compose this verse novel.

While the subjects cover typical teenage problems, including breakups, friendships, and parental issues, Tregay adds depth with her ability, in just a few words, to palpably express both the emotions of love and the physical longings that go along with it, the Booklist review says. This first novel may make teenage readers’ hearts beat a bit faster.

The poetry in the books is used skillfully and enhances a plot that keeps the reader engaged. Filled with the turbulent emotion of teen years, IM conversations, and emo love songs, Love and Leftovers is great for reluctant readers and poetic souls alike.

Love and Leftovers is an ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults title. Kirkus Reviews said that Tregay’s choice to write in verse works well, her spare but effective language artfully evoking what otherwise might be a conventional high-school romance.

Perfect for fans of romances like Anna and the French Kiss and those by Sarah Dessen as well as readers of poetry, Love and Leftovers is a beautiful and fresh take on love.

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Apr 06 2015

In the Briefings

cormorants

 
The double-crested cormorant is a waterbird associated with inland waterways as well as on the coast. They catch fish by swimming and diving, and nest in trees, cliffs and on the ground on predator-free islands. Cormorants are protected by international treaty and federal law. (photo/Department of Fish & Game)

 

Spring seemed to arrive in the Northwest in mid-March, but the end of the month pulled it away in favor of resumed colder temperatures. Given April’s history, that could last a while.

As the Idaho Legislature seemed to be moving toward an adjournment early in April, many of its members seemed to pull back on quick and easy resolution of the remaining financial issues (especially transportation). The spring groundhog says: Look for another week, or maybe two or beyond, of this.

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Apr 06 2015

On the front pages

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)

Bill would aid public defender system (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
More about police and mental illness cases (Lewiston Tribune)
Canyon Co expects wildfires this summer (Nampa Press Tribune)

Local schools helping refugees from Mexico (Medford Tribune)
Massively more sea lions at Oregon ports (Portland Oregonian)
Cherriots considers Saturday buses (Salem Statesman Journal)

Compromise reached on Snohomish courthouse (Everett Herald)
Boeing tax bill reaches legislative climax (Everett Herald)
How WSU got its med school permissions (Seattle Times, Yakima Herald Republic)
Spokane transit looks to Proposition 1 for help (Spokane Spokesman)
Traffic on Columbia bridges rising again (Vancouver Columbian)

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Apr 05 2015

Leave this cheap oil in the ground

trahant MARK
TRAHANT

 
Austerity

Could we be nearing the moment to really address climate change?

A quick answer is “no.” Of course not.

The Republicans in Congress are hell-bent on pretending that climate change does not exist let along agree to any shifts in policy. So they continue to fight for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. As the House Energy and Commerce Committee tells the story, the pipeline expansion “would carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day 875 miles from Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska. From there, the oil would go to refineries in the Midwest and Gulf Coast. The new pipeline would also transport some of the rapidly-increasing oil production from the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana.”

But here is the thing: There is already a glut of oil and the idea of adding more makes no sense.

As National Public Radio reported last week “there has been some concern that the U.S. will run out of places to put it all. Some analysts speculate that could spark another dramatic crash in oil prices.” How big a decline is an unknown. NPR quotes a Citigroup analyst saying $20 a barrel is possible. Others predict a continued fall in oil, to, say, $35 a barrel. Oil is a commodity and traded on public markets. So the price depends on perception about its supply and scarcity.

One reason why there is so much oil out there is that people are using less. The Nation recently wrote that the Energy Information Administration “projected that global oil demand would reach 103.2 million barrels per day in 2015; now, it’s lowered that figure for this year to only 93.1 million barrels. Those 10 million “lost” barrels per day in expected consumption may not seem like a lot, given the total figure, but keep in mind that Big Oil’s multibillion-dollar investments in tough energy were predicated on all that added demand materializing, thereby generating the kind of high prices needed to offset the increasing costs of extraction. With so much anticipated demand vanishing, however, prices were bound to collapse.”

I happen to think the decline in consumption is a long-term trend. There are a couple of reasons for that. The first is that people drive less after 40 years old — and the Baby Boom is long past that. A New Direction Our Changing Relationship with Driving and the Implications for America’s Future, a 2013 report by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that “Americans drive no more miles in total today than we did in 2004 and no more per person than we did in 1996.”

And, while Baby Boomers are less inclined to drive, the Millennial generation is thinking about transportation differently, “driving significantly less than previous generations of young Americans. Millennials are already the largest generation in the United States and their choices will play a crucial role in determining future transportation infrastructure needs.”

Even if gas prices stay low these trends are not likely to reverse. As the New Direction report points out: “If the Millennial-led decline in per capita driving continues for another dozen years, even at half the annual rate … total vehicle travel in the United States could remain well below its 2007 peak through at least 2040—despite a 21 percent increase in population.” Continue Reading »

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WASHINGTON-OREGON-IDAHO Our acclaimed weekly e-pubs: 35-45 pages Monday mornings getting you on top of your state. Samples available. Contact us by email or by phone at (208)484-0460.

 

 
RIDENBAUGH BOOKS
 


 
This will be one of the most talked-about Idaho books in Idaho this season: 14 years after its last edition, Ridenbaugh Press has released a list of 100 influential Idahoans. Randy Stapilus, the editor and publisher of the Idaho Weekly Briefing and author of four earlier similar lists, has based this one on levels of overall influence in the state – and freedom of action and ability to influence development of the state – as of the start of 2015.
 
100 Influential Idahoans 2015. By Randy Stapilus; published by Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 202 pages. Softcover. List price $16.95.
100 Influential Idahoans 2015 page.

100 Influential Idahoans 2015
Idaho
 
 
"Essentially, I write in the margins of motherhood—and everything else—then I work these notes into a monthly column about what it’s like raising my two young boys. Are my columns funny? Are they serious? They don’t fit into any one box neatly. ... I’ve won awards for “best humorous column” though I actually write about subjects as light as bulimia, bullying, birthing plans and breastfeeding. But also bon-bons. And barf, and birthdays." Raising the Hardy Boys: They Said There Would Be Bon-Bons. by Nathalie Hardy; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 238 pages. Softcover. $15.95.
Raising the Hardy Boys page.

 

Hardy

 
"Not a day passes that I don’t think about Vietnam. Sometimes its an aroma or just hearing the Vietnamese accent of a store clerk that triggers a memory. Unlike all too many soldiers, I never had to fire a weapon in anger. Return to civilian life was easy, but even after all these years away from the Army and Vietnam I find the experience – and knowledge – continue to shape my life daily."
 
Drafted! Vietnam in War and in Peace. by David R. Frazier; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton OR. 188 pgs. Softcover. $15.95.
The DRAFTED! page.

 

Drafted
 
Many critics said it could not be done - and it often almost came undone. Now the Snake River Basin Adjudication is done, and that improbable story is told here by three dozen of the people most centrally involved with it - judges, attorneys, legislators, engineers, water managers, water users and others in the room when the decisions were made.
Through the Waters: An Oral History of the Snake River Basin Adjudication. edited by the Idaho State Bar Water Law Section and Randy Stapilus; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 300 pages. Softcover. $16.95.
See the THROUGH THE WATERS page.


 
Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh died on July 20, 2014; he was widely praised for steady leadership in difficult years. Writer Scott Jorgensen talks with Atiyeh and traces his background, and what others said about him.
Conversations with Atiyeh. by W. Scott Jorgensen; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 140 pages. Softcover. $14.95.
The CONVERSATIONS WITH ATIYEH page.

Atiyeh
 
"Salvation through public service and the purging of awful sights seen during 1500 Vietnam War helicopter rescue missions before an untimely death, as told by a devoted brother, leaves a reader pondering life's unfairness. A haunting read." Chris Carlson, Medimont Reflections. ". . . a vivid picture of his brother Jerry’s time as a Medivac pilot in Vietnam and contrasts it with the reality of the political system . . . through the lens of a blue-collar, working man made good." Mike Kennedy.
One Flaming Hour: A memoir of Jerry Blackbird. by Mike Blackbird; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 220 pages. Softcover. $15.95.
See the ONE FLAMING HOUR page.


 
Back in Print! Frank Church was one of the leading figures in Idaho history, and one of the most important U.S. senators of the last century. From wilderness to Vietnam to investigating the CIA, Church led on a host of difficult issues. This, the one serious biography of Church originally published in 1994, is back in print by Ridenbaugh Press.
Fighting the Odds: The Life of Senator Frank Church. LeRoy Ashby and Rod Gramer; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 800 pages. Softcover. $24.95.
See the FIGHTING THE ODDS page.


 
JOURNEY WEST

by Stephen Hartgen
The personal story of the well-known editor, publisher and state legislator's travel west from Maine to Idaho. A well-written account for anyone interested in Idaho, journalism or politics.
JOURNEY WEST: A memoir of journalism and politics, by Stephen Hartgen; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, here or at Amazon.com (softcover)

 

 

NEW EDITIONS is the story of the Northwest's 226 general-circulation newspapers and where your newspaper is headed.
New Editions: The Northwest's Newspapers as They Were, Are and Will Be. Steve Bagwell and Randy Stapilus; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 324 pages. Softcover. (e-book ahead). $16.95.
See the NEW EDITIONS page.

How many copies?

 
THE OREGON POLITICAL
FIELD GUIDE 2014

The Field Guide is the reference for the year on Oregon politics - the people, the districts, the votes, the issues. Compiled by a long-time Northwest political writer and a Salem Statesman-Journal political reporter.
OREGON POLITICAL FIELD GUIDE 2014, by Randy Stapilus and Hannah Hoffman; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, available right here or through Amazon.com (softcover)

 
 
THE IDAHO POLITICAL
FIELD GUIDE 2014

by Randy Stapilus and Marty Trillhaase is the reference for the year on Idaho Politics - the people, the districts, the votes, the issues. Written by two of Idaho's most veteran politcal observers.
IDAHO POLITICAL FIELD GUIDE 2014, by Randy Stapilus and Marty Trillhaase; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, available right here or through Amazon.com (softcover)

 
 
without compromise
WITHOUT COMPROMISE is the story of the Idaho State Police, from barely-functioning motor vehicles and hardly-there roads to computer and biotechnology. Kelly Kast has spent years researching the history and interviewing scores of current and former state police, and has emerged with a detailed and engrossing story of Idaho.
WITHOUT COMPROMISE page.

 

Diamondfield
How many copies?
The Old West saw few murder trials more spectacular or misunderstood than of "Diamondfield" Jack Davis. After years of brushes with the noose, Davis was pardoned - though many continued to believe him guilty. Max Black has spent years researching the Diamondfield saga and found startling new evidence never before uncovered - including the weapon and one of the bullets involved in the crime, and important documents - and now sets out the definitive story. Here too is Black's story - how he found key elements, presumed lost forever, of a fabulous Old West story.
See the DIAMONDFIELD page for more.
 

Medimont Reflections Chris Carlson's Medimont Reflections is a followup on his biography of former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus. This one expands the view, bringing in Carlson's take on Idaho politics, the Northwest energy planning council, environmental issues and much more. The Idaho Statesman: "a pull-back-the-curtain account of his 40 years as a player in public life in Idaho." Available here: $15.95 plus shipping.
See the Medimont Reflections page  
 
Idaho 100 NOW IN KINDLE
 
Idaho 100, about the 100 most influential people ever in Idaho, by Randy Stapilus and Martin Peterson is now available. This is the book about to become the talk of the state - who really made Idaho the way it is? NOW AN E-BOOK AVAILABLE THROUGH KINDLE for just $2.99. Or, only $15.95 plus shipping.
 

Idaho 100 by Randy Stapilus and Martin Peterson. Order the Kindle at Amazon.com. For the print edition, order here or at Amazon.