"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 and only got in harm’s way a couple of times during random attacks – like the Tet offensive of 1968 in Saigon. 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, Oregon. 188 pages. Softcover. $15.95.
The DRAFTED! page.

 

Drafted
 

Dec 12 2014

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)

Damage from housing crash continues (Boise Statesman)
OR US attorney says tribes may allow pot grows (Lewiston Tribune)
Moscow-Pullman airport gets FAA approval (Moscow News)
Improvements sought for Moscow-Pullman bike trail (Moscow News)
Canyon Co-op store takes memberships (Nampa Press Tribune)
New Good News church in northern Nampa (Nampa Press Tribune)
Banner Building proposed as new TF city hall (TF Times News)
State will review school testing questions (TF Times News)

Eugene schools say gov’s budget still not enough (Eugene Register Guard)
Klamath group looks at building code changes (KF Herald & News)
Massive storm hits Medford, Ashland (Medford Tribune)
AG seeks authority for data protection (Pendleton E Oregonian)
GMO labeling advocates concede election (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Big storm rips downtown Portland (Portland Oregonian)
Did streetcar execs inflate numbers of riders? (Portland Oregonian)

Pot grows may be allowed on tribal lands (Tacoma News Tribune, Yakima Herald Republic, Bremerton Sun, Olympian)
Bremerton may demolish CenCom building (Bremerton Sun)
Poulsbo approves city budget of $27m (Bremerton Sun)
KapStone workers irritated by health plan (Longview News)
Heavy storm hits western Washington (Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, Vancouver Columbian, Olympian)
Republicans take full control of state Senate (Olympian)
Survey finds heavy pot use, driving (Port Angeles News)
Studies finding Pioneer Square cracks; due to Bertha? (Seattle Times)
Tesoro responds to Inslee oil planning (Vancouver Columbian)
Good news ahead for spring chinook (Vancouver Columbian)
Business growing fast at Selah (Yakima Herald Republic)

Share on Facebook

No responses yet

Dec 11 2014

Drawing a lesson from Maine

harris ROBERT
HARRIS

 
Oregon
Outpost

In the Governors election in Maine this year, voters had three candidates to chose from:

Current Governor Paul LePage of whom USA today wrote:

“Brutal” is also how critics describe LePage’s record since 2010, when he became governor with 39% of the vote in a three-way race. LePage cut welfare rolls, vetoed Medicaid expansion, passed an income tax cut and then reduced municipal revenue sharing to pay for it — all the while calling legislators “idiots,” state workers “corrupt,” and telling the NAACP to “kiss my butt.” “He’s piggish and bullheaded and not really listening to what the people are saying,” says Rebecca Kowaloff, 30, a doctor and Democratic voter in Portland.

Democratic candidate Mike Michaud described in that same article:

A third-generation paper mill worker who never attended college and stayed on the job until he went to Washington in 2002, he can compete with LePage for blue-collar and Franco-American loyalty. He criticizes LePage for kicking people off welfare — he wants to provide some benefits for people in low-wage jobs — and for “the negativity he keeps spewing.” Michaud has won six terms by hefty margins in the northern, more conservative half of Maine and before that served as president of the state Senate.

And Independent Candidate Eliot Cutler.

Cutler lost the Governors race to LePage back in 2010 by less than 2%. Cutler is an environmental lawyer and active in independent rights movement. In his 2010 campaign for Governor he was endorsed by virtually all the major newspapers.

Despite Cutlers nearly winning in 2010 in a one on one contest against LePage,this year in a three way race he received a meager 8% of the vote in 2014. Could his support have dropped that much? No. The reason is that our current system of voting – you select one candidate – means that in a three way race if you believe your favorite candidate can’t win, then you cast your vote against your least favorite.

It’s a sad form of Democracy that doesn’t let voters vote for their first choice.

But, luckily The Center for Election Science was on the scene in Maine on election day. They polled over 600 voters as they left the voting places and had them vote on the Governors race using approval voting and Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) with ranked choice. They also have them vote in head to head races between the three candidates.

The results should simply shock us and make people really think about whether the current voting method serves the people, or the Democratic and Republican parties. Continue Reading »

Share on Facebook

No responses yet

Dec 11 2014

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)

Big profits for Idaho gas retailers even as price falls (Boise Statesan)
Cattle rustling returns with beef prices high (Boise Statesman, Pocatello Journal)
Sage grouse get no protections in new budget bill (Boise Statesman)
Many WA respondents say driving while high okay (Lewiston Tribune)
Constructing rolling for new Vallivue high school (Nampa Press Tribune)
ID legislators told: invest in infrastructure (Nampa Press Tribune)
Koehler named interim chief deputy SUPI (Nampa Press Tribune)

Storms hitting central OR, cutting power (Eugene Register Guard, Medford Tribune)
UO graduate staff strike ends with deal (Eugene Register Guard)
Uber contesting $2k fine from Eugene city (Eugene Register Guard)
No more timber money in Klamath (KF Herald & News)
Jackson Co defense of GMO ban underway (Medford Tribune)
New homes added fast at Pendleton Heights (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Umatilla still works on pot rules (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Oregon Lottery considers retailer cut adjustment (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Legislators approve staff to manage marijuana (Portland Oregonian)
Fish lives upended by climate change (Portland Oregonian)
New bill would cap tuition levels (Salem Statesman Journal)
Looking ahead to Kitzhaber’s 4th term (Salem Statesman Journal)
Lawmakers consider changes to pot law (Salem Statesman Journal)

Assessing respomsibility for Port Gamble pollution (Bremerton Sun)
Bainbridge considers filling a council seat (Bremerton Sun)
Exec Lovick vetoes Snohomish budget; shutdown ahead? (Everett Herald)
Snohomish pays $750k to women harassed at juv center (Everett Herald)
Paper workers authorize strike at KapStone (Longview News)
Storm smacks into Longview area (Longview News, Port Angeles News)
Bering Sea halibut fishing may end (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
Drones becoming big gift items (Seattle Times)
Spokane closely tracks speeds near schools (Spokane Spokesman)
Reviewing dismissal of Spokane planning directory (Spokane Spokesman)
Rough start for first WA charter school (Tacoma News Tribune)
Clark Co department plan called not political (Vancouver Columbian)
Per-mile road tax may be tried in WA (Vancouver Columbian)
Federal budget may increase anti-gang plans (Yakima Herald Republic)

Share on Facebook

No responses yet

Dec 10 2014

Souza and the Senate

malloy CHUCK
MALLOY

 
In Idaho

When Sen. Mary Souza of Coeur d’Alene begins her first session next month, she says she plans to keep her head down, stay quiet and not make waves.

“That will probably last about 15 minutes,” she said laughing.

Souza, who has been a constant thorn to the side of public officials in Coeur d’Alene, hardly fits the profile of “quiet and shy.” Her personality is more suited to leaping tall buildings and tearing down trees – in the name of truth, justice and ridding the planet of political corruption. Two years ago, she spearheaded the unsuccessful efforts to recall Mayor Sandi Bloem and three members of the Coeur d’Alene City Council – essentially painting them and Lake City Development Corporation (the city’s urban renewal agency) as crooks who were robbing from the taxpayers for the benefit of political cronies. Souza’s relentless fury especially was stinging to Bloem, who is more like the Lake City’s favorite grandma than Al Capone.

This year, Souza experienced defeat and victory in the political arena – getting trounced in a mayor’s race, then defeating longtime Sen. John Goedde in last May’s Republican primary election. Souza was a clear beneficiary of Idaho’s closed primaries, which tends to favor more conservative candidates.

Now, this community gadfly – who built her name by making noise and stepping on toes – steps into a different world. Souza now is part of the political establishment. Complaints and late-night phone calls, which go with the territory of an elected official, will now be directed at her.

The target is on her back, but as Souza sees it, that’s nothing new. A person doesn’t go after the mayor, three council members and an established agency such as LCDC without getting some bruises along the way. She says her attacks have never been meant to be personal and adds that some people who meet her say, ‘You’re actually nice.’ That’s a hard line to swallow for the public officials who have been subjected to Souza’s wrath.

Strangely, her critics are not talking openly about Souza going to the Senate. Bloem says she’s “the wrong person to ask.” Former councilman Mike Kennedy, who was subject to the recall effort, said, “I don’t have anything constructive to add to the conversation. As a citizen, I hope she does a good job and I wish her well.”

But her history as a conservative activist raises questions about how effective she will be in the Legislature. Politically, she’s polls apart from moderate Senate leadership and influential members such as Sens. Dean Cameron of Rupert and Shawn Keough of Sandpoint. Can she work with them? At what point will she be painting moderate colleagues with the same broad brush as Bloem and Kennedy?

Souza says she’s going to the Legislature to listen, learn, do a lot of reading and represent her constituents from District 4.

“People will think what they want and I’m not going on a crusade to make them like me,” she said. “I didn’t run for this office to fill out my resume in life. I feel comfortable with what I’ve done and who I am. The reason I did this is because real, regular people need to be involved in government.” Continue Reading »

Share on Facebook

No responses yet

Dec 10 2014

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)

Profiling incoming Secretary Denney (Boise Statesman)
Legislative panel drops demand for federal lands (Boise Statesman, TF Times News, Lewiston Tribune)
Idaho gas prices among nation’s highest (Lewiston Tribune)
Legislators meet with Pullman on pot issues (Moscow News)
Idaho AG hold public records Moscow meeting (Moscow News)
College of Idaho football brings in $4m (Nampa Press Tribune)
Reviewing change on the CWI board (Nampa Press Tribune)
Mega-solar panel 120 acres coming to Pocatello (Pocatello Journal)
Gooding schools chief still faces ouster effort (TF Times News)

UO asked for more response on sexual violence (Eugene Register Guard)
Work on Henley school accelerates (KF Herald & News)
Medford and Ashland have good rental markets (Medford Tribune)
Bighorns captured, released at John Day area (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Hermiston gets $2 for senior center (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Portland’s Uber battle goes to federal court (Portland Oregonian)
More rigorous school testing standards coming (Portland Oregonian)
Salem’s Liberty House may greatly expand (Salem Statesman Journal)

Silverdale community center partly closed (Bremerton Sun)
New Everett city logo, a like corporate Envestnet (Everett Herald)
Cowlitz developing 2015 budget (Longview News)
Nutty Narrow squirrel bridge on national historic places (Longview News)
Big storm coming to western Washington (Longview News)
Washington looks at road use tax (Olympian)
Inslee’s budget plan ups taxes $1 billion (Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Olympian)
New plaza funded for Sequim at $530k (Port Angeles News)
Washington first charter school in trouble (Seattle Times)
Supreme Court: No pay for Amazon workers in security (Seattle Times)
Transition time at Clark Co sheriff’s office (Vancouver Columbian)
Yakima jail may see statewide drug offenders (Yakima Herald Republic)

Share on Facebook

No responses yet

Dec 09 2014

Character and leadership

carlson CHRIS
CARLSON

 
Carlson
Chronicles

Several readers have expressed surprise that I would urge former Virginia Senator James Webb to run for president. Their view is Hillary Clinton has it already locked up. While she appears to have better character than her husband, the former president, she does not come close to his leadership skills.

Every presidential election since 1968, with one exception, has for me come down to who has the better character and displays real leadership skills. Sometimes it is “yin and yang” with one attribute weighing more. It helps if one has met the candidate in person and can form an evaluation based on that. We all give off non-verbal signals that astute observers can pick up on and weigh through the prism of their own eperience and needs as well as what one believes is best for society.

Occasionally it has been a toss-up between the candidates, but not very often. Of the two attributes, character often prevail. The judgments of other trustworthy people who can give me a well thought out testimonial can be influential as can good books, either biographies or memoirs, that are part of my due diligence.

A key part of my character evaluation is whether they have kept their marriage vows. A vow is a vow. Yes, people are flawed and make mistakes they regret unless they are serial philanders. Particularly egregious to me is whether they lie if asked about the subject. If they can lie about keeping their marriage vow, they can easily lie to the American people.

Most can accept a candidate saying such a question violates the zone of privacy they feel they are entitled to and it is nobody’s business but their spouses and their family. What none should accept is the hypocrisy of an officeholder preaching family values and using the wife and children as props for photo ops while chasing skirts as if they are some sort of high office perk. Most of us know the type.

The sine qua non of character is honesty and truthfulness, as well as fidelity, compassion, and courage. Leadership is admittedly harder to define,but we know it when it when we see it,

Some may consider this too simple. Others obviously take refuge in voting based party affiliation alone. The party and the policies are secondary in my book.

And yes, with 20/20 hindsight I have made mistakes. Judge for yourself:

1968 Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon. Humphrey was a philanderer Nixon was a lier. Nixon had better leadership skills but his character was too flawed.

1972: McGovern over Nixon. Hands down McGovern had far more character and was a legitimate war hero. Nixon continued to lie.

1976: A true toss-up. Governor Carter and President Ford have sterling character but neither had leadership skills. I went with Carter.

1980: H a hard time voting for Carter again. He had badly failed the leadership test. Both were men of character. My first vote mistake.

1984: Reagan over Mondale, though I knew and liked Fritz. Both were men of character but Reagan clearly the better leader. Continue Reading »

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Dec 09 2014

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)

Tracking redevelopment of state historical museum (Boise Statesman)
Report: Idaho would pay millions in land takeover (Nampa Press Tribune, Lewiston Tribune)
Clarkston goes after aggressive panhandling (Lewiston Tribune)
Sheep near Lamont may have been killed by wolf (Lewiston Tribune)
Moscow, UI consider extension near Palouse mall (Moscow News)
Pullman community fund gets money for disabled housing (Moscow News)
College of Idaho new president, first woman in job (Nampa Press Tribune)
Cottle retires as Citizens Community Bank CEO (Pocatello Journal)
Twin Falls estimated to have enough parking (TF Times News)

Disputes in UO faculty could lead to restructure (Eugene Register Guard)
Suit filed over vote count in GMO recount (Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, KF Herald & News, Pendleton E Oregonian)
Close evaluation of Medford city manager (Medford Tribune)
More hours for Jackson Co libraries (Medford Tribune)
Umatilla’s pot committee gets to work (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Portland demands Uber quit car sharing (Portland Oregonian)
Oregon may require paid sick leave for all (Portland Oregonian)
Ski areas may be starting late this year (Salem Statesman Journal)

Bremerton trying to fill marina slips (Bremerton Sun)
Bainbridge superfund site still under review (Bremerton Sun)
Money from levy arrives for new jail (Longview News)
Buyer possible for Monticello hotel (Longview News)
$75k fountain Longview park donated (Longview News)
Viaduct still safe, but Pioneer Square under review (Seattle Times)
Allen donated $100m on cells and disease (Seattle Times)
Possible wold kill under investigation (Spokan Spokesman)
Feds say WA cleanup request for Hanford too pricy (Vancouver Columbian)
Traffic Safety Commission surveys on pot use (Yakima Herald Republic)

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Dec 08 2014

Klamath shifts

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Oregon

The headline on the March 5 (this year) press release from the U.S. Department of Interior, about the just-worked-out Klamath water agreement, was, “Historic Agreement Reached on Upper Klamath Basin Water.”

The release continued, “The Klamath Tribes, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, and Upper Klamath Basin irrigators announced today that they have completed negotiations on the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement.”

You might think that would be enough to seal the deal. And as it was, the deal was not wildly sweeping; it seems as much as anything else a level to keep the lid on things a while. Its leading elements were: “A Water Use Program that will increase stream flows in the tributaries above Upper Klamath Lake – adding at least 30,000 acre feet annually to inflows to the lake, while creating a stable, predictable setting for agriculture to continue in the Upper Klamath Basin; A Riparian Program that will improve and protect riparian conditions in order to help restore fisheries; and an Economic Development Program for the Klamath Tribes.”

But this is Klamath Falls, and the subject is water, and under those conditions it’s unwise to ever consider anything settled even if for just a little while.

Last month, the Klamath County Commission went on record against the congressional legislation intended to implement the agreement. Last month the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee okayed it, but since then odds of passage appear to have been diminished.

That doesn’t mean all the other participants, from the Klamath Tribes (which do have some bones to pick) to the Klamath Falls city council, have worked away.

The Medford Mail Tribune, editorializing, argued that “It’s vitally important to the Basin’s future that the agreements are approved, and that the best chance of doing it is in the lame-duck session of the current congress rather than waiting for a new congress, including new members unfamiliar with the Basin’s water issues.”

But the paper also noted that, for the near term at least, time may be running out. And it may.

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Dec 08 2014

In the Briefings

Tillicum

 
Starting December 4 a second test of the aesthetic lighting on the Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People will take place. It will test the full spectrum of colors and the subtle motion that will change with the seasons and the activity of the Willamette River. The aesthetic lighting was created by artists Douglas Hollis and the late Anna Valentina Murch for the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project’s Public Art Program. The public can view the lights from both sides of the Willamette River near the bridge. (photo/Tri-Met)

 
No lack of protests in the Seattle-Portland areas last week, not just up north in Seattle but plenty in Portland too. They may, in the Portland fashion, continue for a while.

With the Idaho legislature organized, lawmakers return home for a month of preparation for the three months or so of session. So too will the lobbyists, several times in number compared to the legislators. Bills are being readied for introduction. We’ll keep a look out.

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Dec 08 2014

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)

Boise looks at its eventual library building plan (Boise Statesman)
Cheatgrass tackled by feds and others (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
Nampa district may contract with Teach for America (Nampa Press Tribune)
Looking at Idaho Right to Work after 30 years (TF Times News)
TF will get plasma donor center (TF Times News)
Teach for America trying to start in Idaho (TF Times News)

New Junction City psych hospital almost done (Eugene Register Guard)
Timing running out for O&C bill (Medford Tribune)
Looking at anti-GMO history at San Juan islands (Medford Tribune)
Call to open supermarket inspection reports (Salem Statesman Journal)
Public asked to see statehouse renovation plan (Salem Statesman Journal)

No change in Port Orchard nuisance codes (Bremerton Sun)
Complex issues related to new geoduck farm (Bremerton Sun)
Is Koster impartial enough to be Snohomish ombudsman? (Everett Herald)
Waiting lists for jail are shortening (Everett Herald)
PUD officials fat contracts shot down after outrage (Longview News)
Mentally ill delays mostly not excessive (Olympian)
Another delay in reviving Bertha (Seattle Times)
King County man tested but has no Ebola (Seattle Times)
Car owners no longer have to replace license plates (Spokane Spokesman)

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Dec 07 2014

A question without answer

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

An old debate among journalists – and some who think they are – has begun again. Wherever some of the more serious media types are gathered in more social surroundings these days, the discussion can be heard.

“Must the media present all people or issues to its audience/readers if the media knows the person/issue is wrong or false?” Or words to that effect.

It’s not as goofy – or as arrogant – as it sounds. It’s an issue more common these days with political and philosophical divisions within media sources. It’s also more relevant because of the slide in national politics to the right.

We older media types tried to operate under a rule that, when talking strictly news events or stories, the interviewees words were the news and the media served only as messenger – not to judge or critique or interpret. Simply the conduit – unless you’re talking editorials, byline columns or opinion pieces. Let the subject/facts talk. That’s the news. You report the news.

As our nation has become more politically divided, so has the media. Rather than simply report, major networks have slowly integrated points of view – either by the reporter or anchor or in the way the story is presented.

By any traditional standard, Fox News is the worst offender. CNN does a bit of its own. And for those who constantly remind me that MSNBC is the liberal offset for Fox, remember this: MSNBC has never – never – referred to itself as a “news” organization. Fox does constantly. Even in it’s name.

Here’s an issue that fits the problem perfectly: global warming. By nearly all scientific evidence presented by legitimate research organizations, global warming is a fact. You can argue cause. You can argue effect. You can argue how much. But the basic fact is, global warming exists and its effects are too overwhelming for thinking minds to ignore.

Here’s another fact. The two committees in Congress charged with dealing with this subject – one in the House and one in the Senate – are chaired by two men who’re vocal, absolute denyers of the evidence. All of it. And it’s these two who have the absolute power to refuse to let either committee – and thus the full Congress – do anything in our national interest to deal with our warming world.

So, go back to the question stated before: “Must the media present people or issues to its audience/readers if the media knows the person/issue is wrong or false?” If Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) continues leading the denyers from his powerful pulpit, is the media acting properly by giving his distinctly minority voice a platform to proclaim his distinctly minority and distinctly untrue view? When poll after poll shows some 80% of us believe global warming not only exists but is a serious problem, is the media doing a service – or a disservice – by giving Sen. Inhofe a platform when he’s factually wrong? After all, it’s not the media’s job to go find someone to speak for the majority side of the global warming issue every time a minority denyer pops off just to keep things balanced. Should the media give him a platform?

Another example you see far too often. Say the vote on a particular bill in the U.S. Senate was 97-3. The media will always – always – identify the three but not the 97. Why? Why identify three loser votes when the overwhelming 97 “ayes” won? It’s not practical – in time or space – to name all 97 though they were, after all, the victors. Why name the three losers?

Until Ronald Reagan, broadcast media operated under the “Fairness Doctrine” which required – by law – fairness/access in reporting both sides. He threw that out the window so now Faux Neus – among others – can operate with impunity by selecting only the view it wants to. Other outlets do some of the same at times, but Faux is the habitual offender. Its very foundation is one of lopsided coverage and twisted “fact.” Ain’t it, Rupert? Continue Reading »

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Dec 07 2014

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)

Reviewing impacts of Right to Work (IF Post Register, TF Times News)
Behavoiral health has hard time with provider (Nampa Press Tribune)

Looking at Grand Jury system in Oregon (Eugene Register Guard)
Large number of bighorn sheep transplaced (KF Herald & News)
Klamath water bill held up in Congress (KF Herald & News)
Examining how dangerous a crime city Medford is (Medford Tribune)
GMO recount so far finds little change in tally (Medford Tribune)
Many supermarkets only lightly inspected (Salem Statesman Journal)

Examining electric power rates for pot growers (Bremerton Sun)
Efforts to preserve forests around Puget Sound (Bremerton Sun)
Contrary to reports, helicopters weren’t at Marysville (Everett Herald)
Millworkers plan strike vote on Monday (Longview News)
Complexity in ethics rule of 12 free legislator meals (Olympian)
Kent School District tries new discipline approach (Seattle Times)
Looking at rights, police cameras (Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune)
Fife jail officers accused of sexual misconduct (Tacoma News Tribune)

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Dec 06 2014

For long term

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Idaho

The predominant news out of the just-finished organizational session of the Idaho Legislature didn’t make the front page of most Idaho papers, and that was a reasonable call.

There were a few committee changes, and a few on the lower rungs of leadership. But the top spots in the Senate and House stayed pretty much the same.

In the bigger picture of Idaho legislative history, there actually is some news in this stasis. Until the last decade or a little more, leadership under the rotunda tended to change regularly. In recent years, that’s slowed down.

In the Senate, the top leadership job is president pro tem. (You might think that would be lieutenant governor, since he’s the default presiding officer, but when caucuses are held and decisions are made the lieutenant governor is outside of the room, with the rest of us.) For most of Idaho history, the norm was to hold that job for two or three terms, provided your party was in control. The first ever to keep the job longer was Republican James Ellsworth of Leadore, for four terms from 1968-76.

That record was broken by Robert Geddes of Soda Springs, who was elected to the post in 2000 (mid-session, when Jerry Twiggs, who was in his fourth term as pro tem, died). Geddes held the job for 10 years, and currently holds the record. His replacement, Brent Hill, was elected to it for the third time last week, and there’s no particular reason he won’t reach Geddes’ mark over time.

In the House, no one broke the three-term ceiling until Bruce Newcomb, who was elected speaker in 1998 and stayed until he retired in 2006 – four terms. His successor, Lawerence Denney of Midvale (soon to be secretary of state), then was speaker for three terms but narrowly (apparently) lost a bid for a fourth in 2012. The man who defeated him, Scott Bedke of Oakley, appears like Hill, to be settling in. Neither he nor Hill were opposed for the top leadership positions in the organizational session.

Take a look at the job of majority leader in each chamber. In the Senate, Bart Davis of Idaho Falls has held that job 12 years. In the House, Mike Moyle of Star has been majority leader since 2006, but he was assistant majority leader in 2002 – 14 years so far in one position or the other.

Before you consider this a call for term limits, though, consider that longevity is much less widespread in the overall legislative ranks. Just nine of the 35 senators, for example, are entering their fifth term or better. Despite the fact that nearly all legislative districts are a lock for one political party or the other (mostly for one of them, of course), there’s a good deal of turnover among them. Continue Reading »

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Dec 06 2014

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)

Legislative battle over Labrador sage grouse provision (Boise Statesman)
Reviewing labor unions and right to work (IF Post Register)
Many Idaho median incomes drop (IF Post Register, Nampa Press Tribune)
Magic Valley cities intend to start aquifer recharge (TF Times News)
Most losing statewide Ds outraised Rs (TF Times News)
TF downtown group may demolish Rogerson building (TF Times News)

Gearheart mayor faces recall (Astorian)
Warrenton sees fast-growing elementary enrollment (Astorian)
Pocket park attached to civic stadium plan (Eugene Register Guard)
School district, YMCA bidding on land (Eugene Register Guard)
New commander at air force project in KF (KF Herald & News)
Engineers trying to repair canals near KF (KF Herald & News)
Bighorn sheep returning to the upper Klamath (Medford Tribune)
Medford looks to add 1,650 acres to its boundaries (Medford Tribune)
Proposed budget increases mental health services (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Wolf pack closely watched for attacks (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Portland cops want body cams (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal)
Uber cars head into Portland despite rules (Portland Oregonian)

Kitsap signs deal for heritage park (Bremerton Sun)
Lots of concerns from veterans at meeting (Bremerton Sun)
Another bus line to Paine Field possible (Everett Herald)
Viaduct sags with Bertha troubles (Seattle Times)
Reviewing the WA troglodytes of the 80 (Spokane Spokesman)
Tacoma may extend airport runway (Tacoma News Tribune)
Clark County looks at more charter adjustments (Vancouver Columbian)
More difficulties for waterfront project (Vancouver Columbian)

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

Dec 05 2014

Something for Idahoans to celebrate

peterson MARTIN
PETERSON
 

When President Obama and his daughters paid a recent visit to a Washington, DC book store, two of his purchases were books by Idaho authors – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer and The Laughing Monsters by Denis Johnson. This was no fluke. Writers with Idaho roots are gaining more and more national prominence.

Earlier this week Idaho author and University of Idaho faculty member Kim Barnes was honored at the annual Governor’s Awards for the Arts with an Excellence in the Arts Award. She has also been a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Her husband, the much honored poet Robert Wrigley, also a UI faculty member, is a past recipient of the Governor’s Award. They are the first couple to be honored individually with the Governor’s Award.

On the same day that Barnes received her Governor’s Award, the New York Times arts section had a front page review of Boundary County resident Denis Johnson’s latest novel, The Laughing Monsters. Johnson has also been a Pulitzer finalist – two times. His book Train Dreams takes place in Idaho’s panhandle and won the Aga Khan Prize from the Paris Review. Train Dreams was reviewed in the New York Times by another Idaho writer, Anthony Doer.

Doer, who lives in Boise, has received wide acclaim. His latest novel, All the Light We Cannot See, occupies the number 8 spot on the Times best seller list. It has been on the list for 28 weeks. Longer than any other book currently on the list. The book was a finalist this year for the National Book Award.

Another finalist this year for the National Book Award, was Marilynne Robinson for her novel Lila. Robinson was born and raised in Sandpoint. In 2005 she won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her book Gilead. She is currently on the faculty of the Iowa Writers Workshop, perhaps the most celebrated creative writing program in the country.

Mystery author Ridley Pearson is a part time resident of Hailey, Idaho. Pearson has written 48 novels. Many of them NY Times best sellers. His series of books featuring the fictional Sherriff Walt Fleming takes place in Sun Valley. A measure of the esteem in which he is held by other writers is his membership in the musical group Rock Bottom Remainders. Other members of the group include Amy Tan, Steven King, Dave Berry, Robert Fulghum, Barbara Kingsolver and Roy Blount Jr.

Idaho has been home to other prominent writers. Lawrence Gipson grew up in Caldwell and graduated from the University of Idaho in 1903.In 1904 he was a member of the third class of Rhodes Scholars. He became a noted historian and in 1962 won the Pulitzer Prize for History.
Mountain Home native Richard McKenna’s best known work was The Sand Pebbles. It won the 1963 Harper Prize and was made into a movie starring Steve McQueen. McQueen was nominated for the Academy Award for his performance. Continue Reading »

Share on Facebook

Comments Off

« Prev - Next »

 


 

Introducing one of Ridenbaugh Press' latest authors, Nathalie Hardy - introducing her new book, Raising the Hardy Boys.

 

 
owb1444

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

 

RIDENBAUGH BOOKS catalog


 
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. In this book, writer Scott Jorgensen talks with Atiyeh, traces his background and recounts some of what he had to say – and others said about him. “He was a good man ... In many ways, Vic Atiyeh was more than a man – he was a link to a past that I could barely even imagine.”
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.


 

    Top-Story-graphic-300x200_topstory8
    Monday mornings on KLIX-AM

    watergates

    ORDER IT HERE or on Amazon.com

    More about this book by Randy Stapilus

    Water rights and water wars: They’re not just a western movie any more. The Water Gates reviews water supplies, uses and rights to use water in all 50 states.242 pages, available from Ridenbaugh Press, $15.95

    intermediary

    ORDER IT HERE or on Amazon.com

    More about this book by Lin Tull Cannell

    At a time when Americans were only exploring what are now western states, William Craig tried to broker peace between native Nez Perces and newcomers from the East. 15 years in the making, this is one of the most dramatic stories of early Northwest history. 242 pages, available from Ridenbaugh Press, $15.95

    Upstream

    ORDER HERE or Amazon.com

    The Snake River Basin Adjudication is one of the largest water adjudications the United States has ever seen, and it may be the most successful. Here's how it happened, from the pages of the SRBA Digest, for 16 years the independent source.

    Paradox Politics

    ORDER HERE or Amazon.com

    After 21 years, a 2nd edition. If you're interested in Idaho politics and never read the original, now's the time. If you've read the original, here's view from now.


    Governing Idaho:
    Politics, People and Power

    by James Weatherby
    and Randy Stapilus
    Caxton Press
    order here

    Outlaw Tales
    of Idaho

    by Randy Stapilus
    Globe-Pequot Press
    order here

    It Happened in Idaho
    by Randy Stapilus
    Globe-Pequot Press
    order here

    Camping Idaho
    by Randy Stapilus
    Globe-Pequot Press
    order here