Back in Print! Four-term Senator Frank Church was one of the leading figures in the sweep of Idaho, and one of the most important U.S. senators of the last century. From developing wilderness areas to opposition to the Vietnam War to investigating the CIA, Church led on a host of difficult issues. This, the one serious biography of Church, originally published in 1994, has been brought back into 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.


 

Jul 23 2014

The speaker’s road

malloy CHUCK
MALLOY

 
In Idaho

House Speaker Scott Bedke of Oakley will be doing more than watching the Election Day results in November. He’ll be keeping an eye on Republican winners, because his job depends on it.

Perhaps even more than the governor’s race, the state’s direction hinges on the outcome of the legislative races. Bedke, who won by a narrow margin in 2012, is no lock to win re-election. Critics – and there are plenty of them within the conservative wing of the GOP caucus – say he hasn’t done enough to bring opponents to his side.

“He’s leading with the D’s, and that’s no way to lead,” said one Republican House member.

For certain, Bedke could not have gotten through the implementation of a state-run health exchange without the help of Democrats.

“A majority of the Republican caucus voted against the exchange and the only way it passed was with the help of Democrats,” said Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens (Kootenai County). “That would not have happened under the previous speaker.”

Barbieri also opposes Bedke on Common Core education standards and fears that the speaker could push for Medicaid expansion. Barbieri isn’t alone with in his complaints about Bedke’s leadership. Earlier this month, the Idaho Statesman’s Dan Popkey wrote an excellent piece, talking to two of Bedke’s leading critics from the conservative side – Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane of Nampa and Caucus Chairman John Vander Woude of rural Ada County.

But complaints against Bedke and the more moderate “Otter” Republicans are empty without a viable conservative alternative, and that’s a problem. The bench is thin. Majority Leader Mike Moyle of Star has the resume, but he has told others that he is not interested in the speaker’s job because it would signify the beginning of the end of his legislative career. Rep. Tom Loertscher of Bone, the longtime chairman of the State Affairs Committee, also has the qualification. The question is whether he wants to stay on for another term or two. In Popkey’s article, Crane offered himself as a potential candidate for speaker. The question is whether he is ready for such an assignment. My guess is he is not.

Bedke, in many ways, has done a good job leading the House and a divided GOP caucus. He’s highly intelligent, engaged in the issues and has superior knowledge about budgeting. He’s also a superb communicator with the media, a trait not often found with Republicans.

Conservative members have a different view, as Popkey’s article outlined. Crane says that Bedke’s style has made the GOP divisions worse. Continue Reading »

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Jul 23 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)

Very hot springs killed dog; access changes (Boise Statesman)
US Geothermal increases its profits (Boise Statesman)
Battle at Lewiston urban renewal board (Lewiston Tribune)
Washington’s Carlton fire nearing control (Lewiston Tribune)
State’s public defense system under review (Nampa Press Tribune)
Nampa dispute over burger place parking (Nampa Press Tribune)
Pocatello PD buy big armored vehicle (Pocatello Journal)
Free lunches cut back at Pocatello schools (Pocatello Journal)
Hollister cuts speed to preserve road (TF Times News)
Salmon Gate water could end today (TF Times News)

Another hotel may be tried for Corvallis (Corvallis Gazette)
Corvallis may limit demolition of houses (Corvallis Gazette)
Adidas logos replace some Nikes at UO (Eugene Register Guard)
Marijuana legalization hits November ballot (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune, KF Herald & News)
Klamath ag research loses water too (KF Herald & News)
Lightning fires hit southern Oregon (Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune)
OSP chief says counties have to fund enforcement (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Not much immediate effect of health insurance ruling (Portland Oregonian)

Battles in District 26 (Bremerton Sun)
Causes of Oso slide still unclear (Seattle Times, Everett Herald)
Mukilteo lets Liias retain city, state jobs (Everett Herald)
Some progress on wildfire fight (Vancouver Columbian, Kennewick Herald)
Cowlitz Republicans see faction fight (Longview News)
Senator Hargrove concerned on water rule suit (Port Angeles News)
Moorage rates at Port Angeles reduced (Port Angeles News)
Spokane reconsiders taxi rules (Spokane Spokesman)
Clark County economy booming (Vancouver Columbian)
Looking at 4th CD fundraising (Yakima Herald Republic)
Settlement on public records costs Yakima $25k (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Jul 23 2014

Two of one party in November?

harris ROBERT
HARRIS

 
Oregon
Outpost

Critics of Oregon’s proposed top two open primary say one weakness is that in some districts the top two who advance to the general election may be from the same party. A report from the Independent Voter Network, takes a look at California Senate District 28, where two Republicans advanced onto the November general election.

Their conclusion? It’s a good thing. With Republican voters making up just 40% of the voters in SD-28, it means that the two Republican finalists will now be forced to appeal not just to Republican primary voters, but to all voters. This has caused the candidates to minimize ideology and focus on local issues that matter to more voters.

Wedge issues aren’t nearly as effective when you have two candidates from the same party.

Frankly, all the wailing that a top two open primary will occasionally result in two Republicans or two Democrats taking the top two spots is a red herring. In fact, it’s one of the strengths of the proposal.

In Oregon, under the current closed primary system heavily Democratic or Republican districts produce a single candidate in November. In 20 of the 60 Oregon House races this November voters will get one major party candidate to vote for. In the 66 Oregon Senate seats up for election, 6 of them will likewise feature one major party candidate. Over one third of Oregon’s Legislature is basically uncontested and features a single major party candidate.

At least under the open primary system there’s a likelihood that these 26 races would feature two major party candidates, even if they are from the same party. This would give voters a choice. And for candidates in heavily R or D districts, they couldn’t just pander to either the public employee unions leaders or the Chamber of Commerce in their respective primaries and then prepare for their coronation in November.

When Our Oregon supporter or a tea party member claims that a top two open primary may result in two Democrats or two Republicans advancing to the November ballot. Say…GREAT! That doubles voter choice of major party candidates in a third of our Legislative districts.

Note: This isn’t an endorsement of the open primary initiative, on which I’m undecided. It is a critique of the Democratic and Republican hypocrisy in their criticism that the open primary reduces choices.

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Jul 22 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)

Investigation into bulldozer operator death (Boise Statesman)
Adds the words protesters go to court (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune, Lewiston Tribune)
Sockeye salmon recovery plan released (Lewiston Tribune)
Nampa turns down 4-plexes proposal (Nampa Press Tribune)
Caldwell wants bigger property tax slice (Nampa Press Tribune)
Fires in Idaho easing office (Pocatello Journal)
CNN suing Blaine Co over Bergdahl records (TF Times News)
Idaho gets No Child waiver extension (TF Times News)
Gas prices in Idaho rising (TF Times News)

Lane Co: Eugene can’t dictate on sick leave (Eugene Register Guard)
Springfield mill may not rise again for 2 years (Eugene Register Guard)
Odell Lake has toxic algae bloom (KF Herald & News)
Vic Atiyeh remembered (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tidings, Portland E regonian, Ashland Tidings)
Lightning storms may hit area (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Report on Oregon kids’ health, poverty (Portland Oregonian)

Contest in 38th House seat (Bremerton Sun)
Hoover Motors at Bremerton plans closure (Bremerton Sun)
Snohomish finance director job long vacant (Everett Herald)
Inslee restricts most burning outdoors (Kennewick Herald)
Carlton complex biggest fire ever in WA (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman,, Kennewick Herald, Longview News)
Kalama grain terminal expansion nearly done (Longview News)
Olympic National Parks develops goat plan (Port Angeles News)
I-90 traffic hit again with Obama visit (Seattle Times)
Tearing down Spokane downtown fountain (Spokane Spokesman)
4th US House seat up for grabs (Spokane Spokesman)
Pot shipments slow in wildfire regions (Vancouver Columbian)
Dam planners try new type of fish passage (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Jul 21 2014

Campaigning on your dime

carlson CHRIS
CARLSON

 
Carlson
Chronicles

Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter brought his “dog and pony” show called Capital For A Day to St. Maries on July 21st. My, oh my, how it has changed since Governor Cecil D. Andrus, who initiated the program in 1973, and I walked the streets of the temporary “capital” (usually a county seat).

No entourage. No security detail. No advance team. No “show and tell.” No setting up a town hall meeting and expecting the citizens to come to us.

Nope. Just Cece and I, popping in and out of various businesses on Main Street, chatting with the owner and asking if they were having any difficult issues with any facet of state government. The day’s agenda usually included a noon speech at a Rotary or a Kiwanis Club and in the afternoon drop by visits to the local paper and other media to report on what he was hearing.

My role was to take notes, handle any media that might want to tag along and pass out the “Capital for A Day” post cards wherein folks could write a brief description of their issue and their contact info.

When we got back to Boise the governor would deal the cards out to appropriate staff with instructions to have an interim report back to the constituent within two weeks and a definitive answer within four weeks.

There was another significant difference. Once the Republicans selected their nominee to challenge Andrus in the August primary, the governor suspended the program.

“Butch” should take note and follow the Andrus lead. No matter how one slices it, or rationalizes it, to continue Capital For A Day in an election year after your opponent is selected is to have the taxpayers underwriting a campaign-like endeavor.

It’s a clear “conflict of interest” and a clear illegal contribution to the governor’s re-election effort by the taxpayer. Frankly, I’m amazed that no one has called Governor Otter out on this matter. State senator Russ Fulcher from Meridian should have confronted Governor otter on this in his closely contested primary challenge. Continue Reading »

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Jul 21 2014

In the Briefings

lookout view

 
Taken from Scott Mountain Lookout, 11 miles to the north and with a straight view towards the fires. It was taken at 5 PM on July 18. Wash Fire is the smoke on left, Grimes Fire is the smoke on right. (photo/Boise National Forest)

 
Fire became the big story of the week all over the northwest (at least, from the Cascades east). The fire sizes were not notably large – yet – but a number of them were aggressive, and at least one ravaged several human settlements. This is an early point in the year for this sort thing; it portends a rough season ahead.

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Jul 21 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)

ParkCenter Mall turns into charter school (Boise Statesman)
Winchester well tried to help city (Lewiston Tribune)
Mars research at Craters of the Moon (TF Times News)

ODOT looks at Medford-Phoenix bike lands (Ashland Tidings)
Cluster hiring affects OSU rankings (Eugene Register Guard)
Former Governor Atiyah diies (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, Salem Statesman Journal)

Battle over Senate seat in 35th (Bremerton Sun)
State-county commission will review Oso slide (Everett Herald)
Former judge CC Bridgewater dead (Longview News)
Fish advocates will sue over weir (Port Angeles News)
WA wildfire fights still underway (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman)
Battle in 3rd US House district (Vancouver Columbian)
Growing numbers of motorcycle crashes (Vancouver Columbian)

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Jul 20 2014

An irreducible minimum

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Idaho

No community in Idaho would relish the loss of 21 jobs. Boise would not; Nampa would not. The east side of Seattle just lost more than 1,300 jobs at Microsoft, and certainly didn’t welcome that.

But Boise, Nampa and Seattle weather these losses, however unpleasant. The loss of just 21 jobs is more critical in some places than in others, as the people of Dubois could say emphatically.

Dubois is like one of those places the writer Dayton Duncan wrote of in his book Miles from Nowhere (1993), which was about the remote and small-population places of western America. Among Idaho communities, he happened to focus on Stanley and Yellow Pine.

His most striking instance, in a chapter called “Below the Irreducible Minimum,” was Loving County, Texas, population 107, and its one community, the seat of Mentone. It raises a question: When does a community become too small to remain a functioning community?

Clark, with a reported 867 residents (down from 1,022 in 2000), is Idaho’s least-populated county, and the 30th least-populated county in the United States. It’s a rugged place; many residents here head south in the winter. Among the country’s lowest-populated counties, it has the highest percentage of residents born in a foreign country – presumably, many reliant on agricultural work. The Census reports that Clark has 18 non-farm businesses employing 83 people.

Aside from farm employment ad local government, the largest employer in the county may be the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station, located a few miles north of Dubois but managing operations scattered around the Clark County area. Its job, simply, is to research sheep: Its website lists one goal as “an understanding of the interactions between sheep and the environments in which they are produced that can be used to improve sheep production systems and ensure the sustainability of grazing land ecosystems.” Continue Reading »

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Jul 20 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 downtown condos under development (Boise Statesman)
Idaho, congressional politics and minimum wage (IF Post Register)
Work training grants to firms that moved, closed? (IF Post Register)
2006 Nampa growth plan was over-optimistic (Nampa Press Tribune)
County budget hearings ahead (Nampa Press Tribune)
IU researchers look at Mars, Craters of Moon (Pocatello Journal)
Filer employees will get dog training (TF Times News)

Eugene, Lane Co at odd on sick leave law (Eugene Register Guard)
String of Medford fires grows to 17 (Medford Tribune)
Cover Oregon moving toward a revival (Portland Oregonian)
Heroin making a comeback (Salem Statesman Journal)

Four-way battle for Kitsap prosecutor (Bremerton Sun)
The cost of investigating juvenile detention (Everett Sun)
Benton Co says public safety sales tax needed (Kennewick Herald)
Wildfires still roaring (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic, Kennewick Herald, Longview News)
Reviewing Inslee’s water quality plan (Longview Daily News)
Amazon’s new warehouse set for Sunday delivery (Seattle Times)
Reviewing challengers to Herrera-Beutler (Vancouver Columbian)
Candidates in 14th legislative district (Yakima Herald Republic)

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Jul 20 2014

Oregon’s timber harvest is, um, up

ridenbaugh Northwest
Reading

In 2013, Oregon’s timber harvest rose to 4.2 billion board feet, marking four consecutive years of increase from the recession low of 2.72 billion board feet in 2009. “This was the first harvest above four billion board feet in seven years,” said ODF principal economist Brandon Kaetzel, “and represents a 12 percent increase over the 2012 harvest of 3.75 billion board feet.”

Approximately 49 percent, or 30.2 million acres, of Oregon is forested. Federal forestlands account for 60 percent of these forestlands, industrial forestlands for 19 percent, family forestland owners own 15 percent, state-owned forests comprise three percent, and all other forestland owners (counties, Tribal, etc.), three percent.

Timber harvest increases can be attributed to a strong export market for Oregon logs in 2013, coupled with a domestic market recovery, particularly in housing. Whether this trend will continue for the 2014 harvest is uncertain due to housing forecasts being revised to lower numbers and a sudden cool-down in the export market that occurred during the second quarter of 2014.

The largest increase in harvest came from non-industrial private forestlands where harvests increased 61 percent to 511 million board feet from the 2012 total of 318 million board feet. “This is most likely due to small forestland owners taking advantage of higher prices as a result of a still strong export market in 2013,” Kaetzel said. The harvest on industrial forestlands rose from 2.56 billion board feet in 2012 to 2.75 billion board feet in 2013, for an eight percent increase in harvest.

Harvests on Native American forestlands increased five percent from 2012 to 2013, rising from 63 million board feet in 2012 to a total of 66 million board feet in 2013.

On Oregon’s west site, federal forestland posted modest increases in harvests; an 11.5 percent increase on Bureau of Land Management lands (for a 2013 total of 165 million board feet) and a six percent increase in harvests on U.S. Forest Service lands (totaling 392 million board feet in 2013). State public lands, which include Common School Fund and Board of Forestry forestlands, posted a slight increase from 251 to 252 million board feet.

Klamath County continued to lead in eastern Oregon with a 2013 harvest of 124 million board feet. Even with a diminished infrastructure, harvests on the east side rose approximately four percent due to increases on tribal, private, and other public (e.g. county) forestland. There was a marked decrease in federal timber harvest on the east side for 2013. In western Oregon, Lane County continued to lead with a 2013 harvest of 620 million board feet.

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Jul 19 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)

Homeless numbers rise in Idaho (Boise Statesman)
Boise Catholic bishop plans to resign (Boise Statesman)
Washington fires destroy houses (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
Mixed job picture in Idaho for June (IF Post Register)
ID national parks, monuments draw $29 spending (IF Post Register)
No changes planned for guns on campus law (Nampa Press Tribune)
Fetal pain abortion law in court challenge (Pocatello Journal)
Preacher fire calms somewhat (TF Times News)

Coos Bay contractor accused of government fraud (Coos Bay World)
State GOP won’t back House 9 candidate Runyan (Coos Bay World)
Owners of burned mill consider rebuilding (Eugene Register Guard)
Wildfires roar in Oregon (KF Herald & News, Pendleton E Oregonian, Ashland Tidings)
National Guard unit heads to Afghanistan (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Oregon governor candidates debate (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune)
Salem coffee shop shaken by social media reports (Salem Statesman Journal)

Heavy fires roar across state (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Vancouver Columbian, Yakima Herald Republic)
New Hampton Inn opens at Everett (Everett Herald)
Research on Mt St Helens planned (Vancouver Columbian)

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Jul 18 2014

The nature of the debate

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Oregon

Debates are about perceptions, and the two gubernatorial candidates at the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association debate hit in that hard enough. Both were a little hamstrung, but not barred from pitching their case.

The core case that Republican state Representative Dennis Richardson made against Governor John Kitzhaber was not one that this very conservative (in the conventional sense of the term) might have been expecting to make. It was not at all ideological: Instead, he described the governor as detached, disinterested, too often not showing up, “not tuned in to governing.”

“The first principle of leadership is showing up,” Richardson said near the start of the debate, and said near the end, “Our governor no longer has the passion to serve . . . The governor has been AWOL, and when he’s here has been distracted.”

He did not make any strong suggestion of a basic, fundamental change in direction, limiting his areas of dispute to more specific ideas – Kitzhaber’s handling of Cover Oregon or aspects of his support for the Columbian River Crossing bridge, for example, rather than the overall need for action on health care or bridge infrastructure. He almost seemed – whether it was the case or not – to have conceded those issues. On the subject of legalizing marijuana, he sidestepped completely, saying only that he would enforce whatever law Oregon voters passed; it fell to Kitzhaber to say that he would vote against the measure (and, like his opponent, try to learn from Washington’s experience and enforce whatever the voters ordered).

He did not, as most Republicans would, blast away at the idea of big government, even to the extent that Kitzhaber’s last opponent, Chris Dudley, did.
Richardson is known as a philosophically-oriented conservative, and won his seat in the legislature originally on that basis, but in a day of sharply-drawn philosophical lines, almost none emerged here. He seemed to stake his gubernatorial bid on the idea that Kitzhaber has been phoning in his job as governor, even pointing out more than once that he’s been in Salem a minority of the time.
That may not be an easy sell, and Kitzhaber’s de facto response was telling. He did not specifically say that he still had a passion for the job or worked hard at it, which would have sounded weak and would have simply repeated Richardson’s argument.

Instead, he pointed to the things he has done, over a third term in which the length of large-scale accomplishments – from education reorganization, health care policy, PERS changes and many more items – is quite long. And he could, and did, point out that he had Republican support (including, in several key places, Richardson’s) in doing those thing.

Kitzhaber’s best piece was his closing, when he describes, after falling short on several objectives in the 2013 legislative session, he spent months traveling around the state crafting a legislative package which, in three days last fall, passed in spectacular fashion. It was an effective rebuttal to the notion of a passive or disinterested governor.
Both said they supported open primary elections, ad Richardson even said he saw a benefit in the tendency to press candidates on both sides toward the electoral middle.

In one place, Richardson called for a truly massive government project I’ve never heard anyone else propose: “A freeway from Coos Bay to Burns to Ontario.” (The price tag on that would be interesting to read.)

Interestingly, Richardson never bore in specifically on the matter of Kitzhaber’s long tenure of what would 16 years in the state’s top office if he wins. He suggested only that he would do it better.
With one major exception, one place where he specifically sounded more clearly like a conservative Republican.

That concerned federal lands, which amounted to 53% of Oregon. Kitzhaber, who dryly noted that “I don’t think the feds are going to hand over control of federal lands,” spoke with some optimism about “federal forest management reform.” In this area, Richardson said he would press for exactly that, a turning over of federal lands to the state: With like-minded governors, he said, “I will lead that charge, I will be in Washington. D.C.”

That much formed a basis of a major policy difference between the candidates. How far it sells in the more populated sectors of Oregon may be another question – as is whether it constitutes a argument for firing John Kitzhaber.

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Jul 18 2014

Facts more than balance

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

A small, informal discussion has started in some media circles – the first quiet conversations about a most basic journalistic tenet – balance. Balance in coverage of the news. Balance in representing all sides. Balance to assure fairness. The discussion is long overdue. It’ll call for judgments and – for that reason – there’ll probably never be a satisfactory solution.

There isn’t much left of the days of really responsible journalism – the professional output that was traditionally expected and – for the most part – traditionally produced. Given more than one side to any story, efforts were made to present all. That, of course, was in the days before “gotcha” journalism, reporters mixing opinion with reporting and the need to report otherwise worthless B.S. that fills too many pages and far too much airtime.

The most recent stimulus for this self-examination is climate change. Yep, simple as that. Or, if you will, as complex as that. With the preponderance of scientific evidence that such change is happening all around us and our world is already the poorer for it, some news organizations are asking how much time – how much ink – should be given those who deny both the science and the reality. What is the media responsibility for reporting the scientific facts accepted by the overwhelming majority of experts, then giving time and ink to the distinct minority denying reality? Denying fact?

It’s long been said the media should just report the facts and let those facts speak for themselves. I buy that. But when what’s on the front pages and what’s leading the nightly news contains no factual merit – climate change denials – irresponsible and baseless impeachment ranting – conspiracy claims without proof – phony stunts of one branch of government to sue another – what facts are being reported? Where does news start and “Entertainment Tonight” end?

Take the climate change story, for example. One very significant fact is that the chairman of the House Science Committee is a climate change denier and flat-earther who loudly proclaims his ignorance by telling all who’ll listen the earth is just 6,000 years old and man lived with dinosaurs. Why is that not reported with such a repetitive assault that he and half a dozen other “deniers” on that important panel are removed? This nation and the world needs strong, responsible and effective political leadership to deal with the terrible realities of climate change. But the power to do that is in the hands of idiots – a distinct and irresponsible minority – who’re blocking attempts to deal legitimately with facts that – ignored much longer – could end our world. Why? Continue Reading »

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Jul 18 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 library changes may be ahead (Boise Statesman)
Southern Idaho fires growing fast (Boise Statesman, TF Times News)
Commercial gas producers push ahead at Payette (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
Phone scam imitates IRS (IF Post Register)
Problems come from Lewiston’s Internet outage (Lewiston Tribune)
Republican Party fight hits courtroom (Pocatello Journal)
Pocatello water, sewer rates rise (Pocatello Journal)
Magic Reservoir will shut off early (TF Times News)
Fire prevention methods to be discussed (TF Times News)

Springfield mill leveled by fire (Eugene Register Guard)
OIT basketball coach leaves in two years (KF Herald & News)
Fires grow, declared an emergency (KF Herald & News)
A look behind recent food stamp fraud (KF Herald & News)
Jackson library district raises taxes (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Battle over closed pot dispensary (Ashland Tidings)
Gas plant at Arlington will double capacity (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Looking at KF food stamp fraud (Portland Oregonian)
Massive cuts in Microsoft work force (Portland Oregonian)
The case of Casey Runyan and his rap sheet (Salem Statesman Journal)

Supreme Court: gun owner not liable for child shooting (Bremerton Sun)
Boat launch approved for Point No Point (Bremerton Sun)
Big wildlifes at large in eastern WA (Spokane Spokesman, Everett Herald, Kennewick Herald, Longview News)
Reviewing Snohomish County executive race (Everett Herald)
Just 8.65% in WA are medically uninsured (Kennewick Herald)
Pot shops searching for supply (Longview News)
Good grow season for lavender at peninsula (Port Angeles News)
Clallam Commission candidates at debate (Port Angeles News)
Massive cuts at Microsoft (Seattle Times, Spokane Spokesman, Tacoma News Tribune)
Clark job offer relating to charter? (Vancouver Columbian)

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Jul 17 2014

Addition by subtraction?

idaho RANDY
STAPILUS
 
Washington

Microsoft stock jumped a couple of percentage points (some of that reflected in our stock listing this week) after the formal announcement of what had been teased for some weeks: Employee cuts, massive cuts, not just the largest round of cuts in the company’s history but more than three times as large as any before. In the Puget Sound alone, 1,351 jobs will be going away, though that’s less than a tenth of the overall. More than one out of eight Microsoft employees will lose their jobs.

A lot of them, it is true, will come from Nokia, the comm device company it recent absorbed. Even so, a lot of MS jobs will be gone.

Financial analysts were quick to call it good. The Motley fool said the corporation “trims some fat.” Others said it was a sign that the company is becoming leaner, more agile, likely to move in different directions and leave behind some non-productive older ones. And on top of that, it shows the new CEO Satya Nadella is taking charge. Really. (Heck of a way to demonstrate that you’re really, truly, the big cheese.)

A number of analysts argued that the Puget Sounds could gain, by bringing so many talented people on the market, freed up to create new businesses of their own. Although: Doesn’t that seem to run counter to the fat-trimming narrative?

We’ve seen this kind of argument and reaction in any number of businesses over the years. It’s not that these arguments are totally illegitimate; Microsoft has gone steadily over the years, with few cutbacks or layoffs, and that can be a recipe for building in some deadwood over time.

But 14% of the company’s employees? At a time when the company was reporting strong profits?

Nadella surely did want to make a dramatic statement, and he succeeded in that. But cuts of that size tend to more meataxe than surgical in character, and the company is likely to lose a good deal of key talent. As for the Puget Sound, there’ll be recovery and many of the ousted employees doubtless will move on to new areas of productivity; but in the short term at least this isn’t good news for the area, and the longer term is speculative.

As, on reflection, may be Microsoft’s.

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Two bulls fire near Bend, and defensible space.

 

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