Oregon Public Broadcasting
Beginning Aug. 24, State Solutions Inc., an RGA affiliate, spent more than $300,000 on ad time throughout the state. Its opening salvo: A spot calling Brown’s record on education into question. Steven Yaffe, an RGA spokesman, suggested the group was motivated by two recent polls indicating Buehler and Brown might be essentially even. Critics have derided the pollsters behind those results, though there’s a sense locally the race has tightened. The firms, Gravis Marketing and Clout Research, receive tepid marks in a rating of pollsters by the website FiveThirtyEight. “Multiple polls have shown this race to be extremely close, and the RGA views this is as a winnable race for Republicans,” Yaffe said in an email. “Knute Buehler’s record fits the mold of the state, and he has run a disciplined, policy-oriented campaign.” He added: “You could likely see additional RGA investments in the race in the near future.”
Herald and News
In the Oregon House, Klamath Tribes Spokesperson Taylor Tupper will challenge incumbent Rep. E. Werner Reschke, R-Klamath Falls, for the House District 56 seat. Tupper would be the first Native American woman to hold the position if elected, according to previous reports from the Herald & News.
Portland Business Journal
Proponents say the proposal is all in the interest of patient safety, while detractors warn it would be the most restrictive in the nation and would push patients who are not abusing the drugs to street dealers or even lead them to commit suicide. “Patients deserve safe, effective choices to relieve pain — not just a pill,” Allen wrote. “Evidence is insufficient to determine the effectiveness of long-term opioid therapy for improving chronic pain and function.”
Portland Business Journal
The conclusions of the Business Journal’s analysis are similar to last year. While the economy has recovered and capital is readily available for big businesses, Oregon’s smallest businesses, which drive the state’s economy, continue to have problems getting loans. Women- and minority-owned business owners fare the worst. Less than 20 percent of SBA loans in Oregon last year went to women-owned businesses and there’s been a 96 percent drop in the number of SBA loans made to black-owned businesses in a decade. In order to qualify for a loan, an entrepreneur typically needs three ways to repay it, such as receivables, a house that can serve as collateral and a personal guarantee. “If you only have one, that’s typically not enough,” said Beneficial State Bank’s Leach. Shah said the formula favors those with family assets and makes it tougher for minorities and women. Nationally, white households have a median net worth of $104,000, according to the most recent census data. Black households have a median net worth of $9,211. “When you’re going through generational poverty and your parents haven’t given you assets and you’re asset-poor, you don’t have collateral to pledge,” she said.
Shah said women are also more reluctant to use personal assets as collateral.
AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENT
Oregon Public Broadcasting
The researchers looked at the world’s three top grains: wheat, corn and rice. Based on their model, for each 2 degrees Celsius the temperature rose, the amount of crops consumed by bugs would increase significantly: by 19 percent for rice, 31 percent for corn and by 46 percent for wheat. So if the Earth warms by 4 degrees Celsius — which, scientists say, it is on track to do by the end of the century — wheat losses from insects would double. There are two major factors driving this change. Insects burn more calories the warmer it is. That means they eat more, says Deutsch. “That’s a very simple and well-known effect that’s gonna be true basically for any crop and any insect that eats it.” But that’s not all: as the temperature rises, warmer air also means more bugs, up to a point. Really warm areas like the tropics might see insects decline. But in the cooler, temperate regions where grains are grown, populations could increase dramatically.
The Bend Bulletin
County commissioners this week discussed moving forward with changes to land use policies that protect land zoned for farming, forestry and other resources. The changes could create an easier path for development in some rural areas, but commissioners stressed that development wasn’t the goal of re-evaluating zoning. “We already have housing out in the rural areas,” Commissioner Phil Henderson said. “What we’re trying to do is get lands that clearly aren’t farmland or forests, but we’re not saying there’s going to be housing there tomorrow.”
The fact that the state’s economic recovery is likely to slow down shouldn’t come as a surprise: This is the cyclical nature of economies, although we always manage to convince ourselves on some level that maybe this one is the boom that never ends. We know better, of course. And so do state officials and legislators, who should start thinking now about how to prepare for the inevitable slowdown, especially now that forecasters have a better idea of when it might occur.
Mail Tribune Editorial Board
Dealing with homelessness and its fallout requires some out-of-the-box thinking. And that’s just what city officials and a local organization came up with in a plan that should help both the homeless and the community. The city has provided a $5,000 grant to Rogue Retreat, a homeless advocacy group, to buy what are essentially janitor carts and supplies to be used in cleaning up downtown. But janitor carts are no good without janitors, so Rogue Retreat is enlisting volunteer homeless people, along with some community service “volunteers,” to help tidy up the city.