GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
State Rep. Janelle Bynum, D-Clackamas, cast the sole vote in Oregon’s House of Representatives against a bill that several rape survivors passionately support. “It’s not popular to protect the accused but it is our job,” Bynum told her fellow lawmakers last month. The bill would extend the statute of limitations for survivors to file civil suits in sexual assault cases. Right now adult victims of sex crimes have just two years to file a lawsuit. It’s the same amount of time you have in Oregon to file a civil suit over damages from a car crash. “Adult victims deserve options other than praying that the police do the right thing.” Caitlin Speck explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, telling them she’s a rape survivor. “The criminal justice system failed me in every possible way.”
Oregon Public Broadcasting
earlier this month, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Dailey took the bench in her seventh floor courtroom in downtown Portland. “Make sure you talk with your lawyer,” Dailey said. “There are only a couple lawyers helping all of you. They can only do one case at a time, so this process does take patience.” Dailey was overseeing treatment court, a program for nonviolent offenders with drug related arrests. The idea is to keep these defendants out of jail and use the threat of criminal charges to make sure they go through treatment.
The seal of the state of Oregon adorns mugs, t-shirts, key chains and all sorts of doodads and knickknacks that are for sale in gift shops in many corners of the state. Somebody is making money selling all that stuff, and now Oregon lawmakers want a piece of the action. A legislative budget committee is set to vote Thursday on Senate Bill 803, which would prohibit the commercial use of the state seal without a licensing agreement from the Oregon Secretary of State. Companies would have to pay a licensing fee and royalties from the sale of the products.
In 2015, every single lawmaker in the Oregon Legislature voted for a tax break for internet providers. This month the Legislature was nearly unanimous in voting to repeal it. In between were four years of a tax break that cost taxpayers millions of dollars and never did what lawmakers hoped it would. And they found it was unexpectedly hard to kill. Oregon’s gigabit tax break was the centerpiece of a failed effort to lure Google Fiber to Portland. Google never came and other companies swooped in to lock in the savings for themselves. The tax break, whose repeal is now on Gov. Kate Brown’s desk, stands as a cautionary tale. It’s a bipartisan failing that shows what can happen when legislators wade into the complexities of tax policies and technology without fully understanding the implications.
Clackamas County leaders want Oregon lawmakers to intervene and settle confusion over the status of the city of Damascus once and for all. Lawmakers are looking to find a quick solution that would pass legal muster, and have necessary political support, in the waning weeks of a busy legislative session. It’s a tall order, considering that charting Damascus’ future has been a challenge for city, county, regional and state officials since the turn of the century.
Synceire Bivens just wanted the world to know what happened. In late April, a girl at Wilson High School yelled the n-word at a group of black boys, and video of the incident began circulating on Snapchat. The footage started fights, eventually putting the school on lockdown as police heard another brawl may be brewing. Administrators issued a statement, saying the lockout was a “precautionary measure” made necessary by a “potential threat by a student.” “They didn’t say anything about the n-word,” Bivens, a sophomore and president of the school’s Black Student Union, said. “Instead, a lot of parents only learned about it when they read it in The Oregonian.”
The Daily Astorian
Staff with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program know one side of Cannon Beach’s popular landmark is not like the other. The tide pools that are open for the public to walk near and poke their fingers into have a wealth of creatures, but even more life abounds in the areas closed off to people, said Alan Quimby, an environmental interpreter for the outreach and educational organization, during a busy April morning at low tide. That morning, he was splitting his time between pointing out puffins and reminding people to stay out of the protected marine garden around Haystack Rock. They kept coming anyway, seemingly deaf to the instructions Quimby gave prior groups and oblivious to signs that told them to stay out
The Register Guard
As a cannabis activist for 50 years and an industrial hemp activist for 25, Dave Seber truly believes hemp is the 800-pound gorilla sitting at the back of the room. “It has 25,000 to 50,000 different uses, and we’re hardly exploiting any of them,” Seber said. “If we don’t develop this crop, I don’t see a future for the human species. It is the only thing that might help mediate a bunch of damage we’ve done in other areas.” Seber is owner of Hemp Shield in Eugene, which produces a hemp seed oil wood finisher and sealant. The oil is smaller than other coatings and can permeate the wood better for that reason; not to mention that it is one of the greenest options in the marketplace, he said.
The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners hears first-hand Wednesday for the first time from the committee making recommendations to change county government. The county board more than a year ago formed the Charter Review Committee to analyze and suggest changes to the charter, the founding document for the structure and function of Umatilla County’s government. The nine-member group decided at the end of April to recommend major reforms, starting with an overhaul of the board of commissioners.