Oregon’s citizen initiative petition system would be rejuvenated with online signing of petitions, left-wing activists say


They want to make Oregon the first state in the nation to give registered voters the option of signing initiative petitions online, via electronic signature on a state-run website, in addition to the current system, where paid and volunteer gatherers, often standing on busy sidewalks, collect them with pen and paper.


The fledgling “grass-roots petitioning” effort, IP 2, ­already is under attack from perhaps the state’s most ­powerful liberal group: Our Oregon, the political ­advocacy machine backed by public ­employee unions. Our Oregon Executive ­Director Ben Unger challenged IP 2’s proposed ballot title to the attorney general and the Oregon Supreme Court in ­recent months. In both cases, however, most of Our Oregon’s complaints were dismissed.




Emotions run high as Portland Public Schools plans to shuffle 5,000 students

The Oregonian

Portland Public Schools rolled out a proposal last month to open two new middle schools and redraw more than a dozen schools’ boundaries. Not surprisingly, emotions are high. Many parents bought a home with a keen eye toward school boundaries. And some worry that more powerful and privileged parents will steer the system in a way that once again shortchanges low-income students and students of color. “It’s a terrible political puzzle,” Daneen Bergland, the secretary of the PTA at Scott K-8 School in Northeast Portland, wrote in a letter read at a recent listening session on the changes. “We support you as you deal with fierce blowback that you are going to be receiving from more well-heeled communities, and we urge you to please do what’s right for all kids.”


University of Portland lands $10 million gift for maintenance facility

The Oregonian

In a departure from many high-profile gifts in the post-secondary education world, Nelson and his wife Arlette, are giving a big chunk of the donation — $8 million — to help build a new home for the school’s maintenance and grounds keeping staff. “I am honored to be able to help the University of Portland and to carry on the memory of my father,” Nelson said in a statement. “He was a true visionary and a wise, deeply ethical man in both his professional and personal life. The mission of the University of Portland goes hand-in-hand with the beliefs and practices he and our family business have valued for decades.”




U.S. Department of Commerce gives $300,000 for south Willamette Valley business start-ups


Oregon RAIN has partners, including business accelerators in Eugene and Corvallis. RAIN said it will use the money to help it manage the Willamette Valley Seed Fund, which has a current balance of $480,000. The money was raised earlier this year from 19 wealthy investors to provide funding for early-stage companies in the south Willamette Valley and mid-coast region. The investors hope to profit from the eventual success of new firms. RAIN Executive Director Marc Manley said RAIN is “thrilled” to get the federal money, but RAIN must now see how it will use the money.




Governor announces money to help vets find shelter


Oregon is taking steps to get homeless veterans off the streets. Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday announced the release of $350,000 in funds to help the vets find shelter. The money will go to the Veterans Emergency Housing Assistance program, which runs shelters and finds jobs for former military personnel.


Wheeler wants to extend housing emergency 18 months

Portland Tribune

Mayor Ted Wheeler filed an ordinance to extend the Housing State of Emergency declared by the City Council for 18 months on Wednesday. The council has declared two one-year states of emergencies, with the most recent one set to expire in coming weeks.




Oregon redwoods ‘severely burned’ by Chetco Bar Fire

Statesman Journal

One of the last groves of Oregon redwoods was “severely burned” by the Chetco Bar Fire, according to U.S. Forest officials.  While a number of trees were impacted, officials said the fire burned only lightly through the understory of the other 75 percent of the natural area.



ECBlend hit with hazardous waste fine

Mail Tribune

DEQ said Tuesday it found ECBlend LLC, operated by Jason and Carol Williams, had failed to determine whether waste liquids that contained nicotine and were generated by the company were hazardous; illegally stored hazardous waste; and transported hazardous waste without a manifest. ECBlend CEO Joe Foley said the owners initiated contact with DEQ more than a year ago, asking for advice about proper handling of its nicotine waste. “I should also note we are currently in total compliance with the regulations and have implemented strict protocols and training to stay that way,” said Foley, who was hired after the inspection. “We believe there is a different interpretation of the facts, and that’s what we want to discuss with the DEQ.”




Get your flu shot now, Lane County health officials urge


A study earlier this year by the American Academy of Pediatrics was the first of its kind to show that flu vaccinations significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from influenza, the county said. “We know pretty clearly that the more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications,” Luedtke said.




Salem City Council rejects proposal to ban sidewalk sitting

Statesman Journal

City councilors eventually rejected the proposed ordinance, instead voting that the mayor will establish a task force to study homelessness in downtown and North Salem.




Some Portland Sewer Workers Want a Better Contract. They’ve Turned to the Northwest’s Top Union Busters for Help.

Willamette Week

So Duffey and at least five other disgruntled Portland wastewater workers turned to an unlikely ally: the Freedom Foundation, a right-wing, union-busting think tank based in Olympia, Wash., that’s increasingly active in Oregon. The nonprofit requested the records after Duffey asked it for help. The foundation says it wants to assist Duffey and his fellow sewer workers in collecting enough signatures from members of Local 483—about 200—so workers may vote whether to stop paying dues.


Multnomah County GOP is raffling off an assault-style weapon to pay the rent

The Oregonian

Multnomah County Republicans are hoping to raise money to pay rent and support candidates in a way that has worked for them before: an AR-15 “Rifle Raffle.” “It’s the most popular one that people buy tickets for,” Frank Martin, who runs the raffle for the group, said over the phone Tuesday morning.


Ukrainian famine not forgotten

The Outlook

Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, was host of a delegation from the Ukrainian consulate in San Francisco on Wednesday, Sept. 20, with support from Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem. Rep. Carla Piluso, D-Gresham, also attended.  “We wanted to honor those who perished and also those who carry on their memory more than 80 years later,” Monnes Anderson said in a phone interview. “They starved those people to death.”




Guest: Legislative Days brings the opportunity to learn more

Representative Bill Post

‘Oregon is unique in many ways, and one important thing we do that not every state does is allow for citizens to repeal laws that the legislature has already passed, or put in place laws that the legislature refused to deal with.’


Guest: The déjà vu of opposing aerial herbicide spray

Lisa Arkin of Eugene is executive director of Beyond Toxics

Just as they once deferred to grass seed lobbyists, today’s legislators are afraid to question the claim that private timber owners will go bankrupt without aerial herbicide sprays. This is déjà vu. We can challenge this myth with lessons learned from innovative farmers who found alternatives to field burning that boosted grass seed industry profits.  Whether by local initiative or by state legislation, we need to ban ultra-hazardous aerial herbicide sprays and turn our support to innovative, nonharmful forest practices built on ecological stewardship and respect for public health


Guest: Moving KairosPDX would be a step backward for Portland Schools:

Scott Nine is the deputy director of the National Public Education Support Fund

We need Portland’s new superintendent and school board to take stances and show leadership here. They should support Kairos to stay in place. Hold a creativity session with students and families and civic leaders to find the best possible home for Access. If needed, invest money in portable buildings for a year while work is done to find them the right home. Please just find a way to show us that you can lead all of us to a better tomorrow.




Republicans Outline Biggest Tax-Code Overhaul In A Generation

National Public Radio

“If we do this, we will create millions of new jobs for our people, and bring many, many businesses back to our shores,” Trump said Tuesday, on the eve of the rollout. He described the proposed overhaul as “massive tax cuts that our country desperately needs to thrive, to grow, to prosper.” The president plans to promote the tax plan Wednesday afternoon at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.



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