HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE
STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
The governor, who said the effort would be “a big step forward” when she unveiled it in April 2016, signaled Thursday that she has reined in her ambitions. “Although there’s more work ahead,” Brown said in a statement, “the proposed Cleaner Air Oregon rules represent an important first step forward in assuring our air quality standards protect public health and keep Oregonians safe.”
Oregon Public Broadcasting
To do that, the state will need the Legislature to approve a set of fees on regulated businesses that will cover the majority of the costs of implementing the rules. Without that approval, according to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Director Richard Whitman, the state would only be able to carry out “a minimal program.”
Gov. Kate Brown has quietly ordered regulators to make child care facilities test for lead in drinking water, reversing an earlier decision by her own appointed policy board on early childhood education. The move represents the first noticeable step toward increased oversight by Oregon’s top elected official in response to lapses in child safety regulations.
On Wednesday, the first day of the strike over wages and health benefits, 118 of the 692 AFSCME-represented employees came to work, the county said. That’s 17 percent of the workers. On Thursday, the tally rose to 136 workers, the county said. The administration and union representatives did not meet Thursday but are slated to resume negotiations Friday.
On Thursday, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has given Oregon another extension to comply with the federal Real ID Act, a 2005 act that establishes security standards for driver’s licenses and other forms of federal identification. Among other provisions, the act prevents federal agencies from accepting non-compliant identification.
Matt Garrett, state transportation director, told the commission that ending the project “stings.” “This agency has failed in this project,” Garrett said. “It also should be noted we failed in probably the highest calling as a public agency, and our stewardship responsibility.”
The Associated Press
A federal judge has rejected the Justice Department’s efforts to have a lawsuit filed by Seattle and Portland, Oregon, over sanctuary city policies thrown out. The Justice Department asked U.S. District Judge Richard Jones to throw out the lawsuit by Seattle and Portland, but he refused in a decision Thursday. He called the administration’s threats “unconstitutionally coercive.”
The Associated Press
He’s charged with reckless burning, depositing burning materials on forestlands, criminal mischief and recklessly endangering other persons, Hood River County District Attorney John Sewell said in a statement. The boy, from Vancouver, Wash., was not named.
According a a press release, the Hood River District Attorney has been working closely with the Multnomah County District Attorney because the fire burned extensive land within Multnomah County, but the boy will only face charges in Hood River County. More details on the charges are listed in a press release:
More than 30 Lane County firefighters were spending their second week in Northern California. Their mission has shifted from protecting homes and other structures from active fires to mopping up and aiding families affected by the devastation in any way they can. The firefighters said the work has been physically and emotionally draining, but that helping residents through their darkest days has kept them motivated.
Following a two-day audit, consultants hired through a U.S. Department of Justice agency have confirmed what many local crime watchers already believe: The Jackson County Jail is too small. The consultants said the jail’s capacity and outdated design are causing a bottleneck within the local criminal justice system.
Representative Greg Smith, who voted against the bill, said the legislation was meant to target a specific group. “These were crimes primarily committed by female offenders, and this part of the legislation wanted to do everything it can to help female offenders with families or kids, and realized many of the offenses were the results of drug or alcohol abuse.” But Smith said while those were good intentions, the legislation ignored some of the most direct victims of crimes committed by drug users. “Victims have their identities stolen, or are victims of crimes people commit while on a substance,” he said. “I ended up voting no, not because I don’t have sympathy for the people who are victims of their own circumstances, but in my view, there has to be consequences with actions committed.”
“I am outraged that instead of being transparent to the taxpayers, they instead chose to waste money in an attempt to hide the truth,” Caprice said. “They must realize that actions like this erode public trust.” The district spent money to keep secret the details of her story and how officials refused to listen to her, when that money could have made a difference in a classroom, said Caprice, who now works for the district as a substitute teacher.
Astoria Superintendent Craig Hoppes said the campaign has raised awareness about attendance, an issue the school district plans to highlight often throughout the year. “I think we need to get ourselves around 10 percent,” Hoppes said of his goal for the district’s chronic absenteeism. At a school board meeting Nov. 8, he said, administrators from each school will discuss strategies used to improve attendance. Hoppes will talk about the attendance policies of other school districts.
The unbudgeted marijuana windfall is not expected to be the ‘gold mine’ many were hoping to fix school revenue, but it’s more immediate cash than voters approved.
The leading GOP candidate for governor, state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend) has made an interesting choice to be the public face of his 2018 campaign. Buehler has selected Jonathan Lockwood, currently the spokesman for the Oregon Senate Republicans.
But knowing how to drop, cover and hold on, while an important skill to practice, is just the start of preparing for a natural disaster — and recent national events suggest that it might not be a bad idea to think about preparing for man-made calamities as well.
The discouraging part of all this is that there are so many stories; that, after decades of trying to end abuse, it is still so distressingly common. The encouraging part is that, as more and more women speak out, people are seeing “the magnitude of the problem,” and vowing to end it.
Travel aside, the new league should be good for athletes on both sides of the mountains. The eight schools involved are fairly evenly matched, with most Bend schools slightly smaller than their Salem counterparts. The league is not perfect, perhaps, but it’s the best that could be created.