HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE
STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
Lane County and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union met in all-day contract negotiations Sunday, but they did not announce an end to talks late Sunday night. It was unclear Sunday night whether the sides would resume labor talks through a mediator Monday.
An Oregon circuit judge is considering a case that argues local voters have a “natural right” to ban aerial spraying in Lincoln County, despite state statutes to the contrary. Lincoln County voters approved an ordinance earlier this year banning aerial spraying. It is being challenged in a lawsuit filed by landowners Rex Capri and Wakefield Farms, who rely on aerial spraying. The plaintiffs say the local ban is prohibited by Oregon’s “right to farm” law, state laws regulating pesticides and the forest practice laws.
The Oregon State Marine Board is floating a streamlined plan that would no longer require people who rent commercial rafts and kayaks to carry Aquatic Invasive Species permits, a move billed as a near no-brainer for Oregon waterways. “I think it’s going to make life easier for everyone,” said Sgt. Shawn Richards of the Jackson County sheriff’s Marine Patrol. “We do yearly inspections on liveries, so we know they’re compliant. This way, if there’s not a tag on the boat, we don’t have to hassle the clients.
“We could literally write tickets all day long. But we’ve seen an improvement since the law went into affect,” Massey said Tuesday. “I’m sure once the surprise and newness wears off, people will go back to using them.”
Oregon Democrats say that they have an opportunity with the upcoming election to recruit more rural and minority voters to their cause, despite the substantial ideological gap between the state’s cities and its more rural areas east of the Cascade mountains.
EDUCATION & HIGHER EDUCATION
Youth CareerConnect streamlines the internship process. The internship coordinators oversee an online system that Condit and others involved call a kind of “Match.com for internships.” People ages 16-24 can upload their applications to the site, and businesses can put up internship postings. “Schools and businesses won’t have to make hundreds of calls to set up internships,” Condit said.
Special elections in odd-numbered years have a way of catching people off guard. It feels as though the confetti from last year’s big general election still needs to be swept up, and here comes another ballot in the mail. It takes an effort of will to focus on such elections, because the issues are as dry as an Oregon pinot gris but less intoxicating — no high-profile clashes of candidates, no juicy statewide initiatives. This creates a risk of low turnout.