Daily Clips

Apartment construction is drying up. Is affordable housing measure to blame?

The Oregonian

Portland’s apartment-building binge appears to be headed off a cliff.

Applications for new housing developments have nearly ground to a halt over the past year, and there are plenty of reasons for that. Construction costs have ballooned, as have land prices. The glut of new construction, meanwhile, has taken the wind out of rising rents, at least at the high end. But Portland officials are increasingly worried the city’s inclusionary zoning policy, which compels developers to set aside rent-restricted units in large apartment and condo projects, might be playing a role, too. And if home construction dries up, it could ultimately push housing costs even higher. Only 12 privately financed developments large enough to trigger the mandate, totaling 654 units, have sought building permits since the policy took effect last year. A more typical year in the recent housing boom has seen thousands of new apartments proposed. Those projects would create 89 units geared toward households earning significantly less than the median income.


Salem Lobbyists Slapped For Wasting Capitol’s Broadband

Willamette Week

In a Feb. 15 email to Capitol Club members, Penn said that the excessive usage was forcing the implementation of a new password or “prompt” to rein in excessive streaming.

Here’s how Penn explained the change to his colleagues:

Why do we need a prompt?


The simple reason for changing the Capitol’s “open” environment to a “captive portal” is security and WIFI bandwidth issues.  Legislative Admin’s IT department is now blocking certain websites in the Capitol area on the free public wifi – these include Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, dating sites, gambling sites and gaming sites. They are retaining that new block at this time. Since implementing the changes, IT has seen over 322,000 attempts to access streaming video sites like Amazon, Hulu, HBOGO and others.  That is within the last three days.  Before this change, users were seeing significant reductions in bandwidth and access issues and they hope this will assist with connectivity within the building going forward.  Video streaming of non-business related content was consuming 40% of the available bandwidth, which negatively impacted folks trying to do work while connected to the public wireless.


Aging seniors create workforce boom for retirement homes, assisted living facilities

Albany Democrat-Herald

From 2001 to 2016, the most recent full year data is available from the Oregon Employment Department, the number of private nursing home and residential care workers in Linn and Benton counties increased from 1,893 to 2,481, a jump of roughly 31 percent. Nursing and retirement home employees now make up more than 3 percent of total workers in the mid-Willamette Valley, O’Connor said.


Editorial: Meth remains a scourge in Oregon

Mail Tribune

New numbers released last week tell at least some of the story in Oregon: The Oregon Health Authority, using information gathered from death certificates, reported 141 meth-related deaths in the state during 2016. (Statistics for 2017 are not yet available.) That 2016 number represents a considerable boost from 2012, a year that saw 51 overdose deaths from meth, the Health Authority said. In terms of fatalities, the 2016 toll from meth was just slightly less than the toll from opioids: The Health Authority reported 149 deaths from pharmaceutical and synthetic opioid overdoses in 2016.


The FBI said it failed to act on a tip about the suspected Florida school shooter’s potential for violence

The Washington Post

The FBI ignored a warning that 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz might attack a school, failing to act on a call just weeks before Cruz allegedly carried out a shooting rampage at a high school in South Florida on Valentine’s Day, the bureau said Friday. The disclosure came two days after police say Cruz gunned down 17 people, most of them teenagers, at a high school in Parkland, Fla. The FBI — already facing intense scrutiny for its handling of political matters — described a Jan. 5 tip from “a person close to Nikolas Cruz,” a tip officials acknowledge should have initiated a response. The caller reported concerns about Cruz’s “gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” the FBI said in a statement.


Trump backs efforts to improve federal gun background checks, White House says

Fox News

The White House revealed on Sunday that President Trump would support a push to improve the nation’s system of background checks for would-be gun buyers, days after the shooting massacre at the high school in Parkland, Florida. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump spoke on Friday to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn about a bill the Texas Republican had introduced alongside Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., which would “improve federal compliance with criminal background check legislation.” Sanders continued, “While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the president is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system.”


Facebook will use postcards to verify political ads after Russian meddling


Baffled in 2016 by Russian agents who bought ads to sway the U.S. presidential campaign, Facebook’s global politics and government outreach director, Katie Harbath, told a meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State in Washington on Saturday that the company would send postcards to potential buyers of political ads to confirm they reside in the U.S. The recipient would then have to enter a code in Facebook to continue buying the ad. The method will first apply to ads that name candidates ahead of the midterm elections in November, said Facebook spokesman Andy Stone.


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