Oregon Public Broadcasting
The Oregon Legislature will pay more than $1.1 million in damages to eight women who were sexually harassed at the state Capitol as part of a settlement agreement with the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries. The Legislature and the state’s labor department have been in mediation talks after an unprecedented report found the Capitol is a hostile work environment and that legislative leaders have allowed sexual harassment to carry on in violation of Oregon law.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney is taking a medical leave of absence from the Legislature at a time when he’s under increasing scrutiny for how he handled claims of sexual harassment. Courtney, 75, is the state’s longest-serving Senate president. In a letter to his fellow senators on Tuesday, he said he will be gone for 10 days. “I look forward to returning to the Senate in full health and continuing our work together this session,” he wrote.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Oregon child care regulators have yet to inform the public that a baby died more than six months ago after he stopped breathing at a Lane County day care previously cited for violating safety rules. Federal regulations require states to disclose any death of a child at a licensed child care. In recent years, Oregon officials routinely did so within days or weeks. That changed when the Lane County baby died in August.
Hayes, the former Oregon first lady, has agreed to pay $44,000 for a
litany of ethics violations arising from her use of public office for
personal profit. The transgressions are related to Hayes’ securing work
as a paid consultant by playing off her role as unpaid advisor to Gov.
John Kitzhaber, her longtime fiancé. The resulting influence peddling
scandal enveloped the couple for years and ultimately led to Kitzhaber’s
resignation and Hayes’ financial ruin.
Oregon Bill Would Effectively Ban Death Penalty In State
A proposed bill in Oregon would effectively ban capital punishment in the state by limiting it to terrorism-related killings.The bill would also grant new sentencing trials to all people currently on death row. Lawmakers cannot introduce an outright ban on capital punishment without sending the measure to the ballot box.
The Bend Bulletin
The initial fight over the Trump administration’s abortion gag rule will take place in Oregon. A coalition of national and state health care organizations and 21 state attorneys general filed a pair of lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Eugene on Tuesday seeking to block implementation of a rule that would prevent doctors and nurses at clinics receiving federal funds for reproductive health services from discussing abortion.
SOS DENNIS RICHARDSON
Secretary of State Dennis Richardson is set to be the first person since 1983 to lie in state in the Oregon Capitol rotunda Wednesday morning and will receive a state funeral later in the day. The public is invited to pay their respects to the long-time Republican public servant from Central Point from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Seating for the funeral service in the House of Representatives chamber will happen around 1:30 p.m. and the service is slated to begin after 2 p.m. The House will be reserved for ticketed individuals only, which include Richardson’s family, Secretary of State employees, current lawmakers and various dignitaries. For people without a ticket, the Senate chamber will be open for seating and the ceremony will be televised on closed circuit television. The televisions in various committee hearing rooms in the building also will be tuned to the House. The service will be streamed on the Legislature’s website.
Oregon’s 26th Secretary of State Dennis Richardson will be honored with a state funeral the Oregon State Capitol Building in Salem on Wednesday. Richardson died on Feb. 27 at the age of 69 after a battle with brain cancer. Richardson’s body is lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda — giving the public the chance to pay their final respects ahead of his funeral. Richardson, an Army veteran, will have military funeral honors conducted by the Oregon National Guard Funeral Honors Team. There will be a funeral flyover with Oregon Army National Guard HH-60M Black Hawk helicopters after a 21-gun rifle salute.
Students and staff in the Eugene district will likely have a longer school year. The Eugene School Board at a meeting Wednesday is set to approve proposed changes made to the district calendar following four consecutive snow days that resulted in district-wide school closures. The changes would push the the end of the school year back to June 18. Students in the Eugene School District were previously set to end the school year June 13.
U.S. wildlife officials plan to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, a move certain to re-ignite the legal battle over a predator that’s rebounding in some regions and running into conflicts with farmers and ranchers, an official told The Associated Press. Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt was expected to announce the proposal during a Wednesday speech before a wildlife conference in Denver, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Spokesman Gavin Shire said in an interview with the AP.
Members of the family that owns Alpenrose Dairy are planning to imminently sell it to a buyer who will not preserve it, posing a threat to a high-profile and historic Portland business and its roughly 150 employees’ jobs, a new lawsuit claims. The lawsuit, which intends to stop the sale, reflects a split between the descendants of the Cadonau family that has operated the dairy, located in the Hayhurst neighborhood of southwest Portland, for more than 125 years. The dairy is home to a velodrome, a midget car racing track, a 4-H discovery farm, and the Little League Softball World Series.
In the cascade of tributes that poured out last week after the death of Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, here’s a story that caught our eye. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum recalled the lunches she frequently had with Richardson, who died Feb. 26 of brain cancer at age 69. At these “check-in” lunches, Rosenblum said, the two would compare notes about a variety of topics that affected both of their agencies. At their last lunch, Rosenblum said, Richardson gave her a coin that was engraved with these words: “Having been given much, what will you give in return?” The words — or, more precisely, the Latin original, “Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus” — served as Richardson’s official motto.
Secretary of State Dennis Richardson was an authentic statesman who restored my faith in public service. As part of his leadership team, I worked closely with him for the past two years. I learned much from both his exemplary life and his tragic death. In the pursuit of excellence, Dennis taught me to aim high. When I first started working for him, he asked me what I thought of an idea. I cynically told him it wouldn’t happen. He respectfully pointed out that I had the wrong mindset. We need to think about what it would take to accomplish a particular goal, not all the reasons it was difficult. He advised me to keep a “Yes, if” not a “No, because” perspective.
The Daily Astorian
As the president of the United Steel Workers, Local Union 1097, I work alongside 600 hardworking union members at Georgia-Pacific’s Wauna paper mill. We are proud of what we do, how we do it and why we do it. We work in facilities that were green before being green was cool. Oregon-based mills rely largely on carbon neutral biomass and hydroelectric power, are energy-efficient and operate with the best-available control technology. Simply put, we are lean, mean, paper-making machines.
It’s all about the planning. Southern Oregonians followed the news about the Camp fire in Paradise, California, last year with mounting concern. Could it happen here? The short answer is yes, but beyond that, how to prepare for an out-of-control firestorm near a populated community has emergency responders thinking ahead. That’s especially true in Ashland, where a city of more than 20,000 sits nestled against a steep forest and where one recent fire destroyed 11 homes before it could be stopped. The Oak Knoll fire of 2010 jumped Interstate 5 after igniting a field of dry grass. In Medford last July, the Penninger fire that started near the Expo burned nine structures and forced the evacuation of Costco along with other businesses and homes as it charred 97 acres.