Author

Les Zaitz

Les Zaitz

Les Zaitz is a veteran editor and investigative reporter, serving Oregon for more than 45 years. He reported for The Oregonian for 25 years and owns community newspapers and a digital news service. He is a national SPJ fellow, two-time Pulitzer finalist, including for a lengthy investigation of Mexican drug cartels in Oregon and five-time winner of Oregon’s top investigative reporting award. He has investigated corrupt state legislators, phony charities, and an international cult that moved to Oregon, and the biggest bank failure in Oregon history. He also has been active in reforming the state’s public records law and was appointed by the governor to the Oregon Public Records Advisory Council. In his spare time, he operates a ranch nestled in a national forest, feeding horses and assorted animals.

COMMENTARY

Need for trusted journalism is more important than ever to help Oregon progress

By: - July 1, 2022

The fate of news in Oregon should matter mightily to you. Getting the facts about government, the economy, social justice and more is what it takes to make good decisions. And those decisions affect your life – where you chose to live, the quality of teachers educating your kids, the condition of the streets you […]

AROUND THE U.S.: Leaders react, mobilize in states in wake of Supreme Court decision

By: - June 24, 2022

Reaction was swift across the U.S. Friday as the U.S. Supreme Court erased nearly 50 years of abortion law. Here is look at reports from states as reported by independent newsrooms affiliated with States Newsroom: ARIZONA: Arizona Republicans cheer Supreme Court ruling on abortion, Democrats express outrage Reaction in Arizona to the U.S. Supreme Court […]

U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz

Oregon Republican congressman says he never asked colleague to pursue pardon for him

By: - June 24, 2022

U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz said Friday that he was unaware that a colleague had recommended a presidential pardon for his Jan. 6, 2021, vote to challenge the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania. Bentz, Oregon’s lone Republican in Congress, was one of 138 representatives who objected to counting the Pennsylvania election results in the 2020 presidential […]

Oregon’s prison director a finalist to lead federal prison system

By: - June 15, 2022

SALEM – Colette Peters, director of Oregon’s prison system, is poised to become the next director of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. She has been director of the Oregon Department of Corrections since 2012, overseeing 4,400 employees and 12,124 adults in custody. Peters confirmed in an interview with the Capital Chronicle that she is a […]

Southern Oregon man posts bail as he faces riot charge in Idaho

By: - June 14, 2022

A laborer from a rural southern Oregon community was among those charged with conspiracy to riot after they were arrested Saturday on their way to a community celebration in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. Lawrence A. Norman, 32, of Prospect, posted $300 bail and was released from the Kootenai County Jail. Norman could not be reached, but […]

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown

Governor makes lasting impact in Oregon with 100 judges appointed

By: - June 2, 2022

Kate Brown was on the job as Oregon’s governor for just a week in 2015 when she posted an opening for a state judge. Three months later, she named a prosecutor to be a Lane County Circuit Court judge. Now, seven years later, Brown has made her 100th appointment to Oregon courts. Her influence on […]

COMMENTARY
U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz

In wake of Texas shooting, Bentz needs to back his talk of school safety with action

By: - June 1, 2022

In the hours after the deadly school shooting in Texas, only one member of Oregon’s Congressional delegation stayed quiet ­– U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz, a Republican from Ontario. The state’s U.S. senators and four other U.S. representatives weighed in, responding to questions or otherwise pushing for action. In the days after 19 children were gunned […]

chickens

Small territory in eastern Oregon put under quarantine for bird flu risk

By: - May 26, 2022

A new poultry quarantine has been declared in eastern Oregon after avian flu was detected across the border in Idaho. The U.S. Department of Agriculture imposed the regional quarantine, which affects a small area in Malheur County south of the farming community of Nyssa. Dr. Ryan Scholz, Oregon state veterinarian, explained Thursday that the quarantine […]

Colt Gill, Oregon Education Department director, in 2021.

Oregon leaders need to stop disrupting education reforms, report finds

By: - May 25, 2022

Oregon leaders need to press for more accountability while avoiding political “flavor of the month” funding choices so schooling for the state’s 540,000 students can improve, a new state report concludes. State auditors say the $4.6 billion a year spent by the state on education is at risk because education standards aren’t enforced, spending decisions […]

COMMENTARY

Digging deep into an Oregon environmental scandal takes patient reporting

By: - May 24, 2022

The announcement from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in January was eye-catching. The agency was fining a polluter $1.3 million for illegally dumping wastewater more than 1,000 times – and over three years. The agency declared those to be “serious violations of water quality regulations.” And, it said, the polluter “has not been doing […]

An empty patient room at the Children's Farm Home run by Trillium Family Services in Corvallis on Friday, Oct. 29.

Capital Chronicle wins its first journalism awards in regional competition

By: - May 23, 2022

Journalists from the Oregon Capital Chronicle have won two professional awards for work done in just the first three months of the news service’s existence. Deputy Editor Lynne Terry won first place in health and science reporting for her series on the weaknesses in Oregon’s system of care for mentally ill children. The series: CHILDREN […]

THEIR WORDS: Those running for governor answer for rural matters

By: - May 4, 2022

Rural Oregon would get a lot more attention from Salem based on positions staked out by those running for governor. Every candidate running was invited to address questions on key issues facing the state. Journalists across the state drafted the following 15 questions, which were distributed to candidates by the Agora Journalism Center at the […]