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.

Brown returns from international climate summit energized to push Oregon’s plans ahead

By: - December 3, 2021

Gov. Kate Brown wants Oregonians to quit wasting food to help reduce greenhouse gases. The initiative to do so took Brown halfway around the world to the United Nations l Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, last month. The Oregon governor explained the state’s drive to cut down on food waste as a panelist at […]

What public service showed me about how governing in Oregon can work

By: - November 29, 2021

Around Oregon, hundreds of people volunteer to serve on public boards and commissions, a key part of the machinery of government. Until earlier this month, I was one of them. In 2017, Gov. Kate Brown appointed me to the newly established Oregon Public Records Advisory Council. Service on the council underscored lessons learned from a […]

Fort Stevens State Park

More power, better restrooms and new visitor centers – Oregon parks to get major upgrades

By: - November 22, 2021

The electrical system at Beverly Beach State Park on the Oregon coast hasn’t kept pace with the ever-growing size of RVs pulling into the campground. When a circuit blows, repairs aren’t easy. “You can’t just go fix one site,” said Jered Mangini, park manager. “You have to turn off power for from six to 10 […]

COMMENTARY
Oregon cattle grazing

Votes in eastern Oregon to shift to Idaho deserve attention – on both side of the Cascades

By: - November 22, 2021

The movement to shift big chunks of Oregon into Idaho got another convert earlier this month. Harney County voters put their muscle behind the idea of cutting ties to Oregon and living under the Gem State, favoring the concept 63% to 37%. The local ballot measure is like others passed around the state in the […]

Oregon highway work

‘Sense of urgency’ in Oregon should follow passage of infrastructure bill, DeFazio says

By: - November 14, 2021

Oregonians should see work start next year on transportation projects funded by the massive infrastructure bill, according to U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon. DeFazio said Oregon will get better highways, repaired bridges and ports dredged to ease commerce. He said in a press briefing last week that passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act […]

Oregon bridge work

Oregon transportation officials already at work planning to spend new billions

By: - November 8, 2021

SALEM – Travis Brouwer had given up on Congress Friday afternoon. Brouwer, an assistant director of the Oregon Department of Transportation, was eager to see the federal infrastructure package pass. That would mean billions for Oregon in the coming years and the state agency was already planning what to do with it. But Brouwer thought […]

Democrats in Oregon delegation applaud infrastructure passage, lone Republican silent

By: - November 7, 2021

Much of Oregon’s Congressional delegation sees nothing but good news for the state in the passage of the federal infrastructure legislation. The U.S. House on Friday passed the $1.2 trillion package to fix roads, airports, railways and broadband across the country. The state’s four Democrat representatives voted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, including […]

Restaurant tax coming to Cannon Beach, southern Oregon dam gets repair money in Tuesday’s vote

By: - November 3, 2021

Prineville will get a new courthouse, Mill City will allow marijuana sales and Harney County becomes the latest county to take on the idea of moving portions of Oregon to Idaho – all the result of voter action in the special election held Tuesday. In local results, voters supported most tax requests for law enforcement […]

COMMENTARY

Your guest commentary welcome – but please heed our guidelines

By: - October 25, 2021

Through guest commentaries, Oregon Capital Chronicle will provide a safe place for discussion of state issues and policies. We invite you to participate in civil discourse that is informative, engaging and thought provoking. Of particular interest are pieces that consider solutions – how do we as Oregonians fix an issue or progress on better care […]

COMMENTARY

Your commentary welcome – but please heed our guidelines

By: - October 8, 2021

Through guest commentaries, Oregon Capital Chronicle will provide a safe place for discussion of state issues and policies. We invite you to participate in civil discourse that is informative, engaging and thought provoking. Of particular interest are pieces that consider solutions – how do we as Oregonians fix an issue or progress on better care […]

COMMENTARY

Earning reader trust is a central goal for your new Oregon Capital Chronicle

By: - October 5, 2021

SALEM – These days, not enough journalistic eyes are keeping watch on Oregon state government. That isn’t good for Oregonians or even for those in government. Every aspect of life connects with state agencies and officials. Decisions by the state can affect where you can build a house, how well your kids will be educated […]