Oregon’s People

COMMENTARY

Is Timber Unity becoming disunified?

BY: - August 4, 2022

The rural activist group Timber Unity recently passed its third birthday. How many more it may have has become a notable question – and whether, even now, it is becoming Timber Disunity. The group started as a coalition of farmers, wood industry workers and truck drivers, backed financially by several businesses in that field, aiming […]

First debate delivers telling first impressions of candidates for Oregon governor

BY: - August 3, 2022

Candidates for governor are in a league of their own. Debates matter in these contests. Heads turn when the power hitters come to bat. And, unlike in the primaries, these are not events when the voters who show up are all wearing team caps. So, it’s the unaffiliated voters, now more numerous than ever in […]

Nick Kristof returning to the New York Times after failed run for Oregon governor

BY: - August 1, 2022

Columnist Nick Kristof is headed back to the New York Times less than a year after he quit to begin an ill-fated campaign for governor of Oregon.  Kristof, who grew up in Yamhill County, previously wrote for the Times from 1984 to October 2021. He then began running for governor as a Democrat, but his […]

Most Oregonians favor stricter gun control laws at state and federal level, survey finds

BY: - July 18, 2022

Across geography, age, race and gender, a majority of Oregonians favor tighter gun control laws at the state and national level, according to a recent survey. The nonpartisan Oregon Values and Beliefs Center in Portland found that nearly 60% favored stricter federal gun regulations, and 56% said the same about the state’s regulations. The center […]

Director of Oregon prisons selected to lead federal prisons system

BY: - July 12, 2022

Colette Peters, director of Oregon’s prison system, was appointed Tuesday by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to lead the federal Bureau of Prisons. In a statement, Garland said Peters is “uniquely qualified to lead the Bureau of Prisons in its efforts to ensure the rehabilitation, health, and safety of incarcerated people, a safe and secure […]

COMMENTARY

Oregon gubernatorial race takes a turn with U.S. Supreme Court decisions 

BY: - July 7, 2022

The independent gubernatorial candidacy of Betsy Johnson is predicated on bringing together two dissatisfied groups – Republicans unhappy with the Trumpy side of their party, Democrats unhappy with the Portland-style liberalism in theirs – with independents to form a polyglot plurality.  She took a useful step in that direction with her call for a series […]

New land conservation director sees the ‘big picture’

BY: - July 5, 2022

When not working, Brenda Ortigoza Bateman enjoys playing the piano and singing folk songs, hymns and ballads.  She also plays piano at her church, the Salem First United Methodist Church. Her ability to weave musical threads together in harmony and collaborate with others will serve her well in her new job. In May, Bateman became […]

Only one certainty in governor’s race: The 3 candidates will debate

BY: - July 1, 2022

The three women running for governor of Oregon will debate each other before the November election. When, where and what about remains undetermined. Debates about debates heated up over the past couple weeks, with Democrat Tina Kotek calling for a forum solely dedicated to gun violence and unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson seeking televised debates in […]

Oregon’s State Library added to National Register of Historic Places

BY: - June 23, 2022

The Oregon Capitol now has some company on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service added the State Library, built in 1938, to its list of historically significant buildings, the library announced last week. The modernist building’s inclusion in the national register means it could be eligible for tax breaks or grants, […]

Gas station

Biden pitches a summer gas tax holiday as price hovers around $5 a gallon

BY: - June 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on Congress and state legislatures to provide a temporary reprieve from gas taxes — but members of his own party and Republicans appeared opposed, making it look unlikely on the federal level. In addition, many state legislatures are out of session for the year and aren’t expected […]

Oregon’s Environmental Quality Department chief announces retirement

BY: - June 22, 2022

Richard Whitman, the director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, announced Wednesday that he will retire at year’s end. The decision was not a sudden one, according to Harry Esteve, a department spokesperson.  “He’s 65, about to turn 66, and he’s been in state government for 25 years,” Esteve said. “He felt the time […]

For the first time, Juneteenth is a state holiday in Oregon

BY: - June 19, 2022

A national celebration of the end of slavery that has its Oregon roots in a shipyard in the 1940s will be a state holiday for the first time this year. For more than 150 years, African-American communities have celebrated June 19, or Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day in 1865 that Union troops finally arrived […]