Oregon’s People

Syringe and opioid pills

Addiction to drugs, alcohol deepens in Oregon, report shows

BY: - February 7, 2022

Oregon has the worst drug addiction rate in the country, federal data show. The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health said that 9% of teens and adults were addicted to drugs in 2020. About 12% of Oregonians aged 12 and older said they had an alcohol problem. That compares with nearly 7% in […]

Oregon Legislature gets to work with speeches, flowers and courtesy

BY: - February 2, 2022

Legislators returned to Salem on Tuesday to start the 2022 legislative session. The House elected a new speaker, Corvallis attorney Dan Rayfield, who was first elected in 2014. Rayfield urged his colleagues to work to understand each other’s motivations and recognize that they all want to do good for Oregon. Two new representatives – Democrats […]

Julie Siepmann waiting on the phone

Callers face long waits on Oregon’s child abuse hotline

BY: - February 2, 2022

Julie Siepmann waits until she gets home to call the state to report a child who appears to be in danger. A clinical social worker who interviews children suspected of being abused, she’d prefer to call when she’s at work but the wait times for the child abuse hotline are too long. Reaching a screener […]


Legal help for undocumented workers would benefit them – but also Oregon’s economy

BY: - February 1, 2022

A little over a year ago, when much of the economy remained shut due to the Covid pandemic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a memo outlining the jobs “essential” to the nation’s “critical infrastructure.” When researchers examined those categories, they discovered that undocumented workers are much more likely to perform essential work than […]

Most money, media attention flows to few candidates, but many are running for governor

BY: , and - January 28, 2022

When Oregon’s registered Democrats and Republicans receive their primary ballots this spring, they’ll likely see about a dozen candidates for governor. Chances are, they’ll only recognize a few of the names.  With nearly four months to go before the primary election, candidates have already fallen into two groups. There are the frontrunners, those with high-profile […]

Oregon Health Authority director hospitalized after fall

BY: - January 25, 2022

The Oregon Health Authority’s director, Patrick Allen, was hospitalized on Sunday after a “serious” fall, according to a news release from the agency. It said he is being evaluated for subsequent heart issues and would be discharged soon. The release said Allen does not have Covid-19. “Director Allen has helped Oregon get through the COVID-19 […]

Colt Gill, Education Department director

Oregon’s state education director a quiet, collaborative force in the turbulence of pandemic

BY: - January 3, 2022

Colt Gill gets up at 2:30 every morning, thinking about his duty to the principals, teachers, students and school staff in Oregon’s 216 school districts and education service districts.  The director of the state Education Department is in action, answering emails, conferring with his deputy director Carmen Urbina and responding to text messages from school […]

Slowing effects of climate change among priorities for Oregon’s new watersheds director

BY: - December 29, 2021

Lisa Charpilloz-Hanson learns best out in the field, which is how the new director of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board found herself, first month on the job, standing over a bridge in Tillamook watching salmon and steelhead swim upstream. In her new role, Charpilloz-Hanson now has a hand in how to spend $170 million each […]

Oregon state senator asked to act on shifting counties to Idaho – a request he sought

BY: - December 10, 2021

An eastern Oregon legislator is being called on his declaration that he would advance the idea of moving portions of Oregon to Idaho – if county commissioners asked. Such legislation would be a big step forward for a quixotic political effort to reject governance by Oregon officials and seek the embrace of a more Republican, […]

Sen. Sara Gelser Blouin

Oregon state senator honored for pressing for fixes to Oregon’s foster care system

BY: - December 6, 2021

State Sen. Sara Gelser Blouin has been working on child welfare issues for a long time. In 2007, after being elected to the Oregon House for Corvallis, the Democrat sponsored Karly’s Law, which strengthened protections for abused children.  In 2015, she was elected to the state Senate, where she spearheaded legislation that makes investigations into […]

After more than three decades, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio is done with Congress

BY: , and - December 1, 2021

Peter DeFazio was waiting for three things to happen before he ended his decades-long congressional career. First, Donald Trump needed to be out of the White House. Second, Oregon needed its long-awaited sixth congressional district. And finally, Democrats needed to control Congress. He finally checked those three boxes this year, and now he’s ready to […]

Our House of Portland

Survey: Older lesbian, gay, bisexual Oregonians suffer high rates of discrimination, abuse

BY: - November 22, 2021

A majority of older lesbian, gay and bisexual Oregonians have experienced discrimination and many have been subjected to elder abuse, according to a survey commissioned by the Oregon Human Services Department. The survey indicated that this population suffers from relatively high rates of poverty, suicidal thoughts and housing and economic instability. Many interviewed for the […]