Commentary

chicken operation

Oregonians fight for a moratorium on factory farms

BY: - January 30, 2023

Oregon has more miles of polluted waterways than any other state. Meanwhile, residents in Northeast Oregon are fighting for safe drinking water after decades of contamination.  Our mounting water crisis is playing out against a backdrop of climate change-driven mega-drought that threatens water scarcity statewide. Legislators in Salem must see these events for what they […]

The Deschutes River narrows after irrigators draw off water in Bend.

It’s time to reevaluate notion that Oregon’s rivers are a faucet for agriculture

BY: - January 27, 2023

Many of Oregon’s rivers are drained every summer to support the agricultural industry, but fisheries, wildlife and the water quality itself is hurt in the process. Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate the archaic notion that Oregon’s rivers are nothing more than a faucet for the ag industry. Last fall here in Bend, irrigators began the […]

Tax forms for IRS

U.S. House Republicans go to bat for wealthy tax cheaters and against the national interest

BY: - January 24, 2023

The new House majority nearly came to blows in electing one of their own as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. But those deep fissures were nowhere to be seen days later, when they voted unanimously for a bill that would protect the rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else. Right out […]

Fifty years later, our lives still at risk

BY: - January 22, 2023

Fifty years ago, a very different U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. Radical right-wing extremists control the Supreme Court and serve in elective office. We have fewer freedoms than we did a generation ago. We suffer, and women die because of it. When the Supreme Court ruled last June to strip away our rights […]

Legislative session opens with dozens of proposed constitutional changes

BY: - January 19, 2023

Lawmakers face 38 proposed changes to the state constitution this session. Few will pass. Massive and drastic change is something to be wary of when it comes to altering the state’ core governing document, though the voters do approve changes from time to time. But the proposals do carry messages, including of Republican frustrations in […]

This MLK Jr. Day, let’s learn lessons from history

BY: - January 16, 2023

Every year, the arrival of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday calls us to pause and reflect on King’s legacy. And every year, I’m struck by the same thing: As sincere as we are in our reverence for King, we keep learning the wrong lessons not just from his life but from history writ large. Let me […]

Syringe and opioid pills

Meth, fentanyl big problems in Idaho, too, which didn’t decriminalize drugs

BY: - January 13, 2023

This makes for a simple and compelling storyline: Since Oregon has loosened its marijuana and other drug laws – through ballot measures in 2014 and 2020 – law enforcement agencies have been reporting massive seizures in the state of illegal pot and large-scale illegal operations in rural parts of the state. The implicit message is […]

health insurance marketplace

Time is running out to sign up for health care coverage

BY: - January 11, 2023

If you don’t have health insurance – or just want to explore your options – go to healthcare.gov on or before Jan. 15 to get covered with affordable health insurance.  Having and keeping good quality affordable health care is personal for me. The Affordable Care Act saved my life.  In 2017, I walked into a […]

Legislature needs to follow energy-efficient building recommendations

BY: - January 10, 2023

In the last couple of years, Oregon experienced unprecedented and extreme heat waves and wildfires, resulting from climate change. During these events, those fortunate enough to have comfortable homes and workplaces can go inside to escape the heat and smoke. Many Oregonians don’t realize the very buildings that protect us from the hazards of climate […]

Tina Kotek at the Oregon Business Plan Summit on Dec. 12 2022

Decisions made last year will play out in Oregon in 2023

BY: - January 5, 2023

This year, the state will learn what how the decisions made in 2022 will look like in practice.  This is likely to be most obvious in the political and governmental sphere. Oregon elected a new governor and three new members of Congress in November, but that is the beginning of the story, not the end. […]

Gov. Brown’s death row decision marks step toward better system of justice

BY: - December 22, 2022

Gov. Kate Brown’s announcement last week that she was commuting the death sentences of the 17 remaining people on Oregon’s death row to life in prison is an important step toward ending a system of justice that creates more victims than it purports to help.  I first encountered the consequences of capital punishment when reporting […]

Legislature doesn’t have to look far to find money to tackle the housing crisis

BY: - December 16, 2022

Calling it the “number one issue throughout Oregon,” more than two dozen mayors recently wrote to the Oregon Legislature asking for $125 million in annual funding to address homelessness. “Cities cannot be left to solve this statewide crisis by ourselves,” the bipartisan group of mayors noted.  Although the mayors did not identify the source of […]