Oregon’s new climate program will help us all breath a little easier

BY: - January 27, 2022

One morning last summer, I started my day by checking my Oregon Air app, which displays readings from air quality monitors across the state. That’s how I decide if I’ll have good air for my morning walk or my bike ride. By the look of the eerie orange glow outside my window (a result of […]

Graduation rate news may disguise what’s really happened to Oregon students

BY: - January 24, 2022

We learned last week that Oregon’s high school graduation rate for the class of 2021 was not as bad as many had feared. It declined by just two percentage points, from a high of 83%, after a full year of shuttered classrooms and disrupted learning. Was this good news or bad for our pandemic-forced experiment […]

Secretary of State glass door

Oregon Supreme Court could clear up ‘residency’ for more than just Kristof’s campaign

BY: - January 20, 2022

The Oregon Supreme Court may issue a narrow ruling when it decides between gubernatorial candidate Nicholas Kristof and Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, but it would better serve the state to take a broader view. The narrow focus would review the details of Kristof’s immediate case and his request for the ballot status that Fagan’s […]

An alarming account of how a 2-year-old broke a political logjam in Oregon

BY: - January 18, 2022

Little known fact: my son, at age 2, played a role in ending an exceedingly long and ugly battle over the state budget during the June 2002 special session of the Oregon Legislature. This was the third special session that year and up to that point was one of the longest in Oregon’s history. The […]


The Klamath Basin has two possible fates – a report explores where each takes the area

BY: - January 14, 2022

Here’s a recipe for concentrated depression. The embattled and seriously troubled Klamath Basin, a center of social and environmental pathologies for two decades and more, facing a future, three decades hence, where climate change could make conditions far worse. You could spin a dystopian novel from that. Or you could tell a more optimistic story. […]

In pressing Kristof for documents and answers, Capital Chronicle was pursuing facts

BY: - January 11, 2022

Nick Kristof cited his taxes, voting history and business operation in staking his right to run for governor. The appropriate next step for reporters seemed apparent: Let’s see the documents. That would provide Oregonians direct information about matters Kristof himself was putting in the public record. So, the Oregon Capital Chronicle asked Kristof for his […]

Legislators resist electoral reforms in Oregon at their peril in the future

BY: - January 7, 2022

If you want to get a sense of emerging political issues, the kind that legislatures initially ignore and later scramble to get ahead of, a good place to start is to look at the ballot initiatives filed for the next statewide election in Oregon. There are 48 of these “prospective initiatives” filed for 2022. No […]

Oregon highway work

Oregon could use a new czar and beefed up oversight as federal money flows

BY: - January 6, 2022

Oregon is about to be awash in federal money, pouring in by the millions to fix roads, build internet access, purify drinking water and more. Such sudden infusions can overwhelm common sense and accountability, as the state has experienced in recent months. But state and local authorities could act now to guard against misuse or […]

Oregon State Seal Capitol

In a highly political year in Oregon, several factors could influence campaigns, voter mood

BY: - January 5, 2022

In 2022 many of Oregon’s biggest stories will be political: A new governor, two new members of Congress and more. What those changes look like, whether simply of personality or of wholesale direction, may flow from some of the other developments we see in the months ahead. Where is Covid-19 headed, for example? The clock […]

The country is enduring an ‘infodemic’ but it can be treated with more trusted information

BY: - January 1, 2022

As the anniversary approaches of the Jan. 6th storming of the nation’s Capitol, and as the omicron-related spike in Covid cases spreads nationwide, we will be hearing a lot in the coming weeks about disinformation. Mounting evidence suggests that disinformation played a critical role in both the ongoing pandemic and in ongoing support among some […]

The tale of Jordan Cove provides lessons in government regulation – and patience

BY: - December 28, 2021

Snap decisions, so often prized, are not always the best. Sometimes the inefficiencies of government and regulation can lead to the right result. Consider the recently defunct – after half a year of suspended animation, and a dozen years of regulatory limbo – the Jordan Cove Energy Project. Go back a generation or slightly more […]

Oregon’s new congressional district has a diversity that likely limits a lean too far one direction

BY: - December 21, 2021

When Stephen Colbert hosted his satiric political talk show some years back, he often profiled a congressional district somewhere around the country, describing its particular characteristics and enthusiastically declaring it the “Fighting 17th!” Or whatever it was. Built into the gag was the idea, often valid, that a given congressional district actually has specific and […]