Commentary

Democrats learn to wave at the log trucks in rural Yamhill County

BY: - April 15, 2022

Six of the leading Democratic primary candidates in Oregon’s new Congressional district have more in common than their largely indistinguishable policy agendas. Each of them has spent at least half a day, some a full nine hours, touring Yamhill County and driving old logging roads with the county’s only Democratic commissioner, Casey Kulla. Yamhill County, […]

Same stale answers won’t solve Oregon’s homeless challenges

BY: - April 13, 2022

In the early morning hours of March 27, an unspeakable tragedy happened in Salem. Four homeless residents of our community died when a driver left the road and struck their tent encampment. Two more were gravely injured, but survived.  Three of the four killed were under 30, as was one of the two who were […]

Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint, view north

As drones proliferate, Oregon parks agency is considering new rules

BY: - April 11, 2022

For anyone who enjoys any of Oregon’s state parks or the coast, this is important. You have until 5 p.m. Friday, April 15, to offer your opinion on new rules regulating drones at our state’s most cherished and iconic geographic sites. In 2021, with the guidance and assistance of Kenji Sugahara, CEO and president of […]

Oregon’s report on domestic terrorism gives good starting points to counter violence

BY: - April 8, 2022

The problem of domestic terrorism isn’t new, but some of the possible routes to a solution in Oregon probably are new at least to many of us. The report where they can be found comes from the Oregon Secretary of State’s Audits Division. This technically isn’t an audit – that would entail more cost and […]

Oregon State Seal Capitol

Reforms to PERS were needed, but Oregon leaders still shy from discussing pension issues

BY: - April 4, 2022

For decades in Oregon, the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) has been the source of much-debated fiscal problems for the state, its school districts, cities and counties. But now that the rising costs of the system have finally stabilized, at least temporarily, the politicians who helped to craft its much-needed course correction don’t want to […]

Official ballot site election

Oregon voters want more help from the press to learn about candidates for governor

BY: - April 1, 2022

SALEM ­– Oregon’s press has a tremendous opportunity now to perform a public service, earn trust, and build new ways to provide vital information. The governor’s race this year could use such an approach. Democrats will have 15 candidates to choose from on May 17. Most of the reporting so far is focused on Tina […]

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler

As Portland again considers reforming its city government, others in state may watch for lessons

BY: - March 31, 2022

In 1900 the city of Galveston, Texas, was thrashed by a hurricane which has been called the deadliest natural disaster in American history. It left much of the city a wreck, and in desperate need of help from its local government. In response, the city changed its form of government to the commission form, which […]

Oregon faces bleak water outlook, and more research into managing water needed

BY: - March 28, 2022

Earlier this month Governor Kate Brown, at the request of local officials, declared a drought emergency for Klamath County when snowpack in the area fell to 60 percent of normal. That news didn’t make the top headlines on the county government’s website last week, but another water emergency did: A serious drying of residential wells. […]

Oregonians don’t want a party hack in governor’s office

BY: - March 23, 2022

For some Oregonians, the race for governor isn’t about who can raise the most money. And these voters aren’t interested in who can parrot party platforms without flaw. Instead, they seek a new governor who is somewhat blind to party affiliation. Such a governor, they think, can unite the state. That governor would energize more […]

Responses to the pandemic are driving Innovation in Oregon schools

BY: - March 18, 2022

This is a week when parents and kids are celebrating the end of mask mandates in schools throughout Oregon. For many, it feels like a huge relief to return to the “old normal” in our classrooms. But the old normal won’t be good enough to overcome what our kids have lost during the past two […]

By the numbers, filings for Oregon offices provide political fodder

BY: - March 16, 2022

Oregon’s two top political parties did a solid job of candidate recruitment this year. At least when it comes to the numbers. What those numbers mean when the two sets of elections come around in May and November is a different question. The sheer population of candidates this year at the federal and state level […]

For those outside Oregon’s urban areas, the urban-rural issue is an opportunity for next governor

BY: - March 15, 2022

Recent listening sessions with Oregonians about the governor’s race were revealing. Common themes emerged, no matter the location in the state or the political leanings of those participating. These people are very alert to the urban-rural divide. They see opportunity but want a governor who gets out of Salem more. These are people who don’t […]