Blog Post
September 7, 2019

September 5, 2019 Daily Clips

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS 

 

Senators condemn Trump decision to divert Klamath Falls military project money to border wall

Oregonlive

Oregon’s senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, have condemned President Donald Trump’s administration after they announced Wednesday that the Pentagon would divert funding from military construction projects to finance a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Some of that funding had been approved by Congress to pay for an $8 million rifle range and $2.5 million in fuel facility upgrades, both from Kingsley Field, a National Guard base in Klamath Falls. The Pentagon on Wednesday announced that $3.6 billion worth of military construction projects nationwide would be postponed and the money instead would be funneled into border wall construction, according to an NPR report.

 

The Merger of Two Health Giants Raises Questions About Access to Reproductive Health Services

Willamette Week

Critics fear the recently announced merger of two large local health insurers—Providence Plan Partners and CareOregon—could leave patients worse off. Providence, which is affiliated with the Catholic Church, does not cover the cost of abortions and a host of other reproductive health services for private clients. Now Providence, the state's largest health care system, wants to take over CareOregon, one of the state's biggest Medicaid providers, serving one quarter of those on the Oregon Health Plan. That raises concerns that tens of thousands of Medicaid patients could lose access to services as basic as Pap smears.

 

Oregon Labor Union Wants Voters to Limit Grocers to Two Self-Checkout Stations Per Store

Willamette Week

Oregonians rarely pump their own gas. One of the state's most powerful labor unions wants to make sure they don't bag their own groceries. A ballot initiative petition headed to the Oregon Attorney General's Office would limit the number of self-checkout stations to two per store. The Oregon AFL-CIO labor union will be submitting "The Grocery Store Service and Community Protection Act" to the attorney general for approval Thursday. From there, the union would need to gather 112,020 signatures for it to be added to the 2020 ballot.

 

Trade war rattles Oregon’s economy

East Oregonian 

Speaking last month on stage in Pennsylvania, President Donald Trump complained about Japanese auto imports — and then ridiculed one of the Northwest’s largest exports. “They (Japan) send thousands and thousands — millions — of cars. We send them wheat. Wheat,” the president deadpanned, eliciting derisive laughter from his audience. “That’s not a good deal. And they don’t even want our wheat. They do it because they want us to at least feel that we’re OK. You know, they do it to make us feel good.” The comments left Oregon wheat farmers concerned. They were alarmed not just that the president was disparaging their crops, but also that his comments appeared to signal a lack of interest in reducing Japanese tariffs that were making U.S. wheat uncompetitive. Wheat and grains are Oregon’s fourth-largest export category, with more than 40% going to Japan and China.

 

LOCAL

 

Summer Is Almost Over, But There's Still Risk Of Wildfires For Western Oregon

Oregon Public Broadcasting 

Although Oregon has seen a less intense fire season than in previous years, forestry officials say there’s still a risk for the western part of the state as summer turns into fall. As we move into September, the risk for wildfires in Oregon drops to normal levels, according to Blake Ellis, fire operations manager for the Oregon Department of Forestry. “Normal risk for September in western Oregon is still very high for us,” Ellis said. “That’s when we’re going to see our east winds come over the mountains, drop the relative humidities, live woody fuel moistures are going to plummet. So, that’s really when western Oregon is going to be at the height of their fire danger.”

 

UGM hosts public forum to discuss proposed sit-lie ordinance

Statesman Journal 

A public forum on Salem's proposed sit-lie ordinance took place Wednesday night at the Union Gospel Mission in downtown Salem. The meeting began at 5:30 p.m. with panelists from UGM, the Salem Housing Authority, the Salem Police Department and the City Attorney's Office. The sit-lie portion of the ordinance would restrict sleeping or lying on city sidewalks from  7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and would apply citywide. The ordinance would also restrict the homeless' ability to set up campsites on sidewalks all day or night.

 

Clark College Board Finds Case Violated School's Discrimination Policy

Oregon Public Broadcasting 

At a special board meeting this week, the Clark College Board of Trustees revealed an investigation into four reports of discrimination at the Vancouver, Washington, community college. They say in at least one case, Clark’s nondiscrimination policy was violated. “We’ve taken these complaints very seriously,” trustee chair Jane Jacobsen said. After a brief executive session Tuesday, the trustees unanimously voted that one of the complaints, related to an employee’s salary, detailed a situation that violated the college’s code on discrimination and harassment. Trustee Paul Speer said the employee’s pay disparity has been “retroactively remedied.”

 

New details emerge in DA’s case against Joey Gibson, others in antifa-Patriot Prayer clash at Portland bar

Oregonlive

In newly unsealed documents, prosecutors allege Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson took numerous steps to incite a riot outside a Northeast Portland bar on May 1 as members of his right-wing group confronted their leftist antifa opponents. The prosecution filed the court documents Aug. 12, but they were made public for the first time Wednesday after a judge last week ordered their release. According to the filings, a Portland police detective identified Gibson on video as “physically pushing” a 31-year-old woman before one of his associates, Ian Alexander Kramer, “eventually” knocks the woman unconscious with a baton.

 

Oregon Sheriff Resigning Over Jail Conditions Faces Inmate Complaint

Oregon Public Broadcasting 

A jail inmate in Burns claims inhumane conditions have made his imprisonment illegal, and that Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward is responsible. Earlier this year Ward wrote an open letter saying that “our severely outdated county jail is not only underfunded, but is out of compliance with the standards required by law, and has been understaffed for years.”

 

Portland Reaches Rental Data Sharing Agreement With Airbnb

Oregon Public Broadcasting 

Portland officials have reached a landmark agreement with one of the largest online vacation rental platforms, Airbnb, that will make it easier to remove listings that violate Portland regulations. Airbnb has agreed to share data with regulators about the listings posted on its site and pay the city a small annual fee to facilitate data sharing and enforcement. The deal follows years of negotiations – and legal action – between the city and the company.

 

Port Commission gives Isom inside track to lead agency

Daily Astorian 

The Port of Astoria Commission has delayed the search for an executive director until December, giving Will Isom, the finance director and interim leader, the inside track after positive reviews. Isom was appointed interim executive director after Jim Knight resigned in June. The Port recently contracted with the Special Districts Association of Oregon to conduct a search for a new director. But Dirk Rohne, the president of the commission, said the Port has latitude in how to proceed and might be better off waiting to see how Isom performs.

 

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