News

Cassandra Profita / OPB

The 82,500-acre Elliott State Forest in southwestern Oregon may be staying in public hands after all. Treasurer Tobias Read, who cast a crucial vote last month to proceed with the sale, announced Tuesday that he sees a "path forward" for keeping the forest in public hands.

JT / Flickr

President Trump signed an executive order beginning the process of throwing out the Clean Power Plan. The Obama-era rule was meant to limit greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel electricity production. The governors of Oregon and Washington said this won’t deter them from pursuing regional goals to reduce emissions.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Images

President Trump’s move to undo President Obama’s Clean Power Plan could make it easier for power plants to keep burning coal. But the Northwest’s biggest coal user still plans to cut back on the dirtiest fuel.

DHS Report Raises Questions About Child Protections

Mar 28, 2017
Garry Knight / Flickr

An internal report by the Oregon Department of Human Services found a number of problems in the way the state investigates cases of child abuse. DHS reviewed about 100 cases in counties around the state. In nearly half of them, the reviewer did not agree with the case worker’s conclusion that the children were safe.

Kevin Mooney / Northwest News Network

Sixteen-year-olds in Oregon could soon be registered to vote under a bill the state senate passed today. These teens would still have to wait until they are 18 before they could cast a ballot. But supporters say the measure would help increase turnout among younger voters.

EcologyWA / Flickr

The source of a mysterious sheen on the Columbia River has been found, nearly 10 days after its initial discovery.

The Washington Department of Ecology released a statement Monday, saying leaking underground pipes caused a biodiesel spill near Wenatchee.

Rob Walls from the department’s response team says the size of the leak is unknown.

“You know, we need to kind of do a lot of calculations to figure out what exactly was released to the river," Walls said. "For me I would call this a moderate, moderate event, because there are so many unknowns still to find.”

Awmcphee / Wikimedia Commons

Western Washington drivers, especially those with newer cars, are having sticker shock over their latest car tab fees. The fees went up, based on the Sound Transit 3 measure that voters approved in November. Those charges would be lower under a proposal in Olympia.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

In Washington state, experts say probably more than half of the workers harvesting the apples you eat and the asparagus you grill are undocumented. And farmers and undocumented workers are bracing for deportations President Donald Trump has promised.

KING5 TV, Seattle

The Trump Administration is expected to announce plans to reverse drafts of Obama-era climate change policies this week. Governors and mayors along the West Coast have stated their opposition to the move. Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared Saturday their intention to forge ahead with regional climate change efforts.

AP Images / Associated Press

Washington State’s Attorney General believes the challenge to President Trump’s second executive order would survive a Supreme Court challenge.

Andrew Harnick / Associated Press

Northwest lawmakers reacted Friday to the canceled vote on the Congressional Bill that would have replaced the Affordable Care Act. House GOP leaders pulled the bill just before the vote when it became clear that it didn't have enough votes to pass. 

M.O. STEVENS / WIKIMEDIA - TINYURL.COM/HO43W2R

Oregon businesses would have to offer employees paid time off to care for children or family members under a bill being considered in Salem. The measure would require employers to pay into a fund that workers could use for up to 12 weeks per year, or more in the case of parental leave.

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR / FLICKR

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to lobby against the Republican health care bill designed to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Flickr User laffertyryan / FLICKR Creative Commons

More and more people are using publicly owned lands for recreation. Public agencies are struggling to keep up with the demand for rangers, trail maintenance – even the need to restock toilet paper in outhouses. The problem could get worse under President Trump’s hiring freeze. 

M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons

School districts across Oregon are warning of potentially deep budget cuts, if legislators don’t find additional money for public schools. 

WSU Foley Institute

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says February’s legal success against the Trump Administration’s original travel ban is a major victory for checks and balances.

          

Washington Chief Justice Concerned Over ICE Reports

Mar 23, 2017

Reports of immigration agents staking out courthouses to pick up undocumented immigrants have raised concerns for people throughout the country. The issue has also moved Washington state’s Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst to take action. 

Oregon DEQ Prepares For Big Staff Cuts Under Trump

Mar 22, 2017
Rob Manning / OPB

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality expects to lose more than 30 people in the agency’s core programs protecting air and water quality because of President Trump’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency budget, according to an internal DEQ memo.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter Tuesday declared seven north Idaho counties as disaster areas, thanks to flooding caused by heavy snowmelt and rain.

Flickr User: Wildcat Dunny / FLICKR Creative Commons

Kite flyers, picnickers, and Ultimate players treasure Seattle’s Gas Works Park--but beneath its sparkling grass lies a toxic legacy of its industrial past. Puget Sound Energy is now working with public officials to clean up the mess.

Spokane's Episcopal Diocese Ordains First Female Bishop

Mar 20, 2017
Doug Nadvornick / SPR

Spokane’s Episcopal Diocese installed its first female bishop during a ceremony on Saturday. In the majestic Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, some of the highest-ranking leaders of the American Episcopal Church joined Gretchen Rehberg for one of the most important days of her life.

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

The state of the salmon population in Idaho’s Snake River was the topic of a passionate discussion during a conference hosted by members of Idaho’s Nez Perce Indian tribe over the weekend.

Courtesy of Tesoro

 

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Port of Vancouver regarding a controversial proposed oil terminal.

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Among many proposed budget cuts, the Trump administration wants to completely eliminate the National Endowments for the Humanities and the Arts. The proposed budget cut would  impact numerous art-related programs and groups in Washington state. 

nature.org

 

When wildfires roared through Washington during the summer and fall of 2014 and 2015, they caught people’s attention, even Democratic state lawmakers from the Puget Sound area such as Rep. Larry Springer.

The Daily Astorian

Hunters, fishermen and environmental activists: it’s not often these groups are mentioned in the same breath. But recently they’re finding themselves standing shoulder to shoulder over the issue of public lands.

Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

The Pacific chorus frogs’ call is ubiquitous in the Northwest. But the amphibians are having more and more trouble hearing themselves. Traffic is drowning them out.

Courtesy of the Washington Department of Ecology

One bill would give the state oversight of railroad’s oil spill planning and impose a fee on railroads to pay for spill preparation.

Another would require railroads to prove financial responsibility for oil train crashes. It would also prohibit the legislature from funding new oil or coal projects.

Amelia Templeton / Oregon Public Broadcasting

The West Coast is on track for a meager and potentially disastrous salmon season. Fishery managers today/Monday proposed closures and severe cutbacks protect a record-low run of Klamath River fish.

Rachael McDonald / KLCC

Petroleum industry groups have joined the Trump Administration in seeking appeal of a climate change lawsuit that’s set to go to trial next fall. The suit was brought against the federal government by 21 youth plaintiffs.

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