Liam Moriarty

CHRIS PHAN / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

 

This has been – to put it mildly – an unusual presidential election season. And for the first time in many years, Oregon’s May 17th primary could actually make a difference in the outcome at both major party nominating conventions.

But now that the primary is suddenly relevant, a lot of people find themselves confused about how the process works.

Let’s sort it out, shall we?

Liam Moriarty / Jefferson Public Radio

Roseburg, Oregon, site of the recent mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, is a rural, conservative timber town in which firearms are a traditional part of the culture and gun rights are cherished.

In the wake of the shooting, calls for new gun laws were vigorously rejected by public officials and many residents. But some long-time members of the community feel there should be more emphasis on gun safety.

Liam Moriarty / Jefferson Public Radio

A number of community colleges around Oregon held vigils Wednesday evening to honor the victims of the shooting last week at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg.

Laurie Avocado / Wikimedia Commons

Legal marijuana is a rapidly-growing reality. Four states, including Oregon and Washington, have legalized recreational use of the drug. Several more – including California – could well do so by the end of next year. Forty states have legalized it in some form for medicinal use.

Wikimedia Commons

Chances are your utility bill has gone up this year. One small part of the reason may be that you’re paying for electricity that was never generated. From Jefferson Public Radio, Liam Moriarty takes a look at how Northwest electricity customers got saddled with more than $2.5 million in payments for power they didn’t use.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

  In all three West Coast states, transportation accounts for the largest share of climate-changing greenhouse gases. And all three states are trying to boost the number of zero-emission vehicles on their roads. This week, California passed a milestone toward that goal; 100-thousand electric cars sold in the state since the end of 2010.

Oregon Military Department

Wildfires in the West are getting bigger, hotter – and more costly. A new report from a national science advocacy group says climate change is one major reason wildfires are getting worse.

And short-sighted development policies are a big reason they’re costing more. Jefferson Public Radio’s Liam Moriarty explains.

National Interagency Fire Center

Fires continue to rage through tinder-dry wildlands in Oregon, Washington and California. Nearly a million acres have burned so far, destroying more than 200 homes.

With the nation’s eyes turned toward the Northwest, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and the Obama Administration have taken the opportunity to renew their efforts to change how the federal government pays to fight -- and prevent – wildfires. From Jefferson Public Radio, Liam Moriarty explains.

Zoey / livetiny365.com

Since 1950, the size of the average American house has nearly tripled, to more than 2,400 square feet. Not coincidentally, US consumers on average also pay a much larger portion of their income on keeping a roof over their heads. Now, as JPR’s Liam Moriarty reports, a small but growing number of people – in the Northwest and beyond -- are scaling back their housing needs and trading square footage for more time and freedom.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It’s been ninety years since the last native California wolf was trapped and killed. Last week, Oregon wildlife officials announced that OR-7, the wolf they’ve tracked wandering in and out of northern California, had found a mate and fathered a new litter in southern Oregon. That news contributes to the growing sense that it’s only a matter of time till wolves re-inhabit the Golden State. Against this backdrop, California wildlife officials extended endangered species status to the gray wolf. From Jefferson Public Radio, Liam Moriarty reports.

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