Oregon

Budget Debates
7:48 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Social Service Advocates Don't Want To Be Left Behind In Budget Debate

Deborah Favors stands in front of her apartment in Stayton, Oregon.
Credit Chris Lehman

Oregon lawmakers will find out later this month how much money will be available to spend in the upcoming budget cycle. So right now, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the budget-writing process. Education, as usual, is in line for the biggest piece of the pie. But human service advocates say after years of budget turmoil, this year could be their chance to restore funding for Oregon’s social safety net. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports:

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Defense of Marriage Act
6:23 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Judge's Order Questions DOMA, Oregon's Measure 36

A judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that a Portland lesbian couple has a right to federal health benefits. April Baer reports.

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Oregon Lumber Mill
6:15 am
Mon April 22, 2013

After 90 Years, A Southern Oregon Mill Closes

Travis Griess stacks lumber at the Rough and Ready mill, a day after it announced its shut down and laid off most of its workers.
Credit Amelia Templeton / EarthFix

This week, Rough and Ready Lumber started shutting down its sawmill in the Southern Oregon town of Cave Junction. It’s a story that’s repeated itself in timber towns across the northwest. In 1980 there were 390 mills operating in Oregon. Today there are 103. EarthFix Reporter Amelia Templeton visited the Rough and Ready mill and has this profile.

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Hair Styling Laws
5:39 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Oregon House Set To Vote On Natural Hair Care Measure

BBC World Service

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 4:27 pm

African-American hair stylists are asking the Oregon legislature to scale back the rules surrounding traditional braiding techniques. The Oregon House is set to vote Monday on a measure that would ease the training requirements for hair treatments that don't involve chemicals.

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Biofuel Debate
7:38 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Carbon Controversy: Should the Northwest Grow Markets For Forest Biofuels?

A slash pile at a timber harvest site in the Tillimook State Forest. Advocates of woody biomass say slash like this can be used to replace fossil fuels.
Credit Marcus Kaufmann

More than a dozen Northwest schools and hospitals have replaced old diesel heating systems with boilers that burn wood pellets. Advocates say that this wood fuel -- called forest biomass -- is an affordable local source of energy. And it can help rural communities cut back on their fossil fuel use.

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Zumwalt Prairie
7:14 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Zumwalt Prairie Named National Natural Landmark

The largest prairie in the Pacific Northwest, Zumwalt Prairie, has been named a National Natural Landmark.
Credit oregon ducatisti / Flickr Creative Commons

The largest prairie in the Pacific Northwest has been named a National Natural Landmark. Northeast Oregon’s Zumwalt Prairie is the largest bunch grassland in the U.S. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Oregon Sales Tax
7:22 am
Mon April 15, 2013

On Tax Day, Oregon Lawmakers Consider A Sales Tax

One of the most politically sensitive topics in Oregon is up for debate at the state capitol Monday. Lawmakers will hold a hearing on whether to ask Oregon voters to approve a sales tax. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Immigrant Drivers' Licenses
6:48 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Oregon Advocates Push Four-Year Licenses For People In The Country Illegally

Oregon DMV

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:04 pm

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon, like most states, doesn’t allow you to get a driver license if you’re in the country illegally. That may change. As Congress debates immigration reform, Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would grant four-year driving privileges to people who otherwise wouldn't qualify for a license. The measure is up for a committee vote Thursday.

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Public Lands Management
6:44 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Western States Gearing Up To Debate Public Land Management

Fire burned a significant section of public land north of Featherville in central Idaho. State lawmakers believe fire risk could be better managed if the state managed these lands instead of the federal government.
Credit Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

For some of us public land in the west is a place to camp and recreate. For all of us, these lands are a source of water and the air we breath. That’s especially true in Idaho - where more than half of the land is federally owned and managed.

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Marijuana Legalization
4:39 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Marijuana Advocates Push Legalization Measure In Salem

Petr Brož Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 3:06 pm

  SALEM, Ore. – Marijuana advocates are taking their message to the Oregon capitol. A legislative panel will consider a measure Tuesday that would legalize and tax the drug. It comes as Washington state is in the process of crafting rules about how to regulate pot after voters there approved legalization.

Still, Anthony Johnson knows he's asking a lot.

"I understand that this is a heavy lift for the legislature to pass this bill this year," he says.

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