Oregon

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Astroturfing is when interest groups run a campaign that’s designed to look like it’s grassroots in nature. A document obtained by public radio shows the oil industry is at the center of more than a dozen Astroturf groups in Washington, Oregon, and California.

Jonathan Martin / Flickr

A new report published Monday identified the culprit behind the mysterious disease that’s been killing millions of West Coast starfish.

After months of research, scientists have identified the pathogen at the heart of the starfish wasting disease.

They said it’s different from all other known viruses infecting marine organisms and have dubbed it as “sea star associated denso virus.”

Oddly enough, West Coast starfish have been living with the virus for decades. The densovirus was detected in preserved starfish specimens from as far back as the 1940s.

Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

Sponsors of a food labeling initiative in Oregon said they haven't conceded the election yet.

Measure 92 would require food manufacturers and retailers to label genetically engineered foods. As of Friday afternoon, it's still losing by about 5,000 votes. But that's close enough to give supporters a glimmer of hope.

Measure 92 supporters are still raising money. They're using it to bankroll an ongoing effort to contact voters with contested ballots.

Yes on 92 spokesman Sandeep Kaushik said he knows it's a bit of a Hail Mary.

John Rosman / OPB

This week, Oregon voters chose to legalize marijuana and to direct the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to draw up rules to tax pot and to keep it out of the hands of people under 21. Now regulators in Oregon have to figure out how to take the pot economy that’s been operating under their noses and turn it into a regulated market.

Oregon GMO Food Labeling Measure Narrowly Defeated

Nov 6, 2014
Stephen D. Melkisethian / Flickr

Oregon voters narrowly defeated a measure that would have required labels on genetically engineered food.

After the most expensive campaign in Oregon's history, 51 percent of voters said no to Measure 92 while 49 percent said yes.

Dana Bieber is with the No on Measure 92 Coalition. She says the defeat is a victory for consumers, farmers and taxpayers.

Oregonians Reject Driver Card Measure

Nov 5, 2014
Oregon DMV

Tuesday Oregon voters rejected Measure 88, a referendum that would have allowed driver cards for Oregonians who can’t prove they’re in the country legally.

Alan Sylvestre / OPB

John Kitzhaber is headed back to office for an unprecedented fourth term as Oregon Governor. The Democrat held a four-point lead over Republican challenger Dennis Richardson Tuesday night.

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

It’s election week. Here in the Northwest, Washington and Oregon voters will cast their ballots by mail – or drop box. In Idaho, most voters still go to the polls.

OregonDOT / Flickr

The race for Oregon governor was supposed to be predictable. An incumbent Democrat is running in a state that hasn't elected a Republican as governor since 1982. But this campaign hasn't exactly followed the script.

Actually, the campaign did follow the script most of the way. You had the incumbent governor, John Kitzhaber, announcing his re-election campaign in an elementary school library.

"Today I am announcing my candidacy for another term as governor of the state of Oregon," Kitzhaber said.

Sybaris Bistro / Northwest News Network

An Oregon chef is asking if you have the guts to celebrate World Tripe Day on Friday. What is tripe? It's the lining of the cow's stomach.

Matt Bennett is the owner of Sybaris Bistro in Albany. He volunteered to promote consumption of beef stomach on behalf of the British-based Tripe Marketing Board.

"They had good luck with calling it Lancashire calamari, Bennett said. "It is very similar in texture. So they said, 'Well, maybe you could do a Portland calamari or Tillamook,' which was funny because they were apparently just looking at a map."

Rick Obst / Flickr

A University of Oregon task force on sexual violence proposed 23 recommendations at a university senate meeting Wednesday.

The task force report is called "Twenty Students Per Week." That refers to about how often undergraduate women at U of O experience unwanted sexual contact. The same survey with those numbers also found most student-victims don't report being sexually assaulted.

"The University of Oregon can become a leader in addressing this problem," Carol Stabile said.

Amid a Mass Die-Off Thousands Of Young Sea Stars Found

Oct 22, 2014
Alexandra MacKenzie / Flickr

A team of divers has discovered thousands of young sea stars off the Oregon coast near Florence. Some say it could be a sign of recovery from a disease that's been wiping out sea stars all along the Pacific coast.

At first, the dive team thought they were barnacles.

But a closer look revealed they were actually thousands of little sea stars covering the rocks.

Divers with the Oregon Coast Aquarium counted more than 200 sea stars in one square meter.

Katie Campbell

The city of Ashland passed a resolution Tuesday night supporting divestment from the fossil fuel industry. It joins Eugene as the only other Northwest city to take this kind of action to fight climate change.

The scope of the resolution is limited.

Mark / Flickr

  The big bucks keep pouring into Oregon ballot measure campaigns. The campaign to pass a recreational marijuana law similar to Washington’s got a big financial boost over the weekend. Even the less flashy top-two primary measure is rolling in out-of-state money.

Lindsay Eyink

The big-money battle is over whether to require food manufacturers and retailers to label genetically engineered foods. A similar initiative also set spending records in Washington state last year.

The group that supports the genetic engineering food labeling measure has raised more than $5 million so far. The group opposed to it has raked in about $11 million. More than two weeks remain before Election Day so those numbers will likely grow even higher.

Oregon Leads In Un-Vaccinated Kids

Oct 16, 2014
ILR / Flickr

 According to the report, in Idaho, 6.4 percent of kindergartners were exempt, while in Washington it was 4.7 percent.A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 7.1 percent of kindergartners in Oregon were exempted from vaccinations during last school year. Most of the exemptions were for religious or philosophic reasons.

That’s a far cry from just a few years ago when Washington has the highest rate of unvaccinated kindergartners in the county.

Wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

The fate of cuts to Oregon's public pension system is on the line this week. The Oregon Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a case that pits public employee unions against state government.

At issue: A pair of bills passed by Oregon lawmakers last year and signed by Governor John Kitzhaber. The measures are aimed at reducing the cost of providing pensions for public workers such as teachers, firefighters and state and local government employees. The main way the bills do this is to cut the annual cost of living increase for retirees.

oregon.gov

Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes says she made a "serious mistake" when she married an 18-year-old immigrant in 1997.

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

An Oregon man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for plotting to bomb a crowded holiday event in Portland's town square in 2010.

Mohamed Mohamud was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Portland in a plot that actually was an FBI sting.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

People along the Oregon Coast ran for their lives Sunday to escape an imaginary tsunami. Local, state and federal emergency management agencies hatched the idea for a 5K fun run and walk along an actual tsunami evacuation route in Cannon Beach. The event was an example of trying to inject some levity in the serious business of disaster readiness.

Matt Howry / Flickr

Ballots go out in the mail to Oregon voters in less than three weeks. And that means right now is prime fundraising season for candidates and ballot measure campaigns.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Some Oregon cities are setting themselves up for a possible legal battle if Oregon voters approve a marijuana legalization initiative this fall. Measure 91 would allow adults in Oregon to grow, possess, and sell marijuana under state regulation. Several cities have approved or are discussing a local tax on legal weed if the measure passes. However, it's not clear whether those taxes will be valid.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregonians will decide this fall whether to legalize recreational marijuana. Measure 91 would allow adults in Oregon to grow, possess, and sell marijuana under state regulation.

In 1973, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. But Oregon voters rejected a marijuana legalization measure two years ago.

Backers of this effort said the new measure is written to address concerns raised by opponents the first time around over regulation issues.

The National Guard / Flickr

More than fifty fires continue to burn in the West. Efforts this summer to change how the federal government pays for fire suppression hasn't moved forward. And that has one Oregon lawmaker speaking out.

sean dreilinger / flickr

A wildfire southeast of Portland has grown to more than 3,500 acres and threatens more than 160 homes. Firefighters are expected to catch a break from the hot, dry conditions for a few days until the next round of warm weather moves into the region this weekend. The "36 Pit" fire is just the latest in a series of large fires in the Northwest this summer. 


Oregon State Treasury / http://www.oregon.gov/

Oregonians could have another option when it comes to saving for the future. State treasurer Ted Wheeler outlined a proposal for a state-managed retirement savings plan Monday.

Northern Lights Might Be Visible In the Northwest

Sep 12, 2014
NASA / http://www.nasa.gov/

The Northwest could get a a rare look at the northern lights tonight and tomorrow.

The Aurora Borealis is expected to expand further south than usual, thanks to two solar flares affecting the magnetic poles. They'll help make the greenish lights visible.

This fall, Oregon voters will choose between five candidates for U.S. Senator and six candidates for governor. It could be the last time the general election ballot is this crowded in Oregon. That's because of one of the initiatives up for a vote this year. Measure 90 would create a nonpartisan primary for all candidates. The top two would advance to the general election, regardless of party. It’s similar to the elections system already in place in Washington state.

National Interagency Fire Center

Fire season in the Northwest is winding down for this year.

But scientific models suggest that with climate change, the region can expect more large wildfires in the future.

noexcusesradio / pixabay

Oregon is warning some unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries to close their doors. This summer, the state has sent letters to nine storefront pot dealers ordering them to shut down.

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