Oct 032013

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Jul 032015

By Peter Toll

scottish flags.croppedIt used to be a good thing when the US Supreme Court made decisions which legislatures or the Congress were afraid to touch.

Reagan and Bush appointees, however, have tended to perform just the opposite. Until recently.

Decisions affirming gay marriage and Obamacare (Affordable Care Act), a major step in providing health insurance coverage to millions, mostly poor or middle class citizens, are strong steps in the social progress of this country.
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Jun 282015

gmofree salmonSalmon has a distinctive place in our Northwest culture. It is an icon, a “canary” re: water quality and related environmental aspects, and wholesomely tasty, too.

Concerned that genetically modified versions of the fish may soon appear on Costco store shelves, several environmental groups and the UFCW union have presented petitions bearing 300,000 anti-GMO salmon signatures to Costco headquarters in Kirkland, WA.

So far, no word from Costco as to joining other stores, including Target and Trader Joe’s, in not carrying the modified version. Oregon’s anti-GMO stance may be an influence in Costco’s decision-making. Stay tuned.

Jun 202015

You hear it every day: Oregon’s graduation rate should be much higher. Our students should be achieving more in math, reading, writing, and science. Those things are absolutely true. What will it take to reach our goal, a 100 percent graduation rate?

The Oregonian recently published a series of articles including a comparative analysis that ranks all states’ school performance and education spending. By their calculation, Oregon ranks 38th in student performance and 39th in education funding.

The problem

How do we move Oregon schools from 38th to number one? Continue reading »

Jun 052015

By Peter Toll

Todd Prager

Todd Prager

Lake Oswego is known for its beauty, schools, and high income residents. These folks didn’t achieve their high income by quietly earning Brownie points or Cub Scout badges. Many got it through power.

It is the public exercise of power, ironically, which has Lake Oswego Mayor Kent Studebaker under public criticism and Clackamas County’s northwestern-most community stirred up.

Folks are upset that Mayor Studebaker boldly overrode his own advisory committee’s recommendation and did not reappoint Todd Prager to the city’s Planning Commission.

City councilors Jon Gustafson and Joe Buck went public with their criticism. Not only do they feel Prager was immensely well qualified, but they also think Studebaker was exercising raw power in a retaliatory move against Prager, who has filed suit against the city asking for public access to Lake Oswego waters. Continue reading »

May 282015

tina kotekDemocrats in Oregon’s House came into this legislative session with a bold agenda focused on expanding opportunity for women and working families, protecting the health and safety of our communities, and boosting our local economies.

House Democrats have worked hard on the issues Oregonians care about most, and it shows:

  • Investing In Our Schools: Public education is the most important investment our state makes. When we passed the K-12 budget of $7.255 billion in March, we guaranteed that a significant portion of new revenue would go directly to classrooms if the May revenue forecast showed we had more money available. Because of that promise, our schools will receive an additional boost of $105 million! This new revenue brings the current K-12 budget total to $7.36 billion for the next two years, which will fund all-day kindergarten for every kid for the first time in state history, increase support for English Language Learners and high-needs students, and ensure that all low-income students can have a lunch, improving their ability to thrive in the classroom.

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