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Feb 252015
 

Loving soldier embracing son before departing while mother lookiFamilies of sheriff’s deputies, fire fighters, and other public employees who are actively deployed in the military will gain access to increased financial security under a bill that passed the House 59-0 this week.

For many men and women actively serving in the military, being deployed means taking a financial hit, as their military pay is lower than the pay they receive at their civilian job. This leaves their families to shoulder the financial burden, on top of the burden of having their loved one in harm’s way.

Many private employers provide what’s known as “differential pay,” which makes up the difference between an employee’s regular pay and their military pay. It’s a critical benefit that can make all the difference for military families. Continue reading »

Feb 192015
 

statesman journal logoWhen the state’s biggest newspaper has a terrific bias yet winds up driving a governor out of office without any formal charges, it’s yet another time to try another news source.

In this case, the Salem Statesman Journal has done very, very good journalism. They carried the full, unslanted story of John Kitzhaber’s political demise. No gloating, no we told you so, no good riddance, just the straight stuff.

Then they followed it up Monday with an editorial written by the paper’s executive editor which savages The Oregonian for doing what our soon-departed governor accused them of: charging, trying, convicting and sentencing the governor almost single-handedly while ginning up a media frenzy which took their Portland news buddies down the same ugly, self-righteous path.

Today they’re probably gloating in The Oregonian’s new, smaller offices. But make no mistake: when those editors and their pompous publisher peruse the capital’s paper, they’ll sing a different tune. But, sadly for us all, probably not. Now they can go home at night and happily sleep with dreams of Pulitzer prizes dancing in their swelled and still empty heads.

Our thanks to the Statesman Journal for doing the right thing.

Feb 172015
 

A letter from Jeff Reardon.

reardon header

Friends and Neighbors:

It’s been a chaotic week in Salem. As most of you know by now, Governor Kitzhaber announced his resignation this afternoon and Secretary of State Kate Brown will be sworn in as his successor next week.

Governor Kitzhaber served Oregon for decades, bringing to Oregonians policies that changed the way we think about state government. Beginning as a State Representative in 1978, he has given 35 years in service to our state. As Senate President, he increased access to the health care for vulnerable Oregonians with the Oregon Health Plan. More recently, he was able to bring party leaders together to keep Oregon’s legislature productive despite a divided House. Governor Kitzhaber has always remained passionate about serving the best interests of all Oregonians.

Rather than focusing on investigative findings and rumors, it is important to remember the leadership Governor Kitzhaber has given us over the years. I share his vision for a better Oregon and will continue to work toward policies that are good for Oregon citizens.

Sincerely,
reardon signature

Feb 152015
 

helicopter sprayQuality of life and one’s ability to live it free from unnecessary outside influence are the core of the Oregonian experience.

Clackamas County State Rep. Ann Lininger is now playing a key role for folks living in rural Oregon who find the tree farm sprayers and the agency that monitors them inflicting mayhem on their otherwise idyllic scene.

Rep. Lininger, D-Lake Oswego, is co-chairing a joint legislative committee addressing this issue. These people, and possibly some in our own county, will be looking to her and State Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Southwest Portland, for help.

For years, the timber companies and the agency which oversees them — the State Department of Forestry — have been somewhat cavalier in their helicopter spraying of young timberlands. When faced with a choice — the isolated rural homeowner or the timber kings — guess who the agency tends to favor?

Enter legislators Lininger and Burdick. Both have timber in their district. Neither, however, lives in an affected area. It will be interesting to see how they resolve the situation in the face of Big Timber’s influence.

Feb 102015
 
shemia fagan

Keeping an eye on what our legislators are doing is a big challenge. Being in the Capitol every day and seeing everything is impossible.

But there is hope! Our own Rep. Shemia Fagan, D-Happy Valley, has some excellent ideas that utilize the web.

By determining which bill you want to watch you can chart its activity from committee hearings to floor debate right from your very own computer.

Many thanks to Shemia for providing us with this material. Very useful. Continue reading »