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Jul 252015
 

jim bernard

It’s now a three-way race as County Commissioner Jim Bernard has announced he will run against fellow Commissioner Paul Savas for the County Chair’s seat held by controversial Republican John Ludlow. Ludlow has not indicated he will seek re-election next year.

Both Bernard, a Democrat and former mayor of Milwaukie, and Savas, a Republican, will retain their seats on the county board if they lose in the May or November elections.

The first battle will be in seeing which two can survive the three-way primary next May.

In either case (except for Ludlow), the loser will retain their board seat as they are in the middle of a four-year term. If one wins at least 50 percent plus one, an unlikely prospect, the winner will survive and not face a general election. Continue reading »

Jul 222015
 

open cell with marijuanaState Rep. Ann Lininger, D-38, co-chaired the legislature’s joint committee charged with figuring out the whys and wherefores of legalized marijuana.

Not covered by that committee was the notion that people who are serving long terms for something which is now legal should start seeing less jail time. President Obama recently joined in supporting this idea nationally.

Lininger reports on how the Oregon legislature addressed these issues with its own versions.

Jul 182015
 
jeff reardon

(Copied from Rep. Reardon’s email)

reardon header

 

Friends & Neighbors:

After months of preparation, long hours on the House floor, and consideration of thousands of bills, last week the Oregon Legislature finished the 2015 session a few days ahead of schedule.

I’m extremely proud of the work we accomplished and even happier to know that my top priorities—to strengthen career and technical education, to protect pollinator health, and to make East Portland safer—will all be signed into law soon.

As a legislature, we worked together to pass bills that directly benefit thousands of Oregonians. We began to repair the K-12 funding gap that was created during the recession by budgeting an historic $7.4B for public schools. We invested $35M in career technical education and science, technology, engineering and math so that our students are prepared for the high-tech jobs of their generation. We asked universities to find a way provide students with a meaningful degree for an affordable price.

Continue reading »

Jul 172015
 

By Peter Toll

Ecological energy sourcesBack in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the possible proliferation of nuclear power production in Oregon and Washington was seriously threatening the Northwest.

The Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) was a major provider to numerous private and public utilities. “Whoops,” as it came to be known, would have saddled the Northwest with horrific construction bond debt. When consumers became aware of the costs and the dubious plans for nuclear waste disposal, the project was scrapped. Its collapse led to huge financial losses for bondholders as WPPSS collapsed.

Reaction to WPPSS prompted ballot measures here aimed at converting Portland General Electric (PGE) and Pacific Power into publicly-owned non-profit public power districts. Continue reading »

Jul 152015
 
kurt schrader

(Copied from Rep. Schrader’s email)

rep. schrader header image

Dear Friends–

The past few months in Congress have been a whirlwind and I wanted to share with you what I’ve been up to lately.

My work on the Energy and Commerce Committee has kept me busy and we’ve had some bipartisan achievements, including reforming the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula. This problem had been lingering for decades and Congress took an encouraging step forward, assuring that seniors get to see doctors that have been reluctant to accept Medicare reimbursement by setting up a new, permanent, value-based formula. Last month, Congress also overwhelming passed an updated Toxic Substances Control Act after years of inaction, which created uncertainty for industry and environmentalists. Both industry and environmentalists supported the bill. The Committee also unanimously voted for the 21st Century Cures Act, which will speed up the research and development of a new generation of life-saving cures and treatments for patients and dramatically increases research funding at the National Institutes of Health.

Continue reading »