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John A. Charles, Jr.

This week our State Treasurer, Tobias Read, issued a press release bragging that investors around the country “stood in line” to loan Oregon $100 million so that Governor Kate Brown could buy part of the Elliott State Forest, which we already own.

According to Treasurer Read, “There was three times more demand than supply” of the bonds, which will be repaid to investors over 20 years at an interest rate of 3.83 percent.

While this may have been a great day for investors, Oregon taxpayers have no reason to celebrate. They will be paying roughly $200 million in debt service on the loan, while getting little in return.

The Elliott is an 82,500-acre forest in Coos and Douglas Counties. It is an asset of the Common School Fund, which means it must be managed for the Continue reading

  1. ODFW will be stocking 47 waterbodies with 89,559 legal-size trout (give or take) this week – just in time for spring break. The recent spring-like weather has put trout in the mood to bite, so grab your rod, your kids, your friends and go catch dinner. See the zone updates for a stocking location near you.
  2. Gray whales are migrating along the Oregon coast. Volunteers for the Whale Watching Spoken Here program staff whale watching stations along the coast, check the website for specific times and places. You also can just go out on your own when the weather is good, but don’t forget your binoculars!
  3. Spring bird migration is underway at many eastside wildlife areas. Viewing choices include sandhill cranes at Klamath and Ladd Marsh, turkey vultures and swans at Summer Lake, and songbirds, waterfowl and shorebirds galore at wildlife areas throughout the state. Check out the latest arrivals in the zone reports.

Miranda Bonifield

Here’s a question for you: Why is housing so expensive in Oregon?

Government at all levels has attempted to address the issue of housing affordability for years with tax credits, occasional expansion of the urban growth boundary, multimillion dollar bond measures, and now statewide rent control in Oregon. But rather than making life easier for Americans, state and local policies play major roles in the affordability crisis.

Economist Dr. Randall Pozdena recently authored a report published by Cascade Policy Institute that analyzes the decline of housing affordability, with a Continue reading

Tokatee Falls by award winning nature photographer Nancy J. Smith

By Vintage Wood Artist Sharon Jones

This year’s three-day Heart of the Country art show and sale features artists known for their expertly crafted works. Most have exhibited widely; and each is known for creating unique pieces that bring Northwest character to life.

Seven-time national award winning nature photographer and Pacific Northwest wall calendar creator, Nancy J. Smith, has been capturing her stunning images for 27 years. Known for her ability to bring waterfalls, landscapes, flora and fauna to life in large format prints, she is now transferring those images onto metal so that the frame-less pieces transform surfaces on which they are mounted.

Artist and retired educator Sharon Jones commented on the genesis of her work “My love of art goes back to 1974 when I Continue reading

Local animal advocates suggest that you have a plan in place for your pets before an emergency strikes. In Oregon, the most likely emergency threats are wildfires, winter ice/snow storms, flooding, earthquakes or even volcanic eruptions.
Prepare a 72-hour shelter-in-place pet emergency supply kit
If you and your family and pets must wait out a storm or other disaster at home, be prepared with adequate supplies (i.e. food, litter, water, medication).
If you must evacuate, take your pets with you
Occasionally, what is expected to be a brief evacuation can turn into days or weeks. Plan ahead for a safe place to take your pets. Evacuation shelters may not allow pets. Continue reading

Kathryn Hickok, Cascade Policy Institute

State economists have confirmed that individual Oregon income taxpayers will receive kicker refunds next year. Based on the May revenue forecast, more than $463 million will be returned to taxpayers as a credit on their 2018 tax bills, with the average refund being $227.

But with the news that the coming refunds will reduce our tax liabilities, some are criticizing the way the kicker law works, while others argue the money really belongs to the state, not the taxpayers. They argue that as long as any group of Oregonians—or any state government budget item—has a “need” for that money, then the money should go to them instead of back to the individuals who earned it. Continue reading

The Stevenson Volunteer Firefighters Association hopes to move forward as planned with Walking Man Brewing’s 15th Annual Hoptoberfest.  The event is scheduled for this Saturday, September 9th from noon to 10pm on the brewery grounds in Stevenson, WA. Partnering in early 2017, Walking Man Brewing offered to dedicate a portion of the event’s proceeds to help the Association in its mission to serve the community of Stevenson. In light of the fires still threatening the Columbia River Gorge, the hope is to find needed relief and an outlook of optimism and gratitude. Continue reading

Current Evacuation Levels for Eagle Creek Fire as of 09/07/2017 10:30am
Evacuation levels remain unchanged. Please continue to monitor MCSO for any changes.

MCSO is in constant communication with fire officials to determine when it is safe for residents to return to their homes. As soon as it is deemed safe, the evacuation levels may be downgraded or lifted allowing residents to return to their homes.

Warrendale – Level 3 GO!
Dodson – Level 3 GO!
Larch Mountain- Level 3 GO!
Latourell- Level 3 GO!
Bridal Veil – Level 3 GO!
Corbett, East of the 38700 block of Columbia River Highway – Level 3 GO!
Corbett/Springdale, West of 38700 block of the Columbia River Highway to the Sandy River – Level 2 Be Set.
Troutdale, East of 257th, North of Stark, West of the Sandy River — Level 1 Get Ready

Evacuation shelter is established at Mt. Hood Community College located at 3691 NE 17th Drive, Gresham OR.

BBB Warns of a Nationwide Consumer Alert

An Oregon victim reported to Better Business Bureau Serving the Northwest that she was scammed when she purchased a fishing license from what she thought was the official Oregon Fishing and Wildlife website. BBB has seen a rise in complaints nationwide regarding websites that appear to be selling fishing and driver’s license, but are in fact selling downloadable informational guides. BBB is partnering with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to warn consumers about these deceptive licensing websites. Continue reading

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