Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:
The Oregonian/OregonReside, Nov. 28, at the high quality for Kitzhaber’s ethics violations wanting to sting:
Over the previous 3 years as Oregonians witnessed the impressive fall of former Gov. John Kitzhaber, it was once exhausting every now and then to spot moments of readability in a limiteless sea of grey.
Last week introduced a kind of moments. After a lot of, forceful denials that he’d finished anything else improper, Kitzhaber admitted publicly that he broke state ethics rules when he failed to completely document the entities that paid his fiancée around $200,000 for personal consulting paintings over a 3-12 months duration whilst he was once governor.
In addressing the 4 violations of state ethics rules, Kitzhaber blamed many of the errors on his former basic suggest and agreed to pay a proposed $1,000 high quality.
Thankfully, the Oregon Government Ethics Commission took one among its most powerful stances thus far, balloting 7-1 to reject the proposed agreement and its puny, pathetic high quality. Members, together with the somewhat new vice chair, Alison Kean, requested vital and pointed questions that resulted in a wealthy debate at the proposed agreement. And in the end, resulted in the sudden vote.
In doing so, fee participants delivered on their process to safeguard the consider that the general public has in its leaders.
Oregonians will have to have the ability to depend at the govt watchdog to stumble on those abuses, believe them in context and take suitable measures to make certain they’re no longer repeated. A $1,000 high quality – agreed upon by means of company group of workers, Kitzhaber and his lawyer — would have despatched the improper message to each present and long term place of business holders and undermined the federal government watchdog’s credibility and venture.
We will have to no longer omit this was once Oregon’s absolute best rating public reliable who violated 4 ethics rules, transgressions that might lead to a most high quality of $20,000.
In a Nov. 15 Facebook publish, revealed two days ahead of the fee voted at the agreement, Kitzhaber wrote breaking the ethics regulation was once “unintentional.” He didn’t understand a war of hobby in fiancée Cylvia Hayes’ paintings, he wrote, explaining he concept that she was once merely looking to “educate people” relatively than “to shape or influence state policy.”
But it was once his process to grasp. That’s very true making an allowance for Kitzhaber had opened his place of business to Hayes and named her an adviser, a job masking the very political problems on which her non-public consulting trade targeted.
Commission participants will go back to this factor at their subsequent assembly in January. As they get ready, the fee’s 9 participants must recall how Kitzhaber claimed lack of knowledge over those previous issues. He turns out to have forgotten that a few of his absolute best-rating aides voiced issues at more than a few issues about Hayes’ involvement in coverage paintings. At one level, his leader of group of workers pointedly argued that Hayes shouldn’t paintings on state insurance policies addressing problems for which she was once paid in her consulting paintings.
At the time, Kitzhaber merely disagreed.
The fee must additionally recall that whilst nonetheless serving as governor, Kitzhaber to start with tried to evade their scrutiny. Kitzhaber’s emails, that have been leaked by means of a state worker, confirmed that he and his lawyer meant to argue Hayes wasn’t a public reliable and subsequently didn’t wish to observe the foundations that forbid her from for my part reaping benefits from her public paintings. The courts have since established that Hayes was once a public reliable.
Kitzhaber and his lawyer additionally deliberate to argue that she wasn’t a member of his family, that means he had no legal responsibility to document her source of revenue on his ethics bureaucracy. Yet Kitzhaber had indexed her for years on the ones very bureaucracy as a member of his family.
In the December 2014 e-mail, Kitzhaber wrote in regards to the ethics fee: “We will convey that we are willing to take this all the way and have a strong case for prevailing. But the end game is not actually to have the complaints dismissed but rather to negotiate a stipulated settlement agreement in which we might acknowledge some minor mistakes we may have made and have the matter resolved at the March meeting. Do I have that right?”
Thankfully for Oregonians, the present fee made positive he didn’t.
Corvallis Gazette Times, Nov. 27, on two causes to shop for in the community this season:
Looks like you were given throughout the first large weekend of the vacation buying groceries season. If you’re amongst the ones individuals who get their vacation “to-do” record finished with a month or in an effort to move ahead of Christmas, smartly, great paintings – however the remainder of nowadays’s editorial will likely be of no hobby to you.
Most folks, on the other hand, are at that time within the vacation season once we’re simply making our lists. After all, we inform ourselves, we’ve were given weeks to move. No sweat, we inform ourselves, at the same time as we get away into a mild sweat.
So right here’s a proposal for this vacation buying groceries season that might repay large for you – and definitely could have a payoff for the mid-valley’s economic system:
Keep it native this vacation season. Not simplest will you be saving your self really extensive time and tension, you’ll be serving to out your folks and neighbors who increasingly more have discovered employment within the retail and eating place sectors of the mid-valley’s economic system.
A tale in nowadays’s paper by means of Kyle Odegard gives a well timed reminder of the way those spaces of our economic system have boomed as we recovered from the recession.
Figures compiled by means of the Oregon Employment Department recommend that Linn and Benton counties now have around eight,500 staff hired within the retail sector of the economic system, and that quantity has grown by means of about 1,070 workers since 2009.
Growth has been even sooner within the meals-provider sector of the economic system, even though it employs fewer folks in each counties: The overall is set 6,500 workers. But that sector has added some 1,400 jobs since 2009.
One satisfied result’s that mid-valley customers have extra choices to be had to them as new stores open their doorways. And, if you wish to have the very best finish to a hectic day of buying groceries, you could have extra eating choices to be had as smartly.
In previous years, we’ve made the case about buying groceries in the community right through the vacations on purely financial grounds – and those employment numbers definitely bolster this situation. The folks running in retail outlets and eating places are your folks and neighbors. Giving again to their communities is a part of their trade plans. A a hit vacation season steadily is the important thing to a a hit 12 months for lots of of those companies.
All that is still true.
But there’s every other compelling reason you must stay it native right through the vacations, and it’s all about you: It’s simply higher for you.
Sure, you might want to hop into the automobile and pressure to Portland and Woodburn. But take into consideration the time and aggravation you’ll save if you happen to go for an area store as a substitute. You can sleep in a bit of later and head off to an area retailer, the place chances are you’ll meet your folks and neighbors. You could possibly spend a bit of time surfing looking for that best present. And then you’ll finish the tour with a calming meal at a space eatery.
With on-line buying groceries booming, take into account that many native outlets even have helpful internet sites – and be offering an extra receive advantages as smartly: If you spot one thing attention-grabbing at the website, no longer simplest are you able to purchase it, you’ll adventure to the shop and read about the thing with your personal eyes. Or you’ll name anyone on the retailer and communicate to anyone who if truth be told lives within the mid-valley. If an area retailer doesn’t have a selected merchandise in inventory, it generally can order that merchandise and feature it in a position in a few days. And then you’ll have a good time by means of grabbing a takeout meal from an area eating place.
We know that, to a point, we’re preaching to the transformed: Many of you store in the community right through the vacations to make stronger the group. For that, we salute you. And if a part of the explanation why you store and devour in the community is since you understand it’s higher for you, smartly, that may be our little vacation secret.
Medford Mail Tribune, Nov. 26, on one resolution to homelessness is refuge:
The drawback of homelessness is now being mentioned as a West Coast phenomenon. There are homeless all over, in fact, however the issue is extra pronounced on this a part of the rustic, particularly the problem of homeless folks congregating in downtown spaces. Medford is grappling with that drawback now.
The disaster is advanced. There are many causes folks finally end up in the street, and no longer all people have the similar wishes. But the only best step – which has been demonstrated by means of towns that experience finished it – is to supply refuge and housing.
The Associated Press reported there at the moment are 168,000 homeless folks in Washington, Oregon and California, a determine derived from compiling knowledge from each and every jurisdiction that stories numbers of homeless to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. That quantity is up 19,000 from two years in the past, even though climate and other counting strategies is also components in that build up.
But extra hanging than the overall is that this quantity: 105,000 of the ones are unsheltered. And that quantity additionally has higher. The greatest reason why for the rise in homelessness is the hovering value of housing.
Why is that this being mentioned as a West Coast drawback? Because primary towns at the East Coast, that have quite a few homeless folks, organize to refuge way more of them.
According to The Associated Press, New York City has the country’s biggest choice of homeless citizens at 75,000. But simplest four,000 of the ones had been at the streets in a rely final January. That’s 1 in 20. Contrast that with Los Angeles, the place 15 in 20 homeless citizens are tenting out.
That’s for the reason that town of New York supplies shelters and dispatches a military of nonprofit staff beneath town contract who make touch with folks in the street and paintings to get them into shelters. New York has as many of us in shelters as all 3 West Coast states blended.
Yes, it’s pricey. New York spends $1.7 billion in town, state and federal cash on products and services to the homeless. New York additionally has a “right to shelter” regulation that grew out of courtroom rulings and state constitutional provisions aimed toward ensuring the deficient were given govt assist. Washington, D.C., has a proper to refuge coverage in wintry weather, and Massachusetts extends that proper to households with youngsters.
Oregon has no such regulation, even though the chance has been mentioned in Seattle. Oregon towns may just, on the other hand, take steps to supply extra refuge than they do. Some towns have had luck with refuge and housing techniques, together with Fairbanks, Alaska, and Seattle.
So a long way, the town of Medford’s reaction has been to concentrate on exclusion zones and prison conduct – treating signs relatively than on the lookout for a treatment.
In a document final Sunday by means of Mail Tribune reporter Damian Mann, native advocates stated refuge and housing will do essentially the most to cut back the choice of homeless folks congregating downtown and inflicting issues for town citizens. More cops, as recommended by means of Councilman Dick Gordon, wouldn’t do a lot excellent. The prison is already too small to accommodate any however essentially the most severe offenders, so arresting extra folks for ingesting and urinating in public received’t stay them off the road.
Gordon famous that hiring six extra cops would value about $1 million. Spending $1 million to supply refuge that will get folks off the road would accomplish greater than arresting them with out a prison beds to place them in.
Chad McComas, of Rogue Retreat, says refuge for 100 folks would move a ways towards decreasing the choice of folks in the street.
Security and sanitation are large issues, and it might value some cash to ascertain shelters, however examine that with the cash native companies spend now coping with the homeless, and ask your self whether or not it is sensible to stay treating signs relatively than investment an answer.
East Oregonian, Nov. 24, on girls throughout Eastern Oregon wanting to call for, take their rightful energy:
The latter part of 2017 will likely be remembered because the time that ladies everywhere the globe drew a line within the sand.
No longer will sexual harassment be persisted silently. No longer will abusers function with impunity. No longer will males dominate dialogue and resolution making in board rooms, capitol constructions and families around the nation. And now not will the individuals who listen those tales demean the accusers, and pick out via their lives like vultures looking for rotten meat.
Everyone on this nation stays blameless till confirmed to blame. But the onus is now on those that had been accused of heinous acts – accused by means of folks with not anything to achieve however to convey some sense of justice.
It’s an admirable, unhealthy time.
Beware the courtroom of public opinion. And beware an ethical pulling down – the place years of predatory conduct require the similar punishment as a deficient selection of phrases or a short-term lapse. Or a totally reported article is given the similar weight as a Twitter accusation.
The sword is coming for folks we respect for his or her artwork, or athletic prowess, or their regulate of a company board room, or for his or her political beliefs that mesh so smartly with our personal.
Beware then, too, the will make sexual attack and harassment simply every other partisan department. Find no further pleasure from the death of an enemy, and don’t give those that you respect unfair coverage from claims of abuse. That’s how this factor become so prevalent and so tough within the first position.
Politics definitely did play a component within the arrival of this second. Donald Trump’s electoral victory, in spite of his deeply problematic relationships with girls and his televised brags of sexual attack, helped usher on this age. Charlotte Alter of Time Magazine wrote right through the marketing campaign that “the 2016 election was a referendum on what women could achieve and what men could get away with.”
A majority of Americans will now not stand by means of the result of that referendum, and wish quick motion to treatment the location. The 2.6 million-sturdy Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration put the power on.
That motion wasn’t near to sexual harassment and attack. It’s in the end about a good society wherein all viewpoints are regarded as, and ladies aren’t held again once they select to not play video games with tough males.
And that has made us take a look at our personal yard.
There is a noticeable dearth of feminine voices in Eastern Oregon, and Morrow and Umatilla counties specifically. Umatilla County commissioners are all males (and, so far as we will in finding, have at all times been males). Morrow County simply added Melissa Lindsay to their 3-individual board, however males have at all times been a majority there, too.
There hasn’t ever been a feminine mayor within the historical past of Pendleton or Hermiston. Neither town has had a lady town supervisor. We have discovered no proof that its town councils have ever had a majority of ladies. No girl has ever represented Eastern Oregon within the statehouse. Oregon has simplest elected one feminine U.S. Senator in its historical past. And 5 of Oregon’s six present Representatives within the U.S. House are males.
These are deeply embarrassing, distressing statistics.
There are girl in positions of management in training and trade in Eastern Oregon, however to have such a lot of levers of energy within the palms of guys is unhealthy and restricting. If we simplest come with part of our inhabitants in vital choices, the ones choices are sure to be part as excellent.
Eastern Oregon will have to do higher. Women around the area must call for their rightful energy and take it.
Baker City Herald, Nov. 22, on Brownfield program serving to town, scholars:
It would possibly sound contradictory, however environmental contamination is popping right into a boon for Baker City.
Not simplest are some polluted constructions and homes being wiped clean up, however the folks doing the paintings come with Baker High School scholars who’re finding out abilities that might become profitable careers.
This lucky confluence began a couple of years in the past when the house owners of a infected assets in Baker City donated it to the Baker School District.
The district gained a $200,000 federal grant to wash up the valuables, which was once the website of a former system store, then offered the land for $45,000.
The district has used the gross sales proceeds to pay Megan Alameda, who teaches environmental science at the highschool and at Baker Technical Institute, and to take scholars on box journeys to be told extra about running on what are referred to as “brownfield” initiatives.
The latest venture comes to the Odd Fellows Building on Main Street, portions of which might be infected with, amongst different issues, lead and asbestos.
As with the Balm Street assets, the college district’s plan is to wash up the valuables, promote it, and use the cash for the following process.
This self-maintaining program is thrilling.
Not simplest are possible hazards being eradicated, however homes that in a different way would most certainly be tricky if no longer inconceivable to promote may just once more give a contribution to the native economic system.
At the similar time, native scholars are gaining enjoy that will not be to be had in a different way – even on a faculty campus.
And making an allowance for the choice of older constructions within the country, and the ubiquity of drugs reminiscent of lead and asbestos in such constructions, it sort of feels most probably that individuals who know the way to care for the ones hazards will have the ability to in finding gainful employment.