Oregon Considered

MONTHLY ARCHIVE

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Looking Back On 2005

1229_scotus.jpgUnlike some years, 2005 did not have one single story that defined it. But certain issues did stand out.

OPB political analyst Bill Lunch and reporter Colin Fogarty agreed it certainly isn't every day that the U.S. Supreme Court hears a high profile case out of Oregon.

Justices heard the Bush Administration challenge to the state's Death With Dignity law in October, and Bill Lunch begins our lookback by summarizing the issue before the court.

Posted by Michael Clapp

Oregon Hospitals Using Music To Ease Suffering Of Death

1228_harp.jpgThroughout history many cultures have used music as a form of medicine.

In Medieval times Benedictine monks performed elaborate rituals for dying patients.

The modern version of this ancient tradition is called music thanatology -- deriving its name from Thanatos, the Greek god of death.

During bedside vigils music thanatologists perform prescriptive music to help patients achieve a more peaceful death.

Hospitals in Oregon were among the first to recognize the value of these vigils -- consequently there are more music thanatologists here than in any other state.

OPB's Mary Sawyers was recently allowed to attend a vigil and prepared this report.

complete article...

Also on Wednesday's Oregon Considered

"Heat Or Eat" Choice Confronts Some Low-Income Tenants

DHS Budget Shortfall Perplexes Lawmakers

Posted by Michael Clapp

Illegal Spending in Portland Public Schools

The Portland school district has been spending federal money illegally, and has been lax in providing the right instruction for some students. That's according to a report released Thursday by the state Department of Education.

The findings are based on visits to Portland over a week last October. Rob Manning reports on some of the 29 federal violations the state found, and what the district is doing to correct them.


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Also on Thursday's Oregon Considered

Oregon adopts California tailpipe standards

Signature gatherer sting

Posted by Allison Frost

Oregon Senators key in Budget and Military votes

Both of Oregon's Senators were active in the two big bills facing the upper chamber today.

The Budget bill passed over the objections of Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden. But what made the military appropriations bill controversial was that it contained riders to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and to provide hurricane relief to southeastern states.

Ley Garnett has been following the debate in Congress. He spoke to host Allison Frost in OPB's Portland studios.

complete article...

Also on Wednesday's Oregon Considered

OSU Grad helps Tsunami victims


Posted by Michael Clapp

Higher Rates for PGE Customers?

Portland General Electric has been forced to cope with the recent cold snap without its largest generating source. The Boardman plant, which burns relatively cheap coal, went out of service about two months ago due to mechanical problems.

Since then PGE has been forced to buy replacement power from other utilities at a higher cost. As Ley Garnett reports, the question now is: how much of the additional cost will the utility be allowed to pass on to ratepayers?


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Also on Tuesday's Oregon Considered 12-20-05

New Voter Registration System

Goodbye Affordable Student Housing?

Jewish Christmas Tree?

Posted by Allison Frost

Winter Weather Melts

Ice and snow made driving hazardous across much of Oregon today. The storm mostly caused inconvenience, but it was blamed for two fatal accidents near Elkton in southern Oregon.

But early this morning temperatures rose above freezing and conditions gradually improved throughout the day. The National Weather Service has now cancelled the winter storm warning for the Willamette Valley.

The warning does remain in effect, however, for east Multnomah County, the Gorge and the northern Cascades until eight o'clock tomorrow morning. Ley Garnett reports.

complete article...

Also on Monday's Oregon Considered 12-19-05

Volunteers Rebuild Ft. Clatsop

Riverdale Students Back from India


Posted by Allison Frost

First Octave Program Offers Musical Opportunites For Students

1215_pals.jpgYou may not be able to tell but the musicians in that Marimba band are 4th and 5th graders at Marysville Elementary in Southeast Portland.

The CD has been a few years in coming but it all started with a Portland School's Foundation grant program called First Octave, which provides money to schools specifically for music education.

The program has been giving away money for the last five years, but it's holding its first annual holiday fundraising concert on Saturday at the Wonder Ballroom.

Another SE Portland school used its First Octave grant money to start a program called Musical Pals, which pairs kids at Grout Elementary with retirees at the Odd Fellows Retirement Center and holds regular sing-alongs at the home.

Principal Susan McElroy was a teacher and assistant principal for 20 years before taking her current position. She says she's seen the difference the arts make in public schools.

Oregon Considered host Allison Frost spoke with McElroy and asked her how the idea for Musical Pals came about.

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Also on Thursday's Oregon Considered

Oregon Wants To Try New Test Of Student Achievement
OLCC Preserves Pub Theater Rules

Judge Redden Promises Columbia River Management Plan

Posted by Michael Clapp

PUC Approves PGE Stock Distribution Plan

1212_pge.jpgIn a unanimous vote, the Oregon Public Utility Commission has approved PGE's plan to sever itself from Enron.

But the city of Portland says Enron's CEO will still control the utility for some time, as Ley Garnett reports.

complete article...

Also on Wednesday's Oregon Considered

Re-Entry A Struggle For Former Prisoners

Social Service Caseloads Strain State Budget

Geologists Say Three Sisters Swelling Slows

Oregon Renters Paying More Than They Can Afford

Posted by Michael Clapp

TriMet Introduces Biodiesel To Its Fuel Mix

1213_biodiesel.jpgTriMet has taken a first step away from fossil fuels to power its fleet.

The transit agency Tuesday announced that it is testing a 5% biofuel mixture in 75 of its lift fleet buses. Those are the smaller buses that transport the elderly and disabled.

Even though biofuel now costs about 5 cents a gallon more than pure diesel, TriMet believes it will save money on the organically produced fuel in the not too distant future, as Ley Garnett reports.

complete article...

Also on Tuesday's Oregon Considered

Listeners Come To The Defense Of Dwarf Mistletoe

State Investigating Mannix Campaign Finance Reports

Portland Approves Charter Schools

Guantanamo Chaplin Speaks In Portland

Posted by Michael Clapp

No One's Kissin' Under Our Mistletoe

1208_mistletoe.jpgYou might not realize it, but there's a lot of mistletoe hanging in branches overhead here in the Northwest.

Sadly perhaps, it's not the kind that inspires the traditional Christmas kiss.

Correspondent Tom Banse reports the native dwarf mistletoe is rather destructive.

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Also on Monday's Oregon Considered

Unemployment Rate Inches Down

Judge Refuses To Dismiss PGE Tax Fraud Suit

Oregon National Guard Recruits Women

Will Oregon Voters Kick The Corporate Kicker?

Program Offers Humanities For Low-Income Adults

Posted by Michael Clapp

Dear Santa: Idaho Postmaster's Annual Ritual

1208_letters.jpgEvery December, the tiny post office in Santa, Idaho gets a few hundred letters intended for the big man himself.

Although it's not technically in his government job description, the local postmaster has been answering each letter by hand for more than 30 years.

Correspondent Elizabeth Wynne Johnson went to meet him. What she found was an unlikely elf: a bit of a curmudgeon with a red mustache and ink-stained fingers, who's not about to let a single child's letter to Santa go unanswered.

This is his story -- in his own words.

complete article...

Also on Thursday's Oregon Considered

Looming Budget Cuts Worry Social Service Managers

Suspected Eco-Saboteurs Arrested

OSU Researchers Record "Sounds from the Southern Ocean"

Oregon's Snowpack Has Good Start

Posted by Michael Clapp

Homeless Students Numerous In Oregon Schools

A half-million Oregon children attend public schools, and of those, 11,000 are considered homeless, according to a report released Wednesday by the state Department of Education.

That's about two percent statewide. But as Rob Manning reports, there are parts of the state where that number is a lot higher.

complete article...

Also on Wednesday's Oregon Considered

City Wants More Tax Info From PGE

Soldier to Citizen II: From War to Work

Portland Goes For WiFi In City Hall

Spokane Voters Recall Mayor Jim West

Posted by Michael Clapp

Newport Faces Jobs vs. Environment Dilemma

1206_newport.jpgTuesday the coastal community of Newport will be introduced to the president of a controversial new business that wants to come to town.

Mike Dunavant, of Bay Bridge Enterprises, is visiting the central Oregon coast to try to open a ship-breaking' plant - possibly on the banks of Yaquina Bay.

As Kristian Foden-Vencil reports, he's offering up to 125 well-paid jobs paying $20-an-hour, but conservationists and some locals worry the company could pollute their beloved bay.

complete article...

Also on Tuesday's Oregon Considered

Bend Wal-Mart Slowed By Traffic Concerns

Judge Hears Parish Property Case

I-84 Restricted For Next Two Weeks

West Recall - A Campaign, But Not A Party

Posted by Michael Clapp

Dismal Nitch Land Adds To Lewis And Clark Park

1205_dismal.jpgAnother segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park was unveiled Monday.

Dismal Nitch is a parcel of land across the river from Astoria where foul weather trapped the expedition for six days.

Ley Garnett was on hand for the ceremonies at Fort Vancouver.

complete article...

Also on Monday's Oregon Considered

Expert Warns Oregon Not Serious Enough About Terrorism

How Often Should Our Legislators Meet In Salem?

Portland Considering Single-Sex Schools

Pilots Return With Second National Title

Posted by Michael Clapp

Tool Library Celebrates First Year Of Building Community

1201_saw.jpgOregonians have a national reputation for welcoming all things quirky. We've embraced free yellow bikes, open beach laws and worm composting.

Now a new project -- the North Portland Tool Library -- is celebrating its first anniversary.

The library is similar to a regular library. Members of the public come in, ask for a specific tool and return it in a week or two.

Kristian Foden-Vencil visited the innovative project to find out if any good can come from handing out sharp power tools to an inexperienced public.

complete article...

Also on Thursday's Oregon Considered

Oregon Honors Rosa Parks On 50th Anniversary Of Her Arrest

GAO Head Tries To Make Deficit Real To Oregonians

Oregon Guard Leader Blames Recruitment Woes On Army

Washington Foster Care Reform Plan Is Vetted

Posted by Michael Clapp