Results for Think Out Loud (Other Results)
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Oct. 4, 2013
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Oct. 29, 2013
Sept. 18, 2013
Sept. 18, 2013
Ande and Kayla Blanchflower wound up on Dave and KC Mosby's land by accident. They thought it was land owned by the Bureau of Land Management, but they were about 100 feet off. Ande had moved from Wales where he had been living in a tipi village along with a couple hundred other people. When he came here, Kayla says, "there was no other option for him" — he had to live in a tipi. So the couple set off for a place to do that, and ended up on the Mosby's land. Dave Mosby said at first, someone trying to live on your land "raises your eyebrows," but he and KC soon came to feel the Blanchflowers "were wholesome," so the Mosbys decided to charge them one dollar a day to live there (which covered the property taxes). The arrangement has been successful, and several other families have moved onto the land to form a semi-Nomadic "Tipi Village." The group spends the winter in the valley, and the summer in the hills. But a few weeks ago, Dave Mosby's dad died, leaving the Mosby family with some of the debt he had accumulated. The property has to be sold for the Mosby children to pay their bills. The family is giving the Tipi Village families first priority to buy the land. The residents have started a crowdfunding page to try to do that, but with just over a month to go, they're not even at one percent of their goal. The land would not be owned by one individual, Kayla Blanchflower explains, but would be managed by a non-profit and would be available for anyone to live there.
Aug. 27, 2013
It's been just over a year since liquor sales in Washington became private. Before that, like Oregon, Washington sales of booze was strictly controlled by a state agency. One effect of the new law is that the number of available kinds of distilled spirits has increased. Edward Cooper with the chain Total Wine & More says Washingtonians went from having just over a thousand choices to more like six thousand. And he says that consumers are enjoying the convenience of buying at one of the more than 1500 retail outlets, compared with the 329 state run stores before privatization. But Brian Smith with the Washington Liquor Control Board says there have been kinks to work out — like which state agency will collect fees on liquor and which will collect taxes. He says overall prices for consumers have risen about 11 percent. And Smith says some law enforcement officials have heard anecdotal reports of increased shoplifting of spirits.
Aug. 7, 2013
A sculpture on Portland's eastside is causing some controversy among some Portlanders. A new libertarian-leaning caucus of the Oregon Republican Party is protesting the use of public funds to pay for the sculpture, called "Inversion: Plus/Minus." The debate over "Inversion: Plus/Minus" calls to mind other recent publicly funded arts projects that didn't make it through the vetting process. "Rebirth" — a 30-foot-tall deer sculpture with the face of a baby — was abandoned after public backlash. And a plan to engineer the new Portland commuter bridge with musical grooves that would "play" Simon and Garfunkel's "59th Street Bridge Song" as bikers rode along them was canceled when it was deemed too expensive. Some of the new Portland Arts Tax will go to the Regional Arts and Culture Council, which funds public art programs and organizations in Portland. A TriMet policy directs 1.5 percent of construction budgets go to public art. We'll hear how the art projects are chosen, and what the vetting and public input processes are like.
July 24, 2013
Representative Earl Blumenauer champions bicycle and transportation issues — he himself bikes to work and he's often seen wearing a bicycle pin, along with his signature bow-ties. Much of the 3rd district that he represents lies in Portland, in Multnomah and Clackamas counties. He's been a solid supporter of President Obama's health care overhaul, and he continues to advocate for changing the health system, including funding end-of-life care conversations between doctors and patients. He supports renewable energy tax reform, wants to repeal Oregon's constitutional gay marriage ban, and has sponsored legislation in Congress on a range of issues from marijuana taxation to repealing tax breaks for big oil companies. One of the lastest issues he's focusing on now is protecting bees, after some high-profile bee die-offs this summer. Last month, he introduced legislation that would restrict the use of certain pesticides. "Pollinators are not only vital to a sustainable environment," he says, "but key to a stable food supply."
Aug. 21, 2013
The Polk County Commissioner's Office unanimously voted to add a public safety levy to the ballot in the November elections. The levy would collect 60 cents for every 1,000 dollars of property value. Recently, the Polk County Sheriff's was forced to switch to 20 hour patrol shifts, and were only spared layoffs when 4 deputies voluntarily left the department. If the levy fails, the Polk County District Attorney's Office said they would be forced to stop prosecuting Class B and C misdemeanors, such as shoplifting and tresspassing. The proposal comes on the heels of Josephine and Curry counties rejecting similar levies in the wake of major public safety concerns.
Aug. 20, 2013
It's Friday, so it's time for the news roundtable, our chance to review the big news of the week with a panel of journalists, editors and news watchers. This week, our discussion topics include: The Bradley Manning sentence The disclosure that the NSA collected data on communication between Americans Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler and Senate President Peter Courtney's reactions to an Oregon-only approach to the Columbia River Crossing Curry County and Polk County again ask residents for property tax increases to help pay for law enforcement The City of Portland floats the possibility of a carbon tax
Aug. 23, 2013
Sam Adams won a decisive victory as mayor in 2008 after serving as a city commissioner and, before that, as chief of staff to longtime Portland mayor Vera Katz. Rumors emerged during his campaign about a relationship with a young legislative intern named Beau Breedlove. Shortly after Adams took office, those rumors proved to be true. Despite the shadow the scandal cast over his early days in office, Adams has stayed true to his reputation as a policy wonk and has made some significant changes to the state's most populous city. He cut down on residential trash by instituting a citywide composting plan. He put Portland Police officers back on the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Adams also helped create an arts tax, passed by voters in November. Each of these — and many more mayoral decisions — have been controversial in their own ways. Adams opted not to run for reelection this year. His last day in office will be December 31.
Dec. 18, 2012
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) wants to fight congressional gridlock by changing the filibuster rule. Right now, it's possible for the minority party to halt a vote on a bill without having to make a public statement. Merkley is working with other Democrats on a proposal that would change the rules to require senators to stick to the literal definition of a filibuster and talk continuously in order to block a vote. We'll ask him about that as well as the looming automatic tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff."
Nov. 29, 2012
Join us for a special Thursday edition of the week's news roundtable. We'll look back at the news of the week with a panel of journalists, editors and news watchers. This week we are looking at: The fatal shooting at the Clackamas Town Center Friday's special legislative session to ensure Nike's tax structure won't change What was the major news of the week for you?
Dec. 13, 2012
It's Friday, and so it's time for another news roundtable. We'll look back at the news of the week with a panel of journalists, editors and news watchers. This week we are looking at: Governor Kitzhaber's relationship with the Oregon business community Whether Oregon will change its tax system this legislative session Parking in Northwest Portland Washington state's historic week
Dec. 7, 2012
Today Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber announced a special legislative session for lawmakers. He says he wants them to meet on Friday, December 14. This unusual session would be a month before lawmakers are scheduled to convene for the regular 2013 session. The Governor said today that legislative approval is needed as soon as possible to pass an economic tax incentive to support a multi-million dollar expansion by Nike.
Dec. 10, 2012
Getting your taxes done right is complicated enough if you're a lifelong, English-speaking native. For immigrants who may not speak English and may be coming from countries with little to no tax enforcement, filing taxes can be even more difficult. Matthew Erdman is a lawyer who helps Latino immigrants file their taxes. He says he's had clients come to his office with boxes full of unopened letters from the IRS that they've avoided out of anxiety or general tax illiteracy. Erdman says some undocumented immigrants worry that filing their taxes may attract unwanted attention from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. There are a number of places in Oregon where immigrants can get help filing taxes, but there are also predatory tax preparers that aim to take advantage of people not familiar with the tax system. What is the best way for immigrants to navigate taxes?
March 21, 2013
Lawmakers in Salem closed the 2013 legislative session with a smattering of last-minute bills. One will increase fines for texting while driving, another will keep next year's state university tuition increase down a bit, and another still approved state and local bonds amounting to $1 billion. Also, landlords now can't deny rent because a potential renter receives Section 8 housing assistance. What didn't happen over the weekend was a renewal to pass either new taxes or PERS reform. There's a chance, however, that Governor John Kitzhaber will call a special session before the next regular one next February.
July 9, 2013
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" — a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. Sixteen Democrats voted against the measure, three of whom were from Oregon: Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrader. In a statement, DeFazio said the deal "pushes the spending cuts back just two months, creating yet another fiscal cliff crisis that coincides with the debt ceiling limit." The package does not include a reduction in Social Security payroll tax. So, most Americans will still end up paying more in taxes this year.
Jan. 2, 2013
Washington Governor Christine Gregoire leaves office January 16th, after eight years as the state's executive. She entered office amidst a contentious battle over the 129 vote margin in the 2004 election. The lawsuit challenging her victory dragged on for the first five months of her term. Gregoire oversaw spending increases in her first term, and dealt with budget shortfalls in her second term. She also pushed a bill this year to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington, which passed the legislature, and was approved by voters in November. The push was a personal and political shift for Gregoire, who's Catholic and characterized the change as a "battle for me with my religion." In 2008, she had said that the state should ensure equal rights, but that churches should "make that call about marriage." Gregoire has left a recommended budget and a how-to guide for incoming Democrat Jay Inslee.
Jan. 3, 2013