Results for Think Out Loud (Other Results)
Unlike the Rust Belt or the Corn Belt, the population of Oregon's Timber Belt is actually stable.
Today, Senator Ron Wyden released his long-awaited plan for Oregon's O&C counties.
When they entered their third Major League Soccer season, the Portland Timbers sought a better result than 2012. Last year was bitterly disappointing, as the Timbers finished 8-16-10 and and fired coach John Spencer midway through the season. This year has been nothing short of a rejuvenation. Heading into All-Star game tonight, the Timbers are 8-3-10, looking for their first ever playoff berth. Outside of regular MLS play, the Timbers play perennial powerhouse Real Salt Lake in the U.S. Open Cup Semifinal next Wednesday, their best ever showing in the tournament. Portland has never had to worry about fairweather fans. The Timbers have sold out every game since their MLS debut in 2011 and boast the infamous Timbers Army, a section of die hard fans that cheer, drum and taunt during every minute of the game. With so much success two-thirds of a way through the season, they're only getting louder.
The financial distress of former logging counties is a familiar issue for many Oregonians — one which we've covered many times before. But with Josephine and Curry counties once more rejecting public safety levies, the conversation in Salem has taken on an even more urgent tone. Since the levies were voted down last month, Governor Kitzhaber has floated the possibility of imposing an income tax on the cash-strapped counties, and even mobilizing the National Guard as a last resort. Legislators are talking with commissioners and sheriffs from Josephine and Curry counties and are hoping to work out a plan by the end of the legislative session.
Update: March 8, 2:30 pm The U.S. Senate just passed a temporary one-year extension of the timber payment program. Oregon's Curry County is among the state's poorest counties and one of the hardest hit by the anticipated end of timber payments by the federal government. There is some good news: President Obama's budget plan contains money to extend the payments and before they adjourned, the Oregon legislature passed a law to allow strapped counties to fund sheriff patrols with money ordinarily reserved for roads. Nevertheless, some counties are bracing for the worst. Counties like Curry say temporary fixes are not enough, and they may have to cede some of their essential services to the state. Commissioners there are thinking of putting a sales tax on the local ballot to help create a stable funding source.
For more than ten years now, services and programs in rural counties have depended on payments made by the federal government to make up for the money they used to receive from logging on federal lands. On past shows, we've talked about how rural counties depend on this money and how they might manage without it. The climate in Congress now, however, couldn't be worse for securing any kind of replacement, with the ticking August 2nd deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling and no deal in sight.
Results for OPB
On Thursday the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed a new version of Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden’s bill to boost logging on public forests.
The BLM says an experimental timber harvest in Southern Oregon balances healthy forests and a healthy timber economy. But conservation groups say environmental protections aren’t strong enough — and they’re opposing legislation that would bring more logging like this to the region.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture confirmed Tuesday its investigation uncovered multiple violations of pesticide law by Pacific Air Research, including that the company allowed pesticides to fall on neighboring properties, according to a news release.