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KING5 TV, Seattle

The Trump Administration is expected to announce any day now plans to reverse a raft of Obama-era climate change policies. Governors and mayors along the West Coast have stated their opposition to the move. And Saturday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared their intention to forge ahead with regional climate change efforts.

Katie Alaimo / Roseburg News-Review

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley held a Town Hall-style meeting near his hometown in Douglas County Saturday morning. The Democrat was greeted by a crowd of supporters celebrating a victory for the Affordable Care Act. 

California's Unemployment Rate Fell In February

Mar 24, 2017
© Steven Pavlov / http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Senapa

California had another strong jobs report in February. New state numbers show the unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in ten years, down to 5 percent from 5.2 percent in January. 

The unemployment rate stands at 4.7 percent.

Riccardo Rossi, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15140983

Salmon runs into the region's rivers fluctuate quite a bit from year to year. 

But the forecast for the chinook salmon run returning to the Klamath River this year is just plain awful.  If the forecast proves true, it will be the smallest chinook run in recorded history. 

Which presents the Pacific Fishery Management Council with few options, none of them attractive for people who want to catch the fish. 

Wet Weather Delays Planting For Central Valley Farmers

Mar 24, 2017
UC Farm Cooperative

Flooded fields, muddy ground, and constant rain are keeping Central Valley farmers from planting their crops.

Hemhem20X6, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3466950

Sudden Oak Death is becoming a big enough concern that even Congress is paying attention. 

Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley recently joined with a state legislator, Rep. David Brock Smith, to create a task force on the tree disease. 

So far, it is contained to Curry County on Oregon's South Coast, but it has killed large numbers of oak trees in coastal California as well, and defoliated conifers, too. 

Tammy via Wikimedia Commons

The lower costs and smaller environmental footprint of tiny houses have drawn a growing movement of people seeking to dramatically downsize their living space. But standard building codes have made it difficult to legally build one.

Late last year, a group led by a tiny-house entrepreneur in southern Oregon got the main building code organization in the US to approve a code specifically for tiny houses. It’s a major milestone for a movement that’s struggled for legal recognition.

But it turns out it may be years before the changes take effect.

Scott Catron, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=849216

There are still plenty of people in Oregon who remember when state law made the ocean beaches public property. 

And there's a big anniversary coming up: the 50th birthday of the law. 

Brent Walth is on the journalism faculty at UO. He is the author of Fire at Eden's Gate: Tom McCall and the Oregon Story.

Wikimedia

You CAN own the beach in California, unlike in Oregon. 

But an array of groups and government agencies exist to make sure that members of the public get maximum beach access, and minimum abuse to the coastline. 

The California State Coastal Conservancy is a part of that array.    The conservancy is unusual for its lack of regulatory powers. 

California Central Valley Farmers Won't Get Full Water Supply

Mar 23, 2017
Curtis Jerome Haynes

Farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley won’t be receiving a full supply of water from the federal Central Valley Project despite the wet winter.

Oregon Legislative Roundup with Chris Lehman

Mar 22, 2017
Oregon Secretary of State

Oregon lawmakers tasked with putting together the state’s next two-year budget are facing a projected shortfall of about $1.6 billion.

Salem correspondent Chris Lehman spoke with JPR’s Geoff Riley on the Jefferson Exchange about what’s going on in the Capitol as the legislative session gathers steam. 

Wikimedia

Well, that didn't take long: if a new report is accurate, more than 12,000 people work in the cannabis business in Oregon. 

And this is just a couple of years after pot became legal for personal use in the state. 

The Oregon House of Representatives asked for the report to get a handle on the economic impact of cannabis in Oregon. 

Wikimedia

Shakespeare scholars and fans are already debating whether "Edward III" is a Shakespeare play.  Did he write all of it?  Part of it?  None? 

The point is moot at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which commissioned a modern-language version of the play as part of its "Play On!" series. 

Octavio Solis got the task of rewriting the play, to be presented Monday (March 27th) by the Ashland New Plays Festival

Court To Again Weigh Fate Of California High-Speed Rail Project

Mar 22, 2017
California High-Speed Rail Authority / Facebook

California’s high-speed rail project will be back in court Wednesday – with the return of a legal challenge that threatens a crucial funding source.

Updated 2/22/2017 | 10:15 AM -- The microwave transmitter in Yreka is experiencing complications. Our engineer will be at the site today to diagnose the issue.

The Siskiyou County News & Information service on 1490 AM is experiencing static. Our engineer is working to diagnose the issue.

In the meantime you can hear our News & Information service in Medford and Ashland at AM 1230 or by using our listen live feature at the top of the page.

Thanks for your patience!

Photo: Ben DeJarnette

Just because people want to live in the country does not mean you know anything about caring for the land. 

Which is why the Oregon State University Extension Service offers programs in land stewardship.  Those include an annual offering called Tree School Rogue, coming to Rogue Community College in April. 

Max Bennett is one of the instructors, helping forest landowners know more about the care and feeding of the forest. 

Save Our Libraries Committee

Douglas County is one of the more broke counties in Western Oregon. 

It is one of many counties that used to get most of its income from federal timber sales.  But the sales crashed in the age of the spotted owl, and the money crashed as well. 

Voters rejected a tax levy to fund a library district, so the county plans to shut its libraries April 1st. 

There is a determined pro-library faction working to get the libraries open again, led by Save Our Libraries. 

YouTube

The name Klebold should ring a bell, but not a happy one. 

Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were the two Columbine High School students who shot and killed 13 people at the school in 1999; they wounded 24 others before killing themselves. 

The crime itself is incomprehensible to most of us, perhaps more so for Sue Klebold, Dylan's mother.  She wrote a book about her journey before and after Columbine, A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy

The book is now out in paperback, with all profits going to research and charities working on mental illness. 

Legislation Would Close Gaps Along Oregon Coast Trail

Mar 20, 2017
Zach Urness/Statesman Journal

Few pathways conjure up more conflicting emotions than the Oregon Coast Trail.

One moment you’re hiking to the top of a rocky headland and looking upon a vast sweep of ocean. The next you’re risking life and limb on the shoulder of Highway 101 as cars and trucks scream past a few feet away.

California May Leave Federal Flood Insurance Program And Go It Alone

Mar 20, 2017
Californbia Department of Water Resources

Massive storms and flooding in California this winter killed six people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Federal flood insurance will pay for a lot of the repair, but state water managers say in the future, they may not want federal flood insurance; it’s not worth it. Now, California could become the first state in the nation to dump federal flood insurance and go it alone.

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