News

Linda Bartlett, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24032397

Congress rewrote chemical safety laws a couple of years ago, with instructions to the Environmental Protection Agency to work to reduce testing of chemicals on animals. 

Instead, reports indicate animal testing is now more common, with many more animals being exposed to potentially harmful chemicals. 

Animal rights groups have expressed concern, and so has the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.  Kristie Sullivan of PCRM will join us. 

socompasshouse.org

Mike (we'll only use his last name) spent a long time dealing with bipolar disorder before doctors truly understood his condition. 

If you break a leg or come down with a disease that confines you to bed, people generally know what to do.  But that's physical illness.  Mental illness presents a different set of challenges in diagnosis and treatment. 

All of the members of Southern Oregon Compass House in Medford learned this firsthand.  Once a month, we visit with clubhouse members and staffers to explore issues in mental illness, issues we're often hearing about for the first time. 

Vicki Nunn, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12075956

Rates of some sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) dropped sharply during the years when concerns about HIV and AIDS peaked.  People used condoms and other prevention methods. 

Then science discovered how to better treat HIV — it is no longer a death sentence — and concerns abated. 

So it should surprise no one that rates of some STDs hit an all-time high in California last year.  That's a major concern for the state Department of Public Health

Christina Belasco/OPB

Blooms of harmful algae in waterways have been more of an inconvenience in our region so far.  Generally, the blooms only stop people from swimming and fishing in their favorite spots. 

But across the country, the problem is growing. Salem had to renew its water advisory on Wednesday after toxic algae showed up in the city's water supply. Its previous advisory ended just four days earlier.

The Environmental Working Group calls the spread of harmful algal blooms an epidemic.  Oregon has had a program to track blooms and inform the public for years now. 

Siskiyou Music Project

Wes Montgomery is a big deal to jazz musicians.  Pat Matheny once said he learned to play guitar by listening to "Smokin' at the Half Note," by Wes Montgomery with the Wynton Kelly Trio, recorded in the mid-60s. 

The sounds are recreated in an offering from the Siskiyou Music Project, featuring pianist Thor Polson and the Ed Dunsavage Trio, with Ed on guitar. 

Thor and Ed agreed to get up early to share some of the sounds of the session in our studio. 

Northwest Lawmakers Push To Deploy More Drones This Wildfire Season

Jun 6, 2018
Wikipedia.org

Fire season has officially started — and officials say this year could be worse than last year. At a U.S. Senate committee Tuesday, Northwest lawmakers questioned what’s being done to prevent and fight catastrophic wildfires — and how technology could help.

Incumbent Becerra Leads California Attorney General Race

Jun 6, 2018
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will face a retired Republican judge in his bid to keep the job he was appointed to last year.

Denis Poroy/AP via NPR.org

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein cruised to first place in California's primary on Tuesday in her bid for a fifth full term in Washington.

In a video statement delivered from Washington, Feinstein pledged to "protect California" in "difficult and contentious times."

With about 2.2 million votes counted, Feinstein had 44 percent. Fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon, the heavy favorite to finish second and advance to the November runoff, was next with 10 percent and had a slight lead over little-known Republican James Bradley.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images, John Cox via KQED.org

The grim scenario California Republicans feared -- that they'd have to choose between two Democrats for California governor this fall -- has been averted. Republican businessman John Cox finished second behind Democrat Gavin Newsom in a crowded field of candidates from both parties.

Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio

California voters have given thumbs-up to four ballot propositions but shot down another. 

Here's the rundown, with 95 percent of the precincts reporting ...

Proposition 68 is a bond measure slated to put about $4 billion into parks, wastewater recyling, river protections and similar public works projects.

Supporters said the money would help catch up on a repair and maintenance backlog in state parks, as well as help prepare for future droughts.

Opponents said the measure was too costly, especially when interest on the bonds is factored in.

oregonwalktheland.org

It's easy to take the wide-open views of our region for granted.  So it's a rude awakening when they disappear under new subdivisions or other construction. 

Rural places with outstanding values have lots of friends, including in the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts

COLT members welcome the public to come out and see some of the places protected on Get Outdoors Oregon Day, Saturday, June 9. 

David Eskenazi Collection

Jackie Robinson is celebrated every year for a major first: the first African-American player in major league baseball. 

But other black players were breaking into pro baseball around the same time, just not in the majors.  Artie Wilson, one of the best shortstops in pro baseball, played minor league ball in Oakland (California) starting in 1948. 

He is the subject of Singles and Smiles: How Artie Wilson Broke Baseball’s Color Barrier.  Gaylon Wilson is the author and our guest. 

wikimedia commons

Tuesday’s primary elections in California hold an unusual importance for the nation. Democrats see an opportunity to flip several Congressional seats in the state. Votes cast now could determine if Republicans will continue to maintain majority control in the U.S. House of Representatives next year — and, along with it, unified control of the federal government.

Alan Sylvestre/OPB

The state of Oregon announced Monday it has settled a long-running property tax fight with Comcast. The cable giant agreed to pay $155 million in back taxes in counties where it operates.

Sen. Jeff Merkley Denied Access To US Border Detention Center

Jun 4, 2018
Pamplin Media Group

Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley on Sunday visited the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas, demanding answers from immigration officials about the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border.

Craig Miller/KQED

Marveling at the nearby homes with solar panels will soon become a thing of the past in California. 

Because the state will begin requiring solar panels on all new homes constructed in 2020 and beyond. 

That puts California out in front of states in requiring clean energy distribution across the landscape. 

The California Solar & Storage Association is understandably happy about the change. 

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

With a population just under 40 million, California has more people than Canada.  And Iraq and Poland, too. 

So it should surprise no one to find that feelings rise from time to time in favor of splitting California up.  Or off. 

The Yes California campaign seeks to turn California into an independent country; the resurgent State of Jefferson movement just wants to break off the Northern part--preferably with parts of Southern Oregon--into a new state. 

Do they have enough common ground to work together? 

Alabama Public Radio

Heroin overdose deaths in Jackson County jumped early this year.  Ten deaths by the end of April equals the total of the previous two years combined. 

The spike raises the possibility that fentanyl, a strong synthetic opioid, has gotten into the local drug trade. 

Jackson County Health and Human Services tracks the numbers and looks for reasons; Asante Health System runs substance abuse prevention and treatment programs; Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction works to reduce problems with substance abuse on the North Coast. 

With California’s primary just a day away, here’s a sampling of some of the players spending big to influence your vote:

Graphic by Capital Public Radio

PolitiFact California looks at claims made by elected officials, candidates and groups and rates them as: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants On Fire.

In a recent TV attack ad in the California governor’s race, Gavin Newsom’s campaign claimed "the state auditor found (John) Chiang lost track of $31 billion," when he was state controller. But did the ad get its facts straight?

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