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Jefferson Exchange | September 30, 2013
10:30 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Wild And Scenic vs. Straighter and Faster: Smith River & Highways

U.S. Highway 199 on the Smith River in Del Norte County
Credit Graham Hughes/Wild California

EPIC Executive Director Gary Hughes explains opposition to the widening of highways in the Smith River canyon.

The California Department of Transportation--CalTrans--plans to widen portions of highways 197 and 199 in the Smith River Canyon in Del Norte County.

And them's fighting words for environmental groups, which are challenging the widening projects for their potential impacts on the Smith, one of the country's wild and scenic rivers.

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Breaking
6:36 am
Mon September 30, 2013

High Surf On The Coast

Humboldt Bay Bar on September 30, 2013
Credit NOAA/Coast Guard/Humboldt Bay Harbor

A high surf advisory has been issued for Eureka and the surrounding coastal areas.

The warning is in effect until late Monday morning for large breaking waves. The National Weather Service says the waves may be especially dangerous during high tide, slated for around 10 a.m.

Since the large waves are erratic and unpredictable, the Weather Service encourages beach goers to use caution near surf zones as the swells are capable of sweeping people into the frigid and turbulent ocean waters.

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Politics & Government
6:17 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Oregon Lamakers Head To Salem

Oregon lawmakers return to Salem today for a special session tackling pensions, taxes, and regulations over genetically modified crops.

Governor John Kitzhaber called the session earlier this month, nearly a year after he first proposed a budget that included cuts in pension benefits for retired government workers.

He has negotiated a deal with legislative leaders that would include pension cuts along with tax increases and tax cuts. He added a ban on local  governments regulating genetically modified crops as part of the session requirements.

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Drug Policy
6:20 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

California Senate Leader Opposes Legal Marijuana

California State Senate President Darrell Steinberg in 2012
Credit Capital Public Radio Network

California Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says he doesn’t back the legalization of marijuana.  That’s despite a new poll showing majority support and a new voter initiative entering circulation for signatures.

Steinberg: “I’ve seen too many people that I grew up with ruin their lives as a result of using that drug and other drugs.  And I just don’t think we should legalize it.”

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Media & Society
7:53 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Party Patrols Start In Eugene

University of Oregon campus in Eugene.
Credit University of Oregon

Classes start Monday at public universities in Oregon, and Eugene police are resuming party patrols to control noise and crowds in student neighborhoods near the U of O.

The Register-Guard reports police have already been called this week to quiet noisy parties near campus.

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Legislature Must Agree
7:30 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Kitzhaber Will Sign All Or None

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
Credit governor.oregon.gov

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber repeated his vow Thursday to veto the bills passed in next week's special session unless all five of the measures reach his desk.

That's one element of a deal reached by the Democrat and four top legislative leaders in Salem. 

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Jefferson Exchange | September 27, 2013
2:56 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Special Session Ahead: Tinkering (or not) With Oregon PERS

Credit The Leaf Project

Sue Levin of Stand for Children Oregon and State Rep. Peter Buckley explain history and repairs to PERS.

The Oregon Legislature adjourned last summer, and in the minds of some observers, left some work on the table. 

So Governor Kitzhaber called legislators back to work, hoping they'll use Monday's special session to pass reform in the public employee retirement system (PERS) and a package of new taxes. 

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Environment
6:34 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Early Snowfall At Crater Lake Park

Webcam shot from Steel Visitor Center at Crater Lake, September 26.
Credit National Park Service

Autumn has barely arrived in Oregon, and already snow has fallen at Crater Lake.

Park official Marsha McCabe says there was an unusually early snowfall Tuesday and Wednesday, with eight inches on the ground.

McCabe says September snowfall at the National Park is rare-usually a dusting of an inch or two.

But when things get going in the winter, the snowfall at Crater Lake averages more than 500 inches a year.

McCabe says the North Entrance to the part and West Rim Drive are temporarily closed, but should be reopened by the weekend as the forecast calls for nice weather.

Politics & Government
5:53 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Timber Subsidy Passes U.S. House

Credit Nicholas_T/Flickr

A one-year extension of federal subsidies for timber counties has passed the U.S. House.

Oregon counties would get about $100 million under the extension of the now expired Secure Rural Schools Program.

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Jefferson Exchange | September 26, 2013
11:59 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Eugene City Council To Allow Small Homeless Camps

Credit BuzzFarmers

Eugene City Councilor Claire Syrett explains the city's approach to camps for homeless.

The Eugene City Council voted this week to pass an ordinance allowing small camps for the homeless.

The ordinance would give the council the authority to create multiple volunteer-run camps for up to 15 people… if a tryout with a first camp goes well. 

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Jefferson Exchange | September 26, 2013
11:55 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Ashland Vacation Rentals Face New Restrictions

Credit bizmology.hoovers.com

Ashland Development Director Bill Molnar and Lodging Association President Abi Maghamfar talk about requirements for vacation rentals.

Ashland property owners who rent out their homes as vacation rentals are now required to conduct business more like hotel owners.

The Ashland City Council recently passed new restrictions on vacation rentals, including business licenses, land-use approvals, and collection of a lodging tax. 

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California Buys Some Time
6:56 am
Wed September 25, 2013

A Reprieve Granted for California Prison Overcrowding

California prison, Los Angeles, 2006.
Credit California DCR

California has a few more weeks to find a solution to its prison overcrowding. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled state officials have until the end of January to comply with the court order to reduce prison overcrowding. The state had been facing a deadline of December 31st.

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News | September 25, 2013
6:47 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Modoc County Votes To Secede

Credit publicceo.com

  Modoc County California officials have joined Siskiyou County in voting to secede from the state. The Redding Record-Searchlight reports supervisors voted unanimously yesterday (Tuesday) in favor of secession. The vote comes just weeks after neighboring Siskiyou County supervisors began the movement.

The goal is to form the new State of Jefferson and include part of Southern Oregon. Some of the residents in the counties along the California-Oregon boarder feel that those in the urban centers of state government ignor their needs.

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Long Hot Summer
4:21 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Fire Season Ends In Southwest Oregon

The Douglas Fire Complex in the early days of the firefight.
Credit NASA.gov

Fire season ended at last in most of Southern Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) dropped the fire danger to LOW at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, September 24th. 

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Jefferson Exchange | September 25, 2013
11:41 am
Tue September 24, 2013

On The Road: Rethinking Rest Areas

Credit Ken Lund

"Rest Area 6 Miles Ahead" is a welcome sign to many a traveler in need of a visit to the facilities. 

And after a quick turnaround, you're on the road again.  But can rest areas do more and be more to travelers?   The semi-independent state agency Oregon Travel Experience is betting on a "Yes".  OTE spent the summer assessing the offerings at the state's traveler rest areas and the other amenities it manages, with an eye toward future improvements.  

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Jefferson Exchange | September 25, 2013
11:28 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Oregon's Dark Secret: Legal Slavery

Credit R. Gregory Nokes

R. Gregory Nokes talks to Geoffrey Riley about slavery in Oregon's past.

We all know the story of pre-Civil War America: there were slave states and free states.

But the line between them got a lot blurrier in the newer territories, including Oregon.

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Jefferson Exchange | September 24, 2013
2:04 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

A Push To Recycle (More) Plastic

Credit European Parliament

Oregon DEQ's Peter Spendelow explains issues with plastics recycling and the state's efforts to boost recycling rates.

A few minutes on the lips, and then… where?

Where does that plastic bottle go when you're done with it?  Often to a landfill, even in a recycling-heavy state like Oregon.

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Jefferson Exchange | September 20, 2013
12:17 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Coping With Parkinson's Disease

Credit Parkinson's Resources of Oregon

An exploration of Parkinson's Resources of Oregon.

The recent release of a memoir by singer Linda Ronstadt sheds additional light on Parkinson's disease.

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Music, Arts & Culture
12:08 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Method To The Madness: "Divine Lunacy"

Credit David Gabriel & Peter Quince

David Gabriel and Peter Quince explain the creation of "Divine Lunacy."

How best to broach the subject of mental illness?

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Court Supports Environmental Efforts
6:45 am
Thu September 19, 2013

California Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Efforts Upheld

California's first-in-the-nation mandate requiring fuel producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been upheld by a federal court.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday rejected arguments from fuel makers that California's low carbon fuel standard discriminates against out-of-state producers.

The ruling reverses a U.S. District Court ruling in favor of the fuel makers, and removes an injunction halting implementation of the law.

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