Idaho State Police

Recreational marijuana went on sale last week in Washington state, but police across the border in Idaho and Oregon say that doesn't mean the pot will stay there. Law enforcement worry people will try to sneak pot products across the border – or worse, the legal market in Washington will seep into the black-market.

Hashtagging World Population Day

Jul 11, 2014

We welcome you to World Population Day! 

And you, and you, and you…  you get the idea here. 

Earth is home to an estimated 7.2 Billion people, and today (July 11) is the day several organizations want people to consider the impacts. 

Charging Motorboaters More In Oregon

Jul 10, 2014

The greater fuel efficiency of cars means fewer gallons of gas are being sold, so less tax money gets set aside for road-building. 

It's an issue on the water, too… recreational boating has increased in Oregon in the past five years, but fuel tax revenue declined.  And so did motorboat registrations. 

So the state marine board approved a motorboat registration fee increase, from $3 a foot to $5 a foot, pending legislative approval.

Cleaning Up Behind The Mine

Jul 10, 2014

It's one of the sharper debates in extractive industries: what happens to land that has been mined. 

Think about strip mines and mountaintop-removal mining. 

Now think happier thoughts, because Oregon rewards companies that do good work in reclaiming mined land. 

Capital Public Radio

Using recycled water to irrigate parks, golf courses and agriculture is one thing. Turning it into drinking water is quite another. But that’s exactly what Orange County has done for the last six years. In fact, it’s the largest potable recycled water project in the world.

Crude oil shipments by rail increased by more than 80 percent, nationally, last year. Most of it is coming from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. That oil can catch fire and explode when trains derail. More than 15 trains of Bakken oil move through the Northwest each week, en route to refineries and terminals in Oregon and Washington. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway transports the majority of that oil. The company regularly touts its commitment to safety. But an EarthFix investigation reveals some troubling patterns in the way BNSF deals with whistleblowers.

Oregon's New Housing Law

Jul 9, 2014

Discrimination in rental housing is banned under law. 

But landlords in Oregon could refuse to rent to people who got rental assistance through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. 

That ended effective July 1, when the Housing Choice Act went into effect under Oregon law. 

Capital Public Radio

As the California drought meets the summer heat, water managers continue to look for ways to secure water for people who need it. Governor Jerry Brown wants more recycled water production. The administration has made $800 million available in loan financing for water agencies to treat wastewater. 

Guide For Safe Summer Swimming

Jul 8, 2014

On those hot days, it's hard to resist a swim in a cool body of water. 

But findings of toxic algae and high bacteria levels in area lakes and rivers make a few swimmers more cautious. 

The Rogue Riverkeeper program is set up to help... with The Swim Guide. 

Hobby Lobby/Contraceptives Reaction

Jul 8, 2014
Keith Burtis/Flickr

Who knew a place with the rhythmic name of "Hobby Lobby" could cause such an uproar? 

But that's what happened recently, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby stores do not have to cover certain contraceptives in their employee health plans, for religious reasons. 

The outcry from reproductive rights groups has been sharp. 

Helping The Holly Come Back

Jul 7, 2014

Façade upgrade, check. 

Roof beam repair, check. 

Medford's Holly Theatre is coming back to life, slowly but surely. 

The Holly is not yet open for performances, but is open for tours. 

And those are impressing visitors and helping bring in dollars to finish the restoration. 

Ending Old-Growth Logging

Jul 7, 2014

The most contentious portion of the debate over forest management concerns old-growth timber. 

Can the timber industry be healthy without cutting down ancient trees? 

Scientists, including Dominick DellaSala at Ashland's Geos Institute, say yes. 

Geos and other organizations just teamed up on a study showing that old-growth logging could be phased out in Alaska's Tongass National Forest in just six years. 

Bracing For The Sparks

Jul 3, 2014

If only the Declaration of Independence had been signed in March. 

Then we'd have fireworks in the part of the year when it's not so hot and dry. 

Alas, we celebrate independence on July 4th. 

Even in towns where consumer fireworks are illegal--like Ashland--firefighters keep a sharp eye out for sparks around the holiday. 

At 150, Yosemite's Roots Go Deep

Jul 2, 2014
Wikipedia Commons

It’s nearing midnight, and the full moon is bathing North America’s tallest waterfall in its milky glow.

A few die-hard photographers have timed their visit to Yosemite Falls so they can catch a glimpse of a rare phenomenon: a rainbow at night, emerging from the mist.

It’s called a moonbow, and you can only see it a few times a year.

Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz via Wikimedia Commons

This week, the US Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to California’s clean fuel law.

Supporters of the law – and of similar efforts in Oregon and Washington – say the high court’s decision clears the way for the West Coast to take the lead in reducing planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. But opponents in the petroleum industry say the law is still a bad idea.

Life And Success At Opportunity Village Eugene

Jul 2, 2014
Opportunity Village Eugene

It took longer than its supporters envisioned, but Opportunity Village Eugene finally got off the ground, and has a track record now. 

The village is a place for homeless people to stay while they look for permanent housing. 

It's a constant challenge for Eugene's large homeless population. 

Making Movies In The Rogue Valley

Jul 2, 2014

Who needs Hollywood when you have the Rogue Valley?  Not Gary Lundgren. 

The director of "Calvin Marshall" and "Redwood Highway" and his producer/wife Anne Lundgren enjoy making films in Southern Oregon, and they are using Kickstarter to raise the funds for another movie. 

"Black Road" is envisioned as a thriller set in the future, in the "lawless State of Jefferson." 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Unlike Oregon and California, Idaho doesn't have medical marijuana. In fact, in 2013, Idaho lawmakers passed a resolution saying they would never support legalizing marijuana for any reason.

But one year later, during the 2014 legislative session, many of those same lawmakers held closed-door discussions about creating an exception to the state's strict anti-pot laws. And it was all because of a little girl from Boise and her mom.

Going Up The Country (Fair)

Jul 1, 2014

What a difference a single letter can make.  Take "R" for example. 

Oregon is loaded with county fairs, but add the R in there, and there's only one Oregon COUNTRY Fair. 

And it is coming back to the woods near Veneta for the 45th time, the weekend of July 11th. 

Teacher Education Lags In Oregon

Jul 1, 2014
The Leaf Project

The ongoing focus on raising the quality of American public education generally falls on teachers. 

And a recent report rated more than 2,000 teacher training programs across the country. 

None of the top 100 are located in Oregon. 

Oregon's Chalkboard Project is dedicated to improving education, including raising the level of teacher education.