News

Amanda Peacher/OPB

The members of the Bundy family who made so much news in Oregon have left the state.  But they are far from forgotten. 

After not-guilty verdicts from the Malheur Wildlife Refuge takeover in Oregon and a mistrial in Nevada, the members of the family are free of government custody. 

Oregon Public Broadcasting and a partner, Longreads, teamed up for a podcast series documenting the antagonistic relationship between the Bundys and government.  There are seven episodes of "Bundyville" extant. 

The 2018 Music on the Half Shell season was announced on May 22nd, and will feature a diverse lineup of artists over eight weeks this summer at Roseburg's Stewart Park.

The full season includes:

Legislative Democrats have settled on their top priorities for upcoming California budget negotiations with Gov. Jerry Brown.

They plan to ask for significant new investments to address the state’s housing and homelessness crises, and to improve health care access and affordability. They’ll also push for more money for higher education and welfare grants.

Both Senate and Assembly Democrats disagree with Brown’s proposed three percent increases over last year for the University of California and California State University systems.

Allie Caulfield from Germany/Wikimedia

How do you make an old-growth forest?  Start with a younger forest, for one thing. 

The Redwoods Rising Project aims to create old-growth redwood forest where lands have already been logged. 

It joins the forces of the Save the Redwoods League, California State Parks, and the National Park Service to help turn what is now mixed forest into true redwood forest. 

Emily Burns is science director for SRL, Jay Chamberlin works for the state park system. 

ruffeyrancheria.org

Siskiyou County's representative in Congress, Doug LaMalfa, introduced a bill to restore federal status to a group of Native Americans in the county. 

And some of the most outspoken people opposing the move are representatives from other tribes. 

The Ruffey Rancheria would gain the benefits of restoration if the bill passes, but the Karuk Tribe and others question whether the people seeking restoration are even related to members of the original rancheria. 

K.salo.85, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29973096

Biochar is gaining ground as a way to sequester carbon in the ground. 

Is it as simple as burying charcoal in the ground?  Not quite... charcoal and biochar are a little different, and we invited several guests to help us understand the differences and the process. 

Johannes Lehmann at Cornell University is well-versed in biochar; he joins us by phone. 

And we welcome Kelpie Wilson of Wilson Biochar into the studio, along with a rep from Oregon Biochar Solutions in White City. 

Lindsey G, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44776359

Hydraulic fracturing to get oil and gas out of the ground--"fracking"--troubles a lot of people.  Including a majority of the city council in Lafayette, Colorado

The council adopted a Climate Bill of Rights and Protections last year, and is making other moves to keep fracking activities from starting within city limits. 

City Councilor Merrily Mazza is one of the fracking opponents, and she's taking her message on the road, to Medford last night (May 22), and to North Bend and Eugene Wednesday and Thursday. 

Wikimedia

The California Assembly is pushing to expand the use of gun violence restraining orders after Friday’s school shooting in Texas.

Democratic lawmakers on Monday passed legislation that would allow teachers and school staff to request temporary confiscation of a person’s firearms. Employers and co-workers at businesses could also request gun violence restraining orders, under the bill.

Friday’s school shooting in Texas framed the debate.

Megathon Charlie/Flickr

The "conventional wisdom" on firearm deaths is that the rates are higher in urban areas.  In California, the conventional wisdom is wrong. 

The Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California-Davis studied firearm deaths--homicide and suicide--from 2000 to 2015. 

The overall rate of firearm homicide dropped 30% over that time... almost all of it in urban areas.  Rural areas have seen no such decline. 

Complete Coach Works

Down the valley with the sound of a whisper.  That might be overstating the plan for electric buses running between Redding and Sacramento. 

But the plan was attractive enough to bring in a grant of $8.6 million for battery buses to shuttle back and forth, with electric feeder lines for local communities as far north as Siskiyou County. 

The Shasta Regional Transportation Authority is in the driver's seat of the project. 

Southern Oregon's Howard Prairie Dam To Get Seismic Retrofit

May 21, 2018
US Bureau of Reclamation

The dam that creates Howard Prairie Lake will get a seismic retrofit over the next year to boost its chances of surviving a large earthquake should one rock Oregon’s southern Cascades.

Report: Gun Violence Costs Oregon $2.6 Billion Annually

May 21, 2018
John Sepulvado/OPB

Every year, about 63 gun-related homicides, 378 gun-related suicides, 160 nonfatal shootings and 138 unintentional shootings happen all over Oregon. 

The gun violence carries a heavy price tag, tallying up to an annual grand total of $2.6 billion, according to a report by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 

UO Student Dies During 'Shasta Weekend' Camping Trip

May 21, 2018
MB298 via Wikimedia Commons

A University of Oregon student died Saturday morning at California's Shasta Lake while attending an annual camping event.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

The House of Representatives failed to pass a farm bill on Friday. The reason it died: Lawmakers voted against targeted cuts to safety net program like food stamps.

But those that work with low-income residents who use these programs had mixed feelings about the bill’s failure.

How Dangerous Are The Northwest's Volcanoes?

May 18, 2018
Jack Smith

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, chances are good you can see a volcano from where you stand.

In Oregon, Washington and Idaho, magma has erupted out of the ground in at least 25 places in the last 10,000 years, a mere instant in the lifetime of volcanoes that can be hundreds of thousands of years old.

“There’s reason to believe it could happen again,” said Seth Moran, scientist in charge at the U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington.

ODOT

The beauty of the Rogue River is best enjoyed from a boat.  Highways and hiking paths just don't get to all of the stunning views of the river and its canyons and rapids. 

Many people enjoy the river from rafts, others prefer motorized accommodations.  That's where Hellgate Jetboat Excursions comes in. 

The boats have been skimming the river for 59 years now.  Current general manager Travis Hamlyn succeeded his father Robert, and knows the story of the company's rise well. 

JPR Live Session: Gordi

May 18, 2018

On the farm in rural Australia where Sophie Payten – AKA Gordi – grew up, there’s a paddock that leads down to a river. A few hundred metres away up the driveway of the property named “Alfalfa” sits another house, which belongs to her 93-year-old grandmother. The rest, she says, “is just beautiful space. And what else would you fill it with if not music?

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, the outspoken leader of the Me Too movement at the state Capitol who herself has faced accusations of sexual harassment, says the most severe allegations have been found to be unsubstantiated.

However, the Assembly investigation conducted by an outside law firm did substantiate that she used vulgar language around staff, used staff for personal matters, and spoke disparagingly about other Assembly members. The vulgar language is a violation of the Assembly’s sexual harassment and violence prevention policy.

Wikimedia

There's a constant debate about proper levels of spending at all levels of government. 

But how much do you actually know about government spending, and how easily can you lay your hands on information?  The public watchdog group OSPIRG gave Oregon a grade of B- in the transparency of its data on spending. 

Could be worse, the scale runs from A to F.  But what does Oregon need to do to improve its grade? 

Ratha Grimes/Wikimedia

Coral is more than a pretty color, it is an ecosystem that represents a tiny fraction of the planet, but a huge proportion of its marine life. 

Oregon State University's marine science efforts include studies of coral, even though the closest reef is thousands of miles from Oregon. 

OSU is a partner in the creation of the documentary film "Saving Atlantis," which puts the steep decline of coral in our warming oceans into perspective.  Justin Smith is producer and co-director of the movie; Rebecca Vega-Thurber is the primary investigator. 

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