Liam Moriarty

Reporter/Producer

Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years. He's reported on a wide range of topics – including politics, the environment, business, social issues and more – for newspapers, magazines, public radio and the web.  Liam was JPR News Director from 2002 to 2005, reporting and producing the Jefferson Daily regional news magazine. After covering the environment in Seattle, then reporting on European issues from France, he's returned to JPR, turning his talents to covering the stories that are important to the people of this very special region. moriartyl@sou.edu

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Environment
7:55 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Oregon Nickel Mine Proposal Runs Into Stiff Opposition

North Fork of the Smith River, near Hiouchi, CA.
Credit PGHolbrook/Wikimedia Commons

A Britain-based company is making preliminary moves that could lead to a 4,000-acre open-pit nickel mine being established in the headwaters of the Smith and Illinois Rivers in southwest Oregon.

The firm says it’s at the beginning of a long process of evaluating whether such a mine would even pencil out. But opponents in Oregon and California are taking no chances.  They’re going all-out to kill it in the cradle.

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Low Carbon Fuel Standard
6:32 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Supreme Court Decision Could Impact Oregon Clean Fuel Rules

A biofuels pump dispenses 5 different blends of fuel at the 2010 Washington Auto Show
Credit 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.

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First...The News
11:13 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Getting Judgmental In The Newsroom

Using sound judgment, JPR broadcasts news that engages listeners interest and looks deeper than the headlines.

I always get a chuckle when I hear people say they don’t follow the news because it’s ”filtered.” What they want, they declare, is “unfiltered” news.

Good luck with that.

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"A voice that could move a mountain to Dance."
1:51 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Soul Man: Krishna Das Comes To Ashland

Kirtan singer Krishna Das
Credit Renee Edde

The New York Times has called Krishna Das “The Chantmaster of American Yoga.” The one-time rock’n’roller turned spiritual devotee has earned a following with his soulful voice and heartfelt approach to traditional Indian devotional chant. JPR’s Liam Moriarty recently spoke with the Grammy-nominated singer, who will be performing in Ashland on July 1.

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Less is More
7:37 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Getting Small: The Joys and Challenges of Tiny House Living

A 117 square foot tiny house north of Seattle, WA.
Credit Zoey/http://www.livetiny365.com/

Since 1950, the size of the average American house has nearly tripled, to more than 2,400 square feet. Not coincidentally, US consumers on average also pay a much larger portion of their income on keeping a roof over their heads.

Now, as JPR’s Liam Moriarty reports, a small but growing number of people – in the Northwest and beyond -- are scaling back their housing needs and trading square footage for more time and freedom. 

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"Turnaround Leader"
9:17 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Dr. Roy Saigo Appointed Interim SOU President

Dr. Roy Hirofumi Saigo has been appointed interim president of Southern Oregon University
Credit OUS

Southern Oregon University has a new president.

Dr. Roy Saigo was approved as the interim president of SOU on Friday at a meeting of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education. The vacancy was created when current SOU President Dr. Mary Cullinan announced she accepted the job as president at Eastern Washington University near Spokane.

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SOU President Moves On
4:39 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Cullinan Takes Top Post At Eastern Washington University

SOU president Mary Cullinan is leaving to head Eastern Washington University
Credit SOU

Second time's the charm.

Just a month after being a finalist for a job at Youngstown University in Ohio, Southern Oregon University President Mary Cullinan has announced she's leaving SOU at the end of June to assume the presidency of Eastern Washington University near Spokane.

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"I'll Huff, And I'll Puff ..."
6:40 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

The Wolf At The Door: California Wrestles With A Predator’s Return

The wolf designated by researchers as OR-7, caught on remote camera in southwest Oregon on May 3, 2014
Credit US Fish and Wildlife Service

It’s been ninety years since the last native California wolf was trapped and killed. Last week, Oregon wildlife officials announced that OR-7, the wolf they’ve tracked wandering in and out of northern California, had found a mate and fathered a new litter in southern Oregon.

That news contributes to the growing sense that it’s only a matter of time till wolves re-inhabit the Golden State. Against this backdrop, California wildlife officials extended endangered species status to the gray wolf.

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"An Opportunity To Build A Future"
9:08 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Wyden's Klamath Water Bill Gets Hearing in DC

Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge will get more water under a pending Senate bill sponsored by Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Credit Edward J. O'Neill/National Fish and Wildlife Service

A Senate hearing in Washington, DC Tuesday  marked the legislative debut of an ambitious bill by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden meant to end, once and for all, the water wars in the Klamath Basin.

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Maker Culture
5:55 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Rogue Hack Lab: Incubator For Innovation And Learning

Credit Harland Quarrington/Wikimedia Commons

Maker spaces and hacker spaces are a growing phenomenon. They’re places where everyday people gain access to the tools – and the collaborative inspiration – to combine art, engineering and technology in new and innovative ways. Sometimes these projects become incubators for products and inventions with enormous potential. 

In Medford, the Rogue Hack Lab is a local expression of this global movement.

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Environment
2:06 am
Wed May 21, 2014

GMO Bans Win Big in Jackson, Josephine Counties

Rogue Valley farmer Jared Watters supported Measure 15-119. The ban on growing GMO crops passed with 67 percent of the vote.
Credit Liam Moriarty/JPR News

The proponents of measures to ban the cultivation of genetically-modified crops in Jackson and Josephine Counties have pulled off solid wins.

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Law and Justice
1:44 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Josephine County Voters Say No to Public Safety Levy (Again)

Credit Amelia Templeton/EarthFix

The third time was not the charm, as Josephine County voters once again shot down a measure to raise property taxes to pay for law enforcement.

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Environment
6:07 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

Arrests Highlight Threat To Ancient Redwoods

Credit Two+two=4/Wikimedia Commons

Two northern California men have been charged with damaging old growth trees in the Redwood National and State Forest. The arrests are the first in response to a recent increase in illegal poaching of redwood burl. JPR looks at the illicit trade in the North Coast’s legendary giants. 

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What's a "good neighbor?"
5:35 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

GMO Battle Divides Jackson County Farmers

Jim and Marilyn Frink farm 500 acres in the Sams Valley area in Jackson County.
Credit Liam Moriarty/JPR

The people with perhaps the most direct economic stake in the fate of Jackson County’s proposed ban on growing genetically modified crops are the county’s farmers. JPR visited Rogue Valley farmers who stand on opposite sides of Measure 15-119 to find out how they see it.  

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A Hand Up
5:08 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

A Hot Shower For Ashland's Homeless

A homeless man who goes by Steve enjoys the new hot shower and laundry facility in Ashland
Credit Liam Moriarty/JPR

Most of us take for granted that we can have a hot shower pretty much anytime we like.  But for people without a home, such basic personal hygiene can be a rare luxury. Now, in Ashland, community groups have come together to create a solution that meets the simple human need for cleanliness with dignity and compassion.

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Education
5:32 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

SOU President Talks About Her Potential Move

Southern Oregon University President Mary Cullinan
Credit SOU

This has been a tumultuous year at Southern Oregon University; deep budget cuts, faculty layoffs, contentious contract negotiations, academic reorganization -- not to mention a dramatic restructuring of the entire Oregon University System.

On Monday, SOU president Mary Cullinan announced she’s a finalist for a position as president of Youngstown State University in Ohio.

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Free Bird?
5:13 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

SOU President Is Finalist for Job In Ohio

SOU president Mary Cullinan
Credit Sou.edu

Mary Cullinan, embattled president of Southern Oregon University, announced Monday that she’s a finalist for the job of president at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio.

Cullinan, president at SOU since 2006, made the announcement in a campus-wide email Monday afternoon. She indicated she had not been actively seeking another job.

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NPR Story
10:44 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Nearly 150-Year-Old Federal Mining Law Could Need Update

Highly acidic mine runoff flows from a culvert near the abandoned Formosa mine near Riddle, Oregon.
Liam Moriarty/Jefferson Public Radio

The federal legislation that regulates mining for copper, zinc, gold and many other minerals was originally signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant. In ways, the law reflects a 19th century view of natural resources: limitless and there for the taking.

Now, a legacy of pollution at tens of thousands of abandoned mines across the West is prompting an Oregon congressman to head a new effort to revise the General Mining Act of 1872.

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Environment
6:14 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Time To Update the 1872 Mining Law?

Highly acidic mine runoff flows from a culvert near the abandoned Formosa mine near Riddle, Oregon.
Credit Liam Moriarty / Jefferson Public Radio

The federal legislation that regulates mining for copper, zinc, gold and many other minerals was originally signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant. In ways, the law reflects a 19th century view of natural resources: limitless and there for the taking.

Now, a legacy of pollution at tens of thousands of abandoned mines across the West is prompting an Oregon Congressmember to head a new effort to revise the General Mining Act of 1872.

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Community Watch
1:29 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Citizen Volunteers Arm Themselves Against Crime In Rural Oregon

An old police car is permanently parked on the highway through O'Brien, Ore., where cuts to the sheriff's office have prompted some locals to mount crime patrols.
Jeff Barnard AP

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:10 am

It's after 10 p.m. as Sam Nichols slowly cruises through the tiny town of O'Brien, Ore., shining superbright spotlights into the shadows.

"We're just checking this commercial building here, just to make sure there's no one hiding around it or anything," Nichols says.

Nichols' King Cab pickup has a yellow flasher on top and signs on the doors identifying it as a Citizens Against Crime patrol. Riding with Nichols is fellow volunteer Alan Cress.

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