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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First...The News
11:31 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Upon My Return

Coming back to JPR after nearly nine years has been a happy challenge for me.  In some ways, it’s been déjà vu all over again...

Last time I was in the JPR newsroom, I worked in the same studio and sat at the same desk as I do now. I’m working with a lot of the same people, too. And when I was moving back in, deep in one drawer I even found some old business cards of mine, from when I was JPR’s News Director in 2002–2005.

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Business
7:26 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Out of the Shadows: An Emerging Cannabis Industry Seeks Respectability

Credit Liam Moriarty/Jefferson Public Radio

On Monday, the Oregon Health Authority started accepting  license applications for the first state-sanctioned medical marijuana dispensaries. The law’s supporters hope to assure patients safe access to their medicine. But as a rapidly expanding list of states allows medical marijuana – and with Washington and Colorado legalizing recreational use of pot – a growing cohort of entrepreneurs hears opportunity knocking.

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Powerful pings
4:38 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Are Whales At Risk From Navy Sonar Training Plans?

This harbor porpoise was one of nearly a dozen found dead in the wake of a naval sonar exercise in Washington State in 2003.
Credit Center for Whale Research

Active sonar is the Navy’s best weapon to detect the presence of hostile submarines. But that same powerful underwater pulse of sound can harm or even kill whales and other marine mammals. Now, the Navy is seeking permission to continue using a huge swath of the Northwest coast – from northern California to the Canadian border -- for a wide range of naval training and practice, including sonar. The Navy says it’s taking precautions, but others say it’s not enough.

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Mourning in Ashland
8:07 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Retrenchment Means Upheaval at Southern Oregon University

During a mock funeral protest, SOU student Jamie Thoma reads the list of majors proposed for elimination under the university's retrenchment.
Credit Liam Moriarty/JPR

Budget problems bring academic reorganization to SOU

“Retrenchment” isn’t a word you normally hear in everyday conversation. But it has a very specific meaning in the context of Oregon’s state universities. And if a proposed retrenchment plan is adopted at Southern Oregon University, it’ll mean fewer programs – and fewer teachers.

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Rock, Meet Hard Place
6:52 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Medford Schools To Re-open Without Striking Teachers

Striking teachers picket at Central Medford High School, February 10, 2014
Credit Joi Riley/JPR

Medford Schools open despite a first-ever strike by teachers

The Medford public schools are re-opening this morning. But most of the district’s teachers will be out on the sidewalks picketing rather than in the classrooms.

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Seeking Compromise
3:38 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Wyden Gets Pushback On His O&C Timber Bill

Logging in the Oregon Coast Range in 2010
Credit M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden pledges to do everything he can to get his proposed timber plan passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama this year. He’s gathered support from key players in both the timber industry and the environmental community, and he’s painting opponents as uncompromising extremists.

But, hold-outs on both sides say splitting the baby in half isn’t the wisest choice.

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Local Limits to "Open Carry"
2:54 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Ashland to Ponder Gun Restrictions

Credit Enoch Lai/Wikimedia

The Ashland  city council is poised to consider taking up a pair of ordinances proposed by a community group concerned about gun violence. Whether Ashland adopts the new laws or not, it raises questions about how far local gun restrictions can go, and what they can accomplish.

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California's Emerald Triangle
5:19 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Pot vs Fish: Can We Grow Salmon-Friendly Weed?

Credit United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Efforts to reduce threats to salmon habitat from marijuana farming in northern California

As marijuana has become more mainstream, the business of cultivating the plant has boomed. That’s true nowhere more than in coastal northern California. There, the so-called Emerald Triangle of Mendocino, Trinity and Humboldt counties is believed to be the largest cannabis-growing region in the US.

But as the hills have sprouted thousands of new grow operations, haphazard cultivation is threatening the recovery of endangered west coast salmon and steelhead populations.

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Oregon "Least Affordable"
6:51 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Oregon's Child Care Affordability Trap

Demetria Hebert with daughter Lillian, 5, and son Zander, 4, at the SOU Schneider Children's Center
Credit Liam Moriarty/JPR

Dealing with the high costs of day care

With stay-at-home parents increasingly rare, finding high quality, affordable child care has become a major challenge for many families. A recent report found Oregon has the least-affordable child care in the nation. This is a look at the hurdles parents face and how some are coping with the squeeze.

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Ethical Dilemma
7:49 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Killing One Owl Species To Save Another

Biologist Lowell Diller bands a spotted owl on forest lands owned by the Green Diamond Resource Company in Humboldt County,
Liam Moriarty JPR

A look at the wisdom - and ethics - of shooting barred owls to save spotted owls

It’s been nearly 20 years since the Northwest Forest Plan scaled back logging across the region, in large part to preserve habitat for the endangered northern spotted owl. But the spotted owl continues to decline. Scientists blame the larger, more aggressive barred owl for pushing the spotted owl out of its natural habitat. Now, federal wildlife managers have begun shooting barred owls to see if removing the competition will allow spotted owls to recover.

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