oregon

Simon & Schuster

The Oregon Trail's role in the westward expansion of the United States is beyond dispute. 

But that's different from actually recreating the journey in today's world. 

Who'd want to, with the long, dusty days, the chilly nights, the lack of water and creature comforts? 

Rinker Buck, that's who.  And the writer even convinced his brother to join him for a journey retracing the Trail, from Missouri to Oregon. 

It's all in his book The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey

Wikimedia

The hippies arrived in the 1960s and never left. 

That's one way to look at the Oregon Country Fair, if a bit pejorative. 

But it is safe to say there's nothing else for miles around like the music/art/food festival. 

And it is coming back to the woods near Veneta for the 46th time, the weekend of July 10th. 

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Jackson County Commissioners are considering joining the anti-pot party, banning medical marijuana dispensaries in areas under county jurisdiction.

Commissioners will consider a temporary moratorium on the dispensaries at their Wednesday morning (3/19) meeting.

Under new Oregon law, the moratorium would last until May 1, 2015.  It would apply to unincorporated areas outside city limits.

After more than eight hours yesterday, the Medford School District and the union representing its teachers ended a state-mediated negotiating session with no new agreements and no scheduled date as to when the sides would meet again.

The Mail Tribune reports that while the sides did not meet face-to-face during the day, they did exchange new proposals. That’s according to Alex Pulaski of the Oregon School Boards Association.

Oregon State mediators will meet separately with bargaining teams from the Medford School District and its teachers union this afternoon in the hopes of settling contract disputes before a Feb. 6 strike.

The Medford Education Association notified the district yesterday of its intent to strike in 10 days as required by law. The union's bargaining team walked away from negotiations Friday, saying the district was unwilling to budge on its latest contract offer.

Medford School District

After nearly a year of contract negotiations, Medford teachers will vote tonight (January 23) on whether to strike.

The Mail Tribune reports that bargaining teams from the Medford School District and the Medford Education Association have met three times this month, totaling about 30 hours, to negotiate the remaining articles of a new contract.

The district implemented the contract in late December without support of the teachers' union.

Some Federal Court Hearings Going Online

Jan 3, 2014
Keith Burtis/Flickr

Members of the public can now listen to hearings from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals online.

The court said Thursday it will offer online access to all of its proceedings beginning with its hearings next week in Pasadena. It's the first time a federal appeals court has provided the service.

Cover Oregon Leader Resigns

Jan 3, 2014

The man who led Oregon's problem-plagues health insurance exchange has submitted his resignation.

Rocky King has been on medical leave since December 2. His resignation is effective at the end of his leave, March 5.

Josephine County

The Josephine County Oregon Board of Commissioners has voted to keep the county fairgrounds open through the end of the fiscal year.

The commissioners also voted yesterday to go ahead with the 2014 fair in Grants Pass, which will be the county's 100th.

NOAA/Public Domain

Unpiloted aircraft will soon be tested over Oregon by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA announced it had selected a joint proposal from Oregon, Alaska, and Hawai'i to be among six newly designated drone testing sites across the U. S.

Persuaded by a man's argument that his campsite was his home, the Oregon Court of Appeals has reversed his conviction for illegally carrying a concealed weapon.

The Oregonian reports that the appeals court held that 66-year-old David Wolf was entitled to tell jurors at his trial that Oregon law makes an exception to carrying a concealed weapon without a permit if a person is in his or her place of residence.

A British Columbia lawyer representing 12 victims from the 2012 charter bus crash on Interstate 84 near Pendleton, Oregon filed a lawsuit this week seeking $700 million.

The East Oregonian reports the group is seeking a jury trial on accusations that tour operators were negligent. The lawsuit also accuses Oregon and the state Transportation Department for failing to make an icy stretch of the interstate safe, and failing to erect barriers to keep the bus from going over a cliff.

With its troubled health insurance exchange portal still not working, Cover Oregon officials say they have suspended its optimistic, feel-good advertising campaign after spending more than $8 million on it this year.

Cover Oregon official Michael Cox said Thursday that television, radio, and newspaper ads should no longer be running, while the "Long Live Oregonians" billboards will come down as payment expires.

The exchange has had to rely exclusively on paper applications and had to hire more than 400 workers to process them.

Oregon was the top moving destination for 2013, with 63 percent of interstate moves inbound. Oregon had been runner-up for four straight years.

In the new study by United Van Lines, the nation's largest household moving company, Oregon was followed by the Carolinas. South Carolina had the second-highest percentage of inbound moves, then North Carolina. South Dakota was fourth and the District of Columbia fifth.

At the other end, New Jersey repeated as the state with the highest percentage of outbound moves, followed by Illinois, New York, West Virginia, and Connecticut.

The campaign to privatize the liquor business in Oregon is getting started.

The Oregonian newspaper reports Oregonians for Competition, a political action committee tied to the Northwest Grocery Association, has already spent $30,000 on consultants.

It reported campaign expenditures last week of $15,000 each to Winner & Mandabach Campaigns and to the Silver Bullet company. Silver Bullet collects signatures for ballot initiatives. Winner & Mandabach worked on the campaign to defeat proposed labels for genetically modified food.

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A rule to ban smoking out in the open air on hiking trails, picnic areas, and common areas of campgrounds is under consideration by the Oregon Parks Department.

Department official Chris Havel said Wednesday the agency is following through on an executive order from the governor to reduce the public's exposure to secondhand smoke.

Bureau of Land Management

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is introducing his long-awaited bill to promote logging on national forests in Eastern Oregon

The Oregon Democrat's Senate Natural Resources Committee is to take up the bill today.

www.martinezbeavers.org

"Relocation" sounds like something out of the witness protection program, but it's the process of moving animals from one habitat to another. 

In the case of beavers in Klamath County, the relocation process is meant to put the beavers in the best place to help the environment and/or not create issues for farmers and ranchers.

opb.org

More than a dozen megaload protesters are in Oregon's Grant County jail. A woman who works at the jail says the people were arrested overnight for disorderly conduct.

The group Rising Tide says 16 people were arrested for blocking the huge shipment of oil refinery equipment on Highway 26 outside John Day.

Medford Mail Tribune

Medford police moved into the city hall with the rest of the city departments more than four decades ago.

And even though city offices have expanded, the police department is still scattered around several offices in city hall.

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