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Few people will approach the issue of sexual assault the way Winnie Li did.  Her novel Dark Chapter, a fictionalized account of her real-life rape, brings readers into the mind of victim and rapist. 

And it kindles a larger discussion of how we as a society respond to the survivors of sexual assault. 

Susan Moen helps coordinate the response at the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), and BB Beltran does the same for Lane County Sexual Assault Support Services (SASSLane). 

The internet has been around for several decades now, but there are still large, rural areas that don’t have sufficient coverage. 

Christopher Tamarin is a broadband specialist with the Oregon Business Development Department, which has been working to expand broadband in Oregon. He says about 15 percent of Oregonians lack a high-speed connection. 

Ian Poellet, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26583479

Worst Christmas present ever for Eagle Point: the fire that burned down the historic Butte Creek Mill in 2015.  The old mill is listed as the last water-powered grist mill west of the Mississippi river. 

And it will soon begin to rise again, thanks to support from the community.  Some notable figures, including actors Patrick Duffy and Jim Belushi, have joined the effort to raise money for the mill's rebuilding. 

And the fundraising has been brisk. 

US Bureau of Reclamation

The recent drought years have often left drivers on Interstate Five wondering what happened to Shasta Lake.  The bridges that cross arms of the lake are often high above the water line, and it can be hard to even see water and boats. 

But a plan to raise the height of Shasta Dam by 18 feet is still on the table, in fact got recent funding for design and engineering work.  The move is applauded by Westlands Water District and other water agencies. 

But the dam-raising plan is condemned by Friends of the River and other groups. 

StockSnap/Pixabay

Paul Offit knows medicine.  And so he speaks from a position of some authority when he talks about issues with the human body and its care and maintenance. 

Dr. Offit notices that scientists are not really good at imparting simple, bumper-sticker information, so other people--politicians, actors, lobbyists, you name it--fill the breach. 

And that's what Dr. Offit addresses in his book Bad Advice, Or Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren't Your Best Source of Health Information.  It gives pointers on how to assess the quality of advice being given. 

The ACLU of Oregon

A federal judge in Portland ruled Monday that lawyers must be allowed access to 121 immigration detainees being held at the federal prison in Sheridan, Oregon.

California Gas Tax Repeal Measure Set For November Ballot

Jun 25, 2018
andreas160578 via pixabay.com

Get ready for a big battle this fall over last year’s transportation funding law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. As expected, an effort backed by conservatives to repeal the law’s fuel tax and vehicle fee increases has qualified for the November ballot.

Inciweb.gov

Federal officials anticipate a big wildfire season in the Northwest throughout July, August and possibly into September.

The latest forecasts show droughts throughout much of Oregon and Southeast Washington and the potential conditions for large fires if the region sees a week or longer stretch of hot and dry weather, according to the latest drought and climate outlook.

niekverlaan/Pixabay

Just about anybody who ever worked in a newsroom can share a story about a public official NOT looking happy to see a reporter. 

News organizations report on the business of government, not always a comfortable situation for people in government. 

And a recent study shows that cities where newspapers shut down saw an increase in local government costs, at least partly because of reduced scrutiny of city deals. 

JenRegnier/Pixabay

How would your dog do on the SATs?  The question is a joke, but not the concept of testing dogs for problem-solving abilities. 

Oregon State University's Human-Animal Interaction Lab put both pet dogs and trained search & rescue dogs to work solving puzzles (yes, they involve treats). 

And the dogs displayed some differences in behavior based on whether humans were encouraging them, or not. 

Lauren Brubaker, a doctoral student at the lab, led the research. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

To call Octavio Solis a prolific playwright is a big understatement.  He's written enough plays to fill a shelf, enough plays to give someone a cramp picking up all the scripts. 

And the work continues; next year the Oregon Shakespeare Festival will host the world premiere of "Mother Road." 

Solis has had several of his plays staged at OSF already, and has participated in the "Play On" project, rewriting Shakespeare's works into modern English. 

Future Unclear For Northern California Asylum Seekers

Jun 24, 2018
La Raza Centro Legal

Californians worried about family members trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border are reaching out to a San Francisco-based legal non-profit group that helps low-income Latino immigrants.

Laura Veirs grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she often spent summers camping with her family, which gave her much of her songwriting inspiration. Veirs has said that she didn’t seriously listen to music until she was in her 20s; instead, she just heard what was in her environment. She listened to folk, country, classical and pop music around the house and on the radio during her youth.

La Citta Vita, https://www.flickr.com/photos/la-citta-vita/6044042151/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28131542

Conservation easements and land donations are pretty common here... people who own land volunteer to give it up, or some uses of it, for the good of the environment. 

There's another approach, payments for environmental services (PES), which are controversial.  Do we have to pay people to do the right thing? 

Recent research involving Oregon State University indicates PES does provide some benefits to land and people and the communities they share.  The research focused on Mexico. 

Oregon Lays Out Cash To Build More Homes

Jun 22, 2018
Public Domain

Oregon needs more homes... lots of them.  By one measurement, Medford alone could use more than 4,000 new rental units to make housing more affordable for more people. 

The state of Oregon is acting.  The department of Housing and Community Services just awarded nearly $53 Million to build hundreds of housing units in other parts of the state. 

Margaret Salazar runs OHCS. 

Humans spent many years building big mechanized facilities to keep sewage and other waste from getting into our waterways. 

In Arcata, the city and community supporters worked long and hard to get nature involved in the treatment process. 

The result is the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, a jewel in the city's environmental crown.  It is featured in a new book called The Marsh Builders by Sharon Levy. 

She visits the studio to talk about the marsh creation. 

NIH/Public Domain

Using the hospital as the doctor's office is not uncommon in America.  When you're low on cash and don't have insurance, visiting the emergency room is a viable option. 

And may be less of an option now that more people are insured. 

Research out of the University of California-San Francisco notes the use of emergency rooms dropping in California since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). 

Wies van Erp / Flickr

Proponents of an initiative headed for the November ballot that would give Californians new Internet privacy rights have reached a deal with state lawmakers.

Sue Ogrocki

Backers of a proposal that would have required Oregonians to lock up their guns announced Wednesday they are shelving their effort for now.

The group behind the proposal to strengthen the state’s gun laws, which includes two people who lost family members during the 2012 mass shootings at the Clackamas Town Center mall, said they will work to strengthen the state’s gun-storage requirements during the 2019 legislative session and ask voters to weigh in on the issue again in 2020.

Is The Sun Finally Setting On Daylight Saving In California?

Jun 21, 2018
Scott Wilson / Flickr

Some people love daylight saving time. They argue it cuts down on energy use and extends opportunities for outdoor recreation.

But others say it disrupts our sleep schedule and has serious implications for public health. Assemblymember Kansen Chu (D - San Jose) has been unsuccessfully fighting the tradition for the past few years.

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