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Would it surprise you to know the town named North America's "Best Big City" (according to Money magazine) is Portland, Oregon?Luxury hotels, natural beauty, theaters and local attractions combine to create a sophisticated city that's quickly gaining the attention of the entire nation. (American Chronicle)
[H]ere's the worst part, the most outrageous outrage. Commissioner Janet Carlson pointed it out at the Board meeting:Politics over science--hmmm...where have I heard THAT before? I just can't recall. We agree with Brian that the Laack claim is a prime example for the M49 fix supporters to highlight.
This issue is complicated by the Measure 37 referendum [Measure 49]. If this wasn't the case, different decisions might be made.
Thanks for telling it like it is, Commissioner Carlson.
But you're being generous toward your colleagues when you said "maybe." It's obvious that "almost certainly" would be more accurate. Obvious, because this was the big concern of Brentano and Milne at the meeting where the Laack subdivision was approved.
They were deeply concerned about whether the Measure 37 applicant would be able to move ahead with the subdivision if a Hydro Study of the water situation was required, as the county ordinance demands.
They were told that a Study would extend well past the effective date of the Measure 37 fix (Measure 49), which would mean that only three homes could be built on this groundwater limited farmland.
So Brentano and Milne voted to allow 42 more wells in our neighborhood, even though independent water experts hired by the county said this would put surrounding wells and springs at high risk. They cared a lot about the Measure 37 applicant. They didn't care at all about the rights of hundreds of people already living here.
That's an outrage.
The Oregon Supreme Court rejected an effort by the LDS Church to withhold financial information from the lawyers for a man who claims a home teacher frequently molested him about 20 years ago.That last part's important; it may never come to the point where the church is forced to open their books.
Despite the legal defeat, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not immediately release the detailed financial information about its net worth, The Oregonian newspaper reported.
Kelly Clark, an attorney for the Oregon man suing the church, said it would be good for a jury to have the information before considering his request for $45 million in punitive damages. A trial is scheduled for Aug. 6.
"A jury needs to know the entire financial context to know whether a punitive award is too much or sufficient or not enough," Clark said.
The LDS church sought emergency relief from a trial court order to turn over the financial information, but the Oregon Supreme Court late Monday rejected the appeal. The pretrial decision was reached on narrow pretrial grounds and doesn't mean the court would not ultimately side with the church's position that the Constitution protects its right to keep financial information private.
Mormonism is unique in the way it collects tithes and offerings from local church units into a common pool at its Salt Lake City headquarters, then disperses the money to areas as needed. An all-volunteer clergy governs the church, but chapels and temples, missionary allowances and educator salaries are paid out of general church funds.The rest of that article also has a good treatment on why the Church stopped revealing their finances in the mid 20th Century. So, it's not just what the Mormons in Oregon have that would necessarily be revealed, it would be their holdings worldwide. As I said, I think Clark has really done a smooth job of putting the LDS behind the 8-ball on this one.
Because LDS assets are listed together, rather than by region, financial disclosure of any part of the assets would reveal all the church's holdings. To Mormon leaders, that's an unfair expectation.
"I'm not aware of any group or denomination that would funnel all money into the central repository. That would be totally unheard of in Protestantism," Busby said. "Most denominations require that local churches pay a percentage or per capita amount to headquarters, but usually only 10 or 15 percent used to fund headquarters operations."
Even the Catholic Church, which has a centralized leadership at the Vatican, is financed at the diocesan level. That's why several U.S. dioceses have filed for bankruptcy after being hit with millions of dollars in abuse awards, but no one asked to see all the Vatican's records.
Anti-gun message? Check.
Anti-war zealotry? Check.
Anti-capitalism symbolism? Check.
American flag mockery? Check.
I'll be in Corvallis this eve for a house party hosted by former State Senator and Democratic Leader Cliff Trow, then in Astoria Sunday for a Democratic ice cream social.
Listen closely to NPR next week - they're doing a profile of Gordon Smith, and Colin Fogarty interviewed me yesterday; hopefully they'll use some of it, and we'll get some national exposure.
"It really is a grassroots, populous campaign at this point," said Jake Weigler, Novick's campaign manager. "At this point it's really about connecting with voters - not only getting to know them, but allowing them to actually engage him."
Novick said he's been encouraged by the response he's received so far, both from media coverage and Oregon voters. The Portland resident plans to continue traveling across the state in the coming months, speaking at intimate gatherings and events as he did Thursday, when about 20 people turned out.
While he's started small in the early stages of his campaign, he said his basic strategy of "just telling the truth" and connecting with voters will continue through the primary in May 2008.
The penalties, announced today by the NCAA, stem from a case involving two players, including the Sooners' starting quarterback, who were kicked off the team for being paid for work they had not performed at a Norman car dealership.Hmmm...maybe that crazy loss to the Ducks last season, likely costing the Sooners a BCS Bowl berth, was a little bit of pre-karma before the NCAA got involved.
The Sooners went 8-4 and beat Oregon in the Holiday Bowl to end the 2005 season. Records from that season involving quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn must be vacated, the NCAA said, and coach Bob Stoops' career record will be amended to reflect the penalties, dropping it from 86-19 in eight seasons to 78-19.
We know that families come in all varieties and it is our strong belief that ALL Oregon families deserve to have the rights, responsibilities and protections necessary to keep each other safe in times of crisis.They've also put together a pretty cool video you can watch here, to get you to meet some of those 50 voices and hear their stories.
The 50 Voices For Equality campaign is meant to demonstrate the broad cross-section of straight Oregonians who support relationship equality for Oregon's committed same-sex couples and their families. These 50 Oregonians also believe that discrimination of any kind is wrong and ought to be against the law.
From the faith and business communities, to farmers and grandparents--freedom from discrimination for gay and lesbian Oregonians is a belief shared by a large majority of Oregonians.
Others rumored to be considering a bid for secretary of state include Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown, D-Portland, and Sen. Jason Atkinson, R-Central Point.
"The Interior Department's latest water use plan is not the answer. We should keep working with the federal government to find a balance that recognizes the economic needs of southern Oregonians. This plan just doesn't get us there. It threatens our collaborative efforts and the Klamath Basin's agricultural community," Chairman Smith said.But the king-daddy of them all, his 9th Symphony of legislative effort, was Amendment 899 to the House Interior appropriations bill of 2001. His speech on the floor dramatizes just where he's coming from when the contest is fish vs farmers, science vs emotion. His proposal? Ignore the decision and court rulings; go back to the way it was 10 years ago, when the fish didn't get first crack at the water, the farmers did. That's it--just turn back the clock and pretend no rulings or evaluative science had ever occurred. The amendment failed, but just barely, 52-48. Ballsy as it is, it may have been the most legislatively rational thing he tried. He recognized the ESA rulings as anathema to his goals, so he proposed simply repealing it. Honest, maybe, but we can still hold him accountable.
"The Klamath Basin community has made significant inroads toward resolving difficult water rights problems in the region. A heavy hand from the federal government will only frustrate this progress. Water use in southern Oregon is too important to settle for what is at best a divisive issue," Senator Smith said.
I am the first Senator to be elected from Oregon who comes from its rural parts--eastern Oregon--in 70 years. I represent all of my State, but I have a special passion to represent those rural parts that I have watched be devastated for too long by Federal action. I believe the Endangered Species Act is a noble act with noble purposes, but I believe it is being used by some to very ignoble ends.
My actions today are not to subvert the Endangered Species Act. This is not reform. This is an act asking that its terms be implemented in a way that will relieve genuine human suffering in a way that may prevent the violence that has already been visited upon Federal property in a contest between farmers and the Bureau of Reclamation for the essential ingredient to life in the West, and that is water.
What has happened to the community of Klamath Falls, by conservative estimates, will cost that county $200 million. I thank the Senator from West Virginia, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and others, who helped me to get $20 million of relief to these people. Obviously, it is 10 percent of what is needed, even by conservative estimates.
But now what we are doing is we are raising this lake 3 feet--it is a very big lake, very shallow, but it is being raised 3 feet--and cutting off all the water to farmers and fowl. It is being done to save the suckerfish, and now, while it is being saved, it is warming up. So the coho salmon that will soon be returning expecting to receive the cool waters of the Klamath will receive waters the temperature of a swimming pool. So, potentially, even the coho salmon--which is also a listed species--could be adversely affected by this biological opinion.
Well, there are two agencies of the Federal Government that are competing. One biological opinion is Fish and Wildlife with regard to the suckerfish. The other is the biological opinion of the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Commerce Department that affects the coho salmon.
Both biological opinions essentially ask for 100 percent of the water which means cutting off 100 percent of the people.
The point I want to make is that would not be necessary if the Federal Government over the last 8 years would have kept its part of the bargain and done what it could to mitigate the impact to the sucker so that farmers would not be victimized.
What I do is simply reinstate the previous biological opinions that were in effect before this spring until the Federal Government can complete action on numerous recommendations of its 1993 recovery plan. Again, they were not acted upon over the last 8 years. Why? They say budgetary reasons.
I want this to be a priority. I want the budget to fix this problem. I do not want the whole budget burden thrown on the backs of rural people, but that is what was decided to be done.
This is the land, the valley. I do not know whether my colleagues can see it, but this couple is overlooking the Klamath Basin--farms being developed, hay being raised, corn being raised, potatoes being raised that fill our shelves today. Look at the hopes and dreams in the faces of these people.
This is a little girl at an assembly of people at a rally a few weeks ago. Her sign says: ``Mommy says I can't eat, but fish can.''
That is what we are driving them to, and it is not right because they are being told they are of lesser value under our law than the shortnosed sucker.
This is a picture of the shortnosed sucker. It is a bottom-feeding fish. It lives in this shallow lake. It has gone through many droughts along with the farmers. It has survived, stressed, I am sure, just as humans are stressed in conditions of drought.
I am not saying this fish has no value. I have never thought the suckerfish is very good looking, but it has a mother, and that mother, I am sure, loves this fish. I know the Native Americans in this area value this fish, and I am not suggesting in any way that we are not interested in saving this fish.
I am saying the purpose of the Endangered Species Act was not to engage in a process of rural cleansing, of throwing off their property people who had been given great promise and hope for the future. They are meeting the mailmen with foreclosure notices because the Federal Government decided it is going to breach its promise.
You cannot vote for Gordon Smith because he is a member of the Republican Party. Over the last six and a half years, the Republican Party has set this country back at least 50 years. They have made a mess of everything, domestically and internationally. Guys like Gordon Smith had their chance to run the country, and they botched it badly. So now it's time for someone else to get a chance.
Some say you can't fight the federal government...they should meet Gordon Smith.Wow, for someone who wants to avoid scrutiny on this re-bubbling topic, those statements have to be a little inconvenient right now, don't they? The way these people tell it, when Gordon Smith found out that "bureaucrats" (read: federal biologists) wanted to give Klamath River water to fish instead of farmers, he not only got involved, he went right to the head of scientific inquiry in the US--President Bush! And somehow, though Republicans have been famous for taking whatever answer the President gives them, this time Smith wouldn't budge! He carried their water.
Water's our problem--and bureaucrats.
He took it straight to Bush.
He wouldn't take no for an answer.
That's Gordon. He stood up for us.
Gordon Smith carried our water.