Sunday, July 09, 2006

Spanning the State: Hot stuff edition

Oregon has been experiencing unusually warm weather for this early in the summer season. Several 90 degree days in late May, several in June and now more into early July have caused my inner hobby gardener to become a full fledged freak. I even got myself up extra early yesterday morning to schlep down to the Beaverton Farmers Market. Normally the local berries aren't ready until mid July or August. But the warm weather has brought out the berries along with my garden freak. So for the last two days I've been making jam and gardening. Not that you probably care--after all this is a political blog. But sometimes its good to set politics aside and enjoy the fruits (literally) of life.

But it is Sunday after all. So let's span the State!


Proud to be an American. Sometimes the small town papers are the ones that offer the most thoughtful commentary. The Stayton Mail reminds us that there are different ways to express national pride. So perhaps we should be mindful that one man's "traitor" is another man's way of working for a better America.

Getting caught in the spin cycle of payday loan debt. Desperate financial times can cause some to take desperate financial measures. Pay day loans have been a place that some folks have turned to when they're in monetary dire straights. The Bend Bulletin has a great piece on why that path can lead to continued economic ruin.

Muscling lawmakers.The Oregon Cattleman's Association has been exercising incredible power over the US Fish and Wildlife's (and the Oregon Legislature's) ability to implement wolf recovery in Oregon and Idaho.

Tribute to a mourning family.The community of Madras continues to mourn the death of PFC Thomas Tucker, who was killed in an especially brutal and horrific manner in Iraq. The Madras Pioneer pays tribute to the Tucker family's grace and dignity in the face of their public tragedy.

Yikes.A Baker City postal worker apparently went (literally) postal on a coworker and is now charged with murder.

Don't let a little toxic sludge slow ya down. The city of Salem is attempting to lurch forward on a plan to develop downtown riverfront property that's been contaminated by current owners Boise Cascade. Cleanup is "part of what's on the table" before Boise Cascade begins to market the property, according to a BC spokesperson. Uh...its on the table? Remind me not to purchase riverfront property in Salem, please.

"Well, it's kind of like the Bach Festival - but without clothes." So goes this description of the Oregon Country Fair.

Too cool for school.The McMinnville School District has won a grant to open an Media Arts and Communications Academy. The school is expected to open in Fall of 2007. Several other districts around Oregon received grants to open specialized schools as well.

Just say no. Ballot measure season is looking ugly for the most part.