Sunday, August 20, 2006

Spanning the State--Sports Fan Edition

I'll be off for the day visiting family in the nether regions of the Northwest. It looks like its going to be another hot one today, too. So with a cup of iced coffee in one hand and the steering wheel in the other, I'm off to see the relatives.

But before I load up the car and head out, let's Span the State!


I have a definite passion for all things political and newsy. Folded in to that is my inner sports fan. For much of the winter she's dormant--mostly because I could care less about basketball and hockey. But late summer/early fall is when she comes out to play.....

Congratulations to Beaverton's Murrayhill Little League! They've made it to the Little League World Series being held in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, they dropped their first game on Friday to the team from New England. But they're still in it. Catcher Perry Lampman had an especially amazing moment--he got to catch the ceremonial first pitch from Hall of Famer Lou Brock. Brock then signed the ball and presented it to Lampman as a gift.

Yes, the Mariners suck and the Seahawks had a shaky looking first preseason game. But the most successful football franchise in the state had its first team get-together of the season, so its almost time to get my football cheer on.

Okay..enough sports.

Over in Bend, Mt. Bachelor boasts some of the cleanest air in the Northwest. Scientists from OSU and COCC are collecting air samples for study. They've discovered pollutants that have traveled in from China. As China continues to grow and become more industrialzied, the Northwest is expected to see higher pollution rates coming in from Asia.

Prominent GOP attorney Kelly Clark of West Linn is trying to get Mary Starrett off the ballot for governor. Starrett is the Constitution Party candidate who some believe will draw votes away from Ron Saxton of the GOP (as if Saxton has a chance in hell). Clark claims that the Constitution Party violated state election law in their nominating process by not publishing the party's convention in a major newspaper. Clark's complaint is headed to the Secretary of State's office.

The Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation are planning to revive an ancient tradition: the hunting of big horn sheep in Northeast Oregon. The tribe hasn't hunted in over half a century. A treaty signed in 1855 grants those hunting rights.

The TABOR spending trap is already effecting Oregon. Even with the remote possibility that TABOR/M48 might pass, Oregon Housing and Community Services notified banks and lenders that its suspending a low interest home loan program. Measure 48/TABOR is expected to put a serious constraint on bond sales if it passes. The sale of bonds helps to finance the program.

Umatilla is looking for a cache of volunteers to help them out during Cycle Oregon. The event draws upwards of 2100 cyclists and their families.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners have a hornet's nest on their hands. There's a major tug of war happening between the Commissioners and some local residents over the Washington County Fairgrounds and its future. A plan is on the table to have a developer build new and larger facilities at the site in exchange for just over half of the Fairground's 101 acres. The Fairgrounds is currently in a state of disrepair and residents are unwilling to pay taxes to fix what's needed. The Fair Boosters group opposes the plan and is accusing the Commissioners of making secret deals with developers.