Has Oregon Legislature gone too far?
In the early days of a legislative session, you might hear legislators talk about “cats and dogs,” and it’s not a reference to animals. Rather, the phrase refers to a certain type of bill that flourishes in the first half of a session. A “cat and dog” bill tends to be on a specific and narrow topic that often is close to the heart of a particular legislator. Each session tends to generate a lot of these bills — hence the phrase “cats and dogs.” Many of them are silly. Some of them generate some press coverage because they often tend to cover unusual topics. And most of them die in the first few weeks of a session — a useful reminder that one of the important functions of a Legislature is to kill bills. So it was surprising to learn this week that a “cat and dog” bill still is very much alive in this session — and that the bill deals with actual cats and dogs.
Should ban on pumping gas be lifted?
This year’s college graduates will enter the best job market since the early stages of the Great Recession, which officially started when this year’s seniors - at least those who finished in four years — were freshmen in high school.
Do trade agreements benefit the US?
The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce was closing in on its goal to have 1,000 people participate in the May 16 Color Dash as of Friday afternoon. How’s that for a measurable outcome?
Crosstalk: Homelessness is a societal reality
Oregon is in a drought situation due to record low rainfall and snow pack levels, which will greatly increase the potential for catastrophic wildfires and a huge firefighting bill for taxpayers. Fire educators believe it could be the driest summer that the Northwest has seen for 25 years. Last year, the Oregon Department of Forestry’s gross large-fire costs were $75.6 million and the net cost was $47.6 million.
If a massive amount of money is available for spending, at a minimum there will be waste, perhaps fraud and maybe theft. The larger the amount of money, the bigger the magnet. We’ve seen that in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Should Oregon raise the minimum wage?
The following editorial appeared last week in the East Oregonian regarding a proposed oil refinery on the West Coast: Does it make sense to build a new oil refinery on the banks of the Columbia River in Longview, Wash., especially one that will be supplied with crude oil via rail? No, but this answer is not quite so clear cut as environmental advocates make it seem. Riverside Energy Inc. indicates it is looking into several locations in Oregon and Washington for a new West Coast refinery that would turn crude oil — likely from the Bakken field of North Dakota and Alberta — into gasoline and other products. The company says it is far from firmly settled on Longview, though its very name — Riverside — suggests that a facility based on Columbia River transportation and water may be a fundamental aspect of its business plan.
Requiring background checks for private purchases of guns in Oregon makes sense.
It has been bewildering to watch The Dalles Mayor Steve Lawrence attempt to wring measurable tourism outcomes from the work plan presented the last two years by The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce.