Timber Jobs: Jeopardy or Opportunity?

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karla kay edwardsQuickPoint!

In today’s economy everyone is looking for ways to create jobs and increase revenues. That includes Senator Ron Wyden, who has drafted the Oregon Forest Restoration and Old Growth Protection Act, which would manage Oregon’s federally owned forests tree by tree instead of as a sustainable landscape. Though his goal to improve forest health while providing jobs in our rural communities is well intentioned, it will only create more bureaucracy while jeopardizing forest health and our rural communities’ livelihoods.

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SB 767 Violates Oregon’s Education Reform Promise

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Christina MartinQuickPoint!

Oregon received around $121 million for education as a result of the federal stimulus bill passed earlier this year. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the stimulus funds are intended to save jobs at risk of budget cuts and to advance education reforms.

According to the Department of Education, in order to receive these funds, the Oregon government promised to “collect, publish, analyze and act on basic information regarding the quality of classroom teachers, annual student improvements, college readiness, the effectiveness of state standards and assessments, progress on removing charter caps

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Green Jobs to the Rescue?

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

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Last month, Oregon became the state with the fastest growing unemployment rate, adding another 1.4% to the currently unemployed and becoming the state with the second highest unemployment rate at 12.1%. Because of the dismal economic climate, it is tempting for Oregonians to support a policy that promises to add new “green” jobs. Unfortunately, a policy that specifically tries to increase job growth in a highly subsidized sector of the economy may do more harm than good.

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“Education Does Come First, Doesn’t It?”

Kathryn HickokQuickPoint!

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“There must be a better answer than killing the online charter school movement,” declares the editorial board of the Medford Mail Tribune (“Education Does Come First, Doesn’t It?,” April 3, 2009). Unfortunately, killing online charter schools would be the likely effect of Senate Bill 767, which had a public hearing last week. And kids in rural Oregon would be some of the biggest losers.

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Economic Development: The Effective Answer to Climate Change

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

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Although global temperatures have only increased a mere 0.6 degrees Celsius (1.1 degrees Fahrenheit) in the past century, unproven computer-generated scenarios of drastic events such as rising sea levels, food shortages, spread of disease, and economic turmoil due to global warming have overwhelmed politicians and citizens alike.

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A Convention Hotel by Any Other Name…

QuickPoint!

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City of Portland officials have proposed developing a new stadium in the Rose Quarter for the Portland Beavers baseball team, hoping to attract a major league soccer team to the Rose City.

 Meanwhile, the Ambridge Event Center (located directly across from the Convention Center and the Rose Quarter) has been purchased by a subsidiary of the Schlesinger Companies, with a view toward future development of the property.

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Making Health Insurance More Affordable

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

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As the Oregon legislature risks making matters worse by creating a brand-new health care system for us all (HB 2009), there are some small changes legislators can enact now that will make a real difference.

One way to give Oregonians more insurance choices is for the state to give its own employees the same ability to choose a Health Savings Account as federal employees have.

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Bailing Out School Choice

QuickPoint!

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The time for an education tax credit is now. As the economy suffers, even more families are struggling to afford the best education for their children. A $1,000 tax credit for your own children’s K-12 education expenses, or for donations to scholarship programs for children in low-income families would ease the burden on many Oregonians in these tough economic times. It would also increase parents’ ability to choose the best education for their children.

One state representative recently commented that considering the anticipated budget shortfall, this would be a terrible time to create an education tax credit. The truth, however, is that the legislature’s priorities lay elsewhere.

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Public Opinion Polls Express Doubt about Global Warming

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

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With a new president and a fresh batch of state senators and representatives in Salem, there is a lot of discussion on what to do about global warming. Because state and national public policy is overly focused on reducing greenhouse gases for the sake of “saving” the climate, a couple of national polls have been released assessing public opinion on the topic of global warming. It turns out that addressing global warming with public policy is not a top priority.

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