HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Making cigarettes illegal?

Written January 31st, 2013 by

  Just what we need — another illegal drug. That’s what state Rep. Mitch Greenlick apparently wants. The Portland Democrat has introduced a bill, House Bill 2077, that would make possession of nicotine a crime. We are talking about cigarettes here, or really any kind of tobacco. The bill says it would create the crime […]


Immigration reform: Not so fast

Written January 31st, 2013 by

President Obama says now’s the time for immigration reform. Easier said than done, obviously. One question: If we have lived with illegal immigration and its consequences for 40 or 50 years, what makes dealing with it so urgent now? But let’s look at the details. An estimated 11 million illegal immigrants are believed to be […]


The goal: Higher property taxes

Written January 30th, 2013 by

Don’t look now, but they want to increase your property taxes. By “they,” I mean the majority of those senators who were on the state Senate Interim Committee on Finance and Revenue. They have introduced a constitutional amendment that would remove the property tax limits where local option tax levies are concerned. This has been […]


Good news news for Albany ratepayers — unless

Written January 29th, 2013 by

There’s good news for customers of the Albany city water system, assuming that voters don’t erase part of it with the initiative election that ends March 12. The good news: Last year, when the price of water was raised 3 percent, Albany’s public works department projected the price would have to rise 4 percent in […]


Book report: Try Ian Rankin’s crime novels

Written January 28th, 2013 by

Here’s a recommendation for readers of detective fiction: The John Rebus novels by Ian Rankin take you into the Lothian and Borders Police, which covers Edinburgh and environs. Read them before it’s too late. Lothian and Borders Police will become part of the new Police Service of Scotland on April 1.


Rail route: Keep it simple

Written January 25th, 2013 by

A state committee working on plans for improved passenger rail between Eugene and Portland has been looking at different possibilities for a route that the trains of the future might take. You can’t  say that they have not been thorough. It looks as as though they considered every possibility that somebody suggested. Keep in mind […]


Armstrong: At least no weeping

Written January 18th, 2013 by

His many critics — is there anyone NOT a critic of him? — were not impressed with Lance Armstrong’s admission that he boosted his performance with banned substances in order to win the Tour de France seven times. He did not appear to them to be contrite enough. He did not weep. He did not […]


Albany issue: That ‘slip lane’ to Water

Written January 18th, 2013 by

(For a reaction, see below)Albany’s riverfront street, Water Avenue, is not that easy to reach from Lyon Street, the main drag. That makes it tough to try to develop what part of the latest downtown plan calls the “east anchor,” one of the plan’s main features. The proposed solution is to build what has come to be […]


Update: Gun talk’s consequences

Written January 17th, 2013 by

So far, all that the Obama team has managed with its rhetoric about gun control is to get everybody in an uproar and fuel the sale of guns and ammunition. Gun and sporting goods shops have all but sold out of AR-15s, a popular kind of rifle, and the shelves are bare of the most […]

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Governor: Tax hikes for seniors?

Written January 15th, 2013 by

Governor John Kitzhaber’s message to the legislature on Jan. 14 sounded a hopeful tone, as these messages should. But he was short on actual recommendations, more than once saying only that this or that issue “needs thoughtful deliberation.” For example, he said the state must continue to work to generate more jobs, and he believes […]


 
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