HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Answer to debt limit unveiled

Written April 6th, 2013 by

  This is how the Albany City Council plans to deal with voter approval of the debt limit initiative last month: At a work session on Monday afternoon it will preview the draft of an ordinance which the council could then enact on Wednesday. The outlines of the draft were agreed on — though not […]


Gun hearing: Did testimony matter?

Written April 5th, 2013 by

You almost have to feel sorry for legislators when they have to sit through endless public hearings even though their minds are made up on the issue at hand. With rare exceptions, witness after witness says pretty much the same thing, and legislators have to sit there and pretend to look interested. Friday’s four-hour hearing before […]


Driving: Never look down

Written April 2nd, 2013 by

If you’re driving a truck down the interstate, how do you fail to notice another big truck and trailer right in front of you? You might miss seeing it and then run right into the back of it if you’ve been looking down at your cell phone instead of straight ahead through the windshield. At least that’s […]

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When it’s someone you know…

Written April 1st, 2013 by

On the mornings of every fourth Tuesday of the month, I’ve gone to the Albany Senior Center to chat with a small group there. We talk about the news or anything else anybody wants to talk about. One of the regulars over the past year or so wasn’t there on the fourth Tuesday in February. […]


Road fee: What’s the problem?

Written March 29th, 2013 by

It’s not obvious to me why Republicans are opposed to making the owners of so-called green vehicles pay their fair share of the cost of keeping up Oregon roads. Owners of all-electric and hybrid cars now pay little or nothing toward the highway fund, even while all other motorists buying fuel in Oregon pay 30 […]


Council tables coal train protest

Written March 28th, 2013 by

Albany’s city council, to its credit, is not on record today against coal trains. On Wednesday night the council voted to table a resolution “to oppose the transport of coal through Albany.” Councilor Bessie Johnson’s motion to table called for the measure to come up again in two weeks, on April 10. She said she […]


Marriage: May the court step back

Written March 27th, 2013 by

If the Supreme Court is smart — and the justices certainly are — it will decline to outlaw as unconstitutional state laws against same-sex marriage. The court will instead leave this issue to be decided in the states, where in some cases the decision in favor of this change has already been made. All the media reports […]


Closed meetings and the “media”

Written March 22nd, 2013 by

Oregon’s public meetings law, adopted 40 years ago, allows some meetings of public bodies to be closed to the public. But it has a weird provision requiring that news media representatives must be allowed in, with only two exceptions. The law does not, however, say what it means by news media. Forty years ago the […]


No gun grabbers these

Written March 22nd, 2013 by

It took a while — a month, actually — but Congressman Kurt Schrader has given me a response to questions about what kind of gun control measures he would support. In short, he seems to agree with Congressman Peter DeFazio, who said in a letter in February he doubted the U.S. House would consider bans on […]


Fixing urban renewal’s levy grab (amended)

Written March 21st, 2013 by

Albany’s downtown renewal advisory board Wednesday heard about a bill which, in the interest of truth in taxation, ought to be passed. But first, it ought to be amended to apply right away. The measure is House Bill 2632, sponsored by Rep. Margaret Doherty, a Democrat from the Portland area. It would allow all the […]


 
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