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HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A long case, for a reason

Written November 30th, 2012 by

I was idly looking at my bookshelf Thursday when my eyes lit on “Fatal Justice.” Whatever happened to Jeffrey MacDonald, I wondered. He’s the former Army doctor whose pregnant wife and two young daughters were murdered in their house on base at Fort Bragg, N.C., in 1970. MacDonald was badly injured in the same attack. […]


Charter school: Worth the risk

Written November 29th, 2012 by

Ideally, school boards ought to jump at the chance of sponsoring charter schools. But as expected, the Albany School Board turned down a request to allow one. Why is that? As the Albany Democrat-Herald’s Jennifer Moody reported on Tuesday (Nov. 27), members of the Albany board felt that the proposed school would offer pay levels […]


Rising sea level: Where?

Written November 26th, 2012 by

We are supposed to be worried about the rise in sea levels brought on by global warming. But should we be — worried, that is? How much of a threat is that in reality? Most of the scientists writing about this say the oceans are rising because the great ice sheets on land continue melting, […]


DeFazio right on Russian deal

Written November 20th, 2012 by

Our congressman Peter DeFazio from Oregon’s 4th District was one of only 43 members of the House — and the only one from Oregon — who voted last week against normalizing trade with Russia under the World Trade Organization. He is one of the few House members who made sense on this deal. The majority […]


The marijuana rebellion

Written November 18th, 2012 by

We in Oregon should be grateful to our neighbors to the north on the issue of legalization of pot. They’ve done what Oregon voters refused to do, and thus they¬†are taking a lead in trying to make some sense of this aspect of American life and law. Like Washington state, Colorado also voted in the […]


Climate change or something else?

Written November 16th, 2012 by

A study publicized by Oregon State speculates that climate change is causing additional stress to western rangelands where cattle and wild animals graze. In the Los Angeles Times, an art critic reports on the flooding in Venice. He suggests that the annual winter flooding there is much worse this time because of global warming. We […]


Out of place: Downtown billboard

Written November 15th, 2012 by

  There’s a billboard on East First Avenue in Albany. It’s been there for years. But I hadn’t really paid attention to it until one day this month. With time on my hands, I was wandering around that part of town, on foot for once. And I got to wondering: What’s a billboard doing there? […]

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Albany’s CARA: In search of direction

Written November 15th, 2012 by

Albany’s downtown urban renewal district is working once again to define what it wants to do from now on, and how. Earlier this year the city council, acting as the governing board of the Central Albany Revitalization Agency or CARA, put several pending projects on hold. In October, the CARA advisory board agreed that it […]


State lines: Let’s redraw

Written November 13th, 2012 by

Puerto Rico has narrowly voted to apply to become a U.S. state, a request that now will go to Congress for a decision.¬†Judging by a report in The Week magazine, the majority was at least partially motivated by the prospect of more federal aid, not exactly a big surprise. But if we are going to […]

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Freeway planning: Slow is the word

Written November 12th, 2012 by

For two or three years now, the Oregon transportation department has been preparing for an environmental assessment of plans to widen Interstate 5 from Highway 20 in Albany to the Jefferson exit. The process is an example of how the agency, following its own and federal regulations on big projects, wastes both time and money. […]

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