Category: Cover Stories

Surprise! Insecticides kill bees in Oregon

A study originating in Switzerland recently added to an abundance of data that suggests that two insecticides, thiamethoxam and clothianidin, are related to honey bee decline. Thiamethoxam and clothianidin are members of an insecticide group called neonicotinoids. Partially banned in Europe, they are currently used by agricultural, commercial and residential consumers in Oregon. Ongoing research, monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and independent decisions by localities will determine the future use of these chemicals in our state. A worldwide decline of honeybees was suggested as early as the winter of 2006,...

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Middle class whites are the new “N” word in America, says former Oregon State Treasurer

Jim Hill is the first person of color to be elected to statewide office in Oregon. He was elected State Treasurer in 1992, where he served two terms. He previously served as Assistant Attorney General of Oregon and in both the Oregon State Senate and the Oregon House of Representatives. He received both an MBA and law degree from Indiana University. An attorney and financial consultant, Hill published his book, “The New ‘N’ Word: The White Middle Class,” earlier this year . He conducted a reading at The Book Bin to a standing-room-only crowd in June. Income inequality, campaign...

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The economics of Salem Hospital, Measuring “community benefits”

Non-profit hospitals like Salem Health* receive significant financial breaks that most corporations, such as “for-profit” hospitals, do not. Historically, these benefits are provided in exchange for the good the hospital does in the community, such as charity care. But the medical economic landscape was rocked by the Affordable Care Act, and not just in Salem but also across the nation. Exempt from many federal, state, and local taxes, relieved from having to support Salem police and fire departments or parks, Salem Hospital now experiences windfall profits, pays its CEO more than twice the salary of the President of the...

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Willamette University weathers rocky years and moves forward with promise

Willamette University, considered a jewel and an asset to both the city of Salem and the Willamette Valley, is a school known for its outspoken student body. However, the past five years have witnessed discontent among students and faculty that many non-university residents have struggled to understand. It is generally known that President Stephen E. Thorsett narrowly avoided a vote of censure by faculty last spring and that students continued to peacefully protest his leadership as finals began. As the new school year approaches, indications are that Thorsett can convince students and faculty that he can and will meet...

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IF ONLY TREES COULD SUE

Faced with state laws and state agencies that damage Oregon’s forests, environmental groups have resorted to lawsuits and court actions for many years. These groups say that the compromised laws that govern timber in Oregon, as well as a poorly focused Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and a legislature bought off by logging interests – combine to force them to take legal action if Oregon dwindling old-growth timberlands are not to be lost. Recently in these efforts, Cascadia Wildlands, the Audubon Society of Portland and Center for Biological Diversity and Oregon Wild, have leveraged a small sea bird,...

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