Spanning the State: Blue Oregon Inaugural Edition

Carla Axtman

Years ago when I used to write at Loaded Orygun, I did a regular Sunday series entitled Spanning the State. The idea behind these blog posts was to bring attention to local stories from around Oregon. When I left LO to work for Jeff Merkley, Spanning the State stayed behind. But since they're no longer doing StS over there, I've decided to try and renew the series here at Blue Oregon.

So with a salute to my former blog home and to Oregon as well, let's Span the State!


90 year old Portland resident Milton Pearlman was pulled from the water near Dayville on Thursday after his car plunged in to the river at Picture Gorge. Pearlman was reportedly driving from Baker City to Condon on a sight-seeing trip. A heroic rescue by Oregon State Trooper Marv Ritter saved Pearlman's life. It's well worth a click through to this story to see the news photos. Well done, Trooper Ritter!

Election results in Clackamas County show a November runoff between current County Clerk Sherry Hall and Melody Thompson, the Mayor of Canby, for Hall's job. Hall has been under fire in recent weeks for a mistake made on the May Primary ballot, costing Clackamas County $120k in reprinting costs.

The end of ski season at Mt. Bachelor is celebrated with a two day funfest to mark the start of the summer season. Unfortunately, the last few years have been marred by bad behavior, violence and property damage. Last Sunday, Mt Bachelor officials decided to close the Skyliner parking lot and moved the celebration to the West Village, where a quieter and more controlled event ensued. Unfortunately, that didn't end the property damage completely. In an apparent retaliation for closing the parking lot, someone or a group of someones ripped up Skyliner life seat cushions. Presumably Mt. Bachelor will either have to end the event or post security at Skyliner. Or maybe both. Hopefully they'll catch the jackass(es) responsible.

Residents of Beaverton reelected City Councilor Betty Bode on Tuesday, despite Mayor Denny Doyle, other city councilors and much of local business throwing their support behind her opponent, Mark Fagan. Bode apparently lost the support of her colleagues and business interests when she balked at a possible baseball deal to move the Portland Beavers to Beaverton.

The Ashland Police Department responded Thursday to a report of a bear cub and it's mother perched in a tree on Courtney Street above Lithia Park. Neighbors were asked to steer clear of the area to calm the situation and by extension the bears. But apparently when local media discovered the bear story, they descended on the street. Police kept in contact with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, who recommended allowing the bears to disembark on their own, a procedure the police followed.

And finally, back again to Washington County. As most of you likely know by now, the Washington County Commission Chair race was won last Tuesday by Andy Duyck, heir apparent to the awful anti-business/conservation land-use policies of current Chair Tom Brian. Duyck defeated Dick Schouten for the position. Schouten's loss is deeply disappointing to those in the region who hope to change the course of the Washington County Commission. For those of you in Washington County who watched this race closely, what do you think happened? Duyck raised less money and threw what he had into signs and mailers (I personally received 3 from their campaign). Schouten, on the other hand, put money into cable TV. But that couldn't have been the only issue. Anyone else have some thoughts on how we got to this outcome?

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    Great idea Carla ... I remember your stories on LO ... I liked the series alot! I'm looking forward to more of the same ... thanks.

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    No thoughts at all about the Duyck/Schouten race, but I do find it disheartening that you parrot the same biases found in the Blue Mountain Eagle article you link to: "his car plunged in to the river." Read the article again, Carla:

    "...a car had run off Highway 26 and into the river."

    "The westbound car failed to negotiate a curve...

    "The car went into the river..."

    Amazing, these cars that seem to do these things all by themselves! How much do you want to bet that if Mr. Pearlman's car had struck a cyclist in the path of its spontaneous trip into the river, we'd have been treated to the ubiquitous "the cyclist wasn't wearing a helmet" line?

    I realize that wasn't your point in calling our attention to the story, but when you link to a story that betrays such obvious biases, you might want to pay closer attention that you don't incorporate those biases in your own wording. I'm glad Mr. Pearlman isn't another statistic in the 40,000+ people per year killed on U.S. highways by cars that magically do things like smash into each other or run off the road. Maybe it's time we acknowledge that people operate those cars?

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      Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad Mr. Pearlman isn't another statistic too. You're right that I pulled the information directly from the story. But with these types of posts, I generally can't do much more than give a brief synopsis extrapolated from the news source. If you find that the journalism from the source is questionable, or poorly written, that's actually something I hope these posts highlight.

      I submit the comments you've offered here would be very effective as an LTE to the Blue Mountain Eagle.

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      Hey, if it bleeds, it leads!

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    Do you think it reflects that a majority of folks in Washington County support the ideas of Duyck over Schouten? And that it had nothing to do with the campaign direclty?

    I don't live up there, so I have no idea. I wonder sometimes if an outcome has nothing to do with a campaign directly, but the values or opinions of a majority of the voters.

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      I really don't think it's the support of ideas of Duyck over Schouten.

      1. Polling in Washington County suggests residents are very much in favor of smart growth and conservation of farm land.

      2. I don't think average folks pay that much attention to policy positions in a nonpartisan race at this level. It seems like name-ID is really the clincher. That's anecdotal on my part after years of campaign observation, tho.

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    As for the Beaverton City Council election, word from Betty Bode herself as regards the proposed stadium was that she was not necessarily opposed, but rather she wanted to take time to study it to see if it really penciled out (interesting that the business community opposed Bode, because the business park in Beaverton that has the highest percentage occupany of successful businesses was one that was slated for the wrecking ball in order to build the stadium. So maybe some of the business community ended up voting for Bode).

    Also, Betty Bode related that another thing that got her in hot water with fellow councilors was that she requested the minutes be recorded at a meeting at which there was a quorum of the Council present, while other councilors wanted to keep it informal (and informal in this case might translate to illegal).

    Approximately 8,000 Beavertonians voted in the city council elections, which does not seem to be a high level of participation in a city the size of Beaverton.

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    I live in Washington County. I can tell you that among average voters, Duyck has name recognition, as one member or another of his right-wing family is always running for something. His opponent, alas, did not. It's really as simple as that.

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      Noooo! You mean Dudley isn't running because he is uniquely qualified to lead Oregon? And I thought the governator was elected based on his understanding of immigration issues!

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