Spanning the State: Backhanded Compliments Edition

Carla Axtman

Nina Strochlic is a displaced Oregonian who finds herself at odds with the multitude of glowing reports about our state from outside our boundaries. She writes in The Daily Beast that she's a bit baffled by all the love showered our way:

As a 17-year veteran of the Beaver State—a stint that included four years at the University of Oregon—I wasted no time after graduation in leapfrogging 2,909 miles across the country for the overcrowded excitement of New York City. While I haven’t looked back, it seems the rest of the country is eyeing Oregon’s low costs and laid-back attitude as the ultimate lifestyle: Even in the uber-cool depths of Brooklyn, I get impressed nods when I cite my home state. But I’ve found myself lacking the exuberant pride for Oregon that seems to have captured the nation.

Strochlic then goes on to lodge her chief complaints: the weather here is grey and the towns here are all small.

Three valid points by Strochlic: If you like copious amounts of sunshine and expensive urban retail shopping, Oregon is probably not your scene. Also, we're not an especially ethnically diverse state.

But even with Strochlic's home state reticence, she can't help herself from creating a laundry list of lovely things about her home state: affordable living, tons of great outdoor activities, amazing food, incredible beer, awesome people, a tremendous Shakespeare Festival. The list goes on and on.

So with that backhanded compliment firmly in place, let's Span the State!


The Department of Land Conservation and Development has put off deciding whether a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal near the mouth of the Columbia River in Warrenton is consistent with its coastal management plan. In a decision that frustrates both sides of the divisive issue, officials with the department say that they don't have enough information to make the call. Also, the piece I've linked to here is a pretty great primer on the project. Check it out.

Willamette Week has nicknamed the proposed I-5 bridge replacement project over the Columbia River the "zombie bridge", because even though the proposal has been declared dead numerous times, it still lives. But Washington has essentially bailed out of the project and their state senate appears in no mood to revisit the idea. This editorial at the Eugene Register Guard lays it out: the Oregon Legislature should not ask Oregon taxpayers go it alone on this massive project, especially since we only receive half of the transportation benefit (if that).

The president of the Beaverton Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) was recently awarded the 2013 Human Rights Award. Allen Oyler was given the award for his work to coordinate a church-sponsored event which invited gay church members to openly discuss their experiences church experience. The award is given annually for outstanding contributions to human rights in the Beaverton community.

At least at the local level in Newberg, the state's minimum wage increase has little negative impact for employers, while providing a positive impact for employees.

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