Somebody needs to remind Oregon’s Legislature that wolves have come to the state, and apparently they’re staying.
We understand that lawmakers have bigger problems to deal with — a
budget shortfall that could exceed $2 billion over the next 2ﬁ years,
But Oregon’s wolves are real, too. And the animals have proved, in
Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, that they’re not averse to snacking on
calves and lambs.
Unfortunately, the Legislature has yet to make the changes in state law
needed to ensure that provisions in Oregon’s wolf management plan that
are vital to ranchers can take effect.
The budget news from Salem is bad, and getting worse.
But what worries us as much as the ever-increasing estimate of the
state’s budget shortfall is what seems to be a reluctance among
lawmakers and elected officials to make the hard choices that managers
of private companies have had to make for months now.
That is, to lay off workers.
State officials say Oregon’s budget deficit, by the end of the fiscal
year June 30, could total from $650 million to as much as $1 billion.
Yet according to his spokesperson, Gov. Ted Kulongoski will not try to trim the state’s 45,000-employee payroll.
Contrast the governor’s response with what’s been happening in the private sector in Oregon and nationwide.
Almost every day since late summer another company has announced that
it was cutting hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of jobs.
Barack Obama, as most of the world knows, took a historic oath today and became the 44th president of the United States.
Neither Bill Tebeau nor Bruce Klunder is anything close to as widely known and revered as is Obama.
Yet Tebeau and Klunder — Baker boys, both of them — each contributed
something significant to the crusade for true equality in American, a
quest for which President Obama’s inauguration is, in a sense, the
Tebeau, who is 83, graduated from Baker High School in 1943.
Tebeau wanted to be an engineer, so he went west, to Oregon State College (now University) in Corvallis.
He had been accepted to the school, which then, as now, was renowned for its engineering program.
For anyone who wondered why airline pilots make more money than most of
us, the answer splashed down into the Hudson River between Manhattan
and New Jersey on Thursday afternoon.
The dilemma that confronted US Airways pilot Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III is one few of us can comprehend.
Less than one minute after Sullenberger guided the Airbus A320 jet into
the sky, with 154 passengers and crew members aboard, he radioed to
LaGuardia Airport that the plane had struck a flock of birds and that
both of the plane’s engines were disabled.
For a pilot, altitude is time. Sullenberger had very little of either.
And with both engines ailing, he also lacked options.
The federal government is getting ready to write another 12-digit
check, ostensibly to benefit the taxpayers. Which is to say you and me,
who will of course subsidize this endeavor whether we brand it as
brilliance or folly. If I were a shopkeeper I’m not sure I’d accept
this as legal tender, though, even if the feds can produce two pieces
So far as I can tell the account lacks overdraft protection. It
certainly hasn’t any taxpayer protection, and yet I’m certain the
creditors, in a pinch, will be able to acquire our addresses as readily
as the IRS can.
I suppose I ought to feel thankful that the people we elected have
decided it’s time to return to us, in some fashion, a portion of the
money they’ve taken. But I can’t muster much gratitude.
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