Northwest News Network

Regional Public Journalism from twelve public radio stations throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Gov. Inslee hits the road to support Democratic gubernatorial candidates nationally

Aug 28, 2018

As chair of the Democratic Governors Association this year, Gov. Jay Inslee has elevated his national profile as a critic of President Donald Trump and fanned speculation about a 2020 presidential bid.

The role has sent the second-term governor on frequent political trips across the country to raise money and promote Democratic candidates.


On a recent evening in Vancouver, Washington, more than 80 people gathered at the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They were there for a forum organized by a fledging group of moms whose severely mentally ill children have struggled to get the help they need in Washington state — sometimes with deadly consequences.

“We are all part of a tribe that we have joined whether we wanted to or not,” mother Jerri Clark told the packed room.

Construction is underway on the Oregon Coast for a new earthquake-hardened marine science building. It will have Oregon's first vertical tsunami evacuation refuge on the roof.

The cities of Portland and Salem made eyebrow-raising discoveries earlier this month when they compared the number of formally licensed short-term rentals with actual listings scraped off of the Airbnb platform. Around 80 percent of the listings appeared to be unregistered.

Construction is underway on the Oregon coast for a new earthquake-hardened marine science building. It will have Oregon's first tsunami vertical evacuation refuge on the roof.

The cities of Portland and Salem made eyebrow-raising discoveries earlier this month when they compared the number of formally licensed short-term rentals with actual listings scraped off of the Airbnb platform. Around 80 percent of the listings appeared to be unregistered.

Now, cities are finding a new way to monitor unregistered listings: third-party vendors with names like Host Compliance and STR Helper.

Washington state Rep. Matt Manweller “engaged in a pattern of unprofessional and inappropriate behavior” with current and former female students at Central Washington University (CWU) over a 13-year period, according to an 85-page investigative report released by the university on Wednesday.

In 2013, the U.S. Forest Service was looking for someone to reduce wildfire risk and rehabilitate a stand of overgrown trees on the Colville National Forest in northeastern Washington.

Colville-based Vaagen Brothers Lumber submitted the one and only proposal to take on the ‘A to Z’ project. It’s called A to Z because what the company accepted responsibility for was everything – from start to finish. That includes a lengthy and federally required environmental analysis, public comment and the actual work.

Hot housing markets in major cities like Seattle and Portland have pushed the cities to regulate short-term rentals like Airbnb. But small Pacific Northwest towns popular with visitors are also struggling to balance the growth of Airbnb-type rentals with a tight housing supply.

Newport, Oregon, is the latest to put those types of rentals in the crosshairs.

Hot housing markets in major cities like Seattle and Portland have pushed the cities to regulate short-term rentals like Airbnb. But small Pacific Northwest towns popular with visitors are also struggling to balance the growth of Airbnb-type rentals with a tight housing supply. 

Newport, Oregon, is the latest to put those types of rentals in the crosshairs.

A Republican state representative from eastern Washington is drawing attention after comments he made about the media at a pro-gun rally over the weekend. 

At the "Liberty or Death" event on Saturday in Spokane, Republican Matt Shea of Spokane Valley, who's currently seeking a sixth term in office, said "a lot of people in the media" are guilty of smear campaigns, innuendo and implication.

"And I want to tell you something about that," Shea told the crowd. "We can't become those dirty, godless, hateful people. We have to uphold free speech no matter what." 

Wildfire activity in the American West is likely to get worse in coming years. A new study out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences points to the lack of precipitation in the summer as the major driving factor when it comes to increasing fire severity.

There’s a set of massive whale bones resting on the bottom of the bay in Newport, Oregon. Scientists from Oregon State University put them there with a plan for a future display on shore. But they’re having trouble finding the money to retrieve the rare blue whale skeleton from beneath the waves. 

There’s a set of massive whale bones resting on the bottom of the bay in Newport, Oregon. Scientists from Oregon State University put them there with a plan for a future display on shore. But they’re having trouble finding the money to retrieve the rare blue whale skeleton from beneath the waves.


Last March, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced the resignation of one of his longest-serving cabinet members, Employment Security Department head Dale Peinecke. A workplace misconduct investigation had found that over the five years Peinecke worked in state government, he made some staff uncomfortable and was “vulnerable to claims of harassment with sexual overtones.”

For years, mentally ill inmates in this state have languished in county jails awaiting state evaluations to determine if they're competent to stand trial.

But according to a legal settlement announced this Thursday, people with mental illness who are caught up in Washington state’s criminal justice system would get more services.

In cases when inmates are found not competent, they often wait weeks or months more to get a bed at a state hospital.

On Tuesday afternoon, a water-scooping airplane working a fire in northeastern Washington state crashed. The pilot walked away with minor injuries.

It’s an Air Tractor 802, also known as a Fire Boss -- it looks like a crop duster on floats. It scooped 800 gallons of water from the Columbia River and was on its way to the Horns Mountain Fire when it went down.

Fires across the region have blanketed the Northwest in smoke. Blazes in California and British Columbia are also adding to the thick, reddish-gray haze.  

Central Washington University on Tuesday fired Republican state Rep. Matt Manweller from his position as a tenured professor of political science following a months-long investigation into his conduct toward students. 

Copyright 2018 Northwest News Network. To see more, visit Northwest News Network.

  It was a wild weekend for wildfire in the Northwest.

Less than 200 years ago, the easiest way to get around a lot of the Pacific Northwest was by canoe. The first American steamship to provide regular service among Puget Sound ports arrived in 1853.

This small steamship, propelled by paddlewheels attached to its sides, was called the Fairy. But its success was short-lived. It soon blew up and sank.

Today, an Oregon-based group of shipwreck hunters wants to find the historic remains of that little steamer. The shipwreck search was inspired by one man's obsession. Appropriately enough, he's nicknamed "Tug."

The U.S. Drought Monitor says the entire state of Washington is abnormally dry. In Oregon, nearly 90 percent of the state is facing moderate to severe drought.

“What we’re experiencing is part of what the entire Western United States is experiencing,” Kristin Johnson-Waggoner said. She’s a communications manager with the Water Resources Program in Washington Department of Ecology.

During every berry-picking season in the Pacific Northwest, blueberry and raspberry growers fight to prevent birds from gobbling up the crop before harvest. This year, some farmers are trying something new to scare away the thieving birds: lasers.

Justin Meduri manages a large blueberry farm and cherry orchard outside Jefferson, Ore. Birds like both fruits.

Copyright 2018 Northwest News Network. To see more, visit Northwest News Network.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Less than 200 years ago, the easiest way to get around a lot of the Pacific Northwest was by canoe. The first American steamship to provide regular service among Puget Sound ports arrived in 1853.

This small steamship, propelled by paddlewheels attached to its sides, was called the Fairy. But its success was short-lived. It soon blew up and sank.

Washington Republicans are regrouping after a primary election pounding Tuesday that extended beyond swing districts to rock-ribbed GOP pockets of the state.

Washington Republicans are regrouping after a primary election pounding Tuesday that extended beyond swing districts to rock-ribbed GOP pockets of the state.

Embattled Democratic state Rep. David Sawyer of Tacoma was in third place in early primary returns Tuesday night, an indication of the political fallout he’s facing over numerous allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women and an investigation that found he violated House harassment policy. 

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