Port of Vancouver votes to extend oil terminal lease
(Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com)
VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Port of Vancouver has voted to continue to lease land to Vancouver Energy for its proposed oil transfer terminal while the evaluation and permitting process continues.
The Columbian reports that port commissioners voted 2-1 to continue the lease after a five-hour meeting Tuesday.
Vancouver Energy and supporters said the project deserves to see the end of the state Energy Site Evaluation Council’s scrutiny. Opponents expressed frustration as some have spent years protesting the terminal.
The project has been caught up in nearly four years of review by the site evaluation council, which is expected to issue a recommendation to Gov. Jay Inslee in a few months on whether to grant the project a permit.
The port has been collecting $100,000 per month in rent on the vacant site.
Prosecutor asks jurors to convict followers of Ammon Bundy
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The second trial involving people who occupied an Oregon wildlife refuge last winter has reached closing arguments, with prosecutor Ethan Knight telling jurors the case is about four defendants who went too far.
The men are charged with conspiring to impede Interior Department employees from doing their jobs during the 41-day standoff. Occupation leader Ammon Bundy was acquitted of the charge in a high-profile trial last fall.
This time around, Knight stressed to jurors that a conspiracy does not have to include a formal agreement. He also emphasized that the men were not being tried for their political beliefs.
As in the Bundy trial, defense lawyers said their clients engaged in a peaceful protest against the federal government, and there was no agreement to impede workers.
Attorney Andrew Kohlmetz said criminal conspiracies thrive in darkness and secrecy, but the refuge occupiers acted openly by hosting press conferences and community meetings.
HEALTH CARE PROPOSAL-GOVERNOR
Oregon governor says GOP health proposal would be harmful
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says the Republicans’ health care replacement proposal for the Affordable Care Act is shortsighted and moves health care backward.
In a statement, Brown said Tuesday that since the Affordable Care Act took effect, Oregon’s uninsured rate has dropped from 17 percent to 5 percent, with 95 percent of Oregonians now insured.
She predicted the Republican plan would reduce Oregonians’ access to care and increase costs for women and seniors.
The new GOP plan would repeal the current law’s unpopular fines on people who don’t carry health insurance. It also would replace income-based subsidies, which the law provides to help millions of Americans pay premiums, with age-based tax credits that may be skimpier for people with low incomes.
POT FOR PETS
Pot for pets: Owners treat sick animals with cannabis
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — As more states legalize marijuana for humans, more pet owners are giving medical-cannabis products to their furry companions to treat a range of ailments, including arthritis, anxiety, seizures and cancer.
But veterinarians say there isn’t enough scientific data to show that cannabis is safe and effective for treating animals.
Medical marijuana is legal in 28 states but remains illegal under federal law, so there has been relatively little research into its potential health benefits for humans or animals.
Veterinarians in California and other states are legally barred from prescribing or recommending cannabis. They risk losing their veterinary licenses if they do.
Despite the lack of scientific data or veterinary guidance, many pet owners are convinced that cannabis has improved their animals’ health and well-being, based on their own observations.
State says wolves continue recovery in Eastern Oregon
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Wolves continue to recover in Eastern Oregon, after the state documented a third year of seven or more breeding pairs in the region east of U.S. Highways 97, 20, and 395.
A breeding pair is two adult wolves that produce at least two pups that survive through the end of the year.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says that eight wolf packs qualified as breeding pairs in 2016 in Eastern Oregon.
The improvement means Eastern Oregon is now in Phase III of wolf recovery. Under Phase III, the focus is on conservation of wolves while addressing instances of wolf-human conflict. That includes continuing to emphasize the use of non-lethal deterrents, the use of controlled take in certain situations, and expands livestock producer options when investigating potential wolf depredations of livestock.
Western Oregon remains in Phase I of wolf management, with protections that match those implemented when wolves are listed as endangered.
OREGON SNOWPACK-THE LATEST
The Latest: After hard winter, Oregon snowpack rebounds
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The statewide snowpack for Oregon is 138 percent of normal after a harsh winter that featured plenty of snow and heavy rainfall.
The Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service released numbers Tuesday that also show above-average precipitation statewide.
The last time Oregon’s snowpack was well above normal on March 1 was in 2008, when it was 157 percent of normal.
Last year, Oregon’s snowpack was 94 percent of normal.
Scott Oviatt, a hydrologist with the USDA, says snow accumulation in February was twice the normal amount at many monitoring locations.
The combined news is a boon for farmers who have struggled with drought recently in much of the state.
OREGON COACH ARRESTED
Oregon assistant football coach got $63,750 after resigning
(Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com)
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — University of Oregon football co-offensive coordinator David Reaves spent little more than a day on the job but was paid more than $60,000.
The Register-Guard reported Tuesday that Reaves received $3,750 for 26 hours of work when he resigned Feb. 3 after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. According to UO documents obtained by the Register-Guard through a public records request, he also received a payment of $60,000.
UO announced it hired Reaves on Jan. 17. Reaves had a two-year contract with an annual salary of $300,000. On Jan. 22, Reaves was arrested by Eugene police and charged with DUI, reckless driving and reckless endangerment. A plea hearing is scheduled for March 13.
UO put Reaves on leave and was terminating his contract when he resigned.
JEWISH GROUPS-THREATS-THE LATEST
The Latest: White House condemns latest anti-Semitic threats
NEW YORK (AP) — A spokesman for the White House is denouncing the bomb threats against Jewish institutions across the nation.
Sean Spicer said Tuesday during a press briefing that President Donald Trump’s administration rejects “these latest anti-Semitic and hateful threats in the strongest terms.”
The JCC of North America and the Anti-Defamation League reported receiving threats Tuesday.
Since Jan. 9, federal officials have been investigating more than 120 threats against Jewish organizations in three dozen states and a rash of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries. On Friday, they arrested a Missouri man accused of making at least eight of the threats nationwide.
Spicer says as long as the threats continue, the administration will keep condemning them and look at ways to stop them.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.