Your Weekend Reader for Oct. 29-30

by | Oct 29, 2022 | 2022 Elections, Journalism, Miscellaneous, Weekend Reader | 0 comments

It’s Halloween weekend, and so Your Weekend Reader has been scouring the internet looking for tricks and treats for your attention. Here’s the latest:

The Nov. 8 election is not quite a week away, and political analysts in Oregon are saying Republican prospects are looking good: Not only is GOP gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan locked in an extremely tight race with Democrat Tina Kotek, but there’s a chance that Republicans could potentially tie Democrats in the state Senate. At the very least, it seems a good bet that Democrats will lose their Senate supermajority. Writing for the Oregon Capital Chronicle, Connor Radnovich examines the key Senate races. (None of them appears to be in the mid-valley, where incumbents generally look to be safe.)

If you’re in Philomath, you might have noticed the campaign signs for House District 10, featuring a pair of somewhat unfamiliar names in the mid-valley, incumbent Democrat David Gomberg and Republican challenger Celeste McEntee. It turns out that Philomath now is in a different House district than Corvallis, which mostly falls into House District 16, represented by Democrat Dan Rayfield. The newly redrawn House District 10 includes Philomath and a good chunk of rural Benton County, including Alsea and Monroe. In any event, the race between Gomberg and McEntee is generating some heat, including a complaint that McEntee has been lying about her educational background. Julia Shumway reported on the complaint for the Capital Chronicle.

Speaking of redistricting, while researching that item about House District 10, I found this nifty map that shows the redrawn legislative and congressional districts in Oregon. The makeup of these redrawn districts almost certainly will play a role in the midterm elections. (Be careful, though; I’ve found this is the sort of thing that can suck hours away from my day.)

Corvallis remains in the 4th Congressional District (while Linn County now is part of the 5th). Statewide redistricting resulted in a 4th District that gives an additional edge to Democrats — which is part of the reason why incumbent Rep. Peter DeFazio decided to retire. Political analysts say it also explains why Democrat Val Hoyle holds an advantage in her race against Republican Alek Skarlatos. But an upset win by the GOP candidate isn’t out of the question, in part because Skarlatos has raised about twice as much money as Hoyle. Radnovich profiles the race in this story for the Capital Chronicle.

Natural gas rates throughout Oregon are going up as much as 25% this winter. Global supply issues are driving much of the increase, but companies also are seeking additional cash for business and capital investments. Alex Baumhardt of the Capital Chronicle has the story.

Evidence continues to mount about the devastating effect of pandemic school closures on Oregon students: New data released this week shows that Oregon ranked fifth-worst in the nation for reading loss and eighth-worst for math loss. Sami Edge at The Oregonian/OregonLive had the details. (The story is available only to Oregonian subscribers.)

The Agora Journalism Center, based at the University of Oregon, recently finished a study about the state of journalism in Oregon, and Regina Lawrence, the research director of the center, wrote about the findings in this piece, published by The Poynter Institute. The study found that Oregon residents are “unequally served by local news media. Some communities, particularly in Oregon’s marginalized and less populated regions, have few places to turn for truly local news. Indeed, we found eight out of Oregon’s 36 counties that have only one or two outlets that contain civic affairs reporting — and in some cases, one of those outlets was a public radio rebroadcasting station that may not be producing its own news content.” The study also includes recommendations for improving the situation.  You can read the entire study by clicking here.

Homelessness is the top issue this election among Oregon voters, a recent survey found, but it’s not as if the issue is going away after the Nov. 8 election — it’s an issue that the state’s journalists will be covering for many years. So this story from The Poynter Institute caught my eye, about a guide to covering the issue created by a weekly paper that focuses on homelessness. While I’m thinking about this, let me point you to another page on my website, where I’ve collected responses from a number of local candidates on the issue. One other note: Although “homelessness” sounds better to my ear, I’m starting to think that “houselessness” is more accurate, for this simple reason: Many unsheltered people in this community have a home — right here in this community. What they don’t have is a house.

The New York Times has a new story from Portland, where vehicle thefts are on track to surpass 10,000 this year — part of a nationwide trend. Portland police say they don’t have the resources to work all of those cases. So volunteers have stepped into the breach, trying to locate stolen cars before they get stripped for parts. Mike Baker wrote about the volunteers — and noted that similar groups are popping up nationwide. The story is exclusive to Times subscribers, but if you’re interested, I can “gift” you a link to the story. Just write a comment in the section below, and I’ll email you the link.

Finally, it is Halloween weekend, and so here’s Faith Hill of The Atlantic making the argument that adults — and not just children — need the sugary-sweet burst of ridiculous fun that only Halloween can provide. So pull a costume out of the closet, stock up on those fun-sized candy bars, and I’ll see you next weekend.

Want your art event listed?

Read more published work

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Recent Blog Posts

Your Weekend Reader for April 20-21

Your Weekend Reader for April 20-21

The high court gets the Grants Pass homelessness case. A nation gets high on April 20. It’s Record Store Day! The war against high school theater. Athletic departments in the red. And an ethical question involving a cat. It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more
Your Weekend Reader for April 13-14

Your Weekend Reader for April 13-14

Tight budgets face state schools. Guarding against disinformation. OSU and the transfer portal. The Bundy standoff in Nevada. “Civil War.” Unrest at the Times. And “Having a Coke With You.” It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more
Your Weekend Reader for April 6-7

Your Weekend Reader for April 6-7

Solar eclipse memories. White rural rage. Wolves and drones. Community and smartphones. A deadly conflict for journalists. Runaway sawblades. Birding. And “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.

Comments on this website are the sole responsiblity of their writers and the writers will take full responsiblity, liability and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment.

We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason whatsoever.

More Blog Posts

Your Weekend Reader for April 20-21

The high court gets the Grants Pass homelessness case. A nation gets high on April 20. It’s Record Store Day! The war against high school theater. Athletic departments in the red. And an ethical question involving a cat. It’s all in the new edition of Your Weekend Reader.

read more