News

Portland Commissioner Fish against business tax hike

A proposed Portland business tax hike — seeking to raise $9 million for city programming may be on the way out.

From OPB:

In a council work session Tuesday, (Commissioner Nick Fish) said the council has recently asked the business community to shoulder other new costs, due to laws requiring paid sick leave and raising the minimum wage. 

“One of the things that I’m hearing from the community, it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back syndrome,” he said. 

 

 

President Obama to visit Hiroshima

In a visit to Hiroshima this month, President Barack Obama is the first serving U.S. president to travel to the city since the nuclear bombing in 1945.

From BBC:

The visit will be part of an Asian trip from 21-28 May that will also take in Vietnam.

The Hiroshima bombing on 6 August 1945 killed 140,000 people. Along with a second bombing on Nagasaki - it is credited with ending World War Two.

The White House said there would be no apology for the bombings.

A statement from Mr. Obama's press secretary read: "The President will make an historic visit to Hiroshima with Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe to highlight his continued commitment to pursuing peace and security in a world without nuclear weapons."

DOJ sues North Carolina over LGBT law

After filing a suit against the Department of Justice, the DOJ has now filed its own lawsuit against North Carolina.

From NPR:

The state's legal filing came ahead of an end-of-Monday deadline for North Carolina to respond to the Department of Justice over the law barring protections for LGBT people in the state.

The state law in question, known as HB2, requires transgender people at state facilities, including schools, to use the restroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate — not their identified gender.

Deschutes County approves solar farm

The approved solar farm near Redmond will have a capacity of nearly 10 megawatts.

From Portland Business Journal

That project will consist of solar panels on 96 acres. The 10-megawatt project could provide enough power to energize around 1,500 homes annually. It follows plans for a 20-megawatt installation east of Bend.

Those and similarly sized solar projects around the state were boosted in March. After legislation passed to increase the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50 percent — doubling the renewable energy in Oregon's electric supply — another bill incentivizing small utility-scale solar projects was approved to help encourage such energy development in Oregon.

Eugene scraps Willamette planning effort

The Eugene City Counci unanimously withdrew South Wilamette Special Area Zone considerations Monday.

From Register-Guard:

With the decision, Councilor George Brown said city officials were acknowledging “we gave it our best effort but it just didn’t work.”

“This will set everyone’s minds at ease that it’s going away, it’s not coming back,” he said.

 

Bernie Sanders to rally Tuesday in Salem

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders will host a campaign rally today at the Salem Armory Auditorium.

From Statesman Journal:

Sanders is expected to give his stump speech, discussing the influence of money in politics, making public colleges tuition-free, fighting climate change and implementing universal health care.

The candidate is trailing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the race to claim the Democratic nomination. Despite that, Sanders is posturing strongly in Oregon. The Salem rally will be his fourth campaign stop in the Beaver State — Hillary Clinton has not yet visited.

Intel layoffs will impact Oregon workforce

One of the biggest layoffs in Intel's history last month will likely strain the Oregon workforce, but with numerous companies seeking skilled workers, it's possible workers have an opportunity for employment.

From OregonLive:

While Oregon tech jobs are at their healthiest point in a decade, the sudden addition of hundreds of job hunters – with hundreds more to come – will "strain" local hiring capacity, said Dominic Moore, president of Flux Resources, a Lake Oswego recruitment firm.

"I think it's going to be tough," Moore said. "I don't want to sugarcoat anything. People need to expect it's going to be a process."

The state's flourishing technology ecosystem, though, is stocked with fast-growing companies hungry for skilled workers. Some of those companies are leaping at the opportunity to recruit former Intel employees.

MAX mess starts today

TriMet will close a stretch of track in downtown Portland for repairs May 8-21.

From OregonLive:

Do not take MAX. Don't do it. If you need convincing:

From the east side, on an average morning commute, 63 trains cross the Steel Bridge into downtown. During the disruption, the number will be 29.
From the west side, 32 Blue and Red Line trains normally arrive downtown. During the disruption, it'll be 18.

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