Critical Court Rulings Decide 2nd Amendment Rights
by Karla Kay Edwards
Within the past week we have enjoyed a big stride forward in the protection of our Second Amendment rights with the U.S. Supreme Court decision on McDonald v. City of Chicago and suffered one small stride backward in the decision Mail Tribune, Inc. v. Winters by the Oregon Court of Appeals. Both are critical legal decisions for gun rights supporters, but both will be subject to further litigation.
by Laura Lewis
New TriMet Lines Expand Liabilities
TriMet has doubled its transit police force from 29 to 58 officers during the past two and a half years. Despite these security increases, light rail continues to attract crime. The newly opened Green Line to Clackamas Town Center has experienced a 32% increase in reported crime and a 56% increase in calls for police service since the light rail opened in 2009. The addition of police forces will cost an added $140,000 per year per officer, or a total of $43 million for 58 officers over the next 5 years, adding to TriMet’s current $27 million budget shortfall.
Steve talks private sector job loss on Lars Larson
Check out Steve Buckstein on the Lars Larson show on KXL (750am) radio in Portland from June 22, 2010. In this segment, Steve talks about how the number of private sector jobs are down in Oregon since 2000 but government jobs are up.
As you may know, popular and controversial talk host Glenn Beck just released “The Overton Window,” a novel that’s already topped the bestseller list. What you may not know is that the book’s title comes from a model of policy change developed by the Mackinac center’s vice president, Joe Overton, in the mid-1990s. After Overton’s untimely death in 2003, their current president, Joe Lehman, developed a formal Overton Window presentation to train hundreds of think tank executives around the country and the world.
The Overton Window of Political Possibility is a model developed to explain public policy change. When public policies in a given area, such as education or labor, are arranged from freest to least free, only a relatively narrow window of options will be considered politically acceptable. This window of politically acceptable policies is not defined primarily by what politicians would prefer; rather, it is defined by what they believe they can support and still win re-election. Hence, the window shifts to include new policies or exclude old ones not when ideas change among politicians, but when ideas change in the society that elects them.
For more information on this concept, visit Mackinac’s Website.
Steve talks failing schools on Victoria Taft
Check out Steve Buckstein talking failing schools, school choice, and Jefferson High School on the Victoria Taft show, KPAM radio, June 22, 2010.
State Board of Education Continues to Look at Virtual Charter School Issue
By Olivia Wolcott and Christina Martin
At its May 21 meeting, the Oregon State Board of Education discussed the issue of virtual charter schools, specifically Oregon Virtual Academy (ORVA), after hearing testimony from ORVA parents. The Board will continue its discussion on Thursday, June 24, when they will accept further public testimony and review proposals to address the issues raised in the May 21st meeting.
Click Continue Reading to view the Board’s Response
By Andrew Hillard
Shedding Light on Solar Subsidies
If all goes as planned, July will be the start of a sunny future. Next month, Oregon Public Utilities will offer feed-in tariffs, or subsidies, for solar power. Under House Bill 3039, homeowners will be eligible to receive 55 to 65 cents for solar energy, compared to the usual cost of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. The pilot project intends to boost jobs and clean technology by subsidizing 2,500 homes over 15 years.
However, legislative forecasts, like weather predictions, are often wrong; and in this instance, the sunshine will be short lived…
Testimony before the CRC Independent Review Committee
By John Charles
June 17, 2010
I wish to make two basic points tonight, related to: (1) tolling; and (2) TriMet’s financial viability
Tolling, Variable Rates, and the Portland Highway Network
For the past several years, the CRC management team has considered tolling primarily as a means of partially financing the new bridge. While there has been some modest consideration of variable toll rates, project managers have never defined the purpose of those rates (in terms of anticipated driver benefits), nor have they analyzed variable pricing within the context of the broader Portland highway network.