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Business: Pitchers and catchers have reported for Major League Baseball spring training, which means that warmer weather is coming (**looks at three-foot snow berm outside office window, sighs**). MLB teams are valuable things, with the New York Yankees, shockingly, the most valuable at $4 billion. My Mariners are exactly middle of the pack at 15.
Law: Oregon is, notoriously, likely to become the first state in the U.S. with statewide rent control. Less known is the fact that the rent control bill, SB 608, precludes landlords from terminating a month-to-month tenancy after the first year without cause, except under certain circumstances. The bill also, bizarrely, institutes notice requirements for termination of a fixed term tenancy. A landlord will need to give notice to a tenant who has signed a lease agreement stating that the tenancy terminates on X date notice that the tenancy actually really does terminate on X date or the tenancy doesn’t lawfully terminate on X date. This is crazy and suggests that the Oregon Senate (which has passed the bill) believes residential tenants are incapable of being party to binding legal agreements. What a complete mess.
Politics: Bend City Council positions are, in theory, non-partisan. “Republican” or “Democrat” does not appear on the ballot next to Council candidates’ names. But, of course, the actual councilors who hold these positions typically are registered to vote in the primaries of one of those two major parties. Also, in practice, Bend City Council elections and many of the votes taken on Council are pretty partisan. The increasingly partisan nature of City Council politics was on display Valentine’s evening when Mayor Sally Russell (a Democrat) spent an hour before an “aggressive, angry room” of apparently not romantically inclined Deschutes County Democrats who were mad at Russell for voting to appoint Chris Piper, a Republican, to a recent Council vacancy. Russell said she’s been “bullied” by people who were upset at her choice. The Council is non-partisan only to the degree that insiders and activists like those who spend their Valentine’s evening attending Deschutes Democrat meetings, and their mirror images on the other side, are the only ones who know it’s actually a really partisan game.
Et cetera: Yesterday was Oregon’s 160th birthday, and there were facts shared about Oregon, most of which were boring. One caught my eye, though. It turns out the largest living organism in the entire world (and I guess the entire known universe since we’ve not yet found life off this planet) is located right here in Oregon. It’s a giant fungus that occupies about four square miles (!) of the Blue Mountains in the Malheur National Forest east of Bend.
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Have a great weekend!