Here’s some stuff you might like.
Business: Here in Central Oregon, we have “farms” and we have farms. The “farms” are owned by people who want to live here and want some space and water the grass to keep their water rights. Nothing wrong with that, but a lot of the real economically productive farms are up in Jefferson County, and they’re the junior water rights holders so they’re leaving 25-30% of their fields fallow due to lack of irrigation water. The story says, without attribution for the conclusion, that “several years of prolonged drought” have had more of an impact on water for irrigation than water diversions for the Endangered Species Act-protected Oregon spotted frog. But as of April of this year, Oregon snowpack was above average. The winter before was pretty dry but the one before that, well, the mountains, Bend and beyond were absolutely hammered by historically severe snowfall. It’s not readily apparent that drought, not frog diversions, are to blame for the farmers’ plight. At least I’m not buying it.
Law: I don’t know much of anything about criminal law. I took the class (like I had to) in law school, and I even helped try a case in Lane County Circuit Court as a law school extern against a guy who threatened a woman with a stick wrapped in tape (he was convicted, in spite of the fact I had no idea what was going on). But you don’t need to be an expert to know that twelve years in prison for beating a two-year-old boy until he is wheelchair-bound and breathing through a tube for the rest of his life is not nearly long enough. State Rep. Daniel Bonham (who represents part of Redmond and Madras, where this crime took place), had a bill in the last legislative session to allow for longer sentences in these circumstances. The bill died in committee – it shouldn’t again.
Politics: Here at BBR, we sometimes poke fun at our friends, and our many readers, in the Portland area. The possibility that a massive eruption of Mt. Hood could entomb nearby residents in volcanic mud is, however, no laughing matter. There’s nothing to be done to alleviate the risk inherent in the fact that all of us in the PNW live among active volcanoes, but there are things that can be done to mitigate that risk. One such thing is to install early warning monitors on Mt. Hood to give everyone a warning that it might blow, giving folks a chance to flee. The problem is that many of the areas appropriate for those monitors are in federally designated wilderness areas, and one geologist has been fighting for five years against the federal government and environmental groups to place some of these small monitors (via helicopter) around the mountain. Wilderness is important, but we shouldn’t let our love for wilderness create undue hazards, either due to volcanoes or wildfire (the fighting of which is severely restrained in wilderness) for the people who live near them.
Et cetera: This has been a heavy BBR so let’s tug on those heart strings. As the parent of two young boys – three and five years old now – this video of two toddler boy BFFs greeting each other got me.
PS: I ‘m looking for a web person to fix a problem I’m having with people trying to contact me via the EagerLaw PC website. If that’s successful, there will be other web stuff going forward. I prefer someone in Bend but that is not a requirement. If you or someone you know might be interested, just respond, or have them respond to this email. It will come straight to me.
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Have a great weekend!