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Oregon lawmakers look ahead to capping greenhouse gases

SALEM (AP) — Oregon's Legislature ended its 2018 session on Saturday after nearly a month that saw additional gun controls, an attempt to curb opioid abuse and a remedy to prevent losses to state coffers from the federal tax overhaul.

However, a cap on greenhouse gas emissions was among measures that failed.

Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, said that was one of her biggest disappointments.

"It would have been wonderful to have a miracle happen on the clean energy jobs bill. I always love to see a legislative miracle, and that would have been my No. 1," Burdick told reporters.

Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, said at a news conference with Burdick that capping carbon emissions will be a priority for the long 2019 legislative session.

"I've told everybody, we're going to do this in '19 or don't bother coming," Courtney said.

The legislative session, which during even-numbered years can last a maximum of 35 days, started Feb. 5.

"We just adjourned, and still I'm not sure how we did it, eight days before our constitutional deadline, eight days, and we passed significant legislation, most of it with bipartisan support," Courtney said.

Rep. Mike McLane, House Republican leader, was less ebullient minutes after the session adjourned and family members and other well-wishers streamed onto the House floor.

"I think there were a lot of extreme bills that required an enormous amount of time, that clearly were not ready to be passed in the short session," McLane said, citing the effort to cap greenhouse gas emissions. "I believe that certainly wasn't proper for the short session."

Gov. Kate Brown told reporters: "Oregon is an example for the rest of the country in prioritizing everyday values amidst political turmoil at a national level."

The federal tax overhaul occupied much of the session, as legislators grappled with how to respond to a $217 million loss the overhaul was expected to impose on the state.

In response, Democratic senators advanced a pair of bills that blocked separate state tax deductions related to the overhaul, one on overseas money, the other on "pass through" income. Both plans passed, despite conflicts over how to spend the money from the first and opposition from Republicans to the second.

The moves erased the predicted losses, and raised a projected total of $157 million. But to become law, Brown must sign the bills.

Brown said she liked SB 1528 — the bill blocking pass through deductions — but added: "We're going to take a hard look at it before deciding whether to sign the legislation or not."

On opioids, the Legislature advanced a proposal from Brown that will require medical practitioners to register with a prescription monitoring program, and orders a pair of studies, including one ongoing study project, on how to combat addiction in the state.

Net neutrality saw bipartisan action as legislators passed a bill that would block state agencies from buying internet service from any company that blocks or prioritizes specific content or apps, starting in 2019. The bill was a response to the Federal Communications Agency's December repeal of rules prohibiting internet providers from selectively blocking or slowing some content or apps.

Lawmakers also passed a gun control measure requested by Brown, closing what she referred to as the "intimate partner loophole." The bill expands those who could be banned from owning guns and ammunition after a conviction, adding stalking as a qualifying crime, and adding those who are under a restraining order. Supporters said the bill closed a loophole in a 2015 law that excluded some abusers, such as boyfriends who abuse partners they don't live with.

Among measures that passed on Saturday was one that allows DACA recipients to apply for drivers' license and state ID card renewals, giving them the ability to drive while the Trump administration and Congress come up with a new immigration law.

One of the most high-profile measures that failed was one that would have put a ballot measure before Oregon voters, asking if they wanted to enshrine health care as a right in the state Constitution. It passed the House but died in a Senate committee over concerns such an amendment would open the state to lawsuits.

State gets roster for primary election, first since Trump

SALEM (AP) — The window for candidates to register for Oregon's primary elections has closed - a step toward the first general elections in the state since President Donald Trump took office and a test for Democrats hoping to solidify their control of the Legislature.

The deadline to register passed Tuesday at 5 p.m. All 60 seats in the state House are up for election, along with 16 state Senate seats, all five of Oregon's U.S. House seats, the governorship, and other state offices.

The roster of candidates for the primary election isn't completely finalized yet, said Debra Royal, chief of staff for Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. All candidates names had been posted online, and election officials were working their way through verifying about 30 remaining candidates Wednesday afternoon, checking that they meet residency and other requirements.

Filings included opponents for some high-profile officials. A total of 16 people applied to challenge Gov. Kate Brown, including two fellow Democrats. House Republican Minority Leader Mike McLane garnered two opponents, and two registered to oppose Democratic Senate President Peter Courtney.

The primary will select the candidates who will appear on the ballot in the general election.

The state Senate is shaping up as a key battleground. Democratic legislators currently hold 17 out of 30 seats in the chamber, only one short of the three-fifths majority required to pass revenue increases. In the House Democrats have a 35 to 25 seat advantage.

While some districts in the state tilt strongly to one party, others do not, adding an element of uncertainty. In the 2016 elections, the state Senate seat in the third district, including Ashland, went to Republican Alan DeBoer by only 395 votes. The seat will be on the ballot again this year, and DeBoer has announced he won't be running keep it.

Jeanne Atkins, chair of the Oregon Democratic Party, said she was optimistic about the race, and that the performance of the Trump administration would cast Democratic candidates in favorable light statewide. The comments mirror hopes among Democrats nationwide that voters will react negatively to the the Trump presidency, and that low approval ratings for the Republican president will translate to a boost for Democratic state and local candidates.

Kevin Hoar, a spokesman for the state Republican party, said he thought that the Tax Cuts and Jobs act - a tax overhaul advanced by the president in 2017 - would attract voters to the party. Hoar also pointed to the candidacy of Republican Jessica Gomez in the third district as a reason for optimism.

"She represents a new young energetic face (and) certainly brings a new background, as far as her life experiences," Hoar said.

3 University of Oregon graduates win at Academy Awards

EUGENE (AP) — Three graduates of the University of Oregon were winners at the Academy Awards.

The winners on Sunday included filmmaker James Ivory, Jake Swantko and Richard Hoover, The Eugene Register-Guard reported .

Ivory, a four-time nominee, took home the award for best adapted screenplay for the film "Call Me By Your Name." At 89, the 1951 graduate and Klamath Falls native became the oldest ever Oscar winner in a competitive category.

Swantko, a 30-year-old graduate of the university's School of Journalism and Communication, worked as director of photography on best documentary winner "Icarus." The film was his first major movie credit.

Hoover, a 1980 graduate, shared an Oscar for best visual effects on "Blade Runner 2049."

Swantko, in an interview Monday, described the surreal transformation of the movie that became Icarus as a "perfect storm" of circumstances that helped bolster its success.

"It was a pretty simple idea" for a movie, Swantko said. "It became a once-in-a-lifetime kinda story."

Swantko said the positive reaction the film got at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival was his first hint of the success it might achieve. Netflix later would buy the rights for a reported $5 million.

Still, the best documentary category at the Oscars is an "unpredictable," Swantko said, and "we knew it was out of our control."

Columbian Mammoth tracks found at Fossil Lake

KLAMATH FALLS (AP) — Almost 43,000 years ago, a herd of Columbian mammoths made their way across the ice in Central Oregon lumbering through the cold; one of them limping badly due to a leg injury.

Today, their movements have been rediscovered, the first such records of tracks found in an area of Lake County popular among fossil hunters that has earned the moniker Fossil Lake.

An area where a vast array of fossils were discovered in 1870 by Dr. Thomas Condon — one of the founding instructors at the University of Oregon — the site east of Christmas Valley has seen many fossil hunters, archaeologists and students return each year in search of new discoveries of ancient records that have helped reshape human understanding of the ancient world.

The area has not only provided thousands of fossils, but also a petrified wood forest. Not far away, near Fort Rock, sandals created by humans more than 10,000 years ago were discovered in a cave — among the earliest record of humans in the Western Hemisphere.

While many groups have returned to research labs with plenty of bones in tow, what was found last summer astounded a collective from the University of Oregon.

The area, approximately 66 feet long and 25 feet wide in the remote desert, features perfectly preserved tracks left by long-extinct massive creatures that once dominated the central Oregon landscape — the Columbian mammoth.

The site features remnants of the ancient animal's footprint trails, called trackways, and imprints of ancient soil, known as paleosols.

Mammoth behavior

Findings of that discovery were recently published in the journal "Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology" as part of an advanced scientific understanding in the behavior of Columbian mammoths and the environment of Pleistocene-era central Oregon.

The study was led by Greg Retallack, a University of Oregon professor from the university's Museum of Natural and Cultural History, along with several students in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management and University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Retallack's expedition in July last year found 117 mammoth tracks, with particular interest in a line of 39 prints from an apparently injured adult female mammoth. While fossils are common finds at the site, according to Retallack it was the first time that trackways had been discovered at Fossil Lake.

"Tracks sometimes tell more about ancient creatures than their bones, particularly when it comes to their behavior," said Retallack. "These prints were especially close together, and those on the right were more deeply impressed than those on the left — as if an adult mammoth had been limping."

Beyond the fossil

Nearby trackways suggested that the preserved marks were placed thousands of years ago by a herd of mammoths, providing important clues to behavior of the creatures that can't be determined by fossils alone.

The behavior offered clues to the gait and age distribution of the herd as well as juveniles returning to the side of an injured adult. It matches behavior patterns still found today in African elephants.

Beyond just footprints, students also dug pits to study soil of the area, which shed light on the environment in the region when the mammoths made their trek through the Christmas Valley.

During the last great ice age, Columbian mammoths and ancient horses survived on lowland grasses in an environment that at the time showed to be dry in summers, with larger lakes than there are currently, and endured more significant snowfall.

The desertification of Fossil Lake and its surrounding area, once lush grasslands, Retallack concluded, was a consequence of the extinction of large animals like the Columbian mammoths around 11,500 years ago. The large animals' trampling and grazing kept less-tolerant plant species from thriving. Today the area is renowned for its grasses, as the alfalfa hay grown by farmers in the region is considered some of the finest in the world, and is highly sought on the international market.

March 8, 2018 Death Notices

Wayne Clifford Smith, 46, of Coos Bay, died March 3, 2018 in Coos Bay. Arrangements are under the direction of Ocean View Memory Gardens Cremation & Burial Service 541-888-4709.

John Christ Traufler Jr., 59, of Coos Bay, died March 5, 2018 in Coos Bay. Arrangements are under the direction of Ocean View Memory Gardens Cremation & Burial Service 541-888-4709.

Melissa Lynn Owens, 51, of Coos Bay, passed away March 5, 2018 in Coos Bay. Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131

Earl L. Campbell, 93, of Coos Bay, passed away March 6, 2018 in Coos Bay. Arrangements are under the care of North Bend Chapel, 541-756-0440.

Tamara Jones, 60, of Reedsport passed away peacefully at home Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Arrangements are under the direction of Dunes Memorial Chapel.

March 8, 2018 Funerals

Saturday, March 10

Doyle Roy Williams Sr.- memorial service 1 p.m., at Shoreline Community Church, 1251 Clark St. in North Bend. A celebration of life will immediately follow the service at ILWU Local 12 hiring hall, 2064 Sheridan in North Bend. 

Dear Abby: Newlywed husband wants a 2nd wife

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for seven months, and my husband wants a second wife, something I do not agree with. He says he likes helping people and has decided he wants a former lover to be a part of our marriage. Unfortunately, she is more than willing to sleep with him.

Now he's talking about helping her move even though he knows I'm against him having anything to do with her. She says she's going to tell her daughter he is her boyfriend and not let her know he is married. She wants to be my friend, but I want nothing to do with her.

I sold my house, so I have nowhere to go. He refuses to go to marriage counseling because he says I am the problem. I am just about ready to cut my losses and move on. What do you think? -- READY TO MOVE ON

DEAR READY: You and your husband are already living on separate planets as far as your values are concerned. Unless you are willing to have an open marriage and another woman sharing your husband, I "think" it's time to talk to a lawyer!

DEAR ABBY: While flying across country with my toddler son, he started screaming hysterically as the plane began its descent. Nothing I could do would calm him. I tried giving him a bottle, a knuckle, a pacifier, even the corner of my shirt, but he continued to howl.

All of a sudden, a hand holding a lollipop appeared in the space between our seats and with it came a soft voice that said, "It's the change in air pressure. Try this." I took what turned out to be a sugar-free lollipop, and sure enough, the moment I unwrapped the generally frowned-upon treat, my son began sucking enthusiastically, calmed down and sat quietly until the plane came to a stop.

Ever since then I travel with sugar-free lollipops in my purse in the event a child near me is undone by the change in cabin pressure during landing. Some parents are skeptical at first, but when I use the tone and the words once spoken to me, they usually accept the treat, calm their child and sigh in relief. I encourage parents of children old enough to handle a lollipop to do the same just in case there is no lollipop angel on their flight. -- TIP FROM UP HIGH

DEAR TIP: Hmmm. Perhaps airlines should stock an emergency supply of lollipops on their planes for parents in that situation. It would be easier than handing out earplugs and tranquilizers to all the other passengers on the flight.

DEAR ABBY: My niece died last week from a fentanyl overdose. She was 43. My brother lives out of town, so I offered to retrieve my niece's belongings. While going through them, I found a crack pipe and syringes. Should I tell my brother or keep it to myself? -- KEEP IT TO MYSELF

DEAR KEEP IT: Please accept my sympathy for the loss your family has suffered. I think you should tell your brother. He is already aware that his daughter had a serious drug problem. If you're afraid the news will add to his pain, don't be. Disclosing it could help him realize the scope of her addiction.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.