As the State Turns

By Johnny Beaver

stateturnssymbolAngry Birds
The cormorant, more commonly known as Phalacrocoracidae, is a group of medium to large seabirds that call Oregon one of their homes. Why, you might ask? Because salmon are ri-damn-icu-licious. If that makes any sense. I don’t eat fish.

Anyway, the implied issue here is that these mangy honey badgers of the air literally ate 18 million protected salmon and steelhead last year, graciously digesting upwards of 15 percent of the population swimming about the Columbia River estuary. Holy crap, what do we do? Shotguns. We do shotguns.

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers proposed an approach to take out about 16,000 cormorants near the Columbia River in an attempt to reduce the number of breeding pairs down to 5,900 from 14,900. This is said to balance the situation out and preserve salmon that are listed under the Endangered Species Act. Several groups including the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and area tribal representatives believe that gunning down these buzzards is the surefire way to return man-invaded nature to its natural course.

However, others disagree. Kahler Martinson, an Audubon Society volunteer as well as a former regional director with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, stated that the birds are being blamed for a problem the dams create. The opposition argues that the rivers need to be managed in terms of fish, rather than power. This approach involves zero shotguns, which is bound to upset some Oregonians. And Texans.

The second public meeting on the issue will be held in Astoria this Thursday, July 24.

Locked and Bloated
Multnomah County’s 2013 gun control law has seen its opposition steadily grow in recent months. A newcomer to the fight against controlling fighting is the city of Troutdale, passing an “emergency” law this past July 8 that requires Multnomah County to get approval from Troutdale city council before enforcing the law in question, or any other county law, within city limits. They also requested to take a hay ride on a lawsuit filed by five county residents that challenges the gun law. Take that, Multnomah, you bastards! When you got a squirrel problem, you bring a cannon.

The trial went to court on July 10, and I’m sure we’ll all be sweating bullets—pun intended—until the dramatic conclusion. The following items are the main meat of the law. I’m sure you’ll see why people have reacted so violently…

* Prohibit possession of a loaded firearm in a public place.
* Prohibit the discharge of a firearm within the county’s boundaries (not including lawful applications on private property).
* Prohibit endangering a child by allowing access to a firearm.
* Require that the theft or loss of a firearm be reported within 48 hours.
* Extend the curfew hours for minors on parole and probation for a charge related to a gun.

Planes, Trains, and…. No, Just Trains
Amidst rising concerns over crude oil being transported across Oregon from oil fields in North Dakota, the Oregon State Fire Marshal is now releasing reports containing information from railroad companies about their shipments. Carriers operating trains that carry over a million gallons of this particular crude oil on a single choo-choo are required to submit the reports.
If you’re curious or just plain scared of a train carrying over a million points of oil going supernova, check out www.oregon.gov/osp/SFM/Pages/SERC/CrudeOilReports.aspx.

Balls ‘n’ Seeds
GO TEAM EVERYONE! OH YEAH BABY! et cetera.

Turns out that the most exciting part about the World Cup is, in fact, not America’s sudden 2014 discovery of international sports. Seriously, 20-somethings, I’m looking at you. It’s also not the fact that Germany finally got the win they deserved in 2006.

No, no. It’s actually the fact that Oregon grass growers (the kind you walk on) supplied the World Cup fields with 300,000 pounds of seed. Wowaweewaa.

And… that’s about all there is to say about that.

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