As the State Turns…

oregonD’Arcy Firing Not The Smoothest Of Moves
In October, popular and longtime director of the Oregon Arts Commission (OAC) and Oregon Cultural Trust Chris D’Arcy was let go under mysterious circumstances. As the blocks have had time to fall, it seems as if an unofficial committee had met to discuss D’Arcy’s job performances, consisting of Tim McCabe, director of Business Oregon, Julie Vigeland, chairwoman of the OAC board, Pua Sequeira, human resources manager for Business Oregon and Bob Speltz, chairman for the Oregon Cultural Trust board.

Despite D’Arcy’s 19 year and 10 year tenures with the OAC and Oregon Cultural Trust respectively, some notes emerged from that meeting with accusations of micro-management, a lack of ability to take criticism and a “high degree of frustration with Chris among Trust staff and some board members.” These criticisms were apparently sent to The Statesman Journal before D’Arcy even had the chance to read, discuss or respond to them. And although Vigeland has claimed that all but three of her board were prepared to leave if D’Arcy wasn’t replaced, there’s no shortage of support on the other side of the fence: after her ouster, two board members of the arts commission, including vice chairman Henry Sayre, resigned as a result of the move.

The Wheels On The Bus
Corvallis school bus company of choice, First Student Inc., has been slapped with a $3,800 fine after inspectors discovered a bus driven in Junction City had tires so worn that you could see through to the wires under the rubber. Having since filed an appeal, an administrative hearing before a judge has yet to be scheduled. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that management to denied tired replacement for a full month after the treads were reported as dangerous because of “budget concerns.” Judges love that sort of thing. Also sure to go over smoothly is the fact that at least one other bus was found with near-illegally bald tires as well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 11,000 vehicle accidents are caused specifically by tire problems.

Kitzhaber to Run On… What?
Gov. Kitzhaber has announced recently that he will seek a fourth term in 2014, intending to run on a plan to alter the tax system to create more jobs for the middle class. With his most recent run in 2010 looking narrow on a good day, and while still trying to crawl out from underneath the wreckage of Cover Oregon… we’ll just have to wait and see. So far one Republican challenger, Rep. Dennis Richardson has lobbed some sort of baseball themed attack regarding strikes, plates and whatnot as read in The Statesman Journal, but I’m sure that the last time a baseball metaphor won an election was back when people watched baseball.

Breaking News: Pot Isn’t Cheap
This week those planning on opening marijuana dispensaries received an outline that explains their path towards becoming legal businesses. The requirements? Two panic buttons, alarm systems, security cameras, encrypted systems for records, secure rooms to move cannabis in and out, $4,000 annual fees for licenses and criminal background checks. When the application process starts this coming March 3rd, it’ll be a free for all. Dispensaries will be barred from operating within 1,000 feet of each other, so anyone making the huge investment to prepare a facility ahead of time might be seen engaging in some behavior that looks a bit like Black Friday at a Wal Mart.

So far Medford and Tualatin have banned licenses, with Linn County sure to follow. The law is still currently unclear as to whether or not cities can legally have these bans.

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