As the State Turns

By Johnny Beaver

stateturnssymbolJust Don’t Do It
Melissa Bowerman, the 43-year-old Madras High School head track and field coach, was arrested on July 21 amidst allegations of sexual abuse involving a 17-year-old boy on the team. Multiple felony charges, including luring a minor, second-degree sexual abuse, and second-degree online sexual corruption of a child were cited by Oregon State Police while they tagged and bagged the alleged piece of crap. Carrying on what seems to be a proud tradition, Bowerman is the second Madras High School coach to be arrested in the last year, following the act of ex-girls basketball coach Michael Osborne.

Although it is only about one and a half steps removed from being as irrelevant as noting that Bowerman once owned a dog that sniffed Jane Fonda, most media outlets are making a big deal that she is the daughter-in-law of a Nike co-founder. Don’t say I never gave you nothin’.

Wanderin’ Wolf Turns Family… Wolf
Famed roaming wolf OR-7 has successfully found a mate and produced a couple of healthy young pups. The first breeding wolves in the Cascade Range in about 70 years, the formerly lone OR-7 ditched his pack to chase tail way back in 2009. Three thousand miles and five years later (sounds about right, huh guys?), success.

Pics or it didn’t happen, you say? A Google search for “OR-7 puppy pics” yields about 85 million results.

GMO Labeling to See Light of Ballot
This November, Oregon voters will have the opportunity to support or strike down measures that seek to require foodstuffs with genetically modified organisms to be labeled as such. With the state Elections Division having verified far more than the required number of signatures on the initial proposal, it looks like the $1 million spent to get signatures was well spent.

While proponents claim that they merely seek to increase transparency in labeling, opponents claim that the legislation is sloppy and would only serve to harm farmers and manufacturers as is, often citing public ignorance on the topic of GMO as well as non-scientific propaganda.

Similar legislation failed to pass in California and Washington in 2012 and 2013 respectively, while another GMO measure was rejected by Oregon voters in 2002.

Of course, a better solution would be a team effort that seeks to inform the public on GMO technologies, framing what the dangers are and aren’t, creating a labeling system that allows consumers to make informed decisions. But then again, that would ruin humanity’s street cred, so… nah. Vote or die!

I Could Really Go for a Pizza, a Dozen Donuts, and Some Taco Bell Right About Now…
A report put out by the illustrious ECONorthwest claims that legal marijuana in Oregon could generate almost $80 million between 2017 and 2019. First-year sales are estimated at around $38.5 million alone. If the “control, regulation, and taxation of marijuana and industrial hemp act” passes this November, a fat tar ball of tax money will start rolling downhill towards police funds, schools, drug treatment facilities, and more.

Now I read the report, and it was full of a lot of fancy numbers that I trust. In fact, I trust them so much that I’m willing to ignore this line at the bottom of the report: “The report does not look at the impact on courts, police, and jail operating costs due to legalization.” I gotta get a job with these guys… I’m pretty sure I’ve done more usable research when deciding what kind of toilet paper to buy.

Thank You, Sir, May I Have Another?
Last week you may have read the romantic tale of incumbent Governor John Kitzhaber’s dance with Republican rival Dennis Richardson. Well, dab that sweat from your brow—it’s about to get a lot steamier.

Mike Marshall, campaign manager for the Kitzhaber camp, tossed Richardson’s droogs an offer they couldn’t refuse: five heated debate forums, ranging from Bend to Medford, Eugene to Portland, and then back for a second dose of that PDX action. Sounds to me like somebody enjoyed having their neck wrung over their cataclysmic Cover Oregon failure a little too much.

I know, I know… in the end it’s all media markets and pie charts, so the slappy-face contest will show it’s best side to all the right voters. But I’m not willing to give up on the romance just yet.

And here are just a few highlights to round out the page…

-Clatsop County Jail is struggling because there’s no mental health facility in the area. Our justice system’s flaws are looking shiny today.

-Oregon State University’s Malheur County experiment station has this to say: If you find drip- or furrow-irrigated bulb onions lip-smackingly delicious, but hate throwing up everywhere… no worries, E. coli is not a danger.

-Officials are doing their best to put citizens at ease regarding drone flights over the Pendleton Unmanned Aerial Systems Range. Don’t worry folks, they never crash. Except for about 70 since 2001.